Borgata Winter Open Event #1 Cancelled, Fake Chips In Play

Prize money held pending investigation.

What was an amazing story of a record turnout at Event #1 of the Borgata Winter Open's $2 Million Guarantee has turned into a national story about greed, cheating and counterfeit chips. Welcome to “Chipgate.”

According to the Associated Press, The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has officially cancelled the tournament and the prize money is being held in limbo pending an investigation as it was determined that one or more people introduced “a significant number of counterfeit chips” into the tournament. Reports indicate that the counterfeit chips amounted to roughly $1m in $5k tournament chips (there were roughly 96mm in play).

“Thus far, investigators have found that one or more tournament entrants improperly introduced a significant number of counterfeit chips into the tournament, gaining an unfair advantage and compromising the integrity of play for the event” said Tom Ballance, Borgata’s president and COO.

As of now, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made, but the police are part of the investigation.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the criminal actions of these individuals can have a detrimental impact on more than 4,000 other entrants,” Ballance said. “We fully understand and regret the disappointment this cancellation causes our valued customers, and we will work diligently with DGE investigators to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. The integrity of our games and the confidence of our players is of the utmost importance to us.”

The Borgata has double checked all of the remaining chips that are in play and all additional events will move forward as planned.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Borgata Winter Open Cheating Suspected, Officials Find Fake Chips In The Mix

Play suspended 24-hours in 2mm guarantee.

Play at the Borgara Winter Open $2 Million Guarantee has been halted overnight as tournament officials believe the tournament has been compromised by fake tournament chips. In fact, it looks like up to one million chips worth of bogus chips have masterfully been incorporated into the tournament.

PokerNews, who is covering the event, was on hand to break the story. According to them, Borgata Senior Vice President of Operation Joe Lupo said that Borgata officials are conducting a 24-hour investigation in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in which they hope to get the tournament back on track.

“We have reason to believe the tournament was compromised,” Lupo told PokerNews “There’s nothing more important than ensuring the integrity of the tournament. All other tournaments are moving forward with full confidence.”

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Team PokerStars Online Pro Freddy Torres Swims With Sharks…Literally.

Prop bet nets Torres 1k and a good story.

Freddy ‘sirfreddy83’ Torres represents PokerStars Team Online and, as such, found himself at the PCA with a little time on his hands. Here, his buddies offer him $1k to jump into the shark tank, which is totally different than the Shark Cage. He calls their bluff, hopping the rail and plunging like a penguin into the shark infested waters.

Luckily, Torres emerges uneaten, $1,000 richer and the owner of a solid story.

If you want to watch his friends try to keep him from going over the rail, while trying to save $1k, here are two supplementary videos:

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Bad Beat Diaries— How To Join The 1%

Standard, obv.

Retweeted by poker pro Matt Stout, Mike Linster thought he was in a good spot. His pocket Aces were taking on TWO people holding Kings — what could go wrong? With cards on their back Linster is a 96.33% favorite to win the hand while his opponents each have a mere 1.17% chance to rake the pot.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is poker.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Throwback Thursday— Phil Ivey’s Fat Stacks Of Cash

Classic photo gets reposted.

Back in the good old Full Tilt Poker days, for many of the sponsored pros, it probably felt like money grew on trees. In this classic Ivey photo, oft considered one of the most baller of all time, Phil plays at the WSOP, while getting calf massage with a sick roll of cash just laying next to him on the floor of the Rio. Today, Ivey admitted something about this moment…

This pic has been around for a while, truth is I don’t think I knew the money was there.

Whether he knew it or not, there wasn’t a chance that anyone was going to touch it.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Tom “Durrrr” Dwan’s $25 Million Dollar Score

Rumors swirl that the former "Professional" hit it big.

Earlier today a report (or rumor, whichever you prefer) hit the internet that former Full Tilt Poker sponsored 'Professional’ Tom 'Durrrr’ Dwan took a Macau cash game for $25 million.

