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September 16th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

November Nine Set For 2014 WSOP Main Event

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

The annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) No-Limit Hold’em Championship, also known as the Main Event, is down to its final nine players. The “November Nine” are all that’s left from the starting field of 6,683 players.

The final nine players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on November 10 to compete for poker’s ultimate prize, a WSOP Main Event gold bracelet and a guaranteed first-place prize of $10,000,000.

The players along with their respective seat assignments and chip counts are:

Seat 1 – Billy Pappaconstantinou – 17,500,000

Billy is 29 and an unlikely finalist because he has no previous WSOP experience. Most of his live poker tournament earnings of $16,379 came mainly from a $500 buy-in event at the 2010 World Poker Finals where he took eighth place and won $15,341.

Seat 2 – Felix Stephensen – 32,775,000

Felix is a 23-year-old originally from Norway but who is now living in London, England. This is his second year in a row playing the Main Event.

Seat 3 – Jorryt van Hoof – 38,375,000

Jorryt is a 31-year-old with only three previous WSOP cashes and $27,956 in earnings but has won over $358,000 in live poker tournaments worldwide.

Seat 4 – Mark Newhouse – 26,000,000

Mark is a 29 year old Las Vegas resident and the first ever November Nine player (the November Nine concept began in 2008) to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. Mark finished in 9th place in 2013 and collected $733,224.

Dan Harrington was the last player to make back-to-back Main Event final tables in 2003 and 2004. Making back-to-back final tables in the main event is a great feat anytime, but it’s even more impressive in Mark’s case because he had to get through fields of 6,352 last year and 6,683 this year, compared to Dan having to get through fields of 839 in 2003 and 2,576 in 2004.

Seat 5 – Andoni Larrabe – 22,550,000

Andoni is a 22-year-old Spaniard who is now living in London, England. He’s the youngest player left in the field and has $20,068 in career WSOP earnings. He also won a tournament in the Bahamas in 2013, taking home $218,710.

Seat 6 – William Tonking – 15,050,000

William is a 27-year-old from Flemington, New Jersey, who has $13,421 in career live poker earnings by way of three previous WSOP cashes. This will be his first cash in his third try in the WSOP Main Event, having played in it in 2008 and 2013.

Seat 7 – Daniel Sindelar – 21,200,000

Daniel is a 30-year-old poker professional who is originally from Nebraska but is now living in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has 17 previous WSOP cashes and more than $227,000 in earnings from those events.

Seat 8 – Martin Jacobson – 14,900,000

Martin is the only player at the table with more than $1 million in career WSOP earnings, from 15 previous cashes. He’s 27 and now lives in in London. In total, he has won $4,807,316 in worldwide tournament winnings.

Seat 9 – Bruno Politano – 12,125,000

Even though Bruno is starting the final table with the shortest stack, he still holds the distinction of being the first Brazilian ever to make the WSOP Main Event final table. He is 31 and plays poker as a hobby.

In addition to the first-place prize of $10,000,000, prize money* for the remaining eight spots is as follows:

2nd place: $5,145,968

3rd place: $3,806,402

4th place: $2,848,833

5th place: $2,143,174

6th place: $1,622,080

7th place: $1,235,862

8th place: $947,077

9th place: $730,725

When play resumes November 10, the players will pick up with antes of 50,000 and blinds at 200,000 and 400,000.

*The final nine players each received ninth-place prize money upon reaching the final table; the remainder of the prize pool will be placed in an interest-bearing account to be added to the prize pool on a percentage basis for the final eight finishers.

May 25th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

The 2014 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Begins

poker imageThe 45th annual World Series of Poker officially begins Monday, May 27,2014 with an expected $200 million up for grabs and the winner of the WSOP Main Event walking away with $10 million as well as the cherished diamond bracelet.

The World Series of Poker which began in 1970 will be televised from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV and consists of a comprehensive collection of the game’s most popular poker variations. The events will run through July 14, 2014.

A total of 65 WSOP bracelets are in play, (three more than last year) so you have 65 chances to make your poker dreams come true. As usual, the WSOP offers something for everyone, satellites, cash games, bracelet events and the return of the $1 million buy-in, Big One For One Drop Event.

