Archive for the ‘Poker News’ Category

Patrik Antonius Suffers $500k Downswing During Summer

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Patrik Antonius showed up to Vegas for the WSOP. But, as usual, he stuck to the high-stakes cash games, rather than entering WSOP tournaments.

Everything was going well for him at the beginning of the summer. He was winning a lot of money and playing at the top of his game.

However, some unfortunate events broke Antonius’ hot streak and quickly reversed his luck. By the end of the WSOP, he’d lost $500,000.

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Antonius Suffers Food Poisoning

The Finn explained how his summer went through a recent Instagram video. Everything began to go awry for him after a bout with food poisoning.

He started off by explaining how he won most days in the “smaller” $2k/$4k and $3k/$6k games. But the last three days before the video was posted went terribly.

“I got food poisoning from, I don’t know what I ate. And I recovered fast from it actually,” he explained.

“I managed to go back to play before losing my seat. I lost one hundred ($100k) back, and I quit — was not feeling good anymore. And since then, I have not won a hand.”

The timing for his downswing couldn’t have been worse either. The stakes jumped up to $5k/$10k at a time when Antonius was suddenly playing his worst poker of the summer.

He only managed to win a single hand in five hours at one point. Antonius also lamented about “having the second best hand in every hand.”

Antonius’ Dog Recently Died Too

Besides the food poisoning, another factor that may have contributed to Antonius’ rough outing is his dog recently passing away. The Finn’s french bulldog died shortly before the age of 13.

“That hurt more than I thought it would hurt,” he said. “It still hurts.

“It’s almost weird for me to get emotional about anything in life. I don’t get my feelings involved in too much, but my dog, he was close to me.”

He finished by saying that the games are still going, and me may get some money together to keep playing.

Regardless of how the summer finishes out for him, Antonius is still one of poker’s all-time greats and will get back to his winning ways at some point.

Hossein Ensan Wins 2019 WSOP Main Event and $10m

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Hossein Ensan has won the 2019 WSOP Main Event and $10 million. He defeated a field of 8,569 players to emerge victorious.

Interestingly enough, this win was just Ensan’s first WSOP cash. This first came in dramatic fashion along with an eight-figure prize.

The Iranian-born pro, who now lives in Germany, is now the oldest Main Event champion in history at 55 years old.

“I am so happy. I am so happy,” he said after the victory. “I thank my fans at home in Germany, also in Iran and my fans, my buddies here.

“This is the best feeling in my life. Unbelievable! I am so happy, I’m here with the bracelet in hand. What can I say?”

Dominating Final Table Run

Hossein Ensan began the final table with over a third of the chips in play. Of course, this lead was by no means insurmountable.

Ensan did what he could, though, to create distance between himself and his final eight competitors. He played aggressively from the outset and was able to overwhelm many of his opponents.

Three-handed play took place on the final day. By this point, Ensan had amassed 60 percent of the chips. Canadian Alex Livingston was the first to go, bowing out in third place with a $4 million payout.

This set up a heads-up match between Hossein and Italy’s Dario Sammartino. The two battled back and forth for four hours.

Finally, Sammartino shoved with 8-4 suited on a flush draw on the turn. Ensan snap-called with pocket kings. Sammartino got no help from the board, leaving Ensan as the champ.

No Amateur

Ensan may not be a poker household name. But he’s a skilled player who already had $2.7 million in live tournament winnings prior to the 2019 Main Event.

He now runs his total winnings up to nearly $12.7 million. As for Sammartino, he cashed for $6 million and is Italy’s biggest poker tournament winner with $14.4 million.

Chris Moneymaker, David Oppenheim Voted Into Poker Hall of Fame

Monday, July 15th, 2019

Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim have been voted into the 2019 Poker Hall of Fame class.

Moneymaker is legendary for having won the 2003 WSOP Main Event and being one of the primary catalysts for the poker boom. Oppenheim is a cash game legend who’s made millions of dollars through the game.

Moneymaker Is a Controversial Induction

Many within the poker community have debated Moneymaker’s inclusion into the HOF. His contributions to the game are undeniable. His rise from an unknown accountant to a WSOP champion helped spark a boom that lasted several years.

The problem with Moneymaker, though, is that the rest of his career doesn’t scream hall of fame. He’s only won $1.37 million in live tournaments outside of his ME victory. This isn’t great when considering that he’s been playing in live tourneys for the past 16 years.

Nevertheless, he does deserve the HOF honor on some level. Moneymaker has been a good ambassador for the game for over a decade and a half.

“I’m very honored, very happy,” Moneymaker said regarding his induction. “It’s great for my kids — it’ll be a cool thing for them to see when they grow up.”

