Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Finding A Groove

by , Nov 11, 2011 | 7:14 am

Every “professional” poker player has some sort of a story as to how they found themselves with that job title. A lot of kids on the scene nowadays spent the majority of their free time in college grinding online and getting really good… so good that they didn’t see much point in getting a job working for somebody else, and naturally continued to grind after they left school. You hear about other people who had jobs they lost, and then turned to poker, a field that is always accepting new applicants without any need to update your resume or buy a tie for interviews. And there are those who had jobs, some good, but always unfulfilling compared to the allure of being your own boss and the thrill of using your wits to earn a cash payment every day on your own terms.

Life as a professional poker player has been a massive learning experience, of which the strategy and theory is only a small part of the process. You have to learn how to LIVE as a poker player …

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Pius Heinz Wins WSOP Main Event

by , Nov 9, 2011 | 5:18 pm

Pius Heinz

 

Germany’s Pius Heinz eventually wore down the Czech Republic’s Martni Staszko after over 100 hands of heads-up play to win the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, earning a cool $8,715.638 and coveted gold and diamond bracelet. Staszko settles for runner-up money of $5,433,086 as Ben Lamb earns $4,021,138 after playing only four hands Tuesday night.

 

If you want to read about what happened Tuesday night, check out Pauly’s live blog from the Rio. Nolan Dalla also has a final table recap and a review of the 2011 WSOP chock full of information. Short-Stacked Shamus’ 15-minute delayed live blog gives a view of the action from the comfort of his home.  You can also catch a replay of the final table at ESPN3.com.

Finally, catch up on Pauly and Michalski’s Tao of Pokerati podcasts from Nov. 9 weekend here.


WSOPep Rally

by , Nov 8, 2011 | 6:21 pm


Things ready to get underway … Ben Lamb vs. Pius Heinz vs. Martin Staszko. The score is 55 to 108 to 43 … ball on the 600k/1.2mm yard line. The Pius Heinz fans are singing songs in 57 varieties of central European … big hairy Sasquatch is tromping through the crowd giving WSOP fist-bumps … and the Ben Lamb camp is hootin’ it up something fierce. The guy in the actual lamb costume gets on stage with Vegas hoochie-hottie dancers for a few bumps and grinds before Ty Stewart, the noble WSOP shepherd, realizes he’s not part of the show and diplomatically encourages him back to the stands. Woulda been cooler to see cops with billy clubs dart from the sidelines and deck him like a streaker, but hey, maybe next year.

To keep you entertained in the 15 minutes of interim before what’s going on here in the Penn and Teller Theater makes it into the WSOP cloud … enjoy the Brett Richey rap song about Ben Lamb, with a line inspired by Team Pokerati’s favorite crazy DonkeyBomber spouse, Julie Schneider, in “Stack ’em to the Top”:

via DonkDown

UPDATE: Ben Lamb all-in on first hand! 35bb v 22bb … No suckout …


Down to Three

by , | 3:27 pm

Good times at the WSOP … thanks for hanging with Pauly and me as we use this opportunity to try out some newfangled podcast technology. You know, kinda like ESPN and the WSOP (and NGCB) are trying out newfangled technology with this whole “live” broadcast thing. (Once upon a time we used those “quotes” around the word “live” for mockery. But now, at just 15 minutes off of reality, no less sarcasm intended.)

Episode numbering seems to be the only tricky thing … and maybe using the geo-locator toggle. But it didn’t seem to matter as we sought the best way to insta-podcast the exciting highlights “semi-live” as the November Nine whittled down to the three that ultimately would matter tonight, in a few hours, live from the Penn & Teller Theater, and “live” on ESPN and possibly in your pocket:

Nov. Nine – Giannetti Lives (Ep 5) by taopokerati

Dan and Pauly are ringside for a decisive hand between Matt Giannetti and Martin Staszko. Giannetti was crippled on the previous hand and moved all-in. Staszko called with a dominated hand. Dan and Pauly call the action….

Tao of Pokerati: Quad Lambs by Pokerati

Tao of Pokerati: Non-silence of the Lamb at Penn & Teller Theater by Pokerati


Who’s Who at the November Nine?

by , Nov 6, 2011 | 9:07 pm

November Nine – Naming Names (Ep 2) by taopokerati

Dan and Dr. Pauly discuss the November Nine players, or rather, Dan’s lack of care to learn who made the final table. But Dan has a cheat sheet — the live chip count list — that appears on a big screen adjacent to the stage. A nice improvement to the WSOP set-up.


