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My Dog, Poker Chips, and GO GIANTS

by Roy Winston |  Published: Feb 02, '08


I took the first part of the weekend off and went out to the CA Desert to relax and pick up my dog after my extended time away. I will be back in LA tomorrow to play some cash games and may go to San Diego for the WSOP Circuit on Tuesday.

The LA Poker Classic is in full swing and I am excited to be back playing both the cash games and upcoming events. I am a little disappointed that the Commerce has not adopted, the hopefully soon to be industry standard, of making the tournaments "deep stack." Deep stack poker tournaments allow you to have more play and that's what poker is all about. When you start with 2.5k in chips and the blinds are 25-50 you have 50 big blinds. As the blinds go up and reach 300-600 and let's say the average stack is 6k, you only have 10 BB's. So you pick up a good starting hand and raise 3 BB's to 1,800, you hit the flop and make a pot sized bet, and you're all in. So, with average chips you can play only one hand. If you look at the trend in the industry at places like The Borgata, The Venetian, and even the Bike, is to start you with more chips and give you a slower progression of the levels. In the super or mega satellites at the Borgata you start with 10k in chips and one hour blinds, which is great.

Raymond Davis sent me an interesting email yesterday about the way the payouts are calculated, and exactly what is withheld for the casino and its staff. The percentage of players paid in an event as well as how payouts are calculated is a hot topic among tournament players. Personally I like the standar ten percent of the field getting paid, and a fair distribution. By that I mean not too top heavy. Sometimes to show a big first place payout the rest of the field gets slighted. I would be interested to see if a consensus could be reached on these issues, but you know if you ask ten poker players you get eleven opinions.

As long as I'm on a tirade about events and their structures, I think it is important to change chips at regular intervals. The Bellagio is excellent about this, with new chip sets appearing at regular intervals. I think this helps protect the integrity of the game. Even the Bike put new chips in play for this year's legends tournament. Although having either Jerry Buss or Frank Mariani's picture on every chip is somewhat disconcerting, you be the judge.

I am excited to watch the Superbowl tomorrow. I grew up in NY City and am a huge Giants fan. My father and brothers are also strong fans, and my 8 year old nephew Josh, has been watching the Giants on TV and live since before he was born. So maybe, just maybe, they can spoil the Patriot's perfect season. I predict the Giants by 7 points. Who knows, but I am after all the Oracle.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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