Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Grundy: "Bored & Frustrated With Poker"

In an exclusive interview with Black Belt Poker,
high stakes Omaha pro Ben Grundy revealed that he was “getting a little bored and frustrated with poker at the moment”. According to the ‘milkybarkid’, he’s finding it increasingly difficult to find action, and can often spend the whole day seated at a table on Betfair or Full Tilt without playing a single hand.

Grundy, who is renowned for his prowess with four-cards, believes players should be able play anonymously in order to find action that their name and reputation would otherwise scare off. “You can only have one alias on these sites,” he commented, “but I wish you could play anonymously or have specific tables where you can sit down and call yourself anything so people don't know who you are.”

Grundy also pointed the finger at online poker databases, suggesting the constant publishing of results can be a form of humiliation for some affluent, but weaker players, thus putting them off returning to the virtual felt. “I'm not a fan of having results published on something like the High Stakes Database,” he continued, “as there are rich, recreational players out there who just want to play and not have everyone know what they're losing. It's embarrassing. That might be the reason why Guy [Laliberte] stopped playing. He doesn't want people to know if he's lost 10 million or some equally huge sum and have people know his business. It should be private.”

A veteran of the game despite his youthful looks, Grundy boasts an impressive record both on and off the felt. In 2005 he finalled the EPT Grand Final for €79,500 and just one year later repeated the feat to add €56,000 to his winnings. Along with a fourth in the 2007 William Hill Grand Prix, Grundy finished third in this year’s $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha event at the World Series where he shared a final table with fellow Brits John Kabbaj and Paul Parker. But it’s online where he truly shines, and Grundy has won millions from the comfort of his own armchair, most of which is published in the form of graphs and hand replayers on his ever-popular blog milkybarkids.blogspot.com.

This week, Grundy spoke to Black Belt Poker about his WSOP performance, Round of Each strategies and the current WSOPE, as well as revealing whether or not he would do the durrrr Challenge. To find out his response, check out the full interview which is currently available at blackbeltpoker.com.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

BBP League Starts Tonight!

Forget the Champions League, the NBA or even the Poker Premiership, because the Black Belt Poker League picks them up, chews them apart and spits them out like a globule of rotten tobacco. Having successfully launched the cardroom on Thursday, September 3, Black Belt Poker have wasted no time in setting up a League for our loyal community members, in which we offer added prizes in the form of Belt Points and… drum roll please… Black Belt Poker merchandise. Woohoo!

The community members have already hosted their own leagues, but have duly agreed to commence battle on the Black Belt Poker skin for their latest outing. The location might be different, but the time, date and price will be exactly the same. Thus, the first ever Black Belt Poker league tournament will be staged tonight, Tuesday, September 15, at 8.30pm on the Black Belt Poker skin on iPoker, the world’s largest poker network. The event will be a No Limit Hold’em freezeout with a buy-in of $5 and a $0.50 registration fee. To find the tournament, simply click the ‘scheduled tournaments’ tab and then select ‘special’.

To thank our community members for their contribution and continued support, Black Belt Poker have agreed to contribute to the prize pool by offering Belt Points for the top 10 finishers, meaning that even if you are slow out of the blocks, miss a week, or have a day of bat beats, suck-outs and outdraws (yes, I know, they’re the same thing) there will still be prizes up for grabs. The Belt Point rewards after the completion of the League are as follows:

1st 400 Belt Points
2nd 250 Belt Points
3rd 150 Belt Points
4th 75 Belt Points
5th Belt Points
6th Belt Points
7th Belt Points
8th Belt Points
9th Belt Points
10th Belt Points

Black Belt Poker merchandise – an assortment of branded caps, T-shirts and hoodies - will also be awarded to the top three performers as an extra incentive, and to celebrate the inaugural event, Black Belt Poker will be adding $50 to the prize pool of tonight’s opening tournament.

The Black Belt Poker league will run for 10 weeks and is open to everyone. As long as you open an account on the cardroom and deposit enough money to cover the $5.50 buy-in, you will be free to register for the tournament and take advantage of the extra value on offer. As the League was transferred over from another site mid-league, the first Black Belt Poker tournament will actually be Week Four. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sill join in and pick up some of the prizes on offer. Either way, Black Belt Poker will be back with a second League after the completion of League I.

This is a wonderful opportunity to not only get your hands on some additional Belt Points, but become a part of the Black Belt Poker community and begin improving your game by sharing ideas, discussing hands, and learning from other players. Who’s going to win Black Belt Poker’s first ever league match? It could be you… (cue giant hand coming from the sky and pointing at you intrusively).

