Archive for the ‘WSOP’ Category

Getting to Know the Top Players of 2014 So Far

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Just past the midway point of the year, it’s time to check-in with the performances of the best players in the world. Player rankings are calculated weekly according to the Global Poker Index, which takes into account past performances and wins.

1. Ole Schemion

Ole has managed to finish in the top 10 of an impressive four major tournaments this year, including coming first at the EPT Sanremo High Roller Event. The German based player who has only cemented his place as one of the top poker players in the world in the last few years is firmly sitting atop the rankings at number 1. He’s a great player to follow for the rest of this year with a great chance at winning Player of the Year.

2. Daniel Negreanu

Year after year Negreanu consistently finishes near the top of the player table. He is one of the few original superstars to not only maintain his high profile, but also continue to achieve success at the toughest events. While he hasn’t managed a win yet this year, he’s had a slew of strong results to put him in the running for Player of the Year again. Notable finishes include a pair of second place results at the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop and $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship at the World Series of Poker.

3. Paul Volpe

A star on the rise, American Paul Volpe is sitting comfortably in the number 3 spot after taking home the title at Event #13 of the World Series of Poker, also known as the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship. Volpe is a chameleon, known to play several varieties of poker strongly. He has had solid finishes in events this year playing Omaha, Hold’em, Razz, and of course 2-7 Draw.

4. Bryn Kenney

While he doesn’t play too many events, Bryn Kenney has secured the fourth spot so far based off his tournament win at the $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix event at the World Series, highlighting his versatility. He played four events at this year’s World Series, finishing in the top five of an amazing three of them. If you’re looking to see consistent top quality performances, Kenney is the man to follow.

5. David Peters

Rounding out the top 5 is workhorse David Peters. While he still hasn’t cemented his reputation in the poker world, he has all the potential one could ask for and the work ethic to match it. He is known for playing a staggering amount of events. At the World Series this year alone he played in an impressive 8 events. While he was unable to win an elusive bracelet, his strong overall performance has allowed him to consistently stay near the top of the leaderboard.

Not only is there a lot to learn from all of these top class players, but you’ll have fun doing so as you follow them. There is still a lot of tournaments to be played, with many changes in player rankings to come.

The Loss of a Legend: What the Death of Chad Brown Means to Poker

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Anyone who has ever had an interest in poker knows who Chad Brown is. The news of his death on July 2nd, 2014 sent shockwaves throughout the poker community. As an experienced poker player, Brown had faced heavy odds many times before and come out on top, but his three-year struggle with cancer was one he could not overcome.

Who was Chad Brown?

The man from the Bronx, born in 1961, was a man of many talents and a strong work ethic. He spent his teenage and early adult years as a minor league baseball player as well as an actor and model.

Poker didn’t seriously enter Brown’s life until he was 32 and had his first taste of success competing with the best in the game. He is one of the most accomplished World Series of Poker (WSOP) players, cashing a total of 38 times with 2 runner-up awards. You also might know him from several strong finishes on the WPT and EPT.

For all his efforts and success, Brown won more than $3.6 million in registered events. There were few that weren’t happy for him when he was named the 2006 Bluff Magazine Poker Player of the Year.

Sickness for Brown

The bad news started to come for Brown in February of 2011. Despite his reputation for being one of the fittest and healthiest poker players, regularly exercising and competing off the poker table as well, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer called liposarcoma. Over the years he suffered through chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and even had five surgeries.

Despite this constant torture, Brown displayed the positive attitude and spirit that he always had, and continued to play and succeed on the poker table. He was able to come 2nd in a side tournament at the WPT Borgata Winter Open, and even had a solid run into the Main Event.

It’s surprising to many to learn that Brown was never able to capture an elusive WSOP bracelet, despite his consistent and strong performances. A classy gesture by the WSOP director, Jack Effel, was seen at the WSOP in 2014, just before Brown’s death. Effel awarded Brown with an honorary bracelet, a prize that we all know would have been won in the future if not for this tragedy.

There are few in the poker community who have not been affected by the passing of Chad Brown. He returned back to medical care in the Bronx, the same place where he spent so much of his life. Brown passed away with all his many close friends and family on the morning of July 2nd.

