Posts Tagged ‘poker games’

Daniel Idema wins Third Bracelet in 2015 WSOP Event #35 HORSE

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

daniel-idema-2015-wsop-horseWinning three WSOP gold bracelets is certainly no easy feat, so Daniel Idema can certainly be proud that he’s joined the three-bracelet club after taking first in the 2015 WSOP $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. The Vancouver native topped a 376-player field to win Event #35 along with a $261,774 payout.

“I really like this format of mixed limit games,” Idema said of his H.O.R.S.E. prowess. “You don’t see that many players play all the games well, so I think this is suited to someone who has tried to develop in all of them, as I have.”

This isn’t just the 30-year-old being cocky – he’s actually proven his mastery of different poker games by winning bracelets in Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo and, now, H.O.R.S.E.

It certainly helped matters that, along with his versatile poker skills, Idema also ran good during the final table. In fact, it took him just one and a half hours to dispatch his final two opponents, Kevin Iacofano (3rd, $104,280) and Matt Vengrin (2nd, $161,680).

“It was amazing, every time I looked down in the last stages, I had a good hand,” Idema explained. “My rush came at just the right time. I got hit by the deck against a very strong opponent.”

Formerly a professional hockey player in the Netherlands, Idema definitely seems to have settled down in the right profession with his third gold bracelet. Beyond his WSOP victories, the Canadian also has over $2.1 million in live poker winnings, which is quite good for somebody who’s only been playing live tourneys since 2007.

2015 WSOP Event #35 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results
1. Daniel Idema – $261,774
2. Matt Vengrin – $161,680
3. Kevin Iacofano – $104,280
4. John Racener – $75,559
5. Iakov Nepomnyashchiy – $55,553
6. Paul Sexton – $41,438
7. Randy Ohel – $31,358
8. Taylor Paur – $24,070
9. David Oppenheim – $18,743

Will Amaya Gaming finally get PokerStars in the US?

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The big poker news today – and it’s colossal – is that Amaya Gaming has made a deal with the Rational Group to buy PokerStars, Full Tilt and live tournament tour assets for $4.9 billion. For years people have speculated about the worth of PokerStars and now they know.

One of the key points of this deal is that Isai Scheinberg and his son, Mark, relinquish their shares in the company and ride off into the sunset with billions. The reason why this part of the deal is so big is because it means that PokerStars might finally be able to enter the elusive United States market.

The legal US online poker market is fully underway, with Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all featuring regulated gaming sites. And so far, PokerStars’ attempts to enter these states have went like this:

Delaware – Stars was denied because Delaware is mainly looking for companies that offer both casino and poker games.

New Jersey – Review of PokerStars’ application has been suspended for two years in the Garden State.

Nevada – Nevada evoked the “bad actor” clause to prevent Stars from entering their market for at least 10 years.

The key point behind PokerStars’ bad actor status in Nevada is that they violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Moreover, the Scheinberg’s retained ownership of the Rational Group after they’d violated the UIGEA.

But now we have Amaya running the show at PokerStars. The Canadian supplier of gambling equipment has no ties to Black Friday, meaning it’s hard to use the bad actor excuse to keep them out.

Of course, despite what state gaming regulatory bodies may say, this is all about anti-competitiveness and helping in-state casinos get off to a strong start. So no matter how illogical it seems, certain US states may still try to call upon PokerStars’ past to keep them out, even though an entirely different company is now in charge.

As for Amaya, it’s likely that they were willing to spend $4.9 billion on Rational’s assets because they know there’s even more potential for Stars IF they can get into the US.

Tom Hall dishes Secrets on Macau High Stakes Poker

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The Macau high stakes poker scene: every poker player wants in, only a few are accepted.

This being the case, poker pros who are lucky enough to play with the Asian whales keep pretty quiet about what goes on in these games. Luckily, we get a small glimpse inside of this world of multi-million dollar pots and unfathomable wealth every now and then. And Macau mainstay Tom Hall recently shared a few secrets of what goes on in these massive poker games.

Known as “Hong Kong Tom,” Hall did an interview with PokerNews that discussed some very interesting topics, including how many players get in on the action, what’s the most won and lost in a session, and if the Macau high stakes action has reached a plateau. That said, let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting questions and answers from Hall’s interview.

