Posts Tagged ‘EPT’

Instapoker

O'Dwyer breaks through at EPT Grand Final, Makar releases UB recordings

by , May 13, 2013 | 10:00 am

Steve O'Dwyer Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com

Steve O’Dwyer
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Steve O’Dwyer €1,224,000 – 2013 EPT Grand Final
Steven Silverman €775,000 – 2013 EPT Monaco High Roller
Paul Volpe €130,000 – 2013 EPT Monaco 6-Max


Steve O’Dwyer has been making a lot of noise in Europe for a longtime but it wasn’t until Sunday night that he was able to capture his first EPT title. He won on their biggest stage against arguably one of the toughest final table is major poker tournament history. O’Dwyer defeated Andrew Pantling for the title but that was just one hurdle at a table which included Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Noah Schwartz, Jake Cody, Grant Levy, and Johnny Lodden. It was a well earned victory for one of the favorites on tour.

***

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, and that is certainly a possibility with Mother’s Day weekend, you would have noticed Travis Makar released some secret Ultimate Bet recordings which have set the world all a-twitter and might be the situation to cause 2+2 to implode upon itself. There is a ton of information to be derived from the recordings and you can find some of the best in the link dump below.

The winner of the week? Jen Larson who now finds Lock Poker to be the second biggest story in poker at the moment. Have no fear, the Eye of Sauron will be back on them soon enough.



Link Dump

Travis Makar Releases Damaging Ultimate Bet Recordings – The best writeup I saw with a breakdown of the recordings and all they contain. Pretty damning information for a lot of people involved and this is a good to start understanding it all.

Poker’s Watergate Moment – Another great recap by poker blogger “Grange95” with his take on the UB tapes including links to the actual recordings.

Phil Hellmuth statement on UB – Phil Hellmuth (or more accurately, his agent Brian Balsbaugh) released a statement about the recent revelations in the UB recordings via Kevmath and the 2+2 forums. He gives the entire thing a bit of the soft touch and not much in the way of an explanation. He might get a little more attention with the WSOP about to kick off.

Ultimate Poker Severs Ties with Iovation – The news this weekend also had an impact on newly launched Ultimate Poker when it came to light they were using former UB-tainted Greg Pierson’s company Iovation for player verification.

Gambler won £7.8m by ‘reading’ the back of cards – In different news, the story of Phil Ivey and the UK casino holding back his winnings has spewed forth more (and actually interesting) material. So who is this mystery woman who can read cards like this?


Instapoker

The Grinder picks up a WSOP-C ring, Castaignon wins EPT Deauville

by , Feb 11, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Remi Castaignon Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com

Remi Castaignon
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Remi Castaignon €770,000 – EPT Deauville
Michael Mizrachi $101,267 – WSOP Circuit South Africa
Tyler Patterson $19,080 – 2013 LAPC NLHE Escalator


Big tournaments finished this weekend all over the planet, from Europe to South Africa and across the US. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi was already having pretty nice results over the last 12 months including a nearly $1.5 million victory in the 2012 WSOP Poker Players Championship. Now he can add WSOP Circuit ring winner to his resume after winning the 116-player Main Event at the Emerald Casino in South Africa.

Remi Castaignon is the latest EPT Champion for what is apparently his first tournament cash ever with a victory in the EPT Deauville Main Event. €770,000 is a fine way to get his first entry on HendonMob and it looks like he cruised to the win after entering the final table with 40% of the chips in play.

The 2013 LAPC continues to chug along with their preliminary events pulling in good numbers for the Savage structured grind. Plenty of big names are making their way to final tables including McLean Karr, Bryan Devonshire, Matt Affleck, and Tyler Patterson who managed a win along with the traditional ugly, 500 pound trophy. Elsewhere in the world, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock will play down to their champion in a few days with Matt Salsberg once again in the running with 36 players remaining.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Mizrachi wins and Andrew Felman reminded to remind himself that everyone forgets The Grinder. Perhaps people could start giving the man his props now?

Bally Technologies and Amaya Gaming sign poker content agreement – More reports of Vegas iGaming additions. The race is on and will be interesting to see who comes out ahead.

MGM Resorts Looks To Re-Enter New Jersey In Possible Internet Gaming Move – Gov. Christie takes positive steps towards online poker in NJ and all of a sudden MGM is again interested in Atlantic City.

Poker / By Alex Outhred – Hey, look who has a poker strategy article in the world renown Buffalo News! Good friend, and one of the good guys, Alex Outhred. (Part congrats, part needle, all complimentary)

Zynga’s Shares Rise As Legal US Online Gambling Is Mooted – Any time Forbes or a legitimate publication talks about online gambling, it’s noteworthy. This one is chock full of snark.

$100k in 7 Days! Let’s do this! – Daniel Negreanu is using his platform for a very worthy cause. A refreshing change for him.


Instapoker

Lacay wins, Ivey wins but not really, Negreanu deflects

by , Oct 12, 2012 | 11:00 am


Today’s Boxscore

Greg Raymer $121,973 – HPT River City Casino
Mike Watson €1,000,000 – Majestic Super High Roller
Ludovic Lacay €744,910 – EPT Sanremo Main Event
Benny Spindler €253,000 – EPT Sanremo High Roller


Ludovic Lacay has been known as one of the best European players and now has a major championship to his credit after winning the EPT Sanremo Main Event. The French professional had booked over $2,000,000 in career earnings before this series but was having an admittedly bad run in recent months. The event drew a tough field by attracting many top pros to the casino on the Mediterranean coast and Lacay picked up €744,910 ($961,807) for outlasting them all.

Side note: Is the town spelled Sanremo or San Remo or Sanrœmu. All very confusing and PokerStarsBlog.com didn’t help my muddled brain. Back to your regularly schedule blathering.

