Posts Tagged ‘Heartland Poker Tour’

Instapoker

by , Jul 26, 2012 | 11:34 am

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.


Instapoker

by , Jul 19, 2012 | 2:42 pm

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”.


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WSOP on Tour: ’11-’12 Circuit Season Kicks off in Shreveport

by , Jul 15, 2011 | 5:32 pm

screen cap wsop live

Josh E (right) went from Southern circuit grinder to playing heads-up “live minus five” in Las Vegas for more than $600k and a magic bracelet on my iPhone.

The WSOP-Circuit has been good to many a Pokeratier and Pokeratizen alike. It’s a place where minor-league heroes are born … and some build the bankroll to live life as a real pro. With the Global poker year coming to a close this week, for so many serious players it’s time to think about starting all over and hitting the grind again.

(Only this go-round will be completely without Sunday Millions or Rush Poker bankroll supplements.)

Players get a month-and-a-half break … and then it’s off to Bossier City — “Shreveport,” we used to call it  — for the beginning of the 8th incarnation of the WSOP-Circuit season. (Texas politicians take note: the Dallas market alone is so juicy that the WSOP added a second stop to serve it.)

TOURNAMENT DATES LOCATION
Sep 8-19, 2011 Horseshoe Bossier City (Louisiana)
Sep 29 – Oct 10, 2011 Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Oct 13-24, 2011 Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
Oct 27 – Nov 7, 2011 IP Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi, MS)
Nov 10-21, 2011 Harveys Lake Tahoe
Dece 1-12, 2011 Harrah’s Atlantic City
Jan 12-23, 2012 Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)
Jan 19-30, 2012 Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
Feb 2-13, 2012 Harrah’s Tunica (Mississippi)
Feb 16-27, 2012 Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
Mar 1-12, 2012 Caesars Atlantic City
Mar 15-26, 2012 Harrah’s Rincon (San Diego area)
Mar 29 – Apr 9, 2012 Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa)
Apr 12-23, 2012 Harrah’s St. Louis
Apr 26 – May 7, 2012 Harrah’s Chester (Philadelphia)
May 10 – May 21, 2012 Harrah’s New Orleans

Below the jump for the details on what’s different this year. New point system, adios $10ks, “12 rings in 12 days.” New stop, obv. It’s Rounders & Road Gamblers — hey, that sounds like “social gaming” — brought to you by the World Series of Poker!

[Beow-neow-neow beow-neow neow … ]

The WPT has its own version of a lower-stakes Circuit tour, of course — in similar locations — and now Epic/Heartland seems to be stepping in to make something more of the recreational-to-semi-pro players who swarm from up to 250 miles away to compete in mini-poker festivals wrapped around a $1,500-ish main event.

It’s arguably the most competitive part of the live poker landscape in the US these days. Wonder if all WSOP Circuit events will offer free Wi-Fi.

More…


Epic Poker Pro-Am to Be Broadcast via Heartland TV

by , Jul 12, 2011 | 11:33 pm

I won my seat early … and since then I’ve been watching the field grow for Epic Poker’s inaugural $1,500 pro-am at the Palms, Pokerati’s regular low-stakes NLH/PLO home.

With @Donkeybomber so far my toughest potential competition … well, let’s just say I’m starting to get excited about the actual poker at hand in early August. And though TV exposure had nothing to do with my initial interest … that’s apparently now part of it, with Epic’s recently acquired sister company, the Heartland Poker Tour, coming to Vegas to film the tournament for syndicated distribution on its nationwide network of local TV stations, some of which are actually in HD.

(Yay!)

That might seem a little minor-league for the more-pro, less-am players in Vegas … but hey, this $1,500 event will be my second-biggest tournament to play in ever — so HPT coverage seems just about right for me and Tom Schneider at this point in my pro career. Having won my way into the August 5-7 tournament, I’ve clearly got game that’s ready for UHF.

nevada license plate bingo

Satellites running at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday in the Key West Room at the Palms.


Darvin Moon Signed

Sponsor-resistant November Niner selling out to Heartland Poker Tour?

by , Mar 9, 2011 | 8:11 pm

Darvin Moon stood out among the ’09 November Nine not for the play that got him 2nd place (and $5.2 million) … but because he stood alone. The logger who had never been on a “big airplane” before the WSOP refused to accept upwards of a half million dollars to simply wear a patch for the likes of Full Tilt, PokerStars, or anyone else … because, basically he didn’t wanna be anyone’s bitch. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

But soon to be announced and official, the hapless poker multimillionaire from western Maryland has apparently caved — signing a deal with the Heartland Poker Tour to serve as their “ambassador” and wear HPT gear in all tourneys, including the WSOP.

