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The Inside Straight

by CP The Inside Straight Authors |  Published: Aug 01, 2006


Card Player Named Official Magazine of 2006 World Series of Poker

Live Updates, Exclusive Content, and Even a Printed Newspaper to be Provided


Card Player magazine has been named the official magazine of this year's World Series of Poker. The partnership gives Card Player exclusive rights to the real-time coverage of all the WSOP events this summer.

As the official magazine of the WSOP, will offer hand-by-hand reporting from the tournament floor, streaming video of player interviews, real-time chip counts, and everything else that makes the place to visit to keep up with tournament poker year long.

Card Player also will provide all of the content for the WSOP's official website,, as well as

The partnership doesn't stop online.

Card Player will produce a daily on-site WSOP newspaper for the duration of the Series. The newspaper, which is a first in the WSOP's history, will offer event recaps and interviews with winners of the events, as well as other stories. It will be provided for free at the Rio.

"We're thrilled to be in business with Card Player," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the WSOP. "Real-time online coverage of our tournament will be better than ever and satisfy the information needs of fans worldwide. There will be only three online sources for our official news, updates and results: Card Player,, and AOL."

Barry Shulman, Card Player Media chairman, had this to say about the partnership:

"Working with the World Series of Poker once again demonstrates Card Player's commitment to providing the world's premier poker multimedia coverage, and we are excited to be the official magazine of the World Series of Poker."

Card Player also will publish the official program of the 2006 World Series of Poker. The WSOP takes place at the Rio and runs from June 25 until Aug. 6. Stay tuned to for all of your WSOP needs. spade

FullTilt Mob Set to Roll BY MICHAEL FRIEDMAN

The beginning of May has been very active for team FullTilt. In a move that should help cement FullTilt's global recognition and brand, the group joined forces with the UK's Hendon Mob.

The Hendon Mob is possibly the most well-known European poker team, and now that its members have joined with U.S. poker giants like Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, and Erick Lindgren, its popularity will most likely grow in the United States.

Barry Boatman

FullTilt's shrewd move will give it a strong presence in Europe and will help it to develop its international business strategy. Already firmly established as "legends" in the European poker community, the Hendon Mob and its members are a perfect fit for FullTilt, especially considering that its players' images match perfectly with those of the Mob. Both groups sport similar black and white clothes and have capitalized on the Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dog look in past promotions.

Considered by many to be ambassadors of the game, the Hendon Mob is made up of four players who have collectively won 37 titles and made final table after final table. Mob members Barny Boatman, his brother "Rocky" Ross Boatman, Joe "The Elegance" Beevers, and Ram "Crazy Horse" Vaswani will now play online at FullTilt, giving the site an international flavor.

Ross Boatman

According to Barny Boatman, joining the FullTilt team brings a fusion of styles and international advertising demographics. "We are excited and honored to have been chosen by FullTiltPoker to represent them on the European tournament circuit and beyond. We are longtime admirers of the software, the style, and, of course, the incomparable team of top-flight pros who make up FullTilt," Boatman said in a recent press release.

There is also a lot of enthusiasm from the FullTilt crew as they welcome four new members to the team. "Having the Hendon Mob join the FullTiltPoker family is very exciting for team FullTilt, and will afford players on the site a unique chance to play and chat with some of the best players and ambassadors in the poker world. We are very pleased," said FullTilt leader Howard Lederer. spade

Dates for World Series of Poker H.O.R.S.E. Event Changed

The New Event is Moved Up in the Schedule


The dates for the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event at this year's World Series of Poker have been changed. Previously scheduled to begin on July 25, the three-day H.O.R.S.E. tournament will now take place July 12-14. The two-day $5,000 buy-in deuce-to-seven draw lowball tournament, originally scheduled to begin on July 12, will now be held July 25-26.

The events were switched to accommodate TV coverage.

