The days of there being just a few major events on the yearly poker schedule are over. Week after week, you see more events that have the kind of purses and formats to draw the very best players in the world.
Another one of those major events starts up this coming week.
Poker Masters Series Takes Center Stage
That’s when the Poker Masters series revs up from the PokerGo Studio in Vegas. The event runs from September 7th to September 19th and figures to feature of who’s who from among the best current stars in the game. And it could also prove to be a major factor in who will be the Player of the Year for 2021.
Right now, it appears that honor will go to Ali Imsirovic, who has been an absolute whirlwind for much of 2021, racking up 10 victories of the sort that count towards the Player of the Year standings. But there are several players who have been enjoying outstanding seasons that are trying to catch him. And the Poker Masters offers the kinds of opportunities where one of them might have a legitimate chance of making that happen, although it would still be a long shot with the kind of lead Imsirovic enjoys.
On top of that, there is the prestige that will go to the person who performs best overall in the Poker Masters as a whole. That might not be quite as inviting as catching Imsirovic as this year’s #1 overall player. But it’s still quite the big deal, which is why most of the poker world will be watching the action quite intently.
Tony G Back on Top of His Game
This past week saw the completion of another one of those big events to which we were referring to above, as the Super High Roller Bowl signed off in Europe. Among the events were some Short Deck Hold’em matches. For those who aren’t aware, Short Deck poker features just 36 cards in the deck, with all 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s removed.
For whatever reason, that style attracted a lot of big names to those particular short deck-style matches in Europe. Maybe it’s the excitement of playing a different style than the typical Hold’em. Or maybe it’s the fact that the configuration of Short Deck leads to many more big hands and wild swings of momentum as cards are revealed.
In any case, Phil Ivey, a true legend whose poker play has once again picked up recently, was one of those who chalked up a big win in Europe in the Short Deck action. But it was Tony Guoga, aka Tony G., who really cleaned up on the Short Deck scene.
Guoga, a bigger-than-life personality who had largely put poker on the backburner in recent years for a career in Lithuanian politics, seems to be stepping back into the spotlight. And his performance this past week certainly seems to be indicative of his rediscovered commitment to the game.
First, he captured a $25,000 buy-in event that netted him a purse of $382,500. He then came right back and captured a $100,000 buy-in event for another $1.169 million in purse. The two wins in such a short spread of time came against some of the top high rollers in the world.
The short deck action seems to be a variation that is gaining steam. All you need to know as evidence is the excellence of the fields on display. We’ll see how if short deck continues to gain momentum among pros and casual players alike.
Dogecoin and Poker Unite
You might need a scorecard to keep up with all of the different types of cryptocurrency that are on the market. There is no doubt that Bitcoin stands alone at the top of the mountain. But it can be tricky to tell the contenders from the pretenders.
One of the ways that you can do that is if you see real-world initiatives springing up among this next tier of digital coins. And Dogecoin, which was created as a kind of cryptocurrency spoof, clearly has stepped up to that tier. Dogecoin Poker, which is an online poker room which exclusively uses that digital coin, is just such an initiative.
Still, there are perks which you have to like if you’re a player. Because its cryptocurrency, you get the quick settlement times and privacy that makes the digital coins such a valuable tool for online gambling. And the site itself seems like it has what you need as a player as well, such as deals which are assured to be random and smooth play.
Dogecoin Poker also offers a wide range of poker variations, from popular games like Texas Hold’em to more obscure options. It’s also available on just about every operating system you can imagine. It should be interesting to see how well it does in terms of attracting both poker players curious about Dogecoin and Dogecoin users curious about poker.
Poker Movie Gets Rave Reviews
The game of poker has been the setting for many memorable gambling movies in the past. Fans can usually name them even without thinking too hard: Rounders, The Cincinnati Kid, Molly’s Game, and so on. It could be that there is another one on the horizon if early reviews are to be believed about The Card Counter.
Paul Schrader, who became famous for writing some of Martin Scorsese’s most famous films (including Raging Bull and Taxi Driver) and went on to become a top director (American Gigolo, First Reformed) is the director. Oscar Isaac, one of the most in-demand actors for everything from Star Wars flicks to dark character studies, is the titular character.
The film just premiered this past week at the Venice Film Festival, and the first reviews have been glowing. That isn’t necessarily indicative of how well the movie will be received by the general public. But it’s certainly a good sign.
The reviews are raving about Isaac’s performance and Schrader’s moody, stylistic direction. And Tiffany Haddish, normally known for her comedy, is also generating buzz for her supporting performance. Early on, the film was sitting at 100% on the reviews’ website Rotten Tomatoes.
One thing that poker players have to realize is that this movie, based on reviews, might not be as replete with poker scenes as some of the movies we mentioned above. It seems like it’s more about what’s going on in the head of Isaac’s character than it is about wall-to-wall poker action. In other words, you might not leave this film thinking you’ve seen photorealistic poker action.
But there is initial hope that The Card Counter could indeed be one of those poker movies that stands as a great picture as well as a solid representation of the game. That means a lot more than niggling concerns about accuracy, or at least it probably should.
BetOnline Poker Series Revving Up
We talk a lot in this column about the big-money tournaments taking place around the world. But you could find yourself in some tourneys of your own, even if you’re more of a part-timer or casual poker play. If you fit that description, you should really have BetOnline Casino on your radar.
It all begins Monday, September 6th, and runs for the next 20 days before bowing out on September 26th. And it’s known as the Championship Online Poker Series. During that stretch, the top gambling site will feature many different events. These events offer variety in both the types of games you can play and the buy-in totals.
If you’re really ambitious, you might want to try the Main Event, which takes place on the Series final day and features a $300,000 guarantee for the prize pool. We’re guessing that amateur poker players will have BetOnline bookmarked anyway. And they’ll be clicking on that link often in the next few weeks.
Keep Up to Date With the Latest Poker News and Tips
In case you missed any previous posts, here are our most recent poker blogs and updates:
Weekly Poker Update: September 13, 2021
Six Alternatives That Are Better Than Texas Hold’em Poker
Weekly Poker Update: August 29, 2021
Weekly Poker Update: August 23, 2021
Weekly Poker Update: August 16, 2021
5 Reasons Why Las Vegas’ Selection of Casino Poker Rooms Continues to Shrink