Poker pro Aaron Massey isn’t immune to the charms of the The Chainsaw. But, as you may remember, Massey’s not the first person to wake up half naked in Allen Kessler wear.
The stage is set for the final day of World Poker Tour's Season XII. After 5 days of action only 6 players remain in the Borgata 2014 Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship event with hopes to win the massive $1.35 million first place prize.
World Series of Poker bracelet winner Keven Stammen will wake up today holding the chiplead headed into the final table with Byron Kaverman, the man responsible for eliminating Day 3 and 4 chipleader Eric Afrait, not too far behind him.
Borgata Spring Open Main Event champion, Abraham Korotki, continues his hot streak and finds himself third in chips and looking to make back-to-back titles in the same series. Poker pro Curt “Psycho Ninja” Kohlberg is also looking to make a career high score, hoping to best his 2011 SHRPS runner up finish.
In the fifth and sixth position are two of the bigger names left. Tony Dunst, host of the World Poker Tour’s Raw Deal, is shirking his responsibilities in the booth for a shot at poker super stardom. Sitting 5th in chips, the well-known personality is looking to become a 2-time WPT Champ for a payday that would likely be somewhere in the earnings of, we’re guessing, 10 years worth of Raw Deal segments. Rounding out the top six is another tournament beast in Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo, who has come close many times to a major title on his way to his over $1.5 million in career earnings.
The final table will be streamed live with the pre-show starting at 4:00pm EST and the action, presumable, kicking off at 4:30. For action as it happens, be sure to check out the PokerNews live updates team as well.
This made news last week, but here is *WIll the Thril*l talking with Bluff Magazine about his new position as, more than a poker celebrity, a bone fide product ambassador for Monster Headphones
While WIll is a fantastic persona in poker it seems a strange fit since it’s his gregarious personality he’s most known for…not being an isolated, headphone wearing grinder. Maybe the strategy is that WIll will be such a big time big mouth that you’ll buy a pair of Monster headphones just to tune him out. Either way, it would be cool to see him in a commercial with Shaq Daddy, right?
When you think summer in Vegas, you undoubtedly think about the World Series of Poker. Why wouldn’t you? It’s massive, all the marquee names are there and they give out one of the most coveted prizes in poker – a WSOP bracelet.
But, some out there are looking for other poker action. Maybe smaller buy-ins, smaller fields, shorter days or softer competition. Passionate pokerist Kenny Hallaert points out that there’s all sorts of poker tournaments running this summer from places like the Venetian (boo), Golden Nugget, Wynn, Binion’s, Planet Hollywood, Bellagio and the Aria – which just announced their renewed partnership with the World Poker Tour for a $500+$64 tournament with a $200k guaranteed 1st place and $1M prizepool.
The best part is Hallaert compiled it all in one place for you. A handy Google doc that tells you just about everything you need to know: what tournament is taking place where, when it is and how much you’re going to pay.
So set your schedule, book a flight and take a look at all that Vegas has to offer in terms of poker tournaments. Just in case you take a shot and miss at the WSOP.
Want to have a discussion about it? Jump on to the Two Plus Two forums where schedule-heads are keeping everything in order.
The market for nosebleed tournaments is growing as shown by the record numbers in the EPT Monte Carlo €100k Super High Roller. Over 60 unique entries have made it one of the largest fields for this type of tournament on the EPT and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is right in the thick of it.
Kid Poker talks with rookie PokerNews reporter Jennifer Robles about the increase of attendance and how he deals with the wealth of young talent pouring into the biggest of games. Negreanu, never at a loss for words, says he just does his “thang” by using experience, wisdom, discipline and confidence.
Bonus: High Rolling Recap with Robles
World Poker Tour Raw Deal host Tony Dunst enjoys proving his worthiness on the felt and getting some job security at the same time. With only 18 left in the WPT Championship event, Dunst is still in – and getting paid for it. Here he chats it up with fellow media member Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling to talk about how he “fuckin hates” pal and fellow poker player Ryan D’Angelo for making his life miserable all day.
Dunst was the Robin Hood of his table…take from the table, give to D’Angelo.
Check out more fun with Dunst: Tony Dunst Breaks Down Charania’s Short-Stacked Secrets and WPT’s Tony Dunst Breaks Down Selbst’s Poker, Fashion Choices
It’s probably safe to say that Canadian Eric Afrait must feel like he’s living the dream. Last week’s winner of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, for over $1 million, is the man to beat this week in the Borgata 2014 Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship. Afrait not only held the chip lead headed into Day 3, he’s the only player with 2 million in chips headed into Day 4.
With only 18 players left Afrait will likely need whatever advantage he can get as there is stiff competition just behind him on the leaderboard. Tony Gregg, Ryan D’Angelo, Justin Young, Brock Parker and WPT’s own Tony Dunst are all looking to chip up for a shot at the final table. Borgata Spring Open Main Event winner, and bonefide Ladies’ Champ, Abraham Korotki sits 2nd in chips, having an amazing run of his own.
The money bubble burst when the Day 3 field of 68 fell to 36. Not surviving the day but earning a living was Day 2 chipleader Jason Koon, November Niner Jesse Sylvia, WSOP standout Loni Harwood, beast of beasts Scott Seiver and rappin’ Jeff Madsen.
The remaining players return at 12:00 noon EST to play down to the live streamed final table which will take place on Saturday. Want updates? Visit the hard working team over at PokerNews for all the Day 4 action.
