Posts Tagged ‘Rounder-Club’

Go Dallas Poker!

by , May 12, 2008 | 4:06 pm

Former Lodge Amateur Poker player and Rounder Club honcho Terry Keratsopolous is at the final table at a WSOP-Circuit event in New Orleans. Haven’t found any semi-live coverage yet … but just an FYI for those of you who’d like someone to route root for.

UPDATE: It’s reportedly a $500+ event … First place is about $28k, 10th place about $2,800. They started the final table at about 4 pm eastern … and Terry was short-stacked, standing 8th in chips.


How to Play Live Real Money Casino Poker without Much Cash

by , Apr 9, 2008 | 9:23 am

Troy in Las Vegas writes in with a question about bankroll management that I’m going to attempt to answer: (Stop laughing.)


I have a quick question for you… in your opinion what is the best for me to do w/no bank roll…. just able to spend about 200-300 every other week…

a. small (50-60) buy in tournys

b. play one larger tourney (say the venitian) once every two weeks

c. invest my 200 in a ring game some where

or d. none of the above and save my cash til i get enough

if the answer is d…. what is “enough” to play? I have a VERY hard time not playing, but, have been on the roller coaster of up down small amounts til i get felted in cash games (can’t seem to stay away from getting my money in w/the best and not fairing well…. or… when i do well in one session i don’t do well in the next two and get felted)

Just wondering your opinion… thanks!

Troy, you pose an interesting question, because I suspect a lot of folks are in your position, where they have money to spend on poker, but they don’t have a real bankroll. We all hear that you should have $2-3k to play 1/2 — and it doesn’t take long playing to realize those numbers might not be a load of shit — but how many 1/2 players actually have a few thousand bucks in a non-interest bearing poker account?


World Series of Housing

by , Apr 1, 2008 | 12:26 pm

As hinted at below, I spent a lot of time last month investigating the Las Vegas housing market by no choice of my own. (I have indeed found a place — it is a renter’s market here, after all — move this weekend.) All this searching coincides with a handful of poker players reaching out for info about WSOP accommodations. The World Series, of course, brings a lot of visitors to Vegas for an extended stay — anywhere from two weeks to two months — yet they’re hesitant about Extended Stay America because of ricin. Fortunately there are plenty of other affordable, non-casino options for those looking for a home away from home during the annual poker hajj, compliments of, at least in part, a housing crisis that’s being debated in Washington as we type.



by , Mar 31, 2008 | 12:28 pm

Sorry for the lack of personal postage last week and presumably this one … I have gotten caught up in the housing crisis and am moving again over the next couple days … even though I don’t know where yet. Seriously, housing crisis is very real here — our friends at The Poker Atlas were forced to relocate due to the house they were renting going into foreclosure; Rounder Club West got evicted from their digs a couple weeks ago because their landlord decided to desperately sell. When this sorta thing happens to three homes in an isolated niche, it can’t just be coincidental.

Anyhow, so yes, content … sorry for the lack thereof and sorry for the blog-cliche post about being sorry. There’s still plenty going on out there that the poker-minded populace shouldmaybe care about, regardless of my personal battle against homelessness.

As we know, the US is currently trying to figure out how to enforce the UIGEA — the AMERICAN BANKS say they can’t really do it — so now, instead of rewriting our own bad laws, we are pressuring the UK to change theirs.

And here’s an article about EL PASO’S rich gambling history
– underground or not — over the past 100+ years, starting with a mayor in 1895 known as “Poker Bob” Campbell.

A NEW BLOG (to me) I am now following semi-regularly: David Matthews’ Gambling in Space.

Through him, I learned about FRANK GAGLIARDI, a California Lottery winner who also likes to gamble and recently won his very relevant (to me and you) court case vs. the IRS:

If this case stands, then it could effectively rewrite tax law and make it easier for gamblers to report losses and more difficult for the IRS to go after gamblers.

BALLY TECHNOLOGY also won a pretty big case in court — against SHUFFLE MASTER, which up to this point has maintained an expensive stranglehold on the automatic shufflers you see in poker tables.

