WSOP Player of the Year Title Goes to Negreanu (Again)

October 31, 2013

“I love drama. What is better than bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, you just gotta win?” asked Daniel Negreanu after winning his sixth WSOP bracelet at the WSOPE €25,000 buy-in High Roller Event in Paris last week. It was also that night that he won the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year title becoming the only poker player in history to earn the POY title twice. He was named POY in 2004 as well. He is now one of two players to win multiple WSOP bracelets in 2013 (Tom Scheider being the first).

Furthermore, since Negreanu won his fifth WSOP bracelet earlier this year in Melbourne in the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, he is now the only poker player to ever score a gold bracelet in all three WSOP series (American, European, and Asia-Pacific).

Negreanu would still have taken the POY title even if he hadn’t won the High Roller event; he needed only to get 8th place to bypass Matthew Ashton, now the number two, but who had taken the lead in Vegas this summer when he appeared in five final tables and won the $50K Poker Players Championship event. Making the final table and landing the POY top spot wasn’t enough for Negreanu and starting the final table with the least amount of chips didn’t deter him from winning the bracelet. He said he just had a feeling the entire time that he was going to win the event.

The event ultimately ended in a heads-up show down with Nicolau Villa-Lobos, but it wasn’t easy to get even there considering the final table he was up against. The last eight players included fellow bracelet winners Scott Seiver and Timothy Adams, WSOP APAC High Roller Champ Phillipp Gruissem, Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel, and two up-and-coming young guns, Jason Koon and David Peters. And all but Villa-Lobo had more than $1 mill in career tourney earnings.

Negreanu said of this final table, “The one thing that is different about poker now than it was in 2004 is that, when there were two tables left, it was like pulling teeth. I came in with a good stack where, in the old days, I could’ve coasted to eighth place no problem. Not with these sixteen players. The amount of mistakes made in the late stages of tournaments today are so minimal that you have to capitalize on every little bit that you can and create a strategy that is going to work for you. You know these guys are precise, they are all professionals. They are top professionals, because this is a High Roller.”

Negreanu’s 2013 successes include more than $2 million in WSOP cashes with 10 cashes, four of those final tables, and two of those resulting in the bracelet win.

Commenting on his accomplishments, Negreanu said, “I gotta be honest with you, Player of the Year is a big a deal to me and it is a goal of mine every year. I’m going to win bracelets, I know that. I’m grateful to have six now, which puts me back in the race in terms of all-time, but Player of the Year, to win that twice when no one else has ever done that really just cements me belonging where I always felt I did–at the top of poker.”

New Jersey Online Poker Live November 26

October 29, 2013

New Jersey’s go date for the state’s first ever legal and regulated online poker site is set for November 26, 2013 when it will be open to the public for residents and visitors of the Garden State. The New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement has officially informed state casinos and all involved parties. An invitation only five-day trial period will commence on November 21st. If all goes well, the standing launch date will see New Jersey make history as they open up the virtual doors of regulated online poker rooms at 9:00 a.m.

Preliminary regulations were drafted in May of this year, and since then have undergone heavy editing and refining, particularly in the areas of player identification, balance management, and security.

New Jersey is one of three states that has passed laws that support a intrastate gambling network, along with Nevada and Delaware.

Online poker alone could stand to generate an annual revenue of anywhere between $40 and $65 million, as well as create jobs. As more states look forward to online gambling as a source of revenue and a means to keep US money on US soil, we may see changes at the federal level as well.

Research shows that the New Jersey players account for 3 percent of the revenue in the United States and about 0.8 percent of global revenue in the world of online poker. With Internet poker being fully regulated and legit in New Jersey, the market is expected to grow even more.

Nevertheless, a lot depends on whether the state will partner with the other jurisdictions for the sake of raising liquidity. Plans are underway to enhance this as more and more states move towards regulations of online poker and other forms of online gambling.

