Greg Merson: 2012 WSOP October Nine Video Interview
Published on Jul 2012 by Pokerlistings
The final table of the 2012 WSOP Main Event is set and Greg Merson has a seat. This poker pro from Washington DC dropped out of college to play poker, and that decision has now earned him the chance at $8.5 million. Get to know Greg Merson in our latest WSOP 2012 Main Event October Nine player bio.
In the latest episode of our beginner poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we show you why most of those huge bluffs you're attempting are costing you tons of money. Despite what a lot of people think, being good at poker isn't about pulling off huge bluffs every other hand. The way to win is by making less mistakes than your opponents, and a lot of the time when beginners are making big bluffs, it's a mistake. There are plenty of opportunities for betting and raising without a hand but most of these spots are about taking advantage of your position, or a big draw, opposed to putting lots of chips at risk with a huge stone-cold bluff. The important thing to remember is that it's better to make lots of simple bluffs that are likely to succeed, than to make one huge bluff for your whole stack where you're basically just praying for a fold. Quick bluffs refer to things like continuation bets and three-betting loose, late-position raisers. They're designed to take advantage of your position and what you know about your opponents, but they're not designed to lead to huge pots or all-ins. These are simple plays that stand a high chance of success. When you're betting and raising with a big draw that hasn't hit yet it's called a semi-bluff. Semi-bluffing is really important because it adds a lot of value to your draws by giving you two ways of winning the pot. Either your opponent folds to your semi-bluff and you win the pot uncontested, or you hit your hand and win a big pot at showdown. Stone-cold bluffs, or naked bluffs, are when you have no clear positional advantage and no hand value whatsoever. People seem to think that stone-cold bluffs are what poker's all about but the truth is, you'd be better off ignoring them completely. Until you're at a level where you can put your opponents on an exact hand and understand how to make them fold, you should focus on playing solid poker and not spewing chips by trying to get fancy.
Not sucking at poker is one of the most important things you have to do if you want to have fun playing poker. In the 6th installment of our landmark poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we explain one very crucial way you need to not suck, by having a poker bankroll and following proper bankroll management. Most people are extremely attached to money. They work most of their life to have enough of it and losing it can be pretty scary. That's why to be an effective poker player you must have a poker bankroll that's separate from the rest of your regular money. Even the best poker players in the world have losing weeks or even months. The best way to deal with that psychologically is to trust in your ability to win in the long run, and to structure your bankroll and the stakes you play so that you can make it through long stretches of bad luck without going broke. When you have a big enough bankroll you won't be stressed out about a couple losing sessions, and you won't be afraid to pull the trigger on a big bluff, or make a big call when the time is right. The most common guidelines say that in a cash-game you should never put more than 5% of your bankroll in play at a time. That means if you're playing $1/$2 No-Limit at your local casino and you buy in for two hundred dollars, your bankroll should be at least two grand. If you're multi-tabling online you should have even more. For tournaments you should have a bankroll of at least 100 buy-ins. So if you're playing the nightly $10 MTT at your favorite online poker room, you should have at least $1,000 in your account. That probably sounds way too high for recreational players but that just goes to show how much variance there is in tournament poker. These numbers are also designed to make sure you never bust your bankroll. If you're an amateur player who has no problem re-depositing if you go broke, it's definitely okay to take bigger risks with your bankroll.
We spoke to poker pros Maria Ho, Kara Scott, Andreas Hoivold, Sofia Lovgren and Gaelle Baumann about what makes the PokerListings Battle of Malta so special. With a €500,000 guaranteed Main Event, new celebrity host and a packed schedule of side events and parties, the Battle of Malta will have tons to offer both on and off the felt. This November the Battle of Malta will set the record for the biggest poker tournament every held in Malta and poker pros from all over the world will be competing. Listen to five hugely successful poker pros explain why you should consider adding the Battle of Malta to your poker vacation schedule. Whether you qualify online or buy in directly for the affordable price of €550, you'll have the chance to play in one of the best-value poker events on the planets. Playing out November 6-9 at the beautiful Portomaso Casino, the 2014 Battle of Malta will be held in a new, bigger tournament room and will feature a brand-new High Roller Event. Go to http://www.pokerlistings.com/battle-of-malta for more information and to find out how to qualify!
