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WSOP Champ Pat Poels explains how Poker helps your Day Job

Pat Poels is definitely one person who’s found considerable success in both poker and the “real” world. Currently a vice president of engineering at Eventbrite, Poels also lays claim to two WSOP gold bracelets and over $1 million in live tournament winnings.

After spending five years as a pro, he now uses his poker skills every day at Eventbrite. So what kind of lessons from the felt does he apply to his day job? Poels recently wrote about the matter at Fast Company, and you can see a few of the better lessons that he presents below. Be sure to check out the entire article for all of Poels’ tips.


Poker is really about reading people, not cards. What is a player’s body language and eye contact telling you?

At interviews, I might probe a little or push candidates out of their comfort zone to see how they respond. If they pass that test and join our team, then I’m always keeping an eye out for what their poker faces are telling me. Use your eyes–not just your ears–to pick up on problems.


No one can really hide stress. Instead, managing stress genuinely is the secret to hiding it. If there’s a problem, then focus on solving it. Getting stressed never wins a hand on the poker table, or in the office.


The most helpful lesson I learned from poker is the importance of effective decision-making. You can’t look at your cards, your chips, and the pot–and then get back to the dealer in a week.

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

Earn up to $2k by referring Friends to CarbonPoker

If you have a lot of friends who play online poker or love sports betting, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the following: you could earn up to $2,000 by referring friends to CarbonPoker!

From now until September 30th, our Refer-a-Friend program has been ramped up, delivering more cash than ever before to those who convince friends to sign up. Interested? Check out the following details on this offer.

How to Refer your Friends

Log into your Carbon Player Admin area, then fill out the referral form for the friends you want to send to our site. After this, hit the “Send Referral” button, and your buddy will receive all of the information they need to sign up and deposit at Carbon. Within 48 hours of them signing up and depositing at CarbonPoker, CarbonSports or our Casino, you’ll get a 25% match on their initial deposit – up to $100 FREE.

Okay, that’s pretty standard…but up until the 30th, we’re also giving players additional cash bonuses when they refer more friends. Take a look below for how the bonuses work.

Additional Refer-a-Friend Bonuses

As we just explained, you get up to $100 for every friend that’s referred. But if you can hit certain referral milestones, you’ll be eligible for the following rewards:

- Refer 5 Friends, get $100 Extra
- Refer 10 Friends, get $250 Extra
- Refer 15 Friends, get $500 Extra

As you can see, it’s possible to earn up to $2,000 through our Refer-a-Friend program. So start sending referral emails to your buddies before September 30th in order to boost your bankroll! Once the 30th is up, our program returns to normal, without the extra bonuses involved.

Posted in General Posts

$2 Million Carbon OPS kicks off on Sept. 14th

The dates are set for Carbon Poker’s latest installment of the Online Poker Series. This fall’s $2 million Carbon OPS will feature 79 tournaments, spanning from September 14th to Sept. 28th, 2014. The highlight of this 15-day event will no doubt be $500,000 worth of Main Events that are held at the end.

Those who love variety will definitely appreciate the Carbon OPS because Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, HORSE, Razz and Badugi events are all on the schedule. Assuming you like the variety of poker games and/or the money involved, check out more on this poker tournament series below.

Featured Tournaments

We highly encourage you to view the entire Carbon OPS schedule here. But if you’re looking for a taste, the OPS kicks off with a $150,000 Gtd. tournament on Sept. 14th at 15:00 server time. This is far from the only big tourney, though, because there are lots of other huge events. OPS #37 on Sept. 21st is another deepstack $150k Gtd. There are also many tourneys with prize pools ranging from $20k to $60k on the schedule too.

But nothing will top the variety of Main Events, which kick off on Sept. 28th with a $250,000 Gtd. Main Event. The other ME prize pools range from $5k to $75k, and buy-ins vary from $2.20 to $530. So pretty much anybody can participate in big tournament action this September.

Carbon OPS Satellites

If you find a tournament on the OPS schedule that’s too expensive for your bankroll, yet you still want to play, don’t worry! There are plenty of Carbon OPS satellites running that offer tournament coupons. There are unlimited rebuy satellites, hyper SNG’s and turbo SNG’s, with coupon prizes ranging from $1.10 to $530 tickets.

