Posts Tagged ‘WSOP’

What to do if I win WSOP?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I am thinking of playing the WSOP this year. Last year Jerry Yang from California took home a staggering $ 8,250,000 with his win. I have already started to think about what I would do with kind of money.

On my list so far:

Quite my day job right away. No reason to stress to work everyday if I have millions on the bank.
Minimize my poker game (I do not want to loose all that monet right away)
Pay of all my debts
A new car, probably a Porsche (always wanted one)
A Panerai Watch, probably a Panerai Radiomir Chrono Rattrapante
A trip around the world
A summer house in south Europe (probably Spain or Italy)
Last but not least, something for my girlfriend

The rest of the money I will hopefully invest wisely.

Have I forgotten anything important on my list?

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Eat right and improve your game – Part III

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Part I, Part II, Part III

Feed your brain and watch it grow.

Who wouldn’t like to have a bigger brain for poker? Think of all the strategy you could learn, how quickly you could calculate odds and make devious plans to conquer pots all around! While we do not promise a 50% increase in brain mass, we can point you to some foods that will help your brain repair itself and even grow.

Unless you live under a rock (or chained to three flat screens and 20 single table tourneys, which is quite similar) you must have heard talk of “essential fatty acids” or “Omega 3” oils. This is not astronaut’s food, nor a new invention to make you buy more supplements. These nutrients are old as the hills, and they can be your best friends at the poker table, since eating enough of those will make your brain stronger, healthier, and maybe even bigger.

Essential fatty acids are not “essential” in the sense that oxygen is – they are called “essential” because you have to get them from your food, since the body cannot synthesize them. Hence these are foods you cannot omit altogether, because there is no other way you can get the fatty acids. This is what is so “essential” about them. Is all clear now? OK, so what are they and where do we find them?

The most important fatty acids are the famous Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (i.e. oils), which are all over the news and talk shows these days because of their cholesterol-reducing powers. But reduced cholesterol is only a secondary benefit – what we are really interested in is poker, right? Well, consider this: brain tissue is composed of fat, and not just any fat but – you guessed it – essential fatty acids: Omega 3 and Omega 6 and something called DHA which we will get to in a minute. EFAs are the main components of brain tissue – the blocks out of which your brain is built.

This is a two-pronged issue: on the one hand, the more of these acids you get, the more building material your brain will have available to repair itself and grow. On the other, if you do not eat enough of these substances (and remember they are “essential” because you have to eat them to get them) then your brain will have to resort to lower quality fats to rebuild itself, which will result literally in a lower-quality brain: decreased memory, lower attention span, reduced analytic capabilities. The horror!

So where are these fats and how soon can you start eating them by the bushel? Omega 6 is easy to find and ingest, as it is present in vegetable oils (such as sunflower, corn and sesame) and cereals; go for whole grain versions whenever possible for extra nutrition. Omega 3 is abundant in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and herring (is that perhaps why Scandinavians are so good at the tables? All those pickled herrings and smoked salmon?) and doctors recommend at least 2 servings per week to cover your brain’s basic needs – however, if you want increased mental powers for those WSOP satellites we recommend you aim for 4 servings of at least 4 ounces each per week. Indulge in lox bagels, or enjoy a meaty tuna steak with a side of wilted spinach or chard for a super powerful brain. Vegetarians need not despair: flaxseed is an excellent source of Omega 3, and walnuts, spinach, eggs and algae are also very high in EFAs. A spinach omelette should be just the thing to eat before a big tourney, and adding walnuts to your cereal or salads on a daily basis will not just make them tastier but also increase your brainpower.

And now let’s talk about DHA, also known as docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is one of the main components of brain tissues, and therefore an important part of any poker player’s diet. The good news are that DHA is not an essential acid, meaning that your body can synthesize it if you get enough Omegas. The better news are that you can also ingest DHA ready made, making it easy for your brain to get all it needs to perform at top capacity. Like the essential fatty acids, DHA can also be found in coldwater fish and seafood, so try to make those a part of your diet and eat them a few times a week Vegetarians are well advised to stock up on flaxseed, soy and canola oil and eating plenty of algae – sushi and miso soup should be a quite tasty way of getting your EFA fix. Daniel Negreanu is a vegan, and look how well he fares!

So go on, order the shrimp kabob or the lobster and tell yourself “this is good for my brain!” You can almost justify it as an inversion to increase your poker ROI. For those still on lower stakes, start off a successful poker career by eating sardines on whole-wheat toast and adding anchovies to your pizza – the lobster will not be far off. Vegetarian grinders could do worse than stock up on trailer mix full of walnuts, brazil nuts and pumpkin seed to snack on while playing, and a fancy meal of wilted chard of collard greens with blue cheese is an excellent way to get EFAs into the system. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike will probably enjoy snacks of guacamole and baked tortillas, knowing that avocados are not just delicious but also make you smarter.

If you stock your pantry with the right foods, and include them regularly in your diet, you will be doing yourself a favor in more than one way: EFAs will help lower your cholesterol levels, keep your brain healthy and solid, and increase your mental capabilities for better poker results!

And for those who read the previous article and were wondering about “the miracle nutrients that will make you smarter, healthier, and more attractive;” what can be more attractive than being a smart, powerful, winning player?

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World Series of Poker on Satellite

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

The World Series of Poker is the biggest poker competition in the world, or at least the most prestigious poker tournament there is. Winning WSOP is the same as placing you permanently on the poker map among the great players of the world. Other players that have won the main event are Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar and Phil Hellmuth. These of course being players everyone recognize.

World Series of Poker

A big change to the poker society and to WSOP in particular came in 2003 when something big took place. This was the first time someone that came from an online satellite won the main event. The proud winner of 2003 years main event was Chris Moneymaker who had qualified from a $39 satellite online.

Lots of poker players didn’t want to admit that the online players had the talent but the main event of WSOP in 2003 changed it forever. In 2004 the “Moneymaker effect” had it’s way and the participants in the World Series of Poker Main Event increased from 839 participants to 2 576 in 2004. In 2006 the same number had climbed all the way to 8 773, some claim that better media cover has a part in the increase but it’s not called the “Moneymaker effect” for nothing. There is no question that online poker changed the WSOP forever.

Today most poker rooms offer some sort of WSOP Satellite where participants can win the entrance to the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. The number of players playing the satellites is incredible and the competition is getting harder and harder every year in the main event. Most WSOP satellites starts with a small qualifier to the real satellite and in most cases even more steps between the first qualifier and the actual World Series of Poker main event.

Most of us have tried our skills in at least one or two qualifiers but as you might guess, most players don’t make it to the main event final table, most of course does not even make it to the qualifier final table. Even less of us have done with Chris Moneymaker did but in 2004 the year after Moneymaker won the main event Greg Raymer, another satellite player did it again. Raymer and Moneymaker managed to add a lot of credit to the online poker community by showing what the community could produce at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main event.

The Dream of the perfect hand

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

There are those who will claim that poker is just a game. Others will claim that they are just in it for the money. There are of course those who play because they consider it relaxing and fun but is it really what drives a player to spend day and night in front of the computer or in the casino?

Playing poker

Are those reasons substantial enough to put all these players through the hell that we call the nightly grind? I don’t think so, I think it’s something else. Just as the band Moder Jords Massiva dream of the perfect sound the poker players dream of the perfect hand. You might not know it yet but so do you. You are sitting relaxed on your stool in front of that pale screen, maybe a soda in your hand, clicking fold over and over again but deep within you there is a small dream hiding.

Am I not right? How much would you give to hit the full house on the WSOP main event final table when Daniel Negreanu flops a flush? I know I would give quite a lot to do it. Even if it’s not big dreams like that there is the search for the perfect hand. Poker is very similar to painting or figure skating when it comes to perfection. There are some that do it for fun and some that spend years to improve their skills just for that one perfect painting or play. Maybe you disagree but the small winnings from the freerolls can’t possibly be the thing that makes you spend all night playing and exactly how fun is the grind?

The perfect hand has it’s lure, the promises are plenty. One perfect hand is enough to put you on the map of terra poker. It will not make you the biggest star of course, there are those that have a double perfect hand combo. As you might have guessed I’m talking about a certain Brunson and the ten-deuce in -76 and -77. What it will do though is making a lot of dreams come true, if you are lucky enough to play that perfect hand at the right moment. If you manage to be lucky and smart enough to do the perfect play where it matters it can change your life.

I’m certain that every poker player will play a perfect hand at least once or twice in a career, some get lots of them but for all of us that aren’t superstars once or twice is enough. It is only a question of when, it is a sad thing to waste the play of your life on a play money tournament. Better make sure that you play where there is at least the possibility to win. Play where your perfect hand can make a difference because if you get just one or two, you want it to be at the high rollers table.

Eat right and improve your game – Part I

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Part I, Part II, Part III

Did you know that your eating habits directly affect your poker abilities? You may not believe us at first, but we are ready to prove to you that a few changes in your diet can make a very positive difference in your attention levels, stamina and memory, giving you an edge over the competition. This three-part series will give you some important tips on when to eat and what to eat for a sharper poker brain.

Eating and Playing

Eating for energy and alertness.

Consider this scenario: you are at the World Series of Poker, deep into a $1000 No Limit Hold’em tourney. You have been playing for hours, accumulating a chip lead, and although you are very hungry you refuse to let it distract you from the game. Finally you get a 30-minute break, and you dash madly off to the buffet and devour a large plate (or two) of everything they have. How do you feel after eating? Chances are that within half an hour of finishing that meal you find yourself feeling drowsy and unfocused, and instead of struggling with a growling stomach you are now fighting off sleep, more ready for a nap than a final table. The Spanish were on to a good thing when they instituted the “siesta,” that lovely short nap after lunch. But you’re not here to nap – you want to play poker! So how can you take care of your hunger and still remain awake and focused after the break?


To find out the answer you need to know about insulin. Insulin is a hormone that lets the cells in your body know when you have eaten, so the cells can start storing the fat and sugars from the meal. As a result of this the amount of sugar (glucose, for the scientifically minded) in the blood will be reduced, as the sugars leave the bloodstream to be stored in the cells. “Enough with the science, what about poker?” you’ll say. Well, this is how it all ties in: your brain cells (called neurons by those on the know) need sugar as fuel. When you eat a large meal, a lot of sugar will enter the blood stream, which will make you feel alert and clever for a short while. But soon after the meal the body will also release a large amount of insulin – because you have eaten a lot,– and it will in turn tell the cells in your body to capture the sugar and fats. This means that the amount of sugar in the blood will be reduced quickly, and therefore your brain will start to run low on fuel, which will make you feel sluggish and groggy – hardly ideal in the last stages of a large tourney, when you need all your attention and energy to finally get that bracelet.


“But a person has to eat!” you can say, and you are very right. We are definitely not telling you to stop eating – the all-important sugars for your potent poker brain must come from somewhere! The point we want to make here is that you should avoid making very large meals after a long fast, because they will set off the reaction we have just explained, and leave you on a “sugar dump.” Besides, a large heavy meal requires a lot of energy to be digested, which means that your body’s efforts will be focused in your stomach and intestines and not on your brain, which is where you need them. Also, the long fast is not good for you and it is even worse for your poker game: have you ever tried to make a difficult decision on the turn while your stomach growls and the chips start looking good enough to eat? Hunger will wreak havoc with anyone’s concentration, and you do not want to risk a bad call or a hasty fold because you were distracted by thoughts of food.


The way forward is to eat smaller portions more often (so the sugar levels in the blood remain steady) instead of going for hours without food and then making a huge meal, which will first raise the sugar levels too much and then bring them crashing down. Snacking is key: if you are playing in a brick-and-mortar tourney remember to request or bring some nuts or pretzels with you to nibble whenever you feel a pang of hunger. This way your brain will have a steady supply of fuel and you will feel more energetic and alert. If you play online then you have absolutely no excuse: plan (or order) a meal before you even sit at the computer, and eat it in “installments” – first the salad, then the chicken, then the fries. Also remember to keep nibbles at hand while you play so you don’t even have to take your eyes off the screen to keep hunger at bay.


If you consistently eat this way you will notice a great improvement in your day-to-day energy levels, as well as your capacity to concentrate and stay alert for long periods. This will give you a great advantage over other players, who will either be playing on an empty, growling stomach or will be fighting off the urge to take a post-meal nap. Easy pickings for a sharp, alert, energetic shark such as yourself!


You now know HOW to eat to improve your game, but we still have not gone over WHAT to eat for optimal brain performance. Visit us next week for the following installment of this 3-part series, where we will tell you all you need to know about what to eat to improve your memory, concentration and mood.


Read part II: Eat right and improve your game – Part II

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