Archive for the ‘Online Poker’ Category

Neymar Jr Finishes 6th at BSOP High Roller

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Neymar Jr. is coming off a semi-disappointing World Cup finish, where Brazil bowed out in the quarterfinals. But the legendary footballer is using poker to relax in the aftermath.

He recently participated in the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) San Paulo High Roller, which featured a R$7,000 (US$1,850) buy-in. The event drew 288 players, with none bigger than the Paris Saint-Germain striker.

Neymar has been playing poker off and on for years. And his experienced showed as he finished 6th place and collected a R$79,440 ($21,470) payout. This is a special event for Neymar, because it’s the first time that he’s ever cashed in a live poker tournament.

How the Final Table Played Out for Neymar

Neymar Jr. battled through the 288-player field to make the nine-player final table. This put him in a strange situation, because he was also supposed to be the best man at a friend’s wedding.

neymar-pokerstarsThe other BSOP Sao Paulo High Roller final table participants agreed that action could be suspended for a day so that Neymar could attend his friend’s wedding.

When action resumed the following day, the 26-year-old survived a few players. But Neymar ultimately busted out in sixth place.

This paved the way for Affif Prado to win the tourney along with a R$317,800 ($85,825) top prize. Prado managed to exceed his previous largest cash, which was a runner-up effort in the $3k High Roller Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Uruguay for $43,380.

Prado commented on his victory and what it means to play with Neymar afterward:

“It was great to see him play, both for the illustrious person that he is and for the passion he has for the game. It was cool to see him making plays, because he studies, he watches, and to see the interest of a person like Neymar Jr. for this game is very gratifying. Not to mention the boom this has generated today, this is sure to reflect even more for poker.”

Neymar Had a Great Time at the BSOP High Roller

After signing a sponsorship deal with PokerStars, Neymar has been pretty active in the live tournament scene. And it appears that the BSOP Sao Paulo event is one of his favorite tourneys so far.

“It was great to take part in the final table with great players, and was a new and exciting experience,” said Neymar. “I think, for example, about Affif who I had already studied on Youtube. It was an honor to sit next to him.”

He later added, “I do not consider myself just a poker player but a poker lover and I want to improve as a player. The more I play, the more I fall in love. I want to be stronger and stronger.”

BSOP Sao Paulo High Roller Final Table Results

1. Affif Prado – $85,709
2. Oscar Alache – $67,423
3. Daniel Croce – $44,729
4. Bruno Marino – $36,085
5. Wender Oliveira – $28,307
6. Neymar Jr – $21,470
7. Alejandro Lopez – $15,737
8. Eyal Benshimon – $11,562
9. Lucas Tabarin – $9,588

Chris Moorman Now Has $15m in Online Poker MTT Winnings

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

chris-moorman-15-million-online-pokerChris Moorman has been the all-time leader in online poker tournament winnings for a long time. But he recently outdid even himself by becoming the first player to pass $15 million in online MTT earnings.

The Brit, who currently lives in Las Vegas now, reached this milestone after winning the $25,000 Weekly Sunday event for a $16,929 cash.

Following his victory, Moorman tweeted: “Just won the @WSOPcom $500 6 max to eclipse $15 million in online cashes. Nice way to close out the summer grind @888poker #grindonthemind #6maxlax #888poker.”

From Recreational Player to World Champion

Moorman has won more online poker Triple Crowns than anybody else at 26. And he easily has the most MTT winnings out of any player. All of this is quite impressive when considering where he started.

The 33-year-old recently explained how he didn’t know anything about poker in the beginning. But he continued working on his game and improving to the point where he became a professional.

“I met a couple of players who coached me and gave me tips,” he told Essex Live. “I also read and researched a lot on the game so I could get better.”

Great News for Moorman’s Sponsor

Moorman recently signed a deal with 888poker to serve as one of their ambassadors. And it’s hard finding anybody better to represent your online poker brand than Moorman.

