$15 million up for grabs at PokerStars

December was not the best month of the year for poker players, with very few events being scheduled around the winter holidays. On the other hand, 2015 started on the right foot, especially for those who have an account with PokerStars and don’t mind participating in tournaments. A total of $50 million will be split among those who make a deep run in these events and the winners will receive the lion’s share, which is hardly a surprise.

indexThis campaign will last until the money runs out and the February festival challenges is the natural continuation of the events that Players at the edge of their seats in December and January. There are plenty of side events and tournaments to choose from, but the highlight of this campaign goes by the name of $1 Million in a Single Spin & Go promotion.

It is obvious that this promotion will make players rich overnight and all that players need to do is to commit at least $5 when playing in sit and go tournaments. By doing so, they will enter the race for $1 million and this represents only 10% of the total prize pool, so there will be plenty of other opportunities. If you don’t win at first, don’t give into despair and sign up for more tournaments, because they are expected to last until the end of the month.

The winners are randomly selected, when milestone hands are dealt, so all you need to do is to get the right table at the right time. The paycheck that the winner will collect revolves around $250,000, but the other participants in the hand will also receive a decent amount. It makes no difference whether you win or lose the pot, all that matters is to be a part of such a hand.

The other tournament that is going to appeal to online poker players goes by the name of Knockout Your Opponents and the guaranteed prize pool for this event is $5 million. This promotion will conclude two weeks from now, so time is of the essence and it would be a shame to miss out on this excellent opportunity. Every single day, the $50 With Red Aces Zoom & BOOM promotion will award $50 to lucky players, with the only requirement being for participants to reach the flop stage.

Mike Leah claims gold bracelet in WSOP Asia Pacific High Roller event

Highroller tournaments tend to become the focal point of attention, which is bad news if we are to ask several poker professionals. On the other hand, these events attract some of the best players out there, with the WSOP Asia Pacific High Roller event making no exception. It is only fair to assume that they will keep acting as magnets for pros and with prize pools that exceed $4 million, the Australian events are among the most effective ones.

pokerthreadsMike Leah was one of those willing to pay AU$20,000 to participate in this tournament, and there were enough players to push the competition over the threshold of three days. One by one, poker pros and amateurs were eliminated, with just six of them surviving the first two days and Mike was one of them. At this point, it was announced that the winner would claim the first prize of $600,000 and the corresponding bracelet, which only added pressure on the six finalists.

The action was intense throughout the final day and the most important moments are briefly presented at http://www.pokerlistings.com/live-reports-from-wsop-apac-25k-high-roller-final-table-here-84090. There were several poker professionals who made it this far and Jonathan Duhamel and Brian Roberts stood out from the crowd. The former won the World Series of Poker main event and has emerged as one of the most successful online poker players.

He had a decent stack at the table and loads of experience, which makes him extremely dangerous, even for the chip leader. Duhamel took advantage of the fact that other players were reluctant to attack him early on and increase the size of his stack enough to outshine for players. As they were sent to the rail, the Canadian was optimistic about his chances to make three handed play, but he lost a big pot when he expected it less.

Jesse Sylvia was the beneficiary and after taking most of his chips, he continued to play aggressive poker against their two remaining players. Luck deserted him at the worst possible time and all those profits went the drain soon after, with the stack being almost evenly split among Mike Leah and David Yan. This left the two players evenly matched ahead of the heads-up and it took a while for Mike to win the decisive hand and the $600,000 prize.

2014 has been extended here for the Canadian player, who won in excess of $2 million, with this prize only adding on his previous profits. Check out the complete list of WSOP finalists:

1 Mike Leah Canada $600,000
2 David Yan New Zealand $360,025
3 Jesse Sylvia USA $216,811
4 Jonathan Duhamel Canada $145,003
5 Sam Khouiss Australia $110,078
6 Brian Roberts USA $85,027
7 Sam Higgs Australia $65,035
8 Andrew Hinrichsen Australia $50,021

Aaron Massey wins Heartland Poker Tour

The most important poker tournament hosted by Chicago in September was the Heartland Poker Tour, a competition that brought together 500 skilled players. All of them paid $1650 for a chance to win a prize that was predicted to revolve around $200,000 and also a WSOP circuit ring. The vast majority of those who found themselves at the tables were American players, with Europeans choosing to participate in the 2014 Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships Main Event.

pokerthreadsThere are plenty of professionals who booked a flight to Nottingham to make sure that they don’t miss out on the rare opportunity of competing against some of the toughest opponents. Among those who participated in the aforesaid tournament was Sam Trickett, the celebrated Everest Poker ambassador. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t survive long enough to make the money and was eliminated during the bubble stage, by a relatively unknown opponent.

