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Feeling Flush

April 1, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve caught WSOP bracelet holder and WPT winner James Dempsey at a bad time. Stood in the middle of an  no named train station, he asks me to hold on while he hurriedly buys a ticket back home. ‘The life of a poker player is all glamour,’ he jokes as he umms and ahhs over his ticket selection.

Every few seconds his south coast accent breaks the silence to politely ask me to ‘wait a second… be right with you… almost done’. It’s not your average start to an interview, but then Dempsey is not your average poker pro.

The Brighton legend has been at the heart of the UK’s poker scene since before there was a UK poker scene. He may have burst into the spotlight in recent years thanks to a WSOP and WPT titles, but he has been working hard for ten years to become an overnight success. And as he catches his breath on a quiet train carriage, he explains just how different poker is now from his early days grinding play money tournaments for fun.

‘The style of the poker has changed dramatically and the size of the game is just so much bigger,’ he says. ‘Just look at how many big tournaments there are these days and how many people play them. If you had a 10k with a 15 minute clock it was amazing, now it’s a crapshoot.’

Dempsey’s ten-year love affair with poker has been a mixed bag to say the least. After years of grinding he suddenly found himself a WSOP bracelet winner with a Full Tilt sponsorship deal. And then Black Friday happened.

‘I had a pretty good deal with Full Tilt, and probably as much security as you can get as a poker player. It was something I expected to be so safe. But then it collapsed and I didn’t really believe it. I kept thinking things would blow over. I was gutted. Just when you think you’ve got something sorted, poker comes along and does something else.’

Diamond geezer

After the highs of 2010, with a bracelet win and Full Tilt sponsorship deal, last year was beginning to look a bit of a nightmare. Patch-less and with only a few cashes to his credit, Dempsey had all but written off 2011.

‘My game had been lacking since my bracelet win in 2010,’ he admits. ‘I came second in another WSOP event straight afterwards, but since then I didn’t really have anything going. I felt I wasn’t playing that great. I was always confident I’d get back to the top, but I was maybe trying to force it too much.’

Enter Chris Moorman and an unlikely Vegas trip. Moorman, in Sin City for last December’s Epic Poker League event, called on Dempsey to deliver some grinding money to him. The rest, as they say, is history. ‘I’d always planned on going out to Vegas at some point after the World Series, I always do. Usually, I go in November and come home when the games dry up, but Chris wanted me to meet him so I tried my luck at the WPT Five Diamond Classic. If he hadn’t needed some money sorted, I wouldn’t have been there.’

Dempsey made his delivery and signed up for the $10k major in December. In one week, he joined the likes of Jake Cody and Sam Trickett among 2011’s biggest winners, pocketing $821k after triumphing over big names Vanessa Selbst and Antonio Esfandiari on the toughest WPT final table in recent memory. Throughout it all, the UK’s finest were there to cheer him home.

‘Myself and Tom Middleton went together, Sam Trickett just rocked up out there a few days before and Chris Moorman flew over early to rail the final,’ he says. ‘It was a pretty hilarious night out. In fact the WPT trophy
was brought to a club at one point and dropped. There’s a bit that’s chipped off. I can get it fixed but I think it adds a bit more character really – it’s a war wound.’

Mine’s a water

The aftermath of his WPT win was a mish-mash of boozing and ‘hijinks’ in some of Vegas’ most exclusive clubs, but like most things with The Doctor, it wasn’t your usual night out. A self-imposed hiatus from the bottle meant Dempsey was the sole ‘non-drinker’ celebrating his success.

‘It’s too easy to get carried away with all the partying, especially with all the young lads around today. They love getting on it. But I’ve been doing that for quite a while now, and quitting wasn’t the worst idea. It’s definitely something I would advise others to give a go.’

Jokingly, I ask how he’s managed to stay friends with so many of the game’s youngsters when he’s always clean and sober. ‘I dunno,’ he blurts. ‘I’m just someone people get on with. I think a lot of players are similar nowadays, and that’s why I’m enjoying it so much. I’ve been around for years, so I’ve got to know a lot of people.’

It’s a typically modest response. As one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the British game, Dempsey’s had plenty of time to build such friendships. But it wasn’t always chipped trophies and nights out. Dempsey came into poker after watching Late Night Poker back in ‘2001 or 2002’ and was already hooked before the Moneymaker effect changed things forever. ‘When I started I was absolutely diabolical, but luckily so was everyone else,’ he adds. ‘I guess timing is everything.’

