Posts Tagged ‘Macau’

Wider World of Poker

by , Oct 20, 2012 | 3:21 am

After very literally emerging from a Soviet bunker over the past week, I’m finding it difficult to integrate myself back into sublime British capitalism. Having a Russian man dispassionately tell you that, “now vee are in nuclear war,” as an alarming red light flashes in an underground corridor will do things to a man. Luckily there’s a whole warhead’s worth of worldwide poker news to help me readjust to society. Read on, you snivelling imperialist dogs. Oh, sorry.

Bodog Shifts Priorities

Making good on last week’s threats, Bodog have undertaken a daring raid into Asia. After abandoning their poker products throughout Europe, the copmany have welcomed TLC88.com onto their network, in an attempt to shift the focus of their business from West to East. [CardPlayer]

Possibly, but probably not, coincidentally, on the same day as Bodog confirmed their new parternship Sunderland A.F.C. – a mid-table team in the highest echelon of English football – announced TCL88.com as their official betting and gaming partner. [SAFC.com]

France Masters Tournaments

There’s a distinctly Gallic feel to the big tournament results this week. Firstly the France Poker Series event in Mazagan, Morocco reached a dénouement. The victor was Karim El Rharbaoui, who picked up around €44,000 for his efforts. [Poker777]

Meanwhile, down in the boot of Europe, the EPT San Remo was grinding its way to a finale, with the French-sounding Canadian Jason Lavallee and actual French person Ludovic Lacay engaging in a swift heads up battle. Real France beat out psuedo-France to take the title. [Poker News Daily]

PokerStars Macau Announcement

I don’t often include tournament announcements in this roundup, but I think that news of anything new coming out of Macau is particularly interesting, given how under exploited it is. In fact, only PokerStars seem to have really grasped the bull by the horns (dragon by the ears?) so far as tournaments are concerned. To stand alongside the likes of the Macau Poker Cup, Stars have announced the Asian Championship of Poker – a $13k NLHE event that kicks off in just over a week. [Tight Poker]

Full Tilt Reward System Teased

If you were fond of building up Ironman streaks and cashing in 27% rakeback deals on your Full Tilt account then you’ll have to carry on pining. Full Tilt’s new reward system, details of which have been dribbled out onto 2+2, is a totally different animal. There does appear to be the possibility of earning a decent internal rakeback, but a move to the Weighted Contribution method will reward the aggressive player more than the tight. [Poker News Daily]

Dwan and Isildur on Tilt Again

Speaking of aggressive poker, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Tom “durrrr” Dwan will be reuniting on the virtual felt of Full Tilt as paid up members of the site’s new roster. Respectively the most exciting names in high stakes cash games for the last few years, Blom and Dwan join Gus Hansen in Full Tilt’s reformed team of sponsored pros. [PokerNews]

France and Spain Cosy Up

No doubt hastened by the news of massive contractions in the Italian gaming market, Spain and France have agreed a deal to share regulatory data. A deal which many see as a precursor to a shared player pool. The French have been running their own insular market for a while now, but newly regulated Spain will likely have some legitimate concerns about their ability to support their own isolationist economy. [PokerFuse]

 

 

 


Can American Casinos Turn Vladivostok into the Next Macau?

by , Oct 18, 2012 | 1:00 pm

The Russian government has wagered $18 billion in infrastructure projects for the southern port city of Vladivostok on a gamble that American casino giants will turn the area into the next Macau.

Vladivostok may also become known for something more than just its proximity to northeastern Asia, a minuscule gaming tax and a market hungry for casinos.

Russian mobsters.

We’re not talking the drug lords that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi chased down in the 1988 film “Red Heat.” Nor do they resemble the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie “Lord of War.”

Today’s organized crime in Russia is disguised as legitimate business operations.

More…


Instapoker

by , Sep 4, 2012 | 3:00 pm

Manlio Iemina
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Stanley Choi $6,465,560 – Macau High Stakes Challenge
Samad Razavi AUD$326,125 – APPT Melbourne Main Event
Manlio Iemina $161,234 – IPT Campione


It seems Macau might not be on the death watch just quite yet, at least as far as big ticket poker tournaments. An impressive 73 players put up HK$2,000,000 (US$260,000) to play in the Macau High Stakes Challenge at the StarWorld Hotel & Casino. 21 of those players event decided to take advantage of the re-entry option after busting out.