From Brown’s last blog post:

“I’ve had tremendous support from family and friends who have been in the know from the get-go on every aspect of my illness…Anyone wondering if I’m going through a hard time, the answer is no. This is just part of life and I’m okay with everything. I accept it. And right now I’m just looking forward to the next hand.”

2014 World Series of Poker Bracelet Recap

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Thousands of poker hopefuls have came out in droves to attend the WSOP this year in hopes of winning a coveted bracelet. However, there can only be one winner in each event and so far 23 bracelets have been awarded to the following individuals:

  1. Roland Reparejo – $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em
  2. Vanessa Selbst – $25,000 Mixed Max No Limit Hold’em
  3. Brandon Shack-Harris – $1,000 Pot Limit Hold’em
  4. Kyle Cartwright – $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
  5. Tuan Le – $10,000 Limit 2-7 Limit Triple Draw Lowball
  6. Alex Bolotin – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout
  7. Ted Forrest – $1,500 Seven Card Razz
  8. Jonathan Dimig – $1,500 Millionaire Maker No Limit Hold’em
  9. Jeff Smith – $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
  10. Brock Parker – $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better
  11. Justin Bonomo – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Max
  12. Gregory Kolo – $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em
  13. Paul Volpe – $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball
  14. Nick Kost – $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better
  15. Davidi Kitai – $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max
  16. Todd Bui – $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
  17. Dan Heimiller – $1,000 Seniors No Limit Hold’em Championship
  18. George Danzer – $10,000 Seven Card Razz
  19. Ted Gills – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em
  20. Kory Kilpatrick – $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout
  21. Dominick Nitsche – $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
  22. Christopher Wallace – $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
  23. Douglas Polk – $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em

This is the 45th annual World Series of Poker and contains a total of 65 bracelet events. The Series began on May 27, 2014, and will run until July, 14, 2014. The series culminates with the $10,000 Main Event which draws thousands annually and has a guaranteed first place prize of $10,000,000. This years defending champ is Ryan Riess who took down the event last year for $8,361,570.

Ryan “The Beast” Riess stirred up quite a bit of controversy last year after he had won the Main Event, by stating, “I just think I’m the best player in the world.”

It’s almost impossible to truly quantify who the best player in the world actually is, but if Ryan is able to defend his title this year, it would definitely give his comment a lot more merit.

Tips for Attending the Wsop/Las Vegas this Summer

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

As per my Weekly Shuffle article last Sunday, this article will hopefully provide some more helpful tips on the WSOP and Vegas living. The series is coming up and many aspiring players will be taking their shot on the felt in hopes of finally hitting that big score and attaining the financial freedom required to travel the circuit year round. If you are anything like most of the players living in Vegas for their first summer, or even just coming out for a week – you will definitely benefit from these tidbits of advice.

1) Make sure to pack shorts with deep pockets, or cargo shorts to hold your cash, tournament receipts, etc. After you have been deep in thought for a long period of time – or a gruelling grind on the felt – you are less likely to realize that something significant had fallen out of your pockets while at the table, and by the time you figure it out, it may be too late. Cargo shorts are the best option because they have multiple pockets and most of them have large pockets on the side that button up. The same goes for jeans and pants – make sure the pockets are deep so your belongings can’t fall out of them while you are sitting down.

2) Photo copy your passport, other personal forms of identification, credit cards, and anything else that may cause you to end up in a world of trouble. This may seem a little over the top, but you wouldn’t believe how many players lose their passports and wished they had made a photocopy.

3) Staying in a casino hotel for weeks at a time can become very expensive. If you are just staying for a week, there are some great deals on various travel websites that probably won’t cost you an arm and a leg for a two-way flight and one week’s hotel stay, but if you are staying for more than a week, you will be hard pressed to find an amazing deal. If you are staying for a month or more, look into renting a house with a bunch of friends – the housing economy isn’t doing so well in Las Vegas right now so it won’t be hard to find a good deal that you can split with your mates – get five guys together and you probably won’t have to pay much more than five-hundred dollars each for a decent house in a subdivision not more than twenty minutes from the strip. There is also the option of renting a condominium on the strip, which will still only run you about half the price than staying in hotels would.

