Texas Hold em

More and more amateurs and previously unknown gamblers are finding their way onto the highly competitive and exciting professional poker circuit. As the popularity (and television coverage) of Texas Hold ‘Em action soars, more and more are trying to get involved in this highly fascinating and exciting game of chance.

Do you know how to Texas Hold ‘Em? Doesn’t the life of a professional gambler seem a little too fabulous to be real? Fortunately, TV audiences see mostly the ups of being a pro gambler and few of the downs. Sometimes, fortunes are not just made – but also are horribly, irretrievably lost.

And all on the turn of a single, little card. To those of us who live relatively “normal” lives, placing a thirty-five thousand dollar bet on the Super Bowl seems utterly insane. To famous professional gamblers Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu, however, it’s just another day at the office. Matter of fact, Doyle Brunson (arguably the most famous pro gambler on the circuit and the grandfather of Texas Hold ‘Em itself) forgot for a little while that friend and poker adversary Negreanu owed him that much money.

I know – it’s totally unbelievable. But then, most people don’t have a cool three million in the bank and carry a Texas Hold ‘Em bankroll of four hundred thousand with them when they go to the casino.

Professional gamblers are now associated with a very glamorous lifestyle that includes casino hopping and television appearances. Why wouldn’t us mere mortals what to cash in on the action? It’s compelling, it’s fascinating. It’s Texas Hold ‘Em.

When you know how to play Texas Hold ‘Em, you can start sharpening your skills in real-life situation. These days, there are a bevy of online casinos that you can virtually visit to play Texas Hold ‘Em with people a lot like you…in another city. That you can’t see. Whom you’ll never, ever meet. But you get the drift. Online casino and Texas Hold ‘Em sites are a great way to perfect your Hold ‘Em skills and learn how to play nicely with others.

But this is by far not the only Texas Hold ‘Em experience you ought to have if you plan on really making a go at being a professional gambler. The thing about the pro is, they play you face to face. They look you in the eye, talk back and forth, learn everything about tells and reading their opponents. If you want to compete at that level, you have to know how to do the same.

Something that can only be learned by playing with others in a casino environment. The only way to learn it is to do it, so get out there and go to the actual casino. Hold games at your place and play casually among friends. But play in a real-life situation that is not virtual, if you’re serious about playing Texas Hold ‘Em for real money.

And when you know how to Texas Hold ‘Em, there’s no telling where your skills might take you.

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WSOP Champ

Jamie Gold didn’t start out as a poker player. In fact, he started a career in the entertainment business at the tender age of 16, working as an intern for the prestigious firm of J. Michael Bloom and Associates Talent Agency in New York City.

After completing high school, Jamie attended the University of New York at Albany and graduated with honors. Afterwards, he immediately moved to LA in 1991 to study entertainment law at UCLA, and he quickly secured a job with ICM Talent Agency. He had become a full-fledged talent agent by the age of 21.

He later moved to Harter Manning Woo Talent Agency and began to develop his talent for finding young unknown artists and advancing their careers. In 1989, 1990, and 1991, he was selected as the only student teacher of The Graduate Theatre program at SUNY, Albany.

Within two years, he was the head of HMW’s Motion Picture/TV Department, and in 1994 he co-founded the management firm of Gold/Bouchard. Always looking to improve himself, Gold started a new venture in 1996 called JMG Management.

Gold’s list of current and former clients reads like a who’s who of Hollywood: Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live, Fever Pitch), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos, Get Shorty), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill), Brandy (Moesha), Donnie Wahlberg (Saw II, The Sixth Sense), Kristin Davis (Sex and the City), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Transamerica), David Straitharn (Good Night and Good Luck, LA Confidential), poker legend Johnny Chan, and many, many others.

In addition to his position as a top talent agent and producer, Gold is also a judge for several top industry awards shows such as the Cable Ace Awards, The Sundance Film Festival, and the Toronto Film Festival.

In 2005, Gold began playing in live-event poker tournaments on a regular basis. Remarkably, he won his first major No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament that same year, earning $54,225 at the Bicycle Casino. Over the next year, Gold would go on to finish in the money seven more times in California-held tournaments.

In 2006, Gold became the head of production at Buzznation and began working on several television projects (including one tentatively titled “The Unnamed Johnny Chan and Chris Moneymaker Show.” He is committed to these projects through 2008.

At the 2006 World Series of Poker main event (No Limit Texas Hold’em), Gold demonstrated solid play throughout, leading the field in chips for the last several days of the tournament. He outlasted 8,772 other players to take home a record-setting grand prize of $12,000,000. At the final table, Gold personally eliminated 7 of his 8 opponents.

Dan Nassif busted out in the first 20 minutes of play when he went all-in with an ace and king, and the flop revealed an unimpressive five, three and two. Gold, however, was holding pocket twos, giving him a three-of-a-kind.

Gold next eliminated Swedish pro Erik Friberg, when Friberg went all-in with a pair of jacks. But, as bad luck would have it, Gold had a pair queens. To make matters worse, Gold hit another queen on the river.

Richard Lee was the next to be put out by Gold, as his pocket jacks failed to overpower Gold’s pocket queens. Then it was Rhett Butler’s turn, as he went all-in with pocket fours. Gold called with a pocket king and jack, then hit another jack for the higher pair.

Michael Binger took fourth place, as Gold’s unsuited three and four turned into a straight. Next, it was tournament pro Allen Cunningham’s turn to exit, as his pocket tens failed to match Gold’s pair of jacks.

The final two competitors were Paul Wasicka and Gold. Wasicka went all-in with pocket tens, but Gold made a pair of queens on the flop and eliminated his last opponent.

As a result of this win, Gold set a record for live tournament winnings and became the first person to earn more than $10,000,000 in tournament poker. Immediately following the win, Gold picked up a phone to share the good news with his father, who could not attend due to suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Gold currently resides in Malibu, California.

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