Posts Tagged ‘poker players’

RIP Bob Stupak (1942-2009)

by , Sep 25, 2009 | 4:14 pm

Las Vegas businessman, poker player, and one-time candidate for Lt. Governor of Nevada, Bob Stupak died today in Las Vegas of leukemia. He was 67-years old.

KVBC of Las Vegas printed the news release:


LAS VEGAS – Bob Stupak, who is best known for revolutionizing the Las Vegas Strip with the development of The Stratosphere, passed away today at the age of 67.

Stupak was with close family at the Desert Springs Hospital this afternoon when medical maladies, including leukemia, took his life at 1:15 p.m. Per Stupak’s request, he will be cremated and there will not be a funeral.


Isabelle Gone From Stars, Tiffany Renewed With UB

by , Sep 9, 2009 | 4:57 pm

While the criteria for getting, retaining, or losing online poker sponsorship deals remains a mystery in many cases, decisions are made, and we regurgitate from press releases report. Some are not surprising, like Jason Mercier signing with PokerStars, while others (like half the Full Tilt roster) are baffling. Regardless, two developments came to light today.

First, UltimateBet announced that Tiffany Michelle has been re-signed to another one-year deal with the site. In addition to again noting her deep run in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, the press release cites “accomplishments in land-based events and UltimateBet’s online poker tables.” Coincidence that the announcement came on the same day as her photo appeared on the Amazing Race website?

“I’m happy to be signing on for another year with UltimateBet and I’m eager to get back to playing in live tournaments and exclusively at their online tables,” said Tiffany Michelle. “The corporate team at UB has been so welcoming and supportive and I’m thrilled to be working with them. I can’t wait for the exciting things in store for us.”

Second, the European Poker Tour Barcelona live reporting team let it slip (after a commentator first did on the EPT Live broadcast earlier in the day) that Isabelle Mercier is no longer a PokerStars-sponsored player. Since sites usually give no reason for dropping players, much less release that information themselves, we can certainly speculate don’t know why Isabelle was dropped. The blurb from the PokerNews reporter:

Incidentally, owing to the folks on the live feed and their tendency towards verbal incontinence, it has just now become public knowledge that Isabelle Mercier is leaving Team Pokerstars. The very best of luck to Ms. Mercier in all her future poker endeavors.

Supreme Poker

by , Aug 21, 2009 | 1:00 pm

The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford recently released a slew of papers kept by the late Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. Interestingly enough, a fellow home game player Walter Berns had a few notes included about the last games played with Rehnquist, as well as the names of other Justices who currently play – Roberts and Scalia. The Blog of Legal Times noted:

Reached at AEI, Berns said this week that Rehnquist had first announced his illness to his fellow poker players during a game the previous fall. It was the last game he attended, a sad occasion. Berns, who joked that he is the “corresponding secretary” of the games, said he has records of more than 200 poker evenings going back to the 1980s.

The games go on, Berns said. “The new chief [John Roberts Jr.] replaced the old chief.” Among others who play, according to Berns, are Justice Antonin Scalia, D.C. Circuit Court judge David Sentelle, and Robert Bennett, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Day 1D Will Take No More Registrants, Commissioner Apologizes

by , Jul 6, 2009 | 3:11 pm

The room was packed with players, who gathered on short notice to find out what Harrah’s would do with the hundreds (conservative number) of irate/disappointed/confused players who were denied entry to the 2009 WSOP Main Event because of their late arrivals to the sell-out event. Notables in the room included Mike Sexton, Mickey Appelman, and Melissa Hayden.

twitpic: @melissalvla

Between the tournament staff, Harrah’s staff, and security contingent, there were approximately 20 suits, lined in front of the room. Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack addressed the crowd with a prepared statement that began, “We are sorry and I am sorry.” He went on to say that the players would not be allowed to play, and that he understands that it is disappointing. “We wish we could accommodate you,” he said and added that he wished they would have played other starting days.

