By Barbara Rogers
FireKeepers keeps it coming and Kelley Bailey keeps it HOT! The Mid- States Poker Tour, with a guaranteed payout of $200K, is scheduled for play May 9-18th. Qualifiers start on May 2nd. FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan is bringing it to you. This is the poker room where the manager, Kelley Bailey also brings 7 on 7. That is, seven tournaments a week. You can qualify for the main event by playing in one of the satellites: Fridays at 6:30 pm. Kelley offers $60 multi-table Super Satellites every Saturday at 10 am from now until April 26.
And $250 main event qualifiers every Friday at 6:30 pm from now all the way up to May 2nd. The main event has three starting dates, Thursday May 15 at 4:00 pm, Friday May 16 at 12 pm, and Saturday May 17 at 12 pm. The final day of play is Sunday 10 am.
If you enjoy the deep stacks go to FireKeepers on the second and fourth Sunday of every month 12 pm. You can qualify for the Player Of The Year Tournament Of Champions now - January 31, 2015.
Staying overnight is easy in “Cereal City,” home to Kellogg & Post; you can stay where you play, in an award winning room in FireKeepers Hotel. Visit FireKeepersCasinoHotel. com/poker or phone the poker room directly at 269- 660-5631. For a hotel room reservation call 877-FKC- 8777.
by Haley Hintze
The “edge sorting” technique used by Phil Ivey in conjunction with his ongoing suit against London’s Crockfords Casino has again surfaced, this time in the form of an action filed by New Jersey’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ivey and companion Cheng Yin Sun. The lawsuit alleges that Ivey and Sun conspired against the Borgata by exploiting minor printing variations on the casino’s cards, with Ivey winning over $9.6 million during four 2012 high-stakes sessions. The Borgata also named as a defendant the cards’ manufacturer, Gemaco, for the same amount, alleging defective cards that failed to meet the terms of the company’s card-supplying contract. The nearly 60-page legal document accuses Ivey and Sun of an elaborate series of manipulations and requests, many of which were described as “superstitions,” but which the Borgata alleges were intentional ruses designed to tip the odds in Ivey’s favor.
Robert ‘Uncle Krunk’ Panitch earned his second WSOP Circuit ring the hard way—after a record-setting heads-up match that lasted nearly ten and a half hours. The win was good for $137,283.
The 62-year-old from Northbrook, IL, came out on top of a field of 416 entries to lock up a repeat appearance in the National Championship. “I’m not even tired...this woke me up!” he commented shortly after the win. “I want to be mentioned in the same breath as Stan Musial”. “I started out winning every hand,” he said referring to his quick dispatching of the 4th and 3rd place finishers about ten hours earlier.
The heads-up match lasted so long, it gave Panitch “enough opportunities to catch a card” he said. “I’ve blown so many big stacks lately”. On Friday, the first starting flight of the Main Event, Panitch was at the final table of Event 8, practically tied for the chip lead with three players remaining. An ill-timed bluff cost him his stack and he busted out of that event in 3rd place. He went straight to the cage and entered the Main Event and the rest is history.
Largest Field in Five Years!
Canterbury Park hosted the annual Minnesota State Poker Championship. The tournament had 217 entrants with a total prize pool of $210,490.00. After two Day 1’s, Scott Carolan of Farmington MN took home the trophy, $54,728.00, and the title of Minnesota State Poker Champion. Scott was undoubtedly assisted by his lucky “Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame” T- shirt.
by Haley Hintze
New York State Senator John Bonacic (R-42) has introduced a measure seeking to authorize intrastate online poker. The new proposal isn’t the first time online poker has been considered in Albany, after being considered in conjunction with a controversial casino-expansion effort that finally passed in 2013. Bonacic’s new bill would define poker as a game of skill and would create as many as ten online poker licenses, and would open the door to player-pooling compacts with other states also offering regulated internet poker, including neighbor states New Jersey and Delaware. The original draft language of Bonacic’s bill does include bad-actor language designed to block any online sites that serviced New York residents following the passage of the 2006 UIGEA.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
Many poker players approach tournaments the wrong way—not realizing that they will be essentially forced to “make plays” in order to keep up with the blind increases. Even if you are very successful and get away with murder at the table, you’re still going to get naturally shallowed out by the basic structure of the tournament. Tournaments, quite simply, revolve around stealing the blinds and antes. If you’re coming from a cash game background where you can sit around all night long peddling the nuts, this hard truth can work against you.