While the Borgata Spring Open may be winding down, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the online action. NJCOP is still going with massive tournaments taking place through the weekend.
Tom Dwan's part-time Macau pal resident and super high-roller, Alec Torelli snaps a pic from what it looks like to be behind a €250k stack and across the felt from one of the most feared players in the game. No, not snazzy dresser Christoph Vogelsang, although he’s a beast…but Phil Ivey.
Sneak peak of the action at the PokerStars €250,000 buy in big game with Phil Ivey, Isaac Haxton, Daniel Cates and others…
Everyone loves a good Tony G clip. While this is nowhere near one of his best, G gunna G, you know? After 4-outing Dhru Patel on the river, he pulls out the verbal bag 'o tricks and blasts his neighbor with some subtle needles about it “not being online” and also “I was proud of you…you made a good call.”
As the chips shift to Tony he then really tries to get into the mind of Patel by throwing out the following:
“You’re unlucky, now you have to call me every time, like a loose slot machine and hope for the best”
PokerNews catches up with the 2013 winner of the EPT Monte Carlo €98,000 + 2,000 Super High Roller. As you might expect after winning one of the richest prizes the EPT has ever dished out…life is pretty good.
A lot has changed in the past 8 years for one-time poker phenom Jimmy Fricke. At only 19 years old the Illinois native was a dominant online grinder and by virtue of a deep run, the unwitting star of the 2007 Aussie Millions as the world watched him go heads-up against Gus Hansen...and lose.
Since that time, Fricke, a mainstay as “Gobboboy” on the popular Two Plus Two forums (now just “Gobbo”), has remained an active participant in the poker community. Sure, he’s been embroiled in his fair share of controversy and drama (see Howard Lederer's leaked 'freak and a very weird dude’ email) but his reputation for winning play and analytical thinking helped him become the go-to poker brain for strategy for PokerStars' taped broadcasts.
Over the years, Fricke found himself deeply entrenched in the poker community and the Las Vegas live scene. Then one day, Gobbo had enough. Fricke, seemingly, put it all behind him, packed up his things and literally left Las Vegas to move back home to Illinois.
But now, over a year later, he’s back. Having rediscovered his love of the game of poker (and his hatred for day jobs) Fricke has come back to Nevada to test his skill in the newly regulated online Nevada market and to spend the summer grinding the World Series of Poker. We spent a little time chatting with him recently – check out the return of Gobbo.
F5: How long has it been since you’ve moved to Las Vegas now?
JF: Moved here after the WSOP the year I turned 21. So late ’08. I moved back home for like 8 months because reality kicked my ass. But after a bit of trying out normal life I decided it sucked so I came back out to Vegas to try it again.
F5: DId you just recently move back and forth?
JF: I moved back to Illinois in January 13 and moved back to Vegas in September. When WSOP.com was launching because I heard the Nevada sites were going to be soft.
F5: Let’s get to it…are they?
JF: They certainly were. The sites launched and there was a lot of money on there. Games go a lot less now and there are mostly regs. Now, I’m not playing much until the compacts with other states happen or if the WSOP happens to make the games a lot better, which they will almost certainly for the summer.
F5: For those of us not in “free states” like Nevada, can you give us a little overview on what you think the current state of online poker in the US is from your experience – MTTs, cash, whatev..
JF: It’s like we’re starting from scratch. It’s a mix between people who know what they’re doing but have a lack of funds to make it happen and billion dollar corporations who don’t want to spend a cent to make a working site. It’d be nice if Pokerstars could come into the US, but it’ll probably be a while before legislation allows it.
F5: If you feel like calling any sites out in print, we’ll be happy to post it for you.
JF: [Lolz] No, thanks….I mean I know people who work for WSOP.com and they’re trying their best but they’re hand-tied by the red tape to get everything done.
It’s like the whole Borgata situation. The people, ultimately, who make the most important decision unfortunately has no clue about what is best in the situation because they don’t understand poker or poker players.
F5: So you’re back, in Vegas and with a new resolve?
JF: Yeah, I came back to Vegas hoping to drastically make my game better and trying not to slip back into bad habits. I love Vegas, it’s a great place to live. I’d prefer to stay here for a while.
F5: Talk a little about bad habits and maybe, if you don’t mind, why you left Vegas in the first place?
JF: I basically fell into some pretty deep depression. I can get pretty existential and paranoid about stupid stuff and combined with a downswing it made me into somewhat of a hermit who never played. And if you don’t play poker you’re not a very good poker player.
My game fell to rust because I never worked on it. Eventually my dad came out to visit and saw how miserable I was. I moved back to Illinois to try working at a startup company he started but I basically couldn’t stomach real life. I’m not built for going to a 9-5.
F5: So, you’re ready to get back to work on your game? How hard is it to get back into “playing shape”?
JF: Not that hard for me. I always tended to approach the game from a theoretical standpoint and when your fundamentals are pretty strong it’s not hard to adjust and get back into the groove. It’s really just making sure I play a bunch and don’t let me get too down.
F5: Gotta ask: Howard. You have any feelings on his current standing in the poker community? Like…“In Your Face!” or somthing?
JF: I have been trying to get to the point where I don’t really judge people anymore because who really knows the full story behind someone’s actions, but there’s a certain part of me that’s a little smug at all the hate he’s been getting in the poker world. I mean I wasn’t a very social person back when he sent that email about me and I probably deserved it to some degree but at the same time we had only really met the one time.
