by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
There is an old saying in sports handicapping circles which relates well to poker and to the stock market for that matter, “Bet smart, not with your heart.” In many ways this flies in the face of the notion of many players of always going with their gut and acting upon instinct, rather than methodical calculation. I’m not here to make the argument that there isn’t an advantage to using your instincts in judgment situations where it could go either way, but instincts shouldn’t be your first line of decision-making. After all, instincts come into play mainly in general situations or situations where you are split between multiple options. My point is that you should try to recognize your preferences and do your best to steer away from a route that feels good, rather than another path that is more profitable. Tournament poker is its own animal, and personal preferences (what I call comfort-zone plays) can often cloud the waters when we’re deciding what plays to make or not make.
The classic example of players betting (or not betting) with their heart, instead of making a smart play, happens when effective stacks have shallowed out towards the end of a tournament. If a situation arises where we’re able to re-raise all-in for 15 to 20 big blinds and get a fold from our opponent a very high percentage of the time, for the most part it’s necessary to go ahead and make the play. Many players will forgo this opportunity because they are scared and the play doesn’t “feel right.” To put it bluntly, when does it ever feel right to push your stack all-in into the middle without a premium hand? It’s really important in a general sense to undervalue your hand-strength and overvalue the other variables present in any given situation. This is partly due to the fact that when you go all-in, the vast majority of the time your opponent will simply fold.
Bracelet winner earns follow-up gold trophy and pockets $122K in Quebec
The final day of the Casino Lac-Leamy Main Event started with Charles Sylvestre on top and ended with Charles Sylvestre on top. The Quebecois WSOP bracelet winner ruled the tournament and never slowed down as he battled his way through the final 18. Sylvestre earned the $122,435 first place prize, a WSOP Circuit gold ring and on top of that, a berth into the WSOP National Championship.
“After my unexpected WSOP bracelet this summer, to come back here to Lac- Leamy, my hometown, and ship the ring… I can’t ask for better. It’s an amazing feeling,” Sylvestre said.
The 2013/2014 WSOP Circuit at Casino Lac- Leamy marked the first time for a WSOP event to take place in the Canadian province of Quebec. The series was a success, not only drawing 371 players for the $1,675 finale, but drawing rave reviews from players.
“[The tournament] was very nice and well organized,” Sylvestre said. “For the first event in the province of Quebec it was amazing. Overall it was a success and very well organized.” The final day of the Main Event started with 18 hopefuls and Sylvestre with a two-to-one chip lead over his nearest challenger, Canadian pro Mike Leah.
In the second level of play on Day 3 we witnessed an epic clash between Daniel Charette, who held the chip lead for quite a while on Day 2, and Leah. Leah crippled Charette who bluffed all-in on the turn against Leah’s set. Charette was knocked out not too long after this while Leah was now very close to Sylvestre.
by Haley Hintze
SEVEN NJ CASINOS GRANTED INTERNET GAMING APPROVAL
A late rush in approvals by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement saw seven of the state’s 12 casinos and a total of 13 online sites approved for the state’s soft launch of real-money online gaming, which began as scheduled on November 21st. The sites approved included www.Borgatacasino.com, www.Borgatapoker.com, www.NJ.Partypoker.com, www.HarrahsCasino.com, www.WSOP.com, us.888.com, us.888poker.com, us.888casino.com, www.CaesarsCasino.com, www.tropicanacasino.com, www.virgincasino.com, www.betfaircasino.com and www.ucasino.com. The late additions included six Caesars affiliated sites, with Caesars owning four of the state’s 12 land-based casinos.
VADIM TRINCHER, TWO SONS PLEAD GUILTY IN NYC GAMBLING CASE
by Ashley Adams
I had a family reunion in DePauw, Indiana—in the southern part of that state, across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. For poker action and convenience, nothing would seem to beat the enormous, action-packed poker room at Caesar’s in nearby Elizabeth, Indiana. But I’d played there half a dozen times. So though I loved the room, I decided to try out the three poker rooms within an hour of Cincinnati, where my flight from Boston arrived.
