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Archive for the ‘WSOP’ Category

Reigniting the Poker bug

July 25th, 2019 Poker, WSOP 50 Comments »

It’s been a long time between posts on this site. A VERY long time. Seven years in fact.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the last seven years. Like most Australians, poker is no longer as big in my life as it used to be. With online poker banned, and no APPT or ANZPT tours, the motivation for poker dwindled. Unless you were prepared to relocate across the Tasman in order to grind online, then poker was always going to be a tough profession to maintain for an Aussie.

However over the past few weeks there have been a few developments which have sparked my interest in poker once again.

Firstly, the efforts of Rob Campbell to win not one, but two WSOP bracelets was an awesome achievement. He now leads the WSOP Player of the Year race heading into Europe and could become the first Aussie to record that achievement. Rob is a mixed game specialist and has been crushing the games for years so it’s nice to see him get that recognition this year.

I also followed along the WSOP coverage due to the incredible run in the Main Event by my friend Garry Gates. GG was my first boss in the poker world and I’m sure I’ve mentioned him a few times in this blog. GG gave me and my partner the chance to travel the world together and write about poker. He was always supportive and a great person to be around, both at work and socially.

GG and I used to take each other on in some heads-up wars on Full Tilt, so I know first hand that he’s a strong player. He’s also shown the ability to go deep in the Main Event, so I had no doubts that he was capable of landing a big score. He played great throughout the Main Event, but things went against him in the end as he finished in 4th place for a cool $3 million score. Incredible achievement and it was awesome enjoying the ride with him.

Garry Gates

The other piece of news was that there are whispers about the potential for online poker to return to Australia. JoeyDel posted a comment on 2+2 which explained how things might be more favourable with this current government for the voice of online poker to be heard and changes to be made. Obviously this all takes time, but good to see some positivity in the Australian poker community and hopefully things can move in the right direction.


July 6th, 2011 Poker, Travel, WSOP 39 Comments »

Ok so it’s taken Las Vegas all of two days to crush my poker spirit.  Thank God I’m not here for two months.  The good news is that the sickness that I’m currently feeling in my stomach is being harnessed into a massive positive.  I’m tilting real hard as I write this, probably more tilted than ever before in live poker.  Steeling yourself with the pain can only make you stronger, and I’m happy that it all takes me one step closer to things turning around.

It started two days ago when I ventured into the murky depths of WSOP Event#54: $1,000 No Limit Lolament.  These tournaments require huge amounts of luck with such massive fields and relatively short stacks.  However I think as long as you get off to a good start, the structure isn’t too bad.  If you slide back in that first level, then things are going to be tough.  Fortunately I found pocket aces on the very first hand of the tournament.  I only won a small pot, but I was able to chip up early with some small ball and stay out of trouble.  The table was soft enough but I didn’t get to sit still for long, as I played four different tables in eight levels.

On my second table I went on a bit of a heater.   I knocked out one guy with AK vs KK, and then three-bet squeezed QQ to win a nice pot.  Shortly after I hit a set with QQ and got three streets of value against AQ.  As this hand finished, a strange scenario happened as our table broke.  The other players racked up their chips and followed the TD from the Amazon Room to…somewhere.  I was left raking in the chips from the previous hand, and when I turned around, everyone was gone!  I was like a lost kid in a department store. I wandered around aimlessly for a few minutes before I wimpered to a TD that I was lost and couldn’t find my mummy.  He escorted me to the Pavillion room, I got a new seating card, and then walked over to the other side of the Pavillion Room to find my seat.  All of this took a good ten minutes.  I should’ve just wandered around for ten hours, as I had over 18k at that point which would’ve been an acceptable end-of-day count.

However my new table wasn’t so smooth as I went card dead for four levels.  I won one small pot with 88, I raise-folded AT and A4 to three-bets, and my two steal attempts from the button/cutoff with T7 and K6 were both met with re-raises.  I slowly slipped back to just over 10k which was still around 25BB when I finally found KK under the gun.  I raised, and UTG+1 shipped all in, I called and he showed JJ.  He skillfully hit a jack on the flop to rake in the 18k pot.  If I win that pot, I have nearly 20k and would be a strong chance to reach my first WSOP cash.

Next hand, I find QQ in the big blind.  The cutoff opened to 850, button called and I shoved my last 1,800 in my best “don’t give a fuck” splash of the pot.  Cutoff shoved to isolate and button folded.  Cutoff showed A6, and I’m in great shape to triple up on the QJ5 flop.  K turn. T river.  Are you kidding me? I consider flipping the table upside-down and smash people over the head with my chair WWE-style, but instead I stand and leave the Rio quietly.