$25 million US Dollars.

The details are being reported by CardPlayer Latin America and, according to the story, Dwan was playing 4-handed in a 15/30 game. That’s $15,000/$30,000. It went down at StarWorld Casino in Macau, where reportedly Dwan is the only outsider to get a seat in the game —because he’s such an action player. It goes on to say that Dwan was playing against two Chinese pros and a billionaire in a rematch that, the first time, had him losing $7 million.

Of course, this is a translated story from a third hand account so take it with a grain of salt. That said, these are the kind of stories that poker legends are made of.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Unidentified Frenchman Wins 30k, Makes It Rain…With All Of It

Reports have the birthday boy launching cash from a balcony.

Timing is everything. If you happened to be at the Moby Dick bar in Uruguay this past weekend then maybe you were in the right place at the right time. As reported by The Independent, a French gambler hauled in $30,000 from a casino while celebrating his birthday and was in such a good mood, he decided to make it rain.

On the terrace of the bar, the Frenchman threw the $30k in the air to share with anyone who happened to be in the vicinity. Reports have him spending a full hour, from 6:30am-7:30am, showering the crowd that had gathered. Finally, before it was all over, the man lit a cigar with a couple hundo, gave away the rest and decided to head back to his hotel at the Punta del Este resort.

As he went for a taxi, the man realized he’d given away the last of his winnings and had to borrow some back just to make it home.

Talk about it over at Reddit.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink Continues Your Table Talk Education

"Talk Like You Have A Pair" Part III

You know them, you love them. It’s the online commercials where attractive women and obviously very mentally unstable men teach you about the most basic poker terminology.

In this episode they encourage you to slowly put your nuts into action. Enjoy and critique.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Home Game Essentials— Send Your Buddies Home Broke

Get what you need to turn friends into enemies.

There’s nothing worse than showing up to a home game and having it be a bunch of doods with nacho stained cards and the pretzel sticks are both the stakes and the snacks. Get it together BRO!

If you’re going to have your buddies over for a bona fide home game than do it RIGHT – good cards, a chip set and somewhere to put your libation of choice that’s not going to wreck the action.

In this article by, they are trying to sell you some stuff to help. Now, maybe what they are shilling appeals to you, in which case it’s an easy purchase. But even if you don’t like the look of the Target chip set, it’s still a pretty decent list of bare bone essentials that can make you look like you know what you’re doing.

Want to see some other options? How about playing cards from Misc Goods Co. or if you’re baller enough, get a custom table from McPoker Tables. When you push your pals out the door at 5am, broke and weeping, don’t you want them to have had a good time?

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Former Nov. 9er James Akenhead Reaches The End Of Professional Poker Career

Having left poker, Akenhead finds peace.

In a really nice article for Poker Player Magazine, 2009 World Series of Poker November Niner James Akenhead, opens up about what happened to his poker playing career in the 4+ years since he took 9th place in the WSOP Main Event for over $1.26 million dollars.

He details what it’s like to be young and suddenly rich, chasing that next score, running poorly and living out of a suitcase for nearly a decade playing poker.

After 18 months of this dry spell I thought that if this can happen this long how could I go through my 30s, 40s and 50s with this possibly happening? I still couldn’t cash to save my life. I was trying things just to make myself cash now. I was playing really tight to try and increase the chance of me cashing – and it still wasn’t happening.

Now, Akenhead has settled down a bit. Purchasing a bar/restaurant called The Reach Bar, he’s no longer allowed to wake up at noon and work on his own schedule. He’s found a new reality, one that isn’t that of a poker pro, and it seems he’s at peace with that.

Take the time to check out the full interview over at Poker Player Magazine.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Watch Out — “It’s A Trap!”

Poker-reporter-turned-bracelet-winner offers strategy tips.

