Jeff Gross

Wants to Party All The Time

“Professional Best Friend” (of Michael Phelps) Jeff Gross has that look in his eye.

Though his real birthday was last week, poker bro Antonio Esfandiari held his massive birthday bash at Marquee Nightclub in Las Vegas last night. The recently tattooed poker pro, perhaps most well known for palling around with Gold Medal Olympian Michael Phelps, looks like he had a crazy amount of fun.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

EPT Prague Day 2 Main Event:

189 Players To Fight over Record-Breaking Prize Pool

Second day of the €5300-buyin main event concludes.

Day 2 of the EPT Prague Main Event is in the books. 189 players managed to not spew off their stacks and will return for day 3 tomorrow.

In total, 1007 players signed up to the event, making for a huge prize-pool of €4,883,950 and a first place prize of €889,000—thought to be the largest in EPT Prague history.

Chip leader going into the third of six days is Lebanese pro Walid Bou Habib, who sits at #181 on the GPI rankings with over $1.1m in lifetime cashes.

Other big name players in the top 10 include Jonathan Little with the second largest stack, online grinder Ka Kwan Lau and November Niner Amir Lehavot.

Also in contention is Ana Marquez, pictured above, and PokerStars pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Jonathan Duhamel and Eugene Katchalov are still alive, but with smaller stacks.

The money bubble is set at 127 for a min-cash of €8600.

Check out the full write-up over on pokerfuse, read PokerStars’ official updates and chip counts on pokerstarsblog.com, and watch the live stream from tomorrow when the action resumes.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

WPT’s Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten:

Rise and Shine it’s Workout Time

Get in shape with the Burt and Ernie of poker!

World Poker Tour loves to keep things retro.

Watch as Poker Hall of Fame member, Mike Sexton and his World Poker Tour broadcasting partner-in-crime, Vince Van Patten (VVP), take to the streets of the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, to get get the blood pumping and shed a few pounds.

In the footsteps of 1970-80’s icon Rocky, the pair hit the gym, run the steps and Laurel-and-Hardy their way through a myriad of exercises in order to prepare for the grind that is the World Poker Tour.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink


WPT Champ Dan Smith:

“I play my best when the money is biggest”

Aaron Jones unimpressed.

He keeps his trophies next to the booze.

Dan Smith, the 24-year old who just racked up his 3rd 7-figure score, sits down with fellow Team Ivey pro, Aaron “AEJones” Jones for a quick celebration interview after his World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic victory(lets put a few more words in that title, shall we?).

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Dan, incredibly gracious, takes us through what was going on in his head during the final table. The video is especially hilarious as Smith, who just came off this domination of the Final Table and has the poker world right where he wants it, is extremely humble, but somehow it’s Aaron Jones who comes off as the cockiest mf’er on the planet.

Behind the scenes pic.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Matt Matros:

75% of players are losers, don’t be one of them

Poker pro offers up strategy on self-assessment.

We can’t all be winners.

Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and blogger for Cardplayer Magazine, Matt Matros wants to help you get your mind right when it comes to your poker game. In his latest write up, Matros asserts that roughly 75% of poker players may be losing players and “the rake” isn’t the only reason why. The reason may be you.

When it comes to getting better at poker and becoming a winning player, self-assessment is key. Matros likes to call it the “Self-Assessment Paradox” and it’s based on the fact that if you don’t properly know where your game stands, you’ll never be able to take the necessary steps, sometimes due to ego, to become a winning player.

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According to Matros, those who end up becoming winning players fall into one of three categories:

1. A person with no ego who starts out at small stakes and climbs the ladder only when his skill has improved enough to justify it.

2. A person who gets very lucky early in his career, and develops the skill of self-assessment before his early winnings run out.

3. A persistent die-hard who fights through months or even years of being a losing player until he eventually develops his skills enough to become a winner.

How do you get the value of self-assessment? You should check out the write up over at Cardplayer. It’ll take you 3 minutes to read and maybe just change the way you think about your game.

When you go to CardPlayer though, don’t mind the hilariously bizarre black and white photo of Matros that makes him look like he’s in a 1950’s yearbook.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Dan Bilzerian

Scolded for “Lewd Behavior”

Online mom critiques the Instagram King.

Beardo heads out to the Mojave to blow some shit up.

Turns out, not everyone is a fan of Beardo.

Dan Bilzerian, the multimillionaire “Instagram King” has legions of follower who love to fawn over his gratitious pics of guns, girls and stacks of cash. But these titillating pics are really just “lewd behavior,” according to a post in the “Cafe Mom” section of The Stir.

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That’s right, Bilzarian’s crossed over to mainstream moms. This conservative So Cal “chick” writes that “the poker playboy” is engaged in some “debauchery” and that the girls in his photos may need some “chicken soup” and “a chitchat about self-worth and value.”

Although, she had to admit she did love one pic of Dan’s.

What do you think? Is Bilzerian crossing a line with his lavish lifestyle and NSFW pics?

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Celina Lin and Randy “Nanonoko” Lew

Get Up Close And Personal

Team PokerStars Pros talk anything but strategy.

Nanonoko has carefully cultivated a legion of online fans.