PokerNews: If you had to guesstimate, how many players rotate in and out of the Big Game?

Tom Hall: I would guess since we started there has been somewhere between 100-150 players that have played at one point in the game. There is a core of 10-20 that play regularly at some point every month and three to four that play pretty much all the time they are in Macau. The lineup changes all the time, though usually the pros rotate with some frequency and locals – usually junket operators in Macau who hear about the game and like to gamble – frequently pop up for a few sessions.

PN: What is the networking process like? We assume it’s not easy to get into the game.

TH: It all depends. If there are some brand new local players chancing their arm – guys that are very new to the game and relatively inexperienced – there can be a crazy waiting list even amongst the “regulars,” whereas at other times if the core regular group are away on business or playing a high roller tourney somewhere else in the world, pretty much anybody is allowed as the remaining guys just want to play. It is a quasi-private game, so you shouldn’t turn up and expect to be allowed to play, particularly as a pro. Pros are usually introduced through a pro that has played before or through Winfred Yu who organizes the games. Visiting businessmen are usually always accommodated!

PN: What’s the most anyone has ever won in a sessions in the Big Game? What’s the most someone has lost?

TH: I would say approximately the same, around HK$100 million (~USD$12.8 million) won/lost in a single session, bearing in mind these sessions can run 30-40 hours regularly with perhaps a mini food break or quick nap or break to watch a soccer game. What I will say is that without a doubt the single biggest winner in live table poker of all time is one of the big game players who plays the Macau game regularly and some of the other big private games around the Region. This is not one of the established pros but any of the pros that play regularly will know whom it is. Not going to get into quantum or specifics but the Macau game formed the base for some pretty phenomenal winnings (and obviously losses). All of the local regulars usually play their own funds whereas most of the pros are either staked or pieced out to a certain degree. This is probably pretty smart taking into consideration the size of the games and the swings.

Phil Ivey talks Macau Games, Strategy, $200k Golf Bet

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Throughout his career, Phil Ivey has remained one of the quieter and more private poker stars. But ever since he began the process of transforming IveyPoker into a full-fledged training site, he’s been a lot more active in the social media world. Ivey also did a rare interview with PokerCast recently, where he discussed a number of very interesting topics.

Not surprisingly, the interview began with some discussion about Ivey’s victory in the Aussie Millions $250k last month. The 38-year-old said that his win was actually “smooth sailing” because he had played with most of the final table in the past. Ivey added that he doesn’t really like rebuying in these types of events, which is good, given that he only needed one $250k buy-in to take down the AU$4 million top prize.

Another topic that Ivey talked about was how there’s not many good poker games for him in Vegas anymore. Instead, Ivey said that he has to go to London or Macau to find games that are worth his time. He specifically addressed the Macau high stakes action by saying that they’ve “gotten a lot tougher” because the businessmen have improved.

The PokerCast crew also asked Ivey about why he opened a training site. To this question, the 9-time WSOP champion said that you don’t have to be “analytical” just to teach poker. Ivey added that he plans on doing videos for every game and every limit, where he talks about his thought process on a lot of hands.

One more interesting subject that Ivey hit upon was a golf prop bet that he made with Joe Cassidy in Aruba. Ivey put $1k against Cassidy’s $200k that he wouldn’t make a fairly long shot. The poker legend said that he “thought he was just giving Cassidy $1,000.” But the ball went in the hole and Ivey couldn’t believe it.

If you’d like to hear more about this story and others from Ivey, make sure to check out his interview.

New World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen also plays Poker

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Over the years, there have been a fair amount of poker players who’ve also played chess professionally. Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Dan Harrington is the most notable chess/poker player. Jeff Sarwer and Almira Skripchenko are a couple of other pros who’ve crossed between the two games. Now, we can add one more very notable person to the list in Magnus Carlsen.

The Norwegian just became the 16th world champion in chess after defeating the incumbent, Viswanathan Anand. In addition to collecting a $1.5 million prize, Carlsen also fulfilled his destiny by becoming a world chess champ.