‘When I first started playing, I was just playing. I can’t think of a point where it became a motivation and I decided this is what I’m going to do. Luckily, every year has been better than the previous, which is pretty rare. Even if I did cut it a little late last year!’

Dempsey’s career has always been a gradual build. He never took shots or went outside of bankroll. ‘I’m more complete in terms of my playing style and understanding of different types of players than others,’ he says. ‘A lot of people don’t get that. They haven’t been bad players because they learnt so quickly. But because I was so bad for so long I understand how amateurs think.’

Fingers crossed

The overwhelming feeling you get when chatting with Dempsey is that he’s a nice guy who has ended up a lynchpin of the UK scene. He’s famous for his staking (see boxout), but less so for his abilities at the table. While Cody and Trickett were snapping up all of poker’s honours last year, Dempsey was getting it quietly on the live cash scene, and were it not for Moorman’s intervention, he’d still be there. T

here’s an unfussy consistency to his game. And as the phone line struggles to cope with a network of tunnels, I ask whether having to watch the plaudits be lauded on others, while his WSOP win almost faded into history, got to him.

‘Oh no, it was great,’ he says sincerely. ‘Obviously there’s a part of you that is jealous when somebody has a score, that’s just natural. If you weren’t then you’re not going to do very well in the game. But any time a close friend wins, it makes it all seem a lot more realistic. You get the feeling that you could do it again.

‘As long as I’m happy in how I’m playing then that’s all that really matters. It’s great being back. I’ve never been one to travel where all you can do is play poker, like Deauville in the middle of January. But I’ve got the bug again so I’m putting myself through it.’

A major reason for Dempsey’s new-found hunger is the company he keeps. While the Brits have been on top for a few years now, people often overlook the effect having a solid group of friends can have on your win-rate. According to Dempsey, there’s never been a better time to be a UK poker player.

‘The group is fantastic now and ever-growing,’ he beams. ‘Every time I meet someone new they just seem to be really good at the game. I hope it continues. The more the merrier. It makes going away so much more fun. When I first started playing around Europe, there was no one really there, especially in my age group. But now you can have fun at every tournament. When I first popped up it was so much the opposite. Poker was so much newer, and I definitely notice it.’

Taking the Michael

One by-product of such a tight-knit group of UK pros is the constant banter and mickey-taking. And Dempsey can clearly hold his own. When asked whether he uses his new-found WPT fame to wind up Moorman, who, try as he might, can’t seem to book a major live win, he laughs once more. ‘We never stop winding the Moorman up about his second places.’

And that’s James Dempsey in a nutshell. One minute he’s the all-seeing, all-knowing man from Brighton who’s been there since the beginning of the poker boom. The next he’s The Doctor, ready to put down his fellow pros with a one-liner. Throughout our interview he’s never once expressed any regrets. Whether it’s the loss of his sponsorship deal or money lost staking losing players, he’s never wished his career could have taken a different path.

As the phone line begins to crackle, Dempsey gets ready to tell me one final anecdote. But I can’t make it out. Instead a tunnel brings our conversation to an abrupt halt and the last thing I hear is the sound of Dempsey laughing his head off at the memory. It’s not a bad life.

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Categories: Online Poker

Exclusive GUKPT Freeroll

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The seventh season of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour heads to Stockton and Thanet in April and PokerPlayer is giving you the chance to play in the main event for free thanks to grosvenorpoker.com.

Our exclusive freeroll on April 2, at 8pm is offering a seat to either the £550 Stockton main event or Thanet’s £550 six max event for absolutely nothing!

Why you should play

One of the best aspects of the GUKPT is the tremendous added value that exists on the tour, with £200,000 added over the standout series. Every winner of any main event or side event will also qualify for the £100,000 Champion of Champions freeroll in Coventry later this year. So what are you waiting for?

How to enter

1//
If you haven’t already got a Grosvenor Poker account, go to http://www.grosvenorpoker.com to download the software.

