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Mike Caro: Today’s word is... TIGHT

When I was a kid, I was able to demolish local poker games in Denver just by entering pots with only my very best starting hands. We call that playing “tight.” It amazed me that opponents had so little patience. They were willing to sacrifice their chips to me night after night without me having to know much about poker to win. I just took advantage of their tendency to bet money on bad hands.

Of course, later I helped pioneer aggressive poker strategies that proved that the sit-and-wait era of winning was finally over. But it’s important to realize that playing tight often still wins by itself. It doesn’t win as much as my power poker tactics (a term I coined in 1978 for Doyle Brunson to use with his poker bible Super/System — A Course in Power Poker). But it wins marginally.

Simple profit

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Ronald Pease Captures CPPT Main Event At Foxwoods and $91,347

The $1,650 No Limit Hold’em event in the 2014 CCPT Events at Foxwoods Resort Casino, had 340 entrants start play on Friday and Saturday, battling it out for a piece of the $494,700 prize pool.

One hundred and six started play at noon on Sunday, narrowing the field to thirteen by the end of the night. The final thirteen started play at noon on Monday with it taking forty minutes to reach the final table.

Play continued for another thirteen hours which included four hours of heads-up action. The final two agreed to a chop, and after several hands Chris Tryba of North Las Vegas, NV collected $91,346 for 2nd, while Ron Pease of Glastonbury, CT was crowned the $1,650 Main Event Champion, earning $91,347, and the Championship Trophy.

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Palm Beach Kennel Club: Russ Dykshteyn Wins $202,535

All the chips went in preflop on the final hand and Russ Dykshteyn’s AK had Vincent Maglio’s AT dominated. The runout was Q 8 6 7 8 and changed nothing. Dykshteyn had Maglio covered and it was over. Dykshteyn had his first WSOP Circuit ring and $202,335. Maglio settles for second and $125,201.

The heads-up match only lasted about 15 minutes. Vince Maglio had the chip lead going in with about 7.2 million to Dykshteyn’s ~6 million. A couple of hands later, Dykshteyn has reversed their positions and had 7.7 million to Maglio’s 5.5 million. Then the final, fatal, hand played out.
The final table featured a couple of WSOP Circuit ring holders. Joe McKeehen has two rings, one of which is a Main Event Championship ring from Caesar’s Atlantic City in 2013. He finished 4th. The only other player at the final table with a ring was Luke Graham, who made back-to-back final tables here, finishing 8th this year and 6th last year. He has a circuit ring from Harrah’s New Orleans in 2013.

In this event, Dykshteyn bested a field of 658 entrants to earn the lion’s share of the $987,000 prize pool. The final 72 players got paid and it was a packed field. Mukul Pahuja, who has nearly $1.9 million in tournament earnings, just missed the unofficial final table, busting out 11th for $15,220. He followed Aaron Massey to the rail after Massey busted in 12th place ($15,220). Massey has over $1.5 million in earnings.

The last woman sitting in this event was Claudia Crawford. She finished 15th for $12,387. WSOP bracelet holders in the money: Josh Arieh, 17th ($10,206); Robert Cheung, $56th ($3,010) and David Diaz, 62nd ($3,010).

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Padraig Parkinson - Irish Eyes Smile of the Poker World

Derrick Oliver-Dewan

Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan

There is no one quite like Padraig Parkinson.  A poker pioneer in Ireland, where the Poker Gods keep Irish eyes smiling, Parkinson was an outspoken proponent of the game before it, the game, exploded onto the worldwide stage.  He was there long before Moneymaker.  Witty, sarcastic and likeable to a fault, Parkinson has the rare ability to blend humor with his astonishing natural talents at the poker table, a wicked combination when the cards are running good.  Oh, what a world champion he would have been.

"Thanks for reminding me," he joked during our interview on High Roller Radio after being asked if he ever thinks about what could have been. A man of his stature a world champion? A man with his gifted speaking abilities?  "I didn't know it at the time but it would have been worth millions to be now.  I was just playing for the money back then and third was good."

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Player Lawsuit Against Borgata No Class Action—Yet

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

by Wendeen H. Eolis

It has been one full month since the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) ordered the Borgata Casino to cancel the opening event of its annual Winter Poker Open, but New Jersey regulators have yet to reach a conclusion to their investigation of bogus chips that were introduced into the competition. The extended delay has led to escalating agitation among players according to Bruce Licausi attorney for Jeffrey Musterel, plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last Friday against the Borgata.