The full 2014 World Series of Poker tournament schedule can be found here:

November 6th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Ryan Riess Wins The 2013 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Main Event

Ryan Riess beat runner up, Jay Farber in a terrific heads-up battle to win the 2013 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. He had Jay on the ropes earlier, but Jay was able to hit a nine to make a straight and keep his hopes alive.

With the blinds at $600,000/$1,200,000 and the antes at $200,000, the final hand came down to Jay (on the short stack with less than $15,000,000) having few options and going all in with Q9 of spades.

Ryan called instantly with AK of hearts and was a 65% favorite. When the flop came 4 of clubs, J of diamonds and 10 of diamonds, Jay lost some of his outs as a queen would have given Ryan a straight. Jay, dead to a 5 watched as the 3 of clubs came on the turn and the 4 of diamonds came on the river making Ryan the latest main event winner and $8,361,570 richer.

The rest of the final table and their respective payouts finished in the following manner:

2nd Jay Farber $5,174,357

3rd Amir Lehavot $3,727,823

4th Sylvain Loosli $2,792,533

5th JC Tran $2,106,893

6th Marc McLaughlin $1,601,024

7th Michiel Brummelhuis $1,225,356

8th David Benefield $944,650

9th Mark Newhouse $733,224

July 16th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

The 2013 WSOP November Nine Main Event Final Table Is Set

After more than a week of play,  a field of 6,352 players has been reduced to the final nine who will meet again in November to determine who will become the WSOP  Main Event champion.

The winner will not only get the coveted bracelet but will also take home over $8 million. All of the final nine players are already in good shape, being guaranteed at least $700,000 just by making the final table.

The players and their chip stacks are as follows:

  1. J.C. Tran $38,000,000  from the United States
  2. Amir Lehavot 29,700,000 from Israel
  3. Marc McLaughlin 26,525,000 from Canada
  4. Jay Farber 25,975,000 from the United States
  5. Ryan Riess 25,875,000 from the United States
  6. Sylvain Loosli 19,600,000 from France
  7. Michiel Brummelhuis 11,275,000 from the Netherlands
  8. Mark Newhouse 7,350,000 from the United States
  9. David Benefield 6,375,000 from the United States

Former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Carlos Mortensen from Spain, finished in 10th place just missing the final table.

Tune in November 4, when the battle for the bracelet resumes.


March 13th, 2013 at 11:26 am

Team Negreanu Crushes Team Hansen in Online Heads-up Poker Challenge

The heads-up challenge between the pros from Team PokerStars and Team Full Tilt ended with with Team PokerStars crushing their opponents 3-0 and picking up the $150,000 in prize money.

Playing at the European Poker Tour London, each player competed in a best-of-three heads-up No-Limit Hold’em online match. Team Full Tilt,
made up of Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom played heads-up against the Poker Stars team of Daniel Negreanu, ElkY Grospellier and Ike Haxton at $50,000 per match. The first player to win 2 out of 3 in each match would win a point. The team winning 2 out of 3 matches would take the total prize money.

Blom played Grospellier, Dwan played Haxton and Negreanu would face off against Hansen. After the dust settled, Tom Dwan was the only Full Tilt player to win a game as Team PokerStars walked away with the cash. Negreanu beat Hansen despite timing out twice with the nuts.

Daniel Negreanu commented, “Well, I did predict that we’d win all 3 matches and it went just as I’d predicted. When asked if there would be a rematch, Negreanu replied, “Ah well, it’s up to them!” He laughed and said, “If they’d like to donate some more to our fund, we’d be more than happy to play them again.”

ElkY added, “It went amazingly well. The whole PokerStars team had dinner together the night before and Daniel Negreanu, Eugene Katchalov and above all Isaac Haxton – because he’s played a lot against Isildur and had a lot of information to share – all gave me advice. I had also watched a lot of his matches from when he did the SuperStar Showdown on PokerStars, so I had a lot of information about his style, more than he did on mine, since I haven’t been playing as many heads-ups as I used to. I think it was very important to win the first match, it put more pressure on him. We also worked on finding what aspects of his game I could use to my advantage, and what I could do in certain situations to make him feel even more frustrated.”

