Phil Ivey Sued By Borgata For $9.6 Million

Charges of "edge sorting" stemming from 2012 Baccarat sessions surface.

It came to light on Friday that high stakes professional poker player, Phil Ivey, is being sued by The Borgrata Hotel Casino & Spa for $9.6 million that he won playing Baccarat over several sessions in 2012.

According to the New Jersey Law Journal, the claim alleges that Ivey (aka Phillip “Phil” Ivey Jr.) “cheated” while playing in four different sessions of Baccarat using the technique known as “edge sorting” which allows players to find flaws in the pattern design on the back of playing cards with a full bleed design to help them win.

The report states thatI Ivey contacted the Borgata in advance to arrange for a few special conditions under which he would play high stakes Baccarat.

Ivey, whom ESPN and USA Today have called the world’s best poker player, contacted the Borgata in April 2012 to arrange a visit to play Baccarat. He agreed to make a $1 million deposit to a maximum bet of $50,000 per hand.

At his request, Borgata provided a private “pit” in which to play and a casino dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese. Ivey was allowed to have Sun at the table while he played and to have an automatic card shuffling device used.

Apparently it’s the automatic card shuffler that’s the key as it keeps all the cards facing in the same direction, allowing “edge sorting” to take place for those who can identify it.

Ivey then embarked on a 16-hour session, two years ago today on April 11, 2012, where his female partner, who is also named in the suit, Cheng Yin Sun, gave instructions to the dealer on how to handle the cards. During that session Ivey walked with $2.4 million.

The pair came back to the Borgata less than a month later, on May 3, where, over the course of a few days, Ivey played 56 hours and took home $1.6 million. Again, Ivey retuned on July 26, where over the course of 17 hours he won another $4.8 million.

On October 7, Ivey returned for another session, but by then news of his troubles with UK’s Crockfords Casino had surfaced and he was confronted by Borgata officials. As previously reported by pokerfuse, Ivey was accused of using “edge sorting” at Crockfords playing Punto Banco where he won £7.8 million (roughly $12 million) and is currently embattled in a lawsuit, as they have withheld payment from him.

Read: Phil Ivey Admits to “Edge Sorting,” But Contends He Did Not Cheat in £8 Million Punto Blanco Win

Along with Ivey and Sun, the original card manufacturer and designer, Gemaco Inc, is also named in the lawsuit.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Borgata 2014 Spring Open Day 2 Carnage Leaves 18 To Battle for $209k

A victor will be determined in Event 1, the $1,000,000 Guarantee.

Only 18 players from the original 2482 entires remain in Event 1 of the Borgata Spring Poker Open and only one of them will grab the massive $209k first place prize. Poker carnage took place on Day 2 as nearly 500 players found their hopes of overall victory crushed on the felt, but the min-cash bubble of $1,264 burst at the 200 player mark bringing a return on investment for just under half of the field that was in play for the day.

According to the PokerNews Live Reporting team, the current chip leader is New York native Philip Neiman, who is one of three players to return with over 6 million chips to his stack (roughly 10% of the chips in play). Right behind him is Adam Pace and John Yanni, both within striking distance of taking the chip lead.

Plenty of notable names entered the day looking for a big payday but were forced to leave empty handed including actor-turned-poker enthusiast James Woods. Poker pros Brett Richey, Scott Baumstein and Chris Tryba all of whom managed to squeak into the cash, with Richey wrapping up the deepest run of the 3, taking home just over $3k.

The final 18 will battle it out starting today at 1pm.

If you haven’t made your plans to get to the Borgata Spring Open yet, there’s still time. The World Poker Tour Championship event is holding qualifiers on!

For all the action from the floor of the Borgata Spring Poker Open, check out the live updates over at PokerNews.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

World Poker Tour #SHRPO – Young, D’Angelo Get Paid, Day 1b Underway

Cash prizes were rained upon the top two in chips at the 2014 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and it was a couple of well-known pros who bagged the big money. Justin Young ended the night with 313k in chips (from a starting stack of 30k) to nab the big 5k first place prize while Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo pocketed 2.5k for his 271k stack.

A massive number of entries, 479, ponied up the $3500 buy-in putting the WPT about $1.7 million into their $5m guarantee with many more expected to jump in over the next two days of this re-entry tournament. The star power in the field rivaled that of any tournament in a calendar year and included 2013 World Series of Poker Champ Ryan Riess, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Brian Hastings, Faraz Jaka, Amanda Musumeci, Eugene Katchalov, Noah Schwartz, Kathy Liebert, Matt Salsberg, Loni Harwood and Will 'The Thrill’ Failla just to name a few.

Of the 479 entries, there were no fewer than 25 previous WPT Champions in the mix.

There is no slowdown in sight as there are a constellation of stars seated as Day 1b begins. Allen Kessler, Candace Collins, Mike Sexton, David’ ODB’ Baker, Cliff 'JohnnyBax’ Josephy and James Mackey have all been spotted at the table and the list is expected to grow exponentially.

For all the updates on Day 1b at the SHRPO (it’s really not the Open, but the Showdown) visit the live updates page over at the World Poker Tour.

