Posts Tagged ‘Poker Tournaments’

Michael Mizrachi unveils App for making “Last Longer” Poker Bets

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

michael-mizrachi-blast-longerEverybody’s favorite gun-toting WSOP champ Michael Mizrachi has identified a niche within a niche in the poker world. And he’s looking to take advantage of it with Blast Longer, a mobile app that lets poker players make “last-longer” bets with each other.

So how does Blast Longer work? players open an account at Blast Longer, then challenge others to last-longer bets in either online or live tournaments. As you may or may not know, these prop bets determine the winner based on who lasts the longest in a tourney. If you’re looking for more beyond my vague description, here’s what Mizrachi has to say:

“Blast Longer offers players the ability to place last-longer side bets (blasts) with their friends or the larger Blast Longer community. The player in each blast who lasts longest in the tournament wins the pot. Each tournament will have multiple pots at different bet levels: 10 percent, 25 percent, and 50 percent of the buy-in for online tournaments, and one percent, three percent, five percent, and 10 percent of the buy-in for live tournaments.”

Currently, this service can be used on the major poker networks such as PokerStars, FullTilt, iPoker, partypoker, and Winamax. And the live capabilities will be launched come 2015 WSOP time.

If you’re not sold on the idea, then consider that Mizrachi calls Blast Longer “insurance for poker players” since it gives them another way to earn money – even if they don’t cash in the actual tournament. “The object of these bets is to last longer than your opponents without even cashing or winning a tournament, which can be profitable for the day,” he explained.

While prop bets are very common in the live poker circuit, online players don’t have as many opportunities to join in prop wagers. But Mizrachi’s Blast Longer app will definitely give average Joes an opportunity to cash in on the prop betting fun…or lose their ass, whichever one.

Daniel Negreanu pissed that Rafael Nadal won

Friday, December 20th, 2013

A little over a week ago, Rafael Nadal won his first live poker tournament at the EPT Prague celebrity event. Not only did Nadal generate €50,000 for charity with this victory, but he also gained a little respect from the poker community…that is, unless you’re talking about Daniel Negreanu.

According to TMZ, Negreanu merely thinks that the tennis star got lucky whenever they tangled horns on the felt. “He got two lucky hands,” Negreanu said, “that’s the only reason why he beat me.”

The two hands that Negreanu is referring to saw Nadal double up through the 6-time WSOP champion and add to his stack. On one occasion, Rafa was all-in with Q-3 against Daniel’s A-9, and still took this hand down. The other hand was more of a coinflip since Negreanu’s pocket 3’s were cracked by Nadal’s Q-9 combo.

When you look at these two hands, it really only appears that Rafa got lucky in one case. Nevertheless, ‘KidPoker’ is ready for a rematch and is pretty confident that he’d pull out the win. “I’m down and ready to go for a rematch! I’d win this time. Obviously. I’m suppose to win every time.”

We have to agree with Negreanu’s assessment on how another poker game between he and Nadal would go. After all, the Canadian has been playing in poker tournaments since 1997, and he’s earned $19,549,209 throughout his illustrious career. With his massive total in winnings, Negreanu ranks third all-time behind Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett.

Nadal may not bring this same pedigree, but he has been working to improve his poker game. The 13-time Grand Slam tennis champion started playing online poker in July of 2012, and has continually worked to iron out leaks. But even with his recent dedication to poker, it’s unlikely that Nadal could keep out-performing Negreanu.

Rebuy Poker Tournament Tips

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

In the average poker tournament, you are finished when your chips are all gone. This differs from rebuy poker tournaments, where you can buy back into an event after busting out, and add chips to your stack when the rebuy period is over with (normally one hour).

That said, rebuy tournaments allow players to be more aggressive because they can buy back in after being eliminated. However, it’s important not to get too crazy with rebuys, as you’ll see in the following tips.

Set a Limit on Rebuys

Some players get a little crazy in rebuys and will re-enter 4-5 times after busting out. And while this might give you quite a bit of action and excitement, it’s also a great way to burn through your bankroll. So the first tip for rebuys is to set a limit and stick with it.

The original buy-in will have a lot to do with this because rebuying into an $11 event is a lot easier than doing so in a $1,100 tournament. But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t exceed more than 3 rebuys in a single event. Also, be sure to have enough money left for the add-on at the end of the rebuy period.

