Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan
There is no one quite like Padraig Parkinson. A poker pioneer in Ireland, where the Poker Gods keep Irish eyes smiling, Parkinson was an outspoken proponent of the game before it, the game, exploded onto the worldwide stage. He was there long before Moneymaker. Witty, sarcastic and likeable to a fault, Parkinson has the rare ability to blend humor with his astonishing natural talents at the poker table, a wicked combination when the cards are running good. Oh, what a world champion he would have been.
"Thanks for reminding me," he joked during our interview on High Roller Radio after being asked if he ever thinks about what could have been. A man of his stature a world champion? A man with his gifted speaking abilities? "I didn't know it at the time but it would have been worth millions to be now. I was just playing for the money back then and third was good."
By Barbara Rogers
At the helm, running the poker room, Karen proves she is the right woman for the job. In my opinion, Karen has always been the best at every job she has held. A self-made woman, this Kentucky girl proves to be a perfect fit for Horseshoe Cleveland & Thistledown Racing. With a raucous mix of sports fans and gentle souls, avid poker players all, Karen keeps the order. Starting out as a dealer and teaching other dealers, mix in Karen’s bartending experience and you have a person who truly knows the importance of listening to what people have to say and what they want.
Arriving in Cleveland, Ohio straight from Gold Strike Casino Tunica, as soon as her feet hit the ground at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Karen wasted no time implementing her agenda. The ambitious plan would include adding many more tournaments, including “win the pot,” “win the button” and placing bounties. If her vivacious personality wasn’t enough to endear her to the players, Karen’s 12 Days Of Poker paying out $250,000 in December sealed the deal.
By Barbara Rogers
From a bantam weight 131-pound high school wrestler to a burly poker powerhouse; this is the stuff Hollywood likes to make into movies. But this Hollywood is better than the one in California. This is the Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood. Hollywood Casinos—lots of them, all across America, bringing the opportunity to win seats and big money in the Hollywood Poker Open II. Round two promises to top last years wildly successful inaugural that culminated at the M Resort Casino & Spa in Vegas, paying out over 1.4 million, easily surpassing their $500,000 guarantee. And this Hollywood stars the man that poker folklore is made of. Chris Moneymaker as the ambassador for the Penn National Gaming brand’s Hollywood Casinos brings his friendly approachable self to the ambitious HPO 2014.
The guy who beat the odds, winning the final table in the 2003 WSOP with a game changing bluff against Sammy Farha, has now partnered with Penn National Gaming. This means that you will most likely have the chance to meet Chris, play poker with him, and ask questions at one of the many Hollywood Casino poker rooms across this great country of ours.
I asked Chris some questions about this association:
Barbara Rogers: “Obviously this is great for you Chris, how did this opportunity come about?”
Chris Moneymaker: “I’ve always liked endorsing rooms and making appearances, and I’ve been looking for a partner for a long time that I can stand behind and trust, and I met a partner back in the day who was in Columbus (Matt W) with Penn National. We started a discussion and thought it would be a fun idea to do a 6 month stint as a trial program to come up every month and entertain the room. I saw good results, made a lot of friends and found it to be an enjoyable experience. From there, we started talking about a company- wide promotion. Last year was the first year of the HPO series. It was a really good year, so on the second year we discussed what I was doing for them and decided to take it companywide.”
Thursday night. Another in a long history of horrible football decisions made by coaches. It’s time for me to speak about it, because it has much to do with poker.
Warning: Sometimes my moods fluctuate, causing me to project different personalities. If you’re expecting the Mike Caro who is patient, kind to everyone, diplomatic, and semi-modest, you probably shouldn’t read this one. It could destroy our relationship.
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?
by Barbara Rogers
Penn National Gaming Is a Major Player Jay Snowden is Senior Vice President of Regional Operations. His credentials include significant gaming industry management experience. A Harvard graduate, with a masters from Washington University, it’s clear to see why he is a part of this powerful team.
Barbara Rogers: Hi Jay, nice to have the opportunity to visit. I have been watching the progression of the first ever Hollywood Poker Open, as it nears its final destination at the M Resort in Las Vegas with great interest. One of the reasons is, I like the $500,000 guarantee, and I, too, want to play the event. And it has been interesting watching the excitement grow all across America, as Penn National Gaming has done every thing possible to bring this opportunity to the poker world. Why was the HPO created?
Jay Snowden: We look for ways to grow the Hollywood brand in all facets of our business and to showcase the many casinos in the Penn Gaming family in an effort to promote cross-market play. When it came to poker, it seemed obvious that the best way to accomplish this goal was to create a national tournament of our own where poker players – both those we know as well as those new to our casinos – could gain multiple opportunities to participate in regional and qualifying events with the action culminating with a championship in Las Vegas.
BR: How important is it for you to introduce players to the M Resort where you are holding the HPO Championship?
Poker tactics can be complex. But usually, they don’t need to be. I’ll tell you why in today’s self-interview.
Question 1: You’ve talked a lot about tricking opponents in poker? Can you do that using simple tactics?
Sure. Whenever you bet strong hands and opponents doubt that you really hold them, they call. The deception is in the doubt.
If opponents always called, then there would be no reason to trick them. You wouldn’t bluff, and you’d always bet your big hands the maximum amount. Poker would be easy. Sadly, it’s not. But the better you can maneuver your poker opponents into acting in predictable ways, the more money you’ll earn.
Poker super-star and winner of the WSOP Big Drop one million dollar buy-in tournament stopped by Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" social interview.
A sampling from the interview:
Q. Do you think online poker will ever be legal in the US?
A. Yes...Just a matter of time. State by state to start..
Q. Is needling Hellmuth one of your favorite activities while playing poker?
A. YES. He is just so easy to pick on...and in his credit he can take the needling like a champ. Perphaps years of experience.
Q. Any advice for those who can't maintain a good pokerface?
A. PRACTICE doing the same thing EVERY time you bet no matter what you have.
Read the full thread and get a glimpse of the real magician of poker on reddit:
MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – NICK SCHULMAN
Name: Nick Schulman
Residence: New York, NY (and Las Vegas, NV)
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 2
WSOP Cashes: 16
WSOP Final Table Appearances: 8
WSOP Earnings: $1,228,390 Note: Schulman will be classified as a professional poker player in WSOP records, since he plays poker full-time.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Question: This is an event with a lot of history. How does it feel to be grouped with all the greats who have won this event in the past?