Posts Tagged ‘HPT’

March 19, 2013

Instapoker

Allen Kessler gets a sponsorship and Theo Jorgensen returns in style

Matt Hennig
Photo: HPTPoker.com


Today’s Boxscore

Ruben Visser £595,000 – EPT London Main Event
Justin Schwartz $112,582 – Foxwoods Poker Classic
Matt Hennig $57,709 – HPT Iowa-Prairie Main Event


Turned out to be a very interesting few days with some big runs and one impressive comeback. Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler made the HPT Iowa-Prairie final table with as much applause as the fanboys could muster. Unfortunately he was eliminated in 9th place for a quick exit. I’m sure his table banter has improved and it would have made for some interesting television.

Ryan Eriquezzo continued his nice run over the last few months with a final table appearance at the Foxwoods Poker Classic. He finished runner-up to Justin “Stealthmunk” Schwartz who earned another 6-digit payday, moving one step closer to owning a big boy wardrobe.

The most compelling story recently was the return of Danish poker legend Theo Jorgensen to a tournament field. Jorgensen and his family were the victim of a vicious home invasion last December where he was brutally beaten. After some long stays in the hospital, he returned to the game for the EPT London Main Event and picked up right where he left off. He finished in 4th place for a nice £183,000 welcome back bonus. Howard Swains has the excellent Theo Jorgensen comeback story over on the PokerStars Blog.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – The initial reaction to this post was skepticism followed by thinking it was practical jokery followed by a chuckle. Turns out it’s true and Allen Kessler has joined 30 others pros (so far) on Team Ivey.

Caesars Fined for Role in 2007 Gambling Spree – Man tears through $120 million on a Las Vegas gambling spree and the state of New Jersey fines Caesars Entertainment for it’s part in letting it happen. Seems reasonable, congrats New Jersey.

Nevada Gaming Commission is seeking your help – The NGC is looking for public comments about interstate agreements to expand online gaming. I expect they will get a lot of responses to this request. Have at it.

U.S. says cocaine and Internet gambling are the main sources of money laundering in Costa Rica – Nothing like throwing in online gambling in the mix with cocaine, human trafficking, and corruption. Well played Costa Rica, nice hand.

Tony G Leaves PartyPoker, Stirring Pot As He Exits – God bless Tony G and that jaw of his which never stops moving. Done at PartyPoker to concentrate on his own gambling site and then takes a few pot shots at other players on the way out the door.

EPT9 London: Team PokerStars Theo Jorgensen – Sarah Grant from PokerNews caught up with Theo Jorgensen about his comeback and EPT final table.

Posted by at 5:00 pm

March 15, 2013

Instapoker

Tournament results and the greatest poker trophy ever

Joseph Mckeehen Photo: WSOP.com

Joseph Mckeehen
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Joseph Mckeehen $174,147 – WSOP-C Caesars AC Main Event
Teresa Hemingway $226,463 – HPT Golden Gates Casino


It was a good weekend for the mid-stakes, local friendly Heartland Poker Tour. Their Golden Gates Casino event in Black Hawk CO ran at the same time as a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event, then proceeded to outdraw them despite bad weather and the fact it was located in Black Hawk CO.

The HPT event was hampered by severe winter weather and drew less entrants than the same event a year earlier but still managed to create a 7-digit prizepool. The WSOP-C Main Event was probably hampered by it’s location in Atlantic City and the number of entrees was down to 540 from 635 in 2012.

Teresa Hemingway became just the 3rd woman to win a title on the Heartland Poker Tour but she picked up one of their biggest prizes after getting in the event on a $360 satellite seat. Next stop for the HPT is somewhere in the middle of Iowa while the WSOP-C takes their turn in Black Hawk, CO at the Lodge Casino. Let’s see if they can match the HPT success in the area.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Negreanu still having fun with the whole joining a cult by accident thing.

DOJ Appoints Administrator to Assess Individual Full Tilt Poker Claims – One step closer to US-based Full Tilt players getting their money back. Check out Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration for details.

Online gambling deals boost Zynga, Glu – Online gambling is getting a little more attention from the mainstream medai, this time from CNN in their Money section.

Losing-hand progressive poker jackpot hits, paying out $600,000 – After two months of running their multi-casino, bad beat jackpot, Caeasars finally had to pay out. Nearly $700,000 was chopped up between the winner, loser, and other players around their poker rooms.

