Posts Tagged ‘poker tournament’

College Poker Tour hoping to capitalize on Niche

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

A few months ago, we discussed the Senior Poker Tour, which is seeking to take advantage of a growing senior population in the game. Now, we have the College Poker Tour trying to capitalize on another niche filled with frat boys, hipsters, jocks and partiers.

Moving on from my lame college stereotypes, the CPT is an online poker room that’s been developed by All In Magazine. The site is going to be running qualifiers and competitions from March 26th – May 26th that give student poker players a chance to represent their school. The only cost to compete is a flat $50 league fee. And the prize is the chance to win a prize package to a Las Vegas-based poker tournament.

As All In states, there’s a pretty big poker culture at universities across America. “The potential is unlimited,” said Patrick Barthe, the CPT’s executive director. “We’ve done the research and, whether people want to believe it or not, college students of both genders are regularly playing poker. Whether it’s home games in their dorm rooms, visiting a casino, or playing online. The popularity is there, and it’s as strong as ever.”

Barthe went on to discuss how he hopes the CPT can make poker a legitimate college sport one day, just like football, basketball, tennis or anything else. “We’re using the same concepts and the same type of scoring system, except there are more students playing poker regularly than there are playing tennis,” Barthe said.

There are over 17 million university students in the United States, so the market potential is definitely there. But it’s difficult to say how successful the CPT will ultimately be. The organization did do their research, though, and found that many big schools like Notre Dame, Duke, LSU, Michigan, UCLA, MIT and Purdue have poker clubs which feature up to 150 players apiece. This being said, there are some encouraging factors in place for the CPT.

Bankroll Management for Low Stakes Poker Tournament Players

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

We all know that big-time poker players get all of the attention since they’re spending major money to compete for huge tournament prize pools. But the truth is that the majority of the poker community is based in the low-stakes world, where players are spending just $1 to $5 per buy-in.

Many of these low-stakes tournament players are of the casual nature and aren’t trying to make a living with the game. Some are more serious and hope to eventually supplement their income, or even become a full-time pro. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for every low-stakes poker tournament player to know a thing or two about bankroll management. That said, here are a few quick tips.

Tip #1 – Divide your Bankroll into Buy-ins

A good general tip for managing a tourney bankroll is to divide your money up into buy-ins. It’s ideal to have 150-200 buy-ins for the stakes you play because of all the variance in online poker. But depending upon your skill level, you may be able to get away with anywhere from 50-100 buy-ins. Using our ideal example on a person with $300, they’d want to stick with $2 tourney buy-ins or less in order to survive the variance.

Tip #2 – Avoid Large Field Sizes

If money is an issue – as it is with most low stakes tournament grinders – you should stick with events that feature small field sizes. The reason why is because the bigger the field, the harder it will be to consistently cash. Sure the potential scores are bigger in large tournaments, but it takes the average player much longer to earn these big payouts. So you should definitely stick with smaller events in the beginning, then work your way up to bigger field sizes.

Tip #3 – Never stop improving

Just having good bankroll management isn’t going to guarantee you profits; in fact, it’ll just prolong the inevitable downfall of a bad player. You need to continually improve your skills along with exercising good bankroll management. Some of the different things that you can do to get better at online poker include joining training sites, hiring a poker coach, reading books, reading articles, browsing forums, and watching YouTube videos. The information is out there – it’s up to you to find it!

Greg Raymer leaves PPA in Wake of Prostitution Scandal

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

For the past few years, Greg Raymer has been fighting for American poker players’ rights as a member of the Poker Players Alliance board. However, his work with the PPA will come to a halt for now after Raymer was busted for soliciting a prostitute in Wake Forrest, North Carolina. The 48-year-old voluntarily stepped down so that he can focus on his legal problems.

PPA Executive President John Pappas discussed Raymer’s decision by saying, “Earlier today, members of the Board of Directors of the Poker Players Alliance had a conversation with Board member Greg Raymer. Mr. Raymer requested, and the rest of the PPA Board accepted, that he be given a formal leave of absence as member of the PPA Board.”

With the organization currently battling for legalized poker on both the state and national level, it’s obvious that Raymer’s current problems aren’t an asset. Pappas said, “We are at a critical juncture in the fight for poker rights and we have to make sure side issues do not obscure focus from the main issue.”

During the time that Raymer was with the PPA, he showed up to various poker-related court cases around the United States. He also spoke to Congressmen on Capitol Hill about why online poker should be legalized.

Based on everything that Raymer has done, it’s not surprising that Pappas left the door open for him to return to the PPA board one day. However, the rest of the PPA would have to see Raymer as an asset, which certainly won’t be any time in the immediate future.

