Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Five Poker Tournament Books You Must Own.

I've read and studied too many poker books to count. To save you time and money let me review for you the five best poker books on the market today, in my opinion.

Full Disclosure: I did not list my book since the article would lose credibility and I strongly urge you to consider these outstanding tournament poker books.

1. "Every Hand Revealed" by Gus Hansen

This is my favorite new book on tournament poker. Gus Hansen is one of the top poker pros having won millions of dollars.

In this book Gus takes you through each hand he plays in the 2007 Aussie Millions Event where he won $1.2 million. Not bad for a few days of work. You will learn how and when to be aggressive and the importance of figuring the odds when faced with a player who moves all-in against you. Also, Gus stresses the importance of the antes and how he is willing to re-raise a raiser pre-flop if he thinks he can get his opponent to fold.

2. "Making the Final Table" by Erick Lindgren

Erick Lindgren is another Poker Pro who has made millions of dollars at tournament poker. He just won his first bracelet at the 2008 World Series of Poker.

Erick outlines his strategies on winning no limit events. He will prove to you that the objective on a no limit tournament is not to survive but to accumulate chips. No one has ever folding their way to victory, and if you follow Erick's advice you will won't be sitting back waiting for pocket Aces ever again.

3. "The Book of Bluffs: How to Bluff and Win at Poker" by Matt Lessinger.

You need to know when and how to bluff to be a winning poker player. Matt has written a great book that will not only help your no limit tournament poker game but your poker game overall. I'm not bluffing.

4. "Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments-Vol I-III," by Dan Harrington

Dan Harrington is a solid tournament poker player and when he introduced his approach to the game back in 2004 it was breakthrough. He introduced players to new moves like the Continuation Bet, and a concept called "M."

While his approach to poker is well-known today, it is something you should fully understand since so many players follow his teachings.

5. "The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition" by many poker pros

If you want to get a range of thinking on how to approach all tournament poker games, including no limit tournaments, this is a solid book. Each chapter is written by a different poker pro which makes for interesting reading.

Crown Australian Poker Championship Logo

AUSSIE MILLIONS - An Overview of the Environment and the Players

The poker boom has swept the world in recent years and Australia, while late to catch on, has gone with it. Poker made initial inroads into the mainstream Down Under when cable television channel Fox8 started screening episodes of the World Poker Tour in 2004. Casinos around the country reported an increase in poker activity and player numbers from Australia also increased online.

The event that catapulted poker into the general public's eye though was in mid-2005, when Australia Joe Hachem took first place in the World Series of Poker Main Event. It made the front page of the newspapers and everyone was suddenly hailing this 'family man' who had made the journey to Vegas and taken down poker's top honor. Poker was suddenly the latest trend, poker chips were on the shelves of every store, free pub poker took off and celebrities began to play poker on free-to-air television.

In each of the major capital cities of Australia there is a casino, all of which now have a poker room. The biggest poker room in the country is at Melbourne's Crown Casino. Crown Casino is host to the 'Aussie Millions' tournament each January, which attracts the biggest names in poker each year.

Online poker in Australia is legal, but it is illegal for gaming companies to advertise real money gaming. Gambling earnings are taxed only if you are considered a professional; therefore many recreational and semi-professional players are not taxed on their poker income.

The Stars of Australian Poker

Everybody in poker knows about Joe Hachem, and the 2005 world champion has proven he was no one hit wonder. He has made multiple final tables of big $10,000 events and taken down a World Poker Tour title since.

Before Hachem came along, the most famous Australian poker player was 'Tong G'. A Lithuanian born Australian famous for his trash talking at the table, but he is also an excellent card player. He has multiple World Poker Tour final table appearances and a title, as well as good results all over the world.

Mel Judah, another World Poker Tour champion is a true veteran of the game and a much respected player in the poker community. He has two World Series of Poker bracelets, both in Seven Card Stud.

Jeff Lisandro has over $2,000,000 in career tournament winnings, but is known by many as a cash game specialist. He finished 17th in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, his appearance marred by an ugly incident where he was accused of not posting an ante' which on video replay was proven to be a misguided acquisition.

In 2006, young-gun Mark Vos won over $800,000 by taking down first place in the $2,000 No Limit Hold 'Em event. He is Australia most promising poker talent and one to look out for in the coming years.


Joseph Hachem, born 11 March 1966 is an Australianprofessional poker player known for winning the main event of the 2005 World Series of Poker. He was the first Australian to win the main event, which earned him $7.5 million, then a record for all-time biggest tournament prize.

The next year, Hachem won his first World Poker Tour title at the Bellagio Casino's Five Diamonds Poker Classic, earning him $2.2 million. He is one of only five poker players to win both a World Series of Poker main event and a World Poker Tour championship. Including his WSOP main event victory, Hachem has finished in the money in thirteen World Series events. 

As of July 2012, Hachem's tournament winnings exceed $11,700,000, making him the tenth highest ranked player in live tournament career earnings.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The WSOP, World Series of Poker 2012, Playlist

All About Poker Tournaments.