He’s continued his winning ways and has proven himself more accomplished than any other internet tournament player. That said, it’ll be interesting to see what he does from here on out.

Moorman recently took part in the 2018 WSOP and cashed in nine different events. He didn’t have any near wins, but he boosted his live winnings over $5.6 million. The live arena is another place where he continues adding to his tournament earnings total.

Phil Hellmuth Serving as Brand Ambassador for Decent Bet

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

phil-hellmuth-decent-betPhil Hellmuth has signed a deal to represent Decent.Bet, a new crypto-related gaming platform. The 14-time WSOP champion will serve as a brand ambassador for the company.

Decent Bet brings an interesting concept to the online gaming world, where users can serve as both the player and house. 100% of profits from their “be the house” model are distributed back to DBET token holders.

Jedidiah Taylor, CEO of Decent.Bet, has discussed how the cryptocurrency’s name stems from the idea of “decentralized betting.” Taylor also touts how their platform offers transparent betting, meaning players can verify the authenticity of wagers.

Decent.Bet will run on the VeChain platform. VeChain has risen up the ranks of cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap. They currently rank 17th overall with a $1.42 billion market cap.

Decent.Bet Excited about Bringing Hellmuth Aboard

Decent.Bet is ecstatic about having one of the world’s most-famous poker pros serve as their ambassador. Here’s an excerpt from their recent Medium post on the subject:

“Hellmuth brings a lifetime of poker and gambling experience, expertise and relationships to the DBET family. He is aligned with our goal of changing the way people play online and committed to helping us make the best gaming platform in the world. He believes in what we’re doing and has been proudly wearing our gear at the WSOP and other premier poker events this year.

“Known as “the Poker Brat,” Hellmuth is a force-of-nature personality known for being disruptive. When you consider our goal of disrupting the gaming industry — there is not be a better fit to help us along the way than the Poker Brat.”

Few Poker Pros are Better for the Job

Phil Hellmuth is easily one of the most-recognizable faces in poker and beyond. He regularly makes television appearances, including mainstream media interviews.

Hellmuth has made a name for himself through a long history of poker tournament success and his infamous blow-ups at the table. Now, he brings his worldwide fame and gambling acumen to the DBET team.

Author Maria Konnikova Signs with PokerStars

Monday, June 25th, 2018

maria-konnikova-pokerMaria Konnikova originally began playing poker to research an upcoming book. But the bestselling author soon found herself experiencing success on the felt. Now, Konnikova has even more reason to hang around the poker world after signing a deal with PokerStars.

She was approached about being a brand ambassador this summer. Konnikova and PokerStars were recently able to work out a deal.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the PokerStars team,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to be an unofficial ambassador with PokerStars for this past year, and I feel it’s a tremendous honor to be joining the team officially now.

“I never could have imagined poker becoming as big a part of my life as it has, and joining PokerStars offers me an incredible opportunity to take my game to the next level and to represent a brand that I’ve come to admire greatly.”

Konnikova Goes from Beginner to Poker Champion

Maria Konnikova didn’t even know how many cards were in the deck when she started playing poker. However, she picked up tips from 8-time WSOP champ Eric Seidel to accelerate her learning process. The psychologist also consulted poker pro Phil Galfond on the finer points of the game.

This training was originally supposed to be for a one-year poker foray that would culminate in The Biggest Bluff. But successes in a 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $1.5k NLHE event (1st, $84,600) and a 2018 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau HK$5k NLHE tourney (2nd, $57,519) have motivated her to continue playing.

More on Konnikova’s Writing Career

With $207,050 in live tournament winnings in just over a year’s time, Maria Konnikova has already proven to be a poker success. But eventually, she’ll go back to what she does best – writing.

The Russian-American has written How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (2013) and The Confidence Game (2016), both of which are best sellers. It’s unclear when she’ll finish The Biggest Bluff, given that she’s now a sponsored poker player. But she’ll likely find time in between tournaments to finish the work.

