Posts Tagged ‘Dallas-poker-on-tour’

WSOP-Circuit National Championship: Road to the TV Final Table …

by , May 29, 2011 | 12:46 pm

la sengphet wsop circuit championship final table

All patched up and places to go ... Sengphet prepped for her shot at a hard-earned championship bracelet.

Someone will win the first bracelet of the 2011 WSOP today, before registration opens for event #1. We listed about 13 percent of the field as people who might be worth watching, just because, and three of them made it to the final table and ITM of the WSOP-freeroll championship … which I’m not sure whether or not qualifies for POY points but obviously should. You’ll have to just believe us that the guy who woulda been my 14th pick on that list was Huy Nguyen, who ended Day 2 yesterday by banking $27,500 for 10th place.

So cards just got in the air for the first televised event of the 2011 WSOP, and of the 10s of thousands of players who had a chance to be here, three of them are from Dallas (though one has since moved to Las Vegas), and one has been part of Team Pokerati since she got a lotta chips in the 2010 WSOP ladies event.


Go La Sengphet! Also go Josh Evans! And though for a while I wasn’t sure if I had first seen him at Jackie’s in Dallas or maybe was just confusing him with a guy seen once at the Venetian, go Charles “Woody” Moore! All three of these players and the others are anything but luckboxes in a sit-n-go … they are real grinders and rounders with skill … and a win here, my contention, is a ticket to the real big leagues … as the winner of today’s event will be known all around as a real real player, and will have the bankroll — $300k for first — to prove it for as long as they can hold as a true and successful pro.


La Sengphet Takes Down another Circuit Ring

Pokerati’s favorite Laotian racking up championship points!

by , Apr 13, 2011 | 7:09 am

la sengphet wsop circuit ring st. louis

Is it too early to call her the Dwyte Pilgrim of 2011?

We were just telling you how well La Sengphet was playing … when boyfriend David Clark gave me a buzz to let me know, yo dude, don’t hate on the short bus! But lest he start thinking he could keep up with his better half … yesterday she took down her second WSOP-circuit ring of the season — winning the last event of WSOP-St. Louis, a $345 NLH.

Not sure on the number of players or payout yet … we’ll of course let you know. And pretty sure that’s another 50 circuit championship points, too, which would put her 4th in the pool of 34 potential non-automatic qualifiers. And depending on the other deep runners in her event and the main … it looks like she may well have won the crown for Harrah’s St. Louis “casino champion” … which would guarantee her a seat in the WSOP’s million-dollar circuit freeroll in late May.

Meanwhile, they are celebrating La’s victory all across Laos … though we did just learn they aren’t doing this all for La … it also happens to be Laotian New Year all week.

Run for a Million

La keeps cashing on WSOP circuit, has really cool new Team Pokerati hat

by , Apr 11, 2011 | 5:57 am

CORRECTION: Turns out we overlooked two cashes for David in St. Louis and one in Florida. Pokerati regrets the error(s) … and, of course, basing the entire premise of a post around them. still working to rectify their contribution to the misinformation.

la sengphet poker wsop st. louis circuit

La Sengphet, seen here signing off on her latest final table chipstack, is becoming a familiar face deep in WSOP circuit events.

david clark poker wsop circuit

DC, not so much …

When resident Team Pokerati lovebirds La Sengphet and David Clark started off their 2011s with matching WSOP circuit rings, we thought we might see another Sosa/McGwire sitch … a back-and-forth poker slugfest propelling the Dallas couple to seats in the new WSOP Circuit National Championship million-dollar freeroll that’ll kick off the 2011 WSOP in late May. It seems we were at least half-right.

Most recently, La made a final table in a $345 Omaha Hi Lo event in St. Louis and followed that with a 13th place finish in a $345 NLH — enough for her to surpass her boyfriend’s total winnings for the year. But perhaps more important — and a more exciting reason for me to be paying attention to relatively minor events at Harrah’s Mid-America — she played her way to 30 more WSOP circuit points!