Bonus: Unable to make it through Day 1a, both Phil and Jen are back at it on Day 1b

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GPI’s Alex Dreyfus Climbs To #1 On The Global Love Index

Uses GPI Matchmaker app, announces engagement.

Due to a the falling off of Kevin MacPhee’s aging score, there’s a new #1 sitting atop poker’s prestigious Global Love Index (as published on F5). It’s none other than Alex Dreyfus! Dreyfus took to social media to shout to the world today that cupid’s arrow has found a home and it’s in Alex’s own heart.

Dreyfus, the head honcho of both the Global Poker Index and the Hendon Mob, took to Facebook (and announced it on Twitter) that while he may put up a fight to be included in the Bluff Power 20, his heart is filled with love. Not the fake kind of love that is generated from an April Fools’ app, but a real one. A love that will lead him down the aisle of matrimony this September.

Read announcement in full after the jump.

Here’s his well-worded, sentimental post in full:

Love is not always bed of roses and my Love journey took me a while. Love is about sharing the good and the bad. Love is not about Ego – its about asking yourself the rights questions. Love is not a Game – its about Building Together. Love is to have plans in the unknown. Love is so easy and so difficult, Business is soooo much easier I found Love only few times in my life, but I felt in love again 4 months ago … with the same – exceptional – woman I felt for, few years ago. That was unlikely, that’s was not expected, it was supposed to be impossible but it happened. This time it will be for the better AND the better (with some bumps on the road). She is a ball of energy, she is always joyful, she is always smiling (after being fed), she is trustful, she is driven and always knows what she wants, she is curious, she is a geek (yep – she knows what is SEO), she is a smart ass (and a nice one), she is laughing every single day (I make her laugh), she cares, she shares, she looks at me like nobody in this world (sorry mum), she is Polish (so what ?), she understands my english and she understands my differences, she drives me to succeed and she supports me when it doesn’t work, she is a Gift and she will be my Wife the 4th of September 2014 : see you there Marta Starzyk.

Of course Dreyfus is Facebook friends with many people in the poker world, so as expected, there would be some comments of both congratulations and poker wit spread throughout.

Liv Boeree Wowwww congrats guys!!!

Joe Stapleton Congrats, Alex. Does she have a sister?

Steve Chops Preiss Wow—the GPI Dating App works fast!

Matthew Salsberg Does she know what an asshole you are?

Congratulations to Alex on his impending wedding, we’ll be waiting by the mailbox for the F5 invitation!

Read: Phil Hellmuth Goes Toe-To-Toe With The GPI

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Borgata 2014 Spring Open Crushes $1 Million Guarantee In Event One

Over 500 return for Day 2 to try and make the money.

With a pair of starting flights commencing on the final opening day of Event 1 of the 2014 Borgata Spring Open the question wasn’t “if” the Borgata poker room would beat their $1 million guarantee it was “by how much.” Players arrived in droves to empty their $560 money clips into starting flights 1c and 1d in an effort to make it to day 2 with a shot at making the money.

Starting flight 1c, which began at 11:00am EST, proved to be the monster field as 885 runners poured into the Borgata and took their seats. According to PokerNews live reporting, the rush was so great additional tournament tables were brought out to accommodate the demand. By the time starting flight 1d was ready to go at 7:00pm, there were already 1,713 entries recorded so they would have only needed 287 to meet the $1 million.

The excitement was turned up when over 700 more entrants jumped in the field pushing the prize pool well past $1m by roughly $200k. The unofficial number was 770 runners in the final flight and an estimated 2,483 total buy-ins.

Despite that massive number a scant 525 players or so will return for Day 2 at noon EST to play into the money. Plenty of big name players are part of that crew too – rappin’ Brett Richey, Victor Ramdin, Micah Raskin, former Cardrunners exec Lana O’Brien, WSOP Bracelet winner and former November Niner Eric Buchman, partypoker pro Scott Baumstein, Amnon Filippi, Chris Tryba and, of course, the legendary actor James Woods all will be returning with chips and chairs (so to speak).

For all the action from the 2014 Borgata Spring Open – Event 1 – check out the live updates from PokerNews.

If you are in the Garden State and still looking to get a piece of the action and satty your way into the World Poker Tour Championship? You can do that over at Borgata Poker.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

JCarver and dmoongirl #DrinkItUp On Live Stream

Danielle Andersen (and Captain Morgan) guest star on #RunItUp

An extended live session on Ultimate Poker finds sponsored pro Jason Somerville listening to some jazz tunes, unloading knowledge and chatting with the “wombats” on a mere two minute delay while sitting in a very profitable $2/$4 game.

While he’s entertaining the masses, the latest member of “Team U”, Danielle 'dmoongirl’ Andersen stops by to chat (and drink) it up with Jason. It’s a lengthy video, over 3 hours, but here’s a link that starts right when Danielle stops by. If you opt to start at the beginning you can watch key hands and see how Somerville turns $400 into just about $1800 in an hour at 2/4.

So much fun crashing the #RunItUp set with a bottle of booze. Corruption at its finest!

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Phil Galfond Gets It All Back, Up $1.1 Million in 4 Days

A rush at the nosebleed mixed game send Galfond in the right direction.

