PokerUpdate app feed. 3071 Fabian Ortiz Wins in Panama to Capture His Second LAPT Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen the final table of the LAPT7 Panama Main Event started, all players were naturally looking for the win. But for one player, the victory held even bigger significance. It was <strong>Fabian Ortiz </strong>who was looking to capture his second LAPT title, the first one coming in 2009 in Vina del Mar, Chile.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz started the day as the chip leader, although both second place <strong>Hugo Suarez </strong>and third place <strong>Nick Russo </strong>were not that far behind. Although he had the required experience, Ortiz did not have an easy road ahead of him due to added pressure and the top three stacks being so close together.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The journey began last night with seven players standing between him and the coveted title. The first player to leave the house was <strong>Hugo Laimer </strong>of Malta. He started the day as one of the shortest stacks and could never get things going.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon after his departure, the entire table went into berserk mode and saw four eliminations in the span of just a few minutes. First, a huge three-way hand came about between chip leader Ortiz, <strong>Antonio Hogaza</strong>, and <strong>Javier Rios</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The three went to the flop of #3h#7c#ad. Ortiz continued his preflop aggression postflop, but was once again called in two spots. The turn brought #ah and as Hogaza checked again, Ortiz bet out a hefty sum. Rios made the call and Hogaza moved all-in. Ortiz moved in over the top and Rios was forced to let go of his hand. Hogaza turned over Ace-King but quickly got the bad news when Fabian revealed a set of Aces that had Hogaza drawing dead and leaving the table in seventh place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although Rios was able to dodge a bullet in that hand, he did not last long. After losing some more chips, he finally moved in with #8c#6c but had the bad luck to run into <strong>Guillermo Olvera</strong>’s pocket Eights. That was it for Rios, as he was sent to the rail in sixth place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz took out another player as he claimed the very short stack of Suarez despite his #ac#8c being dominated by Suarez’ #ah#qs. A fifth place finish earned Suarez a nice payday of $43,580. Not long after, <strong>Nick Russo </strong>moved all-in and he would also fall victim to Ortiz, who was simply on fire. Russo's #kd#2c was in horrible shape looking at the pocket Aces of Ortiz. Russo had to settle for a fourth place finish and a prize of $55,560.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Standing between Ortiz and a heads-up match for his second LAPT Main Event title was <strong>Alexander Huber</strong>, who managed to hold onto his short stack for some time. When push came to shove, Huber jammed in his stack with Ace-Seven, but like tablemates before him, he was dominated by Ortiz. Huber's Panama adventure was good for $71,280.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz started heads-up play with about a 4-1 chip advantage, but Olvera<strong> </strong>was able to double up and close the gap somewhat. At this point the players struck a deal and split most of the money, leaving $15,000 to play for. Although Ortiz was able to eliminate most of his competition in quick fashion, Olvera proved to be a tough cookie by doubling up several times. This tournament simply had Fabian’s name written all over it and he was finally able to take down Olvera’s defenses with #kc#7h despite being dominated by Guillermo’s #ad#7d. A King fell on the turn to seal the deal, rewarding Olvera’s valiant effort with a runner-up finish and $114,115.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz<strong> </strong>managed to capture a second coveted LAPT title and he did it in style, eliminating most of the final table on his own. Aside from the all-important championship, he also earned just shy of $144,000 for his great and memorable performance in Panama.</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:13:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3070 Online Gambling Bill Proposed in Philippines <p><span class="letter-big">C</span>oncerned that minors may be finding their way to online gambling websites, a lawmaker in the <strong>Philippines</strong> has proposed igaming regulations that would levy stiff fines against those found to be permitting the underaged to gain access to such sites.</p> <p><strong>Rep. Samuel Pagdilao</strong>, an Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) member, has introduced the measure in the House of Representatives. His proposal calls for a five to 10-year jail term or fines of up to 10 million pesos ($230,000) for licensees who knowingly allow those underaged to gamble online.</p> <p>Under the plan, Bill 4540, operators within the Philippine islands intent on offering online gambling would need to be licensed through the <strong>Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)</strong>. That agency would assume control of regulation, the Philippine Star reported.</p> <p>Made up of roughly 7,100 islands, the Philippines is dotted with an extraordinarily large number of Internet cafes that are quite popular among children. While some of the gaming offered is of the non-gambling variety, there are currently no safeguards or penalties in place to prevent cafe operators from restricting those under the age of 18 from accessing online gambling websites.</p> <p>Presumably, the proposal drawn up by Pagdilao would hold the cafe operators who permit underaged patrons to log onto the Internet gambling sites responsible.</p> <p>The Philippines boasts 100 million citizens, having reached that population milestone over the weekend with the birth of a baby girl named Chonalyn in <strong>Manila</strong>. One of the fastest growing countries in Asia, the Philippines now ranks as the 12th most populous country.</p> <p>In November, <strong>Typhoon Haiyan</strong> wreaked havoc on much of the Philippines, causing extensive damage in a number of regions. The online poker community showed their charitable side by donating $560,078 toward relief efforts, the PokerStars blog reported. Parent company Rational Group matched the $280,039 that poker players donated from their own bankrolls.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:57:21 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3069 Poker Site Deemed Legal <p>The Iipay tribe of Santa Ysabel, <strong>California</strong> have come under a lot of scrutiny in the past week or so following the launch of the first online poker room exclusive to residents of California.</p> <p>Despite the large debates surrounding the launch of <strong></strong>, the site has been backed by several leading legal gambling authorities who believe that the site is operating completely within state law. Comments from attorney <strong>Martin Owens</strong> suggest that the site has done nothing to breach gambling laws and marks a step forward into bringing in some regulated gambling practices across the state.</p> <p>California has long been targeted as a key state for the online poker industry, but efforts have long been hampered by many Native American casinos that have been reluctant to accept it as part of the gambling industry. However, the arrival of has marked a significant shift towards embracing online poker, with Owens highlighting that there is nothing wrong with the Santa Ysabel nation's new venture.</p> <p>The issues were swept aside by Owens, who made a statement declaring that <em>“If an Indian tribe has land of its own and wants to offer Class 2 gambling, they don’t have to consult state law at all.”</em> A Class 2 license allows native tribes to operate basic gambling services such as poker on their lands and the Santa Ysabel nation currently holds a Class 3 license, giving them full rights to operate banked gaming services.</p> <p>So if the tribes are fully qualified to host services such as online poker, why has the launch of caused so much discussion across California? Well, it seems that the answer could come down to competition and money, with many different casinos and operators all trying to get a foothold in a potentially lucrative area.</p> <p>After all, there are at least 110 different Native American tribes who hold federal gambling licenses while there are about 90 businesses across the state that rely on the industry for much of their income. Owens believes that the fierce nature of this competition has led to businesses attempting to undermine any opposition in any way possible to minimise the effect on their overall profits.</p> <p><em>"There are some really deep-seated rivalries,"</em> Owens said. <em>"There are too many people whose main interest is making sure that someone else doesn’t get a chance.”</em></p> <p>With that in mind, it's not too surprising to see other competitors questioning the legality of new sites such as However, the furor isn’t going to be enough to stop groups such as the Santa Ysabel Nation from trying new methods to crack such a lucrative industry, especially if they conform to all local laws and legislations.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:49:35 +0000 Poker Update 3068 Poll Finds South Carolina Voters Opposed to Online Gambling <p>A recent survey taken of 1,000 <em>"likely voters"</em> in <strong>South Carolina</strong> found that <em>68%</em> oppose the legalization of online gambling.</p> <p>The Palmetto Politics poll commissioned by the Post and Courier further revealed that <em>17%</em> support Internet gambling regulation while <em>15%</em> remained undecided. The results are not at all surprising considering the conservative leanings typically found among South Carolina residents.</p> <p><blockquote>Gambling doesn't sit well with a large percentage of the people in South Carolina for moral and religious reasons," said Gibbs Knotts, a political science professor at the College of Charleston.</blockquote></p> <p>As with the large majority of surveys of this nature, results must be analyzed with an eye toward the phrasing in which the questions are asked. The South Carolina voters were queried in seemingly straightforward fashion with <em>"Do you support or oppose legalizing online gambling?"</em></p> <p>However, results of the survey may have been somewhat different had those polled also been told that online gambling revenue could benefit the state in other ways such as earmarking some of the proceeds toward education programs. Also, dedicating some of the igaming revenue toward maintenance or tax relief efforts may also sway some South Carolina residents among the apparent majority who voted in opposition.</p> <p>The state's Department of Transportation has estimated that more than <em>$20 billion</em> may be required in order to repair deteriorating highways and bridges, previously reported. South Carolina officials are looking at ways to raise the funds needed for the project and gambling expansion, both land-based and online, has been mentioned as a possible option.</p> <p>There are a number of states that are viewed as unlikely candidates to be joining <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> in approving regulated online gambling. South Carolina does appear to be one such state unless voters eventually decide that the state's revenue shortcomings could perhaps be offset by permitting online poker and gambling.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:43:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3067 LAPT7 Panama: Fabian Ortiz Leads Final Table <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he final table is now set for the LAPT Main Event in Panama. The field of 550 entries dwindled down to just eight remaining players, all in the hunt for the title and the first place prize of $158,485. The man currently looking the best to achieve this feat is <strong>Fabian Ortiz</strong>, who bagged slightly over two million in chips and is coming back as the chip leader. Ortiz, in fact, is chasing his second LAPT title after a victory in Chile back in ’09.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Hugo Suarez </strong>and <strong>Nick Russo </strong>will be starting tonight second and third in chips and both of them could easily turn the tables on Ortiz as their stacks are over 1.9 million. The official short stack belongs to Mexican <strong>Antonio Hogaza</strong>, who bagged just shy of 500,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As 47 players returned to play yesterday, it took over ten hours before the eight-handed final table was reached. No one seemed eager to bust so close to reaching the final table, so it naturally took some time. But sure enough, one by one, players were sent to the rail. The only remaining PokerStars Pro in the field, <strong>Leo Fernandez</strong>, was eliminated in 35<sup>th</sup>, followed by <strong>Carter Gill </strong>in 31<sup>st</sup>, former LAPT winner <strong>Alex Manzano </strong>in 20<sup>th</sup>, as well as the chip leader to start the day, <strong>Derek Ecenarro</strong>, in 12<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When players finally merged into a single nine-handed table and it was just one more player to go before calling it a night and forming the official final table of eight, play really tightened up. In fact, it took nearly three hours to lose the ninth place finisher.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was the eventual chip leader, Ortiz, who made the best use of those three hours. He started nine-handed play as the short stack. Ortiz slowly built up that stack, punctuated by knocking out <strong>Ariel Scarparro </strong>in ninth place while holding #8h#8s. Scarparro had #as#10h and was racing for his tournament life, but he couldn’t get across the finish line. The pocket pair of Ortiz held up, sending Scarparro to the rail as the final table bubble – a finish worth just a couple dollars shy of $14,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So tonight, Ortiz is going in with everything he could possibly need for the win. He’s got a previous title, experience, the chip lead, and momentum on his side. All he needs is a bit of luck for his hands to hold up and he’ll be home free. Not that everyone else will be disinterested bystanders, of course. It may well be a dream of Ortiz to capture a second LAPT title, but every single player at the table will be trying their hardest to crush that dream.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whose dream will come true? Who will walk away disappointed? We will find out soon enough, as the final table starts in a couple of hours and the name of the champion will be revealed!</p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:04:36 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3066 Lock Poker Rep Promises Payment <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>n a Saturday afternoon with some free time on my hands, I decided to see if I could get some answers from <strong>Lock Poker</strong> regarding the almost <em>$1 million</em> owed to players.</p> <p>As most are aware, 2 + 2 poster <strong>'IHasTehNutz'</strong> has dutifully compiled a list of 392 players who are owed <em>$978,228.69</em> from Lock, with most having waited over a year for their money. The delay in payment prompted the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> to get involved some three months ago by sending a letter to Lock representatives in hopes of establishing a dialogue and getting player funds returned.</p> <p>Lock has apparently remained mum on the PPA request, not at all surprising to the players who have been trying for months to get truthful answers from Lock by various means. Answers have come in the form of promises of payment, yet the almost 400 players waiting for funds can attest to the fact that the promises have come up empty.</p> <p>Although I have no money on Lock, (mine is tied up at <strong>Absolute Poker</strong>) I hoped to get some answers for those that do and felt the best way would be as a prospective depositor. Of course, I have no plans to actually make a deposit at Lock, as getting burned by AP is quite enough for me.</p> <p>Anyway, I managed to get through to<strong> 'Mary'</strong> at Lock customer support and informed her that I would like to deposit. I expressed concern that payment may be slow according to what I had heard and was told that <em>"cashouts are processed within 8-10 weeks."</em></p> <p>I then stated that I was aware that some players had been subjected to a year-long wait on their withdrawal requests, to which Mary informed me that <em>"our main focus at present is withdrawals and you will notice changes for the better in the upcoming weeks."</em> I attempted to confirm that payment will be forthcoming for those waiting and was told that, <em>"yes all withdrawals will be honored."</em></p> <p>Mary then abruptly chose to end our conversation before I could make further inquiries regarding matters such as the unanswered letter sent by the PPA. The promises that I received from Mary are apparently the same sort that countless others who have inquired as of late have heard. A sampling from 2 + 2 poster <strong>'bales'</strong> from a few days ago:</p> <p><blockquote>I had a chat recently with dear old 'Mary',whoever the f she is, anyway, she fed me a new line of BS when I asked 'when will I get my money?' Her response was 'you are near the end of the 2nd of 3 stages' that's the first reference anyone (Shane, Mary, etc.) has made about any stage shet in the last 11 months that I've now been waiting."</blockquote></p> <p>The promises of payment continue, with various plans of action mentioned, yet players owed nearly <em>$1 million</em> continue to wait for funds that many have written off as a lost cause. Meanwhile, it's apparently business as usual at Lock where the site home page continues promoting the benefits of playing there.</p> <p>Ironically enough, one of the features promoted at Lock is a <em>"Vault"</em> where players will find added protection for their funds. Per the Lock website:</p> <p><blockquote>Keep your bankroll safe and secure in your Vault. Protected with an additional PIN and security question, the Vault adds an additional layer of security to protect your money."</blockquote></p> <p>Considering the documented amount of money owed to players and the time that has elapsed without payment, this Lock feature is laughable. But it is certainly not funny to the players who are waiting for funds.</p> <p>It is obvious that the only individuals who have access to the Lock vault are the owners who continue to make promises of payment that go unfulfilled. It is important to stress that any new players who are considering depositing on Lock must be made aware that it is a terrible idea to do so at this time. Just ask almost 400 players who haven't been paid.</p> <p>For those who are interested, here is my chat with Mary:</p> <p>info - Please wait while we connect you to a support representative.</p> <p>info - You are now chatting with 'Mary'</p> <p>you - Hi Mary</p> <p>Mary - how can I help today?</p> <p>you - im interested in the deposit bonus offered</p> <p>you - how long do i have to clear the funds</p> <p>you - clear the bonus i shud say</p> <p>Mary - Please provide us with your email address so we can bring up your account.</p> <p>you - i dont have an account yet. but im thinking of depositing</p> <p>you - but i had some questions first</p> <p>Mary - go here to view the promos:</p> <p>Mary -</p> <p>you - ok thanks.</p> <p>Mary - and for casino go here:</p> <p>you - but ive also heard that payout have been slow. can i expect quick cashouts if i win?</p> <p>Mary -</p> <p>Mary - cashouts are processed within 8-10 weeks</p> <p>you - ok, great!</p> <p>you - but i read somewhere that players have been waiting like a year for payouts</p> <p>Mary - our main focus at present is withdrawals and you will notice changes for the better in the upcoming weeks</p> <p>you - ah ok. so the players who are owed money will be receiving it soon?</p> <p>Mary - yes all withdrawals will be honored</p> <p>Mary - have a great day</p> <p>you - thanks mary</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:50:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3065 Nevada Online Poker Revenue Reaches New High in June <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile most of the monthly online poker revenue reports from the three regulated states tend to often be disappointing, <strong>Nevada</strong> managed to buck the trend in June by reporting its highest take since launching 15 months ago.</p> <p>Figures released by the <strong>Nevada Gaming Commission</strong> show that Internet Poker revenue from <strong></strong>, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> and <strong>Real Gaming</strong> collectively totaled <em>$1,037,000</em>. That's up from <em>$862,000</em> in May and marks the first time that the $1 million mark has been eclipsed.</p> <p>Action at the Silver State's regulated online poker tables was buoyed by the running of the <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> from late May to mid-July. The prestigious festival was held for a 45th consecutive year, attracting both pros and amateur poker players the world over.</p> <p>Those players were logging on and competing online when not navigating live tournament fields in more than five dozen scheduled events during the six-week festival. PokerScout reported huge online player traffic increases during June at, which resulted in the record-setting revenue totals.</p> <p>Now that the WSOP has ended until November when the final tablists of the Main Event are set to play for a <em>$10 million</em> first place prize, monthly online poker revenue numbers in Nevada will undoubtedly return to pre-WSOP levels. However, state officials remain excited about the upcoming launch of the first interstate compact that was brokered with <strong>Delaware</strong> in February.</p> <p>Nevada made history with the first regulated ipoker launch in September 2013 and will do so once again by sharing online poker player pools with Delaware. A firm roll out date has yet to be announced, but hopes are that the pair of states will be ready sometime this year.</p> <p>Given the rather small populations of both states, the immediate effect of increased liquidity will not be very substantial. But the idea is to welcome larger states that eventually approve online poker regulation in the future, thereby creating a viable Internet poker scheme that extends beyond individual state borders.</p> <p><em>“In the future, multi-state poker compacts could be a more impactful revenue event given a larger base of players, and due to the liquidity dynamic,”</em> gaming analyst Robert Shore told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:16:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3064 PokerStars to Set the Bar High in New Jersey <p>The suitability of <strong>PokerStars</strong> to receive an online gambling license in <strong>New Jersey</strong> under its new ownership via <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong> remains under review by state regulators, with approval expected in due course.</p> <p>With that approval will naturally come a completely different online gambling environment in the Garden State, one that will require the state's current gaming operators to improve in order to keep up with the industry giant. One of the areas of improvement will likely be in marketing, an arena in which many believe the current crop of New Jersey gambling sites have fallen short.</p> <p>Criticism of the marketing efforts of New Jersey gaming sites have come from many different directions that include the media, legislators, and even site operators who have admitted their shortcomings in promoting the newly-regulated industry. New Jersey <strong>State Sen. Raymond Lesniak</strong>, who was responsible for lighting the torch that brought online gambling to the state, told the Wall Street Journal a short time ago that the casinos have done a poor job of reaching the right audience.</p> <p>The arrival of PokerStars is likely to change all that. Quite adept at both attracting and retaining a solid customer base, PokerStars knows the players it wants to reach and there is every reason to believe that that knowledge and ability will be put to use once the red carpet is rolled out by the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement </strong>(DGE).</p> <p>It has been plain for all to see that PokerStars does a great job of appealing to hardcore online poker grinders with a player loyalty program that rewards the multi-tabling crowd more than satisfactorily. Recreational players have not been left out either, enticed by periodic milestone hand promotions that boost player traffic numbers substantially.</p> <p>While we can likely expect more of the same once PokerStars arrives in New Jersey, perhaps of greater importance is getting the word out that players can legally gamble online. Believe it or not, there are some state residents who have yet to be made aware of that fact.</p> <p>The name recognition that PokerStars brings, along with an anticipated marketing push to herald its entry into the market, will probably do more to spread the word than the companies who launched eight months ago have done up until now. That's not to say that the likes of <strong></strong>, <strong>Caesars</strong>, <strong>888</strong>, and <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> have necessarily failed. It's just that PokerStars has shown the ability to elevate its game to a new level and expectations are that the same high standards will be brought to the table in New Jersey.</p> <p>The other aforementioned companies who got a head start by launching in November reportedly curbed marketing spend to some degree after PokerStars' application to offer online gambling in New Jersey was suspended by DGE regulators in December. Apparently, the thinking was that with PokerStars out of the picture, marketing budgets could safely be reduced.</p> <p>Well, PokerStars is back in the picture and those budgets will need to be increased in order to play the game. While some of the other companies may continue to cry foul that the alleged <em>"bad actor"</em> is allowed in, a dose of reality suggests that the entire New Jersey market will be changed for the better. That improvement includes the other gaming operators as well, as long as they strive to aim as high as PokerStars.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:05:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3063 LAPT Panama: 179 Returning for Day 2 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter the first flight of LAPT Panama saw a turnout of 174 entries, that number more than doubled yesterday when a total of 367 players bought in. The 58 survivors from Day 1A will combine with 121 still standing after Day 1B, leaving a <strong>total of 179 players</strong> to take their seats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The man returning with the overall chip lead is Columbia’s<strong> Farid Jattin</strong>, who ended the night with a stack of 183,400. Jattin took over the lead from Day 1A leader <strong>Gullermo Olvera</strong>. Another player who was able to pass Olvera was Brazilian <strong>Rubens Bontempo</strong>, bagging 151,600.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As expected, Day 1B saw quite a few repeat performers who were eliminated during the first flight. That’s the biggest reason why the field for the second starting flight was so much bigger than Day 1A. That and the natural tendency of players to play the last of the first flights as often as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the notables in the field included a few members of Team PokerStars. <strong>Leo Fernandez </strong>and <strong>Humberto Brenes</strong> both made it through to Day 2. Although Brenes was eliminated on Day 1A, he was back for more with better luck the second time around. <strong>Andre Akkari</strong>, another PokerStars-sponsored pro, failed to move forward and his Panama Main Event experience is over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two more names that rang the proverbial bell were <strong>Scott Montgomery </strong>and <strong>Badih ‘Bob’ Bounahra</strong>, both former members of the WSOP November Nine. Montgomery, who was in fact a part of the original November Nine back in ’08, was able to finish strong yesterday and bagged around 110,000. Bounahra, who made it to the WSOP Main Event final table in November of 2011, had worse luck and was eliminated shortly after the dinner break. Like Bounahra, <strong>Johann Ibanez </strong>and <strong>Bruno Kawuti </strong>had their hopes of deep runs crushed as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Remaining players will be taking their seats later today and the option for second and third chances will no longer be available. The tournament is now in the knockout phase and today it should play through the bubble. The field should whittle down significantly in preparation for the big final table taking place on Sunday. Joining the Day 1A survivors in that final table quest will be the likes of <strong>Victor Sbrissa </strong>and <strong>Nicolau Villa-Lobos</strong>, so we should be all set for an entertaining end game!</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:26:01 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3062 New Jersey Lawmakers Request Reprieve on Casino Closures <p>Expressing concern for soon-to-be unemployed casino workers and the resultant effect on the state's economy, <strong>New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan</strong> and two colleagues have requested that the <strong>Casino Control Commission</strong> delay the shutdowns of two casinos.</p> <p>Whelan, along with <strong>Assemblymen Chris Brown and Vince Mazzeo</strong>, wrote the commission a letter and asked for a reprieve regarding the scheduled Aug. 31 closing of the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong>, as well as the shutdown of <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> on Sept. 16, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The lawmakers asked for a four-month delay, but will likely take whatever they can get in an effort to keep thousands of workers drawing paychecks for as long as possible.</p> <p>The commission is headed by chairman Matthew Levinson, who promised to consider the request while acting under the limitations afforded his agency under the Casino Control Act.</p> <p><blockquote>I certainly share the very serious concerns they raised about the welfare of workers and all of the businesses that will suffer if casino properties close their doors,” Levinson said.</blockquote></p> <p>While a reprieve would permit casino workers to remain employed a bit longer, it would also serve the purpose of allowing companies interested in acquiring the casinos more time to possibly offer up bids. Lawmakers would like to see new owners step in and keep the casino doors open, if possible.</p> <p>That was not the case when the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January. Owned by <strong>Caesars</strong> in a joint purchase with <strong>Trump Entertainment</strong> following a bankruptcy auction late last year, Caesars has since flipped the property but included deed restrictions in the sale forbidding the buyers from opening as a casino.</p> <p>That angered Assemblyman Brown, who plans to introduce legislation shortly that will prevent casinos that close from including such limitations on buyers. Caesars owns the Showboat and has promised not to prevent any new owners from operating a casino on the property.</p> <p>There are 11 open casinos in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> at the moment. Should the commission fail to approve the request as outlined in the letter penned by Whelan and his associates, that number could be reduced to eight by autumn. The <strong>Revel Casino</strong> is also facing a possible shutdown after its second bankruptcy filing in as many years.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:59:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3061 LAPT7 Panama Gets Underway <p style="text-align: justify;">Following a short break after the World Series of Poker, the live tournament scene is slowly picking up momentum. Yesterday saw Day 1A of the Latin American Poker Tour event in Panama – a $1,650 tournament with unlimited re-entries for the duration of the first six levels.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first of two starting flights gathered a <strong>total of 174 entries</strong>, 58 of whom will be advancing through to Day 2 scheduled for tomorrow, July 25<sup>th</sup>. It was Mexican <strong>Guillermo Olvera </strong>who bagged the chip lead after the last river of the nigh was dealt. Olvera will be returning with a stack of 147,400. Finishing on his heels was Argentinean <strong>Juan Martin Pastor</strong>, who bagged 143,400.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other 56 survivors include <strong>Angelina Rich</strong>, the fashion design student and blogger who qualified for the Panama Main Event via online satellites on PokerStars, <strong>Francis Cruz </strong>and his stack of around 71,000, as well as <strong>Carter Gill</strong>, who finished the night with about 55,000 in chipa. Team PokerStars Pro <strong>Nacho Barbero </strong>will also be coming back on Friday with 65,000 in his arsenal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things clearly did not work out so well for 116 players who were sent to the rail. One of the most famous among those eliminated was Team PokerStars Pro <strong>Humberto ‘The Shark’ Brenes</strong>. His pocket Nines fell short against the pocket Jacks of Cruz and Brenes will have to try his luck again today if he wants any chance of final tabling the Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Like Brenes, things did not go as hoped for online grinder <strong>Joel ‘JMPRODIGY’ Mika</strong>, who played a long session of tournament poker only to be eliminated as the night was coming to an end. <strong>Justin ‘JWPRODIGY’ Westmorland, Scott Mongomery, Barbara Friedl </strong>and <strong>Fred Volpe </strong>all encountered the same fate as Brenes and Mika.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The good news for all those whose luck ran out yesterday is that it is not game over. Everyone has the option to re-enter today during the first six levels and can fire as many bullets as desired. Like yesterday, this is guaranteed to create action as players will be doing their best to build up a stack of chips that will put them in a good spot at the start of play tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It may not be the WSOP Main Event, but the LAPT Panama Main Event certainly gathered some household names. Once registration closes, the amount to play for will be anything but insignificant. We will be keeping our eyes peeled on Panama as the rest of the summer poker action plays out.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:22:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3060 Delaware-Nevada Compact a Likely Game-Changer <p>In February, <strong>Nevada</strong> and <strong>Delaware</strong> reached an agreement to share Internet poker player pools via an interstate compact.</p> <p>Both states are on the small side when comparing population totals to those of other states. In that regard, the effect of the alliance will likely be minimal on the two states involved who hope to make their historic launch later this year.</p> <p>But the effect of the <strong>Multi-State Internet Gaming Association</strong> (MSIGA) formed by the pair five months ago could one day prove to be a game-changer for the rest of the country. The success of the endeavor in which player liquidity will be shared across state borders could possibly prompt states currently undecided with regard to Internet poker regulation to join the party.</p> <p>Players throughout the U.S. would like nothing more than to compete in a regulated online poker environment against their fellow Americans in other states, whether those players are located in Nevada, <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, Delaware, <strong>Florida</strong> or <strong>New Jersey</strong>. And that is undoubtedly the plan as envisioned by officials among the trio of states that were first to take the plunge into ipoker legalization.</p> <p>Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval admitted as much when he personally extended an invite to his counterparts in other states to climb aboard. Sandoval informed the masses that the MSIGA has vacancies available and those who care to sign on will find the open arms of both Delaware and Nevada.</p> <p>New Jersey is the top candidate to join at this time as the only other state currently regulated. Preliminary discussions with Nevada have already taken place and there is a good chance that such talks will become more serious in time. Especially considering the recent lackluster online poker revenue totals posted by each of the three states.</p> <p>New Jersey ranks 11th on the list of most populous states and the Garden State's inclusion in the MSIGA would be a big deal. Also huge would be sixth-ranked Pennsylvania and its more than 12 million residents. The Keystone State made considerable strides in advancing online poker legislation this year and many insiders expect ipoker regulation to find approval among Pennsylvania lawmakers at some time in the future.</p> <p><strong>California</strong> has also progressed toward regulation in 2014 after several attempts in past years have fallen far short. Unfortunately, California seems destined to restrict its eventual online poker scheme to an intrastate model among its 38 million residents. The ipoker bills currently pending in the legislature of the nation's most populous state do not include the rest of the country.</p> <p>However, destinies are sometimes rewritten and a successful MSIGA that includes many states in the future may prompt state officials in California to abandon their leanings toward exclusivity. If greater revenue can be realized by joining a consortium of states, the powers that be in California will no doubt follow the money.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:04:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3059 Parx Casino in Pennsylvania Betting on Online Gambling Regulation <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline gambling proponents looking for signs that a new state will eventually join the trio that have already launched online poker and gambling regimes can find encouragement in the recent announcement that <strong>Pennsylvania's Parx Casino</strong> is preparing to launch a free-play gaming website.</p> <p>In collaboration with <strong>GameAccount Network</strong>, Parx expects to go live with its free-play offering in the final quarter of 2014. In a press release issued yesterday, the casino cited an online gambling study released two months ago by Econsult Solutions in which it was <em>"recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature pursue the authorization of intrastate Internet gaming."</em></p> <p>While the likelihood of Pennsylvania legislators approving regulated online gambling in 2014 grows shorter each day, it seems a good bet that Keystone State lawmakers will do so eventually. Parx Casino is moving aggressively on that eventuality by launching a free-play gaming site in advance of regulation with the intent of making a transition to real-money play once legal authorization is granted.</p> <p>Parx Casino, owned and operated by <strong>Greenwood Racing</strong>, boasts of leading Pennsylvania's land-based gambling market with 150 table games and more than 3,200 slot machines. Greenwood CTO John Dixon expressed his excitement at joining forces with GameAccount Network and becoming <em>"well-prepared in the event regulation of real money Internet gaming emerges in the State of Pennsylvania.”</em></p> <p>GameAccount Network has established a number of partnerships in the U.S. led by an alliance with <strong>Betfair</strong> to operate regulated real-money online gambling via <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>'s license in <strong>New Jersey</strong>. The other pairings that GameAccount is involved in include the <strong>Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation</strong> and <strong>Foxwoods Casino</strong> in <strong>Connecticut</strong>, <strong>Osage Casinos</strong> in<strong> Oklahoma</strong>, and the <strong>Empire City Casino</strong> in <strong>New York</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:01:53 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3058 Delaware Posts All-Time Low in June Online Poker Revenue <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker revenue in<strong> Delaware</strong> for the month of June descended to an all-time low, which will likely provide additional fodder for the anti-online gambling crowd.</p> <p>As <a href="">reported by the Delaware Lottery</a>, only <em>$25,607</em> was earned in Internet poker rake and fees collectively by the state's three gaming sites in June. That's quite a steep drop from the previous low posted in May of <em>$57,468</em>.</p> <p>June marks the beginning of summer and typically means that players tend to spend more time enjoying outdoor activities rather than playing poker online. It must also be stressed that regular Delaware online poker players likely made a sojourn to <strong>Nevada</strong> during the month for the 45th running of the <strong>WSOP</strong>.</p> <p>The <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> is no doubt relishing June's ipoker revenue totals from Delaware. But before Sheldon Adelson gets too excited, a look at the revenue collected in all online action that includes video lottery and casino games increased when compared to May totals.</p> <p>The sum of <em>$187,944</em> was gleaned from all online gambling action in June, outperforming the <em>$175,410</em> from the month before. Delaware's online gambling regime had been improving each month since its November launch until reporting a decrease in May. The fact that June numbers are up bodes well for the future.</p> <p>Also boding well is the number of new player sign-ups. New online gaming accounts were created by <em>399</em> Delawareans in June, which bettered the <em>342</em> who registered in May. New player accounts had been on the decrease each month since November, so the first player account increase in The First State's history can only be seen as a positive.</p> <p>When searching for more positive news, one need look no further than the upcoming launch of the interstate online poker compact with Nevada. The increased liquidity of that alliance is bound to prompt more Delaware players to hit the virtual felt.</p> <p>As it stands now, Delaware's population is much too tiny for a viable online poker scheme on its own. State officials have been well aware of that from the start. But the <strong>Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement</strong> that currently includes Nevada and will likely add newer states in the future will allow Delaware's online poker revenue numbers to improve substantially as time marches on.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:35:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3057 PokerStars Makes Change in Satellite Policy <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he 2 + 2 community has been on their feet for the past ten days because of changes in PokerStars policy regarding satellite tournaments. On July 10<sup>th</sup>, a thread appeared informing players that it was not possible to unregister from the target tournament after winning a seat via satellite.</p> <p>Satellites have been a favorite choice for grinders to turn their FPPs into T$ (tournament dollars), which could basically be turned into real money at close to face value. This is particularly convenient for cash and SNG grinders because converting points this way gives way better value than exchange rates in the VIP store for everyone but the top VIP tiers.</p> <p>The change that caused dissatisfaction with many players mandated that players would have to play out their first entry and receive T$ for subsequent entries. Numerous members of the forum chimed in to express their opinion that the change was not fair and that they failed to see the reasoning behind it.</p> <p>The policy stayed in place for a few days and it seemed that players would not be getting their way. However, PokerStars eventually relented and confirmed that the change would be reversed by Monday, July 21<sup>st</sup>, which is today.</p> <p>In their statement, PokerStars named two reasons for reversing the change. One was a software bug on mobile devices, while the other actually acknowledged the fact that the recent change failed to consider a number of players who took a hit on the value of their FPPs.</p> <p><blockquote>The goal of this change is to ensure that satellites are achieving their intended purpose to help players qualify for tournaments that they might not otherwise play. However, the change had an additional substantial, but unintended, negative impact on the value of VIP rewards for a subset of players."</blockquote></p> <p>This once again caused joy among players as those who use their FPPs for T$ can now revert to the old policy. PokerStars did say that they are definitely planning to reinstate the change once the proper conditions are met. However, before this can happen, they will need to solve the bug with the mobile app and also make sure that the value of FPPs is not impacted in such a significant way.</p> <p>So for now, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as all important FPPs will not be losing their value for the time being. It will be interesting to see what the future brings, as Stars are clearly intent on changing their approach in certain matters.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3056 Party Borgata Regains Player Traffic Lead in U.S. Regulated Market <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s expected, player traffic at <strong></strong> in <strong>Nevada</strong> has decreased following the conclusion of the 45th annual WSOP, allowing the <strong>Party Borgata Network</strong> in <strong>New Jersey</strong> to once again achieve top dog status among U.S. regulated poker sites.</p> <p>PokerScout's latest tallies show Party Borgata with 150 cash players in a seven-day average, while in the Silver State clocks in with 140. Just two weeks ago when the WSOP festival at the <strong>Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino</strong> was in full swing,'s Nevada offering averaged 160 players while 140 cash grinders were looking at hole cards on Party Borgata.</p> <p>Player traffic at is likely to tumble further in coming weeks now that the pros who don't reside in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> have likely caught their flights home. Cash player traffic at in Nevada averaged 110 prior to the play of more than five dozen scheduled live tournament events of the WSOP and it would not be a surprise to see player traffic numbers once again reach that level.</p> <p>However, traffic numbers may wind up being slightly higher than pre-WSOP levels considering that <strong>Bovada</strong>, the top unregulated U.S.-friendly site, has withdrawn from the regulated Nevada market and no longer allows new player sign-ups. That move was made by Bovada while the WSOP was taking place and will likely cause a ripple in cash traffic numbers since new Nevada players have less online options and must choose between, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong>, or <strong>Real Gaming</strong> following the conclusion of the latter's soft launch.</p> <p>Bovada followed the lead of the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> and <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong>, who both withdrew from the regulated markets in Nevada, <strong>Delaware</strong> and New Jersey just prior to the start of the 2014 WSOP. Bovada also prohibits new players in all three states, but apparently allows players who already have established accounts to continue accessing the site.</p> <p>In the New Jersey market, Party Borgata's main rival is's Garden State offering. averages 130 ring game players, 20 off the pace of <strong></strong>'s lead. Next in line in New Jersey is the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong>, averaging less than half that of Party Borgata with 70 players in a seven-day average.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:38:28 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3055 Online Poker Tourney Fields "Softer" During WSOP <p>The <strong>WSOP</strong> recently concluded its 45th annual run in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> when the Main Event field was reduced to the November Nine who will play for a <em>$10 million</em> first place prize following a four-month hiatus.</p> <p>Non-U.S. online poker players who did not make it to the WSOP and stayed home to compete on the virtual felt are likely sorry that the WSOP is over. According to posters at various online poker forums, the competition at top online sites such as <strong>PokerStars</strong> and <strong>Full Tilt</strong> was noticeably much <em>"softer"</em> while many of the top players were in Las Vegas from late May to mid-July.</p> <p>Those players within <strong>Nevada</strong> for the world's most prestigious festival of poker were precluded from accessing the industry's top sites while in town. Instead, when wishing to play online they had to choose between Nevada's regulated poker rooms of or Ultimate Poker where the fields and prize pools pale significantly in comparison to the offerings at the likes of PokerStars.</p> <p>Now that the WSOP has run its course and players throughout the world have presumably gone home, Internet grinders can expect online competition at the largest sites to once again return to the pre-WSOP level. While some online players enjoy the challenge of matching their skills against the best in the business and welcome the return of those who competed at the WSOP, a number of players would much rather take advantage of the value found in competing against a <em>"weaker"</em> field.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:49:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3054 Death of Johannes Strassman may be Drug-Related <p>German poker pro <strong>Johannes Strassman</strong> had reportedly ingested a mind-altering, hallucinogenic drug on the night he disappeared, which may have played a role in his death.</p> <p>According to <strong></strong>, Strassman and three Slovenians took <em>"mushrooms"</em> on June 21, a drug known for its propensity to stimulate and alter perceptions related to the senses. The drug's hallucinogenic effects vary among users, a subjectivity that can cause both positive and negative experiences dependent upon a number of factors.</p> <p>Toxicology reports revealed an illicit drug within Strassman's system, while an eyewitness confirmed the 29-year-old and three cohorts ate the mushrooms. While one of the Slovenians was Strassman's friend, the other two were not identified as such, with one allegedly known to deal drugs.</p> <p>Reports indicate that the four were seated at a table in a pub when Strassman suddenly got up and left, leaving his cell phone on the table. The others attempted to track him down and eventually alerted the authorities when their efforts proved futile. A search that consisted of bloodhounds and helicopters ensued, to no avail.</p> <p>Family and friends came to Slovenia to continue searching with the assistance of a private investigator. The search was apparently made more difficult by recent storms. A reward offer and social media were also employed in an effort to gather more information.</p> <p>Those attempts at locating the poker pro were put to rest when his body was recovered more than a week after his disappearance on June 29. Strassman was found near the Ljublianica River in <strong>Ljubljana</strong>, an apparent victim of drowning.</p> <p>Strassman's poker resume included live tournament earnings in excess of <em>$1.5 million</em>. He was spoken of highly within the poker community and his death remains a tragedy that asks more questions than it provides answers despite the new information released by the German website.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:04:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3053 Betfair's Presence in New Jersey at Risk <p><strong>Betfair</strong> made a splash in the U.S. online gambling market last October by proudly proclaiming <em>"Betfair is Coming to New Jersey"</em> even before its entry was approved by state gaming regulators. While the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE) did eventually give the OK, Betfair may now be in need of a new marketing strategy just nine months later following the recent announcement that its casino partner, <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>, will be closing in September.</p> <p>State statutes require gaming site operators to be allied with a casino, which puts at risk considering that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will lock its doors in two months. Other options of partnering with an <strong>Atlantic City</strong> gaming establishment have also diminished greatly this year, as the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January and the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> is scheduled to shutdown on Aug. 31.</p> <p>Also presumably not an option for partnership at this time is the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> following its second bankruptcy filing in as many years. An autumn closure looms on the horizon for Revel if a buyer is not found.</p> <p>On the bright side, the DGE recently relaxed restrictions on the number of platforms that a casino with an online gambling permit can operate. A handful of platforms are now allowed as opposed to the previous limit of one, improving Betfair's odds of striking a deal with one of the the eight casinos that appear poised to remain in operation.</p> <p>Some industry insiders believe that Betfair may already have a contingency plan in place. With the Atlantic City gaming industry showing declines for seven years running, it would have been most prudent to prepare for a possible casino closure ahead of time.</p> <p><blockquote>Many bricks and mortar casinos in Atlantic City have been in financial distress for some time now," Goodbody gaming analyst Gavin Kelleher told eGR. "It was one of the reasons they were prepared to offer online gambling. So I think the likes of Betfair, 888 and will have had this in mind when deals were being signed last year.”</blockquote></p> <p>Betfair has elected not to respond on the matter as of yet, allowing for rampant speculation within the industry. One train of thought leads to a partnership via the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong>, the second of two casinos operated by Betfair's current partner, <strong>Trump Entertainment</strong>.</p> <p>Trump Taj Mahal is already partnered with Ultimate Poker's parent company, <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong>. Betfair could perhaps make a deal via that casino, provided that no previous stipulations with Ultimate Gaming are breached in the process.</p> <p>The gross gaming revenue collected by Betfair year-to-date in New Jersey has been an underwhelming $3.7 million, well off the pace of its competitors. But an exit from the U.S. market does not seem likely considering the investment already made and the lucrative possibilities that may lie ahead in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:30:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3052 The "End" of Lock Poker Welcomed by Players <p><strong>Lock Poker</strong> was recently offline for 12 hours or so due to a <em>"data centre outage in Curaçao"</em> that also affected a number of other sites whose servers are located in the same jurisdiction.</p> <p>But prior to a Lock representative named Emily informing concerned players of the outage and promising that there was <em>"Nothing to worry about"</em> and <em>"We (Lock) will be online soon,"</em> several posters at 2 + 2 thought that Lock had finally shutdown for good. Those players are fully expecting the demise of Lock Poker to happen eventually, with some who have unpaid funds at the site actually welcoming a shutdown.</p> <p>Some samplings from 2 + 2 posters:</p> <p><blockquote>It looks like the 'game' is finally over," wrote 'RandyCodd.' "Actually, in a weird way it is a relief for me. I grew tired months ago of chasing $$$ I knew in my heart (from experience) I would never see. To be honest, it turned my stomach that unsuspecting new depositors were being ripped off. Every chance I had at lock tables I informed players of the situation. When I wasn't barred (or at least warned) I knew there was no hope to see a penny of the $$$ I was owed. Seriously, the whole thing stinks to me. I'm just glad this Lock Poker thing is finally over. They were nothing but crooks IMO and I hope karma comes back to bite them in the azz!"</blockquote></p> <p>'Worm1111' chimed in with <em>"def gotta be the end the webpage wont even load... the nightmare is over... looks like im going back to facebook poker lol..."</em></p> <p><em>"It has been 'the end' for lock poker for many months now,"</em> added 'jackpot_1mil.'</p> <p>It apparently is not the end as of yet. The site is again up and running and there are <em>"11 players at Lock cash tables,"</em> stated a recent post by 'IHasTehNutz.' <em>"Yep, I'd say everything's back to normal."</em></p> <p>That normal includes a list of 392 players compiled by 'IHasTehNutz' who are<a href=""> owed a grand total of <em>$978,228.69</em></a> as of July 13, 2014. The majority of those players have been waiting over a year for their funds.</p> <p>Some of those players continue to hold out hope that payment will be forthcoming. Others, as recent posts suggest, just want the whole mess to be over with and Lock Poker to go away.</p> <p>The <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> stepped in about three months ago and sent a letter to Lock representatives requesting an open dialogue and transparency with regard to payment processing procedures or, more succinctly, the lack thereof. Lock has thus far chosen not to respond and past history lends one to believe that an answer to the PPA inquiry is likely not a priority.</p> <p>That has led the PPA to issue the following <em>"Warning on Lock Poker"</em> in its Weekly Update:</p> <p><blockquote>Due to continued nonpayment of player funds by Lock Poker, along with their refusal to respond to inquires by PPA, PPA has shared with the Department of Justice player concerns regarding this site. We did this in person during regular meetings on ongoing Full Tilt Poker remission. In the meantime, we warn extreme caution when depositing on Lock Poker. We also strongly warn affiliates to remove Lock Poker ads and positive reviews."</blockquote></p> <p>As I wrote a couple of days ago, cash player traffic at Lock has decreased from a seven-day average of 55 players in late April to 35 at present, according to <strong>PokerScout</strong> estimates. That's still too many players considering the site is in arrears nearly $1 million, with the likelihood that the total is well over that amount due to some players choosing not to be included on the list of 'IHasTehNutz.'</p> <p>I can understand that some players with money on Lock don't want to believe that their funds will be lost and continue patronizing the site. But all the warnings are there, chronicled meticulously by 'IHasTehNutz' and confirmed by the PPA.</p> <p>Logging on and playing at Lock Poker at this point appears to be a futile waste of time and money. Yet action at the cash tables continues. The <em>"end"</em> would likely come much sooner if those players heeded the warnings issued.</p> <p>The most recent post at 2 + 2, as of this writing, on the Lock Poker payout scam:</p> <p><blockquote>Lock poker is 100% functional again," stated 'nowitsover.' "Looks like they have no plan to stop milking unsuspecting players. Truly sickening..."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:11:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3051 Full Tilt Rebrands, Mucks 'Poker' <p><strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong>, which has perhaps the most storied past among online poker sites due to its mismanagement and eventual acquisition by <strong>Rational Group</strong>, added a new chapter to its saga by mucking <em>"Poker"</em> in order to broaden its offerings to include online casino games.</p> <p>The rebranding was completed last week and included a URL change that was the first step in being recognized as a site that provides more than just Internet poker.</p> <p><blockquote>This year our gaming portfolio on Full Tilt expanded to offer a range of single and multi-player variations of casino games," a Full Tilt representative told eGR. "Therefore, we have now moved the domain from and to and”</blockquote></p> <p>Parent company Rational Group is reportedly in the process of expanding Full Tilt's reach into new markets., and will apparently soon be accessible by players in <strong>Italy</strong>, <strong>Spain</strong> and <strong>Sweden</strong>, respectively.</p> <p>Another new market being targeted is that of the U.S. <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong>'s $4.9 billion acquisition of Rational and all of its assets will likely be finalized in September. <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming regulators are currently scrutinizing Amaya's suitability, with rubber-stamped approval expected that would permit <strong>PokerStars</strong> and Full Tilt to make their regulated foray into the <strong>U.S.</strong> marketplace via the Garden State.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:17:54 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3050 WSOP Main Event Final Table Set for November <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hat started ten days ago with 6,683 players has now come down to the final nine. The famous November Nine for the 2014 Main Event of the World Series of Poker was determined last night in Las Vegas after a fourteen-hour elimination process that saw eighteen of the last 27 players hit the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play started it was Swede <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>leading the final three tables into the night, followed by <strong>Dan Sindelar. </strong>On the other side of the spectrum was <strong>Scott</strong> ‘urnotindanger2’ <strong>Palmer</strong>, who was the only player with under a million in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The eliminations started with <strong>Sean Dempsey, </strong>who busted in 27<sup>th</sup>, and continued with <strong>Brian Roberts </strong>and <strong>Bryan Devonshire</strong> all the way to <strong>Andrey Zaichenko</strong>, the last player to fall before the dinner break. That left 16 players with a lot to think about during their 90-minute break.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon returning to the felt, <strong>Eddy Sabat </strong>was the first one shown the door when his #10h#jh proved to be no good on a board reading #9h#jc#5s#7h#4h as <strong>Jorryt</strong> <strong>van Hoof</strong> turned over #ah#8h for the nuts. Then <strong>Thomas Sarra Jr.</strong> fell at the hands of <strong>Felix Stephensen</strong> when his #kd#qh was no match for Stephensen’s #as#ks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Oscar Kemps </strong>ran his King-Jack into pocket the Aces of van Hoof and the Dutchman, who was clearly on a great run, scored yet another knockout. Following his example, <strong>Craig McCorkell </strong>gave up the last of his chips to <strong>Mark Newhouse</strong>, who is no stranger to the pressure of the situation as he was looking to make back-to-back Main Event final tables.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Christopher Greaves </strong>surrendered the last of his very short stack to Jacobson, followed by <strong>Maximilian Senft </strong>losing a race for his tournament life with #kd#qd to the pocket Treys of Newhouse. Last year's November Niner flopped a set and sent Senft packing, which resulted in the remaining players merging into a single table of ten. They were one elimination away from making the 2014 November Nine.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ten-handed play started with two short stacks that were at risk of busting and several bigger stacks that looked pretty much set to make it. But once again, poker proved that there are no guarantees and that anything is possible once the cards are dealt and the community cards are revealed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Luis Velador </strong>had over 22 million in chips when they started and was sitting in a comfortable fourth position. However, his stack took a severe blow after he called off the shorter stack shove of<strong> Andoni Larrabe</strong>. Velador held Ace-King and was not shocked to see Larrabe turn over #as#ac. Despite hitting a King on the flop, Velador could not find any further help and his stack was cut in half.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some hands later, he moved in holding #4h#4d over a raise from <strong>Bruno Politano</strong> and a call from Newhouse. That got rid of Politano but Newhouse gave it a long thought and eventually made the correct call with #5s#5h to put Velador at risk. The board brought no miracles and it was all over for Velador, who just couldn’t get things going last night when it mattered most. Everybody else could breathe a sigh of relief. They made it!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The November Nine</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Every player who made it through to the final table is now guaranteed a minimum of $730,725, while the winner will take home $10,000,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play resumes in four months it will be Jorryt van Hoof<strong> </strong>leading the way with more than 38 million in chips. The Dutchman has about $358,000 in live earnings and  has never cashed in the Main Event before, but he is guaranteed to walk away with big money no matter what happens from here on out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sitting in second place is Felix Stephensen<strong> </strong>of Norway. With nearly 33 million in chips, Stephensen will be looking to add the maximum to his previous $22,000 in live earnings. Only 23 years old, this is a great opportunity for Stephensen to make money and a name for himself.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The player currently third in chips is no doubt the story of this Main Event and possibly many more to come. American<strong> </strong>Mark Newhouse successfully pulled off back-to-back Main Event final tables. The last time anyone achieved such a feat was in 2003-2004 when <strong>Dan Harrington</strong> was able to do so, but the field sizes in those years combined together are about the half of the 2014 field. Newhouse finished 9<sup>th</sup> last year, but with 26 million in chips, he is in great shape to improve on that result.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Spaniard Andoni Larrabe<strong> </strong>will start in fourth position chip-wise. The 22-year-old pro has live earnings of $341,000 and this marks his first 2014 WSOP cash. This is the second time he has participated in the Main Event and he will be starting in November with 22.5 million in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dan Sindelar<strong> </strong>is another American at the final table. He is 30 years old and has more than $500,000 in live cashes. Although he has played in six Main Events so far, this represents Sindelar's first cash and he bagged 21 million in chips for the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">American <strong>William Pappaconstantinou </strong>is a colorful character. The 29-year-old is a world foosball champion, better known amongst his friends and rivals as “Billy Pappas.” While widely recognized in the world of foosball, Pappas is looking to become recognized in the poker community as well. With a stack of 17.5 million and a seat at the final table, that goal has been achieved.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>William Tonking </strong>is the last of the American players. He will be starting with 15 million in chips. Tonking is 27 years of age and has $93,000 in live tournament earnings. His bread and butter before the 2014 Main Event has come from grinding online cash games.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Martin Jacobson<strong> </strong>will be starting as the second shortest stack with 14.9 million. Despite his lack of chips, the 27-year old Swede does not lack experience as his total live earnings amount to $4.8 million – by far the most of all the remaining players. Regardless of his stack, Jacobson will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Brazilian Bruno Politano<strong> </strong>is the official short stack with 12.1 million. Although he plays poker as a hobby, the 31-year-old has more than $110,000 in live tournament cashes and this is his first Main Event cash. Bruno will certainly be looking to make the best use of his chips when play resumes, as the Brazilian certainly does not lack heart.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All of the remaining players received 9<sup>th</sup> place prize money in the amount of $730,725, while the rest is being kept in an interest-bearing account until November. We may not know who the new champion is yet, but the list of potential candidates has definitely been shortened!</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:25:37 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3049 Ultimate Poker Joins Forces With El Cortez Casino <p>In an effort to capture a larger share of the <strong>Nevada</strong> Internet poker market, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> (UP) has entered into a partnership with the <strong>El Cortez Hotel and Casino</strong>.</p> <p>Similar to a previous agreement brokered between UP parent company <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> and <strong>Peppermill Resorts</strong> in northern Nevada, players at El Cortez can deposit and withdraw funds for UP at the casino cashier. El Cortez will also promote UP, extolling the advantages of playing online to its live casino customers, the Las Vegas Sun reported.</p> <p>The El Cortez was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places with its origins traced back to 1941. With mob bosses such as Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel on a list of former owners and the casino's architecture continuing to hold onto that of a bygone era, the El Cortez has a certain antiquated flair that is arguably lacking in modern gaming establishments.</p> <p>UP trails <strong></strong> by a 3 to 1 margin in cash game player traffic and is hoping to make up some ground by aligning with various casinos, a collaboration that has now reached more than 20 when counting its own <strong>Station Casinos</strong>. The margin had been 2 to 1 prior to the 45th annual WSOP and thousands of players rolling into town on May 27, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>The WSOP has reached its conclusion for now as the Main Event final table formed yesterday. The nine final tablists will break and prepare for a showdown in November to declare a winner. Online player traffic within the Nevada market will likely pull closer together between UP and now that the pros (and amateurs) have headed home.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:23:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3048 Lock Poker Losing More Players <p>The latest player traffic numbers posted by <strong>PokerScout</strong> show that <strong>Lock Poker</strong> has lost roughly <em>36%</em> of its cash game action since late April when the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> (PPA) requested the site provide an open dialogue with regard to unpaid player funds.</p> <p>As many will recall, the PPA sent a letter to Lock representatives almost three months ago at the behest of players who are owed nearly <em>$1 million</em>. In the letter, the PPA cited Lock's propensity of <em>"taking an unreasonable time in fulfilling its customers’ requests for return of their funds"</em> in addition to mentioning that such payment requests have <em>"languished over a year with no progress."</em></p> <p>The lack of progress has apparently continued, as has Lock Poker's silence in the matter. What has not continued is cash game action at the site, as PokerScout estimates a current seven-day average of 35 players. That's down from the average of 55 players who frequented the site prior to the letter from the PPA in April. That letter was apparently filed by Lock representatives in the same trash bin as requests from individual players.</p> <p>While the PPA letter may not have achieved its ultimate goal of payment to players, it seemingly has accomplished a secondary goal of alerting players and affiliates to the lack of payment issue and to avoid playing at the site. Hopefully, word will spread further to players who continue to patronize Lock Poker until that number is reduced even more.</p> <p>In the meantime, Lock continues to tout promos such as rake chases, bad beat jackpots and guaranteed tournaments. Ask anyone still owed money from Lock and they will likely tell you that the only guarantee the site provides is that of a bad beat in the form of non-payment of funds.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:59:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3047 New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Down in June <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>or the third consecutive month, online poker revenue in New Jersey failed to reach the amount collected in the previous month.</p> <p>The<strong> New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE) released revenue totals for June that showed almost a <em>10%</em> decrease for Internet poker in comparison to May tabulations. Summer months typically find less players logging on at online poker sites industry-wide. Another reason for the decline may be the recently concluded <strong>WSOP in Las Vegas</strong>, which likely attracted a number of New Jersey online players.</p> <p>The Party Borgata Network led the way among the state's poker sites and networks, collecting <em>$1,075,293</em> in ipoker revenue. That comes to almost 11% less than May.</p> <p>Caesars Interactive and its partners were next in line, earning roughly <em>$50,000</em> shy of <em>$1 million</em>. The decrease from the previous month amounted to slightly more than<em> 8%</em>. Ultimate Poker experienced an Internet poker revenue decline of <em>24%</em>. Its take was only <em>$30,420</em> in June.</p> <p>Online gambling that includes casino games also posted lesser totals from May, roughly<em> 9%</em> for all gaming sites combined. Party Borgata's decrease was <em>15%</em>, while Caesars and 888 Holdings lost about <em>$200,000</em> in all online gambling action when compared to the previous month. The other igaming sites showed mixed results, with Golden Nugget reporting an increase of <em>16%</em> without operating a real-money poker site.</p> <p>On the bright side, new player accounts created in New Jersey were up almost <em>8%</em> in June. Thus far, <em>378,564</em> online gaming accounts have been opened since the November launch, more than <em>27,000</em> of those coming in June. However, players may have opened several accounts at the different sites available, making it hard to decipher exactly how many gamblers are located in the state.</p> <p>In early July, the DGE changed its restrictions on the number of sites that licensed entities can operate, allowing up to five for each, eGR reported. Should operators take advantage of the modification, the market may become over-saturated.</p> <p>The change and its effect will be closely monitored, with necessary adjustments made as situations warrant. Keep in mind that online gambling regulation within the U.S. remains in its early stages and may require tweaking from time to time. In that regard, New Jersey is acting as somewhat of a model or litmus test for other states that may be contemplating getting in on the game in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><a href="">Learn more about NJ online poker sites</a></strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:45:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3046 Swede Martin Jacobson Leads Final 27 in WSOP Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>f you happen to be one of those who have been keeping an eye on the Main Event since the start, then you will remember the name <strong>Martin Jacobson</strong>. The Swede actually finished as the chip leader after the first flight of Day 1 and somehow managed to convert that into the chip lead heading into the final day of the series for the summer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That’s right, tonight is the big night that the November Nine will be announced. The remaining 79 players played through a long day yesterday until they were finally able to reach the final three tables and a couple of minutes ago they started their chase for one of the nine seats at the final table of the biggest poker tournament in the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For quite a few, that dream was crushed last night when their chips ended up in another player's stack due to a bad beat, a bad decision, or anything else. Whatever the reason, the result was the same – the dream of earning ten million dollars – gone in thin air!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some who had to deal with that experience included the last woman standing, <strong>Maria Ho</strong>, who was unable to make anything happen with her short stack. <strong>Brian Hastings </strong>was another who had a really solid run but his luck simply ran out. <strong>Vitaly Lunkin </strong>and <strong>Matthew Haugen </strong>also won't be playing further.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jacobson currently has a pile of chips exceeding 22 million, about six million in front of second place <strong>Luis Velador</strong>, with <strong>Dan Sindelar </strong>not far behind<strong> </strong>in third place. There are only a few blinds separating Velador and Sindelar. <strong>Dan Smith </strong>also starts the day with a big stack of over 10,000,000, good for seventh place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are also three players still in with previous deeper runs in the Main Event, but <strong>Mark Newhouse </strong>leads in that category. He was able to reach the November Nine last year, eventually riding his short stack to an eighth place finish. Newhouse has a very workable stack of 6.8 million to start the day and there is nothing stopping him from besting last year’s performance other than 26 players just as eager and hungry to get there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action is now underway for the ultimate day of the summer and two players have already been sent to the rail - <strong>Brian Roberts </strong>and <strong>Sean Dempsey. </strong>Both of them get to enjoy a nice payday of nearly $287,000 as they lament the missed opportunity of truly life changing money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a couple hours, the cards will have their final say and we will know who gets to fly back home with their mind set on just one thing for the next few months: outlasting the other eight players and running away with the huge $10 million prize and title of World Champion of Poker!</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:00:31 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3045 WSOP Main Event Down to 79 Players <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he penultimate day of the 2014 WSOP Main Event is scheduled to start with the number of players down to two-digits. What started as a field of 6,683 players has now been reduced to just 79. These 79 survived the longest day of the tournament so far, as some extra time was added to make up for time lost in all the bubble shenanigans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were 291 players with chips at the start of play yesterday, but more than 200 of them hit the rail before the evening came to an end. The bustouts included billionaire <strong>David Einhorn</strong>, who was fighting a tough battle to stay alive until his luck eventually ran out and he was unable to match his 18<sup>th</sup> place finish from 2006. Keeping him company on the rail are many other big names, perhaps most notably <strong>Griffin Benger</strong>, who had been among the top stacks at the dinner break yesterday but finished in 90<sup>th</sup> place. <strong>Jeff Madsen, Jared Bleznick, Mukul Pahuja </strong>and <strong>Brian Townsend </strong>also failed to make it to the chip bagging stage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The title of 'man of the day' easily went to <strong>Mark Newhouse. </strong>A November Niner last year, Newhouse entered the final table as the short stack but couldn't progress past 8<sup>th</sup> place. This year he is clearly looking to improve on that run. Although not the chip leader currently, Newhouse's stack of 7.4 million is slightly more than what he had going into the final table last year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Keeping him company at the top are <strong>Kyle Keranen, Scott Palmer, Bruno Politano </strong>and <strong>Dan Smith. </strong>Others still in the mix include <strong>Martin Jacobson, Isaac Baron, Brian Hastings </strong>and <strong>Bryan Devonshire. </strong>If Newhouse is to improve on last year’s success, he will have to get past some very serious competition to do so.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play finished yesterday, one woman remained in the field. That young lady was none other than <strong>Maria Ho. </strong>Sadly, the Heartland Poker Tour commentator will not be taking a seat at the final table, as she was eliminated shortly after play began today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tonight, players will play for either five and a half levels or until just 24 remain. It is hard to predict which will come first, as anything can happen. Generally speaking, this Main Event has been played at a relatively fast pace so far, but that also means that it should slow down at some point. Either way, by the last river we will have a short list of names that will be coming back tomorrow to fight for their seat at the final table.</p> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:56:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3044 Trump Plaza in New Jersey Announces Shutdown <p>The <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming industry got rocked yet again with the announcement that <strong>Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino</strong> is planning to close in September.</p> <p>It's becoming more difficult to count the number of New Jersey casinos closing than it is counting revenue dollars that the land-based gaming operations are taking in. To recap, 2014 started with a dozen casinos on the <strong>Atlantic City</strong> boardwalk, but that number is dwindling with greater speed than an Aroldis Chapman fastball.</p> <p>The <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January, <strong>Caesars</strong> is set to close the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> on Aug. 31, <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> will cease operations on Sept. 16, and the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> will likely also lock its doors unless a buyer with deep pockets emerges. In the span of a few months, Atlantic City may lose 1/3 of its casinos, creating a blight on the Eastern Seaboard rivaling that of the devastation felt by Hurricane Sandy.</p> <p><blockquote>It’s a disaster,” state Sen. Jim Whelan told the Press of Atlantic City. “This is going to impact all sectors of the economy, from big stores to real estate values and on and on.”</blockquote></p> <p>All told, the four casinos employ roughly 7,800 workers. Two months ago, Atlantic City unemployment rates were just shy of 15%. With the addition of more casino closures, that number will swell significantly.</p> <p>While the reasons for the closures are likely numerous, the increased number of casinos along the East Coast is typically seen as the main problem. Neighboring states such as <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, which now boasts 12 casinos, have created too many options for gamblers in the region. The result is less gamblers visiting Atlantic City, creating a dilemma that may require some restructuring of New Jersey's gaming industry.</p> <p>That restructuring may come in the form of casino expansion outside of Atlantic City in the northern end of the state in an effort to win back some gamblers currently making wagers in other states. State officials have already listened to a pitch from a venture capitalist that would put a 95-story hotel casino in <strong>Jersey City</strong>, reported.</p> <p>That project, said to be worth $5 billion and 25,000 new jobs, includes a proposal to erect the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, a sports stadium, and residential housing in addition to casino and hotel operations. Such an undertaking would require the approval of voters, who may storm the voting booths in an effort to cast <em>"aye"</em> votes considering the number of jobs being axed in Atlantic City.</p> <p><strong>Gov. Chris Christie</strong> previously vowed to revitalize Atlantic City and has put the idea of casinos elsewhere in the state on hold until 2016. However, losing four casinos in the span of nine months or so may force the governor to play his cards differently. With a handful of casinos landing in the muck, it may be time for a new deck.</p> <p>Atlantic City was a robust gambling and tourist destination prior to 2006, long enjoying the rank of second place in U.S. gaming revenue behind <strong>Nevada</strong>. But nearby states also wanted a piece of the action and got it, resulting in New Jersey losing both its runner-up status and billions of dollars in revenue.</p> <p>An attempt to recoup some of those losses by legalizing online gambling has helped to some degree, although initial revenue projections have fallen short of the mark in the eight months that New Jersey's igaming regime has been in place. Something else must clearly be done to right the ship. Casino expansion beyond Atlantic City may be a solution and will likely be looked at with greater intensity by Garden State officials following news of the Trump Plaza closure.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:24:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3043 WSOP Main Event: Bubble Bursts, Under 300 Advance to Day 5 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>layers still alive in the WSOP Main Event returned yesterday with the bubble looming over their heads. With 693 players set to receive money, the remaining 750 knew it would be a short but stressful ride to securing a payday after four days of play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It took about 90 minutes to reach the hand-for-hand stage. During this period, the last Main Event champion still standing, <strong>Huck Seed</strong>, was eliminated. His ouster meant that the Main Event winner would not be a former champion. The hand-for-hand started when the field was whittled down to 695 players, leaving two eliminations to go before everyone else would be certain to walk away as winners.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although all still involved were looking to land in the money, there was no prolonged bubble. In the very first hand, not one, not two, but three players were eliminated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That ended the bubble stage in quick fashion, but created a small issue. All three players got to split the $18,400 min-cash, but they had to determine who would get the free seat for next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The decision was made to draw cards, with the highest card winning an entry for the 2015 WSOP ME. Luck smiled upon <strong>Zhen Cai </strong>when he drew a King, while <strong>John Dwyer </strong>and <strong>Kori Hunter </strong>both found Sixes. The matter was settled as each walked away with over $6,000 and Cai can begin preparing for a deeper finish next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once the bubble issue had been resolved, play continued and many short stacks could now happily put their chips in the middle, knowing that it was safely time to go busto or robusto. This, naturally, led to numerous exits. By the time the last river card was dealt, only 291 players had some chips to bag for the night.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the most notable players falling in the heat of battle was ten-time bracelet winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>. The Tiger Woods of Poker was going strong in the Main Event as he started with the chip lead on Day 3. Ivey grabbed some momentum on Day 4, but was eventually eliminated yesterday just after the dinner break. <strong>Olivier Busquet, Ben Yu, Faraz Jaka </strong>and <strong>Abe Mosseri </strong>were also in the group of players whose run in the biggest tournament of the year ended.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While some were struggling, others were thriving. One of those thriving players was <strong>Dan Smith</strong>. Well-known in the poker world, Smith was able to capture the chip lead early in the day. Although he did not finish as the chip leader, he still accumulated a very respectable stack of nearly 2.3 million, good for sixth position overall. It is worth noting that this is Smith’s first Main Event cash, but it could turn into much more than that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other big names with decent stacks include <strong>Griffin Benger </strong>with<strong> </strong>around 2.3 million, <strong>Brian Hastings </strong>with nearly 2.1 million, <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>on 1.6 million, and <strong>Jared Bleznick </strong>just under a million. The first position, however, belongs to <strong>Matthew Haugen</strong> with 2.8 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Action is underway tonight and we will see the already small remaining field shrink even more as players get closer to forming the final table of nine on Monday.</p> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:59:45 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3042 Full Tilt Losing Ground in Player Traffic <p><strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong>'s worldwide ranking of fifth place in cash game player traffic is in jeopardy as recent tabulations find that both <strong></strong> and <strong>Bodog</strong> have pulled into a tie with the Rational Group offering.</p> <p>The latest numbers released by PokerScout indicate that 1,400 ring game players can be found at each of the three poker rooms in a seven-day average. Full Tilt had been firmly entrenched in the no. 5 slot for quite some time.</p> <p>The reason Full Tilt is losing ground may be tied to its recent roll out of <strong>Jackpot SitnGos</strong>. Players are likely abandoning the cash tables to participate in three-handed Jackpot SitnGo tables in hopes of being seated at a table where the randomly selected prize pool may reach 2,000 times a single buy-in.</p> <p>The concept was first introduced by <strong></strong> last year with <strong>Expresso Poker</strong> and has since been rolled out at the <strong>iPoker Network</strong> under the name <strong>Twister Poker </strong>and most recently at <strong></strong> as <strong>Spin &amp; Go</strong>. Only Full Tilt offers prize pools at 2,000x, while the other three have capped the top prize at 1,000 times a buy-in.</p> <p>When Winamax first released the innovative three-handed, winner-take-all, hyper-turbo Expresso Poker, play at its cash tables waned considerably. Odds are that Full Tilt ring games are experiencing a similar decrease and will likely do so at least until the novelty of playing a new game wears off.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:11:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3041 Bubble of Main Event Looming as Andrew Liporace Leads the Way <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday’s Day 3 marked perhaps the most important few levels in the Main Event as players still alive in the tourney got closer to the money bubble. Action was fast and furious as the day's starting field of 1,871 dwindled down to around 1,000 by the dinner break and the pace continued thereafter until just 746 players were left with chips in front of them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The WSOP staff decided to stop play for the day as players were getting dangerously close to the bubble. A total of 693 will be cashing this year and with about an hour of play left on the clock it was a real possibility that that number would be reached before the end of the day. The reason for quitting early was simple: the organizers want to have ESPN cameras present for the epic moment that is going to take place early tonight when play resumes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When it was announced that it was time to bag and tag, two players were over the one million chip mark. Current chip leader <strong>Andrew Liporace </strong>has 1,128,000 in his stack while a close second place belongs to <strong>Mehrdad Zousefzadeh </strong>with 1,124,000. <strong>Raul Mestre </strong>is in third place just short of a million with 988,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The chip leader to start the day, ten-time bracelet winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, failed to hold onto his lead but successfully managed to get through the day with a very respectable stack. He will return tonight to continue his chase for the elusive Main Event title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for former champions, they did not fare so well. <strong>Ryan Riess, Chris Moneymaker, Johnny Chan </strong>and <strong>Robert Varkonyi </strong>were all sent to the rail, leaving only <strong>Huck Seed </strong>to defend the colors of the winners. However, as Day 4 started, he too has recently been eliminated without making the money and there are now no former Main Event champions left in the field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other big names who also fell short yesterday include <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, who still had an amazing summer, as well as <strong>Erik Seidel </strong>and<strong> Antonio Esfandiari</strong>. Players with title dreams still alive are <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, who ended the day with a great stack, <strong>Griffin Benger, Ali Eslami, </strong>and<strong> Jared Bleznick</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With players on the first break now, the bubble is just ten eliminations away. Short stacks are holding on firmly to their chips and chairs, big stacks are comfortably applying pressure. Everybody participating and sharing in the excitement hopes to finish in the money of the Main Event!</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:31:56 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3040 Day 3 of 2014 WSOP Main Event Underway: Ivey Leading the Pack <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t took three Day 1 flights and two Day 2 flights for players to finally come together on the same day, but eventually they got there and Day 3 of the Main Event got underway. And it wasn’t that big of a surprise to see <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>steal the show as he has done in so many tournaments before.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ivey finished Day 1C among the chip leaders, but yesterday he was on an absolute tear and finished the day with 505,000 in chips. That chip total is big enough to grab the overall lead heading into today when 822 of Tuesday's survivors combine with 1,049 still standing after yesterday. Coming back in second place is Tuesday’s chip leader <strong>Timothy Stansifer </strong>with 481,500, followed by<strong> Raul Mestre </strong>and his chip count that is just shy of 478,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Amongst other big names to survive yesterday was <strong>John Henningan</strong>, winner of this year’s Players Championship. Hennigan has had a great series so far as he booked another runner-up finish and starts tonight with about 343,000 in chips. <strong>Jason Koon </strong>and <strong>Nick Schulman </strong>made it through as well, together with <strong>Kory Killpatrick</strong>. <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>also made it through, albeit with a short stack. KidPoker started the day strong, doubling up soon after the cards were in the air and improved his chances for a deep run.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Former champions in the field did not do so well yesterday. <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>returned with a workable stack, but wasn’t able to get things going and was sent to the rail. <strong>Joe Cada </strong>and <strong>Joe Hachem </strong>experienced the same fate and lost their chance for a repeat performance. <strong>Jonathan Duhamel </strong>did not fare any better when he ran his Ace-King into the set of Eights of his opponent on an Ace-high board.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reigning champion <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, however, earned his seat yesterday and returns today with an above average stack. His hopes of successfully defending his title remain alive. Unlike Riess, many other notables had their dreams of winning the big one crushed including <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>, <strong>Matt Stout</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong> and <strong>Sylvain Loosli</strong>. Tran stated after his elimination that he would pay $30,000 to have his starting stack back.</p> <p><strong> </strong> </p><p style="text-align: justify;">The field of 1,870 players continue their efforts tonight as the money bubble slowly approaches. Finishing in the money is more than a thousand eliminations away, but every new bust out allows those still in to get one step closer to cashing. With the Main Event being the tournament that attracts so many amateurs and poker fans from across the globe, making money is way more important than in the other $10k events that take place year-round. </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:22:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3039 Sheldon Adelson Adds New Player to Anti-Online Gambling Team <p>Las Vegas Sands CEO <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong> has continued his anti-online gambling crusade by hiring former GOP congressman <strong>Connie Mack</strong> of Mack Strategies to lobby against Internet gambling legislation.</p> <p>As promised, Adelson is sparing no expense in his efforts to wipe out igaming endeavors in America. He has been busily assembling a dream team of sorts, well-known lobbyists with many years of experience in pushing their agendas in the nation's capital.</p> <p>Mack will go to bat for Adelson and his <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> (CSIG) and will be tasked with lobbying in support of the <strong>Restoration of America’s Wire Act</strong>, the federal bill introduced by <strong>Sen. Lindsey Graham</strong> (R-S.C.) and <strong>Rep. Jason Chaffetz</strong> (R-Utah) over three months ago. Mack joins a lobbying lineup that includes <strong>Steptoe &amp; Johnson</strong>, <strong>Capitol Counsel</strong>, <strong>The Keelen Group</strong> and the <strong>Lincoln Policy Group</strong>.</p> <p>Whether Adelson is winning the battle to eradicate online gambling or igaming proponents are in the lead can certainly be speculated. On the one hand, three states have regulated Internet gambling and more are contemplating doing so. On the other hand, Adelson is known to carry influence with some heavy hitters on the Republican team and has succeeded in forcing the <strong>American Gaming Association</strong> to take a seat on the bench and watch the contest from the sidelines.</p> <p>It appears that the battle led on one side by the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> and the <strong>Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection</strong> (C4COP) versus the organization founded by Adelson is still in the early innings. CSIG was formed in December and C4COP shortly thereafter to counter the efforts of the 80-year-old casino mogul. No new states have enacted online gambling legislation since Adelson announced his intentions to restrict legalized gambling to land-based casinos.