Posts Tagged ‘european-pros’

Vanessa Rousso Looking for Another Big Finish

UPDATE: Yep, she wins the Euros!

by , May 3, 2009 | 5:40 am

The EPT Grand Final final table (in Monte Carlo) is under way. The contenders, their age, their countries, and their chip counts:

Dag Martin Mikkelsen (age 22, Norway) – 7,360,000
Matthew Woodward (age 26, United States) – 4,920,000
Peter Traply (age 21, Hungary) – 4,250,000
Mikhail Tulchinsky (age 43, Russia) – 3,605,000
Daniel Zink (age 24, Germany) – 2,570,000
Eric Qu (age 47, France) – 2,550,000
Alem Shah (age 51, Germany) – 1,520,000
Pieter de Korver (age 26, Netherlands) – 1,390,000

The 5-day, €10,000 main event drew 935 players (compared to 842 last year) and is paying €2.3 million to the winner. Click here to follow the action.

UPDATE: You can also watch live coverage at, which I’m listening to in French to hear Benjo do the broadcast, who I gotta say is as funny in French (which I don’t speak) as he is in English.

Meanwhile, they’re concurrently playing the final table of the €25,000 “high rollers” event (a 3-day affair) — where the winner gets €720,000 … €434,000 to 2nd place. It’s apparently been quite the action game. They lost four players in the first level. Those remaining:

Randy Dorfman (age ??, United States) – 1,200,000 2,000,000
Tony G (age 35, Lithuania) – 900,000
Vanessa Rousso (age 26, United States) – 810,000 790,000 880,000
x- 4th place – Florian Langmann (age 26, Germany) – 1,180,000 220,000

Rousso actually started the day as the chip leader. I’m following her on Twitter, actually, where she has quite the hardbody avatar with a fake shark. Semi-interesting that both Americans remaining are both from Florida.

BTW, the current exchange rate:
€1 = $1.33
$1 = €.75

So that means the main event win pays: $3.05 million
The high rollers win pays: $956,000

Christian Vieri, a New Poker Star?

by , Apr 16, 2009 | 11:17 am

Ack … I hate that I wrote a hedline that sounds like something out of a PokerStars press release, but not sure how else it could turn out when Italian soccer star Christian Vieri announced his intention to play in the upcoming EPT Championship at Monte Carlo.

The deeper he goes, the better I gotta think it is for (European) poker.

Thanks, Craig, for the link!

British Kids Playing Poker

by , Jan 11, 2009 | 2:21 pm

WARNING: This is one of those videos (and a follow-up) that some of you might see as “3 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”. For those of you with time to spare … (unintentionally?) funny vid from a young British chap named King Gamble … er-3 on what you need to be a “cool” Texas Hold’em player:

And here’s his strategy guide on how to win at poker:

And probably most fascinating — though this one will take more than 6 minutes of your life — is the kids for-educational-purposes-only lesson on “How to Cheat at Poker”:

I think I like the painting chips method best. This kid clearly has a future as a poker blogger, and afterward we can go play with our Star Wars action figures! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

New Poker on TV: WSOP Europe

by , Jan 5, 2009 | 12:06 pm

OK, hmm, some new poker on TV coming in less than a month that I’m actually interested in Tivo-ing watching. ESPN’s first ever production of WSOP Europe. They’re playing 4/8 Hour-Limit episodes (with Reruns and a half-kill?) — promising a different feel-and-vibe, and introducing the mobile hole card-cam.

WSOP Europe 2008: John Juanda vs. Ivan Demidov

Alright, I like the sounds of it! Can’t wait to watch the eps with a hypercritical eye and then haphazardly tear apart the hard work of dozens, if not hundreds of people trying to give the whiners and moaners viewers Pokerati readers what they say they want in poker television.

Though I doubt WSOP Europe on TV will have quite the cultural impact of similar-length miniseries such as V, Shogun, and The Thornbirds … I suspect it can be equally as catching as From G’s to Gents.


Main Event Final Table Tipping

by , Dec 3, 2008 | 6:30 am

The data’s just starting to come in … as final WSOP dealer paychecks went out last week:

I picked up my toke check from the final table on Thursday. I got a grand total of $9.37 for my 8 main event downs so an extra $1.17 a down.


