Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fellow WSOP player murdered by wife

I was doing some research for an article I'm writing and came across this story on the Card Player website. Bill Gustafik was one of the chip leaders at my first table during the third day at the main event last summer. I remember him fondly because during a break he gave me encouragement after I had lost a big pot early in the day. Bill asked how many chips I had and told me to "hang in there," patting me on the back in the process. Poker has lost one of its true gentlemen.

Tournament Pro Bill Gustafik Found Murdered

His Wife Is Charged with His Death

Tournament poker player Bill Gustafik was found stabbed to death in his high-rise condominium Friday, and his wife, Jill Rockcastle, is the main suspect.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say they found Gustafik’s body Friday in the couple’s condo in Panorama Towers located just off the Strip in Las Vegas. Rockcastle was found unconscious in a room at a bed and breakfast in San Luis Obispo Monday.She was hospitalized in San Luis Obispo, but is now is in jail awaiting to be transfered to Nevada to face the charges of murdering her husband.

The knife that police think was used in the crime was found just outside Panorama Tower near an area where garbage is stored.

Gustafik, of San Ramon, Calif., was a chiropractor before going pro after the 2005 World Series of Poker. In an online poker player profile, Gustafik wrote: “Being a chiropractor by profession, I plan to go from cracking backs to cracking the stakes of the best pro. I plan to play all WPT and WSOP events. With my beautiful wife by my side and my 9-year-old daughter giving me tips, nothing can stop me.”

He said if there was one thing he could change about his life, it would be that “my wife would play live and not just online even though she wins.”

Gustafik has won more than $162,000 in live poker events since 2005, including a tenth-place finish at the World Poker Tour’s $10,000 Bay 101 Shooting Star event in 2006 and a 280th finish at the 2006 World Series of Poker’s main event that attracted 8,773 players.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

$10K instead of a seat?

Apparently, a Full Tilt Poker player who had won a seat in the main event received this email in the past few days:

Dear Tilter,
Congratulations on winning a seat to the WSOP main event. We have explored all of our options and given the fact that we will not be providing players third party registration, in accordance to Harrah's policy, we have decided to release the remaining $10,000 of your prize package to your account immediately so you can begin the registration process. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Team Full Tilt

So it makes me wonder if all online sites running WSOP qualifiers will be just depositing that money into player accounts and pretty much give them free reign with that money. Honestly, as much as I want a second chance at that sucker (yes, I still have the occasional nightmare about the KK vs. AA) at this point in my life I'd rather have the $10,000 in my bank account.

Amy and I want to go here on our honeymoon:

But that may not be possible without a nice poker score.

My last few months

I don't remember where I found this, but I thought it was pretty funny:

The 4 stages of a poker blogger

Stage 1: Here is my blog. I've just learned how to play poker and I'm going to impart my knowledge to you as I learn. "It's so much fun telling everyone how much I know about poker".

Stage 2: This is easy. I'm winning xxbb/100 hands. I'll be quitting my job next week to go "pro". Here's some blogging about how much money I'm pissing away, just because I can. I'm like a trust fund baby only I'm earning my money playing poker.

Stage 3: Man, I've been running bad. I just lost more money this week than I used to make in a year. Oh well, things will turn around. These people I'm losing to are horrible. They just outdraw me on the river everytime. I don't mind losing to idiots cause i know in the long run, i will win.

Stage 4: Most recent post was 6 months ago.

Hey, that sounds like me!

When last I posted about my own poker exploits, I was in Tunica living it up on the circuit again. I essentially broke even for the week up there (yes, I speak the truth -- I think I lost $50 for the trip, which is miniscule in this crazy poker world).

A brief bad beat story -- I played in the first $500 NLHE at the WSOP circuit event at the Grand and was in the money. We were down to about 55 players and I had just won a pot and was up to about $30K in chips I believe, which was above average. The blinds were $600 and $1,200. An early position raiser made it $3,000. I looked down at QQ in the small blind and made it $8,000. The raiser just called so I put him on A-K. I was going to push on a non-ace flop for my last $20K. The door card was an ace. My heart momentarily sank until I saw the second card -- a queen! I decided to push anyway, hoping he would call with A-K. He called immediately and I happily tabled my pocket queens. My smile quickly turned upside down when he flipped over pocket rockets.

OK, so it was more of a cold deck story than a bad beat, but hey, that's how bad I roll. Still got $850 or so, but I just can't seem to catch the big break.

I played very little poker for the next two months following that, but with a wedding and honeymoon on the way, I decided I needed to start earning money again so I got back at it. March was a good month (nearly +$3K in still relatively limited action), but I'm not making much hay in April.

I'm looking for jobs again, of course. I didn't go to grad school for nothing. I am still hoping to make it back to Vegas for part of the WSOP this summer, but I'll probably only go if I win a seat to the main event online and if I don't get a job before then. Amy's not too happy about the idea of me missing her birthday on July 8, but she said I can go if I get her a really, really, really good present.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Speaking of burning questions...

Thanks to my man Gary Wise at Wise Hand Poker, I now have a gig writing an article for the back page of the official WSOP program. I'm supposed to propose and answer five burning questions about the WSOP.

Here are some quick ones Gary Wise and I came up with the other day:

Will a woman ever win the main event?
Will a main event champion ever repeat again?
Will someone break Phil Hellmuth's record as the youngest winner of the main event?
Who will get their 11th bracelet first?

Can you guys and gals think of some other good ones?

RGP discussion of Rounders

Love it or hate it, Rounders seems to be THE movie that recent poker junkies love to cite on a regular basis. (The Cincinnati Kid is a much better movie, but a much smaller segment of the poker loving population has seen it.)

I logged onto RGP today and saw a rather funny discussion of the movie. Here are some of the burning questions proposed by poster SoBoDo:

While we are on the topic, I have some questions too:

- What was the oreo cookie actually saying to Teddy? I have played those scenes over and over, with the volume as loud as I could get it, and I still don't hear what the cookie is saying.

- If Mike McD had gotten Christy Turlington to give Knish a blowjob, would Knish have then given Mike McD the money?

- When Mike McD lost the big hand to Teddy, he had the second nuts ... the only hand that beats him is AA. Teddy also had the second nuts ... the only hand that beats him is 99. They both play the second nuts the same ... went all in hoping they weren't up against the nuts. Why is Teddy given credit for being smarter than Mike McD?

- How did grandma get the nick name grandma?

- Wouldn't Edward Norton make a great Daniel Negreanu in a poker movie movie? The fat guy in the movie Roadhouse could play Todd Brunson. Dennis Quaid could play Ted Forrest.

And ContactGSW had this to say:

Who the fuck cares? Everybody vilifies cheaters but they cum all over themselves about this movie, both characters are cheating smegmatics pos's. The movie gets stupider every time I watch it, which is about 50 times now, I'm really starting to hate it.

...which kind of begs the question why he has watched it 50 times.