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When professional poker players are asked how the game affects their life, they usually say it gives them money and freedom. In the meantime, the poker lifestyle is considered to be unhealthy: a bad regimen, burned nerves, poor nutrition, and social skills that leave a lot to be desired. However, people forget that poker is not just a specific way to earn money, but also serious training for the brain and a chance to develop entrepreneurial skills. Poker improves your self-discipline There are players with natural talent, no argument there. But strategy alone won't bring you success in poker if you don't maintain an adequate level of self-discipline. The best illustration of this is Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom. He showed excellent results in 2015, and it wasn't the first time. He already had amazing highs and lows. Only a player with stable results deserves the right to be called a professional poker player. Poker improves your patience Former WSOP Main Event champ Tom McEvoy probably said it best: "Hold'em: hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror." Even when playing several tables at a time, your main move is almost always "fold, fold, fold", let alone the live game, where you sometimes have to fold for hours and hours. All this, for sure, can be very frustrating, but choosing a good situation and waiting for the perfect chance is an extremely important skill of a good player. Choosing to play when the time is right is a golden rule, but who can do this flawlessly? Very few, and their names are very well known to us. Ironclad self-control and Nordic tranquility: that's what you ought to have when you sit down at the table. And if you're not born with these skills, you'll have to develop them. Poker improves your concentration and logical thinking We must not use our emotions when making decisions at the table. Yes, poker is about playing cards for money, after all, which is gambling in its nature. That's why many of those who make money by playing cards are often inclined to trust their intuition. Recreational players are more likely to make spontaneous decisions, while pros rely on their experience and notes. Poker teaches players to memorize thousands of situations and their consequences and make optimal decisions accordingly. The game, as such, makes our brain work like a computer; we have to process an enormous amount of data to find the best result. To do so, you have to pay close attention to what's going on with you and your opponents during the game. Poker improves your competence Poker means constant investments of money into situations you consider profitable. You can use the skills gained in the game in your future ventures and it's not just about becoming a trader on the stock exchange, but any other field. You'll start examining the majority of important decisions in your life from the point of view of implied profit and possible negative consequences. Whether it's a fresh business idea, thoughts on emigration, or even starting a new relationship, you will habitually approach every move assuming how profitable it will be in the long-run. It also would be a good thing to look at your bank account like you look at your bankroll and manage it accordingly. This kind of approach will surely keep you from excessive expenses. Poker teaches how to overcome stress and losses Many world-renowned businessmen have said that one of the most important components of their success is the ability to perceive bad buys as experience and losses as a kind of investment. Poker players learn early on that variance means not every correct decision leads to good results. That's why poker is often hard for people who fly high, as they can't accept this injustice. Professionals learn to resign themselves philosophically to bad luck. The saying "you'll get it back in the long-run" has become extremely popular among professional players. It's almost impossible to demotivate or depress a poker player with several fails, even serious ones. The approach to life outside poker changes accordingly. On average, players who are very emotionally stable are inclined to treat their life difficulties with humor. And that's one of the most important skills in our life, isn't it? Poker can teach valuable lessons for you to use in your day-to-day life and 2CardsCollege, one of the leading online poker training sites, can teach you how to be a better poker player. Enroll today and take your game - and life skills - to the next level.
[caption width="640"] The bracelet Tom McEvoy won for winning the 1983 WSOP Main Event can be yours for just The bracelet Tom McEvoy won for winning the 1983 WSOP Main Event can be yours for just $13,500,500[/caption] For many poker historians, Tom McEvoy holds a special place in poker history. In 1983 the then 38-year-old became the first person to win the World Series of Poker Main Event after winning their way in via a satellite. Now he’s selling off the bracelet he earned for that victory and a number of other pieces of memorabilia. In an eBay listing posted last week, poker fans can purchase a package that includes the bracelet, three of McEvoy’s books “autographed and dedicated upon request”, two Team PokerStars Pro patches, a WSOP baseball, a PokerStars baseball, and a one-hour private poker lesson from McEvoy, a Team PokerStars Pro until 2011. The three books included in the auction (according to images provided by the seller) are How to Win Poker Tournaments, The Championship Table at the World Series of Poker, and Championship Satellite Strategy. McEvoy has authored or co-authored 16 poker strategy books over the course of his career. The asking price for the package is $15,000. The seller, “ronniescollegefund”, is currently offering a 10% discount. The listing expires January 18 at Noon ET. The listing is one of eight poker-related auctions currently listed by the same seller. The other seven consist of Team PokerStars gear including a hockey jersey, patches and luggage. McEvoy’s bracelet is hardly the first to show up for sale on eBay. Brad Daugherty, Matt Keikoan, TJ Cloutier, Eskimo Clark and Dutch Boyd have all sold or attempted to sell their bracelets on eBay. The most famous might be that of 2008 WSOP Main Event winner Peter Eastgate. In 2010, Eastgate listed his bracelet for sale with the proceeds of the sale going to UNICEF and it eventually sold for $147,000. Jamie Gold’s 2007 WSOP Main Event bracelet was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2013 for just over $65,000. This past summer McEvoy recorded two cashes at the WSOP. He finished 93rd in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for $2,311. He then wrapped up the summer by finishing 644th in the Main Event for $18,714. He has three other WSOP bracelets to his credit. His first bracelet actually pre-dates his Main Event win. He won a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event in 1983 and three years later he won the $1,000 Razz event. His last bracelet win came in 1992 when he won the $1,500 Omaha event. In 2009 he won the WSOP Champions Invitational, a special freeroll event for all former WSOP Main Event champions held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the WSOP. McEvoy beat Robert Varkonkyi heads-up to win the 1970 Corvette Stingray first prize. He later said he sold the Corvette shortly after his win. McEvoy has lifetime earnings of $3,024,847 and he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2013 alongside fellow Main Event winner Scotty Nguyen.
[caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Local businessman Ian Kalman wants a deep run in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event this week.(HPT photo)[/caption] When the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star event gets underway this week in San Jose, California, Ian Kalman will be in the field taking on some of the biggest names in the game. “I love the Shooting Star tournament. It’s nice that it’s local and easy to get too. I mean, I don’t have to take a flight to play in it – so that’s nice,” said Kalman. The Shooting Star event is a unique one on the WPT. A total of 54 top pros are invited to be ‘Shooting Stars’ and players who send one of them to the rail earn $2,500 and an autographed shirt from that player. Almost every table on Day 1 has a ‘Shooting Star’, meaning amateur players are guaranteed to get the chance to play with a top pro. Kalman has played the event before. In 2005 he finished 29th and won $25,000, but he also managed to get himself one of those highly coveted bounties and that’s the story he tells about that tournament. “It was $5,000 to knock out a pro. I knocked out 1983 WSOP Main Event Champion Tom McEvoy and he hasn’t talked to me since,” said Kalman, who has been playing satellites in attempt to get into this year’s event. “But to be fair, he doesn’t know who I am, so there’s no real reason for us to talk.” All joking aside, the San Francisco business owner and recreational poker player isn’t at all intimidated at all by having to play against top competition. It’s something he’s used to. In 2005, Kalman and his business partner Sean Farrell started a greeting card company, Bald Guy Greetings, and he’s been competing alongside some of the bigger names in that industry since. “We started Bald Guy Greetings for fun and had no idea that we’d be taking on Hallmark. I didn’t know what would come of it and I didn’t think Hallmark would even know who we were,” said Kalman. “ I should be clear though -- we’re not taking on Hallmark. They’ve already won.” The idea behind the company isn’t to one day be Hallmark. Kalman knows his products are unique in the marketplace and not the same old birthday or anniversary cards you’ll find in chain stores across the country. He’d much rather focus on continuing to find smaller stores to get the products in. [caption width="640"] An example of the unique style of greeting card Kalman's company, Bald Guy Greetings, makes.[/caption] “We thought that we were filling a void in the greeting card industry and people would be beating down our door. But it turns out, a lot of storeowners are very happy selling watered-down greeting cards,” said Kalman. “Our dream is to be in the best card stores in every city. The stores that take pride in what they carry. Those are the stores that gave us a chance in the beginning and we will forever be thankful to them for that.” Poker is a hobby for Kalman, but one that he’s enjoyed some success with. Just over four months ago, Kalman made the final table of the Heartland Poker Tour event at Thunder Valley Casino just outside of Sacramento. Kalman, busted in ninth place, earning $21,758 – his third largest lifetime score. His biggest score came in 2006 when he lived the dream of every amateur player with a deep run in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Finishing in 167th place in the year Jamie Gold won, Kalman walked away with $47,006. While a six-figure score in the Bay 101 event this week would be fantastic for Kalman, he wouldn’t have to or even want to invest any of that money into the business. “Bald Guy Greetings is doing well and we really don’t have a need for more capital. Investors and people that just love the brand have approached us and they’re interested in investing. But for now, we like that it’s just me and Sean making all the decisions,” said Kalman. Kalman has imagined what it would be like to be the last player standing, posing for winner’s shots with Mike Sexton, Vince van Patten and the Hublot watch, but even that dream isn’t as exciting as the opportunity to turn his company into a national brand. “Poker tournaments are exciting and of course, I always want to win, but Bald Guy Greetings is something that Sean and I started from scratch and that’s exciting.”
