Archive for the ‘poker lifestyle’ Category

Winning then Losing

by , Oct 15, 2011 | 5:27 am

Hey, at least the Lions are winning.

We had high hopes coming into the 2011 football season but to see them run out to a beautiful 4-0 start is outstanding. And the Tigers are up too! As I write this they currently hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Yankees after stealing home field advantage in NYC. One more win and they advance to the next playoff round. Life is good these days for my hometown teams.

Little did I know that the hole would only grow bigger and deeper as the day went on, culminating with me somehow losing with KQ vs 55 after c-betting a K-6-4 flop. I booked a 4-figure loss and called it a day.

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Returning from Poker Hiatus

by , Oct 8, 2011 | 3:24 pm

I just got back from my first live poker session in I don’t know how long… almost two months I think. I took an extended hiatus from the game for a couple of reasons; a) my dad was in town for a while and we went sightseeing here in Vegas and in Los Angeles; and, more important, b) my finances just weren’t where they needed to be.

(The shorter version of that story is “I went broke.”)

I was making too many mistakes away from the felt and living a lifestyle that just wasn’t sustainable on my “salary”. I definitely wasn’t going super crazy or ballin’ out of control by any means. But similar to the way a small preflop error can compound on itself and become a large, costly session-killer, smaller mistakes away from the tables can quickly add up and drain a poker player’s bankroll. This shouldn’t be news to any poker player, but when you live in a city like Las Vegas and you like being social and experiencing what the city and life itself has to offer, you have to constantly check yourself.

I look down at 6s7s for my first live hand in two months. Forget that I’m in early position, I can’t help it… the suited connectedness was overpoweringly sexy.

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Generic Poker Gossip Column

by , Sep 15, 2011 | 6:50 am

Click to enlarge: Melanie Iglesias has her panties in a wad over something related to her break-up with the WPT.

lacey jones lingerie

Undercleavage: This stylish lingerie not available at K-mart offers a new way to look at Lacey Jones’ right boob.

jim rice survivor medical marijuana poker

Pot-committed: Survivorist Jim Rice found a more legal way to earn a living than online poker by selling weed.

Tenacious P: Jack Black is still kinda sorta into poker.

kobe bryant champagne

Baller beware: No TV show ever came of an idea about bar-bill wars between Kobe Bryant and Antonio Esfandiari.

A little poker gossip because sometimes in serious times we like the petty …

Melanie Iglesias vs. WPT (and QuadJacks?)
The guys at Quadjacks have called it “Flushgate” — and reportedly have received quite a bit of wrath from non-poker types over “the abrupt resignation of three Royal Flush girls” — 2010 Maxim Hometown Hottie winner and now MTV personality Melanie Iglesias, Michelle Banzer, and brand spankin’ new RF girl Mica Javier, who had only been on the job for a few weeks. The purging all went down last month right around the time of press announcements for the World Poker Tour’s new Season X … ooh, juicy! You could almost be certain somebody was gonna cry, if not more formally cry foul.

Catpacking in AC
We can only imagine how cut-throat that world can be — where looks absolutely are tied in with your success. Call us old-school here at Pokerati, Melanie is great and all, but she’s still no Lacey Jones, who recently did a lingerie photoshoot with power-model Katerina Van Derham. Meanwhile, here’s a new video featuring Lacey and Maria Ho helping Christina Lindley pick out a dress for her birthday party at the Borgata in Atlantic City this weekend … and New Jersey celeb-hunter Michael Berman interviews this threesome, being dubbed “the Cat Pack” here for the kickoff of WPT Borgata, where there may or may not be openings for three new Royal Flush Girls.

Auction Player?
Speaking of old school, Phil Hellmuth appeared last week on the A&E show Storage Wars — advising a group about strategy in their game of swag auctions, which apparently involves a combination of luck and skill. Not too familiar with that show … when do we get to hear someone say to Phil, “Going, going, gone!?”