Gordon Vayo Sues PokerStars for $692k SCOOP Prize

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

gordon-vayo-pokerstars-lawsuitGordon Vayo thought he was in for a big payday after winning $692,461 in a 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event. But PokerStars has been withholding the money under grounds that Vayo violated their terms by playing from the US.

The online poker pro has filed a lawsuit against the world’s largest poker site in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Vayo claims that he actually won the event from Canada, and PokStars is acting in bad faith.

He offered the following statement:

“I am deeply disappointed it has come to this, but feel that taking legal action is necessary to protect my rights as well as those of other PokerStars players who are in my situation, but may not have the means to get their message out and protect themselves against the unwarranted bullying tactics that I have experienced during this ordeal.”

Vayo Accused of Winning SCOOP Event from LA

Vayo is a Los Angeles-based poker pro who’s won over $6.23 million in live tournaments along with another $2.43 million in online poker tournaments. He took down the PokerStars SCOOP-01-H: $1,050 NLHE Phased event last spring. The top payout was $1 million, but he worked out a five-way deal beforehand that paid him $692k.

Vayo lives part-time in Ottawa, Canada so he can play at PokerStars and other large sites that are off limits to Americans. But Stars believes that he may have used a virtual private network (VPN) to play from his LA home.

The 2016 WSOP Main Event runner-up, meanwhile, claims that he was indeed playing from Ottawa. Unlike Americans, Canadians are still welcome at PokerStars. The poker site states that they conducted a thorough investigation and concluded that he was using a VPN.

Vayo Claims PokerStars Harassed Him During Investigation

The 29-year-old’s civil suit claims that PokerStars froze his account on grounds of suspicious activity. They then launched an intrusive investigation that may have crossed the lines of harassment. Here’s more from the lawsuit:

“What ensued was a nearly year-long inquest, during which Defendant engaged in an appalling campaign of harassment, prying into every aspect of Mr. Vayo’s record, demanding Mr. Vayo produce detailed retroactive proof of his location, and even opening meritless investigations into his friends’ accounts, in order to gin up a pretext for not paying Mr. Vayo what he had won.”

America’s Cardroom Called to Deal with Cheaters

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

americas-cardroom-closes-accountsAmericas Cardroom has thrived under the United States’ unregulated online poker market. But lately, they’ve been taking heat from players who are unhappy with superusing, collusion, and multi-accounting.

Poker YouTuber Joe Ingram recently attacked this very issue, railing on how America’s Cardroom is home to rampant cheating. He made claims that a group of cheaters has been taking advantage of a loophole in ACR’s late registration tournaments.

ACR Claims that They’re Investigating Cheating Incidents

ACR is trying to protect their brand. And their network, the Winning Poker Network (WPN), is committed to “thoroughly investigating all claims recently brought to our attention through social media channels regarding alleged unfair gameplay practices from certain accounts on network brands.”

The WPN has also identified a player who clearly violated their terms and has had their account closed. Ingram claims that refunds could soon be issues for affected players:

“The Winning Poker Network Game Integrity Department has investigated and recently uncovered unfair gameplay practices carried out by a player on the WPN that breached our terms and conditions. While we cannot publicly disclose the name, specific activity, or account associated with this offense, we have closed access to this player’s account. This email reflects that we are currently refunding any account that was potentially affected, including yours.”

America’s Cardroom Also Dealing with DDoS Attacks

As if things aren’t bad enough for ACR, they’re also the target of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These DDoS attacks are being carried out by criminals who want to blackmail the company into giving them money.

ACR is trying to avoid giving into these demands. They’ve done their best to keep tournaments running in the meantime. But they’ve also had to cancel other events. And this has drawn the ire of players who are already questioning the site.

