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Found 3 results

  1. In an age where the perception of poker players has changed markedly, how players look at their own future is changing. There was a time when poker players would have a bankroll and a ‘life-roll’ and would plot out a course of action tailored to improving both. From tournaments to cash games, bricks and mortar to buy-ins, poker players had a much more linear method of reinvesting their hard-earned money. In the modern age, however, poker players who reach a certain level are now far more aware of investment being key to improving their bankroll and improving their lives. One player who has taken it to the next level and improved countless others lives is Dan Smith. His charity initiative, Double Up Drive, has raised over $24.7 million for highly effective charities since 2014. Sitting Down with Smith “If I ever needed it, I’d be able to have it within a couple weeks.” We began our conversation with him by asking about how a poker player who has achieved in the game goes about investing their money outside poker. “I don’t think that it works in such a way where once you get to ‘x’ amount of dollars, you can start investing,” he says. “I think you want as much of your capital working all the time as you can. Money that’s just sitting there in a checking account or in a box is going down in valuation. As time goes on, I would put more and more money aside. I try not to cash it out unless I have a very good reason to.” Smith is mindful of the fact that losing years in gambling don’t carry over and you can’t write off expenses, so ‘ensuring that you unlikely have a losing year is your first concern’. That automatically affects what each player can gamble and then, as a consequence, invest. “Specific financial situations dictate how you manage your bankroll quite a bit,” says the man currently in 7th place on The Hendon Mob’s All Time Money List. “If you were still at $5/$10, the way you should manage your bankroll is very different to being pretty wealthy and trying to grow your wealth further. I have mostly tried to have as much of my money working as possible in liquid [investments]. If I ever needed it, I’d be able to have it within a couple weeks.” As Smith says, no player ever wants to be in a situation where they’re short of money. It can take a psychological toll. “It depends on the games you play, but if you’re a $10/$20 regular, you don’t ever want to think about having enough to be playing if you have a losing day. Generally, if the game in your casino is $10/$20 then gets kicked up to 25/50 on any given day it may well be because the game has got better than usual. Gambling on yourself in a good cash game is likely going to outperform any investments you can make.” [caption id="attachment_638167" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Smith is a former WPT champion and sits in the top 10 of the all-time money list for tournament winnings.[/caption] A Fantasy Made Real “At this moment in time, I don’t think the state of the poker game is stable.” Smith doesn’t see his charity endeavours and the growth of wealth as conflicting things. He apportions so of his money to charitable donations just as does in investments and spending money. The first time he ever made a large charitable donation, it was down to a very different kind of gamble. “I was playing high stakes Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and in this week I was wagering $120k,” he describes. “The big question that week was whether or not to play Jack Doyle, the back-up Tight End of the Colts. The starting Tight End was ruled out, so he was going to get a lot of looks for bargain pricing. I just decided I didn’t see much of a reason to hedge [with another player] and played him in the whole $120,000. I reflected that I could lose the whole $120k which would and objectively nothing would change. That inspired my $175,000 charity donation. If I donated that, I got some degree of tax break, so it got me to that $120k number.” As Smith says, everyone’s situation is going to be quite different and others will have a myriad of alternate paths to both wealth and investment, as well as donating to charity. Smith admits that he bases some of his calculations on tax adjustments, something which is going to be different for poker players around the world given gambling’s nature in some countries as a method of earnings and others, where it is viewed as gambled money which cannot be taxed. “Having an idea of where you are changes based on a lot of factors,” he admits. “For me, one of the bigger things was how big I perceive my edge to be in poker games and how optimistic I was about it going forward. At this moment in time, I don’t think the state of the poker game is stable, reliable income so I’d, in theory, adjust my investments accordingly.” Finance and Variance "It’s easy to make a number of dollars in a month or year and extrapolate that you will continue to make that sort of money." Smith adds that anyone thinking of investing or donating to charity should be ‘mindful of the distribution of resolutions’ and while some investments will reliably tick over at 8% for example, others with multiply your money wildly or go bust. Variance in investments is not dissimilar to that experienced at the poker table, and that synergy between accruing chips through risk and looking at how to maximise your money has obvious similarities for many. “I think it’s easy to make a number of dollars in a month or year and extrapolate that you will continue to make that sort of money. That’s very dangerous; games are constantly changing and variance is a bitch!” Dan Smith looks at investment as an area of skill and says while some will succeed playing it safe, others are naturally better at taking big risks. “Some people will just do their best mostly just buying index funds and not doing anything clever,” he says. “Some people are very skilled gamblers and investors. They should manage their money very differently.” When a poker player decides to invest their money, it is often because they believe themselves to be ready to take that next step in acquiring wealth upon that which they have won in the game. In finance as well as in poker, however, nothing is ever guaranteed.