The conventional brick and mortar poker tournaments have always been liked and admired by the poker players but in recent times, there is o suspicion that the poker actions occur actually in online poker tournaments conducted by a range of poker rooms. Before one makes the choice of virtual poker tournament, it is crucial that one knows everything there knows about the online poker tournaments.
To ensure that poker tournament will be stopped after a handsome time span, the blinds or antes are gradually increased, making players think once again before they start. Just as in any ordinary poker tournament, every player start the poker game with similar chips and the entire game continues till the point when only a single player is remained with chips, the wining player of the game as well as the tournament.
The poker tournaments can have approximately 10 players on one table or even thousands and thousands of them in the multiple tables. Usually the forms of poker tournaments are fixed. Generally the winner does not have it all and virtual poker room separates the prize pool greatly among the top positions and winner then picks the largest amount of share. There are different types of tournaments for the game of poker.
Multi table tournaments are actually scheduled for some predetermined amount of time, involving hundreds and thousands of people enjoying the Omaha and Texas Holdem poker at different tables. Satellites are the tournaments different from rest of them as the very first prize is not just money, but the buy in. Such a prize generally involves the plain ticket package, hotel and also spending money apart from the required buy-in. the thought behind such a kind of tournament is to provide nice players a chance to actually participate in huge poker tournament that they cannot afford.
The sit n go tournaments start as soon as the players, generally 9 to 10 have actually assembled all around the poker table. Also, the Freezeouts are other forms of tournaments. Once the chips actually run out in such a kind of poker tournament, one has no option but to only withdraw from race to prizes as no re buys are actually permitted here. The knockout tournaments involve 2 poker players with similar amount of poker chips. The one who actually cleans out the chips of other player will be declared as the winner. In case of the re-buy tournaments, once the chips run out, one can buy more chips to continue the game. One can make unlimited or limited number of buys as per the online poker room or establishment one plays in.
It is imperative indeed to ensure that you do not waste all the money in very first set of rounds of online poker tournament. Keep strict control on the budget and on rising blinds. Keep the bets relative to increase of tournaments- the low blinds- low bets and even vice versa. Also, avoid the risky calls. Actually, think about each bet that you make. Do not forget that in case you move quickly, you may find yourself just out of that tournament. So be patient and make the moves with wise decision.

All About Poker Games.

Poker is a card game that requires the combination of skills, luck and strategies. The precise origin of the game has been mysterious although rumors have stated that people in China have learnt how to play poker since a couple of centuries ago. Despite the vague derivation of where exactly Poker came from, it is relatively easy to witness the widespread popularity of the game in western countries, especially the United States.

The first game of poker carried out in the United States was held in the Southern City of New Orleans, dated late in the 1800s. Besides, there has been a march of players travelling from Ohio Rivers and Mississippi to have hands-on attempt on the games. In fact, the excitement and addiction of the game has brought storm to the countries where spreading was done drastically.

Basically this game focuses on deciphering the competitors' gestures, expressions and demeanors. Any slight movement such as long breathing or twitch of the eyebrows may indicate to an observant and experienced player if you are either at the winning or losing edge. So if you wish to learn how to play poker, first, be sure to have a straight expression known as the "poker face". Some people claimed that celebrities, especially actors would succeed in poker game as they have high capabilities of controlling their emotions and facial expressions.

There are several variations of poker such as the "Seven Card Stud" and "Texas Hold 'em". In fact, the Poker game has been transmitted into the online form, making internet surfers and gamers become adhesively addicted to the games. Players can either choose to play with real rivals from other parts of the world or solely against the computer. Due to the elite emission of the online poker into the gaming world, many players especially the novice ones are now using the online game to practice their skills before they play in real authentic casinos. Undeniably, through adequate practice and with the right software, you are capable of being a Poker master.

Perhaps, you would be nervous and fearful during your initial visits to the casino. But as time passed by, you will gain your confidence and this game will no longer be a stranger to you. It is for sure that strategy is a core key in most games hence being the primary factor in determining either you being a winner or a loser. With adequate training and strong determination, you should be able to turn into a great poker player.

Women and Poker:the Exploitation of the Female Form.

Some of the main hubs of poker are also the most sexualized cities in the United States, name New Orleans and then later Las Vegas. These cities are absolutely oozing with sex, and although this paper is not trying to make a moralistic argument decrying these wild cities' lifestyles, much of these images have stuck to the game of poker itself. Perhaps this phenomenon would not be so bad if it played out evenly between the two sexes, but all one sees is the portrayal of partially disrobed women advertising for poker sites. One only needs to log onto the internet and search for "Women and Poker" to have a dozen women in bikinis immediately pop up on the screen.

In fact, yours truly actually did run a search specifically for "Women and Poker", and here are some of the surprising results. In no particular order we present 10 of the most tasteful poker sites on the web:

-Pokerium Online Poker Room and Casino: The front page of this website is a model of good taste and restraint. Many of the searches yielded interesting results, but this website was head and shoulders ahead. Upon opening the home page one finds an illustration of a scantily clad brown-haired vixen with a flower in her hair(no real women were harmed during the production of this design). The interesting part of this drawing is that she is placed inside of a huge Ace of Clubs. In the middle of the card, where the woman is located, lies a very large club, and the stem of said club just happens to terminate in the center of the woman's crotch. Although there is a possibility that this not-so-subtle innuendo was unintentional, we would not bet on it.