For what it’s worth, what he did is incredibly bad for poker and he ruined a lot of lives. I had basically no money on FTP at the time and so never thought too hard about the situation but I think it’s crazy to think he’ll be able to come back into poker without negative repercussions.
F5: How’s life in Vegas now? Are you playing live a lot? You used to spend a good deal of time at the Venetian, are you still playing there?
JF: I’m playing live a bit more because online has dried up slightly but also been playing less since I started running bad. It’s a weird mix right now. I have really started to enjoy cooking so I like to cook for my friends when I get the chance. But most of my free time is spent going to the dog park and hanging out. That’s what I couldn’t take in Illinois, just the complete lack of a social life.
I have a lot of friends who work at the Venetian poker room so I feel like it’s way better to generate money for them than it is bad to give pennies to Sheldon. Some people give me shit for playing there but Sheldon literally does not care about how a boycott in the poker room affects him. He’s an old man who is likely going to die in the next 5 years, he’s not going to care if poker room traffic drops 5%.
F5: Back on the grind, back in Vegas and next, you’ll be back at the WSOP. You recently posted on Two Plus Two that you are selling action to a full-on suite, if you will, of events. Looks like you are planning on hitting it hard this summer.
JF: Honestly the schedule is pretty tame compared to my schedules of old.
F5: Twenty-six events is tame?!
JF: I probably approached 100k in buyins a few years but I’m scaling it back because I’m trying to keep everything in my own roll. I have worked on my No Limit game a lot and feel super comfortable playing NLHE tournaments right now so I want to make sure I play a lot of them. I used to play a lot of the mixed game tournaments and I made sure to include some of the games that I feel as though I excelled at but I’m not going to throw in a bunch of 10ks in games I don’t feel like I’m an expert in.
F5: So No Limit is your game of choice right now? What event do you have circled with a red pen, like, that’s yours!?
JF: I feel like NL events are still very soft and have too much value to skip. So even though they’re not my most enjoyable events to play they’re ones I simply have to put hours into. But I do have a few favorite events. The 1k PLO I really think this year is going to be huge. Like 3k+ probably 4k players. It’s the first open event that’s not a huge buyin which generally always gets a huge field. Most of my best finishes in the WSOP have been Omaha 8 so I basically tried to fit in all the events I could of that. And the $1500 HORSE is arguably the softest tournament at the WSOP, so I’m super excited for that one. For some reason I’ve just never been able to accumulate a stack in that tournament.
F5: Before I let you go, just for fun, do you mind if I ask you some just seemingly random questions?
JF: Absolutely. My favorite part.
F5: Ok, 5 F5 questions…What TV show you most recommend someone binge watch?
JF: I absolutely love Game of Thrones. I’ve read all the books released so far and find it super enthralling. Totally recommend everyone get into the series.
F5: Jimmy, you gotta get pumped up for a tournament, a date, a sporting event…whatever…you gotta be psyched – what song is playing?
JF: Action Jeff Garza knows the answer to this question. Heat of the Moment.
F5: There’s gotta be a secret place everyone should go to eat while in Vegas this summer, can you let secret out? Where must the masses eat?
JF: Mundo. It’s just ridiculously good. Upscale mexican. I’ve never been served anything that didn’t blow me away.
F5: You have to split a basket of chicken strips in the poker kitchen at the WSOP. Bad beat. You can split it with anyone, who get’s half?
JF: Are you referencing the chicken thing between me and [Adam] Junglen 6 years ago or or is this just a baffling coincidence?
F5: No! Baffling coincidence! I swear.
JF: (laughs) Fucking hilarious.
F5: I was just trying to find a clever way to ask you who, if you could pick anyone, you’d like to have lunch with!
JF: I’ll split it with Jack Effel so that if I get food poisoning this time he has to suffer it with me. I got food poisoning from one of their chicken wraps there a few years ago. It was a miserable few days.
F5: Nice. Lastly, if money isn’t an issue and poker is not an option, how do you spend your time?
JF: Go to the dog park, come home, cook a great meal for a bunch of my friends and go to sleep early. I don’t have lofty goals in life. If I could do that every day I’d be a very happy man.
The man everyone’s been talking about, Phil Ivey, has made his way to EPT Monte Carlo to partake in the 100k Super High Roller. So far though, he tells PokerNews that he’s off to a rocky start having taken some early hits to his chipstack. Maybe it’s hard for him to focus with all of his off-the-felt 'happenings’? Not so according to Ivey.
Ivey’s keeping his real life woes separate from his attention to his game. So while he may have to think about thinks like multi-million dollar lawsuits when he’s not playing, for now, he’s just trying to stay in the moment.
So, none of the previously mentioned problems plague you? If you’re still on the outside looking in, you’re probably just a degenerate. Lucky for you, this is poker, where the wolves come to play. Here’s Part 5 (the finale) of How To Resurrect Your Dead Poker Career.
Problem: You Owe Everyone a Bunch of Money.
Solution: Bink a major/go to rehab/find a new sucker.
It may be the biggest problem in poker: you have life leaks that drain your bankroll off of the felt. Never fear, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you owe everyone in the poker world money or just can’t keep the cash you have… here’s a couple ideas on how to get back in the good graces of poker:
A. Bink a major. Hey, Chino Rheem allegedly owed, like, everyone he knew before he won the Epic Poker Main Event. PokerNews referred to Rheem’s reputation as that of a “debtor, swindler, and borderline sociopath.” After his win though he started giving back the cash and even got staked for the $111k One Drop last year (although that didn’t turn out well).