  2. Day 1e of the World Series of Poker Main Event saw 797 players take to the felt in a bid to become this year’s world champion. With dramatic exits for several big names including Daniel Negreanu, there were plenty of big names who made big stacks across a day at the felt that saw 592 players survive. Gerassi Grabs Late Lead on Day 1e With an all-American top 10, it’s only fair that we look at who took the chip lead on the day, and Day1e’s conqueror was David Gerassi, who totaled 316,100 by the close of play. Gerassi was followed by players such as Kenn Pluard (307,600) and Conrad De Armas (302,800) on the leaderboard as the only other two players to total more than 300,000 chips, but there were plenty of big names in the chasing pack. Two former Main Event champions had great days at the felt, with Joe ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!’ Hachem (186,100) and Scott Blumstein (95,000) both made Day 2 with more than their starting stacks to say the least, especially Hachem, who trebled by the close of play. Elsewhere, players such as Romain Lewis (157,000), Andre Akkari (139,500), Max Greenwood (135,500), Dan Colpoys (123,400), Shankar Pillai (113,400), Dietrich Fast (112,600), and Frank Funaro (103,700) all bagged six-figure stacks at the end of Day 1e. Kid Poker Crashes Out with Kings While a massive 3,921 players have so far survived five Day 1 flights from the 5,116 total entries in this year’s Main Event with just one starting flight to come, over a thousand hopefuls have departed. On Day 1e, there was a dramatic early exit for Daniel Negreanu, who busted with pocket kings against pocket aces to see his hopes of improving on his run to 11th place in 2015 go up in smoke just a few days after Bonfire Night. https://twitter.com/PokerNews/status/1457849351758180354?s=20 Elsewhere, Dan Smith busted when a pot worth 125 big blinds saw him come out on the losing side of a massive coinflip. https://twitter.com/DanSmithHolla/status/1457950495578882051 Dan Ott, possibly the shortest-named excellent poker player in the world and former WSOP Main Event runner-up in 2017, had an interesting exchange with a player at his Main Event table. Ott would later be out as he was unable to survive Day 1e. We’ll remember you, Dan. https://twitter.com/danott11/status/1457881784796987394 With Ryan Leng, Andrew Kelsall, Andrew Barber, Jason Wheeler, Kelly Saxby, Zach Gruneberg, Maurice Hawkins, Yiannis Liperis, Gershon Distenfeld, and Courtney Webb joining Ott on the rail, we lost several poker superstars at the felt on Day 1e. WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts: David Gerassi - 316,100 Kenn Pluard - 307,600 Conrad De Armas - 302,800 James Mendoza - 255,900 Greg Pohler - 248,500 Victor Ramdin - 228,300 Yiming Cao - 228,000 Ryan Delgros - 223,400 Craig Chait - 222,400 Jordan Jayne - 219,200 Mukul Pahuja Leads The Little One For One Drop In the $1,111 Little One for One Drop, it was Mukul Pahuja who bagged the chip lead on a dramatic first day at the felt that saw 490 entries reduced to just 143 survivors. With two more starting flights to come, we’d expect a much bigger Day 1b and Day 1c as players jump in the event that gives part of the buy-in to charity and helps those most in need. Elsewhere in the top 10, there were big stacks for Fernando Ribeiro (428,000), Poorya Nazari (377,500) and Steven Stolzenfeld (376,200) as players battled for domination and a Day 2 seat. Big names such as Ryan Depaulo (114,200) and Daniel Negreanu (93,000) also made Day 2 which will commiserate them over the exits from the Main Event yesterday. WSOP 2021 Event #68 $1,111 Little One for One Drop Top 10 Chipcounts: Mukul Pahuja - 518,300 Fernando Ribeiro - 428,000 Poorya Nazari - 377,500 Steven Stolzenfeld - 376,200 Jorge Briones - 319,500 Osmin Dardon - 296,000 Christopher Smith - 295,400 Wai Kit Lo - 292,300 Richard Weathington - 286,000 Michael Weber - 270,600 With ‘the world and his wife’ likely to be playing Day 1f, the WSOP Main Event looks set to host its record attendance day on Tuesday. One particular poker power couple, Felipe Ramos and his wife Natalie Hof-Ramos have the ultimate side-bet in operation. No-one should play for such high stakes! https://twitter.com/FelipeMojave/status/1457927182605373443 Finally, the options are open for Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates to join Phil Hellmuth in making his walk of shame... ahem, we mean spectacular WSOP Main Event entrance as Gandalf the White on Friday. The purveyor of poker ‘White Magic’ is, of course, a legendary figure so rightly represents a wizard with 16 WSOP titles to Cates’ single gold bracelet, but who should the 2021 Poker Players Championship winner attend as? Answers to be hurled into the burning flame pit of Mordor. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1458020021813145606
