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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!
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!
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!
Derrick@highrollerradio.net for advertising inquiries!
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?’
Major Heist at the Crown Melbourne
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.
@JuiceyJO 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.
‘The Cash Man’
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.
John Pappas Interview: Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA)
Poker Interview Transcribed
Tom McEvoy Wins the Champions Cup
1983 World Champ Tom McEvoy = 4 WSOP Bracelets = Author = Hall of Famer
Q: You’re going to be officially inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame November 3rd, 2013. Congratulations, it’s well deserved, where does this rank on your list of poker accomplishments?
TM: This is really a life-time achievement award and a validation of my entire poker career. Next to winning the main event of the World Series of Poker, which nothing can ever top, I consider this the second highest achievement any poker player can have. I certainly feel both honoured and humbled that I’m going to be inducted with all the other poker greats. It’s tough to get in. They only induct one or two players a year. It was a long time coming but now that it’s here I’m really excited and enjoying it. It’s like a new chapter in my life.
Q: You say this is “validation” of a poker career. Do you feel you get enough credit for your poker achievements?
TM: I could have a lot more exposure, I wasn’t very fortunate in that area. I won a tournament that was going to be televised and it finally was but not until a year-and-a-half later, so it was already old news. The few times I have had a chance to be on national television, I’ve made three final televised tables, two wins and a second place, so I feel I did a pretty good once I got there. It’s tough getting there. I’m not a regular on the poker circuit anymore, so I don’t have the opportunity to play in a lot of these TV events. If you’re not in it you can’t win it and you can’t get any TV time. People are far more aware of players who make a lot of TV appearances as opposed to someone like me.
Q: You’ve been on the ballot before, but it just wasn’t happening those past year. I know that was bothering you Tom. Did you approach things differently this year?
TM: As a matter of fact I did. Here’s how I approached it this year, I did absolutely no campaigning, I asked nobody to vote for me or nominate me. I pretty much resigned myself to the powers of the universe. I was either going to get in or I wasn’t and if I did, if was because people felt I deserved it and not because I did a lot of campaigning or politicking. I had done some politicking in the past and it got me nowhere, so I about gave up. It’s funny because this is the fifth time I’ve been on the ballot. All five years they allowed nominations from the public, I was one of the ten finalists each year but the fifth time was the charm. This is the time I actually got in.
Q: You think that’s a life lesson? It seems like you just let go and when you finally did the call came pretty quick?
TM: Yes it did. I said on another radio show, about a week before I got the call, that ‘if it happens it happens.’ I said, ‘I’m not holding my breath.’ Before I had hurt feelings, that I got passed over again, it kind of bothered me. This year, I didn’t feel that way. I’ve always believed the world owes nobody a living. You’re not supposed to have a sense of entitlement, and yet I think I did feel I was entitled to this. Then she I realized that poker has done a lot for me, that I try to give back to poker, but that doesn’t mean it owes me anything. Well, I just kind of resigned myself and good things happened. It’s like when you’re looking for a relationship and you can’t find one, no matter how hard you try, when you stop trying suddenly it appears.
Q: Your thoughts on the criteria for the Hall of Fame? I guess, one of the stumbling blocks for you has been the stipulation, “must play at the highest stakes.” I mean, you’re not playing $500/$1000 with the like of Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey.
TM: Well, I certainly think playing the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker main event qualifies as high stakes. There are several people in the Hall of Fame that didn’t play high stakes but made other contributions to the game. Henry Orenstein got in a few years ago, he’s the man who invented the hole-card camera. He didn’t play high stakes, although he did win a bracelet one year in a seven-card stud event. Linda Johnson, same thing, she doesn’t play high cash game stakes, very modest when she plays. She did win one bracelet, in a Razz event, and she’s in the Hall of Fame. I certainly don’t begrudge those two for being in because they’ve made other contributions to the game. Benny Binion, the founder, he’s in and so is his son Jack Binion. These are not high stakes cash game players but they‘ve made other contributions and belong there. In addition to winning the main event and four total bracelets, I feel like my other contributions, all by themselves, should have given me serious consideration and, in the end, they did.
Q: So much history in the Hall of Fame, all those legends. You’re one of the oldtimers now Tom. When you were a so-called young gun, who were some of the guys you looked up too?
