Archive for the ‘Poker History’ Category

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

I have referred on many occasions to the vast sums of money that can be made playing poker. It never ceases to amaze me that a player can come in ninth in the WSOP Main Event and wind up winning $1 million. When can you ever place ninth in anything and walk away a millionaire? Or turn the $100 you walked in with into $5000 in one night?

But I never thought about how many losers there are in the game, especially among professional poker players. It seemed too obvious to mention – clearly for every big winner there have to be a ton of losers. But it’s not just about the percentages, or about losers on a particular night or in a particular high-stakes tournament. I’m thinking about serious, highly ranked poker players who have gone broke . . . and never came back from that.

In fact, according to a recent article by Alan Schoonmaker in Card Player Magazine , “If you’re a pro, you have a much higher probability of dying broke than members of other professions, including people who earn much less than you’re winning now.”

Yes, there are many pros that were extremely successful; former WPT and WSOP champions and bracelet winners like Johnny Moss, Stu Ungar, Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot and Gavin Smith to name a few, that not only lost it all and spent their final years penniless, but they also died broke.

How could that happen? Why didn’t they always save a portion of their winnings for their old age? Why weren’t they at least eligible to receive social security and Medicare?

The answer, according to Schoonmaker, is too much self-confidence, otherwise known as arrogance. That’s when you ignore the rules, thinking you don’t have to save money or pay taxes like normal people, believing instead that there will ALWAYS be another huge pot to count on every time you take a seat at a poker table.

Sometimes, there isn’t.

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

I doubt that many of us worry much about opinions issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, especially since the DOJ issues literally hundreds of opinions, on hundreds of topics, on a weekly basis. They are not laws, after all.

But, last week, when the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a new opinion concerning the 1961 Interstate Wire Act, the online poker industry was not only worried, but holding its collective breath. The opinion reversed the previous stance of 2011 which concluded that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting, opining this time around that the Wire Act applies to online poker as well.

Again, it’s not the law; it’s an opinion that will definitely be tested in the courts. But it’s an opinion that definitely threatens the growth of the online poker industry, hitting hardest those states currently trying to get bills introducing online poker passed in their states. It could also have a major negative impact on the future of interstate compacts like the highly profitable one that exists between New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada.

Senator Ray LesniakFormer New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak was a major player in the fight to get online poker in New Jersey and helped create the multistate online poker alliance that facilitates liquidity sharing. He’s ready to step back into the fray and do battle in the courts if necessary. As he told Online Poker Report:

“It looks like I will have to go to court again to straighten out the Justice Department’s overreaching on states’ rights, as I did with sports betting. This opinion is outrageous. It puts state lotteries at risk and state revenues. If Congress won’t fix it, I will through the judicial process.”

The burning question remains: can online poker in the U.S. survive this new Wire Act opinion? Or does it muddy the waters even more concerning which forms of online gaming are legal and which are not. It certainly will make those states that have yet to introduce gaming legislation proceed with caution, if at all.

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Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

We been asked many time who we thought were the best WSOP poker players for a particular year. There are way too many players we have followed who are serious contenders to make our personal list. Nevertheless, we thought you would appreciate learning who has in fact made it to the top of the hill to be considered the best of the best WSOP Players over the last five years.

WSOP Player of the Year AwardSo here are the last six Players of the Year :

2013 — Daniel Negreanu roared mightily that year, winning two bracelets, making four final tables and cashing 10 times. (Negreanu also was POY in 2004.)

2014 — George Danzer outran a lot of players to earn three bracelets, hitting five final tables and cashing 10 times.

2015 — Mike Gorodinsky made it through even though he only grabbed one bracelet for the year, making three final tables and cashing out eight times.

2016 — Jason Mercier won two bracelets, playing strong enough to reach four final tables and cashing a whopping 11 times.

2017 — Chris Ferguson who has been around seemingly forever picked up just one bracelet, making four final tables and cashing an outstanding 23 times.

Shaun Deeb 2018 WSOP Player of the YearAnd that brings us to 2018 and Shaun Deeb. We have been watching Deeb for several years now, and have always appreciated his slo-roll playing style. This year he finally picked up what many consider to be the most coveted award in the world of poker. He also took with him two bracelets, cashing an outstanding 16 times, and banking $2.5 million this year, the most ever for the Player of the Year.

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Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

As promised in our last blog, we continue now with a few more of our favorite poker playing celebrities. The poker bug is capable of biting anyone, whether you’re a well known celebrity, or just a poker junkie. It doesn’t care if you’re a film star, a television regular, a sports legend or just famous for being famous. And it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, man or woman, as long as you have enough chips for the minimum buy-in, you’re welcome.

Ray RomanoWe’ll start with one of my all-time TV comics from “Everyone Loves Raymond”, Ray Romano. Although he seems to be spotted at the poker tables quite often, he hasn’t had much success; in fact over the course of the last 10 years he’s only picked up about 20 grand in prize money. But Romano loves poker so much that I doubt he will stop trying.

Everyone remembers Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane – Superman’s main squeeze, or as Paris Carver, Agent 007’s ex-lover in “Tomorrow Never Dies.” If you ever got the chance to speak with her, as I did one night several years ago (that’s me with Ms. Hatcher in the photo on the left) she would tell you that she is a closeted poker player, and now she loves having a whole new fan base in the poker world.

Don Cheadle There are those who fall in love with poker and it somehow doesn’t seem to matter whether they win or lose;  they apparently play just for the sheer rush or the banter around the table. Such is the case with Don Cheadle who gave us such an outstanding performance in “Hotel Rwanda”, an inspiring actor who loves poker and doesn’t seem to care if he ever cashes. Cheadle is the co-founder of the “Ante Up For Africa” foundation, dedicated to raising money for Africans in need.

SlashPoker attracts people from every walk of life including hard-playing rock and rollers. We all know Slash from “Guns and Roses,” but not many of us know about his love of poker. He has gone so far as to be the main ingredient in a free poker-playing app, “Poker Slash.”

 

That’s it for now, but we will be back soon with some more well know poker-playing celebrities. Until then have fun playing your favorite poker games; hopefully on one of our premium poker tables .

Send me your comments or thoughts!