Chad Holloway made headlines of his own last summer when the PokerNews scribe took down the $500 Casino Employees Bracelet Event at the 2013 World Series of Poker at the Rio this past summer. In his syndicated article he offers a peek into his mindset on how he set a trap for his final opponent and took home the title.

You can read the full article over at the Sacramento Bee website, but here’s a sample of what he was thinking.

The plan was simple: Preflop I would either raise or call a raise from him. If he was first to act on the flop and checked, I would bet. I won more than my fair share of pots doings this. However, if I was first to act – and this was laying the foundation for my trap – I would check and allow him to bet, which he did frequently. Every time I would respond with a big check-raise, usually one that was three to four times the size of his bet.

He folded frequently, but in the back of my mind I knew it was killing him to do so. It was only a matter of time before he pushed back when I had a hand, and then I’d stack him.

Of course, we know it worked as he took home just shy of $85k before Donnie Peters told him to get his ass back to work.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Jesse Sylvia Wants His MTV

2012 WSOP runner-up is the subject of a MTV True Life episode.

Take a “real” look at the life of sponsored professional poker player Jesse Sylvia as he spends the year travelling to the 2013 PCA, the Aussie Millions and back to Las Vegas for the WSOP. Jesse can’t help but spend his cash on his close family while looking for that elusive 2nd massive score. Managing his $5.3 million dollars from his 2012 WSOP finish and his relationship with dancer-turned-poker pro girlfriend, Jesse admits what we all know – being a millionaire is pretty cool.

WATCH: MTV’s Real Life 'I’m A New Millionaire’

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

C.S.I. DonkDown — The Case Of The Sticky Chopsticks

"Seals With Clubs" Chairman Micon surprises even himself.

To preface this video, you should check out our big brother pokerfuse's recent article regarding tournament photo journalist Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum and the accusations that he stole money from the Foxwoods poker dealers tip jar.

Bryan “The Icon” Micon, who always loves to get to the bottom of things, read theTwo Plus Two reports that Newnum allegedly used “sticky chopsticks” to fish out the cash. In this short video, Micon goes into the horribly unkempt DonkDown C.S.I. labs to check out the claims. Even though Gil Grissom was not available to assist, Micon embarked on a journey of discovery he won’t soon forget.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

PCA 2014 Final Day Highlighted By Million Dollar Paydays

Four 7-figure scores at the PCA comes to a close.

The final day of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure saw two of poker’s most talented, high profile players chasing both history and massive amounts of money. Mike “Timex” McDonald looked to become the first player ever to win two EPT Main Event titles while the red hot Vanessa Selbst took her shot at winning back-to-back championships in the PCA $25k High Roller.

In what turned out to be a marathon Main Event final table, Mike McDonald would have to wait for another day to make history as stoic Polish professional Dominik Panka would go on to defeat “Timex” heads up to take home over $1.4 million and the title of 2014 PCA Main Event Champion.

McDonald would have to settle for 2nd place, but he too would walk with a 7-figure payday thanks to a dead of night deal made between him, Panka and one time #1 online player on the planet, Issac “WestmenloAA” Baron. When the field narrowed to three, McDonald, negotiated a deal that guaranteed his short stack a $1.09 million dollar prize while Baron, who was sitting 2nd in chips, accepted an over $1.2 million dollar score.

The trio left $100k and the title on the table to play for as McDonald chased history, but after 16 hours it came to pass that the record books would have to wait.

On another table, in another tournament – the $25k High Roller – Vanessa Selbst was pursuing history of her own. Already having logged one of the best PCA’s ever by an individual player, she set her sights on the title of back-to-back High Roller Champion.

With a stacked table in front of her, including 2012 World Series of Poker Champion Greg Merson, Selbst came up just shy of her intended goal falling in 3rd place (her second 3rd place finish of the PCA) and had to watch Jacob Schindler trump Merson in heads up play from the rail.

Schindler would become the 4th millionaire of the day taking home, according to the Global Poker Index, $1.19 million in a chop with Merson that had him walk with a cool million of his own.

