By Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
Poor Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. There they were, in the presence of the powerful Wizard of Oz. They didn't know what the Wizard looked like -- only that he had a powerful voice and he kept their knees quaking with his pronouncements and observations.
Poker and the world of gambling have their own Wizards of Oz. Their names may vary because of their involvement in this or that project -- Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, the Binions, Pappy Smith, Mike Caro and many more.
Add Stanley Sludikoff to that list. Better yet, consider him at or near the head of the list.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
I received a number of comments regarding my column about Dan Sverdlin of Redondo Beach, California, who was playing no-limit hold’em at the Bicycle Casino when he encountered a situation that could happen to anyone at the poker table.
Dan was sure he had the best hand and was betting for value when his last remaining opponent turned up his holecards, exposing them, just before the final round of betting on the river, showing a pair of sixes. Dan then proceeded to make his bet. The opponent hesitated for a long time, and then called. Dan took the pot with the best hand; but then was berated by another player who observed the hand and thought that Dan should not have made the bet. He accused Dan of breaching poker etiquette by betting when he knew that he held the best hand.
By George “The Engineer” Epstein
Dan Sverdlin of Redondo Beach, Calif. was one of the poker enthusiasts who responded to my query regarding the incident when a player misstated (probably on purpose) his hand during the showdown, leading another player to muck what likely was the best hand.
Dan now asks my opinion on a somewhat similar incident.
By Jason Bullock
I wrote previously about AdvancedPokerTraining.com, but now I’d like to give you more details about their “Beat The Pro” Challenge feature— it’s really something novel that will change the way you look at poker training forever. It’s like having a top poker pro looking over your shoulder while you play, without spending hundreds of dollars an hour—it’s really that good.
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.
It started as a lark and it turned into a mission: Could I play poker in all fifty states?
When the idea occurred to me back about five years ago, I made a list of all the states where I had already played. When I included public poker rooms and private games, there were 25 states in which I had played: ME, NH, MA, CT, NY, NJ, MD, SC, NC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, OH, IN, MO, MN, OK, NV, NM, AZ, CA, WA, AK. I started to think about how to get to the rest, planning vacations around places in which I had not yet played. My list of states expanded to include: VA, IL, TN, WI, IA, PA, RI, VT, WV, MI, DE. By this time two years ago, I had played in 36 states. During the past two years I went on to play in: CO, TX, MT, WY, ND, SD, KS, KY, AR. By the start of this summer, I had played poker in 45 states.
by Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire - @taopauly
by Barbara Rogers
Currently under way at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, the Super Stacks hold’em series is putting plenty of cash in poker players’ pockets. Coming up just in time for Christmas will be the 12 Days of Poker Giveaway. As always, the popular poker room giveaways are very generous and December 7-15 random table and seat draws will provide lots of fun. Twelve Days of Poker Giveaway, which runs from December 7-18, could garner plenty of gifts for you, including a 60” Panasonic 3D Plasma HDTV, 50”LG 3D Plasma HDTV, and a 40” Samsung 3D Plasma HDTV.
by Lou Krieger
Maybe it was the day, or the time, or just a random confluence of forces, but there’s a big difference between younger and older no-limit hold’em players. What brought this clearly to light was a full table no-limit game, where seven of the table’s players looked to be on the downhill side of 50. And the majority of older players made one similarly shocking error. They significantly overvalued big pairs.