Posts Tagged ‘tournament operations’

November 19, 2012

Shot Clocks, Player Bans, Obama Poker and Bitcoins FTW!

Relevant Op-Ed rundown

Here’s a quick rundown of some opinions from the past week or so from various corners of the internet that got me thinkin’ one way or another … all raising plenty of interesting questions that various poker people are sure to wrestle with in the future.

Opinion
Poker Shot Clocks Coming?
There seems to be some growing buzz for it, especially since so many of us found ourselves glued to a TV for 12 hours watching totally enjoyable poker but realizing we can’t be tryng to be the next Cricket if we expect TV to help our game grow. So how much longer do we have to wait for poker technology to catch up with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? [InsideSTL Sports]

Opinion
Free Willy?
While Vegas grinders want Aria and other MGM Resorts to ban Howard Lederer, across the country in Atlantic City players are trying to get Caesars to unban a player who goes by “the poker monkey.” No idea what the story behind this one is and whether or not the dude’s a table shithead or unfortunate victim of poker room imperialism … so you decide what to do with William Souther, who apparently has enough fans to get a petition encouraging Caesars to reconsider forbidding his presence on their properties. [Change.org]


Opinion
Bitcoin Revolution?
Here’s a piece that says why our Donkdown radio cohort Bryan Micon may or may not be a genius as per his dedication to an open-source, bankless digital virtual currency that is apparently all the rage with Somali pirates, drug traffickers, and of course, online casinos. [CalvinAyre.com]

(For optional reading, here’s a bonus non-poker Bitcoin opinion from Al Jazeera … and a recently released assessment from the European Central Bank, who have been through it before with Lindens and Second Life.)

Opinion
4 More Pokers?
Zack Tracy thinks Election Day couldn’t have gone better for US poker players, with the stars finally ready to align for Americans who have too long borne the brunt of bad poker news. [Pokerfuse]

Posted by at 1:43 am

June 25, 2012

Tipping Points

A Vegas Poker Player’s Guide to Gratuities at the WSOP

wsop dealer tips

A drunken fish plopped down in the uncapped $1-$2 NL game at Golden Nugget on a recent Saturday night, and before long, playing maybe 98 percent of his starting hands, he scooped an $800 pot thanks to an extremely fortunate flop. He threw the dealer a $100 bill for a tip.

The other players’ eyes widened, and the dealer even seemed reluctant to accept the 12.5 percent gratuity. But considering that I got to be the one who eventually stacked him (KK > TT) I couldn’t help but think that the dealer’s good fortune ultimately cut into my own profits!

Call me a life-nit or just a guy who chooses self-park over valet, but here in Las Vegas too many people want a piece of your bankroll. You can see it almost everywhere at the WSOP, and after awhile all that extra “optional” money can really add up.

We spoke to dozens of seasonal WSOP workers to find out what they really expect from decent players, along with the likelihood that you are going to stiff them.

More…

Posted by at 12:39 pm

May 31, 2012

WSOPotty Break?

NSFBreakfast coverage of bathroom brouhaha, early corporate brain fart

This was an easy one to predict. It’s still too early in the 2012 WSOP for investigators to conclusively determine what was behind Urinalgate. Was it a simple oversight, boys-club misogyny, or just an early-Series example of the heartless Caesars corporate empire at work, with suits looking at bottom line numbers — well fuck, women are only 3 percent of the field, so what’s the problem? — and forgetting that customers are more than just numbers in a database.

(And some of whom can get downright pissy on Twitter!)

rio ladies bathroom wsop las vegas

Two men enter, one man leave.

The team from Caesars Interactive Entertainment, in alliance with the Rio Convention Center, reverted back to a separate but equal bathroom policy after an early morning executive confab yesterday. Nice spin about how responsive they can be. But did any of you go in the formerly ladies room? I did (how could I not? It was a chance to see part of the Rio that I had never seen) and I can tell you this wasn’t a hard decision for the WSOP. IF you took a pee in there (the left side) it became an obvious no-brainer as the men who walked into the ladies room, myself included, wandered toward the back only to briefly think, “Huh, where are the urinals?”

Oh right, women’s room, duh.

More…

Posted by at 3:39 am

February 20, 2012

Grinding the “Off Day” Tourneys

Where to find quality Vegas action on Mondays and Tuesdays

Mondays and Tuesdays are arguably the worst days of the week for poker, which is why I often take those days off.

The tourists have donated their Vegas dollars to the grinders over the weekend, and even the L.A. crowd has headed back to their movie studios and plastic surgeons.

