Archive for July, 2009

Tim's Birthday Poker

July 28th, 2009 No comments

On Saturday Night, the group got together at BJ’s Brewery for some dinner to celebrate Tim’s turning yet another year older. It was a fun time, with some great grub and some great fellowship.

After the meal, we headed back to my place for some poker action. In all, we were 7 handed. The play started out pretty fast, and included both Tim and I having to exercise our re-buy options relatively early (Tim a few times, although once he got really unlucky when I called his pre-flop all-in with 44. He showed 77 and I flopped a set of 4′s to bust him).

In the end, once the re-buy period was over, Tim was the first player to exit. Chris would follow him, and Amber shortly after. Amber was clearly under the weather, and committed the last of her chips on a Q high board, but I made the call with KK and had her Q4 dominated. The turn and river offered her no improvement, and she was eliminated in 5th.

4 handed action lasted a few hours as Jay, Cherice, Traci and I were all relatively similarly stacked, though I believe that Traci began with the most chips, and Cherice near as many, and Jay and I were slightly shorter. We played really great poker, but it was very conservative for the most part. A lot of preflop raises to steal the blinds, with occasional continuation bets on the flop to scoop relatively smallish pots. I was able to chip up quite nicely to a decent stack, and a relatively comfortable chip lead.

Jay would be the 1st of our foursome to go out committing the last of his chips short stacked and just coming out behind. And 3 handed action commenced, and went about another hour. The first all in and call happened with the board showing Ks-Js-7c-2h. Traci made the move all in and I was faced with a very tough decision holding As-2s. It wasn’t that much more to make the call, but I really didn’t have a great read on her. Based on implied and pot odds, I went against my gut, and made the call hoping to hit the river. Traci tossed over 2-2 for the turned set, and the river bricked out doubling her up.

Shortly there after, I would steal a couple more blinds, and then play back at Cherice to get the rest of her chips in the middle on the turn. I had made a standard pre-flop bet of 3 times with K9, and Cherice came along. The flop came K high, and I made a continuation bet of another 30, and Cherice again made the call. The turn came with a 9, and I moved all in, Cherice committed the remainder of her chips with an Ace high, and I raked a good pot to take a sizable chip advantage to heads up.

Heads up with Traci lasted only two hands, when I got Traci to commit all of her chips after turning a straight. She called with middle pair, and the evening was over. It was the second win for me in as many nights.

Next Friday looks good to go for the home game, so we’ll be a go at the same time as usual. See ya then. – Cheers, P

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November 9 Spotlight – Joe Cada

July 27th, 2009 1 comment

Like many young aspiring poker pros, Joe Cada realized that college wasn’t for him. The Shelby Township, Michigan native took the leap toward becoming a professional poker player shortly after beginning classes at Macomb Community College. And while most dropouts find the transition difficult, Cada’s decision to leave school turned out to be the most lucrative of his young life. A short time later, he became a member of the 2009 World Series of Poker November Nine.

A cash game specialist, Cada took a stab at his first ever World Series of Poker this year after turning 21 last year. he cashed twice before the Main Event, taking 64th in Event #13 ($2,500 No Limit Hold’em) for $6,681, and then 17th in Event #34 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em) for $21m533. Once among the chip leaders of Event #34, Cada was eliminated by the 2009 WPT Player of the Year, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier when Grospellier spiked a two-outer on the river against him.

Joe will enter the final table fifth in chips with just over 13 Million. He made a big move on Day 8, doubling his stack despite having his pocket aces cracked by the pocket tens of Jamie Robbins after all the chips went in pre-flop. That 3.5 million chip pot would have given Joe more ammunition to fire at his table mates, but it certainly didn’t prevent him from attacking any more. Cada was easily the most active player at his table and even played back at Phil Ivey several times as the final table approached.

Joe is a risk taker, and will likely be one of the players to move quickly in this tournament. Hopefully, Joe can continue to move UP in chips. But one thing is for certain, Joe will see his share of the action.

