Posts Tagged ‘Play’

Patrik Antonius: Today’s Poker “Painful” To Play

 Patrik Antonius: Today’s Poker “Painful” To Play

Although it may seem to be a simple game of cards and chips, poker is a constantly evolving game. The way it was played 40 years ago bears little resemblance to the way the players approach the game today. A player who used to be considered a “young gun” but is now a weathered veteran, Patrik Antonius, was recently asked his opinion of today’s game and his reply wasn’t favorable.

As the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop was taking place last week at the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe, Antonius was asked his opinion of today’s game by PokerNews writer Julia Lee. The staid Antonius was curt in his synopsis. “I’m personally not a fan of the way poker has evolved,” Antonius began. “How people slow the game down…it’s a bit less gambling and less fun nowadays. People take it a little too serious in my opinion.”

When asked by Lee how he would bring some of the fun back into the game, Antonius was at least prepared to offer some suggestions. “The shot clock is something that is going to be needed…because it’s really painful nowadays to play a tournament. One or two players start slowing down and suddenly everyone is doing the same on the table.” He then regaled Lee with a story of how that exact situation had occurred at his table during the One Drop tournament before finishing by saying, “It’s modern poker but I don’t think it’s good (poker).”

This is one of the big laments from players today. When ESPN began its thorough coverage of the WSOP in the early 2000s, the newcomers to the game were exposed to “characters” like Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow, Hevad Khan and others whose outlandish commentary and actions drew in the cameras. The newcomers began to learn that, if you did something outlandish, then the television cameras (and potential sponsorships, especially if you played well) would follow.

That changed in the late 2000s/early 2010s. The era of the ‘Brainiac’ was born, the player that contemplated every decision as if it were the Gordian Knot. These players, who would take minutes to make even the simple decision to lay down a hand pre-flop, became prevalent because of two reasons. Originally meant to show you were taking the same time to make a decision (and thus to not give a “tell”), it evolved into a way to save face, especially if caught making a move. It also became the new “Hollywood” (AKA the way to get on camera) when the different tours cracked down on overtly boisterous celebrations.

Antonius isn’t the only player who has noticed the “new” game today. High Roller regular Bill Perkins said over Twitter that he “pledged not to play any high roller tournaments that don’t have a shot clock.” Josh Arieh, the third-place finisher at the 2003 WSOP Championship Event, noted that “poker with no shot clock is painful to watch.” None other than Daniel Negreanu has also clamored for the institution of a shot clock in High Roller events.

The World Poker Tour seems to be taking note of this. Instituted for their Season XVI season, once the tournament reaches the last table before the money bubble, a 30-second “shot clock” is employed on the event. The players receive “time chips” to take an additional 30 seconds if required and the chips are replenished at the start of the next day’s action. The new implementation of what the WPT calls the “Action Clock” have been well-received by the players and by viewers on the live streams.

The PokerStars Championships have dabbled with the usage of the clock on their High Roller events (not their regular tournaments), but the WSOP has steadfastly refused to implement the device. Whether it is the tradition of the game or the belief that the players will police themselves (call the clock on chronic delayers), the WSOP hasn’t felt the need to even experiment with the clock. That may change if the players vote with the strongest method that they have available to them – their wallets.

The post Patrik Antonius: Today’s Poker “Painful” To Play appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill in Play

 New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill in Play

If the stars align – and who knows what the real chances of them doing so are – New Hampshire could have legalized online poker in the near future. A bill, House Bill 562, has been revived in the New Hampshire House and is simply summarized as “An Act allowing online gambling.”

HB 562 was originally introduced on January 5th, 2017 and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee a couple weeks later. It had a public hearing at the end of the month and then an executive session – the meeting during which the committee members deliberate over the bill – in February. The bill has had no further movement until now.

On October 12th, another executive session was scheduled for next week, October 25th. According to the New Hampshire government’s website, at the end of the session, “A report is submitted to the Clerk of the Senate or House entitled ‘Ought to pass,’ ‘Ought to pass as amended,’ ‘Inexpedient to legislate,’ ‘Refer to interim study,’ or ‘Re-refer to Committee.’”

“Inexpedient to legislate” is the really bad status in this case, as that means the bill is dead. Clearly, one of the first two is best, with “out to pass as amended” being the preferred outcome for poker fans.

As far as the content of the bill itself, there really isn’t any. It is just a skeleton bill, a sort of “insert regulations here” type of document. The bulk of the text is in the following paragraph:

This bill exempts gambling done over the Internet from gambling offenses under RSA 647. The Department of Justice to date has neither investigated nor prosecuted online gaming offenses and therefore does not expect this bill to have any impact on expenditures. To the extent this bill legalizes a form of gambling, it may have an indeterminable impact on lottery and charitable gaming revenue. Lottery and charitable gaming revenue is credited to the lottery fund, with net revenues after Lottery Commission expenditures being credited to the state education trust fund.

It does not specify any specific games to be legalized, just the general, “Gambling done over an Internet connection on a website on the Internet.”

If passed, the Act would take effect on January 1st, 2018, though obviously New Hampshire would need some rules and regulations first. One would assume operators would have to be approved and licensed, software would need to be tested, and all sorts of other things would need to be done, so even if this passes before the end of the year, it is hard to imagine people in New Hampshire being able to play online poker in just two and a half months.

The optimist, at least, can point to the fact that New Hampshire legalized online lottery ticket sales in July, so obviously there has been approval for online gambling among state lawmakers. The actual online sales are expected to begin early in 2018. There is no indication one or the other, but it would not be surprising to find out that if online gambling does become legalized in New Hampshire that the state lottery commission might be in charge of it. We shall see, won’t we?