</p> <p><strong>Politco</strong> reports that Adelson paid over <em>$200,000</em> to lobbying firms in the first three months of 2014 in his quest to rid the U.S. of regulated online gambling. That's a mere drop in the bucket for the billionaire, who dumped way more than that supporting Republican hopefuls in the last election.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3038 Nevada Gaming Regulators OK Intrastate Poker Networks <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) has issued a recommendation to permit online poker sites operating within the state to combine player pools.</p> <p>Approval was granted at the behest of 888 Holdings, who plans to soon launch a poker room and will also be involved in the roll out of another site in conjunction with a partnership agreement previously brokered with Treasure Island. Representatives from 888 told the GCB that those two sites plan to also share liquidity with, the offering from Caesars Interactive that currently enjoys the bulk of the Internet poker market in the Silver State.</p> <p>GCB honchos OK'd the plan, but official approval must first be granted by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Regulators from that agency will likely rubber-stamp the recommendation made by the GCB at the commission's next scheduled meeting on July 24.</p> <p>Shared liquidity will not be restricted among only the sites mentioned, as other poker rooms that eventually launch in Nevada may also be included in the intrastate network. Thus far, Nevada's online poker regime consists of Ultimate Poker,, and Real Gaming. The latter continues operating under a soft launch testing phase.</p> <p>While commission approval for intrastate partnerships is expected in two weeks, Nevada is also preparing to roll out its interstate launch with its online partner on the east coast - Delaware. The two regulated states forged a Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in February that will permit shared liquidity, the first such alliance in the nation.</p> <p>The player pools in both Nevada and Delaware are restricted by rather low populations in comparison to some of the larger states. The MSIGA makes perfect sense for both. The launch of that scheme does not have a firm date, but sometime in 2014 has been mentioned as a possibility.</p> <p>Delaware and Nevada hope that other states eventually sign on to the MSIGA. A welcome has already been extended to New Jersey, but the Garden State has yet to accept. However, preliminary discussions to that effect have taken place.</p> <p>Revenue from Nevada's Internet poker regime has been lackluster at best, failing to meet expectations since the launch of UP in April, 2013 followed by some four months later. Sharing liquidity via interstate and intrastate agreements may go a long way toward reaching revenue goals. Combining player pools internationally may also one day enter the picture.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:17:11 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3037 Main Event Report: Day 2A Ends with 822 Players <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he first of two Day 2 flights of the WSOP Main Event is in the books and the second flight is underway. The action yesterday was fast and furious, so much so that some were joking that the day would play down to the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It did not reach the winner, of course, but the field has dwindled down to 822 players from the 1,933 who started the day. Well over a thousand players were shown to the rail before the last card of the night hit the felt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The surviving players will join those who retain chips after tonight's play to compete together tomorrow and for the very first time this year, all the Main Event participants will be playing at the same time. Day 1C started with 2,571 players and if yesterday’s trend continues, a great number of them will not live to fight another day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seven previous Main Event winners were in the field last night and four of them will be taking seats tomorrow. <strong>Greg Merson, Tom McEvoy </strong>and <strong>Dan Harrington </strong>were sent to the rail and will have to wait until another year for a new chance to claim the WSOP Main Event Poker Champion of the World title. Defending champ <strong>Ryan Riess </strong>made his way through, together with <strong>Chris Moneymaker, Huck Seed </strong>and <strong>Johnny Chan.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Martin Jacobsen </strong>started the day as the chip leader with 200,100 and continued his good run by ending the day with a stack just shy of 343,000. Although Jacobsen will start Day 3 in great shape, he couldn’t maintain the lead. That honor goes to <strong>Tim Stansifer</strong>, who bagged 481,500 at the end of the last level. He is followed by <strong>Thomas Cannuli </strong>(407,800) and <strong>Tony Ruberto </strong>(402,700).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other players making it to Day 3 include <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, Ole Schemion, ‘Mad’ Marvin Rettenmaier </strong>and <strong>Matthew Ashton</strong>. On the other side, those less fortunate included <strong>Liv Boeree, Annette Obrestad, Mike Matusow</strong>, <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, and <strong>George Danzer</strong>. The latter two players are first and second in the WSOP POY race, while Matusow proclaimed his elimination as marking the end of a horrible summer.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After five levels are completed in tonight’s Day 2B, we will have the final number of players returning for Day 3 and some 2,000 players will continue their walk toward the biggest final table of the year, keeping their eyes on the huge first place prize of $10,000,000.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:49:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3036 Showboat Closing Prompts NJ Lawmaker to Propose Changes <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>ngered by the fact that Caesars Entertainment will close the profitable Showboat Casino, a New Jersey legislator is preparing proposals that would restrict the way that the state's casino owners conduct business.</p> <p>New Jersey Assemblyman Chris Brown intends to introduce legislation that would preclude any one company from operating more than two casinos in the state, require that the sale of any casinos not include language that would prevent the new owners from reopening as a casino, and force casinos that elect to close to reimburse the state for any economic incentives they may have received.</p> <p><blockquote>This is unacceptable, and it’s time to stand up for the working middle class,” Brown told a group of about eight dozen concerned casino employees, residents, and fellow lawmakers.</blockquote></p> <p>Caesars, which also owns Bally's, Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City, will close the Showboat Aug. 31 despite reporting profits. About 2,100 employees face the challenge of finding new employment. That's on top of the roughly 1,600 workers sent to the unemployment line in January when the Atlantic Club closed its doors.</p> <p>The Atlantic Club was purchased jointly by Caesars and Trump Entertainment in a bankruptcy auction in December. Caesars has since sold the casino hotel to a Florida developer with a stipulation that the property not reopen as a casino. Caesars made the same stipulation when negotiating the sale of the Claridge Hotel and Casino in February.</p> <p>Trump currently owns two Atlantic City casinos, while all other casinos in the state besides Caesars' holdings are operated individually. Brown's proposal aims to keep the state's gaming industry from being too dependent upon any one company. Some will argue that it already is too reliant on Caesars considering that the company will still have a 30% stake in the industry even after the Showboat closes and reduces the number of thriving casinos to 10.</p> <p>While hoping to stifle any competition by ensuring that the Claridge and Atlantic Club no longer accept wagers, Caesars representatives have indicated that no such restrictions will be placed on new owners of the Showboat. Caesars spokesperson Gary Thompson told the Press of Atlantic City that a number of inquiries have been received regarding purchasing the casino and Caesars is not planning to include deed restrictions as it did in previous sales.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:47:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3035 Nevada Tops in Player Traffic Among U.S. Regulated Poker Sites <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s players compete at the Main Event of the 45th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the influx of players has resulted in's <a href=""><strong>Nevada</strong> </a>site becoming the most heavily-trafficked in cash game action in the three regulated states that includes <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong><a href="">New Jersey</a></strong>.</p> <p>The latest numbers from PokerScout show WSOP-NV with 160 players in a seven-day average. The top position had been New Jersey's Party Borgata Network, who has now slipped down to second place at 140 ring game players. As recently as a couple weeks ago, Party Borgata enjoyed a 150-140 edge in average cash players over WSOP in Nevada, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>It's evident that the poker players in town for the WSOP have been visiting while not playing in live tournaments. But with the Main Event scheduled to arrive at its final nine players in a matter of days, expect WSOP-NV to gradually lose action at the online tables as more and more pros are eliminated from the $10,000 buy-in tournament and leave town.</p> <p>Also noteworthy is the fact that in New Jersey has gained some of the Garden State's online poker market share. As of this writing, WSOP-NJ averages 130 players, just 10 off the pace of Party Borgata.</p> <p>Player traffic numbers are of substantial significance to officials of states that are currently considering online poker and gambling regulations. Some of those states remain in a holding pattern while they study both the advances and pitfalls experienced by the regulated states that are acting as a litmus test for potential legislation.</p> <p>Also analyzed by the states sitting on the sidelines are the marketing strategies used by the regulated sites and whether or not such marketing efforts have been successful. The advertising and marketing techniques employed by in Nevada have been effective in allowing the site to grab the top spot in player traffic. One could argue that it would be difficult to be ineffective considering that the Rio is plastered with reminders about the availability of while players are in town.</p> <p>Party Borgata may again regain the title in coming weeks of the U.S. online poker room with the most cash game action among sites that are regulated due to the conclusion of the WSOP. But it may not hold that distinction over the long haul once other states with larger populations eventually regulate online poker.</p> <p>Both <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <a href=""><strong>California</strong> </a>are seemingly next in line to some day pass ipoker legislation. Both have larger populations to draw from, over 38 million in California and more than 12 million in Pennsylvania. Both also have the benefit of learning from the mistakes of the trio of regulated states that took the plunge last year, which may turn out to be a significant advantage over time.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Make <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"></a> your home for online poker this summer with 100% Up to $1,000 first deposit bonus</strong></p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:02:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3034 WSOP 2014 Main Event: Registration Closes with Record Breaking Day <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday was the last day to register for the 2014 WSOP Main Event and take part in the hunt for the $10 million first place prize. Those waiting for the last moment to register could not postpone it any more and the number of players taking part on Day 1C swelled to a record-breaking 3,968. It became the biggest ever number of players to start a day in the history of the Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Combined with players from the other two starting days, the total number of entries climbed to 6,683. For the first time since 2010, the player field of the Main Event increased after shrinking from 2011-2013. The promise of a huge payday for the winner certainly has something to do with the greater number of entries.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The overall prize pool for the tournament now stands at $62,820,200 and 693 players will finish in the money. While the minimum amount anybody who makes it past the bubble will be walking away with is $18,400, the real big money is reserved for the final table. There is a big discrepancy between first and second place, as the runner-up will be taking home $5,146,000. It will likely be a tense heads-up, especially if two amateur players happen to face off in a poker match worth nearly $5 million more to the winner. Making the November Nine guarantees a payout of $730,000, while 2nd to 7th place finishers will become millionaires (if they aren't already).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not surprisingly, many former Main Event winners made it through Day 1 and will be taking their seats tonight and tomorrow to continue the journey toward Day 3. A couple of them, however, made an early exit. Those who definitely won't be repeating as champions include 2004 winner <strong>Greg Raymer</strong>, 2006 champ <strong>Jamie Gold</strong>, and the title holder from 2007, <strong>Jerry Yang.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Eric Tracy </strong>will be returning as the overall chip leader for Day 2 with a stack of 206,175. Tracy takes over the first position from <strong>Martin Jacobsen</strong>, who bagged 200,100 at the end of Day 1A. Although Day 1A was the smallest starting field, Jacobsen’s stack is still good enough for the second overall position. Some of the big names who ended their first day with a lot of chips in front of them include <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>(187,000), <strong>Eric Seidel </strong>(134,000), and <strong>Jared Bleznick </strong>(165,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As play gets underway for tonight’s action of the first of two Day 2 flights, we are certain to see some more exits and many of the nearly 2,000 players who start tonight will not be bagging chips for Thursday. On the other side of the spectrum are those who will continue to accumulate chips and build their stacks, coming one step closer to the biggest final table in all of poker taking place in November.</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:16:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3033 Big Win in the Little One for One Drop for Igor Dubinskyy <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast night, the World Series of Poker awarded its last title for the summer. The Main Event, which is now in Day 1C, will not be crowning a winner before November. That means that the bracelet-fest is officially over. Just one more reason for <strong>Igor Dubinskyy </strong>to celebrate his victory over a big field for a huge payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the tournament was named the Little One for One Drop, the turnout was anything but little. Just shy of 4,500 players gathered to play and they battled for three full days before the final table was set. The sum of $111 from every buy-in went toward the One Drop Foundation, the charity of <strong>Guy Laliberte</strong> that aims to provide access to clean water for everyone. Nearly $500,000 was gathered to help this worthy cause.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final nine players came back to battle on Day 4, led by <strong>Jackduyph Duong</strong> and <strong>Eric Baldwin</strong>. Dubinskyy was the second shortest stack of the players remaining and the future did not look so bright for him. However, he didn't give up and was able to double up soon after the start of play. <strong>Bao Nguyen</strong>, who started as the shortest stack, could not do the same and was the first casualty of the final table, taking home $52,400.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Vimy Ha </strong>was the eight place finisher. He was eliminated after getting it in on the flop against two opponents with draws. But <strong>Brandon Eisen</strong> caught a bigger pair on the river, sending Ha to the rail $68,000 richer. Eisen continued his strong run as he knocked out another player. This time it was <strong>Matthew Lapossie </strong>who lost a flip with pocket Fours against Eisen’s #ad#7d. Lapossie earned $89,000 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dubinskyy added to his stack after eliminating Duong<strong> </strong>in sixth place. Duong failed to win a coin flip with his #as#jc against Dubinskyy’s pocket Fours and was sent to the rail banking $117,507. Then Eisen took over once again and this time his victim was Baldwin, who moved his chips in the middle with pocket Deuces. Baldwin was crushed by the pocket Queens of Eisen and headed for the exit, pocketing $156,352.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Shai Zurr </strong>also fell to the play of Eisen. He moved his chips in the middle from the small blind with #10c#7c but was quickly called by Eisen and his #ac#jd. The best hand held up and Zurr was eliminated, earning $209,805 in the process.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although it seemed that nothing could stop Eisen,<strong> </strong>his run came to an end in third place. The hand that saw him out the door was one of the sickest we have witnessed in a long time, considering the amount of money on the line.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board read #jd#3d#qd#9s. <strong>Theodore Driscoll</strong> bet out for 550,000 and Eisen moved all in. Driscoll tanked for quite a while, but eventually decided to make the call with #kd#2h. Eisen was somewhat shell-shocked to see his #ad#7c was the best hand after hearing the call and he only needed to fade a couple outs to double up in a huge pot. However, it clearly wasn’t meant to be when the dealer found one of the few cards needed to send Eisen to the rail in the form of #2s on the river. Eisen was clearly disappointed, but had to be satisfied with $283,895 in third place prize money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With that elimination, Driscoll<strong> </strong>and Dubinskyy began their heads-up battle. Dubinskyy had quite a lead in chips and never let go of it. He kept grinding his opponent down until the final hand took place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All of Driscoll’s chips went in the middle on the river with the board reading #4h#3c#3h#kd#7c. He was convinced his #js#3d was ahead. However, Dubinskyy’s #5h#6h caught lightning on the river, completing his straight and sending Driscoll out in second place with a $394,281 consolation prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ukrainian Igor Dubinskyy<strong> </strong>has thus claimed the last bracelet of the summer, coupled with $637,539 first place prize money. It marked only the second WSOP cash for Dubinskyy, as most of his cashes have been recorded in Europe. Winning a bracelet is always special for players, but Dubinskyy was particularly satisfied to have done so in a charitable event.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:48:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3032 Expected U.S. Internet Poker Boom Delayed <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong><a href="">New Jersey</a></strong> joined <a href=""><strong>Nevada</strong> </a>and launched online gambling regimes in November, many hoped and thought that other states would soon follow suit.</p> <p>Predictions of a <em>"domino effect"</em> in 2014 were rampant, as states struggling with revenue shortfalls were expected to embrace Internet poker and gambling legislation in order to provide a new source of funds via regulation and taxation. The new year has now passed the halfway mark and not one state has joined the first three in the online poker party, leaving the dominoes standing.</p> <p>The reasons for the delay in the anticipated U.S. online <em>"poker boom"</em> are many, with disappointing revenue numbers coming from the three regulated states perhaps the biggest reason of them all. The result has prompted some states to take a <em>"wait and see"</em> approach, hoping that in time the potential for success will become clearer in the process.</p> <p>Also a factor in the delay of the spread of ipoker regulation throughout the U.S. is the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong>. The efforts of<strong> Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson</strong> have played a part, as officials from states considering online gambling have taken pause to wonder if federal lawmakers will be influenced by the billionaire casino mogul and his money.</p> <p>Adelson's view is that online gambling is a pox on society and will corrupt youth in ways that his casinos somehow will not. His stance, although often cited by igaming proponents as misguided, hypocritical, and out-of-touch with the times in failing to embrace technological advancements such as the Internet, has helped to delay progress.</p> <p>But progress delayed is not progress denied. Both <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <a href=""><strong>California</strong> </a>have taken huge steps in 2014 toward passing online poker legislation. Both remain quite a distance from the finish line at present, but are closer than ever before.</p> <p>The odds are that 2014 will pass without another state rolling out an online poker scheme. Back in November, those odds appeared quite different. Many would have bet that at least one or two states would have joined Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey this year.</p> <p>The key to more rapid ipoker expansion in the U.S. is likely California. As the country's most populous state, and despite the fact that its Internet poker scheme is destined to be intrastate only, other states may be more willing to take the plunge once the Golden State does so.</p> <p>Still to be hashed out in California are the differences among Indian tribes, mainly the one that finds <strong>PokerStars</strong> in bed with the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong> and three prominent card clubs. It's not yet clear how that issue will be resolved, but the encouraging word from the latest online gambling hearing held in the state was that the approval of Internet poker legislation is more a matter of <em>"when"</em> than <em>"if."</em></p> <p>The U.S. online poker boom that many had envisioned about eight months ago when Delaware and New Jersey began launching may yet come to fruition. It has been delayed and progress is turning out to be much slower than online poker players in the U.S. would have liked. But when California eventually overcomes its hurdles and passes Internet poker regulations, the dominoes may fall after all.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:10:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3031 WSOP 2014: The Main Event Report <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1A of the Main Event is in the books and Day 1B is drawing to an end as well. Registration has closed and players are slowly getting ready to start the last 2-hour level of the night. This is a good time to look at what has happened so far and what the numbers look like.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1A finished with only 771 registered players and when the last hand of the day was dealt, 505 of them were bagging chips for Day 2 on Tuesday. It was Swede <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>with the biggest smile on his face as he bagged the chip lead - just over 200,000 in chips. Second and third place went to <strong>Aaron Wilt </strong>and <strong>Seamus Cahill</strong>, respectively, although Jacobson ended up holding a pretty big lead over them and the rest of the field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We mentioned yesterday some of those whose Main Event adventure was cut short. Those who will be returning on Wednesday include <strong>Kenny Tran, Mukul Pahuja, </strong>reigning champion <strong>Ryan Riess, </strong>and 2012 winner <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, who has only about 7,000 in chips. Other previous winners <strong>Chris Moneymaker </strong>and <strong>Johnny Chan</strong> are also still alive.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yesterday was certainly a slow day for the Main Event and it even started some rumors that the turnout for the entire tournament could be significantly smaller than expected, but perhaps players were getting ahead of themselves. When registration closed for today, the tournament clock showed 2,144 players, which is nearly three-times bigger than yesterday’s field.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some big names were able to build big stacks for themselves, including <strong>Brian Hastings</strong>, who is currently sitting near the top of the chip counts. <strong>Erik Seidel</strong> is also one of the top stacks. Other players still in include current leader in the Player of the Year race <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, <strong>Sorel Mizzi</strong>, and <strong>Lex Weldhaus</strong>. Of course, there is still some play left, so anything can happen, but they are looking good to make it through to Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand, quite a few players had to take early leave and they will not have a shot at the title this year. Some of them are <strong>Chris Moorman</strong>, <strong>Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier</strong>, <strong>Max Silver</strong> and <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Information coming from the Rio indicates that there are already close to 3,000 registered players for Day 1C, which is more than yesterday and today combined (2,915). With registration scheduled to last the entire day today and through Level 6 tomorrow, anything can happen. There are still satellites running as well, so it is almost certain that we will see a bigger turnout than last year when 6,352 players took their seats. However, to break the 2012 record of 8,773 players, the tournament would need well above 2,500 more entries. That will probably not happen, but no reason not to keep our fingers crossed to see this series break yet another record!</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:04:06 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3030 Pat Walsh Seizes Bracelet in Prestigious PLO Championship <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t was the last scheduled event before the start of the Main Event, although it won’t be the last bracelet to be awarded this summer. The Little One for One Drop will be crowning its winner tonight. But <strong>Pat Walsh </strong>managed to grab his first WSOP bracelet just before the 45th annual WSOP comes to an end.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Considering the fact that it was the $10k Pot Limit Omaha Championship, this tournament attracted all the top notch players. <strong>Sam Trickett </strong>was one of those players and he had a good run, but UK's golden boy busted before reaching the final table. <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>David Williams </strong>and <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>also hit the rail before the final table of nine was formed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Walsh started the final table with the chip lead and a couple hours later he was able to turn that lead into his first bracelet. <strong>Jonas Entin </strong>($73,358) was the first to leave the final table after surrendering his chips to <strong>Isaac Baron</strong>. <strong>Michal Maryska </strong>($95,361) got entangled in a hand with with <strong>Javed Abrahams</strong> and by the river, it was his time to visit the rail as Abrahams’ straight held up against numerous outs for Maryska.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Michael Shkover </strong>was ousted next as his top pair was not good enough against the Queens of Abrahams and he failed to improve after the flop, leaving the game $125,233 richer. That left <strong>Matt Marafioti </strong>as one of the short stacks at the table and he busted in sixth place to <strong>Miltiadis Kyriakides</strong>, earning $166,087 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another short stack was that of <strong>Marko Neumann </strong>($222,549), whose run was done in fifth place. Once again, a pocket pair held up as Walsh’s Kings beat the middle pair and gutshot draw of Neumann. Baron<strong> </strong>got his chips in the middle with #qh#jd#10c#9d against the #ah#kd#jc#4c of Kyriakides, but as the board brought no help to either, the Ace-high of Kyriakides actually held up and eliminated Baron in 4<sup>th</sup> place worth $301,369.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although things were going good for Kyriakides<strong> </strong>for a while, he met his match eventually as well. He got his chips in the middle holding two pair and a gutshut against the set of Walsh and couldn’t find the help he needed to avoid being sent to the rail in 3<sup>rd</sup> place. He still earned $412,408 for his great performance in the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally it was down to two, with Walsh holding a significant lead over Abrahams. His near 3:1 chip advantage was annihilated at one point, however, as Abrahams was able to seize the lead. Walsh got back in control after winning a big pot when his straight was able to stand up against the numerous outs of Abrahams, seriously crippling his stack. After some more back and forth, the two got involved in what was the final hand of the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the board reading #js#4c#3h, all the chips found their way into the middle and Abrahams was most at risk. He held #10s#7h#6c#5c against Walsh’s #jc#10h#4h#3c and needed to improve to beat the two pair of his opponent. He failed to do so when the board ran #8h and #8c, sending him to the rail as the second place finisher with a payday of $570,284.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The victory for Pat Walsh earned him not only the gold bracelet, but also $923,379 in cold, hard cash. It was a great success for Walsh, who is primarily a cash game player. This is the only tournament he has played so far and the only other event he intends to play is the Main Event. Walsh will be walking away a really big winner this summer no matter what happens in the Main Event.</p> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 21:00:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3029 WSOP 2014: The Main Event Gets Underway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he big moment of every World Series of Poker is always the start of the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship, better known as the <strong>Main Event</strong>. It was no different for this 45<sup>th</sup> series either, as cards were in the air to start the path toward crowning a new poker champion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was <strong>Joe Hachem</strong>, the 2005 Main Event winner, who was given the honor of opening the biggest and most important tournament of not only the series, but of the whole year. As far as poker tournaments go, none can compete with the Main Event in terms of number of participants and prestige, as no other tournament of the year with a $10k buy-in can attract even close to these numbers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is an important year for the WSOP as it celebrates its 10<sup>th</sup> anniversary since moving to the Rio from Binion’s Horseshoe, which was its home for 35 years. To celebrate this occasion, WSOP organizers decided to guarantee a $10,000,000 prize for the winner, which should result in a big turnout.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play will be spread across three starting days. Day 2 will take place on Tuesday for players from Day 1A and Day 1B. Players from Day 1C, which traditionally gets the biggest turnout, will compete in their Day 2 on Wednesday. Finally, all players will take their seats together on Thursday and play down until the final table of nine is formed. The concept of November Nine still stands, however, so the winner of at least $10 million will be known after play on November 10<sup>th</sup> and 11<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The number of participants in some of the previous events provide a clue that the Main Event will likely gather a huge field. The Monster Stack Event, for example, took down a couple records and the Millionaire Maker event certainly did not fall far behind. However, we will just have to wait and see how things develop as Day 1A did not produce such a huge number of entries – just 771.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The defending champion, <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, is one of those who decided to try their luck today. As the day is coming to an end, his stack is looking very healthy. If he wants to have any shot at defending the title, making Day 2 is an obligatory step. Riess is looking good to do it as things stand right now.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other notable names who are also still in the mix with the end of the day looming include <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Merson</strong>,<strong> </strong>and many others. <strong>Jason Mercier </strong>was eliminated, so the series is over for him. The same goes for <strong>Phil Laak, Jeff Gross</strong>,<strong> </strong>and <strong>Jean-Robert Bellande</strong>. The latter<strong> </strong>decided to register to play super late and it did not help his cause of surviving the day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We are at the start of the biggest yearly poker event and there is a lot ahead to look forward to. One thing that might disappoint some fans is <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>’s announcement via Twitter that he would not be playing the Main Event this year. Let's hope the ten-time WSOP champ and poker legend changes his mind.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Are you ready to play for real money at <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche">Download and Play Now!</a><br/></strong></p> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 07:35:50 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3028 Ten Game Mix Turns into Gold for Bryn Kenney <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>inning a bracelet in any particular event is usually quite an endeavor. But winning a bracelet in a tournament that takes ten games and mixes them together is especially hard. That’s why <strong>Bryn Kenney </strong>has multiple reasons to be excited and proud of his victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney outlasted the field of 445 players in the $1,500 Ten Game Mix Event, one of the last tournaments to have started before the Main Event. The final day started with nine players, so we would see three of them go before the official six-handed final table was formed. Those three were <strong>David Blatte, Haresh Thaker </strong>and <strong>Michael Mixer.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first casualty of the final six was <strong>Randy Ohel </strong>($18,923), whose rivered full house in a PLO hand was no good against <strong>Daniel Zack</strong>’s flopped quad Fives. After that, play slowed down significantly and it would take some time before the fifth place finisher was determined. Eventually, the honor went to <strong>Andrey Zaichenko </strong>($27,033)<strong>, </strong>whose #ac#2d fell victim to the pocket Kings of <strong>Fabio Coppola</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Zack was eliminated in a game that we didn’t get to see a whole lot during the series, namely Badugi. He got his chips in the middle against <strong>Jan Suchanek</strong> and failed to get the cards he needed to complete his four-card Badugi. Suchanek hit a #js on his last draw, completing his four-color combination and eliminating Zack in 4<sup>th</sup> place with $40,550.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Coppola, third place was as far as he would go after he got involved in a 2-7 single draw hand against Kenney. Coppola called off Kenney’s all-in to put himself at risk and drew one card after Kenney stood pat. Coppola drew a King to end up with <strong>Kx 10x 8x 7x 6x</strong>, which was not good enough against Kenney’s <strong>Jx 10x 9x 7x 5x</strong>. Coppola left the tournament $153,220 richer for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney entered heads-up action about a 3:1 chip favorite and was able to ride his lead all the way to the bracelet. Although Suchanek<strong> </strong>was close to getting even at one point during the match, he couldn’t quite get there before the two played their last hand.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney and Suchanek saw the flop come #qh#9s#2h in a raised pot and Kenney check-called a bet from Suchanek. The turn came #4d and once again Kenney proceeded to check-call. The final card was #9c. Once again, Kenney checked and his opponent moved all-in. Kenney snap-called him with #10s#9h and rivered trips, while Suchanek could only turn over #kc#2c for a sole pair of Deuces. Second place was good for $94,618 for Suchanek.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Bryn Kenney, this was his third final table appearance of the series and he was able to improve on his previous 4<sup>th</sup> and 5<sup>th</sup> place finishes. Taking down the bracelet in this one together with $153,220 first place prize money meant a lot to Kenney, especially in such a tough field that included the likes of <strong>Jeremy Ausmus</strong>, <strong>Scott Clements</strong>, <strong>Phil Laak</strong>, <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>, and many other top-notch players.</p> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 21:07:41 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3027 Last $1,500 NLHE Event Brings the First Bracelet for Salman Jaddi <p style="text-align: justify;">When the WSOP started a bit over a month ago, there were 65 tournaments in the series for players to look forward to. Last night, we witnessed the conclusion of Event #60, clearly indicating that we are running out of events. Whether players are looking for their first bracelet or trying to add another one to a collection, there are very few shots left as the last tournament of the series, the Main Event, starts tonight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Salman Jaddi </strong>is one of those lucky ones who managed to get their hands on a bracelet just as the tournament schedule was becoming small enough to fit comfortably on a post-it note. The last $1,500 event attracted a big field of 2,563 players, thus promising the winner a monster prize of $614,248.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But as is always the case, there could only be one winner while everyone else would be left to regret a decision or a play made at a certain point. The remaining nine players who gathered at the final table of Event #60 all knew that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn’t a star-studded final table by any standard, but Jaddi had some work to do if he was going to come out on top. He began the final table in the middle of the pack in chip counts, with quite limited playing experience. But the amateur went on a heater and everything went his way for the first half of the final table as he proceeded to eliminate five players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First he took out <strong>Kurt Jewell </strong>($45,603), winning a standard flip. Then he crushed the hopes of the only bracelet winner at the table, <strong>Steve Sung </strong>($59,547), after making the best hand with his #kc#10d to Sung’s #ac#10h. Also sent to the rail was <strong>Thomas Dietl </strong>($78,681) after yet another flip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jaddi didn't stop there as he proceeded to take the chips of the short-stacked <strong>David Bravin </strong>($105,185) and <strong>Cherish Andrews </strong>($142,346), whose pocket Queens were only the second best hand to Jaddi’s Kings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After his strong performance, Sam took a step back. He left the rest of the work to <strong>Brandon Hall</strong>, who took the chips of <strong>Guillauma Marechal </strong>($194,939) and <strong>Zachary Gruneberg </strong>($270,299), who was at his third final table of the series. With those knockouts, Hall<strong> </strong>entered the heads-up with about a 2.5:1 chip lead over Jaddi, but they were in for a long haul.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although an amateur, Jaddi was not ready to give up that easily. He pulled all the tricks he could, including the “I am not sure what I’m doing” one, to end the night with the chip lead. And as the game dragged into the night, the clock was stopped and the players were scheduled to return tomorrow for the big finale.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once they returned tonight, however, it was all over in something over an hour. Jaddi was able to turn his relatively small lead into a big gap and very quickly had Hall holding on for his tournament life. Hall took his last stand by shoving #ah#2d and received a call from his opponent who was holding #qh#10h.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The flop looked good for Hall, as it came #kh#ac#9s, leaving Jaddi with the gutshot and backdoor outs. However, the #2h turn was a scary card, as although it gave Hall two pair, it opened the possibility of a heart flush for Jaddi. The dealer turned over the final card of the tournament, the #6h, to eliminate Hall in second place with a $381,885 prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Salman Jaddi<strong> </strong>became an unlikely winner, even admitting it himself in an interview after the event. “I’m a business owner. I love playing the game poker. Anyone has a shot to win this thing.” And it may well be true – anyone has a shot, but it was Jaddi who put his to good use, earning $614,248 for his efforts and a gold WSOP bracelet as well.</p> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 07:23:28 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3026 Matt Grapenthien Denies Todd Brunson a Stud Championship Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he $10k Stud Championship may have gathered only 102 players, but many of those who entered undoubtedly belong to a group of elite poker players. The likes of <strong>Barry Greenstein, Jesse Martin</strong>, <strong>George Danzer, Matthew Ashton,</strong> <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>and<strong> Todd Brunson</strong> all participated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with nine players looking to seize the bracelet, and those nine included both Hellmuth and Brunson. Also among the finalists was hole card cam inventor and Poker Hall of Famer, <strong>Henry Orenstein. </strong> Orenstein was after his second bracelet, the first one coming in a 1996 $5k Stud event. Brunson was chasing his #2 as well, while Hellmuth was looking to capture his fourteenth and once again widen the gap between him and Phil Ivey, who won his 10<sup>th</sup> just a few days ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only one not to make the official final table of eight was Jesse Martin, but his finish pushed him over $2 million in tournament winnings. Orenstein was the next casualty, as he couldn’t make it past 8<sup>th</sup> place. It was still a great run from the 90-year-old who’s been around poker for a long time and has not only seen but also helped poker grow and become what it is today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Henrick Heklen </strong>committed his chips against Todd Brunson and his timing proved to be off. By seventh street, Brunson was raking in his chips while Heklen finished seventh.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hellmuth<strong> </strong>really had high hopes that this event would bring him a bracelet, as there are no more events to look for the gold. The very last event before the Main Event started tonight, and if the Poker Brat was going to get #14, it was going to be tonight. It didn’t happen, though, as he was stopped by <strong>James Obst</strong> who took the last of his chips and sent him to the rail in 6<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Steve Landfish </strong>actually finished as runner-up in this event in 2011 and was looking to go one better this time, but was denied the opportunity as <strong>Matt Grapenthien</strong> first severly crippled his stack and then proceeded to take the little Landfish had left, eliminating him in 5<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another tough opponent in the mix was <strong>Ben Yu. </strong>Although Yu does not have any bracelets to his name, this was his third career WSOP final table and he was certainly a tough opponent. The threat was eliminated when Yu, who started the final table in strong fashion but had troubles holding on to his chips as the tournament progressed, had a run-in with Grapenthien. All of his chips went in on fourth street and despite announcing his intention to double up, Grapenthien caught two pair on seventh street to send him to the rail with earnings of $75,227.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Obst, this was his very first WSOP final table and he was looking to turn it into his first bracelet. It wouldn’t happen for him this time, though, as he was stopped in third place. In Obst's very last hand of the tournament, Grapenthien ended up with quads to send him home with $103,895.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was time for the bracelet winner to be determined and Todd Brunson<strong> </strong>held about a 2:1 lead over Grapenthien.<strong> </strong>It turned into a long battle but despite starting ahead, the cards wouldn’t fall Brunson’s way. A hand that cost Todd most of his chips came when Grapenthien made trip Kings and got Brunson to call several barrels. Some hands later, it was all over as Grapenthien’s pair of Eights held over Brunson’s pair of Fives. Todd had to be satisfied with second place, which earned him $165,891.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With this victory Grapenthien booked his 11<sup>th</sup> WSOP cash and improved on his previous best cash, which was 7<sup>th</sup> place in 2010. This was an emotional moment for Grapenthien as the bracelet was on his mind for the better part of the final table, especially during heads-up play. After last night, he gets to enjoy looking at it whenever he feels like it!</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 19:34:18 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3025 Phil Ivey Claims Edge Sorting Requires Skill <p>With 10 <strong>WSOP</strong> titles to his name, no one is disputing the skill of <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> when it comes to playing poker. But his lawyers are asking a <strong>New Jersey</strong> court to also consider edge sorting at baccarat as another skill attributable to the poker pro.</p> <p>The latest court filing in the <strong>Borgata</strong> Casino's case against Ivey in which the casino claims that Ivey used an unfair advantage to win <em>$9.6 million</em> at the baccarat tables was a Motion to Dismiss filed by his attorneys, AP reported. Ivey's counsel found fault with Plaintiff's claims in three distinct ways.</p> <p>The motion for dismissal contends that Ivey did nothing that would fall under the definition of cheating, that time has run out for the casino to recoup lost money beyond a six-month window, and that alleged violations of New Jersey's casino regulations must be made by state regulators and not casinos.</p> <p><blockquote>Each and every penny of defendants' winnings was the result of sheer skill," stated the motion.</blockquote></p> <p>The legal dispute centers around Ivey's nearly <em>$10 million</em> in winnings collected while playing baccarat four times at Atlantic City Borgata in 2012. Ivey and a female associate persuaded baccarat dealers to flip various desirable cards a certain way and place them back into the deck after noticing defective patterns on the back of the playing cards.</p> <p>The dealers were also instructed to use a machine to shuffle the cards to ensure that once the card denominations were known and returned to the deck, Ivey and his companion could easily determine the approximate value of the cards merely by looking at the defects on the back.</p> <p>The Borgata filed a lawsuit in April aiming to recoup the money it paid Ivey under the belief that he and his cohort were using an unfair advantage and cheating. Ivey is also at legal loggerheads with a <strong>London</strong> casino in a similar case where the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner filed suit as the plaintiff. In the latter legal fracas, the casino refused to pay Ivey almost <em>$12 million</em> in winnings after determining how he managed to win.</p> <p>Motions to Dismiss are standard filings in civil matters in which the defense aims to have the case thrown out without progressing further. The plaintiff has a specific period of time to respond to the motion and generally attacks the claims made by the defendant in asking the court for dismissal.</p> <p>Ivey, of course, is currently in Las Vegas for the 45th running of the World Series of Poker. He recently won the WSOP $1,500 Eight Game Mix event for <em>$167,332</em>, putting him in elite company among four players who have at least ten WSOP titles.<strong> Phil Hellmuth</strong> leads the pack with 13, while <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>, <strong>Johnny Chan</strong> and Ivey all have 10.</p> <p> </p> <p>Download the wsop software and take advntage of great welcome bouses - <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche">Click here to download</a></p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:19:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3024 Phillip Hui Seizes WSOP Gold after Unlikely Comeback <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen play got down to the unofficial final table of ten, <strong>Phillip Hui </strong>was as far away from the bracelet as anyone could be at that point. With only 23,000 in his stack, he did not even have a big bet left. Hui tweeted that it was time for a comeback, although probably half-jokingly. But a couple hours later, it was no longer half a joke as he did manage to come back and find his way to the top.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui started his road to eventual victory soon after the start of 10-handed play. He put the last of his chips at risk against two players and his #js#jc#10s#10c held up  for the high while the board provided no possibility for low. It was game on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He soon made another double up through <strong>David Williams</strong> and although it did not give him a very big stack, it was enough to give him a decent fighting chance. And while Hui was trying to grow his stack, players started to hit the rail. First to go was <strong>Don Zewin</strong>, who gave the last of his chips to <strong>Zach Milchman</strong>, and the official final table was formed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Joe Mitchell</strong> fell next as he surrendered what little chips he had to Hui, who managed to grow his stack in the process. Hui’s good run continued as soon he eliminated two players in the same hand, sending both <strong>Jordan Morgan </strong>(8<sup>th</sup>) and <strong>Matt Glantz </strong>(7<sup>th</sup>) to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Williams<strong> </strong>came into the day with high hopes, but his dreams were crushed by <strong>Ismael Bojang</strong>, who sent him out in 6<sup>th</sup> place. Then Hui continued to gather chips by eliminating <strong>John D’Agostino </strong>in 5<sup>th</sup> place, good for $65,736.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Boajang<strong> </strong>ran good for the first half of the final table, but then his luck started running out and a series of crippling blows saw his stack disappear. It ended with a finishing strike from <strong>Michael Bees</strong>, who sent Boajang to the rail to pick up $87,594. Milchman proceeded to eliminate Bees<strong> </strong>($118,036) and the remaining two players were ready to proceed heads-up.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui found himself once again as the underdog, with Milchman enjoying a 4:1 chip advantage. Things were looking even worse for Hui when Milchman proceeded to grind his stack down and seize an 18:1 advantage. It seemed that Hui was poised for second place, but he had yet another comeback in him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui managed two double ups in a row to get back in the game. Soon after, Hui held the lead and he wouldn’t let it slip from under his fingers. It was now Hui who was grinding Milchman’s stack. On the final hand, Milchman was holding #kc#qc#jd#3s against Hui’s #jc#10h#9d#7s. Hui hit a pair of tens on the #ah#10s#2c flop and managed to bring it home after the #4s turn and #8c river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui eliminated Milchman<strong> </strong>in second place and sent him home with $177,609 for his efforts. Hui earned his first WSOP bracelet and first place prize money of $286,976. He was ecstatic about his victory, not only because of winning his first bracelet but also because the WSOP had been going really bad for him until this point. It was a relief to finally book a sizable win just as time was running out on the number of tournaments left to play.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:05:23 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3023 Jared Jaffee Mixes Up a WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">M</span>ixed-max events seem to belong in the favorites category for many players. The changing pace of the game as the tournament progresses makes for interesting dynamics and creates new challenges as tables get shorter.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Event #58 of this year’s WSOP attracted quite a number of players, as 1,475 of them gathered to play on the first day of action. It started with nine-handed tables and transitioned to six and four-handed phases before eventually getting down to two heads-up matches to determine the two finalists.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Mike Watson </strong>squared off against <strong>Mark Herm</strong>, while <strong>Jared Jaffee </strong>played <strong>Joseph Alban. </strong>Jaffee made short work of Alban, as their match ended after only two hands. Alban moved all-in from the button and Jaffee made the call with #9h#9d. Alban’s #qs#8c was in trouble, but the turn gave him both straight and flush draws to go with his Queen. However, a brick on the river forced his elimination, albeit $126,882 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Watson and Herm took a bit longer to determine the winner, as their stacks were much closer with Herm holding a slight lead at the start. Eventually, however, Watson found a way to get ahead and managed to strike the finishing blow when his #kd#2h held against Herm's #jh#8h, sending him to the rail with winnings equal to that of Alban.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After a break, Watson and Jaffee were ready to start what turned out to be a long heads-up battle for the title, with Jaffee holding a nearly 2:1 chip lead over Watson. Watson fought with all he had and was able to capture the lead at one point in the match, leading many to believe that he might be able to turn it around.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But things took a turn for the worse once again and Watson’s stack started dwindling. This time, he could not find a way to recuperate and soon found himself all-in for his tournament life. Watson was well ahead with his #jh#jd facing the #ac#6c of Jaffee. Fading an Ace would get him right back in the match. The bullet did not appear, but a straight did on fifth street when the board ran #10c#8h#5h#7c#4h. Watson's pocket Jacks were second best, resulting in a runner-up finish and a $246,000 prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jaffee<strong> </strong>binked the Mixed-Max event, claiming $405,428 and his first gold bracelet. His previous best WSOP finish was 3<sup>rd</sup> place in last year’s four-handed event. The results further solidified Jaffee’s claim that short-handed play is his forte. Going into the last day of play, Jaffee had a good feeling about this tourney and that feeling proved to be right as he finally claimed a bracelet in his 11<sup>th</sup> WSOP cash.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:16:02 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3022 17 Bids Received for 4 New York Casinos <p>New York is inching closer to expanding land-based casino gambling after 17 bids were received by state gaming regulators for four new casinos.</p> <p>The <strong>New York State Gaming Commission</strong> is now carefully scrutinizing the proposals and will announce the winners sometime this fall. The list of applicants includes <strong>Hard Rock International</strong>, <strong>Caesars Entertainment</strong>, <strong>Penn National</strong>, and the <strong>Saratoga Casino and Raceway</strong>, among others.</p> <p>That list was originally populated by 22 bidders, but five have since not pursued the matter further, WSJ reported.</p> <p>The remaining 17 applicants have been welcomed to give oral presentations as to why they should be chosen on July 21. The <strong>Gaming Facility Location Board</strong> will hear their pleas. Those pleas for licensing will be restricted to three regions previously chosen by state officials in which the new casinos will be constructed.</p> <p>New York's gaming expansion plan was made possible by a November referendum that found New Yorkers in favor of commercial brick and mortar casinos. New York residents will be able to remain in-state to gamble, which will likely cause a drop in revenue in surrounding states. <strong>New Jersey</strong> has already experienced revenue decreases for that reason, with <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> mostly to blame.</p> <p>While blueprints are in place for expanded live casino gambling in the Empire State, expansion may also reach the Internet in the future. A survey taken in March found New Yorkers in favor of online poker, with <em>87%</em> stating that legalized Internet gambling would not preclude them from visiting casinos.</p> <p>The survey was commissioned by <strong>Caesars</strong> and<strong> MGM</strong> shortly after New York <strong>Sen. John Bonacic</strong> proposed an online poker bill. Bonacic's measure, S 6913, would permit poker-only while excluding games of chance from being wagered on online. Some 19 million residents call New York home, making it the third most populous state in the nation.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:34:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3011 Mike Kachan Breaks Through to Win WSOP $1K NLHE Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he 2014 World Series of Poker is slowly winding down. There are only a couple events left before the start of the Main Event and that will be the last chance for those seeking bracelets this summer. <strong>Mike Kachan </strong>managed to catch one of the last trains leaving for bracelet-ville and claimed victory in Event #56, a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kachan outlived 2,524 opponents who took their seats at the start of Day 1 and by the time the last hand was dealt on Day 3, he improved on his now second-best WSOP finish in 2008 when he took 9<sup>th</sup> place in a $1,500 Limit Hold’em event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When 16 final players returned for Day 3, Kachan was sitting in the middle of the pack with his stack. Although he certainly was hoping, his expectations were probably not too high all things considered. By the time <strong>Matt Salsberg </strong>was eliminated in 10<sup>th</sup> place and the final table was set, Kachan was still in the middle of the pack. He gathered some chips to maintain his position, but he was well behind the chip leader and the only bracelet winner at the table, <strong>Steve Gross.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a slow final table and every elimination took a while. The first three to eventually leave the game were <strong>Raymond Henson, Richard Milne </strong>and <strong>Steve Gross</strong>, the chip leader at the start of 9-handed play. Then <strong>Viktor Skoldstedt </strong>eliminated <strong>Neo Hoang </strong>in sixth place when his #as#js held over Hoang’s #kh#10s.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Skoldstedt was the next one to go out. He made his move with #ah#4s and was dominated by the #ac#js of <strong>Jeff Blenkarn</strong>. Skoldstedt earned $93,490 for his great run in this really big field, but could not go all the way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan added some chips to his stack when he first crippled and then proceeded to eliminate <strong>Andrew Egan </strong>a couple of hands later, sending him to the rail in fourth place with $128,000. Then Blenkarn proceeded to bust <strong>Eric Shanks </strong>in third place ($177,527) and the stage was set for heads-up play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan started with a slight lead over Shanks and was able to build on that lead during the next couple of hours to claim the victory. The last hand saw Blenkarn<strong> </strong>call an open from Kechan. Following the flop of #9s#jd#5h, Blenkarn proceeded to raise Kechan’s bet and the #6h hit the turn. Blenkarn moved all-in and wasn’t happy to see Kechan beat him to the pot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan turned two pair with #jh#6d and was well ahead of Blenkarn’s #qd#9d. The #10c on the river did nothing to change this fact and Jeff Blenkarn was eliminated in second place, earning $250,815.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first place prize of $403,483 and the gold bracelet went to Mike Kechan. Playing in this tournament was a last-minute decision for the new champ, who came to Vegas to play the Main Event. But on this occasion, it worked out quite well for him!</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:05:43 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3010 Latin Series of Poker Changes Name to Appease WSOP <p>The<strong> Latin Series of Poker</strong> (LSOP) has announced a rebranding to the <strong>Latin Poker Series</strong> (LPS) following a claim of copyright infringement made by the <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> (WSOP).</p> <p>The WSOP took offense to the LSOP acronym, believing that confusion might occur in the minds of consumers due to the similarity in brands centered around <em>'Series of Poker.'</em> The WSOP is undoubtedly the most recognized of poker tournaments, currently in its 45th year. The LPS has been around (as LSOP) since 2008.</p> <p><blockquote>We are honored that the most respected poker tournament circuit has laid eyes on us," stated LPS President Diego Chan in a press release. "Being under the microscope means that our tournament series is really making a name for itself on the world stage, and it confirms that we are doing things right in taking our events to the poker world."</blockquote></p> <p>All LPS tournaments previously scheduled will go forth as planned, albeit reflecting the name change that has already commenced at the website. That site will also soon be posting results of a leaderboard competition among participants in live LPS events.</p> <p>The 45th running of the WSOP is currently underway in<strong> Las Vegas</strong>. The festival will continue through mid-July, culminating in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event that will reduce the field to nine players before going on hiatus for a few months.</p> <p>The LPS Millions II and its guaranteed $1 million prize pool is slated to begin in September in Panama with Day 1 tables set to be played in locations around the world. Also on the docket are the LPS Chile (Aug. 20-24) and the Punta Cana Poker Classic (Nov. 4-9).</p> <p>The LPS is sponsored by the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong>. Players can compete for a chance to win live tournament poker packages at WPN skins such as <strong>Black Chip Poker</strong> and <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:05:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3008 Daniel vs. Daniel: Colman Beats Negreanu to Conquer WSOP Big One for One Drop <p style="text-align: justify;">It may have been only a 42-player ‘sit and go,’ as some players jokingly named it, but the <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>tournament has easily outdone any other event that has taken place during this WSOP in terms of prize pools. A fee of $111,111 was taken from every $1 million buy-in, generating more than <strong>$4.6 million charity money</strong> for the One Drop Foundation. Players were left to compete for the prize pool of more than <strong>$33 million</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nearly half of that money, $15.3 million, was reserved for the winner of the event. And that’s what the remaining nine players had their eyes fixed upon when they returned tonight for the last day of play. After about 4 hours of play, it was <strong>Daniel Colman</strong> who became $15.4 million richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Only eight players were guaranteed to walk away with money, meaning that one of those coming back today would go home $1 million lighter just like the 42<sup>nd</sup> place finisher. Although it was a huge bubble, it burst within a few hands of play. Many players did not have too many big blinds in their stacks. The extremely unpleasant honor went to <strong>Tom Hall</strong>, who had his ups and downs throughout the tournament. His luck finally ran out completely and he lost a flip to finish in 9<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not even ten hands later, it was <strong>Cary Katz </strong>sent to the rail when his pocket Eights fell victim to <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>’s pocket Jacks. Katz still made a nice profit on the tournament, as he walked away with $1.3 million. Following him out the door not too long after was <strong>Paul Newey</strong>, who got it in good preflop with #ac#jh versus <strong>Rick</strong> <strong>Salomon</strong>’s #ah#4h. But Salomon turned the nut flush and sent Newey on his way to pick up more than $1.4 million for his seventh place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Scott Seiver </strong>got his last 10 or so million in chips in the middle against Negreanu while holding the middle pair and a flush draw. But despite Seiver's many outs, Negreanu’s top pair held up through the turn and river to eliminate Seiver in 6<sup>th</sup> place ($1,680,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tobias Reinkemeier </strong>perhaps was not having his best day today, as he made what many deemed a questionable fold with pocket Aces on the turn and was shown a bluff by Seiver. But he managed to finish in fifth place and bank $2,053,000. His luck eventually ran out when he moved all-in with #js#8s and got called by Negreanu and his holding of #qd#10d. The flop could hardly hit KidPoker any harder, as it came #7d#8d#9d, and Reinkemeier was sent on his way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Salomon and his remaining sixteen big blinds was next to go only a couple minutes later.  He open shoved holding pocket Eights and was called by Colman with #ac#10h. Colman hit not one but two Tens on the flop and that was more than enough to send Salomon out with $2.8 million to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The two Daniels and <strong>Christoph Vogelsang </strong>started three-handed play with Vogelsang looking to double up to have a shot at the $15 million first place prize. Although Vogelsang gave it his best, he kept bleeding chips and was eventually reduced to under four big blinds. Negreanu eventually put him away, allowing he and Colman to play for even bigger bucks than the $4,480,000 that Vogelsang took home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The difference between first and second place was quite significant, so naturally, heads-up action took some time. Negreanu and Colman exchanged chip leads, with both players determined to claim victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the final hand of the match, Negreanu limped his button, Colman raised, and Negreanu moved all-in. Colman wasted little time making the call with #kd#qh and Negreanu turned over #ad#4c for a slight preflop advantage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The flop further extended KidPoker’s lead, as it came #js#ah#4s, giving him two pair. Colman was left looking for a ten to complete his Broadway. He did not have to sweat too much, however, as the dealer burned and turned the #10s. All of a sudden, Negreanu was way behind and looking for help on the river. That help never came as #7s peeled off, and KidPoker was eliminated in second place despite putting up a great fight against a player many describe as a heads-up specialist. His efforts were not in vain, however, as Negreanu banked<strong> $8,288,001</strong> for his second place finish. This score puts him in first place on the <strong>All Time Money List</strong>, an honor held by <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong> until tonight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The huge first place prize of <strong>$15,306,668</strong> went to Colman. It's the very first WSOP bracelet for the 23-year-old and he is no doubt thrilled that it came from such a big event. And to top it off, Colman’s "gold" bracelet will be a one-of-a-kind, custom made, platinum bracelet. You can call that a good day at the office.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:01:25 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3007 No Gold for Massey – Asi Moshe Captures His First Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">C</span>oming into the final table of Event #55, there was one player who probably wanted to win a bracelet more than all of the other eight players – <strong>Aaron Massey</strong>. But in poker, as in life, desires and reality often do not correspond. Massey finished in 3<sup>rd</sup> place, while it was <strong>Asi Moshe </strong>who captured his first bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Moshe, this was his fourth ever WSOP event. Of the four tournaments played, he cashed in two. His resume now includes a fifth place finish in 2013 and the gold bracelet and $582,000 win from last night. Moshe is a computer programmer and semi-professional poker player who plays most of his games in the online environment, but that will probably change now as his live cashes are in excess of $700,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Massey, on the other hand, has two WSOP circuit rings and a total of 32 circuit cashes. Combined with his nine WSOP cashes, Massey’s total WSOP earnings amount to $623,000. That includes last night’s third place worth $255,000. For Massey, the dream of winning a bracelet has long eluded him and last night he came so close to finally capturing it. Good vibes were coming to his Twitter from all over the place, but he ran out of luck after he pushed his pocket Tens into the pocket Queens of Moshe. Despite hitting a ten on the flop, it was not enough when his opponent also found a queen and Massey’s run at the bracelet ended.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left Moshe to play heads-up for the bracelet against <strong>Michael Ferrer, </strong>holding about a 2.5:1 chip lead over his opponent. However, Ferrer wasn’t going away easily and managed to grind his stack back to even. After some more back and forth, it was a cooler-type hand that determined the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board was reading #qs#5d#2c#3h#4c and after Ferrer moved all-in over a bet from Moshe, he snap-called. Ferrer was holding #ac#qd for the wheel, but his hand was only second-best. Moshe made a six-high straight with his #5c#6c, sending Ferrer to the cage to pick up his $361,207.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Moshe earned not only his first bracelet but also the hefty sum of $582,321. He admitted in an interview with that it was “maybe the best feeling of his life.” He said that winning the bracelet was one of his dreams, but he never really believed it was going to come true. But dreams sometimes do come true for some, and Moshe can count himself lucky to be one of those people who turned their dreams into reality.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other final table players included 4<sup>th</sup> place finisher<strong> David Jackson </strong>($183,500), <strong>Bobby Poe</strong> in fifth worth $133,686, <strong>Henrik Hecklen </strong>(6<sup>th</sup>), <strong>Marc-Etienne McLaughlin </strong>(7<sup>th</sup>), <strong>Tim West </strong>(8<sup>th</sup>) and <strong>Brian Kennedy </strong>(9<sup>th</sup>).</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 22:13:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3006 Monster Prize for Hugo Pingray as He Wins WSOP Event #51 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>SOP Event #51 – the Monster Stack<strong> – </strong>was one event that most players were eager to play. With a small buy-in, good structure, and expected big turnout, there was very little reason not to play this one. And that was the conclusion of the 7,862 players that entered, creating a staggering prize pool in excess of $10.5 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It took four full days for 7,861 of those players to lose all of their chips and the one player who ended up with the huge stack of 117,800,000 was <strong>Hugo Pingray</strong>. Although his cash reward was not as big as the amount of betting discs in front of him, it was still the second biggest cash of this year’s series and was outmatched only by the first prize of the $50k Poker Players Championship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pingray, however, only had to pay $1,500 to get his seat in this tournament and he got to walk away with a mind-numbing <strong>$1,327,000</strong> or nearly 900 times the amount of his buyin! Before getting his hands on this pile of money, Hugo had to fight a long heads-up battle with <strong>Joseph McKeehan. </strong>It was a grueling four hours of chips exchanging hands and the combatants trying their best to outsmart each other before Pingray was able to deliver the finishing blow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The long grind finally came to an end when McKeehan shoved over Pingray’s button open and Pingray made an easy call with #ac#kd. McKeehan was behind with his #js#10c and the flop of #ad#5h#2s did not help his cause in any way. The #9s on the turn meant he was drawing dead and he would have to be content with a "measly" $820,863 for his runner-up finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This final table did not feature many big names, as the only bracelet winner in the bunch was 2011 Casino Employees Event winner <strong>Sean Drake</strong>. But even Drake's presence at the final table guaranteed more than what he picked up for that win. Drake went on to finish in third position, claiming $619,521 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two other players with previous final table experience were <strong>Thayer Rasmussen </strong>and <strong>Zachary Gruneberg</strong>, and they finished in 5<sup>th</sup> and 8<sup>th</sup>, respectively. Rasmussen took home $356,620 while Gruneberg cashed in for $163,238.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Joshua Hillock </strong>was the unluckiest of the lucky, as he was the first one to leave his final table seat. But Hillock still scored a five-figure payday in the amount of $127,364. <strong>Bobby Byram </strong>finished in seventh place, banking $210,469. <strong>Lynne Beaumont </strong>took 6<sup>th</sup> worth $273,000, while the 4<sup>th</sup> place finish of <strong>Claas Sagebrecht </strong>was good for $468,594.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This event was the third largest live tournament in history and the biggest without reentries and a single starting day. This reflected on payouts, as despite the small buyin of $1,500, all the players at the final table were guaranteed a five-figure payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This victory was truly huge for Pingray, as up to this point his lifetime earnings were close to $46,000. The 23-year-old, who is taking time away from college to pursue his poker dreams, was exhausted but thrilled when all was said and done. As far as poker goes, when you win your very first WSOP bracelet in a field of this size and pick up well over a million for your efforts, it doesn’t get much better than that.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:34:13 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2997 California Takes Aim at Internet 'Sweepstakes Cafes' <p>While the California legislature continues to ponder a couple of online poker bills that would allow state residents to compete against one another on the virtual felt, another bill has been proposed that would prohibit "sweepstakes cafes" from offering casino-type games that offer cash and prizes to winners.</p> <p>The cafes have been operating in the Golden State and use computers that simulate games of chance and slot machines that are common to casino gamblers. However, the winners are not selected randomly in the fashion that games of chance normally do. The results are already predetermined and it is that difference that operators of the sweepstakes cafes point to when claiming their customers are not actually gambling.</p> <p>Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is not buying it, however, and has proposed AB 1438. Salas' measure would allow state officials to sue operators who continue to offer such gaming at sweepstakes cafes and could result in civil penalties for those found to be non-compliant, USA Today reported.</p> <p><blockquote>This is a prolific problem that we're seeing in our neighborhoods up and down the state, where we're seeing these illegal gaming sweepstakes cafes opening up with a myriad of problems and issues ... of drugs, of prostitution, impacts to local legitimate businesses in these strip malls where these things are occurring," Salas said.</blockquote></p> <p>Earlier this month, authorities raided one such sweepstakes cafe believed to be an illegal gambling den in a run-down area south of Sacramento. That marked the second time this year such a raid occured. Agents with the California Bureau of Gambling Control have reported that the number of businesses investigated for illegal gambling have doubled in just two years.</p> <p>More than three dozen groups that represent government and law enforcement interests are supporting Salas' proposal. Also on board are 15 more groups that represent the state's powerful card rooms and Indian tribes. The latter organizations, who operate legal land-based gaming operations, claim to be losing revenue to the sweepstakes cafes.</p> <p>The problem is not specific to California, as the American Gaming Association has released statistics showing that sweepstakes cafes can be found in 19 states. The AGA has estimated the market to be worth $10 billion per year throughout the nation. A couple of states, Georgia and New York in particular, have already advanced legislative efforts to ban such operations.</p> <p>In California, Salas' bill is currently before the Senate. But the California Supreme Court is also involved, as the justices have agreed to hear a case that centers around whether or not predetermined results of the casino-type games can be constituted as gambling.</p> <p><blockquote>On the surface, it looks like it's illegal," said Philip Walker, a Bakersfield Internet cafe owner and founder of the Internet Cafe Association of California. "But once you get down to the meat inside, it really isn't."</blockquote></p> <p>The 5th District Court of Appeals in California ruled a few months ago that the computers in use at sweepstakes cafes are against the law despite the predetermined results argument. The state Supreme Court will now have a final say in the matter.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:45:45 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3020 Florian Langmann Wins Title in $3K PLO8 Hi-Lo <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">F</span>lorian Langmann </strong>has been a regular participant in WSOP tournaments for several years, making number of deeper runs and cashes in different events, but the final table appearance has eluded him. His best WSOP finish coming into this event was 24<sup>th</sup> place, but it all changed last night, when Langamann managed to turn his first final table appearance into a gold bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Langmann outlasted 474-strong field in the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event to claim this coveted piece of poker jewelry and the first prize money of $297,650. The last obstacle standing between him and this achievement was the eventual runner-up finisher <strong>Zach Freeman, </strong>but Langmann started with better than 3:1 chip advantage and he did not have too much trouble parlaying that advantage into the victory. Freeman had to be content with the $184,216 that he earned for his second place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final day of the event started with 20 players, but after rather quick series of elimination, Langmann found himself sitting at the final table with the chip lead and, for a change, the one who started with the most of chips ended up with all of them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play at the final table took a much slower pace than the first couple levels, but the other seven players were being sent to the rail in their respectful order. First to leave the final nine was <strong>Shiva Dudani</strong>, followed by <strong>Jonathan Depa </strong>and <strong>Woody Deck</strong>. <strong>Antony Lellouche </strong>was then eliminated in 6<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>TJ Eisenmann </strong>gave last of his chips to Freeman finishing in 5<sup>th</sup> place and banking $68,181. Freeman took another bounty after eliminating <strong>Doug Baughman </strong>($90,853) in fourth place and coming close to Langmann’s chip count. However, Langmann pulled ahead again as he sent <strong>Dylan Wilkerson </strong>to the rail, to claim his $122,427.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After defeating Freeman heads-up, <strong>Florian Langmann </strong>has not only earned his first WSOP bracelet but also added to Germany’s score for the summer, and their total now stands at five golden trinkets. Although PLO8 is not Langmann’s game of choice, as he much prefers regular Pot Limit Omaha, he decided to take a crack at this event, and he is no doubt glad he did so.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are still couple events left for German players to further establish their dominance at this year’s World Series of Poker, and perhaps there is still time for Langmann to join his colleagues <strong>George Danzer </strong>and <strong>Dominik Nitsche </strong>in winning his second bracelet for the summer.</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:39:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3019 Haixia Zhang Storms the Final Table of Ladies Championship to Seize the Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter she busted the Monster Stack, <strong>Haixia Zhang </strong>was probably disappointed and did not see things exactly going her way. Regardless, she decided to give a shot to the Ladies Championship, and three days later, she outlived and outplayed the field of 793 players to book not only her first WSOP bracelet, but also her first major tournament final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play stopped yesterday when the final table of nine was formed and these nine returned today to find out who will be taking home the coveted WSOP bracelet. Zhang started the day third in chips, behind <strong>Meikat Siu </strong>and the dominant chipleader <strong>Mikiyo Aoki</strong>. This was already a big achievement for the lady who defines herself primarily as “a business owner and a mom”, who doesn’t play that much poker, but things were about to get even better for her.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First one to go from the final table was <strong>Patricia Cahill</strong>, who was basically tied for the official short-stack of the table with the eight place finisher <strong>Stacey Sullivan. </strong>After their departure, Zhang claim the chips of <strong>Kendra Wray, </strong>after pulling of a win with her #ah#9h against Wray’s #ac#jd and sending her to the rail in 7<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Persia Bonella </strong>finished in 6<sup>th</sup> place after her flop raising war with Meikat Siu ended up with all her chips in the middle. Bonella had #ac#4c and with the boar reading #4h#6c#6d she was ahead of #ks#qs of Siu, but Siu caught a Queen on the turn and King on the river to send her packing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Patty Landis </strong>probably had the biggest rail today, including the virtual one on the Twitter. Landis is well known as Daniel Negreanu’s personal assistant and KidPoker was rooting for her to win this one. It wouldn’t happen however, as her tournament was cut short when she jammed her pocket Sixes into pocket Tens of Aoki. Fifth place finish earned Patty $33,279.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Zhang managed to eliminate another player after her #ad#2d caught up against pocket Treys of <strong>Elizabeth Montizanti </strong>who was sent to the rail in 4<sup>th</sup> place, picking up $44,770 for her efforts. However, Aoki made sure not to fall to far behind, as she took claim on <strong>Meikat Siu’s </strong>chips, getting her to commit her chips drawing dead on the turn. Siu’s third place finish was worth $61,114.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So the two ladies started their bracelet battle nearly even in chips, with Zhang holding only a slight advantage. But about an hour and a half later, after raking in a big pot with the made straight against <strong>Mikiyo Aoki’s </strong>two pair, Zhang had her opponent all in and ahead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Aoki shoved from the button, holding #jd#7d and Zhang made the call with #as#6s and five cards later, neither of them caught anything. This meant that the best hand held up and Mikiyo Aoki was the runner up, earning $94,800.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Haixia Zhang </strong>was the winner, claiming not only the bracelet but very respectable $153,470 first place money to go with it. Another Ladies Championship was in the books and another lady claimed her WSOP bracelet!</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:34:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3000 Delaware Posts Lowest Online Poker Revenue Since Launch <p>Delaware's online poker scheme experienced a huge decline in revenue for the month of May, generating the least amount of any month since launching in November.</p> <p>The dismal results for May were released by the Delaware Lottery and show that poker rake for the sites operated by Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park came to $57,469. That's a decrease of more than 22% from the $74,078 taken in during April.</p> <p>The best month for online poker revenue in the smallest state among the three who have thus far legalized forms of online gambling was December when poker rake totalled $106,922. From that high point five months ago, poker revenue has decreased 46.25%.</p> <p>In revenue that encompasses all online casino games as well as video lottery and poker, Delaware netted $175,601 for May. That marks the first month since launch that The First State posted an overall decrease. Previously, each subsequent month since November was better than the one before until May ruined the streak.</p> <p>All online gaming took in a profit of $240,496 in April, with the lowest month being that of November at $111,387. From April to May, net igaming proceeds fell off just shy of 27%.</p> <p>Declining revenue is not restricted to Delaware among regulated online gambling states. Both Nevada and New Jersey have had their troubles since launching, as revenue figures projected prior to launch have not met the high expectations of state officials in any of the states.</p> <p>That may be part of the reason why no other states have launched Internet gambling regimes since the trio all did so last year. As time marches on, it appears that none will be joining the three in 2014.</p> <p>New signups hit an all-time low in Delaware for May. Only 342 Delawareans created new online gaming accounts in the month. New players have decreased each and every month since November.</p> <p>The declining signup figures are not surprising considering the limited amount of residents who call Delaware home. The 2010 census found a population of 897,934, good for only 46th place among 56 U.S. states and territories. Of those almost 900,000, just 7,077 have created online gambling accounts in the tiny state.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:16:23 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3001 'Downtown' Chad Brown Receives Honorary WSOP Bracelet <p>Following several near misses of a WSOP title throughout a prolific poker career that began more than two decades ago, Chad Brown was awarded an honorary WSOP bracelet on Saturday.</p> <p>A ceremony conducted by WSOP tournament director Jack Effel bestowed on Brown the coveted jewelry for his contributions to poker throughout the years. Brown was unfortunately not in attendance to receive his award, having been stricken with liposarcoma several years ago.</p> <p>The rare form of cancer has kept Brown away from the poker action that he loves as he currently is undergoing hospice care for his illness. Though his appearance at live tournaments has been lacking due to being ill, Brown has been missed and has not been forgotten by the poker community.</p> <p>Citing the strong likelihood that Brown would have eventually captured a WSOP tournament victory had his health not been an issue, Effel announced that an honorary WSOP bracelet is well-deserved for the likeable pro who is both admired and well-respected by his peers. This marks the first time in history that the WSOP has given such an award to a player.</p> <p>Brown's lifetime earnings eclipsed $3.5 million and included his biggest cash of almost $325,000 for a runner-up finish at the 2007 WSOP in $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw. That was one of three second place finishes in WSOP events for Brown during his career, as the affable pro continued knocking on the door of a title.</p> <p>The Hendon Mob database lists over 100 cashes at live poker tourneys for Brown in more than 20 years of play. Over half a dozen were first place victories, but the championship finishes were in events outside of those sponsored by the WSOP.</p> <p>A Team PokerStars Pro, Brown posted a health update via the PokerStars blog last February. He held nothing back in sharing his situation with those concerned about his well-being, taking time to count his blessings instead of falling into self-pity.</p> <p>Congratulations to Chad Brown on receiving an honorary gold bracelet from the WSOP!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 03:22:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3018 WSOP 2014: Big One for One Drop is Underway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span> long awaited Event #57, <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>tournament has started couple hours ago. With $1 million buy in, this is without a shadow of a doubt, the most expensive poker tournament in the world. Envisioned by Guy Laliberte, philanthropic owner of the famous <em>Circe de Soleil</em>, the tournament takes out $111,111 from the every entry as a donation for the One Drop Foundation that strives to provide clean water for those in need.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The event is capped at 56 players, and when cards were finally in the air tonight, after the opening ceremony, 43 players were registered, including two satellite winners from the last night, <strong>Connor Drinnan </strong>and <strong>Erick Lindgren</strong>, who got their seats through the $25,000 satellite.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We’ve written about the One Drop already on several occasions, getting into the spirit of things, but now the wheels are finally in motion. <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, </strong>last year’s winner,<strong> </strong>is there, looking for a repeat performance. <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>is coming fresh from his tenth bracelet win and <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>is maybe not fully focused, as he follows the progress of his personal assistant, Patty Landis, on the final table of the Ladies Championship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players have started with three million in chips in their stacks, and with blinds of 3,000 / 6,000, meaning they start off playing 500 blinds deep. This should guarantee a more cautious and slower play during the early levels. That said, the event already had one elimination, as <strong>David Einhorn </strong>fell victim to <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although everyone was in shock to see a player leave within the first hour of the action, that’s exactly what happened after Einhorn and Trickett saw the flop of #2h#jc#6d. Trickett called the bet from Einhorn, holding #4c#5c and they saw the turn come #3s, making Trickett the absolute and well concealed nuts. This spelled trouble for Einhorn, who flopped a top set with his #jd#js. More chips went in on the turn, but last raise came from Einhorn, as Trickett decided to just call. After river came #qc, changing nothing, David Einhron led out, Trickett moved all in, his opponent made the call and was shocked to see that the one million dollars worth of chips has just gone into the flames.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Late registration will remain open for this event for the standard six levels and we should see couple more players taking their seats. One player has already used the benefits of late registration, and that player is <strong>Gabe Kaplan </strong>who was wondering last night whether to “1 drop or not to 1 drop”, and apparently decided to <em>drop</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Couple fun and exciting days of poker is ahead of us ending with one of the players walking away with the huge amount of money (how much money exactly is yet to be determined). But the One Drop Foundation will also be receiving a hefty donation of several million dollars, so there will be a lot of happy faces. But before that, there will be a lot of disappointed faces who, like Einhorn, will be sent to the rail wondering if they should have done something different and what got into them to pay $1,000,000 to play a single tournament.</p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:28:59 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3017 David Olson Breaks the Limit and Claims his First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>here were numerous tournaments starting in Vegas last couple days, so the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship did not attract a great number of players. But the field of 122 contained many big names like Antonio Esfandiari, George Danzer, Jeff Shulman and Scott Seiver. This is all the more reason for <strong>David Olson </strong>to be happy that his very first gold bracelet would come after outlasting such a formidable field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final day started with only 10 players remaining and Olson was near the bottom of the chip counts to start the things. But things were going to turn around for the 27-year old from Detroit in the levels to come.  </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Robert Como </strong>was the first player to leave and that same hand cause <strong>Gabriel Nassif </strong>most of his chips. Soon after, it was Nassif heading for the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> place. Greg Debora was still firmly holding the lead, while Olson was waiting his chance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Brian Tate eliminated <strong>Jan Sjavik </strong>in 8<sup>th</sup> place, as short stacked Sjavik ran his #5c#4s into pocket Jacks of Tate. <strong>Tate </strong>himself was eliminated some hands later as he got all his chips in the middle before the flop with #ad#jh but could not outrun #as#kd of Samuel Golbuff.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Bill Chen</strong>, the only bracelet winner at the table was denied the shot at another bracelet, as Paul Mannoni eliminated him in sixth place. Hunter became the hunted some hands later as the last of <strong>Mannoni’s </strong>chips ended up in the stack of Samuel Golbuff. Mannoni got it in well, with middle pair against Golbuff’s flush draw, but club on the turn sealed his fate and sent him to the cage to claim his $75,470.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the patter, <strong>Samuel Golbuff </strong>found himself out of the tournament next. He surrendered the last of his chips to Mikai Tulchinskiy to finish in 4<sup>th</sup> place and claim slightly over $100,000. In the meantime, David Olson picked up some momentum and it was him leading the pack when the three handed phase began.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand<strong>, Greg Debora, </strong>who started the day as the chipleader, would go no further than the third place. Debora got involved in a big pot against Tulchinskiy with his pocket Sevens, but when the last of chips went in the middle on the flop, he got the bad news as Mikail held #ah#ad. Debora could not find help on either turn or river, and was eliminated, claiming $136,000 for his effort.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Heads up between <strong>Mikail Tulchinskiy </strong>and David Olson started the heads up battle and Olson held the lead. That lead would turn into victory some two hours later. There was some back and forth in chips between the two and Tulchinskiy made one comeback when it seemed all but over. After that he managed to get to even stacks at one point, but Olson turned things in his favor once again and set the stage for the finishing strike.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tulchinskiy was all in preflop for his last 230,000 and turned over #kc#6c. He was up against #9h#9d of Olson and looking to improve to stay in contention. However, Olson flopped a set on the board of #9s#7h#5d, nearly locking the hand. Turn #qh confirmed him drawing dead, and after inconsequential #2s peeled on the river, Mikail was sent to the rail as the runner-up, banking $187,811.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>David Olson </strong>claimed his first gold bracelet and $303,909 in cash for his efforts. Olson did not really have plans to play this tournament, as he is primarily cash player and was only here to play the Monster Stack, but the way things turned out, he is most certainly not sorry his friend made him change his mind! </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:17:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3005 Las Vegas Sands Files Trademark Action Vs. 35 Websites <p>The Las Vegas Sands Corp. initiated trademark infringement proceedings versus 35 website domains in a Nevada federal court on Friday alleging that the Asian sites are using the Sands' registered trademark as well as Chinese characters that spell out the trademark.</p> <p>The lawsuit claims that the websites are falsely leading Internet gamblers to believe that the sites are affiliated with Sands. The Plaintiff alleges that the offending sites clearly show <em>"a skyline view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore."</em></p> <p>Thirty-five separate domains are listed in the legal action, with Sands referring to them as <em>"a network of Chinese language Internet websites"</em> that are also available to U.S. gamblers, reported. Most of the sites apparently funnel players to two online casinos.</p> <p>The owners of the websites are unknown due to their registrations falling under a protection of privacy service provided by the likes of or The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District Of Nevada seeks to prevent the sites from the continued use of Sands' trademark in addition to compensation for court costs, fees and damages.</p> <p>Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is behind an effort to wipe out the legalization of online wagering in the U.S. via the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which he organized late last year. The lawsuit makes mention of that by stating that <em>"the Defendants’ use of the SANDS Marks on the homepages of online casinos, even though unauthorized by Las Vegas Sands Corp., threatens to dilute and detract from Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s message and its efforts to stop the proliferation of online gambling."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 21:44:32 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3004 Florida Casino Bends Rules for Jackpot Winner <p>A casino gambler whose name was announced as the jackpot winner of a 2014 Fiat at a Florida casino was initially denied the right to claim her prize when she could produce only photocopies of her identification.</p> <p>Mardi Gras Casino representatives told Rachel Marom that the rules required her to have valid photo IDs. Marom typically carries only copies of her identification after a robbery several years ago created a hassle in going through the proper channels to re-obtain a green card and driver's license.</p> <p>Marom pleaded with jackpot organizers to allow her to go to her nearby home to get the original IDs, NBC6 reported. Her pleas fell on deaf ears as casino reps refused, citing the rules of the promotion that stated winners must be present with valid and original identification.</p> <p><blockquote>You cannot be so cruel," Marom insisted. "I won a car. You told me I won a car, and now you want to take it away from me?”</blockquote></p> <p>The casino did. Another name was called and a lady with proper ID drove off in the 2014 red Fiat. Marom was incensed. She claimed to be a three-times-a-week regular at the casino and threatened legal action.</p> <p>Lawyering up turned out to be the right call, as the Hallandale Beach casino relented within 24 hours and decided to give Marom her prize after all. She received a check for $14,000, the value of the car. The winner had the option of accepting the car or cash and Marom took the money.</p> <p><blockquote>I will travel a little bit and pay my debts a little bit and uh, you know, enjoy the money and enjoy the peace of mind," said a happy Marom.</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 04:38:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3016 Bracelet for David Miscikowski in the $5K NLHE WSOP Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>vent #49, $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, was scheduled as a 4-day event, and this time it took four days to complete it, even if the Day 4 only staged the heads up battle between <strong>David Miscikowski </strong>and <strong>Norbert Szecsi. </strong>Two hours into that battle, it was Miscikowski claiming the final pot of the tournament and securing his very first WSOP bracelet, denying Szecsi his second career bracelet and the opportunity to become the first Hungarian player to boast of this honor.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When it all started, four days ago, 696 players started their chase for the bracelet but midway through the Day 3, final table of nine players was set, all of them looking at the first prize of <strong>$719,707</strong> and, of course, the coveted bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Miscikowski was certainly in a good company at this final table as apart from Szecsi, there was also <strong>Manig Loeser</strong>, who finished in 3<sup>rd</sup> place and earned $288,912, <strong>Oliver Price</strong>, whose fifth place finish earned him $158,064 and <strong>Kevin MacPhee </strong>who pocketed<strong> </strong>$119,267 after finishing in 6<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only lady at the table was <strong>Margareta Morris</strong> and her finish in 4<sup>th</sup> place secured her a payday of $212,202, which was more than her entire live winnings up to date, and her WSOP earnings until yesterday were only $2,606.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Blake Bohn </strong>was first one out and his consolation prize for the ninth place finish came in form of $54,792. <strong>John Dolan </strong>earned $70,265 for his 8<sup>th</sup> place, while the seventh place finisher <strong>Jean Gaspard </strong>earned $91,037.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Loeser was eliminated, Szecsi and Miscikowski played for a while, but winner could not be determined. Eventually they ran out of time and they bagged and tagged to return today and finish what they have started. At that point, they were nearly even in chips, with Miscikowski holding a slight lead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When they returned today, however, David Miscikowski found a way to turn that slight lead into the final victory over his opponent after roughly two hours of play. Although Miscikowski was struggling at some points during the match, he never lost his head and continued to play calmly, waiting his opportunity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It came soon after he managed to double through Szecsi and was in position to eliminate him from the tournament. <strong>Norbert Szecsi </strong>shoved from the button, holding #4h#4c but ran into #7s#7h of Miscikowski, who made the call. Szecsi needed some serious help to survive this one, but dealer failed to deliver as board ran #qd#8d#5c #5s #3s, and he was eliminated in second place, banking $444,425.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>David Miscikowski </strong>thus became the proud bracelet owner as well as the winner of one of the biggest first prizes of this year’s WSOP. Doing it in a tough competition and this being his first WSOP final table in his career made the victory all that sweeter, and Miscikowski did not try to hide his satisfaction. “It feels great. This is one of the biggest sweats I’ve ever had”, admitted Miscikowski in his interview for</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 22:15:21 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3015 Phil Ivey Wins Bracelet #10 and Locks the Win for the Prop-bet <p><strong><span class="letter-big">P</span>hil Ivey </strong>certainly had numerous big moments throughout his poker career, but last night probably belongs amongst the most important ones. After defeating 485-strong field in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix Event, Ivey made the history, winning his tenth WSOP bracelet and joining the short list of players with ten or more bracelets – Phil Hellmuth (13), Johnny Chan (10) and Doyle Brunson (10).</p> <p>It is no surprise that the win came in the 8-game mix, as Ivey is one of the selected few who are true masters of not only No Limit Hold’em but the whole spectrum of different poker variations. And last night, it wasn’t just the bracelet at the stake for Mr. Ivey.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> and Ivey offered the prop-bet before the series started that one of them would win a bracelet and were taking bets at even money. As time was running out and number of tournaments they had in front of them was dwindling, it felt like this tournament was the one that would determine the fate of the bet.</p> <p>This was especially true since both him and KidPoker made it through to Day 3 of the Event with 14 players remaining, giving them a great chance to finally lock up a bracelet. It would be an epic ending if the two ended up playing heads-up for the title, but it wasn’t meant to be, as Negreanu was eliminated in 9<sup>th</sup> place, leaving Ivey alone to stand for their cause.</p> <p><strong>Tiger Woods</strong> of poker took this role very seriously and the remaining seven players stood very little chance against the menace that Ivey was at the felt last night. He would outlast every single player standing between him and the bracelet, starting with <strong>Alex Rocha</strong>. Rocha was eliminated in 8<sup>th</sup> place at hands of Dan Heimiller in a Razz hand. Next to fall was <strong>Christopher Haller </strong>who lost a coin flip to Bruce Yamron, when his pocket Nines could not hold against Yamrons #ah#kc.</p> <p><strong>Yuebin Gou </strong>was eliminated in 6<sup>th</sup> place in a Stud 8 hand, when his two pair was no good against Aces and Kings of Heimiller. Following his exit was <strong>Stephen Chidwick </strong>whose chips went to Ivey in 2-7 triple draw hand, where Ivey’s Eighty-Five was more than enough to beat Chidwick’s Jack-low. <strong>Aaron Steury </strong>finished in fourth place, when his #ad#qh was outrun by Heimiller’s #ac#jh.</p> <p>One more needed to go before the heads up would start, and that man was <strong>Dan Heimiller </strong>who shoved from the button with #kh#4h and Ivey made the call with #ah#6h and flopped Heimiller nearly dead in the water. Turn card locked it up, and Heimiller was on his way to the rail, picking up $66,246 for his efforts.</p> <p>After his departure, an epic heads up started between Phil Ivey and <strong>Bruce Yamron. </strong>But while it was epic in its significance, it was far less epic in its length, as Ivey took all of Yamron’s chips in about thirty minutes of play. The game that ended it all was Omaha 8, when Yamron put himself at risk on the board reading #as#7c#5c #kd. Yamron held #ah#js#8s#7h and had two pair but was behind Ivey’s #ac#ks#9c#8s and better two pair. There were some low outs that Yamron could catch to stay in play as well, but as rivercame #qd he was eliminated in second place, earning $103,375.</p> <p><strong>Phil Ivey </strong>shook the hand of his opponent respectfully, but he was the ultimate winner. Not only because he won this one and earned $167,000, but because he claimed his tenth bracelet and without any doubt crushed the hopes of many who took the bet against him and Negreanu.</p> <p>Ivey remained calm and true to his image, but expressed the sentiment that it was very satisfying to tie for the bracelet with the poker legend that is Doyle Brunson. Although Phil admitted it wasn’t that fair of the race as Doyle doesn’t play that many tournaments nowadays, he said that he played with Doyle the other day for 12 hours straight and that he is still as sharp as he can be.</p> <p>Great achievement for a great player, no doubt. With this, Phil Ivey confirmed once again that his legendary status in the poker community will not be overshadowed for years to come, and if anyone was to try it, they have their work cut out for them.</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 21:52:57 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3003 Nevada Posts Gain in Gaming Revenue for May <p>Nevada casinos showed a revenue increase of 8.1% for the month of May in comparison to 2013 numbers.</p> <p>The Nevada Gaming Control Board released results for 2014's fifth month and statistics indicate that the Silver State's baccarat tables saw heavy action from gamblers. More than $172 million of the $970.2 million that Nevada casinos won in May was received from punters wagering on "Player or "Banker."</p> <p><blockquote>It was a baccarat month,” the board's senior research analyst, Michael Lawton, told the Las Vegas Sun.</blockquote></p> <p>A welterweight prize fight at the MGM Grand during the month between Marcos Maidana and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is believed to be responsible for attracting a large number of high rollers to the Sin City. The Chinese Labour Day holiday during the month that saw Asian vacationers making the trek to Las Vegas casinos was also a factor in increased revenue totals.</p> <p>Nevada's online poker regime, which is expected to see growth later this year when an interstate partnership with Delaware launches, increased almost 9% over the previous month., Ultimate Poker and Real Gaming combined to collect $862,000.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:34:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3002 Body of German Poker Pro Johannes Strassmann Recovered <p>Johannes Strassman, a poker pro from Germany with over $1.5 million in career earnings, was found dead on a riverbank in Slovenia.</p> <p>The 29-year-old had been missing for a week after traveling to the country to meet fellow poker players, Sporting News reported. A massive search that included helicopters and bloodhounds had been undertaken that led to the recovery of his body yesterday near the Ljublianica River in Ljubljana.</p> <p>DNA testing of the decomposed remains confirmed the deceased to be Strassmann. An investigation continues into the events leading up to the poker pro's disappearance, as well as the cause of death. An act of violence has been preliminarily ruled out.</p> <p>Strassman made his first appearances in live tournament action in 2007 when four cashes spread out over Prague, Monte Carlo and the WSOP in Las Vegas resulted in more than $110,000 in prize money, according to the Hendon Mob database. He followed that up the following year with half a dozen scores that included 6th and 7th place finishes at EPT events for a combined $444,133.</p> <p>Strassman's largest cash was recorded last year at the EPT/UKIPT Super High Roller in London where 5th place was good for $363,842. His resume includes only one in-the-money finish this year in April at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo where 50th place in the €10,600 Main Event resulted in a €24,400 payday.</p> <p>More details regarding the untimely demise of Strassman will be released once the information is made available by investigators.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 15:28:19 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3014 No Triple Crown for Clements - First WSOP Gold for Tyler Patterson <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">T</span>yler Patterson </strong>will, no doubt, keep the World Series of Poker 2014 in his good-memories box. Just couple hours ago, he outlasted a field of 990 players, becoming that special one – the one that gets to take home the bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was Event #48, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low, and by the time the final day of the tournament was about to start, there were ten players standing between Patterson and the bracelet and first place money of $270,992. Two more players were quickly eliminated, and Patterson found himself on the final table containing four previous bracelet winners, and only one of them had just one.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Patterson had his work cut out for him in a tough competition and with about averages chip-stack, but wasn’t going to go without fight for sure. He was looking for his spots, as one by one, players were sent to the rail. First two to go were the two without bracelet honors to their names, <strong>Dylan Wilkerson </strong>in 9<sup>th</sup> and <strong>J. R. Flournoy </strong>in 8<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Derek Raymond </strong>was looking for his second career bracelet on this final table, but it wasn’t meant to be for him, as he was eliminated in 7<sup>th</sup> place as Jeff Madsen and Tom Schneider ended up chopping his last pot for the high and the low end, sending Raymond to the rail in the process.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tom Schneider </strong>was actually the one with most trophies in the mix, with four bracelets and 2007 POY title, but despite of it all, he was the next one out, as his #as#ad#kh#7d failed to hold against Madsen, who turned two pair to send him to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was time for Patterson to score a knockout and he did, as his pocket Aces flopped <strong>Garry Kosakowski </strong>dead for the high, and turn ensured there would be no low either. Fifth place finish was worth $56,000 and change for Kosakowski. Petterson did not stop at one elimination, however, as he proceeded to send <strong>Jeff Madsen </strong>($76,150) to the rail as well, after his hand stood up against Madsen’s on both high and low end, denying Madsen his fourth career bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Scott Clements took care of the last opponent before facing Patterson for the bracelet, as he sent <strong>Cody Crawford </strong>to the rail after his set of Fours held up against Crawford’s nut flush draw. Crawford would earn $104,914 for his third place finish and the two would start heads up nearly even in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Patterson probably got the worst possible opponent for the final confrontation, as Scott Clements was in the hunt for his third bracelet, and his previous two came from the Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo events. This did not confuse Patterson, however, as he started grinding his opponent down right from the get go. Clements made couple attempts to get back in it and take control, but couldn’t find the right way to do it. And then the final hand came about.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After <strong>Scott Clements </strong>limped the button, Patterson raised from the big blind and he received a call. They saw the flop of #kc#10d#2h and it was checked through. #7c on the turn put a stop to peaceful approach, as Patterson check-raised Clements’ bet, and eventually all the chips went into the middle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Clements was ahead for the time being, with #kd#7d#6c#3c against Patterson’s #as#8c#9c#3s, but the #2c on the river completed the clubs-flush for both players. Patterson’s was higher, though, and Scott Clements was denied his third Omaha bracelet and sent to the rail as the second place finisher, claiming $167,686.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tyler Patterson </strong>binked his flush on the river and with that deuce of clubs came his first WSOP bracelet as well – a fact that made him very happy. Although he admitted that bracelet did not mean more than the money ($271,000), it was still a very big and important recognition for him, as he’s been around for a while and finally got to claim one of the most coveted poker trophies.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:45:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2999 Showboat Casino in Atlantic City to Close Aug. 31 <p>The Showboat Casino Hotel in New Jersey will close its doors on August 31, reducing the number of casinos on the Atlantic City boardwalk to 10.</p> <p>The announcement came from owners Caesars Entertainment just one month after company executives had hinted that a closing may be imminent. Caesars currently operates four Atlantic City casinos and decided to give the axe to the gaming establishment with the poorest performance record. The other three are Bally's, Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City.</p> <p><blockquote>Since 2006, revenue in Atlantic City has declined by more than $3 billion and competition in the city has increased," said Caesars CEO Gary Loveman. "The dynamic in Atlantic City has led us to the difficult but necessary decision to close Showboat. While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity."</blockquote></p> <p>That marks the second New Jersey casino closing in 2014 after the Atlantic Club locked its doors in January. Court proceedings late last year and a subsequent bankruptcy auction saw the Tropicana and Caesars submit a successful bid for the Atlantic Club, which has since been sold to a Florida real estate investment firm who will likely convert the former casino into residential housing.</p> <p>Just a couple of days ago, the Revel Casino filed for bankruptcy and a shutdown is also looming unless a buyer with plans to turn the struggling business around emerges. The Revel is only two years old and ran into financial difficulties right off the bat as this is the second time in the casino's short history that Revel lawyers will be making appearances before bankruptcy judges.</p> <p>Some 2,100 workers are employed at the Showboat and Caesars executives told AP that every effort will be made to place at least some of them in positions elsewhere at Caesars locations. About 1,600 workers at the Atlantic Club were not afforded the same possibilities earler this year, with most landing in the unemployment line and seeking work without the assistance of a huge company such as Caesars. Should the Revel also fall victim to a shutdown, another 3,200 or so workers would also become statistics in the the state's unemployment rate.</p> <p>The culprit behind New Jersey's struggling gaming industry are surrounding states who have opened casinos of their own, poaching the gamblers who had previously been visiting Atlantic City casinos. Pennsylvania is the neighbor most responsible for New Jersey's decreasing revenue numbers, as the Keystone State is now home to 12 casinos and has taken over second place in land-based revenue among states throughout the U.S.</p> <p>The situation may get worse before it gets better for New Jersey, as New York has also blueprinted a gaming expansion plan that may siphon even more Atlantic City customers in the future. The activity of nearby states is one of the reasons that prompted New Jersey officials to legalize online gambling last year. While revenue from igaming has offset some of the brick and mortar losses, it has not met initial projections.</p> <p>Help may be on the way with regard to Internet gambling revenue in the form of PokerStars, who will likely soon be licensed to operate within the Garden State. The Amaya Gaming Group recently purchased parent company Rational Group for $4.9 billion and state gaming regulators are busy analyzing PokerStars' suitability.</p> <p>The Showboat recorded almost $2 million in operating profits for the first quarter of 2014. While that may sound like a healthy number to some, $8.5 million in profits were posted in the same quarter in 2013. Showboat ranks seventh in profitability among the state's 11 casinos in 2014, but the numbers are 16% off of last year's pace.</p> <p>The soon-to-be closed Showboat Casino will operate as normal until Aug. 31.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:11:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3013 WSOP 2014 Daily Report: Final Table Set for Players Championship <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>orld Series of Poker 2014 is slowly entering its final stage. One of the biggest events of the Series, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship has reached its unofficial final table of eight players and by the end of the night, one of these eight will walk away with one of the most coveted bracelets of the WSOP.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What is even more special about this final table, apart from its star-studded line up and $1.5 million first place is the fact that for the first time in the history of the event, there is a lady in the mix. Her name is <strong>Melissa Burr</strong>, a mixed game specialist whose forte are high-stakes cash games, but she’s been having a very good Series this year as well. Melissa will be starting today as the second shortest stack, only in front of <strong>Allen Kessler, </strong>but she was down in chips several times throughout the tournament and made the comeback, so it is way too early to count her out just yet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Starting day as the chip leader will be <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris </strong>with <strong>Abe Mosseri </strong>on his heels. Players making up the middle of the field are <strong>Frank Kassela, John Hennigan, Chun Lei Zhou</strong>, better known under his online alias “samrostan”<strong> </strong>and <strong>Jesse Martin. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The current chip leader, Shack-Harris, has already had very successful series with one bracelet and second and third place finish, and potential victory tonight could help him catch up with <strong>George Danzer </strong>in the Player of the Year race.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Elior Sion </strong>was likely the unluckiest player to start the play in the Championship yesterday, as he finished in 15<sup>th</sup> place, becoming the official bubble and missing out on the payday of at least $99,388. <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>, who has been going strong for the most of the tournament, ended up not cashing as well, as he was eliminated in 17<sup>th</sup> place. <strong>Todd Brunson </strong>had better luck, as he made the money, but we will not be seeing him on the final table either, as he was ousted in 11<sup>th</sup> place, raking in $115,000. Finally, <strong>Scott Seiver </strong>got felted in 9<sup>th</sup>, to fall just short of the final table.<strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the remaining eight resume the play tonight, their fellow players and fans alike will be watching closely, as apart from the big payday for the winner and Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, there are many side bets going on, and if rumors are to be believed, there is a hefty amount of money on the line!</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:32:10 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3012 Ante Up for the Bracelet: Jesse McEuen Wins WSOP Event #47 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>nd now for something completely different.  Ante Only Event of 2014 World Series got really good “reviews” from the players, as everyone seemed to be enjoying their time at the tables. Total of 714 players took their seats and for three days they were anteing it up, until eventually all the antes ended up in the stack of <strong>Jesse McEuen</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players were trying to find their way through the structure they were unaccustomed to with small bring ins and big antes, causing many pots to go multi way. And although it was a different tournament in many aspects, it came to the same finale – last nine players sitting at the final table, looking to capture the bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bulgarian<strong> Simeon Naydenov </strong>was the only player at the final table with a WSOP bracelet to his name, couple others had previous final table experience, including McEuen who finished third last year in a $1,000 event, coming ever so close to capturing a bracelet of his own.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to go was <strong>Arthur Pro, </strong>who fell to <strong>Rhys Jones. </strong>Following him in eighth place was <strong>Jeremy Jospeh, </strong>and then <strong>Herbert Yarbrough </strong>met his doom as well, as he finished in 7<sup>th</sup>. <strong>Ryan D’Angelo </strong>got his stack in the middle against Naydenov and his #jc#10c could not outrun Naydenov’s #ad#kh, and it was down to five players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this point, it was Naydenov and German <strong>Jonas Lacuk </strong>in the chip lead, while the others were looking to catch up. First victim of that chase was <strong>Adam Levy </strong>who got his chips in well, with top two against flush draw of Jones, but Jones caught up on the turn and sent Levy to the rail with a consolation prize of $46,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although Simeon Naydenov held a big stack at one point, his luck started to run out and he was all out of it when he ran his #as#qh into #ac#ks of Rhys Jones and the board failed to provide any help. The fourth place finish was good for $62,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Three handed phase lasted for a while before Jones got unlucky for his last 175,000 against McEuen. Despite having #as#9h to McEuen’s #10h#8h, Jones couldn’t hold as McEuen flopped bottom two pair to send him to the rail with $85,000 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite his last elimination, McEuen still started a heads-up as about 3:2 underdog to Jonas Lauck and had some work to do if he was going to win this one. That was exactly what he did over the next twenty hands, taking over the chip lead and putting himself in the spot to win the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the hand to determine the winner, Lauck opened his button, faced a three-bet from McEuen and decided to shove his #ah#10d. Lauck probably expected to receive bad news when McEuen made the quick call, but on this occasion it couldn’t get any worse, as his opponent was holding #ad#ac.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Board ran #2c#h#2s #3s #5h, never really giving much hope to Lauck, and German finished his performance in second place, banking just couple bucks shy of $131,000. <strong>Jessey McEuen, </strong>however, will take home $212,000 and a gold WSOP bracelet that slipped from under his fingers a year ago. By defeating Lauck, McEuen has also denied Germany its fifth bracelet for this Series, at least for the time being. </p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:27:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2998 New Jersey Regulators Review Suitability of Pokerstars <p>With Amaya Gaming now in control of PokerStars following the $4.9 billion purchase of Rational Group, New Jersey gaming regulators are busy poring over new documents submitted by Amaya in support of obtaining an online gambling license.</p> <p>Three key areas under scrutiny by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) are the technology used to power PokerStars' software, the personnel listed under management and executive positions, and Amaya's corporate structure, AP reported. Should those areas find approval by the DGE following intense analysis, players within the Garden State could be logging on at a PokerStars offering by the time the calendar turns to fall.</p> <p>Amaya honchos met with DGE officials last week and were likely instructed to submit the new documentation post-haste in order to get up and running ASAP and provide a jump start to New Jersey's online gambling regime. That regime has not lived up to initial revenue estimates, causing state officials to put some of the blame on unregulated sites that continued accepting New Jersey players.</p> <p>Most of the major unregulated sites operating in New Jersey (as well as Nevada and Delaware) have now buckled under the demands put forth by state bigwigs and have withdrawn from the regulated markets. Withdrawing from the market was not the option chosen by PokerStars back in 2006 following enactment of the UIGEA, which resulted in the site both dominating the worldwide market while eventually achieving "bad actor" status and a heap of trouble within the U.S.</p> <p>The company has since been attempting to repair its reputation in the American market, first by settling Black Friday allegations with the DoJ and bailing out Full Tilt Poker. That wasn't enough, however, to appease those in charge of creating legislation and issuing igaming licenses under a state-by-state format made possible by a 2011 DoJ ruling that redefined the antiquated Wire Act.</p> <p>Attempts to enter the New Jersey Internet gambling marketplace via casino ownership fell short for PokerStars, as did its application for an online gaming license as long as certain company executives failed to face the music with regard to unanswered charges in the Black Friday indictments. That resulted in the sale to Canadian-based Amaya Gaming, whose credibility in the industry seemingly wipes out the bad actor label (at least in New Jersey) that has saddled PokerStars.</p> <p>PokerStars' suitability for licensing under the charge of Amaya Gaming ownership appears now to be practically a foregone conclusion, as gaming officials appear eager to welcome the company into the fold of the Garden State online gambling scheme. The benefits of allowing the world's most widely-recognized and popular site to become a player in the market could be enormous, especially with the possibility looming of branching out and allowing international partnership agreements in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:53:00 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2996 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - June 25, 2014 <p>A 2% decline in player traffic last week was half as much as the decrease recorded the week before.</p> <p>That's at least one positive way of looking at cash game player traffic results that are a full 14% behind last year's end of June pace. Another positive is that player numbers could have been a lot worse considering that scores of football fans the world over are focusing their eyes on the 2014 FIFA World Cup instead of logging on to poker sites.</p> <p>PokerScout reported that when soccer matches involving countries such as Russia and Germany are being played, ring game player traffic tends to drop off dramatically. It is likely that the online poker industry overall will continue to post decreasing player traffic numbers at least through mid-July until the World Cup reaches its conclusion.</p> <p>Within the industry's top ten poker rooms and networks, seven sites saw less traffic while three gained. Among the gainers was the iPoker Network, who moved into a second place tie with 888poker at 1,900 cash players in a seven-day average.</p> <p>Also moving up was Bodog/Bovada, as the all-anonymous site now registers in sixth place with an estimated average of 1,350 players. Right behind in a tie for seventh are two offerings from PokerStars, both just 50 players behind Bodog's player totals. Before settling into a seventh place tie, was in sixth in last week's update while was eighth.</p> <p>Another PokerStars site moved in ranking in the past week, as fell out of the top ten. As of this writing, Adjarabet and are deadlocked in a ninth place tie.</p> <p>MPN, once a mainstay within the top ten before the defections of Ladbrokes and Unibet, now finds itself in 14th place averaging 650 ring game players. The network has been treading on new ground lately by warning players that its Double-Up SitNGos require advanced strategy to be successful, as well as eliminating the long-held rule that all chat must be English-only in an effort to avoid collusion.</p> <p>Kudos to MPN for thinking outside of the chat box on the latter issue. Online poker is more international than ever before and I would imagine that recreational players enjoy speaking in their native tongues. Players attempting to collude can use other methods such as instant messaging anyway.</p> <p>With regard to the practically unheard of practice of spotlighting the difficulty of a particular game, hats off to Microgaming on that matter as well. It's small stuff like that that could go a long way in coaxing players hesitant about depositing to gain more trust toward online poker rooms.</p> <p>The Party Borgata Network in New Jersey regained top dog status in terms of cash player traffic among regulated poker sites in <a href="">New Jersey</a>, <a href="">Nevada </a>and Delaware. After being tied with in Nevada at 140 players in last week's update, Party Borgata now clocks in at 150.</p> <p>The 45th annual WSOP in Las Vegas continues to drive players to when they are not competing at live events. And some are apparently also finding their way to Ultimate Poker. UP-Nevada gained 9% more players than the week before as the curiosity factor likely came into play among the pros in town.</p> <p>Curiosity may also run rampant at Full Tilt in coming days, where PokerStars' sister site has unveiled Jackpot SNGs. The concept was made popular by Expresso Poker at Winamax and later copied by Twister Poker at the iPoker Network. The Full Tilt version is offering some random prizes at 2,000 times the buy-in, double the amount at the other two sites. Cash game traffic at Full Tilt may be affected as players check out the new SNG jackpot game.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:41:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2987 Will Givens Makes a ‘Deja Vu’ Run for the Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>SOP Event #45 may have started with 1841 runners, but the number of players returning today for the conclusion was only eleven. One of them was <strong>Will Givens, </strong>who had his shot at the bracelet in nearly the same $1,000 event a week ago, but his luck ran out on him during the final table and he eventually finished in fourth. This time, however, he made it all the way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first two players were eliminated rather quickly and the stage was set for the official final table of nine. Falling just short of that goal was one of the two ladies remaining in the field, <strong>Kim Ng</strong>. Kim was eliminated by Givens in the all-time cooler spot where her pocket Kings were only the second best hand to Givens’ pocket Aces.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens would eliminate the next player as well, when his turned flush sent <strong>Loren Klein </strong>to the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> place. Following him in short succession was <strong>Ivan Saul </strong>who got his very short stack in against two players and as Patrick Curzio’s #ad#qs held all the way as the best hand, Saul was ousted in eighth place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Saul’s exit, another lady at the table took things in her hands as she eliminated next two players, <strong>Dmitrii Shchepkin </strong>in seventh and <strong>Duy Ho </strong>in sixth place. This gave a real boost to her stack and she seized quite a significant chip lead over the remaining four players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens claimed the next knockout as he and <strong>Patrick Curzio </strong>got it all in on the flop of #10h#3s#ah and Givens’ advantage with #as#qd over Curzio’s #ac#6s held through the turn and river, to send Curzio out in 5<sup>th</sup> place, $69,000 richer. After this, Prada-Moed took control once again and sent <strong>David Hass </strong>($94,559) to the rail after her pocket Fives held up against #ah#8c of Hass.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Paul Sokoloff </strong>fought long and hard and actually managed to take over the chip lead from Angela for a while, but his chips eventually found a way to Givens’ stack. When Will Givens finally took the last of it after winning a flip with #7d#7h against Sokoloff’s #ah9h and sent him to the rail to claim his $131,110, Givens would enter the heads-up with more than 3:1 advantage over Prada-Moed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Angela Prada-Moed </strong>started off well, and it seemed like she might actually even the odds, but never really picked up momentum after that, as Givens continued to win pots. In the last hand of the tournament, the two saw the flop peel #jd#ac#8c and Prada-Moed moved all in. After some deliberation, Givens made the call with #ks#jc and got the good news, as his opponent turned over #qc#4c for a flush draw.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Board ran #ad and #6h, not helping Prada-Moed and her bracelet dream vanished into the thin air, as she was the official runner up, eligible to receive the prize of $189,632. <strong>Will Givens </strong>could finally start celebrating. What eluded him a week ago was now his – his first gold bracelet and another $306,600 to add to his summer winnings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens felt good about this tournament, especially after returning for Day 3 to the same table and the same seat he was in when they were down to two tables last week. For him, in many ways it felt like the destiny, he admitted in the interview for the after the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Destiny or not, Will Givens is certainly having a great Series this summer, with more than $400,000 in winnings, and he has just booked his first six-figure score. What is in store for him next?</p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:34:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2985 Jordan Morgan Outlasts Evan McNiff to Seize His First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter long 32 levels of play in the Event #44 of this year’s World Series of Poker, <strong>Jordan Morgan </strong>has finally claimed the title! The heads up battle between him and <strong>Evan McNiff </strong>started last night,<a href=""> <em>after other seven players have been eliminated</em></a>, and with Morgan holding nearly 4:1 chip advantage over his opponent, it seemed like it could be a short battle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But the appearance was deceiving. McNiff wouldn’t give up for one second and he was slowly building his stack up to eventually seize the lead and then give it back over to Morgan. By the time they’ve reached the end of Level 31 they’ve played 200 hands of heads up poker (more than double of what it took to reach the heads up stage) and 10 long levels, and decided they had enough. Morgan and McNiff agreed to return today to end their important battle, and their stacks were nearly identical, with Morgan bagging approximately one big blind more.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When they returned today for a fresh start, it was basically anyone’s game as it was anyone’s guess how long it would take before crowning the winner. As it turned out, it took about an hour before the decisive hand of the tournament was played.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">McNiff opened his button and Morgan, who had him covered, announced he was all in. Evan McNiff made the quick call with #ac#kd to put his tournament life and bracelets hopes on the line, but with what figures to be the best hand most of the time. However, Morgan held #6d#6c and it was a simple race, a race that could award the bracelet to Morgan on the finish-line.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And as the board ran #jc#3s#4s #4c #9c, that’s exactly what happened, as McNiff’s Big Slick failed to improve and he became the official runner up of the Event #44, taking home $295,727. As for <strong>Jordan Morgan</strong>, after that lost pot was pushed his way, he became the most recent WSOP bracelet winner. Together with his very first bracelet, he received quite a prize for $1,500 tournament – total of $478,102.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Morgan admitted after it was all over that the break in play helped him refocus and rethink his strategy, as at one point during the match he had the feeling McNiff was outplaying him. As he further explained in his interview for, he wasn’t in a great poker shape, as this was the first tournament of the summer for him. This certainly gives a whole new meaning to the phrase <em>off to a good start</em>! </p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 03:36:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2984 Interview with Chris "Fox" Wallace, WSOP $10K H.O.R.S.E. Champion <p><strong>Chris Wallace</strong> recently won his first <strong>WSOP</strong> gold bracelet along with <em>$507,614</em> in <strong>Event #22, $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.</strong> The poker pro, coach and writer has been cashing in live tournaments since 2008, collecting more than <em>$265,000</em> in winnings before besting a field of 200 to nab his first six-figure payday at the 2014 WSOP.</p> <p>A former blackjack card counter and guitar builder, Wallace was introduced to poker by a friend and started playing online. He commenced to crush the competition mostly in cash games online, but ran into a roadblock along with thousands of other U.S. players when <strong>Black Friday</strong> hit in 2011.</p> <p>Wallace turned much of his attention to live tournament action where he showed a proficiency in a variety of game types. Admittedly, Wallace gets bored if he plays one game too often and is able to excel best when mixing up his play among many variants.</p> <p>With a background in coaching poker at sites such as <strong>Real Poker Training</strong> and <strong>Poker X Factor</strong>, Wallace has also shared his poker exploits and knowledge via a blog at <strong></strong>. His writing and coaching talents were again put to good use by writing <em>“No Limits: The Fundamentals of No Limit Hold’em"</em> and <em>"The Tournament Rules"</em> along with co-author and friend, <strong>Adam Stemple</strong>.</p> <p>I was able to ask a few questions of Wallace following his WSOP victory and the newly-crowned bracelet champ admitted that he has never been more excited to aim for more gold at the WSOP.</p> <p>Congratulations on winning your first WSOP title in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event! How does it feel to finally have a gold bracelet after seven or so years of live tournament action?</p> <p><blockquote>I think everyone wants a bracelet from the time they first learn about them, which was almost twelve years ago for me. It's a great feeling to know that you have accomplished something and written your name in the history books, but I don't feel like I can sit back and relax now. I want the next one so much more than I wanted the first one. I have bracelet fever now."</blockquote></p> <p>Can you describe a pivotal hand or a time during the course of the tournament when you started to really believe and have confidence that 1st place was within your grasp?</p> <p><blockquote>I didn't think about that at all until we got all the chips in on fifth street and I knew I had the best hand. I just wanted to play as well as I could and make sure that if I didn't win I would at least go out knowing that I did my best."</blockquote></p> <p>Other than a big pile of money, how has your life changed since becoming a WSOP champ?</p> <p><blockquote>Everybody wants to talk to me in the hallways of The Rio now! I'm not bothered by it at all, but everyone from Minnesota, everyone I've played with in the past, anyone I've met before, wants to congratulate me. It's actually very nice, though keeping up with the facebook and twitter messages was a lot of work the first two days."</blockquote></p> <p>At over half a million dollars, this was by far your biggest cash ever and the first time you earned a six-digit sum. You mentioned in your most recent blog post that a significant portion of your action was sold. Care to share how much was staked by others?</p> <p><blockquote>More than half. It was part of an investment package I put together for the summer and promoted on my website ( and twitter. I came away with a nice chunk of money for myself, but it's nice to have made about twenty other people a significant sum of money too."</blockquote></p> <p>You seem to be running good by following up that WSOP H.O.R.S.E. title with a 16th place finish in the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event. Are players reacting to your play any differently now that you're a WSOP bracelet winner?</p> <p><blockquote>I didn't see any differences in that event. Most people just play their hand anyway, they don't think about who they are playing against, so I don't think it will change much in big events. In smaller buy-in stuff, especially in Minnesota, I imagine people will play a little differently, but there are so many bracelet winners at the WSoP that I don't expect things to change much."</blockquote></p> <p>Your success over the years has been in tournaments with buy-ins considerably less than the $10,000 entry fee required for your H.O.R.S.E. title. Are you looking forward to playing the larger buy-in events now that finding backers will come much easier?</p> <p><blockquote>I am looking forward to that. I have always searched for the best values, so I won't play every $10k and waste money that people have invested in me playing in fields where I am not a favorite, but I will be playing a few more of the larger events now."</blockquote></p> <p>You're well-established as a poker coach and your services will likely be in greater demand. Do you enjoy and plan on continuing teaching others the game of poker or will you perhaps concentrate more on playing?</p> <p><blockquote>I started coaching because playing full time can be a grind, and I still feel that way. Coaching is a way to break up the monotony of the grind and it also helps my game. When you have taught something to someone else a few times you have a much better understanding of it, and coaching has helped me a lot."</blockquote></p> <p>You're a mixed game specialist, which is viewed as being extremely difficult considering the expertise required for each separate game type. Can you share any wisdom with other players who hope to learn more games to avoid the sometimes boring task of playing the same game over and over?</p> <p><blockquote>If you are fascinated by a game, then it's easy to learn it. There are books that cover the basics of each game pretty well, and once you are really good at one game it makes it easier to learn the others. After you learn the basic strategies in a game, don't be afraid to jump in a very small game and start playing. The first few weeks in a new game is so much fun!"</blockquote></p> <p>I understand you're planning a well-deserved vacation to New Zealand after the WSOP. What else is on the agenda for Chris Wallace in 2014? More poker? Less poker? More buying action of other pros?</p> <p><blockquote>I'll be at The Borgata in July supporting an event there for, and I have lessons booked heavily for the first few weeks after I get home. I don't have any plans after that except to throw a party and work on some long term planning. For now I'm just focused on playing well until the end of the WSoP and I'll figure everything else out after."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:49:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2983 Revel Casino Again Files for Bankruptcy <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he<strong> Revel Casino Hotel</strong> in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> initiated bankruptcy proceedings late last week and is seeking a buyer with deep pockets in order to remain open.</p> <p>Following a grand opening a little over two years ago, the Revel now finds itself in bankruptcy court for the second time in as many years with a shutdown looming if a buyer cannot be found. With roughly 3,200 employees, the <strong>New Jersey</strong> economy would take a serious hit if the Revel is forced to close its doors.</p> <p>That possibility was announced to Revel workers via a notice from the casino's president, who informed his employees that the company is <em>“seeking to sell Revel to a new owner who we anticipate would have the ability to provide the funding and long-term commitment to help Revel reach its full potential,”</em> the <strong>Press of Atlantic City</strong> reported.</p> <p><blockquote>It’s not a good day for Atlantic City,” said New Jersey<strong> Sen. Jim Whelan</strong>. "It (the much-ballyhooed Revel opening) has not worked out the way all of us have hoped.”</blockquote></p> <p>Atlantic City casinos as a whole have experienced seven consecutive years of declining revenue, the result of casino expansion in neighboring states. It is one reason why online gambling legislation has been enacted in New Jersey, but like the Revel, those igaming expectations have fallen way short of the mark.</p> <p>The first Revel bankruptcy filing came in March of last year, with legal proceedings completed two months later. The latest filing looks even more grim, as the threat of a shutdown could reduce the state's operating casinos to 10.</p> <p>That number was reduced from 12 to 11 earlier this year when the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed after a bankruptcy auction. <strong>Tropicana</strong> and <strong>Caesars</strong> made a successful $23.4 million joint bid with the former gaining the gaming equipment. Caesars retained the property but has since sold the property to a Florida-based developer known for refurbishing such holdings into senior-friendly housing.</p> <p>Caesars is also said to be considering closing one of its four Atlantic City casinos due to lack of revenue and mounting operating costs. Among its holdings of <strong>Caesars Atlantic City</strong>, <strong>Harrah's</strong>, <strong>Bally's</strong> and <strong>Showboat</strong>, chances are that the latter may lock its doors and turn away gamblers if Caesars chooses to go that route.</p> <p>The Revel will operate per usual during the bankruptcy action. Short-term financing has been secured until a new buyer (savior) emerges.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:51:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2982 WSOP Daily Report: Poker Players’ Championship Down To 55, Ole Schemion Makes His First Appearance <p><em>“You want to hear a fun hand?”</em> <strong>Richard Ashby</strong> asked a PokerNews reporter on the scene. It was the end of Day 2 of the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship and Ashby wanted to share with the poker world how he managed to fold the third best possible Hold’Em hand – quads.</p> <p><em>“I just had sevens in Limit Hold’Em in a hand against Lyle Berman. The flop was 3-3-3 and on the turn a 7 hit so I made a bigger full house. The river however was another 3, so I couldn’t even call a bet.”</em></p> <p><strong>Lyle Berman </strong>eventually showed the ace for the best possible kicker, making Ashby proud of his timely fold.</p> <p>With that kind of discipline, Ashby managed to build a decent stack of almost 220,000 chips and he will head to Day 3 with the utmost confidence in his reading abilities. However, he will have to do a lot more than fold in order to catch the chip leader of the remaining 55, two-time bracelet winner <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>. Mercier has 802,600 in tournament chips while second-place<strong> Jonathan Duhamel</strong> sits with 783,000 chips in front of him after the second day of the event.</p> <p>A day with 17 more registrations <a href="" target="_blank">compared to Day 1</a>. <strong>Alex Bilokur</strong>, Berman, <strong>Dan Kelly</strong>, <strong>John Juanda</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, and of course, <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong> and <strong>Gus Hansen</strong> got into the mix with the hope of winning the million-dollar top prize and a World Series of Poker bracelet.</p> <p>Brunson survived to see Day 3 but he will need all the luck he can get as he currently holds a tiny 11,000-chip stack. On the other hand, Hansen busted out, mumbling on a #jh#7c#7h board. <em>“If you have that, it’s good. If you have that, it’s bad,”</em> he said before calling for his tournament life. His opponent had “that,” which was actually pretty bad for him:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Very sad - Quick exit of the 50K - played a 460K pot with the nut flush draw vs QQ - No Heart No Ace :-(</p> — Gus Hansen (@GusHansen) <a href="">June 24, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>Other worthy eliminations include 2014 WSOP Player of the Year leader <strong>George Danzer</strong>, two-time WSOP PoY <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, all-time best in WSOP wins <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, Event #43 winner <strong>Dan Kelly</strong>, and former $50K winners <strong>Michael Mizrachi</strong>, <strong>Matthew Ashton</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, and <strong>Brian Rast</strong>.</p> <p>Some of those losers didn’t have any time for whining, though, rushing to register for Event #47: $1,500 Ante Only NLHE. Kelly, for example, finished the first day strong and won most of his 98,500-chip stack near the end, while Negreanu, Danzer, and Hellmuth have average stacks before the start of Day 2.</p> <p>German wunderkind <strong>Ole Schemion</strong> (photo) was also present in this event, playing the WSOP for the first time in his already outstanding poker career. He couldn’t get anything going and was eliminated shortly after his late registration.</p> <p>But the 28th day of the WSOP was not only about big names, it was also about unknowns flying under the radar like <strong>Angela Prada-Moed</strong>. Prada-Moed won a couple of key pots late on Day 2 of Event #45: $1,000 NLHE to climb to the top of the chip leaderboard. She first eliminated <strong>Nicolas Faure</strong> in 18th place with her cowboys and maintained the pace by sending <strong>Jan Suchanek</strong> home in 17th place with her bullets.</p> <p>To win the event, she will have to survive another ten eliminations later today. Can she do it? Like always, we at PokerUpdate will provide the answer with lengthy updates about the daily WSOP final tables.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:32:52 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2981 The Heads-up Marathon Continues! Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff Take It To Overtime <p><em>“It’s been a long day man,”</em> <strong>Jordan Morgan</strong> (photo) said to the tournament director with 20 minutes remaining in Level 31 of Event #44: $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em.</p> <p>Both he and his opponent, <strong>Evan McNiff</strong>, decided to bag their chips and fight for their first World Series of Poker bracelet in overtime, in a totally unexpected fourth day of the NLHE event.</p> <p>Why was it unexpected? Mainly because of the final table's fast pace. The official nine-handed final table was set after the first three hours of what should have been the final day of the tournament. From that point on, it took two hours to cut it down to just two final competitors.</p> <p><strong>Michael Anselm</strong> was the first eliminated from the final table. He open-shoved his stack from early position with #ah#9h.<strong> Bryan Dillon</strong> re-shoved over the top from the next position with #ad#kc, pairing his king and winning the hand.</p> <p><strong>Ryan Spittles</strong> followed Anselm two hands later by going all-in with #ah#kh. Although he had the big advantage preflop against <strong>Jason Johnson</strong>’s #ad#10h, postflop action changed the situation dramatically. Johnson spiked a ten to send Spittles to the rail in eighth place.</p> <p>The next elimination was made by McNiff, who gathered momentum and increased his already big stack. The victim was<strong> Joseph Iarussi</strong>, who must have thought he was in front after a check-shove by his opponent on the #2d#7s#7d#4h board. Iarussi had #9h#9d and called for his tournament life, only to see his hand dominated by #6h#7h.</p> <p>Immediately after that, <strong>Robert Chorlian</strong> packed his things and got out of the way of the five remaining, while Morgan and McNiff had their first big clash of the event. On the #2s#6d#4h#6h#5d board, Morgan led out and McNiff pushed all-in. His opponent quickly called with #5s#5h and the boat, crushing Morgan’s smaller boat built with his #2h#2d.</p> <p>Bryan Dillon couldn’t do much on hand #57 of the final table after moving all-in with #8d#8c and losing a race against Johnson, while <strong>Ryan Foley</strong> tried to steal Morgan’s blind a little while later to finish in fourth place.</p> <p>Johnson was the other victim of Jordan Morgan, calling an all-in on the river with made two pairs only to see his opponent holding a set.</p> <p>At that point, Morgan went on a tear having a big 4-to-1 chip advantage over the last opponent standing in his way, Evan McNiff. Nevertheless, McNiff didn’t back down and fought for another six long hours before agreeing to go into overtime.</p> <p>The momentum shifted as Morgan couldn’t finish off his opponent. McNiff won a key pot on hand #175 when he value-bet his flush on the river and was ready to celebrate on hand #199 when he put his opponent at risk with his #kc#kd. Morgan had #as#kh and was hopeless looking at the #10d#jh#2c#8c board. The river, however, saved him by bringing the #ac.</p> <p>So the fight continued until they agreed to take a much-needed rest.</p> <p>The play will resume at 1 PM Pacific Time with the two remaining players having almost even stacks:</p> <ol><li><em>Jordan Morgan – 4,445,000</em></li> <li><em>Evan McNiff – 4,170,000</em></li> </ol><p>Who will win the heads-up marathon?</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:07:49 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2980 Phil Ivey Team Pros Earn Over $1 Million at 2014 WSOP Thus Far <p><strong>Phil Ivey</strong> fans have noticed that their hero has recorded only a modest $5,030 cash for 22nd place in a PLO event at the 2014 WSOP to date, but his hand-picked <strong>Team Ivey</strong> pros have earned over $1 million.</p> <p>The Ivey Leaguers who have been performing well at the WSOP include <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, <strong>Mike Leah</strong>, <strong>Andrew Lichtenberger</strong>, <strong>Dan Shak</strong>, <strong>David Peters</strong>, <strong>Aaron Jones</strong> and <strong>Alex Bolotin</strong>. The latter scored his first WSOP title in a $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout for a $259,211 payday. Bolotin cashed in one other event, a 12th place finish in another NLHE Shootout a few days after his victory in Event #5.</p> <p>Smith has landed at two final tables thus far. Ninth place in $1,500 NL Hold’em was good for $28,986, while finishing sixth in 8-Handed $5,000 NLHE earned him $95,515. Two other modest cashes in Pot Limit Omaha and Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball are making this a summer to remember for Smith.</p> <p>While Smith finished 21st in the Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event, his teammate Leah managed to land ten places higher in 11th for $6,586. Leah most recently finished in-the-money in another 2-7 Draw Lowball tourney, a $1,500 No Limit affair where he earned $2,837 for 22nd place, the <strong>Hendon Mob</strong> database reported. Leah's other cash at the 45th WSOP thus far was seventh place in $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo for $31,115.</p> <p>Lichtenberger is second in money earned among the Ivey Pros this summer with his biggest score a third place prize of $242,827 in $5,000 No Limit Hold'em - Six Handed. <em>"LuckyChewy"</em> has three other cashes to his name at the Rio in NLHE events in 2014, winning more than $19,000 combined.</p> <p>Shak just missed the final table in $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em, earning $30,516 in the process. Unfortunately, those profits are now gone as the <em>"amateur"</em> was one of the earliest players eliminated in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. But with a $1,178,980 score for second place in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PCA in January, $50k is chump change for the "<em>Shak attack."</em></p> <p>Peters has made five trips to the cashier's cage thus far, the most among Ivey's pro team with almost two dozen events yet to be played. Four in-the-money finishes in NLHE and one in Pot Limit Hold'em were good for more than $51,000 for Peters, minus the total buy-ins of $10,000 for the five events.</p> <p>Last but not least is Jones, who cashed four times and is one of three Team Ivey stars to reach that many paydays at the WSOP this summer. His deepest run among the four was eighth place in Event #2, $25,000 No Limit Hold'em - Mixed Max. The <strong>LeggoPoker</strong> founder took home $112,752 for that effort and more than $130,000 in all his 2014 WSOP cashes combined.</p> <p>All eyes are now on Ivey as he finally broke away from the lucrative cash game action to enter the $50k Poker Players Championship. The legend is aiming for WSOP title no. 10 and to do his part in adding to the running total of money won by the Ivey Pro Team.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 18:38:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2979 Poker Night in America Debut Set for June 29 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter initially promising to air in early 2014, <strong>Poker Night in America</strong> experienced a slight delay and has announced that its first broadcast will commence next Sunday, June 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET.</p> <p>A new agreement with the <strong>CBS Sports Network</strong> will bring the poker-themed reality show into the living rooms of over 99 million households every Sunday for the next 26 weeks. That will give poker players and fans an opportunity to watch revolutionary new poker programming from now until Christmas.</p> <p><blockquote>We’re making poker fun again – that’s our real goal,” said PNIA president and creator Todd Anderson. “We think poker players and fans have been looking for something new and fresh for a long time. We believe ‘Poker Night in America’ will soon become must-see television for all serious players and fans."</blockquote></p> <p>That fun will include tournament action from four tour stops in the U.S. that began last August. Film footage from the Turning Stone Casino in <strong>New York</strong>, Peppermill Casino in <strong>Nevada</strong>, Rivers Casino in <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, and the <strong>Maryland</strong> Live! Casino will be broadcast on a weekly basis.</p> <p>But Poker Night in America promises more than just the standard tournament poker fare. The cameras were also rolling for invite-only high-stakes cash games with participants such as<strong> Mike</strong> "the Mouth" <strong>Matusow</strong>, <strong>Matt Glantz</strong>, <strong>Shaun Deeb</strong> and <strong>Gavin Smith</strong>. Action away from the felt will be included in the broadcasts, adding to the entertainment by giving fans a peek at some of the things players do while not navigating tournament fields or seated at ring games that require $20,000 bankrolls.</p> <p><blockquote>Our tag-line says it all, 'bringing personality back to poker,'” Anderson said.</blockquote></p> <p>While pro players will certainly be under the spotlight, amateurs who competed amongst the pros will also be included in the mix. Recreational poker players sitting at home who dream of one day doing the same will be able to relate with the plight of amateurs who hope to make a name for themselves within the world of poker while making a deep run and scoring a big payday.</p> <p>The recent tour stops have provided enough footage that viewers can expect something new and different each week. An ever-changing cast of players will be highlighted, with announcements expected soon regarding the dates of appearances of well-known poker stars.</p> <p>A new tour stop is on the agenda for next month. Poker Night in America will once again be filming at the Maryland Live! Casino from July 26-29. Players with large bankrolls and colorful personalities who would like to play in high-stakes ring games in front of the PNIA cameras can apply at</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:15:55 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2978 WSOP Daily Report: $50K Poker Players’ Championship Kicks Off <p><span class="letter-big">G</span>et your popcorn ready, it’s show time in Las Vegas! Yes, we know that Vegas and show times are, in fact, synonymous, especially if the World Series of Poker is running. But in every WSOP there are only a handful of events that really get the poker community’s attention.</p> <p>One of them is, of course, the Main Event, the prestigious $10,000 No Limit Hold’Em Championship. Another one is the million-dollar buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP. But both of those tournaments test players’ skills at only one game: the ‘Cadillac’ of Poker, NLHE.</p> <p>What if we want to know who is the best all-around poker player in the world? Poker is not just about NLHE, it’s also about Omaha, Stud, Razz, and Draw. And since 2006, the organizers have decided to create a unique event specially reserved for the high rollers that mixes all of those games. That is how the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship was born.</p> <p>It all started as a H.O.R.S.E competition, but now it’s all about 8-Game: Limit Hold’Em, Omaha Hi-Low, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi-Low, NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw.</p> <p>The first ever Poker Players’ Championship attracted 143 entrants with <strong>David </strong>“Chip” <strong>Reese </strong>emerging victorious. Eight years later, 85 of the best poker pros in the world gathered at the start, with late registration still going on.</p> <p>And after Day 1, 80 survived including chip leader<strong> Matt Glantz</strong> (photo), who has made the final table twice in this event. Others like <strong>Melissa Burr</strong>, <strong>Michael </strong>“The Grinder” <strong>Mizrachi</strong>, and <strong>Andy Bloch</strong> have their eyes set on the record books. If she enters the money zone, Burr will become the first lady ever to cash in this tourney. Mizrachi is the only player who won the 50K competition twice, while Bloch is looking for a record fifth cash in the event.</p> <p>Of course, the legends made sure that they don’t pass up this opportunity and are still in the hunt, including the man with the most gold bracelets, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, nine-time WSOP winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, and two-time WSOP Player of the Year, <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>.</p> <p>And we can’t move on without mentioning the new generation that made a living out of playing online poker. We’re talking about the nosebleeds players <strong>Elior </strong>“Crazy Elior” <strong>Sion</strong>, <strong>Alexander </strong>“Alexonmoon” <strong>Luneau</strong>, <strong>Ola </strong>“Odd_Oddsen” <strong>Amundsgaard</strong>, <strong>Brian Hastings</strong>, and also <strong>Chun Lei</strong> “samrostan” <strong>Zhou</strong>.</p> <p>But who were the five eliminated? One of them was <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong>, who tried to bluff Glantz out of the pot on a #ks#8s#js#10s NLHE board. The next to fall was WSOP Europe Main Event runner-up <strong>Sergii Baranov</strong>, who failed to complete his draws in a PLO hand.<strong> Dan Shak</strong>, <strong>Michael Glick</strong>, and <strong>Phil </strong>“OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong> complete the elimination board of Day 1.</p> <p>Day 2 will start later today at 2 P.M. Pacific Time and according to PokerNews Live Reporting, we might see even more legends at the tables like <strong>Doyle</strong> “Texas Dolly” <strong>Brunson</strong> and all-time biggest online cash loser<strong> Gus Hansen</strong>.</p> <p>Be sure to check PokerUpdate tomorrow to find out if the rumors are confirmed.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:57:50 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2977 Michael Drummond Wins WSOP $5K Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed Event <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne shot, one gold bracelet. California-based player <strong>Michael Drummond</strong> came to Las Vegas to concentrate on the cash games. The World Series of Poker was not a priority for him but when he heard there was a Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed event on the docket, he rushed to the cage to register.</p> <p>It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Drummond is a PLO cash game specialist and the short-handed format is his favorite. So he paid the $5,000 buy-in and took a seat at one of the tables of Event #42. From that point on, he never looked back, topping the 452-player field in a three-day stretch.</p> <p>The PLO pro started the final day sixth in chips behind big stack <strong>Phil Laak</strong> and 2009 $5,000 PLO event runner-up <strong>Sorel Mizzi</strong>.</p> <p>Drummond kicked things off by doubling up in a battle against <strong>David </strong>“Bakes” <strong>Baker</strong>, who was the first player eliminated on Day 3. Drummond's stack, however, suffered some big blows afterwards, as he helped <strong>Brandon Crawford</strong> to double up and slipped away to the bottom of the chip leaderboard as a result.</p> <p>But a shallow stack didn’t take Drummond out of his comfort zone as he managed to eliminate <strong>Joseph Leung</strong> in tenth place and Crawford in eighth spot to climb back to the top. And with <strong>Richard Ashby</strong> out in seventh place, it was time for the official final table to take the spotlight.</p> <p>Laak was the first to leave the six-handed affair after going all-in with #ac#8c#8d#ks. <strong>Brant Hale</strong> called him with a bigger pair in #as#ad#5d#4c to take down the pot.</p> <p>Twenty-nine hands later, Hale was in the same spot as Laak, praying for a lucky river to complete his flush or straight. His prayers were not answered and he finished the event in fifth place.</p> <p>Not long after that, <strong>Ryan Schmidt</strong> followed to the rail. He had a slight advantage on the #ks#10d#7s flop with his #ad#kc#9d#2s, but the turn and river favored his opponent, 3K Shootout winner <strong>Kory Kilpatrick</strong>, who caught a king-high straight.</p> <p>In spite of the elimination, Kilpatrick was still the shortest stack of the remaining three. He couldn’t get out of the danger zone and paid for it with a third place elimination at the hands of the future winner. Both players were all-in preflop #kd#kc#jc#4d &gt; #ac#ks#qd#4s.</p> <p>The heads-up play was short and lasted only 12 hands mainly because Drummond had a huge 3-to-1 chip advantage over his opponent, <strong>Darius Studdard</strong>. In the last play of the event, Studdard and Drummond caught a set on a low draw-heavy flop, but it was Drummond who had the overset.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Michael Drummond - $541,747</em></li> <li><em>Darius Studdard - $334,593</em></li> <li><em>Kory Kilpatrick - $217,113</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Schmidt - $143,397</em></li> <li><em>Brant Hale - $95,598</em></li> <li><em>Phil Laak - $66,918</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Michael Drummond on winning the first gold bracelet of his career. The title did indeed change his mind and besides the cash games, he will also concentrate on a couple of other events in this year’s WSOP: the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and of course, the $10,000 No Limit Hold'Em Main Event.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:23:10 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2976 Dan Kelly Wins The WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold’Em Event <p><span class="letter-big">N</span>othing compares to a World Series of Poker bracelet. No matter how many deep runs you have or how many big cashes you earn, you will always feel frustrated if you can’t win a gold bracelet. And <strong>Dan Kelly</strong> knows that better than anyone.</p> <p>The 25-year-old player took the poker world by storm four years ago when he won his first WSOP title at just 21 years of age. Prior to that, he crushed the online games and surged to the top of the tournament leaderboards on both PokerStars and Full Tilt. He won FTOPS Event #14 in 2008 and four years later, he got into the record books by being the only player with four World Championship of Online Poker titles.</p> <p>On the live stage he is also a force to be reckoned with, managing multiple deep runs, including at least one final table in every WSOP from 2011 to 2013. He also finished fifth in the 2012 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, eighth in the 2013 Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event, and 11th in the 2013 Asian Poker Tour Philippines.</p> <p>Last year, he had no less than ten (yes as in 10) WSOP cashes and qualified for two final tables including the first-ever Millionaire Maker but couldn’t put his hands on his second gold bracelet.</p> <p>He did it this year though. After four more cashes, Kelly finally managed to win his second title in Las Vegas in Event #43: $1,500 Limit Hold’Em. <em>“It feels better,”</em> the two-time bracelet winner told <em>“It’s always nice to win. It’s frustrating getting sixth and fifth.”</em></p> <p>The Maryland-based wizkid started the final day of the LHE event as the big stack bully. Other big names like <strong>Jeff </strong>“Iceman” <strong>Lisandro</strong>, red-hot <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, and Limit specialist <strong>Ron Burke</strong> were still in the mix and ready to take advantage of every mistake Kelly made.</p> <p>Burke had eight WSOP cashes prior to this event, all of them being earned in Limit Hold’Em events. He was the first to leave the official final table after moving all-in preflop with #9h#9c. Two players called him, <strong>Jesse Katz</strong>, and <strong>Sean Berrios</strong>, and both of them made a flush. Burke didn’t improve his starting hand and cashed in a prize of $14,856 for ninth place.</p> <p><strong>Bryce Landier</strong> was next, going all-in on a #qd#jh#5d flop with #ac#kh. His opponent, Katz, caught a set with his #js#jd and rivered a boat to send Landier home with $19,051 in his pockets.</p> <p>The next elimination came almost 100 hands later with five-time WSOP winner Lisandro failing to win number six. He moved his last chips in with hopes of making a straight, but by the turn he was drawing dead as <strong>Yegor Tsurikov</strong> completed his flush. For his seventh place finish, Lisandro earned a decent cash prize of $24,683.</p> <p><strong>David Chiu</strong> followed him in sixth for $32,338, while Katz ($42,857) decided to gamble 19 hands later with his #8c#8h. Berrios called him with #ah#qc and caught a full house by the river.</p> <p>But when his tournament life was on the line, Berrios wasn’t that lucky. On hand #241 of the final table, he check-raised all-in on #8s#6d#2s#10s with second pair, a gutshot, and a flush draw. The river was a brick that forced him to leave the final table in fourth place with a $57,536 cash prize.</p> <p>Third place was reserved for Shack-Harris, who couldn’t double-up in 2014 bracelets and left Tsurikov and Kelly to fight for the title. He did cash $78,335 for his effort, though.</p> <p>The heads-up play was dominated by Kelly from one end to the other. Eventually, Tsurikov gambled with his last chips and a mediocre #10s#6c hand. Kelly called him with a dominating #js#10d that got even better on the #7c#8h#7d#qd#9h board, eliminating Tsurikov in second place for $120,501.</p> <p>Congratulations to Dan Kelly on winning his second WSOP gold bracelet and the first place prize consisting of $195,167. This was his fifth WSOP cash of 2014 and his 27th overall for over $2 million. Is he up for yet another 2014 deep run and why not another gold bracelet?</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:28:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2975 Robert Mizrachi Makes Huge Comeback To Win Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed Event <p>After three days, several controversies, and a brawl, Event #41: Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed is finally over.</p> <p>A total of 419 players gathered at the start of this unique tournament and every single one of them needed to know 16 variations of poker including some newer awkward-named games like Badeucey and Badacey. Not to mention that the reading abilities of all the participants were put to the test.</p> <p><em>“It’s a very skilled event. You not only have to know all the games, but you have to pick up the games that your opponent don’t play as well,”</em> the winner of the first ever Dealer’s Choice, <strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong>, told</p> <p>Mizrachi went into Day 3 with the largest stack of the last ten but started slipping as the two tables turned into one. <strong>Marco Johnson</strong> was the unlucky final table bubble boy, finishing in seventh place after a 2-7 Triple Draw hand played against Mizrachi.</p> <p>And with the official final table under way, it was <strong>Aaron Schaff</strong>’s time to seize control of his competition. Schaff had double the chips compared to second place Mizrachi entering the six-handed play. He further increased that lead when he eliminated two-time bracelet winner <strong>Frank Kassela </strong>in sixth place in his favorite game, Pot Limit Omaha.</p> <p>Schaff also killed two birds with one stone by sending <strong>Daniel Idema</strong> and<strong> Bill Chen </strong>home in fifth and fourth places, respectively. The double elimination was made after another big PLO hand with the turn giving Schaff the advantage. At this point, the bully had a dominating 1.28-million-chip stack while Mizrachi’s stack was only about 400,000.</p> <p>The shortest stack of the three, <strong>Shane Abbott</strong>, was eliminated several minutes later in a No Limit Hold’Em hand. Mizrachi took his chips by having the absolute nuts both preflop and postflop.</p> <p>The heads-up match lasted over three hours with the future winner coming from behind and taking the lead. Schaff decided to play on his own turf, choosing PLO time and time again, but Mizrachi also had a lot of experience playing this game. His first WSOP gold bracelet was won in the 2007 PLO Championship.</p> <p>However, Schaff ignored that fact, a decision that brought him his doom. Mizrachi chipped away pot after pot to deliver his final blow in an A-5 Triple Draw hand,</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Robert Mizrachi - $147,092</em></li> <li><em>Aaron Schaff - $90,854</em></li> <li><em>Shane Abbott - $58,414</em></li> <li><em>Bill Chen - $38,735</em></li> <li><em>Daniel Idema - $26,444</em></li> <li><em>Frank Kassela - $18,575</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Robert Mizrachi on winning his second gold bracelet. He definitely enjoyed playing such a unique format and wants more of the same in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.</p> <p><blockquote>It would be nice if the $50K was exactly the same way as this, because you can guarantee all the players would still play it, and the skill really shows. I think this would be good for a $10,000 buy-in, or maybe a $25,000 buy-in, but we should still keep this one because you want to introduce players to the game.</blockquote></p> <p>Even Frank Kassela agrees, according to a PokerNews interview:</p> <p><blockquote>I think this particular tournament structure should be the way we play the $50K. We’re dealing with not just your ability to react and play 16 different games of poker, but on top of that being able to identify weaknesses in the players you’re playing against, picking the appropriate games to give you an advantage in that way also.</blockquote></p> <p>What do you think? Should WSOP take a step forward and introduce this format to the higher buy-in events?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 11:28:57 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2974 What’s Up Doc? Sean Dempsey Wins The WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em Event <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>rivia Question: What is<strong> </strong>the main game of<strong> Sean Dempsey</strong> – this year’s winner of Event #39: $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em?</p> <p>If you answered NLHE, well, you would actually be wrong. No, Dempsey isn’t a Hold’Em specialist; he describes himself as a Pot Limit Omaha expert and his World Series of Poker results show it. Prior to Event #93, he cashed four times and three of those cashes were collected after playing Omaha events.</p> <p>Furthermore, he bragged to that he taught <strong>Tom </strong>“durrrr” <strong>Dwan </strong>how to play PLO.</p> <p>But how did he come up with a NLHE win then?<em> “Last minute fluke,”</em> he said in a PokerNews interview. He arrived late in Day 3 and still managed to stay on course to win his first ever gold bracelet. <em>“Everything kind of fell into place for me luckily,”</em> Dempsey explained.</p> <p>Trivia Question: Why did Sean Dempsey move to Las Vegas ten years ago?</p> <p>If you answered to play poker full-time, well, you would be wrong again. The 40-year-old player isn’t a full time poker pro, he is a physician, and playing in the WSOP is a kind of vacation, a well-deserved period of relaxation and fun for the doctor.</p> <p>Nevertheless, Dempsey still wanted to win a bracelet. Last year’s $10,000 PLO Championship final table set the stage for 2014 and the biggest score of his poker career so far.</p> <p>To achieve that, he needed some lucky hands, but eventually he did it.</p> <p>The doctor was one of <a href="" target="_blank">three remaining after Day 3</a> and possessed the shortest stack at the table. Since all the stacks were shallow, he only needed one double-up to threaten the top and that’s what he did eight hands after the start of overtime. He moved all-in from the button with #kd#10h and was called by<strong> Jacob Schindler</strong>’s #ac#jh. The board paired his king and propelled him right to the top of the chip leaderboard. ‘</p> <p>From that point on, Dempsey started being more active by putting Schindler in a lot of tough spots. Schindler eventually was eliminated in third place after calling with #ah#jh. His opponent, <strong>Ryan Jaconetti</strong>, had #ac#qs for the upper hand.</p> <p>The heads-up play was a true grind and lasted over three hours. Jaconetti started strong but Dempsey fought back with some timely shoves. The future winner needed two double-ups including a lucky river to seal the deal. And with his stack getting shorter and shorter, Jaconetti made a move on hand #284 of the official final table, going all-in with #qs#10h. Dempsey called immediately with #jd#jc, caught a set, and dodged Jaconetti’s open-ended straight draw to win the bracelet.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Sean Dempsey - $548,460</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Jaconetti - $339,440</em></li> <li><em>Jacob Schindler - $212,373</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Olisar - $154,148</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Laplante - $113,796</em></li> <li><em>Nam Le - $85,307</em></li> <li><em>Layne Flack - $64,887</em></li> <li><em>Takashi Yagura - $50,019</em></li> <li><em>Andrew Becker - $39,078</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Sean Dempsey on finally winning gold. He also plans to play the PLO Championship and the Main Event before going back to his old job. Can he go for yet another (bracelet) double-up?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 09:46:17 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2973 Davide Suriano Wins the WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up Championship <p><span class="letter-big">S</span>mall stakes player no more! After playing low and mid buy-in events all his life and cashing five-figure prizes, <strong>Davide Suriano</strong> decided to take a shot at a World Series of Poker bracelet by playing Event #40: the $10,000 Heads-up No Limit Hold’Em Championship. The Italian wasn’t a stranger at all to one-on-one success, winning the WPT Venice Grand Prix Heads-up event in 2012, plus a heads-up side event in last year’s EPT London.</p> <p>Now Suriano has many reasons to smile because he won a big six-figure prize that will allow him to play the higher stakes in the near future. <em>“This victory is going to change my life,”</em> the winner said after taking down his last opponent in experienced American <strong>Sam Stein</strong>.</p> <p>Unknown player no more! Coming into the final round of the $10,000 Heads-up Championship, the Italian was virtually an unknown compared to his foe. Stein had one gold bracelet, 18 WSOP cashes, plus several other big results in the EPT, NAPT and WPT. Suriano had only three WSOP cashes and a number of small prizes won in Europe along with a bankroll built in the online world.</p> <p>Now the unknown can brag after winning his first gold bracelet and Italy’s seventh overall. Moreover, his six-figure cash will add up nicely to Italy’s total earnings in WSOP history of over $15 million.</p> <p><em>“This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me,”</em> Suriano told</p> <p>But how did he manage to win against such an experienced opponent? Simple, <a href="" target="_blank">he just did the same thing as in previous eliminations</a>: he was aggressive, he fought for every pot, and he mixed it up with a number of limps, raises, and three-bets.</p> <p>The Italian won the first two hands of the final round and took the chip lead early. He also made a flush on hand #8 and with the blinds increasing, he picked up his aggression even more by winning a lot of non-showdown pots. After just 36 hands, Stein decided to fight back with his last 20 big blinds and shoved over the top of Suriano’s raise with #kd#7d. His opponent made the call with #as#10d and Stein had to improve in order to stay alive.</p> <p>That didn’t happen as the board showed #3d#10s#jh#ac#5s, giving Suriano two pair and the most coveted piece of jewelry in poker.</p> <p>Here are the final four payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Davide Suriano - $335,553</em></li> <li><em>Sam Stein - $207,347</em></li> <li><em>Daniel Colman - $111,942</em></li> <li><em>Scott Davies -$111,942</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Davide Suriano on his impressive shootout win. If he sustains his level of play, we will definitely hear a lot more about him in the next major events. Can he take his bankroll to the next level?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 08:20:05 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2972 WSOP Daily Report: Best Card Protector Ever, Table Controversies Adding Up <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>on’t be scared to mix things up, many poker players say, and that’s what <strong>Kenna James</strong> (photo) did yesterday in Event #43: $1,500 Limit Hold’Em. Along with his beverage and his glasses, James sat at the poker table with a special card protector.</p> <p><em>“Don’t try to steal my big blind,”</em> he said, picking up <strong>Tank </strong>and putting her in his arms. According to PokerNews Live Reporting, Tank is a four-year old Terrier-Chihuahua mix and most probably the best card protector in this year’s WSOP, if not ever. Unfortunately though, Tank didn’t help James much as he was eliminated late in the tournament.</p> <p>Meanwhile, at another Limit table, <strong>Antonio</strong> “The Magician” <strong>Esfandiari</strong> tried to pick up the pace and play a game of<em> “Lodden Thinks.”</em> For those who don’t know what that game is all about, in <em>“Lodden Thinks”</em> two players place bets on trying to guess a third player’s answer to a given question. For example, one of the questions in which Esfandiari was involved sounded like this:<em> “How long does it take for a specific player at the table to do his hair in the morning?”</em> Another more interesting question involved <strong>Barry Greenstein</strong>: <em>“How long could Greenstein last in a small, square room with just a toilet, bed, and light?”</em></p> <p>We don’t know if Esfandiari won the bets but what we do know is that “The Magician” was able to survive Day 1 even though he is short-stacked. Other big names are in the same boat including Event #3 winner <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, five-time bracelet winner <strong>Jeff Lisandro</strong>, and <strong>Daniel</strong> “Kid Poker” <strong>Negreanu</strong>. The leader of this particular pack is <strong>Paul Mannoni</strong>.</p> <p>In the other two non-no-limit events of the day, new table controversies emerged <a href="" target="_blank">after the brawl in the Amazon Room</a>. Again, <strong>Brandon Cantu</strong> was center-stage and called the floor during a hand. Cantu won the dispute and his opponent, <strong>Maria Mayrinck, </strong>had to stay pat for a round. But this didn’t stop a player from mentioning the already notorious “angle-shooting” expression.<em> “I thought you said yesterday you didn’t angle. There’s no scenario in which she would change her draw,”</em> an opponent told Cantu.</p> <p>And this was not the only controversy in Event #41: $1,500 Dealer’s choice six-handed. A No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw hand had to be reconstructed after <strong>Senovio Ramirez</strong> received the same card that he put out after a draw. The staff had a hard time in reconstructing the hand as players couldn't precisely recall their cards and their suits. Eventually, all the cards were in place and play resumed only to stop again with ten players left.</p> <p><strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong> leads the field but he’ll have to watch out for the two ladies remaining: two-time bracelet winner <strong>Jennifer Harman </strong>and mixed-game cash specialist<strong> Melissa Burr</strong>.</p> <p>Last but not least, Event #42: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed kicked off yesterday and Belgian<strong> Davidi Kitai</strong> is in the hunt for his second 2014 gold bracelet. Kitai is the chip leader with a massive 250+ big-blind stack followed by <strong>Brandon Crawford</strong> and 3k shootout winner <strong>Kory Kilpatrick</strong>. Also in the race are <strong>Michael Mizrachi</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, <strong>Ashton Griffin</strong>,<strong> Jonathan Little</strong>, <strong>Phil Galfond</strong>, <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, <strong>Richard Ashby</strong>, <strong>Calvin Anderson</strong>, <strong>Jason Somerville</strong>, and <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>.</p> <p>Check out PokerUpdate tomorrow to find out more about these events.</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 13:38:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2971 Event #39 Set For Overtime, Jacob Schindler Still Leading The Way <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he rail asked for an extra level, instead they received a whole day worth of overtime play. <em>“One more level,”</em> the rail chanted with minutes to go until the end of the tenth level of the day.</p> <p>But to have the extra level, one more player had to be eliminated, and both finalists had to agree to it. That didn’t happen as <strong>Ryan Jaconetti</strong> doubled up right at the death and is closer than ever to winning his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. So is chip leader <strong>Jacob Schindler</strong>, while the shortstack, <strong>Sean Dempsey</strong>, isn’t that far behind.</p> <p>All three played ten long hours, hoping to put their hands on the Las Vegas gold; instead they will have to return later today and play some more.</p> <p>Day 3 of Event #39: $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em started with 26 players returning to the poker felt. The field shrank quickly and in a matter of four hours, ten remained.</p> <p>The official final table bubble, however, lasted over two hours and signaled the shape of things to come. <strong>Clyde Walters</strong> was the unlucky bubble boy; he shoved over two people with #jc#jh and was at risk when Sean Dempsey called with #ah#ad. The board played the percentages and sent Walters home.</p> <p>After that, Schindler began his domination. He first doubled-up big on a #ad#kc#as#2h#9s board while holding #ah#ks. And with <strong>Andrew Becker </strong>eliminated in ninth place, he sent the next four players to the rail. <strong>Takashi Yagura</strong> raised all-in with #10d#10s and was called by Schindler’s #ad#qh. The community cards flushed Yagura away from the tourney.</p> <p>Six-time bracelet winner <strong>Layne Flack</strong> was next, putting his last chips in the middle with #jc#8c. Prior to the elimination hand, Flack was crippled in a #ac#kd &gt; #as#9s battle against Jaconetti.</p> <p><strong>Nam Le</strong> and <strong>Ryan Laplante</strong> were the other Schindler victims. Le lost a flip preflop to finish in sixth place while Laplante took a severe hit on the river that sent him packing in fifth place.</p> <p>The last elimination of the day was made by Dempsey. He snap-called <strong>Ryan Olisar</strong>’s all-in with the absolute nuts preflop: #ad#ah. Jaconetti had the same hand in the very last play of Day 3 when he moved all-in from the big blind. Schindler, who was in the small blind, called with #as#4s hoping for a light steal and some extra time. But it wasn’t meant to be as Jaconetti had #ad#ac for the big double-up.</p> <p>Here is the official chip count with hours left until the big showdown:</p> <ol><li><em>Jacob Schindler: 3,860,000 (38.6 BB)</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Jaconetti: 3,410,000 (34.1 BB)</em></li> <li><em>Sean Dempsey: 1,660,000 (16.6 BB)</em></li> </ol><p>Who will prevail in the fourth-day overtime?</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 11:06:09 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2970 Sam Stein And Davide Suriano Battle For The Heads-Up Crown <p>Seven rounds are history and one more is needed to crown a champion.</p> <p>Event #40: $10,000 Heads-up No Limit Hold’Em kicked off with 136 players ready to duel for their tournament lives and after two days, only two remain: an experienced American with almost $4 million in tournament earnings and a very aggressive Italian with just a quarter of million cashed in his live poker career, according to Hendon Mob Poker DB.</p> <p><strong>Sam Stein</strong> (photo) is a successful poker pro with one World Series of Poker bracelet won in 2011 in a Pot Limit Omaha event, 18 WSOP cashes, one European Poker Tour title in San Remo, and several other big cashes including a seven-figure score collected after finishing fourth in the 2011 Poker Caribbean Adventure Main Event.</p> <p>Stein is also a big <strong>Kobe Bryant</strong> fan. And just like “Black Mamba,” he dribbled past every single opponent so far in his quest for victory. The first one who felt the wrath of Stein was <strong>David Schnettler</strong>, while in the round of 64, <strong>Bryn Kenney</strong> couldn’t do anything to stop the finalist spike an ace in a battle of cowboys versus ace-queen.</p> <p>The next two to fall were Britain’s finest: <strong>Sam Trickett</strong> and <strong>Max Silver</strong>. Trickett made the call with his last chips knowing that he was beat. <em>“You have king-deuce right? I mean, it’s pretty obvious you have king-deuce,”</em> the Brit said before the call, looking at the #2d#ks#ah#kc#4d board. Instead, Stein had #2h#2c, still good enough to eliminate Trickett.</p> <p><strong>Scott Baumstein</strong> and<strong> Scott Davies</strong> were next to hit the rail. Baumstein was eliminated in fifth place thanks to some high pocket pairs held by the finalist. <em>“I shove twice and run into kings and queens,”</em> Baumstein said, expressing his frustration. Davies experienced a similar fate when his flopped set ran into a higher set.</p> <p>The other finalist, <strong>Davide Suriano</strong>, hasn’t enjoyed the same degree of success as his opponent. Clearly, he is less experienced when facing the bright spotlights, having cashed just three times at the WSOP prior to the Heads-up championship. Not to mention that he has yet to claim any six-figure poker prizes.</p> <p>But his lack of experience is definitely compensated by a relentless aggression that helped him reach this far. He eliminated big names from the competition, including one-time bracelet winner <strong>Scott Seiver</strong> and an online legend with lots of heads-up experience, <strong>Daniel </strong>“jungleman” <strong>Cates</strong>. The round against Cates was short and ruthless with both players holding premium hands: #ks#kd &gt; #js#jh.</p> <p><strong>Shane Moran</strong> and <strong>Serkan Kurnaz</strong> were some other victims; Kurnaz was the last player eliminated in the round of 16 after making a straight on a very draw-heavy #kc#jc#10c#10s#ah board. Suriano had an even bigger hand: #ks#kh for the boat.</p> <p>Against <strong>Ankush Mandavia</strong>, the Italian slowplayed his turned trips and let his opponent bluff his missed draw.</p> <p>High Roller <strong>Daniel Colman</strong> was Suriano’s last victim in his journey to the final. Colman took the lead early on but once the Italian got it going, he was not to be denied. In the last hand, Colman needed a lucky board to improve his #ac#5d against #8h#8c. Instead the board gave Suriano a full house and a ticket to the final round.</p> <p>Who will win the Heads-up championship?</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 09:06:34 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2969 Sheldon Adelson Hires New Lobbyists <p><span class="letter-big">I</span>n his thus far unsuccessful campaign to wipe out regulated online poker and gambling in the U.S., <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong> has sought the services of a new lobbying firm.