Heart-to-heart: Phil Laak, the great poker eccentric
Heart-to-heart: Phil Laak, the great poker eccentric

Ask ten people who is the standout in the poker world. Nine of ten will call one name: Phil Laak! Even now when all the noticeable quality poker TV shows are gone, people remember talkative, hyperactive and seemingly always under the influence of something Irish American named Phil.

Laak was born in Ireland in 1972, grew up in the USA. He first played cards when he was 7-8 years old when he and kids of his age together with their parents went to vacation. Future pro has won his first prize and pot there – it was a chocolate bar.

First taste of his poker life was felt back then.

Our hero has an engineer diploma. However, he was never going to work at one place and has always tried something new.

“I always tried to get out of system using my brain and wanted to get out of matrix ending the routine: earn money, pay for the mortgage, pay your bills and start a new month”.

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Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 3
Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 3

In the final part of the epic “Homework” series, which includes material exclusively for those who play live poker in clubs and casinos at lower limits, we’ll speak about the analysis of the recorded hands. With the example of course.

Professional players MpethyBridge and Spikeraw22 from 2+2 forums have started big thread where they talk about all the details of their off table work. Basically, it’s a guide on how to become a professional poker player in lots of ways. There is a lot of info, we’ve read the whole thing, analyzed it and now publish the main info.

In Part 1 we speak about the way of analyzing hands, how to make yourself start doing this, why you need to do this and the best way to record the hands.

In Part 2 we speak about the most important leaks we should look at in the first place and also we describe the process of systematizing the hands.

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WSOP ME final table participants have paid $10 million in taxes!
WSOP ME final table participants have paid $10 million in taxes!

Loyalty of tax system in Russia is appreciated times and times better than those in Europe and the USA. World Series Main Event finalists paid on average 46% of their winnings to the state! The only one that came off clear is Pierre Neuville…

Winnings in Russia are paid according to standard income tax and there is certainly no mentioning of “professional poker players” in the law. As usual, it is very dark forest without trodden paths and foresters huts, speaking metaphorically – and there are just wild beasts and fallen pines on the way.

And this matter has been resolved on the West ages ago. And the result is in favor of state. Poker players in the ISA are forced to pay 50% from what they win. And since World Series finalists do live in America, they are no exception to this rule.

Let us take the winner Joe McKeehen, for example. Without taxes his winnings were $7,683,346, with them -- $4,297,394! We will save you time by making calculations – it is $3,073,240 to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States (basic income tax) and over $300,000 to the local authorities budgets of the state and the city of participant.

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WSOP November Nine: McKeehen is the New Champion ($7,683,346)!
WSOP November Nine: McKeehen is the New Champion ($7,683,346)!

24-year-old professional player has started the play on the Final Table with the biggest chip advantage in the history of the World Series. It was total domination of Joe McKeehen over his opponents from the moment it all begun. The American has earned $7.7 and stood cool as a cucumber all the time.

26th World Series has come to its end in the capital of poker games Las Vegas. It’s culminations was the final table of the Main Event which has started couple of days ago.

 “I still don’t fully realize what just happened, but soon the recognition will come, - McKeehen admitted right after the win. – I still have a lot of discussions to make with my family and friend, this is the most interesting part for me.”

In the first day of play on the final table, McKeehen has eliminated three players by himself. The second playing period when the field was just of three players and it was won by McKeehen. You can look at numbers of chip count to make the same conclusion:

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WSOP November Nine: Six in Play, McKeehen atop of the crew
WSOP November Nine: Six in Play, McKeehen atop of the crew

The first day of WSOP Main Event Final Table is over; six players continue to fight for $7,683,346! Original chip leader Joe McKeehen has accumulated more chips and it looks like nobody is able to stop him.

Few month earlier Joe McKeehen have registered into the Main tournament of the year - WSOP Main Event 2015. As usual, we had to wait for the outcome for quite some time, but now this time has come.

Nine players are to fight for the most respected title in poker and a huge prize of almost $8 million on the bright shining blue and red arena.

To start with, let us remind you who’s fighting for all these trophies, anyone could forget about this right now.

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Poker in Romania
Poker in Romania

History of Romanian poker repeats experience of whole lot of other countries released from the burden of socialism after USSR has fallen. Since 90s, gambling in the country has got green light and since the end of 2014 law in the gambling area looks like it is now.

Romania is a rather big country, at least in terms of population – it is 20 million people. Ten percent of the population lives in Bucharest. It is the capital of Romania poker. The biggest number of the casinos and poker clubs is here.

Many foreigners who come to Romania for the first time sincerely surprise how many poker facilities this country has. There are lots of them really – more than 20 in the country.

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Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 2
Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 2

The second edition of our little dissertation on how to work at your game the right way is about more practical matters which give us a definite algorithm. The authors advise to dedicate a whole year to the education. We’ve got more universal decision for you. Remember, we are trying to become a better poker player with the help of this articles.

Professional players MpethyBridge and Spikeraw22 from 2+2 forums have started big thread where they talk about all the details of their off table work. There is a lot of info, we’ve read the whole thing, analyzed it and now publish the main info.

In Part 1 we speak about the way of analyzing hands, how to make yourself start doing this, why you need to do this and the best way to record the hands.

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Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 1
Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 1

Any successful regular player develops his game and evolves. One of the components of this development is constant work at the mistakes made. We’re speaking about live poker right now – cash games and tournament play. Hopefully, this material will help you find some clues on becoming a poker player

Professional players MpethyBridge and Spikeraw22 from 2+2 forums have started big thread where they talk about all the details of their off table work. Basically, they  share info on how to become a good poker player. There is a lot of info, we’ve read the whole thing, analyzed it and now publish the main info.

