Vinny The GrinderBy The Grinder

What comes to your mind when you imagine the most intelligent poker game ever played? Do you think of a table with the best poker players in the world such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth? Or do you imagine a table with the most intelligent minds ever playing poker? I’d imagine the latter. As I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blogs, my nerdy side feasts on subjects like time travel, and the most fundamental laws of the universe. I tend to measure time during and in between the three “apple eras”. . .  the time when Eve took a bite out of the apple, the time when an apple struck Sir Isaac Newton’s head, and today, the time of Steve Job’s Apple, Inc. and the digital world.

Newton theorized gravitational theories, while Einstein shunned them. The more modern Einstein obviously gained a lot of young fans, as his theories provided us with a bleak yet practicable insight into the possibility of time travel and existence of extra-terrestrial life. In short, Newton was a conservative sound Physics God, until Einstein showed up and broke all rules. And who doesn’t love radical thinkers and rule breakers? In poker too, we have young minds constantly trying to gain an edge over old school and dated strategies, with their aggressive and progressive poker. This unique combination of ground breaking ‘science and poker’ got me dreaming about a poker game involving the four most intelligent minds. The super genius android Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek The Next Generation, Sir Isaac Newton himself, Albert Einstein, and the author of  “A Brief History of Time,” Stephen Hawking. That would be a dream game to watch. How would that game go? Well, awkward, for starters. Why don’t you watch it for yourself. I actually found a clip!

Happy Geeking Out!

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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

What has your ghost of poker past told you? Mine usually visited me, after I lost big in a cash game, or got knocked out of an important tourney. Fortunately, unlike his cousin, the ghost of Christmas past, he won’t remind you of all the mistakes you’ve made in your life. He usually sticks to your poker mistakes. He’s ready to uncover the dirt you’ve kicked under the carpet, or should I say, felt. His tirades are going to be rude awakenings about the times you’ve excused your foolish tilts as strokes of ill fate. His retrospective recounts are in no way taunting ridicules, rather a warm blanket of comfort after a series of brutal poker sessions that left you clueless and cold. You need to, in fact, you must, acknowledge his grandfatherly advice with acceptance and surrender, and be prepared to utilize it in the future with reckless abandon.

Vinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentNext time you see your ghost of poker past, make sure you tag him as the angel lurking over your right shoulder rather than shooing him away as the red devil over your left. An angel he is, and he shall knock hard with his seasoned knuckles on your thick skull, time after time, and tell you some great bits of advice. Example: “next time, take a walk, son”, or “you knew he had it, learn your lesson”. And remember, it’s better to practice what he preaches, and the less you hear from him or see him, the better. It simply means you’re playing better poker.

Cheers.

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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

In an all-in situation, many poker players believe that behaving in a certain manner can change or determine the result of a hand. We have all experienced many such players use the word ‘jinx’ in similar coin-flip situations, haven’t we? Ace tournament player Kenny Tran exhibited an interesting level of confidence at one of the World Series of Poker Main Events. He was at a table where a gentleman ran good for a long time, showing nuts after nuts at showdown. At every showdown he would sit still and act his coolest, and the results favored him. Then, after the turn card during one showdown where he was a strong favorite to win, he reacted by getting off his chair, and clapping his hands. Tran immediately warned him that he had jinxed his own luck, and he was going to be sucked out, and that’s exactly what happened.

I don’t, but a lot of poker players believe in not jinxing their luck, by doing the same thing they’re doing or wearing the same clothes during their “run good” period or “running hot” phase in a tourney.Card protectors from the Texas Poker Store

We’ve seen it all, haven’t we? Boisterous sharks with the entire food chain of card protectors; an even noisier clique yelling “Aussie, Aussie”; and the entire troop of the vivid victorious and the livid vanquished. For them, it’s all good and it all works. To me, self-belief is a more plausible explanation than jinx. The people who yell, demonstrate and call out cards to the aural dismay of others, actually believe strongly that they can attract good luck by doing so, and so it occurs. So, whether you hula hoop, sing an opera, jump and yell in ecstasy, or punch your teeth in during coin-flip showdowns, you better believe that it will work, and it will. Fortune favors the brave. Squeaky wheels do get the grease in poker.

Cheers.
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Pocket Bullets ParisBy Pocket Bullets Paris

Vanessa Selbst Defeated Tennis Superstar Rafa Nadal in a very special Heads-Up match:  A charity event to benefit Care International hosted by PokerStars at the world famous Monte Carlo Casino. Mr. Nadal is no stranger to poker and , in fact, has proven to be a worthy opponent before when he defeated Brazilian football legend Ronaldo and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu last December at a tournament in Prague.

He once again showed his poker skills and fought valiantly but nevertheless succumbed to Selbst’s timely aggressive plays and ended up with fewer chips than the PokerStars’ Pro when the tournament finished.

When you have two players who are known for their strong focusing abilities, are determined competitors  and both have the technical and strategic abilities to win, you are sure to have a great battle. Indeed,  that was the case in this PokerStars charity event that took place just before the beginning of the European Poker Tour Grand Finale.

Vanessa Selbst stated that she will look forward to the re-match while Rafa Nadel stated that it was a great honor to play against such a strong competitor. Check out some of the highlights below.

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