Posts Tagged ‘Books’

2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Opening Flights in the Books

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Opening Flights in the Books

The two starting flights of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event have come and gone and tournament organizers can breathe a sigh of relief, as the tournament has eclipsed its $ 3 million guaranteed prize pool. Through Days 1A and 1B, there were 1,023 entries ($ 3,300 + $ 200), allowing the total prize pool to just break that guarantee. Re-entries are permitted through Level 10, which is just about to end as this is being written, so we’ll see if last year’s Borgata Winter Poker Open record of 1,312 can be beaten.

Leading the field into Day 2 is Shaun McBride, who amassed 224,200 chips during Day 1B, easily more than Day 1A’s leader, 191,100. That’s not entirely unexpected – Day 1B had twice as many entries as did Day 1A, so there were more chips in play and therefore a better chance that the chip leader would gather a few more than his or her counterpart in the previous flight.

McBride has earned more than $ 200,000 on the live tournament circuit, sticking mainly to smaller buy-in regional events. According to his profile on, he looks like he has become a regular on the World Series of Poker Circuit, with eight cashes in the past year or thereabouts. He had three small cashes at the 2017 WSOP in Las Vegas and cashed twice in preliminary events at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. McBride’s largest cash was one of his first: just shy of $ 100,000 for winning an event at the Deep Stack Extravaganza III in 2009.

The rest of the top of the leaderboard is largely filled with players whose names most readers wouldn’t recognize. Jonathan Little is there, as are Shankar Pillai and the seventh place finisher at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open that just finished, Nick Schwarmann, but that’s about it. Poker veteran Amnon Filippi, who used to be a regular in WPT events, but hadn’t played in one for quite some time until now, told, “It’s unbelievable how many new people are playing here at Borgata. I only recognize about 10 people.”

And that’s one of the great things about poker. Anyone with a buy-in can play and who knows, maybe one the “no-names” listed below will become the next household name in the poker world.

2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1. Luke Blindert – 191,100
2. Ricardo Amidani – 179,200
3. Geoff Cudd – 167,600
4. Denys Shafikov – 166,500
5. Joseph Giulino – 165,100
6. Eric Panayiotou – 143,500
7. Jose Cayetano – 142,600
8. David Butkus – 140,800
9. Ken O’Donnell – 133,200
10. Thomas Reynolds – 128,800

2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1. Shaun McBride – 224,200
2. Nick Schwarmann – 177,700
3. Johanssy Joseph – 176,000
4. Troy Longo – 166,700
5. Raghuram Jonnalagedda – 154,400
6. Jonathan Little – 148,800
7. Almedin Imsirovic – 146,500
8. Chris Orme – 143,200
9. Christopher Thompson – 131,900
10. Shankar Pillai – 125,100

2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Shaun McBride – 224,200
2. Luke Blindert – 191,100
3. Ricardo Amidani – 179,200
4. Nick Schwarmann – 177,700
5. Johanssy Joseph – 176,000
6. Geoff Cudd – 167,600
7. Troy Longo – 166,700
8. Denys Shafikov – 166,500
9. Joseph Giulino – 165,100
10. Raghuram Jonnalagedda – 154,400

The post 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Opening Flights in the Books appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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High Stakes Sports Bettor Rob Gorodetsky Banned from Vegas Sports Books

 High Stakes Sports Bettor Rob Gorodetsky Banned from Vegas Sports Books

A life as a professional sports bettor is a difficult one. Whereas most of us get paid at the end of the day regardless of how successful that day was, sports bettors need to win to pay the bills. Even salespeople, who sometimes risk making no money at all if they don’t sell, aren’t typically looking at losing thousands because of a bad day at the office. You know what makes a sports betting professional’s life even harder? Not having anywhere to bet. This is what has happened to high roller sports bettor and former poker pro Robert Gorodetsky, according to an article in USA Today.

