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Tom Dwan labeled “Scammer” for ducking Challenge with Cates

Once hailed as one of the greatest online poker players ever, Tom Dwan is now drawing headlines for avoiding competition. As we discussed last week, a frustrated Dan “Jungleman” Cates called Dwan out for inactivity in the Durrrr Challenge. With a $1.25 million lead in the challenge, Cates stands to win another $1.5 million if he can finish with the lead. However, Dwan seems ever hesitant to pick the Durrrr Challenge back up again, with about 30,000 hands left to go.

But perhaps some recent pressure from the public may force him to reconsider his position. A thread has opened up on 2plus2 called Is It Time to Call Tom Dwan a Scammer. And in it, many of the posters have less-than-favorable things to say about the poker pro. One of the posters is Dan Colman (mrgr33n13), who had this to say:

I would for sure say he is scamming jungleman, so yea hes a scammer

This isn’t the only forum thread where people are questioning Dwan’s ethics. A Reddit subforum spawned after Colman’s comment. Here the discussion is a little back and forth, with some posters offering the opinion that there’s nothing legally binding in this challenge. Moreover, this has evolved into a debate about the validity of any unsanctioned prop bet.

For the most part, though, it seems that Dwan is in the wrong here since he came up with the challenge and terms. One can only expect that if the shoe were on the other foot, Dwan would be more than happy to finish the challenge and collect his winnings. But since he’s losing and out of an online poker sponsorship deal these days, maybe even constant forum outcries won’t get him back to the cyber tables.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Pro Players

Carbon Poker’s $15k Freeroll Fury runs from Oct. 1st-31st

Starting October 1st, Carbon Poker is kicking off $15,000 worth of freerolls! The $15k Freeroll Fury promotion will run from October 1st to October 31st, and offer a $500 freeroll EVERY DAY. Getting started is easy so let’s discuss the basics below.

How to enter the $500 Freerolls

Just earn 15 Player Points through cash games, sit and go’s and/or tournaments prior to the freeroll starting on the same day. Each freeroll begins at 20:00 server time, so make sure that you’ve earned the points by then.

Isn’t 15 Points a Lot?

Absolutely not! It only takes $1 in rake to earn 10 points. This being said, you’d only need to rake $1.50 before a daily $500 freeroll starts to be eligible for play.

Recap of Freeroll Fury Details

Tournament Name: $500 Freeroll Fury
Date & Time: Daily at 20:00 EST
Entry: Earn 15 Player Points on the same day as the freeroll
Tab Location: Tournaments Regular or Special

If you have any questions about the Freeroll Fury promotion, please email at Also, if you’d like to see the full terms and conditions behind this promotion, visit here.

Posted in CarbonPoker News, General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News

Is the Advice about 20 Starting Cash Game Buy-ins Outdated?

One prevailing idea that hangs around the poker world is that new No-Limit Hold’em players should start with a minimum of 20 cash game buy-ins. This piece of advice was popularized by Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and continues to be used by many beginners today. But just like Ferguson’s reputation, the validity of the 20 buy-in starting bankroll for NLHE is flawed, and we’ll explain why below.

Just how New is a Player?

The concept of entering new stakes with 20 buy-ins isn’t such bad advice for experienced players who want to aggressively move up limits. However, it’s not the best idea for a completely new player. Online poker is a far tougher game today, so a newbie jumping into $1/$2 NLHE cash games would be a disaster. It’s not a stretch to think that one could quickly lose 5 to 10 buy-ins right away; then your bankroll has been cut by a quarter or even halved.

A better strategy would be starting with between 50 and 100 buy-ins if you’re brand new to the game. For example, if you plan on beginning at $0.10/$0.20 stakes, you’d need $1,000 to have at least 50 cash game buy-ins. Assuming you can at least keep your head above water and continue learning from mistakes, these 50 buy-ins would give you a decent cushion.

Don’t be Afraid to move down

One age-old piece of poker advice that reigns true regarding bankroll management is to move down when things aren’t going well. If you find yourself outclassed at certain stakes and quickly bleed out buy-ins, then there’s no shame in dropping down in stakes. Numerous players have done this, improved their game, then moved back up and played better than ever.