-Next on our list is the deliciously tasteful advertisement on hollywoodpoker.com for their "Babes & Bounties" tournament. To begin with, the title itself should be enough to ruffle the feathers of most women poker players. Then, the image used on the page is of a woman in a bikini top with money in the background behind her. And finally, for those players who aren't sold by the picture in the middle, the site claims that "12 of the sexiest poker hostesses in the game" will be present at the table. It's a good thing too, because most serious poker players refuse to play in tournaments with any less than 8 sexy poker hostesses. Finally, jus tto make sure that one can notice all the different features on the side, there is a picture of a woman on the left-hand side of the screen dressed in her rather unsupportive underwear lying down in front of a laptop with poker chips lying around her body. She is happily wearing a pair of flattering white high heeled shoes so that she can model at any moment during her poker game. A truly classy website.

-PokerWorld.com, an up and coming online card room, is another tastefully crafted website, with nothing to offend save for their new "Topless Bonus". The "Topless Bonus: The Shape of Things to Come" seems a stretch: with this promotion they will "top up" your account with a free 20% bonus. The stingy bonus does not only fall way short of the 200% bonuses floating around on various sites, it also offends the eye. They advertise it with a small silhouette of a woman, hardly exposing anything whatsoever. Why they chose to try and correlate a 20% with topless women is a mystery, but they surely went for it.

-Not to be outdone, Jungle Poker has its own female spokeswoman: none other than the lovely Cheynelle Fraser, a bartender/model who is now the official face of Jungle Poker. Why a poker site would need a sizzling hot model as a spokeswoman is a grand mystery. We suspect it is because the photos of Cheynelle - which include several excellent cleavage shots - surely have everything to do with poker and nothing with selling sexuality. Although the site may be using the good looks of beautiful Cheynelle to help promote their site, they are not just about T & A on their site: on the front page of the site they have an advertisement for their heads up Sit & Go tournaments, featuring two headshots of a man and a woman, both fully dressed, challenging each other to a card game. Hurray for equality!

-Europeans are no exception when it comes to using alluring images of the female form to help them sell their products. In a recent article published on poker.gamble.co.uk, the author writes about the upcoming Great British Poker Tour, and the centerpiece image of this article is a nude woman relaxing in a bathtub full of poker chips. It's a good thing that they posted this picture, because nothing says Great British Poker Tour better than a woman bathing nude in poker chips.

-The most morbid result found during the search came from best-poker-rakeback.net on their rakeback advertisement, which features a frightening illustration of zombie woman in a corset, fishnet stockings, heels, and a short skirt using a rake to gather up some playing cards that must have fallen off a tree. Although the idea of having somebody literally raking poker cards is cute, we're not sure about the need for a sexy undead woman.

-Gambling blog Oddjack paid homage to the women of poker in an article titled "Top 10 Sexiest Women of Poker". This enlightening four part series takes the readers through their list of what they view as the sexiest women in the poker world. Just to give a small taste of their depictions of these women, we will go over the first three women they talk about. Each woman has a picture with a caption beneath it. At number ten on their list is Courtney Friel, a television hostess for the world poker tour. The picture they have of her is in a lacy tank top: fair enough. She's obviously OK with the picture considering she modeled for it. Underneath the picure is a caption that says "Stop teasing us Courtney, tear those laces off!"

The next featured profile is that of Evelyn Ng. Underneath her picture they put a quote that says, "Evelyn sure is one sweet ride..." Sadly, they did not even try to be creative with this comment, the only possible connotation for this remark is a sexual one. They also remarked in her profile that she won the WPT Ladies Night event and that, "Yup, she kicked ass. Asses that belong to Annie Duke and Kathy Liebert. Asses I don't want to see anytime soon. No matter how much they pay me to." This hilarious joke about the physical assets of two of poker's greatest female players was insulting to say the least.

At number 8 on their list is none other than Lily Elviro. This strong poker player who, besides being a strong poker player, is physically well endowed as well. The picture which they used for her was taken during a poker tournament she played in and shows her at the table holding a pair of cards. She is leaning forward a little showing a fair portion of her not so small breasts. Unable to resist, the comment beneath the photo says, "It's hard for Lily to always carry a heavy set of puppies like that." If it wasn't for such brilliant writing most of us would completely miss out on such hard to miss features.

-Next on our list is an article written by Toby Bochan on her poker blog. This photo-article, featured on about.com, is titled "The hottest women of poker", and it is essentially an amateur photo gallery of professional femal poker players. The women featured in this article are Evelyn Ng, Shannon Elizabeth, Clonie Gowen, Jennifer Tilly, Liz Lieu, Vanessa Rousso, Isabelle Mercier, Cyndy Violette, Jennifer Harman, Annie Duke, Kristy Gazes, Chantel McNutty, and Jennefer "Jennicide" Leigh. Perhaps the most disturbing part about this gallery is not that these women have their pictures posted, but that none of the pictures were studio pictures. They all seem like photos that were taken in a clandestine manner on a digital camera. Does this strike anybody as creepy?

-Coming last on our list is none other than Full Tilt Poker, who recently issued a challenge between Paris Hilton and Clonie Gowen. Their hearts were definitely in the right place: they were to host a heads-up challenge between the two women and the winner would take the $100,000 prize and donate it to the charity of her choice. This sounds good, so why does this make our trash list? Well, if you go to the website, the page they created for this challenge has these two women stacked up next to each other. The title for their statistics is called their "Sexy Stats", and just to make sure that the best poker player wins, they even added a "Who is sexier?" poll at the bottom of the page.

The World Poker Tour (WPT), Season 10 Episode 25.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown

Final Table
1stUnited States Tommy Vedes$779,520
2ndUnited States John Dolan$459,360
3rdUnited States Joe Serock$306,240
4thUnited States Craig Bergeron$212,976
5thUnited States Sharon Levin$158,688
6thUnited States Kyle Bowker$122,496

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Esfandiari wins $18.3 million.

