Tag Archives: poker player

CARMEN ZĂINESCU: “There are misconceptions regarding a woman’s place at the poker table”

She recently earned the highest ranking in her career on a poker tournament – 6th place at Eureka Bucharest, but she is a constant presence for many years on the poker tournament in Romania and not only. We felt it is the moment to give you more insights about Carmen Zăinescu and I did this interesting interview  that we present it to you. 

 

How did you start playing poker? What was the reason you did this step?

 

Poker has just appeared in my life 5 years ago, when I considered poker just a simple fun with friends.

There are several types of poker, which one do you like the most and why? How many hours a day do you spend playing poker?

 

Texas Hold’em is my favorite type of poker. Besides being a poker players, I am both a mother and wife, so my schedule is quite busy and I cannot allocate poker a very long time.

Live or online poker? Cash game or tournaments? Why?

 

I play both online and live tournaments, but I always preferred live game.

The public opinion is divided between perceiving poker as a gamble or a sport. What is poker from you point of view, a sport or a gamble?

 

My opinion has changed in time and I arrived early enough to realize that poker is a sport. It takes practice, patience, commitment, inspiration, both physical and mental exhaustion. I believe that poker is a mathematical game, consisting of probabilities and percentages, as long as the percentage of 0.1%  can give you the chance to go further in the tournament, but at the same time to be eliminated, hence the idea of luck.

In Romania there is in force a new law governing gambling, implicitly the poker. There were introduced new taxes and charges for poker players and also were banned a number of websites, while others were licensed. How were affected, from your point of view, the poker players by the new regulations?

 

Following the new regulations the most affected were the online players, and the live tournaments or cash players can play abroad and thus avoiding the inconvenience of the new changes.

 Now there are in Romania, at least declaratively, a lot of “professional poker players” How does it stand, from your point of view, our country on poker players, both in terms of quality and their number, in comparison with other countries?

 

I believe that many of the declared professional players, not having the opportunity to participate in live tournaments in the country, they cannot develop and reach a certain level, professionalism means volume, and by volume I mean tours and festivals organized in the country, the existing ones are too few to get a professional player. Most of those who managed to become professional players have done it by playing abroad.

What would be the problems, if any, of a female poker player, both on poker table and in the real life?

 

Like in other fields, there are misconceptions regarding a woman’s place at the poker table. It is sometimes difficult as a woman to face relatively high dose of misogyny and lack of education. My opinion is that this situation has emphasized from the moment in which poker began to be played in poker clubs and not in casinos, because these do not offer you safety and security. Here, at this question, there are too much to say … .it takes a special article on this topic. And that is observed with the naked eye, the presence of women at the tables!!!

Please tell us what is the main satisfactions poker brought to you?

 

PATIENCE, mental strength and power to overcome.

You recently made part of the players present to the final table at Eureka Bucharest, what did it miss for you to get on the first place?

 

The moment of inspiration.

Can you say Eureka Bucharest was a difficult or accessible tournament?

 

Eureka is a difficult tournament.

Can you describe the most interesting poker hand you have ever played? On what tournament was held and with whom you fought for the chips from the table?

 

The most interesting hands are badbeats which were plenty as live player. The worst hand was within the tournament Estrellas Barcelona when I was out of play with four of a kind at royal flush.

Is there any poker player that you admire?

 

Yes, my idol in poker is the female player Vanessa Selbst because she has playing style which I want to gain (lose-aggresive).

What do you think are your strengths at the poker table?

 

Attitude and patience.

What would you change if you could, to the poker in our country? When I say poker I mean players, gaing, buy-ins, conceptions, etc.

 

Bigger buy-ins and more open conceptions.

Where do you see poker in your future plans?

 

To reach a professional level.

Beside poker, do you have other hobbies?

 

Traveling, gardening, activities involving interior and exterior design.

Do you want to send a message to the begginer players from our country?

 

Perseverance and patience.

Luciana Manolea: “Poker won me over real fast”

She is 28 years old, originally from Iasi, plays online with the pseudonym “luckyno75”, mainly on PokerStars, and in 2012 she won tournament on three major poker sites: PokerStars.com, PokerStars.fr and 888. According to PoketFives.com her total winning are of $3,433,251. The highest amount won was $ 105,733, at the Progressive Super KnockOut tournament.

 

How did you start playing poker? Why?

I learned by myself playing on the Internet, I started with the SNG format “Double or Nothing” and right from the beginning I figured out that it is enough to win a few games a day to make an entry level salary. Poker won me over real fast.

What made you choose a professional poker player career and not something else?

Even since I was a University student I felt that I would not want a working schedule from 9 to 17 and that I like to work alone. I also had “beginner’s luck” in poker, so I had enough funds to support myself and to continue my work.

How did your family, acquaintances, friends receive the news that you have made poker a full time job?

How many hours do you spend playing poker each day?

I haven’t told my parents at the beginning, I waited to have consistent results, and then they have supported me.

My friends were delighted. I used to play a lot in my first ears, about 8-9 hours a day, after that I reduced the volume of games and I began to study more. Volume is not everything.

Which of the tournaments you won meant the most to you?

The most important prize for me was when I made deal in three as chip leader for $ 10k in a $10 tournament on PokerStars. It was my first great result, at the beginning, when I had no bankroll.

If you were to start it all over, would you choose poker again? Why?

Certainly I consider myself lucky to have found poker; I love my profession and I feel it suits me very well.

Can you tell us the total amount of buy-ins paid by you since you play poker?

There is a confusion regarding this topic for those who are not players.

