Posts Tagged ‘Gabe-Kaplan’

Heads-Up Championship: Cards in the Air

by , Feb 29, 2008 | 5:39 pm

Actually, they’ve been in the air all day … but the hotly contested clubs bracket is now playing, and Pokerati managed to squeeze its way in to the last seat on a very tight but pleasantly elevated press row. So we’re gonna kick it old-school semilive-blog-style, at least for a little while:

5:28 — Mike Matusow is playing Joe Hachem, but talking trash to Gabe Kaplan, a table away … calling him a “washed-up old actor.”

5:30 — My view of Tom Schneider vs. Gavin Smith is blocked by the decorative Doric column cameras. Apparently the set designers aren’t aware that Caesar’s Palace harkens back to more of an Ionic era.

5:33 — Phil Hellmuth is all-in against arguably the weakest opponent in the field … he’s got aces, and the his opponent, Tom Dwan, aka online wunderkind “Durrr” has 10s.

5:36 — Ooh! Hellmuth on the turn! Hellmuth picks up a flush draw that doesn’t get there. Poker is fun!

5:39 — Hellmuth is talking about his brilliant show of weakness to get Durrr to push as they count up his chips … yep, they were even stacked and the greatest heads-up hold’em player in the world is out.

5:41 — They were on the feature table, which now is empty. The way the room is set up, there are four tables with whole cams, and four tables without. The players that will have to move on to get better TV coverage:

Tom Schneider / Gavin Smith
Hooman Nikzad / Greg Raymer
Erik Seidel / Johnathan Little
Kenny Tran / Scott Clements

5:50 — Tom and Gavin are still about even. Antonius has taken a lead on Kaplan. Matusow is all-in against Hachem, with both players on a draw. Phill Hellmuth would like people to know he is supposed to be hanging out with “Andretti” tomorrow. (It’s a Nascar weekend here in Vegas.)

5:53 — Mike is doing his best impression of that Full Tilt commercial where he’s bluffing … and just got sucked out on and crippled by Hachem. Mike is waving an Australian flag.

5:54 — Jamie Gold’s mom, btw, is playing 1/3 in the cash room. I can’t see her chip stacks however. She looks to neither be killing the game nor getting killed.

+EV: Ungrateful Bastard

by , Oct 4, 2007 | 5:28 am

Comedy Poker Central

by , Sep 11, 2007 | 2:36 pm

I’ve always thought the Unknown Comic would do great at a poker table.

Hilarious Pair Appearing in Concert October 12

COACHELLA, Calif., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Fall down laughing this October when TV comedy idols Gabe Kaplan and Murray “The Unknown Comic” Langston turn the Spotlight Showroom on its ear! Appearing as part of AllStar Poker Weekend, Kaplan and Langston are performing their hilarious actson Friday, October 12. The concert is part of Spotlight 29 Casino’s All-Star Poker Weekend,where Kaplan and Langston will be playing alongside UFC Champion KenShamrock, Football Hall of Fame inductee Deacon Jones, sports legend Bo Jackson, and lightweight boxing champ Jorge Paez, Jr. in the All-Star PokerChallenge on October 13 and 14.



by , Jun 28, 2007 | 1:23 pm

LAS VEGAS–Here’s what’s going on today at the WSOP, and some of what’s recently gone down leading up to it all:

A Canadian Polack named LUKASZ DUMANSKI won the $1,500 Omaha Hi Lo event. Go non-American players!

The $50,000 HORSE final table has been set.

Interesting field and chip situations …
Amnon Filippi 4,015,000
Freddy Deeb 3,500,000
Kenny Tran 2,445,000
John Hanson 1,995,000
David Singer 1,330,000
Bruno Fitoussi 895,000
Barry Greenstein 750,000
Thor Hansen 40,000

(Pokerati fave GABE KAPLAN went out on the final table bubble, in 9th place.)

Click here to follow the coverage of today’s action, where they will continue to mix games and not play a final table of just no-limit hold’em. Any odds on what will be the final game?

