How Poker Taught Me To Make More Money With Fewer Stocks [reprint]



By Amy Calistri
June 13, 2013

On June 7, I watched the Internet video feed from Las Vegas as Mike “The Mouth” Matusow pocketed $266,503 by winning the 13th event in the 2013 World Series of Poker.

Matusow has won nearly $9 million playing tournament poker, and I’ve studied nearly every hand he has ever played. I even sat next to his mother the night he won $1 million in the Championship Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker.

During his recent tournament, Matusow seldom had the lead. But he played a disciplined game. He folded many hands while his opponents wasted chips, chasing after hands they didn’t have the odds to win. Matusow’s patience and premium hand selection over the course of the three-day event were rewarded with the first-prize gold bracelet.

I’ve played poker for more than a decade. I’ve had the opportunity to study — and go up against — some of the best professionals in the world. I’ve seen players amass big leads in a tournament, only to turn right around and give every chip back. In my experience, both as a poker player and an investor, the decision to not play a mediocre hand can be the most profitable decision you can make.

It’s easy to spot an inexperienced player at a poker table. He’ll be the guy who plays nearly every hand. He’s probably grown up watching televised poker, where folded hands are edited out to highlight the relatively few contested hands. In his limited view, he believes by playing more hands, he has more chances to win. He has no idea how many hands he’ll lose before he gets lucky.

I want this guy at my table for as long as his money lasts. Report: WSOP 2013 Event Winner


Chad Holloway Wins 2013

World Series of Poker Event #1:

$500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em ($84,915)


Listen to this week’s  podcast to hear BigDave Lemmon discuss this event and much much more.

Chad Holloway is the first WSOP champion of 2013.

After a 90-minute head-up battle, Chad Holloway has taken down his first gold bracelet. Holloway, whose previous biggest cash was $3,719 in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP in 2012, won $84,915 after outlasting a starting field of 898 players. Holloway, a writer forPokerNews, hails from Reedsburg, Wisc.

Fifty-five runners advanced to Day 2, at which point Holloway ranked third in chips. Holloway continued to rank among the top stacks for most of Day 2, and he was mostly able to stay out of situations in which he was all in and at risk.

The final table contestants were barely seated when the first player was eliminated. Hieu Le jammed after it was folded to his small blind, eventual second-place finisher Allan Kwong made the call with . Le held and failed to improve.

Shortly thereafter, everyone folded to Michael Trivett on the button, who raised to 27,000. Holloway three-bet to 77,000 in the small blind, and the big blind got out of the way. Trivett went into the tank before pushing all in for about 200,000 more. After some thought, Holloway called.


The flop came , and Holloway supporters cheered from the rail. A  on the turn left Trivett drawing dead, and he got up after the dealer rolled out the  river.

Tyrone Smith was the seventh-place finisher. The action folded around to him in the small blind. Bobby Rooney called from the big blind with  against Smith’s .

The board ran out  and Smith was eliminated.

Sean Small, who finished third at the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for over $54,000 this April, was next to go. He shoved his last 89,000 in from the button and was called by Holloway in the small blind. His  failed to improve against Holloway’s .

Daniel Ellery went out in fifth when he called off his stack with  against the  of Brian Pingel on a board of . Pingel flushed him out with an  on the river.

Pingel’s good fortune wouldn’t last long, as he called a raise from Rooney and they took a flop heads up. The flop brought the , and Pingel checked. Rooney continuation-bet 55,000, and Pingel shipped all in. Rooney snap-called, and the players showed.


Rooney’s bottom two pair was in the lead, but he had a lot of cards to fade. A harmless  fell on the turn, and Pingel needed a heart or a seven to complete his hand. It wasn’t to be, as a  river ended his tournament run in fourth.

Three-handed play lasted over an hour, and the chiplead changed hands multiple times. Finally, Kwong raised all in from the small blind and Rooney instantly called off from the big blind.


 flop helped nobody, as did an  turn. On the river, heartbreak arrived for Rooney in the form of the , and he finished third for $33,903.

Kwong and Holloway battled heads up for more than hour. Both players seemed content to play small pots, and a halfhearted observer could have easily followed the back and forth with only an ear to the proceedings. Every time Holloway would scoop a pot, his deep rail section would clap, cheer and activate their screaming eagle sound effects. When Kwong took down pots, the only sound was the clinking of the chips as the dealer pushed them to the man from Oakland, Calif. The heads-up war was slow and close, as neither player could push far past a three-to-two chip lead.

Finally, the deciding hand took place. Kwong raised to 75,000 and Holloway called.

The flop came . Holloway checked and Kwong bet 85,000. Holloway reraised and Kwong shoved all in. Holloway snap-called and showed  for trips. Kwong tabled .

The  turn and  river did not improve Kwong’s hand, and he was eliminated in 2nd place and quietly exited the feature table area after shaking Holloway’s hand.

Holloway’s supporters mobbed him as he grinned with joy. Reports May 29 2013 ~ 44th Annual World Series of Poker

The 44th Annual World Series of Poker officially kicked off earlier today with the start of the $500 buy-in Casino Employees event and will be fully underway come 5 p.m. PDT with the start of what’s sure to be a star-studded $5,000 no-limit hold’em event.

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year that PokerNews will be live at the Rio in Las Vegas bringing you all the excitement from the tournament floor. You can expect a hefty dose of live updates, chip counts, interviews, videos, photos, podcasts, and much more.

During the past 10 years, the WSOP has seen an astronomical rise in attendance, and in turn, overall prize pools. Will the numbers continue to climb in 2013 thanks to the birth of regulated poker in both Nevada and New Jersey? Or will the lingering affects of Black Friday still dampen the field sizes? Keep your browser locked to PokerNews to find out.

Year # of Entrants Total Prize Money Awarded
2003 7,572 $21,789,060
2004 14,054 $45,973,770
2005 32,341 $106,055,907
2006 48,366 $159,616,588
2007 54,288 $159,796,918
2008 58,720 $180,774,427
2009 60,875 $174,013,215
2010 72,966 $187,109,850
2011 75,672 $192,008,868
2012 74,766 $222,045,377

Be sure to head to the PokerNews live reporting pages to get your daily fix of all the WSOP action!

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