The field was full of rockstars like Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tom Dwan, and Gus Hansen with a final table featuring Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Sam Trickett. From all reports, the structure for this huge buy-in event played out much like a micro-grinding tournament. Plenty of action and it didn’t take long to find a winner. Not much is published about the victor, Stanley Choi, but we do know he picked up HK$50,149,000 (US$6,465,746) and has his first entry in The Hendon Mob database.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Is Matt Glantz skirting the policies of PokerStars and the ol’ United States of America by sneaking in the WCOOP via internet trickery? According to my double-blind, super-secret contacts within the Stars world, this was just a badly played Twitter joke. Perhaps the poker world should convene a Standards & Conduct Meeting to investigate.


Judge rules that poker is a game of skill. Poker pro says: Duh – Another article about the recent ruling about poker as a game of skill, this time it’s a fine op/ed piece in the Washington Post by Matt Matros. One of the smartest guys in the game.

Viktor Blom: The Man, The Myth, The Legend – It’s rare that you will see one top player write/comment in depth about another top player, but that’s exactly what Phil Galfond did on his site when talking about the mythical “Isildur1”.

Filing As a Professional Poker Player/Gambler – If you want some top tips for filling your taxes, why not get the information from a poker playing tax attorney. That’s exactly what Jamie Kerstetter supplied for the folks at CardsChat.

MICHAEL PHELPS CRUSHES Vegas Wins $100K in Poker – There’s nothing I love more than senseless capitalization or crazy punctuation, this article comes from Mensa minds of TMZ. But it’s Michael Phelps, poker, and Las Vegas so worth noting.

WinStar River Poker Series: Oklahoma Pop Quiz – Maria Ho, enough said.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.


Inside Gaming: As Feds Investigate Big Casino Biz Practices,
Steve Wynn Goes Mute with Obama Opposition


Until recently, it appeared Steve Wynn had abandoned politics.

Wynn spent three years as the de facto voice of the gaming industry’s unofficial anti-Obama coalition, a high-profile membership of two than included Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.

Wynn provided the rhetoric. Adelson provided the money.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts Ltd., never missed an opportunity to appear on Fox News or other conservative media outlets to bash President Barack Obama’s administration for what he considers its failings in handling the economy.

Wynn often peppered his remarks with bombastic comments.

More…


Instapoker

by , Aug 17, 2012 | 9:00 am

Anthony Gregg
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Anthony Gregg $416,127 – World Poker Tour Parx Open
Ashly Butler $13,850 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi
John Dolan $7,580 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi
Ronald Givens $11,675 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi


Anthony Gregg is no stranger to tournament success but he finally has his first major win after capturing the WPT Parx Poker Open title in Philadelphia. Even though this is his first win, it ranks as his 2nd biggest cash behind his $1,700,000 runner-up finish in the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Gregg is a regular east coast grinder and another top notch player from the state of Maryland, continuing his great run in 2012 as the win puts him over $1,000,000 earned for the year.

500 players registered for the first WPT event held at the Parx Casino in Philadelphia and the next stop is the Legends of Poker Main Event at the Bicycle Casino on August 24th. The defending champion at Legends is Will “The Thrill” Failla, who is responsible for my favorite winner’s picture ever.

Also having a good week was 2010 November Niner John Dolan who won his first WSOP Circuit event at the IP in Biloxi, MS. It wasn’t the biggest field in the history of poker but it does put a ring on his finger and has him in the early mix for the National Championship.

Link Dump

Macau Police Raid Casinos, Hotels After Deadly Attacks – Amy Calistri reported earlier that Macau whales seem to be leaving their Asian paradise for the desert. This may be why. Murder, assault, blackmail, bribes, good times in China.

Online gamblers handed four months in prison – Just a little reminder. No matter how bad we think we have it in the States, you could be living some place like Jakarta where these guys were sentenced to 4+ months and fined Rp 7 million (that’s a whole $735 US) for gambling on Facebook. (h/t @Kevmath)

Maryland General Assembly passes legislation for Prince George’s casino – Some good news for east coast grinders and the hotbed of poker in Maryland as their General Assembly passed legislation to allow casinos, real honest-to-god table gaming casinos, within the state. It still needs to get past the voters in during the November elections.

