Posts Tagged ‘mike-caro’

Tobacco Station

by , Aug 26, 2012 | 7:14 pm

Dragging Pots: The 4/8 limit Omaha at Boulder Station is a throwback to days when smoke-filled poker rooms were standard.

Open the locomotive-handled doors, weave through the slot machines between the bingo hall and Burger King, and step into the past.

The poker room at Boulder Station, an off-strip casino opened in 1994, is one of only two poker rooms in Las Vegas that allow smoking at the tables. (The 3-table Arizona Charlie’s on Decatur being the other.) With 11-tables and a reputation for action, the Boulder room remains popular among a certain, darker-lunged crowd.

And it’s one of the few places — smoking or non — that offers consistent small stakes limit Omaha.

But what are places like this still doing around?

“It’s just tradition,” Steve Deuel, the poker room manager, told me. “It’s been that way for 18 years.”

Only about 5 miles from the Strip but seemingly in another era, the train-station-themed casino sits between a Motel 6 and an apartment complex facing the I-515. It’s on the east side of town and the  north end of a row of a widely spaced casinos along the diagonal Boulder Highway.

“Play the 4/8 Omaha high over there,” Andrew Neeme said in a text message. “I’ve never seen bigger pots, physically, than in that game.”

Giddyup.

I wondered what kind of splashy tourist might find this place, and I’m still wondering. As a local who rarely grinds off-strip casinos, I felt a little out of place in what is something like the Cheers of poker rooms. Couldn’t spot an out-of-towner in the place, let alone someone under 30.

By 5pm, they were starting a  third 4/8 Omaha table, and I hopped in the 6 seat. The action picked up quickly, especially for a Monday. Along with Omaha, there were 4/8 and 2/4 limit hold’em games and a quickly growing interest list for 1/2 no-limit.

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(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 34

by , Jun 29, 2009 | 8:03 am

Recapping Sunday night’s action:

Bracelet Winners go 1-2-4 in Limit Shootout

Greg Mueller becomes the fourth double bracelet winner at this year’s WSOP, taking down the $1,500 Limit Holdem Shootout, good for $194,854 as he denied Marc Naalden his second bracelet this year. The only year where more players have won more at least two bracelets was 2003 (Ivey, Juanda, Men Nguyen, Ferguson, Chan and Flack) . Millie Shiu finished in 3rd, tied for the highest placing woman in an open WSOP event this year(Ming Reslock in the $1,500 Omaha-8 and Laurence Grondin in the $2,000 NL Holdem). David Williams finished in thirdfourth..

Lunkin Looking to Make it Five in $50k HORSE

Vitaly Lunkin, winner of the first open bracelet ($40,000 NL Holdem) leads the remaining 19 players in the $50,000 HORSE event going into day 4. Three players will make zero on their investment, as they play down to the final table today starting around 2pm. Here’s how the remaining players will be seated:

(Table 58)
Seat 1: Erik Sagstrom – 1315000
Seat 2: Erik Seidel – 464000
Seat 3: Steve Billirakis – 576000
Seat 5: David Chiu – 397000
Seat 6: Mike Wattel – 779000
Seat 7: Chau Giang – 616000

(Table 60)
Seat 1: Huck Seed – 672000
Seat 2: Ray Dehkharghani – 262000
Seat 4: Brett Richey – 671000
Seat 6: Todd Brunson – 145000
Seat 7: Vitaly Lunkin – 1527000
Seat 8: Frank Kassela – 499000

(Table 62)
Seat 1: Tony G – 642000
Seat 2: David Bach – 1265000
Seat 3: John Hanson – 815000
Seat 5: Ville Wahlbeck – 842000
Seat 6: John Kabbaj – 678000
Seat 7: Freddy Deeb – 1300000
Seat 8: Gus Hansen – 801000

Durand Looking for Durability in $1,500 NL Holdem

Day 3 of the $1,500 NL Holdem starts with 30 players remaining, with Thibaut Durand (1,650,000) holding the chip lead when play resumes around 1pm PT. Owen Crowe (1,025,000), Josh Schlein (875,000), and Alex Jacob (274,000) are the most recognizable names remaining. When the final table is eventually reached, bluffmagazine.com and wsop.pkr.com will stream all the action.