This comes from a plenty reliable source; however, said source would not confirm (nor deny!) that Darvin Moon is near-broke and thus rethinking his aversion to wearing poker-related patches … but did confirm that no poker agents were involved in signing the agreement.

Moon, of course, was the unsignable runner-up at the 2009 WSOP … making him pretty much the opposite of Dennis Phillips, and the only November Niner ever not to be patched up at the main event final table. He also snubbed the WSOP this past November by turning down repeated invitations to be part of 2010 November Nine festivities in Las Vegas, opting instead to play a $1k HPT event at the Meskwaki Casino Bingo Hotel in Tama, Iowa.

One of my favorite fights with Katkin is on the value of Darvin Moon as a sponsored player. I dig the dude as a character … and consider him good for … nay, great extra=solid for poker — while Katkin (clearly stuck in his ’06-’07ish glory-days poker-world mindset) I think believes his donk play and non-pro, non-online nature make him the wrong guy for the WSOP to celebrate in their commercials. To which I say … hater.


Have You Seen Me?

Wolf Blitzer-looking Darvin Moon winner missing

by , Feb 4, 2011 | 8:47 pm

Don’t think anyone’s quite ready to put out an Amber Alert … but the guy seen here, name unknown, went missing in post-bubble action during the Heartland Poker Tour’s recent Red Rock Vegas stop. Anyone recognize him? Darvin Moon owes him money.

It’s not that Darvin’s trying to welch — in fact I’m pretty sure he’s already handed over chips to HPT executives — but this man won half of Darvin’s action in a charity raffle and apparently skedaddled off before filling out his contact info form. Moon finished in 37th place, for a $1,487 score.

It was an $1,100 event, so not sure if the 50 percent of Darvin’s payday that mystery dude’s got coming is gross or net. Also not sure who gets the extra dollar. But regardless, if anyone recognizes or knows this guy and/or his lady friend … there’s either $194 or $744 somewhere with no name on it waiting for them.

BTW, it seems those friendly Fargoans (Fargoers? Fargocites?) might be getting sick of 20-foot snow tsunamis and temperatures in the negative digits. They’re coming back to Vegas in a couple weeks … for a charity event with Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson and Phil Hellmuth. Raise Your Hand for Africa looks to be a celeb-packed event … and not necessarily your usual poker-playing Hollywooders.

Then they’re headed to Reno in May for Jen Harman’s annual SPCA charity event, which is moving from the Venetian to Peppermill — for an event HPT’s production crew will be televising.


A Tipping Point

Know how dealers make a living before deciding how much or little to leave

by , Feb 1, 2011 | 2:41 am

Chad Harberts


OP-ED

I recently set off a minor controversy when I mentioned to @Pokerati that a Red Rock Casino poker dealer complained that new Heartland Poker champion Rob Perelman (@veerob) didn’t leave a dealer tip at the conclusion of the tournament.

First, I do not know Rob at all and was not making an accusation against him. I merely passed along the information because I knew @Pokerati had been covering the tournament. Second, as with any tournament cash of any size, Rob is free to spend or not spend his money any way he pleases. (He later tweeted that he tipped $2,000 on his $158,755 cash. The confusion being that he left the tip the next day after most of the dealers were gone and not directly after the tournament.)

Still, I believe the practice of tipping is an aspect of poker that merits discussion. Certainly, there is no standard for tipping in cash games or tournaments, and a lot is left to chance when the casino and other players alike rely on winners to pick up the check.

You may not agree with me to tip 10% of winnings of more than $10,000 in a poker tournament, but you can certainly agree that .00025% is extremely low!

Mike Caro makes a number of salient points when it comes to tipping in both cash games and tournaments in his article from 2006 here. How one player tips in poker is probably no different than how the same player tips at a restaurant or when getting a haircut.

