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Ivey and Dwan promote new poker variant Six Plus Holdem

Written on July 1, 2015

Move over No Limit Holdem, there’s a new poker variant on the felt, and two elite poker pros are having a blast playing and promoting it. It’s called Six Plus Holdem, and it’s just starting to catch on around the world. Elite poker pros Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are on a mission to promote the new game.

How to Play Six Plus Holdem

Six Plus Holdem is played much like the traditional game of No Limit Texas Holdem, but with some interesting twists. The name “Six Plus” eludes to a lack of low value cards. All of … Read More

2015 WSOP: Monster Win for Shiao; Series ‘Losing its Luster’ for Glantz

Written on June 25, 2015

The 2015 WSOP is about two-thirds done, with 43 bracelets having been awarded already. The biggest stories out of Las Vegas revolve around Perry Shiao, the poker world’s newest millionaire, and Matt Glantz, whose frustrations go way beyond his lackluster performance.

Perry Shiao wins 2015 WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack

In perhaps the most remarkable victory of the 2015 WOSP thus far, 26 year old Perry Shiao becme in instant millionaire last Wednesday when he survived a massive field of 7,192—that’s more player’s that the Main Event averages—to take down the $1,500 Monster Stack. Shiao collected a whopping … Read More launched by PokerStars Coalition to Promote Responsibility

Written on June 20, 2015

In what’s being seen as another positive step towards the regulation of online poker in California, the PokerStars Coalition has launched a new website, Officially known as Californians for Responsible iPoker, the group’s purpose is to educate residents of the Golden State as to the need for internet poker regulations that will protect players, support local business and boost the state’s economy.

Californians for Responsible iPoker is a joint collaboration led by Amaya Gaming and its 5 PokerStars Coalition members. Two influential California tribes are involved; the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and San Manuel Band of Read More

Oops! Christian Pham Enters and Wins Wrong Event, WSOP 2-7 Draw Lowball

Written on June 16, 2015

Did you ever make a terrible mistake and immediately realized it, but knew there was nothing you could do about it, only to have something wonderful come out of it? Yeah, me neither… but that’s exactly what happened to American poker pro Christian Pham, the winner of the 2015 WSOP $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Event #23.

Last Monday, the 40 year old resident of St. Paul, Minnesota stepped up to the registration booth at the Rio Las Vegas and slapped $1,500 onto the counter. His intent was to register for the $1,500 Limit Holdem tournament that was … Read More

The Poker Community Morns the Death of Paul ‘Eskimo’ Clark (1947-2015)

Written on June 16, 2015

Like the rest of the poker community at large, I was saddened to learned that one of the game’s most beloved characters has passed away. Paul ‘Eskimo’ Clark was 67 years old when he died on April 15, 2015. A man with a quiet personal life, his passing was kept under wraps as well, until now.

Paul Clark was one of those poker players you loved and hated to compete against. His quick wit and eccentric attitude was enjoyed by all around him, yet his insatiable love of the game was overflowing with tremendous skill—especially at all variations of Seven Read More

California iPoker has been Declared Dead by Tribal Lobbyist David Quintana

Written on June 11, 2015

The push for California iPoker legislation has been stronger than ever this year. Unfortunately, just like every other year since 2008, infighting between political powerhouses with a vested interest in the future market has yet to diminish. Now, according to a tribal lobbyist, the issue of authorizing online poker in the Golden State is dead in 2015.

David Quintana is the Political Director for the California Tribal Business Alliance. According to the tribal lobbyist, he has spoken directly with Senator Isadore Hall, Chairman of the Senate Governmental Organizations (GO) Committee, who Quintana says has no intention … Read More

Welcome to the DurrrrChallenge

Who is this man Durrrr ? At just 22 years of age, Tom Dwan has become one of the most respected poker pros in the history of the game. From nosebleed cash games to some of the world's largest live and online poker tournaments, the man they call "durrrr" can be found everywhere. Recently, Dwan issued the Million Dollar Challenge: open to any member of the poker community except Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, the challenge requires opponents to play Dwan in 50,000 hands of $200/$400 or higher on four tables at a time. If either player drops below 75 big blinds in their stack at any point, they must reload. At the conclusion of the Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold'em hands, a winner will be crowned. If Dwan is ahead by $1 or more, his opponent must fork over $500,000. If Dwan's opponent is ahead by $1 or more, the youngster has offered to pay $1.5 million. In each case, the victor will also keep the spoils of the 50,000 hands of play. In addition to the money, the Million Dollar Challenge is about bragging rights.

The Challenge, as you'd expect, generated a considerable amount of buzz even before any poker pros raised their hands to play. However, three of the game's best will face Dwan and receive 3:1 odds on their money: Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and David Benyamine. The latter two are World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holders; in fact, Ivey owns five of them. In 2005, Antonius won the prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT) Baden event. He also finished third in the 2007 WSOP World Championship of Pot Limit Omaha for $311,000. The trio combines for $5.25 million in career WSOP cashes. Ivey and Antonius are both members of Team Full Tilt.

