Posts Tagged ‘tournaments’


by , Oct 29, 2011 | 1:24 pm

margaritaville casino las vegasSometime during this year I decided I wanted to add more tournaments to my poker diet.  I’ve been a cash game grinder for my entire poker-playing career and don’t really have anything to speak of in regards to big tourney scores.  My “official” tourney resume is pretty weak.  That being said, I think every high-volume tournament pro wishes they crushed at cash games, and I think that every cash game grinder wants that feeling that only a tournament victory can bring: the combination of the big pay day combined with being the last man or woman standing at the end of the day (or day 2, 3, 4, what have you).  It very well could be my ego projecting my perceived thoughts onto the rest of the poker-playing community, but why would you not want to be well rounded in your profession and have multiple skill sets?

I’ve torched a lot of money being irresponsible … Vegas definitely has a way of seeping into any crack in your guard wall and blowing it wide open.

If you think that low stakes live poker games tend to be pretty soft, you should check out some of the tournament series that are running this month and next around Vegas.  You’ll see things that will make your head shake and leave you feeling good about the future of poker and its draw to the casual players.  However, these are tournaments we’re talking about, which means you’re a bit handcuffed in regards to how much manipulation of tourists you’ll be able to partake in compared to the cash games.  The structures for a lot of the events are pretty good, but variance is still a bitch.  I won’t go into detail about some of the ridiculous beats I’ve taken over the past week to send me on a walk of shame toward valet.  I’m gonna keep plugging away though with a healthy mix of the series, and cash games when there isn’t an event to my liking.


Commerce Guaranteed Million Dollar Tournament – Day 1a update

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 7:02 am

The first of five opening days of the Matt Savage-run $335 Commerce Casino Million Dollar Guarantee tournament drew a field of 529 entries Tuesday afternoon, with the final 54 players making the money. Each day 1 will play down to the final 27, with the day 1 survivors returning Sunday afternoon to play down to a winner. If you bust out early, you’re allowed to enter the tournament on another day 1, meaning one could cash in the me tournament up to five times. Notables already playing Sunday include “Miami John” Cernuto, Tony Ma, Young Phan and Shan Jing. The full list of results can be found here. More information, including structure and payout information, can be found at the banner at the top of the page.

A tale of two tournaments

WPT World Championship and EPT San Remo underway

by , Apr 19, 2010 | 6:08 pm

The two major tournament circuits not named The World Series of Poker are currently running at the same time, with vastly different results. First, the $25,000 World Poker Tour World Championship at the Bellagio drew a field of only 195 entrants as registration closed after the conclusion of level 8. This continues the downward trend in the field size of most WPT events the past few years. Two years ago, the field in the WPT W.C was 545 players (won by David Chiu) and 338 last year (won by Yevginey Timoshenko). Only 18 spots will be paid, with the winner earning around $1,500,000. WPT Player of the Year leader Faraz Jaka is the current chip leader with 500,000 in chips. Follow the WPT Live updates here.

Meanwhile, the EPT San Remo event drew a field of 1,240 entrants paying €5,000, just 24 remain when play resumes Tuesday for day 5. The current chip leader is Allan Bække (3,483,000), winner of the most recent EPT event in Austria, looking to be the first to win a second EPT main event. The other recognizable name to the casual poker enthusiast is Liv Boeree (1,337,000) First prize is a cool €1,250,000, and you can watch live streaming coverage of the final two days (volcano permitting) will be available at starting at 6am ET or you can follow the live updates over at PokerNews.

Brande Roderick Doing Poker Stuff

by , Nov 2, 2009 | 3:39 pm

Annie Duke’s Celebrity Apprentice friendmate Brande Roderick is apparently sticking with the poker thing in some capacity. A series of $100 tourneys at Binion’s over the next few months include a chance to qualify for a Tournament of Champions … and the winner of that gets to spend the Super Bowl with the business-savvy Playboy bunny:

23-year-old Bankroll Management

by , Oct 13, 2009 | 6:09 pm

Suze Orman had another poker player call in to her “Can I Afford It?” segment seeking her approval to buy into a $1,200 tourney in Las Vegas. Young guy. Spoiler Alert: Quickest denial ever!

LOL, apparently Suze doesn’t understand that players like Brian are “good for the game.”

Jeff Shulman to Shake Up Poker Industry

Taking It to the Next Level, He Says?

by , Aug 25, 2009 | 7:04 pm

In the last edition of Card Player Magazine that I may receive (canceled the subscription after his initial WSOP comments), November Nine member Jeff Shulman takes the sly opportunity to make another unclear accusation point about the WSOP and Harrah’s.

