Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Next tournament is in my hometown!

After spending 10 days with the Team of Intertops in Punta Cana, I'm back in my hometown Innsbruck/Austria and looking forward for the next tournament series, which will be CAPT Innsbruck.

Ive played this event last year without big success- its time to change that and get deep this year.

Im very confortable for this series, because there are many "fun" players, which like to spew their chips away...

Besides Poker the Innsbruck area is a lovely place (especially in winter), so if youre not sure to come here or not - Just Do It ;-)

Going to update the blog as soon as it starts.

HAPPY X-MAS to you all!  Cheers, Daniel

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Online Satellite Champion Wins TKPT St Maarten

Photo: TKPT
A player who won his way to the Caribbean by winning online satellite tournaments at Intertops Poker went all the way and won the TKPT Caribbean tournament in St Maarten last week.

The prize pool was $124,160 and Akash Mazumdar from the USA won $33,930 for his first place finish.

Players had a starting stack of 20,000 chips. Levels were 45 and 60 minutes. The competition started with 128 players.

“I am happy. I just won the Main Event of the TKPT and it’s a special and pleasant feeling," Mazumdar said after his spectacular win in the Caribbean. "I qualified online through a satellite at Intertops which rewarded me with a full package -- a five-day holiday in an all-inclusive hotel plus the $1100 buy-in for the Main Event!"

"Personally I think the structure of this tournament was perfect. The wisdom and experience of Thomas Kremser organizing tournaments is tangible. The event was great from start to finish, especially the final table. During all seven hours of play the action was crisp. The international field that participated created a unique atmosphere. St. Maarten is really a friendly island.”

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

You can't win 'em all

It was a bit of a nail-biter toward the end, but Arturo Morales of Costa Rica won the CPT Punta Cana and walked away with $44,494. Pura vida! Our Daniel Montagnolli went pretty far, but sadly, none of the Living the Dream guys made it to the final table.

Daniel went into Day to in 8th place with 85000 chips but ultimately placed placed 26th. He pocketed about $1700 which he most likely blew in Punta Cana nightclubs before he returned to Austria. His trip was paid for by an online poker site where he won a satellite tournament, though, so… c’est la vie.

Part of what made CPT Punta Cana an interesting event were the other events happening at the same time: the World Swimsuit Finals and its parties for starters. The 500K Punta Cana Classic, running concurrently, also added to the excitement. Venezuelan Luis Yapez won that event, taking home $171,000.

There were also lots of other events with two to three hundred dollar buy-ins – plenty of opportunities to take advantage of what Daniel thought was a pretty soft field.

We’re already looking forward to coming back to Dominican Republic for CPT Punta Cana 2016. All-inclusive packages are available through the CPT Punta Cana website.

To find out about upcoming online satellite tournaments where you can win your way to a live tournament, check back here or like the Living the Dream Facebook page.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Two of our team advance to Day 2!

Two Living the Dream team members made it through to Day 2. Who's still in the game?! Was a massage, a steak a nap or a pool party the best way to prepare?! Watch this episode -- and then come back tomorrow for the final results of the CPT Punta Cana tournament.

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Team prepares for the first session of the CPT Punta Cana Main Event

In today's episode, the Living the Dream Team talks about how they adapt their playing style when playing in a live poker tournament and give a tip or two on how to come out on top. Hours before the CPT Punta Cana Main Event begins, they tell how they personally prepare for a gruelling night of tournament poker.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

So far all we've done is sweat -- but Main Event begins manana!

Most of our group arrived in Punta Cana yesterday, the others arrive tonight in time for the CPT Punta Cana Main Event that we came to Dominican Republic for.  In today's video, Steve, who won his way to the Caribbean by winning an online satellite tournament, gives his first impression of Dominican Republic, the Hard Rock Casino and the CPT.  Tomorrow we'll have a re-cap of today's events.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Good thing we're not going to Punta Cana for a tan!