Bertrand Grospellier Signs with Partypoker

Friday, April 20th, 2018

bertrand-elky-grospellierFrench poker pro Bertrand Grospellier has signed a deal to represent partypoker. He joins an impressive roster that also includes Fedor Holz, Isaac Haxton, Phillip Gruissem, and Patrick Leonard.

His new duties include helping the brand launch their dot-eu platform, which will share liquidity between France and Spain. Considering that he has the most tournament winnings of any French player with 13,580,523, Grospellier will be perfect for this role. He’ll also interact with customers and see what features/changes they want implemented at partypoker.

“I am extremely enthusiastic about joining partypoker to actively support their efforts to bring back the ‘Poker First’ mentality, live and online,” said Grospellier.

“Our goal is to provide players and fans with an experience they deserve worldwide. Partypoker will be aiming to bring their ambition, expertise and successful model to the .eu market with some big announcements coming soon.”

Partypoker also Happy about Deal

Partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters is ecstatic about adding the top French poker pro of all time to his team.

“We are delighted that ElkY is joining us at partypoker. ElkY has a fantastic profile and has great experience both in France and across the world and this makes him a perfect ambassador for us ahead of the shared liquidity launch,” said Waters.

“We will be looking to translate recent successes we have seen in our dotcom market to the new .eu market and ElkY will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goals.”

Grospellier Picks Up New Deal After Leaving PokerStars

Bertrand Grospellier has been playing poker for well over a decade. And he’s amassed some impressive accomplishments during this span, including a WPT Festa al Lago win ($1,411,015) and a 2011 WSOP $10k Seven Card Stud Championship victory ($331,639). He’s also won over $1.9 million playing in PokerStars tournaments.

But given that PokerStars has shifted its marketing strategy away from live tournament pro sponsorships, Grospellier split from his long-time sponsor. It only took him a few months to find a new sponsor in partypoker.

Guy Laliberte Lost $31 Million in Online Poker

Friday, April 20th, 2018

guy-laliberte-selling-cirqueGus Hansen is often believed to be the biggest online poker loser ever with $21 million. But Guy Laliberte actually holds this title with $31 million in losses.

But why is it Hansen that takes all the heat in this department? According to HighStakesDB, the former Cirque Du Soleil owner multi-accounted at Full Tilt Poker. And this allowed Laliberte’s losses to largely fly under the radar.

Laliberte’s Losses Are Spread Across Multiple Accounts

You won’t find Laliberte’s losses piled under a single account. Instead, he used 6 different accounts – sometimes at the same time – to accrue losses.

Here’s a breakdown of his different accounts and the losses associated with each:

  • $7,067,935 in losses as “noataima.”
  • $5,924,546 in losses as “patatino.”
  • $6,632,177 in losses as “lady marmelade.”
  • $4,161,884 in losses as “elmariachimacho.”
  • $2,685,018 in losses as “Esvedra.”
  • $4,607,380 in losses as “Zypherin.”

Full Tilt Probably Let Laliberte’s Multi-Accounting Slide

HSDB notes that the Canadian “seemed to be able to multi-account with impunity at Full Tilt.”

Certain Full Tilt high stakes players weren’t happy that Laliberte was given special treatment with regard to multi-accounting. But it’s very likely that Full Tilt’s management turned a blind eye, because much of the action centered on him.

The biggest names in poker during the late 2000s and early 2010s followed Guy to the $500/$1,000 stakes. This is likely why he multi-accounted, hoping to play online poker without being constantly stalked.

But given how much money he spewed to elite pros, it’s very possible that players like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, and Patrik Antonius knew whom they were up against.

Staggering Losses – But Acceptable to Laliberte

Many wealthy people would be bankrupted by a $31 million loss. But considering that Laliberte is estimated to be worth $1.37 billion, he wasn’t hurting too badly after the six-year downswing.

Even still, it should be noted that he’s lost over $10 million more than Gus Hansen. And the only reason that it’s not widely discussed is because he multi-accounted with so many different accounts.