Some players think that the part of a poker tournament buy-in withheld from the prize pool should cover everything. I have heard that of the house cut for the HPT main event (a $1000+100 tournament), $50 went to Red Rock Casino and $50 to the Heartland Poker Tour. I find it a little incredulous that a Las Vegas casino would split the house cut 50/50, but it’s possible.

More…


This Week’s Big Winners – January 17th

by , Jan 17, 2011 | 6:29 pm

This week was an incredible one on the tournament scene, with tons of stuff going on down in the Bahamas. Between the millions of dollars on the line, dozens of tournaments held, and the small detail of a live broadcast of the final table of the PCA Main Event on ESPN2, they dominated the news this week. Or they would have, if any of the members of the media were actually doing their job, rather than racking up impressive scores of their own this week.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas)

Main Event
One of the biggest experiments, at least in the United States, in the history of televised poker, the broadcast of the final table of the PCA did anything but disappoint. A collection of young talent was looking up at Chris Oliver, a 21-year-old Florida native who held 42% of the chips in play, more than twice that of second place Galen Hall entering the final day of play. Phillipe Plouffe and Max Weinberg (no relation to the former Conan O’Brien and E-Street band drummer) hit the rail early, and they were followed by Bolivar Palacios. Each player earned more than $200,000, with Palacios earning a nice haul of $450K.

The two players who entered this final table with the biggest previous results were Sam Stein and Mike Sowers. Stein’s biggest cash entering this final table was a 2nd place finish at the NAPT Venetian last year for over $500,000, and he also has a WPT final table under his belt. Sowers finished 3rd at the LAPC in 2009 for $650,000 and added a WSOP final table later that same year. Both fell victim to the Oliver buzz saw, as Sowers exited in 5th place and Stein right behind him in 4th.

The quietest player at the table by far was Romanian Anton Ionel. By far the oldest player at the table, Ionel made quite a parlay, riding his $33 satellite win to the final three of the tournament. He played very few hands throughout and the blinds eventually caught up to him, but not before Ionel was able to turn $33 into $1.35 million.

When heads-up play began, Oliver held a chip lead of 4-1, but Hall methodically picked his spots and avoided disaster. The pivotal hand was actually one that Hall folded, and is likely to be a hand that will be discussed for a long time to come. On a board reading [5d][3d][2c][2h][As], Hall bet out 2 million with [8c][4h], leaving himself about 8 million behind at 100,000-200,000. It was a disaster card for Hall, as Oliver had hit a runner-runner full house with [Ad][2s]. Oliver eventually moved all-in, and in shockingly little time Hall was able to fold his wheel, preserve his stack, and keep the match going.

Oliver once again extended his lead to 4-1, but Hall went on a rush, and within an hour had turned the deficit around into a significant advantage. At the end of a heads-up battle that lasted over 200 hands, it was Galen Hall taking the 2011 PCA Main Event crown and the $2.3 million first prize. Chris Oliver settled for second, but he has $1.8 million to wipe his tears away. [PokerStars Blog]

$25,000 High Roller
I’ll preface this by saying there are billions of people who are truly unlucky in the world and have to deal with real world issues. It’s hard to argue against the fact that William Molson’s PCA High Roller record is one of the unluckiest out there. While he was comforted by the second place money each time, in both 2009 and 2010, Molson finished as the runner-up in this event.

This year’s table would not be much easier, featuring Jason Mercier, David Baker and Erik Seidel, amongst others. But this time William Molson sealed the deal, topping off an incredibly impressive three year run by taking down the $25,000 High Roller event and a first place prize of over $1 million. [PokerStars Blog]

Ladies’ Event
The Twitter stream was going crazy this past weekend as people back in the states (or elsewhere in the Bahamas) cheered on Kristin “change100” Bihr as she vied for the Ladies’ Event title. A veteran poker writer and reporter, Bihr had satellited into the tournament and was working on a pretty nice parlay of her own. She was up against a pretty impressive collection of players that included Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren and Lauren Kling, as well as ’90s talk show host Ricki Lake.

change100

Most of the updates during the tournament came via @taopauly Tweets, and by the end of the night, @change100 had become a local trending topic in Las Vegas. Mostly thanks in part to the fact that change100 defeated Kling heads-up to take the crown and a cash of just under $30,000. Congratulations to her on her monster cash. [PokerStars Blog]

Heartland Poker Tour – Red Rock (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Anyone who has been around the poker scene over the last few years has almost certainly run into Rob “veeRob” Perelman. One of the hardest working guys in the game, you can be sure that he’s behind the scenes on some of your favorite poker television programs, and if you’ve ever tried to keep track of a Matt Savage tournament, you likely have veeRob to thank for excellent coverage as well as comprehensive live streaming.