Greg Raymer is best known for winning the 2004 WSOP Main Event. He has also won four Heartland Poker Tour titles, and cashed in quite a few WSOP tournaments. To date, he’s earned $7,391,124 in live poker tournament winnings.

Michael Phelps competes in First Major Poker Tournament

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Olympic great Michael Phelps continues his flirtation with the poker world after competing in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. This was actually Phelps’ first “major” live tournament and he admitted to being nervous about the experience.

However, the nerves quickly subsided and he got some big hands early on to remain in contention. Phelps would go on to survive the first day and make a strong run in the second day as well. Unfortunately, he was eliminated on the final level of Day 2 by Eddy Sabat.

The hand began with Sabat leading out with 4,800 chips, which Michael called. With the rest of the table having folded, the flop was dealt Ks-Qd-5d. Sabat bet another 6,200 and Phelps called before the dealer dealt a 6c turn card. Eddy checked here while the 18-time Olympic gold medalist bet out 8,000 chips; Sabat called and a Jc river card was dealt afterward.

This prompted Sabat to go all-in while Phelps called him and flipped over 6s-6h for a set. However, Sabat had him beat after completing a broadway straight on the river.

With Michael Phelps now eliminated, so too goes the biggest celebrity at the 2013 PCA Main Event. But with a solid performance in his first big poker tournament, it’s likely that we’ll see the best swimmer in history at other major events.

As for his entire poker career, Phelps spent a lot of time playing cash games in Las Vegas following the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. He became friends with poker greats like Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth during this time while improving his live skills. Eventually, Phelps final tabled a 2008 Caesars Palace Classic side event and earned $5,213 for the finish. Now that he’s retired from swimming, we should see a few more strong tournament finishes from him.

Poker Bankroll: How Much should you spend on One MTT?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

A common question among beginning poker players revolves around how much they should spend on a single multi-table tournament buy-in. The general answer is that it’s a good idea to only spend 1-2% of your bankroll on a lone MTT. After all, you wouldn’t want to put too much money into a single tourney and lose a big chunk of your bankroll. But sometimes the general answer just doesn’t cut it because there’s more to consider with this subject.

Field Sizes

The primary aspect to consider when buying into an MTT is how many players are going to be in the event. Assuming you were entering a 100-player poker tournament, you could spend a little more of your bankroll (say 3-4%) because there’s a better chance of cashing. However, if you were entering a 3,000-player tourney or larger, you’d want to stick with the 1-2% recommendation.

Skill Level

Another huge factor in the poker bankroll discussion involves how good you are. Sure this is a no-brainer, but not a whole lot of players consider this in regard to their bankroll. The better you are, the more you can afford to spend on a single tournament. For example, it would be okay to spend 3-4% of your bankroll on any event (regardless of size) since you have a decent chance to cash. However, if you’re relatively new to the game, you should spend a very low amount of your bankroll on each poker tournament.

One more general rule to consider with MTT’s and bankroll is that you should only play at stakes that’ll allow you to lose 20 straight buy-ins without severely affecting your BR. For example, if your BR is $1,000, playing tourneys with $20 + $2 buy-ins would be okay because losing $440 during a major downswing wouldn’t decimate you.

Looking over Blind Structures before playing Poker Tournaments

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Beginning poker players often wonder how they should play tournaments in regard to the early, middle and late stages. And the general answer to these questions often revolves around a typical strategy: play tight in the beginning, open up during the middle to combat rising blinds, and be even more aggressive as the tourney gets into the later stages.

But rather than blindly jumping into a poker tournament with this logic in mind, it’s a good idea to look over blind structures beforehand. The main reason for doing so is that understanding blind structures will prepare you for what’s to come in the tourney.

For example, let’s say that you enter a poker tournament where starting stacks are 10,000 chips, blinds begin at 15/30, and blinds increase every 20 minutes. This all combines to make for a deepstacked tournament where you’ll have plenty of time in the beginning to wait for good hands and build your stack.

On the other hand, let’s assume that you’re playing in a tourney where starting stacks are 1,000 chips, blinds start at 50/100, and they increase every 10 minutes. This kind of structure is a turbo event, and it requires very aggressive play to combat the small stack sizes. After all, you need to steal as many blinds and small pots as possible to keep from blinding out.

From an overall standpoint, looking at blind structures beforehand helps you map out an effective poker strategy and properly prepare. Sure there are a ton of scenarios that will arise during tourneys and completely blow your initial strategy out of the water. But if you consistently check out blind structures prior to poker events, you’ll have a better chance to experience long-term success. And don’t forget to study a little general poker strategy every day as well!

