Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

August 20, 2013

Portrait of a Recreational Player?

Dan's bankroll data provides insight into coveted poker demographic

It’s been a while since Pokerati’s had anything to do with my personal bankroll. And I’m not sure that’s really a direction I wanna take this ship as we navigate new poker waters. But I suppose now’s as good a time as any to hold myself accountable, pokerwise, because even though “the dream” has long dissipated, I do still wanna someday be a winning player able to move up in stakes.

But look at my 2013 bankroll numbers, and ya know what I see? Losing player, LOL? Ha ha, no … Forget for a second that this chart belongs to me, personally, and how removing from my playbook the overcall with unsuited connectors in the small blind could be all that stands between me and two trips to Hawaii … forget all that … because what I think you’re really seeing here is the profile of a so-called recreational poker player:


Totals $ hrs rate
Blackjack 306 41.14 $7.44
NL Cash -1,751 43.33 -$40.41
Tourney 302 6.5 $46.46
Prop Bet 380 xx $95.00

Recreational players are supposedly all the buzz these days … but do serious players and an industry intent on courting them even understand what that really means? A quick study of the above and you can probably see why I stand in solidarity with McDonald’s workers … but beyond that, we’re looking at a poker life that means about 11 hours a month in casinos, a few tournaments (nothing to brag about, but I did take down a Stratosphere nightly), some casual prop bets, a penchant for at least one house-edge table game … all tallying up to a net negative akin to what it might cost if I were playing similarly recreational tennis or golf or fishing.

Hmm, I suppose that’s psychologically why I’m able to keep coming back for more … because sure I can see the numbers, but also I know I can do better, and maybe next time I will get less unlucky.

Posted by at 10:59 am

June 18, 2013

Exciting (Limit) Poker WTF?

@DonkeyBomber live streaming his way toward HORSE bracelet #2 (fingers crossed)

I swear Tom Schneider is really starting to piss me off. He knows full well I have little intention of trying to cover the WSOP this year … but damnit, I came up with that strategy kinda-sorta counting on a lackluster performance by our longtime Team Pokerati ambassador — a near certain result as per performance indicators over the past four or so years! But now, like right now, he’s well on his way to taking down trying hard to take down his second bracelet and/or 6-figure score.

With now only five players left, I’m fairly certain he’s gonna win this one, the way he’s barreling through this final table … Greg Mueller, I’d say, is his only threat, as I’ve seen him beat Tom heads-up before with a lot on the line.

You can watch the WSOP live stream here:

http://www.wsop.com/2013/live-video/default.aspx?TID=12827

livestream-top

Though I don’t know the WSOP statistical lore on this one, it would be a rather amazing feat to win a $1,500 HORSE event, and then the $5,000 HORSE, no? And not to get ahead of anyone, but a repeat POY maybe? OK, I’ll cut with the jinxing as Schneider-Mueller have dropped from 1st/2nd in chips to 3rd/4th with four left in the time it has taken me to write this paragraf.

But the important thing to notice, no matter how this event plays out, is that Tom’s hat (Loudmouth Poker, $25) plays well for the live stream:

livestream-hat

UPDATE: Now Tom is short, and FBT is chip leader … while the hat tells pretty much the whole story.

tom-short

UPDATE: Back and forth back and forth … Tom is dominant chip leader now, with hat, um, re-unreversed?

UPDATE: Final four coming back on Tuesday, with Tom in strong position.

Seat Player Chip Count
1 Greg Mueller 140,000
4 Viatcheslav Ortynsiky 680,000
6 Tom Schneider 2,500,000
7 Benjamin Scholl 600,000

Posted by at 1:44 am

February 26, 2013

CSI: DonkeyBomber

Tom on CSI Wednesday on CBS 9pm in Phoenix, check your local listings

Separated at Birth?

Separated at Birth?

Just because I’m onto something new in the podcast realm doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten my original partner(s) in quasiradio crime.

Perhaps inspired by the Oscars or maybe just dismayed by sinking TV ratings for recorded poker — no, wait, it can’t be that because that would require Tom to do something at the table worthy of ho-hum recorded poker TV (rimshot, lol!) — it seems like our ole pal Tom, without a tragedy to exploit for YouTube views, is moving from country music to acting. Check it out … here’s word from, um, Ice Tom, regarding his crime-drama debut with a poker-infused episode of Crime Scene Investigation, called “Last Woman Standing”:

I make my acting debut on CSI tomorrow. I may end up on the cutting room floor and they may not show my face at all, but I did deal some poker to David Cassidy, aka Keith Partridge. You might just see me shuffling cards and cheating a guy. Who knows?