And CALIFORNIA JEN may have loved the poker mockumentary THE GRAND, but not everybody did.

Crap, that’s hardly everything, but I have to run …

Road Gambles

by , Dec 28, 2007 | 7:57 pm


Pokerati limo driver Bob Haney, headed to Vegas where he will join nearly a dozen other Rounder Club expats in pursuit of a better poker life.

STATE HWY 287 (Somewhere in the Texas Panhandle)–Call it a whim if you will, but Pokerati has decided to relocate … to Las Vegas. And we’re en route right now. Like literally — as I type we’re slowing down for the junction with Farm Road 2530 as we head in to Childress. As far as I know, there’s no law against blogging while driving, right?

OK, that’s kinda a joke … we’re not stupid, and Pokerati likes to roll in style, which is why we have a chauffeur handling some of the commute. Meet Bob (pictured). Bob was one of the first Lodge Amateur Poker players … who would go on to win the LAP Player of the Year, earning him a seat in last year’s WSOP Seniors event. He woulda cashed, too, had he not gotten it all-in pre-flop with AA against 55 … only to see a flop of 10-5-5. Ah, yes, the 21+ hour drive from Dallas to Las Vegas will clearly be much more enjoyable as we get to trade bad-beat stories all along the way!

Anyhow, Bob is headed to Vegas, he says, “to pursue my new love, which is cards.” And apparently he gives me some sort of credit blame for his addiction playing poker cupid. So after recently getting fired from his job as a security guard under legally nefarious circumstances (two-time whistleblower vs. an allegedly embezzly boss), he said “fuggit!” and decided to hitch a ride with Pokerati to the Nevada desert, where he plans to go to dealer school and start a new chapter in his life.

Hmm, sounds good to us.

My Horse Is Out :(

by , Aug 25, 2007 | 4:24 pm

Lodge and Rounder Club alum Chuck Pettigrew has been eliminated relatively early in Day 3-Day 1 of the Red River Roundup at Winstar. I didn’t even get to see him play, so I am sure he is wondering if he is going to get the $100 for the 8 percent of him I bought. Sure, he has delivered already on his 8 percent of $0 … but from what I have learned from so many “big name” pros out there, when you make these sorts of deals, you see, you don’t really have to pay … at least not right away. Don’t get me wrong, Chuck, had you made it into the money, or even built up a healthy chip stack, I’d be right by your side cheering you on, all the way to the cashier’s cage!

Better luck next time, sucker.

UPDATE: Chuck did have the pleasure of getting seated next to Kido Pham. That was presumably fun … at least for a few hours.

Sneakin’ Out

by , Aug 8, 2007 | 5:23 am

LAS VEGAS–I just woke up from a dream about the World Series, the Rio, Clonie, and the guys from Wicked Chops (who were waiting in line but had no potato chips). Took another big hit at the table yesterday but am still up for the whole 2+ month trip … but just barely. Today/yesterday I met another “fixer” — who can hook me up with all the drugs, whores, limos, five-star personal chefs, and/or young boys one could ever want. (But no younger than 18! “This is Vegas, dude, but that would just be wrong.”) A good chunk of his client list supposedly includes aging rock stars and elected officials. I also suffered my first slot machine losses of the century — $20. It’s clearly time for me to go.

(Actually I am running a little late — should face some tough California traffic in the morning, as I am taking the long way home.)

Big ups and mad props to the gentlemen of Rounder Club West for putting up with me for my post-WSOP encore. Thanks Don and Doc. But I’m gonna get outta here before you see what I did in the corner.

UPDATE: Got a voicemail from Doctor Steve while I was napping, and he (finally) cashed in a Sahara tourney for $600. Congrats, Doc! Knew you could do it! Next step is winning it all. Our work here is finished just beginning …

Cash Game Report

by , Jul 29, 2007 | 8:15 am

LAS VEGAS–Funny how being in Las Vegas has put me so out of touch with all the poker news. I think there are some big tournaments going on, online poker execs in the courts, business deals shaking down, but I’ve got little to report other than poker being played. Still, it’s been kinda interesting to see who you run into at the tables around this town:

The first notable I ran into was OREL HERSHEISER, who apparently just moved here to Las Vegas and sat to my left in a 1/2 NLH game at RED ROCK — fresh after being denied selection into the baseball HALL OF FAME. I tried to play the not-knowing-who-he-is thing — “You lost a vote? Were you running for city council or congress or something?” — but he would end up busting me out when I tried to run a little STOP-N-GO. As I pushed all-in, he asked, “How much money do you have?”

