Posts Tagged ‘the-Hammer’

Four Aces in Omaha

by , May 6, 2011 | 5:51 pm

pokerati game palms poker room PLO

Hand of the Night: Good times from middle position for $0 with the 13th-worst starting hand in Omaha.

Believe me, I realize a lot is going on in the poker world right now that you’d expect any fine folks at Pokerati to be all over … we probably are, but sometimes before pressing publish you gotta play a few hands, ya know, to remember why it is so many people have a special affection for a game that’s causing so much consternation. And because I recently blew 98 percent of my Zynga bankroll (thanks to sleepy play), pretty much my only option for a certain fix I crave is the Pokerati Game … now playing at the Palms.

Check it out, the new game promo in the upper right … sweet, huh?

We’re settling in to our new home nicely, buzz is spreading, and new players seem to like our kinda-sorta unique brand of half-PLO half-no-limit hold’em; the dealers are starting to figure out the slight nuances in how we play, too, and before long, anyone in the room should be able to recite rule #3a on command in English and Spanish. OK, maybe I jest … but the Palms has been really supportive of our game — so much so that they made us the nifty banner to go with my food comps.


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 32

by , Jun 28, 2010 | 6:56 am

A reminder that day 2 of the WSOP Tournament of Champions resumes shortly after 12pm PT this afternoon. ESPN3 will be streaming the action with 22 players remaining as they play four more levels before concluding the action on July 4. To see how the field stands and get updates for those unable to watch, head to

Two more players picked up their first WSOP bracelets this morning, and the rest of Sunday night’s WSOP tournament action:

Rockowitz hammers Coburn to win $1500 NL

The final hand of the $1,500 No-Limit Holdem event may have brought delight to some poker bloggers, as Jesse Rockowitz held the suited hammer (7h-2h), flopping two pair against Ray Coburn. Coburn turned a straight draw, but the river was of no help, giving Rockowitz the bracelet along with $721,373 for his victory. Coburn was resigned to collecting $446,274 from the cashier for the runner-up finish. Full results along with Nolan Dalla’s tournament report at

Bell rings up a bracelet in 5k PLO 8

Chris Bell, good friend of recent bracelet winner Gavin Smith, won a bracelet of his own, defeating Dan Shak in a lengthy heads-up battle to win the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better bracelet along with $327,040. Shak earned $202,142 for the runner-up finish, with David “Devilfish” Ulliott third for $150,925. Erik Seidel concluded his lengthy day after playing the Tournament of Champions by finishing in 5th for $85,800. Full results and Dalla’s report at

Yakovenko leads final day of 2500 Mixed Event

Day three of the $2,500 Mixed Event begins at 3:00pm today with Nikolai Yakovenko (310,000) leads the remaining 20 players in the field. Other notables returning include Matt Vengrin (276,600), Kirk Morrison (214,900), Scott Seiver (197,700), Alexander Kravchenko (178,100), Dario Minieri (145,600), Todd Brunson (101,400) and John D’Agostino (60,600). Full chip counts and updates during the afternoon at

$1k money day

Day 2 of the $1,000 No-Limit Holdem gets underway at 2:30 this afternoon with around 445 players returning to the Rio as they first reach the money when they reach 324 players, then try to get close to a final table, although that’s unlikely. The leader of the final 188 players who survived at the end of day 1b remains Ben Klier with 65,675. Other notables from day 1b: Pokerati fave Richard Ferro (64,375) Olivier Busquet (59,100), Jeff Madsen (43,000), Chris Moneymaker (41,125), Terrence Chan (29,200), David Sklansky (23,850) and Faraz Jaka (17,700). For Team Pokerati followers, John Harris finished with 12,425, Full chip counts now available at

Monday’s tournaments

Two more tournaments get underway this afternoon, starting with the seventh and final $1,500 No-Limit Holdem tournament of the WSOP. Last year’s winner was Tony Veckey, who defeated a field of 2,818, winning $673,276 for his only career cash. The 5pm tournament is the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, won by Richard Austin last year for $409,484 in besting a field of 363.

