Posts Tagged ‘Doyle Brunson’

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

In what he says will be his FINAL tournament appearance, poker legend Doyle Brunson – aka Texas Dolly – returned to the World Series of Poker on Day 14 to play in Event #23:  $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. After an amazing 62-year career as a professional poker player, no doubt his millions of fans were hoping for an 11th bracelet.

James Alexander and Doyle BrunsonIronically, it was another Texas poker player, our friend James Alexander, who dashed that hope. With seven players left, Brunson drew to an eight-six against the ten-nine draw of Alexander. The icon was outdrawn for the final time at the Rio when he pulled a king and Alexander made his hand with a deuce. (Brunson finished 6th for $43,963 and Alexander finished 4th for $81, 986). Alexander paid his respects with a Fist Bump and stated “It was my great honor to play with Texas Dolly, Doyle Brunson, Poker’s truest legend and an absolute joy to play with.”

$10K No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw | 2018 WSOP | PokerGO

A tip of his cap and a standing ovation for Doyle Brunson. Living legend ends WSOP career with a final table run in the $10K NL 2-7 Lowball Championship.

Posted by PokerGO on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

James Alexander with Jim ParisMy husband, Jim Paris, met professional poker player James Alexander, along with his poker player brother, Duane and his lovely mother, Tina, about six years ago when attending the 44th WSOP in Vegas. Alexander finished in 19th place in the Main Event (cashing out at $285,408) Jim cheered him on from the rails and they’ve been friends ever since.

Of course, if it weren’t for the irony of that final match-up, this would simply be a blog to pay our respects to Doyle Brunson. Considered the “Godfather of Poker,” the almost 85-year-old can still compete in high-level games at the poker tables with the best poker players in the world, all of whom hold him in the highest regard.

But it’s time, he says. “My wife is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine.” Brunson and his beloved wife, Louise, have been married for 62 years.

Doyle "Texas Dolly" BrunsonIn 2013, Brunson–recognizing the inevitable end of his career–paraphrased Dr. Suess, saying “You don’t cry because it’s over. You smile because it happened.”When he says his final good-bye to poker, Brunson will be leaving the game that brought him fame, fortune and a legacy that no one in the poker world will ever match, or ever forget.

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Texas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts ParisQueen of Hearts Paris

 

Our blog has been somewhat silent for the past few days, ever since I decided to do a series on the  Global Poker League.  I’ve been coordinating my blogging schedule with the GPL’s match playing schedule, which takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are many other elements about the new League I need to write about, but I’m not ready yet.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m getting hooked. .. It’s not that I sit and watch every match scheduled because that would mean I wouldn’t get anything else done. It might also mean that I had a slight problem! But I prefer blogging about poker when I’m in a poker state-of-mind.

Global Poker LeagueSo, when I’m doing some work that doesn’t require a lot of concentration, I have Twitch.tv/GPL  on my second screen. When one of my favorite players (yes, I already have favorites) is playing or when one of the teams I root for (NY Rounders and LA Sunset) are in a 6 MAX, I tend to abandon my work and focus on the match. Of course, there are many times when that kind of devotion isn’t possible and I have to settle for the replay, or even just the highlights, knowing you can always find what you’re looking for on www.globalpokerleague.com.

The standings were shaken up a bit after all the Week Four matches.  In the Americas League, the Montreal National took the lead away from the Rounders, who had been in the lead for the last couple of weeks, but the entire league is pretty well bunched up, with a mere 10 points separating first place from last place, currently occupied by the San Francicso Rush.  I’m pretty sure that with so many matches yet to be played, those teams will switch places more than once, with the team in first place changing often.

In the Eurasia League the standings are significantly more spread out, with 25 points separating the first place Moscow Wolverines from the Rome Emperors who are not only in last place, but are the only team to have 0 wins.  It will be more difficult to overcome the teams in the upper level of that league, but anything can happen in poker.

Bertrand " Elky" GrospellierJust a few comments about the play last week. I really enjoyed the epic HU battle between Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier and Randy “Nanonoku” Lew. The match, referred to as the Clash of the Twitch Titans, was highly anticipated because Elky is a “brand” in the world of poker, considered one of the best players in the world, while Nanonoku  is fast becoming an early star of the GPL.  The match itself was just fun to watch; both guys were perfect for the GPL/WebCam set up: they were both loquacious, talking trash, talking strategy, displaying their very different but charming personalities. Elky talked a lot about Nano’s strategy against Jungleman, making it clear that these guys are watching each other’s game for any strategy hints they can pick up for upcoming matches. At the same time, Nano was Randy “Nanonoku” Lewcharming as he talked about Elky being his first poker hero, and in his post-match interview he spoke candidly about his 2 out of 3 win, which gave the Hong Kong Stars some much needed points . “I’m just so happy right now,” he told the audience.  “I’m gonna talk smack to Elky all week in Monte Carlo.” (site of European Poker Tour’s Grand Finals).

Jeff Gross, playing for the Berlin Bears, earned a clean sweep (nine points) over the Rome Emperor’s Todd Brunson in the heads-up game. They seemed to be feeling each other out a lot in the beginning since they’d never played before. Gross, a former University of South Carolina soccer player, said at one point, “I really don’t know what he thinks of my game yet,” referring to Todd, the son of the legendary Doyle Brunson.

TPS Poker ChipsIn the first game of the match, Gross also said that he’d learned from Jungleman to “always bet your gut shot,” so he followed that advice and made what looked like a ballsy/crazy call, ultimately drawing the inside straight on the last river card,  while Brunson was left sitting with his two aces and no chips.  That game only took nine hands but it pretty much set the tone.

