Posts Tagged ‘poker pros’

Daniel Negreanu battles Bertrand Grospellier in Hearthstone

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

negreanu-vs-grospellierThose who attended BlizzCon 2015 were treated to an interesting sight: Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand Grospellier battling each other in Hearthstone. The Blizzard Entertainment-created card game has been catching on with poker pros in recent months. And, Negreanu and Grospellier are admittedly “addicted” to playing Hearthstone when they’re away from the felt.

“Some poker players at the table were talking about [Hearthstone] and they were talking about the complexity of it and how it’s similar to poker,” said Negreanu, who took the game up in May. “So I just downloaded it. The first time I downloaded it, I spent the next 11 hours straight playing it.”

For Grospellier, a former professional StarCraft player, the transition to Hearthstone was pretty seamless. The French poker player now streams his Hearthstone sessions via Twitch along with online poker sessions. But despite his love for this collectible card game, you won’t see Grospellier leaving the poker tables any time soon.

hearthstone-poker“I hope I could compete [for the world championship],” he told Forbes. “I’m not sure about the time commitment though.”

Negreanu agrees with this thought, adding that Hearthstone just isn’t as lucrative as poker right now – especially because of the time commitment to play in the big tournaments.

“I certainly don’t think any professional poker players will leave their income to just play hearthstone,” Negreanu explained. “But in addition to their already extensive poker play, it’s just a fun alternative thing to do. I don’t think they would look to do it as a career move, financially.”

Hearthstone is definitely a rising game, attracting over 30 million players in just a year and a half. Compare this to poker, which has been around much longer and has around 100 million players worldwide. But it appears that the main things holding people like Negreanu and Grospellier back from becoming Hearthstone pros are time commitment and finances.

Dumpster Joe picked over Christian Harder for Poker Night in America

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

With over $3 million in live poker tournament winnings, and having been a regular at Maryland Live! Casino, Christian “Charder” Harder seemed like a natural fit for Poker Night in America. He quickly applied to be on the show after hearing that PNIA was filming an episode at his home casino. But rather than reserve their last spot for Harder, the producers opted for a different direction: “Dumpster Joe.”

Appropriately named for the fact that he drives a dump truck, Joe is a local amateur who wanted his shot at the big time. And he got this chance, if only at the expense of established pros like Harder. Charder tweeted, “Not a big enough poker personality to play Poker Night in America at my home casino @MarylandLive #salty”

Although Harder sounds bitter in the tweet, he comes across as pretty understanding in a recent Washington Post blog. He commended Dumpster Joe being on the show by saying:

They were looking more for guys who aren’t professional poker players who want to play with professional poker players. I guess they wanted some new blood. He is a huge character. He owns a dump truck company and some restaurants. He is going to be great for TV.

Harder is definitely on track with his assessment of Dumpster Joe, who has a good amateur-on-TV personality and caused a stir after bluffing Phil Hellmuth out of a pot with 3 high. Aside from the fact that Joe was good for TV, he also fits the traditional style of PNIA, where a lucky amateur or two gets a chance to rub elbows with famed poker pros. So don’t expect the show’s producers to give up on this interesting dynamic any time soon.

Anthony Gregg – Biggest 2013 WSOP Winner with $4.8m Payout

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Entering this weekend, Benny Chen was the biggest winner of the 2013 WSOP after he took down the Event #6 “Millionaire Maker” along with $1.2 million. However, this total has been blown away by Anthony Gregg since he recently won the Event #47 $111,111 One Drop along with $4,830,619. Gregg captured this prize after navigating though an interesting 166-player field, which included both top poker pros and businessmen.

One of these businessmen was Skylar Capital Management CEO Bill Perkins. Entering the final day, where just four players remained, Perkins held a slight chip lead over Gregg. However, there was no safety in this lead as Perkins was quickly eliminated along with Antonio Esfandiari.

Esfandiari was a very interesting story throughout this event because he won the WSOP Big One for One Drop and $18.34 million last year. But he was unable to repeat in this year’s smaller One Drop tournament after being knocked out just before Perkins.