4) If you are like me and live outside the U.S., you will probably find that it is super expensive to operate or pay for a plan to use your cellphone in Vegas all summer long, or even for a week. I would suggest making your way out to the nearest phone dealer and buying a pay-as-you-go phone. You can purchase the phone for as little as twenty dollars, and load however many minutes you need on it. I found that buying the phone and fifty-dollars in minutes was all I needed for a whole month – this is still much cheaper than what my service provider here in Canada would charge me if I were to work out a plan with them. So if you have a smart phone, you can still bring it to use for the free wifi that is provided by many of the casinos, but make sure to use your pay-as-you-go phone for all your calling, and disable everything else on your smartphone.

Be sure to check last week’s Weekly Shuffle article for more tips on attending the WSOP this summer, and good luck at the tables!

Schedule for World Series of Poker 2014 Revealed

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest poker event in the world. While it used to be exclusive to the poker elite decades ago, it has consistently expanded and improved to allow everyone interested in poker to play a part of it.

Many events are televised and have live updates online so you can follow along with tournament progress.

If you want to play yourself there are many options at your disposal. There are side games and smaller tournaments that operate throughout the summer at surrounding casinos with poker fans and tourists alike. One bonus is that most of the elite players are at the WSOP tournaments, so tables are often extra soft.

If you have the desire and bankroll to do so, you can enter an event yourself. The buy-ins range from $1,000 to $1 million which means there’s a tournament for every budget. If you have previous evidence of tournament success you can even look into getting staked by other players to reduce the cost and risk you take on.

Finally, on all the major online poker sites there are satellites that you can buy-in for for a small amount and have a chance to win a seat at a major tournament. Depending on the site you may win an all-inclusive package that includes travel and accommodation costs as well.

Tournament Details

world series of poker chips

Image via Flickr by Plutor

You can see the official schedule here, which outlines the summer schedule. There are 65 events in total that start on May 27th at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which is the 10th straight year it has been held at this venue.

While the tournament schedule is similar to last year, it has nonetheless been improved in small ways based on player feedback. Veteran WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel commented “We have tweaked our schedule and feel very good about the opportunities it presents poker players of all levels.”

The main event is the final tournament as usual, and is expected to have a $10 million grand prize for the winner. It is a 10 day tournament that pits all the best professionals and amateurs against each other.

Another highlight of the series is the ‘Big One for One Drop’ tournament with the million dollar buy-in. This tournament is limited to 60 people and will have a grand prize of $20 million.

You can pre-register on the WSOP site or wait until live registration begins at the casino on March 1st.

Jason Somerville Coaching WSOP Final Table Player, Filming It

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table player Russell Thomas has hired poker pro Jason Somerville to coach him before the tournament concludes at the end of this month. In an interesting twist, Somerville is making a series of films highlighting the experience.

Episode one of ‘The Final Table’ is available now on YouTube and can be watched below:

Thomas sits in the middle of the pack when play resumes at the end of this month. The 24 year old will start the final table with 12.5% of the chips in play, good for 4th place in the chip counts.

Somerville commented on Twitter about the experience of coaching Thomas and making this film, “I’ve spent more time on this project than anything else I’ve ever done and I’m really proud of it.”

We’ll find out soon if the coaching help provided to Russell Thomas by Somerville has paid off. The WSOP Main Event Final Table resumes from Rio in Las Vegas on October 28th.

WSOP Main Event Runner-Up Receives Third DUI

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

John Racener’s knack for making good decisions at the poker table seems to elude him in other areas of life. The 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up was arrested last weekend and given his third Driving Under the Influence (DUI) citation according to the St. Petersburg Times. The article states that Racener was arrested in 2005 and again in 2007 for DUI offenses. Last year, he was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge.

Last month, Racener masterfully nursed a short stack through the Main Event final table before losing heads-up to Canadian Jonathan Duhamel. Racener’s $5.5 million payday should be more than sufficient for getting him out of his recent trouble with the law.

Another WSOP, Another Multiple Bracelet Winner

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

As we reported in our poker news section, Frank Kassela recently won his second WSOP bracelet of 2010. How is it that despite just 57 tournaments on the schedule and an average field size that must be in the high three-figures if not four-figures that at least one player manages to win multiple bracelets every year? You have to go all the way back to 1999 to find a year where no individual was able to win two bracelets in a single WSOP. That’s a streak of 11 consecutive years of a multiple bracelet winner at the WSOP!

