Archive for the ‘WSOP’ Category
When you watch ESPN’s coverage of the Main Event you’re gonna see some REALLY brutal hands, believe me. But when you’re this close to making the final table, of possibly winning World Championship, every hand that ends a player’s hopes is brutal. It’s brutal to see someone fight and battle for eight days and come this close, only to lose out.
Adam “Roothlus” Levy’s elimination was fairly straightforward compared to some of the horrific exits we’ve seen today. After doubling up early in the day to 11 million Roothlus went completely card-dead, to the point where he went an entire level without winning a hand. When he broke that long dry spell PokerNews reported him saying, “Wow, I won a pot!”. He won another small one soon after and maybe, maybe, that signaled the start of the heater that would carry him to the final table.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Picking up K-Q under the gun Roothlus moved in his last 4 million and couldn’t have felt too good when chipleader Jonathan Duhamel called right behind. Everyone else got out of the way and that’s when Duhamel revealed his pocket Aces. The crowd groaned when they saw how bad the situation was and the 10h-6c-3h flop brought no help. But the Kc on the turn did, and with outs comes hope. But this time those hopes were dashed–the river was a useless 2c, and just like that, after all those hours of battling and grinding and playing his heart out, Adam Levy’s Main Event came to a quiet end.
After talking to his friends on the rail and doing a final interview with ESPN, Adam headed to the exits with his supporters, trailed by the camera crew filming that sad trek to the exit. 7,307 Main Event players preceded him through that door, and that fact (and the $ 635,011 he wins for his 12th-place finish) should provide some solace. As should the fact that he played brilliantly to get so close, so damned close, to making the November Nine.
UB killed it in Vegas. Four players cashed in the Main Event, scoring hundreds of thousands in prize money. Impressive? Yup. But what’s even more impressive is the money earned by the 49 UB players who didn’t make the bubble.
As part of our Show Up, Get Paid promo, we paid players to show up and play with UB in the WSOP Main Event. 53 players decided to head to Vegas and play with, UB and we handed them $ 265,000 in cash for joining us. Here’s how it all breaks down:
49 players each receive $ 3,750. The other four players who cashed in the Main Event? They scored $ 20,312.50 each – on top of their winnings. Here’s a look at who they are and what they won at the WSOP in addition to the $ 20k:
- Chris Bolt – 53rd place – $ 168,556
- Meenakshi Subramaniam – 67th place – $ 114,205
- Michael Adamo – 564th place – $ 24,079
- Donald Himpele – 725th place – $ 19,263
Now when you run a promo like our Show Up, Get Paid offer, you hope that people pay attention to it. And judging by all the poker players who flooded UB, trying to win seats, they did. But given all the feedback we’ve received since telling players about the free coin, we’re pretty sure a lot of the UB poker players who showed up in Vegas just loved UB and didn’t even pay attention to the promo.
Most of the feedback we’ve received from many of the 53 players goes something like this:
“Holy #@*#! Are you (expletive deleted) serious? Thousands in free (expletive deleted) money? Is this a #@*# joke? I was expecting $ 100, not several thousand. #@*# I love UB!”
Yeah, UB players like to swear a lot. And while we’re not fans of this type of coarse language, we’re pretty sure that the Pope himself would throw out a few f-bombs if he came across the kind of free money we threw at online poker players (we’re not saying the Pope plays at UB, but we’re not saying he doesn’t, either).
If you’re one of the 53 players yet to throw feedback our way, drop us a line. We’d love to hear about your WSOP experience and find out how you’re going to spend your winnings.
If you want to relive SERIES2010, feel free to check out our Facebook album.
They just reached the money in the World Series of Poker-Europe Main Event, and sadly no Team UB pros will be adding thousands of pounds to their chequing accounts. But there’s ways to make a big impression even if you don’t go deep in a huge event, and Phil Hellmuth is one of the few who’s adept at making a splash and closing the deal. He didn’t last long in the WSOPE Main Event, but people will be talking about his entrance to the Casino at the Empire for a long, long time:
A summary of the WSOP Regional Championship Circuit event Adam “Roothlus” Levy played in Chicago. He finished 21st out of a field of 226 for around $ 22k, and is here to tell us the good, the bad and the ugly.
The poker world crowned a new world champion last night as the heads-up battle for the WSOP Main Event title played out. So, who is the newest, brightest star in the poker firmament, which name is now inscribed alongside the greatest legends of the game?
Well, I’m not going to tell you. Because there are lots and lots of people out there who deliberately wall themselves off from news and information so they can enjoy the final table coverage in blissful ignorance. One day, some day, the final table will be broadcast from start to finish for everyone to watch in real time. Actually that did happen this year (and last year as well) as ESPN streamed the final table online, but there are still folks who want to watch the final production with the hole cards and Lon and Norm without knowing what’s about to happen.
