Archive for the ‘Poker Tournaments’ Category

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.

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.

Triton Super High Roller Series London Featuring £1 Million Buy-in Tournament

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

triton-poker-super-high-rollerThe Triton Super High Roller Series is set to host another big event in London from July 31 to August 8. It’ll feature various high roller events, including a £1 Million Main Event for Charity.

The Main Event for Charity will no doubt be the highlight. After all, this figures to be the biggest poker tournament buy-in ever. When converted to USD, it’ll cost $1.27 million with the current exchange rates.

The previous largest poker tournament buy-in was a €1 Million Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza. This tourney cost $1.1 million to enter when accounting for USD.

What can We Expect from the Triton Super High Roller Series London?

Unfortunately, not many details are available about this event. The website merely shows the dates of when the London poker extravaganza will take place.

But if the past events are any indication, we can once again look forward to another impressive tournament series. Previous Triton Super High Roller Series locations include Macau, the Philippines, Jeju, and Montenegro.

$1 Million Buy-in Events Becoming More Common

The 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop marked the very first $1 million buy-in poker tournament. It featured 48 players and a $42 million prize pool. Antonio Esfandiari took down the tourney along with an $18,346,673 payout, which still stands as a record today.

Since then, these types of tournaments have become more common. The Triton Super High Roller Series London marks the third time within the past four years that a buy-in will be worth at least $1 million.

Of course, the Triton London tourney is special when considering that it’ll require the largest buy-in ever. As long as exchange rates stay steady, the £1 Million Main Event for Charity will break a record.

It’ll be interesting to see which players enter this tourney. Justin Bonomo, who won the 2018 Big One for One Drop along with $10 million, is a very likely candidate. Phil Ivey, Dan Cates, Dan Smith, and Brian Rast are some other potential players.

Chris Moneymaker to Launch Poker Tournament Series

Monday, May 20th, 2019

chris-moneymaker-pokerstars-marketingChris Moneymaker is planning on launching his own poker tournament series. The 2003 WSOP Main Event champ has multiple stops scheduled on his upcoming series.

The Moneymaker Poker Series will initially feature four events across the US and Australia.

Here’s a look at the schedule:

  • July 22-28 – Brisbane Australia (Acacia Ridge)
  • July 30-August 3 – Adelaide, Australia (Royal Poker Club)
  • August 14-18 – Edinburg, Texas (The House Club Poker Room and Lounge)
  • August 20-25 – Corpus Christi, Texas (Poker Kings Card House)

The buy-ins and other information aren’t available for the Moneymaker Poker Series. He’s waiting to decide on entry fees, although everything will be fairly low priced in comparison to major WSOP and WPT events.

Here’s a look at Moneymaker’s announcement on his poker events:

Texas Could Be a Concern for the Moneymaker Poker Series

Texas is perhaps the most-interesting stop on the schedule. The Lone Star State has taken a negative view towards poker and gambling in general.

Houston police shut down nine poker clubs in May. They were closed under the banner of being illegal gambling and organized crime.

Moneymaker admits that he’s concerned about running poker tournaments in Texas. However, he plans to hold the event anyways.

Texas makes most forms of gambling illegal, including poker. But some card rooms get around this matter by not charging rake or selling alcohol.

Players instead pay membership fees to get into the clubs and play at tables. Card rooms can’t sell alcohol, but waitresses can serve drinks that the customer brings in.

It’s unclear how many of these methods Moneymaker will use when running his poker series. But he’s calling on Texans to support his event.

Hopefully the Texas-based tournaments go down without a problem. If there is any problem, though, he can at least count on running some legal events in Australia. The Land Down Under is a hotbed for poker tourneys.

Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb Argue Over Allen Kessler

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

daniel-negreanu-seating-scriptsDaniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb recently got into a social media argument over staking agreements. Their Twitter battle got pretty nasty and even resulted in a challenge.

Allen Kessler became the center of the debate when he was shopping a WSOP staking package on himself. Kessler showed that he’s earned over $900,000 in WSOP tournaments over the past nine years.

Deeb was miffed that Kessler didn’t also include his buy-ins and called out “The Chainsaw.” The former claimed that Kessler likely hasn’t profited much when buy-ins are included.

Negreanu Defends Kessler

shaun-deeb-2018-wsop-25k-ploThis is the second time that Deeb has recently blasted somebody for WSOP staking. He also ripped Johnnie “Vibes” Moreno for almost a 1.4 markup on his package.

Deeb claims that he’s trying to help fellow players/investors by calling out these “scammers.” However, Negreanu isn’t buying it.

