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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

poker superstars: 3 Tips For The Beginner Poker PlayerSo you want to be a poker player?

So you want to be a poker player? Poker is a very challenging game although gameplay is relatively simple. Before you start throwing money around familiarize yourself with the rules of betting, calling, raising, and folding. Also, it is important to know the rank of each hand, because you do not want to bet on a hand that YOU think is a winner ...

by Alex K

So you want to be a poker superstars? Poker is a very challenging game although gameplay is relatively simple. Before you start throwing money around familiarize yourself with the rules of betting, calling, raising, and folding. Also, it is important to know the rank of each hand, because you do not want to bet on a hand that YOU think is a winner. Below are 3 other tips on helping you get started as a poker player.

1. Start by playing with play money- This is probably the best way to get started. You do not have to worry about blowing your whole savings account trying to become a good poker player. Start out playing for fun with friends or go online and play with play money. Numerous sites offer this service and you should take advantage of it.

2. Experiment with different strategies- Find the poker style that suits you best. Perhaps you don't have what it takes to be an aggressive player, so don't try this strategy if it doesn't work for you. Don't stick to one strategy in the beginning. You'll get read like a book by better players and you will end up getting very frustrated after getting bullied around the table by these people.

3. Don't get a big head- You may get lucky and win a few big hands when you start out. Don't get cocky though. Keep a level head when you are up and also when you are down. This will help you to concentrate better and, in turn, play better poker.

Hopefully these things will help you as you are learning the game of poker. Poker takes a little bit of luck, but this will eventually run out and the skillful players will rise to the top. By following these rules, you can be the last one standing at your poker table.

About The Author:
Alex K. You can find more information about poker strategy, more poker tips here: I strongly recommend new players to visit Poker School Online (

Copyright Alex K -

poker superstars: 2005 World Series of Poker - Have You Qualified Yet ?

The 2005 World Series of Poker event is scheduled to begin June 2, 2005 in Las Vegas and an estimated 7,000 players are expected to participate in the $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold 'em main eve...

by Oddvar Pettersen

The 2005 World Series of Poker event is scheduled to begin June 2, 2005 in Las Vegas and an estimated 7,000 players are expected to participate in the $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event.

The event will be held at the Rio Hotel and Casino from June 3rd to July 15th, with the last two days taking place at Jack Binnions Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas.

The buy-ins for the 2005 WSOP events range from $1,000 to $10,000 and most of the final tables are taped and televised by ESPN.

The World Series of Poker started as an invitational tournament in 1970. Jack Binnion invited the best seven poker players in America to his casino in Las Vegas to decide whom Americas best poker player was. Johnny Moss won the 1970 WSOP title by actually being voted the best player by his playing companions.

The 1971 World Series of poker was played as a freezout tournament, meaning one player had to win all the chips. Thirteen players participated and Johnny Moss won it this time fair and square with some brilliant poker superstars play.

T. J. Cloutier has been the most successful World Series of Poker player over the years and has finished in the money in over 30 events. He has won five first place gold bracelets and finished second twice in the main Championship event of Texas Hold'em.

Anyone, regardless of gender or nationality can play in the 2005 WSOP as long as they are 21 years of age and can afford the $10,000 entrance fee. If that is to much for your wallet than there is another way to gain entrance. You can register to play in online World Series of Poker satellite tournaments and with some luck, win a 10,000 seat for only a few bucks!

World Series of Poker has become extremely popular in the recent years. Especially since the 2003 WSOP Championship, when Chris Moneymaker, (yes it is his real name) won 2.5 million dollars after qualifying through a 40 dollar online satellite tournament.

In 2004 there were 2,576 entries for the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em WSOP Championship and the prize money had increased to more than $49 million. Greg Raymer beat 2576 players to win the first price of 5 million dollars for a buy-in stake of $40 which also was won online.

The 2005 World Series of Poker will last for approximately 40 days and an estimated 10,000 poker players from all over the world will compete in more than 30 different poker games. The winner of each event will be awarded a gold bracelet and first place cash prizes ranging from $500,000 to $10,000,000.

About The Author

Oddvar Pettersen

True Poker Guide, covers a comprehensive list of poker rules, tips and strategies for all poker games including tournament and satellite play. We also provide lots of information on the World Series of Poker, poker leagues, The World Poker Tour, celebrities of the game and where to find the easiest games to beat and how to beat them.

For more information on True Poker Guide, visit

Copyright Oddvar Pettersen -

poker superstars: 10 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Playing No Limit Texas Holdem (tournaments)

by Kevin Venclauskas 131

10 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Playing No Limit Texas Holdem (tournaments)

1. Early Position Raise : One of the biggest mistakes I see players make is not respecting someone who raises in early position. Remember he has another 8 people after him at the table who he has to fade, so chances are that he is holding a big hand.

2. When you have the nutz and someone betting into you : I was watching a friend of mine play a tournament online and although he made several mistakes that I corrected him on, the biggest mistake he made was pushing someone out of the pot by re-raising him on the turn when he should have slow-played the hand. Let me give you the scenario. My friend Mike was dealt 10-hearts and K-hearts. Someone raises preflop and there are 4 callers including Mike. On the flop came K-diamonds, 10-diamonds, K-spades. Yes, he flopped the dead nutz. The first player checks, the second player who was the original preflop raiser bets $100. Next player re-raises $100, the third and fourth players fold, lastly its up to Mike. He just called the bet which was the proper play. Next card on the turn was 3-spades, no help to anyone. Original player in first position bets $200, second player calls, and what does Mike do, raises the pot $600 and the other 2 players drop out. You need to ask yourself "What am I trying to accomplish with this bet." What was Mike trying to do, make everyone fold. Number one he has the dead nutz, he already has position so it is imperative to give the other players an opportunity to catch their card. The proper play was to continue letting the player bet into you, then take him off on the river. He might have had 2 diamonds and hit his 3rd diamond on the river and you could have taken all his chips. You want those players to get so committed to the pot that they simply cant lay down their 2 pair or their flush or their set. Remember in no limit poker you can always raise the pot or even go all in on the river so its really quite simple. If your playing NL Holdem and someone is betting into you when you have the dead nutz and are in position, let him continue betting into you and do the raise on the river as to maximize any chance you have at getting most or all of his chips.

3. Protect Your Hand: Don't give players an opportunity to draw out on you, make them pay for it. If your holding top pair and there is flush or straight potential, don't let them get any free cards to draw out on you with. Bet the pot or double the pot as to thin the heard.

4. Thin The Heard: If your holding an average hand, say pocket 10s and there have been no preflop bets yet,, go ahead and make a bet, I prefer to triple the pot. You certainly don't want the guy next to you who has King Deuce to hit his King on the flop and beat you. Your bet should thin the heard down and will lesson your chances of getting out drawn.

5. Chip Lead: Listen people, if you have the chip lead tighten up a little. There is no sense in getting involved in too many pots. I see it all too often, someone has the chip lead and calls a raise with crap. Then he catches one of his cards and gets committed to the pot and ends up losing 20% of his chip stack to the pocket rockets. You want to hold on to the chip lead, don't play anything but good cards and let the other players on short stack weed themselves out and you will find yourself at the final table.

6. Common Sense: Common sense supersedes all the advice given to me over the years. Use your head for crying out loud. My friend Mike was on the big blind and there were no raises preflop, so he got to see the flop for free. There were 7 people in the hand and the flop comes A-hearts, K-diamonds, -10-diamonds, now Mike was holding crap, 6-7 off suit. Well nobody bets and it comes around to Mike and he triples the pot. It goes around the table and one guy calls, another raises, then another goes all in. Of course Mike folds but common sense tells me with a flop like that everyone got a piece of it, whether its a gut shot straight or 4 to a flush or just top or second pair. My experience has been that usually players discard their low cards and stay in with their big cards or pocket pairs. When a big flop like that comes up common sense tells me when there are 7 other people in the pot that a few if not all of them caught some part of that flop. What a horrible time to try to buy one. Chalk another mullet move up to MIKEY lol.

7. Play like a champion: Try to imagine yourself at the WSOP final table playing for 1.5 million. Then ask yourself how would Doyle Brunson play the hand. Take your time and you will probably make the right call. Remember skill will only get you so far, you also have to be lucky and not get too many bad beats to snap a big tournament off so don't get discouraged if you made the right play and lost the hand. If you played the hand like Doyle would have played the hand and you get a bad beat, well that's just part of poker so you might as well get used to it now.

