The Windy City Rounder

Poker Archives

A Eulogy for the WPT

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

WPT Logo.jpg

Like many of you, I fooled myself for years.

I saw our beloved friend, the World Poker Tour, exhibit the first signs of trouble back in 2008, when its strongest limb, the WPT Championship, suffered a strong blow, falling slightly in both attendance and prize pool.

A momentary slip up, I thought. A brief dip to show us that everything in the world is, in fact, mortal.

I mean, this was the WPT. The tour that in 2005 bounced back immediately after it's darling child, the Professional Poker Tour, expired, having made it only one season. The tour that stemmed the tides of adversity when the World Series of Poker Circuit tried to encroach on the WPT's God-given territory back in 2006. The tour of Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren and J.C. Tran; the tour of exotic locations, poker legends and millions of dollars.

But we should have known...everything is mortal.
    
  
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History of Online Poker Part III: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

EPT.jpg

We last left our online poker story hinting that the industry would fall into some sort of precarious predicament.

And if you are expecting a full course rebound, I'm sorry, this is history class.

Not all is sour grapes and poison pills, however. So don't worry too much about your online bankroll and read on to find out what is the position online poker finds itself in today...

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History of Online Poker Part II: From Boom to Bust

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Moneymaker.jpg

Sorry again for the technical difficulties of the past few days, but we're finally back up and ready to continue the story.

...and, save some sort of continued computing problems, the final part of this series--part III--should be up tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

Okay, without further adieu, here is part II of the history of online poker...enjoy!
 
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History of Online Poker Part I: The Primer

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Poker.jpg


If you're a fan of poker, you're aware of online poker's impact on the game.

However--per some of your emails--, many you poker fanatics out there still don't know where this form of poker came from or how it developed.

Don't fret my friends, after much research I've put together a series of articles outlining online poker's interesting history.

I hope this answers most of your questions, enjoy!


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Poker's "New" All-Star Game

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

WSOP.jpg
Harrah's announced a few weeks ago the return of it's all-star event, the Tournament of Champions.

This will be the third incarnation of the invitational poker tournament. Originally conceived by Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in 1999, the first Tournament of Champions was open to players who had won a "major tournament" in the last calendar year. Sexton was able to get Doyle Brunson to commit to at least host the event and the first Tournament of Champions ran pretty well from all accounts, being based at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The event, however, didn't last; 2001 being the last year for the Tournament of Champions in it's original format.

With the poker boom in 2003, however, came a revived version of Sexton's idea. In 2004, Annie Duke bested a select group of ten top level players to capture the $2,000,000 freeroll prize at the Rio Hotel and Casino in the new Tournament of Champions.

After complaints of fairness the tournament was tweaked again the next year, allowing players the ability to qualify through their yearly results. This format again failed to garner widespread support, dissolving in 2006 with Mike Sexton fittingly being the event's final champion.

Well it's back once again, only with a new, and I think improved, format. Sure there are automatic entries, Sexton, Duke and Mike Matusow get in as the last three Tournament of Champions winners and Joe Cada and Barry Shulman get byes to the event based on their performances in 2009--Cada in the 2009 WSOP Main Event and Shulman in the 2009 WSOPE Main Event. And Harrah's is holding on to two yet-to-be-named invitational spots. Ultimately, however, I think this new Tournament of Champions will be successful.

Why this one, you ask?

Well Harrah's has placed the keys for players to get in squarely in the fans' hands, with online voting. Any player who has ever won a WSOP bracelet is eligible--sorry Tom Dwan, Patrick Antonius and Bertrand Grospellier, your accomplishments won't get you in this year--ensuring that the 2010 Tournament of Champions will be a fan favorite field.

Anyone can vote by going the the World Series of Poker's website, only one vote per person.

I think I went in a little different direction for my picks than most people. Instead of going for the players I like the most or the player who I think have had the best career, I treated the voting like any major sports all-star game; basically, the best players of late.

