poker superstars

poker superstars resources

Friday, June 30, 2006

poker superstars: The Poker Counselor's Corner (64)

June 30, 2006
John “Poker Counselor” Carlisle, MA, NCCPrint
Email to a friend
Post a comment Dear Poker Counselor: Just after the July 4th holiday I will be flying to Vegas for a month of the World Series. It is so close now that I can hardly think of anything else. I am pre-registered for a few of the $1500 and $2000 events. I plan to hit the satellites pretty hard to get a seat at the main event. This is my first Series. Any advice for me? - Emailed by Luis from Iowa City

The Rio is already buzzing with thousands of poker players, fans, and industry insiders. Some of poker's superstars have been looking forward to this series of events all year. This looks to have the makings to be the biggest and most exciting Series ever played. Not only will there be a steady supply of sanctioned WSOP tournaments, you can expect every poker room in Vegas to be more busy than normal with tons of daily tournaments up and down the Strip and cash games galore. While this may sound like a poker Mecca to you, my advice is to be sure that you do not get foolishly swept up into this abounding excitement. I've seen many newer players crash Vegas during the World Series expecting great things, only to see their bankrolls dashed and their hopes crushed in a short time. Money management & psychological management will be vital keys during your long stay in Las Vegas. Too much energy and excitement can heavily cloud your decision making. It tends to fuel a desire to gamble. Surviving tournaments and cash games at the World Series is not about gambling, though. In reality, it is more about grinding. You should invest long hours playing solid, steady poker. Your goal is to get your money into the pot when you have the statistical advantage. Over the course of a month of poker, you will see the positive cash flow effects from doing this rather than allowing adrenaline to force you into many coin-flips and chancy plays. A month of poker at the WSOP is truly work, not a vacation. You will have thousands and thousands of consecutive decisions to fold, call, or raise. You have to get your mind set for that. Beating and outwitting your opponents is secondary to the primary goal of controlling yourself and your own emotions. When you get wrapped into the emotional roller coaster effect that the World Series can induce, you are fighting a tough battle to make good decisions. With that in mind, I'd suggest that you ease into play by buying into a few lower limit cash games when you first arrive. Concentrate on making good, appropriate decisions. Self-monitor to see if you are under control emotionally. Inspect your play carefully to see if you are playing differently than you might at your local casino or normal home game. Work your way into your normal levels, but keep up the task of consistent self-monitoring to be sure that you are on a good track. When tournaments time nears, be sure that you are well rested and sharp on the day that the cards are scheduled to be dealt. It looks like many of the events this year (especially Hold 'Em) will be capped with the number of participants, meaning long, grueling hours at the tables for those who make it to the money spots. Be sure that you are physically and mentally prepared for this. Overall, stay confident and play sharp. Take time to evaluate yourself and your play. Never make a move without pausing to think through your decision making process. And, of course, remember to enjoy the ride!

Dear Poker Counselor: I have an odd habit of talking to myself when thinking. When I play online, I will often be talking to myself about the hand, the other player's tendencies, etc. The thing is, when I play in live games I want to do this, too. I automatically feel like I should be talking things through to myself. What do you think is going on? - Emailed by Don

Your habit may not be as "odd" or uncommon as you think. Talking aloud to oneself is a very common strategy that many people with attention problems employ to help keep them on track in school, at work, and even at the poker tables. In fact, some counselors and therapists suggest that their patients with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) try this in order to help them narrow their thought processing and concentration. When you play online, your mind may be racing in a manner that compels you to check other websites, watch the nearby television, or hold a conversation on the phone. Talking to yourself provides a self-commentary that is a natural pathway towards staying in focus. Talking through the hand helps you to weed out extraneous information and shine the spotlight on the clues to the hand. In live action games, of course, talking to yourself provides a natural problem. Players nearby would love to listen intently to get a read on your mindset and your thinking. I would suggest that you supplant the verbal self-talk with other options. Perhaps you could carry a small notebook to the tables to log your hands, your actions, and the outcomes. This activity would be a very effective tool at focusing you in the moment, as well as becoming a learning tool when you review the notes at a later time. During a hand, you could turn your compulsion to talk out a hand aloud onto your opposition. Put your focus on the other player and ask him questions, all while looking for a reaction or tell. While you put him on the hot seat, you are also aiding your brain in its attempt to decipher the hand and stay on target. The key is that you are fining a way to hold that steady focus that is such a key in poker.