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.

Ben Lamb, Tom Dwan 2012 WSOP Absences Explained

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Every year, the WSOP is a virtual who’s who of poker since the game’s top pros descend on Las Vegas to compete for gold bracelets, glory, and of course major cash. The 2012 WSOP has certainly been no different – save for the fact that a couple of very notable stars have pretty much been MIA.

One of the world’s top cash game players in Tom Dwan and the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year in Ben Lamb have both been noticeably absent in the headlines this year, which had some people scratching their heads about the matter. However, these absences were recently explained after both players showed up to the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament.

Why Dwan was missing

Tom Dwan has never been one who hangs his hat on poker tournament accomplishments or WSOP gold bracelets. That said, it’s no surprise that he was in Macau for most of the 2012 WSOP playing in the massive cash games there. While people are tight-lipped about what happens in Macau high stakes poker games, rumor has it that the blinds reached $3,500/$7,000 at one point. Apparently, the only thing that brought Dwan back was the $1 million buy-in tourney that he registered for. And it’s been a decent decision so far since he’s ranked 10th in chips (out of 37 remaining players) after Day 1.

Why Ben Lamb was missing

Of all the players missing at the 2012 WSOP, Ben Lamb is no doubt the most puzzling. Actually though he hasn’t really been missing, but rather just dividing his time between cash games and WSOP tournaments. As for the latter, Lamb has yet to run good and cash in any tourneys yet. However – just like Dwan – he too is fairing pretty well after ending Day 1 of the Big One for One Drop with 5.77 million chips (currently 8th).

How do you win Poker Tournaments?

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Now the title of this post might sound cheesy because there’s no simple way to win poker tournaments. But even with this being said, many beginning players wonder exactly how one goes about winning a bigger multi-table tournament. Now we can’t give you a step-by-step analysis of how to win a poker tournament, but here are a few tips you should keep in mind.

Realize how big of a factor Field Sizes play

Many poker players will consistently play tourneys with 2,000 or 3,000 entrants, and wonder why they haven’t won after several hundred tournaments. The main thing to realize is how rare it is to win a tourney this big – no matter how good you are. So if you’re looking to win poker tournaments, the obvious starting point lies with smaller field sizes such as 200-300 players.

Make EV Plays, focus on the Win

While a lot of people want to win tournaments, their play suggests that they’re merely hoping to cash. For example, when they are near the bubble and hoping to sneak into a cash, they’ll pass up a good steal chance in fear that doing so could cripple their stack. However, when the blinds are rising and you’re letting positive expected value plays pass you by out of fear, you really don’t have much of a chance to win. That said, realize that by making smart plays over and over, you’ll miss out on sneaking into the money sometimes, but greatly improve your overall chances of winning tournaments.

Understand the Variance

Even when you make great plays and enter smaller tournaments, you’ll experience a fair amount of negative variance. After all, the luck factor in poker ensures that even the best of players will go for long stretches without winning a tournament. That said, the best thing you can do is keep your cool and continue learning so you stay on track.

From an overall sense, winning poker tournaments requires a combination of skilled play and running good, so don’t get frustrated if wins don’t come right away.

Poker Tournament Bankroll Management

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Just a few days ago, we discussed the importance of using¬†ROI to measure how profitable you are in poker tournaments. Of course, return on investment numbers don’t exactly give you a handle on poker tournament bankroll¬†management, so it’s worth discussing this concept more in-depth.

Starting Amount

The best place to begin with poker tournament bankroll management is your starting amount. Now there’s no one-size-fits-all starting bankroll that will satisfy every player’s situation. But a nice, conservative number for most players is 40-50 buy-ins for the limits they want to play. To illustrate this, you would need $500 if you mainly played $10 + $1 buy-in poker tournaments.

Why are so many Buy-ins needed?

One question that some beginning poker tournament players have is why they need so many buy-ins in their starting bankroll. And the answer is that there’s a lot of downswings and variance involved in poker. For example, you might go through a period where you don’t cash for 15 straight poker tournaments; then you’ll finally cash again, only to go through another cold streak right afterward. That said, you need a fairly large bankroll to survive these swings until things turn around for you.

Keep learning Poker Strategy

The ultimate goal of poker is to make a profit, and the only way to continually do this is by studying poker strategy whenever you get the chance. This is especially the case if you want to build your bankroll and move up in limits. Relating this directly to your bankroll, it’s a lot easier to effectively manage your roll when you are a good player who’s never in immediate danger of losing everything. Long story short, keep learning poker strategy so that you can continue building your bankroll.