Musterel is a recreational poker player from Egg Harbor Township, near Atlantic City. He is among the 4000+ players who participated in the tournament, but failed to cash in the tainted competition. The primary thrust of the legal papers is that the Borgata failed in its obligations to adequately protect the playing field, adequately.

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Poker News Brief: LV Sands Websites Targeted by Hackers

by Haley Hintze

The internet homes of prominent Las Vegas casino resorts Venetian and Palazzo were knocked off line for several days in February following attacks by internet hackers.  The attacks appeared motivated by the pro-Israel politics of LV Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, and text left by the hackers included a reference to an oblique recommendation Adelson made last year about bombing the Iranian desert as a show of strength supporting Israel.  The hacking included the publication of private information of LV Sands employees.  The LV Sands corporate website was also affected, as were the sites of its other casino properties, in Pennsylvania and Macau.

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Poker News Brief: Pro-Online Gambling Lobbying Group C4COP Debuts

by Haley Hintze

A new lobbying group favoring the regulated oversight of online poker and gambling has debuted.  The new Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) is funded by MGM International with support from the American Gaming Association.  C4COP was created to counteract the anti-online push of CSIG, with C4COP immediately announcing a $250,000 media buy, primarily around Washington, D.C., to promote a pro-online political agenda.  Among the political figures already signed to front the group are former GOP Congressmen Mike Oxley and Mary Bono and former Obama administrative staffer Jim Messina.

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Change Up Your Style

by David “The Maven” Chicotsky

Candy makers know that if they can get a person to like a certain type of candy as a kid, they’re much more likely to eat that brand of candy for the rest of their lives. Something similar occurs in poker - where players start out playing a certain style of poker and continue to play that style throughout their poker career. Just because something feels comfortable, doesn’t make it correct. In fact, in tournament poker, much of what initially seems correct is dead wrong.

The average poker player starts out overly tight, playing mostly semi-premium and premium hands. The sad truth is most of these players remain tight for years and years. It’s very important to be a chameleon at the table - adjusting to the table conditions (stack sizes, play of our opponents, time of the tournament, among other factors) on a constant basis. Other players start out loose (affectionately known as spewtards) and also follow along that path for far too long.

Playing poker is like driving a car; we go fast on the highway and slow in school zones. Just because we go fast on the highway, doesn’t mean we are a “fast” driver - it’s just part of the skill-set we need to efficiently get around town. Try not to mentally box yourself into a certain category of player. Let the game come to you and make the necessary adjustments along the way, since many other players won’t.

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Poker News Brief: Pennsylvania State Senators Seeks to Criminalize Online Poker Playing

by Haley Hintze

Pennsylvania Pols Announce Support for Online-Gambling Ban – Three Pennsylvania state legislators have announced support for a yet-to-be-introduced piece of legislation that would criminalize the playing of online poker and other forms of online gambling. The statements by State Sen. Mario Scavello and two others propose summary fines and misdemeanor penalties for playing poker and other forms of gambling online, and if enacted would make Pennsylvania only the second US state where playing online poker is regarded as criminal. (The state of Washington passed a felony law in 2006.) The LV Sands-funded Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) immediately hailed Scavello’s proposal; Scavello’s PA district, coincidentally, is adjacent to the one where the Sands-owned Sands Bethlehem casino is located.

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Massachusetts Poker Future Bright

by Ashley Adams

As a Boston resident, I am regularly asked about poker in Massachusetts. Sadly, there are no casinos or other public poker rooms in this state. However, in 2011, the state passed a law that enabled full-scale casino gambling here. In 2012, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was assembled; and in 2013, they accepted applications for casino licenses. Applicants have been investigated and their applications have been reviewed. Some have been rejected; some approved. Communities have voted, in accordance with the enabling legislation, on whether they will accept a casino. Some have rejected the projects; others have accepted them. One, Revere, will vote again on February 25th on a new proposal (the initial proposal included putting part of the casino in East Boston, who rejected the plan).

Here’s how the casino gambling picture in Massachusetts looks now, with my estimate of when poker will actually be available. There are three regions that have been given the right to have one licensed casino: Eastern, Southeastern, and Western/Central. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has been given first crack at a license for Southeastern MA—but they had to have both a state compact, approved by the federal government, and a “land in trust” deal – because they do not have any tribal land. As of January 17th, their requisite compact with the state has been approved. They still do not have a land in trust agreement, however. And the entire matter of preferential treatment is under challenge by a private casino developer, KG Urban. So it may be a while before this casino deal is squared away. My guess is that this will not be fully sorted out until the beginning of 2015, with no spades in the ground until the end of 2015, and with the casino opened up by the winter of 2016.

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