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Found 7 results

  1. The Borgata Fall Poker Open is currently taking place in Atlantic City at the Borgata Hotel and Spa through November 21. PocketFives caught up with one of its own members and Event #4 champion, Jake jtsnakesPerry (pictured, image courtesy of Borgata blog), which was a $560 buy-in two-day event that attracted 207 entrants for a prize pool of $103,500. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. As of late, Perry has been on a tear on the live poker scene, as back in October, he finished second in the Parx Big Stax Main Event for his largest live score of $68,501, bringing him to over $100,000 in winnings in less than a month. Here were the final results of this tournament as reported by Borgata: 1. JACOB PERRY - $28,107 2. DAVID GERASSI - $16,565 3. EDGAR LEMUS-ARGUETA - $9,538 4. ROBERT CAMPION - $7,730 5. ANDREA SALAMONE - $6,024 6. PETER EADICICCO - $5,020 7. JEREMY BARNETT - $4,016 8. JOSEPH GALAZZO - $3,012 9. KEVIN CHANG - $2,008 10. TIMOTHY JOHN STONE - $1,30 PocketFives: Congrats on your win in Event #4 the Borgata Fall Poker Open for $28,207. Tell us how you are feeling and what this win means to you. Jake Perry: I was more relieved than anything. Shipping a live tournament is something that has avoided me for a long time. At the end of the day, it is just money and it is time to go back to work the next day. What it really meant to me: I should not have played the next day because I punted a decent stack because I was tired of poker from the day before. PocketFives: Back in October, you finished second in the Parx Big Stax Main Event for $68,501. Which tournament field did you feel was tougher to navigate? Jake Perry: Parx was piles tougher. If you go back to the final 40 of the Parx event, it was a sick, sick field. Looking at Borgata, I only know a couple of names of the people that cashed. Like all tournaments, though, there were different challenges. PocketFives: Do any hands from the Borgata Fall Poker Open win stick out? Jake Perry: There were a couple of big swing hands at the final table. I got in 9-9 vs A-To to double up about eight-handed, which put me just below average but was a huge confidence-builder. Seven-handed, I got another double with A-J vs A-T, which put me in the virtual chip lead. One hand sticks out from Level 4 of Day 1, actually. I got A-A and a super-agro guy did not pile in A-K for any more money. That was the second worst beat I took the whole tournament. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Jake Perry: Not really. I may take a vacation in January, but only if it does not conflict with anything I want to play. My real plan is to continue putting more money on top of that money. I would like to repeat this process as often as possible. PocketFives: What have your friends and family said about the win? Jake Perry: The standard congratulations. I have made consistent money in this game for a long time, so I can't really say anyone was shocked. PocketFives: To what do you attribute your current success in the live arena? Jake Perry: Live or online, my game has hit another level thanks to Mike Gags30Gagliano and Mike Lav519 Lavenberg. Opening things up and realizing that I am much better post-flop than I thought I was has helped and with the knowledge I have of that, I have been able to play a slightly more aggressive pre-flop style. And obviously I am going to run better with fedora magic on the rail.
  2. In a controversial ruling, World Series of Poker bracelet winner and two-time Circuit ring holder Ryan Eriquezzo (pictured) was disqualified from an event at the Parx Casino in Pennsylvania for losing his temper and allegedly making threats after a particularly bad beat. The incident went down in a Parx Poker Big Stax $1,600 event when Eriquezzo lost a massive 200 big blind pot after going all in pre-flop with A-A versus his opponent's Q-Q. Apparently unhappy with the outcome, the American pro reportedly crumpled his cards and threw them, shoved his entire stack across the table, spewed verbal abuse toward his opponent, and called the dealer a "fat mfer," according to Parx Poker Room Ambassador Matt Glantz. For the floor supervisor, the insult to the dealer was the last straw and the call was made to disqualify Eriquezzo from the tournament. As he was being ejected, one staff member heard him say that he would "torch this place," but another claimed that he heard the full statement, in which he added, "on Twitter." And that he did. Eriquezzo railed against the casino to his over 2,000 followers, saying, "Think about it... I shelled 11 barrels into one of your events. I would have played here for life. I will never be back." He continued, Tweeting, "Never threatened anything at all. Was swearing, bitching, etc. about the beat. The floor is now likely trying to cover his ass." In his mind, the punishment was "way out of proportion" and many in the poker community agreed. "DQ'd seems beyond excessive," said Matt Salsberg on the forums. "At most they should give him two orbits and a Xanax." Stealthmunk pointed to Phil Hellmuth's (pictured) sometimes-outrageous table manners, saying, "If @phil_hellmuth acted exactly how @RyanEriquezzo did, he wouldn't get tossed. And that discrimination with lots of $ involved is a joke." But while some opposed the ruling, others found Eriquezzo's behavior reprehensible and defended Parx's actions. Pokeraddict had no patience for such behavior and pointed out the fact that while the grinder threw a fit, other players were forced