Archive for the ‘Poker History’ Category

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

There are times when you’re at the poker tables that would drive anyone to go on tilt and swear that they’ll never play again, but of course, we all know that if you’re a hardened poker player you’ll always come back. Those times usually happen when you are holding what you believe to be an unbeatable hand and shove all-in. Then everyone folds at the table, except the one player who snap calls you.

You’re holding pocket Aces, your caller turns over Ace – King which, justifiably so, makes you a little nervous, but it’s too late now and all you can do is keep your cool and pray to the poker gods that your pocket bullets hold up. The flop is K-6-9 and you smile from ear to ear with your Aces. The turn is a J, and now you’re breathing easy with your bullets in hand, and for good reason. Your opponent has one and only one out, and you’re already thinking that you’re raking the pot; you can imagine the chips moving closer and closer to you. The river comes and all hell breaks lose in your head as you stare at another freaking KING, sending you immediately to the rails while vehemently shaking your head and swearing that you’ll never play again….

We all know that you’ll be back, but nevertheless we feel your pain. We have certainly been there, done that. With that in mind, check out these three Bad Beats from the 2016 WSOP Main Event.

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Click here and send us your bad beat stories. If we end up publishing your story we will send you one of our coveted Texas Poker Store Key Chains!!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

I absolutely LOVE what the Global Poker League (GPL) has been posting on Facebook recently. It’s a smart marketing strategy, calling attention to the players in various tournaments who just happen to be members of the GPL. It not only promotes different tournaments like the WSOPC, PSC Panama and the WPT, but also gets the GPL brand out there. Important, especially when there’s a long lull in GPL action as Alex Dreyfus’s team (and their PokerStars sponsors?) take their time to make some much-needed improvements to all things GPL (website, merchandising, marketing and the Cube to name a few).

As a diehard GPL fan, the posts on my news feed catch my eye immediately. On this particular one, there were pics of  two of my favorite players, Sorel Mizzi (from the Berlin Bears) and Olivier Busquet (from my favorite team, the LA Sunset) and a video.The post said:

“A Heads-Up between you legends would be awesome! Good luck Sorel Mizzi & Olivier Busquet at the WPT Rolling Thunder Final Table.” I clicked on the video and I was hooked . . . it’s short, dynamic, engaging and features “GPL” twice in 30 seconds, once by coining the phrase “GPL-Certified” – very clever! Check it out!

Then I Googled the WPT Rolling Thunder Final Table as any curious writer/researcher would do, and discovered that this was the second-to-last major event of the Season 15 World Poker Tour. I also discovered that the WPT was live streaming the Final Table which was extremely unfortunate, in that I couldn’t resist clicking on it. I succumbed to the fun of watching live poker and watched for four hours until Busquet (in 5th place) was knocked out. The fact is, not only did we have dinner plans that I had to rush to get to on time, but clearly there would be no Heads-Up between the two GPL representatives.

By the way, for those of you who want to know the outcome, the final heads up took place between Mike DelVecchio and Sorel Mizzi with DelVecchio taking it down. On the final hand, the last two standing went all in when the dealer ran a 4s on the turn of a 7s4c2h flop. Mizzi had the 6s5s, and Del Vecchio had the 5d4h. The Jh on the river gave the victory to DelVecchio.

Keep up the good work, GPL!

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Last year, when I was covering The Global Poker League’s inaugural season very closely, there were so many exciting announcements, advancements and “innovations” to report about. Some of them happened just the way they were described, like the choosing of 12 team managers and the highly professional inaugural Draft. Some happened not quite the way they were originally hyped, but still– at least in a scaled-down version they were pulled off successfully, like the heads up competition in The Cube®, the playoffs, finals and the Championship, won by the Montreal Nationals. Players were extremely loyal to their teams and the business of “sportifying” poker proved it had legs.

Not only that, but the software developed for the GPL’s online competition platform – the online arena optimizing the fan experience – was met with almost universal approbation. Of course, a few advancements were talked about a lot by GPL creator and founder, Alexandre Dreyfus, but didn’t quite take off.

One supposed big deal in their arsenal was HoldemX, a pumped up version of digital Texas Hold’em designed to appeal to the burgeoning gamer set, the millennials, and the non-poker crowd who just might be drawn to poker if it had all the bells & whistles of a video game. After all, the GPL matches were competing with millions of established and new video games on the Twitch network.
Holdem X

The alpha version was launched in 2015. It appeared on the GPL website all year. Many top poker players tested it and loved it, but between planning GPI Award shows, launching the GPL, traveling to Tibet and China (and becoming immersed in the culture and the booming sports economy), helping set up the China Poker League etc., Dreyfus/Mediarex didn’t have the time or money to give the development of HoldemX the attention it needed.

Fast forward to Oct. 2016, when PokerStars became the exclusive online poker sponsor of the GPL. Suddenly, there was money for desperately needed advertising and marketing, and lots of money for product innovation.

So, I found it fascinating that PokerStars is in alpha testing of their new innovative product, Power Up, announced as a big push to bridge the worlds of poker and eSports.  According to their spokespeople; “It’s a combination of traditional enjoyable No Limit Hold’em injected with powers that give players the ability to influence how hands play out and change up game play in a variety of ways with boards, cards and chips. This project introduces a lot of new features to poker that we have built from scratch and it’s taken a lot of time and effort to get to this stage in the game’s life.  . . We integrated a new engine within our software, created animations and powers, and put a lot of time and thought into how poker players will have fun with the game.”

So, I have some burning questions for Alex Dreyfus.  Why no mention of the GPL or you? Did PokerStars simply take over the GPL (and HoldemX) lock, stock and barrel, or are you still involved, at least emotionally.

Is there going to be a GPL in 2017 – NOT the one in China? Because its March and I haven’t heard a word about it.

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Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Because so many of you and so many requests by our followers asked again about poker chips and their origin, we thought we would revisit “the Real Story” behind your chips. If you google “The History of poker chips” you will find enough results to satisfy your desire to learn all about the “poker chips” we have been playing with since the early 1800’s. There’s nothing new that I can tell you that hasn’t already been said. Maybe future technology will come up with some mind-blowingly different way to go “all in,” but for right now it is still pretty much the same as it always was and using poker chips is still the most accurate and  fun way to play the game.

"Bluff Canyon" clay composite poker chips

“Bluff Canyon” clay composite poker chips

At least for now,  the biggest question still out there  is; what exactly is a “Casino Quality Poker Chip”? Ever since poker’s current popularity, almost anyone you ask and certainly most players believe that a real casino quality chip is 11.5 grams and it’s made out of clay. Not so fast.

Today, a standard casino chip is 39 millimeters in diameter with a weight ranging from 8.5 grams to 10.5 grams…not 11.5! Clay composition chips are very popular with casinos and the general poker playing public. The vast majority of “Casino Quality Poker Chips” are “clay” chips that in reality are better described as compression molded chips. However, ceramic chips were introduced sometime in the 80’s as an alternative to clay chips,  and are also currently used by casinos worldwide.  These ceramic chips are actually injection-molded chips made with a special plastic or resin formula that approximates the feel and sound of ceramic or porcelain. "Bluff Canyon" clay composite poker chips

Going against most players way of thinking, I’m here to tell you that no poker chip, or any kind of casino gaming chip,  going back all the way to the 80s, 70s, 60s and maybe even before that, has been made out of 100% clay. As far as I know that’s the real story. Check out these “Bluff Canyon” clay composite poker chips,  we think you’ll like them as much as we do!

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