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2014 WSOP New Records Abound

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Most important fact coming out of the 2014 World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this summer?  The increase in the number of entries of the 2014 Main Event at 6,683 making it  the fifth largest Poker World Championship field of all-time and the largest seated combine of players since the 2010 Main Event attracted 7,319.

Some of the credit for the demonstrated growth in the latest WSOP summer meet must be attributed to the recent positive events surrounding the legalization of online poker rooms.  While this trend towards legitimacy is a small step when compared to the popularity poker enjoyed during the 2004-2006 era it is a giant step for the poker industry.  

There is no better barometer of poker's rise as the world's favorite game than the WSOP.   Throughout its 45 year history the World Series of Poker is the one that every poker player dreams of winning.  For many of poker's faithful just being able to say, “I played in the WSOP,” is more than reason enough to make the trek to Las Vegas and 2014 saw record numbers come to live the dream.

The following records from 2014 are now a point of fact in the WSOP history book:

  1. Largest single day attendance at 7,977 in Event #8 $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker

  2. Largest non-Hold'em event at 1,128 in Event #3 $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha

  3. Largest Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better at 1,036 in Event #14 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better

  4. Largest Seniors Event at 4,425 players in Event #17 $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em

  5. Largest Prize Pool for $1,000 Buy-in at $3,982,500 in Event #17 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em

  6. Most Players for non-re-entry at 7,862 in Event #51 $1,500 Monster Stack

  7. Largest Field for non-Hold'em $10K buy-in at 418 in Event 64 Pot-Limit Omaha

  8. Most Events with $1 million+ winner's prize at 5 (events #8, #46, #51, #57, #65)

  9. Most Events with $10 million+ prize pools at 4 (events #8, #51, #57, #65)

  10. Largest Main Event starting flight at 3,768 players on Day 1C

We will continue to offer WSOP facts, figures, records and tall tales in future articles so stay tuned.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

2014 WSOP Interesting Facts

by Joseph Smith Sr.

WSOP Main Poker RoomNow that the 2014 World Series of Poker has completed all but 2 days of play we can look back at the the Big Poker Show and be amazed at how far the game has come.  People in my age group that follow poker can recall with pride the pleasant memories of the WSOPs of bygone years.

The tall, thin man from Amarillo, Texas that not only won the $10,000 championship of poker (Main Event wasn't coined yet) but got himself an invite to the Johnny Carson Show.  The nation watched in awe as this poker player entertained us with tales about those people that would play a card game that required a $10,000 buy-in.  We were shocked they could find enough people to fill a single table and in 1972 the $10K championship event seated 8 players.  Amarillo Slim did win and left with $80,000 because it was “winner take all.”  Second place paid the same as last place – nothing!

It was the first time many of us young hometown poker players had ever heard the terms “freeze out,” or “Texas Hold'em.”  We played real poker games that were generally limited to Draw Poker or Stud Poker and occasionally we even played Lo-ball depending on how much we had to drink that particular Thursday night.  We also knew an indisputable fact, If you play poker with someone nicknamed after a city or state you would lose.  This was the era of Texas Dolly, Amarillo Slim, Tree Top, Puggy and The Kid.  

Now we move ahead forty-five years to the 2014 WSOP Main Event and realize there were 6,683 players with a $10,000 buy-in playing in same event.  And for complete Shock and Awe, 42 players paid a $1 million buy-in to play in the 2014 WSOP Event #57, The Big One for One Drop.

2014 WSOP Statistical Overview

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Will Amaya Acquire PokerStars’ Midas Touch?

by Wendeen H. Eolis

Now that Amaya Gaming has completed its purchase of PokerStars, Isai Scheinberg and his son Mark, for whom he founded the company, are totally out. Daniel Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya, and the architect of the PokerStars deal, is totally in.  And today, U. S.  gaming companies are better positioned to compete against the online behemoth, than ever before.

Not coincidentally, the management change has put PokerStars  back in line for prompt licensing consideration by regulators in New Jersey. Less expected, however, are  the kind words a Caesars executive bestows on the Amaya CEO.   But, before a relationship between Amaya Gaming and American poker players moves forward in earnest, with plans to hook up online gaming in America from shore to shore, the Company  will need to go through more than a few hoops. 

PokerStars Train Rolling Across America

Things are  looking up  in New Jersey as PokerStars prepares to settle down, "suitably," in  Atlantic City. The PokerStars partnership with Resorts is the talk of the town. New Jersey regulators are reportedly convinced that Poker Stars now deserves a welcome mat and are all but drooling over $$$ projected for the State. Wise casino executives, from the marina to the boardwalk are past their frustration over the anticipated competition; looking instead for the silver lining.  Only die-hard naysayers are still warning, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings!"