Australians go 1-2 in Triple Chance

Day 1 of the $3,000 Triple Chance NL Holdem ended with 149 players remaining and it’s two Australians who hold the top spots when play resumes around 2pm today. Tim Horan is the chip leader (149,000), followed by Harris Pavlou (137,300). Notables returning on day 2 include Jeff Lisandro, Antonio Esfandiari, Shane Schleger, Nick Binger, Mike Caro, Noah Schwartz and Praz Bansi.

Prescott Gives Field Allie Can Handle in Stud 8

Day 2 of the $1,500 Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Betterevent resumes around 2pm with 146 players remaining, with Allie Prescott leading the field with 52,500 in chips. Notables returning include Jim Geary, Annie Duke, Marcel Luske, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jon Turner, Matt Savage and Norman Chad.

Monday’s Tournaments

The 12pm $1,500 NL Holdem Donkament is already sold out, although there’s always the slim chance they’ll open a few more seats during the day. This is the seventh event of the $1,500 NL Holdem of this year’s WSOP, so it’s a “new” event, not having a winner last year. The 5pm (if it starts on time) event is the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball event, won last year by John Phan for just over $150,000 in a field of 238. The WSOP Staff Guide projects a field of 262 entries.

Today and tomorrow will both be extremely busy with six tournaments going on at the same time, so check out www.wsop.com for live updates, and Pokerati for other stuff during the day.


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 29 Evening Update

by , Jun 24, 2009 | 8:30 pm

Recapping the first half of Wednesday’s WSOP:

Lisandro Wins Bracelet #3, Wins Stud Triple Crown

Jeff Lisandro becomes the first player to win three bracelets in one WSOP after Chris Moneymaker initiated the poker boom in 2003, takes down the $2,500 Razz event, good for $188,370. Lisandro has won all three of his bracelets in stud events in each of the three disciplines of stud (Stud high, Stud Hi/Lo and Razz). Lisandro held the chip lead at the beginning of the day and was never seriously threatened. Michael Craig finished in 2nd, good for $116,405. Other notable finishes: Kenna James (6th), Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri (10th), Ville Wahlbeck (12th) and Nikolay Evdakov (13th).

Seniors Six-Pack

Half a dozen players remain in the $1,000 Seniors NL Holdem World Championship, led by Scott Buller with over 2 million in chips. Michael Morusty, Charles Simon, Dan DeLatorre, Michael Davis and Barry Bounds make up the remaining players.

Thang Flung From Omaha-8

The $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better has 70 players remaining, only 45 get paid. The unofficial chip leader is Frankie O’Dell (109,000), followed by day 1 chip leader Josh Schlien (85,000), Pat Poels (71,500), Marsha Waggoner (54,000), Mike Matusow (38,000), and Max Pescatori (28,000) among the familiar faces. Thang Luu unfortunately was eliminated before the dinner break earlier today.

Brummelhuis Bringing It in Pot-Limit

The $10,000 Pot-Limit Holdem World Championship is down to 35 players, only 27 get to cash with day 1 chip leader Michiel Brummelhuis remaining chip leader (570,000). Isaac Haxton (450,000), Eric Baldwin (430,000), Darryll Fish (310,000), Vanessa Rousso (280,000), Sam Simon (173,000), and Eugene Todd (165,000) are among the remaining.

Mixed Holdem Brings Mixed Blessings

The $2,500 Mixed Holdem event drew a field of 527 players, of which just 184 remain. The unofficial chip leader is David Baker (unknown if that’s the one from Michigan or Texas) at 73,000. Eli Elezra (51,000), Marc Naalden (46,000) and Jean-Robert Bellande (42,000) are some well known folks with chips.

More updates during the evening over at www.wsop.com and Pokerati for more Lisandro stuff and other commentary about all things WSOP.


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 19 Evening Update

by , Jun 14, 2009 | 8:28 pm

Covering the afternoon coverage of Sunday afternoon at the WSOP:

de Wolfe wins de Triple Crown

Roland de Wolfe became the second player (after Gavin Griffin) to win poker’s Triple Crown (Winning a WSOP bracelet, WPT main event and EPT main event) with his triumph in the $5,000 PLO 8 or Better event, defeating Brett Richey in heads-up play. Dual Omaha bracelet winner Scott Clemens finished in 3rd.

