Daily 3-Bet: Max Laak, Gus Back, Inside NY Poker Clubs

Phil Laak
Phil Laak: Underrated cash-game ruler?

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is an in-the-know, three-table backroom game down the dark side of the afternoon poker news alley.

Any suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to drop a note in the comments.

Today in the 3-Bet we find Phil Laak absolutely trouncing the Party Poker Big Game, Gus Hansen hinting at an imminent return to live poker and an inside look at New York City's illegal poker clubs.

1) Phil Laak Crushing Party Poker Big Game for €160,000

Just over halfway through the epic 48-hour Party Poker cash game in Vienna, Phil Laak has not only played all 24 hours so far but has run up about €160k in profit making him by far the biggest winner.

Sam Trickett
Down in cash but up in zings.

Running well and playing well, Laak has run over the table at times and stacked several players including Mike Sexton and Alec Torelli.

Laak and Sam Trickett are the only two to sit for the full 24 hours but it hasn’t worked out quite as well for Trickett, who finally left a short time ago down about €40k.

Trickett isn’t the biggest loser overall though as Dan “Jungleman12” Cates is stuck €60k and out of the game for now, although expected to return later.

Rotating in to the game and up overall are JP Kelly (€20k), Jonathan Duhamel (€8k) and Tony G (€20k). Down are Sorel Mizzi (€30k), Mike Sexton (€40k) and Saar Wilf (€10k, burned off with two €5k all-in bullets with 55 and TT), among others.

Funniest tweet so far belongs to Trickett, who addressed some rumors floating around in the running 2+2 thread:

I have never been on 2+2 because I live in the real world, but apparently me and Phil Laak are having cocaine in the toilet! Haha

Players are on a quick break for dinner right now; blinds will be €50/€100 when they return. Follow the live stream here.

Sidebets will also be taken on how much longer Laak can possibly wear that beanie at the table.

2) Gus Hansen Announces Plans to Play Monte Carlo €100k

Gus Hansen
Sorely missed.

Watching the Party Poker Big Game has definitely been fun, but if there's one thing you can say about TV cash games it's that they all could use a Gus Hansen.

And it’s been waaaay too long since we’ve had a good dose of Gus on TV playing poker.

Spending much of the last few months away from the spotlight or playing the big games in Macau, Gus fans will be happy to hear he'll be making a semi-return to the poker scene at the EPT Grand Final.

In Copenhagen playing a backgammon tournament over the weekend, Hansen told Pokernyhederne.com he plans to play the €100 High Roller, although it’s not 100% a sure thing:

“It’s definitely the plan,” Gus said, “but I have previously participated in a high roller and then not shown up on the second day, so we must see if I show up to kick-off and see what happens.”

Gus played the high roller event at the 2010 EPT Grand Final and made Day 2 but was blinded out after he found a backgammon match instead and never returned.

Oh Gus. You are missed. More from Pokernyhederne (in Danish).

3) Inside NYC's Illegal Poker Clubs

Making the news fairly frequently, and especially when New York Yankee icon Alex Rodriguez gets caught playing at one of them, New York City’s underground poker clubs are the stuff of legend.

Erik Seidel
Likely has a few good stories from up in the clubs.

From luxury high-rises to East Village dumps, “illegal” card games are happening all the time in NYC and all you need to get in the game is a stack of cash and the right name to give the doorman.

Still, few from outside of the loop ever really get a look inside the action and how the clubs work.

That's changed with a new post on DailyBeast.com from Sara Copeland, a former waitress at the clubs that has written a bit of a tell-all about it.

If you're expecting a lot of A-Rod and other big time celebs, you might be dissappointed:

"The players, too, were far from what I expected. As opposed to a bunch of Draper clones in bespoke suits, they were mostly middle aged, often overweight, and dressed in cargo shorts and flip flops.

"They even had paper towels tucked into their shirts so they could turn away intermittently from the game to quickly gorge on chicken wings or burritos before returning to the task at hand.

"The players who smoked stepped outside to the balcony out of politeness, but smoking can also be a tell, so I don’t think the room regulated the smoking. It was an undeniably masculine environment, yet almost entirely devoid of sexual energy."

There was also a lot of crying into cell phones, apparently.

Sort of surprising, but if you’ve played live poker in a legit casino at all in the last 10 years, it sounds about right. Nonetheless it’s a good read; check it out here.

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