by Barbara Connors
Poker has always been a contentious game. After all, it involves a group of people who gather together with the express goal of taking each other’s money. So things are bound to get a bit combative from time to time. At least in theory, this is all just part of the game, in the spirit of honorable competition among our fellow players. In theory, what brings us together at the poker table is not merely avarice but a true love of the game. But all this noble theory has a tendency to fly out the window once somebody else starts taking your money.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that poker players can occasionally feel a bit...antagonistic towards each other. In some cases, that antagonism can become seething personal hatred. The trigger for this acrimony can be any number of things—irritating table talk, a playing style that rubs you the wrong way, or in a live setting, bad personal hygiene— but more often than not it boils down to a supposedly inferior opponent who keeps getting lucky and beating you out of pots.
Director of Poker Operations Terry Chiaradio Speaks Candidly with Barbara Rogers
At first glance, Foxwoods Resort Casino resembles a gigantic mirage towering above the treetops—an intimidating sight for some! But in spite of its size, Foxwoods Casino is easy to negotiate; from the parking garage to the poker room, you will feel welcome and at home.
Terry Chiaradio, the Director of Poker Operations has been at Foxwoods since 1992, starting her career as a dealer. Now responsible for 600 employees and 94 live action tables, Terry and her team have just finished up a WSOP Series that included a main event payout of $888,568 with 591 players competing. After this very successful event, I caught up with her.
It’s easy to see why Foxwoods Resort Casino continues to enjoy national acclaim as an elite gaming destination. Right on the heels of the WSOP in Vegas at the Rio, Foxwoods stepped up to the plate and offered the WSOP Circuit Event. This instantly gave poker players the chance to set their sights on another big win.
Barbara Rogers (BR): Leaving Las Vegas for Foxwoods proved to be wildly successful putting the coveted WSOP ring an plenty of money into a field of appreciative poker player’s hands. Players from all over the country showed up at your doorstep. Just how many did participate?
Terry Chiaradio (TC): The Foxwoods Poker Room is the premier poker room in North America with continuous play and a professionally trained staff, ideal for events of the WSOP caliber.
We were thrilled with the turnout and the results this year.
For the August 2013-2014 WSOP Circuit Event we had a total of 4,341 (+3.4%) entries and a total prize pool of $2,233,173 (+2.7%).
BR: And how did this compare to last year’s WSOP?
Blair Hinkle of Kansas City, Missouri, walked away as the $1.7 million champion of the inaugural Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, held August 8-28, 2013 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The tournament, that featured no TV coverage and was not tied to a major poker tour, exceeded industry expectations by beating its own $10 million guarantee (the largest in the world) by nearly 20%, and creating an actual prize pool of $11.92 million from 2,384 entries.
Hinkle began the final table of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Event with the chip lead. With a World Series of Poker bracelet under his belt and seven figures in online earnings, Hinkle has shined on poker’s biggest stage before. Second in chips was Justin Bonomo, who has more than $6 million in tournament earnings to his name.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
Whether playing online or live, it’s very important to mix up the sizing of your bets, raises, and re-raises. There’s nothing wrong with having a good sense of the default amount you’d like to bet on a given flop, but always be willing to adjust your flop-bet. Size up or down from your baseline, depending on the known factors at the time.
Let’s say you like to bet half of the pot on the flop as your standard continuation bet. There will be times where betting smaller or larger will be more optimal. If you’re in a situation where you have air and really need to get a fold, maybe bumping your bet up a little will make it more efficient. It’s also possible that you’ve already decided to only c-bet the flop and shutdown on the turn or river. This might be another scenario where you want to go ahead and increase the size of the bet.
by Russ Fox
I was playing in a $2-$5 blinds, no limit hold’em game at the Aria yesterday. After I folded my junk hand from under-the-gun, the solid recreational player on my left raised to $20. Three players called: a loose recreational player, a solid pro, and the big blind.
On the flop of J♣ 8♥ 2♣, the big blind checked, the pre-flop raiser made a continuation bet of $35, and was immediately raised to $95 by the loose player. The pro re-raised to $200, the big blind and the pre-flop raiser folded, and the action was back on the loose player. He instantly said, “All-in for $560 more.” He was quickly called by the pro. The board completed with the 6♥ and A♥. The loose player showed 9♦ 3♠; the pro had 10♣ 9♣ to take down the pot.
by Lou Krieger
This is the second and final segment in our two-part series on poker etiquette. [Read Part 1]
Discussing hands in play. Discussing your hand with others, even if you have released it and are no longer contesting that pot, may provide information that would give another player an unfair advantage. If you want to discuss a hand with a neighbor, wait until the hand is concluded.
by Barbara Connors
We all know the feeling. You’re dealt a pair of pocket kings, and then the flop comes down with the one card in all the world you didn’t want to see — the ace. For this discussion, we’ll assume an uncoordinated flop where the only visible danger is that lone ace staring up at you. So now what? A moment ago, your hand was almost invincible. Then one ace crashes the party and your kings are behind to any moron with a ragged A-X. For the player with kings, that ace on the flop represents a proverbial fork in the road: You can take the safe path of folding to any significant action, or you can venture down the more challenging road of playing the hand to its conclusion-- on the assumption that your adversary doesn’t have the bullet.
To make this choice, you must answer two questions. The first and most obvious question is, does he have the ace? To determine if your K-K is now second-best, you’ve got to use all the information at your disposal to make your best educated guess as to whether or not your opponent holds the dreaded ace. But an equally important question is, what’s at stake here? How much do you stand to win (or lose) if your educated guess turns out to be wrong?
by Ashley Adams
I’ve got to hand it to the American entrepreneurial spirit. Where there is a need for a service, someone, somehow finds a way to provide it—and make money at it. Such is the case in the poker world.
Consider, for example, the lack of legal poker opportunities in much of our American landscape. True, there are more states with legal public poker rooms than ever before—35 at last count. But in many of these states, poker is still only publicly available in very few locations. In 15 other states, poker, as a form of gambling, is completely banned.
by A.C. Clark
Oregon’s #1 gaming destination, proud to present the most diverse selection of gaming options in the Northwest, Spirit Mountain Casino has it all—hot and scintillating slots and tempting tables. From beginners to veterans, everyone can get lucky in Grand Ronde. Spirit Mountain’s Poker Room, with 15 tables open 24 hours a day, offers the best gaming experience in all the state. The action is hot and cards move fast in this laid-out Vegas-style poker room. They run Deep Stack tournaments and numerous No Limit Hold’em games. New daytime tournaments begin at 10:30 am with $100 added. Saturdays are your best bet with $500 added for a $40 buy-in with $20 re-buys and add-ons... might go late. Action starts at noon. Live it up and test your luck at the Northwest’s Premier Entertainment Destination during their Anniversary Series, which runs from October 24th to October 27th. It should be another great series of events.
by Debbie Burkhead
Looking for a Fun Night? Join me, Karina, and Chip Jett, along with other poker pros and celebrities, Jason Alexander and Ray Romano, for a Celebrity Poker Tournament benefitting the Maximum Hope Foundation, hosted by Brad Garrett. The event is scheduled for noon on September 22 in the MGM poker room. The entry fee is $250 with $110 rebuys and add-ons, and the winner will receive $10,000. If you just want to come and mingle with the celebrities and poker pros, the non-player entry is $75. The night will include complimentary food and drinks, raffles, and auction items. The Maximum Hope Foundation is dedicated to providing practical assistance to families caring for a child with a lifelimiting illness. Please stop by or call the MGM poker room at 702-891-7777.