School’s In Session –

College Kids Continue To Take Up Poker

For the game of poker to continue to grow it needs to constantly be exposed to a new generation of grinders who will take an interest both for love and for money. According to Poker Planet, a study by the University of Pennsylvania indicates that over 20% of college kids play online poker at least once a month. With regulations here in the US prohibiting that for many, that seems a little high but nonetheless, the point is – college kids are still picking up the hobby of late night poker with their friends…but is it at a cost of their education?

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For most university poker players there seems to be a feeling that to be a profitable player at poker one must spend a lot of time and effort studying and playing poker, whereas doing this whilst also maintaining good grades on a university course is not something that comes easy.

Do you find that you passion for poker takes over your studies…or even your day job? Check out this article about college kids dealing with the realities of university vs. the dream of scoring big.

Read: Poker And University Students: What Could Go Wrong…Or Right?

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

World Series Of Poker

Takes New Direction With Live Reporting At 2015 WSOP

PokerNews is out as the “official live reporting team.”

It looks like removing the $10,000,000 1st place guarantee and paying out 1000 places wasn’t the only major change to happen to the upcoming 2015 World Series of Poker.

At first it was just some behind the scenes rumblings, which were then confirmed by Matthew Parvis of PokerNews himself – fans may be getting live updates this year but PokerNews will not be providing it.

With speculation that the WSOP would be handling coverage of every bracele events with the use of an in-house team, F5Poker reached out to WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications, Seth Palansky, to see what was in store for the fans who rails the premiere poker series from the comfort of their couches.

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“There was once a day we got paid a significant amount by a third party to provide live reporting and split the traffic.  Those days are gone.  PokerNews asked for a nearly 200% increase this year to do the job and we simply can’t justify that expense in a traffic-sharing arrangement.  We were pleased with PokerNews’ work and are sad that we won’t have them live reporting the 2015 WSOP.”

With that it looks like the WSOP is headed into new territory when it comes to covering their own event. Palansky indicated that there is indeed interest from other third party operations to take over the live updates and the “official live reporting team” mantle, but with their experience in covering their own WSOP Circuit Events, Palansky believes that they have the capability to take on the task themselves.

In previous years, as the “official” team, PokerNews held the honor of being the only media outlet able to shoot video from the tournament floor – so while perhaps you’d catch their correspondents chatting it up with a player tableside, other credentialed media entities were forced to conduct their subjects in a media room or other designated area. So if the coverage comes in-house will everyone be able to get footage from the floor? Palansky explains that video coverage from the tournament floor has little to do with anyone obtaining the “official” status and more so their contract with ESPN as well as security issues.

“We have a deal for video with ESPN that has iron-clad terms, there are egress and ingress issues, fire marshal issues, tournament security issues during breaks, etc.”

Which means that in terms of video, he doesn’t see the media guidelines “changing much over previous years.”

So, bottom line – can the fans expect to see the same kind of coverage in 2015 that the railbirds have seen in years past? If the WSOP does go the route of bringing the coverage in-house, Palansky indicated that they hope to bring aboard experienced staffers who have excelled in tournament reporting in the past. While he stated that they would expect there “there will be some hiccups and some lessons learned” the intention of an in-house team would be the same as any team looking to cover the series. To do it well.

Palansky also noted that while, yes, the live updates are important, officials at the WSOP “have seen a dramatic shift of users who tune into the livestream as opposed to getting the live updates.  So when the tournament is at its most critical point, we are confident the fans/viewers/users will have great coverage.”

That said, nothing is set in stone yet. WSOP officials do expect to finalize which entity will be handing the bulk of the “official” coverage by mid-February, when the WSOP is about 100 days away. He indicated that in the 24-hours since the news leaked that PokerNews will no longer be official in that capacity, many people have reached out to the WSOP eager to work with them and, adds Seth, “We encourage more people who have interest to reach out.”

The 2015 World Series of Poker is set to kick off on Wednesday May 27 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates

Gets Needled, Coolered and Angry Down Under

It’s been a rough go for Daniel “Jungleman” Cates while at the 2015 Aussie Millions and he takes a couple minutes to chat with PokerNews’ Sarah Grant to tell his tale. Last week, reports of a Daniel Cates temper tantrum surfaced where Cates, after taking a beat from Australian standout Jeff Rossiter “threw” his chips across the table.

