Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

Fueling a No-Limit / PLO Revolution?

Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRm FTW!

by , Nov 27, 2011 | 2:01 pm

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.


Save Scott!

Pokerati Tech Wizard needs new lung, cancer drugs, and/or new hobby

by , Sep 12, 2011 | 3:41 pm

scott chaffin the fat guy

Hacked: The Pokerati Morlock’s lung troubles really take the fun out of smoking for the rest of us.

Scott Chaffin is dying. Now now, before you say WTF? know that I am, too. And so are you, and you, and you. In fact, I challenge you to find one living person on the planet who isn’t “dying” … you can’t do it. Fact of life.

But some of us have to fight a little harder to stave off the grim reaper. And Scott, at age 54, got called into life-battle recently upon learning his nagging smoker’s cough was actually full-blown lung cancer.

Scott is one of the original poker bloggers (c. 2002) — and one of the original bloggers for that matter — who has been a big part of Pokerati since the near-beginning. Horrified by an all-flash direction I was headed with version 2, he took over the controls for all things techy in Pokeratiland more than five years ago. Since then, The Fat Guy has overseen three redesigns, bailed me out on multiple occasions after I broke something big, and has written tens of thousands of lines of code for 146 half-baked Pokerati projects since abandoned. All for no pay, mind you … and added bummer as I learn now that our small-business health plan here at Pokerati may not cover actual sickness.

So if you like Scott and like this site and/or just hate cancer … help keep The Fat Guy around a while longer — he’s still got work to do, dammit! — by donating to his cause via PayPal. (Link takes you to TFG.com, w donate button on top right.) And if you have any complaints about how things run on this site, well dude, c’mon … you know, [hush] cancer.


LOL: Poker-ishy Domain Name Expiring

by , Sep 3, 2011 | 5:45 am

A lot of you know the addictive nature of buying web domains. It’s a phase young web-maestros go through when we realize, heck, it’s just $8 … but then, after buying several dozen we realize, shit, unless we wanna get in on Dutch Boyd’s action, there’s not exactly much value in squatting on web domains with no plan for development. Then we go a year forgetting to click off the auto-renew before eventually we say “enough!” and decide to take our chance on life without possession of yet another (incredibly clever) URL.

godaddy domain renewal
GoDaddy has been a strong supporter of poker and poker bloggers with not-so-inexpensive domain-buying habits for years.

So I’m lettin this one go — WSOPolitics.com — it’s expired and I’m not gonna renew. It was a brilliant idea ahead of its time Not sure what I was thinking, duh … so let the bidding war begin? In lieu of an option to “buy-it-now”, I’ll consider trading the web property for up to $50k on Full Tilt or the magic green dice on Zynga.

UPDATE: Ooh, pokerishy.com is available, too! Who wants it?


Meet a Man in a Dark Alley …

Alumni report

by , Aug 10, 2011 | 7:42 pm

Who says poker media sucks. I mean sure the writing and diction might be lacking … but being a Pokerati alum (and degenerate Pokerati game player) has its privileges. Check out Mechdawg, former podcast critic, arriving in Vegas for work on the Epic Poker League, apparently not needing a ride to or from the bar at the Palms.

PERKY: Merchdawg’s in Vegas, and a sparkly green Escalade awaits.

Next Pokerati Game, btw, is tomorrow, Thursday, usual start time. Hoping Merchdawg et al(canthang) play when they’re done with the tournament coverage. Somebody asked me, lol, “Is this a WPT event?”

Apologies to @PokerGuyJoeV and/or @BobbyGriff9, btw, if every 1/2 PLO/NL player now thinks you can hook them up with airport rides just because.


Sneak Preview of Pokerati Game: The Movie

Rated PG-13 @PalmsPokerRm

by , Jul 13, 2011 | 12:16 am

I haven’t seen it yet on the big screen, but it should be there soon … celebrities galore expected for its Vegas premiere at the Palms. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … oooh, the tension! Can only imagine how good Pokerati No-Limit Hold’em/PLO must look and feel in Imax.

As always, you are welcome and encouraged to run it twice.


O8 Min-cash Tension and a Men the Master/Hollywood Dave Cheater Fracas

Tao of Pokerati, 2011 WSOP (ep 4)

by , Jun 4, 2011 | 6:06 am

Shocking… Dan and Dr. Pauly actually watch one of the events from the rail at the WSOP, and Dan actually recognizes a few players.

