Posts Tagged ‘poker player’

New World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen also plays Poker

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Over the years, there have been a fair amount of poker players who’ve also played chess professionally. Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Dan Harrington is the most notable chess/poker player. Jeff Sarwer and Almira Skripchenko are a couple of other pros who’ve crossed between the two games. Now, we can add one more very notable person to the list in Magnus Carlsen.

The Norwegian just became the 16th world champion in chess after defeating the incumbent, Viswanathan Anand. In addition to collecting a $1.5 million prize, Carlsen also fulfilled his destiny by becoming a world chess champ.

He’s been on the international chess radar ever since becoming a grandmaster at the age of 13. Thanks to some mentoring from the legendary Gary Kasparov, Carlsen achieved a 2872 rating, which is the highest in chess history.

Since becoming a world champ, the 22-year-old has been getting even more attention than ever before. Carlsen recently did an interview with Chasebase, where he discussed his affinity for poker.

When asks if he ever goes out for a drink during tournaments, Carlsen said, “Rarely. I prefer to chat with friends on the Internet or play poker online.” He added that he likes to play for real money.

The interviewer also asked Carlsen if he wins in poker games. To this, the young Norwegian said, “If I take a game seriously, I do. If not, I sometimes lose. But that doesn’t matter. What is important is that I have a life beyond chess.”

Well, judging from this answer, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Magnus Carlsen trying to win WSOP gold bracelets like Harrington any time soon. This is especially the case, given that he just won the 2013 World Championship. But it’s still interesting to know that the best chess player on the planet also enjoys poker too.

Russian Poker Backers benefit from Pius Heinz

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

It appears that 2011 WSOP Main Event champion Pius Heinz will be sharing his $8.7 million prize will plenty of other people since a Russian poker staking had backed him. The company is called Pokeroff, and they have staked plenty of successful players in the past. Of course, its hard to get more successful than a WSOP Main Event winner, so Pokeroff most likely grabbed their biggest profit ever off of Heinz.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any details on how much money Pokeroff made because they’re a private company that’s tight-lipped about their success. But the Betfair poker blog did manage to catch up with an investor in Pokeroff named Max Katz. The Moscow native is also a poker player who has an eye for budding talent.

He spoke about their business by saying, “We have a closed community inside Pokeroff that people can participate in, and they can buy shares of players who are wanting to sell some action. We also actively look for people who are wanting to sell shares, then we publish the offer on the private website, and it is divided between the people who want a share of that particular player.”

As for Heinz, Katz didn’t give too many details about dollar figures, but he did tell Betfair, “Actually I cannot say the exact number and I would prefer for you to publish rumors because we like to keep the exact number secret, but yes we had a big share of Pius.”

Just a few months ago, we reported how the poker backing industry had been struggling somewhat – especially in the United States, where poker action was crippled after Black Friday (April 15th). However, it seems as if the business of poker staking is thriving on the international scene, and Pokeroff is one of the biggest beneficiaries.


Tobey Maguire – Biggest Poker Winner Ever?

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

If you’re like 99.9% of the rest of the world, you didn’t realize that Tobey Maguire was a serious poker player. Sure he had shown up to events in the past just like other poker celebrities like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – who are more celebrities than players – but you’d have never guessed that he was actually a force in the high stakes scene.

But the secret is out now after Maguire was named in a lawsuit involving many other celebrities. And what’s really shocking are the stories that have come out after the lawsuit, such as one claiming Maguire may have earned enough to be the biggest poker winner ever! Before we talk about that though, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Maguire and several other actors like Damon and Affleck are caught up in the L.A. poker scene, which sees games played around many of the city’s hotspots. But actors aren’t the only ones who show up to these games since pros like Dan Bilzerian and “rich” businessmen such as former hedge fund manager Brad Ruderman also come calling. Ruderman is of particular interest in this story because he recently went to prison for bilking investors out of millions of dollars.

And this directly affects Maguire because he supposedly won around $311k off of Ruderman before he went to prison. With investors having lost their life savings to this hedge fund conman, they have come after Maguire for some of the winnings.

After this story broke, reported that Maguire had been winning around $1 million every month for three years in these games. They then estimated that Maguire may have won anywhere from $30 to $40 million playing high stakes poker. And while this number is completely unverifiable, assuming it was accurate, the Spiderman actor could possibly be the biggest poker winner of all-time!

Ukraine Poker Boom coming?

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Before the 2011 WSOP, there had yet to be a Ukraine-born poker player win a bracelet. 39 events into this year’s WSOP, three Ukrainians have now added gold bracelets to their poker resume.

The three players who have won in the 2011 WSOP include former chess player and Las Vegas resident Arkadiy Tsinis, poker star Eugene Katchalov, and Oleksii Kovalchuk. Out of the three, Kovalchuk is the only player who still lives in the Ukraine, but all three are recognized as Ukrainians. Seeing as how three people from a country that had never won a bracelet before have now tasted success, one definitely has to wonder if a poker boom is coming in the country.

Now before we get started, it’s definitely worth mentioning that a poker boom experienced by this country would not be anywhere close to the magnitude of the American boom of 2003. After all, the US has nearly 300 million people, compared to 46 million in Ukraine, and the States offer average salaries of $37k per year, as opposed to $1,500-$2,000.

However, you can bet that plenty of new Ukrainians will be taking up the game with what money they have. And even if these players don’t have a ton of money to put into the game, the micro stakes can still offer Ukrainians a decent living when you consider their average salary.

You can bet that we’ll be watching this situation with interest over the next couple of years. But even if poker doesn’t explode in Ukraine as expected, it’s still pretty impressive that a country halfway around the world could take three of the 58 available WSOP bracelets in one year. There’s no doubt that this country will be taking more bracelets in the upcoming years too.