by David “THE MAVEN” Chicotsky
There are certain things we need to remind ourselves about when we play. There are other things we need to try not to think or worry too much about. It’s always smart to remind ourselves to take our time and not to rush decisions. Some players naturally draw more attention to themselves; we wouldn’t want to over-focus on a single player when there are many players to concentrate on. What’s going on in your head at the poker table needs to be pointed towards the relevant and away from the irrelevant.
I like to try and do as much thinking about the players at the table as possible before the hand. Meaning, I don’t want to wait until I’m in the middle of a hand to determine things like how aggressive of a player my opponent is (or isn’t). I want to approach the hand with those facts thought through, already gauging the tendencies of the opponent. Otherwise, I’m forced to make complicated decisions on the fly. By taking care of several of the major factors that go into the decision, all future decisions become easier. By doing this we’re able to better concentrate on the actual aspects of the hand that are important. For all of us that are forced to wait while someone thinks forever during a hand – this kind of pre-hand analysis should speed up decisions to a tolerable level.
by Ashley Adams
I’ve reported on five poker rooms I played at during a recent trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. This concludes the four-part series [Read the other parts of Gulf Coast Poker Report], with a look at the Hard Rock and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
Hard Rock Casino, 777 Beach Blvd. 228-374-7625. The Hard Rock is the area’s room for young players; I was there at 12:30 on a Saturday night. The casino was crowded with guys and gals in their 20s – many of them drinking heavily. Some of them had found their way into the poker room – which had two $1/2 no limit hold’em games going.
The games are raked at 10% up to a maximum of $4 with a $2 drop for the bad beat and other promotions. Players earn $5 off their meal bill for every two hours of play. My visit was characterized by what I can best describe as the tale of two tables.
by Barbara Connors
It’s no secret that poker players can be their own worst enemies. When we’re not calling too often with borderline junk, we’re shoving out too many raises in an effort to steamroll the opposition. Or folding too frequently in the face of such raises. We stubbornly keep on playing the game even when we’re fatigued or full-out on tilt. We play in stakes that are too high for our bankrolls, against opponents who are too advanced. And through all of this, we know perfectly well that we shouldn’t be doing it.
This is hardly unique to poker players. Every dieter who eats a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, every shopaholic who goes on another spending binge, every procrastinator who invents another excuse to postpone getting a job done understands this feeling all too well. We know the behavior is bad for us. We know it’s going to cause problems in the future. And knowing this, we do it anyway.
What’s all this talk about “missing a bet” in poker? You hear it often, but is it real science, just jabber, or both?
That’s the topic for today’s self-interview.
Question 1: What does missing a bet mean?
It means that a player declined the opportunity to make a bet when it would have been profitable to do so.
Question 2: So, missing a bet sounds like a bad thing. Do you agree?
In theory, missing bets can cost money. Just like any other judgment mistakes, betting is often a close decision. And the answer to whether a bet has been missed or not isn’t always obvious.
What is obvious is that many poker players are so worried about missing a bet that the entire concept is damaging their bankrolls. I was there when this craze started. It was back in the 1980s when I first heard the term, I think.
It began as an infrequent way for players who envisioned themselves as superior at poker to point out mistakes others were making: “You missed that bet!” This prodding quickly became a plague that remains with us today – embedded deeply in our consciousness.
Sometimes the scolding was done in a friendly way and sometimes it was done to embarrass. It became so common that players would immediately point out their own missed bets, before they could be criticized by anyone else: “I missed a bet. I’m so sorry. I know better, really. Now I’m going to cash out, go home, and ponder my wasted life, because I’m an unworthy player.” Well, maybe not, but almost.
Question 3: So, wasn’t that a good thing – being conscious of missing bets?
392 entrants create a $1,200,720 prize pool.
Blake Bohn from Savage, Minn. won the 2013 Chicago Poker Classic Main Event Monday night in Hammond, Ind. pocketing $288,171. The win, which came in one of the country’s few $3,200 main events, marks the largest score of Bohn’s career.
“It feels great. I work really hard at it,” Bohn said. “It’s really exciting to run deep. That’s why we put in so many hours, to have a victory like this.”
Bohn had success in Hammond in the past, finishing fifth in the 2011 CPC Main Event, but his 2013 series was fruitless prior to his Main Event run. He came to the final table second-to-last in chips with 486,000 and blinds of 12,000/24,000 with a 3,000 ante. The eliminations came fast, starting with James Snyder in ninth and Ralph Massey in eighth. Bohn slowly worked his way up the pay ladder until he found himself heads-up with Shiva Dudani.