[audio: http://pokerati.com/podcast/tao/TOP_W11_04_AngryJulie_TeamPokerati.mp3]
2011 WSOP – Episode 4: Team Pokerati Update and the Men the Master/Hollywood Dave’s Fracas (4:58) – Dan and Pauly hang out on the rail of Event #3 $1,500 Omaha 8 after the money bubble bursts. They discuss updates on Angry Julie, a member of Team Pokerati, along with detailing the highlights of argument that almost turned into a brawl when Men the Master (ironically) accused Hollywood Dave of being a cheater.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.


Big Winners (Leading up to the WSOP)

Team Pokerati Power Ladies, Asians in Macau, Kids playing the Spanish WPT

by , May 31, 2011 | 8:20 pm

Haven’t been this interested in actual tournament results since ’06 … but if the run-up to the 2011 WSOP is any indication … everybody’s gonna win! No? Well there were a some notable finishes for a few people starting their summers off right:

Friendly Faces at WSOPC National Championship
Caesars Palace, LAS VEGAS
la sengphet wsop circuit caesarsAs far as Pokerati’s concerned, La Sengphet is the player who made the WSOP-Circuit most fun to follow. Whether it be strong-playing “the Hammer” or testing the limits of “the Harris” … not since Dwyte Pilgrim has there been such an engaging minor-league pro story. La criss-crossed the country for months to earn her seat, where she finished 4th for $100k this weekend — staking her claim as the #1 most successful female on the 2010-11 WSOP Circuit. Also notable at the final table was Josh Evans, longtime friend of Pokerati and frequent opponent of La’s back in the Dallas Jackie’s days. He won $135k, finishing 3rd. Television coverage of the WSOP-Circuit leading up to this event event airs on Thursdays on Versus, starting June 2. NOTE: La kept her winning ways alive, chopping an Aria nightly four ways for $1,600 the following day.

Orleans Open Raising
The Orleans, LAS VEGAS
stacey nutini orleans open main eventAnother strong Pokerati lady player proving she can compete against fields with or without penises, Stacey Nutini had been moneying often in recent months in various small tourneys around town, and even tore up events online post-April 15 to pad her theoretical play-money bankroll. But yesterday, the defending LIPS Grand Champion — who’s probably taken more Maven Training than anyone else — showed she could turn it on with real money on the line. @LasVegasPokers destroyed a 166-player field in the $550 main event at the Orleans Open this weekend for a solid, WSOP-warming $24k score.

Poker Pro Wannabe FTW!
Caesars Palace/the Rio, LAS VEGAS
marie lizette acoba reno throwdownWhen not working undercover to confirm the whereabouts of Howard Lederer, new Pokerati on-and-off-the-felter Marie-Lizette admits she still has “the dream” … and to that effort took down an $85 nooner at Caesars for a $1,440 bankroll boost, and then binked a single-table-satellite for a seat in today’s WSOP Event #1, the casino employees event. (Added props to Pokerati alum Kevmath, who won the same Caesars daily the night before.) @MarieLizette to see her excitable tweets from the WSOP.

Elsewhere …

PokerStars, Made in China
Grand Lisboa Casino, MACAU
With the Macau Poker Classic underway this week, PokerStars is essentially saying if they can’t have America, they’ll be in China before Caesars … establishing a foothold where the WSOP can’t by staging their second MPC in three months — complete with three events determining the APPT “Official” Asian Player of the Year. Click here for the latest standings, and remember to divide by 8 for a rough conversion from HK to US dollars.

High Schooler Wins WPT Spanish Championship
Grand Casino, BARCELONA
18-year-old Lukas Berglund from Uppsala, Sweden is the youngest champion in the history of the World Poker Tour after winning the Season X WPT Spanish Championship. Berglund, who graduates from high school this week, scooped €206,000 after crushing the field and knocking out every single player on the final table en route to victory.


WSOP-Circuit National Championship: Road to the TV Final Table …

Dallas players make 3 of final 9 in opening WSOP event; Team Pokerati on da grind

by , May 29, 2011 | 12:46 pm

la sengphet wsop circuit championship final table

All patched up and places to go ... Sengphet prepped for her shot at a hard-earned championship bracelet.

Someone will win the first bracelet of the 2011 WSOP today, before registration opens for event #1. We listed about 13 percent of the field as people who might be worth watching, just because, and three of them made it to the final table and ITM of the WSOP-freeroll championship … which I’m not sure whether or not qualifies for POY points but obviously should. You’ll have to just believe us that the guy who woulda been my 14th pick on that list was Huy Nguyen, who ended Day 2 yesterday by banking $27,500 for 10th place.

