Rake Race for August 2013 from America’s Cardroom

This is a weekly recap with more to come from America’s Cardroom.

Coming into last week player ‘Dult’ had all but clinched the progressive rake race, leading his nearest opponent by 16,000 points. The big question was who would place second as ‘TheRealTreenom’ and ‘N0ts0graci0us1ndefeat’ were neck and neck with only a few hundred points of separation.

‘TheRealTreenom’ turned up the heat this past week and put that question to rest. Over the week he put in an incredible volume of hands and not only put himself firmly in the second spot by crushing ‘N0ts0graci0us1ndefeat’ by 9,000 points, but also gained 4,000 points on the leader.

‘Dult’ still holds strong with a 12,000 point lead in the top spot but seeing the amount of a push that was put in last week it’s not completely impossible for ‘Treenom’ to catch him. It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next couple days.

It was a big week for one of ACR’s bigger 1-2 NL cash game grinders. Player ‘Audreylou’ bested a field of 209 runners to win the weekly $50k GTD and pocket $11,524. The total prize pool of last week’s big tournament was $53,600.

‘Audreylou’ came into heads up play a 2 to 1 dog to player ‘JustLadewit20’ but took only 5 hands to turn the tides and come out the victor. The final hand of the tourney came with up when both players were all in preflop, with ‘AudreyLou’s’ Ace of Clubs and 10 of Diamonds versus ‘Ladewitt’s’ King of Diamonds and 8 of Spades. The board offered no help to ‘Ladewitt’ as it ran out 9 of Hearts, 9 of Diamonds, 3 of Clubs, 10 of Clubs and 3 of Diamonds, securing AudreyLou’s victory with the two pair.

Stay tuned to next week’s weekly recap as we see if ‘TheRealTreenom’ can pull off an upset victory and announce all of the upcoming September promotions.

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America’s Cardroom Rake Race The Beast Has Created a Poker Star

The rake race called The Beast at America’s Cardroom has made a winner out of one player, Owen Gaines aka MamaCoolj. In this interview from America’s Cardroom, you can read about his poker history and excitement he has about the game.

This month I sat down with ACR’s ultimate grinder. Owen Gaines aka (MamaCoolj) has won ACR’s progressive rake race dubbed ‘The Beast’ seven consecutive months over this last year. Putting in world record breaking playing volume on ACR has made him over $80k for his efforts. We caught up with Owen to get his views on what makes him such a successful multi-tabler and find out what it takes to tame ‘The Beast’.

A little background about yourself, how did you get into playing poker?

I always found poker fascinating. I’d read a couple books about the game before I ever tried the game. I got a tip back in 2004 from a buddy that online poker was available and decided to give it a try. I didn’t know too much about poker at that point but I’d bought some more books on Limit Holdem and became involved in a poker forum and began to put my energy into learning the game.

I deposited my first $300 online and didn’t have much success but I kept trying to learn while I played. I decided to give it another chance and my second $300 deposit really started to show some results.

By 2007 the games started to shift more towards No-Limit Holdem. After a hiatus from the tables I tried another $300 experiment in that game and quickly turned my $300 into $30,000. Since then I haven’t looked back and no-limit has been my game of choice.

Poker has been good to me and the approximate 8 million hands that I’ve played have allowed me to have a successful career and support my family of five over the past seven years.

You’ve cleared over 1000000 points in one month. Can you give our readers an idea of how many tables you play and how much time this takes to accomplish?

That particular month I played about 140 hours of 40 or more tables.

What would you suggest for other players in terms of preparation if they are attempting to take down ‘The Beast’?

Well…let’s see here. Start by finding a month when I’m not going to play (just kidding). You need to find a routine, and get comfortable. Try to find yourself efficient hardware and setup for the long hours. You’re going to want a comfortable chair, a dependable computer and keyboard etc.

Make sure you stretch before and during every session, the long hours sitting in a chair is a killer. Prepare yourself to be mentally and physically tired as it’s a lot of hands and the competition is fierce, especially in that first week when you’re trying to establish yourself in that top spot. The hours can be grueling.

What technologies do you use in order to make the multi-tabling easier on you?

I prepared myself well on the technical side before I got involved with trying to win the race. I took some time to write code into my Xbox controller so I could use it to play. On top of that I wrote another program that works similar to ‘Stack and Tile’ to help me manage the tables efficiently.

Okay, I have to ask, obviously playing this amount of poker effects your win rate and your ability to play optimally. How is your bottom line when you put in a month of this many hands?