WSOP dealer tipping is always a prickly issue, you know, give or take a few million.

Hmm, OK, so if I’m doing my math right … that comes to an extra $2.34/hr (pre-tax) for WSOP main event dealers. Not sure if that’s good/bad or fair/not — but theoretically an additional $800 from the November Nine for a week’s worth of main event dealing doesn’t sound too shabby. Obviously dealers weren’t thrilled that nearly half of the remaining $32 million in main event prize pool money still to be toked out — 1st and 2nd place — went to two Euros, who come from quite the different tipping cultures. (Seriously, when Danes have to give 60 percent to their gov, can you really blame them for stiffing the pizza guy?)

But hey, the penguins dealt the turns and rivers. So clearly, it’s all in their hands: WSOP dealers reap what they sew. No?

Tao of Pokerati: The Novembrists

by , Nov 10, 2008 | 5:25 pm

Ylon Schwartz check-raises with nothing into the nuts of Peter Eastgate, and Pauly and I begin the countdown and begin speculating on what two Eurokids (and maybe even Dennis Phillips) will mean for poker/PokerStars … and where poker is in Europe these days. But are Russians dead money or just scary? Maybe a little bit of both? Plus advanced blogging strategy by Dr. Pauly.

Book 4: WSOP Final Table
Episode 4.9: The Novembrists 5:31


California Wins 2008 WSOP Money Race

Main Event Dominance Propels Left Coasters Past LV Locals

by , Jul 17, 2008 | 4:56 am

It’s been fun keeping track of the 2008 WSOP by city-nation-state … taught me a lot about something — what exactly, I’m not yet sure. But I did get a clearer picture of just how significant the main event really is compared to all other poker tourneys. Just a little more than a week ago, I wrote:

Unless something really funky happens in the main event, it looks like Nevada has the edge on California when it comes to home base for the best poker players in the world.

Well I guess something funky did happen, because even with the biggest prize-pool distributions TBD, California poker players absolutely dominated in the 2008 main event (93 cashes, 2 final tableists)… while the Nevadans (mostly Las Vegas-based, of course) seemed to be napping, or perhaps just resting on their laurels (49 cashes, 0 final tableists). Regardless, looking at the 55 events that comprised the 2008 WSOP, I think it’s clear that the visitors can stake their claim: California is the Poker Capitol of the World … at least for now.

GREAT DANES: Another big surprise (to me) — apparently the Scandis aren’t so overrated after all. Denmark in particular showed up at the main event ready to play, and not only did they get one of their own on the final table, but also they performed so well in the latter events that they scooched past a bunch of other supposed Europoker powerhouses in the money won. The best non-American players, according to these results, in order: Canadians, Brits, and then the Danes … who actually could move past the Brits come November … and if you add the Danish in with the rest of the Scandis, it’s clear that Scandinavia and the UK are like the California and Nevada of European poker.


A HORSE with no name

by , Jun 30, 2008 | 11:56 am

Mike Matusow and Player X, who has a thick accent from somewhere and a bracelet in something. Click to zoom in.

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to give the $1,500 HORSE a try, what I called “baby” HORSE when discussing it with Andy Bloch in the halls of the Rio. (I think he played it too. What must it be like to bust out of the $50K HORSE and then enter the $1,500 version?)

I had technically “won” the seat already through the Full Tilt Poker Battle of the Blogger tournaments, but I suppose I could throw that money towards anything I wanted (like a new stove that the wife really, really wants). But speaking of decorum, that wouldn’t seem like the right thing to do. So play I did.

My table included five guys I had no clue about, Mike Matusow and Mysterious European WSOP Bracelet Winner (otherwise known henceforth as Player X). Dan has pictures so maybe he will add them to this post. Hint, Hint.

When Matusow walked up to the table, he started counting the fish. He couldn’t find any until I raised my hand.

“Yeah, you look pretty fishy,” he said. “Just kidding, My name’s Mike. Nice to meet you.”