Dealer’s Choice: From Poker to Pot
A relatively unknown poker player named Jim Rice is representing poker (whether he likes it or not) and pot on Survivor 23: South Pacific. Supposedly a pal (and business partner?) of Paul Wasicka’s, the 35-year-old from Chicago is now a medical marijuana dispenser in Colorado (woot!). His most recent cashes include a 3rd and a 23rd on the Heartland Poker Tour, this year and in 2008, respectively. And now with online poker more illegal than selling weed (in some US jurisdictions) … makes you wonder if certain poker pros would rather be Jim Rice or Jean-Robert Bellande.

Jack Black Rising or Falling Poker Celebrity?
There’s always new Hollywood celebrities getting in on poker — and hosting a charity tourney is often their first foray into niche hero-status and/or business opportunity around their personal poker addictions. Could Jack Black be the latest? The last-place finisher in the WPT’s 2009 Hollywood home game is hosting a charity tourney next month at the Commerce Casino in California, but otherwise still has much to prove before he becomes the next James Woods, whom you may recall back in 2004-05 kicked off his effort to become the Adam West of Poker.

Vegas Living: Closing Down Blush
The luxe but laid-back “boutique” nightclub Blush, at the Wynn, is closing after a four-year run. Ahhh … I remember this “ultra lounge” as the site of multiple VIP poker parties and the place where upon moving to Vegas I met a guy who explained to me the process of importing women to the US for a life of hooker-dom before having to excuse himself to go sell coke. But perhaps more famously, Blush is the place where Antonio Esfandiari “lost” a game of who’s got bigger ballers to Kobe Bryant — with the NBA star supposedly racking up a $21,000 champagne bill that had celebrity and sports media mocking some poker player being called “the magician” … even though he somehow got Kobe to pay for the last 15 bottles of Cristal.

Meanwhile, @KobeBryant’s Twitter account got suspended last week, and @MagicAntonio’s, who had a surprisingly similar number of followers, did not.


Buy clever/corny poker T-shirts at Les Shoppes du Pokerati.


WCOOP Visitors Kit

by , Sep 8, 2011 | 2:32 pm

I almost didn’t realize that what heretofore had been the biggest online tournament series in the world — the World Championships of Online Poker — is underway throughout the non-American ether. Even with an American government-mandated “boycott” reminiscent of Moscow 1980, is WCOOP still the biggest? (My guess: probably so.) But without certain American players, do we still care?

That’s hard to say, but regardless, you can still look stylish in your nonchalance with this 2010 edition WCOOP T-shirt commemorating the events from back in the Poker Cold War days:


The Ultimate Poker License Plate

by , Aug 28, 2011 | 2:45 am

Big thanks to Dr. Pokerati for chasing down what is possibly the holy grail of poker-themed license plates we love around these parts. Apparently she had to chase this one down something fierce heading westbound on Sahara before the yellow lights conspired in our favor at Hualapai. (“I figured if I didn’t get it now this one would just disappear into folklore,” she explains.)

Would love to know who has “POKER” … and whether he’s had it forever or acquired it for a premium post-Moneymaker or even post-Jamie Gold.

nevada license plate poker
The big one that didn’t get away.

TRICAT (not a poker player) says the driver of this notably American semi-luxury SUV was an “average 50something white guy” talking on his phone … but he got away before she was could get a clear shot of whoever it was who’s tagged himself with poker everywhere he goes. Drat! But oh well …

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Neutralize Stress, Reduce Pressure

by , Aug 11, 2011 | 5:06 am

Jen Dunphy


Poker Life Coach
 

Making a distinction between pressure and stress is important at the poker table whether you are playing tournament or cash; so let’s get the details straight.

– Stress in any form generally happens or just exists like pollution, life changes or traffic.

– Pressure is imposed by yourself or others in the form of deadlines, personal standards and beliefs about the “right” way to do things.

Leaving room for reality that neither is always the case; we often think of stress as pressure and pressure as stress. Makes sense right? However, this isn’t always true.

Most players when faced with stress (small stack, the bubble, aggressive opponent) react with resistance. Resistance is hard work and can make you tired (another stress) which can make you want to give up on what’s important to you (a personal pressure) and so on and so on…

Whether a heart rate goes up or a body gets tense, we tend to resist stress. The irony is resisting magnifies the stress, which tends to have you put more pressure on yourself to be successful; creating a self feeding cycle that leads people to a state of pain – aka. Tilt!