Antonio and HIS 18,000,000 Dollars Prize

It's a monumental number, the kind that only Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and one or two other athletes will get in one lump payment throughout their careers. Now, you can add Antonio Esfandiari to that very limited list. 

Esfandiari was one of 48 professional poker players and amateurs who put up $1 million each to participate in The Big One for One Drop, the Guy Laliberte brainchild that concluded Tuesday at the 2012 World Series of Poker. The 11.111 percent of the total entry fee that went to Laliberte's One Drop charity made the event an altruistic endeavor, but that was over and done with when the first cards were dealt on Sunday.

Through three days, Esfandiari glowed. He ran from table to table, joking with friends and seeming entirely at home in the largest-buy-in tournament in poker history. He seemed like a man who knew what awaited him.

"Yes, I did think [I'd win]," Esfandiari said as he basked in the afterglow of his victory. "I believed it, I declared it and I wanted to win even more since I took third [last week]. I was determined to come back and win."

Esfandiari entered the final day's play with a small chip lead over England's Sam Trickett, with whom he flip-flopped in the standings for most of the table play that was broadcast on ESPN. Malaysian businessman Richard Yong was eliminated during the first few hours of the final table. After the dinner break, 1978 world champion and City Center CEO Bobby Baldwin went out next in seventh and Esfandiari's close friend, Brian Rast, was stopped by Sam Trickett in sixth with a massive cooler.

As Esfandiari took out the event's creator, Guy Laliberte, A-K over Q-Q, he suddenly held a commanding chip lead. Phil Hellmuth's quest for his 13th bracelet ended with a fourth-place finish, and David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager who donated his prize purse to the education-focused non-profit City Year, finished third. In a match that many expected to see as the final table played out, it was Esfandiari versus Trickett for the $18.3 million. Esfandiari got Trickett all-in on a Jd-5d-5c board, holding 7d-5s for three of a kind. Trickett showed Qd-6d for a flush draw.

"My heart wasn't beating that hard actually," Esfandiari said, surprised. "I just went through the process and thought, 'Here we are. This is the moment. If you fade this flush draw, you win the biggest tournament in the history of the world. Please, Jesus, one time!' I think I used up my 'one times' in this tournament. I'm OK with that though."

Esfandiari got his one time. The diamond never came. The turn was 3h, the river 2h, and Esfandiari was the champion. He was immediately swarmed by his friends and family on stage.

In addition to the money, Esfandiari won a special edition platinum bracelet, which he immediately gave to his father. This was Esfandiari's second career WSOP title. With the $18,346,673 first prize, his total tournament winnings come to $23,245,828, the most any player has won in organized tournament history. Trickett's $10,112,001 consolation prize gives him a career total of $16,471,097, good for fourth all-time behind just Esfandiari, Erik Seidel and Phil Ivey. Trickett's cash was also the third largest single prize awarded in WSOP history behind Esfandiari and 2006 WSOP champion Jamie Gold. That the all-time standings were so effected indicates the true scope of this event.

"I think it had everything," said Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars interactive Entertainment, Laliberte's partner in The Big One. "It had drama, charity, great poker, every major hand you could possibly see. … We had a great final table, a terrific performance by businessmen and pros alike. We put on a fantastic show and raised $5.3 million for charity so, for me, it's a total success for everybody."

"For One Drop it was fantastic," Laliberte said. "What could I expect more than that? Antonio is a worthy champion. He was great. He scooped me. When you're running good, you're running good. Like I said at the opening of the tournament, I was already a winner."

For Esfandiari, the victory represents maturation. Finding poker celebrity at a young age, his penchant for partying became a major storyline in his life. "I did some self-awareness work, tried to put things in perspective," he said. "What was important, what wasn't important. Going out and partying all the time, it really didn't make me happy. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but I kind of grew out of it. I'm 33 now. I decided to live a better life. This WSOP, I decided I was going to be focused, wake up every day, go to the gym and win a bracelet. It's 100 percent the reason I won."

Many of Esfandiari's competitors noticed the change.

"The way he started out in poker, I didn't respect," Hellmuth said of Esfandiari after being eliminated in fourth place. "You know he'd bust Phil Ivey and start shouting, 'Hit the door!' and all this crazy stuff. You know, the early days. But he's come a long way, and … he's actually turned into a really great guy. He's worked really hard on himself and he's turned into a great guy."

What of the Big One? With the phenomenal success it enjoyed and the interest it has inspired, Garber isn't shy about its future.

"You'll see it again," he asserted. "This is not about one-offs. I think that we've established that we can put on the greatest tournaments in the world, the highest buy-in events in the world, and that we can wrap in charity to those events as well. We'll do this again. It's a question of in what format, when and where. I think Guy and I need to spend some time thinking about it and we'll make a decision very quickly."

For Esfandiari, that's all down the road. With $18.3 million reasons to celebrate, he shared a shot of Jameson with friends on the WSOP's brightest stage. Even as you mature, you have to celebrate the greatest moments of your life.

