By Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
Poor Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. There they were, in the presence of the powerful Wizard of Oz. They didn't know what the Wizard looked like -- only that he had a powerful voice and he kept their knees quaking with his pronouncements and observations.
Poker and the world of gambling have their own Wizards of Oz. Their names may vary because of their involvement in this or that project -- Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, the Binions, Pappy Smith, Mike Caro and many more.
Add Stanley Sludikoff to that list. Better yet, consider him at or near the head of the list.
By: Derrick Oliver
To suggest the start of Justin Oliver’s poker career has been ‘golden’ is to simply point out the obvious. The 38 year old Canadian has only been playing competitive poker for five years now and he already has a 1st and a 2nd at the World Series of Poker to his credit. You might say his whole life has been golden - literally. Oliver is the son of a very well-known businessman who deals primarily in gold and silver. A jeweler. But don’t make the mistake of calling his father the most famous jeweler in Canada.
Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan
“Yes, it was a break out year for me and I’ve got absolutely no complaints about the past six months. I am really excited about the next six months, and the next couple of years for that matter, because I feel as though I’m really starting to hit my groove. My game is, by far, at its best ever and I’m starting to catch some good cards as well. You combine those two things and you get some great results.”
Calling Out Sexism in Poker — Beyond Maguire, Molly’s Game, and “The Mouth” - by Wendeen H. Eolis
Featured Strategy - Mike Caro: Today's Word is Revenge
World Series of Poker Events 53 to the Main Event (#65)
AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!
by Robert Turner
Where California goes, the world follows. Not only is California a global leader in the entertainment and technology industries but a less well-known fact is that it is one of the most diverse places for gambling in the world. The Golden State features 25 percent of the nation’s tribal gaming, a long-established horse racing industry, a state lottery, bingo halls and nearly a hundred card rooms. California has very much been a gambler’s paradise since the Gold Rush days. Its large population and huge appetite for everything gambling makes it the grand prize of the newly-regulated online gambling industry.
Amaya’s deal to purchase PokerStars was likely made with an eye to returning to a soon-to-be regulated U.S. market. Getting a foothold in California would be the key to success for any online gambling company. The California card room industry has been around for eighty years and made the transition from a very unsafe environment to the modern state-of-the-art gaming facilities of today. California’s highly-regulated gambling industry is a major employer and taxpayer in the state and is a model for what a regulated online gaming industry could look like.
The gaming industry in Los Angeles is showing signs of healthy growth with several large hotel projects in the works with the Bicycle Casino breaking ground this week on a new hotel slated for completion in October 2015 while the Commerce Casino is undertaking a major remodeling project. The Garden Casino in Hawaiian Gardens has also announced plans for a new casino, and Hollywood Park has been approved to build a whole new entertainment complex with a new casino.
Having worked in the California gaming industry for nearly 30 years, I have seen many changes in its development and expansion first-hand. I remember helping to clean up Gardena, which was a breeding ground for some of the top cheaters in the country at one time. I was there from the dark days of the Horseshoe Casino to the opening of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Casino in 2000. Visionaries like George Hardie transformed California gambling establishments from places filled with widespread cheating to the safe, regulated gambling market it is today. This did not happen overnight; it evolved over time.
LAS VEGAS (July 15, 2014 -Photo by: Joe Giron [L to R: In seat order (Pappaconstantinou, Stephensen, van Hoof, Newhouse, Larrabe, Tonking, Sindelar, Jacobson, Politano]) – The 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – is down to its final nine players. The “November Nine” – a diverse and international group – is all that remains of the massive field of 6,683 players from 87 different nations who entered the iconic tournament seeking poker’s most coveted title and a top prize of $10 million.
The final nine players represent six countries – Brazil, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United States. The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Monday, November 10 to vie for poker’s ultimate trophy – a WSOP gold bracelet – and the lion’s share of the Main Event’s $62,820,200 total prize pool. The winner will receive a guaranteed first-place prize of $10,000,000, with the other eight players sharing another $18,480,121.
