Archive for January 2016

Texas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

When I decided to write a poker blog under my own name (I finally conceded to the pleading of my husband, “Pocket Bullets” Paris, actually) I thought maybe I should bone up on poker strategy by reading a few ‘how to” books, like the ones we sell on the Texas Poker Store.

Queen of HeartsSo I did a little research, because that’s what I do. And I came across some interesting comments made by our all-time favorite poker star, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu, whose advice is to be careful who you trust. As he pointed out, anyone can get a book published and call themselves a poker expert. In fact, Kid Poker stated, “There are books on the market today that would actually make you a WORSE poker player if you followed their advice.”

Not only has that, but the game of poker itself changed considerably, especially in the last decade, because of the Internet. We now have a generation of young, skilled poker players who can play poker 24/7 if they so desire, thereby acquiring the skills, strategies and experience that used to take years to develop. In other words, the strategies that worked years ago may be obsolete today simply because the overall skill level of poker players has increased significantly.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be impressed by a famous poker player from before the 21st century! There is still a lot to learn from the old masters, including some great stories and fascinating history. There is also a lot to be learned from “how to books if you’re a novice poker player. But if it’s winning strategy you’re looking for, there’s one more question to ask yourself. Why would a player who is killing it at the poker tables tell everyone else how to do it? Wouldn’t they want to keep their best strategies secret?

Or, as Negreanu put it, “The truth is, many of the best poker books will never be written.”

Daniel Negreanu's Hold' em WisdomNevertheless, since our policy at the Texas Poker Store has always been about providing you with the best in poker supplies and accessories, we thought this to be the perfect place to introduce you to some of our favorite poker books.

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Texas Poker StoreBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

There are times when events come together in a synchronous way that can surprise even an old poker player like me. Take the other day when I was at the doctor’s office. As I took off my jacket, an elderly woman in the waiting room got a look at the 44th Annual WSOP t-shirt I was wearing and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness. I LOVE poker! Were you actually there?”

She was probably the last person I would have imagined would react like that, but then again, poker is something that transcends age. At any rate, I told her that I had indeed attended the last three World Series of Poker Main Event play down to the Final Nine in Vegas.

At around that point, the nurse who’d come to call in the next patient overheard us and asked me if I’d mind posing for a picture, with my shirt prominently displayed of course, so she could show it to her husband, adding that they love to play Texas Hold ‘Em and that they follow the WSOP TV coverage every year. My elderly woman friend agreed, and her enthusiasm got to me. So I pulled out my cell to show her some pictures I’d taken sitting on the rail at the main table last November. I was sitting behind Daniel Negreneau, my favorite poker star, who she not only recognized but told me was her all-time favorite, too.

Daniel Negreanu and me discussing my Rock n Roll Memoirs "Them Changes"There was no way I could resist. I flipped to one of my prized photos, the one of me standing with “Kid Poker” as he held a copy of my recently published rock and roll memoirs, “Them Changes.” The woman was obviously star-struck, and after asking me the name of my book and promising to buy it on Amazon, it was time for me to go into the doctor’s office. As luck would have it, however, we found ourselves going down in the elevator together about a half-hour later. I told her that if she waited right in front of the office I’d be right back, went to my car and got out a copy of my book from the back seat. When I brought it over to her she was genuinely thrilled . . . and asked me to sign it “To Faye . . .”

Oh yeah, she disclosed her age to me and indeed, age is not a factor when it comes to loving poker … I wish her the best of luck at the tables  and smiled all the way home.

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Texas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

My husband and I are co-owners of the Texas Poker Store. He, o course, is known in the poker blogging world as “Pocket Bullets” Paris, so I have finally decided to take the name “Queen of Hearts” Paris; it’s only fair. I have to admit that he’s the bigger poker fan; after all, he’s the one who plays Texas Hold ‘Em once or twice a week with his poker buddies and stays up late playing poker online after I’ve drifted off to sleep. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in poker.

Fedor HolzIn fact, there’s one thing about poker that absolutely fascinates me, and it’s all about the money. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me that a 22-year old kid can win $3 million + in one tournament, as did young German superstar, Fedor Holz, to start off 2016 with a bang at the Triton Super High Roller Series in the Philippines. It becomes especially amazing when added to the $1.5 million he pocketed in December at the Bellagio when he won the WPT $100,000 Alpha8 Las Vegas.

But that’s not even what I find the most fascinating part about the money in poker. What is even more enticing to me is what you can win when you come in third, like Devan Tang who won $1.4 million, or eighth, which earned Mike McDonald $351K. I mean, that’s not bad for coming in last. Of course, it can’t compare to the huge numbers the losing players take home in the World Series of Poker (remember 24-year old Josh Beckley who took home $4.4+million as the runner-up of the 2015 WSOP?)

The possibilities are endless and hope is always eternal when you make the decision to take a seat at one of the growing number of poker tournaments around the world.

I can’t wait to see how the money stacks up in the Aussie Millions!

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Texas Poker StoreBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Under the heading of too crazy to be true, we recently read in that poker super-star Antonio Esfandiari  was disqualified from the 2016 PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) Main Event for . . . urinating into a container under the poker table!  That seemed so bizarre that I had to pursue the story.

It seems Esfandiari, a sucker for prop bets, had made a prop bet with poker-playing businessman Bill Perkins that required him to lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours, beginning on January 8th.

Apparently it was a sizable enough wager to keep Esfandiari lunging around his hotel room all day, even tweeting about how painful it was and noting how he’d be in trouble during play the following day because of his aching muscles.

Lunging EsfandiariIn fact, he must have been in considerable pain, because rather than lunging across the casino to get to the restroom when he needed to, Esfandiari chose to stay put and use, in what might be called the latest version of “live streaming,” the aforementioned container.  Social media went nuts and PokerStars made the call to disqualify him from the tournament for a “serious breach of tournament etiquette.” We thought it was, to say the very least, highly inappropriate as well as a bit funny when you think about it. After all, who would do that and think it was okay, even for a second, especially now when everything is caught on camera and tweeted to the world in 30 seconds?

To Esfandiari’s credit, he was deeply embarrassed, noting that “it was a terrible judgment call on my behalf. I am a new father now, and this is not the kind of example I want to set for my son.” He won the prop bet for $50,000, and then made something good come from his mistake in judgment; he donated the entire amount to two of his favorite charities: One Drop, which provides drinking water to impoverished nations and REG, which helps reduce suffering in the world.

As Esfandiari said, “I believe in balance, and my life would not be in balance if I kept this money for myself.”

We’ve all heard of “splashing the pot,” but seriously; we hope no one ever decides to do this at one of our games!

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