Archive for March, 2011
It’s been a slow start for me poker-wise in 2011. Although there is tons of luck and variance in poker, I’ve never been one to attribute a downswing to either of these. I just don’t see how that can be productive. Instead, I try to be honest with myself about if I’m truly playing my “A” game, and if I’m letting outside factors leak into my poker game. I recently caught myself not being focused at the table, and not having the feeling of inner peace that I have in the past. I decided it was time to take a step back and revisit some of the lessons that helped me get to where I am today.
In college, my main focus was on baseball. It took up a ton of my time, and after mixing in schoolwork and a social life, there really wasn’t time for much else. The majority of my goals centered on the sport. When my eligibility ran out, I found myself with a huge void in my life. I had 40-50 extra hours of time on my hand per week, and had no real goal or focus to put them towards. I’d always done a lot of thinking, being interested in subjects like Philosophy and Psychology. Well, having a ton of extra time on your hands can be pretty self-destructive if you tend to overanalyze things. I found myself falling into a nasty cycle of negative thoughts. I would think about thinking, try to solve life’s big questions, and convince myself that something was wrong with me. I would sit in Psychology class, and just because I had one of many symptoms of some disorder we were covering, I would say, “oh no! I’ve got x disorder!” It was a really vicious cycle, as I would then try to solve my problems by thinking even more about them. I would spend most of my time in my head, oblivious to the present moment and reality. My body’s reaction was to feel a lot of fear and anxiety.
One day, I was wandering aimlessly about a bookstore. For whatever reason, I picked up a book titled “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. The cover claimed it as “A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”. This was not the type of book I would ever read. It’s about as far away from science or sports as you can get, but I guess I was so lost at the time I decided to open it. Upon reading the introduction, I saw that the author had gone through a lot of the things I currently was, so I skeptically decided to buy it and give it a shot. I’m glad I did. I won’t go into many details of the book, but I will tell you it taught me to find the ‘off button’ to my rambling thoughts and to find a priceless sense of inner peace. This was the most valuable book to my poker career and I highly doubt the author has ever played a hand. I highly recommend it. It’s not light reading, and I’ve given it to friends that weren’t able to get much out of it, but worst case scenario you’re out $ 7 and can think I’m a quack. Here’s a link to Amazon:
Back to 2011, I’ve had a lot of personal stuff going on that has been clouding my mind. Throw in the fact that I’ve made enough money the past couple years where I no longer need to immediately win to be financially secure, and it’s easy to fall into cruise control at the poker table. This isn’t who I want to be. I just started rereading “The Power of Now” and it’s apparent I’ve drifted pretty far from where I was when I was happiest and playing my best poker. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be working to get back to where I want to be. Look out for me come April, as there are tons of tournaments going on in my backyard of Las Vegas, my favorite place to play. I had a similar start to 2009, and that year ended up pretty damn good!
2010 – 2011 World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Rincon came to a close on Tuesday with some notables making it to the top of the board. When action started nine players returned and by the time the day end half of that number remained. The final table was dominated by Tim West with his huge stack of 843,000 chips.
When the day began there was lots of fire power and many notables including Daniel Negreanu who were still alive and kicking. Negreanu entered into Day 3 with 173,800 chips in his pocket which put him in the middle of the chip pack but his day was cut short as he was eliminated by the dominating Tim West.
The last player to be eliminated prior to the minimum of $ 19,653 guranee kicking in was Bowker who was just three eliminations away from hitting the final table and getting a guaranteed seat in the $ 1,000,000 National Championship Freeroll by the end of the season. In 12th place Joe Parker was eliminated and Alejandro Garcia also fell pretty hard in 11th place.
The field was quickly thinned down to just ten players who redrew and sat at one table. Back then the guy ahead of the pack was Dwyte Pilgrim with 451,000, and Eli Eslami had 420,000 with West having 400,000 chips putting him in the top three. The short stack at the final table was Miller Dao with 98,500 chips.
The last player of the day to hit the rails was Kwinsee Tran who kicked off the day as the chip leader. Unfortunately for Tran he ran into West’s fireball hot luck with a flop of ace of spades, seven of hearts, and four of diamonds, Tran had a ten of diamonds and ten of hearts while west hand two jacks one of spades and the other of diamonds. When the fourth card was turned over i.e. the queen of hearts he wasn’t able to find any help and when the final king of spades was turned over as the river card he ran home with $ 19,653. This was a great run for Tran but it seemed as though his luck ran out.