Mezrich’s Next New Project: Online Poker – A new book about online poker from the author who brought us Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, and other books with insanely long titles. Jess Welman looks forward to it, Haley Hintze not so much. I’m leaning Haley’s way if Mezrich’s premise is the AP/UB boys created online poker and are now being persecuted (not prosecuted) for it.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.


Are China’s Whales Fleeing Macau for Vegas?

by , Aug 2, 2012 | 12:53 pm

Maybe Southwest Airlines can loan Macau its Shamu fleet.

The Macau situation we reported on last month is getting worse. Macau gaming revenues grew only 1.5% in June, the slowest growth rate in three years, according to this Las Vegas Review-Journal article. And based on data from both the Wynn and Las Vegas Sands, more of China’s whales appear to be flying to Vegas to gamble.

In its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing, 75.6% of all wagers on Las Vegas Sands’ Vegas table games were made on credit issued to whales. This is the highest whale credit number reported by LVS in at least eight years. It’s five percentage points higher than 2011 and up more than ten percentage points over 2010’s credit numbers.

Meanwhile, LVS’ whale credit in Macau has been shrinking. In the last quarter only 31.2% of table game wagers were made on credit, down from the 36.9% average in 2010.

In its most recent quarterly filing, Wynn reported that 82% of its table game markers were issued to non-US citizens, primarily from Asia. That’s seven percentage points higher than the same quarter last year.

The casinos benefit when whales chose Vegas over Macau. For one thing, the gaming tax in Macau is 12% versus Nevada’s 6.75% gaming tax. But there is another tax advantage. If the whales default on their markers in Vegas, the casino companies don’t have to pay taxes on the gaming revenues generated by those markers. In Macau, they do.

It may also be an advantage for China’s whales to play in Vegas. Macau junket operators, a primary source of whale funding, break legs are known to be more vigilant about collecting on bad loans.

The only real losers in the Chinese whale migration may be Nevada tax payers who, in effect, subsidize bad whale credit.


The People (of Macau) vs. Sheldon Adelson

by , Jul 19, 2012 | 10:31 am

We hear a lot about Sheldon Adelson. Poker players love to hate on the cranky old billionaire because how dare the primary beneficiary of the Venetian’s awesome Deep Stack Extravaganza be against online poker! Wasn’t the Venetian its biggest supporter when they welcomed PokerStars and the NAPT into the USA to someday maybe challenge the supremacy of the WSOP? OK, I’m editorializing and asking you to connect dots here that we haven’t even connected yet on paper. But regardless, Adelson seems to have more problems these days than opposition to online gambling.

Here’s Rachel Maddow (the Vanessa Selbst of cable News?) laying out why the GOP’s big sugardaddy — originally a Newt Gingrich guy — is finding himself in some liberal (and government) crosshairs over the appearance of less than ethical behavior in Macau.

And here is NPR on that same story of Adelson possibly facing legal heat for criminal violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Get the sense the liberal media elite ain’t gonna let this one go?


Can Tom Dwan (and Phil Ivey) Save China?

by , Jul 17, 2012 | 12:59 pm

Phil Ivey playing at the Galaxy/Starworld’s Poker King Club in Macau.

As the WSOP got underway in Vegas, one question kept surfacing: Where’s Tom Dwan?

Up until June 26, well into the WSOP schedule, Dwan was where he had been for the last six months: Macau. Dwan, aka durrrr. has grossed more than $2 million in tournaments, but he is best known for his cash game play at nosebleed stakes.

Before Black Friday, most of those games were online. Since then, Galaxy Entertainment’s StarWorld Hotel’s Poker King Club in Macau has been host to the highest stakes games. As reported in PokerPortal Asia, Dwan won $3.8 million on a single hand on May 8 there. In March, Sam Trickett dragged a $2 million pot in Macau.

Courting Tom Dwan — and high stakes poker players like Dwan — is important for Macau, especially in light of the data from the Chinese island gambling Mecca. Accoring to this Reuters article, VIP junket wagering contracted in June, the first time that’s happened since 2008. On June 29, AMEX Holdings, once one of the most profitable Macau junket operators, announced it may not survive the downswing.

When the junket business gets ugly in Macau, it can get gang war ugly. Last month, junket and casino operator Ng Man-sun was beaten by six men with sticks and hammers — at his own casino. Authorities are hoping it was an isolated incident and not the start of a gang war like those that plagued Macau in the 1990s.

