Posts Tagged ‘Unabomber’

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…

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The Dragon Has Landed

June 1, 2009

Welcome back poker fans, apologies for the long time no post. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, some poker related, some not and have been working, writing and networking like a trooper in a successful attempt clear my workload before taking a well deserved working holiday to the poker Mecca that is Las Vegas.

On a work related note I’ve got a couple of articles due for publication soon. The first is a piece for WPT magazine on 6-card Pot Limit Omaha. Yes that’s right folks, all the mischief and mayhem of its 4-card brother only harder, sicker, faster and more swingy with bigger pots… While it may sound insane it’s also loads of fun and believe it or not, there is some skill involved. Read the feature to find out more; it’s in issue 43 out this month I believe.

I’ve just sold WPT a profile on Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak, which should be out in issue 44.
Phil is an off-the-wall kinda guy, so we have an off-the-wall kind of feature – it was a fun one to write so I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

I submitted a ‘Heads Up’ interview with Roland De Wolfe and Juha Helppi to Poker Pro Europe, which should be out soon – I’ll let you know the details just as soon as I find out when it’ll be in print.

Congratulations to Barry Carter who has just be made the new editor of the UK’s Poker News. This can only be a good thing as Barry is one of the UK poker scene’s more prolific writers and I’m sure the website will go from strength to strength. Check out his ‘Get Carter’ poker blog.

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

On a slightly less work related note I just got back from Vegas this week after a ‘working’ holiday, well actually that’s not strictly true, more a holiday that I intended to combine with work but the interview I had scheduled has been delayed to some other point in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

This is not such a bad thing however as it gave me ample time to indulge in second favourite pastime, playing poker (the first being writing about poker obviously).

While I’m not going to go into details about bad beats and winnings, I came back with more money than I went with and have a few interesting statistics for you:

Out of the 8 Tafia members who went on the trip only four of us were poker players, that being said we did alright for ourselves and learned that the Yanks don’t like to fold middle pair much.

Welsh Busted: 5

Yanks Busted: 34

Brazilians Busted: 1 (I met two, one of whom was a professional pool player who is friends with Maltese snooker pro Tony Drago whom I didn’t bust, the other was called Hannibal – which I thought was quite a cool name, unfortunately for him he didn’t eat me alive…)

Of course take note that ‘Busted’ means taken down to the felt, not just beaten in a pot.

Hours played: 37

So that’s nearly a Yank an hour, rest assured folks next time we’ll do better ;).

A big hello to some of the American guys I ended up playing with, they were a friendly bunch. Most specifically Casey, a Vegas DJ who looked like Seth Rogan and showed my brother and I a great time taking us to an after-hours nightclub at 6am after a 7 hour poker session and getting us in for free.

Casey, if you’re out there bud you’ve got my business card, drop me a line as I managed to lose my wallet that night with your business card in it. Any fan of Human Traffic is always welcome in Cardiff, and yes, it’s just like it is in the film…

Also thanks to Boston Dan, a guy myself and Alan ‘Wheel Warrior’ Wicks ended up playing with all night. We got the whole table gambling like crazies and drinking Jagerbombs – a truly tremendous evening, especially as Alan and myself ended up with most of the money on the table when we finished playing at around 6.30am.

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it 🙂

One Way Poker

What goes up must come down. It took me three days to get over my jetlag but I did manage to finish third in my local deep-stack tournament (at the Grosvenor, Cardiff Bay – location of the August leg of the GUKPT) the day after getting home, which was nice.

I was in Swansea over the weekend at Aspers casino for the launch of the Romanello family’s (yes Roberto and his brothers have decided to make their mark on the world of online poker) new poker website launch.

OneWayPoker.com is an iPoker skin so not only can you play on one of the internets’ largest poker networks you can also find some of Wales’ finest butting heads over the poker tables – and yes we do have some good players…

I spent most of the night ‘networking’ (a posh word for work-related drinking) and had an entertaining evening hanging around with Jon Kalmar who is a thoroughly nice guy. He’ll be hitting up Las Vegas from next Wednesday hoping to repeat chance with another great finish in the Main Event so I wish him the best of luck.

Aside from the Romanello family (including Roberto, obviously…) also in attendance were some of Cardiff and Swansea’s finest including Rana Gurnham, Marko Clarke and Neil ‘Six-card’ Shellard, Full-Tilt sponsored red pro Andrew Feldman, Marc Goodwin, Mickey Wernick and many more who I didn’t get a chance to chat to.