You’ll notice that TOM SCHNEIDER is not there. He went out early in Day 2. He was in the Big-little-big one for $34,000. The rest went to a smattering of backers, to whom 9 percent was available for $5,000. Can Tom build on his early WSOP success and make that third final table without dropping below the six-figure mark? After paying taxes, BACKERS, and living expenses associated with moving to Las Vegas for two months, mixed with tournament buy-ins, cash-game losses, and fancy scotches for Dan … the money can go fast during the WSOP.

But busting out early did allow him to play the $2,000 Omaha Hi Lo, which, after a night of drowning his sorrows followed the next day by a cash-game all-nighter, he played with “no sleep”:

Tom went out toward the end of Day 1.

Lori from Carrollton was dealing — with new hair no less:

She seems to be having a pretty good time — seen here sweating Pokerati fantasy poker favorite STEVE WONG, as he plays $50-a-point Chinese:

Day 2 of Omaha Hi Lo gets underway at 2 pm pacific, 4 pm central.

Day 1 was a pretty relaxed, jovial affair … presumably because it was a relatively low buy-in for the big-time pros who had busted out of the $50k HORSE event. Very fun and chatty. On a break PHIL HELLMUTH and ROBERT WILLIAMSON III had a semi-private discussion about sponsorship deals and the logistics of autographing products en masse. (The easiest are things you can sign with one hand, and slide to the side with the other.)

Robert is selling pieces of himself in by-the-inch embroidered increments. I should probably get a better picture of his jacket …

Here are the patches Hellmuth will be wearing in the main event — 13 of them so far:

Many of these are companies selling Phil’s products, but still, let’s face it, the NASCARIZATION of poker is here. Now if only the non-online-poker companies will buy in.

At the 2007 WSOP, patches are the new body paint.

The other final table today is in the $2,000 Limit Hold’em event — no known pros in this one.

Getting underway at noon is the $5,000 World Championship of 6-handed No-Limit Hold’em.

And the 5 pm (Vegas time) tourney is $1,000 7-stud Hi Lo (aka Stud 8 aka Stud 8 OB aka Stud 8 or better).

JEFFREY POLLACK has a new post up on his “blog” (yo, dudes, they’re called “posts,” OK? Get with the program … a single memo ain’t no blog, but a collection of such theoretically could be)— where he informs the poker world (at 10:30 pm last night) that there will be a “players town hall” at 10:30 am today. I’m a bigger fan than most of the poker’s most corporate representative, but either he doesn’t realize that poker hours dictate that the vast majority of players won’t see this, which is pretty bad … or he does, which is worse. But still, we kinda like The Jeffster’s relative openness in his “blogs” .:

[STEVE ZOLOTOW] was so honest with me that he started our conversation by asking for my boss’s phone number so he could call to recommend that I – and every other key WSOP executive – be fired.

Pollack, of course, ain’t going nowhere — at least not for a while — but can you imagine if the “blogs” on had comments?

UPDATE: Amy informs me that the players town hall was actually held yesterday … 11-and-a-half hours before Pollack’s post went up. Nice … Here ye, hear ye!

Don’t forget to follow my following the cash game action at the Rio. It’s a little awkward poking around these games with a notepad and camera, because a lot of people make their livings at these tables and don’t really want people to know that they are good.

One such player I am following is “TEDDY,” who has become a fixture at the $100/$200 Limit Hold’em table. He’s a trip. We’ll leave it at that for now.

I’ve had a decent run at the cash games myself — except for the two times I lost, which negate a big fat win, seen here:

My second-favorite hand was dealt by Linda the Dallas dealer … who flopped me a straight and said, “I knew you had Q-J when you said, ‘This is probably a pretty bad call,'” as she shipped me a $300 pot.

Favorite hand of the night would come a little later upon busting out the dude in the background for another $600.

By the way, if you like the photos, you can see more of what Pokerati sees by checking out our FLICKR gallery.

In other news, ERICK LINDGREN beat PHIL IVEY in a $340,000 golf course prop bet. RAM VASWANI chits presumably in the mail.