Elsewhere in poker (and the forums naturally), attention over the last week was spent calmly and reasonably discussing the crazy situation of Phil Ivey winning £7.3 million playing Punto Banco in Britain’s oldest casino, only for them to turn around and deny payment. Not many missed the chance to have a little fun at Ivey’s expense, myself included, when the poor guy was owed millions yet a gaming company refused to let him cashout.

Completely made up Phil Ivey quote: “I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Crockford Casino players have not been paid money they are owed. I am not playing in the World Series of Punto Banco as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.”

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Negreanu can’t go 5 minutes without finding himself in the middle of something. This time it was a blog post from Haralabos Voulgaris (linked below) calling out “Kid” Poker for his less then enthusiastic response to Erick Lindren being a deadbeat, broke dick. Negreanu earns another Deflection Badge of Honor.

Heroes and Villains in Poker – Voulgaris lays it out on the table about Full Tilt Poker, Black Friday, Erick Lindgren, and Negreanu’s soft touch with his friend’s situation. Some more big numbers thrown around and it makes you wonder what a lot of these guys in deep are leaving off.

Full Tilt Poker Receives Isle of Man Operating License – It looks like one of the last hurdles to the new/improved/non-thieving Full Tilt Poker has been cleared with the company being granted their operating license. Plans are for a launch on November 6 and wasting no time by jumping into a new FTOPS series on December 2nd.

New Entourage-Style Show Based on Poker Circuit – Matt Salsberg, winner of the WPT Grand Prix de Paris, will be using his Hollywood skills to create a poker-related poker show. The brains behind Entourage and Weeds also spoke with our friends at PokerListing about results, movies, and Black Friday.

FeltStars Leaves Online Poker – Another poker site hits the bricks as FeltStars shutters operations on the Merge Network. For those few who still trust their money on U.S. facing poker sites, it’s another hit to their game. There were quite a few top name players signed on as FeltStar pros including Matt Brady, David “Devilfish” Ulliot, and Ylon Schwartz.

The Final Table – Episode 1 – Looks like there will be a nice series of online episodes as Russell Thomas prepares for the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table with coach Jason Somerville and a cast of characters including “Friend of Pokerati” B.J. Nemeth.


Wider World of Poker

EPT winners, running it twice, 888 profit, Germans flipflop, and a Finnish spaceman.

by , Aug 30, 2012 | 4:39 am

I can feel the damp chill of Autumn encroaching as the last rays of a surprisingly vibrant summer ebb away. At last the British skies can get back to what they do best: ineptly ferrying about sacks of floating water. Excuse my while I pull on this cardigan and open up the umbrella of news.

Dan Smith Does Not Win EPT

The world is in shock after two EPT events concluded without Dan Smith winning either of them. Frenchman Laurent Polito caused an upset in Barcelona by taking down the €10,000 High Roller, only for Mikalai Pobal to complete the anomaly by rudely winning the Main Event for just over €1 million. [Poker News Daily]

Play It Again Sam

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Doyle Brunson, but don’t fancy ageing a thousand years and putting on a stetson, chances are you’ve taken the opportunity to “run it twice” a few times. Full Tilt added it as an online feature a few years ago and, probably non-coincidentally, PokerStars are set to unveil their own version in the next few days. [Poker Fuse]

888 Hitting the Jackpot

Since Black Friday, it’s been mostly doom and gloom so far as online poker revenue goes, so it’s nice to hear about a company doing well off the back of its digital offering. 888 is reporting a big increase in first-half earnings, with its online poker division contributing heartily to that figure. I’m not sure if those numbers include subsidiary Dragonfish, but their recent successes could be playing a part in this uptick. [Reuters]

German Licensing Confusion

The dissident German province of Schleswig Holstein is being welcomed back into mainstream Teutonic legislation, which puts the online poker companies they recently granted licenses to in a tricky spot. The German Treaty does not allow for such licenses to be issued, although given that a handful have already been given out it is not clear whether or not the local government will be legally obligated to honour them. [Gambling Kingz]

Ground Control to Major Kyllönen

I thought that Finland was already in space, so I’m pretty surprised to hear all the hubbub surrounding Jens Kyllönen spending €160,000 on a trip to the stars in 2014. Circus man Guy Laliberte also has a ticket as a part of a journey to his Martian homeworld. [4Flush]

Before I go, I’d encourage you all to take a look at Phil Galfond’s fraternal dissection of Viktor Blom. It’s not really news, but it’s rare to hear the very top pros talk about each other in detail and even rarer for that pro to be a clear and engaging writer. Click this now.


Instapoker

Seminole Hard Rock blows it, Ziigmund not impressed, and Krisztina Polgár

by , Aug 24, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Ivaylo Damyanov Peevski
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Ivaylo Peevski €141,800 – EPT Barcelona €2,150 NLH
Peter Dragar €44,800 – EPT Barcelona €2,100 NLH Turbo
Lars Garp €31,700 – EPT Barcelona €1,100 NLH Turbo
Liya Gerasimova €10,700 – €550 Women’s event NLH


Pretty slow week as far as results are concerned with the EPT Barcelona Main Event still playing down at the time of publishing and the WPT Legends Main Event just about to get underway. But that doesn’t mean things have been completely quiet around the tournament poker world and the forums are all abuzz.

There’s a little festival down in Hollywood, FL causing a disturbance in the normally sound and sane world of 2+2. A little tropical storm, most likely a hurricane in the future, named Isaac has Florida squarely in it’s cross hairs for this weekend right in the middle of the WPT Summer Splash Main Event. The decision-makers at the Seminole Hard Rock casino, already having big overlays in prelim events, removed the $500,000 guarantee just hours before the Main Event was to kick off.

Dear Seminole Hard Rock Guests,

We are very sorry to announce that, due to the uncertainty regarding the path and impact of Tropical Storm Isaac, the guaranteed prize pool has been removed from the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino WPT® Summer Splash Regional Championship Main Event running from Friday, August 24 – Monday, August 27.