That didn’t take long at all. It was a mere 3 weeks ago that online poker superhero Phil Galfond was literally cracking jokes on Twitter about dropping $1.4 million at the nosebleeds. The pain, that caused from his lowest point of the year, must be substantially subsided tonight as Galfond closed the books on another monster upswing session, propelling him to accumulating a small fortune in just a matter of days.

According to HighstakesDB, an epic session at the 8-Game Mixed tables on Full Tilt Poker table saw OMGCLayAiken drag a profit of $577.8k. Add that to his previous winning sessions of the week which included a $111k, $142k, $226k and even a $99k session (as reported in the FTP Blog), Galfond has won $1.1 million since Sunday.

At his lowest point in 2014 the Run It Once instructor was down $1.43 million and now, for the entire year, is only a slight loser at -$91k (comparatively, right?)

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Phil Hellmuth Gives It Away Now, Gifts WSOP Bracelet #13

The Poker Brat plays nice, shares the wealth.

The worldwide leader in World Series of Poker bracelets, Mr. Phil Hellmuth Jr., has gone on record in the past about not keeping all of his victory jewelry for himself. With an eye on earning a record-continuing 14th bracelet at the 2014 WSOP, Hellmuth has again gifted one of his trophies.

That’s right. Bracelet #13 goes to Hellmuth’s “best friend” Chamath Palihapitiya, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist famous for his work with Facebook, previous Big One For One Drop participant and part owner of Bay Area NBA franchise Golden State Warriors.

Hellmuth followed up his announcement with a detailed explanation of where each of his beloved bracelets have befallen.

As a token of thanks for the symbolic gift, Palipapitiya was kind enough to retweet Hellmuth’s tweet.

Read: Daniel Negreanu Shows Off!

More on Palipapitiya from the 2012 WSOP Big One For One Drop:

Bonus: On Phil Hellmuth’s 13 Bracelets and the 13 People He Follows on Twitter

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Study Up On Where To Kick Off Your Newfound Poker Profession

Cardplayer lists the best US cities to be a poker pro.

For a lot of people, it’s the dream. Doing what you want, when you want and playing poker in-between. The life of a poker pro is often described as “a hard way to make an easy living” but depending on where you pay your rent and set up shop, finding your game of choice can be made a little easier.

In a recent two-part article from the (still!) Lock Poker loving folks over at Cardplayer, the staff breaks down the best poker playing cities in the United States and takes a in-depth look at what makes each city great. While you may think you know the top 5 and how they rank, you may be surprised with some the order and some of the facts that Cardplayer came up with to help you make your decision on where you should lay your head when worrying about your fragile bankroll.

In addition to the top cities, and those that just missed the cut, Cardplayer buries some pretty interesting stats about poker in America.

On an average weeknight, there are upwards of 500 $1-$2 or $1-$3 no-limit hold’em cash games running in the U.S. at any given time. There are nearly 150 $2-$5 games, around 50 $5-$10 games, and usually around 15 $10-$20 games. Those numbers increase by about 25 percent on weekends.


High stakes games, which are no-limit games of $25-$50 or higher and limit games of $100-$200 or higher, exist with regularity at only 15 casinos nationwide, the majority of which are in California or Nevada. The biggest games occur at the Borgata, Parx Casino, Commerce Casino, Aria, and Bellagio.

Both parts are well-worth a read, even if you aren’t considering turning pro (as almost none of us are). Packed with interesting info and a surprise twist in the Top 5, the pair of articles doesn’t disappoint.

Fun times: Here’s all ten states (5 of which, the cities are included in the article)...rank them before you look and see if you can nail the Top 5 States, in order, and which 5 fell outside the list.

New Jersey

Read: The The Top Five Cities To Launch Your Poker CareerPart 1 & Part 2

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Poker Night In America – Gavin Wins, Danielle Loses and Schneider Is Just No Good

Check out the PNIA recap from Maryland Live! Casino

When the Poker Night In America team rolled into the Maryland Live! Casino they brought a ton of big name poker superstars with them. Gavin Smith, Matt Glantz, Tom 'The Donkey Bomber’ Schneider, Ultimate Poker's Jason Somerville and Danielle Andersen as well as 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Greg Merson all showed up with wads of cash to play for the TV cameras.

Not only did Poker Night In America bring their fun-filled cash game, according to host Chris Hansen (no not that Chris Hansen) they also helped excite the locals into making the accompanying Main Event tournament the largest ever on Maryland soil. Take a couple minutes a check out just some of what went down at the last PNIA stop.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Underground Poker NYC – Welcome To The Underground

Last year's NatGeo docu-drama is our #TBT post of the day.

Here’s a Throwback Thursday post from the not-too-distant past. Last week, we pushed a post about a character reel video for what was likely to be a television show about the underground poker games in Atlanta. Today we offer you this video all about the New York Underground.

Underground Poker NYC actually aired on the National Geographic channel, to mixed reviews, but we thought that there’s gotta be a bunch of people who either don’t have that channel on their cable package or missed it the first time around.

So let Mikey Tats take you through the ins and outs of the, still illegal, poker underground that resides in the Big Apple. Then, just when you think that looks cool, listen to this story…

Bonus: Underground Poker Room Robbery

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World Poker Tour Hard Rock Poker Showdown Offers 5 Million Reasons To Visit Florida

Penultimate stop of Season XII pushes expectations.