This left Gregg and Chris Klodnicki playing for the massive $4.83 million top prize. These two skilled veterans battled back and forth for well over an hour, but Gregg was finally able to gain the upper hand and eliminate Klodnicki. On the final hand, a short-stacked Klodnicki shoved on the flop with an inside straight draw, and Gregg called with top pair. The board helped neither player, which gave Gregg the victory.

Thanks to his latest score, the Columbia, Maryland native now doubles his winnings to an impressive $8,631,300. He’s also the biggest winner at the 2013 WSOP, though this will change when the Main Event finishes up in November.

2013 WSOP $111k One Drop Results
1st: Anthony Gregg – $4,830,619
2nd: Chris Klodnicki – $2,985,495
3rd: William Perkins – $1,965,163
4th: Antonio Esfandiari – $1,433,438
5th: Richard Fullerton – $1,066,491
6th: Martin Jacobson – $807,427
7th: Brandon Steven – $621,180
8th: Nick Schulman – $485,029
9th: Olivier Busquet – $384,122
10th: Lawrence Greenberg – $384,122
11th: Connor Drinan – $308,622
12th: Jeremy Ausmus – $308,622
13th: Matt Glantz – $251,549
14th: Martin Finger – $251,549
15th: Blake Bohn – $208,968
16th: Mike Sexton – $208,968
17th: Daniel Alaei – $173,723
18th: Andrew Lichtenberger – $173,723
19th: Phil Laak – $173,723
20th: Shaun Deeb – $173,723
21st: Jason Koon – $173,723
22nd: Farshad Fardad – $173,723
23rd: Dan Shak – $173,723
24th: Steve Gross – $173,723

What Stakes do Poker Pros play?

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

When most people think of professional poker players, they envision grinders who make their living in $25/$50 cash games and above. But while these high stakes players may steal most of the headlines, the truth is that poker pros are found throughout a variety of stakes. This being said, let’s take a closer look at what stakes you have to play in order to make a living with the game.

It All Depends…

There is no set cutoff as to what stakes can provide you with a healthy living. And a large part of being a full-time pro depends upon where you live. For example, countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and France have high costs of living. So pros usually need to play at least $1/$2 games and above, even as multi-tablers.

Contrast this to countries like the Ukraine, Mexico, Brazil and Romania, where cheaper costs of living make playing lower stakes more realistic. In some cases, pro grinders in these nations could play $0.05/$0.10 and above with some multi-tabling.

Win Rate and Multi-Tabling

We’ve mentioned multi-tabling a couple of times already because this is extremely important in regard to making profits – especially if you’re trying to earn a living at the lower stakes.

And of course you’re going to need a good win rate as well. The exact win rate needed depends heavily upon what stakes you are playing; for example, an American playing $1/$2 NL Hold’em will probably need to earn 10 big blinds an hour (depending upon daily hours played) along with some rakeback. But a pro $0.10/$0.20 NLHE player from the Ukraine might be able to get away with earning 10 big blinds an hour at this level.

So as you can see, there are all different types of stakes that pros play. And a multitude of factors go into deciding what limits a person has to play to earn a living.

Why Most People don’t succeed in Poker

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Pretty much everybody starts out in poker with aspirations of being a successful player who makes lots of money. Interestingly enough, most people don’t even get close to this vision, and they can’t seem to figure out why either. The truth is that there are actually plenty of reasons why one doesn’t experience the level of success that they’re hoping for in poker. And here’s a look at some of the most common factors that prevent one from poker success.

Not putting enough work into Poker Strategy

The most obvious reason for not doing well in poker involves putting little time into studying strategy. Now quite a few players will at least study some strategy; however, with the way that poker has evolved today, it takes lots of hard work. If you have the time, spend at least 45 minutes a day learning strategy and/or watching training videos.

Playing Sporadically and Infrequently

As with anything, poker takes time and practice before you’re good. Unfortunately, too many people take huge breaks in between when they play the game. So if you grind for one week and take two weeks off, it’s going to be pretty hard to be successful. A much better idea is to play as consistently as possible and hope to improve over time.

Not using the Resources at your Disposal

There are a lot of ways to get better at poker including forums, coaches, poker training videos, books and articles. Not we’re not saying you have to use every one of these resources; however, it’s important that you at least use some of them to get better. Many players benefit from training videos and coaching, but cheaper/free options like books, articles and forums can also be really helpful.

