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SEPTEMBER 2010 UK £1.00

the RYDER CUP 2010 Getting Into The Swing

thE inside man Performance Coaching For Poker Pros

MODELS FIGHT NIGHT Let’s Get Ready To Rumble


GX Contents SEPTEMBER 2010

20 FIRST UP 08 EDITORIAL 12 NEWS

SPORTS BETTING 20 GOLF: GETTING INTO THE SWING Exchange Betting On The 2010 Ryder Cup

28 GREAT SCOT! Bernard Gallacher Exclusive Interview

32 SHARKEY’S SPREADS Ryde On The Money

36 FOOTBALL: MAKE THE MARKETS WORK FOR YOU Finnigan’s Football Picks

42 HORSE RACING: GET READY FOR THE JUMPS

The 2010 Ryder Cup

Beat The Bookies This Coming Season

46 SNOOKER: RIGHT ON CUE

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46

New Jumps Season

Power Snooker

The Birth of Power Snooker

50 888 SPORTING ‘EDLINE

FINANCIAL SPREAD BETTING 52 TYSON KNOWS BEST Concerns Over The US Recovery

54 THE EZEE TRADERS 300 Year Old Trading Patterns

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GX FIRST UP 9 KEVBOYSTAR TRIUMPHS IN TALLINN

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orwegian poker player Kevin ‘KevBoyStar’ Stani took down the opening event of the EPT Season 7 last month after beating a field of 420 players at the €4,250 buy-in EPT Tallinn. The main event saw competitors from more than 40 countries create a total prize pool of €1,596,000, €400,000 of which found its way into Stani’s bank account following his win. As well as the cash prize, Stani also won a

seat to next Spring’s Grand Final in Monte Carlo and has raced into the lead with 800 points in the quest to become the EPT Season 7 Player of the Year. After busting Team PokerStars Pros "ElkY" Grospellier and Ivan Demidov, 22-year-old Moscow student Konstantin Bilyauer was the man facing Stani in the heads-up stage. But in only his second major live tournament, Bilyauer couldn’t get past the final hurdle and was sent on his way by the Norwegian with a €250,000 payday. 27-year-old Stani, a business management graduate, has been playing poker for seven years and has enjoyed a wealth of success, both live and online. He was one of the last players to qualify for EPT Tallinn though after winning his seat in a $530 qualifier on PokerStars only four days before the start of the event. Stani was delighted with his victory but admitted he hadn’t even planned to play in Estonia: "I was playing cash games online and just randomly saw the satellite advertised in the PokerStars lobby. I wanted to come here anyway so I thought I'd play it. It feels awesome to win." Stani becomes the third Norwegian to have won an EPT after Andreas Hoivold and Bjorn-Erik Glenne took down Copenhagen and Barcelona respectively in Season 3.

9 STRIP POKER CHAMPIONSHIP HITS STRINGFELLOWS

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s this month’s cover feature alludes to, poker is hardly struggling in the feminine beauty department at present. Yet when a plan combining poker and scantily clad beauties comes together, you’d be a fool to turn your nose up at it; the old saying ‘don’t look a gift stripper in the mouth’ couldn’t be more fitting if it tried here. What this fine plan refers to of course is the news that world famous gentleman’s club Stringfellows will be playing host to the Baller Strip Poker Championship later this month as part of the London Poker Festival. The tournament will command a £200 buy-in fee which will go straight to cancer awareness, and each competing player will be assigned one of Stringfellows’ finest dancers. The dancers representing the players will then have to remove an item of their own clothing – the players will fortunately remain fully clothed – in accordance with the size and frequency of the pots their player has

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lost. Tuesday September 21st is the magical date on which to clear out your diary, and means poker’s Sex Factor will once again have to be turned up another notch.

9 CHANNING FINALLY

CAPTURES GUKPT TITLE

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lackbelt poker head honcho Neil “Bad Beat” Channing clawed the monkey off his back last month by finally capturing a GUKPT Main Event title in Luton. After finishing 2nd to Cuong Tran at the GUKPT London back in April this year, Channing was desperate to go one step further and managed to achieve that goal just four months later after defeating Adebayo Odetoyinbo heads-up at Luton’s G Casino. 229 runners paid the £1,000 entry fee for the GKUPT Main Event but it was Channing who would outlast them all, entering the final table as the chip leader before running through the remaining players. The heads-up battle between Channing and Adebayo took just a few hands with all the chips going in for a race with Adebayo’s tournament life at stake; the latter’s pocket sevens were unable to hold up against Channing’s A – K and Badbeat took down the title. Channing bagged £64,050 for the win; a tidy sum to add to the $2.8m he has amassed in tournament winnings since 2000, with Odetoyinbo winning £43,500 for his second place finish. The 2010 GUKPT Luton title is just the latest accolade in the poker career for the Londoner. Despite being better known as a predominantly cash game player, Channing has already captured an Irish Open title and cashed in the WSOP 25 times including a 2nd place finish in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em shootout tournament earlier this summer. When asked about his win, Channing said: “The final table was pretty long. For just a second I nearly let myself get tilted, but I managed to hit a few hands in the end and come through to win my first GUKPT. And I’m proud to do so in my Black Belt Poker badge.”