With the conclusion of the PCA Main Event Final Table the European Poker Tour turns its attention to EPT Deauville which kicks off on January 22.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Pokernews’ Kristy Arnett Adds To Her Acting Reel In “Poker Stereotypes”

Which one are you?

Poker is supposed to be fun! So, Pokernews’ Kristy Arnett has decided to show her comedy chops with “Poker Stereotypes” — a short send up of all the types of (annoying) players one might find at the 2014 PCA. There’s the holla balla, the aggro euro and, introducing your boy Rich Ryan as a member of Comcast Cable’s The Slowskys.

It’s short, you might chuckle and we assume that since this is officially titled “Part 1”, we’ll be posting “Parts 2-9”. You may as well give it a click just to stay on top of your stereotypes.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Matt Damon Headlines List of Most Obvious Poker Tells

Regressing names the top 5 most transparent tells ever televised.

The stare down. We’ve all been on one side or the other of it. That long gaze that searches for any sign of strength or weakness to help a decision be made. Looking for a tell.

Well, in this pretty great article from Regressing they provide 5 televised tells that would hardly require a Mike McDonald type staredown to pick up. From Matt Damon on the WSOP featured table, to an amateur trapping The Poker Brat on The Big Game, here’s video of some of the most obvious tells ever put on camera.

It’s tempting to simply put all the videos right here for you, but they did such a nice job compiling this we think it’s worth checking out their commentary as well as the videos.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Antonio Esfandiari Has UFC Tickets Up His Sleeve

Watch ringside seats magically appear!

We know you love the free contests so here’s one that’s pretty easy to participate in. Hop on the social media feed of your choice and tag your very best magic trick with #ultimatemagic.

Make sure you @ mention both Antonio and Ultimate Poker and, if you’re slight of hand is deemed the best, you could be watching people punch each other in the face — in person!

Tickets to UFC 169, where newly Undisputed Bantamweight Champ Renan Barao takes on fan favorite Urijah “The California Kid” Faber, are up for grabs.

Here’s a couple of the entries so far:

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Tatjana “Tattytats” Pasalic Confirms All Suspicions – You Never Had A Chance

Pasalic is off the market, engaged to McLean Karr.

As reported by the dudes at PokerStrategy, poker fanboys all over the world are wearing black today as it was announced over the weekend that Bodog reporter and sometime poker cat (not pokerkat) is officially off the market.

The lucky guy is Pasalic’s long time boo, high-stakes poker player McLean Karr. Karr, perhaps best known for his 2010 victory at the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Stars, and Pasalic are – according to reports, it’s not like we’re tight with the couple – officially engaged.

So, sorry fellas, time to pick a new poker crush. Maybe this link can help you get over your heartbreak.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Matt Savage Answers Your Inquiries

Savage and PocketFives team up for an old fashioned AMA.

Tournament Director and photographer of men, Matt Savage is one of the good guys in poker. Now, any question you may have for the master of the mic is on the table. He’s taking all questions this Thursday, January 16 at 12:00pm EST and all you have to do is post what you want to know in the P5’s forums.

Ask about Daniel. Ask about the World Poker Tour. Ask about his golf game. You can ASK HIM ANYTHING, and he’ll do his level best to fill you with knowledge. So click on over to PocketFives and participate!

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

“Professional Poker Player” Makes The List of Coolest Professions put poker pro on it's Cool-List.

In what could have easily become an article about fast cars and high stakes with photos of Dan Bilzerian partying in his penthouse with playmates, TheRichest actually goes a different route in their latest piece on what it takes to become a professional poker player.

Declaring that becoming a professional poker player is the kind of job that “raises eyebrows, elicits admiration and likely more than a little envy” they go into what is really required if you want to take the leap into pro poker. From learning how to grind, finding profitable situations and using table selection, they paint a kinda, realistic picture of what it takes to succeed at the tables.

