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Archive for January, 2011

How would you select the Top 200 Poker Players?

January 28th, 2011 2 comments
Jeffrey Pollack and Annie Duke are launching a new poker league that is the subject of much conjecture (celeb impersonator Joan Rivers hasn't weighed in yet)

Jeffrey Pollack and Annie Duke are launching a new poker league that is the subject of much conjecture (celeb impersonator Joan Rivers hasn't weighed in yet)

Twitter blew up today with a raging debate about the selection process of whom should be included in the new Federated Poker League (I call it that because it doesn’t have an official title as of yet) that is going to be run by Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack.  The intent is to create an exclusive league that features roughly 200’ish live poker tournament players and pit them together in a series of events held at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.  The big topic of debate has been, how do you select the top 200 poker players to participate in the events?

The basic concept of the new FPL (as I’m calling it for this article), would be to have a measurable set of criteria that is a basic mathematic formula that will determine who will get a “card” to play in the events.  Think of the Professional Golf Association.  The PGA has certain players that have earned a “tour card” based on their performances in Golf Tournaments around the globe.  Then, there are open events that have a qualifying process for the players that aren’t Card Carrying members.  Finally, each stop has “Sponsors exemptions” where awards a certain number of spots are given away into their marquee events, that is usually some kind of publicity stunt, or given to some player that hasn’t been able to gain entry because of some extenuating circumstance.  This is the goal of the FPL, to have it mirror what is done by the PGA.  The idea is to get around 200 pro’s together with around 9 qualifiers, making it a very exclusive event, that’s very pro-centric. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #3 Tom Dwan

January 14th, 2011 3 comments
Tom Dwan

Tom "Durrrr" Dwan finishing 2nd in a WSOP Event was perhaps the biggest spectacle in a non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history.

There is perhaps no more polarizing poker figure today than that of Tom Dwan.  If he’s playing poker, there are scores of eyeballs that want a peak at what he’s doing, what plays he’s making, and what the stakes are for.  Even online, railbirds show up in droves to get a glimpse of “Durrrr” taking on the world’s best poker players for stack sizes that many people won’t make in a lifetime.  He’s been involved in more than his fair share of a few million dollar pots, a few high stakes challenges, and a few entertaining prop bets, all the while drawing the interest of both the poker junkie and the casual fan.

Dwan’s career story is one that make people believe that anything is possible.  In much the same way that Chris Moneymaker ignited the poker boom in 2003, the emergence of Durrrr in 2004 on Full Tilt Poker launched a poker phenom that the public saw navigate his way from playing $6 Sit and Go tournaments off of a $45 stake from his grandfather, to playing at the highest cash games online.  Dwan has been the epitome of variance, with the most drastic up and down swings, and his meteoric rise to the top of Poker’s elite became all the more interesting when he signed as a member of Team Full Tilt in early November 2009.  Donning the red triangle on his shirt at live tournaments and high stakes live cash games around the globe, Dwan made huge waves at the World Series of Poker in 2010 with a great number of stories.  But his run in Event #11, a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Event had a back story with the likes of which was something that the World Series of Poker hadn’t ever really seen before.  The end result was a memory for everyone that will be forever etched into the poker world, one which people will recant as “I remember that WSOP event when Tom Dwan….” and everyone will fill in their own blank. In fact, the moment created by Dwan may have a larger historical impact on the game of poker than the Main Event this year, which is why I have him ranked above that story. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #4 Tom Marchese

January 13th, 2011 No comments
Tom Marchese

Tom Marchese had a magnificent year, and finished as CardPlayer Player of the Year in 2010

I recognize the fact that I’ve been lagging on getting these stories up.  It’s been two weeks since my last post on Pablosplace, and really there is no excuse why I couldn’t finish the December Countdown of the Top 2010 Poker Player Stories in the month of December other than laziness.  So here we are at the second week of January, and life is settling down enough to the point that I’m going to blog again.  But before I get to talk about the things going on in my life, I want to complete this series.  So I say “hang on” to all of you that want to hear about the Pablosplace White Elephant gift exchange night, The recent Team7Deuce journey to the Bicycle Casino, and my biggest poker tournament cash to date.  I’ll get to those.  But for now, I want to get back to wrapping up the last four stories of 2010, because they’re worth telling.

At the Borgata Winter Open in January, there probably wasn’t a soul at the tables that had heard of the name Tom Marchese.  But slowly he racked up a chip stack en route to finishing in 3rd place in the $3,300 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event, and would book a $190,027 score.  Full Tilt Poker pro Jeff Madsen would win the event outright for a $625k payday and get all of the accolades, and deservedly so.  But what nobody realized was that the 3rd place finisher in this event was going to outdistance every other player in the world with performances that continued to turn heads at every stop that Marchese made. Read more…