Macau gambling revenues have slowed in recent months, missing analysts’ expectations as reported in this Reuters article. Although June’s revenues still grew 12.2%, it’s a far cry from Macau’s 42% revenue growth in 2011.

A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s the investment adage people use to describe the widespread benefit of a growing economy. In good times, even marginal companies can do well. But as renowned investor Warren Buffet noted, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.”

Las Vegas Strip revenues dipped 18% in May according to the latest Nevada State Gaming Control Board report. Up until now, Wynn and Las Vegas Sands have been able to more than offset lackluster Strip revenues with fast growing Macau profits. If the tide is receding in Macau, Wynn and LVS may be among the skinny dippers. Wynn and Las Vegas Sands are due to report their quarterly earnings on July 17 and July 23, respectively.


Cantor Fitzgerald seeks gaming license in Macau

by , Jun 23, 2012 | 12:44 pm

Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which owns sports book operator Cantor Gaming, is seeking a gaming license in Macau as the company moves to expand its sports betting business beyond Nevada, a company executive said.

“We’re in the process of getting licensed in Macau,” Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television. “When you have these big casinos as your partners, it makes it much more easy.”

Cantor Gaming officials in Las Vegas declined comment Friday.

The company, an affiliate of the New York-based financial services company, operates seven sports books in Southern Nevada. The company announced Monday it had reached a deal to build and operate its eighth sports book at the Silverton.

More…


Wider World of Poker

by , Mar 31, 2012 | 12:40 am

It’s fine guys, really, it’s fine. You can all come out and admit it. In between pots, poker players can’t resist chewing on some weeds and rolling up a whiskey joint. I’m very knowledgeable on the subject and I know that substance abuse is an inevitable result of playing online poker. Don’t believe me? Check out the first item in this week’s Wider World of Poker.

Dragging the Pot

Psychologists at Concordia University, Quebec claim to have discovered a correlation between online poker, alcohol, and marijuana. I can hear your eyebrows raising from here, but maybe it makes sense? I mean, it’s fair to say that online gambling is a common outlet for dangerously addictive personalities, who may also incline towards an excess of drink and drugs. Although it should be noted that this study does not establish any kind of link between an excess of narcotics and online gambling. Plus, of the 8,456 people surveyed, it turns out that only 111 gambled online in any capacity. I’d keep that eyebrow elevated, if I were you [Psych Central]

Macau Misery for Hansen

Things have been quiet on the Macau front lately, but the new Big Game has been rolling steadily on. Gus Hansen continues to be the most vocal regular, even when he lands on the wrong end of the action. The Great Dane was on hand recently to tell told press about a HK $1.7 million river bluff being picked off by that pesky Tom Dwan. British-born Sam Trickett has also established himself as a fixture in Macau, taking to Twitter to report the capture of his “biggest pot ever.” [Poker Nyhederne]

Premiere League Primed

Every week, while sifting through the internet for stories, I see a report about some pro or other joining the PartyPoker Premiere League. And every week, without fail, I discard it in favour of something more interesting, with the promise that I’ll cover it when the line-up is fully confirmed. Well cometh the hour, cometh the journalist.

The roster is complete, all $125,000 buy-ins have been collected, and the competitors are split into two groups. This weekend, players will duke it out to post the best overall results in a series of single table Sit-and-Gos, aiming to reach a lucrative grand final. Among those taking to the felt are Phil Laak, Erik Seidel, Tom Dwan, Sam Trickett, ElkY, Patrick Antonius, and Vanessa Selbst. [Party Poker]

Teenager Takes France

Over here in Europe, we’re a little more liberal with our youth. At the age of 16 children are released into the wild, free to impregnate each other and make bad reality TV shows. One Czech whippersnapper decided to dedicate herself to poker instead and at the tender age of 18 has won €70,000 ($93,387) as the champion of the France Poker Series. Veronika Pavlikova may yet prove to be a flash in the pan, but blowing past ElkY and Eugene Katchalov at the final table will do her reputation no harm at all. [OnlinePoker.net]

The Brick Report

There’s nothing more exciting than a report, which is why there are two of them in this week’s column. This first of which has been unveiled as part of a joint project between the Universities of Nevada and Hamburg. It challenges the oft observed principle that online gaming robs custom from bricks-and-mortar casinos. Instead, the existence of online sites increases the overall volume of gamblers in the world and pumps more customers towards the land-based market. [Poker Strategy]

