Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

MMA + Poker = Always a Good Fight

@Randy_Couture charity tourney to help returning soldiers

by , Jan 12, 2012 | 9:18 pm

Some familiar faces and players worth looking up in the charity NLH mix … er … mixed martial arts.

One of my favorite charity tourneys of the year is this Saturday — Operation All In … Randy Couture’s  poker tournament and charity auction benefitting his Xtreme Couture GI Foundation. Karina Jett hosts the event, so you can expect her usual brand of fun and merry band of Full Tilt Red Pros in exile. And because OAI is more MMAish than pokery … well, let’s just say you can be sure to see some rather douchetastic! unique table interaction. And with a reasonable buy-in ($220 w $100 rebuys), you stand to get a fair share of genuine downtown tourists, too — excited by their chance to play with the fighters more so than the poker pros.

The winner gets $10k in cold American cash this year, too … no fancy qualifiers for some future maybe-cool new event in some other country. And though I haven’t personally looked into how legit Randy Couture’s foundation is, I do get a sense he takes the effort kinda personally and isn’t going to let the funds raised here get squandered en route to the beneficiaries. For many soldiers, the war isn’t over just because they are starting to come home.

It’s been an interesting relationship in Vegas between mixed martial arts and poker over the past 12 or so years … the state of which will be on display in the form of tax-deductible feelgood poker … this weekend at the Golden Nugget.

Read below for official deets on what’s going down.

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Las Vegas (Holiday) Charity Season Underway

by , Oct 30, 2010 | 12:30 pm

Low temperatures in Las Vegas have crossed into the high-50s (ºF) … which means it’s holiday charity season in the Valley, and some in LA.

One of the more fun events gets started in a couple hours at the Golden Nugget (which seems poised to take over from the Hard Rock as the primary LV charity destination) … so if you’ve got nothing better to do this afternoon than get warmed up for some Vegas Halloweening, why not help out the soldiers while mingling with some big-time MMA, small-time Hollywood, and mid-tier poker world:

Operation All-In
benefitting Xtreme Couture GI Foundation
organized by Randy Couture and Karina Jett
2 pm

$225 buy-in, $100 rebuys
1st prize $10k

I had a blast at this event last year, not because I “moneyed” to score a Full tilt swag bag for my 30somethingth-place finish … but just because it was just more fun than the usual charity show. For the more casual player, it’s the only time you’ll see MMA strongmen somewhat intimidated by scrawny poker geeks while entertaining the festive-drinky feelgood tourists … many who can’t seem to believe they are “in the ring” with so many people they’ve watched on TV — all for a tax-deductible donation less than they were planning to drop on a single sitting at a smokey $5 blackjack table.

A buy-in to this event also gets you in to Randy Couture’s Halloween Bash this evening at the Golden Nugget’s surprisingly undouchey nightclub Gold Diggers.

More info here.

Post to be continued … so check back later, but wanted to get the word out in time for Vegas peeps to head downtown before the end of the rebuy period.


Hellmuth’s Entrance + Eastgate Hangs Up the Gloves?

Plus … 360-Tour: where Hellmuth will retire during the Main Event

by , Jul 7, 2010 | 2:27 pm

Lots of times poker players talk about “retiring” from the game. What they usually really mean is “I’m getting sick of running bad against the Delta Betas.” But every once in a while, someone actually means it … and one of those could be 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate.

We knew earlier that he was more interested in the World Cup than WSOP preliminaries. But now he says, via PokerStarsBlog via Wicked Chops (with a nifty pic added from Pokerati, shortly before walking in to his televised raping on High Stakes Poker):

“When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player. My goal was to become financially independent. I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008. The period following has taken me on a worldwide tour, where I have seen some amazing places and met many new people; it has been a great experience. In the 20 months following my WSOP win, I feel that I have lost my motivation for playing high level poker along the way and I have decided that now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life. What this will be, I do not yet know. I have decided to take a break from live tournament poker, and try to focus on Peter Eastgate, the person. I want to thank PokerStars, my friends and family for their support over the last 20 months and for their support in my decision to take a break from poker.”

Meanwhile, one man who will not be retiring (probably until he’s dead) is Phil Hellmuth. Had to wonder how he could ever top Caesar … but this year he himself donned UB-branded MMA fighter attire, while surrounded by Dancing Bracelets, which I think are supposed to represent prize belts.

Check it out, by and via Pauly. Is it too early to wonder if Hellmuth will reach the ridiculousness apex* in the 2011 WSOP?

While he has no plans to retire for life, he does have a specific place where he will retire for the night.

Apparently Hellmuth doesn’t understand why everyone’s always talking Ivey, Ivey, Ivey … and it seems he musta went to some honchos at Aria and said, hey, why don’t I get an Ivey Room, too? While they couldn’t hook him up with his own super-high-stakes cash game area, they did put him up in one of their shmancy Sky Suites, and he gives a pretty cool 360-degree tour of it via All 360 Poker here.

* note: I’m taking claim to the phrase “ridiculousness apex” — anyone wanna fight for it?


