Posts Tagged ‘Into’

Three Reasons You ALWAYS Buy into a Cash Game “Short”

 Three Reasons You ALWAYS Buy into a Cash Game “Short”

What is the best answer to any question about poker? “It depends.” Yesterday we looked at the action at my home casino, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, and how some of the participants in the cash game I was playing were buying in for less than the table maximum (the most money you could start with). In most cases, every player was in for less than $ 100, not exactly the best thing to do if you want to play an optimum game. Even though it isn’t something that I would normally make a practice of, there are some reasons why you ALWAYS should buy into a cash game “short.”


Players who buy into a cash game table with less than the maximum amount state that, by buying in short, their focus is on the game. With a stack that can quickly disappear, these players believe that they make better decisions, make more optimal plays and stay away from problematic situations. This allows those players, through this better decision making, to double and even triple their initial stake.

This isn’t a crazy idea. If you’re on a $ 1/$ 2 No Limit Hold’em table with a $ 100 stack, you’re not going to mix it up with too many speculative hands such as suited connectors or baby pairs after someone has raised. You’re going to want to be the one who is dictating the action and, as such, getting in when your cards are good (or on one hell of a bluff). Play better cards and, normally, it will translate to bigger winnings.


This isn’t a bad idea, either. Sometimes you’re looking to get in that larger game (let’s say there’s a $ 2/$ 5 or $ 5/$ 10) and you just don’t want to sit around and wait for the seat to open. What better way to get warmed up for the bigger game than to sit down in a “friendly” $ 1/$ 2 and exercise the poker muscles a bit? The time spent at the smaller stakes table not only gives you a chance to get warmed up, it can also give you a chance to work on some plays that you might use at a higher level.


Why do most people go to a casino or poker room? For some, it is a way to make money. For others, it is simply a form of entertainment. Getting out to the casino is a way to interact with other people and, in those instances, the ability to play a game with a group of people and lose as little money as possible is what is important, not that they walk away with a double or triple up of their stack for the evening.

In the particular game I was playing at the Hard Rock, this seemed to be the driving factor:  the camaraderie. There was friendly banter among all competitors and, for the most part, there wasn’t any issues with a “bad beat” or something along those lines. It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours, as I am sure my tablemates were saying themselves when they left.

If you’re buying in short, what should you be buying in with when you sit down at a cash game? It is something that is going to be a personal preference, but $ 100 for a $ 1/$ 2 game is enough to get by. $ 50 is going to leave you a bit short on options (especially in No Limit) and any lower you’re simply putting a target on yourself. If you buy in for less than $ 50, you are subject to bullying by pretty much anyone on the table and you could find your chips going in on a hand that YOU didn’t dictate the proceedings.

If you’re playing something other than Limit or Texas Hold’em, then buying in short is not suggested. Whether it’s Omaha or a Stud variant, those games require that you’re betting “on the come” more than with Texas Hold’em. As such, you’ve got to have some chips at your disposal to be able to play those disciplines correctly; buying in short simply isn’t advised if you’re going to play effectively.

Whether you buy in short or for the maximum, you should always be playing your “A” game. Even if you’re an “experienced” player, there’s no point in which you should be playing a sloppy game, spewing chips without a firm idea of what you’re doing. If you’re not playing your “A” game, then it really doesn’t matter whether you buy in “short” or have a full clip of chips at your disposal.

The post Three Reasons You ALWAYS Buy into a Cash Game “Short” appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Three Reasons You NEVER Buy into a Cash Game “Short”

 Three Reasons You NEVER Buy into a Cash Game “Short”

Heading to my home casino, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, I was looking forward to some cash game action and, perhaps, a tournament (on this night there was a very nice $ 200 tournament that guaranteed a $ 10,000 prize pool with 25K in starting chips and 25-minute levels – a nice game that would test the skills). After battling through a monsoon to get to the casino, however, the tournament was already in full swing and I didn’t feel like late registering for the tournament. Thus, it was off to the cash games and, for myself, a $ 2/$ 4 limit game (not that I am against a No Limit cash game) that looked particularly inviting.

What was particularly intriguing about this table was the short stacks that were there. In each seat as I looked around the felt, the players were all on about $ 100 in chips, far less than you would like to have in front of you even in a limit game. It made me think about why you should NEVER buy into a cash game “short.”


Whenever you’re coming to the tables, you need to have adequate ammunition for the job at hand. There’s nothing worse than being at a table and (especially if you’re a post-flop player) not having the chips behind you to make a move on the table. Furthermore, you also must be able to defend your hands when you do enter a pot. Without an adequate stack of chips to work with, you’re not utilizing all the tools in your toolbox.


