Posts Tagged ‘Play Poker’

Mike Sexton tells Great Old-Man Poker Stories during Cash Game

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

If there’s one thing that Mike Sexton can do besides play poker, it’s talk. He is, after all, a World Poker Tour announcer. And Sexton has recently been talking up a storm on a Party Poker-sponsored cash game at the Borgata.

As you can see in the segments below, he tells some of his favorite Johnny Moss, Bobby Hoff and Stu Ungar tales. The latter is pretty interesting because Sexton relives another degenerate Ungar tale where the three-time WSOP Main Event winner lost $78,000 on his first time at the golf course.

Another delightful part of watching these segments is to see how nobody says a word during Sexton’s stories. It’s as if they’ve already heard these stories before from him and are hearing them for the thousandth time. In the first clip, Sexton even acknowledges that Vince Van Patten has probably sat through these tales one too many times.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see how passionate Sexton is about retelling stories from poker’s past. Check out the clips below and see if he draws you in. And if you’re short on time, just skip ahead to the second clip about Unger because it’s the least-told story that Sexton rehashes:

“Rounders 2” Back with Paris Stop and De Niro

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The poker world has waited forever, and finally, Rounders 2 is a reality! Miramax and the Weinstein company came to an agreement that’ll see some hit classics made into sequels, including Shakespeare in Love and Rounders.

What’s exciting about Rounders 2 is the changes that’ll be made to the upcoming film. As Harvey Weinstein told Deadline Hollywood, the movie is set to take on a more international feel “where you start the card game in Paris.” He also added that they need a new supervillain to replace John Malkovich.

The rumored villain is Robert De Niro, who already has an outstanding role from the gambling world to his credit. De Niro played Sam “Ace” Rothstein in the 1995 hit Casino, which inspired millions of people to visit the casino. So it’s only natural that De Niro would be linked to a film that’s inspired millions of people to play poker over the years.

As for the new Paris location, this is certainly a good move because more and more Europeans take up the game every day. We can thank the Hendon Mob and WSOP Europe in large part for this. And who knows…maybe the Rounders sequel will encourage a European poker boom.

In regard to where else this movie is going, Weinstein explained the path by saying, “There might be a certain beautiful Parisian actress involved in it, and then we’re off to the racetrack and Vegas with Matty and Edward Norton, and a new supervillain to replace John Malkovich.”

With Norton coming back to play “Worm,” it’s almost a given that Matt Damon (a.k.a. Mike McDermott) is going to have to bail him out. If De Niro is indeed involved in the project, we can reasonably assume that Worm will be in trouble with him. Whatever the case may be, this is exciting news and I can’t wait to see the film play out on the big screen.

What is Social Poker and why is it Important?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Today’s online poker world literally has billions of dollars floating around, as both amateurs and pros seek to work their way up the stakes and on to the big money. There’s certainly no shortage of big money either, with tournament prize pools occasionally reaching multi-million dollar figures. This being said, it’s no wonder why there’s such a heavy emphasis on real money poker games.

But what’s surprising to know is that real money play isn’t even the biggest sector of online poker. Instead, social poker has the vast majority of players. Assuming you’re in the dark about social poker, take a closer look at what exactly it is, as well as why it’s critical to the game’s growth.

Keeping the Fun involved

Whenever you play poker for money, it can be a pretty intense affair. This is where social poker differs somewhat because you’re not putting money on the line. Instead, the game is free to play, although there’s usually something at stake for the winner(s).

In the online realm, social poker sites usually offer non-monetary prizes to those who finish high in tournaments. This prize could be as small as a $5 gift certificate to iTunes, or as big as an all-inclusive vacation.

But no matter what the prizes are, social poker sites put an emphasis on players chatting with each other and having fun. Sure the prizes are a big motivator, but the whole idea behind social poker is to take risks, bluff a lot, and meet fellow recreational players.

It’s worth mentioning that social poker doesn’t just have to be played online. The truest form of poker is a bunch of buddies getting together and playing the game for small stakes or other prizes. For example, whoever wins the home tournament would get a large pizza on the other players’ dime.