The post New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill in Play appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table, Night One: Scott Blumstein Retakes Lead as Play is Cut Short

 2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table, Night One: Scott Blumstein Retakes Lead as Play is Cut Short

The 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event’s Night One (seems a bit odd to say that!) action is in the books and it certainly was entertaining. As the seven players (more on that in a bit) prepare to take on Night Two in a few hours, Scott Blumstein will have a monstrous lead, bigger than the one he brought to the table on Thursday night for action.

Blumstein’s 97.25 million in chips were slightly ahead of John Hesp’s 85.7 million stack, but the duo sitting beside each other didn’t look to have anyone who would challenge them. The closest competitor to the Top Two was Benjamin Pollok, whose own mountain of 35.175 million chips looked monstrous until compared to Blumstein and Hesp. Hot on Pollok’s heels was Bryan Piccioli with 33.8 million and Dan Ott was in decent shape with his 26.475 million markers. Damian Salas (22.175 million), Antoine Saout (21.75 million), Jack Sinclair (20.2 million) and a short-stacked Ben Lamb (18.5 million) rounded out those who were looking to take down the crème atop the final table.

To say that there were some fireworks to start the evening’s festivities would be a huge understatement. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of line to say that the opening salvo of hands was perhaps the most exciting in recent WSOP final table history. That the man having the most fun with his stay in Las Vegas was responsible for it would not be surprising.

Hesp came out of the gates with his guns, cannons, missiles and atom bombs of joviality and freewheeling poker decisions, entertaining the crowd in the Brasilia Room at the Rio and the millions watching at home via ESPN. On the very first hand of action, he would suck some chips out of Saout with a worse hand and, when he asked if he should show, he was egged on by the crowd (and some of his tablemates) to show the bluff right in Saout’s face. Saout’s didn’t seem pleased by the grandstanding, but it wasn’t over yet.

On the very next hand, Hesp would three-bet Ott and Ott would not be able to find the means to call. Once again egged on, Hesp showed his hand – pocket Queens (that had Ott beaten pre-flop) – that demonstrated he would make a move whether he had the goods or not. This led to the THIRD HAND of the night, in which Hesp only made a raise to get everyone out of the way. After showing his J-10 off suit as he raked in the chips, Hesp basked in the enjoyment and adulation that the entirety of the room seemed to be having and giving him.

Thus, the actions on Hand 4 of the tournament were a bit of a reality check for everyone. After Sinclair made a raise to 1.6 million off the button, Lamb decided to defend his big blind – it was only a question of how. Lamb eventually settled on moving his 18 million-chip stack to the center and an undaunted Sinclair made the call. Sinclair’s A-Q dominated the A 9 of Lamb, but the board decided it wanted to play some games. Coming down with a 6-5-4 flop, Lamb had a chance at backdoor straight and flush draws to take the hand. A turn trey eliminated the flush draws but opened some action for Lamb to a split on the open-ended straight draw.  All Lamb’s hopes were dashed, however, when a ten came on the river to eliminate him in ninth place ($ 1,000,000).

After the elimination of Lamb, a bit of seriousness seemed to settle in over the remaining eight men. Because of his early actions, Hesp had moved out to a decent lead over Blumstein, while the remainder of the field looked to catch up with them. Pollok seemed to be the best at doing this as his chip stack slowly crept up to solidify his third-place position. When there was a clash, it was between two players that probably shouldn’t have been colliding.

Normally at a final table, the two largest stacks – especially if they are in the positions that Hesp and Blumstein found themselves in – will avoid each other rather than butt heads. Thus, on Hand 47 when Blumstein opened the betting from under the gun, it was perceived that he’d get the walk about as his stack deemed. In the big blind, however, was Hesp, who called to see a flop with the only player who could hurt his stack, and the twosome saw an A-7-5 hit the felt.

Unknown to either player (but known to those watching on ESPN), a storm was brewing. Hesp had connected with his A-10 on the flop, but it was Blumenstein who was dominating with the pocket Aces he had raised with. That domination only became an evisceration when a ten hit on the turn, giving Hesp two pair but leaving him drawing dead to Blumstein’s set of Aces. That evisceration was total as, after Hesp checked his option and Blumstein bet, Hesp check-raised with his two pair. When Blumstein took no time to four-bet the action to 17 million, Hesp incorrectly moved all in and Blumstein immediately called. An innocuous trey completed the board and Blumstein rocketed back into a massive chip lead.

After Piccioli eliminated Sinclair in eighth place ($ 1.2 million), his pocket Aces ruling over Sinclair’s K♠ J♠, another 11 hands were played before a somewhat controversial decision. Roughly at 11:30PM (Pacific Time), either WSOP officials or the honchos of ESPN decided that it was time to end play for the night, short of the final six that had originally been on the schedule. Because of that decision, seven men will come back on Friday night to continue the festivities.

1. Scott Blumstein, 178.3 million
2. Benjamin Pollok, 77.525 million
3. Bryan Piccioli, 35.75 million
4. John Hesp, 22.475 million
5. Dan Ott, 16.35 million
6. Damian Salas, 15.625 million
7. Antoine Saout, 14.55 million
8. Jack Sinclair, $ 1,200,000*
9. Ben Lamb, $ 1,000,000*

(* – eliminated on Thursday night)

Play resumes this evening at 6PM (Pacific Time, 9PM Eastern Time), at which point the final seven will play down to the final three combatants. This will be the final stoppage for the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event as, on Saturday night, a new World Champion will be crowned.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily



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