In order to find out your profit, based on the total buy-ins, one uses the term ROI (return of investment). This is also a measure of the player capacity, but on short term is not relevant because it is influenced by luck. Many regular tournament players have an ROI of 20% at mid-stakes. For example, in a session in which they paid a buy-in of $3,500, they had a profit of under $700. This is just an average. In some sessions one can also lose it all and in others can obtain a very large profit.

Please tell us what are the main satisfactions poker gave you?

To travel and socialize are the most important satisfactions poker gives me. I am grateful for the people I’ve met through this.

What is your biggest regret related to poker?

I have no regrets, because I am convinced that I have learned from every mistake I made at major tournaments. It is human to be a little disappointed right after coming out of a tournament due to a mistake, but I know that we all make sub-optimal decisions sometimes. We can only analyze the situation, leave it behind and focus on what we play at that time.

We have a new law in forcé governing gambling and by default poker in Romania. There are new taxes and a number of sites were also banned for poker players, while others were licensed. From your point of view, how did the new regulations affect poker players?

All players are affected by the fact that we can no longer play on French sites; this is the biggest disadvantage. I choose to see the glass half full: I play at fewer game tables now and I pay more attention.

Lately there are voices among players saying that poker is no longer a good financial offertory, both online and live, that it is in a decay, do you experience this situation or is it just a rumor?

It is true, online poker is no longer what it used to be. It is more difficult for beginners to make money out of it. I do not experience this situation because I am studying continuously, for some time now, and I am convinced that I will keep on winning in the future as well, as long as I maintain this grind and study program.

As for live poker, it will always be a tenderer, although there too, the players become better and better.

Given the fact that you play poker very well, I conclude that this is primarily a hobby for you, please tell us what other hobbies do you have?

Yes, poker is a passion for me. My other passions are sports and healthy cooking.

Surely there are plenty of women who want to become professional poker players, what would you advice them?

As a beginner, I think one will progress faster if they devote more time to study than to playing games. It is important to have realistic expectations, patience and good bankroll management.

Jerry Yang, a player with a certain distinctiveness in the poker industry

by Bogdan Fechită

 

There are few players of Asian origin who managed to secure habit and repute for themselves in the poker industry. Of these, the most eloquent example is Jerry Yang, winner of the 2007 WSOP Main event.

 

Before becoming a poker player millionaire, Jerry has had a difficult life. He was born in Laos, in 1967, but not dwelt too much in this country. After the Communists took control, his family managed to flee into Thailand where they stayed for four years in a refugee camp. During these years he lost a sister and a brother, both deceased.

 

From Thailand, his family managed to flee to America and they settled in California. “The day I arrived in America I felt what freedom means. It was the most beautiful day of my life”, Jerry would say later. In the U.S., he began to study and he obtained a diploma as psychologist and social worker. These studies would help him also in the poker world. “I carefully studied the opponents and when I felt something, when I saw a trace of weakness, I was playing my chance!”

 

The step towards poker

Yang started to play poker quite late in his life, in 2005, when he was 37 years old. In his first year as a player he was unable to obtain any money ranking. The first amount gained was to come in January 2006 in an event within the L.A. Poker Classic. He ranked on the 18th place and he earned $404 for a buy-in of $ 500. By the end of the year he checks three more cashes, the most important result being the 3rd place in an event of National Championship of Poker, receiving $ 6,985. Note that during this period he only played on relatively small amounts and enters only the tournaments with buy-ins that do not exceed $ 500.

 

Moment of glory

Before the start of the 2007 edition of the WSOP, Yang joined in a satellite tournament competition. For a buy-in of just $ 225, the winner of the tournament received a place in the WSOP Main Event, where the entrance was $ 10,000. Jerry wins the tournament and obtains the right to participate in the WSOP Main Event.

 

Maybe it was a lot of good luck too, but what is certain is that from an amateur player he was unable to reach the final table. Moreover, in the last day of his event, Jerry started as the eighth player by the number of chips. He attacked the remaining seven opponents one by one and managed to increase its number of chips.

 

After 12 hours of play, he played the final hand with Tuan Lam, another player of Asian origin. Lam has risked all the chips he had left on a hand with A♦ and Q♦, while Jerry stayed in the game with 8 ♣ and 8♦. The table came with 5♠, Q♣, 9♣, 7♦ and 6♥. A straight for Jerry, which brought the Grand Prize of $ 8,250 in his bank account, with an investment of only 225 $ !

 

Small prizes

Nicknamed “the Shadow”, the player who was born in Laos, continued to remain active as a poker player, but has failed to live up to the performance of the summer of 2007. Its participations in poker tournaments resulted in general in awards of a few thousands euros. The most notable results were: $ 75,000 for fifth place at an event at the National Heads-up Championship in 2010; $ 30,380 for an event at the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza, also in 2010 and $ 11,449 for an event at the 2014 Edition of the WSOP. As for the rest, his prizes were under $ 10,000.

 

Conflict with Joe Hachem

Jerry has not kept all the money he earned in poker for himself, but he donated part of his earnings to charity associations. After the success in 2007, he donated over $ 800,000.

 

His style as a poker player did not impress Joe Hachem, winner of the 2005 WSOP, who attacked him hard in 2014 accusing him that he destroys the legacy of the world champions and that he is not a good Ambassador of Poker. Joe said that Yang, Jamie Gold, and the younger players are concerned only by the money, but not the notoriety and glory offered by the title of world champion.

 

“I was a little shocked. To be honest, I don’t know Joe so well.  I haven’t even played with him, so when I heard his comments I was shocked. Joe’s a good guy and I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a great champion and a great poker player, and I’m not going to go into the debate with him. But when I heard what he said I was really shocked”, defended Yang.