The H.O.R.S.E. event features the most expensive buy-in ever offered by the WSOP. This mixed game was added after players complained that the Series was dominated by no-limit hold'em. The game rotates between limit hold'em, Omaha eight-or-better, razz, seven-card stud, and seven-card stud eight-or-better, with the final table being no-limit hold'em only. spade

Tips From 'The Circuit'

Sit-and-go tournament strategy's hit radio show The Circuit brings you updates, interviews, and strategy from the biggest names in poker.

The Circuit broadcasts from all World Poker Tour events.

The following is a discussion between host Scott Huff and guest Scott Fischman on sit-and-go tournament strategy, as broadcast on The Circuit from the L.A. Poker Classic.

Scott Huff: What is optimal sit-and-go strategy?

Scott Fischman: It's pretty clear that when you're playing poker, the optimal thing to do is play the opposite of what your opponents are doing. But that doesn't really work in sit-and-gos, because there's a set number of chips on the table and there's a set strategy. And if you risk losing any of your chips in the beginning, you're really risking your equity in the sit-and-go. So, I really do prefer the normal … but there are some tweaks. I have some different strategies, but normally it's tight, tight, tight – loose, loose, loose. That's the way it goes.

SH: Is there a lot of shoving in?

SF: At the end, yeah.

SH: Or minimum raising? Because I've heard that a lot of times you can get people off a hand in a sit-and-go just by minimum raising when you get shorthanded. What do you think of that? How much pressure do you have to put on people?

SF: There are three stages. During the late-middle stage, I will be raising two and a half times the blind with certain hands against certain players, and it has nothing to do with the cards. It has everything to do with the size of the stacks. So, sit-and-gos are all about the chips in play, the blinds, and position. spade

Tune in to The Circuit and put it to work for your game.

Tom from England has …

Hi, this is Tom from across the Atlantic in London. I had to e-mail because I had no clue how to phone. Every now and again, someone does something right … Bill Hicks … Otis Redding … God … Scott, Gavin, and Joe!

I love the show, especially the insights you guys provide about seemingly routine tournament situations. I just wanted to let you know that you have support worldwide now, so you can't ever stop.

Keep up the good work. spade

2006 WSOP Bracelet

Bling-Bling: Redesigned Gold World Series of Poker Bracelets Flush With Diamonds

Main Event Bracelet is Full of Sapphires and Rubies, as Well

Players lucky and good enough to win a World Series of Poker bracelet this year will be doubly lucky. They will be the first group of players to receive a newly designed WSOP bracelet that features white gold and plenty of diamonds.

Forty-five bracelets will be won this year, and all but one will be exactly the same. Each winner will receive a bracelet made of 14-karat yellow gold and enhanced with full-cut white diamonds. The center plaques are hand-set with 66 diamonds weighing one-third of a carat and are supported by roughly 35 grams of a solid diamond-cut rope chain.

The winner of the main event will receive a bracelet unlike the other 44. It also will be made of 14-karat gold, but the center plaque will be filled with more diamonds than Marilyn Monroe would know what to do with.

The WSOP champion's bracelet will be set with 170 hand-picked diamonds weighing more than six carats. The bracelet's center features uniquely shaped precious color stones to represent the suit designs: a heart-shaped ruby for the heart suit, a princess-cut ruby for the diamond suit, a black sapphire for the spade suit, and three round black diamonds for the club suit.

And talk about bling-bling. The bracelet's plaque is supported by roughly 58 grams of solid diamond-cut rope chain. It's impossible to overstate the value of a World Series of Poker gold bracelet to anyone who takes the game seriously: It is the equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup in hockey or the Lombardi Trophy in football," said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack in a press release. "The champion's bracelet at the 37th-annual World Series of Poker will be the best ever -something the winner will take pride in for a lifetime."

Harrah's also announced that TRITON Jewelry, a division of Frederick Goldman Inc., had developed the bracelets as well as a specialized line of jewelry for men and women modeled on their design.

