We know we’re entering into that final phase of the Series … with One Drop, the $50k Players Championship, and holiday barbecue plans taking shape … Cue the fireworks: the Main Event is right around the corner, marking the next new year for poker!
Nolan Dalla calling for Venetian boycott
Marco riles up an impassioned plea from the WSOP media director for poker players to unite in meaningful opposition to Sheldon Adelson. [source: YouTube/QuadJacks]
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.
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?
Daniel Negreanu $1,038,825 – WSOP APAC Main Event
Phil Ivey $51,840 – WSOP APAC Mixed Event
Philipp Gruissem $825,000 – WSOP APAC High Roller
Aaron Lim $233,800 – WSOP APAC Six Handed
It was a fun weekend in Australia as two of the biggest names in poker captured WSOP APAC braclets. Phil Ivey won his 9th career bracelet in the Mixed Event, a tournament on the smaller side but impressive none the less. This win puts him in a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss and just one behind Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. After his run at the WSOP in 2012, there will be a lot of money on him winning another this summer.
Daniel Negreanu ended his 5 year WSOP drought by taking down the APAC Main Event for this 5th career bracelet. The title puts him in a tie with a boatload of other top players including Allen Cunningham, Ted Forrest, Scotty Nguyen, Jeff Lisandro, John Juanda, and the late great Stu Ungar. This was Negreanu’s second big chance to win a WSOP Main Event title after finishing 2nd at the WSOP Europe in 2009. It was probably fortunate he had to battle Daniel Marton heads up instead of having Barry Shulman own his soul.
Kevin Saul $194,178 – WSOP-C Foxwoods Main Event
Bryan Piccioli $211,575 – WSOP APAC Event #1
Jim Collopy $69,662 – WSOP APAC Event #2
The World Series of Poker brand had themselves a fine time over the last few days on different sides of the globe. Big names, new tournaments, and interesting results. The WSOP APAC is underway in Australia while the WSOP-Circuit at Foxwoods wrapped up their Main Event.
Professional player Brian Piccioli captured the first ever WSOP APAC bracelet in a brand new event, something called the “Accumulator” at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. The tournament took reentry events to the next level, where players could not only enter each of the three starting days but could also play even if they had chips at the end of previous days. Whatever part of their stacks remained after Day 1A/B/C were combined and play continued on Day 2. Piccioli won they event with only his Day C stack after busting both A and B but worked it will for the $211,575 prize and gold bracelet.
Long time professional and former online master Kevin Saul is the latest WSOP Circuit Main Event Champion. There were 615 entrees into the inaugural Foxwoods WSOP-C tournament and Saul made quick work of the final table to pick up his shiny new ring, the near $200k payday, and his entry into the WSOP National Championship coming up in New Orleans.
History could be made later today when the WSOP APAC Mixed Event is played to a winner. Phil Ivey leads the final table with Daniel Negreanu right behind him. Ivey will be trying to capture his 9th WSOP bracelet while Negreanu is looking to break his 5 year bracelet slump to pick up his 5th.
Tweet of the Day – Just because Hellmuth is halfway around the world in Australia, that doesn’t mean the internets can’t get their little taste of his wrath. Things don’t seem to be going well down under for the 13-time WSOP champion.
Busted 24th: I SO wish I wasn’t completely ANGRY now! Feeling unlucky, and running EVERY SINGLE HAND in my mind over-and-over-and-over…
Full Tilt Poker Ex-Chief to Plead Guilty – Ray Bitar, poster boy for Black Friday, reached an agreement with the US Attorney General’s office where he’ll pony up $40million but avoid any jail time as he’s in desperate need of a heart transplant. This naturally generated its own share of twitter jokes, mostly in bad taste.
WSOP.com Real Money Poker Beta – Feel like test driving the first legal poker site in the States. Things aren’t quite to the point of the real deal but WSOP is offering up the chance to beta test their software and shake out the bugs. Closer and closer.
East Falmouth man wins $10m in ‘poker’ game – The word poker is encased in well-deserved quotation marks but the headline still caught my eye. The Mass lottery created some bizarre luck of the draw, fake poker game that awarded a $10,000,000 check. You can’t win that kind of money in your local no-skill-to-win 2/4 limit game.
Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Poker – The documentary previously known as BOOM from the minds of Jay Rosenkrantz, Taylor Caby and Ryan Firpo has been renamed and the new trailer is out.
