Archive for the 'Poker News' Category

High Stakes Poker Season 5: Episode 4

 Well I think everyone knows already that this is my favourite TV show, not just Poker show, but  TV in general. High Stakes Poker (HSP) on GSN is about as good as it gets for a cash game junkie like myself. All you tournament guy can save your emails, yes I like watching tournaments too be you and I both know that cash games are where the excitement is.

I really hope that there is no one reading this that doesn’t know about HSP yet, I mean we are into Season 5 now, but if there is you need to quickly open another tab in your browser and go over to youtube, and then search the GSN videos section and fire it up. The show airs every Sunday night and I am like a kid on his way to the candy store after my MMA class gets out. I literally run out the door and head home with visions of chip stacks and check raises in my head.

I quickly fire up some food and check to see in the latest episode has been uploaded to youtube yet, thankfully the guys at GSN have been getting this done faster and faster every episode it seems. I load up the episode and tease myself for a while as I finish up dinner and play a little on Full Tilt Poker before I have a quick shower and head off to bed.

On goes the head phones as I click on the play button and get the pillows all fluffed up properly.

“I’m all in….” goes the intro music.

The commentary is done by Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza and is added after the fact, it can sometimes add good humour to the show, and others it’s just annoying banter, but for people not really familiar to expressions like “props” and such, they can help the beginner understand what is going on in the game sometimes.

At present we have Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, David Benyamine, Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Peter Eastgate, Barry Greenstein and Zigmund Sahamies sitting at the table.

Minimum buyin for the game is $200,000 and the stakes started at $400/$800 bet have since been bumped up a bit to $500/$1,000

The first few episodes have been fairly interesting with a few hands that have been discussed by the armchair poker pros around the intrawebs on the poker forums.

-Peter Eastgate plays a hand against Tom Dwan and doesn’t raise Dwan when he has a set with top kicker.

-Dwan bluffs both Barry Greenstein and Peter Eastgate out of a hand with BG holding AA and Eastgate with trips. After the hand players were commenting on who had the best of it and Dwan immediately told everyone that Eastgate had the best hand. Bets are laid on this one and I won’t spoil it for you as to who the winner was, but it’s good for the game. This is 4th and 5th level poker here.

-Daniel again loses to quads, this time I think he may have been able to play the hand better, he was really getting cooler’d in some of the earlier shows, but on this one he really made a bad play imo.

-Barry “math is idiotic” Greenstein plays back at Dwan’s Aces. Bad play by Barry.

Besides that:

I’ve been really impressed by durrrr’s play so far, I thought he was reading the table well and making some good adjustments throughout, ie. not trying to bluff Doyle and DB on the flush hand when every bone in his body was telling him to take the shot.

Eli is just good for the show, I don’t care if he isn’t the best player, I want him at the table, he is fun for me to watch.

Ziggy is playing bad, not sure why, but his play is really weak right now and he isn’t reading players well

Daniel seems to be playing scared poker and I don’t blame him, the coolers he’s taken would wreck a guy for years, why make good reads if you can’t follow them up? I think he needs to sit down with himself and have the discussion that when he does make a read, he follows it up, that includes folding.

I really wish this show was a year round taping, but I guess that might not make it as special in the long run, I doubt it though.


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durrrr Challenge update: Full Tilt Poker


The ultimate prop bet, the durrrr Challenge is live right now on Full Tilt Poker. When I checked last night before heading off to bed, Patrick Antonious and Tom “durrrr” Dwan had played just a bit over 5,000 hands, 10% of the 50,000 hands the challenge is over and the pendulum had swung the other way to have Patrick up on durrrr by about $160,000.

Now many player would think, WOW! $160,000! But people that are familiar to the game know that amount isn’t all that much.

For those of you that don’t know what the hell I’m talking about here is a quick breakdown.

durrrr issued a challenge to anyone except his friend Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond to play him heads up

He is laying 3-1, $1,500,000 if you win, $500,000 to him if you lose, that over the course of 50,000 hands he will be up on you in cash. I fyou are up you keeo the cash you’ve won plus get the juice of the prop bet.

Games are No Limit Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha High

Stakes are a minimum of $200/$400 blinds

There are a bunch of other rules regarding buyins and stack sizes that I won’t bore you with, but it’s safe to say you need a pretty healthy bankroll to play the game. I’ll have to win a few more freerolls before I can throw my hat in the ring.