As per most WSOP events, the structure was fast. Either you catch some hands quick to double up and get some play or you go home. For the first two levels I wasn’t really doing either. I think I knew it was going to be a rough day when I raised from the BB in O8 with A-2-3-4 to see a flop of K-4-3, a turn of 7 that made my nut low and a 4 on the river that gave me a complementary full house. Of course, I got quartered by one player’s kings full and Matusow’s A-2.

Meanwhile, Matusow continued chatting up Player X every minute of every hour (they don’t call him “The Mouth” for nothing) with tales of 50K HORSE. He had invested in Mike Wattel, who was the $124K bubble boy in the event.

“He really needed that money,” Matusow said, adding that he saw Wattel in the hall after his bust out and he looked like he wanted to die. Apparently, Wattel had a few stacks shorter than his on the bubble and played a hand he shouldn’t have involved in, according to Matusow.

As for me, I wanted my $1,500 back after I got crippled in Stud. Sarting with split aces, I made aces up on fifth and got check raised by a player who started with a 10 showing and had added a K and Q to his upcards. Not sure if he had a straight, I called him down to try to fill up. I did not and he showed rolled up 10s.

I busted shortly later in Stud/8 when I missed both a low and flush draw. Matusow took the high with two pair and another played got the low (Mr. kings full).

World Standings Update

by , Jun 29, 2008 | 6:40 am

We’re coming into the homestretch, and it will take some big finishes for any nation/state to make a big move. Looked like Cali might give Nevada a run for its money, but shortly after John Phan won his bracelet (and $151k) for the Golden State in Event #40, the Silver State more than caught up when Joe Commiso booked a $911k win in Event #46.

To keep up-to-date with the full list of WSOP results by country, state, and in some cases protectorate, bookmark this page here.

Just for the record, we ganked some prize dollars from the LV cashout base. Shannon Shorr is now a full-blooded Alabaman an David Benyamine a Frenchie. So far have not heard any Las Vegans protest the transfers — but Mayor Oscar Goodman could persuade us to reconsider. Hoyt Corkins is still split — with two cashes going toward Las Vegas, and one to Alabama — torn on what to do with him … will try to track him down and ask him directly. As things stand with 9 events and 10s of millions in prize money remaining, only about $1 million separates the two real contenders for Poker Capital of the World — and while both have about the same number of final tables, California has four fewer bracelets but about 200 more cashes than its eastern neighbor.

Texas, meanwhile, sits strongly atop as the best of the second-best — banking the most money of all the places without a bracelet under its 2008 belt.

The Euros have made really strong showings over the past few days … and seemingly going deep in any event that rewards aggression (like 6-handed NLH). Either the events cater to their playing style, simply more are arriving, they’re coming in fresh off the bench, or some combination of all of that.

Likewise, a Canadian may have won event #44, but the Danes dominated it — I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that the Scandis know quite a bit about rebuys.

New appearances in the standings:
Czech Republic
Cayman Islands
Newfoundland, Canada

Lebanon also posts its first 2008 cash — not in anything recent, but we just figured out that Naji Hajjar, who finished 73rd in Event #6 ($1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo), was from there.

By the way, speaking of … if anyone knows the hometown locations of any of the players below, please let us know so we can better classify these unknowns:


World Piece: Which Vegas/California Pros to Extradite?

by , Jun 26, 2008 | 2:57 pm

After much consideration and prospective gerrymandering, upon the next update of the WSOP World Standings, we’re gonna make some switches … regardless of what they put on their official WSOP registrations, David Benyamine is soon to become fully French and Shannon Shorr will be screamin’ “Roll Tide!”

With that said, is there anyone else we should be considering for statistical reclassification? For the most part, we’re gonna defer to the Hendon Mob db … but I can think of three that are close calls:

Gus Hansen — Denmark or Vegas?
Hoyt Corkins — Alabama or Vegas?
Patrik Antonius — Finland or Monaco?

Updated World Standings

by , Jun 20, 2008 | 11:00 am

After 33 of 55 events …

California is making a real run at Nevada as the most powerful poker region in the world.

In the second tier of American poker (below Canada), Texas can’t seem to keep up with Florida in terms of kizzash, nor New York when it comes to sealing the winning deal. It seems only a matter of time before the Russians catch up, as Nikolay Evdakov and his comrades keep going deep.

