Posts Tagged ‘Russell Thomas’

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 29, 2012

The WSOP Final Nine – Player Profiles

8 Americans + 1 Hungarian or 2 middle agers vs. 7 youngsters

Jesse Sylvia
Age 24
Las Vegas

43.875 million in chips

Sylvia was down his last 4 million chips on Day 7 when he rallied back into contention. By the time the field was cut from 27 to the final nine, Sylvia, who is originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., jumped into the chip lead. Sylvia will be seated five seats away at the final table from his closest friend and one-time roommate Russell Thomas. The pair sharpened each other’s poker skills. A victory might propel Sylvia in another career; he aspires to move to Los Angeles and get involved in movie making.

Quote: “I always want to be involved in the game. But I am not sure I want to be grinding it out every day 10 years from now. I told myself I will play in the World Series of Poker every year that I can, because it’s so different.”

Andras Koroknai
Age 30
Debrecen, Hungary

29.375 million in chips

Koroknai is the non-American at the final table, and hopes to be the first Hungarian to win the Main Event. He has nearly $2 million in career poker earnings, including a World Poker Tour title in 2010. Koroknai’s road to the final table almost ended early in the tournament when he mistakenly mucked his hand. A ruling from the floor cost him 60,000 in chips but he was able to continue. Koroknai eliminated both the 10th and 11th place finishers, who also happened to be the tournament’s last women.

Quote: “When I sit down at the table, I don’t care if it’s a male or female player. Everybody is equal and everybody wants to win.”

Greg Merson
Age 24
Laurel, Md.

28.275 million in chips

Merson will be playing for more than just the Main Event’s gold bracelet and $8.5 million payday. A victory will also ensure Merson of the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year crown. Merson cashed in four events at this year’s tournament, earning his first gold bracelet when he won the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em/Six Handed event. He collected $1.1 million for the win and affirmed that his life was back on track. Merson said he struggled with addiction over the past few years but is now clean and sober.

Quote: “I thought I had my s**t together. I let the poker lifestyle get the best of me. I worked really hard to get all the way back to the highest games again. I definitely have a way more positive mindset about everything.”

Russell Thomas
Age 24
Hartford, Conn.

24.8 million in chips

Thomas began playing poker while attending Temple University. After earning a degree in actuary science, he went to work as an actuary at Aetna Insurance, a job he is now on leave from until the Main Event concludes. Poker may soon become his full time profession. Prior to the Main Event, Thomas had earned $126,796 at the World Series of Poker, finishing as high as fifth in a six-handed no-limit hold’em event in 2010.

Quote: “To be an actuary, you have to pass a bunch of exams. One of them was called probability. I have studied probability pretty intensively. The math helps, but it doesn’t correlate as much as people think. Playing poker makes you better at poker.”

Steven Gee
Age 57
Sacramento, Calif.

16.86 million in chips

Gee is the only member of the final table who won an individual event championship bracelet before this year. In 2010, Gee won a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event to earn $472,479, topping a field of more than 3,000 players. Before the 2012 Main Event, Gee had cashed in three other World Series of Poker events, finishing no higher than 201st. Gee left his job as a manager of software projects for the California Public Employees Retirement System a few years ago to play poker full time.

Quote: “Every single day (during the Main Event), I never thought I’d make it to the next day. This summer, I don’t think I played as well as I did in the past. But I just got more lucky breaks.”

Michael Esposito
Age 44
Seaford, N.Y.

16.26 million in chips

Esposito calls himself “a true amateur,” someone who only plays poker a few times a year. He’s cashed twice at the World Series of Poker, in 2006 and 2009, earning $24,934. His best finish was 540th place at the Main Event in 2006. A New York-based commodity broker, Esposito competes in triathlons. He said discipline is a character trait that helps him compete in both triathlons and poker.

Quote: “The money is more important than the bracelet. I’m hoping this (winning the Main Event) can get me in the Ironman World Championship (triathlon).”

Robert Salaburu
Age 27
San Antonio

15.155 million in chips

Salaburu has playing professionally since graduating high school, although the 2012 Main Event will be his first cash at the World Series of Poker. Salaburu found early success in online poker and cash game on the Southern poker circuit. Before this year, Salaburu would attend the World Series of Poker, but limited events, favoring the cash game tables. Salaburu sought advice from British poker player Stephen Chidwick, who was on hand to rail Salaburu during the late stages of the Main Event.

Quote: “I have never been good at reporting to people and taking orders from people, so I had to figure out something in a hurry. I guess I just kind of stuck with what I knew.”

Jacob Balsiger
Age 21
Tempe, Ariz.

13.115 million in chips

A victory by Balsiger means he would eclipse 2009 champion Joe Cada as the youngest Main Event champion in World Series of Poker history. Balsiger is a senior majoring in political science at Arizona State University and used to play online poker to supplement his income. He cashed in a $1,500 buy-in no limit hold’em event early at the World Series, finishing 100th and earning $3,531.

Quote: “To be honest, I entered the Main Event expecting to hopefully get some kind of cash. I end up at the final table. Unbelievable.”

Jeremy Ausmus
Age 33
Las Vegas

9.805 million in chips

One issue that Ausmus had lingering before the final table was resolved earlier this month was exactly when his wife would give birth to their second child. Now, Ausmus, who has 13 World Series of Poker career cashes can concentrate in winning his first gold bracelet. Eight of his career cashes came the summer. Ausmus has eight years of experience at the poker tables and holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

Quote: “I’m pretty much a full-time player. I’ll probably go to the Bellagio four times a week and play cash games. I have a good balance. My wife gives me a life away from poker and my daughter, too. It’s good to have that break.”

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2012 Stephens Media Interactive GamingWire.
All rights reserved.


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

October 12, 2012

Instapoker

Lacay wins, Ivey wins but not really, Negreanu deflects


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.

Posted by at 11:00 am