Questions were beamed at Pollack, many players talking over each other at times. Allegations of special treatment were aimed at Harrah’s, with some players asserting that well-known players were granted entry after others were shut out. Pollack’s response? “Absolutely not.”

Most questions revolved around the option of allowing players to begin play this evening and play through the night or somehow incorporating a Day 1E into the mix, but Pollack insisted that it would be logistically and operationally impossible to do. When someone pushed the subject, WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky jumped in with a question of his own directed at the player. “Why didn’t you show up earlier?” A collective “oooh” let Palansky know that he may have gone too far with the comment.

Pollack tried to cool the crowd with comments like, “We are not doing this happily today,” but it was clear that the players were not becoming any more satisfied with the comments. With Pollack promising that sell-out tournaments will be the number one topic to be discussed when planning the 2010 WSOP, he eventually ended the meeting with parting words “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Pollack, Palansky, and other executives went out a private side entrance protected by security.

Living the Dream(s)

Go Bo!

by , May 19, 2009 | 9:07 am

The more I read about this, the more I like it.

I stumbled across this courtesy of High Stakes News. A Canadian by the name of Bo Fric didn’t exactly make a success out of his run as a professional poker player. In fact, he accumulated quite the debt in the process. But before leaving the game altogether, he put together a “poker bucket list,” which he plans to put into motion this summer at the WSOP, write about it, and film it all for a documentary. The list includes things like riding in a hot-air balloon with Sam Grizzle and doing yoga with Allen Cunningham. However…

There are three little problems:

1. I don’t know any of these people on a personal level and really don’t know how to begin.
2. I currently have a slight negative balance in my bank account, $30,000 in credit card debt, and less than $3,000 liquid cash.
3. I don’t know the first damn thing about writing a book.

Other problems? He has a young son and has chosen to mortgage his house, car, and other worldly possessions to carry out this project. Nevertheless, since he began airing his wishes on his website, Bo seems to have found sponsors like PokerRoad and the Canadian Poker Tour, making it seem like this has a chance of playing out before our WSOP-blurred eyes this summer. Could be interesting!

Items on the bucket list include: More…

Who Wants to Lead the WPA?

by , Nov 12, 2008 | 9:42 am

A message from WPA Founder Jesse Jones which floated into my email account (among others) earlier this week:


I founded the WPA in November 2005 with $100,000 of personal funds as a non-profit association. The mission was to represent tournament poker players worldwide and establish uniform tournament rules, procedures, structures, and payouts; and to improve playing conditions for players. In June 2006 a WPA booth at the WSOP for six weeks saw 80 professionals pay $1,000 each as Founding Members and approximately 800 others join as regular members. In March 2007 an initial Board of Directors was elected by the membership. I was elected Chairman by the board. During the 2007 WSOP the WPA booth saw an additional 50 professionals become Founding Members and approximately 350 others join. During the first two years I worked countless hours to introduce and gain support for the WPA and had umpteen conversations with poker pros and poker related businesses all the while playing in major events around the globe.

Because of my health issues with voice and other physical problems from prior throat cancer I requested the Vice Chairman to chair all board meetings. During 2007 I served on the Executive Committee. Some of the accomplishments of 2007 include the formation of an Ethics Code, revision of the website, formation of basic rules, donation of the WSOP booth space by Harrahs, planning of the first WPA tournament and annual meeting with an educational conference.


Top Ten Lists for Day 2A & 2B

by , Jul 7, 2008 | 2:49 pm

With the slower structure at the 2008 WSOP main event, the number of players still in the field after all of the Day 1’s were completed is massive – 3,929 to be exact. Luckily, the second days are divided into two, with Day 1A and 1B finishers playing on Day 2A on Tuesday, and Day 1C and 1D finishers playing on Day 2B on Wednesday. Are ya with me?