When you buy into a table short, you’re significantly limiting the options available to you on the table. Whether it is a No Limit table or Limit, you’re basically limited to looking for one BIG hand (a premium pair of Aces or Kings comes to mind) and you hope the entire table doesn’t come along with you. Unless you’ve got a stack of substance behind your bets or raises – especially in No Limit – then nobody is going to take a bet or a raise seriously from you.


No one likes to just sit around a wait for those big pairs to come along. There is a one in twenty chance (5.9%, to be precise) that you’re going to get any pocket pair (and the chances go down even more if you’re looking for Aces or Kings only) pre-flop. As such, players will have to occasionally go on a “hunting trip” and speculate on hands. It also allows you to be able to aggressively play your blinds, even if it is limped to you and the flop is especially gracious.

For example, let’s say the action works around to you in middle position. You look down and see an 8 7, but you bought in short. You’d like to look at a flop with this and see what may happen, but your chip stack doesn’t exactly give you the ability to speculate on such possible gold mine hands. This is also related to our previous reason for not buying in short as it only allows you that “one shot.”

So, what should you be buying in with when you sit down at a cash game? My personal rule is that I want to sit down with 100 big blinds; if the big blind is $ 2, then I’ll sit down with $ 200. With a limit game, there’s a bit of leeway because you cannot lose your entire stack in one hand. In a $ 2/$ 4 game, such as what I sat down in last night (with $ 1/$ 2 blinds), it is probably OK to come in a bit lighter than that 100 big blinds rule. 50 big blinds ($ 100) in a limit game of those stakes is acceptable when stepping to the table.

There’s a world of difference if you’re playing another game (Stud or Omaha) and if you’re playing Pot Limit. The speculative nature of Omaha demands that you have a solid bank behind you simply to be able to play a strong game. In a Seven Card Stud game, there are as many as five streets of betting – first down cards, Fourth Street, Fifth Street PLUS Sixth Street and the final down card. Especially once the bet doubles on Fourth Street, you need to have some chips to put in play if you’re going to be successful.

Many cash games at the lower limits tend to have maximum buy-ins associated with them. If possible, you should be buying in for that maximum as it puts at your disposal every tool in your arsenal. You can also survive a bad beat a little easier if you’ve got some chips left after the clash.

With everything stated here, what is the best answer to any question in poker? “It depends.” There are times when it is appropriate to buy in short. In what would be the second part of this story, we’ll look at those times when it is appropriate to buy in for a bit less than you normally would.

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Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

 Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

During the broadcast of Friday night’s action at the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event final table, the two latest inductees for the Poker Hall of Fame were announced. With congratulations, one of them was a first-ballot inductee in Phil Ivey and the other was a well-deserved and beloved choice in David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott.

“I want to thank the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame as well as the media who voted for me to be part of the Poker Hall of Fame,” said Ivey. “It’s an honor to be inducted alongside legends like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson. I love the game of poker and the game has done a lot for me.  I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion. Thankfully, I’m just as passionate about the game today as when I first stepped into Binion’s Horseshoe to play my first-ever WSOP. Thank you to my family, my friends, and all the poker fans across the world that supported me on this journey.”

Ivey was considered a shoo-in for nomination for the resume he has built over the last 20-odd years. From the days he played in the New Jersey poker rooms using a friend’s identification – which brought him the nickname “No Home Jerome” for the amount of time he spent playing on the Boardwalk – and over the next two decades, it is arguable there isn’t a more feared player in the game. His first tournament cash dates to 1998, when he won a Customer Appreciation event for $ 1000, and he certainly has gone on to greater things in the years that followed.

In Ivey’s first serious foray into a tournament schedule in 2000, he would final table four events at the First Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, MS, before moving on to Las Vegas for the WSOP. In the span of 10 days that year, Ivey cashed three times and made two final tables, including winning his first WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha. Phil Ivey was now known to the world and he took full advantage of it.

He holds the record for most final tables on the World Poker Tour with 10, winning one of those opportunities in 2008 at the L. A. Poker Classic. Ivey has also cashed 59 times at the WSOP, with 10 bracelet victories that put him in second place all-time (only behind Phil Hellmuth and tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan). More impressive than his tournament record, however, is his cash game statistics.

It is conceivable that Ivey has made twice as much playing cash games around the world than his $ 23 million-plus that he’s won on the tournament circuit. In fact, over the past few years, those cash games have infringed on his play at the WSOP, slowing down his pursuit of Hellmuth. Still, one of the qualifications for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame is to have “played for high stakes,” and Ivey has played for the highest possible.

The Ulliott family commented to WSOP officials regarding the induction of their loved one. “As a family, we would like to thank the general public, media and current Poker Hall of Fame members that voted David into the Poker Hall of Fame.  We know he will be up there strumming on his guitar and probably asking what took so long! How he might say it – I think you all know!”

