Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma’

Me Play Poker Pretty Someday

Pics from WSOP Academy Cash Games College

by , Feb 13, 2009 | 9:18 am

WSOP Academy Lecture WSOP Academy 2 WSOP Academy 3

Lectures, lab sessions, and lunch are all part of an academic effort to plug your leaks.

Much to say about the WSOP Academy I attended last weekend at Caesar’s … about things I learned, how I performed, and, frankly, what kinda people are shelling out close to $2,000 for anything these days. For some of the 50-or-so poker players in attendance it was just a matter of a buy-in or two for the level they play at. And for others, it was more than half their annual poker budget in a way that doesn’t even account for flights to Las Vegas from Australia or Buffalo.


Prof. Seif: “He may think it’s the right move, but Dan stands to lose a stack of 20-dollar bills this big if he keeps playing that way.”

All in all it was a great class taught by Mark Seif, Mark Gregorich, Alex Outhred, and Michael Gracz — very engaging, informative, and often irreverent — didn’t feel like Saturday/Sunday detention at all. I lost pretty big in the one session of $1/$2 NL I’ve played since WSOP-Acad graduation … I guess they shoulda reminded us to take a nap after class, or they can only do so much with a guy who insists on misplaying KQ generally 8 out of 10 times. (Ah, the painful, humiliating schoolchild memories …) If I could just misplay the hand 4 out of 10 times, that would be some serious positive EV, saving me the theoretical cost of tuition in just a few orbits!

BTW, the next WSOP Academy is at WinStar, February 21-22 — a poker room near and dear to so many Texas player and longtime Pokeratizens. Outhred and Gracz will be part of the Thackerville faculty, along with Greg Raymer and Master Mindset (?) coach Sam Chauhan.

Click here for more info … and really, you should totally think about signing up. Your Pokerati-friendly friends will feed you and everything.

Meet Joe Straus

(Psst … we need this guy)

by , Jan 24, 2009 | 1:42 pm

One of the powerful and important people we’re hoping will support a pending bill that establishes a framework for legal poker in Texas is new House speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who describes himself as a “pass-the-budget-and-go-home conservative”. Sweet, then he should get it: with HB 222, the state increases its revenue while protecting citizens (and their personal freedoms); without it, state and local authorities have to spend lots of resources to ineffectively shut down poker while seeing more and more money shipped to Oklahoma and an increase in violent crime in otherwise peaceful Texas neighborhoods.

Evan Smith interviewed Straus the other day on Texas Monthly Talks. Specifically the new Speaker discusses his views on gambling-related issues (and his family’s long-time involvement with the horse racing biz) at 20:00:

Don’t tell anyone, but psychologically speaking, we want Straus, through the course of the session, to make a subconscious positive connection when he thinks about HB 222 … remembering fondly a flood of intelligent, warm-hearted, well-crafted emails from from frazzled poker degenerates who just wanna play a friggin’ game!!! concerned poker citizens who are proud to do whatever they can in pursuit of a better Texas.

Email to Joe Straus et al. expressing your support for legal poker in Texas.

I’ve improved the link, btw, so you only have to click once … type a brief message … and then click send. Two clicks for poker! Customize it to your liking — give’em your name and city — and yo, Texans (and non-Texans interested in playing poker in Texas) … conditions are good for this bill, and we know we are on the right side of the law-to-be. But if we can’t show that we’re serious about it, the number of representatives willing to vote for us won’t matter … because, frankly, we won’t ever get that far without this first step. Need some talking points? Here ya go:

* Poker is a game of skill
* It is being played every day for real money in Texas
* Tens of millions of dollars are passing hands unregulated
* Live poker games are increasingly a safety issue
* Poker could bring in millions of dollars in State revenue, and many more millions in economic impact

RE: Ship It! Leftover money headed to Oklahoma

Poker still booming north of the Red River

by , Jan 5, 2009 | 7:18 pm

A leftover story from around Christmastime related to the Choctaw bus and an overall decline in U.S. gambling revenues

CardPlayer on the poker mini-boom in Oklahoma.

Ship It!

Texas money headed to Oklahoma

by , Jan 2, 2009 | 9:58 am

I’ve been in Dallas for the holidays, and the other day — New Years Day, actually — I was riding with Sang northbound on Central Expressway (US 75) and saw this pokery transport vehicle, which I found very interesting:

It was a full-size tour bus, and was full of people as the Native American driver shuttled them (for free) across the river to that land of opportunity, El Norte Durant, Oklahoma. I just gotta wonder what Texas legislators think about the Choctaw bus, which offers daily trips not just to and from Dallas, but also Fort Worth … and on Thursdays has a special “bingo route” that picks people up in DeSoto, Garland, Plano, and McKinney.

More info about Choctaw poker here.
Bus details here.