This $150,000 match all started from a tweet by Gus Hansen where he teased Negreanu about a hand from High Stakes Poker from a number of years ago where Negreanu’s full house ran into Hansen’s quads. Daniel responded by issuing this challenge to Hansen and the rest, as they say, is history.

February 28th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Team Negreanu vs. Team Hansen In Heads-up Poker Challenge

Team Full Tilt Poker player Gus Hansen has agreed to a challenge from Team Poker Stars player Daniel Negreanu for a three-on-three online heads-up match. The challenge is a battleship-style tournament to be held at PokerStars’ London event in March.

Negreanu surveyed fans as well as other pros from Team Poker Stars to help him in his decision on who to choose for his team. Eventually Negreanu arrived at Isaac Haxton and French poker star, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier to play against Gus Hansen’s team of Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

Negreanu is suggesting that each player put $50,000 into the pot ($150,000 per team) with the plan being a three table No-Limit Hold’em heads-up freezeout on laptops. Hansen and Negreanu are team captains so they will play each other but we will have to wait to see how the other parings match up.

A player wins an individual match by taking two of the three tables. The team who wins will have to take two of the three individual matches overall.

This is the first time there has ever been an official competition between Poker Stars pros and Full Tilt Poker pros. Interestingly, Daniel has even agreed to play the event on Hansen’s Full Tilt Poker site instead of Poker Stars. It’s set to take place during the EPT Main Event in London, which is March 10-16.

Here’s a video of Daniel Negreanu talking about how it all got started:

August 1st, 2012 at 11:41 am

Poker Betting Is On The Increase In Australia

Australia has seen huge growth in the sports betting arena but poker remains the star attraction. Business analysts IBISWorld report that poker accounted for over 60% of total betting spent by gamblers during 2011 and 2012. The sports betting sector has seen phenomenal growth and is becoming increasingly popular. At present it’s only 1.6% of the total gambling market but it has seen 14.7% growth over the past five years, which is more than lotteries and horse racing.

IBISWorld predicts Australian gambling will grow to $22.5 billion, with an average of $1,256 wagered per person in 2012. Customers are displaying an increased awareness of where they are placing their bets. And they are taking full advantage of the benefits and convenience of online casino services. Along with sports betting, gamblers now have access to a wide selection of casino games and multi-player options such as online poker tournaments. All can be accessed direct from the Internet and increasingly also on mobile devices and smartphones.

Sally Gainsbury, from the center for gambling, education and research at Southern Cross University commented that: ‘The prominence of new technology, such as the rising penetration of smartphones, enables people to place a bet anywhere’. Gaming Club’s official representative said, “The gambling industry has been very strong in Australia for many years now. This has clearly been helped by the growth of several online gaming websites that offer hundreds of online casino games.”


November 11th, 2011 at 12:19 am

Pius Heinz Wins 2011 WSOP Main Event

With six of the November nine busting out the previous Sunday, the WSOP main event title was up for grabs Tuesday night airing on ESPN.

The six players to exit Sunday and their respective winnings are:

4th Matt Giannetti $3,011,655
5th Phil Collins $2,268,909
6th Eoghan O’Dea $1,720,396
7th Badih Bounahra $1,313,851
8th Anton Makiievskyi $1,009,910
9th Sam Holden $782,115

That left Pius Heinz, Martin Staszko and Ben Lamb left from the starting field of 6,865 players to fight it out for the title on Tuesday night.

It didn’t take long for the fireworks to begin. On hand #1, Ben Lamb on the short stack, pushed all in with KJ off suit and was called by Staszko’s pocket sevens. The sevens held up and Lamb is crippled with just 10 big blinds left.  On hand #4 Lamb has little choice but to shove with Q6 off and is called again by Staszko’s pocket pair, this time jacks. They hold up and Lamb finishes in third.