We know you trust our opinion on what’s worth watching and what’s not, so here’s fair warning: If you are looking for salacious life secrets or insight into how to mass multi-table, this video is NOT for you. Team PokerStars Asia Pro Celina Lin cuddles up to the newly engaged Randy “Nanonoko” Lew to ask him “Howard Stern” style personal questions.

The questions never get to Stern level, but it is interesting how this online phenom got his start, the cultural boundaries of his own household and eventually how Randy, unknowingly, gives hope to the local Macau ladies of the night.

Again, this is for a specialized audience, but it’s an interesting, intimate update on the life of Lew.

Not familiar with Randy Lew? Check out the original Team PokerStars video “I AM NANONOKO” from director Ryan Firpo:

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Kara Scott

Admits to Having a Lot of Baggage

Travel tips for the poker pro.

These are important tips! Not just a thin veil to get the charming Kara Scott back on the homepage.

Sure, this is a blatant promo piece for partypoker, but we trust you can see past that and get to the heart of the infomercial – Kara Scott's travel tips! Whether you are headed home for the holidays, making plans to visit the LAPC or even entering the World Poker Tour Fake Girlfriends stop, one of our favorite sideline reporters has a few professional tips on making your travel days a little less stressful.

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Kara recommends that you:

1. Download Flighttrack

... Realtime changes on airport departure boards around the world plus terminal maps so you can plan out your food strategy accordingly.

2. Locate your luggage via GPS

I’ll never wonder where in the world my bags are again! Plus, it’d be cool to see exactly where my bags manage to get to.

3. Don’t eat when flying overseas

...apparently fasting for 12 hours helps to reset your body clock and combat jet lag.

Of course, there’s more info in the full article, so if you are planning on flying the friendly skies this month, take a few moments and check it out on the partypoker blog.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink


EPT Prague

Shoots For Record Numbers, Revisit Day 1A Action

James Hartigan, Sarah Grant provides info and highlights from Prague

EPT will be hoping for a record turnout today to make it the biggest event in EPT Prague history.

There are two things you should know about Prague: It’s super cold and it’s really far away.

No big deal, that’s why James Hartigan and Sarah Grant are there, to catch you up on all the action from the floor of the Prague Hilton and to show you clips of Team PokerStars Pro (and Triple Crown winner) Jake Cody getting faced. As well as tell us about all the big names that are still left in the field.

Live streaming coverage to start shortly.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Poker Princess Molly Bloom

Cops A Plea, Faces Up To 6 Months In Jail

High-stakes home game organizer slapped with $250k fine.

Molly Bloom, the woman who organized the Hollywood Home Games that allegedly brought A-list movie stars like Tobey “Spiderman” Maguire, “Rounders” legend Matt Damon and “Wolf Of Wall Street” lead Leonardo DiCaprio to the poker table, entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of operating an illegal gambling business in Manhattan Federal Court earlier today.

The 35-year old Bloom, who had long been tied to high-stakes home games on both coasts, claims that she thought that hosting these games was merely a misdemeanor and not the federal offense that it is, according to the NY Daily News. Earlier this year she was caught in the sportsbetting sting that has ties to the Russian mafia as well as a number of well known professional poker players.

In exchange for her plea, she faces only 6 months in jail and a $250k fine.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Bad Beat Bro:

Standard Case Of First To Worst

F5 is all about wasting a little time.

Here’s another bad beat pic to make you feel better.

People seems to like it the last time 'The (Self-Proclaimed) Best Player In The Bay Area’, Pat Lyons, posted a bad beat pic so we decided to see if you liked it again.

Nothing to say here, pretty standard – three way all-in, two hands dominated by a future railbird holding pocket aces. No rebuys, no re-entry. On to the next one.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Reigning EPT Prague Champ Ramzi Jelassi

Looking to Quit Poker

Apparently the love is gone, but he’s still looking…

Sarah Grant really wants to know how much Jelassi is worth!

Pokernews' Sarah Grant isn’t shy. In this great video she needles 2012 EPT Prague Champion Ramzi Jelassi about how much money he’s made in his poker career ($2.5 million) , forces him to admit that he dropped out of his studies of economics due to lack of motivation and has him solicit the camera for a date.

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But when it comes to poker, he’s focused and determined, right? Not so fast.

“I’m not a kid anymore,” Jelassi said, “I’m 27 now so I don’t want to play poker my whole life. Feels like it’s time for a change in my life so this might be my last EPT.”

If you haven’t yet, give the video a quick watch.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Throwback Thursday:

The Incredible Lance Funston

You can only WISH your WSOP experience could be this soft.

While Lance is the main attraction, check out those braids on Gavin Smith.

When it comes to playing poker, revisiting history is rarely kind.

A little viewed thread on Two Plus Two sought out the WSOP amateur who bet based on chip color and what came back was the incredible Lance Funston.

Sure, you don’t normally have ten minutes in your day to do anything, much less watch an ancient World Series of Poker video* but being a poker fanatic, you are going to really enjoy some of the throwback gems in here.

The clip includes Men The Master, Gavin Smith, Scott Fischman — all the titans of 2005. Plus, when was the last time you saw a hand have 6 way action to the flop? This video has it all. Happy Thursday and enjoy!