Winamax Poker Tour : les résultats complets – My knowledge of the French language is limited to what I remember from that high school French class and what dirty words Benjo taught me. The important take away from this link is the World’s Greatest Poker Trophy in the Entire History of Poker. Also, god bless hyperbole.

Posted by at 3:00 pm

February 21, 2013

Pinnacle, owner of HPT, Reports Fourth-quarter Net Loss

Company cites positive expansion plans, not regional casino saturation, as cause

PinnacleSeveral one-time charges and costs associated with the opening of a hotel-casino in Baton Rouge, La., caused regional gaming operator Pinnacle Entertainment to suffer a net loss in the fourth quarter.

The Las Vegas-based company said Wednesday its net loss in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 was $42.4 million, or 72 cents per share, compared with a profit of $25 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

The largest charge Pinnacle took in the quarter was a noncash write-down of approximately $25 million related to the company’s investment in a casino project in Vietnam. Pinnacle also reported one-time charges surrounding casino expansion projects in St. Louis and the opening of the L’Auberge Baton Rouge in September.

More…


January 11, 2013

Instapoker

2013 PCA Main Even in the money and new HPT structure announced

Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com

Marcel Luske
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Marcel Luske $18,500 – 2013 PCA H.O.R.S.E.
John Dibella $69,780 – 2013 PCA NLHE Turbo
Vladimir Zakharau $68,200 – 2013 PCA PLO Turbo
Christopher Frank $55,720 – 2013 PCA NLHE Bounty


The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is well underway with the Main Event down to 30-ish some players depending on when/if you read this. Owen Crowe is the big name up on top of the leaderboard with Joe (don’t you dare call me Sebok) Serock and Eddy Sabat among the names on his tail. The Main drew 987 entrants this year, down a bit from last year which drew over a thousand, and the winner will have to figure out how to get $1,859,000 out of the Bahamas.

The next big tournament stops include the WSOP Circuit events at Choctaw, a WPT Regional event somewhere in Florida called Coconut Creek, and the return of the WPT big production to the Borgata Winter Open. Things are definitely back in full swing with the new year.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – The Heartland Poker Tour made the big announcement today, their structure for the upcoming season has been updated by none other than Daniel Negreanu. The new structure is a great tweak to an already fantastic tour, but no word from top shelf nit Allen Kessler.

Lottomatica, Golden Gaming recommended for interactive gaming licenses – Two more companies, Lottomatica and Golden Gaming, received recommendations for online gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The players are starting to take the field, will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

What It’s Like to Be a Woman Who Plays Professional Poker – The Atlantic published a fairly comprehensive piece on uber-grinder Vanessa Selbst and her place in poker.

Michael Phelps is playing poker, looking interesting – God bless the USA Today for completely missing the point that a top class athlete was in the Bahamas competing the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, instead focusing on how he was dressed.

International Stadiums Poker Tour Changes Format – The ever changing ISPT is back at it again, this time announcing that “Day 1″ will be played online between Feb 3rd to May 19th. Innovative or nuts? I guess we’ll find out.

PCA 2013: Michael Phelps & Jeff “PBF” Gross – Kristy Arnett from PokerNews caught up with 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and Jeff Gross.

Posted by at 2:00 pm

December 10, 2012

Instapoker

Ravi Raghavan wins 5 Diamond and Maria Ho joins HPT

Ravi Raghavan
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Ravi Raghavan $1,268,571 – WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Marcin Wydrowski €325,000 – WPT Prague Main Event
Paul Berende €119,974 – PokerStars Hold’em Challenge
Dan Murariu €110,000 – Unibet Open St Maarten


The World Poker Tour and all those who call the shots must have been really happy as the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic field played down to its final table and saw the names remaining. Just missing out on the TV table were Jon Aguiar, Jason Somerville, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Freddy Deeb, Greg Mueller, Andrew Robl, and Scott Clements. They all crashed out on the final two tables but Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Shawn Buchanan will once again see themselves on the small screen.

Ravi Raghavan, recently of the Borgata Fall Open Main Event final table, was the last player standing as he knocked out Buchanan in 2nd place to increase his bankroll by nearly $1.3 million. Thanks to some structure tweaking and reasonable PR by the Bellagio staff, there was far less complaining about this year’s Five Diamond event as last year. Baby steps.

Link Dump

Maria Ho Joins Heartland Poker Tour Broadcast Team for Season 9 – Good move by HPT because everybody loves Maria Ho. Those poor fanboy souls hiding in Iowa and Minnesota are going to lose their minds when she shows up in the their local poker room.

