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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.
September 23rd, 2009
Antonius, another leading poker player and he has managed to keep his position on the poker field for year. During the last online poker competition, where the total jack pot was super heavy amount and the Antonius managed to win $139496 and that was the biggest pot. Anyway, a large number of players were participated in this particular event most of them are well experts and the professionals on this field. So as always, he had a good competition throughout the game and finally he managed to go through the all of that stuff and managed to be the ultimate winner.
Since being a poker winner in one night, it is one of his great achievement and by the time of now , he has earn more than $4 million by just playing the top online casino. So the thing we need to understand the difference of just playing the poker & playing the poker with professional techniques. So if we also managed to it in a professional way, then I have no doubt that we also can be a winner one day, and needs to learn some professional tips accordingly.
- Posted in News
April 25th, 2009
More than a $2.1 million first-place prize and a World Poker Tour title will be on the line when the WPT Championship final table plays out at the Bellagio in Las Vegas Saturday.
Not only can Scotty Nguyen become poker’s all-time leading money winner with a win, but Team PokerStars Pro Betrand “ElkY” Grospellier can take the WPT Player of the Year title with a fourth place finish or better.
However, Grospellier’s sole focus remains the WPT Championship title.
“I just want to win honestly,” he said. “I’m just thinking about winning. If I get fourth that’s great, I get player of the year, but my main focus is on playing my best and winning the tournament.”
2008 APT Macau champ Yevgeniy Timoshenko will come in with the best shot at the title, holding 13.3 million in chips and a massive lead over the field.
However, the 21-year-old told PokerListings he has no plans to come in and steamroll the other five players.
“I don’t have a plan, I’ll simply sit down and feel the table out,” he said. “I never play poker with a premeditated strategy. I make my decisions in the heat of the moment.”
Two-time EPT finalist Christian Harder will come into the final table second in chips with 7.4 million, just above Grospellier’s 5.95 million.
ElkY, who took down the WPT Festa al Lago title this past October using a big stack to bully the competition at the final table, plans to play a little tighter tomorrow.
“I’m going to be very careful with the spots I take,” he said. “I have Scotty on my left and Yevgeniy on my right, which is not so good because he’s going to be opening a lot of pots.
“I’ve been playing with him the last few days and we play online so he’s a tough opponent for sure, but it’s OK.”
Next on the current leader board is a very confident sounding Nguyen with 3.2 million in chips.
“That’s plenty of chips for Scotty,” Nguyen said. “It always feels good to come from the bottom and win it.”
The short stacks coming in are Israeli Ran Azor with 2.5 million in chips and 2006 Bellagio Cup champ Shannon Shorr on 1.3 million.
- Posted in News
April 21st, 2009
In a recent article by the Associated Press, it was revealed that the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the major lobbying force for the poker industry, plans to spend $3 million for lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill during the current Congressional session.
The online poker industry is on the cusp of seeing new internet gambling legislation introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). It will need to sway a Congress that is engulfed with a struggling economy and ongoing war in Iraq to address the need for internet gambling or online poker legislation. The PPA’s method will be to lay out $3 million during the 111th Congress, which began in January and runs through the end of 2010. According to the Associated Press, The group gets its money from the “Interactive Gaming Council (IGC), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based trade association for online casinos, as well as from its poker player members.”
The PPA has over one million members worldwide, a number that it reached last year, and offers premium versions for a one-time fee of $20. Many of its constituents, however, are of the free variety. Benefits of upgrading to a premium membership include access to the PPA’s extensive Litigation Network, which puts poker players in need of legal counsel in touch with local pre-screened lawyers, as well as a discount program that touts potential savings of over $2,000 per year. Other benefits of the $20 membership include a PPA card protector and window decal, discounts on PPA merchandise, and the ability to donate to the organization’s Poker Political Action Committee (PAC).
The National Football League (NFL) has been among the advocates of continuing the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed into law during the final minutes of the 2006 Congressional session. Last month, it was revealed that the NFL had hired lobbyist Jeff Miller, who will serve as its first in-house counsel and keep the pulse of Capitol Hill. In an interview with the Associated Press, when asked whether he would continue to support upholding the UIGEA and Wire Act, Miller responded, “We want to maintain the integrity of the game, and gambling threatens that.”