Meanwhile, American poker pros spent some quality time in Windy City and over the course of three days they tried to outshine more than 500 opponents. Aaron Massey was of course present, which is hardly a surprise, since he is one of the most dedicated of all grinders. He had to overcome a lot of adversity in the early stages of the competition, surviving three coin flips but in the end he took advantage of the money want in those highly contested hands.

By the time the final table began, he was already in pole position and put his significant experience and sizable stack to good use. 2014 has been a great year for Aaron, who also finished third in the 2014 World Series of Poker Event #55 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em to win $255,000. It is clear for him, that even if the best case scenario did happen and he won the tournament, this paycheck would still be smaller than what he won a couple of months ago in Las Vegas.

Furthermore, Massey can also brag about a massive $651,000 collected two years ago when he won the River Guaranteed $4 million Poker Series Main Event. This time, he was more motivated by the prospect of winning on home turf, as he is a Chicago resident and he had plenty of fans cheering for him. The toughest opponents were Stan Jablonski and Michael Vanderwoude who made three handy play, but they were eliminated and won together the same amount that Aaron Massey received for winning the event.

This is how the final table of theHPT Ameristar East Chicago looked like and the corresponding prizes:

1 Aaron Massey Elmwood Park, IL $177,502
2 Stan Jablonski Bullhead City, AZ $108,504
3 Michael Vanderwoude Crown Point, IN $71,924
4 James Richison Fort Wayne, IN $50,007
5 Mike Mustafa Orland Park, IL $37,428
6 James Nelson Wheeling, IL $28,940
7 Paul Vivacqua Chicago, IL $23,537
8 Adam Zimowski Racine, WI $19,293
9 David Berman Solon, OH $15,434

GPI takes over the WPT Player of the Year

The partnership between the Global Poker Index and the World Poker Tour is now official, with the former to power the WPT Player of the Year. It is good news for those who hoped to see more tournaments added on the list, because until recently, only the major events counted. WPT500, WPTDeepStacks, and WPT National and Regional Events are now also a part of the race and those who make a deep run in any of these tournaments will greatly improve their chances of winning the trophy.threads

Both parties involved are quite happy with the result of their discussions, but the changes would only come into play next season. Meanwhile, the WPT Player of the Year will be decided following the same rules that are in effect, so players should pay attention to what the official website displays. The GPI is slowly but surely expanding over new territories, as more tournaments are openly recognizing the superiority of their ranking system.

Speaking of which, some changes have occurred at the top of the GPI 300 top 10, with Dan Smith losing the pot position to Ole Schemion. The two players are separated by only 19 points and Ole needs a simple money finish to cross the 4000 points threshold. While he is anxiously waiting for that to happen, he can be pretty happy with his performance, as he consolidated his position at the top of the list:

  1. Ole Schemion – 3997
  2. Dan Smith – 3907
  3. Daniel Negreanu – 3765
  4. Scott Seiver – 3580
  5. Byron Kaverman – 3497
  6. Jason Mercier – 3494
  7. Paul Volpe – 3460
  8. Erik Seidel – 3417
  9. Alex Bilokur – 3385
  10. Martin Jacobsen – 3264

This is not the only leaderboard powered by the Global Poker Index, with an equally important one being the 2014 GPI Player of the Year. In this particular race, the German poker professional still has a couple of points to accumulate to overtake his rivals and claim the first spot. For the time being, he sits in the fifth place, within striking distance of Scott Seiver and not too far behind Dan Smith. The latter is slipping through the standings even though the downswing is not impressive.

