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Brett Blackwood

Brett Blackwood took down the Mid-States Poker Tour FireKeepers Casino Battle Creek, after outplaying 884 players for a first place prize of $188,314. The event in Michigan offered a cool prize pool of $855,980.

The win was Brett's first-ever live poker tournament title. Commenting on this phenomenal achievement, he said:

“It feels fake right now; right now it just feels like a dream. I was all in 14 or 15 times, often behind and just ran spectacular. The PLO bankroll was all right, but it just got a whole lot healthier.”

The $1,100 MSPT had several big names walking home with a return on investment. These included Michael Ferrarotti (80th), Ryan Dykhouse (78th), Adam Lamphere (44th), Mark Johnson Jr. (38th), Patrick Steele (34th) and Michael Hahn (17th).

10 players made it to the final table. After a series of eliminations, it was left between Cy Church and Brett Blackwood to fight it out for the title/

At one point during the heads-up battle, Church held an 11m to 7m chip advantage over Brett. But the latter soon turned the tables to edge ahead. The final hand of the game was played when Church's J-5 were no match for Blackwood’s A-2.

Final Table Results:

1: Brett Blackwood $188,314
2: Cy Church $114,701
3: Griff Woodman $74,641
4: Vinh Ho $51,701
5: Jimmy Ray $37,663
6: Lars Cole $28,932
7: Aaron Massey $23,882
8: Satish Thakur $19,944
9: Josh Marvin $16,007
10: Nevada Saad $12,241

Saturday, 01 October 2016 18:16

Pedro Claus emerges victorious at 2016 LAPT Uruguay

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Pedro Claus

Pedro Claus emerged victorious at the 2016 LAPT Uruguay Main Event, beating 438 players for $90,630 first-place prize.

The event, held at the Enjoy Conrad Resort & Casino in Punta del Este, Uruguay, had a prize pool of $571,590 up for grabs.

Some of the notable players to have earned a return on their investment included Oscar Alache in 52nd ($2,620), Leo Fernandez in 29th ($3,600), Mario Lopez in 14th ($6,580), and Amos Ben in 13th ($7,480).

Eight players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Pedro and Fernando Araujo were left to fight it out for the title.

The heads-up rounded concluded soon after Araujo moved all-in preflop holding K-6. Claus, with pocket queens, made the call to seal the deal.

Final Table Payouts:

1: Pedro Claus (Arg) $90,630*

2: Fernando Araujo (Bra) $70,000*

3: Manuel Vuotto (Arg) $70,000*

4: Sergio De Benedictis (Arg) $39,720

5: Nicolas Pernigotti (Arg) $31,160

6: Ruben Barros (Arg) $24,400

7: Cristian Andres Rotondo (Arg) $18,340

8: Marco Oliveira (Bra) $13,040

Friday, 23 September 2016 15:20

Ryan Van Sanford wins inaugural PokerNews Cup

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Ryan Van Sanford

Ryan Van Sanford won the inaugural PokerNews Cup, beating a strong field of 120 players for $68,676 first place.

The $2,150 buy-in event, held at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, offered $222,324 in prize money.

The 23-year old Colorado resident’s lifetime earnings stretched to $952,135 after this win.

The PokerNews Cup witnessed several notable players in action. These included Barry Hutter, Jake Bazeley, Jeremy Ausmus, Brian Hastings, Christian Harder, and Aaron Massey.

Eight players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left for Sanford to fight it out with Dominic Picinic for the coveted title.

The final hand of the match was played when Picinic (A-2) raised pre-flop. Sanford (A-J) responded by pushing all-in. Picinic called and the board ran K-Q-7-5-K board. That sealed his fate and Picnic had to settle for a second placr finish for $38,412.

All my trophies go to my dad, so I’m sure he’ll find a special place for this one,” said Sanford after the win.

Final Table Results:

1: Ryan Van Sanford $68,676

2: Dominic Picinic $38,412

3: Sergio De Zen $23,280

4: Barry Hutter $18,624

5: Christian Harder $13,968

6: J.Kovoor-Chathoth $11,640

7: David Fink $9,312

8: Taylor Wilson $6,984

Erik Sagstrom

Just like Gus Hansen, poker legend Erik Sagstrom too made a victorious return to the table with a win in Las Vegas.

From 2004 to 2007, there was no stopping the Swedish poker pro. In 2005, he made a killing by selling the PokerChamps online poker room for a whopping €18 million.

Considering he has stayed away from the poker scene for quite some time now, Erik’s win at the $5,300 NLHE High Roller for $65,000 came as quite a surprise.