to sit through a delay while the spectacle played out before them. "I support any poker room/TD/series/suit that immediately disqualifies any player that purposely damages cards at a poker table out of anger," he said. "Anyone that does this does not belong or need to be in a casino environment." Others thought that due to Eriquezzo's experience at the tables, he should be afforded no sympathy. "He's been around poker for years, knows how his table etiquette should be, he just lost control," said one P5er. "He totally deserved to be DQ'd. You are supposed to conduct yourself properly at the poker table. He did not, so why should the players and staff have to put up with him?" In a Two Plus Two thread, Glantz(pictured) chimed in to explain the casino's reasoning behind the ruling. "While other venues may tolerate that type of behavior, we will not at Parx," he stated firmly. "I guess we are the exception in the industry that we choose to protect our staff and make sure we maintain an enjoyable environment for all players. I am so very proud of that fact." He then highlighted that the incident might make other players think twice before they acted in same way. "I can tell you one thing for sure... It is much less likely you will see a player rip/throw cards/berate staff in a future Parx tournament." Eriquezzo has been very successful in tournaments throughout his career, winning over $1.2 million on record, according to the Hendon Mob. His biggest cash came when he took first place in the 2012 WSOP National Championship, pocketing $416,051. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. While progress on online poker legislation has seemingly stalled in California, Pennsylvaniahas been making strides toward regulating the industry. On Wednesday, the Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee conducted a hearing in front of the Pennsylvania Senate on several aspects of the Commonwealth's gambling industry, including online and brick-and-mortar policy. Sourced for this report is a hearing summary published by USPoker.com. In attendance were representatives from 11 of the state's land-based casinos, who gave testimony on issues ranging from the expansion of tavern gaming and video game terminals to the legalization of internet gambling. Specifically discussed was online gambling bill SB 900, recently introduced by Senator Kim Ward and sponsored by Senator Elder Vogel, Senator Robert Tomlinson, and Senator Joseph Scarnati. The bill would entitle casinos that hold both table game and slot machine licenses to open up their own online gambling site for a fee of $10 million, valid for five years. The bill does not contain bad actor language, which would preclude sites like PokerStars from being licensed, but includes a few provisions that had already become points of contention at the hearing. While other Pennsylvania iGaming bills would levy a tax as low as 14%, SB 900 calls for a 54% cut on gross gaming revenue. In the hearing, Eric Schippers of Penn National voiced his support of iGaming, saying that the industry would be "a vital tool" for casinos and "would not cannibalize brick-and-mortar gambling." "[The] opposite is true," he added. He also made several mentions of SB 900's lofty tax rate and called for the 14% tariff and $5 million licensing fee sought in Representative John Payne's iGaming legislation. In fact, Schipper testified that such a high tax rate and licensing fee would cause his company to lose $20 million. Read about Payne's legislation. Another hotly debated provision was the legislation's insistence that online gamblers register their accounts in person at the site's land-based casino partner. The language is thought to be driven by Bob Greene of Parx, who expressed his lukewarm support for iGaming at the hearing. The same in-person registration can be seen in California Assemblyman Mike Gatto's online gambling proposal AB 9. The Poker Players Alliance was quick to criticize that provision, stating that the requirement was onerous and would "defeat the purpose" of offering online gambling first place. Melissa Richards of Harrah's and Shawn Sullivan of Meadows Casino were also on hand and both voiced support for iGaming. The industry would "allow the gaming board to open new sources of revenue that will not be cannibalistic," Richards testified. Sugarhouse Casino's Wendy Hamilton argued that after two years of declining revenue, Pennsylvania's brick-and-mortar gambling industry has peaked. She called for regulating iGaming in order to bolster the Commonwealth's casinos and retain gamblers who have increasingly been attracted to casinos in bordering states. Valley Forge is in favor of online gambling and seeks to remove membership fees on Category 3 licensees and add more table games and machines to its casino. Mark Juliano, a representative from the Sheldon Adelson-owned Sands Bethlehem, was on hand and expressed his complete opposition to iGaming. He believes that the introduction of internet gambling would be detrimental to the state's brick-and-mortar casinos, although study after study has shown the opposite to be true. Juliano's statements don't take into account testimony cited by Parx's Greene, which highlighted that 85% of Borgata's online poker players are new or inactive players. That backs up iGaming proponents' belief that legalizing the industry would revitalize brick-and-mortar casinos by bringing in new players, not cannibalizing them. Visit PocketFives' Pennsylvania poker community for the latest news and discussion from Pennsylvania players.
