When I was a kid, I was able to demolish local poker games in Denver just by entering pots with only my very best starting hands. We call that playing “tight.” It amazed me that opponents had so little patience. They were willing to sacrifice their chips to me night after night without me having to know much about poker to win. I just took advantage of their tendency to bet money on bad hands.
Of course, later I helped pioneer aggressive poker strategies that proved that the sit-and-wait era of winning was finally over. But it’s important to realize that playing tight often still wins by itself. It doesn’t win as much as my power poker tactics (a term I coined in 1978 for Doyle Brunson to use with his poker bible Super/System — A Course in Power Poker). But it wins marginally.
by Haley Hintze
Full Tilt Remissions Administrator Wires $76M in Refunds – DOJ-authorized claims administrator Garden City Group has delivered the first wave of Full Tilt Poker refund payments to US players whose bankrolls on the online site have been in limbo since April, 2011. On February 28th, GCG sent a total of about $76 million to more than 27,500 former FTP players. The mass refunds represent the first of several payment waves to be issued by GCG over the coming months, and represent those players who accepted the balances shown in Full Tilt’s system without protest. Players with disputed balances and players who enjoyed either affiliate or rakeback relationships with the site, which was at one time the second-largest US-facing online poker offering, are subject to lengthier, individual review.
By Barbara Rogers
MARYLAND LIVE! is ready to launch its first big poker tournament. With 9 events over 14 days and $1 Million Dollars in cash prizes, the excitement just got as hot as the action at the cash tables. The first $1 Million Live Poker Classic plays out from March 10-24th. Kick off is March 10th, a $225,000 guaranteed pay-out with a $550 buyin, making it a nice R.O.I. first draw of the event. The grand finale, March 21-24th, guarantees a $400,000 payout with a $3,500 buy-in. With a whole lot of play in between, as follows: $150 Double Green Chip Bounty with a $20,000 guarantee prize money, a $1,100 NLH, $100,000 guaranteed, a $550 NLH Freezeout with $75,000 guaranteed, a $1,600 Purple Chip Bounty, with a big $100,000 guarantee, a $350 Black Chip Bounty PLO that guarantees $10,000, the $1,100 Six Man Max NLH guarantees $50,000, and the $150 Double Green Chip Bounty will guarantee $20,000. All in prize money. All waiting for you and me.
I asked a busy man, Mike Smith, Director of Poker Operations for Maryland Live! a couple questions.
by Barbara Rogers
Maryland Live! will host Poker Night In America for their main $1 MILLION DOLLAR POKER CLASSIC event. After filming the main event for television, the crew will stick around to film two cash games. They are by invitation only with a minimum buy-in of $5,000 and maximum of $20,000. The main event is March 21-24th with a guaranteed payout of $400,000. If you have the money, and a colorful personality, visit Maryland Live Casino - Poker Night in America
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
My column entitled, “How Do You Rule?” in the Feb. 10 issue of PPN, had so many great responses that we awarded seven valuable prizes (copies of the Hold’em Algorithm) instead of one as planned! All raised salient issues; many offered thoughtful suggestions. Some described personal experiences. I’ll summarize their comments and quote several in this and the next column (Part II). After studying the responses and consulting with others, I have drawn conclusions that I will share with you in Part III. (You may be surprised!)
By Barbara Rogers
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino does rule, to the tune of a $5 million guarantee. This is the largest guarantee ever for a $3,500 Buy-in Tournament. This poker showdown kick-off is slated for March 27th with the event wrapping up on March 30th. The series will take place in the resort ballrooms with the televised championship final table held at Hard Rock Live. Satellite events will take place at five Seminole Gaming properties.
Twenty-one days of poker starting out with a $1 million guaranteed Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em featuring a buyin of only $560 on Thurs. March 27 at 11 am will be a huge draw. The high profile televised main event guaranteeing $5 million with a buy-in of only $3500 is just going to make a great thing even better. Kick-off for this is high noon Thursday, April 10th. With the first place winner stuffing a million dollars in his or her pocket, someone is going to be very happy.
Ray Stefanelli, Director of Poker Marketing for Seminole Gaming indicated that Seminole Hard Rock Poker remains committed to providing all players with an outstanding tournament experience. I believe he is right; you can make book on that.
by Ashley Adams
What’s the poker capitol of the world? For my money, the honors have to go to the entire state of California. This state’s rich poker legacy goes back to the 1930s, a time when gambling was banned everywhere in the United States, but in Nevada. But in California, poker clubs were legal and thrived in those municipalities that allowed them (if only for draw poker games).