The forums took this news with all the grace and dignity for which they are known.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – I love the Dutchies, and anything that goofs on Negreanu is a bonus. So I present this beauty created by Frank Op de Woerd (@webjoker).

Poker is game of skill, not chance, New York judge rules – Just one in the long stream of articles written about the NY ruling on poker but this one gets my link. Plus there’s a nifty, non-scientific, poll halfway through about online poker legalization.

Revel’s rocky launch – I made my first trek to the new Revel Casino in Atlantic City last weekend and was only impressed by the immensity of the place and nice poker room staff, the rest was a fine example of casino planners trying to get you lost. And now they are damn near broke. Suzette Parmley at Philly.com documents the casinos troubles from the start.

Casino Fails To Shuffle Cards, Sues Gamblers Who Won $1.5 Million – While I’m bagging a bit on AC, how about the Golden Nugget suing mini baccarat players who correctly figured out they were playing with an unshuffled deck and took the casino for a cool milly (and change)?

Introducing Hungarian Model Krisztina Polgar – So the PokerNews crew had a little video help from Hungarian model Krisztina Polgár (Google image search, you are welcome). So here’s a little introduction with a bonus of having Kristy Arnett doing the interview.


A friendly reminder from our friends at http://poker.paddypower.com to consider the best options when signing up for real money poker tournaments.


Wider World of Poker

Big money in Barca & Cannes, Lock Poker misstep, Bwin stumble, and Poker on Nokia

by , Aug 22, 2012 | 9:57 am

Let me tell you, a party isn’t a party unless the night ends with two male revellers waxing intimate parts of their bodies. At least, that’s what I am forced to conclude after an initially civil gathering at my place devolved into a test of hairless endurance. Consider this column my rehabilitation.

Catalan Poker

London might have a poker festival just around the corner, but right now Barcelona is the place to be if you’re the sort of person who likes levels and prize pools. A few days ago a man known as the “Ox of Rome” avoided being murdered by Hercules to take down the Estrallas Poker Tour for €200,000. [OnlinePoker.net]

And with barely time to draw breath, we’re straight into EPT Barcelona, with the €50,000 Super High Roller event already completed. The victor was rising star Dan Smith, who cut a deal at the final table to walk away with €962,925. [PokerStars Blog]

High Rollers en Cannes

Speaking of High Roller events, the World Series of Poker Europe – which kicks off at the end of next month – has announced its own big buy-in tournament. A €50,000 Re-Entry tournament starts on October 2nd and, while it will have a large prize pool, it sadly won’t award any of those shiny bracelets everyone seems to be so keen on. [PokerNews]

Lock Poker Accused of Misleading Users

What with government intervention, bank fraud, and trojan viruses to worry about, people don’t seem to complain about rigged shufflers anymore. That said, having an independently certified random number generator is a vital part of any reputable operation. Which is why organizations like eCOGRA give out special badges to companies they deem to have fair and balanced software. It’s also why 2+2 users are in an uproar over Lock Poker neglecting to remove their old certification, despite having left the Merge Network 6 months ago. [4Flush]

Bwin Fails in South America

Continuing their crusade to make more money fight for the rights of online gambling, Bwin have been going mano-a-government in Argentina. In a frankly un-shocking result, the courts decided to uphold the rights of the country’s gambling monopoly. [Online-Casinos.com]

Nokia Calls on Zynga

I feel a bit weird reporting on non-gambling Zynga news, but I guess they’re a relevant force in our industry these days. Plus, we all know that Dan is one of the biggest Facebook sharks of all time. Maybe he’ll be buying a Nokia Asha Touch, now that Zynga Poker has been announced as launch software. [Card Player]

I feel like I should have made it clear up there that I am not one of the unfortunate souls now in possession of a streamlined undercarriage. Not nearly enough alcohol had passed my lips to make that seem like a good idea. Which means I’ll be fighting fit for next week’s column, provided I don’t accidentally throw any more parties in the next seven days. Wish me luck.


Wider World of Poker

Winning, Stealing, Counselling, Facebooking, Partying, and saying Goodbye.

by , Aug 15, 2012 | 8:18 am

Excuse me while I shed my Union Jack trousers and put this flag back into its pouch. The Olympics are over and the unseasonal wave of athletic patriotism that has washed over the UK is finally abating. It’s a relief, let me tell you. Now we can get back to moaning about the transport network and being rained on. If only the sun would stop shining.

Worldwide Tournament Update

We start this week with some glorious victories. First up there was Robbie Renehan proving true the maxim that ‘Wherever you go, you will always find the Irish’. He somehow managed to outlast a horde of locals to win the Colombian National Poker Championship, which forms part of the Latin American Poker Tour. [OnlinePoker.net]

Doing even more winning is Marvin Rettenmaier, who has garnered praise for becoming the first person ever to win back-to-back WPT events. PokerNews have even penned this paean to his glory, detailing his recent results and tournament strategy. [PokerNews]

Fresh Scandal on 2+2

A slew of worrying, but frankly engrossing, cheating accusations are unravelling on 2+2. It all begins with an anonymously posted chat log which alleges that poker pro Matt Marafioti and reported hacker Samer Rahman had been colluding to steal money from other online pros by installing a program on their computers that revealed their hole cards. The discussion has now evolved into claims by several Swedish pros that they have been scammed and threatened by a notorious biker gang with ties to Rahman. [2+2]

Euro Council Enshrined

PokerStars has set up a European Players Council to look out for the needs of its EPT competitors. It follows the example laid down by the WSOP equivalent, whose founding members included such trusted names as Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer. [Card Player]

Facebook Gets Real Money Bingo

The online gambling world has been going all social lately, so it was only a matter of time before the social media sphere went all gambley. Facebook has allowed the first ever real money gambling app onto its platform. The horrifically named Bingo Friendzy has only launched in the UK so far. [The Telegraph]

London Poker Festival on the Horizon

The London Poker Festival is on the horizon, featuring a cavalcade of card-slinging endeavours, including the (sort-of) prestigious British Poker Awards. London’s various casinos and poker clubs are running a huge number of tournaments, including the English Poker Open and various GUKPT events. [British Poker Festival]

Bye-Bye Blom

Despite completing their Full Tilt takeover, it’s not all been roses for PokerStars, as they this week bid farewell to volatile high-stakes phenom Viktor Blom. After rocketing into the spotlight with his insane swings as the anonymous Isildur1, Blom has gone on to become one of the online game’s most captivating players. [PokerNews]

Ah! I forgot that we still had the Paralympics to come. It’ll take me a full week to reaffix all my British paraphernalia. Which is conveniently just about the right amount of time for the wider world of poker to generate enough news for another post. Serendipity at its finest.