SPORTS BETTING GX

Paul McGinley soaks the jubilant European fans in 2004

rather than predict the exact score, it may pay to step briefly away from fixed odds and exchange betting and towards spread betting and opt to buy Sporting Index’s Europe/USA point supremacy at 1.9.

MATCH-PLAY MATCH-UPS.. As soon as it is known which players will play together and against which competitors, betting on the matches themselves is more interesting still and also potentially profitable. The first thing to be aware of in this case is the format of competition. The Ryder Cup, from start to finish, involves match-play golf in a variety of formats. There are eight foursomes matches, where a pair from each team play against each other, with each member of the team’s pair taking alternate shots; eight fourballs, also involving pairs of golfers from each team, with the lowest individual score winning the hole; and 12 singles matches. One point is awarded for each match won and half a point if the match is halved.

Even more so than enjoying the match-play format, playing as part of a team does not appear to suit some but raises the game of others. Tiger Woods is an example of a player so single-minded and with a finetuned individual competitiveness that his talent has not always translated that well into a team setting, while Darren Clarke, one of Monty’s non-playing Vice-Captains this year, springs to mind as a talented golfer who performed at an even higher level as a member of his Ryder Cup team. So when calculating which pairs are likely to come out on top, give extra weight to previous performances in this particular event.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE. The real opportunities in golf and the Ryder Cup come when we shift our focus from a purely betting perspective to that of trading, i.e. aiming to profit from the market movements on the betting exchanges before the event and in-play. As a sport, golf is ideally suited to in-running exchange trading because of its leisurely pace. In a format such as the Ryder Cup, the lead in the two-horse race can and does change frequently and in quantifiable increments. If punters can apply their research in such a way so that they can predict when these changes are most likely to happen they can pre-empt the movements in

Back the Big Hitting Johnson before he tees off on the long Par fives

There are only a handful of match-play tournaments for the professionals to compete in throughout the year and there are definitely those who take to it better - those with the concentration and determination to rarely let a lead go once they get a couple of holes ahead. Encouragingly for European supporters, Ian Poulter won the $8.5million WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship back in February, while Paul Casey has been runner-up for the last two years.

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GX SPORTS BETTING

A shortage of chairs leaves Ian Poulter and US Open champ Graeme McDowell to improvise by the green

the various betting markets and back or lay to profit from this. The Bet Angel product comes into its own in this respect, offering a number of advanced features to support a number of strategies and will even allow you to chart where prices are heading and place bets automatically according to specific parameters. For instance, the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor is an unknown quantity - it has been specially designed for this year’s event. However, even a brief glimpse at the card and the hole descriptions can lead you to a simple strategy. The second hole is a long 600-plus yard par 5. Say that in the singles matches big-hitting Dustin Johnson 3rd on the PGA Tour’s driving distance list with an average of 307.7 yards - is up

Tiger Woods has a poor Ryder Cup record in light of his golfing achievements

against comparatively short-striker Luke Donald - 172nd with a 276.9 yard average. The odds on this hole surely favour the player who can reach the green in two, so we can predict that Johnson will win the hole, and expect the match market to adjust in his favour afterwards. By backing Johnson at a given price on Betfair before he tees off on this hole, watching his price drop for the match slightly (assuming he wins the hole) and laying him off after, you can lock in a profit. The adjustment will be small, and it won’t happen every time, but opening ourselves up to a small profit on the most likely outcome on a number of holes in each match means we’re likely to see bigger profits in the long run. Predicting who will win the fourball and the foursomes matches is obviously a little trickier, but the same thought process should apply. The key to this trading strategy works on the fact that the golf markets tend to overreact to birdies and bogies, leading to excessive price movements immediately afterwards. Shrewder punters armed with a basic knowledge of how to back and lay on the exchanges can take advantage of this in normal stroke-play tournaments because players tee-off at different times. For instance, Amen Corner at the Augusta National, home of the US Masters, is a notoriously difficult stretch that has proven the undoing of many a Masters contender.

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There is a much higher propensity for bogeys than birdies on these holes, so it can be a good idea to lay the tournament leader just before they reach this point in the course. The strategy has to be adjusted for the match-play format of the Ryder Cup, because competing players are always on the same holes at the same time, so shots are more likely to be dropped together on the tricky holes and birdies made together on the easier holes. However, the markets will still overreact when a player drops or gains a hole, and these movements can be exploited in the same way.

THE SYSTEM. So here’s a two-tiered trading system for the Ryder Cup. Firstly, you can trade on the outright result, Europe v USA, for which the prices will change as matches swing to each opponent and the fourball, foursomes and singles results come in. To successfully trade this you need to plot which matches are likely to be won by which team and preempt the subsequent changes to the outright market prices. Secondly, you can trade on the individual matches, which will swing according to which player or pair win which hole. Research here needs to be on how each player is likely to perform on each hole. You can pre-empt these markets in a number of ways - as mentioned, the big hitters will


SPORTS BETTING GX

Football Pools S

o far we’ve looked at how using different plans and perms can increase your chance of winning the pools, but let’s take some time out from the number crunching and put the calculator away, as we kick-off a strategy for picking out the right teams for this season’s coupon.

