Posts Tagged ‘WPT’

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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Getting down with the sickness…

April 7, 2009

So… Welcome to my blog; let’s get right into it and start getting down with the sickness…

As a qualified professional and self-confessed poker degenerate, it’s been a busy few weeks for me both on and off the poker tables.

While I’ll be mentioning certain poker websites and providing links through to all topics I tend to talk about, please be aware that this is not just shameless plugging – I receive nothing for getting you guys to check out any of the links I provide, it’s just me being thorough.
(Obviously I’m not responsible for any content I myself don’t post, and if you sign up to one of these online poker rooms on the ol’intermawebthingy and lose a shed load, that’s not my fault either. ;))

RazorSharpProse and WPT

I’m currently in the midst of revamping and launching my freelance website – www.RazorSharpProse.com (be aware that it doesn’t go live until next week) – here you can check out some of the articles and interviews I’ve written for WPT magazine, Poker News and see some of the articles I have awaiting publication for the new and redesigned Players Publishing World Poker Tour magazine.

I’ll be keeping my blog updated with what forthcoming features I have pending and for whom, for any and all interested fans of the beautiful game of poker.

I have an upcoming Pro on Pro interview with Welsh poker wizard and mean Omaha player Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough and James ‘Flushey’ Dempsey that’ll be in the next issue of WPT (issue 42, on sale in the next two weeks I believe)– it’s quite an interesting one where Dave and James discuss the changing face of the game and how to adapt and be successful in the modern game. Link through to the feature online at the WPT website here.

You can check out WPT’s shiny new magazine website here: www.wptmag.com
Feel free to chip in with some feedback (though I would prefer constructive criticism rather than being flamed…)

GUKPT Updates

Poker-wise, I have just returned from a lucrative working trip to the GUKPT London leg at the Victoria Casino.

Congratulations to Richard Kellett on taking down the £200 re-buy and winning himself the an extremely tasty £26,350 – I had the pleasure of interviewing Rich at the GCBPT Grand Final at the Harborside Casino in Bristol at Christmas and figured it was just a matter of time before he took down a decent live tournament (of course 15th place at the EPT Dortmund is nothing to be sniffed at either…).

I even found time to call in at The Empire Casino in Leicester Square, home of the WSOPE for a hit and run on the cash tables with partner in crime, PLO degenerate and fellow Tafia member Neil ‘6-card’ Shellard.
This coincided nicely with a chance to catch up with their new card room supervisor Alistair Watt – he has been running the Gala’s Harbourside Casino cardroom with aplomb for quite some time so I’m sure his new role at the Empire can only be a good thing for London based poker players.

It’s all about the APAT

The Amateur Poker Association Tour (APAT) hit Cardiff this weekend (3rd April), bringing some great deep-stack play to my local cardroom.
The APAT has gone from strength to strength and, now in its third year is doing great things for the UK’s amateur poker scene.

Congratulations to Dean Saunders (no, not the ex-Welsh footballer) and Jon O’Neill, the only Cardiff players to make it deep in the main event – with 6th and 7th place respectively to fly the flag for the Welsh boys, but it was Simon Auckland who took down his first big live tournament win and £3,200 for first place.
Follow the action and the updates here: www.apat.com

It was also a great excuse to catch up with the Leicester boys, GCBPT champs Rupinder ‘George’ Bedi and Neil Blatchly who were down to compete for a share of the £12,150 prize pool.
I took the opportunity to take the boys out on the town for a few beers where I discovered:

1.) That despite winning the GCBPT Nottingham and taking down 7th place in the Pokerstars Sunday Million guaranteed for $28k, George can’t drink for shit 🙂

2.) Neil thinks gin and tonic is a girl’s drink… but it’s ok to drink Bacardi…

Coral Announce Poker Tour

Fans of the GCBPT will be pleased to note that Coral have picked up the reins where Gala left off; the announcement of the British Masters Poker Tour has nicely filled the gap left after Gala’s departure from the £500 tournament buy-in market.

With six dates announced, the tour kicks off next month in Edinburgh, and in addition to the £500 two-day main event also has a £200 and £100 one-day freeze-out on the Friday and Sunday respectively.

Check out the website for updates and information – with the Gala Tour selling out most legs I’m sure the Coral Tour will be just as well received.

The boys at thenutz.tv and A World of Poker (AWOP – www.aworldofpoker.com) will be covering the event with a full live stream, and if it works half as well as it did at the GCBPT Grand Final in Bristol then it’ll be some great viewing.

You can qualify online via the Coral Poker website for as little as nothing, as they will be running freerolls online at www.coralpoker.co.uk at 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday along with a number of $5 and $10 qualifiers – though you could always buy into the online final directly for $75+5.

Visit www.britishmasterspokertour.co.uk for more details.

Neil Blatchly tells me he will definitely be playing the Bristol Harbourside leg in October to defend his title and I’m sure the tour will be every bit as successful and popular as the Gala tour.
Hell, I might even stretch to playing in one or two myself – that is if I’m not covering them for work… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it 😉

Irish Open beckons

I’m heading over to Ireland on Thursday for the Irish Open, and after covering PaddyPower’s Irish Winter Festival last October, am really looking forward to returning to Dublin for the craic (no, not the kind you smoke).

With big name players of the calibre of Tony G (“Bring me more Russians…”), Brian ‘Sbrugby’ Townsend and the squeezeplay pioneer himself, Mr Dan Harrington it should be a great weekend.

I’ll be doing my utmost to interview those three so will keep you posted with updates over the weekend – expect interviews… coming soon to a magazine near you.

Feel free to leave comments and questions you want me to ask them, after all – how often do you get a chance to ask the author of one of the greatest tournament books of all time questions about everything and anything…

I’m sure Ireland’s finest (yes that’ll be Marty Smyth, Big C O’Leary and Padraig Parkinson to name but a few) will be out in force to defend their honour and make sure that Europe’s largest and oldest poker tournament title remains in Irish hands.

As far as I’m aware there’s still time to qualify – check out the PaddyPower website for more details: www.irishpokeropen.com

I’m pretty sure that they’re still running online qualifiers – the Irish Open Last Chance Saloon, a series of $300 + $20 ticket-only satellites.

The four Last Chance Saloon grand final tournaments are scheduled April 5th – 8th at 8.30pm, with feeder satellites running from April 3rd. One Irish Open main event ticket will be awarded for every $4,650 in the prizepool.

Winners of the Last Chance Saloon will also qualify for the poker room’s €100,000 Sole Survivor promotion, which will award a €100,000 package to the longest-lasting paddypowerpoker.com online qualifier at the Irish Open.

Irish Open Last Chance Saloon satellite tournaments can be accessed via the poker software lobby; select ‘Scheduled MTT’s’, ‘Specials’ and then the ‘Irish Open’ tab.

I get to play in a media freeroll for a seat in the main event myself so fingers crossed… How good are poker journalists at actually playing cards anyway…

I’m sure I’ll also receive some friendly banter about the men in green’s recent Grand Slam glory at the expense of the mighty Wales – but power to them, 60+ years is a long time to wait between Slams, and the atmosphere in Cardiff was electric all day.

Well, that’s it for today’s instalment poker fans; stay tuned over the weekend for on the spot updates from Dublin’s CityWest Hotel where the Guinness should be flowing and the chips flying.