Something has to change – Part 2

February 17, 2011 4 comments

I’m considering leaving the TPT.

In part 1, I talked a great deal about what got me to my spot today.  Here, I want to focus on the coming days and months in front of me.

I want to begin by saying that I love the Twitter Poker Tour.  When I was going through some of my darkest moments during that hell of 12 month period, the TPT was an escape from reality that I could count on every Thursday to simply enjoy a few hours.  It was something that I could look forward to each week. Something that I wanted to participate in, and gained enjoyment from the camaraderie among the group.  When I joined with Geoff in assisting to run the league with him and host the TPT Live Show, I was having fun, and didn’t mind the hours of work that went into it each week.  I enjoyed it, and it kept me busy and distracted, all things that I needed.

A little over a year has passed and there have been a few success stories that I can share with the TPT.  I enjoyed the trip to the WSOP.  I’m happy with all of the guests that we landed for our show.  And I’m grateful for all of the hours on the virtual felt with people whom I consider my friends.  But I look back at all of the  hours that I’ve invested, and I can’t help but think about why I did it.  I did it as an escape from my reality.  I did it because I had hoped that it would evolve into something that generates some kind of money. While it accomplished those things,  it’s also really swallowed several hours of my week without pay.  And I don’t know that I can really justify doing that much longer. Read more…

Categories: Blog Post

Something has to change – Part 1

February 16, 2011 3 comments

August 28th, 2009.  I quit.

I’d never walked away from a job before.  I’ve moved onto different opportunities that were better, and I’ve been laid off a couple of times.  But I’ve never actually just left a job.  I remember the day well, and I remember it being an incredibly difficult and gut wrenching phone call that I needed to make, but just hadn’t really wanted to.  But it needed to happen, and so I called my boss and told him that I just couldn’t live like this anymore.  And I quit.

I had been working as the sales manager for a company that was running out of money.  They had brought me on board to run their sales team, and I was pretty good at it.  Our sales picked up considerably, but our receivables went into the dump as the real estate market in Southern California tanked, and deals began falling through right and left.  That left a large portion of the sales we made uncollected, and our debt began to rise.  But the company had some solid investors that were comfortable dumping money into the concept given the volume of sales that we’d generated.  That was until some of the money was found being skimmed off the top to pay for “business expenses” incurred, like our President’s house payment, and his SUV, and the like.  You know…”necessary stuff.”   The investors turned off the faucets, and the company went into a nosedive. Read more…

Categories: Blog Post

How would you select the Top 200 Poker Players?

January 28, 2011 2 comments
Jeffrey Pollack and Annie Duke are launching a new poker league that is the subject of much conjecture (celeb impersonator Joan Rivers hasn't weighed in yet)

Jeffrey Pollack and Annie Duke are launching a new poker league that is the subject of much conjecture (celeb impersonator Joan Rivers hasn't weighed in yet)

Twitter blew up today with a raging debate about the selection process of whom should be included in the new Federated Poker League (I call it that because it doesn’t have an official title as of yet) that is going to be run by Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack.  The intent is to create an exclusive league that features roughly 200’ish live poker tournament players and pit them together in a series of events held at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.  The big topic of debate has been, how do you select the top 200 poker players to participate in the events?

The basic concept of the new FPL (as I’m calling it for this article), would be to have a measurable set of criteria that is a basic mathematic formula that will determine who will get a “card” to play in the events.  Think of the Professional Golf Association.  The PGA has certain players that have earned a “tour card” based on their performances in Golf Tournaments around the globe.  Then, there are open events that have a qualifying process for the players that aren’t Card Carrying members.  Finally, each stop has “Sponsors exemptions” where awards a certain number of spots are given away into their marquee events, that is usually some kind of publicity stunt, or given to some player that hasn’t been able to gain entry because of some extenuating circumstance.  This is the goal of the FPL, to have it mirror what is done by the PGA.  The idea is to get around 200 pro’s together with around 9 qualifiers, making it a very exclusive event, that’s very pro-centric. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #3 Tom Dwan

January 14, 2011 3 comments
Tom Dwan

Tom "Durrrr" Dwan finishing 2nd in a WSOP Event was perhaps the biggest spectacle in a non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history.

There is perhaps no more polarizing poker figure today than that of Tom Dwan.  If he’s playing poker, there are scores of eyeballs that want a peak at what he’s doing, what plays he’s making, and what the stakes are for.  Even online, railbirds show up in droves to get a glimpse of “Durrrr” taking on the world’s best poker players for stack sizes that many people won’t make in a lifetime.  He’s been involved in more than his fair share of a few million dollar pots, a few high stakes challenges, and a few entertaining prop bets, all the while drawing the interest of both the poker junkie and the casual fan.