So you might notice that some poker greats, like Dan Harrington and Doyle Brunson, are conspicuously absent from my ballot. This is because I picked players based on their success over the past two years.

Disagree if you'd like, but I think this is the best formula for an ever changing, semi-merit based all-star event.

Anyway, on to my picks!

Gallery sneak peek (20 images):

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The Double Deuce Poker League: A Small Taste of Nostalgia

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Wisconsin.jpg

About two hours outside Chicago, just north of Beloit on U.S. Route 51, is a small sports bar called Bobbleheads.

Bobbleheads is surrounded on all sides by farmland and would be the quintessential hole-in-the wall if there was a wall nearby for it to be recessed in. All in all, Bobbleheads probably wouldn't seem all that inviting to novice players, looking to join a small poker league.

The bar reminds me, however, of poker history, specifically my poker history.

A double apartment in Rochester, NY, the back of cigar shop in Southern Pennsylvania, the attic of an Italian restaurant in Chicago, these nondescript locations are my poker roots and, like the small sports bar in Southern Wisconsin, carry with them a tremendous amount of character and spirit that just can't be found at your run of the mill casino card room.
 
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Interview with Poker Entrepreneur Taylor Caby: Runnin' Down a Dream

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

taylor-caby-01.jpg

So you're a young college kid, playing a lot of poker in your dorm room and making some money. The world seems like your oyster, what do you do next?

If your answer was "blow all your money, stupidly," you don't know what I'm getting at here.

In 2005, Taylor "GreenPlastic" Caby was just that college kid, but instead of buying an ungodly amount of cheap beer and pizza--as would be expected for his collegiate position--this high stakes online poker player from Chicago parlayed his poker success into a well-known poker training website, Cardrunners, with the help of his poker playing friend, Andrew Wiggins.

Caby was able to speak with me recently about his success with poker, Cardrunners and what he is thinking for the future.  
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CPC Final Day: Triple Your Pleasure, Triple Your Fun

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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(Courtesy of IMPDI)

It's finally over. After ten days filled with bad beats and lucky suck-outs we finally have a new champion of all Chicago poker.

The series didn't go quietly into the night, however. Nope, the final day was instead the CPC's busiest, with three tournaments playing down to a champion on Sunday.

You read that right, three played down to a winner in one day, when the three-day main event collided with a two-day $350 event and a one-day turbo tournament.

Needless to say, the day was a bit tiring.

Anyway, here's how the CPC wrapped-up... 

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CPC Days 8 and 9: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Horseshoe IMPDI.JPG

(Courtesy of IMPDI)

Well, we're officially nearing the end. Seven poker filled days have led to this, the main event, the championship for all of Chicago poker.

With so many players and so little sleep, action was fast, some might say crazy at times.

But a select few were able to navigate their way to the tournament's final day.

Here's a look at how they did it...

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CPC Days 6 and 7: Driving Off Into The Sunset?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Car IMPDI.jpg

(Courtesy of IMPDI)


Two new champions were crowned over the past two days. In events that happened to be total opposites--the second $200 no limit hold'em event and the $1,000 heads-up.

Sure they were both no limit hold'em and I'm sure there was still some crossover between the fields, but in reality they were events put on the CPC schedule for very different reasons.

The heads-up event, with its bigger buy-in, was scheduled to be the crown jewel of the series; a figure piece that could draw bigger name professionals away from their Las Vegas poker dens and European vacations to play in Chicago.

And from what I could tell, it worked. The bigger buy-in, specialty event with a bonus luxury car in the mix managed to attract some rather well known gamblers.

As poker pro Dwyte Pilgrim told me on Wednesday, "It was the reason I came."

On the other hand--without trying to sound too communistic--the $200 event was a tournament for the people. A buy-in low enough to attract the novice players, in a game that everyone now seems to know.

At face value the two tournaments seem quite unequal, but we're all about balance here at ChicagoNow, so I'll try to be as fair with my coverage of both as I can. 