8. SURVIVAL . Your goal of course is to snap the tournament off, but your first priority should be to get into the money. Just use your head and play smart.

9. Study Your Opponents: Study your opponents and make note of their tendencies. For example, if you have a player that calls just about anything, obviously it would not be wise to try to steal a pot against him as he will probably call you with his low pair. Conversely, if you have a player like that and you have a strong hand, bet more than you normally would as you will probably get a call out of him unlike if your playing against a good player that would probably fold his average hand.

10 . Realize The Amount Of Players Left In The Tournament And Where They Stand In The Money: If your in a tournament that pays the top 9 places and you have 11 people left in the tournament, this may be a good time to steal a couple of pots if your in position. They are trying to get into the money and wont risk their chips unless they have a premium hand. On the other hand, once everyone is in the money, if your going to play a hand make sure it is one where you are willing to risk a large part of your chip stack on. My experience is when it gets down to the money players, you see many people on the short stack going all in so although it may be tempting to play that 9-10 suited, it may not be a hand you want to risk a large amount of chips on.

By Kevin Venclauskas
Visit to read more about poker strategies and get free casino & poker bonuses no deposit required just for visiting.
copyright © 2005-2006 All rights reserved. This article may be freely distributed and published providing no modification are made to the article or its content including the copyright and/or any links contained within.

Copyright Kevin Venclauskas -

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

poker superstars: Kayak Interactive Set to Deal Millions of Texas Hold'em Hands With Poker Superstars on Verizon Wireless' Get It Now Service

BEDMINSTER, N.J. & SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Based on Popular Fox Sports Net Broadcasts and Poker Superstar Personalities, Poker Superstars Brings Card Playing Excitement to Verizon Wireless Customers

Kayak Interactive, a global mobile entertainment publisher, and Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, announced today that Poker Superstars is now available to Verizon Wireless Get It Now(R) customers. Poker Superstars brings Fox Sports Net (FSN) celebrity poker kingpins to life and delivers the thrill of bluffing and calling opponents for all the chips.

Poker Superstars provides players with the ultimate all-star Texas Hold'em experience where card sharks can sit at virtual tables alongside pros such as Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson. Players begin by creating their own profile then pull a seat up to the table along with seven other opponents to be dealt into a game. Verizon Wireless poker fans can hone their skills by playing against 12 avatars with varying levels of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and personalities, observing and adopting strategies and tips from the pros or by throwing down with friends all playing together via up to eight connected mobile phones.

"Poker Superstars is a fantastic way to keep your poker club alive," said Keith McCurdy, president and CEO of Kayak Interactive. "Whether you want to test your mettle against the pros or your friends, Poker Superstars offers Verizon Wireless Get It Now customers the ability to engage in friendly or cut-throat competition."

Poker Superstars also delivers a variety of personalization and community features that make the experience highly realistic and engaging such as Auto Buddy Match; In-Game Chat; Hall of Fame; Rankings; Ratings; public and private rooms; and a customizable profile.

Poker fans can purchase and download Poker Superstars from the getGAMES shopping aisle of the Verizon Wireless Get It Now virtual store for $3.99 a month. Download charges for Get It Now applications vary and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. Customers need a Get It Now-enabled handset and Verizon Wireless digital service to access the Get It Now virtual store. Poker Superstars is available for download on a variety of different Verizon Wireless Get It Now-enabled phones including the UTStarcom CDM 8940, Kyocera KX2, LG 8000, Motorola V710, and the Samsung n330.

Kayak Interactive will run television advertising for its Poker Superstars mobile game this fall during FSN's Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament show series.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to

About Kayak Interactive

Kayak Interactive is a leading global mobile entertainment publisher. The company has worldwide distribution with more than 60 carriers and partners in Europe, North America, and Asia. Based in San Mateo, California, and with European offices in Stockholm, Sweden, Kayak Interactive publishes an extensive portfolio of mobile entertainment content including mass market games utilizing community features with connected game play as well as cutting-edge high performance experiences for the avid gamer. Kayak Interactive has raised significant financing from top tier Venture Capital funds including VantagePoint Venture Partners, TL Ventures, and EnerTech Capital. More information can be found at

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) (LSE:VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

About Get It Now

Get It Now from Verizon Wireless puts a virtual software store inside a wireless phone and lets customers download applications over the air and purchase them directly from their phones. Virtual shopping aisles, including getGAMES, getTONES, getGOING, getPIX, getFUN and getMESSAGING, are organized to help customers find what they want, when they want it.

Get It Now is a registered trademark of Verizon Wireless.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

poker superstars:Funkitron Raises the Stakes in Season 2 of Hit Poker Game, POKER SUPERSTARS II™

BOXFORD, Mass. -- Are you ready for season two? The follow up to Funkitron's hit poker game, POKER SUPERSTARS, is here! You have been invited to take on 15 of the world's top professional poker players in POKER SUPERSTARS II(TM)- based on the hit poker series seen on FOX Sports Net (FSN) and NBC for its championship show televised on Super Bowl Sunday. The show was the highest rated weekly series on FSN.

POKER SUPERSTARS(TM) was one of the top download games of 2005, and in 2006, Funkitron is raising the stakes. POKER SUPERSTARS II now has 15 top notch players such as Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstein, Carlos Mortensen and Cyndy Violette. It provides even more challenge thanks to a 'first of its kind' poker AI that actually learned the game by playing millions of simulated tournaments, and now, it is ready for you. Finally, it packs in more fun, with music and graphics right from the TV show, and the ability to import your own photo right into the game, so you can become the Poker Superstar you know you are.

"This game really captures the excitement and challenge of the Poker Superstars II tournament," said Henry Orenstein. "The presentation, interface and AI are all top notch. Funkitron is a great partner and has done another amazing job with Poker Superstars II."

"We wanted to build upon the success of the first Poker Superstars and add in the features the fans were asking for," said Dave Walls, president of Funkitron, Inc. "Beginners will love the great interface and tips to get them going, while experts will appreciate the challenge provided by the new state of the art poker AI."

Meet the Competition: Top Poker Pros

In the game, players are pit against these 15 poker masters:

-- Todd Brunson
-- Mike Caro
-- Johnny Chan
-- Freddy Deeb
-- Eli Elezra
-- Antonio Esfandiari
-- Ted Forrest
-- Barry Greenstein
-- David Grey
-- Kathy Liebert
-- Carlos Mortensen
-- Scotty Nguyen
-- Huck Seed
-- David Sklansky
-- Cyndy Violette.


POKER SUPERSTARS II features game tips, advanced poker AI computer opponents, game speed-up options for quick play designed for practice, three game modes (Round - one TV show, Season - a tournament, or Cash Game - limit game). The unique player card system tracks a player's best winnings, winning hands, flops seen and pots won. POKER SUPERSTARS II is now available for a suggested retail price of $19.95 at, as well as major game sites and will be available soon at retail stores.

About Funkitron, Inc.

Funkitron, Inc. is a game publishing company founded by game industry veteran Dave Walls in 2001. Funkitron is known for creating high-quality, fun games that appeal to a broad audience and can be distributed digitally via online networks. The company has had much success with hits such as "SCRABBLE(R) Deluxe", "Slingo(R) Deluxe", "Boggle(R) Supreme" and "Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament(TM)". For more information about Funkitron, please visit

(C) 2006 Funkitron, Inc. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

poker superstars: A Couch Potato's Guide to Poker on TV!

I love Poker. I love to play it. I love to read about it. I love to watch other people play it, especially on TV. It's an inexpensive way to learn from the pros. You can see what they do in real-world situations, not just what they say they would do in their books. Watching Poker helps improve your game. You can learn pot odds, combinations, order of hands and many other basics as well as advanced, psychological strategy such as tells.

I watch a lot of Poker on TV. Yes, I do. Apparently, the networks are taking notice of the TV-viewing public. A lot of us are crazy for Poker. In this article, I'm going to discuss several, TV series that are still running now, that I highly recommend and regularly watch.