In late December, USA Today tailed Gorodetsky for a week to see what the hell this guy was all about. At just 25-years old, Gorodetsky has been extremely successful, wagering tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per day and emerging as a healthy net winner for the last few years. He says he doesn’t have much of a system, that he bets on gut instinct, something that confounds casinos and other sports bettors. Those who have seen him on a regular basis, like casino hosts, say they haven’t seen any evidence of cheating, but some other sports bettors can’t believe he can win so much just flying by the seat of his pants.

Gorodetsky frequently posts winning betting tickets on Instagram, but his critics point out that on the flip side, he never posts losing tickets.

It is sharing like this that led to his recent problem. In the USA Today piece, Gorodetsky bragged about his connections and gambling discussions with a number of professional athletes and coaches.

Talking about New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Gorodetsky pointed USA Today to a May Instagram picture of the two of them with their arms around each other. He then told a quick story about how he loaned Beckham $ 10,000 to play blackjack. Beckham won and paid Gorodetsky back. He also showed the journalist a text from Beckham in which he expressed interest in laying $ 20,000 on a baseball game, but that bet never happened.

Gorodetsky also told about texting back and forth with Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Damon Jones about baseball picks. L.A. Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma is also a friend/acquaintance who Gorodetsky will talk to before games.
“He’ll always secretly be like, ‘Who do you got?’ You know what I’m saying?”

MGM Resorts International confirmed to USA Today that it has banned Gorodetsky from sports betting at its casinos. The implication the USA Today is making is that these and other professional sports insider connections are a red flag and may have contributed to the exile.

One other warning sign was Gorodetsky’s thoughts about how easy it would be to pay college players to shave points in games:

You just pay college kids, inner-city college kids who don’t have any money. Give them 10 grand. That’s like a million dollars to them. You know what I’m saying? Have a bad game, here’s 10 grand. I don’t see how they wouldn’t do it.

I’d spread it around Vegas, 20 grand a place. They’d never notice. I wouldn’t beat one casino badly. I’d take a little piece from every single (sports) book.

Gorodetsky said he would never actually do it, but that it would be easy if he wanted to.

Cover photo credit: @bigrobstyle on Instagram

The post High Stakes Sports Bettor Rob Gorodetsky Banned from Vegas Sports Books appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open: Day 1A in the Books with Andy Philachack, Pablo Fernandez Holding Lead

 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open: Day 1A in the Books with Andy Philachack, Pablo Fernandez Holding Lead

The 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event is underway with an invading horde of top professionals looking to battle against the best that South Florida has to offer. With Day 1A in the books, pro player Andy Philachack is joined by Pablo Fernandez in sitting atop the standings.

The $ 3 million guaranteed event had a $ 5000 buy-in and, in a departure for most tournaments today, only featured one rebuy for the day’s starters (if eliminated on Day 1A, players could come back for two more shots on Day 1B). With 30,000 in chips and 60-minute levels (and late registration/re-entry available until Level 9), many in the poker community have chosen this tournament to “get back in the game” after the summer’s work at the World Series of Poker. This was evident from the stacked tables that greeted the players.

The four men who have previously won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event – inaugural champion Blair Hinkle, 2014 champion Dan Colman, 2015 victor Omar Zazay and defending champion Jason Koon – each held court on a singular table, taking on the field as they looked for a second chance at championship gold. Not only did the former champions of this tournament take their seats, the current World Champion, Scott Blumstein, was also on the tables for action. Add in such notables as former World Poker Tour champion Tony Sinishtaj (2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown), Joe Kuether, Brian Altman, Maria Ho, Nick Schulman, Matt Stout, Ryan D’Angelo, Cate Hall, and a litany of other top pros amongst the 207 players who were there at the starting gun and the prestige of the tournament was obvious.