</p> <p>The Washington-based <strong>Keelen Group</strong>, which lists <em>"Coalition Building"</em> and <em>"Issue Advocacy"</em> among its services, has been retained by the <strong>Las Vegas Sands Corporation</strong>, according to a recent Lobbying Registration form. Adelson, the Sands' CEO, created the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> late last year and has been attempting to build the organization ever since.</p> <p>The Keelen Group will be tasked with <em>"Monitoring Federal policy issues related to internet gambling; H.R.4301 &amp; S.2159 - Restoration of America's Wire Act,"</em> per the disclosure form that was made public by <strong>The Hill</strong>. The lobbying firm's website espouses dedication "<em>to achieving tangible results for our clients"</em> and keeps track of its success <em>"by the impact we have on your bottom-line."</em></p> <p>Perhaps Adelson is not the ideal client for the lobbying group considering that he seemingly cares little about his bottom line as he has promised to <em>"spend whatever it takes"</em> to further his anti-online gambling efforts. The casino mogul can repeatedly be found near the top of <strong>Forbes</strong>' annual list of the wealthiest Americans.</p> <p>A handful of other lobbying firms have already been hired by the Sands this year to support Adelson's cause. That cause is behind a federal bill introduced in late March by <strong>Sen. Lindsey Graham</strong> (R-S.C.) and <strong>Rep. Jason Chaffetz</strong> (R-Utah) that aims to overturn a 2011 DoJ decision that allows individual states to enact online poker and gambling statutes at their own discretion.</p> <p>Adelson has often claimed that gaming websites cannot safeguard children from logging on and playing despite no such incidents having been reported from the legal sites operating in the regulated states of <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>. Adelson is approaching his 81st birthday later this summer and apparently is among the older generation who have not fully embraced the Internet.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:14:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2968 Bovada Bans New Players From Nevada and Delaware <p><strong>Bovada</strong>, the industry's leading online poker room for American players, is no longer accepting sign-ups from the regulated states of <strong>Nevada</strong> and <strong>Delaware</strong>.</p> <p>That decision comes as no surprise considering that Bovada implemented the same policy for <strong>New Jersey</strong> players last month. Those residing in the trio of regulated states who already have valid accounts at Bovada can reportedly keep playing at the site's anonymous tables, but new deposits will no longer be processed, iGaming Business reported.</p> <p><blockquote>We are sorry. We do not accept registrations from your state. For more information please contact us,” is the message received by players within the regulated states when attempting to create a new account.</blockquote></p> <p>Unregulated poker sites operating in the U.S. have been feeling the heat from officials in the regulated states. New Jersey gaming regulators noted that many residents continued to log on at the likes of Bovada, <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong> and <strong>Full Flush Poker</strong> despite having access to regulated sites.</p> <p>That led to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement writing a letter to half a dozen U.S. affiliate sites demanding the removal of links to poker rooms operating outside of newly-enacted regulations. Since that time, the majority of U.S.-friendly unregulated sites have withdrawn and are no longer friendly to players in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 16:38:58 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2967 Atlantic Club Sold by Caesars <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he <strong>Atlantic Club Casino</strong> has been sold by a subsidiary of <strong>Caesars Entertainment</strong> to a Florida company that is reportedly eyeing the property for use as a residence or non-casino hotel.</p> <p><strong>TJM Properties</strong> acquired the shuttered property that has been locked up and lying dormant since January 13. A joint bid of <em>$23.4 million</em> by Caesars and <strong>Tropicana</strong> at a bankruptcy auction in December allowed the latter to back up a truck and remove more than 1,600 slots and table games.</p> <p>Caesars held onto the property for half a year before selling out to TJM last month for <em>$13.5 million</em>. The two are not strangers with regard to making deals for casinos, as TJM also recently purchased from Caesars the <strong>Claridge Casino Hotel</strong>, the Press of Atlantic City reported.</p> <p>The Atlantic Club, as many will recall, was eyed by <strong>PokerStars</strong> as a way to enter the regulated U.S. online gambling market. A <em>$15 million</em> bid was accepted and PokerStars tossed $10 million of that into the pot in order to keep the struggling casino afloat. But the casino owners, <strong>Colony Capital</strong>, invoked a clause in the purchase agreement that permitted them to renege on the deal.</p> <p>PokerStars then partnered with the <strong>Resorts Casino</strong>, but that attempt was shot down by New Jersey gaming regulators who found fault with PokerStars executives who chose to remain abroad rather than face the music with regard to Black Friday allegations. PokerStars has since been sold to <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong> for <em>$4.9 billion</em> and entry to the U.S. online gaming market has been virtually assured after all.</p> <p>The Atlantic Club's closing left the number of operating casinos in New Jersey at 11. But fewer than that are profitable and Caesars' representatives have mentioned that the lights may be turned off at one of their four properties, with the <strong>Showboat</strong> likely first in line among <strong>Harrah's</strong>, <strong>Bally's</strong>, and the namesake of Caesars Atlantic City.</p> <p>TJM owns and operates a number of hotels and residences for seniors that provide assisted care in the southeastern U.S. The company's expansion to Atlantic City will likely follow in that vein.</p> <p>The Atlantic Club had been a mainstay on the Boardwalk's southern end since 1980, albeit operating under various names and owners. The casino was first known as the <strong>Golden Nugget</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:12:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2966 WSOP Daily Report: Brawl In The Amazon Room, Daniel Negreanu Up And Running Heads-up <p><span class="letter-big">N</span>obody would have guessed that the friendly Event #41: $1,500 Dealer’s choice six-handed, was going to be the stage of a big poker brawl.</p> <p>It all started during a 2-7 Triple Draw hand between <strong>Brandon Cantu</strong> (photo) and <strong>Matt Szymaszek</strong>. Apparently, Cantu accused his opponent of angle-shooting and that’s when things got out of hand. <strong>Jesse Martin</strong>, a very good friend of Szymaszek who was playing at the next table heard that and tried to defend Szymaszek, stating that he <em>“plays draw games every day”</em> and knows the rules and <em>"he would never angle shoot."</em></p> <p><em>“Shut the f--- up,”</em> Cantu told Martin, according to PokerNews Live Reporting. Martin erupted afterwards, calling Cantu an angle shooter. <em>“Nobody f---ing likes you,”</em> he added.</p> <p>Cantu reacted quickly and tried to shove Martin in front of staff members. Security reviewed the footage and saw Cantu pushing Martin but no punches were thrown.</p> <p><em>“Get him out of here! He punched me. Ban him. Get him out of here,”</em> Martin yelled. Eventually the staff decided to give Cantu a three-orbit no-play penalty.</p> <p>In spite of missing all that play, the one-time bracelet winner did recover and will return to the Amazon Room for Day 2 of the event. He is not that far behind the chip leader, <strong>Larry Tull</strong>, and must behave himself if he wants to have a shot at a new WSOP title.</p> <p>Also returning for Day 2 of the special event are <strong>Jennifer Harman</strong>,<strong> Todd Brunson</strong>, <strong>Gavin Smith</strong>, <strong>Calvin Anderson</strong>, <strong>Maria Ho</strong>, and the Mizrachi brothers.</p> <p>And since we are talking about returns, how about <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>’s run in Event #40: the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’Em Championship? The Canadian survived three rounds of play and must do the same in the next four rounds if he wants to collect his seventh WSOP gold bracelet.</p> <p>Besides Negreanu, <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, <strong>Max Silver</strong>, <strong>Daniel Colman</strong>, and heads-up specialists <strong>Jason Koon</strong> and <strong>Tommy Chen</strong> are the other big names still standing in the shootout.</p> <p>The event will resume later today and will play down to either the final four or the championship match.</p> <p>Another tournament set for a championship finish is Event #39: $3,000 NLHE. Only 26 players out of a total field of 992 entries will head to the final day with a stack in front of them.</p> <p>2014 Poker Caribbean Adventure High Roller champ <strong>Jacob Schindler</strong> is the chip leader and will definitely look for the first Vegas gold of his career. Other notable names that have the same goal as Schindler include 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic winner <strong>Matthew Lapossie</strong>, six-time bracelet winner<strong> Layne Flack</strong>, 2010 WSOP Main Event deep runner <strong>Matt Afleck</strong>, and nosebleeds online cash player <strong>Elior </strong>“Crazy Elior” <strong>Sion</strong>. He is up over $400k playing at the highest stakes on PokerStars, according to HighStakes DB, and will definitely try to go for gold and the $500k first-prize cash this evening. Will he make it?</p> <p> </p> <p>Experience the thrill and excitement of the World Series of Poker on your home computer or laptop. Play against the pros, or find yourself pursuing poker's ultimate prize, the coveted bracelet!</p> <p><a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche">Download the software </a>and start playing today!</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 14:21:18 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2965 The Real Stud! George Danzer Adds Yet Another WSOP Bracelet To His Impressive 2014 Trophy Case <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne thing is for sure: German <strong>George Danzer </strong>is the real Stud of this year’s World Series of Poker…both literally and figuratively.</p> <p>Literally because Danzer won two WSOP gold bracelets in two stud poker events in a matter of just two weeks. First, he emerged victorious in Event #18, the $10,000 Razz Championship. Razz is actually a form of lowball stud poker with the clear objective of making the lowest possible five-card hand from the seven cards dealt. Moreover, the German went for the win in Event #38: the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better Championship.</p> <p><blockquote>This is probably a similar field to the other one (that I won). These Championship-level events always draw the best players. It was never easy. It’s just a different Stud variation but the players are the same. I’d say this is just as satisfying to win as my other one," Danzer told</blockquote></p> <p>Figuratively because “Tricky Scarfy” is currently dominating the entire WSOP field and has the best chance of winning the 2014 Player of the Year race. So far, he has won two bracelets, made three final tables, scored four top-ten finishes, and five cashes.</p> <p>How did he come out on top of his competition in his latest success? Simple, by sticking to his plan of playing one tournament every single day and by eyeing the lead early. Of course, a little bit of luck always helps in tournament poker.</p> <p>Danzer started both Day 2 and 3 with the chip lead and didn’t give up until he struck gold. He also won the first big pot of the final day that set up the official final table. <strong>Richard Sklar</strong> and <strong>John Monnette</strong> were the unlucky ones who fell on the bubble. The pair were eliminated in ninth and eighth places, respectively. Both were upended in the same hand when the German caught a dominating kings full of nines.</p> <p>Danzer's next victim was <strong>David Singer</strong>, who had a lot of draws to make the low but failed to catch anything other than a pair of aces for the high. Unfortunately for him, the 2014 PoY leader had another monster hand: an eight-high straight.</p> <p><strong>Brian Hastings</strong> picked up the action after that, eliminating<strong> Chris George</strong> and five-time bracelet winner and Stud specialist, <strong>Jeff </strong>“Iceman” <strong>Lisandro</strong>. Hastings even flirted with the top spot in the chip leaderboard only to see his stack end up back in the danger zone a little while later. He was eventually eliminated by the red-hot German who caught a straight on seventh street.</p> <p>And with<strong> Calvin Anderson</strong> out of his way, Danzer had one more player to beat in <strong>John Racener</strong>. The 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up, Racener was short-stacked most of the heads-up play and couldn’t do much in the last hand of the tournament with his pocket queens. The German had pocket kings that gave him his second gold bracelet.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>George Danzer - $352,696</li> <li>John Racener - $217,935</li> <li>Calvin Anderson - $136,490</li> <li>Brian Hastings - $$98,828</li> <li>Jeff Lisandro - $77,238</li> <li>Chris George - $61,594</li> <li>David Singer - $50,018</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to George Danzer on winning the second WSOP event of his career. Can he sustain his impressive run?</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:08:08 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2964 Electric Celebration! Brandon Paster Wins The WSOP $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Event <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hat better way to celebrate a World Series of Poker win than partying for three days at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway? <em>“I am gonna party my face off. There’s no better way to celebrate a bracelet than EDC (The Electric Daisy Carnival). I’m on cloud nine. It’s unreal,”</em> <strong>Brandon Paster</strong> told</p> <p>Paster won Event #37: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha and now he wants to enjoy life to the fullest. He used to grind the PLO tables but the high variance and regular ups and downs tore him apart and made him rethink his strategy.<em> “Playing exclusively Omaha for a living is not really sustainable,”</em> said Paster, explaining why he now focuses on the No Limit Hold’Em tournaments after a lifetime of PLO grinding.</p> <p>And what better way to wrap up the Omaha experience than winning a WSOP Omaha gold bracelet plus a hefty $264,000 cash prize? <em>“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Hands down. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s a blessing,”</em> he added.</p> <p>Paster started the final day second in chips, ready to make a final run. He was the chip leader after Day 1 and was looking to deny <strong>Marcel Vonk</strong> his second gold bracelet. And with <strong>AP Phahurat</strong> and <strong>Dapreesch Scates</strong> bursting the nine-handed final table bubble, the 27-year-old Massachusetts-based player was in a very good position to finish off strong:</p> <p><blockquote>I was gifted the best situation possible. I had the most aggressive players all on my right the whole time. I was in a great situation. Other stacks just couldn’t do much against me. I kinda just got to chill and play my hands and didn’t have to get involved in too many big pots."</blockquote></p> <p>He drew first blood by eliminating <strong>Galen Hall</strong> in ninth place for $18,837. Hall raised all-in on a #10c#8h#kc flop while holding #qs#js#9s#8s. Paster called and was in front with his #js#ac#2c#10s hand. The future winner eventually sealed the deal by rivering a flush.</p> <p>After that, the 27-year-old Paster had all sorts of emotions from a classic <em>“poker sucks”</em> muttering to a<em> “run good, run f---ing good”</em> big smile. Between all those emotions, <strong>Kevin Saul</strong> ($24,111), <strong>Dmitrii Valouev</strong> ($31,278), <strong>Millard Hale</strong> ($41,121), and <strong>Matthew Dames</strong> ($54,855) were eliminated to shrink the final table down to just four.</p> <p><strong>Matt Humphrey</strong> was the unlucky one who was on the other side of Paster’s “run good” celebration. He was in front preflop holding #ac#ah#kh#5s but the flop and the turn gave his opponent a winning straight. So Humphrey had to leave the table defeated in fourth place with a consolation prize of $74,306.</p> <p><strong>Gabriel Nassif</strong> was in the same situation, being in front on the #ah#7s#6c flop but the turn had other plans by improving Paster’s hand and sending Nassif to the rail with $102,373.</p> <p>And with the Paster holding most of the chips in play, heads-up play was a walk in the park for him. In just the third hand of the final round, Vonk moved all his stack in the middle preflop with #ad#qc#2c#3s and was dominated by his opponent who held #as#ac#8s#kd. The flop gave Vonk two pairs but the #ah turn delivered the final blow of the tourney and sent the one-time bracelet winner home with a $163,625 cash prize in his pockets.</p> <p>Congratulations to Brandon Paster on winning the $1,500 PLO event. He will now head to the Electric Daisy Carnival that starts later today and get ready for a three-week long road trip around the U.S. after that. When will he return to the old poker grind? Not any time soon that’s for sure since he also plans to try a new living experience in the great city of Amsterdam.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:04:52 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2963 Brian Yoon Wins his Second WSOP Bracelet in Tough Competition <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>lthough it was scheduled as a four-day tourney, things moved a bit faster than planned in the $5,000 8-handed Hold’em No Limit Event and the champion was crowned on Day 3 yesterday. <strong>Brian Yoon </strong>took the title and collected his second gold bracelet after claiming his first last year in a Little One for One Drop event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a tough final table to beat as the players had a combined 21 WSOP final tables and three gold bracelets between eight of them. Although the day started with 23 players in the field, 15 quickly hit the rail to leave only eight standing. Those who fell along the way include <strong>Jeff Madsen</strong> in 20th place despite starting the day as the chip leader and <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>, who struggled a little longer but went out in 11th.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When<strong> Nick Grippo </strong>eventually busted in 9<sup>th</sup> place, the official eight-handed final table was underway with Yoon holding a big lead over second place <strong>Dan Smit</strong>h and third place <strong>Josh Arieh</strong>. First to leave the final eight was <strong>Tony Couisenau</strong>, earning $55,034 for his performance and adding to Yoon’s chip stack. Then <strong>Timo Pfutzenreuter </strong>got in a pot against <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong>, who stubbornly refused to leave and staged a big comeback earlier when he already had one foot out the door. Pfutzenreuter was eliminated, earning $71,940.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kanit continued to run good, taking out <strong>Dan Smith </strong>in sixth placel. Smith’s #ad#10d couldn’t improve against Kanit’s #7h#7c and he would take his leave $95,515 richer. However, all good things come to an end and so did Kanit’s<strong> </strong>luck in a pot he played against Yoon. Kanit tried to bluff Yoon off his hand on the river with a busted straight draw, but Yoon made the call with #ad#qs for a turned pair of Aces to send Kanit out in fifth with $128,862 in his pocket.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Four-handed play lasted for a while but the players probably didn’t mind it too much as the atmosphere was quite relaxed. Some chips exchanged hands and we saw a double up or two before the next bust occurred. It was <strong>Ardit Kurshumi </strong>flipping for his tournament life with #4h#4d against Arieh’s #ac#qh. Although the flop was safe for the pocket pair, both the turn and river were aces and Kurshumi was sent to the rail with earnings of $176,684.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The next elimination came in short order when Arieh squared off against <strong>Josh Bergman</strong>. Arieh raked in the pot after Bergman<strong> </strong>moved all-in over Arieh’s raise with #qs#10h and Arieh made the call with #ac#jd. The board ran #5c#5h#5d#3c#4s and Bergman was done and on his way to pick up $246,169.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With Bergman’s ouster, Yoon and Arieh<strong> </strong>started heads-up play for the title nearly dead even in chips with Yoon only slightly ahead. But he continued to build up his advantage, chipping Arieh down. Yoon was up to 3:1 in chips when the last hand took place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The two saw the flop of #6d#7d#9d and after Yoon check-raised Arieh’s continuation bet, Arieh made the call and the dealer turned over #ac. Yoon led out and Arieh moved in. Yoon made the snap-call with #8d#2d and was well ahead of Arieh’s #ad#2h. The river bricked as it came #6c and it was all over. Arieh finished in second place and received a consolation prize of $391,575.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Brian Yoon<strong> </strong>earned $633,341 together with his second WSOP bracelet. The ecstatic champion did not try to hide his enthusiasm about his achievement especially considering the tough field of pros he had to navigate to get there!</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:04:14 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2962 Talks Between Amaya and New Jersey Regulators on Agenda <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith the ink still wet on the <em>$4.9 billion</em> purchase agreement brokered between <strong>Amaya Gaming Group</strong> and <strong>PokerStars</strong>, discussions are scheduled for today with <strong>New Jersey</strong> regulators regarding the online gaming giant's entry into the marketplace.</p> <p>That entry has thus far been denied, first due to the failed attempt of parent company <strong>Rational Group</strong> to purchase the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> and then by New Jersey <strong>Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE)</strong> officials who found fault with PokerStars' founder <strong>Isai Scheinberg</strong> avoiding Black Friday allegations of operating an illegal gambling business, among other charges.</p> <p>The acquisition agreement with Amaya calls for the Scheinberg family (father Isai and son Mark) to divest themselves of any interest in the company. That reportedly pleases DGE honchos and will likely pave the way for PokerStars to be granted an online gaming license under the new ownership of Amaya.</p> <p>The current status of PokerStars' application to operate gaming sites in New Jersey is a two-year suspension issued late last year, but regulators promised to re-visit the matter once the company's situation had changed, and that it has. Under new direction of the Canadian-based Amaya Gaming, PokerStars' tarnished bad actor image has been transformed to that of not-so-bad actor.</p> <p>PokerStars is well-respected globally and holds almost as many online poker licenses as<strong> Phil Hellmuth</strong> has WSOP titles. It is only in <strong>America</strong> that the credibility of online poker's top dog remains in question due to failure to adhere to the <strong>UIGEA</strong> in 2006. But the sale to Amaya likely changes that, at least in New Jersey at the moment.</p> <p><blockquote>We've had discussions with Amaya to reactivate the application, and we plan to begin discussions with them tomorrow," DGE director <strong>David Rebuck</strong> told the Associated Press yesterday. "I think in the long run it will be a good story for New Jersey. I'm optimistic that they know what the rules are, and I fully expect them to be very aggressive because they want to be here."</blockquote></p> <p>Internet gambling revenue has tumbled in New Jersey as of late, one of the reasons why the DGE is preparing to roll out the red carpet for PokerStars. Rational had previously promised to open a live poker room in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> and base its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey if gaming regulators gave rubber-stamped approval to their online gaming license application.</p> <p>Whether Amaya will use a page from that playbook and center its U.S. operations in the Garden State remains to be seen. But the Canadian company already has ties to New Jersey via a partnership with <strong>Caesars Interactive</strong>.</p> <p>A new license application with Amaya listed as the applicant instead of the Rational Group may be submitted to the DGE before the end of June. Rebuck indicated that PokerStars may be up and running in New Jersey by autumn.</p> <p>The approval of PokerStars may have a positive effect throughout the country with regard to other states taking a more serious tone toward enacting online poker and gambling legislation. New Jersey is expected to eventually partake in interstate compact agreements with other states in order to increase player liquidity in online poker. Many states will likely want to be a part of that collaboration.</p> <p><a href="">Click Here for a list of NJ Legal Poker Sites</a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 16:48:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2961 WSOP Daily Report: George Danzer Shooting For His Second 2014 Bracelet <p><strong>George </strong>“Tricky Scarfy” <strong>Danzer </strong>is on a hot streak in this year’s World Series of Poker. The German is currently leading the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race thanks to one Seven Card Razz win, one Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball final table, and two other cashes in the Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better event and the $10,000 No Limit Hold’Em Six-Handed Championship.</p> <p>But that’s not all; Danzer is also atop the chip leaderboard in Event #38: Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better with only one day left and 12 players remaining. He started Day 2 of the tournament as the chip leader and never abandoned the top, surviving ten grueling levels to enter the final day with the best chance to win the bracelet.</p> <p><strong>Brian Hastings</strong>,<strong> Ted Forrest</strong>, <strong>Calvin Anderson</strong>, <strong>Richard Sklar</strong>, <strong>Todd Brunson</strong>, and ESPN commentator <strong>Norman Chad</strong> are among those who will try to stop Danzer in his quest for a second 2014 WSOP win. Can they do it?</p> <p>Note that the German is not the only bracelet winner looking down at his competition. 2010 WSOP Event #54 winner <strong>Marcel Vonk</strong> had his fair share of success in Event #37: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha. Unlike Danzer, though, he climbed the chip ladder near the end by capitalizing on the misfortunes of <strong>Erick Lindgren</strong> and starting chip leader <strong>Fabrice Soulier</strong>. Both players seemed to dominate the field only to be eliminated before the end of Day 2.</p> <p>Soulier had at one point a 382,000-chip stack but since we’re talking about the high-variance PLO, he lost all of it in a matter of 90 minutes. The same story goes for Lindgren, who was crippled in a massive three-way pot to eventually hit the rail in 13th place.</p> <p>The play stopped with 11 still in the mix and will resume later today at 1 PM Pacific Time. What do the cards hold in store?</p> <p>Also, Event #39: $3,000 NLHE kicked off today and from an initial field of 992 players, only 205 have a stack in front of them entering Day 2. German<strong> Daniel Makowsky</strong> holds the biggest of them all but he’ll definitely have to watch out for the hungry wolves behind him that are waiting for any opportunity to hunt him down. Among them, one-time bracelet winner <strong>James Mackey</strong>, 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic winner <strong>Matt Lapossie</strong>, 2014 WPT Championship winner <strong>Keven Stammen</strong>, high roller <strong>Fabian Quoss</strong>, and online legend <strong>Chris Moorman</strong> have the most experience to survive yet another day in the Sin City. Will they make it? Stick around and find out in the next few days.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:29:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2960 Steven Wolansky Makes Use of his Second Shot at a WSOP Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>onight was a big night for 26-year old <strong>Steven Wolansky </strong>as he finally managed to put a WSOP gold bracelet on his wrist. The win came in the $1,500 Deuce to Seven event that attracted 241 runners. The victory was that much sweeter coming after his defeat in the heads-up of an 8-game event during last year’s series in which he had a 30:1 chip advantage over his opponent at one point.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Wolansky came back to play today as the first in chips of the remaining six players, but it wasn’t that big of a difference between him and the two players hot on his heels, <strong>Samuel Touil</strong> and <strong>Joseph Cheong</strong>. With blinds going up to 3k/6k with a 1,500 ante soon after the start of the day, we expected a fast and action-filled final table and we weren’t wrong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Six hands into play, Touil made an early exit. Two hands before that he lost the majority of his chips to Wolansky and then jammed his last 50,000 in to the made <strong>Ten-Nine </strong>of Cheong. Touli drew one, but paired his hand and was eliminated, taking home $12,529 for this short final table performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some ten hands later, <strong>Orjan Skommo </strong>met the same fate and once again it was Cheong who played the executioner role. Skommo drew two cards while Cheong took one. Although Cheong ended up with <strong>Qx 7x 6x 4x 3x</strong>, it was good enough as Skommo missed the cards he needed and paired up to finish in fifth, banking $17,445.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cheong continued steamrolling the table as he then took out <strong>Christopher Mecklin </strong>($24,908). It was an action hand involving three players but faced with an all-in and a call, <strong>Max Kruse</strong> got out of harm’s way. Mecklin drew one card and despite ending up with <strong>Nine-Eight</strong>, it was no good as Cheong was dealt the 2-7 absolute nuts, <strong>2x 3x 4x 5x 7x</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kruse<strong> </strong>fell as the last victim of Cheong at this final table, as he single-handedly got rid of the competition. An interesting fact about Kruse is that he was very close to joining the German national team for the World Cup in Brazil but he was left out last month. Borussia’s striker instead came to Vegas to play on a different green felt. The German will be taking home $36,494 as his first ever WSOP cash and it came in the game he learned only recently from his friend <strong>George Danzer</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With Kruse’s demise, the stage was set for heads-up play. Cheong<strong> </strong>had a lead of about 100,000 over Wolansky but Cheong’s luck was about to run out. Wolansky took a couple of pots to propel him into the lead and that led to the final showdown of the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cheong raised from the button and then called off when Wolansky set him all in. Wolansky drew one, while Cheong stood pat with <strong>10x 7x 6x 3x 2x. </strong>He was ahead for the moment as Wolansky drew one to try and improve his <strong>8x 7x 5x 2x</strong>. But this time it was Wolansky’s turn to get lucky as he drew #9s to make his <strong>Nine-Eight </strong>and eliminate Cheong in second place, good for $55,309.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Steven Wolansky<strong> </strong>finally won a WSOP bracelet and together with $89,483 he received for the victory, his winnings in Las Vegas have surged to nearly a quarter million dollars. Although Wolansky may have waited some time before claiming his first bracelet, this final table moved quickly and was completed in what could be a record time for this series.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 03:37:26 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2959 Eric Buchman Scores his Second WSOP Bracelet in a Seven Card Stud Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>layers who were part of the WSOP 2009 Main Event final table are finding success in events at the current 2014 WSOP. The ME winner in 2009, <strong>Joe Cada</strong>, got his hands on his second bracelet the other day and last night the 2009 fourth place ME finisher, <strong>Eric Buchman</strong>, booked his second bracelet as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Buchman’s first bracelet came a year after his Main Event appearance when he took down a $2,000 Limit Hold’em Event. Buchman explained in an interview after the match that although the bracelet he won last night was sweet, the first one will always have a special flavor to it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Event #34 – Seven Card Stud, started with 345 runners but last night only six of them returned to play out the short-handed final table. One of the six players, <strong>Nabih Helmi, </strong>returned with only three big bets to start the day and was eliminated quickly after the start of play, earning $18,802.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Several minutes later, <strong>Bryn Kenney </strong>was sent to the rail when his two pair were no match for <strong>William Thompson</strong>’s trip Fours. Kenney nabbed $25,206 for this finish. Next to go was his executioner, Thompson<strong>. Alexandr Denisov</strong> had hidden Aces to make two pair and Thompson’s pair of Threes and three-flush couldn’t catch up. Thompson headed for the rail earning $34,283.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some hands later and it was Denisov<strong>’</strong>s<strong> </strong>turn to leave. Despite holding #ad#7h / #7d#5d#as on fifth, he was behind Buchman, who caught trips on the same street while holding #jh#jc / #3h#7s#jd. Denisov was in need of some immediate help but couldn’t get any as the dealer gave him #4c and #2d and with that he was done. Denisov earned $47,315 for his third place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>and Buchman to fight it out for the bracelet. Buchman was in the lead, but things could easily turn around in couple of hands. They didn’t, however, as Buchman continued to gradually grind Kravchenko down during the next hour until the final hand played out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kravchenko was already down to 180,000 chips and Buchman took the majority of that by making his straight on the seventh. In the following hand, he proceeded to knock out Kravchenko and claim the title. Kravchenko was all-in on the fourth with #8s#7c / #6h#7s against Buchman’s #js#10c / #10d#6s. Buchman caught #10h giving him trips, while Kravchenko received #5s for a straight draw. However, #6c on sixth for Buchman sealed the deal as he filled up and Kravchenko was done in second place, receiving $73,360.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Buchman<strong> </strong>locked up his second bracelet and a victory worth $118,785. It wasn’t an easy heads-up match for sure, as Kravchenko certainly doesn’t lack experience at the final tables and was on his own quest for a second bracelet. Buchman stated after the tournament that his opponent played really well, but the cards just didn’t go his way. As always, there can only be one winner, and this time it was 34-year old Eric Buchman adding another bracelet to the shelf of his poker achievements.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:47:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2958 Online Poker Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania <p><span class="letter-big">H</span>olding true to a promise made a couple of weeks ago,<strong> Pennsylvania Sen. Edwin Erickson</strong> introduced an online poker bill to his legislative colleagues yesterday.</p> <p>Co-sponsored by <strong>Sen. Bob Mensch</strong>, the proposal allows those within the Keystone State to compete amongst one another and also calls for interstate compacts with other U.S. jurisdictions that have online poker schemes of their own, the Upper Southampton Patch reported. That makes two years in a row that a Pennsylvania lawmaker has formally proposed igaming regulations following the legislative volley of <strong>Rep. Tina Davi</strong>s in 2013.</p> <p>While Davis' measure failed to gain traction, lawmakers are likely much more prepared this year considering that a Pennsylvania Senate committee held an online gambling hearing on June 3. The hearing educated lawmakers as to the benefits of igaming regulations based on a recent study by <strong>Econsult Solutions</strong> that found cannibalization of land-based casino revenue will not be a factor should online gambling be approved.</p> <p><blockquote>Developments in technology and recent legal decisions have created an opportunity to legalize interactive poker as a means to further enhance and complement the benefits delivered by casino gaming, licensed facilities and the communities in which they operate,” stated Erickson's proposal, SB 1386.</blockquote></p> <p>The bill, which sets a <em>14% tax rate</em> on gross gaming revenue, made its way to the <strong>Community, Economic &amp; Recreational Development Committee</strong> following its formal introduction. A bad actor clause that aims to prevent gaming companies that remained in the U.S. market post-UIGEA from participating is contained within the measure.</p> <p>Many are wondering which state will be next to join <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> in regulating online poker. The two who seem most serious at this juncture are Pennsylvania and <strong>California</strong>.</p> <p>The odds are likely better for Pennsylvania considering that a coalition of California Indian tribes hold tremendous disregard for a recent partnership between <strong>PokerStars</strong>, three card rooms, and one tribe. The lack of cohesion seems almost certain to hinder legislative progress in the Golden State at least for the time being.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:09:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2957 California "Bad Actor" Constitutionality Questioned <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> leading expert in the area of constitutional law has expressed his opinion that the bad actor clauses found in online poker bills proposed in <strong>California</strong> that aim to keep <strong>PokerStars</strong> out violate the U.S. Constitution.</p> <p><strong>Laurence H. Tribe</strong>, a renowned professor at <strong>Harvard University Law School</strong> who has assisted in shaping the constitutions of other countries and has authored a treatise on <em>American Constitutional Law</em>, analyzed two pending bills before the California state legislature and found both to be in violation of the rights of PokerStars.</p> <p><strong>AB 2291</strong> and <strong>SB 1366</strong>, proposed by <strong>Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer</strong> and <strong>Senator Lou Correa</strong>, respectively, include bad actor language that <em>“legislatively determines guilt and inflicts punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial,”</em> Tribe stated while citing the constitution's <strong>Bill of Attainder</strong>.</p> <p>Though PokerStars did continue catering to the U.S. market following enactment of the UIGEA in 2006, the legality of doing so has yet to be determined in a court of law. The industry giant consulted legal experts after the Bush administration approved the UIGEA and retained counsel gave the green light to remain in America although other gaming companies chose to leave.</p> <p>Professor Tribe also took issue with two other areas within the bad actor language, namely the fact that PokerStars' property is deemed off-limits and that the cut-off date set for leaving the U.S. market (December 31, 2006) is both discriminatory and arbitrary. The former is cited as a constitutional violation according to the <strong>Takings Claus</strong>e, while the latter pertains to the <strong>Equal Protection Clause</strong>.</p> <p>The two pending bills have recently been joined by another proposal written by a coalition of 13 Indian tribes. While the latest measure has not been formally introduced, bad actor language designed to prevent PokerStars from participating in California's online poker scheme is included.</p> <p>Several months ago, PokerStars joined forces with the state's three largest card rooms and the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong> to<a href=""> provide online poker to Californians</a> if and when a statute is enacted. Just last week, the industry behemoth was sold to the <strong>Amaya Gaming Group</strong> for <em>$4.9 billion</em> in an effort to ease entry into a regulated U.S. market that may one day boom after more states approve online poker and gambling legislation.</p> <p>While the deal was seen as favorable by <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming regulators for PokerStars to enter that marketplace under new ownership, the situation is somewhat different in California where bad actor language includes PokerStars' software. Many issues remain before California lawmakers get down to the task of approving ipoker regulations and time is running out in the 2014 legislative session with just a couple months to go.</p> <p>Tribe's opinion seemingly gives PokerStars a few more outs with regard to challenging the constitutional legality of the bad actor provisions as written in the pending proposals. The PokerStars/Morongo/cardrooms contingent has vowed not to muck its hand and the matter will likely reach the showdown stage, whenever that may be.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:57:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2956 BIG ONE for ONE DROP Update: 41 Confirmed, Will Phil Hellmuth Participate? <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he stage for possibly the biggest first place prize in sports television history is almost set. Eleven days are left until the start of the $1 million buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP special World Series of Poker event and already 41 players have confirmed their participation.</p> <p>Eleven more players added their names to the exclusive list <a href="" target="_blank">since the last update</a> in May and every one of them will definitely aim for making poker history. If the 56-player cap is reached, the first prize will be worth over $20 million, surpassing the biggest single poker prize so far by almost $2 million ($18,346,673 for the winner of the 2012 WSOP BIG ONE for ONE DROP).</p> <p>Who are those 11 new players? Let’s start with someone who is already familiar to rewriting history, the one and only <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>. He had a terrific 2013 by winning the WSOP Player of the Year award for the second time in his career. And since we are talking about the WSOP, let’s also include the 2012 WSOP Main Event winner and 2012 WSOP Player of the Year, <strong>Greg Merson</strong>. And let’s not forget one-time bracelet winner and $10-million live tournament earner <strong>Scott Seiver</strong>.</p> <p>But the BIG ONE for ONE DROP is not only reserved for the live poker experts. The online legends will also be in the mix starting with nosebleeds regular <strong>Daniel</strong> “jungleman” <strong>Cates</strong>. He currently sits in front of his competition in the 2014 biggest online winners’ leaderboard, according to HighStakes DB. <strong>Doug</strong> “WCGRider” <strong>Polk</strong> is another big name who entered the one-million-dollar tournament; he has been crushing the highest stakes in online poker for the last few years and recently captured his first WSOP gold bracelet in Event #23. And let’s not forget online legend <strong>Isaac</strong> “luvtheWNBA” <strong>Haxton</strong>, who came in second in this year’s $250,000 Aussie Millions Super High Roller.</p> <p>ETP10 Grand Final Super High Roller champ <strong>Daniel</strong> “mrGR33N13” <strong>Colman</strong> completes the list of young guns who had their fair share of success in both online and live worlds.</p> <p>The business world will also be represented in this exclusive event. The man who shared with the poker community what’s been happening as of late around Macau’s nosebleeds cash games, <strong>Tom Hall</strong>, will take a shot at the big prize alongside Winmark Corporation CEO <strong>John Morgan</strong> and Brit <strong>Talal Shakerchi</strong>. Last but not least, an anonymous businessman who played in Macau’s nosebleeds games will also join the party, according to the official WSOP press statement.</p> <p>The list is still open as 15 more seats need to be filled in order for the first place prize to reach the $20 million mark. One of those seats could be reserved for the most successful player in WSOP history<strong>, Phil Hellmuth</strong>. He tweeted two days ago that he is raising money for the BIG ONE for ONE DROP:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>I'm raising money for $1 million One Drop tourney: $100,000 for 9%. Finished 4th in 2012, skipped it in 2013 because I wasn't in form</p> — phil_hellmuth (<cite>phil_hellmuth) <a href="">June 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>Another seat is up for grabs in a special step tournament organized at the Rio Hotel &amp; Casino in Las Vegas. The first step is worth only $200 while the final one will have a $25,300 buy-in.</p> <p>More updates will come as the deadline approaches so be sure to check PokerUpdate regularly for the final list of participants.</p> <p> </p> <p>If you are 21+ and are physically located in the state of Nevada, then you are eligible to play in the exciting real money cash games and tournaments that we host at <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"></a></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:47:20 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2955 Third Gold Bracelet for Dutch Boyd in WSOP Event #33 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>oday was the final day of WSOP Event #33 - $1,000 No Limit Hold’em, and ten players took their seats at the table to start the bracelet hunt. Before the night was over, <strong>Dutch Boyd</strong>, the only bracelet holder to start the day,<strong> </strong>saw his nine opponents make their way to the rail before claiming the title and his third career WSOP bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the final ten players are usually merged into a single table, the official final table is only announced when nine of them are left. The player who missed the announcement today was <strong>David Olmsted, </strong>who fell at the hands of <strong>Paul</strong> <strong>Cogliano</strong> to finish in tenth place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first to go from the remaining nine was <strong>Chad Dixon </strong>($20,463), whose #kc#js was powerless against <strong>Christopher Sensoli</strong>’s #as#jh. Following in his footsteps was <strong>Gabriel Nassif</strong>, whose eighth place finish earned him $26,464. Those two busts happened during the first ten hands of nine-handed play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After that, the pace of play slowed down a bit and another thirty hands passed before the next player would hit the rail. It was <strong>Vinny Pahuja </strong>($34,668), who moved in with #2h#2s but was met by Boyd’s #10s#10c and he couldn’t find the miracle he needed to save him. Two hands later, Sensoli<strong> </strong>was all in and at risk against Cogliano. Although he was ahead, Cogliano found the help he needed on the turn to send Pahuja out in sixth with $26,031 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two hands later, <strong>Pok Kim </strong>($61,983), the only lady at the table, was sent packing. Kim picked a bad spot to turn her straight draw into a bluff as final day chip leader <strong>Will Givens</strong> turned trip eights and Kim couldn’t connect on the river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things calmed down somewhat again and it took a while before the next player was ousted. Despite the chip lead at the start, Givens<strong> </strong>could get no further than fourth place. The last of his chips were lost to Cogliano and his #as#4s that managed to improve against Givens’ #ac#9s. Givens can find comfort in the fact that fourth place was good for $84,680.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Three-handed play was a grind with chips moving back and forth between the players but no one was willing to relinquish their shot at the title. It wasn’t before Cogliano made a misstep that we saw another elimination. Boyd opened from the button and Cogliano decided to 3-bet shove and put Boyd to a really tough decision. However, Boyd called with #as#9s and was relieved to see he was ahead of Cogliano’s #6d#7d.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board wasn’t the best possible for Boyd’s hand, as it came #8h#9c#3d. Although it gave him top pair, it gave his opponent an open-ended straight draw. Boyd still successfully brought it home when the #qs appeared on the turn and #ah on the river. Cogliano was eliminated in 3<sup>rd</sup>, earning $117,464.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That pot allowed Boyd to enter heads-up play leading in chips and it took him a total of 15 hands to eliminate his final opponent, <strong>Steven Norden</strong>. It was a bracelet-worthy hand for sure, as the two saw the flop of #3s#7d#3h in a three-bet pot. After the flop was checked through,  Norden led out #ac on the turn. Boyd called and they saw #6h on the river. Norden moved all-in for more than 700,000 and Boyd made the call with #ah#4s.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It turned out to be great call as Norden tabled #kc#5c for total air and an ill-advised bluff, earning second place prize money of $178,490. With that call, Dutch<strong> </strong>Boyd<strong> </strong>secured his third WSOP bracelet and $288,744 to add to his tournament winnings!</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 07:01:36 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2954 Night of Seconds at the WSOP: Brett Shaffer Wins the Bracelet in Event #31 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast night was the night of seconds at the Rio, as both <strong>Joe Cada</strong> and <strong>Brett Shaffer </strong>claimed their second gold bracelets. For Shaffer, his first one came last year after he defeated <strong>David Vamplew</strong> to claim the victory in another $1,500 event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with <strong>Matt Stout</strong> leading the way among 15 players, all looking to claim their seat at the final table. The last casualty before the official final table was <strong>Steven McNally</strong>, whose run ended in 10<sup>th</sup> place. The final nine were ready to go for the bracelet with Shaffer right in the middle of the pack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to hit the rail was <strong>Jason Vanstrom</strong>, who came in as the short stack and walked away banking $29,658. Following him out the door was <strong>Jim Jakobsen </strong>in eighth place ($38,365), who lost a classic flip with his #as#kd against <strong>Peter Gould</strong>’s pocket Tens. <strong>Rob Wazwaz </strong>($50,246) was stopped in seventh when he gave his chips over to <strong>RJ Sullivan</strong> in a three-way pot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Robert Schmidt </strong>($66,176) fell at the hands of Shaffer after his #as#10d couldn’t improve against Shaffer’s #3s#3d. <strong>Alex Gofman </strong>then shoved his #10c#10h into the #as#ah of Gould to bust in fifth, taking home $89,835. After this, it was down to four players and although chips were moving around the table, no players exited for a long time.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally, one of the final four slipped up and it was Gould<strong> </strong>who lost a significant flip to Sullivan when his pocket Eights couldn’t hold up against Sullivan’s #jd#10s. Gould then jammed his last 400k with #6h#5h into the #ks#9s of Shaffer, pocketing $122,731 for his performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Stout<strong> </strong>had high expectations for this tournament as he was tweeting #Iamdangerous throughout the event. Unfortunately for him, he was not dangerous enough as he finished in third place. He three-bet jammed over Sullivan and Sullivan made the call with #kc#qc to put Stout and his #as#9s at risk. A Queen on the flop took away Stout’s advantage and by the river, Stout was packing his things and going to pick up $170,247 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With this, Shaffer and Sullivan were ready to fight for the bracelet. Shaffer held a lead of about a million chips and Sullivan nearly managed to get even at one point. However, Shaffer would not allow his second bracelet to slip from his fingers. The final hand saw Sullivan making a call for all of his chips with #ah#4h against Shaffer’s #as#2d. Sullivan<strong> </strong>had a slight advantage, but it would be annihilated on the flop of #5d#2c#9h. Sullivan could still catch some outs to get ahead, but as the board finished #6c #2h, so did he. His second place finish earned him $258,695.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Shaffer, he claimed his second gold bracelet, $418,435 in cash, and booked his ninth WSOP cash overall. Certainly a proud moment for the 31-year-old who outlasted a total of 1,630 opponents to claim this victory!</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:16:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2952 2009 Main Event Champion Joe Cada Claims His Second WSOP Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen <strong>Joe Cada</strong> claimed the victory in the WSOP Main Event of 2009, many voiced their opinion that his win was likely a one-time deal. Not many were convinced that his triumph was a product of solid poker skills and were more inclined to ascribe it to a good run, short term luck, or anything other than his abilities as a poker player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After last night, those voices will be silenced to a great degree. In one of the toughest fields of the series, Cada outlasted 263 players in the $10K 6-max championship to earn his second gold bracelet and the first place prize of $670,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To claim the victory, Cada had to go through the likes of <strong>JC Tran, Max Silver, Erick Lindgren</strong> (all three made the final table), <strong>George Danzer</strong>, <strong>Igor Kurganov</strong>, <strong>Ashton Griffin</strong>, and many others. The list of notables in the field itself would take up an entire article. Those who didn’t play didn’t do it only because they were in other events and couldn’t make it. It was the one event everybody wanted to win.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cada started the final day with the third largest stack of the remaining thirteen players. However, by the time the final six players gathered for the official final table, Cada was the chip leader with Silver hot on his heels.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave the stacked final table was <strong>Dario Sammaration</strong>, who started as one of the shorter stacks, when he ran his pocket Jacks into the pocket Queens of <strong>Jeremy Ausmus</strong>. That cooler sent him to the cage to claim his prize of $91,670. Then <strong>Erick Lindgren </strong>fell in a blind vs. blind confrontation against Silver when Lindgren’s #10d#9h couldn’t outrun Silver’s #kh#4d.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play continued four-handed without casualties for some time, and then two quick eliminations ensued. Leaving in 4<sup>th</sup> place was Tran<strong> </strong>($185,971), as his #ac#qh failed to improve in a flip against Ausmus’ pocket Jacks. Only three hands later, Silver<strong> </strong>shipped the remainder of his stack to Cada. Silver held #10c#6h from the small blind and Cada made the call with #ad#8s to send Silver packing in 3<sup>rd</sup> place with $273,646 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With Silver taking his leave, Ausmus and Cada were left to play it out for the bracelet. Back in 2012, Cada was in a similar spot heads-up against <strong>Carter Phillips</strong> in a $1,500 event but fell short. Last night, he started behind in chips but was determined to go for the win.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cada grinded his opponent down patiently to even the stacks during a span of more than two hours before the key hand of the heads-up match took place. Chips went into the pot preflop and Cada was flipping for his tournament life with #8s#8c against the #ad#jd of Ausmus. As the board ran #10s#7c#2h, Cada was looking good to win the monster pot. The turn brought obligatory sweat in the form of #qd, bringing many additional outs for Ausmus. But the river landed as #5s, leaving Ausmus with only 550,000 in chips. He managed to get one double up, but was then eliminated after his pocket Jacks lost to Cada’s Ladies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jeremy Ausmus<strong> </strong>pocketed $414,000 for his second place finish, but it was Joe Cada with the biggest smile on his face. He claimed his second bracelet together with $670,000. Cada explained in an interview with that although the victory was sweet, he doesn’t really feel it validates him as a poker player and that people questioning his abilities are largely those who don’t understand how tournament poker works and how much variance is involved.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Even so, this victory meant a lot, especially after his abilities had been questioned by many within the poker community. On to the next tourney now!</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:27:21 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2951 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - June 17, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">C</span>ash game player traffic tumbled 4% last week, a significant decrease that <strong>PokerScout</strong> attributed to summertime and the fact that warm weather prompts players to forsake online action in favor of outdoor action.</p> <p>But 4% is mild in comparison to year-on-year numbers that find ring game traffic 29% off the pace of mid-June 2013. One year ago, players were logging on to <strong>PokerStars</strong> in droves for the 100 billionth hand promo that saw more than $1 million in bonus cash land in player accounts outside of the U.S.</p> <p>Players within the U.S. may someday be included in future PokerStars milestone hand promotions considering that the industry giant has been sold to the <strong>Amaya Gaming Group</strong> for $4.9 billion. The transaction affords PokerStars a likely easier path to entering the regulated U.S. market where its bad actor status may no longer be in play under new ownership.</p> <p>The deal is expected to affect online poker player traffic in the future in a most positive fashion in terms of industry growth. But stay tuned because the bickering is likely far from over in <strong>California</strong> where a coalition of Indian tribes may not yet be weaving a welcome mat with regard to the <strong>Morongo</strong>/PokerStars partnership that includes the state's three largest card clubs.</p> <p>PokerStars lost another 1,000 ring game players, falling to 18,000 in a seven-day average. That makes two weeks in a row of four-digit declines. The industry behemoth can shrug off such losses with nary a concern as its lead over no. 2 ranked <strong>888poker</strong> remains almost 9.5 times greater.</p> <p>Also suffering a loss last week was PokerStars' offering in Italy. Ring game action at <strong></strong> decreased 12%, resulting in the site dropping two notches to eighth place worldwide. The beneficiaries were <strong></strong> (sixth) and <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> (seventh), who both gained a position.</p> <p>Rounding out the top ten poker rooms and networks are <strong></strong> (ninth) and a tenth place tie between <strong>Adjarabet</strong> and <strong></strong>. Just outside of slot no. 10 is <strong>The Hive Network</strong>, which created a buzz by adding <strong>Terminal Poker</strong> as an available skin over the past week.</p> <p>The pros in<strong> Las Vegas</strong> since May 27 for the WSOP are not logging on to play online poker as much as in past weeks. The seven-day average at <strong></strong> dipped from 150 to 140. In the regulated U.S. market, <strong>New Jersey</strong>'s <strong>Party Borgata Network</strong> and <strong>Nevada</strong>'s are now in a dead heat in terms of cash game popularity.</p> <p>Aiming to become more popular is <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> in New Jersey, who recently announced a 100% cash game rakeback promotion that will run through July. UP-NJ hopes to grab some market share by permitting Green-tiered players to play rake-free for six weeks. Players eligible for the promo will not receive rakeback in the form of cash, but rather in U$, the currency used at UP to enter MTTs and SNGs.</p> <p>An 80% rakeback promotion that ran for four months at the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong> in New Jersey proved extremely popular earlier this year. But grinders left the site in rather large numbers once the promo expired, leaving AAPN with a seven-day average of 60 ring game players.</p> <p>In the realm of social online poker, <strong>Zynga Poker</strong> announced a new promotion called Zynga Poker Leagues that will launch on June 23 and run for eight weeks. Available to free-play players will be <em>"thousands of real-world prizes"</em> that may include a brand new Ford Shelby GT500 provided that enough players participate to <em>"unlock"</em> the grand prize.</p> <p>Zynga Poker leads the social Internet poker player traffic race with more than double the players of its nearest competitor, PokerStars. The press release issued by Amaya following the announcement of the acquisition of PokerStars promised a greater focus on growth in social gaming.</p> <p>Converting play-money poker players into those who wager for real-money remains a trick where the rabbit has failed to come out of the hat. Recent studies show that there is no correlation between social gaming and betting for real dollars. But promotions such as those announced by Zynga certainly cannot hurt in attempting to convert the recreational crowd into becoming real-money depositors.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:57:17 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2950 Pride of France: Pierre Milan Wins his First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>orld Series of Poker history is full of stories of proverbial underdogs who managed to capture the gold. Last night, another such a story was added to the WSOP fairytale book. <strong>Pierre Milan </strong>started the final day of Event #29, $1,500 NLHE, as one of the shorter stacks with only $3,000 in WSOP earnings and without previous final table experience. If you were to bet on him, your bookie would no doubt give you great odds.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But many poker players have defied odds in the past and last night it happened again. When it was all said and done, it was Milan who saw all the other players walking the walk of shame as they left the final table. His stack continued to grow until it eventually held all the chips in play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with twenty players still standing, but that number quickly dwindled down. <strong>David Benefield </strong>was sent to the rail in tenth and the official final table and bracelet hunt was on. Busts did not come fast on this one, but the only lady at the table, <strong>Sam Cohen, </strong>lost a flip for her last 350,000 and went out earning $38,244. Following her shortly was <strong>Daniel Laming </strong>($48,920), whose pocket Kings failed to hold up against the #ac#qh of <strong>Matt Salsberg</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During this time, Milan was near the bottom of the chip counts and was waiting for his opportunity, while <strong>Jamie Armstrong</strong> had a significant lead over the field and a more than 2:1 advantage on the second biggest stack. But then things started turning around as Milan's stack grew while Armstrong's was decreasing. Then <strong>Barry</strong> <strong>Hutter</strong> eliminated <strong>Andy Phan</strong> in seventh place and while Phan earned $63,502 for his efforts, Hutter became the new chip leader.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once again play slowed down with six players still left and it would take a while before the next bust. It finally came, however, as Armstrong moved his last million in the middle with #ac#jh against <strong>Justin Oliver</strong>’s #ad#10c and, despite hitting a Jack on the flop, Oliver backed into a straight to send Armstrong out in 6<sup>th</sup> with $83,486 and likely a bad feeling in his stomach.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One time chip leaders were just not meant to be in this tournament as Hutter<strong> </strong>was the next player to go out. He ran into #ad#ks of <strong>Thad Mcnulty</strong> with his #qh#6h and that was it for him as he banked $111,368. Mcnulty would go next, falling at the hands of Oliver and scoring a $150,859 payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn’t long before the heads-up started as Salsberg, whose catch-phrase for the series is #IamDangerous, finished in third spot. He got his #kc#js in the middle against the #ah#ks of Milan and by the river his tournament was done. Salsberg earned $207,842 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left Milan and Oliver<strong> </strong>to battle it out for the title and they were basically dead even in chips. It didn’t take long as a couple hands into the match a cooler-type situation played out when the two saw a flop of #ks#6h#3d in a three-bet pot and after a bet from Milan and call from Oliver, #qh came on the turn. All the chips went into the middle and Oliver was in trouble with his #kc#jh against Milan’s #kh#6s. The river was #9d and Milan raked in a huge pot, leaving Justin with only about 200,000. On the next hand, they flipped for it with Milan’s #10d#8d beating the pocket Sixes of Oliver, who received $332,198 for his second place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pierre Milan<strong> </strong>seized his very first WSOP bracelet and $536,768 in cash to add to his previous $3,000. He is also player #14 from France to win a bracelet and the very first to do so during this series. In the end, Milan said his rail was of great help, as it felt like he was home. </p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:05:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2949 Vamos! Rodrigo Espinosa Wins UKIPT Marbella <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>on’t think the way you finish a live poker tournament is most important; it’s also important to have a solid start and the latest United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour stop showed us that.</p> <p>Spaniard <strong>Rodrigo Espinosa </strong>started the final day of the UKIPT Marbella Main Event second in chips and an early pot against the most experienced player at the table secured him the lead. And from that point on, he never looked back, finishing off his opposition in style.</p> <p>Espinosa set things off at the official final table by eliminating live tournament expert <strong>Jake Cody</strong>. Cody is one of the five players who have won a World Series of Poker bracelet, a World Poker Tour title, and a European Poker Tour title, and was looking for yet another Triple Crown. He already prevailed in a UKIPT High Roller and UKIPT Series and only needed a Main Event win to make history. But it wasn’t meant to be in Marbella.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Busted in 8th place, not overly happy with how i played a few spots but could do nothing about my bustout 99&lt;AA back to Vegas in the morning</p> — Jake Cody (<cite>JakeCody) <a href="">June 15, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>For his eighth place finish, Cody collected a not so impressive €13,030 cash prize compared to his all-around live earnings of over $3.7 million.</p> <p>The seventh spot was reserved for a 22-year-old Polish player who started playing poker at the age of 18. <strong>Marcin Barwinski</strong> decided to gamble with his #qc#jd when <strong>Gareth Hamilton</strong> shoved his stack from the small blind. His opponent was in better shape with #as#jh to send the Pole home with an extra €19,050 in his pockets.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Rodriguez</strong> was next, going all-in with #8s#8d. <strong>Christian Bauer</strong> snap-called him with #qc#qd and increased his stack to over three million chips. The €26,550 Rodriguez won for his UKIPT Marbella run will be put to good use as he plans to play the WSOP $10,000 Main Event.</p> <p>Espinosa KOd the next victim and increased his chip lead even further. By eliminating Hamilton in fifth place for €35,150, the Spaniard accumulated over half of the chips in play, getting ready for the big showdown.</p> <p>And with co-national <strong>Javier Elorza</strong> being eliminated in fourth for €44,450, the moment finally came. No, it was not a heads-up pot that did the trick; actually, it was a three-handed play. <strong>Katja Svendsen</strong> was hoping to make history and become the first lady to win either a UKIPT or Estrellas Main Event. Unfortunately for her, it didn’t happen. She moved all-in on a #9d#10s#3d board with #6d#8d being at risk against Espinosa’s #kh#kd. The turn and river bricked and Svendsen had to settle with a third-place finish plus a €58,700 cash prize.</p> <p>The heads-up was short-lived and lasted only five hands. Bauer decided to call for his tournament life with top pair on the #9s#ks#6h flop and was in very good shape against his opponent’s #9h#7s. The #7c turn instead delivered a deadly blow for Bauer that left him without any more ammo. So he had to admit defeat and leave the battle zone without the trophy but with a decent €82,900 prize.</p> <p>The winner, Rodrigo Espinosa, left Marbella as champion and also as the only player in the field with a six-figure cash: €136,000.</p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:30:08 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2948 Seven Card Stud 8 WSOP Bracelet for Calvin Anderson <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>welve players started the last day of WSOP Event #30 - $1,500 Stud 8 tournament, that gathered a total of 588 players. After two full days of play, it was down to the remaining dozen to decide who would get the coveted gold bracelet..</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A couple hours later, it was all crystal clear, as <strong>Calvin Anderson </strong>celebrated the victory and his first bracelet while congratulatory messages came from all sides, both live and on his Twitter. He started his heads-up battle with <strong>Joe Tehan </strong>as nearly a 3:1 chip leader and, unlike what we have mostly seen in the limit events thus far, there were no comebacks or uncertainty.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Only a couple hands in, Anderson solidified his lead, taking over a better than ten-to-one advantage over Tehan and then proceeded to finish him off. In the very last hand, Tehan put his last 20,000 in with #5s#2s#3c against Anderson’s #8d#4h#6h. By the time all the cards were dealt, Anderson was holding two pair, Eights and Fours, against Tehan’s sole pair of Deuces, and that signaled the end of the match.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tehan earned $118,014 for his runner-up finish, but he wasn’t able to claim the bracelet as that honor went to Anderson who received $190,538 for his great run in the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite the great success, Anderson was quite modest about his victory in an interview with and contributed a big portion of his success to a good run of cards.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>I wouldn't say it was easy, I just ran really good. Seven Stud Hi-Lo isn't a game where you can just start bluffing people in, you have to draw some cards, and some cards have to go your way. But I felt that I played really well. I took my time on all the decisions. There were a lot of good opponents for sure, but I ran really good."</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite his modesty, beating this final table was no easy task as there were quite a few names with a lot of experience. <strong>John Myung</strong> ($15,772) and <strong>Jimmy Fricke </strong>($20,932), who finished eight and seventh, respectively, both had previous WSOP final table experience, and so did fourth place finisher <strong>Levon Torosyan </strong>($55,319).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Melissa Burr</strong>, who finished in fifth and took home $39,181, already made one previous final table during this series. Second place finisher Tehan actually made back-to-back final tables. As for sixth place finisher <strong>Sanjay Pandya </strong>($28,346) and third place <strong>Eric Kurtzman </strong>($79,800), they certainly didn’t lack experience.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although Anderson said in his interview that this bracelet does not completely validate him or what he does for his career, it certainly speaks heaps about his poker skills. With one previous final table already during this WSOP, he is now in contention for the WSOP Player of the Year race as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As the series slowly moves towards its second half, things are becoming more and more heated for sure!</p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 06:24:02 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2947 Tommy Hang Captures a Long-Awaited WSOP Bracelet in Event #27 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">F</span>or <strong>Tommy Hang,</strong> winning a WSOP bracelet wasn’t just a dream. It had become somewhat of a nightmare, as he came so close to capturing one on several occasions, especially in 2008. That year, Hang finished second in a H.O.R.S.E. event and beside that, he had two third place and one fourth place finish during various WSOP years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After last night, Hang can finally sleep better. After several hours of play at the eight-handed final table, Hang found himself heads-up for the bracelet against <strong>Jim Collopy. </strong>He started with more than a 2:1 chip advantage and soon crippled Collopy to take about a 12:1 lead. It seemed like it was going to be a short match and that Hang would get his bracelet without much sweat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But from that point on, Collopy started his comeback and was slowly closing the gap, grinding patiently and dragging some pots. Although he never took the lead from Hang, it looked like he would be able to come into position to threaten Hang’s latest shot at a bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After some two levels of play, Hang finally found a way to administer the finishing blow to Collopy’s stack. The two saw a flop of #9d#8s#3h and after Collopy three-bet, Hang called to see #6h fall on the turn. It went check-call, with Collopy having only 15,000 behind to see the river. The last card of the tournament came #10d and Hang came out with a bet to force Collopy to move all-in. Collopy quickly called with his #ks#kh but was disappointed to see that Hang got there on the river with #qh#jc. With that, Collopy was the last player to be eliminated from the tournament, banking $142,533.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This was a truly big moment for Tommy Hang, who almost didn’t even play in this event as he planned to go home for Father’s Day weekend. He changed his mind just as late registration was about to close and two days later, he was standing with all the tournament chips in front of him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>I have been shooting for a bracelet for years now, and have always been falling slightly short. Each year I have progressed and learned new things, new tactics and I have been applying them. It seems to be paying off so far. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Together with his bracelet, Hang also received the cash prize in the amount of $230,744. Apart from the last two players, others who made the final table included <strong>Kristan Lord </strong>($96,894), <strong>Brandon Guss </strong>($67,435), <strong>Joe Villella </strong>($47,905), <strong>Christopher George </strong>($34,725), <strong>Stewart Yancik </strong>($19,338), and <strong>David ‘ODB’ Baker </strong>($19,338).</p> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 22:38:56 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2946 Alex Bilokur Adds a WSOP Bracelet to his Poker Resume <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">A</span>lex Bilokur </strong>is certainly not anonymous when it comes to tournament poker. With nearly $3 million in tournament cashes before last night and a victory in the 2012 PCA High Roller event, he was one of the more recognizable faces of last night’s final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was WSOP Event #28, a $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship that gathered a total of 160 players. Although small in number, the field was certainly not lacking in quality as the likes of <strong>Scott Seiver</strong>, <strong>Humberto Brenes</strong>, <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, <strong>David ‘Chino’ Rheem</strong>, <strong>Todd Brunson</strong> and many other well-known pros sat down to play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By the last evening, however, the field was down to just ten remaining players and with the quick elimination of <strong>Dan Shak </strong>in tenth place, the stage was set for the official final table. Shak’s chips went to Rheem and it was Rheem holding the chip lead at the start of nine-handed play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from Chino, there were several other tough players to go through before Bilokur could claim his bracelet. One of them was Todd Brunson<strong>, </strong>who was poised for a deep run but ended up getting sixth place and a tad over $75,000 after surrendering his chips to <strong>Alex Venovski</strong>. Another familiar face was that of <strong>Barny Boatman</strong>, who came into the final table as the short stack and was first to be eliminated in ninth place after committing his chips in a really bad spot. His exit earned him $37,389.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon to follow was <strong>Richard Lyndaker, </strong>who lost a classic race with his #ah#qh to Brunson’s pocket Nines and hit the rail in 8<sup>th</sup>, earning $46,500 for his efforts. <strong>Pratyush Buddiga </strong>fell in seventh, just before Todd, as his flopped set was turned into dust after <strong>Ismael Bojang</strong> turned a bigger set with his pocket Tens, and Buddiga will take home a story of his bad luck and nearly $59,000 in cash.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Todd busted, Bojang<strong> </strong>met his doom as well. He got the last of his chips in against Bilokur, but his #ac#4s was no match for Bilokur’s #as#ks and he was ousted in fifth place, earning just shy of $99,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite starting the day as the chip leader, Rheem<strong> </strong>was the next to go. He kept bleeding chips throughout the final table and his final hand saw him getting it in against Matt O’Donnell on the flop of #ks#qs#jc. Chino had top two pair, but it was no good against O’Donnell’s set of Jacks and two cards later Rheem was on his way to the rail, pocketing $131,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After <strong>Alex Venovski </strong>lost all his chips to bust in third place and earn slightly over $178,000, it was heads-up time. It looked like it would be a short one, as <strong>Matt O’Donnell </strong>had about a nine-to-one chip lead over Bilokur. But for Bilokur, who doesn't consider himself a professional player and always plays more for the competition and thrill of the game, this was a real challenge he readily accepted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bilokur patiently grinded his way back from just 500,000 chips and eventually managed to come into a position of power. He proceeded to grind O’Donnell down until the final hand when the two saw the flop of #9d#2c#8d and all the chips found their way into the middle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bilokur was behind with his #qd#jd against O’Donnell’s #ac#qs, but Bilokur had a lot of outs to get ahead. The turn was #9s and O’Donnell needed to fade just one more card to double up. He couldn’t do it, however, as it came #7d, completing Bilokur’s flush and sending O’Donnell out in second place, $246,310 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Alex Bilokur, self-proclaimed amateur and hobbits player, captured his first gold bracelet. He outlived 159 players and was left the sole survivor in a very tough field - a feat even a “real” pro would be proud of!</p> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 20:52:37 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2945 Andrew Rennhack Captures His First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast year was by all means good to <strong>Andrew Rennhack</strong>. The Washington-based player took part in the Rio’s Carnivale of Poker and at the end of that festival, he was named the Player of the Series. This year he succeeded in going one step further, as last night he captured his first gold bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was WSOP event #26, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament that attracted just shy of 1,600 entrants and, like most events during the series, it saw quite a few big names take their seats. A few of those who made it past the bubble include <strong>Martin Finger, Mohsin Charania, Jesse Martin </strong>and <strong>Phil Hellmuth.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">None of these made it to the final table, however. The final nine were led by <strong>Ryan Welch </strong>sitting on around 1.5 million in chips, while Rennhack was only in fourth – but we all know that final table chip leaders rarely win tournaments.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave his seat was <strong>Dan Smith</strong> after only a couple hands into the final table. He got to take home $28,986 and a failed bracelet dream. Then followed <strong>Eric Rappaport</strong>, whose pocket Aces fell short against <strong>Reed Goodmiller</strong>’s #kd#qd after Goodmiller turned two pair. Rappaport earned $37,486 for his performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tournament experience was not the best for <strong>Geremy Eiland</strong>, who found a way to run into his opponents’ pocket Aces not once, but twice! First, Rennhack took the majority of his chips, and then the little he had left went over to Welch’s stack. No doubt that a painful exit in seventh secured him $49,106. It took a bit of time before the next player would fall, but eventually it was <strong>Heinz Kamutzki </strong>who fell at the hand of <strong>Tony Gargano</strong>, earning $65,202 for his troubles.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It only took three more hands to see the next player hit the rail and it was Goodmiller. He was already short-stacked and got involved in a pot against Katz and Rennhack. Katz ended up folding on the turn, but Rennhack and his #As#qs had Goodmiller’s #qd#jh drawing completely dead. Goodmiller got up from his seat and went on his way to pick up $87,797.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Welch<strong> </strong>decided to make a move on Katz but picked the wrong moment as Katz’s #jc#jd was way ahead of his #kd#4d. The board was not one bit favorable to Welch and he took his leave in 4<sup>th</sup>, cashing for $119,946. With his elimination, the three-handed phase of play started and it lasted for a long time. Chips were exchanging hands, but it was Katz holding the lead for the most part. Then the crucial hand took place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Katz opened from the button, prompting a shove from Gargano in the small blind. Then Rennhack came over the top, putting his stack in the middle, and Katz folded his #as#js face-up. Gargano and his #ad#6c were in trouble, as Rennhack turned over #qd#qc. The board ran #4c#5c#8s, giving a few more outs to Gargano, but the turn and river bricked for him in the form of #10h and #jh and he was eliminated in third place, earning $166,384.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This pot gave more than a 2:1 advantage to Rennhack heading into heads-up play, but Katz wouldn't give up easily and their battle lasted a while. At one point Katz actually managed to capture the lead and at that point it seemed like it was his tournament. Those dreams were soon crushed, however, as once again Rennhack seized the chip advantage and then the final hand ensued.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Rennhack limped the button and Katz moved all-in from the big blind. After a little deliberation, Katz made the call with #6h#6c and was flipping for the bracelet against Katz’s #ks#10s. The board brought little help to Katz, save for a turned flush draw, and it was over! He was eliminated in second place, taking home $252,826.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the last hand was over, Andrew Rennhack<strong> </strong>had all the chips in front of him and a WSOP bracelet coming his way. He continued his good run from last year and managed to take it one step further with this victory, which earned him $408,953!</p> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 21:44:13 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2944 Kevin “Six-Max Kev” Eyster Wins The WSOP $5,000 Six-Handed Event <p><span class="letter-big">H</span>e conquered them all. If you take a closer look at what <strong>Kevin Eyster</strong> has achieved so far, you’ll see all kinds of big results. There’s no mystery he is one of the most accomplished online poker players in the entire world. Under the screen name “1SickDisease” he won $3,332,621 according to, including a FTOPS 6-max tournament.</p> <p>On the live poker felt, Eyster has enjoyed the same type of success. Last year, he won the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant Six-Handed tourney, plus the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Main Event.</p> <p>Eyster also came close to winning the WSOP $25,000 No-Limit Hold’Em Six-Handed Event in 2013, finishing in ninth place. This year, the gold bracelet didn’t slip through his fingers. He was determined to finish off his last opponent, Belgian <strong>Pierre Neuville</strong>, and not even a sleepless night could stop him.</p> <p>Eyster and Neuville returned to the poker felt <a href="" target="_blank">after a marathon Day 3</a> ready for the final round. “Six-Max Kev” didn’t get much sleep thinking about what if. A “what if” that transformed into a sure thing after only one-hour of heads-up play.</p> <p>The American started with a 2-to-1 chip advantage and extended his lead even further in the first few hands of Day 4. Neuville tried to fight back to no avail. And with ten big blinds left, he shoved his #ks#qh on hand #173 of the official final table and got a call from the American who was severely dominated with his #kc#9c.</p> <p>The board, however, turned the percentages upside down. Eyster caught two pairs on the #kd#9h#3c flop and improved to a full house on the #9d turn. Neuville needed the last king in the deck to stay alive but instead he received the #as – a card that sealed the deal for both the Belgian and the American.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>Kevin Eyster - $622,998</li> <li>Pierre Neuville - $385,041</li> <li>Andrew Lichtenberger - $242,827</li> <li>Bryn Kenney - $160,927</li> <li>Jeremy Kottler - $109,844</li> <li>David Borrat - $77,145</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Kevin Eyster on winning his first WSOP gold bracelet. He now has over $2 million in live tournament earnings, according to Hendon Mob Poker DB, and is looking for more in the days to come. There is only one other WSOP NLHE six-handed tourney left in the schedule, an event that will start later today. Can he make his stand there as the best shorthanded tournament player in the world?</p> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 07:44:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2943 Amaya Gaming Group to Acquire Rational Group for $4.9 Billion <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">O</span>ldford Group, the parent company of Rational Group Ltd., owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, issued an announcement yesterday (June 12<sup>th</sup>) that they have entered into a definitive agreement with Amaya Gamimg Group for the corporation to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Oldford Group.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The purchase price of this transaction is an astonishing $4.9 billion. With this transaction, Amaya will become the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company. After the completion of the deal, Oldford Group shareholders led by Mark Scheinberg will dispose of their shares and resign from their positions in the company.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The deal will in no manner affect online poker service and players will be able to continue enjoying uninterrupted access to their gaming experience. The press release states that Amaya plans on continuing working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group and delivering the best game experiences, customer service and online security.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">An important detail about the transaction is that it will likely expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets, especially the USA. Founder and CEO of Rational Group Mark Scheinberg stated:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>I am incredibly proud of the business Isai and I have built over the last 14 years, creating the world’s biggest poker company and a leader in the iGaming space. Our achievements and this transaction are an affirmation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our staff, which I am confident will continue to drive the company’s success. The values and integrity which have shaped this company are deeply ingrained in its DNA. David Baazov has a strong vision for the future of the Rational Group which will lead the company to new heights."</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">PokerStars launched in 2001 and has since become the leading online poker site. It set a Guinness World Record in June of 2013 when 225,000 players entered a single online tournament. Rational Group holds a majority of the global market share in real money online poker and it owns online poker licenses in 10 different jurisdictions. With all that, it is also the world’s largest producer of live poker events and poker programs for TV and online audiences.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What this acquisition means for the players in the states is that PokerStars and Full Tilt will be one step closer to reentering the regulated market. With Scheinberg not involved with the company any more, it will certainly make it easier to apply for licenses in certain states like New Jersey. There are still many obstacles in the way in terms of regulation, but it is a step in the right direction toward making a big comeback for sure.</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 22:00:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2942 $14 Million in Full Tilt Payments Issued <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he number of players entering WSOP tournaments at the Rio in the next few days may increase significantly considering that another <em>$14 million</em> has been issued to the poker community by the claims administrator in the <strong>Full Tilt</strong> remission process.</p> <p>The <strong>Garden City Group</strong> (GCG) provided a new update on the official website informing that the funds were released yesterday via ACH and those players expecting payment should see their account balances rise in the next few days. Over 3,200 players that includes those labeled as affiliates with confirmed Full Tilt account balances are among this latest round of reimbursement.</p> <p>The GCG also provided a reminder that players who received a notice regarding incorrect bank account information should inform the claims administrator as to a proper account by June 25. A deadline of July 5 has been set for players who owe the government money in the Treasury Offset Program to complete and submit a Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form.</p> <p>A total of <em>$95 million</em> has now been distributed to roughly 33,000 former U.S. Full Tilt players since February 28. More money is on the way to petitioners with disputed account balances and players labeled as Full Tilt Pros at future dates after further review and determination by the <strong>DoJ</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:55:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2941 WSOP Daily Report: Six-Handed Bracelet Still Up For Grabs, James Woods’ Honorary Bracelet <p>There should have been another World Series of Poker gold bracelet handed out today. But Belgian <strong>Pierre Neuville </strong>had other plans after ten levels of play. He had only one opponent to shoot down in his bracelet hunt in <strong>Kevin </strong>“Easter” <strong>Eyster</strong>, but instead he chose to take a much-needed rest.</p> <p>The American had the upper hand with a 2-to-1 chip advantage over the Belgian and couldn’t convince his opponent to play one more level. So he has to wait until later today to make the final run towards gold.</p> <p>What should have been the final day of Event #24: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’Em Six-Handed turned out to be another marathon. The remaining 17 started the action in a hurry with <a href="" target="_blank">WSOP 3K Shootout winner <strong>Kory Kilpatrick</strong></a><strong> </strong>hitting the rail after being “showered” by <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong>.</p> <p><em>“You showered me,”</em> Kilpatrick told Kanit when he saw that his dominant #ah#qd preflop hand had taken a bad beat. <em>“I told you. I said I’d shower you,”</em> Kanit confirmed, according to PokerNews Live Reporting. What’s this “showering” all about? It’s actually a shortcut from the phrase “hit the showers” to “showers” to just “showering.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Mustapha told me he was gonna shower me, then he did with KQ to my AQ. Oh well, can't complain. Thanks for the love, amigos</p> — Kory Kilpatrick (<cite>kory_kilpatrick) <a href="">June 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p><strong>Griffin Benger </strong>hit the showers next followed by<strong> Mark Darner</strong>, <strong>Jay Dragland</strong>, <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, <strong>Amanda Musumeci</strong>, <strong>Pratyush Buddiga</strong>, <strong>Bryon Kaverman</strong>, <strong>Matt Jarvis</strong>, <strong>Fabrice Touil</strong>, and Kanit. And just like that, it was shorthanded final table time.</p> <p>And with Neuville’s stack becoming shorter and shorter, the Belgian decided to make a move. He shoved all-in over <strong>Andrew Lichtenberger</strong>'s<strong> </strong>open-raise with #ac#qh. Widely known as “luckychewy,” Lichtenberger had #7s#7c but couldn’t dodge a live-saving rivered queen. From that moment on, Neuville started picking up his aggression to eventually take the chip lead.</p> <p><strong>David Borrat</strong> and <strong>Jeremy Kottler</strong> hit the rail in sixth and fifth places, respectively, while <strong>Bryan Kenney</strong> was eliminated in fourth. Kenney shoved his whole stack over Neuville's initial raise but was disappointed to see that his #ad#5c was dominated by his opponent’s #ah#9d. The board confirmed the domination and eliminated Kenney in fourth place.</p> <p>A little while later came a big river shove by the hands of the Belgian. In a tightly-contested pot against Lichtenberger, Neuville took a hearty swig of water and announced: <em>“All-in.”</em> His opponent was left in awe and decided to fold his hand.</p> <p>Lichtenberger couldn’t recover from that big blow and was the next to fall in third place after trying to bluff-catch Kevin Eyster on the river.</p> <p>Heads-up, Neuville started strong but Eyster came from behind to take the lead. He couldn’t wrap up the tourney, though, as his opponent decided to called it quits…for now.</p> <p>In the other no-limit tournament of the day, Event #26 - $1,500 NLHE, <strong>Dan Smith</strong> built a stack worthy of second place in the last 12 chip leaderboard. <strong>Ryan Welch</strong> will enter the final day with the commanding lead and is the only player left with a million-chip stack.</p> <p><strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong> couldn’t outlast Smith and finished the event in 29th place. Like always, he called his opponents idiots after being raised on the river. <em>“Are you kidding me?”</em> he said after seeing the move, folding his hand in disgust. Four hours later, he was done for the night after calling the turn with his last chips with just top pair and a weak kicker.</p> <p>And we can’t finish the report without mentioning two other non-no-limit events - Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. and Event #28: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’Em. In the H.O.R.S.E. event, actor <strong>James Woods</strong> brought up an interesting proposition to his tablemates:</p> <p><blockquote>I think they should give away an honorary bracelet once a year to someone in the poker community who hasn’t won a bracelet but because of their contributions to the game, deserves some recognition. Like they do at the Academy Award with an honorary Oscar."</blockquote></p> <p>And the first nomination goes to…<strong>Chad Brown</strong>, according to the actor, referring to the well-known poker pro and TV commentator who is going through a struggle with cancer.</p> <p>Woods didn’t stick for long to share his idea. Others like <strong>Huck Seed</strong>, <strong>Dutch Boyd</strong>, <strong>Adam Friedman</strong>, “Fossilman” <strong>Greg Raymer</strong>, <strong>Richard Ahsby</strong>, <strong>Tom McEvoy</strong>, <strong>Jonathan Duhamel</strong>, and <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> will take their stacks to Day 2.</p> <p>Last but not least,<a href="" target="_blank"> after a hard one-round penalty that eventually sent him to the rail</a>, <strong>Mike Matusow</strong> was all smiles in the $10,000 PLH event. He once again cheered loudly with several players jokingly calling for a penalty. <em>“I could go to bed right now and wake up still at the top of the chip counts,”</em> “The Mouth” responded.</p> <p>He is one of the players who will return to Day 2 along with chip leader <strong>Tony Ruberto</strong>, plus other big names like <strong>John Juanda</strong>, <strong>Alex Bilokur</strong>, <strong>Antonio </strong>“The Magician” <strong>Esfandiari</strong>, and <strong>Chino Rheem</strong>.</p> <p>Will Matusow get another penalty? Will James Woods’ idea be taken seriously? Also, who will prevail in the 6-max event? To find out all the answers, be sure to check PokerUpdate in the next few days.