Posts Tagged ‘amateur-poker’

Amateur Poker T-Shirts

by , Nov 3, 2009 | 4:44 pm

Some more fun stuff from World Tavern Poker Open this weekend … their promotional swag shirts feature the catchy slogan “Great Parties. Great Poker. Great People.” But beyond that, we saw a few other gems on poker players around downtown, including:

You know what they say … first rule of poker is “never fold”.

Chip, chair, beer … Nice! And the whiner shirt, I gotta think, would work just as well in the high-stakes pro world.


Instant Replay in Poker?

Amateur championship tourney saved by railside cameras

by , Nov 2, 2009 | 5:49 pm

I just witnessed something pretty-dern interesting (new to me) … am at Binion’s for the World Tavern Poker Open 9, and saw for the first time instant replay used to help with a difficult floor situation.

WTP is one of the bigger amateur bar-leagues out there, and this is one of their two annual big kahuna championship tourneys. More than 10,000 bar-league players across the country competed for seats in this event, which started with a field of 188 … The top 8 all make the money … with prizes starting at $1,000 WSOP event entries, and $2,500 worth of WSOP dollars for the winner. They were down to 11 players when a dealer error almost seriously fugked things up.

Apparently it was a multi-way all-in, and at some point the dealer took a bunch of chips from one player to pay another … but he scooped in more than he was supposed to, and then mashed them all together. Floor got called over (Binion’s Monday afternoon TD, Alan, the guy in the Aikman jersey) and it was a bit of a nightmare sitch trying to recreate the hand to figure out who had exactly how many chips before and after the hand.

But tournament purity was salvaged when they could simply go to the cameras, and the floor guy could see exactly who had what and when:

They’re at the final table now … with eight plastic champagne glasses awaiting a toast for the money finishers once the bubble bursts … and because of cameras, all can know they did or didn’t get there fairly.

Poker Homicide Updates

by , Oct 28, 2009 | 9:50 am



James McDaniel gets sentenced today. McDaniel, of course, is the smooth-talking, purple-suit-wearing rogue Dallas underground-poker-room-operator/drug-dealer convicted in June for contributing to the overdose death of SMU coed Meaghan Bosch. Good money says he will go to prison for the rest of his life … as he was already on parole after serving 20 years for the murder of a former Dallas cop before he got into the underground poker scene. Jurors in the Bosch case were not told his past murder conviction, nor were they allowed to consider allegations from up to a dozen young women claiming they were drugged and raped inside his poker room, some of them apparently on video.

UPDATE: McDaniel did indeed get life. He is currently in custody at Seagoville’s federal prison, but will likely be sent to a less comfortable state prison to finish out his old murder sentence before being sent back to Seagoville for his time on Bosch’s death.

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Meanwhile, Swedish police are still looking for clues around Europe in the murder of PokerListings founder Andreas Oscarsson. They’ve concluded that indeed his killing was carefully planned by a professional hitman — with his family home fully staked out, exits noted, etc. … allowing the killer to break into the house and fire six silenced shots into Oscarsson and then leave without waking his six family members also asleep in the house that night. And while no motive has been disclosed, apparently investigators have unearthed at least a few death threats against him. and possibly have ruled out some Latvians.

Click here and here for Google translations of the latest from Hungarian news reports.

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And Daniel Dean will get a new trial in the death of fellow amateur poker player Mark Urch. The two players were involved in a drunken dispute over hands in an Australian amateur pub tourney, and when they took matters outside, Dean leveled Urch with a single punch to the head, a blow that caused his death a couple days later. Australian courts sentenced Dean to seven years for manslaughter (eligible for release in May 2011). However, an appeals court threw out the conviction last month and ordered a retrial, on the grounds that the judge may have misinformed the jury about provocation and self-defense matters of law.

There’s a Daniel Dean support group on Facebook.

Lodge Poker Revival Begins Today

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 9:50 am

Meet Sharron, the new tourney director at The Lodge.

There are lots of amateur poker leagues out there, and with all due respect, we don’t pay as much attention to them as we used to unless there’s allegations of grift and/or a plot to kill the guy running it with snakes. However, the Lodge Amateur Poker League has always been near and dear to Pokerati’s heart.

Back in the early boom days, All In magazine called it “The best amateur tournament in America!” Ahh, we were having some good after-church strip-club times every Sunday, with more and more players getting better each week … in pursuit of not just gift certificates and lap-dance coupons, but also, and believe it or not more important than seeing boobs for most, a seat in a $1,500 WSOP event (travel expenses included, of course).

