Time for “Extreme” poker

It’s been done before – but with little regularity.  I’ve been watching the NFL playoff games in the elements after taking in the Vikings/Bears games at the end of December in mid-20 degree whether and it got me contemplating about poker.  How?  Well, I think the time has arrived for the “Extreme Poker Tour” – poker played under some level of duress within extreme environments.

In 1997 Binion’s wanted to accommodate the crowds that wished to follow the WSOP’s Main Event final table action.  Stu Ungar was back – and going for his 3rd Main Event bracelet.  There was no room inside the casino for the crowd so the final table was moved outside to Fremont Street.  That final table was played in the elements, and played in the 110+ degree April heat of the desert.

Ten years later the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s final table was played outside. It was both a sunny and windy day causing some issues with the players and their cards.  But they persevered and played on.

On occasion you’ll also see an “Ironman” tournament – continuous play with no breaks, though I believe you can get up and fold your hands if you’d like a break.  But, what if there was no break at all – like those radio station duration contests, leave the table and your chips are picked up.

Or, like the Vikings/Bears game – play is conducted in a below freezing environment.  Take about cold decks and really wanting to go on a “heater”.

Just think of the added enjoyment of watching such a tournament on TV.  Tournaments played in the cold, the blistering sun, an overly humid environment or in the driving rain.

Pure entertainment.  Pure gold.

One Chapter Ends; One Begins

After nearly 32 years “Poker Player Newspaper” (PPN) has ceased to exist as it had since 1982; you can no longer find it in print edition.  Making the announcement recently in an open letter to card room personnel across the country publisher Stanley Sludikoff wrote, “PPN has faithfully served card rooms across the country with a print edition available every two weeks.  Costs to provide this service have escalated past a point of feasibility in our current business model.”  

However, while it appears to be the end of the print edition, PPN will continue on.  According to Sludikoff, “….effective immediately, we will be publishing Poker Player Newspaper exclusively on the Internet at pokerplayernewspaper.com.”  
Your CPL Poker Podcast is happy to see that they will continue in some form as it was the PPN that provided us with our first mass media coverage in March 2011
For those of you that have a tactile preference in how you digest your information, don’t fret. As the saying goes, when one door closes another chapter is written, or something like that.  Filling the void of hard copy magazines/newspapers is the brand new “Global Poker Index” (GPI), from the folks that give you, what else, The Global Poker Index.  The inaugural issue of the GPI hit the floors of the Rio at the beginning of this year’s WSOP.  It will be spread across several Las Vegas casinos beginning June 1. 
There’s no word yet on how far the hard print edition will spread, but for those of you not in Vegas you can still read the magazine online.

Breaking News: Running Aces adds OFC Tables

Your CPL Poker Podcast was at Running Aces ( @runaces ) today and witnessed them putting in two OFC tables.  These 4-person tables (plus a dealer) are next to the poker desk and have supplanted the area where (if memory serves) Table 3 was once placed.

These look to be custom table complete with RA branded felt.  However, in what appears to be an attempt to not offend anyone they are not marked as “Open Faced Chinese Poker”.  Instead, the game appears to be actually called “Open Faced Thirteen Card Poker”.
For you blackjack players they replaced the table fabric on one or two tables as well. 

Borgata Chipgate finally ends, 27-way reduced chop

It was Event #1 of the Borgata’s “Winter Poker Open” – a $2 million Guarantee NL HE tourney.  Day 1a took place on January 14.  By the 17th, the 4814 player field was down to the final 27.  Play never resumed after counterfeit chips were discovered to be in play. Nor will it.

Now, 3 months later we have the conclusion – a 27-way reduced chop at $19,323 each.  That prize distribution amounts to about $522 thousand from the $1.43 million that had been frozen (including the original first place amount of $372,123).  The reduced chop is more than 10th place money (just under $18K) but less than the $26,747 that would’ve gone to a 9th place finisher.  And, less than the nearly $53K each player would’ve received with a full prize pool remaining.
So, what happened to the rest of the money?  Well, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) issued their final ruling.  Those that cashed keep their winnings or are allowed to collect their winnings if they hadn’t done so (450th place thru 28th).   That doesn’t impact anything.  But, the DGE determined that 2143 of the non-cashing players “may have been impacted by the counterfeit chips”.  Those players all get their $560 buy-in back.  Those funds come out of the remaining prize pool. 
The Borgata is augmenting the prize pool/payouts by putting back all the rake ($60 per player for the entire field – amounting to about $288K) but, after reimbursing the impacted non-cashing players the 27 remaining players are justifiably left feeling shortchanged. 

First Round of Full Tilt Payments – Friday

With a message this evening from “Claims Administration”, the initial group of players approved for payment of their Full Tilt accounts have been notified that their payments are imminent. The standard message, listed below, notes that payments will be made in the next seven business days.

However, according to Pokerfuse the payments will be made this Friday.  Bank accounts were tested last week and those whose account information was inaccurate were sent an email giving them until March 31, 2014 to resubmit corrected bank information.  Should players in that situation fail to meet the 03/31 correction deadline a hard copy check will then be mailed to their address on file.

Deep Stack HORSE and HOFer Tom McEvoy

By Karaoke Phil

I just came back from a trip to Las Vegas and have a brush with fame story.  I played with Poker Hall of Famer Tom McEvoy.  McEvoy won the 1983 WSOP Main Event and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame with Scotty Nguyen in 2013.
The day before returning home I signed up for the $300 HORSE Survivor tourney in the Deep Stack Extravaganza at the Venetian. Around these parts we call the Venetian’s “Survivor” structure “bankroll builders”. It’s effectively a satellite type structure. In this case – the top 12% of the field all get $2000 with any odd monies being paid out to the player finishing outside of the top 12%.  In our case, we had 60 players sign up for Event #33 which translates to 7 players eligible for $2000 with the eighth player receiving the remaining $1240 in the prize pool.

My winnings!
I moved up and down over the first two levels (between 11K and 9k from our starting stacks of 10K). Over levels three, four and five my stack suffered and I dropped to a low of about 3800 chips before beginning my first comeback. Between levels six to eight I reach a peak of 32K chips and ended level 8 with 20.6K.  That was the beginning of a near end as I dropped to 9100 chips left at the end of level 9 – just 4.5 big bets.  Starting in level 10 I engineered a second comeback that would last me through to the end.  As players dropped I continued to build or maintain my stack in a range of 10 to 14 big bets. 
For 30 minutes in level 12 I played with Poker Hall of Famer Tom McEvoy.  I was moved to his table.  I only played 2 hands against him. The first was in Hold ’em.  He raised my big blind and I defended.  I check my whiffed flop.  He bet and I folded.  The other was in OH8.  I had A/2/4/8 with the Ad and 4d.  The flop came out two diamonds (A/3/5). I check called. I led the turn when the 8d came out.  McEvoy folded.  Shortly thereafter he was moved to the other table.
We only played through level 13.  Sometime during level 11 or 12 the other table had begun talking chop possibilities (with about 12 players left).  By the end of level 13 we were down to 11 players.  At this point we came to the agreement to give the top three stacks their full $2000 with the rest of the remaining eight splitting the remainder – $1155 each. 
My one complaint?  How can the Venetian NOT have functioning tournament clocks?  They use a kitchen timer (beep, beep a beep, beep, beep a beep).  Really?  You’re the Venetian. Get some tourney clocks.