Remember that $2 million is guaranteed during the Carbon OPS. So if you’d like to win a chunk of this money and boost your bankroll, get to Carbon Poker and start playing in our satellites!

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

Mainstream World ridicules Dan Colman’s Winning Reaction

It’s been a month and a half since Dan Colman won the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop and showed his disdain for promoting poker. So to many poker players, this story seems about as old as Black Friday. But thanks to ESPN’s latest episode of the Big One coverage, some mainstream sports outlets are finally getting around to bashing the 24-year-old poker pro.

The Big Lead and Yahoo Sports were two of the bigger media outlets that covered Colman’s post-victory reaction. Jay Busbee at Yahoo really took some time going over this story as he went through others’ opinions and offered the following excerpt:

Daniel Colman won the astonishing pot after taking the decisive hand from poker legend Daniel Negreanu. And his reaction could best be described as “funereal.” Come on, Dan, you look like somebody stole your dog.

To be fair, Colman “only” had about 10% of his action. So of his $15.3 million prize, $1.5 million went to him, which at least seems enough to make him smile. What’s ironic about all of this is that Colman said through a TwoPlusTwo post that poker is a “dark game” and he wanted no part of attracting others to the felt. However, his reaction – or lack thereof – has actually done more for poker promotion than the standard guy-wins-$15.3m story that would’ve otherwise come out of the Big One. Maybe in a roundabout way, Colman is a poker-loving genius whose plot is working to perfection with every mainstream outlet that covers the story.

Posted in General, General Posts, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Poker Television, Poker Videos, Pro Players

Jamie Gold crushing Tourists in Island Breeze Promo Video

As we reported last year, 2006 Main Event champ Jamie Gold landed a deal with Island Breeze Casino, where he’ll promote his own poker room on the South Florida-based cruise ship.

Gold, who previously had a poker room at the Tropicana Las Vegas, is now starring in promo videos for the cruise ship casino.

As you can see below, the 2006 WSOP winner is the center of attention at the table, where he shows off his poker skills in front of the tourists. Gold must be doing quite well too since he’s having a few cocktails while happily chatting up his amateur opponents.

If the people in the promo truly represent the average Island Breeze poker player, then you might consider a special trip to West Palm Beach.

The ship sails out into international waters for half a day, which should give you plenty of time to take a piece of Virgil and Betty’s retirement money. And hey…you’ll get to rub elbows with a WSOP Main Event champion while you’re playing at Island Breeze too!

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

Ryan Riess plays Nike Celebrity Game with Josh Hutcherson, T.O. and Lil Romeo

The Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Basketball Game (a.k.a. Nike 3 on 3) returned for a third straight year with some notable celebrities making on-court appearances.

Of course, the one that we’re most interested in includes 2013 WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess suiting up for the event.

According to this MaxPreps page, Riess played high school ball (sparsely) at Our Lady of the Lakes High, averaging 0.7 PPG in three appearances. But the point is that he played, so he probably fared quite well against other celebrities.

Unfortunately, we have no stats or video evidence to back this thought up – all we have is a clip of Hutcherson nailing a three at the end (see below).

Besides Riess, there were some decent players who competed in this event, namely Lil Romeo and Terrell Owens. Romeo played a little at USC while Owens played for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before becoming an NFL star. The latter was actually on Riess’ squad and helped the White team overcome the Black team by a score of 78-55.

This event was held to raise money for Hutcherson’s favorite charity, “Straight But Not Narrow.” This program’s goal is to educate teenagers on how to support LGBT teens.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News, Poker Pop Culture, Pro Players, World Series of Poker

Alex Luneau, Dan Cates having Unbelievable Years in Online Poker

For the most part, this year’s high stakes online poker news has been about how big-name players like Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey and Viktor Blom are taking heavy losses. But that’s not to say all of the online poker news has been negative in 2014. This is especially the case when regarding Alex “Alexonmoon” Luneau and Dan “Jungleman” Cates.

These two players have had banner years while battling back and forth for the overall lead. Just recently, Luneau overtook Cates for the 2014 poker profits lead after racking up $915,891 over the past week. According to HighStakesDB, this put him up over $2.58 million on the year, which was slightly above Cates.

However, Jungleman recently roared back by booking a $677k profit. Aside from the money, what’s incredible about Cates’ haul is that he earned it over the course of 27 hours. According to HighStakesDb, he took just an hour break which made this a 26-hour session. Thanks to the massive profit that he earned, Cates has now become the newest leader in online poker profits with $2.61 million.