The Alderney Reportalderney map

Finally, a British report, the best kind of report there is. No there’s no time to qualify that statement, I have news to deal with. Peter Dean, former Chairman of the British Gambling Control Commission, was asked to complete a report on Alderney’s handling of the Full Tilt debacle. His verdict was pretty positive, agreeing with the Commission that subterfuge on the part of FTP left them unable to act efficiently. [Card Player]

I’m off to wander the streets in a drug-addled stupor, cradling a bottle of gin beneath my ragged coat. Assuming I haven’t collapsed into a pool of my own decadence, I’ll see you next week.


Steve Wynn in Partner Spat over Asian Pursuits

by , Jan 26, 2012 | 2:29 pm

Shares of Wynn Resorts tumbled on January 12 when it came out that a Wynn director and major shareholder had filed a lawsuit against the casino company. Turns out Kazuo Okada, one of Steve Wynn’s original partners, is claiming the company made a questionable $135 million donation to the University of Macau and hasn’t been sharing its financial information with him. Reuters has a nice write-up here.

The veiled implication is Wynn’s sizable donation might have been less than philanthropic — bordering on a “pay to play” ante to retain favor in the world’s most lucrative gaming destination. (The competing Las Vegas Sands’ Macau operation is currently under DOJ and SEC scrutiny for possible infringement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as referenced here in a Wall Street Journal blog.)

Wynn claims Okada’s lawsuit is just a smoke screen to mask the fact that Okada had been working behind Wynn’s back to develop a casino in the Philippines. You can read all the tawdry details in A Partners’ Fight Erupts at Wynn.

How will it end? Perhaps better than Steve Wynn’s marriage. After all, Wynn recently told the press, “I love Kazuo Okada as much as any man that I’ve met in my life.”

Wynn shares have since recovered from the drama at the start of January, but still have a ways to go in 2012 before reaching 2011 highs.


Wider World of Poker

by , Dec 1, 2011 | 9:26 am

This week we’re heading back to Macau – the Las Vegas of the Orient – to discover why Phil Ivey was really hanging out at the APPT. Here’s a clue: It has to do with playing poker for stupid amounts of money. Plus, a social media development that will surely plunge my homeland into an endless spiral of degeneracy or, alternatively, transform the nation into a utopia of Teutonic smugness. Depends on how the cards fall.

Megabucks in Macau

All eyes turned to the East last week, as the global poker media witnessed the long awaited return of Phil Ivey. Turns out, he’d been there all along, sat in a $1,300/$2,300 cash game chocked full of rich Chinese businessmen. Apparently ‘The Big Game’ has permanently moved continents and if the high rollers are still in town come 2013, they’ll be first in line for a 500 player tournament organized by Macau big wigs. The event, which has the support of local businesses, is mooted to feature an incredible $100 million prize pool. [Poker News]

PokerStars Join Soccer Brawl in Germany

PokerStars has recently joined soccer on the list of things the rest of the world enjoys more than Americans. To commemorate this fact, the world’s largest online poker site have recently announced a sponsorship deal with the German football team, VfB Lübeck. However, this not only a straightforward business arrangement. PokerStars have been vocal supporters of planned gambling legislation introduced by the state of Schleswig-Holstein, in which Lübeck is located. Rules which would fly in the face of those proposed by the German government. [CardPlayer]

Gambling on Facebook coming to the UK

Our final news nugget for today is undoubtedly the shiniest. Social networking megaliths Facebook have made detailed plans to provide real money online gambling in the UK. Soon, the denizens of this sceptred isle will be able to ‘like’ an inane photo of their gurning acquaintances and then stack off their entire bankroll all on the same platform. The likes of 888 are reportedly in talks to acquire a Facebook license, with FB credits being used in place of the pretend dollars we’ve been playing with up until now. [Tech Crunch]

At the end of this column I often say something like, ‘if I’m still here next week’ preceded by a flippant comment about one thing or another, but this time, I’m genuinely concerned for my well being. My fiancée has passed into another hemisphere for two months and there’s a very real chance that in seven days time I will be buried under my own ineptitude. So, if I’m still here next week…