‘Isildur1’ Bests Dwan in $400k HU Match – Full Tilt Poker is back which means we now have the platform to witness huge HU matches between the biggest names in poker. This weekend it was Viktor Blom slicing off a piece of Tom Dwan.

Casino operators gearing up for online poker – Things are starting to move right along with online poker in Nevada. I’m still skeptical about how successful it will be but it’s better than moving backwards.

Women Business Execs Learn When to Hold and Fold ‘Em – Presented without comment, because I have no idea what to think about this article on ABCNews. I think I will wait until Amy Calistri straightens me out.

The Micros: The Lost Episode – They’re back! At least for one episode but tell me you didn’t miss the opening tune. Seems this episode has been steeping for awhile during the PokerStars/Full Tilt negotiations but it’s now ready for your viewing pleasure.

Posted by at 9:00 am

November 20, 2012

Instapoker

Greg Raymer wins 4th Heartland Poker Tour title

Greg Raymer
Photo: Heartland Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Greg Raymer $106,030 – HPT Championship Open
Jordan Scott $168,210 – LAPT Peru Grand Final
Emil Olsson $230,036 – WPT Copenhagen
Cary Marshall $139,260 – WSOP-C Lake Tahoe

Team Pokerati Scores

John Harris $2,160 – WSOP-C Lake Tahoe #12


Greg Raymer seems to have found himself a nice, comfortable home among the regulars on the Heartland Poker Tour. When the 2004 WSOP Main Event champion won his first HPT event in July, it was an interesting side note. When Raymer won his 2nd HPT title in St. Louis on his next bullet, people began paying a little more attention to Raymer on a heater. One month later, another HPT title in Iowa gave him the hat-trick of titles and now everyone in the poker world waswatching.

Now Raymer is just showing off after winning HPT Championship Open for his 4th title on the tour, beating professional Jacob Bazeley heads up, to complete an incredible few months. His $371,967 earned put him atop their all-time money leaderboard and he’s the only player with 4 titles with just a few months effort. It’s unlikely he will miss many HPT events next season.


# Get ready to play blackjack online by playing free blackjack at onlineblackjack.com. #


Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – One of the nice guys in poker and always understated.

Nate Silver: it’s the numbers, stupid – Anyone with a least a little knowledge and awareness of things around them already knows about Nate Silver. The former online poker professional turned GOP pundit destroyer looked into the matrix and told the world how the U.S. Presidential election would go. The Guardian has a nice bio piece on the wunderkind.

A (Nate) Silver Lining for Online Poker – While we’re talking Nate Silver, Pokerati favorite Shamus has a look at the numbers behind possible poker legislation.

Lawmakers who backed gambling look now to collect – Maryland voted to approve expanded gaming in the state and the supporting politicians are looking to get paid now, thank you very much.

Cash Game Grinders Want Lederer Banned from Vegas Tables – You might have missed this interesting nugget from Dave Ferrera this weekend. Players seem to have grown tired of having their money locked up by Full Tilt in the DoJ only to watch Howard Lederer stroll into the poker room with a nice chunk of change.

Posted by at 10:00 am

November 14, 2012

Instapoker

Schwartz and Carroll win, Hellmuth sleeps through the WPT

James Carroll
Photo: Heartland Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Noah Schwartz $402,970 – WPT bestbet Jacksonville
James Carroll $104,253 – HPT Palms Las Vegas


It was a fine weekend for a couple of young poker veterans at tour stops swapping locations. The World Poker Tour not-televised event was playing a small room in Florida while the televised Heartland Poker Tour made it’s return to the Palms in Las Vegas. James Carroll shortstacked his way to the final table and worked his way up the board until he was the last player at the table. The HPT had a nice uptick since their last Vegas event, even after professional nit-monster Allen Kessler tweaked the structure.

Noah Schwartz began the WPT final table in Jacksonville in a different position than Carroll, holding more than half the chips in play at the 6-handed final table. He was playing his 4th World Poker Tour final table, the most recent being a 4th place finish at the LAPC, but nothing stopped him from picking up the elusive title to boost him near $3,000,000 in career earnings. Other notables at the final table included Lee Markholt, Hans Winzeler, and Byron Kaverman.

