Archive for December 2013

Vinny The GrinderBy The Grinder

The year of the snake passed us all by bringing us mixed emotions, and as we welcome the year of the horse, I am going to make New Year’s Day an excuse for some resolutions, and just like the past 10 resolutions, I am going to try to stick to it until the next one. Actually, I just have one. 2014 is going to the year for a “Poker Cold Turkey” for me. I have certain things I have to focus on, and I cannot devote any time to this wonderful game. I am still going to write my insights, thoughts, observations and past experiences about poker, but without playing a hand, and I think it’s a calculated and wise decision for the long run. Changes are meant to be embraced. Luckily, poker has no retirement age, and everyone has to pay their dues. There will be times when I win myself all the poker glory I dreamt of, but that is not 2014. Jim ‘Chief Dealer’ Paris has his own resolution. In fact, I could very well say that Jim’s resolution is my own previous resolution that’s finally becoming reality! Jim’s close friends know he is a real life ‘William Miller’ from the movie ‘Almost Famous’—a guy who may not have seen it ALL, but definitely has seen a lot, during the glory days of 60s and 70s Rock ‘N Roll. I always hoped and encouraged Jim to write his experiences in the form of a book or memoire, and he is finally doing it. I wish him all the best and I hope that he manages to churn out the best of memories in his book.

Ready to play - Cards and chips on the poker tableWell, that’s all from me in 2013. Remember. People at the table will always try to goad you and get you on tilt—you can never make friends at the poker table, and no single person speaks the truth at the table. Stick to your game and follow the ‘Tight is Right’ strategy, especially in the USA where Pokerstars is still banned. As Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson would say—“2014, Just Bring It!”


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From All Of Us at the Texas Poker Store – Chief Dealer, Pocket Bullets Paris, Vinny The Grinder, T-Licious, Queen of Diamonds Paris and the rest of the staff!


May 2014 be your best year and may you get just the right cards every time. Defend and protect your poker chips and you’ll be a winner!

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From: Chief Dealer, Pocket Bullets Paris, Vinny The Grinder, T-Licious, Queen of Diamonds Paris and the rest of the Texas Poker Store Staff!


May all your poker games be fun and may you rake in all the poker chips!

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Vinny The Grinder By The Grinder

Phil IveyPhil Ivey was charged with fraud last year at Crockford’s casino where he won close to $13 million playing Punto Banco – a variant of Baccarat. Now, Ivey does win millions, and like Tom Dwan, he is used to million dollar swings. In other words, he is prone to losing millions of dollars in a single session during bad runs, and winning the same amount or more on good days. But $13 million is not a small amount, even for this poker legend. The casino claimed that Ivey demanded too many deck changes, and the dealer realized that most of the decks of playing cards had non-symmetrical patterns, which made them vulnerable to reads. Copag Peek-Index cardsAfter the  casino’s refusal to pay Ivey his winnings, Phil filed a lawsuit. This might be old news to some poker players, but I really wanted to share (actually vent) my opinion on this subject.

Did Ivey do the right thing? Yes, I believe so. Casinos are a money-making machine. I wouldn’t call them a money-making racket, because going to a casino is purely based on free will. Poker players do owe the casino for offering live poker action, during the unstable and irrational political times when online poker is banned.  However, casinos owe poker celebrities a lot more, for how much they’ve popularized the game.  Young poker players watch Ivey on TV playing high stakes poker and WSOP tournaments. They watch his genius moves, his watchful restless eyes, and they all want to be like him. Poker celebrities have generated a lot more revenue for casinos than they can imagine. Just as the top 5% in the U.S. generates more than 95% of wealth, the top celebrity poker players generate a global passion for poker, and in turn an enormous amount of rake for casinos.

I believe there needs to an Independent Poker Players’ Guild, consisting of top poker players who have, over the past 10 years, generated an income of more than $5 million. This guild will be prepared for all legal battles with wealth-mongering casinos who do not care about individual players. As Robert DeNiro’s character, Ace Rothstein, from  Scorsese’s masterpiece Casino rightfully say,s “The town will never be the same. Today, it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior’s college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it’s like checkin’ into an airport. And if you order room service, you’re lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it’s all gone.” I stand by Ivey in this battle. On the contrary, I believe Ivey won because he possesses skill. Though Punto Banco doesn’t require as much skill as Poker, I still believe Ivey did not commit any fraud whatsoever, and he deserves every bit of the $13 million. Like Judas Priest sings in their popular song Electric Eye, “I’m protected electric eye; Always in focus; You can’t feel my stare.” Let’s stand for and support Ivey.

Good Luck!

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