Posts Tagged ‘The Grinder’

Vinny the GrinderBy: The Grinder

Last week, I watched Deal –a 2008 poker movie in which Alex Stillman (played by Bret Harrison) ends up playing heads up with his mentor and friend Tommy Vinson (played by Burt Reynolds) at the WPT championship main event. Brett Harrison and Burt Renoylds in "Deal"

Stillman, 21, lays down the winning hand to let Vinson, the aging veteran and former poker pro, fulfill his longstanding dream of winning a main event. This reminded me of a movie I watched long ago with a similar finish.

Robert Duval and Eric Bana in "Lucky You"The movie was Lucky You, where Eric Bana’s character Huck Cheever lays down the winning hand against his dad L.C.Cheever, played by the great Robert Duvall. This is more like slowing down to let the guy behind you win the 100 metres at the quadrennial Olympics, after having waited to compete all your life. It’s never going to occur in real life, and by that I mean, you’re never going to see a young gun sacrifice his first win to let an old timer win.

Would you see a vice versa situation, though? Do you think that in the year 2040, a 76-year-old Phil Hellmuth, with 25 WSOP bracelets would let a young kid who is playing for a stem cell research charity in an attempt to save his paralyzed dad win? Nope. Not a chance. As extreme as that situation sounded to you, it was just to hint at a simple hard fact in poker—nobody lets anybody win. Unless of course, it’s one of those guys who tilted and lost everything to his nemesis at the table, and then later told his buddy he let him win. He is lying. So don’t let the director of Lucky You or Deal fool you into believing in this soft spot in humankind, rather pokerkind. There is none. Nobody’s going to let you win, and you damn sure better not let anyone else win in this game.

Good Luck!

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Vinny the GrinderBy: The Grinder

Here’s how poker players can change their sedentary lifestyles, get in shape, feel healthy, and yet spend hours at the poker tables.

Starving is a crime. You have to eat a lot to lose and eat a lot to gain. The key is to eat right. How much? Say, you weigh x pounds. You need to eat 12x calories of the right stuff in four to six meal portions daily, and exercise for at least half-an-hour to an hour daily. At least! Remember! You’d rather hear this from someone like me, who’s trying to do it once every few months and failing at it, than an Olympian who is willing to show off his bowling-ball-shaped muscles. All of us will fail in the first few attempts, but eventually your body will get the hang of it and begin loving it.

Increase your protein intake to at least 30% of your diet. Cut carbs but eat your craving once every fortnight. No unreal goals. Your meals should consist of  whole grains, oatmeal, nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, skim milk, hard-boiled egg whites, steamed chicken, fresh sea food. If you’re a poker player and you’re at the tables all the time, pack lunches with a combination of the above items. Carry your meals with you. Start eating early, preferably before 7 a.m. I don’t, and I have to try to. If you start early, you’ll be able to shove in your required amount of calories. As for exercise, let Herculeans pump their iron, but as for us, a good weight, endurance and resistance training program along with a decent run is a good daily routine. There are tons of workout schedules available online. Follow one and stick to it. Finally, drink at least six to seven 500 ml bottles of water in small amounts. I won’t tell you to sleep on time, as that is impossible. But, if you follow more than half of this, you’ll be in very good shape in a few months. I am trying to. This time I hope I stick to it.

The Casino X2 Poker Table from The Texas Poker StoreFinally, remember that you can get in shape no matter what you look like and it will certainly help you perform better at the poker table. Annette Obrestad did it. The magician Antonio Esfandiari has been doing it for years. So can you. Just stick to it.

Confessions of a Grinder Vinny the VenetianBy The Grinder

Just recently, I saw an advertisement on Facebook:  ‘The most violent game ever created, click here to play now’. This speaks to different kinds of people differently. To the average 66% of the population, a simple ‘No’ would come to mind. To the remaining 30%, this seems like just another internet marketing scam. What about the remaining 4% who really know what this means? Just a smirk on a face, and a feeling of reckless abandon.

Exactly what I feel about the ongoing online gaming fiasco. In fact, at this juncture, though I am nothing less than furious, I can only remain mum to the mass ignorance and lack of public awareness in game theory, psychology, and social media fundamentals. Let me try to be clearer. Online poker is banned. Why? Probably because gambling as a concept isn’t acceptable as a social norm, and is outrageous with respect to standard occupations or avocations. Correct? By the year 2012, PokerStars had some 50 Million registered players. That’s 0.8% of the earth’s population; clocking in a revenue of about $80 Million a month (estimation before Black Friday), say $1 Billion a year. What does PokerStars offer? Folding Poker Table from the Texas Poker StoreA chance for whiz kids who are really sharp at logic, math, intuition, money management skills and business skills to make money on the poker tables or online, by way of hard work and dedication to this game.

Then, what do they go ahead and do? Ban this opportunity in today’s capitalist ‘free market’ world, and allow games such as Farmville and Candy Crush Saga that you could train your pet monkey to play. Candy Crush went from collecting revenues of $300,000 a day to upwards of  $700,000 a day as of January 2014 (reports verified). That’s close to $23 Million a month or $300 Million a year, so much so, that the British Government is now considering revising online gaming trade/ business laws so that this exploitative strategy can be curbed—and rightly so! What do we have now? Half the world wasting their lives, missing deadlines, and terribly addicted to a mindless game based on sheer luck, and in turn, paying big dollars to online gaming money-mongers.

We, as poker players, can only be an audience to this decline of civilization, and hope that some person with power somewhere down the line does something drastic about this failure of democracy. What can you do? Well, raise a voice. Let your thoughts be heard. If you agree with me, say ‘Aye’ for poker legalization!


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Blair Hinkle wins the Seminole Hard Rock Open $10 Million Guaranteed Championship EventIt was a tough battle for the Four Musketeers that our blogger, “The Grinder”, spoke of yesterday, but there always has to be a final victorious champion. We had a small sideline bet going on here at TPS between the “Grinder” and myself, Chief Dealer “Pocket Bullets Paris”, where the Grinder favored Pahuja whilst I felt that Bonomo would take it down. We were both surprised when on Wednesday evening the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event came to an end after more than 200 hands, including a back and forth 167 hands heads-up between Blair Hinkle and Justin Bonomo. It was over on hand #223 when Hinkle dominated Bonomo on a board that showed {q-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{5-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. Bonomo slammed all-in with {q-Spades}{8-Clubs} and Hinkle snapped called with {k-Spades}{10-Hearts} for the nuts straight.

Blair Hinkle with his new guitarCongratulations to Blair Hinkle for taking down the first ever $10 million guarantee and taking home a sweet $1,745,245, and of course, the Seminole’s Hard Rock Guitar. When it’s all said and done we really want to express our gratitude to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and of course to all the players but most specially to the four players who held on to their poker chips long enough to be forever known (in our minds) as the Seminole Four Musketeers. Here are their final pay-outs:

1st    Blair Hinkle    $1,745,245
2nd  Justin Bonomo  $1,163,500
3rd   Mukul Pahuja    $872,625
4th   Ray Qartomy    $639,925

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