TM: The guys that I talked poker with a little bit were pretty much the guys I played $10/$20 and $15/$30 games with, both seven-card stud and hold’em games. Most of those guys were not exactly household names but they were good, solid, winning professional players. I never had a chance to pick the brains of one of the superstars of the era. There weren’t that many poker players who had universal recognition when I broke in. There was Johnny Moss, of course, there was Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim. They were the three biggest names in the poker world. I played with all of them at various times but I didn’t have a chance to pick their brains.
Q: Was it tough to break into that group back then?
TM: Pretty much. I was never in a clique or part of the ‘in-crowd.’ I thnk that was one of the things that hurt me in prior Hall of Fame balloting. I really wash;’t one of the good ole’ boys. Yes, I was in the same age bracket as them but a lot of those guys broke in together, playing in private games, especially throughout the southwest, Texas in particular. I never did that, although I did play in a few private games in Texas I the mid 80’s. We’re talking about some of these guys going back to private games in the 60’s, who are maybe not that well-known anymore, they’re in the Hall of Fame and played in those games. I was never part of that crowd. I was an accountant from Michigan. I bought one of the very first copies of Doyle Brunson;s book, when it first came out way back in 1978. It wasn’t even called Super System then, like it is now. He had a publishing company at the time and I tracked down where the company was. I walked in and there he was. So, I got Doyle to sign the book. He told me years later that ‘I thought you were fresh off the farm.’ I pointed a finger at him and said, ‘You just wait. I’m gonna be at the same table as you one day, you just watch.’ Four years later, we’re both at the final table at the World Series of Poker main event, the year I won, which was the first year I got. He came third that year and it was last time Doyle Brunson ever made the final table of the maIn event. I think he prefers to be known not only as a two-time world champion but a guy who played high stakes his entire career as well. That’s his legacy.
Q: You get the autograph and four years later you’re at the final table with Texas Dolly. You win it! Did he say anything to you about giving you that signature a few years earlier?
TM: Only years later. He might have been kidding but he said he actually remembered, that brief encounter, giving me the autograph, at his publishing company, which he didn’t have long. I don;’t know if he was being polite or not but it was flattering.
Q: That main event heads-up battle with Rod Peate in 1983, the longest heads-up battle in the history of the WSOP, until Bloch versus Reese in the inaugural 50K H.O.R.S.E. championship. Talk about high stakes. Can you tell us about Rod Peate and that clash?
TM: I had been playing Rod Peate in the same cash games all over Las Vegas. We played a lot of $10/$20 hold’em together. He and I were casual friends at least. You know, we socialized a bit because we had some mutual friends and we played in the same circles. So, I was quite familiar with Rod Peate. The other big names at the table, in poker, didn’t know either one of us. So, I was very pleased when it gone down to me and Rod. Rod was the guy who broke Doyle three-handed. Of course, they made Doyle the betting favourite before play had started. Rod Peate actually had the chip lead going to the last table, Doye was second and they made him the betting favourite, and I was third, well behind both Rod and Doyle. At a nine-handed final table, they had me at 8-to-1 on to win.
Q: When Peate busted Doyle, you say were you were ‘happy.’ Is that cause you knew Rod’s style from those cash games and felt you had an edge?
TM: For several reasons. I wouldn’t have cared who I played. Some people said ‘Oh, you don’t want to face Doyle Brunson’ figuring there might be an intimidation factor, but that wasn’t the case. I have to admit I was rooting for Rod because I knew him and was friends with him. It was going to be exciting no matter who I faced but it gave me some extra pleasure that I got to play against Rod, somebody who I really knew, liked and respected.
Q: How long did you guys play?
TM: Well over seven hours! It’s still the record for longest heads-up play in World Series of Poker maine event history. Back then, it was four day tournament nd we played well into the fifth day.
Q: You’ve had some epic heads-up matches in your career, beaten some bug names too. You get heads-up you seem to prevail. What’s your secret? Don’t you get nervous?
TM: When I was playing at the final table of the main event back in 1983, there were a lot of TV cameras, it wasn’t live like it today, they made a documentary out of it. One of them asked me that question, ‘Don’t you get nervous?’ I said, ‘The only time I’m nervous is when I’m talking to you guys.’ When I’m playing, I’m totally focussed on the game, so being in front of cameras has never bothered me. The game is still the game, so just focus on the game because that’s what matters.