Washington State Poker Players File Lawsuit Against Play Money Sites

Friday, April 13th, 2018

washington-play-money-poker-lawsuit-1Online poker players from Washington state have filed a class action lawsuit against four play-money sites, including DoubleDown Interactive, Huuuge Games, Playtika and High 5 Games.

This case follows a similar lawsuit filed by Cheryl Kater, who sued Big Fish Casino for charging for play-money poker services.

Kater wanted $1,000 back that she spent at Big Fish. And she was successful in recouping her funds through a Washington Courtroom.

New Lawsuit Brings Forth Same Argument Against Washington Play Money Sites

Adrienne Benson, who’s part of the new class-action lawsuit, spent around $1,000 in play money chips at DoubleDown. Here’s an excerpt from Benson:

“Double Down Casino games are illegal gambling games because they are online games at which players wager things of value (the chips) and by an element of chance (e.g., by spinning an online slot machine) are able to obtain additional entertainment and extend gameplay (by winning additional chips.”

Sean Wilson, another plaintiff, is seeking $20 that he spent on High 5, Huuuge, and Playtika. This shows that anybody can go after these poker sites, no matter how little they’ve spent.

Washington Isn’t an Online Poker Friendly State

washington-play-money-poker-lawsuitThe play-money sites operating in Washington state don’t seem to be doing anything differently than other US social online poker rooms and casinos. But Washington residents have a good case, because the Evergreen is staunchly against internet poker.

Washington is the only state that makes it a felony to play poker. And while nobody has been arrested for this crime, the felony designation explains everything one needs to know about the poker situation here.

JP Morgan has referred to social online gaming as a $3.8 billion industry. These companies commonly offer free games. But players must pay to add more chips and obtain other special features like badges and new poker backgrounds.

Kater may have started a chain reaction of lawsuits that could be leveled at getting money back from social poker sites.


PokerStars Increases Rake For Low Stakes Tournaments

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

pokerstars-higher-rake-low-stakes-tournamentsPokerStars has slowly been making moves to increase their profit margin. And the latest involves increasing rake on all micro stakes tournaments, or those with buy-ins worth less than $20. PokerStars claims that the move was made an effort to keep up with a constantly changing global internet poker market.

The Stars Group, PokerStars’ parent company, officially raised low-stakes tournament rake on Monday, March 26.

Severin Rasset, who’s Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at Stars Group, said that the company’s decision was influenced by “customer behavior, commercial and promotional considerations, and the overall long-term sustainable health of the ecosystem.”

Time Tourney Rake Lowered

Low stakes players certainly aren’t happy with the higher rake. But PokerStars did make one move in players’ favor by reducing rake for Time Tournaments.

These events run at a faster pace, meaning players are more likely to spend extra rake anyways. Therefore, the discount helps keep Time Tourneys more attractive to the average player.

Rasset alluded to the fact that PokerStars is considering other moves in the future to keep the world’s largest poker site profitable:

“Pricing is a key commercial consideration for every business and we will increasingly use a dynamic pricing model that gives the greatest flexibility to respond to market dynamics. Therefore, we will be reviewing and adjusting our pricing, bonusing and promotions, and our Stars Rewards program on an ongoing basis.”

Online Poker Community Reacts

doug-polk-cryptocurrencyDoug Polk, who’s been a major critic of PokerStars over the years, was quick to bash Stars over the recent rake increase. He also referenced PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu, who once claimed that higher rake can benefit players.

“Many companies struggle to put together a cohesive message, but @Pokerstars has succeeded on that front in spades,” Polk tweeted.

“Micro stakes recreational players are being protected with yet another rake increase, which will further increase everyone’s profitability.”

PokerFuse’s Nick Jones also made a good point in that PokerStars now charges higher rake than its competitors. It’ll be interesting to see if some of Stars’ current customers begin examining their online poker options.