Hammer Day Passes with Little Fanfare

by , Feb 28, 2010 | 10:17 pm

Once upon a time, February 27, was perhaps more important to the poker blogosphere than 4/20. You’d see the pokergeeky intertubes go nuts over the date representing a dream flop for those of us who like to raise from early position with 2-7 offsuit. But after so many years — and perhaps just an economic necessity of grinding in the Obama era — has the Hammer lost its luster?

It’s still been fascinating to watch the mainstreaming of a hand over the years. I hope I don’t get crucified for disparaging the sacred 7-deuce (as no longer seen on High Stakes Poker) … but perhaps the jumping-the-shark moment for the Hammer came when UB took it on?

(Trash Talk) Tuesday Night Poker at the Hard Rock

by , Aug 4, 2009 | 8:37 pm

I’m headed out to play a little cash action … gonna go check out the Hard Rock — where the poker ops there have apparently taken a lesson from the Vegas nightclubs and have started to “own one night.”

They’re calling it Trash Talk Tuesdays, and indeed, have heard a teensy little buzz about it around town. Follow me on twitter for updates. My plan is to play tight and not get caught up in twittering.

As you can tell, this will be a big game for me — essentially $2/$5/$10 NLH that I hear grows even bigger as the night goes on. I’m a little nervous — am pretty sure it’s poor game selection to risk a third of your bankroll in a potentially wild, unfamiliar game playing at higher stakes than you’re used to. But sheesh, they’ve even got a bonus for playing the hammer! Go Dream Team money …

From Hard Rock Poker Lounge:

Trash Talk Tuesdays
Bad Sportsmanship Encouraged – ornery dealers, slow rollers & grown men crying…
Buy-in: $300-$3000
Mandatory “Hard Rock Straddle” on the button
Blinds: $2-$5
Seven Deuce Bounty

Warning: If you’re a whiny little baby who can’t take a joke about ginormously fat and disgusting your mother is, then this event is not for you. So stop reading this and MOVE ON!

More about this game from 2+2 here and Doc W (who took the picture from that game above) here.

UPDATE: You can see my results on twitter … but in a nutshell, this game plays WAAY bigger than 2/5 or even 5/10. Got my ass handed to me (twice) before dropping down to “Wacky 1-2” … which is essentially the same game with 1/2 blinds and a forced $4 straddle.

Dream Team Media Day

Real-money event tomorrow

by , Jul 11, 2009 | 9:47 am

Players can register for the event at the Dream Team Poker Registration booth in the Rio Convention Center Rotunda across from the jersey wall
Hours: 10am –9pm (Friday & Saturday) 9am – 12noon (Sunday)

A soon to be coveted Last Place media trophy, paying proper homage to The Hammer.

Pauly’s got a great write-up explaining YTF we all get so into this Dream Team Poker stuff … the accolades honestly aren’t just because we’re pimping partners. It’s more the other way around — we’re willing to do their bidding because they do such a fine job, which was evident in their dress-rehearsal for tomorrow’s event, which looks to be the biggest event ever (in terms of field size, at least) of its kind.

Mad from the Pokerstarsblog (aka the Pokerstarzistan state-run media), has taken part in some team poker events over in Europe but still saw this one as a bit of a gimmick — everyone’s skeptical at first — and yet by the time she was eliminated and her hopes left hanging on teammate Dennis Phillips, she described it as “the most fun I’ve ever had in the Rio — on this side of it at least.”

In footage that we like to think of as rawer than RawVegas, I took a bunch of pictures really really fast to give you a glimpse. Seriously, may well have been the first WSOP media event ever — at least in the 21st century — that had a sizable rail. And while the turbo format knocked people out quickly, it should come as little surprise that a bunch of media on their “day off” stuck around to behave like Japanese tourists:


Friday Night Videos

Sign of the Hammer

by , May 22, 2009 | 3:33 pm

Here’s a great pokery song (1985) that some of you may not probably don’t have in your ipods — Manowar’s anthem to the joys and power of being dealt 7-2 offsuit:

A good inspirational reminder before you kick off your weekend. Gotta like the way they play it, too.

