by George “The Engineer” Epstein
My column entitled, “How Do You Rule?” in the Feb. 10 issue of PPN, had so many great responses that we awarded seven valuable prizes (copies of the Hold’em Algorithm) instead of one as planned! All raised salient issues; many offered thoughtful suggestions. Some described personal experiences. I’ll summarize their comments and quote several in this and the next column (Part II). After studying the responses and consulting with others, I have drawn conclusions that I will share with you in Part III. (You may be surprised!)
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Hear Ye... Hear Ye... The Players’ Poker Court of Law is now in session.
You are the Judge. I am the key witness. I have been sworn in. During a low-limit game at a local casino, James raised before the flop in middle position, and was called by several opponents. The flop was rather uninteresting:
There was no card higher than a nine, no pairs, no connectors, and it contained three different suits. A player in early position bet out. There was one limper before James raised again. One player behind him—Bill—and the two limpers called James’ raise. The turn was not very exciting either. There were no pairs on the board, but there were possible long-shot draws to a straight or flush.
by Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
Every New Year’s Eve I gather with friends at a favorite watering hole. Iced champagne is served by pretty waitresses who look more like Playboy Centerfolds than the girl next door.
We watch the wall clock move slowly toward midnight. When it hits that magical hour and we are in the New Year, I reveal my New Year’s Resolutions. Excuse me? The room has suddenly gone silent. Okay, all of you called my bluff. You know that most people do not keep their resolutions. In my case, that, unfortunately, has been true.
In 1962, I resolved to marry Kathy, my childhood sweetheart. There was only one problem. She was already on her second husband and would go through two more before we met at a class reunion a couple of years ago. When I saw her, I was happy I hadn’t made good on the resolution. Boy, what time and four ex-husbands can do to a woman.
In 1984—what a wonderful George Orwellian year that was!—I resolved to stop drinking in excess. And I did.
Ten years later.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Last month at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, the American Gaming Association (AGA) upped the ante in its bid to promote progressive federal legislation to regulate online poker while pushing for a strengthened crackdown on illegal online poker operators.
AGA Uses Runner Runner to Campaign for Legislative Reform
AGA president, Geoff Freeman (since July 1, 2013) held a media conference during the GGE gathering to let it be known that the AGA intended to capitalize on the new movie, Runner Runner, by highlighting perils of online poker in an unregulated environment.
Freeman demonstrates a savvy understanding of the two-edged sword of this movie, noting, also, the need to mitigate against opponent cries to eliminate online gambling altogether based on the ills of the industry depicted in the movie.
Runner Runner Movie Eludes Box Office Kudos
By Wendeen H. Eolis
A nine hour drive from New York City, six and a half hours from Atlantic City, and four hours from Washington D.C., Larry Lindsey welcomed his “Poker Week” guests at his spectacular ocean side house in Virginia Beach. The former associate professor of economics at Harvard University, who served as special assistant to the president in the first Bush administration, has a wide circle of friends—notably including an eclectic group of poker players he wanted to know better.
The parade of guests begins with the arrival of Will, a professional dealer from a Charlestown, West Virginia public card room. He worked well for long hours and played well in the sandbox when he was off-duty. Billy, a quiet and intense competitor, showed up with his wife and baby in tow. Then there were John and Sam, friends from college. They work out hard in the gym and diligently at the poker table. Sumit, is a patent lawyer. He paid close attention to details at the game. Brandon brings smarts and wicked wit to the table. Finally Tom makes his entrance with a lovely at his side. He came here more to socialize than in search of big winnings; he takes down more than his fair share of profits from the poker economy, according to his staunchest rivals.
Mother Jean, and Lovely Tammy tenderized the proceedings throughout the week. Larry added yours truly to the guest list, believing we could splice together our respective worlds of politics and poker in early morning chats before the young guns shuttled over to Larrigata in golf carts from their own private group share residence—another of Larry’s houses situated just a mile down the beach road.
The common denominators that bind this spirited group are the playground of the Charlestown poker room and the high limit area of the Borgata poker room. up the coast a piece in Atlantic City. Larry’s digs were dubbed Larrigata by his poker guests to honor him and his affection for the consummate poker room for customer service—the Borgata.
by Tom McEvoy
This year’s edition of the World Series of Poker is now over—except, of course, for the final 9. They play off for the most prestigious title in poker this November, hence the title “November 9”. I have often been asked what I think about delaying the final almost 4 months instead of playing it off right away. I know that if I was a lucky finalist, I would welcome the time off. The additional rest, publicity, and sponsorship deals would be well worth the wait. This year’s group is mostly in their 20s with the chip leader, J.C. Tran, one of the two old men of the group at the ripe old age of 36. His closest competitor in the chip count is Amir Lehavot of Israel who is the dean of the group at age 38. These two “old-timers” are the only two bracelet winners among the finalists. When I won the main event last century—30 years ago in 1983, I was 38, and there were more players older than me at that time than younger at the final table. Things have changed since then with this tournament definitely being more of a marathon than the 4 day sprint it used to be.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Who doesn’t make a mistake now and then? Even the best major league baseball players make errors. We poker players are no different. But rarely do we hear about mistakes made by poker dealers. How about that?
