Hey High Rollers,
It has been a while since our last post on this blog but we’ve been really busy…watching the darts. Yes, we love the darts. High Roller Radio itself began as a hobby, call it a way to keep busy following some major surgery, and from its origins was all things poker. The poker community is awesome!
We’ve interviewed some of the game’s greatest players, including world champions Chris Moneymaker. the man credited with the poker boom following his unlikely run at the 2003 World Series of Poker, Greg Raymer, who wore those disturbing, creepy, glasses in 2006 and made a full house on the final hand against David Williams, and Tom McEvoy (1983), a legend of the game and poker Hall of Famer. We’ve had multiple WSOP bracelet winners on the show; Tom Schneider (4), Greg ‘FBT’ Mueller (2), Dutch Boyd (3), Max Pescatori (4), Barny Boatman (2) & several others. We’ve had some world famous authors on; Nolan Dalla, One of a Kind, James McManus, Positively Fifth Street, & Michael Craig, who penned one of my favourite books ever, The Professor, the Banker & the Suicide King, a true story about the world’s richest poker game when a group of pros called ‘The Coporation’ took on billionaire Dallas banker Andy Beal:
Michael Craig on the ‘Suicide King’ Ted Forrest
We’ve had the pleasure of speaking to Mike Sexton, another legend of the game and author of Life’s a Gamble. We’ve tried to get Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, Mike Matusow and others on with us but to this point have failed. It’s been a great process and continues to be a source of information and pleasure. And, we will have Jennifer Tilly on one day…promise.
High Roller Radio will continue to talk to poker superstars and gambling greats because we love the characters. BUT, you have probbably noticed, on the website, facebook, twitter and pinterest, that we are slowly adding lots of darts content to the mix, especially on our youtube channel. Why? Because we love the darts, that simple. We watch the darts religiously and, unless we’re busy, rarely miss the weekend tournaments. Why not put that time to good use and make a video/report about it? So that’s we’ve decided to do.
Good choice, right? In the short time we’ve been adding darts videos to our playlist we’ve seen our view count rise dramatically. Darts fans love their sport. They want updates. They are enthralled with the game, its stars & its rivalries. Just look at the Premier League crowd in Berlin, when the PDC took its BIG show to Germany for the first time. More than 12,500 fans showed up to the Mercedez-Benz Arena. Amazing.
The fans make noise too. They sing, chant and, sometimes, get on the players when they start missing the doubles or even when they miss darts at a perfect game. The crowd for these events is lively and into it. The atmosphere is electric. And the players? Well, they are amazing. Darts is not an easy sport but the top pros will make your head spin with their accuracy. The Professional Darts Corporation has become a blood sport. It’s tough. So many are so good. Phil Taylor has retired but MVG is there to carry the torch. Rob Cross just won the world championship. These two may have a spectacular rivalry over the next fews year.
Why darts? Why not! It’s such a good game and, dare I say, at the world championship, when two players are firing back and forth in the pressure of the moment, there is no better to watch on television. STRONG CLAIM, right? I’ll put it right up there with the final table of the main event of the World Series of Poker. (How about that, in keeping with theme of this article?)
Also, so pleased to announce that we’ve got come help with the tungsten content too. Matt the @irishdartsfan will be providing updates on a regular basis to keep us informed about darts on the Emerald Isle, where they have such stars as Mick McGowan, Brendon ‘The History Maker’ Dolan, William O’Connor, Steve Lennon, Jason Cullen and Daryl Gurney.
You might want to check out Matt’s first article HERE
Thank-you to @irishdartsfan, a guy who truly loves the darts like we do. Please be sure to follow Matt on twitter HERE
Let’s end this with a famous quote from the late, legendary broadcaster, Sid Waddell, who was commentating on one of Eric Bristow’s world championship victories. We believe it was the Crafty Cockney’s fourth title.
“When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer. Bristow’s only 27.” – Sid Waddell
How about you? Love poker & gambling? Love the darts? Expect High Roller Radio to continue to do both, poker and darts, beause that’s what we’re into.
NOTE: Our youtube channel has great content: HERE
Did you catch our Wayne Mardle interview? The Sky Sports commentator and former pro was absolutely brilliant!
2-to-1 you’ll LOVE it!
Hey High Rolllers…did you catch the Conor McGregor fight? What did you think? MayMac certainly produced quality entertainment. McGregor, we believe, won the first three rounds, and maybe the first four, and simply gassed out. He landed more punches against Floyd Mayweather than any of TMoney’s previous opponents. Congrats to Floyd for moing to 50-and-0, breaking Rocky Marciano’s all time consecutive win streak of 49-0.
Recently on High Roller Radio we interviewed Stacy Matuson, of WSOP fame at that classic ‘9 high like a boss’ bluff by William Kassouf. “Never be intimidated at the poker table,’ Matuson said, referring to false reports that hand made her cry. “I have never cried at the poker table!”