As mentioned before, performance analysis is vital in compiling a set of teams to choose from if we are to move that step closer to securing a life-changing jackpot. The internet boom has allowed information to be more accessible, making it possible to spend time online looking at past head-to-head results in order to predict future outcomes with a reasonable degree of accuracy. So let’s take a look back at the 2009/10 British season to see if there were any key patterns – or trends – which can help point up some clues for the new season. The first stop is looking at which teams discovered a habit of sharing the points rather than winning or losing. Only those that stayed in the same division are under study as teams dropping or rising in class in 2010/11 may produce a different level of form.

Most draws 2009/10 (league only) 43% 39% 37% 36% 34%

Ipswich, Brentford Swansea, Bristol City, Exeter, Macclesfield Stoke, Crystal Palace, Port Vale, Motherwell Dundee, Stenhousemuir Man City, Aston Villa, Everton

You may notice that only three Scottish teams made the list, which may have something to do with the lack of competitiveness in most of the divisions, making it more difficult to bring sides closer together.

While it may prove worthwhile keeping an eye on some of those teams as part of your draw weaponry for the coupon, such as Ipswich and Brentford, both of whom have retained their respective managers from last term, it may also help to take a closer look at some of the teams that never made the list but have strong draw trends. Take Birmingham for example, who drew a total of 11 matches in the 2009/10 league season. Of those 11 draws, nine came in matches against teams from the top half of the table, which suggests they struggled against the better sides. Other clubs missing from the list who also fit this scenario are Coventry and Torquay with 10 draws each. It was a similar story with certain teams whose performances dipped against the lesser clubs in the bottom half of the table with Blackburn (eight draws), Sheffield Wednesday (nine), Colchester (nine), Northampton (nine) and Cheltenham (nine) all struggling against the weaker teams. While some of the aforementioned teams may not repeat their draw performances from last season to the current one, as managers and players move on, the main point is that anyone who is prepared to keep up with all the latest results will be able to spot new trends that emerge. It’s amazing how just an hour a week updating records and flicking through recent results can throw up an edge – the sort of edge capable of delivering a distinct advantage when compiling your pools selection. You can play the Football Pools for just £1 a week. For further details, see www.footballpools.com

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SPORTS BETTING GX

Many questions will be posed and answered over the next few months, but hopefully I can pinpoint a few likely types for the season.

KEY HORSES Peddlers Cross Donald McCain This is undoubtedly the horse I’m most looking forward to seeing this season and I believe he could turn into a genuine Champion Hurdle contender by March. Unbeaten in six career starts, he was an impressive winner of the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival and went on to take the John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree. All the bookmakers have him shorter for the World Hurdle than the Champion, but I think that is a red herring. His hugely talented trainer Donald McCain has already indicated he will be aimed at Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle and if he runs well in that then he’ll surely stay over hurdles and at the minimum trip. He has already won a pointto-point, so will jump a fence in time, but the smaller obstacles look most likely for this season. There were plenty of commentators who suggested that this horse would have been more suited to the Supreme Novices’ than the Neptune with the pace he showed over 2 miles at Haydock in January. It’s also worth remembering that both Istabraq and Hardy Eustace won the 2m5f Novices’ Hurdle before going on to win back-to-back Champion Hurdles, underlining the importance of truly staying the trip.

It’s never easy for horses after their juvenile campaign, but this fellow is the apple of his trainer’s eye, who he thinks could turn out to be one of the best he has ever trained.

take second in the 2m4f novice chase at the Aintree Festival. Everything went wrong for him that day and he should prove to be much better during the season ahead.

A general 33/1 shot for the Champion Hurdle, I wouldn’t be backing him for that at this stage, but look out for him wherever he runs. It may be that he is slightly better on a flat track and something like the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton or even the Aintree Hurdle could be the race for him. (Pictured above, in red)

The minimum 2 miles was always going to be too sharp in the Arkle and it will be interesting to see what path his trainer takes. She indicated she might step him up to have a shot at the Ryanair Chase this year before going for the Gold Cup in 2012. However, if he proves he can handle 3 miles before the Festival, it will be very difficult not to go down the Gold Cup route.

Somersby

Henrietta Knight Any promising chaser trained by Henrietta Knight will always be tarred with the same brush – ‘is this the new Best Mate?’ Well, Somersby showed himself to be a top quality novice by pushing Sizing Europe all the way in the Arkle and then running on to

A beautiful jumper, Somersby has class in abundance and he should pick up some nice races during the season, although don’t expect to see him too much. His trainer doesn’t like going to the well too often. (Pictured below)

Peddlers Cross has already shown he relishes testing conditions and the ground on the opening day of the Festival is always likely to be at its softest. He has a fantastic cruising speed and although he could be up against horses of the quality of Binocular and Hurricane Fly, he definitely deserves a place at that table. (Pictured left)

Mille Chief Alan King Alan King had a season to forget last year and Mille Chief was one of his biggest disappointments after suffering some health problems just a few weeks before Cheltenham. He had shown great promise in his three starts for King and would have been the likely favourite for the Triumph Hurdle if he had lined up in top form.

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GX SPORTS BETTING

Another commercial twist will witness players dressed in stylish designer clothing, as well as being fitted with a microphone to capture their comments and thoughts during the game, which will ultimately give the audience the opportunity to identify with the players.

once potted, will trigger a two-minute PowerPlay during which every ball potted will count for double. However, if a shot is missed during a PowerPlay, the clock will stop and the player’s opponent inherits the remaining time.