Oppenheim Excited About HOF Honor

David Oppenheim isn’t quite as famous as Moneymaker. However, he’s definitely respected among his peers.

Oppenheim has been crushing high-stakes cash games for years. Many players, including Daniel Negreanu, have touted his abilities.

“Being recognized as one of the all-time greats by my peers is truly humbling and I am honored to have been selected to the Poker Hall of Fame,” Oppenheim expressed.

“I have been so fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living. I never planned to be a professional poker player, rather it was a passion that became my job.”

He added, “People often ask me, how does one become a professional poker player? The answer is hard work and that goes for everyone that plays at the highest level.

“From the time I began playing I was incredibly passionate about poker and it led to me being able to travel this road that has been travelled by very few. Again, I am extremely grateful to be receiving this honor. Thank you.”

Other players who were nominated for the 2019 Poker Hall of Fame Class and didn’t get in include Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Matusow, Ted Forrest, and Huckleberry Seed.

50 Greatest WSOP Players of All Time Named – Controversy Ensues

Friday, June 28th, 2019

doyle-brunson-poker-roomThe WSOP has been running for 50 years. They’ve fittingly chosen the greatest 50 WSOP players of all time to honor this anniversary.

Fans and media members were given the opportunity to choose the list. Fans picked the 200 candidates, while the media chose 50 names out of the remaining candidates.

Unlike Poker Hall of Fame voting, this process didn’t include any stipulations like age or stakes. Players were eligible as long as they’d participated in at least one WSOP event.


Plenty of Deserving Names

You can see from the results above that lots of legends made the cut. Billy Baxter, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Amarillo Preston “Slim,” and Stu Ungar were among the notables.

Brunson was one of the early legends who kick-started the WSOP. He also won 10 gold bracelets during his career.

Despite his abrasive nature, Hellmuth can’t be left out. He’s won a record 15 bracelets, which is five more than anybody else.

Most of the other players on the list boast an impressive array of WSOP accomplishments.

Controversy Surrounding Omissions

chris-moneymaker-pokerstars-marketingChoosing a list of the 50 greatest is difficult in any game or sport. It’s no surprise that some players had an opinion on players who didn’t make the cut.

Many Twitter uses gave their thoughts on who should’ve been among the top 50. Dan Cates, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, and Phil Laak were all mentioned as possibilities.

Chris Moneymaker was also left out the equation. The 2003 WSOP Main Event doesn’t necessarily deserve to be among the 50 greatest for his results. However, his 2003 ME victory is often hailed as the kick-starter for the poker boom.

No Way to Make Everybody Happy

Some of the 50 players who made the list can be debated. But there’s obviously no way to satisfy everybody with the results. Too many great WSOP players exist to create a list that makes everyone happy.

Those who did earn honors will be invited to a special ceremony in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern will host the event and recap the best moments from the top 50.

John Gorsuch Wins 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker

Friday, June 14th, 2019

john-gorsuch-pokerJohn Gorsuch has won the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker along with a $1,344,930 prize. Gorsuch beat out an 8,809-player field to take down this prestigious $1,500 event.

He needed to survive a tough final table, where it looked like he’d be the first player gone. Gorsuch took a big blow when his pocket jacks were beaten by A-K, after another ace landed on the board.

Down to just two big blinds, he battled back to win his first WSOP gold bracelet along with over $1.3 million.

Gorsuch’s Path Towards the Millionaire Maker Victory

Gorsuch needed some luck to come back from the brink of elimination. He got this by doubling up in one hand, then flopping a two pair (4’s and 5’s) shortly afterward.

His hot streak continued when he flopped trips 9’s. This hand tripled Gorsuch’s stack and put him back in the thick of things.

The final day of the tournament saw the remaining six players compete for the bracelet. Gorsuch was fourth in chips heading into the last day.

The chip leader, Kazuchi Ikeuchi, proved to be a formidable foe. He eliminated three players on the final day before meeting Gorsuch heads-up.

Ikeuchi had the chip advantage with 133.7 million chips. Meanwhile, Gorsuch held just under 87 million chips.

Heads-up Play Changes the Tide in 2019 Millionaire Maker

Gorsuch didn’t need long to turn things around. He took down a huge pot in the second hand of heads-up play.

Ikeuchi started the action by raising to 5 million. His opponent countered with a 17 million re-raise.

Ikeuchi called, and the flop revealed: 2d-5d-Ks. Gorsuch fired out a 15 million bet, which drew a call from his opponent.