Ed note: Party Poker have multiple tables available at every limit, 24 hours a day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

poker superstars: Group Aims to Convince Lawmakers to Legalize Poker in Texas

Texas Association of Poker Players Now in Business

published on: Monday Jun 26, 2006

Wayne Long used to play small buy-in Texas hold’em tournaments in a bar outside of Houston’s city limits. He even won one of the events, and says the couple who ran the little “beer joint” got assurance from county officials that they wouldn't be bothered, even though holding poker tournaments in a public place in Texas has been illegal for decades.

And the owners were right, the county didn’t bother them at all. It was state officials who came in and shut down the game, which shouldn’t have been a surprise for any of the players who play poker in Texas.

The state has taken a clear and inflexible stance on poker in Texas, cancelling everything from charity tournaments to “poker runs” across the state. Not even poker superstars are exempt. Last May, the Phil Hellmuth Poker Challenge, a charity tournament scheduled to be held in Houston, was ordered cancelled by the state’s attorney general. The event was expected to raise at least $250,000 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Long is so sick of poker players being treated like criminals in his state that he decided to do something about it and formed the Texas Association of Poker Players (TAPP).

“It really annoyed me that I’m having to sneak around and have to worry about stuff like that when all I want to do is play poker,” Long said. “I got ticked off, is actually what happened.”

The Houston real estate broker formed TAPP in February and spent the last four months preparing to go public. He built a website, recruited some of his poker-playing friends and announced to the world last week that TAPP is here. He’s now working on getting the word out to Texas poker players that TAPP wants to work hard to make poker legal in his state.

“Our basic goal is to unite Texas poker players so they could speak with one voice,” Long said. “Everybody knows here that if we got to vote on legalizing poker, it would be approved.”

Long has history to back his claim up. Pari-mutuel betting and horse racing was legalized in Texas back in the late ’80s after years of effort went into getting it on the referendum ballot. It passed the first time around. The same thing happened with the state lottery about a decade later.

“The people of Texas have demonstrated that they kind of like to gamble,” Long said.

Long’s next step is to recruit as many players as he can to join TAPP. Soon, radio spots and print ads will appear promoting TAPP around Houston, with plans to extend to other parts of the state soon. When membership reaches about 1,500 people, TAPP will hire a law firm based in Austin that specializes in lobbying issues.

Long believes he shouldn’t have a problem convincing members to join his cause. Texas is a big state with lots and lots of people who play cards, especially the game that bears Texas’s name. It’s just a matter of getting the word out.

“If we can figure out who is all out there and who will come to the table, we’ll be a big group,” he said.

Long also says he’s been in contact with other nonprofit groups that are working to convince lawmakers that poker should be legalized. Long believes it’s essential for the groups to put on a united front to fight for the legalization of poker.

People can join TAPP for as little as $25. There are also different levels of sponsorship, the $250 “Association Sponsorship” being the most expensive. Right now, less than a week old, TAPP has only about 50 members, but Long predicts that will soon change, considering his efforts.

Plus, players are starting to realize that the threat to poker is a real one. Washington State just made it a Class C felony to play poker online there and there are several lawmakers that are working hard to pass bills to stop online poker in its tracks. Click here and here for’s past articles on this issue.

TAPP can be found at Visit them for more information.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

poker superstars: Full Tilt Brings Back Live Poker On FSN Tonight

June 22, 2006
Earl BurtonPrint

Post a comment Full Tilt Poker and the Fox Sports Network continue to provide the best live tournament poker action on the television today. In the past, the two entities have teamed up to present invitational events from Las Vegas (July 2005 at the Wynn Hotel) and Monaco (following last year's Monte Carlo Millions) and Fox Sports Network was the first and only network to ever broadcast a final table from a major tournament in 2004. Now they team up to present what might be a preview of some of the action at the World Series with the " Pro Showdown From Red Rock" on June 22nd (Tonight) at 6PM Eastern Time.