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – PASSION TO WIN! (except in cases where I degen it up, lose some money, and slep through it)

Reid/Kyl in the Lame Duck: What You Need to Know – Chris Grove at PokerFuse has a nice little writeup about the online poker bill over the next few months, none of it terribly positive.

One of China’s most ingenious bribery schemes: the professional poker loser – You mean to tell me poker in China isn’t completely on the up and up? Using the game as a convenient way to bribe corrupt officials. h/t Otis.

Co-CEO Of Nevada Online Poker Applicant Questioned By Belgian Authorities – Norbert Teufelberger (Norbert!) went to Belgium for a responsible gaming convention and ended up having a nice conversation with the authorities of bwin.Party business.

DOJ, PPA Meet to Address Remission Timeline, Player Points – In case you missed it yesterday, Dan posted a statement from the PPA after they met with the DOJ about Full Tilt U.S. player accounts.

The Final Table – Episode 6 – The last episode of an excellently produced series of web videos about Russell Thomas preparing for the WSOP Main Event final table.

Posted by at 10:00 am

October 16, 2012

Instapoker

FTP Affiliates lose out, Negreanu "rants", South Point Poker hiring

Andy Denick
Photo: Heartland Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Benjamin Spindler €288,000 – EPT San Remo High Roller
Andy Denick $138,187 – HPT Daytona Beach
Karim El Rharbaoui €44,000 – FPS Sunfest


‘Twas not a terribly exciting weekend in the poker world but there were a few results around the world including the Heartland Poker Tour in Daytona Beach, San Remo High Roller, and the French Poker Series in Morocco (on a different continent not far far away from France). Our friends at HPT had another great turnout at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker room with a 35% increase over their last event, the winner Andy Denick with a nice 6-digit win.

The rest of the poker world stood by with baited breath as the poker world’s greatest ambassador* Daniel Negreanu promised to publish another rant** about all things Full Tilt Poker, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren, and everything else causing the slightest angst among the poker players of the world.

Instead we have this calm, clinical breakdown on his thoughts about just Lederer.

* – Not really
** – If that was a rant, Negreanu needs to adjust his meds

Link Dump

Full Tilt Poker affiliates won’t get paid – It’s a big, but not completely unexpected, punch to the gut of former FTP affiliates after the new company comes out with a statement saying “not my problem” when it comes to back payment.

Full Tilt Poker Signs Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom as “Professionals” – They haven’t even launched but FTP is already getting things lined up for those massive nosebleed cash games again. Dwan and Blom were two of the game regulars and neither has a whiff of controversy so this looks like another no-brain signing after Gus Hansen.

Official FTP (Pre)Relaunch Thread – Anyone who knows me will bear witness to my feelings about poker forums, but I suppose it’s about time to link up the 2+2 FTP Relaunch thread which contains some interesting information from Shyam “formerly FTPDoug” Markus. Surrounded by endless posts by mouth breathing nit-monkeys.

South Point Poker job openings – Want a job with a U.S. based online poker company? Your options are pretty slim out there but now it seems South Point Poker is hiring for a few positions. The “Poker Investigator” job could be interesting. Click the link to check them out.

The Final Table – Episode 2 – Another episode of The Final table with Russell Thomas and his November Nine prep team led by Jason Somerville.

Posted by at 1:00 pm

July 31, 2012

Instapoker

PokerStars takes over the world, Fossilman takes over HPT #200


Today’s Boxscore

Greg Raymer $71,875 – HPT Route 66 Main Event
David Allan NZD$110,600 – ANZPT Snowfest Main Event
Dan Sun $77,103 – BLUFF MSPT Meskwaki Main Event


All hail our new PokerStars overlords. As Dan posted earlier (and you’d have to be living in a cave or passed out to not have noticed), PokerStars reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to pick up Full Tilt assets in exchange for backing up a dump truck full of cash. This opens the door for Stars to pay out FTP bankrolls, reopen Full Tilt for play, and take over the online poker world.

Stars stated they will release bankrolls for non-US players within 90 days but US players will need to go through the DoJ to collect. This might open up a huge can of crap for players but it’s a step in the right direction.

Official DoJ document regarding US player funds: Regulations Governing the Remission or Mitigation of Civil and Criminal Forfeitures (PDF format)


With all the online news, the latest Heartland Poker Tour champion is pushed below the fold. They wrapped up their 200th episode and none other than 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer captured the title. HPT could not have asked for a better result coming through their Epic disaster and new ownership. Allen “Complainsaw” Kessler, Kathy Liebert, and former HPT champion Rob “veeRob” Perelman we also part of the 131 player field.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day 1 – Understated by Poker Stars

Tweet of the Day 2 – Todd Terry has lost his damn mind. Why stop at thanking the DoJ? Why not thank Bill Frist, Jon Kyl and everyone else who sat on their hands while UIGEA was rammed through Congress?