The event, hosted at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, offered a $130,000 prize pool thanks to the 26 players that participated.

Sagstrom played solid poker to last till the very end, where he beat Joe Kuether for the title.

After the win, the 33-year-old told reporters that he has switched his focus from poker to sports betting in recent years.

“I’ve been doing a little of this and a little of that and then I came [to Vegas]. I wasn’t planning on playing much, but once you’re here, you get sucked in. Life is crazy and the degenerate that I am, I play all the time now,” he said.

Post his latest win, Sagstrom intends to play a lot more poker tournaments going forward, which is excellent news for poker fans.

Saturday, 13 August 2016 10:48

Bodog's Bovada Poker to be rebranded post-Sept 30th

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Bovada Poker Logo

Earlier in the week, Bodog announced that its US-facing poker site - Bovada - was taken over by Ignition Casino.

The online poker room will now be re-branded and no longer exist as Bovada after September 30th. The operator's players too recieved an email asking them to transfer their funds to the new site.

“Because Ignition Casino uses the same platform asda Poker, everything you enjoy such as: anonymous tables, Zone poker, mobile poker and guaranteed tournaments, like the weekly $100K, will be there waiting for you,” read the mail.

It must be noted that players will continue to avail other benefits of the side like sportbook, racebook, and casino.

As of now, Bovada/Bodog is world’s thirst most popular poker site. It boasts of 1,350 cash game players over a 7-day period.

It now remains to be seen how a change in ownership and branding will affect the traffic and popularity of the site.

Monday, 08 August 2016 11:39

James Mackey wins 2016 WPT Choctaw main event

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James Mackey WPT

James Mackey took down the World Poker Tour Choctaw main event, beating a strong field of 1066 players to take home a cool $681,758.

After his memorable win, the 30-year-old Missouri pro took to social micro-blogging site Twitter to share his excitement.

“Winner! Feels amazing to finally win a WPT after playing them for 10 years. Congrats to Ben on second he played great.”

The win took Mackey’s live earnings to $3,575,959. He has also accumulated $3,874,095 playing online under the screen name "Mig.com".

Some of the notable players that earned a slice of the $3,619,070 prize pool, were Kathy Liebert in 84th ($7,821), Harrison Gimbel in 22nd ($24,940), Connor Drinan in 17th ($35,572) and Jeff Gross in 13th ($43,177).

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left between Mackey and WSOP bracelet holder Benjamin Zamani to battle it out for the title.

It took 36 hands to crown the winner of the main event. The final hand was played when Mackey (8-8) and Zamani (5-5) went all-in preflop. With the board running 8-7-6-J-6, Mackey sealed the deal and also won himself a $15,000 seat into the end of season WPT Tournament of Champions.

Final Table Results:

1: James Mackey $681,758
2: Benjamin Zamani $412,234
3: Craig Varnell $306,346
4: Bastian Fischer $230,300
5: Jack Duong $175,122
6: Matthew Smith $134,720

Russ Campanella

Russ Campanella emerged victorious at the 2016 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam Main Event, beating a strong field of 475 players.

Thie biggest win of the 42-year-old's career helped him take his  live earnings tally to $152,093.

Interestingly, a large chunk of the $252,106 prize pool was split by last seven players at the final table. Hence, the top four players walked away with $26,000, while the remaining took home $20,000 a piece.

Day 2 witnessed of $600 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event witnessed 86 players back at the Seneca Niagara Falls Casino. After a series of eliminations, it was left for Campanella and  Chris Harker to fight it out for the title.

Russ outclassed the latter in the heads up to secure the title and a memorable win.

Final Table Results:

1: Russ Campanella – $26,500
2: Chris Harker – $26,500
3: Ray LaRouech – $26,000
4: Shawn Edinger – $26,000
5: Matt Fergenbaum – $20,000
6: Jason Nablo – $20,000
7: Kurtis Boutelle – $20,000
8: Julie Billiteri – $6,807
9: Jason Kanel – $5,546

Pokerstars Logo

Earlier in the year, online poker giant released the test version of its new heads-up poker app DUEL. The game was designed to appeal to players with less time and even lesser patience.

A social quotient too was integrated into the game with players getting to compete against their friends from Facebook and Twitter.

Early June however, the app was pulled out after it failed to gain much traction in the market. A spokesman of the company revealed that this decision was taken “after reviewing usage data from the beta launch and determining that it was not commercially viable at scale.”

PokerStars, the pioneers of multiple initiatives, clearly failed to deliver this time, as a newer audience did not move towards the company's new product.

Some experts felt that the product did not offer lucrative cash or non-poker prizes that tend to lure players.

