Tag Archives: poker news

Poker Pro Antes Up Las Vegas World Series of Poker Winnings “For a Song”

A professional poker player and award-winning songwriter, Jason Mershon, has come up with a unique and ambitious plan to promote his new poker song called “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’.” 

In what is believed to be the first offering of its kind, Mershon is planning on entering the 2010 Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, and is agreeing to share 50 percent of any Final Table winnings with the first 15,000 people who download and purchase his song at his website: www.playinpokerforalivin.com

“It’s just my way of saying ‘thank you’ to those fans who like my new song,” says Mershon. “I wrote the song to humorously tell what it’s really like being a professional poker player; the sarcastic attitudes of many professional poker players; and the monotony of actually playing poker for a living and grinding out the long hours in a casino card room.” The song itself, “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’,” has already received great reviews from poker players and card room owners alike, who have stated that it’s the best song written about poker in years. 

Mershon has spent most of his life in the entertainment business, and is now a recognized professional poker player in Southern California. He plans to update his progress during the tournament on his Twitter and Facebook page, thus giving people a “virtual seat” at the tournament. 

Since winning two awards at the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2006 for his rock musical, “Rock and Roll Heaven” (aka “Heaven Rocks”) which can be found at www.rnrheavenrocks.com, Jason Mershon has been a regular fixture in the California and Las Vegas poker circuit. 

“I probably spend 90% of my time playing in cash games,” says Mershon, “but I’m also considered a pretty good tournament player as well. So, I don’t want people to think I’m ‘dead money’ in the World Series of Poker,” he laughed. 

“Additionally,” he concluded, “I’m offering a special extended limited edition of my poker song which will only be available to the first 15,000 fans who purchase the song.”

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Jeffery Pollack Resigns from World Series of Poker, Harrah’s in Las Vegas

World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack has resigned from his post at the WSOP and Harrah’s.  Friday, November 13th, was Pollack’s last day on the job. JeffreyPollock

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m leaving with just great memories and a really nice sense of it being a great run. More than anything else, I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to have been part of the WSOP,” said Pollack, who was instrumental in growing the WSOP since assuming his position in 2005. 

The WSOP entered its 40th year this year, with Michigan pro Joe Cada crowned its latest and youngest champion last week. 

World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said there were no immediate intentions to replace Pollack. 

Back in May, Pollack teamed with former Party Gaming CEO Mitch Garber to lead Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, the casino giant’s newly-formed online arm. Pollack was slated to be its President and Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman commented in a press release announcing the launch: “As the world’s largest gaming company, Harrah’s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion. It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.” 

Pollack said his next career move remains up in the air: “I really wanted to see this year through, see this series through. I’m leaving on an absolute high note.”

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Las Vegas World Series of Poker $8.5 Million Main Event Won Today by Youngest Winner Ever– 21-year-old Joe Cada from Michigan

A 21-year-old Michigan poker professional who chose cards over college won the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas early today, winning $8.55 million and becoming the youngest player to win the tournament in its 40-year history. JoeCada

Joe Cada of Shelby Township, Mich., turned over a pair of nines early after 46-year old Darvin Moon called his all-in wager with a suited queen-jack, setting up an about-even race for most of the chips on the table. 

But a board of two sevens, a king, an eight and a deuce didn’t connect with either player’s cards and gave Cada the win. 

“I ran really well and I never really thought this was possible,” Cada said. “It was one of those dreams and I’m thankful it came true.” 

The hand abruptly ended a final table that saw Moon, a logger from western Maryland, bounce back to a dominant chip lead after being down 2-1 in chips to start the night. 

“I knew if I could catch, I got him,” Moon said of the final hand. “I just took a shot.”

 Cada broke a record for the tournament’s youngest winner set last year by Peter Eastgate of Denmark. Cada is 340 days younger than Eastgate. 

The record was previously held for two decades by 11-time gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who posed for pictures with Cada after the win. 

When asked what’s next for him after reaching the pinnacle for poker so early in his career, Cada said: “To win it back-to-back.” 

Moon and Cada traded the lead several times in 88 hands spanning nearly three hours of play, with one 20-minute break. 

Moon won $5.18 million for second place. 

“I only play good when my back’s against the wall,” said Cada, who was nearly ousted from the tournament on Saturday when he held about 1 percent of the chips in play after 123 hands. 

The players traded chips atop a table with a stack of cash and a gold bracelet on its felt, and in front of nearly 1,500 screaming fans in a capacity crowd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

Their tug-of-war ended an epic tournament that began with 6,494 players in July. 

