Posts Tagged ‘Martin Jacobson’

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

It’s a little difficult to keep on top of everything that is happening at the World Series of Poker. Did you realize that the WSOP is larger than football, baseball, basketball or hockey in overall numbers? For example last year the WSOP attracted more than 107,000 players from over 100 countries and paid out more than $221 million to the winners.

This year the series is expected to be bigger and richer than ever with a total of 74 different events to be played out over the course of 54 days. That, my friends, is more than just a little difficult to keep on top of. Most other sporting events that fans follow are linear in nature. At some point, in other words, it comes down to the top eight, then the top four, and then the two finalists and then the champion. That model even holds true for the Global Poker League.

Not so in poker, especially at the WSOP. There are numerous events going on, some simultaneously, and if you’re an avid fan like we are at the Texas Poker Store, you have a lot of “favorite players” to keep your eyes on, as well as favorite events. So, we love the COLOSSUS ever since its inauguration in 2015 when Cord Garcia plopped down his $565.00 buy-in,  and triumphed over a field of more than 22,000 players to collect his gold bracelet and more than half a million dollars.

Other big favorites, including ours, is the $1,500 No-Limit Texas Hold’em; the Millionaire Maker with its $1,500 buy-in and guaranteed $1 million first prize, and, of course, the WSOP Main Event, which last year boasted more than 6,700 players and paid the winner, Qui Nguyen, more than $8 million.

With all of the above in mind, we can tell you the following:

Of the finished events:

Event 1 – Casino Employees $565 No-Limit Hold’em won by Bryan Hollis

Event 2 – $10,000 Tag team NL Hold’em won by Igor Kuganov and Liv Boeree

Event 3 -$3000 NL Hold’em Shootout won by Upeshka De Silva

Event 4 -$1500 Omahi Hi-Lo 8 or Better won by Benjamin Zamani

As of this writing, the leader in the $111,111 HIGH ROLLER for ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em is the hugely popular Bertrand” Elky” Grospellier, who holds a commanding chip lead with only nine players remaining. Martin Jacobson, Dario Sammartino, Chris Moore and Rainer Kempe are also among the last nine. With a first-place prize of $3,686,865and a bracelet, this should be one helluva final table!

Of course, by the time we publish, that all might change. That’s just part of why we love the compelling and unpredictable world of poker!

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Queen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

When I first began watching and blogging about The Global Poker League, I was thrilled to be covering something brand new in the poker world. I loved Alexander Dreyfus’ idea of teams of world-class poker players behaving more like sports teams, pulling for each other and competing with other GPL teams. I enjoyed the 8-week online format tremendously as each of the two GPL conferences – Americas and Eurasia –battled for points and aimed for the Playoffs, just like other sports teams do. As I’ve mentioned many times, I became addicted to watching and learning about poker after following it in this format.

But there were a few small tweaks I wished had been made along the way that weren’t corrected, despite my tweets to Alex Dreyfus and the League. I imagine it’s because the pace they’ve been on has been incredibly demanding, going from one format to another, and one location to another in their very first season.

Nevertheless, I’ve complained from the beginning that if this was being marketed as a Team Sport/Game, the logos of the teams ought to be prominent. Instead, they were often difficult to see the way the graphics were designed for the web. For example, in this typical screen shot, the team logos can’t be seen when the hole cards are being shown, whether it was a heads up or 6-max format.

Cube Shot 1

In all cases, the web cams made up for some of the lesser problems; it was great fun listening to the player’s explaining their thought processes and strategies, much less becoming familiar with so many great poker players, but this still seems like an easy fix

In addition, someone needs to be assigned to keeping the GPL website up-to-date! The same articles and stories stay up for weeks. Also, the site is slow to load, and most importantly, it hasn’t been optimized for mobile which is an absolute must.

Moving on to the much ballyhooed Cube, there are a couple of quick fix things to improve the experience beyond the general observations I’ll make later in this blog.

It’s been annoying that the player’s names and hole cards are often under the wrong player, as in this shot:

The Cube shot 2

In this particular case, it didn’t matter because I was so focused on both of the player’s faces, as well as their playful banter, that I ignored the incorrect graphics. Who could take their eyes off Fabrice and actor/poker player Aaron Paul? But I did find it odd that there was no branding at all – none for the GPL or again, none for the teams other than in the intro graphics that precede every match.

Thankfully, by the second Cube match, both players were wearing team t-shirts and I assume that will be standard operating procedure from now on. It really reinforces the “sportify” poker concept. (Apparently, as seen during the 4th match between Nanonoko and Jacobson, the players can get out of wearing their team shirts which isn’t smart in my opinion, unless the GPL has another identifier for later on,)

In this close-up of Jonathan Jaffe, his San Francisco Rush shirt was prominently displayed, as was the Moscow Wolverine shirt of his opponent, Urbanovich.  These two players kept up a steady table talk throughout the match, with Jaffe poking and prodding to get information out of Urbanovich, which made it great fun to watch.

The Cube shot 3

It also helped that the commentators (Joe Stapleton and Eric Danis) as well as the guest commentator only spoke occasionally, never taking the attention off these two compelling players.