The interview was so good we transcribed it:
Stacy Matuson Interview
Poker Player, Entrepreneur
Full audio of this Q&A HERE
Alright High Rollers, big fan of our guest today, not only for her outstanding poker abilities but for the way she handles herself at the table as well. She won the hearts of many following that infamous William Kassouf ‘nine high like a boss’ hand at the 2016 WSOP where she finished 169th in the main event. She got her revenge on the ‘Speech Play’ king in Rozvadov and, this year, she went very deep in the WSOP Colossus. She can play folks! @StacyAcey on both twitter and instagram and definitely one of the empowered women of poker. Stacy Matuson welcome to the show, thanks for being our high roller today.
SM: Thank-you, thanks for having me.
Q: I know you get asked all the time about William Kassouf, of course the 9 high hand, and then the subsequent grudge match in the Check Republic at Kings Casino. Wondering if I can ask about William Kassouf immitators? I’m sure you’ve faced a few since that infamous hand, guys trying to bully you, trying to bluff you, and maybe even with 9 high. What’s that been like for you and how do you handle these guys at the poker table?
SM: It’s interesting, I mean I haven’t had anybody quite like William testing me or talking my ear off. I think they realize that it’s kind of passé. I have had, in the last few tournaments I’ve played, people seriously put me to the test and, more times than not, I have made the call and won some really huge pots off of them. It’s really just been advantageous for me.
Q: It was a very exciting hand and you were were dead centre in the middle of it. There’s so much talk about the lack of women in poker, that perhaps the game is too intimidating for most. But, I gotta say, I love how you handled that whole situation. I think your twitter quote was something to the effect of, “Nobody has ever made me cry at the poker table.” You beat him in the grudge match sponsored by 888 Poker in Rozvodov and, even he says, there’s no animosity between the two of you. I think it was a fine example of how to handle yourself at the table. You don’t seem to be intimidated at all?
SM: Ah, thank-you. No, I’m not! I think it has to do with the type of person I am. I’m a little bit fearless and I don’t think people should intimidate you at anything. I think if you have a strong belief in your talents and yourself then you shouldn’t be scared of doing anything. I happen to like playing against men; sports, pool, gin and poker, because it’s not physical prowess that’s going to win. It’s usually the person who has the most clever mind or makes the smartest play and I’m always up for the challenge.
Q: You are very empowered at the table. When we talk intimidation it’s not just women affected but amateurs as well? I mean it’s just cards right?
SM: Right. Here’s the thing, I’ve been playing for over 20 years and I’ve learned a lot about myself. You learn a lot about human nature by playing poker as well. When you can make very good reads and spot tells on poker tables it will also help you in life, in terms of business and personal relationships as well. I find it a challenge to study human nature. I get excited to play. I never get intimidated.
Q: You have cashed all over the world. Where are some of your favourite places to play cards?
SM: This is the first year ever that I ventured out into Europe. I’ve been wanting to go for so long and I was just travelling everywhere this year thanks to 888 Poker, which invited me and sponsored me for these events. 888 Poker enabled these trips to happen. Costa Rica was actually the first ever no-limit tournament I ever played, in the year 2000, when I went with a group of my poker playing friends. I was just going for the trip and I read the book The Zen of Poker on the plane on the way there. So, I decided to take a shot at my first no-limit tournament. I finished second. I remember when I got heads-up because I was so inexperienced at the time at no limit that I was breathing heavy. My opponent, who won the tourney, said, “Seriously, just relax your breathing.” He actually said that to me heads-up because I was playing a really good game but I had no experience whatsoever on keeping calm. I have done quite a 180 since then. I really enjoy Barcelona. Playing at Kings Casino n Rozvodov was amazing and I had a blast because I got to venture out to Prague. I don’t think I have a specific favourite but I always say Las Vegas is my go to place. The WSOP is probably my favourite place to play because it’s so life changing and there are so many different events you can play. If you travel to Europe, play the main event and don’t win then it’s over and done with. At the WSOP there’s more than 70 events that can change your life.
Q: You make an interesting point about the WSOP and how it can be so life changing, how one tournament can make a career. I don’t want to belabour the William Kassouf hand but that one hand got a lot of headlines worldwide, a lot of publicity. How did that one hand change you, in terms of your poker career? You’ve got 888 Poker on board, a lot of exposure, and I assume it’s been a good thing even though you lost the hand?
SM: It’s interesting because I’ve been in the business a long time. I grew up in the ranks of Michael and Robert Mizrachi. Obviously they play a heck of a lot more than I do but we’ve travelled together a lot. We grew up together. People in the business or people who have been playing a long time knew of me but I was never in the limelight nor did I ever seek fame of any kind. So when this whole thing happened with Will Kassouf, all of a sudden I had everybody contacting me, talking to me. I kind of felt exposed. It was mostly positive but there was a lot of negative attention as well. His fans were blaming me for his penalty, which was not my fault. I felt sort of exposed and yet there’s good and bad when you are on the ESPN broadcasts. It was interesting because I’ve met so many wonderful people who have come up to me, who’vewatched me on television and they say they’re big fans. That’s very humbling. For me, I was trying to change my life financially and reaching a personal goal by making the final table of the World Series of Poker. That was really important to me. As far as all the exposure we got on ESPN? It’s been quite flattering. Yes, it has gotten me free trips to Europe so I can’t complain.
