Archive for February, 2012
Phil Ivey didn’t want his picture taken. He didn’t have to say so. His ice-bath stare made it pretty clear. He would’ve probably rather hit the photographer in the face than hear the shutter click one more time. The problem was this: Ivey was the biggest news that day. When he showed up at APPT Macau in November, it was the first time he’d been seen at a live tournament in nearly a year. It was the kind of breaking news that had the photographer on guard for the best shot (and potentially Ivey’s wrath).
Caught in the crossfire was a lesser-known poker player by the name of Tobias Huber. He wasn’t news. He was just in Macau for the tournament. It was something he once did for a living. Nobody pays him to be Ivey’s photo-bomber, but on this day, Huber showed up next to Ivey and was de facto news.
“Grinding the TV,” he said with a smile.
Regularly a cash game player, Huber started looking at the PokerStars lobby while he was grinding out the television-watching. He noticed the Red Spade Open was getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.
“I started the tournament out of boredom, and I guess a little bit because it got so huge,” he said.
It was, indeed, big. Nearly 25,000 people entered. It would take more than half a day to finish.
“I obviously ran super hot, proceeded to hit every board, and won most all-ins,” he said.
Fourteen hours later, Huber (known as crackin_ty) had won the Red Spade Open for $ 247,000.
“With a hundred left the field, it seemed super-soft with a few exceptions,” he said, “but, again, I continued to run super hot, got awesome table draws. and could really abuse my super-sick nitty competition!”
And so, we now look back to that photo taken in Macau a few months ago and realize there was more than one piece of news we should’ve been keeping an eye on.
So, a personal request: if you plan on winning a big PokerStars event in the near future and you see our photographer, smile for the camera. It will look better on the blog next time.
Congrats to Tobias Huber for his Red Spade Open win. Now, get back to grinding that TV, man.
Starting in March 2012 Poker Maximus is going to run our first ever tournament series on the Merge Network. This is going to be a huge event and is something players have been asking for on a consistent basis. Now we are giving it to them! The event will be called Poker Maximus and will officially start on March 4th 2012. Satellites will start running for the events at the end of this month.
Dates – March 4-25th
Satellites – Will start mid to late January and run until completion. Players who have existing tournament entry coupons will be able to use them throughout Poker Maximus. Poker Maximus specific satellite tickets will need to be used between March 4th and March 25th.
The Main Event – $ 109 entry – $ 150,000 Guaranteed NLH Freezeout. Players receive 5000 chip starting stacks and the tournament will run 15-minute levels commencing at 10/20.
Other Bonuses / Awards – Tournament Leaderboard Champion (players of the series paid to 1st, 2nd and 3rd) and a Tournament of Champions event.
Schedule: Starting from March 4th there will be a minimum of three tournaments per day with buyins for daily tournaments ranging from $ 3 to $ 200.
§ 70 Poker Maximus Events
§ $ 60,000 Guaranteed Poker Maximus High Roller Main Event ($ 215 Buyin)
§ Poker Maximus $ 530 Deepstack Main Event
§ Minimum $ 150,000 Guaranteed Main Event ($ 109 Buyin, with $ 40,000 Guaranteed to the winner)
§ Player of the series award
§ A Tournament of Champions for all Poker Maximus Tournament Winners
§ Over $ 1.25M worth of guaranteed cash and prizes
§ Buyins ranging from $ 3.00 to $ 200 with one $ 500 buyin tournament
§ Unique accolades for event winners and leaderboard places.
Below is the list of new satellites:
§ $ 5.60 – Winner take all, Super Turbo Shorthanded. Winner receives a $ 33 Coupon.
§ $ 1.91 – Winner take all Super Turbo Shorthanded. Winner receives a $ 11 Coupon.
§ $ 11.20 Winner take all Super Turbo Shorthanded. Winners receive a $ 33 Coupon.
§ $ 10.19 Winner take all Super Turbo Shorthanded. Winners receive a $ 60 Coupon.
§ $ 1.05 Super Turbo Satelllites – Winners receive $ 33 Coupons.
§ $ 2.20 Super Turbo Satellites – Winners receive $ 60 Coupons.
