by Haley Hintze
The Borgata’s annual Winter Poker Open suffered a blow when New Jersey gaming regulators ordered the cancellation of the WPO’s opening event after a large quantity of counterfeit chips were discovered. Twenty-seven players remained in the event, a $560 buy-in tourney which drew a massive 4,814-player field, when the full extent of the cheating was uncovered. No arrests have been made in the matter, nor has a final resolution been made regarding a possible distribution of more than $1.4 million in prize money to the event’s remaining players.
Sadly, I must report on a poker epidemic. It’s destroying the profit of millions of serious hold ’em players. And it’s happening before our very eyes.
I’m talking about the epidemic of raising too often before the flop. Many players are doing this to command the table and to reduce risk when they hold hands that have an advantage right now, but are vulnerable to the flop.
So, what’s wrong with that? After all, you see modern players doing it on TV and winning. It must be right. Don’t old-time strategies fall victim to this trending new pre-flop aggression? It seems like it.
But, wait! It’s an illusion When players are overly aggressive, they win a lot of pots. As they accomplish this, they seem superior to other players, but their profits diminish. It’s the only thing that can possibly happen.
John Taylor took the first prize of a 7 player chop in the first event of the Bicycle Casino’s Mega Millions Series VIII tournaments. That No Limit Hold ‘em event easily met its $20,000 guarantee with 559 entries at $50 + $25, and 442 $50 Add-ons. The prize pool totaled $48,544. 63 players cashed. The second and main event of this tournament ran from January 3 to January 14, too late for this issue’s coverage. There were 23 planned events plus turbo satellites, leading up to the $5,000 + $200 buy-in for the final round.
Rod MacPherson was happy that the $500,000 guarantee was met because he got the lion’s share of an early morning 13 player chop. MacPherson, a professor at Montevallo College in Alabama had been piling up chips from early in the tournament. In particular, by flopping a set against the chip leader on day 2, he was way ahead of the field. All of the final players came from the local region including, MS, LA, FL, GA and AL In all some 175 players cashed in this event.
2014 kicks off with 533-player no-limit hold’em tournament; Victorious Stevens earns $34,380
Sean Stevens won the first Circuit of the new year late Friday night at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. His win in the $365 No-Limit Hold’em tournament earned him a smooth $34,380, but it didn’t come without a fight.
Stevens matched up against Krzysztof Stybaniewicz, a Polishborn pro, heads-up in the year’s first finale. What began as a normal bout between proficient pros turned into a marathon for the ages.
First, Stybaniewicz held the lead, then Stevens chipped up, then chips found their way back to Stybaniewicz. Before the rail knew it, the heads-up battle was going on its second hour – then its third, then its fourth. Finally, a victor was crowned during the fifth hour of twohanded play and Stevens consoled his adversary with a firm handshake and a “good game”.
by Haley Hintze
WYNN RECEIVES MASSACHUSETTS APPROVAL FOR CASINO
Wynn Resorts emerged as the clear favorite of the developers of a Boston-area casino after the company was deemed “suitable” by Massachusetts gaming regulator. Wynn plans a $1.2 billion casino complex in Everett, an inner Boston suburb, but will likely have to outlast legal challenges by rival Caesars Entertainment, which had competed for the same single Eastern Massachusetts license, but was forced out over questionable and modest business ties to a suspect New York hotelier. Caesars responded to its ouster by suing a prominent Massachusetts gaming official with alleged close ties to Wynn, meaning that despite the recent Wynn approval, matters aren’t quite settled.
POKERSTARS CLAIMS CONFIDENCE IN INVESTING IN US ONLINE POKER MARKET IN 2014
By Jason Bullock
When visiting online poker forums recently, I was struck by one poster who claimed a particular site had really transformed his game— AdvancedPokerTraining.com. This player said it really had helped him repair some leaks that had been costing him money. Within months after he signed up there, his win rate had dramatically improved and he’s been owning most of the players in his regular game.
I decided to try it out and have already seen dramatic results. The flagship feature of the site is a poker simulator game featuring 10 levels and over 100 lifelike opponents. The patented game plays right in your browser with no download required. The opponents are tricky, and over time they learn your style, adjusting to defeat you just like skilled opponents you will play with regularly.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
Let’s discuss “meta-game” theories and how they relate to tournament poker. I’ve always been very reluctant to play “balanced” - the main reason being that we are constantly being moved around from table to table in tournaments. What’s the point of balancing your re-raising range (or check-raising range, amongst other ranges) if you’re only going to play against a player for an hour or two? By the time they figure out what you’re doing - the table will get broken and you’re well on your way to menacing a whole other set of opponents.
Metagaming, from Wikipedia, “is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action, or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.”
by Debbie Burkhead
Want to be part of the 2014 WSOP? The WSOP has decided to discontinue their dealer training for the upcoming 2014 WSOP but Tony Shelton Dealing School offers their graduates the opportunity to deal at the World Series of Poker Rio annually during the seven week event. Many events are televised on ESPN and this is a terrific opportunity to expose your talent and expertise in the world of poker dealing. Dealers may also choose to deal at the Venetian Deep Stack, the Golden Nugget, or Binions, all during the 2014 WSOP. You will be taught 16 variations of poker necessary to deal all games offered at the WSOP. Training is also available for blackjack plus carnival games, (3-Card Poker, Pai Gow and Caribbean Stud). The school is a proud member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and is a post secondary education institution. Much more than just a dealing school with 30 years of WSOP experience and a combined 60 years of teaching experience, Tony Shelton, James Kean, and John Kulig provide hands on instruction to their students. The school is located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas in a space that houses four casino style poker tables, casino weight poker chips, and poker quality cards. Credit cards are accepted and financial aid is available. Visit www.TonysPokerSchool.com or clip the ad in this issue of Poker Player Newspaper to receive a 10% discount.
6th Annual Ante4autism event set for Golden Nugget, Sunday, January 26th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. to raise money for Autism Speaks! The event will be held opening night of the Winter furniture market, as Co-Hosts hope to exceed last year’s total of $35,226!
By Barbara Rogers
From Mohegan Elementary school to Mohegan Sun poker room, Josh Zuckerman is living proof that you can make a successful full circle, and you can go home again. Once upon a time Josh watched the mirrored towers of the stunning Mohegan Sun hotel appear on the Uncasville, Connecticut landscape. The lure of this big beauty launched what would become an exciting and successful career for this homegrown boy. Now a proficient senior level professional, experienced in managing operations for multimillion-dollar casino resorts, this man now brings his game home to Mohegan Sun.
Mr. Zuckerman makes the move from the Florida scene. He left his mark on their gaming world too. As a member of the Florida Gaming Summit, Josh generously contributed his expertise in operations to the industry. While working as the poker room manager at Jacksonville Greyhound Racing and Poker, he developed and ran a weekly one hour industry based radio show, broadcast on an ESPN affiliate and online. Deciding that an industry based poker talk show would do well, Josh put together a unique format. Blending a panel of personalities that would bring together every aspect of the game, in a 1 hour weekly show, a player, a dealer, a floor manager, a poker pro, and Josh talked poker strategy. Having so much fun, and considering it to be one of the best experiences of his career, Josh is in the early stages of a similar show for Mohegan Sun.
I asked Josh to sum up what he learned in his full circle.