Poker Nationalism

by , | 8:54 pm

Swear we’re not gonna make this whole thing about poker in Belize or even Belizean poker in Las Vegas … hopefully we’ll be done with this post before the November Nine gets down to the final 3.

visit belize t-shirts

But it just turns out that 6th place finisher, Badih BouNahra, aka “Bob”, brought a rather unique element not just to the 2011 WSOP main event final table, but to poker. Beyond being the oldest guy to go single-digit-finish/seven-figure-payout deep, and more than just bringing a rowdy uniformed crowd that kinda makes him the Dennis Phillips of Belize … still gotta factcheck, but pretty sure he is the first and only November Niner to receive support from a national government.

Here’s a quick “interview” I did with Jose Manuel Heredia, Jr., Belize’s Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Culture, on what one poker player’s WSOP success means for his country.

(Belize just turned 30 years old … something that seven of the November Niners can’t yet say.)

WSOP according to Belizean Minister of Tourism by Pokerati

And here’s a YouTube video BouNahra did for his government and the website he’s promoting on ESPN, www.travelbelize.org.

And, here’s a Tao of Pokerati on the impact of Belizeans, as felt by WSOP sports bettors in Nevada:

Dan and Pauly chat about the first three eliminations at the final table, including Belize Bob. His 200 supporters kept the atmosphere festive. They also bet heavily on Bob at the Rio’s sports book, which drove down his odds from 12/1 to 6/1.

Nov. Nine – Betting on Belize (Ep 3) by taopokerati


Belizean Rhapsody

by , | 7:58 pm

You can generally count on foreigners to bring the most festive crowds to WSOP final tables. Even moreso, obv, when we’re talking about the November Nine and/or a country with a population the size of Bakersfield, California (about 350k).

Some 200 Belizeans made the trip to Las Vegas (pop. 584k), and got to see Badih “Bob” BouNahra bust out in 6th place … for a cool $1.3 million. (Click here for November Nine payouts.) And with that came celebratory festivities that only a tropical paradise that’s essentially a shmancy English-speaking suburb of Honduras could provide.

For more of the Belizean beat … I also recorded an extended-mix version here (before it occurred to me to turn on the video cam).


Welcome to the November Nine (9)

by , | 5:01 pm

So the biggest shiznit of the poker year is underway … please bear with us as some of us “old school” poker media try to find our place and purpose in covering an event that poker nuts can follow officially via WSOP.com, near-instantly on Twitter, and near-live (15 minutes, shmifteen minutes) on ESPNs 1, 2, and 3.

In the spirit of kicking things old-school, we’re going really new school … on the fly no less … and moving to SoundCloud, which we think will work in really neato ways.

November Nine – Evolution (Ep 1) by taopokerati

November Nine – Evolution (ep. 1)
Dr. Pauly and Dan are back with a new episode of Tao of Pokerati live from the Rio in Las Vegas. Dan showed up late, but watched some of the live feed at home. The WSOP coverage is evolving and the two discuss the latest nuances in poker reporting.

And of course to follow an old-school blogger with faster typing skills than mine, be sure to read actual writing from my partner in podcast crime at Tao of Poker.


The November Nine down to 8, 7, 6, 5 4

by , | 4:59 pm

The World Series of Poker Main Event final table saw the first elimination after over two and a half hours of play as Germany’s Pius Heinz has been the most aggressive player at the final table, and now holds the chip lead over the Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko. Ben Lamb had a rough start but he just eliminated Sam Holden with AK against Holden’s AJ, turning a flush to send the Brit home without any additional winnings. The remaining players are each guaranteed a seven-figure payday.

After an eventful level, three players in total were eliminated as Sam Holden, Anton Makiievsky and Bob Bounahra’s dreams of $8.7m and a WSOP bracelet were cut short. Meanwhile, Matt Giannetti nears the chip lead as Phil Collins and Ben Lamb each caught miracle cards on the river to double up.

 

The four remaining players are now on dinner break until 8:15pm PT, returning to blinds of 600,000/1,200,000 with an ante of 200,000.