2//

Once you’ve downloaded the software, open a real money account (existing players also eligible)

3//
Look for the ‘GUKPT PokerPlayer Freeroll’ in the tournament lobby under the ‘freeroll’ tab and register using your exclusive PokerPlayer password (issue #83)

The Prizes

1st: £550 Seat to Stockton or Thanet main event (your choice)
2nd and 3rd: £150 satellite token
4th and 5th: £20 satellite token

If you don’t qualify this time round, don’t panic. You can still win a GUKPT seat through the PokerPlayer UK Tour 2012. Click here for more information!

 

 

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Categories: Online Poker

PokerTracker 4 Public Beta!

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about with poker HUDs? Well, now you can get in on the act for absolutely nothing with a free public beta from PokerTracker 4 – the newest version of the analytical software tool that tracks, analyses and helps you improve your online poker game.

The free pre-release public beta of PokerTracker 4 is available online for use on Microsoft Windows right now, as developers seek crowd-sourced feedback from the poker community at large and prepare the application for commercial release.

To take part in the free public beta, click here!

According to the creators, ‘PokerTracker 4 imports all your hand histories and players can then view this personalized information in a user-friendly format to explore nearly every possible angle of both the user’s and his/her opponents’ poker game to help determine optimal playing decisions’.

The PT4 development team believe that tracking software should augment users’ playing experiences, without interfering with your time at the tables.  ‘The interface and HUD are crisp, clean and without clutter while maintaining a vast amount of data available at the touch of a player’s fingertips,’ added the team.

If you need help using PT4, check out preview videos here!

The full commercial version is expected later this year.

PokerTracker Features:

Available for Texas Holdem and Omaha, with support for No-Limit, Limit or Pot-Limit betting structures for Cash Ring Games, Sit ‘N Gos and Multi-Table Tournaments

The most popular features from some third party software packages have been incorporated into PT4 at no additional cost. There are no additional downloads needed – everything is built directly into the application

HUD features include:

– Vector HUD Engine frees screen clutter at all table sizes
– NoteTracker automated note system
– Drag and drop HUD Profile Editor
– Street by street hand equities displayed at showdown
– Player Table-Session stat display
– Support for PokerStars Zoom cash game formats
– Money Flow Chart to see how winnings are passed between players
– Visualize statistics using the Holdem Hand Range Visualizer

For more on PT4 and to download the public beta, click here

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iSeriesLIVE is here!

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Poker tours are a dime-a-dozen these days, but what poker is really crying out for in this post-Black Friday era is something for the fans to get excited about. That’s why the news of the brand new iSeriesLIVE has got the poker world talking.

The first iSeriesLIVE event, scheduled for April 5 alongside the Irish Open in Dublin, will see the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phill Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, and Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott squaring off in a promotional €10,000 buy-in, winner-takes-all 10-person shootout. Future events will include 36 person, six max no limit hold’em, heads-up tournaments, and more.

But what is it about the events that make them different from any other two-bit shootout? The difference is a healthy spot of gambling. iSeriesLIVE will give viewers the chance to watch top poker players- live with hole cards exposed – and bet on the action as it happens.

Players in all iSeriesLIVE events will be given no access to mobile devices or outside influences and online viewers will be able to bet on a number of real-time scenarios, including odds to win the table that change based on evolving chip stacks, next player eliminated, last longers, and the flop (red or black).

For the promotional launch event, live betting will be offered exclusively via sportsbook giant
PaddyPower in licensed and regulated markets and those who don’t live in a licensed PaddyPower market – such as the United States – can still follow the action live at iSeriesLive.com.

‘For poker to continue to grow, the game needs to become more immediate to our fans,’
said 11-time bracelet winner Hellmuth. ‘By allowing fans to view a poker event as it actually happens, with hole cards exposed, and bet on the action just as they would on football or horse racing, iSeriesLIVE can help take our game to the next level.

‘Now the world will know why I’ve said ‘If it wasn’t for luck, I’d win them all’’

Another unique element about iSeriesLIVE is the event’s financial structure. On top of the €10,000 buy-in, winner-takes-all format, each player participating in iSeriesLIVE events will actually receive a revenue split of all money that is bet on or against them. 

‘After Black Friday, we were determined to find a way to add new revenue streams for our
world class roster of talent,’ says Brian Balsbaugh, founder of Poker Royalty. ‘We are
fronting the expenses, then sharing the wagering profits with the participating players. There
are countless additional ways for us to monetize this model and we look forward to rolling
them out over the course of the next year. Our end goal is to pay players for playing
iSeriesLIVE events.’