“Um, I’m all-in. About $140 more,” I said, pointing to my stacks.

“No, I mean other money. Because we can make a little side-bet away from the table,” he said, upon showing me THE NUTS.

Red Rock seems to be the OFF-STRIP place to be. On my second post-WSOP outing there, I ran into GARY THOMPSON — World Series of Poker media master and tournament overlord. He was wearing comfortable jeans, loafers, and a button-down shirt while playing 2/5 NLH. With about $800 in front of him, he said he was “down a couple hundred.” But it wouldn’t take long for him to grow his stacks, and a few hours later, he had moved up to the 5/10 game and had what looked to be about $2k.

On that same day, I saw A GUY I BUSTED at the Rio. He was a good player who went with the whole BLACK HOODIE and SUNGLASSES kinda thing, while saying almost nothing and acting with stoic (but angry) CHRIS FERGUSON-like motions. He was playing 1/2 NLH and nursing about $200.

Over at THE VENETIAN in the 2/5 game, I found myself up against a WSOP Dealer — SHAI the ISRAELI GUY. He was sick when I pushed all-in and convinced him to fold his top-pair-top-kicker that would turn into TOP BOAT … only to see the guy who took down the pot from me win with KING-HIGH. A couple hours later I was playing a goofy hand with K-6 offsuit in late position, the flop came K-7-K … he checks, I bet, he raises big, I call. Turn is a 6, he pushes all-in, I call … at which point he shows his POCKET 7s. The table cheers for a FOURTH SEVEN, but it doesn’t come and I send him to the ATM.

One table over, KARINA JETT’S MOTHER was playing — beyond her typical quiet game, she was practically falling asleep at the table (at 3 AM) while nursing about $400. She may not remember this, but she won a $15 PROP BET from me once over a RULES DISPUTE. (My bad … I thought I knew stuff.)

abraham1.jpgBack at RED ROCK a couple days later, I ran into ABRAHAM, and he really deserves his own post, because he tilted the table unlike anything I had ever seen — and even managed to invoke mockery from a cute young girl who wasn’t playing. Basically imagine the worst personality and poker characteristics of ME, TIM ROGERS and EON MARSHALL all wrapped up into an obnoxious kid who graduated from high school in 2003 and is well aware that he looks like STU UNGAR. Then give him a lot of chips. (His behavior and play was so table-altering it had me interrupting TOM SCHNEIDER’S vacation in ST. THOMAS for some emergency coaching … who advised me well until I played back without paying attention to a guy to my left who had pocket kings.)

I really wanted to KILL THIS KID, or at least make him cry. And so did everyone else — especially the old (presumably) gay man who he busted by calling a $260 raise pre-flop with 2-3 suited only to flop two threes. But he can’t be all that bad, because without provoking from me, he at one point shouted, “THE HAMMER!” with glee. Hey kid, if you are reading this, what I told you at the table after you “bluffed” me with pocket-5s and then taunted (it took me a good five minutes to lay down Ace-high) still applies: “I look forward to seeing you get your education.” Punk-ass. Like seriously, you had at least two of us at the table contemplating how one might go about rolling you in the parking lot.

One of the cool things about Red Rock is that when you need to shake off a bad beat or just step away from a dipshit the table to refocus, you can go BOWL A GAME 24 hours a day — for $3 +$3.50 for shoes. That seems like positive EV.

The picture above is from a day I didn’t actually play poker … but I did walk through the poker room just for funsies after bowling, and whom should I run into but NOLAN DALLA, longtime Dallas poker expat and WSOP media guru, legendary sports handicapper, and Stu Ungar biographer. He was wearing CARGO SHORTS, a frumpled shirt, and seemed pleasantly drinky while playing 5/10 NLH with a couple old friends from POKERSTARS.