He’s been on the international chess radar ever since becoming a grandmaster at the age of 13. Thanks to some mentoring from the legendary Gary Kasparov, Carlsen achieved a 2872 rating, which is the highest in chess history.

Since becoming a world champ, the 22-year-old has been getting even more attention than ever before. Carlsen recently did an interview with Chasebase, where he discussed his affinity for poker.

When asks if he ever goes out for a drink during tournaments, Carlsen said, “Rarely. I prefer to chat with friends on the Internet or play poker online.” He added that he likes to play for real money.

The interviewer also asked Carlsen if he wins in poker games. To this, the young Norwegian said, “If I take a game seriously, I do. If not, I sometimes lose. But that doesn’t matter. What is important is that I have a life beyond chess.”

Well, judging from this answer, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Magnus Carlsen trying to win WSOP gold bracelets like Harrington any time soon. This is especially the case, given that he just won the 2013 World Championship. But it’s still interesting to know that the best chess player on the planet also enjoys poker too.

Molly Bloom looking to rat out Hollywood High Stakes Poker Games

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Molly Bloom became well known for her involvement in underground high stakes poker games that featured Hollywood’s elite and famous. But now that she’s had time to gather incriminating and/or embarrassing information on these stars, they are sweating bullets. Bloom is currently working on a memoir that is sure to reveal some dirty little secrets.

The “Poker Princess” hosted card parties in the past for celebrities like Toby Maguire, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck. She was also involved in a completely different poker ring that was run by the Russian mob. And while Bloom faces charges for her involvement in this ring, her focus appears to be on ratting out celebrities like Maguire and Damon.

The 33-year-old plans to reveal game-changers like what certain celebrities do when they’re holding good or bad cards. Maguire is said to be a top celebrity poker player, so it’s likely that he doesn’t want Bloom explaining his tells to the world.

Other aspects that Bloom wants to squeal on include Matt Damon once losing $25,000 in a single night (not bad for high stakes standards), how the buy-in for some cash games was as high as $100,000, and some of the locations where the games were held, including Tobey Maguire’s L.A. mansion.

Taking everything into account, it’s doubtful that Molly Bloom really has enough insight into poker to accurately pin Maguire and others’ tells. However, it’s a guarantee that she’s got some interesting stories to tell from games that involved many of Hollywood’s elite. The only question is how long it will take for Bloom to release her memoirs, seeing as how she’s currently struggling with charges stemming from the Russian-run gambling ring.

Stop Sampling Every Poker Game

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

When you first start playing online poker, it can be a fun and exciting experience. You get to test your skills against other grinders and try to win profits in the process. Furthermore, there are a variety of poker games that you can try in both the cash game and tournament arenas. But does this mean you should really be trying every type of game imaginable?

The truth is that you really need to focus on one or two poker disciplines when you’re getting started with the game. Now we’re not saying that it’s easy to resist the temptation of wanting to play a variety of poker variations. However, it’s somewhat of a skill to remain disciplined and stay focused. In fact, your future profits really depend heavily on becoming good at one type of poker before moving on to the next.

Texas Hold’em is always a great place to start because you only have two hole cards, which cuts down on the amount of hands that you’re dealing with. Of course, some people think that Hold’em is a little saturated, so you might event want to try Omaha or Seven Card Stud. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be jumping back and forth between games when you’re trying to develop a good starting base.

In addition to sticking with one specific variation, you might also want to direct the bulk of your play towards tournaments or cash games. After all, the tourneys and ring games feature different strategy, so it’s a nice idea to become good at one or the other – rather than constantly switching back and froth between the two.

One last thing here is to avoid multi-tabling until you can beat one tournament or cash game table at a time. Some players will jump to two or more tables simply because they’re tired of waiting for others to act; however, you should spend the downtime observing other players and learning their tendencies to fuel your success.

By honing on a single type of online poker, you have a much better chance to eventually win money and move up in stakes.

Ways to make Poker More Fun

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Poker can definitely be fun and exciting – especially when you’re new to the game. But as with anything you do continuously, poker can also become dull and boring at times. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to re-inspire your love for the game. It just takes a little effort and imagination.