Below are the complete results of Event 55 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:

Event 55: The Big One For One Drop
Buy-in: $1,000,000 
Entries: 48
Prize pool: $42,666,672 
Players in the money: 9

1. Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673)
2. Sam Trickett ($10,112,001)
3. David Einhorn ($4,352,000)
4. Phil Hellmuth ($2,645,333)
5. Guy Laliberté ($1,834,666)
6. Brian Rast ($1,621,333)
7. Bobby Baldwin ($1,408,000)
8. Richard Yong ($1,237,333)
9. Mike Sexton ($1,109,333)

Monday, August 06, 2012

43 Annual World series of Poker Event #55: The Big One for One Drop, Part 1 of 2 video.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and, since 2005, sponsored by Caesars Entertainment (known as Harrah's Entertainment until 2010). It dates its origins to 1970, whenBenny Binion invited seven of the best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, with a set start and stop time, and a winner determined by secret ballot.
The winner of each event receives a World Series of Poker bracelet and a monetary prize based on the number of entrants and buy-in amounts. Over the years, the tournament has grown in both the number of events and in the number of participants. Each year, the WSOP culminates with the $10,000 no-limit hold'em "Main Event," which, since 2004, has attracted entrants numbering in the thousands. The victor receives a multi-million dollar cash prize and a bracelet, which has become the most coveted award a poker player can win. The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker.
As of 2012, the WSOP consists of 61 events, with most major poker variantsfeatured. However, in recent years, over half of the events have been variants ofTexas hold 'em. Events traditionally take place during one day or over several consecutive days during the series in June and July. However, starting in 2008,the Main Event final table was delayed until November. Due to the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the 2012 WSOP final table will be delayed until October 28.
With 58 bracelet events and no rebuy events, the 2011 WSOP featured unprecedented "nearly live" coverage, with broadcasts being delayed by much smaller amounts of time while still satisfying Nevada Gaming Commission regulators. Caesars Entertainment, via WSOP.com, streamed final-table coverage of all bracelet events on a 5-minute delay, although without pocket cams. The ESPN family of networks aired 36 hours of Main Event coverage leading up to the November Nine on a 30-minute delay, showing the hole cards of all players who voluntarily entered the pot once the hand ended. The Main Event final table was broadcast on a 15-minute delay with the same policy regarding hole cards. The first day of the final table was aired on ESPN2 and the final day on ESPN, with both days also streamed on ESPN3 and WSOP.com. 
Since 1971, all WSOP events have been tournaments with cash prizes. In 1973 a five-card stud event was added. Since then, new events have been added and removed. Since 1976, a bracelet has been awarded to the winner of every event at the annual WSOP; later on, the winners of pre-1976 events were retroactively given bracelets.
Since its inception, Stu Ungar and Johnny Moss are the only players to have won the Main Event three times. However, Moss' first victory came in a different format, as he was elected winner by vote of his fellow players at the conclusion of what was then a timed event. Moss (if the first time win by vote is counted), Ungar, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan are the only people who have won the Main Event in consecutive years. Johnny Chan's second victory in 1988 was featured in the 1998 film Rounders.
Main Event 
Since 1972, the Main Event of the WSOP has been the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold 'Em (NLHE) tournament (in 1971 the buy-in was $5,000 and the inaugural 1970 event was an invitational with winner determined by a vote). Winners of the event not only get the largest prize of the tournament and a gold bracelet, but additionally their picture is placed in the Gallery of Champions at Binion's. The winner of the Main Event has traditionally been given the unofficial title of World Champion. However, some believe that no-limit hold 'em is not the optimal structure for determining a champion poker player. In 2002, Daniel Negreanu argued that the Main Event should switch to pot-limit hold 'em, believing that pot-limit required a more complete set of poker skills than no-limit, although he admitted that such a change would likely never be made. However, many of the game's top professionals, including Negreanu, have since stated that the recently-added $50,000 H.O.R.S.E./Poker Player's Championship event is the one which ultimately decides the world's best player. The $50,000 buy-in, being five times larger than the buy-in for the Main Event, has thus far tended to deter amateurs from playing in this event, and the variety of games played require a broader knowledge of poker. The first $50,000 event, conducted as a H.O.R.S.E. tournament, was won by Chip Reese in 2006. In 2010, the $50,000 event changed from H.O.R.S.E. to an "8-game" format, adding no-limit hold 'em, pot-limit Omaha, and 2–7 triple draw to the mix, and was rechristened The Poker Player's Championship, withMichael Mizrachi winning the first edition of the revamped event. Since Reese's death in December 2007, the winner of this event receives the David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy in addition to the bracelet and the prize money.
In September 2009 Harrah's signed an agreement with Dragonfish, the B2B arm of 888 Holdings, to provide its online gaming services. The offering went live in the UK later that year, allowing UK users to play for real money. Due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, the offering is not available in the United States.
43 Annual World series of Poker Event #55: The Big One for One Drop - No-Limit Hold'emEvent, Episode 01, Part 1 of 2, Video

Antonio Esfandiari Wins $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop ($18,346,673)
Known to many as "The Magician," Antonio Esfandiari saved his most stunning trick for Tuesday, July 3, 2012 when he came into the final table of the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop with the chip lead and walked out the winner, and a massive $18,346,673 payday.
When the final table began, Esfandiari was the man leading the way, trailed closely by Sam Trickett. Throughout the entirety of the final table, those two jockeyed for the top spot while everyone else was playing catch up.
On the 23rd hand of the final table, the first elimination occurred and it was Richard Yong hitting the rail. He was all in preflop with the  versus Brain Rast's . Yong was able to hold up on the first four community cards, but the fifth one was a king and gave Rast the winning hand.
Just under 20 hands later, Bobby Baldwin dropped out in seventh place on the 41st hand of the final table. With the blinds in Level 20 at 250,000/500,000/50,000, Baldwin was all in with the  versus Guy Laliberté's . A flop, turn and river ran out  to leave Baldwin second best.