 

Problems with the IRS

Another blow for Jerry Yang was when he learned that the IRS is on his trail. U.S. authorities allege that the poker player owes to the State a huge amount of his poker winnings, including a federal tax lien in the amount of $ 571,894. The total amount that Jerry still owes is not known and will be determined by a trial. As an example, the 2012 winner of the WSOP, Greg Merson, was forced to pay to the IRS, 43% of the total amount of $ 8,531,853, being left with only $4,838,327.

 

Jerry Yang

– 48 years old

– born in Laos

– residence in Temecula, California

– winner of  2007 WSOP

– one gold bracelet

– 6 money rankings at WSOP

– biggest prize: $8,250,000 (2007 WSOP)

– total winnings: $8,421,749

– total money rankings: 25

– married with 6 children

Pamela Brunson: “I was always proud of my Dad”

Our magazine has succeeded to achieve an extraordinary interview exclusively with Pamela Brunson – daughter of the famous Doyle Brunson, one of the most important personality in poker in the world. We invite you to read this material-event to find out what it meant for Pamela to be the daughter of a poker player so emblematic, what means poker for Brunson family and how divides his life, this strong woman,  between poker, family and different activities to help people.

Brunson represents a big name in poker worldwide. I think the poker is present in your life from an early age. How was your life with poker all around you?

There is NEVER a dull moment in my family. Always something going on. We used to say……most people “spice up” a story when they tell it. We have to “tone it down”. When I was growing up, poker was frowned upon as a profession. Mom would tell us to say Dad was in the “oil business”. I never cared what people thought. I’ve ALWAYS been proud of my Dad. So I would hold my head up high and say “My Dad is a poker player”! My Dad graduated from Hardin Simmons University with a double Masters in business and education. He was an all-star athlete in track and basketball. He was the 2nd fastest runner in Texas and was going to be drafted into the Minniapolis Lakers…when a wall fell on him, crushed his leg and changed his destiny. He began to play poker for a living. All his classmates were inducted into the Hardin Simmons Hall of Fame. They didn’t induct Dad because he was a “gambler”. That really hurt him. Finally…when the “poker boom” came, poker was accepted and they inducted Dad into the Hall of Fame. I know it meant alot to him to be accepted. I am THANKFUL he got to see poker become accepted by society. Now the public knows what a GREAT MAN I have as a Dad!!!

It was difficult to be Doyle Brunson’s daughter?

I was always proud of my Dad. Sometimes people looked down on “gamblers” and “poker players”. I honestly didn’t let that bother me……which is interesting because I’m EXTREMELY sensitive. Dad was gone alot. When we lived in Texas, we went weeks at a time not seeing him. He’d either be driving thru Texas playing poker or going to Vegas. Right before I turned 9 years old, we moved to Vegas. It was interesting growing up here. Things stayed open all night and we could go to casinos to eat. Dad played LONG hours. I used to hear him coming in at 4 or 5 am. We would have to be quite while he slept. That wasn’t always easy with a house full of kids!!! It’s pretty cool these days. EVERYONE knows who Dad is…..even in other countries. It’s sooooo awesome to see how much people admire and respect him. I am proud of him. He has been thru ALOT in his lifetime. I’ve really become close to him over the last few years. He’s let me in…and opened up about alot of things. There is not a person I admire more in this world than my Dad…well…I’d have to put my Mom right up there with him. I am BLESSED to have such AMAZING parents. They are both in their 80’s now. I try to spend alot of time with them and help where I can. They are getting older. Both are VERY mentally alert. Physically they are having some issues. I’m happy to help them as they have always been there for me. I am TREASURING every minute!!!

When did you start playing poker and how?

I started playing poker in 1989. I graduated college in Texas and moved to Southern California. At the time my parents had a house there and Todd was also there. Dad, Chip Reese and a man named Lynn Miller had a poker room in Oceanside called “Oceanside Card Club”. There was also a place called “Jerry’s place”. Those 2 poker rooms are where I learned to play poker. Todd and I started playing poker around the same time. It was so FUN going there and playing. Most the games were Limit Holdem back then. They also played Omaha high and high/low. I would play 4 or 5 days a week…many times in 24 hour sessions. I once played for 68 hours. All the Brunsons had incredible stamina when we were younger. Oh how I wish I still did!!! I played for a few years, mainly cash games…6/12 limit poker with a Kill button. Not many girls played poker back then. It wasn’t the best environment. Dad didn’t want me playing. I ended up getting a job and the retirement industry and put poker on the back burner. I played a few times a year but I didn’t start back up playing regularly until 2006 or so. I only played regularly until 2010. I have other priorities these days. Hoping to get to play more soon. Poker has changed ALOT!!! Many more women playing now. There are more rules about cussing, smoking, etc which make for a better playing environment. Also…….now most people play “no-limit” holdem and poker tournaments these days. I LOVE both so looking forward to have more time in the future to grind again!!!

Which kind of poker do you prefer, live or online, tournaments or cash games?

I enjoy playing tournaments the most. Unfortunately, it’s tough to make money only playing tourneys so I see more cash games in my future. I’ll probably do a mixture of both.

What does poker mean for you?

I LOVE poker. It’s fun, exciting, you can make money at it and also meet people! It’s also a game of skill so I’m constantly trying to study, learn and improve my game. I’d say that’s a GREAT combo for anything you do in life!!!

How much time do you invest in poker?

I don’t spend much time playing poker these days. I’m hoping to play more in the future. Everyone is learning and growing as players. I feel like it’s all passing me by…so I need to get back into the game!!!

You won in 2007 the Legends of Poker ladies tournament. How was it?