</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:26:59 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2940 A New Lease On Life! John Kabbaj Wins The WSOP $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Low Event <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter the storm, there’s always sunshine and Brit <strong>John Kabbaj </strong>knows it. A veteran of the game, Kabbaj started playing live poker tournaments almost 20 years ago; he cashed his first career World Series of Poker prize 15 years ago when he finished ninth in a $3,000 Pot Limit Hold’Em event. He won his first and only gold bracelet five years ago in the $10,000 PLH World Championship.</p> <p>However, for the last two years, the Brit has lacked any major results. His last decent cash dates back to 2012. What happened to Kabbaj’s game?</p> <p><blockquote>I have had probably the worst two years of my life. I lost everything I had and had to rebuild. I have started a new life in the last six month and now this is looking good for the future," the veteran told</blockquote></p> <p>How good you might ask? Well, how about giving up the city life to live in the Alps, in Austria? How about losing 25 POUNDS in the last three months JUST from walking his dog daily? And last but not least, how about adding a new WSOP win to his already impressive resume?</p> <p>One fact is for sure: Kabbaj's life changes propelled him back on top and his latest performance shows it. He started the final day of Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better third in chips and ready to make a stand for himself and challenge the top pros remaining in the tourney. Pros like eight-time bracelet winner <strong>Erik Seidel</strong> and four-time bracelet winner <strong>Tom Schneider</strong>.</p> <p>Those two players and Kabbaj managed to survive the first four hours of play and qualify for the official eight-handed final table. Other players like two-million-dollar WSOP member <strong>Matt Glantz</strong> (18th), <strong>Konstantin Puchkov</strong> (16th), <strong>Owais Ahmed</strong> (15th), <strong>Allyn Jaffrey Shulman</strong> (14th),<strong> Robert Mizrachi</strong> (13th), <strong>Chris Reslock</strong> (12th) – all of them holding a gold bracelet in their trophy room – came up just short.</p> <p>The eight-handed play kicked off with the elimination of Schneider by the hand of Seidel. Seidel eventually caught a straight and dodged a low to send Schneider packing for $23,833.</p> <p><strong>Mike Leah</strong> was next to fall in seventh; he couldn’t get away from his aces in an Omaha hand and ran into Kabbaj’s turned full house. Leah left the final table $31,115 richer.</p> <p>From that point on, the Brit continued to increase his stack by hitting the million-chip mark after a Stud hand played against Seidel and <strong>Christopher McHugh</strong>.</p> <p>Being severely crippled, Seidel had to gamble but couldn’t make his low and finished sixth for $41,230.</p> <p><strong>Joe Tehan</strong> did the same thing and paid for it…or actually not. He was eliminated in fifth place but did receive a worthy cash prize of $55,451.</p> <p>A little while later, <strong>Terrence Hastoo</strong> announced: <em>“If I’m going out, this is the hand to do it.”</em> He was talking about a nice low #ah#2h#4s#5c hand. But the community cards were not kind to him, missing everything and sending him to the rail to collect $75,713.</p> <p>The three-handed and heads-up play was actually a one-man affair by the name of John Kabbaj. He played strong, crippling McHugh and extending his lead even further after a Stud hand against <strong>Thomas </strong>“Thunder” <strong>Keller</strong>. With the Brit having two thirds of the chips in play, the ending seemed to be quite obvious.</p> <p>And indeed it was. McHugh fell in third for $105,000. He couldn’t beat Kabbaj’s full house and couldn’t catch any low as well. Keller was the final man down, losing his last chips after a series of Stud Hi-Low pots. He won $165,177 for second-place.</p> <p>Congratulations to John Kabbaj on winning the prestigious WSOP gold bracelet plus a $267,327 cash prize. According to Hendon Mob Poker DB, his last six-figure cash was collected three years ago in the $10,000 WSOP Pot Limit Omaha Championship. Will 2014 be a year to remember for him?</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 09:39:04 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2939 Sheldon Adelson Casino Fined Again for Under-aged Gambling <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he <strong>Bethlehem Sands Casino</strong> in <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> has <a href="">once again</a> been hit with a fine by state gaming regulators for permitting minors to gamble on the casino floor.</p> <p>The Sands is headed by CEO <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong>, who has made it his mission to prevent the spread of regulated online gambling in the U.S. via his <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong>. Adelson has often espoused the view that there are not adequate safeguards in place to keep under-aged gamblers from gaining access to online gaming sites.</p> <p>The Sands received an <em>$85,000</em> fine Wednesday by the <strong>Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board</strong>, the fifth such penalty in the last five years. The fine encompasses six incidents in which minors were able to gamble illegally for a time before casino employees analyzed their identification to a greater extent than previously done by casino security guards upon entering the gaming establishment.</p> <p><blockquote>In each of these incidents, after an initial mistake by a security officer, another [casino employee] noticed the person on the floor and challenged them," Sands' attorney Fred Kraus told The Morning Call. "It was the result of the subsequent challenge that led to the discovery and the self-reporting of each incident."</blockquote></p> <p>The six instances of under-aged gambling occurred between June, 2013 and January of this year. Two of those involved gamblers as young as 17 and another found a 19-year-old also drinking alcohol while shooting craps.</p> <p>Sands Casino has now paid <em>$305,000</em> in fines for allowing youngsters to gamble on the casino floor since its 2009 grand opening. In 2010, six incidents resulted in a <em>$48,000</em> fine, the same amount was levied in 2012 for four violations, and a total of 10 instances were recorded last year that received two separate penalties of <em>$68,000</em> and <em>$56,000</em>.</p> <p>The Bethlehem Sands employs almost 3,000 workers in hotel, restaurant and casino positions. It has paid close to <em>$900 million</em> in taxes since opening its doors.</p> <p>Despite Adelson's objections, Pennsylvania is seriously considering legalizing online gambling. A gambling study commissioned by the <strong>Legislative Budget and Finance Committee</strong> was recently the focus of a hearing among lawmakers. And a state legislator has promised to formally introduce an online poker bill later this month.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:15:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2938 WSOP Daily Report: Mike “The Mouth” Matusow Implodes; Repeat For Matt Jarvis? <p><span class="letter-big">I</span>t’s no wonder why <strong>Mike Matusow</strong> is called 'The Mouth.' His outbursts are truly epic, but until today he was never penalized for cheering too loud.</p> <p>That was the case on Day 2 of Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better. Matusow was shortstacked the whole day and was able to catch a break in a late four-handed Stud Hi-Low pot.</p> <p><em>“Come on, I deserve this,”</em> 'The Mouth' cried with one last card to come, almost begging the dealer not to improve his opponents’ hands. He already had a straight and a low and with the seventh street bricking, Matusow started running in the Amazon room, cheering loudly and pounding the table. Eventually, the tournament staff gave him a one-round penalty for his implosion.</p> <p><em>“Is this for real? I didn’t do anything. You get a penalty for getting excited? I didn’t even swear,”</em> Matusow complained, according to PokerNews Live Reporting.</p> <p>And although he won a massive pot, the penalty brought him his doom. 'The Mouth' was the last player to be eliminated before the end of the day in 19th place after losing a big pot to <strong>Christopher McHugh</strong> before busting out in a Stud hand.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>I tryed to comprise myself and me being so emotional of a person I was not able to and I emploded this was worst ruling in poker history</p> — Mike Matusow (<cite>themouthmatusow) <a href="">June 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>It would have been really interesting if Matusow had survived and won the event. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <strong>Matt Glantz</strong> Twitter account</a>, the loud American made a promise saying he would have dyed his hair pink just like <strong>Michael Chow </strong>if he had won Event #25.</p> <p>Unfortunately though, he won’t be part of the last 18 who will come back later today to seal the deal. <strong>Erik Seidel</strong> is the leader of that particular pack and the player with the best chance to prevail. <strong>Mike Leah</strong>, <strong>Tom Schneider</strong>, <strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong>, and Glantz will also return to the Amazon room to finish what they started.</p> <p>In another tournament that is close to the final goal – Event #24: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’Em Six Handed – <strong>Matt Jarvis</strong> is set to do what few have done in the World Series of Poker. He is the chip leader entering Day 3 and has a unique chance to win the same event twice.</p> <p>Jarvis won the $5,000 buy-in NLHE 6-max event back in 2011 and cashed in over $800k. The first place prize for this year’s tourney is set at $622,998, big enough to lure any poker pro including 2010 WSOP NL Championship deep-runner <strong>Bryn Kenney</strong>, 2009 WSOP NL Championship 18th-place finisher <strong>Andrew Lichtenberger</strong>, 2014 WPT Championship runner-up <strong>Byron Kaverman</strong>, 2012 WSOP Main Event winner <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, and 2013 EPT High Roller champ <strong>Griffin Benger</strong>. All of these players will try to dethrone Jarvis and take the gold bracelet.</p> <p>And since we are talking about poker players with some noteworthy resumes, we can’t end the report without making reference to the all-time best in terms of WSOP runs: <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>.</p> <p>He is still standing with a stack in front of him after Day 1 of Event #26: $1,500 NLHE. Hellmuth has around 34 big blinds and is very close to entering the money zone for the 103rd time in his outstanding career. Only seven more players need to leave the poker tables in order for Hellmuth to achieve this accomplishment.</p> <p>But we all know that he won’t settle with just a min-cash. 'The Poker Brat' will want much more and will have to prepare himself to get past yet another hard day at the office. Young guns like<strong> Dan Smith</strong>, <strong>Mike </strong>“Timex” <strong>McDonald</strong>, and <strong>Max Silver</strong> will definitely be ready for him. Is Hellmuth capable of outrunning them?</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:46:57 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2937 Chris Wallace Wins The 2014 WSOP H.O.R.S.E Championship <p><span class="letter-big">N</span>o poker legend, no former bracelet winner. Just one 40-year-old Minnesota-based limit-poker specialist with no World Series of Poker final table experience whatsoever. No poker millionaire, no uber-aggressive young gun. Just a poker writer and featured coach on</p> <p>This is how we can describe the latest winner of Event #22: the prestigious $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship. How can he describe himself after the biggest success of his career?</p> <p><em>“When I would go on break and relax, my heart would be racing. When I would get back to the table, I would be calm and focused,”</em> <strong>Chris Wallace</strong> said after the win, according to</p> <p>In other words, whenever he is at a poker table, he is in his element, just like the poker legends and hot shots he watched come and go in the last day of the event. Big names like <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> (18th), <strong>Bertrand </strong>“ElkY” <strong>Grospellier </strong>(16th), <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong> (15th), <strong>Nick Schulman</strong> (14th), <strong>Tommy Hang</strong> (13th), and <strong>David Benyamine</strong> (11th) didn’t even manage to reach the final table while Wallace kept his cool and waited for his opportunity to arise.</p> <p>But don’t think that because of all these eliminations the final table lacked experience. Not by a long shot considering that 2014 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship runner-up <strong>Richard Ashby</strong>, "the Italian Pirate" <strong>Max Pescatori</strong>, two-time bracelet winner <strong>Bill Chen</strong>, and former 2-7 Triple Draw champion <strong>Randy Ohel </strong>were still in the mix at the start of the official eight-handed final table play.</p> <p><strong>Calvin Anderson</strong> was the first to fall in a Stud hand after failing to transform his flush draw into a winner. Chen followed him in seventh spot; he moved all-in in a Limit Hold’Em hand with top pair and a good kicker but couldn’t dodge the river that gave Wallace the winning flush.</p> <p><strong>Lee Goldman</strong> was eliminated in sixth, with Pescatori joining him at the rail soon after with a decent fifth place finish.</p> <p>Fourth place was reserved for Ashby, who put his remaining chips in the middle on third street against<strong> Richard Sklar</strong> in a Stud 8 hand. <em>“I’ve got s--t,”</em> Sklar said, with Ashby replying in the same way: <em>“I’ve got s—t too.” </em> Eventually, Sklar made a flush high for the high by the seventh street, while Ashby failed to make his low.</p> <p>Sklar did a great job coming from behind and finishing in third place. He had the shortest stack of the final 21 entering the final day but managed to climb the ranks until Ohel gave him the final blow in an Omaha 8-or-Better hand.</p> <p>The winner between Wallace and Ohel was decided in a Stud hand. The future winner showed sixes full, enough for Ohel to muck his holding and give the 40-year-old player an insurmountable 5-to-1 chip lead. The next hand sealed the deal with another full house by Wallace.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>Chris Wallace - $507,614</li> <li>Randy Ohel - $313,715</li> <li>Richard Sklar - $206,499</li> <li>Richard Ashby - $150,625</li> <li>Max Pescatori - $112,066</li> <li>Lee Goldman - $84,844</li> <li>Bill Chen - $65,273</li> <li>Calvin Anderson - $50,966</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Chris Wallace on winning the prestigious event and the first WSOP gold bracelet of his career. According to Hendon Mob DB, the $500k is his largest cash prize in a live poker tournament by far. He never cashed a six-figure number before and now that he set the tone, expect to hear from him again in the next mixed-games event of the WSOP. </p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:19:15 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2936 Dominik Nitsche Makes WSOP History After Securing His Third Gold Bracelet <p><span class="letter-big">H</span>e was not to be denied! Nobody could stop German <strong>Dominik Nitsche</strong> from his journey of rewriting history in Las Vegas, not even unfavorable flops and turns, and certainly not even unfavorable percentages.</p> <p>Nitsche needed four double-ups in the final heads-up round in order to win his third World Series of Poker bracelet and enter the history books. He became the most successful German in Las Vegas and only the second European with three or more WSOP wins, joining Belgian <strong>Davidi Kitai</strong>. But that’s not all; the German is also the youngest three-time bracelet winner EVER at the age of 23, surpassing poker legend <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, who set the previous mark at the age of 24.</p> <p><blockquote>I’ve been playing poker for seven years. At this rate, I really think I can catch Phil Helllmuth (who has 13 wins). Of course, he and Phil Ivey are great players so to be talked in the same breath as them is really something for me. I will just say I am really proud to come to Las Vegas where I have enjoyed a lot of success over the years," Nitsche told</blockquote></p> <p>The German started his historic run with the third biggest stack entering the final day of Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’Em. Sixteen players remained after the first two days and seven more had to leave the tourney for the official final table to unfold. <strong>Lance Harris</strong> was the unlucky bubble boy after losing a race with his #10c#10d.</p> <p>With the final nine in place, the action resumed and after just 21 hands, the tight full ring table switched to a loose 6-max affair. <strong>David Burt</strong> ($24,702), <strong>Billy Horan</strong> ($32,168), and <strong>Eric Milas</strong> ($42,382) were the first to leave, getting out of the way of the poker pros who were starting to dominate the final table. Players like Nitsche and 2011 November Niner <strong>Bob Bounahra</strong>, but not <strong>Jeff Gross</strong>. Gross re-raised all-in from the blinds with #ac#ks and was called by Nitsche's #qc#qd. The board bricked for Gross, who packed his things and went to the cashier to receive his sixth place prize worth $56,549.</p> <p>The German also eliminated online expert <strong>Thayer </strong>“THAY3R” <strong>Rasmussen</strong>. Like Gross, Rasmussen had Big Slick but had to improve in order to beat Nitsche’s #10d#10s. Once again the board bricked and “THAY3R” had to settle for a fifth place finish plus a $76,443 cash prize.</p> <p>And the run continued for the 23-year-old player as he made yet another victim in <strong>Zachary Gruneberg</strong> ($104,594). <em>“I’m calling,”</em> Nitsche decided after Gruneberg shoved his whole stack. The call turned out to be a good move as the German spiked a queen on the flop to outrun Gruneberg’s #ah#js.</p> <p>Three-handed play had its fair share of ups and downs and ended with a three-way pot. Nitsche started the aggression, Bounahra raised all-in, and <strong>Dave D’Alesandro</strong> re-shoved. The German eventually called, only to see a table full of pocket pairs: #7d#7h vs. #10h#10d vs. #qh#qd, with D’Alesandro holding the big lead. Bounahra’s pocket sevens didn’t improve at all and sent the former November Niner to the rail with a consolation prize of $145,229.</p> <p>D’Alesandro had a huge chip advantage to start the heads-up play but couldn’t clinch it. He first called an all-in with #ac#qh; Nitsche had #9h#10h and was ready to call it quits after the first four community cards brought him nothing. The #10c river, however, resurrected him and gave him hope. So did the next all-in, #ah#2s vs. #10c#9h. Neither player connected with the board and the German took that pot with Ace high. The run-good continued as the 23-year-old turned a set over D’Alesandro’s flopped two pairs.</p> <p>Hand #261 of the official final table brought Nitsche yet another fight for his tournament life, winning with #as#6s. Thirty-one hands later, D’Alesandro was finished, losing another close battle preflop: #kd#6h &gt; #qc#7d. He did win the biggest WSOP cash prize of his career for his runner-up finish: $208,931.</p> <p>Congratulations to Dominik Nitsche on winning his third gold bracelet plus the first-place prize of $335,659. Can he dethrone <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>in the all-time WSOP bracelet winners’ leaderboard?</p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 09:37:25 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2935 Doug Polk Speeds His Way to the Top to Win His First WSOP Bracelet <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>ive years ago, one University of North Carolina Wilmington freshman made the best move of his life. He decided to drop out of college in order to pursue his dream: to become a professional poker player. <em>“I think, in hindsight, it was slightly foolish to try and live the dream in that way, but it worked out and I was good enough to make it work,”</em> <strong>Doug Polk </strong>told</p> <p>Since then, using the widely-known screen name “WCGRider,” Polk has taken the online nosebleeds stakes by storm by challenging the best in the business and proclaiming himself the best Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’Em player in the world. He won almost $2 million playing the highest stakes on Full Tilt and PokerStars, according to HighStakes DB, and now he wants to try something different. He wants to stop hiding behind a computer screen.</p> <p><blockquote>I’m tired of being WCGRider. I want to be Doug Polk. I want to get out there and I want to try to establish myself in poker. My goals long term are to get a sponsor and to work with other people in the industry and I need to not be hiding behind a computer screen to do that."</blockquote></p> <p>Like in the online world, Polk’s liftoff on the live poker felt was furious. He started the year with a massive $770,237 cash won for securing fourth place in the Aussie Millions Super High Roller. He continued his run in Las Vegas by cashing in six-figure prizes in the 2014 Bellagio High Rollers. And after two 2014 WSOP cashes including a near-the-final-table finish in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Championship, Polk broke the ice and won the first gold bracelet of his career.</p> <p><blockquote>(The bracelet) gives me a more solid foundation to build on my position within the industry."</blockquote></p> <p>The high stakes player started Day 2 with the chip lead and with <strong>Andy Philachack</strong> – second place in the chip leaderboard – threatening his dream. Since it was a turbo tournament, all the nine remaining players had to think quickly and gamble more often than not.</p> <p>The two chip leaders got things going; Polk took the first pot while Philachack eliminated an opponent the next hand. After an open-raise and a call, Philachack decided to make a continuation bet on the #8d#7h#4h flop but<strong> Andrew Mackenzie </strong>reacted immediately and moved all-in. The initial aggressor eventually called with…only Jack high? He had #js#10c; Mackenzie held an open-ender with #10s#9d.</p> <p><em>“It’s still a turbo guys. I’m not afraid to call with jack-high,”</em> Philachack warned his competition after winning the pot with just a jack kicker.</p> <p>The elimination frenzy continued with <strong>Dash Dudley</strong>, <strong>Gianluca Cedolia</strong>,<strong> Anthony Gregg,</strong> and <strong>Liam Alcock</strong> all hitting the rail in a matter of 13 hands. Polk sent Cedolia and Alcock home by catching a favorable flop plus one lucky river for the straight. He also eliminated <strong>Chad Cox</strong> in fourth place a little while later after calling an all-in preflop with #qs#js.</p> <p>Three-handed, the play slowed down until Philachack caught a lucky ace. He was all-in and way behind with his #ac#7c hand versus <strong>Jonathan Hanner</strong>’s #jd#jc. The board, however, changed that by delivering an ace to the initial underdog. Eight hands later, Philachack finished the job and sent Hanner packing, setting the stage for the final battle against Polk.</p> <p>A battle dominated by the high roller. Polk resumed the fast-paced action by calling two streets with two small pairs and winning the first big pot of heads-up play. And with the chips going his way, Polk gave the final blow on the 109th hand of the final table. He open-raised preflop and checked the #10s#8d#3s flop. Philachack checked as well but when the turn brought the #3d, he check-min-raised. Polk called and on the #js river he snap-called Philachack’s all-in with #9h#7d for the winning straight.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>Doug Polk - $251,969</li> <li>Andy Philachack - $155,756</li> <li>Jonathan Hanner - $102,503</li> <li>Chad Cox - $73,894</li> <li>Liam Alcock - $54,088</li> <li>Anthony Gregg - $40,168</li> <li>Gianluca Cedolia - $30,252</li> <li>Dash Dudley - $23,093</li> <li>Andrew Mackenzie - $17,857</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Doug Polk on winning Event #23: $1,000 Turbo NLHE and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Can he continue his run and go for a second one?</p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 07:37:51 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2934 Full Tilt Remission Payments Set for June 12 <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he claims administrator in the <strong>Full Tilt</strong> remission process provided a new update on the official website on June 10 advising that petitioners in the next round of disbursement that totals <strong>$15 million</strong> can expect to see deposits in their bank accounts on <strong>Thursday, June 12</strong>.</p> <p>As per the <strong>Garden City Group</strong>'s previous update on May 28, roughly <strong>3,500 former U.S. Full Tilt</strong> players are in line to receive funds. Along with petitioners whose account balances have been confirmed, this latest round of reimbursement includes players previously labeled as affiliates.</p> <p>The GCG's latest update also warns players whose bank accounts could not be verified that emails were sent on June 6 with instructions on how to provide accurate information in order to facilitate the ACH deposits. Players who received such notice and fail to timely respond by June 25 will instead receive payment in the form of a cheque to the last known mailing address in the next wave of reimbursement.</p> <p>The scheduled June 12 payment of $15 million follows the <strong>$76 million</strong> dispensed on <strong>February 28</strong> to about <strong>27,500 former U.S. Full Tilt players</strong> and <strong>$5 million</strong> shipped to another <strong>2,200 players on April 1</strong>. Still awaiting payment are petitioners who disputed their account balances and players identified as Full Tilt Pros.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:55:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2933 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - June 10, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> hitting its stride in <strong>Las Vegas</strong>, the pro players in town are logging on at <strong></strong> in record numbers while not competing on the live poker tournament tables at the <strong>Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino</strong>.</p> <p> in <strong>Nevada</strong> has seen traffic skyrocket to 150 cash game players in a seven-day average, which is the highest number since the site launched on Sept. 19, 2013.'s Nevada offering is currently the top ranked poker site among the three regulated states of Nevada, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>.</p> <p>The pros are scheduled to be in town through mid-July, so may enjoy its new status for another month. Its rival in the Silver State, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong>, is averaging the same number of players (55) that were logging on when the WSOP kicked off on May 27, <strong>PokerScout</strong> reported.</p> <p>While things are looking up in Nevada, the online poker market in New Jersey seems headed in the opposite direction. in NJ remained steady, but the <strong>Party Borgata</strong> and <strong>All American Poker</strong> networks both experienced decreases. AAPN is now 65% off its pace of three months ago when an 80% rakeback promo was still attracting grinders.</p> <p>As 2014 nears the half-way mark, the possibility of new regulated markets emerging in the U.S. this year looks less likely. Despite a new coalition of 13 <strong>California</strong> tribes that have offered an online poker bill to state lawmakers, the <strong>Morongo</strong> and <strong>PokerStars</strong> alliance has vowed to fight such efforts as long as <em>"bad actor"</em> language is included in the proposal.</p> <p><strong>Pennsylvania</strong> is also on the radar as a state where online poker regulations are taking on a more serious tone among lawmakers. A new ipoker bill is set to be introduced later this month, but the prospect of approval taking place this year remains iffy at best.</p> <p>In the unregulated U.S. market, <strong>Lock Poker</strong> lost 9% of cash player action as of late. The site has yet to respond to a request made by the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> in April asking for more transparency with regard to funds owed to its customers. Perhaps more players have taken to heart the PPA recommendation to avoid Lock Poker tables until the site unlocks its bank account.</p> <p>In online poker player traffic on a global scale, PokerStars lost 1,000 ring game players in the past week. The industry giant went from 20,000 to 19,000 in a seven-day average, a decrease that would leave the poker tables completely empty at every other poker room outside of the top ten.</p> <p>While many factors are likely attributable to the dip in action at PokerStars, a recently concluded milestone hands promo is certainly one of them. The world's leading site now has only about nine times as many cash players as second place <strong>888poker</strong>, whereas just a couple weeks ago that advantage was 10 to 1.</p> <p>For the week, the Internet poker industry experienced a 3% decline. The top ten poker rooms and networks all retained their positions from the previous week. Online poker action at the cash tables is 9% less than this time in 2013.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:52:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2932 WSOP Daily Report: Phil Hellmuth Blows Up, Doug “WCGRider” Polk Leads Turbo Final Table <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Poker Brat is back! <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, who recently said he is a changed man, got back to his old ways yesterday night in the Sin City.</p> <p>He was one of 121 players who returned to the poker tables for Day 2 of the notorious World Series of Poker $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship. But somehow along the way, he lost his temper and flushed away all that he said prior to the start of the series. The Poker Brat couldn’t survive Day 2 and in his last hand, he berated the player who eliminated him, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner <strong>Jonathan Duhamel</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Tough start to the <a href=""><cite>wsop</a> this summer but got berated twice in 3 days by <a href="">@phil_hellmuth</a> so i'm all smiles!!! <a href="</cite>src=hash">#waddupPhil</a></p> — Jonathan Duhamel (<cite>JonathanDuhamel) <a href="">June 10, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>According to PokerNews Live Reporting, Hellmuth told <strong>Greg Mueller</strong> afterwards: <em>“I never lost a pot on tilt, though. Duhamel just kept beating me.”</em></p> <p>Duhamel eventually joined the Poker Brat at the rail before the bubble burst. Day 1 chip leader <strong>Jeff Madsen</strong> was the unlucky one who finished just one spot out of the money in 25th place. He was involved in a Stud hand against Mueller who outran him by going for two pair against only an Ace-high type of hand held by Madsen.</p> <p>After that, three more players were eliminated and left the remaining 21 ready for the final day. Among them, <strong>Tommy Hang</strong> sits comfortably atop the chip leaderboard. Other big names are also in the mix like Omaha Hi-Lo runner-up <strong>Richard Ashby</strong>, one-time bracelet winner <strong>David Benyamine</strong>, six-handed no-limit champion <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>, “The Italian Pirate” <strong>Max Pescatori</strong>, 2-7 Triple Draw fourth place finisher <strong>Nick Schulman</strong>, “Kid Poker” <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, and gaming legend and tournament specialist <strong>Bertrand</strong> “ElkY” <strong>Grospellier</strong>.</p> <p>And since we are talking about blowups, what a start Event #23: $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’Em had!</p> <p><em>“You’re a joke! You’re the biggest joke in here. Supposed to be a pro? Angel shooting. You’re a f------ joke!” </em>a player berated <strong>Micah Rasking</strong> after he apparently pushed his chips forward but didn’t release them from his hand. The dealer made a mistake and thought Rasking announced an all-in. The two continued afterwards with the poker pro challenging his opponent to a $5,000 heads-up game. <em>“Set it up. Get your backers or whatever you need to do and let’s go,”</em> the tilted player responded.</p> <p>Meanwhile, at the other tables, the action was fast and furious and from a field of 1,473 registered, only nine remained after just 15 hours of play. The leader of the final nine is none other than self-proclaimed best heads-up no-limit poker player in the world, <strong>Doug </strong>“WCGRider” <strong>Polk</strong>. Also having a shot at the Turbo title is 2013 WSOP One Drop High Roller winner <strong>Anthony Gregg</strong>.</p> <p>Last but not least, another event is set for gold this evening. We are talking about Event #21: $1,000 NLHE. Sixteen players remained after Day 2 with 2011 WSOP November Niner <strong>Bob Bounahra</strong> leading the way. Online specialist <strong>Thayer </strong>“THAY3R” <strong>Rasmussen </strong>is second, while two-time bracelet winner <strong>Dominik Nitsche</strong> completes the top three of the chip leaderboard.</p> <p>Be sure to check PokerUpdate tomorrow to find out the outcome of each of these three events.</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:35:48 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2931 Kory Kilpatrick Wins The WSOP 3K Shootout Marathon <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>hree players were looking for their second World Series of Poker bracelet while seven others were trying to break the ice and conquer the Las Vegas gold. At the end of the day, the majority prevailed.</p> <p>But we all know that poker is not a team game and only one player had a real opportunity to be named WSOP champion in Event #20, a $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. Memphis-based professional <strong>Kory Kilpatrick </strong>was the lucky one standing tall and alone at the final table with one gold bracelet, two cards, and all the tournament chips in play.</p> <p>Kilpatrick had to wait two days and almost 12 hours of final table play to reach that moment. And what a moment, managing to survive a very tough final table consisting of online poker legend <strong>Phil </strong>“OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong>, self-taught bracelet winner <strong>Taylor Paur</strong>, and WSOP million-dollar member <strong>Chris Bell</strong>. All three know what winning a gold bracelet feels like and all three wanted to relive that elusive moment specially reserved for the champion.</p> <p><em>“There were really no bad players here, everyone played solid,”</em> Kilpatrick said, describing the final table for That included the six others who are still searching for gold.</p> <p><strong>Narendra Banwari</strong> was among them and was the first to go in tenth place after no more than three hours. His seventh WSOP cash brought him $16,609. <strong>Dylan Linde</strong> followed him in ninth for $21,409 after another three and half hours; this was Linde’s third 2014 summer cash in Vegas.</p> <p><strong>Martin Stonehill</strong> was next, raising all-in with #as#jd and losing a race against #2s#2h. He cashed in $27,812 for his eighth place finish.</p> <p>The next three eliminations brought an end to the repeat dreams. Paur had to admit defeat when his #8d#8h ran into #jc#js. He left the final table $36,414 richer. Thirteen hands later, Galfond ($48,043) joined him to the rail after making a decisive move with his short stack and going all-in with #as#4s. Unfortunately for him, he was called by <strong>Jack Duong</strong>’s #ac#jc. Bell ($63,877) felt the same agony after his #ad#qc ran into #as#kc.</p> <p>That left four bracelet rookies in the hunt for gold. Duong must have felt closer to the goal after raising all-in on the river with a turned straight. Unfortunately for him, Kilpatrick had an even better hand – a rivered full-house. For his fourth place performance, Duong scored the first WSOP cash of his career worth $85,616.</p> <p><strong>Noah Bronstein</strong> was the next player eliminated in third place by the hands of the future winner. His $115,659 cash received is the largest of his WSOP career.</p> <p>The heads-up play between Kilpatrick and <strong>Eric Wasserson</strong> was a short-time affair lasting only 19 hands. The Memphis-based player started with a 2-to-1 chip lead and extended it even further before calling his opponent’s #jd#10d all-in with #ah#js. The board bricked for both players but it was Kilpatrick who held the better kicker.</p> <p>Like Bronstein, Wasserson left the final table with the largest WSOP cash of his career: $157,490.</p> <p>Congratulations to Kory Kilpatrick on winning a gold bracelet plus the big prize of $254,891. Besides Event #20, he has 12 other WSOP cashes, plus 3 more circuit cashes with his largest being worth over $85k.</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:40:16 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2930 DENIED! Former Marine Ted Gillis Stops Johnny “World” Hennigan In His Quest For a Third WSOP Bracelet <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>ggression and good fortune – that’s what former US Marine <strong>Ted Gillis</strong> needed in order to bring down his enemies on the last day of Event #19 at the 2014 World Series of Poker. <em>“Kind of made a mark in history,”</em> Gillis bragged after his first big success in Las Vegas, according to</p> <p>And in order to survive, the former Marine had to dodge some bullets first. It all started at the unofficial ten-handed final table; Gillis decided to see a flop with his #kd#8d from the big blind and called <strong>Hiren Patel</strong>’s open-raise from early position. The #9d#7c#9s seemed safe for the caller to make an all-in move for his tournament life. Patel snap-called with #ah#ac and had a 91% advantage to win the pot. The poker gods, however, had other plans and gave Gillis the flush with #3d and #qd completing the board.</p> <p>The former Marine also burst the official final table bubble by eliminating<strong> Darin Stout</strong> in 10th place. <em>“This is not me volunteering to go home,”</em> Stout warned his competition before open-raising all-in from under the gun. The future winner took the bait and called with #ac#10d and was at a disadvantage against his opponent’s #as#kh. The community cards were once again kind, giving Gillis the straight.</p> <p>And with the cards running his way, he won some big pots without any showdown by aggressing his opponents relentlessly. Until the 56th hand of the official final table unfolded. After an unlucky river that put Gillis in fight-or-flight mode, the 48-year-old American bet all-in with second pair on a #10c#kh#4c flop. His opponent,<strong> Jacobo Fernandez</strong>, called with top pair and Gillis was in very bad shape waiting for a 23% miracle to happen. And it did! The river brought the unexpected #10d to save the Texas-based player once more.</p> <p>From that point on, the former Marine continued to accumulate chips by putting the pressure on his enemies and getting involved when it mattered most. He was the one who eliminated the last two who stood in his way. Gillis took down third-place finisher <strong>Dejan Divkovic</strong>,<strong> </strong>who can now claim to be the most successful Bosnian in WSOP history. </p> <p>The finish was short and bloodied. Two-time bracelet winner <strong>John Hennigan</strong> couldn’t resist Gillis’ ferocious attack, surrendering after just 27 heads-up hands. The Marine slow-played his full-house before calling an all-in with #as#6h. The board brought him the ace and also his first WSOP gold bracelet.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>Ted Gillis - $514,027</li> <li>John Hennigan - $319,993</li> <li>Dejan Divkovic - $222,429</li> <li>Jacobo Fernandez - $160,193</li> <li>Mustapha Kanit - $117,079</li> <li>Jaime Kaplan - $86,609</li> <li>Hiren Patel - $64,911</li> <li>Edison Shields - $49, 267</li> <li>Dylan Thomassie - $37,834</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Ted Gillis on winning Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’Em. This was quite an impressive preformance if we take a look at his all-time WSOP cashes. Besides his most recent success, he has only one other cash ($2,912) gained in last year’s Event #28: $1,500 NLHE.</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 08:26:09 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2929 David Diaz Back at WSOP After 1-Year Ban <p><span class="letter-big">P</span>oker pro <strong>David Diaz</strong> is back and competing at the <strong>45th annual WSOP</strong> at the <strong>Rio</strong> following a <a href="">one-year suspension</a> issued last year over an incident that involved the consumption of too much alcohol during nighttime revelry at a <strong>Caesars</strong> nightclub.</p> <p>Upon his WSOP return this year, Diaz finished in 48th place for $7,938 at <strong>Event #15, Six-Handed $3,000 No Limit Hold'em</strong>. That marks his first cash at a WSOP event since last summer when he cashed twice for more than $22,000 combined before a night of drinking led to unruly behavior and a suspension.</p> <p><blockquote>Because I was so drunk and harassing ppl at carnival court the other night but I don't remember any of this," Diaz tweeted last year following the incident.</blockquote></p> <p>At the time of the banishment, fellow players began a <em>"Free Lefty"</em> campaign in an effort to persuade Caesars to reconsider Diaz' punishment. The <em>"Lefty"</em> nickname stems from the fact that Diaz lost his right arm to cancer as a youth.</p> <p>Caesars stood firm on the suspension. Diaz recently told that the incident caused him <em>"to go back home and check out what my values were."</em></p> <p>In 2011, Diaz won a WSOP title in <strong>$1,500 No Limit Hold'em - Triple Chance</strong>, nailing the prize money of $352,808. That remains the largest payday of his career. He followed that up two months later with another big win at the <strong>Gold Strike World Poker Open in Tunica</strong> in the <strong>$3,125 No Limit Hold'em Main Event</strong> for $139,182, the Hendon Mob database reported.</p> <p>Diaz' in-the-money finish this year was in the same event that he was not allowed to continue playing last year due to his drunken behavior the night before and the one-year penalty.</p> <p><blockquote>They came and got me and kicked me out of the tournament," Diaz said, recalling last year's debacle. "I was like top 10 in chips with around 100 people left. So, yeah, I ended up missing out on a lot of money in that event. They disqualified me and gave me back $3,500."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:24:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2928 Dan Heimiller Wins WSOP Seniors Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hat started as the biggest Seniors Event in the history of the World Series, with more than 4,400 runners, dwindled down to just 32 players to start Day 3 yesterday. After a couple hours of play, that 32 became ten to form the unofficial final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a long one, and despite the fast and furious action during earlier levels, no one was really looking to go out with pay jumps being quite significant. One of the final table participants was <strong>Dennis Philips</strong>, 2008 third place finisher in the Main Event and the 2012 runner-up in this very event. This time, Philips was looking to go one better. For a while before the final table started, and during the final table play, it seemed that he just might do it. But his luck unfortunately ran out and he could only claim a fifth place finish worth well over $150,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Others met a similar fate, as <strong>Michale Frederick </strong>was eliminated as the official final table bubble boy with his 10<sup>th</sup> place finish securing him $40,000, followed by <strong>Jim Custer </strong>($51,573), <strong>David Vida </strong>($66,945)<strong>, Doc Barry </strong>($87,615), <strong>David Tran </strong>($115,651) and <strong>Anthony Wise </strong>($206,492).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was down to three-handed play, with <strong>Donald Maas</strong> holding the lead and more chips than the other two players combined. But <strong>Dan Heimiller</strong>, who chipped up quite significantly during the three-handed phase, managed to knock out <strong>David Smith </strong>in 3<sup>rd</sup> place, claiming his chips and sending Smith to the rail with $279,412 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was now down to heads-up to determine who would get a bracelet and Heimiller held about a 3:1 chip advantage. It could have been a long heads-up match, it just so happened that it wasn’t. Six hands into the heads-up, Maas and Heimiller saw the flop of #4s#3s#5c. It was checked to Maas who bet out, only to be faced with a raise from Heimiller. He made the call and they saw the #ad turn. This time it went check-call and the river was #qs. Heimiller led out for a small amount, which prompted Maas to move all-in and Heimiller quickly made the call with #6c#2h for a flopped straight. That was all she wrote for <strong>Maas</strong>, who was the official runner-up after the hand and earned $388,054.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Heimiller became the Seniors’ champion and claimed his second WSOP bracelet, twelve years after his first one in 2002. Being around the series for nearly 20 years, Heimiller has seen it all and experienced everything there is to experience when it comes to poker. But with this being the single biggest cash of his career, combined with the fact that he won a bracelet in such a big field, truly had a special meaning for the poker veteran. <em>“This one feels extra spectacular because it was for such a big prize,”</em> said Heimiller in an interview with And spectacular it was!</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p> </p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:07:38 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2927 Betfred Withdraws From German Market <p><strong>Betfred</strong> is no longer accepting wagers from players in <strong>Germany</strong> effective today.</p> <p>In an email to PokerUpdate, a Betfred representative confirmed the bookmaker's exit from the German market <em>"due to regulatory changes."</em> Players within the country are advised to withdraw any remaining funds from their accounts as quickly as possible with a 30-day time frame in effect.</p> <p>Rumors circulated indicating that an exit from <strong>Canada</strong> and other countries was also in the works, although confirmation has not yet been offered. Betfred's withdrawal comes at a bad time with regard to revenue possibilities considering that the <strong>2014 World Cup</strong> kicks off in a matter of days.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:19:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2926 WSOP Daily Report: Phil Galfond Close To His Second Bracelet <p>Another day in the Sin City and another chance for the bracelet winners to prove their case.</p> <p>The 14th day of the 2014 World Series of Poker kicks off with a lot of big names still hanging around at the poker tables and searching for yet another gold bracelet. One of the them is online guru and the one who revolutionized the way poker pros think about the game, <strong>Phil </strong>“OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong>. He managed to survive Day 2 of Event #20 – the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’Em Shootout, after being the last man standing at his table.</p> <p>Galfond already won a bracelet six years ago in a Pot Limit Omaha event and is looking for the second of his career. He only has to top one last table, the final one, with some interesting names remaining that include one-time WSOP winner <strong>Taylor Paur</strong>, and <strong>Dylan Linde</strong>, who has been on fire the last couple of weeks. This is Linde’s third 2014 WSOP cash after finishing 11th in Event #9 and 24th in Event #12.</p> <p>In the other tournament of the day that is bound for gold – the $1,500 NLHE Event #19, two-time bracelet winner <strong>John </strong>“Johnny World” <strong>Hennigan </strong>will look to come from behind and surprise the top three million-chip stacks.<strong> Hiren Patel</strong> leads the final 12 looking to make the most of his lucky 13th WSOP cash. <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong> is second, while <strong>Ted Gillis</strong> sits comfortably in third before the final battle.</p> <p>Besides the two events, two others are ready for some more heated action this evening. The $1,000 buy-in NLHE Event #21 is still full of bracelet winners with Day 2 ready to unfold. <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, <strong>David Williams</strong>,<strong> JC Tran</strong>, <strong>Dominik Nitsche</strong>, and<strong> James Mackey</strong> are eager to get things going, while 2014 WPT Player of the Year <strong>Mukul Pahuja</strong> can make another step towards the ultimate goal, a WSOP gold bracelet.</p> <p>In the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship things are looking good for the poker legends. <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>, <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, and <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> all are up and ready for Day 2.<strong> Phil Hellmuth</strong> will definitely want more like another 2014 WSOP final table and, why not, bracelet #14. But in order to achieve that he will have to threaten <strong>Jeff Madsen</strong> and <strong>Greg Mueller</strong>’s top two spots in the chip leaderboard. The 2006 WSOP Player of the Year Madsen is currently looking for his fourth gold with two-time bracelet winner Mueller breathing down his neck.</p> <p>Madsen has a cash in this year's Event #11; can he run good like it’s 2006 all over again?</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:18:42 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2920 Davidi Kitai Claims His 3rd WSOP Bracelet after Epic HU Match <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">D</span>ay 3 of Event #15, $3,000 6-max Hold’em, started with 15 runners. All of them had hopes of capturing the WSOP bracelet. For some it would be the first one, like the young Internet player from Bosnia and Herzegovina, <strong>Alen Bilic</strong>. For others, like <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, it would be dazzling Number 14. But only one would get it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The eliminations started with Bilic, as he picked a bad time to 3-bet shove with his #10h#jh, running into the #As#Js of <strong>John Andress</strong>, and the trend continued with Metalidi, Budigga and others. Then, in eighth place, Hellmuth was eliminated and his dream of a new bracelet was postponed. Following in his footsteps, <strong>Heinz Kamutzki </strong>fell as the final table bubble and the final six players started their bracelet dance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Zachary Korik </strong>came into the final table second in chips and was the first to go. His blind on blind confrontation with <strong>Gordon Vayo</strong> didn’t quite go as planned and he would <em>only </em>make $62,690 for his sixth place finish. Then Andress<strong> </strong>tried to make something happen and we had another blind on blind battle. Again it was Vayo who made the call with #ks#jc to put Andress at risk. Andress was slightly ahead with #ah#2d, but a King on the flop changed that and by the river all Andress could say was – “good game.” His fifth place finish guaranteed him $89,734.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not long after, it was <strong>Mark Darner </strong>who was headed for the rail. He got in a classic coin flip situation with his #as#qh against the pocket Jacks of <strong>Tony Ruberto</strong> but couldn’t find any help on the board and that meant he would leave the tournament as the 4<sup>th</sup> place finisher, earning a very respectable $132,169 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This triggered three-handed play that lasted a long time. Belgian <strong>Davidi Kitai </strong>was a dominant force throughout the entire phase, but it seemed he couldn’t find a way to strike the finishing blow on either of his opponents. Kitai had both of his opponents down to their last card on two separate occasions, but they managed to hit what they needed to survive and play continued.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally, Ruberto<strong> </strong>made a misstep when he four-bet shoved over Kitai’s 3-bet from the big blind. Kitai had the goods with #As#Kc and Ruberto’s #ad#6c was in trouble. Kitai hit the King on the flop and his hand held up through the river, sending Ruberto to the rail $200,476 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a long heads-up battle as Vayo wasn’t about to give up despite starting with a big chip disadvantage. He managed to build his stack up quite substantially, but Kitai remained in control. Still, Vayo was ready for the long haul and by the time they ran out of time to play for the night, he seized a small chip advantage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What was going to be a three-day event turned into a four-day battle as Vayo and Kitai returned tonight to keep going at it. A night of sleep apparently did wonders for Kitai, as he started dominating once again and it soon became clear that he was the favorite to win this one after all.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With about ten big blinds in his stack, the last hand saw Vayo call off Kitai’s shove upon finding #as#5c in the hole. Once again, Kitai was well ahead with his #ad#kh and this time, Davidi managed to bring it home when the board ran #jd#qs#6c#7h#ks. The Belgian successfully finished what he had started yesterday, sending Vayo out in second place with $314,535 to console him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kitai<strong> </strong>claimed his third WSOP bracelet together with the prize of $508,640. After watching Kitai play yesterday, there is nothing else to say but – he truly deserved it!</p> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 23:40:09 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2919 Todd Bui Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Event #16 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>nother bracelet found its owner today. These are the words you’ll hear quite often these days as the World Series of Poker is moving full speed ahead. But what is special about the latest winner is the fact that this was his very first tournament win – ever, and it came in WSOP Event #16 - $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Todd Bui </strong>is a Southern California cash game pro and he only plays a couple tournaments a year. So it is no wonder that he had no previous victories. But having your very first victory coincide with a WSOP bracelet event is certainly a very nice bonus.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To get there, he had to beat a seasoned tournament player and bracelet winner in <strong>Captain Tom Franklin</strong>. Franklin had experience on his side, but Bui had chips and support on the rail from his friend <strong>JC Tran. </strong>These two have been poker friends for a long time, although they have taken different paths career-wise. One has turned to cash games, while the other grinds the tournament circuit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Starting with about a 2:1 chip advantage, Bui actually made short work of his opponent. First, he grinded him down some more before they took a short break and then finished off what he had started in the first couple hands after the break. On the last hand of the match, Bui’s Ten-Eight managed to stand up against Franklin’s 3x 6x 5x 8x as Tom drew another five on his last draw and it was all over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bui became the WSOP bracelet owner, earning $124,510 in the process. Captain Franklin had to be satisfied with a second place finish and the $76,943 prize attached to it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, the final table had six seats filled with bracelet contenders and they deserve a mention as well. <strong>David Bell </strong>fell in third place at the hands of Captain Franklin and secured $49,944. One-time $50k H.O.R.S.E runner-up <strong>Vladimir Shchemelev </strong>headed for the rail in fourth place after his Eighty-Seven was no match for Franklin's absolute nuts (2x 3x 4x 5x 7x). For this finish, Shchemelev earned $33,388.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fifth place went to yet another bracelet winner. <strong>Aaron Steury </strong>fell to Shchemelev, whose Eighty-Seven was good enough to send Steury out with $22,935. <strong>David Gee </strong>was the first victim of the final table today, as Bui’s “number three” (2x 3x 5x 6x 7x) sent him to the rail with $16,170 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Competition in this tournament was nothing to sneeze at, as many notables like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Jason Mercier and Dan Smith all took part. This is even more reason for Bui to be proud of his first-ever tournament victory! </p> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 05:38:43 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2918 WSOP 2014: Phil Hellmuth Closing in on a Bracelet, Seniors Event Breaks Record <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>vent #15, $3,000 Six-Max Hold’em, will be resuming shortly. It is down to 15 players and one of those remaining in the field is the "Poker Brat" himself. <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>has a 491,000 stack to start the day, right about the average. This is another good opportunity for Hellmuth to go after bracelet number #14. His first shot came during the Event #7 Seven-Card Razz tournament, but Ted Forrest denied him the celebration after winning the heads-up battle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If there is one thing the Poker Brat is not missing going into tonight’s match, that’s confidence. Hellmuth is notorious for his self-motivational speeches at the tables and more recently these have moved to his Twitter as well. Of course, the man with 13 WSOP bracelets to his name can allow for some confidence, although he is not facing an easy task today since he will be competing with the likes of <strong>Vladimir Geshkenbein, Davidi Kitai</strong>,<strong> </strong>and the Internet wizkid and newcomer to the WSOP scene, Bosnian <strong>Alen Bilic.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In other news, the Seniors Event started yesterday and it broke last year’s record as 4,425 players registered to play before registration closed at the start of Level 7. The action in this event was, traditionally, fast and furious, and before the last hand of Level 11 was dealt, more than 2,800 players were sent to the rail. Seniors have created a prize pool of nearly $4 million, with more than $627,000 guaranteed to the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The event attracted many familiar faces that have been around for quite some time. Some of them, like <strong>Marcel Luske</strong>,<strong> John Duttie </strong>and <strong>Cyndy Violette</strong>, did not return to play today as their chips went to other stacks in the room. Others, like former Main Event runner-up <strong>Dennis Phillips, </strong>the legendary <strong>Sammy Farha</strong>,<strong> </strong>and <strong>Barny Boatman </strong>have all secured their seat for the start of the play today. It was <strong>Ronald Bradway </strong>who finished the day as the chip leader, as he bagged 125,100.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">WSOP action continues today at the Rio and more bracelets will be awarded in events #15 and #16 (2-7 Limit Triple Draw). The poker madness continues!</p> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 20:05:25 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2917 Nick Kost Denies Title Defense to Calen McNeil in WSOP Event #14 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>vent #14, $1,500 Omaha High-Lo, started with 1,032 runners. Yesterday, it dwindled down to the final table and one of those sitting in with a shot at the bracelet was <strong>Calen McNeil</strong>, who won the event last year and was looking to make it back-to-back titles. By the end of the evening he would be denied this opportunity, as it was <strong>Nick Kost </strong>who held all the chips when all was said and done.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The most notable name at the final table was 2004 Main Event champion <strong>Greg Raymer</strong>, who came in with a very short stack, but only a few hands in he managed to build up his stack to an amount where he represented a serious threat. However, it wasn’t meant to be for Raymer, who eventually ended up in 7<sup>th</sup>, taking home $33,510.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the defending champ, he wouldn’t get to repeat his success either although at certain times it seemed like he might be seizing another bracelet. But in the end, his luck ran out and he made his exit in 4<sup>th</sup> place. He fell at the hands of Kost and perhaps it was a sign that this bracelet had Nick’s name engraved on it. Although McNeil earned $79,608 for his performance, he will probably regret the missed opportunity at back-to-back championships.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After <strong>Jim Bucci </strong>fell in third place and took home $109,678, it was down to Kost and <strong>Kal Raichura </strong>to answer the question of the winner. Kost started with about a 2.5:1 chip deficit, as his 1.3 million played Raichura’s 3.3 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kost had a decent amount of supporters on the rail, while Raichura seemingly had none. At one point the announcer actually asked if anyone was rooting for Kal and he jokingly answered, “No, I am flying solo.”</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whether it was the support of the railbirds, a good run of cards, skill, or the combination of all three, Kost managed to close the gap in a heads-up match that took quite a while to complete considering both players were rather shallow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pot after pot, Kost was clearly taking over control and finally put himself in a position where he could end it all. It was the very first hand of Level 31, which was the 11<sup>th</sup> level of the day, that saw all the chips go into the middle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The flop came down #qh#10d#5d and it got capped. Then the turn fell #8c and Kost called the bet from Raichura. The river fell #3d and Raichura could probably guess he got sucked out on, but he had so little behind that there was nothing to do but to put the last of his chips in the middle. Sure enough, Kost had tabled #as#kh#9d#qd for a rivered flush and Raichura could only say “Nice hand” to his opponent.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Raichura received $175,300 for his second place finish, while the gold bracelet and $283,275 went to Kost, the most recent WSOP bracelet winner!</p> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 19:35:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2916 GPI’s Own World Cup of Poker Announced <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter acquiring the European Poker Awards and setting the stage for the all-new American Poker Awards, the Global Poker Index is ready for the next level.</p> <p>With less than a week away from the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the ranking company announced the launch of its own version of the World Cup<em> “for the Sport of Poker.”</em></p> <p>The new competition named the Global Poker Masters (GPM) will make its debut in 2015 and will feature a multi-round Sit’N’Go Invitation-Only tournament with a $10,000 buy-in and $100,000 added money prize.</p> <p>Only GPI’s top nine highest ranked countries will qualify for the exclusive event with each country bringing in four of its best players based on the GPI Player of the Year leaderboard.</p> <p>Furthermore, according to a PokerNews interview with CEO <strong>Alex Dreyfus</strong>, play will consist of four groups with one player from each country in every group. Overall, there will be 16 SNGs with players constantly changing groups every time the tournament they are playing in is over.</p> <p><blockquote>Every tournament will give players a certain amount of points according to their placement. The winner of the Global Poker Masters will then be the country that, at the end of the 16th tournament, will have aggregated the highest number of points."</blockquote></p> <p>The venue and the exact dates will be announced this July; also, the event will be streamlined online with the feature table play being aired on TV.</p> <p>Note that this is not the first event of its kind. Ten years ago, PokerStars launched an annual tournament specially designed for national teams called the World Cup of Poker. The preliminary rounds are held online while the finals are organized in the Bahamas. The first two editions were won by Costa Rica while last year, Russia prevailed.</p> <p>Since the GPM is based on a worldwide yearly ranking, we can hope that things can only get better and that this event can truly become a competition where the best of the best in the poker world meet.</p> <p>Can the GPM revive the poker market?</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:29:41 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2915 Paul Volpe Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Tough Competition <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">P</span>aul Volpe </strong>found himself leading the way on the star-studded final table of WSOP Event #13 - $10k No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. He had the chips all right, but experience was not really on his side. Of seven remaining players, he was the only one not in possession of a gold WSOP bracelet. By the end of the night, that would change, as he managed to beat <strong>Daniel ‘KidPoker’ Negreanu</strong> in the heads-up confrontation to add a beautiful piece of poker jewelry to his collection.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But before he could claim the victory, Volpe had to outlive easily the most formidable final table of the series so far. The first of big names to leave the final seven was <strong>Abe Mosseri</strong>, who fell at the hands of <strong>Larry Wright</strong>, the 2012 WSOP $1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Mosseri’s exit, <strong>Jason Mercier</strong> started his climb to the chip lead, clearly showing he meant business. It was Mercier who eliminated <strong>John Monnette </strong>in 6<sup>th</sup> place. After Monnette three-bet shoved over Volpe’s raise, Mercier made the call and Volpe got out of the way. Both players liked their hands enough to stand pat, but when they turned them over, Monnette’s ninety-eight was no good as Jason had one better on him with his 9–7. That sent Monnette to the rail, pocketing $35,549.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Then Volpe claimed some more chips by eliminating Wright, who was nursing a short stack and was trying to make something happen. Wright earned $47,792 for his finish, but won’t be adding another 2-7 bracelet to his collection. Following him out the door was <strong>Brian Rast</strong>, a man who needs no introduction. His shove was called by Negreanu and although Rast had a made hand with Queen-Nine, Daniel was drawing to Ten-Six and got there after the draw. Rast left the floor earning $67,274.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This triggered three-handed play and Mercier was the one to catch as he had a substantial chip lead over the remaining two. However, despite the strong first half of the tournament, things started spiraling downwards for Jason from there on and eventually it was him nursing the shortest stack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mercier<strong> </strong>got the last of his chips in the middle against Volpe with a better hand, showing 8-7-4-2 while Volpe held 8-7-6-2. Both players drew one card, and both players got 4. The same card did not yield the same result, however, as it made Volpe’s hand while pairing Jason and he was all out of chips and exchanging his third place finish for $99,313,</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left Volpe and Negreanu to square off for the bracelet. Although Volpe held more than a 2:1 chip lead, Negreanu felt good about his chances as was clear from his tweets. It was more than just the bracelet hanging in the balance for Daniel, as winning here would also <strong><a href="">lock up his prop be</a></strong>t.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There was some back and forth, but Negreanu was not able to take the lead away from Volpe at any point. Eventually, KidPoker made the call against Volpe’s button shove and both players drew one card. Volpe made his Jack-Ten and it was up to Negreanu to see what the poker gods had in store for him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He took his time squeezing the card as the rail cheered him on, but it just wasn’t meant to be. When he revealed enough of his card to realize it was the paint, he turned it over and it was a queen, enough to give him Queen-Jack but not enough to beat Volpe’s hand. KidPoker will have to seek his opportunity for bracelet number seven and the bet-winner elsewhere, as he scored the runner-up finish and $156,674 in cash.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a big moment for Paul Volpe. He finally captured his first bracelet and to have done it in such a competition is only an added bonus. After some five hours of play, Event #13 crowned its winner and Volpe got his share of the prize pool as well - $253,524 in cold, hard cash. You can have one hell of a party to celebrate your first bracelet with that kind of money!</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 04:56:10 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2914 WSOP 2014: Gregory Kolo Seizes Bracelet in $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>lay stopped yesterday after ten levels ran out and eight players were still in with a fighting chance for a bracelet and the first place prize of nearly $170,000. And after a very short encounter for a WSOP final table, <strong>Gregory Kolo </strong>emerged victorious.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although it’s not something we see every day, it was Kolo who came into the final day of play as the chip leader and he managed to turn that lead into his first WSOP bracelet. The entire final table took about two hours to complete and it is definitely the fastest final table of the series so far.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave the final table was 2011 November Niner <strong>Phil Collins</strong>, who was actually eliminated yesterday in 9<sup>th</sup> place and received $12,610 for his efforts. Soon after that, play was stopped and the remaining eight continued the path to glory today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Next to go was <strong>Ryan Schoonbaert</strong>. He got his short stack in the middle behind <strong>Kazu Oshima</strong>’s hand and stayed behind all the way to the river. Schoonbaert picked up $16,384 for his 8<sup>th</sup> place finish. Soon to follow was <strong>Ahmed Amin</strong>, who ran his #kc#jh into the #ah#ks of <strong>David Martirosyan</strong> and couldn’t find any help on the board. He was sent to the rail with $21,565 in his pocket.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action was fast and furious and it was hard to keep track of all the eliminations. Only a couple of hands later, another player headed to the rail. A sixth place finish was reserved for <strong>Dan Goldman</strong>, who got his chips in ahead with his top pair against the flush draw of Oshima, but the river brought a third spade on the board, meaning Goldman’s time was up. He received $28,769 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Six hands later and another one bit the dust. This time it was <strong>Tom McCormick </strong>with no more time on his poker watch. He three-bet Oshima’s raise, putting his tournament life on the line. Oshima made the call with #js#9s and although it was a flip as McCormick held pocket Treys, Oshima flopped a pair of Jacks and a flush draw and by the river he improved to a flush, resulting in 5<sup>th</sup> place for Tom McCormick and $38,898.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With four players left, it took a little bit for the next one to go out, but it wasn’t a long wait either considering it took a total of two hours to reach the winner. After a bit of back and forth, it was Martirosyan<strong> </strong>who took his leave in 4<sup>th</sup> place. He got the last of his chips in the middle against Oshima, who flopped two pair and sent Martirosyan to the rail moments later with $53,328 for his performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The three remaining players headed off for a short break and just a couple hands after they returned, they were heads-up. <strong>Dean Bui </strong>shoved over the three-bet of Kolo and Kolo made the call. Bui’s pocket Tens were comfortably ahead of Kolo’s #ah#8s, but the deck wasn’t kind to Bui as Gregory turned the straight to send him to the rail with a third place finish and a $74,134 reward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Only two players were now left to battle it out and true to form, the heads-up battle only lasted six hands. Kolo and Oshima<strong> </strong>saw the flop of #2h#jh#3s. Oshima check-raised Kolo’s bet and Kolo made the call. He proceeded to call Oshima’s bet on the #10d turn and his all-in on the #4s river. After he made the final call, Oshima slammed his cards face down on the table as Kolo showed #jc#3s for a flopped two pair. Oshima only had Queen-high for a total airball and his tournament was over just like that. The runner-up finish secured him $104,513.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once the river was dealt and the cards were on their backs, 37-year-old Gregory Kolo<strong> </strong>from Ohio secured his first WSOP bracelet. This was also his first WSOP cash, although he has had a decent amount of success on the WSOP Circuit. Apart from the bracelet, tonight’s victory secured him a very nice cash prize of $169,225, which will certainly be a great contribution to his poker bankroll and career!</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 02:36:33 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2913 PokerStars, Morongo Oppose California Tribal Online Poker Bill <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he partnership between the Morongo tribe, PokerStars and three state card rooms have jointly issued a response to the proposed online poker legislation of a tribal coalition 13 members strong, vehemently opposing the bad actor language contained within the bill.</p> <p>Calling the latest proposal a <em>"blatant attempt to provide certain interests with an unfair competitive advantage by arbitrarily locking out trusted iPoker brands,"</em> the coalition made up of <strong>PokerStars</strong>, the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong>, the <strong>Bicycle Casino</strong>, <strong>Hawaiian Gardens Casino</strong> and <strong>Commerce Club</strong> card rooms, will continue to make good on a vow first stated roughly five weeks ago to <em>"vigorously oppose"</em> any online poker legislation in <strong>California</strong> that excludes PokerStars.</p> <p>The 13-tribe coalition sent a draft bill to lawmakers earlier this week in a show of unity that provided encouragement to those who have watched the tribes fail to agree on the online gambling issue for a number of years. But those encouraging signs were perhaps equally disheartening when the draft proposal kept a hard line on the bad actor issue by refusing to compromise with regard to allowing gaming companies to participate who serviced the U.S. market after Dec. 31, 2006.</p> <p><blockquote>Make no mistake, we believe strongly that all licensees and operators should meet the highest standards of accountability and suitability," stated the Morongo-PokerStars-cardrooms press release." We believe the job of determining suitability should be left with the existing regulators."</blockquote></p> <p>The PokerStars and Morongo faction insists that the tribal coalition is in violation of both California and U.S. constitutions with its anti-competitive stance that aims to ban <em>"companies that have never admitted or been convicted of wrongdoing, are duly licensed in jurisdictions around the world, and have set the gold standard in the online poker industry for game and financial integrity and player satisfaction."</em></p> <p>The <strong>Rational Group</strong>, parent company of PokerStars and <strong>Full Tilt</strong>, does possess more online gambling licenses internationally than any other gaming company. In settlement negotiations with the <strong>DoJ</strong> in 2012 in which the assets of Full Tilt were acquired, Rational admitted no wrongdoing and was granted permission to apply for licensure in U.S. markets as would any other company.</p> <p>It appears as though this fight will go on and any hopes of online poker legislation finding approval in California during the current legislative session set to expire in August will not be realized. With revenue estimates suggesting online poker to be nearly a billion dollar industry in the Golden State in a handful of years, one would expect the matter to be resolved eventually. But now is apparently not the time.</p> <p>Many had envisioned that other states would quickly follow suit in enacting Internet gambling regulations after <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> did so last year. A regulated U.S. online poker boom of sorts.</p> <p>There seems to be no <em>"boom"</em> on the horizon, just a slow and tedious state-by-state advancement of regulations that will take years to spread. Each state must go through its own legislative process and some, like California, are more contentious than others with regard to bickering as to who may or may not participate.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:17:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2912 Nevada Governor Not Going All-in on Election Betting <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile England permits wagering on presidential elections, <strong>Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval</strong> is not keen on the idea and has announced his intention not to support a lawmaker's proposal to allow it.</p> <p><strong>Sen. Tick Segerblom</strong> (D-Las Vegas) is championing a bill that would legalize election betting, but has been met with resistance from Sandoval. The governor admits his views are more <em>"traditionalist"</em> in nature and he would not be open to expanding wagering to include the political arena that would be the first of its kind in the U.S.</p> <p><blockquote class="right">The state has done fine on sports and horse race betting and other events,” Sandoval told the Las Vegas Sun. "Unless I’m convinced otherwise, it is not something I would support."</blockquote></p> <p>Segerblom stated that allowing election betting would shine a spotlight on Nevada throughout the country, perhaps drawing some needed attention and interest. A similar proposal introduced by the Las Vegas legislator last year found 2/3 majority approval in the Senate, but the measure landed in the muck without being voted upon by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:22:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2911 WSOP 2014: Daniel Negreanu Aiming to Win Bracelet and Prop Bet in Event #13 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">S</span>ome will say it was a really small field. And that point cannot be argued as only 87 players registered to play in the $10k No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event. But on the other hand, does it really matter when among those 87 are names like <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>, <strong>Brian Rast</strong>, <strong>Abe Mosseri</strong>, <strong>Barry Greenstein</strong>, and <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a truly star-studded field and now it has withered down to seven final players who will be starting play shortly. One of those seven is <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, who is not only chasing a bracelet, but is also aiming to win a <strong>bracelet bet</strong>. He will be in a good position to do so, as he is starting tonight third in chips with a stack of 426,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It will be no easy task, however, as the competition he will be facing is really tough. The chip leader to start the final table is <strong>Paul Volpe</strong> and he is the only one without a WSOP title to his name. Volpe had some problems with his stack when the field was down to 12 players, but after tweeting about needing some luck coming his way, things really started working out for him. He built up his stack to 783,000 and has a decent advantage over second place Jason Mercier<strong>.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mercier is another name that needs no introduction and another big obstacle Negreanu would have to overcome if he is to win his bet tonight. He returns with 469,000 in chips after a tough night at the tables. Jason was vocal about his frustration when 12-handed play lasted for two full levels without a single elimination, but managed to avoid tilting and is coming back strong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sitting behind Negreanu in terms of chips is Rast<strong> </strong>with the stack of 398,000. Rast is the holder of two WSOP bracelets, one of them from the $50k Championship in 2011, and is also famous for his appearance on the final table of the Big One for One Drop tournament where he finished in sixth place. Without a doubt, he is a force to be reckoned with and he will not give up without one hell of a fight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other three places at this seven-handed final table are occupied by <strong>Larry Wright </strong>(203,000), <strong>John Monnette </strong>(169,000) and Abe Mosseri (162,000). Even if 2-7 is not really your game, this is a final table that everyone will enjoy watching for the lineup alone.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And those who took part in the bet will be biting their nails with every elimination. This is the closest ‘KidPoker’ has come to winning a bracelet during this year’s series, and should he win, it will be really interesting to see and hear his follow-up interview. All will be revealed in a couple of hours either way and tonight is going to be a very exciting night on the green felts of Rio. </p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 19:05:24 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2910 Justin Bonomo Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Event #11 <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>ay 3 of Event #11, a Six-Max NLHE tournament, started with ten players, and as the stacks were quite deep overall, it could be expected that this one would take a while to reach the winner. The poker gods would, however, once again show us that there are really no rules or expectations, as anything can happen once those cards are in the air.</p> <p>The very first hand of today’s play announced the way it was going to be. The first hand brought the first casualty of the tournament, as <strong>Frank Debus</strong> decided to 3-bet jam his #jc#7c and got called by <strong>Mike Sowers</strong>' pocket Eights. Sowers' hand held up to send Debus to the rail and then in quick succession, three more players were eliminated and the final table was formed. It took probably under half an hour for this to happen.</p> <p>Sowers came in to the final table as the chip leader, but he quickly relinquished that honor to <strong>Daniel Strelitz</strong>, whose #ah#ks eliminated <strong>Taylor Paur </strong>and his #qd#qc. Paur was looking good until the river brought #kc to send him to the rail, with $55,703 for his efforts.</p> <p>The next elimination came quickly and once again it was Sowers who took over the lead. He got in a confrontation against <strong>Niel Mittelman </strong>and check-raised him all in on the board reading #4s#7h#5h. Mittelman made the quick call with #qs#qh and Sowers’ #9d#9c was in serious trouble. The situation only got worse after #ah hit the turn, as there was only one out Sowers could hit to win. Despite long odds, the dealer somehow found #9s on the river to send Mittelman to the rail in a very ugly spot, with $80,341 to comfort him.</p> <p>Next to go was <strong>Lance Harris</strong>, who was getting short stacked, and once again Sowers played the role of executioner, sending him out in 4<sup>th</sup> place with $119,977 for his efforts. His good run continued as he soon eliminated Daniel Strelitz in a cooler hand where Strelitz’s pocket Queens were no match for Sowers’ pocket Aces. To make things even worse, he flopped Aces full of Kings to have Strelitz drawing virtually dead and the reward of $180,587 for a third place finish would have to suffice.</p> <p>There was just one player who stood between Sowers and the bracelet. It was <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>, who was really quiet during the whole two and a half hours of crazy action. He found himself playing heads up for the title after his opponent did most of the dirty work.</p> <p>Due to this fact, Bonomo started with quite a big chip deficit. This did not deter him, however, as he started to slowly close the gap until he finally managed to overcome it completely and seize the lead. After this, he started dominating and managed to get Sowers down to just 25,000 in chips, which was around one big blind. It was a cooler/suckout type of situation where he managed to river a wheel against Sowers’ two pair, but it is all poker as we know and love.</p> <p>Sowers was not ready to give up just yet and he pulled off a few double ups that enabled him to gain some momentum and almost get back into the match. Only Bonomo wouldn’t have it and the final hand came in short order. Bonomo flopped the flush with #10h#3h and was up against the #qh#10c of Sowers. Sowers would need another heart if he was going to win this hand and double up again, but it wasn’t meant to be as the turn and river were blanks and Sowers finished in second position, claiming $278,518.</p> <p>Bonomo<strong> </strong>could now start celebrating, as it was all over. He captured his very first gold bracelet together with $449,980 in prize money and his reaction on Twitter was interesting, but a little too intense to share here. Another day in the office for Bonomo for sure, but the first one in his career that finished with a gold bracelet on his wrist!</p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 03:55:30 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2909 California Indian Tribes Introduce Online Poker Bill <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s expected, a coalition of Indian tribes in <strong>California</strong> have released a new online poker bill, sending the proposal to state lawmakers who had previously introduced bills of their own.</p> <p><strong>Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer</strong> and <strong>Sen. Lou Correa</strong> were in receipt of <em>“The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2014"</em> as drafted by a coalition of 13 tribes led by the <strong>San Manuel Band of Mission Indians</strong> and the <strong>Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians</strong>, the L.A. Times reported. While the tribes have seemingly come together after years of failing to see eye-to-eye on the issue of online gambling, the newly-drafted proposal does not sit well with one particular tribal concern - the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong>.</p> <p>The measure includes bad actor language designed to keep <strong>PokerStars</strong> out. As many are aware, PokerStars, the Morongo tribe, and the <strong>Bicycle Casino</strong>, <strong>Commerce Club</strong> and <strong>Hawaiian Gardens</strong> card rooms have formed an alliance and aim to be included in the Golden State's online poker scheme.</p> <p>Industry scuttlebutt surfaced two weeks ago indicating that the bad actor issue would be addressed in the new proposal in such a way as to eventually allow PokerStars in. But the tribal bill as proposed fails to do so, except perhaps allowing alleged bad actors to appeal such a designation.</p> <p><blockquote>Efforts by a select few interests to rewrite longstanding and effective policy in order to gain a competitive market advantage or to lock out specific companies is not in the best interests of consumers or the state and will be vigorously opposed by our coalition, online poker players and many others,” stated the Morongo, PokerStars and card room coalition about five weeks ago when tribes first began uniting in an effort to keep PokerStars on the rail.</blockquote></p> <p>Opposition is also expected to come from the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> (CSIG). The organization founded by<strong> Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson</strong> is likely overjoyed that the coalitions fronted by the Morongo and Pechanga tribes may be digging in for a battle, but don't expect CSIG to watch the fireworks without sending up a few smoke signals of their own against legislation.</p> <p>In addition to excluding gaming companies who operated in the U.S. after Dec. 31, 2006, the new proposal also affords no license opportunities to racetracks. Each licensee would be permitted two poker sites after paying a $5 million fee that is good for 10 years and renewable.</p> <p>The tribal-backed measure is intrastate only, calls for a 5% tax rate, strict player verification guidelines, problem gambling safeguards that include help to those who fall victim to addiction, and makes it illegal to patronize unregulated poker sites. All potential operators would launch at the same time, preventing possible early birds from effectuating a first to market advantage.</p> <p>Following an online poker hearing in California in late April that saw 33 witnesses testify and was generally deemed as positive overall, many had optimistically believed that online poker legislation might be pushed through during this legislative session that runs through August. But it now appears that progress will continue to be stymied despite a large number of tribes landing on the same page.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:48:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2908 Three-peat: Brock Parker Wins Limit Omaha Hi-Low Championship <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>or <strong>Brock Parker</strong>, it’s 2009 all over again. Five years ago, Parker took the World Series of Poker by storm by winning two gold bracelets in one week. This year, he already has two final tables and one magical bracelet, the third of his tournament career.</p> <p>The Maryland-based pro came up on top this morning as the last man standing in Event #10: $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better.</p> <p>As opposed to his heads-up opponent – Brit <strong>Richard Ashby</strong> – Parker isn’t known for his non-Hold’Em skills. In fact, he is a respected Hold’Em player with most of his WSOP cashes coming from a wide range of LHE/NLHE tournaments. He cashed in non-Hold’Em tournaments just five times prior to 2014.</p> <p>This year, however, he decided to change gears and concentrate on the underrated events. So far, so good, as he finished fifth in <a href="" target="_blank">the Seven Card Razz epic showdown</a> and brought the house down in the latest Omaha Hi-Low Championship.</p> <p>Parker started the final day severely shortstacked with under four big bets left, moving up the chip ladder after a key pot played against<strong> Dan Kelly</strong>. And with most of the bracelet winners gone before the final table, including <strong>Perry Friedman</strong>, <strong>Jeff Lisandro</strong>, and <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>, Parker seemed to have a clear path to the championship.</p> <p>Nevertheless, he still had one final opponent to take down before he could name himself champion: Richard Ashby. The Brit is a mixed-game specialist and has one Seven Card Stud bracelet. He knows how to make his way around these types of structures.</p> <p>Ashby eliminated four players at the final table, including two ladies – <strong>Shirley Rosario</strong>, and <strong>Melissa Burr</strong> – who have the honor of standing beside <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong> as the only female players to reach a 2014 WSOP final table so far.</p> <p>The heads-up round turned out to be much more difficult than expected. Ashby started behind but managed to move in front before Parker caught fire. Parker eventually secured his win by flopping a straight and cracking Ashby’s aces.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li>Brock Parker - $443,407</li> <li>Richard Ashby - $274,019</li> <li>Ofir Mor - $198,058</li> <li>Shirley Rosario - $146,522</li> <li>Viatcheslav Ortynskiy - $110,113</li> <li>Jason McPherson - $84,195</li> <li>Steve Lustig - $65,472</li> <li>Melissa Burr - $51,768</li> <li>Dan Kelly - $41,595</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Brock Parker on winning his third gold bracelet. He is also the early leader in the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race. Can he keep it up?</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:11:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2907 Let’s Go Buffalo! Jonathan Dimmig Wins Millionaire Maker <p>After the last hand of the special World Series of Poker Event #8: Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’Em, a loud cheer was heard throughout the room: <em>LET’S GO BUFFALO!</em></p> <p><em>"I played hockey all my life and, as everyone knows, I’m from Buffalo. The Sabres have never won a championship, the Bills have never won a championship…"</em> the newest WSOP millionaire, <strong>Jonathan Dimmig</strong>, explained to</p> <p>And what two well-known sports franchises couldn’t, a New York native poker player could. He made Buffalo proud by winning his own version of a championship for his favorite city. But unlike the NHL or NFL, he did not need months of specialized physical training and not even a puck or a football. Dimmig only needed four days including a never-ending 12-hour final table, two hole cards, and some very friendly community cards.</p> <p>He did prepare heavily for this moment, though. According to him, he quit his full-time job one and half years ago to play poker, even if that meant just part-time. He also spends his time writing a novel that could very well have a happy ending...just like his journey.</p> <p>Dimmig started the Millionaire Maker event thinking only about a min-cash:</p> <p><blockquote>My goal on the first day was just to make it through the day. I’d played the Main Event here all the last three years and never even cashed in that. So coming in, my goal was really to just get the money off my back and just cash. That’s really what I wanted to do."</blockquote></p> <p>His plan, however, changed immediately after he reached the final table. He had the sixth biggest stack of the final nine:</p> <p><blockquote>I noticed some of the guys were just trying to get up the money ladder, and I don’t think like that. This is a life-changing event. I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say ‘what if?’ This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you got to go for it."</blockquote></p> <p>The Buffalo native was on a real rollercoaster, starting up very aggressive and stealing as much as he could. He first doubled his stack on hand #22, check-raising the flop and moving all in on the turn with two pairs plus a flush draw. He also eliminated <strong>Andrew Dick</strong> in eighth place by calling with #ad#10d. Dick had only #kd#8h and bricked on all three streets.</p> <p>After that, he went on to battle <a href="" target="_blank">Day 3 chip leader <strong>Stephen Graner</strong></a>. In his last hand of the tourney, Graner rivered a straight on a #10s#7h#4d#6s#3c board and had a decision to make for his tournament life. Eventually, the former chip leader called, only to see his opponent holding a bigger straight. Graner finished the event in sixth place.</p> <p>Going forward, Dimmig suffered several blows and had to make some tough decisions. He moved all-in with #kd#8d and was in very bad shape against <strong>Bradley Anderson</strong>’s #as#kh. Nevertheless, our hero spiked an eight and doubled up. He did the same thing later going for his tournament life with #kh#7d and getting called by <strong>James Duke</strong>, who held #ad#jd.</p> <p>The run-good continued and Dimmig doubled-up once more after a flip to eventually eliminate Duke in third place and prepare his celebration.</p> <p>The heads-up play lasted only five hands with the future winner going all-in on a monotone board and taking no chances on a paired flop.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li>Jonathan Dimmig - $1,319,587</li> <li>Jeff Coburn - $815,963</li> <li>James Duke - $614,368</li> <li>Andrew Teng - $465,972</li> <li>Bradley Anderson - $355,913</li> <li>Stephen Graner - $273,854</li> <li>Jason Johnson - $211,394</li> <li>Andrew Dick - $164,118</li> <li>Maurice Hawkins - $128,150</li> </ol><p>Congratulation to Jonathan Dimmig on becoming a poker millionaire. He is just the second winner of this annual WSOP event; last year <strong>Benny Chen</strong> topped a field of 6,343 to win a whooping $1,199,104.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2906 Partying in Las Vegas: Jeff Smith Takes Down WSOP Event #9 Bracelet <p><span class="letter-big">L</span>ike any good Hollywood script, it all starts with a party. California-based web developer<strong> Jeff Smith</strong> arrived in Vegas last weekend first and foremost to have fun. He attended a bachelor party with his buddies, but missed the Millionaire Maker event before deciding to take a shot in another World Series of Poker tournament: Event #9 - $1,000 No Limit Hold’Em.</p> <p>It was the best decision of his life as he was the last man standing after three days of poker action and 1,1939 eliminations. He also became the first amateur to win a WSOP open event in 2014.</p> <p>Smith’s final run started yesterday night with the final 12 gathering for one final round. The elimination frenzy began right away and in a matter of just two hours, eight players hit the road. Poker pro <strong>Vinny Pahuja</strong> was the first to leave the poker felt, running into the deadly Nevada cowboys - #ks#kc.</p> <p><strong>Dylan Linde</strong> and Romanian <strong>Cornel Medes</strong> followed him, setting the stage for the official nine-handed final table.</p> <p>The nine-handed play transformed into an eight-handed deal in two hands. <strong>Jorge Vergara</strong> was the unlucky number nine eliminated after a classic pair vs. overpair preflop battle. Eight hands later, another man was down. <strong>David Inselberg</strong> check-raised all-in on the #10d#7d#9s flop with #8c#8s and was called by <strong>Frank Patti</strong>, who had only Ace high - #as#ks. The #ah turn, however, turned the percentages upside down and with the river bricking, Inselberg had to pack his things and leave the bright spotlights.</p> <p>The fast pace continued with <strong>Brad Libson</strong> and <strong>Chris Hunichen</strong> hitting the rail after hand #12 and hand #22, respectively, of the official final table.</p> <p>And with the big prize of $323,125 in sight, the five players left slowed down, risking their tournament lives with only strong hands. <strong>Chris Haugo</strong> chose to play that way but his #ah#kc couldn’t catch anything in a race against <strong>Danny Nguyen</strong>’s #10c#10h. The same can be said about <strong>John Fontana</strong>, who shoved in the small blind with #9c#9d; unfortunately for him, the initial raiser, Jeff Smith, had #js#jc.</p> <p>Patti was looser and tried to steal a pot with both Nguyen and Smith involved. He shoved his #ad#4s hand and was called by Nguyen, who had #kc#qc. On the flop, Patti’s opponent spiked a king that would eventually set up heads-up play.