The UIGEA does not clarify what is legal and illegal under it. Instead, the doctrine defers to existing federal, state, and tribal laws and charges the financial services industry with its enforcement. The Associated Press article notes that half of the $16 billion internet gambling industry is “fueled by bettors in the United States.” The entire industry underwent a makeover as a result of the 2006 law, which sent the largest online poker site at the time, PartyPoker, packing from the market. In addition, payment processors such as Neteller and Citadel Commerce fled. A subsidiary of a publicly traded company, PartyPoker is now the fourth largest site or network worldwide according to PokerScout.com. It has also rebounded to become the second largest that does not accept players from the United States.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press, “We understand that illegal gambling currently occurs, but there is little we can do about that. However, we can exercise our right to oppose Internet betting on our games. Gambling on our games – online or offline – threatens the integrity of our games and all the values they represent.” A recent study by U.S.-based PricewaterhouseCoopers noted that up to $52 billion could be raised by taxing and regulating the internet gambling industry over a ten year period. However, that figure relied heavily on professional sports leagues opening up betting on their games, a concept the NFL appears to be ardently opposed to.
Frank told the Associated Press in a previous interview that he plans to introduce internet gambling legislation before the end of April. Congress was on a recess for the Easter holiday last week. The Chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee had originally intended to submit a bill in March, but it was ultimately postponed due to the ongoing economic meltdown. What form the legislation will take is also not yet known.
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest from Capitol Hill.
- Posted in News
April 16th, 2009
The 2009 WPT Championship began to take shape inside the Bellagio’s Fontana Lounge Tuesday as they played from 162 players down to 62.
When they hit the felt again at 12 p.m. PT Wednesday, Steve Billirakis, who holds the distinction as the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history, will come in with the chip lead.
Billirakis went deep here last year, but told PokerListings there’s really no secret to his success at the WPT Championship.
“I’m just trying to play tight and play it like a cash game,” he said. “The structure is so good here and there is so much play that I’m just trying to stay tight.”
Outside of playing solid poker, Billirakis, who took down the WSOP Circuit event in Hammond, Indiana this past November, has very few designs heading into Day 4.
“I’m going to wait until I see my table before I start making any plans,” he said. “I’m going to keep playing tight until there are maybe two tables left and then I’ll start to open it up.
“There’s no reason to do anything crazy because there are still so many chips to play with.”
A virtual murderer’s row sits within striking distance of Billirakis, including no less than Freddy Deeb, Mark Seif, David Singer, Nenad Medic, Nick Binger and the most feared player in the game, Phil Ivey.
However, the biggest surprise left in the field would have to be tennis legend Boris Becker, who has a strange simiilarity to Billirakis in that he is the youngest Wimbledon champion in tennis history.
Becker seems to be proving he has what it takes to hang with poker’s big boys here in Las Vegas.
“Well I’ve played with a couple of them this week,” Becker told PokerListings. “I wouldn’t say hang, but so far so good.”
A PokerStars Ambassador, Becker started playing high-stakes poker tournaments at the EPT Grand Final one year ago and although he’s a little short on chips here at the Championship, it appears things are starting to click.
“I’m certainly gaining experience and feeling a lot more comfortable, but this is the first time making it to the fourth day of a big tournament,” the six-time Grand Slam titleist said.
“I’m just trying to hold on until we get into the money. Twelve more spots.”
A more than $2 million first prize hangs in the balance at the WPT Championship and play should reach the 50 player money bubble early Wednesday.
- Posted in News
April 14th, 2009
The most feared player in online poker tournament history has been in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker the past two summers.
But since Isaac Baron didn’t turn 21 until a few days into the 2008 Main Event, he wasn’t able to play.
This year, the West Menlo Park, California native will hit the WSOP felt for the first time and he’s raring to go.
“I’m really excited,” Baron told PokerListings.com during a break in the action on Day 1a of the WPT Championship in Las Vegas. “I really want to win a bracelet, so I can’t wait.”
Baron’s online record reads like the stuff of legend.
He burst onto the scene with a PokerStars Sunday Million win in January 2007 and took down the $750k Guaranteed on Full Tilt later that same year.
Since then he’s compiled a list of big time cashes in the biggest tournaments online under the screen names “westmenloAA” and “the guru 11″, including an FTOPS win in 2008 and a SCOOP event title earlier this month.
