It is with great excitement and pleasure that I find myself here at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City to bring Internet coverage of the main event of this years USPC to our loyal readers at www.PokerPages.com. It is my intention to keep you updated on a regular basis for the first 2 days and then bring you a hand by hand account of the final table on Friday using our Chat Room. The first 2 days updates will include photographs as often as possible and I will also plan to continue the photographs through the final day. This is my first ever trip to Atlantic City.
In 1999 Daniel Negreanu won the $7500 buy-in No-Limit Hold ’em Main event to be crowned “United States Poker Champion”. Daniel is a very worthy defending champion despite his young age. I expect him to be in there pitching this year in the later stages.
I arrived here late last night in temperatures approaching freezing after a long treck from Austin, to find 3 of my friends from England in celebratory mood. Hamish Shah, Surinder Sunar and Ian Dobson (3rd in the PokerMillion). Hamish had just won the $500 buy-in No Limit event and $32,000.
The room which holds about 70 tables was quite busy with live action and a super satellite in progress. The organizers are expecting around 90 entrants for the main event which will generate a pool of some $675,000.
It is now 12.00pm Wednesday and I am about move down stairs to the tokyoslot88 tournament area. There is a final Super Satellite in progress which looks set to produce 3 more entries and a single table satellite. It still looks like around 90 players will take part.
Some noted names among them include Erik Seidel, T.J, Daniel Negreanu, Kathy Liebert, Charlie Brahmi, Mike Sexton, Surinder Sunar and Ian Dobson. These are just the players I have seen personally. Sorry to any “stars” I have missed out at this stage. When I see you I will mention you!!
That’s all for now, I will begin my coverage at 4.00pm today.
“Dragging my weary body from the tournament table, I soothed my pain with a roll of quarters and a vengeful attack on a video poker machine.”
After several such disappointments as a beginner at tournament poker, Shane Smith decided to get educated on tournament techniques. My first book on tournament play was out of print at that time, but somehow the author managed to find one. Smith decided to dig even deeper and began an exhaustive search of poker books and magazine articles to ferret out everything that anybody had ever said about how to win poker tournaments. Smith also picked the brains of several low-limit tournament winners to find out how they had won so many events. With the encouragement of Howard Schwarz at Gamblers Book Club in Las Vegas, the author then published Poker Tournament Tips from the Pros in 1991 to fill the void of tournament how-to advice. Smith’s primer for novice to intermediate low-limit tournament players became an immediate success and has been going strong ever since. In fact, my friends George Marlowe and Kathy Liebert credit the book for getting them off to a solid start at tournament poker.
Now Smith has revised and updated Poker Tournament Tips from the Pros, adding 20 pages of new information and converting it from spiral-bound to regular book format with a full-color cover. Advocating “practice, patience and expertise,” Smith includes a new chapter titled “The Anatomy of Tournaments” which is aimed at novices who never have played a tourney but want to get their feet wet in the treacherous waters of tournament poker. From there the author outlines “The Four Stages of Tournaments,” a useful guide to the progression of tournament play from the opening stage through the final table. Smith discusses how to manage your chips, play position, take advantage of various types of opponents, and play the clock during each phase of tournament action. To support each of the playing tips in the book, the author quotes well-known experts. For example in the section on when to rebuy and add on, Smith gives the opinions of T.J. Cloutier, Bobby Baldwin, Mike Caro, Michael Cappelletti and Tom McEvoy, plus vintage low-limit tournament aficionados Tex Sheahan and “Bulldog” Sykes (revered Card Player magazine columnists before they folded their hands to enter the big tournament in the heavens).
The highlight of the book is the “Top 21 Tips,” which include advice on rebuying, reading opponents, changing gears, surviving, bluffing, folding, and playing big, medium, and short stacks during different tournament stages. The value in this chapter cannot be underestimated: Smith clearly spells out the winning concepts that top tournament players know intuitively but don’t discuss because they take for granted that everybody already knows the basics. Of course the road to success often is marred by detours, so Smith also has written a list of “26 Tournament Traps” that warn players how to avoid losing pitfalls. Smith was a pioneer of sorts in poker literature in that the author was the first to insert a touch of self-deprecating humor into otherwise weighty topics with a “learn from my mistakes” approach, a technique that makes for lively and interesting reading. A chapter of miscellaneous tournament advice titled Poker Potpourri rounds out this easy-to-read and useful tournament strategy book.
If you’ve been around the poker scene for a while, you’ll recognize “Shane” Smith as the pen name of my publishing partner, Dana Smith (who writes “Interview with a Champ” for Card Player). Dana told me that when she wrote her first poker book, Omaha Hi-Lo Poker (How to Win at the Lower Limits) in 1990, she was concerned that students of poker were “not ready for a female writer of poker advice” and used her son’s name as a pen name. Since then she has worked with me and T.J. Cloutier on all of our books, and hopefully has discovered that the main thing poker players are concerned about is the value of the information and advice they’re paying for, not the gender of its author. If you’re fairly new to the tournament scene, I think you’ll find out that the $19.95 you invest in Poker Tournament Tips from the Pros will become one of your wisest investments. Naturally, I recommend that you follow it with Tournament Poker for advanced advice from the 1983 World Champion of Poker, none other than yours truly.