PokerStars FAQ for Full Tilt Players – Almost everything you want to know as a player on FTP including turning the lights back on within 90 days. Also, thanks but no thanks to France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia.

A Statement by Nolan Dalla – It’s great to see Nolan Dalla back to writing on his site (plus using Twitter!) and here’s his take on the Full Tilt/Poker Stars news. Now if he would just change the white text/dark background format so my retinae don’t burn out.

Poker Community Reacts to PokerStars-Full Tilt Poker Deal – Thanks to BLUFF for saving me the time to collect the Twitter reactions to the news. They also have comment from Blair Hinkle, who has $1.15million locked up on Tilt, plus statements from the PPA and Ray Bitar.

U.S. Department of Justice Requests Settlement Agreement with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet – Oh yeah, now what about the Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker fire sale and player funds? Lost in the big news seems to be the DoJ reaching a settlement agreement with UB/AP to dump their assets to pay back players. That should get them a solid $3.50 to divide between everyone.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 3:09 pm

July 26, 2012

Instapoker

Another Prison Sentence, Affiliate Licensing, PokerNews Future

Another guilty plea related to “Black Friday” and another stint in jail. This time it was Ira Rubin finally hearing the wrath of U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan after pleading guilty in January to “money laundering, bank and wire fraud, and gambling offenses“. He was expected to receive 18-24 months in Federal lockup, but instead got the nice round number of 3 years.

As quoted by Bloomberg, Kaplan told Rubin “You are an unreformed conman and fraudster.”

Ray Bitar must be questioning why he didn’t follow the Scott Tom and Isai Scheinberg strategy of staying the hell out of Dodge. I hear Dublin is lovely this time of year. I’m far from an expert but I have to think if a payment processor received 3 years, then the bigwigs at FTP/UB/Stars would have to be looking at some decent time.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Must have been a slow (non)news day for the “entities” or they are just going to pick this carcass to the bone.

Opinion: PokerStars to Acquire PokerNews.com – Interesting Op/Ed from Matt Showell at PokerListings about a potential PokerNews/PokerStars buyout. He brings up some good points concerning one of the biggest poker “media” sites going from affiliate to shill. True unbiased poker reporting is a rare thing and this is a big test for those media sites who dined mostly on affiliate fees in the past.

Nevada Online Poker Affiliates Will Need Licenses – So you make a bunch of money as an affiliate for an online gaming site? If Nevada has it’s way, you’ll need a license to operate along with the $3,000 application fee and the ability to withstand an investigation from The Man. Or at least that’s how I read it.

Zynga: Closer to Real-Money Online Poker? – Zynga’s stock takes a dump and CNBC.com posts a story about the company investigating the possibility of real-money poker games on their platform. The most shocking part of the article? CNBC name checks Gambling911.

Pinnacle Entertainment Announces Positive Earnings, Plans to Expand Heartland Poker Tour – Pinnacle had a good second quarter but more importantly (for a lot of people I know), they have plans to expand rather than contract their newly purchased Heartland Poker Tour. No one wanted to see the HPT get completely jack just because they were introduced to Jeffery Pollack, and it now looks like they were bought by a company looking to help them improve. Pinnacle properties seem to fit nicely into the HPT philosophy.

Winstar Casino “Play Big” – Since the WSOP has wrapped up, it’s become tough to find interesting videos. When in doubt, put up something with Maria “SEOGold” Ho. This commercial has too much Raymer, not enough Ho.

Posted by at 11:34 am

July 19, 2012

Instapoker

Poker World Moves On and WSOP Final Table Odds

The post-WSOP hangovers are mostly sorted out and the poker world keeps on turning. While everyone turned their attention to the Rio Convention Center for 8 solid weeks, it’s now time to look outside the frozen hallways and rooms at the Rio for more action. Tours will start back up, poker rooms will run more festivals, and non-US citizens can go back home to play online poker.

The Heartland Poker Tour is ready to get back to business with their next stop in New Mexico at the awesomely named Route 66 Casino. The World Poker Tour is running events in beautiful Cyprus and less-so North Philly at the Parx Open Poker Classic to kick of their Season XI. Borgata Poker Open and Legends of Poker also just around the corner.