§ $ 60 Monthly Superstack Freezeout Satellite – Winners receive $ 530 tournament entry coupons. Running daily at 21.00 server time ($ 60 coupon ticket eligible)
§ $ 33 Monthly Superstack Freezeout Satellite – Winners reveive $ 530 tournament entry coupons. Running daily at 22.00 server time ($ 33 Coupon ticket eligible)
These satellites will remain in the system after Poker Maximus ends.
Best of luck to all your players in these events!
On February 27th, the United States District Court in Maryland issued a warrant for the seizure of the bodog.com domain, stating that this website had served as an “illegal gambling business” in violation of American laws. Yesterday, the indictment of Calvin Ayre, founder of Bodog, and three other Canadians by a federal grand jury was unsealed. The actions against Bodog come less than a year after the American government took similar actions against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.
Bodog had already closed its websites to American customers and moved operations to domains such as bodog.eu and bodog.co.uk in order to avoid this sort of legal action. Arye responded to the domain seizure by saying, “The brand left the market last year and the domain in question has been dormant globally for longer than that. We are only currently doing brand licensing deals outside the U.S. so this domain had no place in any of our current plans.”
“Bodog UK, Bodog Europe and Bodog Asia have never taken bets from the U.S.,” Ayre said in a statement.
Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced the actions against Bodog, stating that “Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country.”
The indictment charges Bodog Entertainment Group S.A., Calvin Ayre, James Phillip, David Ferguson, and Derrick Maloney with violations of the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Baltimore said arrest warrants had been issued for the four.
In December 2011, Bodog rebranded its remaining American operations under the name Bovada. Ayre said that the Bodog.com domain has not been in use since operations were switched to Bodog.eu that month.
“I see this as abuse of the U.S. criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large U.S. corporations,” Ayre said of the legal actions. “It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law and in the case of these documents is it also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion.”
Every year thousands of fans head to the mecca of poker Las Vegas for that one in a million no make that one in a billion shot of winning the greatest prize there ever is in poker land, the almighty WSOP Main Event.
Last year we saw a young German named Pius Heinz take that all too elusive title, a dam fine bracelet, $ 8.7million in winnings and his larger than life size photo forever to be hung above the hopeful players as they crowd into the poker rooms at the Rio.
Who’ll win it this year in 2012? Will we see a known name take it down? And just what of this $ 1 million tournament benefiting the One Drop Foundation. So did we whet your appetite yet?
We sure hope so, we want you there representing the finest of the finest from Party Poker and here’s how you can guarantee your seat at the Main Event – and without spending a cent!
Party On Dudes
Win one of our $ 14,000 prize packages and you’ll receive:
- $ 10,000 WSOP main event buy-in
- $ 2,000 spending money
- Hotel accommodation in Las Vegas for 10 nights
The best part is that our Party Poker comprehensive range of WSOP qualifiers has been created to give you the best chance to get to this ultimate poker extravaganza, starting with our irresistible daily freerolls. Qualifiers run from 27th February until 17th June so that means plenty of opportunities to win your $ 14,000 package. Check out our full qualifying structure page and plan your route.
Somebody’s got to be world champion – so why not you? Qualify for free now.
Hakan Inan might not be the biggest name on the poker circuit just yet but he sure knew how to answer some of my questions.
Luckily for me I managed to catch up with him last week just after he won a $ 3,500 WPT National Series Denmark package to the event in Vejle.
Dany Willis: Congrats on winning a WPT seat in Demark, so when did you first start playing poker?
Hakan Inan: Back in 2008
DW: Alright tell us what kind of stakes and games do you normally play?
HI: I like to play big tournaments. I’d say I play about 70% online poker and 30% live poker.
The Emerald Isle
DW: This won’t be your fist major live event right? You did quite well in Ireland, tell us about that?
HI: Yes, that was the WPT Dublin in 2012, I placed 33rd and cashed for €5500
DW: A decent payday there, Seth and I had the chance to talk to Padraig Parkinson whilst at the WPT Venice, he always says that’s a great event. Anyway outside of poker what kind of hobbies and interests do you have?
HI: I like to play football and spend time with my family.
DW: So is this a full time occupation or do you have a day job?
HI: I am sales manager but my big target is to become a professional poker player.
DW: Which players would you be most scared to see at your table? Any pros you’d hope to play with?
HI: I have no idols and I have no fear of big names.
DW: Wow fearless huh? Okay playing the fun hypothetical pretend game, if you won a big live event what is the first thing you’d buy with the prize money?