RE: Team Update

Pokerati vs. Sam Chauhan

by , Jun 28, 2010 | 10:11 am

As much as I’ve noted Team Pokerati’s struggles on the felt this summer, it’s not like our players don’t know their way to the WSOP payout window. Here’s a rundown of the team’s representative real-money scores so far:

(Click below for the Team Chauhan comparative results.)

Tom to La, after Team Pokerati’s first and only FT of 2010: “Congrats, you really played great. If I don’t bink a tourney soon, think you might be able to float me some scratch?”

Tom Schneider
$4,348 – 128th – $1.5k NLH
$22,085 – 14th – $1k NLH/Seniors
$3,352 – 52nd – $1.5k PLH
$6,128 – 32nd – $1.5k Omaha Hi/Lo

La Sengphet
$22,728 – 7th -$1k NLH/Ladies

Pat Poels
$13,232 – 10th – $2.5k Limit 2-7 3x

Robert Goldfarb
$6,128 – 29th – $1.5k Omaha Hi/Lo

The Big Randy
$3,428 – 196th – $1.5k NLH

Toothless Bob
$3,080 – 2nd place – $150 NLH (Binion’s Poker Classic)
$1,240 – 1st place – $65 NLH (Sahara nightly)
$355 – 4th place – $65 NLH (Sahara nightly)

John Harris (85Nutz)
TBD – first 2010 WSOP day 2 – $1k NLH

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(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 2

by , May 29, 2010 | 6:25 am

Saturday at noon is the first of six $1,000 No-limit holdem events, each having two day 1’s and fields of at least 5,000 expected. Last year’s “Stimulus Special”, won by Steve Sung for over $770,000, drew out all kinds of people, as Pauly noted in his Nostrum Donkulus post. After reading that, check out his morning link dump.

Time for some Friday recapping:

Casino Employees Cashing

The first bracelet event, $500 Casino Employees , finished play at the end of level 10 with 53 players remaining. The chip leader is Kent Washington, from Oakland, California with 168,300 in chips. Jonathan Kotula, who won this event in 2008, is in 2nd (108,700). The only other recognizable name remaining is Bellagio tournament director Jack McClleland (19,700). The tournament is scheduled to resume at 2:30pm today, although the 1k donkament may delay that start. The schedule notes they’re playing down to a winner today, but circumstances may prevent that. If they play down to a winner today, it may put a damper on the plans looking to take part in Bluff’s Streak 2 Seven contest to win a 2010 or 2011 WSOP me seat, as mentioned on this week’s episode of the award-winning Poker Beat.

Players’ Championship Moves to Day 2

Day 1 of the $50,000 Players’ Championship concluded earlier this morning with 105 of the 116 players remaining. Chip counts haven’t been finalized, but it appears Erik Sagstrom will be the chip leader at 329,100. Other notables in the top 10: David Oppenheim (313,800), “Miami John” Cernuto and Joe Serock (265,000), Justin Bonomo (255,000), Barry Greenstein (240,100), and early chip leader Daniel Kelly (223,000). Tom Dwan, Brian Townsend, and 2009 dual bracelet winner Greg Mueller started off down $50,000 at the WSOP, eliminated on Friday. The remaining field will return at 3pm today as the field is scheduled to play six 90-minute levels.

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

For those who get eliminated early enough, you can watch guys trying to beat the shit out of each other at the MGM Grand Garden area for UFC 114 tonight. The highly anticipated main event features Rashad Evans v Quinton “Rampage” Jackson topping an 11-fight card. For those looking for a preview of the fights, or looking for some good betting tips, check out www.mmafix.com and www.rawvegas.tv.

More later today, but in the meantime be sure to check Pokerati, on Twitter and hit up the official WSOP site over at www.wsop.com


Mindset Coach Sam Chauhan’s Hot Streak

“This Is My Year”

by , Apr 27, 2010 | 2:02 pm

It really is getting almost eerie the success “mindset” guru Sam Chauhan’s clients are finding at the poker table … not to mention in the MMA octagons. If you haven’t noticed, Chauhan is the non-player who has been showing up all over various poker places of late. He’s currently the subject of the cover story in the April issue of Bluff Magazine (by Lance Bradley), which tells how a guy who hardly knows the difference between suited connectors and a busted flush draw has helped turn around results for Antonio Esfandiari, Paul Wasicka, Gavin Smith, and the ever-tiltable Phil Hellmuth.

But since that story went to press, Chauhan has put up even more impressive results — most recently standing by the side of newly crowned WPT World Champion David Williams. In fact, three of the Top 16 finishers were Chauhan clients, two of whom made it to the final table. (Hellmuth went out on the TV bubble.) Away from poker, he gets credit (at least a small percentage, based on coaching deals we’ve learned about) for helping rising MMA star Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal take the Strikeforce light heavyweight title from Gegard Mousasi, who was a 3-to-1 favorite in the match.