This Week’s Big Winners – May 21st

Rapture on Hold - Poker Won't Wait

by , May 21, 2011 | 4:05 pm

The signs of Rapture are all around us. No, I’m not talking about the idiot who spent his life savings putting up billboards around the country to tell everyone the world was going to end on May 21st. I’m talking about the world in which I exist, the poker world, where we’re clearly in a time loop, as the same things happen over and over again and nobody seems to notice. Déjà vu was certainly the theme for this week’s winners in poker.

Scott Seiver Breaks Through On WPT; Seidel Wins Another High Rzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
WPT Championship & Super High Roller, Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada

C/O WPT

There are times in the poker world in which a situation goes beyond explanation. Sometimes players, for no better reason than running bad or random chance, a player will go an extended period of time without a big score. Michael Mizrachi’s previous results at the WSOP leading up to last year’s explosion comes to mind. A player of the caliber of Scott Seiver doing no better 19th place in 5 years of WPT tournaments defies explanation. Unless the explanation was that he was saving up all his rungood for this past week’s $25,000 WPT Championship.

Seiver beat an impressive collection of players in the final six, including 2011 PCA Champion Galen Hall, Justin Young, and Farzad Bonyadi. For his breakthrough WPT performance, Seiver raked in an impressive $1,618,344.

In news that can’t possibly surprise anyone who knows anything about poker, Erik Seidel took down the inaugural WPT Super High Roller Event. 28 of the sickest gamblers of the world decided to put up $100,000 to vie for second place to Seidel. The lucky second place finisher was fellow Team Full Tilt member Erick Lindgren, but the human cybernetic organism that is Erik Seidel walked away with another score of over $1 million, bringing his total for the year to over $5.4 million. Nice life.

Freitez Wins EPT Season 7 Finale; Mercier Wins PokerStars Sponsored zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
EPT Grand Final, Madrid, Spain

C/O PokerStars

The EPT Grand Final, a €10,000 event to conclude an interesting season for the crown jewel of the PokerStars tours featured a “live” broadcast with hole cards on a two-hour delay, sequestering players until their eliminations had “happened” on TV. It’s interesting to see the lengths that they had to go to to broadcast this table on a delay, while the WSOP was able to negotiate just a 30 minute delay between play and broadcast, with no sequestering, but that’s another story for another day.

Two members of Team PokerStars made the EPT Grand Final final table, with Brazilian Alex Gomes chasing a triple crown and Juan Maceiras trying to become the first Spanish-born EPT champion. Both players found the rail early on in Final Table play. Venezuelan player Ivan Freitez was the last man standing, claiming €1,500,000 (about $2.2 million) in the swan song for the EPT’s seventh (!) season.

The following day’s action saw winners from the EPT’s first seven seasons compete for a first place prize of €50,000 in buy-ins to the next season of the EPT. In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Jason Mercier was the champion.

Chris Porter Tops Station Event With for $60K
Sunset Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

C/O Station Casinos

The Station Casinos have created an interesting series of poker tournaments at their various Las Vegas properties. They’re running four separate $1,100 events at four different casinos, each with a $200,000 guarantee, and the top 25 finishers at each casino will compete in a championship event with a $200,000 guarantee of its own, to create a prizepool totaling $1 million for the five events. The most recent event, taking place at Sunset Station, brought in over 200 players, with FullTilt player representative Chris Porter taking down the top prize of $60,000, and a chance at some more in the championship event.

Matt Legard “Positions” Himself For Big Win in New Game at Bellagio
Bellagio Prelim Event, Las Vegas, Nevada

C/O Position Poker

As much as the popularity of poker continues to flourish, there are some innovative minds thinking of “the next step” in the evolution of the game. Most of the time it’s an innovation in bringing in more players or changing the pace of the game, but certain developments, including Rush Poker, have completely changed the way poker can be played. An exciting new version of live poker made its debut during the preliminary events at Bellagio a few weeks ago, and this one is called Position Poker. The key variation of the game is that the player winning a pot gets to act after the button on the following hand. There are a few other intricacies, which you can check out at their website here. The winner of the first ever event was Matt Legard, who won $18,000 for his efforts.

NOLA Wraps the WSOPC With Scramble For Points(+2 rings +Team Pokerati Update +National Championship update)
WSOPC Harrahs New Orleans, Louisiana

C/O WSOP

With the conclusion of the WPT Championship, all eyes in the poker world have turned towards New Orleans, where the last few entries to the $1 million WSOPC National Championship have been grinded out over the last week and a half. There are three methods by which players earned their seats in this event; the grinders who have followed the circuit around all year tried to accumulate enough points for one of the at large spots (including Team Pokerati member Dave Clark, who seems to have squeezed his way in with a few key points at this final stop).

Another option was to be the “Casino Champion” by accumulating the most points at this stop. That spot was snatched up by an impressive performance by Brian Walsingham, who locked up two rings inside of a week. In Event 4, a $355 No Limit Hold’em event was the first ring he won, and in Event #8 he really cashed in. The $1,085 tournament generated a prize pool of over $340,000 and Walsingham took the lion’s share of over $78,000. He also gave himself a chance at $300,000, the top prize in a field of less than 100 that will take place in Las Vegas in the coming week.