Recently, I saw the mother of all poker dealer errors in a limit hold’em game at a local casino. Should it have happened? Let’s call the dealer “Rushmore.” Without doubt, Rushmore’s knowledge of the game and dealing skills are outstanding. He keeps the game moving along. In fact, I never mind when he deftly picks up chips from my stacks and posts the blind for me. While I wonder if it is proper for a dealer to do that, but I generally regard this as a friendly action—no harm done.
Here’s what happened... On the turn with three players in the hand, first to declare was the player in Seat No. 2. He checked. Then, Seat No. 4 clearly stated, “I bet.” While gathering his chips to make the bet, the man in Seat No. 5, acting out of turn, tossed in his last remaining chip.
by Barbara Rogers
WATCH OUT, VEGAS! 12 guys from Minnesota are heading your way and they are loaded for bear! Running Aces Harness Park & Card Room is sending them. Well, 11 guys, one gal, and she’s means business too. Mostly a cash player, Lynn Hunziker is pretty excited. My friend Tristen Wilburg, Tournament Director, made sure his players had this opportunity of winning a trip to the Golden Nugget and a seat in the Poker Player of the Year Tournament. He said Lynn wanted this trip badly. Minnesota is represented well this year, with at least 3 players from Running Aces going deep. Event 11, saw David Gonia, from White Bear Lake finishing 6th, cashing $57,282. In Event 14, 2nd place went to Blake Bohn, Burnsville; he cashed for $281,049. And in Event 17, a 3rd place win put $224,455 in Everett Carlson of St. Paul’s pocket. Minnesotans are tearing it up in Vegas.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Last weekend, Kristen Bicknell, a twenty six year old cash games grinder from Canada, turned up at the 2013 World Series of Poker Ladies Championship as an unknown player. She proved not only ample survival skills but also the power of discipline, desire, and determination. A self-taught poker player, Bicknell took down first place prize money of $173,922 and the coveted white gold WSOP Ladies Championship bracelet for her effort.
Ladies Championship Leaves Men by the Wayside
The field was 954 starters—all women. Last year an estimated 15 players in the pool were males—mostly pros —apparently enticed to exercise their legal right to rain on the Ladies Day Parade by visions of a higher return on investment (ROI) than in an open event. They may have had their last chance. .
The ladies only field reflected an amusing and controversial legal twist on the buy-in rules for the 2013 WSOP Ladies World Championship. WSOP brass outfoxed male would be party poopers. They stopped such potential impostors in their tracks with a gambit that proved 100% effective in maintaining the Ladies Day as a singularly female “do.”
In consultation with company lawyers, WSOP organizers increased the full buy-in price for the event to $10,000, but offered ladies a 90% promotional discount—thus preserving the traditional $1000 buy in for ladies and drastically changing the ROI for men.
WSOP personnel say the Ladies Championship offers novices a more collegial and protected environment in which to ply their poker skills and make their luck. For the most part, the rank amateurs and veterans alike welcome the party-like atmosphere that is fostered for this event. Participants get to live the dream of vying for a bracelet in a gentler environment than most open events.
Pros, who got their start in the ladies event generally agree it provides an ideal arena to increase familiarity with the rules of engagement and to help build the confidence needed to transition seamlessly into coed competitions. WSOP officials insist the discounted buy-in ticket for the ladies is a worthy promotion for women and not an arbitrary ban of men.
Nevada Law Creates New Opportunity for Women
From Tom McEvoy To All His Readers— Best Of Luck At The WSOP! Plus, An Interesting Decision You Should All Know About!June 21, 2013 - 10:39am
by Tom McEvoy
The World Series of Poker has officially arrived. By the time this newspaper is printed, the series will be in full swing. Will it be bigger than last year? Nobody knows for sure, or at least they aren’t telling if they have inside information.
The economy is not fully recovered and Internet poker in the U.S. is still mostly unavailable, so that will hurt attendance. On a positive note, the $1,000,000 first place guaranteed purse for the $1500 buy in scheduled for June 1st should be a huge success. Re-entries are allowed so this “Millionaire Maker” event should be one of the best events on the schedule. It is much harder to predict what the other events will do, especially the main event. The over and under for the Championship event is around 6500, and the answer is, no I am not taking bets either way. Good luck to all my readers, and I hope to see you at the final table—with me.
That Decision I Spoke About...