Jonathan Duhamel became the first Canadian to win the main event at the World Series of Poker when the 23-year-old from Boucherville, Quebec defeated Floridian John Racener in heads-up play to capture poker’s signature event and claim a payday of $8,944,310 along with it.
Duhamel began heads-up play with a 6-to-1 chip lead, which meant that Racener would have to make a move soon to avoid being eaten alive by the large blinds and antes. Duhamel, however, could afford to play cautiously; he had time on his side.
Poker is a highly textured mosaic of skill, luck, strategy, tactics, and character. What works in one situation fails in others—and following a fixed, immutable strategy only ensures success against the weakest opponents. Nevertheless, every credible expert stresses selective and aggressive play as a rudiment of winning poker.
In the last column, we introduced you to the concept of semi-bluffing—a bet with a hand that’s probably not the best one right now, but is a hand that can win if your bet induces your opponent to fold, or stands a good chance of outdrawing any opponents who call. Though semi-bluffs can be quite varied, the most common Semi-bluff by far is to bet the flop with a flush draw or a straight draw. Here are some factoids about semi-bluffing:
Most poker players know they can’t bluff too much of the time and they can’t hang back and never bluff either.
If you bluff too frequently others will quickly become aware of it and call with any hand that stands a chance of winning. They’ll also take shots at you by raising with nothing. They’ll do this because they figure you bluff so much of the time that you frequently don’t have much of a hand when you come out betting and therefore aren’t able to call a raise. When running a bluff and raised, most players accept the fact that they’ve been caught speeding, and fold their hands.
It took two weeks, but the WSOP’s main event has finally been whittled down to nine remaining players: the November Nine, the Novembrists, the final nine, the final table—call them what you will—but just nine remain from a field of 7,319 starters, and one of them will be world champ this November.
Florida recently expanded its gaming laws to incorporate a revenue-generating deal with the Seminole tribe. While the tribe obtains exclusive rights to run poker, blackjack and other games at seven Florida casinos, the Seminoles are not the only ones who figure to benefit from the new law. Other poker rooms are anticipating a poker boom too.
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” These are telling words from the late John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach who died recently at 99.
With the 2010 World Series of Poker upon us, Nolan Dalla appeared May 13 on my Internet radio show, Keep Flopping Aces. The show airs live every Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 6 p.m. Pacific Time, and corresponding times worldwide, on Rounder’s Radio—located at www.roundersradio. com. It can also be downloaded for on-demand listening anytime, so if you missed the show when it originated, you can still hear it whenever you’d like.
You can call Paul Liu the “Century Man.” The opening event at Commerce Casino’s California State Poker Championships marked the one-hundredth time Liu cashed in a poker tournament, and his milestone win was worth $125,000 at the first event of Commerce Casino’s three-week long tournament series. The $500,000 series opener, which allowed people to buy-back in each day when they busted out, was the largest guarantee ever for a low-stakes poker tournament.
Reno-based pro Steve Brecher took charge at the Nevada State Poker Championship’s main event, a $500 + $40 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament, defeating Alameda, CA professional poker player and writer Matt Lessinger en route to a $22,100 payday. For finishing second, Lessinger took home $12,180, while Adam Hutchinson of Reno finished third, which was good for $6,700.