Dwan also has plenty of live tournament experience. He made the televised final table and finished fourth in the World Poker Tour's (WPT) Foxwoods Poker Finals during Season VI for $324,000. He's appeared on NBC's "National Heads-Up Poker Championship" and "Poker After Dark." First up for Dwan is Antonius. Designated Pot Limit Omaha tables have already been set up on Full Tilt Poker to host the spectacle. Keep checking back for up to the minute details on one of the world's most unique Real Money Texas Holdem Challenge.

Myths about Texas Holdem and the Challenge

Myths can be useful. On the surface they provide plausible explanations of why things are the way they are. Beyond that, they keep believers from discovering the truth, allowing those who know better to profit at the expense of others’ naiveté.

In poker, the abundance of myths certainly keeps play interesting. Following are a dozen of the most pervasive ones, many of which encourage inexperienced players to put more in the pot than they should or inhibit potentially good ones from playing at all.

  • Poker is a game of chance . The inventor of this one obviously wanted to entice more novices to stop studying the game, give up calculating odds and put their chips in the hands of fate (with “fate” being a particularly good player). Quite the contrary, scientific research has shown that a player’s talent is the single most important determinant of success. Winning poker is about six parts skill for every one part luck.
  • Good players always win. Don’t tell that to anyone who has ever finished second at a World Series of Poker (WSOP) title event. Even in cash games, the randomness of the cards is still a factor. Although good players succeed more than they fail—perhaps 60% or even 70% of the time—lose they most certainly do, walking away to play another day. That means there is at least an opportunity for lesser players to take them down.
  • Winners must be super aggressive. Hollywood might like that script, and relentless pressure certainly has its place, especially in big money tournaments. But in cash play and limit games, it can actually work against a good player. Most successful professionals, like a Chip Reese or a Dan Harrington, are selectively aggressive. They can turn it on or off and will go full throttle only for short periods of time.
  • Great poker players are born, not made. There might be such a thing as “natural poker talent,” but it is no substitute for experience and learning. Many of the top players today have an aptitude for math; they are good with numbers and quick at making calculations. Others are masters of human psychology. But those are just foundations on which to build their poker prowess. It takes playing in real game situations to develop one’s skills to the point of greatness.
  • Poker is a man’s game. This has to be true, right guys? Just look at the WSOP poker rankings—all men—except for Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Harman Traniello, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Annette Obrestad, Joanne Liu, Liv Boeree and ten other women who have earned more than $1 million at the tables, not to mention dozens of other females who now play professionally. Sorry fellas, but it’s time to apologize to the ladies for this myth.
  • Poker is all about reads . Players who can identify poker tells and understand what they mean certainly have an advantage. But if that were the secret to success, nobody would ever be successful online, where opponents are faceless, bodiless and perhaps just poker bots with poor programming. It’s much more important to know how to play your own cards than to focus on mind reading.
  • Bad players ruin the game . That might be true at the Blackjack table, but in poker, bad players are the fish that feed the sharks. Even the ones that consistently overplay hands, raising when they should fold, staying in and catching lucky draws on the River, will eventually feed the chip stacks of the better players at a table. Bad players welcome!
  • Losing bluffs help big hands win. Folks who subscribe to this baloney truly believe that they can’t get opponents to go along with their monster hands unless it appears they might be bluffing. What nonsense! Although getting caught in a bluff isn’t the worst thing that can happen in poker, it should never be a player’s intention. The sole purpose of bluffing is to turn a weak hand into a winner, not to advertise incompetence. Good players win big on big hands regardless of whether they bluffed previously or not.
  • Online poker is fixed . Pardon the double entendre. Online poker is certainly not fixed (rigged) but it has been fixed (corrected) ever since the poker cheating scandals of 2005-07, involving Absolute Poker and UltimateBet. Today’s reputable online poker rooms are secure, monitored by regulators and audited to prevent any types of cheating or scams. If the games were ever found to be unfair, users and the industry would come down on them like a flopped flush on a pocket pair.
  • It’s easier to win online than at live tables. So much depends on who is playing, where and when that no generalization of this sort can be made. In fact, the opposite may be true. Las Vegas poker regulars say a constant flow of tourists makes winning there easier than online, where the same players can be seen day after day. Online multi-tabling also means a single shark can feed on more fish, so in that respect it may be even more difficult to succeed in the virtual version.
  • More bad beats occur online . It sure might seem like this is true, especially to anyone who has played a lot online and off. But it’s mainly a mathematical illusion. Online play is faster, meaning more hands per hour at the table and, hence, more bad beats in total than at real tables, where play is much, much slower. On the other hand, a real contributing factor might be looser play at online tables, leading to more bad breaks.
  • Playing Texas Holdem for money is illegal . Unfortunately, this is true in some places, but not universally so. In Nevada, licensed casinos have poker rooms. In California, legal card clubs abound. New Jersey bans cash games played at home, but allows poker operated by some 12,000 organizations throughout the state. Online poker playing is lawful in most parts of the world, and some web sites welcome players from the U.S. and other countries where it is not. It is up to each individual to be aware of what laws apply, as they vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another.

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