Q: When all the ESPN cameras showed up you must have been like, “Here we go!”
SM: It’s funny too because I’ve done so much media in the past. We used to run the WSOP Dealer Academy, we had a poker dealer school and I was around a lot of the media all the time. I was always doing things like that, short clips on television and things like that, so I feel really comfortable talking to the media; print, radio and television. So when the camera crews came to film us I just banked them out. They don’t make me nervous. I don’t act a different way. It was a little overwhelming because when those hands were happening with William there were ten cameras around us. I wasn’t really paying so much attention to that, just more so the circus that was happening on the table.
Q: You definitely have fans all over the world.
SM: I’ve gotten messages from Germany, all over the world. It’s like, “Wow, I can’t believe it.” Here’s the thing; anything we can do to keep poker continuing on the rise, the upswing, is important. If we can bring mainstream media into poker and keep it thriving it’s great for everybody.
Q: I’m so happy you smashed Kassouf in the grudge match. When you were sitting there across from him you must have been thinking that this is pretty surreal?
SM: Before we sat down to actually play the grudge match we were doing photo-ops, all the good natured back-and-forths, we were posing as boxers next to each other. You know, he was coming to the WSOP from Britain and I think he was unaware of some of the differences of playing tournaments, in terms of rules and restrictions. When you’re in a cash game you can talk to someone heads-up incessantly. At the WSOP main event, when the action is not on you, you’re not supposed to do that. You’re not supposed to talk about the contents of the pot etcetera. He and I have spoken a few times since and that’s his spiel. That’s the way he creates attention for himself and business deals because he’s creating a personality. That’s just not my thing. I’d rather be a quiet ninja and trap you. Everybody’s got a different style of play and that just happens to be his. I do speak when I’m in tournaments sometimes, there’s needles there to, which I don’t mind doing sometimes, to get information from players. Someone can aggravate you at the poker table but it should never affect the way you play. I’m able to separate the two. I wasn’t able to show that on that particular hand but there was a lot more to the story which I’ve gone over numerous times. When you are playing you are trying to get information because you can’t see a person’s cards. Sometimes bets are not enough information. You want to speak to your opponent. I get a lot of information that way. There’s a limit though and you should always have respect for your opponent. I think that should never go away in poker regardless of how bad you want to win. Those people are just trying to get under your skin, hoping you’ll blow a bunch of chips in future hands. You always have to try and keep your composure and a little bit of zen about you. Poker is a wonderful thing. so when he and I were playing heads-up and he had those glasses on I just realized that’s his schtick. I could see right through it. The times he did talk I was able to pick up on all of his reads. It was pretty much an easy heads-up. I know he says he doesn’t have a lot of experience playing heads-up but he’s much better in a full ring game than he is as a heads-up player. I have nothing against him. I saw him in Barcelona because we played a main event together there. We had a drink together. People just like to create a lot of drama.
Q: Your twitter profile reads, “Ninja. A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath ~ Never fear competition, they only make you look better. Poker pro life enthusiast. It also says HDFmagazine.com. Can you tell us about that?
SM: Ever since I started playing poker my close friends, Mike, Rob, Chino, they always called me the poker ninja. It’s just my style of play, waiting, hiding, and then trapping you and grabbing your chips. It’s kind of been a moniker that’s followed me forever. And I like that because that’s how I see my style of play. HDF Magazine is an entrepreneurial magazine that did an article on my life story. I opened the WSOP Dealer Academy, how I became a poker player, the story is unusual and inspiring to them. I am a life enthusiast. I think every day that you wake you should be grateful to be alive and make the most of it.
Stacy Matuson Thank-you!
Hey High Rollers, are you wagering on the NCAA championship tonight? March Madness baby. If you are, please click the banners/links on this page and you’ll be betting on your favourite team in no time. It helps. We’d also love for you to subscribe to our youtube channel, 2-to-1 you’ll LOVE it! We’ve got dynamite interviews with some of the greatest gamblers, poker players and authors in the business today. Plus, we offer informative pieces like our latest video below:
Your Main Opponent at the Table?
Every day millions of people worldwide go to the casino, sit at the poker table and begin to play one of the most exciting an intellectual games ever invented, either for real money or for play money (in social networks or in poker rooms). Did you know it’s possible to play poker for real money for free? It is! With the help of special no deposit poker bonuses, you are able to join the action with a chance at real money. More info about such bonus types is available at www.pokerglobal.info web site.
Technology development made it possible for us to play this game anywhere. Imagine that, anywhere! And, you can play against real opponents from the comforts of your own home, from your desktop and you can even play on your way to work from your mobile phone or tablet etc. To join the poker community these days all it takes is a smartphone and Internet access. For instance, 888 Poker is available on desktops and mobile phones.
Keep in mind, when you’re playing onlne poker you don’t see your opponents, don’t feel their breath, emotions and it’s hard to spot tells. You can’t “read” them to make the right decision based on these factors.
