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John Phan Vol. 22, No. 2 Card Player Magazine

John Phan Wins 2008 Player of the Year Title

by Ryan Lucchesi

Each year, the Card Player Player of the Year (POY) race involves world-class players chasing poker's most respected annual award. In 2008, the 10 most consistent players included two world champions, and held a collective 14 World Series of Poker bracelets, five World Poker Tour titles, and ...

  • Alex 'AJKHoosier1' Kamberis Claims Online Poker's Highest Honor

    by Julio Rodriguez

    Hoosiers are known for their skills in the gym, but it has been a while since that storied program has been at the top of the rankings. It seems that these days, the university is busy churning out superstars on the felt rather than on the hardwood. ...continued

  • The Poker Tour for Everyone

    by Ryan Lucchesi

    The Heartland Poker Tour began with a conversation between Todd Anderson and Greg Lang. The two business associates had no television production experience, but they saw that regular, everyday players didn't have a poker-tour outlet, and the need ...continued

  • Inside Straight -- News

    by Card Player News Team

    High Stakes Poker Will Premiere March 1 Fifth Season of Popular Show Attracts Big Names By Stephen A. Murphy The fifth season of High Stakes Poker will premiere March 1 on the Game Show Network. While NBC established that in the fall, Sunday night is ...continued

  • Player of the Year

    by Tournament Reporters

    Major Tournaments Around the Globe Round Out 2008 By Ryan Lucchesi Chino's Redemption at Bellagio David "Chino" Rheem overcame the disappointment he felt when finishing seventh in the World Series of Poker main event in November by ...continued

  • Hand 2 Hand Combat -- Dave 'D'Alesandro

    by Craig Tapscott

    Want to study real poker hands with the Internet's most successful players? In this series, Card Player offers hand analysis with online poker's leading talent. Event $200 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker six-max no-limit ...continued

  • Final-Table Takedown -- Phil Galfond

    by Craig Tapscott

    Phil Galfond, 23, began his poker career online by playing micro sit-and-gos, and worked his way up to the highest levels. He then switched his focus to cash games, and is now well-regarded as one of the best high-stakes players in the game. In ...continued

  • Generation Next -- Rob Eckstut

    by Craig Tapscott

    It can be difficult to build a poker bankroll while attending high school. Girls, gas, and homework tend to get in the way, along with not having a job. But that didn't stop Rob Eckstut. He discovered that many online poker sites offer play-money ...continued

  • Card Player Pro

    by Mike Watson

    In this column, I will examine an interesting hand from one of my recent pot-limit Omaha training videos. Game Five-handed $50-$100 pot-limit Omaha with a $4,000 cap on Full Tilt Poker Opponents Opponents Richard Ashby in the cutoff, very loose ...continued

  • Mind Over Poker

    by David Apostolico

    I often am asked by friends after they suffer a bad fate at the poker table if they played the hand correctly or if they just got unlucky. Rather than offer a trite answer, I really like to have the player who's asking the question examine his ...continued

  • The Scoop -- David Benefield

    by The Scoop

    David Benefield is 22 years old and has already earned the reputation as one of the most dangerous high-stakes no-limit hold'em cash-game players in the world. Known as "Raptor" online, Benefield worked his way up from the smallest to ...continued

  • Capture the Flag -- Matt Giannetti

    by Kristy Arnett

    Matt Giannetti is a 24-year-old professional poker player who is living the good life in Las Vegas. He had a two-year stint as a student at the University of Texas, but when he realized his talent in poker, he left school. Since then, he has been ...continued

  • Winning Wisdom -- Gavin Griffin

    by Gavin Griffin

    At only 27 years old, Gavin Griffin already holds one of the most impressive collections of poker's most prestigious titles. The former poker dealer won the $3,000 buy-in pot-limit hold'em event at the 2004 World Series of Poker, a win that, ...continued

  • Free Video Training Offered at

    by Jeff Shulman

    What tools do you use to improve your poker game? If you haven't done so already, getting a subscription to an instructional video training site is a surefire way to help take your game to the next level. There are tons of video training sites out ...continued