Sunday, May 27, 2012 to Monday, July 16, 2012 
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 West Flamingo Road 
Las Vegas, NV  US
Buy-in: $1,000,000; Prizepool: $42,666,672; Entries: 48
TOP 3 Finishers 
1 Antonio Esfandiari 18,000,000
2 Sam Trickett 10,112,001
3 David  Einhorn 4,352,000

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PartyPoker Eliminates High Stakes Cash Games

Last week, PartyPoker surprised the online poker community by removing its highest stakes real money cash games. Gone are all No-Limit and Pot-Limit tables at stakes above $5/$10 and all Fixed-Limit tables above $30/$60. Some players received the following short message from PartyPoker via e-mail: We have removed some of our super high stake games, this decision has been taken to make improvements to our poker ecology and in our players best interests. We will still offer high stake games at NL1000 PLO1000 and FL 6000. We believe this change will improve the action at our tables and is in the best interest of the poker room as a whole. The change will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
In attempting to analyze that vague statement, let’s take a look at an article Brandon Adamswrote for Bluff Magazine back in November 2006. In the piece, entitled “The Poker Economy,” Adams wrote that one problem with high stakes games for sites is that they aremuch less profitable than low stakes games. Because online poker rooms must pay fees to payment processors to get player deposits onto the site, high stakes games cost more since they require more money. At the highest levels, the proportion of rake to buy-in is much smaller than at low stakes, making the increased costs all the more painful.
Adams also wrote the following:
From the site’s perspective, there are two further disadvantages to offering bigger games. Bigger games make players a) more likely to bust, and b) less likely to recover from a bust. Once a player blows through his bankroll, he usually has to look for sources outside of poker to replenish it. If the stakes he plays for become big relative to the money he’s capable of obtaining from other sources, then it’s less likely that he’ll recover from a bustout.
Hence, the “improvements to our poker ecology.”
Continuing on that train of thought, Two Plus Two poster “Matt Probability” opined that the high stakes pros will take their business elsewhere, something that will be good for the rest of the players on PartyPoker. He said, “…this move is best for all the lower stakes grinders who will now have a chance to earn the easy money while the sharks move off of the site.”
Two Plus Two’er “Bigoldnit” played devil’s advocate, though, posting, “Or maybe the sharks move down in stakes and have to play more tables in order to make the same amount of money while some of the whales look for other sites that will allow them to gamble at the stakes they want…”
Poker pro Andrew “good2cu” Robl took a more cynical stance, saying, “Good for party. This way when people are stuck and trying to get even their only option will be casino/pit games.”
PartyPoker currently ranks as the third largest poker room or network on the internet, with a seven-day average cash game player count of 2,500, according to PokerScout.com. In its Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update, PokerScout said that the elimination of the high stakes cash games has yet to have a great effect on Party’s traffic, as those games did not attract many players. The high stakes games accounted for just 0.6 percent of Party’s overall cash game traffic. Its traffic count for the week dropped 0.8 percent. That is not to say all is well, though, as PartyPoker’s traffic is down 44 percent from the same time last year.

Top Babes of The Poker World

10. Jennifer Harman - While she may be cute as a button, don't let her innocent looks fool you. At the poker table, Jennifer Harman is as vicious as they come. With two World Series of Poker bracelets and over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings, Harman is considered one of the finest poker players in the world, regardless of gender.
9. Jennifer Tilly - Born to a Chinese father and an Irish-Canadian mother, actress Jennifer Tilly has been blessed with an exotic beauty. She's also been blessed with an ability to excel at poker. This star of such films as The Fabulous Baker Boys and Bullets Over Broadway became the first non-poker celebrity to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. And to make matters worse for other players, she's stated in recent interviews that she might start concentrating less on acting and more on the cards.
8. Cyndy Violette - As beautiful as she is talented, Cyndy Violette has a World Series of Poker bracelet in the Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split Event. In addition, she has an impressive 21 money finishes and has amassed career earnings of over $950,000. Currently living in Atlantic City, she has also competed in the World Poker Tour.
7. Erin Ness - When she's not breaking players at the poker table, Erin Ness can be found working as a photo assistant for Maxim magazine. She has frequently appeared on GSN's Poker Royale and has become a member of Team PokerStars. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was the third highest placing woman in the World Series of Poker main event in 2004.
6. Jennifer Leigh - Nicknamed "Jennicide," Jennifer Leigh is a computer geek, top poker player, and all-around babe. She finished 5th in the Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages series and finished in the money in the 2006 World Poker Tour: Caribbean Poker Adventure.
5. Kristy Gazes - Formerly married to poker pro Bill Gazes, Kristy has a talent for all types of card games. In fact, she's so skilled at mixed events like H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. that she earned the nickname "Mixed Games." A poker player since 1986, her biggest payout came when she won the Full Tilt Poker championship and $250,000. She has also made appearances on Ultimate Poker Challenge and Poker Royale: Battle of the Sexes. She has three in the money finishes at the World Series of Poker.
4. Isabelle Mercier - Nicknamed "No Mercy," Isabelle Mercier is known for her hard-nosed playing style, as well as her model-like beauty. Besides having an undergraduate law degree, Isabelle also practiced commercial law in Paris, France. She later earned her Master's degree while managing a poker room in a French casino. In 2005, she had an impressive 3 money finishes at the World Series of Poker. Her career earnings top $500,000, and she is a member of Team PokerStars. She frequently plays in tournaments across Europe, dazzling opponents with her skill and good looks.
3. Clonie Gowen - Having won the title of Miss Teen Oklahoma at the age of 15, there was never any doubt as to whether or not Clonie was going to grow into a beautiful woman. But this mother of two is also a savvy poker veteran, with career tournament winnings exceeding $300,000. She has served as a guest commentator on numerous poker shows, as well as writing a regular column for All In magazine. She is also a member of "Team Full Tilt."
2. Evelyn Ng - Known as "Evybabee" or "Champagne", Evelyn Ng is a Canadian poker player of Chinese decent. With her tall, slender frame and model-like face, she is known throughout the poker community as one of the great beauties of the game. She's also a top player, having achieved 5 in the money finishes at the World Series of Poker, as well as being featured on the Xbox video game Stacked. She is a member of Team Bodog, and her career tournament earnings exceed $250,000.
1. Vanessa Rousso - Not only is Vanessa "Pokerness" Rousso beautiful, but she's also very intelligent and well educated. She is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Economics and is also a law student at the University of Miami. In addition, she has 4 in the money finishes at the World Series of Poker. A dual citizen of both the United States and France, Vanessa is a member of Team PokerStars and has career winnings of over $360,000.

