Posts Tagged ‘holdem’

Tournament: Vanessa Selbst wins NAPT Mohegan Sun event

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Vanessa Selbst has achieved much of her success in the state of Connecticut. She attends Yale Law School in New Haven and won two no-limit Texas Holdem tournaments at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket in November 2008. Now she can add her first major poker tournament title with her recent victory at the PokerStars North American Poker Tour US$5,000 buy-in Main Event at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville.

She started the final table with just over 4.5 million chips, just behind chip leader Michael Beasley with 4.98 million. The final table held to form, with the two chip leaders picking off bluffs and outmaneuvering the competition until they reached heads-up play. Ms. Selbst started heads-up with nearly a seven-to-one chip advantage over Mr. Beasley. When Mr. Beasley pushed his last 1.2 million into the pot with [Qh 10s], Ms. Selbst called with [Ah 8s].

The flop was [Kd 6c 3d], with no hand and no draw for either player, but Ms. Selbst’s ace-high was nearly a three-to-one favorite. The turn was [7c], making Ms. Selbst’s ace-high a favorite of more than six to one and leaving Mr. Beasley with only six outs (three queens or three tens) to stay alive. The river was [8c], and Mr. Beasley had to settle for second place and payout of US$428,000

With the first major win of her career, Ms. Selbst also took home her biggest payday: US$750,000. Previously, her biggest win came in the 2008 World Series of Poker US$1,500 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event in June 2008. The win at Mohegan Sun pushes her over US$1.6 million in career earnings and into the top twenty on the all-time women’s money list. At only twenty-five years of age, Ms. Selbst has shown that the "young guns" of poker is not just a "boys club".

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Tournament: Bad beats and blowups at Bucharest World Poker Tour Event

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

The World Poker Tour made its first visit to Eastern Europe this week for its inaugural event in Bucharest, Romania. The Main Event, a tournament with a €3,000 (US$3,750) buy-in featured more than one hundred sixty players, for a total prize pool of €449,450 (US$562,000) and a top prize of over €125,000 (US$156,250). The field features many of the top players in Europe; including recent WPT champion Carlos Mortensen.

The tournament action at the Novotel Bucharest City Center Hotel was not the only newsworthy event to happen at the no-limit Texas Holdem tables. A relative of the owner of a popular local soccer team showed his frustration at the proceedings. Giovanni Becali, a soccer agent and cousin of the owner of the Bucharest soccer club Steaua, yelled out after a floor ruling went against him. He tossed his chips in the air and advanced on a poker room tournament director as if he was going to throw a punch.

Watch the video here:

Becali, who has had a history of public outbursts and offensive remarks, stormed out of the hotel ballroom. He did not respond to calls for interviews and has yet to apologize for his unsportsmanlike behavior. The tournament staff gathered up the thrown chips and resumed play after Becali left.

In other poker news, a gang in Austin, Texas robbed a home poker game using many of the same methods as those who raided the European Poker Tour event in Berlin earlier this month. Robbers fired guns in the air and stole the cash on the table, as well as wallets, cell phones and cash from the players.

Police already have one suspect in custody on charges of felony credit card abuse after he tried to use a player’s stolen credit card. According to news reports, each player only carried $200 or $300 in cash for the game, with only ten to twelve players in attendance at the modest home game.

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Blotter: Tony Hachem wins ANZPT Tour event

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Tony Hachem, brother of 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Joe Hachem, won his first major title earlier this week. He defeated a field of over two hundred players to take first place at the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour event in Perth, Western Australia. Each player paid A$2,500 (US$2,294) to play in the no-limit Texas Holdem tournament, for a prize pool of A$552,500 (US$507,098).

The younger Hachem brother took home A$132,750 (US$121,523) for his victory, the largest cash win in his tournament career. He also made the final table in the Adelaide event last month; his seventh-place finish at the A$1000 (US$917) buy-in tournament earned him A$25,770 (US$22,789). Last year, he earned Player of the Year honors for his strong tournament runs on the ANZPT. With a win and a final table under his belt already, he is in the running to win the award for the second straight year.

