Posts Tagged ‘mori eskandani’

NBC Heads-Up Championship Returns

by , Jan 24, 2013 | 5:41 pm

Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth arrive for the NBC Heads-Up draw party, even though Negreanu opted out to spend the weekend with friends.

Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth arrive for the NBC Heads-Up draw party, even though Negreanu opted out to spend the weekend with friends.

NBC’s $25,000 buy-in National Heads-Up Poker Championship invitational tournament is decidedly made-for-television .

The draw party Wednesday night felt like little more than a chance to hobnob with the who’s who of televised poker and online wunderkinds, from Brunson to Hellmuth to Jungleman and ZeeJustin.

But after a Black Friday-induced hiatus, some in the poker world say the return of the event to the Caesars Palace poker room signals a step forward for poker in the U.S.

Caesars Entertainment Interactive, which recently acquired a license to operate online poker in Nevada, presented its as part of the event for the  first time since the tournament began in 2005.

Mori Eskandani, the producer of the show, called it ‘good news’ for the industry that NBC wants poker back.

The matches start Thursday afternoon, and they’ll crown a champion on Saturday.

This year, Phil Hellmuth, who arrived to the party Wednesday night in his dictator coat, squares off against Mike Sexton in round one. Daniel Negreanu, meanwhile, has opted out to spend the weekend with friends. That made room for David “Doc” Sands, who put up something of a fit after he didn’t get a direct invite.

Anyway, here’s how the bracket shapes up for the first round. First place is $750,000. Anyone else got Jennifer Tilly going all the way?

(Way Outside) the WSOP Europe – Day 8

by , Sep 21, 2010 | 6:16 pm

JP Kelly fell ohsoclose of winning his 3rd WSOP bracelet in Event #3 – £1,000 + 75 NL Holdem, finishing 2nd to Scott Shelley, an employee at online poker site PKR, who won his seat in an office freeroll*. Shelley earned £133,857 for the win, while Kelly pocketed £82,854 for the runner-up finish. Full results available at

* Credit to Chris Hall of PokerNews.

Day 1 of the £10,350 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up drew a field of 103 players, with the winner earning a coveted WSOPE gold bracelet along with £288,409. Round 2 action has concluded with 32 players returning with three more rounds of play starting Wednesday afternoon at 3pm. Among the players who made it to Wednesday action: Phil Ivey, Scott Fischman, Mori Eskandani, Andrew Feldman, Andrew Robl and Shawn Buchanan. The draw for round 3 is available at

Elsewhere …

WPT Borgata Poker Open – Atlantic City :: Day 3 playing down to 27, defending champion Oliver Busquet leads the field. WPT Live Updates and Borgata Poker Blog

SportingBet, former home of and Paradise Poker, settles with US Department of Justice for $33,000,000. – EGR Magazine

Poker Restaurant News

You say tomato, I say D’Amato

by , Nov 9, 2009 | 2:07 pm

That's one damn fine-lookin' Tomato Salad Phil Gordon ordered at N9NE.

As you know, poker players gotta eat …

From the official non-gaming pimpers for the Palms, on Friday night:

Phil Gordon, professional poker player, author and commentator, had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse with five friends on Friday evening (11.6.09). He enjoyed a Tomato Salad and 12oz Filet accompanied by Mushrooms and Asparagus. Also at N9NE Steakhouse was Gary Sheffield, MLB outfielder for the New York Mets, who was joined by two friends for dinner. Sheffield enjoyed the Lobster Bisque followed by Surf n’ Turf.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, through the connecting “skytube” over to Palm’s Place, the PPA was hosting a very private dinner with some of their biggest supporters at Simon. There wasn’t much tweeting about it from those in attendance — including Howard Lederer, Barry Greenstein, Mori Eskandani, Erick Lindgren, or even @PPAPoker — but we can deduce that this had something to do with the PokerPAC arm of things … and @RealAnnieDuke was kind enough to give us a little peek of Lindgren multitasking during the meal … though we’re not sure what the poker political big-wigs + Joe Reitman were chewing on.

RE: Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit

by , Sep 16, 2009 | 11:31 am

So this Face the Ace lawsuit … yeah … you’ve got a lone amateur TV-show concept-creator trying to take on (lawyers for) PokerPROductions and NBC with claims that they stole his legally protected idea to put out a ratings-bomb game show … and therefore owe him $85 million.


