Posts Tagged ‘WSOP Main Event’

Mark Newhouse’s Nightmare: 9th Place at WSOP Again

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Mark Newhouse captured quite a few poker headlines this summer when he made his second-straight final table in the WSOP Main Event. Last year, Newhouse battled through 6,352 players to make the final table, only to bust out in ninth when it resumed four months later.

At the 2014 Main Event, he survived an even bigger 6,683-player field to once again land in the November Nine. This time, it seemed impossible for him to bust out first, given that he had experience and 26 million chips on his side. However, just as improbable as making two straight final tables in the November Nine era, Newhouse again busted out in ninth.

Despite collecting $730,725, Newhouse was very disappointed about his finish. He still went through the motions at a press conference, which you can see below, but he was far from thrilled about being the first November Niner gone again.

On the hand that saw him eliminated, Newhouse was trying to bluff William Tonking. The latter was holding pocket queens while Newhouse held pocket 10’s on a paired board (4’s). Mark went all-in on the river, hoping to force a fold in this large pot, but Tonking called and won with his pair of queens.

When asked what he was going to do after netting another large Main Event score, Newhouse simply replied that he’d “figure it out within the next hour.” The North Carolina native also said he was headed back to his hotel room, presumably to sulk about the disappointing finish for a bit longer.

While Newhouse may not be happy about a second straight ninth-place effort, it is pretty impressive that he now has over $3.5 million in live tournament winnings.

Should Poker really be covered like Winter Olympics?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

It’s been about a week since Joe Hachem gave his interview on how WSOP Main Event champions need to step up their ambassadorship efforts. And the discussion hasn’t stopped, with Daniel Negreanu recently bringing up an interesting perspective on poker television coverage.

Negreanu thinks that ESPN and 411 Productions could learn a thing or two from how NBC presents the Winter Olympics. As KidPoker pointed out through twitter, casual viewers aren’t exactly on a first-name basis with winter sports athletes. So NBC does a good job of focusing on athletes’ backstories. Here’s a sample of what Negreanu tweeted:

Winter Olympics provide a great example. Public doesn’t know the people or the sports but with great story telling fans & stars are created.

Much of the poker boom should be credited to ESPN and 411 Productions who spent time developing stars of poker. We have gotten away from it.

There is something interesting about EVERYONE! It’s up to the production team to find out what that is, then sell it to the public.

I have ALWAYS believed the focus should never be on the game, but on the characters who play it. We waste time appeasing the wrong demo.

Global poker numbers don’t seem to suggest that the game’s popularity is immediately dying off. However, Negreanu and other pros don’t feel like this popularity is sustainable if personality and interesting backstories aren’t brought back into the fray.

But it’s worth mentioning that, over the past five years or so, tournament TV coverage has been catering to more of a hardcore audience. So to revert back to how WSOP coverage was presented in the mid-2000’s and earlier would be a huge change. And not everybody is a fan of this either. Isaac Haxton is one of them, as you can see from the following tweets:

@RealKidPoker Comparing poker to the Olympics is perfect… if you want poker to be like snowshoeing, which people only watch every 4 years

@RealKidPoker But for something that is on tv consistently every week like other popular sports, in-depth analysis is completely appropriate

@RealKidPoker Poker lends itself to serious analysis on TV even more so because so many fans of the game play poker competitively themselves

@RealKidPoker Furthermore it’s insulting to the viewers to assume that they can’t or don’t want to understand the real mechanics of the game

@RealKidPoker More serious doesn’t have to mean less fun. TV commentary can be sophisticated while still being lighthearted and entertaining

Haxton brings up a good point too. However, the question here is what’s more important to a long-term sustainable poker population? Serious pros who understand check-raise analysis, or casual observers who keep filtering into the game and mostly serving as fish?

But as Haxton stated, maybe there’s a good way to blend sophisticated strategy talk along with jokes and lighthearted content. If so, ESPN really needs to add more of the latter if they want poker to continue growing.

Joe Hachem thinks “Poker is Dying” – Is He Right?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Earlier this week, 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem discussed the current state of poker during the Aussie Millions. And what he had to say about poker wasn’t exactly glowing.