Professional poker players committed to play the promotional kick-off event are Negreanu, Hellmuth, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, Mortensen, Maria Ho, Tobias Reinkemeier, Marvin Rettenmaier, James Dempsey, Eoghan O’dea, and Faraz Jaka.

Negreanu’s been tweeting about the iSeriesLIVE event all week, and while most people are behind the idea, Kid Poker found himself in trouble with the moderators at TwoPlusTwo for promoting the site on the forum.

‘Daniel started a thread about iSeriesLive 2 days ago, for which he was infracted, as anyone would have been,’ said a moderator. ‘2 days later, he spams links to his vblog in two different threads, and the first 6:20 of the linked video is about iSeriesLive. For this he gets a one day tempban – such an easy call, no matter who it is.’

As people say, there’s no such as bad publicity…

Check back with PokerPlayer this April to see how the first ever iSeriesLIVE event goes

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Categories: Online Poker

Second To None

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment
 
People underestimated my talents. It was easy for them to say, what evidence is there that Phil’s really great at poker?

Once upon a time, saying you were a Phil Hellmuth fan was as fashionable as wearing socks with sandals. One too many ill-tempered outbursts, blow-ups and questionable plays had tarnished an undeniably glittering career. And in the end, all that was left was a caricature of poker’s most recognisable face. But at the 2011 WSOP, everything changed.

Gone were the over-the-top entrances and the vomit-inducing hyperbole. In their place was the Hellmuth of old, arguably poker’s best ever player, displaying the same hunger seen in his first Main Event victory aged 24. The only thing missing from the perfect comeback was a little dose of luck. Time and again Hellmuth found himself heads-up for a shot at his 12th bracelet, only for the chance to slip through his fingers. Even the hardest poker cynic couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy as Hellmuth finished runner-up not once, not twice, but three heart-wrenching times.

The third time would have broken a lesser man. Heads-up in the $50k Player’s Championship, this was Hellmuth’s shot at the ultimate poker redemption. Here he stood on the brink of poker immortality, only to experience a moment of madness, shoving with an eight-high flush draw when his opponent held the nut straight. The big man looked like his world had collapsed, but he roused himself for what was, by Hellmuthian standards, a spectacularly considered and modest speech. ‘I’ve been way too cocky in the past, and I hear my critics,’ he said at the time. It was as if the transformation was complete. The Brat is dead, long live the King.

Six months on we caught up with Hellmuth for a lengthy chat, to see how the player we loved to hate has changed, and find out if we’ve really seen the last of the Poker Brat…

How do you reflect on the 2011 WSOP?

I look back at 2011 and feel a little bit like Greg Norman when he could have won the Masters in 1996. I didn’t really blow it, but the first time I came second was cold, the second time really cold and by the time I was heads-up for the third time, it seemed like the whole planet was rooting for me. Three second places is significant because people are going to look back and say ‘Wow’. It’s one thing to say you’ve had a bunch of firsts. But if you’ve also got a bunch of seconds, it means you’ve made it down there a lot. There was some disappointment and I have some mixed feelings. But overall I should be proud. If I can have three seconds in the modern era, then I can have three firsts.

Have you taken any other positives from last year?

People underestimated my talents. Not the great players. They’ve played with me for 20 years and they know me and what I can do. And the public in general knew what I was capable of. But then there was the middle tier of poker, all these guys that have come around since my last bracelet in 2007. It was easy for them to say, what evidence is there that Phil’s really great at poker? There was evidence, but not enough to prove the myth or the legend that had built up around me. To come out and have the year that I had, it just shuts them all up. And that feels good.

What’s it like having the whole world rooting for you?

It feels great. Honestly, I haven’t had that a lot. When they introduce me at the WSOP, everybody boos, and I know they’re not really booing me, they’re booing the Poker Brat. When I was introduced in front of 250,000 people at a NASCAR race in Vegas, and you hear everyone boo as loud as they can, it hurts. But my friends have always told me you can’t let that bother you, they’re booing a character. My whole life I’ve never run into issues with any fans, and even though they might boo me, that same day they’ll line up 500 deep for autographs and pictures.

Did you ever take such criticism personally?

