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Poker has grown steadily in popularity ever since its origin in the 1800s. With the explosive growth of online gaming and specialty TV shows, public interest in poker has accelerated faster than ever before. Many people are first introduced to poker by TV shows such as Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" or the Travel Channel's "World Poker Tour," and many will play their first hands online. Despite online poker's rise, nothing will replace the feeling of shuffling heavy clay poker chips in your hand, throwing chips into the center of the casino table as you ante up, or stacking tall piles of chips after showing a victorious full house.
March 24th, 2009
Patrik Antonius dominated session 7 of the durrrr Challenge and is now up by $107,455 on Tom “durrrr” Dwan.
The pair restarted the Challenge yesterday; Antonius quickly drew even with Dwan, and never looked back.
In the first hour of play Antonius got the ball rolling with several pots worth $80,000+. Dwan fought back, however, and toward the middle of the challenge looked like he would reduce his deficit to zero.
Instead, Antonius would win close to $170,000 in the last 100 hands.
The biggest hand of the session came near the end as both players got it all-in on a Q 6 5 flop with flush draws. The river came and both players made the flush.
Unfortunately for Dwan, Antonius had a better one, and he raked the gigantic $155,683 pot.
As the Challenge drew to a close for the evening durrrr mentioned he’d been having connection problems:
“durrrr: i guess i need to quit
durrrr: until i fix intnet
durrrr: that was almost pretty costly
Dealer: durrrr has 15 seconds left to act
durrrr: i guess it wouldv saved me $$ lol
durrrr: but lost ev
Observers expect the players will renew the challenge as soon as Dwan’s Internet situation is repaired. As always, keep checking the MarketPulse section of PokerListings.com to track all the high-stakes action, or download Full Tilt Poker and rail the action yourself.
durrrr Challenge by the Numbers for March 22, 2009:
161,000: Total amount of profit for Antonius in the most recent session.
107,455: Amount Antonius is ahead of Dwan
5,517: Total hands played in the session
425: Hands played in session 7
17:14: Time played in the Challenge
7: Sessions in the durrrr Challenge thus far
1: Multimillion-dollar poker player with a bad Internet connection
- Posted in News
March 16th, 2009
With a bevy of fans crowding the rail to cheer on their favorite poker stars, the 2009 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star played from 145 down to 36 players in San Jose today.
A player by the name of Michael Nguyen came in with the chip lead, with perennial deep finisher David Pham and Internet phenoms Isaac Baron and Vivek Rajkumar right behind.
But by the end of play that entire group had faded from contention.
Hitting the rail as they reached the money bubble that would see 45 paid out were stars like Daniel Negreanu, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren and Jonathan Little.
Instead, the relatively unknown Michael Kamran, who finished second to Team PokerStars Pro’s Hevad Khan at the 2008 Caesars Palace Classic, emerged as the new chip leader when the day was done.
Kamran believes the experience at Caesars has prepared him well for the run to a WPT final table tomorrow.
“Caesars had a real tough field and just like here we had a lot of chips,” he said. “I’m going to play a style that these guys are not used to, and I think I can do a lot of damage post-flop against these guys.”
In one of the most unique structures on the World Poker Tour, play moves to six-handed in the final 36 at Bay 101, and Kamran said he’s ready for it.
“I’ve played a few six-handed tournaments,” he said. “Last month at Commerce I busted out seventh at a six-handed tournament. I understand there’s a lot more aggression, but I can handle the pressure.”
Big names like Hoyt Corkins, Joe Sebok, Amnon Filippi and Kathy Liebert remain in the hunt for the Bay 101 crown, and 2008 Wynn Classic champ Chris Moore is right behind Kamran.
However, the 25-year-old Los Angeles resident says he’s ready for whatever they have to throw at him.
“I’m not here to move up spots in the money, I’m here to win,” he said. “Hopefully it all goes well and I make the final table.”
- Posted in News
March 13th, 2009
A scant year since its inception, the Litigation Support Network has racked up quantifiable successes in legal cases involving Americans’ right to play poker.
On March 24, 2008, the Poker Players Alliance launched the Network as a free service to its members.
It provides basic preliminary legal advice on poker-related matters, as well as referrals to local attorneys who can offer members representation.
At the time, the PPA said that the Litigation Support Network could help members “should they have questions as they organize a charity poker tournament, start a poker league or, in the worst case scenario, get arrested.”