Beautiful day in Punta Cana today -- unfortunately nothing but thunderstorms and rain for next week when we're there. That's OK, we're not going to the Caribbean for a tan, are we?! lol Luckily the weather forecast for the casino at the Hard Rock is "clear and dry" during the CPT Punta Cana tournament.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

CPT Punta Cana organizer expects at least one of our players to win some money

Here's the first episode of Living the Dream TV where we'll be following five online tournament champions that won their way to the CPT poker tournament in Punta Cana.

In the first episode, CPT Punta Cana organizer Leon Groenewoud looks forward to the event at the Hard Rock Casino next week and speculates on how our players -- Daniel, Derek, Neal, Steven and Phil -- will do at the live poker tournament.

Beginning November 4th and continuing throughout the CPT Punta Cana tournament until November 8th, there will be daily video reports here with the day's tournament results as well as interviews with the Living the Dream players and other players at the tournament.

Video: LTD TV E01: Organizer looks forward to CPT Punta Cana poker tournament

Five online satellite tournament winners won their way to the live poker tournament at the Hard Rock Punta Cana

The five online tournament champions that have won their way to the Caribbean are: 32 year old Austrian poker pro, Daniel Montagnolli; Neil Slade, a builder and recreational poker player from Hampshire UK; Derek Scallon, a Chicago poker pro and film producer, Steven Loney, a businessman who plays poker for fun, and Phil Cardella, a Pittsburgh CAD designer and purely recreational player.

Living the Dream TV, Episode 2 (The Team Arrives in Punta Cana) will be online November 4th.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Recreational poker player played smart to win his way to Punta Cana

Phil Cardella, 29, won the last CPT Punta Cana online satellite tournament series to be held this fall and picked up the last of the $4100 prize packages.  He’ll join the four other players at the Hard Rock Punta Cana November 4th – 9th.

“There were only 8 players at the final table, but it was challenging as always,” Phil said after his online tournament win.  “I think when we were 5 handed me and one other person had at least half of the chips in play between the two of us and I figured we'd go heads up, which we did.”

Phil, a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) Designer by trade, said he felt he had played smart throughout the poker tournament.

“I can't really recall any one play in particular that I would say was smart. I do remember the last hand though!  I had A-10 diamonds and I believe they had KK. I flopped a flush draw and caught it on the river. Wouldn't really say that was smart, it just went my way this time.”

He does recall one play during the poker tournament that he could have regretted.

“We were heads up and I had a 3:1 chip lead and went in with 33 pre-flop. I lost to two overs and then we were even in chips at that point. Wasn't long after that that I won though.  It all worked out in the end!”

When asked if he had any advice for online tournament players, he said “Learn how to lose because it happens quite frequently.”

“I’m hoping for some great weather in Punta Cana, and a good time,” he said from his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “And some extra cash to take home would be nice!”

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Poker documentary film producer joins online winners in Punta Cana

Derek Scallon, 32, is a professional poker player in Chicago and produced a poker documentary film a couple of years ago. He's one of five online tournament champions that will be travelling to the Dominican Republic next month to play in a major live tournament, CPT Punta Cana.

“I played the qualifying tournament quite awhile ago, so I don’t remember too much other than it was a fun tournament and I was happy to be able to qualify.”

“I'm pretty excited about Punta Cana. I'll be going with my girlfriend.”

Derek produced a documentary film about online poker. IMDb

Bet Raise Fold tracks the origins and evolution of the Internet poker industry during the 2000s and its impact on a new generation of poker professionals. It examines the conflict between the US government and online gambling that eventually led to 'Black Friday,' the government shut-down of online poker in the United States. The rise and fall of the billion dollar industry is woven with the lives of three major characters: Danielle, a young mother from Minnesota who used online poker to support her family; Tony, a polyamorous Las Vegas tournament pro who hosts the World Poker Tour on television; and Martin, a math genius and poker savant from Australia who used his poker winnings to travel the world.

Bet Raise Fold is a coming-of-age story for an entire generation of young poker professionals. The film follows Danielle, a young mother from rural Minnesota who used online poker to support her family; Tony, a Las Vegas tournament pro who co-hosts the World Poker Tour on television; and Martin, a world-traveler from Australia obsessed with understanding the intricacies of the game. These players used online poker to build a life, only to have it all stripped away in one fell swoop by forces beyond their control.