In the 3rd match, guest commentator Felipe Mojave Ramos spoke over the players almost continuously. Although his insights were great, I tweeted at him after the match about it, and he graciously accepted the idea that it was important to find the right balance.

As far as the Cube itself, just a few general comments as I’m sure I’ll have more to say once we’ve all seen more.

So far, most players have said it was a fun but somewhat difficult environment to get used to. Several said it was a bit intimidating, with the music and heartbeat sounds and being cut off from the world. I felt “naked” in there, Martin Jacobson said and many spoke about the standing element as well as the heat. All seemed to enjoy it, however, and I applaud them all for being so supportive of the concept.

Based on comments made by Dreyfus in several interviews, I imagine that this is the Cube in its most basic iteration . . . they broke it out in time for the Vegas Summer Series but many of the bells and whistles are still to come. They better come, because although it’s fun to watch these heads up matches, most of the fun is created by the players inside. They have to create it with their chatter and trash talk and personalities . . . and if you really enjoy poker, that’s all you need.

Watching on the live Twitch stream, it’s a great experience because I get to see terrific close-ups of the players as well as side-by-side shots as the camera shows pretty much everything. But it’s hard to imagine what the live viewers will see.

Is it this? The Cube shot 4

Or this?
cube-6

I’m going to hold off all judgment for now. But by the time TwitchCon comes along in September, everything planned to enhance the Cube better be in place, or the huge video game audience will walk right by it without ever noticing it’s there.

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By: Pocket Bullets Paris

Pocket Bullets ParisWOW…. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has flown by since last year’s Final Table of the 45th annual World Series Of Poker (WSOP) and the celebration of Martin Jacobson winning it all and  taking home $10 million. Now here it is 2015 and the 46th annual WSOP is almost here. It’s time to Rock and Roll, and the WSOP will officially put cards in the air, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, with nearly $200 million in prize money up for grabs. As always, there will be several new events and changes that are designed to provide more excitement.

The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has once again geared up and is ready to host poker’s most popular and prestigious festival from May 27 to July 14, 2015 when, as usual, the November Nine will emerge and prepare to do battle at the final table in November.

One of the new events that we are anxious to see will be on May 29 when the WSOP debuts the “Colossus” $565 buy-in with an outstanding $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. Wow!

New Events: This year, eleven exciting new events will debut. They are:

  1. May 29-30: Event #5 – $565 Colossus No-Limit Hold’em with a $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool.
  2. May 31: Event #6 – $1,000 Hyper No-Limit Hold’em with a fast, two-day structure.
  3. June 20: Event #42 – $1,500 Extended Play No-Limit Hold’em featuring longer, 90-minute levels.
  4. June 21: Event #43 – $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em. Must be age 65+ to enter.
  5. June 26: Event #53 – $5,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em, two-day structure with a high buy-in.
  6. June 27: Event #55 – $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em. Half the field to be paid.
  7. June 29: Event #60 – $25,000 High Roller 8-handed Pot-Limit Omaha. 4-day event.
  8. July 1: Event #62 – $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em. Every player is a bounty. Each is worth $500.
  9. July 3: Event #65 – $777 Lucky 7’s No-Limit Hold’em, featuring a first-ever $777 price point.
  10. July 3: Event #67 – $10,000 Dealers Choice, featuring 19 variants – the most ever played in a single WSOP event.

I don’t know about you, but to me those are enough reasons to book my flight to Vegas immediately. But if you can’t make it to the Rio, you can still participate in this year’s World Series of Poker. For the first time ever this year there is an 11th new bracelet event, Event #64, that you can participate in right from the comfort of your home (the only catch is that you reside somewhere in Nevada). The online real-money poker home of the WSOP announced their first-ever online bracelet event to be held on July 2 at 12 noon. This will be a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event and it will award the first-ever online WSOP gold bracelet. For all preliminary details click here.

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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Sometimes you just have to go “Hmmmm, I wonder what would have happened if I had invested in learning how to play poker instead of….” Of course, you quickly realize that although it’s never too late; you just may have to face a hell of a lot of tougher and younger competition.

It seems as if every year younger and younger players get into the mix and often come into it from the “online”  world of digital poker. They have already played thousands of hands dealt to them on their computer screens, electronic pads, or even their cellular phones. In many cases, they became proficient way before they ever sat down at a live table with live players. Their usual aggressive online strategies sometimes destroy their chances, but often it goes the other way, and they soon find their way around reads, tells, and all the other nuances of live games and come back to rake in all the poker chips.

Here is a list of some of today’s current youngest players with more than $4 million in winnings from live games as well as online games:

Sam Trickett – 28
Young Poker Millionaires $19,696,445

Chris Moorman – 29
$16,000,000 +

Martin Jacobson – 27
$14,930,636+

Jonathan Duhamel – 27
$12,786,360+

Jason Mercier – 28
$10,000,000

Pius Heinz – 25
$8,979,848

Ryan Riess – 24
$8,824,423

Jesse Sylvia – 27
$5,718,763

Jake Cody – 26
$4,068,776

Now, a final table with these nine poker superstars, before they turn 30, would be one hell of a game that I’d love to watch live from the rails. I know there are many more players out there that could be included in this list, but there are just too many of them to add here.

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