Pros in Dallas (and Choctaw) Weekend

Vladimir Gorsky charity event

by , Sep 25, 2008 | 10:17 am

Interesting charity event going on in Dallas this weekend … a $1,500+ buy-in with $1k going to the prize pool. The rest going toward medical expenses for internationally renowned Russian/American/Dallas artist Vladimir Gorsky, who is suffering from brain cancer. TJ Cloutier writes a little about him and the event here. Some of the other Vlad-loving pros supposed to attend include: Amir Vahedi, Tom McEvoy, Young Phan, Kido Pham, Jennicide, and Warren Karp.

Though I don’t know Vlad, I’ve actually seen some of his art before, including his Tapestry of the Centuries (above), and I gotta say, it is some pretty impressive stuff. And apparently he’s quite the card-playin’ guy … no wonder he chronicled Las Vegas in mixed media and presented it to LV Mayor Oscar Goodman. (He also happens to be friends with the President Bush family — having painted the portrait of GHWB that hangs in his Houston office, and Babs with her beloved Millie.)

The event takes place at the Westin City Center. Glad to see it. If they successfully pull off this event, it will be good to see charity poker getting back to what it could/should/used to be in Texas — though it does seem a little strange for a charity event to be going on in Dallas that doesn’t have anything to do with Pokerati or Clonie.

Fortunately, I will be able to follow the action on

One other really interesting thing about this event: the support it’s getting from the Choctaw Nation. They’re running single-table satellites to this event 24/7 between now and then. And as a show of appreciation for helping out their friend Vlad, the pros slated to be in Dallas on Saturday will be in Oklahoma for Choctaw’s Friday night tourney, reportedly playing with bounties on their heads.

Click below to see the flyer and get more details about signing up:


Money Day at the River: (Partial) Starting Line-up

by , Aug 23, 2008 | 3:32 pm

Today’s the final day of the $3 million River tourney in the Winstar Territories. The $2,000+100 NLH event started six days ago with what would grow to more than 1,400 entries. A few less than 150 made it into the money and play today for the big money. Here are about 90 of the starters, and their starting chip counts:

(Thanks, Alicia, for sending this along!)


Winstar: K-train goes off the rails

by , Aug 21, 2008 | 1:32 pm

…Actually, I’m just the opposite. I went out middle, at level 6. Four PP’s (55,77,99,QQ). I hit one flop, never saw a turn all day, much less a river. Never played a loser through… until about 10 minutes ago. Never been so card dead. *cry,bitch,moan,walk*

Shawn Rice is nursing a short stack of about 7k, as we enter $400/$800+$75. We are at that pivotal point where all you can hear is “Seat Open on X”.

As I noted in a comment to a prior post, one player actually advanced with a single chip. That drive will suck. Another player advanced with ZERO, after coming in 2nd in a 3-way all-in. No word on whether he has to drive in to collect.

I still can’t get my hands on yesterday’s survivors. I’m packing it up and going home. The media table is now officially empty. (Again)

Just Curious … What’s Oklahoma Think of Scotty Nguyen These Days?

by , | 1:19 pm

A couple hot poker topics this week have been, of course, WinStar, and Scotty Nguyen’s less than stellar behavior and etiquette in the $50k WSOP HORSE event, as seen on ESPN. Pauly (who actually watched this final table live) assures me a lot of this persona came in the editing — yeah, he was drunk and rude for awhile, but then he sobered up and played like a winner — and indeed, I remember thinking similarly as the day progressed … was rooting for Nguyen … definitely didn’t want a newbie like Michael DeMichele to win $50k Friggin’ HORSE! But after watching the episode(s) this week, I gotta say … was totally rooting for DeMichele, even though I knew he probably didn’t stand a chance.

Anyhow, point being … just wondering if a (bad) performance like Scotty’s could jeopardize his relationship with the Cherokee Casino in Tulsa, where he has hosted the biggest events in North-North Texas prior to the current River tourney at WinStar. “I am like a god in Oklahoma,” he has said. “They have my picture on billboard.”

Not saying one incident will — but wondering if it might. Because after all, there was a reason they chose him back in the day … because everyone loves Scotty Nguyen, baby! But now that’s clearly not the case.

Winstar: Thursday, Last Day 1

by , | 8:24 am

According to Craig’s list, the Winstar Thrusday chips are a hot property, as people are asking $3,000-$5,000 for the sold-out $2,100 seats. I’m curious as to how many of those folks are having any luck. Comments? Anybody? Personally, I’m not seeing any deals working and am thinking that there will be a lot of late comers who couldn’t flip their chip.

Thursday is starting up the TV crew is running about. I’ve requested Survivor updates for Wednesday and should have those later today. I would already have posted them, but the person with the goods told me that he didn’t want to walk over to the poker room and get it. He’s a nice enough guy, but when, oh when will Winstar figure out that there’s live “Beyond The Tent”. (Is that domain available?)

Updates to come.