Dwan’s career story is one that make people believe that anything is possible.  In much the same way that Chris Moneymaker ignited the poker boom in 2003, the emergence of Durrrr in 2004 on Full Tilt Poker launched a poker phenom that the public saw navigate his way from playing $6 Sit and Go tournaments off of a $45 stake from his grandfather, to playing at the highest cash games online.  Dwan has been the epitome of variance, with the most drastic up and down swings, and his meteoric rise to the top of Poker’s elite became all the more interesting when he signed as a member of Team Full Tilt in early November 2009.  Donning the red triangle on his shirt at live tournaments and high stakes live cash games around the globe, Dwan made huge waves at the World Series of Poker in 2010 with a great number of stories.  But his run in Event #11, a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Event had a back story with the likes of which was something that the World Series of Poker hadn’t ever really seen before.  The end result was a memory for everyone that will be forever etched into the poker world, one which people will recant as “I remember that WSOP event when Tom Dwan….” and everyone will fill in their own blank. In fact, the moment created by Dwan may have a larger historical impact on the game of poker than the Main Event this year, which is why I have him ranked above that story. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #4 Tom Marchese

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Tom Marchese

Tom Marchese had a magnificent year, and finished as CardPlayer Player of the Year in 2010

I recognize the fact that I’ve been lagging on getting these stories up.  It’s been two weeks since my last post on Pablosplace, and really there is no excuse why I couldn’t finish the December Countdown of the Top 2010 Poker Player Stories in the month of December other than laziness.  So here we are at the second week of January, and life is settling down enough to the point that I’m going to blog again.  But before I get to talk about the things going on in my life, I want to complete this series.  So I say “hang on” to all of you that want to hear about the Pablosplace White Elephant gift exchange night, The recent Team7Deuce journey to the Bicycle Casino, and my biggest poker tournament cash to date.  I’ll get to those.  But for now, I want to get back to wrapping up the last four stories of 2010, because they’re worth telling.

At the Borgata Winter Open in January, there probably wasn’t a soul at the tables that had heard of the name Tom Marchese.  But slowly he racked up a chip stack en route to finishing in 3rd place in the $3,300 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event, and would book a $190,027 score.  Full Tilt Poker pro Jeff Madsen would win the event outright for a $625k payday and get all of the accolades, and deservedly so.  But what nobody realized was that the 3rd place finisher in this event was going to outdistance every other player in the world with performances that continued to turn heads at every stop that Marchese made. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #5 Sorel Mizzi

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment
Sorel Mizzi

Sorel Mizzi made headlines in 2010 by winning the Bluff Player of the Year, but was also mired in controversy

2010 was a tale of two stories for Sorel Mizzi.  The first story comes from his play in the live tournament  circuit, where if there was an award for “player of the half-year,” Mizzi won it in a landslide.  It’s hard to quantify exactly how good Mizzi’s first five months of the year were, other than to say that it was so good that he had the Bluff Magazine Player of the Year honor virtually locked up by the time that the calendar got to May.  Let’s take a look at the results from the first 5 months of the year:

January – Mizzi finished 5th in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5k Heads-up event, and 13th in the $5k prelim.  Then 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main event.

February – 2 final tables at the L.A. Poker Classic (a 2nd and 6th place finish) and 2 more at the Wynn Classic (a 6th place finish and a win in the $2k event)

March – Mizzi won TWO events at the EPT Snowfest at Hinterglemm.

April – Mizzi wins the $7,200 Buy in Main Event East Coast Championship at Borgata, and min-cashes at the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event.

May – A runner up at the WPT Rendez-Vous á Paris in France at the £25,000 Buy-in High Roller Event.

All told, the first 5 months of the year accounted for 10 final tables, with 4 of them resulting in Mizzi winning the tournament.  The sum total of his cashes was nearly $1.5 million by May, Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #6 Frank Kassela

December 29, 2010 1 comment
Frank Kassela

Frank Kassela's Two WSOP Bracelet wins, and 3 final tables made him the 2010 WSOP Player of The Year

I’m hesitant to call Frank Kassela’s 2010 a “breakout year” because as it turns out, he’s been playing solid poker since 2003.  A regular at final tables in tournaments around the U.S. for the last 7 years, Kassela had his best professional year yet in 2010 and on the World’s biggest stage.  The Tennessee native has been at the World Series of Poker a number of times in the past, and is no stranger to WSOP final tables. In fact in 2005, he shipped in pocket Aces with 4 players remaining in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, and got a caller in Johnny Chan with Q-Q.  But Chan spiked the Q, and found a way to use those chips to collect his 10th WSOP Bracelet as Kassela exited the tournament in 4th place.  5 years later, Kassela started the WSOP strong as he finising in 10th place in a $1,500 buy in Limit Hold’em event when his pocket tens failed to hold against Terrence Chan’s Ac-Jc.  But the final table bubble was just a precursor to the best WSOP performance of the year, and an important stepping stone to becoming the 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. Read more…

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