By the time late registration/re-entry ended after Level 9, the numbers were quite impressive. Seminole officials recorded 407 entries, with two players finishing with the exact same stack at the end of the evening. While Philachack was atop the standings for most of the day, Fernandez used a late evening double up while holding pocket Queens to sit alongside Philachack as Day 1A players take Saturday off:

1. Pablo Fernandez, 290,000
2. Andy Philachack, 290,000
3. Lahn Pham, 270,500
4. Alexander Turyansky, 263,300
5. Danny Schechter, 248,600
6. Jonathan Jaffe, 236,000
7. Oddie Dardon, 229,500
8. Nick Nieto, 226,300
9. Keven Stammen, 209,400
10. David Sands, 204,400

Add in players such as Paul Volpe (180,100 chips), John Hennigan (174,200), former World Champion Ryan Riess (159,600) and Ari Engel (145,900) and there are plenty of challenges still in contention.

Of the 407 entries on Friday, only 127 players will be ready to go with chips for Sunday. They will join up with the survivors from Day 1B of the tournament which, if it holds true for multi-Day One tournaments, should be a monstrous one. With less than $ 1 million to meeting the $ 3 million guarantee (less than 200 entries), the starting field on Saturday morning for Day 1B should eclipse the guarantee and potentially set up for a prize pool that may break the $ 6 million mark. It will be one of the things to watch for as one of the jewels of “The Big 4” – the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open final table will be contested on Tuesday as a part of “The Big 4” streaming broadcast on Twitch – continues the battle today.

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888Poker Offers List of Most Influential Poker Books

 888Poker Offers List of Most Influential Poker Books

There are many a book regarding the game in the library of poker players and its historians. They can run the gamut from simple (or sometimes not so simple) strategy discussions to autobiographies to historical books regarding significant moments in time. There have been attempts in the past to “rank” the best out there, but an online poker site seems to have come up with the most comprehensive rating in some time.

Earlier this week, 888Poker and writer Lee Davy published their list of the “most influential poker books in history.” After surveying 56 poker professionals from around the world (actual names aren’t mentioned by Davy but he writes that they have accrued “$ 184 million in tournament earnings and more than 40 major titles”) and offering them 129 different titles for review, the numbers were crunched to come up with the Top 59 (counting ties) selections. Of course, when it comes to rankings, there are some highlights and lowlights.

The top two choices probably would have worked even if their rankings were switched. Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold’em Volume 1:  Strategic Play was the choice of the selection committee, citing the groundbreaking work that Harrington did in presenting an excellent primer for tournament poker players. The second choice, Doyle Brunson’s Super/System, was THE seminal poker books for decades (and is still pretty damn good today), discussing not only Texas Hold’em but other disciplines such as draw poker, stud and lowball.

The first surprise for some would be the third ranked book on the list. Gus Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed took Hansen’s thoughts on virtually every hand he played on his way to winning the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event. It was an audacious task – you’re actually documenting ALL your hands on the way to winning the championship of a major tournament poker event towards writing about it afterwards? – and Hansen pulled it off well. There is some question as to its high ranking, however, in looking at some of the other books behind him.

The next four books on the 888Poker rankings attack the mental aspect of the game rather than the physical. Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman’s The Mathematics of Poker, Jared Tendler and Barry Carter’s The Mental Game of Poker, David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker and Cole South and Tri Nguyen’s Let There Be Range! all looked at various aspects beyond the cards in delivering their information to the reader. Each in their own right were tremendous tomes but, if you can encompass the information from all into your brain, you’d have a near-encyclopedic approach to playing the game of poker.

Rounding out the Top Ten are more strategy applications. Daniel Negreanu’s Power Hold’em Strategy, Brunson’s Super/System 2 and Matthew Janda’s Applications of No-Limit Hold’em:  A Guide to Understanding Theoretical Sound Poker are ranked from eighth to tenth, respectively, and both Negreanu and Brunson’s efforts are worth the price of admission. Having not examined Janda’s strategy effort, I am left with Davy’s take that “it is a book designed to help players who are already proficient in the art of No-Limit Hold’em become even better.” Sounds like something to check out!