In contrast, California is an unending battleground  in the igaming world.  Should PokerStars be admitted to the gaming party or should Poker Stars be excluded by a "bad actor clause;" that is the ongoing question.  Casino industry lobbyists and legal experts at opposite ends of the pole have been opining on how to proceed with online gambling legislation.  One side of the legal argument revolves around  the Constitution.  The other side invokes states’ rights that may effectively trump the Constitution.  For lawmakers it is a classic case of Fiorello’s song,   “Politics and Poker.”  One online poker bill has just died on the vine. A second one threatens to face a similar fate, likely to push the debate down the road into 2015. 

California, here we come—maybe

Earlier this month, longtime Whittier law professor and gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose took on Constitutional scholar and Harvard Professor, Lawrence Tribe.  Rose rebutted Tribe’s legal opinion concerning the two online poker bills pending in the California legislature. Tribe challenges the “bad actor” clause in proposed legislation. Rose defends it. Tribe is advocating for a client.  at Rose is engaged in  an intellectual exercise .  

Tribe relies on the Constitution  to assail the “bad actor clause.” He says it is a pointed effort to cut out his client, PokerStars, from the re-emerging industry in the U.S.   Proponents of the California-based  bills, generally, make no bones about seeking to bar Poker Stars from entering the U.S market, anytime soon. And California lawmakers seem have plenty of like-minded company from Nevada to Pennsylvania. But Rose’s article sidesteps pointing fingers. He looks at the subject matter academically. He zeroes in on states’ rights, and police powers that provide for a state to protect its citizens, to make  his argument that the bad actor clause is legally justified. 

Rose’s Grandstanding Makes Sense!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Will Amaya Acquire PokerStars’ Midas Touch?

by Wendeen H. Eolis

Now that Amaya Gaming has completed its purchase of PokerStars, Isai Scheinberg and his son Mark, for whom he founded the company, are totally out. Daniel Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya, and the architect of the PokerStars deal, is totally in.  And today, U. S.  gaming companies are better positioned to compete against the online behemoth, than ever before.

Not coincidentally, the management change has put PokerStars  back in line for prompt licensing consideration by regulators in New Jersey. Less expected, however, are  the kind words a Caesars executive bestows on the Amaya CEO.   But, before a relationship between Amaya Gaming and American poker players moves forward in earnest, with plans to hook up online gaming in America from shore to shore, the Company  will need to go through more than a few hoops. 

PokerStars Train Rolling Across America

Things are  looking up  in New Jersey as PokerStars prepares to settle down, "suitably," in  Atlantic City. The PokerStars partnership with Resorts is the talk of the town. New Jersey regulators are reportedly convinced that Poker Stars now deserves a welcome mat and are all but drooling over $$$ projected for the State. Wise casino executives, from the marina to the boardwalk are past their frustration over the anticipated competition; looking instead for the silver lining.  Only die-hard naysayers are still warning, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings!"

In contrast, California is an unending battleground  in the igaming world.  Should PokerStars be admitted to the gaming party or should Poker Stars be excluded by a "bad actor clause;" that is the ongoing question.  Casino industry lobbyists and legal experts at opposite ends of the pole have been opining on how to proceed with online gambling legislation.  One side of the legal argument revolves around  the Constitution.  The other side invokes states’ rights that may effectively trump the Constitution.  For lawmakers it is a classic case of Fiorello’s song,   “Politics and Poker.”  One online poker bill has just died on the vine. A second one threatens to face a similar fate, likely to push the debate down the road into 2015. 

California, here we come—maybe

Earlier this month, longtime Whittier law professor and gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose took on Constitutional scholar and Harvard Professor, Lawrence Tribe.  Rose rebutted Tribe’s legal opinion concerning the two online poker bills pending in the California legislature. Tribe challenges the “bad actor” clause in proposed legislation. Rose defends it. Tribe is advocating for a client.  at Rose is engaged in  an intellectual exercise .  

Tribe relies on the Constitution  to assail the “bad actor clause.” He says it is a pointed effort to cut out his client, PokerStars, from the re-emerging industry in the U.S.   Proponents of the California-based  bills, generally, make no bones about seeking to bar Poker Stars from entering the U.S market, anytime soon. And California lawmakers seem have plenty of like-minded company from Nevada to Pennsylvania. But Rose’s article sidesteps pointing fingers. He looks at the subject matter academically. He zeroes in on states’ rights, and police powers that provide for a state to protect its citizens, to make  his argument that the bad actor clause is legally justified. 

