Archive for February, 2009

Knowing when to Cash Out

Very rarely does a person get into poker for the pure enjoyment aspect of the game.  Instead, most poker players have one thing on their mind and one thing only: to win as much money as they possibly can before they quit the game.  But the thing is, no matter how much money a person makes playing poker they rarely ever bow out and just walk away altogether.

In fact, some people become so wrapped up in the fact that they can make quick, easy money with online poker that they start to lose reality with their finances.  This is why you see some of the best pros having to get staked and backed by others time and time again since they simply cannot get a handle on their spending habits.  Scotty Nguyen is one person that quickly comes to my mind when thinking of someone who could have left the game a long time ago and led a comfortable life.  Instead, it seems as if he is always playing to support himself no matter how much money he wins.

Jerry Yang, on the other hand, is pretty much the opposite of Nguyen since he made his money with the game after winning the 2007 WSOP Main Event and walked away.  $8.25 million richer, Yang chose to give some of his money to charity and use what was left of it to retire so he could spend more time with his family.  Now Yang mainly plays in small tournaments around his home in California.

To me it would be a big challenge to walk away from the game instead of trying to build your fortune, but it just seems like a lot of players get caught up in the poker lifestyle and go through the same cycle over and over again.  I know I’d be happier taking the Jerry Yang route.

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Poker Player has been Arrested for Murdering Parents

Last year, I remember deadspin.com doing an article on all of the questionable players in attendance at the WSOP.  The point of the article was to make the WSOP seem like a back-alley poker club where everyone at the event was some kind of thug or criminal.  But in the end, the author could only point out a handful of people out of the 50,000+ in attendance that had shady pasts.  When looking at the rest of the world, that’s really pretty normal.

However, the author of the article did happen to mention one person by the name of Ernie Scherer III who was a “person of interest” in the murder case of his parents.  Obviously this didn’t mean a whole lot back then because being a person of interest could mean just about anything.  But this simple phrase suddenly means a whole lot more now that Scherer has been arrested on a murder warrant for the beating deaths of his parents.

The 30 year-old pro player was previously a person of interest because he had owed his parents quite a bit of money and wasn’t paying up.  Many people around the poker community defended Scherer and said that he couldn’t hurt a fly, much less murder his parents.  However, there’s no defending him now as it appears he will stand trial for his parents’ murder.  Currently, Scherer is sitting in a Las Vegas jail cell without bail and awaits his trial date.

This is a very tragic story on many levels and will no doubt cause some negative publicity for the game of poker itself.  Poker is already fighting its reputation as a form of gambling and adding a murder to the mix won’t help matters much.  But, in the end, I think poker will be able to move past this tragedy.

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A Rush of Poker Player Signings

The economy is currently struggling in many parts of the world, but you’d never know it based on all of the recent poker signings that have been going on.  Several rooms have been very active over the past couple of weeks trying to sign as many top level players as they can in an effort to have the best of the best representing them.

Betfair Poker is the latest online poker room to join this wave of signings as they recently landed Danish pro Peter “Zupp” Jepsen.  Apparently, Betfair’s strategy in the race to secure talented and upcoming players is to find young and successful online players that have the potential to do well in the land-based tourneys as well.  This is evident from the other players they have such as online and land-based superstar Annette Obrestad.

Full Tilt Poker is another room that has been active now in signing players as they recently signed Denmark’s Soren Kongsgaard and Sweden’s Michael Tureniec.  As the second largest room in the world behind PokerStars, Full Tilt has lots of money to spend and they seem apt to do it by adding as much pro talent as possible in as many different regions as they can.  This was evident when they also signed Joao Barbosa of Portugal in an attempt to be the only room targeting the growing Portuguese market.

Of course Full Tilt isn’t the only place making moves since the biggest recent signing has to belong to Aced.com when they made a splash by signing Jamie Gold to their roster.   Gold has the largest tournament cash in history after winning the 2006 WSOP Main Event and remains a big name despite his lack of tourney success in the post-victory years.

With all of these recent poker signings, it will be interesting to see if the trend keeps up or if this is just a big rush that happened all at once.

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Making Sense of Vanessa Rousso’s SI Appearrance

Vanessa Rousso has made a big name for herself in the poker world with her game as well as her looks.  This poker babe has earned a 7th place finish at the WPT Championship event and has also cashed or won in several other meaningful events.  But recently, it has been her looks that has her name out in the news now since she recently appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.

Now obviously Rousso is definitely one of the hottest women ever to play poker and she is attractive in any kind of setting, but I never really thought of her as top notch model material.  After all, most of the women who make it into the SI Swimsuit magazine have dedicated their lives to developing the look and demeanor that will land them somewhere within the pages of the Swimsuit Edition.  Vanessa, on the other hand, spends a lot of her time at the poker tables and has made her living here while attending law school.

Then I found out that Rousso is not officially one of the models in the Swimsuit Issue, but rather someone featured in the advertising portion of the magazine.  She is featured in a two page spread where she is “swimming with the sharks”.  The ad is courtesy of PokerStars which is trying to promote their room everywhere now since they have plenty of funds to go around.

Vanessa definitely looks good in the advertisement and I think it’s a really cool advertisement by PokerStars in their effort to draw SI readers to their room.  However, I don’t think Vanessa will be leaving poker anytime soon to take the modeling world by storm.

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