SAM FARHA : Poker Documentary
Matt Berkey, left, listens in.
One Friday this past December, behind the glass doors of a studio inside the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens, a well-mannered but strategically disruptive professional gambler named Matt Berkey reached for a pouch beneath his seat at the poker table.
High-stakes players harbor a curious relationship with money.
Those who excel at accumulating it often become inured to its significance.
Berkey wore an aloof expression as he upended the bag.
The additional investment high stakes poker stories an immediate reaction.
The lineup needed to be juicy enough to entice risk-adverse professional high stakes poker stories and collegial enough to bring in deep-pocketed amateurs.
The game had nearly collapsed earlier in the week, after three players dropped out and replacements were high stakes poker stories to find.
Almost all the advertising for the show arose from word of mouth, and Feldman spent nearly two years trying to hustle advertising.
The credibility of the brand depended on his ability to deliver.
He does it because he loves poker.
He muted his microphone and rose from his chair.
He walked to a black lockbox, where phones are stored to protect the integrity of the game.
Live at the Bike launched in 2005 while the initial wave of the poker boom was cresting.
But they were also far removed from the average cash game at a casino, where players can buy back in if they lose their money, or walk away whenever.
But the majority of the eyeballs come from livestreams through YouTube and Twitch.
As viewers flock to streaming services, poker has become more prevalent on the platform.
PokerGo simulcasts with the World Series of Poker during the summer.
Feldman grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, went to college at Temple University and joined ESPN as a researcher.
He spent his down time at a nearby casino.
After a couple years, he felt burned out with his job and drawn to the felt.
But his primary responsibility is setting them up.
And he has been able to do it since day one.
There was one hurdle.
Otherwise, sharks will hunt elsewhere.
The glamour of poker has faded, the unpredictability of play has stabilized as pros become more technically proficient and the riches at stake have decreased.
The environment has gotten tougher for several reasons, players said.
The banning of online poker in the United States in 2011 limited the money flowing into games.
The emergence of new markets such as Macau redirected some players.
The number of unregulated, private games played outside casinos has proliferated.
A major tournament in Las Vegas that week complicated matters.
Like who can we get?
A lifeline emerged in the form of Berkey, a former college baseball player with a degree in computer science.
Berkey had distinguished himself with his tolerance for perilous stakes, his flair for debonair fashion and his knack for audacity on the felt.
He considered his style a gateway into lucrative situations.
At 36, he would be one of the older players in the lineup.
The eldest member of the group was Vertucci, a 52-year-old who operates a real estate academy in Santa Ana.
He started playing on the show in 2017, thrilled by the competition visit web page hungry to improve.
But he felt he had sharpened his game through experience and study.
The stream was supposed to begin at noon but Vertucci and others got caught in traffic.
As players straggled into the studio, Feldman cracked that he should high stakes poker stories told everyone the game began two hours earlier.
About 20 minutes past 12 p.
Then he snapped a picture of the scene.
Berkey wielded a mediocre Jack-seven of spades.
The early play had been tentative, but the game was heating up.
Berkey could have called, searching for a 10 to complete his straight draw.
Vertucci stayed steely as he made the call, but the momentum of the hand had shifted toward Berkey.
A little while earlier, Berkey had jammed all-in on the river against Adelstein.
He held a full house, but Adelstein managed to fold three 10s.
Now Berkey was preparing to make a similar play as a bluff.
Vertucci studied the board before dropping a pair of lavender chips into the middle.
At his monitor, Curran shook his head.
The river brought the king of clubs, a relatively inconsequential card.
He could not beat pocket eights, pocket sixes or any combination featuring a nine.
And with all of those hands, Berkey would do exactly what he did next.
Vertucci rolled his eyes, looked away from the table and swallowed.
He glared at Berkey.
Down the see more, Curran and Arakaki shouted into a void.
One camera trained on High stakes poker stories, who looked stricken.
The other caught Berkey, who looked like he might be asleep.
When Adelstein started talking across the table, Vertucci asked for quiet.
The silence did not help.
He knew Berkey might have nothing.
He viewed his decision as a coin flip.
After more than three minutes, Vertucci flung his cards into the middle.
Feldman settled into a plate of chicken wings, prosciutto and cucumbers.
The record was broken in high stakes poker stories seventh hour.
Berkey and Adelstein spent the next few hours cracking heads in pursuit of it, as viewership passed 8,000.
Arakaki and Curran had already finished for the evening.
Feldman silenced his microphone and checked Twitter.
This first night paved the way.
Feldman juggled a pair of green smoothies and some chips as he left his chair, tournament schedule poker phoenix off the lights in the control room and snaked through an employees-only hallway toward the casino.
Friday had become Saturday.
The show was over.
The game was still going.
Twitter: Andy McCullough was the national baseball writer at the Los Angeles Times until July 2019; he covered the Dodgers from 2016 to 2018.
His work has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors for beat writing, explanatory reporting, feature writing and game stories.
Prior to joining The Times, he covered baseball at the Kansas City Star and the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.
A graduate of Syracuse University, he grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
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