The independent documentary, financed by a group of 12 high stakes online poker players, debuted to great acclaim at the 2013 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and launched worldwide via VHX on June 30. Gravitas Ventures acquired the North American and international VOD rights after observing strong audience reactions and Internet buzz.

Join Derek on his Punta Cana adventure -- check this blog November 4th - 9th for daily updates from the Hard Rock Casino Punta Cana!

New Online Satellite Tournament Series Sending Winner to WPT Venice

As five online satellite tournament winners get ready for their trip to the CPT Punta Cana in just a few weeks, another satellite series has just begun at Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker and this one will send the winner to Italy for the WPT Venice National in December.

The WPT National Venice will be played at the oldest gaming establishment in the world, the luxurious Casino de Venezia. The tournament begins December 4th and the Final Table will be December 7th.

Step 1 tournaments in the three-tier series begin today and continue until October 17th.  You can buy-in at any stage or win your way to the Final to be held Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 pm Eastern.

The winner gets a $2200 prize package that includes €990 buy-in to the WPT National Main Event, four nights premium accommodation in Venice, and $500 to help with travel expenses.

WPT National Venice Online Satellite Tournaments

Step 1 ($2+$0.20)
1 ticket for Step 2 awarded
Daily October 7th – October 17th, 13:00,  19:00, 21:00, 23:00 CET  (7am,  1pm,  3pm,  5pm EST)

Step 2 ($10+$1)
1 ticket for Final awarded

Daily October 7th – October 17th, 21:00 CET (3pm EST)

Final ($100+$10)
$2200 WPT Venice prize package awarded

Sunday, October 18th, 19:00 CET (1pm EST)

Enter these tournaments at either Intertops Poker or Juicy Stakes Poker.

The winner of another online satellite tournament series last spring competed in the WPT Venice in April. Lukas W, a 28 year old civil servant from Germany, enjoyed his trip to Venice but was eliminated early in that tournament.

“At the end of Day 1 I was busted,” he wrote in the Living the Dream poker player blog. “It was time to enjoy Venice with my girlfriend!”

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

5 Poker Players Can Start Packing for Punta Cana

We know four of the five online tournament champions that will be travelling to Punta Cana together in November after winning their way to the Caribbean in online tournaments. A fifth member just won their trip to the CPT Punta Cana on Sunday and will be introduced here later this week (all we know today is it's a 29 year old guy named Phil).

So far the group includes: 32 year old Austrian poker pro, Daniel Montagnolli; Neil Slade, a builder and recreational poker player from Hampshire UK; Derek Scallon, a Chicago poker pro and film producer, and Steven Loney, a businessman who plays poker for fun.

Daniel Montagnolli
Daniel recently quit his job to become a full-time poker player beginning September 1.  He was in the Caribbean last fall, too, when he came third in the CPT/WPT in St Maarten and won $1600. His biggest win to date was the No Limit Hold’em Championship Event at the 2007 Legends of Poker in Los Angeles where he came 25th and won $25,150. Montagnolli is listed on the Hendon Mob’s United States All Time Money List. He’s been active at where he’s known as Monze. Daniel recently shared his thoughts on his satellite tournament win on the Living the Dream poker blog.

Neal, a 44 year old builder and father of two from Hampshire, UK, plays online poker a couple of times a week trying to satellite into live events. He’s won seats at WSOP events, WPT, UKIPT and GPS this way. His goal is to play an EPT tournament. This will be his second live poker tournament in Dominican Republic -- he won a seat at the CPT Punta Cana two years ago and came in 6th, winning $9000.

Derek Scallon
Derek Scallon, a professional poker player from Chicago, produced a documentary on online poker called Bet Raise Fold in 2013.  He placed 122nd in the $10K No Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship at the 2006 WSOP 2006 and won $ 51,129.