Patrick Antonious, Phil Ivey and David Benyamine have all accepted the challenge with Patrick taking first crack at winning the prop.

durrrr and Patrick are playing Pot Limit Omaha on 4 tables

As of right now, only $18,000 separates the two with over $31,000,000 total wagered in that time, it’s no uncommon to see single pots topping $150,000

There are special tables set up at Full Tilt Poker for the challenge, you can check then out here if you want, you will need a Full Tilt Poker account to watch them live though.


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Full Tilt Poker Academy

Learn, chat and play poker with the pros.

Anyone who has watched TV in the past 5 years is sure to have seen a commercial featuring that famous tagline by now. If you just washed up off of a desert island though, we are talking about Full Tilt Poker here, of course, I’m not sure what you would be doing reading a poker blog if you didn’t already know that.

Full Tilt Poker recently adding their Academy to the site and is free to all of it’s members. I think this was most likely a move precipitated to head off sites like Cardrunners who are actually somewhat affiliated with Full Tilt Poker  now.

I heard about this the other day at the Home Game from Nice Guy Eddie, I really don’t spend a lot of time on the Full Tilt site other than to play poker, and I have seen a number of the pros play there, but Patrick Antonious doesn’t say more that 50 words in any game I’ve ever seem him play so I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of conversation from him, durrr has about 40 tables open when he plays so I couldn’t ever see him having time to type in a comment other than “nh” or “gg”. Iwatched Mike Matusow play a couple times and have to say that was worth the price of admission, look forward to catching Mike again at a table because he is good fun.

I’ve only had the chance to sit with Scott Fischman in an actual game, it seems most of the other pros are scared to play the limits I do. Now I like Scott as a player, but I didn’t learn or chat with him while we played. I felt so used, so mislead.

Enter the Full Tilt Academy.

I have to say I was a bit sceptical when I first got there, but I tend to pick up about one or two tidbits from every “course” or “challenge” that I do. The messages are pretty easy to understand and the concepts not too advanced. It is a great place for beginners new to the game to get a grasp on poker other than from what they see on TV.

I should throw out a caveat  or two here though:

A lot of people are reading these lessons, and thus, there will be a lot of people that will eventually be playing the same way. This will leave opportunities to exploit this game into the future, but for now, many of the lessons make good sense for the novice players looking to plug a few leaks in their games and for the beginners looking to understand some of the concepts like bankroll management and bet sizing.

While these lessons are for level one or two players, note that many of them will not work on drunk morons who call 3 pot sized bets with any part of a flop all the way to the river in order to go runner runner gut shot straight on you. Good strategies are a starting point but you need to always look and see if the player will understand the move you are trying to make. I found a few of these plays to be too advanced for anyone in a multi-table position to see, and some will bleed off chips, make sure you are playing at the proper level and bankroll if you are going to give these a go.

The most important lesson I have found there so far is on the Power of Position, it is as must do for all players that are new to the game and will help you throw away those 95 suited cards in early position. I love to play cards like that, but if you start throwing them away you will see the effect it has on your chip stack, as well as the types of decisions you have to make after the flop. Players that feel they need to defend their blind all the time with these holdings ultimately give me a whole stack worth of called raises in a session.

I’ll update on the rest of the Academy as I work my way through it, but from now I think its definitely worth a go, take 15 minutes out of your day and work on your game, so few people continue to learn after they decide to start something, poker is a game where you should never stop learning. I will be using it more in the future as I work on my weaker games like RAZZ and STUD HL in order to make a run at some of the HORSE tournaments. And hell, it’s free. How can you beat that?


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Party Poker could make Return to US

Just a few months ago, Party Poker was making headlines for a very negative reason since one of their founders and majority shareholder Anurag Dikshit turned his back on the poker world and sold out.  Giving in to pressure from the US saying that he violated America’s anti-gambling policy, Dikshit plea bargained to give the country $350 million and still awaits further sentencing.  Basically Dikshit was admitting wrong in a case where the lines are extremely gray and his plea gave into the demands of the UIGEA.

But now Party Poker is in the news for a much different reason and this one is actually positive for poker players.  That’s because Party Poker has announced that they are thinking about re-entering the US market in the “not too distant future”.  Of course there is going to be a lot more to this move than just a simple announcement, but it sounds like Party Poker is going to be back in the United States eventually.

And that’s good news for online poker players in the US since Party Poker typically had some of the best service you could find back before the UIGEA in 2006.  In fact, Party Poker basically ruled the online poker world as they were the biggest room on the planet and were a big part in revolutionizing the game as a whole.

Now Party Poker has shrank to a much smaller size due to its US pull out (though it’s still one of the top 5 or 10 rooms in terms of traffic), but I think that the room will experience a major boom once it does move back to the United States.  It all begins with  them moving to the US though.

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