  4. The Borgata Winter Poker Open starts this week in Atlantic City. The $2 million guaranteed opening serves as an opportunity for many players to earn a breakthrough score with a deep run. John ‘jalesi’ Alesi found his own breakout in April when he chopped the same event on the Spring Poker Open schedule and won over $81,000 in the process. The cash validated Alesi’s non-linear path to a poker career that he built after graduating from Rutgers University in 2016. Alesi built a modest bankroll during his time in school and made the decision to immediately forego pursuing a career modeled on his English degree to instead write his own narrative. Alesi makes most of his living playing online poker in New Jersey coupled with major tournament series on the East Coast. The cash game mindset built within Alesi took time to transition when he first started to play more tournaments. At this time last year, Alesi was in the latter stages of pivoting his poker life toward MTTs. “The adjustment from live cash to live MTTs is an interesting one,” Alesi said. “When I initially started playing poker, tournaments didn’t have much appeal to me. I wasn’t into the concept of playing for an entire day or more and not making any money. I think something that took some getting used to is handling the bad beats and sudden exits well. You just have to have the mentality of ‘On to the next one,’ and that takes experience to fully develop.” An example of Alesi’s perseverance paying off took place at the start of this month. In the January 7 Sunday Special on PokerStarsNJ, Alesi overcame a field of 268 to win the vaunted event for the first time. The gold medal boosted Alesi’s bankroll by $10,194 and put some wind at his back coming into the Winter Poker Open. If he can make a few deep runs to start the year, Alesi would like to play more larger buy-in events than what he is accustomed to. “My goal is really to just put the time in on and off the table. I plan to play a lot and travel to some events that I haven’t been before. A big result in the WPO would allow me to play a bigger WSOP schedule and take some shots.” Alesi took the first of these “shots” in October when he played the $3,500 World Poker Tour event at Maryland! Live. That shot came close to resulting in a cash for Alesi but an unlucky break near the bubble cost him and he finished outside the money. Always level-headed, Alesi took the hit in stride and used the lessons learned by playing with some of the best in the world and used it to make back-to-back Day 3 appearances in the Parx Big Stax series later that month. Alesi finished fifth in the Big Stax 500 and collected $23,888. “I think just the experience of playing in larger buy-ins that many people never get a chance to play was rewarding in itself. They were good opportunities to get comfortable playing higher stakes and learn to treat them like normal tournaments,” Alesi said. When he first entered the poker world for a full-time living, Alesi gave himself 18-24 months to see where road less traveled might take him. Coming into the start of 2018, Alesi is excited that he has another year of poker to look forward to before reevaluating his plans. At the rate his game is progressing, Alesi could be in for a year of strong finishes and potentially his first six-figure score. Alesi’s journey, like many others, starts at the Borgata and it will be interesting to see where things end up by December.
