Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan highlighted at EPT Grand Final
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan highlighted at EPT Grand Final

EPT Monte Carlo €50,000 Super High Roller winner is Fabian Quoss. Or should we say two Germans: Quoss and Schemion who made a deal before heads-up. 3rd and 4th place owners are much more interesting. Aidyn Auyezkanov of Kazakhstan and Murad Akhundov of Azerbaijan took these places respectively.

The final stage of 12th season of European Poker Tour took place in Monaco. Both super highroller tournaments with €50k and €100k are finished, Main Event is under way. The most expensive events have a nice list of final table participants. New faces aren’t rare here,

Ali Reza Fatehi (€828,500) took the 3rd place in €100k Super High Roller, and that was his first career EPT stage.

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The Dumb and the Dumber or Fish Stories
The Dumb and the Dumber or Fish Stories

Live poker is a catalyst for incredibly absurd and comic situations. That’s the charm of it. Human factor has the biggest influence at the table. That’s why online would never replace going to the poker club.

Playing for decades, regulars save tens of stories: of incredible stupidity, amazing bravery, wit and professionalism. Any story collection has funny stories part about the beginners. Usually, these are kind stories which occur at the poker tables all around the world, never mind the city or a country.

That is who this post is about.

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Weirdness at the poker table
Weirdness at the poker table

There is nothing simpler than basic rules of poker. Should some difficult situation occur, online poker soft deals with it within few seconds with the help of certain algorithm. However it all could quickly get out of control when there are live people at the table and the decisions are made by human floor personnel. Weird poker facts arrive all the time.

Let’s start with what’s simple. We’ll give you an info about where strange poker facts start to occur.

It is a tournament, two tables left. Two of the players at one of the tables get eliminated. One of the rest need to be seated at the other table. Who is it going to be? It is the player closest to the button. So if the player who was at the cutoff is eliminated, the player from this position at the other table will be seated there.

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Should WSOP share its profit with the players?
Should WSOP share its profit with the players?

It sounds insane for Russia, but in America sports events organizers share profits with the players and spend 40 to 60 percent of total income to this matter. There is another system in poker, which came out of date and needs to be changed, as many think.

There is an interesting announcement on popular petition site change.org with the proposition to share wsop earnings: Increase the prize pools at the World Series of Poker; eliminate rake on the Main Event”.

“Please eliminate the rake on player buy-ins into the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event poker tournament; and start a revenue-sharing program to supplement the prize pools for the top WSOP poker tournaments.”

WSOP earns big money on TV contracts, sponsorships, licensing and so on. They are called major source of financing. World Series of Poker profit is immense.

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Playing long: records and effects
Playing long: records and effects

Long lingering playing sessions are usual to online and live players. Top high rollers are able to maintain high level of game for 20+ hours. Famous private high stakes cash in Macao often has long sessions also. But what are possible effects?

Live players like to tell stories about them playing day after day without coffee or lunch breaks. These are quotes from 2+2 forums about playing long poker sessions:

  • “Been playing for 52 in Venetian… drank a lot. As soon as I arrived and checked in, went straight to the casino. Had a 16-hour sleep and flew home. I was 3-4 buy-ins up but finished losing a little bit. Never going to repeat that.”
  • “Year 1998. Lucky Chances Casino, 92 hours. No alcohol, just black coffee. I had some clean clothes, deodorant and a toothpaste in my van. Did everything to not fill the place with my scent. I couldn’t drive home (40 minute drive) so I had to stop – I just blacked out for 8-10 ours. Later it was all OK. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Sessions for 9 hours are too long for me now”.
  • “I had my longest session at 20 hours. It was the last day of rakeback promo, couldn’t miss it. The most interesting part I played without a profit. But hasn’t lost: not a single dollar.”
  • “15 hours in Caesar’s, Vegas. Wanted to leave earlier but caught a great upstreal. Was up $1,500 at stakes $1/2».
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"Limit Hold'em King" Feruell is incriminated in brazen buttoning

Should one eliminate respect from poker – there will be only market relations. Soulless chips trade, pure competition with no conscience involved. Limit Hold’em is pretty close to that. It is quite regular to use sitting scripts at top stakes for a long time. There are also various forms of angle shooting in practice. Russian top regular Feruell is accused of heavy buttoning and he admits it.