B. Go to rehab. Erik Lindgren got caught up in a fantasy sports betting controversy in which he actually went to gambling rehab for everything gambling (except poker) and declared bankruptcy. Here’s a quote from Lindgren from the 2013 WSOP.
“It no secret that I had financial problems, definitely gambled too high and I had to address that part of my life. I just realize that money’s, you know, not that important to me…that success is, that my family is and I’ve become a way less selfish person, a way happier person.”
Bankruptcy and an admitted habit didn’t stop Lindgren from having a monster year after that – 2nd place in the WPT 5-diamond for $650k and a massive 5 cashes and a bracelet for $630k+ series.
Watch Erik get choked up after his comeback
C. Find a sucker…er, backer. Jean-Robert Bellande actually brags about being broke all the time and his sometimes backer, Dan Bilzerian, actually defamed him in public for his poor play (he called him 'a little slow mentally’). Still, Bellande finds himself hanging out with Bilzerian, flying in private jets, playing poker on the beach and…owning a Bentley??
So, just remember there’s always hope, even on the river. If your poker career is dead, you can bring it back to life even if your name isn’t Jesus.
Actually, Jesus will have a tough time.
Follow us on the Twitter! @F5poker.
With only a couple days left in season 12 of the World Poker Tour and their Championship event in full swing, eyes begin to shift back to Europe where PokerStars’ European Poker Tour takes over Monte Carlo for more than a week of massive poker action. The €100k Super High Roller is already underway with a massive €250k minimum buy-in cash game to follow. So get ready for a ton of action as Season 10 of the EPT wraps up with a bang.
Watch: Jennifer Robles breaks down the ramping up of EPT Monte Carlo.
For those of you who recall the story of Kevin Boudreau from last year’s WSOP, Chad Holloway over at PokerNews recently spoke with the family to provide the poker community with a very nice update on his condition.
Kevin continues to recover from the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the parking lot of the Rio last year and is getting better all the time, including getting to play a little online poker in-between therapy sessions.
At this point, Kevin’s right side has begun to wake up and start moving. His right hip and leg can now move forward to walk, but he can’t bear his entire body weight. He eats anything and his feeding tube only provides water for hydration. He has begun to vocalize and can say only a few words, but it’s coming around.
The first question everyone seems to ask is, “Does Kevin know what’s really going on?” and the answer is yes, absolutely! He can read, he remembers well, and believe it or not, he can play online poker. He still makes better decisions than me, and that’s playing left handed.
His parents remain optimistic and Kevin is progressing every day and even hopes to make his way to the WSOP just to see his friends and hang out.
Definitely a great read: Kevin 'Phwap’ Boudreau’s Family Provides Poker Community Update on His Condition
Here’s a look at Kevin in action at the 2010 World Series of Poker:
A resplendent Joe Stapleton reveals a startling chest rug during the latest Challenge Stapes at #EPTGrandFinal.
Before action gets underway for Day 3 of the Borgata 2014 Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship event, check out what overnight chipleader Eric Afrait had to say to Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling about building a massive stack on the back of pocket aces.
Day 2 of the Borgata 2014 Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship is in the books. As expected, the Borgata Poker Room saw a fast and drastic reduction in players as only 68, from the 200 that started the day, bagged up chips at the end of the night. Today, on Day 3, the money bubble will burst (36) as we get closer to determining who will take home the over $1.3 million first place prize.
Perhaps what was unexpected was who would rise to be the overnight chipleader. Eric Afrait, the same Canadian pro who took down the 2014 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for over $1m just last week, pouched up over $1m in tournament chips last night, nearly double that of 2nd place on the leader board, Athanasios Polychronopoulos. Afrait is headed into Day 3 with a massive stack and will be looking to put a stranglehold on a run at back-to-back WPT titles.
Other runners in the current top ten have impressive resumes as well. Tony Gregg, Scott Seiver, Ryan D’Angelo, Day 1b chipleader Jason Koon and Jonathan Tamayo all managed to build healthy stacks.
Other big names to keep an eye on are former Dallas Cowboys wideout Miles Austin, Raw Deal host Tony Dunst, Nick “The Takeover” Schulman, former Novembers Niner Eric Buchman and Jesse Sylvia, Loni Harwood, Eugene Todd (Bro) and barely making the cut, 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Jason Koon and former Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin
Unfortunately for the likes of Greg Merson, Allen Kessler, Joseph Cheong, Jon Aguiar, Scotty Nguyen, Andy Frankenberger, Paul Volpe and Will “The Thrill” Failla, among a long list of others, they were unable to fade the flips and bad beats and find themselves looking forward to the next event.
Just like that – it’s already time for Episode 2 of the PokerStars broadcast of EPT London, Season 10. Included is everything you can hope for from a poker show – big hands, big bluffs, hole cards and commentary from James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. Enjoy!
There are a host of big names on the felt and in the field at the Borgata Spring Open 2014 World Poker Tour Championship event. One of the most prominent names that’s missing, other than Phil Ivey, is the winner of last year’s WPT Championship, David “Chino” Rheem.
With a $15,400 price tag and Rheem’s past money problems, perhaps its understandable that Rheem might not make the trip out of Las Vegas to the East Coast to defend his title.