Technological advancements have helped to popularize this card game, on the list of most popular games ever invented, and now you have almost unlimited abilities with the development of technology in poker. Practically all online poker rooms provide an opportunity to play some kinds of poker for FREE with the help of freerolls or no deposit bonuses. There are many poker web sites where one is able to study poker strategy in free access, watch videos and recordings of popular live series, streams, etc.
But if everything’s within reach, why is it that so few people are able to demonstrate really a positive play? To answer this question, you have to understand your main opponent at the table. This is you we’re talking about.
You are your greatest opponent. Yourself! Poker players have to fight their own fears, laziness and bad habits to build a successful strategy of knowledge in free access. Also, experience is needed and it’s possible to get that but only if you stay in the game and continue working on self-discipline, You have to learn, improve and play constantly. If you decided to become a successful, effective player, treat the game like your job and act respectively.
Don’t hope for luck or weak play of your opponents at the poker table. Make yourself and your skill responsible. Win yourself and then you can start to play against the others!
Good luck at the tables!
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Hey High Rollers, did you watch the #MikeandCatePlusHate grudge match on Poker Night in America? Cate Hall versus Mike Dentale, no love loss between the two, and Cate prevailed two matches to none. The pair had wagered 10k per match in the possible best two of three but Match #3 was not needed!
Here’s what a number of poker players tweeted out about the match:
Did you happen to listen to our interview with Abe Limon, formerly of Pokersesh @LiveattheBike? It was explosive! The long-time cash game pro talked about Doug Polk, Daniel Negreanu, ‘unethical’ poker staking and the Poker Industrial Complex!
Padraig Parkinson Clips
3rd, 1999 WSOP Main Event & Champion, Grand Final Late Night Poker
Q: Congrats on your appointment with PartyPoker. You see yourself in some fine company, the legendary John Duthie has joined the party?
PP: You’re right, the hiring of John Duthie was fantastic. They tell me he’s the president of the live end of things, PartyPoker Live. I spoke to him the day after his appointment and asked him, ‘What does the president do?’ He said, ‘I have no idea, what does an Irish ambassador do?’ I said, ‘I don’t know either.’ It’s kind of funny because I can remember Duthie back at the first Poker Millions at the Isle of Man. I mean, he looked like a sane guy all the way through until the final table. I remember the day of the final table, I was sitting there with Hellmuth, Negreanu and a few American guys having breakfast, and this guy Duthie was sitting at a table beside us all on his own. He got to the final table of this tournament but nobody had really rated him because it looked like he had been playing very tight. He sat their very respectful and Hellmuth went over and was trying to get him to wear some logo. Duthie just nodded his head and then went in and played like an absolute maniac. By the time the dust had settled he had won a million pounds. It was fantastic. He’s a lovely guy, Johnny. I was talking to Tom (Waters) from Party Poker and I said, ‘Duthie’s a good sign. What does he do?’ He said, ‘Well, he comes into the office and helps us out with advice about the ambassadors. So I’ve got some very bad news for you.’ (Laughs) It’s great to see him on board. I mean talk about player friendly? He is one. He knows what people want and I’m expecting to see great things from him.
Q: It’s a great signing. I’m on twitter all the time and when I saw Party Poker announce John Duthie as president of it’s live division I took notice. The guy is a legend.
PP: I was absolutely surprised. A few days later, I was down in Cork and the people of Cork, to a man, are begrudgers. Some of the toughest guys are down in Cork. I was out in the smoking area and these guys, Irish guys, brought it up, that John Duthie was a great sign for Party Poker. It’s happened to me in a couple of places around Ireland. Even the Irish like Duthie and we’re pretty particular.
Q: I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Mike Sexton, another huge member of Party Poker. This guy’s a legend too!
PP: Well, isn’t it fantastic? Mike and I have been good friends for 21 years now. We met in the bar at the Metropole Hotel in London in 1996. All the players from the Victoria Club were hanging around and by about 8 o’clock in the morning everybody had gone to bed. It was only me and Mike, and the businessmen coming in for coffee, sitting in the bar. He was telling me about his vision for the future of poker. I thought, ‘Oh my God, another nut job,’ but he was a nice guy and good company so I listened to him. As it turned out, he was wrong. His vision was right, up to a point, but even he didn’t know that it would be ten times bigger than even he could have ever dreamed. Mike has always been a tremendous ambassador for poker. It was one of the pleasures of my professional life when Warren Lush, who was working for Party at the time, asked if I’d like to do the official nomination for Mike and the Hall of Fame. I loved it. He’s been such a good ambassador, and such a sicko betting on the sports, that he’s often underrated as a poker player. Look at his record. It’s not too shabby. You know, he’s had to sit there for 12 years, maybe more now, doing the commentary on the WPT events but the past few years he’s got to play them. I was absolutely thrilled, a few months ago, that he actually won one. It was brilliant. He pocketed $300,000 or $400,000 but he’s actually won a WPT event well into his sixties. I think he was the second oldest winner ever. I spoke to him the next day and he was over the moon. Then he turned around and made another final table last month, I think he finished 4th and it’s absolutely fantastic for Mike. He was involved in setting up the World Poker Tour at the very start. He was a consultant and involved with Lyle (Berman). Mike’s into his sixties, he’d be seen as old school, and I suppose a lot of the guys watching would be saying he’s past his prime, that this is old school commentary and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Now, he’s actually won one and turned around and final tabled the next one he played. I think that’s fantastic and he was just over the moon.
