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 Tom McEvoy
2012 was quite a year for the poker world. The greatest scandal in poker history occurred when the owners of Full Tilt not only had their site shut down, but made no effort to repay their customers, and (except for Ray Bitar) avoided criminal charges—so far. They all belong in a jail cell as far as I am concerned. On a much happier note, PokerStars, the true hero of online poker, took over ownership of Full Tilt and immediately promised to repay all their customers worldwide. The only thing slowing things down for the U.S. customers is the turtle like pace of our justice department in permitting people to reclaim their money. This is the government’s fault, not the fault of PokerStars.
by Tom McEvoy
In this column I would like to offer another tip on how to win poker tournaments. The tip is simply this: “there is no magic formula.” Countless times over the years I have had students ask me for advice on what to do in the latter stages of a tournament. They get thru over 80% of the field, the blinds and antes are much higher and they are short-stacked. They either fail to get into the money or get only a small payoff. Don’t forget that the big money in poker tournaments is usually in the top three spots.
I can tell you that if I had a sure way to get more chips and survive I would do it. Come to think of it, I probably would be very reluctant to broadcast that fact to anybody else. The truth, of course, is that I don’t have a strategy that works all the time. That being said, there are things you can do to increase your chances. Just remember you can’t manufacture a good hand out of thin air.
by Tom McEvoy
Mental attitude is everything. There’s an old saying: “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” Where poker tournaments are concerned, this is especially true. I will give you an example of a quitter.
Serving as a spokesperson for FaceUp Gaming is Tom McEvoy, who won the 1983 World Series of Poker Main Event, and has been nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame three years running. In an exclusive interview, McEvoy stated: “FaceUp Gaming is a subscription site and is perfectly legal. You get to play a lot of tournaments. It’s all No Limit Hold’em tournaments right now. There are no cash games or anything, but we’re hoping at some point to have legalized internet poker where people can play cash games.
It’s a great bargain for players because for $24.95 per month, they have a chance at big cash prizes, Aruba trips, cruises, and things of that nature. It’s a huge overlay because you don’t have to face 2,000 players like you have to on a few of the other sites. Our biggest tournament has been in the 300s. Now is the perfect time for people to sign up.”
By Tom McEvoy
I’m going to give an overview of the World Series of Poker in this column: the good, the bad—and the uncertain. First off, the good: no long lines to sign up for events. The Rio staff has it down pat, and they’ve proven to be very efficient in processing players. The one table satellites are well run and have an experienced staff that can handle any problems that arise. There are tournaments and cash games for every size bankroll. The Rio has daily $235.00 buy-in tournaments at 2:00 pm that are attracting very large crowds and nice payoffs for the winners. Later in the day, $185.00 buy-in and $135.00 buy-in events are also available. These are all deep-stack tournaments with lots of chips to start with. Mega satellites for the main event are also offered daily with $330.00 and $550.00 buy-ins. The Rio has made available a lot of convention space to hold all of their events, so there is plenty of room to take care of all the players. The cash games go from $1 & $3 blind no limit games up to very high limits and pot limit games, including some very big Pot Limit Omaha.
by Tom McEvoy
The 2012 World Series of Poker is with us at last. I’m writing this column just a couple of days before the first event, so it’s too early to tell how things will turn out for the players this year, but I will make a few predictions and offer some tips. First off, the excitement in the air always seems tangible around the WSOP, and 2012 should be no exception. Every year, patrons speculate that the WSOP will fail to match the previous year. And, every year, that speculation is dispelled. Even in the aftermath of Black Friday (April 15th of last year) there were record crowds, and I predict that will be the case again this year.
by Tom McEvoy
This is my very first column for Poker Player Newspaper. I feel it is appropriate that this issue comes out at the very beginning of the World Series of Poker—the biggest and the best poker tournament in the world. I have had a love affair with the World Series of Poker ever since I stumbled into the Horseshoe in the Spring of 1978 and saw a young Bobby Baldwin take down the dapper Crandall Addington. Standing in the crowd, all I could think was, “wow, that is where I want to be someday.” I am living proof that sometimes your dreams can come true. Five years later I was in that situation, and winning the main event was, and always will be, the high point of my poker career.