The third method? Outlasting 75 players and make the final table of the $10,000 Southern Regional Championship, ensuring yourself of one of the last nine seats in a $1 million freeroll. At the time of publication, there are 12 players left, including Allen Kessler, Allie Prescott and Shannon Shorr. Once the final nine is finalized, we’ll throw a quick update your way.

UPDATE: The Final Nine was just set. The unlucky bubble boy was Shannon Shorr, who ran pocket kings into the pocket aces of Allie Prescott to go out in tenth. Prescott punches his ticket to the National Championship, as do Harry Cullen, Allen Kessler, Jeremy Gaubert, Gary Friedlander, Kunal Patel, Matt Waxman, AJ Jejelowo and Scott Lipshutz. The overall field for the freeroll is unofficially set, but you can look here to see who has “officially” qualified and here to check out how the National leaderboard for at-large qualifiers shook out.


This Week’s Big Winners – April 12th

by , Apr 12, 2011 | 7:23 pm

With so many high profile events on the verge of wrapping up (see WPT Hollywood, NAPT Mohegan Sun ME & Bounty Shootout, WSPOC St. Louis), you might think there isn’t much action to recap for this week. Nonsense! A major stop on the EPT, one of the biggest prizes in HPT history, and a lot of catching up to do with some impressive performances in WSOPC prelims.

Canuck’s First Live Tournament Cash is a Measly €825,000
EPT Berlin, Germany

Photo C/O PokerStars

Thanks in large part to an early collision between the two chip leaders early in final table action, Ben Wilnofsky had one of the easiest roads to victory that you’ll ever see (or not) in his victory in Berlin. One of the largest stops on the European tour, the EPT Berlin drew an astounding 773 players for their €5,000 Main Event to generate a prize pool just shy of €4 million. Wilnofsky and Maximilian Heinzelmann were well ahead of the pack when the final eight began play, but a flopped set generated a pot that was larger than any of the other six remaining players and propelled Wilnofsky the rest of the way.

The other notable accomplishment at this final table has to be the performance of Martin Jacobsen. The young Swede (and member of Team PokerStars Pro) made this his third final table of the EPT season, following a pair of second place finishes. He could not end his streak of falling just short, but held on for quite some time on a short stack before ultimately falling in fourth place.

In the end, the news was all about young Ben Wilnofsky. The 22-year-old Canadian has had some online success, but leading into this €5,000 event had not so much as recorded a single lifetime live cash. That also means that his average cash stands somewhere around €825,000, the champion’s share of this massive prize pool. Not bad for a few days work.

Spencer Uniss Nets Even Less For First Cash, a Paltry $221K
HPT @ Golden Gates Casino, Black Hawk, Colorado

Photo C/O HPT

Clearly there was some sort of first-timer strategy guide released this week online that I simply could not find. In addition to the first-time cash/winning combination in Berlin, another player cashed in his “one time” in a big way.

The HPT event at Golden Gates Casino in Colorado saw the biggest field in it’s history with 491 players showing up to generate a prize pool of almost $740,000. The first place prize was set to exceed $220,000.

Spencer Uniss made the newby mistake of promising big things if he was fortunate enough to win, telling his friends he would charter a flight to Las Vegas if he was lucky enough to win. In on an investment of just $370 after a satellite win, he felt as if he had nothing to lose, but now he has to pay up after banking the win in his first ever tournament cash for $221,594. After a bit of research, the cheapest hourly rate for a private plane is about $1,000 an hour, without factoring fuel surcharges, taxes, and other fees. At least it’s from Colorado and not the east coast.

Two Rings are Twice as Nice For Three Lucky Players
St. Louis, Missouri & Rincon, California

In the business of bigger events in the last several weeks, a few impressive feats in preliminary events have slipped through the cracks, which I’ll rectify momentarily. Two players won their second WSOPC ring of the year this week in St. Louis, and one lucky player became only the second player ever to record two wins at one stop a few weeks ago in Rincon.

Photo C/O WSOP

Kurt Jewell has the distinction of winning in the largest field in WSOPC history last October, when he won the Main Event in Hammond for a cool $242,909. He added a second piece of hardware this past week by winning an Omaha 8/b event in St. Louis, the same event that Team Pokerati member La Sengphet made in her pursuit of an at-large spot to the WSOP National Championship. In addition to the second ring, Jewell banked another $13,206 and has already locked up a seat in the $1 million freeroll by virtue of his previous win.

The appropriately named Huy (pronounced “We”) Nguyen hasn’t done so badly for himself this year on the circuit. Nguyen won another of the monsterous $1,600 Main Events, his being Choctaw where he made $232,706 for his efforts. His win in St. Louis came in a Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event with over 200 players. A $25,241 payday for the accountant from Norman, Oklahoma is another impressive score, but he too has his eyes on the National Championship, where he too has already locked up his seat.

Photo C/O WSOP

Finally we take a look back at the WSOPC stop in Rincon, where a man with quite an interesting name won a pair of events. Mstr Lynch won a grand total of over $45,000 for his two wins in Rincon, which propelled him to the most overall points of the Rincon series and a National Championship of his own. He’s just the second player (after Kyle Cartwright did so in Tunica) to win two events at the same series of the WSOPC.

EDIT: Right after the publishing of this article, La followed up with her third cash of the series in St. Louis in the best way possible: by winning her own 2nd ring of the year, according to Dan. At the very least it almost assures her of an at-large spot, if not player of the series in St. Louis. Congrats La!


This Week’s Big Winners – March 29th

by , Mar 29, 2011 | 5:56 pm

There was a Russian invasion on Austria this week, as a pair of high-profile tournament stops in the land of Schwarzenneger were each taken by Russian players. On US soil we saw the end of the Wynn Poker Classic, as well as am interesting event in Tulalip, Washington. And don’t forget about the ANZPT.