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November 9 Spotlight – Kevin Schaffel

July 27th, 2009 No comments

Kevin Schaffel is from Coral Springs, FL, and is the oldest member of the 2009 “November 9″ at 51 years of age. He currently sits among the middle of the pack, 6th in chips with a little over 12 million.

A divorced father of two college aged children, Schaffel owned and operated several businesses prior to taking up poker and his run at the 2009 WSOP Main Event. In 2006, after putting his printing and direct mail businesses on the shelf because of a downturn, Shaffel increased the number of poker tournaments that he played, and began moving around the country chasing the poker circuit. While his name is not immediately recognizable to the casual poker fan, Schaffel actually has had a grea deal of success in the WSOP Main Event.

In the 2004 Main Event, Schaffel would exit in 42nd place for$60,000. In 2008, Schaffel would again cash in the Main Event, finising 324th for a $32,166 pay day. Kevin also has cashes in the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and two World Poker Tour Events, including a 5th place finish in the 2007 Legends of Poker $5,000 buy in event, which brought Kevin $21,375. In all, Schaffel has earned more than $1.4 million at the tables, including his payout for being a member of the “November Nine.”

Kevin will be sponsored by PokerStars when the Final Table resumes in November.

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November 9 Spotlight – Phil Ivey

July 25th, 2009 2 comments

It’s hard to build up a poker player as accomplished as Phil Ivey. When he enters the Amazon Room and sits at the WSOP Main Event Final Table in November, Phil will easily have the most poker experience. Ivey’s been on Poker’s Biggest stage for years, and has so many success stories, it’s hard to say what the best ones are. You can make a case that Phil is not only the best poker player alive (some would argue that to be true – and I agree that he has to be in that discussion), but some may say (and I don’t think that they’re off base) that Ivey is perhaps the greatest poker player to have ever played the game. He is that good. A win at this main event would only add to a collection of impressive poker accomplishments.

Phil is a professional poker player who plays online at Full Tilt Poker, and I went there to read up on his bio. What I came accross just continued to surprise me the more that I read. I wanted to share with you the bio on Full Tilt, because it does an excellent job on capturing the tournament poker accomplishments of Ivey (much better than I ever could have done). So, enjoy:

Raised in New Jersey, Phil’s poker career began in Atlantic City. he made his name as a high stakes player before moving on to the live tournament circuit in 2000. It was then, at the age of 23, Phil won his first World Series of Poker title – beating Phil Hellmuth and Amarillo Slim in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event.

2002 saw Ivey claim 3 more WSOP bracelets, winning the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, $2,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo and $2,000 SHOE events. Over the next couple of years, his success continued with wins in a World Poker Open event, two Bellagio and two Commerce events. In addition to these performances, he also made several WPT final tables – impressive results for a player only 25 years of age.

In 2005, Phil earned his 5th WSOP bracelet in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event, and made two more WPT final tables. He finished 2nd in the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, before winning the Monte Carlo Millions tournament for $1 million in prize money. Phil then went on to win a further $600,000 just 24 hours late, with a first-place finish at “The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo.”

In January 2006, Phil was named Player of the Year by the UK Gaming awards, “Bluff Magazine” and “All In Magazine.” His incredible run continued at the 2006 WSOP, with a 2nd place finish in the $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo event and a 3rd place finish in the $50k HORSE event, winning over $800k in total. He also increased his reputation through the heads-up Phil Ivey vs. Andy Beal challenge, where he won over $16 million in just three days by playing against the poker billionaire.

The following year, Phil won the “Earphones Please” episode of “Poker After Dark” for $130k before making the final table in the 2007 WSOP $5k HORSE event. In 2008, Phil made his 8th appearance at the WPT Championships, where he won his first ever WPT title and landed in the top ten on the all-time tournament money list.

In 2009, Phil has proven himself as one of the greatest players of all time by winning two more WSOP Bracelets and by making it to the final table of the Main Event.

His 6th gold bracelet came in the $2.5k No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball event when he bested a field of 147 entrants, including some of the world’s top poker players, for more than $96k. He won his 7th bracelet in the $2.5k Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event for over $220k in prize money, a victory which ties Phil in fourth place with Billy Baxter for All-Time Bracelet wins.