“There isn’t a day that goes past when we don’t think of him and miss him but today we are so proud and delighted that he takes his rightful place in poker history – the legend of the Devilfish lives on!  One thing we know he would be happy about is the progress of John Hesp in the Main Event, a regular at Napoleon’s in Hull, David’s home city in the UK.  John represents what poker is all about – a true game of the people.”

“There are too many people to individually thank but we would particularly like to thank Rob Yong and Simon Trumper of Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham for their support and also we would like to thank Leon from Kings Casino in advance for offering to commemorate David’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame at the WSOP Europe in October.  Just remember, as the Devilfish would say – ‘Life is a blast. It doesn’t last. Live it long and live it fast’.”

Ulliott, who passed away in 2015, was a popular sentimental choice that year but had the qualifications to be there previous to his passing. Once a safecracker who served time for his offenses, Ulliott changed his life as he poured himself into his passion, poker. He became such a feared competitor in his hometown of Hull that he found it nearly impossible to find a cash game to play, which sent him into the casinos of the United Kingdom. His first tournament cash was in a Seven Card Stud event at the Grosvenor Spring Classic in London in 1993, where he won £200 for his sixth-place finish.

There would be much more for Ulliott in the world of poker after that. In 1997, legend has it his nickname of ‘Devilfish’ came into being after defeating Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen in Pot Limit Omaha at the Four Queens Poker Classic. Reports with the headline “Devilfish Devours The Master” circulated following that win and Ulliott would embrace it head-on, including having a set of ‘knuckle dusters’ (a form of brass knuckles) with ‘Devil’ on the right hand and ‘Fish’ on the left made for him personally.

1997 was also the year of Ulliott’s one and only WSOP victory, in the $ 2000 Pot Limit Hold’em competition. He would come close on several occasions after that, but would never taste of WSOP gold again. ‘Devilfish’ would also win on the WPT, taking the championship of the 2003 Jack Binion World Poker Open Main Event during the tour’s inaugural season.

Once again, while the tournament record is outstanding (227 cashes for over $ 6.1 million in earnings), it is the cash game arena where Ulliott made his mark. He also was one of the biggest characters in poker, taking such poker programming as Late Night Poker to unprecedented heights with his roguish personality. When he passed in 2015, not only the British poker community but the international poker world mourned the passing of a truly one of a kind character.

Congratulations to Ivey and the Ulliott Family for their inductions into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

 World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

The World Poker Tour has, at certain points in its history, stretched their moniker as far as “world.” For a few years, the organization barely left the States of America and, if it did, it was still on the North American continent. Of late, however, the WPT has been stretching out into the international market, as demonstrated by their latest endeavors on both sides of the globe.

The WPT and India-based announced that they would be collaborating to expand poker in the billion-people strong country. This Asia-Pacific expansion between the two groups will be twofold, with a new tournament – the WPTDeepStacks India – as well as a brand-new honor for yearly performance in the WPT India Player of the Year award. Between both endeavors, the WPT and are looking to make poker even bigger in the country.

“With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape,” added Angelica Hael, the WPT’s Vice President of Global Tour Management. “Together with our partner, the WPT looks forward to not only sharing the WPT experience through the expansion of WPTDeepStacks to the region, but also giving Indian players incremental value with the WPT India Player of the Year award.”

“We are excited for WPT and Adda52 to take its partnership to new heights by bringing WPTDeepStacks to one of India’s most beautiful locations, Goa,” Anuj Gupta, the founder & Chief Executive Officer of, added. “WPTDeepStacks India will be an exceptionally unique event since the tournament will be held onboard a floating ship. As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is the perfect fit for the Indian poker community.”

As Gupta stated, the WPTDeepStacks India will be held from November 7-13 at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, India. The $ 1000 buy-in tournament will be the capstone to the other innovation produced by the partnership between the WPT and Addar52, the WPT India Player of the Year award. Along with the DeepStacks tournament, two other events in India will be held to find the best player in the country.

From July 20-24, the Deltin Poker Tour Goa will hold a $ 540 Main Event, with the people who cash in the tournament earning all-important points towards the WPT India POY. From September 6-11, there will be another $ 540 tournament for the Deltin Poker Tour Goa where players can earn more points. Along with the November WPT DeepStacks tournament, the player who earns the most points through the three tournaments will win the WPT India Player of the Year award.

Danny McDonagh, the WPT Live Events Specialist, commented, “Alongside the outstanding team at, the World Poker Tour is proud to introduce a dedicated WPT India Player of the Year award to showcase the region’s top talent and to bring WPTDeepStacks to this flourishing market.” In making this statement, McDonagh also brought up the prizes for those who vie for this title. The eventual champion will be named Player of the Year and earn a $ 5000 credit for WPT events and Deltin tournaments during Season XVII of the WPT.