This Week’s Big Winners – February 28th

by , Feb 28, 2011 | 7:44 pm

Greg Pohler Becomes Most Famous Sibling Since Frank Stallone with LAPC Win; James Carroll, Elky Lead Final 2 Events
LA Poker Classic, Commerce, California

The LA Poker Classic is finally winding down, but the last few days should be quite a cap to what has already been a very exciting series. 681 players turned out for the $10,000 LAPC Main Event, which is down from last year but that can be attributed directly to Full Tilt not running direct satellites to the tournament. The winner will probably not be complaining though, as the top prize in this event is over $1.6 million. At last check, there were 34 players left, with James Carroll leading and David “Bakes” Baker not far behind. Other notables still in the field include Allen Cunningham, Joe Hachem, Jason Senti, Kathy Liebert and Lauren Kling. If you’ve got a second, be sure to check out the live video stream from the Commerce Casino. 5 players are left at the $25K high roller event final table, with Elky leading the pack.

There’s some debate as to whether or not Greg Pohler is the brother of Parks and Recreation star and SNL alum Amy Poehler, but thanks to a Google search, movies.yahoo.com says that she has a brother named Gregory, so I’m gonna run with that (despite the fact that they’re spelled differently). Pohler won almost $30,000 in Event #46 at the LAPC, but the most interesting result from that tournament may be the 17th place finisher. I haven’t heard the phrase “Parts Unknown” since I watched WWF back in the early 1990s.

One of the more impressive final tables has to be the $5,100 No Limit Hold’em event that took place last week. Randy Dorfman topped an impressive final table that included Shannon Shorr, Nick Binger, Jon Turner and French Pro Nicholas Levi. Dorfman took home $163,270 for this win, one of the biggest prizes awarded at this year’s LAPC.

The last of the unique events that Matt Savage runs at the LAPC was the double-elimination format Heads-Up tournament. The $5K tournament got 48 players, and the six making the money were an impressive group. John Racener, Erik Seidel, Justin Young and Fabrice Soulier all found their way to the money. The final match was between Nicholas Rampone and Scott Seiver, with Rampone coming out of the Loser’s Bracket against Seiver, who had not lost a match on the way to the finals. Rampone had to beat Seiver twice to capture the title, which is exactly what he did. He got $81,480 and a $10,000 seat to the Main Event, which was added to this tournament as well as a handful of others during the LAPC.

A Pair of Swedes Invade To Denmark, One Captures (EPT) Crown
EPT Copenhagen – Copenhagen, Denmark

Another week, another €500K first prize on the EPT. After playing down from a final eight that included Juha Helppi and American online wiz Kevin Iacofano, two Swedish pros battled it out for the EPT Copenhagen title. Michael Tureniec and Per Linde battled for more than three-and-a-half hours heads-up, with Tureniec vindicating himself following a previous second place finish on the EPT by capturing this title. Tureniec won €496,271 for this effort, but no word on how Scandinavian relations are following this brash invasion.

Former Corrections Officer Lays Down the Law, Becomes First Female Poker Champion in Florida History
WSOP Circuit, Palm Beach Kennel Club – West Palm Beach, Florida

The young history of tournament poker means that we’ll be seeing a lot of first-time events in the coming years. This past week at Florida saw the first woman crowned as champion of a major event. June Amer, a retired corrections officer in Dade County, won the biggest prize of this circuit stop to date, banking over $65,000 in a $550 event with 664 entries. After cashing in Event #2, Amer overcame what looked to be an insurmountable chip lead in this tournament to lock up the Circuit ring, as well as put herself in position to contend for player of the series.

Quite a few familiar faces showed up to play at this WSOP circuit stop, including Team Pokerati member Tom “DonkeyBomber” Schneider. He found his way to the final table of an Omaha 8/b event, but with less than one small bet when the final table began, Schneider could not improve his position and finished 9th. Also at this final table was “Captain Tom” Franklin, but he too fell short of this title, finishing in 5th place. The winner of the event was Timothy Burt, a veteran who served for three years in Iraq, who knotches his second WSOP circuit ring, the first coming in a HORSE event in Biloxi last November.