I can respect that, and so will respect their wishes. ESPN will be televising the final table tonight starting at 10pm ET. I’ll be posting a review of the final table and, having followed along during the live-streaming coverage, there will be a whole lotta interesting hands to talk about.
For those of you who WOULD like to know who won but for some reason don’t have access to the Google, check out our Twitter feed (we’ll probably be tweeting about tonight’s broadcast as well) to find out who won the bracelet and the $ 8.9 million first prize. For the rest of you, stay in your bunker and we’ll see you at 10pm ET.
UPDATE: ESPN just tweeted that the final table broadcast will end at 12:05AM ET, not at midnight sharp, so if you’re recording the final table you’ll want to set your DVR’s accordingly.
So last night ESPN televised the final table of the WSOP Main Event and we got to see Jonathan Duhamel become the new World Champion. And if you DVR’d the show and haven’t watched it yet and I spoiled the surprise for you, tough cookies.
Still, even knowing who wins in the end there was still a lot of drama in last night’s telecast. For me the initial surprise came as the opening sequence ran and we saw the players entering the Penn & Teller theater escorted by “ring girls” holding up placards with each contender’s seat number. The very first person I recognized wasn’t a player, but one of his alluring escorts, one who also participated in Phil Hellmuth’s big Main Event entrance more than four months ago:
Setting aside that gratuitous photo, last night’s show was indeed compelling. When you cover the Main Event from start to finish, one thing you appreciate is how stupendously huge it is. For example, on Day 4 of the Main Event Adam “Roothlus” Levy became the chip leader with around 700,000, which seemed like an astronomical stack at the time. Looked pretty good, too:
But that was just on Day 4, the day the money bubble burst. As the final table began we were introduced to the players and the last, Jason “PBJaxx” Senti said he was the “short-stack” with 7.7 million in chips. So when the bubble burst 700K was good enough for the chip lead, but at the final table having 11 times as many chips meant you were the short-stack. The Main Event is just so freaking big it’s hard sometimes to get your mind around it.
The first big hand was the confrontation between Joseph “subiime” Cheong and Matthew Jarvis. Jarvis raised with and Cheong called with . Jarvis kept firing at the pot with just Ace-high after Cheong flopped top pair with a flush draw and, after calling on the flop and turn, Cheong made his flush on the river. Jarvis bet 4 million, Cheong moved all-in, and Jarvis had to muck and concede a huge chunk of his stack when he was holding zilch. Jarvis lived the nightmare–you wait four months for the final table all the while hoping that you won’t make some catastrophic mistake the first few hands. And that’s exactly what happened to Jarvis.
John Dolan then lost a big hand with King-Queen when he flopped a pair of Queens that were second-best to John Racener’s pocket Kings. Terrible things can happen when you play King-Queen–like, you connect on the flop. Something terrible happened to Soi Nguyen not long after, as he lost the most classic of races holding Ace-King to Senti’s pocket Queens. Senti flopped a set and managed to dodge Nguyen’s Broadway draw (a King on the river brought a brief intake of breath) to send Nguyen out in 9th place. Which meant that the amateur would leave the Rio with no extra prize money, a cruel end indeed.
Big Slick signaled Nguyen’s demise and it also cost Duhamel a tidy portion of his stack as he ran into Filippo Candio’s pocket Aces. Then came the hand that everyone on the scene was talking and tweeting about the most, the Mizrachi-Jarvis hand where the Grinder, holding to Jarvis’ pocket nines, flopped trip Queens. As the Grinder’s entourage went nuts and Jarvis’ despaired, the dealer turned a nine to give Jarvis a boat and reverse the emotional polarity.
I don’t know why I knew an Ace was coming on the river, perhaps it was because this hand so closely mimicked the famous Moneymaker-Ivey hand of 2003, wherein Moneymaker flopped trip queens, Ivey made nines full on the turn, and the eventual champion rivered an Ace to stun the crowd and send Ivey out in 10th. Heck, I just answered my own question there, the hands were virtually identical.
Should Jarvis’ career turn out like Ivey’s after that cruel bustout I’m sure he’d be cool with it, but just as that’s unlikely to happen winning that hand did not propel Mizrachi to the title, even though he did seize the chip lead and looked to be taking the final table by the scruff of the neck. Senti went out after Cheong rivered a straight to beat his trip Kings, then Dolan was dispatched when he couldn’t get away from a rivered set of Jacks when Cheong held the nut flush. That hand crippled him and he was sent to the rail a few hands later.
