Archive for July, 2012
Greetings from the Olympic Village at London 2012! A lot of you have been asking who I am looking at in this picture as I walk with Lithuania’s flag bearer – the legendary Olympic discus champion Virgilijus Alekna. I was trying to see if I could see Phil Hellmuth in the crowd. I know he’s around as a cheerleader for the human dolphin Michael Phelps but he’s not in the village. Probably wise, don’t need a village idiot!
Managing a team against all the NBA superstars
Last night, Lithuania’s men’s basketball team played their first game – we lost but I feel really good about the next four games. We have Nigeria tomorrow, who we should beat while a match against the USA is also coming up later this week. People always ask me about what it might be like managing a team against all the NBA superstars from the States and I say I genuinely believe there could be a massive upset here. The Lithuanians are not scared – I can see us avenging our defeat against Argentina in the semi-finals – we beat them before in a sudden death game in Turkey earlier this year.
Life in the village is great, it seems like lots of people have recognised me as when they see me they ask if poker has become an Olympic sport. Inside the village it is like communism, everything is free and it is like being on a different planet. I am so glad I have done this – I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to get involved with something as big as this. I have been involved with Lithuanian basketball for two years and once this is over it is back to my normal life, it is back to playing a lot of poker for the rest of 2012. Whatever the result for Lithuania it is about the Olympic spirit of competing.
What is poker like in the Olympic Village?
I got the opportunity to have breakfast this morning with Ruta Meilutyte, the 15-year-old Lithuanian swimming superstar of the future who has got so many headlines in the past couple of days. Under the watchful eye of her UK based coach Jonathan Rudd she has shown herself to be a real fight with outstanding talent. Her mother died when she was very young and after she broke the European record at the weekend I expect her to finish top five in the final. She makes me proud to be Lithuanian.
A lot of you have asked about what the poker is like in the Olympic Village. All I will say is the US and Greeks love to play and that the Lithuanian men’s basketball team do too (they might also have someone to back them J). Depending on results I will go to Cyprus later this week – all inclusive resort, Russian cash game players to eat – what paradise!
I also got great news from Lithuania while I have been away with the basketball team. Zasko is a daddy and his three month old son Nordas is doing very well – a potential king of the forest no doubt he is surging and stalking, just like his father and his father’s owner!
The ChipSplit team wanted to thank you very much for your patience while we upgraded the ChipSplit brand. To thank you we are offering our affiliates a $ 500 Appreciation Freeroll. This freeroll will give you a chance to test out the new CarbonPoker 6.0 Software and win some extra cash while competing against some of your marketing competitors. Everything is running smoothly and we hope that you are enjoying the new features and reporting that came with this latest software update. Read on for a list of new features and all pertinent information on the appreciation freeroll.
Freeroll Details:$ 500 Appreciation
Name: $ 500 Appreciation Freeroll
Location: Tournament > Private.
Type: Texas Hold’em Freeroll
Date and Time: August 26th 2:00 Server time CST
Terms & Conditions:
Must have recruited at least one player in your ChipSplit account prior to July 1st 2012 to be eligible for this freeroll.
Must have an active player account on one of our three brands.
One Freeroll tournament entry per ChipSplit affiliate account.
We will issue entry coupons within 4 days of the event.
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According to Enrique Alejo, Director General of the Spanish Gaming Commission, players from Italy and Spain could be sitting at the same online poker tables as early as 2013.
In an interview with Spanish website Poker-Red, Alejo, head of the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), stated that talks between Spain and Italy would resume in the fall to discuss the possibility of shared player pools.
As reported on the Pokerfuse website, regulators from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal met in Barcelona in the middle of June to discuss regulatory cooperation, including the possibility of shared liquidity in online poker.
“Discussions took place on the conditions necessary for a possible shared liquidity in certain games among some of the countries participating in the meeting,” an official statement said at the time.
Although a follow-up meeting between the regulators is scheduled for December, Alejo said in his interview that he planned to meet his Italian counterparts earlier than that.
When asked in the interview if there was a chance that Italian and Spanish operators could share player pools next year, Alejo responded by saying, “I do not know if early in 2013, but maybe at some point yes.”