The WSOP dominated the scene for two months but now it’s time to spread the wealth around the world.


We still some housekeeping to do with the November Octo-Nine gang but there are plenty of good resources for information on the players. Check the Link Dump below for a few examples. For the true degerates, there are even some websites willing to take a wager on the outcome. Ladbrokes and Bavado both released their odds and I believe Ladbrokes set the better lines.

Of course these numbers are purely for entertainment value.

Ladbrokes:

Jesse Sylvia – 3/1
Andras Koroknai – 5/1
Greg Merson – 5/1
Russell Thomas – 6/1
Steven Gee – 8/1
Michael Esposito – 8/1
Robert Salaburu – 9/1
Jacob Balsiger – 12/1
Jeremy Ausmus – 16/1

Bovada:

Jesse Sylvia – 3/1
Andras Koroknai – 9/2
Greg Merson – 5/1
Russell Thomas – 6/1
Steven Gee – 9/1
Michael Esposito – 9/1
Robert Salaburu – 10/1
Jacob Balsiger – 10/1
Jeremy Ausmus – 11/1

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Rafa Nadal signs with PokerStars and then pulls out of the 2012 Olympics. Coincidence? (or course it is)

Jesse Sylvia leads the main event final table – Andrew Feldman at ESPN Poker makes my job easier. While I was busy catching up with old friends and the Pai Gow table, he was still in the Amazon Room until the wee hours of the morning writing up information on the November Nine.

2012 World Series of Poker: Retrospective with Nolan Dalla Part I – BLUFF Magazine had a chance to sit down with WSOP Media Director to discuss the the past two months at the Rio. They should milk this interview for all it’s worth, so this is just Part I.

Government Files Fugitive Motion, Seeks Discovery – With Ray Bitar surrounding to the authorities, that leaves Isai Scheinberg sitting by himself with a big target on his chest.

WPT Raw Deal: Tony Dunst on Final Table Dress Codes – Tony Dunst askes whether there should be a dress code for the WPT final tables. As someone who spent the summer watching players wear the same things for days and Sam Trickett show up to a $1,000,000 buy-in tournament wearing a wife-beater and shorts, I would say “hell yes”.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 2:42 pm

June 14, 2011

Federated Sports + Gaming Acquires Heartland Poker Tour

Could This Be the Beginning of a Match Made in the Heartland?

Federated Sports + Gaming (FS+G) announced today that it has acquired Heartland Poker Tour (HPT), the nation’s leading grassroots poker tour and one of the largest independent producers of poker content on television.

“HPT is one of the great success stories in the poker industry”

“HPT is one of the great success stories in the poker industry,” said Jeffrey Pollack, chairman of Federated Sports + Gaming. “In a relatively short period of time, the Heartland Poker Tour has firmly established itself as an important national brand with a passionate, loyal player base. We are committed to poker entertainment in the broadest sense and to serving players and fans across the spectrum. The addition of HPT to the FS+G family fits perfectly with our approach.” More…

Posted by at 5:11 pm

April 12, 2011

This Week’s Big Winners – April 12th

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!

Posted by at 7:23 pm

April 5, 2011

This Week’s Big Winners – April 5th

Eslami Proves ‘If You Can Beat a Robot, You Can Beat a Man’ at Rincon
WSOPC Western Regional Championship, Rincon, California

Photo C/O WSOP

Before this week, Ali Eslami’s most notable accomplishment was defeating Polaris, the poker playing computer, in tandem with Phil Laak. The LA-based cash game player proved his versatility this week by beating 8 real live human opponents on the road to the WSOPC Rincon crown. The third of four $10,000 events on the WSOP Circuit, Rincon drew an anemic 98 players, surprising mostly due to the nine WSOP Circuit National Championship seats awaiting those who made the final table.

Among those who made the final table were Circuit superstar Dwyte Pilgrim, Steve Brecher, and fresh off his win last week at the Wynn $5K, Tim West. West fell just short of the impressive back-to-back feat, finishing as the runner-up to Eslami. For his win, Eslami took home just under $175,000, the ring, and a chance at a nice chunk of change in seven weeks at the National Championship.