1) Celebrity Poker Showdown. This is on Bravo, usually on Thursday nights. Poker Pro Phil Gordon and comedian Dave Foley (Kids in The Hall, News Radio) are the moderators for this light, fluffy show featuring celebrities such as Alex Trebek, Ben Affleck, Rosie O'Donnell and Camryn Manheim. Some of the celebs are really very good. Of course, there is also that wonderfully evil moment when you can watch someone on the D-List or above sink on the river.

Phil gives expert commentary. There's a short film each week in which the basics of No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em and the betting rules are explained. It's entertaining TV even for newbies, pros and the star-struck alike.

2) The World Series of Poker. ESPN is currently showing episodes of the 2005 WSOP. The other night, I saw Johnny Chan win his record 10th WSOP bracelet in the Pot Limit Hold 'Em event. It was awesome. He beat out Phil 'Unabomber' Laak to take the lead against Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth, who were both present during the match, for the all-time record bracelet wins. Hey, don't feel too bad for Mr. Laak. His girlfriend, the beautiful Hollywood actress, Jennifer Tilly, won the Ladies' Event at the WSOP this year.

A week or two prior to that, I got to see Josh Arieh, a very good player who doesn't get too much airtime (yet), play - and win - the Omaha tourney. It was great to see Omaha Hold 'Em played on TV for a change. I loved it.

Even if you're not a poker junkie like I am, you can appreciate the epic nature of the World Series of Poker with its international field featuring the best of the best - and a few Cinderella stories thrown in for good measure.

3) World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel. Travel the world from your chair and watch pros play in the World Poker Tour. They play in exotic locales such as Aruba and Paris. Host Mike Sexton is so knowledgeable about the game that he makes up for his co-host Vince Van Patten's shtick. The man tries to give nicknames to any hand combination possible. Some of his groaners include:

QQ - Siegfried & Roy or Paris & Nikki (Hilton) 55 - Sammy Hagar (after the song, 'I Can't Drive 55')

Rounding out the commentator group is the lovely Shana Hiatt. She interviews the pros and showcases different aspects of the poker-playing lifestyle on each episode. The WPT hosts names like Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer and more. It's a veritable who's who of Poker and it comes fresh and new into your home each week.

These aren't the only Poker shows on TV. ESPN has a drama called TILT starring Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs) and Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch) which is a fictionalized version of a poker pro's dirty and dangerous life.

E! Entertainment Network, beginning on St. Patty's Day 2005, aired several episodes of E!'s Hollywood Hold 'Em Game. Laura Prepon, of That 70s Show, produced the show and starred in one of the episodes with her live-in love Chris Masterson (Malcolm in the Middle) and some friends, including Chris' brother and That 70's show star, Danny Masterson (Hyde). Other episodes had Mila Kunis (Family Guy, That 70s Show), Macauley Culkin - yes, that Macauley Culkin. He's Mila's beau - and Shannon Elizabeth. I haven't seen it on recently; but, I desperately hope that it comes back. It was pretty good poker and Phil Laak was the dealer/mentor/host.

The Game Show Network has Poker Royale. This is a 6-person tournament that runs for several weeks. There are several elimination rounds, then a finale. The first had all pros. It was men vs. women. The men won each individual match; but, the ladies, led by Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Harmon and Cyndy Violette took the final - and decisive match. The second installment had Celebrities vs. Poker Pros. I found it to be a watered-down version of Celebrity Poker Showdown. I missed Phil Gordon and Dave Foley, gotta admit. The third installment, which is currently airing, is the Comedians vs. Poker Pros. I didn't find this one too fun or funny; but, I've had other things to do lately.

Actually, I dropped watching that because the Fall Season picked up; and, well, I'd rather watch the Poker Superstars Invitational on FSN! This is awesome. It's a turbo tourney - the blinds go up really quick and the play is fast - featuring Johnny Chan, Carlos Mortensen and other luminaries. It's action-packed, high-stakes poker that goes by in the blink of eye.

If you can't find a good online or home game, why not sit down and watch one on TV? Chances are - there's one on the television right now. Go. Watch!

This article is provided by Real Casinos - to read more articles please visit our gambling articles section.

poker superstars: The Rise of Poker: Railbirds and Raisers

If you are not playing poker, you may soon be in the minority. The game has come a long way from the dangerous days of the road gamblers and prohibited backroom games. It is true that those two things still exist in some places, but the game itself has been propelled into limelight and into legitimate status, due in large part to shows such as the World Poker Tour (Travel Channel) and the World Series of Poker (ESPN).

According to America's Poker Face, an article by Betsy Streisand (, 2004), the number of poker players in America has increased to about 80 million, a 30 million increase over the estimated 50 million players just a few years ago. Most of these players still play brick-and-mortar poker (in home games and casinos), but the number of players now taking advantage of the convenience of online poker games is rapidly growing. It is estimated that there are over one million players playing online at well over 1,500 sites. The lobby area of two major sites, and, regularly show over 60,000 and 40,000 players online, respectively. These types of numbers are only expected to explode over the next few years.

In poker terms, both the railbirds (those watching) and the raisers (those playing) are increasing in size. As a poker insider, I am often asked if I see the rise of poker as a simple fad that will wane in a few short years. I really believe that poker has yet to reach the point that will be considered a baseline in future years. I would estimate that the growth may slow down in about three to five years, and the number of players may be holding steady at around 100 million at that time.

This rise in popularity is illustrated by an example of a local tournament in which I regularly participate. I started playing in a neighborhood tournament toward the beginning of 2004, which was hosted in two adjoining living rooms in a duplex. The game had a $20 buy-in with no rake (the rake is the amount reserved as payment for those who host or manage the gameand it is what makes poker illegal in most places). At that time, twenty-four people came to play in the game and take their chances at finishing in the top five places to win a couple hundred dollars. The game is held about once each month and new faces arrived each and every month. One year later, in January of 2005, this group of friends had to use the multi-purpose room of a local business to host 114 players that arrived to play in the same level of game ($20 buy-in, no rake). Over four times the number of players in just one year of growth.

Holdem was mainly covered only on ESPN until just a few years ago, and during those early years the game received only infrequent airtime for one hour episodes of the World Series of Poker main event. Early into 2005, it already appears that at least five different networks will host holdem shows sometime this year. Examples include: the Travel Channel (World Poker Tour), ESPN (World Series of Poker), FOX Sports (the Poker Superstars Invitational), NBC (National Heads-up Championship), E! (E! Hollywood Home Game), and Bravo (Celebrity Poker Showdown). The vast majority of these shows consist of many weekly episodes; several, in fact, have more than ten new episodes planned for 2005. As the above examples illustrate, most of the major media conglomerates have adopted some form of show about the most popular game, Texas Holdem. And believe me, they are looking for more opportunities.

It appears that the sport has established itself as a contender for regular airtime on national networks going forward. Its rise into the public eye rivals the television rise of other professional sports. An appropriate comparison, in my opinion, would be the climb in popularity and the resultant paychecks on the PGA Tour over the last decade, particularly the heavy increases in popularity following the appearance of a young superstar by the name of Tiger Woods. The baseline of the PGA audience and prize pools has been re-established during this time. Holdem should see similar results.

So, while the incredible growth rate cannot be expected to continue indefinitely, it appears that the new plateau has not been reached. Just look at the sports most popular event for an illustration. The main event ($10,000 entry) at the 2003 WSOP had 839 entrants when Chris Moneymaker took home $2.5 million for first place. Just one year later, the main event of the 2004 WSOP boasted well over 2,500 players (Greg Raymer won first place and $5 million). Most of the people who follow poker on a regular basis expect that there will be at least 6,000 entrants in the main event of the 2005 WSOP.

All signs seem to point to a continued increase in the game until it becomes big enough to be considered a part of our daily lexicon. While there may be a component of the population that has adopted or viewed this as a fad, it does not appear to be the perspective of the millions of railbirds and raisers that enjoy the skill and competition of the game itself.

Trent Gresh began playing poker seriously in 2001 and became a full-time player in 2004. Mr. Gresh focuses mainly on Texas and Omaha Holdem. You can find out more about Mr. Gresh through his poker blog at Case Ace Poker.

poker superstars: World Poker Tour Stacks The Deck For Dad On Father's Day

12 May 2006

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- For dad this Father's Day, you can't go wrong if you pick poker. However, cards and chips are just the starting point. The WORLD POKER TOUR has gone "all in" with an array of branded merchandise that will bring a smile to dad's face.