The November Nine and their respective seat assignments and chip counts are as follows:
Seat 1 - Billy Pappaconstantinou – 17,500,000
Perhaps the most unlikely final tablist this year is 29-year-old world foosball champion “Billy Pappas” Pappaconstantinou from Lowell, Massachusetts. He is a 29-year-old professional foosball player who is playing the WSOP Main Event for the first time. In fact, Billy has no previous WSOP experience. In total, he has earned $16,379 in live poker tournaments, mainly from a $500 buy-in event at the 2010 World Poker Finals where he took 8th place and won $15,341. But Pappaconstantinou is no stranger to long grueling hours of extreme tension and focus and credits his experience playing professional foosball as benefitting his deep run in the WSOP Main Event. The single Pappaconstantinou jetted into the WSOP Main Event from a European foosball tournament, and has plans to return back to Europe for another foosball event later this month. He is a five-time U.S. foosball champion and is a world-recognized champion in foosball hoping to add his name to the legendary list of poker world champions.
Seat 2 - Felix Stephensen – 32,775,000
Stephensen is a 23-year-old originally from Oslo, Norway now living in London, England. This is his second year in a row playing the WSOP Main Event, but he has no previous WSOP cashes or earnings. This is the only event he entered at the 2014 WSOP. He has only $22,118 in career live earnings, but the young poker pro finds himself at the biggest final table in poker. His highest previous finish was a 12th place finish at the 2009 Norwegian Championships in Nottingham, UK.
Seat 3 - Jorryt van Hoof – 38,375,000
Netherlands makes back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables, with van Hoof’s deep run here following last year’s seventh place finish from Michiel Brummelhuis. van Hoof is a 31-year-old from Eindhoven with only three previous WSOP cashes and $27,956 in earnings. Worldwide, Jorryt has won $358,580 in live poker tournaments. van Hoof played only one other WSOP event this summer, failing to cash. He has never cashed in the WSOP Main Event but he will enter the final table as the chip leader with 38,375,000 – 19.1% of the chips in play.
Seat 4 - Mark Newhouse – 26,000,000
Newhouse has made history, becoming the first-ever November Niner to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. (The November Nine concept dates back to 2008, where the final table has been paused until November). Newhouse finished in 9th place in 2013, collecting $733,224. He has already guaranteed himself at least $730,725, but has positioned himself for a deeper run this year. Newhouse becomes the first player since Dan Harrington in 2003-2004 to make back-to-back Main Event final tables. The big difference is Newhouse has participated in field sizes of 6,352 in 2013 and 6,693 this year, where Harrington faced 839 in 2003 and 2,576 in 2004. Thus, Newhouse has outlasted 13,029 in the past two Main Events, while Harrington outlasted 3,410. The 29-year-old Las Vegas resident (originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina) has $906,093 in career WSOP earnings, with eight previous WSOP cashes. Newhouse has had a rough 2014 WSOP, entering 17 previous bracelet events without cashing before his deep run here in the Main Event. The former Appalachian State student is single, and has participated in the WSOP Main Event every year since 2006. His total live poker tournament winnings are $2,776,172.
Seat 5 - Andoni Larrabe – 22,550,000
Larrabe is a 22-year-old Spaniard poker professional from Basque, now living in London, England, and is the youngest player remaining in the field and the first Spaniard to make the WSOP Main Event final table since Carlos Mortensen won the event in 2001. The poker professional went to school at San Viato in Spain, but now calls London, England home. Andoni has $20,068 in career WSOP earnings via three WSOP cashes but has won a tournament in the Bahamas in 2013, good for $218,710. In total, Larrabe has $341,266 in career poker earnings, impressive for someone just 22 years old. The WSOP Main Event was the sixth event Larrabe entered this summer, and it will be the first one he cashes in. Last year marked the first time Larrabe participated in the WSOP Main Event.