HI: Porsche Cayenne.
DW: That was a bit of a snap call answer; c’mon you’d be practicing that one right? Alright last one and I’ll let you get packing for Denmark, rumor is TonyG is going to be in a castle there, so go on tell us how’d you celebrate your victory?
HI: My wife and I went out for a nice meal.
DW: And hopefully you decided on a color for that Porsche right? Anyway once again Hakan thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, a pleasure as usual.
Our next big WPT that you can qualify to is of course Vienna, with online satellites currently running on PartyPoker. As well as that you’ll find the Premier League V will also be in town, and with $ 13,000 trip packages up for grabs at PartyPoker for you to join the likes of Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Vanessa Selbst, and Erik Seidel in one of the world’s biggest buy-in poker tournament make sure you qualify!
12:40am: Yabuuchi busts to bring Day 2 to a close
Nobuhiro Yabuuchi has missed out on reaching the final day of play here at the MPC Red Dragon after his elimination in 19th place to bring our day to an end.
Yabuuchi moved all in preflop for around 100,000 with [qs][qc] as Abhishek Goindi made the call with [ad][kh].
The board of [as][8c][6c][8s][9h] paired up Goindi’s ace to eliminate Yabuuchi from the tournament. With that, the players are now bagging, tagging and heading home for some much-needed rest. It’s likely that Jay Tan will be our chip leader with over 1.5 million, but we’ll have confirmation of chips for you shortly.
12:30am: Jay passive with Big Slick
With so many chips in front of her, Jay Tan would be feeling a little frustrated right now for not being more aggressive with her [as][kh]. When facing a raise to 46,000 from Dong Woo Kang, Tan decided to flat call on the button to see a [qh][3s][jd] flop. Kang open-shoved for 185,000 and Tan was forced to make a reluctant open-fold of her hand, but Kang flashed the same hand – [ac][kc]!
12:20am: From red to white hot
“Quads! Quads! Quads!” squealed Jay Tan after eliminating yet another opponent. She has gone from red hot to white hot as Tong Seng Lew has felt the brunt of her form.
Lew moved all in preflop for his last chips with [ac][kh] and thought he was racing with Tan’s [ts][td], but the way this girl has been running, this was a race she was never going to lose. Not only did she win, but she did it in style, making quads as the board ran out [tc][6h][kd][th][3d].
Lew is out with Tan now up to 1.55 million.
12:10am: Darian doubles up
Darian Tan was one of the short stacks in the room but a desperate double up has kept his title hopes alive. Tan moved all in for 80,000 from middle position and play folded around to Ke Chen who called in the big blind with [ac][5d] as Tan would need help with his [jh][9h].
Tan had to wait until the river but he finally got there with the [2h][5h][6s][4d][7h] board delivering a flush for the double up. He moves up to 180,000.
12:05am: Down to 18
We’ve just received word that we’ll be playing down to the final two tables this evening before we wrap things up. That means four more eliminations before we’re outta here!
12:00am: Red hot Tan
Following the break, Jay Tan has gone on one hell of a heater as she has steamrolled her way to the tournament chip lead.
After winning a big pot with pocket aces against Denny Yu, Lee then proceeded to take out previous MPC champion Patrick Lee.
Lee raised to 38,000 from early position with Tan calling on the button to see a [4s][td][7d] flop fall. Lee tossed out 50,000 before Tan moved all in. Lee called off his last chips quickly but didn’t like what he saw. Lee opened [kh][kc] for an overpair but Tan tabled [4h][4c] for a flopped set!
“Wow,” sighed Lee, as the [5d] turn and [ac] river completed the board. A great run by the previous MPC champ as he is eliminated from the tournament.
“Am I dreaming?” laughed Tan as she moved up to a massive 1.4 million. Seated to her direct right is Ke Chan who holds 1.2 million as the top two stacks in the room. Expect fireworks!
11:45pm: Play resumes
The final 23 players are back with likely one to two more levels to play before we call it an evening.
Ke Chen remains a clear chip leader with around 1.15 million in chips.
March is a big month for Carbon, PDC and Aced Poker as we have added to our team and are now very focused on producing the best set of marketing tools available to our affiliates. To celebrate our epic Poker Maximus series we’re offering up a reload bonus codes with a $ 2.20 coupon added. The bonus code is POKERMAXIMUS.
