Posts Tagged ‘Luke Schwartz’

On the Road Again…

October 16, 2009

Greetings poker fans, it’s been a long time, too long in fact since I have posted anything on the old blog front. Far from slacking however, I have been working hard writing my arse off.

Poker Player

So, to business, I have a Luke ‘_FullFlush1_’ Schwartz feature out in the latest copy of Poker Player magazine – Issue 53 with Vicky Coren on the front cover.

This was an interesting interview, it took me a while to pin young Mr Schwartz down but it was worth it and true to form, the UK’s latest internet phenomenon had some entertaining and often controversial stuff to say for himself. I’ll stick up a link to the article if they post it online, but feel free to check out the Poker Player website here.

PKR

I’ve been doing a bit of work for PKR recently and have been writing strategy articles on beating PLO and PLO8 SNG’s for the ‘Raise Your Game’ section of their website. I don’t think that the PLO8 articles are up yet but you can check out the three PLO SNG articles here:
•  Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 1): Basic PLO strategy
Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 2): PLO early and middle play
Beat pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go’s (part 3): PLO bubbles and beyond

Baller

A lot of the writing I’ve been doing recently is for a new Asian-based poker lifestyle magazine called Baller – check out their website here.
You can download a PDF copy of their pre-launch issue where I have an article on the APPT Macau and an interview with WSOP 2005 Main Event Champ Joe Hachem.

Joe was a pretty cool guy to interview, and I found him a genuinely friendly fella, very chatty and down to earth. We talked about all sorts of stuff but mainly focused on the Asian and Australian poker scene and his life after his World Series win. Feel free to check it out folks.

The mag launches next month (November) and I also have features on the PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang who tells me all about the Singapore poker scene and with fellow Team Asia Pro Celina Lin who is currently leading the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup tournament leaderboard. I think they should be posting up some more content on the website after the launch so will keep you posted.

International Man of Mystery

I’ve become something of an international man of mystery recently (only with better teeth than Austin Powers, obviously…) and have been globetrotting with reckless abandon. My only regret is that with all the travelling I missed the GUKPT Cardiff leg.

Now while Cardiff is not as exotic as say Macau or Vegas it is my hometown and I was genuinely gutted to miss the GUKPT tour when it visited last month. Local boy Iwan Jones did us proud finishing in second and he was unlucky not to win. However, it was the Hit Squad’s Karl Mahrenholtz who took the honours along with his first GUKPT title, and being as Karl is an all round nice guy and an excellent poker player, this is no bad thing.

After covering the APPT Macau back in August/September I hit up London for the WSOPE. The final table there was a great one to watch and I found myself chatting with Mr Mahrenholtz about his GUKPT win while we were watching his fellow Hit Squaders Praz Bansi and James Akenhead get to work.

The Hit Squad boys are winning everything in sight at the mo, and the fact that Mr Akenhead has done a Demidov after making the WSOP Main Event final just shows how hard those boys have been working on their games. Praz was unlucky not to finish higher than third, but with Daniel Negreanu and eventual winner Barry Schulman on the final as well as Jason Mercier who is also running red hot, it was far from an easy final table.

Obviously I found some time to do some ‘networking’ (aka drinking) with GUKPT tour manager Jon Raab and had the pleasure of meeting JP Kelly, fresh from his second bracelet win. As well as being a very capable player and rising young poker star he struck me as a thoroughly nice guy and I hope I have the pleasure of interviewing him in the near future.

WPT Marrakech

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

I was barely home 5-minutes when it was on the road again, this time to the exotic location of Morocco where I am currently in the midst of covering the chilipoker.com WPT Marrakech. Feel free to check out some of the live updates from the Chilipoker blog or Poker News.

Despite a heavy French presence – both Morocco and Marrakech have strong French ties and French is one of the more widely spoken languages here – I have befriended a trio of Italians from PokerTexano.com and have been hanging around with them for most of the time. They have kindly provided me with a couple of pics for my blog so a big thanks to Stefano and the guys. Check out their website here (warning – it is in Italian, strangely enough…).

