Archive for the ‘Pokerati Game’ Category

Epic Poker Pro-Am to Be Broadcast via Heartland TV

Televised $1,500 event fueling my syndicated minor-league dreams

by , Jul 12, 2011 | 11:33 pm

I won my seat early … and since then I’ve been watching the field grow for Epic Poker’s inaugural $1,500 pro-am at the Palms, Pokerati’s regular low-stakes NLH/PLO home.

With @Donkeybomber so far my toughest potential competition … well, let’s just say I’m starting to get excited about the actual poker at hand in early August. And though TV exposure had nothing to do with my initial interest … that’s apparently now part of it, with Epic’s recently acquired sister company, the Heartland Poker Tour, coming to Vegas to film the tournament for syndicated distribution on its nationwide network of local TV stations, some of which are actually in HD.

(Yay!)

That might seem a little minor-league for the more-pro, less-am players in Vegas … but hey, this $1,500 event will be my second-biggest tournament to play in ever — so HPT coverage seems just about right for me and Tom Schneider at this point in my pro career. Having won my way into the August 5-7 tournament, I’ve clearly got game that’s ready for UHF.

nevada license plate bingo

Satellites running at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday in the Key West Room at the Palms.


Isildur1 Playing the Pokerati Game?

He's with us in spirit @PalmsPokerRm, if not in real life

by , Jul 6, 2011 | 2:40 pm

As much as we’d love to be at the Hotel Club Casino Loutraki right now (site of the Greek Poker Cup 2, beginning today) PokerStars, as a place of virtual felts, has kinda dropped off Pokerati’s radar the way PartyPoker did back in ’06.

However, one thing catching my attention — not because of the results, but simply because they’re playing the game — Isildur1’s high-stakes No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha Mix. (Hey, I know that game … we play it at the Palms! “High-stakes action for low-stakes players” is the buzzphrase I like to throw around.) Pretty sure because it’s heads up they don’t have an “ultimate button straddle” the way we do at the Palms … and I’m not sure if they can run-it-twice … as the nature of the match suggests they’re not necessarily interested in reducing variance.

But still, sounds like Isildur1 is playing it pretty close to the right way.

SuperStar Showdown

Team PokerStars Pro Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom enjoyed another SuperStar Showdown win on Sunday, when he defeated Norwegian player Terje ‘Terken89’ Augdal.

The match, which was a mix of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, was over in slightly more than 1,500 of the scheduled 2,500 hands, as Blom blew his opponent away to rake in Augdal’s entire $150,000 Showdown bankroll.

Despite losing $10,000 in the opening hand, Blom quickly got on top and showed his dominance throughout, his win taking his total SuperStar Showdown profit to $651,941. It also means he now has an impressive 9-2 winning record (7-2 versus high stakes opponents) in the SuperStar Showdown matches.

For a full report, including replays of some of the key hands, check out the [report of the match at PokerStars Blog].


A Quick Pounding in the Pokerati Game

by , Jun 28, 2011 | 6:20 am

I spent the first part of today chilling at my place for a few hours, getting in a light workout then writing a couple emails. Then I made my way to the VW dealership. I drive a 2010 Jetta that I’m a pretty big fan of and it was time for my free 10k mileage maintenance and car wash. Before this car, I drove the 2007 version. Two days before my lease was up on that car, it got totaled when a drunk driver blew a red light in West Hollywood where my girlfriend and I were for the weekend.  Neither of us were hurt, thankfully.  He took off after we smashed into him, but he couldn’t get very far with the condition his car was in. A good samaritan followed him and was able to let the police know where they could find him. I had my car towed to a VW dealership and was like, “My lease is up… here’s your car back!” Then I leased a brand new model that same day.

I picked up KK in the first orbit of NL in late position, raised and picked up the blinds …

While at the dealership today I read through 944 magazine a bit.  If you happen to live in a city that 944 covers, and you like going out, doing stuff and checking out new things in your city, I highly recommend picking up a copy. I also highly recommend they pay me for this advertising I’m giving them but that’s probably not going to happen. There are always so many things changing in the city of Las Vegas–new restaurants, DJ appearances/residencies, happy hours, special events–that it is nearly impossible to keep up.  It’s fun to try though, and it’s obviously tough to get bored here.

