In this week’s episode, er, I mean last week’s … Andrew embarks on the Las Vegas Strip low-stakes Summer circuit (Rio, Venetian, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Aria, Wynn …) only to make a valiant 0-fer run, leaving us time to discuss a caravan of high-stakes cash games sprouting up around town — it’s open-face Chinese blossoming at the Rio, Doyle popping up at the Venetian, and Doyle doing his best Deadmau5 in the Ivey Room. Meanwhile Dave takes a look at the Carnevale of Poker and the fields it draws, and we all get a chuckle out of getting so drunk at the Carnival Court that you’re banned forever from the WSOP. (Surely no one will get that drunk at the premiere party for the online poker documentary Bet Raise Fold, right?) All that and some patch bonuses available for those willing to pimp for WSOP.com, Ultimate Poker, and/or those crazy kinds at QuadJacks.
Reece Lewis £80,000 – WPTN London Main Event
Ray Dehkharghani $235,931 – 2013 Wynn Poker Classic
Ray Henson $16,128 – WSOP-C The Lodge Casino Prelim
The week has finally come to an end with a good number of gambling degenerates from the poker world glued to the television watching, betting, cursing the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s a fun time of year for those who like to diversify their gambling dollar but not so much for those on Twitter who only endorse messages about things which interest them.
This week saw Ray Henson win his 2nd WSOP-C ring of 2013 at a place called The Lodge in Colorado (not to be confused with the old Pokerati games at The Lodge back during the golden old days). The WSOP-C Main Event is now underway with 3 starting days and a $1,675 buy-in. Also underway is the overly-complicated PartyPoker Premier League VI in London featuring a ton of your favorite players and a super live stream with Kara Scott. The only outcome noticed so far was a bad beat on Daniel Negreanu to send him back to Vegas before the WSOP-APAC.
Tweet of the Day – You can’t argue with the tongue-in-cheek sentiment. So when/what/where is this Ivey Poker thing going to happen? (h/t @Kevmath)
It seems like IveyPoker and Nevada are in a race to see who can have the largest group of people doing nothing.
Highway to Hell – An interesting read about old school gambling in Texas along the Jacksboro Highway complete with stories/quotes from Doyle Brunson.
Parx Takes Lead In Monthly Poker Revenue – As an east coast boy I find this pretty shocking. When Pennsylvania began opening casinos and card rooms, everyone shrugged their shoulders saying it would have little impact on the games in AC. I guess they might have been wrong and kudos to Matt Glantz for getting Parx ahead.
Phil Ivey To Captain Team Americas in WSOP Asia-Pacific Caesars Cup – The WSOP Asia Pacific series is just a few weeks away and they’ve announced the captains for the latest effort to make the Caesars Cup something interesting. Phil Ivey (Team Americas), Sam Trickett (Team Europe), and Joe Hachem (Team Asia-Pacific) will now “draft” their teams.
Vertical Rush from PokerStars.com – I’m not exactly sure what I’m watching in this video other than it’s a bunch of people running up 42 floors of some building in London, includes Liv Boeree, and appears to have been recorded using mid-1990′s video technology.
Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth arrive for the NBC Heads-Up draw party, even though Negreanu opted out to spend the weekend with friends.
NBC’s $25,000 buy-in National Heads-Up Poker Championship invitational tournament is decidedly made-for-television .
The draw party Wednesday night felt like little more than a chance to hobnob with the who’s who of televised poker and online wunderkinds, from Brunson to Hellmuth to Jungleman and ZeeJustin.
But after a Black Friday-induced hiatus, some in the poker world say the return of the event to the Caesars Palace poker room signals a step forward for poker in the U.S.
Caesars Entertainment Interactive, which recently acquired a license to operate online poker in Nevada, presented its wsop.com as part of the event for the first time since the tournament began in 2005.
Mori Eskandani, the producer of the show, called it ‘good news’ for the industry that NBC wants poker back.
The matches start Thursday afternoon, and they’ll crown a champion on Saturday.
This year, Phil Hellmuth, who arrived to the party Wednesday night in his dictator coat, squares off against Mike Sexton in round one. Daniel Negreanu, meanwhile, has opted out to spend the weekend with friends. That made room for David “Doc” Sands, who put up something of a fit after he didn’t get a direct invite.
The Poker Hall of Fame will induct Eric Drache and the late Brian “Sailor” Roberts as the organization’s 43rd and 44th members during the final table of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event later this month.
