How Much Money Do Top Players Actually Have?
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Everyone loves to count other people’s money. It is bad taste, but that is human nature. Poker is all about money, after all, so little wonder. Let us cut to the case. Do you want to know what bankrolls the world’s top live and online players command? Do you want to know how much they make a year? We will use the help of Douglas Polk, one of the world’s top online high rollers.

This is by far not the first time we have talked about the earnings of MTT and cash players. We have tried to figure out if it is hard being a tournament player, compared potential profits in the two disciplines, and once even tried to find out who won the more money in a given year, live or online high rollers.

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Disastrous PCA 2017
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There were only four buy-ins in $25,000 PLO at the first historical stage of PokerStars Championship Bahamas. It would be an understatement to say that this is a failure. Main event had 738 buy-ins, while there were 928 registrations the previous time. This all happened even now when he buy-in became lower (for mere $300).

The big experiment of transformation of European Poker Tour and many other local tournament branches into two formats – Championships and Festivals – doesn’t show the best of results yet.

It all started rather good. There were plenty of super highrollers in $100,000 Super High Roller (54 against 58 buy-ins last year) but then they’ve realized that something went wrong.

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Alexander Kostritsyn
Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn – Best Online Player of 2016
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During the previous year, Russian high roller Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn earned about $1.5 million and was the only one to show a seven-digit result in the positive range. All this became known through HighStakesDB that opened for public access the previously closed accounts of most of online high rollers.

It stands to mention the significant decline in activity at the highest stakes. At the moment, online high rollers can only play on PokerStars at very castrated stakes (as compared with the old Full Tilt), and the field itself has tightened significantly while big fishes now deserve to be listed in a database of rare species.

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Why you are still stuck at lower stakes?
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You are a brainy guy, or so it seems, you know something about the game and even able to learn others some moves – but yet you are still playing at low stakes. Why? Why do we like to stand still while we can see the clear path? The reasons vary, but in most cases the problem is within ourselves.

Is it a common thing for you to see other people’s mistakes clearly and even predict something (in most cases relevant things), you are able to analyze hands but when you sit at the table, you start to lose it. You call when you know you’re behind and push when you don’t have fold equity.

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New Russia’s casino opens in Sochi
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Today the first casino opens in Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone “Sochi Casino and Resort”. This is a huge entertainment complex in “Gorki Gorod” with restaurants, boutiques, conference-halls and a bar. The casino will have 569 slots, 70 gaming tables and – what’s the most important – poker club “SOCHI” for ten tables. 

It holds a major stage of EAPT series with $500,000 guaranteed prize fund under the management of Artur Voskanian in January.

The official opening of the complex is scheduled on January, 5th though it will operate in New Year and throughout the end of December 2016. It turns out that the first casino here starts operating not later than six months after the decree of making a new gambling zone by the government of Russian Federation.

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Leon Tsoukernik: “I am the only pro player at the table”
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Leon Tsoukernik, the owner of the biggest poker club in Europe – King’s Casino – has recently won the stage of EPT Prague Super High Roller and received €741,100 in prize money. Basically, it was the first win of the Czech entrepreneur on the international arena. Though he often tries his luck in big events.

The story of Leon is amazing. He started out as antique seller back in 90s, he and his partners opened several stores in different corners of the planet. Sometime later, in the beginning of 2000s he got an idea to open his own casino. And he did just that. As a great fan of poker, he started to put emphasis on his favorite card game in the end of 2000s, promoting King’s Casino as poker venue for all the players.

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Zeus Poker Club in Minsk: new place, new name and cash festival in January
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On the first day of December 2016 one of the best poker clubs of Belarus changed its name to Zett and now it is situated almost in the center of the capital in entertainment complex “Belaya Vezha”. In January 2017, the renovated club will host cash festival within Belarus Poker Tour

For some weird reason, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the new name of the club “Zeus” is cult scene from “Pulp Fiction”:

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Alibaba launches poker series in China
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The famous online commerce giant – Chinese corporation Alibaba (which, by the way, owns the popular on CIS territory web site Aliexpress), organizes its own poker tour with total prize fund of $7 million! The next stage is scheduled in Shanghai with no particular date disclosed yet.

We wrote about poker in China in September: payouts in iPhones and cash games being restricted so one could get in jail for participating in them; we also wrote of official tournaments there.

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Poker advice for the beginner live poker players
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Even experienced players don’t play in optimal play all the time. In a sense they make rude mistakes and don’t use all the information in their possession. We don’t even speak of the newbies who’ve just sat at their first playing table. Their eyes sparkle and their mind generates difficult bluffs, hands are shaking and soul sings.

We’ve already written of poker etiquette and how to define opponents who are afraid of losing money. This article is a little bit different. This is not a set of recommendation for the beginners of games in any live poker facility. Be prepared to everything from Day 1 and learn on your mistakes.

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Where is Tom Dwan?
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Tom Dwan should teach basics of marketing and branding. Why? Because he does it better than anything. How many years has passed since he disappeared without a trace? 4 or 5? And people still remember him, still express interest in him, build some theories: “He was enslaved by triadas”, “lost his bankroll”, “lost $30 million in one hand” e. t. c.

So what does Tom Dwan do now? Does he still play poker? Is his body in a gutter?

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