So cards just got in the air for the first televised event of the 2011 WSOP, and of the 10s of thousands of players who had a chance to be here, three of them are from Dallas (though one has since moved to Las Vegas), and one has been part of Team Pokerati since she got a lotta chips in the 2010 WSOP ladies event.

LIVE UPDATES here.

Go La Sengphet! Also go Josh Evans! And though for a while I wasn’t sure if I had first seen him at Jackie’s in Dallas or maybe was just confusing him with a guy seen once at the Venetian, go Charles “Woody” Moore! All three of these players and the others are anything but luckboxes in a sit-n-go … they are real grinders and rounders with skill … and a win here, my contention, is a ticket to the real big leagues … as the winner of today’s event will be known all around as a real real player, and will have the bankroll — $300k for first — to prove it for as long as they can hold as a true and successful pro.

More…


La Sengphet Leads 2011 WSOP Minor League Championship

Pokerati fave on her game, ticket to big leagues at stake?

by , May 28, 2011 | 12:30 pm

la sengphet wsop champinship

pic: David Clark @PLOGrinder

Don’t wanna say too much because, you know, don’t want any cooler-jinx factor in play … but La Sengphet is the chip leader going into today’s action for the WSOP-C National Championship. 97 players started … (three no-shows) … 35 remain. Top 10 ITM, $300k FTW.

We’ll save for later discussion of there being more Pokerati patches in the field than Full Tilt wearers … as well as jokes about Allen Kessler and the EV of a 97-way chop. For now, the story putting at least a few butterflies in stomachs in and around Caesars Palace … from WSOP.com powered by PokerNews:

Headlining today’s field is La Sengphet with an amassed 165,000 mainly courtesy of a huge call with second pair on a four-club board on one of the final hands of the day. Only two other players sit in the six-figure club with Huy Nguyen (122,700) and Jonathon Poche (121,400) snapping at Sengphet’s heels.

Charles ‘Woody” Moore (95,100), Curt Kohlberg (94,600), Doug ‘Rico’ Carli (72,800), Bernard Lee (70,900), Dwyte Pilgrim (36,300) and Allen Kessler (23,100) are just a handful of notables still in contention for capturing the $300,000 first prize and coveted gold bracelet.

Traci Brown (the only other woman to qualify for this event) and Pokerati pal Josh Evans are also still alive — though both small-stacked with about 33,000 chips and a chair.

Blinds are 600/1,200 + 200 as play gets underway right about now 20 minutes ago!

They play down today to a final table of 9. Follow along here.


WSOP-Circuit National Championship Set(ish)

Team Pokeratiers, friends succeed in quest for million-dollar freeroll seats

by , May 19, 2011 | 4:16 pm

UPDATE: It’s official, both La n DC qualified! For the inaugural minor-league Champions League NIT 2011 WSOP-Freeroll World Championship. Whatever it turns out that people end up calling it … we can only hope here at Pokerati for a high-stakes poker lovers’ quarrel at the final table.

La N Dc
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! Finally heading HOME! After 3wks of grinding I am happy and proud to say my Baby has successfully crawled his way into the 10k seat freeroll. Great job Baby, so proud of you!! 😀 We now have 2shots at 300k 🙂

For at least a few players, today is a day kinda like when high-school kids wait to get their college acceptance/rejection letters … waiting to see the final points tally to be official, so they know whether or not they qualified for the WSOP-Circuit National Championship — the $1 million freeroll that will kick off the 2011 WSOP.

Click here for the national leaderboard to see who’s got a seat for sure, and who looks likely as we wait for WSOP officials to turn orange squares into red

Team Pokerati’s La Sengphet is a lock (8th among non automatic qualifiers with 155 points, 2 rings, 7 cashes, $67k) … yay La! You go girl! … and, of course, she also won a non-points pendant for her 1st place finish in the WSOP-Caesars ladies event. And it looks like her other half, David Clark, also will make the cut but just barely (112.5 pts – 1 ring, 9 cashes, $59.5k) … DC made a final table in a non-ring PLO/8 event at WSOP-NOLA for good measure without the points … and he finishes just ahead of Steve Zolotow, who qualifies with the same point total, no rings, just 3 cashes, and $43k in earnings to give you an idea who got in at the bottom of the field.