Cates, who is known to have his fair share of tilt issues, “wasn’t trying to hurt him” but was seemingly especially tilted during a week where he says not a lot is going his way.

published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Global Poker Index

Unveils American Poker Awards Nominees

Who’s going to get a “Pokey”?

Poker is ready for it’s “Red Carpet” moment as Alex Dreyfus' Global Poker Index prepares for it’s first ever American Poker Awards. It will be an evening of handing out hardware in 10 categories (as well as 4 others that are determined by the GPI formula), including Poker’s Best Ambassador which will fans can vote on to help determine a winner.

So here you go, the categories and those that are “just happy to be nominated.”

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Tournament Performance Of The Year
Mohsin Charania, WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic winner
Daniel Colman, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event winner
Darren Elias, WPT Borgata Poker Open winner
Mark Newhouse, WSOP Main Event, 9th place finisher

Breakout Player Of The Year
Daniel Colman
Mukul Pahuja
Jake Schindler
Brandon Shack-Harris

Event Of The Year (Over $2,000)
Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event (Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood)
WPT Montreal (Playground Poker Club, Montreal)
WPT World Championship (Borgata, Atlantic City)
World Series of Poker Main Event (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)

Event Of The Year (Under $2,000)
HPT Cal State Poker Championship (Commerce Casino, Los Angeles)
WPT500 at ARIA (ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas)
WSOP Millionaire Maker (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)
WSOP Monster Stack (Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas)

Industry Person Of The Year
Jack Effel, WSOP Tournament Director
Adam Pliska, WPT President
Matt Savage, WPT Executive Director & TDA Founder
Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director

Poker Media Content Of The Year
ALL IN Magazine: Mark Newhouse
Brad Willis, WSOP 2014: Stages/Never stop fighting for PokerStars Blog
PokerNews Live Reporting at the 45th WSOP
Jason Somerville for Run it UP!

Charitable Initiative Of The Year
“All In” for Kids Poker Tournament presented by CHOP and the WPT Foundation
Charity Series of Poker
REG (Raising for Effective Giving)
WSOP One Drop partnership

Poker Innovation Of The Year
Poker Night in America
Twitch opens its doors to live streaming poker
WPT successful partnerships with DeepStacks, Hublot, DraftKings, Monster
WSOP Monster Stack event

Media Person Of The Year
Nolan Dalla
Chris Grove
Kevin Mathers
Rich Ryan

Finally there’s the Poker Ambassador Of The Year award with you (yes, you!) can help determine. If you’d like to have your say just go vote. Award night is Friday, February 27, 2015 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

World Series of Poker

Removes $10M Guarantee, Promises To Pay 1000

The players spoke, the WSOP listened.

Remember not long ago when the World Series of Poker asked for your input in a 2-minute survey? Well, it looks like the people have spoken and what they want is more people to make the money in poker’s largest live event. As such, officials at the WSOP have removed the once promised $10,000,000 guarantee for first place (which was skewing the payouts on the bottom end) and are making it a flatter payout with 1000 places getting paid.

From the press release:

“The dream of life-changing money is core to the DNA of the WSOP Main Event and we also want to make it easier to experience playing in poker’s Big Show,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “Our players understand numbers, and 2015 now presents the best odds ever to leave the Main Event a winner.”

But for those of you who are still looking for that “life-changing” payout from the WSOP, don’t worry. The revised payouts, should the runners be comparable to last year, will still be about the same $8M number that 2013 Champion Ryan Riess received.

Additionally, the Main Event is going to guarantee at least nine 7-figure scores as every member of the November 9 will be guaranteed $1,000,000.

The min-cash is going to be a little less though, with more places getting paid and the lowest rung of money made is going to be $15K, just 1.5x your money.

So, what do you think? Are you happy with the changes made? Are you more likely now to play the Main Event?

Read the whole presser: World Series of Poker Announces 2015 Main Event Payout Change

published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Ludovic Lacay

Steps Away, Leaves Team Winamax

For many who aspire to “make it” in poker, finding a sponsorship is perhaps one of the ultimate signs that you’ve done something right in the game.

French poker player Ludovic Lacay not only did something right but the 2012 EPT Sanremo Champion spent 8 years as a part of Team Winamax. According to PokerNews, it seems that Lacay has had enough and announced that he’s leaving his sponsor in order to “turn the page and do something else.”