After VW, it was that time: 7pm on a Thursday, which means Pokerati 1/2 PLO/NLH at the Palms.  When I got there around 8 there was a full game up and running and Danielle was already on the waiting list.  It took about 15 minutes before we had enough people to start a second table.  Pretty impressive, I must say, but not entirely surprising.  The half-and-half nature of the game is just so much more interesting and entertaining in my opinion, that I think you’ll eventually see it spread elsewhere more regularly.  This coupled with the fact that the WSOP is in full swing means there’s no shortage of players around.

More…


Epicurean Poker?

Federated group gives new pro league (+ pro-am tourneys) a name

by , Jun 27, 2011 | 5:48 pm

The Federated-Sports-plus-Gaming-and-Semi-Nebulous-Professional-Poker-League-now-with-more-Heartland-Poker-Tour got itself a Twitter-friendly name today — the Epic Poker League … just in time for their upcoming $1,500 Pro-Am at the Palms (no longer a Maloof Casino Resort).

logo epic poker league

EpicPoker.com … and @EpicPokerLeague.

OK … Epic.

dan michalski palms

Dude, where’s my card? The Pokerati in chief wins a satellite into Epic’s $1,500 pro-am. “It was easy. Now I’m a pro.”

I happen to get a near-front row seat, as everything leading up to their first event — a 3-day $1,500 pro-am, August 5-8 — takes place at the Palms, a place where the Pokerati Game, you all know, has found a delightfully raucous, if not cozy home for our brand of “high-stakes action for low-stakes players” in the form of 1/2 NLH/PLO.

It should be an up-close look at one of the more interesting side stories of the 2011 WSOP — the birthing of Jeffrey Pollack and Annie Duke’s poker lovechild emergence of a new professional poker league … a difficult labor to be sure!

Meanwhile, in my initial exploration of Epic (before I even understood how “Epic” it would be) … I happened to win a satellite this weekend into the first $1,500 event. So now I’m a pro, obv! I’ll get an even closer look — behind the rails with actual chips in play — at how this league is really taking shape, what it means for players looking at it as a vehicle for future poker success, and even though I never wanted to be a real poker pro … a chance to more legitimately claim status as a card-carrying pro at stake.


Text of the Barton Bill

Online poker's next go in Washington DC the best chance yet?

by , Jun 23, 2011 | 9:51 pm

Crap, I’m never gonna get to that Deep Purple concert before Smoke on the Water … stepped away from the Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRoom for a bit, and sure enough the draft of Joe Barton’s online poker bill — one crafted with more input from players (via the PPA) than squabbling online poker entities, and supposedly supported already by Harry Reid, has leaked out.

You’ll have to tell me what’s in it … I gotta go to the concert — and I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada won’t be able to resist manipulating it in some way by the time it moves outta the house … but feel good overall that it will be more player-focused from the start than any that preceded it … simply because Black Friday put so many other battles amongst potential supporters to rest … and we’ll have to reassess, but I really think the conditions look strong for now as opposed to later. And I say that even though I’ll bet that Barton’s staff didn’t take my suggestion and include any provisions for splashing pots with concert tickets in the Pokerati game. (Didn’t they see I still have a 214 area code!?) Hey, special-interest politics is about compromise, right?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I just think the masses of poker players are in a better spot for such negotiations in 2011 than we were in 2010 … especially if this 101-page bill I skimmed is more than just smoke-and-mirrors on the water, which now it has no reason to be.

Click here to download a copy of the Barton online poker bill … so hot off the not-for-publication-yet presses, it’s listed as HR _______.


Did Caesars Just (Quietly) Buy the Palms?

Not exactly, but pretty much yes

by , Jun 19, 2011 | 5:05 am

The Palms Casino Resort, one of the last remaining “family run” operations on or off the Las Vegas Strip — and home to the gloriously raucous @Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRm — will likely become part of the Caesars casino empire. The Maloof family, 80 percent owners of the Palms, sold off their majority interest this week to investors that include TPG Capital.

palms towers las vegas

Across the street from the Rio ... a true palace of low-stakes NLH/PLO.

Fort Worth-based TPG, of course, are majority owners of Caesars Entertainment, corporate overlords to the WSOP.

According to the Sacramento Bee, upon approval by Nevada Gaming regulators, the billionaire Maloof family will retain just 2 percent … with an option to rebuy up to 20.