The new line, which will consist of pendants, bracelets, cuff links, rings, a key ring, and a money clip, will feature the WSOP logo and be thematically consistent with the champion's bracelet. The new line of jewelry will be available at independent jewelers and merchants in the fall. spade

How to Play Big Slick From Late Position

Big slick has the reputation of being a monster hand that most players love to get dealt. And that's with good reason, because it has a ton of potential.

If you have big slick and a king or ace hits the board, you've automatically got top pair with top kicker. Since big slick is connected, it also has the potential to become the highest straight on the board.

Then again, if you're an experienced poker player, you know that big slick is often highly overrated by most amateurs and beginners. This is because by itself, big slick is not a good hand. It's just an ace high with a king.

It can be beat by just about anything – from a flush to a three of a kind to a pair of deuces. What big slick has is the potential to be a great hand, but that doesn't mean it is a great hand. And this distinction is very important in order to learn how to play A-K properly.

If you play big slick the right way, you can win with it a majority of the time. If you play it the wrong way, you'll end up losing all of your chips and whining about your bad beat. The decision is yours.

So, let's approach our strategy for big slick with late positioning: Since the hand can get run down easily, your strategy is to get rid of as many players as possible before the flop. In other words, scare away everyone who doesn't have a pair or facecards. If you let too many players stay in, someone with rags is bound to catch a better flop.

But if you go up against players with facecards, you have the advantage and the odds are in your favor. This is accomplished, of course, with a preflop raise.

Here's an example:

I was in a $1-$2 no-limit hold'em cash game with some friends, and got A-K on the button. Dan was first to act and he made it $7 to play. The action went around the table, and three of the next five players called. Now, the action was to me. How would you handle this situation? Call, reraise, or fold?

The correct answer is reraise. "Make it another $30," I say. And here's why: Let's say I call. That means there are five guys in the hand. Amateurs might say, "Oh, that means there's more money in the pot." Wrong. What seven players (including the blinds) means is that I am virtually guaranteed to have my A-K run down – because even if I catch a king or ace, there's a good chance someone else will hit a flush, straight, set, or two pair.

And besides, calling doesn't give me any idea of where I stand in the hand, and it doesn't enable me to know what to put my opponents on.

So, I make the preflop reraise. All the players fold except Dan, and he calls. That means I know that he has a real hand, and wasn't just bullying the table. It also means he probably doesn't have cowboys or rockets, because if he did, he would've come back over the top of me, maybe all in.

So, now I've got a read on my opponent, and I've forced out all the other guys, which means I don't have to worry about someone getting "lucky" on the flop.

I've also taken control of the table. Instead of Dan coming out firing after the flop, he'll probably check to see what I do. This gives me control. If I miss on the flop, I can either see a free card or represent a made hand.

The flop comes 9-4-2. What an ugly flop, right? Actually, I kind of like this flop, because I'm pretty sure it didn't improve Dan's hand. He could be holding pocket nines, but I can't put him on fours or deuces because of my strong preflop reraise. I'm putting him on two overcards or a wired pair.

Anyway, now it's time to find out, because Dan checks to me – just as I expected. I could see a free card here, but I'd rather play this aggressively and find out exactly where I'm at.

If Dan calls a strong bet from me, he's probably got a set or a high wired pair. If that's the case, I'll back off after the turn card and minimize my losses.

I throw out a $50 chip with my ace high. Dan decides to muck his pocket eights. Little does he know that his eights had me beat and I just stole a nice pot.

That's how you play big slick from late position. You've must:

1. Scare away as many players as you can before the flop.

2. Take control of the board and action.

3. Find out where you're at in the hand.

Even if Dan came back over the top of me after my preflop reraise, I'd be OK. That's because I could put him on aces or kings, muck my big slick, and live to see another hand without catching a "bad beat."

Maybe next issue I'll discuss how to play A-K from early position. In the meantime, sign up for my free e-mail tips at spade