The pair were nominated by the public and voted in by a 36-person panel made up of existing Poker Hall of Famers and members of the media.
Roberts, who died in 1995, won the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship in 1975. He was best known as a member of poker’s old guard of “Texas Road Gamblers,” along with Hall of Famers Doyle Brunson and the late Amarillo Slim.
Yorane Kerignard $182,292 – World Poker Tour Malta
Daniel Chaky $40,773 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #4
Lance Garcia $18,449 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #5
Robin Vannucci $17,711 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #6
Jonathan Taylor $16,201 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #7
Walan Kite $16,350 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #8
Plenty of action around the poker world, both on and off the tables. This week has one new WPT winnner, a boatload of new WSOP Circuit ring owners, and a new WPT Borgata Poker Open champion at some point later today. That final table has an interesting cast of characters including Steve Brecher, David Diaz, and Tyler Patterson after fan favorite Matt Brady was eliminated on the TV table bubble after a nasty beat. They are playing for over $800,000 and a shiny trophy.
The big news is off the table as PokerNews released their 7-part interview with Howard Lederer talking about the Full Tilt implosion, Black Friday, and pointing fingers at the entire universe with barely a mention of his role in the mess. There is a lot of information to get through and it is sometimes tough to listen. The interview does not provide many new facts not known already inside the poker world but it does confirm some stories.
It also provides plenty of ammunition for those who refuse to blame everyone responsible. Lederer and Bitar deserve every ounce of venom spewed their way (except for the death threats, those are childish/dangerous) but there is a set of people unwilling to spread it around. Phil Ivey and his ridiculous lawsuit. The list of people who gladly took massive “loans” against the player funds. The board members who didn’t immediately remove Bitar the moment they realized the mess they were in. They all deserve to be put on blast.
Phil Galfond Sues For Share Of Bluefire Poker Profits – I’ve often wondered what kind of traffic/business/signups these training sites pulled in and now we may have a little insight. Galfond was part of the Bluefire startup and made ~$400k over the first two years and now suing for his 2011 share.
BOOM documentary blog – After a few hiccups along the way, like a little government action on 15 April 2011, it looks like those behind the documentary BOOM are about ready to release their work product. I look forward to see it when released, below is the trailer they released over a year ago, and they have submitted the documentary to the Sundance Film Festival.
Antonio Esfandiari receives a really big check, with a really big number Photo: WSOP.com/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum
All three starting days of the WSOP Main Event are in the books and the numbers are in. A total of 6,598 registered for the tournament meaning attendance is down for only the 4th time in WSOP history*. First place pays out $8,527,982 and a nifty new bracelet, the final 7 are all guaranteed a 7-digit payday. They are paying an evil 666 spots and min-cash will earn $19,227.
Day 2A and 2B are now underway in the Amazon, Brasilia, and Pavilion Rooms. Both restarts are playing indepent of the other and will not combine until Day 3 on Wednesday. 657 players survived Day 1A and 1,387 on Day 1B. Five full levels of play today with 2,300 players returning tomorrow for Day 2C.
* 1991/92 – 215 players to 201
2006/07 – 8,773 players to 6,358 (thank you UIEGA)
2008/09 – 6,844 players to 6,358 (thank you horrible WSOP planning)
Day 1A Top/Notable Counts:
William John – 266,700
Chance Kornuth – 141,775
Leo Wolpert – 128,300
Eric Baldwin – 123,150
Faraz Jaka – 115,775
Karina Jett – 68,550
Wendeen Eolis – 55,100
David Williams – 9,100
Kenneth Shelton – 1,225 Complete Day 1A Chip Counts
Day 1B Top/Notable Counts:
John Hoang – 180,000
Vanessa Selbst – 168,350
Jason Somerville – 144,725
Daniel Negreanu – 140,575
Maria Ho – 138,425
Ignatius J. Reilly – 127,272
Shaun Deeb – 125,900
Tom Scheider – 53,500
Matt Keikoan – 5,125 Complete Day 1B Chip Counts
Day 1C Top/Notable Counts:
Jason Laso – 240,350
Brandon Adams – 153,100
Jake Cody – 124,775
Paul McGuire – 120,420
Joe Cada – 117,375
Jason Young – 76,300
Phil Ivey – 11,200
Jack King – 1,000 Complete Day 1C Chip Counts
Tweet of the Day – It seemed like Doyle Brunson was going to stand by his decision to skip the Main Event this year, but backed off the idea and survived Day 1C with 81,400. The WSOP just wouldn’t be the same without Texas Dolly in the Main.