Steven Loney, a toy business entrepreneur, just plays poker for fun but will be seated at the Main Event in Punta Cana with the rest of the Team thanks to some lucky cards and some smart moves at the online satellite he won in May. Steven wrote about that experience recently here on Living the Dream.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Online Satellite Tournament Champion Didn't Fare So Well at Live Tournament

Finnish poker pro Mika Paasonen won a seat at the Estrellas Poker Tournament in Barcelona last weekend in an online satellite tournament earlier this summer.  Unfortunately, he didn't do as well at the live tournament as he did online.

"Nothing really interesting happen in Estrellas main event," Paasonen said after returning home early from the event.  "Was pretty card dead all day and just grinded starting stack 25k to 50k whole day winning small pots here and there."

"Then they announced for last 5 hands of the day. Blinds was 1000/2000 with ante. I raised 4400 co with 99. Btn shoves allin with 50k and i was ready to gamble with him but big blind
also joined a party and made a quick all in as well. Big blind player was pretty tight and he had a decent stack to pass this hand and continue tournament in next day so i though he might be even little bit tighter on this spot and thought his range like high pairs and AK. If he would have hands like  AQ or 88 and think he would of think like 15-30 second before his decisions instead of snap all in. I trusted my read and made a fold. Btn had AJ and bb won with AK and they both missed board and my 99 would of win and i would of triple up making a call. "

"Next and last hand of current day active player on my right with a big stack open and he open like 40% of all hands and i thought he is opening last hands of they day like 100% of the time. I had re-steal stack 22bb and found a decent hand KJo to shove so i went all in. Opener wake up however with AQ and i was out after that hand."

"I played one side event as well and busted from that one after 4 hours AK vs TT. Then I took early flight back home."

"Next week I'm playing a new live tourney in Tallinn so hopefully run deeper there."

Mario Lopez won
Estrellas Poker Tournament

Estrellas Poker Tournament Results

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Austrian Player Nearly Missed the Tournament That’s Sending Him to the Caribbean

Daniel Montagnolli, a 30 year old Austrian, won an online satellite tournament Final in June.  He got a $4000 prize package that will take him to the CPT Punta Cana Main Event in November where he’ll be joined by a group of online satellite tournament winners like himself.

Daniel quit his job a couple of months ago and will be a full-time poker player beginning September 1.  He almost missed the online Final that’s sending him to his second big live tournament in the Caribbean. It’s amazing he did as well as he did.

“I was very tired because I’d just come back from a heavy party trip in Serbia.  I almost missed the tourney.”

“I first realized I might win when I got dealt my first two cards.  Just kidding... When I was CL on the FT with 8 left I knew the chance is big to ship this tourney!”

“Because it was so late and I was so tired, I don’t really remember a lot of hands from this tourney,” he said.  “I remember I made one bad call (bluffcatcher), where he had me beat. And one time I was chasing a str8 too much, thinking GO BIG OR GO HOME and obv hit it cause im a runreg.”

Daniel is expecting a great tournament – and a lot of fun – in Punta Cana.

“I don’t know who I’ll take with me yet... hopefully some sexy chick!”

Daniel was in the Caribbean last fall too when he came third in the CPT/WPT in St Maarten and won $1600. His biggest win to date was the No Limit Hold’em Championship Event at the 2007 Legends of Poker in Los Angeles where he can 25th and won $25,150.

Montagnolli is listed on the Hendon Mob’s United States All Time Money List. He’s been active at where he’s known as Monze.

Daniel and a group of online satellite winners will be at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, November 3 – 8. Watch this blog for their personal stories before and during the trip.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Finnish Poker Player Wins Place at Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event, Barcelona in Online Satellite Tournament

Finnish poker player Mika Paasonen.
Estrellas Poker Tour online satellite tournaments came to an exciting conclusion recently when Mika P. aka “VibeKing” won the Final and a $3100 (€2750) prize package sending him to the Estrellas Main Event in Barcelona next month.

