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From Atlantic City to London October 10, 2011

Posted by Administrator in : chess,food,poker,travel , 2 comments

Since returning from Saint Louis for the World Chess Hall of Fame Opening, I’ve been on the move a lot. First I hit Atlantic City for a few days for the WPT Borgata Poker Open. On my first night there, I won a satellite into the $3500 Main Event.

Collusion is rampant in live super satellites and it is very tricky to draw the line between lack of incentives toward taking risks and actual cheating. On the softer end of the spectrum, if you have a friendly dynamic with the table throughout a super-satellite, players with large stacks may fold to you in spots where they have correct odds but gain very little from calling a shove or three-betting (re-raising) a minraise. This is certainly not cheating but it does point to some inherent flaws with live supers. This tournament was pretty extreme though, as one entire table folded to the big blind for over an hour. The situation got so out of hand that the tournament directors redrew for seats.

The Borgata Main was a grueling, deep-stacked event and some of my tables were quite tough. Mostly I felt happy that I combined long stretches of patience (we played ten-handed for most of the event) with well-timed aggression. However, in my latest piece for PokerStars Women, I touch on a poorly played hand against David Williams and how I was able to recover quickly from “Mistake Tilt.” This type of tilt refers to be really hard on yourself when you make an error in-game. I was made more aware of how destructive it can be in the excellent book, The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler and Barry Carter.

After being eliminated from the Main, I stayed for a guest spot at the Borgata Poker Blog. I enjoyed reporting quick profiles and hand recaps, including an online turned live pro that doesn’t fit the typical profile, a controversial hand and the final two women in the tournament.

Soon after AC, I was off to London for a short trip. Not much time for much sight-seeing or boozing as I booked a slew of meetings, PokerStars Women interviews as well as quality poker time. On the chess end, I met some great people including Sabrina Chevannes of the Chevannes Chess Academy and Malcolm Pein, organizer of one the greatest chess events in the World, the London Chess Classic.

Sabrina Chevannes with Magnus Carlsen. Let the record state I made her pose with him!

I also got in touch with some people who have common interests in the artistic side of chess, including Etan Itfeld, owner of Tenderpixel Gallery and organizer of the Mind Sports Games and Tom Hackney, an artist who paints abstractions based on chess games.

At the London Bridge and Games Shop signing a copy of Play Like a Girl

I’m going to write up my British Chess Adventures in an article in Chess Life Magazine, so look out for that.

I busted the £550 PS Women Live Event in London in disappointing fashion but had some interesting experiences and will be writing a piece on it for PokerStars Women. I was happy to see Jan Combes aka JamJars take down the event for £8,700. Earlier this year, when I could still play on PokerStars I beat her to win a package to the EPT Madrid Ladies Event and felt a twinge of sympathy since she started that battle with a significant chip lead. She was radiant as she took down this London event and I thought it was cute that she posed for the winner’s photo (by Mickey May) with her son. Congrats.

I’m really into twitter these days (the max length I can be funny at is 140 characters), so follow me there as well as my sister accounts, USChess & The Grindettes.

Greg, Daniel and I are also going to be unveiling episodes for a new reality chess TV show in the next weeks and if you follow us at XtremeChessChamps you won’t miss a thing. On that note, I leave you with the host of our new show, Kacie Marie, with a quickie chess refresher.