Winstar: TBR Live

by , Aug 20, 2008 | 7:06 pm

While I hate to push down Dan’s post on the HardRock, here’s some video goodness from the Pokerati people who still give a damn about Texas Oklahoma.

Winstar: Survivors Update

by , | 12:18 pm

Here’s the survivor data thus far. I’m pretty surprised that I don’t recognize more names than I do. One name that we’ll all know and didn’t make this leader list is that of Mr. Scott Clements, who enters the Saturday play-down with $68,000.

I’m not gonna be here long, but I’ll try to get a chipleader update and at least one interview. Like I’ve told the folks here, without more up-front coordination with online media, their coverage is going to be sparse, if anything. If I had brought my camera, I’d show you the lonely “press table”. But picture this: There’s one semi-handsome fellow seated there all by himself. …And I can shit in his pants. Cumon, Winstar!

Keep the Oklahoma Updates Coming, Please!

by , | 8:50 am

karridy 1500 - action 

Karridy knows how to represent.

Despite negative reports about a too-fast blind structure and terrible dealers — from players who may or may not have been juiced with some residual Day 1-bustout tilt and therefore focusing on isolated incidents inherent to putting on any event that’s bigger than any other you’ve put on before — I couldn’t stand it … I just had to get in on the action. Sounds like too much fun going on at The River, and who better to buy a small piece of than Karridy? I like his chances. After all the last tourney he played with notably bad blind structures and dealers — he won!

He also apparently got the last spot available for Thursday, and if I learned anything from running Lodge tourneys, it’s that late-late entrants seem to have a disproportionately high percentage of Top 3 finishes. Seriously. Not sure why that is, but it’s true. I’ve seen it. You know, math …

So Who’s Advanced so far at The River?

by , Aug 19, 2008 | 7:37 am

Anyone got any updates from WinStar? So far 60 people have moved on … presumably 60. Yesterday’s field didn’t sell out — like 265ish runners or thereabouts. Not sure if they stuck with 10 percent of the field moving on (26 or 27 players) or went with the full 30 to keep Friday’s Saturday’s action at a nice, round 150 players fighting for the final table.

Surely some names we know and care about have advanced, right, along with some others that we don’t yet know we care about? I’ve reached out to my hookups at WinStar, but let’s just say they’re no Nolan Dalla … so info is hard to come by.

RE: The River Gets Underway (2)

Do WinStar Dealers Really Suck?

by , Aug 18, 2008 | 9:20 am

One of the guys playing The River today yesterday is/was ItsOverJonny — not sure how he’s doing or how anyone’s doing … don’t think they have phones yet in Oklahoma … but regardless, if you’re not reading IOJ, well I’m not gonna say you should be, because, hey, we’re all busy people. But think Gary Carson, only more bitter and jaded. Good stuff, as you could imagine.

Though Jonny did play in the big $2k event yesterday, he wasn’t exactly happy with the WinStar crew after playing in a $500 event — and he spells it out, plain as day, what beefs he has with their dealers. Though I suspect the WinStar may poo-poo his free-of-charge poker room consultation because who cares when you’re making so much damn money these days, I can attest that he definitely knows a thing or two about how good games are supposed to run, and just about any poker room management should wanna use his post as a litmus test for what their dealer crew should and shouldn’t do. Some highlights from his blog:

Jonny played in Winstar’s $500+50 today. 61 players. Same shitty Winstar structure. Dealers were fucking horrible, and between dealers fucking everything up, maddening noise from all directions, and idiot clowndick players, I was tilting beyond belief, even though I hadn’t hardly played a hand for a while at the time. Seriously – where do they get these retard dealers that they stick in the tournaments? It’s not like it’s a $60 nightly tournament – it was $550 – get some dealers that can run a table without making repeated stupid mistakes, and then giving me attitude when I correct them until they finally figured out that they had indeed made a mistake. Your job consists of the most basic of math, making a little change, and distribution of cards. How do you manage to fuck that up?


RE: The River Gets Underway

by , Aug 17, 2008 | 12:29 pm

Defending Champ: Sure, I may have gotten lucky on the river, but hey, I had the best hand going in!

So what do you do after beating TJ Cloutier to win $230k? That’s not exactly lottery money, after all — especially after taxes — but it was enough to (kinda) change the life of Vik Vijay, the Oklahoma poker dealer who won the 2007 Red River Roundup (now called, more elegantly Oklahoma-y, The River) and then delivered on his post-victory promise to quit his job and move to Las Vegas with highly energized bankroll in hand. Since then:

hey dan –
yeah, im headed down to winstar next week to defend – ive got the last starting day – thursday the 21st. hopefully it will go well. the last year has been interesting – i moved to vegas and have mostly been playing. i worked at the venetian this summer, dealing poker for their summer tournament set, but they didnt keep any of us on for anything regular. the poker has been going well, but i really got to lay off the blackjack. other than that, life is pretty good.

-vik vijay.