Archive for June, 2011
Two weeks ago the weather in Las Vegas was a balmy 84 degrees. Yesterday the thermometer tipped 108 and rising. You could fry an egg in Las Vegas, and plenty of peoples bankrolls.
Everybody always has the happiest dreams and the best of intentions on their way into town. Las Vegas beckons like a warming embrace. The town glitters with promise and gold. The WSOP offers fame, fortune, and poker immortality.
And come they do. From every corner of the globe, from every game in every town. From every place where cards are dealt and poker is played, heads on pillows teem with piles of cash and arms outstretched, and winners’ speeches where anthems are played and bracelets awarded. The machine of the World Series of Poker 2011 rests for no one.
Show 37 (June 28) with Jake Cody and Daniel Negreanu is online now! Click the play button to listen:
Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.
I’ve been on the ground for two weeks now, with every day filled. On Day 1 when starters were at their mark, I grabbed who I could. Fresh faces of every description, bankrolls of every size, players on every rank of the World Series ladder, all to talk about their expectations over the next eight weeks.
I listened to newbies like Jake Cody, young guns like Chris Moorman and Jimmy Fricke, old hands like John Duthie and Andy Black, whiz kids like Isaac Haxton, and the king of them all in Daniel Negreanu. I posed the same questions to everyone. Make some predictions about the next eight weeks of your life. Let’s hear what it’s going to take for you to hold your head high and smile in joy at the most important time of your year. Now, two weeks into the thick of it, let’s revisit the prognosticators and see how they’re doing.
One who you’ve probably heard about already is WPT London Champion Jake Cody. Before this year, he had only played one World Series of Poker event in his life, the 2010 main event. This year he came into town with a chance to not only win the Triple Crown, but to be the youngest player to ever do so.
I saw Jake on his first days here. He had taken a trip to Disneyland, to get over the jet lag and grab a Mickey Mouse hoody. He was smiling and relaxed, but his eyes burned desire. “I know a lot of guys come to Vegas to party,” he told me, “But I’ve always thought that the party only comes after you win.”
He was in bed early and early to rise, with an easy schedule of sleep, eat, and poker. And he came through one of the toughest fields in history to win a WSOP bracelet and complete the triple crown. It was awesome. I saw Jake the day after his win, when he was being awarded his bracelet. “I know what you said about partying,” I said, “So, last night?”
“Last night?” he smiled. “Last night, we partied.”
I remember playing my first live tournament. It was a $ 200 freezout in a local casino. I’ve been playing poker for a year already, but only online. My hands were shaking, and though I knew what I should be doing with my cards, at a real poker table everything seemed different. I realized that to become a successful offline pro, I have to learn something more than technical part of the game.
Now after almost five years since I started playing, I realized that I love both playing live and online. For me it is important not to get bored and switching between these two helps a lot. But there are types of players who prefer one of these options because each of them has its own pros and cons.
I started playing online. There where couple of important reasons for that:
When I started playing live I realized that at a real poker table you can achieve additional edge by collecting and analyzing information which was not available while playing online. Many people underestimate how important it is to physically see the players across the table, but if you can see them, you can read them, and you can really beat them. Being able to read people is a great skill to have in poker and also in your life, business and social situations. If you understand your opponent’s body language, face, talk, you will be able to define their range (bluff, semi-bluff, made hand) or even sometimes exact hand.
I seem to notice that online players are more aggressive than live poker players. This may just be because the games are faster, but I think it’s because all online forums, latest poker books, and young successful players promote a tight-aggressive or loose-aggressive style of play, and many players really take that over the top. Be sure not to over-use that aggression.
Anyway it’s up to you to decide, but I think that a good, combined mixture of live and online poker games will bring you most satisfaction.
This Event #46 – $ 10 000 No-Limit Hold’em / 6-Handed Championship is the toughest field of all the tournaments of the WSOP 2011 at the exception of the main event which will start on 7th of July.
English player Sam Trickett and french one Christophe Benzimra joined the action of this event where a total of 474 players took part.
So many stars of the poker world were present at the start of the day like Tom Dwan, Ericc Lindgren, EUgene Ktchalov, John Juanda, Vanessa Rousso, Barry Greenstein, Jonathan Duhamel, ElkY, Matt Affleck, Jake Cody and many others…
This tourney is just a compilation of stars of online and live poker.
Unfortunately Sam Trickett and Christophe Benzimra didn’t succeed to qualify for the Day 2 of this event this time.
Starting stack: 30 000 chips – 1 hour level with starting blinds 25/50
Level 1 and 2:
Christophe Benzimra joined Freddy Deeb at the table 25 at the beginning of the day.