“King of Limit” Feruell, one of the most famous Russian regulars, was banned at PokerStars in July 2013 for buttoning (avoiding posting blinds).

Stars sent Feruell a warning – should he continue breaking the rules, he will imminently receive permanent ban. And so it happened. Elite regular with still secret name (what gives him some sort of being fantastic) can’t play in the biggest poker room on the planet:

“Well, I have my PokerStars account closed. Forever… I had a warning before that for some bullshit, I wrote about this on 2+2 with the text from PokerStars support. Now I have permanent ban.”

Despite all the irreversibility and strictness of punishment, Feruell got his right to play at PokerStars back. Looks like he found “the right words” in conversation with the security department.

And now we have this thread in the end of March 2016 where the mysterious player gets old accusations in the other room.

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GPL Final Will Take Place on Wembley Stadium
GPL Final Will Take Place on Wembley Stadium

The first season of Global Poker League, the most ambitious league imaginable starts this week. This series has principles of sporting events, cyber sport and UFC fights united. Series final will take place in London in November.

Update: the first matches ended with some serious performances from New York Rounders and Hong Kong Stars. Both teams are at the top of GPL Americas Standings and GPL Eurasia Standings respectively. The Twitch channel has all the goods.

The first season of GPL will take place from April, 5 to November, 23. There will be many matches and they will happen every day, all the coverage will be available on GPL.TV and Twitch.

As some other sports seasons, GPL has several stages:

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Cambodia is about to become “New Macao”, Vietnam is up next
Cambodia is about to become “New Macao”, Vietnam is up next

Malaysian company is going to build a new casino complex in Sihanoukville at the south of Cambodia. Resort city has about 15 gambling facilities functioning and the Chinese are having a nice close look to it.

Asia can’t stop surprising us. While Atlantic City gets bankrupt, gambling corporations in Cambodia and Vietnam have huge plans. On the March, 1st Malaysian company SV International got approved from Cambodian authorities to invest money into new huge project in Sihanoukville: sun and seashore, casinos, hotels – all together as usual.

There is even motivation video on this topic:

The issue with gambling license is still up in the air. Salient Ventures company, which belongs to SV International, have already announced they bought the license, the finance minister of the country says otherwise.

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Dzmitry Urbanovich: “I’ll simply tear WSOP apart”
Dzmitry Urbanovich: “I’ll simply tear WSOP apart”

This year Polish/Belarussian Dzmitry Urbanovich will play at World Series. Russian-speaking superstar came out of nowhere and has all the chances to rewrite poker history once again. Dima already has EPT record and earned almost $5,000,000 in live tournaments last year.

Imagine some “Garbarnia” (football club from Poland) come to the final of ‎UEFA Champions League to win Barcelona FC for example. Or some unknown young Polish boxer winning Floyd Mayweather by KO in the first round.

Have you imagined?

This is what Dzmitry Urbanovich did in the world of poker. And he is just 20 years old.

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How to crush low stakes in live poker
How to crush low stakes in live poker

Most of today’s books teach to be tight playing at the low stakes in casinos or poker clubs. Being TAG is profitable but it is also profitable to crush the stakes. To destroy your opponents and get your win rate to the maximum you must act in other way. Some of the principles are good for small stakes in live poker, the others are universal for all stakes.

How often do you see tight players with big stacks (6+ times bigger that the buy-in)? Usually people with most chips are the most aggressive opponents; sometimes they get them with several coolers.

But the point is still the same. Aggression is always better than passiveness, especially at the low stakes ($1/$2, $2/$5). Aggression in position is the key to success. That is an obvious live poker strategy.

Golden rule: play as many pots as you can in position. Bunch of limpers and you have J-10o on the button? Raise! You’ve got Q-8s on CO and limpers keep limping? Raise! Set of treys? Raise!