New countries in the WSOP money: Spain, Belarus, Greece, and New Zealand … Welcome! Spanish players (sorry Greece) take comfort in knowing at least a few TVs are showing the Euro Cup in the Amazon Room.

Also making its first appearance on the 2008 WSOP money list: Vermont! It’s official: All American states and territories that have petitioned to become one have cashed in the World Series. (And Vermont didn’t just eek past the bubble — Shane Stacey from Hyde Park made a final table … finishing 5th to bank a $166k payday.

Point of order … Shannon Shorr’s latest cash — 32nd Place in the $2,500 6-handed NLH — is credited under Alabama, not Nevada. (The Euros also cashed big in this event — go figure, they seem to like 6-handed action.) While we did decide to make Tony G’s Lithuania finish into an Australia (he moved Down Under at age 11), we couldn’t bring ourselves to put Shorr in potential tax trouble — at least not in a way that messed up all our other numbers on the spreadsheet — as he was the one who presumably declared himself residing in Nevada for his $350k bracelet in Event #7. Surely that won’t be relevant in our contrived little Cali vs. NV race, right?

Two homeless moneymakers: If anyone knows where Larry Jafee (sp?) or Larry Michaels is from, please let us know. And don’t go saying Hungary just so they can move past Wyoming and New Brunswick.

Speaking of the Hungarians … Richard Toth scored again for his proud Eastern Euro nation’s 4th ITM finish. Still not enough to move past Wyoming, but keeping pace …

Click below to see the full rundown of poker across political borders:


Tao of Pokerati: Episode 10

by , Jun 18, 2008 | 9:03 pm

In this installment:

Dan pursues diplomatic ties with the nation of Hungary, why Pauly is the David Hasselhoff of poker blogging, and how it’s so nice to see the French and Germans working the poker beat in Euroharmony.

Episode 10: Eurotarded



by , Feb 16, 2008 | 3:26 pm

One of Pokerati’s goals for 2008 is to re-introduce the phrase “in your kitchen” to the poker lexicon. (Basically it means “having someone’s number” — and the ability to play head games to the point that you have a specific opponent making all the wrong moves against you.) While we haven’t yet heard it much at all around the various tables in Las Vegas, we are delighted to see the whole kitchen concept starting to rear its head in England, where our good friends at PartyPoker have introduced the idea of “bageling” Phil Hellmuth.

Click below to read all about how its been shaking down in the Party Premier League in Leyton, where on non-poker days the Party-sponsored Leyton Orient have been kicking arse and are looking strong as they seek promotion from League One to the Champions League. Though things aren’t going as well for my beloved Wigan, the likelihood that they could be relegated as my second-beloved Leyton gets promoted, thereby putting them in the same league is kinda exciting regardless of all the great poker that is getting played overseas.

I still find it funny that the currency used in the Party Premier League is dollars, not pounds.

2007: Year of the non-American Players

by , Jul 18, 2007 | 2:11 am

LAS VEGAS–OK, so maybe the Euros didn’t totally dominate this year as I predicted … and the internet young punks — much to the relief of non-ranting poker traditionalists — couldn’t quite hack it at the final table. Perhaps all the dancing and fist pumps were giving away tells. But what is notable is that of the final five players in the main event this year … not a single American passport.

John Kalmar (who went out in 5th place) hails from England.

Raymond Rahme (currently 2nd in chips) is a South African.

Tuan Lam (originally from Vietnam) is now a Canadian.

Alex Kravchenko, from Moscow, has been doing his part all Series long to establish himself as the Doyle Brunson of Russia.

And Jerry Yang (the chip leader) is from California-via-Laos. But as a refugee, he carries an American green card … not a passport. Apparently refugees have a special piece of paper for traveling internationally.

Interesting, no? I think it all means something.

UPDATE: Yang just busted out Kravchenko — seven hours passed between the 5th place finish and fourth — and the crowd began chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

Meet the Final Table

by , Jul 17, 2007 | 8:28 pm

LAS VEGAS–It’s been a multicultural international affair at the WSOP main event final table today. Here are the bios of the players in contention, courtesy of Nolan Dalla.