Q: How good did it feel to win the first ever Binion’s Cup, the first ever Champions Invitational?
TM: Good question. They interviewed everyone of the participants, there were 20 of us. I think at the time, there were 25 or 26 living main event champions. Not all of them, for various reasons, could make it but 20 of us did. They did an interview before we started playing and I told them, ‘There is nobody is this field more determined to win this event than I am because I feel like I have something to prove.’
Q: You wanted to win that badly!
TM: Very much so. They had a special trophy called the Binion’s Cup, the only time that trophy’s ever been award. I still have that trophy. In addition to that, they had a vintage Corvette, 1970 vintage Corvette. 1970 was the year they first started the world series.
Q: Do you drive that car around Tom?
TM: Actually, my wife is wearing it on her finger. She said she’s prefer a diamond, so she was quite happy with that little prize. I never actually drove the car, never took it out of the parking lot of the Rio. I sold it. I never regretted it. If I was a little bit younger I might have considered keeping it. I figure one of two things would happen; I’d either get a lot of speeding tickets because it was bright cherry red or I’d kill myself. I didn’t like either option.
Q: You’re a columnist for Card Player magazine, you’ve authored more than 10 poker books and you continue to put thoughts to paper. What has writing taught you about life?
TM; Several things. People think I like writing but I actually like the results of writing more than the process. The toughest thing for me to do with writing is to sit down in front of the computer and type the first word, the first sentence. After that it seems to flow out of me. I’m a procrastinator when it comes to doing that, I’ve missed more than few deadlines. Once I get cracking it kind of flows out of me. It’s hard for me, this doesn’t come natural. I never thought of myself as a writer. I was approached to do the books and, all of sudden, I’m making a lot of money on them so I kept cranking them out. I did about one a year, sometimes two. I thank my good friend and editor Dana Smith for being the driving force be hid it. Then, we recruited TJ Cloutier, he did four books with us. Then I did two with Brad Daughtery. It just snowballed. It was nothing I ever thought of. If someone told me during my poker career that I’d and up being an author, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy. I don’t know anything about writing.’ It was an on-the-job learning process and because I was trying to give out good, proper and balanced information, it forced me to really, really think about poker and what I had to say. I wanted to be sure I was giving out proper information and not misleading people. There are books out there with not so good advice. The books I give a lot of credit to are the ones written by professional level players. Anything written by Dan Harrington in particular, I always recommend to people.
Q: You’ve been playing at the WSOP since the late 1970’s, what are some of the things that have changed for the better over the years? What are some of the issues facing the WSOP?
TM: The biggest change for the better, in my opinion, is when they finally went non-smoking in the early 2000’s. I wasn’t the only person who was advocating non-smoking but, three years before the 2002 world series, in 1999, I hosted the first ever non-smoking tournament in Las Vegas history at Sam’s Town. We got a lot of flack from the smokers, that they were gonna boycott the tournament, they weren’t gonna play. Many of them changed their minds and played anyway. Well, a lot of the players who couldn’t stand the smoke started coming back to play. There are more non-smokers than smokers in the poker world now. So, many people who left poker because of they couldn’t stand the smoke came back. The smokers didn’t have to quit, they just had to take it outside. Smoker’s aren’t going to quit playing poker, and then something funny happened; the smokers decided they preferred the cleaner air themselves. They could breathe better as well. I remember at Binon’s, for years they allowed smoking and they had terrible ventilation. There was a thick haze of cigar and cigarette smoke. People were getting sick all the time. There were bronchial ailments and you no had no options. You had to put up with it and play. It went on for years. Finally, the casinos realized that besides the moral issues, to preserve and protect people’s health, it also made good financial sense. They were going to get a better tournament without smoking than with smoking. About 25% of the players were hardcore smokers who really objected and did reverse petitions threatening boycotts and such. It didn’t work. The vast majority wanted to go non-smoking and once it got established in one it was like rapid fire. Poker rooms across the country, one after the other, went non-smoking. Europe was a big hold-out but they final capitulated in most of their venues.
Q: You will inducted November 3rd, any thoughts are your ‘Class of 2013’?