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Poker potential of Eastern Europe
Poker potential of Eastern Europe

WPT and WSOP have already paid a visit to Eastern Europe. They were a success. West starts to realize it’s not just about finding treasure in Asia, something is out there In some European countries. Georgia, Armenia, Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan all have huge demand and growing passion towards poker.

Not so long ago Tbilisi hosted the first stage of WSOPC. American took home victory, Steve O’Dwyer was the best high roller. And there are reasons for that. But we’ll talk about it later.

World Series of Pokers wasn’t the first. Tbilisi hosted first stage of World Poker Tour National last year. It was a tremendous success. Looks like movement at WSOP started right after that series: it was a successful market so we should try something as well.

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American wins WSOP Tbilisi Main Event
American wins WSOP Tbilisi Main Event

The champion of the most expensive tournament in Georgia history is… American Brian Senie ($85,800)… Highroller tournament was won by Steve O’Dwyer himself, one of the top players in the world. The list of those who travelled to Georgia also included: Daniel Cates, Dominik Panka, Konstantin Puchkov, Vitaliy Lunkin, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Peter Eastgate. The latter opened the series.

Debut of World Series of Poker in Tbilisi was a success. The proof of this fact is that guaranteed money were covered almost in every single event! Main Event had 395 entries registered with guaranteed prize fund exceeded by $90,000 making $390,000. The same story with all other events.

All the sevens rings found their owners, many of them just visited Georgia for a brief time. Meanwhile, about the guests. There were lots of good reviews and comments about local people and players. Famous Georgian hospitality and cordiality can’t stop surprising guests. It’s uneasy to get used to it. But we’ll come back to that.

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Praise to the women poker players
Praise to the women poker players

Should children be called the flowers and men are considered children (bigger ones but still), women are the most tolerated and resistant gardeners. They feed the roots, wash the buds and cut dry leaves. In poker women are equal to men, but they always play special role at the table.

Hendon Mob database has data of approximately 9,000 who have been ITM at least once in live tournaments. This is just 2.6% of total number of players of male sex. Relatively small number.

There are even fewer female pros – several times fewer. Stats try to persuade us that poker is not for women. But we can see women in tournaments all the time and sometimes even at the cash tables. Feelings of being raised by the opponent that beautiful are quite opposite to those of being raised by the bearded man.

Well, there is just one conclusion – there is not many women in poker. So we must save them as last pieces of your bankroll.

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Meet the maniac who lost $500k in $250k Aria Cash Game
Meet the maniac who lost $500k in $250k Aria Cash Game

Last summer Aria held big cash game with many famous “whales” and the toughest pros participating. The person who draws maximum attention with his entertaining non-standard and incredibly loose game was an Australian Matt Kirk, who, by his own words, was just warming up before the real game.

It is quite hard to discreet name of the top online and live regulars. Sooner or later hype grows that big, the personality of this or that pro becomes practically public.

Almost nothing was available on the Australian Matt Kirk. His style reminded us of the one of Viktor Bloom or Ilari Sahamies. Fist name of famous live players that come to mind as an example is young David “Viffer” Peat.

Kirk is 28 and unlike many he never played online. He visited casino at the age of 18 for the fist time and soon joined under-the-table games in Australia.

“My usual stakes I play at are much higher,” said Matt (Aria stakes were $400/$800/$200+).

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Eli Elezra: Degenerate Gambler with Big Debts
Eli Elezra: Degenerate Gambler with Big Debts

Do you remember Eli? This handsome man with round smiling face participated in all the possible and impossible poker TV shows. On the screen Elezra looked like Santa who shaved his beard and decided to have a rest in Vegas.

In reality, this man is not like that at all. Many people respect Eli. He has a beautiful wife, wonderful children, but when it comes to poker things start to become awkward.

“He owes me and other people lots of money. I have absolutely no idea how many people he owes money to”, tells Shaun Deeb in his recent podcast.

Eli owes only $52,000 to Deeb alone. God know how much total money we’re talking of.

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