Then came a flurry of double-ups–Racener through Mizrachi, Racener through Duhamel, Duhamel through Mizrachi. On the first Racener had Mizrachi dominated, Ace-King to Ace-Eight, but on the second it was his Ace-Queen that was crushed by Duhamel’s Ace-King…until Racener flopped a Queen. That hand left Duhamel, who came to the final table as the big chip leader, as the shortstack, and perhaps he was steaming just a bit as he called Mizrachi’s huge all-in re-raise holding Ace-Nine. He was probably happy to be flipping against the Grinder’s pocket threes, and when he flopped a nine he was back in the pink and it was Mizrachi’s fans looking glum.
And they looked even glummer (is that a word? can’t be) when Duhamel trapped Mizrachi with pocket Aces after the Grinder flopped top pair. Hard to believe that after outlasting more than 7,000 players over 10 days of action, holding the chip lead at the final table and with a chance at realizing one of the greatest achievements in poker history, losing a single coin flip did so much to derail those dreams.
Candio showed down a couple of big bluffs during the final table and won that big hand with Aces but he was fairly quiet at the final table, a change from his histrionics back in July, when a French colleague kept reminding people that the spastic, screaming Candio was Italian, not French. His lost to Cheong’s , a rather anticlimactic end to such a remarkable run.
The next big hand wasn’t anticlimactic–in fact it was the opposite, it was indeed the climax of the Main Event. After Racener, by far the shortest of the three stacks, folded on the button, Cheong raised to 2.9 million holding and Duhamel re-raisedto 6.75 holding . Cheong re-popped to 14.25 million and Duhamel, having none of it, re-raised again to 22.75 million.
If you’ve been watching poker since…well, since poker started appearing on TV, you know that the best players in the world are aggressive. Very aggressive. Hyper-aggressive. You don’t win by waiting for good cards to fall in your lap, you have to press the issue. You have to put the pressure on the other players, put them in uncomfortable positions where they have to make really hard decisions. And that’s what Cheong did when he moved all-in for around 83 million.
Now, people are saying that this is one of the worst blow-ups in poker history, and there is certainly an argument that this wasn’t a smart play. Once Duhamel put in that 22.75 raise, is he folding ANYTHING? If he had a hand he wasn’t prepared to play to the death, why not just call Cheong’s 14.25 million raise and see a flop? Once Duhamel raised there it seemed inevitable that he would call should Cheong raise, and that’s indeed what happened. From the ESPN edit it looked as if the call was instantaneous, and if that was the case then Cheong must’ve felt sick to his stomach.
But chances are Duhamel was feeling sick as well, because Cheong’s all-in did indeed put tremendous pressure on him. If Cheong turns over two Aces instead of Ace-rag, Duhamel would be out in third place thanks to a pretty sick cooler. And it was certainly possible that Cheong had Aces, or Kings, or even Ace-King, and do you really want to flip a coin for the World Championship?
Maybe so–as we saw during a segment earlier in the broadcast, about the famous Duhamel-Affleck hand where Matt Affleck had Aces to Duhamel’s pocket Jacks and Duhamel called off all his chips on the turn drawing to an inside straight. Which he hit, sending Affleck out of the Main Event in the cruelest moment of the 2010 WSOP. Asked why he made that call, last night Duhamel said he thought, “F— this, let’s gamble!”. And so there was no way he was folding those Queens, not even when Cheong made him play for all his chips.
Duhamel’s Queens held and…that was about it for the Main Event. Cheong managed to double once before being eliminated and as the heads-up battle began Duhamel held a 189-million to 31-million chip lead. Racener’s passive, patient play held him in good stead on Saturday as he survived to play heads-up for the title, but he wasn’t able to shift gears on Monday and put sustained pressure on Duhamel.
Racener chipped up a bit but Duhamel put the squeeze on him with several all-in plays that stripped Racener of most of his chips. In push-and-pray mode Racener took his stand with and Duhamel called with . There would be no dramatic reversals on this hand, as Duhamel’s hand held and he won the Main Event and the $ 8.9 million first prize.
It was certainly an exciting show, though now that we’ve had three November Nines one starts to wonder if the hiatus contributes or detracts from the overall excitement and drama of the Main Event. A topic for a future post, but for now let’s congratulate Jonathan Duhamel on his coronation as poker’s newest world champion.