There will be 1251 players on Day 2A, with the top ten as follows:

Mark Garner – 194,900
Ben Sarnoff – 177,500
Brandon Adams – 176,450
Brian Schaedlich – 160,725
Kellen Hunter – 155,200
Stefan Mattsson – 154,275
Patrick Fortin – 145,275
Robert Mizrachi – 142,400
Jeff Frerichs – 138,025
Soren Peterson – 135,475

And there will be a whopping 2678 players on Day 2B, with the ten chip leaders as follows:

Henning Granstad – 242,950
Curt Kohlberg – 173,050
David Baker – 163,450
Howard Berchowitz – 160,075
Arnaud Mattern – 157,650
Steve Austin – 149,000
Mohamad Kowssarie – 146,000
David Stucke – 140,525
Sami Rustom – 140,450
Dylan Linde – 138,425

We’ll be at the Rio tomorrow to bring you any interesting info and gossip as the field plays down over the coming days.

And the Official Number is… 6844!

First Place to Pay Over $9 Million

by , Jul 6, 2008 | 6:28 pm

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived… The official number of entrants in the 2008 WSOP $10K NLHE main event is 6,844. Second largest field ever.

When it was announced that the final 666 players will be in the money, a collective groan came from the tables. Oooh – 666. Superstitious crowd, eh? I will only be creeped out if the 666th finisher is named Damien…

The first prize is a whopping $9,119,517. Whew! I may have heard a collective sigh of relief from Harrah’s staff members, as they now know that the event grew from last year – 486 more players – and the big first prize is one they can truly brag about. Actually, that same sense of relief may have resonated through the poker media as well. Good numbers, good sign that poker is experiencing some growth amidst tough economic times.

Full payout list will be listed when we get it in our hot little hands.

Full Tilt = Full House

by , Jun 21, 2008 | 3:03 pm

Evidently, Robert Williamson III is now a Full Tilt Pro. When I asked an FTP rep about the possibility of a forthcoming press release, I was told that there was not one planned because the information already leaked out. Ummm, putting a patch on the guy is a pretty good hint for those of us paying attention.

Although, as I looked over the list of Full Tilt team members, pros, and friends on the website, I realize exactly how many players are on the Full Tilt Poker roster and how easily a new signing could be overlooked. In fact, Williamson isn’t even listed on the site yet.

The list of FTP players is impressive and confusing at the same time… How many players can feel truly represented by a site that sponsors approximately 123 people? It would be like having dozens of siblings; how much one-on-one time with the parents will each one get?

There is also a tier of sponsorships, a little like a ranking of the kids from most special to barely recognizable. On one end, there is Team Full Tilt – Lederer, Ferguson, Ivey, Hansen, Harman, et al. Listed below that category is Team CardRunners, then the Hendon Mob, then the Full Tilt Pros, and finally the Friends of Full Tilt. Friends include Bruce Buffer, authors Michael Craig and Jim McManus, commentator Ali Nejad, Jerry Yang, and a few others whose names don’t ring a bell. It’s the Pro category that blows my mind a little, with lots of well-known pros mixed with several players I’ve never heard of. Just makes me wonder about the criteria when David Singer and Lee Watkinson are in the same category with Christoph Wolters and Roland Specht.

I wonder if there’s a limit as to the number of players that Full Tilt wants, needs, or will tolerate. It’s already quite the full house.

2008 WSOP Hits Halfway Mark

Casualty Toll Yet to Be Determined

by , Jun 18, 2008 | 11:59 pm

It seems that the 2008 WSOP is at the halfway point. If judging by days, we are almost there, but if looking at events, more than half of them have concluded and we’re in the second half.

Thus far, bits of poker history have been made – the first set of siblings to each win a bracelet in the same year and only the second set of brothers to every accomplish the feat, and the fourth largest poker tournament ever held (Event #2). Professional poker players have absolutely dominated the Series, with numerous players like Lindgren and Singer finally taking home the gold. And through the end of the day June 17th, the totals were as follows:

30 WSOP bracelets awarded
28,223 players registered in tournaments
2,705 players finished in the money
$66,514,615 prize pools combined

There is also an interesting and notable change that takes place at the WSOP near the halfway mark.