  5. [caption width="640"] Matt Mendez was overcome with emotion last year after winning The Big Stax XV High Roller only a month after the birth of his daughter. (Parx photo)[/caption] Winning poker tournaments can have a contagious effect. Just ask Fedor Holz. There may be no pure way to prove that “momentum” exists in poker but there is an empirical effect of confidence that some players will attest becomes apparent when they put together multiple deep runs. Matt 'MattEMenz' Mendez is one of the believers and pulled off an amazing run last year that spanned two casinos with Mendez ending up $313,000 richer in the process. He wrapped up the Parx Big Stax XV series in February with a win in the $2,500 High Roller event, beating a field of 193 of the toughest tournament players in the Northeast. After making a heads up deal with Nicholas Gerrity to take first place and lock up $100,000, Mendez was overcome with emotion that was heightened with the recent birth of his daughter, Mathai. “Winning the first tournament at Parx changed my life drastically. Before I could even take the winner’s photo, I had to go take a walk and gather my thoughts and feelings and call my wife," said Mendez. "My daughter was only a month old at the time, but since meeting her I've had a hard time controlling my emotions. When I called my wife I was just crying hysterically in a way that I can't remember doing before. That's a feeling in poker that I can't imagine ever having again and I think about it all the time.” Fatherhood is something Mendez takes seriously and is prideful about. The 27-year-old grew up without a father and was without his mother after the age of 13. He credits his aunt and uncle for molding him into the person he is today and says that being a father is something he’s always wanted from life. “Mathai is special to me. The joy I get from being a father makes every part of my life's journey worth it. My main mission in life is to shower her with all the love I have while also helping to develop her into a strong, happy, healthy, free-thinking woman that no matter what has always felt loved.” Mendez followed up his victory at Parx with a victory two months later in an event relatively the opposite of the Parx High Roller. The Borgata Spring Poker Open $1,000,000 guaranteed Event #1 drew a field of 2,527 and when the dust settled, Mendez was there once again in the winner’s circle. This time, Mendez earned $213,000 for his win and felt a new set of emotions when playing for another title. “Winning the second tournament at Borgata, I felt prepared and ready to win. A weird sense of calm that I can't really explain. I was just in the moment and trusted my gut," said Mendez. "I study a lot of different games and playing styles, so when playing, I'm comfortable in trusting in my gut when my immediate thoughts have mixed feelings on how to approach different scenarios.” While he does put in more volume live than online, Mendez says he likes to play the higher guaranteed events that run. Last month, Mendez capped off the PokerStarsNJ Winter Series by winning the $400 buy-in Main Event for almost $21,000. Mendez and his wife, Victoria, are both stay-at-home parents and take great care in raising their daughter. “As I've evolved and eventually had a child, I've realized they don't care what you do for a living they just notice the time spent together so I've cared less about my financial goals and more about quality time. My wife and I take Mathai to the mall regularly and we also go to a baby gym class once a week. [We] are basically living our dreams of being stay-at-home parents while also having our own jobs that allow us to have flexible schedules. ” Mendez thanks Victoria for all the support she has given him from the time the first met and Mathai for “showing me a level of love that I wasn't sure was possible.” The success Mendez achieved last year was a humbling experience for him given all the new variables in his life at that point. Nearly a year removed, Mendez is still grateful for his victories and considers himself blessed to have the life he does and be able to be an integral part in Mathai's upbringing. “Everyday I'm thankful that I'm good enough at a card game to be able to spend the amount of time I do with her.”
  6. It’s finally official. The weeks of rumors have finally been put to rest as PokerStars is scheduled to put their platform to the real money test on Monday, November 4 and will become the first online operator to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. For PokerStars, the soft launch testing period should take two days before it is officially approved. Once it is, poker players in the Keystone State can get back to their online grind. For a little while at least, PokerStars will be the only operator in Pennsylvania. However, it is just a matter of time before they have competition for the nearly 13 million potential players in PA. Here's a look at the online poker operators that could be next to join PokerStars in the Pennsylvania market. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] WSOP.com One of the most obvious choices to do battle with PokerStars is Caesars Entertainment’s online arm of the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com. Currently the leading online poker room in New Jersey, WSOP.com is powered by 888 software and partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, another property of Caesars. World Series of Poker officials have remained tight-lipped about their plans on entering Pennsylvania. When they do, it should only be a two-day testing process for them based on the fact that they already have up-and-running online sites elsewhere in the U.S. WSOP.com would bring a number of exciting opportunities for players in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, the ability to satellite into live World Series of Poker bracelet events would be a significant draw, especially in the summer months leading up to the Main Event. In addition to their satellites, WSOP.com offers its own online poker series with big guarantees including seasonal Online Championships as well as Online Circuit Events where players can win an actual ring. Party Poker partypoker’s parent company, GVC, has a deal in place with Valley Forge Casino Resort that would bring the well-known poker brand to PA. Like WSOP.com, partypoker already has a presence in New Jersey, where it shares a player pool with BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM.com. This means that whenever they decide to schedule a soft launch period, it too will only require two days of testing. Going live in Pennsylvania looks to be a piece to a larger puzzle for partypoker. Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved partypoker for an online poker license in Nevada. Currently, there is only one operator in Nevada, WSOP.com. The low population of three million makes it tough for the market to support multiple online poker sites. If partypoker has its sights set on taking over the #1 spot in the U.S. they would need to leverage the same multi-state compact that bolstered WSOP.com. At the same time, they will be looking forward to a time when Pennsylvania may also join the states that have legalized and regulated online poker. Dark Horses partypoker and WSOP.com are two of the most recognizable brands in poker today. But inside the state of Pennsylvania, there are some very popular poker entities that could decide to enter the market. Parx Casino is well-known for its massive Big Stax tournaments and large live poker room. They have also paid the steep $10 million fee to be able to offer online gaming. They are already offering sports betting and online casino games. Should the market warrant it, Parx could leverage their brand to expand into online poker. Rush Street Gaming is the owners of SugarHouse and their interactive arm could bring online poker to PA. Rush Street is already well-known in the poker scene with its televised live cash game Poker Night In America.