Full Tilt’s Blom 100 Promo Going on Now

October 29, 2013

As part of the latest heads up challenge from a nose bleed poker pro who is looking for some new action, online poker legend Victor “Isuldur1” Blom, is putting up $100,000 of his own bankroll (not Full Tilt’s money). Now through November 4th, any players who thinks they have what it takes, can try their luck at the $1000 freeroll and vie for a chance to go heads up with Blom in the Blom 100 promo.

Any player who wins one of these Flip Freeroll tournaments will get a chance to win $1K of Blom’s own money. Taking on 10 players per day for 10 days straight with $1K at stake in each event, Blom, who thinks very highly of his skills and many would say rightfully so, says, “I’m putting up my own money for this because I like to challenge myself. It will be fun to see how many matches I win in the end. I want to win them all – that would be sick!”

To get four freeroll tickets per day, just deposit a minimum amount of $20. Other ways to win a chance to play against Blom include designated Sit & Gos, cash in a MTT, or win one of 50 tickets up for grabs each day via Twitter. Check @FullTiltPoker for more info on the Twitter competitions.

As a consolation prize, any player who does happen to make it to the table with Blom, but doesn’t win his money, will be given a ticket to the Blom 100 $5K freeroll.

Players like Blom (Dwan), who seemingly get bored with the same old swapping back and forth of pots that could pay off most of our houses, have been known to strike up these challenges searching for what it was about poker that excited them in the first place. Usually these challenges serve to benefit the challenger (or significantly hurt their bankrolls), but there seems to be nothing much for Blom to gain here, seeing that it is his own bankroll he’d be “saving” if he wins all the matches. Perhaps it’s losing his money to the average online poker player that excites him, but he made it clear that all he really wants out of this is to win for the sake of winning, which may be just what he needs.

The Big One For One Drop Back in 2014

October 29, 2013

The WSOP (World Series of Poker) officials have announced the return of the greatest and timeless charity poker tournament. This is the Big One for One Drop, a buyer-in, No-Limit Hold’em event, will soon return for the 45th yearly WSOP.

Come 2014, the Big One will be much bigger. Since the event has shown such great success over the past two years, facilitators just added a full eight-handed table to the charitable tournament thus increasing the total number of the potential participants by 8 (from 48 – 56).

With such an increase and the possibility of yet another sell-out, the prize money for the first place could potentially reach $20 million, which exceeds the $18.3 million, Antonio Esfandiari won in 2012, which would make it the richest prize to be awarded in any WSOP event ever.

Set to occur from June 29 to July 1, this event will have a different venue. The event will take place Caesars Palace. With 56 present seats, the organizers are planning for a flatter payout. If the event sells out, then 20% of the participants could make money.

Guy Laliberte, One Drop founder, has already claimed his seat. Laliberte, who won the 5th position in the inaugural 2012 event, said, “It was a terrific inaugural event in 2012 with ONE DROP raising nearly $5.3 million from the BIG ONE event. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure access to water for all. I have no doubt that the poker community will once again live up to its reputation for generosity by helping to transform lives sustainably.”

Like in 2012, a hearty $111,111 of every buy-in will be donated to One Drop Foundation that work hard to offer clean water to those in less fortunate countries where clean water is a luxury.

Anyone planning to take a shot can access seats on a first-come, first-served basis and are advised to make a deposit on the $1 million buy-in to guarantee registration, as a sell-out is expected. With no house fees or rake taken from this event, WSOP expects a prize pool worth almost $50 million.

From the 2012 event, almost $10 million ended up in the hands of the One Drop charities and the event organizers hope that the poker community will improve in 2014. The development is underway for the schedule of the remaining WSOP events and dates. More announcements are expected in November as everyone is now gearing up for the culmination of the WSOP Main Event that will take place in a less than a week. The November Nine will kick off on November 4th.