Perelman found himself at the final table of the HPT event at Red Rocks Sunday night, entering as the chip leader. He faced some stiff competition that included Joanne “JJ” Liu. It was really no big deal for veeRob, though, as he found a way to take the title (and likely the remainder of the media rungood for the year, thanks a lot) and an astounding first place prize of $158,000. A big congrats to Rob as well, though I’m sure he’s setting up a live stream for an LAPC prelim as we speak. [HPT]

Coming Up…

This week will see the Main Event at the WSOPC Choctaw in Oklahoma, just outside of Dallas, and a Main Event will take place at the India Poker Series as well. Action will continue at the Aussie Millions in Australia, the Southern Poker Championship in Biloxi, MS, and tournaments will be starting at the LAPC in LA as well as in Atlantic City for their Winter Poker Championships. One of the busiest times of the poker year, to be sure.

PCA photos courtesy of PokerStarsBlog.com. HPT photos courtesy of heartlandpokertour.com.


Video Interview: Darvin Moon at Foxwoods

We talk steak, Seinfeld, runbad, and fishing in West Virginia

by , Dec 12, 2010 | 11:44 am

Watch this interview I just did with Darvin now in early stages of Day 2 $1,000 +$100 at the Foxwoods Mega Stack XVIII where 39/265 players remain fighting for the top prize of just under $62k.

We talk Foxwoods tourney room, steak/Seinfeld vs. lobster/rockbands, his latest streak of run bad, and where he’s going to next (Heartland Poker Tour @ Red Rock in January).

Other plans may include a trip to West Virginia casinos with yours truly to the casino where he won his WSOP ticket in 2009 -> we are going *fishing*!


Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII Hosted by Darvin Moon

by , Dec 2, 2010 | 11:33 am

Darvin may have just-said-no to an invite to the WSOP final table this year, but that doesn’t mean his participation in poker tourneys is finito.

From the heartlands to New England, Darvin Moon has spent the latter part of 2010 running the tournament hosting circuit.  Hosting the Mega Stack Challenge XVII with Chris Moneymaker in August, and making two stops along the Heartland Poker Tour in Iowa/Michigan in the past month, Darvin will be hosting and playing in Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII $375,000 Guarantee kicking off Saturday in Mashantucket, CT – not too far from Darvin’s homebase in Maryland.

Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII
December 4-12, 2010

$500+$60 NLHE (2 day) -> $75k guarantee – 20k/50 min
$200+$30 NLHE Re-Entry (2 day, 4 flights 1A/1B) -> $100k guarantee – 8k/30 min
$100+$20 NLHE Deep Stack Special -> $10k guarantee – 15k/20 min
$125+$50+$25 NLHE Bounty Deep Stack-> $15k guarantee – 15k/25 min
$300+$40 NLHE (2 day) -> $75k guarantee – 15k/40 min
$1,000+$100 NLHE Main Event (2 day) -> $100k guarantee – 40k/50 min

Bernard Lee, the Foxwoods Poker Room spokesperson who TV-tabled the HPT Michigan Season Finale a couple weeks back with a 5th place finish, invited Pokerati along to catch the action.

Visit the foxwoodslive.com for @WhoJedi‘s tournament coverage updates.
Follow the @FoxwoodsPoker for event twitfeed.

Follow me @scarlet_lv for other behind-the-scenes updates from Connecticut.


HPT Championship Open Final TV Table Results

Michigan auto worker takes it down for $177k; Hamrick, Lee out 4th, 5th

by , Nov 22, 2010 | 3:45 pm

The HPT Soaring Eagle Six took to the TV felt circa 6:45p EST/3:45 LV last night.  There were a number of notables sweating this final table – Darvin and Wendy Moon were on the rail for the entire evening, and Scotty Nguyen made a (brief) appearance.

Though none of the eleven Season VI HPT Champs ran deep to the Six, many of them stuck around the extra night to sweat the final table including HPT POY Bryan Reisner, Las Vegas grinder Kimbo Ung, US Army Staff Sergeant Jason Fennel, aspiring American Idol singer Kurt Fraser, and an extremely personable Matt “MyTmase” Mason (who was diligently counting chipstacks all throughout Day 2.)