It was AMAZING!!! We were down to 3 players. I was the short stack. The other 2 ladies started making a deal to chop 1st and 2nd place…right IN FRONT of me at the table!!! They were SO SURE I was the next to bust. I told them they better be making a deal for 2nd and 3rd place because I was going to win. They laughed. I “changed gears”, picked my spots, got aggressive and WON!!! It was a GREAT feeling! Especially after them talking “smack”.

Which was the most exciting hand in poker for you?

I honestly couldn’t say my most exciting poker hand. I usually remember the “bad plays” and “mistakes” I make more than the great hands. I try to play back and reflect on the hands in hopes of learning from them…so the next time I come across a similar situation…I don’t make the same mistake.

The fact that you got a bachelor degree in sociology helped you in your poker activities?

I think sociology and especially the psychology classes I took in college helped in my abilities to “read” poker players. You gotta be able to figure out your opponents by watching and observing them. Psychology is a HUGE part of the game!!! Alot of poker players make the mistake of not paying attention when they aren’t in a hand. BIG MISTAKE! Ya gotta ALWAYS be watching and observing EVERYTHING that goes on around you in a poker game. If you don’t, you are missing out on TONS of free information. It could easily make the difference on whether you win or lose at poker.

You are recognized by the name “Queen Kitty”. From where you got this nickname?

“Queen Kitty” is my online poker name. I LOVE cats!!! I’ve been a “cat” on Halloween a few times. One Halloween, I was getting ready and didn’t have much of a costume together. I started brain storming. I didn’t want to be a cat AGAIN…and didn’t have much time to get ready. I remembered I had a “Queen’s cape and crown” from a previous Halloween and combined the “Kiity” and the “Queen”…and “Queen Kitty” was born!!!

Why do you think that poker has become a phenomenon in the world, including Romania?

I think putting poker on TV and allowing the viewing audience to see the “hole cards” has helped put poker on the map. It’s given everyone a peek into poker in general and allowed the wonderful “characters” of poker aka “poker players” to be exposed to the world. Also, poker tournaments like the WSOP, WPT , etc expose people to poker and gives the “average” person a “shot” at winning a lot of money. Who doesn’t like the idea of winning money???? I’d say that’s one thing we all have in common!

What do you do except poker? I know that you are implicated in different activities to help people.

After I graduated UTSA ( University of Texas at San Antonio) with a BA in Sociology, I decided to move to California. I’ ve always had a passion for working with people and helping others. I also LOVE the elderly. I decided to go into the Retirement Industry. I joined a WONDERFUL company that ran “Assisted Living Retirement Communities” in Southern California. I worked my way “UP” doing a number of jobs…from “receptionist” to “accounting assistant” to “Accountant” to “Marketing Coordinator” and finally to the “Executive Director” of one of the most premier communities around. I am very proud of my career. I worked hard and did whatever it took to make it to the next level in my industry. Lots of long hours, continuing education classes, getting the proper training and licensing, etc. It was an AWESOME industry and I LOVED working with the elderly. In 2000 I decided I needed to move back to Las Vegas to be close to my family. These days, my parents are in their 80s, I spend most my time helping them. I also enjoy getting involved with the local community charities either by donating or helping to raise money. Lots of times it’s thru attending and participating in “charity poker tournaments”. It’s a great way to give back to the community and have some fun at the same time!

What are your future plans regarding poker?

I’m hoping to start playing more poker in the near future. I keep saying that…and it doesn’t happen. We’ve had LOTS going on in my family. Both my parents had health scares this year. They are my priority before poker or anything else. They are getting older and need me…so…fingers crossed…y’all see me at the tables SOON!

Which are your hobbies?

I enjoy socializing, country dancing, poker (it’s more of a hobby than my profession), spending time with family and friends and I ADORE animals!!! And COWBOYS!!!

What would you advice a young people who want to start playing poker?

I’d tell anyone interested in playing poker to do a combination of things. Getting good at poker requires lots of work, disipline and training. Read some poker books. Super System 1 and 2 are a great start! Watching poker videos can be helpful but many people get the wrong idea about poker only watching it on TV. TV only shows a VERY condensed version of poker…only the “interesting” hands. There are LOTS of hands and time in between. Practice being patient. Having patience is a huge part of the game. There are lots of training seminars and DVDs these days to take advantage of. Nothing prepares you more for poker than GRINDING at the tables. I recommend playing online and live to get a feel for both. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. Get in there, grind and learn. Also, when you are at a poker table, observe, observe,observe!!! It’s extremely important to PAY ATTENTION. It’s also as important to avoid losing a hand as it is to win a hand. Remember the old song by Kenny Rogers “The Gambler”? “YA GOTTA KNOW WHEN TO HOLD EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD EM, KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY. KNOW WHEN TO RUN”!!! It’s TRUE!!!

Dan Bilzerian or how to live life to the fullest

by Bogdan Fechită

 Dan Bilzerian can easily be a role model to every man. With a bohemian lifestyle, he is always surrounded by beautiful and nearly naked women, money and dangerous weapons. The perfect recipe to arouse envy, controversy and praise from those who hope to follow in his footsteps.

The inheritance of his father

Many people wonder from where come Dan’s money. He seems an inexhaustible source of financial resources. Bilzerian was born in Tampa and has a brother, Adam, also a poker player. The touching side of Dan’s life story consists in the fact that half of his family was killed in the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916, when over 1,5 million people were killed. The other half managed to flee the country, and some arrived in the US. Dan’s father, Paul Bilzerian, who had a decisive influence on his future, was born here.

Paul was a controversial businessman on Wall Street, specialized in corporative take over. He was very successful with his property investments, but he also had problems with the law, being arrested. He managed, however, to leave to his two sons a huge fund of money. Thus, the fun began.