Unlike Cada, who said he regularly plays about a dozen tournaments at a time online or three at a time in heads-up cash games, Moon hasn’t played a single hand of online poker. He doesn’t even own a computer or have an e-mail address.

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Harrah’s Extends World Series of Poker Contract with IMG Sports & Entertainment

Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment and IMG Sports & Entertainment announced a four-year contract extension for global representation of the WSOP property. 

According to the agreement, IMG will continue to use its international network to help establish the brand in areas beyond Las Vegas and London. 

“We are looking to emphasize the ‘World’ in World Series of Poker as our vision of the brand extends beyond the annual events in Las Vegas and London,” said Mitch Garber, CEO of Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment. 

“By tapping the global reach and expertise of IMG, we are confident that together we can take the brand to new levels on the international stage through new international bracelet events and other WSOP licensed poker events.”

 IMG has worked with the WSOP since 2005 and helped attract corporate sponsors like Jack Link’s, Hershey’s and Planters.

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Las Vegas World Series of Poker Impervious to Economic Woes

Once again, poker has seemingly proven impervious to these difficult times. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) “Stimulus Special” tournament in Las Vegas (with a lower-than-normal $1,000 buy-in) sold out, drawing 6,012 players. It was the fourth-largest field of all time, trailing only the main events in 2006 (8,773 players), 2008 (6,844) and 2007 (6,358). The winner was 24-year-old Steven Sung, who pocketed $771,106.

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Las Vegas Lowers Blackjack Minimums, Not Winning Odds

Hotel, show, meal, and retail deals are everywhere you look in Las Vegas.   So, it comes with no surprise that our main attraction – blackjack – is flush with deals.  In fact, several Las Vegas Strip casinos have lowered table minimums on their blackjack games in an attempt to lure more customers in during tough economic times.  

The haute Wynn Las Vegas offers some $25 double deck blackjack games on weekdays, down from $50 per hand minimum.  On the other end of the posh spectrum, the Sahara is offering $1 blackjack. Lower minimums have been reported everywhere, even at Harrah’s and MGM Mirage casino properties. 

Players view the moves as a retreat from the high minimums of years past, during the tourism boom.  At that time, table minimums at many Strip properties rose sky-high, along with hotel room rates, mixed drink prices and dining bills. 

But don’t get snookered into believing that lower blackjack minimums now are necessarily a good player deal.  

MGM Mirage adjusts their table game limits based on daily visitor volume.  

Another aspect that comes into play are the rules.  The more favorable the odds of a particular table game, the higher the minimum bet requirement- a strategy that limits the number of players who can take their shot against the casino.  And lower limits almost always mean worse rules for players, says Al Rogers of Pi Yee Pres, which publishes blackjack rule and odds by property in it Current Blackjack News newsletter. 

Players may think they’re getting a better deal with a lower-minimum game when actually the opposite is typically true, he warns. 

Rather than tempting players by reducing their house edge, Strip casinos, Rogers says, have continues a trend that began before the recession, to lower the odds for blackjack and related games by worsening rules.

 For example, many Strip casinos offer games paying 6-to-5 odds for blackjacks, instead of the customary 3-to-2, and those where dealers hit “soft” 17s, meaning they must draws another card on hands containing an ace valued at 11, giving the house a chance to improve a relatively weak hands.  Both strategies, though, increase the house edge. 

Blackjack wagers on the Strip fell by nearly $1 billion for the 12 months ended April 30, after peaking the previous year, according to the Gaming Control Board.  However, the telling fact is that Strip casinos still kept 10.9 percent of those wagers, a fraction of a percentage point less than in the previous record period.

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Andrew Cohen Wins Casino Employees Poker Championship at World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Andrew Cohen, from Las Vegas, captured the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em championship atAndrewCohen the 2009 World Series of Poker, winning $83,778.  This year’s field drew 867 dealers, floorpeople and bartenders and generated a prize-pool of $389,700.

Originally from New York, Cohen is a bartender at the Palms Casino, inside the Nine steakhouse in Las Vegas.  “The one thing that I always wanted—for any poker player—this is it,” Cohen remarked. “I told all these guys here, it’s not about the money to me, and I’m not even a rich guy.” 

Cohen called his wife moments after winning, and she was crying at their Las Vegas home. “She knows how much the gold bracelet means to me. Life doesn’t get much better than today,” he said.

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