Archive for the ‘What’s New’ 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.

2019 WSOP Easily Sets the Attendance Record

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

The 2019 World Series of Poker has officially become the biggest year in the event’s history. It featured 187,259 total entries, which smashes the previous record of 123,865.

The $500 Big Fifty event was a big part of this attendance record. It features 28,371 entries, which is a record for any poker tournament.

The 2019 WSOP Main Event also played an important part as well. 8,569 players entered this tourney, which is the second most in its history.

WSOP Is Truly an International Affair

The WSOP used to mainly be known as an event for Americans. However, it’s drawn more and more players from other countries in recent years.

The event featured 89 bracelet tournaments. Not surprisingly, Americans led the way with 52 bracelet wins. After all, the WSOP is in their backyard.

However, 37 tournaments were won by international players from a collective 22 countries. In other words, almost 42% of the bracelets were captured by non-Americans.

What’s the Reason Behind the 2019 WSOP’s Success?

Many have thought that poker has been declining ever since the poker boom ended over a decade ago. However, the WSOP presents a different story.

This year’s number of entrants smashed any previous summer. In fact, attendance has been increasingly for years now.

The online poker boom may be long dead. However, the live tournament sector is as thriving as ever.

Some believe that a stronger economy is the driving force. Players have more disposable income and can better afford to enter these pricey tournaments.

Whatever the case may be, poker seems to be as alive as ever. Nearly 190,000 entrants proved this to be the case in 2019.

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.

Apple Updates Gambling App Policy: Poker Sites in Trouble

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Legal online poker sites have had a tough time in the US due to segregated player pools. Apple may make things even harder on them after making a new rule regarding gambling app rules.

The mobile-device giant announced that many US-facing gambling apps with HTML5 coding may be removed from the App Store. The changes are expected to happen on September 3.

Apple wants poker, casino, and sports betting apps to be switched from HTML5 to iOS code. Any company that doesn’t comply will have to gain approval from Apple for their HTML5 app.

Doesn’t Apply to All Apps

This new rule isn’t aimed at the mobile industry as a whole. Rather, it only affects apps that rely on specific types of money transfers.

Guideline 4.7, which was released on June 3, reads as follows:

“HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by Sept. 3, 2019.”

Many Casino and Poker Apps Coded in HTML5

This new guideline isn’t to be taken lightly. After all, the majority of poker and casino apps are now coded in HTML5. The US online gambling industry will now be forced to undergo sweeping changes to comply.

This rule doesn’t just affect existing apps either. Those in development may have to be abandoned, causing their creators to lose time and money.

Those that do choose to make the switch only have until early September to re-code in iOS. Perhaps well-funded gambling companies won’t have trouble with this. However, smaller sites — such as regulated US online poker rooms — may have difficulty transitioning in time.

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.

WSOP Parent Company Caesars Purchased by Eldorado Resorts

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Eldorado Resorts has purchased Caesars Entertainment for $17.3 billion. Caesars is the parent company of the World Series of Poker and owns a number of prominent casinos.

The purchase price involves both cash and stock. Eldorado executives Tom Reeg (CEO) and Gary Carano (chairman) will assume control of Caesars. However, the new company will operate under the Caesars brand.

Eldorado is a large company itself, running 26 casinos in the US. However, the acquisition of Caesars gives them a much bigger presence. Caesars Entertainment operates 60 casinos in America.

WSOP Will Remain a Key Part of Caesars

This deal is more about Caesars’ casinos and sports betting than anything. However, Eldorado Resorts also wants to keep the WSOP going strong as well.

After the merger was completed, Reeg discussed how the WSOP is an iconic brand that his company is proud to have.

“Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands,” said Reeg, “as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming.”

Eldorado Could Look to Reduce Caesars Vegas Properties

Caesars Entertainment holds nine casinos in Las Vegas, including the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, which is home to the WSOP.

“I think that there’s more [Vegas] Strip exposure than we would need to accomplish our goals with our regional database,” Reeg explained. “So I would expect that we would be a seller of a Strip asset, but that decision has not been made.”

Eldorado will definitely take their time deciding which Vegas casino(s) they’re willing to part with. However, the Rio is definitely one that they might be willing to sell.

The Rio is one of Caesars’ older properties. Another company that wants to renovate the property could purchase it or even level the compound and start over. In either case, the WSOP would be left looking for a new home.

John Hennigan Tops Daniel Negreanu to Win WSOP $10k Stud

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

John Hennigan has won his sixth WSOP gold bracelet after taking down the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event. He had to survive a marathon heads-up match with Daniel Negreanu to pull out the victory.

Negreanu was vying for his seventh bracelet. He fought hard to earn the win and played masterfully while exchanging blows with Hennigan. In the end, though, “Johnny World” walked away with the victory.

Hennigan Furthers His Poker Legend

Johnny World collected $245,451 after winning the $10k Seven Card Stud event. However, this accomplishment was about more than just the money.

He now has six gold bracelets, which puts him in elite company with players like Negreanu. Hennigan also has nearly $8.5 million in tournament winnings.

With multiple bracelet victories within the past few years, John looks poised to be a force at the WSOP into the foreseeable future.

Final Table Action for $10k Seven Card Stud

Hennigan had the fourth-most chips when final table play began. He took down several pots throughout the final day to steadily improve his position.

Meanwhile, notable players like Frank Kassela (seventh, $30,817), David Singer (fifth, $53,621), and David “ODB” Baker (third, $104,416) would fall by the wayside.

Baker’s elimination set the stage for Hennigan and Negreanu to face off. The latter held a 2:1 chip advantage. The two skilled pros battled for four hours until a winner emerged.

Both would take a large lead and seem to be in position to win at various points. However, the matchup raged on as each continued finding ways to make a comeback. Hennigan was finally able to defeat Negreanu and pull out the win.

As for Negreanu, he collected a $151,700 payout for finishing runner-up. However, this amount doesn’t make up for the fact that he missed out on another bracelet yet again.

Former PokerStars Pro Liliya Novikova Dies in Electrocution Accident

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Liliya Novikova, a former Team PokerStars Online pro, was found in her Moscow apartment after an electrocution accident.

TASS, Russia’s state news agency, reports that Liliya was taking a bath when a plugged-in hair dryer fell into the water.

Novikova’s parents became worried when they couldn’t reach her by phone. An elderly neighbor went into the apartment to check on her and found the young woman dead.

The death has already been ruled an accident. But reports are sketchy on whether the electrocution killed her, or a head injury that she suffered afterward did.

Nokikova’s Path Towards Poker

Liliya initially pursued a career in engineering. She graduated from one of Russia’s top technical universities, but chose not to look for an engineering job.

Instead, she began playing poker and streaming her online sessions under the Twitch handle “Liay5.”. Novikova gained a following of around 25,000 before her passing.

Joining Team PokerStars Online

Liliya chose a good time to get into poker and Twitch streaming. PokerStars was looking to sponsor popular streamers around the time that her fame was growing.

Eventually, Stars approached her about joining Team PokerStars Online. Novikova’s popularity quickly grew in the Russia poker community afterward.

“I would’ve played poker anonymously for the rest of my life, and I could’ve been happy doing it,” she blogged after joining Stars.

“That didn’t stop me from dreaming, however. I dreamt of what it would be like to get the call that I was going to become a member of Team Online. At 22 years old, that dream has come true.”

She had almost $100,000 in live tournament cashes along with plenty of online poker success.

In addition to poker, Novikova also enjoyed other types of gaming. She sometimes streamed her sessions on PUBG, a battle-royale shooter.

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.