Posts Tagged ‘Igor Kurganov’

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

One of the nicest trends happening in the poker world recently is the desire to give back.  Of course, there have always been charitable players, but for the most part they were individuals who donated a portion of their earnings to causes they believed in. Phil Hellmuth, to name just one, has been involved with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Peace Thru Sports Foundation of Shimon Peres and several other charities.

With the poker boom came poker organizations, like PokerStars and their players, making substantive contributions every year to various worthy causes, from  tsunami relief in 2004 to helping the victims of the devastating earthquake that ripped apart Haiti in 2010.

One Drop, a charity dedicated to providing access to safe drinking water around the world, received tremendous attention in the poker world and beyond, especially in 2012 during the Big One for One Drop heads-up match between Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett. $111,111 from each entry went to One Drop, totaling $5.3 million, the single biggest donation any poker event had ever produced. In fact, over the last five years over $10 million has been raised by the annual One Drop tournaments at the WSOP.

Adriano Mannino Since 2014, however, there has been an increase in charitable donations across the poker world. One of the primary reasons for that is REG, or Raising for Effective Giving.  Three poker superstars, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, and Philipp Gruissem, already involved with effective altruism, pitched the idea of spreading the word to the poker community and soon REG was born, with Adriano Mannino named REG Chairman.

REG takes donations and distributes them to groups that are the most effective in reducing suffering around the world. Briefly, REG use scientific facts and rational decision-making, collaborations with researchers, think tanks, and analysts, to find the most effective charitable opportunities, those that help the most people possible for the amount of money raised. By doing so, donations become more cost effective by increasing the number of people helped per unit of money donated. In other words, they know how to get the most bang for their bucks.

Every day, more poker players are pledging to participate in REG, and it is quickly becoming a preferred way for them to donate to charitable organizations around the world.

REG has always had the goal to establish a “culture of giving” in the poker community, one that extends beyond the occasional charity-specific poker tournament. Nevertheless, spokesperson Boeree, noting the incredible success of One Drop, says that in 2017;  “ I really think one of the most biggest, and also the most fun ways I can think of doing is having a couple of these big charity tournaments. You’ve seen the fantastic success of One Drop, some of the events PokerStars have. We have the contacts to do that, we have the locations. That’s what we want to knuckle down and do – one or two really fun, prestigious—probably more high roller-oriented charity tournaments.”

Whether it’s a few major charity tournaments or a new way of life for players, charities around the world are benefiting from the generous nature of the poker community.

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Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

These days seems like you just finish one poker tournament in time to get ready for the next one. Around the globe, the biggest tournament, of course, is the World Series of Poker; in second place comes the Aussie Millions – Australia, followed by the Latin America Poker Tour – Brazil, then the World Series of Poker Circuit event in New Orleans. There are way too many for us to give you a complete list, but we will do our very best to keep you informed with plenty of time for you to gather your $$$, your senses, and of course, giving you enough time to sit at any poker table and hone your skills.

Super High Roller BowlFor now, here’s one for you to keep your eye on; perhaps you can shoot for it next year as it has already sold out for this year. In fact, hard as it is to believe, it sold out on the very first day with a buy-in of $300,000! There are a total of 50 players which created a prize pool of $15 million with $5 million going to the winner.

The 2017 Super High Roller Bowl sold out so fast that it has been confirmed as the World Championship of High Stakes Poker. 35 seats were sold out the first day and the remaining 15 seats were held back and will be chosen by the Aria Resort and Casino.

Every player wants to play in The Super High Roller Bowl. Not everyone can get in. The following are the confirmed players for the tournament:

Christian Christner Antonio Esfandiari Igor Kurganov
Matt Berkey Connor Drinan Steffen Sontheimer
Jake Schindler Pratyush Buddiga Rainer Kempe
Sean Winter John Juanda Dominik Nitsche
Christoph Vogelsang Stefan Schillhabel Andrew Robl
Brian Rast Bryn Kenney Fedor Holz
David Peters Jason Les Ben Tollerene
Tom Marchese Erik Seidel Sam Soverel
Scott Seiver Ankush Mandavia David Einhorn
Nick Petrangelo Haralabos Voulgaris Isaac Haxton
Andrew Lichtenberger Doug Polk Ben Sulsky
Byron Kaverman Koray Aldemir

The remaining 15 players will be announced by the Aria Resort and Casino. If your name is not on the list above, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get in next year. Good luck to y’all.

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Vinny The GrinderBy The Grinder

Decades ago, No Limit Texas Hold Em started out slow and was mainly played in southern states, until somebody decided to construct a paradise for gamblers in Las Vegas, and from then on it grew exponentially. We now have over 100 million poker players in the world today playing a totally different game, and speaking a whole new lingo.

Gone are the days when one would be content being dealt ten hands an hour, having a good chat with dealers, sharing poker stories, and naming each other classic names like Slim Jim. Poker whiz kids now play a wide range of hands, and strategies change once every few months.compuer-poker

The key is to adapt and improve. For example, a while back, Q7 was known as a Computer Hand. Some guy in the 70s ran a computer simulation, and Q7 happened to win most of the time, by sheer dumb luck. Thereafter, the phrase ‘Computer Hand’ was used mainly as a sarcasm by old-school live players simply because they would never play it. Q7 does have a 51.77% equity over any random hand, and while hands like J5, Q2, Q5 etc. have a close enough equity, it’s fair to say that Q7 is one of the best worst hands to start with—a good bad hand! I was recently watching the final table of the 2013 Guangdong Asia Millions. I bet that after you watched it, you’d probably have a wee bit more faith in Q7. Minutes after the start, short-stacked Isaac Haxton doubled up through Teng Zhang when his Q7 won against Zhang’s KJ-suited on a board of 7-6-A-A-9. A few hands later, Pratyush Buddiga’s 88 lost to Igor Kurganov’s Q7 when the board ran out Q-2-6-4-10. The point being simple—it’s not about playing Q7 as much as it’s about taking your chances in a tournament! No wonder Mike Mcdermott in Rounders said ‘if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a grind’. If you dream of winning a poker bracelet, you better start taking your chances at the poker tables.

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