 

Pius Heinz – 85,500,000
Matt Gianetti – 50,325,000
Ben Lamb – 46,300,000
Martin Staszko – 23,900,000

1st: $8,715,638
2nd: $5,433,086
3rd: $4,021,138
4th: $3,012,700

5th: Phil Collins –  $2,269,599
6th: Eoghan O’Dea – $1,720,831
7th: Bob Bounahra – $1,314,097
8th: Anton Makiievskyi – 1,010,015
9th: Sam Holden – $782,115

Some places to follow the action as it happens:

PokerNews:

Live updates

Live chat

ESPN:

Stream on 15-minute delay w/ hole cards revealed after the hand

Live blog with Andrew Feldman

Blogging:

Dr. Pauly including new Tao of Pokerati episodes

Jesse May from Amneville, France

Short-Stacked Shamus

LVRJ’s Howard Stutz

If you haven’t been railing on Twitter, you can follow these people who are live on the scene: @ESPN_Poker, @taopauly, @OskarGarcia, @CaseKeefer, @HowardStutz

6:15pm PT UPDATE: In consecutive hands,

 


Wider World of Poker

by , Nov 2, 2011 | 5:10 pm

This autumnal winds of Dorset attempted to blow me out to sea, but I stayed rooted to the shore like defiant bollard. I knew that without their weekly dose of un-American gambling news, Pokerati readers might immediately expire. I couldn’t live with that on my conscience, so I’m back from my holiday with a suitcase full of facts.

# 888’s Third Quarter Upswing

While you Americans were outdoors being adventurous, we Brits carried on our time honoured tradition of ‘staying indoors and being poor’. At least that’s what 888 Holdings Plc credit for the massive boost in revenue they’ve been enjoying recently. The company banked $86 million in the third quarter and grew their userbase to over 10 million. [Reuters]

# Spain say eCOGRA are A-Okay

ecogra logoSpain have opened their doors to fully regulated online gambling, but before you can get your hands on a shiny Spanish license, you need to have your software thoroughly examined by an accredited agency. eCOGRA – whose seals are sported by the likes of Party Poker – have been given the blessing of the local government to carry out these inspections. eCOGRA’s CEO made happy noises at the news, but also took the chance to moan about EU nations being allowed to develop contrasting systems. [eCOGRA]

# MacPhee Takes Aim at the Hendon Mob

barney barnyVeteran British grinder Barny Boatman kept his upper lip fully stiffened this week after enduring a verbal barrage from American pro Kevin ‘ImaLuckSac’ MacPhee. The fracas took place on Twitter, in the aftermath of the latter’s exit from the EPT San Remo. MacPhee, who is not a qualified physician, branded Boatman a “f*cking r*tard” for eliminating him from the event. In reaction, Boatman took the Hendon Mob forums to present an eloquent defence of his play. [Poker News Report]

It’s not been the most thrilling week in worldwide poker. America has clutched all the big news to its bosom like a greedy news-clutching monster. Even going so far as to steal away reliable Euro headline makers bwin.party. Nevertheless, I shall continue to sift through the bins of the internet, searching out the choicest morsels for your delectation. Until next week…


Margaritavillains

by , Oct 29, 2011 | 1:24 pm

margaritaville casino las vegasSometime during this year I decided I wanted to add more tournaments to my poker diet.  I’ve been a cash game grinder for my entire poker-playing career and don’t really have anything to speak of in regards to big tourney scores.  My “official” tourney resume is pretty weak.  That being said, I think every high-volume tournament pro wishes they crushed at cash games, and I think that every cash game grinder wants that feeling that only a tournament victory can bring: the combination of the big pay day combined with being the last man or woman standing at the end of the day (or day 2, 3, 4, what have you).  It very well could be my ego projecting my perceived thoughts onto the rest of the poker-playing community, but why would you not want to be well rounded in your profession and have multiple skill sets?

I’ve torched a lot of money being irresponsible … Vegas definitely has a way of seeping into any crack in your guard wall and blowing it wide open.

If you think that low stakes live poker games tend to be pretty soft, you should check out some of the tournament series that are running this month and next around Vegas.  You’ll see things that will make your head shake and leave you feeling good about the future of poker and its draw to the casual players.  However, these are tournaments we’re talking about, which means you’re a bit handcuffed in regards to how much manipulation of tourists you’ll be able to partake in compared to the cash games.  The structures for a lot of the events are pretty good, but variance is still a bitch.  I won’t go into detail about some of the ridiculous beats I’ve taken over the past week to send me on a walk of shame toward valet.  I’m gonna keep plugging away though with a healthy mix of the series, and cash games when there isn’t an event to my liking.