As with the Monaco invitational event, Full Tilt has brought together seven of the best players from their online poker room for what will be a million dollar battle. The seven player single table tournament will follow the format that was set out during the Monaco invitational event. Each player will put up $120,000 and Hollybrook Regency, Inc. (the tournament promoter) will add in another $160,000 to round out the pot. The seven players then will commence to the fight on the felt with first place paying out $600,000, the runner up spot earning 280,000 and the third place finisher basically getting their money back for their efforts.

Full Tilt has brought together a formidable field for the " Pro Showdown From Red Rock". Between the players at the final table, there are a grand total of 22 World Series of Poker bracelets and a wealth of other poker experience. Leading the players to the table will be former World Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who will be joined by fellow Tilters Phil Ivey (who has won two of the previous live poker broadcasts on FSN, including last year's event in Monaco), Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Erick Lindgren and Clonie Gowen for what should be an entertaining "sit and go" and should be an excellent display of poker just days before the World Series begins in Las Vegas.

Veteran sports announcer Barry Tompkins will call the action and will be assisted by two of the best poker minds around. Professional player Howard "The Professor" Lederer steps up for color commentary (perhaps one of these times we'll see Howard play in an FSN broadcast) and Tompkins will also have the additional insight of poker author and player Michael Konik.

Fox Sports has to be commended for their continued commitment to not just live poker on television but to the game overall. This will be the fourth time that the network has broadcast a live event and adds in nicely to the wealth of poker programming that the network has presented here in 2006 (which includes the PokerDome Challenge, the Monte Carlo Millions, the Aussie Millions and the Poker Superstars International, among others). FSN also presents one of the best learning tools that a poker player can watch with the "Learn From The Pros" series that is continually running on the network.

The " Pro Showdown From Red Rock" should be just the thing to whet appetites for this year's World Series. From the event as well, we should be able to get a good read on who has their game in shape for the upcoming World Series of Poker, which starts the following week. Warm up your TiVo's or make sure you're near a television on Thursday night as Fox Sports Network and Full Tilt once again bring excellent live poker to television at 6PM Eastern Time (be sure to check local Fox Sports Network channels for actual broadcast time).

Ed Note: While watching this show, play your own sit n go at Full Tilt sign up today.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

poker superstars: FULLTILTPOKER.NET Pro Showdown Airs LIVE Thursday on FSN

Pro Players Compete for $1 Million at Red Rock Casino Las Vegas
The best poker players in the world will compete for $1,000,000 as FSN furthers its already prominent position as the only network daring enough to televise live poker. Coverage of the FullTilt Pro Showdown will include a televised all-star, single-table tournament on Thursday, June 22 at 6:00 pm EST/3:00 pm PST.

This is the fourth live poker tournament FSN has showcased featuring seven Team Full Tilt poker superstars from its all-star roster. Hollybrook Regency Inc., who is kicking in another $160,000 to bring the purse up to a cool million, is promoting the tournament with a $120,000 buy-in. The seven Full Tilt players have 22 World Series of Poker bracelets combined and have amassed tens of millions of dollars in poker winnings. The winner will receive $600,000, with the runner-up taking home $280,000 and third place breaking even, winning $120,000.

The players:

Phil Ivey: Also a five-time WSOP bracelet winner, Ivey is the answer other pros often give to the question, “Which player do you least like to see at your table?” Cool and calculated, Ivey almost never makes mistakes and has no tells. Ivey has won two of FSN’s previous three live poker tournaments and is the favorite at this table.

Chris "Jesus" Ferguson: The 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion has five WSOP bracelets overall. Ferguson, as well known for his poker prowess as his ability to slice fruit in half by throwing cards and his hysterical beer commercials, is one of the most analytical players in poker. With a PhD from UCLA in computer science, Ferguson often has the odds calculated before the cards hit the felt.

John Juanda: Every time a poker tournament is on television, Juanda seems to be at the final table. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner has made five World Poker Tour final tables and has won 19 tournaments overall.