I’m having second thoughts about playing the main event. I’m pretty tired after all this playing but it’s such a great event! 3 hours left.
Kevmath has arrived to play the $10k WSOP main event. He’s currently in the process of trying to collect his pledges, which is clearly a different game than funding a $235 deep stack stab via Twitter. Lets hope his rungood starts today for a final Day 1 buy-in tomorrow … because really, with a new era that doesn’t include Doyle Brunson in the WSOP main event upon us (he’s opting out this year for what I think is only like the third time) don’t we all really need a Kevmath to be properly funded, if not fully backed?
With these kinda arrangements in mind, Pokerati has been working on a basic legal boilerplate to cover typical poker staking arrangements. We’re still working on a few revisions, and customizable blanks to accommodate a variety of backing scenarios. It’s not official yet, and thus not certain to be admissible in court — hey, you get what you pay for — but let me know if you think there’s anything missing or superfluous, especially if you are a practicing attorney in Nevada.
Vanessa Selbst wins the 10-Game Mix 6-Handed Event Photo: PokerNews.com
Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore
Pete Vilandos $952,694 – Event #50 $5,000 No Limit Hold’em
Yen Dang $170,587 – Event #51 $1,000 Ladies Championship
Vanessa Selbst $244,259 – Event #52 $2,500 10-Game Mix 6-Handed
48 insanely rich (or insanely backed) poker players gathered on the stage yesterday for all the pomp and circumstance required for a $1,000,000 tournament. Group photos, individual player introductions, weird looking dudes in loincloth, and a really big ass drum Click image above for a shot of the scene during the group shot, courtesy my trusty iPhone Pano app. The number of people lined up along the rail was impressive but most of them dispersed once they realized watching live poker at the start of an event is pretty boring.
Phil Hellmuth slipped into the field at the last minute by “winning” the MGM VIP satellite Saturday evening. Rumors are circulating he made a deal with the final 8 players where he won the seat in exchange for a piece of his action. Gus Hansen also earned his way into the tournament but in the more traditional sense of winning. He made a heads up deal with Shaun Deeb where Hansen would get the seat while Deeb would get a cool million and listed as an alternate.
Interesting twist to the Deeb situation was when he tried to cash out his satellite winnings at the cage on Sunday. Some poor Rio employee told Deeb he could only cash out in tournament lammers, meaning he would have to rid himself of two thousand $500 tournament buyin chips before the Main Event when they would become useless. Thankfully saner heads prevailed and he successfully cashed out. See link dump below for the money shot.
Downside to most of the attention being directed at the Amazon Room three ring circus was the overshadowing of Vanessa Selbst winning her second WSOP bracelet. What should have been a grand celebration of the feat was pushed to the tiny feature table in the Pavilion while Selbst destroyed her final table. Two WSOP bracelet, over $5,000,000 in career earnings, and one of the top players in the world. She deserved more attention for the accomplishment.
As Matt Savage commented on Twitter, “Sat next to @VanessaSelbst in the 10K HORSE last year and she admitted not knowing some games. Now she is 10 Game Champion. #Legend #Boss“.
Feds Arrest Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar – St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, and now the DOJ has finally pulled Ray Bitar from his spider hole in Dublin. He sent an email to remaining employees saying he “returned to the US to deal with civil and criminal case that are pending against me in New York.” And if it’s on 2+2, it must be true. Makes me wonder whether Isai Scheinberg is feeling a little squirmy today.
Tweet of the Day – They finally decided to pay Deeb properly. That’s a lot of cheddar and I hope I run into Shaun at the bar before he “Deebs” it off.
Secondary Tweet of the Day – Doyle telling it like it is. Selbst deserved better and at least people are noticing the lack of appreciation.
Why isn’t a lot more attention payed to @VanessaSelbst for her 2nd bracelet? A second for a young lady isn’t worthy of publicity? Wow! — Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) July 2, 2012
WSOP Photo By Numbers: Controversial $50k Hand – Remember the silly $50k Players Championship hand where three players were all-in but not really? BJ Nemeth has a nice recap of the action complete with photo for those who often type TL;DNR on forum posts.
BLUFF Challenge — Charania Vs. Harder – That’s enough with the serious news. Finishing up with a little fun time between Christian Harder and Mohsin Charania in a hockey shootout contest brought to you by the fine video folks at BLUFF.