The pro must be competitive and aggressive to the point of ruthlessness, but more than anything else the pro must be studious and courageous.

Studious enough to know when to risk their money, and courageous enough to do it, the professional poker player is intelligent, analytical, fiercely independent, and above all patient, disciplined, and sober.

They encourage you to take the time to study, study, study and play with unequaled patience. Whether you are a recreational player or an aspiring pro, this article is worth a few minutes of your time.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

PokerStars Hangs The “Help Wanted” Sign (Again)

Unique opportunity to work on the Isle of Man.

Some positions come across the wire, but this appears to be a special one looking for a special individual. Unlike online poker customer service or becoming a dealer at the WSOP where there is going to be a number of people accepted, PokerStars is looking for a numbers driven individual to become the newly-created Poker Data Specialist.

In a post on the PokerStars blog, Senior Manager Chris Straghalis reveals some of the questions that individuals may be asked when applying for the position and gives a little background on the kind of life one can expect when working under the PokerStars banner on the Isle of Man. So, if you are looking for some info on How To Get A Job With PokerStars check this out. If you are looking for how NOT to get a job with PokerStars, check this out.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Upstart “2Pair” Launches Magazine, Regional Poker Tour

ESPN's Lon McEachern serves as the tour ambassador.

In a short story about industry growth, upstart poker magazine 2Pair is making waves in the Northern California poker scene with their inaugural poker tour.

Already promoting their 2nd stop at the 101 Club in Petaluma, the 9-event series features 30k guaranteed Main Event, live-streaming courtesy of Hold’em Radio and a number of local poker regulars including Joe Nguyen (last years runner up to the Bay 101 Shooting Star), Pat Lyons (the “best player in the Bay Area” and king of the bad beat) and, of course, Mimi 'I Can’t Fold This’ Luu.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Laak, Tilly, Scotty and Costanza Go Swimming Outside The Shark Cage

New PokerStars TV show features shot clocks and shark cages.

One million dollars – winner take all!

Check out the promo for PokerStars’ The Shark Cage. Filmed on set at the 2014 PCA and featuring Jason Alexander, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Lex Veldhuis, Faraz Jaka, Tony Dunst, Philipp Gruissem and 2013 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Scotty “The Prince of Poker” Nguyen, this new series looks pretty exciting!

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Vanessa Selbst Shoots For Back To Back PCA $25k High Roller Titles

Selbst holds the chip lead headed into Day 3.

Just over one year ago top tier professional poker player Vanessa Selbst emerged victorious in the 2013 PCA $25k High Roller for over $1.4 million. Now a year and a day later, the same Selbst heads into Day 3 of the same event with the chip lead and only 14 players remaining.

She’s taking, yet another, run at going back to back.

You may remember, back in the good old days, Vanessa Selbst took the top prize in both the 2010 and 2011 NAPT Main Events. Now, here in 2014, Selbst looks to make this one of the best PCAs ever had by one individual by taking 3rd in the $100k Super High Roller, 42nd place in the Main Event and now embarking on a deep run in the $25k High Roller.

A title defense is not going to be easy as a tournament with a $25 buy-in has some stiff competition and there are some big names left in the 14 person field including Daniel Negreanu, 2013 GPI Player of the Year Ole Schemion, Dan Smith, “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier, Robert Mizrachi, Daniel Stern and 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Champ Greg Merson.

To catch up on the 2014 PCA $25k High Roller action so far, check out the PokerStars Blog, and then follow updates over at Pokernews.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Poker Pro Home Invasion, Robbed At Gunpoint for $150k

Police investigating story of horrifying home robbery.

Let this story serve as a reminder to all poker players professional and recreational, that in this game you can’t be too careful.

Self-described poker pro Jerad Klick told Jackson Township police that after going on a multi-day heater at the tables (and the pit) of the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland, two armed men forced their way into his house stealing winnings of $60k in cash and $90k in casino chips.