Alongside their stretch into the Asia-Pacific market, the WPT is also looking southward for more poker action. Earlier this week the WPT announced that they had paired with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay to bring a televised poker event to the South American country. As a part of their Season XVI schedule, the new WPTDeepStacks Uruguay Main Event (with two opening day flights and a $ 1500 buy in) will play from November 1-5 this fall.

“With its entry into South America, the World Poker Tour is now on its fifth continent,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, in announcing the new stop. “As the WPT continues its global expansion, we look forward to showcasing the abundance of poker talent across the globe and bringing the game to new audiences worldwide, starting with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay.”

“It is an honor that a company as prestigious as the World Poker Tour has chosen Enjoy Punta del Este to co-host the tour’s first televised event in South America,” said Sebastián Truffello, the General Manager of Enjoy Punta del Este. “It is no secret that the WPT features the best televised poker tournaments in the world, and it is our great pleasure to partner with the WPT for this extraordinary event. We have no doubt that the combination of Enjoy’s expertise and infrastructure, plus the incredible experience of participating in a world-class WPT televised tournament, will result in an incredible event for all of those who attend.”

It seems that the WPTDeepStacks event won’t be the only tournament going on around that time. Although it has yet to be finalized, there is a full schedule of preliminary events that will surround the WPT tournament in Punta del Este, promising plenty of poker action for all. For those that don’t do so well on the tables, there is plenty of beaches and entertainment to take the mind off the losses – at least for a bit.

The WPT – the organization where “world” was once a funny joke – is truly striving to make it an integral part of its being. With the new events spanning the globe in India and South America, the reach of the WPT seems to only become greater.

Poker News Daily

Marc Macdonnell Takes Massive Lead into Day 3 of WPT Nottingham

 Marc Macdonnell Takes Massive Lead into Day 3 of WPT Nottingham

Using a hotly contested hand that was the talk of the Day 2 action, Marc Macdonnell took a massive lead at the midpoint of the play and cruised into the chip lead of the World Poker Tour stop at the Dusk ‘til Dawn Casino in Nottingham, the United Kingdom, on Friday.

262 players came back to the tables, still not knowing what they were going to be playing for. With registration going on until the close of the second level of play on Friday, there was a chance that the official entries total would crack the guarantee of £1 million. In the end, it did come home for the hosts of Dusk ‘til Dawn, with 522 entries ensuring that the guaranteed amount was hit and setting out the payout schedule.

For the WPT Nottingham, 54 players would earn a piece of the £1 million, with the minimum payday of £4500 for those taking home a min-cash. The very flat pay schedule gives the person who will finish in sixth place at the official WPT final table a £40,000 payday. The top slot is where everyone wants to finish, however, with that player taking down the £200,000 first place prize and the seat at the Season XV WPT Tournament of Champions next spring.

As the day’s action played out, once again the focus of many was on the sideshow carnival act that has become William Kassouf. Kassouf, who was the focus of the late stages of the 2016 World Series of Poker Championship Event, was up to his usual shenanigans at the start of Day 2 of the WPT Nottingham. It worked for a bit as he climbed over the 100K mark in chips, but his demise was almost as delicious to watch as his dismissal from the WSOP was on ESPN.

Kassouf would lose much of his stack to a player who, while Kassouf’s mouth motored along, flopped a straight flush and Kassouf paid off his all-in. “Turn and river are an off-suit queen and off-suit king and I’ve rivered the nut straight with J-10,” Kassouf reported to the WPT Updates team. “He’s got 3 2 for the straight flush. Calls a raise with three-high, marvelous.” Kassouf would pitch in his final chips holding another J-10 and see the K-4-3-A-5 board blank, giving the hand to Karl McDonald and his pocket nines.

For those that weren’t distracted by the sideshow act, they would have seen some pretty good poker played out of Macdonnell. He was able to build a sizeable stack after defeating both Alex Goulder and Ludovic Geilich when he hit a royal flush, then would increase that stack in rivering a full house against Simon Higgins when Macdonnell’s pocket sevens found gold on a 7-2-5-Q-Q board against Higgins’ A-Q. Those chips earned would give Macdonnell a monster stack heading to Saturday’s play.

Marc Macdonnell, 974,000
Alex Ward, 534,000
Seamus Cahill, 501,000
Ben Windsor, 497,000
Alex Zeligman, 489,000
Sondre Sagstuen, 476,000
Christopher Yong, 431,000
Marc Foggin, 422,000
Patrick Leonard, 418,000
Kuljinder Sidhu, 414,000

The remaining 61 players will return on Saturday afternoon with a sizeable bit of work in front of them. First, they will have to pop the money bubble at 54 players, meaning seven people will walk away with nothing but a story from the WPT Nottingham. After that bubble has popped, the more difficult task of getting to the six-handed WPT final table will be in play. At this time, the plans are for the final table to be played on Sunday (and live streamed on and their Twitch channel), but that could be subject to change.

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