Mclean Carr Takes WPT Vienna High Roller; Seidel Unavailable for Comment
Vienna, Austria

Photo C/O PartyPoker

Stop the presses! There was a High Roller poker tournament held on this planet this week that Erik Seidel not only didn’t win, he didn’t even play. This worked very much to the benefit of Mclean Carr, who took great advantage of the absence of the king of the monster buy-in to dominate the WPT Vienna High Roller, by all accounts. Carr took home €185,120 by overcoming the field of 50 and taking the chip lead from the beginning of the final table to the end.

No Place Like Home for Del Prado in Winning APT Philippines
Pasay City, Philippines

On the Asia-based poker tours, specifically the APT and APPT, the field sizes and buy-ins can sometimes make the achievement of winning a Main Event look a little less impressive than it should. But the APT Philippines stop this week had the buy-in ($2,500, American) and the field size (231) to allow it to contend as one of the largest prizes awarded of the week.

Six of the ten players who made the final table were Filipino locals, along with a Canadian, an Australian, a South Korean and a player from Hong Kong. A local champion could not be denied, though, as Enrique Del Prado defeated Elton Tsang heads-up to keep the title local, and won a hair under $180,000 for his accomplishment.

Romanello 2/3rds of Way to Triple Crown Inside of 1 Year with Win
WPT Bratislava, Slovakia

Photo C/O PartyPoker

In the age of the internet, people coming out of nowhere are becoming harder and harder to find. Gone are the days where a Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili could enter the NBA without great fanfare and shock the world. In the world of poker, the hype for international players is sometimes a bit slow in getting to American shores, but a smart bet for some serious WSOP success this year would be Roberto Romanello.

The former owner of a chip shop in South Wales, Romanello rubbed some of his opponents the wrong way with his final table antics, but there’s no denying his talents. Following a win at EPT Prague a few months ago, Romanello’s win at WPT Bratislava netted him another €140,685. He heads to the WSOP with a goal of being the first person in the history of poker to capture a Triple Crown (WPT, EPT, WSOP bracelet) in a single calendar year.

Foxwoods Provides Appropriate Environment for Chops
Mashantucket, Connecticut

Photo C/O WJMedia

With the amount of tournament series’ that are run at Foxwoods, I’m surprised that Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum, master scribe of Foxwoods Live, doesn’t own a second home on the reservation. No matter how many tournaments they run, though, Foxwoods consistently brings in some of the best field sizes on the East Coast every time.

The $2,500 Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event drew 284 players, creating a prize pool of over $630,000 and a first place prize of over $150,000. All of which made it easier to chop it up once play got down to three-handed, giving each of the remaining players a hefty ROI over their initial $2,500 investment. At a final table that featured tournament regular Todd Terry, the shortest stack of the three, Michael Lavoie, guaranteed himself almost second place money, settling for $79,987. Similarly chipped Ronnie Pease ($108,295) and Phil Reed ($114,050) each cashed in big time, with Reed’s slight advantage also giving him the official win, the trophy and a snappy leather jacket.

HPT Win Allows Father To Buy the Greatest Swing Set Ever Created
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel, Tama, Iowa

Photo C/O HPT

When Tom Hujda left his Illinois home for his trip to last week’s HPT stop in Iowa, his only goal was to leave with enough money to buy a swing set for his kids. Even this seemed like an ambitious goal, having never recorded so much as a cash on the Heartland Poker Tour. By the time the tournament was over, however, Hujda’s kids are probably getting a whole playground, as he won the whole thing for $77,897. He can afford to install this behemoth and still have $67,000+ to spare. Those are some lucky kids.

In Modern Day Kiev, Poker Plays You!
RPS Kiev, Ukraine

The Russian Poker Series is like the red-headed stepchild of the PokerStars tournament circuits, not even netting a mention on the PokerStars blog for the RPS’ most recent stop in Kiev. The $1,000 Grand Special built a prize pool of almost $300,000, however, with Yurij Predybajlo winning the tournament, $65,590, and the award for the least pronounceable name.

BLUFF Managing Editor Refuses to Share in the Run-Good, Strikes Again in Indiana
Hollywood Poker Open, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

jess-welman-ladies-wsop

File pic: Jess Welman

It’s been a little while since we had an entry in the “Year of the Media”, but we got a repeat offender this week. Jess Welman traveled to the Hollywood Poker Open in Indiana for their Ladies’ event, and in familiar fashion made her way through the field to the final table. She’s had an impressive run over the last year, cashing in the WSOP Ladies’ event, freerolling her way into an event at the Detox Series last year and final tabling, chopping another Ladies’ Event eight ways, and now this most recent performance. Welman fell just short, earning $3,770 for her second place finish. She will be back in town as part of the live updates team for the televised WPT Main event in the coming week, so if you’re headed there, be sure to congratulate her on another impressive performance.

