Posts Tagged ‘Sammy Farha’

Vinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentConfessions of a Grinder

Many poker players are superstitious. Is this true? No. I believe ‘every’ poker player is superstitious. According to me, being superstitious brings out a more psychological explanation than one based on religion and ritual. As simple as it may sound, people like to be comfortable in their zone. Well-known professional poker players exhibit this habitual, comforting and often obsessive-compulsive phenomenon, too. Sammy Farha, an aggressive high-stakes cash game specialist held an unlit cigarette in his mouth when he finished as the runner-up in the 2003 World Series of Poker. He has continued the habit since. Johnny Chan, the two-time WSOP ME winner and a master poker pro carries his lucky orange with him, which he initially carried to eliminate the smell of smoke, around him. Barry Greenstein, a charitable poker player and philanthropist, writes in his book that a sex partner who travels with you can be a big asset. When ‘Texas Dolly’ Doyle Brunson wins a big pot; he always plays the next hand regardless of his hole cards. Doyle also carried his lucky Card guard named Casper in all his poker sessions, and made up to $15,000 a year renting it out to other poker players! Every poker player is guilty of their own bundle of superstitions.

May The Luck Of The Irish Be With You - Card Protector available at the Texas Poker StoreI admit that I am highly superstitious too. I wear my lucky jacket in all games; avoid cutting my nails on Saturdays; list my chip stack towards the east, and look at my hole-cards one at a time. These minor superstitions make up my own comfort zone. There are so many other things you could do to bring good luck and avoid ill luck. You could wear dirty clothes, not sit cross-legged, avoid dealer eye contact, carry fruits or horseshoes, spit on cards or not bathe, but the fact of the matter is that even though it comforts you, it will not help you. Maybe, you could invest in a few lucky card guards but it’s best you do not indulge in pondering about luck too much. Rumor has it that Annie Duke encourages others at the table to be superstitious because it sometimes makes them play badly – talk about smart strategy! As for me, I always believe in the Latin proverb Fortes Fortuna Juvat – Fortune favors the brave.

Good luck at the tables!

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I find myself pulled in all different directions: updating the Texas Poker Store inventory and making sure our new luxury poker tables are ready to be shipped, putting the finishing touches in the new poker song I wrote with Randy Pavlock and my best friend and wife Lynn Paris and arranging for the production of our poker music video, which is to be released with our poker song before the 2012 WSOP’s final table in October. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you know I have to keep up with the latest from this year’s already explosive WSOP. So, in that regard, here is what happened since our last report.

Jan-Peter Jachtmann from Germany crushed a field of 293 to capture Event #39: $10,000 Pot Limit-Omaha. One of his dreams was to play with his hero Sammy Farha,  and not only did that dream come true for him but he beat Farha to take the Title, $661,000 and his first gold bracelet . Now, as the Publisher of the largest German-language poker magazine, Poker Blatt, he will have something to brag about.

Ronnie Bardah, the true grinder from Stoneham, Massachusetts finally reaches the top of the coveted mountain and wins Event #40: $2,500 Limit Hold’em – Six-Handed.  He started the day dead last and clawed and scratched his way to the Title, a hefty prize purse of $182,088 and his first career bracelet. Despite the health problems he’s had, he maintained a strong attitude and it paid off for him in the form aces full over fours. Congratulations Ronnie.

Greg Ostrander, a  40-year-old former police officer from Webster, New York defeated a field 1,394 players to win Event #41 – $3,000 Buy-In No-Limit Hold’em. Ostrander takes home his first gold bracelet to show off at his old precinct, and he’ll have enough money to buy the entire station a few rounds to celebrate his victory. He collects a purse valued at  $742,072.

Oleksii Kovalchuk wins 2nd WSOP Bracelet

Oleksii Kovalchuk, the young 22-year-old from Kiev, Ukraine is the winner of Event #42: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better. He managed to triumph over a field of 393 to get his second career WSOP gold bracelet and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow worth $228,014.


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