That all kinda blows my theory that the key to Williams’ re-found success had everything to do with his new hair. Check out the video snippet below of a bushy-fro’d Williams stepping outside the Fontana room for some mantra and affirmation exercises before taking his seat at the final table:

Wow, that’s all there is to it? Didn’t realize winning at anything, let alone life, was so easy. Seems like if you could turn that into an iPhone app Sammy might really be able to help people. Chauhan, however, is not without his haters (just ask Google). But poker players know you can only get super-lucky so many times.

ALT HED: Mind over Variance

Check out his site at MindsetVT.com.


Operation: All In

MMA Fighters playing in charity tourney this weekend

by , Aug 18, 2009 | 11:01 am

MMA bad-asses Randy Couture, Frank Trigg, Phil Baroni, and others will be joining poker pros Todd Brunson, Lee Watkinson, Chip Jett, David Williams, and others to raise money for wounded vets this Sunday at the Golden Nugget. It’s a $330 buy-in (w/ $100 rebuys) … first prize is a $10k seat (+$2k travel) to the upcoming Sports Legends Challenge in the Bahamas. Karina Jett is the hostess — and if we’re lucky, we’ll get to hear Todd Brunson talk politics.

Come play if you’re in town. Good times, good cause, all that stuff … open to the public and no funky, disputable, optional-donation prize pool — just charitable poker the way it’s supposed to be. Click the image to enlarge the flyer, and below for official details.

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RE: So Let’s Talk Poker TV

by , Nov 13, 2008 | 3:31 am

Hmm, I spent some comment time below advocating for more-live poker … but upon reading this story in the New York Times about the end of the poker boom (by J-school classmate Steve Freiss), I learned something new that kinda gets in the way of the vision I was pimping:

ESPN plans to edit a two-hour show about the final two days of play, which will be broadcast on Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern time. (Nevada law prohibits broadcasting live gambling events in progress.)

OK, crap … laws. Not sure how that applies to boxing and MMA fights (which are shown relatively live and can still be bet on) … but regardless, it seems LIVE and ESPN do not work well together with poker. I guess that leaves us the internet (or maybe satellite?)?

One other interesting thing to note about the story above: It ran in the Fashion & Style section — not sports, not business, not even entertainment and TV. I guess we can only hope that poker outlasts the popularity of Ed Hardy T-shirts.


Battle Not-So-Royale over Control/Role of the WPA

by , Aug 20, 2008 | 3:20 pm

Very disappointing … I was hoping for a knockdown, claws-out blood brawl between Wendeen Eolis and Jesse Jones as the two try to position themselves to maintain and wield influence on the future of poker … but alas, Wendeen’s straight-from-the-horse’s mouth recount of the rise and stumble of the WPA takes a relatively sober look at how these types of organizations work, and sometimes how they don’t.

While the outgoing WPA leader does get in a few jabs at Jesse, her predecessor and succesor … where’s the vitriol, the bloodthirst, the instinct to kill-kill-kill!?!?!!!! C’mon, we’re living in an MMA era … and unless you two are gonna both make it to the final table in the next WSOP seniors event, how can we expect good TV ratings if we don’t get to watch poker industry stalwarts violently wrestle for power?!? The web is good enough for being cagey, but next time lets take it to the Octagon!

WPA’s opening shots here.

Part 1 of Wendeen’s response here.

Pokerati on the WPA here.


WSOP Day 1D Mishmash

by , Jul 6, 2008 | 5:19 pm

Argh, it’s getting frustrating … so much stuff going on that it’s hard to keep up, let alone post about it. So here’s a bit of everything:

6,844 entrants in the 2008 WSOP main event.

I jut had a wonderful discussion with WPT honcho Steve Lipscomb. He didn’t laugh when I asked him if he was looking for a job with the WSOP.

Team Pokerati updates:

Tom Schneider is hurting. Like 7k in chips last we checked.

Donkey texts in (we’re still getting his CSR set up) — “Back down to 20k after 2nd level.. Thought Micon was playing AK. he had 77. I had 66. Cost 4k to see river”

Damn, that sucks. And oh yeah, Donkey is playing with Micon from Neverwin two or three seats to his left, and Beth Shak on the other end of the table. (Donkey doesn’t know who she is — but he is aware that she is all patched up.

Jerry Randack was doing fine last I checked. Saw him skillfully (albeit a bit cautiously) play Ace-rag with an ace on the flop, and build a nice pot to the point that he got a really nice call by the time he rivered the nut flush.

No report on Robert Goldfarb. Serves him right for not wearing his patch. But he is texting in his status on breaks.

The Big Randy looks to be playing very comfortably … with about 26k in chips.

More TK, of course. The big buzz of the day wasn’t about Phil Hellmuth‘s pro wrestling-esque army-tank entrance … it was about the presence of Ultimate Fighters, including Chuck Liddell and Forest Griffin, who won a big fight just last night.

Um, go poker!

UPDATE: There was a rumor about some smaller agents being shaken down by a bigger one. It didn’t check out, however, on first call … but there’s gotta be something to it — the agent battles are getting harsh as all compete for a piece of nine heretofore unknown needles in a a haystack of 6,844.