Pesky Russian Wins Twitter War on Way to EPT Snowfest Crown
Hinterglemm, Austria

Photo C/O PokerStars

Twitter has steadily grown in popularity in the poker community over the last three years, and some have wondered when it would become a standard way to pick up information about players sitting at your table. While there hasn’t been a proliferation of Twitter tells and false Twitter tells, we got some real-time Twitter trash talking among two players at the final table of the EPT Snowfest.

Brash Russian player Vladimir Geshkenbein started it, taunting Kevin Vandersmissen by Tweeting, “Up to two mil… Valuetowned a fat Belgium guy.” Vandersmissen later countered, “Valuetowned the Russian alcoholic! 6.6 mill now.”

It was only appropriate that these two got down to heads-up play. They were relatively even and deep as the heads-up match started, but the match took less than a half hour. Geshkenbein seemed to be channeling his inner Tony G, making two pair to wrest control and throwing salt in the wound, telling Vandersmissen “Don’t be sad… second place is good as well.”

Several hands later, Geshkenbein again made two pair to make it official. His win at EPT Snowfest was worth €390,000 and a seat in the upcoming EPT Champion of Champions event.

Dmitry Gromov Crushes Record WPT Field in Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Photo C/O PartyPoker

The serious influx of poker players into Austria continued with even more players showing up in Vienna. 555, in fact, to produce a prize pool of almost €1.5 million, with a first place prize of just under €500,000. The chip leader headed into the final eight was Russian Dmitry Gromov, a lead that he would take from wire-to wire at the final table. While this tournament is not destined for American TV airwaves, the whole WPT crew was there, including Matt Savage and the Royal Flush Girls. Mike Sexton and Jesse May did a live stream of the action, with hole cards, and the presentation was top-notch. Gromov outlasted another Russian, Maksim Kolosov by winning a key coin flip on the final hand, and took home €447,840 for his efforts. On top of that he got to do a winner’s interview with Tatjana Pasalic! What a lucky guy.

West Wins Wynn Classic Main Event
Las Vegas, Nevada

The biggest tournament action in the US this week was at the Wynn, as the conclusion to another successful Wynn Poker Classic did not disappoint. 212 players put up $5,000, and there were not many weak spots in the field, and the final table featured a collection of online superstars including Annette Obrestad, Tim West, Eric Froelich, and Carter King. West and Obrestad would match up at the end, with the man known as Tmay coming out on top to the tune of over $300,000, his biggest career score.

Non-Russian Grant Levy Adds ANZPT title to previous APPT Win
Perth, Australia

Photo C/O PokerStars

While tournaments outside of the continental United States were dominated by and large by a Russian contingent, the ANZPT Perth stop was an exception to the rule. After going 0 for his last 12 attempts on the ANZPT, Sydney native Grant Levy finally unleashed all of his stored up run-good at once to take down the Perth event. To make the feat even more impressive, Levy satellited into the tournament, making the $131,000 payday at the end of it all that much sweeter. Levy is just the second player ever to capture both an ANZPT and an APPT title.

Ernie Holthusen’s First Cash in 5 years is $100K Win in Tulalip
Tulalip Poker Pro Challenge, Tulalip, Washington

Everybody goes on a cold streak in poker from time to time, sometimes reaching several months of bad luck before turning things around. But going four-and-a-half years without recording a tournament cash is something out of a terrible nightmare, as Ernie Holthusen might be able to tell you. Whatever the reason for Holthusen’s long cashless stretch, he made quite a statement in ending that streak, taking home $100,000 at the Tulalip Poker Challenge. Holthusen defeated Scott Clements heads-up, an impressive feat on top of making it that far in the field of 361.


This Week’s Big Winners – November 29th

by , Nov 29, 2010 | 10:49 am

EPT Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)

Daniel Negreanu’s wild ride did not result in a cheesy story book ending-type win in Barcelona. In fact, none of the PokerStars sponsored players made much noise in this EPT stop. The most recognizable name amongst the group was Konstantin Puchkov, who won a bracelet in a HORSE event at this year’s World Series of Poker.

Eight different European countries were represented at the final table of eight, with Jesus Cortes Lizano trying to capture the hometown title. He fell just short, taking home €525,000 for a runner-up finish. Kent Lundmark became the sixth Swede to capture a title on the EPT, besting a field of 758 players to win €825,000, the biggest prize in Spanish poker history. [CardPlayer]

United States Poker Championship (Atlantic City, NJ)

The USPC has lost some of the luster it had during the early days of the poker boom, but this year’s event continues a fairly strong run it has had as a $5,000 event. The main event drew 96 players, including quite a few local grinders. The infamous Mike Sica made the final table, finishing fourth for $40,000. In his first live event, Edward Gamaitoni came out victorious, pocketing $167,616 for his efforts.

Other highlights of this series included two wins on the same night for “Miami” John Cernuto, five final tables and a win for Chris Reslock, and a record three USPC titles in one series for New Jersey local Gordon Eng. [Atlantic City Weekly]

WPT Regional Series: Seminole Hard Rock Fall Open Poker Tournament (Hollywood, Florida)

Some players wait their entire lives to get their monster score. Harrison Gimbel has now struck big twice before his 21st birthday. After taking down the PCA in January at the tender age of 19, Gimbel book-ended his year with another big score with a win at the WPT’s regional stop in Hollywood, Florida. One of the few places in the United States where hel could legally play, Gimbel took full advantage of the opportunity to the tune of $330,000 following a deal made heads-up. Those who are worryed about Gimbel entering the general tournament scene can hold off on their worries in the states until next October. [PokerListings]

LA Poker Open (Los Angeles, CA)

The LA Poker Open took advantage of the insatieable local players as well as a number of well-known pros who were in town for the NAPT to award over 1.3 million over the entire series. Local player Kwinsee Khoa Tran banked almost $180,000 for the win, taking advantage of his chip lead entering the final six. [PokerListings]