Poker continues to thrive in California today, with 104 rooms listed on www.pokeratlas.com. Having played in just about all of the poker rooms in Southern California, I decided to explore the vast sea of poker rooms in the northern and central part of the state. My buddy Andrei (a limit hold’em specialist) and I managed to hit about 25 of them on this five day trip. In this and my next few articles, I will tell you, at least briefly, about the rooms we visited—as well as a few of the highlights and lowlights of our excursion.
We flew into San Francisco and immediately rented a car and left the Bay Area. We could have played in the four rooms that ring San Francisco: The Oaks in Emeryville, Artichoke Joe’s in San Bruno, Palace Poker in Hayward, and Lucky Chances in Colma. All are fine rooms, worthy of at least a visit. But I had played in each of them in the past and decided that we would spend our limited time in rooms to the east that I had yet to visit. So off we were for points east.
by Barbara Rogers
At the upcoming Foxwoods Poker Classic you can mix it up with a field of top professional players as well as top amateur players. All you have to do is…be there! Well, do take some money with you. There are events for every poker players taste. With reasonably priced satellites and a great cash room full of action 24/7, you stand an excellent chance of winning your buy-in. Foxwoods Poker Classic, always considered a major tournament, plays out from March 8-23, offering a $1,000,000 guarantee!
When you view the schedule on page 3 of this issue of Poker Player, you will see a host of events. [View the PDF]
With so many tournaments, with affordable buy-in’s, good starting stacks, you will want to stay and play awhile. PLO, Bounty, HOSE, NLH Seniors, NLH Ladies, (Re-Entry) to name a few. So here are your Foxwoods lodging options: Two Trees Inn, use group # 5857 for Sun.-Thurs. $69, Jr. Suite $99, Fri. $149, Jr. Suite $179 and Sat. $169, Jr. Suite $189. Another choice is the Great Cedar Hotel, use group #4424 for the rates of Sun.-Thurs. of $119, Fri. is $179 and Sat. $199. And finally the Grand Pequot Tower has a rate of $119 for Thurs.-Thurs., Fri. $179, Sat. $199 use code #9829.
The $1,650 No Limit Hold’em event in the 2014 CCPT Events at Foxwoods Resort Casino, had 340 entrants start play on Friday and Saturday, battling it out for a piece of the $494,700 prize pool.
One hundred and six started play at noon on Sunday, narrowing the field to thirteen by the end of the night. The final thirteen started play at noon on Monday with it taking forty minutes to reach the final table.
Play continued for another thirteen hours which included four hours of heads-up action. The final two agreed to a chop, and after several hands Chris Tryba of North Las Vegas, NV collected $91,346 for 2nd, while Ron Pease of Glastonbury, CT was crowned the $1,650 Main Event Champion, earning $91,347, and the Championship Trophy.
All the chips went in preflop on the final hand and Russ Dykshteyn’s AK had Vincent Maglio’s AT dominated. The runout was Q 8 6 7 8 and changed nothing. Dykshteyn had Maglio covered and it was over. Dykshteyn had his first WSOP Circuit ring and $202,335. Maglio settles for second and $125,201.
The heads-up match only lasted about 15 minutes. Vince Maglio had the chip lead going in with about 7.2 million to Dykshteyn’s ~6 million. A couple of hands later, Dykshteyn has reversed their positions and had 7.7 million to Maglio’s 5.5 million. Then the final, fatal, hand played out.
The final table featured a couple of WSOP Circuit ring holders. Joe McKeehen has two rings, one of which is a Main Event Championship ring from Caesar’s Atlantic City in 2013. He finished 4th. The only other player at the final table with a ring was Luke Graham, who made back-to-back final tables here, finishing 8th this year and 6th last year. He has a circuit ring from Harrah’s New Orleans in 2013.
In this event, Dykshteyn bested a field of 658 entrants to earn the lion’s share of the $987,000 prize pool. The final 72 players got paid and it was a packed field. Mukul Pahuja, who has nearly $1.9 million in tournament earnings, just missed the unofficial final table, busting out 11th for $15,220. He followed Aaron Massey to the rail after Massey busted in 12th place ($15,220). Massey has over $1.5 million in earnings.
The last woman sitting in this event was Claudia Crawford. She finished 15th for $12,387. WSOP bracelet holders in the money: Josh Arieh, 17th ($10,206); Robert Cheung, $56th ($3,010) and David Diaz, 62nd ($3,010).