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CPC Day 5: Results for Event 4 AKA What Could Have Been

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…


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(Courtesy of IMPDI)


I'll admit it was tough going back to the Horseshoe on Tuesday to cover the final table of Event 4.

Not only was I busted early on day one of this very tournament, but the final table from the night before--Event 3, $500 no limit hold'em/pot limit Omaha half and half--went long into the night. Let me put it this way, it's never good when the sun has already been up for an hour when you finally are able to get some sleep.

Needless to say, I was tired and a little on edge.

Good thing Event 4's final table went a little smoother than Event 3, because I might have physically hurt someone...

...anyway, here's what happened on day five of the Chicago Poker Classic:


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CPC Day 4: The Donkey, Captain and Pizza Delivery Guy

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Final Table EVENT 3 IMPDI.jpg

(Courtesy of IMPDI)

Monday, a D-Day of sorts. Not only was one of the more prestigious events--Event 3 the $560 pot limit Omaha/no limit hold'em half and half--playing out to a champion, but yours truly, the Windy City Rounder, was set to play in the $350 no limit hold'em six-max event.

It was time to show the world--by which I mean the tourney pros at the Horseshoe Casino--the skills that haven't quite yet made me a legend...and I, unfortunately, did not disappoint...


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CPC Weekend Roundup: "Get Naked!"

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

CPC Weekend 1 IMPDI.JPG

(Courtesy of IMPDI)

And so it begins...

The first weekend of the Chicago Poker Classic is now in the books and, all hackneyed expressions aside, what a weekend it was. 1932 players, three second chance winners and two champions later, we haven't event gotten to the meat of the series yet.

With so many players and so much money, craziness was bound to happen.

I've condensed some of that craziness into a results page I like to call, "CPC Weekend Roundup: 'Get Naked!'"

Confused? You'll see... 
 
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The Marathon Begins

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Chicago Poker Classic.jpg

Okay, here we go.

On to the Chicago Poker Classic, one of the biggest poker tournaments in the Chicagoland area.

I will be at the Horseshoe every day* once the tournament starts, bringing you all the action the Classic has to offer.

I'll also be live tweeting a number of the events next week, including the $1,000 Heads-up and $3,000 Main. You can follow the action live by following my twitter account, Chicago_Rounder.

Below is a schedule of the Classic's tournaments, hope to see you in the action next week!

Friday, February 26 • Event 1: Noon
#1 No-Limit Hold'em $200+30+10
Starting Chips: 10,000 Added Money: $10,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Saturday, February 27 • Event 2: Noon
#2 No-Limit Hold'em $300+40+10
Starting Chips: 15,000 Added Money: $15,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Sunday, February 28 • Event 3: Noon
#3 ½ NLH ½ PLO $500+50+10 (Live tweeting)
Starting Chips: 20,000 Added Money: $20,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Monday, March 1 • Event 4: Noon
#4 No Limit Hold'em (6 handed) $300+40+10 (The Windy City Rounder is playing!)
Starting Chips: 15,000 Added Money: $15,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Tuesday, March 2 • Event 5: Noon
#5 No Limit Hold'em $200+30+10
Starting Chips: 10,000 Added Money: $10,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Wednesday, March 3 • Event 6: Noon
#6 No Limit Hold'em Heads Up $1,000+100 (Live tweeting)
Starting Chips: 15,000 Added Money: 2010 Porsche Cayman S
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat

Thursday, March 4
Super Satellite w/ $100 re-buys - Noon $200+30
Starting Chips: 2,000
Mega Satellite - 4pm - $300+40+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000 - Added Money: Main Event Seat
Super Satellite w/ $100 re-buys - 9pm - $200+30
Starting Chips: 2,000
Added Money: 3 Main Event Seats added to each Super & Mega

Friday, March 5 • Event 7: Noon
#7 No Limit Hold'em Main Event $3000+125 (Live tweeting)
Starting Chips: 25,000 Added Money: $60,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000