Of those who don’t automatically qualify, there’ll be some 34 seats won … and La is currently tied for 16th. Click here to understand how WSOP circuit points work. (I just learned myself.) And click here to see the current national leaderboard.

At this point, with just three more circuit stops left — Caesars Palace, Chester, PA, and a regional championship in New Orleans — there’s an extra level of intensity to these otherwise smaller events. Not sure if the national championship, which should prove to be one of the more skill-packed tourney fields of the year, is helping create a new generation of rounder pros, or just answering their call. But either way, with so much on the line for these minor leaguers hoping to build a career … how awesome is La’s hat?

See below, the 2011 family scorecard for Pokerati’s favorite poker couple currently on tour:


Dallas Pokeratizens Tearing Up Early Choctaw Events

WSOP-circuit ring for David Clark proves he’s not just La’s railbird

by , Jan 12, 2011 | 7:30 pm

Rising poker couple: DC n La ring in the new year with a WSOP bang to confirm their his-and-her badass status.

Move over Tom and Julie Schneider … you two were like so ’07-’09. The new, reigning king-and-queen power couple of Team Pokerati are DC n La. Sure, DC wasn’t wearing a Pokerati patch when he took down the first ring event of the inaugural WSOP-Choctaw … but hey, that’s never stopped us before from taking claim to a player with lots of chips after putting up a big win. (And of the 8 patches we have left, only three of those still have glue!)

Two days after David Clark‘s win in Durant, Oklahoma (the closest thing to the Dallas market the WSOP could find), his girlfriend, La Sengphet, got 2nd place in the $235 Ladies Event for a $5k payday. La, of course, was Team Pokerati’s 2010 WSOP MVP — making the final table of the ladies event (7th place, $22k) to add to her previous big scores in an ’09 Venetian Deep Stack (2nd, $31k) and Caesars Mega Stack (1st, $12k). (She’s Asian, too, btw.)

Check it out here, for how DC took down the $345 NLH event, with 935 players, for a first-place payout of $50,921 and proof to his girlfriend that he has indeed been paying attention during pillow talk.

Also at the final table in Oklahoma with DC was friend o’ Pokerati Josh Evans, who finished 6th for $10k. You may remember Josh for tearing up a second-chance tourney at the ’07 WSOP before making a deep run in the main event where he made his video debut in this fine poker film, which has since become an “underground” cult classic:

Wish I coulda been there. Great to see players I grew up with (poker-wise) in the Dallas boomtime poker rooms represent! Also it’s kinda a reminder why these sorts of “small” events matter to skillful grinders, even without online sponsorship in play. (After all, where else can you expect to find the next Dwyte Pilgrim?) Also cool to see Choctaw, with its brand spankin’ new casino-resort built by Dallas poker money, able to ship some cash back to Texas.

Click below to see more of DC n La in recent Pokerati-branded action:


Benyamine leads WPT Championship final table

Hellmuth finishes 7th

by , Apr 24, 2010 | 10:25 am

The longest day of the $25,000 WPT World Championship at the Bellagio took place on Friday, as the remaining 10 players took their sweet time getting down to the televised final table of six. When play finally ended, it was Full Tilt Pro David Benyamine who was the chip leader by just 5,000 chips over David Williams, who eliminated an extremely short stacked Phil Hellmuth in 7th place. Video of that final hand appears below, thanks to a company called All360Poker, which has been filming select tables during the WPT World Championship, including yesterday’s table. It’s a 360-degree camera that shows the entire table, and allows the viewer to click within the image to select a different POV of the action around the table.

[ED NOTE: Video removed because of autoplay]

Here’s how the final six players will be situated when play resumes around 4:30pm PT:

Seat 1. John O’Shea – 1,200,000
Seat 2. Billy Baxter – 2,440,000
Seat 3. Eric Baldwin – 4,490,000
Seat 4. David Williams – 4,700,000
Seat 5. David Benyamine – 4,705,000
Seat 6. Shawn Buchanan – 1,965,000

Follow the live updates with BJ Nemeth, Jess Welman and the rest of the WPT Live Updates crew here.

