Blair Hinkle of Kansas City, Missouri, walked away as the $1.7 million champion of the inaugural Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, held August 8-28, 2013 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The tournament, that featured no TV coverage and was not tied to a major poker tour, exceeded industry expectations by beating its own $10 million guarantee (the largest in the world) by nearly 20%, and creating an actual prize pool of $11.92 million from 2,384 entries.
Hinkle began the final table of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Event with the chip lead. With a World Series of Poker bracelet under his belt and seven figures in online earnings, Hinkle has shined on poker’s biggest stage before. Second in chips was Justin Bonomo, who has more than $6 million in tournament earnings to his name.
by Haley Hintze
DELAWARE OFFERS PLAY-MONEY ONLINE POKER AS LIVE ROLLOUT DELAYED
Delaware Lottery officials announced a linkup to a play-money Facebook poker app as a stopgap measure while development continues on the state’s upcoming real-money online poker and casino offerings. The state’s three racinos – Dover Downs, Huffington Raceway and Delaware Park – are now offering links to the play-money DoubleDown Casino suite of play-money gambling apps offered by DoubleDown Interactive, a division of IGT. IGT is, in turn, a long-term “strategic” partner of Scientific Games, one of three firms selected as the Delaware Lottery’s primary vendor for the state’s online gambling launch. The play-money signup came as the state faced its original projected launch date of September 1st for real money play, which state officials confirm will not be met. Instead, Delaware officials now list October 31st as the new target date.
MOHEGANS PLAN BILLION-DOLLAR MASSACHUSETTS CASINO
by Wendeen H. Eolis
This year the World Series of Poker Europe pays special tribute to women with its first ever Ladies Event. It will also cater to world travelers and romantics alike with a change of venue from the French Riviera to the suburbs of Paris. The accommodations are expected to delight all who love the City of Light and adore its energy in the fall.
The WSOPE Changes
Port of Call For the first four years, the tournament lived in London, centered at Harrahs’ Leicester Square Casino at the Empire. It outgrew its space before the first main event!
In 2011, Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive—the Caesars company responsible for the WSOP brand—spearheaded the exploration of a change of venue from England to France. Garber picked up the phone and went straight to the top source for intelligence- -Lucy Denos. She is the seasoned poker room director at Casino Barriere de Deauville where the EPT has held Court for years. Talking with Garber from her perch on the French Coast of Normandy, Denos explained the lay of the land.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
It is not uncommon to hear players complain about having to play against amateurs. What is it about amateurs that can give more advanced players so much trouble? Quite simply, it is the fact that they are unpredictable and play their hands in unconventional ways. Prescribing to the notion that unpredictability makes players harder to play against - let’s go over some techniques that will allow us to operate outside of the normal scope of how most players play the game.
I’ve written in the past about alternating your openraise sizes pre-flop to throw off your opponents and this is one of the easiest ways to play an unconventional style. Whether it’s min-raising or 4x’ing it pre-flop, bouncing your open-raise sizings around allows us to manipulate our opponents from the very start of a hand. The same principle of alternating our sizings applies post-flop as well. When we get to the flop, we can make bets as small as 1x all the way up to the size of the pot (or in some cases over-betting the flop). This leaves us with a wide range of options when approaching a certain player, with a certain stack size, along with a specific board texture. It’s important not to fall into “robot mode” and just bet your default size on the flop every time.
by Barbara Connors
Most of us know that the ability to read your opponents is one of the most important skills any poker player can have. After all, the most clever strategizing in the world isn’t going to do you much good if it’s based on the notion that your opponent is going to respond with aggression, when in reality, he is quite conservative. Or vice versa. And so we must observe our opponents at the poker table, and then slap labels on them — this one is loose-aggressive, that one is a nit, and so on.
These labels are important, but they are only a starting point. There are some pitfalls to watch out for when using them. For one thing, once you’ve decided to put your opponent into a particular category, it’s far too easy to get locked into that initial impression to the point of excluding, ignoring, or dismissing any new information that contradicts your early read. First impressions are often very powerful, but they’re not always correct.
by Andy Clark
A big congratulations to Poker Room Manager Jeremy Maddern, assistant Penny Galloway and the entire staff, including dealers from all over the country, at Wildhorse Resort & Casino for a wonderful Summer Poker Rodeo. I observed all five days and enjoyed the daily noon tournaments ($100 buy-in and $2k added) with approximately 275 players and impressive payouts, about 8k to the winners. The blind structure allowed players to be patient and enjoy at least an hour’s play, for the most part. Saturday’s main event with 325 players ($200 buy-in and $5k added) paid almost 15k to the winner, however, all ten players at the final table agreed at 11pm to chop for 5k a piece…nice little payout for a twelve-hour-day’s work. Nice job to Maverick as the Boise players came to play along with talented players from Portland, including Jonathan Levy (poker instructor) who cashed twice (and thanks to Spencer for the poker and golf tips). Live games in the evening ran all night as I observed lots of gambling. I am definitely looking forward to this fall’s ten day Poker Round Up and a possible $1900 (w/ $100 entry fee) buy-in main event. That should make for a large payday for some talented, or lucky, player. Call the poker room for more details at 1.800.654.9453 ext. 1100.