My first stop was on Saturday evening at the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana (www.belterracasino.com, 888-235- 8377). It is just about an hour from the Cincinnati airport. It’s a small, modestly appointed poker room, in the back of the enormous and beautiful casino resort, with daily tournaments. Unfortunately, from my experiences both on Saturday and Sunday night, the cash game scene is rather hit or miss. As it was, they got a short-handed $1/$2 no limit hold’em game together by about 6:00 PM on Saturday. I was not as fortunate the following evening, when they failed to get any game, and suggested they wouldn’t get a game later in the evening, even though players were being knocked out of the tournament. This was disappointing, in light of the fact that the rest of the casino resort was luxurious, extensive (including a highly rated spa and golf course) and had a top quality steak house and terrific sports bar that I sampled. Perhaps some major tournaments scheduled for the property will jump-start the cash games going forward. But for now, I’d suggest that cash game players call first to insure a productive trip.
by Barbara Connors
Everybody wants to be the hero, even in poker. And in this game, the only thing more heroic and attention-grabbing than successfully getting away with a bluff is successfully foiling one. This is what’s known as the hero call. It’s an extraordinary call made on the river, facing a large bet and holding a weak hand—maybe nothing more than ace-high—when math and common sense are telling you to fold but you go ahead and make the call anyway. And win.
Hero calls aren’t about equity or pot odds. It’s a feel play, not a math play. Some might say a hero call is about playing your hunch, listening to the gut feeling that tells you, “He doesn’t have it.” But more than anything, to be the hero you must know your villain. A winning hero call is about having a strong and very specific read on your opponent. That means taking into account all the information you possibly can about this particular player in this particular situation.
Relative newcomer to the tournament scene scores big with a gold ring win and a six-figure score
After a six-day marathon of poker in the River Rock Theater at River Rock Casino and Resort, Lincoln Milne emerged as the champion of the $1,675 Main Event. This victory earned Milne $253,015 in firstplace prize money as well as his first gold Circuit ring. Milne will also be guaranteed a seat in the National Championship, which will be held this May in Atlantic City.
“I’m still kind of taking it in to be honest,” said a visibly moved and stunned Milne late on Thursday night. “This is my biggest cash by far. This is my first year playing big tournaments. I’ve played for a long time but this was my first real breakthrough.”
By Barbara Rogers
Could it be that a previously unknown Canadian could be poised to turn the tables upside down on the poker world? So says Joe, and plenty of players believe him. Exposing his secrets and poker method, Joe Palumbo brings something fresh to the Texas Hold’em poker scene. Joe’s unique method has been proven both in theory and practice, and promises to cater to your own unique style- assuming you have one! Concluding, he has a formula that could have global impact. Joe exposes his secret weapon for amateur, casual and even professional players. Formulated for the average Joe by the average Joe, as the story goes, Mr. Palumbo made his method discovery during a charity tournament that fellow Canadian, Daniel Negreanu was promoting. Joe spied a sequence to this game like none other. He applied his theory, and went on to take first place against 300 other players! Forging forward, here is Joe’s Christmas gift to you: Texas Hold’em— Unique New Method, order on Amazon.com. With an invitation to a radio slot on Fox Sports and NBC from Boston, Joe will explain his theory; it’s not based on card counting, it’s based on arithmetic probability sequence and is only an hour read. Either way it could be a great Christmas gift to yourself.
30-year-old pro adds $142K to over $1.16 in career winnings
Las Vegas-based poker pro Ari Engel has made a name for himself in poker with 91 career cashes totaling over $1.16 million since 2006. His enviable live tournament resume includes 39 Final Tables and a dozen wins. He’s got more World Series of Poker Circuit rings than he could wear on one hand. The 30-year-old has traveled the world collecting paychecks in London, Prague, and Manila, but it was a stop in America’s Heartland that earned him his biggest payday to date. Engel took down a record field at River City Casino and Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri for $142,125 on the nationallytelevised Heartland Poker Tour.
Engel’s pocket sevens ended his heads-up match with Paul Fehlig of St Louis in eight hands. The runner-up earned $87,696 for his national TV debut.
You’ve probably heard that you need to adjust to your opponents to win at poker. That’s wrong! In fact, you risk costing yourself money whenever you make an adjustment. And today, I’ll explain why. I’ve previously taught you about hundreds of adjustments that are profitable. Fine. Now I’m warning you that the practice can be dangerous. If you take poker seriously, it’s important to understand the theory behind this mysterious poker phenomenon. So, let’s talk about it.
Among the oldest common sense poker advice you’ll hear is that if the game is tight play loose, and if the game is loose, play tight. The advised trick is to take advantage of opposing weakness by veering in the opposite direction. Seems to make sense.
After three days of intense competition at Harveys Lake Tahoe, Dan Harmetz is the latest WSOP Circuit Main Event winner.
Harmetz earns his first Circuit ring, along with $128,699 and a free entry in the National Championship, to be held at Caesars Atlantic City in the spring. Along the way, Harmetz knocked out all of his finaltable competitors on the last day of the tournament.
Ryan Rinker finishes in 2nd place, earning $79,531. He also earns Casino Champion honors with 77.5 points and a free entry into the National Championship.