WSOP-Circuit Lake Tahoe (Lake Tahoe, NV)

Despite a four-day snow storm leading up to the main event that had event organizers nervous about the turn out, 246 players showed up for the $1,600 tournament. With a spot in the WSOP Circuit National Championship on the line, Stan Quinn came out on top for $86,789. He earned one of the 100 coveted spots in the $1 million freeroll, which will be nationally televised and will award a WSOP bracelet to the winner. Also earning a seat from his results in Lake Tahoe was Andrew Barber, who won the overall points race throughout the series. [WSOP]

GUKPT Grand Final (London, England)

After finishing third in a preliminary GUKPT London stop, Leon Bui sealed the deal when it really counted. Bui won the Grand Final of this year’s tour, winning £144,905 in the process. David Johnson won GUKPT POY hono(u)rs after bubbling this final table. [BLUFF Europe]

Minnesota State Poker Tour Hinckley (Hinckley, MN)

Matt Hyland added a title at the MSPT Hinckley to his 2009 Heartland Poker Tour victory this week, taking home almost $40,000 for his win. [MN Poker Mag]

Online

The biggest news in the Online Poker world this week were the unexpectedly large overlays in PokerStars’ USACOOP. One of several regional COOP series that PokerStars is running in between its two major series, the guarantees were apparently set too high, which was most obvious during a $322 event with a $750,000 guarantee. With 1,326 players, the overlay was an astounding $325,000, with Christina “lindeyloo” Lindley taking advantage and winning the top prize of $127,500.

The main event of this series is paused with day two action scheduled for today. Among the 94 still in contention are David “Whooookidd” Baker, Garret “gbecks” Beckman, Jason “strassa2” Strasser, Stuart “thedonator” Patterson, Steve “gboro780” Gross, and Matt “mlagoo” Legard. Top prize is $164,050.


This Week’s Big Winners – November 22nd

by , Nov 22, 2010 | 9:00 am

The left coast featured prominently in this week’s tournament action, with two different series’ winding down, while the WPT made a stop in Florida and the WSOP Circuit found it’s way to Lake Tahoe.

NAPT Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)

The big story heading into the Main Event of NAPT LA was how the turnout would be for the first non-televised event of the tour. In a not-too-surprising outcome, the power of PokerStars’ satellites helped build a field of 701 for the $5K event, and from that came an impressive final nine. Once that nine was reached, the NAPT was able to circumvent the no-compete clause of its host, the Bike, and move the final table action to the Crystal Casino to shoot the action for future airing on ESPN2.

Jason Mercier lost a flip for possibly the first time in his poker career to exit in 7th place, followed soon after by Mike Binger in 6th. Ray Henson went out in 5th, and PokerStars lost its last sponsored pro with the exit of Anh Van Nguyen in 4th. The story of this final table ha to be the total domination by Joe Tehan. After winning the coin flip with Mercier to bust him, Tehan cruised to victory and pocketed $725,000 for his efforts. [PokerStars Blog]

That wasn’t the only action going on at the Crystal Casino, as they ran a $5K bounty shootout that was also filmed by the 441 crew. The final table included the likes of Michael Mizrachi, David Williams, Eric Baldwin, Tom Marchese, Pat Pezzin, Justin Young, Mohsin Charania, Clint Coffee and Kevin MacPhee. Each earned $20,000 for winning their initial table, as well as $1,000 for each player they eliminated. When it got down to heads-up play, it was Justin Young who locked up the most bounties, thus locking up a free seat in the upcoming PCA version of this event, but he would ultimately fall short as Eric Baldwin won a marathon heads-up battle at almost 4am local time and took home $134,800. Which might make for a pretty awkward trip home, as they drove out to LA from Las Vegas together for the NAPT. [PokerStars Blog]

LA Poker Open (Los Angeles, California)

Just down the block at the Commerce, the LA Poker Open is winding down towards the end of its Main Event. In the lead-up to the big tournament, Sorel Mizzi topped a short field to win a $1,500 bounty event, while Will “the Thrill” Failla added an LA Poker Open final table to one he made earlier in the week at the Bike, at a final table that also featured Bryan Devonshire and Matt Affleck. Affleck continued running well deep into the Main Event of the LA Poker Open before losing a tough coin flip late and being eliminated in 13th place.

11 players remain heading into the final day of play, with Kwinsee Khoa Tran leading the way with 1,075,000. First place in this one is $178,830. [Commerce]

HPT Championship Open (Mount Pleasant, Michigan)

Even with the elimination of Tiffany Michelle on the “TV Bubble”, this HPT final table managed to have a few recognizable names, despite the events in LA and Florida. Bernard Lee continued an impressive month of November by making this final table, and was joined by Dean Hamrick, who won his first WSOP bracelet this year. Ahmed Haraji was victorious, taking home $176,865 for his win. Check out the work that Scarlet did all week live from this event. [Heartland Poker Tour]

WPT Regional Series: Seminole Hard Rock Fall Open Poker Tournament (Hollywood, Florida)

The World Poker Tour dipped its toe in the water for the first time in Florida with a regional event that got underway Friday. Entering Day 3, Raj Vorha holds the chip lead with 1.34 million. The two biggest notables among the 23 still in contention are Shannon Shorr (182K) and Allie Prescott (126K).

EPT Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)

The tournament is just getting underway with only a couple of levels in the books.Daniel Negreanu wrote a blog entry detailing his struggle to make it to this event and the hoops he had to jump through to do so that’s definitely worth a read.

WSOP Circuit Event: Harvey’s Lake Tahoe (Lake Tahoe, NV)

246 players showed up for this event, which has to be a fairly good sign considering how spread out players are around the country (and the world). After one day of play, the chip leader is Dan Black of Cloverdale, California with 329,500. [WSOP]

Elsewhere…

With just a few weeks left in the year, there’s only a couple more chances for players to crack the Player of the Year standings. In CardPlayer, Tom Marchese holds a solid lead over Dwyte Pilgrim, Vanessa Selbst, and Sorel Mizzi, while in the BLUFF race Mizzi holds a commanding lead of Marchese, David Peters and Selbst.