  • Kevmath correction: it’s the US Poker Championships from the Taj in AC!
published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Dan Smith:

King For Yet Another Day

Breaks into the top 100 on the All Time Money List.

World Poker Tour, © World Poker Tour.
Dan Smith is doing everything right.

If you are a die hard poker fan, then you’ve already heard the news. The man with one of the most generic names in poker, Dan Smith, added yet another massive accolade to his incredibly unique career—his first World Poker Tour title. The Team Ivey pro bested the incredibly pro heavy field at WPT 5 Diamond World Poker Classic for a massive $1.16 million dollar payday and a mammoth trophy to boot.

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While for many that might be the crowning achievement of a young career, this is King Dan’s third 7-figure score. The accomplished 24-year old already has over $5.6 million dollars in career earnings as well as both an EPT and an Aussie Millions High Roller title.

Old dudes reading this: don’t feel bad. Dan so young he can’t even really rent-a-car for another year, So he’s got to hitch a ride when he’s travelling around the world winning all the money, so you have that on him.

Let’s give some props to those behind the scenes too, courtesy of WPT Host Lynn Gilmartin

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Rafa Nadal

Aces His First Test

Tennis pro takes down EPT Prague charity tournament.

Rafa goes heads-up with Fatima Moreira de Melo for the €50,000 1st place.

It’s all done. The EPT spectacle that was Rafael Nadal's first live poker tournament is all over and in the end, the tennis pro bested the 6-max sit-and-go to win €50,000 for his charity of choice.

He sat at the high tech table with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, former pro skiier Alberto Tomba, legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo, Ukrainian football star and Andriy Shevchenko and the charming Team PokerStars Sportstar and former Dutch field hockey star Fatima Moreira de Melo.

In the end though, it would be the sharply dressed man who feverishly trained on film who would close out the match on top.

For details on all the action check out the play-by-play from the PokerStars Blog.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Tony G

Opens Up About His New Online Fantasyland

Tonybet to feature both OFC and a slimmer Tony G!

Tony G and TJ the dog.

Tony G had been playing coy about something big coming to his online betting site, Tonybet, all month and now it’s finally here. The “G” revealed that his will be the first (and only) online poker room that is dedicated solely real money Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC).

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It’s a OFC player’s online fantasyland as it features a few varieties of the popular game: Classic, Pineapple, 13-Card and Turbo. All of which Tonybet explicitly states the rules for and how-to-play. From the looks of it, the app appears to be able to be mobile as well as boxtop based so whether you are on an iOS or Android device or a Mac/PC, you can get your gamble on.

But that’s not the only surprise on the Tonybet site. Check out that pic of Tony! Boy does that look 'shopped, but hey maybe Tony has dropped a few pounds from all that bike riding he likes to do.

it wouldn’t be a Tony G post without a classic Tony G video, would it?

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Jason Somerville

Locks It Up With UFC Star Chael Sonnen

Team U Pro putting in the hours for Ultimate Poker.

Sommerville and Ultimate Poker both getting their money’s worth.

Antonio Esfandiari may be the marquee pro for legal online poker operator Ultimate Poker, but it seems as if no one gets more promotion work done on Team U than that of Jason Somerville. The professional poker player and avid MMA fan really gets around.

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From being in the hotel room with JWoww and Dana White on New Jersey launch day to running it up on his increasingly popular YouTube channel, Somerville seems to really be enjoying his gig as a representative for the the site and the brass at Ultimate Poker must be happy with his efforts.

In fact, perhaps as a bit of a “thank you”, an ecstatic Jason was invited to the set of UFC Tonight at the Fox Sports Studios where he snapped this shot of himself with Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen and UFC legend Kenny Florian. He even offered Florian some emergency poker lessons if ever the occasion arose.

Here’s a bonus video of UFC head honcho Dana White getting fired up in New Jersey (the full length video of the fun was removed from the interent).

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Vanessa Selbst:

6-Figure Cash Machine

Does it again, takes down EPT Prague PLO Championship.

Laughing all the way to the bank, Selbst is simply the best.

One of the top tournament players on the planet, Vanessa Selbst, who ranks #1 on the Woman’s All Time Money List, just added another €100k+ to her bankroll as she took down the €5k EPT 10 PLO Championship side event in Prague last night.

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Selbst survived by outflopping, outracing and outlasting a healthy field of 71 runners, including Sam Greenwood who she eventually defeated heads up for the win.

This marks Selbst’s 3rd 6-figure cash in 4 months as it was just this past September that she ran super deep in the Borgata Poker Open for a nearly $500k score and she followed that up in October by winning the UKIPT London High Roller for another $109k.

This is just one of the reasons Selbst was on the F5 Thanksgiving Top 10 list!

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink



WSOP.com’s Bill Rini:

“Ask Me Anything About the Industry”

WSOP’s Head of Online Poker gets an AMA on P5s.

Ask Me Anything’s are all the rage.

Bill Rini has been around the block, just read his resume. He’s worked for Full Tilt Poker, partypoker and the World Poker Tour, all in an extensive capacity — meaning he wasn’t some scrub. Point being, Bill Rini knows the online poker industry inside and out, as he’s proven for years on his popular blog, and he’s bringing that knowledge to you.