Mark Benasa Wins Record Red Dragon in Macau; Hannibal Lector Unavailable for Comment
Macau Poker Cup, Grand Casino Lisboa – Lisboa, Macau

509 players turned out over two days of the Macau Poker Cup Main Event. Known as the “Red Dragon”, this tournament shattered the previous record of 321 players, and created a prize pool of over HKD $5,090,000. Mark Benasa won the title, becoming the first Filipino player in the tournament’s history to do so. Benasa took home a first place prize of HKD $1,100,000 ($140,000) and now leads the APOY race, with a one-year sponsorship from PokerStars Macau on the line.

Swim Instructor Sinks Competition To Win HPT Title
HPT, Downstream Casino Resort, Quapaw, Oklahoma

27-year-old Michael Jensen is a part-time poker pro, but definitely someone who has his priorities in order. In an interview before the final table at Downstream Casino, Jensen said, “Whether I finish sixth or first, I’m teaching swimming lessons to little kids tomorrow afternoon.” If I were Jensen, I would be pulling a Scrooge McDuck following those lessons, as his $100K payday for first place could definitely fill a pool full of coins to swim in.


This Week’s Big Winners – November 15th

by , Nov 15, 2010 | 12:19 pm

After crowning a new World Champion last week, it would be a bit difficult to generate as much excitement for this week. But once you’ve embraced young Mr. Duhamel and memorized the Canadian National Anthem, buck up because the tournament circuit never sleeps.

Some of the best players in the world converged on Southeast Asia and Los Angeles, with multiple events in each locale, but that wasn’t all that happened this week.

APPT Macau (Macau)

18-year-old Zhang Dan Peng, playing in his first ever live tournament, defeated a field of 161 that included the likes of Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and John Juanda, amongst others. Peng took home HK$1.67 million, about $215,000, for his victory. He is the first Chinese player to win the APT Macau. [PokerListings]

The biggest story to come out of Macau was what Ivey and Dwan were doing after they exited the tournament. They sat down at the cash tables with some wealthy Chinese businessmen, and according to Matt Savage there was at least $5 million on the table at the game’s peak. [BetFair]

WSOP Circuit Biloxi (Biloxi, Mississippi)

The newly reimagined WSOP Circuit continues to bounce around the country at a blistering pace. The latest stop saw the Circuit head to Biloxi, with the $1,500 Main Event pulling in an impressive 270 runners. Travis Lutes was the last man standing, taking home $95,000 and a coveted seat in the upcoming WSOPC $1 million freeroll at Caesers. [PokerNews]

Isle Open Poker Championship (Pompano Beach, Florida)

The latest poker gold rush in the United States has to be going down in Florida, where recent changes to the law have allowed games to explode at dog tracks and casinos throughout the state. They didn’t even need the name power of a major tour to draw 198 players to their $2,000 main event. Ayaz Mahmood, who won a bracelet at this year’s WSOP, made the final table and finished 7th, and Matt Ezrol found himself $100,000 richer following his win. [Cardplayer]

APPT Cebu (Cebu, Philippines)

232 players who started action less than a week ago are now down to just nine. Kim Gap Young of Korea is the chip leader heading into this final table, where they’ll be vying for PHP 5,810,000 for first place money. Action should be resuming shortly, so follow all of the action via the link just to the right of this sentence. [PokerStars Blog]

LA Poker Open (Los Angeles, California)

It’s often said that you can’t get something for nothing, but in this case you can come pretty close. The Commerce Casino has developed a tournament system with small buy-ins and several opportunities to re-enter that have generated massive prize pools. The LA Poker Open is no exception, as a $220 and a $125 event each crowned $100,00 winners, Vinh Duong and Peter Hengsakul respectively. The two tournaments had a combined prize pool of over $825,000. [Commerce Casino]

NAPT Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)

81 players are still standing in this one. Check out Mark Gahagan’s update for chip counts and notables that are still in contention.

There was some big news from the side events at this event, as early this morning Jess Welman chopped the Ladies’ event for $3,000. This continues an incredible run in live events this year, including a cash in the WSOP Women’s event and a final table appearance in Event #1 of the Detox Poker Series, which was a freeroll following a win in a media freeroll. She also finished second in the recent Foxwoods media freeroll.

Perhaps spending all of her time covering the poker circuit has rubbed off on her, and it is clearly time for her to consider going pro. In fact, just working for her at the WSOP this summer seems to have rubbed off on yours truly, as this past Friday night I won $3,700 in a $2 Rush rebuy tournament on FullTilt.