Here's a brief look at what's coming for Father's Day (June 18th) and where you can get it:

For Mobile Phones, PDAs and Wireless Devices

From MFORMA -- World Poker Tour® 7-Card Stud Wireless Game. (SRP is approximately $4-$6/month but varies with carrier.) -- MFORMA, has added World Poker Tour: 7 Card Stud to its first title, World Poker Tour: Texas Hold 'Em, launched last summer, one of MFORMA's most popular titles of all time. MFORMA's new WPT 7 Card Stud incorporates the best features of Texas Hold 'Em, plus exciting new enhancements that advance the entire category of mobile casino games. Just like WPT Texas Hold 'Em, WPT 7 Card Stud features six-person real time multiplayer, online leaderboards, global rankings and customizable profiles. New for WPT 7 Card Stud, MFORMA has enhanced the artificial intelligence, which now presents distinct player personalities for an added layer of intrigue. This enables players to become familiar with tournament regulars and their playing styles as they progress through game modes on their way to winning a WPT title. World Poker 7 Card Stud also has advanced multiplayer capability, including the six-person, real-time multiplayer action that made Texas Hold 'Em such a hit. Players can login and play online with players from all over the world. A leaderboard keeps track of all player chip totals and rankings and players can see the overall leaders as well as the other players immediately surrounding their position. During online play, players will be matched up with players of similar ranking. As your poker playing skills improve, your ranking rises, and you will be matched up with more challenging opponents. Players can play in weekly tournaments with fixed buy-in and pre-determined winnings. Tournaments are single table only with the top finishers splitting the purse. Available from most major US mobile phone service carriers.


· Dad will be cookin' with Two Dog Designs' Designer WPT BarbeQue GrillCovers™. (SRP: $29.95 to $59.95, depending on size.) Bet on the durability of this handsomely designed, high quality grill cover, made of heavyweight polyester. Waterproof and weather resistant covers have PVC lining and velcro enclosures to give a grill added protection. Available in three sizes: 26" fits most dome and portable grills; 45"-54" fits most mid-sized cart-style grills; 55"-72" fits most large cart-style grills. The WORLD POKER TOUR logo is infused into the fabric for vibrancy and wearability. Available at

· Two Dogs' Matching WPT BBQ Utensils & Carrier is a unique and useful barbecue accessory you can wager will be put to good use. (SRP: $19.95) Zippered carrier with WORLD POKER TOUR logo is durable, heavyweight polyester, with a flap that folds into the case to protect the tools inside: tongs, fork, and spatula. Available at

· And to make sure there's plenty of soda and beer going down during the barbecue, you'll want the Talking Bottle Opener from Pacific Direct. (SRP:$9.75 ) This fun item, which features four soundbites from the WPT show including the signature opening, is a great conversation starter at the party. Available at and Ace Hardware Stores.

· Now if you really want to upscale the party, consider WPT Bar Mirrors from Head West. (SRP: Ranges from $39.99 to $59.99). These creative and fun decorative bar mirrors that "reflect" the spirit of the WPT are perfect for bar or game rooms. Available on


· Get up to speed with the WPT Seat Cover, Steering Wheel Cover, CD Visor Organizer, Car Seat Cushion, Sun Shade and Sun Cutter from Shell Auto Accessories. (Priced from $1.99 to $19.99) These fun products make dad feel like a real Ace when he's motoring about town. Available at auto supply stores, drugs stores, supermarkets, discount stores and mass merchandisers.

Dad's Home Game

· When having your own poker table isn't an option, there's the World Poker Tour® Portable Poker Mats from Game-Matic, Inc.—a perfect solution. (SRP $69.95.) These high-quality, super wear-resistant mats bear the WPT logo and either the phrase "No Limit Texas Hold'Em" or "Shuffle Up and Deal." They can instantly turn any level surface into a functional poker table. The WPT Mats are made of absorbent material, are spill proof, machine washable, lightweight and ultra-thin for easy packing, and feature non-slip protective rubber backing. They pack up into a compact carrying case with strap, and include a bonus CD-Rom containing the WPT rules and regulations. Sizes include 18" x 36", 24" x 40" and 24" x 45".

· From The United States Playing Card Company -- World Poker Tour® Premium Poker Set. (SRP/Under $89.99) -- Your home game can serve up some style with this WPT Premium Poker Set. The set comes complete with six wood and cork beverage coasters emblazoned with the WPT logo! Packed conveniently in a handsome wooden chest for poker at home or on the go, the World Poker Tour Premium Poker Set features two removable trays containing 300 heavyweight clay-filled 11.5 gram WPT chips – the true poker player's chip--two decks of Premium WPT Bee cards and a nickel finish metal dealer button. Only available at Sam's Club and


· If Dad's got a passion for both pinball and poker, than he'll be tickled pink with Stern Pinball's WPT Pinball Machine, perfect for hours of boisterous play with the whole family. (SRP $4,499). The full sized pinball machine, which pictures the show hosts on its video screen, lets players shoot cards on 16 drop targets to make card hand combinations. Competitors vie to reach the simulated WPT World Championships™ by virtually traveling city to city playing Texas Hold 'Em on the WORLD POKER TOUR. Available from

· WORLD POKER TOUR® Video Game (SRP.19.99 for PSP) --2K Sports, is expanding its line of WORLD POKER TOUR games for video play with its new version for the PSP™ PlayStation®Portable) systems. WORLD POKER TOUR for PSP features real-life professional poker stars and venues showcased in the WPT TV series with enhanced artificial intelligence players, customizable characters and online capabilities compatible with PlayStation®2 consoles. Online connectivity is a major part of playing WORLD POKER TOUR for PSP. Gamers will have the ability to connect wirelessly with other PSP systems or online to compete against players across the country on both the PSP and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. New enhancements to WORLD POKER TOUR for PSP include a completely new and innovative artificial intelligence system that allows gamers to challenge more than 1,200 different characters, all with their own unique playing styles and behaviors. Gamers who are able to bump up their career earnings can unlock custom clothes, accessories, and invitational events found only in the PSP version. Players can also create more than 4,000 custom variations of poker, and choose to play against computer opponents or take their custom poker game online to battle for poker supremacy. Available at video game retailers.

WPT Books & Instruction

From HarperCollins—World Poker Tour: In the Money by Antonio Esfandiari. (SRP: $15.95.) You don't have to be a WPT tournament player to come out ahead in poker. Cash games are the most commonly played style of Hold'em in casinos, home games and online. This follow-up to WPT: Shuffle Up and Deal and WPT: Making the Final Table from poker professional Antonio Esfandiari, with contributions from other stars of the WORLD POKER TOUR provides the next level of poker strategies and insights educating today's poker players on the secrets of non-tournament play. This is a "must have" for all poker enthusiasts. Available at booksellers nationwide, and

If your dad secretly harbors a desire to make a WORLD POKER TOUR Final Table, or just to clean out his buddies at the weekly poker game, the two-day WPT BOOT CAMPä is perfect. (Cost: $1,695) It's a chance to learn directly from poker champions and the WPT hosts. A fantasy camp for poker enthusiasts, WPT BOOT CAMP is designed to give amateurs an intensive emersion in poker strategy over a weekend. Camp attendees are tutored on all aspects of competitive tournament Texas Hold 'Em Poker. Coursework is carefully constructed to compress poker's learning curve. Sessions feature an integrated curriculum that includes live lectures, archived WPT video footage, game play, and personal secrets from poker superstars. Students receive hands-on training filled with tips and tools to help them better understand the "tells," "reads," and strategies integral to improving their game. For starters, students learn to identify their unique skills and the skills of opponents. They then explore the mathematics of poker, followed by instruction specific to Texas Hold'Em. Lastly, students get tutelage on how to approach tournament play. The core of instructors is made up of select WORLD POKER TOUR® tournament champions and WPT television commentator Mike Sexton. Each WPT BOOT CAMP limits enrollment to only 60 students so the learning experience is maximized. Seats can be reserved at or by calling 866-WPT-BOOT.