Except that it’s a total freeroll.
The World Poker Tour Championship event one of the very few events, on any tour, where the previous year’s champion gets a free seat the following year. Rheem had a seat just waiting for him. It looks like this may have been a surprise though to Rheem when it was brought to his attention by poker pro Robert Mizrachi.
Just to make sure we reached out to the World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska and asked if it was in fact true that Rheem had free entry to the $15,400 event.
He replied with a decisive, “Yes that’s correct.”
We also confirmed via WPT officials the seat is/was non-transferable or convertible.
With the WPT Championship well underway and Chino hanging in Las Vegas, it looks like the opportunity to grab a part of the $5 million guaranteed prizepool has passed him by.
What’s he doing instead? Rheem hints that he may be taking a leadership class/lecture from the semi-controversial Daniel Negreanu-touted Choice Center.
Of course “choice” in this context could be any number of things. Whatever it is, we hope it’s worth it.
Read More Rheem: Chino Rheem — Is Straight Flush With Cash
Master casher and straight playa, Allen Kessler, thinks that Ivey’s “edge sorting” ways is a gray area and it’s hard to make sense of the whole thing. The Team Ivey pro takes a few minutes to chat it up with Bluff Magazine to, of course, gets a complaint in about the starting time of the World Poker Tour Championship Event, talk about where the staff tips should come from and comment on what’s going on with the Team Ivey head honcho.
Even though Chainsaw has yet to be put in the recording booth for the Ivey League he’s confident that when it comes to the new training site that whatever Ivey puts his name to is going to wind up being good “at some point.”
Phil Hellmuth is finally going to have a new option for his Twitter account background. Late last week, the 13-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner went to a studio in Los Angeles to film a “national commercial” for, what looks to be, the new Carl’s Jr. Memphis BBQ Burger.
Wearing his trademark sunglasses, PH logo hat and one of his World Series of Poker bracelets, Hellmuth can be seen sizing up his pulled pork opponent.
If you recall, this isn’t Hellmuth’s first time as a mainstream spokesperson. Hellmuth also had another famous campaign for Milwakee’s Best Light back in 2008 during their WSOP campaign. Phil appeared on “a million” cans for the then WSOP broadcast sponsor.
Want even more Carl’s Junior commercial history? The chaps over at the UK’s Poker Player examine some other notables who have stumped for Carl’s Jr.
If you hadn’t heard, the gentleman who won the Borgata 2014 Spring Open Main Event, Abraham Korotki also entered and outright won a Ladies’ Event back in 2009 (for 20k!). While he takes a little time to celebrate his recent victory at the Borgata, Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling isn’t about ready to let him off the hook for his industry-accepted indiscretion of having the balls to play in a Ladies’ Event.
In this really fun interview, Korotki does his best to justify that decision by praising the ability of woman on the felt, declaring that it’s not a “weightlifting contest” and noting that he “played for charity.” It didn’t hurt that he snap busted the tournament he intended to play in the first place.
The best part is listening to Keeling ask the BSO Champion if playing Ladies Events “is still something that you do?” to which he assures the audience that he’s a retired Ladies’ Champion and those days are behind him. Enjoy.
The World Poker Tour's Championship event of Season 12 continued at the Borgata Poker Room yesterday with an additional 223 runners (some of which busted on Day 1a) jumping into the $15,400 tournament creating a prize pool $4,910,000. Yep, that’s $90k off the $5 million guarantee or to put in other terms – 6 players.
By most accounts, the narrowly missed guarantee is not bringing the energy down in the room as The Borgata is still full of the biggest names in the game battling for what will be a 7-figure payday for 1st place. Perhaps the man most excited about that this morning is overnight chip leader Jason Koon. Koon juiced his stack to over 3x the average and sits atop the heavyweight field that includes Athanasios Polychrinipoulos, Lee Markholt, Paul Volpe, Brandon Steven and Tony Gregg – all of whom come into Day 2 with top 10 chips stacks.
But poker isn’t a modern day child’s soccer game where everyone gets a trophy just for participating. In order for someone to win, someone has to lose and there were plenty of people who hit the rail during Day 1b. For instance, 2013 WSOP Champ Ryan Riess, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Team PokerStars’ Eugene Katchalov, Ivey Poker’s Dan Smith and partypoker’s Kara Scott all got bounced from the event.
Action resumes today at noon EST when an even 200 players take their seats to chase the dream of becoming a World Poker Tour Champion. Wanna follow along as it happens, Rich Ryan and the PokerNews Live Updates crew bring you the action as it happens.
“Everyone else is doing it why can’t I?” Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you should too. If you got nabbed with tens of accounts because you were sure everyone else was ganging up on you, don’t worry, there’s a way out. Here’s Part 4 (the penultimate part) of How To Resurrect Your Dead Poker Career.
Problem: Got caught multi-accounting.
Solution: Take your medicine, put up results.
There was a time, in the wild west days of online poker, when multi accounting , while heavily frowned upon and against online sites Terms of Service, was something that happened quite a bit. While there were many who participated, Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo became the poster child for it’s illegality, receiving indefinite bans on a number of sites—including that of PokerStars.
What’s a pro to do if they can’t play on the largest poker site in the world? Well, while some banned multi-accounters were simply doubling down on the ToS breakage,forging new accounts and flipping the bird while they were at it, Bonomo reluctantly took his punishment like a man…_LIKE A 20 Year Old MAN!!_.
