Friday, March 10, 2006

PokerParty Stories

Being a professional poker player is obviously risky business and especially for those players that like to engage themselves into the highest stake
PokerParty cash games. Some pro's have a difficult time covering their entry fees, or at least they do not want to put up their own cash to get into the event. For these players, they try and locate some other player to back them, and if they find someone who is willing to stake them, the payback is typically arranged in sharing the player's earnings. In some cases, if a player does not finish in the money in a particular event and if there was a no strings attached deal in place, then the player does not have to pay the player back. In other circumstances they definitely have to get the money back to the player. This is obviously some risky business, and you will see some friendships won and lost under these circumstances.

Below are some excerpts about poker players staking one another and the
PokerParty outcomes:

Poker players “stake” other players and they pay a portion of their tournament entry fees in exchange for a portion of their winnings—all the time. But players with a financial interest in each other don’t end up meeting at the final table of a major tournament every day, like the story below.

In November 2004, Hasan Habib and Tuan Le flew together from Los Angeles to Connecticut to play in the World Poker Tour’s Foxwoods tourney. They decided to take a piece of each other (Habib’s piece much bigger), so if either (or both) cashed, they’d share the profits. Since
Le won the whole thing for $1.55-million, there were lots of profits to go around. And with the win, Le also earned a seat in the WPT season finale championship event at Bellagio. So as part of their gentlemen’s agreement, the “piece” would carry over to the April ’05 tourney.

Not only did Le win that one too, but he did so having personally ousted Habib from the final table in third place.

Before assuming the worst, know that prior to play at the final table, Le and Habib had the integrity to disclose all of the details of their arrangement to WPT CEO and founder Steve Lipscomb and the other four players at the final table. Everyone was fine with their arrangement
and how it played out.

But nobody could have been happier about it than Habib, who staked his way to an extremely profitable WPT season.

This is one circumstance where the deal came through significantly for both players. Tuan Le is an unbelievable poker player and he obviously made the poker world very aware of his name this past season on the WPT. He was Card Player's player of the year.

Here is an excerpt from the book "The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King" speaking about the big game and Ted Forrest's introduction to playing in the big game.

"What's the biggest game in the room?" Ted expected to hear that an afternoon $400-$800 game was getting started, which would have been just big enough to draw him into the room.

After a pause, the floorman said,"Ten-and-twenty-thousand Texas Hold 'Em."

Ted must have heard wrong. The biggest game ever at the Bellagio had been $4,000-$8,000, and this was more than twice that size. A game that large doesn't just materialize on a Wednesday afternoon.

"Are you sure that's right? Ten-and-twenty thousand?"

"Yeah," the floorman answered, unemotional. "That's what they're playing."

Ted struggled to clear his head as he drove toward the Bellagio. His palms had gone cold and clammy.

His heart was pounding, as if to drown out any remaining doubts. He had just enough money-his entire bankroll-to buy into the biggest poker game of his life and be at a significant disadvantage in chips.

Five hundred thousand dollars sounded like a lot of money, but it wasn't. When it came out of the box, it was income. You could buy things with it, invest it, even give it away. Then, it was a lot of money. While it was in the box, however, it was working capital, and even mom-and-pop operators would tell you that a half-million dollars was not much working capital for a capital intensive business.

To me it's crazy that these guys think that five hundred thousand dollars is not a lot of money. I sure could use five hundred thousand dollars right about now, but who couldn't right?. This just goes to show you the value of a dollar to a professional poker player is completely different than the value of a dollar to everyone else. Even if you have a boat load of money, five hundred thousand dollars is a substantial amount to present the opportunity of giving it away.

Ted sat down in Seat Six, to Chip Reese's left and across from the dealer. The best seat was the empty seat between the stranger and Chip, Seat Three. Position is important in Texas Hold 'Em and Seat Three would put Ted to the left of the stranger, acting after him throughout the hand,
two-thirds of the time. Forrest and Reese would be trying to win money from each other, but they had played each other for years and knew each other's expert skills. Both expected their profit to come from the businessman. Reese, however, obviously left Seat Three open to give him
and the stranger a little space, not as an invitation for someone to take over that prime position (as if anyone other than Ted Forrest would just wander into a $10,000-$20,000 poker game).

I thought this was a pretty cool segment as this is the introduction of Andy Beal to the big game and his name has surfaced a lot around the poker world in the last month or so (Andy Beal is the businessman). Obviously he was getting his poker fix in awhile ago and he will not go unnoticed anymore.

Ted decided not to start the game with a confrontation. Anybody with the minimum buy-in could sit in any open seat in the Bellagio poker room. Reese would have objected, however, and it wasn't worth starting the game with a fight. It was enough that Ted felt the butterflies in his stomach he hadn't felt since his $15-$30 stud days, when he was putting most of his bankroll on the line whenever he played.

Against an unfamiliar opponent, Ted Forrest tried to keep an open mind. He respected their bets until he learned how they played. This was not a matter of courtesy. For Ted, it was good strategy. Too many pros assumed an unfamiliar player didn't know how to play, refusing to give him credit for having a big hand when he led the betting. In the end, the pro would learn the new player's style and adjust, but underestimating a new player's ability was the more expensive error. If he overestimated a player's skill, he would get that money back when the player continued believing he could bluff Ted Forrest off his hand. Not giving the new player proper respect, however, could cost a lot of bets in the short term.

In $10,000-$20,000 Texas Hold 'Em, the blinds are $5,000 and $10,000. With three players, it was costing Ted a minimum of $15,000 every three hands just to sit at the table. It was an excruciatingly expensive way to get a read on the new player, a Texas banker named Andy Beal. Beal was very aggressive, playing nearly every hand, raising most of the time. It was costing Ted $20,000 per hand to see the flop, and his bankroll was taking a beating. After twenty minutes, Ted was down to his last $100,000, and he hadn't even gotten involved in many pots.

Oh, my God, he thought, what am I doing? Why did I sit down?

I couldn't imagine the stress that would go on in my mind if I just saw that much money just disappearing without even really getting a chance to act. Obviously, these guys play for enormous amounts of cash and they have no qualms backing themselves (as with the latest Andy Beal defeat of 16.6 million dollars). I don't know how these guys are able to do it, but good on them and I look forward to hearing more and more stories about these guys and the big game.

Don't forget the partypoker bonus code 20BR for your next

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