To minimize any negative impact on your game, do a bit of self-searching to notice how you react to stress and where there is pressure in your life. Being aware of your reactions, beliefs and internal self-talk will help you keep stress and pressure in check.

Whether you notice it at the table or just going about your day, ask yourself: How do I react to stress, and where is there pressure in my life?

Your answers will give you the ability to identify when and where you are resisting stressors and creating pressure.

Another strategy is to practice being with the stress without reacting to it (like watching a movie instead of being in it). Pull yourself above the situation to witness it from the outside. See yourself as a character and make decisions as a director. This perspective will help you make a decision based on the facts with less stress, and thus pressure removed.

If you are anything like my clients (and myself of course), you may be putting undo pressure on yourself by responding to stress with negativity or resistance. Check it out, see what you notice and start making a conscious choice to relate to stress and pressure in a way that supports you and your game.


Certified Life Coach Jen Dunphy shares her mind-and-body insight for poker players semi-regularly on Pokerati. You can read her columns here, and follow her on Twitter here.


Wynn Releases Opening November Nine Sports Book Odds

by , Jul 20, 2011 | 6:00 pm

wsop november nine odds

One of the new things with this latest World Series of Poker (as significant as ESPN’s live coverage, imho) was the introduction of sports-book bets on WSOP outcomes. Think about how much effort went in to making that possible — first, changing the law such that Nevada sports books could expand their offerings to include non-athletic contests … then running specific bets through Nevada Gaming regulators … all so non-Caesars casinos could spread action on the WSOP? That’s not exactly the kinda thing done on a whim … especially when the introduction of “live” TV coverage adds a whole new element of necessary oversight for GCB enforcement.

The Wynn seems to be wanting to take the lead on spreading such non-athletic “exotics”, with Race and Sports Book Director Johnny Avello establishing himself as the go-to guru for entertainment-based wagers — having set for-entertainment-only odds (with remarkable accuracy) for the Oscars, beauty pageants, Dancing with the Stars … even fashion at the British Royal Wedding, and the breed of dog to win the Westminster Dog Show.

Read below for more official word on Wynn Las Vegas/Encore’s WSOP offerings:

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“Reported” Full Tilt Payback: Lederer Ships @ToddBrunson $150k?

by , Jul 19, 2011 | 11:52 pm

The 2011 WSOP wouldn’t be the 2011 WSOP without chatter about Full Tilt. And here, on the last day, Howard Lederer makes another appearance in Las Vegas, apparently at another Asian restaurant. But this time it was none other than Todd Brunson who had the unexpected run-in with the once-proud father-figure of Full Tilt Poker.

And Brunson reports — via the often unreliable Twitter — that he got paid his Full Tilt balance of about $150k … in a way that suggests Lederer is either going door-to-door making payouts (perhaps tidying up affairs before he has to “go away”?) or possibly just living out of his car …

Todd Brunson
He asked how much I had on tilt and I told him 150k.. He said come with me. We went to his car and he opened his trunk and paid me!!!!!! 23 hours ago
Todd BrunsonToddBrunson
Look who I just ran into.. I told him the wsop killed me and I was cash short…… http://lockerz.com/s/121600156 23 hours ago

Either way, the stress seems to be doing Lederer right, physically at least, as the previous poster boy for the well-fed high-stakes “poker body” seems to have shed a few (dozen?) pounds around the saddle.

howard lederer todd brunson

Persona non grata: You mean you haven’t been paid yet? Have you submitted your W-9?

And while it would be nice if someone really did get their Full Tilt balance refunded … it can’t be an ideal structure for payouts when they’re happening out of the trunk of a car, even if it is a $250k Audi.

Doyle said to have been buying up Full Tilt dollars at a discount

Meanwhile, since we’re relying on Twitter here … this seems as good a time to pass on a “rumor” that I feel confident enough about the source — someone inside Bobby’s Room — that it might reveal why Brunson’s father, Doyle, has been extra sour on poker as of late.