Today was a chance at redemption in WSOP Event #56: $1,500 No Limit Spazzament.  My starting table had one guy wearing a Full Tilt patch, and then Hai Bo Chu joined the table a little later.  The rest weren’t too concerning.  I won the first hand of the day (again), then lost a fair chunk on the second hand when I raised QJ on a T93 flop.  My opponent re-raised for half his stack and I wished I just called.  Many would gamble here, but I don’t think he’s doing it with AT, and he’s not folding, so it was overpairs or better.  I didn’t want to gamble on 8 outs at best so I let it go.  It proved a good decision as he played pretty tight for the rest of the day.

I chipped up and won a nice pot when I three-bet JJ from the small blind and flopped a set.  I bet flop, and then check-shoved turn.  Then my favourite hand came up again.  With the blinds at 75/150, FT pro raised to 325 UTG, and MP called.  I had KK and made it 900 from LP.  UTG shoved QQ and I snap it off.  Q in the window and once again I get two-outered in a massive pot.  If I win that, I’m up to 10k in level 4.  Instead I head to the second break with 2,125.

Hai Bo was travelling well and I hope he goes deep, as our table breaks. I get moved to join Simon Watt who has a bazillion chips and making things look easy.  I’m looking for a spot to double and get it with ATs holding against KJ.  I then get moved again and it’s a tough table with four or five American Internet kids who all appear to know each other.  Sigh.  The only one I recognize is Jason Potter, famous for getting robbed in Melbourne after the Aussie Millions.  I cold, four-bet jam AK to get myself up to around 6,500 before raising KJs and folding to resistance on a dry board.  Next orbit I try again with KJs in MP.  I raise and get flat called by a kid on the button.  The flop was a dry 852 and I c-bet small.  He flat-called, and I guess alarm bells should’ve been going off since the flop was so dry, but you never know with these guys.  The turn was the Jc and I have about 4k left (20BBs).  My first instinct was to check-raise shove, and its a good spot for it I think, but I decide that there’s no value in turning my hand into a bluff when I have a good chance of having the best hand, there are few draws and he’s likely to be an aggro-tard at me.  So I decide to check-call, and again call on most rivers.  Once I call the turn, I don’t think I can really fold the river, so I stuck with the plan.  The river was 9h, I checked, he shoved and I made a quick call.  He turned over pocket aces.  Obviously I didn’t put him on that, and I guess he played it well.  I neither love nor hate my play.  I’m sure a case could be made to play it differently, but once I hit top pair on the turn with a pretty short stack, I think I have to go with it.

So it gets better from there…

After I bust, I grab some dinner with Tim, Ben and Dave and Tim talks me into playing some $1/$3 cash with him.  It was mostly good fun with some light raising against limpers without really making any hands.  Tim doubled up with a nice flush over flush, but I was hovering around even, until a drunken American douchebag sat down and caused havoc.

I didn’t realise he was a douche until, after he raised four hands in a row, I decide to three-bet him with AJ.  He made it like $13 and I made it $29.  He insta-shipped all in for over $350.  WTF?  I’m confused but he’d been raising so much and he started staring me down so I was leaning towards calling his ass.  Then he started giving me the speech.  You know, the “I don’t care, I have more money in my pocket, etc, etc” speech.  He didn’t stop with the verbal barrage, and I couldn’t really figure out what he wanted me to do.  After the speech I was now leaning towards a fold, when he gets all pissy and calls the clock on me!  I’d thought for all of 60-90 seconds, and far less than many, many other smaller decisions at the table during the night.  “Whatever fuckface, I’ll now sit here until the floor is called and I time out,” I thought in my head.  And so I did.  Meanwhile douchebag has time to order two Caronas from the waitress as the floorstaff earns his money counting from ten to zero. I time out and he shows queens.  MBN and WP.

I slip two Benjamins on the table, and raise pocket queens, and of course douchebag decides this is the one hand this lifetime he will fold.  I flop a set and everyone else folds. Unreal.

A few hands later I have jacks on the button.  Douchebag opens to $18 and I raise to $60 on the button.  I know he’s always calling.  Flop 8c3c2s.  He checks and I bet $100.  He insta-ships and I call it off.  He shows 6c5c!  Fuck off!  This guy is verbally intimidating the table, playing every hand, raising junk, drinking two beers and calling three-bets OOP, only to flop a fkn straight and flush draw!  FFS.  Ok well, I’m in front but practically flipping.  Turn is the Qh as I fade the first card.  I’m now a favourite and I need to fade the river to ship to $800 pot and end my day on a high note.  River….4c.  Fuck off! The wanker calls out “Straight!” not realizing his flush is good as I quietly walk out of the Pavillion in slient rage for the second time in the day.