Mike Matusow $750,000 – National Heads-Up Poker Championship
Andrew Robl $1,000,000 – Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship final was like a flashback to the olden days* with a practically made-for-TV final match between Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow. The two of them advanced to the final after defeating Scott Seiver and Joe “Don’t call me Sebok” Serock. Many questioned the Matusow invitation but he showed some of his old form when he earned his victory. He hit a nice little naked flush draw to defeat the 13-time WSOP champion Hellmuth. This is the 3rd biggest cash of Matusow’s career after his $1,000,000 hits for the 2005 WSOP Main Event final table and Tournament of Champions victory.
On the other side of the planet, the Aussie Millions Main Event is underway but not before Andrew Robl beat a small but extremely talented field in the $100,000 Challenge to earn a cool million. The tournament was of the re-entry variety but of the 21 players, Robl was the only one to take advantage of the option and it worked out successfully. Igor Kurganov (2nd), Masa Kagawa (3rd), and Dan Shak (4th) were the other three who cashed in the even.
* – Not really that long ago, but it feels like a generation ago
Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth arrive for the NBC Heads-Up draw party, even though Negreanu opted out to spend the weekend with friends.
NBC’s $25,000 buy-in National Heads-Up Poker Championship invitational tournament is decidedly made-for-television .
The draw party Wednesday night felt like little more than a chance to hobnob with the who’s who of televised poker and online wunderkinds, from Brunson to Hellmuth to Jungleman and ZeeJustin.
But after a Black Friday-induced hiatus, some in the poker world say the return of the event to the Caesars Palace poker room signals a step forward for poker in the U.S.
Caesars Entertainment Interactive, which recently acquired a license to operate online poker in Nevada, presented its wsop.com as part of the event for the first time since the tournament began in 2005.
Mori Eskandani, the producer of the show, called it ‘good news’ for the industry that NBC wants poker back.
The matches start Thursday afternoon, and they’ll crown a champion on Saturday.
This year, Phil Hellmuth, who arrived to the party Wednesday night in his dictator coat, squares off against Mike Sexton in round one. Daniel Negreanu, meanwhile, has opted out to spend the weekend with friends. That made room for David “Doc” Sands, who put up something of a fit after he didn’t get a direct invite.
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.
Tweet(s) of the Day – PASSION TO WIN! (except in cases where I degen it up, lose some money, and slep through it)
People asking why @realkidpoker & I playing WPT-Jacksonville when long flight, no TV, & small prize pool: PASSION TO WIN! #Loveofthegame
Huddle close comrades. I come to you this week from a small apartment bunker deep within Russian territory. There are Muscovites on all sides. So far at least two people have asked me for directions in a language I didn’t understand. It was harrowing. Meanwhile it’s been a busy old time for poker news, so strap on your ushanka, down a bowl of borshch and join me for this week’s roundup.
Hellmuth Conquers Europe
The Poker Brat confirmed that this week that he is back among the game’s elite by taking down his 13th bracelet in the WSOPE Main Event. By his own admission, Phil was caught up in his own travelling carnival during 2009 and 2010, but after a period of self-reflection his skills on the felt appear to be back in full bloom. [Poker News]
Bodog Abandons Europe
The wheels are not so much coming off Bodog Poker’s European operation as they are careening over a cliff as the car does somersaults on the asphalt. Its last remaining bastion – Bodog.co.uk – has now officially closed its doors to poker customers, focussing instead on casino games. The company are moving on the relatively underexploited Asian market. [OnlinePoker.net]
Italy is in Europe
Italy was one of the first European nations to enact a regime of tight intranational online poker regulations. While early signs were positive, recent financial figures raise fears about the future for other isolationist licensing systems. Gaming revenues have fallen over 40% since January of this year, with the decline chalked up to a very limited player pool and high taxes. [PokerFuse]
Full Tilt’s New Island Home
Full Tilt’s rebirth is another contraction closer as they are granted a license by the Isle of Man, a short hop around the UK from their old home on Alderney. It is my considered opinion that a very large factor in ensuring that PokerStars emerged so positively from Black Friday was down to their license in the Isle of Man. Specifically the clause that requires licensees to keep a segregated fund equal to player deposits. [BBC]
Hansen on Board
Full Tilt built their reputation on having the biggest and most star-studded stable of pro players and while those pros mostly fled the paddock after Black Friday, at least one will be returning. Gus Hansen has been unveiled as Full Tilt’s primary brand ambassador. The Dane was long associated with the old site and has declared that he is “coming home.” [Gambling Kingz]
High Stakes Intrigue in The Big Smoke
A notorious high roller enters London’s oldest casino with a mysterious Asian beauty on his arm. He sits in a private room and wins $11.7 million, but the house won’t pay. Turns out his date has a chequered past and the British Gambling Commission are called in to investigate. No, not James Bond; Phil Ivey. [CNN]
And with that I’m off to take refuge. There’s this colourful fort in the centre of town that looks pretty safe, I think I’ll start there.