Coming Soon: the LSOP?

by , Apr 14, 2009 | 7:52 pm

Actually, I’m hearing unconfirmed buzz about a World Series of Poker – Latin America, and I’m sure at least a few folks have thought about a WSOP in Asia. But something actively worked on: the “Latin Series of Poker” and “LSOP”. Legally, what these entities intend to be, according to their recent filings with the US Feds:

Entertainment services, namely, organizing, conducting, producing and exhibiting poker events and tournaments rendered live and through the media of television and the Internet, and providing poker news and information via a global computer network

Now to be sure, just because someone applies for a trademark doesn’t mean the business is going to fly. I suspect “Poker Bowl” was registered back in the day before its collapse. The folks behind the forthcoming LSOP are Siete Dos Publications out of Carson City, NV. Hmm, I didn’t realize actual people even lived in Carson City. But I do like the idea of a media company with a namesake mission of gloriously spreading word of The Hammer to the non-English-speaking world.

I do, however, wonder what the folks at Harrah’s think of that. Not only is it interesting to see the ongoing and evolving convergence between digital poker media and actual tournament operations, but also … We ran into some similar trouble in Dallas back in the day … when two independent but eventually overlapping groups of rounders were both running an annual tournament called The DSOP. (In the end the Batfaces surrendered the name to the guys in McKinney, I was allowed to keep my 2003 co-champion title, and Desktop Solutions of Pennsylvania was allowed to keep the highly coveted web domain.)

UPDATE: The LSOP is apparently not that new of a venture, even though they just applied this month for trademark registration. Their website — — is up and active, and has a $500k guaranteed main event scheduled for 110 days from now in Panama.

Phil Hellmuth Out

by , Jul 13, 2008 | 4:39 pm

He finished in 45th place, paying $154,400. It’s all probably Jen’s fault. I suspect the 10-4suited will now be wielded like The Hammer against Hellmuth only, and will become his kryptonite, impeding his effort to dodge bullets baby.

The people remaining that you may or may not care about:

Tiffany Michelle (Go MySpace friends!)
Mike Matusow (Go MySpace friends!)
Brandon Cantu (Go Jen’s MySpace friend!)
Gert Andersen
Kido Pham (Go Dallas Poker/MySpace friends!)

UPDATE: Kido rode a tournament roller coaster extremely deep, but in the end he got flung in 41st place, also for $154,400 — about the size of a big-ass pot in the 25/50 PLO game at the old Red Man’s in Dallas.

Hammerin’ to the WSOP

by , Jun 1, 2008 | 3:44 pm

The World Series isn’t the only poker going on in the world right now — and Karridy tried to remind us of that with Pokerati’s new Citizen Stack Reporter thingy (beta – come join the fun with our shiny new toy!). The text he sent in that didn’t quite make it on the first go-round (but will now and in the future):

3 of the BTT cast are at a charity tornament in Dallas vying to win a WSOP entry. The TD tells us that Home Depot donated a $100 (!?) hammer for any player who takes one down with Dan’s favorite hand. As its announced, a guy to my left says “sounds like one of Dan’s ideas”. Turns out that Whit is a pokerati reader and made me from the player list. A few moments later, SnG raises a limped pot with 72o and is rewarded with two pair on the flop. Here’s a pic of SnG just before he asked if there was a receipt.

High Stakes Celebrity Poker

Dennis Hopper celebrates the Hammer at Cannes

by , May 18, 2008 | 10:48 pm

Perhaps as a reminder of where poker pros really stand when it comes to the celebrity biz (yet also a reminder of just how fun/popular poker fundraisers still are) there was a big-wig charity poker tourney at the Cannes Film Festival that Phil Hellmuth did not host and not a single Full Tilt player competed in. Shocking, I know … especially considering that the event was semi-televised: The Partouche Charity Poker Festival aired live on TV screens throughout the Palm Beach Casino. (Interesting concept, no?) seems like it was turned into a 90-minute souvenir that may or may not be for sale. Very confusing, the televised part.