Don’t be a Maniac

Some players think that rebuys give them the green light to become a maniac and go all-in with pocket 3’s from early position. But just because you can re-enter after being knocked out doesn’t mean you should go crazy.

Instead, a better approach is to alter your aggression level slightly. If you’d normally only play AA through JJ, you could expand this to include AA through 99, and AK in a rebuy event. Of course, your observations of the table will affect this decision too.

Try Unconventional Playing Methods

In most cases, common poker strategy advises against limping in with marginal hands. But in a rebuy tourney, you can actually make unconventional moves like these work.

The reason why is because players are looser, and as long as they’re not being too aggressive before the flop, your speculative hand will pay off. After all, these loose players will be more likely to call big raises post-flop because they know that they can rebuy following a bust-out.

As you can see, rebuy tournaments are a little different from your average tourney when it comes to strategy. But you can definitely have some success in them through experience and hard work.

Hot Poker Player Hana Soljan reveling in EPT Barcelona Win

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Much like poker babes Vanessa Rousso, Tatjana Pasalic and Christina Lindley, Hana Soljan is quickly finding herself as eye candy to the poker world. And her poker fame has only increased following a recent victory at the 2013 EPT Barcelona.

While playing in the €330 buy-in Ladies NL Hold’em event, the Croatian babe topped an 86-player field. She received a €6,880 ($9,203) payout for the victory, which isn’t going to blow anybody away. However, it marks Soljan’s eighth career cash and brings her tournament winnings up to $37,479.

Following the victory, Soljan discussed how the win means a lot because it comes shortly after Full Tilt Poker signed her to a sponsorship deal.

“To be a part of the Full Tilt team is a dream come true for me,” she said. “They chose to sponsor a player who they believe in and (have given) me the opportunity to win some big titles. It is hope for lots of players in the world – and every win is not just mine, it is for the team, and that is the best part.”

She continued by talking about how other women can experience success in poker tournaments. “My best advice is to start with ladies tournaments in live poker and small buy-ins with lots of players online – and be confident and brave. We can do it as well as they do, if not better.”

Away from the tables, Hana Soljan has done quite a bit of TV presenting work in Eastern Europe. And this is another big reason why she landed a Full Tilt sponsorship deal because she can give interviews on the Eureka Poker Tour. As her career advances, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Soljan on TV more and more.

Broke Dutch Boyd using Kickstarter to fund Poker Book

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Just a few months ago, two-time WSOP champion Dutch Boyd was on Reddit.com talking about how he couldn’t find a regular job and was broke – despite earning over $2.1 million in live poker tournaments alone. Well little has changed since those days, but Boyd is trying to rectify the situation by writing a book.

Rather than getting a publisher for his work like many authors, Boyd is using the fundraising website Kickstarter.com to generate money. Dutch is trying to get $5,000 so he can self-publish the book, which is tentatively titled “Poker Tilt.”

Getting into the details of Boyd’s book, part of it is supposed to be an autobiography while the other part deals with poker strategy. He has also teamed up with a published author named Laurence Samuels, who’s probably on board to make sure the writing is good. Boyd discussed the project further on Kickstarter by writing:

After winning my first WSOP title, I was asked,  “What does winning a bracelet mean to you?” My answer: “Now If I ever go broke, I can always write a book.”

Well now that time has come.  So I’m setting out to write the greatest book ever. I’ve teamed up with published author Laurence Samuels to make sure this dream turns into a reality.

(continued later) If you’ve ever played poker, you are going to want this book. But even if you don’t play poker, there is going to be a lot in here that will be interesting to you. The things that make a poker player successful apply to all aspects of life. Plus, you’ll get to read an insider’s story of a world that is rarely exposed.

Just two days after posting the Kickstarter listing, Boyd has already drawn 23 backers and $1,135 in funding. He has 28 days to go to reach his $5k goal, or else all of the funding is returned. Those wanting to support Boyd’s project must pledge at least $1 to be considered a backer.

As mentioned before, Dutch Boyd has captured two WSOP bracelets and earned $2,122,906 in tournament winnings. Despite these accomplishments, Dutch is also loathed by many in the poker community. He ran an online poker room called PokerSpot, and when it failed in the early 2000’s, Boyd didn’t reimburse players for over $400,000 in deposits.

More recently, Boyd was sued by the popular forum TwoPlusTwo.com for cybersquatting; he used a domain name that was very similar to TwoPlusTwo without permission.