After reflecting on past WSOP Main Event winners, which included ripping on Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for ruining the champions’ legacy, he expressed his opinion that “poker is dying.” The reason why he believes this? Because Hachem thinks that the game is no longer fun for amateurs, with “young geniuses” bumhunting all of the fish and not offering up any interesting conversation.

The Aussie also mentioned how there are less Antonio Esfandiari’s out there, or rather guys whom the fish love to play with, even when they’re losing money. He added that watching poker on television is “like watching paint dry” because of the lack of personalities today. Furthermore, poker TV shows no longer focus on a pro’s style, personality or what they’re like away from the table. He closed by saying that some of the young ME champs like Ryan Riess and Greg Merson need to think about all of this since they’re ambassadors to the game.

So is Hachem right about everything that he said? You can’t argue with the point that poker is full of bumhunters these days, who play seek and destroy with the fish. The game also features less dynamic grinders who make poker more enjoyable to watch on TV.

But on the other hand, nothing Hachem said is an original idea. He’s just another person to jump on the fact that poker has transitioned into a more strategy-focused, mathematical game, where you either pour hours into becoming great, or you lose your bankroll and dignity.

As for if poker is dying, well, global online numbers suggest that plenty of people are still interested in playing. And this should continue as new markets open up across the world. But the live realm is still a big part of poker, and if famous pros don’t start developing some personality and social skills at the table, it will eventually hamper online poker too.

Greg Raymer wins third HPT Title, proves Longevity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Winning the WSOP Main Event is by no means a recipe for long-term success. Jerry Yang, Jamie Gold and Robert Varkonyi are all prime examples of this point. However, there are also plenty of ME champions who have made a nice career out of poker including Greg Raymer.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native added yet another big accolade to his career by recently winning his third Heartland Poker Tour title. Raymer beat out a 185-player field to win HTP Altoona along with a $72,089 payout. He defeated Chad Lawson heads-up to secure the title, and you can see the complete final table results below:

1. Greg Raymer – $72,089
2. Chad Lawson – $41,771
3. Craig Casino – $26,275
4. Ben Stroh – $22,233
5. Ed Sinnett – $16,978
6. Josh Birkenbuel – $14,526

What’s truly impressive about Raymer’s HTP titles is that they’ve all come within the past few months. Before we continue discussing how great this accomplishment is, take a closer look at the three Heartland wins:

2012 HPT Route 66 – 1st place, $71,875
2012 HPT St. Louis – 1st place, $121,973
2012 HPT Altoona – 1st place, $72,089

After winning three HPT tournaments in a single year, Raymer becomes the only player to do so. In addition to this, he’s also the only person other than Jeremy Dresch to win three HPT events overall.

These wins are just the tip of the iceberg because Greg Raymer has truly proven the test of time by winning $7,285,094 in live poker tournaments. Some of the most notable tourney finishes in Raymer’s career include a third place effort in the 2009 40th Anniversary event ($775k), 25th place in the 2005 WSOP Main Event ($305k), and of course his 2004 WSOP Main Event victory ($5 million).

Besides his playing career, Raymer has gained considerable respect for his involvement with the Poker Players Alliance. Going further, he’s done a lot of fighting for players’ rights and is an adamant supporter of legal online poker. Hopefully all of his hard work in this department will pay off someday!

Phil Hellmuth wins WSOPE Main Event

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Just yesterday, we discussed how Phil Hellmuth was leading the 2012 WSOPE Main Event final table. The truth is that we didn’t expect the Poker Brat to actually win – even with his experience and skill – because it seems like the final table chip leader is never a safe bet for some reason. But Hellmuth was able to finish the job and win the WSOPE Main Event along with €1,022,376 ($1.33 million).

The Poker Brat was quite humbled by his victory as he said, “I don’t say this often, but I am truly humbled by this. This is one of the most prestigious titles in poker and to get this one, it’s right up there with the (1989) World Championship.”

Hellmuth continued to reflect on the WSOPE win by saying, “I played the best poker of my life in this tournament. My game is constantly evolving. I tried some new things out that really worked this time. My game is never the same. You’ve got to constantly be improving, and that’s what I do.”

What’s truly impressive about Hellmuth is how he continues to make poker history, despite holding plenty of records already. His WSOPE victory makes him the only player to ever win both this tournament and the WSOP Main Event.