Poker Player

Although the money from his father represented a boost in his lifestyle, Dan knew that this will not be enough and was able to make the money circulate for him. One of his best decisions was to participate in the founding of Victory Poker, an online game room, which has managed to maintain the attention of poker players.

He did not do with the involvement in this industry only as an operator, but he has become a professional poker player. His most notable performance was at the 2009 WSOP, where he participated with his brother. He finished only on the 180 position, earning $ 36,626. This is the only amount recorded by him in a live poker tournament tournaments in his right.

Dan plays also online, where may have been more generous wins. Stories about him say that he is a high stakes player and Dan did not refute them. However, the exact figures of his poker winnings are difficult to confirm.

In 2013, he landed Jay Farber with $ 2,000 so that he can play in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. Jay had an impressive game and finished in 2nd place, earning $ 5,1 million. Dan also won, receiving back a million dollars and a goat, for the initial loan. The best investment ever!

Other hobbies

Being fascinated by sport, Bilzerian is the sport guy type of man, who does not hesitate to enter all kinds of stuff, some really extreme. In March 2011 he competed in a race against Tom Goldstein on a car circuit in Las Vegas. The race was played on a bet of $ 385,000 dollars betted by the two. Dan competed with a 1965 AC Cobra and Tom with a 458 Ferrari. Bilzerian won the race and the bet.

After moving to Hollywood, he began to be attracted to acting. He had roles in “Lone Survivor,” “The Other Woman,” “The Equalizer” was a stuntman in ‘Olympus Has Fallen” and he will appear in the Bruce Willis’s film -” Extraction “, which will be released in 2016.

In 2014 he admitted that he paid the producers of the “Lone Survivor” a million dollars in order for him to enter the distribution. Then Dan sued them because he had paid this amount for at least eight minutes on the screen and at least 80 words in the film. However, he was less than a minute on the screen and had only one line, for which he took the producers to the court of law.

He also had a Romanian girlfriend

Few know that the great Dan was in a relationship with a Romanian model. Though surrounded all the time by many women, the American had girlfriends to whom he was more devoted. The relationship with Andreea Bolbea, a Romanian supermodel, was but one of passion. Parting, Bilzerian offered the following astonishing explanation about their romance: “I broke up with Andreea after a relationship of a year. I did this because I felt she was not happy. She did not mind that I was having sex with other women if she was also involved. I’ll make sure she will have no financial worries.” That was in the summer of 2014.

Facebook Guru

Dan Bilzerian’s aura also increased due to the social networks. He has over 4,3 million followers on Facebook and he is always careful to post photographs or videos on his account, with each more scandalous. Whether displaying his expensive cars, money, or whether he is surrounded by naked women, Dan manages to attract attention. One of the most scandalous posts was when he cast a porn star naked in a pool from the top of the roof, the young girl even hit herself when landing.

Dan Bilzerian

– 34 years old

– poker player and actor

– born in Tampa, Florida

– resides in Hollywood Hills, California

– known as: ”Blitz”, ”Instagram King”, ”Instagram’s Playboy King”

– estimated fortune: $ 100 million

Facts

– His brother, Alex, is also a poker player. Best performance: 47th place at the 2009 WSOP, and a $ 138,568 win.

– In 2010 he was voted the funniest poker player by the magazine Bluff Magazine

– due to his lifestyle, he suffered three heart attacks until the age of 32

– He was arrested in his senior year because he brought a machine-gun to school

– He was arrested in December 2014 at the airport in Los Angeles because the police had information that he had a bomb on him. The information prove to be wrong and Dan was released on the same day.

– He owns at least 97 weapons, some of which are exhibited in the rooms of his home.

– He hit a supermodel in the face in a Miami club, and he got banned in this location.

– Because of the problems we had with the law, and his controversial life, Australia refuses to give him a visa to enter the country.

– Dan was also involved in charity works: he started the project “Robin Hood”, whose aim is to give back to ordinary people some of the money they pay in taxes; He took care of a woman who lost all her limbs to make life to her as accessible as possible and he donated money to some foster parents who were caring for six children with special needs.

 

Robert Mizrachi: ”It’s the best feeling in the world after win a big event”

One of the greatest poker players in the world give us an interview exclusively. We are very happy to show our readers the Robert Mizrachi’s fresh thoughts regarding poker. In his career Robert won 2 bracelets at WSOP: first, in 2007 at the 38th edition of World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Event and second, last year at the Event #41, $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed.

Mizrachi represents a big name in poker worldwide. Who from your family brought poker in your lives?

My mother brought poker to our lives.

When did you start playing poker and how?

Starting playing poker with my brother Michael when we were 13 years old.

Which kind of poker do you prefer, live or online, tournaments or cash games?

I prefer mix cash games it’s my preference.

What does poker mean for you?

Poker means a lot to me. Because my whole family plays and we are very competitive. And my family is always there for each other.

How much time do you invest in poker?

I invest about 30 hours a week playing poker.

How do you surprise the other players during games?

I surprise the other players at the table my being funny humorous and just being myself.  Not being a pro that’s not fun to be around like others.

You are a prolific player. You have 2 Bracelets and a lots of final tables and cashes at WSOP and WPT. What it’s your secret? How you succeed to be so pragmatic?

My secret in my success is being patient playing the right events. Always being kind to people and just playing my best at all times.

What is the luck’s role in poker? The luck holds with the best?

The luck in poker is being at the right table at the right time and making players play bad as much as possible.

What do you feel in the moment when you win in a big poker tournament?