Q: I would put you two in the same category; pioneers and members of the old guard. I know, as you were watching, you weren’t surprised at all?
PP: Absolutely not! Mike has always been underrated as a player. But you know, Mike and Vince have always had the best seat in the house. The amount he has learned by watching all these final tables over and over and over. He might be in his sixties but Mike has been watching the game evolve on TV. He’s been forced to watch all these hands, so it’s not like he’s a guy approaching 70 who still plays the game way he did in his twenties. He’s been watching the evolution. He’s seen all the good parts, the bad parts, the changes in the game, and his own game has adapted. I was absolutely thrilled for him.
Padraig Parkinson Thank-you!
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Hey High Rollers, it’s been a great week for us; we’ve had interviews with Blackjack Hall of Famer Richard W. Munchkin & renowned poker reporter Jessica Welman, who outlines for us some things to watch out for at this year’s World Series of Poker. Today, can you say ‘casino robbery?’
Interesting Cases of Casino Robbery
Modern cinematograph offers its viewers a copious amount of movies, which tell magnifcent stories about elaborate casino heists. After watching these movies, viewers tend to want to hit the jackpot and live with no regrets for the rest of their lives. Nowadays, you do not need to go to brick and mortar, land-based casinos to turn that dream into reality – the dream of finding a reliable internet casino where you can do your best to keep Lady Luck on your side. By the way, you can play at online casinos with no investments by claiming free spins after registration
But let’s get back to reality and discuss some real life cases of casino robberies and see how these stories ended.
The largest jackpot, defrauded by robbers, was the in staggering amount of $32 million. It happened in Australia where a team of people called “Ocean’s 11” were able to rob the local casino of this fantastic amount. How’d they do it? Well, the fraudsters managed to seize such a large amount by using the newest, high-tech devices, which gave them an opportunity to seamlessly connect to the casino’s closed circuit TV. This provided them with opportunity to transmit the information to one of the team’s associates sitting at one of the casino’s gaming tables.
As security cameras were in VIP section of the casino, the criminals were able to see the cards of players thereby maximizing their winnings and minimizing their losses. These facts were brought to light by the Australian police, which zealously took up the investigation of this incident. The fraudsters left the territory of Australia a long time ago and did so with impunity. Naturally, such cases leave marks in history as criminals rarely ever get away with an amount this large, again a whopping $32 million.
Talking about the most interesting casino robberies? The one we just told you about is the most notable, considering the rest of the casino robberires involved armed assaults where criminals used guns. The bright example of a simple-minded criminal is Anthony Carleo. This man robbed the Bellagio few years ago. The attacker tried to get away with about $1.5 million but, what’s the saying, ‘Loose lips sink ship?’ This criminal’s bragging let him down.
Carleo started to boast about his deeds in an online environment and was, almost immediately, arrested by the police. This is not the end of the story, though. According to the police data, the robber turned out to be the son of a Las Vegas judge and, in addition to all that, he tried to sell chips for $25,000 inside the casino and was caught on security cameras. According to the words of the arrested, he started to consider and plan the robbery after hearing one of the croupier’s suggest that, to win big at the casino, all one has to do is wear a black mask and carry a gun instead of spending hours at the playing table.
We want you to feel the contrast between the actions of the criminals. In the first case even police didn’t manage to study all the details of the robbery due to the well thought out and diligently planned heist. It was executed perfectly. In the second case, the criminal was as stupid and thoughtless as one could be. It was only a matter of time before he was caught. We want to put an emphasis on some everyday real life aspects of casino work. Probably, these examples will halt the ease one feels with robbing a casino.
Casinos are organizations aiming to win.Therefore, even if you’re a mastermind and planning on genius robbery, you won’t get to the real money as the cashier is under serious protection.
Don’t think events on TV screens can be repeated in real life. Just think that should you see this movie, the management and owners could very much have seen it as well so they’ve already taken care of securing their facility from fraudsters activities in ways it was shown on the TV screen.
Don’t brag about your plans online as all the information of this kind is thoroughly followed there and the person who spreads it gets a lot of attention from the corresponding organs.
If you really want to rob the casino, use books and theories instead of guns and masks, as they are much more useful!
Have Fun at the Tables!
Are you taking advantage of dealer mistakes at the blackjack table? You should be!
Hey High Rollers, did you watch that Super Bowl? Wow. Down 28-3, the New England Patriots find a way to comeback and steal the title n overtime. Tom Brady is unbelievable. Sports betting notes; Steve Rich of the Tony George Show, one of the best handicapprs in the business, called it correctly. He was with the public wagering on the Pats to cover…they did. The over of 58-59, depending on where you were betting, came in as well.
