Posts Tagged ‘Festa al Lago’

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Selbst, Musumeci, Weisner, and Raymer cap a big tournament weekend

by , Oct 23, 2012 | 5:00 pm

Amanda Musumeci
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Vanessa Selbst $90,693 – Festa Al Lago $5,000 NLH
Melanie Weisner $41,289 – WPT Johannesburg $1,000 NLH
Amanda Musumeci $31,851 – WSOP Hammond $580 NLH
Greg Raymer $72,089 – Heartland Poker Tour Iowa


It was a very good weekend for the fairer sex* at the poker tables, with three of the top women poker players earning victories within hours of each other.

Online grinder Melanie Weisner picked up her first open tournament victory in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em side tournament at the World Poker Tour South Africa event. East coast grinder Amanda Musumeci won her first WSOP Circuit ring at the Hammond Horseshoe, defeating Wendy Freedman heads up to collect. Finally it was uber-grinder/mad poker machine Vanessa Selbst casually winning the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Festa Al Lago series against a few decent players like Negreanu, Justin Young, Andrew Lichtenberger, Dan Shak, and Chris Bjorin at the final table.

* – Yes, I am a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, neanderthal

Their success overshadowed another top result for 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer, again capturing a title at a Heartland Poker Tour stop. He topped the 185 player field in metropolitan Altoona, Iowa for his third HPT title in his last three attempts. Not a bad batting average. Raymer’s last four results:

1st place Heartland Poker Tour Albuquerque – $71,875
35th place The River Poker Series – $1,288 (slacker!)
1st place Heartland Poker Tour St. Louis – $121,973
1st place Heartland Poker Tour Iowa – $72,089

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – The twitter world got their haunches up when a Mr. Howard Lederer decided to play Festa Al Lago at the Bellagio. Christian Harder was the first I saw mention it, including standing next to him in line, but word spread quickly. This is the first time he has been seen in a tournament room, although Lederer has been seen playing cash games recently.


Sorry, Mr. Online Poker. Nobody Cares About You – Most have already put eyes on this article but it’s worth a rehash. PLO expert Jeff Hwang penned this article DailyFinance.com looking at the real numbers behind possible online poker legalization/regulation.

Would Romney Smack Down Online Gambling? – A look at how a Mitt Romney win in the Presidential Election might impact current/future online gambling bills.

EU tightens up online gambling controls – Looks like the European Union will turn the screws a little more, all in the name of “money laundering” and “match-fixing”. Tough to feel bad for our Euro friends since they can still access PokerStars.

Full House with Johnny Chan – This trailer for a new poker show with Johnny Chan is horrible beyond words, not even the good kind of unintentional comedy horrible.


The Poker Beat

by , Oct 25, 2010 | 5:29 pm

Huff, Dan, Jess, BJ, and even Stapleton (with the return of the Tight Laydown?):

The Poker Beat: October 24, 2010

[audio:http://www.pokerroad.com/download/the-poker-beat:86]
  • Poker Hall of Fame inductees Harrington and Seidel, age-minimum debates, and comparisons to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Anonymous tables at Ladbrokes
  • Crespo’s Illinois online poker lawsuit — significant or frivolous?
  • More on WSOP-C’s new power and purpose?
  • WPT-Festa al Lago FT, Randall Flowers, and the Jess & BJ Show
  • Phil Ivey is gay? Craps + multi-phallus fellatio promises at the Wynn

Coming Up Spades: This Week’s Big Winners

by , | 8:20 am

Good morning, ladies and gentleman, and welcome to the beginning of… something. You may know me better as Timtern, of Bluff and PokerRoad (non) fame, and I am the newest contributor to Pokerati. I’m definitely stepping into some giant shoes, so I hope you’ll bare with me as I get settled in. Anyway, here’s what happened this week in tournaments:

  • The biggest money of the week was on the line at the Festa al Lago, the latest stop of Season 9 of the World Poker Tour. There were some heavy-hitting young guns that reached this final table, including Andy Frankenberger, who was coming off of a victory at the Legends of Poker. Randall Flowers managed to add “youngest two-time WPT winner” to an already impressive resume at the tender age of 22. Flowers, who banked $831,500 for his win, was also the youngest to win a WPT title, which he did in Barcelona before he even turned 21. [World Poker Tour]
  • The $1,500 World Series of Poker Circuit at Horseshoe Hammond Main Event wrapped up early Monday morning, with the appropriately named Kurt Jewell snagging the circuit ring and $242,909. Amongst the notables at this final table were William Reynolds, who took third, and Bryan Devonshire taking seventh. The $10,000 Regional Championship, which will air on Versus, will get underway Monday. [WSOP]
  • There are many different options for the members of the November Nine as they prepare for the WSOP final table. They could follow the major poker tours and play other big buy-in events, take a trip to clear their minds, or hire a coach to fine-tune their skills. Or, as in the case of Filippo Candio, they could get in amongst the grinders and play a $230 prelim event, in this case Event #1 at the Caesars Classic. Candio brought his A-Game in this one, reaching the final table in the 232 player field before falling just short in 3rd place, banking a cool$4,726. (The attached story is in Italian, so if you don’t have a knowledge of the language it might be time to crack out the Google translator, or maybe go old school and try Babelfish). [Tuttosport]
  • Maybe Candio started a trend, as he wasn’t the only November Niner doing well in prelims. With the World Poker Finals Main Event (the next stop on the WPT) fast approaching, John Dolan made a deep run in a $1,500 event, eventually making a three-way deal and taking second place for $45,000. In a twist that might be more appropriate for Soccerati, ESPN Soccer commentator Adrian Healey took third place for $40,000. [Foxwoods Live]
  • In the online world, Sorel Mizzi started things off early with a win in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $149,737.10. The biggest money of the day online was to be had in the $1.5 million guarantee, with “Bodog Ari” Engel making the final table and finishing seventh for $32,856; “ramondemon” won $246,424 for taking that one down. On the FullTilt side of things, “EatMyBluff8” was the big winner in their $750,000 guarantee, winning $135,939.
  • And just in time for Halloween, we have a tale from beyond the grave. The late, great Dean Martin made the final table in a recent Borgata $1,000 event. Although I always thought Atlantic City was more a Sinatra town. Oh well. [Cardplayer]

This Week in Poker

by , Oct 24, 2010 | 3:20 am

This Week:

Ty Stewart — new WSOP stuff, Poker Hall of Fame, more WSOPE bracelet debate.
Matt Savage — WPT-Bellagio/Festa al Lago.
Matt Affleck — more WPT-Bellagio/Festa, Washington State, 15th place at WSOP.
Trishelle Canatella — beauty quiz + poker.

Watch the show, and readmore here.


BJ & the Redhead with 10 Minutes and an iPad

by , Oct 18, 2010 | 11:03 am

My goodness, how many new poker (and non-poker) internet shows can there be … it’s like everyone in the world has a built-in laptop cam and a connection to the internet!

But this new venture from a couple of Poker Beat cohorts on the tournament coverage frontlines could actually do it for me, as I can’t think of a more morning-friendly way to find out all I need to know about WPT-Bellagio/Festa as it nears the money bubble. It’s like Regis & Kelly for poker junkies in a G4 generation.

Topics of the day include Allen Kessler, Phil Ivey, Annette Obrestad, and Matt Affleck … but really, it’s way more fun that that. 🙂


Bellagio Bathroom Bandit Strikes

Reported armed robbery at Festa al Lago

by , Oct 11, 2010 | 4:06 pm

Scott Montgomery, 2008 November Niner … he has a bracelet now, but presumably wasn’t wearing it this weekend when he says he got accosted by a knife-wielding bandit inside a Bellagio bathroom. (While taking a leak? That could make a difference in this sitch.)