Negreanu doesn’t want to participate in the proposed challenge, because he thinks that Deeb is an angle shooter.

Personal Insults Fly Between Deeb and Negreanu

Things would get much nastier between Negreanu and Deeb. Kid Poker’s fiance, Amanda Leatherman, even became a point of contention during the argument.

Based on these comments, it doesn’t look like Negreanu and Deeb will be sharing a room at the WSOP. But they did spark one of the best poker Twitter battles in a while.

As for the staking issue, Deeb might be doing some good in making the poker community aware of what is and isn’t a quality deal. But most pros seemed to be on Negreanu’s side in being against how Deeb has gone about the matter.

He’s publicly embarrassed several pros in calling them out over staking markups. Many have stated that Deeb’s actions amount to outright bullying.

Johnnie Vibes Moreno Blasted Over WSOP Staking Markup

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

johnnie-vibes-morenoJohnnie Moreno recently offered a WSOP investment package, whereby he asked for a 1.38 markup. Fellow poker pros Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk took exception to this, because they don’t think that “JohnnieVibes” has the live tournament resume to back up the asking price.

Polk and Deeb were pretty nasty in calling out Moreno, even labeling him a “scammer” who’s trying to take advantage of “clueless” backers.

Normal Prices for Markup

Most pros charge between 1.2 and 1.5 markup for those wanting to back them. They charge a higher price than even-up (1.0), because they believe that their skills warrant doing so.

Moreno argues that his countless hours spent streaming on Twitch call for a higher markup. His live results of less than $67k in cashes suggest otherwise.

Is Moreno Really a Scammer?

It’s hard to call Vibes a scammer, per say, although Polk and Deeb had no trouble doing so. But he does seem to have an inflated opinion on how much he should receive for successful WSOP results.

Many serious amateurs have similar results to Moreno or better. They certainly wouldn’t be getting a 1.38 markup deal either. In short, this probably isn’t a great investment opportunity for somebody looking to profit from backing.

However, JohnnieVibes points out that the markup can be a way for his fans to support him.

“If you want to gamble with me, support the vlog, say thanks for providing you value through this group or my videos,” he wrote, “strike it rich with tournaments this summer, help me win a bracelet, etc., this is your chance to ride with me.”

Moreno’s argument sheds some light on why he’s thinks that he’s deserving of fairly high markup. Polk and Deeb, meanwhile, want to alert the poker community that JohnnieVibes doesn’t have the success to demand such a staking deal.

Rio Casino Could Be Demolished – WSOP Would Need New Home

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

rio-casino-wsop-changeA new rumor suggests that the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino could be sold and demolished in the near future. If true, this would require Caesars Entertainment to find a new location for the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Even Caesars itself is reportedly for sale. CNBC reports that Tilman Fertitta and Eldorado Resorts are interested in purchasing the $24 billion company.

However, it’s worth noting that the same report claims no decision has been made on anything regarding Caesars or the Rio. In any case, the rumors are still flying. Here’s a tweet from Las Vegas Locally on the Rio matter.

Could This Be the Final Year the Rio Hosts the WSOP?

The Rio has served as a reliable home for the WSOP for 14 years. However, the casino needs some serious upgrades.

Some have wondered if the WSOP would need to be moved anyways. It’s now possible that this decision could be forced if the Rio is indeed demolished.

The WSOP was previously hosted at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino for over three decades. But Binion’s eventually stopped being a suitable home due to its shoddy condition. The Rio seems like it could be heading down the same path if something isn’t done soon.

WSOP Could Be in New Home as Quickly as 2020

The recent rumors suggest that something will be done quickly regarding the Rio. Assuming everything goes according to rumor, then the WSOP would be in a new location by 2020.

The new location would need to be big enough to accommodate such a large event. It would also have to be modern enough to serve as a host year in and year out.

There aren’t any current rumors on which casino could be the next location for the WSOP. Assuming Caesars still owns the WSOP by next year, they could use one of their Vegas locations to host the event.

How Much Longer can the Rio Host the WSOP?

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

rio-casino-host-wsopThe Rio has hosted the World Series of Poker since 2005. This famed Vegas casino has seen some of the biggest moments in WSOP history, including Jamie Gold’s record $12 million Main Event victory.

Of course, the WSOP doesn’t have to be held at the Rio. Caesars Entertainment could move it to one of their other Vegas properties.

In fact, Caesars may consider doing so in the near future due to one big reason.

The Rio Isn’t What It Once Was

Binion’s Horseshoe casino was the previous home to the WSOP. It hosted the world’s largest poker tournament event from 1970 to 2004.

Many can look fondly back on Binion’s and its classic atmosphere. There couldn’t be have been a more-iconic place to host the event.