To download the poker client and enter into tonight’s League event, click here.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Eye of the Tighe

I’ve lost count of the interviews I’ve had with impressionable twenty somethings where Late Night Poker has featured in their back story, the revolutionary late night (or early morning) Channel 4 broadcast introducing us to the world of TV poker, and subsequently propelling UK poker into a wild hysteria that even Mystic Meg couldn’t have predicted. As well as under-the-table cameras, the show took seasoned pros such as Devilfish, Simon Trumper and The Hendon Mob and transformed them into household names, whilst simultaneously introducing us to future ‘celebrities’ Hellmuth, Negreanu, Luske and the like.

Despite a brief hiatus and the inclusion of a Late Night Poker Masters – won, incidentally, by Brown Belt David Tighe – the show returned in full force last year and showcased a line-up that would make Celebrity Big Brother look Z-list. For 2009, the show was equally star-studded with sponsors Full Tilt Poker showcasing its major players amid some of the UK’s finest, including two Brown Belts Nik Persaud and David Tighe.

Replacing Neil Channing, who’d been hit with swine flu, David Tighe returned to add another Late Night Poker title to his mantelpiece. Sharing a torrid heat with Roland De Wolfe, Annette Obrestad, Richard Ashby, Sam Trickett and Robert Williamson III, David didn’t have time to be intimidated as he was rushed in at the last minute. He more than held his own nevertheless, doubling up his 10,000 starting stack with 8-8 versus Williamson III’s A-2 on an A-8-2 flop. Sadly, and after seeing his 7-7 unravelled by A-7 which four-flushed to double Trickett up, David exited at the hands of 2007 WSOPE Champion Obrestad. In a raised three-way pot, David raised half his stack on a T-5-2 two diamond flop with 9-9 only for Obrestad to make the call. All the monies went in on the 7 turn, with Obrestad taking the scalp with pocket sevens.

“I was gutted,” David later confessed. “It was a strange call by Annette on the flop, and when I went out she actually said, ‘I never feel bad, but I might do there.’ Overall, it was a great experience. The player who I found most troublesome was probably Richard Ashby.” But although David enjoyed his return to Cardiff, he couldn’t help but comment on the depleted prize pool. “It was a bit of a disgrace really. The prize pool was meant to be a million, but they dropped it down to half a million at the last minute, meaning there was only 10,000 added value. I probably wouldn’t have bought in if I’d have known.”

Also falling at the first hurdle was Black Belt Poker co-founder Nik Persaud. Nik was up against Mike Matusow, Roy Brindley, Huck Seed, Paul Zimbler, and Gavin Smith, and despite grinding up to 13,000 early doors, lost a coin-flip to eventual winner Seed to depart in fifth place. “It was an uneventful heat for me really,” he reported. “There were some big names, but I didn’t feel out-classed at all.”

Meanwhile, Sida Yuen had ventured into rather more exotic pastures, “frying some Asian fish” at the APPT Macau. Having survived his opening day (see previous report), Sida was fighting it out for the chip lead with around 80 players left, but suffered a cruel string of coolers before hitting the curb just before the money. “So sick,” he said dejectedly. “I really thought I was going to take the tournament. I bustoed around 70th when I had five times the average stack. I lost A-K versus J-J, then Q-Q versus A-A all in versus this aggressive player, then got A-4 of hearts in on an 8-8-3 two heart flop versus 9-9.”

Finally, yesterday saw the conclusion of our inaugural White Belt Freeroll. With a $50 prize pool and $15 to the winner, this was a great chance to get some tournament practice and turn nothing into something. 99 players took their seat in all (although some were, admittedly, playing rather tight) and after a total of four hours and one minute, it was Ben ‘RazzHands’ Pooley who emerged victorious with the appropriately named Steve ‘Gnomeeee’ Cash picking up second. The White Belt Freeroll is available to all White Belts and takes place every Tuesday at 6pm. Tonight witnesses the first ever Yellow Belt Freeroll, free to any Black Belt Poker community member who has made a minimum $10 deposit. The tournament kicks off at 6pm, and like the White Belt Freeroll, will become a weekly occurrence.

1st RazzHands -- $15
2nd Gnomeeee -- $10
3rd Elysiumjay -- $6.25
4th FastFuse -- $4.75
5th Ridgeboy83 -- $3.75
6th Gst49300 -- $3
7th Ka7ieVick -- $2.50
8th AIDZTHEAXE -- $2
9th LockhartFlawse -- $1.50
10th Ctfcn2204 -- $1.24

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Freeroll Frenzy

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Tonight marks Black Belt Poker’s first ever freeroll and the start of our exciting freeroll frenzy. Every week from now on, we will be hosting two freerolls. Today’s event is a $50 freeroll and will take place at 8pm, only on Black Belt Poker. Entry is – shock, horror – totally free and is available to all Black Belt Poker community members, whether you have deposited or not. To enter, all you need to do is download the poker client and register an account with the cardroom. Simples.

