When ESPN Cleveland poker radio show’s Dan Harkenrider and the Meadows Casino & Racetrack’s Peter Lau put their heads together, anticipate success. They worked hard showcasing a new national, low buy-in, fun-filled poker tour entitled, “The Poker Road Less Traveled.” Players donned their winter wraps, braved the cold, and had all the non-stop poker action they could ask for. Dan’s wife Patty charged up the crowd up with her high octane energy. She, Dan, and I joined the others in playing the media event. Three winners who received a $350 buy in for the main event were Joe Thaman, Steven Flinn and your favorite humor writer, me! I thought for sure I would win the Donkament, but I didn’t. Martin Caridi became “King of the Donkeys” besting the 63 player field.
Opponents of legal gambling are notorious within the industry for making up numbers.
Robert Goodman, for example, is a discredited “anti” and founder of the grandly named, though now defunct, “United States Gambling Research Institute.” He is infamous for proclaiming, “The American Insurance Institute estimated that 40 percent of all white collar crime had its roots in gambling.”
In the second part of our year-end wrap up, we look at the list of those people and events that were good for poker in 2010. Here is the nice list.
Michael Mizrachi. Mizrachi almost accomplished the impossible, but even falling tantalizingly short, he had a memorable year. He won the first event of this year’s WSOP, the prestigious $50,000 players’ championship, and then went on to make the final table of the main event. Had he won that event he would have been the first player to complete the poker hat trick. Even with his pocket threes blow-up that led to a disappointing fifth place finish, Mizrachi had a tremendous WSOP. And with his three brothers all cashing at the main event, a first for one family, 2001 could easily be called the year of the Mizrachis.
Linda May wrote to ask how to continue with four or five trumps on the table. She explained that she started in a ten-handed game with Jd-10dand the dealer placed the Ad-6d-2d on the flop. She bet out smartly and two opponents called. She knew that she had odds of 3-to-1 for her having the only flush. Still, the two callers troubled her and when the dealer put the 7d on the turn she didn’t know what to do. Should she bet the 3rd nut flush or not?
Poker players are predatory animals who constantly need to be fed. A steady diet of fish and donkeys will do. Sooner or later you’re confronted with the worst case scenario—no fish to feed upon and no donkeys to trap because of the cyclical nature of new players coming in and out of the game. The influx of dead money depends upon the economy and the popularity of poker in pop culture. Because it’s getting harder and harder to find soft games in today’s lean economic times, it’s important to learn how to play other games as an alternative source of income.
Along time ago, I was in a lounge near a poker room, waiting for a game. On a chair nearby a fellow player was reading a book.
Suddenly he noticed me, nodded, and half-whispered, “This is a great book.”
“What’s it about?” I wondered.
He shrugged. “This and that, I guess.” And it was all he had to say on the matter. He was reading again, and our conversation had apparently ended.
DeepStacks Live and the Grand Sierra Join Forces. The DeepStacks Poker Tour Grand Sierra Resort World Poker Challenge is the crown jewel event in a four-stop series of tournaments taking place throughout 2011. It is a pro-participated tournament event where players from Northern California and Reno/Tahoe can come test their skills against some of the top pros in the world, including: Mike “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Mike Matusow, Tom McEvoy, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, Tristan “Cre8ive” Wade, Karina Jett, Randall Flowers, Justin “Boosted J” Smith, and Jason “JSpudUF” Lee.