With all due respect to Montgomery’s 5th place WSOP main-event finish and his donkament bracelet this summer, he’s clearly no Greg Raymer. Montgomery declined his assailant’s implied invitation to brawl for money, and instead simply handed him $2,000 in cash (mo chips?) … yeow, what does it say about the economy when Bellagio doesn’t have armed shoe-shine guys on duty?

From the Cake Poker blog:

Montgomery was at Bellagio to play in a Festa al Lago preliminary event and went to the bathroom on a break from the tournament. As he described it on his Twitter account, “Got mugged today at Bellagio. Black guy pulled a knife on me in the restroom. I gave him the $2k in my wallet and he left.”

“I called security, but they took like 15 mins so they didn’t catch him. They are useless twits. Didn’t even ask me to look at camera footage,” Montgomery continued. “Security pretty much just said oh well, life sucks, have a nice day. I’m pretty annoyed.”

Bellagio Poker ≈ Binion’s Self Park?

Though two instances (that we heard about) over the span of nearly 6 years hardly constitute a trend, you just don’t expect certain kinds of violence in luxe resorts with multiple guards outside the parking garage looking for casually waving through possible Al Qaeda terrorists. I mean what is center-Strip, not dark-alley downtown Vegas or daytime Berlin!

But it was indeed at Bellagio — during the 5-diamond — where armed robbers discovered not all bracelet-winning poker players were easy marks. In that situation, December 2004, Greg Raymer, poker’s newest big world champ, fought off two attackers with guns. According to reports, they got away, too (as security let them pass) … however, were caught some five months later in California, and brought back to Las Vegas for trial. (I believe sentenced to something like 3 years, not sure though …)

Pokerati PSA: Remember, next time you’re being attacked in the Bellagio or anywhere in Vegas really, you can tweet for help @LVMPD, hashtag #911.


BWOTEOW: 10/31/09

by , Oct 31, 2009 | 8:28 am

A few fledgling careers getting a bankroll boost, a couple accomplished players cementing their stati as big-time pros, and one not-so-old legend proving (to himself?) he’s still got something … all in the last two weeks of October:

tommy vedes pokerTommy Vedes
Festa al Lago (Bellagio)
Las Vegas

New Yorker Tommy Vedes has been on a cross-continental tear — with 9 cashes, 6 final tables, and 2 wins in the past four months for more than $1.7 million in tournament winnings — at events in Las Vegas, London, Cyprus, Tunica, and Thackerville, Okla. His run may or may not have culminated this month with a made-for-TV WPT victory against a pro-heavy 275-player field in the $15k Festa main event.

Check out Vedes’ lifetime stats

howard ledererHoward Lederer
Festa al Lago (Bellagio)
Las Vegas

New York émigré @howardhlederer may have been starting to doubt himself upon realizing he had only two wins in 25 WSOP final tables, and no victories anywhere in nearly two years. Fortunes changed with the latest $10k HORSE event in Las Vegas, kinda an “old school” tourney (19 entries, $92k top prize) that Lederer self-covered on Twitter.

Read why the Professor should always be your official “pick to win it”

isaac baronIsaac Baron (“westmenloAA”)
Caesar’s Palace Classic
Las Vegas

Confirmed online tournament bad-ass showed he could close it out live in LV by winning the $5k main event at Caesar’s for a $250k payday. The 22-year-old beat a tough final table, too, bettering Theo Tran, Jimmy Tran, Kathy Liebert, and 2008 EPT Grand Final Champ Glen Chorny — a rematch of sorts, as Baron finished 4th at that final table.

More on Isaac Baron’s continuing climb

More…


Deeb Seeks Record-Tying WPT Win Today

by , Oct 26, 2009 | 11:22 am

Short jokes aside, “the little corporal” of poker is on a Napoleonic quest to dominate the poker world … or at least the WPT.