Heads up between the 22 year old Heinz and the 35 year old Staszko then begins on hand #5 with the blinds at $800,000/$1,600,000 and a $200,000 ante. Heinz, the more aggressive of the two is looking to become the 2nd youngest player to win the WSOP main event. (Joe Cada age 21 in 2009)

Heinz had trouble making hands in heads up play and fell behind to Staszko but the aggressive Heinz hung in and eventually pulled ahead.

The final hand saw Staszko,  down to just over $44,000,000 in chips, pushing all in with 10c-7c  against the As-Kc of Heinz. When neither player hit a pair, Heinz was the champion, winning $8,715,618. Staszko collected $5,433,086 for second.

German visitors, learn more about online casinos at

October 10th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Online Poker Laws: One Step Closer to Legalization


Image via Wikipedia

We seem to be getting closer to online poker being legalized in the United States, because Representative Barney Frank just picked up another supporter for his online gambling bill last week. Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers has been added as a co-sponsor, which means Frank has now secured 49 supporters.

“Politicians are really being forced by the people they represent to get behind this legislation,” said observer Lenny Gray, “online poker players want their freedom to play without government interference, and they are starting to contact their representatives with that request.”

Rep. Frank currently has two pieces of gambling legislation in the works. The first would establish a basis for the legalizing and regulating of Internet gambling. The second seeks to stop the the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) from taking effect in December 2009.
Frank tried once before to overturn the UIGEA. He wasn’t successful at that attempt but he may have a better chance this time because the Democrats control both the House and the Senate.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez is introducing comparable legislation in the Senate that would legalize Internet gambling, and it is thought that it may actually move quicker than Frank’s bill. If both are approved, the only other step would be to have them ratified.

July 21st, 2011 at 11:04 am

The 2011 WSOP November Nine Main Event Final Table Is Set

The final nine players who will make up the 2011 WSOP main event final table have emerged from a field of 6,865 players.

The chip leader, Martin Staszko (40.1 million in chips) — A professional poker player for about one year, is 35 years old and admits that he plays much more online than live. In fact, since arriving in Vegas on June 2, he has played 15 tournaments, which he says is more than he has played in his entire life. He is the first player from the Czech Republic to make the final table.

In second is, Eoghan O’Dea (33.9 million) — He is a 26-year-old pro who has cashed in big tournaments before and his father, Donnacha, has also won a bracelet and cashed in the main event six times.

Next is Matt Giannetti (24.7 million) — A 26-year-old pro from Las Vegas, Nevada well-known in poker circles for his cash game play.

Phil Collins (23.8 million) — another 26 year old from Las Vegas, is in 4th place.

In fifth place is Ben Lamb (20.8 million) — He is considered by many, the best player at the table. He has already won a bracelet, made two other final tables and taken home $1.2 million before the main event.

In the sixth place is Badih Bounahra (19.7 million) — who at 49 is the oldest player of the nine. He is also an amateur and strictly a live player. He’s also the first player from Belize to make the final table at the WSOP.

In seventh is Pius Heinz (16.4 million) — He is 22 years old and is the first German player to reach the November Nine.

In eighth is Anton Makiievskyi (13.8 million) — The youngest player at the final table, the 21-year-old Ukrainian can become the youngest WSOP main event champion if he wins in November.

In ninth is Sam Holden (12.3 million) –a 22-year-old native of Canterbury, England who survived being short stacked for most of Days 6 and 7.

Seating for this year’s November Nine are as follows:

Seat 1:  Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV) – 24,750,000 in chips

Seat 2:  Badih Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize) – 19,700,000 in chips

Seat 3:  Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) – 33,925,000 in chips

Seat 4:  Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV) – 23,875,000 in chips

Seat 5:  Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) – 13,825,000 in chips

Seat 6:  Sam Holden (Sussex, UK) – 12,375,000 in chips

Seat 7:  Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany) – 16,425,000 in chips

Seat 8:  Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK) – 20,875,000 in chips

Seat 9:  Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic) – 40,175,000 in chips

The players are now on a three and a half month break before play resumes on November 5th. They will then play until only two players left and after a day off, will resume to determine the next No-Limit Hold’em World Champion.