You don’t realise it until you get booed, and then you’re like ‘Oh, shit’. But you can’t dwell on it. People come up to me all the time and tell me that I’m they’re all-time idol, that I’m who they aspire to be in life, and they’re almost in tears. They’ve come and they’ve given you a big gift. But you can’t let it in. If you do then you’ll start having ego issues.

Would it be fair to say you’ve battled with your ego over the years?

Absolutely. When you win the World Series at 24 it happens. I’ve fought my ego my whole life. The wife will tell you it’s not out of control, especially now that I’m older, but the players still  think it is and so does the public. Sometimes I’ll make cocky statements, but even though people see me laughing when I’m making them, it’s still hard to distinguish.

Do you think your achievements in 2011 have swung public opinion in your favour?

I still might get booed, but I think there will be more affection in the booing. I’m still a character on the stage. I play the bad guy. But people know I’m not the bad guy. I’m not a drug addict, I raise a ton of cash for charity and I’m not an alcoholic. I’ve been in a long-term relationship and never cheated. I feel like I’ve had perfect honour throughout my career and I think that a lot of people know this. They might see the character, but they still think, ‘Wow, that guy’s authentic’.

Did you doubt whether you’d ever be on top again?

Poker’s a lifelong game. I’ve been given some gifts but you have to work hard. I didn’t put  enough work into my game, and people who accused me of not working hard enough were right. I put family as number one and in doing so became a part-time poker player. But in 2010 I really put some effort in. I started playing a lot more cash, a lot more tournaments. And then something clicked. All of a sudden, I remembered how to play games it seemed like I’d forgotten. Next thing you know I have a massive chip lead in the 2-7 Championship. I was completely dominating the final table and couldn’t quite finish it.

In some of your tweets after the WSOP, you seemed to be quite affected mentally by losing. Is that still the case?

I was haunted for months afterwards, but I think now I have some peace. Time passes. I would wake up at night and go over hands I could have played differently. Actually, I shouldn’t say I’m over it. I was haunted again the other night. I woke up thinking if I’d just stuck it in with A-7 against Brian Rast’s Kings I would have won it all.

How did your family react to it all?

My wife gave me the funniest reaction. About an hour after the Player’s Championship, I had just about calmed down. This being my third second place, I realised that it was still an awesome year and I’d really got everyone’s attention. I was dealing with it pretty well for once. Then she got after me. I’ve been married to my wife since 1990 and she’s never said a word to me about poker. But she just screamed ‘What were you thinking! You put it all-in with flush draws. You never put it all-in with flush draws. It was too important for us!’ There was blazing anger all over her face. I liked it. If she’s mad at me, I must have played bad.

Were you a little jaded by the third final table? Did you let tilt start affecting your play?

It was all too quick and there was a break coming in six minutes. Sometimes I play my worst poker when a break is coming. I should have just folded the T♣-8♣ on the turn and not raised preflop. The 8♦-2♦ was just too weak. The math people will say I had an 83% chance to win the tournament. And they’re right. But you don’t win 11 bracelets with an 83% chance. You play for six, seven or eight hours, whatever it takes. You don’t give him a 17% chance to win. But I hadn’t played a lot of heads-up hold’em in the last few years.

Is that a part of your game you’ll be working on this year?

It’s not that I need to work on it, I just need to play. I have a mind that likes to figure things out and notice everything. My mind has been great for me and it’s allowed me to become really great at games really quickly. If I’d just played 20 hours of heads-up a few weeks before, that would have been enough. I would have been where I needed to be. Just a small tip or two can make a big difference.

What about away from the tables? You’ve been criticised for being a ‘celebrity whore’ by some. Is that something you’re hoping to change?

Hey, that’s my life! Do you want me to tweet or not? It’s actually funny to me that people criticise that. I’m not going to stop. If I’m hanging out with superstars like Ben Affleck or Steve Martin, I think that’s kind of fun and it’s cool. It’s a little bit aspirational. A lot of people would like to be in those situations.

Do you feel blessed in some ways to live that sort of lifestyle?

I do. I think it’s incredible. When I’m with NBA players, or team owners, who am I to be able to hang out with these guys? I’m just a poker player. I don’t care if someone is a celebrity or not – I mean I want to meet celebrities, everybody does – but I’m not necessarily going to make them my friends. Some celebrities are just jerks. But in general, most are my fans. I’m not asking for anything and I’m a fun guy to hang out with.

