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Posts Tagged ‘PokerStars’

Skill versus Luck. What a great court case this would be.

May 4th, 2011 1 comment

United States Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) said today that there is skill involved in poker. Enough skill to be considered a "Skill game?"

Today US Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a House Judiciary Committee meeting and was asked some questions about the Southern District of New York’s indictment of the three largest US friendly online poker sites.  The part that struck me, I think that Holder really at his core is going to see that poker is a skill game.

While Holder said that he “agreed” that the actions made sense, he wasn’t exactly a great sales person for the prosecution.  Firstly, Holder said at the committee meeting today that “We have to enforce the law as it exists and there are laws on the books with regard to Internet gambling that we have to enforce.  The case that we brought for instance in the Southern District of New York involved pretty substantial amounts of money and big financial institutions and I think those cases are appropriate.”

I’m reading a little between the lines here, but my basic thought on this quote is that the only reason that they brought the action is because these companies made so much money.  While I think that he believes the UIGEA violations occurred by the sites, I don’t think that action would have been taken if the companies were only making a few thousand bucks a year.  But because that number was around $40 Billion, well, now you have our attention. 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…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #5 Sorel Mizzi

December 30th, 2010 No comments
Sorel Mizzi

Sorel Mizzi made headlines in 2010 by winning the Bluff Player of the Year, but was also mired in controversy

2010 was a tale of two stories for Sorel Mizzi.  The first story comes from his play in the live tournament  circuit, where if there was an award for “player of the half-year,” Mizzi won it in a landslide.  It’s hard to quantify exactly how good Mizzi’s first five months of the year were, other than to say that it was so good that he had the Bluff Magazine Player of the Year honor virtually locked up by the time that the calendar got to May.  Let’s take a look at the results from the first 5 months of the year:

January – Mizzi finished 5th in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5k Heads-up event, and 13th in the $5k prelim.  Then 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main event.

February – 2 final tables at the L.A. Poker Classic (a 2nd and 6th place finish) and 2 more at the Wynn Classic (a 6th place finish and a win in the $2k event)

March – Mizzi won TWO events at the EPT Snowfest at Hinterglemm.

April – Mizzi wins the $7,200 Buy in Main Event East Coast Championship at Borgata, and min-cashes at the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event.

May – A runner up at the WPT Rendez-Vous á Paris in France at the £25,000 Buy-in High Roller Event.

All told, the first 5 months of the year accounted for 10 final tables, with 4 of them resulting in Mizzi winning the tournament.  The sum total of his cashes was nearly $1.5 million by May, Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #25 Matt Affleck

December 7th, 2010 No comments
Matt Affleck

Matt Affleck's run in the 2010 WSOP Main Event was a story to remember

I had to be reminded of who Matt Affleck was on Day 5 of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker this year. I didn’t recognize him in any of the first 4 days of play, but the morning of day 5, his chip stack certainly caught my eye.  Each night, the seat assignments and chip counts were sent out, and I’d go through the list the next morning prior to the start of play to pick out significant names and chip counts for my photo-blog for the day.  On the morning of day 5, Matt Affleck’s name jumped out to me as he was 4th in chips heading into the day as one of the few stacks that were over the 1 million mark.  Affleck’s story in the 2010 Main Event was of back to back deep runs, and this year, his story was a truly special one to watch unfold.

In the 2009 WSOP Main Event, Affleck was in a remarkably similar position.  Late in the tournament he held a commanding chip lead, but somewhere along the lines, he just began spewing chips until he finally went bust in 80th place.  It was a whirlwind of an event for Affleck who dedicated himself to improving his play over the year, and focused himself on the opportunity to run up a stack again in the 2010 Main Event, and this time, not let it slip away. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #28 Annie Duke and Daniel Negreanu

December 4th, 2010 5 comments
Annie Dunk and Daniel Negreanu

2010 will remind me more of a feud between Duke and Negreanu than what they did at the table.