Phil Hellmuth €1,022,376 – WSOP Europe Main Event
Mike Watson €1,000,000 – Majestic Super High Roller
Greg Raymer $121,973 – HPT River City Casino
Phil Hellmuth is the best poker player in the world, just ask him. He now has one more reason to brag after picking up his 13th WSOP bracelet at the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. Hellmuth outlasted a green-friendly field of 420 players with a combination of skill and ridiculous luck to become the first player history to hold a WSOP Main Event bracelet in Europe and the United States.
The Main Event final table included Jason Mercier and former November Niner Joseph Cheong with top players Scott Seiver, Timothy Adams, and 2005 WSOP runner-up Steve Dannenmann just missing the final table. Play ran for almost 9 hours from start to finish which included a strange 4 hour break in the middle for TV business reasons. Hellmuth had plenty of his classic blowups at the final table providing amusement for those in attendance and watching on TV/internet as well Lon McEachern and Antonio Esfandiari in the commentator booth.
Hellmuth’s 13th bracelet comes on the heels of him picking up number 12 during this summer’s WSOP in Razz, the first non-hold’em bracelet of his career. It also puts him 3 bracelets clear at the top of the leaderboard ahead of the 10 held by Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. Hellmuth now holds a commanding lead Greg Merson in the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race, Merson must win the 2012 November (will never call it October) Nine in a few weeks to prevent the world from viewing a POY banner of Hellmuth in the Rio halls.
Hellmuth also picked up €1,022,376 for the win but is among just a few people in the world who can say the bracelet is more important than the cash.
What eSports Can Tell Us About the Future of Online Gambling – Interesting article on Forbes.com this week taking a different look at the future of online gaming. “The only thing certain is the culture of playing competitive games online is evolving at warp speed. eSports tells us that the likely winners in the online gambling market will be not only the obvious casino players, but also others that embrace the full spectrum of entertainment and social media around it.”
Gus Hansen First to Rep New Full Tilt Poker – It was only a matter of time before the new look, getting ready to launch Full Tilt Poker started bringing player reps on board and Gus Hansen seems to be a good choice. He’s respected and not one of those heroes who still owe money to their Irish overlords.
Poker World reconstruction moves forward … not just off the felt, but on it, too. Taking a quick scan of the current GPI 300, the name that stood out to me as in a “holy heck he’s not just good he’s apparently really good” is Matt Marafioti. Who knew?! A kid putting himself at the center of poker controversy while declaring cheating to be alive and well but chivalry to be definitively dead … presuming he doesn’t end up in a ditch or arctic fjord in the near future, @adzizzy’s presence on the Global Poker Index is a reminder that a new generation of poker players — top poker pros — really is upon us. (LOL those damn Millenials!) Remember the days when Phil Hellmuth’s whining and Mike Matusow’s psychological instabilities were enough to entertain us? They seem quaint by comparison.
Also interesting to see how few Full Tilt pros are on the list. So many players who we once believed were anything and everything maybe really weren’t? Or at least aren’t any longer, without your money to buy them into $20,000 televised sit-n-go’s.
Considering the number of pros here born in the 80s (and even 90s, soon) … a new era, new generation, new rules … welcome poker’s new wave?
Things are underway in the WSOP Main Event when players rolled into the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms on Saturday for Day 1A. We witnessed the usual crush of players standing just outside the locked doors begging security to let them in, especially when they saw me sneak in with WhoJedi. The smart veteran stays out of the way as the mass of dead money run toward their tables with 15 minutes, and a Jack Effel speech, before the cards actually fly.
1,066 players registered for Day 1A, and while the WSOP staff played it up like an increase, those numbers are skewed when you take one less starting day into account. I was surprised when I walked into the Pavilion and found it void of Main Event players and only one section in Brasilia in use. Fully expect the next two days to pick the numbers back up with Day 1B already showing more players and Day 1C will be even bigger.