What still motivates you to stay in the game then? Is it the celebrity lifestyle? The money?

It’s about being the greatest. It’s about putting 24 World Championships up on the board. Shit, I could get there in five years. It could happen. That’s a major goal and that would put me in a class where people talk about me in 50 years’ time.

So what can we expect in 2012?

When I put a schedule together, I’m concerned about playing in tournaments that make history. I’m always looking for the next tournament that counts. My life is going to be remembered for playing poker. And I’ve been lucky. I wrote a New York Times bestseller and the autobiography of my life is done. It’s taken ten years to write the thing. The book ends in 1993 after I’d won three bracelets, and that opens up the possibility for a second book. I’m excited about that. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘The Poker Brat’ came out by the end of the year.

Do you actually like your nickname?

It’s fitting. I’ve been a bit of a brat at the tables. Those days might be gone, but I always whine just a little bit too much. In 2011 I let things pass by me. A bad beat would just be like, ‘Oh, you got your money in good again and lost, what a shock, you’re Phil Hellmuth!’

What about all the blow-ups? Do you ever look back at certain videos of yourself and cringe?

Not really. Once every six months I’ll look back at a couple of videos and be like, okay, whatever. People are enormously entertained by them so I can’t complain.

Have you ever regretted anything you’ve done at the tables?

I wish I could have not whined quite so much. Especially when I’m doing it to someone that I really like. If I’m friends with somebody like a Huck Seed, you’ll never see me having a go at them because they hate it. I’ve learned that I don’t want to let poker affect friendships. Maybe I’m over all of it, but it doesn’t feel like it.

That used to be your way of steaming after a bad beat. How did you handle that in 2011?

I went out drinking every time I finished second. I’d have a scotch and take a day off. Never an inordinate amount, because I have a lot of discipline. That’s how I’ve managed to stay faithful to my wife – it takes discipline. You’re in these spots with these beautiful women and you have to get out of there. I never had a hangover, but I’d just have six or seven drinks over a night and play poker.

Do the women still throw themselves at Phil Hellmuth?

They don’t throw themselves at Phil Hellmuth. They throw themselves at the Poker Brat. Women like rich and famous bad boys. They’re throwing themselves at this image of what they think I am. I guess I’m wasting a lot of my abilities, but I like the fact that I never have to lie.

Phil Hellmuth on Black Friday

PHIL GIVES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE STATE OF THE POKER WORLD SINCE THE US SHUTDOWN

What was your reaction to Black Friday?

I thought it was pretty horrible and I was ready to sign a huge contract. But now we can start from scratch and put sites together in the US like everybody else. I think it was bad for poker. But the next boom – the legalisation of poker in America – is going to be bigger than the last boom. And we’re on the cusp of it. There were mistakes made in the past, by every site. But now we can start completely clean.

People would have signed up for Ultimate Bet because you endorsed it. How do you feel now they haven’t got their money back?

For me, I was lucky that I left the site. And once I had, I was telling people that I wasn’t endorsing that site any more. A lot of other players will say I was lucky not to deal with the fallout, but once you leave a site there’s a much different relationship than if you continue.

Do you regret the way things have happened with UB?

I feel bad for any of the online players that didn’t get their money back, on any of the sites. But I left. And I think there’s a big difference. Really, I haven’t run into much criticism along those lines. When I left, I took my name off and then that happened. I stopped wearing a logo way back in September 2010 and everyone knew that was the case.

Best of Enemies

PHIL HAD A FEW WORDS TO SAY ON HIS OLD SPARRING PARTNER DANIEL NEGREANU…

‘Daniel is a different guy. He says stuff when he shouldn’t, and he’s got himself in a lot of trouble over the years, with players especially. But I still believe Daniel has a good heart. He’s been my biggest critic, but he still loves me. He knows I’m a pure person. I’ve never cheated on my wife in 22 years, and the players know this stuff. I’m straight up with people. I don’t lie. I have an incredible amount of integrity and honour, and he knows that. But he also knows I’m a bit goofy, in the right ways. He wants me to do well, and he has a tremendous amount of respect for the person I am. When your biggest critic only attacks your poker play, that’s probably a good sign in life.’