While Bonomo was in exile, he kept his head up and produced results on the live tour. He joined forces with Daniel Negreanu on a strategy podcast for PokerRoad. He got sponsored by Bodog and kept his nose clean (unlike his counterpart Josh Field aka JJProdigy). In an article for Bluff Magazine, Bonomo talks about taking the time to reflect on what happened.
“I made a huge mistake, and definitely regret my actions. If anything good came out of this whole debacle, it’s that I learned the importance of thinking for myself, and realizing the importance of being completely ethical at all times, even when it’s a grey area.” Justin said.
In the end, by 2009, as Bonomo stuck to his plan of getting everything ethical, PokerStars looked favorably on Bonomo again and his lifetime ban was lifted.
Of course, while Bonomo returned to the online fields, he has been making his money in the live arena, binking a 7 figure score last August with his $1.1 million runner-up finish at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 10M Guarantee.
Good things come to those who wait. So just play by the rules while you do.
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It’s Episode one of the Main Event of EPT London and all the big names have come out to play. Action from all over the tournament floor with hole cards and commentary, just the way you like it. So kick back, relax and get a daily dose of “key hand” on-the-felt action.
Perpetually “broke” Jean-Robert Bellande snaps a shot of himself splitting a private plane ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with none other than Baywatch star (and star of other “films”) Pamela Anderson.
I mean… How cool is this? Private plane to LV with goddess Pamela Anderson? #brokedreams
Phil Hellmuth took part of his break to chime in on his newly blossoming friendship with 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Greg Merson as well as a few other items on the docket of Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling.
Regarding Merson, Hellmuth calls him a “great kid” who got unlucky NOT to sign a “million dollar” contract with PokerStars like the majority of his post Moneymaker WSOP ME Champ predecessors. But he’s happy to help mentor Merson in getting his name out there as he thinks that, just maybe, not being tied to PokerStars might be the best thing for him in the future.
After the new release of the WSOP: Full House Pro software that recently came out on PC, we soon realized that for the old timers out there, PC versions of poker may not be their cup of tea.
Not to worry old schoolers, as fans of the classic brand Atari will be ecstatic to learn that the comeback of the Atari platform is inevitable after almost being wiped out by bankruptcy. Atari and their fierce rivals Nintendo are two much beloved (and nostalgic) platforms producing poker for points’ games giving the old school out there a chance to get their poker game on.
“In the scorching town of San Saba begins your journey to building your reputation and riches up to take over the whole state of Texas”
Players will love ‘*The Governor of Poker’* on Nintendo 3Ds where tournament and cash games in the State of Texas. Players buy real estate and even entire towns with their poker proceeds in a challenge to build their own empire and proclaim themselves as the ultimate Texan poker hustler.
Atari’s comeback into the gaming market has seen a deal struck that has confirmed a partnership with FlowPlay on Atari Casino.
Atari CEO Fred Chesnais has said: “Entering social casino gaming is a logical next step for us given its appeal across multiple generations and its natural fit with the casual audience.”
Classic casino games including poker that will be part of the new surprise package from Atari. Themes such as Asteroids, Missile Command and Centipede will all be part of the new look casino gaming from Atari.
According to World Poker Tour broadcaster, and Poker Hall of Fame member, Mike Sexton some of the biggest names in the game are some of the slowest players on the felt – and it’s gotta stop. Sexton talks with Bluff Magazine about all things shot clock, expressing his opinion that the slower people play, the more frustrating it is and the angrier the clientele become.
That said, Sexton is excited to be on the East Coast for the Borgata Spring Open and the World Poker Tour Championship. Even if the numbers appear to be down a bit with the tournament starting on a Monday, as opposed to a weekend, it’s still the tournament that best fits the motto “if you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”
East coast poker pro and 2012 World Series of Poker Champion Greg Merson takes the time, perhaps more willingly now, to talk with Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling to talk all things poker ambassadorship.
After confronting Joe Hachem about his interview where he called out a number of past champs for not pulling their weight in promoting the game of poker, Merson seems to have had a change of heart when it comes to promoting himself and poker. Even though the Maryland native didn’t win the Main Event in the era of endless free lunches for the champ, Merson’s beginning to see that he plays a key role in the future of the game. So much so that he’s turned to none other than The Poker Brat himself, Phil Hellmuth, to get some advice and “pick his brain” about branding and keeping himself out there.
What are his plans for this summer? It looks like it will be the WSOP tournament grind as Merson needs cash games to be really big for him to even be interested. Here’s to hoping the good natured, mild manner champ can add another bracelet to his collection.
Sometimes it seems like everyone is out to get you, especially when you were out to get them first. But just because you are universally hated doesn’t mean there’s not a place in the poker world for you. Here’s Part 3 of How To Resurrect Your Dead Poker Career.
Problem: You Ran A Scam.
Solution: Become Enlightened.
Haseeb Qureshi, aka DogIsHead, is the alleged mastermind of the massive “Girah”/Lock Poker chip dumping scandal was nearly (and almost literally) run out of the online poker world due to it. It was such a big deal at the time, SrslySirius scored a poker pop culture hit by mocking Qureshi and it and “DogIsHead” was quickly dropped from the roster of pros at training site Cardrunners.
The embattled Qureshi, with his back against the wall, told the poker world on his blog in 2011 that he was on his way out, engaging them “for the last time.”