In November, Phil will be looking for his third bracelet of the year and his first Main Event win when he sits down at the Main Event final table. Coming to the table with 9.8 million chips, Phil is guaranteed to add a minimum of $1.26 million to his career tournament earnings as a member of the “November Nine.” To date, he has cashed in 36 WSOP events and accrued over $10.8 million in career tournament earnings.

Ask anyone who knows even a little about poker, and Phil Ivey will be the answer as the favorite to win this event.

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Took down the home game

July 25th, 2009 3 comments

I must be playing some pretty good poker lately, as last night I was able to take down the home game again. We had 11 players to start, which meant that we again had to play with two tables. These are my favorite games because for me, more people simply equals more fun.

I started off play just completely cold. I played basically two pots, and committed little chips to them as neither of them really panned out for me (AK from the button lost to a 4 flush – and Kd-Td from the CO was re-raised all in, so I let it go). But apparently tight was right, as Janeth went out in 11th, and Jay in 10th – we re-drew our seats to complete a final table.

I opened with a flurry as I began in the SB with AA at 3/6 blinds. Robert 3 bet the pot, and Traci moved all in from the button for her last 34. I thought about the best way to get Robert’s chips and then decided that 18 was nice, 34 of Traci’s was better, and I moved all in to isolate. Everyone else folded, and Traci tabled JJ. The Aces held, and I began chipping up with a finally healthy stack.

Becky would be the next to exit in 9th place as she would get the remaining 8 chips she had in the middle with K9, but ran into Robert’s Ace high. Chris would exit to Robert as well in 7th. Cherice would exit in 6th having played wonderfully. She moved with K9 as well, and got called by A8 of Robert. The flop came out A-K-J, which gave some hope to Cherice as she hit at least a pair, and the turn 9 gave her two and the lead. But the river 8 gave Robert a better 2 pair, and her night was done.

With 5 left, Robert would be the next to exit when I felted him with 88 vs. KQ. I raised pre-flop and he made the call. The board came out 9-4-4, and Robert moved all in. I made the call putting him on two overs, and ended up having him covered. The board ran out with two under’s and my pair was enough to take that large pot. 4th place went to Brian who committed the last of his stack on the river with the board reading Q-2-T-9-2. I made the call with AA, and they were good.

3 handed, I was able to eliminate Jordan. I had the big stack, and I limped from the small blind with 5d-4d and the flop came out 6c-8d-9c. I checked, and Jordan checked behind. The turn was a 3d and I bet the minimum 10, and Jordan just called. The river was the Kd and I bet out 20, Jordan moved all in and I called with my flush. He showed T-7 for the flopped straight, and exited after the runner-runner flush.

Heads up, I commanded a huge chip advantage of about 900 to 200, and it actually went back and forth pretty well for the first 15 hands or so. The final hand played out with me having Kd-4d on the button, and opening to 30, Tim made the call. The flop came out J high with Jd-4d-Th. I checked and Tim checked as well. The turn was the 9h, and I again checked. Tim bet 50 which left him with only 60 or so behind, and I thought for a while deciding that I was getting too good of implied odds to fold, and just called. The river brought the Qc, and Tim moved all in. I called with my K high straight, and Tim tabled a pair of J’s to be eliminated in 2nd.

It was a fun night of poker, and I’m glad that we had such a great turnout. Tonight, we’re going out for Tim’s birthday, and then likely coming back for some more home game action. Cheers, Paul

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November 9 – Antoine Saout

July 24th, 2009 No comments

In recent history, the World Series of Poker Main Events have been a stage where relative unknown poker players have placed their untapped skills on the worlds largest poker stage, and emerged from an unknown player to a multi-millionaire superstar. Since Chris Moneymaker won the prize of World Champion in 2003, it has become the popular trend to qualify for the Main Event through small online satellites with low buy-ins, and parlay that into a mega bucks. Such is the case for Antoine Saout.