The possibility that France would join a combined player pool is less likely, Alejo said, although that could change if Italy and Spain went ahead with the plan to share their liquidity.
When the online gaming markets of Italy and Spain were regulated, Titan Poker players from those countries joined the regulated rooms Titanbet.it Poker and Titanbet.es Poker.
With women’s stellar performance at this year’s World Series of Poker, people around the world are finally starting to see what we’ve been saying at PokerStars Women for two years now. Not to be pedantic, but let me go on record as saying it this way: Although women are hugely underrepresented, they are highly successful at poker and even against extraordinary odds they routinely manage to cash in the top ten percent. All this, while typically representing only 3-5 percent of the field. This year’s WSOP Main Event was an excellent case in point, but there are many other tournament examples that illustrate the fact. Here are just a few examples.
The Year So Far
January–Xuan Liu finishes in fourth place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas for $ 600,000 outlasting 1068 opponents
June–Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin wins second Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event, for an unprecedented two-time championship
- Allyn Jaffrey Shulman wins WSOP Event 29: $ 1000 Seniors No-Limit
- Vanessa Selbst wins her second WSOP bracelet in an open event (Event 52:
$ 2,500 10-Game Mix-Six Handed) against 421 entrants
- Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann finish 10th and 11th in WSOP Main Event, narrowly missing the final table and the November 9. A total of 211 women played the Main Event, as part of a total field of 6,895, and representing just over three percent of the total number. Hille and Baumann were two of the four women who managed to make it to the top 97. The other two in that elite field were Vanessa Selbst and Marcy Topp.Team PokerStars Pro Results
Of the 211 women who played this year’s WSOP, four were from Team PokerStars Pro, and they definitely made their presence known. Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, and Ana Marquez represented the women for the Team Pros, with 31 men completing the roster. One of those women–Vanessa Selbst–was the top Team PokerStars Pro money leader from the WSOP overall, and the only Team Pro to win a bracelet–in the $ 2,500 10-Game event. With a total cash of $ 534,675 in five events, she topped the list, with a $ 100,000 advantage over the next closest contender, Joe Cada, 2009 WSOP Main Event winner.
Vanessa SelbstBut it gets better
In addition, Selbst and Liv Boeree were on the list of Team PokerStars Pro top seven Main Event cashes (Vanessa Selbst $ 88,070) and (Liv Boeree, $ 19,227). And to round out the finishes for the female Team Pros, Vicky Coren cashed for $ 26,414, coming in third in the $ 1,500 NLHE event, while Ana Marquez cashed for $ 15,008 in the $ 5,000 NLHE. Overall the women cashed for $ 610,032 or a little more than twenty percent of the overall Team Pro cash ($ 2,814,718)–a stellar result for four players.
Underrepresented though they may be, women have continued to get stronger and better at this game every year. Getting better is what it’s all about, and after this year’s success we’re sure to see more female title holders and bracelet winners. As Australian poker pro Jackie Glazier said of her second place finish in the $ 3,000 NLHE event at the WSOP (a $ 457,776 cash), “It’s the first year that women are consistently going deep, showing that it’s not just a men’s game. Now that more women are doing well, it has a snowball effect, more women see others succeeding and they say, “I want to get to that level–I want to get better.”
This year’s results have certainly illustrated that not only are women getting better. They now have the results to prove it.
For more details on all the Team PokerStars Pros see Brad Willis’ detailed report here.
And for all the details about women in poker, pro interviews, and details of upcoming live events see the PokerStars Women page.
Jonathan Miller, the former State Treasurer of Kentucky, was unable to indulge in his love for the game of poker while he was in elected public office. Miller, a progressive Kentucky Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2007 but now considers himself a “recovering politician” whose website serves as a forum of ideas how to fix America’s most intractable problems: climate change, skyrocketing health care costs, the country’s multi-trillion-dollar debt, and more.
No longer in office, Miller was encouraged by his wife to spend a weekend playing poker in Las Vegas. The timing of his visit coincided with a four-day World Series of Poker No Limit Hold ‘em event and Miller determined that the “$ 1,000 entry fee wasn’t too expensive to throw down the proverbial toilet.”