Here’s your bloody order

June 18th, 2011 Poker, WSOP 94 Comments »

While I’ve tried to avoid following any WSOP coverage this year, I found it quite amusing to read on Twitter the arguments from various poker bloggers about one particularly useless topic.

Should bloggers “order” flops when reporting hands? That is, order the cards from largest to smallest, and in some cases, even by suit, in order to improve “readability”.

What a bunch of bullshit.

What gives you, the humble, independent poker reporter, the right to decide the order of cards? You have no right! Your job is to accurately report what happens. Not manipulate it to suit you. The flop is the flop – it’s the way it lands. The dealer doesn’t move the cards around to make it easier for players to read. And neither should you.

If you, or your readers cannot read a flop, then perhaps you should stop fucking ordering them!

I’m quite astounded that some well known bloggers openly admit to ordering cards when they blog. Even defending the practice. You should be embarrassed. You are most definitely in the minority, and if you were working for me, I’d tell you to stop doing it. It’s not up for debate. It shouldn’t be done. Period.

To think you are above reporting action accurately just illustrates your inflated ego. You are not bigger than the game. It’s not about you. It’s not even about your readers. It’s about the game. Start respecting it.

I also read that some bloggers order hands so that they can identify if their work has been plagiarized. Again LOL. If it’s on the Internet, it will get copied. I would’ve thought you all would’ve been in the industry long enough to just accept that. It again emphasizes that some people are just too self-obsessed in this industry. I understand you wanting credit for your work, you must need it.

WSOP Update

June 20th, 2010 Poker, Travel, WSOP No Comments »

Well the WSOP is approaching the half way mark, and so far it’s been a blur. When you’re working long hours, one day just bleeds into the next and before long you’ve lost touch with what’s happening in the world and even what day of the week it is.

We’ve had a couple of deep runs by the Aussies with two final tables that I’m aware of, but nothing to match the feat of Simon Watt just yet. I remember first seeing Simon in action on about Day 2 of the PokerStars APPT Auckland Main Event last year and I thought he was the standout player, even at that point of the event. He went on to win, and I wasn’t surprised to hear him go deep at the WSOP. A huge effort and will be great for poker in New Zealand.Some of the other Aussie boys have arrived into town this week so expect to hear more of a splash over the coming weeks from the likes of Jonathan Karamalikis, Kristian Lunardi, Matt Pearson, Dan Neilson, Con Tsapkounis and Kerry Stead, just to name a few that I spotted loitering around the Venetian last night.

It was my first opportunity to actually hit the felt myself since I’ve been here in Vegas and it was good to actually get some chips in the hands and squeeze some cards. I’m not a big live player, as I usually get bored and much prefer multi-tabling online, but if I’m with some friends, I’m happy to play live for fun. Some of the PokerNews guys came along, and first we hit some NLHE before jumping over to a HORSE game.On the first hand of NLHE I flopped a set of threes and turned a full house on a 3-4-T-T board. The woman who was in the pot with me reached back and tried to pull another $100 to put on the table. Sitting there with a virtual lock on the pot, I was more than happy for her to do so, but the dealer told her she wasn’t allowed to do that. So we got her last chips in on the turn, and the river was a queen. Of course she flipped over pocket queens! Awesome.

Later on I stacked a guy with another set when he chased a flush draw and rivered an ace to pay me off. We jumped over to HORSE and first hand I made quads in Holdem. A little later I made a straight-flush in Omaha, and I think I had less than five or so bring-ins during the Stud games all night. I run good. I was clearly sapping all of the run good from fellow PokerNetworker Tim Duckworth who, in the end, was tossing out the bring-in in anticipation before the cards were even dealt. Most of the time he was right. I ended up in front so it was a good night.

I often get asked if I am going to play any WSOP events while I’m here. It’s a tough one, because I don’t get much time off from live reporting, and any time I do get is usually consumed by PNW. I’ve played one event in two years over here, so maybe I might try to squeeze one more donkament later in the series. The tax issue is a real turn off though, and I’d rather use my $ back in Australia at the ANZPT events. But really, I’d love to play the Main Event, and probably won’t be satisfied with my time over here until I’ve played it. One day. Backers apply within.