The WPT Festa al Lago final table gets underway this afternoon/eve (4pm PT). After all the early tourney hubbub about super-late registrations and related blind structures, the final table looks not unlike just about every other WPT final table — with one well-known pro, one kinda-sorta known pro (Vedes), and four other guys.

Freddy Deeb is the chip leader going into today’s action, but not by much. This is Deeb’s fifth WPT final table (out of 70 appearances) and stands to be his third win, which would tie the WPT bracelet record currently held by Gus Hansen. Deeb also has two WSOP bracelets to his name.

The Festa al Lago final table, by chip count, with seats yet to be drawn:

1. Freddy Deeb – 3,840,000
2. Shawn Cunix – 3,670,000
3. Tommy Vedes – 2,990,000
4. Craig Crivello – 2,570,000
5. Jason Lavallee – 2,045,000
6. Jason Burt – 1,375,000

You can follow the play-by-play at WorldPokerTour.com or via PokerListings here.


Poker around Town

by , Oct 21, 2009 | 2:22 am

Big players are (back) in Las Vegas … low Festa al Lago prelim field sizes suggest nothing is as it was a couple years ago, but the higher-stakes action is moving at Bellagio … or at least arriving there.

Seen last night at North valet:

bellagio license plate

Also seen a little off to the side by our secret valet informant: David Levi exchanging cash through a car window with presumed backer Eli Elezra. (Not sure which direction it was going, though. New guy, lots of cars to park … )


Super-Deep Stacks, Late Registrations

WPT Festa al Lago $15k Main Event

by , Oct 20, 2009 | 5:55 pm

We low-stakes players love the deep-stack events … but as Matt Savage pointed out this summer, and a concern that Andy Bloch has re-raised more recently, big-time pro tourneys don’t necessarily benefit in the same way from these structures.

(The basics of the beef: the blinds move too slow early, and too fast in the middle of the tournament.)

Should be extra interesting to see these issues in action tomorrow for the start of the WPT Festa al Lago $15k main event. Not only are stack sizes in relation to the blinds in play, but also — and I’m pretty sure this part is new — players will be allowed to late-register (with a totally fresh starting stack) well into Day 2!

For a better explanation, WPT Lead Tournament Reporter BJ Nemeth breaks it down a bit more. Says BJ:

There are currently 40 players registered for this WPT event, & there is only one starting day (tomorrow).

Like the December tourney, this one will let you register anytime during the first *eight* levels. [So] they’re letting players register until 5:00 pm on Day TWO.

This tourney begins with 60,000 in chips (4x stack) and blinds at 50-100. That’s 600 big blinds. (Though I still expect someone to bust in the first level or two.)

If you skip Day 1 and show up at the start of Day 2, you’ll have 75 big blinds to work with. If you wait as long as possible and begin play at the start of Level 9, you’ll have 37.5 big blinds in your stack.

Hmm, OK … we’ll have to see if this adds fuel to Andy Bloch’s fire, or satisfies those who pony up the $15k buy-in enough that complaints about overly deep stacks fail to grow any teeth. Word is that tournament-side WSOP officials will be watching closely at how it plays out.

Click below to see Bellagio’s venerable TD Jack McClelland’s blind structure for tomorrow’s big event in its entirety:

More…


Festa al Lago Underway

With Phelps and Schneider out, there will be no Pokerati patch at the final table

by , Oct 20, 2008 | 7:14 pm

Early reports from the $15k main event of WPT Festa al Lago (at Bellagio) … Michael Phelps showed up to play … he’s out. And our favorite Donkey Bomber also just got bombed … he got it all-in with Aces only to have his opponent flop quad Queens.

Yikes, when I said “Feel My Pain,” I didn’t mean it so literally.

I’m following the so-so coverage not-so-closely via CardPlayer.com. A lotta pros … looks to be smaller than last year. Big-name pros playing mostly today (Hellmuth, Brunson, Negreanu, G.Smith, et al), probably because they’ve got the big premier of their poker musical (The Real Deal) at the Venetian tomorrow night.