At Cannes charity poker event

Woody Harrelson giving his best Phil Hellmuth impression on the red carpet before co-winning the Partouche Charity Poker Festival in France.

The occasion was Dennis Hopper’s big 7-2. Woody Harrelson, star of the latest poker-movie flop, The Grand, ended up chopping the $1 million prize pool with French actress Alice Taglioni.

Because no poker media was there, I can’t really tell you much about the set-up or structure or even how the 50 (?!) cameras were working, but I can tell you that Hopper had a 100kg strawberry sponge cake, and in defiance of French anti-smoking laws, lit up a cigar. Tim Robbins ordered a triple-vodka after what presumably was a bad beat/play … ex-Hollywood flames Salma Hayek and Ed Norton were civil to each other at the table, even though Hayek left without saying goodbye. Adrian Brody and Goldie Hawn rounded out the field, both wearing sunglasses.

Fascinating, I know. Dig/click in a little deeper and you’ll learn that Goldie’s daughter Kate Hudson is done with Owen Wilson and now hittin’ it with Lance Armstrong, who is done with Sheryl Crow who long ago was done with Owen Wilson.

Go Poker Celebrities!

Heads-up Championship 2: Clubs-bracket tidbits
Because I happen to be here

by , Feb 29, 2008 | 6:07 pm

6:02 — Who is this announcer guy? Not too exciting nor comprehensive.

6:03 — Funny, he just made it over to the Tom vs. Gavin table … pointed out that Tom was trailing by “a little more than a few thousand chips.” He then seem confused by why Gavin had some book on the table. “Oops! I Won Too Much Money,” he said over the microphone, surprised to discover the author was right in front of him.

6:05 — “Gavin Smith takes down another nice pot. No one at this table is very afraid,” he said, presumably referring to Tom’s questionable call.

6:06 — Robert Goldfarb is on the other side of the room, not responding to my texts inquiring about what is going on over at his end.

6:09 — Chris Ferguson hits a three-outer on the river … I know see a hot blonde girl standing up and clapping, and am pretty sure that is his modeltastic Brazilian girlfriend.

6:13 — TJ Cloutier shows up and is laughing tickled upon hearing the report from Robert Williamson’s little sister (and favorite Pokerati stalking victim) who informs him that indeed, Hellmuth went out on the third hand. “Heh-heh-ha,” says Cloutier in his Hank-Hill chortle.

6:14 — Oh no! My personal sleeper pick and Arizona Posse-ite Hooman Nikzad is out. He got it all-in with the best, but Greg Raymer turned a set to advance.

6:20 — Tom pushes all-in, Gavin folds … to give the Donkey Bomber a 24k-16k lead. Last time these two played heads-up at the same time, both were competing for WSOP bracelets (in different events). Tom won his match, and Gavin lost his. Just sayin’ …

6:22 — At least two very Hammery flops have come in this 8-match quadrant of first round action. Both 7-7-2 flops have resulted in bets followed by folds. Very interesting.

6:30 — There are seats for about 90 spectators in this makeshift Caesar’s viewing coliseum. Twelve media spots (not counting the dozen or so NBC folks who have the run of the floor.

6:31 — Kenny Tran doubles up against Scott Clements thanks to running clubs. “The turn always gives you extra outs,” the announcer said. No it doesn’t, at least four of us in the room are thinking.

6:33 — Back to counting … there’s standing room only for about a dozen squeezed in around the rails.

6:34 — Greg Raymer can’t seem to leave, even though he’s already one. It’s clear (imho) he’s looking for camera time … not Phil Hellmuth-style for ego … but presumably to get some HD-pixel time for his patch-friends at PokerStars.

6:36 — As Raymer loudly mentioned PokerStars, a headphone-wearing producer woman just informed Fossilman that he was getting in the camera’s way and needed to leave. “Aww, c’mon,” Raymer unsuccessfully plead.

6:40 — Scott Clements’ AK holds up against A7, and California Jen’s pick to win it all moves on.