In 2007 Annette Obrestad won a 180-person online poker tournament without looking at her cards a single time. Obrestad, then just 18 years old, covered the portion of her computer screen that showed her hole cards with a piece of paper and proceeded to crush her way to victory playing aggressive, position-based poker. Obrestad has since won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for £1 million but says more people know her from winning a $4 online tournament blind than being a WSOP champion. In the latest episode of PokerListings.com's new series “Best Poker Moments”, Obrestad reflects on what it was like winning that tournament blind and the reaction she got from poker players and fans. In addition to being an amazing feat, her accomplishment also stands as compelling evidence for poker being a predominantly skill-based game. Listen to Annette Obrestad talk about her best poker moment and keep your eye out for new episodes coming to PokerListings.com soon.
Will Tonking is a professional poker player but he's never had an opportunity like this before. Tonking has made the biggest final table in poker, the WSOP Main Event November Nine, and has a chance at the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion of poker when he returns to Las Vegas in a few months. Tonking is from New Jersey and before this event had just $93,000 in live tournament earnings. He's already guaranteed more than $730,000 for making this table and has a chance at much more. Check out this November Nine video interview to get to know Tonking better and keep watching PokerListings.com this November to find out who will become the next world champion of poker.
Felix Stephensen is a 23-year-old poker pro from Oslo, Norway, who now lives in London playing online Pot-Limit Omaha. Stephensen admits that he has very little experience playing Texas Hold'em or live poker tournaments but that didn't stop him from making it to the final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. Stephensen is guaranteed at least $730k for making the 2014 November Nine but has a chance at the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion. Stephensen enters the final table second in chips and with nearly three months to study up on his opponents and Hold'em strategy he's got a great shot at becoming the first-ever Norwegian poker world champion. Check out the full video interview with 2014 WSOP November Niner Felix Stephensen and check back in November to see if Stephensen will come out on top.
Martin Jacobson has a chance to become the first Swedish world champion of poker in history after making the 2014 WSOP Main Event November Nine final table. Before this event Jacobsen had earned almost $5 million playing live poker events. He's got to triple that total in November when he'll be competing for the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion. Jacobson had played in seven WSOP Main Events before this and had never made it to the dinner break on Day 2. He told PokerListings this year felt totally different. Jacobson also said he didn't have a single losing level for four days. Get the whole story on 2014 WSOP November Niner Martin Jacobson with this in-depth video interview.
For two straight years Dutch poker players have made the final table of the WSOP Main Event and this year it's Jorryt van Hoof looking to become the first-ever world champion of poker from the Netherlands. van Hoof has been a successful Pot-Limit Omaha cash-game player for years and even owns the poker website nederpoker.com. Before this event he only had $350,000 in live tournament earnings. He's already guaranteed over $730K for making this final table but he's got a chance at up to $10 million should he emerge victorious in November. van Hoof explains to PokerListings
Billy Pappas told PokerListings he's never played a poker tournament with a buy-in bigger than $500 but thanks to a backer buying him into this event he's got a shot at the title of world champion and $10 million. If Pappas can do it he'll add that title to the five world championship of foosball titles he already has. Pappas works as a poker dealer when he's not traveling the world playing foosball and said that the $730k he's already guaranteed will change his life in a big way. We can only imagine what would happen if he won eight figures. Pappas said he was inspired to play poker when a friend turned $1 into $27,000 in two days on PokerStars. Pappas enters the November Nine final table sixth in chips and will be looking to chip up against a line-up he admits has more poker experience than him. Check out the full video interview with 2014 WSOP November Niner Billy Pappas and keep watching PokerListings.com to start your own poker journey.
Bruno Politano is the first to ever make the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event and according to Politano, he's going to have an entire country cheering him on in November. "This is not just my dream. This is a country's dream," Bruno told PokerListings.com. Politano has been playing poker for many years but still doesn't consider himself a pro. He owns a women's fashion store in Brazil but it's safe to say he'll be able to do whatever he wants if he wins this event and the $10 million first-place prize. "Until yesterday poker was the second most important thing in my life but today it's the first." Check out the full WSOP November Nine video interview with Bruno Politano and keep watching PokerListings for the latest and greatest poker content.