To Leeds and beyond…

Unless the poker gods smile on me in the next four weeks and grant me a WSOP package I will unfortunately be UK grounded for the duration of the Series.

I will however be keeping a close eye on the action and hope that the UK contingent do us proud.

We should have a fighting chance for bracelets this year what with Mr Channing and Mr Persaud’s Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers.

Congratulations to Cardiff (well Newport actually, but if I was from there then I’d want people to say I was from Cardiff…) player Henry Griffiths who qualified for blue belt. While he won’t be going to Vegas (that was brown belt and above) he has got himself a nice deal for playing in some of the UK poker tours fine side events so we wish him the best of luck.

On a UK poker related note I’ll be heading up to Leeds next month to cover the Coral British Masters Poker Tour where I will be hoping for a shot at fortune and glory myself.

Qualify online at www.coralpoker.com, www.galapoker.co.uk and www.eurobetpoker.net for as little as nothing as they are running a series of freerolls from 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are a whole host of other qualifiers and the main event itself is only £500+£50 for a two-day deep-stack.

There’s also a £200 and £100 side event so for those without the bankroll to hit up Sin City, try Leeds. It might not be as glamorous but for quality British poker they’ll be some good play and the chance to win some cash… Show me a downside.

I’ll either be posting next on Friday or Monday (depending on my work schedule) so stay tuned poker fans.

And if all else fails, try Wales…

2009 Paddy Power Irish Open Final Table

April 13, 2009

Well here we are folks – out of the 701 runners we are down to our final 8:

Andrew Pantling         2,286,000
Lee Brooke-Pearce      998,000
Atanas Gueorguiev     990,000
Christer Johansson     755,000
Kara Scott                     701,000
William Kassouf         569,000
Andy Bradshaw         351,000
Bradley Verburg         217,000

Canadian Andrew Pantling has been our chip leader for the last two days and showed no signs of relinquishing his monster lead early doors.
Action has been fast and furious and we lost two players in the first orbit of the table.

First to go was Brit Andy Bradshaw who took down the first pot with Ace Jack. After looking down to see Ace Queen on the very next hand Andy raised again 124,000 total (with blinds at 12,000/24,000) only to see Bulagrian Atanas Gueorguiev shove all-in over the top.

Andy snap called and was understandably dismayed to see Atanas flip over Pocket Kings. There was no help for the friendly Northerner on the flop, turn or river and he was out in eighth place – still €56,000 should take the edge off a little.

Bradley Verburg was next to go – his all-in shove with Ace Two called by chip leader Pantling holding the mighty King Jack. A Jack on the flop put Pantling in front and no Ace come the river saw Bradley out in seventh for €74,000 for his four days work.

William Kassouf was next to fall to a spot of cold decking; after Atanas’ under-the-gun raise William shoved with Pocket Jacks only to see Atanas snap call with Pocket Queens. Despite turning an open-ended straight draw a blank on the river saw him out in 6th with €100,900 as recompense.

After being crippled losing a huge pot when his Pocket Jacks were out-flopped by the King Queen of Christer Johansson, Englishman Lee Brooke-Pearce was left with just a bowl of rice that he shipped on the next hand. Unfortunately his Eight Five of diamonds was no match for the King Ten of Andrew Pantling and Lee was out in fifth for €130,600.

Some stellar play on the part of the lovely Kara Scott has seen here edge into the chip lead as we take a break:

Kara Scott: 1,996,000
Andrew Pantling: 1,989,000
Christer Johansson: 1,407,000
Atanas Gueorguiev: 1,626,000

Unfortunately being as my flight is in a couple of hours I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the Paddy Power blogging team and the live feed for all your action updates.

Unabomber Caught

After days of patient stalking I tracked down Phil ‘the unabomber’ Laak for an interview – I sneakily waited until he was getting his portrait done and couldn’t escape my clutches ;).

Stalking the Unabomber

Stalking the Unabomber

As well as revealing his Irish heritage (he has dual citizenship) he revealed that he is a bit of a space cadet (his words, not mine) and an all-round off the wall kinda guy. We talked about Polaris and he openly admitted that he’d play poker in a cave in Outer Mongolia if that’s where the action was.

Well after an excellent weekend of poker I’ll be returning to sunny Wales with my interviewage where I’ll be spending the rest of the week glued to my computer working.

Stay tuned – I’ll keep you posted with my progress and let you know when and where my features will be appearing.