TM: The ceremonies are going to be great. Scotty Nguyen, the other inductee this year, is certainly worthy of being inducted. He’s not only a main event champion but he’s won five WSOP bracelets, so he is the most worthy of inductees. He was on the ballot like I was several times and got passed over. He was a lot bigger name than some of the people who went in before him. I think that drinking display at the 50k HORSE championship, that was nationally televised, hurt him. I think he’s toned it down, not that he’s totally quit drinking, but that was his personal make-up for a while. I think he’s realized he went too far and it was time to tone it down. Basicaly, I think the poker world has said, ‘Okay you were wrong but we have forgiven you.’ Who is without sin right? Cast the first stone.
Q: The WSOP is a spectacle these days. Back in 1983, standing with your arms raised, could have veer imagined poker where it is today?
TM: No (laughs). Who could have thunk it? When Moneymaker won they had a record number of entrants, 839 or so. The very next year it tripled to a round 2,500. The year after that? It went to 5,000 and when Jamie Gold when in 2006 there were close to nine thousand entrants. The year I won, they had 108, no dead money, but the evolution of poker has been incredible. It would have been virtually impossible to predict that. Nobody saw this coming.
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.
Q: The WSOP is fast approaching. You know, if this were a marathon runners would be out jogging, stretching, gearing up and getting their bodies ready. Is it like that for you, a poker player? How do you prepare for this poker extravaganza?
JL: Well, it’s kind of similar too that. I’ve been studying a lot of poker. I’ve been playing online more recently trying to get ready. I just got set-up to play online poker in Canada and that went pretty well. Before the World Series each year, I like to take a week off and that’s exactly what I’m doing this year. One of my friends is getting married, so I’m gonna go to that and then go play the WSOP.
Q: What is that week off about? Is it about relaxation to get your mind right? I know it’s a long haul.
JL: I know I’m gonna be out there the entire time, playing poker 12 hours a day, everyday, for the duration of the series, so I always make a point to take some time off before and then take some time off afterward. Otherwise you burn out. You can’t afford to burn out. You realize, ‘okay, I’m gonna take it easy before, so I’m ready to work.’ Then after I’m done, I know I’m going to take it easy again, so I can go out there and put in a solid two months of good work.
Q: This is your profession obviously, but for amateurs who don’t play the amount you do, can you describe for them what that 12-hour work day over two months can do to your body and mind? What toll does it take?
JL: Well, I think it does whatever you let it do to you. I think I’ve gotten to the point now where I know what to expect. I’m gonna go out there and do my thing and be perfectly happy with it. You see a lot of players who go out there who aren’t mentally prepared. They go out partying all night and then try to play poker the next day. They don’t go to the gym, they don’t eat right and they end up being pretty exhausted, basically worn out and tired of the game by the end of it. If you go in there with an open mind and you’re ready to observe everything that’s going on and you want to be there, then you can go into it happy and leave happy. That’s what I do. I try to prepare myself to want to be there and that’s why I don’t play that much poker before, because if I don’t play poker for a week or two I want to go and play poker. I think it’s all mental. If you make a point to stay in shape physically then you can go out there mentally sound and not have too much of a problem.
Q: You haven’t won a bracelet yet. You’ve come close and had success at the WSOP but certainly not the same success you’ve had on the WPT. What is your plan this year in Vegas?
JL: I’m just gonna do the same thing I did last year. I’m gonna play a lot of tournaments, basically one tournament a day, whatever is running. I’m gonna stick to No Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em and PLO, those are my best games. Basically, play a tournament a day. I don’t have a schedule where I’m gonna play Event #2 or Event #7, or anything like that, I just show up the day of and play whatever is running.
Q: Before we talk about your new book, let’s revisit the Mirage Poker Showdown, a million dollar score for you. Phil Ivey was at that final table. What are your thoughts on him and his play?
JL: I think he play’s very good. He’s widely regarded as one the best and I think he is. I mean, he’s tough to play against. He definitely applies pressure. I’ve kinda figured out that every time he re-raises, you just need to go all-in and you’re probably going to win most of the time. That was strategy way back then.
Q: Is that a pattern you’ve recognized in his game? He’s re-raising a lot.