  • Tough Bluff Leads to Chip Lead

    by Phil Hellmuth

    At dinner on Dec. 12, David Williams was telling a story to a bunch of poker pros. No one at the table believed the story. Finally, Theo Tran said, "Yes, I saw the hand, it really happened." They were talking about a hand that I had played ...continued

  • Good Riddance, 2008

    by Todd Brunson

    Every year on New Year's Eve, I go out and celebrate like most everyone else does. For me, it's just a good party. I mean, I've never really been happy to see a year end - that is, until 2008. (If you read my column a few issues ago, in ...continued

  • Overaggressiveness Can Cost You!

    by Roy Cooke

    It's a truism of the game of poker that aggressive play is winning play. But many aggressive players overplay their hands and bet way too often. When called, they often are beat, losing many bets they shouldn't have lost - bets that add up ...continued

  • Practical Probability - Part I

    by Steve Zolotow

    This column is the first of a series on probability. My intention is to give you some basic understanding of probability theory and discuss some of its practical applications. Mathematical thinking in general is unnatural for most people. I am not ...continued

  • Back to Bluffing

    by Matt Lessinger

    Recently, I think I've spent too much time away from my favorite subject of bluffing. So, let me recount a bluff I pulled off not long ago, and explain the thought processes that went along with it. It was a no-limit hold'em game with $1-$2 ...continued

  • On Getting Stacked

    by Ed Miller

    One of the most disappointing events in any no-limit hold'em game is getting stacked. Oftentimes, with the monetary loss also comes a sense of embarrassment and self-doubt. "Did I do it wrong? Should I have approached the hand completely ...continued

  • Heads Up Versus 'TT'

    by Jeff Hwang

    Here are two hands that I played in heads-up post-flop confrontations against my buddy "TT" in my weekly 50¢-$1 ($100 minimum/$200 maximum) pot-limit Omaha (PLO) game on the electronic tables in the poker room at Excalibur in Las Vegas. ...continued

  • The Three Biggest Mistakes in Shorthanded Limit Hold'em

    by Matthew Hilger

    This column includes excerpts from the new, expanded edition of Internet Texas Hold'em: Winning Strategies for Full-Ring and Short-Handed Games, which contains two new chapters for shorthanded games. When browsing all of the available tables at ...continued

  • Poker Myths

    by Bob Ciaffone

    I would like to discuss some poker myths that I have heard over the years. I think you also have heard most of these phony maxims of poker. Many of them are half-truths, but some have no basis in reality at all, as far as I can see. The first of these ...continued

  • Bluffing in Limit Hold'em: Mission Impossible?

    by Barry Tanenbaum

    Last issue, we looked at bluffing from early position into unraised pots. You can find that column and the others in this series at In this column, we will finish looking at bluffing on the flop by discussing bluffing from other ...continued

  • Betting Out of Trouble

    by John Vorhaus

    I got a little home leave from Moscow recently, and of course spent far too much time playing poker. Now that I'm back in Moscow, hunkering down for the winter, I have a chance to catch up on my notebook, and review some interesting hands. ...continued

  • New Resolutions for a New Poker Year

    by Matt Matros

    2008 has ended, and the poker boom has still not turned into a bust. The World Series of Poker main event saw its second-largest field ever, and the great "delayed final table" experiment went down as a success. A new administration was ...continued

  • Jimmy Hoffa Visits Barstow

    by Max Shapiro

    Even in this supposed age of enlightenment, we still find ourselves surrounded by a host of unsolved mysteries. Chief among these are the Loch Ness monster, UFOs, Big Foot (no, it's not Mike Paulle), why Barry Shulman hasn't given me a raise ...continued

  • Doubleheader in Tunica

    by Michael Cappelletti

    Tunica, Mississippi, was a little town on the Mississippi River (about a half-hour drive from the Memphis, Tennessee, airport) that now has grown into a strip-mall version of Las Vegas. There are at least a half-dozen "shopping mall" areas, ...continued