It’s the best feeling in the world after win a big event, got just feel like it is the biggest rush ever like skydiving.

Do you know a Romanian poker player?

I don’t know a Romanian player that I can recall.

Why do you think that poker has become a phenomenon in the world, including Romania?

Poker has become a phenomenon because it is very competitive, everyone loves to play and anyone can win at any particular time. And it is the best feeling after winning a big event.

What should a poker player do in order to obtain important results on a constant basis?

Every poker player should track there results and how they are doing overall there are many great apps to do so.

What would you advice a young people who want to start playing poker?

If you are just starting to play poker and young you should first learn how to play online for play money.  And then come to a casino and play with people smaller limits and keep practicing and play with better player to learn from them.

What are your future plans regarding poker?

My future plans for poker is to play more poker tournaments. Play bigger cash games and travel and meet new people. Win more brackets WPT and EPTs.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are tennis, darts, golf, going to the beach enjoying my family and friends.

Which was the most exciting moment in playing poker?

The most exciting moment for me in poker is winning my 2007 10K PLo and making the final table with my brother (Michael) in the 50K Championship and watching him win after he knocked me out.

Martin Jacobson’s Stroke of Genius

by Bogdan Fechită

 

They say that once in a lifetime one can experience a moment of good luck that changes their destiny entirely. Martin Jacobson had such a moment in 2014, in the Main Event-No Limit Hold’em World Series of Poker, where he won $ 10 million. It was his moment of glory and a real stroke of genius.

 

Martin is not a regular poker player. He does not have decades of experience, but he has a promising future. Born on June the 30th 1987 in Stockholm, Jacobson hoped initially to become a Chef, and he studied in this respect. When he was 18 years old he began to watch poker matches on the television. He immediately falls in love with this game, so he begins to practice it by testing his luck online and playing in free roll tournaments, but also at home with his friends.

 

However, Martin stays true to his will power to become a professional chef: his dream was to move to Barcelona to work in a Michelin three-star restaurant. The watershed moment for Martin takes place when a much-expected job as a chef does not materialize. Disappointed, he finds refuge in his newly discovered passion. A decision that he would certainly never regret.

 

The Beginnings

Martin’s tactics were inspired. First he got hardened by playing online in free roll tournaments or with low buy-ins and as he won money, he invested more in his passion. He tried his luck in the qualifiers which took place online for various important poker live tournaments. In 2008 he obtains his first presence, not anywhere but at the WSOP in Las Vegas. He did not win any prize, but this experience was very important to him. Because did not have sufficient funds, Martin continues his tactics and becomes “hooked” by qualifying online tournaments in order to get seats at live tournaments, and thus lower costs. He gets another qualification at EPT London in 2008, but here also he fails to come into money.

 

The First Win

Martin did not surrender easily and got one last chance at the EPT Budapest, the same year, 2008. So he gets to compete in his third live tournament, but also to meet his first success: he finished in the 3rd place at the Main Event and managed to tick off his first important win: 280,000 €! At this time Martin obtains his confirmation that he is on the right track. One much better than a career as a Chef. After Budapest, the tournament in Amsterdam follows, where he plays at the Master Classics of Poker Main Event and finishes in the 25th place of the 335 players.

 

Constant Player

If 2008 was the year of Martin’s onset in the poker world, 2009 was a year in which he demonstrated consistency in tournaments: he finishes second in NLHE Mega Stack Championship in Las Vegas, the 6th in NLHE 6-Max in the EPT Grand Final Monte Carlo, 2nd in the WPT Main Event in Venice and the 8th at the NLHE event organized at the WSOP in Las Vegas. The total amount of winnings captured by Martin this year is worth nearly $ 110,000 and €280,000, of which the highest award was the one at the World Poker Tour of Venice (€238,840).

 

 

In 2010 he improves his performance at the NLHE event of the WSOP and finished in the 4th place, winning $ 183,000. The second prize of the year comes from the EPT Vilamoura where he finishes in the 2nd place in the Main Event and wins his biggest prize so far: €300,000.

 

He starts 2011 with a hearty winning of € 560,000 at the EPT Deauville. Manages to collect some money in the Main Event of EPT Copenhagen and he makes a show at the EPT Berlin where he entered the money in two tournaments, the most important being the 4th place at the Main Event which brings him 230,000 €. His victories in the EPT helps him to break a record: he becomes the player with the most appearances at the final table of an EPT season. Martin is currently ranked 3rd in the all-time rankings of EPT tournaments, although he started playing only in the fifth season.

The year 2013 is looming Martin’s huge potential. At 2013 WSOP he manages to win $ 807,000 after finishing in the 6th place in One Drop High Roller Event, and in London he succeeds to win his first live tournament within the European Poker Tour, receiving $ 126,000. The year ends in force: a new 2nd place at WPT Montreal and another $ 120,000 in his account.

 

Thanks to the good results recorded in the EPT tournaments, Martin became the first Swedish player to enter the top 10 of the most respected ranking of the poker players – Global Poker Index.

 

The Climax

As in any good movie, Martin’s career had also a highlight. That moment, when he kept us breathless was at the final table of the WSOP Main Event in 2014. Starring was Martin and Felix Stephensen. Two young ambitious players. One of 26, the other of 24 years old. The perfect match. At the 35th hand, Martin receives a pair, 10♥ and 10♦, while Felix gets an A♥, where he rests all his hopes and a 9♥. On the table will gradually appear, 3♠, 9♣, 10♣, K♦ and 4♣. With three tens, Martin gives the finishing stroke and wins the biggest tournament of his career. He is rewarded with $ 10,000 and the WSOP bracelet.