Saturday, March 6 • Event 8: Noon
#8 No Limit Hold'em $300+40+10
Starting Chips: 15,000 Added Money: $15,000
Second Chance - 7pm - $100+20+10
Starting Chips: 5,000

Sunday, March 7 • Event 9: Noon
#9 No Limit Hold'em $200+30+10
Starting Chips: 10,000 Added Money: $10,000
Main Event Final Table - 4pm


*The Windy City Rounder will not be at the first event of the series on Friday, February 26. Instead I will be with the girls of Chicago Hearts Trivia discussing casino trivia for their site.

Bo Knows Poker?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Bo Jackson Poker.jpg

About an hour before the First Annual Invitational Poker Tournament to Benefit Bo Jackson's Give Me A Chance Foundation began, the tournament's architect, Bo Jackson, addressed the media.

Jackson, whose excellence on both the football and baseball field in the '80s had made him a titan of the sporting world, admitted in a calm voice that he didn't know poker, or, more exactly, that he "sucked at the game."

Shocking news from the man who was the first athlete to be selected as an all-star in two sports.

I'll have to take Bo's word on his apparent lack of talent on the felt, for the big man from Bessemer didn't actually play in the tournament that he lent his name to. But, I'm willing to believe the man.

Anyway, shocking Bo Jackson news aside, here's a look at how things shook out at the First Annual Invitational Poker Tournament to Benefit Bo Jackson's Give Me A Chance Foundation, held this past Thursday night at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.  

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Bo Jackson Invitational Poker Tournament

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Bo Jackson Poker Tournament.jpg
Do you know poker? Come find out alongside your favorite Chicago rounder tonight, as the Bo Jackson Invitational Poker Tournament kicks off at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond at 6 p.m.

Proceeds, in part, will go toward benefiting disadvantaged youth through the Bo Jackson Give Me a Chance Foundation.

The tournament buy-in is $300, but if you don't want to play you can come and see some of your favorite celebrities duke it out on the felt for $75.

I'll be covering all the poker action so who knows, maybe you'll find yourself talking to me after winning the whole thing! Oh, and if that doesn't seem like much of a prize to you don't worry. The top prize is expected to be $15,000 plus an entry into this year's WSOP Hammond Circuit Event.

See you at the tables!  

Mastermind: An Interview with Sam Chauhan

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Sam Chauhan.jpg

Sam Chauhan

Poker is a brutal game. Unlike chess or go, with poker the sucker can best the seasoned vet in any given session. Hell, half the fun of poker is its living-on-the-edge swings.

In the end, however, the best player should win. I say "should," though, because sometimes the swings can be too much for even the most skilled rounder.

It's when the swings get to hard that good players lose their edge and are forced back down the poker food chain to the position of fish.

We all want to be sharks, especially if we were once the big fish in the sea, but it's tough climbing up to that point, and maybe even tougher if it's your second ascent.

Paul Wasicka, Josh Arieh, Gavin Smith and Antonio Esfandiari have at least three things in common. They once were champions, they then fell out of sight in the poker world and now are back on top.

Oh, and there's a fourth thing; they all have worked with mindset coach Sam Chauhan to get both their games and lives back on track.

Chauhan was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer some questions from the Windy City Rounder. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation...
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Blackhawks Lose their Shirts for Autism

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

 
Campbell for Kids.jpg

The Blackhawks must feel like they're on top of the world right now. Currently second in the West, the Hawks find themselves within spitting distance of top ranked San Jose after finally dispatching a scrappy Dallas squad Tuesday in a shootout.

It was the first victory over the Stars for the Blackhawks all season, and made for a great exclamation point to the first half of the year as the NHL prepares now to go on hiatus for the Winter Olympics.

With so much success why shouldn't the Hawks then try their hands at another game...i donno...like poker?
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The Sad Truth

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

NBC's 4th National Heads-Up Poker Championship


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Poker Innovation Spelled C-R-A-C-K

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Rush Poker.jpg


Okay, by popular request, I finally decided to try Full Tilt Poker's new Rush Poker software.