With total Live Tournament Earnings, The Hendon Mob ranks Paasonen 9th on its Finland All Time Money List. He was the first Finnish poker player on Team

Mika, 38, had some serious competition at the online satellite tournament Final July 19th

“I had some tough players in my table and they had position to me so I just tried to be patient and pick my spots carefully.”

The Finnish poker pro realized early on that he could win the Final.

“Very soon my starting stack tripled up. After that I thought these can go deep.”

“One key hand was when there were four players left. I had chip lead with 82K. Then there were stacks of 12K, 39K and a tough opponent with 23k which was 20 big blinds.  Against that 23k stack I get in hand where I get unopened to sb KdTd and this tough player was in bb. Knowing that he is high 3bettor and with a reshove stack I’m not able to steal here a lot so I open and thinking of calling when he shoves. Thinking this through now actually make me to like more to open shove this 20bbs and avoid flipping but in reality I raise 2,2bb and call his shove. He had Q8s and I won a pot. After that I was kind of confident I could take this down.”

The winner had this advice for online tournament players before he sets off to the big live tournament in Barcelona in August: “Avoid playing multiplayer (1000+ player tourneys) because of high variance and prefer 30-500 player tourneys to score in the money often. Good for your game when you don’t get frustrated by a bad run and even better for your bankroll.”

Mika is hooping for a good run in Barcelona.  “I have good memories from Barcelona when I was 4th in the EPT event a couple of years ago. I haven’t played the Estrellas event before but I assume field might be little bit easier because of smaller buy-in. If I bust early there should be good cash games. Some friends are coming to play Estrellas/EPT Barcelona as well so I booked a couple of extra days just to play some EPT side events also.”

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Really, with a tournament that short, it's kind of a crap shoot who will win.

On May 9th Stephen L won a CPT Punta Cana online satellite Final and a trip to the Caribbean, including buy-in for the CPT Punta Cana Main Event in November. Stephen explains how he thought he might win the tournament the second time he got incredibly lucky:

"My play in the tournament was fairly standard. I made the correct folds a couple times in spots I didn't need to risk 50% of my stack; that kept my fuel in the tank to keep riding on. You have to run well to win tournaments, and I got lucky twice as I was behind on going to the flop. I believe I was all in early with AQ vs KK and I caught two queens. I only had 2 pocket pairs the entire tournament and my biggest pp was 7's!"

"I was borderline shoving all in with the AQ early. But I knew I needed chips to win, and I was willing to re-buy if needed. It's possible I could have folded there, but it worked out in the end."

I realized I might just win the tournament the second time I went in behind and came out ahead. AJ vs AQ and I won! :) The final hand I had a flush draw on the flop in position and just checked it. I sometimes like to bet it, but if I would have he would have put me all in. Glad I checked it because I got there on the turn and won the tournament! :)"

"There was some good competition. Good players- most of the players were all +ROI players, so they knew how to play. Really with a tournament that short, it's kind of a crap shoot who will win."

"I think to win an online tournament, understanding player types and then classifying the players at the table into these gives you a good initial blueprint for strategy. And be patient. I am not a believer that you need to shove 10x with every weak Ace."

"Cards online are the same as the cards live so playing online has definitely helped me a lot when it comes to my live poker game. I have seen so many hands with all of my online play that I am well equipped with how to handle most situations."

"I want to keep getting better. Someday I hope to win a larger field tourney. Best I've ever done is 4th out of 3,500. But still that large field size victory eludes me."

Stephen L.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Frustrating Tournament, but I had a Fantastic Time in St Maarten!

On May 1, 2015, three online tournament champions -- CreamofCrop1, LIZtotheLIEU and wes42 -- played the CPPT St Maarten.

These online poker players won they're way to the live poker tournament in the Caribbean by winning online satellite tournaments.

 LIZtotheLIEU shares his adventure on the tropical island:

The tournament started at 1:30pm EST. My table consisted of a mix of older guys who seemed like CPPT regulars, locals, and a younger guy who likely qualified online. No one I recognized though. Starting stack was 30,000, 50/100 to start, 50min blinds. So, a decent structure for a $1,650 buy-in.

