Sunday, October 30, 2011

Timmy Burt Goes Back To Back

Tim Burt won the H.O.R.S.E. tournament in Biloxi

Tim went back to back to defend his title. I finished third in this event last year, and I had half the chips with Tim, Charles Edwards and myself left. I squandered my chips versus Edwards. I fell in love with the strategy of trying to bust Charles Edwards, then hold a big chip advantage versus Burt -- obviously an expert player. I learned an expensive lesson that day and feel I should have won last year. And what makes me really sick is the fact I did not attempt to defend my H.O.R.S.E. title in Indiana this year. Going back to back is an especially sweet poker accomplishment.

This is Tim Burt's third WSOP Circuit win. Congratulations Timmer.
Read my post from last October about last year's H.O.R.S.E. tournament HERE

All-Time Ring Leader

Mark (Pegasus) Smith is a WSOP Circuit poker legend, and last month in Southern Indiana, he became the all-time WSOP Circuit Champion (with five titles).


The 2011/12 WSOP Circuit is in Biloxi, Mississippi, after stops in Bossier City, Southern Indiana and Hammond. It is no secret I am too broke to play the circuit this year -- and I really miss it. Learn more about this years WSOP Circuit HERE

The 2011/2012 WSOP National Championship tournament format has changed, gone are the four $10,000 Regional Championship tournaments. Again this year, the top ranked 100 players on the circuit will earn a $10,000 entry into the WSOP National Championship. Thirty-four of the 100 qualifiers will be the Main Event Champions, or the "Casino Champion" at each of the 17 stops. Sixty-six of the 100 spots will be the top at-large point earners. Additionally, the top ranked 100 players in the new WSOP World Rankings will be allowed a chance to buy in the event. The World Ranking will rank player's performances at July's WSOP and WSOP Europe over a two-year period.


Mark Smith, Robert Castoire, Robert Chow, David Nicholson, Christopher Gamboa, and Drazen Ilich have already qualified for the National Championship on the first three stops. Ilich also qualified for the National Championship last year.

Familiar names on the circuit leaderboard this year include:

Peter Mavro (77.5 points). Mavro had the most tournament cashes on the 2010/2011 WSOP Circuit and played in last year's National Championship. Felicio Johnico is the lady from Texas at the top of the leaderboard with three final tables, including a win (102.5 points). Aaron Massey from Chicago has 60 points and is in 17th place to qualify for one of the 66 at-large berths. Stephen Kats a National Championship qualifier last year, is in the hunt again this year with 52.5 points. Other notable players in the hunt, early in the circuit include Kyle Cartwright, John Dolan, Michael Foster, Dennis Phillips, Mark Kroon, Eric Crain and Luther Lewis.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barry, Linda and the Poker HOF

Congratulations to Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson for being inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame. Mike Sexton once coined the term, " the First Lady of Poker" for Johnson, and for those who do not know who Miss Linda is, here are the top ten reasons why Linda Johnson should be in the Poker Hall of Fame.

10) Everyone, who is anyone in poker, knows Linda
09) She has been playing poker 35 years
08) Johnson founded the poker charity PokerGives.Org
07) Linda is an organizer of Card Player Cruises
06) Johnson is a co-founder of the Tournament Directors Association
05) Linda Johnson owned CardPlayer magazine for 8 years
04) She serves on the Board of Directors for the Poker Players Alliance

03) Johnson won a WSOP Bracelet in 1997 (Razz)
02) Linda Johnson was once the biggest publisher in poker, a pioneer

And the Number One reason Linda Johnson should be in the Poker Hall of Fame?
(drum roll please) "Because Scotty Clark Poker readers said so".

Yes. Linda was the top vote-getter in my poll (Greenstein was the runner-up).

Linda Johnson story: Back in the old WPT World Poker Open Tunica days, I sat next to Linda in a $10/20 Limit Holdem game. I was dressed up on a Saturday night in black slacks and a white dress shirt. So, I strike up a conversation and tell her I'm a fan of her magazine. This was back in the days before hole-card cams were invented, you could still smoke at the tables, and CardPlayer was really the only poker publication of note on the market. We spoke chit chat for the duration and she finally says..

"How long have you worked here?"