Venetian Deep Stacks Booming, Too

Record DSE field today

by , May 29, 2009 | 8:12 pm

Don’t forget that the WSOP isn’t the only big poker action going on in town right now. The Venetian has its own not-so-mini series of poker four times a year, the third of which kicked off today.

Event #1 ($300+30 NLH) of the 2009 Deep Stack Extravaganza III had a record 700 entrants — compared to 337 for the same event last year.

Total prize pool: $202,650. 1st Place: $56,743. Paying 63 spots.

(Not sure where the $1,650 overlay comes from.)

We actually had a Team Pokerati player in the field — Cliff Fisher, aka @brdpoker — but he made it only halfway through the field (and halfway through the first level in the second-chance tourney). Cliff plays in the WSOP $1,000 Stimulus tourney on Sunday, btw.

We’ll also see if we can’t find out how the other Little Big Tourneys are doing — specifically the Grand Series of Poker at the Golden Nugget, and the Caesar’s Megastacks.

RE: All Hopes Hinge …

Go Dallas (Online) Poker!

by , Jul 14, 2008 | 1:45 am

Oh shit, while contemplating the significance of Tiffany Michelle in a Matusow-less field, I almost completely overlooked Craig Marquis — an online player from Arlington (craigmarq) who Raj Kattamuri introduced to me just the other day. And lo and behold, he’s frickin’ second in chips! 11.5 million! Go craigmarq!

He says he doesn’t really play in Dallas underground games — just sticks to online — but he’s exactly the kinda player who I thought would do well this main event … a relative unknown who ain’t dancin’ at his first WSOP rodeo.

Big pre-emptive congrats, dude, and damn all you longtime Pokerati readers for not giving me the heads-up that a Dallas guy was still alive!!! thanks for giving us another person to cheer on as we work our way towards the November Nine.


by , Jul 10, 2008 | 1:13 pm

Phil Gordon is still alive and well in the main event — and because he clearly doesn’t have his podcast priorities straight, I got to sit in for him on ESPN’s The Poker Edge. This was new poker podcast territory for me, as co-host Andrew Feldman made me talk about actual poker players and chips — as if we were tracking some sort of athletic competition or something. But in doing so, we actually get down to the brass tax of it all, and break down what this field size, blind structure, and remaining-player make-up means for various stack sizes going into Day 3.

Click here to have a download/listen.


Oh, by the way, ESPN also honors Raj Kattamuri as the 2008 WSOP Main Event-Day 2B Player of the Day. Go Dallas poker!

RE: Pokerati Patches up another

by , Jul 9, 2008 | 10:38 pm

Oops. Chud is out.

Pokerati Patches up another Main Event Force

by , | 10:08 pm

chud We lost Randack, TBR, and Goldfarb early today, but with three fewer players to follow, we were able to find another one roaming the hallways at dinner break and get him aboard Team Pokerati.

Andrew Chud is, um, a rrreally good player? He’s from Texas, I know that much — in like the telecom industry, I think — and having cut his teeth in the Dallas and Oklahoma minor leagues, he shows up for his first Big One and finds himself nearing the end of Day 2b with a comfortable 77k in chips.

Besides all that, his name is CHUD! We’re proud to have him aboard, of course, and are counting on him to maintain his average chipstack and go deep.

Chud, Chud, Chud, Chud!

Re: Go Team Pokerati!

by , Jun 27, 2008 | 9:05 pm

UPDATE: No-stakes Dallas Amateur-turned-Vegas small-stakes pro David Pflaster is hanging in there. Has built his stack back up to about 6,000.

“I did stop-and-go,” he said, “the best play in poker … He raised it up and i couldn’t go all-in because I only had like 1,500 more, so I just flat called and bet all-in on the flop.”