Play with Friends

Get together with some friends for a poker night so you can remember how fun the game can be. There’s nothing like a group of 3-9 friends playing poker and getting some social interaction! And if you’ve got more people wanting in on the action, you may even need to get two tables going. Just make sure to have the right people involved in your game so nothing gets out of hand or too crazy.

Set the Mood

It’s not the same mood you may be thinking of. Create a comfortable area to play poker in, get a table, buy a nice set of chips, and use warm lighting. Also, include music in your new setup, but don’t play it too loud. Creating the right feel for your home poker room is a perfect way to add to the game’s enjoyment.

Do Side Activities while playing Poker

Serious poker players realize that it’s important to focus on the game for the best results. However, if you’re getting bored on the online poker tables, a good way to pump up the action is by dropping down in stakes and enjoying side games and activities in between. For example, you could throw darts, shoot pool, or play video games when you’re waiting for the next hand to begin.

Try New Poker Games

One more suggestion that we have for making poker fun involves trying a new variation. Assuming you always play No-Limit Hold’em, you could try some low stakes (or free) Pot-Limit Omaha. There are also plenty of other games such as Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw and Razz.

Assuming your interest in poker is waning or the game feels mundane, try some of the simple steps we’ve suggested to increase fun on the felt.

Liv Boeree and her Silly Mobile Poker Shoot

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Liv Boeree is no doubt a very smart girl since she graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Astrophysics. So even she should know that a person can’t play mobile poker very well when they’re climbing a rock wall. However, a recent photo shoot she did for PokerStars mobile suggests otherwise.

Expanding on the details, the photos show her running, riding a bike, and rollerblading while playing mobile poker games. As for the bike pictures, she’s riding on the back of a double-seater, which is possible. And you may be able to play poker while running – though it’s not exactly going to be conducive to good results. When it comes to rollerblading and playing poker…don’t even try it! If you’re interested in checking out all of the pics of this gorgeous poker babe and her mobile obsession, you can do so here.

While the photo shoot appears to be in good fun, it might have been more useful for Stars to go with realistic scenarios such as Boeree sitting on the bus or waiting for an appointment. In any case, Stars couldn’t have picked a better person to model since Boeree has worked for Loaded Magazine and Maxim in the past.

But it definitely appears that Boeree won’t be going back to modeling full-time after this shoot. She is firmly entrenched as one of the most popular PokerStars pros and has had a very excellent playing career too. She’s earned around $2.3 million in tournament winnings and has a 2010 EPT San Remo title to her credit as well. With her $2.3m, Boeree is the eighth biggest winner among women in poker history.

PokerStars looking to monopolize Speed Poker

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Over the past few months, the speed poker genre has really heated up with a number of sites launching their own fast variant. In fact, this trend inspired us to write tips about playing faster poker games a few weeks ago.

Getting to the point, it now looks as if PokerStars is fighting to make sure they’re the only site where you can enjoy speed poker. This version of the game – which sees players whisked away to another table when their action in a hand is completed – was first introduced by Full Tilt when they rolled out Rush Poker. However, their demise from April to June of 2011 left the door wide open for other competitors to copy Rush.

PokerStars was actually the first room to mimic the idea after rolling out Zoom Poker. This highly-successful speed poker variant eventually drew the ire of former Full Tilt management, which attempted to patent their invention despite an inability to run games (license was taken away). Stars of course argued that fast poker wasn’t something which could actually be patented.

It’s funny how things come around because now it’s Stars which is trying to patent the genre since they purchased Full Tilt from the US DOJ. More specifically, they want Relax Gaming (Fast Poker), Microgaming (Blaze Poker), Party Poker (FastForward) and Titan Poker (Speed Hold’em) to cease their speed operations.

Of course, this all seems a bit hypocritical since it wasn’t too long ago when Stars was stealing the concept. Instadeal Network CEO Per Hildebrand spoke about this when he said, “The funny part is that their lawyers once must have concluded that the product is not patent-able. They launched Zoom and now want to argue it is.”

Obviously Hildebrand has a point here since he and other companies are merely doing exactly what PokerStars did. Of course, these things still have a funny way of playing out in court.