Hundreds of thousands of you were online at PokerStars trying to hit the 60 billionth hand we’d ever dealt. With more than $ 100,000 in potential winnings, everyone wanted their chance to bag a fortune for free. Only one player could take it down, however, and the lucky man was Michael Rumsey.
Michael–screen name Pogo650–had been multi-tabling up to six tables during a long session lasting several hours. He had nearly called it a day before he spotted just how close PokerStars was to dealing the Mega Milestone 60 billionth hand.
“I’d been playing for a couple of hours, starting at around 12.30pm (GMT), but I decided to keep on playing so I had a chance to be in the hand. I think I was four-tabling at the time, possibly more,” he said. “I was on $ 1/$ 2, $ 2/$ 4 and $ 5/$ 10 limit tables, and then it flashed up on the screen that we were in the winning hand on the $ 5/$ 10 table!”
That was at around 2.40pm (GMT), and to say Michael, a 24-year-old tax adviser, was thrilled would be something of an understatement.
“I could not believe my luck, and I rang my dad who was at his home multi-tabling nine tables, also trying to hit the PokerStars 60 billionth hand!” he said. “I think I must have burst his ear drum when I screamed down the phone that I had won.”
When we contacted Michael to congratulate him on his $ 102,090 win–see details of his winning moment here–we discovered something of a coincidence: that he lived on the Isle of Man, not many miles from the PokerStars office!
It seemed like a good idea, therefore, to invite him along for a chat and a photo with PokerStars Blog, and he posed up happily for our picture overlooking the bay at Douglas.
PokerStars player Michael Rumsey celebrates his win
He was still a bit in shock when he turned up, and explained he had been off work this week and was taking the opportunity to play on his favorite online poker site.
Michael has been playing on PokerStars since he first took up the game in 2007, and four years of grinding the cash games paid off in style when he took down the 60 billionth hand at $ 5/$ 10 limit table Isa II… with what was admittedly a rather feeble [3c][qh].
“Of course, I would not normally play Q-3 offsuit from middle position,” he laughed. “But in this case I just stayed in the pot because I knew the promotion would pay a whole lot more to the hand winner.”
Five players stayed in to the river, the [2h][ks][3h][6d][9d] board paired his three – and that was good for the pot and $ 102,090!
So what did he plan to do with his new-found wealth? “Well I am going to trade in my ten-year-old Ford Fiesta car. It’s only done 40,000 miles so I reckon I will get close to £2,000 for it. I will replace it with a lovely Honda S2000 as I have been looking at those for a while.
“I’ll probably spend around £12,000 on a second-hand one of those; I’d never buy a new car. I’ll invest the rest of the money although I have a few bills to take care of first – including a tax bill!”
You see, even tax advisers need to settle their tax bills.
While Michael looks forward to spending his new fortune, PokerStars continues on its Road to 100 Billion. Next up on the horizon is the 70 billionth hand celebration. Look for details of that toward the end of the summer.
In the meantime, congratulations to Michael Rumsey for his $ 102,090 win.
As of today a new version of www.CarbonPoker.com is live and we’ve got what you need below to get the most out of the launch. The new site includes everything from fresh look and feel to a highly optimized conversion process to a new VIP program and a logo that will do more for your players than ever before. Read on for all the details on the site.
Be the source for this exciting information. Read through the tools and details we’ve laid out below to make sure your site is updated for March 1 and get the most from the interest this redesign will attract.
Right from the first glance of the homepage you’ll notice a brighter design concept and a crisper look. Visitors are now presented with a simpler navigation bar and a rotation of slides highlighting the latest promotions and news. Each tab has been completely redesigned, and the pages themselves are now easier to read on the new white background.
The most important feature of the redesign for affiliates is the new sign up process that has been integrated and refined over the past two months. Built around a streamlined sign up page that has been intricately tested, the page is now more clear and easy to use. Ccombined with the deposit options that have been added to Carbon’s cashier recently the site as a whole now converts new customers very effectively.
With the new site we also had the opportunity to rework our logo. Love the grey card though we did, there comes a time in every brand’s life where change is good, and this is that moment for CarbonPoker. We’re very excited to have worked in some color and are confident the logo will stand out on our site and yours.
We feel all of these changes are for the better, but we’re not done yet. Hit the comments and let us know what you think of the new site. What pages do you like? Where did we hit the mark? What do you think of the new logo?