Dad's Personal Attire

If he's worth his weight in gold, then by all means consider either of two powerful and stunning 14K gold men's ID bracelets from Roberto Martinez Jewelry. The newest pieces of The WORLD POKER TOUR Collection feature a gold bar with either diamonds spelling out WPT or arranged in the shape of a spade. The bars are attached to handsome heavyweight interlinked chain. (Price for WPT bracelet: $2,250. Price for Spade bracelet: $1.225.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

poker superstars: Poker Community Opens Its Heart

From Phil Gordon to Phil Hellmuth Jr., some of today’s poker superstars are doing what they can to give something back to the world. Evidence of this genuine sincerity comes from the poker community’s involvement with a vibrant two-and-a-half year old Canadian girl, Peyton Novoa.

This adorable youngster experienced a terrible loss early in life: Her mother, Natasha, was diagnosed in December, 2005, with small cell ovarian cancer, a rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, despite three months of brave struggle through radiation and chemotherapy, Natasha passed away on a March night.

As if losing Natasha wasn’t enough, Peyton’s family used almost all of their economic resources to cover Natasha’s treatment and to be by her side. Peyton’s future looked as though it would be very difficult, especially because of the loss of her mother and all of the intangible love and life-lessons that can come only from a mother. But thanks to several generous groups of people, including a host of colorful characters from the poker world, Peyton’s future is looking bright.

Poker bloggers were the first people from the poker community to lend a hand to Peyton’s cause. Bob Nardi, whose online moniker is Bobby Bracelet, was the first to bring Peyton’s troubles to light on his blog. Nardi originally met Natasha and Peyton through a friend. Peyton quickly took to Nardi and showed him the love and personality that have made everyone who has met her fall in love with her.

Upon hearing of Natasha’s death, Nardi decided to use his poker blog to try to raise money for Peyton. Because of the closeness of the poker blogging community, word spread quickly about Peyton’s loss.

Then a second group of poker supporters got involved. Jason Kirk, one of poker’s leading tournament reporters, began championing Peyton’s cause and brainstorming ways to get top professionals involved.

On a cool April night at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, Kirk and several other poker bloggers gathered for a Playboy charity poker event. While hanging out at the legendary Hugh Hefner residence, Kirk introduced Nardi to Gavin Smith, leader of a third group of poker aficionados who have since gotten involved in Peyton’s cause.

It wasn’t long before Smith — soon-to-be the 2006 World Poker Tour Player of the Year — became the first professional poker player to get on board to raise money for this worthy cause

“I felt horrible for this little girl. Every single day we come to play, we hear some guy bitch about losing with kings against aces or how their nut-flush got run down by a full house. How someone got beat down by a runner. This little girl took so much worse of a beat than any of us have taken in poker. We are blessed individuals who have so much given to them. It’s time to give a little back to someone who needs it,” Smith said recently.

Smith isn’t the only professional getting involved. Phil Ivey, John D’Agostino, and Mark Seif have donated signed jerseys for the silent auction. Phil Laak is donating a signed hoodie, while Daniel Negreanu and Scott Fischman are donating player packages filled with t-shirts, hoodies, and hats.

Industry leaders Card Player and Bellagio are making donations to the silent auction as well. Card Player is donating a prize package filled with a super-subscription to Card Player Magazine (200 issues), Card Player clothing, and several poker books and DVDs. The Bellagio is donating a package that includes two nights accommodation, limo rides to and from the airport, and two tickets to the show “O.”

Among other silent auction items are signed photos, including a photo signed by the last three World Poker Tour Players of the Year, and Card Player covers signed by David Williamson, Carlos Mortenson, Antonio Esfandiari, and Daniel Negreanu. Smith and poker superstar Phil Hellmuth have also graciously donated $2,000 each to Peyton’s cause.

But the biggest prize of the silent auction comes from Smith. He is graciously donating a $5,000 prize pool to a 10-person tournament tentatively scheduled for September 23, 2006, in Philadelphia. Smith will act as host for the tournament. There will be eight spots available to be bid on beginning with the initial auction on August 1, 2005.

For more information on the silent auction go to:

poker superstars: Crave's Official E3 Lineup

Following the traditional slew of E3 lineup announcements, Crave Entertainment has also published a list of titles the company is showcasing at this year's E3. You can view the summarized version below or skip down to the titles with descriptions (as provided by Crave).

World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In" (PS2, PSP, 360)
VeggieTales LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (PS2, GBA)
Gun Club (PS2)
Dave Mirra BMX Challenge (PSP)
Hard Rock Casino (PS2, PSP)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (GBA)
Camp Lazlo (GBA)

With Crave's provided descriptions:

World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In": The third installment of the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahedi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness. World Championship Poker All-In will support the EyeToy USB Camera, which allows online opponents to see each other as they play, in addition to supporting text chat. The Xbox 360 version of the game supports the Xbox Live online game service including Scoreboards, Voice/Chat and Live Aware.

VeggieTales LarryBoy and the Bad Apple: When the citizens of Bumblyburg need help, there is one superhero who they can always count on: LarryBoy! For the first time ever, the amazing smash hit VeggieTales is coming to game consoles in the heroic adventure LarryBoy and the Bad Apple. The adventure platformer game allows gamers to help LarryBoy in his quest to right wrongs and save the good citizens from the Bad Apple and her webs of temptation. Scheduled for an August 1st simultaneous release with the full length feature DVD, now fans can "Be that Hero!" The VeggieTales brand has sold over 47 million video units & over 6 million audio units in 12 years and is the #1 values-based product line in the U.S. The launch of the new LarryBoy title is the game kids have been clamoring for!

Gun Club: This non-violent target shooter allows gamers to enter the shooting range, steady their nerves, and take aim at the bull's-eye. The game puts over one hundred faithfully recreated firearms in the hands of the player who can try his or her skill in a wide range of immersive 3D practice environments, from indoor ranges with paper targets, to hillsides with watermelons or flying sporting clays. A certification mode challenges would-be sharpshooters' skills, and detailed descriptions and information for every firearm make it a must-have for gun collectors and enthusiasts.

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge: The next installment in the popular BMX franchise gives you BMX Legend Dave Mirra (one of the most recognized action sports athletes in the world) as the featured rider and the option to customize player characters. There are 17 levels with 9 different environments throughout the game. With 9 bikes to choose from and up to 4 player ad hoc wireless play, it's time to ride.

Hard Rock Casino: Gamers can try their luck at more than 20 different casino games, including table games, machine games, poker rooms and sports bets, while experiencing high-stakes areas, invitation-only tournaments and many unlockable upgrades for your highly customizable character. Beginning with a modest bankroll, players must amass winnings and establish their reputation as the highest roller at the Hard Rock Casino. Along the way, they will encounter unique tournaments, characters, side tasks and unlockables, keeping the game play fresh and challenges exciting.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, from Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, features the somewhat shy Mac and his imaginary friend, Blooregard Q. Kazoo. The game is inspired by memorable episodes from the Cartoon Network hit series and allows fans to control Mac and Bloo as they solve quirky challenges and complete mission objectives. The action takes place in and around Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and features many of the signature characters from the show including Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and more.

Camp Lazlo: Camp Lazlo is an eccentric animated series from Cartoon Network that chronicles the odd but happy camping life of a Bean Scout named Lazlo and his bunkmates at Camp Kidney. Players can take alternating control of Lazlo, an optimistic, high-energy Brazilian monkey, Raj, a wise and compulsive Indian elephant, and Clam, an eccentric and highly intelligent pygmy Rhino, to compete in a variety of camp challenges, earning the right to represent their camp in a final tournament against - the Squirrel Scouts.

"The past year has been tremendously successful for Crave," said Rob Dyer, COO of Crave Entertainment. "World Championship Poker continues to lead the pack as the first choice of serious poker players, and with brands like VeggieTales we are expanding our presence in the family gaming space. Crave has solidified its position as the leading publisher of casual games on the gaming consoles."

Crave's booth is located in the South Hall, #846.