All in all, the biggest aspect you need to consider when trying to improve in poker is putting some time into the matter. The more you care about getting better, the more likely you are to experience success.

Konstantin Puchkov and the Unheralded WSOP Record

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

It’s now been a couple of weeks since Antonio Esfandiari won the Big One for One Drop, and people are still talking about this impressive win. It’s for good reason too because he set a record for the largest poker tournament cash in history with $18,346,673.

Unfortunately, it appears as if Esfandiari’s record has overshadowed the accomplishments of others during the 2012 WSOP, such as Konstantin Puchkov and his recent record. The Russian set the record for most WSOP cashes in a single year with 11. Considering that there were 61 tournaments in the 2012 WSOP and Puchkov probably only had time to play half of them, this is no doubt a very impressive mark!

Out of these 11 WSOP cashes, he made two final tables in the Event #37 8-Game (6th, $41,844) and the Event #46 Limit Hold’em (9th, $49,245) tournaments; the latter represented his biggest cash of the year. Keeping this in mind, it’s no wonder why the Moscow native hasn’t set the poker world on fire with his incredible accomplishment. However, the amount of money isn’t what’s important here, but rather how consistently well he did against the top poker pros in the world.

As for his career, Puchkov has managed to amass $1,666,596 in live tournament winnings. His best year from a money perspective is when he collected $792k on the felt during 2010. Much of his money came from finishing third in the 2010 EPT Barcelona Main Event ($410k) and winning a WSOP $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament ($257k).

Away from the tables, Konstantin Puchkov trains horses around the Moscow area. What’s funny is that Puchkov names his horses after poker terms, and even commented that he loves the game of H.O.R.S.E. because of his first career. With all the money he’s been winning in poker, the Russian will no doubt have a lot more hay to feed his horses with.

Jonathan Duhamel Troubles Continue

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Back on December 22nd, we brought you the Jonathan Duhamel robbery story, where two men broke into his Montreal home, stole cash and his 2010 WSOP Main Event bracelet, and beat the poker pro senseless. Towards the end of this story, we also talked about some of the other poker pros who’ve gotten into similar troubles, which could be a product of who they associate with and their partying habits.

Getting to the point, Jonathan Duhamel found himself in yet another bad situation at the 2012 PCA players party. German poker pro Martin Finger alleges that Duhamel got drunk, and started mouthing off to him in the Bahamas club where the party was held. Interestingly enough, the 2011 EPT Prague winner also said that he was the person who got thrown out of the club by security after the two began arguing.

Still angry about the verbal altercation he had with Duhamel in the club, Finger waited outside until the Canadian came out. Once Duhamel did show his face, Finger punched him before security rushed in to stop a possible fight.

It’s kind of hard to solely rely on Finger’s word in this story because he was arrested during EPT London for smashing in a restaurant door because he was hungry and they were closed. However, we don’t get a side of the story from Duhamel because he was too drunk to know what was going on as you can see from this tweet:

Just landed in Montreal, head still hurting after an amazing nigh out yeaterday! Really happy to be home for a few days and see my people.

Looking at the bigger picture here, you have to wonder about the kind of lifestyle that Jonathan Duhamel is living here. He hooks up with Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, who turned out to be crazy enough to plan a robbery against her ex-boyfriend. Now he’s getting so drunk that he gets punched in the face, and probably isn’t totally clear on what happened.

Perhaps he needs to step back and evaluate his lifestyle because, while he was recently the victim in a terrible robbery/beating, his actions could lead to more trouble in the future.

Epic Poker League could be in Trouble

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

If you listen to Commissioner Annie Duke, you’d think that the Epic Poker League was the greatest thing to happen to poker. But if you pay attention to recent reports by several poker news outlets, you might conclude an entirely different thought.

After all, it’s being reported that Pinnacle Entertainment is currently talking to EPL owners about buying the poker league. Popular speculation is that Jeffrey Pollack and the Palms Casino want to sell the EPL because they’re going through some major financial difficulties.