Supposedly, a few weeks ago, Doyle was playing in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, and he was tweeting about his slaughter of Billy Baxter. Soon, talk shifted (off-Twitter) to Full Tilt’s money problems. Brunson reportedly said he was confident they intended to pay, and believed they eventually would … and with that began buying up Full Tilt accounts for about 60 cents on the dollar. Can’t confirm the exact amount he purchased … but the kinda money that people playing in the highest-stakes cash game in Vegas might have on Full Tilt Poker.

The next day, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s license, effectively shutting the site down indefinitely.


Poker Physiology

by , Jul 16, 2011 | 6:50 am

Jen Dunphy


Poker Life Coach

 

Your body is an intricate and delicate system designed to sense threat, and biologically programmed to avoid it. Your nervous system is a vast information highway that runs every cellular process in the body. From breathing and your heartbeat to movement and thought, your nervous system affects every process of your body.

So what’s happening in your body during a hand?

Because of the unknown outcomes, the variability of chance, and the sheer financial risk, poker is stressful by design. Let me be clear about what I mean. Let’s define stress as a physical, emotional or chemical factor that causes bodily or mental tension and let’s avoid judgment of whether stress is good or bad. Stress simply exists and we live in relation to it.

So during a hand, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or experience at the table, a body responds to stress exactly the same. Stress is a threat and regardless of the size, shape, cause or intensity the body reacts with a Fight or Flight response.

Originally intended to protect you, the fight or flight response causes a release of hormones that:

  • Increase your heart rate
  • Increase your blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • Put you in a “ready” state

Ever have the feeling that you need caffeine, sugar and other stimulants to keep you on your toes? You’re simply prolonging the “high” your body has already initiated.

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Ladies and Not-so-Gentlemen

by , Jul 2, 2011 | 9:36 am

The always-controversial WSOP Ladies event got underway this weekend … with 1,055 players, up from last year’s total of 1,054. At least 10 entrants were men, one of whom showed up in drag. While the WSOP can’t legally require players to show their vaginas to the dealer before receiving a hand, the presence of Y-chromosomes in the field suggests that with Shaun Deeb’s breaking through the gender barrier in 2010, it may well become WSOP tradition for this special tournament to appeal to dudes who clearly have issues with their mothers and/or painful memories of oppression at the hands of East German Olympic coaches during the Cold War.

Click here for BJ’s photo gallery from the 2011 WSOP Ladies event … and here for WhoJedi’s … and here for coverage from Wicked Chops … and here to follow the actual tournament, which is currently at the final table and streaming live with only women left and a $192k first prize up for grabs. (The “last man standing” finished 9th.)

annie lepage marie lizette reno peppermill ladies backing

Marie-Lizette (left, brunette) and Annie LePage (right, blonde) share with Pokerati the secrets of forging a successful relationship with backers who may or may not want to sleep with you.

But beyond the inevitable spotlight stealing by a flash mob of penis-wielding hooligans … the WSOP Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship is also where many players experience their first shot at being backed in a bracelet event. The low buy-in ($1k) and proportion of men who believe putting a woman in a tournament might some day help them get in her pants makes the hustle for support another ubiquitous part of the ladies event every year … and to that extent, I wanted to know, from the ladies, how they handle it when a guy wanting to give them money might have a different expectation about what it means to book a big score by going deep.

(Men can be so crass and dumb.)

Have a listen as I sit down with Mike Matusow’s girlfriend Annie LePage and Pokerati editrix Marie-Lizette (at the Peppermill in Reno last month, at the party for Jen Harman’s charity event before the HPT’s $1,600 Nevada State Championship) … to learn how it works for women who may want backing but have to be sure all involved — including themselves? — understand that the benefactor really is interested in their potential skills on the table, not under it.