To refresh memories, Shulman was headed for the final table of the WSOP Main Event in July and made some comments regarding the possibility of winning the bracelet, namely that he would throw the gold in the trash. Two days later, published a story allowing Shulman to clarify his feelings. He noted therein that he was disappointed in how the WSOP is run, and that it is no longer run by people who care about poker or have the players in mind. Some of his comments:

“Look, I love poker and entered with the hopes of winning,” Shulman stated. “But, more importantly, I support making the industry stronger and better for the players, and to do this, there needs to be some major changes to the way the World Series is run at the highest level. Hopefully, by doing something like this, people will start talking about those changes. I am going to stand by my commitment, but instead of pointlessly throwing it in the trash, I have come up with a few ideas.”

Jeff Shulman’s alternative bracelet ideas:
1. Auction off the bracelet and give the money to charity
2. Hold a tournament for all players shut out of the main event and award the winner the bracelet
3. Give the bracelet away in a tournament
4. Give the bracelet to Stephen Colbert

As the Card Player Media President and COO, Shulman has the magazine at his disposal in which to write a lengthy explanation of what is so wrong with Harrah’s and how he could fix poker. Instead, though, a page in the September 1 issue is dedicated (as always) to the Card Player TV show entitled “The Scoop with Adam & Diego,” and this time Shulman was the guest and excerpts were printed from the interview. Right off the bat, Diego Cordovez asked a question that baffled me coming from someone in the poker press:

“Now, the last couple of days, the poker press, what there is of it, has started to quote you and stir up controversy, which you initiated…”

Anyhooo, his answer? “…I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say that somebody’s got to do something about it. I’m not sure I’m the right guy, being that I’m in the industry, but it’s not like we have some special relationship here. They hate us, for whatever reason… I think they hate anyone who’s not a celebrity, or maybe it’s just that they treat the celebrities so much better than everyone else that they have special rules, they don’t get penalties. I’ve never seen anything like it. If we really want to take poker to the next level, you can’t have different rules for different people.”

Evidently, by disrespecting the WSOP bracelet and Harrah’s (and all the players who would do anything to be in his final table position), he plans to take poker to the next level. Would that be the rude and insulting level? Would that be the vague and evasive level? Would love to hear some thoughts on this issue…

(The opinions/insinuations herein are Cali Jen’s views and not necessarily those of Pokerati or Pokeratizens.)

Bike Kicks Off Legends of Poker With Upgrade

by , Jul 30, 2009 | 10:03 am

Setting foot in a casino card room for the first time since the WSOP yesterday, I did so to support my local L.A. poker spot The Bicycle Casino. The lovely Marketing Director Kelley O’Hara invited me to play in the media tournament in the brand new Event Center to kick off the month of Legends of Poker tournaments. While I opted not to play and only observed for a short time, I must say the Event Center is a vast improvement over the tournament room of the past. The spacious room is bright, welcoming, and about as elegant as Bell Gardens, California can get. Players at Legends events will be very pleasantly surprised.

Seems that about 180-200 people turned out to play in the tournament, including players like Annie Duke, Joe Reitman, Men Nguyen, and Jamie Gold. Some of the celebs spotted were Camryn Manheim and Sara Rue, along with local TV newscasters like hottie Phillip Palmer. It was no surprise that Duke took it down, though, and donated the winnings to Ante Up for Africa. (I get the feeling she’s really dedicated to that there organization.)

Two Cali Jen Player Picks Proceed to Day 5

by , Jul 11, 2009 | 8:12 pm

Oh yeah… I began to doubt my picks when many of their preliminary finishes were not as expected (or non-existent). But it seems that two of my favorites for the 2009 WSOP are heading to Day 5 of the Main Event!

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier came into Day 4 as the massive chip leader, and though he lost a little ground, he still finished the day with 1,253,000 chips.

And Kara Scott! She didn’t have a stellar day but ended it with 400K. After the flurry of bustouts after the money bubble today, she hung in there and posted a solid end-of-day result.

2009 WSOP Player Picks Progress (or Lack Thereof) in Preliminaries

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 12:32 am

Well, this just didn’t go as planned. The idea was to make some solid picks mixed with some off-the-wall choices for 2009 World Series performances, with the results proving me to be somewhat of a genius. Whoops.