"I don't work here, I am dressed up for Saturday night." My outfit must have made me look like a poker dealer. She seemed a bit apologetic and embarassed by it all, but I laughed her off that ledge and found it amusing. Barry Greenstein quote: "I'm happy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my friend Linda Johnson who has been the most fervent ambassador for poker for as long as I can remember".

Complimentry Orel Hershiser story: Game Six of the World Series in St. Louis was cancelled due to weather and the Lumiere poker room was rocking as a result. Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser was in-house playing $2/5 NL Limit Holdem, and my buddy Gerry Claunch was sitting on his right. So I eased up to the table and blatantly took a picture of them with my IPhone -- and Hershiser called me out on it. He said "No. No. No. You're going to get in trouble in here doing that".

Wow. I was freaking inside. I mean, we take pictures in the Casinos all the time and post them on our Facebooks and such. Despite the fact there is a rule about photography in Casinos, it is rare that it is enforced. Hersh told me to delete it and I obliged him. Fast foward. I look over a couple of hours later, he was taking pictures with couples and signing autographs. From what I saw, Orel was the life of the party in the game, and everyone was having a very good time. I hope he was not offended.

Have I ever told you about the time I played poker with Steve Martin ???

READ MORE about the 2011 Poker Hall of Fame HERE

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chow Wins WSOP Hammond

WSOP Hammond Main Event Champion Bob Chow

After four long days of poker, the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event has come to an end with Bob Chow claiming the gold ring and $393,584 first-place prize. The 1,615-player field was the largest in WSOP Circuit Main Event history, creating a $2,349,825 prize pool that was a fitting way to conclude a stop that began with Event #1 No-Limit Hold'em, the largest field in WSOP Circuit history with 3,001 players. The final day of the Main Event saw 20 players return to action with consummate grinder Eric Crain leading the way. The action went quickly with seven players hitting the rail in the first two hours. One of those players, former online star Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon was testing his skills in the live realm.

Unfortunately, Kroon didn't make it to the final table. In Kroon's elimination hand, Edward Pham raised to 85,000 under the gun and was soon met with a three-bet to 265,000 by Kroon in middle position. Action folded back around to Pham who thought a long while before sliding in a call. When the flop came down 5s Js 9s Pham checked to Kroon who bet 320,000. Pham responded by moving all-in and Kroon snap-called off his last 415,000.

Showdown: Kroon Ks Jd Pham 9d 9h

It was a bit of a cooler flop as Kroon had hit top pair with the second nut-flush draw and Pham flopped middle set. "Spade," Kroon called. The dealer burned and turned the Kh It wasn't the spade Kroon was looking for...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Phillips Wins WSOP Ring

St. Louisan and 2008 November Niner Dennis Phillips won his first piece of WSOP jewelry Friday in Hammond, Indiana. Phillips outlasted a field of 227 players in Event #8 and took down over $55,000 for two days work.

Dennis will be playing in The Big Game
next weekend at Harrahs St. Louis.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet Andrew Nguyen

"Picture me in a Cardinal hat"

The World Series begins within the hour, my St. Louis Cardinals versus the Texas Rangers. I have a prop bet with the young Andrew Nguyen from Dallas. The bet was Andrew's brainchild and it goes like this....

Nguyen is a Ranger fan and at the WSOP Circuit event April in St. Louis, the loser has to wear the cap of the winning team during the Ring Events.

The Rangers are about an 8-5 favorite to win, the Cardinals have home-field advantage, and expect for this series to go the distance. Cardinals in seven.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Castorie Wins WSOP So. Indiana

Robert Castoire wins his third WSOP Ring

From 10/10/11
Play has wrapped up at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana where the newest 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event champion has been crowned.

Robert Castoire won the title and a cool $107,022. It didn’t come easy, though because Castoire had to outlast a field of 313 competitors over the course of three days and two Day 1 starting fields. Even more impressive was that Castoire was down 11-to-1 in chips at one point during heads-up play and came all the way back in dramatic fashion to claim his victory. One of the most notable players at the final table was poker pro Bernard Lee He lost most of his chips when he called the all-in of five-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Mark "Pegasus" Smith on the flop. Lee held on a board. Unfortunately, Smith showed and held on to the lead through the river.

