Poker News Briefs: Utah House Investigation Reports Probable Felonies Linked in Online Poker MattersMarch 24, 2014 - 11:20am
by Haley Hintze
Utah House Investigation Reports Probable Felonies by Former State AG, US Senators Linked in Online Poker Matters – A 206-page report issued by a Utah House-authorized investigative panel in mid-March has asserted that former state Attorney General John Swallow may have committed as many as eight different felonies in a wide-ranging series of allegations with ties to the “Black Friday” online-poker processing conducted through a St. George, UT bank. Central to the investigation’s findings are evidence obtained from indicted Utah online marketer Jeremy Johnson, an unindicted, but important figure in the Black Friday affair. A secretly taped conversation of a meeting between Johnson and Swallow includes admissions of suspect behavior by Swallow, who resigned in November, and also includes the Johnson-alleged assertion of a million-dollar bribe paid through back channels to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) through back channels. The investigation into Swallow, led by two Utah county prosecutors, also includes the links to Reid and to US Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), but without formal federal assistance. According to the two Utah prosecutors, their request for the FBI to investigate Reed’s and Lee’s possible connections was blocked by the US Department of Justice.
by Haley Hintze
Jersey Online Gambling Revenue Grows While Delaware Numbers Stagnate – The effect of “critical mass” on poker-play pool liquidity can be seen in the contrasting online-gambling revenue numbers posted in February by eastern US states New Jersey and Delaware, both of which went live with online-gambling services (including poker) in November. New Jersey’s monthly revenue topped $10 million for the first time in February, more than a 20% day-over-day gain from January’s numbers, and the state has logged roughly a quarter of a million real-money signups in less than four months. Meanwhile, much-smaller Delaware has struggled, seeing declining signups and revenue in each of the past two months. Delaware’s small size and growth struggles are part of the impetus for the player-sharing deal it recently signed with Nevada, the third US state currently offering legalized online poker.
by David Chicotsky
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, in poker, in the vast majority of situations—you can. For the most part, players are very straightforward with their intentions, and when you have a read on someone (assuming you’re competent at gauging other players’ tendencies) you can usually use that info against your opponent in the future. In my previous articles I’ve highlighted how important it is to shift-gears, since playing the same way throughout a tournament makes us predictable. Despite this advice, be aware that the average player doesn’t shift gears enough.
As a good training exercise to work on shifting gears, play a tournament and alternate between playing loose and tight every other level. Obviously there is no other logic behind this exercise than to get you comfortable switching gears. Normally, you’d want to switch gears during opportune times of a tournament, but in this case it’s easy enough to go from tight to loose at the start of each level. In tournament poker there is a perceived need to reconfirm information to help substantiate our thoughts on various opponents. I caution you against this...and here’s what I mean. If you think someone is loose, and you’re correct let’s say 80% of the time, you’re better off treating him accordingly right away (by re-raising the player on our right in this example). If you reconfirm this information by not re-raising and deciding to wait until the player has made another loose open, you’ll be that much more sure the player is loose (let’s make up a number, say 90% sure). The problem is, now this player realizes you’ve seen him play loose and can adjust accordingly. So even though you’ve increased your hypothetical certainty percentage from 80 to 90, the effectiveness of using that information against your opponent drops drastically. Essentially, the longer you wait to counter-act your opponent, the easier it is for your opponent to be conscious of this and adjust accordingly.
by Barbara Rogers
You may not be able to beat these guys in a hockey match but you sure could beat them in a poker match. March 29th at 7pm at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh will be your chance to play against hockey hot shots; famed hockey alumni Frank Leroux, Pierre Larouche, Bryan Trottier, Kim Clarkson and Duane Rupp are some players you could thump. All for charity, fun and winning money with unlimited buys of 5,000 in chips for $25. The starting stack is 10,000 with 20 minute levels and a total buy-in of $205 (the breakdown is $125 entry fee + 50 charity + 25 house fee + 5 dealers pool). Visit Rivers Poker section for the latest information. Pending PGCB approval.
by Barbara Connors
Everybody has to start somewhere. For poker players, just as for readers, the journey begins with ABC. Literally, of course in the case of readers, while aspiring poker players cut their teeth on a style of play known as ABC poker.
As the name implies, ABC poker is about building-block fundamentals. It’s poker played strictly by the book. But ABC poker can be best described by what it is not—it is not creative, it is not deceptive, it doesn’t make adjustments for your opponents’ playing styles, and it’s often not the most profitable way to play a given hand. And if all that’s not unappealing enough, because ABC poker dictates that you play by the book—following somebody else’ script— there’s little sense of personal satisfaction or accomplishment, even when you win.
by Debbie Burkhead
Attention Pre-Seniors! Legends Classic Series (LCS) is a unique poker tour for seniors with a twist, “45 is the New 50.” CEO, Tina Bergstrom fondly refers to the age range of 45-50 as the “senior in waiting” zone and after hours upon hours of research believes the added ages will increase the fields and create larger prize pools.