Busy day yesterday, we transcribed pur 2013 interview with WSOP bracelet winner Justin Oliver.
Justin Oliver Interview
Champion, 2012 WSOP $2,500 Buy-In 4-Max
Q: Your father is Russell Oliver, for those who don’t know, one of the most famous jewellers in Toronto and Canada. He’s the ‘Cash Man.’
JO: I will correct Derrick because if my father were here right now he’d say, ‘No Derrick, not the most famous in Toronto, not in Canada, but in the world.’ People come in from all over the world to see him. Whenever we travel, the strangest places, could be an island in the Caribbean, when they find who he is they say, ‘I see your commercials down here.’ For some reason those commercials travel everywhere.
Where ever we go people know us. My Dad would definitely ant me to correct you on that one.
Q: Is he the most famous jeweller in the world?
JO: Definitely! I don’t know who else would be more famous. You look at some of the big companies like Tiffany’s or Cartier, they’re companies, but there’s no one particular person who represents that company whereas my father is a one man machine. He’s known everywhere. He definitely has the most known store and makes the most money per square foot of anyone in the world because he only has two locations in Toronto. These other big companies have thousands of locations.
Q: He’s quite a businessman, those commercials are great. It’s a family business, I see commercials now with your father and your brother?
JO: Yes and if you go to youtube you’ll see that I’m on some of the earlier commercials as well. I grew up in the business. I worked in the store since I was a little kid up until just avfew years ago when the poker thing started to really take off. I’m not in the business anymore but I have three younger brothers who are.
Q: Are there any similarities between the jewellery business and poker? Any lessons that apply to both fields?
JO: One hundred per cent! Growing up in the business, my job as a kid was to greet the customers when they came in. I had to evaluate their jewellery and my biggest job was negotiate with the clients that were selling the jewellery. I had to work with them, get a feel for them and learn what it was going to take to get a deal done. A lot of that is body language and reading people and that’s definitely one of my stronger traits in poker that’s helped lead to my success.
Q: You tweeted out a picture of your dad wearing the bracelet. That must have been a special moment for you?
JO: It was interesting the way that happened actually. I won the bracelet last year and just threw it in my safety deposit box. I didn’t really do anything with it. This year, I was running deep in a $2,500 event and I made the final table and the final table was on father’s day. I talked to my dad that day before I played and and said, ‘Dad, I’m going to win you this bracelet. I’m gonna win it and I’m gonna give it to you.’ So, I ended up finishing second, came close but I don’t win the bracelet. Later that week, I was surfing the net looking on WSOP.com, looking at some player information, and I saw myself on there. They had a little not on there saying I had won a bracelet and given to my father for Father’s Day. I was going to do that but I didn’t actually do it. So, rather than correcting them and telling them they had to change it, I just decided to give him the oe from last year. It’s the best thing to give him for a belated Father’s Day gift anyway. I mean, what do you give a guy who has everything? This was the only thing I could give him he couldn’t get himself.
Q: I take it he might be a bit a poker player too? Did you guys have some him games growing up?
JO: We actually never really played poker growing up but I used to love playing Monopoly when I was a kid. It was kind of our family game. I used to play against my dad and, when I was younger, he used to always kick my ass. He taught me strategy and, although I didn’t learn poker from my father, he definitely taught me how to be analytical and how to read people and their body language. My father gave me a lot of tactical skills.
Q: I understand you have an interesting story on how you got into poker. You’re 38 and you’ve only been playing for four or five years now but your success has been incredible.
JO: I’m blessed and feel fortunate to have the success I’ve had. I’m five years in, won the bracelet 4 years in and that’s incredible. In this day and age it;’s not that uncommon anymore because when you’re in Canada and you can play on the internet, you can play on sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt, the competition level really improves your game. Plus, the number of hands you can bang out early in your career is incredible. You know I played a million hands online before I even played tournaments live. So you gain the experience so much faster. I’ve said this before, I’ve played more hands in my life than Doyle Brunson has. You just get that experience so much faster than years ago.
Q: How did you get into poker?
JO: It’s funny because I used to go to Las Vegas for vacation a couple times a year. I would just gamble blackjack, slots or roulette, whatever we were doing, just for fun. One year I was with my brother Jonas, who works in the family business now, and he said, ‘Why don’t you try poker?’ He said, ‘Just go in, relax, have fun, have a few and your money will last longer than those other games, and I’ll teach you some basic strategies.’ He basically taught me the rules of no-limit Texas Hold’em. We were out at the Cabana at the Bellagio and he taught me the rules. WE took out a deck of cards and he said, ‘Just fold everything unless you get a pair or high cards and then just raise. After the flop,’ he said, ‘just make a continuation bet.’ That’s all he taught me. I went to the Bellagio poker room that day and I won! I won $600 playing $2/$5 my first day. So, when you win you get a pretty good taste for it and it started from there.
Q: Great start. You walk into a casino pier room, not knowing anything about the game, and win $600? You’re hooked, right?