With the 2014WSOP Prize, Martin enters the top 10 of the greatest poker winnings. He was best ranked in 9th place, but he currently sits at # 10 with $ 14,930,636 won during his entire career. But his story does not end here. It has just begun.

 

TRIVIA

– Martin lives with his girlfriend in a renowned culinary neighborhood in London, seeking in this way to remain close to his first passion.

– When he isn’t playing poker, he tries his luck at sports bets as well, betting in particular on tennis and martial arts, to which he allocates time in order to study and track them.

– Even though Poker does not require physical effort, Martin is passionate about physical workouts and shall endeavor to maintain a healthy life rhythm.

– He is a member of “Raising for Effective Giving,” a community of poker players that aims to have a positive impact on the world. The members of this community donate at least 2% of their earnings to humanitarian causes.

– In 2015 he was declared the Swedish poker player of the year by the prestigious publication ” Poker.se “, that title being won in the past by great players such as Viktor Blom, Chris Bjorin and Robin Ylitalo.

– Currently he is one of the best Swedish poker players of all time if judged after the value of the prize money won.

 

 

Martin Jacobson

Total poker winnings: $ 14,930,636

The highest winning at a live tournament: $10,000,000 (2014 WSOP)

WSOP Bracelets: 1

Place in the all-time top of the greatest winnings: 10

Global Poker Index Ranking: 51

 

ANDRE AKKARI, not just poker

He is one of the most talented Brazilian players and the one who brought to the country of the coffee one of the Champion bracelets of the WSOP, this taking place back in 2011, in the $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament. The nearly 40-year-old Brazilian, born in Sao Paolo, confirmed the hopes placed in him by very many people, becoming the player of Brazil with poker earnings of over $ 3,000,000, second in the all-time classifications of the country.

Even though in the WPT or EPT he had obtained no top results, finishing only in money, but not reaching to the final tables or titles, Akkari is a player who accumulates experience year by year playing in both online and live tournaments. World Series of Poker was the best event for him, with 13 entries in money; and at his first final table here, he has managed the greatest performance of his career so far – a title and a WSOP Bracelet (2011). An outstanding performance!

Andre Akkari from Sao Paolo in Brazil got into poker by an interesting route. He was working for a software company on a project for a poker website, and in the course of his research he downloaded some poker software and began playing. He became fascinated by the game and began reading books and strategy to improve his play. Andre realized he could make a living from poker, and gradually built his bankroll and moved up the levels. From that start he has gone on to make a name for himself in both the online and live arenas of the game, and he is one of Brazil’s brightest poker talents.

With his background in software development, Andre is at home playing online and his record in PokerStars tournaments is second to none, with more than 90 final table appearances and over $500,000 in winnings. His finest moment came during the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), when he finished second in the $10,300 HORSE event, good for a cash of $200,000. He’s also made the switch to live poker, and Andre’s live career got started with some impressive results at the Bellagio Cup in Las Vegas. He went on a winning run in August 2006 taking down two $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournaments for $57,000 and $83,000. He then cashed at the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in The Bahamas, finishing in the top 100 at the Main Event, before going on to final table a side event at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final. He came second in the €500 No Limit Hold’em tournament in Monte Carlo, good for $75,004.

Andre enjoys spending time with his wife and kids when not playing poker, and like most Brazilians loves football and plays with his friends back in Brazil whenever he can. He also loves movies and enjoys the opportunity that poker brings to visit new places. He is a member of Team PokerStars Pro and plays at the tables using the screen name ‘AAkkari’.

Andre loves to play poker both live and online. You can find him at events on the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), as well as on the European Poker Tour (EPT), in glamorous destinations such as Monte Carlo. He also regularly plays the annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in The Bahamas. He’s a regular at PokerStars biggest online tournaments such as the Sunday Million, and he also competes in the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) every year.

2014 came with good results, but also with disappointments. Especially during the time when Andre was present for 1 month and a half, at the WSOP, being away from his family, and when the Cariocas national team was playing for the World Cup at home. He played 14 events at the WSOP 2014, often qualifying on day 2, but he failed to enter the money at any event. It was frustrating because he often has been very close to being paid, and he often finished near the bubble or at the bubble. Andre demoralizes not, he will come back next year, more confident, especially because Vegas has brought the finest moments of his professional life in 2011, when, before winning the champion bracelet he has played 18 events, but only the event 43 – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event earned him fame and money!

One of his greatest passions it’s for dogs of Golden Retriver breed. He owns a pet kennel with 28 dogs of this breed, and the best specimens often participate in canine competitions in his country or in the U.S.

It is a declared fan of the Brazilian team Corinthians and an admirer of the Brazilian football player Ronaldo Nazario.

Andre Akkari is an accomplished man, he has a beautiful family that he loves, enough money to live peacefully throughout the rest of his life, and many hobbies that complete his life in a perfect way – dogs and football, but we are sure that he didn’t have his last say in the word of poker yet.

