Archive for Trip Reports

Phil Ivey Accused for Cheating Borgota out of $9.6 million

“The poker pro loves to play other casino games as well, such as Punto Banco and Baccarat, and both games have brought him two lawsuits in the last couple of years.”

Some time ago Phil Ivey was playing baccarat at the Borgota in Atlantic City, and now he is being sued for his play because of an alleged cheating technique called edge sorting that according to the casino official’s Ivey used to win $9.6 million. The casino claims that Ivey did that in four separate visits, and now he is being sued for that. However, Ivey made a countersuit because he claims the casino is out of its mind.

According to Ivey, the win occurred simply due to a result of skill. He even says that the casino tried to distract him by giving him a private play area with a certain brand of cards and a dealer that spoke Mandarin. The casino even allowed him to play with a woman at his side, and later they accused her of being his accomplice.


Phil Ivey is a ten-time WSOP bracelet winner. As reported by this site one of his more notable wins have happened in Australia at the Aussie Millions where he won a $250,000 Challenge for AU$4,000,000, which is about 2.8 million in USD. This is his largest single cash of his career. According to Australian Casino Club Ivey has expressed how much he loved Australia. And, who wouldn’t if he won that much money and had such fun memories there.

Anyway, Ivey was deposed on the matter about him supposedly using edge sorting at Borgota, but the poker pro has expressed his thoughts about the absurdity of it as well. He accuses Borgota of deliberately distracting him by offering him free booze with an unlimited budget served by pretty waitresses that are dressed in very provocative skimpy little outfits.


He says that every time he played there he was allowed to play for multiple hours, and not one time he was asked about his strategy or his girl next to him. They didn’t even care how drunk he would get with the free booze. All of that says that Borgota wanted to keep him there and make him happy, but unfortunately for them Ivey is a pro and managed to win $9.6 million, despite all of those distractions with free alcohol in order to make him drunk enough to lose, pretty cocktail waitresses that flirt etc.

This is not the first lawsuit against Ivey for edge sorting. The Crockfords Casino in London has sued Ivey of edge sorting as well. He won there approximately $11 million playing Punto Banco, but the casino refused to pay him beyond his initial stake. Both Borgota and Crockfords use the same kind of cards and both casinos accuse Ivey of taking advantage of a defect in the manufacturing of the cards.

Guarantee Met and a Prediction

What the players want are BIG guarantees

Back in the 1970’s automobile companies made a mistake, they started using as an advertise ploy the “Cash Rebate” or “Customer Cashback”. Once Ford did it Chevy followed and so did all the GM cars and trucks.People started waiting for a rebate program to be put on the car they wanted to buy. No rebate and the cars sat, but as soon as a rebate program was introduced, the car sold like hotcakes. Once this marketing ploy took hold there was no looking back, so car manufacturers now build the rebate into their cost and you almost never see a car advertised without one.

So when was the Guarantee for Poker Tournaments born? I honestly don’t remember but it certainly has become the same powerful tool to get players to attend an event. Nothing in the advertising of poker is more powerful except the WSOP. A no guarantee event going up against a guaranteed event has virtually no chance of competing vs. the guarantee.

So how big does the guarantee need to be? Well this week proved that if you build it, they will come. Take for example the Hard Rock $5000.00 buy-in event in Florida. Yes the Seminole tribe is making millions a day with their multiple locations in Florida, but a 10 Million guarantee from a $5000.00 buy-in? Now that’s gambling!!

But as I said put that big number up there and they will come.  2384 players to be exact and a total prize pool of $11,920,000.00 exceeding the guarantee by almost $2,000,000. First place is $1.7 Million for a $5000 investment. Almost 350 times your investment. Eat your heart out Wall Street!

And now we’ve done it, the boat has sailed and the name of the ship is Guarantees.

The only venue that needs no money guarantee is the WSOP, but that doesn’t make them Immune. The guarantee the WSOP has is that coveted bracelet and that might surpass the monetary guarantee.

And speaking of the WSOP I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the 2014 Main Event with have at least 7000 players. Why do I feel this way? The addition of Online poker in the US will push it over the edge. There are a few sites in Nevada, but that in itself will not be enough. The addition of New Jersey on the other hand will take it over the top.

