My favorite poker hand…

April 5, 2009

I remember being astonished by this hand when I first saw it…and I think Ivey snap calls these days…

Durrrr’s Million Dollar Challenge Thoughts

January 16, 2009

Recently (old news as of 1/6ish/09) Tom Dwan was the next high stakes gambler to put down a gaunlet of a challenge.  Plenty of poker news type outlets have issued stories on the piece, google Durrr’s Million Dollar Challenge for more info, 2+2,, pokernews, pokerroad, etc…

His proposition in a nut:

He puts up $1.5M to anyone else’s (except Phil Galfond) $500k.

Both players play 50,000 hands, while four tabling, 200/400 NL and PLO and whomever is up at the end of the 50k hands (regardless of the $$ amount, wins the proposition).

He’s laying 3 to 1 to the poker world, that he is the best high stakes heads up 4-tabler in the world.  Is he? maybe.  Ivey says he generally only plays 2 tables…who wants some action?  Rumor has it – Benyamine, Patrik, Ivey – standing in line, in that order:

Awhile back I posted an analysis of High Stakes Poker Results which commented on the 50,000k mark.  In the highest stakes world that seems to be the threshold not many players bust through, and the ones that do are proven longer term winners.  The reason for this in this case is because of the data available for analysis (top 50, bottom 50 winners/losers online over X period), all the losers go busto before reaching that barrier.  

Now, as for Durrrr  – he is well aware of this benchmark – and he obviously feels that 50k hands is sufficient to minimize variance and allow skill to usurp short term luck.  He also thinks he has a significant edge while playing 4 tables at once.  So far so good.  I think what he may be underestimating is bankroll requirements for this game.  If he is basically putting his entire roll ($10M??) on the line vs. Ivey (making $1M/month through Tilt plus up $7M this year online…seems a little crazy.  There are definitely tax considerations in play – as he may have a tax bill in the $2-4M range, if he goes busto or loses his $1.5M + the games losses, then it is offset by what he can save in paying uncle sam…blah blah whatever.

The point here is what is a reasonable swing?  Four tables, 200/400 plo.  100bb = $40,000.  I’ve seen some analysis of PLO estimating normal variance of 60 buyins ish – which would be 2.4M x 4 = $9.6M assuming you go on a 60bb downtick on all four tables.  Since you don’t look at each table in a vacuum, it would be more like a 240bb downtick, which is unlikely – and could more largely be attributed to a skill advantage to the winner – but really – the stakes are HIGH – and someone’s gonna be put in a hurt locker by a guy named vinny.

Barry Greenstein and Ivey himself have both commented on PR that it seems likely that someone’s going broke should these games actually play out completely – otherwise someone’s taking a buyout, and losing $2-3M.

Selling pieces, and making this a bankroll war is bound to happen.  Maybe that’s why OMGclayaiken is excluded (possibly in on the action with Durrrr in the event he needs a few M’s as a loan)??.

Fun stuff – should make Tilt a lot of money with all the railbird/extra users (assuming they play while watching) – this leads to the thought of PayPerView poker. Hype and competitions create excitement – just look at 50cent and Kanye, Tupac and Biggie – people like to pick sides and watch their ‘heroes’ battle it out.


High Stakes Poker Results, Variance and Swings, Superuser?

August 15, 2008

To try something a little different, and hopefully provide value to all you aspiring high stakes gamblers I decided to take a look at the high stakes poker results of the biggest games around to see if there were any trends we could learn something from.

First I took the results published by – which provides the top 50 and bottom 50 winners and losers for each month. The results are from 1/1/07 thru 7/31/08, including Omaha and Holdem on Ladbrokes/Prima/Fulltilt networks. High stakes horse is also included in the 7/08 monthly results.

I compiled all these monthly reports into a single spreadsheet workbook in Excel, and then combined the months to provide a data set of 19 months of the high stakes poker world. My initial theory was that the biggest high stakes players have the biggest swings but I wanted to visually see the difference between, if they are constantly playing the biggest games, or game selecting and ‘taking shots’…

Read the rest of this entry »

Ivey v. Antonius – 804k Pot

August 4, 2008

Merry Xmas Mr. Ivey:

No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball w/ReBuys (Event 18)

June 11, 2008

A stacked final table in event 18 is going on today.  Erick Lindgren, making his second final table appearance (as well as a few other deep runs) is having an impressive WSOP 08, and enters as the chip leader.  Barry Greenstein is not far behind in second place.  Matusow, Lisandro, Benyamine, Tony G, and Tom Schneider round out the table.

At least two of these players have PROP bets with Ivey, Lindgren and Greenstein.  Ivey has taken a bunch of bets with people ranging from 1.8 to 1 to 2.2 to 1 that he will get a bracelet this year, and he has also taken several bracelet bets around 200k each with people on whomever wins the most bracelets.  So this final table could be an expensive one for him.  Although, after watching him roll dice and go on a couple million swing, he should be able to stomach it.

I’m rooting for E-dog, as he’s already got one bracelet, but it’d be cool to see him have a monster year.

LAPC + Ivey = Good Times

February 24, 2008

The field at the 2008 LAPC has been thinned to approx 150 players after day 2.  Good news for poker fans, Ivey’s got chips.  Currently 2nd in chips.  Antonio Esfandiari is also in the mix toward the top…a win from a ‘name’ player would be a great thing for the game. Follow the action @ 

Phil Ivey Wisdom

November 7, 2007


When it comes to advice about poker, my attitude is very simple: seek it out, absorb it, but while you’re at the table, forget it.

I’m a firm believer in learning the game by playing the game. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of great resources around to help players improve their games or that poker books and tutorials don’t have their place. They do. However, the problem I see with people who rely on these kinds of aids is that they end up playing poker like someone else or – even worse – like everyone else. Read the rest of this entry »

Phil Ivey @ another WSOP final table.

June 8, 2007

This time in the $5,000 buyin World Championship Seven Card Stud Event…the final table to begins tomorrow.  He’s currently second in chips, with over $300k.

 You can read about the progress of the final table here.

In other WSOP news – JC Tran continues to be a monster – as the chip leader in Event 12, NL Holdem 6 handed.  LA in the building!