The PPA also envisioned tackling the larger issue of excluding poker from antigambling laws, stating, “Additionally, the network of attorneys will be tapped to help prepare PPA in the event the organization needs to litigate that poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance.”
Since then, the LSN has more than fulfilled its promise, lending its resources and support in cases where the right to play poker has been under attack.
In courtrooms from Colorado to South Carolina, Kentucky to Pennsylvania, the Litigation Support Network has worked with local attorneys to achieve a number of victories in its effort to protect the rights of poker players.
By providing expert witnesses, preparing arguments for trial and filing amicus briefs with the courts, the LSN has helped convince judges that poker is primarily a game of skill and not a game of chance.
The Network was the brainchild of New Hampshire attorney Patrick Fleming, who spoke with PokerListings after the recent ruling in South Carolina.
Fleming explained that he had been following a test case in North Carolina where a PPA member, Howard Fierman, was seeking to obtain a permit for a poker club. He was denied the permit on the grounds that poker was illegal gambling.
He filed suit and the judge agreed with the denial, stating that poker was a game of chance because “it’s the cards that decide who wins and loses in poker.”
“That really got my blood boiling,” Fleming said, “both as a lawyer and as a poker player, when I read that case. I said, anybody who plays poker knows there’s a lot more going on in poker than the cards you are dealt, and this needs to be developed and proven so it can be presented in a court of law … that’s where I got the idea for the Litigation Support Network.”
Fleming took the concept to PPA board member Rich Muny, who put him in contact with PPA Executive Director John Pappas. They envisioned an organization that could furnish names of lawyers familiar with poker to PPA members who were arrested for playing poker or who wanted to challenge laws against poker.
Those lawyers, in turn, would draw on a “central clearinghouse of information” which the PPA would provide.
The South Carolina case provided a good example of how the PPA works with lawyers representing its members in court.
To support the defendants’ lawyer in his arguments, the PPA paid for two experts to testify that poker was a game of skill – University of Denver statistics professor Robert Hannum and poker pro and commentator Mike Sexton.
“Professor Robert Hannum, who has been our expert twice now, comes into court armed with all these studies and can discuss them all in front of the judge and explain to the judge what they mean,” said Fleming.
Professor Hannum was a compelling witness, according to Fleming, as was Mike Sexton, who showed video of poker hands to demonstrate to the court the skill involved in playing poker.
Jeff Phillips, the attorney who represented the defendants in the South Carolina case, spoke highly of the help provided by the Litigation Support Network.
Phillips told PokerListings, “The PPA paid for Hannum and Sexton to come testify and they performed admirably and their testimony is what really prompted the judge’s finding … that there was overwhelming testimony that poker was a game of skill. I think it was very effective evidence.”
In addition to furnishing experts to testify, the PPA provided Phillips with additional legal assistance. He told PokerListings that he worked with Tom Goldstein, a PPA attorney in Washington , D.C., whom he described as very accomplished and bright and “a great source of advice and help.”
The South Carolina case is heading for an appellate court to challenge the magistrate’s ultimate finding of guilt. Phillips is cautiously optimistic about their chances on appeal, which the PPA will continue to participate in. He expects a ruling on the appeal by late spring.
Thanks to the work of the local attorneys, aided by the PPA’s Litigation Support Network, poker is moving ever closer to legal recognition as a game of skill whose players should not be punished under laws that seek to prohibit playing games of chance.
As Mr. Fleming said of the recent successes by the Litigation Support Network, “So far, so good.”
- Posted in News
March 13th, 2009
Say what you will about alleged fish Gus Hansen, but the renowned Danish player has been killing it for the last few days.
The list of players who have donated to Hansen over the last week includes Di “Urindanger” Dang, Hac “trex313″ Dang and, as of today, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond.
The top three biggest pots collected by MarketPulse today were all won by Hansen over online rival Galfond. Hansen is rumored to be up around $1.5 million in the last five days.
All three of the biggest pots were played at Hansen’s signature “Knockout” table on Full Tilt Poker. The game of choice was $500/$1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
The biggest hand of the session saw Hansen flop a set of sixes against Galfond, who had a pair of aces. Hansen improved to an unnecessary flush on the turn, and the $134,377 pot was shipped to the Great Dane.
2009 has already been a great year for Hansen as he’s rumored to be up approximately $2.5 million.
In other high-stakes poker news the durrrr Challenge is still on hiatus, and it’s been close to 14 days since hand 4,178 was played. At least Hansen is still willing to play pretty much anybody at any stakes.
- Posted in News