Posted by at 6:28 pm

March 22, 2011

This Week’s Big Winners – March 22nd

Mike Sexton Gives Up Announcing Career in Pursuit of Long-shot Poker Dream
WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, San Jose, California

Photo c/o WPT/Bay 101

There were a ton of storylines on display at the final table of the WPT’s Bay 101 Shooting Star event this week. It was the second consecutive final table for Vivek Rajkumar, who finished second at the LAPC and put on quite a display during this California swing of the World Poker Tour. Mike Matusow made his way to his fifth WPT final table, still seeking a win that has thus far eluded him in his career. But the biggest story of them all was that, for the first time in the history of the WPT, Mike Sexton would not fill the seat in the broadcast booth next to Vince Van Patten. It wasn’t a coup by Tony Dunst, though it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for Dunst to try something like that, but rather for the first time ever, Sexton made the final table of a WPT event and was unable to fulfill his broadcasting duties.

The story would not have a happy ending, however, as Matusow took cards that were not quite live and turned them into monsters, eliminating Sexton by catching a jack as a 3-1 dog and knocking him out in 6th, collecting his $5k Shooting Star bounty and leaving himself as the only player with that target on his back. Rajkumar would bow out in fourth place to conclude his impressive run, while Matusow would find himself short-stacked before going out in 3rd place. Allen Sternberg would claim the final $5,000 bounty for knocking Matusow out, and that win would propel him to the chip lead. Sternberg outlasted Steven Kelly with a timely two-outer on the river, winning the Bay 101 Shooting Star and the $1 million first place prize.


Photo c/o PokerStars

Kanit Be? Moustapha Wins at IPT Nova Gorica

Nova Gorica, Slovenia

The second biggest prize of the week comes from a somewhat unlikely source. The Italian Poker Tour is one of PokerStars’ regional poker tours, but it’s latest stop, technically not in Italy but on their border with Slovenia, generated a prize pool of almost €800,000. 395 players put up €2,000, and the first place purse ballooned to over €200,000. It remains to be seen whether Mustapha Kanit can be considered a “local” champion, considering the event didn’t happen on Italian soil, but the Italian player bested Marco Mancini to claim the IPT Nova Gorica title.

Photo c/o HPT

Jeremy Dresch Is First to 3 HPT Titles, Sore Loser Makes it Best Out of 7
Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minnesota

2009 Heartland Poker Tour Player of the Year Jeremy Dresch made history by being the first player to capture two HPT titles. It was made all the more impressive by the fact that he captured those titles in consecutive weeks. Dresch now holds the distinction of being the first to three titles, winning the HPT stop at the Shooting Star Casino in Minnesota. He takes home almost $50,000 after besting the field of 170.


Photo c/o PokerStars

First Brazilian LAPT Champ Crowned in Chile, Hopes for Less Messy Crown Next Time
Viña del Mar, Chile

Last month on the LAPT, the hearts of thousands of Brazilians were broken when they failed to crown their first Brazilian LAPT title in Sao Paolo, Brazil, despite the volume of Brazilian players in the field. The champion was, in fact, a Chilean, and the Brazilians returned the favor this week when Murilo Figueiredo took home the win in Viña del Mar, Chile. Figueiredo defeated 620 other players in the largest LAPT field ever to win $146,000.

Aaron Alanen PWNS 1st Zynga IRL MTT for $15K
Zynga PokerCon, The Palms, Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s not much to be said about this tournament that wasn’t said by Dan. So I’ll just let this tournament recap, as well as these other articles he wrote explain what happened this past weekend at ZyngaCon.

Pros Living Locally in Las Vegas Were “Wynning” This Week
Wynn Poker Classic, The Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Wynn has pretty quietly been running a successful poker series the last couple of weeks, and more recently with buy-ins in the $2k-$5k range they’ve drawn in quite a few poker pros living locally. The best story has to be the victory of Chad Brown; after undergoing surgery recently to remove a large tumor, Brown showed up at their most recent $2,000 event and won the whole thing, banking almost $75,000. Also winning this week was Bryan Micon, who took down the $500 HORSE event.

Posted by at 4:16 pm