Although the new game's very concept seems to me to be both ridiculously irresponsible and unintelligent, Rush Poker has captured the attention of the poker world since its debut on January 19, with Full Tilt team member and software designer Chris Ferguson calling it "the greatest innovation in online poker since poker started on the Internet."

Hyperbole aside, Rush Poker does seem innovative and should prove to be extremely popular. So, in the name of responsible journalism, and general curiosity, I braved the possible bankroll hit and took a look at this new way to lose money.   

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The Pitfalls of Recovery

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Stagnant Development.jpg

Sunny North Point, Florida


In all my years playing the game I have found that there is only one, truly universal law to poker: swings will happen.

It's a fact that makes poker simultaneously the most fascinating and frustrating game one can play. You can be on top of the world, as a 99 percent favorite to win with one card to come and still lose, because, by definition, out of 100 of these match-ups you should lose one.

I can't explain it, but poker has a way of clustering these long-shot losses together, creating what's often simply referred to by rounders as "a stretch."

During a stretch nothing a player does seems to be right. I've seen plenty of talented rounders, unable to cope during such a period, lose their whits, confidence and edge along with their bankroll in the process.

Poker, therefore is a game of pride management. The players who can control their frustrations, quell their egos and drop down to lower stakes in order to rebuild their confidence--and bankroll--will win all the money at the end of the day.

I'm not saying I'm an expert at these situations, just that I've been there. And as a witness to such stretches, I feel confident in recognizing the symptoms of frustration and diagnosing the problems when someone appears to be in trouble.

I just never expected to see a problem so big that it encompassed an entire community.  


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Play Poker, Help Haiti

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the struggling nation of Haiti, killing tens of thousands.

The quake ripped open Haitian land not far from the country's capital city of Port-au-Prince, causing wide spread devastation on a truly biblical scale.




It is in times like this we see both the worst and best humanity has to offer, where unlikely heroes and villains emerge to confuse us with their sincerity and cold heartedness.

For this crises, maybe the most unlikely hero is the controversial online poker industry. 

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A Little Lesson in Geography, From Poker

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Well, it's over.

After wading through a field of 1,529--the largest main event tournament outside the WSOP--and outlasting the likes of former world champion Joe Hachem, big cash game heavy weight Barry Greenstein and all-time tournament money winner Daniel Negreanu, young Harrison Gimbel took down the 2010 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure, held at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

The $2.2 million first prize undoubtedly makes the 2010 PCA one of the five most prestigious events of the year and the top four million dollar payout is almost unheard of in European Poker Tour history.

It seems like...wait, "European Poker Tour history?" How are the Bahamas even remotely in Europe?

Let's skip past the minor details of one of the largest and most prestigious events on the poker calendar to discuss something far more important: geography...please stay with me here.
 
Travel in St. Kitts and Nevis
                                     The Caribbean, not in Europe
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Poker's 2000s All-Decade Team

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

It's been a big decade for America's favorite hustling game, poker. 2002 saw the founding of the World Poker Tour and the rise of internet poker, 2003 gave us Chris Moneymaker and the poker boom, and the later part of the decade has been dominated by renewed legal interest in the poker community, with the introduction of the UIGEA and other gambling bills.

So, disagree with me if you will, but I think it isn't a stretch to think of the 2000s as the most important decade in poker since the 1970s--and perhaps it's the most important ten year stretch since the game's invention.

Many player's shined during the aughts, and more than a few worthy players will be left off my list, but in my humble opinion here are the rounders that rose high enough above the rest in their specific specialties to earn all-decade honors. Also, before poker enthusiasts come out of the woodwork to rip apart my list, I decided that a player can only appear once on the team--after all, it is a "team." So no, Phil Ivey doesn't fill half the slots on this list, you'll have to see where he fits in for yourself by scrolling through the entire thing.