</p> <p>The round between Smith and Nguyen was a true three-hour grind for both players with many ups and downs and chip lead changes. But as opposed to most tournaments, it was not a particular hand that decided the winner; actually it was a dinner break.</p> <p>Before the break, Smith made an aggressive four-bet shove with #3c#3s with his big stack, only to get called by a big pair - #jd#jc.</p> <p><blockquote>Losing that hand right before the break…I kind of just cooled off. I never really get that heated when I play poker, but I had time to cool off and had some time to think about it. I came back with a little different mindset," the future winner told</blockquote></p> <p>After that break everything went Smith’s way as Nguyen would later acknowledge. <em>“Man, you’re catching cards since dinner,”</em> Nguyen said at one point. He was right as several hands later, he was eliminated in second place.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li>Jeff Smith - $323,125</li> <li>Danny Nguyen - $199,829</li> <li>Frank Patti - $138,160</li> <li>John Fontana - $99,644</li> <li>Chris Huago - $72,843</li> <li>Chris Hunichen - $53,951</li> <li>Brad Libson - $40,489</li> <li>David Inselberg - $30,781</li> <li>Jorge Vergara - $23,693</li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Jeff Smith on winning his first WSOP gold bracelet. He has big plans with his big prize, saying that he is seriously considering a dream trip to Hawaii. That means more partying for the 26-year-old web developer.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 08:21:29 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2905 Caio Hey Wins the Biggest Ever LAPT Stop in Brazil <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">M</span>oments ago, the Main Event of the biggest stop in the history of LAPT concluded. The proud winner, who gets to take home the trophy and the reward of R$ 680,000, is Brazilian <strong>Caio Hey</strong>. Hey was overwhelmed with emotion after the last hand was dealt and it was the runner-up himself, <strong>Victor Sbrissa</strong>, who shared his feelings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with eight players taking their seats with Sbrissa coming in with a decisive chip lead. Sbrissa was looking to capture a second title in his home town, but it wasn’t to be this time despite the huge pile of chips he had in front of him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave the final table was <strong>Gustavo Vascao</strong>, whose pocket Deuces proved no match for the pocket Treys of <strong>Joaquin Ruiz</strong>. The early exit was good for R$ 75,530. The pot gave Ruiz a temporary chip lead, but that honor was soon reclaimed by Vascao after he eliminated one of two remaining Argentinians, <strong>Juan Pablo Franco</strong>. Franco will leave Brazil with R$ 105,000 in his pocket.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day was not going all that well for <strong>Andre Cuco</strong>, who lost a lot of his chips earlier and now moved in with #qh#jc. Sbrissa made the call with #ad#8s and hit an ace on the flop to catch a decisive lead. Cuco received R$140,000 for his 6<sup>th</sup> place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The tournament structure was quite fast and with five players remaining, everyone was short or right there on the margin. Next to fall was <strong>Angel Guillen, </strong>who was all too happy to call off his stack with pocket Queens. It was a good call, naturally, as Hey turned over pocket Fives, but fate favored Hey as he managed to river a straight to send Guillen to the rail, R$ 190,000 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Alex Sako</strong>, who proved to be a true survivor at the final table, finally ran out of extra lives. His #js#10c couldn’t outrun Sbrissa’s #As#7h and it was his time to visit the rail, with the guarantee of a R$ 250,000 payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The remaining three players then stopped the clock to negotiate the numbers. They came to an agreement that awarded Hey R$ 520,000, Sbrissa got R$ 510,000, while Ruiz secured R$ 410,000. The remaining R$ 160,000 was left in play for the winner to take. After play resumed, the three-handed game lasted for some time, until eventually the last non-Brazilian player, Argentinean <strong>Joaquin Ruiz</strong>, got involved in a big hand against Sbrissa. Sbrissa shoved from the small blind holding #jh#8s and Ruiz made the call with #kh#7h. The board came down #kc#8c#9h and things were looking bad for Sbrissa. However, the turn brought another eight, #8d, and when the board completed with #9s, Ruiz was left very short and was eliminated only two hands later.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The heads-up match was set between Hey and Sbrissa and it lasted a whole five minutes. Sbrissa moved all in from the small blind with #6h#6s and Hey made the call with #kd#9c. Hey had Victor covered and when the flop came #kc#jd#7d, things started looking bleak for Sbrissa. The turn was no better, as it was #9d, leaving him only one out to catch. The river bricked in the form of #4d, actually giving Hey a flush and it was game over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hey<strong> </strong>won the title of the biggest LAPT in the history of the tour and banked R$ 680,000 in total, while Sbrissa just missed his second title in Brazil, but still walked away with a decent consolation prize of R$ 510,000!</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 06:29:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2904 Martin Meciar Crushes Opposition To Win Eureka Rozvadov Main Event <p><span class="letter-big">H</span>e never looked back. <a href="" target="_blank">After securing the chip lead in the very last hand of Day 3</a>, online MTT regular <strong>Martin </strong>“kingroler” <strong>Meciar </strong>was in complete control throughout the whole final day, testing his opponents and taking advantage of every mistake they made.</p> <p>Just like in an online tournament, the Slovakian used his aggressive image to grab stack after stack until every chip was in his possession. And he started bullying the opposition right off the bat by four-betting all-in in the first hand of the official final table. German semi-pro <strong>Sascha Ranzinger</strong> did the same move the next hand, setting a pace that can prove rather dangerous for inexperienced players.</p> <p>The first to fall, however, was not an amateur. <strong>Dawid Myseiewicz</strong> is a specialized online MTT player just like Meciar and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shove his last 11 big blinds with #ah#kh. Ranzinger called him with #qc#qs and managed to win the race.</p> <p>Former EPT winner <strong>Michael Eiler</strong> followed him to the rail in seventh place after three-betting with #ad#jc. Again Ranzinger had the goodies, dominating Eiler’s hand with #ah#kh.</p> <p>Six minutes later, <a href="" target="_blank">Day 2 huge chip leader <strong>Bert Geens</strong></a> was out in an attempt to make a move against the big stack bully. When Meciar min-raised from late position, Geens shoved his stack with #qc#10c but soon realized that he picked a terrible spot to re-steal light. Meciar had #as#ah that improved even more on the #10s#4d#ac flop; by the turn the Belgian was drawing dead.</p> <p>Amateur <strong>Christian Jambor</strong> was next to fall in fifth place. He was the victim of a bad beat after going all-in with #ac#qc and being called by Ranzinger who held #ah#3s. Unfortunately for Jambor, the poker gods favored the more experienced player and gave him a straight on the river.</p> <p>But what comes around, goes around, especially if you force the action. That was the case for Ranzinger who three-bet Meciar and five-bet shove over his small four-bet with #jh#10d. The Slovakian snap-called with #kh#kd, adding even more power to his already dominating stack.</p> <p>Three-handed, Meciar made once again a good move by calling a limp/re-raise and then not giving up postflop with second pair against <strong>Michael-David Passy</strong>’s two barrels. Nevertheless, Passy did have the presence of mind to check the river and live to fight another hand.</p> <p>And the poker gods rewarded his patience twice. First by sending <strong>Beatrix Wolfsberger </strong>to the rail in third place. The 46-year-old Austrian moved all-in with #jc#9c and was called by the Dominator Meciar who had #ac#10h. The board secured Wolfsberger a cash prize of €42,300 – a huge result for the only lady at the final table who qualified for this event via a €27 satellite.</p> <p>Heads-up, Passy also received a €6,000 bonus as the two agreed to split the prize pool more evenly: €77,600 for Meciar, €65,000 for Passy, plus €10,000 left to play for. The initial payout for second place was €59,000.</p> <p>And with the money already sealed, the two players wasted no time and got it all-in in the third hand of heads-up play. Passy shoved his remaining stack with #8h#5h while Meciar immediately called with #qh#qc, putting an end to the Eureka Rozvadov poker festival.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 22:56:14 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2903 LAPT Brazil: Victor Sbrissa Leads the Way to Final Table <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter four days and nearly 30 levels of play, the Main Event of LAPT Brazil has finally created the final nine players who will be competing for the title tonight. A total of 71 players returned yesterday and they all knew that there was no more room for calculations, as 63 of them would have to be eliminated. It was down to cards and to who wanted to get there more.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many would fall on their way to the final nine, like the Red Spade <strong>Caio Pessagno</strong>, who made a deep run but his luck eventually ran out as he was sent to the rail in 26<sup>th</sup>. It was a pot in which Pessagno decided to three-bet preflop from the small blind and received a call from <strong>Andre Cuco</strong>. After the flop came #qs#jc#8s, Pessagno opted for an unusual line and checked. Andre then took the initiative and bet out, only to be met with an all-in raise from Pessagno. Cuco made a quick call, holding top two pair with #qd#js and he was well ahead of Caio’s #ac#qh. The board then ran #6s#3d and it was all she wrote for the Team Online player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pessagno’s colleague, however, had a much better day. <strong>Angel Guillen </strong>lost a big pot when his Aces got cracked by pocket Fives, but he wouldn’t stay down for long. Perhaps the most important pot of the tournament for him came when he made a call for his tournament life with only a pair of fours with the board reading #10c#7d#3d#4d#jd. <strong>Joao Simao</strong> was on a stone-cold bluff and fours were good to rake in nearly 1.7 million in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The last elimination before the official final table was formed was that of <strong>Pedro Soares</strong>. Players were on the final table bubble for about one hour before the critical hand took place. Soares three-bet shoved from the small blind after looking down to find two red Kings. He received a call from <strong>Joaquin Matias Ruiz</strong> with #ad#10s and although Soares was looking good to double up, the Argentinean found an Ace on the flop to send him packing in 9<sup>th</sup> place and the official final table was known.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The man with the most to hope for is <strong>Victor Sbrissa</strong> as he will be starting today with a big chip advantage. The Brazilian will be returning with a stack of 9.3 million and his closest competitor is<strong> </strong>Ruiz,<strong>  </strong>who bagged 5.4 million chips. Third spot belongs to Mexico as Guillen is coming back with 3,790,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fourth spot belongs to yet another Brazilian, <strong>Caio Hey</strong>, with 2.7 million. Hot on his heels is Portuguese player Andre Cuco, who ended the day with the stack of 2,490,000. Hailing from Argentina, <strong>Juan Pablo Franco </strong>has 1,840,000 to start the day. The final two spots belong to Brazilians, <strong>Gustav Lopes Vasco </strong>with 1.7 million and the short stack to start the final table, <strong>Alex Sako</strong>, nursing 1,480,000 in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of these eight will be crowned a champion tonight, taking home first place prize money of R$ 800,000. The first to bust today will still pocket R$ 75,530 – a decent return on investment. But coming anything short of first place is always disappointing in tournaments and especially so after making the final table, so it is the top spot all of these players will be aiming for. Unfortunately, that spot can only hold one player. Who will it be? </p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:08:09 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2902 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - June 3, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith the weather warming up now that June has arrived, action on the online poker cash tables cooled off and ended up 2% less than the previous week.</p> <p>Another factor likely contributing to the decline was the conclusion of a milestone hand promotion at <strong>PokerStars</strong>. The industry leader continues to sit on its perch well above all other online poker rooms even though its seven-day average has fallen to an even 20,000 ring game players.</p> <p>While PokerStars' player numbers tilted slightly downward, money in the pockets of former U.S. <strong>Full Tilt</strong> players will again be heading upward as another $15 million is set to be paid out in the remission process by the middle of June. It's likely that some of that cash will go toward buy-ins at the <strong>45th annual WSOP</strong> currently underway in <strong>Las Vegas</strong>.</p> <p>The influx of pro players in <strong>Nevada</strong> resulted in <strong></strong> gaining 9% more cash game action last week. <strong>PokerScout</strong> pointed out that although 9% may seem like a lot, it actually equals 10 additional players as the average <em>"swelled"</em> from 110 to 120 players while the pros are in town. At last glance, those player numbers continue to rise even further as the latest update shows a gain to 130 players in a seven-day average.</p> <p>Nevada's other poker site, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong>, coincidentally lost 9% of ring game traffic and now averages just 50 players. The first-to-market advantage that UP enjoyed for a few months after launching has diminished due to the strong brand recognition of WSOP.</p> <p>Elsewhere in U.S. online poker traffic news, <strong>Bovada</strong> announced last week that it will no longer accept new signups in <strong>New Jersey</strong>, but will allow those in the Garden State who already have an established account to continue playing. <strong>Bodog</strong>/Bovada slipped to eighth place in the worldwide market, but it's unlikely that the new policy in New Jersey is the reason.</p> <p>While Bodog lost a notch and a half after being in a tie for sixth place last week, <strong></strong> moved up to seventh. Also gaining a position were <strong>Winamax</strong> and <strong></strong>, who now claim the ninth and tenth spots, respectively. The Georgia-based <strong>Adjarabet</strong> got booted out of the top ten as a result.</p> <p>Continuing a rapid decline that began nine weeks ago is the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong> in New Jersey. The decrease coincides with the conclusion of an 80% rakeback promotion. Perhaps a new promo is in order for AAPN considering that the dwindling player numbers show no signs of reversing.</p> <p><strong>Delaware</strong> reported a loss in online poker revenue in April when compared to March numbers. A 12% decrease points toward the need for the interstate compact with Nevada to launch sooner rather than later. However, in terms of online gambling revenue, Delaware enjoyed its fifth consecutive monthly increase and is the only regime among the trio of regulated states that has consistently reported monthly revenue gains since launching.</p> <p>The global online poker market is 8% less than early June in 2013. But hope may be on the way as <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> is holding an online gambling hearing today and an Internet poker bill is likely to be introduced in the Keystone State later this month. Also, a coalition of <strong>California</strong> tribes are expected to release their preferred online poker bill sometime this week.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 18:12:08 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2901 WSOP Daily Report: Millionaire Maker Ready For The Big Showdown <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he World Series of Poker version of the TV show “Who wants to be a millionaire” is finally ready for the grand finale. And who could have guessed that, in order to take down the big prize, the winner would have to survive a huge field consisting of 7,977 entries?</p> <p>The organizers certainly didn’t anticipate that, tagging Event #8: Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’Em as a regular three-day event. But the heavy action showed them that this tournament is not an ordinary one and it would actually need four days for the champion to arise.</p> <p>So far, after three long days, nine grinders remain, most of them being low stakes players with a once in a lifetime opportunity to win a seven-figure prize. Chip leader <strong>Stephen Graner</strong> (photo) is one of them; according to Hendon Mob Poker DB, Graner’s biggest cash of his career has actually five-digits ($65,840) and was taken down this February in a $1,600 NLHE event in Las Vegas. Throughout his poker career, Graner cashed in over $340,000 and now he is ready to boost his bankroll with at least a six-figure prize.</p> <p>Second stack <strong>James Duke</strong> is even more excited as he has won only $29,000 in his entire live tournament career. The same can be said about <strong>Andrew Dick</strong>,<strong> Bradley Anderson</strong>, <strong>Jonathan Dimmig</strong>,<strong> Jeffrey Coburn</strong>, and <strong>Jason Johnson</strong>. They all have reached an entirely new level, far from what they have typically been accustomed to prior to this event.</p> <p><strong>Maurice Hawkins</strong> is the only final table participant who has passed the one-million-dollar mark in tournament earnings and will definitely want to double up that number. Brit <strong>Andrew Teng</strong> is the other name worth mentioning with over $700,000 in live earnings.</p> <p>But those nine are not the only ones who look for a life-changing cash. Another low stakes tourney - Event #9: $1,000 NLHE - is ready to conclude later today with <strong>Frank Patti</strong> having the most chips out of the remaining 12-player field. Patti has already min-cashed in the $1,500 NLHE Shootout, but this time he has his eyes set on a gold bracelet plus a hefty $323,125 prize.</p> <p><strong>Jorge Vergara</strong> will follow him closely although he is very much a rookie in terms of live poker results. He has only two cashes so far in his career, one of them in last year’s Millionaire Maker event.</p> <p>And if the two WSOP tournaments weren’t enough, yet another $1,500 NLHE kicked off yesterday in the Sin City. This time, however, we are talking about a six-handed event with lots of online players ready to pick up their aggression and build up massive stacks.</p> <p>As expected, the pace was furious in Day 1 with no less than 1,453 coming in and out of the tourney. The play will resume today with 134 having already secured a min-cash.</p> <p>But do not go yet. Yes, the low-stakes players are a big part of the poker community, but what about the high rollers? If you are wondering where they went, we have the answer for you: they are currently enjoying the swings in Event #10 – $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better. A full 18 of them are preparing themselves for the final battle ahead.</p> <p>Russian<strong> Viatcheslav Ortynskiy</strong> is their leader, followed by two-time bracelet winner <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>, and 2010 WSOP Seven Card Stud winner <strong>Richard Ashby</strong>. Online legend <strong>Doug</strong> ‘WCGRider’ <strong>Polk </strong>is also in the mix, cashing in for the fourth time in his career at the World Series of Poker. Can he also win his first ever gold bracelet?</p> <p>Be sure to check PokerUpdate to find out the answer.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:47:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2900 Eureka Rozvadov Day 3: Martin Meciar Leads the Final Table <p>After four days of intense play, heavy action, and bright spotlights, the small Czech village of Rozvadov is finally ready to bring the curtain down and return to the old ways. But before doing that, a winner must be decided, one worthy of being called the champion of the biggest ever Eureka standalone Main Event.</p> <p>The stage is now set with eight players ready to return tomorrow for the final showdown. The leader, Slovakian <strong>Martin Meciar</strong>, has a slight edge but will need much more than his 2.2 million stack to get rid of the rest of the pack as three of his opponents are within striking range.</p> <p>Meciar took the lead right at the end and was the player responsible for bursting the official final table bubble. He eliminated <strong>Ismail Kalkan </strong>in ninth place, although he was much of an underdog preflop with #ah#10d. Kalkan had #ac#qc and flopped top pair – top kicker, but the river brought him down when Meciar connected with a straight.</p> <p>Belgium’s <strong>Michael Passy</strong> will follow the Slovakian closely tomorrow with his 1.89 million stack. He started the chip accumulation early, doubling up with #as#ad against some unlucky ladies - #qh#qd – held by former EPT winner <strong>Michael Eiler</strong>. Passy also denied Czech <strong>Petr Subik</strong> the opportunity to make history and become the first local to win the Eureka Rozvadov Main Event.</p> <p>Nevertheless, there is one other player left who can rewrite poker history and his name is Michael Eiler. He can become the first ever to do the Eureka/EPT double if he remains the last man standing tomorrow. To do that, he will have to win some all-ins as he has the seventh largest stack at the final table with 720,000 chips.</p> <p><strong>Sascha Ranzinger</strong> (1.22 million), <strong>Beatrix Wolfsberger</strong> (1.14 million), <a href="" target="_blank">Day 2 chip leader <strong>Bert Geens</strong></a> (1.035 million), <strong>Christian Jambor</strong> (935,000), and<strong> Dawid Mysiewizc</strong> (595,000) are the other final table competitors who will put their skills to the test tomorrow afternoon.</p> <p>Who will emerge victorious in Rozvadov?</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:28:27 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2899 Jamaica Seeks Online Gambling Regulation <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Jamaican government is hoping to regulate online gambling within the next 12 months and reap the revenue rewards that are currently going elsewhere.</p> <p>Similar to states within the U.S. that are considering online poker and gambling legislation to provide a new revenue stream, Jamaican officials are intent on grabbing a piece of the pie. Also like states such as <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <strong>California</strong> that have recently been taking required steps toward legalization, <strong>Jamaica</strong> is keen on providing protection for consumers.</p> <p><blockquote>Internet gaming is happening right now in Jamaica," Ministry of Finance and Planning representative Horace Dalley told the Jamaica Observer. "Therefore, it is time that we make that progression to this methodology of gaming, as Jamaicans are already well-equipped with the devices to facilitate this.”</blockquote></p> <p>The land-based gambling industry in Jamaica has enjoyed robust increases in revenue in recent years, $4.5 billion in the latest fiscal year up from $3.8 billion previously. That boost has not gone unnoticed, nor has the fact that significantly higher revenue totals are possible once online gambling regulation is embraced.</p> <p>A <strong>2014 Gaming Industry Summit</strong> was held in <strong>Kingston</strong> last week at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Among the topics touched upon were changes to the <strong>Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act</strong> calling for text betting and telephone wagers on sporting events. The summit was the first of its kind and was hosted by the<strong> Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission</strong>.</p> <p>Jamaica lies less than 100 miles south of <strong>Cuba</strong> and ranks as fifth largest among Caribbean island countries. Latest census figures show the population to be just under 2.8 million.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:55:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2898 Pennsylvania's Online Poker Efforts Get Serious <p><strong>Pennsylvania</strong> appears to be getting closer to going all-in on online poker legislation with an Internet gambling hearing set for tomorrow and a new online poker bill being readied for introduction later this month.</p> <p>A June 3 hearing at 9:30 a.m. in front of the <strong>Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee</strong> is on the agenda tomorrow. The duration of the hearing will not be limited to just a few hours, as an official state website lists testimony and debate to continue well into the afternoon.</p> <p>The hearing will focus on Pennsylvania's current gambling industry that ranks second in the U.S. with regard to land-based gambling. It will also center around a recent gambling study commissioned by state officials that found online gambling to be a viable source of new revenue that will not cannibalize existing revenue currently obtained at live gaming tables and slot machines.</p> <p><em>“The Current Condition and Future Viability of Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania”</em> was released last month and informed state officials that $129 million in annual online poker revenue could be had once the regime takes hold. The study also warned that state casinos are likely to experience decreasing revenue in future years due to the expansion of gambling in <strong>Maryland</strong>, <strong>Ohio</strong>, <strong>New York</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>.</p> <p>Internet poker regulations could offset those expected losses. While the hearing will shed more light on the online gambling issue, <strong>Senator Edwin Erickson</strong> has announced that he will propose online poker legislation to his colleagues later this month.</p> <p><blockquote>In the next few weeks, I intend to introduce Senate Bill 1386, legislation that would authorise interactive gaming in the form of online poker,” Erikson told eGR.</blockquote></p> <p>Keystone State <strong>Rep. Tina Davis</strong> introduced online gambling legislation last year, but the forward-thinking lawmaker may have been ahead of her time as her political brethren failed to see the benefits of her proposal. Armed with the new study commissioned and released by the <strong>Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee </strong>in May, state lawmakers are now in better position to fully understand the positive aspects of online poker legislation.</p> <p>Erickson's measure is poker-only and sets a tax rate of 14% of gross revenue and a license fee of $5 million levied upon poker operators. Those operators must not have been active in the U.S. market following passage of the <strong>UIGEA</strong> in 2006.</p> <p>Hoping to grab the revenue that is currently going to offshore poker sites that fail to protect state citizens, Erickson believes his proposal is win-win for his constituency, as well as for the entire Keystone State.</p> <p><blockquote>Many Pennsylvania residents participate in illegal and unregulated poker sites," Erickson said. "Establishing a strong regulatory framework under the Gaming Control Board will assist in shutting down these illegal sites and enhance consumer protection for our gaming residents.”</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 17:10:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2897 178 Players Remain in the Millionaire Maker Event <p>A total of 1,466 players returned for the second day of the record-breaking $1,500 Millionaire Maker event and after nine one-hour levels, only 178 can still dream of winning the life-changing prize of $1,319,587.</p> <p>Two players – <strong>Jonathan Dimmig</strong> and <strong>Yuliyan Kolev</strong> – lead the 178, each one having 632,000 chips, while <strong>Bart Lyabert</strong> is breathing down their necks with a 615,000 chip stack.</p> <p>Day 2 started at an insane speed with nearly 300 players being eliminated in the first level of play. As a result, the competitors didn’t have to wait that long to see their wallets secured with at least a mincash. <strong>Piung Lee</strong> and <strong>Jeff Dumas</strong> were the not-so lucky ones to burst the bubble, but as opposed to the standard situation when the bubble boy leaves the tournament empty-handed, the two shared 819th place prize money for $1,346 apiece.</p> <p>After that, the action just kept going until there were only 178 left. In the process, many casualties fell including familiar faces like <strong>Loni Harwood</strong>, <strong>Mike Sexton</strong>, <strong>Matt Glantz</strong>, <strong>Tony Gregg</strong>, and <strong>Randy </strong>“nanonoko” <strong>Lew</strong>. Others, like <strong>Andrew </strong>“BalugaWhale” <strong>Siedman</strong> and <strong>Greg Mueller</strong>, were luckier and have a chance to fight another day.</p> <p>But don’t get too worried about the ones who were eliminated from the Millionaire Maker; they now seek redemption in the 2014 WSOP Event #9: $1,000 No Limit Hold’Em. With so many busts, the NLHE event that started yesterday attracted a total of 1,940 entrants battling for yet another gold bracelet and $323,125 in prize money.</p> <p>Already, 1,779 left the poker felt after Day 1, leaving 161 behind with a genuine chance of hitting the jackpot.</p> <p>Even the high-rollers had their fair share of action yesterday in Las Vegas. They could register for Event #10: $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8-or-Better, with 178 making that move. At the end of Day 1, however, 111 still have a stack in front of them, including big names like <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>, <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, <strong>Nick Schulman</strong>, <strong>Alexander Luneau</strong>, and <strong>Stephen Chidwick</strong>. Also, Mixed Max NLHE winner <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong> is among them and holds a 33,200 stack before the start of Day 2. Will she be able to double up on 2014 gold bracelets?</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:40:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2896 LAPT Brazil: Juan Pablo Franco Leads the Remaining 71 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen registration closed for the LAPT stop in Brazil this year, the 1,150 entries created the biggest spot of the Tour in history. After yesterday’s Day 2, of those 1,150 entries, only 71 players are still in with a shot at the title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At the start of the day, 399 players took their seats at the tables and the first order of business was bursting the bubble. Once 167 players remained in the tournament, all of them would be guaranteed a payday. As that time was approaching, short stacks were biding their time, hoping that someone else would try to be a hero and double up, making their journey into the money as painless as possible. At the same time, those with big stacks were mostly bored as the game was slow and as it wasn’t their necks on the line, they just didn’t share in the excitement of the moment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a really swingy day for <strong>Rogerio Pitta</strong>, who already had one foot out of the tournament earlier but caught a five-outer on the river to keep him alive. With one elimination away from the money, Pitta was once again short stacked and in the big blind. He had no option but to call off the little he had behind, especially since he found #jh#jd and was well ahead of Keiji Kimura’s #ad#6c. He made it safely through the flop, but then Kimura caught running sixes on the turn and river to award him the pot and send Pitta out in 168<sup>th</sup> position with nothing to show for it after a long day of poker.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play then continued in normal fashion for about four hours until all ten levels scheduled for the day were completed. After the last minute of Level 10 ran out, it was Argentinean <strong>Juan Pablo Franco </strong>bagging the chip lead with 1,348,000 chips. The only other player who finished in seven-figure territory was Brazil’s own <strong>Andre Edson Coronel</strong>, who will be returning later tonight with 1,058,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those who booked early busts today before reaching the money include two LAPT title holders, <strong>Nacho Barbero, Damian Salas, Walid Mubarak</strong>, and 2013 BSOP champion <strong>Fernando Groww. </strong>Then there were those who fared somewhat better, making it in the money, but who will not be returning tomorrow either, including Day 1B chip leader <strong>Anderson Kim</strong>, as well as Team Pro <strong>Leo Fernandez</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only two Red Spades still in the field are <strong>Angel Guillen </strong>and <strong>Caio Pessagno. </strong>They will be joining the other survivors today to play down until the final table is formed. With everyone now being in the money, all the remaining players have their eyes on the trophy and the first place prize of R$ 800,000. By the end of Day 3, we will know the names of those with a shot at the title, and one day after that only one name will really be important – that of the champion!</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:07:00 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2895 2014 WSOP Bracelet Report: Phil Hellmuth Comes Up Short as Ted Forrest Wins Sixth Bracelet <p>The 25th anniversary of <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>’s 1989 Main Event win, 50th WSOP final table, 101st WSOP cash: that’s how things were looking for “The Poker Brat” before the final day of the World Series of Poker Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Razz. And many were saying that this event had 14th gold bracelet for Hellmuth written all over it.</p> <p>But <strong>Ted Forrest</strong> certainly didn’t think so. He was the only one who had the skills to bring down the legend, securing his sixth WSOP bracelet in the process plus a healthy six-figure number of $121,196. Forrest also became just the fourth player ever to be called “Double Razz winner,” (he also won the event in 1993) joining the likes of <strong>Huck Seed</strong>, <strong>Gary Berland</strong>, and <strong>Mike Hart</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Congrats to my old friend Ted Forrest on winning <a href=";src=hash">#WSOPRazz</a> tourn. If I had to lose to someone, I'm glad it was Teddy....2nd place for me</p> — phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) <a href="">June 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>And just like in an epic battle, the winner drew first blood of the day, preparing the entire world for things to come. Soon after that, <strong>Kevin Iacofano</strong> was eliminated in eighth place by the hands of <strong>Greg Pappas</strong>. Hellmuth was also involved in that hand and quickly jumped out of his seat and wandered toward the back after he saw that his seven-five was no good against Pappas’ six-four low.</p> <p><strong>Yuebin Guo</strong> was next to fall in seventh, followed fairly quickly by two-time bracelet winner <strong>Brandon Cantu</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Brock Parker</strong> was eliminated in fifth place, tweeting:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Busted in 5th for 25k, kept having great draws but making 2 pair. Taking a walk then playing the 10k o8</p> — brock parker (@brock_parker) <a href="">June 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <p><strong>David Bach</strong> finished fourth, being no match to Hellmuth’s 8-7-6-4-3 low. “The Poker Brat” made his final victim in Pappas and had a 2-to-1 chip lead over Forrest before the start of heads-up play.</p> <p>The epic battle between the two legends lasted almost five hours and it was Forrest who signaled the victory. After a lost hand, Hellmuth made his way to his wife and told her: <em>“Don’t worry, baby. Don’t worry.”</em> Forrest looked their way and had his own piece of advice:<em> “Worry.”</em></p> <p>One hour later, the tournament was finished. In the last hand of the event, Forrest outclassed his opponent with the winning 9-7-6-3-A low against a weaker Q-10-7-3-2 hand. For second place, Hellmuth cashed in $74,878.</p> <p>Congratulation to Ted Forrest on winning his sixth bracelet. He now has 26 WSOP cashes and almost $1.9 million in WSOP career earnings in the last 19 years.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 11:53:32 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2894 2014 WSOP Bracelet Report: Alex Bolotin Wins Shootout <p>It’s not about the money, it’s about the bracelet, and <strong>Alex Bolotin</strong> knows that.</p> <p>Back in 2007, he was very close to winning his first ever WSOP gold bracelet but fell just short after losing the heads-up battle against <strong>Bill Edler</strong>. Although he won half a million dollars, Bolotin didn’t feel good at all. <em>“I won double the money for second place and I was throwing my glasses against the wall. It wasn’t a happy day. Finishing second hurts,”</em> he said after winning his first gold bracelet and a bonus cash prize of $259,211 in the 2014 World Series of Poker Event #6: the $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em Shootout.</p> <p>And how does it feel now?</p> <p><blockquote>This feels much, much better. If feels euphoric, actually. So many close calls, and that’s what we come here for every summer: to win gold. It’s kind of a stamp on a long career, it feels sweet," Bolotin added, according to</blockquote></p> <p>His long career includes 24 WSOP cashes for over $1 million, six final tables, and one charity Ante Up for Africa win, but no real gold. Until now.</p> <p>He entered the final day second guessing himself after deciding not to participate in the Millionaire Maker event.</p> <p><blockquote>I was thinking of double dipping. I decided it is the more mature and professional thing to do to concentrate on one tournament at a time."</blockquote></p> <p>And it was a very good decision. Bolotin started rather slow, picking up his aggression as the tournament went on.</p> <p>Two-time bracelet winner <strong>Josh Arieh</strong> got things going after the official nine-handed final table was formed. He won a big flip that eliminated <strong>Max Coleman</strong> in ninth place. He also killed two birds with one stone, sending <strong>Shawn Busse</strong> and <strong>David Trager</strong> to the rail in eighth and seventh places, respectively.</p> <p>His next victim was <strong>Douglas Foster</strong> in an AQ-high vs. AJ-high flush cooler and everything seemed to go Arieh’s way.</p> <p><blockquote>One thing I keep telling myself when I am in a hand is that it’s in the cards. If I do the right thing or what I think is right, then I’m fine with that, and I don’t care about the outcome. I just stuck with that and it kept me real even-keeled," the veteran said during a break.</blockquote></p> <p>And he certainly did the right thing after <strong>Steve Loube</strong>'s elimination in 5th place for a prize of $53,777. In a pot against the future winner, Arieh raised a bet and snap-called Bolotin’s all-in on the flop with a set of tens. Bolotin had two Aces and spiked another one on the turn for the big chip win.</p> <p>Ten hands later, Arieh was out in fourth place for $72,846, leaving Bolotin in front with over 2 million chips. And with<strong> John Lane</strong> eliminated ($100,239), he was suddenly back in 2007, having only one man to beat in order to capture the gold. But, as opposed to seven years ago, the outcome was entirely different.</p> <p>He patiently built his stack and in the last hand of the tourney, he caught 2013 PCA Main Event winner, Bulgarian <strong>Dimitar Danchev</strong>, bluffing his busted straight draw. For his deep run, Danchev won $160,410.</p> <p>Congratulations to Alex Bolotin on winning the $1,500 NLHE Shootout event. He is currently on top of the all-time Belarusian money list with a $400k lead over second-place <strong>Vadim Kursevich</strong>.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 10:30:34 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2893 Eureka Rozvadov Day 2: Bubble Bursts, Bert Geens Leads BIG <p><em>“They always have aces!”</em> a participant cried, frustrated by the fact that every shortstack seemed to have the absolute nuts. It was bubble time for the players down at the King’s Casino, Rozvadov, Czech Republic.</p> <p>And it all started 20 minutes after <strong>Victor Azan</strong> was eliminated in 73rd place. Only 71 players out of the 151 who started Day 2 were getting paid so somebody had to play the unfortunate role of the bubble boy. But nobody really wanted to. First, <strong>Tasho Sehitaj</strong> slow-played his bullets on all three streets against Eureka Vienna winner <strong>Zoltan Gal</strong>.</p> <p>Next, <strong>Kevin Barkow</strong> doubled up after hitting the cold-stoned nuts on the turn with a set of big bad cowboys. Also, <strong>Ilie Smintanca-Januszewski</strong> refused to leave the tourney in 72nd place and shoved his last four blinds with #ah#kh. He eventually got called but his opponent was a big underdog with #ah#8s.</p> <p>The next try at bursting the bubble was another failure. <em>“We have an all-in and a call,”</em> the tournament director announced one hour after the last elimination.<em> “The all-in player has aces.”</em> That’s when the cry was heard throughout the room.</p> <p>Thirty minutes later, the frustrated player was finally relieved. <strong>Jens Winkler</strong> was forced to go all-in with his last chips and two players called to see a #6c#2d#ah#9c#10d showdown. Winkler had only #qc#3s, while the winner of that particular pot, <strong>Mateusz Martewicz</strong>, flipped over #10s#8s.</p> <p>And since all players had at least €1,840 secured after that, the last four levels were fast and furious and brought the field down to just 24 to end Day 2. And now, just hours before the start of Day 3, Belgium’s <strong>Bert Geens</strong> has the big chip lead as the only player with a one-million stack. His breakthrough came late in the day while winning a 500,000 flip with #ah#ks.</p> <p>The second biggest stack is owned by former EPT Vienna winner <strong>Michael Eiler</strong>; if he takes down Eureka Rozvadov, he will have the unique opportunity to become the only poker player to win both an EPT and a Eureka Main Event.</p> <p><strong>Christian Jambor</strong>, <strong>Martin Meciar</strong>, and Martewicz complete the top 5, having an advantage chip-wise against the rest of the field to reach the final table.</p> <p>Day 3 will start at 2 PM local time and will set the stage for the eight-handed final table that will be played on Tuesday.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:36:21 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2892 LAPT Brazil Sets New Record for the Tour <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter 481 players took their seats in Day 1A of the LAPT Brazil Main Event, yesterday’s Day 1B saw an even greater turnout. By the time registration ended, there were 669 entries for the day. That makes for a combined 1,150 entries, making this the record-breaking LAPT event in all seven seasons the tour has been in existence.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This turnout also created the richest prize pool to date – R$ 4,496,500 (just over $2,000,000). That’s the amount some of the remaining players will be trying to distribute amongst themselves. A total of 248 players survived Day 1B and they will be joining the 151 survivors from Day 1A late tonight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The man who had the most reasons to smile when the last hand was dealt was Sao Paulo local <strong>Anderson Kim</strong>, who bagged 329,900 and will be starting today as an absolute chip leader with a mind-boggling 275 big blinds stack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many players who had bad luck during Day 1A came back yesterday for another shot, amongst them <strong>Andrea Akkari, Christian De Leon </strong>and <strong>Nacho Barbero</strong>. Of these three, only Barbero managed to leave the bad luck behind and advance to the next day with a stack of 53,800. The other two are all out of chances for this tournament. De Leon, on the other hand, was doing fairly well until he lost the great majority of his stack after his opponent spiked a three-outer on the river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nacho will be joining his colleagues <strong>Leo Fernandez </strong>and <strong>Angel Guillen</strong> in the race for the title, together with <strong>Gabriel Goffi, Jorge Breda, Ivan Marquez </strong>and <strong>Alexandre Gomes.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Failing to advance yesterday, amongst the others, were <strong>Joao Neto, Fabian Ortiz, Joe Ebanks </strong>and <strong>Ariel Bahia</strong>. There are no more starting flights for these players and their run at the LAPT Brazil title is over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players will be back at the tables around 3 PM local time and play will continue for another ten levels. We will certainly see quite a few more eliminations and many of the 399 remaining will have to leave their seats disappointed, hoping for a better run in some other tournament.</p> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 14:31:54 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2891 WSOP 2014: Hellmuth after Number 14, Millionaire Maker Underway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>very WSOP has its special stories about dreams and desires, successes and failures. One of the early stories of this series is Phil Hellmuth, who is getting really close to obtaining bracelet number 14. Hellmuth managed to find his way to the final table of Event #7,<strong> $1,500 Seven Card Razz. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Phil made his way through the field of 352 runners who created a prize pool of $475,200 and will be sitting at his 50<sup>th</sup> WSOP final table later today. He starts second in chips among eight players with a stack of 314,000. The only player with more chips is <strong>Greg Pappas </strong>with 391,500. Still, he has quite a task ahead of him as he is facing a very tough final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pappas himself is an industry veteran; <strong>Ted Forest, </strong>who starts fifth in chips, is a holder of two WSOP bracelets, same as <strong>Brock Parker</strong>. Other names standing between Hellmuth and his 14<sup>th</sup> bracelet and $121,000 first place prize money are Brandon Cantu, David Bach, Yuebin Guo and Kevin Iacofano.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While the series is probably more about bracelets than it is about money for Hellmuth, many players coming to Vegas this summer are hoping they will be walking away with big money in their pockets. One of the events that’s going to make this dream come true for a couple of players at least is Event #8, the <strong>$1,500 Millionaire Maker Event</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With a small buy-in of only $1,500 and a guaranteed cool <strong>$1 million </strong>for the winner, this event gives an opportunity to those with not so deep pockets to play for huge money. It is thus no surprise that this tournament attracted a great number of players. In fact, with the field of 7,977 players, it has become the second-largest WSOP event, bested only by the 2006 Main Event field of 8,773.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The huge number of players generated a great prize pool of $10,768,950 and the guaranteed million for first place was broken. The winner will thus walk away with $1,319,587 and a total of 819 players will be cashing in.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although it is still early to give any real predictions, the one looking best to make a shot at first place is <strong>Andrew ‘BalugaWhale’ Seidman. </strong>Seidman lost his stack during the first flight but used his option to re-enter into the second flight and turned his 4,500 starting stack into the chip lead of 137,700. Other big stacks include that of <strong>Taylor van Meer </strong>(93,600), <strong>Larry Samet </strong>(80,000) and <strong>Matt Glantz </strong>(75,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many notable names made their way through to Day 2, including former Main Even champion <strong>Joe Cada, Mohsin Charania, Amit Makhija, Jake Cody </strong>and <strong>Maria Ho. </strong>Some notables who failed to progress include <strong>Freddy Deeb, Phil Laak, Dominik Nitsche </strong>and <strong>Marvin Rettenmaier.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players will be back in their seats today and between 1,500-1,600 of them are still in with a shot. One of these players will either become a millionaire or will simply add another $1 million+ to already big tournament winnings, depending on how things pan out.</p> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 13:34:08 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2890 WSOP Bracelets for Kyle Cartwright and Tuan Le <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>wo more WSOP bracelets have found their way to new owners and their names are <strong>Kyle Cartwright </strong>and <strong>Tuan Le.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cartwright earned his bracelet in Event #4, $1,000 No Limit Hold’em, that attracted a big field of 2,223 players and created a prize pool of over $2 million. It took a total of three days to crown the champion. Twelve players returned at the start of Day 3 to play down all the way to the winner who received $360,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two eliminations later, the unofficial final table of ten players was formed and it lasted for a total of one hand. With the board reading #kh#qh#9c#2h#5c, Cartwright moved his stack in, putting <strong>Steve Chanthabouasy </strong>on a decision for all the marbles. Chanthabousay agonized over the call for a while and eventually moved his chips over the line, only to get the bad news as his #ks#qd was far behind Cartwright’s set of Nines. He made his way to the rail in 10<sup>th</sup> and the final table of nine got underway.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave was <strong>Michael Sortino, </strong>whose 9<sup>th</sup> place finish was good for $26,489. Following his trail was <strong>Ken Weinstein</strong>, who fell at the hands of <strong>Jeremy Dresch</strong>, turning his 8<sup>th</sup> position into $34,500. <strong>Robert Kuhn </strong>picked an unfortunate time to move all-in on an Ace-high bluff, as Cartwright turned top two pair and made an easy call to send him to the rail with $45,635 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cartwright was on an obvious heater, as he soon booked another elimination. This time it was Dresch<strong> </strong>who got in a big pot against Cartwright on a classic coin flip. Dresch’s #ad#kh couldn’t outrun the pocket Queens of Cartwright, however, and he went out in 6<sup>th</sup>, receiving $61,000 for his efforts. After his exit, <strong>Matthew O’Donnell </strong>got it in slightly ahead of <strong>Ylon Schwartz</strong>, but Schwartz flopped the nut straight and his opponent was drawing completely dead after the turn, making his way to the rail $82,688 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Three-handed play started after <strong>Daniel Dizenzo </strong>was ousted in 4<sup>th</sup> place, receiving $113,500 for his performance. Meanwhile, <strong>Jason Paster</strong> was stubbornly holding on to his tournament life, refusing to lose all ins even when he was far behind. Eventually, the other two, Cartwright and Schwartz, got in a big preflop confrontation that saw all the chips go in the middle. When the cards were on their back, it turned out Cartwright’s pocket Nines were way ahead of Schwartz’s pocket Fours and the board brought no changes to that fact. Schwartz finished his run in 3<sup>rd</sup> place, receiving $157,855 for an excellent showing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The two remaining players went for a dinner break and when they came back Cartwright was holding more than a 2:1 chip lead. It didn’t take long to finish the match, as Paster four-bet shoved his pocket Fours and received a call from the #ac#qd of Cartwright. Paster’s luck finally ran out as Kyle hit the Queen right on the flop and only confirmed what was already nearly guaranteed by making trip Queens on the river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Paster<strong> </strong>received $223,500 for his runner-up finish, while Cartwright<strong> </strong>walked away with a $360,500 reward and a gold bracelet as memory of a truly great run through a field of more than 2,000 players!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In another event, the bracelet was awarded to <strong>Tuan Le. </strong>This time it was Event #5, $10,000 <strong>Limit</strong> <strong>2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. </strong>As expected from this type of event, it was a truly star-studded field with a great final table line-up.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This only makes Le’s victory an even greater accomplishment, as he came out on top among some of the best players in the world. The event attracted a total of 120 players, and on Day 3 they got down to the six-handed final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Phil Galfond </strong>started the day as the chip leader with 12 players remaining, but by the time it was down to the final table, he was nursing a short stack. Soon after the start of play, he got all-in against <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong> and that was it for him. A 6<sup>th</sup> place finish made him $51,538.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Next to go was <strong>George Danzer. </strong>He fell at the hands of last year’s winner, <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>, and was sent packing with $70,308 to his name. <strong>Nick Schulman, </strong>who is considered one of the best 2-7 players and who has two bracelets to prove it, finished in 4<sup>th</sup> place this time. He got in a confrontation against Bonomo, whose ten-seven low was good enough to beat Schulman’s jack-low. Schulman received $99,000 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Elezra<strong> </strong>was next to go. Eli entered three-handed play as a short stack and couldn’t make anything happen from that point on. He got the last of his chips in against Le’s eight-perfect and was drawing alive on the last card to make seven-high, but failed to connect and was sent to the rail $144,000 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left Bonomo and Le to battle it out for the bracelet. Bonomo had a slight chip advantage to start heads-up action. However, play lasted for several hours before the final hand went down. Le managed to seize a series of smaller pots to decimate Bonomo’s stack<strong>. </strong>The last hand saw both players make a nine-high, but Le’s was better and Bonomo<strong> </strong>finished in 2<sup>nd</sup> place, receiving $219,500 for the great run.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Le<strong> </strong>seized $355,000 and a gold bracelet to take home. Beating a field such as this one is no easy task and Le certainly has a lot to be proud of!</p> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 12:37:39 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2889 Eureka Rozvadov Becomes the Biggest Standalone Eureka Event After Day 1B <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter 192 players registered to play in the Eureka Rozvadov Main Event, another 301 took their seats today, bringing the total number of participants to 493 and making this the biggest field in any standalone Eureka event. Naturally, both Eureka Prague and Vienna had over a thousand runners, but both of these were a part of the European Poker Tour. For a standalone event in the small Czech village of Rozvadov, this is a great success. Making this an even bigger success is the fact that the tournament is taking place during the World Series of Poker when many players are away in Vegas, so one can only guess what the numbers would be during some other time of the year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Rozvadov has actually taken down its own record for the biggest standalone Eureka event from Season 3 when 421 players took part. Interestingly enough, although a decent amount of Czech players participate in the Eureka Main Events, one is yet to win the title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ninety-one players made it through to Day 2 and they will be joining the 60 who won their place at the tables yesterday. With registration closed, the numbers are in and a total of 71 players will be making money. The smallest cash amounts to €1,840, while the winner will be walking away with the hefty sum of €93,600. Since the tournament prize pool is a guaranteed €500,000 this means that players will get to enjoy an overlay of €7,000. It may not be a huge amount, but free money is free money! Combine that with the completely free whole day buffet and you get a pretty much dream-come-true situation for a poker player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bringing some hope for Czech players to finally capture the Eureka title is <strong>Jiri Vana</strong>, who finished the day as the chip leader with 170,600. This was still not enough to top the results of <strong>Stefan Raab</strong> from Day 1A and he will be returning as the overall chip leader tomorrow with just over 200,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Briki Istavan </strong>finished in second chip position with 168,100, while PokerStars player <strong>Christopher Frank </strong>bagged the third biggest stack of the day equaling 167,500. EPT Vienna runner-up <strong>Anthony Ghamrawi </strong>also ended the day with a very healthy stack of 144,100. <strong>Michael Elier</strong>, former EPT Vienna winner, also made it through for tomorrow, bagging 71,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Amongst those who fell along the way, one of the most famous names is that of <strong>Pius Heinz</strong>, as well as<strong> </strong>WSOP bracelet winner <strong>Eddy Scharf</strong>.<strong> </strong>The remaining 151 players will return to the tables at 2 PM local time tomorrow to play down to the money and beyond before calling it a day, so there will be some exciting poker action to keep an eye on.</p> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 00:59:30 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2888 Iraj Parvizi Suing Les Ambassadeurs for £10 Million Due to Alleged Cheating <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Iraj Parvizi</strong>, a wealthy Iranian-born financier, is entering a legal battle against Les Ambassadeurs Casino, requesting £10 million be paid to him, as the casino hosted high-stakes poker games in which, according to his claims, he was cheated out of his money in numerous ways.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Parvizi was a regular in the weekly high-stakes poker game held at Les Ambassadeurs that gathered wealthy sheikhs, famous footballers, and professional poker players. Six-figure sums exchange hands regularly in these games, as one would expect, but one night was crucial for Parvizi.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After losing £185,000 during the session, he cancelled the checks he had earlier written in exchange for chips. Not being able to retrieve the money, the casino started a lawsuit against Parvizi, to which he responded with a lawsuit of his own, requesting Les Ambassadeurs pay him damages because they failed to prevent collusion and cheating against him in the games.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This sum Parvizi is seeking represents his entire losses during the four years he attended the game on a regular basis. He accuses two professional players who were also regulars that they were colluding against him the entire time. Furthermore, Parvizi claims that some of the masseuses present in the casino to help players relax were circling the table and signaling hands.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The casino called Parvizi’s allegations "embarrassing" and stated that the staff knew nothing about any sort of strategy that went down during the game. One of the high rollers who is also a regular in this game commented on the entire situation, but requested his identity to remain hidden.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>No one would need to cheat to beat Iraj. We’re professionals and he’s terrible, so it’s like Brazil versus San Marino in football. As a professional player, you sometimes need credit and you rely on your reputation. I’d rather lose than collude." <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One interesting statement by Les Ambassadeurs is that it was <em>an accepted poker strategy for stronger players to encourage weaker players to bet more.</em> This, obviously, makes sense up to a certain point, where encouragement becomes collusion, but it is highly unlikely that a casino of this reputation would ever allow such blatant collusion to take place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Without further evidence and inquiry, we are not to pass judgments. All sorts of things happen in life and poker is certainly no exception. Parvizi, who is currently based in Dubai, refused to comment on the suit. At the same time, he is preparing for totally different legal proceedings as he is to appear in court in September on account of insider dealing charges.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whether there is really something fishy in the whole story or it is just another case of hurt ego remains to be seen. In the meantime, Parvizi might lose his invitation to some other high-stakes games frequented by the same people.</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 21:58:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2887 Phil Ivey's Unlucky River Card That Changed Poker History <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>uring the course of a poker tournament, there are many poker hands that are pivotal in the victor eventually claiming the title and the first place prize money that goes along with it. But one hand in particular was seemingly responsible for much more than that, as it led to <strong>Chris Moneymaker</strong>'s WSOP Main Event championship and the resulting poker boom that attracted a huge amount of new players to the felt.</p> <p>The hand in question occurred during Moneymaker's 2003 title run with 10 players remaining in the tournament. Moneymaker was dealt #ah#qd and his pre-flop bet of 60,000 was called by both <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> and <strong>Jason Lester</strong>. Ivey had #9s#9h under the hood, while Lester was in better shape with #10d#10s.</p> <p>A flop of #qh#6s#qs gave Moneymaker trips and an 82% chance of holding on through fifth street. After a check from Lester, the young amateur from Tennessee made a small bet, only 70,000, which prompted Ivey to call. Lester played it safe and folded his pocket 10s, leaving Ivey and Moneymaker in a heads-up battle.</p> <p>A #9c on the turn full-boated Ivey, putting him in the driver's seat with an 83% probability of winning the hand provided that he could dodge the seven outs available to the rookie with a family name custom-made for poker. A 200,000 bet by Moneymaker was met with an all-in shove by the <em>Tiger Woods of Poker</em>. Moneymaker snap-called and showed his frustration when Ivey revealed his hole cards and a full house.</p> <p>But lo and behold, the poker Gods found favor with Moneymaker and bestowed on him the #as on the river, sending Ivey to the rail with 10th place prize money of $82,700. The rest, of course, is history, as Moneymaker went on to win the Main Event and prompted newbies to flock to the virtual and live poker tables in hopes of becoming the next amateur-turned-pro sensation in the world of poker.</p> <p>Check out a video recap of the hand that forever changed poker history, as well as Moneymaker's take on the action.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 31 May 2014 17:33:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2886 LAPT Brazil: Local Grinder Cassio Killes Bags the Chip Lead After Day 1A <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday marked the start of the Main Event of the LAPT in Brazil. With a buy-in of R$3,910 + 440 and unlimited re-entries for the first seven levels, Day 1A of the tournament gathered a total of 481 entries. Of those hopefuls, 151 survived the day, while many of those who fell will probably be back at the tables tomorrow to try their luck again in Day 1B.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After ten levels of play, local grinder <strong>Cassio Killes </strong>emerged as the chip leader, bagging 244,300 at the end of the evening. During his trip to the biggest stack, Killes managed to eliminate one of the best-known names in the field when his pocket Aces ran over <strong>Nacho Barbero’s </strong>#as#qc.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hot on his heels is another Brazilian, <strong>Marco Cheida</strong>, who bagged 229,600 when it was all said and done for the day. Cheida has a lot of experience under his belt, as he has been around for quite some time. Nicknamed ‘Chacal’ because of the small jackal figurine he uses as his card protector, this BSOP regular will not be cutting any slack to anyone at the tables once play resumes for Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were also six Red Spades playing in the field today and half of them were eliminated, including <strong>Andre Akkari, </strong><strong>Christian de Leon </strong>and Barbero. The other three, however, made it through the day and <strong>Leo Fernandez, Jorge Limon </strong>and <strong>Angel Guillen </strong>will all be bringing their chips back to the felt tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1B will be starting today and it will almost certainly generate an even bigger field, especially considering the fact that many of those who fell yesterday will be trying their luck once again. With that in mind, the overall field will probably surpass 1,000 entries and generate quite a prize pool to fight for.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Football star <strong>Ronaldo </strong>was also spotted hanging around the tournament area yesterday, but he did not sit down to play. It is still unknown if he will be registering today, but without a doubt, numerous fans would be delighted to see him with chips in front of him. One thing is certain – if he decides to play, Ronaldo will have a huge rail. After all, it is Brazil we are talking about here<strong> </strong>and while there is no lack of love for poker, football will always remain their number one love!</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 13:25:39 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2885 WSOP 2014: Day 4 Report <p><span class="letter-big">B</span>esides <a href="" target="_blank">the first ever $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event</a>, the fourth day of the World Series of Poker had in store tons of action for all the poker enthusiasts present in Las Vegas. In two events, the field shrank down to 12, setting the stage for final tables that will be played later today, while in two others the words “Shuffle Up and Deal” were heard for the first time.</p> <p>The first open No-Limit Hold’Em event of the series brought also the largest field so far: 2,224. And after a furious Day 2, only 12 players remain with a genuine chance to win a WSOP bracelet. Multiple WSOP Circuit winner<strong> Kyle Cartwright</strong> is the man who has the percentages on his side after finishing the day with over 81 big blinds. <strong>Daniel Dizenzo</strong> is second, while WSOP veteran <strong>Ylon Schwartz</strong> stands tall in third place with around 63 big blinds.</p> <p>Those three alongside nine others will fight today for a gold bracelet and the top prize worth $360,435.</p> <p>The $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Event finished on the same note with 12 players left battling for a place in history. And what names .....</p> <p>Online legend <strong>Phil Galfond</strong> (photo) sits atop the leaderboard before the start of the final day. He is not having that good of a year online, being down over $360,000 in 2014 while playing 2-7TD. Overall though, he is the biggest winner in Draw games, according to HighStakes DB, with a profit of over $2 million.</p> <p>Two-time bracelet winner <strong>Jason Mercier</strong> is second, while nosebleeds poker player <strong>Alexander </strong>“Alexonmoon” <strong>Luneau </strong>has the third biggest stack of the remaining field. Other notable players worth mentioning include <strong>Nick Schulman</strong>, <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>, <strong>David Benyamine</strong>, and <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>.</p> <p>Other pros like <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, <strong>Mike </strong>“The Mouth” <strong>Matusow</strong>, <strong>Shannon Shorr</strong>, and <strong>Eugene Katchalov</strong> took their chances in the sixth event of the series, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’Em Shootout. Those were only a few of a field consisting of 948 players who started the event in the Brasilia Room. But as Day 1 drew to a close, 120 players survived to fight another day.</p> <p>The unlucky ones like <strong>Scott Seiver</strong>, <strong>Stephen Chidwick</strong>, <strong>Jake Cody</strong>, <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, and <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> will be able to take another shot at a title in the days to come.</p> <p>“The Poker Brat,” <a href="" target="_blank">who may be in for a nickname change</a>, has already started a new quest in Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Razz. Hellmuth survived Day 1 and is looking forward to his 101st WSOP cash. <strong>Huck Seed</strong> and <strong>Phil Laak </strong>are also in the mix, while Ivey wasn’t that lucky.</p> <p>And since we are talking about luck, what is happening with Negreanu? He is 0-5 at the 2014 WSOP, suffering defeat after defeat so far. Lucky for him, there are still 58 events left. Will he be able to rebound?</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 11:26:53 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2884 Brandon Shack-Harris Wins WSOP $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ho says positive thinking can’t do wonders? Take Chicago native and mixed-games specialist <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong> for example. He managed to come up victorious yesterday in winning the first WSOP bracelet of his career. Shack-Harris had high hopes even before entering the lucky Event #3 – the first $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament in World Series of Poker history.</p> <p><blockquote>I felt good coming into the series. I even started a thread on the 2+2 forums about how I was going to win a gold bracelet this year and told everyone that they would regret not picking me for their fantasy teams,” the Chicago native told after gathering all the chips in play.</blockquote></p> <p>But don’t think his journey was easy. First of all, he topped a record field of 1,128 players, the largest number of entries in non-No Limit Hold’Em events ever. Secondly, he defeated a very tough and experienced final table packed with big names like the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history, <strong>Steve Billirakis</strong>, and Australia-New Zealand Player of the Year <strong>Iori Yogo</strong>.</p> <p><blockquote>I was really surprised at the quality of players who played in this event, so to win it is great."</blockquote></p> <p>Billirakis was in the chip lead when six-handed play started. Shortstack <strong>Robert Paddock</strong> was the first to bust after committing his 15-big-blind stack with a nut flush draw, a wrap, plus a valuable overcard for a 56% chance to win the showdown. Unfortunately for him, the turn and river blanked and left him with only a $31,978 prize.</p> <p>Next to fall was <strong>Matthew Ryan</strong>, who moved all-in preflop as a 38% underdog. He left the final table $42,658 richer.</p> <p>After that, the Shack-Harris domination began. Billirakis lost the lead and was eventually eliminated in fourth place at the hands of the future winner. It was the 20th WSOP cash of his career and was worth $57,785.</p> <p>Yogo followed him to the rail after being severely crippled in a battle of shortstacks. He had #kc#qc#jc#8h while his opponent, <strong>Morgan Popham</strong>, held #ac#kh#qh#5c for the 61% advantage. Yogo’s hand didn’t improve postflop so he was left with under one big blind. The next hand sealed the deal for the Japanese who left the tournament with $79,611 in his pockets.</p> <p>The heads-up play lasted almost one hour and Popham couldn’t do anything to take the chip lead and the run-good away from Shack-Harris. In the last hand of the event, Popham was a 72% dog – which is huge in PLO – with his #ah#ad#10h#5c. The Chicago native held #ac#kh#kc#5s and a very lucky runner-runner made him the man of the hour.</p> <p>For Popham, however, it was just second place and a $127,245 cash.</p> <p>Congratulation to Brandon Schack-Harris on winning his first WSOP bracelet and the big prize of $205,634. Before this event, he cashed in four other times, all of them being non-NLHE events. He plans for more of the same, having already made plans to play around 20 events in this year’s WSOP.</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 08:39:30 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2883 Eureka Rozvadov Day 1A: 60 out of 192 players move on to Day 2 <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he statistics show a steady decline. From 821 in 2006 to 782 in 2011 to 568 at present (according to the Rozvadov official site). But we are not talking about the Eureka Main Event field size. Actually those three numbers represent the population of the Czech village Rozvadov, the latest stop of the Eureka Poker Tour.</p> <p>And for five days, the crowd down at King’s Casino has every chance to outnumber the village’s entire population. Already 192 players have made their mark on the first opening day of the Main Event. Note that things can only get better as Day 1B starts today at 2 PM local time.</p> <p>Unfortunately, though, after ten one-hour levels, over two thirds of the initial Day 1A field had to leave the poker tables in defeat. Out of the 192 registered, only 60 survived, with <strong>Stefan Raab</strong> (photo above) being the fairest of them all. He erupted late in the day as he won a huge pot and eliminated an opponent in <strong>Benjamin Hugel</strong>. The action heated up on a monotone #qs#8s#10s flop with Hugel three-betting and Raab just calling to see the blank #5h turn. The aggressor shoved, a move that made Raab go into the tank. He eventually called with #jc#9c for the straight, catching Hugel red-handed with just #as#6c for the nut flush draw. The #jh river secured Raab the 140,000 chip pot and the lead.</p> <p>He passed the 200,000-mark before the end of the last level of the day and owns a healthy 201,600 stack. One other player – <strong>Thomas Gluszko</strong> – passed that mark and is behind Raab by just 1,000 chips.</p> <p>Other notable mentions that are still standing include <a href="" target="_blank">Eureka Vienna Main Event winner</a>, Hungarian<strong> Zoltan Gal</strong>, and Czech live tournament expert <strong>Josef Guláš</strong>. Guláš has won over $165,000 in his poker career, according to Hendon Mob Poker DB, including nine cashes in the very place where he is playing now, the King’s Casino. His biggest cash here was worth €15,000 and dates back to 2010 when he won the King’s Casino €50,000 Guaranteed Tournament.</p> <p>Will he able to top that prize during these five days? Check out PokerUpdate regularly to find out.</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 06:25:22 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2882 Vanessa Selbst Wins Her Third WSOP Bracelet Against Jason Mo <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he second WSOP bracelet of this summer was awarded to <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong> for her victory in the $25,000 Mixed-Max Event and it was the third WSOP title of her career. This achievement is matched by only one other woman in the history of the series, Barbara Enright, and it is without a doubt something to be very proud of.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a field of 131 players in the Mixed-Max Event, Selbst and <strong>Jason Mo </strong>were the two players who made it all the way to the finals after three days of play. Vanessa came back with a chip deficit, as she was starting about two million chips behind. It wasn’t that big of a deal, as she managed to overcome a 7:1 deficit in the semifinal match against Al Decarolis, so no one would really dare to sign her off simply due to being slightly behind.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While Selbst was after her third bracelet, Mo was trying to capture his first. The closest he ever came previously was in 2012 when he finished runner-up in a $10,000 Heads-Up event, losing the final match to <strong>Brian Hastings</strong>. Despite his mathematical advantage, Mo was facing quite a challenge as Selbst is truly one of the game’s best players and is never one to give up without a fight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This became quite clear soon, as Vanessa started slowly chipping up, closing the gap between her and her opponent. However, at one point Selbst made a misstep and her stack dwindled back down to about 2.3 million, while Mo moved up to more than 7.5 million and things were not looking good for Vanessa.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this point it seemed unlikely that Selbst would be able to master up another comeback, but it is poker after all and no one can really take away anything from Selbst’s skill and her poker talent. She actually dropped another half a million in chips before starting her way to victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First she doubled up with #Js#10s against Mo’s #6d#3d after limp-calling his shove. This made Vanessa’s stack somewhat healthier, but the hand that made her the chip leader was one in which she turned a set of Queens while holding a pair of Ladies, while Mo made top pair top kicker with his #as#qs. Considering it was heads-up play, the hand can be qualified under coolers as all the chips went in, but nonetheless, Selbst took the chip lead for the first time as her 7.3 million was playing Mo’s 2.5 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mo wasn’t ready to give up just yet in his quest for his first bracelet and managed to master one double up before losing some chips to Vanessa again. And then came the final hand. Mo moved all-in for about 2.5 million from the button holding #9d#7d and with blinds at 80k/160k, Selbst decided to make the call with #Kh#Jc. The board ran out #10c#as#2c#ad#js, bringing no help to Mo and he was eliminated in second place, taking home $538,308.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Selbst<strong> </strong>was now free to start celebrating her victory that included $871,148 in prize money. With this title, Vanessa has also become a serious contender in the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Vanessa may be walking away with the second bracelet of the series, but many more are on the way and we will keep you updated on all the winners here at PokerUpdate until every single bracelet finds an owner and every event announces its champion!</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 02:24:00 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2881 Bovada Excludes New Jersey Players <p><span class="letter-big">B</span>owing to pressure from <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming regulators incensed that unregulated poker sites continue targeting their state residents, <strong>Bovada</strong> has decided to no longer accept new players from the Garden State.</p> <p>Bovada is the U.S.-facing skin of <strong>Bodog</strong>, who currently holds down 7th place in global player traffic with a seven-day average of 1,400 cash players. <strong>PokerScout</strong>'s latest tallies show that traffic total to be three times greater than the next U.S.-friendly offering, the <strong>Merge Gaming Network</strong>.</p> <p>Bovada follows in the footsteps of the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> (WPN) and the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN), who actually went a bit further earlier this month by also banning players in <strong>Nevada</strong> and <strong>Delaware</strong>. Bovada's most recent announcement regarding New Jersey players made no mention of the other two regulated states.</p> <p>The new action taken by Bovada does not preclude existing poker players from New Jersey from accessing the online poker room. WPN and EPN did give the boot to existing players, advising them to cashout any remaining account balances and suggesting that playing at regulated sites would be a wiser option.</p> <p>New Jersey's online poker regime has not lived up to early revenue projections and state officials believe that part of the problem lies with players continuing to patronize unregulated sites. A cease and desist letter was recently sent by gaming regulators to affiliates demanding the removal of links to unregulated sites.</p> <p>Affiliates are now faced with a seemingly tough decision. To either continue promoting unregulated U.S. poker sites, which at the moment would likely be more lucrative considering only three states have enacted legislation. Or to stop acting as an affiliate in the U.S. at unregulated poker rooms, siding instead with regulated poker sites in anticipation that more states will join the party in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 30 May 2014 20:50:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2880 Delaware Posts Gain in Online Gambling Revenue <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline gambling revenue in <strong>Delaware</strong> for the month of April <a href="">increased for the fifth straight month</a> and has now improved each and every month since launching last November, the only state among the three regulated states that can make such a claim.</p> <p>A total of <em>$240,496</em> was posted by the <strong>Delaware Lottery</strong> as net revenue in April, bettering the <em>$206,833</em> in March. Breaking down the numbers for each gaming site, <strong>Harrington Raceway</strong> took in <em>$11,042</em>, <strong>Dover Downs</strong> nabbed <em>$48,553</em>, and <strong>Delaware Park</strong> led the pack with <em>$180,900</em>.</p> <p>In terms of revenue for online poker, <em>$74,078</em> of the <em>$240,496</em> was attributed to poker rake for all three sites combined. That's a decrease from the <em>$84,391</em> taken in during March. However, with an interstate Internet poker agreement with <strong>Nevada</strong> being readied for launch in coming months, poker revenue is expected to get a much needed boost.</p> <p>Nevada could use such a boost after its online poker scheme generated only about <em>$792,000</em> in April, nearly 15% less than March. The Silver State's igaming regime operates as poker-only, with state officials showing no inclination toward expanding into the realm of online casino action.</p> <p>Nevada and Delaware can be found near the bottom on the list of states in terms of population. The former punches in with roughly 2.7 million residents, while the latter is home to about 900,000. The third online gambling regulated state, <strong>New Jersey</strong>, is populated with approximately nine million.</p> <p>As such, New Jersey is the state whose igaming numbers are most often studied, dissected and analyzed by officials from other states who may be contemplating an online gambling regime of their own. That analysis shows New Jersey with a decrease in igaming revenue in April, generating <em>$11.4 million</em> after March receipts tallied <em>$11.8 million</em>.</p> <p>Online poker accounted for <em>$2.6 million</em> of that <em>$11.4 million</em>, but also was lower than the previous month by a whopping 20%. That has caused state officials to put pressure on the overseas unregulated poker sites that continue to target Americans. A number of them, the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong>, <strong>Merge Gaming Network</strong>, <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong>, and now <strong>Bovada</strong>, have since pulled out of regulated states.</p> <p>All told, regulated online gambling in the U.S. has thus far proved disappointing. While still in its infancy in all three states, the numbers have not prompted any other states to jump on the bandwagon just yet.</p> <p>That may change in the future, however, with rumors emanating from <strong>California</strong> that approval of intrastate Internet poker legislation may be realized before the end of this year's legislative session in August. Topping the entire country with a population of 38 million, such an occurrence would boost the spirits of pro-online gambling activists throughout the nation and may prompt other states to eventually follow suit.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 30 May 2014 16:10:56 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2879 Selbst and Mo to Square Off for WSOP $25k Mixed-Max Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday, the $25k Mixed-Max event was down to 16 players and right now there are only two players remaining, waiting for the start of their heads-up match. <strong>Vanesa Selbst </strong>and <strong>Jason Mo</strong> will determine the winner of the second WSOP gold bracelet awarded this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The original plan was to play down to the final four players, who would return today to play in two semifinal heads-up matches and then play the final match for the title. That meant that twelve eliminations were needed to complete the day and the first one to exit was <strong>Noah Schwartz</strong>. He fell in a blind versus blind battle against Selbst, who started the day second in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Only a few minutes later, it was <strong>Barry Hutter </strong>who headed for the rail after the river helped improve <strong>Al Decarolis</strong>’ hand and crack his pocket Kings. Following the pattern were <strong>Calvin Andersen, </strong>who exited in 14<sup>th</sup>, and <strong>Nick Schulman</strong>, the unlucky 13<sup>th </sup>place finisher, after which players took a redraw and the tournament was down to three 4-handed tables.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The next two to go were <strong>Kevin Song </strong>and <strong>Richard Lyndaker. </strong>Lyndaker shoved his stack from the button into the big blind of <strong>Ryan Fee</strong> and Fee made the eventual call with #ad#7c. It was ahead of Song’s #qc#jh and by the river, Lyndaker made the nut flush to send Song packing. <strong>Brian Green </strong>fell in 10<sup>th</sup>, after which <strong>Darren Elias </strong>got into a confrontation against today's starting chip leader, Decaloris. Elias was sent to the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> by a mighty #9s#2s that turned into trip deuces, resulting in another table merger.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final four was quickly approaching as <strong>Aaron Jones </strong>made his exit in 8<sup>th</sup> place. Jones got into a preflop raising war against <strong>JC Tran</strong> and all the chips eventually ended up in the middle. Jones held a very strong hand for a 4-handed table, #ah#qh, but was well behind Tran’s #ad#kd and the board provided no help, sending Jones home with $112,752 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The next bounty went to Selbst, who four-bet shoved her powerhouse #9d#8s and was met by a quick call from Fee<strong> </strong>holding #ad#kh. Despite the preflop advantage, Selbst out-flopped Fee by hitting the nine and that was good enough to send Fee home in 7<sup>th</sup> ($112,752).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was Tran’s turn once again as he called the all-in of <strong>Robert Tepper. </strong>Tepper was ahead with #ad#7h all the way to the river and fifth street improved his hand to the nut flush. It was, however, no good, as the river allowed Tran to make a straight flush and Tepper was out in sixth, receiving $171,461 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The remaining five players merged into one table to play for one more elimination before entering the heads-up stage. It took some time, but eventually it was <strong>Matt Giannetti </strong>who moved all-in with #ah#5h from the button, only to be called by Decarolis and his #ac#10h in the small blind. Both players hit an Ace, but Decarolis’ kicker played and Giannetti was sent to the rail with a $171,461 reward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although it was initially planned to pause the tournament at this point, it was decided that the players would play on until the final two.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Decarolis was paired with Selbst, while Mo played Tran. Although Decarolis entered his match with about a 3:1 chip advantage, Selbst found a way to even the odds and strike the final blow. The last hand saw both players take a flop of #4d#7h#9s. Selbst checked, Decarolis bet, Selbst moved all-in, and Decarolis made the call. Selbst was well ahead with #9h#8h against Decarolis’ #ac#kh, and as the turn and river bricked, Decarolis<strong> </strong>was out in third and received $290,622. Quite a performance for the amateur, who actually booked his first live tournament cash with this finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The second match was quite a bit shorter, although there were more chips in play. Tran started with the lead, but it was Mo who booked the win. After getting Tran to just 10 big blinds, the last hand saw Tran making a call for his tournament life with #ad#qd. He was in great shape against Mo’s #jh#10s, but Mo hit a Jack on the flop to propel him into the lead that he would hold all the way through the river. Fourth place for Tran added another $290,622 to his tournament earnings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Selbst and Mo will play heads-up for the title, the bracelet, and $871,000 first place prize money later today. Selbst will be looking to capture her third WSOP bracelet, while it would be Mo's first. From a purely mathematical standpoint, Mo is the favorite as he will be starting with 5.86 million against Selbst’s 3.96 million. But Selbst has already proved that she knows how to make a comeback during her match against Decarolis, so it will be an interesting battle for sure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In other news, Event #3, $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha, is down to the final six players and one of these six will be receiving their gold bracelet today. The finalists are Steve Billirakis, Brandon Shack-Harris, Matthew Ryan, Iori Yogo, Morgan Popham and Robert Paddock.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The series is really heating up now, as there are quite a few other events running as well. From today onward we will likely have at least one bracelet awarded every day, so there will be plenty of action ahead!</p> Fri, 30 May 2014 11:20:20 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2878 Roland Reparejo Wins First 2014 WSOP Gold Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>lthough Event #1 ($500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em) was scheduled to last for two days, it turned out that the last two players needed some extra time, so heads-up action was continued today. It didn’t last long, however, as it was all over in about ten minutes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The last two players who found their way through the 876-player field and came back for Day 3 were <strong>Roland Reparejo </strong>and <strong>Corey Emery</strong>. Reparejo started with about 1.8 million in chips and Emery had an uphill battle in front of him with a stack of 735,000 and blinds at 20k/40k with a 5k ante. After Emery lost a couple more hands right at the start, he was quickly in the danger zone and shove or fold mode.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the sixth hand after they started for the day, Emery moved all-in after Reparejo limped his button. After Reparejo made the quick call, Corey knew his #8h#Jh was probably not in good shape and it wasn’t as Reparejo turned over #as#qs. As the flop came down #2c#8s#ah, Emery still had some hopes to turn it around. But it wasn’t meant to be as the turn and river came #10c and #2h, and it was all over before they even got to settle into their seats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reparejo became the first official bracelet winner of this year’s WSOP. The retired chef from Palm Springs will also enjoy a $82,835 payday for his great run in this tournament. The runner-up will receive $51,037, quite a decent return for his $500 investment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although these two made it all the way to Day 3, it was, after all, a nine-handed final table and we need to mention the others as well. The first to exit from the final table was <strong>Kevin Chiem</strong>, pocketing $6,192 for his efforts. Next to fall was <strong>David Luttbeg</strong>, who ran his suited connectors into Emery’s pocket Queens and the board really bricked hard for him. He still got to pocket $7,947 for the eighth place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Marcin Sobczack </strong>fell in the battle of the blinds against <strong>Olivier Doremus</strong>. His #ac#8c was no match for Doremus' pocket Nines and he exited in 7<sup>th</sup>, albeit $10,308 richer. Following in his footsteps was <strong>Brian Wong</strong>, who was eliminated next when his pocket Eights couldn’t find any help against <strong>Charles Nguyen</strong>’s Nines. While Wong took home $13,528 for his 6<sup>th</sup> place finish, Nguyen grabbed a decent chip lead and it was he who eliminated the next player. <strong>John Taylor </strong>picked the wrong time to move his short stack in with #4s#2h as Nguyen made a fairly easy decision with pocket Sevens and sent him to the rail in fifth with $17,975 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The tournament was down to four and Emery was picking up some momentum. First, he doubled up through Nguyen and then delivered a fatal blow to Doremus, whose #ad#qh was no match for Emery’s pocket Kings. His fourth place finish was good for $24,203.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not long after that hand, it was Nguyen’s<strong> </strong>time to bid farewell. He got his chips in the middle against Emery on a board reading #7s#kh#kd#2c, only to realize his #7c#6c was drawing dead against the #kc#qs of Emery. That left Emery and Reparejo to battle for the title and it was Reparejo who got to walk away a winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And thus, the first bracelet found its rightful owner, but there are plenty more waiting to be seized. Several more events are currently underway, most notably the $25k Mixed-Max event, which will play down to the final four players tonight. Reparejo got his portion of poker fame right off the bat. Who will be next?</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 23:59:32 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2877 Social Gaming Not Linked to Real-Money Wagering <p>The <strong>International Social Games Association</strong> (ISGA) has discovered that players of social casino games typically do not convert to real-money gambling.</p> <p>Research was recently conducted by <strong>Harvest Strategy</strong> in an effort to find a possible link between social gamers and those who deposit and play for real-money. The study concluded that play and real-money gamblers are a breed apart and that problem gambling does not stem from first becoming familiarized with gambling by patronizing social gaming sites, eGR reported.</p> <p><blockquote>We are reassured that Harvest’s research demonstrates that there is no link between social casino games and real-money gambling and that the two practices are entirely separate, with very different audiences and player demographics,” said ISGA CEO Luc Delany.</blockquote></p> <p>Although the study focused on online casino games and was not specific to online poker, the results can be seen as unfortunate news to poker operators who have long sought ways to convert play-money online poker players into faithful depositors. With the online poker industry currently experiencing a 9% decline in player traffic in comparison to late May 2013, more players are needed for greater liquidity and to provide a boost in rake revenue.</p> <p><strong>Zynga Poker</strong> is the play-money industry leader and averages 38,500 poker players, according to <strong>PokerScout</strong>. The real-money industry giant, <strong>PokerStars</strong>, averages 22,000 and that total dwarfs by 10 times the next most heavily-trafficked real-money site, <strong>888poker</strong>. Converting just a fraction of play-money Internet poker players to real-money could make a significant difference.</p> <p>The <strong>International Social Games Coalition</strong> (ISGC) recently merged with the <strong>Social Gaming Association</strong> and now operates as the ISGA. The 14-member strong organization includes the likes of <strong>IGT</strong>, <strong>Big Fish Games</strong> and Zynga, who are all part of a play-money gaming industry that is worth nearly $7 billion in revenue through advertising and the purchase of play-money chips.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 29 May 2014 20:46:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2876 Schedule for 100th EPT in Barcelona Announced <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he European Poker Tour is currently on a break, but it will be back soon after the WSOP. EPT officials announced yesterday the schedule for the festive, 100<sup>th</sup> EPT that will be taking place in the city where it all started a couple of seasons ago – Barcelona!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The poker festival will start on August 16<sup>th</sup> and will feature a total of 43 events. As has become standard for the EPT, there will be several new tournament formats featured in Barcelona aimed at giving as many players as possible a chance to compete. Lasting for 12 days until August 27<sup>th</sup>, some of the events in the mix will be €200 and €1,000 Seniors Events (ages 50+), and the buy-in for the Ladies Event will be reduced to €200 from the original €300.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those looking for some lighter poker fun will also have their chance as there will be a €100 Deuces Wild Tournament and a €200 Deepstack Turbo Win the Button Event. A wide range of online satellites should also be on offer, so all things considered, the turnout for this one should be quite big. EPT staff is actually hoping that this tournament series breaks all the records for Europe in both prize pool money and number of overall participants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Season 11 of EPT will be kicking off with the €1,000 Estrellas Main Event, followed by the €50k High Roller and the €5,300 Main Event. EPT President <strong>Edgar Stuchly </strong>expressed his overall satisfaction with Season 10 and stated that the 100<sup>th</sup> EPT in Barcelona is going to be a historic event welcoming thousands of players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Satellites for the EPT Barcelona Main Event are already running on PokerStars and some players have already claimed their seats, including EPT Copenhagen champion <strong>Mickey Petersen, </strong>EPT London winner <strong>David Vamplew</strong>, and PCA runner-up and EPT Dortmund champion <strong>Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With all the preparatory works and general popularity of the European Poker Tour, there is no doubt that the first stop of EPT Season 11 in Barcelona will attract a great number of players. Last year, it was Englishman <strong>Tom Middleton </strong>who<strong> </strong>bested the field of 1,200+ players to emerge as the champion and take home €924,000 in prize money. The player who manages to repeat his success will most likely seize an even greater prize but, aside from that, will go down in poker history as the one who took down the jubilee 100<sup>th</sup> EPT Main Event!