Turns out talk of TPG owning the Palms wasn't referring to The Pokerati Game after all.

Untested but presumably reliable sources say the Palms will almost certainly end up in Caesars’ portfolio of casino properties, following an acquisition path similar to how things went for Planet Hollywood … and should become part of Caesars’ Total Rewards program by year-end. Over in Sacramento, the buzz is all about what the Maloof sale means for the Sacramento Kings, who apparently need both a new arena and a player bankroll.

I can’t begin to think I really understand the high finance and debt restructuring of Big Casinos … so before I try to explain, you should probably peruse the past six months or so of SEC filings for CZR. There really is a rather fascinating story in the agate here.


Pro No-Limit Half of Pokerati Game Tourney Satellite, Guaranteed!

Huh? Will explain later; just don't be @PalmsPokerRm tonite at 7pm

by , Jun 11, 2011 | 6:12 pm

federated satellite palms

A fancy Pokerati sign inside @PalmsPokerRm had me feeling like a big swingin' dick until Annie Duke had to show me hers was bigger than mine.

I’ll be playing in a satellite for Annie Duke’s and Jeffrey Pollack’s $20k pro-am event tonight, at the Palms, starting at 7pm. I hope you are busy and can’t show up. Come by later for 1/2 NLH/PLO, sure … the Pokerati action @PalmsPokerRm has been bumpin’ all summer … but at 7 is the Federated satellite, and I probably like my chances better without you there.

Official qualifier info here.

It’s a $340 buy-in, with 20 percent of the field winning seats into a Federated 1500 later this month (or next?), with that event putting players into the Federated $20k Pro-Am. I think that’s how it works … I dunno, you better stay away until I make sure.

Federated’s first attempt for qualifiers didn’t go so well, as our good friends at Wicked Chops pointed out — only three people showed! Not necessarily surprising for a still forming league; it’s kinda hard to draw people to a qualifier for something that hasn’t ever happened before — no matter how big the names are behind it. The WSOP ran for I think like 11 years before they started filling satellites.

But tonight, our other good friends at the Palms Poker Room are guaranteeing not only 1 seat for every 5 players, but also 1 minimum no matter how few buy-in. That, of course, is why I’m playing tonight. By my math, if no one else is there tonight, I win!

The grand prize, of course is that $20k seat, where I’ll be able to play against big-name pros and hardcore grinders for $10 million!!! a six-figure payout and/or a chance to tell many of them en masse once and for all to suck-it!

Ahh, getting ahead of myself here … it’s supposed to be a professional league encouraging fair play, proper behavior, and golf etiquette … so have to wait for the right moment to make my made-for-TV scene.

First I gotta win tonight’s event, where my best shot, frankly, comes by just showing up.


Four Aces in Omaha

Symbolic PLO non-starter submits bid to be the new Hammer

by , May 6, 2011 | 5:51 pm

pokerati game palms poker room PLO

Hand of the Night: Good times from middle position for $0 with the 13th-worst starting hand in Omaha.

Believe me, I realize a lot is going on in the poker world right now that you’d expect any fine folks at Pokerati to be all over … we probably are, but sometimes before pressing publish you gotta play a few hands, ya know, to remember why it is so many people have a special affection for a game that’s causing so much consternation. And because I recently blew 98 percent of my Zynga bankroll (thanks to sleepy play), pretty much my only option for a certain fix I crave is the Pokerati Game … now playing at the Palms.

Check it out, the new game promo in the upper right … sweet, huh?

We’re settling in to our new home nicely, buzz is spreading, and new players seem to like our kinda-sorta unique brand of half-PLO half-no-limit hold’em; the dealers are starting to figure out the slight nuances in how we play, too, and before long, anyone in the room should be able to recite rule #3a on command in English and Spanish. OK, maybe I jest … but the Palms has been really supportive of our game — so much so that they made us the nifty banner to go with my food comps.

More…


Pokerati Game 2.0

1/2 NLH/PLO now playing at the Palms (with simplified pot-rounding rules)

by , Apr 13, 2011 | 5:16 pm

lev pokerati nlh/plo detox championFans of low-stakes PLO in Las Vegas rejoice. The Pokerati Game looks to get back into regular action, kicking off tomorrow, Thursday, 7pm, at The Palms poker room.