Everything is a little crazier in Florida. That includes poker.

For the second-to-last stop of Season XII of the World Poker Tour, the WPT returns to the scene of last year’s insane 10 million guarantee to put on, what is likely to be, another massive tournament.

This time the guarantee is cut in half, $5 million, but there’s some extra incentive to #RunItUp. In a Bay 101 style twist, both the chip leader and 2nd in chips on each of the three starting days will win a nice cash bonus ($5k for chipleader, $2.5k for the guy/girl right behind him).

Florida has a booming poker business and with re-entries being permitted for this event and a (relatively) manageable $3500 buy-in the action is likely to be fast and loose. There are three starting days with re-entry and the Final Table will be played out on Wednesday March 16.

Day 1a gets underway at 12:00 noon EST and live updates will, of course, be available from the World Poker Tour website.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

PokerStars EPT 10 London Super High Roller – Episode 4

The Final Table plays down to a winner.

It’s the final episode of PokerStars coverage of the European Poker Tour London Season 10 £50,000 Super High Roller and it all comes down to this.

A barrage of German talent including Johannes Strassmann, Tobias Reinkemeier, Christoph Vogelsang and Martin Finger storm the Final Table as big time poker stars Patrik Antonius, David Benefield, Timothy Adams and the affable businessman Bill Perkins do their best to climb the ladder of SHR success.

Miss an episode? No problem, we’ve got you covered:

Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Poker Hall Of Famer Linda Johnson Hates Spicy Food, Loves Lasagna

Check out 25 odd facts from "The First Lady Of Poker"

You might think you know a thing or two about Poker Hall of Fame member Linda “The FIrst Lady of Poker” Johnson but do you really?

Sure she helped form the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), but did you know that she “hates wearing shoes”? Of course, she was the original publisher of CardPlayer Magazine but did you know that she once got a massage from an elephant?

Read: 25 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Well, you would know all these incredibly random life details about Linda if you checked out her latest article on the aforementioned Cardplayer. She literally just lists a seemingly random list of bizarre facts that she thought you should know…and there’s some pretty good items to be gleaned from her like…

Kenya is my favorite vacation spot; Thailand is second.

I love to shop – especially at swap meets, garage sales, and the 99-cent store.

I’ve been on almost 200 cruises.

Lasagna is my specialty when it comes to cooking.


I’m ready to retire!

She may be ready to retire, but clearly the poker world is not ready for her to do so. The well-liked Johnson continues to be a core member of the new Senior Poker Tour team and the charity organization

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Borgata 2014 Spring Open – Stars Emerge For $1 Million Guaranteed Day 1B

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa's massive $560 buy-in, $1 Million Guarantee that kicks off the Spring Poker Open continued on Wednesday bringing out even more of the East Coast elite to compete for, what is shaping up to be, a massive 1st place prize for the buy-in.

Day 1b is the second of third starting days, but only the 2nd starting flight (as there are two flights tomorrow), and it’s looking more and more like tomorrow’s double starting time will pack the house. With 469 additional runners seated today, some of the biggest names in poker find themselves in action. Spotted in the field was poker enthusiast and big-time actor, James Woods, Bellagio Cup Champion Amnon Filippi, John D’Agostino, World Series of Poker Bracelet Winners Chris Reslock and Kenneth Lind (busted) and EPT Berlin Cup Champion Micah Raskin.

As noted by PokerNews’ live updates team, the total entrants through the first two flights come to a total of 827, so it’s looking like – as players rush to enter on the final day tomorrow – that the guarantee may in fact be smashed.

For those of you livin’ it up in New Jersey, you can still satty your way into the World Poker Tour $15k Championship over at Borgata Sure, you can get in on the action for a little as a $1, but you know, you can take multiple shots at a bunch of buy-ins.

Live coverage of Event 1 of the BSO can be found over at PokerNews.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Antonio Esfandiari Wants To Blow You Away

Strip Magic: Episode 6

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another couple minutes watching Antonio Esfandiari baffle the tourists of Las Vegas with his slight of hand and magic man charm. Here you go – it’s Ultimate Poker’s Strip Magic: Episode 6….the final episode. (Or is it?)

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WSOP: Full House Pro Finally Deals To Windows 8, Tablets

Let cross-platform games commence!

We know you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this but it’s finally here. According to the minimal press release, World Series of Poker: Full House Pro is available – today – for both Windows 8 and tablet devices. Additionally, the game should allow you to play all of your cool friends who own the Xbox as cross platform games are now good to go.

We’re excited to get the Windows 8 version out to the community, and look forward to seeing how the addition of cross-platform play shapes the competitive landscape.

Check out the WSOP: FHP Facebook page for more info.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Natasha Sandhu — Sam Trickett’s Fiancee Takes New Role With PokerTube

UK presenter aims high in new job as host.

Exciting times in the Trickett camp. Of course, it was just last month that international poker superstar Sam Trickett became the premiere ambassador for Everest Poker and announced that he would be playing in the 2014 Big One For One Drop. Now though, Trickett’s fiancee, Natasha Sandhu, gets in on the poker action by taking a role in the world of poker herself and signing on to be a host and interviewer for poker video site PokerTube. (Watch her first video after the jump)

As noted by the good folks at Bluff Europe, Sandhu is hoping to use her intellect and charm to bring viewers the inside scoop on all things poker, including her upcoming travels to the 2014 WSOP.