Rose’s Grandstanding Makes Sense!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Las Vegas Bellagio Resort Robbed

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Details are sketchy concerning an apparent robbery at the Bellagio Resort located on the Las Vegas strip.  Las Vegas Metro police are not releasing any details about the incident but a Bellagio spokesperson did confirm that a robbery did occur.

Bellagio employees are reporting that rumors around the property concerning the robbery say a man with what appeared to be a weapon was seen at the cashier cage early Friday evening.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

2014 WSOP November Nine - Chip Leader Jorryt van Hoof

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Another first at the 2014 WSOP.  For the second consecutive year we have a Dutchman at the WSOP final table and he's sitting in seat #3 behind almost 20% of the events total chips in play.  Holding 38,375,000 in play money is Jorryt van Hoof of Eindhoven, Netherlands.  The 31-year-old Dutch poker professional has 5,600,000 more chips than Felix Stephensen, second on the chip leader board.
 

Following the lead of fellow Dutchman, 2013 November Nine player and seventh place finisher, Michiel Brummelhuis, chip leader Jorryt van Hoof makes it two-in-a-row for the Netherlands.  Jorryt van Hoof arrived atop the Main Event chip leader board after a rocky start following Day 1B.  
 

On Day 2 he bagged less chips than he had at the start of the day.  Day 3 saw him add to his total play money but once again, Day 4 had him showing another loss and bagging less.  Day 5 showed a significant gain in chips.  Day 6 had van Hoof adding even more to his stacks and finishing the day among the chip leaders.  Day 7 belonged to Jorryt van Hoof when the WSOP Main Event starting field of 6685 runners was trimmed down to nine players.  They were assigned seats at the World's most famous poker table, the World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table.  Jorryt van Hoof stands above the November Nine as the chip leader.
 

Like many of today's younger players Jorryt van Hoof  began his journey into gaming playing “Magic, the Gathering.”  Following the path of his peers he began playing poker.  Jorryt van Hoof found he had a knack for the game and in particular, Pot Limit Omaha.
 

Jorryt van Hoff is no stranger to the WSOP and has cashed three times for a total of $27,956.  He has career earnings of $358,580 which does not include the $730,725 ninth place money each of the November Nine have already received.
 

Jorryt van Hoof will lead the November Nine into the Penn & Teller Theater located in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 10, 2014.  They will play until only two remain.  The following day, November 11, the two will play heads-up until one is eliminated and a 2014 Poker Champion of the World is crowned.  The winner will receive $10,000,000, a very special gold and diamond bracelet and perpetuity in the history of poker.   

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Mike Caro: Today's Word is... REVENGE

“I waited all night, but I got even with that idiot!” Tony announced at about 5 a.m., as he was leaving the poker room.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, as we strode side by side toward the parking lot. It had been a great night for me, so I was in a tolerant mood, willing to play along with Tony’s peculiar and perpetual need to always share his poker exploits as if nobody else mattered.

“So, I start at noon,” Tony began. “and everything’s going fine. After about an hour, this guy I’ve never played with sits down and bluffs me three hands in a row! He shows the hands. And he’s gloating. I can hardly stand it.”

He paused and walked in silence for about 20 seconds, then continued.

Worried

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Mike Caro: Today's Word is... REVENGE

“I waited all night, but I got even with that idiot!” Tony announced at about 5 a.m., as he was leaving the poker room.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, as we strode side by side toward the parking lot. It had been a great night for me, so I was in a tolerant mood, willing to play along with Tony’s peculiar and perpetual need to always share his poker exploits as if nobody else mattered.

“So, I start at noon,” Tony began. “and everything’s going fine. After about an hour, this guy I’ve never played with sits down and bluffs me three hands in a row! He shows the hands. And he’s gloating. I can hardly stand it.”

He paused and walked in silence for about 20 seconds, then continued.

Worried

No votes yet

Saving Money on Your Poker Vacation

by Ashley Adams

I go to Las Vegas at least once a year – and have learned how to minimize my overhead while out there.  Less money for expenses translates into more money for tournaments.. Here’s how I save.

Let’s look at the four major cost components of a typical poker vacation:

1. Airfare
2. Hotel
3. Ground Transportation (taxi, buses, rental cars)
4. Meals

Airfare – Save $150

I live in Boston, Massachusetts.  My travel costs may be different from those of you who live elsewhere.  Even so, I think the process of saving money is the same, regardless of your place of departure.