We’ve gotta move on from all this talk of Black Friday, I know … it was nearly a year and a half ago, and we’ll be hearing about its cases moving forward in various capacities probably for another 2+ years.n But if the million-dollar buy-in tournament without certain people does indeed kick off a new era in poker — a hypothesis I’m currently formulating from the mothership — then consider this a farewell to economic powerhouses in the industry who suddenly aren’t, as you can tell by their absence.
The question’s in the subhed … Who would probably be playing in a million-dollar buy-in tournament (who currently is not) were this tournament being held in 2010? I’ll start off with whom I’d put on my list … we’re gonna presume the cap wouldn’t be at 48 either … 64 maybe, or 72 or even 96, but we can start there — on assumption without fact that the WSOP woulda made this thing a little bigger had they counted on the likes of:
Full Tilt Qualifier and/or PokerStars Qualifier
Scott Tom (?)
Each summer the “poker media” likes to slap labels on the WSOP a few weeks into the summer, perhaps a lazy way to summarize the series in 4 words. Year of the Pro, Year of the Women, Year of the Amateur, etc, etc, ad nauseum. This year has seen a little bit of everything with top pros picking up bracelets, with the good guys, long suffering, and ladies also getting in the act.
There was a little debate whether Allyn Jaffrey Shulman’s win broke the four year streak of all male bracelet winners (aside from the Ladies Championship) since it occurred in the Seniors Championship. Jackie Glazier almost erased that question. The Australian poker player has plenty of results on her resume but came to the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em final table with the chip lead and her eye on the title.
After a long evening, she found herself heads up with Greg Ostrander for the bracelet with a significant chiplead when the hard stop time rolled around. Ostrander opted to pause play for the day and that seemed to kill Glazier momentum and she settled for a second place finish.
Glazier was the 10th women to make a final table this summer and scored the 5th highest payout for a woman player in WSOP history.
Tweet(s) o’ the Day – It would have been pretty unthinkable just a few years ago that Doyle Brunson would miss the $50,000 Players Championship. While his WSOP schedule has been cut way back, the 10-time bracelet winner is still out there crushing big cash games. In the end, Texas Dolly was in his seat at the start of play.
Supposed to be a giant cash game today. Thinking about skipping 50K tourney. #whattodo?
@TexDolly If you do not play in the WSOP 50K Players, you will be sorely missed…Get in there + show @ToddBrunson how it’s done!! — phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 24, 2012
WSOP Player of the Year Update – The Player of the Year list is up to date through the latest events and Phil Ivey continues to lead over John Monnette, Andy Frankenberger, Phil Hellmuth, and newly crowned bracelet winner Jan-Peter Jachtmann. Still plenty of time and some big money events for others to make up ground. For anyone wondering, Allen “Complainsaw” Kessler is not in the Top 500.
It’s time for civil behavior from the pokerati – Norman Chad (your 6th place finisher in the Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo event) has his latest piece for the Washington Post where he talks about civility in poker. While I think a lot of the top young pros are doing a good job of expanding their horizons, there is still something rotten in the soft nougat center. Also, wash your damn hands!
Yesterday marked the anniversary of online poker’s Black Friday. Anyone who ever clicked a raise button remembers the fateful day, and many are reminiscing about how their world changed on April 15, 2011.
Here’s a best-of list of links, tweets and general brooding from over the weekend:
Nearly every casino with a poker room offers a daily tournament. The buy-ins range from $45 to more than $500, depending on the day of the week.
I want to explore the level of competition, how much play I can get for my money and whether the payouts are worth the grind.
I’m going to play at least a week of dailies around Las Vegas. Mostly, I plan to play on the Strip. But I also want to hit at least one event downtown and check out the action at an off-strip casino or two. I’ll avoid the WSOP-circuit events in town and Venetian’s Deepstack Extravaganza Series, as to stay out of the path of sharks.
If I happen to get knocked out early, I’ll do some follow-up reporting on the pay structure.
My first event started at 7 p.m. Wednesday, a $125 buy-in at Aria. The blinds opened at 25/50, with 30 minute levels.
Folks in town told me it’s one of the better events for the money.
The highly anticipated debut of the Epic Poker League held their first $20,000 Main Event Tuesday afternoon at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. The first day of the “rake-free” tournament ($400 of each buy-in went to the dealers) with $400,000 added ended with three of the hottest players in poker, Eugene Katchalov, Ben Lamb and Brian Rast the top three in chips.