Check out her very first vBlog for PokerTube (in an official capacity):

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Police In Spain Bust Small-time Underground Poker Game

The National Police from the Spanish city of Velez-Malaga busted up a €30 minimum buy-in poker game in the early hours of the morning today, according to the Euro Weekly News, where they confiscated over €1600 in cash.

The cops also grabbed a few stacks of poker chips, a couple decks of card as well as the suitcase they all were probably transported in. It seems though that the poker game was just one piece of the big-time bust as the underground club also didn’t carry the proper insurance, allowed folks to smoke indoors and even allegedly allowed “patrons to consume drugs.”

Read More Poker Justice: Facebook Poker Game Organizer Narrowly Avoids Jail Time

The government isn’t taking this poker game lightly, despite the little amount of money that is involved, and they are planning on prosecuting the case.

The Junta de Andalucia regional government is prosecuting the case as it infringes, among others, the gaming and gambling laws as well as fraud for not paying taxes on winnings.

Read More Poker Justice: Busto! Cop Caught Playing Online Poker While On Duty

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

PokerStars Hangs The “Help Wanted” Sign After Massive Overlay

Is this the position of the guy who cost PokerStars $260k?

How fast did someone get fired over Sunday’s unexpected $260k overlay in the PokerStars Sunday Warmup? Well, there’s no way to be sure but a job posting for the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars, that could be the position was snap-placed first thing on Monday morning.

Read: PokerStars Loses Small Fortune In Tournament Technical Snafu

An exciting and challenging new role has been created within our Global Support department for a manager who will be responsible for building, publishing and maintaining our global schedules across all time zones and local offices.

Of course, there’s no way to be sure, but you have to think that the poor guy who cost his company $260k was at least demoted, if not outright terminated on the spot. While there’s been a few whispers that this is indeed the job, you have to keep in mind that PokerStars is a massive company always looking for people to do a variety of jobs at any given time so it could be coincidence.

But if it IS that job in particular, you have to figure whoever gets it is going to have a little leverage on salary, I mean the last guy cost them no less than $260k this month alone!

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

WSOP Bracelet Winner David Daneshgar’s Blossoming New Business

BloomNation is poised to be the Etsy of the floral industry.

Start-up mag Fast Company tells the tale of how World Series of Poker bracelet winner David Daneshgar turned his poker winnings into a money tree…or money flower to be more precise. Funded by some of Daneshgar’s over $2.4 million lifetime earnings, his new floral business, BloomNation, is poised to take over the way you send your wife or girlfriend your next “I’m-sorry-I-stayed-out-all-night-playing-poker” apology bouquet of flowers.

Everyone likes a good success story, and in this one Daneshgar and his partners go from the poker room to the board room rounding up $1.65m in venture capitol to help local florists bring unique arrangements of flowers to more customers.

If you have a mind for business and maybe even love The Shark Tank, you should check out How Three Dudes Turned Poker Winnings Into A StartUp That Couple Fix The Flower Business.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Borgata 2014 Spring Open $1 Million Guarantee Kicks Off Series

Players flock to Borgata for Day 1a

One of the biggest poker series on the East Coast kicks off today as the Borgata Spring Open opens fire on the poker world with their massive $560 buy-in $1 Million Dollar Guarantee.

With new hi-tech chips in play, the Borgata has beefed up their on-table security in order to make sure there’s no jokers looking to repeat what happened during the Borgata Winter Open when counterfeit chips were introduced into play.

From the looks of it, with the announcement of increased security and chip spot checks made, players are making their way to the Borgata in droves. There’s roughly 358 runners so far according to PokerNews live reporting, and plenty more are likely to jump into one of the four starting flights for the first event.

The Borgata Spring Open boasts 17 events including the $1M Guarantee, the $2500 Borgata Spring Open Main Event, a $1k 6-max event and, of course, the World Poker Tour World Championship marking the first time the WPT has held this big-time event outside of the comfy confines of Las Vegas.

You can even satellite your way into the WPT Championship at for little as 10 points or $1 if you buy into step 2!

Live coverage of Event 1 of the BSO can be found over at PokerNews.

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Evolution Of Game – How The Internet Forever Changed Poker

Ten ways the internet influenced the course of poker history.

In today’s poker world, there are certain things we take for granted. Poker moves, services and situations that feel like they have been around forever when, in fact, today’s modern poker game is heavily influenced by poker’s fast adaptation of the internet.

In the latest poker article from, they take a close look at 10 of the ways that the game of poker has changed as a direct result of people being able to get their rounders fix online. From the evolution of 3-betting to advanced poker training sites, the internet has made it easier to learn the game and tougher to make money from it. Check out some excerpts after the jump:

Individual Player Stats

On the internet, however, those hands are more than just hands, they’re numbers. And those numbers are real, interpretable data. If you’ve played 10 hands pre-flop, folded 7 of them, called 2 and raised 1, your Voluntary Put Money in Pot (VPIP) is 30, and your Pre-Flop Raise (PFR) is 10. This is the statistical poker equivalent of learning the first three letters of the alphabet. Every single event, every choice you make at a poker table, is a recordable statistic and reflects the quality of your play. An experienced poker player can immediately spot weaknesses in another player’s game with a cursory glance at their numbers.