The above only spells one thing for poker players and that the opportunity to be given every chance to get the most bang for their buck.

Higher Guarantees and 7000 at the 2014 WSOP. Poker while having plenty of room to grow has come a long way!!

Hope that helps,



Is Online Poker Going Away?

Is Online Poker going away? That’s the question I get asked more and more as I travel to brick & Mortar casinos. My answer is no. However I think the landscape has changed drastically and forever. Prohibition, we all learned about it in school and some of us even heard the term when we were kids. During this time no one stopped drinking alcohol, and this time there’s a marked difference! PLAYING POKER ISN’T ILLEGAL. That’s right, the law enacted last year or should I say slipped into the Safe Harbor Act doesn’t mention playing poker at all. It’s solely based on how banking deals with online gaming, or better put how banking CAN NOT deal with online gaming. So what does this mean and how do you go on playing without interruption or roadblocks. You don’t! The roadblocks are challenging but not a hurdle too high to jump. More the online poker sites you know and trust, are helping you make the jump. Some of the procedures you initially went thru to fund your online accounts will have to be repeated and there might be some minor delays before you can deposit or withdraw Places like Neteller (online bank based outside the US) have stopped transactions with gaming sites and others have stopped taking US customers at all. Most of these are publicly traded somewhere in the world and the shareholders didn’t want the exposure of going against a US law. However, for everyone that closed there’s another to take its place and they’re eager for your business.

I’m not saying you should just google search the tern “online banking’ you shouldn’t because unfortunately there will be many “fly by night” banking sites that will pop up that may not be as reputable as you’d want. So how do you choose, well you don’t. Your favorite online poker site is doing the work on your behalf and since their reputation is at stake, I feel confident that they’re doing their due diligence. Simply put if their research has found the company to be reputable so should you. In the meantime it seems as though B & M tournaments are growing and so are the long lines and lists at the land based poker casinos.

That’s good because you’re going to make new friends. This not only helps you social life but it will help your online poker funding as well. Many of the site have enhanced their player to player transfers and the more players you meet the more you’ll have to trade funds with. I’ve already seen players in casinos with their laptops trading funds, not only quick and easy but also with no fees Somewhere in the crystal ball is a government that sees the revenue they’ve turned away and legislators will see the light instead of sneaking under cover of night. This means US backed online poker; which isn’t completely a good thing, but I’d rather be taxed and be safe than not play at all. Not only will the US get a chance to tax the online companies, estimated at 3.3 Billion, but they could get access to online poker winners and tax them as well. In return you get a safe environment and a company with offices here in the US, which means better customer service and an authority to answer to if you have problems. So the answer again is no online poker isn’t going away, in fact I believe it’s here to stay in one form or another and while you might find the road bumpy it’s still a road I’d travel on everyday Warren “PokerMD” Karp

Old Guard has a Party

Last night was very special to me and it brought back many memories from the early days of tournament poker; the early days being the year 2000. This was the year that about 150 of us would travel the then tournament circuit to beat each others brains out. It’s also a time where if we got busted out we’d eat dinner together or go to a movie.

Sounds strange to call 2000 the old days, but it was a time when we wondered who we were going to be playing poker against when we got gray. Looking around the room in those days, you saw no 18-21 year olds, hardly any women and very few “bad boys”. Ok, Phil was around then but you know what I mean.

Last night was Pic Club Bounty night at the online site Poker Host. I’m proud to be on the Pic Club pro Team and have a great time doing so. Every Monday night at 8 PM eastern we all head to and do an internet radio show. The show is a relaxed atmosphere where we talk about everything poker in a no holds bar format. That means that any and every subject is on the table, including some things not poker. Wade from Hold Em Radio and DB host the show, which is sponsored by the Pic Club and the online site that we’re playing at that night.

There are usually some great guests on and it provides a forum for the Pic Club to air whatever’s special and new.