Some of the easiest and most obvious spots to steal from are on or around the button. Make sure you’re also going out of your way to re-steal from people raising in stealing position. It’s not enough to simply call from the big blind and hope you hit your hand. We’re forced to take an active role in defending the blinds by re-raising pre-flop as well as making moves against positional raisers and bettors postflop. The key is applying controlled aggression from many different positions with many types of pre-flop hands. Getting value out of marginal cards is critical—as we are only dealt premium and semi-premium hands very rarely.
by Haley Hintze
State regulated online poker will again be on the agenda of topics as Illinois legislators return to the topic of expanded gambling within the state. Several different forms of expanded gambling have been proposed for the revenue-strapped state, including a proposed downtown-Chicago casino, the large, new Rivers Casino near O’Hare, the online sale of lottery tickets… and, of course, state-regulated internet poker. Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton has indicated only tepid support, stating that the controversial downtown-Chicago casino question must be answered before plans for Illinois online poker can move forward.
by Haley Hintze
Michigan State Sen. Rick Jones has introduced new legislation in Michigan that would formally regulate standalone charity poker rooms in the state. Michigan’s charity-poker offerings had proliferated in the past decade as unofficial gaming venues governed under the state’s 1972 bingo bill, but had evolved in many cases as independent operations with no bingo or other gaming evolved. The rooms’ growing popularity had its drawbacks, however, including sometimes lax security that led to a spate of violent crimes, including armed robberies, and sometimes lax oversight that allowed some locations to operate far beyond legislators’ previous attempt. State gaming rules modification issued last year addressed some of the existing issues, but Jones’s new bill, supported by a bipartisan collection of legislators, hopes to take additional regulatory steps for the charity-funding operations.
by Ashley Adams
I left off the first part of this article after finishing play at the Casino Royale poker room in the beautiful Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento. Though my friend Andrei was tired out by our cross country flight and subsequent poker jaunt, I was still energized. So before retiring I headed out on Saturday night to the two other rooms in Sacramento, The Capitol Casino, and the Limelight Bar and Cafe Card Room.
The Capitol Casino (411 N. 16th Street, Sacramento, 916-446- 0700) is the dominant card room in the area. Open 24/7, there are ten poker tables and many “California Games”. The food is outstanding. They have Asian dishes, diner fare, and elaborate desserts that literally sit on shelves surrounding many of the areas of play. It was weird looking, but so tempting that I went back the following day just to eat breakfast (and had a great omelet and perfectly prepared coffee).
The room has the biggest action in the area. I played in the $2/$5 game that rocked and rolled. (They sometimes have $5/$10 no limit I was told—but it wasn’t going on the Saturday night I was there). Seventy percent of the hands were 3-bet or 4-bet pre-flop. I don’t recall if there was a cap on the buy-in, but at my table there were three players sitting with well over $1K. While the level of play was not of the very highest level—that you’ll find at some of the very large poker rooms like Commerce, Aria, Bellagio, Borgata, or Foxwoods -- this was better than a collection of local rocks and recreational players. I didn’t sit in or observe their other games, but there were $1/$2 no limits going as well as a few $4/8, $6/12 limit and even a $4/$8 Omaha8 with a half kill. They offer a wide variety of tournaments as well.
by Haley Hintze
Negotiations between competing California tribal-casino factions over differences in language in rival Cali intrastate online poker bills have fallen apart over allegations that PokerStars may be negotiating to at least one tribe and two major independent cardrooms. A 12-tribe group led by the state’s Pechanga and Agua Caliente bands issued a public statement against PokerStars and its parent Rational Group, demanding that a “bad actor” provision, designed to block PokerStars, be included in any California i-poker legislation. The rival Morongo tribal nation and the Commerce and Hawaiian Gardens card rooms have been named in media reports as negotiating with Stars for software services. PokerStars paid more than $500 million to resolve its federal “Black Friday” case but admitted no legal wrongdoing, and would currently be subject to approval by California gaming regulators rather than being blocked by a Cali i-poker bad-actor provision.