The reason why is because they have delayed their fourth event along with the championship $1 million freeroll tournament until the spring. Considering the fact that this isn’t exactly something you expect from a thriving poker organization, it’s no wonder why people are skeptical about the Epic Poker League finances.

As for their prospective buyer, Pinnacle Entertainment, they’re best known for operating several casinos throughout the United States. And they seem to be really motivated in acquiring the EPL since they’re trying to get the deal done by March.

Assuming they do indeed buy this poker tournament league, it will be interesting to see how the EPL transforms. Will all of the events suddenly revolve around the Pinnacle properties in states like Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio? Or will they continue to be held in the same scheduled locations as what we saw this year?

Perhaps more importantly is what will happen to the TV deals and current structure of the league. Right now, 200 poker pros are invited to the EPL season events, while other players can work their way into the mix by meeting the specified requirements. However, under new ownership, this could all change if Pinnacle Entertainment doesn’t think the current model will offer future profits. We’ll have to revisit this discussion when/if Pinnacle does buy the Epic Poker League.

 

NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship Cancelled

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The effects of Black Friday (April 15th) continue to linger today after the National Heads-Up Poker Championship was recently cancelled by NBC. Adam Freifeld, who is the NBC Sports Senior Director of Communications, announced the sad news when he said the network wanted to, “continue to evaluate our poker programming.”

The 64-player poker tournament had ran since 2005, and saw both poker pros and celebrities face-off in heads-up matches. Popular pro Erik Seidel won the 2011 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which appears to be the last event – at least for now. Of course, Freifeld’s wording does make it seem like the Heads-Up Championship could come back beyond 2012.

But before this happens, there will need to be some major sponsors because both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker kept this event going. These were the two largest online poker rooms in the business for a while, and their millions of dollars in advertising revenue helped keep the Heads-Up Championship afloat. In addition to this, they also paid the buy-ins for many of the sponsored pros.

However, it’s obvious that Full Tilt Poker won’t be pumping any more advertising money or buy-in fees into the tournament since they are losing a fight for their very existence. And last we checked, the Groupe Bernard Tapie rumored acquisition is only going to be a minority ownership deal – if it even amounts to anything.

As for PokerStars, they’re doing quite well, but they no longer cater to American players. That said, there’s no reason to sponsor the National Heads-Up Championship because NBC is based in the United States. And while the TV show drew a considerable amount of viewers from outside the states, the number isn’t high enough to justify keeping the show on air.

Mike McDonald wins Lackluster Epic Poker League

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

The second ever Epic Poker League Main Event wasn’t exactly a resounding success since just 97 of the 200 invited poker pros joined the tournament. Seeing as how invited players are given a free $20,000 Main Event seat, and hotel/travel costs are covered, you have to wonder about the future of this organization.

In any case, the 97 players that did show up to the Epic Poker League certainly weren’t sorry because a $2.3 million prize pool was up for grabs, and the first place finisher was guaranteed $782k. Once everything was decided on the poker tables, Mike McDonald was crowned the champion.

McDonald, who became the youngest EPT winner in history after taking down the 2008 EPT Dortmund Main Event, outlasted David Steicke in heads-up play to scoop the big prize. And what’s nice about this win is that McDonald will have something extra to celebrate for his birthday tomorrow, when he turns 22. The Canadian now has $3,668,524 in live tournament winnings.

Of course, this is nowhere close to the $16.8 million that Erik Seidel has earned throughout his career, which ranks first all-time. And the reason why we’re bringing up Seidel is because the former New Yorker took fourth place in this tournament, and earned $184k for yet another solid finish this year. He took second place in the first Epic Poker League tournament too, and has earned $6,445,168 in 2011 alone!

It’s also worth mentioning that French poker star Fabrice Soulier took third place in this tournament, while the oft-hated Dutch Boyd finished in eighth place. Here is a look at the full standings from the second Epic Poker League Main Event:

1. Mike McDonald – $782,410
2. David Steicke – $506,260
3. Fabrice Soulier – $299,160
4. Erik Seidel – $184,100
5. Nam Le – $126,570
6. Isaac Baron – $92,050
7. Sean Getzwiller – $69,040
8. Dutch Boyd – $57,530