Rini, now the Head of Online Poker for the newly launched WSOP.com, is spilling the beans on all things regarding U.S. regulated online poker as well as the industry in general in an Ask Me Anything with PocketFives.

It’s a pretty interesting read, whether or not you are located in a “free state”, and there’s even still time to submit your question. Rini’s not really shying away from anything, including his take on today’s ruling against PokerStars, so go check it out.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Ultimate Poker’s “Help Wanted” Part II:

Getting Max Value From Your Industry Job App

Plug some leaks in your interview game.

Terrence Chan also pounds out the UTG +1 Podcast.

Earlier this week we pointed you to a recent blog post by professional poker player (multi-time SCOOP & WCOOP winner) turned amateur mixed martial artist turned poker industry pro, Terrence Chan. Chan just shipped more career advice from someone who has made the successful transition into the industry.

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The key thing to remember when entering the workforce is that despite your job or education gap, you bring value to poker companies! You provide skills and experience. The problem is, so do hundreds or even thousands of other poker pros who find themselves in a similar spot. How do you stand out from the crowd?

With every player that returns to the regulated US market for online poker, the need for people to assist those players— and create technology for them to enjoy—becomes more prevalent. Here in Part II of his blog post for Ultimate Poker, Terrence shows you how to not just get a foot in the door, but put a rear naked chokehold on the position you want.

Chan lists all the “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” in the blog but F5 reached out to Terrence and asked him for a pro tip … something he didn’t mention in his article.

“Best thing I think (that I didn’t mention in the article) in terms of getting noticed, is putting the job position right in the subject line. Basically when you e-mail, it goes to HR and then they filter to appropriate hiring manager.” Chan told us that’s the best and fastest way to get your app in the hands of someone who will know what to do with it.

We also asked him what positions Ultimate Gaming was looking to fill and he told us that while they are always on the lookout for Customer Service reps, the Technology Division is aggressively “looking to expand” and they “need a lot of people” to help create the next generation of games in the Software Development department.

Sound like you? Go get it.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Reverse Angle:

Daniel Negreanu Goes Inside The Matrix

EPT Prague Main Event starts tomorrow.

We showed you the sick technical setup for the big Rafa v. Ronaldo charity tournament at EPT Prague but Daniel Negreanu, who will also be participating in the event, goes inside the “Matrix-like” camera configuration to let us see what it would be like to be playing under those watching eyes.

For an exclusive look at the tech behind the “Time Frame” technology – read more on pokerfuse.

Speaking of watchful eyes: You can watch live streaming coverage of EPT Prague right from the comfort of your own computer or mobile device starting tomorrow on PokerStars.tv.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Poker Industry Reacts

To PokerStars Situation In New Jersey

Twitter lights up with brief thoughts.

Everyone likes to read tweets.

What’s that? You haven’t heard? We’ll before going any further, you should read our post “PokerStars Slapped With A 525,600 Hand Penalty” in another browser tab.

Now that you’re all caught up, you might be interested to see what others in the industry—as well as some players—thought of today’s breaking news. Here are a few choice tweets we spotted and put in once place for your ease and gratification. All of which are 140 Characters or less.

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It all started with the bomb drop of Forbes Magazine Nathan Vardi:

Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corp Communications for PokerStars:

ESPN’s Andrew Feldman, host of The Poker Edge and writer/editor for ESPN Poker:

Donnie Peters, Editor-In-Chief PokerNews:

Hannah Dreier, AP Gambling Reporter:

BJ Nemeth, respected veteran poker journalist:

Alex Dreyfus, owner Global Poker Index, The Hendon Mob:

Mark Gahagan, host of The Rabbit Hunt poker podcast:

Dave Behr, gaming industry attorney:

Michael Gomola, former online poker player:

Brent Hanks, pro poker player:

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

PokerStars

Slapped With A 525,600 Hand Penalty

Must step away from the table.

Live dealers usually deal about 30 hands an hour…do the math.

In breaking news today, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has put online poker giant PokerStars on penalty for two years, freezing them out of the recently regulated New Jersey online market. Apparently, the Garden State’s DGE had a problem with PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg's legal status within the US—meaning that even though he’s no longer an exec at PokerStars he’s still got that pesky Black Friday indictment to deal with.

No doubt officials at WSOP.com, Ultimate Poker and partypoker are wrapped up in one big group hug—for the moment as of now, the New Jersey player pool is up for grabs. That said, PokerStars can potentially get back in the game if they cut ties with the Schienberg’s, which the DGE stated as:

The Division, within that period, may consider a request for relief to reactivate the application if significantly changed circumstances are demonstrated at which time the Division’s investigation of PokerStars and its affiliated entities and associated individuals will be resumed to assess suitability.

For all the details of PokerStars exclusion from New Jersey, check out our coverage on our sister site, pokerfuse.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Godmode:

Jesus Loves Poker

Jerry Yang knew it all along.

He doesn’t mean Jesus Ferguson either.

In yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing to review the state of online gaming, and poker in particular, Rep. Joe Barton (R- Texas) made no bones about the fact he likes playing online poker and he’s pretty sure GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE is a fan as well. In a statement to the committee, Barton cited his exceptional travel time as evidence that God himself wants online poker legalized and regulated.