The Poker Brat also extended his gold bracelet record to 13, which means neither Doyle Brunson nor Johnny Chan will be catching him any time soon with their 10 bracelets. It’ll also be a long time before anybody even comes close to the 95 WSOP cashes that Hellmuth has accumulated in his career.

Once the 2012 WSOP Main Event concludes on October 30th, Phil will be adding a Player of the Year award to his lengthy list of accolades. All in all, this year was extremely kind to Hellmuth.

Josh Arieh retires from Poker since it’s “Really Tough”

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Josh Arieh has remained a well-known figure in the poker world ever since he finished third in the 2004 WSOP Main Event and collected $2.5 million. He’s also managed to win two WSOP gold bracelets (1999 and 2005), which has furthered his reputation as a strong tournament player. However, it appears that Arieh has decided to retire from poker – save for playing in the WSOP Main Event.

The 37-year-old dropped this news by telling PokerListings, “I’m not thinking about it, I am (retiring from poker). This is my last tournament until the next WSOP. To me, poker is not what it used to be.” He expanded on the reasoning behind quitting as he said, “Poker is really tough. Kids got so good. Instead of poolroom hustlers and gamblers it turned into freaking geniuses. Kids that are making 1600 on the SATs.”

So how serious is he about retiring from poker? Well the Atlanta resident commented on this by saying, “I’m willing to take any bet from anyone. I’m the action junkie, everyone knows that I love being in action and I’m a complete degenerate. I’m willing to take any bet that I don’t play another tournament after this until the $10k PLO at the WSOP next year.”

About the only way that Josh Arieh would return to poker full-time is if the United States fully legalized the game. After all, this would bring a lot of fresh, unskilled players into the fold and give pros like Arieh a bigger edge. He echoed this sentiment by saying, “If poker gets legalized in the U.S. there will be another boom. It would be great again. That would make it worth what we go through.” You can read the rest of Arieh’s comments on the matter here.

Besides his aforementioned accomplishments and $6 million in tournament winnings, Arieh is also known for representing Bodog and Full Tilt Poker in his career. However, without a sponsorship deal now, it’s likely that this helped contribute to his decision to quit playing poker.

Online Poker Satellite Tips

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

One of the great things about online poker is that it gives you the chance to win prize packages for major land-based tournaments. For example, if you wanted to play in the WSOP Main Event, you could play for a prize package that would cover your travel expenses and $10k Main Event seat.

Most online poker sites run various “satellites,” which are tournaments that see players try to play their way towards prize packages. Assuming you’re interested in winning a package deal for a major land-based tournament, here are a few online poker satellite tips that will help you out.

Tip #1: Base your Play on the Satellite Structure

One of the first things that you need to do when playing online satellites is think about the structure. Is there one prize package offered? Or are there multiple prize packages given out? Assuming there is only one prize package available, your strategy needs to be extremely aggressive because second place doesn’t mean a thing. So any time you feel that you have an edge, don’t be afraid to shove your stack in to take an opponent’s stack.

When multiple packages are offered, you simply need to survive the bubble and collect your prize. Multiple prize satellites still require a lot of aggressive play, but also realize that you don’t have to take coin flips all of the time just to meet the end goal.

Tip #2: Look to steal often

In the later stages of satellites, you need to look to steal as much as possible. Blind levels usually increase pretty fast in satellites, so you don’t have time to wait around for 20 orbits before playing a hand. When you’re in the cut-off or on the button, you need to consider stealing whenever the opportunity arises. It always helps to have weak-passive players in the blinds when trying to the blinds. But if you don’t have this luxury, just make sure that you attempt to steal with a semi-decent hand in case you’re called.

Tip #3: Realize that Satellites involve lots of Variance

Online poker satellites are quite tough to beat – even for highly-skilled players. The reason why is because the amount of prize packages is very small in relation to the number of players involved. This being the case, keep your expectations realistic, and don’t play overly-tight while hoping to sneak into a package. Instead, take risks when you think you’ve got the advantage, and hope that luck helps you with the rest.

Ben Lamb is Toast of 2011 WSOP

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Every year, it seems as if one WSOP player stands out above the rest. Last year, it was Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi because of his previous fame, $50k Player’s Championship title, and 2010 WSOP Main Event final table appearance. This year, the shining star at the 2011 WSOP is no doubt Ben Lamb who is now a lock to win the WSOP Player of the Year award.