We had a good run at the Hard Rock … convincing a Vegas casino that a time-charge isn’t necessary to make running-it-twice work in low-stakes games … and culminating with an NLH/PLO tourney in Matt Savage’s (short-lived?) Detox Poker Series. Good things were happening, but I guess when your CEO offs himself (after dropping $850mil days before worldwide financial collapse) and security escorts your poker director’s corporate big-boss off-premises with Gaming enforcement officials watching … well, it doesn’t matter how many turns and rivers you get to see to recognize it’s time to move on.

In the off-time you’ve probably been jonesing for the action Pokerati provides, and I’ve read seven pages of a new PLO book … also finally figured out how to condense the rules into something less than a page, so we’re back, or at least will be soon — starting with the relaunch prelaunch Thursday eve.

Click here to see how we play it … become a fan of 1/2 NLH/PLO round of each on Facebook for regular updates, and add @PalmsPokerRm to your Twitter follows for, um, I’m not sure yet. I do know @PokerGuyJoeV is the new poker room manager there — charged with reinvigorating an architecturally challenged room with 3/6 limit games that don’t quite jibe with the made-for-MTV vibe felt elsewhere in the casino.


PLOker after Dark

Short-handed pot-limit Omaha brings variance to televised cash games

by , Apr 12, 2011 | 5:27 am

It’s PLO week on Poker after Dark, and thus the first new televised poker I’ve been excited to watch (on first run) in forever. Though I’m sure someone had to play a 4-card hand on ESPN in 2004, I can’t remember any PLO on TV since learning the definition of a “wrap” … and certainly not since the Pokerati game began introducing low-stakes players in Vegas to PLO (with run-it-twice!) a year-an-a-half ago.


PLO poker after dark

(L to R) Adams, Antonius, Ivey, Dwan, Hastings, Galfond

Hard to believe televising a short-handed cash game session of the second most popular poker game in the world — the one that has produced the biggest online pots in history — would prove “revolutionary” … but really, it is kinda historic; and that says something about the limits of creative innovation in the online poker infomercial biz.

But kudos to PAD for at least taking a peak outside the ’06-’09 box to embrace variance. Though I wouldn’t contend pot-limit Omaha and four-color decks are what will reinvigorate poker on TV … for a semi-regular PLO player who doesn’t necessarily dream of playing the game for $100k buy-ins but just wants to beat my friends once a week at 1/2, hearing about a different sector of hand possibilities almost feels fresh … and it’s always good-fun to see extra cards on the table:

plo on tv poker after dark nbc


Hawaii Dives into Gambling Law with Poker Bill

Game of skill exemption for NLH/PLO, super-taxation for online sites

by , Mar 24, 2011 | 6:56 pm

Only two states in the US have no legal gambling — Hawaii and Utah. Could be just one soon, say supporters and opponents alike of a bill in Hawaii that would specifically legalize Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, live and online.

The bill, which passed out of committee yesterday, looks to make Hawaii a destination for big-time live (and televised) poker events … as well as a potential home base for online sites serving US players … by designating the foundations of Pokerati NLH/PLO as games of skill, not played against a casino “house” and therefore exempt from state gambling prohibitions.

PPA Exec Dir. John Pappas supplied written testimony for the hearing, suggesting that the way this current bill is crafted could be problematically prohibitive, as it seeks to charge $100 million for a server license and impose a 20 percent tax on all wagers while potentially challenging federal law. Pappas, however, did not provide any statement on the economic impact such a law would have on Waikiki vendors selling T-shirts like these:

The Hawaii poker bill — originally written supposedly to provide a tax holiday for buying school supplies — passed out of the Economic Revitalization & Business Committee on a 7-1 vote, and the House Judiciary Committee, 9-3. It now moves on to the House Finance Committee.

(Mahalo Poker Gnome for the heads-up.)


Words with Fiends

by , Dec 18, 2010 | 9:59 pm

Not super-pokery, but this “captcha” gone awry did come via a link from Katkin in the course of talking poker-blogging bidness (shortly before crushing me in a Pokerati game at Aria Thursday night.) And it does raise questions of linguistic variance with a surprisingly non-controversial common phrase in poker parlance:

Funny to me … but probably not so much to any recent victim of sexual assault.

Also could be rather offensive to a poker player suffering egregious abuse at the hands of a dominating opponent … insensitivity to the latter being enough to discourage me from handing over all my identifying info to Boxbe.