The reason last night brought back memories was because of the line-up. Included last night was Amir Vahedi, T.J. Cloutier, Barbara Enright, Young Phan, Kenna James, Tom McEvoy, Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh, Sam Simon (The Simpsons), Dule Hill (West Wing), Yancy Arias (Night Rider) and last night Kato Caitlin stopped by before he headed over to Dick Van Patten’s house for a home game.

That group includes some of the “Old Guard’ as I like to call them, and me. We came from a time where the WSOP was the only real big event we had all year. While the rest were important to us it paled in comparison to the big one. It was a time we’d fly to the other side of the country to play in 200, 300 and 500 events. It was a time for very few bad beat stories, because one of us was probably the guy or woman who knocked the other one out. More importantly, it was a time when we discussed strategy together, where one discussion was a round table of some of the best poker knowledge you could imagine.

Then the fun begins because we all head to the site we’re on that night and play what’s usually a small buy-in bounty tournament where all the pros have a bounty on their head. Last night someone asked via forum chat on the site can the pros be competitive in low buy-in events? Well, last night TJ won the event, last week Barbra Enright was 2nd, 2 weeks ago I won the event.

It’s funny, win or lose we all have fun and mostly enjoy chatting with the players and from what we’re hearing they love to play with us. Many of the pros get on the radio during the event and think thru their plays right on the air. For the avid poker player, this is the element I think is missing in on air poker. It’s one thing to see the whole cards like we see on televised events, but to hear the thinking process as the hands are played is amazing and shouldn’t be missed.

Joining the Pic Club is a special experience and I’m very glad I did. It’s aptly named as it is a Club and besides being the best new and innovative way to get funds on the internet, members are getting benefits that I didn’t even expect to see. Great idea guys keep it up!

You can join to at

See you on the radio LOL

Hope that helps

Warren Karp

Costa Rica delivers again!!!

Just got back from beautiful Costa Rica and the small tournament at Casinos Europa.All is well!!
Having not been there for 18 months since the one and only WPT event held there, I was unsure of how the poker would be. It didn’t take long to realize that we were the ones who left, not the poker.
Herman Lang, who was the controller during the previous years there is now the head of Casino Operations and they have a new Poker Room Manager in Luis Szlak. These guys couldn’t be any nicer and there isn’t anything they wont do to try and make you feel welcome. They have an uncanny knack of knowing what us Visitors need and an even better grasp on delivering.and I mean anything you want.

The casino itself is small, only 8 tables, and a lot different from the convention room upstairs, but very comfortable. It also lacked the carnival atmosphere that was connected to the Costa Rican events, but Carmen of massage fame and Gina of service fame were the hostesses for the event and we were never without a drink, food or a smile. This might still be the best treatment a poker player can get in any venue!

I took a walk down memory lane as I toured the Radisson; I remember the convention room being filled to capacity and the hostesses in the black dresses filling the aisles. I walked down to where the buffet and computer center are and remembered how we spent our dinner breaks. The weather once again was a constant mid 70’s, but with it being rainy season we had a few sprinkles and more than a few spectacular lightening storms off in the distance.

Paul Wolfe was kind enough to join me and call some of his friends. Paul always ran pretty good down there and this trip was no exception.he won two events and creamed the live games.

Herb Van Dyke and Mike D’Angelo were the hosts, putting together this poker party for the Casino and they did a great job of getting the word out to the Costa Ricans that the party was on. Just a few of the well know names that attended were Max and Maria Stern, Humberto and Alex Brenes, Bryan Green, Arturo Morales, Jorge Chacon, Yousef Massoudina, Jose and Jamie too.

Other notables were the crowds from the online sites, all located in Costa Rica, Terrance Chan and Thomas Koo from Stars and the boys from Paradise, Steve Morrow showed up for a day and the famous RGP contributor Razzo was there. Razzo took some great pictures that are on his website. Many of the poker playing sports book guru’s showed up as well and rounded out some very nice events.

How were the live games.well.LIVE!!!. Yes Alex Brenes had his game face on which meant the game was on, and you didn’t enter a pot unless you could stand a raise. The game was No Limit so it was always a big raise. Other games were Limit and a half & half Hold em-Omaha/8. The rake was extremely reasonable, and with free drinks, smokes, etc., It was all worth it.

