October 31, 2011
PartyPoker is now offering a great new player bonus on all first time deposits worth 100% of new players’ first deposits up to $/£/€500. Just create your new PartyPoker player account using PartyPoker Bonus Code500PS and make your first deposit to get this bonus. Next you’ll need to earn PartyPoints to clear your bonus by playing real money poker at the cash tables at PartyPoker or tournaments. For every dollar you bet at the cash tables and for every dollar you pay in tournament fees, you’ll earn PartyPoints. You will need to clear your full bonus within the first 60 days of your membership, and your bonus will be deposited into your player account as you earn points in 10 equal installments.
$1.5K Freeroll for New Players
At 14:00 ET on Saturdays, PartyPoker hosts the NLH $1.5K Freeroll for all newly registered players. Play in this tourney every day for your first 60 days. The max seat for each freeroll is 5,000 players, so register early.
Conquer world cities to move your way up in this promotion. Beginning November 7th through December 31st, you’ll have the opportunity to rule the planet. As you go, you will earn points to win freeroll seats, land cash payouts, and conquer world cities as you vie for the grand prize of $100K.
In this promotion, for every 10 PartyPoints (same ones mentioned above needed to clear your bonus) to be awarded one of 72 various world cities. Earn instant prizes as you go, and earn bigger prizes for conquering entire nations and continents. The first city will only cost you 5 points. Collect all 72 cities to win the $100K cash prize. Earn up to 100 cities every day. You can view those cities you’ve collected once you’ve logged into your player account.
October 31, 2011
The 2011 Poker Hall of Fame inductees have been announced—Linda Johnson and Barry Greenstein. They are no longer just nominees, they are the 41st and 42nd individuals to be given this exceptional honor and inducted to this prestigious club.
Fifty-six-year-old Greenstein, aka the “Robin Hood of Poker,” has won more than $7.5 playing in poker tournaments around the world and has won six figures or more every year for the past nine years playing tournaments. He has three WSOP bracelets and two WPT wins. He is also an avid and successful super-high stakes cash game poker player. He’s been playing professionally for 20 years since he left his job to play poker full-time. He entered his first tourney in the WSOP Main Event 1992 and took 22nd place, which was a sign of great things to come.
Greenstein is also the author of Ace on the River and has six children. He has donated more than $3 million to charity, hence the nickname. Originally from Chicago, he now lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He frequents card rooms in California and Las Vegas as well as travels the world to play in tournaments.
The second inductee is 58-year-old Johnson, who is the second female to win the honor along with Barbara Enright, who has been the only female in the club since she was inducted in 2007. Currently, Johnson lives in Vegas, but is originally from Long Island, New York. She won her first WSOP bracelet in 1997 playing 7-Card Razz, one of only 15 female bracelet winners. She has seven final table appearances at WSOP events as well. She was named the “First Lady of Poker” by Mike Sexton (also in the Poker Hall of Fame) for her lead role in making poker what it is today. She taught herself to play in the 70s and quit her job at the US Post Office in 1980 to play full-time. She played professionally through 1993.
Johnson now teaches WPT Boot Camp and hosts seminars on poker and tournaments around the US. She has also hosted nearly 90 poker cruises with Card Player Cruises. In fact, she purchased Card Player Magazine in 1993 and grew it into a major publication over the following eight years. She became poker’s ambassador and traveled all over the world sharing her knowledge of and love for the game of poker.
Johnson is also an author and has written three books on poker. She also helped establish the World Poker Tour and sits on the PPA’s Board of Directors and was inducted into the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame in 2008. She is also co-founder of PokerGives.org.
Johnson says, “I am extremely proud and humbled to be voted into the Poker Hall of Fame. I feel lucky to have been involved in many facets of poker over the past 35 years. Being recognized by the industry is a tremendous honor.”
Greenstein commented, “I’m happy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my friend Linda Johnson who has been the most fervent ambassador for poker for as long as I can remember.
Both Johnson and Greenstein will be formally inducted on November 8th towards the end of the WSOP Main Event Final Table at 4:30 p.m. at the Penn & Teller Theater, immediately preceding the three-hand finale.
October 29, 2011
On November 5th, less than one week away, the WSOP Main Event final table will reconvene and determine once and for all who will be the world champion of poker. With a chip stack worth 24.75 million, Matt Giannetti will start out in Seat 1 with the third largest chip stack. The 26-year-old US player—the only US player of the nine—this pro poker player resides in Las Vegas.
Giannetti has not stopped playing poker since the WSOP Main Event. In fact, he won the Malta leg of the World Poker Tour, winning $273K off the $25K-buy-in event. He also played in the EPT London on his own poker tour across Europe, and he’s been playing some poker with Phil Collins, which is a great strategy to hone in on his opponent’s strengths and more important weaknesses. And along his way, he met up with and played poker with fellow niner Eoghan O’Dea’s father, Donnacha O’Dea, at London’s Victorian Casino.
In his free time, Giannetti has shared a logo design via Twitter that his fans will wear from the rail. His handle on Twitter is @MattGiannetti.