This meant that for the final two days of my week-long experiment in playing Las Vegas daily tournaments, I would have to hit some of the bigger casinos — Caesars Palace and Bellagio.

The 10,000 starting stack at Caesars Palace's nightly tournament.

With a WSOP-circuit event being held at Caesars, I didn’t have trouble finding a comfortable-size field for their nightly 7pm tournament on a Monday. With a $110 entry fee, this event has a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool (Mon-Fri only). The staff and one local at my starting table who had already worked out the math said they would need at least 63 entrants to reach that figure. Caesars’s nightly tournaments sometimes start with even fewer players, offering a healthy overlay.

Of the buy-in, Caesars took $20 as a “maintenance fee” and $10 was for the staff toke.)

Grinders and well-known pros filled the room — the 2008 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Dennis Phillips sat a few tables away playing a cash game and Jeff Madsen, the rapper who also won 2006 WSOP player of the year, was at the final table of the main event in the elevated area nearby. I didn’t recognize anyone at my table who should have given me trouble.

A Week of Whiffs?
I was due for a nice run, having missed the money in my first 5 tournaments. The 10,000 chip starting stack and 20-minute levels felt comfortable out of the gate. I’d have to beat out 59 others to earn the $1,914 first-place prize.

More…

Posted by at 5:50 am

January 28, 2012

Playing the Small Nightly at the Strat

Day 2 on the Las Vegas daily poker-tournament circuit

stratosphere poker tournament

4,500-chip, four-color starting stack at Stratosphere.

The Stratosphere’s quaint 10-table poker room sits in the back of the casino, past a row of slot machines, craps tables, another row of slot machines, down the ramp past Roxy’s Diner, near the escalators to the Top of the World restaurant — just before the Double Down Pit and Back Alley Bar. On Thursday, there was a sole 1-2NL table of action about 30 minutes before the nightly tournament.

You’d hardly know that this room has supposedly become the new Sahara when it comes to Las Vegas’ most popular small buy-in dailies — with the 7pm event drawing consistent fields of 50 players or more.

I approached the podium and purchased a seat for the event. The buy-in is $45 for 4,500 in chips, plus a $20 add-on that gives you 4,000 more chips, which you can purchase any time within the first hour. (There’s also an option for unlimited re-entry within that time frame.)  With 20-minute levels, that add-on is necessary, especially considering there are no automatic shufflers in the tournament tables.

More…

Posted by at 6:23 pm

August 11, 2011

(Way Outside) the Epic Poker League – Main Event Day 2

Day 2 of the $20,000 Epic Poker League Main Event concluded with Sam Trickett leading the remaining 18 players, all guaranteed $43,190. Trickett is the only player with a seven-figure chip stack as the field will now be playing for a $1,000,000 first prize as the players agreed to move money from 2nd place to the winner.

Day 2 started with 63 players as Eugene Katchalov, Ben Lamb and Brian Rast held the top three spots. Only Katchalov survived the day with chips as the early action was dominated with several eliminations as Vanessa Selbst, Dwyte Pilgrim, and Phil Laak were among the familiar faces hitting the felt.

Some players complained about the fast structure; leading Commissioner Annie Duke and Tournament Director Matt Savage agreeing to review the structure, among other aspects of the EPL, before their second tournament in September.

The remaining 29 players reached the dinner break with an average stack of about 80 big blinds, with the objective of finishing the day after bursting the money bubble. Antonio Esfandiari, Brandon Cantu, Nam Le, Tom Marchese and Frank Kassela all fell short of earning their first EPL cash when 19 players remained, one from the money. A prolonged bubble period gave Trickett the opportunity to add to his stack, becoming the first EPL player to hold over 1,000,000 in chips.

Two hours into hand-for-hand play, Matt Graham added his name to the long list of EPL firsts as his pocket jacks were cracked by Chino Rheem when he turned a flush to become the EPL’s first bubble boy.