My win rate has actually dropped a bit each month that I’ve played by about .5 big blinds for every 100 hands I play. Games are getting tougher everywhere and players are getting better (and I watched season after season of ‘Criminal Minds’ while I played…lol.) Still, from what I can tell none of my major competitors have as good a win rate as I do for the amount of volume put in.

There’s no question that playing this amount has changed the way I play. I take some flak in the forums for being a ‘tag’ or a ‘set-miner’. I never respond to these comments but what I don’t think these people realize is the pace that I’m playing at. I’m going faster than think that they could mash buttons. The average grinder rolls around 1k hands an hour; some of the world’s biggest grinders keep that pace. I’m doing three times that amount; it’s a world record pace every time I sit down.

Though my win rate drops because of the volume it is more than made up for from the first place prize money.

It can’t be the easiest thing to put in this many hands and not have it affect your everyday life. Have you found that it takes a big toll on you physically or with your relationships in terms of the time you have to spare for the day to day things?

The race is very time consuming and I often don’t get to do some of the ordinary day to day things that I’d like to do such as putting the kids to bed etc. The most important thing for me is to I let my friends and family know in advance that I will have limited time while trying to win it so there will be no disappointment.

There’s no doubt it takes its toll. My personality changes a bit especially in the first week or two of the month as there is only one thing on my mind. Admittedly I get a bit snappy during this stretch. At the end of the month though I take my family out to celebrate the win so we always have that to look forward to.

Physically it’s tough as well. One month one side of my face kept going numb and was having a real tough time sleeping. It turns out that I had left the background windows symbol on my desktop on and it was literally burning my eyes…lol. So I turned my background to black and it all went away within half a day.

ACR pro Dusty Schmidt aka ‘Leatherass’ recently came out with an interview stating that his doctor warned him that mass multi-tabling could adversely affect his health. As one of the biggest multi-tablers in online poker history, do you think it takes a very bad toll?

I read that blog post but don’t feel it’s been as hard on me. One thing I have noticed though that I agree with is that my attention span is much shorter. It’s very consuming to play 3500 hands an hour while watching television at the same time. To switch from that to having a conversation with one person, the conversation needs to be pretty engaging (lol).

You’ve successfully published 3 books to date and just completed your fourth. Can you tell us a little about what the latest one, ‘Poker’s Postflop Course’ is about?

This last book is a monster of a book that I dedicated solely to river play. There’s lots of reading and course work for the reader to do but I feel that it will be well worth their while. Once they’ve finished the book I feel that the reader will have a much more adept at analyzing every river situation and developing a strong intuition for quick, accurate at-the-table decisions.

Since you’ve taken the month off of the race player ‘GiftofGab’ has come out on top. Do you think when you return he or someone else might give you a run for your money for the top spot?

If someone wants to beat me, they better be prepared to have 300K+ points because if put to the test I think I can put up those kind of numbers.

Are you getting back at it next month?

I have to take a trip to Vegas in July for a book signing so I’m not sure about July yet but August I’ll probably be back at it. The kids will be getting back to school then and with the snow coming it’ll be turning me back into a hermit. I look forward to seeing everyone back at the tables then.

For more information about Owen Gaines or to purchase any of his eBooks online please visit www.qtippoker.com

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Online Poker Millionaire Interview with Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt

If you think you can make yourself a millionaire online playing poker , You’re right. There are lots of people playing poker without any distractions. At America’s Cardroom there’s one top player of them all with over $4,000,000 in cash winnings. Here’s an interview with Dusty Leatherass Schmidt.
After winning nearly $4 million and playing over 9 million hands, Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt definitely knows his way around a poker table. This week I sat down the Americas Cardroom’s pro to catch up on what he’s been up to.

How have things been going on ACR since you became a pro last year?

I took a lot of time off this year, mostly for health related reasons, but I’m really getting back into playing now. The player base at ACR is great, the regulars are solid but there is still a constant stream of recreational players coming in that provide good action.

Just to catch everyone up, you recently publicly announced that after seeing a brain specialist you felt that poker was negatively impacting your health, can you elaborate on that?

I went to see a brain specialist after I noticed that my attention span was lacking in my everyday life and I was experiencing bouts of anxiety. My best friend referred me to Dr. Daniel Amen who is a world renowned psychiatrist. He specializes in cases of people with unique brains such as fortune 500 CEOs, professional athletes etc. He basically said that the massive volume I’d been playing was overtaxing my brain and I needed to slow it down or it could adversely affect my health.

What adjustments have you made since you got the diagnosis?

Basically I just had to learn to find a good balance for poker and my everyday life. I’m in a better routine now. Instead of sitting in front of a table for 8 to 12 hours straight I play a couple short sessions with fewer tables. On my down time I try to get exercise or go to the park with my kids. It was also good to take some time off.