If you don’t see my face, but you see some half bitten finger nails and stubby hands doing some magic with cards that’s me. Next up … hand modeling.

Woot. We’ll be looking for it, as Schneider continues to cross items off his bucket list in time for the WSOP!

Posted by at 12:48 pm

August 19, 2012

Pokerati Hooks up with Face Up Gaming

Both seeking reliable action, convenience of NSA poker thrills!

There’s a new Tom in town! (And this one has four bracelets, not just two.)

So we may or may not have gotten a little drunk one night … you know how it goes, a little joke, some playful touching, and suddenly somehow our friends at Face Up Gaming are now friends with benefits! The start-up social gaming online poker site will be giving Pokeratizens unprecedented insight into the process of building an online poker operation from the ground up — and we’re happy to have Face Up Gaming as our official online poker subscription site partner!

Read the announcement of our casual maybe sometimes sorta kinky in-bedness here.

So sign up with Face Up  and … well, um, uh …we’ll surely do something special for you! I do know there are lotsa prizes in play already at Face Up. Trips to Aruba, iPads galore, real cash … all up for grabs should you pony up for the US online poker equivalent of a Sam’s Club membership. (It’s the American way to play!)

Executive Instapokerer AlCantHang is big into it, too … I think primarily to make sure the executives don’t eff things up that the Face Up Gaming experience is the best online poker experience in the future of ever!

LOL, but seriously, it should be a great time. Hope to see some of you at the tables.

Posted by at 6:14 pm

June 19, 2012

Certificate of Attendance [Video]

Footnoting the 2012 WSOP

Even without Pauly here, and Al skillfully holding down the Pokerati fort, I do show up at the Rio every once in a while for the free water and to work on my improv skills. Considering the Bluff Hedline Cam is pretty much just a way for @MartyDerby to pick up chicks, I feel priveliged that I hadn’t yet spilled anything on my shirt and the “air quotes” I added to the script made the cut … even if I do need to practice hand movement with a big honkin sizable microphone.

Oh yeah, and Hellmuth and Ivey continue to tear it up, “Philling” the final table in $10k HORSE. Boom, book it … that’s a wrap?

Posted by at 2:45 pm

June 7, 2012

Official Word on @Donkeybomber Suspension

Pokerati has reputation to protect, example to make

This hurts me more than it hurts Tom …

http://pokerati.com/donkeybomber-suspended-from-team-pokerati/

But he will be back, we know it! And hopefully more strong and ambassadorial than ever. (Either that or expect him to start turning to the Dark Side.)

What’s crazy is you’d think this all coulda been resolved with a simple Twitter fight … but no.

Posted by at 1:24 pm

June 5, 2012

Mucked Up

How can it be dirty play to take down a pot that is rightfully yours?

I want to clear something up that happened during a hand in a $1,500 no limit tournament. I have heard that some are accusing me of using my influence to get a favorable ruling and/or that I took a shot to win a pot.

I’ll let Pokerati readers decide.

On the river, I bet. My opponent calls, to which I announce, “nothing.” My opponent does not turn over his hand, so I table my jack-high. He looks befuddled, picks up one of his cards so only his next-door player can see it. He does NOT table his hand. Only one player sees his one card, which is a queen and would be a winner. He takes his two cards face down and places them on top of the stub of the deck.

The dealer pushes the pot to me. Two seconds go by and everyone is kind of stunned. One guy at the table mutters “sick call” thinking the guy called and couldn’t beat a jack hi.

The dealer does make a little mistake by not mixing all the cards together to make sure that the hand is unidentifiable. Now my opponent looks puzzled and says, “Wait, I had the winning hand.” Yes he did, but he mucked it. Now he’s saying he should get the pot.

We call floor and tell our stories. The floor asks if the hand is identifiable. We all say yes. He leaves and comes back to the table and says that my opponent gets the pot. So I ask, “When is a hand ‘over’? And are you telling me that a player can muck his hand and then get awarded a pot?” He says, “hold on, I’ll be back.”

More…

Posted by at 3:37 am

April 20, 2012

Keys to Success, I Mean Failure

Curse of the keychain swag

Mark Cuban wrote that a sure sign of failure for any start-up is too much promotional gear. I’ve always kinda agreed … believing too many pokerpreneur types come with all the hype but not an actual product (let alone value proposition). But who am I to complain? Everyone knows Pokerati’s business model: to run a haphazard media empire and someday retire by collecting poker swag for future sale on eBay.