“I’m stuck $800 but having a great time!” he screamed upon embracing me with a BEAR HUG. “Isn’t this a great casino!?! Hey everybody, it’s Dan from Pokerati!”


“Oh, right …” Nolan said. “Didn’t mean to blow your cover.”

I also ran into STEVE HALL one night at Red Rock, too. He was playing PENNY VIDEO SLOTS. He had a big hit of some sort of crazy picture combinations that won him about $60.

And then to top it all off, I went to CAESAR’S PALACE with DON JONES (of Rounder Club fame), LEIGH & BRIAN from the Poker Atlas , DOCTOR STEVE, and former Absolute Poker marketing chick JEN TIDWELL to play in their 50-player-max $65 tourney. We all had 10 percent of each other, which proved irrelevant as our top player would bubble.

I was the first to bust out (of the tournament) and would take a seat playing some 2/5. Of all the poker tables in Las Vegas … what are the chances that DAN BALLENGER (aka HONG KONG SUE, father of SON OF SUE) would get seated at my table? It would take more than a full orbit before he realized he was sitting with a fellow BATFACE. He bought in for $500 and cashed out a couple hours later for a little less than that. HKS got most of those chips from me … calling a $100 bluff with second-pair-no-kicker (what was I THINKING!?!) … and then bluffing me out of a $400+ pot on the river, getting me to lay down aces. He mucked at the time, but told me as he left that he pushed all-in for his remaining $135 with an underpair. Wish I hadn’t asked, because it had me semi-tilting for a good 30 minutes or more. I know he was just trying to be nice, but still …

Then JASON from JACKIE’S (in Dallas) and “RICKY ZILEM” showed up. They were just walking through checking out the action. Fancy running into these guys here. Chris/Ricky, said, “I did what nobody does when they first land in Vegas and took a nap.”

Ah, indeed.

Small world. Good times.


by , Jul 11, 2007 | 4:40 pm

UPDATE (4:39 pdt): JOSH EVANS still kicking ass. 300k in chips puts him near the top.

LAS VEGAS–Day 2b action is well underway about to get underway. In fact, it probably already will be so by the time this post is finished. It rained last night in Las Vegas — I knew it would!

Today, like yesterday, is all about the serious, “somber” poker. Most of the folks who got chips early by getting lucky will be getting knocked out. Short stacks will consistently be all-in. And serious players with a real chance of going deep will figure out if they’ll be nursing their chips into the money or making moves to put them in a position to really contend.

2007 WSOP Player of the Year TOM SCHNEIDER, by the way, is out. Happened a few hands after the dinner break, at which point he told me he was so beat down from the World Series that he didn’t really care if he got eliminated, because it would mean he could go home. Shocking with that attitude that he didn’t win.

Perhaps RANDY BROWN will do better. He starts today with 67,000 chips.

UPDATE: TBR is out. Lost every hand he played, he says. Got it all-in on the button, pushing with pocket 9s into a single-limped pot. The small blind woke up with Kings, the big blind with Aces. The BATFACES officially go 0-fer in the 2007 WSOP, but win the award for best hats.

Better luck next year, “The Big Randy.” You seem to have Day 1 figured out, but can’t make it through Day 2 with terrible cards unless you have a tiny, tiny stack.

TBR, by the way, was sitting virtually back-to-back with SHANNON ELIZABETH throughout Day 1. Nice! Go Poker!

Oops, zoom lens malfunction … Anyhow, yes, SHANNON ELIZABETH is out.

JOSH EVANS (below, left) will be a guy to really watch, as he carries 240,000 chips into Day 2 … with the money just a day-and-a-half only a day away.

And another North Texas pokerer fighting to make it to the pre-money bubble is JERRY RANDACK (right). Considering that he took 2nd place in the 2007 Pokerati Invitational, we like his chances.

Dallas big-game player PRIMO is also still alive. He’s seen here tearing up the $5/$10 NLH cash game (moments away from bluffing — oops! — away more than $1,300 in a hand).

