A poker night to remember

Finally, we made it! As I said, sometimes I gather my friends to play some poker. We usually don’t play much anymore, since we all have different lives nowadays with families and commitments. But last night we actually gathered again to play some real live poker, which was the first time in several months. A new guy was with us, David. He was kind of quite, but boy could he play! After just two hours, he had earned almost half of all the the money at the table in winnings. And you know what he did then? He left! After two hours! We usually play until late night, so if a poker night lasts for 9 hours it’s not extraordinary. But I’ll guess this guy won’t get the chance to repeat his performance, because we all got very annoyed when he stood up and said that he had promised his wife to be home at a certain time. We all had a feeling he was lying and that he just wanted to keep the money and prevent us from enjoying ourselves. It wasn’t a lot of money, we never play high stakes, but still…

Since the atmosphere got kind of strange when the guy left and some of the money were gone, we decided to take an early night. One of my friends stayed a little bit longer and we started to check for hotels in Las Vegas. I think my wife has agreed to let me go during World Series of Poker, so we checked to see if the Golden Nugget had some rooms available during the tournament series. And they actually did. We haven’t booked yet, but we’re about to soon. We just want to compare a few other prices first to see which hotel that will suit us best. Since Golden Nugget is a classic hotel, it would be fun to stay there – “Experience Downtown Luxury” it says on Golden Nugget’s website.

We will also search for the possibility to win a seat online. A lot of poker rooms usually provides travel packages to side events, some of them even to Main Event. These packages usually includes a nice hotel (not in Downtown though, where we want to stay). Therefore we have to book a hotel that we can cancel, if we might win a package. That’s often a little more expensive if you want to be able to cancel, but I think it’s worth it. I’m pretty sure we won’t win a package anyway….

Top poker movies

Last night I watched Rounders. It was actually the first time I watched it. I might have seen it when it was released, but since that is almost 20 years ago I didn’t remember anything about it. I can really recommend it! I understand why it’s the best poker movie according to IMDb. Matt Damon does a great performance, which also Edward Norton does. The film is about the underground world of High Stakes poker and two friends that has to make a lot of money playing poker to pay off a debt.

Even if your not a poker player it’s a great film to watch, but if you know a little about the game, the movie becomes even better. In a review on IMDb, you can read the following:

If you are a poker fan, then I recommend you see this film, hopefully you’ll enjoy it. I myself am not a huge fan of poker, but I do play the occasional game and I loved this film. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the acting, EVERYTHING. I truly hope you enjoy the film. Thanks for reading,

Chris

This was just a short part of one of many positive reviews.

So if we take a look at some of the other top 10 movies that IMDb has listed we find Maverick with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in second place. It’s about Maverick that need money to a poker tournament and faces a lot of problems a long the way. Sure, it’s a good film, but in my opinion you can’t compare it with Rounders.

In third place comes Cincinnati Kid, which is also about high stakes poker. I haven’t seen this movie so I might have something to look forward to here.

In fourth place comes the James Bond movie Casino Royale. It was a long time ago I saw it, but if I remember it correctly it was the first Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. I remember it was very good anyway, Bond had to defeat a weapons dealer in high stakes poker.

The other movies on the list is:

5. The Grand
6. Shade
7. Deal
8. Lucky You
9. All In: The Poker Movie
10. Stuey

I can’t say much about them since I haven’t seen them – yet. I think I’ll have some great nights in front of me! I don’t know which one to start with though, perhaps Lucky You since Drew Barrymore is starring in it…

If you have any other tips on poker movies, please contact me so I can add them to my list. For now I present a movie clip from Rounders. Spoiler alert, since it’s the final hand. John Malkovich is doing one of his best performances ever, he’s truly a great actor, which is shown here.

Have a great weekend!

Largest win ever: Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio Esfandiari – the master, the magician and the genius. Antonio Esfandiari won the poker tournament Big One for One Drop in 2012, which had the largest buy-in in history. The buy-in was $1 000 000 and the rake went to charity if I remember it correctly. I think it went to an organization that provides pure water to needed. Anyway, it was a huge achievement for him to accomplish and he was awarded with $18 346 673, for his performance, which I think is the largest prize in history.

But Esfandiari has made several other performances, not only within poker. Perhaps you didn’t know that he actually is a professional magician as well. He is also known for his excellent chip tricks. But Esfandiari has of course made great achievements within poker. He has actually won 2 World Poker Tour titles and 3 World Series of Poker bracelets (one of them was the Big One for One Drop tournament). He was after winning the Big One ranked as the poker player with all-time poker tournament winnings until Daniel Negreanu took this title in 2014.

Antonio Esfandiari was born In Teheran in Iran in 1978, but nowadays he lives in San Fransisco, California. He actually moved to California at the age of nine together with his family. His birth name was Amir, but he later changed this to Antonio due to his dreams to become a magician – “Antonio the Magician”. After becoming a magician he was introduced to poker and started playing Texas Hold’em. And what a good thing he did, considering his achievements within the game. He won his first main title in 2004 when he won WPT L.A Poker Classics and just a few months later he won his first WSOP bracelet. His winnings in live tournaments exceeds $26 million….