Kaplan vs. Benza

by , Mar 29, 2007 | 5:04 am

kaplan.jpgbenza.jpgDid anyone else catch High Stakes Poker 3 on Monday? It’s a great episode this week … with Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, et al. We see David Williams needled for his bling, and he retorts by skillfully wielding “the Sang” (9-2 … kinda like the Hammer, only a wee-bit stronger). And then Yukon Brad Booth shows up and buys in with a cool $1 million in cash, suddenly posing a new threat to Brian Townsend’s fortress of bills. Awesome, great poker.

But the real battle in this episode (which repeats tonight) seems to be taking place off the table — between the two announcers, Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza. If this is new shtick … well then good job, because it’s pretty entertaining. But even better, you get the sense they truly don’t like each other and are in the midst of a career catfight … especially when Kaplan calls out Benza for having his agent complain about Gabe to GSN.

Benza, is actually a pretty interesting sparring partner for Kaplan. For one, he’s a former blogger for the not-so-poker blog Oddjack. Before that, his broadcasting claims to fame included a studio brawl with Stuttering John (from Howard Stern) that eventually came to blows in the hallway.

Click below to see what Pokeratizens had to say about these two just last month:


Jew Poker

by , Mar 22, 2007 | 5:25 am

I’ve got a fun little speaking gig this weekend — visiting the Beth Torah men’s club to talk poker.

Last year’s appearance
went well — in fact, click here if you’ve got 90 minutes to kill listening to some questionable audio — but while regaling the breakfast crowd with poker-boom lore, home-game theory, and tales from the WSOP, I did stumble on one question … “Are there any Jewish poker pros?”

“Absolutely,” I said. “A lot of them. Like, um … uh … um … oh! Barry Greenstein! He’s Jewish, right? Wait, is it GreenSTEEN or GreenSTINE? I never remember.”



From the Dept. of: Be there or be square

by , Feb 14, 2007 | 11:03 pm

Prediction: Gabe Kaplan will not win the PI-07. My favoritest poker commentator in the world has declined his invitation to the upcoming Pokerati Invitational, and yet for some reason my life feels suddenly complete:

Gabe called me yesterday about this tourney. He is a “no”. He was asking me if I knew who Dan Michalski is. I said “sure, and you do too. You met him at the Lodge”. Then he remembered that you were “the guy with the blog”.

Hey, no problemo, Gabe-o. If you change your mind, we can always make Spaceman give up his seat.

More season premiere of HSP3

by , Jan 18, 2007 | 6:21 am

I missed the first segment of the premiere of High Stakes Poker: the third season. But lo and behold, the guys over at Wicked Chops have just that much! Can we say perfect?

Check it out yourself:

You’ll see Jamie Gold betting into Doyle Brunson’s nuts on the very first hand. The game starts out tough. And Gabe Kaplan, he refers to the Matusow shirt I dug as something from a “gay beer garden.” And at the end of the above video, he even talks about the fashion trend sure to be started by Jamie Gold’s square of tape. (Dude, Gabey, we are so in sync! We should be together. Love, Stan.)

Question: do you think GSN sees the airing of their episodes on YouTube as good (free advertising/promotion) or bad (copyright infringement)? Mark Cuban, of course, wants to know.

Semi-live-Blogging the first episode of High Stakes Poker 3

by , Jan 16, 2007 | 4:28 pm

hsp3So wow, I almost forgot! Today [ed note: last night] is the premiere of “High Stakes Poker: the Third Season” on GSN. I can’t believe Sang’s missing this! (He’s on an unexpected date with a stripper right now.) This show is clearly the best poker on TV right now — and there’s been a tantalizing little buzz about what’s in store for this go-round. Real people we want to get to know. Real poker we want to play.

At tonight’s table (clockwise): Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, Jamie Gold, Daniel Alaei, Sean Sheikhan, Victor Ramdin, William Chen.

8:11 pm — Hmm, my guess is that everybody is gunning for Jamie Gold, and America can’t wait to see him get torn to bits … both poker-wise and personality-wise. Yep, that’s what this episode has got to be about. He knows it, and most of us know he knows it … and presumably he knows we know he knows it.