Snooker legend Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan is the face of this high-octane version of the sport, and invitations have been sent to current World Champion Neil Robertson, Chinese prodigy Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, Ali Carter, Shaun Murphy, Belgian wonder-kid Luca Brecel and the irrepressible Jimmy White.

Each game will now last half-an-hour; the clock will start when the reds are broken, and concludes as the final black of each frame is potted. Players will also be limited to 20 seconds for each shot. If the shot clock is exceeded, there is a 20-point penalty and the player will still need to take the shot.

The fact O’Sullivan is the spearhead of the game comes as no surprise. He has been one of the few players in the modern era who has been able to constantly wow the crowds with his double handed play, trickery and speed. He is tied at the top of the official 147 tree with Stephen Hendry on nine and who can forget his 5 minute 20 second 147 back in 1997? O’Sullivan is understandably excited about the new format of the game and can’t wait to take to the baize: “It is the year 2010 and we are not stuck in the 1970s anymore. I can understand that people still like their long endurance games, but for me the excitement of playing a game that keeps you on your toes, keeps you on your edge, is something I am really looking forward to.“

Points rather than frames now decide the game, and the player with the most points at the end of 30 minutes is the victor. Changes in the rules have also been implemented whilst breaking - two or more reds must hit a cushion otherwise the player’s turn ends – and the area behind the baulk line will now be known as the PowerZone. If the ball is struck within the PowerZone, any colour potted will count for double and during a PowerPlay, quadruple. Finally a century break in any frame is worth 50 bonus points and if repeated in the following frame the player will receive 100 points.

THE RULES With every new game comes new rules, and Power Snooker is no different. Albeit the rules of traditional still snooker apply, there are new variations. Firstly, nine reds are now racked in a diamond, with the point of the diamond next to the pink. The middle red is the PowerBall, and

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The inaugural Power Snooker event will be held at the Indigo2 showroom at the O2 in London on October 30th. The eight-hour global premiere will be broadcast by ITV Sport, live on ITV4. The event will see two sessions; the first from 1pm to 5pm will include all eight players in the first round knock out; the evening session will commence from 6pm until 10pm and will feature the two semi finals, 3rd and 4th play offs and the Grand Final.


POKER GX

that. I think that it’s definitely sexy to see a women leaning over a table in a man’s sport. I like that. Are any of the older generation of female players resentful to actresses, models and generally stunning young girls coming into the game today? The sense I get is that there are women who have been here longer than I have who might look down on some of the women who are coming into poker. Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone who plays, but there could definitely be that jealousy or cattiness that I was talking about. When there are these female pioneers who have won multiple bracelets and made final tables and aren’t as marketable as a cute 21-year-old girl who comes out of nowhere then that’s where there could be some hard feelings. I think it’s just the age we’re in where there is so much more media in the game, but for the most part I find that I’m around a pretty pleasant crew of people. You mentioned the amount of media that was around your table this year, do you find there’s a certain pressure to look good and present yourself in front of the cameras? Absolutely. Like I said before, this year I felt the cameras a lot more. In 2008, I was nobody. I came in with my baseball cap pulled down low and was so unaware of the cameras and TV while I was playing. All that I cared about was my opponent, the guys sitting around me and trying to make them afraid to put chips down on the table. After two years of being on ESPN, getting trashed by critics and haters, and having people dissect everything about your looks, I came into the 2010 series with a bit of a thorn in my side. Normally, I don’t care about the critics and media. I hardly ever pay attention, but it always finds a way to get to your attention. So, this year I said, “Okay. You want to see the best of Tiffany Michelle? You got it!” So this year I tried to look a little cuter and wear shorter shorts! That whole attempt wasn’t for the cameras though. It was just to combat the critics and haters I was talking about for any of the negative things that were said. I had a bit of a grudge coming into the 2010 World Series so I just put a little more effort into getting ready. Do you find it hard to balance poker and your acting interests? Definitely. I’ve always seen that in life, you can never plan things out. I never imagined falling into poker and becoming well-known for it. I never imagined being on The Amazing Race. I feel like life is this river that you’re floating down and you have to flow with the current. One minute you’re down this channel and the next you’re down a totally different one, but it somehow all works together. At one time I’ll be launching a clothing line and then I’ll be playing poker. It is hard to balance, but the money I make from poker gives me the flexibility to do the creative things that I love to do. I’m not too worried about it though. Sometimes I need to put extra attention to a certain area, but at the moment, I’m fortunate to have accomplished everything I have.

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GX POKER

Jayde Nicole 9 7

24-year-old Canadian model Jayde Nicole may

Leo Margets

Like so many on the Sex Factor Hot List, Leo

be one of the newer faces in the game, but it’s

Margets started playing poker when her

an instantly recognisable and unsurprisingly

boyfriend got her hooked on the game. Since

popular face whenever seen in casinos all around the world. Named Playboy Playmate of

winning the first ever live tournament she

the month in January 2007 and then Playmate

entered she has been plying her feminine charms on the pro circuit and broke into the big

of the year in 2008, Jayde is literally one of

time in 2009 when she was the last women

poker’s hottest properties and after a series of coaching sessions with poker’s top boys, Jayde

standing - sitting if you’re being pernickety - in

is fast becoming a threat on the felt too. Those

the WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing

who haven’t crossed paths with her at the

27th and winning $352,000. Margets is now a

poker table may remember Jade from Series 5

regular at large poker tournaments across the

of The Hills, if they were ever to admit

globe and is the only Spanish senorita to find her way onto this list.

watching such a programme.