Erik Seidel: Only four men in history have more World Series of Poker bracelets than Seidel’s seven. His strength lies in his ability to make the necessary reads in all kinds of formats. His seven bracelets came in five different events. A master tournament player, Seidel is hoping to use a victory at Red Rock to propel himself towards his eighth WSOP title.

Mike Matusow: “The Mouth” roared in 2005, making the final table of the WSOP main event and winning the WSOP Tournament of Champions. Matusow’s mouth is the reason television invented a short delay, as nobody – not even Mike himself – knows what he’ll say at any given moment of the tournament. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner will definitely be the player to watch – and listen to – in this tournament.

Erick Lindgren: His victory in 2004’s Poker Million III tournament earned him $1,000,000 and shot him into the poker spotlight. Always a prestigious online tournament player, Lindgren has had success moving deeper into larger tournaments and should be a force in the 2006 WSOP.

Clonie Gowen: Regardless of her finish in the FullTilt Pro Showdown from Red Rock, Gowen is going to have an amazing day on June 22, as she will be the featured cover girl on Maxim magazine. But Gowen isn’t just a pretty face -- in 2003, she bested world-renowned players Annie Duke and Jennifer Harmon to win the World Poker Tour Ladies’ Night event.

FSN’s veteran poker announcer Barry Tompkins will call the action alongside analysts Michael Konik and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Howard Lederer, who’ll serve as an analyst for a third FSN live poker telecast.

This is’s fourth program and the third live tournament telecast on FSN.

Monday, June 19, 2006

poker superstars: Jennifer Tilly Stays Alive With PSIT 3 Win

Chris Ferguson’s Fourth-Place Finish Sets Up an Interesting Final Match
Jennifer Tilly kept her hopes to make the second round of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament 3 (PSIT 3) alive in her fourth elimination round match, besting some of the greatest players in the world on her way to first place and the 10 points that comes with it. She would probably make it to the second round of 16 players if she placed third or better in her last match. A win would definitely put her in. She now has 17 points.

Antonio Esfandiari came into the match with 22 points and added another seven for finishing second. His 29 points puts him at the top of the leader board by two points over Barry Greenstein and Erick Lindgren, who both have 27 with one match to go.

Greg Raymer added five points to the five he brought to his fourth PSIT 3 elimination match and it looks like the only thing he’ll be playing for in his last match is the $10,000 that goes to the table’s winner.

Chris Ferguson earned three points for a fourth place finish, bringing his total to 16 with one match to go. Ferguson still has a great chance to make it into the second round. He already won one table (in his third match) and there’s no doubt he can do it again. If he does that, he’s through to the second round.

Jennifer Harman finished fifth and added one point to the 11 she brought to the match. A win will put her close to the bubble, but depending on how the other players do in their fifth round matches, 21 points may not be good enough to advance.

And Ted Forrest remains at the bottom of the leader board with three points. In all but his first match, he was the first player knocked out in his matches (He managed to squeak out a fourth-place finish in his first match).

Forrest, this year’s Heads-Up Poker Champion, will not go any farther in this competition after his last match is played.

PSIT 3 is shown on FSN every Sunday at 8 p.m. local time. Click here to visit’s complete Internet coverage of the event.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

poker superstars:Get your game on: professional gaming comes to North American TV

6/6/2006 1:50:05 PM, by Jeremy Reimer

A number of years ago, there was a Far Side cartoon featuring a young nerdling consumed by his Nintendo games. His adoring parents gazed on, dreaming of a whole stack of newspaper job ads with taglines like: "Can you save the Princess? We need you! $60,000 to start plus company car!"

Well, Gary Larson may have spoken too soon. Starting around the time that the original Quake was released, professional gaming leagues began forming around the world. In 1997, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) hosted their first big Quake tournament. Each year, the number of contestants, the number of games played, and the total prize money have increased. In the CPL's most recent tour in November 2005, the grand prize winner Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel walked away with a cool US$150,000, the largest single prize in professional gaming history. There are other leagues, such as the World Cyber Games (WCG), that also host large tournaments every year.