Poker After Dark Records Record Audience

Poker After Dark hit record numbers this week, as over 6.4 million people tuned in to watch the showdown between Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham. The buildup had been immense, as this session of Poker After Dark featured six of the world's most famous poker players in a shorthanded showdown. The buy-in was $50,000, and the format was winner take all, with the top dog taking $300,000 for his efforts. The session was broken down into four episodes:

The first episode featured the start of the tournament. Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Allen Cunningham, Berry Greenstein, Bryan Piccioli, and Patrick "Baller" Butler each posted up their $50,000 to buy into the event, and play began. In the Poker After Dark series, players actually play with their buy-in money (in this case, $50,000), but have to play until one player has all the chips. The only real difference is players use cash on the table as well as chips.

The first episode started out with fireworks, as Brunson and Piccioli were quickly knocked out after making aggressive moves with poor hands. The second episode began with four players remaining. Ivey was in the chip lead, followed by "Baller" Butler, Berry Greenstein, and a very short stacked Allen Cunningham. The second episode was all about Cunningham, as he played with a vicious aggression and quickly rebuilt his stack by knocking out Berry Greenstein and taking a ton of chips off of Phil Ivey.

The third episode begas with three players remaining: Cunningham in the chip lead, Phil Ivey just behind, and Butler short stacked and desperate. Patrick "Baller" Butler has always been known for his aggressive play, especially once he puts his headphones on and listens to his favorite song, "Lollipop Remix". Unfortunately players cannot listen to headphones during Poker After Dark, so Butler wasn't able to mount a comeback and was eliminated in the third episode.

Poker After Dark waited a week between airing the third and fourth episodes, and during that time they aired a ton of TV commercials and the online buzz grew. Tons of poker players tuned in on Thursday the 12th to watch the showdown, and the final number of viewers was 6.1 million. However, the show was a bit of a bust, as Ivey completely dominated the entire match and quickly won first place and the $300,000 prize.

PAD Season 7 - CASH GAME 200K min Part 1

PAD Season 7 - CASH GAME 200K min Part 2

In Canada Poker After Dark aired afternoons and late nights on Rogers Sportsnet and, since fall 2009 on the French network V.
In France Poker After Dark airs at night on RTL9. In Germany, it airs on SPORT1, with commentary provided by Michael Körner. In IrelandPoker After Dark airs on Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1 on most weeknights with little change from the US version. In The Netherlands, it airs on Veronica; episodes feature the original English commentary with Dutch subtitles. In SwedenPoker After Dark airs on afternoons and nights on TV4 Sport and on TV 10 weekday nights at 01:30. In Denmark it airs at night on TV3+. In Italy Poker After Dark airs at night on POKERItalia24. In Poland Poker After Dark airs at evening on Sportklub and Sport Klub+; commentary is provided by Paweł Majewski and Marcin GrzywaczRussia show airs on 7TV at 11:30pm every day till the Febral, now show on REN-tv at 3:00 pm.

Poker on Television, TV SHOWS

Most would agree that poker has made its way into the mainstream. One of the ways to help make this judgment is to acknowledge all of the TV shows that feature the game of poker. Of course this boom was fueled by the explosion of Texas Hold'em and this is the game most often being played on the tube. But other forms of poker are making their way into the spotlight as well.

Without a doubt, the invention or addition of hole card cameras on the World Poker Tour tables made the game much more enjoyable to watch. This allowed the audience to see how different people play hands. With this new insight into pros and successful amateur players' minds, the general public was fueled even stronger in its belief that anyone could win. As a result the number of poker players around the world, especially in the US, swelled to record levels. These record levels of poker players affected the whole market. One of the starkest examples is a record numbers of players for several years in a row at the World Series of Poker (this was only derailed after the passage of legislation that was harmful to online poker). Online poker sites enjoyed incredible growth as well, especially from US players. Poker players hungry for information and knowledge led to many new poker related publications and books. Retailers of supplies enjoyed tremendous sales increases and the high interest led to many new products coming to market.