Antonio has also starred in several TV-shows, amongst other Poker After Dark.

But yet he hasn’t won a title on the European Poker Tour but I’m pretty sure he will soon. He actually tried at PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2016, but was disqualified from Main Event after a prop bet which med him urinate in a bottle. Was it worth it? Well, if you have more than $26 million in winnings I guess it doesn’t matter…

Antonio Esfandiari is one of the best poker players alive according to my personal opinion. It will be interesting to follow his career, because I’m pretty sure he has a lot more to offer. He is still quite young and if you consider his achievements so far, I’ll guess ha has the possibility to double his winnings during his lifetime. It would have been really cool if he was about to play The Big One for One Drop again this year (pretty sure he will) and win it! I’ll guess that would be a performance that is really difficult to accomplish, so if someone can do it, it is Antonino.

Well, here you can see some chip secrets from Esfandiari, but I think the coolest of them all is the card trick in the end. Check it out!

Texas Hold’em

How to play Texas Hold'em This time I’m going to talk about Texas Hold’em, which of course is my favorite game. I guess Texas Hold’em nowadays is the most famous and popular game when it comes to poker. I saw quite a good article about Texas Hold’em rules at Poker Omega and I will try to tell more about the rules here as well.

In Texas Hold’em you play with a deck of 52 cards. Each player has a starting stack and is dealt two hole cards by a dealer (button). These cards are private to the player. At the table your playing with one big blind and one small blind, for example $1/$2. The player next to the big blind goes first and decide if he wants to be part of the game. It costs one big blind if he wants to call, but he can also raise or fold. Then it’s next player’s turn etc. The round is completed when everyone has made the same bets (if one should decide to raise) or if everyone had a chance to act (if none decides to call, the pot goes to the big blind).

After the betting round it’s time for the flop. Top card is burned (thrown away) and three cards is dealt on the table face up. A new betting round takes it’s beginning for the players still in the game. Here the player can use their two hole cards to get a hand, for example pair, three of a kind etc.

After the betting round it’s time for the turn. A new card is burned and one card is dealt on the table. A third betting round takes place.

If there still is more than one player in the game after this betting round it’s time for the river. One card is thrown away and one is dealt face up at the table. A new betting round takes place and then it’s time for showdown, where the best hand wins the pot. The showdown starts with the player closest to the left of the dealer showing his cards and if the player next to him has the loosing hand, he can decide to muck. The winning hand is the hand with the best combination of five of the cards in your hand and on the table. This player wins the pot. The goal is to win as many chips as possible.

Texas Hold’em is a really fun game and this was the basic rules.

My god!

Last night I played a tournament online and won! I actually got around $500 in first prize!!! Amazing!!! The buy-in was only $20, so we were a lot of participants which made the whole thing more fun.

I actually got AA three times during the tournament, which is incredible, but I believe it wasn’t just the cards that made my winnings. I actually thought I played very well if I can say so myself. I made every move correct, thinking about the pot odds, position and the rest of the players. I had an aggressive player to my right when reaching the final table, and he (or she, but I got the impression it was a he) was a bit difficult to handle because. He was very unpredictable, but I tried to keep calm and play my cards right, not taking to many chances. Of course I was bluffing a few times, that’s a must when playing poker, but I got pretty good cards, so I didn’t have to take very big chances. And what do you know, it obviously paid out! :)

The tournament took a couple of hours, so I guess my wife won’t be very glad if I consider playing tonight again. But I really want to! Perhaps I can share my winnings from yesterday with her and try to bribe her. I have set my sight on a tournament with a $32 buy-in that’s a satellite to a live tournament. Not World Series of Poker unfortunately, but I think it was a ticket to a final in which packages to MPNPT was in the pot. I’m not sure it was this live tournament, I will have to look it up but when I quickly read about it everything sounded good. I hope I can give it a go!

On Sunday I will play another tournament, Spela Poker Mania, which I normally do every Sunday. I have played almost every Sunday for a couple of years now, so it’s become a tradition. Buy in is just around €5 and it’s over €500 added so I think it’s a good value. It’s through the site spelapoker.se.

World Series of Poker

WSOPI would really love to go to Las Vegas this summer! A while ago the schedule for World Series of Poker 2016 was released and this year the tournament series will include even more poker events! The tournament will take place at Rio All-Suit Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as usual between 31st of May and 18th of July. The final table in Main Event will be played in October/November and what joy it must to be one of the nine that will take their seats…. This year I’ve read that Main Event will have more starting chips than before. All $10 000 events will have 50 000 in starting chips.

Another great thing about this year’s tournaments is that more places will be paid. The payout will increase to 15% of the field, before it was 10 %.

I read this about the changes at WSOP.com:

Revamping the Places Paid in events – to increase payouts to 15% of the field.
In the Money Earlier – With payouts increasing to 15% of the field, wsop expect to reach the money earlier in events.
New Start Times – The majority of events have been to 11am and 3pm starts – up one hour from previous.
Five Times Starting Chips – All $10,000 buy-in events this year will get 50,000 starting chips – including the Main Event
Structure Tweaks – WSOP have provided structure sheets for each event on the schedule page.