Please feel free to disagree and discuss in the comment space below.     

Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

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Poker: An Unlikely Excuse for Jury Duty

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Jury Box.jpg

As Americans, we have the invaluable right to a jury before our peers in a criminal court should some unfortunate legal situation arise.

And as Americans, we also have the unwritten duty to try to avoid serving on such a jury.

It's not that we don't respect the Constitution and American legal process, it's that, well, sometimes we're really busy.

Many excuses have been used over the years when ordinary citizens have been confronted with the possibility of spending a few days or weeks confined to a courtroom. Some excuses being legitimate, like "I am a police officer" or "As an oncologist I'm worried my patients might die if I serve," some less than legitimate, like "I'm a psychic" and "I just don't want to," none, however, guaranteed to work.

Well, if you live in Vegas and find yourself called in to serve there may be one excuse that actually works, "I have a poker tournament to play in." 
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Montel Williams In Trouble?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Montel Williams Poker.jpg

Williams playing in the 2007 World Series of Poker

After an improbable run early on day 1b during the 2007 World Series of Poker, talk show icon Montel Williams was among the chip leaders heading into day 2 of poker's biggest event of the year.

This was the first WSOP held under the new pressures of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act and the whole poker world was abuzz, wondering what was going to happen to their beloved game.

In this environment many poker media outlets jumped at the chance to promote the solid play of a well known celebrity like Montel Williams in their game's keystone tournament.

Williams didn't survive to make it to day 3, but during his short, remarkable run the talk show host spoke out on behalf of poker on a number of occasions.

In one interview, Williams called the attempted ban on American online poker "ignorant," adding, "Why can't we do this here in the United States?"

For a moment, Montel Williams was one of poker's heroes...but this would only be for a moment.
   
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Presidential Poker

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

In response to yesterday's, somewhat joking, post I made about former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's possible poker prowess, I'd like to give you readers a more serious, but still fun, article about politicians and poker.

As I stated previously, poker has been the game of choice in the White House for some time now. More than a few commander-in-chiefs have taken a break from the day-to-day troubles of the world to play a quick game of poker.

The White House is just like any other American home I guess, poker nights and all--except I'm sure the stakes are a bit higher...can anyone say military secrets?

So in honor of political poker, here is a list of a few Presidents that weren't afraid to battle with the best of them at both the negotiation table and the poker table.

Please share other stories you know about presidential or political poker play!

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

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Is Blagojevich a High Stakes Internet Poker Hustler?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Blagojevich.jpg

The man, the myth, the poker legend?


The whole poker world has been a buzz for the last month, everyone trying to figure out the identity of one high stakes online pro.

Isildur1, named after the Lord of the Rings character--I know, lame right?--, made his or her appearance in the so-called "nosebleed" games--high stakes online poker games--on Full Tilt Poker in November, and his extremely volatile style has resulted in wild bankroll swings for this unknown gambler.

At one point Isildur1 was up over $5 million in online winnings; simply destroying online guru Tom Dwan and capturing the attention of poker lovers everywhere in the process.

Just who is Isildur1, you ask?

Hundreds of cases have been made regarding the identity of internet poker's newest high stakes master. From the logical guesses of young European poker star Viktor Blom and another unknown high stakes online player "Martonas," to the less legitimate claims that Isildur1 is big foot or the ghost of Stu Ungar.

At this point in time, all guesses are just as legitimate as the next, however, as the true identity of online poker's biggest mystery remains just that, a total mystery.

So, in the name of journalistic duty I've decided to try my hand at the Isildur1 name game.

Isildur1: online poker phenom and embattled former Governor Rod Blagojevich?
 
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Interview with Joe Sebok: Professional Poker Player

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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At this moment, Joe Sebok is arguably the king of all poker media.


Already the founder and operator of his own, very successful poker multimedia site, PokerRoad.com, Sebok recently added to his poker media résumé by signing a groundbreaking deal with UltimateBet, which not only made him a sponsored pro with the site, but a media and operations consultant.