Since he started playing poker after graduating in 2006 from the University of Texas, he’s won more than half a million dollars. If he finishes 9th, he’ll pocket another $782k. Places 8 through 1 guarantee at least a million dollar payout. Giannetti has a good chance though of at least lasting to 8th place, if not even longer, with the decent stack size he holds.
October 29, 2011
The only Brit at the WSOP Main Event Final Table, 22-year-old Sam Holden is one of the nine final players that will compete for the world champion of poker title next month, eight of them becoming millionaires. 2011 was Holden’s first time at the WSOP, and now he will be seated in Seat 6 with 12.375 million chips—the shortest stack of all.
Since the WSOP has been on break, Holden has been playing poker in between media stuff throughout Europe in hopes to prepare for the final table of what is the most important moment in his career as of yet—the final table of the WSOP Main Event. He played in the World Poker Tour Paris, but was knocked out of the tournament on Day 2. He also played in a made-for-television tournament in Edinburgh, as well as some online poker.
While Holden kept much of his preparation strategy under wraps so as not to reveal too much to his opponents, he did admit to studying his own game as well as the weaknesses of the other players. He hopes to learn as much extra information about his opponents as he can before they meet back up in November, taking into consideration that every player will have changed over the break just due to the simple reason that people change and that being in the November
Nine has changed the way everyone will play and feel when they return.
He says, “It’s been crazy,” he said. “As you can imagine it’s pretty life-changing, especially for me who is coming from a low-profile poker background to being in the November Nine. … I like to think that I’m taking it all in stride and doing the best I can.”
October 27, 2011
Being the first poker player from Belize to make the WSOP Main Event Final Table, 49-year-old Badih Bounahra owns a poker room (in the Princess Casino) and a grocery store in Belize City. Bounahra will sit in Seat 2 with the sixth largest chip stack at 19.7 million chips. Since the final nine was determined, Bounahra has been playing in several tournaments in Belize and has traveled a lot to Florida, but hasn’t played outside of Belize. To prepare specifically for the final table, he has been watching videos and taking notes to put himself in the right mindset and plans on doing this more intensely as November approaches.
Also in the running for World Champion of Poker next month is chip leader at the Main Event Final Table, Czech Republic’s 35-year-old Martin Staszko. Like Bounahra, Statszko is the first to represent his country at the WSOP final table. He does have the biggest chip stack with 40.175 million chips and is seated in Seat 9. Since the WSOP, Statszko has vacationed in Sweden, played in the EPT Barcelona, played online poker, and has done a lot of interviews. His plan for preparing for the final table is to keep it local and play in local tournaments as opposed to international ones. He has a friend who is collecting info on other players and plans on adjusting to play against other November Niners.
October 27, 2011
If you are wondering what November Nine contenders do to kill time or prepare for the WSOP Main Event Final Table, Eoghan O’Dea will be in Ireland for the Irish Winter Festival sponsored by Paddy Power Poker. O’Dea, who took time off from poker to complete a triathlon in September and play tennis, will be at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, Ireland to compete in the Irish Winter Festival which starts tomorrow before jetting to Las Vegas to finish off the WSOP the following week where he could win up to $8.7 million if he were to win first place. Prior to this, he has been brushing up on his poker at the EPT London. He will start the final table with nearly 34 million chips, the third most chips, in Seat 3.
Twenty-seven-year-old Phil Collins, who will sit down in Seat 4 and has the fourth biggest chip stack with nearly 24 million (almost 10 million less than O’Dea). Like O’Dea, Collins has also been busy competing in European tournaments to prepare for the final table, including EPT London, WSOPE, and EPT San Remo, though he hasn’t had any results worth noting. He says this has provided him with some great experience. He’s also been re-watching the coverage from ESPN and plans on discussing his game plan with friends before the final table. He also says he has an understanding of how his opponents play and that will help him.
October 27, 2011
The World Series of Poker Circuit recently stopped at the Horseshoe Hammond in Hammond, Indiana nearby to the massive player base that occupies Chicago. Event #1 saw an attendance of 3,001 players, though the 11 events thereafter did not match its attendance, as expected. The tournament was overall a smashing success.
Changes to the 2011-12 WSOPC saw that the re-entry main events allows for more players to enter, and leading up to the main event, it was expected that this would be the largest main event in the history of the WSOPC. The main event included 1,615 players, which made one of the biggest prize pool at $2.3 million.
After four days, nearly $400K and the WSOPC ring was awarded to 51-year-old, semi-pro Robert Chow, who will also receive an automatic bid into the National Championship. Chow had never won more than $23K and some change before this victory.
“I’ve been the bridesmaid a couple times,” said Chow. “This is the first time I’ve actually cracked through and made first place. I’m ecstatic. I thought I had a deep run this year at the WSOP Seniors event when I came in 66th.”
After being eliminated on Day 1A, Chow won a satellite and was able to re-enter on Day 1B. By the end of Day 2, he was in 9th place out of the 20 remaining players.