Alex Bilokur and Keven Stammen are currently battling for the first place, with both of them accumulating in excess of 1000 points. Alex is clearly in command with 70 points ahead of his rival, but anything can change later this month when the European Poker Tour begins in Barcelona. Check out the current 2014 GPI Player of the Year standings below:

  1. Alex Bilokur – 1071
  2. Keven Stammen – 1001
  3. Dan Smith – 967
  4. Scott Seiver – 953
  5. Ole Schemion – 951
  6. Daniel Negreanu – 946
  7. Mustapha Kanit – 940
  8. Byron Kaverman – 923
  9. Jacob Schindler – 921
  10. Matt Glantz – 896

Dan Smith claims first prize in $100k Summer High Roller at Bellagio

There were two highrollers tournament scheduled for this summer at the Bellagio and both of them were serious contenders for the World Series of Poker tournaments. Poker professionals found it very convenient that the event was held just a couple of miles away from Rio casino where the WSOP action was unfolding. Even so, many had to decide whether they will venture $100,000 to play for millions or settle for smaller paychecks but equally small risks.pokerthreads

http://www.poker.org/news/bellagio-100k-summer-high-roller-draws-87-entries-28-million-to-the-winner-28279/confirms the fact that many poker professionals decided to take a leap of faith by attending the Bellagio competition. Several bracelet winners and many of those who ended up participating in the World Series of Poker main event found the time and resources to spend a couple of hours playing in the Bellagio $100k Summer High Roller.

Only 10 players were going to win a prize and with the last two guaranteed to play $172,000, making the final table was clearly not enough. In anticipation for the Big One for One Drop, poker pros used this tournament to warm up for the richest event in Las Vegas and some were concerned that the Bellagio highroller might not end in time. Several professionals were sent to the rail earlier, which rendered all their previous concerns useless, but four of them made the final table.

Dan Smith, Jason Mercier, Tom Marchese and Jason Somerville were all among the leading pack when action resumed, followed closely by Doug Polk who won the other Bellagio $100k Summer High Roller scheduled for July 4. On this particular occasion, Doug had to settle for the fifth place, while the heads up was played between Dan Smith and Jason Mercier.

Arguably the most important moment of the day happened when all the aforementioned four players were still in the race, because this is when an agreement was reached. Instead of playing until the final hand was dealt, these professionals decided to split the money according to their stacks. This would guarantee that Smith got the biggest paycheck, but the other three players were all lavishly rewarded and took home in excess of $1 million.

By winning the tournament, Smith became the only player to win an amount exceeding $2 million and he also adds his name on the prestigious list of Bellagio $100k Summer High Roller winners. Check out the list below, featuring all 10 players who made the final table and their corresponding payouts:

  1. Dan Smith – $2,044,766 (d)
  2. Jason Mercier – $1,622,181 (d)
  3. Tom Marchese – $1,465, 451 (d)
  4. Jason Somerville – $1,347,352 (d)
  5. Doug Polk – $602,910
  6. Matt Hyman – $430,650
  7. Adam Bilzerian – $344,520
  8. Gabe Kaplan – $258,390
  9. Chris Klodnicki – $172,260
  10. Pratyush Buddiga – $172,260

More than 40 players expected to play in the Big One For One Drop

The World Series of Poker is in fact a collection of more than 60 side events and a couple of prominent tournaments that keep players on their toes. Meanwhile, poker professionals and amateurs compete in games that don’t set them back more than $10,000, but the main event is bound to start one week from now. This used to be the richest competition at the WSOP but despite the prohibitive buy-in, thousands of players found the resources to participate.

Big One For One Drop

It makes perfect sense for players who take the game seriously to save money throughout the year, just to make sure they have enough in their pocket to participate in this event. Things have changed over the last couple of years and the reason for why the main event is no longer the highlight of the World Series of poker is that the Big One For One Drop is also organized in Las Vegas. This competition is special for many reasons, one of them being that a significant amount of the money collected is donated to charity.

It is very important to know that behind this project is the billionaire who also owns Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberte who plays a lot of poker and doesn’t hesitate to sit down at nosebleed limits. The event that he established three years ago is quite popular and at the time of writing, more than 40 players have announced their participation and paid the buy-in. Speaking of which, this competition is reserved to the ones who can afford to pay $1 million out-of-pocket, with 10% of the money being donated.

The prospect of winning the first prize is alluring and two years ago at the opening edition, the winner got away with $18 million. Antonio Esfandiari was the last man standing and his record is yet to be surpassed, with players having the best chance to set a new milestones by winning the Big One For One Drop. There is plenty of time left for more players to tag along and there is a good chance for the maximum 52 players to gather on time.