The 26-year-old has absolutely crushed the competition after winning the $10k Pot Limit Omaha Championship ($814,436), and finishing within the top 12 in three other tournaments. Now all of this would have been enough to put Lamb in a position where he was the best 2011 WSOP player. However, Ben Lamb has taken things even farther by making it to the end of the WSOP Main Event.

When the final table finishes play today, Lamb will be second in chips behind Pius Heinz, and in front of Martin Staszko. But no matter what happens, you can be sure that his name is already etched into WSOP lore since he’s guaranteed a top three Main Event finish on top of everything else.

The financial aspect is definitely worth noting in all of this too because Lamb has taken himself from being a well-paid grinder to being a bonafide multi-millionaire. Counting just his first four cashes, Lamb earned $1.3 million. And when you include his impending 2011 WSOP Main Event cash, he will make anywhere from $4 million to $8.7 million.

You could even say that Ben Lamb has had the best WSOP ever when the tournament field sizes and event skill levels are taken into account (four of the five events he’s cashed in were championships). Of course, that is something up for debate after looking back through history, but Lamb’s 2011 WSOP performance is definitely near the top.

 

WSOP November Nine Format Gone?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Since 2008, the World Series of Poker has been running their Main Event under the November Nine format, where the final nine players meet in November to decide the tournament results. Of course, since the first portion of the WSOP Main Event ends in July, this creates a four-month gap before the final table is decided.

It wasn’t always this way though since the WSOP used to run the Main Event and final table within the same two weeks. However, the change was made in 2008 to create more buildup for the tournament, and help ESPN earn higher TV ratings. But after four years with this experiment, WSOP officials are starting to wonder if the November Nine format is turning people off of the Main Event.

Seth Palansky, who is the WSOP Communications Director, spoke about this subject by telling reporters, “We’re committed to it but I think what we learned over the summer with the live and taped programming is that we’re going to have to revisit the concept after this November. If you’re doing something live do you really need to delay it four months and try to build this anticipation to get people to watch? It doesn’t quite work.”

The 2011 WSOP Main Event final table will meet this Sunday to determine who wins the $8.7 million top prize. So far, no drop-off is expected in the ESPN ratings since enthusiasm is high for the final segment of the tournament, but if the WSOP notices any drop at all, they could be going back to the regular format.

That said, most poker fans would probably welcome the change because that way, they wouldn’t have to wait four months just to see the tournament play out. But we’ll have to wait and see what the WSOP and ESPN end up determining in the end.

2011 WSOPE Main Event sets Record

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Nobody’s going to mistake the WSOPE Main Event for the WSOP Main Event quite yet, but it’s definitely getting bigger. For evidence of this fact, you need look no farther than the fact that the 2011 WSOPE Main Event set the official attendance and prize pool record.

There were 593 players willing to ante up the €10,000 + €400 buy-in, and almost €5.7 million total will be paid out to the top 64 players. It’s definitely worth mentioning that the 2011 WSOPE Main Event winner will be walking away with a €1.4 million prize.

Looking back through history, nobody has managed to win this much money in the WSOPE Main Event. In fact, the biggest winner that we’ve seen in the tournament is Norwegian poker pro Annette Obrestad, who won the inaugural WSOPE ME in 2007, which netted her a predetermined €1 million. Since Obrestad’s victory, John Juanda is the next closest winner in terms of money since he earned €868,800 for taking down the 2008 WSOPE Main Event.

So who is bound to be the biggest winner in WSOPE history? Currently, little known American Elio Fox will headline the WSOPE final table since he’s got the most chips at 3.9 million. Just behind Fox in second place is UK poker sensation Jake Cody, who has 2.7 million chips. Cody is probably the most famous poker player on the final table – at least currently – since he won the $25,000 NLHE Heads-Up Championship at the 2011 WSOP, and earned Player of the Year honors at the 2011 British Poker Awards.

Another big name on this final table is Chris Moormon who, along with countryman Jake Cody, has had his fair share of success in the poker world. In any case, it will be interesting to see how the final table plays out, and who earns the title.