How Social Poker will continue to drive the Game

If the first time you ever played poker was in a casino with a bunch of skilled veterans, chances are that you’re not going to have a good time. The same goes for if you play online poker and keep getting picked on by more experienced opponents. This is an awful way to be introduced to the game!

A much better and funner alternative is to play in a relaxed, social environment where everybody else is just there to have fun. Sure there’s no money up for grabs in these games; but at least you get to learn the fundamentals and enjoy yourself in the process.

And the more people who get into poker like this, the larger percentage there’ll be that graduate to real money games someday.

Loni Harwood has Record-Setting 2013 WSOP

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Coming into the 2013 WSOP, Loni Harwood had gained a little bit of fame for herself in the poker world after winning two WSOP Circuit bracelets. However, the acclaim she earned for her small WSOPC victories was nothing compared to the attention she’s getting now.

Last night, Harwood capped off a record-setting 2013 WSOP by winning the Event #60 $1,500 NL Hold’em tourney along with $609,017. She battled through a field of 2,541 players to grab the win and her first gold bracelet.

The $609k payout is what’s really impressive here because this is the biggest cash by a woman at the Las Vegas WSOP. It’s the second largest WSOP prize of any kind by a female, ranking behind the $2,013,734 that Annette Obrestad earned for winning the 2007 WSOPE Main Event.

The history doesn’t stop here for Harwood because she also became the third lady to make three final tables in one WSOP. She finished sixth in the Event #31 $1,500 PLO tournament ($39,803), fourth in the Event #53 $1,500 NLHE ($210,456) tourney, and first in Event #60. In all, she’s cashed six times this summer and made $874,698 – yet another single-year record for a woman at the Vegas WSOP.

As for why we haven’t heard of Harwood yet, she’s only 23 and recently graduated from college. Upon graduating, she moved from New York to Florida and began grinding in live cash games. Harwood learned how to play poker by watching her dad in online games, which naturally led her to the felt. Now she’s the female star of the 2013 WSOP and is looking towards a very bright future.

2013 WSOP Event #60 $1,500 NL Hold’em Final Table
1. Loni Harwood – $609,017
2. Yongshuo Zheng – $378,607
3. Mika Paasonen – $267,978
4. Yngve Steen – $193,265
5. Asi Moshe – $141,124
6. Daniel Cascado – $104,282
7. Cy Williams – $78,006
8. Bijon Notash – $59,036
9. Hiren Patel – $45,212

Ken Lind wins Record 2013 WSOP Senior’s NL Hold’em Championship

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Poker isn’t just a game for young internet grinders. This much was proven when 4,407 players turned out for the 2013 WSOP Event #26 $1,000 Senior’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship. This turnout set the following two records:

1) Largest field in Senior’s NL Hold’em Championship history; the previous record was last year’s field of 4,128 players.

2) The biggest non-re-entry single starting day tournament in WSOP history.

With such a large field in the 2013 Senior’s Hold’em Championship, there was a good chance that a total unknown would win. And this is exactly what happened when Ken Lind won the Senior’s Championship. Lind, who’d never even cashed in a WSOP event before, stormed through the massive 4,407-player field to win the tourney and $634,809.

What’s interesting is that Lind almost didn’t even play in this tournament. But his friend Burrell talked him into playing and this definitely turned out to be good advice, considering that Lind is now almost $635k richer.

The Layton, Utah resident is a father of seven, a grandfather of seven, and a great-grandfather of two. Over the years, he’s basically taught himself to play poker via home games. Whatever Lind taught himself definitely worked as he outlasted a number of other skilled players in this tournament.

Some of the notable grinders who fared well in Event #26 include T.J. Cloutier (428th), John Esposito (333rd), Jay Heimowitz (311th), Marsha Wolak (158th), Donnacha O’Dea (114th), Robert Varkonyi (73rd), Chris Bjorin (45th), Dan Heimiller (39th), Hoyt Corkins (23rd), and rock musician/producer Steven Albini (12th). Third place finisher John Holley, who recently won the WSOP Circuit Championship in New Orleans, was trying to capture his first WSOP gold bracelet, but fell just short.

