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As far as poker celebrity goes Eugene Katchalov isn't exactly a superstar. What he does have are results, over $6 million worth. Katchalov has only been playing poker 100% professionally for a few short years, having split his time to that point between cards and day trading in New York. In light of his recent endorsement deal with PokerStars, and the fact that he's one of the most profitable tournament players in the world, we wanted to get to know him a little better. We've got a feature piece in our news, to which this Q&A is a companion, so click here for more info about Katchalov's decision to play poker professionally instead of working in finance. And now, the full Q&A.
Matt "ADZ124" Marafioti is a writing machine and he's decided to open up and share some personal thoughts and stories from his past. Matt talks about his early runs in online poker and the reasons he decided to become a professional poker player.
The title might seem sensational but I assure you this is the greatest poker variant I have ever played. This is a game guaranteed to spice up that otherwise dull home game. In fact, this game is so awesome, so terrifically badass, so freakin amazing! I felt I had to write a blog and share it with all of you. The game is called Sviten Special and it was invented by some Swedish guy named Anders Bengtsson. Obviously this Bengtsson guy is a player with a sick need for constant degenerate action on every hand. Although I've never met the guy, I'm sure him and I would get along well. I learned the game from a friend of his, Franke Boy. All I have to say is thank you. Overview Sviten Special is a split pot game, but not in the way you're thinking. The game is basically a mix of Pot-Limit Omaha, and Five-Card Draw. Half the pot goes to best draw hand, half the pot to the best Omaha hand.
2010 is going to be a huge year for poker so we're taking a look at the best of the best, those players poised to make big moves. Some are building on successful careers, others are ready to make their names in the poker world. Together they make PokerListings.com's Top 10 Players to Watch in 2010.
Before we get started, let's be honest for a second. Poker players, as a whole, are not the most physically fit group of people. Our brains are processing information on a regular basis but our bodies get little more than the occasional chair wiggle or lethargic stretch. Articles like these need to be realistic. The point isn't to turn grinders into Olympic athletes; the aim is to offer practical advice that can keep the mind sharp and the body healthy. Whether you play live or online, poker guarantees one thing; you spend plenty of time sitting in a chair. In order to be profitable in the long run it's crucial to revitalize the body and mind with exercise and healthy food. Eating well and exercising have a real effect on your ability to make good decisions, the same decisions that translate into wins and losses at the poker table.
We do a ton of interviews for stories here on PL.com but every once in a while there's just too much good stuff to fit into the feature. In those cases we think it's only fair to give you a look at the full and unabridged interview. That's exactly what we've done here. What follows is the transcript from an interview done by our News Editor Martin Derbyshire with Andrew Feldman at the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe. If time and/or patience is an issue for you check out the feature news story here.
American law books are filled from cover to cover with random, obsolete, and outright strange laws created in a time long passed. As I have surmised after spending no time doing any actual research into the subject, laws were created in the olden days only as a reaction to an odd situation. Some laws are so ridiculous I'm just not sure how they ever came to be in the first place, such as: In Connecticut, by law, a pickle is not officially a pickle unless it bounces. Or better yet: In Florida, having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. If you need a law to tell you that having sex with a porcupine is a bad idea, you have much bigger problems than needing to know a lawyer ... mainly the hundreds of quills you now have stuck deep into your bird. Here are the craziest American laws pertaining to poker:
Rounding the corner in front of the Flamingo, my friend and I run into Dustin Dirksen, high-stakes online professional and full on LAG-tard. After the initial hellos and handshakes, Dirksen, beer in hand, jumped straight into his latest Las Vegas story. At around 2 a.m. on a Monday night, Dirksen and his friend were sitting at a $1/$2 No-Limit table at O'Sheas. As you would imagine from a player who plays games with a big blind equal to the entire buy-in at a $1/$2 table, he can only play the game for so long until something sticky has to hit the fan.
There has been quite a flurry of reporting in the poker community and elsewhere (the Wall Street Journal had coverage) of the findings of a study by Cigital, a consulting firm in Washington, DC. The report presents what some are calling "definitive" data that "proves" that poker is a game of skill. Now, poker is a game of skill. Luck plays a role, of course, in the impact of the random turn of a card, the flukiness of the flop, the unlikely river card. That's not only the nature of the game; it's an inherent feature of every interesting thing that people do. But the Cigital data do not support the conclusion reached. Let me explain why. In scientific research we hold dear to a singular principle: you have to control alternative possibilities that might be causing the effects seen. The Cigital study does not do this. In fact, it has a large logical flaw in its design.
If you had asked Taylor Caby in 2005 what he thought would become of his new brainchild - Cardrunners.com, an online poker video coaching site - he probably would have said nothing; that it was just a time-killer.
Online poker multimillionaire. Highly sought-after high-stakes CardRunners coach. Well-read and controversial blogger. Famous former housemate of Tom "durrrr" Dwan.
Part 2 of 2 of PokerListings.com's interview with David "raptor" Benefield, one of the most successful high-stakes online poker players in the world.
There was a time when the sight of a 60 Minutes news crew gathered outside in the parking lot was every business owner's worst nightmare.
Since online play wasn't going too well, a few months back I decided to start playing some live cash games. I thought a change of pace and scenery would be the best way to end a downswing.
One of the biggest interviews I conducted at the 2006 WSOP was with Jamie Gold on the fateful day he took the lead in the Main Event. As most of you know, Gold would never relinquish that lead and eventually became the reigning world champion. When I talked to him he seemed like a nice guy that was absolutely thrilled to be doing as well as he was in poker's big show. Since his big win, however, time and poker have not been as kind to Gold.
Phil Hellmuth is one of the biggest stars in poker and he knows it. So far, he hasn't made any magic in the 2005 World Series of Poker (in the money twice) and I must say that I expect more of this man (he has won 9 WSOP bracelets). Phil hasn't won many major tournaments in recent years, although I suspect that's mainly because he's been busy with poker related business. For example, he represents online poker room UltimateBet.com. For more Phil Hellmuth trivia, keep reading today's blog.
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Poker news, gossip, parties, donkstrikery and functioning illiteracy with the PL.com crew!
WSOP live blog from the tournament floor w/ poker pro interviews, photos and side action from Las
Pr0n for the poker nerd. Hardware, software, gadgets, etc; like poker, but from the future.
A menagerie of poker pros, celebrities, poker writers and industry figures.