I even got to play some Chinese Poker.against a real fish..only kidding Paul..LOL

The Amon Plaza is where a lot of us stayed this trip, and they built a new casino. Our Host Graham couldn’t have been any more accommodating and the rooms at the Amon are the best. There was even a new table game in the pit called Heads up Hold em. You play your hand against the house, while all play the community cards. I think I broke even overall in this game.

Costa Rica offers many side trips and great sites to see as well. There’s the rain forest, the live volcano, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and even a replica of the house Tara from Gone with the Wind.

If there was one thing I’d change it’s the smoking. Smoking is allowed in all the casinos and restaurants and I think in order for them to rebuild there American base, this will have to be changed.

This tournament was a test for them to see if us stateside players were still interested in coming there for poker trips. The answer was a resounding yes; so expect to see a revival of tournaments and poker in Costa Rica.

And when I go next time, I’ll expect you to Come and Join us..

Join the Doctor in Costa Rica!!

Many of you have never been to Costa Rica but have heard wonderful things, other have been to Costa Rica and have asked me when we’re going back.
Well I’m headed there for some poker and fun on the 21st of this month. Casino Europa at the Radisson is holding a weeks worth of small tournaments starting on the 22nd.
There will be $100.00 buy-ins and, of course the famed $10.00 multi re-buy event. Those prize pools usually got up to over $40,000.00.

Schedule of Activities

Tues., June 22 7pm $125 Tournament, one rebuy
Wed. June 23 6pm Welcome Cocktail in Card Club hosted by management
Wed., June 23 7pm $10 Tournament, unlimited rebuys
Thurs., June 24 7pm $125 Bounty Tournament, one rebuy
Fri., June 25 7pm $10 Tournament, unlimited rebuys
Sat., June 26 1pm Pot Limit and Limit Cash Games
Sun., June 27 5pm $125 Europa Card Club June Championship Yousef Massoudnia Bounty Tournament, unlimited $100 rebuys
Mon., June 28 1pm Pot Limit and Limit Cash Games
Tues., June 29 7pm $50 Tournament, 3 rebuys

All Tournaments are No Limit Texas Hold’em. Satellites to Sunday’s tournament will be run as needed. Pot Limit and Limit Cash Games are run everyday starting at 1pm. There is a special Early Bird Bonus of $25 to all players seated by 2pm during the Poker Party days.

We invite you to come to our Costa Rica Poker Party in June! Every month, the Europa Card Club will host a Costa Rica Poker Party to bring in groups of tourist players to match wits with our locals to get the best poker action. All Tournaments are No Limit Texas Hold’em. Satellites to Sunday’s tournament will be run as needed. Pot Limit and Limit Cash Games are run everyday starting at 1pm. There is a special $25 Early Bird Bonus to all players seated and playing by 2pm during the Poker Party days. On the last Sunday of every month, we have a Europa Card Club Monthly Championship Tournament.

Hotels available

Special Hotel Poker Rates
Hotel Phone RegularRates Poker Rates
Hotel Morazan 011(506)222-4622 $58 $40
Radisson Hotel 011(506)257-3257 $128 $85
Europa Hotel 011(506)222-1222 $70 $35
Royal Dutch 011(506)222-1414 $32 $25
Villa Tournon 011(506)233-6622 $65 $56
Hotel Balmoral 1(800)691-4865 $59 $50

There reason for this trip is simple.if we can prove that we want to go back to Costa Rica on a regular basis, they’ll start scheduling these tournaments again.

So even though it’s short notice.come join the doctor in Costa Rica!!!

Mega Super.Phil & Oakley & WSOP.over 1000

Yesterday we ran an unscheduled Mega Super Sat at the WSOP for seats into the main event.There was a huge crowd and we gave out 24 seats into the Main Event

This type of sat is becoming the most popular way to get into main events as evidenced by the WSOP and Bellagio championships.
Last month the $25000 dollar event at Bellagio had two of these mega supers and gave away 43 seats in the 1st one and 25 seats in the second. In fact the 1st one was so highly attended because online sites actually had tournaments that sent participants to that event.
That’s a total of 1.7 million in these sats alone.
The nights of the 19th & 20th the WSOP will run two more of these sats at 10:45 PM as part of the Late Night series.we expect well over 400 for these events and suggest if your coming down to register early.

