If you see Leo C., tell the big guy that this column is dedicated to him. His comment to me was the inspiration. Seven-card stud once was the top choice of poker players. During the last ten years, Texas hold'em has far surpassed it as the preference of most players. Until three years ago, 7-card stud was my game. My co-author, Dan Abrams, and Chris C. (code name: Shadow), a bright child psychologist/poker semi-pro, convinced me to try hold'em; and it quickly became my choice too. Yes, the games are similar in some respects.
[See Also: Festa al Lago Tournament Results]
The Bellagio Festa al Lago Poker Tournament crowned another event champion Tuesday evening. The final table of the surviving nine from event #3, $2,000 + $80 buy-in No-limit Hold'em, completed play early this evening when players such as WSOP bracelet holder and professional poker player, Mike Sica of New Jersey, departed in 8th place soon followed by the day's chipleader, Rami Boukal, leaving in the forth spot.
I come to in the back of an ambulance, tied down to a stretcher. A paramedic, his back turned, is filling a hypodermic needle. I ask, "Am I going to live?"
The Ugly Man, holding the needle, turns around and says, "No. You're going to die!" I struggle with my restraints. The Ugly Man, holding the needle, says, "You have to the count of three to give me your invitation to the House of Cards. One." He raises the needle.
"I can't give you. . . ." "Two." up over his head ". . . . what I don't have." "Three." and plunges it downwards.
The latest lesson Mike has taught me is easy to apply to limit poker games. Here's the concept behind it. You can focus on a poker decision in two primary ways.
Conservative approach. Approach 1: Begin with the assumption that you should check or fold every hand and then gather evidence to the contrary. Only if the evidence is strong enough to outweigh the argument that you should check or fold do you take an aggressive action, by betting, calling, or raising.
Jeffrey Trauman has made history. As best I can tell, he is the first, and only, person who has actually been charged and convicted of online gambling. From the email Jeff sent me, I know that all he wanted was to be left alone.
In the last issue we met Michael Hochman and Annie Adlin, two career poker folks who along with Matthew Kaphan are in the process of making a dream come true. TV people have been trying their hand at poker shows for a number of years and now these terrific poker people are trying their hand at doing at TV.
The TV show PokerBeat came from the birth of an idea to full-blown production over the course of two years.
Event #2 of the Bellagio Festa al Lago Poker Tournament completed the final table early this evening. Professional poker player, Nam Le, went into the final table with the chip lead of $233,000. The only female to survive to the final table, Jane Hughes from Las Vegas, had the second largest chip stack at $192,500, while Walter Chambers of Baton Rouge, Louisiana held a distant third spot in the chip race with $97,000.
Monday's second event final table was a $1,500 + $70 buy-in No-limit Hold'em tournament that began on Sunday with 265 players and a prize pool of $385,575.
Experienced poker players know that seat position at the table can make a big difference - whether you win or lose. Most important is how aggressive are the players to your left, those who bet after you.
It has become exceedingly difficult to concentrate on poker related issues when so many life-altering incidences invade my mental psyche. The unfortunate catastrophe in the gulf region is the ultimate reminder how fragile we human beings are. No matter how we as a country-or we as a people-prepare for these "Mother Nature" occurrences, we clearly are no match for so formidable an opponent.
Autumn -- the start of the poker season, when cards hit the air, flops fly and players try to "bundle up". Three big tournament thunderheads cover the Fall calendar.
The next big event is the "Fall Poker Round-up", Nov. 2nd -12th, at the WILDHORSE Resort & Casino, in Pendleton OR. This is the premier poker rodeo in the Northwest.