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Chilipoker are the masterminds behind the World Poker Tour’s first foray onto African soil, and we are enjoying the hospitality of the lovely Hotel Es Saadi and the swanky Casino De Marrakech. Day 1 is currently underway as we speak with over 400 players from 32 different countries coughing up the €4,500 (£4095) buy-in to create a monster MD 18,720,000 prize pool, which is the equivalent of around £1.5million.

With high calibre players like Tony G, 1996 WSOP Champ Huck Seed, WSOPE Champ Annette Obrestad and fellow Betfair pro’s Sorrel Mizzi and Jon Tabatabai, Andrew Feldman, Chilipoker’s own Liz Lieu, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Bruno Fitoussi and international tournament director Matt Savage, it’s shaping up to be a great tournament.

It didn’t take long for the sparks to fly and on just the second hand France’s Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche. Image courtesy of PokerTexano.com

managed to iron out just under three-quarters of his 20,000 starting stack after running a set of Twos into his opponents set of Nines on a Ten, Nine, Two board. What’s actually impressive here is the fact that he managed not to go broke in this spot.

I bumped into Barny Boatman during the first break who is off to a shakey start; a fellow player managed to cover him in scalding hot coffee before he had even taken his seat and then he took a big hit on level two when his Aces were cracked by his flush-drawing opponent who hit runner, runner two pair to leave Boatman senior with around 8,000.

Jon Tabatabai has been shown the door unfortunately, running his two pair into his opponent’s rivered gutshot 😦
After chatting to the friendly Welshman I learned he very nearly didn’t make it here at all – when he went to fly out from Heathrow on Monday he realised he had forgotten his passport… Doh!

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Other highlights so far include the Boatman brothers success in the High Rollers event with Boatman junior (Ross) taking down the tourney for a tasty €135,535 (£123 338) with big brother Barny cashing in 4th for €41,017 (£37,326). Not to be left out, fellow Hendon Mobster Joe Beevers came 14th in the €1,800 NLHE event for €4,000 (£3,670).
All three Mobsters are currently playing in the WPT Marrakech Main Event.

Wales’ Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough is also out here and has managed to bag himself a cash as well, finishing 8th in the €900 NLHE event for €4,927 (£4,483).

Not to be out done I figured it was time to get my name out there as well and I managed to bag second place in the WPT press tourney for $300 – while it’s not going to allow me to retire to a life of luxury just yet, free money is always nice. Not only did this give me bragging rights in the press tent with my fellow media types, but also allowed me to uphold the good name of WPT magazine, who I’m out here covering the tourney for 😉

I should be interviewing both Tony G and Liz Lieu later on today so will let you know how that goes, I’ll see if I can grab and interview with Antonio Esfandiari a bit later on as well.

Right, well I’m off to grab me a V6 racing camel and a small monkey in a fez, tune in tomorrow for more updates folks…

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Asian Poker Scene – APPT Macau

August 26, 2009

Razor Sharp Pro Poker
Greetings poker fans – I know it’s been a while since I last posted, too long in fact. I haven’t been slacking on the work front though so I’ll bring you up to speed with what’s been going on in Razor Sharp Pro world:

The Asian Pacific Poker Tour

The Asian Pacific Poker Tour

I’m currently out in Macau, China, covering the Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) for a new Asian-based poker magazine called Baller, which is launching in late October. While you guys in the UK won’t get to read it (being as it’ll be circulating in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia etc) I think they’ll also have a website so I’ll provide links through to that as soon as it’s up.

Travel-wise it was a real ‘Planes, Trains and Automobile’s’ job with a couple of boat rides thrown in for good measure as you don’t seem to be able to fly here direct. That meant I had to train it from Cardiff to Heathrow, fly into Paris, change planes in Paris to fly into Hong Kong and then get a ferry over to Macau. That added up to nearly 24-hours of travel time, which was about as much fun as it sounds…

Still, I’ve only been in Macau 24-hours and love the place already – it’s pretty much the Chinese version of Las Vegas, chock full of fast and furious cash action, sick, sick gambling and you can still smoke at the poker tables out here as well – my kinda town 🙂

I couldn’t resist checking out the cash action and managed to win me HK$4000 (around £315) in about an hour – the players out here love to gamble so it wasn’t like I even had to work particularly hard for the money, which is always nice. Hopefully in addition to all the player interviews and tourney coverage I’ll be doing I’ll also get the opportunity to pad out my bankroll at the same time – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it 😉

Follow all the APPT tournament action via the Poker Stars video blog and live updates here.
I’ll also be posting some updates throughout the day myself, just summarising some of the action and adventure.