Also, like his brother, Tony Hachem has an endorsement deal with the popular poker web site PokerStars.Net, which also sponsors the ANZPT, the European Poker Tour, the Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. The site also helped to launch the North American Poker Tour at the Venetian casino in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Tony Hachem has also had a measure of success at the World Series of Poker. In 2008, he cashed in the US$5,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Holdem tournament, finishing in the top forty out of more than eight hundred entrants. He also finished in the money in the US$10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event in 2007 and in the US$2,500 buy-in Short-Handed No-Limit Texas Holdem tournament in 2006.

Some observers of the game are already comparing Joe and Tony Hachem to other famous poker families, such as sibling duo Howard Lederer and Annie Duke and father/son pairs such as Doyle and Todd Brunson and Barry and Jeff Shulman. With the 2010 World Series approaching on the horizon, poker fans are waiting to see if the Hachems can be the first pair of brothers to win Main Event bracelets.

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Tournament: Andras Koroknai wins WPT LA Poker Classic

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Hungarian Andras Koroknai outlasted a field of the top players in the game to win the World Poker Tour’s LA Poker Classic US$10,000 buy-in Main Event.

Koroknai went into the final table as the chip leader and went wire-to-wire to win the US$1.78 million first prize. Raymond Dolan, a Huntington Beach resident and regular on the Southern California poker scene, finished second and took home just over US$1 million.

The action at the final table started fast and furious, with the first two players eliminated in less than an hour. California native Michael Kamran, who entered the final table as the short stack, pushed in all of his chips with ten-seven suited. Fellow Angelino Gevork Kasabyan called with ace-jack offsuit. Kamran flopped an open-ended straight draw and paired his seven on the turn, but the river card was an ace, knocking out Kamran in sixth place and earning him US$246,774.

Play slowed down for several hours until the deciding heads-up match. Koroknai had an overpowering nine-to-one chip lead on Dolan at the start of heads-up play. On the first hand of their heads-up match, Dolan moved in all of his chips with queen-four offsuit and Koroknai called with queen-eight of hearts. Dolan caught a glimmer of hope on the flop when he paired his four, but Koroknai flopped a flush draw and filled his flush on the river for the win.

The victory was the first of Koroknai’s career and his biggest payday by far. Many members of the Hungarian community in Los Angeles came to the Commerce Casino to watch the action and root on their native son. At times, the atmosphere resembled a World Cup soccer match rather than a poker tournament final table. With the win, Koroknai also qualified for the US$25,000 buy-in WPT Championship no-limit Texas Holdem Main Event at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas this spring.

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Tournament: Andras Koroknai leads WPT LAPC Final Table

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

After a Day 5 field at the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic that looked like a "Who’s Who" of the game, the final table of the US$10,000 no-limit Texas Holdem event now looks like a "Who’s He?" list.

Hungarian Andras Koroknai leads the field at the start of his first TV final table with nearly five million chips. His only previous cash finish of record was a EUR2,000 buy-in tournament in Vienna, Austria, last October, where he finished eighth out of eighty-three players.

Raymond Dolan, a native of nearby Huntington Beach, California, sits in second place at the final table with 3.3 million chips. While this is Dolan’s first TV appearance, he cashed in an earlier event in this series. He finished in twelfth place out of nearly six thousand players in the US$335 buy-in no-limit Texas Holdem event, earning US$12,380.

Several recognizable names in the poker world made it to Day 5, but could not hang on to make the final table. One of those notable pros was Annie Duke, winner of the first World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. Duke, arguably the most recognizable female poker players, finished in nineteenth place after her ace-eight offsuit failed to improve against her opponent’s pair of fours. She took home US$45,773.

Another famous face that will not be under the bright TV lights is the 2001 WSOP Main Event Champion and 2007 WPT Championship winner Juan Carlos Mortensen. Although he had the chip lead going into Day 5, he fell in ninth place, three spots short of the TV table. He moved all-in for his last 290,000 chips with ace-four suited, but did not catch the ace or flush he needed to beat his opponent’s pocket tens. He earned US$100,000 for his finish.