Of course, as every professional sports league knows (especially the NHL), you're nothing if you don't have a TV contract. Well, Major League Gaming (MLG) has solved that particular problem, signing a deal with the USA Network, a channel that reaches about 90 million cable subscribers in the US.

"Video games already have a spectator factor -- when someone is playing in their living room, others tend to gravitate toward the television to watch the action and cheer or heckle the player," says Sundance DiGiovanni, the cofounder of MLG. "We are using commentators and telestrators to explain strategies and key moves, and to give the feel of any other sporting broadcast."

USA network executives say the shows are planned to air in November as a series of seven one-hour unscripted episodes. Featured games will include Halo 2 and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Will audiences be riveted? It might seem far-fetched, but when you consider that broadcasts of professional poker tournaments get good ratings these days, perhaps it isn't as bizarre as you might think.

As in many other things, South Korea is already far ahead of the rest of the world in the field of professional gaming. Not only do they have professional Starcraft leagues with corporate sponsors and multiple TV channels dedicated to covering matches, but the best players get to wear team uniforms and are worshipped by leagues of screaming teenage girls. Some of them do pretty well financially. One of the top players, Lim Yo-Hwan, better known as BoxeR, recently signed a multiyear deal worth over KRW 200 million per year, or US$200,000 (excluding endorsements and tournament prize money). Not only that, but the 26 year-old's autobiography became a best-seller in Korea. His fan club boasts more than 600,000 members.

All this for playing video games? Some may see the idea of video-game superstars as being a bit silly. However, after having viewed some of the best televised Starcraft matches, I'm firmly convinced that the intense training and nearly superhuman skill exhibited by the top video game players in the world can be just as much fun to watch as seeing grown men chasing after a ball or a puck. The executives at the USA Network are hoping that others will agree.

poker superstars: Chris Moneymaker First to Go and Is in Danger of Missing Cut

Chris Moneymaker First to Go and Is in Danger of Missing Cut

by Bob Pajich

Barry Greenstein played Zen master in his fourth match of the Poker Superstars Invitation Tournament 3 that was aired on FSN Sunday night and came out on top. His win knotted him with Erick Lindgren for the top spot on the leader board and he will surely make it to the second round of 16 players.

Phil Ivey improved his chances of advancing with a second place finish, which added another seven points to the nine he brought into the match. Ivey has two second place finishes in a row and, depending on how the rest of the elimination matches shake out, may need a win to advance.

Mike Sexton added five points to the 11 he brought into the match for a third place finish, and if round one of the PSIT 3 tournament ended today, he’d advance.

Mimi Tran didn’t help her chances by finishing fourth. The three points give her 10 for the season, and she’s going to have to win her final match in order to move on.

Daniel Negreanu didn’t even have to show up for the last two matches to advance to the second round, but he did, and was knocked out in fifth place. He sits in third position on the leader board with 24 points.

And Chris Moneymaker was the first one out in Sunday’s episode, adding zero points to the 12 he brought into the match and without a strong showing in his final elimination match, he’ll be bubbled and won’t make it to the next round.

Next week’s show has Jennifer Tilly, Jennifer Harman, Greg Raymer, Chris Ferguson, Antonio Esfandiari and Ted Forrest battle in their fourth elimination match. PSIT 3 is shown on FSN every Sunday at 8 p.m. local time. Click here to visit’s complete Internet coverage of the event.

Friday, June 09, 2006

poker superstars: Star! unveils upcoming schedule

Celebrity entertainment channel Star! is the latest Canadian television network to announce its line-up for the 2006-2007 television season.

Following on from CTV's unveiling of their itinerary on Monday, the showbiz and celebrity channel is broadcasting nine new and 11 returning shows.

Star! commission, Awesome 80s, features all-new interviews with icons from the era and industry experts who can shed light on the events that shaped the decade, famous for its scrunchies and spandex excess.

The Girls Next Door follows Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's three closest bunnies, Holly, Bridget and Kendra, in their unique lives at the infamous Playboy mansion.

Child Star Confidential is another US pick-up giving viewers a chance to spend time with a former child star who takes them on a tour of their early Hollywood experiences, with impromptu reunions and funny stories along the way.