JL: It’s the strategy you notice in a lot of good players. People who are being very aggressive, the way to fix that is to just go all-in and make them fold.
Q: And they just stop bullying you?
JL: Well, either they do or they don’t. Sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, you can just run them over by going all-in but, theory-wise, that’s a high risk game and you are going to go broke often.
Q: This has been a big week in poker; Ivey versus Crockford’s, Russ Hamilton versus the world, Phil Hellmuth releases an official statement on the UltimateBet cheating scandal, there’s talk of increased security at this year’s WSOP. Do you get wrapped up in these stories?
JL: I think some people get wrapped in them and some people don’t. I mean, can Phil Ivey read the back of cards at the casino? I don’t really care, it’s none of my business. The Russ Hamilton thing? I think if people get caught cheating we should put them in jail, that seems pretty obvious. More security at the WSOP? If they want more security, that’s fine with me as long as it does’t slow down everything. No, I don’t get wrapped up in too many things. I just sit back, observe and make adjustments where I think necessary.
Q: Tell us about your new book, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume III?
JL: Well, Volume I & II were basically a guide on how I play poker. They were meant to be read as one giant book, where I talk about how to play a solid fundamental game in Volume I and then about how to deviate from that, and also how to live the poker life, in Volume II. Volume III is completely different than those two books. It’s basically 150 poker hand quizzes, where I go through hands I played in the $25,000 buy-in World Poker Tournament main event and a $1,500 buy-in and a $2,500 buy-in at the World Series of Poker. So, I have a deep stack, shallow stack and medium stack tournament in the book, that way you can get a pretty good idea of how I play tournaments with the varying stack sizes.
Q: So basically, you’re giving them hand descriptions and then asking them questions?
JL: Right. So, I lay out a hand; what happens pre-flop and everybody’s stacks sizes, because obviously that’s important. So, you’re in middle position with AK pre flop, what do you do? Then, I’ll lay out four options; limp raise, a two big blinds raise, a three big blinds raise or go all-in? The player will ideally write that in the book what they did, then I’ll go on to the next question. After you’re done with all the questions in the hand, I’ll go through all the possible answers, basically grade the student, let them know what I thought of each play and let them know why I thought a particular play is better or worse than the other plays. I use a point system so students can tell which play I think is the best or the second best. You’ll find in No Limit Hold’em, as long as you’re picking the first or the second best play it’s probably not that bad. But, if you’re picking the 3rd, 4th, or 5th best play it’s probably bad.
Q: That’s important to note, on any given hand there are a few of ways to play it?
JL: Right. there are many ways to play a hand and I recognize that. I think a lot of poker players try to say they have a definitively right answer for every situation but that’s not how poker works. You can go either way a lot of the times. And, if ‘Play A’ is slightly better than ‘Play B’, it’s gonna add value to mix things up to make your play more profitable.
Q: Did you find yourself writing more about the hands you played well or the hands you played bad?
JL: I basically include every hand I played. So, if I raised pre flop and there was any additional action, if someone re-raised me or if someone called me and took a flop. You know, I’m including basically every hand. I didn’t win the tournament so obviously there are hands I lost in there. Whenever I play poker, I carry a notebook with me and write down every hand I play. I use that for myself, to go back and review my play and make sure I’m not doing anything dumb. When I play, I tend to forget what’s going on. I’m super in the zone and have no clue what’s going on, if that makes any sense. If I look at it afterward, I have no clue what happened throughout the whole day. Even though I’m sitting there completely with it, if you ask me how I got my chips I have no clue. So, I started writing down all my hands and I go back through them. Maybe once every three or four tournaments I do something that is really dumb and I have to figure out why and fix it.
Q: So the writing helps you, I mean you obviously like it?
JL: I think it’s an extension of coaching in general. I found that when I started coaching people more, I started to think about the game in other ways. I think that’s made me a better poker player in general because it makes me think about everything I’m doing and to figure out if it’s actually good or if it’s something I do because I think I should be doing it. If you’re just doing something because you think you should be doing it, it’s not necessarily correct. I feel like writing, and writing down my general game plan, has made me think about my game and challenge the way I think about poker. You know, some of the things I do may not be accurate. Writing it down and thinking about it has certainly helped me flush things out and figure out whether they are good or bad.
Q: Tonight you’re teaching a class on holding top pair?