Klick created an account on Two Plus Two to give some additional details about the incident:

The situation is indescribable thru words or conversation. Also when I looked out the peep hole I was unable to see anything. I have lots of friends and family that live within a 2 mile radius. Me not expecting anyone doesn’t mean I ever thought something like this would happen. The bat was in my hand bc it’s all I had and yes it was midnight, I had big money in the house, and a child. The bat was instantly dropped out of my hand as two 6 foot men dressed in all black, masks, boots and gloves with two guns pointed at my head standing in my living room.

Police have swept Klick’s house for evidence and, according to, were told by Kilck that “the intruders beat him and chased him around the house as they demanded to be shown the safe.”

Klick says that while he doesn’t have a safe in the house, he was only holding on to that much money for a short period of time as he was preparing to take it to the bank.

The situation sounds close to that of 2010 WSOP Champion Jonathan Duhamel’s horrifying ordeal when his ex-girlfriend staged a home invasion to rob him.

For more comments from Jerad Klick on his situation, here’s the current running thread on Two Plus Two.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Daniel Negreanu Takes The TDA To Task Yet Again

Daniel voices his opinion on who knows best.

Daniel Negreanu goes one-on-one with Bluff Magazine’s Thomas Keeling to talk in-depth about the direction of the poker industry and how over the years, in an effort to become “legit”, it has lost a little of its appealing wild side.

The 2013 WSOP Player of the Year goes on to, once again, speak up about what he feels are serious missteps by the Tournament Directors Association and how strict black-and-white enforcement of rules is alienating the casual player.

UPDATE: Here’s part 2 of the Daniel’s interview with Bluff:

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Jeff Madsen Changes The Game

Madsen focuses more on his poker game than the rap game.

Having busted from the main a few days ago, 2006 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Madsen takes a few minutes to talk with Bluff about his one-time plan to move in and record with the OG of the poker rap game, Prahlad Friedman.

Fact is, Madsen is just spending more time on the grind than he is spitting rhymes. Check it out above.

Here’s the classic “Poker Is Fun” by Prahlad:

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Josh Arieh Is Sick And Tired of Tanking

Wasting time is not acceptable to outspoken pro.

Part-time professional poker player, and golf enthusiast, Josh Arieh spoke with Pokerlistings this weekend about an incident he had during the 2014 PCA $25k High Roller event. One of his table opponents, Rhys Jones, had a decision to make and, like many players that have a tough decision, he went into the tank. The problem was, for Josh, that it was only 20 hands into the tournament and it was already the third time this player had spent an excessive amount of time making up his mind. Josh had enough…

According to Pokerlistings, Arieh fired a shot across the table:

“I did it the wrong way,” explained Arieh. “I asked him if he thought slower than everyone else at the table. It was out of line… but it worked.”

So what’s the solution to the new school of thought that it’s fine to take your time? While it bothers him, Arieh doesn’t have the answer.

We could have a shot clock but then we’d need like eight tournament directors or maybe we could have tables with time banks like online poker. Either way it gets super technical. I don’t know what the answer is.

For his part, Jones didn’t realize he had taken up too much time and took to twitter to blast Arieh’s outburst.

What’s your take on tanking? Check out the entire article over at Pokerlistings.

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink

Phil Ivey Big Pimpin’ In Cabo

Resting up before he heads to the 2014 Aussie Millions.

Ivey gunna Ivey.

He’s not in Macau, he’s not at the PCA – the People’s Champ is forever mackin’ on the beaches of Cabo. Ivey’s apparently, not broke, and getting himself relaxed and ready to head to the 2014 Aussie Millions.

He may be ranked #392 according to the Global Poker Index, but the popular vote still has Ivey as the undisputed best poker player on the planet.

There’s so much win in this photo including the Photobomb in the back and everyone is wondering just what the hell Ivey’s friend (bodyguard?) is looking at?!

“I’m a pimp in every sense of the word…”

published 10 years, 1 month ago • by permalink