  7. [caption width="640"] John Cosgrove teaches grade school and has been handing out lessons on the felt in the last few months.[/caption] The PocketFives New Jersey Rankings underwent a shift over the summer as many of the top grinders went to Las Vegas to play live tournaments. As a result, some new names moved up who were not near the top at the start of the year. One of those players is John ‘Selurznug’ Cosgrove, who is currently number three with a string of five-figure results from May through July serving as the catalyst for the boost. Cosgrove earned over $50,000 combined over the course of two PokerStarsNJ Sunday Specials and an 888NJ Ultimate Warrior which jump started his rise toward the top. He admits variance played a large role in him walking away as a winner that many times and Cosgrove says he’s always trying to get better each day. “I'm still fairly new to poker so I constantly make adjustments and learn something new every week. Just recently in the Big Stax 500, I made, quite frankly, the worst play of my poker career so I clearly have a lot to learn,” said Cosgrove. “I think the three scores happening in succession is most likely variance and not just a couple of adjustments I've made recently. But, I have been reviewing hand history's with my friend who crushes the high stakes cash games online and that has helped me to think about spots a little differently.” Cosgrove saw an increase in his overall ability to play on a consistent basis thanks to a transition in his day-to-day profession. In the 2015-16 school year, Cosgrove was teaching full-time but this year is in a working in a substitute role. Cosgrove figured out an effective routine for balancing play and poker when he was teaching full-time and that has carried over to his current lifestyle. “When I taught full-time my routine was something like wake up and go to school, get home and take a nap, wake up and do the nightly session, go to bed and repeat. That was back when I was playing mid-stakes and taking some shots. In general though, balancing poker with teaching is pretty easy, especially since I have three months a year off.” As someone who teaches younger minds how to better their physical health, Cosgrove believes that doing a routine before playing is beneficial and recommends other players try to see how it works for them. “I only think exercise helps me at the poker table if I did a routine before my session. Maybe it helps my overall posture or whatever by I mainly do it to activate my mind and get everything in flow. I would advocate trying a workout routine before a poker session and see how you like it. Also, I want a Varidesk because sitting is the new smoking and that is the thing I hate most about poker, sitting.” Games have always been a part of the health and physical education teacher’s life as Cosgrove used to play Call of Duty on a regular basis before he found the competitive and strategy-based world of poker. In the three years since he first started playing, Cosgrove has improved his game and that is reflected in his surge up the NJ Rankings. Cosgrove attributes this, in part, to his group of friends that have a variety of playing styles that manifest themselves into Cosgrove’s own play. “I wouldn't have the success I've had without my poker friends. We all started playing poker just shy of three years ago and my friend K has turned into the micro-stakes crushing nit who won't take a shot both in poker or of alcohol, R is an aggro spew cannon who will five-bet all with K5o and S is the ‘ultimo.’ Having this variety of friends/players to discuss hands with helps more than anything.” Now that he is among the elite in New Jersey, Cosgrove knows there is a lot of work to be done and formidable opponents to overcome before he takes the next step to hit number one. “I never thought I'd achieve this high of a ranking, to be honest so I'm more than satisfied with where I'm at. I was never too concerned [with the rankings]until I broke top 10. Now I guess it's all about seeing how long I remain but if I have anything near the downswing I had this winter then there is no chance [laughs]. I think there are unstoppable forces ahead of me in spot #1 and #2. Spewy is just on some other level I guess, I never have any idea what he's doing and Coles is the best so good luck me.”

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