JL: Yes, I think it’s something people mess up frequently. I have a lot more of these classes where I go into specific concepts. People seem to like them a lot. I’m always trying to find new and innovative ways to discuss the game, and give the people who follow me information in the most clean and easy to digest way.
Q: Can you give us a sneak peak on how to play top pair?
JL: Unfortunately, I have a two-hour class lined up for it, so its hard for me to discuss. Essentially, you have to figure out what hand your opponent is likely to have A lot of those hands have you beat and you have to play it like a bluff catcher. Many of those hands are unlikely to have you beat, so you have to play it for value. It’s really thinking about the range of hands your opponent has and then playing your hand accordingly.
Q: Your website is FloatTheTurn.com. Do people need to be floating the turn more often?
JL: No, you don’t need to be floating the turn that much unless you know your opponent bets the flop, then bets the turn and then gives up a lot of rivers. I mean, I float the flop a lot. Someone bets the flop and you call with all sorts of stuff, planning to take t away on the turn either by betting when they check of by raising when they bet. But no, floating the turn is usually not the good because when players fire that second barrel they usually have it.
Q: Anyone to look out for at the year’s WSOP?
JL: Poker is a funny thing because it seems like players go on swings where they run really hot for a while and then run really bad for a while. It’s some kind of weird confidence issue where people trust their reads a little more often when they’re doing well. A good player who has good reads, is trusting those reads or anyone who has a good work ethic and realizes they’re not going to the World Series to party, they’re going there to make money. That’s someone to look out for.
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.
Randall Kasper, PPI
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.
Be sure to check out our website at www.highrollerradio.net and follow us on twitter @HighRollerRadio. If you would like to advertise contact Derrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AKA ‘nuTTTz’, Al McDonald is the newest member of Team High Roller.
Hey High Rollers, we’d like to introduce the newest member of Team High Roller Radio. Al McDonald, an avid gamer, poker player & Twitch poker moderator for ‘Gripsed’ & ‘Upswing Poker’. AKA ‘nuTTTz’. Al has a strong technical background and here talks about a gambling nightmare; you’re leading an MTT poker tournament and the power goes out. Help!!!!
Costly Crash Late in an MTT?
By: Al McDonald
It’s just past the 10PM, 5-minute online tournament break. Six hours into what you hope to be a twelve-or fourteen-hour session, you are feeling relaxed. Thinking back to the countless hours of study, the thousands and thousands of hands you played in order to give yourself a real chance to be profitable in online poker, your confidence is high.Seeing the thousands of dollars up for grabs in the top places feeds you energy. The mental game training kicks in, ensuring you stay on track. You continue making good decisions. You’ve got this bad boy! No-one is as prepared as you are to win. Every read is right. The hero calls are paying off. It is all going just as you planned.You hear the sound of a distant “POP!” and suddenly it is dark. A few seconds go by before you start to fully understand the gravity of the situation. “I am deep in three, 6-figure-prize-pool tournaments and my computer and internet are off! What the hell do I do now? HELP!”
It only takes a few seconds longer to realize that the little generator on your bicycle front tire is not going to save the day. You are well and truly at the mercy of events and circumstances that are out of your control. But are you really? Could you have protected yourself? Yes. Absolutely, most certainly, yes! Taking into account the stakes at play, at some point it becomes necessary to make serious investment in technical variance reduction.
Avoid internet and power outages late in MTT poker tournament!
The first part of it, like anything, is knowing all the variables. In the case of technical variance, it is a short list of three things:
1. Hardware failure
2. Power outage
3. Internet outage
This can be due to any one of a hundred different reasons, some preventable, others not.
The most obvious factor is to buy a quality system that is up to the task. Going cheap here is like trying to race INDY in your family sedan. Make sure you get system that can handle the heaviest load you wish to put on it and then some. When buying a system, consider maxing out the RAM and upgrading to an SSD drive to improve both performance and reliability.
Regular system maintenance can go a long way towards keeping a system running at peak efficiency. (I’ll get back to that later.) Even the best due diligence on housecleaning, however, will not stop hardware from eventually failing. The key to insuring against losses due to failure is redundancy, even if that means something as simple as a backup laptop capable of running the software load you require. Are you a smartphone/tablet user? Consider having your sites’ apps installed in case of emergency.