-Shiva Stella
[POSTED: 05/3/06]

poker superstars: Toronto ATM owner wins nearly $2 million at World Poker Tournament in Las Vegas

Davidson Matthew qualified through a $25 online tournament at

NEW YORK, May 2 /CNW/ - Toronto's Davidson Matthew is $1,903,950 richer,
after coming in second at the World Poker Tournament at the Bellagio in Las
Vegas. This tournament is regarded as the most prestigious in the world next
to the World Series of Poker Main event.
Matthew, who is known as "ATMKing" because he is president of a Toronto-
based ATM company, qualified for the tournament through a $25 satellite
tournament win on allowing him to head to Las Vegas to take
on some of his poker idols. The unknown Matthew beat all but one of the
renowned poker superstars!
Matthew began playing poker in February of 2004 and shifted his focus to
online poker at in September of that year so he could play
at his own convenience. His play on earned him a trip to
play with the "Who's Who" of the poker world including poker legends like
Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and young superstar Phil Ivey.
"I was honoured to play with these players. Everywhere I looked there
were faces I had seen on TV," said Matthew. "I approached the tournament in a
businesslike manner, my initial goal was to win $46,000, but as I advanced
round after round I readjusted my expectations, and by the end I was going for
it all!"
Down to the final two, Matthews faced local Las Vegas threat, Joseph
Bartholdi. With just his wife there to cheer him on and his opponent boasting
an entourage, Matthew (the button) led off and Bartholdi (big blind) checked
behind him. The flop came up ace of hearts, nine of clubs and eight of hearts.
Bartholdi checked, Matthew bet $800,000, Bartholdi raised to $2 million. At
that point Matthew grabbed all of his chips and moved all-in. Bartholdi
Matthew showed the ten and four of hearts for a flush draw. Bartholdi
showed a nine of diamonds and a five of hearts for a pair of nines. The turn
revealed a two of diamonds and the river the ace of diamonds giving Bartholdi
the win with two pairs.
With his winnings, Matthew plans to pay off some debts and embark on a
professional poker career.

About ( is one of the original online poker rooms, offering the
safest and most secure entertaining environment for customers. Established in
1999, joined forces with Sportingbet PLC in 2004, (LSE:
SBT). Sportingbet is headquartered in London, England and is the world's
largest publicly traded online betting, gambling, and gaming company.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at Images are free to accredited
members of the media/

For further information: John Thibodeau,,

Monday, May 22, 2006

poker superstars: Saga Of The Professional Poker Tour Continues

At long last, the Professional Poker Tour will be broadcast by the Travel Channel. Even with that obstacle overcome, the saga of the PPT continues to be one that seems to have no end.

On July 5th at 9PM, after the completion of the WPT Championship and the fourth season of the World Poker Tour the previous week, the PPT takes center stage for the next twenty four weeks. The PPT is the highly exclusive and professional packed program that many poker viewers have been looking for on television. Because the five tournaments have the best in the world from the U. S. and international community of poker players, the poker played should be at an extremely high level and the players should be household names to viewers who may be growing tired of watching final tables of newcomers that are a reality in today's tournament poker world.

In an interesting step for tournament poker broadcasts, the PPT will feature coverage of the entirety of tournaments, rather than just the final tables. This should allow viewers to see the skill that the game of poker requires. As many as fifteen tables are covered from start to finish in the five tournaments that make up the PPT, which were played out at some of the finest casinos in the United States. Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, Bay 101 Casino in San Jose, CA, and the Mirage and the Bellagio in Las Vegas are the stops that the PPT makes. Each tournament is a freeroll for the participating players, with the $500,000 pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only being divvyed up by the final table players.

The usage of what essentially is a "shot clock" on the players at the final table should also make for some interesting TV. The players have a ninety second time period to make their move at the tables or risk having their hand declared dead. The players can work around this by using a "time bank" that many online players are used to using for those extremely tough decisions, but it can only be used once during play at the final table. These innovations should make for active and strong play to be dissected by the announcing crew for the PPT.

The hosts include two-time World Series bracelet winner and WPT finalist Mark Seif, an accomplished and highly respected professional player who left the legal profession to play poker for a living, and actor Matt Corboy, a veteran of such shows as "JAG", "Malcolm in the Middle", "The West Wing" and "Spin City". They will be joined by field reporter Kaye Han, another in the line of women co-hosts who have been a part of both the WPT and now the PPT. She has played poker for much of her life before embracing work in front of the camera.

"With the Professional Poker Tour, we've created a feast for poker fans," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises. "Just about anytime they turn on the show, they'll see one of their favorite poker heroes or poker villains; in essence, the fans will see the "Best of the Best". They'll see career-long rivalries played out against the background of multiple-table action. The 90-second Final Table clock ratchets up the tension, making every decision a possible make-or-break situation. Heated rivalries, larger than life personalities and millions of dollars on the line make the PPT a sure bet."

Even with all of this stated, however, the saga of the Professional Poker Tour hasn't come to an end. While the Travel Channel has picked up the debut season of the PPT for broadcast, it was recently divulged during the press conference announcing the first quarter financial results for World Poker Tour Enterprises (the parent company of both the WPT and the PPT) that a second season of the Professional Poker Tour would not be broadcast by the Travel Channel as they declined their option to the series. This seems to bring to an end much of the jockeying that took place behind the scenes of the PPT.

When the PPT was first offered to the Travel Channel for broadcast, the network declined their option. This led to WPTE marketing the series to other networks, with some high profile players being involved in the mix. During the summer of 2005, WPTE believed that they had finally found a home for the PPT in the sports entertainment giant ESPN with, what was stated by WPTE CEO Steve Lipscomb during the First Quarter fiscal reports press conference earlier this month, what was to have been a three year deal. When they learned of the forthcoming action, the Travel Channel fired off a "cease and desist" letter to both ESPN and WPTE, stating that they still had the rights to the series and resulting in ESPN withdrawing its offer to broadcast the PPT.

This led to a lawsuit being filed by WPTE against the Travel Channel for infringement of trade and violation of their contracts. WPTE apparently had the upper hand in this case and this was apparently also evident to the legal minds at the Travel Channel. The two amicably settled their disagreements earlier this year, with the broadcast of the inaugural season of the PPT on the Travel Channel as one of the linchpins of the settlement. While they accepted the PPT's first year for broadcast, the Travel Channel didn't commit to any broadcasts beyond that and, as of now, the PPT will start a second season during this year without a firm commitment for a broadcast home at this time.

This series could have a real chance. With certifiable stars featured during the broadcasts of the PPT events, which include former World Champions Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Tom McEvoy and Juan Carlos Mortensen and also featuring popular professional players such as Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, David "The DevilFish" Ulliott, Sam Farha and Erik Seidel, the PPT could be the event that poker fans want to see on television. While multi-million dollar tournaments are extremely popular, fans can often have a difficult time finding a "favorite" to root for among a table with unknown players.

To draw a parallel, the PGA learned a long time ago that people love to watch tournaments that golf legend Tiger Woods plays in. Their ratings are markedly higher when Tiger is in contention for a victory, high when he is just participating down the leader board and drop off significantly when there is no Tiger on the prowl. The same is true in the tournament poker scene today. Unless the recognizable pros make it to the final table, viewers can have a very tough time finding a person to pull for. With the PPT featuring a table chocked full of such players, the PPT could be highly successful.

At any rate, the Professional Poker Tour should quickly find a home. As network television has come to see that "star" powered poker fare is popular to viewers (witness the success of the National Heads Up Poker Championship on NBC and other professional-driven ventures like "Poker Superstars International" or the invitational tournaments done by Fox Sports Network), the PPT should be picked up by another outlet, be it ESPN or potentially one of the other television venues. For now, however, we can see the story continue to unfold as the Professional Poker Tour debuts on the Travel Channel on July 5th.

Source: By Earl Burton, from

poker superstars: Erick Lindgren Brings 10 Points Home at PSIT 3

Erick Lindgren proved why he is considered one of the best players in the world and won his first Poker Superstars Invitational 3 elimination match Sunday, earning 10 points and bringing his total up to 22, which ties him for the lead with Card Player Magazine CEO Jeff Shulman after three matches.

Carlos Mortensen, who came into the match with a paltry six points, increased his chances of advancing into the second round by finishing second, earning seven points.

Joseph Hachem finished third this match, adding five points to the seven he brought into this match. With only two elimination matches to go, the former World Series of Poker champions will need to grab some points in order to advance to the second round of 16.

Freddy Deeb followed a first-place finish with a fourth place affair, earning three points to the 13 he earned in the first two matches. Barring a complete meltdown, he should easily move into the second round.