Some of my players have done well and could very well tear up the Main Event, but I could have possibly done better than, for example, picking my dentist’s nephew. Here’s a little rundown of my eight players through the end of the preliminary events:

Daniel Negreanu – Clearly the best of the picks, Daniel had an excellent series, though possibly not by his own high standards. With eight cashes, two of which were in world championship events and two of which were final tables, he cashed for more than $330K in the series.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – One of the favorites in many player pools this year, ElkY cashed twice during the series but could not quite pull a final table. He did make the cover of Bluff Magazine, though, with the article written by fellow Frenchman Benjo.

Terrence Chan – He came into the WSOP with a hot online poker streak that simply didn’t translate into WSOP bracelets, only walking away with one cash in the preliminary events.

Kara Scott – Besides being a talented and professional EPT hostess, the woman can play some poker as well. She played one preliminary event – a $1,500 NLHE – prior to the Main Event and cashed in 58th place.

Luca Pagano – My favorite Italian player did not cash. Viva Italia next year and all that.

Jonathan Dull – My dentist’s nephew had one cash in a $1,500 NLHE event, but, well, I won’t have much to report to my dentist in July.

Dwyte Pilgrim – After 13 cashes in WSOP Circuit events over the past year, Dwyte ran cold at the WSOP in Vegas and wasn’t able to cash in the prelims. But his record over the past year doesn’t lie, so it’s just a matter of time, guy I’ve never met buddy.

Whit Blanton – Pokerati player Whit made a run at one event and didn’t find his way to the money. But he still loves Pokerati, and isn’t that what matters?

Bonus pick Mekhi Phifer – Ummm, where was he?

The Main Event is just kicking into gear, so at least one of my picks still has a chance to go deep. (Go Kara!)

Day 1D Will Take No More Registrants, Commissioner Apologizes

by , Jul 6, 2009 | 3:11 pm

The room was packed with players, who gathered on short notice to find out what Harrah’s would do with the hundreds (conservative number) of irate/disappointed/confused players who were denied entry to the 2009 WSOP Main Event because of their late arrivals to the sell-out event. Notables in the room included Mike Sexton, Mickey Appelman, and Melissa Hayden.

twitpic: @melissalvla

Between the tournament staff, Harrah’s staff, and security contingent, there were approximately 20 suits, lined in front of the room. Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack addressed the crowd with a prepared statement that began, “We are sorry and I am sorry.” He went on to say that the players would not be allowed to play, and that he understands that it is disappointing. “We wish we could accommodate you,” he said and added that he wished they would have played other starting days.

Questions were beamed at Pollack, many players talking over each other at times. Allegations of special treatment were aimed at Harrah’s, with some players asserting that well-known players were granted entry after others were shut out. Pollack’s response? “Absolutely not.”

Most questions revolved around the option of allowing players to begin play this evening and play through the night or somehow incorporating a Day 1E into the mix, but Pollack insisted that it would be logistically and operationally impossible to do. When someone pushed the subject, WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky jumped in with a question of his own directed at the player. “Why didn’t you show up earlier?” A collective “oooh” let Palansky know that he may have gone too far with the comment.

Pollack tried to cool the crowd with comments like, “We are not doing this happily today,” but it was clear that the players were not becoming any more satisfied with the comments. With Pollack promising that sell-out tournaments will be the number one topic to be discussed when planning the 2010 WSOP, he eventually ended the meeting with parting words “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Pollack, Palansky, and other executives went out a private side entrance protected by security.

Ladies in the WSOP House: Cali Jen Treads Lightly…For Now

by , Jun 7, 2009 | 2:07 pm

It was two years ago that I wrote my first opinion piece about the WSOP ladies-only tournament. After I received a sufficient amount of hate mail, I wrote a follow-up piece. I skipped the subject at the 2008 WSOP except for a few snarky comments, and now it slaps me in the face yet again as I sit on media row in front of a sea of women. In lieu of a rant or reiteration of my previously-stated feelings on the issue, I’ll just relay a few notes.

• When your practice game isn’t at a casino but in a home game with your husband and your dad, you might be in trouble at the WSOP.

• When your first instinct at the table is to introduce yourself to everyone and ask where they’re from instead of sizing them up and concentrating on your own strategy, you’re giving off a big tell.

• If you have to apologize for knocking another player out of the tournament, you’re not cut out for tournament poker.

• When the floor staff is openly yawning while observing the tables, the play is not exactly top-notch.

• When tables full of women squeal at every mention of finishing a level or moving to a new table, this is clearly not a room full of pros.