Also don’t forget to constantly analyze your play and think about difficult situations after a session. Learning basic poker strategy always helps, but post-session analysis is what truly separates good players from the bad ones. Moreover, constantly studying your own game will help you preserve your bankroll and hopefully make profits.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Poker Strategy

Tartanian7 may be the Best Poker Bot Ever

Poker bots have been around for quite a while now, and some people have even used them to make money in low stakes online games. But seeing as how bots don’t have the critical thinking skills of humans, they aren’t viewed as a threat by most skilled players. Perhaps this limited view of bots may change, though, after people consider what Carnegie Mellon University’s Tuomas Sandholm has created.

Sandholm, a Computer Science professor who’s published over 450 papers, used his vast knowledge of computational game theory knowledge and optimization algorithms to design “Tartanian7″ – a program that may be the ultimate bot.

His objective all along has been to create the best heads-up NL Hold’em player in history. And he believes Tartanian7 may be just that. When asked by CardPlayer if competing against this bot could become mandatory for those wanting to be elite poker players, Sandholm wasn’t afraid to be cocky. “I think so,” he said. “It’s a bit of a nuclear weapon for poker. You don’t want to be bringing a knife to a gun fight.”

So far, the professor’s words have been backed up by the poker bot’s performance. Tartanian7 won in both heads-up NL Hold’em categories at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Annual Computer Poker Competition.

Based on the domination by Sandholm’s program, he doesn’t feel like any other bots can compete. “They aren’t very good,” he explained. “The current ones that are out there now, some of them have participated in the AAAI competition and turned out to be not very good.”

Up until now, good poker players have been able to outplay bots. But with the advancements that Sandholm and others are making, you have to wonder if the gap is closing.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News, Poker Pop Culture

Poker Night in America rolls on – Gavin Smith featured

Gavin Smith is definitely known as one of poker’s biggest jokesters. The WSOP bracelet winner is constantly making cracks at the table and keeping people laughing. And Smith recently got to display his amateur comedy skills on the latest episode of Poker Night in America.

The Canadian poker pro was featured in Episode 11 of PNIA, which took place at Maryland Live! Casino. He makes jokes about everything from being the captain of the table to frequently drinking. There’s also a segment in the middle where Smith discusses how he found poker as a golf course worker. Enjoy the episode below:

Posted in General, General Posts, High Stakes Action, Poker News, Poker Television, Pro Players

Dan Cates still Angry at Dwan – Threatens to reveal Personal Secrets

When you’ve got a massive lead in a challenge where you’re set receive $1.5 million, the last thing that you want to do is wait years for it to be finished. But this is exactly where Dan “Jungleman” Cates is sitting because the Durrrr Challenge between he and Tom Dwan is in limbo.

Beginning in 2010, the Durrrr Challenge was set to feature 50,000 hands between the two players. A little cockier back in those days, Dwan offered to pay $1.5 million if Cates could beat him, while he’d only receive $500k for winning. Cates started off hot in the matchup and was up $1.25 million before things stalled.

With only 20,000 hands down in the challenge, it’s looking like this thing will never finish. But Jungleman isn’t about to give up on his money, and he’s resorted to calling Dwan out publicly again. In a short interview with PokerListings, Cates expressed his frustrations with Dwan’s unwillingness to get together and play. Here’s one snippet from what he said:

He failed to uphold any promises he made to me. He’s extremely frustrating. It’s outrageous. I feel like he won’t complete it, for a few reasons, but for now I won’t divulge his personal situation. But I’m not thrilled with anything I hear about him.

Cates finished by saying that if Dwan continues to avoid his calls and texts, he will let the public know why his opponent isn’t playing. But as for now, it’s just a threat to “motivate” Dwan to jump back into the challenge.

Unfortunately, this could be a bit tough since the latter isn’t playing as much online poker these days. Dwan spends a lot of his days in Macau-based cash games trying to take advantage of rich fish. Furthermore, he doesn’t have a sponsorship deal any longer, which could be hurting his bankroll somewhat.

Posted in General, General Posts, High Stakes Action, Industry News, Poker News, Pro Players

Will Ted Forrest beat up Mike Matusow for his Money?

One interesting story that we’ve been covering lately is Ted Forrest’s attempts to get Mike Matusow to pay up on an old prop bet. Last we saw, Matusow was arguing about an unspoken stipulation of the deal is that he’d only make monthly payments to Forrest through his online poker sponsorship checks.

Matusow did manage to make about $70k in payments before losing his sponsorship deal. But since then, “The Mouth” has completely stopped payouts and owes over $1.7 million on the prop bet debt.

Facing a desperate situation, Forrest is now fielding suggestions from his twitter followers. And one of them tweeted that the 6-time WSOP champion should fight Matusow for the money. Here’s a look at what Forrest thought of this grand idea:

Lol I love it! That’s the best tweet I’ve seen all day…although I’m pretty sure we are in different weight classes.

