Posts Tagged ‘WPT Invitational’

Oscars Poker at the LAPC: WPT Invitational

Jess & BJ Show

by , Feb 28, 2011 | 4:26 pm

Have I just missed this timing connection for all these years? The LAPC and the WPT Celebrity Invitational coinciding with the Oscars? Hmm, it seems like good timing, especially when a few big names going deep are Tilly, DeNiro, and Salomon.

After a presumably successful near-WSOP-length run, the LAPC is coming to close … you know you’re finally at the “main event” whenever Jess & BJ arrive — even if we’re only talking about a $100k first prize. Regardless that’s when I start paying attention in just about all things WPT. Their show gives me about as much as I need, too, for coverage of this whole Oscars thing that seems to go down every year. (Couldn’t even tell you who won … but I think Charlie Sheen has been big buzz maybe?)

I don’t really consider myself as a critic of film criticism … but I do think we all can tell that BJ would really play to his strengths if he were doing red-carpet fashion critique and Jess stuck to sports.


Poker stuff that happened over the weekend

by , Feb 22, 2010 | 12:55 pm

For those Pokerati readers who missed out on what’s going on, here’s some stuff that’s happened over the past few days:

The first PokerStars.net NAPT event in the US got off to a roaring start on Saturday, with 872 players putting up $5,000 at the Venetian as part of their Deep Stack Extravaganza. 149 players started day 3 a few minutes ago, with 128 making the money. Hand for hand play has just begun, and the tournament staff is hoping to play down to 24. You can follow the action over at PokerNews, PokerStarsblog.com, or PokerListings. The winner when play ends on Thursday will collect $827,648.

Reality show star Trishelle Canatella made the final table of the WPT Celebrity Invitational, part of the LA Poker Classic currently running at the Commerce Casino. The final table will resume on March 3rd with this lineup:

Seat 1: Steve Elliott – 1,520,000
Seat 2: Thor Hansen – 1,480,000
Seat 3: Trishelle Cannatella – 1,540,000
Seat 4: Sean Urban – 2,090,000
Seat 5: Neev Baram – 1,900,000
Seat 6: LeRon Washington – 1,790,000

In other LAPC news, Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri took down his 3rd preliminary event of this year’s LAPC, winning the $2,100 Ironman event, a tournament with no scheduled breaks. Barbieri pocketed almost $60,000 for the win, plus a seat to the $10,000 Main Event, which starts February 26th.

The NBC National Heads-Up Championship is just a few days away, with the draw party on March 4th at Pure at Caesars’ Palace, followed by the tournament from March 5-7. The full list of 64 participants hasn’t been announced yet, but over 20 players already received their invite through a series of criteria, including last year’s winner, Huck Seed. Other automatic invites include: Phil Ivey, Joe Cada, Vanessa Rousso, Darvin Moon, Jason Mercier, Eric Baldwin, Sammy Farha, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, and Barry Shulman. One invitee who had to decline: Jeff Lisandro, who has a prior commitment in Australia which prevents him from attending.

The EPT Copenhagen event, which drew 423 entries, concluded Sunday evening with Sweden’s Anton Wigg outlasting Italy’s Francesco de Vivo in a four-hour heads-up duel to win 3,675,000 Danish kroner ($6782,918). Other notables who cashed: Roberto Romanello, Peter Eastgate, Juha Helppi, and Bertrand Grospellier.


Random Notes from WPT Invitational Cocktail Party

by , Mar 1, 2009 | 7:48 pm

With a cold coming on, I juiced up on cold medicine and headed down to Commerce Casino last night for the pre-tournament WPT Invitational cocktail party. In more of a stuffy-headed fog now, I give you a few observations from the festivities:

William Hung was the first “celebrity” I noticed, as he arrived as soon as the red carpet was ready for action. And the poor guy was the only one from the red carpet featured by Perez Hilton today, and not featured in a particularly good way.

Food was excellent as usual, with a random assortment of Asian and Greek set-ups, along with the yum-yum appetizers floating around the room on waiters’ trays.

No DJ in the outdoor area like last year’s event, but it actually made for a more conversation-friendly atmosphere on the patio.

Wicked Chops scored seats in the tournament. I spent way too much time trying to figure out how that happened.

Reports of the demise of the Phil Laak/Jennifer Tilly relationship were evidently untrue, as the two looked typically couple-y as usual – Jennifer in a beautiful outfit, Phil in saggy jeans and a hoodie.

Some celebrities on the “confirmed” list were no-shows, such as Camryn Manheim, Montel Williams, and Nelly. (Yes, I was more than disappointed about one of those absences!)

CORRECTION: Manheim was there, and Jen was still disappointed. -DM

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough are still a couple and just as adorable as ever, with Shannon checking on Derek and his amateur poker experiences throughout the evening.