The remaining 18 players return Thursday at 12pm to play down to the final table of six. The field consists of 20 WSOP bracelets, 3 WPT titles and almost $80,000,000 in tournament winnings. Two players who qualified through the Pro/Am over the weekend, Brandon Meyers and Dan Fleyshman, become EPL-eligible for the rest of the season if either player wins the tournament on Friday. Here’s how the Day 3 field will be seated with play resuming with blinds at 2,500/5,000 with a 500 ante (the average stack having ~76 big blinds):

Table 1:

Seat 1: Adam Levy – 587,000
Seat 2: Dan Fleyshman – 82,500
Seat 3: Hafiz Khan – 144,000
Seat 4: Hoyt Corkins – 252,500
Seat 5: Brandon Meyers – 109,500
Seat 6: Isaac Baron – 637,500

Table 2:

Seat 1: Noah Schwartz – 259,500
Seat 2: Matt Glantz – 453,000
Seat 3: Ted Lawson – 210,000
Seat 4: Huck Seed – 93,500
Seat 5: Chino Rheem – 408,000
Seat 6: Gavin Smith – 357,500

Table 3:

Seat 1: Hasan Habib – 646,000
Seat 2: Eugene Katchalov – 418,000
Seat 3: Sam Trickett – 1,032,000
Seat 4: Jason Mercier – 535,500
Seat 5: Justin Bonomo – 42,000
Seat 6: Erik Seidel – 609,000

Live updates and more available at www.epicpoker.com

Posted by at 6:52 am

October 22, 2010

New 3-hour Freeroll Blind Structure Taking Shape

Those dastardly SAEs won’t be allowed to play in the Pikes-only Northwestern homecoming freeroll, that’s for sure.

Pokerati is headed to Chicago for an event you may not know about, nor should you. The awesomely titled “Pike Poker Tourney” takes place at the Best Western-Evanston on Saturday, Oct. 23, after Northwestern’s (5-1) homecoming football game against Michigan State (7-0).

It’s a $1,000+ freeroll for Pi Kappa Alpha alums and actives … with $1k going to first, and 2nd through 4th TBA tomorrow. Economists have confirmed that $1k is still “a shitload” to college students.

I’ll be serving as executive floor honcho, and found out earlier today the original plan called for only 1,000 starting chips.

Gahhh!

Just because this will be a very quick, luck-friendly 3(ish)-hour event doesn’t mean it has to suck! (We can stretch it to 4 hours if necessary, though it shouldn’t be hard to get players to push chips around — health officials confirm that college students still like to drink, as do aging alumni desperately trying to cling to their youth.)

More…

Posted by at 12:12 am

September 14, 2010

(Way Outside) the WSOP Europe – Day 1

The 2010 WSOP Europe at the Casino at the Empire in London held their first bracelet event this afternoon, the £2500 + £150 NL Holdem 6-max event. The field had a cap of 204 players, selling out the tournament, however alternates were accepted, eventually creating a field of 244 entrants, with the final 24 making the money. 31 players will return at 2pm London time Wednesday (updates at PokerNews and WSOP.com), playing down to the final 6 players. Andrew Pantling leads the field with 106,100 in chips. Other notables returning: Chris Bjorin (103,800), Chris Moorman (94,200), 2007 WSOPE runner-up John Tabatabai (69,900), Phil Laak (63,600), Jeff Lisandro (55,500), Praz Bansi (49,300), Liv Boeree (27,700) and Andrew Lichtenberger (19,900). Full seat assignments available here.

Posted by at 7:35 pm

August 17, 2010

What Are You Doing Tomorrow?

Playing like a (Pokerati) champion, of course

Tomorrow is the second guarantee @DetoxPoker … $50k assured, for a $230 buy-in with a single $200 rebuy. That makes the math pretty hard to do for how many runnin’ rebuyers they need to avoid putting up an overlay … and potentially having one of the new suits chopping heads from the Poker Lounge staff willy-nilly. But gotta think they’ll make that small one.

Of course the real event everyone’s talking I’m thinkin’ about is tomorrow’s big Pokerati event at 5 pm. While there’s no guarantee in play beyond good times, lots of action, and a little PLO tourney experience — and its still unclear how CardPlayer intends to interpret their own rules for POY points — Event #11 is the one tournament at Detox offering a true World Championship.

I know this because I declared it so myself … and I’m pretty sure that’s how it works in poker! So as of right now, until someone declares otherwise, tomorrow’s late Detox event will be the 2010 Pokerati NLH/PLO Championshi … check that … make it the 2010 NLH/PLO World Championship!

More…

Posted by at 4:21 pm

August 7, 2010

Hard Rock Ready to Be Detoxified

Kegs, vodka en route for Savage throw-down tourneys

The Detox Poker Series is right around the corner, starting Friday Aug. 13 with a $100k Guarantee for a $350 buy-in with two day ones, re-entry allowed. The spankin’-new small-stakes/big-action festival comes at a whispery time around the home room to the Pokerati NLH/PLO game … with a new crew of top-level casino brass combing through the Hard Rock’s books while walking through various gaming areas with tape measures … raising uncomfortable questions about the fate of the $12 million, two-year-old poker lounge that has seen its ups and downs without yet fully realizing its potential.