Sexiest counts down the hottest celebrities in every sexy catalogue imaginable, while fans of 80's action series The A-Team can count their blessings now that Mr T now has his own show.

I Pity The Fool is a Dr Phil-meets-Tony Robbins reality show with Mr T in the unlikely role of social scientist, travelling across the US to dispense his own brand of no-nonsense advice.

Star Culture is the channel's new documentary series examining the exceptional universe of celebrity and all that surrounds the most famous Hollywood stars.

Star! is also unveiling three new specials. Poker Superstars is a condensed version of Celebrity Poker Showdown, Star '06 is a recap on the biggest stories in the 2006 entertainment calendar and Star! On The Red Carpet covers all the hottest events in the entertainment world.

The channel's returning commissions will be Star! Daily, I Love.. , Big Hollywood Countdown, Star! At The Movies, Star! Attraction and Star! Inside. True Hollywood Story, America's Next Top Model, The Soup, Celebrity Poker and Look-A-Like will join them from stateside.

Antony Reeve-Crook
9 Jun 2006
© C21 Media 2006

poker superstars: Shuffle up and deal

Jeremy Evans,
June 9, 2006

STATELINE - Sunglasses were glued to a kaleidoscope of faces while the clinking of chips filled the air outside Hard Rock Cafe at Harveys Resort and Casino on Wednesday. That can only mean one thing: The World Series of Poker has returned to South Shore.

The final WSOP circuit event of the 2005-06 season began on Tuesday at the Harrah's owned casino and will conclude with next weekend's $10,000 buy-in, ESPN-televised main event. For the second straight year, the poker universe is focused on Lake Tahoe.

"It's very exciting and we're very pleased with the turnout we've had," said Harveys' poker room manager Vince Contaxis. "There's a lot of poker excitement going on right now."

During the first event of the 2004-05 WSOP Lake Tahoe Circuit Event, 542 players participated in the $200 buy-in, No Limit Hold'Em tournament, making it an Northern Nevada record.

On Wednesday, 343 players registered for the $300 buy-in, No Limit Hold'Em tournament, which is the lowest buy-in event of the nine scheduled.

While no first-day records were set this year, Harrah's gaming officials expect the crowds to swell significantly leading up to the first day of the main event. Poker superstars Robert Williamson and Daniel Negrenau are scheduled to participate in the big-money tournament, which could award the winner $500,000.

"There is always a ton of buzz for the circuit events because poker has gotten more popular every year," said Steve Schorr, Harveys' full-service games manager. "Since the day poker was on television, every month business has improved. It's kind of turned poker into a sport, and people are billing it as the world's richest sport."

That was certainly the case at this year's WSOP Tournament of Champions main event in Las Vegas. In the event, Aussie Joseph Hachem beat out a record field of more than 5,600 players and won $7.5 million. Every player at the final table for that event became millionaires.

This week's circuit event in Lake Tahoe is the final stop of the season before the 2006 Tournament of Champions is held at the Rio in Las Vegas. However, the 2006-07 WSOP circuit season will begin at Lake Tahoe as the first stop of the tour. It is scheduled for September at Harveys.

Schorr said there are advantages of being the final stop of the circuit before the mega-event TOC is held in Las Vegas. The winner of the $10,000 buy-in main event tournament at each of the 12 circuit events is awarded a seat at the $2 million free-roll tournament scheduled for June 25-26 in Las Vegas.

In addition to the 12 qualifiers from the circuit events, the 27-player field will also include all nine players from last year's TOC main event final table and six invited players.

That means this week is the last chance for a player to qualify for that $2 million free-roll event, and then the 2005-06 season will conclude with the TOC in July in Las Vegas. But the end of the season is thousands of poker hands away and Harrah's registration officials are gearing up for a busy week in Tahoe.

"For this poker tournament, we wanted to make sure it's a seamless experience for the poker player," said Jason Beard, Harrah's project manager for corporate information technology. "We want to make sure people are registered quickly. Last year, there were lines and it took upwards of five minutes to register a customer. Now we have the registration process down to less than a minute."