Funny thing for a tropical island to be famous for!
I felt quite comfortable from the start, as I was able to pick up some good reads on the other players. Unfortunately, I was card-dead for most of the tournament and never really got above starting stack. I might have played like 3 hands and had 27k before the first break. Nothing really memorable...I did have one hand where the blinds were 150/300/25, I had Qc8c in the SB, folded around to me, I raise to 800, BB calls. Flop comes 732cc, I bet 650 (small bet to improve implied odds) and the BB raised to 1400 (small raise). I thought it was an interesting raise; He was defending pretty wide, but I didn't have him on a draw as it's a relatively dry board and I had 2 of the clubs, so I thought possibly 44-55 or 88+, or even two overs (Ax or Kx) with a club. Anyway, my hand is too strong to fold, so I thought either raise or call. Given we're in Level 2, it's too early to risk all my chips, so I call out of position. Turn is a 4, I check, he quickly checks behind. River is a 6 (so board is 76432cc). But, even though I missed and just have Q-high, I thought his check on the turn was very weak and (unless he raised flop with 45 or something), it's more likely that he hates the turn/river. So I stab for 1675 and he quickly folds. But that still only got me back to ~30k!

Next few levels, again nothing really of note, I did get a few 3-bets through to stay afloat, but otherwise just a lot of observing lol...think I had ~27k after the second break.

After the second break (level 5), things went south pretty quickly. I got 3-bet a few times from tighter players, so I just opted to fold. There was also one hand at 400/800 where CO limped, I picked up AKs on the button and raised to 2200, and the CO opted to just flat with a short stack (~14k behind). Flop comes down 952 rainbow, and he check-raised all-in after I c-bet (mid-pair seems most likely; thought about checking behind, but his "turn bet vs missed cbet" was 100% at that point and I thought my hand was still too good to fold).

Anyways, I then started getting blinded down and was down < 10k in Level 6, with the blinds at 500/1000/100...finally looked down at QJo and got a shove through, then 66 next hand and got another shove hand after that, shoved again (third time in a row) with 99, and...well, you can read the summary from Cardplayer below:

Rafael Abrahamayan Flops an Ace
Posted: Fri, May 01, 15, 3:19 PM
The player under the gun+1 moved all-in for 14,200 and action folded to Rafael Abrahamyan on the button. Abrahamyan moved all in for 13,600 and action rested on Allyn Shulman in the big blind. Shulman asked which stack was bigger but then folded A K face up.
Under the gun+1 showed 9 9 and Abrahamyan tabled A Q .
Abrahamyan flopped a pair of aces when the dealer fanned A 4 2 . The turn was the 7 and Abrahamyan picked up a second pair when the Q opened on the river.
Under the gun+1 was left with 700 after the hand and was eliminated on the next hand.

So yeah, that was my tournament...frustrating overall, but thought I played OK, just not my day. On the bright side, I had a fantastic time in St. Maarten before and after the tournament.  I look forward to qualifying for a future event!


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Being Eliminated Early at WPT Venice Left Plenty of Time to Enjoy Italy

Well, a recent satellite tournament champion was great online but didn't fare so well at the big live tournament he won a trip to. Lukas was eliminated in level 10 on Day One at the WPT Venice.

Awww, too bad Lukas :( But as you can see from the pics he sent back, he enjoyed the rest of the weekend in Venice with his girlfriend!

"The tournament was played 10 levels on the first day," Lukas said after he returned to Germany.  "At the end of level 10, I was busted.
I was card-dead the whole day. I played 5(!!!) hands in 7 hours and saw 3 showdowns."

"The best hand of the day was JJ and the flop was KKQ 😉. The button called my open-raise and I check called 2 times, the button checked behind on the river and I won."

"My last hand was 99, I pushed 13 BB in a 3 BB openraise (blinds 600/1200 Ante 100) he called with AJ. And the first card on the flop was the ace 😉. No help and the tournament was over."

"It was time to enjoy Venice with my girlfriend. Even the weather was beautiful!