</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 20:22:59 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2875 Theft Scandal Hits Las Vegas: Three Poker Players Report Stolen Goods From Their Rio Hotel Rooms <p>Almost nine months have passed since the EPT Barcelona Computer Theft made the news and already, another similar incident is on the verge of making headlines.</p> <p>Three poker players who are currently in Las Vegas for the 45th annual World Series of Poker have reported via Twitter that laptops and money has been stolen from their Rio Hotel rooms recently:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Both my and <a href="">@Jouhkb</a>'s laptops stolen from our room at Rio. Everything else, wallets, ipads etc still here. EPT Barcelona again?</p> — Lauri Pesonen (@oopinlare) <a href="">May 28, 2014</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Attention poker players: large sums of money has been stolen out of my room at rio last night.</p> — Manh Nguyen (@MunMunny) <a href="">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>Furthermore, according to <strong>Joni Jouhkimainen</strong> (@Jouhkb - photo), the thief (or thieves) also stole their sanitary bags and sunglasses but didn’t touch the iPads or their wallets. <em>“What’s wrong with this people?”</em> Jouhkimainen wondered.</p> <p>For <strong>Manh Nguyen</strong> though, things are much more serious. He told PokerNews that a total of $35,000 had been taken out of his room. Nguyen explained that there are signs that show the person(s) involved knew exactly where to look: <em>"It didn’t look like they went through any of my other stuff. Nothing else was taken. Room was not messy almost as if they knew to check the backpacks (with the money)."</em></p> <p>He filed a report but the investigation could take months as the Rio Hotel doesn’t have any security cameras installed in the hallways.</p> <p>This is not the first time such incidents have occurred during a poker festival. Last September, at the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona, several poker players reported the theft of their laptops during their stay at the Arts Hotel. Again, two Finnish pros were involved in the incidents – <strong>Jens Kyllonen</strong>, and <strong>Henri Kaakkola</strong> – and also Romanian cash expert <strong>Liviu </strong>“0human0” <strong>Ignat</strong>. According to their stories, their computers had mysteriously disappeared for a few hours only to reappear later. However, it was discovered that those computers were infected with a dangerous Trojan. With its help, the attacker could have had access to the victims' online bankrolls and could have seen the victims' hole cards whenever playing online.</p> <p>Since very few Las Vegas hotels have security cameras in the hallways (don’t mind the Hollywood movies such as <em>Ocean’s Eleven</em> – most of the cameras are installed exclusively in the casino to keep an eye on the cheaters and card counters, NOT on the guests), all the players who are attending the WSOP are strongly advised to store their valuable belongings, including their laptops, in a hotel safe. If the laptop doesn’t fit, it is recommended to buy a laptop cable lock available at any computer store and lock it to something in the room. If any of these aren’t an option, then take your laptop with you when you leave the room.</p> <p>Better safe than sorry.</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 16:41:13 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2874 California Tribes' Online Poker Bill Coming Next Week <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>n online poker bill being drafted by two coalitions of influential <strong>California</strong> Indian tribes will likely be ready for introduction to state lawmakers next week.</p> <p>Coalitions fronted by the <strong>Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians</strong> and the <strong>San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians</strong> met again on Tuesday to iron out additional specifics of the proposal. According to tribal lobbyist <strong>Jerome Encinas</strong>, discussions between the tribal factions are now 99.9% complete and the tribal-backed measure is nearly ready for perusal by lawmakers.</p> <p><blockquote>The meeting went well,” Encinas told eGaming Review. “All issues are resolved and we are now in the process of setting up meetings with legislators to discuss how we move forward.”</blockquote></p> <p>While <a href="">those tribes have resolved their concerns</a>, yet to be decided is how the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong> will view the soon-to-be introduced proposal. The Morongo tribe has reached agreement on a partnership with <strong>PokerStars</strong> and a triumverate of the state's largest card rooms, and if unfavorable bad actor language is included in the new bill, don't expect the Morongo tribe to be sharing a peace pipe with Pechanga and San Manuel.</p> <p>However, rumors floating around last week indicated that the bad actor issue has been addressed in the latest measure. Whether it meets the approval of the Morongo/PokerStars/Cardrooms partnership is not absolutely clear at this point in time.</p> <p>The 2014 legislative session in California runs through August and the tribal coalitions are hoping that their proposal will be approved and enacted this year. That goes double for Internet poker players and pro-online gambling forces who have been busy countering the attempts of <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong>'s<strong> Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> that is aimed at derailing the push for online poker legislation.</p> <p>Recent census figures show more than 38 million residing in California, by far the most populous state in the nation over the 26 million living in no. 2-ranked <strong>Texas</strong>. Estimates of online poker revenue reaching $500 million in the first year of operation in the Golden State are hard to ignore.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 29 May 2014 16:10:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2873 WPT Season XIII Schedule Released! Where Will the World Poker Tour Stop in 2014? <p>After 12 seasons and 193 crowned champions, the World Poker Tour is ready for more.</p> <p>Starting on June 5, 2014, the WPT will make 20 stops across four continents in less than seven months, giving a chance to every poker professional and amateur alike to compete at a high level and show off his or her reading skills.</p> <p><blockquote>Coming off a very successful Season XII highlighted by some record-setting numbers and fantastic new locations, the World Poker Tour marches into lucky Season XIII with more new global stops and many of the great tournaments that have made the WPT the most player-friendly tour in poker." - WPT Executive Tour Director, Matt Savage</blockquote></p> <p>Season XIII will make its debut with a National Event in Italy worth €990 between June 5 and 9, 2014 before switching to London, UK where an affordable £200 buy-in event will be organized at Aspers Casino between July 3 and 6.</p> <p>At the same time but on a different continent in Las Vegas, ARIA Resort &amp; Casino will host a special WPT500 event that will feature five Day 1’s, a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, and also a guaranteed first place prize of $200,000.</p> <p>The Main Tour will start off in California with the already notorious WPT Legends of Poker event beginning August 23. Two weeks later, the WPT will move to Cyprus for the WPT Merit Classic North Cyprus $4,400 Event. Other 2014 main tour stops include New Jersey, Florida, South Africa, UK, Montreal, and last but not least, the Sin City, Las Vegas.</p> <p>Here is the complete list released so far by the tour:</p> <ul><li>June 5-9, 2014: Gioco Digitale WPT National Campione</li> <li>July 3-6, 2014: partypoker WPT National UK: London</li> <li>July 4-9, 2014: partypoker presents: WPT500 at ARIA Resort &amp; Casino</li> <li>July 15-17, 2014: WPT National Valencia</li> <li>July 17-20, 2014: WPT National Valencia</li> <li>July 18-21, 2014: WPT National Brussels</li> <li>August 22-24, 2014: WPT Western Poker Challenge (part of the WPTDeepStacks)</li> <li><strong>August 23-29, 2014: WPT Legends of Poker</strong></li> <li><strong>September 5-10, 2014: partypoker WPT Merit Classic North Cryprus</strong></li> <li><strong>September 14-19, 2014: WPT Borgata Open</strong></li> <li>September 21, 2014: WPT Monster Invitational (Invitation Only)</li> <li>October 9-12, 2014: WPT National Marrakech</li> <li>October 28 – November 3, 2014: WPT National China</li> <li>October 31 – November 2, 2014: WPT National Brussels</li> <li><strong>November 7-11, 2014: WPT bestbet Poker Scramble</strong></li> <li><strong>November 13-16, 2014: WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic</strong></li> <li><strong>November 18-23, 2014: partypoker WPT UK: Dusk Till Dawn</strong></li> <li><strong>November 20-26, 2014: WPT Montreal</strong></li> <li>December 4-7, 2014: WPT National Paris</li> <li><strong>December 15-20, 2014: WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic</strong></li> </ul><p>* The bolded events are part of the Main Tour</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 14:39:27 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2872 WSOP 2014: Al Decaloris Leads Final 16 in the $25K Mixed-Max Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>vent #2 of WSOP 2014 is now down to 16 players. It is a $25,000 buy-in mixed-max event, which means that players start by playing 9-handed tables on Day 1 and finish up playing heads-up. After 131 total players paid the buy-in and more than half the field was eliminated the day before yesterday, 60 survivors came back yesterday to play down to 16 players on 6-handed tables.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a truly star-studded field, as one would expect from a WSOP tournament with this big of a buy-in and this type of structure. Although many big names fell during Day 1, there were plenty of survivors still in contention led by start-of-the-day chip leader <strong>Vanesa Selbst</strong> with <strong>Brian Rast</strong> in a close second.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>was among the early eliminations, as he came back with a rather short stack and was looking to find a double up. He got his chips in the middle flipping with pocket Jacks against Song’s Ace-King, but Song hit an Ace on the flop to send KidPoker to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eliminations kept piling on as they always do in tournaments, slowly shrinking the number of players. <strong>Jason Mercier </strong>fell along the way, as his pocket Queens could not hold against <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>’s pocket Fives. <strong>Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates </strong>followed along shortly, as he got entangled in a big hand against Selbst. Vanesa put him on a decision for his entire stack on the river and after much deliberation, Cates made the call only to be shown a turned top pair. He made his way to the rail, but not before loudly announcing his frustration.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The same fate was soon bestowed upon <strong>Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi</strong>, who handed the last of his chips to <strong>Barry Hutter</strong>.<strong> Phil Hellmuth, </strong><strong>Phil Ivey, </strong>Trickett and Rast<strong> </strong>all followed Mizrachi and eventually it was bubble time with seventeen players remaining. After some back and forth, <strong>John Juanda </strong>was that unlucky player who walked away with a bitter taste in his mouth, although it probably isn’t that hard for someone who’s been around as long as he has.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With Juanda's elimination, the field was down to sixteen and it meant not only that the remaining players were in the money, but also that play would stop for the day. After chip counts were in, it was <strong>Al Decarolis </strong>sitting on top of the leaderboard with 1.26 million in chips. Decarolis is certainly what you could term <em>an unlikely chip leader </em>in this type of event, as he is a restaurant owner and an amateur player with no live tournament cashes on his resume. That is, however, the appeal of the series, as anything can happen and often, it does.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a very close second spot is <strong>JC Tran </strong>with 1,251,000, followed by Selbst,<strong>  </strong>who apparently put her chip lead stack at the start of the day to good use as she will be starting today with 1,224,000. Other notables still in the field include <strong>Calvin Anderson, Aaron Jones, Nick Schulman </strong>and <strong>Noah Schwartz. </strong>The remaining sixteen players will start today on four 4-handed tables and play down to four players, after which play will stop for the day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In other news, Event #3, $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha, started yesterday, and it certainly did not fail the expectations of organizers as 1,128 players registered to play. It was a fast-paced tournament, as the field is already down to 106 players. Leading the way is <strong>Loren Klein </strong>with 133,900, a full 45,000 more than second place <strong>John O’Shea. </strong>Other notable names still in play include <strong>Phil Laak, Ashton Griffin, Maria Ho </strong>and <strong>Jason Somerville. </strong>With a prize pool in excess of $1 million, the winner of this event will get to take home $205,000 and change.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Event #1, the winner will be determined tomorrow (or late tonight), as play has been stopped for the day with two players remaining. The two battling for the first WSOP bracelet this summer are <strong>Roland Repajero </strong>and <strong>Corey Emery, </strong>with Repajero in the lead with about 1.8 million to Emery’s 735,000. </p> Thu, 29 May 2014 10:41:08 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2871 Another $15 Million in Full Tilt Payouts Set for June <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>n updated notice by claims administrator <strong>Garden City Group</strong> (GCG) on the official <strong>Full Tilt</strong> remission website advises that another $15 million has been approved for payment next month by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the <strong>DoJ</strong>.</p> <p>That $15 million will land in the bank accounts of roughly 3,500 U.S. players <em>"who submitted complete, timely or late Petitions confirming their FTP account balance."</em> Also in line for reimbursement in this wave of payouts are players labeled as <strong>affiliates</strong>.</p> <p>An exact date in which this latest round of players can expect their funds has not been specified, as the GCG narrowed it down only to <em>"the middle of June."</em> Further updates will be posted when the actual payout date approaches.</p> <p>Players are advised to expect dummy deposits of zero ($0.00) dollars in their bank accounts prior to arrival of the true total, as that is the way that testing is done to ensure that each bank account is valid. Bear in mind that not all banks post such zero sum transactions, so players expecting payment should not be alarmed if their statements happen to lack proof of the test deposit.</p> <p>The GCG also informs that some players set to be paid in mid-June owe the government money in the <strong>Treasury Offset Program</strong>. Those players can anticipate a deduction of their payment in order to satisfy the outstanding debt. Players in this category must complete and submit a <strong>Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form</strong> to receive any payment at all, notice of which will be sent to debt-laden players in upcoming weeks.</p> <p>To date, more than $81 million has been repaid to former U.S. Full Tilt players whose funds had been lingering in cyberspace since <strong>Black Friday</strong> in 2011. Some $76 million was distributed to approximately 27,500 players in the first wave of payments on February 28, 2014, known henceforth as <strong>Green Friday</strong>. Another $5 million was dispensed to about 2,200 players via ACH on April Fools Day.</p> <p> </p> Wed, 28 May 2014 22:20:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2870 Coral Advert Seen as Too "Seductive" by ASA <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he <strong>Advertising Standards Authority</strong> (ASA) has again come down on a bookmaker for violating codes of behavior with regard to adverts, this time forcing <strong>Coral</strong> to pull an ad that the authority deemed to be overly <em>"seductive"</em> in links to gambling.</p> <p>The ad in question features a shapely young lady sporting the attire of a horse racing jockey as she enters a barber shop while two punters are studying a racing form and preparing to place a wager via Coral on a mobile phone. Her get-up complete with a jockey's whip, the buxom blonde easily distracts the barber who inadvertently botches a customer's haircut.</p> <p>The attractive main character of the advert uses her whip to gently close the open mouth of one of the two astonished punters, as well as touching his cell phone as she bends over. Without saying a word, the comely female jockey touches a screen showing the latest odds before leaving the barber shop.</p> <p>After receiving a complaint, the ASA viewed the 29-second advert and informed Coral that the ad can no longer be broadcast, The Drum reported.</p> <p><blockquote>Because she represented the Coral Interactive brand and was shown playing a seductive role in the scenario depicted, we concluded that the ad linked gambling to seduction and was therefore in breach of the Code,” the ASA stated.</blockquote></p> <p>Coral objected, reasoning that the punters were already well on the way to placing a wager before the young lady exposing a bare midriff entered the shop. Coral also claimed that the female jockey in no way seduced or flirted with the men.</p> <p>The authority was not swayed, citing camera angles that featured her knee-high boots and sexual attractiveness. The ASA has seemingly been working overtime as of late, cracking down on the likes of <strong>Ladbrokes</strong>, <strong>Paddy Power</strong>, and now Coral.</p> <p>Check out the ad <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 28 May 2014 19:44:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2869 666Bet to Launch June 2 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> new online sportsbook and casino operating as <strong>666Bet</strong> is set to launch next Monday and has set a goal of competing with the top names in the online gambling industry by the end of 2015.</p> <p>Licensed in the <strong>Isle of Man</strong>, the new site with a devilish name has set aside quite a large marketing budget in order to establish itself in the <strong>United Kingdom</strong>, <strong>Europe</strong> and <strong>Asia</strong>. The gaming site will be headed by CEO <strong>Barry Martin</strong>, an industry mainstay for some 13 years who was previously affiliated with the <strong>Gutshot Poker</strong> club.</p> <p><blockquote>Within 18 months we will be knocking on the door of the big guys,” Martin told eGR. “We’ve got a very aggressive approach to marketing and committed a lot of money to TV this year – £5 million between now and the end of next football season."</blockquote></p> <p>Providing a face for 666Bet as brand ambassador will be former <strong>Tottenham Hotspur</strong> and the current <strong>Queens Park Rangers</strong> manager <strong>Harry Redknapp</strong>. Another recognizable name added to the marketing drive is actor <strong>Vas Blackwood</strong>.</p> <p>While the 666Bet name lends itself to marketing with satanic overtones, the new gaming site plans to stay away from such associations. The focus instead will be directed toward customer service and <em>"deliverability."</em></p> <p><blockquote>We’re not going down that route," Martin said, in reference to Antichrist marketing. "We don’t have to as the brand and story is too strong for that. The nice thing about the number ‘666’ is that it works really well in Asia which is the next market we’re going into.”</blockquote></p> <p>Within the first year, 666Bet expects to devote £8 million to marketing endeavors. Its casino content is provided by <strong>Microgaming</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 28 May 2014 18:21:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2868 WSOP 2014: Day 1 Report <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he first day of the 2014 World Series of Poker is now behind us. Although we are at the very start, most of the familiar names are already in Vegas and they wasted no time getting their feet wet. But let’s do this in chronological order.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During the opening ceremony, <strong>Ty Stewart</strong>, Executive Director of the WSOP, made a short greeting speech, welcoming everyone to the 45<sup>th</sup> WSOP, finishing with a rather rhetorical question in a room full of poker players: <em>Do you like money?</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After these words, players were taken by surprise as cannons around the tournament room started blasting out $1 bills and it was free money for everyone in the room. Everyone attending the opening ceremony tried to get their hands on as much of it as possible and in the end, a total of $10,000 found its way to new owners. Quite a spectacle, but well-fitted for the biggest festival of poker anywhere on the planet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the festivities were over, it was time to get down to business. The series officially started with the first bracelet event, the $500 <strong>Casino Employees NLHE Tournament</strong>. There were 756 registered players to start, but by the time registration closed, this number climbed to 876, creating a total prize pool of $394,200. With 90 places guaranteed to receive money, the winner will be walking away with a $82,835 prize and, of course, the bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Action was really fast and furious and by the end of 11 levels of play, only 51 players still had a stack to return with today. Bagging the chip lead was <strong>Corey Emery, </strong>a poker dealer from California. He jumped into the lead near the end of the day and has a stack of 164,900. <strong>Jay Graunstadt </strong>will be chasing Emery, as he is second in chips with 125,000. Graunstadt is a 35-year-old casino host from Las Vegas. Other notable stacks belong to <strong>Aaron Henderson </strong>(115,700) and <strong>Peter Alba </strong>(105,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not taking anything away from the first event, it was Event #2 that attracted much more attention. Starting a few hours after Event #1, the <strong>$25,000 Mixed-Max NLHE Event </strong>gathered some of the biggest names in the industry, the likes of Brian Rast, Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, to mention a few.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the registration closed, a total of 131 players signed up to put $25,000 on the line for a shot at their share of a $3,111,250 prize pool. Of this number, $871,000 is reserved for the winner, while the rest will be divided amongst the other top 15 finishers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">More than half the field has been eliminated so far, as only 60 remain. This means that there are quite a few who have already lost their chance to partake in prizes. The list includes <strong>Marvin Rettenmaeir, Chino Rheem, Joe Cada, Dan Smith </strong>and <strong>Jason Koon</strong>. A bit of a rough start for them, but if there is one thing WSOP doesn’t lack, it’s tournaments to play, so we are sure they will be back in action in no time.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other side of the spectrum is made up of those who survived the first day and on top of that list is <strong>Vanesa Selbst</strong>. After raking in a huge pot with quads near the end of the day, Vanesa will be returning with 562,800. On her heels is Big One for One Drop finalist <strong>Brian Rast</strong>, who bagged 557,400. <strong>Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi </strong>is in the third chip position, although with some work to do if he is to catch up with these two, as his stack is 399,300.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Among the top ten stacks are also <strong>Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates </strong>and <strong>John Juanda</strong>. Quite a few other big names made it through the day, including both Phils (<strong>Ivey </strong>and <strong>Hellmuth</strong>), <strong>Justin Bonomo, Sam Trickett, Jason Mercier </strong>and <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>. The remaining 60 players will be taking their seats today at 6-handed tables, as this is a mixed-max event. After that, those still in will play 4-handed and, eventually, heads up for the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for today’s schedule, there is only one event planned to take place and that is Event #3 - <strong>$1,000 Pot Limit Omaha</strong>. WSOP officials have good projections for player numbers in Omaha events, so we will see what transpires today. PokerUpdate will be back with a report on today’s happenings on the green felt and we should bring you the news on the first awarded bracelet for Event #1 if everything goes as planned.</p> Wed, 28 May 2014 12:13:04 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2867 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - May 27, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">C</span>ash game player traffic rose 3% last week and much of that gain was attributable to <strong>PokerStars</strong>' $700,000 Milestone Hands promotion.</p> <p><strong>PokerScout</strong> reported that the industry giant experienced an increase of more than 15% in ring game traffic as players were enticed by bonus cash payouts every millionth hand. The promo has concluded but the odds are good that PokerStars will continue offering such promotions whenever they get a hankering to boost traffic that is already tenfold greater than their nearest pursuer, <strong>888poker</strong>.</p> <p>If industry rumors are true, those milestone hand promotions could one day be available to players in regulated U.S. markets. PokerStars is said to be in discussions to merge with <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong> in an effort to undergo a corporate restructuring that would permit the alleged bad actor to have an easier road toward entering the U.S.</p> <p>Amaya, which operates the <strong>Ongame Network</strong> that is 27th in global player traffic with a seven-day average of 280 players, has seen its stock rise over 30% on the basis of those rumors. It's almost a given that PokerStars will eventually find a way into the U.S. somehow and someday, but don't bet the farm just yet on that route going through Amaya Gaming.</p> <p>In player traffic news not pertaining to PokerStars, the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN) has succumbed to pressure from <strong>New Jersey</strong>, <strong>Nevada</strong> and <strong>Delaware</strong> and has announced that it will no longer service those markets. The U.S.-friendly <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> made the same announcement about a week prior than EPN.</p> <p>EPN lost about 5% of player traffic last week. Just a few weeks ago, the network had peaked at 190 cash players in a seven-day average, but that number is now down to 160. Incidentally, EPN flagship skin <strong>Full Flush Poker</strong> has absorbed players from fellow skin <strong>Integer Poker</strong> effective today.</p> <p>Also taking place today is the start of the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> in Las Vegas. At the moment, <strong></strong> in Nevada has double the amount of online cash players as <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> at 110-55. With an influx of poker pros from around the world expected to play online when not navigating live tournament fields, the smart money is on WSOP to put a bit more space between themselves and UP during the course of the festival that runs through mid-July.</p> <p>Within the top ten online poker rooms and networks, <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> moved back into a tie with <strong></strong> for sixth place worldwide after being tied for seventh with <strong></strong> previously. Bovada may have been buoyed by the recent release of an app for playing fast-fold <strong>Zone Poker</strong> on mobile devices.</p> <p>Also within the top ten, <strong>Adjarabet</strong> climbed to ninth place from 11th with a seven-day average of 1,150 cash players. That gain resulted in <strong>Winamax</strong> falling to the last slot in the top ten while <strong></strong> is now in spot no. 11. Perhaps a milestone hand promo for PokerStars' French-facing site is in the offing.</p> <p>Comparing this year to last, end of May numbers for 2014 are 9% off the pace. Considering that just last week it was at 12%, the statistics reveal that the Milestone Hands promo at PokerStars provided a substantial boost.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 27 May 2014 22:40:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2866 The Newest Member of the European Parliament, Tony G: Today We Made History! <p>After winning almost $5 million in his live tournament career and offering some of the best moments in televised poker, businessman <strong>Antanas Guoga</strong>, better known as <em>Tony G</em>, has decided to switch gears and try on a new career.</p> <p>He won’t be able to harass poker players anymore but he will have the unique opportunity to show off his charismatic personality in the biggest stage of them all, in the European Parliament.</p> <p><em>“Today we made history in Lithuanian politics”</em>, Tony G said after the Lithuanian Liberal Movement won two mandates in the European Parliament. <em>“I am a young politician. I have much to learn,”</em> the 40-year-old businessman admitted, according to</p> <p>He will represent his country alongside co-national <strong>Peter Auštrevičius</strong> for the next five years in the EP and he will definitely have a lot of work to do if he wants to support the poker industry.</p> <p>So far, statistics show a declining poker market as many countries decided either to play solo, or ‘to muck their holdings.’ Countries like France, Italy, and Spain segregated their local player pools from the rest of the world while others like Belgium and Bulgaria have recently tightened up the rules.</p> <p>For European countries like the Netherlands, things are slowly taking shape as the Council of Ministers gave a remote gaming bill the green light this February.</p> <p>The UK seems to be one of the few countries in the EU where the online gambling market is thriving and many members of the poker community consider it a viable model for the rest of the world. Can Tony G defend the poker community’s case?</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 17:28:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2865 No More Jail Time For Daniel Tzvetkoff? <p>After spending four months in a Brooklyn prison in 2010, <a href="" target="_blank">the man who brought about Black Friday</a>, <strong>Daniel Tzvetkoff</strong>, could avoid further jail time, his lawyer <strong>Robert Goldstein</strong> told the Australian Associated Press.</p> <p>The former Internet whiz kid, now 31 years of age, and founder of Intabill (one of the world’s largest online payment processing companies prior to Black Friday) has helped American prosecutors with over 90,000 documents that revealed illegal activities within the grey online poker market in the U.S.</p> <p>Because of the information Tzvetkoff provided, the U.S. Department of Justice seized the .com Internet addresses of the three biggest online poker companies in the world – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus Poker Network – on April 15, 2011. As a result, PokerStars and FT stopped offering real-money play to their U.S. customers while the two poker sites Cereus was running – Absolute Poker and UltimateBet – were permanently shut down.</p> <p><em><blockquote>For a first-time offender who has never before experienced prison, four-plus months inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn constitutes a harsh and significant punishment. The reality is that even one day in those type of conditions can be exceedingly harsh punishment for a first-time offender like Mr. Tzvetkoff,”</em> Goldstein explained.</blockquote></p> <p>Tzvetkoff’s parents supported him and sent a letter to the judge who is currently handling his case saying that their son has matured into <em>“a responsible, capable, and motivated young man”</em> and that the actions that led to his arrest were a direct result of the fact the he was<em> “young at the time and therefore easily influenced by others.”</em></p> <p>Now, the Internet whiz kid is in the witness protection program and has recently been employed in Australia as a chief technical officer for <em>“a respectable organization,”</em> Goldstein added.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 16:13:54 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2864 Humble Phil Hellmuth Perhaps Needs New Nickname <p><span class="letter-big">P</span>oker players seated at the same table as <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong> during the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> this summer who are expecting the <em>"Poker Brat"</em> persona to emerge may find a kinder, gentler Hellmuth than the one players have come to know in previous years.</p> <p>Hellmuth recently revealed to <strong>PokerStars</strong> that he is not the same person that he was during his younger days, having mellowed a bit as he approaches his 50th birthday. The 13-time WSOP champion let it be known that he doesn't like to <em>"buy-in"</em> to the greatness bestowed on him by the poker media and others who envy his success on the WSOP stage.</p> <p><blockquote>I think sometimes you have to just say, 'Hey, I've been blessed, I've been given a lot in life,'" said a grateful Hellmuth. "I feel like .... uhh .... yeah, I think I've changed."</blockquote></p> <p>Hellmuth admits that he struggles with ego issues when others constantly remind him of his elevated stature in the game due to being the top all-time WSOP bracelet winner. The wisdom of age has allowed him to keep that ego in check in comparison to his behavior of 15 or 25 years ago.</p> <p><blockquote>I have a little more patience now," the Poker Brat said. "You have to be able to play your best poker, recognize all your blessings, without being cocky. It's a natural thing to have your ego flare a little bit."</blockquote></p> <p>The WSOP kicks off at the <strong>Rio</strong> in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> tomorrow with the first of 65 events. Hellmuth will be vying for gold bracelet no. 14, but has matured enough to realize to savor his past victories without getting caught up in the accolades and admiration of others.</p> <p><blockquote>It's important to digest all those wins and just kind of stay on track," said the 49-year-old. "But I don't think many people do that well."</blockquote></p> <p>Hellmuth's last WSOP title was won in 2012 at the <strong>WSOP Europe in Cannes</strong> when he took down the $10,000 Main Event for $1,333,841. He is the only player in history to have won WSOP and WSOPE Main Events.</p> <p>Check out a video of the humble Hellmuth as he prepares to continue his WSOP bracelet chase.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 26 May 2014 22:50:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2863 WSOP 2014: Ready, Set, Go! <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he World Series of Poker 2014 will be opening its doors tomorrow in Las Vegas! The most exciting time of the year for poker has finally arrived and everything seems to be ready for the rivers of players that will be flowing through the city during the next two months.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action will certainly not be lacking this summer, as there is $10 million guaranteed for the Main Event winner, the Big One for One Drop is making a comeback with a $1 million buy-in, and a plethora of other exciting events offering always desirable gold bracelets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">WSOP officials explained a couple of important details during a media conference call in order to avoid confusion and unclear situations as much as possible. With a great number of players coming from all over the world and all the events, there is bound to be some back and forth, but they are doing their best to prevent those as much as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Jack Effel, </strong>WSOP tournament director, explained the “in the money” rule pertaining to use of electronic devices. He stated that players in the money were never prohibited use of such devices, but could not wear headphones or headsets. When players are not in the hand, they can freely use their electronic devices and smartphones.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A big novelty this year is the <strong><em>grind room</em></strong>, created to accommodate online players. Inside the Rio Convention Center, the room is equipped with built-in computers, power outlets and WiFi capabilities. staff will also be there and players will be able to deposit directly to their accounts using cash.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Late registration has also been prolonged to six levels for most of the events, as well as six hours for the Main Event in order to give more chance to those wanting to participate to get their seats. WSOP Executive Director <strong>Ty Stewart </strong>firmly believes that this year’s series will see a bigger turnout than last year and many out there are hoping his predictions will come true.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There will be total of 65 events throughout the 2014 World Series of Poker and, once again, it all starts tomorrow. It is already a tradition that the first event to take place is the <strong>Casino Employee’s NLH </strong>event with a $500 buyin, but only a couple of hours later the $25,000 <strong>Mixed-Max No Limit Hold’em </strong>tournament will commence. The play will be organized in such a manner that players will be starting at 9-handed tables and play through Day 1, Day 2 will be played six-handed, four-handed play will take place on Day 3, and it will finally finish with heads-up play on Day 4.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The full schedule of events with all the structures and buy-in information can be found at WSOP pages and we will bring you day-to-day reports here on PokerUpdate with the latest information on all sorts of developments (mostly poker though).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Let the race for bracelets begin!</p> Mon, 26 May 2014 22:26:32 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2862 Michael Tabor Acquires BetVictor <p><strong>Michael Tabor</strong>, who already had a 45% stake in <strong>BetVictor</strong>, increased his share to a full 100% after a deal to acquire the company received the blessing of the <strong>Gibraltar Gambling Licensing Authority</strong>.</p> <p>With wealth estimated to be in the ballpark of £600 million, Tabor takes over the reins of BetVictor while chairman<strong> Victor Chandler</strong> and CEO <strong>Michael Carlton</strong> step down and will continue only in the capacity of consultants. Though he was at the helm for over four decades, Chandler expressed no regrets at the restructuring and his limited role from this point forward.</p> <p><blockquote>Having owned and led this business for more than 40 years, I looked towards the future and I decided that the company would be best served under new ownership and leadership," Chandler said. "I have known Mr. Tabor for many years and I am confident that the company will continue to thrive under his ownership.”</blockquote></p> <p>Tabor has a number of investments within his portfolio and has been heavily involved in the horse racing industry. He is excited about his latest purchase and admitted to having plans in mind for future growth.</p> <p><blockquote>I believe the BetVictor brand has enormous potential and is well placed to continue its expansion with further investment and strategic development,” Tabor told eGR.</blockquote></p> <p>BetVictor was known as<strong> Victor Chandler</strong> previously and also for a time had been rebranded to <strong>VC Bet</strong>. The bookmaker has been around since 1946 when Chandler's father William founded the company.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 26 May 2014 20:15:29 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2861 Rio's VooDoo ZipLine Opens in Time for WSOP <p><span class="letter-big">P</span>oker players who descend upon <strong>Las Vegas</strong> for the start of the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> tomorrow will be hoping to fly high in tournament action that leads to a big payday and possibly a WSOP gold bracelet.</p> <p>Those who need a bit of adventure away from the live tournament felt that involves flying high above the Las Vegas Strip can take a ride on the <strong>VooDoo ZipLine</strong> that celebrated its grand opening yesterday, LV R-J reported. The zipline operates nearly 500 feet above ground from the 50th floor of the Rio's Masquerade Tower to the 20th floor of the Ipanema Tower.</p> <p>The Voodoo ZipLine differs a bit from other ziplines in that it's motorized instead of relying on gravity to take thrill seekers on a 1/3 of a mile ride that allows for a stunning aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip. The entire trip lasts only about a minute and 10 seconds, a shorter amount of time than it takes some tanking poker players to make a decision on a poker hand.</p> <p>It took a bit more than a year to get the VooDoo ZipLine <em>"off the ground"</em> after the Rio announced plans for the attraction in mid-May of 2013. The ride opened just in time for the WSOP that kicks off at the <strong>Rio All Suites Hotel &amp; Casino</strong> on May 27 and runs through mid-July. A VooDoo ZipLine ride is only $27.50 during daytime hours and $42.50 after 5:30 p.m.</p> <p>Those interested in checking out the zipline can ride alone or seated next to a friend, provided that the combined weight is less than 450 lbs. Other friends can watch and take photos of your 70-second adventure from the 51st floor VooDoo Rooftop.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 26 May 2014 18:50:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2860 APPT 8: Jiajun Liu Books the Victory in Macau <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Main Even of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Season 8 in Macau reached its peak today after five days of play and we have the newest champion. It is <strong>Jiajun Liu</strong>, who navigated the final table in the best possible manner, emerging as the sole survivor with all the chips in front of him and a beautiful trophy in his hands.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Before this could happen for Liu, eight other players had to make the trip to the rail and it was Scotland’s <strong>Thomas Mcgarrity</strong> who started the day as number one in chips. With quite a few players nursing a short stack, there was bound to be some fireworks early, but nobody expected three players would leave their seats within the first half-hour of play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The one to start the mini-series of eliminations was Hong Kong’s <strong>Sailesh Verma</strong>, who was sent to the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> at the hands of Mcgarrity. His early exit was still good enough for a prize of HK $198,140. Falling shortly after him was <strong>Yat Wai Cheng</strong>, earning HK $273,000 for his efforts in Macau. Finally, Frenchman <strong>Jean-Marie Peyron </strong>exited in 7<sup>th</sup>, earning HK $355,000 after failing to come from behind against <strong>Billy 'The Croc' Argyros</strong>’ pocket Jacks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left six players still battling for the title. At this point, Mcgarrity really looked good to book the win as he extended his lead and had more than a third of the chips in play in front of him. The next two eliminations to ensue involved two players from Taiwan. The first one to go was <strong>Carlos Chang, </strong>who received HK $464,000 for his sixth place finish, while <strong>Yen Han Chen </strong>finished his race in fifth, with HK $575,000 to show for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The player to claim both of these players’ chips was <strong>Cyril Andre</strong> and this helped his stack increase quite significantly and he seized the chip lead. The tournament was down to four players with only two 60-minute levels in the books. If there is ever a need for the definition of <em>fast and furious poker action</em>, they can use this final table in Macau as an example.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was now time for Argyros to start making his move and he started chipping away at Mcgarrity. In the end, it was ‘The Croc’ who sent Mcgarrity<strong> </strong>to the rail when he managed to get all the chips in the middle holding <strong>pocket Aces </strong>against the #as#kc of Mcgarrity. The fourth place finish was good for HK $737,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With three players still in contention, it was now Argyros leading the way. Interestingly enough, he was the next one out as well. He got entangled in two big hands against Andre, both times holding a flush draw and both times failing to improve. The second time, it was Argyros<strong> </strong>who was at risk and no flush meant no more play for him. Finishing in third place earned him HK $940,000 and that brings his lifetime winnings to nearly $1.5 million, confirming his place among the best all-time Australian poker players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was heads up time for the only two remaining, Andre and Liu. They both had similar stacks at the start of play, but Liu wasn’t in a mood to dance around too much. He started applying pressure right from the start and this approach saw him turn into a short stack a few times. However, he was relentless and managed to get to even stacks against his opponent every time until the final hand.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Liu finally caught some momentum and managed to build up a three-to-one chip lead over the Frenchman. At this point, Andre was running out of options and moved all in from the button holding #qs#8h. Liu made the easy call with #7s#7c and they were off to the races.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board would provide the final excitement of the tournament as it came #qd#qc#10c and once again Liu needed some help. And help would come, as the dealer turned #7d, now leaving the Frenchman in dire straits. The river blanked as it came #9s and it was all over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Andre<strong> </strong>finished runner-up, taking home HK $1,693,000 (~US $218,000) after a grueling heads-up battle in which, in all honesty, things just wouldn’t go his way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Liu,<strong> </strong>it was clearly his day. With his victory today, he became the second Chinese player in a row to seize this title and his bounty was HK $2,776,000 (~US $360,000). His supporters on the rail certainly did not try to hide their excitement and it seems Liu had quite a fan base to help celebrate his victory.</p> Sun, 25 May 2014 17:36:36 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2859 WSOP National Championship: Nitsche Seizes the First Gold <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he official start of this year’s WSOP is still two days away, but the first gold bracelet has already been awarded. <strong>Dominik Nitsche </strong>has become the proud owner of this most desired piece of poker jewelry and this is already the second bracelet for the young gun.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After battling his way through the field of 126 players and defeating <strong>Athanasios </strong><strong>Polychronopoulos</strong> in the heads-up duel, the 23-year-old has become the first European winner of this tournament. Apart from another bracelet to adorn his wrist, Nitsche received first place prize money of $352,800.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> "It's always nice to win a tournament, especially in a tough field like here.  Athanasios is an amazing player and we played heads-up for quite some time.  Beating him feels extra sweet because he is such a good player, even though we're friends. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">NItsche is a name well-known to the poker public, as he is the part of a highly-talented German group of players mostly known for their endeavors in high roller tournaments and undeniable talent for the game. In that regard, Polychronopoulos could have certainly gotten an easier opponent for the final battle, but that’s how the chips fell and he walked away with $218,000 for his second place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Matthew Ashton </strong>was another European player to make the final table. Although he <strong>came in with quite a substantial chip lead</strong>, his stack couldn’t help him past third place and he takes home $157,399 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Chris Bibb </strong>was the last circuit qualifier standing, came in second shortest in chips, but managed to come up with a fourth place finish worth $115,655.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite finishing in fifth, <strong>Tracy Doss </strong>was probably not disappointed with his performance at this tournament. A pizza parlor owner and part-time poker player, Doss managed to win his seat online through and subsequently turned his free ticket into a final table appearance and $86,461 in cash. While it is not a Moneymaker-like story, he is probably quite happy with the nice chunk of change he is taking back home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to hit the rail was <strong>Andrew Robinson</strong>, who came in with a really short stack and rather limited options. Things didn’t really pan out for the two-time circuit ring winner, but $65,734 might help ease the pain at least a little bit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While these articles often end with something along the lines: <em>that is it, the game is over</em>, this time the games are only about to start, as the World Series of Poker starts on Tuesday, May 27 in Las Vegas and there will be tons of cash and plenty of shiny gold bracelets up for grabs. The excitement is only just beginning!</p> Sun, 25 May 2014 12:22:27 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2858 Phil Ivey Aims for First WSOP Texas Hold'em Gold Bracelet <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile widely regarded as the world's best all-around poker player with a resume that includes nine WSOP gold bracelets, <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> has surprisingly never won a WSOP title in which the game type played was <strong>Texas Hold'em</strong>.</p> <p>The <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> gets underway on Tuesday, May 27 and the <em>Tiger Woods of Poker</em> will be aiming to put an end to that career oddity. Of the 65 events on the 2014 WSOP schedule, 39 will be played as Texas Hold'em, either No-Limit, Fixed-Limit, or Pot-Limit.</p> <p>However, Ivey will be precluded from entering three of those, as he's neither a casino employee, a senior citizen, or a lady. Well, he could enter the Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship event but would have to buy-in for $10,000, while females are required to pony up only $1,000 to enter.</p> <p>Ivey won his <strong>first WSOP title</strong> in 2000, taking home $195,000 in <strong>Pot-Limit Omaha</strong>. While he didn't finish in the WSOP winner's circle in 2001, he did grab a whopping <strong>three bracelets</strong> in Las Vegas in 2002. Two of those were in <strong>7-Card Stud</strong>, while the third was a <strong>$2,000 Limit S.H.O.E.</strong> event.</p> <p>Ivey's <strong>next gold bracelet</strong> came in 2005 in <strong>Pot-Limit Omaha</strong> where the $5,000 buy-in gave him his largest career score up to that point with first place prize money of $635,603, according to the Hendon Mob database. Just five months later, he eclipsed that amount by winning $1 million in a Texas Hold'em tournament that was not hosted by the WSOP. Ivey took down the <em>$25,000 Monte Carlo Millions</em> for his first million-dollar payday.</p> <p>A WSOP gold bracelet drought ensued for a few years but million-dollar paydays and Texas Hold'em titles in non-WSOP sponsored events did not. Five days after his Monte Carlo Millions victory, Ivey won another Texas Hold'em tournament when he captured the <em>$120,000 Full Tilt Poker Invitational</em> for $600K.</p> <p>In 2008 at the <em>WPT L.A. Poker Classic</em>, Ivey binked another Texas Hold'em tournament, the <em>$10,000 Championship Event</em> that added $1,596,100 to his already bulging bankroll. The following year, he got back on the WSOP gold bracelet chase by winning <strong>nos. 6 &amp; 7</strong> in <strong>No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw</strong> and <strong>Omaha/7-Card Stud Hi/Lo</strong>, respectively.</p> <p>WSOP <strong>title no. 8</strong> was won in 2010 when Ivey bested the field in <strong>$3,000 H.O.R.S.E.</strong> and won more than $329,000. His proficiency in Texas Hold'em reached new monetary heights in 2012 in another non-WSOP event at the <em>Aussie Millions Poker Challenge</em> where a $250,000 buy-in and stellar play resulted in the championship and over $2 million in prize money.</p> <p>Ivey's <strong>ninth WSOP gold bracelet</strong> came about in April of last year in the Land Down Under at the WSOP-Asia Pacific in a <strong>AUD$2,200 Mixed Event</strong> that was good for $54,252. Critics came out in full force following that tourney with many proclaiming that the miniscule field of only 81 players was hardly worthy of a WSOP bracelet being issued.</p> <p>Nonetheless, it was a bracelet event and Ivey certainly has no control over the number of players who buy in. What he does control is the game of poker whether its Texas Hold'em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha or whatever. The fact that Ivey has never won a WSOP title in Texas Hold'em is just a rarity that may no longer hold true following the WSOP at the Rio this summer.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 24 May 2014 19:42:00 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2857 Final Table Ready for APPT Macau, Mcgarrity in the Lead <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he last hand of Day 3 in Macau has been dealt and played out and that means that we now know the names of the final nine players who will be returning tomorrow to play until only one player is left with all the chips in front of him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although 51 players returned at the start of the day, it took well over ten hours to eliminate 42 of them and form the final table. It must have taken its toll on the players still in, so they will be looking to get some well-deserved rest before coming back tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was <strong>Steve Yea </strong>who was the first to leave the room after getting his very short stack of 13,000 in and failing to hold up against a weaker hand. He was the first, but another 41 were to follow as well. <strong>Emi Hibuse </strong>was ousted in 37<sup>th</sup>, <strong>J. J. Liu </strong>was sent to the rail in 33<sup>rd</sup>, leaving the field deprived of a female presence. The chip leader to start the day, Poland's <strong>Daniel Demicki</strong>, experienced the same fate, leaving in 25<sup>th</sup>. <strong>Peter Chan </strong>hit the rail in 30<sup>th</sup> and <strong>Hao Tian</strong>, who was one of the biggest stacks in the room when play got underway, headed for the exit after a 16<sup>th</sup> place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The last player to be eliminated today, the infamous final table bubble, was <strong>Feng Wen Chen. </strong>He called off his stack with #qs #jd and wasn’t that far behind <strong>Thomas</strong> <strong>Mcgarrity</strong>’s<strong> </strong>#as #2d.<strong> </strong>However, the dealer produced a flop with not one, but two deuces, and although a queen on the turn brought some hope for Chen, the river blanked and he was eliminated in 10<sup>th</sup>, taking home HK $130,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of those returning tomorrow, it will be Mcgarrity who will be leading the way with 2,865,000. His closest competitor is nearly a million behind, as <strong>Jiajun Liu </strong>bagged 1,915,000. <strong>Andre Cyril </strong>will be returning with 1,545,000, while <strong>Carlos Kuo Chang </strong>is on 935,000 and <strong>Yat Wai Cheng </strong>will be sitting down with 875,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those with somewhat shorter stacks are <strong>Chen Yen Han </strong>with 520,000, <strong>Jean Marie Peyron </strong>starts on 435,000, <strong>Saliesh Verma </strong>(405,000), and the official short stack of the final table belongs to <strong>Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros</strong>, who will need to make something happen fast, as his stack is only 325,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave tomorrow will be pocketing HK $198,140, but there is $2,776,000 reserved for the winner, so we are probably in for another long day of poker as players will be struggling to make pay jumps and also accumulate chips, as that’s the all important ammo needed to seize the money, the day and the title! </p> Sat, 24 May 2014 18:53:44 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2856 Matthew Ashton Leading the Final Six of WSOP National Championship <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he final table of the WSOP National Championship started an hour ago and it is <strong>Matthew Ashton</strong> who is leading the way going into the day with 1.4 million in chips. Filling the other five seats at the final table are <strong>Athanasios Polychronopoulos </strong>with 937,000, <strong>Tracy Doss </strong>sitting on 546,000, <strong>Dominik Nitsche </strong>with 350,000, <strong>Christopher Bibb – </strong>321,000, and <strong>Andrew Robinson, </strong>who is the shortest stack with 157,000 in front of him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The WSOP National Championship started on Thursday and in many ways it serves as a great introduction to the World Series of Poker that will be taking place in Las Vegas in a couple of days. The tournament consists of 94 invitees - the best performers on the WSOP circuit and up to 100 players from the WSOP rankings. These 100 are allowed to buy-in to the tournament for $10,000. Another six spots are filled by four qualifiers, one Bally's Atlantic City freeroll winner and one last-chance satellite winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This year, 26 eligible players decided to pay up and take part in the fun, including the current Main Event champion <strong>Ryan Riess </strong>as well as 2012 champion <strong>Greg Merson</strong>. Other notable names included <strong>Eric Baldwin, Rusell Thomas </strong>and, of course, Ashton<strong> </strong>and Nitsche.<strong> Marvin Rettenmaier </strong>was in the field as well, but he didn't make it through to Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fifty players returned to play down to the final table yesterday and at that point the registration closed. When the numbers were announced, it was known that the remaining players would be playing for their share of a $1,260,00 prize pool. Fifteen players were going to make the money and it was <strong>Ruslan Dykshteyn </strong>who finished in the unlucky 16<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon to follow were Merson in 15<sup>th</sup>, Campanello in 12<sup>th</sup> and, finally, <strong>Schwartz </strong>in 7<sup>th</sup>, bubbling the official final table of six. When the action was stopped, it was Ashton sitting on the biggest stack. It is interesting that he and Nitsche are the only two European players to ever make the final table of this event in its four-year history.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">These six are playing for a first place prize of nearly $353,000, while the first one to leave will walk away with $65,700, so there is quite a difference, although pay jumps are not that steep. The only really big gap is between first and second – about $150,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from the great stack, Ashton certainly has a lot of experience so not many would bet against him to win this one. On the other hand, we don’t see that many tournaments won by chip leaders at the start of the final table, but let’s not get into that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other five will certainly try their best to make Ashton's way to victory as hard as possible because it is not only the money on the line, but also a very appealing title, so there will be no lack of quality poker action before the eventual champion is crowned!</p> Sat, 24 May 2014 16:26:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2855 APPT Macau Day 2: Bubble Bursts, 51 Keeping the Dream Alive <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen Day 2 of the APPT Macau Main Event was about to start yesterday, there were 206 hopeful players clinging to their seats and their stacks. By the time the tournament director announced the last hand of the day, 145 of those players were sent to the rail with their dreams put on hold for future tournaments.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the number of players coming back yesterday, it wasn’t certain if the tournament would reach the bubble phase, as only 60 players were going to make the money. But just as the tournament was reaching its final moments of the evening with the last level underway, it was down to 67. On some other occasions, the task of eliminating the last seven players would take a while, but it was not the case this time in Macau.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play was fast and furious and just like that, players were in the money with about half an hour left on the clock. There would usually be a hand-for-hand phase when they were down to 61, but players apparently decided there was no need to prolong the inevitable and before the hand-for-hand could start, the bubble burst. Due to this, it was a bit of a task to figure out the bubble boy, but they found him eventually and it was decided the honor would belong to <strong>Frangky Tegoeh </strong>from Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Then another nine eliminations took place to bring the final number of survivors to 51. Emerging from the chaos with his head held high was Poland’s own <strong>Daniel Demicki</strong> with a stack of 585,000. He is followed closely by <strong>Jiajun Liu </strong>with 577,000, while <strong>Hao Tian </strong>in third bagged 481,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Team PokerStars Pro players failed to do much yesterday. The first one to leave the stage was <strong>Bryan Huang </strong>after running his pocket Kings into pocket Aces. Soon to follow was <strong>Celina Lin</strong>, whose pocket Tens were miles behind her opponent’s trip Queens. And <strong>Raymond Wu </strong>fell as well after not being able to improve in a coin flip situation. None of them managed to make the money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Among those who had a better day, we must mention <strong>JJ Liu</strong>, one of the most prominent female players with $2.7 million in tournament winnings to her name. Despite starting the day with a very short stack, she grinded away and in the end managed to bag 89,000. Another lady returning today is <strong>Emi Hibuse </strong>with 90,500, while <strong>Kitty Kuo </strong>didn’t make it through.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other players who will be battling for their seat at the final table today include <strong>Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, Peter Chan, Linh Tran </strong>and <strong>Saliesh Verma</strong>, to mention a few. All these players have taken their seats at the tables and the race for the final table seats is well under way. We will soon know the names of the finalists who will return tomorrow for the epilogue of the APPT8 Macau Main Event, all looking to claim the first place prize of about $320,000.</p> Sat, 24 May 2014 10:24:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2854 Equity Poker Network Exits Regulated States <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s expected, the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN) announced that all network skins will no longer be permitting players to log on from the regulated states of <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>.</p> <p>Just yesterday, EPN flagship skin <strong>Full Flush Poker</strong> issued its own press release stating its immediate withdrawal from the three regulated states. Now the entire network that includes the likes of skins <strong>Poker Host</strong>, <strong>Integer Poker</strong> and <strong>Action Poker</strong> has followed suit.</p> <p>EPN sent notices to all poker rooms within the network advising that its <em>Networks Central Administration Rules</em> have been modified to reflect that no players from the trio of regulated states can play for real-money.</p> <p><blockquote>Our players are our number one priority, but playing fair is also central to our ethos," the EPN press release stated. "We believe this decision is in the best interests of the network and its operators to add and adhere to this rule, given the availability of regulated poker in these U.S. states.”</blockquote></p> <p>EPN launched in November as a U.S.-facing network and had been slowly gaining a following of players. However, the network recently lost about 10% from its peak player traffic total after closing the accounts of a number of winning players in favor of a more recreational player base.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 24 May 2014 04:28:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2853 GPI Announces its First Free Print Magazine in the USA <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span> he World Series of Poker is always an exciting time with so much happening in and around the poker world. With this year's WSOP only days away, everybody is on their toes awaiting the start signal for all the excitement, and the good fellows at the <strong>Global Poker Index </strong>wanted to increase their role in the festival.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">GPI is already the official partner of the series and one of their latest acquisitions is the popular <strong>HendonMob </strong>page with an extensive database of players and results of live tournament scores from all over the world. However, there is no such a thing as too much public presence so company CEO <strong>Alexandre Dreyfus </strong>announced today the launch of the first free print magazine in the states.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The magazine will be distributed free of charge at the Rio and the majority of content occupying 56 full-colored pages will be devoted to this years’ WSOP, like the <em>2014 WSOP Guide, WSOP Survival Guide</em>, together with an article helping players find the best tournaments outside of Rio.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There is also an extensive GPI list covering the top 1,500 players, serving as an addition to the online rankings which currently cover the top 300 spots. In the welcoming article, Dreyfus explained the reasons for the magazine but also shed some light on his future vision for the GPI.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>The poker world acknowledged that it needed a dedicated solution to rank tournament players. We’re happy they trusted us to step in and fill this void, and we believe all players need recognition if we want to grow our industry. It won’t happen if only the winners of the world’s largest events are congratulated."</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In this light, he sees the magazine as another stepping stone towards achieving this goal, especially with the extended list of players enabling those who may not be at the very top of the food chain to look and see how they measure up with the rest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The magazine is already available as a digital edition in case you cannot wait to see it or you won’t be visiting Vegas this summer. The content really looks both interesting and informative. Dreyfus also hinted that this is only one of numerous projects the company is planning to implement during the summer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For those who will be in Vegas, the magazine can certainly come in handy whether you are looking for some information on where to play or where to stay for the duration or simply for something to keep you occupied if the table action is just too slow – provided there are enough copies kicking around.</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 19:26:04 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2852 APPT Macau: Another 119 Proceed to Day 2 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>nother 119 players will be joining the 87 survivors from Day 1A to continue their quest for the title today. Tournament organizers were keeping their fingers crossed for the field to reach 500 players, but those expectations did not materialize, albeit only by six players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With 282 registrations yesterday, the final field amounted to 494 players, creating a prize pool of HK $11,021,140 (around $1,420,000). As registration was officially closed after Level 4 yesterday, it was also announced that 60 players will be making money, with HK $2,776,000 ($320,000) reserved for first place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although we often see the chip leader of Day 1B emerge as the overall chip leader for the start of Day 2, this time it was not the case. <strong>Peter Chan </strong>bagged 141,000 when all was said and done and that was well behind Bo Xie, who finished Day 1A with 166,000. In fact, Chan’s finish yesterday will only secure him fifth chip position to start the day. But it is still relatively early in the tournament so the only really important thing is having a playable stack. Chan, who has about $600,000 in tournament cashes, has yet to make a significant single score so he will certainly be looking to make something happen in Macau.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the others who made it through yesterday include PokerStars Team Pros <strong>Raymond Wu </strong>and <strong>Celina Lin</strong>, although neither of them will be starting with a remarkable chip count. Also alive and kicking are <strong>Shivan Abdine, Wei Chen, Victor Chong </strong>and <strong>Alex Lee</strong>, to mention just a few.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yesterday was, of course, not kind to all participants, as more than half of them had to bid farewell to their Main Event hopes. Some of the busted players now watching from the rail include former Asia Player of the Year <strong>Shaq Lin</strong>, 2012 Aussie Millions runner-up <strong>Kenny Wong</strong>, and WSOP bracelet winner <strong>Aaron Lim</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Survivors of both first days are playing together today, all 206 of them, closing in on the money and, eventually, the final table. The bubble, in all likelihood, will not be bursting today, so those who make it through will have to sweat some more tomorrow before they can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they won’t be going home with their pockets empty.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With cashing still quite far away, short stacks will be taking their chances to try and double up, while big stacks will be taking them on to try and further their distance from the crowd. It will be an exciting day of poker in Macau for sure, for both players and their friends and supporters who are sharing in on their dreams of fame and money!</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 11:36:04 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2851 Full Flush Poker Withdraws From U.S. Regulated Market <p><strong>Full Flush Poker</strong> (FFP) on the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN) announced that effective immediately, players in the regulated states of <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> will no longer be allowed to play online poker for real-money.</p> <p>Players residing in those states will receive emails explaining the new policy. Account balances will have to be withdrawn and Full Flush has assured that players will receive their funds in expedited fashion.</p> <p><blockquote>FFP operates with its players foremost in mind, and fair play for all customers is paramount," stated a press release. "With these principles in mind, the recreational online poker site has decided to stop serving players who reside in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware due to the availability of a regulated poker market in those states."</blockquote></p> <p>The withdrawal of the EPN flagship skin comes just a little more than a week after the U.S.-friendly <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> (WPN) also withdrew from the regulated states in the U.S. Anchored by <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong>, the press release issued by WPN skins last week looks almost identical to that of FFP.</p> <p>Poker sites in regulated states such as New Jersey have been complaining that unregulated sites are not held to the same requirements and standards as those that have been approved by state gaming regulators. It is seen as part of the reason why the online poker regimes in regulated states have been losing player traffic as of late.</p> <p>EPN operates as a cooperative where each skin is permitted a bit more autonomy in making decisions than most other poker networks. There has been no word yet as to whether other EPN skins such as <strong>Integer Poker</strong> or <strong>Action Poker</strong> are also withdrawing from the regulated U.S. market, but it is highly likely that such an announcement will follow shortly.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 23 May 2014 04:15:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2850 WSOP Requires More IDs From Non-U.S. Players <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith only five days to go before the 45th annual <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> kicks off in <strong>Las Vegas</strong>, international players are being advised to bring additional identification other than a passport in order to register for live tournaments.</p> <p>In an effort to combat money laundering, players who don't reside within the United States are being asked to show another form of ID that verifies residency. Apparently, the request was a directive from the <strong>Nevada Gaming Commission</strong>.</p> <p><blockquote>Attn non-US WSOP players," read a tweet from the WSOP Twitter account. "You'll want a 2nd form of ID besides passport to reg for events. Need ID proving your residency/current address."</blockquote></p> <p>The announcement was met with a number of angered replies from players who felt that WSOP organizers could have given a bit more warning concerning the new policy. Some may have already left their native land.</p> <p><strong>Caesars</strong> VP of Corporate Communications <strong>Seth Palansky</strong> advised players not to panic, tweeting, <em>"Simply try and bring a document that shows your address along with passport."</em></p> <p>The 2014 WSOP begins on May 27th and will offer 65 events culminating in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event that is set for a first flight on July 5. The ME will run through July 14 until the final table is set and will go on hiatus until the action commences on November 10. A winner will emerge on November 11.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 22 May 2014 22:25:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2849 PokerStars Finishes in the Money on 'Best Workplace' List <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>or the third year in a row, the <strong>Rational Group</strong> has landed among the best places to work in the <strong>United Kingdom</strong>, making 14th place on the <strong>Great Place to Work Institute</strong>'s annual list.</p> <p>The parent company of <strong>PokerStars</strong> and <strong>Full Tilt</strong>, with headquarters based in the <strong>Isle of Man</strong>, was chosen based upon a survey taken of employees and managers at large UK companies. Although the latest honor encompasses only UK workplaces that included the Isle of Man, Rational Group offices in <strong>Costa Rica</strong> and <strong>Ireland</strong> received similar awards earlier this year.</p> <p><blockquote>Once again, we are the only company in our industry to receive this accolade, which speaks volumes for our desire to lead from the front,” said Rational Group CFO Michael Hazel. “We are working hard to embrace the principles of what makes a great workplace and will never stop listening to our people and acting on their feedback.”</blockquote></p> <p>For those interested in gaining employment at one of the best workplaces, the career page at the Rational Group website currently lists 31 job vacancies in offices around the world. Those positions run the gamut from <strong>Senior Corporate Development Manager</strong> to <strong>Play Money Poker Room Manager</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 22 May 2014 16:34:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2848 APPT Macau: 87 Survive Day 1A <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he first of two starting days for the HK $25,000 Main Event of APPT8 in Macau attracted a field of 212 players yesterday. Organizers were hoping for some 200 players to turn up for play, as that would put them on pace for an overall field of 500 and those expectations were met. Reaching this number has special significance because it would make it the biggest field size for this tournament since 2011 when 575 players grabbed a seat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Macau has certainly managed to establish its place as one of the world’s premier poker and gambling centers over the last couple years and the APPT stop there is just another indicator of this trend. More than two hundred players started to play with a single goal in mind – make it through to Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the end, only 87 were able to reach that goal. The rest hit the rail, some earlier than the others, but in the end it didn’t really matter: you are either among the survivors or you are not. The player who made it through with the most <em>life</em> was <strong>Bo ‘Box’ Xie</strong>. Xie finished the day as the chip leader with 166,000 in his bag. Keeping him company at the top of the leaderboard are <strong>Alvan Zhang </strong>with 151,400 and <strong>Jaswinder Suri </strong>with 149,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two more notable names, <strong>Bryan Huang </strong>and <strong>Vivian Im</strong>, both PokerStars Team Pro players, were in the field, but Im failed short of making it through after running her pocket Kings into the pocket Aces of the end-of-day chip leader, Xie. Huang survived, with a stack of about 31,000. You may not be familiar with these two, but you will certainly recognize the name <strong>Johnny “The Master” Chan</strong>, who was also among those battling for their seat on Friday. Saddly, Johnny didn’t make it, as he registered late into the day and quickly got his chips into the middle with the nut flush draw but failed to improve.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A few of those who will be returning for Day 2 include <strong>Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, Victor Teng</strong>, and 2010 APPT Macau champion <strong>Victorino Torres.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players are playing Day 1B today and tournament directors are keeping their fingers crossed to make it over that magical 500 number. Those who survive today will merge with yesterday’s survivors to resume their journey toward the final table. After today, we will also have the amount of the final prize pool and information as to how many players will finish in the money, so the excitement is only just beginning.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We will make sure to keep you informed on all this and more as things develop until it all merges down to the final table scheduled to be played on Sunday!</p> Thu, 22 May 2014 15:54:14 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2847 'Ladbrokes Life' Ads Draw Complaints to ASA <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> new marketing campaign that kicked off last month at <strong>Ladbrokes</strong> has resulted in complaints to the <strong>Advertising Standards Authority</strong> (ASA) despite the inclusion of a responsible gaming message.</p> <p><em>"The Ladbrokes Life"</em> campaign is centered around five types of bettors, each with their own leanings toward how to wager successfully. While the bookmaker cites the fact that the adverts have been received as <em>“overwhelmingly positive,”</em> critics have been quick to point out that the marketing endeavor tends to glamorize gambling.</p> <p>Ladbrokes representatives defended the advertisements, stating that perhaps the public was taken aback by the new campaign because it deviates from the norm with regard to what customers have come to expect from other bookmakers.</p> <p><blockquote>Our challenge was to rise above the general noise in the market," Ladbrokes retail marketing director Andy May told The Drum. "We’re already delivering dramatic improvements in our products and services, and it’s time to make a real statement and say to customers that Ladbrokes understand you, knows what you like and how you bet.”</blockquote></p> <p>Ladbrokes has been making book for over a century and is highly cognizant of the clientele it attracts. That is reflected in featuring five kinds of bettors, labeled as <em>The Professor, Generous John, Gut Truster, Mr. Brightside, and The Believer.</em></p> <p>The ASA has not taken kindly to adverts that tend to push the envelope, so to speak. <strong>Paddy Power</strong>, <strong>888</strong> and <strong>Mr. Green</strong> have all felt the wrath of the ASA for previous marketing campaigns. But Ladbrokes is standing firm regarding Ladbrokes Life.</p> <p><blockquote>There appear to be a few people who have had a sense of humour failure regarding our new campaign,” a Ladbrokes spokesperson told eGR. "The fact that the campaign includes the first ever TV ad that is dedicated to a responsible gambling message appears to have been ignored. We trust the ASA will dismiss the complaints in due course.”</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 22 May 2014 15:05:51 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2846 AGA Drops Support for Online Gambling <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he fight to regulate online poker and gambling in the U.S. lost a major player as the <strong>American Gaming Association</strong> (AGA) has announced that it will no longer be supporting the cause.</p> <p>Citing divisiveness among the casinos it represents, AGA CEO <strong>Geoff Freeman</strong> stated that the organization will cease lobbying efforts regarding online gambling, referring to the matter as <em>"an issue that the association cannot lead on,"</em> the Wall Street Journal reported.</p> <p>Just a few months ago, Freeman was seemingly leading the way in efforts to legalize Internet gambling. The AGA honcho came across as very well-spoken and knowledgeable in testifying before federal lawmakers in December at a hearing centered around a bill proposed by <strong>Rep. Joe Barton</strong>.</p> <p>But it appears that Freeman's hands are now tied by AGA members who cannot find common ground as to the benefits of online gambling. One of those members, Las Vegas Sands CEO <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong>, is leading the charge against regulated online gambling. Adelson established the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> in the same month that Freeman testified before a House committee.</p> <p>Despite a number of AGA member casinos throwing their support behind online gambling, it appears that Adelson's influence has won them over. At least to the point that the AGA will not actively promote and lobby for online gambling legislation.</p> <p>Freeman expressed regret that the AGA has hung up its gloves on the matter and put forth his own observation of gaming insiders. <em>"One of the things I've learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another… The snipers in this industry are of the highest quality and, if you let that be the focus, we'll kill each other."</em></p> <p>The <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> (PPA) will continue the fight for online poker and gambling legislation in the U.S. As will the <strong>Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection</strong> (C4COP), which was created to thwart the efforts of Adelson and his coalition.</p> <p>Online poker and gambling regulation has been making progress as of late. Although no new states have enacted Internet gambling laws and launched since <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> did last year, a number of states, particularly <strong>California</strong>, have been moving a bit closer to doing so.</p> <p>The AGA dropping out of the picture can certainly be viewed as a setback. However, the fight will go on with the PPA and C4COP at the helm.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 21 May 2014 21:18:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2845 Illegal Sites Hindering Online Market in the USA? <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>n interesting article appeared the other day that discussed the state of online poker in the states and how illegal sites operating within the USA are actually damaging the development and progress of regulated sites.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The East Coast Gaming Congress met on Monday in Atlantic City and the panel of experts expressed their opinions on how illegal offshore gambling sites continue to operate in the states, directly hurting the online gambling industry in the three states that have regulated markets (Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">New Jersey’s income from Internet gambling started falling in April and it took a hit of approximately half a million in comparison to March.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>“Internet gambling exists in all 50 states today,” said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. “It’s just not regulated.” <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to Rebuck, New Jersey recently sent cease-and-desist letters to offshore companies who advertise and offer their services to state residents, as regulation confines online gambling only to within the state. Richard Schuetz from California claims that more than one million people are playing online from that state and that equates to a $300-400 million industry that operates without proper regulation or any kind of taxation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Check out our list of <a href="">legal New Jersey poker sites</a> where you can play poker for real money</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the bigger problems in this ordeal, in Rebuck’s opinion, is the fact that regulated sites require a plethora of information from their users and a lot of people are very hesitant in giving away their social security numbers and credit card information. On the other hand, some of these illegal sites (as they insist on calling them) offer potential customers a chance to play without revealing a single piece of information.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Those sites exist. It is a valid concern."</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Rebuck is probably referring to Bitcoin and other virtual currency driven sites, which have gained a fair share of popularity in the US because they offer both anonymity and simple ways to get your funds online and start playing within minutes. While these sites may have risks and problems of their own, recreational players looking for some fun will probably not care about them as much as they care about sharing their important personal information with someone on the other side of the “wire.” Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by, only about 10 percent of people in New Jersey are even aware that Internet gambling is legal in their state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eamonn Toland, president of the Paddy Power betting company in the USA, expressed his opinion that multiple problems arising with credit card acceptance are also creating a big holdup for the industry, as people coming to play online have little time on their hands and they want to spend it having fun, not wasting three hours to deposit money online.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite all of this, the panel agreed that there is great growth potential for the industry in the states and that progress will come. Expectations, however, need to be realistic for the time being, as Schuetz emphasized.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> The people who say it’s not doing well enough are like the two parents who look at their 5-month-old and say, ‘It doesn’t speak any languages!” Schuetz said. “Let’s get our expectations in line.” <cite></cite></blockquote></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 12:37:50 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2844 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - May 20, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter two weeks of gains, the online poker industry experienced a decrease of 3% in cash game action last week.</p> <p>Nine of the top ten poker rooms and networks declined. The only movement among the top ten saw <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> fall into a seventh place tie with <strong></strong> after being tied with <strong></strong> for sixth place in the previous player traffic update.</p> <p>Holding down second place globally is <strong>888poker</strong>, who continues to ride a wave of popularity thanks to its <strong>Snap Poker</strong> promotion. <strong>PokerScout</strong> reported that 888 experienced an all-time record in fast-fold player participation last Saturday. The promo concludes today but 888 may have snapped up some new loyal fast-fold customers.</p> <p>888 is apparently shedding other customers, those from the U.S. who moved to <strong>Canada</strong> and <strong>Mexico</strong> in order to play online poker. Reports from 2 + 2 posters indicate that 888 has closed the accounts of a number of online poker refugees without providing an adequate reason as to why.</p> <p>Also instituting a ban on players last week was the U.S.-facing <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong>. WPN announced that players in the regulated states of <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> will no longer be allowed access to network skins. As of yet, there has been no decline in ring game player traffic at WPN.</p> <p>Perhaps traffic at WPN remained stable because a number of players in Nevada and New Jersey reported on online poker forums that WPN representatives told them to change their addresses to unregulated states in order to continue playing at the likes of <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong> and <strong>True Poker</strong>. WPN is currently third among U.S.-friendly sites behind Bovada and <strong>Merge</strong>.</p> <p><strong>California</strong> online poker players may not have to patronize unregulated sites much longer. Recent reports indicate that native tribes in the Golden State have found common ground and are drafting an online poker bill to reflect their new-found alliance.</p> <p>While the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong> and their partnership with the state's largest card rooms and <strong>PokerStars</strong> is not directly tied in with that alliance, rumors indicate that a compromise may be made to alleged "bad actors." Online poker player traffic numbers will look completely different if and when California approves regulations.</p> <p>Also expected to look different is player traffic in Nevada once the <strong>45th annual WSOP</strong> kicks off next Tuesday. Players from throughout the globe are expected to log on at <strong></strong> in Nevada while not concentrating on making deep runs during live poker tournaments at the <strong>Rio</strong> in <strong>Las Vegas</strong>.</p> <p>Over in New Jersey, online poker revenue dropped about 19% in April in comparison to March tallies. May is not looking much better, especially at the <strong>All American Poker Network (AAPN)</strong>, where liquidity for this month has decreased 30% thus far. PokerScout surmised that one reason for the steep loss in action may be the conclusion of the site's long running 80% rakeback promo.</p> <p>The <strong>Party Borgata Network</strong> is apparently taking aim at corralling those grinders who recently left AAPN. A recent software update allows players greater control over table selection, which is much more crucial to pros than it is to the casual crowd.</p> <p>The global online poker market is 12% off the pace from last year. A decent-sized portion of that 12% could eventually be chipped away if California were to regulate online poker during this legislative session as recent rumors suggest.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 20 May 2014 20:02:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2843 California Indian Tribes Reach Online Poker Agreement <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker regulation in <strong>California</strong> moved one step closer to becoming a reality as coalitions of a number of the state's powerful Indian tribes have reportedly reached an agreement on drafting an online poker bill.</p> <p>Coalitions headed by the <strong>San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians</strong> and the <strong>Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians</strong> are said to be in favor of moving forward with Internet poker legislation after a pow-wow in San Diego recently led to resolving several key sticking points. Another sit-down is scheduled for May 27 in which the online poker bill will be discussed further, eGR reported.</p> <p><blockquote>We have made excellent progress and will be working together on the passage of intrastate Internet poker,” said tribal lobbyist Jerome Encinas. “We are very happy that the tribes have come together on key differences and look forward to providing agreed upon language to the legislature.”</blockquote></p> <p>The language agreed upon centers around the number of poker sites that a licensee would be permitted to operate. San Manuel was reportedly in favor of putting no restrictions on site limits while Pechanga felt that one per licensee would suffice. Peace was reached when the coalitions agreed upon two.</p> <p>To no one's surprise, the tribes also reached an accord regarding excluding horse racing interests from holding an online poker license. Legislation proposed in previous years by <strong>Sen. Roderick Wright</strong> had sought to include racetracks. Wright has since been convicted on eight counts pertaining to voter fraud and he no longer chairs the <strong>Senate Governmental Organization Committee</strong> that oversees gaming laws.</p> <p>One remaining contentious issue standing in the way of online poker legislation in the Golden State is the recent partnership agreement reached between <strong>PokerStars</strong>, the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong>, and three state card rooms. PokerStars is viewed as a <em>"bad actor"</em> for continuing to operate in the U.S. market post-UIGEA and two online poker bills pending before the state legislature include bad actor language that would exclude the industry giant from participating.</p> <p>The draft being worked on by the Pechanga and San Manuel tribal factions allegedly addresses the bad actor dilemma. While specifics have not yet been released, some industry observers are of the mind that PokerStars may be allowed to participate after perhaps adhering to some form of penalty.</p> <p>Penalization may be effected through monetary fines and/or license restrictions for a certain period of time, speculated. Details will be further known once the draft online poker bill is finalized and made public, but indications are that a compromise regarding bad actors may be in the offing.</p> <p>The 2014 legislative session concludes in August and industry scuttlebutt has surfaced with leanings toward the possible approval of Internet poker legislation before lawmakers adjourn. A recent tweet by editor <strong>Victor Rocha</strong> indicated as much when he tweeted, <em>"I was told by people much smarter than me that it will pass this session."</em></p> <p>While <strong>New Jersey</strong>, <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and other states that eventually approve Internet poker regulations would love to include California and its population of 38 million in a future interstate online poker scheme, that possibility looks grim as all the recent proposals emanating from the Golden State are fixed upon intrastate poker only. The draft being created by San Manuel and Pechanga follows in that vein.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 20 May 2014 17:10:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2841 888poker Closing Accounts of Relocated US Players? <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span> couple of days ago, a thread surfaced on 2+2 forums in which several players were complaining that their accounts with poker rooms that are part of the <strong>888 network </strong>had suddenly been closed. Today, a few days later, there is only a bit more information available, as 888poker representatives seem either unwilling or unable to shed more light on the topic.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The closure of multiple accounts relates to players from Mexico and Canada only, but it is clearly not connected to territorial issues either, as 888 continues to offer their services in both countries and it is business as usual. It seems that the affected players are predominantly USA <em>expats </em>who decided to relocate in order to be able to play online poker.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All players who had their accounts closed received pretty much the same email message, which does not detail the reasons for taking these actions, but merely states that the decision has been made “to discontinue your membership with us” and asks players to “refrain from opening new accounts owned or operated by us.”</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many players did not find this kind of response satisfactory for obvious reasons, so they pressed further in hopes that they would be able to get an official statement from an 888 representative on the forum. The pressure did produce a statement, but its content was probably not what those affected by these decisions were hoping for.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> We continuously monitor all 888poker accounts and activities and take steps accordingly. In the event you have received an email that you feel is an error, then please contact the support team and you will be answered in due course.