As he detailed colorfully in a Huffington Post blog article, Miller’s “impossible run through the World Series of Poker tournament” was “an exhilarating roller coaster ride encompassing 40 hours of mind-thumping boredom.”
Miller’s “impossible run” ended at the final table of the event, where he was eliminated in 8th place for a prize of $ 69,000. Miller spoke to us about politics, poker, and the WSOP in an exclusive interview.
Q: Is the game of poker banned in the state of Kentucky?
A: It is in every state, although Delaware and Nevada should re-instate it soon, and there is movement in Congress to legalize it federally.
Q: Have you ever played online poker? How did that go for you?
A: When it was legal a few years ago, I played occasionally. I won more often than not, but never risked much money.
Video is from news broadcast of WHAS-TV (Louisville).
Q: You served as a Democratic treasurer for Kentucky, but you played the World Series of Poker conservatively. Do politics and poker not go hand in hand?
A: I have always been someone who has lived my life conservatively, but voted as a liberal. Politics taught me a great deal about how to read people.
Q: Prior to the World Series of Poker, had you ever played in a major poker tournament?
A: This was my first big tournament. The only previous were online, and I have occasionally traveled to Vegas to play in casino based tournaments — usually $ 50-$ 100 buy-ins, with no more than 60 or so people participating.
Q: Your success in the World Series of Poker seems to have come, in many instances, from having the right cards in the right situation. Is poker a game of luck or a game of skill?
A: You have to have the requisite skill to advance far in a tournament like this. But with all of the great players I was competing against, it is obvious that a whole lot of luck was involved in my success.
Q: You’ve said that winning in poker doesn’t fit into the moral equation of fighting for the causes in which you believe. After your success at the WSOP, aren’t you ready to give everything up and concentrate on a more profitable career as a professional poker player?
A: No. I am dedicating my life to working on causes that I believe in, which of course includes the safety and security of the Jewish State. I will certainly continue to play poker occasionally.
Q: Online poker is currently not legal in the United States. Any chance that this situation will change on a federal level in the near future?
A: An article came out just yesterday that said that two key Senators had worked out a big compromise that might make it legal before the end of the year. I am hopeful, but understand that with our broken Congress, bipartisan deals are often illusory.
Q: The state of Nevada has already moved to legalize online poker. How far behind is the state of Kentucky?
A: Kentucky won’t move on this independently — we have a legislature that has blocked expanded gaming for decades, so we must count on federal action.
Q: Have you already booked your seats at the 2013 World Series of Poker?
A: Right now, I probably wouldn’t go — because there is simply no way that I can improve on my recent feat — not even the best pros ever make two final tables of tournaments this large. However, by spring, I bet I will have changed my mind. Anyway, a whole lot of my friends tell me they want to go with me next year.
How has your WSOP Main Event journey been so far?
It’s been a little bit of a bumpy road. Normally in these big tournaments my stack increases every level, but this time has been a real rollercoaster for sure. I am feeling very confident, and it’s going to be very difficult for someone to bust me. I am very focused and I know where I stand in a lot of different situations, and am feeling really good.
I have interviewed a lot of people who have said a lot of nice things about you, including John Tabatabai who once said you were the greatest MTT player alive? What puts you in that bracket of special tournament players?
That’s a really cool thing for people to say. I folded ace-king three times pre flop yesterday and I am not sure a lot of people can make folds in those spots. But with great folds also come great calls too and in this tournament I have been avoiding coolers a ton. It sounds very Phil Hellmuthesque but they have been trying to bust me and I won’t let them. I am avoiding the flips and moving along great. I folded tens today where in a different spot, say online or any other tournament, I wouldn’t have folded. Given the situation, how this tournament is and how easily it is to accumulate in other spots it is important to stay on the grind and I have been doing that really well.
Earlier this year you won the High Roller at WPT Vienna. During one of the breaks I saw you break away on your own and do press-ups. You are looking the fittest I have seen. How have you managed to get into great shape?