Of course that’s kinda the point of bringing in an internationally renowned tourney director. Or at least it was initially. Kinda still works, but for different reasons …

Detox Poker Schedule – Aug 2010

First things first … Savage has guaranteed the guarantees — $350k worth. This is despite a misleading tweet just two weeks ago from @hardrockpoker saying there’d be $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. [/shaking head] It coulda just been a hyperbolic typo, but an amusingly ironic one then considering the Hard Rock’s image problems after a few overpromises that these tourneys were to help put to rest. But according to Matt himself on 2+2, he’s got the $350k locked up by contract no matter how few players show.

Beyond that … expect an extra-partytime atmosphere around typical Savage series stuff (deep structures, quality dealers, friendly intelligent floor, good internet coverage, etc.) to liven up the joint: He’s in charge of providing ultra-improved tournament action while the Hard Rock promises to provide good music and a guaranteed flow of nipple-friendly eye-candy stumbling past the poker room.

More…

Posted by at 4:09 pm

July 16, 2010

WSOP Factoid

When everybody’s famous?

When players bag their chips for the night, they get a “pink slip” that serves as a claim ticket allowing them to re-take their seats the next day.

According to Rio security, on each of the Day 2s of the main event, with more than 2,000 players arriving, every one of them had their pink slips. Yesterday, however, with 205 players remaining and prize money not just within grasp but actively escalating, some 30 players forgot or lost that little piece of paper that helps guarantee re-entry into the tournament.

Posted by at 3:40 pm

July 13, 2010

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 4 Evening Edition

In what some consider a controversial decision, tournament director Jack Effel decided to stop play with 1:15:44 left in level 16 (2,500/5,000 w/ 500 ante) to have the 751 players remaining (747 make the money) take their 90-minute dinner break. Effel’s explanation was that they needed time to prepare for paying the players who bust out immediately after the bubble bursts. The field had planned to start hand-for-hand play before the announcement. The current leader is Theo Jorgensen with 1,325,000 in chips. Other notables: Matt Affleck (1.26m), Tony Dunst (1.18m), Phil Galfond (1.05m), Adam Levy (840k), Johnny Chan (785k), Jean-Robert Bellande (753k), David Benyamine (630k), Scotty Nguyen (540k) and Eric Baldwin (500k). Also in the field are all 4 Mizrachi brothers: Robert 310k, Michael 118.5k, Donny 115k and Eric 60k.

Gavin Smith and Jason Somerville discuss the decision with Wicked Chops Poker.

Notables who were eliminated earlier today: Matt Savage, Annie Duke, JJ Liu, Hank Azaria, Robert Varkonyi, Dan Harrington, Erica Schoenberg and Barry Greenstein. Team Pokerati’s only remaining hope (?), The Big Randy, was eliminated in early action.
Follow the action on the money bubble with play resuming at 8:30pm at wsop.com.

Posted by at 8:08 pm

July 9, 2010

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event day 2a

The final opening day of the Main Event drew a field of 2,391 hopefuls to the Pavilion and Amazon rooms at the Rio on Thursday afternoon. Football Hall of Famer/Dancing with the Stars winner Emmitt Smith kicked off the festivities with the “Shuffle up and play” command, before deciding to go with the traditional “shuffle up and deal”. According to Pauly’s semi-live blog, he initially refused to sign the ESPN waiver, possibly still bitter about the Worldwide Leader getting rid of him a couple years ago. After finally signing the waiver, he was eliminated a short time later. Among the notables who also had an early day: Joe and Tony Hachem, Doug Lee, Sorel Mizzi, Allen Kessler, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Brian Townsend, Steve Dannenmann, Michael Craig and Pam Brunson.

After nine hours of play, 1,699 players get to return Saturday afternoon for day 2b. The reported day 1d leader is Steve Billiarakis with 187,150 in chips. Some other notables returning on Saturday include: Archie Karas (137,775), David Benyamine (130,800), Vanessa Rousso (111,050), Jason Mercier (90,525), Frank Kassela (87,000), Darvin Moon (78,400), Kara Scott (69,625), Barry Greenstein (53,625), Doyle Brunson (52,425), 97-year old Jack Ury, (40,500), Bryan Micon (36,400) and Shawn Sheikhan (32,900). The full list of chip counts is available at wsop.com. The day 2b table draw is available here, you can also find it on my Twitter as well.