Although overshadowed by his famous poker playing father, high stakes poker pro Barry Greenstein, when he initially broke into poker, Sebok has managed to tally up his fair share of success on the felt, earning more than $1.8 million in poker winnings since he burst onto the scene in 2005.


Originally from Illinois, Joe was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk with the Windy City Rounder about Chicago gambling, some Barry Greenstein stories and, of course, the Cubs.


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Poker: Chance or Skill?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was brought up in yesterday's post,states that any game that is "subject to chance" will be prohibited from online play in the United States if a player stands to "receive something of value given a certain outcome."

Unfortunately for online players, a game that is "subject to chance" is never completely defined within the Act, leaving the door wide open for lawmakers to restrict certain games of skill, which may have a historically misunderstood reputation. And when I say "certain games of skill," I mean chiefly the game of poker, which has been demonized by a few politicians lately as a degenerate game of luck.

This whole poker witch hunt carried out by Congress is a big, unfunny joke to me.

A joke because while I type this article, my computer is plugged into my apartment wall, being powered by electricity that, in part, is being paid for by the game of poker.

Unfunny because I think no matter how much proof exists to show how poker is a randomized game of skill--see my paid electricity bill--lawmakers will be unable to look past the short term luck of the game.

That being said, you will never be rewarded for not trying. So let me explain how poker is a game of skill by looking at the problem from three different angles, the comparative,legal and practical or visual.

If you still are unconvinced that the UIGEA doesn't restrict poker after this, I guess nothing will. So here's hoping that won't be the case.     


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WSOP Wrap Up

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Well it's finally over. After four months and 6,493 eliminations poker finally has its new world champion.


Considered to be one of the strongest final tables in recent World Series history, this year's final nine players certainly put on a show and made some memorable moves that will be discussed for years to come.

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2009 WSOP Final Table Preview

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

With baseball's version of the World Series complete--my condolences to Phillies fans--it's now poker's turn to pick a world champion as the World Series of Poker restarts on Saturday, November 7.
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Charity Poker: Terrible Play, Worse Dealing = Possibilities

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Two weekends ago, while covering the WSOP Hammond Circuit event, I met a few friendly Chicago poker aficionados who invited me to try out a new poker tournament series based in the city called the Windy City Poker Championships.
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2009 Hammond WSOP Circuit Event Day 3: Dead Money Wins!

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Hammond's WSOP Circuit main event has finally come to an end after a long three day battle, producing an unlikely final two competitors.


Wanting to increase the overall attendance of the series, the Horseshoe Casino gave away 60 seats to the $5,200 main event through various satellites and freeroll opportunities available to casino players in the weeks leading up to the event.


With so many seats going to relatively inexperienced players, many of the regular high limit players joked early on day one that, "this tournament is nearly a quarter fish."


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2009 Hammond WSOP Circuit Event Day 2: The Final...eh..17

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Saturday; day two; moving day; 94 players return from yesterday's start to try and play down to a final table of nine.


Well, at least that was the original plan. In spite of a fast start to day two--15 players were lost in the first level--tournament directors even acknowledged that the likelihood of ending the night with nine players left was slim.

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2009 Hammond WSOP Circuit Event Day 1: Big Field, Phillips and Dealers

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Horseshoe Casino Hammond kicked off the main event of its leg of the World Series of Poker Circuit this Friday, with resounding success.


I have to say, when I first arrived in the Hammond special events room, a half hour before the players were set to take their seats, and saw dealers setting up 50 tables for main event play I thought tournament officials were being a little optimistic.

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Chicago: A game by any other name wouldn't be as sweet

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Chicago poker may have been born in the back of sleazy pool halls or hole-in-the-wall bars, where small fortunes passed hands between gangsters while they awaited their next dark orders, but those days are long gone.


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I'm sure they're nice fellows once you get to know them



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