Now the World Series of Poker is televised more prominently and is in its second year of postponing the final table for several months for increased interest and anticipation. While most poker TV shows feature coverage of a tournament, High Stakes Poker illuminates the exciting world of cash game poker. By featuring poker pros playing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money, this show has easily captured the attention of the poker viewing public.

WSOP World Series Of Poker 2011 Main Event with Hole Cards

World Series Of Poker 2011 Main Event, Unveiled Hole Cards

Other innovative shows which vary the format of tournament poker are Poker After Dark and the National Heads Up Poker Championship. Poker after Dark does feature tournaments, however the games played is varied quite often and the players are hand picked. The table has six players that you will usually know or will have heard of each player. It is like watching a talent packed final table in every episode. The National Heads Up Poker Championship describes itself with the name. Once again this is a tournament, but the players have to work their way through the field one player at a time. This definitely takes a different mindset and different set of skills.

In summary, the poker boom was fueled by many factors and poker TV shows were a big part of this phenomenon. Most notably was the great success of the poker table hole card camera, first used on the World Poker Tour. Second stage contributors were websites that allowed the average poker player to play online from the comfort of their homes. These poker sites benefited greatly, but also contributed heavily to the growth. A third major benefactor and contributor were the many poker supply retailers who supply multitudes of poker chips and tables for the masses of home and public games that appeared all over the world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship - 
The glorious Poker event commonly known as National Heads-up Poker Championship has been most anticipated celebration in the poker calendar. This amazing event has been running since 2005 and this year is seventh one, where the who is who of Poker world gather and unite to show their Poker skills to thousands fans watching anxiously. This event has been started by NBC television to showcase the best of Poker players to come and show their skills to worldwide audience.
While some might question the validity of this tournament as the participants are always invited from the NBC Poker selection team, but the process has many auditions each year in different cities to find best in Poker world. Each year the starry line up of players feature rich and famous Poker players with array of celebrities too. National Heads up Poker Championship was the first of its kind tournament in the United States broadcast history, but each year the viewer-ship has increased phenomenally and prizes increased as well.
The structure of National Heads up Poker Championship was developed inline with the basketball tournaments, which are often the most popular college sport events unquestionably. The process of playing is easy, the different players are set against the different opponents from all over the country, and the winner proceeds to next level. To win this championship one has to beat six players.
The first round of the championship starts with the different players being separated into the different groups called brackets. There are four brackets named as clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades. The players are randomly drawn and each couple fights to show the supremacy in Poker skills. From each bracket the winner proceeds to fight between the brackets. While the bracket names might not sound significant but there have been many interesting stories of brackets being lucky or jinxed also. The game continues between the best of the brackets to find the best of three from Diamonds, Spades, Hearts and Clubs. Similarly the two players showing most wins are put in the final as one of them is crowned as the champion.
The idea of NBC Heads Up Poker Championship was based upon the success of the various European championships of similar nature. This championship is often compared with the World Heads-Up Championship, which is an open championship and anyone can enroll to participate. The 7th National Heads up Poker Championship was the event of the month in March 2011, and attracted thousand fans to watch and learn from their Poker idols.

Brief History
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship is an invitation-only event. In contrast, the World Heads-Up Poker Championship is an open event with a maximum participation of 128 players.
The 2005 event took place at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas between March 4 and March 6. It aired weekly on NBC from May 1 to May 22 with commentary from Gabe Kaplan and Matt Vasgersian.
The 2006 edition took place from March 4 to 6 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. NBC began its coverage by broadcasting one part of the opening round on April 16. The semi-final and championship matches aired May 21. Kaplan and Vasgersian returned as commentators.
The 2007 edition was broadcast from April 8 to May 20. Ali Nejad took Gabe Kaplan's spot as commentator due to Kaplan competing in the tournament.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WSOP 2012 Event #55: The Big One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em

The BIG ONE for ONE DROP™ - is a one-of-a-kind poker tournament featuring a $1,000,000 buy-in and hosted by the World Series of Poker® (WSOP) to benefit ONE DROP. It is one of the most significant charity initiatives and the largest buy-in ever in live tournament poker history.
As of 2012, the WSOP consists of 61 events, with most major poker variants featured, though in recent years over half of the events have been variants of Texas hold 'em. Events traditionally take place during one day or over several consecutive days during the series in June and July. However, starting in 2008, the Main Event final table was delayed until November. Due to the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the 2012 WSOP final table will be delayed until October 28.
"The MAGICIAN" and his money prize


Winning a WSOP gold bracelet is always a special moment.  It's often cited as the highlight of any poker career.  It's usually the greatest achievement many will make in their lives.Winning the one-of-a kind tournament which was completed on a Tuesday night at the Rio in Las Vegas, in front of a packed gallery of spectators, and a worldwide television viewing audience on ESPN as well as the live stream at WSOP.com, was not just the crowning jewel of an eclectic ten-year poker career that began in the San Francisco Bay area.  It was the culmination of mind over matter, and willpower over distraction.First, let's talk about how spectacular this moment was in terms of pure human drama.  Antonio "the Magician" Esfandiari -- yes, former magician -- won the richest prize in poker history.  He collected a bank-account busting $18,346,673.

The BIG ONE for ONE DROP - $1,000,000 Buy-In 

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