Proof That Poker Is A Skill Game

Because of the advent of poker databases, trying to prove poker skill went from live tournament players saying ‘hey, look, I’ve made a bunch of money for a long time’ to actual hard, recorded data that is undeniable proof. So to all those out there who call poker gambling, I hazard you should ponder your definition of the word a bit. I’ve been playing poker for six years and I don’t gamble.

The Online Pro

Players with the means, time and dedication to refine their craft online came onto the scene and would influence poker in a nearly overwhelming way, much like the way a Mongol horde might change history. Names like Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond came out of seemingly nowhere, exploding onto the live poker radar and having a profound influence on the game. As they brought new strategies and different viewpoints to the table, so to speak, the great live pros did what any pro would do; learn and adapt.

For all 10 ways, and a pretty nice read, check out 10 Ways the Internet Changed Poker Forever

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Howard Lederer’s Bull**** Detector On Display

Old email chain surfaces and provides laughs.

With the anticipation of a possible Howard sighting at the 2014 World Series of Poker, people are digging deep to find some of that sweet, sweet Lederer charm to put on display. Of course, SrslySirius made us laugh with the fictitious account of Howard’s rapping prowess but now, courtesy of the super sleuths of Two Plus Two, Howard’s real life provides the chuckles.

Read: Jesus and Howard – The Case For Expulsion

Howard, looking to invite a bunch of his peeps to his “annual barbecue and charity tournament” emailed…pretty much the entire company of Full Tilt, most notably all the pros (if you remember there were a ton). Well, when Celebrity Poker commentator Phil Gordon replied and noted that Howard must have been sweating a bracelet bet with top pro Phil Ivey, Howard replied with the following:

I had to hear a all bullshit today about how he willed his victory. All I saw was a guy getting all in for his last three bets, like ten times and winning every time. I’m sure he played well, but sheesh.

Of course, when he replied to Gordon, he pulled a “freak and very weird dude” moment and hit reply all which means that the email was to hit the IN Box of Ivey too.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Alec Torelli & Andrew Robl Film E-Harmony Success Story Video

Character profiles courtesy of PokerNews.

It’s only been a couple of days since PokerNews lost their lead on-camera personality Kristy Arnett. To all of those who wonder what they will do without her, they’ve put out a new video called “The Bro Diaries” – a sit down interview featuring high stakes poker pros Alec Torelli and Andrew Robl. The pair of pros bro down and, if we’re being honest, answer some of the most generic questions you could ask a couple of high stakes beasts if you have them in a room in front of a camera.

Coolest thing you’ve ever done together? Most annoying thing? What do you like the most about each other? This comes off like a bizarre double dating promo outtake video. Robl even acknowledges that, out of context (hell, even IN context) it looks like the buddies are filming an excerpt from “When Harry Met Sally.”

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers – you can either watch this 4-minute exercise or actually get back to work. It’s a close call. Maybe Part 2 will be better.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Jean-Robert Bellande — Dubsteppin’ Out

JRB takes us to the Monday night Skrillex concert.

When you are a poker player in Las Vegas, there’s really no such thing as “getting to bed early” or “staying in on a Monday night.” Especially if you are the notoriously broke Jean-Robert Bellande. If someone is going to hook you up with tickets to “dance” at the Skrillex concert at Club XS at the Wynn you happily agree and, of course, show the rest of us what it’s like to ave your eardrums bleed on a weeknight.

I’m i really out again? Skrillex has XS on FIRE! #brokesicko

Despite being such a big guy, JRB finds his way into small tight places…like backstage with his pal, Dim Mak Record Label founder and musician Steve Aoki

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Is There A Doctor In The House? Doctor Who Gets Poker Dog Treatment

One-of-a-kind painting available for fans of the TV show.

Everyone is familiar with the classic “Dogs Playing Poker” posters, right? Well, a massive fan of the acclaimed Bristish TV show “Doctor Who” opted to give the Doctors a seat in their own game in this 36×24 acrylic painting.

According to technabob, there’s a ton of detail for fanboys to enjoy.

It shows the 4th, 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors all playing a game of poker with a Cyberman, a Dalek and the Master (Anthony Ainley version). It has a lot of nice details, like Van Gogh’s exploding TARDIS painting, playing cards with K-9 on the back, the fez, even the crack in time.

Interested in this item? It’s available on Etsy for a couple buy-ins (only $500)

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Phil Laak Revisits His Arrival To The Pro Poker Scene

High-Stakes Poker brought about the popularity of the Unibomber.

We unabashedly love Phil Laak at F5poker and we know you do too. In this latest article from UK poker mag, Poker Player, Laak sits down to talk specifically about his time in front of the camera on the much beloved show High Stakes Poker. From his status as a Wall Street wannabe to his rise in the ranks of popular televised pros Laak recalls what made the show such a beautiful battleground for him.