Mimi Tran only added one point to the six she brought with he into this match, and she’ll have to dominate the last two matches in order to slip into the next round.

And Jennifer Tilly was the first player out Sunday, earning zero points. She grabbed a second-place finish her first time around, but has back-to-back sixth place finishes the last two times out and is stuck at seven points.

PSIT 3 is aired on FSN every Sunday at 8 p.m.’s coverage of the series can be found here.

poker superstars: Free Online Casual Games Launch on partners with top developers to offer free online casual games for internet browser play. Games such as the top selling Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects and Poker Superstars 2 are available to play for Free.

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) May 19, 2006 -- announces the offering of free online casual games content known as web games. A web game does not require any downloads, and a user can play the game inside the window of an Internet browser, making the engagement simple and fast. Free online content continues to be necessary for a game site to appeal to the widest audience. And, the ability to offer some of the best web games from the top developers can increase the site’s stickiness.

The casual games website now offers online game play at for the following games: Mystery Case Files Huntsville, Mystery Case Files Prime Suspects, Big Kahuna Reef, Poker Superstars 2, Slingo and more. A spokesperson for said, "We are happy to offer such great content, and this new offering reinforces our commitment to bring the best in casual games to our increasing audience. The addition of free online games gives more depth and breadth to our site. Along with our catalog of WorldWinner skill based games and our Developer spotlight interviews, we feel that web games are key to the growth and success of our site. ( is a top casual games portal offering the lastest casual games from the top developers from around the world. It continues to keep its site clean from advertising, pop-ups, and spyware and has one of the biggest and highest quality game catalogs on the Internet with over 359 casual games...and growing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

poker superstars: Johnny Chan Wins PSIT 3 Elimination Match Nine

The Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament 3 chugged into its ninth week Sunday and Johnny Chan would up with all the chips for the first time this series. He added 10 points to the five he brought into the match. With two matches to go, he’s in great shape to make the cut to the sweet sixteen.

Card Player CEO Jeff Shulman has had a great start to the PSIT 3. He added a second-place finish to the points he earned for a first and a third, giving him 22 points and sole possession of the top of the leaderboard. Even if he stumbles badly at his last two tables, 22 points should be good enough to get him into the next round.

But don’t expect Shulman -- or the rest of the players on top of the leaderboard -- to let up in the last two rounds. The more points they accumulate, the more chips they start with in the second round.

Phil Hellmuth added another five points to his total, giving him a healthy 19 so far. Jennifer Harman added another three for a fourth-place finish. She has 11 points after three matches.

Chris Moneymaker followed a first-place finish by finishing fifth in his third match. This is his second fifth-place finish this season and he now has 12 points. And Mike Sexton was the player who walked away with no points for being the first one to go. With two matches left, he has 11 points.

PSIT 3 is shown on FSN at 8 p.m. local times and is repeated throughout the week. Check local listings for show times. To view's complete coverage of the series.

Copyright © 2001-2005, All rights reserved.

poker superstars: Shooting Star Taping

San Jose’s Bay 101 is near me, so I was pleased to be invited to view the taping of the final table of the Shooting Star tournament, a World Poker Tour event.

I dropped by the day before the taping to have lunch with Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher. That day’s action, the paring down from 45 participants to the final six who would play at the taping, had seen the elimination of all but one “Shooting Star.” Forty-seven poker pros and celebrities had had a bounty of $5,000 each on their heads. Whoever eliminated a Shooting Star got an immediate cash payout at the table of $5,000 plus a T-shirt that read, “I eliminated X.” Usually, X autographed the shirt and posed for a picture with the player who eliminated him or her. Among the stars were Doyle Brunson, T.J. Cloutier, Freddy Deeb, Shannon Elizabeth, Antonio Esfandiari, Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, Gus Hansen, Dan Harrington, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Phil Ivey, Chip Jett, John Juanda, Phil Laak, Kathy Liebert, Mike Matusow, Tom McEvoy, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, Men Nguyen, Scotty Nguyen, Chip Reese, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Tilly, and David Williams.

The next day, I returned for the taping. I didn’t see many of the usual suspects wandering around Bay 101, because most of the poker superstars and all but one Shooting Star bounty had been eliminated.

Linda asked if I would like to be part of the production team, the official script notes recorder. I would love the gig, she assured me, and would be able to see more of the action than anyone in the audience. I agreed.

The team had set up in an adjacent storage room. A thick bundle of cables ran from the room to the set, all taped to the floor. In the room, a bank of monitors sat on a table, each showing the output of a different camera on the set. There’s a boom camera with a very long arm that can be raised from floor level to 20 feet high, which produces what you see when the view swoops in over the set. There are several shoulder cameras. Two cameras at each end of the table operate remotely to zoom in on the players on the opposite half of the table. All run simultaneously and each has its own tape deck on a rack opposite the monitors. All have to be synched up, because later, they will be edited into the show you see on the air. Several engineers monitor and control the whole process. Sound was piped in from the set so that we could hear the running commentary from Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten and what the players were saying. Each player had a clip-on microphone.

They gave me a binder with fields to fill out. Whenever I noted anything interesting, I was to put down the time, what had happened, and which camera provided the best shot. This would help with the final editing job. I was to note all-in confrontations, big bets (called and uncalled), interesting interactions, and the start time of each hand. It kept me busy, but I had a better view of all the action than those who were in the stands on the set.

The final six were Nam Le, Fabrice Soulier, Danny Smith, Chad Brown, David Williams, and Ravi Udayakumar.

There were several interesting confrontations. During the entire play of the final table, fan sympathies lay with the hometown favorite, local player Ravi Udayakumar. Udayakumar played fairly consistently throughout, generally getting involved only with solid hands. He showed a tendency to slow-play big hands, a fact that, except for one participant, seemed lost on the others.

It seemed Udayakumar realized that the others, all pros, would try to push around a newcomer. Consequently, he generally came in only with solid hands. Some unseasoned tournament players who find themselves at a major final table try to find some hand with which to make a stand, so that they can effectively say, “You better not try to push me around, because I don’t need a big hand to call you.” Udayakumar was playing a variant: “You better not try to push me around, because I’m likely to have slow-played a big hand with which to call or check-raise you.”

For example, early on, with blinds of $5,000-$10,000 and antes of $1,000, he flopped middle pair in the big blind in a four-way limped pot. When Soulier bet $22,000 and Le called, so did Udayakumar. He turned four to a flush. Udayakumar and Soulier checked. Le bet $47,000. Udayakumar called, and then Soulier raised $100,000. Le folded. Udayakumar called, which represented about a ninth of his remaining chips. The river brought the flush. Udayakumar checked to the aggressor, undoubtedly planning to raise if Soulier bet. But Soulier checked and mucked his hand when he saw the flush. Whether he had a hand with which he would have called a bet but could not himself safely bet, I won’t know until I see the broadcast on June 7. But I do know that Udayakumar’s game plan was to trap his opponents. It was going to be hard to move him off a hand, and yet the others tried.

Brown was eliminated first, trying to push Udayakumar off a big ace with his A-3 on a board that had an ace and a king.

Williams called him down in a huge pot when Udayakumar made a straight on the turn. Was he likely to be bluffing? It didn’t seem that way, so why call when he kept betting? But, Williams learned. A few hands later, Udayakumar made and checked a flush on the turn. He then bet a bit more than a third of a large pot on the end, and Williams correctly folded.

But Williams called a big bet with only overcards when Udayakumar flopped a set. When Williams hit an ace on the turn, he pushed too hard, betting and getting called on the turn and the river.

The only pot in which Udayakumar was perhaps capitalizing on his reputation caused 22-year-old online player Danny Smith to go out in third place. And Udayakumar wasn’t really out of line. He limped in from the button and Le called from the small blind. Smith raised to $190,000 and Udayakumar reraised that to $590,000. Le folded. Smith debated for a while, and finally moved all in for another $310,000, a bet Udayakumar could hardly get away from. Smith had pocket sixes and Udayakumar had the K Q. It was very close to a coin flip, 53-to-47 in Smith’s favor. A queen on the flop ended the tournament for Smith, with a $340,000 payout. But he was happy, having won his seat in an online satellite. And his whole family was there cheering him on.