Most of those who play in this competition are poker professionals who have ongoing contracts with poker rooms, therefore a stable source of income. It is only fair to assume that their sponsors won’t pay the buy-in for this particular competition, so players need to take a leap of faith. The success of the tournament depends largely on the names of those who play and win the field be packed with poker pros, there is no reason to doubt that the Big One For One Drop will return in 2015.

Gambling Bill to be introduced on September 1st in UK

September will be a big game for those who operate an online gambling company that serves UK residents, but for the wrong reasons. The British authorities have announced that September 1 will mark the day when the new gambling Bill will be introduced and a 15% tax levy on profits will also be enforced. This is in fact the top reason of concern for those who run such ventures and there are some who claim that as a result of the new tax, they will have a hard time to simply stay afloat.

pokerthreadsThere are many who assume that since the house always wins, it is merely a formality for online poker companies to make a lot of money. The idea is that players will lose on the long run, which means that all this money will go to the casino or poker rooms’ coffers. This is only partially true, because the ventures have their own operating goals and only a fraction of the money wagered is actually won by them.

2014 has been a brutal year especially for those who run sports betting businesses, as overall punters won much more than they usually do. Things are far more straightforward when it comes to online poker, because these companies charge rake and regardless of who wins and loses, they will get their fix. This is exactly what the UK authorities are trying to emphasize, claiming that the new regulations will actually help those who run a legal venture.

10 years ago, the gambling act was passed and it had serious consequences, some of them unintended and poker companies were most affected. Some ran out of business, but the vast majority found a way to adjust and it is only fair to assume that the same will happen in September this year. It makes no difference whether a poker room is based within the country or overseas, because everyone will need to adjust to the new regulations.

Even though poker rooms are claiming that the new regulations will drive some companies out from the United Kingdom, Philip Graf, Chairman of the Gambling Commission thinks different. He has a point when he says that these ventures are unlikely to miss out on the great opportunity of tapping into the immense potential of the British market. There are millions of potential customers to attract and it would be a mistake for poker rooms to forsake this lucrative market just to avoid the 15% tax.

The perks of becoming a SuperNova Elite revisited by Matthias De Muelder

When you play poker over the Internet, the goal is clear, as your top priority is to accumulate as many loyalty points. The idea is to become a VIP player, which goes by the name of SuperNova Elite if you happen to have an account with PokerStars. Contrary to popular belief, there are not many poker players who enjoy the status and there are many professionals who are yet to attain it.Matthias De Muelder

One of them is Matthias De Muelder, an excellent live player who tasted success in online tournaments as well, but who is still to become SuperNova Elite. When asked about what held him back, they accomplished poker player told reporters that until recently he lacked the motivation. In a nutshell, you need to play for many hours in a row and sometimes the sessions can be overwhelming, especially when you have many tables open simultaneously.

Apparently something has changed, because Matthias is now contemplating the possibility of making a push for this VIP status. He is still young and things seem to be going his way at the poker tables, so at least in theory if the puts his mind to it, he should achieve this objective in a few months. De Meulder has no intention in allowing poker to take over completely, but they understand that by making an effort now, he will reap the benefits a bit later.

The advantage of being at the top of the food chain, is that you accumulate points much easier, which allows you to consolidate that position. These points can be redeemed for cash or expensive things and they can also be used to buy in for major tournaments. At the end of the day, all these translate into money which means time, so De Meulder would be actually spending less time playing poker.

He is a pragmatic player, who understands that all that matters is the return on investment, without being blinded by the game itself. He likes traveling a lot and plans on spending even more time on the road, which would obviously hurt his profit margin unless he becomes a Supernova Elite. Unlike fellow players who are intimidated by the prospect of competing against the best opponents, Matthias is well-versed in the art of playing at nosebleed limits.

His example can be followed by only a fraction of those who currently play at the aforementioned poker company and many would be wise not to even attempt something similar. The reason is that you need to play for a lot of money and as you climb up the ladder, you will encounter increasingly better opponents. The odds of emerging victorious against these foes are clearly not in your favor and that is a very real risk of losing your entire bankroll while trying to attain VIP status.