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Shannon Elizabeth

The acting may have dried up for American stunner Shannon Elizabeth, but luckily for us she can still be found gracing our television screens in her second profession as a poker pro. The former model and actress, who shot to fame in 1999 playing Nadia the foreign exchange student in cult teen movie American Pie, has forged a successful career in the poker world, cashing five times at the World Series of Poker. Her biggest pay-out to date came courtesy of her 3rd place finish in the Heads-Up World Championship in 2007, earning her $125,000. All this means keeping a copy of American Pie in our DVD player at all times is no longer absolutely necessary, but it’s still something plenty of us will carry on doing anyway.

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Lauren Kling

No relation to Ledley, US pro Lauren Kling is fast becoming one of the top commodities on the pro poker circuit. The American cashed three times at this year’s World Series of Poker in three No Limit Hold’em tournaments including the Main Event - as well as achieving two money finishes at the Series last year. Lauren also cashed in the WPT and the NAPT in February this year, making her one of the most successful female pros on tour in 2010 as well as being one of the easiest on the eye.

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POKER GX

7

Lacey Jones 9

Liv Boeree

Originally from Kent but now living in London, model,

Lacey Jones is perhaps better known for

TV presenter and poker pro Liv Boeree announced her

her tournament hostessing skills than her

arrival on the poker stage with a bang by winning the

achievements on the felt, but that has not

Ladbrokes Poker European Ladies Championship in

stopped the American Beauty bagging a

2008 for $42,000. Since then her career has gone from

sponsorship deal with the online poker

strength to strength, her pinnacle coming in April this

room giant Full Tilt after splitting from

year when she won the EPT San Remo, collecting

€1,250,000 for the first prize. Despite having only been

Absolute Poker earlier this year. She is the first Full Tilt pro who isn’t one of the top

a pro for three years, Liv also has a WPT cash for

players on tour, but due to her immense

$42,000 and seven smaller cashes at the WSOP

popularity with players and poker fans alike,

including three this year. Before focusing all her

it was inevitable that the star’s other

attention on becoming a professional poker player, she

talents would lead to her to an association

studied Physics with Astrophysics at the University of

with one of the largest brands in poker.

Manchester. It just gets better and better doesn’t it.

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Joanna Krupa

Polish model Joanna Krupa is the second poker player from our list to have appeared in Playboy and was once named the ‘Sexiest Swimsuit Model in the World’ by the magazine giant. She’s also been voted ‘sexiest women in the world’ and ‘sexiest top model in the world’ by a host of magazines from Australia, USA the UK, and probably just about every country in the world where magazines are made. As well as modelling – recently getting her kit off for the PETA campaign -, Krupa has briefly delved into the world of television, most notably finishing 4th in the American version of Strictly Come Dancing with Cheryl Cole’s new amour, Derek Hough. Although she is yet to establish herself as major force in the poker world, the Polish sensation is one of the most followed players whatever tournaments she plays in.

Kimberly Lansing 9 When The Beach Boys told us they wished all girls could be Californian all those years ago, they presumably had Kimberly Lansing in mind. The brown haired beauty, who learned how to play poker in her father’s shop in Palm Springs, took her journalistic skills to Hollywood after leaving university and has combined poker and celebrity television presenting with magazine columns ever since. Lansing co-hosted Season Six of the WPT in 2006 with Layla Kayleigh, and fans of the American - which will undoubtedly be all of us - will be delighted to hear that Kimberly will once again be brightening up our screens now that she’s back presenting Season 9 of the Tour.

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POKER GX

decent tourney win would take care of it. Secondly, Sharkscope only includes tournament results and my cash game performance has been decent enough to keep my head above water in the few short months of Archie_Shark’s existence. Thirdly, and more importantly, I have recently been in the depths of one of those most frustrating and difficult to explain phenomenon which can affect us all seemingly without warning from time to time, the dreadful patch of poker form. Now maybe I have been affected by the national heartache which has surrounded our summers, perhaps the rain has washed away my limited skills or maybe the moons are just not quite aligned right. The simple fact is that none of these things are likely to be true. After all, the online poker which has delivered these distressing figures is

essentially a maths game in as much as the basics in terms of hand probability will more often than not lead to a victory. I think more so is the lack of composure that tends to envelop me when in a rich period of form, ultimately leading to a slump. Like Bavarian fatty Augutus Gloop of Willy Wonka fame, when presented with the glory of the ‘Chocolate Room’, I, when presented with a small taste of poker glory, gorge myself to the point of reckless abandon until I ultimately fall into the waterfall churned chocolate lake of early knock out as my inflated ego tells me that every hand is a winner and every other player is inferior. What is clearly required are some orange faced dwarves to emerge and sing me a song of sufficient scrupulous consciousness to acquaint me with my pretentious actions that are obviously leading to negative equity. Oompa Loompa Doopedy Doo/We’ve got

some poker advice for you/You can live in happiness too/Like Ivey, Timoshenko and Madsen Doopedy Do... Essentially it seems a level head is required from this low-stakes pretender. Understanding the game is one thing, avoiding the unnecessary conflict of emotion which we know has no place at the poker table – be it a virtual one or not – is another. I will head off for another month to hopelessly toil for a significant change in fortunes and I will leave you to explore Sharkscope to discover how you rank and to perhaps vet a few opponents – Sharkscope gives you five free opportunities per day to do so. Sadly, I fear that just like those wealthy quintet of potential investors off the telly, and certainly after reading this, Mr Dempsey would be declaring himself ‘out’.