Stop??? Mike is younger than I am and has at least 40 pounds on me. Hell if he beats me il even give him his 70,500 back

@4viffer I would like to fight at 175 but for the mouth I could get talked into fighting at heavyweight!

We’re not sure if Forrest is really willing to put the $1.7 million debt (plus $70k) on the line if he loses. However, if he is serious, then this would be an excellent opportunity for The Mouth to settle this thing once and for all. If he loses, then Matusow simply owes what he did to begin with. But assuming he wins, Matusow can finally forget about this debt to Forrest and even pick up an extra $70k from the deal.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Pro Players

Check out Antonius, Ivey, Polk in Aussie Millions Cash Game

Hungering for some good poker TV action lately? Then you’ll certainly appreciate the 2014 Aussie Millions Cash Game that’s been airing. As you’d expect from a televised high stakes game, there are plenty of stars in attendance, including Ike Haxton, Doug Polk, Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey.

Much like High Stakes Poker, which we just discussed yesterday, the Aussie Millions Cash Game has featured plenty of massive pots. In fact, the latest episode featured a $668,000 pot between Antonius and Polk. If you haven’t been following this cash game and want to see who won the hand, start watching at around 20 minutes into the video:

Posted in Aussie Millions, General, General Posts, High Stakes Action, Industry News, Poker News, Pro Players

Barry Greenstein recalls $600k Pot that Hurt His Poker Career

There was a time when Barry Greenstein was one of the most-visible stars in the poker world. From starring on High Stakes Poker to giving away ridiculous sums of money to charities, Greenstein definitely made a name for himself in the post-Poker Boom era. Unfortunately, the money doesn’t seem to pouring into the 59-year-old’s pockets these days, and he’s no longer scooping six and seven-figure paydays on the felt.

So what changed for the man with over $8 million in tournament winnings? As Greenstein recently recalled, a big $600k pot with Antonio Esfandiari is one thing that chipped away at his wealth. He recently tweeted:

Mention of the pot that stopped me from playing more High Rollers and helped Antonio start playing them

As you can see towards the end of the episode below, Greenstein flops a set of 4′s and rightfully shoves his stack in after putting Esfandiari on a flush draw. “The Magician” gets luck on his side, though, as his draw is completed on the turn, netting him a pot worth over $593,000.

Both players’ careers have gone in different directions since this episode, which was filmed in 2010. Greenstein is still a popular player, but his tournament winnings haven’t been what they used to be. As for Esfandiari, he’s bankrolled pretty well after winning the 2012 Big One for One Drop and $18.36 million. While he didn’t get all of this due to backers, Esfandiari did get a very nice payday out of the deal.

Posted in General, General Posts, High Stakes Action, High Stakes Poker, Poker News, Pro Players

Mike Matusow offers Rebuttal to Ted Forrest over Debt

A couple of days ago, we discussed how Ted Forrest complained about $1.7 million that he says Mike Matusow owes him. Matusow has allegedly only paid him $70,000 on a weight loss bet that saw Forrest drop 50 pounds. Seeing as how the original debt was $1.8 million, paying $70k over four years doesn’t quite cut it.

Nicknamed “The Mouth,” few expected Matusow to stay quiet about this matter. And the 4-time WSOP champ recently offered a rebuttal to Forrest’s complaints about the debt. So does The Mouth offer an excellent argument about why he shouldn’t pay the remaining $1.7 million?

Not even close! In fact, Matusow uses most of his tweets to deflect blame to former Full Tilt management – specifically Howard Lederer. And while many people are still pissed about Full Tilt’s failure to ring-fence player deposits before Black Friday, it’s tough to see how it applies here. Judge for yourself after reading Matusow’s explanation:

- 4 yrs ago me and Ted made a bet and were very drunk when we made it I then told him I don’t want the bet cause I can’t afford to lose

- He then said sorry you owe me 500k to cancel bet ,I laughed at him and said fine don’t cancel the bet but I’m not changing my life style

- For anyone and that if you win you will get 5k a month out of my full tilt pay check till it is paid period plus if I made any scores extra

-Now he was paid 200k by justin smith who had 10percent of bet and 93500 by me in which I told him I would pay him 106500 which is 10%

- P.s ted if you want your 5k a month cll Howard lederer I’m sure he will give it to you

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Poker Pop Culture, Pro Players