When I think back on the year for both Annie Duke and Daniel Negreanu, I will remember them both as being poker icons and ambassadors of the game.  And while they both had such positive things that happened to them throughout the course of the year that I could talk about, the story that I will remember the most about these two involves a feud that erupted between the poker “odd couple” over an event at the World Series of Poker this year, which oddly enough, neither of them played in.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the validity of the Ladies Event at the WSOP, and whether or not it has a place at the WSOP.  There are many people who sit on both sides of the fence on whether or not the event it is a good thing for poker.  Negreanu is a huge fan of the event, and Daniel began this story by stating his opinion on why he was in favor of the ladies event in a video blog, and then again on his written blog.  He wrote about Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #29 Jose "Nacho" Barbero

December 3rd, 2010 No comments
Jose Nacho Barbero

Jose "Nacho" Barbero was the winner of Back-to-Back LAPT Titles in 2010

Poker is a global game.  While so many people are focused on the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas once a year, or the World Poker Tour stops that take place each season, and some American’s pay some interest in the European Poker Tour, there are still a lot of other tournament circuits out there.  This year, the Latin American Poker Tour created somewhat of a poker legend out of their one of their own in Jose Barbero.

The man they call “Nacho” had a monster year that went unnoticed by so many.  But a recent look at the Bluff Magazine 2010 Poker Player of the Year rankings has Barbero currently ranked 9th on the year, and with a few more tournaments still yet to play, he could make a further run up that list.  Especially if he continues to play the way that he has this year. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #30 Joe Cada

December 2nd, 2010 No comments
Joe Cada

Joe Cada's 2010 will be remembered as a year that he'd like to forget.

6,494 Players began the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, and all of them ended up with fewer chips than Joe Cada.  The 21 year-old from Shelby Township, Michigan played solid poker for 8 days, and then used some luck to wiggle his way from 2% of the chips, all the way to the chip leader when heads up play began against Darvin Moon.  The heads up specialist found a way to emerge victorious and booked a cool $8.5 million and the title of Poker Ambassador for winning pokers most coveted prize.

From that point on, Cada did Letterman, CNN, ESPN, and a whole host of other television media running the gambit as poker’s next coming wonder-kid Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories: #31 – Harrison Gimbel

December 1st, 2010 No comments
Harrison Gimbel

Harrison Gimbel captured the first big poker prize of the year, winning $2.2 Million at the PCA in January 2010

2010 marks a special year for me, and one that I will remember as a “poker year” as really, that has been my profession throughout the last 12 months.  It wasn’t really something that I expected, or even planned for.  But it happened nonetheless, and I’m happy that it has.  Every year around this time I find myself heading over to the website of a friend of mine, Andrew Seely. Andrew frequents my home game, and he annually expresses himself in a December Tradition that he entitles “The December Photo Project.”  The project has Andrew taking random photo’s of himself throughout his day, every day in the month of December, and posting them onto the web for all to see.  As I reflected on this year, there were some players that immediately stuck out in my mind, and it hit me,  I wanted to create a December project of my own.   So I decided that I would profile what I felt were the 31 Poker Player Stories that have impacted me the most, or that I remember as being significant during the 2010 Calendar year. Read more…

Patching – A good thing or a bad thing?

November 24th, 2010 4 comments
Joe Tehan

Joe Tehan earned $725,000 for winning the NAPT Los Angeles, but he lost money when PokerStars made him remove his Full Tilt Poker patch for the TV final table.

While I was at the NAPT – Los Angeles last week, I saw an interesting thing take place at the final table of a poker tournament.  A player was asked to remove a patch.  I’d never seen that before.  I got the reasoning behind it, but I’m not sure if its a valid reason or not.

Let me lay the ground work for the story.  It should be noted that the first 4 days of the NAPT Main Event were played at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens.  ”The Bike” has had a long-standing relationship with the World Poker Tour, whereby the WPT has exclusive rights to film poker tournaments for television for their tournament series.  So when the NAPT decided that they would conduct their tournament at The Bike, the players were under the impression that the tournament would not be televised at all.  It’s no big secret that the tournament series is presented by PokerStars, and so it stands to reason that their host of pro’s were all on hand to participate in the event Read more…