ARCHIE’S ‘AVIN Luckily there are always other betting opportunities to distract from poker woes and so at UFC 119 on the night of September 25th I will be sticking a tenner on Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader, Chris ‘Lights Out’ Lytle, Matt ‘Meat’ Mitrione, Sean ‘Muscle Shark’ Sherk and Frank Mir to all win, which returns a cheerful £196 with Boylesports.

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GX POKER

The Inside Man

Performance Coaching For Poker Pros Top performance coach Steve Ward has teamed up with some of the UK’s top poker pros to see if he can help them take their game to new levels with his psychological expertise.

O

ver the coming weeks, in the lead up to and through a busy September of Poker in London, with the WPT, WSOPE, UKIPT Finals and EPT, I am going to be working with three of PokerStars’ top pros – JP Kelly, Jude Ainsworth and Julian Thew - providing them with performance coaching and psychology support. I will be using approaches and strategies similar to those that I would use with the sports people, financial traders and sportsbettors who I work with in helping them to maximise their performance potential. My role is not to teach them how to play poker but to help them to be able to play their Agame as consistently as possible and to raise their performance levels over time through teaching performance and psychological skills and strategies.

The programme will run over what is a relatively short time frame, which has an upside of creating an immediate focus, but with a downside that it often takes a longer time than this for people to absorb and integrate any new approaches into their performance effectively and consistently. With this in mind it will be important to set some realistic and clear short term objectives with

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the guys, within a wider context of helping them to improve their game in the long term. Over the coming issues I will be writing about the work I have been doing with JP, Julian and Jude: what their objectives are, the approaches and strategies we will use to achieve them, and ultimately, how they fare.

The First Steps I first met with JP, Jude and Julian during the UKIPT in Edinburgh. The guys’ focus in Edinburgh was obviously on the tournament so my aim was to get a little bit of time with each of them with the key objectives being:

5. Establishing specific areas to focus on. 6. Seeing the guys in action at the felt. 7. Setting up a time frame to work together beyond Edinburgh.

Two Key Performance Models After spending time with the guys and working through these points, I introduced them to two key models which I have outlined below. And although I showed these models to JP, Julian and Jude, you may find it useful to work through them for yourself and your own performance. 5 Key Areas of High Performance

1. Meeting face-to-face, establishing a relationship and finding out more about them and their game. 2. Telling them more about what performance and psychology coaching has to offer; explaining what it is and isn’t, and talking about how we could best work together over the coming weeks. 3. Introducing a couple of key performance models that would be the basis of the work we’d be doing together. 4. Gathering information on how they felt they were currently performing in relation to their potential or desired level of performance.


GX POKER

THE UKPPL IT’S WHAT WEEKENDS

HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR ‘JONATHANBURG’ TAKES DOWN FIRST EVER UKKPPL Most online poker players these days are hardened players who wear the scars of victory as well as failure. However, for freshfaced Jonny ‘JonathanBurg’, the brand new UKPPL heralded a sparkling new dawn in his fledgling poker career as he took down the London Invitational in what was only his second online tournament. The London Invitational was of course the first ever UKPPL Division 1 tournament after it finally kicked off in style last month; fitting then that a newcomer to online poker was crowned opening weekend champion of the fifteen week league. After buying in for just $5.00 + $0.50, ‘JonathanBurg’ was delighted to see his stake returned to him more than 140 times over for a first placed prize of $782. The UKPPL is fast becoming an online delicacy amongst the poker community with Jonny sure of the reason behind its appeal: “It’s a lot like playing in a live tournament as it is very chatty with plenty of banter with the players. It was only my second tournament but I liked the way you could check up on your opponents through the social network. And any info you can grab on the other players has got to be a help!” Jonny played an impressive game throughout the Invitational, although had to ride his luck in what was his tournament turning point; with all the money in the middle and up against pocket 4’s, Jonny’s suited Big Slick was looking grim when the

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flop came 9-9-3. The 7 on the turn left Jonny moments away from packing the laptop away but a second 7 on the river meant Jonny’s Ace kicker fended off his opponent’s four. And from there on in there was no looking back for the youngster. Asides from a great return of income for every tournament winner, the UKPPL has a host of other prizes up for grabs including special $100 cash boosters for the players busting in 8th and 88th, and a smattering of iPods, special poker shades and much, much more can all also be won. So to join in the action and fight for the UKPPL title, sign up today at www.ukpremierpokerleague.com Check Out the official UKPPL blog at www.ukppl.blogspot.com and follow us on twitter @UKPPL Two plus two users will also be able to check out all the latest news and offers the UKPPL threads UKPPL Division 1, Sunday night’s at 7.30pm. It’s what the weekends have been waiting for.