2013 WSOP $1,000 Senior’s NL Hold’em Championship
1st: Ken Lind – $634,809
2nd: Dana Ott – $390,601
3rd: John Holley – $283,312
4th: Baryr Bashist – $209,856
5th: Randolph Spain – $156,629
6th: Michel Bouskila – $117,799
7th: James Miller – $89,281
8th: Jack Ernest Ward – $68,180
9th: Fernando Halac – $52,474

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.

Everleaf Gaming bans French and US Players

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Everleaf Gaming made big news yesterday after announcing that they were banning players from France, Malta and the United States. Now those from these countries who try to log onto an Everleaf Gaming site get a message that says:

Client is blocked.Dear Member, according to our Terms and Conditions we regret to inform you that we are no longer able to accept traffic from your country. Your account has therefore been locked until further notice.

The main reason why Everleaf has taken these actions is because the US Department of Homeland Security sent them a cease and desist order. In other words, if the poker network continues to accept Americans, they’ll be in for quite a legal fight. So Everleaf has updated their terms and conditions to include the following:

No person who is resident in Malta, France and USA may open an account, play, or in any other way participate in the ELG offerings and/or services.

It’s unclear why the Everleaf Gaming network decided to pull out of France and Malta as well, but there’s a good chance that the Maltese Licensing Authority told them to pull out of these markets before any legal action happened.

Going back to the US market, Americans have increasingly fewer options for places where they can play poker. In less than a year’s time, they’ve lost the ability to play at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB Poker, Absolute Poker and now Everleaf. Now their only real options include the Merge Gaming network, the Cake Poker network and Bovada.

Seeing as how the United States is attacking all of these offshore poker companies, it seems about time that they hurry up and give Americans some “legal” options for playing. Perhaps this is a sign that the federal government is closer to instituting their own online poker operation?


How Long should you Play Poker?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes that many online poker players make is extending a session too long. For example, if you start to lose concentration after two hours of playing and you keep going, you’ve played too much online poker.

Now you may be wondering why somebody would keep playing when they’re no longer focusing on the game. And the answer is that many players don’t even think anything about it when they’ve been on the poker tables too long. In essence, it becomes somewhat of blur, kind of like when you’re playing a video game for hours.

The downside of extending online poker sessions past when you can reasonably concentrate is that you stop focusing on opponents’ tendencies. Furthermore, you begin making small mistakes such as calling when you shouldn’t or playing marginal hands past the flop. So basically, playing poker for lengthy hours decreases your profitability with the game.

This being the case, it’s crucial that you both know your limits for playing, and stick to this limit. The only way to truly find out how long you can play poker is to go until you feel yourself losing concentration. For instance, if you fall into a lull after two hours, this should be your limit for the time being.

Interestingly enough, most poker players can extend the amount of time they’re able to play eventually. A large part of this is just getting better at the game, and having the correct moves become automatic responses. As you become more comfortable with playing longer online poker sessions, a good way to increase your interest is by multi-tabling. By managing two tables or more, you increase the challenge, which in turns keeps you more focused on the game. Just make sure you’re a winning player before you start multi-tabling!


Learn To Play Texas Hold’em

Friday, February 18th, 2011

With so many tournaments right around the corner I figured it would be a great idea to brush up on a few poker rules. In doing so I came across a huge selection of free online games including one of my favorites, Texas Hold’em.

For those of you who’ve never played it, it’s a very easy game to learn. Believe me, I’m no expert and yet I managed to grasp the rules within a couple of minutes. Once you know how to play, the fun starts. An even if you’ve dabbled in Texas Hold’em before, you can always learn new things; that’s what makes the game so fascinating.

In Texas Hold’em a few of the cards are shared between the players. Each person receives two cards which are then combined with the five community cards. The goal is to come up with the ideal five card hand.

The best way to actually learn is to dive right in and play. You can find a slew of online poker rooms for beginners, where you can practice with phony money until you feel comfortable enough to get into the real action.

And since you’ll be taking advantage of free play online, you can place a cheat sheet by your side, containing all the poker hands. If you’re new to the game like I was a few years ago, you won’t always remember that a Royal Flush beats four of a kind.

Next time I’ll go over some simple rules to remember. For now, enjoy yourself and win big! There’s certainly no game like poker.