During the first two hours, Christophe catched the Aces twice but unfortunately just won the blinds with it while his opponents didn’t give him any action. Frustrating.
Then he lost a pot with pocket Kings when his adversary hit a flush backdoor.
He was down to 25 K at the end of Level 2.
Level 3 – 100/200:
Christophe Benzimra found a nice situation to make some profits when the cut-off raised to 550 and he decided to call.
The big blind 3-bet to 2 K and after the fold of the CO, Christophe called with 9♦ 7♦
Flop J♦ 9♥ 4♠
The big blind made his continuation-bet for 2 700 and Christophe pay this amount to see the turn.
The big blind checked and Christophe imitated him.
The big blind decided to fire a bet of 5,5 K which was instantanely paid by the french man.
His opponent turned AK and Christophe Benzimra won the hand and climbed to 38 K.
During the next level, Christophe Benzimra played a lot of small pot with no signicative loss or profits “I take one pot and i lose one. It is a perpetual war”.
Sam Trickett decided to late registrated to keep some energy for what he expected a long and tiring day.
Level 5 – Blinds 150/300 ante 25:
Christophe raised with K♣ to 750 and the player in big blind position decided to defend.
Flop: K-K-Q rainbow
Both players checked. Christophe wanted to trap his opponent.
Big blind opened to 1 K and Christophe just-called.
New barrel from the big blind. Christophe just paid the 2 200 bet of the big blind. “I didn’t like he bet on the turn and river. I was thinking he could have AJ so i prefered to control the size of the pot. And Bingo he had it. It is amazing. I could have lost much more on this one”.
Christophe was back to 30,7 K.
Then came another hard hand for Christophe.
The button player raised to 750, Christophe called with Q♣ J♣ and the big blind paid as well.
Flop: 9♣ 8♣ 3𘀙
Big blind check, Christophe bet 1 300 and the only the button paid.
Christophe opened to 2 700 and it is paid.
Christophe checked and his opponent checked behind.
“I can believe it. He was on the flush as well with A♣ 10♣ If the 3 didn’t appear on the river, i would have been eliminated. This 3 saved me but it is really no luck for me”.
Christophe was down to 22 K at the end of the level.
At the same time few tables further, Sam Trickett made a great fold but was down to 15 K.
Sam raised to 700 and the big blinds called.
Flop: Q-3-3 with two hearts
Sam bet 1 050 and his adversary made the call.
Sam fired a second barrel for 2 550 and he obtained another call from the big blind.
Sam made a third barrel for 7 K convinced to be in front but his opponent instantely pushed all-in.
Sam Trickett understood that his AQ was not enough here and gave up this pot with a lot of frustration.
Level 6 – Blinds 200/ 400 ante 50:
The cut-off raised to 1 000 and the button called. Sam Trickett called from the big blind with 33.
On the flop 3♦ 5♣ 6♦ Sam bet 2 800 and the preflop raiser moved all-in.
Sam insta-called. His opponent is drawing with J♦ Q♦
Turn: 9♠ and river 2♥ and Sam won the pot and was back to 31 K.
Christophe Benzimra was card-dead for almost 2 hours then.
Average: 45 K for 312 players left.
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 ante 100:
Christophe had no chance to compete well because received just garbage for 2 hours. He was down to 13 K when he played his last hand.
Christophe raised to 1500. A late position player made 3 500 and Christophe moved all-in with pocket 10, putting his opponent on AK. The man called and unfortunately his held pocket Q.
Board : 8-A-8-4-K
Christophe Benzimra was emiminated and quit the poker-room a little bit disappointed. “With no cards you can fight. And when your opponents got cards, it is just impossible”.
Same fate for Sam Trickett few minutes later.
The button raised and the small blind called. Sam Trickett went all-in wit 77 for 20 big blinds and the small blind called with A9♠ Q9♠
A crual As fell on the river and the english pro player was out.
I admit it, I’m thinking of not playing an event at the WSOP this year because I am scared I will get pi**ed on. Like Phil Hellmuth, I have realised that I no longer have what it takes to keep up with the kids. They have worked me out and will flush me out.
If you aren’t in Vegas you wouldn’t have seen the new marketing initiative by PokerNews, it is actually a sophisticated market research strategy, we paid millions for this. I want people to tell me what they think of me! Despite that, I will not take it to heart I will let it all wash over me.
I heard the person to christen these mats was Mike Matusow. That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, he’s been raining down on me for weeks. So many of you have asked via Twitter what my reaction to his attacks on me is and I just say this. I love Mike the Mouth, not enough to have his babies but whatever he says I will still love the troubled genius.
I was watching an old show the other day where we both featured, he makes me smile at the table – at least he doesn’t sit there with a hoodie, sunglasses and top of the range headphones saying nothing. He sits there spurting absolute nonsense and makes the game entertaining.