After traveling the world, participating in volunteer work, spending time in solitude and even trying to forge a new identity – Haseeb has recently come back to poker and wouldn’t you know it – found a place in it. The apologetic and refined Haseeb gave up most of his money to various charities (and his family) as disavowed his former “DogIsHead” persona.
But DogIsHead is gone. I am not him anymore. And so I realized on my travels through Europe, I could no longer tell people I was a poker player. It didn’t make sense, that wasn’t who I was. Then what was I? What did I have left? I was just a kid. I was just who I was. I was Haseeb. And I realized that part of the tremendous sadness I felt was that I was grieving. I was grieving the death of DogIsHead, grieving the end of my first adult identity.
Is it for real, who knows? But the enlightened Haseeb has a new e-book, ya’ll and it’s all about getting your poker mind right. While he may never become a poker pro again, he’s getting some of that mainstream poker attention with articles in Pokerlistings, Poker Player and more all promoting his book.
Like it or not, Haseeb is back. If he can do it, you can too.
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It’s finally here. The World Poker Tour's first visit to the east coast for its Championship event. For the first time in 12 seasons, the World Poker Tour has moved their signature event out of Las Vegas and into New Jersey’s Borgata as a part of the Borgata Spring Open poker series.
The $15,400 buy-in drew 105 runners to the felt, many of which are some of the most recognized names in poker. Nick “The Takeover” Schulman, Matt Stout, Team Ivey Pro Dan Smith, Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov, Jeff Madsen, former November Niner John Racener, WPT Champion Chris Moorman and 2013 World Series of Poker Champion Ryan Riess were all in attendance…and all went busto before days end.
These top tier pros will have a 2nd chance to buy back in tomorrow during Day 1b but the list of 62 players who managed make it through the day with chips in their stack is just as, if not more, impressive.
Paul Volpe, Brandon Steven, Scott Siever, Tony Gregg and Shannon Shorr all cultivated top ten chipstacks. The Poker Brat, Phil Hellmuth is still in, as is 2012 WSOP Champ Greg Merson. Eric Baldwin, Matt Glantz, Marvin Rettenmaier and Joseph Cheong are just a sample of some of those names fighting for a piece of this massive (as yet to be determined) prize pool.
According to PokerNews, the Borgata is going to need some of those who went busto to jump back in, plus some new faces as 239 players will need to register to make the $5 million guarantee.
Another interesting story emerging from the Borgata floor was that of longtime Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin actually playing in the event. The current free-agent is sitting right behind Phil Hellmuth in the chip counts and the New Jersey Pro Bowler even got into an all-in situation against Volpe and survived.
For more on that, check out this interview Volpe did with Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling at the end of the day.
Day 1b will get underway at 11:00am EST.
Just because the Main Event is over, that doesn’t mean the Borgata Spring Open is slowing down. With 5 more events, outside of the World Poker Tour signature event, left to play there’s still a ton of action to be had at the Borgata.
2013 World Series of Poker Champ Ryan Riess takes a few moments from the Borgata Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship event to talk with PokerNews about a couple of hands, his tough table and how he’s feeling.
While 2014 has been “fun”, it’s not been “profitable” and he’s hoping to change all of that this summer when the defending champ grinds the events at the Rio. While he’ll be taking the next month off, he’ll be back for a full slate of WSOP action, including, possibly, the $1 Million Big One For One Drop…if he can sell enough pieces. He’s a third of the way there already.
Check it out.
World Poker Tour's Brittany Bell brings you all the sights and sounds from Day 1a of the Borgata Spring Open WPT Championship.
See which pros made an appearance, which former WPT Champions are still grinding and whihc East Coast pros are reppin’ their coast. All of this with plenty of Monster headphone product shots to spare.
Dani Stern, the scruffy star of Two Months Two Millions, is taking a break from his online grind to jump into the Borgata Spring Open World Poker Tour Championship event. Here he talks with Bluff Magazine's Thomas Keeling about feeling comfortable on the East Coast, the decline of the Bellagio and how he plan on making it to EPT Monte Carlo even though the schedules conflict with the WPT he’s already in.
Despite waging a war for millions of dollars on two fronts, both against the Borgata and the UK’s Crocksford Casino, over his current “edge sorting” scandal, Ivey continues to get support from various parts of the poker world.
Most notably perhaps was a rant-like series of Tweets from perhaps the highest profile poker pro on the planet, Ivey’s good friend, Daniel Negreanu. The aggressive tirade seemingly left no room for discussion on where “Kid Poker” stood on this situation.
What do you think? Is Ivey just a hustler, edge seeker or straight up con man?
Looking for a fresh deck of cards that masquerades your degen nature for one of class an refinement? Check out this Kickstarter campaign, that has already crushed it’s funding goal, where you can pick up a pretty sick deck of cards.
F5’s not endorsing this necessarily, but we think it looks pretty cool.
When it comes to live poker in the UK, surprisingly the scene hasn’t always attracted the kind of attention it deserves; nevertheless live UK poker is more popular than ever before.
Maybe some of us have been distracted by comparing the UK’s poker scene to the world renowned Las Vegas and Atlantic City big-game spots found in the US, where some of the world’s best poker players have broken onto the scene. Nonetheless, the UK’s poker scene is ever-growing, and the country’s residents’ poker lust has been producing stars such as Sam Trickett and Chris Moorman, primarily, through a host of UK poker venues where some of the top name Brits grind the felts regularly.