Also, questions from some quarters were raised about the supposed lack of marketing money spent by PokerStars on promote DUEL.

While the analysis will go on, the company needs to head back to the drawing board to buold a must-have mobile app that has the capacity to capture the imagination of a new target group.

Kuljinder Sidhu

Kuljinder Sidhu beat a strong field of 268 players to take down the Bellagio Cup XII for a cool 599,440.

The $10,400 buy-in event, with a prize pool of $2,599,600, went on for five days. 27 players were paid out with the $23,396 being the least.

Some of the notable players that made it to the final table included Faraz Jaka in 22nd ($23,396), Justin Bonomo in 15th ($31,195), and Byron Kaverman in 10th ($36,394).

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations; it was left between Kuljinder Sidhu and Nick Schulman to battle it out for the title.

The duo opted to split the prize money before the playing the heads-up round for the trophy. The UK pro overcame his more illustrious opponent to walk away with the bragging rights.

Thanks to this latest triumph, Sidhu now has $2,266,868 in career earnings.

Final Table Results:

1: Kuljinder Sidhu $599,400

2: Nick Schulman $557,388

3: Chance Kornuth $285,956

4: Connor Drinan $198,869

5: Pratyush Buddiga $148,177

6: Adam Geyer $114,382

7: David Peters $88,386

8: Liv Boeree $64,990

9: Dani Stern $46,793

Phil Hellmuth Pittsburgh Poker Open

Phil Hellmuth is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever poker players. The American pro first gained global headlines after his 1989 WSOP main event win. He then went on to do the same in 2012 as well. As of now, the Poker Brat has 14 gold bracelets to his credit and a huge reputation.

This year however, Hellmuth suffered a disappointing campaign, accumulating just $67,098. After bowing out o the main event without any returns on his investment, Hellmuth took to social micro-blogging site Twitter to share his frustration.

“One of my worst @WSOP in the last 10 years. One final table, one 15th place, only 3 cashes and tons of “Close to cashes.” Blah.”

The 51-year-old was clearly not in the best of moods, even flinging his mobile phone across the room. He was eventually eliminated by Sara Hall.

Hellmuth was in desperate need of a credible performance in the last event of this year's WSOP, the $1K Little One for One Drop. Sadly for him, he couldn't step up his game there either.

“If my reads were on, if my White Magic were perfect all the time, I’d have eight more bracelets, maybe 10 more bracelets, but on days where it’s not quite there you just have to adapt,” he said after the event.

The last thing poker enthusiasts should do is doubt the ability of Hellmuth. It must be noted that he is placed seveth on poker’s all-time money list with $20,977,294 in winnings. 2016 hasn't been too bad for him either. Hellmuth finished 4th at the $300k Super High Roller Bowl for a whopping $1.6 million payday.

Corey Thompson Wsop 2016

Corey Thompson beat a tough field of 1397 players to take down the Event #58: $1k No Limit Hold’em for a cool $221,163.

This is Thompson's first WSOP bracelet. His best performance before this was a win at the $1,650 HPT Daytona Beach Main Event for $131,720. The 27-year-old now has $438,700 in live earnings.

Commenting on his latest win, the Florida pro said:

“It’s been a huge year. I don’t play cash games that much. I’ve been playing more tournaments. The HPT win was really huge. I really caught fire since then. I started coming out here [to the WSOP] four years ago, but mostly played just a few smaller events. This win was huge.”

Some of the notable players that earned a slice of the $1,257,300 prize pool were Juha Helppi in 76th ($2,450), Kelly Minkin in 43rd ($4,518) and Ryan Riess in 23rd ($6,651).

Nine players made it to the final table. After a series of eliminations, it was left between Thompson and Germany’s Enrico Rudelitz to fight it out for the title. 

The former held a a 4 to 1 chip lead over the German at the start of the heads-up duel. The final result was arrived at in a matter of 60 hands. Rudelitz (A-7) moved all-in preflop and was called by Thompson (Q-J). The board ran 10-8-2-9-6, which meant that Rudelitz had to settle for a second place finish for $136,651.

“I come from a working-class background. My mother cleans houses for a living. My father mowed grass and did yardwork. I know what it’s like to work for a living. I know the value of money,” said a delighted Thompson.

Final Table Results:

1: Corey Thompson $221,163
2: Enrico Rudelitz $136,651
3: William Liang $97,811
4: Darren Terazawa $70,821
5: Ankit Ahuja $51,878
6: Terry Fan $38,452
7: Matthew Chang $28,842
8: Ryan Pochedly $21,897
9: Benjamin Reinhart $16,827

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