Mike Matusow doll giveaway
I don’t really hate anybody, I love to needle Phil Hellmuth (I may be found in the restrooms but his face was on a beer that tasted of urine) but I don’t hate him, quite the opposite actually.
Why else do I have dolls made up of famous poker players so they can be in my company 24 hours a day. It is with this in mind that I have decided to give away for permanent adoption my Mike Matusow doll (signed by Mike of course) to one lucky reader of my blog.
Post the player you dislike the most and the reason why on this blog post below (entries only selected from comments on this blog) and I will choose one lucky winner.
Be original, make me laugh. Remember a Mini Mike is for life, just not for Christmas! Good luck.
Here are the cash-outs of the Team Titan Pro in the WSOP 2011 and side events in Las Vegas.
21-Jun-2011 $ 2,500 No Limit Hold’em – 42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Las Vegas 40th – $ 15,148
10-Jun-2011 $ 2,500 No Limit Hold’em – Deep Stack Extravaganza III, Las Vegas 12th – $ 10,478
06-Jun-2011 $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed – 42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Las Vegas 21st – $ 15,552
07-Jun-2011 $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em – Triple Chance – 42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Las Vegas 16th – $ 12,952
12-Jun-2011 $ 1,000 No Limit Hold’em – 42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Las Vegas 146th – $ 2,628
Yesterday, the two french players from the Team Titan and Marvin Rettenmaier from Germany participated to the day 1 of the Event #43 – 1 500 $ NLH with unfortunately no success.
I loved the film Gremlins but, surprisingly, I was also a fan of Gremlins II ‘The New Batch.’ Here is my new batch – can you recognise them all? Though I am still undecided about playing in the WSOP I am staking a team. This is my terrapoker army. As you can see there are some strong and weak areas.
The idea is that selected PartyPoker WSOP qualifiers will look after the team and have them at the table with them – take it that I am giving them the guiding hand from afar!
Power, heart and commitment have been channelled into the dolls and I am even considering creating a betting market on which doll makes the deepest run in the Main Event. I think it is a good idea considering I originally bought them for Zasko to grind his teeth on.
Who do we have here? My Team PartyPoker.com colleagues Kara Scott and Dragan Galic are perhaps not the best ones – after all how could I do Kara justice through a doll?
There’s Durrrr, Laak, Roland de Donkey, Annette and the Seiborg. My personal favourites are Robert Williamson III and Jennifer Tilly – I had to pay for the extra stuffing in certain areas.
Then of course there is Howard Lederer (pins optional). I already have Negreanu, Hellmuth, Devilfish, Matusow (which will be biking its way to one lucky reader soon) and Bruno Fitoussi, while legal reasons mean the Phil Ivey buddy will not be making the trip to Vegas.
I have been talking to my sponsors and I am hoping to offer copies of my buddies through the loyalty store very soon.
In the meantime, do you have any suggestions on what I should do with my new team? I hope to put them at the tables at the WSOP but they don’t stand up so well so am a little worried. $ 50 in their PartyPoker account goes to anyone who gives me a creative solution I choose to use! Ideas have to be submitted in the comments below.
This tournament is one of the hardest event of the whole WSOP and 732 players decided to play it and the French pro player Christophe Benzimra of Team Titan was part of them.
Starting stack: 15 000 chips – One hour level
During the first two hours (at blinds 50/75 and 50/100), Christophe Benzimra didn’ t find nice spots to increase his stack. He ended the level 2 with the same stack than a the the start.
”There was a lot of action at my table but i had no cards to play and when i finally received a pocket Aces everybody folded. Then i bluffed once to maintain my stack. Let’s see the next levels. At the moment, there is no hurry with the low blinds”.
Level 3 – Blinds 75/150
Christophe raised 400 with Q♦Q♠ in first position (UTG) and found a caller, the player at the button who has only 7 K left.
Flop J♣ 5♦ 4♥
Christophe made his continuation-bet for 700 and the button 3-bet to 1600.
Our frenchman moved all-in and his opponent paid making an embarrassed face when he realized that his A♦J♠ was behind Christophe’s hand.
The turn came a blank but the river an Ace came to save him and knocked out Benzimra’s who is down to 8 K.
Few hands later, Christophe was down to 3 250 chips after having losing the hand with K♠K♯
Christophe raised UTG and a german player called from the big blind.
Flop: 3♠ 4♦ 6♠
The young german player bet 700 and Christophe called.
Both players checked.
On the river, a blank, the german sent a bet of 1 700 and Christophe just called.
His opponent showed a pocket 5 for a straight.