JO: I was embarrassed. I didn’t even understand when it was my turn and I could tell people were snickering at me. I was at such a disadvantage at the game because I didn’t understand the math that, at one point, I said to myself, ‘I’m just gonna play without looking at my cards.’ I just decided to play it blind, just try to read them and it worked out pretty well on that first shot. I ended up winning.
Q: Seven cashes at the WSOP, two final tables, the 2nd this year for $300,000 and, of course, the bracelet last year. Early days for you but how would you describe your tenure at the World Series of Poker so far?
JO: I came t that first final table near the bottom of the pack. When it got to heads-up he had a six or seven to one chip lead on me and people always ask me how I kept myself composed? I was never nervous for one second at these final tables because I had visualized it for years already. It was my goal to win bracelets. It was my goal to be at final tables and I had visualized it over and over again. When I was there it was like I had already done it. So when I won it wash’t any surprise because I had already seen it in my mind.
Q: I know you gave the bracket to your dad but it;’s got to be something special, something nobody can ever take away from you?
JO: It is. In poker there are lots of ups and downs, so sometimes you’re in a downswing and feel down on yourself. When I’m in a downswing, I try to remember that I’ve won this bracelet and it makes me feel good. I plan on doing great stuff in my career. I’m gonna do my best and hopefully I am fortunate enough to have more titles, but if I don’t I can still say my poker career is a success. I’ve won a bracelet, come close a second time, and I’ve had a big win online, my first big score in 2012. I came 2nd in a WCOOP event online. So when you have these wins under your belt it gives you the confidence when you’re in downswings. You know, you’ve done it before and you can do it again.
Q: You were 7th out 8th when you started that final table. You had the likes of David ‘The Dragon’ Pham, John Juanda and Jarred Jaffe staring across the table at you. Did you have your sights on moving up a spot or were gunning for first all the way?
JO: I play every tournament to win. I don’t even look at the prizes. When I’m at these final tables I have no idea what the prizes are. I refuse to look at it. I refused to look at the bracelet when they brought it out. All I do is focus and try and win the tournament. This year, when I came second, I was upset when I busted. I went over to my rail, I had a fantastic rail led by my fiancé Stephanie, and I asked, ‘Well, how much did I win?’ She said, “332-thousand-198 dollars.’ She had it down to the penny. When she said that I wasn’t so upset anymore because I had no idea second was that much money. I just don’t look at the numbers. I try and win the tournament. I’m there for the gold, there to take top prize, there to compete and that’s all I set my mind too.
Q: Pham, Juanda or Jaffe? Which one is more fearsome at the poker table?
JO: That’s an easy, easy question, David Pham! I don’t know how old he is, he’s gotta be in his fifties, but he plays like a 21 year old internet player. He will six-bet bluff you and fold. I watched one hand last year in the 4-max where he six-bet and the guy jammed and he folded claiming to have Ace-King. I said, ‘Now I know why they call you David ‘The Dragon’ Pham because you breathe bullshit out of your mouth.’ He plays phenomenally well, especially if you don’t he is. When you go into to play poker, you don’t expect someone in that age group to be six-betting light. When an older guy six-bets it’s usually Aces and not even Kings. Do, when he six-bets you and folds to a jam, you know that this guy’s here to play. He is definitely one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever played against.
Q: You are good at table talk. You’re able to converse with your opponents at the poker table. Is that t alleviate boredom or to pick up information?
JO: I a definitely always picking up information. As soon as I sit down at the table, I formulate reads on the players instantaneously. I look around at everyone at the table and before they even say a word I get reads. As soon as they talk I get more reads and the more they say the better read I get. So definitely I talk to get reads. I also like to he fun because poker is supposed to be fun. You know, when I was heads-up with Nick Schwarmann for the bracelet last year I didn’t want it to end. I was having the time of my life. You can’t hear it on the broadcast but that’s what I was saying. I said to Nick, ‘I don’t want this to end. I’ll play heads-up with you for the next three days. There’s nothing better than this, I just want to die at this table. I will stay here forever.’
Q: You’re in tat special club, the bracelet club, and that’s gotta be special to you?
JO: It really is. There is nothing quite like it. Winning a bracelet is something they can never take way from you. Nobody can ever say otherwise, nobody how bad I play the rest of my career.
Q: The importance of coaching?
JO: If you want to be good in poker, and you’re just starting out, beginner, intermediate or expert, yes everyone should have a poker coach they can discuss hands with. My success is definitely attributed to Bill Hubbard. When I first started I probably read a dozen books and played for about a year before I met Bill and my ams when from a zero out of ten to about a two out of ten. Then I met Bill, worked with him for a few years and got my game up to a nine out of ten. He basically taught me everything there is to know about poker. There’s nothing I could ever do to thank him enough. I definitely attribute my success to him. He was watching me play one day at Aria and I had a Rolex on. Bill liked the watch. So I told him, ‘You know what coach? When I win my first bracelet I’m going to give you this watch.’ So last year I won the bracelet, coach presented me with my gold bracelet on stage at the Rio and I presented him with the Rolex. I would not have been ale to do it without him. What he taught me was incredible.