Some users, many top Twitch streamers, for example, will put a very large investment into redundant hardware that is capable getting them back on-screen very quickly. Four-monitor setups with dual gaming PCs create the ability for one PC to take over should the other fail. This enables the session to be finished with only a slight interruption. The issue of the failure can then be addressed later when your tournament life isn’t at stake.
Whenever a hardware failure takes your system down, it will almost never be a quick fix. Repairs shouldn’t be attempted if also trying to play serious poker. Things such as replacing video cards or restoring data to a new hard drive are quite often day-long adventures.
Backup devices to login with are your best insurance against loss due to hardware failure.
When you have all the right equipment in place, this is one of the least troublesome issues you’ll face.
While dealing with power outages is relatively easy, it will not be cheap to do right. Take into account what relevant factors apply to you and determine just how much you need to invest in protection. Things to consider are: location, type of residence, service consistency (outages and fluctuations), expected power consumption, runtime and budget. Dependant upon what type of dwelling you reside in, your options can be different. Home owners have one option others will not: an external, automatic switch-over, backup generator. While an expensive option costing several thousand dollars or more when combined with basic battery backup devices on modems and computers, it provides seamless uninterrupted power. Natural gas may also be an option that ensures your off-the-grid power never runs out of fuel.
When renting or living in a place where an exterior generator is not an option, battery backup is your only option. Also called a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), these range from inexpensive units that provide mere minutes of power to serious boxes that can provide many hours of backup power. The greater the wattage and longer the power duration possible, the greater the price of entry.
Service consistency will often go hand in hand with location. Rural residents, who may have to contend with things like trees falling on power lines, will naturally be coupled with more frequent outages and longer downtimes. When an external generator is not an option and downtimes will be longer than most, getting proper backup power will be expensive.
How many devices you wish to run on emergency power is a critical consideration. Runtime costs money. Expect any battery backup that will provide power to multiple devices for an hour or more to start at the four figure price range. For multiple monitors, PCs, modems etc, expecting to last for several hours can easily land you in five-figure territory.
Depending on the stakes involved, you may potentially lose more with an outage than a solid battery backup system would have cost. Backup solutions are your poker insurance policy against losses.
Our modern age worst nightmare. More angry calls have been made because people have email they can’t get than any other reason in telephone history. As a Twitch streamer, a lost internet connection is a show stopper. As a stakes player, it can make you lose your mind and your chance of winning. This is where it gets all ‘good news, bad news’.
For most, the good news is that insurance is fairly easy to obtain. Salvation lay in cell phone service. Urban areas and many rural areas have full data and internet coverage as part of the cell service. Consisting of nothing more than a 4G- or 3G USB dongle and a service agreement, this option is the fastest way back to the interwebs should your main provider suffer a major outage. Switching to a mobile device for play can be an option here as well. Unfortunately, most mobile devices do not support multi-tabling. As such, a 4G dongle on a monthly contract can be a very worthwhile investment.
The bad news: If alternate cell service or a backup internet provider are not options, you are screwed. Blinding out. GG, us. Thank you for playing. Go pour yourself some of your favourite beverage and try to not toss your monitors against the wall. Breaking stuff is -EV.
To this point, we have discussed those things that are random and unpredictable. From here we will go into the preventable.
System Maintenance and Due Diligence
The software on your computer is 1000 times more complicated than the hardware it runs on. Left to its own devices, the software will, for lack of a more fitting description, over time go insane. Not a little loopy, either; completely batshit crazy. A machine exposed to the internet is at even more risk. Exposure to the internet creates a ‘not if, but when’ certainty for trouble.
Maintenance items that are required for continued good performance are:
Defrag: Untangles the ones and zeroes that got mixed together during HDD use. Note: Don’t enable defragmentation on SSD devices. Windows does know better here. On mechanical HDDs, this should be run weekly during your non-grinding hours. (No defrag on Macs.) Scandisk- Scans system for errors and drive defects. I recommend running scans on your HDDs and SSDs weekly on all critical-uptime systems. (Mac users run Disk Utility.) Antivirus/malware scan- Up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software is a must. Run weekly scans and have on-access, real-time scanning enabled. Running a PC on the internet without this protection is only inviting disaster.