If you are a fan poker’s boy-king, this revealing interview takes you back into some of the Unibomber’s best moments.

Q: My impression is that when you first sat down to play, you were definitely considered a pro but not a seriously accomplished one. Then, by the show’s final season, everybody viewed you as a guy who knew what he was doing.

Laak: I remember a stray comment. Daniel Negreanu was playing on the show when a weird hand unfolded in which I did something right that was counterintuitive. Daniel saw it and he said, ‘Wow, you really are a poker player.’ He had been thinking what other people at the table might have thought: Here’s goofball Phil who made money on Wall Street and is now trying to play poker but he can’t be as good as me. Some of the professionals may have believed they were better than me and maybe they were, but it was by inches instead of miles. I was able to exploit what they thought I didn’t know.

Read: Phil Laak on Chan, Viffer and why the televised cash game was so juicy

Plus Laak breaks down an amazing laydown he makes against Johnny Chan during the Norm McDonald era HSP.

Q: Do you wish you had done something differently on that hand?

Laak: What I should have done, before Chan mucked his cards, was make the greatest statement of all time: ‘Chan, don’t say anything about your cards. I’ll bet anybody my $30,000 to your $20,000 that he had A-J or better.’ Somebody would have made that bet and it would have been the sickest recoup of 20 dimes. Not only would I have shown that I made a nit fold, but I would have shown that I totally felt it. It was the sickest missed opportunity ever.

Check out this nice piece on one of the game’s most engaging superstars.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Winamax Looks To Work Hard, Play Hard

Take a look behind-the-scenes at the French online site.

French online poker site, Winamax recently participated in the Paris Startup Job Fair and in doing so, opened up their Paris office to the the aptly named French blog Rude Bagette for a look inside the growing enterprise’s facilities.

With more than a million accounts, Winamax is hanging the 'help wanted’ sign hoping to add to their already robust team of 80 cigarette smoking Gérard Depardieu fans that work there. While that’s a cheap shot, it actually looks pretty cool – providing you bring the right skills to the office. These Frenchies like to work hard, but play hard as well with employees partaking in a whole host of activities and game nights.

Focused on community, Winamax is looking to hire the following kinds of people:

The Paris office is looking to recruit profiles capable of accompanying the startup in developing the future features of the platform, using a variety of technologies such as JavaScript/HTML5, AS3/Flex, iOS and PHP. The applicants need to be experts in their fields yet not forget to be humble. Being proactive and dynamic and know how to share and collaborate are also key qualities applicants should have to work at Winamax.

At the very least, they take some cool photos.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Gus Hansen— “At Some Point I Have To Quit”

Hansen gets candid about his high stakes online beating

It’s no secret that Gus Hansen has taken a brutal beating in the high stakes online game. In this latest interview with PokerStrategy Gus is confronted with his online poker record and forced to take a look as to why he’s getting crushed.

Gus ponders if he’s in fact too relaxed, not focused enough, spends too long online or the fact that he’s not putting in the proper analysis of his game. The edge he might have once had is all but gone and he’s forced to face the multi-million dollar loss as a result. Frustrated, Hansen continues to work on his game and even with the staggering losses, he’s planning on being in Las Vegas this summer to participate in the Big One In One Drop 1 million dollar tournament.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Phil Ivey Is Dealing With Downswings

Massive online losses and his ex-wife remarries in the same week.

While sometimes Phil Ivey seems superhuman, he is, of course, merely mortal. This week, the People’s Champ navigated what many would call rough waters, both professionally and personally.

It was reported this week that Ivey took a massive beating on the Full Tilt Poker virtual felt dropping nearly $1 million in cash (roughly $945k over 8k hands according to Pokernews) at the nosebleed 2-7 Triple Draw and PLO tables. In fact, according to his graph over at HighStakesDB, since changing his name from his own “Phil Ivey” to “Polarizing” on FTP, Ivey has done nothing but dump cash – $3.3 million or so since December 2012.

Maybe though, while he was playing his heart just wasn’t in it. It was reported by Bluff Magazine’s EIC Lance Bradley that Ivey’s ex-wife, Luciaetta, has in fact, remarried.

Over the weekend Luciaetta, who went back to her maiden name of Roberts following the divorce, married Chris Rich, who just happens to be a Senior Partner at Rich Ventures, where Luciaetta has been working (according to her LinkedIn profile) since January 2013.

The divorce was a testament to Ivey’s mainstream appeal in a sense as it was actually covered by media monster TMZ. Who knows what emotions Ivey may be feeling about the remarriage of his high school sweetheart, but according to Nevada divorce laws, with her remarriage, the reported $180k monthly alimony checks will come to a grinding halt…perhaps helping to ease the burden of his online losses.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Former WSOP Novermber Niner Sam Holden “Semi-Retires” From Poker, Leaves 888

Focusing on philosophy degree.

With his shock of curly red locks and boyish looks, poker player Sam Holden stormed onto the international poker stage with his 9th place finish in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event (the one that Pius Heinz won). He followed that up with a super deep run the following year, finishing 55th in the Main Event, helping him secure a position as a full time 888poker sponsored pro. This weekend, Holden announced, via his blog on the 888poker website, that he had “lost a lot of drive to play poker” and was stepping away from the game in “semi-retirement” to focus on a philosophy degree from the University of Kent.