Sunday, March 27th
Hi, I’m Marvin Rettenmaier from Team Titan, playing on Day 2 of the WPT Vienna event. I usually try to go running before I play, but due to my cold I couldn’t do so. After trying to figure out if my phone automatically changed to Summer Time, which it did, I took a cab to the Montesino Card Room. I told the cab driver to take me there and he seemed a little confused about where to go, but when I asked him if he knows where the Montesino is, he seemed confident about it. So we drove for like 10 minutes and I told him again that this can’t be right, since its only 1.5 km from our hotel to the card room. We then arrived at the Concord Casino.
I was already very pissed, since this was 5 minutes before the start of Day 2 of a WPT where I was short-stacked. To make it short, he then drove the wrong way again, which this time I immediately realized due to the fact that in Vienna you can see which district you are in on the street signs and in the end I made it to the Montesino with 20 minutes’ delay.
What I didn’t tell you earlier was that I made a “last longer” bet with Tony G sometime on Day 1. I had like 65K, and he held around 28K. I put up €2K to his €1K, which is not the best bet for me, but I was very confident that I was gonna win it anyway. We also added the fun factor in that the winner of the bet gets to choose a song for the loser which he then has to perform karaoke live at the Montesino Casino. The confidence in my victory led me to printing out the lyrics of “Like a Virgin” for Tony G already. That was when I had 85K though. Maybe a little too early!?!
Influence of the Side Bet?
So it was the start of Day 2. I had 24K and Tony had about 30K. I had one very marginal decision where I folded 88 against an early position raiser sitting with 18 big blinds, where the side bet might have influenced me a bit. I usually don’t like doing “last longers” due to the fact that they may influence your tournament decisions, but the thought of Tony G performing “Like a Virgin” was just too sweet to not do it.
Roy Decker is the CEO of Royal Flush, one of the big poker magazines in Germany, and also the initiator of the side bet. He gave us updates on how the other one was doing. And when I heard that Tony just doubled in a flip to 60K, I knew I had to do something. Two hands later I got it in with 88 against a guy who tank-called to my 3bet with AQs….I am really not doing well in flips these days and so I was eliminated. I was really sad for a lot of reasons: This was the tournament I was looking forward to the most on this trip; my table looked really soft this day – so if I would have won the flip I could have done some major damage; and of course I therefore also lost the bet to Tony G, who busted only 30 minutes later.
Get Ready for Karaoke
The Montesino had already prepared a karaoke machine and I hope that my cold gets better, so that I can pay off my bet soon. They wanted me to do it later on before the start of the High Roller in front of the tv cameras and also stop the Main Event so everybody can enjoy it.
I did some more interviews, which is never too much fun after you just busted, but afterwards a lot of hugs and some nice words helped me to overcome my frustration. Also, my buddy Patrick, who I’ve met during my studies in San Diego, paid me a visit with his girlfriend. We had a couple of drinks, but then decided to postpone the partying till Tuesday, since Sunday isn’t really the best night to go out in Vienna.
Also Marko decided to wake up and come over to the casino – by then it must have been like 6pm – and planted the thought of playing online that night into my head. We headed to the place of Niki Jedlicka, a well-known high-stakes cash game player from Vienna. Ronny, still smiling from his almost victory at the WPT side event, Heinz Kamutzki and Nikis brother Stefan were there as well. This was only my third time playing online this year. To keep it short, it was a very unsuccessful night for all of us. I only made it a short session with around 10 tourneys and fell asleep on the sofa after I was done playing, at around 3am, and was woken up by a frustrated Marko at 9am, who had just finished 7th in one of the Sunday majors. Very sick was that our buddies Mohsen Tayfeh and Tobi Reinkemeier got 8th and 9th in this very same tournament.
This Sunday we were blessed with coverage from the ninth season of the World Poker Tour the first one being Festa al Lago from Bellagio. If you remember Phil Ivey got eliminated on day one including Owen Crowe and Allen Kessler, eliminated in seventh place owing to an unfortunate hand of two big aces which snatched his huge hand. Now there are just six players who are competing for a mind blowing prize pool of $ 3,249,500.
The first hand commenced with the blinds in deep at 40,000 / 80,000 and with an ante of 10,000. Noah Schwarts raised 215,000 from under the gun during the first and for his king of diamonds and nine of diamonds. There wasn’t much action for him because it got Andy Frankeberger to fold is rather ok hand of five of spades and hearts. Jason Koon too tossed out his ace of clubs and jack of hearts. This alone allowed Schwarts to add 17,000 chips to his stack.
It looks as though Andy Frankenberger is looking to make history with a second win to his career. The WPT tournament is going to be another win for this in addition to having won the Legends of Poker just a few months ago. Now if this guy manages to get the Festa al Lago title he will join the ranks of some of the best players in history to have captured two WPT tournaments in a row in one single season.
Wilson got eliminated and stands in the sixth place. It all happened when Micheal Benvenuti raised the stakes to 220,000 right under the gun and the action soon folded when Skip Wilson came in from the big blind. The flop fell for Wilson with a five of hearts six of hearts and ten of clubs which motivated him to move all in for 1,010,000 chips. Benvenuti called and the cards were faced up
With Wilson’s queen of spades and ten of hearts he was really in bad shape and probably regretted going all in. Benvenuti was looking good with is hands of queen of diamonds and queen of clubs. However as soon as the jack of hearts was turned he knew that he had a flush draw. The bad news came in the shape of a two of spades on the river which sent a huge pot of 2,570,000 chips towards Benvenuti. This resulted in Wilson’s elimination and his no. 6 position which allowed him to take home $ 112,840
The poker world crowned a new world champion last night as the heads-up battle for the WSOP Main Event title played out. So, who is the newest, brightest star in the poker firmament, which name is now inscribed alongside the greatest legends of the game?
Well, I’m not going to tell you. Because there are lots and lots of people out there who deliberately wall themselves off from news and information so they can enjoy the final table coverage in blissful ignorance. One day, some day, the final table will be broadcast from start to finish for everyone to watch in real time. Actually that did happen this year (and last year as well) as ESPN streamed the final table online, but there are still folks who want to watch the final production with the hole cards and Lon and Norm without knowing what’s about to happen.
I can respect that, and so will respect their wishes. ESPN will be televising the final table tonight starting at 10pm ET. I’ll be posting a review of the final table and, having followed along during the live-streaming coverage, there will be a whole lotta interesting hands to talk about.
For those of you who WOULD like to know who won but for some reason don’t have access to the Google, check out our Twitter feed (we’ll probably be tweeting about tonight’s broadcast as well) to find out who won the bracelet and the $ 8.9 million first prize. For the rest of you, stay in your bunker and we’ll see you at 10pm ET.
UPDATE: ESPN just tweeted that the final table broadcast will end at 12:05AM ET, not at midnight sharp, so if you’re recording the final table you’ll want to set your DVR’s accordingly.
“abra1304″ came out on top of the smaller than usual field this week. 875 players turned out for this week’s Twitter Poker League game, my guess is that everyone else was busy with the huge inaugural Sunday Storm. Besting nearly 900 players is no easy feat, so let’s see how it all went down.
As usual this season last week’s top four were nominated for bounties this week, “Mj500″, “DjuK_67″, “Zucceroo” and last week’s winner “RomakaNN” all had a 300FPP price put on their heads. “Mj500″ was knocked out in 278th and “DjuK_67″ followed immediately after him in 277th. Last week’s winner “RomkaNN” was out in 68th when his [Ts][Th] into the [As][Ad] of under the gun raiser “Gleo27″. This meant that “Zucceroo” was the last bounty player standing, very short he shoved first to act with [Ah][4s] and ended up getting it in as a flip vs. “Arvira” who held [Kc][Qc], the flop came with a [4h] putting him ahead but a [Qs] on the turn had him drawing thin, and the river [7d] was of no help. He was out in 27th, with top 4 finishes last week and another 5 points each this week “RomkaNN” and “Zucceroo” are no doubt high up on the season leaderboard.
Now down to the final three tables it wasn’t long before we had the last nine players shuffling into their new seats around the final table.
Twitter Poker League regular “rivermenow” (@zelljrc) had snuck onto the final table as one of the shortest stacks, stark contrast to “bandita747″ who lead the table with 360k. I almost want to cover every hand of this final table, after all there were only 37 hands played, from the first elimination to the last. Easily making this final table the fastest yet, and I feel like I say something like that each week! That first elimination was “Masstiff” who shoved his small ace [Ac][3s] into the big blind “KENEK1982″ who called the small portion of his chipstack with [7s][6s], the board ran out [7h][5d][9s] [2s] [6c] giving “KENEK1982″ two pair.
8th place this week went to short stack DRRmind just two hands later, his [Ts][2s] unable to best the small blind’s [Ad][5h]. A few hands later we had an action packed hand, between the previously quiet “ICEMANOMAD” and two of the big stacks “bandita747″ and “KENEK1982. They held [Kc][Jh], [Ah][Ad] and [Th][Ts] respectively and this is how it all turned out.