Similarities between Brandon McSmith’s video pitch for All Star Poker Challenge and Face the Ace are one thing … and this video, shot outside what appears to be Poker PROductions studios in Las Vegas and posted on YouTube in July (and pointed out to us by a reader yesterday) is another:

Umm …

Click below to read the rejection letter sent almost two years earlier from Poker PROductions honcho Mori Eskandani that may or may not have put McSmith on tilt:


Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit

Was the worst show in poker a stolen idea?

by , Sep 14, 2009 | 4:50 pm

I’ve got a buddy named Adam who believes there’s no such thing as an original idea. Then you’ve got guys like Pauly, who, according to one of his closest friends and colleagues, “if you use the word ‘and’ in your writing he’ll think you took it from him.” (In Pauly’s defense, shady web ops around the world do steal Tao content daily, and he knows just how dirty Hollywood and Las Vegas can be …)

So in light of last week’s $85 million lawsuit against Poker PROductions, NBC Universal, and Mori Eskandani, see for yourself and decide: Does Brandon McSmith’s All Star Poker Challenge* look like ill-gotten inspiration for Face the Ace to you?

* Not to be confused with the British All-Star Poker Challenge, which ran for one season in 2005.

The above is a Powerpoint presentation McSmith sent me a little more than a year ago seeking feedback. Click below for my response: in a nutshell, I tell him I think this might have worked in 2006, but not now … and it needs more monkeys … but keep trying!


Layne Flack … Car Wreck

by , Mar 6, 2009 | 6:39 pm

OK, since we don’t know his medical status, we’ll hold off on making jokes about train wrecks. From the PokerNews live-action team:

During the break after the Diamonds Bracket concluded, we asked producer Mori Eskandani why Flack had been replaced, and why Oppenheim was the replacement rather than Chiu. Eskandani stated that Flack was in an automobile accident last night and was therefore unavailable to play today. Chiu, the first alternate, required four hours notice due to the fact that he’s based in Los Angeles. NBC was unable to give him that notice and therefore substituted Oppenheim, who lives in Las Vegas, at the last minute.

Breaking NBC Headsup News

by , Mar 4, 2009 | 5:31 pm

Ivan Demidov is not able to attend the NBC Heads-Up event at Caesars’ Palace this weekend due to visa issues. Hevad Khan will take his place, which was announced by Mori Eskandani on Gary Wise’s podcast on Rounders Radio.

WSOPeople: Hall of Fame Inductees Tomko & Orenstein

by , Nov 9, 2008 | 8:33 pm

Just after the dinner break, as food-induced comas were setting in, the restart of final table play was delayed for the Poker Hall of Fame inductions. Duane the tub, I’m dwowning “Dewey” Tomko and Henry Orenstein were announced as the 36th and 37th members.

The audience, many of whom became poker fans when their friends/family members made the final table in July, may not have understood the significance of the inductions, but they did appreciate Doyle Brunson introducing Tomko. Brunson shared some amusing stories about Tomko’s lack of worldliness, such as when he asked what language was spoken in England, but it was Brunson’s way of paying tribute to his long-time friend, also mentioning Tomko’s three WSOP bracelets, two main event runner up spots, and longest record of participation in the main event (35 years). Tomko then accepted his spot in the Hall of Fame with a thank-you speech to those who’ve supported him through the years.

Henry Orenstein wasn’t able to travel across the country to be in Vegas, but friend and associate Mori Eskandani gave an introduction and read a few words from Orenstein. It was mentioned that Orenstein was a Holocaust survivor, having made a life for himself after watching many of his family members murdered early in his life. (Yeow.) Though he has been successful in poker with a WSOP bracelet and other accomplishments under his belt, he is best known for his invention of the hole card camera that has made poker into the televise-able event that it is today. It was also mentioned that Orenstein is starting a charity organization to help professional poker players in need (not in need of a bankroll, as Eskandani joked). He’s starting the non-profit with $200K of his own funds and will be releasing details of the organization soon.

Congrats to them both on their accomplishments and induction tonight. Now, let’s play poker!