I definitely changed my eating habits a lot. I used to eat anything and every thing. If I wanted pasta at 02.00 then cool, Pho at 03.00 no problem. I am much more disciplined today. I have All American Dave helping me out during this series, which has been great. He makes these amazing meals that help fuel my body. So my dietary changes have been important, but so has my time in the gym. I haven’t missed a gym session during the main event. Doing that before the tournament makes such a major difference to my mental clarity. I am so much more focused on everything going on around me. Eating healthily and working out is like a natural drug. It was Hippocrates that said let food by thy medicine. In between hands the old Sorel would have looked at his phone and zoned out a lot, but these days I am really focusing on every hand.
But what was the catalyst for change?
I have always been an athlete, both before and during high school. It wasn’t normal for me to be carrying the extra weight. Since I have been in poker there have been three or four moments where I have tried to change, but I have always slipped back into old habits. Being healthy and lean is very important in my life. I don’t want to be average in that sense, it’s not good enough. I want to excel in that part of my life. In the past my get fit regimes were all due to some prop bet. Then the bet ends and so does my motivation. This time I am doing it for myself and not for monetary gain. It started during a trip to Thailand. I took part in a ten-day Detox programme and I lost twenty pounds in a week and felt so amazing. I have never felt like that before. So I decided I didn’t want to put crap inside my body anymore because it makes me miserable.
I recently read an interview in PokerNews where you talked about taking supplements supplied by Alpha Brain. Can you just tell me a little bit about that?
Originally it was an experiment. I ordered a bottle of pills not knowing what to expect. At first I didn’t notice much. Then after a while I started to remember all of my dreams vividly. For me that was enough to continue taking the supplements right there. Normally without taking them I would have one lucid dream every few months, now it is every night. This is a Nootropic and I realise that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of such enhancements. Is it the placebo effect and so forth? But it’s a free roll for me, you get a full money back guarantee and so there is no downside to it. As Joe Rogan said, “ It isn’t going to turn an idiot into a genius.” It’s not that profound but it works for me personally and I am very happy to endorse the product.
I have seen a lot of top players smoking weed during this WSOP and that must effect the mental state and Alpha Brain is a cognitive enhancer. Given the fact that poker is a mind sport do you think it’s time that poker started to introduce regulation to ensure parity amongst players, like in other sports?
We are dealing with a mind sport, so the better your mind is working the better your edge will be so it’s an interesting point. I don’t smoke pot personally, but I am a pro supporter for the legalization of it. There is a lot of hidden agenda’s for the government to keep it illegal. If you take pot and it improves your game then fine. There are a lot of highly-strung people who take it in order to relax and to stop them doing something stupid at the table. Nobody is smoking a joint and then robbing a bank. It is not something that makes you more aggressive, it just relaxes you. You are getting into a crazy situation if you start regulating what drugs you can or can’t use in poker.
I am a firm believer that people should be able to do what ever they want to do with their own body. That’s my opinion on it. I don’t want to do it personally, but the responsibility must come down to the person and not some government. As long as people are acting responsibly with it then that is fine.
At the time of writing Sorel Mizzi has 1 million chips (50BB) with 184 players remaining.
Here is Sorel Mizzi talking to PartyPoker about a sick fold he made yesterday.
This is the final day of MicroMillions II series, and there is probably isn’t a soul on earth who is happier about that than Team PokerStars Online’s Ande Coimbra. He’s literally played every single one of the tournaments so far. That’s ninety of them over the past eleven days. And by the end of today, he will play ten more. A hundred tournaments in all. Sleep. Pshaw. Who needs it?
Below we have a video Andre put together during a particularly fragile moment. In it, he makes a crucial poker decision: turkey or salmon?
Before we get to that, however, here’s a look at his vital stats.