On more than one occasion, it has been said that winning the World Series of Poker Main Event is every poker player's dream. For most though, plunking down $10,000 just for a ticket to the big show is a tough pill to swallow. That’s where satellite tournaments come into play. Year after year, players of every skill level take their shot in satellite tournaments, hoping that they can earn a seat into the WSOP Main for a fraction of the cost. After all, there’s no better feeling than being able to play for the big money while still maintaining your bankroll. No doubt in 2018 there will be plenty of players looking to become the story of the series by grabbing a huge score. Players hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of the most notable players who ever made major career moves by winning their way into the ME and grabbing some WSOP glory. Tom McEvoy Even twenty years before the poker boom, the World Series of Poker was a big deal to fans of the game. Some of the biggest names to ever play poker had claimed WSOP Main Event titles - Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin and Stu Unger, just to name a few. In 1983, in only the second year that the Main Event drew over 100 players, Tom McEvoy made his mark on the series by becoming the first person to ever win the Main Event after winning his seat through a satellite. McEvoy won $540,000 for first that year and while he’d been a professional player for a number of years prior, it helped him continue his poker journey. McEvoy continues to enjoy a career of over $3 million in lifetime earnings. The Nevada resident can still be spotted in a variety of events in the Las Vegas tournament poker scene, always remembered as a champion. Fernando Pons If he could have cashed out he would have. But after Spain’s Fernando Pons played a €30 satellite tournament on 888poker he was forced into the next step, a 250 satellite. According to the 888poker blog, Pons claims that had he been able to take the cash - that would have been the end of it. But he did play, he did win and the Spaniard did turn that original €30 into a seat into the Main Event. What Pons ended up with was something beyond his wildest dreams. He battled through seven days of poker and claimed a seat in the 2016 November Nine. He found himself seated alongside players like Griffin Benger, Kenny Hallaert, Cliff Josephy and eventual winner Qui Nguyen. Pons' run ended in ninth-place for which he earned $1,000,000 - far and away a career-high score. Since that time, Pons has continued to play, mostly in Spain. He did, however, take down a summer side event at the Wynn in 2017 for over $40,000. Tommy Yates Another great story of maximizing one’s ROI is that of Tommy Yates. In 2015, the Grecian bar owner began grinding $0.01 satellites online in an effort to win his way into the Main. An eight-year poker vet, the game was a part-time passion for him. After a number of attempts, he found himself in the final stages of the steps satellites, on the cusp of winning a seat. With four players left, three who would win seats and the fourth a $6,000 return - Yates thought about just trying for the cash. After all, he was in for just $2.18. He was convinced otherwise and played it out. Yates won his seat, went to the show and played his heart out - finishing well within the money bubble. Yates turned his $2.18 investment into a $19,500 payday. Shaun Deeb In 2012 when high-stakes mixed game cash pro Shaun Deeb entered the $25,000 satellite for a seat to the inaugural $1 million Big One For One Drop, he scored a major victory - without actually winning the event. At the final table, after the departure of fan favorite Jason Sommerville in third-place, Deeb found himself up against three-time World Poker Tour winner Gus Hansen. There was one final seat in the tournament up for grabs. Second place would receive a million dollar payday, but be unable to participate in the tournament. Deeb decided that cash was king and it quickly became obvious that a deal was struck between the two. He raise-folded the majority of his stack to Gus who ended up closing it out and winning the seat. Deeb was then gifted his first million dollar cash score. Legend has it that the Rio, rather than cut out cool million in stacks, decided to pay Deeb in tournament lammers. The lammers, which have zero cash value and can only be used to enter tournaments at the Rio, would have been nearly impossible to use up if the idea had stuck. In the end, Deeb was allowed to cash out those lammers and take home the million in cash. Hansen ended up busting out of the One Drop without cashing. Chris Moneymaker No list of epic satellite winners would be complete without the accountant from Tennessee, Chris Moneymaker. Moneymaker sparked the powder keg that was the “poker boom” in 2003 with his WSOP Main Event win and fortuitous name. He was also the first player to win the Main Event after having won his way into the Main through an online site. Moneymaker is the dream. You know the story: He wasn’t the best player in the tournament and he wasn’t the most experienced at the final table but he got in for the minimum, made the maximum and from there his career took off. He has kept his sponsorship of 15 years with PokerStars, he’s still one of the game’s most recognizable faces and has gone on to amass over $3.7 million in lifetime live earnings. Satellites run around the clock at the World Series of Poker and online sites like 888poker offer players way to win their way into the Main Event. Will this be the year another satellite winner takes it all down?