But like so much in poker, after Dan left it eventually lost its way. The tournament carried on, but allegations of chip dumping and cheating (yes, in an amateur tourney) made it lose its luster. Then came the Texas sin tax that made this “free” tournament a $0+5 NLH — with that whole $5 going to the State — and field sizes continued to dwindle.

Courts have since ruled that tax unconstitutional, so the game is free again … and now the Lodge — named Best Strip Club in America at the 2008 Exotic Dancer Awards in Las Vegas, btw — has renewed its commitment to making its weekly amateur poker tournament not just the best in Texas, but tops anywhere. The new TD cracking the poker whip: Sharron Nix.



Texas AG to Rule on Legal Status of Charity Poker

by , Mar 3, 2009 | 8:00 am

There’s a big deal pending with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott right now, and though his opinion is technically not be legally binding, his decision will set a standard that impacts thousands and thousands of players in Texas … and will affect the state’s ability to raise millions of dollars for charity via poker.

The Kerr County Attorney has asked for an opinion on charity poker galas. He wants to know if hosting a pricey dinner that happens to include an optional poker tournament violates Texas gambling laws if the winners are awarded prizes. Likewise he wants to know if leasing a ballroom or banquet hall for such an event constitutes a “private place” defense.

Click here to read the specific and official pending opinion request.


Review: Club WPT on Fox Sports Net

by , Oct 11, 2008 | 10:25 am

ClubWPT is the newest show to come out of the World Poker Tour family and the first to premiere on Fox Sports Net, and, well, I expected better.

Let me start by saying that I’m a fan of the WPT and have been since I was employed in their accounting department. I always secretly pull for the WPT to do well. And in truth, despite my criticisms of the company and its decisions at times, I feel that they’ve weathered some storms and still managed to put together a quality product every time. That is why it pained me to watch ClubWPT when it premiered on Saturday.


Legal Amateur Online Poker

by , Aug 19, 2008 | 11:10 am

Maybe this isn’t new … but it’s the first time I’ve seen it:

Go Team Pokerati!

by , Jun 27, 2008 | 5:19 pm

Playing under our little satanic-spade banner … David Pflaster. Some of you may recall … he got his start playing at the Lodge and before you knew it was getting aces tattooed on his forearms, dealing in Dallas, and about a year ago moved to Las Vegas to make it as a low-stakes pro.

He actually seems to be doing it — says he’s just slightly better than breaking even in cash games while hitting some “big” scores in tourneys. More than $20k in the past few months in Caesar’s freerolls, another $10k win online … today he’s playing in the $2,000 NLH event … and with about half the field eliminated just before dinner break, he’s a pretty-big stack with about 18,000 chips (more than double the avg.). Seen here after just having taken out a player who moved all-in on his big blind in a hand where he woke up with pocket kings.

NOTE TO SELF: Satanic Spade … good name for a new death metal band!

UPDATE: According to Pflaster: “Dude, my Aces ran into Jacks.” His opponent was apparently a relative big-stack … so he’s now down to 3600, with blinds at 300/600 … and Pflaster in the big blind on the next hand after dinner break.

Yikes. But at the same time, on the previous break he and I talked about this exact situation, and how he’s learned his way out of it. We’ll see, no?

(Way) Outside the WSOP, Day 2 ($1,500 NL Day 1a + $10k PL Holdem day 2)

by , May 31, 2008 | 8:16 am

Some WSOP thoughts as you watch this guy work his opponent.

Today is day 1 for the hordes of amateurs ready to begin their World Series of Poker, as its day 1a of the $1,500 NL Holdem event. This weekend we’ll find out if the field will break the record for the largest field in a non-Main Event tournament (3,151 at event #49 last year).

According to BJ Nemeth over at Pokernews, as of 1:30a PT, over 3000 have registered. The fact that this will be the only event, besides the Main Event, to have multiple day 1’s also will help make this possible. It’s been mentioned that there will be no alternates this year, but with one room (Brasilia and its 650 seats) not available until mid-June, how many people will be shut out of a seat? From all reports, things did run much smoother than last year’s day 1 (save for the random clock malfunction); will the same hold true for those attempting to register at the last minute today?

What happened yesterday:

Home Game for the Holidays

by , Jan 1, 2008 | 12:03 am

Pettigrew Poker-not-dot-com, via cellphone-cam.

Before leaving Dallas, I traveled to West Fort Worth for the unveiling of a fancy new poker room — at the home of Good Chuck, one of the many good poker friends I’ve corrupted and left behind made in recent years. His family members had bought him a sparkling new handcrafted custom table, personalized casino chips, Kem cards … the whole luxury poker shebang … and to break it all in, the Pettigrew clan got together on the night before Christmas Eve for some tasty Texas barbecue and an inaugural $10+0 no-limit hold’em tourney. (Pokerati got exclusive coverage rights.)