The key stats
- Total hours of sleep: 54 hours
- In the money finishes: 19
- Tournament earnings: $ 367.02
- Tournaments played: 90
acoimbra’s MicroMillions roll of honor
Event #2 – 2,633/36,734 for $ 13.96
Event #7 – 94/6,467 for $ 33.95
Event #16 – 203/11,562 for $ 11.09
Event #18 – 993/15,768 for $ 9.46
Event #29 – 2,095/20,968 for $ 12.98
Event #33 – 915/17,444 for $ 32.03
Event #35 – 105/4,962 for $ 57.72
Event #37: 210/4,107 for $ 22.26
Event #38: 328 of 8,985 for $ 17.52
Event #42: 508/18,295 for $ 27.44
Event #43: 1,776/14,791 for $ 5.32
Event #44: 401/4,292 for $ 19.75
Event #61: 840/15,824 for $ 22.64
Event #69: 379/4,312 for $ 5.95
Event #71: 564/6,406 for $ 16.50
Event #73: 725/8,752 for $ 6.82
Event #85 1,393/17,411 for $ 30.67
Event #89 558/8.768 for $ 36.55
Now, to see Coimbra cook a whole meal and talk a little bit about how poker should actually be fun, here’s his daily video.
To look back on the past eleven days of action, see this Coimbra’s MicroMillions diary link. To follow along until he decides to sleep for a week. @andrebcoimbra Twitter account.
As long as he is still in action, you can check in on him by heading on over to the PokerStars lobby and click Requests>Find a Team PokerStars Player.
Even though the name may make you think that the winner of Event #74 is a fan of pot limit omaha todays results may just change that feeling.
ploven13 held the lead for most of the final table, only losing it for a few hands during heads-up play after suffering a bad beat. Even after suffering a bad bead and getting close to having only 10 big blinds ploven13 battled back, laid a bad beat himself, and then finished off his opponents on the way to winning the event.
The prize pool for Event 74 was over $ 62,000, more than double the guarantee, but with half of that going to the bounty pool only $ 31,000 got split amongst the 1,000 that made the money. Simply surviving to the money guaranteed each player $ 9.63 and getting to the final four meant a payday of no less than $ 712.06 with the eventual winner taking home $ 3,290.48 along with any bounties they collected along the way. Here is a look at the numbers:
Guarantee: $ 25,000
Prize pool: $ 31,067.40
Bounty pool: $ 31,067.40
Paid Players: 1,000
André “acoimbra” Coimbra continued his quest to play all 100 events of the MicroMillions II schedule in event #74. Unfortunately for Coimbra his bounty was collected before late registration ended and he was credited for a 3,485th place finish. If you are interested in reading about Coimbra’s journey you can do so in his daily diary.
Adamyid led the way when the field got down to the final two tables with bgigra4 and Tibbii nipping at his heels. Tibbii moved even closer to Adamyid after eliminating thanos26 in 8th place. It took only a few hands from there for Tibbii to over take Adamyid. By the time they reached the final table of five Tibbii remained on the top followed by plover13. Here is their seat assignments:
Seat 1: GuusjeG (5733968 in chips)
Seat 2: FENIX RR (4143753 in chips)
Seat 3: Adamyid (5765392 in chips)
Seat 4: ploven13 (9178702 in chips)
Seat 5: Tibbii (12163185 in chips)
Down to the “official” Final Table:
ploven13 moved a bit closer to Tibbii after eliminating once chip leader Adamyid. The pair got the chips into the middle pre flop with Adamyid holding [Ad][Qh] while ploven13 held [Ks][Kh]. The [2c][2d][4s][7c][7d] board brought no assistance to Adamyid who collects $ 450.78 for fifth place.
Let’s make a deal:
After playing a few hands on the official final table the four remaining players decided to take a look at the numbers for a chip chop. Once the numbers were posted the players all agreed and play resumed to determine the winner of the $ 500 they had to leave to play for. Here is a look at the deal:
FENIX RR:$ 1,495.20
Left To Play for: $ 500.00
First one out:
GuusjeG moved all-in from the small blind with the short stack on the table. FENIX RR, who just had GuusjeG covered called and the players cards were revealed with FENIX RR holding [Tc][9c] while GuusjeG held [Jd][6c]. The [Ah][Th][9d] flop gave FENIX RR two pair, tens and nines, to pull ahead in the hand. The [Qs] turn and [Ac] river changed nothing sending GuusjeG out in fourth place collecting $ 1,467.53.