Geno Lawrenzi Jr. remembers Benny Binion
Benny Binion was not the easiest person in the world to interview. The diminutive poker king of Las Vegas with the craggy James Cagney looks and the Dale Robertson ‘Wells Fargo’ voice was always too busy doing something else to take time to talk to a bothersome reporter. I know this is true. Over the years, as a journalist and magazine writer, I made many attempts to slow him down for an interview, and I failed far more than I succeeded. Benny had his reasons for being uncomfortable with the press. There was his lack of formal education, and, of course, the interviewer always had the option of digging up some past skeletons, like a couple of fatal shootings in Texas. To Benny’s way of thinking, that happened a long time ago. That was then, this is now. He lived in the present better than any man I have ever known, including myself.
One person who did get through to Benny was the late Mary Ellen Glass, a University of Nevada at Reno professor. In 1973, as part of the University’s Oral History Program, she persuaded Binion to grant her an interview. She promised the interview would focus on his family and his influence in Las Vegas casinos, as well as his creation of the World Series of Poker. Put in those terms, how could Benny, a genial gentleman at the core, turn her down?
by Barbara Rogers
The Borgata in Atlantic City offers a weekly guarantee tournament on Wednesdays of $30,000 and a guarantee of $25,000 on Fridays. But the big event coming up next, the Borgata Poker Open, runs from September 3rd-20th. The THREE MILLION GUARANTEE televised World Poker Tournament will be September 15-20th.
Congratulations to Jason DiBenedetto at Turning Stone and his hard working non-complaining staff. This resort casino is a great destination and a big favorite for traveling poker players. Poker Night In America recently filmed the New York State Empire Tournament for television. The prize pool contained a whopping $619,830. Some of the pros flew in by private jet, some of them came on their own. Eli Elezra, David Williams, Phil Laak and Shaun Deeb made the trip. There were plenty more pros in attendance, livening things up.
After that excitement, Turning Stone is back to normal, which for them is giving money away in the poker room. This time it’s a $10,000 cash giveaway. See the times and amounts for the drawing in this issue of Poker Player.
Aruba is now within your reach. Maryland Live! Casino is running satellites, and lots of them, for the PPC Aruba World Championship. Telephone number 443-842-7000. Pack your bags for a 6 night stay at the Radisson Aruba Resort.
by Mike Caro
The process of poker requires extracting profit from pain. Your pain and theirs. Life itself is that way, too. And once you truly understand this, winning gets easy.
So, today I’ll tell you about the pain of poker. But don’t get scared. Poker pain is your friend.
Huh? Well, let’s start with some simple truth. Mental anguish and anxiety is unavoidable in life, and it’s magnified in poker. Why? Because you’re choosing to place yourself in an arena that simulates the ups and downs of a lifetime in a single session of poker. In fact, that’s the thrill of the game for many. You get to experience the unexpected treats and tragedies, highs and humiliations, all in a few hours.
Now I’m going to warn you about some things. If you just play poker for pennies, or whatever amount you can totally afford, there isn’t going to be pain involved in poker. But few people do that, because it would be like sleeping through a roller coaster ride. What would be the point?
A disagreement with Doyle
by Diane McHaffie
So, you say you have an issue with luck. Bad luck, to be precise. You feel as if everyone, everything, every happening is out to get you. You feel things couldn’t get much worse. Here’s the question: Do you think you’re unlucky or are you truly, in reality, unlucky?
Many people think that somebody else is at fault for their bad luck. They feel an overwhelming need to blame someone. Not gamblers, though, they’ve gone a step above blaming humans. They blame - events! Events, happenings, occurrences, those are responsible for gambler’s bad luck. Events. You see, in poker or in real life, there will be events, be they good or bad, that will affect you, sometimes drastically. Some events may just be ho-hum and not a determining factor in your life, just a break-even moment, as Mike Caro would say.
Speaking of Mike, as you know he’s a probability guy. He emphasizes that people, over time, will likely have as many good days as bad days, compared to the expectation of average days. Along the way, you’re likely to receive unusually weird breaks, good ones and bad ones. That’s normal. But the common notion that over your lifetime you’ll eventually break even in the luck category has Mike fervently disagreeing. Here’s why: Your life isn’t prolonged far enough into the future to allow circumstances to break even. If you could live forever, perhaps.