Guest Post: The Nizzles

June 23rd, 2009 Entertainment, Poker, Travel, WSOP 70 Comments »

My time has been soooooo insanely busy at the WSOP that I just haven’t had time to update this blog recently. I then had the following conversattion with one of my poker buddies and fellow PokerNews bloggers, Tim “The Nizzles” Duckworth…

Him: ”Can you please update your blog . . . it’s been nearly a month”
Me: “You really think I have time?”
Him: “Well, either way, I have nothing to read”
Me: “Why don’t you write something for me then”
Him: “Ahhh . . . ok”

So here it is…straight from the duck’s mouth….I present the nizzles…

So here I am at 2am in the morning after being asked to be a guest writer on Tassie Devil Poker and make the first (and very belated) entry since the World Series of Poker kicked off and the Devil himself captured second at the Melbourne Main Event.

After arriving in Las Vegas just under three weeks ago we both expected to be hitting the felt a bit while tackling the computer from the media row . . . however that hasn’t been the case.

I’ve only played a handful of sessions, while I don’t think TassieDevil has even touched a card or handled a chip . . . and when you’re six figures richer it probably pays to put some time to run it up one time!

The main reason why, is that the scheduling hasn’t been on the healthy side for him. Mixed events that stretch to the 3am cut off on day two are the norm, with day three starts starting earlier then expected. Basically his schedule seems to be Work – Sleep – Work – Sleep – Work – Sleep and maybe if he’s lucky he gets a chance to put his feet up to do more work for other projects such as PokerNetwork.

Let’s not to mention the problem we experienced over the first two weeks with commuting to the Rio everyday for work. With people grouped together in housing, you would think it would be wise to schedule them on similar events so that car-pooling was easier – however this was not the case until recently.

On most occasions catching a cab was a necessity, and the cost of these start to build up once you factor in the tip. $30 later you’re at work but then you have the issue of the return leg. To hear more about the dilemmas experienced you really need to hear the Devil’s side of things . . . very amusing . . . well, that’s if you like hearing stories of difficulties, tilt-inducing acts and utter grumpiness!

The downs are always paralleled with the ups – and at this World Series there have been plenty!

Phil Ivey capturing two bracelets along with Australian Jeff Lisandro capturing two Seven Card Stud bracelets to go along with his one in 2007. Two females making a No Limit Holdem final table with one going on to finish third and of course one of the most anticipated prop bets of all time with Jeff Lisandro and Barry Greenstein battling Daniel Negreanu and Erick Lindgren for most Player of the Year points for who knows how many millions!

Phil Hellmuth explosions have become standard, hearing the Star Spangled Banner played nearly everyday to celebrate a native capturing a bracelet and seeing the thousands of American’s stand up, hand on heart like they were out in the middle of Fenway Park!

Finally the trick to looking like a balla . . . take a wad of $1 bills, place a $100 bill on the outside and wrap it tightly with a Las Vegas money clip of a rubber band. Deep down you know it’s basically a stripper-roll, but to the non-observant folk you might just appear to be the next online millionaire whiz kid or the cash game grinder that plays 24/7 or just the next random to walk away with a bracelet, hundreds of thousands of dollars and a fading memory in the many chapters of the WSOP history books.

* * * * * * * *

Now I’m sorry if you didn’t enjoy my random ramblings, but it’s probably marginally better then having nothing at all . . . or not.

Hopefully soon the Devil will be back to impart his (hopefully memorable and countless) stories from all corners of the Amazon Room and the Rio.

In the mean time, check out this video which was put together by the PokerNews video team. They did a great job, and it’s easily the best poker video ever created!

Tim Duckworth is a writer from Melbourne, Australia and can be found rambling on about everything poker and everything in between at Tilted Behaviour.

From The Den: My Top 10 Most Memorable Moments of 2008 – Part 1

January 2nd, 2009 Poker, Travel, WSOP 15 Comments »

Working as a tournament reporter and blogger for PokerNews has enabled me to travel to many amazing countries during the past twelve months, and at the same time I’ve been fortunate enough to witness up close some of the world’s best Texas Holdem poker players and personalities. Upon reflection of the year that was, I thought about my most memorable moments from 2008 and decided to compile my Top Ten. Some of these moments you may have heard about, some you may have not. I’m sure everyone has their own moments, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind, whether good or bad, right or wrong, as the most memorable, from my vantage point, merely three feet away from the poker table.

You can read the first part of this article at PokerNetwork:

From The Den: My Top 10 Most Memorable Moments of 2008 – Part 1