The final table will start at 4pm PST on 4 March from the Commerce Casino in Commerce, California. All of the action will be taped and edited for broadcast around the world. The winner of this prestigious event will take home more than US$1.7 million, with US$1 million for the second-place finisher.

Here are the chip stacks going into the final table:

1. Andras Koroknai (Budapest, Hungary) – 4,995,000 2. Raymond Dolan (Huntington Beach, California) – 3,300,000 3. Tri Huynh (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) – 2,565,000 4. Gevork Kasabyan (Los Angeles, California) – 2,000,000 5. Jean-Claude Moussa (Brighton, Massachusetts)- 1,360,000 6. Michael Kamran (Los Angeles, California) – 680,000

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Blotter: NAPT reaches TV deal with ESPN

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Programming executives at ESPN, the leading sports-specialty cable channel, announced that they had reached an agreement to broadcast the PokerStars.Net North American Poker Tour. The shows are due to start on 19 April at 9PM ET on ESPN2. Each two-hour show will feature at least one event from the new tour, starting with the US$25,000 buy-in high-roller event from the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas, and will be hosted by swimsuit model and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Joanna Krupa.

The shows will run on Monday nights from mid-April to mid-May. The first two weeks will feature events from the Venetian, including the US$5,000 buy-in Main Event on 26 April. The next two shows will carry coverage of the Mohegan Sun Shootout and the US$5,000 buy-in main event from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The first season concludes with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure US$25,000 buy-in high-roller event on 17 May.

ESPN has been the cable home of the World Series of Poker for many years. The network’s broadcasts of Chris Moneymaker’s improbable win at the 2003 Main Event helped to propel the popularity of no-limit Texas Holdem tournaments to unprecedented levels. With the success of their WSOP and US Poker Championship broadcasts, the Disney-owned network has branded itself as a "must-see" destination for poker fans.

ESPN Coordinating Producer Jamie Horowitz expressed his enthusiasm for the move. In a recent interview, he said that the new tour will feature the kind of big-name poker pros, high-stakes action and poker skill exhibitions that poker fans have come to expect from the network’s other poker broadcasts. Also, since the tour is affiliated with a major online poker sites, many of the poker pros that play on that site will also be featured in the tournament broadcasts.

One of the most notable pros that play on PokerStars.Net is former World Poker Tour Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu. Mr. Negreanu also talked about the excitement surrounding the new tour. He wrote in his blog that the NAPT would have a better opportunity for growth in years to come, thanks to their partnership with ESPN.

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Tournament: Paul Wasicka wins at Tunica

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Professional poker player Paul Wasicka took home the title at the World Series of Poker Circuit Texas Holdem tournament at the Harrah’s casino in Tunica, Mississippi. His win over a field of ninety-six players in the US$5000 buy-in main event earned him US$139,422. Mr. Wasicka entered the heads-up match with fellow Las Vegas veteran Larry Gurney with nearly equal chip stacks before he took down the victory.

On the last hand of the tournament, Mr. Gurney moved all-in with pocket fours on a board of (9h 8s 6c). Mr. Wasicka called with (9d 8d) for top two pair. The turn was (2d), the river was (5c), and Mr. Gurney’s pair of fours failed to improve. For his runner-up finish, Mr. Gurney took home US$94,448 for his highest finish and the biggest payday of his poker career..

Mr. Wasicka is no stranger to big poker tournaments. He finished second at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, losing to eventual champion Jamie Gold. Mr. Wasicka earned the largest prize for a runner-up in WSOP history, earning US$6.1 million. He also won the 2007 National Heads-up Championship to garner a US$500,000 payday. In that same year, he also made a final table at the World Poker Tour Los Angeles Poker Classic, where he finished fourth and made US$455,000.

This latest win gives Mr. Wasicka a career tournament earnings total of well over US$7.7 million in less than six years. The win at Tunica also marks his first major open tournament win. The win also puts him on the map of rising stars in the world of tournament poker. With his first win coming just a week before his twenty-ninth birthday, he has the potential to join names such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius among the top players in the game.


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