Obligatory Limit Holdem Winner Mention

Sweden’sTomas Alenius defeated Jason Tam heads-up in the $1,500 Limit Holdem event. Day 3 chip leader Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri finished 3rd. Fortunately for the WSOP staff, they have Sweden’s national anthem already downloaded.

Heads-Up Down to Sweet 16

Round 5 of the $10,000 NL Holdem Heads Up World Championship is down to its final 16 competitors, with one more round of play before the winners return on Monday. Among the survivors: Jason Mercier, Mike Caro, Leo Wolpert, Roberto Romanello, Bryan Pellegrino, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf, Johnny Chan and WSOP runner-up in 2008, Alec Torelli.

$2,500 PLO Debut a Success

A larger than expected field of 436 started the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event, with 153 returning after the dinner break. The unofficial chip leader is Jesse Rios, with another four levels of play to finish the day.

Late Night HORSE

The $1,500 HORSE event started about three hours ago and a field of 770 left the starting gate. No established chip leaders at this time, but they have eight levels of play to leader going into the first turn. Check out www.wsop.com and give Pokerati a visit during the rest of your Sunday evening/early Monday morning.


South Carolina Court to Decide: Is Poker a Game of Skill?

Kentucky courts update, too

by , Dec 15, 2008 | 9:10 am

Poker is having its day in court, that’s for sure. One case getting press all over South Carolina comes from a busted $20 tourney being held in a private home — raided in 2006 by heavily armed police — where 5 of the 25 arrested have refused generous plea bargains and are trying to persuade a presumably non-poker jury that poker Texas Hold’em is indeed a game of skill. A judge has ruled that the defendants do indeed have the right to present witnesses and evidence to make to support this claim. A court date is expected to be set for later this winter.

More here (Charleston.net) and here (Up for Poker).

This is exactly how California became California, poker-wise — it took arguments about skill in the courts to pave the way for all the great poker there. I don’t know the details of the cases, but Mike Caro was one of the guys who testified, bringing charts and graphs to show statistics of specific games — hold’em, Stud, and 5-card Draw, I believe.

Meanwhile, also going on last week and drawing lots of non-poker attention (Lexington Herald-Leader, Business Week, Physorg.com) … a Kentucky Court of Appeals will attempt to begin to start to decide: Does a single US state have the right to venture across its own borders to seize internet domains of businesses based in Costa Rica and run out of a protected Indian nation in Canada … and who will get to hold onto these domains while the courts figure it all out. The court will supposedly be making its decision in January, and judicial facial tells suggest poker is leading in this court 2-1.

You know, the evidence thing has me thinking … one of the hardest things for Kentucky to prove in their case will be that online gambling does actually hurt regulated Kentucky gambling interests. You don’t have to look much further than the WSOP to present actual numbers refuting this claim. So what evidence will Gov. Beshear and the state be able to present — they have the burden of proof, after all — that suggests the opposite? I don’t think it exists, at least nothing stronger than what the poker side could present.


California Poker Players Conference – Day 2

by , Oct 21, 2007 | 10:13 pm

Jeffrey PollackThe second day of the conference began with an appearance by Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the World Series of Poker. He gave some insight into the 2008 WSOP that hasn’t been released to the press officially, as follows:

• There will be no tent. (The audience applauded.)
• A concierge, possibly a team of people, will be available for those with questions throughout the series.
• There will be no more than 55 events.
• The exact list of events will be announced in December or January.
• He is in the process of trying to arrange a way for players to begin buying into the events at any Harrah’s property as soon as the events are announced.
• Since 2009 will be the 40th anniversary of the WSOP, 2008 will host some events to kick off a year of tributes and celebrations.
• New WSOP ads will air soon that feature the voice of Don Cheadle.
• Close to $1 million was raised for various charities at the 2007 WSOP. There will be affiliations with charities again in 2008, including Ante Up for Africa.

Mr. Pollack went on to say that they meet with members of the player’s council almost weekly in order to make the 2008 better than in years past. He admitted, “We are never going to get it exactly right,” but they will continue to do the best they can.

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California Poker Players Conference – Day 1

by , Oct 20, 2007 | 9:48 pm

Mike CaroOver 100 people signed up for the first annual CPPC, and for its inaugural installment, the hosts seemed pleased. Not only were the attendees excited to be there, but they seemed inspired by the speakers – taking notes, asking questions, talking strategy and game tips during breaks. Some of the speakers set up exhibits to sell their books, distribute info about poker lessons and organizations like the PPA, and computers were even provided for the ability to e-mail members of Congress in the ongoing fight for poker rights.