Contrary to all reports from the tournament, Antonio Esfandiari was not the first person eliminated from the tournament, as Mike “SirWatts” Watson (former WPT champion) was out of the tournament and standing with us at the bar when that announcement was made. Ouch.

New to my social radar were Mike Watson and Shane Schleger, both of whom were introduced to me by Gavin Griffin and Kristin Roberts and very nice to chat with.

Also met Jamie Gold for the first time, who was extremely friendly and psyched about his Aced Poker affiliation, though my question about his possible ownership in the company was met with the standard “details of the contract cannot be disclosed” line. Good brief chat anyway. (His calling card gives him the title “Poker Philanthropist.”)

Mekhi Phifer
took the reigns during the rebuy period, grabbing the mic and encouraging players to rebuy (or even just donate) to his charity, The Vine Group, to help educational efforts in Africa. He was a great spokesperson for the organization and raised $78,270 for it, while managing to maintain his usual humble but outrageously sexy demeanor.


Mekhi Phifer in final 25 of WPT Invitational

by , | 5:22 pm

Jennifer Newell’s favorite person to stalk celebrity, Mekhi Phifer is still in the hunt to make the final table of the WPT Invitational at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. To see how well he does, along with the people you’ve never heard of and celebrities, check out the WPT updates for more info.

6:50pm Update: Mekhi is nursing a shortstack with 16 players left, only the final table of 6 gets paid in this tournament.


Could Men Be the Master of L.A. Poker?

by , Aug 11, 2008 | 8:19 pm

Pardon the groaner title, but hear me out.

Men “The Master” Nguyen is on a roll of sorts. In the event mentioned below, Men took first place and the $65,700 top prize. He cashed in Event #2 of the Legends of Poker series on July 31st, then took down Event #13 on August 10th. Keep in mind that the year is but a little more than half over, and he already has $767,949 in 2008 tournament winnings thus far. A few other accomplishments earlier this year include:

• Two cashes at the Gold Strike World Poker Open in Tunica, including a prelim event win
• Three WPT cashes, including a final table that resulted in a 3rd place cash for $241,193
• Six cashes at the L.A. Poker Classic, including three victories in prelim events
• Five WSOP cashes

He is seriously dominating local L.A. poker in 2008 and doing well in general, and he still has time to add more accomplishments to the list. And consider this: His brother and wife are becoming forces to be reckoned with on the tournament circuit. Ut Nguyen won an L.A. Poker Classic prelim earlier this year, along with other cashes. Van Nguyen has had even more success, as she became the first woman to win a WPT mixed event at the WPT Celebrity Invitational in March. She took $125,500 for that victory, then went on to final table the WPT Ladies Championship the next month. And her WSOP included four cashes, netting more than her husband overall and finishing much better than him in the main event. In total, she has made $226,083 in 2008 so far.

I have a feeling this is going to be a sick year for Men and his family of players. The Nguyens are players to watch…is all I’m sayin’.


Woman Wins WPT Invitational

by , Mar 4, 2008 | 8:07 am

Van Nguyen - Courtesy of PokerPages

Van Nguyen – Courtesy of PokerPages

Though the Wicked Chops guys might say the world is coming to an end, I beg to differ.

A woman won the WPT Invitational last night! Van Nguyen, wife of Men “The Master” Nguyen, made it to the final table as the only woman left, and she took it down. Men and other friends, like Young Phan, were in the audience rooting her on. She won $125,000 and a seat into the WPT World Championship in April.

While it wasn’t a normal open event – it was an invitational freeroll – she still got through a field of 445 players. Not too shabby!

There were four women going into the final table of ten players, but they were eliminated before the TV table was set.

All I can hope is that she didn’t use her husband’s line, “All you can eat, baby!” during the tournament. It takes on an entirely different meaning when a woman says it.

Details of the sloooooooow final table were documented by the WPT Live Updates team.


WPT Invitational Enters Day 2 Without Mekhi

by , Mar 2, 2008 | 12:24 pm

Mekhi Phifer - Courtesy of PokerListings.com

Mekhi Phifer – Courtesy of PokerListings.com

The WPT Invitational got underway yesterday with a 5pm reception. Open bars, free buffet, dj spinning some tunes, celebs excited to meet poker pros, poker pros excited to meet celebs, media enjoying the food and drink…

It was quite fun and not the normal introduction to a poker tournament. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere and the company. And when players took their seats at 7pm for the freeroll tourney, the fun continued. While most people wouldn’t mind doing well and taking home their share of the $200k prize pool, it was predominantly a room full of drunks not-too-serious poker playing.

Within the first few hours, my personal fav Mekhi Phifer was eliminated AND didn’t say goodbye to me, so the night was pretty much over. Some other stuff probably happened, but you’ll have to check WPT Live Updates, PokerPages, or PokerListings for actual results.

Day 2 begins today at 2pm with only 112 remaining players out of the original 400-420-somewhere in that range.