Q: The November Nine is fast approaching. If you were at the final table of the main event how would you handle the three month lay-off?
JO: If I was at the final table of the main event, which I hope to be someday, Iit would be a dream come true. I need to get visualizing on that one. My life would be poker for those three months. I’d eat, drink and sleep poker. I don;t think I’d drink alcohol, I think I’d cut out alcohol for that entire period. I’d be exercising everyday to get my body fit. I would be exercising my mind. I would be playing poker a few times a week at least. I’d be travelling for tournaments, trying to get in shape for tournaments, and I would get a team of coaches. I’d probably get a team of tournament coaches sot run scenarios. You know, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so to not be as absolutely prepared for it as you could be would be a sin. You have to maximize your chances of being world champion. I would research refry singe player at that final table. I would track them down, find them on youtube, and data mine them. I’d want to know every piece of information on them.
I do like the three or four month layoff and the reason I like it is because no other tournament has it and that should be the case with the main event. The main event should be special. It should be promoted, the final table should be promoted, and there should be a to of tension leading up to it. The event should stand on its own.
Justin Oliver Thank-you!
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Hey High Rollers, busy day for us, we had an interview with John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Plauers Alliance (PPA), who discussed Donald Trump, Sheldon Adelson and the future of online poker in America. The PPA, at theppa.org and @ppapoker on twitter, is the leading advocate for licensed and regulated iPoker in the United States. Hard to believe it’s been nearly six years since ‘Black Friday’ and the passing of the UIEGA, which shut things down for poker players in the land of the red, white and blue. Plus, we transcribed our 32 minute interview with 1983 world champion Tom McEvoy, ‘Class of 2013’ Poker Hall of Fame inductee, 4-time bracelet winner and the main reason poker rooms across the world are non-smoking today.
Have you checked out www.onlinecasinocanada.com?
John Pappas Interview: Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA)
Poker Interview Transcribed
1983 World Champ Tom McEvoy = 4 WSOP Bracelets = Author = Hall of Famer
Hey High Rolllers, just trasncribed one of our favourite interviews from the archives (2012, just before the WSOP). He was one of our first guests, WPT superstar Jonathan Little, an author, coach, two-time winner on the World Poker Tour and WPT ‘Player of the Year.’ The guy is great!
We have transcribed the interview and it was worth the time and effort. Little is one of the best poker instructors in the world and one of the most successful players. He’s won more than $8 million playing cards folks.
Have you checked out www.onlinecasinocanada.com?
Hey High Rolllers, another great week @highrollerradio! We have surpassed 2,500 followers on twitter & our youtube channel is at 56k views, not bad for the short time we’ve been posting our archive there. Please share our videos & subscribe to our channel, follow us on twitter, facebook & pinterest. 2-to-1 you’ll LOVE it!
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Did you hear? There’s a new online poker site for non-U.S. citizens playing in legal jurisdictions worldwide. We introduce you to www.ppipoker.net, ‘where players rule.’ Yesterday, we spoke to Randall Kasper, co-founder of Poker Players International, about the company’s latest gaming venture, a new online poker site called PPI Poker. “The time is right for our brand,” he says.
We have interviewed Kasper, and two of his companies poker ‘ambassadors’ Casey ‘Big Dog’ Jarzabek & Danny(N13) Noseworthy, both epic online players with millions in tournament earnings. For all three interviews visit HERE
Have you ever used a HUD? Heads-up displays are becoming the norm on poker sites around the world. In 2016, we spoke to Ivar Ketilsson, a community manager at Jivaro, about his companies new technology:
Plus, we also dug a tremendous interview out of our audio archive. We were saddened to learn that one of our very first guests, Johnny Hughes, author of three books, including Famous Gamblers, Poker History & Texas Stories, passed away back in November. Hughes was a PhD, road gambler, expert ‘Bird Dog’ (a guy who catches cheats, poker player & author and was a treasure to have on the show. You like old time gambling? You a poker junkie? You will absolutely LOVE this discussion. The audio is not the best, from 2012 and by phone, but the content is stellar. RIP Johnny!
Also…the NFL playoffs are underway…are you a sports fan who wagers on games? Here’s a few clips from Brian Tuohy, author of The Fix Is In & the world’s leading sports conspiracy theorist, on how professional sports can be fixed!
We also have a clip here from 2007 WSOP ‘Player of the Year’ Tom Schneider, who’s won 4 bracelets at the World Series of Poker and is one of the best players on the planet. He talks about that year, ’07, and running good:
Plus…it’s a $1,000 poker book…but “it’s not for everybody,” says Reid Young of www.pokersrpout.com, a professional poker player who is so good he skipped medical school because he was making too much money:
Also, Roy Cooke, poker pro, author & columnist for Card Player magazine, talks about his lengthy career in poker. Did you know he’s been beating the game for more than 40 years, and still going strong. The licensed Las Vegas real estate agent, www.roycookepokerlv.com, talks about the impact of Chris Moneymaker’s win in 2003, Johnny Moss and how grumpy he was, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and other legends, plus his long running column at Card Player and his 7 books.
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