Where the list is a bit deficient is in the fact that there is little in the history of the game – or biographies or autobiographies – on the list. The first book that could be considered an autobiography is Barry Greenstein’s Ace on the River, which doesn’t show up until #16 (many would put it higher as Greenstein doles out excellent advice through the pages). Anthony Holden’s Big Deal – his year-long trek on the tournament poker trail – only comes in at #25, while Jesse May’s Shut Up and Deal is relegated to #29. And what about Jim McManus’ seminal work Positively Fifth Street? Tied for #42.

McManus reflected on the 888Poker list – and his low ranking – during a discussion on social media. McManus suggested that there should have been dual lists – putting the hard core strategic books into one category, the historical and biographical tomes in another – to truly garner a look at the best. And in this writer’s opinion, while professional poker players would have knowledge and respect of strategy books, they might lack perspective in the historical sense; a segment of poker journalists/historians voting on this list might have been applicable.

Overall, the 888Poker list – and Davy’s commentary on the books selected – is worth perusing. How many do you have in your library? For those that haven’t built a catalog of material to learn about playing poker, the 888Poker effort is definitely a starting point.

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2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event: Day 1 Flights in the Books

 2017 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event: Day 1 Flights in the Books

The World Poker Tour got back in action over the weekend as the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event saw its two starting days contested on Sunday and Monday. Players are still allowed to register through the first break on Day 2, so we won’t know the official tournament figures for a little while yet, but so far, 1,120 players have signed up.. Leading the 588 Day 1 survivors into Tuesday is Jean “Prince” Gaspard with 216,900 chips.

Gaspard is one of those guys whose record casual fans will look at and say, “Wow, I didn’t realize he was so accomplished.”

According to, Gaspard has over $ 2.3 million live tournament earnings. His largest cash came just this past summer, when he won the 2016 World Series of Poker $ 10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship for $ 306,621, the first gold bracelet of his career. Gaspard also won a WSOP Circuit event in 2009, the New Orleans & Bayou Poker Challenge Championship Event, for $ 211,722.

Gaspard told that he took the week off before the Borgata Winter Poker Open so that he could come in fresh.

“I’ve been ready, and I told my friend I was going to bag up 200K,” he said. “Obviously you’ve got to run a little bit good. I played well, and I didn’t run bad. The one spot where I did run bad in a pot, usually I allow that to stay in my mind, but I erased it right away.”

As mentioned, there were 1,120 registrations in the two starting flights. The tournament allows for unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 11, which should be around 2:15pm today. Thus, it is very likely that likely that last year’s field of 1,171 players will be eclipsed. With the entry totals as they stand right now, the guaranteed prize pool of $ 3 million has already been surpassed.

Day 2 is about to start at the Borgata in Atlantic City as the players prepare for the continued long grind to the final table.

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 1A Chip Leaders

Olivier Busquet – 185,000
James Dorrance – 181,000
Joel Gola – 177,000
Frank Calderone – 175,700
Michael Hahn – 162,000
Stephen     Deutsch – 160,100
Lily Kiletto – 150,500
Randolph Pearson – 148,000
William Horan – 145,100
Adam Geyer – 142,800

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Day 1B Chip Leaders

Jean Gaspard – 216,900
Shankar Pillai – 209,200
Ryan Smith – 185,400
Asher Conniff – 180,400
Abe Aboukhalil – 177,700
Adnan Mohammad – 152,700
Tony Tran – 144,500
Aaron Overton – 143,800
Nicholas Immekus – 143,700
Barry Leventhal – 140,600

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

Jean Gaspard – 216,900
Shankar Pillai – 209,200
Ryan Smith – 185,400
Olivier Busquet – 185,000
James Dorrance – 181,000
Asher Conniff – 180,400
Abe Aboukhalil – 177,700
Joel Gola – 177,000
Frank Calderone – 175,700
Michael Hahn – 162,000

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