The final hand saw Bohn lead out on a board of [Jx] [5x][2x] and Dudani move all in with [Jx][7x]. Bohn snap-called, tabling [5x][2x] for two pair and Dudani was behind. The turn and river ran out no help and Bohn was crowned champion.
Cory Waaland knocked out every single player at the most recent final table and now Waaland has his first WSOP Circuit gold ring.
The 26-year-old poker pro from Greenville, won the most recent WSOP Circuit tournament which was played at Caesars Atlantic City. He topped a big field of 495 players en route to an impressive first time victory that paid $31,928 in prize money. Known in the online poker world for his moniker – MJ 23 STYLEZ – one can see immediately see the Michael Jordan references. After he won, Waaland even performed the all-too-familiar Jordan shrug with his palms turned up, as if to say “I can do no wrong.”
Indeed, Waaland did no wrong on this night – busting every single player at the final table in a long session that lasted some nine hours. It was the culmination of a two-day competition which ended very late on Friday night inside a nearly deserted poker arena, except for a few of Waaland’s close friends, and the eventual runner up–Charlie, Xu from Mays Landing, NJ.
“This is sweet,” Waaland said. “It all went great for me tonight. It was about a perfect as it gets.”
By Wendeen H. Eolis
Unlikely collaborations as well as predictable conflicts have marked the relationship between Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (formerly Harrahs) and PokerStars (Rational Group) since the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. For the moment the collaborations seem like bygones.
The American Gaming Association, a trade group that is best known for representing the interests of commercial casinos in Nevada and almost as well known for its close ties to Caesars took the unprecedented step last week of opposing PokerStars' efforts to obtain a gaming license In New Jersey.
The Association has effectively picked up where the United States Department of Justice left off in its settlement last summer with PokerStars. Last July, the DOJ settled its civil claims against the Company, arising from the government's ballyhooed prosecution of online gaming. The cases originated April 15, 2011 in the indictment U.S. v Scheinberg et al.
CHRISTIE SIGNS AMENDED ONLINE POKER LAW
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed into law a bill approving online poker for New Jersey residents, two earlier versions of which had been vetoed upon reaching his desk. Christie had demanded minor changes to the previous bill, including larger tax levies and increased funding for problems associated with gambling addiction, changes which were quickly approved by the NJ legislature. The changes were approved by the New Jersey Assembly and Senate on 68-5 and 35-1 votes, respectively, before the bill was signed by Christie. No timetable has been set for the rolling out of NJ-authorized online poker sites, though some local political reports indicate an early 2014 debut is likely.
CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER BILL BACK FOR ANOTHER TRY
California online poker players are also watching state legislative happenings after a new bill seeking to authorize the creation of an intrastate online network was introduced by State Sen. Lou Correa. Several previous California efforts have failed in the past three years, due to a combination of antigambling resistance and in-fighting among perceived proponents of the plan. Correa’s new measure would give the California Gambling Control Commission the responsibility for overseeing any California-based online poker, with the bill projecting over a billion dollars in much-needed tax revenue. Correa’s proposal joins one by state Rep. Roderick Wright already under consideration.
NEVADA APPROVES INTERSTATE ONLINE POKER
By Wendeen H. Eolis
A complicated relationship between Rational Group (PokerStars) and Caesars Entertainment has begun to reveal itself in earnest in recent weeks with an eclectic crowd of movers and shakers surrounding the players at the top of their respective pyramids.
The two companies, with assistance from empowered supporters, have been known to deliver understated slaps back and forth over the years, but lately the protagonists are exchanging more powerful blows.
Members of the Scheinberg family and top executives in the corporate empire of Caesars Entertainment are in the mix. So are the likes of American Gaming Association president, Frank Fahrenkopf, who will soon take his leave from his longtime position there.
The cast of characters in recent machinations between the two companies has also included Scott Wilson, a business consultant/professional gambler with powerful connections. He was the spark that ignited a telephone call between Caesars and PokerStars -- the call that was heard around the world last week in a report by Nathan Vardi in Forbes Magazine.
Mark Scheinberg and Mitch Garber are the key players in the sandbox
Poker Player Newspaper has learned the identities of the "two high level officials" that were referenced without attribution in the Forbes article. They were Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive and Mark Scheinberg, CEO of PokerStars.