If there were any questions about his game translating to the live felt, they were quickly answered when Baron made the final table of the PokerStars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo last spring, finishing fourth a little over a week after an 11th place finish at EPT San Remo.
In his quest for a bracelet this summer, Baron said he will be playing a full schedule of events.
“My plan is to kind of play it by ear, but I do plan on playing a lot of events,” he said. “Obviously if I do get burned out, I’m going to take a little time off here and there.
“I’m not going to kill myself, but I plan on playing a lot of events.”
Baron plans to rent a condo with fellow online pros Zachary “CrazyZachary” Clark and Ben “ShankingYou” Palmer for the duration of the series.
He will be leaning on them for some serious strategy discussions as well.
“It’s only natural because we’re all playing events” he said. “You come home and talk about big hands, and interesting situations.”
With his online poker background, one would think the short stacks and huge fields in some of the smaller buy-in events would be right up Baron’s alley, but he has some different ideas.
“I’m sure that I would (have an edge) because a lot of people aren’t used to playing with a short stack, but I prefer playing with deep stacks,” he said. “I’ve been playing cash games a lot and a lot of my edge comes when the stacks are a little deeper. So I don’t think I’ll be playing too many of the $1,500′s.
“I’ll probably give a few a shot, but I think I’m going to skip a good amount of them.”
Instead, he’s focused on the highest profile events the 2009 WSOP has to offer.
“I’m really looking forward to the $40k No-Limit,” he said. “Not that it’s going to be the softest tournament by any means, but I think it’ll be pretty fun.
“And of course the Main Event, because that’s pretty much how I got started playing poker, watching that on TV. I’ve wanted to play that forever, so that’s probably the one I’m looking forward to the most.”
Being young, rich and in Las Vegas, Baron understands temptation will be around almost every corner this summer, but he plans to play it cool and keep his mind on the grind.
“There definitely is a danger,” he said. “But I’d like to think that since I’ve been here the last couple of years and I’ve done a decent amount of partying and kind of seen what there is to see, I’m hoping that’ll keep me grounded.”
Keeping grounded is also part of Baron’s plan to prepare for the Series in the coming weeks.
“I think I’m going to probably take a decently extended break after this tournament,” he said.
“I might play a bit online, but for three weeks or a month before (the WSOP) I’m going to try and play as little poker as possible, golf a lot, work out, relax and just kind of be ready to go full throttle once the World Series comes around.”
After five levels of poker on Day 1a at the $25k WPT Championship, Baron advanced to Day 2.
- Posted in News
April 13th, 2009
Harrah’s Entertainment hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but the poker industry is buzzing about Mitch Garber joining the company.
The London Times reported Sunday that Garber, former PartyGaming CEO, has entered into an agreement to join Harrah’s Entertainment.
At this time it is just speculation as to what Garber will be doing for Harrah’s, but he could be getting back into online gambling as rumor has it he’ll be heading up a new division focused on Internet gambling operations as well as the World Series of Poker.
Harrah’s has been eyeing the online gambling sector for some time. At the 2007 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Gary Loveman, Harrah’s CEO, announced that the World Series of Poker may soon branch into online formats in Europe.
Despite the legal situation in the United States, the U.S.-based company can offer online gambling services in Europe.
However, the time could be ripe for Harrah’s to finally move into online gaming with the climate in United States changing.
Rep. Barney Frank (D – Mass.) is planning to reintroduce legislation that could overturn the UIGEA, and there is a bill in the works that would exempt online poker from the online gambling ban.
“Although there’s plenty of support brewing for legalization and regulation of online gambling in the United States, it’s not a done deal yet,” Lou Krieger wrote in a recent blog.
“Nevertheless, Garber’s hiring puts Harrah’s out in front of the curve should UIGEA be set aside, and Garber’s presence would give Harrah’s a hand up the ladder in the US online poker market.”
Krieger also pointed out this could put the company in a good position to partner with PartyGaming in the online gambling industry. PartyGaming has the technology, customer service and online marketing down, while Harrah’s can bring in the WSOP brand recognition.
Garber announced in March 2008 that he was leaving PartyGaming. He chose not to renew his employment with the company in order for him and his family to move back to North America.
- Posted in News
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