6:41 — Gabe Kaplan knocks out Antonius.

Comfort Food

by , Feb 23, 2008 | 12:00 pm


North Texas fireworks kingpin Ran Nelson brought his tight-aggressive Dallas game recently to the Mandalay Bay.

Though I haven’t been writing much about anything it, I have been hitting the tables here in Vegas. Have sampled a handful of rooms and action … spreading the lore of the Hammer and the Sang all along the way, of course, as I seek to replace the competitive camaraderie of the Batface home game perhaps with something akin to Jackie’s back in the (Dallas underground hey)day.

That came easier than usual this week, when TBR-bro-in-law Patrick came to town. He was staying at the Luxor, so we met up at Cathouse for a drink. (Cathouse is basically like the Lodge without the nipples, and Celeb-chef Kerry Simon in place of Jose Luis.) A couple Lagavulins later, we walked over to Mandalay Bay, where we took two seats together at a $2/$4 no-limit table. This was bigger stakes than either of us had been playing, but hey, we were feelin’ half-drinky good, and it seemed a better option than waiting, as the room was totally full and festive on a Thursday night. A familiar face was seated with us – Ran Nelson, a very good Dallas player whom I hadn’t seen since the days of Jackie’s – what a delight. He had a new cardmarker, a square block of acrylic with his little Stuey guy inside of it, surrounded by chips from the various important poker rooms to Ran, including WinStar in Oklahoma and the old Sixth Street in Dallas.

I was playing great – more-than-doubled up in about an hour by trapping a well-stacked opponent in classic Dan-style … but then was back to square 1 a few hands later when I got unlucky on the turn … and back to square 0 when I don’t remember what I did but I am pretty sure it was stupid, starting with playing the likes of [cards]qs 4s[/cards].

Mandalay Bay
$2/$4 NLH
Buy-in: $300
Cash out: $0
Food: starved
Drinks: $28
Net: -$328


Afterpoker Face: +$92

by , Dec 28, 2007 | 3:40 am

poker face +$92

The Sang Responsible for Absolute Destruction of the Poker Universe?

by , Oct 25, 2007 | 8:18 pm

This post is not for 99.997 percent of the readers out there.

But for the guys in the Batface home game … they might find it hardly surprising to know that on Sept. 12 — or right around that day — “sangy farha” started playing (for play money) on Full Tilt. That was the same day of the tournament on Absolute Poker that has since thrown the online poker world into a tizzy. The hand being played that sparked it all: Yep, you guessed it … 9-2 offsuit, aka The Sang, which we all know is kinda like the hammer, only a little bit more powerful.

Because of his connection to the scandal, Drinky Sang may or may not be making future appearances on Beyond the Table as our strategy and psychology correspondent. Click below to listen to Sang’s screen test, recorded on a drive home from The Lodge in a pouring rainstorm.


You’ll hear him talk a little final table strategy, discount his monster play-money bankroll online, threaten to kill people, lose his online chat priveliges, question the presence of Tom Schneider’s genitalia, threaten to kill the guys at Ante Up, and fall in love with a wet puppy.

So be sure to tune in to current and future episodes.

BTT: Card-Dead

by , Sep 28, 2007 | 10:32 am

The latest episode of Beyond the Table is up. Click to listen. In this week’s festive podcast, you’ll hear:

  • Dan misses a meeting … too many responsibilities.
  • Karridy on the Mathematics of PokerBowl.
  • Update on the Karridy vs. Big Robert music video challenge.
  • Tom heads out to the California State Poker Championship.
  • The resurgent popularity of douchebags?
  • Dan runnin’ bad and old men rollin’ bad in Oklahoma.
  • BTT improvements.
  • Who is Annette_15 and why wasn’t the WSOP Player of the Year at WSOP-Europe?

And if you missed it last week, click here for the Tom Schneider episode of Ante Up! Lots of real content on this show — too much to list, but you will delight in a German guy’s inquiring about Tom’s fondness for the Hammer and the most fascinating recount of a 7-stud Hi-Lo hand I’ve ever heard.