What’s amazing about Jungleman is that, unlike many other top pros this year, he hasn’t faded away in 2014. He burst on to the scene in 2010 after earning over $5 million in profits, but was halted by Black Friday. Since returning to the online felt, it’s as if Cates was never forced to stop playing competitive internet poker for two years.

As for Luneau, it will be tough to see how the Frenchman does for the remainder of the year. He opted out of HighStakesDb’s tracking, which means that his overall winnings/losses will no longer be available to the public.

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

Big One Bad Beat becomes YouTube Sensation – Over 6m Views

When ESPN showed Connor Drinan getting his pocket aces cracked by Cary Katz’s aces in the 2014 Big One for One Drop, it was predictably popular among the poker community. But what’s amazing about Drinan’s “$1 million” bad beat is the reverberations that it has caused among mainstream YouTube audiences.

Let’s face it, the average YouTube viewer is far more interested in a drunk girl falling down steps or a hippopotamus bullying a group of crocodiles than poker.

However, the AA vs. AA video has managed to sneak into the upper echelon of video views. In fact, Drinan’s bad beat is already the most-watched video of August with over 6.2 million views.

So does this mean that we can expect this poker video to join the YouTube hall of fame alongside such legends as Antoine Dodson and the Angry Grandpa?

Well, it could be a little premature to christen Drinan’s aces getting cracked as this legendary already. However, it’s definitely one of the more-viewed YouTube videos of all time, and we can only hope that it draws more people to future episodes of ESPN’s One Drop coverage.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Poker Pop Culture, Poker Videos, Pro Players, World Series of Poker

Poker Movie “Gutshot Straight” due out on Sept. 1st

Last year, poker fans were largely disappointed with the release of Runner, Runner, an over-the-top thriller that seemed hellbent on bashing the online poker industry. Fast-forward to now and we’ve got Gutshot Straight coming out on September 1st.

Judging from the trailer, this movie also looks like it will be full of action and suspense, with poker taking a backseat. The one positive here is that it doesn’t look like Gutshot Straight will try to use poker as a whipping boy like Runner, Runner did. Instead, the main plot seems to revolve around George Eads’ (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) character, Jack.

Jack looks to get help from Paulie Trunks, who’s played by none other than action hero Steven Seagal. Having Seagal in this movie doesn’t exactly allude to Oscar-worthy performances. But he’ll definitely add some entertainment value to the flick, given his long line of action movie roles.

Others who’ll be joining Seagal and Eads on screen include AnnaLynne McCord (Scorned), Stephen Lang (Avatar), Ted Levine (Monk), Vinnie Jones (Midnight Meat Train) and Tia Carrere (Showdown in Little Tokyo). We doubt that this movie joins Rounders in the poker hall of fame, however, we can’t see it being any worse than Runner, Runner.

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

Phil Hellmuth chomping down Carl’s Jr. Burgers in New Commercial

A few months ago, we discussed how Phil Hellmuth was filming a commercial for the Carl’s Jr. fast food line. Well now the ad is out, and we can all see Hellmuth devouring a delicious-looking Carl’s Jr. barbecue burger.

You’d think that at 50, the Poker Brat might want to lay off of this stuff. Nevertheless, Hellmuth looks like he has no problem eating the massive burger in the 15-second commercial spot. And going completely against his nature, the 13-time WSOP champion doesn’t say a word in the entire commercial (check it out below).

Hellmuth has joined some exclusive company, if you want to call it that, in doing these Carl’s Jr. ads. Some of the other celebrities who’ve pimped the West Coast fast food brand include model Kate Upton, socialite Paris Hilton, former NFL star Terrell Owens and Playboy model Sara Jean Underwood.

This is actually Hellmuth’s second time doing a mainstream advertising campaign. In 2008, he appeared on 1 million cans of Milwaukee’s Best Light beer. Of course, he’s been involved in numerous poker ads and promotions over the years too.

As for his poker career, Hellmuth has $18,193,407 in live tournament winnings along with a record 13 gold bracelets. He failed to add to his WSOP bracelet collection this summer, however, he did come close after taking second place in a $1,500 Seven Card Razz event. Now that we’ve thoroughly discussed Hellmuth, let’s check out his new commercial:

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