Career Highlights

Event

Date

Place

Prize

LAPT R$ 3,600 + 400 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event 2013 5th $63,675
WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 2011 1 st $675,117
PokerStars SCOOP $109 Main Event (Low) 2010 5th $57,564
PokerStars WCOOP $10,300 HORSE 2008 2nd $200,000
EPT 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2008 97th $16,000
EPT Monte Carlo €500 No Limit Hold’em 2008 2nd $75,004
Bellagio Cup II $1,000 No Limit Hold’em 2006 1st $57,000
Bellagio Cup II $1,000 No Limit Hold’em 2006 1st $83,500

 

Lyle Berman, business and poker

Lyle Arnold Berman is businessman, poker player, WSOP bracelet winner and chairman of the World Poker Tour board. So, it’s a high-stakes poker player with a fierce entrepreneurial streak. And for the most part, his risk-taking has paid off. In the 1970s, when leather goods were seen as upscale, he transformed his family’s small leather-wholesaling company into a mass-market retailer. He burst onto the gaming scene with Grand Casinos Inc., the first operator to spot opportunities managing Indian casinos in Minnesota and in dockside gambling along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Education and first business

Berman grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota where he was graduated in 1964 with a degree in business administration. He then went to work for his father’s leather business, Berman Buckskin. When the business was sold to W. R. Grace in 1979, he stayed on as president and CEO. The company was then later sold to the Melville Corporation where it became Wilsons Leather. From 1994 to 2000 he was the chairman and CEO of the Rainforest Cafe chain of restaurants and retail stores.

Poker

Berman began playing tournaments in the mid-1980’s, with his first memory coming from when he knocked Tom McEvoy out of one of the first events he ever played.  Although he didn’t play much, he always tried to play in the bigger events.  In 1994 he won first place at Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker in the $500 Pot Limit Omaha event, winning $97,750.  His success at the World Series of Poker has been even greater.  He won his first of three WSOP bracelets in 1989, defeating all comers in the $1,500 Limit Omaha event, winning $108,600. Number two came in 1992, winning $192,000 in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Number three came just two years later, winning $128,000 in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Deuce to 7 Draw Event.  On top of three bracelets he also finished second three times. He has shown that despite calling No Limit Hold’em his best game, he can hold his own at any game thrown in front of him. Berman has also found success on his own WPT, finishing in the money of three tournaments. His career tournament earnings are approaching three million dollars.

Big Business

Berman also played an important role in gaming companies. In 1990 he was a co-founder of Grand Casinos, a company that sought to create gambling establishments outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It was identified by Fortune Magazine as the fastest growing company in America, and in culmination, 1998 brought the substantial merger of Hilton Casinos and Grand Casinos, with the formation of the Lakes Gaming Corporation as a spin-off company.

World Poker Tour

Lyle might have been happy with the immense growth of his casino operations and innumerable business successes under his belt, but it can’t be said that he will pass up a promising new business opportunity.

In 2001, Lyle agreed to meet with Steve Lipscomb to discuss a proposition to televise poker tournaments. It had the ingredients of a successful venture, including Lyle’s gut feeling to invest in the idea. With the blessings of Lakes’ Board of Directors, the finances were in place, and the first tournament was held, taped and offered for sale. The Travel Channel entered into an agreement with Lakes to air the first season of the World Poker Tour.

WPT Enterprises broke from Lakes in order to become a public company in 2004, but Lyle, who had the confidence to back the project from the beginning, remains deeply committed and sits on the board of directors of WPTE. He plays an integral role in the company’s decisions to license its products, broadcast its shows internationally, and find new ways to market the ever-growing WPT brand.

Lyle Berman has made a living from keeping an open mind and making sound investments and wise business decisions. Through these qualities and a tremendous amount of life experience, he has gained the respect of the business world and the poker community alike.

He has recently had a book published, aptly named „I’m All In”. The autobiography gives a considerable insight into his upbringing, work ethic, family and friends, and the secrets to his successful life so far.

Awards & Results

He won the B’nai B’rith Great American Traditions award in 1995 and the Gaming Executive of the Year award in 1996.

In 2005, Lyle Berman competed in the National Heads Up Championship. He finished in fifth place losing to eventual champion Phil Hellmuth Jr.

Although he prefers high-stakes cash games, he has as of 2009 won over $2,500,000 in live poker tournaments. His 16 cashes at the WSOP account for $1,446,317 of those winnings. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.

According to the James McManus book Positively Fifth Street, Berman has bankrolled T. J. Cloutier in numerous poker tournaments, including the 2000 WSOP main event, where he finished 2nd. Berman currently resides in Plymouth, Minnesota and has 4 children.

The best poker results:

 

EVENT

PLACE

PRIZE

DATE

16th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #2 – WSOP Limit Hold’em

2nd

$68,400

May 5, 1985

18th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #7 – WSOP Pot Limit Omaha

2nd

$108,750

May 6, 1987

2005 National Heads-Up Poker Championship
No Limit Hold’em

6th

$75,000

Mar 5, 2005

20th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #1 – WSOP Limit Omaha

1st

$108,600

May 1, 1989

20th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #14 – WSOP World Championship – No Limit Hold’em

5th

$67,950

May 14, 1989

23rd Annual World Series of Poker
Event #16 – WSOP No Limit Hold’em

1st

$192,000

May 7, 1992

25th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #20 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball

1st

$128,250

May 5, 1994

28th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #16 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball

2nd

$91,250

May 4, 1997

31st Annual World Series of Poker
Event #12 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball

2nd

$81,250

May 4, 2000

39th World Series of Poker 2008
Event #45 – WSOP H.O.R.S.E World Championship

5th

$444,000

Jun 25, 2008

41st World Series of Poker 2010
Event #2 – WSOP PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. Omaha Hi/Lo Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball

12th

$129,957

May 28, 2010

World Poker Finals / WPT Event Season 4
WPT Main Event – No Limit Hold’em

5th

$345,000

Nov 18, 2005

WPT World Championship / WPT Event Season 5
WPT No Limit Hold’em Championship

29th

$92,820

Apr 27, 2007

 

TRIVIA:

 

Residence Plymouth, Minnesota
Born August 6, 1941 (age 72)

World Series of Poker

Bracelets 3
Money finishes 16
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
5th, 1989

World Poker Tour

Titles None
Final tables 1
Money finishes 3