Backup, Backup, Backup
One of the most important aspects of keeping your data intact is to have a backup. Windows and Macs offer native backup solutions that are free. Purchase a USB drive that is at least three times larger than your main HDD and schedule daily full backups of your system. In a worst-case scenario of a HDD crash or SSD failure, you can install your operating system on a fresh drive and then restore all your apps and data from last night’s backup. Don’t be That Guy who loses years of hand histories and player stats to a lack of preparation.
As for due diligence, it is like any insurance and maintenance. When you assess how much is as stake for you, that is your opportunity to consider how much you are willing to invest to protect it. If a four-figure investment can prevent you from a five- or six-figure loss, you should call. Every single time.
Be Well. Be Prepared. nuTTTz
Costly Crash & Burn Late in an MTT January 4, 2017
It’s just past the 10PM, 5-minute online tournament break. Six hours into what you hope to be a twelve-or fourteen-hour session, you are feeling relaxed. Thinking back to the countless hours of study, the thousands and thousands of hands you played in order to give yourself a real chance to be profitable in online poker, your confidence is high.
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Hey High Rollers, the library continues to grow. We enjoyed some thorough poker and gambling knowledge last week from Nicholas Colon, a professional card counter, an attendee at the secretive Blackjack Ball in Las Vegas and head of the Alea Consulting Group, Dr. Tricia Cardner, author of Positive Poker and Peak Poker Performance & Jonathan Little, author of 9 poker books, winner of two WPT titles and the World Poker Tour’s Season 6 ‘Player of the Year’.
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This week, we are pleased to say we were joined by Darrel Plant, the ‘Poker Mutant’, who writes for PokerNews and www.mutantpoker.com. He is an authority on poker in Portland, Oregon, and has written several articles about the WSOP, poker strategy and cash games versus tournaments.
Great Interview! Hit play and enjoy.
Portand Poker? “Imagine a city where there was never any rake, a tournament started every couple of hours and you could get a seat in a rake-free $1/$2 cash game at multiple venues. That’s the situation in Portland.” – Darrel Plant, PokerNews
PLus, we also dipped into the archives and found some nice clips from Steve Dannenmann, runner-up at the 2005 World Series of Poker for a cool $4.2 million. Dannenmann is a fiesty, lively character, who had the time of his life on his run to the heads-up showdown with Joe Hachem.
Here, he reflects on the ’05 main event final table, star-studded group:
Here, he talks about the infamous Dannenmann Notes. Remember that crumpled peice of paper in his pocket? It contained some sage advice.
Thank-you Darrel Plant, thank-you Steve Dannenmann.
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Hey High Rollers, been a great week for us. We are closing in on the unveiling of our brand new site design, it’s been a slow process but we’re only in it for the love of the game and we’re in no rush. Stay tuned though, it looks dynamite.
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Did you know that only 1-in-47,000 players actually has the patience and ability to successfully count cards? We learned that in our interview with professional card counter, former player/slash manager of the M-I-T blackjack team derivatives and head of the Alea Consulting Group, www.aleaconsultinggroup.com, Nicholas G. Colon. He was great in providing High Roller Nation an insiders look at the casino industry; slot machine play, blackjack and player experience.
We also spoke to Dr. Tricia Cardner, www.drtriciacardner.com, who specializes in peak performance and sports psychology and has released a new book, Peak Poker Performance, to go along with her previous book, Positive Poker. Cardner delves into tilt and emotional downswings and looks at ways to develop positive routines and systems to combat it. Terrific chat!
Plus, we had Chris de Beer on, the ‘Don’ of MMA & UFC sports betting. This guy is good. We discussed Conor McGregor at UFC 205, his leverage against the UFC now with two belts, Miesha Tate’s retirement, plus a preview of Anthony Johnson versus Daniel Cormier (now out with injury) at UFC 206. Damn, what a great year for MMA.
And, Jonathan Little, a WPT superstar with two titles, more than $7 million won and author of nine poker books, including his best-selling Excelling at No Limit Hold’em. Be sure to hit play and enjoy. www.jonathanlittlepoker.com
Nicholas G. Colon Q&A
Chris de Beer UFC Q&A
Dr. Patricia Cardner Q&A
Jonathan Little Q&A
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