The turn card was 8s, which prompted Gorsuch to shove. Ikeuchi again called and flipped over Kd-3d for a pair and flush draw.

However, Gorsuch held pocket kings, giving him trips. No diamond landed on the river for Ikeuchi, which gave Gorsuch a huge pot and the lead.

The final hand saw Ikeuchi go all-in with pocket ages, while his opponent called with Qc-7H. Gorsuch hit a two pair on the turn and would claim the hand and victory.

Ikeuchi certainly didn’t walk away empty-handed, though. He collected an $830,783 prize for his second-place effort.

Judge Rules Against DoJ Wire Act Opinion: Online Poker Saved?

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

us-doj-new-hampshire-wire-actUS District Court Judge Paul Barnadoro has ruled against the Department of Justice’s late 2018 opinion on the Wire Act.

Towards the end of the last year, the DoJ gave their opinion that the Wire Act applies to all forms of online gambling. The Wire Act bans the offering of bets across state lines.

In 2011, the DoJ originally ruled that this law only applies to sports betting. But they’ve changed their tune under a new regime.

More on Barnadoro’s Decision

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission led the charge against the DoJ. The Granite State, which runs an online lottery, claims that the DoJ has overstepped their bounds in this matter.

Barnadoro agreed, noting that the Wire Act should only apply to sports gambling. His decision currently invalidates the DoJ’s new opinion, although the latter probably isn’t ready to quit fighting.

What Does This Case Mean for US Online Poker?

Several states have legalized online poker, including Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The first three states have formed a compact that allows their poker sites to share players. This act boosts liquidity for all sites involved.

However, the pact between New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania would’ve been illegal under the new DoJ opinion. The justice department gave states four months to comply after issuing their new ruling.

Fortunately, states won’t have to worry about the matter for now. Barbadoro’s ruling means that interstate poker is still perfectly legal until further notice.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia reportedly didn’t join the interstate pact for legality reasons. Now, they may reconsider because the Wire Act still only applies to sports betting.

Of course, the DoJ could always come back and appeal the ruling in the future. In such case, the battle over whether interstate online poker is legal or not will continue dragging on.

Dover Downs Removes Poker Tables: Delaware Poker Hurt

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

delaware-downs-poker-room-closesDover Downs has decided to get rid of their poker room. The decision comes amid an effort to downsize the racino as a whole.

Dover Downs will still retain poker to some extend, with a few tables being moved to the main casino floor. However, the action will be dramatically reduced.

Fewer poker tables means that Dover Downs won’t be able to feature tournaments at their venue any longer. Only limited cash game action will remain in the aftermath.

New Owner Wants to Boost Dover Downs Profits

Twin Rivers has assumed full control over Dover Downs. They don’t see poker as a very viable asset moving forward.

The company has removed many of the poker tables as a result. Their goal is to streamline casino gaming, while keeping poker in limited capacity for fans of the game.

Dover Downs, along with the state’s other two racinos, recently received a tax break. Delaware’s gaming industry is struggling, and the Legislature wanted to provide them with some relief.

Twin Rivers is now paying lower slots taxes and saw a $3 million licensing fee waved. Even with these breaks, though, the casino is in need of help.

Dover Downs has only made a profit twice in the last five years. 2018 was barely profitable as the casino was just $30,000 in the black.

Dover Downs Highlights Problem with Poker in General

The difficult thing about poker is that it doesn’t really compare to casino games in terms of revenue.

The latter are the breadwinners for gambling venues. Slot machines are especially lucrative, even in a small state like Delaware.

Poker can be profitable under the right circumstances. However, it doesn’t provide anywhere near the financial benefits of slots and other gaming.

Live poker hands are completed really slowly on average (15-25 per hour). Casinos only earn about 5% rake from each pot, which isn’t much when the dealer’s salary is factored in.

While it’s unfortunate that Dover Downs removed their poker tables, it’s also entirely expected for a struggling casino.

YouTube Removes Poker Videos by Jaime Staples, Evan Jarvis

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

jaime-staples-online-pokerJaime Staples and Evan Jarvis are among YouTube poker content creators who saw some of their videos removed.

YouTube is in the process of cracking down on content that promotes internet gambling sites.

The removed videos from Staples and Jarvis either had direct links to poker sites, or were promotional in nature.

YouTube Terms Ban Linking to Poker Sites

Online poker is often viewed differently than casino gaming, which is pure chance. But poker is still considered a skill-based form of gambling.

YouTube’s terms and conditions prohibit creators from linking to gambling sites. They classify such actions as promoting “illegal or regulated goods.” This category can include everything from “online gambling casinos” to drugs and guns.

