July 2007

30 July

PokerStars Sunday Tournament Results (7-29-07)

Twenty thousand people.Twenty thousand people in one tournament. This weekend's PokerStars Sunday Hundred Grand hosted the biggest cash tournament field in history. It's just another indication of what a big day Sunday is at PokerStars. The world's top online site hosts four huge Sunday events every week. Here are the...more

World Cup of Poker teams set

This was a big weekend for the World Cup of Poker IV. On Sunday, the final round of national qualifying tournaments took place and determined who would have the honor of playing on their country's team. More than 75,000 players participated in Round 1 action of this year's World Cup....more

29 July

World Cup of Poker action underway

The action is already hot in the PokerStars' World Cup of Poker.The final Round 1 Qualifiers for the remaining countries are now taking place. Nine players from each tournament will qualify for their country's final match, from which the top 2 players will join the top 2 TLB players to...more

26 July

Against the odds with Chris Moneymaker

It was late one night at the World Series of Poker. A friend walked up and said, "Do you think you could get an autographed picture of Chris Moneymaker?"I shrugged. Shouldn't be too hard, I thought. The friend said, "Not for me. There's this guy in the hospital."I quickly told...more

23 July

BlueLabel11 wins Ocean's Thirteen PokerStars Baize

More than 250 people signed up on Sunday to compete for a one of a kind PokerStars felt signed by the cast and producer of the blockbuster film "Ocean's Thirteen." The rebuy tournament offered the winner-take-all prize. It took five hours, but when it was over, PokerStars BlueLabel11 walked away...more

PokerStars Sunday Tournaments Results (7-22-07)

PokerStars now has so many big tournaments on Sundays, there is no need to go anywhere else. The winners of three of the biggest tournaments won more than $300,000 combined on Sunday. Here are the results from PokerStars Sunday events.PokerSars Sunday Warm-up Results1. Egar1m (United States) $84,601.44 2. manitu895 (Canada)...more

19 July

Oceans' Thirteen charity tournament this weekend

This is the weekend you can win a one-of-a-kind prize straight from PokerStars and the cast of Ocean's Thirteen. PokerStars is giving away a signed poker baize (known in some circles as a felt) in a tournament aimed at helping the efforts of Not On Our Watch, a charity that...more

18 July

2007 World Series: Millions for PokerStars Players

Three PokerStars players have earned a combined $8,845,249 at the final table of the 2007 World Series. Tuan Lam, Raymond Rahme, and Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan all made it to the biggest final table in poker and put on a great show for the world. Tuan Lam, 2nd place, $4,840,981 Raymond...more

2007 World Series: Part 13 - Final Table Coverage

How appropriate that this is Part 13 of our final table coverage. Tuan Lam, after making it heads-up for the World Series Championship bracelet has just finished in second place. He got all-in with AQ versus Jerry Yang's 88. Lam looked good for his second double up during heads up...more

2007 World Series: Part 12 - Final Table Coverage

It was the hand of the tournament so far.Jerry Yang had raised to 2.6 million and PokerStars' Raymond Rahme re-raised 6 million more. Yang called. When the flop came J-8-A the South African checked, Yang bet 10 million and Rahme moved all in over the top for 17 million more....more

2007 World Series: Part 11 - Final Table Coverage

If this final continues in the same fashion, we will all still be here at Christmas. The same four players have been doing battle for an incredible seven and a half hours since the elimination of Britain's Jon Kalmar. And far from the chip stacks getting stretched over time, they...more

2007 World Series: Part 10 - Final Table Coverage

While we still have the same four players at the table, the dynamics have changed substantially. Granted, Jerry Yang remains in the lead with more than 50 million, but it is the scrap below that has turned on its head.Alex Kravchenko, the short stack earlier is now in second place,...more