Day 2a gets underway at 12pm with over 2,400 players returning, scheduled to play 4 levels. The 90-minute dinner break will be held after 3 levels are played, which would mean the middle of level 8, although that has not been confirmed by tournament director Jack Effel at this time. For those looking for the day 2a table draw, it’s available in PDF and spreadsheet form. During the day, be sure to check out wsop.com and your favorite Twitter followers and find out what’s going on at the World Series of Poker.

Posted by at 6:06 am

July 8, 2010

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 1d

NOTE: Over 2,100 players have registered for day 1d, with a capacity field of over 3,700 expected.

Day 1c of the Main Event drew the biggest field as 2,314 players as defending champion Joe Cada handled the “shuffle up and deal” to get today’s activities underway. Cada finished the day with a respectable 55,000 in chips. Among the notables who don’t get to return for day 2b on Saturday: Tom Dwan, Howard Lederer, Huck Seed, Isabelle Mercier, Chad Brown, Men Nguyen, Faraz Jaka, Dario Minieri, Chau Giang, 2009 November Niner Steve Begleiter, and after making his usual dramatic entrance, Phil Hellmuth exited quietly.

At the end of 9 hours of play, 1,642 players will join the 762 day 1a survivors Friday afternoon at 12pm at the start of day 2a. The reported leader at this time is Mathiu Sauriol with 169,900 in chips. Johnny Chan finished the day 2nd in chips with 163,700, other notables back for day 2a include Lauren Kling (149,650), Barny Boatman (144,050), Hoyt Corkins (129,150), David Williams (112,225), Todd Terry (96,175), Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh (85,425), Brock Parker (71,125), Liz Lieu (70,050), Annie Duke (62,000), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (48,150), and Antonio Esfandiari (44,150). The full list of chip counts is now available at wsop.com. The full table draw for day 2a will be linked here and at my Twitter for those interested when it becomes available.

Day 1d of the Main Event gets underway at 12pm, with football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith handling the “shuffle up and deal” duties, with some poker site sure to put a patch on him if he decides to play. The Main Event field is already the second-largest in history with over 7,000 players registered with a chance it breaks 8,000 over the next 8 hours. Catch the action over at wsop.com, Pauly’s blog and Twitter to see if anyone gets shut out, who gets knocked out, and how this afternoon’s action is played out.

Posted by at 6:17 am

July 7, 2010

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Day 1c

NOTE: Over 2,000 players have already registered for day 1c, late registration for day 1d is scheduled to reopen at 4:40pm PT today.

Day 1b of the Main Event brought 1,489 players to the Amazon and Pavilion rooms at the Rio for 9 hours of poker action. Phil Gordon, Rafe Furst, Joe Sebok and other dignitaries took part in the pre-game activities to help promote the Bad Beat on Cancer charity. Tuesday’s “shuffle up and deal” command came from Ashley, named “Dealer of the Year” by the WSOP, to get the tournament into action. Some of the notables who didn’t make it through the day included Annette Obrestad, Joe Sebok, Jamie Gold, Erick Lindgren, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Liv Boeree, Justin Bonomo, Mark Seif, Brandon Adams and former November Niners Darus Suharto, Ivan Demidov and Craig Marquis. For a semi-live view of Tuesday’s action, check out Pauly’s day 1b blog.

After 4 1/2 levels of play, 1,017 players will return Saturday afternoon as part of the day 2b field. The day 1b leader is James Danielson of La Plata, Maryland with 201,050 in chips. Some of the notables with a significant amount of chips: Alexander Kostritsyn (131,800), Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond (107,100), Gavin Griffin (97,200), Blair Rodman (85,025), Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles (73,475), Brandon Cantu (65,025), Gavin Smith (62,275) Vladimir Shchemelev (53,500), and Phil Laak (40,275). Team Pokerati/Loudmouth Poker pro Tom Schneider finished the day with 22,075 in chips. The full list of chip counts is now available at wsop.com. For those who made it through day 1a, there is a partial table draw available now here. The day 2b partial table draw is now online here, and on my Twitter when available.

As mentioned above, over 2,000 players have already signed up for day 1c, and today also brings the annual circus of Phil Hellmuth’s grand entrance, scheduled for 1:30. This year, he’s dressing up as an MMA fighter with Wanderlei Silva expected to be part of his entourage and UFC announcer Bruce Buffer introducing him. Daniel Negreanu has jokingly tweeted his own plans about making his entrance today as Rocky Balboa. The rest of the field will make their entrance the usual way, by walking into the Rio without making a spectacle of themselves. See what transpires during the day at wsop.com.

Posted by at 6:28 am