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I wanna tell this committee Mr. Chairman, that God must be for this bill. I got up this morning at 4 o’clock in Ennes, Texas outside of Dallas and braved icy roads and 20 degree temperatures to get to DFW airport where my good friends at American Airlines left exactly on time. God put a 200 mph tailwind behind the plane. I got here an hour early. That tells me that God is for this bill.

Just in case you thought Barton was a total wacko, he went on to explain that he was being a little silly.

I was somewhat flippant when I said God favored this bill. Obviously God doesn’t care one fig about this. God does care about free will, and I think we should have a law that reflects that.

Amen to that.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

EPT’s James Hartigan

Snubbed By Bluff Magazine, Promoted Anyway

Veteran broadcaster leaves Sky Poker.

New boss James Hartigan with his employee, Bluff nominated broadcaster, Joe Stapleton.

Maybe this is a bit too poker industry-y instead of pure poker culture, but congratulations goes out to veteran poker broadcaster and one of the voices of the European Poker Tour (EPT), James Hartigan for getting promoted to the position of Senior Creative Producer of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour.

We’re just speculating here, but the brass at PokerStars must have made the decision before the Bluff Readers Choice Awards nominations came out because Hartigan, who we think of as one of the very best in the industry, isn’t even in the top 5!

No doubt someone, somewhere is going to get fired today.

Oh well, Hartigan will have to deal with that painful snub by getting an incredible new job with the world’s richest poker site and getting to travel all over the world producing quality content (in a “senior” position no less) for the poker masses…a ton of which we’ll be featuring on F5.

In January 2014, I take up the post of Senior Creative Producer. I’ll continue to carry out my existing duties on the tour: anchoring the live streams from each event, and presenting the television shows alongside Joe Stapleton. In addition, I’ll be working behind-the-scenes during pre and post-production with the talented crew who make the EPT and PCA the best poker programming on TV.

Want to read James’ full acceptance speech? It’s right here on his blog.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

World Poker Tour

To Visit “Girlfriends” In The Niagara Falls Area

Tour adds yet another event like poker’s going out of style.

Brian from the Breakfast Club turns poker pro.

The World Poker Tour(WPT) has squeezed out another stop on it’s already incredibly packed Season XII schedule. This time it’s the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, located about an hour outside of Toronto, in the land of imaginary girlfriends – Niagara Falls, giving Canadian enthusiasts another chance at WPT glory.

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For the WPT though, this is just a quickie. The Main Event has a CAD $5,000 ($4713.00 USD) buy-in, no reentry and lasts only 3 days. There’s two prelims, a $1.1k and a $2.5k, and satellites to the Main Event are already underway.

The action gets started Tuesday Feb. 18 with Day 1 of first prelim and then wraps up with the Main Event final table on Monday Feb. 24. You read that right: it’s only two months away, so if you are following the tour, best make your travel plans pronto.

Want a full breakdown of the festivities? Check out the event listing on the World Poker Tour website.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Greg Merson

Celebrates Two Years Sober

Congratulations to poker pro Greg Merson who today shared with his fans that he was two years clean from the drug addiction he so candidly talked about with the media during his run at the 2012 WSOP Main Event title.

Merson, now 26, has, on occasion, talked publicly about his obsessive nature and his battle with addiction, as he did in this powerful 2012 article with ESPN Poker. That said, his love of poker and his dedication to the game has been given some credit in helping him stay focused on sobriety. Of course, family and friends are a big part as well.

Good on you Greggy! Here’s hoping the WSOP Champ feels better soon. In the meantime, to celebrate relive Merson’s emotional 2012 victory right here:

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

“The Killing Bluff”

Batman and The Joker go all-in

“Alan Moore’s Poker Party”—where poker meets pop culture.

You know Alan Moore's work: Moore is considered one of the greatest graphic novel writers of all time, breathing life into characters from The Watchmen, V for Vendetta as well as mainstream icons like Batman and Superman.

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Fantastically talented comic book illustrator J.K. Woodward (Fallen Angel, X-Men: Origins, Doctor Who, Star Trek) envisioned a home game where Batman, the Joker, the Watchmen’s Rorschach and V from V for Vendetta were all dealt a deadly hand by Moore himself.

The final painting is rife with detail and the process, which Woodward details in extensive photos on his blog, was meticulous. Check out how “Alan Moore’s Poker Party: The Killing Bluff” went from blank slate to must see on Woodwards site.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Starcraft Prodigy

Looks To Be The Next “ElkY”

South Korean Lim Yo-Hwan turns poker pro.

There’s only one ElkY.

Cited as one of the “10 Most Influential Video Gamers of All Time” by MTV, popular South Korean professional video gamer Lim Yo-Hwan, better known by his StarCraft screen name “BoxeR” is looking to take the world of professional poker by storm. Like Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier before him, a former professional gamer himself, “BoxeR” is looking to take his superior strategy game success and apply it to tournament poker.

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The StarCraft wizard, who makes upwards of $500k per year in prizes and sponsorships from the game, has taken a position as a sponsored pro for little-known free-to-play poker site “FulPotPoker” and plans to make his debut on the scene by entering in multiple events at both the Asian Poker Tour and the 2014 World Series of Poker in to prove his mettle.