This year there will be 69 official gold bracelets events. How cool would it be to play in one? I honestly consider the Colossus event, because the buy in is only $565, which I can afford. Of course that also means that a lot of players will participate in this event, so I’ll guess my chance of getting paid is very low. But since they have increased the places paid, you’ll never know. I thought I read though, that 22 000 players participated last year. But I can be wrong about this number because it sounds incredible. Anyway, I think the prize pool will be $7 million in this event this year. That’s a lot!

If I’m going to Vegas I think I will have to start to prepare my family now. World Series of Poker will be played during 50 days, so I can go time during this period if my family will let me. Even if I won’t play it would be fun to watch and perhaps see some of the great players in action. It would be great to see Doyle Brunson of course! And Phil Hellmuth – what if he wins another bracelet and sets his own record – again! I think he has 14 now, which is more than any other poker player In the world. I would be glad to just get one….

I think a friend of mine is also considering going to Las Vegas this summer so hopefully I can join him. We have found a Swedish poker guide that provides useful information about Las Vegas. This time we are thinking about staying in Downtown, since we read that the casinos in Downtown are a bit looser concerning the rules and a bit cheaper when placing bets. It’s also a nice atmosphere there. If we decide to play in World Series of Poker, a cab is always an easy way to get around in Las Vegas.

Which Poker Room should you choose?

The first thing you should consider when starting to play poker is which poker room you should choose. Even though many of them share the same network they can differ a bit. The iGaming Company you choose can be more or less safe and provide different types of campaigns and bonuses. I’m a member at several poker rooms and what I do is that I never sign up at a poker room I haven’t heard about. A good reputation is really important in this business. I google a bit and look at different forums to see what players have to say about the poker room I’m interested in. If they have bad things to say or if they only have good things to say about the poker room. Most of the poker rooms that are famous are really good ones, otherwise they wouldn’t stand out in a competitive business.

One thing I consider is about the payment. How long does it take for the company to fix the payout? That’s interesting, because you really want your winnings as quick as possible, but sometimes it can take several days before you see them in you bank account.

I also consider the campaigns, if they can provide a lot of bonuses, big tournaments, satellites to live tournaments etc. That’s important to me.

Also, you should take a look what games they offer, what formats, stakes, buy-ins etc. I guess to many this is the most crucial part when it comes to choose on online poker room. It can also be of significance what kind of players you will meet, if you only meet amateurs or professionals. Like Unibet for instance, when they modernized their poker room, they were very clear that their target were hobby players. While I guess you will find more professional players at the world largest poker room, PokerStars. I am member on both these poker rooms and when I play it depends on my mood which I choose that day. Or if there are any fun tournaments scheduled :)

I will also recommend you to look for poker guides that specializes on writing reviews and will therefor check up the poker room in detail. Here you can read about different poker rooms and compare them.

It’s free to sign up at a poker room, so you can do this before deposit real money to get a good look at the poker room before starting to play.

Depending on where you live, you should also look for the poker room’s license. For example, I live in Sweden where gambling online is legal and if you win in a poker game on an iGaming Company that is licensed within the European Union you don’t have to pay tax for your winnings. This you have to do if the poker room is licensed elsewhere and then you have to keep track in your winnings yourself, which can be a bit tricky.

Well, this is some of the features I think about when choosing a poker room. Do you think differently or have any more tips, please contact me. It would also be interesting to hear which poker room you recommend.
Chosing Poker Room

Welcome to High Stakes Poker!

Here we talk about everything that relates to poker High Stakes Poker. It can be about the television-show, about the feeling when winning a poker game, what to think about when playing high stakes poker and the feeling of loosing in high stakes poker. I will talk about some of my favorite poker players which aren’t afraid of playing high stakes poker! Players like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth and Viktor Blom are among my favorites.

You can play high stakes poker online or in a live casino. All you need is to have a lot of cash in hand… For example, in the television show High Stakes Poker the minimum cash buy in were $100 000 but were later raised to $500 000.

I will also discuss some of the worlds largest tournaments. Like The Big One for One Drop which has a $1 000 000 buy in. In 2012 the tournament was won by Antonio Esfandiari, who then got the largest cash prize in the history of poker. He won $18 346 673, an amount you can only dream of! The tournament is played every second year during World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. During this tournament poker players from all around the world gathers in Las Vegas to prove their skill. I would really like to go there some day. Main Event costs $10 000, so perhaps one day I can fulfill my dream of playing there.

Poker is a game of skill but also a bit of luck. There are a lot of books to improve your game and also television shows. Poker Players love to share their knowledge for a bit of extra cash. One of my favorite shows are Poker After Dark and I usually follow tournaments all around the world live stream. It’s interesting to analyze the game when you see the hole cards.

Anyway, welcome to my blog, hope you will enjoy it!