At the very bottom, interestingly enough, with 100 points, is John Riordan, who won a ring and $210k in Florida. But he will not get a seat this year because he is not yet 21. Will be curious to see how the WSOP handles this case … will he simply get a rain check for when he comes of age? Because if so, when will we see bona fide WSOP-Teen events?!? You know, of course, that I am in the minority willing to admit that I think poker is good for kids.

Another late qualifier is longtime friend of Pokerati’s Josh Evans … who finished 3rd in the WSOP Southern Regional championship last week at Harrah’s New Orleans. Thrilled about that, as it gives us another excuse to re-run that highly acclaimed but not quite award-winning film we created about Josh as he got 6-figure deep in the ’07 main event:

[CORRECTION: Josh got 3rd in the WSOP-NOLA $1,600 main event … which still gives him enough to qualify (140ish pts, 7 cashes $81k) but did not give him the guaranteed seat as just making a Regional Championship final table does.]


Grey Friday?

Pokeratiers speaking at iGamNA conference about industry future

by , Apr 29, 2011 | 12:41 pm

Not everyone is calling it “Black Friday”. For Euros who opted out of the US in ’06 and mighta started believing that coulda been a wrong decision, it was “White Friday”.

The DOJ’s virtual handcuffing of Full Tilt and PokerStars two weeks ago not only neutered two industry giants (who made billions in North America while others sat on the sidelines), but also supposedly leveled the playing field worldwide for US-abstainers who supposedly found it harder to compete in Europe or anywhere against companies benefitting from the vast liquidity American players provided.

Thus the inaugural iGaming North America conference in Las Vegas next week is kicking off their new-era industry confab with a special session called Assessing ‘Grey Friday’ and the Expected Fallout … get it? Black + White = Gray Grey.

Should be interesting to hear from gaming industry insiders who’ve never appeared on Poker After Dark or in Day 1 chip counts speaking about “the road to regulation”, as per the theme of @iGamNA‘s shindig.

Check out the lineup here. You’ll see both Stu and I are serving on panels. @GamingCounsel‘s gonna be schoolin’ about Canada …

  • Mapping Canada’s Future in Online Gambling
  • … while I’m a panelist for the closing session:

  • The New Challenge for Online Poker – Playing the Hand That’s Been Dealt
  • There’s no live-stream as far as I know, but I’ll be sure to report back as influential industry experts (and a token blogger) assess the important questions moving forward … for me probably starting with, do I need to get a tie?


    La Sengphet Takes Down another Circuit Ring

    Pokerati’s favorite Laotian racking up championship points!

    by , Apr 13, 2011 | 7:09 am

    la sengphet wsop circuit ring st. louis

    Is it too early to call her the Dwyte Pilgrim of 2011?

    We were just telling you how well La Sengphet was playing … when boyfriend David Clark gave me a buzz to let me know, yo dude, don’t hate on the short bus! But lest he start thinking he could keep up with his better half … yesterday she took down her second WSOP-circuit ring of the season — winning the last event of WSOP-St. Louis, a $345 NLH.

    Not sure on the number of players or payout yet … we’ll of course let you know. And pretty sure that’s another 50 circuit championship points, too, which would put her 4th in the pool of 34 potential non-automatic qualifiers. And depending on the other deep runners in her event and the main … it looks like she may well have won the crown for Harrah’s St. Louis “casino champion” … which would guarantee her a seat in the WSOP’s million-dollar circuit freeroll in late May.

    Meanwhile, they are celebrating La’s victory all across Laos … though we did just learn they aren’t doing this all for La … it also happens to be Laotian New Year all week.


    Run for a Million

    La keeps cashing on WSOP circuit, has really cool new Team Pokerati hat

    by , Apr 11, 2011 | 5:57 am

    CORRECTION: Turns out we overlooked two cashes for David in St. Louis and one in Florida. Pokerati regrets the error(s) … and, of course, basing the entire premise of a post around them. WSOP.com still working to rectify their contribution to the misinformation.

    la sengphet poker wsop st. louis circuit

    La Sengphet, seen here signing off on her latest final table chipstack, is becoming a familiar face deep in WSOP circuit events.

    david clark poker wsop circuit

    DC, not so much …

    When resident Team Pokerati lovebirds La Sengphet and David Clark started off their 2011s with matching WSOP circuit rings, we thought we might see another Sosa/McGwire sitch … a back-and-forth poker slugfest propelling the Dallas couple to seats in the new WSOP Circuit National Championship million-dollar freeroll that’ll kick off the 2011 WSOP in late May. It seems we were at least half-right.