Will “BoxeR” be a new breakout superstar or just another whizkid who took a shot and missed? For all the details on this international superstar’s arrival on the scene, check out full coverage on our big brother’s site, pokerfuse.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Phil Ivey

Gets To Work

World’s #1 lands back in Macau.

The view from the nosebleeds.

Phil Ivey has, once again, found himself back in Macau where, we hear, the “fishing” is good. Presumably, the leader of Team Ivey will be throwing back the snappers and only hunting whales on this trip.

The legendary high-stakes action of Macau is a huge draw for poker’s top tier nosebleed players who, rumor has it, feast upon some of the richest businessmen in the world at the biggest games on the planet. Of course, that is, if you can actually get in the game.

If he’s making the trip, it’s very likely that Ivey’s got his seat all locked up. Maybe right next to Dwan?

Above: Ivey touches down in Macau.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Pokerfuse’s Nick Jones

Dropping Knowledge on USA Today!

“Online gambling is here, and it’s going nowhere.” 'natch.

With Jones in print, USA Today becomes reputable again.

Just a little kudos to our own Nick Jones as he was one of a handful of industry experts who were polled by national newspaper USA today on their opinion of iGaming in America. With a healthy mix of people who fear iGaming will result in the bankruptcy, both moral and financial, of today’s society and those who fear that the government is infringing on the rights of the individual, Jones sounds off where no one else does…telling people the truth of the situation as it stands today.

“Internet gambling exists throughout the United States today. A U.S. citizen can play at an online casino, place a bet at an online sportsbook, and play a hand of real-money online poker. It’s easy to deposit and gamble in minutes. These sites, based in offshore jurisdictions, rarely afford the player any protections. Online gambling is here, and it’s going nowhere.”

Then he dropped the motherf***in’ mic.

For more opinions from USA today, check out the full article. For more no nonsense knowledge from one of poker media’s best, Nick Jones, just keep refreshing “F5” and Pokerfuse.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Team “Bet Raise Fold”

Answer All The Questions

Reddit needs to know!

Jay Rosenkrantz: writer, filmmaker, poker player.

BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker”, the documentary that tells the tale of the online poker explosion and subsequent implosion caused by Black Friday, has finally made it way to Video On Demand (VOD).

To help keep the film’s momentum going in the right direction, Executive Producer, Jay Rosenkrantz, Director Ryan Firpo and stars of the film Danielle Andersen, Alexei Martov and Tony Dunst took to Reddit to answer anything and everything there is about the film, the poker industry, their lives, Jay’s first show “Two Months Two Millions”. the popular animated series “The Micros” and even which poker players would play which X-Men/Avengers.

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Here’s a couple excerpts from the Q&A:

Do you think online poker will go through another boom when it is fully reintegrated in the United States?

I think it would be v hard for it to “boom” (like explode out of nowhere like it did in the 2000s) again, but it will surely grow, and I’m optimistic that it will grow to be an even larger industry than before (over the long run, could take a decade or more). like Yoda says, “hard to see, the future is.” totally applies to the future of online poker – there are so many known and unknown variables at play at all times. – Jay Rosenkrantz

What is the most absurd prop bet you’ve heard of? what about involved in?

It was during the WSOP, I think a few months before the big bet Martin described. I got home from a tournament and found some of the boys playing online poker. I sat and watched them and one of them got a call from Aaron Jones, who was out with most of the house on a golf outing.

Aaron said that Ashton Griffin was willing to bet he could run the 15 miles from Naked Fish to home in under three hours; after hours of golf in the sun, a large meal at Naked Fish, and plenty of ice cream. And he was not allowed to use the bathroom prior to making the run, despite badly needing it. Eight or nine of us in the house bet a combined $23,000 against Ashton.

I almost never prop bet but I bet $3,000 against him. He later said that when he was a quarter of the way home he would’ve bought out. But when he was a third of the way home he stopped to throw up for a while, then found himself much improved and jogged back to the house with a 30 minute cushion. I haven’t bet against him since. – Tony Dunst

There’s far too much goodness from the session to put here, so if you have the time you really should check it out on Reddit. It’s behind the scenes of both the film and the poker world and probably way more fun to read than whatever you happen to be working on in your cubicle.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Czech Mate:

Over 1300 Eureka Entrants Breaks All the Prague Records

Huge start for EPT Prague with massive turnout to Eureka main event.

EPT Prague breakin’ all of the records. At end of late registration yesterday, 1315 runners had stumped up the €1100 buyin to the first event of the EPT Prague stop—making a total prize pool a handsome €1,275,000.

This makes it not only the largest tournament in Prague’s history, but—with a first place winning a cool €226,400—the largest prize ever awarded in Eureka Poker Tour history.

The bubble popped just over an hour ago, meaning 191 players are secured at least a €1750 payday. Day 3 tomorrow plays down to a final table, with the final nine playing to a winner Thursday.

Live streaming also starts on Thursday, not just to capture this final, but also the highly anticipated Rafa Nadal/Ronaldo heads up championship match.