It seems like Harrahs decided that logo’s were appearing more than they expected at the WSOP Final tables. One company had 5 players wearing gear at the Ladies event; another had models walking the aisles of the tournaments with sashes across their bodies like beauty queens. Other companies had representatives waiting to see who would make the final tables of televised events, so they could employ them for that event. Harrah’s decided to put a stop to the madness and has now prohibited these logo’s.

Phil Hellmuth made his 45th cash at yesterdays PLH event breaking the all time record of money finishes. Instead of his online affiliation hat, Phil was seen at the final table wearing a very understated O on his cap. This is from Oakely, who has an interesting deal with a few players on the tour. (details at another time). It seems that either Harrah’s didn’t realize what the O was for or that they approve of “legitimate” advertising from mainstream companies.

Last night the WSOP went over the thousand mark, ending the day with 1010 paid entries into the Main Event!

And for those of you thinking this is a young persons game you’re right and wrong!
The winner of yesterdays PLH event had the youngest ever winner of a WSOP bracelet and today’s Seniors event attracted over 500 players

WSOP Main Event Breaks Record

Last night as I was closing up shop at 5 AM after the Second Chance Tournament, I decided it was time to check the actual number of entries in the Main Event.
Ok we all knew we were blowing past last year’s record number, but I was curious as to what date that would occur. Well mark down May 14th as the lucky number. As of 5 AM this morning there were 839 paid entries and from what I understand a lot of the internet entries are still not in the system.

More records have been broken, but maybe none more important than three women winning open events here. The three are crafty veterans of the game and certainly have paid their dues to get into that final ring. Congrats to them all.

Women are now a growing part of our industry and I don’t just mean rail watchers. The smart women see this sport as an opportunity to make a name for themselves and have honed their game accordingly. I’m not sure what the percentage of women in the game was or what it is now, but expect that number to grow. That being said as corporate sponsors look at the industry, it becomes a much prettier picture and may attract that sponsor looking for a niche as they enter the poker world.

Has anyone seen the Last Guy in line?

Today in the $1500 NLHE event there were 831 entries.Has anyone seen the guy who played in the 1st big NLHE event that made the total entries 832. Once again they are paying 81 places in today’s event which makes this a much flatter payout than any of the previous year’s events. In fact this payout is the flattest of any tournament I’ve ever attended. Many players are grumbling but I think the masses are in favor of this payout structure. After all many more people are walking away saying they made the money in a WSOP event.
What’s your take on it? Post your responses in the forum section.

It is also evident that the online companies are once again using the WSOP as a forum to plug their websites. Jackets, shirts and hats abound, deals are being cut and representatives are crowding around the final 36 players as they head toward the final table.

Even the Horseshoe has gained the understanding of what TV has done to this industry, in their most recent ad in Card Player, the televised events are highlighted. This is clever marketing and shows that if you televise it, they will come!!

Late Night at the WSOP has settled into a very nice 11-13K 1st place zone. It’s a very nice zone for a $225.00 buy-in, usually paying the last 2 tables.

Scheduled for the 19th and 20th are $1045.00 buy-ins for the late night events that culminate in seats to the WSOP. This has become a very popular way to get into championship events. Expect a very big crowd, long lines and lots of seats into the Big One. I look forward to seeing all of you there

Final Table Sandwich

Just walked downstairs to see the Final Table.

This deadly foursome, who might just be the best at putting pressure on the BB & SB while in the button and cut-off, and making re-raises from the SB & BB when the cut-off & button steals..will be playing the ultimate mind game today as they go against each other
Seat 1 Mike Matusow
Seat 2 Daniel Negreanu
Seat 8 John Juanda
Seat 9 Paul Phillips

Look for them to attack all the meat in-between the to ends of the sandwich.

On another note Dan Goldman from Pokerstars won a seat to the big dance, after which he came over to me and said Warren, I have a whole new strategy for winning..really I said?…Yes, drinking during the event, it was my formula for success tonight.