WCOOP Challenge Series resumes at PokerStars on March 28

Only three days are left before the WCOOP Challenge Series resumes at PokerStars, so those who want to participate in an event with a guaranteed prize pool of $9 million should waste no second. Past performance is always a reliable indicator when it comes to major tournaments and in this particular case, we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Thousands of players found it worthwhile to buy in for one of the numerous tournaments, including the top events which have a buy-in of $2100.

WCOOP Challenge Series

Those who are willing to pay the hefty amount to participate, will be competing for a total of $2 million, while the most affordable event will only set them back $109. The popular series restarts on March 28 and will run for two days, with its conclusion coming at the end of the weekend. The end of the month is going to be thrilling for PokerStars members, so those who don’t have an account already, can’t hope for a better time to open one.

Prizes represent the highlight of all tournaments, but in this case players will also receive memorabilia and branded merchandise. Satellites run live and the most prolific participants won’t have to pay $5200 to buy in for the 2014 WCOOP Main Event. The commemorative money clips represent the icing on the cake, as winners will always be able to brag about their success at the WCOOP.

The previous main event ran under the WCOOP Challenge Series brand in December 2013 and the player received $560,000. Most players only remember that the winner is someone from Singapore, while the deep run of poker professional Andre “acoimbra” Coimbra lingers in their memory for several reasons. On one hand, he was dominant at the tables and made short work of his opponents, on the other he chose not to keep a dime for himself but donate the prize to charity.

Regardless of what they plan on doing with the money they win this weekend, players should know the key dates, and for their convenience we have listed them below:

Friday, March 28
13:00 ET: WCOOP Challenge 01, $109 NL Hold’em, $600,000 gtd
17:00 ET: WCOOP Challenge 02, $215+R NL Hold’em (Turbo), $750,000 gtd

Saturday, March 29
11:00 ET : WCOOP Challenge 03, $700 NL Hold’em (Progressive Super-Knockout), $1,000,000 gtd
14:30 ET : WCOOP Challenge 04, $1,050 NL Hold’em (8-max), $1,000,000 gtd
17:00 ET: WCOOP Challenge 05, $215 NL Hold’em (6-max, turbo), $250,000 gtd

Sunday, March 30
11:00 ET: WCOOP Challenge 06, $215 NL Hold’em, $1,000,000 gtd
13:00 ET: WCOOP Challenge 07, $700 PL Omaha (6-Max, 1R1A), $400,000 gtd
14:30 ET: WCOOP Challenge 08, $215 NL Hold’em, $2,000,000 gtd
15:30 ET: WCOOP Challenge 09, $2,100 NL Hold’em Main Event, $2,000,000 gtd

Claims Administration brought up to date for Full Tilt Poker players

Full Tilt Poker Claims AdministrationFull Tilt Poker Claims Administration is the hottest website as far as former and current Full Tilt Poker players are concerned, because this is the place where the latest information is published. The Department of Justice has already announced that $82 million are ready to be split among those who are eligible for reimbursement and a deadline has been set for March 31. Recent news are even more encouraging and the first players received their money as early as February 13.

Although this represents only the tip of the iceberg and there are a couple of formalities to fulfill, these transactions represent a giant leap forward. Players are advised to check their bank account for zero dollar transactions which might or might not appear on the bank statements. There is no reason to worry if you don’t see such a transaction, because not all banks include them and no delays will be resulting from their absence.

The wheels are finally moving and 30,000 players who have already confirmed their Full Tilt Poker account balance will receive what is rightfully theirs. Some of them will have their accounts credited by the end of the month, but if everything works according to the plan nobody should be waiting beyond March 31. Garden City Group made it crystal clear that affiliates and poker professionals are not included in this category and that they are supposed to file different papers.

This doesn’t mean that they will encounter insurmountable obstacles, but it is only fair to assume that it will take slightly longer for them to receive their money back. There is also no guarantee that all those affiliates and professionals will receive the entire amount, especially if they were sponsored by the poker company. Regardless of their status and chances, they are supposed to submit a petition for remission no later than March 2 to make sure they don’t miss out on this rare opportunity.

More information will be published at the Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration website and for the first time in several years, players can expect good news. Add to this the fact that several American states are on board with legalizing online gambling in general and poker in particular and fans of the genre have reasons to be optimistic about what 2014 will bring.