We’re still looking for VANDY CROUCH — seen here, cashing in the 6-handed No-Limit event — who is rumored to be protecting some 240,000 chips.

UPDATE: I mean not like right now. He finished Day 2a with about that many. He makes it to Day 3 — where the fight for the money begins!

For those who may have missed it, ROUNDER CLUB representative CHRIS COMO did not move on to day 2. Despite building up his stacks and taking control of his table, he got beat down toward the end of the day, and, in the end, surrendered them to online powerhouse CARL OLSON.

Batface / Rounder / Clonie Update

by , Jul 8, 2007 | 11:30 pm

LAS VEGAS–OK, this will probably be my last update of the night, because I have TWO parties I HAVE to get to. One is with my old-good-good-ole friends at PartyPoker, and the other is a bikini party at a pool. So I am sure you understand.

Clonie Gowen is out. Not happy.

Chris Como is holding together nicely, with about 33,000. UPDATE: Just took a hit and looks a little bummed. But now with about 24,000, he still has almost as many chips as Tom Schneider.

Randy Brown, whom you all know as “The Big Randy” is in the top 10 or 20 in chips for the day, with at least 115,000.

Um, Go Batfaces/Watch out Arizona Posse!?! Sorry folks … yes, I’ve got pictures, but they are going to have to wait. Enjoy what’s in the Pokerati Flickr files in the meantime.

Quick Batface/Rounder Update

by , | 6:43 pm

LAS VEGAS–Everyone keeps texting me looking for results. Players are on break, and Como is just above where he started, with about 23,000. TBR is going strong, with something like 36 or 37ish k. And he looks quite stylish sporting his intriguing Batfaces lid.

UPDATE: The Big Randy is getting bigger. He’s at 63,500. I happen to be sitting next to some key PokerNews reporters and have informed them, and they have taken note of his progress but have also given me a polite, “let’s see how things stand after the dinner break before we start tracking someone we don’t know.” Fair enough, because you certainly can’t count on my sticking around any more than you can count on the running chip counters to recognize his Batfaces hat.

At that point his count would become “stale” — something PokerNews tries to avoid, I just learned.

2,552 Registered so far for Main Event

by , Jul 3, 2007 | 6:05 pm

LAS VEGAS–Start of the main event is three days away … six more days to buy in. Chris Como — the great Rounder Club hope — just arrived and was number 2,552.

Could be wrong … but I think this suggests the numbers will be much bigger than expected. In the qualifier that I played for the Binion’s Tournament, There were only nine entrants five minutes before cards went in the air. By the time registration was closed, there were 31 entrants. Perhaps it’s not best comparing a $70 event to a $10,000 one … but I think it says something sociological about poker players and their buy-in habits.

PREDICTION: Pokerati’s 4,001 over/under line is gonna be well surpassed. Tom Schneider’s $5,000 prop bet with Jeff Lisandro — 5,849 or fewer — is in jeopardy.


by , Jun 30, 2007 | 5:02 pm

LAS VEGAS–Yesterday was kinda a crazy day — full moon and all — and today looks to be just a shade less looney.

Play has just three hours ago gotten underway in the last $1,500 NLH. According to Mean Gene:

Eerily Quiet
You put 3,000 people in a room you’d think there’d be a bit of noise, but as with the other $1,500 events we’ve covered the room falls nearly silent when play begins. For so many of these players this is their first World Series event and while they have their game faces on, it takes some time for them to find their voices. A dry mouth will do that to you.

The final table of $1,000 7-stud Hi Lo gets underway at 3 pm. This was supposed to be just a two-day event. TOM SCHNEIDER entered into nine-handed play last night (with a random fifth alternating between two tables) as the shortest stack; he’ll take his seat as the CHIP LEADER.

Hoyt Verner 129,000
Scotty Nguyen 203,000
Hieu “Tony” Ma 60,000
Saundra Taylor 202,000
Tom Schneider 275,000
Tommy Hang 110,000
Miguel De La Cruz 253,000
Woody Deck 110,000

SCOTTY NGUYEN should be sober by then. He gave Tom a lot of chips as he got drinky and aggressive in the wee hours, turning over bluff after bluff as Tom drank with him and laughed it up while rebuilding his stacks.