</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The lack of a proper response gave wings to speculation about what the reason could be for these events and some forum members have expressed their opinion that these closures could be linked to certain players using VPNs to access the poker clients. This would be in clear conflict with the sites’ TOS and that some accounts that were only guilty of receiving transfers from these players have also fallen victim in the process.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is, of course, just a theory, as no one can be certain until such a time that 888 decides to offer a proper explanation. In the meantime, it seems that some of the Mexican accounts of players who are not exiled US citizens have been affected as well, but the events are restricted only to certain parts of that country, including the cities of Playa Del Carmen and Cancun.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Affected players are now naturally on their toes, as 888 is one of the companies that also offers online games in the USA and this could potentially mean that they will not be able to open accounts with them back home once online poker is regulated throughout the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The brighter side of the story is that it appears that none of the players lost their balances in the closure process and they have either received or will be receiving the full amounts of their account balances. We’ll stay on top of the situation as it develops and keep you informed about new developments when they occur.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Get $10 FREE + 2 Tickets to $5000 Freerolls EVEYDAY at <a href=";">888Poker </a>(for NJ Players only)</strong></p> Tue, 20 May 2014 15:49:29 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2840 Ivan 'vandir4rek' Soshnikov Takes Down SCOOP 2014 Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith a buy-in of $10,300, the Main Event of SCOOP is without a doubt a very attractive prospect for online and live tournament grinders alike. Playing for hundreds of thousands from the safety and comfort of your very own home is by no means an everyday event. If you get to walk away with over a million bucks, that's obviously even better.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And that is exactly what <strong>Ivan ‘vandi4rek’ Soshnikov </strong>managed to pull off last night after coming out on top of the record SCOOP Main Event field of 657 players. The turnout meant that the guaranteed prize pool of $3 million was more than doubled and the winner would walk away with more than a million, $1,048,000 to be precise (after the deal).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The tournament unfolded as a two-day event with late registration open for four hours. After the registration button turned grey, the official number of players to make the money was 81. Not surprisingly, the tournament saw many big names take their virtual seats, amongst them <strong>Ike Haxton</strong>, who finished just short of tasting the money, and <strong>Will ‘molswi47’ Molson</strong>, whose only achievement for this SCOOP ME will be the title of bubble boy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1 finished with 60 players still in the hunt and the super-strong remaining field promised a very exciting endgame. Both <strong>Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier </strong>and <strong>Eugene ‘E. Katchalov’ Katchalov </strong>made it to Day 2, although ‘ElkY’ didn’t last long and finished 45<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Others were to follow. <strong>Ben ‘Benba’ Lamb </strong>hit the rail in 40<sup>th</sup> place, <strong>Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson </strong>ended the race in 24<sup>th</sup>, and after Katchalov exited in 19<sup>th</sup>, play was down to two tables. Among those who came so close were <strong>Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich </strong>(16<sup>th</sup>), <strong>Rens ‘Rens02’ Fenestra </strong>(13<sup>th</sup>), and <strong>Reed ‘CalBears123’ Goodmiller </strong>in 10<sup>th</sup>. After some six hours of play into Day 2, it was final table time!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>'Sat1337en' </strong>from Sweden, who came in second shortest in chips, was first to go ($98,555), followed by the Mexican <strong>Santiago ‘sanpri’ Nadal</strong>, who finished 8<sup>th</sup> ($147,825). <strong>'VVVILELAAA' </strong>from Brazil started the final table as the shortest stack and after outliving two players, it was his turn to go ($213,525). After this elimination, the remaining six started considering a deal, but <strong>Ben ‘NeverScaredB’ Wilinofsky </strong>put an end to that discussion as he wanted to play for all the marbles.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon after, however, Wilinofsky ($279,225) was eliminated in 6<sup>th</sup> place at the hands of <strong>Phill ‘Grindation’ Mcallister</strong>, who apparently couldn’t find good use for NeverScaredB’s chips as he followed him to the rail in 5<sup>th</sup> ($350,838), giving up his chips to Soshnikov.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fourth place went to <strong>Martin ‘M.nosbocaJ’ Jacobson </strong>($499,320),<strong> </strong>who also fell at the hands of Soshnikov. With his elimination, players were back to the drawing board in trying to reach a deal. There was a lot of back and forth with Soshnikov sticking to a now somewhat legendary ‘I want million’ statement from another SCOOP final table. Eventually, an agreement was reached with the following payouts:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ivan ‘vandir4rek’ Soshnikov – <strong>$988,000</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">‘Better C4ll’ – <strong>$890,820</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Peter ‘Se7enTr3y’ Akery – <strong>$860,000</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn’t all over just yet, as there was still the SCOOP title and $60,000 hanging in the balance for the winner. ‘Better C4ll’ wouldn’t hang around for long, as he was eliminated just two hands after the deal was made when his pocket Tens were no match for Soshnikov’s Ladies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was now down to <strong>Ivan Soshnikov</strong> and <strong>Peter Akery </strong>and neither was willing to let go easily, especially Akery, who was facing a 3.5:1 chip deficit. But after about one hour of play, ‘Se7enTr3y’ ran out of luck and his #kh#9h could not outrun the #ad#6h of ‘vandir4rek.’ After adding the extra $60,000 to the deal amount, Soshinkov got to walk away with <em>a million </em>in the end. Nothing else to say but – good game, well played!</p> Tue, 20 May 2014 11:17:26 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2839 WSOP Main Event Odds at CarbonSports <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile players from around the world will be flocking to Las Vegas next week for the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong>, a number of those who wish they could go will not be able to attend due to other responsibilities or commitments.</p> <p>Those players and fans unable to participate in the WSOP action at the <strong>Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino</strong> can, however, finish in the money by placing wagers on their favorite players in the Main Event. <strong>CarbonSports</strong> has released a complete list of odds of winning the Main Event for a whole slew of poker pros who will be buying in to the $10,000 tournament that has guaranteed $10 million to the winner for the first time in WSOP history.</p> <p>The world's best all-around poker player, <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, is listed as the favorite to take home his 10th WSOP gold bracelet in the Main Event at +15,000. He is followed by PokerStars Team Pro <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> at +17,500. Just a $10 bet on each could be worth either $1,500 or $1,750.</p> <p>If you're betting on <strong>Ryann Reiss</strong> to be the first WSOP Main Event winner to successfully defend his title since <strong>Johnny Chan</strong> in 1987-88, you can place that wager at +22,500. Perhaps you'd like to put your cash on the man with the most WSOP gold bracelets, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>. Odds on the Poker Brat are currently fixed at +20,000.</p> <p>Is this the year that a female will take home the Main Event title? The all-time leading tournament money winner among ladies, <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong>, is listed at +40,000. Likewise for <strong>Annette Obrestad</strong>, who is aiming for her second WSOP gold bracelet after winning her first and more than $2 million at the WSOPE in 2007.</p> <p>Players and fans who cannot make it to the WSOP can still get in on the action at <a href="">CarbonSports</a>. Players with a Carbon Poker account can use their current bankroll to place a WSOP Main Event wager by clicking on <em>"Sports"</em> in the poker client.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 19 May 2014 18:56:40 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2838 World Cup Frenzy at William Hill <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>World Cup Frenzy at William Hill</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Football World Cup is quickly approaching. In less than a month, 32 countries will bring their nations' best players to Brazil to compete for the title of World Champion. In the midst of the craze and anticipation, <strong>William Hill</strong> joins the party with a fun and exciting promotion, combining two favorite pastimes of many: football and poker!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The<strong> World Cup Frenzy </strong>promotion is open to both new players and those who already have a William Hill account. All you need to do to participate is opt-in on the <strong><a href=";lpid=1487411292&amp;bid=1487410446" target="_blank">William Hill promotion page  </a></strong>and you are all set to go!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>How does it work?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players taking part in the promotion will be earning their seats in special <strong>Betout Tournaments. </strong>This is a completely new type of tournament where the event prize pool is multiplied by the<strong> odds of the bet the tournament is based on</strong>, according to William Hill Sportsbook odds. In the event that any particular bet is valid, the tournament will be played. For example, if you decide to join the tournament <strong>“England to Win the World Cup,”</strong> this event will only take place if England goes all the way to the finals and then proceeds to win the last match as well. Players registered for this tournament will play for their share of €17,000, while all other bets with the same condition, e.g. “Brazil to Win the World Cup” etc., will be canceled.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are a wide variety of bets that are being offered as tournaments so you can make your choices depending on the number of tickets earned. If you find the concept a little confusing, don’t sweat it, it is, after all, a new idea that requires a little more clarification.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Opt in to World Cup Frenzy </a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Every offered tournament has the basic prize pool of €500. That number is multiplied with the odds of any particular bet. You could, in fact, observe it as a €500 betting slip and you get your share of the total amount in the end. For example, take the bet “<strong>Messi Top Scorer.”</strong> Odds on this bet are straight up <strong>9:1</strong>. This means that the initial €500 is multiplied by <strong>9 </strong>and the final prize pool for that particular tournament is <strong>€4,500. </strong>Odds on <strong>“Spain to Reach the Semi-Final” </strong>are <strong>2.5:1</strong>, so the resulting prize pool is <strong>€1,250</strong>. Just in case you are not all that familiar with sports betting, this should give you more information on what’s what!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In all honesty, it doesn’t get much better than this, as after a day at the tables, you get to relax while watching some great football and on top of all that you can make some free money, as you get to place some totally risk-free bets. And even for someone who is not that much into other sports (like yours truly), there is no denying that watching the game with some bets hanging in the balance multiplies the excitement greatly.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another great thing about the Betout Tournaments is that you don’t even need to be there when they take place – if you are registered for the event, you are in with a chance to win cold hard cash, bonus money, tournament tokens, or free bets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The important thing to bear in mind is that only <strong>35% of a tournament prize pool is paid in</strong> <strong>cash</strong>, and that is the amount that will be displayed as the prize pool in the tournament lobby. The rest of the prizes will be paid up to 72 hours after the tournament ends, as follows:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>50% bonus money</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>10% tournament tokens</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>5% free bets</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Opt in to World Cup Frenzy </a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This calculation relates to both the entire prize pool and the individual prizes. This means that if your total prize is €3,000, you would receive €1,050 in cash, €1,500 in bonus money, €300 in tokens, and €150 in free bets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Earning Tickets</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In order to be able to register for the tournaments, players need to earn the <strong>tickets</strong>. Earning tickets is simple and it happens through completing different challenges, like <strong>making a first deposit, earning 100 WHPs playing Speed Poker, play 100 raked hands (on non-Speed cash tables), play a one-hour cash game session (while earning at least 10 WHPs in the process), </strong>etc.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You can find the full list of challenges on the <strong><a href=";lpid=1487411292&amp;bid=1487410446" target="_blank">William Hill promotion page</a></strong> as well as the list of all the tournaments with odds and prize pools. There are a total of seven week-long qualifying periods starting with April 21 and with the week lasting from June 2<sup>nd</sup> – June 8<sup>th</sup>. This means there is still plenty of time to get in on the action and make the most exciting sporting event of the year even more nail-biting as making a few good bets could earn you some nice spending money or at least cover the World Cup beer and snacks expenses!</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 10:57:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2837 Story of Daniel Tzvetkoff: The Man who Brought about Black Friday <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">H</span>ollywood is always on the lookout for a good story to turn into a blockbuster movie. One of the more recent announcements is that of <strong><em>Robert Luketic</em></strong>, the director and writer behind the movies '21' and 'Legally Blonde.' His newest project will deal with the life story of <strong>Daniel Tzvetkoff</strong>, a man who played the greatest individual role in making the hated Black Friday a reality.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tzvetkoff’s life story truly has a lot of elements of a Hollywood script already, and in case you missed it, we bring you the tale of Daniel Tzvetkoff, the guy who made it all the way to the top and then hit the proverbial rock bottom in a span of only a few years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Daniel Kim Tzvetkoff was born in Brisbane, Australia to middle-class parents. Although highly intelligent, he was never much of the social type. Instead of hanging around with his mates or wasting his time and energy on trying to make friends, Tzvetkoff retreated to the world of computers and the Internet. That was where he felt at home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By the age of 13, he had his own web design business, at 16 he was animating cartoons for the New York Times online, and by 2000 he came up with software for processing online payments. His timing was impeccable, as the online market was just about to explode and he was right there to pick up his share of the pie.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was in 2004 that he met his future business partner, the much older and much more experienced <strong>Sam Sciacca. </strong>They started the company named <strong>Intabill</strong>, dealing with processing payments for pharmaceutical companies, music and porn sites.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Business was good, but there is no such a thing as too much money. Both partners were looking for new opportunities and new markets where their services would come in handy. The passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006 presented them with a chance of a lifetime. The risk was there, but the potential rewards were worth it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the UIGEA had been passed, most major online processors facilitating gambling for US-based customers decided to pull out from the market. Although there was a lot of discussion at the time about the legality of online poker and if it actually fell under the jurisdiction of the Act, the big processing companies just couldn’t risk it. Enter Tzvetkoff and Sciacca.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seizing the opportunity, the two signed contracts with three major players in the market, <em>Poker Stars, Full Tilt </em>and <em>Absolute Poker</em>. This propelled <em>Intabill </em>from a company that was doing well to becoming a major player in the processing business.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> In a matter of months Tzvetkoff was earning $3 million a week. He bought a Lamborghini and threw in $80,000 for an advanced driving coast. He splashed out on a $2.5 million condo on the Gold Coast and set up home with his girlfriend, Nicole.<br/> <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The dream had become a reality for Tzvetkoff – a true movie-like story of rags to riches, if ever there was one (not that he grew up that poor at all, but nonetheless). Only two years later, in 2008, his net worth was an estimated $80 million. Everything was great, except for one thing. The business of <em>Intabill</em> wasn’t exactly <em>legal</em>. It was not illegal either, to be fair, but it was, at best, in a very grey area of the law. Daniel and his partner were riding the wave of their good fortune, but they were also attracting a lot of attention in the process – probably not the best idea if your business operation falls into the grey territory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This did not deter Tzvetkoff from living the flamboyant life of a person who not only has tons of money to burn through, but also sits on a seemingly endless source of <em>green</em>. This was still not enough for the young millionaire and later in 2008 he entered a partnership that would turn out to be his demise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He met Texan <strong>Curtis Pope </strong>and his partner <strong>John Scott Clark </strong>and together with them decided to expand his operation further.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> Together with Pope, Tzvetkoff’s exploits became ever more daring. He joined forces with Pope’s company, Trendsact, and another called Impact Payments, run by an associate of Pope, John Scott Clark.  Both processed payday loans and soon billions of dollars of gambling proceeds were running through Trendsact and Impact Payment’s books as just that. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things were looking good at the moment, but it was only an appearance, as Tzvetkoff was soon to find out. In August of 2008, a bank in Tbilisi (Georgia) froze their accounts, seizing $10 million of their assets just days prior to a Russian invasion. He even went to Georgia to meet up with the bank manager and barely made it out alive, as Russian forces struck at the exact time he was there. That money was clearly gone, but it was at least what one could call <em>vis major</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things to follow in 2009 were, however, much more heinous in nature. Upon signing the agreement with Pope and Clark, Sciacca and Tzvetkoff did not want their names to appear on any papers and had faith their partners would honor the gentlemen’s agreement. As it turned out, it was probably the biggest mistake of his career.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During that year, poker sites started complaining that they were not receiving the money that was supposed to be processed by the company. When confronted by Tzvetkoff about the issue and asked to release the funds he was holding in Trendsact’s account, Pope came back with a resounding ‘no,’ and instead went directly to the PokerStars CEO, promising full repayment. As Daniel’s name was never mentioned anywhere, he was left hanging in the balance as it was <em>Intabill </em>that filled those accounts with the money, but Pope was now refusing to honor their verbal agreement and there was next to nothing he could do.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> ‘”But why Curtis?” Daniel finally muttered, “Because I could,” Curtis smirked in return, suddenly darting his thick neck forward, “Because you f***d this up for everyone and now I’m taking care of business.”’ <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tzvetkoff’s house of cards started crumbling down and he was but a helpless bystander in the entire process. His partner, Sam Sciacca, brought in a forensic accountant only to discover Daniel was taking the money out of <em>Intabill’s </em>accounts in the form of personal loans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In 2006 everything was looking peachy for Tzvetkoff. By July of 2009, <em>Intabill </em>was completely out of business without a single cent in its account. It looked like things couldn’t really get any worse for him – but it was just the start of his hardships.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He was now being sued left and right for hundreds of millions and with his operations he got on the wrong side of both the authorities and the mob because of him skimming from the accounts. Tzvetkoff was now back home in Australia and had no idea that the FBI had started an investigation against him for money laundering and a plethora of other accusations revolving around the network of fake websites that he had in place to enable the poker sites to accept deposits from US-based customers. Unaware of all this, Tzvetkoff came back to Vegas in April of 2010, and this is when he was picked up by the Feds. As things were at the time, the wiz-kid was just relieved it was the authorities holding the gun to his head and not the mob.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He was facing charges of coming up with the scheme amounting to a $540 million racket over a two-year period and his personal debt was $143 million. All this together meant that he could face a penalty of up to 76 years in prison. Tzvetkoff was cornered and had only one way out – becoming an informant for the authorities and cutting a deal that would get him off the hook. Considering the alternative, it was no surprise he decided it was game over and started talking.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>After serving eight months in jail he reportedly struck a deal with prosecutors - handing over 90,000 documents from his company, Intabill, and agreeing to give evidence against his co-accused. Within months, the websites of the poker giants were shut down simultaneously in the US and 12 of the website owners were charged. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There was probably no one else at the time more privy to all the inside information about the movement of money between the banks, intermediary processors and the poker sites, and his information played a key role in building the charges that brought the biggest poker sites to their knees and forced them out of the US market for good, or at least until such time there are clear regulations concerning online play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many of Tzvetkoff’s friends and associates were brought down during the court proceedings, including Curtis Pope, who was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Daniel was placed in the witness protection program with his wife and two children. The only real question that remained unanswered is what exactly happened with the money Tzvetkoff pulled out of <em>Instabill’s </em>accounts. The investigation couldn’t find any evidence of the alleged missing millions and that leaves open the possibility that, although the entire ordeal seems like a total fiasco, Tzvetkoff may have walked away a winner in the end.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The story of Daniel Tzvetkoff certainly seems like great movie material and it could be a great success once it hits the big screen if the producers and screenwriters do their job right. Poker fans will be waiting anxiously.</p> Sun, 18 May 2014 20:04:52 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2836 Movie about Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow in the Making <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>roduction company <strong><em>1984 Professional Defense Contractors </em></strong>has announced that they have started working on a movie project based upon the <strong>Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow </strong>autobiographical book entitled <strong><em>Check-Raising the Devil</em></strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Matusow is well-known in poker circles not only due to his appearances in many big tournaments and cash games, but also for his constant chatter at the tables, which earned him the nickname <em>The Mouth</em>. The movie will focus more on other aspects of his life as well, like his struggle with drugs, depression, promiscuous sex, jail and suicidal depression.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This project is still in its infancy, so there aren’t many details available as to when the movie will be released or what particular parts of Mouth’s life it will cover, but those who have read the book can form a decent educated guess.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Uncertain details surrounding the movie release opened up some room for speculation and the good folks on <em>Two Plus Two </em>made a thread devoted to it. Some posters have expressed their ideas about who would be a good actor to embody Matusow’s character on the big screen.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mike ‘The Mouth’ is certainly an interesting enough character to make this movie fun to watch once it comes out. If there is something that sells Hollywood movies, that’s money, sex and gambling, and there should be plenty of all three in there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The company that took up this challenge has a decent amount of experience and success to back them up, and those named as producers are <strong>Adi Shankar, Spencer Silna </strong>and <strong>David Uslan</strong>. Shankar and Silna’s work include movies like <em>Lone Survivor, Broken City </em>and <em>The Grey</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The<em> Pokerstrategy </em>site has also come up with a couple of scenes they believe should definitely be included in the movie, including his quite famous confrontations with <strong>Sharham Sheikhan</strong>, as well as The Mouth’s deuce-seven hand against <strong>Phil Hellmuth.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We have nothing else to do now but to wait and see what the final product will be like, but I am sure that a lot of fans are really hoping this movie gets done properly and becomes one of those movies you actually want to go and see, not just something you decide to see just because you have nothing better to do.</p> Sat, 17 May 2014 13:49:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2835 WSOP Market Share in Nevada Climbing <p><strong></strong> now boasts 2/3 of cash player traffic in <strong>Nevada</strong> following a 12% rise in action last week.</p> <p>As of this writing, WSOP's seven-day average of 100 players on ring game tables is twice that of the 50 players found on <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong>. A third regulated site, <strong>Real Gaming</strong>, has not yet commenced with a real-money hard launch, remaining instead in soft launch mode since February.</p> <p>The first to market advantage that Ultimate Poker enjoyed for almost five months after launching on April 30, 2013 has long since disappeared and WSOP will likely grab an even larger share of the market when the <strong>45th annual World Series of Poker</strong> rolls into town on May 27. A total of <strong>65 events</strong> are on the docket that will keep poker players from throughout the world in Las Vegas through July 7.</p> <p>Those players will more than likely prefer to Ultimate Poker, considering that they are in town for the WSOP and advertisements throughout the <strong>Rio All Suites Hotel &amp; Casino</strong> will steer them to the site. For players who do need more poker action outside of live tournaments, will certainly oblige.</p> <p>'s Head of Online Poker, Bill Rini, recently told pocketfives that <em>"at least one qualifier"</em> will be running daily to win an entry to a live event scheduled for the following day. Coupled with the fact that many players will likely opt to grind cash games online as well, the site is likely to see quite a boost in traffic.</p> <p>Players competing in live events will be able to double their pleasure and play online simultaneously. For those players who fail to make a deep run in a live tourney but still want to play online while in the casino, a special area has been set aside in the Pavilion Room for that purpose.</p> <p>Also on tap for Nevada is the combining of player pools with <strong>Delaware</strong>, the first such partnership in U.S. online poker history. While hopeful estimates pegged a target launch date for this summer, Rini indicated that obstacles remain in the way that may keep the alliance from taking place relatively soon. <em>"There are a lot of technical issues that haven't been worked out,"</em> he said.</p> <p>In any event, this will be the first WSOP in which players who don't reside in Nevada will be able to try regulated online poker. And is expected to benefit considerably.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 16 May 2014 20:23:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2834 Dan Bilzerian's Response to Lawsuit Allegations <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter the recent unfortunate events involving <strong>Dan Bilzerian </strong>and <strong>Janice Griffith </strong>involving one roof top and an <strong><a href=""> unfortunate landing</a></strong>, the porn star hinted in her interview for TMZ that she was thinking about filing a lawsuit against the millionaire. Although the carefree bachelor didn't appear fazed too much by this possibility, his lawyer finally issued a statement in the form of an answer to Griffith's lawyer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The letter that was published is filled with some snide remarks as if it was written by Dan himself and not his lawyer and it actually shed some more light on the whole situation. The entire situation came to be as part of a photo shoot for <strong><em>Hustler </em></strong>magazine and Griffith agreed, in writing, to be thrown off the roof.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>The tape shows the two carefully practicing this flight of fancy under Hustler’s direction and your client expressly agreeing to go ahead. In legal lingo, she assumed the risk. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But it would be unlike Bilzerian to just keep it simple and serious even when pertaining to legal matters and when his money is at stake, since the porn star asked for $85,000 in damages to be paid to her not long after the incident. The letter goes on to describe the incident in a very picturesque manner, to say the least.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Now, I am no physicist. And it won’t surprise you that I don’t have any relevant personal experience. So I don’t know the precise amount of the thrust it takes to heave someone across to a pool a floor below. But I’m also not blind. And it is apparent that Mr. Bilzerian’s <em>shirt </em>did not reach out and grab <em>her.</em> <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bilzerian’s lawyer does not stop at this, but also goes on to describe Griffith as someone who "overshares" on her Twitter account, naming a couple of porn-related hashtags she uses with her posts. He also emphasized the fact that the interview with TMZ and all the media attention she is getting due to this case are certainly not hurting her either.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally, the letter clearly explains that Bilzerian will not agree to any sort of out-of-court settlement but will also, should Janice decide to include him in her suit against Hustler, go after her, requesting legal damages to be paid to him due to this <em>frivolous suit</em>:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Your client should just box up almost every last bit of her property (please exclude all videos and photographs, as well as the seemingly inevitable small yappy dog) and drop it off with you in safe keeping for Mr. Bilzerian. After he receives the judgment in his favor, he will have it all delivered to him. Then he will probably blow it up with a mortar in the desert. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another site, <em></em>, has also reported on the letter, claiming to have a confirmation from someone on Bilzerian’s team about its authenticity, so, as hilarious as it may seem, the letter seems to be the real deal. In fact, we would be surprised to see anything different coming from Bilzerian and those close to him, as he is hardly the type of person to take things too seriously.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand, although written in a funny and playful manner, the response actually contains a couple of strong legal points and the fact that Bilzerian refuses to even consider a settlement for the amount that doesn’t represent more than a tiny fraction of his net worth indicate that his lawyer is quite sure about the lack of his client’s responsibility in the whole matter. Not trying to jump to conclusions or anything, but this might be the end of the story concerning lawsuit rumors – but who can ever be sure about anything when it comes to Bilzerian?</p> Fri, 16 May 2014 14:13:18 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2833 Ivey Poker Hosting New Weekly Tournaments <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> is preparing to go for the gold in terms of WSOP bracelets later this month in Las Vegas, players on the Ivey Poker App have a chance to go for Gold in a weekly tournament that kicked off Tuesday.</p> <p>New Pot O’ Gold tournaments are now hosted every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. PDT that allows players to earn a portion of a 2,000 Gold prize pool. Gold is the commodity used at Ivey Poker to purchase premium features such as training videos that offer instruction from top Ivey League pros such as <strong>Jennifer Harman</strong>, <strong>Cole South</strong> and 2012 WSOP Main Event winner <strong>Greg Merson</strong>.</p> <p>A second weekly tournament known as the Ivey Millions available exclusively on the Ivey Poker App makes its debut this evening also at 6:00 p.m. PDT. Up for grabs is $1 million in chips that allows those finishing in the money to build their app bankrolls.</p> <p>Social online poker players who dream of improving their skills in hopes of one day winning a WSOP gold bracelet can begin their journeys by first winning Gold on the Ivey Poker App. Download the app to a mobile device or log on using Facebook.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 15 May 2014 17:11:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2832 Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu Come Out With a WSOP Bracelet Bet <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>created some buzz in the community after posting on Twitter that he is taking WSOP bracelet bets. The bet is very simple; it is whether he or <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>will win at least one bracelet during this summer in Vegas, and they are giving even money to anyone willing to take them on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> WSOP Bracelet Bet Offering: me and <a href="">philivey</a> as a team, you can bet the don't on either of us winning a bracelet this summer at even money.</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not long after the tweet, a thread popped up on 2+2 forums with people giving their thoughts on how (un)realistic this bet is. Just as a reminder, Ivey holds a total of <strong><em>nine WSOP bracelets</em></strong>, the most recent being in April 2013. During the WSOP-APAC last year, Ivey navigated the field of 81 players in a mixed-game tournament to receive this precious piece of poker jewelry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Negreanu, his bracelet count is currently six and his latest one is less than a year old. ‘KidPoker’ won the High Roller Event in October last year after taking down the High Roller Event during the WSOP-Europe. Earlier in 2013, he also seized the Main Event title and a bracelet during WSOP-APAC.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Looking at these numbers and considering the fact their latest wins are quite fresh, the bet doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Be that as it may, it certainly gave a lot of material for discussion. While some agree that giving even odds at the bet doesn’t seem unrealistic, others are trying to extrapolate the numbers that would support betting against them.</p> <p><strong>Mike McDonald</strong>, known under the alias ‘<strong>timex</strong>,’ came into the thread to state his opinion as well.</p> <p><blockquote>I like their side. If anyone wants to bet with me, I’ll take bets $500 and over but you guys must send first on Stars/FTP</blockquote></p> <p>While the discussion is heating up and people are trying to figure out what are their chances should they decide to take them on, the betting is open to anyone who feels like challenging two of the best tournament players around. Those who are not that well known in the community can escrow their money up front with Negreanu’s assistant and the bet is on,</p> <p>Traditionally, when pros come up with these types of bets it is not that much about the money at stake as it is about their motivation to play in as many events as they can manage. But according to some information and Negreanu’s preliminary schedule, it doesn’t seem the two will be playing in any events with the buy-in under $5,000, so they are probably not planning on doing a crazy bracelet chase either.</p> <p>We’ll be keeping track of the developments and as less than 12 days remain until the start of the WSOP, we should soon know the numbers unless they decide to keep them private. For the sake of poker fans, let us hope that doesn’t happen, since it will be much more entertaining to sweat them knowing what’s on the line. And if this is not enough excitement for you, the betting is still open!</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 12:00:18 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2831 WPN Withdraws From Regulated U.S. Market <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> (WPN) has announced that players located in states in which online poker has been regulated will no longer be permitted to log on and play at the network.</p> <p>The WPN flagship skin, <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong>, issued a press release to that effect, indicating that the new policy takes effect immediately.</p> <p><blockquote>Our goal at Americas Cardroom is to build a poker community where players come first," stated Americas Cardroom spokesperson Michael Harris. "But we also strive to play fairly. As a result, our network has decided to stop serving players in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware due to the availability of a regulated poker market in those states."</blockquote></p> <p>Players residing in the trio of legalized states who play at any of the network skins that include <strong>True Poker</strong> and <strong>Black Chip Poker</strong> are advised to close out any remaining balances. Ample time will be given to do so, but players are encouraged not to delay.</p> <p>WPN is currently third in cash player traffic among U.S.-facing poker rooms and networks. PokerScout lists the network's seven-day average of ring game traffic at 350 players, less than 1/4 that of industry leader Bovada at 1,500.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 14 May 2014 19:11:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2830 MPN Explains Network Silence <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> recent <a href="">blog post</a> at the <strong>MPN</strong> website detailed the reasons why the network remains silent with regard to player concerns, explaining simply that each poker site within the network has a duty to appease its customers and MPN often doesn't know the answers to player questions.</p> <p>Apparently, a reason for the post was to respond to inquiries from a number of players as to why MPN fails to survey players within the network and chooses not to participate in online poker forums in which player concerns are addressed. <strong>Alex Scott</strong>, the <strong>Head of Poker at Microgaming</strong>, was quite forthright in a blog published today in which he stated that poker operators within the network are responsible to their own players while the network is beholden to the skins themselves.</p> <p><blockquote>Poker players are not the MPN’s customers," Scott stated. "Our customers are poker operators, to whom we provide software and related services. Poker players are a step further removed – they are our operator’s customers. The MPN doesn’t register players. We don’t hold players’ money (ever, even for a second)."</blockquote></p> <p>Scott goes on to further say that the player database of each poker site is its largest asset. No information regarding individual players is shared with MPN, unless a matter of cheating or fraudulent activity needs to be investigated. Those databases are diligently protected by each operator and MPN respects that privacy.</p> <p><blockquote>If you were to ask us how much money was in your account – we wouldn’t know," Scott continued. "If you were to ask us how long it was going to take to unlock your pending bonus – we couldn’t answer. Almost every customer query couldn’t be answered by us. Operators have the information, but we don’t."</blockquote></p> <p>While it may appear to some players that MPN's silence with regard to player concerns shows that the network doesn't care, Scott advises that the exact opposite is true. MPN cares very much, but is not permitted to comment on matters pertaining to players because the poker sites or operators do not want them to.</p> <p><blockquote>Operators want to control the way their brand is exposed to the public, who communicates on their behalf, and what tone that person uses." Scott insisted. "To put it bluntly, operators don’t want us to mess this up."</blockquote></p> <p>The MPN rep goes on to say that he would love to be able to post on online poker forums. Doing so opens up the lines of communication and shows concern for the opinions of players. However, the network simply cannot do so because the players are not MPN's customers, as they fall under the domain of the skins operating within the network.</p> <p>The post at MPN was a way to show players that the network does care. It is MPN's<em> "way of sharing the team’s thoughts and ideas with the poker community. It may be one-way communication, but surely that’s better than no communication at all,"</em> Scott stated, adding, that he hopes the post <em>"will help us to improve our product and the game offering that we offer to operators’ customers."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 14 May 2014 18:04:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2829 Jean Robert Bellande: Broke Living and Playing One Drop <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">J</span>ust a couple of days ago, <strong>Jean Robert Bellande </strong>posted a picture of himself registering with a 'cool million' for the Big One for One Drop tournament scheduled to take place during this year's WSOP in Vegas. Needless to say, it was quite a surprise from a guy whose nickname is 'Broke Living.' In an interview with Bluff Europe, he talked a bit about his participation in the One Drop and how things have been going for him lately in general.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">JRB explained that he finally managed to gather investors interested in buying up a decent part of his action and this put him in a position to play the Big One. Although he wouldn’t disclose the exact numbers, Bellande admits that he has less than 30% of himself in the event. It is normal for people to be surprised with this most recent development, but he feels real good about his chances in the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> I play poker a little bit better than most people think I do. But more importantly, I know how to play against fellow pros, AND I know how to play against business guys. In the cash games I play against both groups all the time. There’s a difference – you can’t play against the two the same, and I’m somebody who understands that difference. I think that’s going to give me an edge.  <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">JRB has also revealed some details about his participation in the games at <strong>Dan Bilzerian’s </strong>house. Things have apparently been going quite well for him there and he managed to even put some money aside, so no ‘broke living’ for him any more, not for a little while at least.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He also said he was staked by Bilzerian for a while, but Dan pulled out after being down about $1 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite his enthusiasm for the One Drop tournament, Bellande is realistic when talking about players he would rather avoid, if possible, and these names include Brian Rast, Andrew Robl, Scott Seiver and Antonio Esfandiari. It only shows that, despite his sometimes carefree outlook, he is well aware that tangling with the best in the game is always a challenging task.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Staying true to his persona, JRB admits that if he should happen to win in the One Drop, he would probably pump that money right back into the poker ecosystem. He probably didn’t come to be known as ‘Broke Living’ by using a careful and conservative approach to his finances, and he has no problems admitting that’s not about to change:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> That’s probably why so many of the pros are rooting for me! I assure you, if I did win then that money would be going straight back in action. That money’s not going to Australia or anywhere else, it’s going to be right here in the community, ready for action.  <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">JRB also tried to explain that the whole ‘broke living’ thing is not that much about actually being broke, but it is more about constantly being in and out of broke. It is simply his lifestyle and he loves sharing it with anyone who cares to know. Love it or hate it, there is no denying that Jean Robert Bellande is one colorful and interesting persona – no wonder him and Bilzerian just ‘clicked’ despite the fact that one is doing the ‘broke living’ while the other is more into the whole ‘rich living’ type of deal.</p> Wed, 14 May 2014 17:13:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2828 Luis Suarez Signed as Poker Ambassador by 888poker <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">L</span>uis Suarez </strong>is a name familiar to every single football fan out there. Liverpool's striker, who scored 31 goals this season and was awarded the Professional Footballers' Association <strong><em>Player of the Year </em></strong>award, will now be testing his skills on the much smaller green felt as well. Suarez entered a sponsorship deal with one of the poker industry giants, <strong><em>888poker</em></strong>, and he is amongst the top sporting superstars to sign this type of deal in the recent period.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bringing Suarez aboard should give the company quite an exposure amongst those who love football but may not share the same interest for poker. The football star was presented during a press conference held today in Barcelona where he talked about this latest development as well as his future plans and the upcoming football World Cup. Senior Vice President of 888poker <strong>Itai Pazner </strong>did not try to hide the company’s excitement about their latest acquisition either:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Luis Suarez is an incredible sporting talent - passionate, competitive, technically gifted, and emotionally invested in the game. It’s those qualities that make him an exciting player to watch, in poker as well as football. It’s fantastic to have him on board. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Uruguayan player should become an integral part of the 888poker team, playing both online and in live events. However, with the World Cup quickly approaching, it is somewhat hard to imagine Suarez will have a lot of time on his hands for poker, as he is primarily a football player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When he does have time to play, Suarez will be joining a team already consisting of the famous cricketer <strong>Shane Warne</strong>, UFC Champion <strong>Georges St-Pierre, </strong>as well as poker stars <strong>JC Tran, Sofia Lovgren </strong>and <strong>Xuan Liu. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While Suarez’s talent and skill as a footballer are beyond any doubt, some eyebrows are being raised when considering his fairness. The football star has quite a history of suspensions and fines linked to his name throughout his career, and for some in the poker community, this may seem like a red flag.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand, there are hordes of fans who enjoy watching him perform his magic on the field and they will probably enjoy (maybe not to the same extent, but enjoy nonetheless) seeing him try his luck at the poker table and being actually able to sit across from him on the virtual felt, chat him up and even take some of his money away.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although there is often some heat coming from the hardcore part of the poker community when it comes to signing sporting stars, the fact is that their fame and popularity simply bring new players to the game and, in the end, it is good for everyone – rooms, amateurs and professionals. Now we just have to wait and see how successful Suarez will be in a discipline that doesn’t require an actual ball to <em>play ball</em>.<strong>  </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Get $10 FREE + 2 Tickets to $5000 Freerolls EVEYDAY at <a href=";">888Poker </a>(for NJ Players only)</strong></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 16:18:32 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2827 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - May 13, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile certainly better than the recent 11 consecutive weeks of declining ring game action, the online poker industry enjoyed a negligible gain of just 0.1% in player traffic last week.<br/><br/>That's two positive weeks in a row. However, it is likely that gains may be short-lived considering that online poker players tend to find other activities during the upcoming summer months.<br/><br/>As traffic remained somewhat stable last week, fourth place <strong>PartyPoker</strong> hopes to once again bring stability to its ranking in Google searches. A recent penalty imposed by Google for shady link-building practices has been lifted, allowing to get back in the company's good graces.<br/><br/><strong>PokerStars</strong> managed to get in the good graces of a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A patent has been issued to parent company Rational Group for fast-fold poker, which <strong>Full Tilt</strong> created and launched with Rush Poker in 2010.<br/><br/>The patent is enforceable only in the U.S. regulated market at this time, leaving the fast-fold variants of international poker sites free to continue offering their products to players who don't like to wait. The USPTO decision may have a bearing on U.S. player traffic in the future when more states presumably enact online poker legislation and may be precluded from offering the quick-paced game.<br/><br/>One of those states may be Pennsylvania, as an <a href="">online gambling study</a> released by Keystone State officials last week found that Internet gambling does not cannibalize casino revenue. Projected revenue numbers of a potential online gambling regime were part of the report, but PokerScout warns not to take those numbers to heart considering that initial revenue estimates in New Jersey fell way off the mark.<br/><br/>Also falling in New Jersey last week was cash game player traffic. The <strong>All American Poker Network</strong> dropped 19%, while <strong>Party Borgata</strong> experienced a decline of 8%. <strong></strong> bucked the trend and managed to remain stable.<br/><br/>WSOP saw a 12% traffic increase on its Nevada site on the strength of a rake race promo. The jump in traffic has permitted the Silver State poker room to grab 2/3 of the market share, leaving <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> with the other 1/3. The state's third regulated site, <strong>Real Gaming</strong>, continues with its soft launch that may extend until August.<br/><br/>What has not been extended is the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong>'s gradual ascent up the player traffic ladder among U.S.-friendly poker rooms. EPN  lost 10% of ring game traffic recently, likely due to bad press associated with banning the play of <em>"aggressive"</em> or winning players.<br/><br/>One room that has been climbing up the rankings ladder is <strong></strong>. The first site dedicated exclusively to Open Face Chinese Poker is slowly gaining popularity as more and more players become familiar with the game.<br/><br/>Among the top ten poker rooms and networks, the only change from the previous week was <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> inching into a tie for 6th place with <strong></strong>. A <em>"Road to Vegas 2014"</em> promo at Bovada that awards Main Event packages worth $12,000 to the WSOP later this month may be responsible for the slight increase.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 18:08:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2826 Acquired by 180Vita <p><strong>180Vita</strong> has furthered its reputation as a major provider of poker-related websites that allow players to gain increased poker knowledge and improve their poker play with the recent acquisition of <strong></strong>, the globe's largest database of Internet poker hands.<br/><br/>Over 5,000 players visit on a daily basis, many of whom use the site's comprehensive poker hand conversion tool to import hand histories from a database of more than six million to get a solid read on opponents. By analyzing the play of other players, both individual hands and/or full playing sessions, astute users of the website are much better equipped to crush the competition when seated at the same virtual table in future battles.<br/><br/> launched in 2007 and permits players to analyze cash games and tournament action from a number of poker sites in tandem with software such as <strong>PokerTracker</strong> and <strong>Hold'em Manager</strong>. 180Vita has a detailed agenda for its latest acquisition, with designs on establishing full-scale social media integration by permitting players to log on via Facebook, Twitter and Google.</p> <p><blockquote>We have long admired what WeakTight has done to advance online poker and we want to ensure it continues to be regarded as the best at what it does,” said 180Vita founder Jamie Nevin. “We have some very exciting plans for WeakTight, and going forward we will work on integrating it into our portfolio of sites while keeping the features which have made it so popular with online poker players around the globe.”</blockquote></p> <p>That portfolio of sites includes <strong>PokerTube</strong>, <strong>FootballTube</strong>, <strong>PokerVIP</strong>, and the sports tipping website, <strong>Tipday</strong>. The latter was launched in late March by the popular igaming media and entertainment company and has expanded 180Vita's presence to the realm of sports betting.<br/><br/>PokerTube is the foremost authority on poker-related videos, interviews, and poker TV shows, allowing visitors to the site to view their favorite poker stars in action. That includes streaming of live tournament poker such as the wall-to-wall coverage last month of the <strong>Irish Poker Open</strong>.<br/><br/><a href="">PokerVIP</a> has been signing online poker players to the best deals in the industry since 2008. Those deals have been made possible through building outstanding relationships with a number of partner poker rooms.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 15:43:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2825 Jose Girah Macedo Turns Cleaning Prodigy <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he story of Portuguese 'poker prodigy' <strong>Jose 'Girah' Macedo </strong>has been one that had taken up front pages of all the poker news portals and Internet forums several years ago. The incredible talent and unreal insight the young player seemingly had for the game, together with endorsements from a couple of pros, left the entire community in awe. Not long after, however, the entire story turned out to be a sham, set up to steal money from fellow poker players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The jig was up and shortly after, ‘Girah’ was scorned by the community, lost his sponsorship deal with Lock Poker, and pretty much disappeared from the public view. Until this morning that is, as today’s news is filled with reports about his latest endeavor which, surprise-surprise, has nothing to do with poker.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After clearly realizing that there was no more money in poker <em>to be taken</em>, Macedo turned to a different kind of activity, starting up his own cleaning service.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>We have started by cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms on the university campus. In only three months, we have managed to clean over 1,000 rooms. At the moment, we have many clients and we employ seven people, first we extended the service to kitchens within the campus and then also to apartments off of the campus. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apparently, 'Girah' has been able to do quite well for himself after leaving poker, as his newly found business enterprise has netted him €240,000 during the last three months. It would appear that he managed to gain the trust and respect of both the students and the staff at the University of Lancaster and is now doing things by the book.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>“It is not unusual to have students with good ideas. But what these guys have done more than anything else and more than anyone else, is to win the trust of their activities across the campus. ” <cite>Joe Born, professor at the University</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It would seem that Macedo successfully avoided the bad karma everyone figured was headed his way after tricking people into playing against the ‘huge fish’ and letting him observe the cards in real time via Skype. When things were revealed later, it turned out that ‘Girah’ himself was the <em>huge fish</em> and that he was playing against the unwitting opponents while being able to see their hole cards.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is safe to say that many of those who lost money due to cheating as well as those who followed the story back when it happened will not be thrilled to see he is doing well in life once again. It doesn’t seem fair on so many levels, but then again, no one ever said that life, much like poker, is always fair. If we were to try and put a positive spin on the situation, we could say that it is good to see he has at least turned to a legit business and perhaps finally realized that making money through stealing and cheating people is not the right way to go. Good on him!</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 12:13:08 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2824 10 More Players Register for $1 Million Buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith over one and a half months to go, the BIG ONE for ONE DROP event has the potential to become a summer hit after ten more players registered for the big showdown. BIG as in potentially $20 million awarded to the winner!</p> <p>According to a World Series of Poker press release, there are still 23 seats up for grabs until the 56-player cap is reached. If all the seats are booked, then the winner will become part of poker history by cashing in the biggest single prize EVER.</p> <p>The participation board<a href="" target="_blank"> already filled with big names after the first WSOP announcement</a> is now set at 30 with three more being satellite seats.</p> <p>The latest high stakes players who announced their participation in the $1 million buy-in tournament include five Germans, one woman, one survivor, a WSOP bracelet winner, the all-time Russian leader in live tournament earnings, and one anonymous Asian businessman, probably a regular in Macau's BIG Game.</p> <p><strong>Fabian Quoss</strong>, <strong>Max Altergott</strong>, <strong>Tobias Reinkemeier</strong>, <strong>Christoph Vogelsang</strong>, and <strong>Niklas Heinecker</strong> will represent Germany in the BIG ONE for ONE DROP. Quoss, Altergott, and Reinkemeier are already regulars in the high stakes live tournament world while ‘ragen70’ Heinecker is the <a href="" target="_blank">biggest online cash winner of 2013</a>. Volgelsang, on the other hand, doesn’t have that much experience, cashing in just two major events in the last two years, including in this year’s European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event when he finished 25th.</p> <p>Arguably the best female player in the game today,<strong> Vanessa Selbst</strong>, will also take part in the BIG event. <em>“I didn’t get to play in 2012, but after seeing how much fun everyone had with the event as well as how profound an impact had on ONE DROP, I knew I had to be part of it this time around,”</em> Selbst said.</p> <p>One surprising name in this exclusive list is TV reality show “Survivor: China” participant <strong>Jean-Robert Bellande</strong>. He posted on Instagram a photo of himself registering for the BIG ONE for ONE DROP (as seen above) paying the entry fee in cash.</p> <p>The 2013 WSOP $111,111 One Drop High Roller winner for $4.83 million, <strong>Anthony Gregg</strong>, and 2014 EPT Grand Final Super High Roller third-place finisher, <strong>Igor Kurganov</strong>, complete the participation board.</p> <p>Who do you think is next in line for a chance to become the winner of the biggest single cash prize in poker history?</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 09:54:46 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2823 PokerStars Awarded Fast-Fold U.S. Patent <p><span class="letter-big">P</span>okerStars has yet to grab a toehold in the U.S. online poker market, but did finally win U.S. patent approval for fast-fold poker after several previous attempts before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had gone for naught.<br/><br/>Those attempts stretch back to 2008, well before Full Tilt Poker revitalized the online poker industry in 2010 with the launch of Rush Poker. PokerStars, through parent company Rational Group, took over the intellectual property rights of the FTP patent application after acquiring the assets of the shuttered site in 2012 from the DoJ.<br/><br/>The patent is due to be issued next week, according to a report from eGR. Rational Group received approval after heeding the advice of a patent examiner and re-submitting its application with wording that was a bit more precise than that found on previous submissions.<br/><br/>The patent will effectively preclude other poker sites from offering fast-fold poker in the regulated U.S. market. Those restrictions do not apply to other jurisdictions throughout the globe.<br/><br/>However, a lawyer familiar with patent law expressed shock that the USPTO gave PokerStars the green light and believes that the new patent is sure to be contested.</p> <p><blockquote>“It is truly surprising here that the Pokerstars application survived multiple wholesale rejections,” said Attorney Bill Gantz. “The amendments which allowed this patent to issue should seem obvious to the entire poker industry, and there should be ample grounds for vigorously challenging this patent."</blockquote></p> <p>As many are aware, the innovative concept created by FTP allows players who are part of a pool to quickly fold poor hole cards and be jettisoned to a new table. Fast-fold poker is now a staple of the online industry after giving birth to the likes of Zoom Poker, Speed Hold'em and Blaze Poker.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 05:46:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2822 Duncan McLellan is UKIPT Nottingham Champion <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he final table of the richest UKIPT stop in Nottingham only took about four hours to produce the new champion and his name is <strong>Duncan McLellan. </strong>He managed to claim his second UKIPT title in seven months after defeating <strong>Angelo Milioto </strong>heads-up. Before heads-up play started, the two cut a deal, ensuring <strong>£</strong>168,000 for McLellan while Milioto locked up nearly <strong>£</strong>144,000. They still left a decent sum to play for, in the form of <strong>£</strong>34,000, which meant that Duncan’s eventual victory netted him a total of <strong>£</strong><strong>202,372</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Falling just before the final battle was <strong>Trevor Pearson</strong>, whose third place finish was good for <strong>£</strong><strong>89,900. </strong>He met his doom after running his <strong>Ace-Jack </strong>into the #ac#kc of McLellan. The highest card on the board was a nine and it was rail time for Pearson. With that elimination, McLellan also ensured he would enter heads-up play with about a 2.5:1 chip advantage and it proved to be more than enough to bring the victory home. Pearson is probably not too disappointed, though, as he started today as the shortest stack and made it all the way to the top three spots.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>William Eliot </strong>managed to seize the chip lead just before the end of last night’s action and returned today with the biggest stack. The chip advantage proved not to be enough for anything better than a fourth place finish. Eliot had been very active at the final table and eventually fell to McLellan when he ran his Aces full of Treys into the quad Aces of McLellan. He goes home <strong>£</strong>67,000 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although he started today with a decent stack,<strong> </strong>the cards wouldn’t fall <strong>Ryan Spittles </strong>way today and he was down to just eleven big blinds before playing his final hand. He moved his chips in with #ks#jd and found a caller in <strong>Angelo Milioto </strong>with #ad#10s. The board brought no help for Ryan and he took his leave together with <strong>£</strong>51,700.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only non-UK player at the final table, Spaniard <strong>Juan Benito</strong>, was going very strong throughout the tournament, maintaining the chip lead since the end of Day 3, only to lose it near the end of the day yesterday. He still returned today second in chips and finishing in sixth must be a disappointment for him. The final hand saw him go to war against McLellan and it was McLellan who flipped better, raking in a huge pot and sending the Spaniard home with <strong>£</strong>38,400 and a nice experience as his reward for a deep run in Nottingham.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seventh place went to <strong>Anthony Flynn</strong>, who shoved for about twelve big blinds with #ac#7s and once again it was Duncan McLellan in the big blind who put an end to Flynn’s run, making the call with #qh#jh. Flynn made it through the flop unscarred and unimproved, but a Queen on the turn put McLellan in the lead and as the river brought no help, Flynn was sent to the rail with <strong>£</strong>29,300 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first one to leave his final table seat today was <strong>Ramey Shaio. </strong>He, too, fell at the hands of McLellan, whose pocket Fours managed to stand up against Shaio’s #ad#qh after turning a straight. Shaio received <strong>£</strong>20,800 for his short presence at the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Duncan McLellan must be quite proud of his achievement and he has every reason to be, as making two UKIPT titles in well under a year is no easy task. Although relatively short, today’s final table offered a decent amount of quality play and excitement, as was expected from the richest stop in the history of UKIPT.</p> Mon, 12 May 2014 19:07:44 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2821 Biggest UKIPT Final Table Set in Nottingham <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith 49 players returning today to play down to the final eight, it could have gone either way in terms of how long it would take. It turned out no one was ready to give up their claim to the first place prize, so although the tournament started around noon, it went well into evening before play concluded for the day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We couldn't call the action particularly fast and furious but it wasn't slow either. Some two and a half hours into the day, the field was down to 32 players, and if that pace continued, the final table would likely be formed before sunset. But as it is usually the case, the play was getting slower as the final table was looming closer, so it took another hour and a half to lose another eight players and get down to the final three tables and another two hours before getting to the final sixteen.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This process naturally had to send a few of the hopefuls to the rail, including <strong>Vincent Campbell, Jonathan Slater </strong>and<strong> Jonas Lauck. </strong>Of those remaining when the two tables were formed, <strong>Juan Benito</strong>, who started the day as the chip leader, was still leading the way and his advantage over the field had actually increased.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eliminations continued and Benito kept building his stack. Amongst those falling close to making it were <strong>Benjamin Carpenter </strong>in 14<sup>th</sup> and <strong>Derek Murray </strong>in 13<sup>th</sup>. Finally, it got down to the last nine players after a bit more than ten hours of play and everybody knew it wouldn’t take long now. Still, they probably did not expect it would all be over the very next hand. The unofficial final table of nine was formed, players took their seats and cards were dealt. <strong>Terry Carter </strong>was probably all too happy to see pocket Kings his very first hand after the merger, but got the bad news when <strong>Ryan Spittles </strong>found pocket Aces to look him up. To make things worse, the poker gods decided to play a cruel joke on Carter, as the flop brought a King, putting him well on the way to doubling up, and then crushing his dreams as an Ace made an appearance on the turn.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With Carter’s departure, which still ensured him <strong>£</strong>16,100, the final eight were ready to bag and tag their chips for the night and go for a well-deserved rest before the start of the final table at 2 PM tomorrow. Surprisingly, <strong>Juan Benito</strong>, who held the lead for the entire day, fell into second place when it was time to wrap up, with 4,385,000 chips. It was the United Kingdom’s <strong>William Elliot </strong>who managed to find his way into the chip lead as night was drawing to an end, and he will be returning tomorrow with 5,625,000. <strong>Duncan McLellan </strong>and <strong>Ryan Spittles </strong>are three and four in chips, sitting at around 3.3 million both. They are followed by <strong>Anthony Flynn </strong>and <strong>Angelo Milioto</strong>, both very close to one another with around 2.4 million. <strong>Ramey Shaio </strong>is seventh in chips with nearly 1.8 million, while the title of final table short stack belongs to <strong>Trevor Pearson</strong>, who is the only player under a million with 965,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mathematical odds weigh in favor of a UK champion, as of eight players returning tomorrow, only the Spaniard Benito does not hail from the United Kingdom. Tomorrow we will get a final answer who will be talking home a really impressive <strong>£</strong>218,300 in first prize money and we are certain to witness quite a battle, as the first to bust will take home only <strong>£</strong>20,800, so no one will certainly be in a rush to go home tomorrow!</p> Sun, 11 May 2014 23:12:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2820 UKIPT Nottingham: Only 49 Still in the Hunt <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter more than 1,200 players gathered at the Dusk Till Dawn casino to create the richest UKIPT stop in history and with some 330 of them surviving through the minefields of the first three qualifying days, following Day 2 yesterday only 49 of them remain in the hunt for a seat at the final table today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The money bubble was set to burst yesterday when the tournament reached 183 players, and as the bubble time was approaching, there was the usual tension in the room, especially felt by those with shorter stacks, who were all trying to hang in there until they could at least ensure a payday of any kind. The eventual unluckiest of the unlucky was <strong>Edward Clark</strong>, who fell in 184<sup>th</sup> spot, claiming the unfortunate title of the bubble boy. This marked the end of phase one for those still in, as they were all now in the money. Phase 2 revolved around the idea of accumulating the maximum number of chips to return with today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the notable names who fell before reaching the money included <strong>Dermot Blain </strong>and <strong>Max Silver. </strong>Others, like <strong>Jake Cody</strong>, managed to squeeze their way into the prizes, but were eliminated soon after. This list includes <strong>Fatima de Melo, Martins Adeniya </strong>and 2013 EPT Barcelona champion <strong>Tom Middleton. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As they fell one by one, when the last hand was announced by the tournament director, there were 49 players still holding on to their stacks. Of these remaining players, returning today with the biggest hopes is Spaniard <strong>Juan Benito </strong>with a stack of nearly 1.5 million. He is followed by Brit <strong>Ben Vinson </strong>with about 1.2 million and <strong>William Eliot </strong>sitting on 1.8 million chips. <strong>Derek Murray </strong>managed to survive the day, but just barely, as his stack at the end was only 21,000 with blinds standing at 6,000/12,000, so he will need a miracle to stay alive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There aren’t that many really big names still in, but those who sound more familiar include <strong>Ryan Spittles, Jonas Lauck </strong>and <strong>Tim Blake. </strong>All of them will be battling it out for their seat at the final table scheduled to take place tomorrow. With more than £1,000,000 in the prize pool, the winner is set to take home £218,300, so there will be no cutting slack at the green felt today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a couple of hours, the  mix of skill and the luck of the draw will determine those who will be walking away with a smile and their hopes still alive, while sending forty other players to the rail, probably with a comforting saying in their minds – <em>you can’t win them all</em>.</p> Sun, 11 May 2014 11:52:21 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2819 WSOP Winners Throughout History – Part 4 <p style="text-align: justify;">Year by year, we have reached the final part of this series on WSOP Main Event winners. <strong><a href="">Part 3</a></strong> finished with the World Series of 2002 won by Robert Varkonyi, as after that year the series started gaining enormous popularity, greatly thanks to the events that took part during the next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="600" height="346" title=""/>The festival of poker in 2003 gathered the greatest number of player thus far, with 839 entries. The prize pool ensured first place $2.5 million, a number that can make a lot of dreams come true. And the one whose dreams would be fulfilled when it was all said and done was <strong>Chris Moneymaker</strong>. The unknown accountant who won his seat via an online satellite tournament for $39 won the heads-up match against the famous and popular <strong>Sammy Farha</strong> – a victory that was soon to ensure him the status of poker legend. Moneymaker has become a role model, a story about how dreams can come true. Turning forty bucks into two and a half million as an amateur player who was playing his first live tournament, he showed to everyone watching WSOP coverage from their homes that they could do it as well. His win started what was later named the ‘Moneymaker Effect.’ It was probably the best thing that could happen for the popularity of poker, and the fact that his surname was actually <em>Moneymaker </em>created some great marketing material.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="468" height="311" title=""/>His win and the television coverage yielded results that were instantly visible, as no previous series had ever experienced such a jump in the number of players. The Main Event of 2004 gathered <strong>2,576 </strong>players, many of whom were amateurs chasing their dreams of fame and money. If Moneymaker could do it – why couldn’t they? But <em>they </em>couldn’t, as the first place is, by its very nature, reserved for one person only, and this time it was <strong>Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer</strong>, who earned his nickname because of the small fossil he uses as a card protector. Raymer got double the money Moneymaker did; after defeating David Williams heads-up, he went home $5,000,000 richer. Spending most of his time battling law-battles, Raymer was mostly a recreational player before his Main Event victory, which granted him a ticket to poker stardom. His total live tournament cashes to date are in the vicinity of $7.5 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="402" height="600" title=""/>Nothing could stop the crazy growth of the World Series anymore. Everybody who was a poker fan wanted their piece of the cake and with numerous live and online satellites, people had their chance to qualify for ridiculously small amounts. This created a player pool of <strong>5,619 </strong>in 2005, together with $7.5 million guaranteed for the last man standing. It was the first time the Main Event bracelet went all the way to Australia, as it was <strong>Joe Hachem </strong>who seized the day. Hachem started taking poker seriously in the year 2000 when he became more involved in Melbourne-based tournaments. Still, at the time he won the title, Joe was a fairly unknown player. After his victory that has clearly changed and he became one of the poker ambassadors and played his role in helping the growth of poker's popularity. He’s also managed to do quite well for himself on the tournament circuit, as Hendon Mob lists his total winnings at around $11.9 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="400" height="300" title=""/>Next came the WSOP of 2006, and it managed to, once again, break all records, creating 12 millionaires and awarding the first place finisher $12,000,000. It took a total of <strong>8,773</strong> entries to make this possible and they all gathered to create the biggest field the WSOP Main Event has ever seen and would ever see to date. And the biggest ever first prize went to none other than <strong>Jamie Gold. </strong>Gold has always shown an interest for poker since a very young age, but poker was nothing else but his hobby. In fact, apart from his Main Event cash, Gold has only about $250,000 in other tournament winnings. But 2006 was clearly a good year for him and a good run of cards brought him all the way to the victory. But there was <em>something </em>about his play and the way he engaged his opponents that certainly helped him get there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="460" height="305" title=""/>Everyone expected that the WSOP would continue its upward trend and that the next year could, possibly, break the 10,000 player ceiling. That, however, didn’t happen, as changes in the legal sphere restricted casinos from accepting online qualifiers from the sites who offered their services to US citizens. Thus, the Main Event of 2007 only had 6,358 participants – still a big number, but a considerable decrease in relation to the last year. First place prize money of $8,250,000 went to <strong>Jerry Yang</strong>, who made it into the Main Even through a live satellite. Yang had only started playing poker in 2005 and his victory probably came as a surprise to him as well. Those who followed the TV coverage of the events probably still remember the highly entertaining show Yang created during his final table performance, which included praising God and invoking cards. It clearly worked for him, as he knocked out seven out of eight other players at the table. Things did not work out as well later in his career, as Hendon Mob lists his total tournament winnings, including the WSOP, at $8,426,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="256" height="197" title=""/>The number of players for 2008 grew slightly (6,844), but still not coming close to repeating the success of ’06. This was the first series where the concept of ‘November 9’ was introduced for the Main Event final table. The final nine players were to return and play the final table in November to enable ESPN to air the action only a couple days later and keep the audience more interested, as it was easier to keep the suspense and not find out about the results for those who wanted to fully enjoy the final clash. When the last nine returned in November, they were playing for the first place prize of $9,152,416. After a long and grueling battle, the prize and the most coveted bracelet went to <strong>Peter Eastgate. </strong>Eastgate, who qualified for the WSOP online, was 22 at the time of his victory, and has thus become the youngest Main Event winner in history, surpassing Phil Hellmuth’s record.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="432" height="348" title=""/>The year 2009 saw the 40<sup>th</sup> World Series of Poker take place in Las Vegas. The number of entrants remained pretty consistent, but it decreased a bit in relation to last year – 6,494 total players. The first place prize of $8,547,000 was awarded to the winner in November, as the concept of ‘November 9’ was kept. This time it was <strong>Joe Cada </strong>who took the title, and with his victory, the record for the youngest ever winner was once again surpassed, as Cada was only 21 at the time. He started accumulating his experience online when he was only 16 and has had some decent success, but nothing closely compared to his 2009 victory. According to Hendon Mob, his live winnings to date stand at $9.6 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="600" height="400" title=""/>The following Series once again saw an increase in the number of players, as the Main Event gathered 7,319 players. Beating the other 7,318 this year was <strong>Jonathan Duhamel</strong>, who got to take home the $8,944,310 first place money. The Canadian young gun discovered poker during his time at university and decided to take a year off to pursue his newly-found passion. The path of self-discovery worked out quite well for him, as his total live tournament winnings stand at over $12 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="306" height="165" title=""/>One series after another, the territory certainly becomes more familiar and the names of winners ring more familiar in the heads of poker fans across the globe. The Main Event of 2011 saw 6,865 players paying the $10,000 buy-in to battle it out on the green felt. When it was all said and done, <strong>Pius Heinz </strong>walked away the winner, $8,715,638 richer. Heinz is the first German player to win the Main Event title. Born in 1989, he decided to put his studies on hold in 2011 in order to pursue poker. He had some success online prior to this, but his live career certainly had a very nice start.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="320" height="180" title=""/>In the year 2012, the final table was moved from November to the end of October due to the US presidential elections. With 6,598 entrants, it was decided that 666 players would be making money – a number that was a cause of some quality fun, as it is known as the ‘devil’s number.’ It certainly did not bother <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, who defeated Jessie Sylvia in the heads-up battle, winning $8,531,853. Like many others, Merson started playing during his college days and online poker is much more his domain. However, with the Main Event title and a total of nearly $11 million in cashes, he has demonstrated that he can very well hold his own in the live arena as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="600" height="450" title=""/>One event at a time, we have reached the end of this series on WSOP Main Event champions. There is just one more remaining, and that is the most recent winner from the year 2013 – reigning champion of the sort. His name is <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, who won $8,361,570 for his win after defeating Jay Farber heads-up. The young American was born in 1990 and has already made what could easily be the biggest cash of his life, as these big prize pools are hard to come by – unless he manages to defend his title somehow, of course, which would be quite an achievement in the modern-day poker world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The World Series of Poker 2014 is quickly approaching and, before we know it, we will be crowning the new World Champion in Las Vegas. Who will it be this time? Will one of the big names finally make the breakthrough and take the throne, or yet another amateur will take the poker world by surprise? All these questions will soon be answered, as this year’s WSOP is a month away and the Main Event starts on July 5<sup>th</sup>. Players and fans alike are on their toes in anticipation of the biggest poker festival in the world!</p> Sat, 10 May 2014 19:36:17 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2818 The Richest UKIPT Stop Created in Nottingham <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Main Event of UKIPT stop in Nottingham offered a guaranteed prize pool of £1,000,000 for a relatively small buy-in of just £1,000 + £100. The idea behind the guarantee was, naturally, to attract the greatest number of players possible – and it worked like a charm. With three starting days and a single re-entry allowed per player, Dusk Till Dawn casino saw a total of 1,223 entries in the Main Event, creating the richest ever UKIPT stop in history.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With registration closing today with the official start of Day 2, we have the final prize pool numbers. A total of 183 players will be walking away with some money for their performances, with the smallest cash being enough to cover the room expenses and a good dinner with friends – £1,770, while the winner will be able to afford a new house and car to match, as he or she will be walking away with £218,300.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of the total number of entrants, more than half the field entered yesterday during Day 1C – a total of 629 players and, naturally, yesterday provided us with the overall chip leader heading into Day 2 today. It was <strong>Ben Miller </strong>who accumulated a stack of 264,000. He got in during Level 4 of the tournament and decided to take a riskier approach in order to try and build his stack. The risk clearly paid off, as he is leading the pack toward the final table. That pack consists of 331 players who managed to keep their title dreams alive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Second in chips to start the day is <strong>Jude Ainsworth</strong>. The Irishman started today with 238,600. Other players to watch who made it through include <strong>Martins Adeniya, Dermot Blain, </strong>and<strong> Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot</strong>. As is always the case, many have fallen along the way as well, including 2003 WSOP Main Event champion <strong>Chris Moneymaker</strong>, EPT San Remo winner <strong>Liv Boeree, Roberto Romanello</strong>, and<strong> Ludovic Geilich</strong>. Interestingly enough, although the tournament offered one re-entry per player, of all 1,200+ entries, only 165 were re-entries, which is a bit unorthodox considering the size of the prize pool.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The bubble should be bursting a couple of levels into the play today after another 150 players see their dreams postponed until another tournament. The rest will then continue battling before stopping for the day after a few more hours. The final table will then be determined tomorrow and the winner of the richest UKIPT stop to date will be declared on Monday. Whether it will be a big name professional or the dreams will come true for yet another amateur player remains to be seen – and that’s one of the reasons we enjoy tournament poker so much, as anything can happen!</p> Sat, 10 May 2014 12:10:04 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2817 Olympic Skier/Poker Player Petter Northug in Alcohol-Related Crash <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>amed cross-country skier and poker enthusiast <strong>Petter Northug</strong> totaled his car last weekend after hitting a guardrail and admitted to being intoxicated while driving.<br/><br/>The Norwegian, who finished in the money in the 2010 WSOP Main Event and cashed for $21,327, wrecked his Audi A7 in Trondheim in his home country of Norway, causing a passenger to suffer a broken collar bone. Northug apparently fled the scene, but was later apprehended by police and confirmed that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.</p> <p><blockquote>I deeply regret what happened," Northug told the Wall Street Journal. "I'm grateful that the consequences of my poor judgment weren't even worse. I'm ready to take the punishment."</blockquote></p> <p>Northug has won 11 Winter Olympic and World Championship gold medals throughout his career. He is recognized as being among the best cross-country skiers ever. However, at the most recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, he and his teammates were somewhat of a disappointment when they failed to capture gold. <br/><br/>The 28-year-old has two other live tournament cashes on his resume. He finished 136th at the 2012 EPT Main Event in Barcelona, taking home €8,400 after buying in for €5,300, the Hendon Mob database reported. One day later in a €2,100 Turbo 8-Max, a seventh place finish was good for €5,800.<br/><br/>The police are speculating that Northug was driving beyond the 40 kilometer per hour speed limit. A remorseful Northug was upset at himself considering that he has skiing sponsorship deals and is looked up to by youngsters.</p> <p><blockquote class="left">I know I'm a role model for many young people, and I acknowledge fully that I didn't behave like a role model should," Northug said.</blockquote></p> <p>On the virtual felt, Northug plays under the screen name of 'NorthugJr' on PokerStars. His online success has overshadowed his live tournament results. Northug landed at the final table of a SCOOP tournament and won $60,000 and also took home first place prize money of $16K in a turbo event.</p> <p><blockquote class="right">I love to play it and I love the game," Northug said of his fondness for poker. "For me, it’s important to have other interests than just cross-country skiing."</blockquote></p> <p>Northug is facing fines and a jail term of 60 days, NewsinEnglish reported.</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 18:18:10 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2816 Sheldon Adelson: "I am Very Socially Sensitive" <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">S</span>heldon Adelson is a figure well-known to those keeping their eye on the development of online poker regulation in the USA. If you happen not to know much about Adelson, he is a real rags-to-riches story. He was born in 1933 to a family that had to struggle to make ends meet. He was, however, determined to succeed, and by the time he was 12, he already had his first business, selling toiletries. After finishing college, he moved back to Boston in the 1960s and, investing in various companies, managed to make his fortune. But by the end of the decade his business took a dive in a stock market decline.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the 1970s, after looking for the most suitable business venture to go on with, he started a trade show for the computer industry. In 1979, he created COMDEX (Computer Dealers Expo) at the time the personal computer industry was just taking off. By 1987, COMDEX would become the biggest trade show in Vegas, netting the group $250 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In 1988, Adelson and his partners bought Sands Casino and, in 1995, after selling COMDEX, they started building the $1.5 billion project – Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Despite difficulties, the resort opened in 1999 with huge success.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the start of the new millennium, Adelson started to expand his influence to the political arena by lending his wealth to candidates of his liking. And this is how he came to be an important figure in the battle for regulated online poker in the states as well. One would think that a person who made a lot of his fortune from casinos would be all for regulated online gambling, but Adelson is, in fact, one of its most prominent adversaries.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Adelson, with almost $39 billion to his name, is the eighth-wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine. He is bankrolling the Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming, a nonprofit group that’s pushing Congress to outlaw the business in part by overriding states that have legalized it. <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In his most recent public appearance at UNLV, he gave a speech to hundreds of students warning them of the dangers of online gambling. Adelson invokes the idea that bringing casinos to every home via personal computers and cell phones is actually preying on those people who can least afford it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He completely rejects the idea that he is battling regulation because he is afraid that it could hurt his own business. Instead, he remains adamant that his entire roll in the campaign is fueled only by his social awareness.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote> “I am in favor of gambling,” he said. “I am in favor of it as a form of entertainment. But I am not in favor of it exploiting the world’s most vulnerable people. I know I am a Republican and I am not supposed to be socially sensitive, <strong>but I am very socially sensitive</strong>.”  <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When a casino mogul tries to drive a line in the sand between gambling as entertainment and gambling that represents a danger for society, the public is, naturally, skeptical – to say the least. This doesn’t faze Adelson, however, as he stands his ground, giving his full support to the group battling against regulated online gambling in the states. All things considered, even those amongst us who truly want to believe in people’s good intentions have our doubts. It would be nice to believe that the billionaire is truly doing all this simply because he feels "socially responsible," but it would also be naïve to accept the idea that his financial bottom line has absolutely nothing to do with it. </p> Fri, 09 May 2014 16:13:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2815 WSOP Winners Throughout History – Part 3 <p style="text-align: justify;">A mission to remember and honor all of the past WSOP Main Event winners continues with Part 3 of this four-part series. <strong><a href="">Part 2</a> </strong>finished with the World Series of 1989 and the triumph of the often self-proclaimed best Hold'em player Phil Hellmuth, also known as the 'Poker Brat.'</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="200" height="300" title=""/>Today we will pick up right where we left off the last time and that would be the series of 1990. Continuing the upwards trend, the 21<sup>st</sup> edition of the WSOP ME gathered a total of 194 players. While the previous years saw the title go to some quite famous names in the poker community, this year was somewhat different as the title went to a British player of Iranian origin, <strong>Mansour Matloubi. </strong>Matloubi's lifetime winnings are in the vicinity of $2 million, but this was his first really big score. With this victory, which brought him $835,000, Matloubi became the first non-American player to win the Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Next year brought two new records for the WSOP. The first one was that 1991 for the first time gathered more than two hundred players at the Main Event tables – 215 to be precise. Second and more importantly, although it came along with the number of players was the fact that for the first time the winner got to walk away with <strong>$1 million</strong>. That one person who got his hands on the biggest WSOP prize to date was <strong>Brad Daugherty</strong>. Although Daugherty is a professional player, this win was by far his biggest and most important. According to Hendon Mob, his second largest score is just $72,000. His most recent recorded live score dates to 2012.<img class="right" src="" alt="" width="380" height="250" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The series of 1992 hosted a total of twenty events, as poker was clearly gaining popularity. Still, this was the only year that saw fewer participants than the previous years, as only 201 players paid $10,000 to take part. Despite the slight decline, the tournament prize pool was divided in such a way that the winner would still get to take home $1,000,000. <img class="left" src="" alt="" width="220" height="330" title=""/>This time it was <strong>Hamid Dastmalchi. </strong>Another player of Iranian origin, Dastmalchi holds two more WSOP bracelets, one from 1986 and another from the year following his Main Event win. His total career earnings exceed $1.8 million. He is also known for his alleged dispute with Binion’s, as he was not allowed to cash out $800,000 worth of chips. After an intervention from the Gaming Commission, the dispute was settled and his chips were cashed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="220" height="285" title=""/>The bump