Doubtful this year will top the 6,865 players in the 2011 Main Event, but 6k will be a nice number one year after the DoJ indictments and online poker shutdown.
The biggest surprise of the day was Phil Hellmuth showing up practically on time without his normal, ridiculous spectacle entry. A few hours later, Phil Hellmuth was also quietly walking out of the Amazon Room after busting.
Amazon Room at the start of WSOP 2012 Main Event Day 1A
In other WSOP news, Nick Schulman won his 2nd WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball No Limit tournament (both of his bracelets coming in the same event, first in 2009) over an impressive final table. John Juanda seems to like the game as well, making the final table of this event for the 4th year in a row. Schulman beat Mike Wattel heads up for the win and $294,321.
You can file the last $1,000 NLH event of the summer under “Something New Every Day”. Usually events go longer than the schedule due to hard stop times and exhaustion. This $1k had multiple starting days and was schedule to play down to the final table Saturday evening with the players returning Sunday for the final table. Instead the 50 other players managed to dust off their stacks to German Dominik Nitsche a full day early. The young pro picked up $654,797 and the final bracelet before the November Nine.
Tweet of the Day – Ashton Griffin states something in 140 characters that a lot of poker players don’t understand.
The hardest part about poker is detaching yourself from the value of money without becoming a sociopath away from the table.
Kevin Pollak Talks About Playing in the 2012 WSOP – Actor Kevin Pollach took his seat on Day 1A of the Main Event and Julio Rodriguez caught up with him for an interview. No word if he did the entire interview using the voice of Christopher Walken.
Scandal just part of the deal at WSOP – The most annoying WSOP article I’ve read this summer. Not sure if the author understands the WSOP or has spent much time around the Rio. I certainly know a lot of players interested in the ongoing FTP/Stars/UB saga.
Main Event Snapshot with Tatjana Pasalic – Tatjana showed up in a cat suit costume for Day 1A, to the delight of her tablemates and every photographer in the room. Ray Ramona just doesn’t generate that kind of buzz. Or SEO value.
Each summer the “poker media” likes to slap labels on the WSOP a few weeks into the summer, perhaps a lazy way to summarize the series in 4 words. Year of the Pro, Year of the Women, Year of the Amateur, etc, etc, ad nauseum. This year has seen a little bit of everything with top pros picking up bracelets, with the good guys, long suffering, and ladies also getting in the act.
There was a little debate whether Allyn Jaffrey Shulman’s win broke the four year streak of all male bracelet winners (aside from the Ladies Championship) since it occurred in the Seniors Championship. Jackie Glazier almost erased that question. The Australian poker player has plenty of results on her resume but came to the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em final table with the chip lead and her eye on the title.
After a long evening, she found herself heads up with Greg Ostrander for the bracelet with a significant chiplead when the hard stop time rolled around. Ostrander opted to pause play for the day and that seemed to kill Glazier momentum and she settled for a second place finish.
Glazier was the 10th women to make a final table this summer and scored the 5th highest payout for a woman player in WSOP history.
Tweet(s) o’ the Day – It would have been pretty unthinkable just a few years ago that Doyle Brunson would miss the $50,000 Players Championship. While his WSOP schedule has been cut way back, the 10-time bracelet winner is still out there crushing big cash games. In the end, Texas Dolly was in his seat at the start of play.
Supposed to be a giant cash game today. Thinking about skipping 50K tourney. #whattodo?
@TexDolly If you do not play in the WSOP 50K Players, you will be sorely missed…Get in there + show @ToddBrunson how it’s done!! — phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 24, 2012
WSOP Player of the Year Update – The Player of the Year list is up to date through the latest events and Phil Ivey continues to lead over John Monnette, Andy Frankenberger, Phil Hellmuth, and newly crowned bracelet winner Jan-Peter Jachtmann. Still plenty of time and some big money events for others to make up ground. For anyone wondering, Allen “Complainsaw” Kessler is not in the Top 500.
It’s time for civil behavior from the pokerati – Norman Chad (your 6th place finisher in the Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo event) has his latest piece for the Washington Post where he talks about civility in poker. While I think a lot of the top young pros are doing a good job of expanding their horizons, there is still something rotten in the soft nougat center. Also, wash your damn hands!