Leo Margets signs with PokerStars

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

The world’s largest poker site has announced the addition of Leonor “Leo” Margets to Team PokerStars. Margets had previously been under contract with 888poker, but signed with Stars once that deal had expired.

The 29-year-old is best known for finishing 27th in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, which earned her $352,832. What’s more is that, by finishing 27th, Margets also attained the coveted title of “Last Woman Standing” in the 2009 Main Event. The Barcelona native’s name is etched in history with the likes of Barbara Enright, Maria Ho and Tiffany Michele, who also managed to be the Last Woman Standing at the WSOP Main Event.

Margets is definitely more than just a one-hit wonder because she’s also cashed in a number of other big poker tournaments. Besides the 2009 Main Event cash, Marget’s other very impressive performance came when she won the Full Tilt Masters Series in Spain. The Spaniard grabbed a €100,000 ($132,23) payout and captured her first major tournament title.

One more strong tourney finish that Margets had was in a 2010 Aussie Millions $2k No-Limit Hold’em event; she finished third place and earned $54,270. Thanks to this quality cash and others, Margets has managed to rack up $770,274 in live tournaments winnings, which ranks her 30th all-time among women.

What’s truly impressive about everything Margets has done is that she only started playing live poker in 2008. So in less than five years, she’s already managed to accumulate $770k in earnings and attract the attention of the world’s biggest poker room.

Margets will join several other Spaniards on Team PokerStars, including Ana Marquez, Poli Rincon, Juan Manuel Pastor and tennis champion Rafael Nadal. As for the latter, Nadal has not only helped PokerStars immensely, but also the online poker industry as a whole.

Hot Model Lily Kiletto just misses WPT History

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

While female poker players have definitely cracked the male-dominated barrier in WSOP events – having collectively won lots of gold bracelets – they’ve yet to do the same in the World Poker Tour. In fact, women haven’t won an open WPT tournament of any kind since the organization began operating in 2002.

Lily Kiletto was recently trying to change this bit of history at the 2013 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. Kiletto was already turning heads because she’s a stunning, hot, exotic model; the fact that she was chasing a major poker title just gave red-blooded males even more reason to gawk at her.

The dark-skinned beauty began the Lucky Hearts Open final table with the shortest stack (860k chips). However, she made some gutsy calls, built her stack, and survived until a heads-up match with Matt Giannetti. The latter took the fun out of things after cruising to victory and adding $298,304 to his impressive total of $4,265,072 in career winnings.

As for Kiletto, she collected the tidy sum of $191,180 after finishing runner-up and brought her career earnings to $212,169. In all, the 30-year-old has $212,180 in live poker tournament winnings and put herself on the poker map.

The second place Lucky Hearts Open finish may not be enough to land Kiletto a major sponsorship deal. But after giving herself a huge bankroll boost, it’s likely that we’ll continue seeing the model/fashion designer in plenty more future tourneys.

This is especially true since she had already been playing in poker tournaments on her own since 2011. Kiletto had racked up 11 tourney cashes prior to the big Lucky Hearts runner-up effort. So it appears as if she has a solid knowledge of the game and could continue her success in the future.

Why Tournament Players have Trouble with Cash Games

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Most great poker players are able to go back and forth between cash games and tournaments without much difficulty. But the majority of tourney players aren’t great, which means they struggle when making the switch to ring games. And there are a host of reasons why certain grinders struggle to make money in cash play. That said, here are a few things poker tournament players need to realize when making the transition.

Pressure from Blinds

Unless you’re playing cash games with a severely-limited bankroll – which we definitely preach against – the blinds aren’t going to provide any pressure. They stay the same throughout play and don’t increase like in tournaments. But in tourneys, blinds increase in levels, which forces you to make aggressive moves to accumulate chips and stay alive. In short, you don’t have to play with as much urgency in cash play.

Deep Stacks

When you get into the middle and late stages of poker tournaments, having 100 big blinds is a gift and will give you a huge advantage. But in cash games, nearly everybody is going to be playing with 100 big blinds since players can reload whenever they want to. Much like the blinds, you aren’t pressured by stack sizes, which generally makes a tighter approach necessary.

No Limit

One thing players really need to be aware of when they play poker cash games is that there’s no limit to losses. Unlike a tourney, where the most you can lose is a buy-in, cash games see no cap on the amount of money that can be lost. This being said, you need to constantly review sessions and study poker strategy to improve. Also, make sure that you’re studying strategy appropriate to the states you play.

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!

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.