Winners of another online satellite tournament final earlier this month will be competing in the $500K CPT Punta Cana Main Event in  Punta Cana, Dominican Republic November 3rd to 8th.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Good Luck to Lukas W Who's Going to WPT Venice This Weekend Courtesy Intertops Poker

Another online satellite winner is on his way a major live tournament event.  Lukas W, a 28 year old civil servant from Germany, will be copmpeting in the WPT Venice Main Event.  The champion of a gruelling online satellite tournament series, Lukas (Buck$Bunny) won a $2200 prize package that includes €990 buy-in and premium hotel accommodation for him and his girlfriend.

Check this space for photos, stories and hopefully videos from Venice!

They were 22 players in the WPT Venice online satellite Final where Lukas won his prize package. Here's what he had to say about that event:

"I used a re-buy and an add-on. During the tournament I was one of the Big Stacks and I found good spots in all-in situations. I think patience is very important as well as aggression at the right time. At the end, the players were scared and so it was possible to get some chips with raise in position. "

"I realized that I might win when we were 3-handed."

"I eliminated one of the opponents in an all in situation KQ>K7 and won a huge pot. At the heads-up, the other player was crippled and so it was over very quick. "

"I don't play lots of major events. Usually, I'm playing cash games. "

"In 2013 I played a 330€ side event at the EPT Berlin and last year I won a seat at the FPS Cannes for 1.100€. I reached day 2 with only 25BB, and I busted fast without cash. Hopefully, it's time for a catch in Venice this weekend! "

A premiere event on the WPT European circuit, the three-day Gioco Digitale WPT National Venice will be played at the luxurious Casino de Venezia, the oldest gaming establishment in the world.  The tournament begins April 17th and the Final Table is on April 20th. The game will be No Limit Texas Hold’em. Players will begin with 30,000 chips. Blind levels last 40 minutes. The prize pool will be €200,000 guaranteed.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Start Tight, Then Get Aggressive

ScubaSt3ve recently won an online tournament series and this week he’s playing aboard the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship, sailing from Florida to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and The Bahamas and playing in the $1100 buy-in Caribbean Poker Tour Main Event.

Poker Tournament Strategy

ScubaSt3ve said his tournament strategy is to be really observant, play tight until he can read his opponent, then be really aggressive when it looks like players will fold.

“To win the Caribbean Poker Tour tournament at Intertops I was really aggressive. I got out to a big chip lead and from there I was able to put players in tough situations for their tournament lives. "

“Towards the end there were three players left and they were shortstacked with only a couple of big blinds remaining in their stacks. I didn't know how loose to open and think I might have folded a couple hands that were strong enough to raise."

“I didn’t realize I might win until I reached the final table. There were about 7 people left and I was in the top half.  It wasn't the toughest field ever but there were certainly a couple of really tough players. I thought hmm I could do this. I have a 1 in 7 chance not bad. And then 1/6 and so on!!"

“I opened really loose with Jack 3 off suit. The flop was A93 and a player from the small blind led into me. It didn't make sense to me because I assumed that he would re-raise all of his big aces preflop. So I called. The turn came a Jack and gave me two pair. He bet big again and I had a decision to either call or raise and get all the money in right there. Since I thought he was likely bluffing I just called the turn. The river was another 3 and gave me a fullhouse. He went all in on the river for a big bet and I called immediately. He had JQ and was bluffing the whole time. So my decision to call the turn and allow him to bluff the river netted me a huge bet on the river. If I had raised the turn he would have just folded."

“I was in first place at the time and he was in second place. So after that hand I had a huge chip lead and the tournament was essentially mine."

His advice to wannabe tournament champions:

“I pretty much only play online now because I think it is a lot more fun. It is much faster so you don't have to be as patient. But my live game has definitely improved as I have been able to play thousands of poker hands online so my understanding of general poker spots is much more in depth."

“My goal is to one day play the highest stakes and battle the best players in the world. I don't really play live but my near future goal is to try to win this Main Event in the Caribbean. I plan playing more live poker in the next month trying to prepare for this tournament."