For more details on Prague events, check out this write-up on 'fuse, and and get live updates on pokerstarsblog.com.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Stack’em to the top!

Do we need a new rule about chip stacks?

Everybody hates the guy who can’t keep it clean.

It’s part commentary, part plea from hard-working (yet slightly disgruntled) veteran tournament reporter Lee Davy to all tournament players on the planet: when it comes to stacking yo chips you best come correct.

Correct means stack them chips in groups of 20.

Don’t get cute, don’t spread them around the table and don’t think of them as round Legos to build something phallic. Just stack and hope you get to stack more. In fact, throughout his travels, Davy has made some keen observations on players based on how they stack their chips.

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If you stack your chips in sets of 10:

These players are either fish or were too busy sniffing glue when they should have been doing basic arithmetic in school.

If you stack your chips in sets of 20:

These are the regs who understand the need the quickly count their stack and selflessly understand that live reporters also need the count for coverage purposes.

If you stack your chips in sets of 30:

These are the sadists amongst us. They know that counting chips in stacks of 30 causes problems to the more mathematically challenged but they love it in the same way that they love pulling the wings off flies and then burning their bodies through a magnifying glass.

Finally, if you stack your chips in sets of 40:

These are the wizards, the high flyers, and the boys who win all the money. These geezers have so many chips they have to count them in 40s because there is no room on their table. These types of players also love the big, erect towers of 50+, which I’m sure is a phallic symbol of something missing from their trousers.

Of course, if you are someone who just keeps your chips scattered in front of you with zero stacking ability Davy has a single word to describe you: moron.

It’s a fun, fast read and something you can point to the next time you are at the table and some guy or girl who thinks their being cute by stacking in such a way that it’s wasting everyone’s time. Check it out the full rant over at Pokerlistings.

What? You need something more? OK…enjoy:

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

partypoker

Finds The First Star Of New Jersey

Rest of state cries “omg rigged!”

The newly legalized New Jersey market is growing quickly.

Game of skill or improbable luckbox? New Jersey professional poker player Mike Azzaro, who goes by the screen name “MikeyCasino,” was no doubt fistpumping this weekend as he took down the new partypoker Weekly 50k Guaranteed for the 2nd week in a row.

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The $200 online tournament is one of the biggest of the week in the fledgling New Jersey marketplace and this week “Mikey” had fun besting 264 runners in order to notch the win. Azzaro took home $7.1k for his efforts this weekend, which followed his $8k payday for beating up on 179 players who participated in the inaugural $50k gtd.

Will someone dethrone “Mikey” next week? Probably. But if you want to see how he got it done this week, check out the partypoker blog.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Jean-Robert Bellande

Giving Debt Collectors A Sweat

Leads At WPT with only 21 left, $1.16m up top.

Every day is a good day when you’re JRB.

Everyone’s favorite poker player-turned-Survivor, Jean-Robert Bellande isn’t , for once, broke.

In fact, when it comes to the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, JRB is sitting in the chip lead with only 21 runners left.

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Well into the money, fans and haters alike have turned their attention to see if one of poker’s lovable losers can turn the tide and pull out a big victory. The tournament boasts a $1.16 million for first place prize but, according to JRB himself, the most he can hope for is just under $300k, which will be just enough to just get him out of makeup, as he’s only got 25% of himself in this one.

JRB must have been excited about his chip lead too because rather than sleeping he was retweeting some gems, soaked in sarcasm, into the wee hours of the morning Las Vegas time.

Will JRB make the televised Final Table? Play resumes at 12:00pm PST with Live Updates available from the World Poker Tour Live Update website.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Premature Calculation:

Betting On The Big One for One Drop

Bet Victor guesses at attendee list.

The World Series of Poker marks the return of the 2014 mammoth fund-raising tournament that is the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop. The richest businessmen in the world collide with the best the poker world has to offer in what is likely to be a near-$20 million dollar first place prize, the richest in poker history.

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Even though we don’t even know who will be playing in the high-stakes tournament for sure—it’s over six months away—you can still place your bets on who you think will walk away the winner. Bet Victor has compiled and released a list of possibilities and the first odds of who will win the Big One. While Antonio Esfandiari (16/1) is the defending champion (should he decide to play) poker pro and 2012 runner-up Sam Trickett (14/1) is the odds on favourite (get it? he’s a Brit.).

They cast a pretty wide net when guessing who would take a seat including 2013 WSOP Main Event Champ Ryan Riess (28/1), the godfather Doyle Brunson (40/1) and many of those who ponied up 7 figures the first time around.

Of course, because it’s degen gambling, you can bet on a number of One Drop props like Final Table card colors, numbers and suits in given situations. Wanna check out the action? All of the initial odds are posted over at Bet Victor.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

UFC Boss Dana White:

Ultimate Poker—“I hate this fucking company!”

Most fun you’ll have in a promo video this year. (Video taken down!)

“What’s better than sitting in the comfort of your own home, getting drunk and winning tons of money? Nothin’.” – Dana White

Update: Seems like the video was pulled just 30 seconds after we published. The plot thickens.

When UCasino/ Ultimate Poker officially went live in NJ during the last week of November not only did the company have an entire team on hand to make sure everything went smoothly but they also shipped out a handful of notable names to a New Jersey hotel suite to be the very first to place their bets on the fledgling online site.