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Linda Johnson, Barry Greenstein Tapped for Hall of Fame Induction

by , Oct 27, 2011 | 5:55 pm

poker hall of fame linda johnson 1st lady of poker license plate

This license plate might make a nice inclusion in a more-real Poker “Hall” of Fame some day; for now we get Linda Johnson but not her car.

Congrats are in order for Linda Johnson and Barry Greenstein, as WSOP officials announced earlier today that they won the ballot race this year — and will be inducted into the Caesars-owned Poker Hall of Fame during the November Nine.

I still haven’t been able to find the actual “hall” anywhere on Google maps, but hey, at least there’s a list … which is included in the announcement below. Fwiw, whether right or wrong or historically consistent or not, a 2011 nomination (and subsequent induction) does seem to come with an extra stamp of approval for poker careers run on a clean path.

Barry seems incredibly deserving for his accomplishments mostly on the felt, with a little bit of important poker work off of it. He got 3 of my 10 votes.

Linda got 5 from me. Only the second women bestowed with the PHOF honor, she put up admirable numbers back in the day and still plays winning poker in medium-big mixed games during the WSOP … but really helped shape the direction of poker off the table as publisher of CardPlayer Magazine through the ’90s, a founding member of the TDA and PokerGives.org, and an instrumental force in the World Poker Tour, the PartyPoker Million, the general concept of “poker cruises”, and the Women in Poker Hall of Fame (which doesn’t have a hall either, but does have a fancy dinner with speeches, food, and booze; I do miss the grander fete for PHOF induction way-back in 2009 when Mike Sexton got in). Extra-charming to know the job she quit to pursue a career in poker was at the post office.

Scotty Nguyen got my remaining 2 votes, but did not get in.

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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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WSOP November Nine Prop Bets Approved for NV Sportsbooks

by , Oct 10, 2011 | 4:42 pm

Won’t this be extra fun when you can make these kinda wagers on your mobile phone? Oh, wait, with Leroy’s app you can, anywhere within Nevada state lines, so the army of Aliens camped out at Area 51 should have no problem betting on Ben Lamb and/or Badih Bounahra without revealing themselves to all of humankind.

Nevada Gaming just approved some new wagers for the November Nine … some of which are obv, and others that may or may not be a little more silly.

The list of approved wagers, at house odds:

  • Player to Win 2011 World Series of Poker
  • Will There Be More Red or Black Cards in the First Flop at the Final Table
  • What Will the Final Winning Hand Be
  • Will Chip Leader at Start of Final Table Win Event (Yes or No)
  • Who Will Finish in Ninth Place
  • Total Number of Hands Dealt at the Final Table

  • New $100 HORSE Tourney @PalmsPokerRm

    by , | 4:25 pm

    The redevelopment of the the Palms Poker Room continues. While some of us can’t wait for the state-of-the-art-in-2003 room to step into 2005ish with the coming addition of an electronic Bravo check-in system … Joe, Bobby, Eldon and crew are pushing forward with their plans to bring non-$20,000 tournament action back to the Palms … starting with a Tuesday-night $100 HORSE tournament.

    They say $100 HORSE at the Palms is the Colonial Yellow ’79 Cadillac of Poker.

     

    It may not be PLO, but hey, I’m no one-trick pony. More like a half-trick pony, lol. But regardless, I’ve been meaning to sack up and get more live, low-stakes Razz under my belt. (I dominated the $1,500 event in the ’07 WSOP for Playstation — won a bracelet and everything!) The tournament is just a couple weeks old and supposedly has gotten a great response from the start: three tables of tournament action last week, followed by a $4/$8 HORSE cash game as players started busting.

    Something similar expected tomorrow. RSVP on Facebook here … and/or just show up @ the Palms tomorrow at 7:30pm.

    CORRECTION(S): I got a few factoids wrong. According to Michelle Lau’s FB invite …

    Every Tuesday night 7:30, last week was our first tournament. Also Palms is gonna spread a HORSE CASH game at 5pm ($4/8) Come on down, lots of fun and very playable structure.