I’m looking to try and bag me some interviews with Joe Hachem and a few of the other Poker Stars sponsored Asian players in addition to some of the Brits that have managed to make their way out here so will keep you guys posted.

Joining the Dark Side
I have diversified this month and in addition to all my poker writing have begun to dabble in the dark side… that would be poker PR folks, not degenerate gambling (interestingly still more socially acceptable in public than smoking and masturbation, go figure…).

Littlewoods Poker have asked me to help promote their offer open to all new and existing players for the $1 million English Poker Open (EPO) on at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn 15-17 September.
Check out the EPO website here.

Rather than just shamelessly plug it on my blog I’ll just include some of the links to the PR stuff I’ve been pushing and the various websites it can be found at:

Visit the Littlewoods Poker website here for more info on the offer and promos they’re running here.

See the press release in all it’s glory on the Inside Poker website here.

And also on the Poker News UK website here.

_FullFlush1_
Writing-wise I’ve got a couple of features forthcoming from an interview I did with the UK’s most controversial internet phenomenon Luke ‘_FullFlush1_’ Schwartz. Not only has Luke been beating some of Full Tilt’s top players (including Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, David Benefeild, Brad Booth and Patrik Antonius) but he’s also up $1 million this year playing in the $100/$200 & $200/$400 six-max and Heads-up cash games. Mr Schwartz also been providing the railbirds with a lot of entertainment with some quality rub downs and trash talk and the forums are a buzz with his table antics. It was a pretty good interview chock full of Luke’s trash talking gems and confirmation that he is definitely looking to take on Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan at his 50,000 hand challenge.

I’ve got to thank Barry Carter for the interview really, as it was him who hooked me up with the contact details and asked me to cover it for Poker News UK – view the feature here.

I’ve also sold a Luke Schwartz feature to Poker Player that will be in the next issue of the mag, out sometime next week I believe, I’ll include a link if they end up putting it on their website.

The Unabomber
My Phil Laak player profile is out in the latest WPT mag (Issue 46 with Doyle Brunson on the cover) and they’ve also posted my ‘Get down with the Six-ness’ six-card PLO feature on the WPT website, so for those of you who didn’t get to read it when it was in the mag you can view it here.


Retro Rhetoric

Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing

I’ve also been doing some strategy articles on beating Pot Limit Omaha SNG’s for the new PKR website so will post up the link as soon as they’re up. I really enjoyed writing these and made the switch from playing Texas SNG’s to the PLO ones a while ago, generally because there’s more action and the pace of the game is faster, but for the in-the-know player the edge is huge. Not only do these teach you the importance of position and pot control but they also improve your post-flop playing skills as the pot limit nature of the game means you can’t just pull the all in trigger. Seriously worth a blast if you are a big SNG fan, especially if you find that the Texas ones are getting too formulaic and a little stale.

Also on a SNG related note, I have a Double or Nothing SNG strategy guide up

On the Rampage

On the Rampage

on the UK Poker News website – feel free to read it here.
Mr Carter has decided to get in as many retro 80’s themes as possible in relation to all the features I’ve been writing for the site, including the Commodore 64/NES Rampage computer game for the Running Rampant cash strategy feature I wrote for them last month. View it here.

Right, well I’ve got me a tourney to cover so will keep you guys posted, watch this space…

Jumping Gigawatts!

June 12, 2009

If you had a time travelling DeLorean what would you do and where would you go? Aside from the obvious ‘back in time to last week so I could pick the winning lottery numbers’ that is…

Unlike Marty McFly and friends I’d forget 1885 and the old West – it might look cool but riding a horse gives you a sore arse and makes you walk like John Wayne, plus you stood a great chance of catching TB.