The 25-year old Frenchman from Saint Martin des Champs, is playing in his first ever World Series and has no documented live poker cashes or experience. Saout started playing poker approximately eighteen months ago and won his seat to the 2009 WSOP Main Event on the Internet through a $50 satellite on Everest Poker ( In fact, many on the site are now sharing in the success that Saout is enjoying. Thanks to Saout’s breakthrough of being an Everest Poker player who made it to the “November Nine,” 51 players have earned a share of $1 Million, which breaks down to roughly $19,000 per person.

Antoine Saout has had potentially the toughest road to earning his way to the “November Nine” final table. For the final three days of playing the 2009 Main Event, he was in the unenviable position of being on the left of fellow “November 9″ combatant Phil Ivey. Saout sits on one of the shortest stacks at the final table with only 9.5 million chips, but he does have history one his side. Should Saout chip up to an eventual win, I believe that this would be tremendous for poker as it would place the Chris Moneymaker effect back in action. The year after Moneymaker took home the big prize on his $50 sattelite, poker exploded! I would expect to see the same effect if Saout were to do the same.

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Shipping the TPT

July 24th, 2009 No comments

Last night’s Twitter Poker Tour turned out a successful venture for me as I took down the TPT for my first time. I’ve won the TPTE event before, but this was my first win in the TPT after several previous cashes.

I was awe struck when I’d received a message that Lee Childs had joined the TPT for the evening, and opened his table to watch how he attacked the field. In the beginning, he was extremely aggressive as there were 28 players, and 4 tables. So with the action being shorter, Lee attacked often, and picked up some very good pots to chip to one of the leaders.

Then his table was moved as we consolidated to 3 tables, and he tightened up to some degree. @Kingsteve was at his table and chipped up huge, and would remain that way until 3 handed.

On my table, I was playing solid poker for the most part, and made one costly mistake early. With QQ, I opened for a min raise from early position. The flop came out harmless 7-4-2, and I opened for half pot sized bet. I got a call, and a raise behind me, and I re-raised. A fold then a shove, and I had a decision to make. There were 2 spades on the board, and I put my opponent on a flush or straight draw, having him covered. I made the call, and he tossed over 7-7 for the winning set. That one hurt a lot, as my 3000 starting stack had dwindled to around 800.

I would fall to under 700 when I was able to get things into gear. Blinds were still low enough that even though I was short, I could make some moves. I shoved with T-T at one point, and doubled my stack in a flip after the flop. I then called a pre-flop shove with AK after making a solid read, and my opponent tabled AT. That one took me to almost 2k. I would take some small pots, and then have a stack over 3k.

Then my big pot came with two tables left. I had AQ in the SB, and I was able to see a flop with 5 other players just by limping. The flop came Q-9-9, and I felt that I was best. I checked it to see what other players did, and an early position player opened, and was raised by a middle position player. I called, as did the early position player, so 3 of us saw the turn. It was harmless so I led out with a bet of 3/4 pot. The early position player called, and then the middle position player raiser went all in. I made the call, the EP player folded, and we showed our cards. My AQ was in great shape against KQ. The river blanked, my kicker played, and I chipped up to over 10k with that pot.

I rode that stack to the final table, where I played my best poker. I was involved in a lot of pots, and got the best of the ones that I was in most of the time. I didn’t have spectaculr cards, but I used position and solid bets to chip up. I moved when I made my hands, and it worked.

Lee childs would eventually go out in 7th place moving his last 4k with 77, and getting called by another middle pair (I believe it was 99).

I had chipped up to about 35k when we’d made it to 3 handed poker having @Kingsteve covered by only 80 chips, when the big hand of the night came in. I woke up in the BB with QQ, and Steve had made a pre-flop 3 bet from the button. I min-raised him, and he 3-bet me. I shoved my stack and he made the call with AJ. The Q’s held and elminated in Steve in one giant pot, where I would take a 75k to 9k lead into heads up. From there, I controled action and took down the eventual win.