With the EPT going on simultaneously, it helped prove a couple of the of the GPL ‘s underlying concepts. The first is that the GPL has some of the very best players in the world playing in the league, as evidenced by how many of them were doing extremely well in the EPT.

At the same time, it shows how viable the GPL’s team concept is, with some not-so-well-known players, like hedge-fund manager Bill Perkins, getting the opportunity to play in a 6 MAX while other members of his team, the Berlin Bears, played in the EPT. Other less well-known players, such as Tyler Kenney (brother of Bryn Kenney, manager of the NY Rounders) and Felipe Ramos Mojave (playing for the Sao Paulo Mets under manager Andre Akkari) have been playing some stellar poker and really delivering points for their franchises, proving that only in poker can a less experienced player mix it up with the big boys and have the chance to come out on top. That doesn’t happen in boxing, or on the basketball court or in a tennis match.

Mostly it’s starting to demonstrate in a big way how much these GPL players want to win one for their team, as opposed to for themselves which is what poker has always been about. They all talk about the pressure they feel representing their team, wanting to win to help their team in the standings and so on. It’s fostering a real camaraderie among poker team mates as the fans begin rooting hard for their team.

The GPL is for every kind of fan, from the highly experienced to the newbie. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing poker for years or are just starting out, once you watch a few matches you realize how exciting it is to root for a poker team. And, for those who want to learn the game, or play it better, there’s an added bonus. So many of the players are also wonderful teachers and strategists, explaining their moves as they go along.  Some, like Jonathan Little (nicknamed the professor) explain every move; it’s like they’re conducting a poker clinic. Others just smatter us with glimpses of strategy. It’s got something for everyone, and somehow, it works.

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Vinny The GrinderBy The Grinder

Here are my top five picks of poker songs that might help you get motivated and pumped up before your big tournament at the World Series of Poker this year. Owing to their compositional brilliance, I loved these songs much before I learned how to play poker, but hearing them again after actually having played poker makes them truly inspirational for their lyrics too! Here’s the top five list in reverse order of favorites, followed by a noteworthy lyrical piece from the song.

The Angel and The Gambler, by Iron Maiden. The brilliant Bass God Steve Harris writes “Best make decisions, Before it’s too late, Take all your chances, Take hold of the reins”. You can neither be too safe playing a tourney, nor cave in to constant pressure. You got to hold the bull by the horns and take bold decisions, but make sure they’re wise ones.

Ace Of Spades, by Motorhead. Lemmy sings “I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is The Ace Of Spades”. It underlines how underrated an Ace is, especially in a short-handed final table. Never underestimate the power of an Ace.

The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers. Kenny sings “You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done”. Sure. Once your money’s in, it’s in! A patient yet strategic grind in a top-heavy tourney will give you rich dividends. In other words, stop thinking about that rent you gotta pay, so you can buy an island when you’re done.

The Jack, by AC/DC. Bon Scott sings “Poker face was her name, Poker face was her nature, Poker straight was her game … If she knew she could get you, She played ’em fast, And she played ’em hard, She could close her eyes, And feel every card”. A reminder that your ego tends to get the better of you sometimes, and you tend to underestimate players, for example, pretty girls. Don’t. Stay focused and keep your ‘A Game’ on at all times. Underestimate no one.

Deal, by Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia writes “I been gambling here abouts, for ten good solid years, If I told you all that went down, it would burn off both your ears”. Doyle Brunson would be a testament to this. Dolly fought cancer, was almost shot, and he crawled and scratched his way to the top. Every successful poker player ‘who didn’t lose it all in the end’ cannot have an easy story.

But then Garcia also writes “Since it cost a lot to win, and even more to lose, You and me bound to spend some time wondering what to choose”. If you believe in your game and your chance as a poker professional, please pursue it. You’d rather tread a painstaking path and make it doing what you love, than chase the invisible cheese like rats.

Other than your trance, and your rave, and your house, and your rock, and whatever else gets you going, be sure to give these songs a good listen. Good luck at the World Series this year!

Cheers.

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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

Extremely stressed out or extremely Nordic, bald poker players have always been in the spotlight. The stigma leads one to picture a reckless sleepless consummate poker pro who breathes, eats and sleeps online poker. Not entirely true, but like lefties, Nordic Baldies do stand out—mostly due to their menacing, and at times crazed aggression.

Bald Poker PlayerMore than a decade ago, I remember Gus Hansen frustrating the likes of T.J.Coultier and Doyle Brunson on TV. He even busted Negreanu for half-a-mil in one of the biggest pots at the time. He might not have been responsible for the Nordic craze that followed in the next decade, but he definitely set the standard and inspired many. Finnish Antonius and Sahamies and The Great Dane Danish Gus Hansen have a style that many have tried to emulate. While Antonius has been the saner among this lot, Illari Ziigmund Sahamies recently went almost broke, and Gus, despite winning big this past week online, is consistently featured on The Railbird Report as a massive loser.

Timely aggression is good, but crazed aggression has a prize to pay at the poker tables. Other than that, Scandinavians have done quite well. As you read this blog, there are thousands of laggy Nordic teens crowbarring pots of money from their online opponents, half of them bald I’m sure. Could this be Samson’s curse? Samson was Delilah’s lover, and the Philistines tried every tactic in their book, but couldn’t kill him. Achilles had his heel, Samson, his hair. His life was locked up in his seven locks of hair, and nobody knew about it. Finally, the Philistines bribed Delilah with eleven hundred silver pieces, and she got Samson to give away his secret. Just a crazy thought, but maybe Samson sent out his army to get back at the human race, in the form of Bald Nordics!

Cheers.

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