Christophe told us: “I should have lost everything on this hand but i’m so unlucky these last months that i felt something was wrong and i prefered to control the size of the pot. If a spade would have come on the river i would have moved all-in but it didn’t happen”.
Level 4 – Blinds 100/200
The same german player raised to 600 and Christopke shoved for 2 650. His opponent called.
Christophe Benzimra: A♥ J♥
German player: 8♣ 9♣
Final board: 4-6-8-J-Q and Christophe Benzimra survived and was up to 5,5 K.
Benzimra went several times all-in during the level 5 at blinds 100/200 ante 25 and each time took down the pots witout any resistance.
Level 6 – Blinds 150/300 ante 25: the come-back:
In the middle of the level, Christophe had 6,3 K and after a raise at 650 of the high-jack player, he moved all-in. His opponent gave up and Christophe showed JJ.
Christophe: 7,5 K for an average of 23 K.
Just before the dinner break (end of the level), the american chipleader of the table raised to 650 in early position and the german player call from the small blind. Christophe flat-called from the big blind with KJ offsuit.
Flop: K♦ 9♦ 10♠
The german checked, Christophe opened to 2K and if the american young man gave up, the german one announced all-in.
Christophe paid and his opponent showed J-10.
An Ace fell on the river and Christophe more than doubled-up to come back at the starting stack, 15 K.
The player under the gun raised to 1 K and Christophe paid defended his big blind with pocket 3.
Flop: 4♦ K♦ A♥
Christophe check-raised to 2,5 K after the initial bet of his opponent (1K). It is paid by his adversary.
Both players checked in the turn: 10♦
Christophe Benzimra decided to bet 8,8 K letting him 2 K behind.
His opponent tanked for minimum 3 minutes before calling.
The young player showed 10♣ 8♣ for the third pair of the board and win the hand. What a call !
Christophe and the other players of the table were astonished by this call.
Finally, Christophe busted few hands later when his J8 was beat by the K9 of his opponent.
Christophe Benzimra had a really hard day with this bad beat at the very beginning of the day and tried to understand the penultimate hand he played against the young genious.
We will follow Christophe in his next tournament of the WSOP here in Las Vegas.
Last week, the PartyPoker blog was lucky enough to visit the brand-new Playboy Club London.
It’s a casino, bar, restaurant, nightclub, and hangout all rolled into one Playboy branded experience. Walk through the front door off a quiet Mayfair street, and you ride a glowing red elevator up to the club.
The first thing to say is that Playboy Club London is not a lapdancing club. The bunnies serve drinks and deal games, but they don’t strip. (Also, rumour has it the bunnies are banned from having relationships with members, so guys leave your ‘Game’ routines at home.)
Up in the bar you can drink beer and eat Playmate themed sandwiches. (“The Bunny Monique – smoked salmon, wasabi cream cheese on rye bead – £8”.) In the casino you can play the usual table games, with games dealt by friendly bunny dealers.
The downstairs bar – Salvatore’s – is run by mixology maestro Salvatore Calabrese. Drinks range from £16 cocktails to a £2,000 cognac. (Don’t ask for it with Coke!)
The décor is upscale and understated. Raffles (that’s the name of Playboy’s rabbit mascot) is everywhere, but the joint is subtly and luxuriously branded – it’s not like a garish schoolgirl’s pencil case. Lenticular photographs of the iconic Sixties club appear to move as you pass them.
Playboy Club London’s strict members-only policy makes it unique in the UK. Most casinos claim to be ‘members only’, when in reality anyone can join for free. Not at Playboy Club though.
A private oak-panelled poker room
Here, management maintain that when they say ‘members only’, they mean it. During the day when it’s quiet, they’ll sometimes show you around and let you stay for a while. But if you want to make the place your base, you’ll need to spring for membership.
The fees: £1,200 a year (plus £1,000 joining fee) or £15,000 for life.
When you’re a member (sorry, ‘keyholder’) you get access to the club 24 hours a day. You can bring friends too, which is probably one of the key attractions because Playboy club is a killer place to bring people to. (Who’d turn down an invitation to meet at the Playboy Club?)
The management are still debating whether to offer poker. The Playboy Club London has a single poker table in a private oak-panelled poker room, hidden away from the casino. Running regular games is out of the question, but bosses will consider spreading private games on request. But if you can put together enough players at stakes high enough to make it worth their while.
Playboy London is marketing itself as a sort of home-from-home for upscale men. Smokers can kick-back on a covered roof garden, with confortable loungers and flat-panel TVs. With exotic cigars on hand, you’ll be tempted to get into bad habits.
Playboy Club London is an anomaly – a casino that erects a paywall to keep customers out. But it’s banking on the fact that the exclusivity will be more than enough to guarantee high rollers.