First thing’s first is motivation. Working at your mistakes is often boring but really necessary. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT! AT LEAST START IT! That’s the key answer on a question “How to become good at poker”

Those who have problems with procrastination should see this video (watch till you have a will for action):

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First legal poker club is about to open in Russia
First legal poker club is about to open in Russia

The opening in St. Petersburg is scheduled on November, 1. At least one professionally organized tournament will be scheduled a week. There will be no prizes for the winners and no buy-ins. The club is cooperating with prosecutors organization and when it opens it becomes the first in the city (and, possibly, in the country) officially operating poker house.

Quoting the author of the idea:

“We invite you for the opening of The First Legal Poker Club in St. Petersburg. We play money-free professional tournament Texas Hold’em. We don’t have buy-ins and rebuys. Everybody is in equal conditions.  We’re planning to open and hold the first tournament on November 1.

We’re planning to systematically have weekly sport poker tournament, where people with same interests will be able to play without taking any risk. After each tournament day we’ll keep records and write the results down to the tournament table.

The most recent info appears at the club’s official VK page, and there are 335 people in it already.

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The biggest poker event of the year will take place in Ukraine
The biggest poker event of the year will take place in Ukraine

Kharkov city is so rigorous, that all the bans and crises are the child’s play to it. “Kreschatik” is closed, “Imperial” is closed, everything is closed – except for the clubs in Kharkov. The last bastion of poker in Ukraine is not going to yield and, what is more, is going to arrange the biggest event on its land!

From October, 22 to October, 31 THREE Kharkov clubs at the same time will see the event of Ukranian series WSF Poker Tour with 750,000 grivnas (~ $35,000) guaranteed!

This is completely surprising and also somewhat absurd new. “How is this even possible?!” – many people will ask. “We don’t know”, – we’ll answer.

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Why Patrick Antonius doesn’t play online poker any more
Why Patrick Antonius doesn’t play online poker any more

Player who has earned $17 million just stopped playing NL Hold’em and Omaha at the highest stakes. The reason is the most trivial: “I don’t beat ‘em”. This player’s name is Patrik Antonius…

In his latest interview, Patrik Antonius told to one well-known poker resource some interesting things.

  1. The world of live high rollers has seen better days

The Chinese, according to Antonius, more and more play by themselves (organize private games and do not invite others). They only begin poker movement on Philippines; there is no regular game yet.

There is no game in London, Macao, Vegas. It used to be better back in the days. That is the reason Patrik Antonius plays poker so rare. Sometimes sits out for months. However, it’s not the best part.

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Minsk – the new poker capital of Eastern Europe?
Minsk – the new poker capital of Eastern Europe?

Following the fifth stage of Belarus Poker Tour which has started in Minsk, one of the main events of Russian Poker Tour is also going to have a going here. If everything goes well (and we truly believe everything’s going to be that way), Minsk is going to be assigned to a new status of poker oasis of CIS.

Recently discovered flaws of Live Events series is putting in doubt some words and actions of some tournament directors who used to have crystal reputation in poker community not causing any reproaches.

In particular, reputation of Mike Peltekci took a blow. He was not just the head of Live Events, but directed some other poker tours that were popular in CIS.

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Natural poker drugs
Natural poker drugs

As the level of competition is very high, you have to find edge by all means possible. It’s known for quite some time that many pro (and not only pro) players regularly use different kind of stimulators to enhance their game quality. Those substances often have serious side effects. But there is also a little group of natural additives and we’re going to talk about them now.

We are not going to write about preparation and substances which cause addiction, seriously affect on brain work and nervous system. This is no the way poker meant to be played and popularized.

We will not be recalling Stu Ungar, 70s and 80s when one could often see at the poker table (even at World Series!) a pack of amphetamines and something like Diazepamum. We will not be telling you the most widespread brands among the modern day online and live players of strong and prohibited preparations.

Do you need it? You don’t.

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Fights in poker, or Knockout for $1,000,000
Fights in poker, or Knockout for $1,000,000

When emotions take control over mind, when steam boils within, when you want to punch that dummy across the table, it’s time for fists and threats. And that is poker. And if in our countries we’re not used to deal with that kind of problems like gentlemen, aboard everything’s way more civilized

Recently the biggest fight in the history of poker could have happened.

Seriously. Jokes aside.

Super high roller David “Doc” Sands challenged to fight Douglas Polk who also specializes on very expensive tournaments and nosebleed-cash.

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Heart-to-heart: Sammy Farha, Mr Raisy Daisy
Heart-to-heart: Sammy Farha, Mr Raisy Daisy

Ihsan Farha, aka Sammy, aka Mister Cool is a legendary high stakes player. He is a true example of old school gambler. Farha was the runner-up of WSOP Main Event 2003, second to only Chris Moneymaker to whim he has lost in the famous heads-up battle. Later Sammy will become one of the most recognized high stakes players and one of the most dangerous cash players in Las Vegas.

Farha was born in Lebanon and moved to the USA when he was young to escape civil war. He had relatives in the USA, including his brother. He wanted to work with this brother (to become a medicine doctor).

But eventually Sam will choose another path. He’ll get a degree in economics and will be closely connected with playing cards.

By the way, despite loyal attitude towards different card games inside the family, Farha was staying aside those games. Due to unknown reasons. Even when his friends started to play, our hero wasn’t following their example.

But when eventually Sammy made it to the poker table, the passion to cards started to burn like the wildest fire.

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