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Professional poker player and Ultimate Poker sponsored player Jason Sommerville was joined by augmented reality star from “Jersey Shore” JWoww, Jersey basass and former UFC Lightweight Champion, Frankie Edgar and, perhaps most notably, the UFC’s outspoken head honcho, Dana White.

While JWoww and Edger flamed out early from the festivities, Dana White, a self-proclaimed degenerate, spent a few hours trying to take his bosses’ money and break the bank. In this top promo vid released by Ultimate Poker, watch Dana White experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat with every hand of Ultimate Blackjack dealt.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Daniel Negreanu:

“Personalities in poker just aren’t as unique any more”

Kid Poker opens up to Bluff Europe in new interview.

That’s personality in poker, folks.

Daniel Negreanu has never been one to hold his tongue. His latest interview with Bluff Europe is no exception as Kid Poker blasts off on a number of topics. While nothing here is completely inflammatory, he talks about the virtues of his affiliation with the Las Vegas institution Choice Center, how the new generation of internet kids are eroding the game of poker and what he really wants to talk about in an interview (spoiler: it’s chicks, man).

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Here’s a few choice excerpts—on regaining his confidence:

I think the biggest thing was related to confidence, and I didn’t realise the connection. There was a woman who broke my heart, and I didn’t realise how much that had an effect of my view of myself and my own self worth. I just thought, how could something like that affect my poker game? But when I lost confidence because of that, it just had an effect on my entire life. Breaking through that was very valuable for me.

On dealing with tournament aggression:

Poker’s had a change in the last couple of years – a lot of the kids who’d be six-betting and five-betting and thinking that’s really cool, they’ve either gone broke or learnt that that’s really stupid and stopped doing it. You can’t be a consistent tournament player and play like that. It’s just reckless and stupid… I think a lot of the younger players are just wasting time, and then they’re going on about ‘balancing their timing tells’. I’m like, you don’t know shit about tells, okay? You’re an internet geek, and now you’re wasting all of our time.

And on the state of personality in poker:

I miss the old days. I think poker was in a better place in the old days. Not just because of the fact that we had more personalities, but people came from different walks of life, whereas today the story is the same.

There’s a ton more including who he thinks is the best poker players, his thoughts on Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom—even if he thinks Tony G will make a good member of Lithuanian Parliament:.

For the full interview, it’s a solid read, check out Bluff Europe.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

R & R

Lights, Lots of Cameras, Action

PokerStars sees all the angles: Rafa and Ronaldo heads-up charity match is this Thursday.

Who will be 'the one’?

PokerStars has pulled out all the stops in letting the media know that international tennis star Rafa Nadal and legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo will be playing, in person, at the EPT Prague charity event. When you put that much effort into getting a pair of global superstars in the same place, you want to make sure you get the entire affair on camera for all to see.

Check out this Matrix-like camera set-up, as snapped by Team Online Pro Dale 'Daleroxxu’ Philip, set up by PokerStars to capture all the action this Thursday.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

It’s Monday…

Better Call In Sick

Live poker is rigged!

A filthy way to start your day.

Friend of F5 and the self declared “Best Player In The Bay Area” Pat Lyons witnessed a filthy hand go down at the Oaks Card Club in Oakland, CA this weekend that we thought was worth sharing.

Granted the stakes are small, but it’s an all-in preflop three way pot. AA vs QQ vs JJ and you just KNOW a bad beat is going to go down. The photo tells the whole story.

Just a small reminder to poker fanatics everywhere that you can get it in good all you want, but to stay in the game you better play within your bankroll. Gotta great shot of a sick hand, let us know.

published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Tony G

Opening New Online Site?

The G hints at something special for poker players this Xmas.

Feel the power!

Tony G, the only man with enough heart to leave a lucrative sponsorship deal with partypoker to open his own online betting exchange, dropped a huge hint that he’s taking the next step in his empire building endeavors.

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The new teaser is for a the forthcoming site Tonybetpoker.com where, some have speculated, Tony G will be telling online poker players come, preferably by way of bike, and open a new account and pay the rake. Coming this December, Tony G – who in the graphic is wearing a gi – presents the latest addition to aspirations, so be on the lookout.

In the meantime, this is a great excuse to revisit some classic G:

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

Dan Bilzerian

Plays Santa Claus, Runs Contest

Beardo is giving away an Xbox One every three days.

Wanna win an Xbox this Xmas? Dan’s got an easy game for you.

You gotta strike while the iron is hot and the Dan Bilzerian hype machine is doing just that. The multi-millionaire knows what everyone wants for the holidays this year – a FREE Xbox One (plus controller and game) – and he’s prepared to gift them out this season. Every three days Dan’s going to give the gift of gaming. Want in? Just follow his simple instructions…

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  • Report his pic
  • Tag three friends
  • Add the #grinchgoat hashtag
  • Tell him why you’ve been a good boy or girl and deserve the gaming system on everyone’s list.
  • Follow his gal pal at the same time.

Look, that’s IT, nothing more … but just to be sure you should probably check Dan’s super popular Instagram account for all the details.

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published 3 years, 3 months ago • by permalink