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With over $3.2 million in lifetime earnings Lacay’s career highlight was indeed his $961K victory on the EPT but Ludovic notched a number of other high profile finishes in his career including his 2nd place WPT finish in 2007 and coming 16th in the WSOP Main Event in 2009.

So what’s next for the 29-year old Lacay?

“I have an opportunity that I can’t miss. It’s as scary and exciting as poker was at the very beginning – and that’s what I want to do.”

Read more: Ludovic Lacay Leaves Team Winamax for a New 'Scary And Exciting Adventure’

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Patrik Antonius –

Iced Out Of High Stakes Private Games

Patrik gives his opinion on the state of high stakes.

No one is inviting Patrik Antonius to their reindeer games. Or at least that how he makes it sound when PokerNews’ Sarah Herring asks the High Stakes Poker regular why we don’t see him on the felt as much as we used to.

Patrik seemingly has been playing less poker and spending more time with his family, playing sports and what not. It’s not necessarily that he wouldn’t like to play more but the biggest games in the world, which is his forte, are becoming more like private games with only a select type invited and for some reason for guys like Antonius – that’s not a good thing.

The games both have and have not dried up according to Patrik. They are still out there, but you have to be a certain “type” of grinder in order to take a seat and it seems that perhaps that leaves this Finnish poker player getting iced out.

published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Poker Crime Logs –

SWAT Team Cracks Down on High Stakes Home Game

Heavily armed men infiltrate cash game, seize more than $150K

According to a new article in the Washington Post, a high stakes private poker game in Great Falls, Virginia was infiltrated and taken down by a “heavily armed” SWAT team this past November where over $150,000 was seized in what appears to be another instance of “civil forfeiture.”

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The private game, which in the past had allegedly featured big name pros like Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak, was a $20K minimum buy-in and featured 10 players. The house was taking a small rake (1.5%) in order to pay for dedicated dealers and a pair of assistants to “make coffee runs.”

Guns drawn, the masked SWAT team found no guns or other illegal activities and 8 of the 10 men were charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum fine of $500—or one hand of poker at this game.

There were no guns at the table, and no resistance, the player said. “They could’ve sent a retired detective with a clipboard and gotten the same result,”

So, what about the money? The police department graciously, as part of a deal with the poker players, agreed to give back 60% of the cash and keep 40% for themselves.

Read more: Fairfax SWAT team raids high stakes Great Falls poker game, seizes cash, terrifies players

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Steve O’Dwyer:

The Player’s Champion

He might fly under the radar in terms of poker coverage, but thanks to a win at the 2015 PCA, Steve O’Dwyer has cemented his place in the community as something more than the people’s champion.

This year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) was another glittering affair thanks to the world’s finest grinders taking their chance to get some winter sun in the luxury Bahamian resort of Atlantis on Paradise Island.

photo by derekskey

As usual, the roster was jammed-packed with top quality events both on and off the felt and one of the early success stories was Steve O’Dwyer. The underrated American not only won the first major poker event of 2015 when he lifted the 2015 PCA’s Super High Roller title, but he managed to add another $1.8 million to his already burgeoning bankroll.

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Once again, the $100,000 showdown was awash with high profile players from around the world, including the likes of Andrew Robl, Scott Seiver and Bryn Kenney. However, when the chips were down and the fanfare started playing, it was O’Dwyer’s time to stand in the sun and shine like the Caribbean’s golden sand.

A Record Breaking Start

After attracting a record breaking 66 entrants, the Super High Roller event was finally whittled down to the final seven players after two days of action. When the action got underway on day three, it was the formidable Sorel Mizzi leading the way. However, flanking the chip leader and hungry for chips was the aforementioned selection of pros, including the always dangerous Christoph Vogelsang and Sam Greenwood.

As the chips began to fly and the pressure kicked up a notch, Mizzi gradually slipped from his lofty perch and into the chasing pack while O’Dwyer gradually eased into the lead. Leaving a slew of talented pros reeling in his wake, O’Dwyer eventually collected enough chips to secure the chip lead heading in the final showdown against Roger Sippl.

With a comfortable lead and another chance to show the poker community he’s a world class player within touching distance, O’Dwyer didn’t let up against Sippl. Not prepared to give up an inch, O’Dwyer gradually wore down his opponent before bringing the hammer down on a Qh 8d 8c 2s 3s board.