8:13 pm — Hmm, I think I like Matusow’s Guayabera … white, with flowery-red vertical lines. Gotta get me one of those.

8:14 pm — Ooh, Bill Chen … awesome. Yep, he looks the most out of place at this table. Remember that super-smart, super-dorky Asian math whiz who tried to tell particle physics jokes in high school? Like that guy … right down to the glasses and clump of hair at the back of his head that defies the square root of gravity times pi.

8:15 pm — I bet Chen knows pi to way more digits than Doyle Brunson.

8:15 pm — The way they have the logo, with “the third season” written in a smaller font below, suggests that High Stakes Poker is going for a “Six Feet Under” vibe.

8:19 pm — Jamie Gold is wearing a black hat with a logo covered up by a square of black tape. Looks kinda cool! You know, that should be a knew hipster fashion thing … hats with an “insignia” consisting of a patch of tape (or fabric) the same color as the hat itself. What a statement! Commentary on corporate legal interests in the age of TV-celebrity narcissism and untested internet laws. It could be like the new Malcolm X hat. Genius.


More Dallas / Hollywood Poker in the Money

by , Aug 9, 2006 | 1:29 am

LAS VEGAS–They’re down to 30 in the $1,500 NLH event, and Dallas pro Lloyd Shinn is still alive. Faced with a relatively tiny stack (less than 4,000 chips) at the bubble, “You hit a point where there’s a fork in the road, and I had to make a decision which way to go,” he said. “Either I was going to have to go for the win, or just try to make it in the money.” He decided to just blind his way into the money … folding hands like AQ, AKs in the cut-off … “I’ve folded Aces [pre-flop] five times in a tournament before. Doing it here would be an easy one.”

The fact that he won his way in on a $150 satellite factored into his decision. His strategy seemed to work, as he’s sitting with about 12,000 chips now and nearing the 5-figure payouts.

Shannon Elizabeth / Fadal also cashed in this event. With three money finishes in the 2006 WSOP, I think that unofficially puts her among the Hollywood Poker A-List:

Gabe Kaplan
Ben Affleck
Tobey Maguire
Jennifer Tilly
Shannon Elizabith

Serious Wannabees
James Woods
Norm MacDonald
Louie Anderson
Penn Jillete

UPDATE: Shinn survived to Day 2. There are 23 players left, and he’s got about 20,000 — average stack is 50-60k. “Once I got into the money, I started getting some cards,” he says.

Video Poker

by , Jul 23, 2006 | 12:15 pm

LAS VEGAS–It’s time for a new poll here at Pokerati, but before we bid one farewell, because I still haven’t set up the page where you can view previous results on any one poll, I am posting some here. The latest poll — about favorite TV poker shows — was one of the most unscientifically telling:

Pokerati Polling
The Best Poker Show on TV Is:

* The WSOP (ESPN): 18% (13)
* World Poker Tour (Travel Channel): 9% (7)

* Learn from the Pros (FSN): 0% (0)
* Poker Dome Challenge(FSN): 0% (0)
* High Stakes Poker (GSN): 68% (50)
* Poker SuperStars (FSN): 0% (0)
* Celebrity Poker Showdown (Bravo): 0% (0)
* Poker Royale (GSN): 0% (0)
* Inside Poker (FSN): 0% (0)
* Heads-up Poker (NBC): 0% (0)
* World Series of Darts (ESPN)1: 1% (1)
* Professional Poker Tour (Travel Channel): 1% (1)
* Poker Like You Love Her (Spice 2)1: 3% (2)

Total Votes : 74
1 = Added by a guest

The interesting thing is that this show is one of the most cheaply produced. And yet it has all the raw emotions of a home game … and Gabe Kaplan. I’m sure they have little desire to mess with something so successful, but swap out Wil Wheaton for AJ Benza as Gabe Kaplan’s straight man, and you’ve got a super-winner — and a new standard for what poker viewers expect from their coverage.