It was a fun tournament, and I am still in a little shock that I took it down to be honest. In looking back on my play, I really only made 2 mistakes, but got lucky on 1 of them. I moved with TT on a board of Q-8-5. This was after I’d re-raised pre-flop from the big blind and was called. My opponent said that they’d laid down JJ, which had they called, I would’ve busted. But the shove made them muck their hand, and I continued to chip up.

I had a blast, and now have a TPT title under my belt. Hopefully, I can continue this kind of play and end up the season on the top of the leaderboard.

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November 9 spotlight – James Akenhead

July 23rd, 2009 No comments

James Akenhead is a British Poker Pro and has just two World Series of Poker cashes to his name. Both of Akenhead’s cashes came after deep runs on poker’s biggest stage. James finishes as the runner-up to Grant Hinkle in a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament during the 2008 WSOP, earning $520,000. he also took 39th in a 1,500 Euro buy-in No Limit Hold’em Event in the WSOP Europe festivities in London that year, taking home just over 3,000 Euros for the effort. James is a former railroad conductor who now competes on the green felts for a living.

Akenhead is a regular on the Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour and finished 4th in the U.K. Open in 2008 after winning two preliminary heats. Akenhead is one of Britains top players, coming from a long line of pro’s from the country including David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot, Roland de Wofe, John Gale, and Liv Boeree. In July of 2007, James made his mark on U.S. soil winning a $1,000 event during the Bellagio Cup with a $41,000 prize. He’s since cashed in tournaments around the world, including the United States, Bahamas, Germany, Ireland, and France.

James Akenhead is one of two non-U.S. players at the 2009 Main Event final table, joining Frenchman Antoine Saout. He’s just 26 years-old and is the tournament’s short stack. He’ll likely have the support of poker’s established pro’s during the finale, who are looking to buck an ongoing trend of amateurs winning the Main Event.

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Announcing the November 9

July 22nd, 2009 No comments

Over the next 9 Days, I’ll be posting player Bio’s on each of the 9 members of the Final Table of the Main Event of the 2009 World Series of Poker. I think that it will be fun to get to know a little more about each of the players.

Here’s the Schedule:

Day 1 – James Akenhead, 6.8m
Day 2 – Antoine Saout, 9.5m
Day 3 – Phil Ivey, 9.7m
Day 4 – Kevin Schaffel, 12.3m
Day 5 – Joseph Cada, 13.2m
Day 6 – Jeff Shulman, 19.5m
Day 7 – Steven Begleiter, 29.8m
Day 8 – Eric Buchman, 34.8m
Day 9 – Darvin Moon, Chip Leader, 58.9m

I hope you enjoy the content.

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The Twitter Poker Tour Charity Tournament (Benefiting Bad Beat on Cancer)

July 19th, 2009 2 comments

I am pleased to have worked on and put together a Charity Poker event with the Twitter Poker Tour to benefit Bad Beat on Cancer. this is a charity that is near to my heart as my wife Traci is a cancer survivor. The event will be hosted on Full Tilt Poker, and be on Sunday, August 9th at 6:15PM EST/(3:15PM PST). The Tournament Number is 99488653, and the password is TPTFOR BBOC. The buy in is only $10, with half of those proceeds going directly to the charity. There will be several top Full Tilt Poker Pro’s attending, and the event is open to everyone.

I’m passionate about poker, and doubly passionate about the eradication of cancer. I think that it’s impossible these days to not know someone who has been impacted by cancer. In our case, I would hope that no individual would ever have to endure what our family has had to endure, and that perhaps one day, we’ll even discover a cure.

There are tons of wonderful charity’s out there, and a bunch that are affiliated with cancer. But for me, The Prevent Cancer Foundation is the group that Pablosplace and Team7Deuce has joined with, and taken the 1% pledge to donate 1% of all of our tournament proceeds to charity.

I hope that every reader of Pablosplace, every member of Team7Deuce, and every member of the Twitter Poker Tour will join me in participating in this tournament, and in giving back to this worthwhile charity. I thank you in advance for your charity.


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