In Other News…

Recent Hall of Fame inductee Dan Harrington finished fifth in the appropriately named $1,000 Poker Hall of Fame event at the Caesers Classic… Check out this fantastic piece by Short-Stacked Shamus following up on the Cannes cheating scandal that gives some insight into the presence of poker media at live events.

In the Online World…

The biggest news in the online world is centered around FullTilt, as they finally followed the lead of PokerStars and headed out of Washington. It’s not all bad though as the latest round of FTOPS is well underway, with over $19 million in prize guarantees.


This Week’s Big Winners – November 8th

by , Nov 8, 2010 | 10:28 am

With this year’s WSOP Champion just a few hours from being crowned, most of the eyes in the poker world are affixed squarely on Las Vegas. But there is quite a bit of other action going on around the world, including a slightly less publicized delayed final table that dealt with a cheating scandal, as well as a couple of WPT events.

World Series of Poker Main Event (Las Vegas, Nevada): Well, unless you’ve been living underneath a rock for the last four months, you know that the final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event finally got back underway Saturday night, and did not disappoint as far as excitement goes. If you weren’t checking out Pokerati for some strange reason for your Main Event coverage you should definitely check out the work Michael Reed and Mark Gahagan were doing, as well as Dan and Pauly rattling off quite a few episodes of Tao of Pokerati.

Heads-up play between Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener will take place tonight (Monday) at 8 pm PT. Duhamel holds a substantial 6-1 chip lead over Racener, thanks to a hand with Joseph Cheong that will be discussed for a very long time amongst poker fans. The winner will receive $8.9 million, the third largest prize for a WSOP champion, trailing just Jamie Gold and Peter Eastgate. [WSOP]

Partouche Poker Tour Main Event (Cannes, France): The other table that came back from a months-long hiatus was the Main Event of the Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes. It should have been a “November Nine” for them as well, but when play resumed they were one player short.

German player Ali Tekintamgac was disqualified when tournament staff reviewed tapes from earlier in the tournament and discovered he was being tipped off to other players’ hands. He was working with people who obtained media credentials for the sole purpose of signaling Tekintamgac. This is not the first report of him allegedly cheating, as a post from several months ago on Two Plus Two apparently refers to a similar incident.

When they actually got underway, it was Vanessa Selbst beating out a fairly impressive final table that included Fabrice Soulier. Selbst took $1.8 million for her win, bringing her lifetime cashes to almost $4 million, and capping an impressive year that also saw her win the NAPT Mohegan Sun main event. [PokerStars Blog]

WPT Foxwoods (Mashantucket, Connecticut): It was almost a week ago now, but Jeffrey Forrest came out on top of a final table of impressive young players that included Tom Marchese, Nikolai Yakovenko, and Kevin Stammen. Forrest won $550,00 for his efforts, besting David Inselberg heads-up. [Foxwoods Live, WPT]

WPT Amneville (Amneville, France): Forrest wasn’t the only one to capture a WPT title this week. Sam El Sayed won the first ever WPT Amneville for just under $600,000. He also won a $25,000 seat to the WPT Championship at Bellagio, while second place finisher Franck Pepe settled for $320,000 and a $10,000 WPT Paris seat. [PartyPoker Blog]

MPCC Main Event (Lisboa, Macau): The PokerStars-affiliated Macau Poker Cup Championship held their main event this week as well, drawing 254 players. The final table featured players from seven different countries on four different continents, with Jilian Hasse of Germany winning the title and HK$1,064,000. [PokerStars Blog]

Caeser’s Classic (Las Vegas, Nevada): The Main Event of the month-long tournament series brought out quite a few of the local pros, as 290 players came out to play in this one. Among those making it into the money were Bryan Devonshire and Sorel Mizzi. Phillippe Boucher was the winner, beating a final table that included Blake Kelso and Justin Young for a first place payday just short of $60,000. [Cardplayer]

Elsewhere… Kurt Fraser of Schaumburg, IL won the HPT Tama in Tama Iowa for $75,000… Karina Jett already has one big buy-in out of the way as she won her seat in a charity event hosted at the Rio during the day off between nine-handed and heads-up play at the WSOP Main Event.

Online: “NickDandalos” channeled the Greek, beating Jason “strassa2” Strasser on his way to winning the PokerStars Sunday Million and $195,000, while “salue” took down the $750K on FullTilt. Annette_15 finished second in FullTilt’s Sunday Mulligan.