Lee was unable to build enough momentum after that hand to make a significant comeback and was eliminated in eighth place shortly after...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Massey Chipleader In So. Indiana

After 14 hours of action, Day 2 of the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event came to a close. Play began with 170 players, and the final table of 10 was reached just seconds before the clock expired on the last level of the day. Aaron Massey will return on Day 3 as the chip leader with 1.07 million.

Aaron Massey catapulted to the chip lead after spending most of the evening at the bottom of the counts. In the last hour of play, he won a few key pots that gave him some wiggle room. But, with only minutes left on the clock he flopped a straight against Thang Nguyen and doubled up to 1.07 million. Joining Massey at the final table are Mark “Pegasus” Smith (877,00), Bernard Lee (664,000), David Hengen (696,000), Robert Castoire (788,000), Jacob Bazely (844,000), Donovan Darland (561,000), Sameer Al Dbhany (433,000), Khang Luu (209,000) and Thang Nguyen (119,000).


First place is $107,022. Massey is a friend from the Chicago area.

Free-Rolling With The Cardinals

The Birds are in the playoffs and have disposed of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Up next? The Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals have gone on a heater and were 10 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card Race on August 24th. The team rode a 17-8 record in September to win the Wild Card on the last day of the season. Versus Philadelphia, the club lost games 1 and 3 but went on to win Game 5 (1-0) behind a 3-hit effort from Chris Carpenter. This is a scrappy, veteran club.

St. Louis and Milwaukee split the season series 9-9 and the Brewers have won Game One at Miller Park, where the Brewers went 57-24 this year. Go Cards.

Free, bad NFL picks. I am 39-34-2 on the year with my NFL picks.
I post my NFL picks on My Facebook every Saturday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

St. Louis Winter Poker Classic

Harrahs St. Louis has announced the Gateway Poker Classic this year in December.



2-Dec FRIDAY 12PM NLH 2 DAY $300 $45 $10
2-Dec FRIDAY 5PM PLO $200 $35 $10
2-Dec FRIDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

3-Dec SATURDAY 12PM NLH 2 DAY $500 $55 $10
3-Dec SATURDAY 5PM PLO8 $200 $35 $10
3-Dec SATURDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

4-Dec SUNDAY 12PM SENIORS NLH $200 $35 $10
4-Dec SUNDAY 5PM NLH $200 $35 $10
4-Dec SUNDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

5-Dec MONDAY 12PM NLH $200 $35 $10
5-Dec MONDAY 5PM HORSE $200 $35 $10
5-Dec MONDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

6-Dec TUESDAY 12PM NLH $200 $35 $10
6-Dec TUESDAY 5PM OMAHA H/L $200 $35 $10
6-Dec TUESDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

7-Dec WEDNESDAY 12PM 6 HANDED NLH $300 $45 $10
7-Dec WEDNESDAY 5PM PLO $200 $35 $10
7-Dec WEDNESDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

8-Dec THURSDAY 12PM NLH 2 DAY $500 $55 $10
8-Dec THURSDAY 5PM PLO8 $200 $35 $10
8-Dec THURSDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

9-Dec FRIDAY 12PM NLH $300 $45 $10
9-Dec FRIDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

Harrahs St. Louis Poker Room Virtual Tour
10-Dec SATURDAY 12PM NLH CHAMPIONSHIP $1,000 $80 $20
10-Dec SATURDAY 5PM NLH $200 $35 $10
10-Dec SATURDAY 7PM NLH $100 $20 $5

11-Dec SUNDAY 2PM TURBO NLH $200 $35 $10

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 Hall Of Fame Nominees

This years Poker Hall of Fame nominees are Annie Duke 

Players must have played poker against acknowledged top competition; be at least 40 years-old, played for high stakes and gained the respect of peers. Players must stand the test of time and for non-players, they must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Please VOTE in my poll in the right hand column.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Poker Stars Pro Cheats Dice

Couple accused of dice sliding at Wynn Las Vegas

Oct. 1, 2011 by Tim O'Reiley

While many craps aficionados scoff at the idea that a player can effectively control the roll of the dice, Wynn Las Vegas has become a believer. The Strip resort has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court against frequent customers (Poker Star Pro) Leonardo Fernandez and Veronica Dabul, both Argentine nationals, asking for the return of about $700,000 Wynn officials say they illegally won during a monthlong cheating spree that ended with their arrest on July 18.