As a poker player I often wonder what it would have been like to play in the old West where cheating was rife and you were as likely to be outdrawn by a headcase with a Colt as by a fish with a flush (interestingly flushes were a late edition to the game of poker and were introduced around 1850 along with the British 52-card deck which is used today). Just ask Wild Bill about getting outdrawn… There’s a reason Aces and Eights is called the ‘Dead man’s hand’.

No, fuck that for a game of Cowboys and Indians. Myself, I’d go back in time nine years to early 2000 before the ‘Moneymaker effect’ happened  – where people were still all rubbish at poker and it was easy to win online.

Runner, runner flush... Damn it Marty! That's the third time I've had my Aces cracked this week. I'm thought this whole online poker nonsense was supposed to be easy...

Runner, runner flush... Damn it Marty! That's the third time I've had my Aces cracked this week. I thought this whole online poker nonsense was supposed to be easy...

It’s fair to say that the modern game of poker, especially online moves slightly faster than the 88mph needed to send the DeLorean back to the future and some of the outdraws you see on the old intermaweb leave you muttering more than just ‘Great Scott!’ under your breath.

But is it still possible to win consistently online? I think yes, it’s just the edge is getting smaller and the margins become narrower as everyone three/four-bets and seems to want to get it in so light.

The online game must be beatable as the new generation of up-and-coming professionals like Tom Dwan, Luke ‘FullFlush1’ Schwartz, Andrew Feldman and an army of others spin $50 into six-figure bankrolls, seemingly in a matter of minutes…

Well ok that’s a slight exaggeration but it got me wondering, being as Chris Ferguson and Daniel Negreanu managed to turn nothing into $10,000 and $10 into $100,000 respectively, is it still possible to spin up something from nothing – or more accurately a lot from a little?

Well in true Doc Brown style I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment – a micro-stakes experiment to be exact; here on my blog with a view to writing a couple of features on it for a few of the poker titles I write for.

So first of all I’ll let you folks know the rules and parameters I’ll be setting myself, but the general goal is to prove that online poker is still beatable. That and it’s a pretty good challenge to set yourself to prevent you from becoming bored and your game from becoming stale. After all if I can beat $1/$2 and $2/$4 six-max cash games how hard can $1.20 SNG’s and $0.05/$0.10 cash games be to beat?

Now I haven’t actually set myself a timeframe for this little jaunt into the microcosm of small stakes poker. Rather, I was just conducting it to see how long it would take me, more to prove to myself and others that the whole poker dream of rags to riches is still possible even in today’s highly aggressive game where your average player now actually knows a bit about pot odds, will have read a variety of poker books and is probably signed up to an online training site and is a member of poker forums like 2 plus 2 or Pocket Fives.

The Rules

The goal:
Phase 1 – Turn £10 into £1000
Phase 2 – Turn £1000 into £100,000

I will be starting with a bankroll of £10 (around $16 US dollars).

I am only allowed to buy in for a maximum of 5% of my roll for SNG’s and cash games.

No more than 15% of my roll can be in play at any one time up to a maximum of 5% per table.

If my stack is more than 10% of my total bankroll during a cash game I must cash out and find a new table.

I can only buy into MTT’s for a maximum of 3% of my bankroll.

The moment I have enough in my roll to move up to the next level I HAVE to move up.

The moment I don’t have enough in my roll to play the level I’m playing at I MUST drop back down.

Rakeback counts towards the challenge (bearing in mind that I am using only one of my online poker accounts for this experiment and will be playing only games directly related to the challenge/experiment with this account). After all in today’s online game where someone is effectively offering you a money-back guarantee you’d have to be crazy not to take it, right?

Feedback Frenzy

So there you have it folks, feel free to chip in with any thoughts, ideas, other weird things that can make the experiment/challenge more interesting, or just give me your opinion on what I’m doing.

I’ll be keeping you posted with regular updates in a sub-section of my blog (see the right hand side column under the tab marked ‘Back To The Future:The Micro-stakes Mission’) this will be separate to my regular blog where I will still be posting what articles I’ve been writing, where they’ll be published and also any other random topics I feel like talking about.

Let the games begin. Let’s see if these short-stackers can do 90…

MicroStakes-Mission