    Most recently, La made a final table in a $345 Omaha Hi Lo event in St. Louis and followed that with a 13th place finish in a $345 NLH — enough for her to surpass her boyfriend’s total winnings for the year. But perhaps more important — and a more exciting reason for me to be paying attention to relatively minor events at Harrah’s Mid-America — she played her way to 30 more WSOP circuit points!

    Of those who don’t automatically qualify, there’ll be some 34 seats won … and La is currently tied for 16th. Click here to understand how WSOP circuit points work. (I just learned myself.) And click here to see the current national leaderboard.

    At this point, with just three more circuit stops left — Caesars Palace, Chester, PA, and a regional championship in New Orleans — there’s an extra level of intensity to these otherwise smaller events. Not sure if the national championship, which should prove to be one of the more skill-packed tourney fields of the year, is helping create a new generation of rounder pros, or just answering their call. But either way, with so much on the line for these minor leaguers hoping to build a career … how awesome is La’s hat?

    See below, the 2011 family scorecard for Pokerati’s favorite poker couple currently on tour:

    More…


    Team Pokerati @ZyngaPoker

    Another Mincast and Zynga player profile

    by , Mar 19, 2011 | 3:40 pm

    One thing that is very different here compared to other tournaments seen around Vegas has been the LACK of patched up players in the field. Surely it’s gotta be a matter of politeness from Full Tilt and Stars, right — not wanting to crash this online+live poker newcomer’s coming out party? Saw Doyle Brunson with a Doyle’s Room patch yesterday … but hey, he’s Doyle … and @Pokerati, we have no couth, obv.

    So big-good luck to Team Pokerati’s lone representative in the inaugural Zynga Pokercon, Stacey Nutini, aka Stacey Lynn, aka @LasVegasPokers. She just took her seat as alternate #23.

    Pokerati Mincast: Team Pokerati @ZyngaPoker
    [audio: http://pokerati.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/zynga-stacey.mp3]



    Team Pokerati’s La Sengphet Wins WSOP-Tunica Event

    $32k valentine victory with his-and-her circuit rings for Dallas poker couple

    by , Feb 12, 2011 | 8:52 pm

    poker marriage

    {democracy:68}

    Is it too early to call La n DC the Dwyte Pilgrim of poker couples? Don’t wanna jinx anyone … but Team Pokeratiers La Sengphet and David Clark … I’m tellin’ ya … players to watch.

    While DC won the first WSOP-circuit ring of 2011 (and $51k) at WSOP-Choctaw, La followed suit at the next circuit stop — Harrah’s Tunica — becoming the first female to win a ring this year. A Pokerati fave from back in the Dallas days, she won a $555 event with 278 players yesterday — paying her $32k. La, of course, finished 7th in the major-league WSOP ladies event this past summer (making her Team Pokerati’s 2010 WSOP MVP), and took 2nd in a non-bling-added ladies event at Choctaw two days after David’s victory.

    Adding to the niftiness of this final table … Andy Nguyen, the second-place finisher, is a good friend of La n DC’s and drove with them to the tournament from Dallas to Tunica for his $20k score. The lucky threesome (La does credit hitting a gutshot as a key hand in her victory) say they’re headed to Florida next for the inaugural WSOP-circuit stop at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

    Click here for official deets from the final table.

    Pokerati Flashback:
    Tao of Pokerati at the 2010 WSOP
    Episode 26: La La FTW!

    In semi-related news …

    Caesars Palace to hold Valentine couples tourney on Sunday

    Coincidence that they announced this special tournament yesterday, about 30 minutes into La’s heads-up match? Probably so … but seems like it should be a fun event for poker lovers … not to be confused with far more common poker-lovers.

    Tomorrow — Sunday, 13 Feb 2011, starting at 1 pm. Buy-in is $160 per couple … 7,500 starting chips. Caesars Poker management explains:

    This tournament will feature a structure where you and your partner will switch every 15 minutes playing 30 minute blind levels. At the final table couples will switch every 20 minutes playing 40 minute blind levels.

    Hmm, sounds like a PR email I got for Las Vegas Swingers Ball during AVN …

    No word on whether or not Caesars expects a rash of gay commitment ceremonies among local Vegas grinders — nowhere else to be on Valentine’s weekend, obv — who might see a competitive advantage for any two dudes willing to hold each other’s hand while sharing chipstacks.