Hey High Rollers, very exciting time of year…WSOP time…Can Phil Hellmuth get #14? He headlines a final table in the RAZZ event, same one the ‘Poker Brat’ took down two years ago for bracelet #12. Of course, Phil the only player to win the WSOP & the WSOPE main events. Brandon Cantu is also at the final table along with David Bach….stacked folks. You can watch th live link at wsop.com
Vanessa Selbst – Legend?
Yes, we’d say! The American just captured her third WSOP bracelet in the 25k mixed max event featuring one of the best fields ever in poker. What a resume! She’s won close to $11 million making her the all-time female money winner. She’s got three bracelets: 2008 $1500 pot-limit Omaha for $227,000, 2012 10-game 6 handed for $244,000 and now the mix max for $871,000. In 2010, Selbst won the NAPT Mohegan Sun main event for $750,000 and then won it again the next year. Her biggests core? € 1,300,000 ($1.82m) for her first place finish at the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour.
She also has two final tables on the World Poker Tour, one at the 2011 WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic and another at the 2013 WPT Borgata Poker Open. Her WPT earnings total $849,788. She’s won more than $4 million in High Roller events alone…that’s a High Roller folks.
2014 WSOP Bracelet Winners:
1) Roland Reparejo, $82,000 (Casino Employees)
2) Vanessa Selbst, $871,000 (25k mix max)
3) Brandon Shack-Harris, $205,000 PLO
4) Kyle Cartwright, $360,000 NLHE
5) Tuan Le, $365,000 Deuce to 7
WSOP Fun Fact:
After winning his bracelet in 2010, Canadian Pascal LeFrancois posed for the winner’s photo topless. Following a dare from friends, he kept his word and removed his shirt for the bracelet photo – what had to be a WSOP first. During our interview on High Roller radio, LeFranscois answered a few questions in French – What was a HRR first!
A Gamblers Edge
The story goes, as told on High Roller Radio by Howard Schwartz, the legendary gaming historian and long-time owner of the famed Gambler’s Book Club in La Vegas, that a professional poker player was sitting at his table, in the middle of his game, when he noticed in the distance on television San Diego Padres first baseman Steve Garvey’s hair. Why is that important? “Well, remember, the poker player was pro,” Schwartz continues in monologue, “A pro will bet on anything if he thinks he’s got an edge. The Padres were playing the Giants at Candlestick Park and the over/under was four runs. Garvey’s hair? It was blowing toward home plate, blowing in and blowing hard too. So, he figured, with a strong wind, the teams would be hard pressed to score four runs. He made the bet and won. That’s called finding an edge.”
The Hole-in-One Gang
This is how you do it High Rollers; an outstanding example of a well-educated and slyly calculated value bet. A professional gambler would call it, ‘finding an edge.’ It’s amazing how just a slight edge can make good gamblers great and great gamblers legendary. If you’re in the wagering business, you’ve got to, I repeat, you’ve got to find an edge. Enter Paul Simmons and John Carter, a couple of slick dudes who put in the work, crunched the numbers, and found an edge. A big one too! The boys studied a ton of historical data and calculated the odds of a hole-in-one at the British Open to be roughly 50/50, ‘Even-Steven’s’, as the kids might say on the playground. Collectively, they were pretty sure several unsuspecting bookies would offer considerably higher odds than the evens, or less, and they were right! Spectacularly right. The bookies didn’t know what him them. So, the boys found their edge. Now, it was time to capitalize. They placed a large number of relatively small bets all over the country at odds of up to 100/1. What an edge! You guessed it; Brian Marchbank scored an ace during the major championship and the boys scored huge. Depending on whom you believe, the pair won somewhere between £600,000 and £1 million – proving that bookies and the house can be beat if you find an edge.
Britain’s Greatest Gambler?
Money is no object to the true High Roller. The Phil Ivey’s, Patrik Antonius’ and Tom Dwan’s of the world, the guys who have no fear and no regard for money, they’re the true gamblers. Like Archie Karas, Nick ‘the Greek, Dandelos and Stuey Ungar before them, the true gambler is willing to put it all on the line, at any time, so long as they like the odds. Have you ever heard of Harry Findlay? Certainly not as well known to the public as the aforementioned High Rollers, but Harry Findlay is indeed a kindred spirit to them. He’s made and lost more than most will ever know. In October 2007, Findlay, arguably Britain’s greatest ever gambler, was so convinced New Zealand would win rugby’s World Cup, a ‘sure thing’he thought, so confident he advised friends and family to put everything they had on it. His personal wager? An astonishing $2.7 million! Oops! The legendary ‘All-Blacks’, as the New Zealand squad is known, not only didn’t win the World Cup, they lost to France and didn’t even advance past the quarter finals. After the France victory he said, “I thought Dan Carter was a God, the dimension that made them unbeatable. Fundamentally, I believe I was right in my assessment of the ‘All Blacks’ as a team but it didn’t work out. I will never again bet on rugby because I could never fancy a team as much as I fancied that New Zealand side.” Yes, even great gamblers lose. Don’t feel too sorry for Mr. Findlay though, over the years he’s won tens of millions, much of that on Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and his own horses. “When I left school at 16,” he says, “all my mates found jobs and I said, ‘I wouldn’t work for two grand a week at the jobs you lot are doing. Get up at seven, leave the kids, go to London, come back tired at eight, too knackered to enjoy the weekends with the kids and then do it again Monday to Friday.’ They said I was mad, but who’s wrong?” That’s it right there – the life of a gamble, the appeal, the freedom to come and go as you please. Gamblers are a different breed.