Celebrity Poker vs. Cerebral Palsy

Jacob Zalewski’s charity tourney FTW!

by , Dec 11, 2010 | 1:38 pm

Not to be dismissive of all the good work poker can do, but in Las Vegas, charity tourneys can begin to seem a dime a dozen.

Just about all charity tournaments promise “celebrities”, but few deliver. In the world of big-time charity events that consistently do, you’ve got Ante Up for Africa, the big $5k buy-in event at the WSOP, and, maybe Jennifer Harman’s event for the ASPCA. But one of the best opportunities to play with celebs for a decent price (and a great cause) is at the “All In for CP” 3 charity event, which takes place today at the Venetian at 4 pm PT.

The tournament raises money for the One Step Closer Foundation, an enterprise started by Jacob Zalewski when he was in college. Though the ultimate goal is to find a cure for cerebral palsy, the immediate goal is to allow people with CP to live more normal lives. Many of you who have spent time at the Rio during the last few World Series’ have certainly seen Jacob riding around the halls on his scooter.

This event does not lack in star power, as celebrities have taken down this event in the last two years. First it was actor Mehki Phifer, then last year Simpson’s co-creator Sam Simon won and generously donated the entirety of his winnings. This year’s event will also feature appearances by Shannon Elizabeth, Jennifer Tilly, Montel Williams and WWE Diva Alicia Fox, amongst others, as well as dozens of poker pros including Barry Greenstein, Phil Laak, Dennis Phillips, and Antonio Esfandiari.

As was previously stated this tournament is happening TODAY at 4 PM. Information about the event can be found on Facebook here and on the All In For CP website here. If you’re in the area you should definitely consider heading down and anteing up for this worthy cause.


Where to find … ?

Low-stakes PLO in Las Vegas

by , Nov 11, 2010 | 6:48 am

Talk of PLO on Poker After Dark comes as I personally have been jonesin’ for mo-bigger low-stakes PLO … and based on emails, tweets, and Facebook, a stream of Vegas visitors and locals seem to be, too. Interest in PLO may be growing, but players in Las Vegas looking for starter stakes can’t always be sure where to find reliable action.

Word from the Strip is that a rather strong 1/2 PLO game has been running lately at the Venetian, apparently fueled by the November Deep Stacks. But one-bullet buyers beware, a $5 bring-in at the V makes the game kinda steep … especially for those with a strategy of pushing with weak two-pairs, calling with non-nut draws, and relying on run-it-twice to stick around long enough for a meal comp. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

And Aria Poker spreads a vibrant 1/2 NLH/PLO that occasionally makes. Their game plays most similarly to the Pokerati Game of old — and though it runs only sporadically, Aria often has the game posted on the board with a list of mostly 1/3 and 2/5 no-limit regulars ready to take a seat against any and all PLO tourists.


Poker After Dark to Show PLO in 2011

6 possible starting hands for Ivey, Dwan, Hastings, Galfond, Farha et al.

by , | 5:07 am

Poker After Dark is trying its hand at pot-limit Omaha, according to Brian Hastings’s blog on CardRunners (via PokerJunkie). From the sound of it, imho, could be another great step in the evolution of poker on TV …

We’ve previously contended that just because mixed games don’t play well on TV, there should be an exception for PLO. It’s easy-enough for any Texas Hold’em player to follow … same winning hands (essentially) … with enough crazy beats, dramatic suck-and resuck, and occasional nut-folding to make things exciting … while opening a new realm of poker thinking that should keep viewers coming back, especially if they play the game, too.

Supposedly this rare televised high-stakes PLO cash game, played a couple days ago in Ivey’s Room @AriaPoker and airing some time next year, was 300/600 with a $100k minimum buy-in. Pretty sexy line-up, too:

Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Brian Hastings, Phil Galfond,
Patrik Antonius, Sam Farha, Brandon Adams

While at least five of those names have inherent high-stakes appeal, and one of them is Durrrr, I particularly wanna tune in to see Farha. We always hear how Omaha is his game … but I dunno that I’ve ever seen him play PLO before with hole-card cams — and should be interesting to watch his old-school style match-up with the online generation in a game that isn’t Texas Hold’em.

Could be wrong, but If this episode plays well — which I think it will, relatively — don’t be surprised to see a little more PLO factor into other poker franchises’ TV decisions.