Seat 6 - William Tonking – 15,050,000
Another inexperienced WSOP player is 27-year-old William Tonking, from Flemington, New Jersey, who came into this Main Event with $13,421 in career live poker earnings via three previous WSOP cashes. This is Tonking’s first time to cash in the WSOP Main Event, after playing it previously in 2008 and 2013. He played two WSOP events this summer, including the Main Event, and has now cashed in both. He finished 77th out of 1,475 entrants in Event #58 on July 1. Tonking has $93,306 in live poker tournament earnings. The former University of South Carolina student is single and makes his living as an online cash game player.
Seat 7 - Daniel Sindelar – 21,200,000
Sindelar is a 30-year-old poker professional originally from Columbus, Nebraska now living in Las Vegas, who has 17 previous WSOP cashes and more than $227,791 in earnings in WSOP events. He has career earnings of $527,779. The former University of Nebraska student is an avid golfer who played the WSOP Main Event the past six years, this year becoming his first time to cash. The single Sindelar played 19 WSOP events this summer, cashing in four of them.
Seat 8 - Martin Jacobson – 14,900,000
Jacobson enters this final table as the only one with more than $1 million in career WSOP earnings, with $1,224,706 in 15 previous cashes. The 27-year-old originally from Stockholm, Sweden now living in London, United Kingdom finished in 6th place during last year’s $111,111 One Drop High Roller event, collecting $807,427 in the process. This summer, Jacobson has played 27 events, with the Main Event his third cash. In total, the Swedish poker professional has $4,807,316 in worldwide tournament winnings – also the most of anyone remaining. This is the first time he has cashed in the WSOP Main Event. Jacobson becomes the first Swedish-born player at the WSOP Main Event final table since 2006, when Erik Friberg finished 8th and collected $1,979,189. So a seventh place or higher finish puts Jacobson in the Swedish record books at the WSOP, but he will need a fifth place or better finish to take home the largest amount for a Swedish-born player in the Main Event.
Seat 9 - Bruno Politano – 12,125,000
The first Brazilian ever to make the WSOP Main Event final table, Politano is from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil and will start play as the shortest stack remaining. The 31-year-old single Administrator plays poker as a hobby with just three cashes on his WSOP resume entering the Main Event, totaling $25,404. He has now cashed in three of ten events entered in the 2014 WSOP. Originally from Sao Paolo, Politano has $110,054 in worldwide poker earnings. He has never cashed in the Main Event previously.
LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2014) – While the final card of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker is likely to fall in the wee hours on Tuesday, July 15, it will be just a few short hours from then when television viewers will be able to get their first glimpse of the expansive television coverage from this year’s tournament.
45th Annual World Series of Poker® & 10th Year at Rio Becomes Biggest Ever, Establishing Several Key RecordsJuly 8, 2014 - 7:45pm
2014 WSOP Main Event Bracelet Designed and Created by Jason of Beverly Hills To Commemorate The Main Event’s Tenth Year at RioJuly 8, 2014 - 6:00pm
LAS VEGAS—For the third consecutive year famed jewelry designer Jason Arasheben, “Jason of Beverly Hills,” has been commissioned to create the 2014 World Series of Poker® (WSOP) bracelet.
The coveted 2014 Main Event bracelet contains over 35 carats of white and black diamonds and weighs in at just under 300 grams of 14 karat white and yellow gold. The bracelet has a secret compartment that opens up to reveal a removable 10 million dollar gold gaming chip that represents this year’s historic purse. The masterpiece took over 300 man-hours to create.
These unique characteristics make this bracelet truly priceless in value.
“My goal with each years bracelet it to create a wow factor that eclipses the bracelets of years past. This bracelet is not only immaculate in design, but honors the tenth year running the Main Event at Rio,” said Jason Arasheben, founder of Jason of Beverly Hills. “This is the most expensive piece of championship jewelry in sports history.”
The Main Event bracelet will be unveiled at the Jason of Beverly Hills store on level 2 inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas on July 10th at 6pm.
by M.G. Smith
If you're lucky enough to win some serious money at the WSOP (or any other tournament) and you're wondering what you need check out a great article by tax expert Russ Fox explaining how to pay your taxes when you cash in at the WSOP. This helps answer some big questions regarding this subject.