  3. Stephen Chidwick started the final table of Event #7 ($10,000 No Limit Hold’em) with a healthy chip lead and carried it all the way through to the end, taking down his first tournament of the 2021 Poker Masters for a $183,600 payday. It was Chidwick’s second final table in as many nights and it finished it off in a fast-paced performance of just over two hours. “It’s always nice to win a tournament,” Chidwick said after the victory. “It was a bit of a slow start to the series for me with no cashes in the first handful of events so to make two in a row, and win one, puts myself in contention in points. That should make it a fun rest of the week.” Twenty minutes into the final table, Chidwick clashed with the dangerous Dan Smith for the first elimination of the day. With the blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 bb ante), Chidwick picked up [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] from under the gun and raised it up to 100,000. Smith, next to act, looked down at the [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"] and after a few moments moved all-in for just over 1 million in chips. The rest of the table got out of the way and Chidwick quickly called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9h"][poker card="6d"] flop kept Chidwick with a commanding lead. The [poker card="3s"] turn eliminated any backdoor options Smith had. The [poker card="kd"] improved Chidwick to an unnecessary set and sent Smith out in fifth place for $54,400. Three minutes later, Lou Garza opened to 125,000 from the button holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"]. After Chidwick released his small blind, Brek Schutten three-bet shipped his final ten big blinds with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"]. Garza didn’t take long before making the call and moments later the pair watched on as Garza out flopped Schutten with a [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4h"] flop. The [poker card="td"] hit the turn, giving Schutten some counterfeit outs in addition to hitting his king kicker. However, the [poker card="8d"] completed the board, and Schutten headed for the exit in fourth place, good for a $68,000 payday. Over the next sixty minutes, Chidwick continued to build his castle of chips as the blinds climbed to 30,000/60,000 (60,000 bb ante). When from the button, Dylan DeStefano, raised to 120,000 with the [poker card="as"][poker card="js"] and Garza, in the small blind, once again looked down at [poker card="ac"][poker card="7d"]. Garza, the short stack, moved all-in for his final 20 big blinds and, once Chidwick got out of the way, DeStefano snap-called. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"][poker card="2h"], but DeStefano was still a considerable favorite. The [poker card="5h"] hit the turn and the river was [poker card="ks"] sending Garza home holding the same hand he sent Schutten out the door with. Garza tapped the table and made his way to the cage to collect his $88,400 for third place. Chidwick and DeStefano returned from a break with Chidwick holding a two-to-one chip lead. It took the former U.S. Open champion roughly twenty minutes of heads-up play to wrap up the event. The final hand took place with the blinds at 40,000/80,000 (80,000 bb ante) and DeStefano opened the button to 180,000 holding the [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"]. In the big blind, Chidwick three-bet to 550,000 with his [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"] and DeStefano made the call. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5d"] flop brought DeStefano top pair but kept Chidwick in the lead with his pocket kings. Chidwick led for 350,000 and DeStefano made the call. The [poker card="3c"] turn changed nothing and Chidwick pushed out a bet of 525,000. With 1.4 million behind, DeStefano burned some time bank extensions before he made the call. The river was the [poker card="8s"] and Chidwick went for the win, betting enough to put DeStefano all-in. DeStefano counted his stack and decided on a call and was shown the winner by Chidwick. DeStefano, out in second, collected $136,000 and Stephen Chidwick earned $183,600 for his latest victory in the PokerGO studio. 2021 Poker Masters Event #7 Final Table Results Stephen Chidwick - $183,600 Dylan DeStefano - $136,000 Lou Garza - $88,400 Brek Schutten - $68,000 Dan Smith - $54,400
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