Totally coincidental, I happened upon this keyless keyring while cleaning out one of my poker closets last week and couldn’t help but lol-chuckle that none of these three operations made it to a second birthday despite significant hype and promotional spends.

epic ppt all in energy keychain

Oh yeah, and Pokerati turns 8 years old today or tomorrow. So does Full Tilt Poker.

Posted by at 5:57 am

April 19, 2012

California Losses vs. Vegas Wins

On the road to heads-up victory?

Me in Oceanside, CA

Ahhh, California...

My brother Chris and I, hiking Runyon Canyon above LA

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably either a poker player or fan of the game in some fashion. You know that the games in Las Vegas are plentiful on any day of the week. The weekend crowd consists of tourists from all parts of the US escaping their routine lives for a few days in the desert. During the week, the player ratio skews more towards Europeans on extended holiday, mixed with the company conference crowd and conventioneers. There are always locals in the game and during the daytime, they can represent 50 percent or more of the table lineup, even at Strip properties.

At nighttime the ratio shifts more towards the out-of-towners, but where the tourists are, there will always be local regs scattered about.

It’s so fun playing a heads-up tournament. You get to play every hand… what more needs to be said?

As a poker player and/or fan, you might’ve heard that while Las Vegas is the gambling epicenter of the US, when it comes to poker, the true Mecca is actually located in Los Angeles. And after a recent return visit to my old stomping grounds, I was quickly reminded of that fact. The LA cardrooms are different in so many ways from their Vegas counterparts in everything from the atmosphere to the feel of the cards to the player makeup to what’s comped and what isn’t. At any one time in the Commerce, Bicycle, Hustler or any other casinos that occupy very non-glitzy East LA districts, you won’t find more than 1 percent of the player pool designated as “tourists”. No tourist is going to take time out of enjoying gorgeous Malibu or exploring the weirdness of Venice Beach to grind Commerce Casino. These places are packed with locals who love poker, love gambling, and very much love action. They absolutely have to… how else could you explain these folks braving horrific Los Angeles traffic to get to Bell Gardens to play $2/$3NL midweek? It’s true, you do get comped food from a rather impressive menu at the Bike, as opposed to free cocktails a la Las Vegas. But I have to assume it’s more than that. Poker has become a real part of several cultures that make up Los Angeles’ diverse demographics. It’s been that way for decades now, before the no-limit era and now well into it.

More…

Posted by at 7:18 pm

UNLV Internet Gaming Regulation Symposium

Come for the CLE Credits - Stay for the Knowledge

The Boyd School of Law at UNLV will host an Internet Gaming Regulation Symposium on May 18. The conference is being sponsored by Lewis & Roca. You can read more about the conference and speakers and register for it here. I’m preparing a paper on financial transaction handling (with a focus on anti-money laundering) for the event, and that’s why I haven’t made time to blog on Pokerati lately. (Apologies to Dan.)

The conference is really an interesting concept. True to the symposium definition, different authors with familiarity in the gaming space – and anyone else who wants to attend – are getting together, presenting a series of papers, and critiquing them. Later, each writer or writing team will return home and make further changes and amendments to her, his, or their article. The whole collection of papers will then be published as a book by the UNLV Gaming Law Journal sometime in the fall.

The symposium and the resulting book has as its objective the compilation of selected worldwide best practices in the regulation of Internet gaming and betting. Topics that will form discrete chapters include location verification; fraud and cheating detection and prevention; responsible gaming; accounting, reporting, and audit requirements; taxation; and, advertising. I don’t expect that the presentations will just rehash the papers. I hope that mine, for example, goes beyond what’s in the article to try to explore where international regulation of the igaming sector is going.

More…

Posted by at 11:52 am

March 12, 2012

Oops, I Won Too Much Country!

Tom Schneider launches music career with EP

tom schneider poker country musicWe still love Donkeybomber ’round these parts; just haven’t written much about the famous author and ’07 WSOP Player of the Year lately because … well, um, how do you put this nicely when his biggest accomplishments since then include not having enough money on Full Tilt to actually lose anything, and maybe getting retweeted by @basebaldy AND Jack Effel? (Sorry Pokeratizens for missing the breaking news … )

Well you’re not gonna believe what our balder, gastronomically larger, bi-braceleted pal is up to now: Country music.

Seriously, have a listen to First 5-Song CD, Created in December 2011, a title he apparently shortened prior to mainstream release on iTunes with the simpler, more memorable “EP”, which some say could be subtle commentary on the plight of a one-time WSOP POY seeking recognition as a real pro by Epic Poker.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/tom-schneider/id435732204

More…

Posted by at 7:30 pm

March 8, 2012

Festival of Nits, the Tourist Factor, and Swallowing Your Pride

Late-night lessons from the Trop

I think I was in Los Angeles at the end of last summer. Somewhat amazingly, that was the last time I was outside of the desert. I did go to Palm Springs with my girlfriend and met some family there for Thanksgiving … but that’s still in the desert. I didn’t go home this past Christmas for the first time ever in my life, and I haven’t left Vegas once in 2012. This can’t be healthy. I need to get out for a while.