• When the tournament announcer says that another event’s restart will be in the other room to “make room for all these beautiful ladies,” they’re talking to you like you’re “special people” and you shouldn’t smile about that.

Media row is half empty today and will be until the 5pm start of the World Championship O8 tournament. And those of us who are here are praying for the men to arrive for other events so it evens out a bit. For me, add some women-tilt that came from a phone call attempting to convince me not to write anything negative about the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, and I’m simply trying not to write something that will get me bitch-slapped I may regret later. I’ll be staying out of the hallways on breaks, that’s for sure.

RE: Stalking Moment of the Day

by , Jun 2, 2009 | 3:41 pm

Oh yes, Nelly is here again! He is playing in the $1.5K NLHE today at the WSOP, rocking the gray hoodie again and sporting his biggest accessory – a massive bodyguard on the rail. Thus, the lack of a new photo from today’s event. Honestly, I am not prepared to be reported to security or have a “chat” with his bodyguard, so I decided to keep my legally required distance.

Please refer to my previous Nelly post for stalking goodness.

Lessons From the WSOP’s $40K Tournament

by , May 30, 2009 | 3:03 pm

This post answers the question: What have we learned from the $40K?

1.       There is a definite need for a “high roller” No Limit tournament at the WSOP each year. This is obvious because 201 players ponied-up the cheddar to play in the $40K, generating a monster prize pool and a $1,891,102 first place prize. This shows that there are plenty of players willing to participate in this type of event and the field might grow larger if Harrah’s starts running satellites online and makes it a yearly tradition.

2.       Television cameras are still a big deal to poker players. It is obvious poker pros are still trying to get endorsement deals and promote their sponsors. There is no easier way to do that than by making an ESPN final table. With no television coverage slated for the $50k H.O.R.S.E. tournament this year, the $40k’s coverage could be the main reason why there may be a smaller field in the big buy-in mixed games tournment.

3.        No Limit Hold’em puts asses in the seats. Since the majority of the mainstream poker fans have spent the last couple of years watching No Limit on television, it is only logical that the $40K would bring the railbirds out in droves. Kudos to Jeffrey Pollack and company for packing the isles with the first “major” tournament.

4.       With arguably the toughest No Limit field in WSOP history, this event brought out a sizeable number of players that would traditionally avoid the $50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament. The reason for this is that there is a strong contingency of players whose expertise lies strictly in No Limit whereas there are only a small percentage of players who feel genuinely comfortable playing mixed games with the best  players from around the world.

5.       Always make sure to follow the mantra of “Start with a bang.” Granted the $1,000 Stimulus special has sold out, but in the end, only a few will care who won this donkfest, but plenty of people will pay attention to the winner of the $40K thanks to ESPN’s coverage and the incredible level of talent in the field.

6.       Despite the fact that all WSOP bracelets are supposed to be considered equal, you have to admit that it sounds much sexier to say you beat the world’s top players in one of the biggest buy-in tournaments on the planet instead of saying that you outlasted 5,999 punters in a $1K bloodbath. ‘Nuff said.

Stimulus Special Sold Out

by , | 11:33 am

Many speculated that it would happen, but the last seat was sold just after 10am this morning, and the number is official: 6,000 entrants for Event 4. Another 2009 WSOP record was set with the final number, and it became the largest non-WSOP main event tournament ever to be held.

Players are already gathering in droves outside the Amazon Room for the first of two starting days of the $1,000 NLHE Stimulus Special. The madness will begin shortly!

See the official word after the jump.


Getting the Gold: First Bracelet Ceremony of the WSOP

by , | 11:08 am

(Warning: Sarcasm-free blog post. Enjoy it or hate it while it lasts.)

It was one of the best ideas that Commissioner Pollack and crew implemented in years. Starting yesterday, the bracelet ceremonies are in full effect to honor every event winner with a moment in the spotlight. Instead of winners like Andrew Cohen being given his bracelet in the wee hours of the morning when exhaustion mixes with emotion for a sometimes unfulfilling chaotic moment in time, he was honored as the Event 1 Casino Employees World Champion in the middle of the Amazon Room where the eyes of the fans, media, and fellow players were on him. Call me a sap, but it was a touching moment.

Every 2009 WSOP bracelet winner will receive the same treatment. And in a sea of players and tournaments and Day 1’s and Day 2’s and cash games and fan-filled aisles of people, the 2:20pm ceremony each day will be a refreshing few minutes that reminds everyone of why we’re all here.