2007 World Series: Part 9 - Final Table Coverage

After an afternoon and early evening that saw Jerry Yang run roughshod over the final table, the post-dinner break play has evened out the stacks. Back to back double-ups for Tuan and Alex have returned this from a one-man show into a poker tournament. Now nearing the eleven o'clock hour,...more

2007 World Series: Part 8 - Final Table Coverage

Tuan Lam is an aggressive player short-handed, certainly with the most experience short-handed at the table with these four men remaining. And it's been a painful afternoon for him."Ac-Jc is the best hand I've had the whole day," said Tuan as he headed to the dinner break. "I've had many,...more

2007 World Series: Part 7 - Final Table Coverage

The four remaining players are a contrast of behaviors at the table. Alex Kravchenko may have had a facial tic or slight move of his lip, but that was probably seven or eight years ago. He sits erect and upright. When he makes a move, it is a sudden action...more

2007 World Series: Part 6 - Final Table Coverage

"I'm feeling like a lion," said Raymond Rahme, quite fittingly for a man from South Africa. "It is going exactly as I planned: I'm up about one million from my starting stack today."You might think the "it's going to plan" line is just a throw-away comment, but for Rahme, he...more

2007 World Series: Part 5 - Final Table Coverage

RaiNKhaN has danced his last step at the 2007 World Series. Jerry Yang, as we've reported here already, has been as active as anybody at the final table. He'd busted every player so far. One time, he'd made a move with J8, only to have it suck out on Lee...more

17 July

2007 World Series: Part 4 - Final Table Coverage

After all the theatrics and histrionics displayed by Hevad "RaiNKhaN" in the past week, I think both the crowd and ESPN producers were a little disappointed in the early going. Khan didn't seem to be himself. Although he had a playable stack, the heavy early action kept him from getting...more

2007 World Series: Part 3 - Final Table Coverage

We overheard Phil Gordon contemplating who would be affected the most by the jumps in prize money. There should be some players who play skittish, but you can guarantee Tuan Lam is not one of them.Tuan made the biggest jump heading into the Final Table, going from 3.46m to 21.32m....more

2007 World Series: Part 2 - Final Table Coverage

The line of spectators snaked from the Amazon Room, down the hall (and believe us, it's a long hall) and nearly all the way out of the front door. But only a few of them would get a prized position to watch the final from the comfort of a grandstand...more

2007 World Series: Part 1 - Final Table coverage

The line stretching into the Amazon Room is as long as it as has been. Despite there being only nine players left in this championship event, it seems a crowd has developed from nowhere. In the past, tournament directors and ESPN have actively recruited spectators to watch--something akin to a...more

16 July

2007 World Series: Three PokerStars Players at Final Table

By the members of Team BlogWhen the final table of the 2007 World Series kicks off on Tuesday, three PokerStars players will be vying for the gold championship bracelet. Among them are a PokerStars VIP Club Supernova, a high-limit cash game specialist, and a sexagenarian from South Africa. Here's what...more

2007 World Series: RaiNKhaN Storms Up Leaderboard

by Simon YoungAt the dinner break, PokerStars Supernova Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan was slightly downcast. He had slipped down the leaderboard and was card dead. He needed hands - and he needed them quick. Furthermore, he needed action. "And I need to adapt and try and play strong," he added.Hevad Khan:...more

2007 World Series: Almost Everybody Loves Raymond (Rahme)

The board read 7sAcQs7d9h and South Africa's Raymond Rahme had just called Ray Henson's monster bet on the river. Henson knocked the table and flipped up 63, a big bluff that went very wrong. Surely, we all expected, Rahme was going to turn up at least an ace. Or even...more

2007 World Series: John "texduke" Ambrust Finishes 18th

by Craig CunninghamI met Doug Kim last year when I interviewed Jason Strasser for PokerStars blog. If you don't remember, Jason was one of the chip leaders into the money but suffered a horrific beat when his aces were cracked by A-Ks. Following Doug gave me someone to root for...more