Unfortunately, Binion’s was no long suitable once poker and the WSOP boomed starting in 2003. Suddenly, tens of thousands of players descended upon Sin City for this poker event.

The WSOP was forced to relocate after two years spent in the cramped Binion’s, which is now shuttered. They found their new home in the much-larger Rio.

The Rio is still adequate in terms of size all these years later. However, its facilities aren’t quite on par with some of the newer Vegas casinos.

Players have been complaining about poor WiFi, a leaky roof, issues with bathrooms, and the drafty Amazon room for the past several years.

Of course, poker players are known for complaining the loudest among any gamblers. But they do have some good points about the Rio.

Where Else can the WSOP Be Held?

Caesars owns plenty of other casinos throughout Sin City. Of course, not all of them are big enough to accommodate the WSOP.

Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Paris, and Planet Hollywood are all fairly large casinos. Caesars is especially intriguing, because it features a conference center opening in 2020 that will span 550,000 square feet.

Of course, the Rio has certain elements that make it perfect for the WSOP. It has a spacious parking lot that ensures both players and railbirds can find a spot. Perhaps some renovations could do the trick and keep the Rio a viable spot for this annual event.

2019 WSOP to Feature 9 Online Bracelet Events

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

wsop-online-braceletsThe World Series of Poker ran its first-ever online bracelet event in 2015. Things have come a long way since then, because the WSOP is set to run nine internet tournaments this year.

This influx of 2019 WSOP online bracelet events might seem a little surprising. After all, the series has become famous for its live action.

However, the world’s largest poker tournament event is simply trying to better showcase their Nevada-based internet poker room.

They’re also trying to cater to players’ requests over the last few years. The online bracelet tournaments have been very popular so far.

2019 WSOP Online Tournament Schedule

Sunday is traditionally online poker’s biggest day in terms of traffic. The WSOP is keeping with this tradition by hosting one bracelet tourney on every Sunday from June 2 to July 14.

The only exceptions include two tournaments on June 19 and July 3, which are both Wednesdays. Every internet event will start at 3:30pm PT.

Other Details on 2019 WSOP Online Events

One selling point to the online tourneys is that they’ll be pretty affordable for the average player.

Only three out of the nine events will feature a buy-in worth over $1,000. Those seeking a cheaper alternative to the land-based Rio tournaments will appreciate these buy-ins.

History of WSOP Online Tournaments

The history of internet WSOP tournaments dates back to 2015 and ’16, when only two such events ran. These tourneys were special, because the final tables were actually featured live at the Rio.

However, some players only traveled across the Nevada border specifically for the online tourneys. Certain players who made the final tables were then forced to travel a few more hours just to finish their respective event at the Rio. The WSOP heard the complaints and have decided to make each of this year’s internet events strictly online.

Last year featured four online bracelet tournaments. In 2019, WSOP officials have decided to more than double this number to nine tourneys.

Scott Wellenbach Donates $671k in Poker Winnings to Charity

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

scott-wellenbach-pokerIt’s not uncommon for successful poker players to donate a portion of their winnings to charity. But Scott Wellenbach has taken things to a new level after donating his entire $671,240 payout from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).

Wellenbach, a devout Buddhist from Nova Scotia, scooped this payout after finishing third in the 2019 PCA Main Event. This is quite an act of kindness when considering that the $671k prize represents over 85% of his career winnings.

Why Did Wellenbach Donate All of His Poker Winnings?

Poker is sometimes looked down upon for its predatory nature. Skilled players hunt fish in hopes of making profits. Wellenbach discussed this subject with CBC News last year.

“A significant amount of your money is won from people who are too addicted, too drunk, too unstudied or too masochistic to play well – and we all have those features within us.

“In any case, I feel there’s a tension about winning money under those circumstances and I guess I rationalize my addiction by giving away the winnings, saying, ‘Well, at least I’m doing good things with it.'”

The amateur poker player added that he hopes the money will make a difference.

“I hope that somehow a wise decision happens and the money goes to good purposes and certain human beings or other sentient beings, animals or whatever, beings with feelings, [so] that their lives are eased in some way.”

Wellenbach Is a Big Practitioner of Buddhism

As mentioned before, Wellenbach is very in tune with the Buddhist religion. He translates the religion’s teachings from Tibetan and Sanskrit when he’s not playing poker.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the 67-year-old’s poker donations go towards Buddhist nuns in Tibet and Nepal. They also go to Doctors Without Borders.

Wellenbach spends an hour per day meditating. He ramps up his meditation habit during tournaments, so that he can maintain discipline during each event.