POKERMAXIMUS is a 70% bonus that will run from March 1st to March 15th at midnight. To help reactivate any customers that have become wounded gladiators, this bonus will be valid for all three brands.
Terms & Conditions:
Name: POKERMAXIMUS 70% Reload Bonus + $ 2.20 coupon
Validity Start: Thursday 1st March 2012 @ 12:00am
Validity End: Thursday 15th March 2012 @ 11:59pm
Description: POKERMAXIMUS 70% Reload Bonus + $ 2.20 coupon
Availability: All ChipSplit rooms
Bonus Type: Deposit Bonus
Bonus Code: POKERMAXIMUS
Maximum Number of Redemptions: 1
Minimum Deposit Amount: $ 10.00
Deposit Number: Available on any reload deposit.
Playthrough: Player must earn 100 VIP points for each dollar of the bonus amount, the bonus is expired if a withdrawal is made before the playthrough is complete.
Payout: Award the player an amount of real money equal to 70% of the deposit amount, up to
Bryan Piccioli aka enterthewu19 on cashing at WPTs, EPTs and WSOPs plus life down south in Mexico and final table strategies and more
Back for some more perfect poker talk, and this time we’re catching up with Bryan Piccioli aka enterthewu19 who recently cashed for $ 34k in our $ 100K High Roller Tournament.
DW: Hey Bryan thanks a lot for taking some time to speak to us.
BP: No problem Dany… I’d love to answer some questions and be on the blog.
DW: So first things first how’d you get started in poker?
BP: Well my dad always played at least once a week when I was growing up, so I was always around the game. I first started playing seriously when I was 16 years old with a few friends from high school.
DW: What’s your ‘usual’ so to speak cash, tourney, what kind of stakes do you go in for?
BP: I play only tournaments, very very rarely will I dabble in cash games. I’ll play pretty much any stakes tourney. For online, I’ll play something as small as a $ 5 or $ 10 turbo up to whatever freezeouts are running. For live, I’ve played probably 10 to 12 $ 10k buyins in my life, and will grind as low as like a $ 200 buyin live. I would definitely consider myself mainly an online player, but I enjoy traveling and the live grind as well. I like switching it up between the two every few months.
Lights, Action, Poker!
DW: Tell us about your live poker escapades, seems like you’ve done well from them right?
BP: Yes, I’ve played in a bunch of WPT/EPT/WSOP events. I have one WPT cash at Foxwoods, two EPT cashes at PCA main event and EPT grand final in Monte Carlo both in 2010, and 3 small WSOP cashes. Unfortunately no final tables in any big live events yet.
Music Non Stop
DW: Okay so outside of poker what’s Bryan do for kicks?
BP: I am big into music and sports. I am almost always listening to music while I play (both live and online).
DW: I’m guessing this is a full time gig right? You don’t have a regular 9-5 office job you’re not telling us about right?
BP: No, I don’t have a day job. I dropped out of college after 2 1/2 years to play poker professionally. I won satellites to two EPT’s within a few days so had to take the remainder of a semester off, then I just never went back. But even before then, I was always playing semi-professionally. I’ve been playing full-time since early 2010.
DW: Pro’s name a few and what you really think about them
BP: I think most of the “TV pros” are pretty overrated and not too difficult to play against. I’ve played with my fair share of them, and I would much rather prefer having one of them at my table than an experienced online high-stakes MTT player, with a few exceptions like Ivey, Antonius, etc.
DW: My favorite question of course, so you win big, I mean really big. Go on what do you do?
BP: If I won a big live event, probably the first thing I would do would be to buy a nice house somewhere. Then I would definitely get some nice gifts for my parents and my sister.
DW: Nice, alright then do you play this tournament regularly? How’d you prep for it?
BP: The $ 530 high roller on Party is part of my normal Sunday schedule, I play it almost every Sunday. I am normally playing tons of tables, especially on Sunday, and sometimes will be on up to 20 or more tables at once, so I wasn’t really focusing too much on this tournament until it reached the money bubble. Once we got ITM I was on fewer tables and able to concentrate more the deeper the tournament got, and got lucky enough to come out with a win.
DW: Taking it all in your stride I see, alright then did you celebrate a decent payday like that?
