Posts Tagged ‘Barry Shulman’

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Confessions of a Grinder

negreanuHigh-Five! Fifth time’s the charm for Canadian ‘Kid Poker’ Daniel Negreanu who won his fifth WSOP bracelet, as he shipped the Main Event at the WSOP Asia Pacific hosted by Crown Melbourne. Witnessed by millions live on the WSOP website, the classy Negreanu pocketed a cool Million Australian Dollars after he dominated his way to victory in the eight-handed final table. This victory places him sixth on the all time money list with a whopping $17.5 million. It is too early to predict, but he also now contends for the 2013 WSOP Player of the year– a coveted title that he has already won in 2004.

It has been a roller coaster ride for this high school dropout turned rounder and my personal hero, who started sports betting, scouting home games and playing casino cash games at 16! Since then, he has made 24 final table appearances and earned 51 cashes at the WSOP alone, along with tons of other tournament titles and cashes. To many poker players and to me, he is an inspiration for three reasons – his ability to adapt  to changing trends in poker, his uncanny ability to read, and his positive cheerful attitude not only on the poker table but throughout this philanthropist’s life.

He previously missed a chance to win a Main Event bracelet when he suffered a heartbreaking heads-up loss to Cardplayer magazine CEO Barry Shulman at the WSOP Europe 2009, but that was not meant to happen again. Persistence pays off indeed! Personally, my faith and belief in poker rejuvenate when I see old-school brick-and-mortar poker players like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, who have crawled their way to the top, performed consistently throughout the past two decades. On behalf of my Texas Poker Store family, I salute Daniel for this cherished feather on his trademark poker hat! Go Kid!

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22 year old Henry Lu from Brooklyn, NY.,  playing in his second World Series, came back from a ridiculous low of only one blind left  to totally rebuild and eventually win Event #43: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. He takes home his biggest paycheck ever for a total of $654,380, a WSOP Title and his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

Rocco Palumbo was competing against a host of big name pros that could have easily intimidated him. Instead Palumbo held strong and knocked them all out, including Barry Shulman, Liv Boeree, and Joe Cada. He was crowned the winner of Event #44: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, outlasting a field 2,949 entries to take home $464,464 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Forty-Four Events are done Forty-Four bracelets have been awarded, there are still seventeen shiny gold bracelets remaining. None of our friends have made it to any final tables yet, few have been lucky enough to cash at some of the poker tables. How about you?

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We left off at Event #22 on Wednesday with the crazed comebacks of  Randy Ohel that led him to win the $2,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball and his first WSOP bracelet. Ohel became the 18th first-time bracelet winner of 2012 on Wednesday. By far, the first-timers were dominating the individual event championships, with only four other bracelets being awarded to previous winners. And now it’s Friday and so far the trend is continuing and we have four more bracelet first-time winners.

Simon Charette,  a poker pro from Toronto won Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold ’em Six-Handed and took home a nice little prize of $567,624 and his first very own gold bracelet to show off back home. Maybe he should rent out the XS Nightclub for the night and throw the biggest party in celebration of achieving his goal:  the WSOP Championship Title and bracelet, not to mention that he now has more than $2.2 million in earnings over 88 career cashes.

Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better  belonged to Joe Cassidy, another young pro with lots of career cashes totaling more than $1.8 million, but up to now, has never won a title bout. He captured a World Series of Poker Championship Title and his first sweet, shiny gold bracelet along with  $294,777 after beating Scotty Nguyen in an epic heads up battle. Cassidy was up against some formidable and, I’m sure, intimidating players with impressive poker credentials, not just Nguyen but also Mike Matusow and Phil Ivey. Way to go, Joe.

Brian Meinders, a quiet professional poker player from New Jersey who’s had a modestly successful career with a total of seven cashes finally broke through and captured Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold ’em Shootout.  He persevered through a field of 365 that included some notables like Phil Hellmuth, Barry Shulman and lots more. He takes home the WSOP Championship title, a tidy little sum of $116,118  and finally, his first gold bracelet.

Austin Scott wins Event #26: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha , not the Congressman Austin Scott, not the football player Austin Scott, but the pro poker player from Oklahoma, Austin “Gabe” Scott, who last year came in eighth in this same event . What a difference a year makes.  This time around Scott wrestled a field of 589 focused, dedicated players who were not going to let him take the title easily. He pockets $361,797 plus his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

So far there have been 26 bracelets awarded and there are 35 more left to award. Are you at the Rio Las Vegas waiting for your chance? Or are you watching every poker DVD you can get your hands on in hopes of learning enough to be there next year?

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