Dallas poker lady SONG WEBB, by the way, won $4,498 for finishing 26th; and OLIVER TSE (who started the day at Tom’s table) scored his first WSOP cash (in 11 tries) with a 21st place for $5,106.

Oliver stuck around last night long after he busted because, in his off-the-table attempts to become the BRIAN BALSBAUGH of non-American players, he was chasing down a couple GERMANS fighting for a seat at the final table.

Click here to follow today’s bracelet-eyed action semi-live.

Also going on is Day 2 of $1,000 2-7 Triple Draw with Rebuys. Blogger GARTHMEISTER J was rockin’ until a “brutal” last half hour yesterday left him in the middle of a skill-studded pack.

Garthy giving a shout out to the Batfaces.

Getting underway about an hour ago is the final table of $5,000 Short-handed No-Limit Hold’em:

Seat 1: Greg Pohler – 655,000
Seat 2: Alex Bolotin – 2,010,000
Seat 3: Gioi Luong – 570,00
Seat 4: Bill Edler – 535,000
Seat 5: Dutch Boyd – 705,000
Seat 6: Erik Friberg – 2,795,000

Some friendly North Texas faces made quite a showing in this event …

Raj Kattamuri (left) finished in 13th place, winning $27,031. Vandy Krouch got $16,766 for finishing 26th. And GREGG MERKOW eeked into the money — 78th place, $6,159.

Other notable cashers include: Tobey Maguire, Vicki Coren, Jamie Gold, Scott Clements, Men the Master, Justin Bonomo, Phil Hellmuth, and Dustin Woolf.

Day 2 of the $2,000 NL Hold’em event is rolling — playing down from 147 players to a final table. This event also featured a ROUNDER CLUB cash: GINA Salinas-Torres won $4,080 for finishing 180th. Way to go, Gina!

Check this out:

A drunken THOMAS WAHLROOS showing how the Euros like to have fun fucking with HELLMUTH …

[via Shuttergypsy]

The EUROS are arriving in force. ENGLISH-ONLY is becoming more and more of a rules call throughout the Rio and Las Vegas. Just ask STEVE WONG, who finished 7th in the SHORT-HANDED event, or MARCEL LUSKE, who fell short of winning a bracelet yesterday in $2,000 Omaha Hi Lo …

Amateur Qualifies for Main Event
Earthshaking News in Online, Live Poker Worlds!

by , Jun 25, 2007 | 9:16 am

OK, so maybe he isn’t the first amateur online qualifier, nor will he be the last … But he is the first Rounder Clubber to make accomplish such a feat, and that’s pretty cool. So big congrats to Chris Como, the most accomplished Lodge Amateur Poker graduate and Rounder Club alum. He invested $24+2 in a 336-player event on Full Tilt, where the top 25 qualified for a $200 event … where the top 9 out of 552 won a $12,000 main-event package.

(Sorry Como, can’t Google- hide your name any more … When you register for the WSOP, that becomes a matter of semi-public record.)

UPDATE: Numbers corrected above. Interestingly enough, the first tourney was the last super-satellite into the last WSOP-qualifying satellite on Full Tilt. Como played both events back-to-back, from about 6 pm to 1:30 am.

So out of however many hundreds of pros and thousands of amateurs in the main event, he is now someone whose progress Pokerati will be following — and we couldn’t be happier. Go Como! Make the final table and maybe we can get you a jersey.

In addition to him, below are other the players we care about might possibly be watching in a couple weeks:


Man Down :(

by , May 30, 2007 | 1:16 am

Pat Johnson, one of the most lovable cranky old bastards you might ever sit across from at a table, died last week at age 63 — after a motorcycle accident in Alabama. I don’t know many details about his death, but a lot of Dallas players know a few things about how he lived the last few years of his life …

Pat was a widower in declining health, and there was something charming about the way this semi-retired accountant chose to enjoy his senior singlehood — surrounded by attractive young women, playing amateur and low-stakes poker, riding his Harley, and (shamelessly) wearing a t-shirt that said “Grandpa Gone Wild.”