2007 World Series: Strong Rain Forecast

by Simon YoungAfter days of hearing about Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan's aggressive and creative play, I was looking forward to the last level when he was sitting on the tables I was covering, one of only two remaining. Nothing happened in the first 30, then 60, then 90 minutes. Finally, in...more

2007 World Series: Big han's for BABYHAN

"You're playing like a champion, Tuan!"Those words floated down to the ESPN stage, dainty as the lady who delivered them. In fact, at the moment, Tuan Lam was playing with even more in his heart. He was playing like he already had his eye on the championship bracelet. Lam took...more

2007 World Series: John Armbrust From the Felt

by Craigh CunninghamJohn "texduke" Armbrust wasn't down to a chip and a chair yesterday, but he wasn't far from it. He was so low in chips that he started using them to form the letters "AA" as he pleaded with the dealer for any card. "Moving up a cash level...more

2007 World Series: Patience is a Virtue

by Simon YoungDavid Tran began the day as chip leader and, despite getting involved in a flurry of action early in the first session, he has sat back more in the last two-hour level. In fact, I think I saw him involved in no more than five hands."I just have...more

2007 World Series: Focus

For the past six and half weeks, the Rio Convention Center has looked like a giant festival. Vendors pitched their products, people walked around in silly costumes or like biped-billboards, and poker was played on 200-300 tables at any given time. To anyone looking in from the outside, it would've...more

15 July

2007 World Series: Scott Freeman Works His Magic

by Craig CunninghamUSC Trojan Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman started the day solidly with 7.36m in chips. He's been a force at the bid PokerStars MTT's, and he's a force here with twenty-eight players left. "He's the third best player in our home game," said one of his friends supporting him. "He...more

2007 World Series: Lazy Sunday Afternoon? No Chance

by Simon YoungIt's Sunday afternoon, and while most folks are relaxing with the family, washing the car or tending to the garden, 36 returned here for Day 6 of the World Series Main Event, hoping to get through today to reach Tuesday's final table - and the $8,250,000 first prize...more

2007 World Series: Roy's 4's

"My close friend had a premonition that I would finish 4th, 14th, or 44th," said Roy "The Oracle" Winston. "I've had quad four's twice and two sets of fours, and it is great to get past 44th. I think I'd be disappointed now to get 14th, but I'll take 4th...more

2007 World Series: Day 5 of the online kings

I'm not sure there was a day so far the World Series that carried such importance, potential wealth, or tension as Day 5. With still a hundred players in action at the beginning of the day, the jump between beginning bottom payout and the money with which players would finish...more

2007 World Series: Roy "The Oracle" Winston Has Tough View Today

by Craig CunninghamPlastic surgeon Roy "The Oracle" Winston has He's honed his game in cash games at the Bellagio, Commerce, and the Spa Resort in Palm Springs. His game is $25/50 NLH or $50/100 NLH. "He's a very solid, aggressive player," said pro Jean Gispard. "He likes to gamble sometimes...more

2007 World Series: The RaiNKhaN Dance

The media rules here are very strict and usually for good reason. I respect and protect my media access here, so I never break the rules--usually to the detriment of my coverage. That said, a while ago, I watched from the rail as RaiNKhaN once again, in his words, "ran...more

2007 World Series: Where we've been

If there is variance in poker, there might as well be in poker blogs as well. Nearly every major event we've done on the PokerStars Blog has experienced one day of techincal difficulties that sends me into a technological tilt that pushes me to the edge of both unemployment and...more

2007 World Series: Ryan's Slaughter

by Simon YoungAfter more than four days solid, stressful and top-class poker, the end can be so abrupt you hardly know what hit you.So it was for PokerStars qualifier Ryan Lawrence today. He had travelled here from Lethbridge in Canada more than a week ago as one of more than...more

