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.
So many misconceptions muddle poker that I sometimes make lists. Today, I’d like to share three favorites from my collection, hoping that your game will improve, once you understand the truth.
Where should we start? How about bluffs. Whenever I warn about the badness of bluffing, some players get confused and think I’m telling them never to bluff. I’m not. There are clearly profitable times to fire a bluff into the pot. And there are specific opponents who make the best targets.
Fine. But I’m warning you that most players lose money for their lifetimes by bluffing. In that sense, yes, it would be better for them if they never bluffed. Here’s the strange part. Among all those millions of players who lose money bluffing, most probably think they earn money. I’ll tell you why that is in a minute.
by Haley Hintze
An industry group serving as a collective legal advisory source for many of the online-poker sites targeted in a 2008 domain seizure by the Commonwealth of Kentucky has succeeded in gaining associational standing in the case. In late February, a three-judge Kentucky appellate court ruled in favor of an appeal brought by the Interactive Gaming Counsel, returning it to the court of Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate. The appellate court found that Kentucky’s prosecutors wanted to have it both ways – bringing a collective case against the targeted domains while denying them the same sort of collective response. The initial domain seizure targeted 141 domains, 132 of which remain a party to the complaint, though Kentucky officials were noncommittal about whether they would continue the prosecution.
After a tough three-day battle at Fallsview Casino, Matthew Lapossie from London, Ontario, emerged victorious from the final table as the 2014 Fallsview Poker Classic WPT $5,000 Main Event champion on Monday, earning first prize of CAD $363,197.
Lapossie will forever be part of the WPT Champions Club as he etches his name onto the prestigious WPT® Champions Cup. The final table took just over nine hours to play from ten players down to a winner. Toronto’s Dylan Wilkerson collected the CAD $254,238 second-place prize and Mississauga’s Jason James finished third taking home CAD $163,439 for his efforts.
The $550 No Limit Hold’em WPT Main Event attracted an entry field of 383 players and a prize pool of CAD $1,729,510 with 45 players making the money.
by Haley Hintze
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell recently signed into law a deal making the two states official partners in the first interstate online-poker agreement within the US. Sandoval traveled to Delaware’s capital of Wilmington for the groundbreaking pact, with both states hoping that the deal will provide extra player liquidity in the future. Details of the pact have yet to be hammered out, though the deal for now is online poker-only. No live date for the commingling of players from the two states has been set.
2nd place Jonathan Gaviao just misses becoming first player to win two Circuit Main Events in the same season
Shortly before Christian Pham took his seat in the Caesars Palace Las Vegas Circuit Main Event, he and his friends had a Chinese dinner that ended with a fortune cookie. That fortune cookie read, “All your dreams will come true.” That cookie sure wasn’t lying.
Just a few days ago, Christian Pham was home in St Paul, Minnesota with no intention of playing poker in Sin City. However, he got a call from a backer offering to put him into the Circuit event and fly him out to boot. On a single day’s notice, Pham hopped a plane to Vegas with hope of making his poker dreams come true. Today, he did just that, winning the Circuit Main Event here in Las Vegas, earning $214,332, the Circuit ring, and a seat into the 2014 WSOP National Championship in Las Vegas.
by Haley Hintze
Competing California Online Poker Bills Introduced – Two California intrastate online-poker measures were introduced in late February in the state’s legislature ahead of a deadline for 2013-14 consideration. Both bills are supported by competing tribal-casino factions. One of the two is the reintroduction of an earlier bill (now known as SB 1366) by State Sen. Lou Correa, with the backing of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. A newer and competing bill, AB 2291, offered by State Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, is backed by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and other tribes. One possibly controversial element of the Jones-Sawyer bill is language that would make the playing of online poker on unlicensed sites a misdemeanor. Both bills were submitted as urgency measures, meaning two-thirds approval is required.
During the 2011/12 Circuit season Huy Quach rose to the top of a 748-player field and laid claim to the first ever World Series of Poker Circuit ring offered at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California.
Fast-forward two years later and Quach was able to once again rise to the top of the first event on the schedule to earn his second Circuit ring and $18,000 in first-place prize money.
“There were several short stacks,” Quach recalled about the final table after his victory. “It was fun. It was fun but it was not easy.” There were indeed several short-stacked players who returned for the second day of play.
These short stacks fell one after the other, allowing the final table to wrap up in around four and a half hours. Before he knew it, Quach was heads up with the chip lead against Mike Maarup. It was here, however, where the pace of the final table would slow down.
by Barbara Rogers
They may be tough at the table, but poker players can be a great group when you need their help. Texas Hold'em players at the Legion Post, a group with plenty of generosity in their hearts, helped Vietnam veteran Jesus Quintana of Eastside Indianapolis, a double amputee who loves to hunt, but can’t cross fields and the forest in a regular wheelchair. Legion Post played the game for Jesse and the $12,000 they raised gave him the perfect alternative to a wheelchair, an all-terrain wheelchair with higher clearance and tank like treads that can reach his favorite hunting blind. Jesse lost his legs in combat in 1968 near the Ho Chi Minh trail when an artillery shell exploded and accepted his physical limitation pretty quickly. Jesse said he has adapted, accepting the life he was destined to live. Receiving three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service to our country, Jesse continues to serve the public good by volunteering at a hospital and serving as a chaplain with the Marine Corps League.
by Haley Hintze
Full Tilt Remissions Administrator Wires $76M in Refunds – DOJ-authorized claims administrator Garden City Group has delivered the first wave of Full Tilt Poker refund payments to US players whose bankrolls on the online site have been in limbo since April, 2011. On February 28th, GCG sent a total of about $76 million to more than 27,500 former FTP players. The mass refunds represent the first of several payment waves to be issued by GCG over the coming months, and represent those players who accepted the balances shown in Full Tilt’s system without protest. Players with disputed balances and players who enjoyed either affiliate or rakeback relationships with the site, which was at one time the second-largest US-facing online poker offering, are subject to lengthier, individual review.