Having seen his plucky competitor make a bold all-in, a stoic O’Dwyer sat and contemplated his options for roughly five minutes. Despite only holding Ah Tc, O’Dwyer correctly deduced that Sippl had enough bluff hands in his range to make a call profitable with only his Ace high.

Making the call and watching his opponent turn over Jd Td, O’Dwyer let out a sigh of relief. As the final pot was pushed his way and the confetti began to fall, a jubilant O’Dwyer soaked up the applause from his supporters before hoisting the first PokerStars Caribbean Adventure trophy of 2015 aloft.

PCA 2015 $100,000 High Roller Results:

1. Steve O’Dwyer – 1,872,580 2. Roger Sippl – $1,344,420 3. Bryn Kenney – $873,880 4. Sorel Mizzi – $659,400 5. Christoph Vogelsang – $512,160 6. Sam Greenwood – $396,920 7. Andrew Robl – $313,700 8. Scott Seiver – $243,820

As if there was Any Doubt

As the news of O’Dwyer’s masterful display filtered through the community, a wave of congratulations and praise washed across the virtual airwaves.

Naturally, the community was less humble than O’Dwyer and, as the congratulations poured in, a host of pros tweeted their support for one of poker’s most unsuspecting beasts:

PokerStars – Joe Giron

O’Dwyer: A Profile

Playing out of Ireland by way of Las Vegas, Steve O’Dwyer has managed to amass almost $10 million in live tournament earnings. However, unlike some of the poker world’s more extraverted poker pros, O’Dwyer’s exploits often go unnoticed by the poker media.

Although his latest victory in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller is the largest of his career, O’Dwyer has eight outright wins in the live arena to his name. That record, coupled with numerous deep runs at major events around the world, has given him an overall bankroll boost of $9,141,205, which puts him at position #37 on the all-time money list.

Considering that record, as well as the admiration many established pros have for him, it’s fair to say that O’Dwyer is the player’s player. Although sometimes ignored by the poker media, the accomplishments O’Dwyer has achieved in the MTT world have made him one of the most respected players in the game today.

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

No One Raises

Phil Ivey

“Never can be too careful…”

We caught this one from whomever it is that controls poker superstar Phil Ivey's Twitter account. According to a live report from PokerNews from down at the 2015 Aussie Millions Ivey lost the minimum when his opponent refused to raise him…even when they had the stone cold nuts.

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Ivey turned two pair holding the AT on a board of T3QA rainbow. He bet 2k and his heads-up opponents called. The river brought a brick, the 7s. Ivey again bet, this time 5k. His opponent holding the unbeatable hand of JKo simply called and was pushed the pot.

[Ivey] looked around a little confused to see if anyone else reacted. No one did and the game moved on.

In many card rooms, that last check would be worthy of a penalty. In order to avoid soft play and collusion if the last player to act has and shows down the nuts and did not raise, they could be subject to a penalty.

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Nebraska State Senator

Looks To Declare Poker A “Game Of Skill”

“The math is there; the statistics are there.”

Nebraska State Senator Tyson Larson is looking to help local governments and provide some property tax relief in his state with the help of the game of poker.

Larson is hoping to declare draw and hold’em poker games 'games of skill’ which would make them legal in the state and allow income generated off those games to provide some much needed fiscal assistance. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Tyson’s bill looks to be introduced tomorrow.

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“You can be a professional poker player; you cannot be a professional coin flipper,” Larson said. “You can lose a poker game on purpose; you can’t lose a coin flip on purpose. You can have the worst hand in poker but be the best player.

“The math is there; the statistics are there,” he said. “Poker is a game of skill; it is not a game of chance.”

At the same time Senator Paul Schumacher is looking to propose a state constitutional amendment repealing a gambling ban. While Larson’s poker bill is likely to at least be put up for debate, the full gambling ban repeal has many more hurdles before Schumacher expects much movement on it.

For the full story, check out: Bill Would Legalize Poker By Calling It Game Of Skill

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Brunson Basks

In VIP Treatment After $5M Score

How do you celebrate a massive $5M victory and earn a page in modern poker lore? Well, if you’re Todd Brunson, who over the weekend took on Andy “The Banked” Beal in one of the largest Limit Heads Up matches of all time, you take a couple pals out to the steakhouse and get treated to some VIP service.