BP: I didn’t really do anything to celebrate my victory, but something pretty cool about the tournament was that I got heads-up with one of my roommates, Chris aka PAGE_UP_V on PartyPoker. I had a big chip lead 3 handed then Chris knocked out the other guy in 3rd, so after that we just chopped according to our stacks. I think I got $ 34k and he got $ 32k. Chris, myself, and 2 other guys live together down here in Cabo, Mexico, and we all put in pretty high volume at tournaments, so I’d say I’m at the same table as one of my roommates at least 2-3 times a day. We get used to playing against each other and it’s fun to try and run some crazy bluffs on someone when you are sitting at the same table just a few feet away from them.
Welp that’s it. I hope I did ok, probably not my best effort considering I just got done playing like a 10 hour session and I’m pretty burnt out at the moment.
Next up on the Live Circuit!
DW: You did just fine, I’ll let you get some well earned rest I guess. So for those at home wanting to taste the live action thrill of poker remember the WPT Vienna is the next big stop on the international tour, with online satellites currently running on PartyPoker.
And as well as that the Premier League Poker will also be heading to Vienna, with $ 13,000 trip packages up for grabs at PartyPoker for you to join the likes of Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Vanessa Selbst, and Erik Seidel in one of the world’s biggest buy-in poker tournament!
The bubble has burst, ten players have departed with money in their pockets and Melanie Weisner is back into the chip lead of EPT Copenhagen. And how does the New Yorker celebrate that achievement? She goes for a PokerStars Blog approved hot dog. Good on you, Melanie.
39. William Paschall, DKK60,000
40. David Hrdlicka, DKK60,000
41. Alber Hanna, DKK55,000
42. Henrik Sorenson, DKK55,000
43. Nick Bogaert, DKK55,000
44. Anders Andersen, DKK55,000
45. Jan Molby, DKK55,000
46. Simon Ravnsbæk, DKK55,000
47. Kenneth Laursen, DKK55,000
48. Nicholas Holmes, DKK55,000
Shortly after busting Kenneth Laursen with jacks trumping deuces Weisner was back into the fray. First she three-bet a 6,400 cut-off open from Steve O’Dwyer up to 15,500, he passed. Next up on the block was Magnus Hansen.
Weisner opened to 6,000 and was three-bet to 17,500 by Hansen out of the small blind. O’Dwyer passed in the big blind leaving Weisner to make the call in position. Hansen led 19,000 into the [th][tc][kc] flop and Weisner, tongue literally in cheek, raised to 46,600. Hansen pulled out a large stack of blue chips totalling 100,000 with one hand, the other continued to play with a stack of black chips. Both Hansen and Weisner were riffling at this point, the speed increasing with the tension. Hansen pushed out the call.
Hansen slowly checked the [9d] turn card by lowering his entire right arm down to the felt with a fist clenched as if it was the lever of an old one-armed bandit fruit machine. Weisner continued her aggression with a 75,700 bet and Hansen passed. The New Yorker allowed herself a small smile and raked in the pot pushing herself up to 575,000. A bigger smile was to come.
Rupert Elder appeared on the rail joining fellow EPT champ David Vamplew. “Do you want to go to the hot dog place?” asked Elder. Weisner seemed thrilled by the prospect. In a vacuum of any other indicators it could be a good way to judge how big a player’s personal tournament expectations are: if they get more excited about going to the service station across the road for a snack than they do by winning a chipleading pot then you’ve probably found yourself one cool and collected customer. Hot dogs for the win. Check our live feed for EPT Copenhagen news as it happens, chip counts and the payouts.
For the third straight year, and for the sixth time in the past seven years, Titan Poker has been awarded with the coveted Best Poker Customer Service Award by Gambling Online Magazine.
The award, determined by the readers of Gambling Online Magazine and visitors to its website, was awarded to Titan Poker in recognition of its outstanding customer service.
Gambling Online Magazine’s awards, now in their eighth year, “provide the people’s voice on the best of the best” and are considered the benchmark for achievement in the industry.
In response, a spokesman for Titan Poker said, “It really brings to light our ongoing commitment to ensuring the best possible online poker experience and how our friendly customer service agents will always take that extra step in answering the players’ needs. We look forward to the coming year and continuing to work together to improve the customer service and maintain our position above the competition.”
Titan Poker has dedicated support personnel available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Players seeking assistance can contact Titan Poker by telephone, fax, email, or through an Online Support chat system, available to players in the poker software.