Holden, who as racked up more than 1.1 million in live tournament earnings since 2010, will not be altogether absent, as he’s planning on playing the “odd live tournament” but now it will be without the responsibility that comes with being sponsored. The opportunities afforded Sam are not lost on him.

I’ve spent four incredible years playing poker full time and I never dreamt that my favourite card game could give me so many opportunities and experiences. Being able to travel the world, record television programmes, meet people from every corner of the globe and enjoy some of the best restaurants and clubs, all while earning money playing a game, is a privilege not lost on me, and a journey that has taught me a lot.

Holden started his poker career, not really sure what he wanted to do with his life at the time and he found the life of a pro player appealing. But nowadays, he’s not as concerned with financial security and in the long run he’d “never really seen poker as a long term option.” Additionally, Holden found that the “baller” lifestyle may have been a little lost on him.

he fancy clubs, restaurants and hotels were a lot of fun but I realised quickly that the things that matter most to me, are the relationships with my friends. Their company and intelligence, their insight and their humour. The truth is that I couldn’t really care less where we go, as long as the company is good. A cheap pub will do just fine.

In the end, Holden is just looking to improv himself as a person and his life in general and, for him, he feels that another field, perhaps academia, he can find a passion in while being able to make a difference.

For Holden’s entire statement and to read more of what’s next, check out his 'resignation post’ over at 888.

Read More: Former WSOP November Niner Filippo Candio Calls It Quits, Retiring From Poker

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

PokerStars Loses Small Fortune In Tournament Technical Snafu

Someone forgot to tick the "late entry" box.

There was an unexpected surprise for PokerStars players who jumped into the $200+$15 Sunday Warm-Up yesterday – $260k worth of overlay. Apparently a “technical issue” kept players from being able to late register and, according to the esteemed Joss Wood over at our sister site pokerfuse, once PokerStars closes and event, that ish stays closed.

“PokerStars apologizes for the lack of a late registration period in the Sunday Warm-Up. This was a technical issue, and was not deliberate,” a PokerStars representative told pokerfuse. “PokerStars will honor the guarantee of the event.”

With a scant 1204 players who actually showed up on time, that left roughly $260k that was needed to be ponied up by PokerStars to honor their guarantee. That’s about 3 years worth of the average US family’s yearly income. Pokerfuse points out that when you pull out the registration fees, PokerStars only took a $240k bath, so whatever.

As a general rule, PokerStars needs 2500 runners to meet the guarantee and when they do, they make $37,500 on player fees for running the tournament.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Hellmuth, Doyle, Negreanu and more… Hit Rock Bottom, Cause Stone Cold Says So

Poker pros re-imagined as WWE Superstars

Last night, the yearly pinnacle of professional wrestling took place as Wrestlemania 30 found grown men cheering and chugging to buff dudes in short shorts.

But hey, here in 'Mercia you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has never gotten wrapped up, if but for a brief second, in the soap opera and pre-determined shenanigans of these undeniable athletes.

One person who is an obvious WWE fanboy is that of Bluff Magazine's Tim Fiorvanti. In his column for Bluff he takes some of the biggest, and strongest, names in poker and assigns them their pro wrestling counterpart. Who is Hulk Hogan? Who is…that other guy? Only Tim knows for sure. But be forewarned, Tim goes deep into the pro wrestling lexicon to pull out matches for some of these guys so if you don’t remember Scott Steiner or The Brooklyn Brawler, some of the fun might be lost on you.

But c’mon Tim…The Iron Sheik? Pretty obvious.

Read: ‘HellmuthMania’: The Poker World and WWE Universe Collide

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

USA Today Warns Poker Players To Wear Protection

5 Tips to keep your online bankroll safe.

As poker slowly works it’s way back into the United States the coverage of its return slowly seeps back into mainstream media. This weekend, the USA Today, the same publication that runs the GPI 300 each week, wrote up a 5 tips guide for post-Black Friday security for those players returning to the digital felt after a long hiatus.

Most are pretty common, and well-known, security measures to keep your computer protected from the multitude of viruses and scammers out there. But with poker players keeping a ton of cash on these sites, it’s a great reminder of how it’s better to be safe than sorry.

1. Select a good software solution

bq.Don’t settle for a basic antivirus program you found for free or already bundled with your operating system.

2. Up the password strength

A strong password is at least seven or eight characters long, has a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and mixes upper and lower cases. It’s also a good idea to avoid real words or phrases.

3. Step one-two

As the name “two-step authentication” suggests, in addition to a standard username and password you’ll also need a code that’s sent usually via text message to your mobile phone, or revealed in an app.

4. Don’t log-in as admin

It’s fairly straightforward to set up a new account outside of admin on your machine, call it Poker, perhaps, and log into this before playing poker.

5. Don’t play in public (hotspots)

Some Wi-Fi networks can appear to be legitimate — like a wireless network called “Hilton” or “McDonald’s” — when in fact it is a fake. Nearby criminals can create rogue networks that often contain the name of the store, hotel or airport, but actually will direct your information to their own computer.

So if you are planning on getting back in the game sooner than later, check out these 5 tips in full over at USA Today.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink