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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poker Tourney Winner

The Valentine’s Day version of the Bodog $100K Guaranteed tournament was won by an established online tournament player named “Rataveli”. He beat out 479 other players to claim the $25K first-place prize. In second place was “slatehill4, who padded his bankroll by $15K. Bodog once again came up with a generous $28K overlay.

“Rataveli” is no stranger to the winner’s circle, having posted numerous multi-table tournament cashes over the last two years including eight final tables. One of those final tables was a win in a $70K Guaranteed event for $12K last April. His biggest cash of almost $44K came from a fourth-place finish in a $750K Guaranteed tournament.

“Rataveli” has been on a roll of late. Besides his recent Bodog $100K victory, he also had a seventh-place tournament finish two weeks ago worth over $16K. The 24-year-old Minneapolis native can also be found playing no-limit and pot-limit holdem $1/$2 to $2/$4 cash games.

More details on the Bodog Poker Ultimate Sports Fan Experience.

NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship

NBC’s 6th annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship is set to start on March 4-7 at Caesars Palace Poker Tournament Room in Las Vegas, Nevada. Much like college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship starts off with a bracket of 64 of the game’s best No Limit Texas Hold’em poker players going head-to-head for $1.5 million in combined prize money.

This year’s tournament features poker pros Chris Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe Cada and last year’s Heads-Up finalists Vanessa Rousso and Huckleberry Seed.

“It takes a lot of skill and mental toughness to get through a field of such exceptional players,” last year’s Heads-Up champion Huck Seed was quoted as saying in a Feb. 16 press release. “But I look forward to defending my title and trying to win it again.”

Unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament, however, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship finals is a best-of-three format, with the first-place finisher receiving $500,000 and the second-place finisher taking home $250,000.
The single-elimination competition begins Friday, March 5 at noon and continues through Sunday, March 7.

If you’ve never played online poker at Bodog before then now is the perfect time to sign up for a free Bodog Account. From now until March 14th, Bodog Poker is running a very cool “Ultimate Sports Fan Experience” with tickets to next year’s MLB World Series, NHL Stanley Cup Final, NBA Finals and the Super Bowl to be won.

More details on the Bodog Poker Ultimate Sports Fan Experience.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Football and Texas Holdem, Much Alike

If you’re one of those guys who is crazy for football, this time of year always leaves a void as you wait for the next season to start up at the end of the summer. Lots of football fans like you are filling some of that void with some poker action.

Bodog Sports Fantasy Poker Tournament is a special promotion to introduce the game to sports fans by giving away a trip to the World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup final, and Super Bowl. You may think that you don’t know enough about poker to compete with regular players, but poker can be a lot like football.

The obvious comparison between the two games is competitiveness. Good players all have a will to win and will do whatever they can to make that happen. The best poker players are just like the best football players; they never quit and will continue to battle even when the odds are against them.

The games of football and Texas holdem are alike in many ways. First off, they’re both American inventions that were based off of a European version of the game. These modern versions have evolved to better serve the America public.

The modern game of football began playing Super Bowls around the same time that Doyle Brunsen and his Texas roaming poker buddies first got the game of poker noticed and accepted by some of the casinos.

Another similarity that football and Texas holdem share is that plays and decisions are made with deception in mind. Coaches and quarterbacks make play calls that confuse their opponents and change up what they do in a specific situation. This battle of wits is carried out on just about every poker table you’ll find. Keeping your opponents guessing is the best way to gain an edge on them, and trying to find patterns in how they play will get you another edge that you can use in play-time situations.

Poker and football are a dreamland of stats for the mathematical types. Anyone who likes to collect and study stats will have lots to play with around poker and football. Player stats are in-depth and tournament leaderboards provide fans with a player race to watch, the same way you would watch and follow pro football stats.

Another common thing about poker and football is the yearly schedule. Big games are played once a week on average, and at the end of the year it all comes down to the big WSOP Main Event - poker’s Super Bowl at Bodog

Bodog Names Leading Poker Women

The vast majority of poker action comes from men, but the number of women getting into the sport has been growing at a fast pace for years. Women have always been a part of poker, and there have always been dominant female poker players. Names like Jennifer Harman and Kathy Liebert send fear into the hearts of young professional players, and famous female players like Annie Duke and Joanne Liu have amassed fortunes from playing the game. Even more dominant are the young guns of female poker like Vanessa Rousso and Annette Obrestad who have made millions is a short time on the scene.

The two queens of poker are Kathy Liebert and Jennifer Harman. Liebert leads all female players with over $5,330,000 in winnings from her 180 live-tournament cashes. She has a WSOP bracelet and was runner-up for two others, as well as a million dollar win in the Mexican Riviera Open and another runner-up finish in the 2009 Bay 101 Shooting Star WPT Main Event for $550,000. Liebert is considered to be one the best tournament players, male or female, in the world.

Jennifer Harman has been a high stakes cash game player for most of her adult life, and it’s a common occurrence for Jennifer to sit down in a $20,000-40,000 game with a million dollars in chips against the best players in the world like Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Patrik Antonius. Harman has made seven WSOP final tables and won two gold bracelets; one in Deuce-to-Seven Lowball in 2000 and the other in Limit Holdem in 2002. She even wrote the chapter on Limit Holdem for Doyle Brunson’s book, Super-System 2. Her live tournament winnings exceed $2.3 million and she is considered one of the best all-around poker players in the world.

Other well-established female players include Annie Duke (1 WSOP Bracelet & $1.6M in winnings), Joanne “JJ” Liu ($1.9M in winnings), Mimi Tran ($1.5M), Clonie Gowen ($1.3M), Cindy Violette ($1M) and Lucy Rokach ($1M). All these ladies were beating fields of men long before poker became the global phenomenon it is today.

The new age female poker players are even more dominant than the old school players. Young guns like Annette Obrestad and Vanessa Rousso have displayed aggression and mathematical skills that rival any male player in the game. Obrestad made a fortune online while still in her teens, and captured her first WSOP bracelet in Europe before she was old enough to play in a Vegas Casino. With over $2.6M in live poker tournament winnings at the age of 21, her potential to become the greatest female poker player of all-time couldn’t be brighter.

Vanessa Rousso has a mathematical approach to the game with a keen ability to recognize opportunities; and she is not afraid to get her chips in there. In just four years she’s won over $2.4M playing live tournaments. Other young guns of female poker include Anna Wroblewski ($1M), Sandra Naujoks ($1.7M), Vicky Coren ($1M), Vanessa Selbst ($900K), and Erica Schoenberg ($750K).

Bodog Poker Tips

If you’re one of the hundreds of sports bettors that’s taking advantage of the Bodog Sports Fantasy Tournament going on right now, you’ll want to have some basic poker knowledge going into the action. It’s pretty rare these days for someone who loves to bet on sports to have never played poker before, but for those of you who are not into the game a lot, and only play occasionally with friends, these tips will give you a better chance to succeed in the online environment.

The first thing to consider is that your goal is not to become a professional poker player overnight. The goal of the Bodog Sports Fantasy Tournament is to get your name into the draw. That means you have to finish in the money in three single table tournaments. You don’t have to win them, just finish in the cash. If you follow a basic tight strategy you should be able to make money in these tournaments by winning only three or four good-size hands. There will be so much action in these tournaments that you’ll go further staying out of the action until you have a premium hand to play.

When you do get dealt a premium hand you can make a big raise pre-flop to pick up the blinds, or you’ll have a big pot to bet at if someone decides to call your pre-flop raise. If there are players who are playing aggressively in late positions you can flat-call the blinds and wait for the aggressive player to make a late position raise in an attempt to steal the blinds. Once they raise the action you can come over them for a re-raise of your own. They’ll either get out of your way or you’ll most likely be able to bet them off after the flop.

It’s important to consider the situation of the tournament when you make decisions. If you have a big chip stack, and there’s only one player to go before the money, you might want to consider staying out of the action completely until the last player on the bubble is gone. Why risk anything when you have enough chips to pay blinds until another player gets knocked out? Fight the urge to win the tournament until you’ve made the money, then you can play for the tournament cash with all the aggression you want.

The big thing about tournament poker is to survive. The best way to survive in a poker tournament is to only get into hands with players that have fewer chips than you do. That way your tournament life is never at risk, and if you do lose the hand you’ll still have a chance to come back and win. This will be hard to do if your stack is short, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when your stack is around the average.

And finally, have some fun playing poker. It’s a skill game but luck still plays an important role. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some, but someone’s got to win the tournaments, and someone also has to win the Bodog Sports Fantasy Tournament grand prize.