For the second time this summer, a long suffering poker player has finally picked up their first WSOP bracelet. Following in the steps of Andy Bloch, David “ODB” Baker won the $2,500 8-Game Mix event to earn his first ever WSOP tournament after 27 cashes.
Baker’s first WSOP cash came back in 2004 and he made six final tables with three 3rd place finishes before this event. He had over $1,000,000 in career earnings at the WSOP but now can be included amongst the champions. Call him “ODB” or “The Original” but you now you also call him a WSOP bracelet winner.
On a side not, have two players with the same name won bracelets in the same year? I will have to ask Nolan Dalla or Kevmath.
Tweet o’ the Day – Say what you want about Shaun Deeb, but if he’s able to keep a 12-time bracelet winner away from a WSOP event then he must have him hooked on the line pretty well.
Just realized I’ve been playing Chinese poker “roll your own” w @ShaunDeeb for 20 hrs str8…Skipped WSOP tourney–Bad decision!
Poker Chip Stack Art Shots – Everybody likes pretty pictures. Especially in poker, when reading is secondary to 140 characters of snark or lengthy, grammar-challenged forum posts. Matt Showell at PokerListings has all the chip-porn you can get on his latest Picture Book.
Einhorn Enters $1 Million Buy-In Poker Tournament – David Einhorn, co-founder of Greenlight Capital Inc., has thrown his name into the ring to participate in this year’s $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop event at the WSOP. This brings the number of “confirmed” players in the event up to 42. Einhorn has one WSOP cash to his resume, he finished 18th at the 2006 WSOP Main Event for $659,730. He promptly turned around and donated the entire prize to charity.
Even without Pauly here, and Al skillfully holding down the Pokerati fort, I do show up at the Rio every once in a while for the free water and to work on my improv skills. Considering the Bluff Hedline Cam is pretty much just a way for @MartyDerby to pick up chicks, I feel priveliged that I hadn’t yet spilled anything on my shirt and the “air quotes” I added to the script made the cut … even if I do need to practice hand movement with a big honkin sizable microphone.
Oh yeah, and Hellmuth and Ivey continue to tear it up, “Philling” the final table in $10k HORSE. Boom, book it … that’s a wrap?
Matt Matros $454,835 – Event #16 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 6-Max
Andy Frankenberger $455,899 – Event #17 $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em
Phil Hellmuth $182,793 – Event #18 $2,500 Seven Card Razz
Clifford Goldkind $559,514 – Event #19 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em
Benjamin Scholl $206,760 – Event #20 $5,000 Limit Hold’em
Some days it’s tough to find interesting story lines at the WSOP, Sunday night was not one of those days as both Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey were playing final tables. Hellmuth was looking for his record stretching 12th bracelet and Ivey for his 9th. They both cruised through their tables and both ended up heads up for the bracelet, with the chip lead, at the exact same time.
But it was only Hellmuth who could finish the job as Ivey lost to 2nd time bracelet winner Andy Frankenberger. While Ivey’s family would walk away from the feature table with an unopened bottle of Dom Perignon, Hellmuth was being presented with his 12th WSOP bracelet by his son. Hellmuth was remarkably gracious after his victory and called it a night only after every interview was completed and every fan who wanted an autograph had one.
Tweet o’ the Day – From Brian Hastings, having to collect his Heads Up prize money. First world problems indeed.
My daily ATM limits are exceeded so I have to miss hands to get my 371k payout so I can buy horses into the 1k #firstworldproblems
Uncap the One Drop Field – Rich Ryan at PokerNews wrote an OpEd stating the WSOP should remove the 48 player cap on the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop event later this summer to allow as many players to enter. Opinions vary but Tom Marchese wonders if the numbers are what WSOP promoted.
Put down my deposit for one drop. 5 people are regged and 18 more have locked up seats w deposit. Seems less confirmed then @WSOP is saying.
Isildur1 Hits the Cash Games – Viktor “Isildur1″ Blom was the poster child for insane online cash games but not much of that has translated to WSOP success. He picked up his first 2012 WSOP cash this weekend but cash game players gotta play cash games. CardPlayer reports he’s been playing upcapped games as high as $500-$1,000 in the Rio Pavilion Room.
Ivey Bets Millions on WSOP Bracelet – PokerListings reported a rumor floating around about Phil Ivey betting millions more on bracelet bets. I guess he’ll have to wait for another day and another shot.
BLUFF Video Team- Tatjana Pasalic and food trucks. Nothing else really needs to be said.