LET THE PROS DO THE TALKING The UKPPL is delighted to announce that Stonecoldbluff commentators VSTER and DUFF will now be offering their words of wisdom on every single Division 1 tournament. Live, unadulterated and uncut expert commentary is the name of the

game with UKPPL players now able to feel like the big guns on TV with their very own men on mic’s for the low buy-in action.

POKER SPACE PokerSpace is a unique portal which blends and provides community, communication, content and rewards for its members. It expands on the POKER COMMUNITY site model with its active poker forum and adds a reward component to the entire community. This means those participating in the community can earn points which can then be exchanged for exciting and exclusive merchandise. Beyond the community points that can be earned, PokerSpace also offers up even more rewards with its popular FREE POKER MONEY DEALS to several different poker rooms. If you need to brush up on your poker skills before or during the UKPPL, be sure to check out the creative and insightful section on poker strategy – helpfully provided in the way of a lesson plan format with quizzes at the end to ensure players can quickly grasp each specific lecture. PokerSpace uses a clean interface and a shrewd navigation menu, so if you are not a seasoned community user, it will not be too daunting a task to become engaged. So if you're looking for a modern reward site which has a thriving community, first-rate poker tutorials, blogs and a host of quirky initiatives you should definitely sign up to PokerSpace. www.ukpremierpokerleague.com


GX POKER

The Saffari School of Omaha

PRE-FLOP AGGRESSION Bassy Saffari is a 25-year old poker player from Newcastle who has been playing for six years and specialises in PLO ring games. In the third instalment of his Omaha series this month, he explains more advanced aggressive pre-flop strategies.

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n the first two strategy pieces we defined and made clear distinctions on how PLO differs from Hold'em. Even though it shouldn't take PLO newbies too much time to get familiar with the rules, there are some underlying fundamentals that are not going to be natural to NL players and those have been the focus so far in this series. Ultimately these differences stem from the fact that in PLO we have four hole cards and, having to use two of them, subsequently have six different combinations of hands. Playing this amount of hands in a game means there is ever more need to bet hands just to protect them, with hand equities running so much closer than they do in Hold'em. From this perspective we talked about betting big to protect from a number of possible draws, the possibility of having to fold top two pair on the flop and betting in situations where we won't ever get called by worse hands but need to ensure hands that unknowingly hold something like 30% equity against our one pair hand do fold.

We also talked about reading flops in PLO, concentrating on the idea that one pair hands aren't, in basic theory, going to be worth defending against any kind of aggressive action and how, when facing lots of action, we’re really looking to make straights and flushes which are as close to the nuts as possible, and, of course, full houses, remembering that over full’s are so much more valuable than the under full’s - which usually represent bluff catchers at best. There needs to be a lot of emphasis on trying to avoid trap hands like small flushes and not nut straights; being in position with these weaker hands will make them a lot easier to play. Now that we have a good grasp of the game and have been burnt enough times to know not to call

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off three streets with the 6th nut flush, we should look at trying to exploit our opponents and start gaining an edge in this high variance poker game. So let’s look at some of the more advanced plays and considerations that we can add to our game in 6-max situations.

OPEN-LIMPING PRE-FLOP

Any player using a HUD can easily notice your early position raising percentage and should be calling you in position to adjust to this”

I don't advocate open-limping any hands at 6-max even though some good players will. I think that if a hand is good enough then we want to build a pot and also give ourselves the chance to represent a hand like top set of Aces if we completely brick the flop. We should definitely be looking to isolate all the donks that open-limp early positions because they are going to spew hard when we get them heads-up, especially if they think we are picking on them. I hate limping because we don't give ourselves a chance at getting HU with the blinds. Getting value from nut hands is always harder being out of position, like top set when there's a flush out, and often means we will level ourselves into folding or not fold out small flushes when our opponent has us beat. Plus we have already lost one valuable round of betting with no raises pre-flop, which in a pot-limit game is crucial in our quests to get our WHOLE stack in with the nuts.

RAISING PRE-FLOP We talked about it in the last issue but I've seen so much weird raising of late that I think it should be gone over in more detail. UTG and UTG+1 are positions where we need to be opening up a tighter range. We are always going to be getting called in at least one spot and most of the time we will be out of position, perhaps sandwiched between two or three other opponents. Because of this we want to make sure that we have an opportunity to C-bet flops with good equity - otherwise we will be just


LIFESTYLE GX

suGaR Fists Name Adell ‘Sugar Fists’ Seshie Age 22 From New Zealand / Ghana Walk On Music Lost Your Mind by Beyoncé Vital Stats 30-27-34 Best Combo Uppercut, jab Pre-Fight Snack Salad Favourite Boxer David Haye Would Most Like To Fight I’d like to go a couple of rounds with Danielle Lloyd Afraid Of Spiders, mice, rats and crawly things

FLo Rida Name Jaide ‘Flo Rida’ Low Age 20 From Essex Walk On Music Low by Flo Rida Vital Stats 30D-25-33 Best Combo Double jab Pre-Fight Snack Packet of skips Favourite Boxer Floyd Mayweather Would Most Like To Fight Gok Wan

beasa Name Sarah ‘Beasa’ Beasley Age 32 From Guildford, Surrey Walk On Music Fly by Inna Vital Stats 34D-28-34 Best Combo Double jab, uppercut Pre-Fight Snack Flap-jack Favourite Boxer Lennox Lewis Would Most Like To Fight David Platt from Coronation Street Afraid Of Getting Old

the aNimaL Name Ally ‘The Animal’ Andrews Age 24 From Darlington Walk On Music Butterfly by Crazy Town Vital Stats 34E-27-34 Best Combo Right Hook Pre-Fight Snack Peanut butter and jam sandwich Favourite Boxer Ally ‘The Animal’ Andrews Would Most Like To Fight Katie Price Afraid Of Herself