Here are the players responsible for keeping this streak alive:

2000 – Chris Ferguson
2001 – Scotty Nguyen, Nani Dollison
2002 – Phil Ivey (3), Layne Flack
2003 – Men Nguyen, Layne Flack, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan
2004 – Ted Forrest, Scott Fischman
2005 – Mark Seif
2006 – Bill Chen, Jeff Madsen
2007 – Tom Schneider
2008 – John Phan
2009 – Jeffrey Lisandro (3), Brock Parker, Greg Mueller, Phil Ivey
2010 – Frank Kassela

This feat seems even more improbable when you consider the number of the 57 events that a player is capable of participating in. Since there’s usually two tournaments every day and each event needing at least three if not four or five days to complete, it’s pretty tough to play more than 20 or 25 events in a single WSOP. That means every year for eleven straight years, at least one person has managed to win at least two of the 20 or so WSOP tournaments they’ve played. Keep in mind that this is the World Series of Poker. Winning 2 out of 20 tournaments where the average field size is 100 clueless fish would be fairly impressive. Winning 2 out of 20 where the average field size goes well into the several hundreds most of which are world-class poker players is simply astounding. And every year someone manages to do it!

One thing is for sure, the stage is set to get a pretty good price on a “will anyone win multiple-bracelets at the 2011 WSOP?” bet. Despite the 11 year streak, I’d still jump at the chance to bet “no” at even-money, but with the way things are going, I could probably get someone to lay some handsome odds!

Tom Dwan’s Close Call

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Last night at the WSOP, Tom Dwan came ever so close to winning what might have been the largest single-day score in the history of poker. Dawn reached the final table of Event #11, a $1,500 no-limit tournament, and had most of the poker world’s attention while he chased his first career bracelet. It is rumored that the online cash game wunderkind stands to collect as much as $15 million in prop bets if he wins a WSOP bracelet this year.

The high stakes poker community, many of whom have booked action against Dwan, were brought to their knees last night while they faded Dwan’s attempt to seize a large portion of the poker economy. They had to sweat it to the very end: Dwan’s efforts came up just short when he lost heads-up to New Zealand’s Simon Witt. While Witt was playing for just more than $200,000 heads-up, Dwan was playing for countless millions. The high stakes regulars, who were seated nearby in the $10,000 Stud/8 event, breathed a collective sigh of relief when Witt’s pocket Nines held up against Dwan’s Queen-Six.

Rumors have circulated regarding exactly how much Dwan stands to collect should he win a bracelet this year. Some say the Phil Ivey alone would be on the hook for $9 million which would make Dwan’s total figure upwards of maybe $15 million. If that is true, it means Dwan was playing for more money last night in his heads-up match against Witt than perhaps anyone has played for in the history of poker. Even Jamie Gold’s $12 million score in 2006 should have an asterisk beside it since much of that money went to Crispin Leyser.

Will Dwan’s close call ruin his focus on winning a bracelet or make him even more motivated? Those betting against him are certainly hoping that it’s the former. For more on this story, check out Pauly’s fantastic write-up.

Old WSOP Documentary

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

A member (and self-styled ‘Godfather’) of our poker forums, ‘killcrazy’, linked me to this old WSOP documentary called The Million Dollar Deal. It’s about 45 minutes long and pretty worthwhile for any poker enthusiast. It’s pretty cool watching this while knowing what the Main Event eventually turned into. It’s like watching home movies of some pro athlete playing their sport when they were 7 years old.

Some thoughts:

17:00 – Scotty Nguyen talking confidently “I always be #1 baby,” and this is before he even became a World Champion!

28:45 – Interesting that TD’s used to think it was okay to pester players by asking, “are you going to call? Are you going to call?” during a hand.

30:40 – LOL at Mike Magee thinking that the only hand that would call his M 3.5 shove was Ace-Ace.

32:00 – Someone tell this guy that Jesus doesn’t exist in Las Vegas.

34:33 – Haha… Scotty was still nursing the beers back then I see.

35:16 – It’s amazing to me that Scotty seemed as if he just knew he would win this event from the very start.

36:48 – Huh… didn’t realize TJ got third that year.

40:28 – Are those the most famous words ever uttered at a poker table?

43:17 – So true, Andy!