Here are the results:

HPT Soaring Eagle Season VI ->$1500 +$150 Main Event
1st: $176,865 Ahmed Harajli
2nd: $88,434 Joey Brown
3rd: $53,060 Jordan Rowan
4th: $41,269 Dean Hamrick
5th: $35,374 Bernard Lee
6th: $29,478 Chuck Earl

The taping of the final table lasted about 5 hours. Chuck Earl was the first to exit the taping area when Dean Hamrick’s big slick & ace-on-the-river combo beat Earl’s Queens.  Pros Dean Hamrick and Bernard Lee busted out 4th and 5th place, respectively.  Early on, Bernard went on a heater, shoving four consecutive times, while everyone folded and urged him to knock it off until on the last hand he showed kings.

Cowboys were not good to him in the endgame – he took a particularly nasty beat when his pockets fell short to 10s, when the case 10 hit the turn (another player revealed after the hand he was holding the other out), ending his tournament life.  Shortly thereafter, Hamrick ran his 33s into QQs, leaving him on the shortstack.  In the next hand, he pushed allin with K-rag vs. AQ, but it did not get there, and he left with fourth place money.

I happened upon the pair conversing during the break just after Lee’s shove-shove-shove-and-shove fest at the FT.

Here is the link to the interview where they discuss running deep together in the $1500 2010 WSOP Main Event where Hamrick won his first bracelet-> rungood.tv| ESPN Inside Deal Host Bernard Lee and Dean Hamrick Square Off at Heartland Poker Tour TV Table

Jordan Rowan cashed out soon after at 3rd, leaving headups to Joey Brown and Ahmed Harajli.  I’m interested to watch the broadcast of this matchup, because without seeing the hole cards, it still was more entertaining to me than watching the Duhamel-Racener matchup streaming on XBox Live. In the end, Joey went all in shortstacked with K5 against Ahmed 10s.  Ahmed’s hand held up, making him champ of the HPT Season VI Finale, surviving a field of 413 players.

Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle, patched in UB, presented the Michigan native with his $176,865.  I overheard the floor saying that Ahmed, showing some real class, requested to donate a portion of his winnings to the Disabled American Veterans charity.


HPT Championship Open Final TV Table Update

Bernard Lee and Dean Hamrick make the cut; Tiffany Michelle out 7th

by , Nov 21, 2010 | 4:38 pm

The final TV table of six players has been reached at the Heartland Poker Tour “Championship Open” $1500 +$150 Main Event at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Six major names in poker played in this two-day event. Scotty Nguyen was eliminated mid Day 1, while Darvin Moon exited the tournament area in the final levels of that day.  Maria Ho finished in the cash earlier today on Day 2.

Tiffany Michelle was TV table “bubble girl”, eliminated by big stack Joey Brown, finishing 7th of 413 entrants and taking home $19,927.

Making the final six was ESPN Inside Deal host and poker pro Bernard Lee, who decided to enter in the tourney at the last minute. Another pro at the table, who has played Bernard previously, is WSOP 2008 Main Event bubble boy Dean Hamrick.  Dean won his first bracelet this year at a $1500 WSOP 2010 NLHE event, and cashed in two others.

Seat Assignments/Chip Counts
Seat 1: Dean Hamrick 715,000
Seat 2: Joey Brown 2,020,000
Seat 3: Bernard Lee 680,000
Seat 4: Chuck Earl 450,000
Seat 5: Jordan Rowan 850,000
Seat 6: Ahmed Harajli 1,520,000

Payouts
1st: $176, 865
2nd: $88,434
3rd: $53,060
4th: $41,269
5th: $35,374
6th: $29,478

Blinds will be set according to the *secret* HPT TV Table magic formula (??) and will last 40 minutes. Cards will be in the air shortly at approximately 6:45p EST/3:45p Vegas.

Follow me @scarlet_lv today for live-tweets from the rail.


Heartland Poker Tour Season Finale Main Event Day 1 Update

Day 2 begins as Tiffany Michelle, Bernard Lee, Maria Ho run deep; Nguyen, Moon busted

by , | 7:56 am

Day 1 of the Heartland Poker Tour “Championship Open” $1500 +$150 Main Event tagged-and-bagged @ around midnight at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, MI with 60 players remaining of the original field of 413 (*huge* for HPT.)  This is the finale for season VI of the TV show, and tour regulars comment that it is by far the most star-studded event in their history.