Online

Soi Nguyen missed out on any additional money when he was eliminated in 9th place at the WSOP Main Event, but he certainly cashed in during the FTOPS. In his first hosting duties as a member of the FullTilt team, he managed to win his own tournament. Somehow he didn’t use up all of his luck in making his run to the November Nine, as his event was a Super Turbo Rush Poker tournament that started players with just 300 chips, but Nguyen came through in the end and banked nearly $80,000.

The big winner of the FTOPS was “JHoWn”, who took down the Main Event of the series on Monday for a cool $412K.


This Week’s Big Winners – November 1st

by , Nov 1, 2010 | 7:00 am

There was poker being played all over the world as the EPT, WPT, WSOPC and ANZPT were in action across four continents this week.

EPT Vienna (Vienna, Austria) Daniel Negreanu was chasing history Sunday, attempting to complete the third stage of the poker “triple crown” by adding an European Poker Tour title to his WSOP bracelets and WPT title. He was also in line to regain the top spot on the All-Time money list. He fell short of both of these goals, settling for 4th place and €175,000. Michael Eiler of Germany was your winner, banking €700,000 for his efforts. [PokerStars Blog]

WPT World Poker Finals (Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut) Just 12 players remain from the 242 who started. Play reached the money after more than three hours of hand-for-hand play Sunday. The slow start eliminated any possibility for a day off Monday for sleeping in … err, players recuperating before the final six get down to business Tuesday. Tom Marchese is the chip leader with over 1.8 million, almost twice that of second place. Jason Mercier, Sorel Mizzi and Hoyt Corkins are among those still in contention. You can find full chip counts and a recap here. [Foxwoods Live]

WSOP Circuit Midwest Regional Championship (Hammond, Indiana) The revamped World Series of Poker Circuit had its first big test as the first of four televised $10K Regional Championships was held this week. 226 players showed up to the Chicago-area Horseshoe Hammond, and the final table featured quite a few familiar names, including Shannon Shorr, Brandon Adams, David “Doc” Sands and Bernard Lee. Jim Anderson parlayed a seat he had won, which was added to the prize pool of a $200 event that he had won earlier in the series and turned it into $525,449. All nine players who made the final table have qualified for the million dollar freeroll that will award a bracelet to the winner at the end of the season. [WSOP]

WSOP-Circuit South Africa (Emerald Casino, South Africa) One of the quirks of the new WSOP Circuit schedule was a brand new stop in South Africa. Well an unofficial official stop that doesn’t count towards the $1 million dollar freeroll or award a ring, but a stop with quite a bit of money on the line nonetheless. Maria Ho finished sixth in this event, while the title was captured by Warren Zackey, who won $223,155 for his efforts. [Bluff South Africa]

ANZPT Darwin (Darwin, New Zealand) The biggest story of this Main Event had to be rapper cum poker player known simply as “Brotha D”. Danny Leaoasavaii, who captured the APPT Main Event in September, is the first to own a title on both the APPT and the ANZPT, as well as the first New Zealander to win on the ANZPT. The true test will come in the summer of 2011 as he looks to challenge Jeff Madsen and Prahlad Friedman as the best poker rapper in the game, which should be pretty anticlimactic. [PokerStars Blog]

Caeser’s Classic & Venetian Deep Stacks (Las Vegas, Nevada) Two tournament series’ with smaller buy-ins are now going strong in Las Vegas as the final Venetian Deep Stacks of the year has gotten underway. Action at Caeser’s is still going strong and attracting some interesting names. Among those who have made final tables in the last week are Barry Shulman (Event 13, 9th) and Kenna James (Event 16, 3rd).

In the Online World… There was some lack of name recognition in the Sunday Majors action, but don’t take that to mean that there wasn’t a whole boatload of money to be won. Amongst those who pocketed six figures were “Zareta” (PokerStars Sunday Million, $230,513), “chickface” (FullTilt $750K Guaranteed, $140,967), “Levan1971” (PokerStars Sunday Warmup, $188,860) and my personal favorite, “monkeybudgie” (FullTilt Sunday Brawl, $106,737)


The Poker Beat (Criminal Minded)

by , Apr 27, 2010 | 11:36 am

If you missed it last week, one of our more astute hirsute co-panelists on The Poker Beat was break-dancing the fine line between news and conspiracy theory in analyzing the changing legal landscape of poker and what it means to the business we all dabble in.

The arrest of Daniel Tzvetkoff had something to do with that.

Also BJ and Gary look at actual numbers in comparing/contrasting the WPT to the EPT. All while assessing whether or not PokerStars is taking over the world. Plus Liv Boeree kicking arse as Huff celebrates the glorious life of Gang Starr.

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The Poker Beat
4/22/10

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UPDATE: New audio file click here


David Williams wins WPT World Championship

by , Apr 25, 2010 | 6:12 am

Season 8 of the World Poker Tour concluded Saturday evening with David Williams winning the $25,000 WPT World Championship, defeating Eric Baldwin in heads-up play. Williams collects $1,530,537 for his win, moving him into the top 20 on the all-time tournament earnings list. Shawn Buchanan’s third place finish meant Faraz Jaka became WPT Player of the Year. The full results from the final table:

1 David Williams $1,530,537
2 Eric Baldwin $1,034,715
3 Shawn Buchanan $587,906
4 David Benyamine $329,228
5 Billy Baxter $246,921
6 John O’Shea $199,888

The poker tournament circuit never stops though, as season 6 of the European Poker Tour holds their final tournament the €10,000 Euro Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Live coverage is available over at PokerNews and on the PokerStars Blog.