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LIFESTYLE GX

Splendour Festival Review: Oldies Do It Best While the ravers headed off to Global Gathering, L.E.D and The Secret Garden Party and the rockers continued on from Glastonbury and Download, those who sought solace at the smaller known Splendour festival at Wollaton Park in Nottingham last month found it certainly didn’t disappoint.

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hilst many were obviously there for the Pet Shop Boys’ headlining performance (the tshirts gave it away) there was so much more talent nestled into the line up than just the Northern Duo. Emerging songstress Ronika opened the main stage proceedings with her unique electro-pop sound, which at times did seem lost on the early revellers whilst they tucked into their picnics and Pimms.

Although the majority of the early acts enjoyed modest-sized audiences, Dog is Dead drew the first notable crowd of the day as their energetic folk-meets-calypso tunes raised the spirits of the crowd on what was an otherwise pretty dreary afternoon. Despite being in their infancy they are obvious candidates to make the transition from locally revered band to national indiestars; their latest single ‘Glockenspiel Song’ had more than a few heads bobbing. As the rain threatened to turn the site into a muddy bog, The Noisettes took to the main stage. A group that deliver an

almost ‘how to’ festival performance, The Noisettes offered a well thought out mix of chart hits, a great stage set and enough covers to amuse and bemuse the average festival goer - including a couple of songs from Charlie and the chocolate factory – ensuring they would stay engraved on everyone’s memories come home time... By the time the Pet Shop Boys walk on stage, they have a lot to live up to. After an hour-long set change that left the crowd restless, and with the rather lazy and uninspiring Calvin Harris preceding them, the task on the duo’s hands was massive. Unsurprisingly they managed to deliver a faultless multimedia experience combining contemporary visuals with shamelessly camp choreography to create a show of arena proportions. Classics like ‘Go West’ and ‘West End Girls’ took on new lives when sung back by a 12,000 strong crowd and with a spectacular light show and enough pyro and glitter to entertain even the most reluctant music fan, the Pet Shop Boys delivered a set that was bound to please young and old alike.

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GX LIFESTYLE

What's on this month?

Sport CRICKET

1

England v Pakistan, Twenty20 & ODI Series, Sep 5th onwards

World Twenty20 champions England take on Pakistan in two Twenty20 and five One Day Internationals throughout September. The games will be England’s last matches on home soil before heading down under to face Australia and so Andrew Strauss’ men will be keen to keep this summer’s momentum going in all forms of the game. Despite a poor start to the Test Series, Pakistan are a dangerous one day side capable of beating the best players in the world, and were only one heroic Michael Hussey over away from meeting England in the Twenty20 World Cup final earlier in the year.

DARTS

2

Championship League Darts, Sep 7th onwards

The third season of the Championship League Darts – which will be streamed exclusively on the internet through bookmaker’s sites and PDC TV subscribers - gets underway this month with defending champion Colin Osborne hoping to hold on to his title which he won off holder Phil Taylor last year. The fairly complicated format of the league sees the Order of Merit’s top eight compete in Group 1 with the winner qualifying for October’s final. The bottom two players of the group will be eliminated while the remaining five will proceed to Group 2 where they will be joined by the next three players on the Order of Merit. The process will continue for eight groups until the final group of eight players who will be able to fight it out for the £200,000 first place prize has been determined.

money for charity. The race will be broadcast on television, but the best way to enjoy the atmosphere of one of the most fun filled sporting events of the calendar is to get involved and run in the race. That is if you think you’ve got what it takes to survive the course.

MOTORSPORT

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British Rally Championship, September 24th-25th

HORSE RACING

3

St Leger Festival, September 8th – 11th

The oldest of the five ‘classics’, the St Leger Stakes will be run on 11th September this year during the St Leger Festival in Doncaster. The race, which is also the last of the classics to be held annually, is run over 1m 6f 132yds, making it longer than both the Derby and the Oaks. Betting for this year’s race is wide open with no clear frontrunner. Rewilding and Midas Touch should start the race as favourites, however, with such a deep field do not be surprised if an unfancied horse emerges to take the post.

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ATHLETICS Great North Run, September 19th

The largest half-marathon in the world returns to the North-East in September.

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World class athletes from across the world will compete across the thirteen mile distance, whilst approximately 50,000 amateur runners will also turn out in Gateshead, many of whom will be raising

After races in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, the British Rally Championship returns to England for the final stage of the Tour. Rally HQ for the event will be Scarborough, as drivers from the UK race over 85 miles in their final chance to accumulate points to elevate them in the 2010 Championship standings. Northern Irishman Jonny Greer led Welshman Gwyndaf Evans prior to the penultimate race in August despite not having won a race on the tour to date. Greer has consistently finished in the top five this season and will look for a strong performance in Yorkshire to secure the title.


GX Digital Example UK September 2010