By Wendeen H. Eolis
The World Series of Poker did itself proud, deciding to host a full on celebration of the elected inductees in the 2013 class of the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame. Tears of pride and joy trickled down the faces of poker professionals Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen as each accepted the highest honors conferred by a grateful poker world at a dinner in their honor, last night.
A Cool Wine Cellar
The WSOP executive team chose the sophisticated wine cellar at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino for the cocktail reception. Impressive wines were uncorked. The drinks flowed freely and the hors d’oeuvres were elegant. An hour later the doors to an inner sanctum were opened for the sit-down dinner and organized celebration of two good men.
Filet mignon was served, but the sizzle in the steak was the poignant and gracious words that were spoken in the course of the induction ceremony.
WSOP Executive Director Moves the Needle
The penultimate day of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event is in the books and after seven and a half hours of play we're down to heads up. The only non-pro at the table, Vegas club promoter Jay Farber, has the chip lead on his side while 23-ywar-old pro Ryan Riess has confidence, some say arrogance, on his. Farber was responsible for three eliminations and Riess took the other four as the two completely dominated the final table in slightly different styles. Farber mixed it up more and was extremely aggressive, while Riess was more surgical in picking his spots before a loud crowd at the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Resort.
by Barbara Connors
Progress. It’s something we all strive for in life, in work, in relationships — and also at the poker table. Progress can mean many things to a poker player. It can mean mastering a new strategy, getting more accurate at reading opponents, graduating to a higher level of thinking, but for most of us progress boils down to one thing: moving up to higher limits.
Higher-limit games are more prestigious. The opponents are smarter and tougher, and in turn we feel smarter and tougher playing against them. The challenge is greater. The potential profits are more lucrative. And just being in the higher games imparts a certain stature. If micro-stakes games are Little League and middle limits are Triple-A, high stakes games are the Major Leagues: the elite stage most players can only dream about.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
There’s a big difference between passive and aggressive play, but it’s important to realize that very likely when playing tournaments you’ll need to come up with a mix of both styles to succeed. These two styles aren’t mutually exclusive; in fact, they tend to compliment each other. If you’re playing passively, you’re spring-loaded to make an aggressive play (possibly a bluff) with a higher chance of pulling the move off successfully. If you’re playing aggressively, you’re primed to be able to enter into pots cheaply and hit a hand. If you make a big hand, due to your previous aggressive streak, you’re more likely to get paid off on the hand now.
There’s no magic formula for what ratio of passive plays and aggressive plays are needed to make a final table or win a tournament. The main key to this entire discussion revolves around adapting to the table conditions present—as well as your table image (relative to your prior play and the hands you’ve shown down). Don’t define yourself as one type of player or another— simply approach each table with an open mind and be the chameleon; adapt to the situation.
by George Epstein
Phil Hellmuth is admired by many poker players throughout the world for his accomplishments. In addition to his record 13 World Series of Poker bracelets, he won the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the Main Event of the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe. He is a member of the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame, and is ranked among the top all-time money winners. (He has also earned a reputation for insulting other players).
Recently, a friend gave me a copy of Hellmuth’s book, Play Poker Like the Pros. I found several items that conflict with my teachings to my Seniors Poker Groups. For example, Hellmuth relates a hand he played at Foxwood’s Casino in Connecticut. It was a $2,500 buy-in limit Hold’em game during the “World Poker Finals.” Stakes were $300-$600. He was in the Big Blind holding 8-8. Three players called the blind ($300) preflop. He wrote, “because I had 8-8, I raised.” Note: In his book, Hellmuth lists 8-8 as one of his “Top Ten” Hands. He also recommends: “Always raise with these hands, no matter what it costs you to get involved.” With this, too, I disagree.
The “2013 WSOP November Nine” Set to Compete for $500,000 Main Event Bracelet by Jason of Beverly HillsNovember 1, 2013 - 2:51pm
LAS VEGAS—Famed Jason of Beverly Hills founder and designer Jason Arasheben – known for creating edgy and lavish statement jewelry for celebrities and athletes including Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and LeBron James – is the exclusive championship jewelry designer for the 2013 World Series of Poker® (WSOP).
On November 4 and 5 the “2013 WSOP November Nine” will compete for the coveted Main Event bracelet, which includes more than 28 carats of brilliant white diamonds – including two black diamonds and two rubies to represent each card suit – set within more than 220 grams of 14-carat white gold. The masterpiece required 250 hours of labor to design and produce and is valued at approximately $500,000.
For the first time, the WSOP Main Event bracelet will also be customized to the winner, as the bracelet design includes the two “hole cards” dealt during the WSOP Main Event final hand. Immediately after the event, Arasheben will laser cut each card to correspond to the winning hand of the new World Champion.
by Shari Geller
To talk or not to talk, that is the question. This Hamlet-inspired question has nearly the same life or death meaning if you are all-in with your tournament life at stake. A recent episode on ESPN of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event brought to mind the Shakespeare quote as an all-in player decided whether to engage her opponent in table talk while he considered his move. She decided to talk, and had what she said been picked up, she would have died right then. But sometimes, when you talk, your opponent doesn’t listen and you are given a new lease on life.
Texas amateur Beverly Lange was one of four women left in the field of about 150 players remaining on Day 5. Her opponent, 2010 Main Event bubble boy Brandon Steven, had bet 167,000 into a pot of 385,000, holding top pair on a 4s-Ks-7s-2d-2h board. She snap-raised all-in for an additional 260,000. Steven leapt from his seat when she made that bet, clearly surprised and irritated. If he called, it would be for one-third of his stack. What he didn’t know was Lange only had pocket Jacks, and if he called, she’d be knocked out of the tournament.
by Ashley Adams
A lot of poker theorists, players, and writers talk about “range”—that is finding an opponent’s playing range. This refers to the range of hands that an opponent may be playing. It’s considered helpful in devising your playing strategy to consider what range of hands your opponent is likely to be playing. So, for example, if you have a tight opponent who raises from early position, you might not be able to pinpoint the exact hand he has, but you might put him on a “range” of hands—anywhere from AK, JJ, QQ, KK, or AA. This concept works for limit, no limit, hold’em, stud, Omaha, or indeed any type of poker.
I find this exercise of putting opponents on a range of hands to be useful. And, to be sure, I do it regularly—almost automatically—when I play. But I find another concept to be even more useful. I call it ANTI-RANGE. That is, figuring out the hands that my opponent is NOT likely to have. From my experience, I find that by deducing what my opponent doesn’t have, I can take advantage of many bluffing opportunities that I might not normally consider.
By Joseph Smith Sr.
Marc McLaughlin began playing professional poker six years ago and has collected more than $670,000 from live tournament play. He can now add at least $733,224 to that total after making the November Nine. Returning to the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in November will place him in seat 6 behind the 3rd largest stack of chips among the nine players at T26,525,000.
Like many of the young poker professionals, Marc McLaughlin begin playing the game a short 7 years ago and quickly realized that he could generally beat his friends and was the top earner in the nickel –dime games in his garage. He assumed that if the cards break even and he could usually win then he should translate that ability to bigger stakes in cash games and tournaments. His play history says that was a great assumption.
By Joseph Smith Sr.
Jay Farber is the November Nine “Mystery Man.” He does not consider himself to be a professional poker player and claims the game is only a hobby. Farber believes his style of play got him deep into this year’s big poker event and very well may carry him to a win in November. His above average chip stack makes Farber a favorite to become one of the WSOP’s latest multimillionaires.