Some key ideas from the day’s speakers:

• “If your only goal is to win pots, you can play and bet every hand, win some of them, and become the world champion of winning pots. But if your object is to make the right decisions, you can be a champion poker player.” – Mike Caro
• George Epstein gives speeches and poker lessons to seniors to sharpen their minds, leading to better overall health and quality of life.
• Lou Krieger gave top-notch poker tips. There’s a reason he has authored 11 poker books.
• Stan Sludikoff, long-time publisher of Poker Player Newspaper, has been speaking to Lyle Berman about a poker television channel. Plans are still being formulated but he insists that it will happen.
• Marsha Waggoner gave the best quote from Vince Lombardi: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”
• Russell Fox is an expert on taxes as they relate to poker players – amateurs and professionals. He knows his laws and seems to be the tax pro to the poker biz.
• John PappasJohn Pappas is extremely dedicated to the PPA. As Executive Director for only a few months, he has recruited numerous members of Congress to sponsor pro-poker legislation. And he bought me lunch.

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A Look Back …

by , Oct 2, 2006 | 5:21 am

I had been meaning to put this article up for a while … it was my entrance into the poker media in the first of what would be many new poker magazines; and because of the magazine’s newness, the story never found its way online. Anyhow, though speculation can never be exact, much of what is in there still seems to be at least partially relevant and serves as a good reminder of where in fact poker may or may not go from here …

Poker at its Renaissance

The game became a worldwide obsession virtually overnight. Now what will become of the game?

By Dan Michalski — published in All In Magazine, premiere issue, June/July 2004

The future of poker arrived in 1984—when legendary Vegas gambler Bob Stupak faced off against Orac, a poker-playing Apple II computer. It was heads-up no-limit Hold ’Em for $500,000, in a showdown that would later air on ABC’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not. At one point in this first-ever televised poker game, Orac had flopped a set, and Stupak, looking at top two pair, was raising into the stone-faced machine.

As he was programmed to do, Orac put Stupak all-in. Stupak called, and that’s when the computer crashed.

“It just froze,” recalls Mike Caro, “the mad genius of poker” who created Orac. According to the rules for this unusual match-up, even though the cards had already been turned over, the hand had to be replayed. Stupak would get a better deal after the machine re-booted and would go on to claim victory for humankind.

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Poker at Its Renaissance

by , Sep 30, 2006 | 1:00 am

(published in All In Magazine, premiere issue, June/July 2004)

The future of poker arrived in 1984–when legendary Vegas gambler Bob Stupak faced off against Orac, a poker-playing Apple II computer. It was heads-up no-limit Hold ‘Em for $500,000, in a showdown that would later air on ABC’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not. At one point in this first-ever televised poker game, Orac had flopped a set, and Stupak, looking at top two pair, was raising into the stone-faced machine.

As he was programmed to do, Orac put Stupak all-in. Stupak called, and that’s when the computer crashed.

“It just froze,” recalls Mike Caro, “the mad genius of poker” who created Orac. According to the rules for this unusual match-up, even though the cards had already been turned over, the hand had to be replayed. Stupak would get a better deal after the machine re-booted and go on to claim victory for humankind.

“I suspect–I probably shouldn’t say this, but I do–I’ve always wondered about what happened there, in what manner Stupak really won,” says Caro laughing. “I’ve always thought someone might have pulled a plug somewhere.”

Caro’s whole intent with the exhibition was to show that poker was a game worthy of serious analysis, like chess or bridge. The cards were bar-coded so Orac could read them, and as a result, the television audience was able to watch the game knowing what the players were holding or folding. Additionally, with this information, Caro was able to show on-screen statistics and probabilities, so viewers could better understand what was at stake with each play.

Now, 20 years later–thanks in no small part to a confluence of computers, television, and big-money Texas hold’em–poker is suddenly huge. Five different networks now carry the game on TV, with more poker shows in the making. Casinos across the country have been expanding their poker rooms, and at this year’s World Series of Poker, the tournament director had to truck in 100 extra tables to accommodate a record number of buy-ins. Online (a concept hardly conceived when Orac was the only machine that knew how to play) poker rooms seem to be opening up by the dozen, with real-money players signing up by the tens of thousands.

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