UltimateBeat: The UltimateBet Scandal Movie

October 21, 2013

Tomorrow is the release date of a new film that exposes the investigation, cover up, and cheating of the infamous UltimateBet online poker scandal. The name of the film is UltimateBeat, which throws light on the scandal and fraud at UltimateBet and how poker players worked together to uncover it.

The film was funded through Kickstarter, a “crowdfunding” site with poker players provided the bigger portion of the funding. The film director is Scott Bell, whose is better known in online poker by his handle ElevenGrover. Bell spent five solid years carrying out research on the scandal.

Private screenings continue in Las Vegas throughout the week and opening night is tomorrow, October 22 when the amazing film will be released internationally. Details on downloading and purchasing will be made available later.

The UltimateBet scandal attracted public attention after players on 2+2 started conducting research on suspicious accounts at the high stakes cash games. Investigations unveiled that Russ Hamilton had duped players by using the “God Mode” backdoor in the software, which allowed him to see the other players’ hands.

Those who made this movie claim that while criminal charges could be unlikely, about four individuals seem to have utilized the inside knowledge of crimes and enriched themselves following the discovery of the cheating. If the film manages to compel them to live with a public knowledge of their own involvement, then it will be a great success.

Nevada Online Poker Traffic Soars

October 21, 2013

Earlier this month, latest traffic statistics showed that the combined game traffic for and Ultimate Poker has hit a new high. The two are the first online poker rooms operating in the newly regulated Nevada market.

According to the new data from PokerScout, the two sites have had an average of 232 players within the first week of October. The initial peak was 227 players, which was after the launch of Ultimate Poker.

Currently, Ultimate Poker accounts for 65% of the entire traffic and has managed to be ahead of WSOP, many thanks to this month’s traffic boost.

WSOP is still in its initial rapid growth phase. Given that it is now past the soft launch and beginning to aggressively market its poker room on the Internet, strong growth is expected as the month advances.

Nevertheless, both the online poker sites have had their own share of teething problems. Ultimate Poker is yet to iron out all the version 2 software bugs, and WSOP has experienced geolocation technical hitches in addition to the restricted deposit options. While the player offerings and technology of these companies mature, the market should grow in a rapid way.

New Jersey Awards Borgata with First Online Poker License

October 21, 2013

On October 9, 2013, Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel and Spa got New Jersey’s first Internet gambling permit. Wayne Perry from the Associated Press reported that Borgata was the first one in filing a complete application for offering online gambling though the casino has to wait till November 21 to start offering Internet gambling.

The trial is set to start on November 21. If all unfolds well at this trial period, then in less than one week afterwards, On November 26, the New jersey residents and other visitors in the state lines will be ready to start participating in full time Internet gaming.

The Borgata president, Tom Ballance reiterated that a receipt of the first Internet gambling in New Jersey reveals the commitment of the company to take the leading role in online gambling and other states may emulate this as well.

Borgata is the joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming. MGM first partnered with the digital entertainment way back in October 2011. Jim Murren, the Chief Executive of MGM called this partnership an anticipatory move that was to be prepared, should New Jersey legalize Internet gambling.

Ballance said that being the first in the queue is always nice. He added that and Borgata are really working hard to fulfill their objective of being the first to start offering online gambling in New Jersey. He also said that Internet gambling is a great opportunity for the growth of the gaming industry in New Jersey and that it will bring amazing benefits for the entire state because New Jersey plays a leadership role in this budding gaming entertainment.

To make sure you don’t miss a thing with regards to the gaming developments in New Jersey, stay tuned and come back for more of these exciting updates.

Chris Moorman: King of Online Poker Tournaments

October 11, 2013

British poker pro Chris Moorman is an online poker phenomenon in and of himself, recently reaching an unprecedented lifetime career $10 million in online poker tourney cashes. The 28-year-old has had almost 6,000 online poker cashes on PokerStars, PartyPoker, Full Tilt Poker, and the iPoker Network over the past seven years—a feat no other poker player has accomplished. Furthermore, he has 15 online poker triple crowns meaning that he’s won three online tournaments on three different sites within a week’s time 15 times throughout his career. In total, he has finished in the top three places in online poker tournaments 546 times, finishing first place 223 of those times. Moorman’s biggest online payout was for $235K.