“Ah, because in that situation it doesn’t matter what you have or if it hits you — you’re just banking on it not hitting him.”

“Yeah, but it did hit me,” and he folded.

Hmm, so in that case a check wouldn’t have been better? Maybe not. Still, good stuff, DP … back in survivable action … with 520 of 2,317 remaining. Money kicks in at 198.

UPDATE: Pflaster is out.
He built his stack up to 8,500 by making moves. First go was all-in with J-3 … tight table, his short stack still big enough to hurt any and all of them … everybody folds.

Next hand: AK … can’t just raise a little bit, so he moves all-in again … no one calls.

Next hand: [cards]9c Tc[/cards]. Same move again … by this point players are getting suspicious, but he still has too many chips for any of them to call … except for the dude with pocket queens. Flopped a 9, but never improved. Totally crippled, moves all-in in the dark in the next hand, late-position min-raises … they’re heads-up, but Pflaster’s Q7s fails to outflop-turn-river the raisers K-J.


Go Team Pokerati!

by , | 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?

What It Takes to Be a Mid-Stakes Pro

by , May 6, 2008 | 10:43 pm

Joel the MySpace Friend / Account Exec in Dallas writes in inquiring about a possible career change:

—————– Original Message —————–
From: “Joel”
Date: May 5, 2008 2:02 PM

How are things? How is Vegas? I might be moving out there at the end of the Summer to play poker professionally. Cash games and tourneys. Any advice, suggestions or best games you are finding out there? Any tips would help. Thanks!


WSOP Circuit Caesar’s Trip Report

by , May 2, 2008 | 10:29 am

As I surveyed the room, it was about what I expected/hoped for. Mostly pros and several table with 5-6 well known players per. Sure, it would be tough as could be, but what a great experience nonetheless. At first glance, Ted Lawson was the only player I recognized at my table, sitting to me immediate right in the 2 seat and fresh off a win in one of the prelims. Then I saw that Mark Newhouse was in seat 6. Okay no biggie. Come to find later that Theo Tran was in the 1, John Racener the 7 and Michael Esposito in 5. There was also a very aggressive Asian kid in 10 who appeared to be a pretty good player at first blush.


Comfort Food

by , Feb 23, 2008 | 12:00 pm


North Texas fireworks kingpin Ran Nelson brought his tight-aggressive Dallas game recently to the Mandalay Bay.

Though I haven’t been writing much about anything it, I have been hitting the tables here in Vegas. Have sampled a handful of rooms and action … spreading the lore of the Hammer and the Sang all along the way, of course, as I seek to replace the competitive camaraderie of the Batface home game perhaps with something akin to Jackie’s back in the (Dallas underground hey)day.

That came easier than usual this week, when TBR-bro-in-law Patrick came to town. He was staying at the Luxor, so we met up at Cathouse for a drink. (Cathouse is basically like the Lodge without the nipples, and Celeb-chef Kerry Simon in place of Jose Luis.) A couple Lagavulins later, we walked over to Mandalay Bay, where we took two seats together at a $2/$4 no-limit table. This was bigger stakes than either of us had been playing, but hey, we were feelin’ half-drinky good, and it seemed a better option than waiting, as the room was totally full and festive on a Thursday night. A familiar face was seated with us – Ran Nelson, a very good Dallas player whom I hadn’t seen since the days of Jackie’s – what a delight. He had a new cardmarker, a square block of acrylic with his little Stuey guy inside of it, surrounded by chips from the various important poker rooms to Ran, including WinStar in Oklahoma and the old Sixth Street in Dallas.

I was playing great – more-than-doubled up in about an hour by trapping a well-stacked opponent in classic Dan-style … but then was back to square 1 a few hands later when I got unlucky on the turn … and back to square 0 when I don’t remember what I did but I am pretty sure it was stupid, starting with playing the likes of [cards]qs 4s[/cards].

Mandalay Bay
$2/$4 NLH
Buy-in: $300
Cash out: $0
Food: starved
Drinks: $28
Net: -$328