Chow described Day 2:
“When we came back with 20 players, I just felt good. I never had the chip lead until we got down to the final table and I knew there was a lot of very accomplished, very aggressive players here, but I just felt good. I didn’t try to push the game, I let the game come to me and that was the best way to handle it and it worked. Everything just fell into place.”
Among those he was up against included Eric Cain, three-time WSOPC winner; Aaron Steury, 2011 WSOP bracelet winner; Mark “Poker H0” Kroon, online poker pro; and Drazen Ilich, two-time WSOPC winner.
“It’s validation of all the grinding and the hard work,” explained Chow. “I’ve come close and never finished. This is definitely a very significant, major event. It’s the main event, a Circuit, and I beat out 1,600 people. I can’t feel any better.”
The next stop for the WSOPC is at the IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi and begins today.
October 27, 2011
Online gambling had its day in Congress today when the House heard Al D’Amato, former US Senator and Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, as he laid out problems with current Internet gambling laws along with ways in which they should be amended.
D’Amato argued that currently players are not able to “play on a site that is located in the US that employs US citizens, plays US taxes, or is regulated by any level of the government in the US.”
Additionally, he mentioned that because the US Justice Department under the Obama administration has been cracking down on online poker sites that accepted US players, “many thousands of US poker players have not been able to recover money that they deposited into Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker accounts, or money they won playing on these sites.”
He also urged Congress to clarify legislature regarding online poker and write more effective laws against what exactly is illegal. He said, “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 simply told banks to block payments for ‘unlawful Internet gambling’ without defining that term.”
The National Indian Gaming Association’s Ernest Stevens also spoke, calling online gaming “the Native American success story,” mentioning that the Supreme Court has upheld that Indian gaming is “crucial for tribal self-determination and self-governance” since 1987.
Stevens’ argument was that Congress should respect the Native American tribes’ “sovereign governments with a right to operate, regulate, tax, and license Internet gambling.” He also said that Indian tribes must be able to provide their services “to customers in any locale where Internet gaming is not criminally prohibited.”
Other testifiers compared Internet poker to illegal drug use. All witnesses though pointed out the “threat of offshore gambling” and identified that regulatory laws were necessary to protect US consumers.
October 20, 2011
Arizona State University student Chandler Bator and alumnus of the school Anthony Bucca started a web project that provides a safe and legal online venue for college students to play casino games with no risk. The project is called, “Your College Poker Club” and has been established in160 universities across the US.
After the feds turned the lights out on online poker for US players, Bator got the idea for the project after a friend of his had to drop out of college due to the cash he lost playing online poker at PokerStars.
Bator, who hopes to become the Mark Zuckerber of Internet gambling, says, “We wanted to make something that was safer for them to fulfill their need without the same type of risk involved with regular gambling sites,” he said.
The site allows the students to play in poker tourneys, casino games, and bet on sports for a fee paid upon sign up. As membership grows, there may even be monetary rewards in the future for winners.
Bator says, “We will have daily and weekly prizes, and as our membership basis grows, our prizes will be able to grow. We want to give out a $10,000 weekly seat to the World Series of Poker.”
The founding partners looked at athletic involvement when choosing what schools to admit into the program, so that ultimately school spirit would create competitive popularity as schools go head-to-head in tournaments and then see how they rank alongside each other.
“It will be fun to see how students take their school spirit and translate it into their usage of the site to try to perform better in the tournaments than students from other schools,” says Bator. All 160 sites are scheduled to be operational at the end of this month.
October 20, 2011
A step in the right direction for legal online poker could be made as soon as next week when the House Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will have a hearing on Internet gambling Tuesday. This committee is a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and consists of 14 republicans and nine democrats, who will debate Congressman Joe Barton’s Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act (HR 2366).
Executive Director of the Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA), John Pappas, says “The hearing may be more about Internet gaming, but the Barton bill will be hard to ignore given that Barton sits on the subcommittee.”
If passed, HR 2366 would legalize and regulate Internet poker in the US by giving state-licensed agencies the green light to act as regulatory authorities. The biggest players in land-based casinos, Nevada and New Jersey, would get the first go ahead to issue gaming licenses. The PPA is encouraging its members whose US reps are seated on the subcommittee to communicate their support of the bill to the subcommittee in hopes that the subcommittee will also be in support of online poker.
In addition, a bipartisan supercommittee, whose purpose is to obtain money for the government is being urged by Congressman Barney Frank to support regulation and legalization of Internet gambling as a means of earning funds for the government.
“Several of us are trying to get it into the supercommittee,” says Frank. “It would create $40 billion [in revenue] over 10 years.” While there are no guarantees, it is a sign of progress.
Pappas is optimistic of the supercommittee. He says, “The supercommittee has been very receptive. I don’t think every member of the committee is making this their priority, but there are benefits of revenue and consumer protection.” He also believes that the open debate is a good idea. He says, “This committee hasn’t had an opportunity to examine the issues. It gives lawmakers a chance to say they’ve discussed it.”