In addition to his online winnings, he has earned about $3 million in live poker events including 19 WSOP cashes, the best of those being a second place finish in 2011 in the $10K NLH Six Handed Championship. Moorman doesn’t let the success all go to his head though. He remains humble and grateful for his gift.

On making the $10 million mark, he says, “I’ve seen many incredibly successful players get burned out over the years, but thankfully I continue to enjoy the game more than ever. To be able to wake up and get to do something I love every day makes me feel truly blessed. I feel that the 10 million mile stone is a testament to my dedication and ultimate passion for the game of poker and challenging myself to be the best that I can be.”

The second most successful player in online poker tournaments is Jon “PearlJammer” Turner, who has about $7 million in winnings, according to PocketFives. As far as cash games go, Phil Ivey is at about $17 million, and Patrik Antonius at just over $11 million.

New Poker Movie “Runner, Runner” Is Not a Poker Movie

October 5, 2013

It didn’t take long for the real-life fight for online gambling regulations to make it to the big screen. The new Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake movie “Runner, Runner” depicts the tale of a young gambler who is sucked into the business of an offshore poker site and its criminal wheeling and dealing. While the movie comes from the same group of writers who brought us the classic Rounders, the screenwriters don’t see the film as a “poker movie.”

Screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien say, “We don’t really consider ‘Runner, Runner’ a poker movie. It’s a thriller set against online gambling. The movie starts out centered around poker because a character is cheated by an online poker site, but it’s more about the business of online poker, the same way a movie like ‘The Firm’ is set around a law firm and the Mafia.”

While the American Gaming Association isn’t relying on a federal bill to regulate online poker in the US, they aren’t missing the opportunity to make a case to Congress based on the realizations that the movie reveals about offshore poker rings.

Though the movie has received mixed reviews and hasn’t impressed the top critiques in the country, it is nothing less than an entertaining crime thriller, and whether or not the movie is or isn’t about poker, it’s still worth seeing. And while Rounders fans are still waiting on “Rounders 2,” this isn’t it, though some critics are saying it is very similar in terms of language and plot.

Durrrr Challenge II Back on After Three-Year Hiatus

October 5, 2013

It’s been a while (more than three years) since the Durrrr Challenge II has been updated, but alas, the time has come. Dan “jungleman12” Cates vs. Tom “durrrr” Dwan picked up again on October 1st on Full Tilt Poker.

Dwan and Cates went heads up for 3+ hours at the NLH $200/$400 when Cates improved his lead on Dwan by almost $200K in just under 1,500 hands. Thus far, more than 20,000 of the 50,000 required hands have been played with Cates ahead by more than $1.2 million.

On September 24, Dwan Tweeted, “In taiwan for the 1st time ever… Not leaving the airport tho. Maybe next trip. Had my biggest loss ever yesterday,” referring to a pot he lost against Cates.

The two had agreed back in July to play at least 4,000 hands per month, but that didn’t happen in August or September. Cates wrote on 2+2 in July that if the 4,000 hands were not played, penalties would be applied for not complying with the timetable.

Perhaps the challenge is back on now, and hopefully it won’t be another three years before we see another session out of the Durrrr Challenge II. The requirements of the challenge require 50,000 hands to be played. If at the end of these hands Dwan is down by even one dollar, he must pay his opponent an additional $1.5 million. On the other hand, if Dwan wins, he will receive $500K from his opponent.

When play picked back up last Tuesday, Cates was already showing a six-figure profit in just the first 200 hands. Dwan eventually managed to gain a lead and was up $130K and maintained the lead for most of the session until about the last hour when Cates made his comeback. Now that Cates is in the lead, he will be insistent that the challenge continue in a more regular fashion.