What did you do in the time off you had this year?

I golfed a ton. For those who don’t know, before I got into poker I had ambitions of being a professional golfer. I had a heart attack at the age of 23 which was pretty much a career ender but I’ve began to take it very seriously again and hope to advance my game to a professional level.

I had a pretty exciting year. On May 6th there was a local US Open qualifier and I won it by shooting a 69. That win got me to the sectional qualifier in which they the top 5 golfers. I shot a 77 at the sectional which wasn’t enough to get me to the US Open but it was still really great experience.

I turned on ESPN a few days later and saw that they did a 3 minute segment on me and about my career as a professional poker player. It was pretty cool. Guys I’d been watching play golf all my life were debating on my chances of making it to the US Open, definitely a feather in my cap.

How has your success rate been since you came back to poker?

Well the first 9 or 10 days my return was far from spectacular. It wasn’t terrible but I was winning at roughly 3 or 4 big blinds per 100 hands and felt I needed to re-focus. Since then, I’ve been reviewing a lot of videos, even some of my own content from last year when I was really putting a lot of time into poker. I’m a coach at Bluefirepoker.com and PokerStrategy.com so there was lots of material for me to review from my peers in order to get my game back up to where I want it to be.

There’s lots of talk these days about online poker being too tough to beat to make a living at professionally, what are your thoughts on this?

Well games are definitely tougher and I’ve learned to lower my expectations. I remember one month a few years back I was up 196k. In this day and age that’s not likely to happen but there is still a lot of opportunity. I look at it now like I have a cool flexible job with no boss and still earn in the top 5 percent income bracket. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is still plenty of money to be made if you have the discipline.

What are your future goals in terms of poker?

In the short term I just want to continue to improve each day. I know if I continue to improve everything else will take care of itself. It’s easy to get complacent and look at your win rate and say that’s good enough. The game is always evolving so you have to keep up with it. As far as long term goals go I’d like to take a step back from poker a bit and pursue golf.

What would you suggest to players who are trying to improve their game?

Watching videos was always my number one biggest thing. Also keeping good notes is essential. I’m very analytic of the hands that I’m playing and review tough spots. If I’m in a situation where I can’t stand up in front of my peers and explain why I played a hand a certain way I make sure to find out why. I work with a program called ‘Flopzilla’ and spend a lot of time sitting and thinking about hands. If you have 100 problems with your game and are able to solve 2 a week, by the end of the year you should be in pretty good shape.

I like to have a logical reason for making the decisions that I make at the poker table. There is a definitive reason for what I do and it needs to be well founded by math and understanding my opponent’s ranges.

Your famous for your cash game accomplishments, do you ever throw any tournaments in the mix?

I’ve played a ton of tournaments in my day but have never really run well in them. I’m attempting to play the 50k GTD every week on ACR. The thing about tournaments is that I’m scheduled pretty thin. In a cash game you can just logout and pick up where you left off the next time, in a tournament you just don’t have that luxury.
How about live poker?

In 2010 I went to the WSOP and played about 100 hours of cash games. I did very well and love the deep stack poker aspect which is where I feel I really excel. Actually when I look at my database of hands, when I have stacks of over 200 big blinds my win rate is twice as high. I enjoy it, but its very time consuming and still prefer the flexibility of playing online.

Do you incorporate poker tracking software into your game?

I don’t keep a HUD up while I play but I do create profiles on players. Note taking is essential, and the more you keep track of your opponents tendencies the more likely you’ll know how to play them the next time around.
Do you have professional player who you enjoy watching or try to learn from?
As far as televised poker goes I love watching Phil Ivey. In terms of improving my game I get a lot of great stuff from watching Phil Galfond and ‘Doctor Jiggy’ videos. Every once in a while I take a half of a day off and watch a couple of these videos, it’s helped my game to get back in shape.

Finally, what brought you to the decision to become an ACR pro?

I’m a firm believer in endorsing products I believe in. With the legality of online poker being debated in the states there are very few credible US facing credible sites left. ACR’s payouts are amazing and it’s good to back a site I know has integrity. I’ve had a longstanding good relationship with management from other business dealings so when they approached me it seemed like a great fit.

As you see , great things happen at America’s Cardroom . Will you be the next success story. Take a look at America’s Cardroom and be the next big winner.
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From America’s Cardroom The Joy of the WSOP

This post is from America’s Cardroom about the joy of WSOP that’s held every year in Vegas.

Posted by productman on Sunday 19th of May 2013

For most poker players, Christmas comes in May.