Poker Players’ Appeals Fall on Dear Ears

YouTube allows content creators to appeal decisions. However, anybody who’s tried to appeal thus far has been denied. Derek Gomez, for example, noted that his appeal was “snap denied” by YouTube.

Staples, who’s one of the biggest poker YouTubers, had over 130 videos removed from his channel in early June. Similarly, Jarvis had around 100 videos taken off his page.

Other poker YouTubers who’ve been affected by these moves include Gomez, Elias Gutierrez, Andrew Neeme, Alec Torelli, and Parker Talbot.

These YouTubers received strikes for violating the site’s terms and conditions. A first strike bars one from uploading videos for one week. Three strikes can potentially result in termination and all videos being removed from one’s channel.

What Will Popular Poker YouTubers Do?

It’s doubtful that the YouTubers in question will simply quit using the site. After all, YouTube is the largest video site in the world.

However, they may be convinced to dedicate more time to Twitch streaming. Twitch has been very gambler-friendly, especially with regard to the poker community.

Staples and Jarvis both have large Twitch followings. Therefore, they should have no trouble keeping their content careers afloat.

Zach Gensler Hoping to Log World’s Longest Poker Session at 2019 WSOP

Friday, May 31st, 2019

zach-gensler-poker-recordPhil Laak currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest poker session. He played for 115 straight hours in 2010. Zach Gensler, a low-stakes cash player, now hopes to top this mark during the 2019 WSOP.

Gensler is aiming to play 120 straight hours in $1/$2 NL hold’em cash games. He gives himself “an 85 percent chance” of pulling off the feat.

The amateur poker player has logged an 80-hour session in the past. He’ll need to exceed this mark by an additional 40 hours to hit his target.

Gensler Tries to Get Advice from Laak

Zach Gensler recently contacted Laak for advice about playing poker for so long. However, the “Unabomber” wasn’t interested in sharing his secrets to long poker sessions.

“I reached out to (Phil) and (Aria Poker Room Manager) Sean McCormack also reached out to him on my behalf,” said Gensler. “But Phil is not interested in me or my Guinness World Record quest, it seems. I even tried to place a wager with him of $10,000 through Sean.”

Gensler proceeded to say that he was betting a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat if he could top Laak’s record.

“If I could play 100 hours straight, he would buy me into the WSOP Main Event,” he explained.

“If I can’t, I would buy him in. He didn’t want to do that. Also, he has shown no interest in helping me raise money for charity.”

Gensler Feels Stronger in Long Poker Sessions

Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations, cognitive impairment, and definitely bad poker play. But Gensler says that he feels fairly comfortable in long sessions.

Again, he once played 80 hours, which would rank second behind Laak for the longest poker session. He busted through a wall after 30-some hours and kept going strong.

“I did get tired around 33 hours,” he said. “But I pushed on and drank fluids and mostly proteins to regain my energy. I’m not built the same as most. I have extreme endurance and willpower.”

Gensler will attempt to break the record in late June. He’ll fly to Las Vegas and play at the Rio during the 2019 WSOP.

Partypoker Offers $500k for Players to Change Screen Names

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

partypoker-alias-changesPartypoker wants their players to choose new screen names. And they’re going to offer players a collective $500,000 to go along with the request.

Any site member who changes their poker alias by June 17 will be able to play for $500k worth of prizes.

This initiative is being dubbed the “$500k Race to Alias.” It’ll feature freerolls, prize drops, and VIP benefits.

Players Not Thrilled with Having to Change Aliases

Party has been on a mission to protect recreational players. The $500k Race to Alias is part of this effort.

Partypoker managing director Tom Waters explained this with the following:

“With this release, we will be making changes to our software that will prevent third-party tracking tools from working. We want our players to have a fresh start and therefore we are asking all players to select a new alias so that all third-party tool tracking is lost for all our players.”

As Waters’ announcement explains, partypoker is asking players to change their aliases to limit the effectiveness of Heads-Up Displays (HUDs). Some players aren’t happy about the matter, given that they won’t be able to track stats any longer.

Partypoker Undecided on HUDs

Many online poker sites have banned HUDs to keep skilled players from taking advantage of the recreational crowd. HUDs can be used to quickly identify bad players based on their stats. Some of these programs can even help players track the fish.

Partypoker hasn’t made an official decision on trying to block HUDs. But the alias changes are a direct move to limit the effectiveness of these third-party programs.

New screen names will make any stats garnered by HUDs useless at partypoker. As Waters said, everybody will be getting a fresh start.

It’ll be interesting to see how partypoker handles HUDs moving forward after the screen name changes.