The two are suspected of working with several unidentified customers who placed bets or distracted dealers and are accused of pulling off their gambit by using an infrequently seen technique known as dice sliding...


Leo Fernandez

Monday, October 3, 2011

Full Tilt Finds Prospective Buyer

Full Tilt Poker's Board of Directors has signed an acquisition agreement with the Bernard Tapie Group. Here is the FTP press release:

Dublin, Ireland (September 30, 2011) Laurent Tapie, Managing Director of Groupe Bernard Tapie announced today that the group has signed an exclusive agreement with the Board of Directors of Full Tilt Poker to acquire the company and all of its associated assets. This agreement, which includes the repayment of Full Tilt Poker’s world-wide players in full, is subject to several conditions; the first of which is a favorable resolution with the United States Department of Justice. Discussions with the United States Department of Justice will begin immediately.

Bernard Tapie
Groupe Bernard Tapie has over 30 years of experience in the salvation of financially distressed businesses, with over 40 companies acquired and managed to profitability, the most well-known being the sport equipment giant, Adidas.

Bernard Tapie is a 68 year-old French businessman, politician, entertainer and one of the more famous celebrities in France. He is a sports team owner whose teams have won the Tour de France and the French National Soccer championship. Tapie's son Laurent is representing the group in this acquisition and you can read more about the acquisition HERE In his first interview, Laurent Tapie says he believes in the Full Tilt project and has the funds to repay players, but admits there is “still a long way to go”.


April 15 the Department of Justice (DOJ) shuts down Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker (FTP), Absolute Poker  (AP) and Ultimate Bet (UB) in the United States. By April 26 Pokerstars allows US players to cash out. FTP does not allow US players access to their funds, nor cashout. At the WSOP at the end of May Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer are all no-shows. Ivey releases a statement stating he will not be attending on principle. On June 01 Phil Ivey files suit against to get out of his non-compete clause and later in June, it is reported Ivey was FTP's world headquarters in Dublin meeting with FTP executives. Ivey's filing of the lawsuit led to a response by FTP in which they cited millions of dollars in "loans" to him which remained unpaid.
On June 29 the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended FTP's gaming license. At this time, Full Tilt Poker is completely shut down to all players around the world and Phil Ivey dismisses his lawsuit against FTP the following day.

A hearing is scheldued for July 26 to reveiw reinstatement of FTP's liscense, but it is re-scheduled for September 15 by the request of FTP attorneys. At the end of August, FTP issues a statement claiming $115 million dollars has been seized over the previous two years by the DOJ. FTP also claims investors are interested in purchasing the site. FTP lawyer Jeff Ifrah then files a motion with the court asking to be relieved as attorneys for the defense. Ifrah cites representing FTP was creating an unreasonable financial burden on the law firm. On September 15, the hearing between FTP and the AGCC to determine if FTP would get the gaming license reinstated was re-scheduled for September 19. The hearing was to be a two day affair.

The second day of the hearing (September 20) , the DOJ announce it had amended their civil complaint to include charges against Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst -- for running a "global ponzi scheme". The AGCC cut the proceedings short as a result, and announced on September 29 -- three of the four licenses for the corporations that make up FTP are revoked. Full Tilt has now announced this agreement with the Bernard Tapie Group.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Big Game In St. Louis


Dennis Phillips Brings High Stakes Poker to the Midwest

Next month, former WSOP November Niner Dennis Phillips will take part in the largest cash games ever played in St. Louis. Phillips and St. Louis radio man Paul Harris, hosts of KFNS' Final Table Poker Radio Show, are set to participate in the Harrah's St. Louis Big Game from Oct. 28 through 30.

The nine-handed cash game will feature $25/$50 blinds with a $10 ante and a minimum buy-in of $15,000. A combined estimated minimum of $270,000 will be on the table at any given time, and, depending on who shows, there's the potential for much more.

“As a player, there really is no better place in St. Louis to play poker," said Phillips, who won $4.5 million for his third-place finish at the 2008 Main Event. "I’m excited to be a part of bringing a game of this size to my hometown.”

The public is welcome to watch all the action when the cards go in the air at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28. Interested players can contact the Harrah's WSOP Poker Room.