We’ve been waiting for this since Greg Merson captured the 2012 World Series of Poker main event title last October. The 44th annual WSOP is here.

Here is a list of five stories to keep an eye on this summer:

1. The main event

Despite the cataclysmic events of Black Friday more than two years ago, the WSOP has held strong. The 2010 main event featured 7,319 entrants; then post-Black Friday, 2011 registered 6,865 players. Last year, the main event number held steady at 6,598, making it the fifth-largest main event ever. What will 2013 bring? If the numbers are close to the previous two years, it’s a great sign for the health of the industry.

2. The bracelet race

With his main event victory last October in Cannes, Phil Hellmuth has a collection of 13 gold bracelets, but before he can get too comfortable, Phil Ivey won his ninth at WSOP Asia Pacific, becoming the youngest player to accomplish that feat. After Ivey, Erik Seidel remains a strong tournament threat with eight bracelets.

With the legendary Macau cash games and $1 million HKD (approximately $130,000) tournament in June, many of the greats may not arrive in Las Vegas until mid-June, which would severely hamper their chances of winning multiple bracelets.

3. The Millionaire Maker

In 2008, Grant Hinkle captured a $1,500 no-limit hold ’em event, earning $831,462. This amount was the largest first prize ever given to a $1,500 WSOP no-limit hold ’em champion, but this year, this record will be broken during the first weekend. Event 6, dubbed the “Millionaire Maker,” will award the winner $1 million. With two flights and a re-entry format, this event could set the record for the largest event outside of the WSOP main event, or even top it.

4. One Drop High Roller

Last year, the inaugural Big One For One Drop event established a name for itself with an astronomical $1 million buy-in. Capped at 48 players, the event unbelievably sold out and even turned away some players. Antonio Esfandiari bested Sam Trickett in this historic event, earning $18.3 million and shattering all of poker’s historical earning lists in the process.

This year, the buy-in has been reduced to $111,111, with eyes on 2014 when the $1 million buy-in will return. As a WSOP point of reference, the 2009 $40,000 no-limit hold ’em event created to celebrate the 40th WSOP anniversary had 201 players.

5. Player of the Year race

Daniel Negreanu captured his fifth bracelet by winning the WSOP APAC main event in April. With his victory, he leads the WSOP Player of the Year race, which he captured in 2004. In years past, the race began with the action in Las Vegas, but this year, the race is already underway as the five bracelet events that were held in Australia count in the standings. With two final tables and one victory, the colorful and affable Negreanu is on top of the leaderboard and everyone will have to chase him.

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America’s Cardroom – a Poker Site I’m Glad To Be a Part Of

Rarely do you hear of a poker room that people take the time out to write good things about. That’s why I bring some great feedback about America’s Cardroom. This is from America’s Cardroom member fishcup and he writes:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been pretty impressed with ACR.  Though they’re a smaller network they’ve shown some pretty substantial growth over the past couple years since changing software platforms.  Having had a good playing experience along with them being a reputable platform led me to want to write about the site, as it’s a poker room I’m happy to support.

Having played on the network for some time, and having a friendly relationship with management, I proposed that I write a blog for the site to discuss all the latest happenings with the players and promotions on the site to keep everybody updated and in the loop.

Here’s a little background about me.  I’ve been an on and off poker pro over the last 10 years.  ‘On’ when I run good, ‘off’ when I went bust and needed to find a job.  I mostly play NL Holdem, mid to high stakes (1-2 to 5-10) and once and awhile I’ll stick my head in an Omaha game.  (NOTE: if you ever see me online on an Omaha game you should be sure to sit down because no false modesty here…..I suck at Omaha.)

Over the years I’ve continued playing while I worked and have strived to improve my game.  The learning has helped though I still have my ups and downs in terms of being a consistent winner.  ‘Tilt’ is no friend of mine and I still have some leaks to plug but still love the game and I doubt I’ll ever give up trying to get to the next level. So I decided to write a blog in my downtime from playing and working as I enjoy writing and have a background in journalism.   The goal is to try and make this blog relevant and informative to an average online poker player at ACR, because that’s what I consider myself to be.  Management has granted me permission to request interviews with popular network players, update the blog with all upcoming live events and promotions, and get you all as much information as possible.

I’d like the blog to be a sounding board as well for players which is why I’ve created an email address at which you can drop me a line and give me your feedback on the site or the blog.  You’ll also see me at the tables on the regular under my handle ‘fishcup’ so if you want to berate me for hitting that 1-outer you can do that as well.

Anyways, should be fun.

Cheers and good luck

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