Part 1: Inappropriate Offers
Part 2: Business Women
[audio:https://pokerati.com/podcast/pokerati-raw/Pokerati-Raw-ladies-buyin.mp3, https://pokerati.com/podcast/pokerati-raw/PokeratiRaw-Ladies-buyin2.mp3]

It’s apparently all about not sending the wrong message for less than a $10k buy-in. While some may believe everyone has a price … I’m not sure if the service this audio really provides is essential listening for up-and-coming women players — on how to draw proper lines when dealing with a potentially horny backer — or more for men, on how to minimize the creepiness factor to be a better big-swinging-dick.


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.

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Give Harrah’s Some Credit

by , Jun 26, 2011 | 2:50 am

Johnny Hughes


OP-ED

At the World Series of Poker, they announce the event and coveted bracelet winners and then play the national anthem of the country they come from. Play stops at all the cash games and the players stand and remove their hats. When an American won, my table stood with their hands over their hearts and sang. I looked out over that vast sea of poker players and was overcome by emotion. The song always gives me tingles but there was also a love and astonishment at how wonderful the playing conditions have become for this sport. Yes, it is a sport.

The players’ manners are terrific today compared to the past. Johnny Moss was known for being abusive to dealers. Puggy Pearson was worse. He pissed on one once. Another Hall of Famer, Joe Bernstein, bit a dealer.

I cannot sing enough praise for the poker management of Harrah’s. I had long conversations with Bill Sattler, Director of Poker, and aslo Jake Reville, Cathy Klufer, and Carrie Jacobs. For twenty years, I taught management subjects at Texas Tech. The magnificent professionalism of Harrah’s management makes me wish I could go lecture on how great they are. I played in the cheap no limit where you only buy $300. I’ve never lost at the Rio, but only played there seven times. I’m not trying to beat the best in the world anymore. I’m too old.

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Poker Fitness: 5 Keys to surviving the WSOP

by , Jun 24, 2011 | 12:38 pm

Jen Dunphy


Poker Life Coach

Mindset, mindset, mindset! It’s a common buzzword around poker, and with each calculated risk/reward scenario being played out inside the inner workings of the brain, there’s no doubt that a poker player’s mindset is important. If you haven’t cleared your head of hang ups, fears, negative habits and weak confidence, you just won’t go far.

But your head is attached to your body, and if you haven’t put consistent effort towards taking care of your body, your mind will be less likely to cooperate. That doesn’t have to mean running marathons or lifting weights. There are things poker players can do without dramatically altering their routines that can improve the chances that your mind will be in the right place at the right time. No matter what your current level of fitness, here are 5 simple ways for poker players to keep their bodies in gear throughout the WSOP:

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Meet the First Free Poker Pros

by , Jun 17, 2011 | 6:42 pm

We were kinda just kidding when we suggested this might be the Year of Free/Subscription Poker. I mean we knew we were gonna see some moves into WSOP poker space by various free American-friendly play money sites … but how that would translate at the 2011 World Series (and beyond) wasn’t so clear. It still isn’t. But Rise, makers of those douchebag-free poker clothes and now an online poker site … is showing that they will indeed be a force in the free poker future … whatever that might mean.

Maria Ho Scotty Nguyen Jean-Robert Bellande Rise Poker Team WSOP

Move over Full Tilt Poker dot net. Scotty Nguyen sends the whole table a virtual Corona!

Personally, I don’t think they coulda picked better pros — Scotty Nguyen, Maria Ho, Jean Robert Bellande, and Dani Stern, aka Ansky (not pictured) — even better than a Team of Brunson, Hellmuth, and Negreanu, imho. If you don’t see why these pictured three +Ansky should do incredibly well @RisePoker … well, I could tell you, but, well … let’s say it goes beyond just “Asian”.

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WSOPlatemaking

by , Jun 7, 2011 | 1:34 pm

It’s WSOP-time, of course … and that means the poker-y license plates in Vegas are out in full force. It’s kinda hard not to see them somewhere in Clark County, but extra kudos to those sending in their shots conscious of what the background also does for the pic.

From PokerGrump on the 215, presumably returning home from the WSOP:

las vegas poker license plate BIGSLIK

And here’s one seen in a fast-food drive-thru, across the street from Casino Dealer School, sent to us via @KBBMT: