by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
How we approach tournaments will have an affect on the way we play. We’re aware going in that there will be ups and downs - that we’ll need to make many correct decisions if we want to have a chance at getting to the final table. When bad things happen while we’re playing, we need to be able to hit the proverbial reset button. Tournaments are long poker marathons where it is necessary to make many correct decisions, and it only takes one mistake to knock you out.
There are many things that set off poker players and make them lose their mind. When a player loses a big hand, they’re all of a sudden more likely to play in a polarized fashion: go into a shell and play extremely tight, or go on tilt and spew their chips off. Recognizing this, we must be very precise with how we play after we (or our opponent) lose a big hand. These are the times at the table where there is a strong connection between the last hand and the present hand.
Time to go public. My behind the- scenes campaign to protect Internet poker has failed.
by Tom McEvoy
My friend Paul Zibits was playing a tournament at the Commerce Casino in Las Angeles when the following hand came up. This hand was haunting him and he did not know if he made the right play or not so he asked me for my opinion. Here is the situation: We are now one table from the money and Paul has an average stack and is in the big blind. One player goes all-in and Paul has him covered. Now the biggest stack at the table (a good young tournament player) flat calls. Since he is the chip leader he could have a wider range of hands to call the first player’s all- in move. Paul looks down and has pocket Jacks and the action is now on him since all the other players have folded. He knows he has no fold equity since he would not have enough chips left to push the other player off his hand. His thinking was that he probably had a coin flip against one or both of these guys and the 2nd player could have flat called with a bigger pair to trap in this spot which is not uncommon. In the end he folded. If he was up against just the original all-in player, he would have called for sure. If he made the call and lost he would be very short-stacked even if he put no more chips in the pot. This hand has been haunting him ever since and he wanted to know what I would have done in this situation. This was a big tournament at the L.A. Poker Classic so there was a lot at stake.
By Barbara Rogers
Did I get your attention? This is something special, this marathon of events at Delaware Park. Primo event after event, spanning over a time period that should allow players plenty of action to choose from, there is still plenty of time for you to get there. It didn’t take long for the professionalism of the staff, headed by Kevin Castora, making the move from the West Coast, to turn Delaware Park poker action’s into one of the top premier hot spots on the East Coast. And this ambitious schedule, (read it on this outside cover of Poker Player) is one of the many reasons why it happened.
Delaware Park Poker Classic will continue right up to May 28th. Over 1 million in guaranteed prize money has created quite a buzz in the poker rooms. Everywhere I’ve played, I’ve spoken with plenty of players that have already made arrangements to be there. This includes quite a few poker room employees, from dealers to managers in nearby states. Note when you review the schedule, just how many times Delaware Park has added $1,100 to generously sweeten the pot of the satellite’s. With a long list of impressive payouts, the main event is offering a whopping FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR guarantee! Day 1A will be Sat. May 25th at 11am, Day 1B will be Sunday, 26th at 11am. Sixty thousand in starting chips will allow for solid poker playing. You should get your money’s worth in playing time, seeing a raft of hands.
By Shari Geller
The World Series of Poker held its annual conference call at 1:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 15, with Executive Director Ty Stewart and Tournament Director Jack Effel sharing news and information about the upcoming series and took questions from the media. Stewart started out by telling the participants that the theme of this year's series is "To get it right and put on the best damned poker tournament series in the world."
The 44th annual WSOP will start on May 29th at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. "One of our big goals over the past few years has been to kick off the series with a bang," Stewart said as he introduced some of the special events set for this year.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Here’s an interesting query I received from reader Jack Durr who picks up his copy of PPN at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY where he enjoys playing 1-2 NLHE $50Min-$200Max:
“Could you tell me how many players would have to limp in before the blinds for it to be a +EV to complete the small blind with any two cards?
The game is small stakes – $200 max NLHE; lots of limping preflop.” It’s an intriguing question—one I have never seen/heard addressed. Basically, the question deals with starting-hand selection. With Jack’s permission, here’s my answer:
by Ashley Adams
Ohio is the newest state to add legal poker to their entertainment menu. I visited back in January to try out the poker action at two of the three legal rooms in the state – the Horseshoe in Cleveland and Hollywood in Toledo. Here’s my take on each room.
I first visited the Hollywood Casino in Toledo en route to visit my brother in Minnesota. The Hollywood is not in downtown but on the outskirts of this western Ohio city, on the scenic banks of the Maumee River. There’s no hotel there – forbidden until either the enabling casino legislation is rewritten or until the occupancy of Toledo’s existing hotels increases. The décor is 1930s art deco – with many larger-than-life prints of famous movie stars on the walls. If you’ve been to any of the many Hollywood casinos around the country, you’ll recognize the retro theme.
This is Toledo’s only poker room, and the only legal room within 90 miles or so – the next nearest being in Detroit, Michigan. As the only game in town, it gets a lot of action on its 20 tables and was about seventy- five percent full on a Sunday evening when I visited. There was a $3 - $6 limit hold’em game going (it closed about an hour later). The other 15 or so tables were largely $1-$2 no limit, though a couple of $2-$5 games were going as well by the time I left the room at 7:30 that night. There are tournaments here – usually two a day, with buy-ins ranging from $30 to $50. There’s a monthly $300 event. All of the tournaments are no limit hold’em except for one Pineapple tournament each Saturday.
This is a beautifully appointed room, as are all of the many Hollywood poker rooms that I’ve visited, with many large flat screen TVs all across the walls, interspersed with famous movie poker scenes. The gorgeous tables seat nine for cash games and ten in tournaments.
There’s a 10%, $6 maximum rake with an additional $1 bad beat drop at $20. You might say I was fortunate, as I never had to pay any of that. I played for about two hours and literally did not win one single hand! I won’t bore you with my tales of woe except to say that the quality of the opposition was such that I think this session would not be indicative of my overall chances in the room. Players tended to be loose, passive, and fairly timid. There were two players at my table who seemed to be fairly strong, but the rest just seemed to be passing the time as they waited for whatever luck had to offer them.
I played with a few guys who lived in the Detroit area but who drove down here regularly to escape the cigarette smoke in the Detroit casinos. Ohio’s new casino legislation requires the entire casino to be nonsmoking. According to the Michiganders at the table, it makes a world of difference – as the cigarette smoke in the non-poker areas of the Detroit rooms filters into the poker room, making it Hellish to play in for nonsmokers. The Hollywood room and the entire casino that surrounds it is completely smoke free.
27-year-old poker pro becomes first player to win the same WSOP Circuit Main Event twice.
Blair Hinkle did it again Monday night at Horseshoe Casino by besting 367 entrants in the $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event in Council Bluffs. Emotions were difficult to hide as the young pro sat behind his riches draped by some of his closest friends and family smiling for the camera.
Blair, who’s also a gold bracelet champion, pocketed $121,177, his second WSOP gold ring and automatic entry in the WSOP National Championship Presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof. On top of these accolades he earned the prestige of becoming the first player in WSOP Circuit history to win the same Main Event twice (he previously won it in 2010).
It’s a rare occurrence to have three local players end up at the final table of such a major event as the $3500 buy-in WPT Main Event of the bestbet Spring Series. It’s an especially difficult task when you consider that they have to wade through a veritable minefield of 351 deadly opponents the caliber of John Dolan, “Doc” Sands, Corey Burbick, Darryl Fish, and current WPT Player of the Year Matt Salsberg. But three great local players all found themselves sitting under the bright lights of the big table; Pete Tinnesz, Pete Chwala, and Danny Schecter were the big story going into the day.
Danny started the final table with almost double the stack of his closest opponent, professional poker player Mike Linster. It looked like it would be an easy day for Danny as he quickly eliminated pro player David Diaz with pocket kings after only a few minutes of play, but the professional players would soon make it clear why they play this game for a living. David Bell ensnared local tournament regular Pete Tinnesz in a trap after flopping top two pair with 9-10. Pete made a play with AK, David called and put an end to Pete’s final table run. Mike Linster took out Pete Chwala not long after. Danny was left to bring the Main Event win home to Jacksonville, but a heartbreaking badbeat would ensure that wouldn’t happen. With only 3 players left Danny ran pocket Kings into pocket Aces, and the chip leader to start the day would end up busting in 3rd place.
LAS VEGAS, NV - On Sunday, May 5, amateur poker player Daniel Healey of Las Vegas, NV came in first place at Ultimate Poker’s first $10,000 SundayTournament at UltimatePoker.com, making history as the winner of the first legal, real money online poker tournament to be held in the United States.
The historic $10,000 Sunday Tournament capped at 200 players, with Healey taking home a first place prize of $4,173.
“It is really exciting to be a part of history, winning the first tournament,” Healey remarked. “I have been keeping up with the news updates and poker blogs ever since BlackFriday hit and was extremely excited to hear that legal online poker is here. I am excited to be living in Nevada and playing my favorite game.”
“Since going live on April 30, there has been no downtime whatsoever, and demand to play in our first $10,000 Sunday Tournament exceeded our expectations,” remarked Joe Versaci, Ultimate Gaming Chief Marketing Officer. “We ended up reaching our 200 player cap 45 minutes before the tournament opened.”