The LCS launch and poker tournament is scheduled to kick off their new tour and introduce the LCS pros at “the place where it all began” Binion’s on June 7-9. The event will consist of two $240 buy-in flights; 1A on Saturday, June 7 at 11am and 1B on June 8 at 11am. Reentries will be allowed on both flights. Players will start with 20,000 in tournament chips and 35-minute levels. Day 2 will start at 1 pm and the levels will be bummed up to 40 minutes with an increase to 50 minutes at the final table.
The LCS Legends pro team consists of the following; World Series Champion and WSOP Hall of Famer, Tom McEvoy, bracelet winners Kathy Liebert, Cyndy Violette, Hoyt Corkins, WPT ladies champion JJ Liu, and Kenna “Cowboy” James.
All future LCS events will televise the final table, and on occasion, will be live streamed. This is your chance to sit at a televised final table and possibly become the next Legend. For more information on LCS please visit their web site www.LegendsClassicSeries.com.
by Barbara Rogers
You’ll want to be a part of Seneca Niagara’s 16-event Poker Challenge from March 16th thru April 6th . With buyin’s ranging from $100 up to $1,100, new pay-outs and blind structures, this 9-day winter festival of poker will heat things up for you. There is even a Step 1 satellite for only $40. Step 2, a $150 qualifier, sends one out of eight players to the main event. Step 2 is offered Fridays at 9pm and Saturdays at 3pm and 9pm. The main event buy-in is $1,100, with a $100,000 guarantee. See page 11 of this issue for all the details (Download the PDF). I should note that Events 10-16 will allow 18-year-old players this year.
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is AAA Four-Diamond rated, and the largest hotel in Western New York, with 604 newly renovated rooms. Call 877-8-Seneca or 716-278-6300 to reserve your room. Say “hi” to Amanda Scarcelli and Jason Brooks—They and their staff take excellent care of this poker room. This year you may see something different in the spectacular view of the Falls, just a short walk from Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. As of this writing, they are partially frozen. Because of the Polar Vortex, the Falls are a rare spectacle to behold. Bundle up and take a hearty walk to view this winter wonderland. Sure, it’s hard to leave the warm lodging of this Four-Diamond hotel and the hot action at the cash tables, but it will invigorate you to witness one of nature’s great gifts.
by Barbara Rogers
Just when you thought this powerhouse of poker couldn’t get any livelier it did! Live from Arundel Mills Maryland, it’s “Poker Night In America.” The Maryland Live! One Million Dollar Live Poker Classic will have the final table of the main event filmed for television. It gets better— the crew will stay to film two very lively cash games. Gavin Smith will play, joined by 2012 WSOP champ Greg Merson. Maryland native Merson will be joined by another Maryland fellow, logger and 2009 WSOP champ Darvin Moon. Darvin will come out of the woods to play in the min. $5,000 max. $20,000 buy-in cash game under the lights. This isn’t the biggest cash game in house either. It’s the $100-$200 with a mandatory $400 straddle. While this cash game is by invitation, there is an open casting call for players. If you have a lively personality and the money, honey, get in touch at castingcall@ pokernight.com
by Barbara Rogers
Bringing you the best news in Floridian poker—bestbet Jacksonville is a good start. The newest and largest Florida poker room has 70 tables and is bringing on the World Poker Tour with a $500,000 guarantee, March 7-25. This WPT event offers plenty of NLH and a couple of Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better events, one of which has a re-buy and three guarantee events. They are $50 grand, $100 grand, and the main event of $500,000.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room open from 10am to 4am daily has the Heartland Poker Tour on their schedule. With a $1,650 buy-in for the main event, the dates for the run are March 21-30. Winner of 13 World Championships, Phil Hellmuth Jr. will be at the Daytona Beach Deep Stacks Charity Classic during the Extravaganza Weekend April 25-27. This is one of his preferred stops during the Extravaganza. Like his style or not, Phil has generously chaired and emceed poker charity events that have now raised over 20.4 million for charity.
Battles At The Beach are now in progress and a guaranteed $1 MILLION is worth fighting over. If you want to get in on the action, head over to Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. This poker room has the highest return for hourly play in South Florida. March 5th-25th are the $1,000,000 guarantees.
by Barbara Rogers
Art by Robby Becker
This piece of art (above) reflects my brain on poker. I couldn't say it better with words. But poker dealer Robby Becker speaks to the poker player in us through his art. Robby and his wife left Vegas for Southern Florida and now he deals poker for Director Of Poker Operations, David Litvin, at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida as one of David's best dealers. His passion for art extends beyond poker. It includes plenty of beach themes and vistas from urban golf courses to fantastic sci-fi worlds. Robby's poker art specializes in colorful spay paint on canvas in abstract forms and adding the poker theme. This has drawn so much attention to his work that David has made arrangement for Robby's work to be on display at Mardi Gras poker room. You can see more by going to robbybeckerart.com. You may want to invest in his art before he becomes famous, while it's still affordable.