There were five notable pros playing the Main, who attending the PPA-sponsored charity bounty tourney benefiting the Disabled American Veterans on Thursday.

Tiffany Michelle & Maria Ho = future USO?

@TheScottyNguyen was the first of them to fall on D1, with his aces cracked in Level 6 (see rungood.tv|bustout interview vid.)  Darvin Moon’s 99’s pre-flop shortshack jam fell to 77’s set late in Level 11.  @TiffnyMichelle and ESPN Poker’s @BernardLeePoker are healthy; @MariaHo has just over 10BBs.

Play for D2 resumes shortly after 10a EST/7a Vegas today at L13 (40 min levels), playing to 6.  The final TV table of the “HPT Six” is scheduled to begin taping @ 5p EST/2p Vegas.

POI (person-o-interest) Chip Counts:

Tiffany Michelle: 162.5k
Brandon Dosch: (HPT Champ & POY Contender): 162.5k
Matt Alexander: (HPT Champ & POY Contender): 136.5k
Bernard Lee: 118k
Maria Ho: 68.5k

Average Stack = 103,250
Big Stack ~ 230k

Day 2 -> L13 Antes/Blinds = 500/3k/6k

Cash bubble @ 41 players today, and the winner will take down an estimated ~ $177k. (hey, I’m not @KevMath y’all, even *inside* the tourney room.)

Follow @TiffnyMichelle, @BernardLeePoker, @MariaHo for table-twitfeed.
Follow me @scarlet_lv today for live-tweets from the rail.


Scenes from a Poker Peek Room

Embedded with the HPT TV production crew

by , Nov 8, 2010 | 1:21 pm

TAMA, IOWA–I was dressed in TV-crew ninja wear (head-to-toe-black) in the “peek room” of the Heartland Poker Tour as the final table of the Main Event was being filmed last night. This area is where the pre-production of the popular poker show happens, behind the TV set/final table. The producer, Fred Bevill, communicates with the floor director, who controls the action at the table, and several computer monitors are set up to show the hole cams, and a birds-eye view of the board.

But (really) all I wanted to do to get a look at a live hole cam feed.

And just so you know…there is absolutely no mocking of play going on here, but wtf was he thinking shoving with a K-3 off ?! One of the views shown is a not often used used “rabbit hunt” camera, where the dealer can opt to flash the remaining board cards in big hands that don’t go to the river.

The players remain miked up throughout the entire final table taping, and the feed’s broadcast in the peek room — even on breaks in the bathroom, where it’s sometimes impossible for the guys in the peek room not to mock the action they’re listening in on.


Darvin Moon Declines WSOP Invite to November Nine

Opts instead for HPT-Iowa main event satellites, steak

by , Nov 6, 2010 | 1:50 pm

TAMA, IOWA–The poker world is communing en masse at the Penn & Teller Theater in Vegas throughout the weekend — if not in real-life then via Twitter and/or ESPN3.  But one person not taking part in the festivities is November Nine alum Darvin Moon.

“I have no reason to be out there,” says Moon. “I’m not playing.”  But that doesn’t mean that the WSOP didn’t want last year’s runner-up to be there, front and center. In fact, according to one conversation I eavesdropped on between Darvin and a Heartland Poker Tour in the hotel lobby, Harrah’s practically begged him to attend the event.  He declined, and instead is here at the Meskwaki Bingo Casino in Iowa with the “real people” of poker.

I caught Darvin on vid late last night, filming from the ten seat of his tourney table.  He was on break, well on the road to successfully satelitte-ing into the HPT Main Event, which starts today.  Here are some snippets from our table talk:

Q: World Series offered for you to come to the taping of the November Nine, correct?
A: Yeah they called and invited me out, but I refused. Watching poker, without playing, is like watching paint dry.

Q: And that’s why you played the Main Event this year at the Series?
A: I play for the money. The bracelet don’t mean nothing to me. I’m after the cash.

Q: I saw you playing over at the 1/2 tables. How’d you do?
A: I got my ass beat. You got any money, and you play me in cash, you’re gonna get it.

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