The first EPL event featured plenty of notable names absent as Daniel Negreanu, most of Team Full Tilt, and Doyle Brunson deciding not to participate. Card-holding members need to enter at least one Main Event, Pro/Am and charity event each season to maintain their card.
In a radio interview last week, Phil Hellmuth wasn’t sure if he’d play in the first event. After making his “announcement” on Twitter Monday, he made his traditional late appearance, but was eliminated shortly after the dinner break.
The EPL will hold tournaments in a variety of no-limit hold’em formats, with the inaugural event played six-handed. Registration closed at the start of level 5, nearly 8 hours after play started. The tournament clock showed 137 players entered to create a $3,085,200 prize pool. The winner at the conclusion of play Friday will earn as the top 18 places make the money. The top 27 EPL money earners return February for the $1,000,000 League Championship freeroll.
Jason Mercier and Sean Getzwiller (a Pro/Am qualifier) are the other bracelet winners from this year’s WSOP among the 63 players returning Wednesday afternoon at 12pm PST to play another six levels.
Top ten chip counts:
Eugene Katchalov – 356,300
Ben Lamb – 287,200
Brian Rast – 260,500
Antonio Esfandiari – 248,100
Noah Schwartz – 220,200
McLean Karr – 191,800
Hoyt Corkins – 187,400
Isaac Baron – 167,700
Dan O’Brien – 163,300
Erik Seidel – 161,200
The full list of chip counts along with live updates, table draws, videos and more can be found at www.epicpoker.com
Before the Main Event, the EPL kicked off over the weekend with The $1,500 Pro/Am tournament, offering nine Main Event seats, drew a combined field of 190 entrants as the final table was filmed for the Heartland Poker Tour. Steve O’Dwyer was the winner, earning $23,810 plus his EPL Main Event Seat. The only EPL-eligible player to snag a seat on the cheap was Andy Bloch, eventually finishing 3rd. Michael Craig recaps the final table.
While the Pro/Am final table was in action, 81 players put up $240 (plus a ton of $100 rebuys and add-ons) to raise over $50,000 for Operation USA, with the money earmarked for the victims of tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri. Plenty of goodies were given to all players with Zappos contributing $2,500 to the winner. Reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger won the title, donating the winnings to the charity.
The 2011 WSOP wouldn’t be the 2011 WSOP without chatter about Full Tilt. And here, on the last day, Howard Lederer makes another appearance in Las Vegas, apparently at another Asian restaurant. But this time it was none other than Todd Brunson who had the unexpected run-in with the once-proud father-figure of Full Tilt Poker.
And Brunson reports — via the often unreliable Twitter — that he got paid his Full Tilt balance of about $150k … in a way that suggests Lederer is either going door-to-door making payouts (perhaps tidying up affairs before he has to “go away”?) or possibly just living out of his car …
Either way, the stress seems to be doing Lederer right, physically at least, as the previous poster boy for the well-fed high-stakes “poker body” seems to have shed a few (dozen?) pounds around the saddle.
Persona non grata: You mean you haven’t been paid yet? Have you submitted your W-9?
And while it would be nice if someone really did get their Full Tilt balance refunded … it can’t be an ideal structure for payouts when they’re happening out of the trunk of a car, even if it is a $250k Audi.
Doyle said to have been buying up Full Tilt dollars at a discount
Meanwhile, since we’re relying on Twitter here … this seems as good a time to pass on a “rumor” that I feel confident enough about the source — someone inside Bobby’s Room — that it might reveal why Brunson’s father, Doyle, has been extra sour on poker as of late.
Supposedly, a few weeks ago, Doyle was playing in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, and he was tweeting about his slaughter of Billy Baxter. Soon, talk shifted (off-Twitter) to Full Tilt’s money problems. Brunson reportedly said he was confident they intended to pay, and believed they eventually would … and with that began buying up Full Tilt accounts for about 60 cents on the dollar. Can’t confirm the exact amount he purchased … but the kinda money that people playing in the highest-stakes cash game in Vegas might have on Full Tilt Poker.
The next day, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s license, effectively shutting the site down indefinitely.
We have few rules here at Pokerati, just possible guidelines. But with that, the few that we do have tend to be important, and one I’ve told contributors before: Twitter is not a primary source. You’d think I woulda listened to my own advice and known better than to report something that came from a single source on Twitter, even if it was from a verified account. But it was Doyle! @TexDolly! Aren’t we supposed to believe everything most of what he says?