It was a 14-player field comprised of serious amateurs and recreational kinfolk alike — with 4,000 starting chips, 15-minute levels, and a skill-friendly blind structure — enjoying good fun, intense competition, and some sibling rivalry to boot. For me, it was a chance to play with a cool new Kem color scheme and a salient reminder about the importance of the “little people” who make for good fleecing this game special.


Road Gambles

by , Dec 28, 2007 | 7:57 pm


Pokerati limo driver Bob Haney, headed to Vegas where he will join nearly a dozen other Rounder Club expats in pursuit of a better poker life.

STATE HWY 287 (Somewhere in the Texas Panhandle)–Call it a whim if you will, but Pokerati has decided to relocate … to Las Vegas. And we’re en route right now. Like literally — as I type we’re slowing down for the junction with Farm Road 2530 as we head in to Childress. As far as I know, there’s no law against blogging while driving, right?

OK, that’s kinda a joke … we’re not stupid, and Pokerati likes to roll in style, which is why we have a chauffeur handling some of the commute. Meet Bob (pictured). Bob was one of the first Lodge Amateur Poker players … who would go on to win the LAP Player of the Year, earning him a seat in last year’s WSOP Seniors event. He woulda cashed, too, had he not gotten it all-in pre-flop with AA against 55 … only to see a flop of 10-5-5. Ah, yes, the 21+ hour drive from Dallas to Las Vegas will clearly be much more enjoyable as we get to trade bad-beat stories all along the way!

Anyhow, Bob is headed to Vegas, he says, “to pursue my new love, which is cards.” And apparently he gives me some sort of credit blame for his addiction playing poker cupid. So after recently getting fired from his job as a security guard under legally nefarious circumstances (two-time whistleblower vs. an allegedly embezzly boss), he said “fuggit!” and decided to hitch a ride with Pokerati to the Nevada desert, where he plans to go to dealer school and start a new chapter in his life.

Hmm, sounds good to us.

The Sang Responsible for Absolute Destruction of the Poker Universe?

by , Oct 25, 2007 | 8:18 pm

This post is not for 99.997 percent of the readers out there.

But for the guys in the Batface home game … they might find it hardly surprising to know that on Sept. 12 — or right around that day — “sangy farha” started playing (for play money) on Full Tilt. That was the same day of the tournament on Absolute Poker that has since thrown the online poker world into a tizzy. The hand being played that sparked it all: Yep, you guessed it … 9-2 offsuit, aka The Sang, which we all know is kinda like the hammer, only a little bit more powerful.

Because of his connection to the scandal, Drinky Sang may or may not be making future appearances on Beyond the Table as our strategy and psychology correspondent. Click below to listen to Sang’s screen test, recorded on a drive home from The Lodge in a pouring rainstorm.


You’ll hear him talk a little final table strategy, discount his monster play-money bankroll online, threaten to kill people, lose his online chat priveliges, question the presence of Tom Schneider’s genitalia, threaten to kill the guys at Ante Up, and fall in love with a wet puppy.

So be sure to tune in to current and future episodes.

Illinois Shuts Down Free Poker

by , Oct 10, 2007 | 6:15 am

In a sign of how hard it is to convince non-poker people how different types of poker work … the Illinois liquor police are shutting down the amateur bar tournaments that so many of us (nationwide) know and love:

Rather than trying to sort out those playing poker for fun from those playing poker for money, they say it makes more sense to simply prohibit poker tournaments in liquor establishments.

“Usually when you’re playing poker, you’re gambling,” says Ted Penesis, a spokesman for the liquor commission.

Yeow, nice enforcement standards. Apparently there’s no need to send in an undercover agent when you’re not gonna find what you’re looking for.

Legally Challengeable Poker

by , Sep 10, 2007 | 9:52 am

After much legal sparring and delay, a curious, first-of-its-kind poker room just opened up in Little Rock that publicly challenges the laws — or at least the standing interpretation of them — by running free tournaments that award money prizes. OK, sounds like any legal amateur tourney we’ve got going here … but there’s a catch.

The difference: if you so choose, you can pay $100 a month to be tracked and ranked. Cool! Hmm, is that a legitimate premium service or a cover for a buy-in? Hard to say … I suspect it will be up to the courts to decide. I’m not familiar with the details and nuance of Arkansas gambling laws … but listening to the Little Rock city attorney, I’m not so sure he’s making a strong case, which is probably why the dudes behind Arkansas’ “first ever dedicated poker lounge” came over the top.