Before you skip over this one, let me assure you: This isn’t another one of those posts about Jonathan Duhamel winning the World Series of Poker and taking home a ridiculously massive sum of $ 8,944,310. It’s not about how he outlasted 7,318 other international players to swipe the first place prize from the nearly $ 69 million prize pool (but here’s a photo of it anyway):
Nor is it a story about how the lucky Canuck will be able to escape the sticky fingered IRS who loves to take their slice of casino wins, lottery scores and other windfalls because he’s not an American citizen and therefore owes the government nothing.
No, I’m not going to go on and on about how Duhamel won the WSOP because that story is about as worn out as a Las Vegas call girl during the World Series of Poker.
Instead, I want to touch on something that I don’t think too many people are paying attention to.
There’s something in the water up in Canada. Those people (and full disclosure here, I am one of those people) are amazing at EVERYTHING.
This year alone, Canada has really demonstrated that they can raise, stack and own their way to the top of every category in every industry – not just poker.
For starters, let’s look at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Who took home more gold medals than anyone else? Canada. 14 golds. Sure, Canada didn’t walk away with the highest overall medal count (that title was taken by the United States), but let’s face it, people. Gold is the only color that matters. I don’t see people getting excited about John Racener or Joseph Cheong. Who? Oh my, how you forget so quickly. They finished second and third, respectively, in the Main Event of the WSOP.
But why would you remember? The front page of every poker media outlet on November 9th wasn’t a shot of Racener draped in a US flag. It was of Duhamel, flanked by fellow Habs-jersey-donning Canadians.
Ok ok. So Canadians are amazing at poker. And sports. Surely that’s gotta be it, right?
Nope. We’re also ridiculously sexy as hell. Proof? Right here:
The other day, Ryan Reynolds was named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. Reynolds, the Hollywood actor who stars in the upcoming film The Green Lantern, hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Canada owns, plain and simple. And if you think we’re just good at poker, sports and looking beautiful, well surprise – we’re ridiculously smart, too.
Canada gave the world Insulin (you’re welcome), the Blackberry, the wonderbra (you’re very, very welcome), the light bulb (you can’t play poker in the dark, so you’re welcome), the pacemaker, and most importantly, instant mashed potatoes (the official food of home poker games, obviously).
Anyway, I digress. Before I continue to lose focus writing this post, I recommend that you bookmark this and forward it to anyone who plays at UB. You’ll find a lot of Canadians on UB.com so if you see any maple syrup avatars, you know who to stay away from – or who to put in their place, depending on whether you agree or disagree with everything I’ve said.
If you’ve ever been to the World Series of Poker, or any other major land-based event for that matter, you’re probably familiar with the scene that plays out like clockwork during the first break on Day 1.
Thousands of players flood the hallways of the Rio (or wherever the event happens to be), take out their iPhones or BlackBerry devices (or Zack Morris phone if they’re really old school) and place a phone call to their buddy to brag about how they knocked out a bracelet-winning pro and, clearly, are on their way to major victory.
If you’re familiar with that scene, then you’re probably just as familiar with the one that follows several hours later. It stars the same adrenaline-pumped poker players and once again the scene begins with them reaching into their pockets for their iPhones and BlackBerrys. Only this time they’re not calling a buddy to brag about taking down another pro. They’re calling the airline to get the hell out of dodge because they got owned.
That’s pretty much how it goes for a lot of inexperienced poker players who don’t play a lot of tournaments and don’t understand how chip leads swing and how being in the lead at the beginning of a tournament doesn’t mean you’ll burst the bubble and leave with cash.
While I have no idea what goes on in the homes of online poker players like you, I’m willing to bet that the same two scenes play out virtually every hour for thousands of poker players.
I can assure you, though, that Christopher “C_SWEENZ” Sweeney is not one of them.
The UB poker player topped our 2010 yearly MTT leaderboard, proving that he knows how to play tournaments, win tournaments, beat pros and kill the tables like a champion.
With 5,221 tournaments played at UB in 2010 alone, we don’t need to mention that there’s no time for C_SWEENZ to pull out a smartphone and brag to his friends about taking down a random pro or sitting with a chip lead.
That’s not to say that he didn’t have plenty of opportunity to brag. C_SWEENZ successfully blew through 62 of those tourneys in 2010.
For his dedication to tournaments and major success at the tables, C_SWEENZ earned a $ 10,000 bonus plus a seat in the 2011 WSOP Main Event.
Rounding out the top three Leaderboard champs are Matt “FUTUREPROQQ” Brown, who earned a seat in the 2011 WSOP Main Event and $ 5,500 in cash for ranking second, and FRANKRICCARD who collects $ 10,000 in cash for his 3rd place finish.
The 2011 TLB contest is already underway so check it out, hit it hard and win like C_SWEENZ. It’s a much better call than crying into your smartphone at the WSOP.