    This was THE nit festival of all nit festivals. Your normal hourly rate simply does not translate when you remove the fun-loving, didn’t-come-to-fold tourist factor and replace it with the game-has-obv-passed-me-by-but-I’ll-still-sit-here-and-fold-for-$10/hr-zomg-dreams-do-come-true jaded older Vegas reg. I mean, it was truly miserable.

Las Vegas is awesome. We all know about the availability of booze and gambling 24/7, and the ability to keep whatever sleep schedule you desire. As cash game poker players, we never have to endure the pain of an alarm clock’s rouse, as Vegas embraces daywalkers and nightowls alike. The cost of living is relatively low, especially considering the quantity and quality of entertainment options available as compared to other cities with similar offerings, such as LA, San Francisco, Miami. If outdoor adventure is your thing, you can find plenty of that at places like Red Rock Canyon; hikes such as the Gold Strike near Hoover Dam, which takes you all the way down into the Colorado River; and weird natural beauty like the Valley of Fire. And for those less willing to leave Clark County, there’s the peaceful Summerlin suburbs, and the increasingly interesting downtown Vegas scene.

More…

Posted by at 7:37 pm

December 6, 2011

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cheating in Online Poker But Were Afraid to Ask …

WASHINGTON DC — About 110 people or so are in DC for the Digital Gaming and Lottery Policy summit … essentially a two-day crash course on gaming regulation. The DGLP confab is addressing everything from technology to legal quandaries to very detailed proposals on taxation breakdowns … like by the percent! We all know online gambling can be a complex issue, with lots of minutiae that can impact the success or failure of businesses built around a sub-industry. And the way American lawmakers are picking it all apart is enough to make you think that we musta either totally forgotten about Europe’s relatively successful regulation of a multibillion-dollar industry over the past decade, or we Americans just consider the other side of the pond nothing worth a study — they are responsible for Full Tilt, after all!

No? Regardless, as part of the process of eventually “getting there” legislatively, and staying true to Pokerati’s motto In Negotio Pro Poker Meliori, my contribution to policy noise today will be addressing online cheating. Below are my notes from which I plan to wonk out with my donk out:

More…

Posted by at 6:28 am

November 27, 2011

FYI: Epic Poker Satellite Bounties

@PokerKat + @LasVegasPokers @PalmsPokerRm @Palms FTW!

Oh, almost forgot to tell you … two Pokerati Game players are/were bounties in this weekend’s Epic Poker Pro-Am satellites. Both have far more accomplishments to their Hendon Mob cred than just playing 1/2 NLH/PLO with me, obv … but still, happy to declare that this is plausibly proof that playing in the Pokerati Game at the Palms is key to satellite success.

kathy liebert stacey nutini epic poker pro-am

Kathy played yesterday, and Stacey takes her seat in just a couple hours — so get to the game @PalmsPokerRm ASAP! Today’s event is a $100 NLH with $50 rebuys. More Epic satellite details here.

Posted by at 2:51 pm

Fueling a No-Limit / PLO Revolution?

Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRm FTW!

pokerati game palms poker room PLOCheck it out. This story in PokerListings is probably a bit too kind without any LOLs. But hey, as a guy who’s key flaw in his plan to offer Pokeratizens the best low-stakes action in Vegas was not learning how to fold more often pre-flop, I’ll take the love!

While it is true that nowhere in Vegas could you “run it twice” in a 1/2 game before Pokerati NLH/PLO came to town, now plenty of poker rooms hardly blink when two or more players get it all-in and want to reduce variance by seeing more than one river … just like they used to do it on High Stakes Poker.

So crap now the secret of the Pokerati Game’s success is out:

  • Offer games people want to play, at stakes they’re comfortable playing
  • Give preference to poker rooms with skillful, supportive staff (and maybe a really big sign)
  • Treat low-stakes players no differently than high rollers (h/t Benny Binion)
  • Suck out often to keep the nits away

That’s pretty much all it takes to host a game that attracts tourists and locals alike. And now that I can expect casinos everywhere to be spreading Pokerati-style live action, I suppose my pioneering days are over and I can go back to being just another poor-man’s Jean-Robert Bellande.

Posted by at 2:01 pm