That double elimination left us with just five players and “bandita747″ with a monster chipstack. “abra1304″ got caught red handed overbetting as a bluff, shoving [Kc][9h] on the [4s][Qh][Jh] flop, and was snap called by “bandita747″ who held [Ac][Qs], luckily for him the turn brought the [Tc] and he caught a miracle double up. “Arvira” has his run of bad luck when he got it in on the [Jc][3s][7h] flop as a huge favourite with [A][J] vs. the [J][T] of “bandita747″ but the turn brought a gut wrenching [Td] for him to knock him out in 5th.
Four-handed play lasted but 2 hands as short stacked “Towei” shoved [Qh][6c] into the [Td][Ts] of “bandita747″ the tens held up and “Towei” left in 4th and “rivermenow” was handed an easy 3rd place spot. He was also soon out when his [Ad][6c] re-shove lost to the [8c][7h] of “bandita747″ who was beginning to seem unstoppable. However heads up play proved otherwise as “abra1304″got lucky with [Ks][5s] vs. the [As][Td] when the board ran out [4c][9s][5c] [Qh] [8c] giving him a 5:1 chip advantage. It wasn’t hard for “abra1304″ to wrap things up from that point on and he took home the win, the 20 leaderboard points and of course $ 157.85.
We are half way through this season of the Twitter Poker League, it is still a fairly even playing field anyone still has a shot at winning and claiming that $ 700 Step 5 ticket! Next week’s game is open for registration already; you can find it easily by using the tourney ID: 368741642.
If you’re reading this, it’s a good bet that you’ve noticed Carbon Poker’s fancy new look and design. And you have to appreciate our tournament ticker on the front page that counts down to every freeroll and regular tournament.
Something that you can appreciate even more than the tournament ticker is the $ 100,000 Sunday Guaranteed tournament that we’re holding to celebrate the new site. As you may already know, this is double what we normally offer in the Sunday Guaranteed prize pool. And the best part about this $ 100k Sunday Guaranteed is that the buy-in is cheaper than most other sites’ $ 100k events since it’s only $ 109.
Here’s a breakdown of all of the details for the $ 100k Sunday Guaranteed:
When: February 27th @ 15:00 CarbonPoker Time (EST)
Buy-in: $ 109, $ 109 coupon, 10,900 VIP Points
Where: Go to “Tournament” – “Scheduled” – “Special”
Besides anteing up the $ 109 entry fee, there are also a couple of other options for entering this event including:
100 Seats to $ 100k Freeroll:
When: Saturday, February 26th @ 15:00 EST
Buy-in: 500 VIP Points before Saturday the 26th
Prizes: 100 free seats for $ 100k Guaranteed
Where: Go to “Tournament” – “Scheduled” – “Special”
Depositors $ 100k Entry Freeroll
When: Saturday, February 26th @ 20:00 EST
Buy-in: Make a deposit before Saturday with the bonus code “RE100K”
Prizes: 20 free seats for $ 100k Guaranteed, 75% reload bonus up to $ 150
Where: Go to “Tournament” – “Scheduled” – “Special”
This memorable event is one that will go down in Carbon Poker history! So if you’ve got the money or the itch to make a deposit and compete in the Depositors $ 100k Freeroll, don’t miss your chance to get in the $ 100,000 Guaranteed.
High Roller Sam Trickett, the star of Team Titan, is on the cover of the March edition of Player Ireland, Ireland’s definite guide to poker and sport betting.
The cover story of the magazine is entitled “Sam Trickett Wins Aussie Millions $ 100,000 Challenge” and it gives detailed information about Sam’s taking down the prestigious title over a “stacked field.”
Sam was competing against 37 of the best poker players in the world, the crème of the poker world, including Joe Hachem, John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Erik Seidel.
The article describes Sam’s seizing the chip lead almost from the start of the tournament, and how he battled it out at the Final Table to claim the AUD $ 1,525,000 first prize.
It is interesting to note that the $ 100,000 Challenge event “had several rules that made it intriguing,” according to the magazine story. “Players started with 100,000 in chips and had 30 seconds to make their decisions. Additionally, pre-flop play would be Pot Limit and the action post-flop would revert to No Limit.”
In addition to telling the story of Sam’s victory in the event, the magazine gives a detailed Sam Trickett Poker History.
Sam’s second place finish in the subsequent $ 250,000 Super High Roller, where he finished just behind Erik Seidel, gets only a brief mention in the questions and answers posed to Sam by the magazine.
After winning nearly $ 3 million in January alone, the magazine asked Sam what goals he has for the rest of 2011.
“To win the biggest cash games and try and win a [WSOP] bracelet,” was Sam’s reply.