Money talks. Word of Brunson’s massive haul made its way around to the waitstaff who might have been looking for a little slice of that $5,000,000 pie…

In the end, dinner and drinks for the crew came courtesy of Todd with his friends pitching in what they could.

published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

Poker Crime Logs –

Knife Wielding Bandit Caught At WinStar Poker Table

Fort Worth, TX police got their guy when they apprehended 28-year old James Anderson at a WinStar poker table after he went on a violent, week long crime spree.

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Anderson, allegedly went on a string of seven robberies spanning three cities where victims claim that he brandished and sometimes used a large knife to steal a truck from one victim and money from others. The truck that Anderson carjacked was found in the parking lot of Oklahoma’s WinStar World Casino where authorities eventually found their suspect playing a hand of poker.

In fact, cops believe that Anderson actually committed a robbery right there in the parking lot of the casino. According to NBC Fort Worth, police were able to search the truck where they found the large knife in question.

“Motive right now is unknown,” said Raynsford. “We are still in the early stages of our investigation.”

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

2015 Aussie Millions

100K Challenge Promises Three More Seven-Figure Scores

Ole Schemion, Erik Seidel and Scott Seiver still in the hunt.

Olé, Olé, Olé!

The 2015 Aussie Millions is about to add three new million dollar (AUD) scores to a trio of poker players as 8 of the nosebleeiest tournament pros have earned their seat that the prestigious (Aussie Millions 100k Challenge* final table.

With 70 total entries, which included some of the biggest names the game has to offer like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Dan Smith, only 8 glided their way into the cash as all hope to be the guy to take home the $1.8M AUD first place prize.

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Just because greatness like Ivey has hit the rail, doesn’t mean that this isn’t going to be one of the toughest final tables in recent memory as some of the most skilled players are still left in the field. Ole Schemion will start the day with the chiplead followed closely by Jason Mo and high-roller crusher *Erik 'Seiborg’ Seidel.

Former “young guns” Justin Bonomo and Dani Stern hold down the middle of the pack as betting man Richard Yong along with Scott Seiver and Aussie local Alex Trevallion round out those that are in the money.

That final table feeling is going to last a little longer than usual for these guys as, in an effort to let all 8 play in the Main Event, the completion of this tournament is being staved off until Saturday Jan 31.

Don’t make your weekend plans around watching this finale though as there’s no live stream for this one, but it is being filmed for a future broadcast.

Here’s the payouts as determined by the structure:

1st – $1,870,000
2nd – $1,350,000
3rd – $1,000,000
4th – $800,000
5th – $630,000
6th – $500,000
7th – $400,000
8th – $310,000

All payouts in AUD.

For a full recap check out an extended write up over at Bluff Magazine. For live updates on this and all the happenings down under, check out PokerNews's live updates.

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink

“Mississippi Grind”

Debuts At 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn look for high-stakes poker action.

Hot on the heels of Marky Mark’s recent wanna-be blockbuster “The Gambler” comes “Mississippi Grind”, a new “addiction drama” starring past and future 'Deadpool’ actor Ryan Reynolds and Aussie standout Ben Mendelsohn.

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The film had its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival this week and unlike Wahlberg’s “Gambler”, which received lukewarm reviews at best, the early word on “Mississippi Grind” is such that it looks like fans finally have a poker picture worth investing time in.

From Variety:

a bittersweet, beautifully textured road movie that plays like a conscious throwback to the lost souls and open highways of 1970s American cinema.

From The Guardian:

Mississippi Grind can stand along other great films of deadbeat losers who live on hunches such as John Huston’s Fat City or Jules Dassin’s Night and the City.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

That subdued air of melancholy, along with a gentle strain of humor, runs through the film much like the river that shapes the two men’s journey as they head from Iowa, via multiple gambling stops, to a $25,000-stake high-roller poker game in New Orleans.

The big question is can a character-driven movie about a pair of wandering degens get a major motion picture deal and find itself on the big screen? Well, even if it’s hampered by the lackluster reception of “The Gambler”, you can bet that “Mississippi Grind” will likely be available in a medium for all to see in the not too distant future.

Read more on 'Mississippi Grind’ on IMDB

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published 2 years, 9 months ago • by permalink