 

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Daniel Haglund wins GUKPT Walsall

March 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The 2012 GUKPT is in full swing, and after a top knotch opener in Manchester, the tour pulled into Walsall this weekend where Swede Daniel Haglund bagged his first GUKPT title and just shy of £50k.

Haglund, from Tibro in Sweden, already has a WSOP final table and EPT cash under his belt, but the online pro went one better in Walsall, seeing off a final nine that included last year’s Walsall final tablist Simon Deadman, before beating GUKPT stalwart Steve Holden for the win.

Holden, who qualified for the £1,000 Main Event for just £10, had come back from a short stack on Day 2, and held the chip lead for all but two hands of his heads-up bout, before hitting the rail in second for £31,750 when his pocket fours couldn’t overturn Haglund’s pocket nines.

‘I wasn’t thinking too much, to be honest, I just tried to play decent poker and hoped to run OK,’ the modest Haglund said after his win.

Next on the GUKPT schedule is a stop in Stockton from April 8 -15, where the all-new £500 +£50 Deepstack and 6-max Main Events will make their debuts, before the tour moves on to Thanet on April 22.
 
And don’t forget, if you fancy playing in this year’s GUKPT, you can win a seat for absolutely nothing in the PokerPlayer UK Tour. Tour sponsor Grosvenor Casinos is giving the winner of each PPUK Tour leg winner a GUKPT main event seat as an extra special bonus.

Here’s how GUKPT Walsall finished up:

1. Daniel Haglund £45,100
2.
Steve Holden £31,750
3.
Martin Holmes £19,890
4.
Dave Clark £12,240
5.
Chris Gavriel £9,560
6.
Terry Owens £7,720
7.
Jonathan McCann £5,740
8.
Arulmaran Sivaguru £4,210
9.
Simon Deadman £3,060

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Go pro with Ladbrokes Grassroots

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Ever thought about packing in your day job and becoming a professional poker player? Frankly, who hasn’t? To help get you into poker’s big leagues, UK site Ladbrokes has announced the brand new Grassroots promotion, offering 40 players £25k in buy-ins to prove their worth and one overall winner a £10,000 sponsorship deal with the site.

Qualification for this amazing prize will run between March and April on Ladbrokes.com, and whether your speciality is cash games, MTTs or sit-and-gos, there’s a route to suit you (see below).

Once all 40 seats have been nabbed, the lucky winners will be invited to a £100 live tournament in May, where the top seven placed finishers and seven ‘wild cards’ will move onto stage two – a £300 live event in June.

From there, the top four and four ‘wild cards’ will move onto a £500 freezeout in July, before the final four head to London this August for a whopping £1,000 freezeout plus the chance to win the £10,000 sponsorship deal and the honour of calling themselves a Ladbrokes pro.

Interested? Head to Ladbrokes.com. There you’ll find the full terms and conditions for winning the Grassroots promotion, details on how wild cards are picked and all the latest social media news from @ladbrokes_poker.

GOOD LUCK!

How to qualify

Once you’ve signed up with Ladbrokes, you must e-mail your online alias to grassroots@ladbrokes.co.uk with your chosen qualification route in subject line – e.g. ‘Grassroots Cash Qualification’ – before the start of the qualification period to be considered.

Grassroots Cash Qualification – 5 places

Period 1 : 00:00 March 19 to 23:59 March 25
Period 2 : 00:00 March 26 to 23:59 April 1
Period 3 : 00:00 April 2 to 23:59 April 8
Period 4 : 00:00 April 9 to 23:59 April 15
Period 5 : 00:00 April 23 to 23:59 April 29

Grassroots cash > MTT Qualification – 10 places

Play a minimum of 300 Raked Hands between April 1 and April 20 and you will have access to an MTT with 10 Places to the Grassroots Scheme on 7pm, Wednesday April 25.

Grassroots STT Qualification – 5 places

Period 1 : 00:00 March 19 to March 25 23:59
Period 2 : 00:00 March 26 to April 1 23:59
Period 3 : 00:00 April 2 to April 8 23:59
Period 4 : 00:00 April 9 to April 15 23:59
Period 5 : 00:00 April 23 to April 29 23:59

Grassroots €10k, €100k and €200k MTT Qualification – 10 places

€100k GTD on March 18, March 25, April 8 and April 15
€200k on April 1
€10k GTD on March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11 and April 8

For more on qualification and details about Ladbrokes MTT feeders, click here

 

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