According to pokersites.co.uk’s ‘The Best Places To Play Live Poker In The UK’ the most famous of all poker rooms, not just in the UK but in all of Europe, is Dusk Till Dawn found in the midlands city of Nottingham.
Doubtless the most famous and well-regarded card room in the UK, and possibly the whole of Europe, Dusk Till Dawn is a dedicated poker club that has surpassed competition and expectations time and time again…In short, whether you want to play a major UK event or simply enjoy a cash game at the closest poker experience to Las Vegas the country can offer, Dusk Till Dawn is the place to go.
When it comes to cash games, make sure you stop by The Casino At The Empire.
Located in the very heart of London in Leicester Square, the Empire undoubtedly offers the softest cash games in England.
The Aspers Casino, and The Grosvenor Casinos also get a mention in this guide to playing poker in the UK, a country where the live poker scene now has arguably some of the most challenging poker rooms in the world owning to the continuously rising popularity of the live game in the Kingdom.
Just because you’re poker career has been left for dead doesn’t mean there’s no options left. Sure you may be unwelcome, but chin up buddy, here’s a couple ways to bring your game back from extinction. Here’s Part 2 of How To Resurrect Your Dead Poker Career.
Problem: You’re Banned.
Solution: Leave the Country
Maybe you remember the tale of Carter Gill. The online poker pro got the boot from all Harrah’s properties, including the Rio, when, in a fit of drunkeness, he tossed woman’s clothes out the window. This model behavior was done in the middle of the 2011 WSOP ME and he was forced to abandon a healthy chipstack in the main. While Carter was able to beg his way back onto the property for 2012, the same is not likely for current high profile property bans for Chan Pelton (who allegedly stole a 25k tournament chip in a WSOP Circuit event) and bracelet winner David Diaz who was “drunk and harassing” people but couldn’t remember it in the morning. [*see update below!]
While the pair may not be able to participate in the WSOP this year, they can still take a lesson from Gill who has since focused his efforts into tournaments outside US borders. Gill has been on a tear in Latin America, making poker headlines and racking up just under $500k in tournament earnings on the LAPT and the like since September 2013. So just because you’re banned from the biggest series in the world, doesn’t mean there’s not money (and prestige) to be made on the planet.
Of course Carter Gill’s career wasn’t hurt by this famous moment:
Snap update! via @Kevmath
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When in Rome, do as Romans do.
In a battle to see who “wore it better” the video teams of both PokerNews and the World Poker Tour, on separate occasions, sent their respective teams of lady presenters into an Italian pizza kitchen on a mission to make a pie.
Both teams were covering different events – the WPT in Venice and PokerNews for EPT Sanremo – but apparently they had the same idea: find some royalty free Italian music and slap it over the girls haphazardly rolling out dough.
So, who did it better? The comedy stylings of PokerNews, rife with klutzy dough tossing or the cutesy playfulness of the WPT complete with a flour-tossing food fight? Place your order.
PokerStars, and the poker world in general, don’t quite know what to do with themselves this weekend as thoughtful, funny, attractive and intelligent poker player Victoria Coren Mitchell, who can actually hold herself in a post-tournament interview, deservedly makes European Poker Tour history.
The PokerStars pro, Brit TV personality, Guardian columnist and all-round good egg Coren won the EPT/IPT San Remo Main Event on Sunday, making her the first person ever to win two EPT events.
Coren was naturally delighted at the win—and 400k payday:
Here is the delightful Coren talking to Poker News post-win:
There’s also an ace interview with our Spanish friends Poker-Red (starts in Spanish, interview in English):
But the news is big enough to break outside the echo-chamber of the poker media. The Guardian were naturally quick on a write-up to pat the back of their regular columnist, The Times also wrote it up, as did The BBC.
PokerStars will be chuffed to bits at the media coup—not just of one of their pros, but at a PokerStars-sponsored event. You can read more about it here on the PokerStars Blog.
But everyone in poker should be collectively high-fiving. Fist-pumping also acceptable.
Your poker career is dead. Or so you thought. Either through a stroke of unjust river luck or your own hefty lack of life skills, you’ve done something to either go absolutely broke or, worse, get ostracized from the game at large. Well friends, this is poker and if there’s one thing you can be sure of, just like the tale of Jesus on Easter, you to can resurrect your poker game from the dead – here’s a couple ways how.
Problem: You’re busto
Solution: Drop down in stakes.
Even the best players on the planet can find themselves hard up for cash. Case in point: Gavin Griffin. The original triple crown champion (he won an EPT, WPT and a WSOP bracelet for nearly $5 million in career earnings) was sitting on top of the world as a sponsored Team PokerStars pro in 2009. Cut to 2012 and Griffin found himself unsponsored, nearly broke and sitting in the $8/16 Omaha-game wondering where all his poker moxie went.
I’m embarrassed. 2011 shattered many of my dreams and most of my ego. I was in a bad place mentally all year and that made for some bad decisions in my poker career. I managed my bankroll poorly and by the end of the year was playing some uninspired poker. I need to find a way to fix this. So, I’ve decided to drop down in limits, fix my game, and rebuild.
Since the time of that writing and rebuilding, Griffin has gone on to a number of stellar tournament performances racking up over $273k in two years, which by any standards, is a fantastic comeback. So you’re broke now? Swallow your pride, drop down, re-evaluate and next thing you know you’ll be back at it.
Check out Part 2 – So Your Banned
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