1.Against All Odds

Introduction

Los Angeles poker classics

ESP

Bad Beat Poker

Pot-Limit Omaha

Spooky Hand

World Poker Challenge

Pot-Limit Hold'em Tournaments

Foxwood's Poker

Five-Star World Poker

World Series of Poker-2000

World Series Poker Championship

2.World Series of Poker Hands

Youngest World Champion

World Series Poker-1999

World Series Poker-1998

World Series Poker-2002

WSOP-2002

WSOP-1995

WSOP-1994

WSOP-1998

U.S.. Poker Championship-1999

WSOP-2000

WSOP's Winner-2000

WSOP-2003

WSOP's Record-2003

"Big One" in WSOP-2003

3.World Poker Tour

WPT-2002

World Poker Tour-2002

WPT's winner-2003

WPT-2004

WPT-2003

World Poker Tournament-2003

WPT's Event-2003

Foxwood's World Poker

Amir's Big Call

4.European Poker Tour

The Poker em

Poker In Amsterdam-1998

The Poker em-2000

Late Night Poker 3-2000

WHUPC-2003

5.Reading other Player's mail

WSOP-1992

Tournaments of Champion-1999

A Tale Of Four Bluffs

WSOP-2001

Commerce Casino-2002

No-Limit Hold'em Event-2002

 

Nor’ Easters Blowing Through    

In late 2002, two World Poker Tournament (WPT) events in one week-one in San Francisco and the other in Connecticut-guaranteed that many of the top poker players in the world would be doing a lot of flying.

  In addition to the big prize pools that are being offered by the WPT these days, the final six players all get to make the TV cut.  With more than a few oversize egos out there in the poker world (yes, I’m one of them), especially among the top players, making the TV table is an important factor these days!

            In the first event, at Lucky Chances Casino in Colma, California, south of San Francisco, I made the final six with $433,000 in chips and very high expectations for the next day.  We had begun play Sunday at 12:30 p.m. , and stopped when we hit the final six at 4:30 a.m. (more on long days below).  Connecticut native Paul Darden (a tough, up-and-coming young black player) was one of those who made the final table.  After a very disappointing fourth-place finish for me, and $34,000 in prize money.  I watched Paul play some beautiful poker and take down the $160,000 first prize, which included a $25,000 buy-in seat at the April 2003 WPT finals.  This was the first strike of the week for Paul, the nor Easter.

            The Lucky Chances tourney ended Monday, and all of the champion players (and the WPT staff, cameramen, and commentators) were on a plane for Foxwood's Casino in Connecticut by Tuesday for the Thursday $10,000 buy-in event.  We arrived to a nor Easter storm on the East Coast that was quite a shock to a California guy like me! The cold, hard winds and rain… Anyway, 90 players put up $10,200 each to play, and first place would be $360,000 this time around.  I was happy to make day two, along with 44 other players, with average chips of $18,800, but that was as far as I would go.  I picked up pocket queens against Tony Ma’s pocket kings.

            The action began on day two at 4:00 p.m.,  and didn’t end until we had the final six players at 6:30 a.m. the next day.  Yes, poker can be an endurance sport/test, and it helps to be in good physical condition for these long, pressure-filled plays.  Out of intellectual curiosity or, in other words, just to see how the other top players were playing, I hung out and watched the whole darn thing.

            As I studied them all night long, it became apparent that two players were distinguishing themselves from the field (again).  Both Layne Flack and Phil Ivey were already having great years in 2002, but none better than Phil. Phil Ivey won three World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments in 2002, an accomplishment that has been equaled only two other times in poker history.  But Layne Flack was right on Phil’s heels as far as accomplishments in 2002  were concerned; you see, Layne won two WSOP tournaments as well.  And Layne won more money with his two WSOP wins, which were both in no-limit Hold’em.

             What a showdown it was going to be! Layne coming back to day three with $270,000, and Phil coming back with the chip lead of $280,000-what a matchup we were going to have between two of the hottest poker players in the world that year.  It would be the “Layne and Phil show,” and the remaining players would be “the rest of the story.”

            Layne is very unpredictable, and a genius at no-limit Hold’em.  Phil Ivey is another talented young man, also a nor Easter.  Much like Paul Darden; do you see where I’m going with this?  Phil has been called the “Tiger Woods of poker” because he looks a lot like Tiger, and he has won four WSOP events already.

            But wait a minute, there was another nor Easter named Howard Lederer at the final table, with $93,000.  Although currently living in Las Vegas, Howard grew up on the East Coast and had lived in New York for many years.  With seven players left, the following hand came up between Layne Flack and Howard Lederer.  Layne opened for $6,000 in the first position, and after a moment of studying Layne, Howard announced, “I’m all-in for $26,000.” Layne said, “I call,” and flipped up his two hole cards, 8-8.  Howard then flipped up his K-J, and the flop came down 8-J-Q.

            Howard put his jacket on and stood up to leave, because Layne had flopped trips, and Howard would need two perfect cards in a row to win the pot.  Howard later told me, “In my mind, I was already at the airport in Providence leaving for home.” But wait a minute, Howard.  The next card off was a jack, and Howard had hit trip jacks.  Layne, however, still had the best hand, with a full house, eights full of jacks.  Howard would now need a jack, a queen, or a king.  The last card was a miracle king for Howard, making his jacks full of kings beat Layne’s eights full of jacks.  Howard had hit the perfect-perfect at exactly the right time! As Howard later told me, “It was just a very exciting pot where I was only a 12-to-10 underdog when the money went in.” Yep, Howard, you were 12-to-10 underdog when the money went in, but you were a 20-to-1 dog after the flop!

            After Howard survived the all-in, another player, not Howard, was eliminated to end the day.  This was one of the best no-limit Hold’em players in the world today, woman or man: Kathy Liebert.  Layne called her all-in bet with his Qh-10h to her K-K, and made a flush (ouch).  (By the way, WPT would have loved to another woman player in the final six.)

            The Phil versus Layne matchup never materialized, as a lot of us thought it might (Ivey finished fourth).  Instead, Howard ran his $93,000 up, until a Layne versus Howard  Matchup did By the way, Howard did win a WSOP tournament in 2002, and had the experience (he’s been playing high-stakes poker for 15 years) to face down Layne and win the title.  Two big WPT tourneys in one week and two nor Easter winners: congratulations to Paul Darden and Howard Lederer.

 

6.From The Other Side Of Table

WSOP-1974

Commerce Casino-1999

WSOP-1999

WPT-2003

Bellagio Poker

Ladies World Championship

High Limit Action in Houston

Commerce Casino's California-1999

Party Poker Million-2002

WSOP's Winner-2002

WSOP seven card stud-2000

Foxwood's Casino

Pot-Limit Hold'em Event

World Heads-Up Poker Tour

United States Poker Championship

7.Poker Hollywood Style

Chinese Poker

Bicycle Club Casino

Rounder's

Celebrity Poker

Hustler Casino

8.Cheesehead Poker

Poker in Madison

Bluffing

Sportsmen Club

Pot-Limit Hold'em At Nora's Bar

Big Game in Wisconsin

A GOLF STORY

ULTIMATEBET HAND

CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD

TOP MOMENTS IN POKER

THE NEXT POKER WAVE