At the start of heads-up play, Udayakumar had more than a 2-to-1 chip lead over Le. It took Le just six hands and 10 minutes to come out on top. He had learned, biding his time to the finale. He knew he would need a big hand against Udayakumar’s good but second-best hand to win a big pot. Near the end, he flopped and just called with a straight. He check-raised on the turn and came out swinging for all of his chips on the river, to double up. On the final hand, he bet strongly with two pair to beat Udayakumar’s probable pocket or top pair. It was another hand we’ll need to see on the broadcast, but Le likely beat a big hand for the situation.

Before the Shooting Star, Le’s main claim to fame was being the cousin of two-time WPT champion Tuan Le. This win gave him not only $1,172,800 and a $25,000 WPT championship entry, but fame in his own right. Not only that, but he got a $5,000 bounty for busting the lone remaining Shooting Star, David Williams, who had exited in fourth place with a $280,000 payday.

I saw climactic hands from several vantage points. You’ll always get the best view when the show airs. It’s fun to think that I played a small part in determining what that view was.

Michael Wiesenberg’s The Ultimate Casino Guide, published by Sourcebooks, is available at fine bookstores and at and other online book purveyors. Send requests, remonstrances, and recommendations to

poker superstars: Basement No More: Matusow Wins First PSIT 3 Match

After striking out twice, Mike Matusow hit a home run his third try at the Poker Superstars Invitational 3. He won the tournament that was shown Sunday on FSN and earned 10 points.

He was the first player eliminated in the first two matches he played and was the only player without any points going into this match. Now, he sits right about in the middle of the pack with 10 points, and with two matches to go, has a real chance of making it into the second round.

Barry Greenstein added 7points to the 10 he brought into the match by finishing second. Each player plays five elimination matches and the top 16 players move on to the second round.

Eli Elezra needs to finish strong to make it into the second round. He added 5 points to the 4 he earned in the first two matches.

Gus Hansen finished fourth in this contest, earning 3 points. He now has 11.

Todd Brunson gave himself 1 point after getting knocked out of the tourney in fifth place. He now has 15 points.

And Ted Forrest kept himself at the bottom of the leader board with 3 points. He earned 0 by being the first person eliminated in match 10, and only Phil Ivey has fewer points them he (2). Ivey will play his third match in two weeks.

PSIT 3 is aired on FSN every Sunday at 8 p.m.’s coverage of the series can be found here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Apple AirPort Express

This product works like all Apple products, it does what it's supposed to extremely well ,set up is a snap, and it is extremely simple to use. It's not as fancy as some of the others but then again, it doesnt have the price of the others. I love this little product, you can take it from room to room, just plug it in and go, and it lets you control the music and sound from any computer that has iTunes ( which I also think it's simpler to use than WMP ) be it a MAC or Windows computer, I happen to have both and it works perfectly in either one. Everytime we have parties we dont have to deal with cd's anymore, we just hook it up to our home stereo and control all of the music from our laptop. It ROCKS!

Written by Felipe, Tucson, AZ

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Beyond All Expectations

At Magnolia, we provide an exceptional experience from the moment you walk through our doors. Our stores feature comfortable demonstration rooms, knowledgeable consultants and premium brands that deliver outstanding performance. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of high-quality audio, video and home theater equipment in a comfortable, familiar environment. Our sales consultants help you explore your choices and create the entertainment system of your dreams.

The Magnolia experience is available at our Magnolia Audio Video standalone stores and our Magnolia Home Theater stores inside select Best Buy locations. You'll experience the same unparalleled dedication to customer service, as well as many of the same high-quality brands, at all Magnolia stores. In addition, our Magnolia Audio Video stores can provide an expanded array of custom home theater and mobile electronics* installation options

© 2006 Magnolia. All rights reserved

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

European Roulette Rules

Object of the European (French) roulette is the same as for the American one: to predict which number out of possible 37 the ball will land on. European Roulette wheel has thirty-seven numbers, including 1 to 36, a 0 ('zero'). Another name for European roulette is "Single zero roulette".

How to Play European (French) Roulette
There are many different ways to place roulette bets. Each bet covers a different set of numbers and has a different distribution, as shown in the Payoffs section.

Player has the option to bet on:

Certain number
Combination of numbers
Pick whether the number will be red or black, even or odd.
The following roulette bet types are available:

Straight Up - You can bet on any number, including 0, by placing the chip on the center of a number.
Split Bet - You can bet on two numbers by placing a chip on the line that divides the two numbers.
Street Bet - You can bet on three numbers by placing a chip on the inner left boundary line of the roulette table that is next to the corresponding row of three numbers.
Corner Bet - You can bet on four numbers by placing chips at the corner where the four numbers meet.
Four Bet - You can bet on the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3 by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line between 0 and 1.
Line Bet - You can bet on two street bets (i.e., the six different numbers in two rows of three numbers), by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line where the line dividing the two rows intersects it.
Column Bet - There are three boxes labeled "2 to 1" at the bottom of a column of numbers. You can place bets for all of these numbers by placing your chip in one of these boxes. If any of the numbers in your column is hit you get paid 2:1; 0 is a losing number. Dozen Bet - You can bet on a group of twelve numbers by placing your chip in one of the three boxes marked "1st 12," "2nd 12," or "3rd 12." If one of your 12 numbers is hit, you are paid 2:1; 0 is a losing number.
Red/Black, Even/Odd, Low/High Bets - You can place a bet in one of the boxes on the left, long side of the table that covers half of the roulette table numbers (excluding the 0). Each box covers 18 numbers. You win even money (1 to 1) on all of these bets; 0 is a losing number.
The "En Prison" rule
Some European casinos offer the "En Prison" rule. This refers to the "outside" even-money bets (Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even). When the outcome is zero, it's allowed to leave the bet for another roulette spin. So your bet stays "in prison". If the following spin outcomes in zero again, then the whole bet is lost, if it's a hit, the bet is released with no payout. European table with "En Prison" brings the house advantage down to 1.35% for even-money bets. This is the lowest for the roulette game.

The "La Partage" rule
The "la partage" roulette rule is similar to the "en prison" rule, only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet "en prison" for another spin.

© Copyright 2004-2005
All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 05, 2006


The first of its kind, Thaifoon promises a truly unique dining experience. Rooted in the exotic and fascinating cuisines of Asia, Thaifoon features a menu based on fresh, flavorful, and familiar ingredients—transformed into food that is intended to be shared and enjoyed.
We strive to bring you an engaging environment, rich with the intrigue and attributes of the Far East, along with the humble and gracious service reflective of Thaifoon’s land of origin. So, please enjoy the journey!

Copyright 2005 Thaifoon - Taste of Asia, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The shores of the Gulf

THE CLASH of Iranian demonstrators in Mecca with Saudi security forces vividly evokes the worst nightmares of the conservative Sunni leaders of the Persian Gulf. The conservative Gulf states have long believed that the real threat to Persian Gulf security was Shiite fundamentalism, not Silkworm missiles; Iranian martyrs, not Iranian mines.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates all contain large Shiite minorities subject to influence from Iran. Iraq's Shiites have remained loyal to their own country during the seven-year war with Iran, despite their religious leaning toward the Ayatollah. Whether that loyalty could withstand the test of a smashing Iranian victory, however, is doubtful. In Islam, military victory is a sign of God's blessing.

Provided Congress does not pass some silly amendment (Boland II?) restricting U.S. naval activities in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy should have sufficient power to ensure freedom of navigation in that vital waterway--even with the refusal by our European allies (whom, along with Japan, the oil transported from the Gulf mainly benefits) to send minesweepers there. Control of the waterway will not mean much, however, if the shoreline falls uniformly under the control of radical anti-American regimes ruled by fanatics, religious or otherwise. Such a scenario would send Soviet strategists on a troublemaking shopping spree that could ultimately result in Western oil supplies falling under the control of Soviet client regimes, or in Soviet naval and air bases being established along the Persian Gulf, or in both.

In short, while all eyes are on the interesting naval proceedings in the Persian Gulf, let us not forget that the world's largest and most mobile army has divisions stationed only a few hundred miles to the north. This is one factor in the Persian Gulf equation the United States cannot afford to ignore.

COPYRIGHT 1987 National Review, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group