To reward our Yellow Belts for their support on the site, Black Belt Poker will also be holding a weekly freeroll exclusive to Yellow Belts or above. To play this event, you need to have attained Yellow Belt status or above, which requires users to have deposited a minimum of $10 into the cardroom. Depositors must leave up to 48 hours for their Belt status to be verified, so if you are yet to link your account and make a deposit, make haste to give yourself the opportunity to play in the inaugural Yellow Belt freeroll. The Yellow Belt freeroll is a $100 event and will be staged every Thursday evening at 8pm with the first outing just one day away!

The freeroll frenzy doesn’t stop there, however, as in addition to our International Poker Open (IPO) Qualifier Freeroll, we’ll also be offering a Depositors’ Freeroll at 6pm on Sunday, November 1 for any Black Belt Poker player who has made a deposit of any value $10 or above during the months of September and October. As a thank you for signing up to the Black Belt Poker cardroom, the Depositors' Freeroll will boast a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool, with at least a third of the field being paid and a minimum of $750 going to the winner.

To make things slightly more interesting, Black Belt Poker’s eight Brown Belts and Vegas 8 members – Adam Latimer, David Tighe, James Keys, Jamie Roberts, Jerome Bradpiece, Kevin Allen, Richard Hawes and Sida Yuen – will all be playing in the event with a bounty target firmly inscribed on their heads. If you manage to ‘Bust a Brown Belt’, you will earn the $100 bounty reward which will be deposited directly into your account following the conclusion of the event. And… yes there’s more… we’ll also be offering $200 (!!) bounties for the scalps of Black Belt Poker co-founders: multiple GUKPT finalist Nik Persaud and 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing. The easiest of pickings, maybe, but be warned – they bite back.

So, what are you waiting for? Get registered for the White Belt freeroll and take advantage of the free monies on offer. If you haven’t yet registered for the cardroom, then do so quickly before 8pm so you can participate in Black Belt Poker’s first freeroll giveaway. The Black Belt Poker cardroom launched on Thursday, September 3 and is a proud member of iPoker, the world’s largest poker network. As well as the aforementioned freerolls, we also offer a Belt Boost which enables users to earn Belt Points up to three times as quick, thus giving them a better chance of moving up the Belts and enjoying the different rewards that each Belt status offers. Without doubt, Black Belt Poker is the hottest newcomer to the poker scene and will look to continue offering users new and exciting promotions throughout the year. The future’s bright, the future’s Black Belt Poker. Well, bright in a Black way.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Black Belt Poker Launch Cardroom

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Don your party hats and dispatch your poppers as the Black Belt Poker skin has arrived and is now available for your playing pleasure. With the Black Belt Poker website and community network launching on Monday, April 27, 2009, members have been bursting at the seams to put any newfound knowledge to the test on the Black Belt Poker skin… and now that time has come.

Eager to satisfy your every poker need, Black Belt Poker have joined forces with iPoker, the world’s largest online poker network where thousands of poker fanatics do battle across the virtual felt in cash games, tournaments and STTs. With numerous skins, iPoker is forever increasing in popularity and attracts a wide user base leading to a broad range of players from across the continent. iPoker also boasts state of the art collusion prevention and detection tools to ensure a secure and fair gaming experience.

Unlike other skins, however, Black Belt Poker will be adopting a unique rewards system in which players will be able to earn Belt Points as they play. Users will then have the option of translating those Belt Points into Spending Points, and spending them on an ever-expanding list of prizes dependent on your current Belt status, including buy-ins into live tournaments! The more you play, the more Belt Points you earn, and the quicker you can work your way through the Belts via our Belt-Up process. However, before you start earning your points, you must link your cardroom account with your community account here at blackbeltpoker.com

The launch of the Black Belt Poker cardroom also comes with a range of promotions including a $5,000 Depositors’ Freeroll, Irish Poker Open Qualifiers, Weekly Freerolls and Belt Boost, a 30-day point accelerator for all first time deposits. All the relevant information on these exciting promotions can be found in our ‘Play Poker’ help pages, as well as details on our next Grading in which entrants will have a chance to win a mouth-watering Au$25,000 package to the Aussie Millions in January!

These are exciting times for Black Belt Poker as we commence our mission to get people both playing and talking about poker, offering a social networking platform in which players can discuss ideas, share thoughts and ask for analysis on hands they have played on the Black Belt Poker skin. The launch of the cardroom is just the start. As time progresses, Black Belt Poker will be increasing the rewards available, the advantages of Belt promotion and improving the quality of the website to ensure that Black Belt Poker becomes the poker community’s first stop for UK poker.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the cardroom software, link your account, and begin your journey to becoming a Black Belt.