Down to two:
FENIX RR moved all-in facing an open to 3.3 million from ploven13. ploven13 called and showed [3h][3c] against FENIX RR’s [Ad][7d]. The [Qh][8s][6c][6s][2c] board meant FENIX RR’s tournament was over with collecting $ 1,495.20.
Heads-up play began with ploven13 holding about 15 million more than Tibbii. That lead only held for five hands as Tibbii caught a straight with [Qh][Tc] on a [Jh][Ts][7c][9c][8h] to beat ploven13′s [Kc][Kd].
From there Tibbii tried to keep the pressure on ploven13 but that pressure eventually back fired as ploven13 managed to get some revenge for the above kings hand. On a [Qc][Qh][8h] flop ploven13 moved all-in with [As][Js] and Tibbii called with [8s][7d]. The [Jh] turn gave ploven13 the lead while the [9s] sealed the deal giving ploven13 a much needed double.
ploven13 did not slow down from there eventually taking the lead and then the win. The final hand saw both players flop a pair on the [9s][5d][4s] flop and the chips went into the middle. ploven13 held the best of it with [Qc][9c] as Tibbii held [9d][7d]. The board finished up with a [2h] in the turn and a [6h] on the river. Tibbii collects $ 1,937.97 for second while ploven13 takes $ 2,244.92 for first.
Congrats to ploven13 on winning event 74.
MicroMillions Event #74 ($ 8.80 NLHE, 4-max SuperKnockout) Results (reflects a deal):
Prize Pool: $ 31,067.40
Bounty Pool: $ 31,067.40
Places Paid: 1,000
1st place: ploven (Denmark) – $ 2,244.92*
2nd place: Tibbii (Romania) – $ 1,937.97*
3rd place: FENIX RR (Russia) – $ 1,495.20*
4th place: GuusjeG (Netherlands) – $ 1,467.53*
*Reflects a four-way deal
The MicroMillions II is moving into the final days, you can find information on what events remain along with satellites on the main MicroMillions page.
Vanessa Selbst is currently the best female poker player in the world. She is ranked in 8th place on the Global Poker Index (GPI) (after having held the 5th place spot last week). She won a WSOP bracelet this year at Event 52: $ 2,500 10-Game Mix – Six-Handed for a prize of $ 244,259 (the second bracelet of her career). And she is one of 97 players remaining in Event 61: $ 10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.
At the conclusion of Day 5 of the Main Event, only 97 players remain from a starting field of 6,598 entries. 669 players finish in the money and many big name professionals have already been eliminated from the action including Daniel Negreanu (160th place, $ 52,718 prize); John Juanda (237th place, $ 38,453); Maria Ho (322nd place, $ 32,871); Johnny Chan (353rd place, $ 32,871); Antonio Esfandiari (501st place, $ 24,808); Huck Seed (527th place, $ 21,707); Marvin Rettenmaier (648th place, $ 19,227); and Jason Mercier (659th place, $ 19,227).
The remaining players are led by Kyle Keranen with 6,935,000 chips. Vanessa Selbst is in 59th place with a stack of 1,350,000, but anything could happen when action resumes on Day 6 and players go all out (and all-in) to win the Main Event’s $ 8,527,982 first prize.
Vanessa Selbst won her first bracelet at the 2008 World Series of Poker, when she finished in first place in Event 19 – $ 1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha for a prize of $ 227,965.
Vanessa, from Brooklyn, New York, already has four cashes in this year’s series. According to the Hendon Mob poker database, she has a career total of $ 5,375,182 in winnings. Her best year was 2010, when she took first place in the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event for a prize of €1,300,000 ($ 1,823,430).
On Day 5 play, Vanessa had a stack of 3,000,000 chips going into the final break. But as she tweeted, “Missed every flop that level. Hero called an old dude and was wrong lol. Ended up with 1,650,000 just below avg heading to day 6.”
Her total dropped a little bit more by night’s end, however, she can still turn it all around on Day 6 of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event.