Many of my friends have frequent flyer cards and use one airline exclusively.  I don’t do that.  I use a consolidator, an internet service that scans all airlines for the lowest fare.  Recently, I noticed a disparity of $150 between the most expensive seat and the cheapest seat on a round trip flight from Boston to Las Vegas.  The best site for this, in my opinion, is Fly.com.  It looks at all of the consolidators and finds the cheapest seat.  It also shows you the cheapest days to fly, allowing you to further cut your costs by leaving a day or two earlier or later to qualify for the lowest fare.

2. Hotel – Save between $420 and $1,940

First of all, you should decide what kind of a place you want.  Maybe you want to stay only in a first class place – five stars all the way.  Fine.  I just checked the rates through the site of a well-regarded 5 star hotel on the strip in Las Vegas.  Their least expensive room was $2,050 for five nights including a Saturday night.   I then went to my favorite internet site, Trivago.com – and booked the exact same room for $1,630 – for a savings of $420.  But maybe you’re a little more flexible than I was – and are willing to stay in another 5-star hotel – just not that particular one.  Using Trivago again, I found another popular, well known place, in roughly the same strip location,  for only  $750 for five nights including Saturday night – for a savings of $1,250.  Same quality, roughly the same location – and over $1,000 less!

Of course if you’re willing to go down slightly in quality you can save even more.  I found a well-known three-star hotel, near the northern end of the Strip for just $210 for those same five nights – for a savings of $1,840.  Believe it or not, if you want, you can do even better than that in Las Vegas.   I typically stay in a clean two-star place for $110 for those five nights – for a savings of $1,940.  If  you are a serious poker player like I am, you’re spending nearly all your waking hours in a poker room anyway.  You’re just using your room for sleep.  Who really cares how fancy the pillows and drapes are?  So why pay top price?

3. Ground Transportation: Save $225

Many people take cabs wherever they go in Las Vegas.  That can get expensive.  With a $3.30 initial charge, $2.60 a mile plus $.60 a minute “Waiting time” plus $3 or so to use your credit card – a typical ride from casino to casino or casino to restaurant typically runs no less than $20 a pop including tip.  Do that three or four times a day, five days in a row and you’ve out at least $300 to get around in Las Vegas.

Instead, consider renting a car.  If you go through Hotwire.com, my favorite site for rental cards, you won’t know what rental car company you have, but I really don’t care about anything but the rate.  Recently, I paid just $75 a week (including all taxes and fees) for an economy car –$225 less than using cabs.

4. Meals:  Save $300 -- maybe

You can get a room with a kitchenette and cook many of your own meals – saving the cost of going out to eat.  Groceries are a lot cheaper than restaurant meals to be sure.  I used to do that.  I saved a few hundred dollars.  But I found that it often wasn’t worth it, since I so enjoy the experience of eating out while in Las Vegas.

Total Savings:

All tolled, depending on the choices you make you could save from $795 up to $2,615 for your five-day vacation, airfare included.  With the money you save you could afford at least the entry into the Aria’s recently announced $565 tournament with a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool.  Not too shabby!  For my money, saving the money is worth the slightly extra effort.

For information about finding poker games while on vacation or traveling, check out my other article on PokerStrategy.com.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

James Garner Dead at 86

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Los Angeles Police reported today that actor James Garner was found dead from natural causes in his  Los Angeles home Saturday evening. 

When I was growing up I knew one for-sure fact about poker, 'Don't play with Maverick because you  would not win'. Years later when I first saw the remake of the “Maverick” movie with James Garner as  the father of the next poker playing Maverick I thought it was a parody of the early WSOP. 

Poker greats from all over the globe gathered to trade chips,lies and bluffs while determining who  could do it the best. While photographing the 2006 WSOP Main Event at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas  I was thrilled to see Maverick himself sitting at one of the tables with a few stacks of chips playing in  the greatest poker game of them all. 

James Garner was no longer the dashing young man but he was definitely the older version. He was  most kind and easy going that day. No, he didn't win and was eliminated that day. I did win and I  wasn't even playing. Getting to meet James “Maverick” Garner sitting at a poker table was quite a  thrill and for a few moments I was again a kid in Texas watching the great Maverick take them all. 

Thanks for the entertaining memories Mr. Garner. R.I.P.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

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Wendeen H. Eolis

World Series of Poker


September 4, 2014 - 9:31am
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