Category Archives: Interviews

Stacy Matuson Interview: WSOP, Women in Poker & More!

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.

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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:

@StacyAcey

@StacyAcey

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.

Women in Poker

Women in Poker

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?

Patrik Antonius, Stacy Matuson & Michael Mizrachi

Patrik Antonius, Stacy Matuson & Michael Mizrachi

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!

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Cate Hall v Mike Dentale Grudge Match, Limon Poker & Irish Legend Padraig Parkinson!

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!

Have you tried any NEW Casinos lately? NewCasinos.com (Global) NyaCasino.nu (Sweden) or New-Casinos.uk (Britain). You should!

Heads-Up for Rolls!

Heads-Up for Rolls!

Here’s what a number of poker players tweeted out about the match:

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=TUngvoJT144 

@limonpoker

@limonpoker

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!

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=gWWGaEhz-Uo 

PartyPoker Irish Ambassador Padraig Parkinson!

PartyPoker Irish Ambassador Padraig Parkinson!

Padraig Parkinson Clips
3rd, 1999 WSOP Main Event & Champion, Grand Final Late Night Poker 

(Full Audio of this Q&A HERE)
@PadraigPoker 

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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John Pappas Q&A: Poker Players Alliance! Plus, 1983 World Champ Tom McEvoy

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

Tom McEvoy Wins the Champions Cup

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.
Tom McEvoy Thank-You!
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Poker Pro Jonathan Little Q&A

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.

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Two-time WPT Champion

Two-time WPT Champion

Jonathan Little Interview Notes
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.
Jonathan Little thank-you!
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Poker Interviews, Johnny Moss a Grump & a New Online Poker Site

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.

Poker Players International www.ppipoker.net

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 derrick@highrollerradio.net.

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Interview with the ‘Poker Mutant’ Darrel Plant

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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Have fun at the tables.

 

 

Great Week at High Roller Radio: Colon, Cardner, De Beer & Little Interviews

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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Allen Kessler Poker Interview & Greatest Craps Roll Ever!

Hey High Rollers…did you watch the WSOP main event final table? Wow. Congrats to Qui Nguyen, who displayed the heart fo champion throughout, on taking down the November Nine, the bracelet and the $8 million first prize. 

We’ve had two great interviews this week, William Kassouf & Allen Kessler, s please check out www.highrollerradio.net and then our youtube channel, subscribe while you’re there.

2-to-1 you’ll LOVE it!

Allen Kessler Interview

He’s the ‘Chainsaw’ folks. Terrific chat about the 2016 main event, the November Nine, the Poker Hall of Fame inductions and more. Enjoy.

Craps Legend!

Your every day dice thrower can expect to roll 8 times at the craps table before sevening out, that’s the average, 8 rolls, and then 7-craps. Well…Patricia Demauro of New Jersey is not your average dice thrower, and in 2009, she set the gambling world a buzz! A Grandma who was feeelin’ it, the greatest craps roll ever today on High Roller Radio.
Out for a night of gambling, she was having no success at the penny slots when her friend, who was losing at poker, asked her if she wanted to try craps.  “Why not?”  She said. When it was her turn, she rubbed her hands together, picked up the dice, and began to throw.
Craps is the most popular dice game in the world, certainly the most exciting. Its a game of chance not skill, with a slight house edge, about 1.4 percent…, harder to beat than blackjack, but easier than roulette. Its a fast game too, and for Demauro, a novice at the game, it must have been like speaking a foreign language.
“There are all these terms I didn’t know, people were yelling at me,” she said. But she kept tossing those dice, another throw, another point hit, more throws, hard eights, snake eyes, 8’s, 10’s, a hard 4 for good measure.  The dealer kept retrieving the dice and she kept throwing – 154-times in all. Yes, 154!  Enough to make it the greatest craps roll all-time. Took her an astonishing 4 hours 18 minutes! Talk about a good night. The casino so impressed it broke out the bubbly.
We know she started with 100 bucks, and while there’s no word on exactly how much she made, if she made decent bets, it would have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Experts bets and it would be million. Happened may 23rd, 2009 at the Borgata…
Before her, the longest craps roll lasted three hours and six minutes in las vegas in 1989, 118 rolls… And according former guest of our show, Frank Soblete, author of Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos, the previous best for highest number of successive dice rolls was 147, by a man known as the “Captain” in 2005.
By the way…, what are the odds of Demauro’s unlikely performance at the craps table?  154 rolls without severing out? Well, According to Stanford University statistics professor Thomas Cover, the probability has been calculated at 1 in 1.56 trillion, chances smaller than getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery.
154 rolls…and no sevens baby! Patricia Demauro…a grandma with the greatest craps roll ever today on HRR.

William Kassouf Interview: “Victimized & Singled-Out” in WSOP Main Event!

Hey High Rollers, one of the most polarizing players in poker folks, William Kassouf put on quite a show at the 2016 World Series of Poker and we spoke to him about his run in the main event, his opponents reaction o him, Cliff Josephy, Gordon Vayo, Griffin Benger, Jack Effel and poker’s new world champ Qui Nguyen. Enjoy!

Archived Poker Interviews, Now on Youtube!

Hey High Rollers, sorry it’s been a while for any blog posts but we have been busy uploading our interview library to youtube and the video making process is taking aome time. Of course, we are trying to make each video of high quality, with interesting facts about our guests, some of their achievements ecetera. Congrats to Michael Bisping of the UFC, completes his destiny by knowcking out Luke Rockhold…wow.  Are you playing the World Series of Poker? It’s now underway at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino…good luck to all those playing.

The Colossus drew more than 21,000 runners, less than last year but still massive. Yours truly will be playing one event, Number 57, PLO8 July 1st weekend. Send me some mojo baby! We are now on youtube baby! HERE

Below, please enjoy some of the recent interviews we’s put on youtube, from the archives: 

MMA Betting
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Dr. Jaclynn Moskow and her claims of sexual harrassment and racism at Poker Night in America.

Robbie Strazynski, founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle, one of the best poker blogs in the world. Right up there with ours, right?

Mike Leah discusses the WSOP, his recent success at SCOOP and his goal to smash the all-time WSOP cash record.

Darren Elias, a back-to-back winner on the World Poker Tour. History maker!

Douglas Smith, president of the Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors Club, about their big show in Las Vegas. Rare poker chips anyone?

Chad Holloway, former managing editor PokerNews.com, about his WSOP bracelet win in the Casino Employees Championship a few years ago.

The Blackjack Ball? A secret gathering of the best blackjack players on the planet and Nicholas Colon was there! Great chat!

And, the Sensei of Poker Neil Channing! Funny guy. He can play too.

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