2007 World Series: Jason Welch from the Brink

"What are you doing here?" I asked Jason Welch as he walked away from his table. "I thought you were headed out of here.""Me too!" he said. Jason had started the day with 618k, good for 89th out of 112 players. Some would see his glass as half empty, but...more

2007 World Series: Winston Has The Nuts

by Simon YoungPokerStars player Roy Winston is sending a powerful message to the rest of his table - he's sitting there with the nuts. But in this case it's not the best hand, but the bag of nuts he's feasting on which is so large it would keep 100 squirrels...more

2007 World Series: The Four Horsemen of the Final Table

by Craig CunninghamFour men hold down the corners of the ESPN Feature Table, where chipleader Dag Martin Mikkelsen. David Tran (3s), Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan (4s), Rep Porter (7s), and Humberto Brenes (9s) anchor the table for PokerStars. With so many solid players, play has gravitated toward position raises, strong re-raises,...more

2007 World Series: Personality and poker

We call it "The Moat" It's an aisle around the tables designated for we media reps who don't have an ESPN camera. It's a crowded place, but in fortunate circumstances, provides us with a so-close-you-can-smell-the-fear view of the action. Nicolas Atlan sat closest to me, his lucky Italia sweatshirt a...more

2007 World Series:The Wheel of Misfortune

by Simon YoungWhen you work as a poker writer you grow a hard skin. While covering major tournaments, bad beats, suck outs and outrageous ill-luck happen all around you, and before long you can all to easily become indifferent to the feelings of the victims. After all, that's poker.Jack Han:...more

14 July

2007 World Series: Alive in Day Five

by Craig CunninghamPokerStars players are up and down the leaderboard as play begins on Day 5. With no clear leader emerging, any of the 112 players remaining could make the Final Table--or take the bracelet.Play will go for five levels or 27 players, whichever is reached first. Blinds are 12k/24k...more

2007 World Series: Day 5 begins run to big money

So, how important do you think today is?As Day 5 begins, any of the remaining players who bust out will earn $58,000. By the time today ends, bottom money will be $285,000.This Saturday the 14th figures to be a long and gruesome for the players involved. PokerStars Supernova Hevad "RaiNKhaN"...more

2007 World Series: Day 4 at Crystal Lake

I didn't even realize it was Friday the 13th until the day was almost over.Whether it was bad luck, an oversight, or sheer clever evilness on the part of the World Series organizers, one of the most important days in this year's Main Event fell on a day most superstitious...more

2007 World Series: lol donkaments

by Craig CunninghamBrian Tracy and K.C. Cagney caucused outside of the Amazon at a break, talking about their play and the play of those who have gone. "I've just seen some horrible plays," said Brian Tracy. He's been on a short stack most of the day. "I started at 300k...more

2007 World Series: Han's Handy Hands

by Simon YoungPokerStars qualifier Jack Han is making a late charge and has managed to build up from just 75,000 an hour or so before dinner to more than 900,000 in the first level since players came back. Three hands made all the difference to the online-pro New Yorker, who...more

2007 World Series: I am the weatherman

The weather outside rarely changes. It's hot. It's sunny. It's hot. It's sunny. The sun sometimes goes down at night. And then it's hot and sunny again. Inside, however, the weather is always changing. Today, it looks like rain.Witness Jeff "mrrain" Banghart. There was little doubt his new table would...more

2007 World Series: In Plural, Dario Takes a Hit

by Craig CunninghamWhen we left Dario Minieri, he was regrouping at the first break. At the second break, he was re-regrouping, 980k lighter than before.The test before Dario is straightforward yet difficult: can he change gears, can he keep his aggression ready yet adjust to the players, can the other...more

2007 World Series: Ryan Lawrence

"Do you want my story from last night too? I've got a great story," Ryan Lawrence said. He put down his cell phone as players milled around in the halls at the break. "So I get moved to Gus Hansen's table last night, and I have 500k or so. I...more

2007 World Series: Josh Evans Sets His Sights High

by Simon YoungIn any given poker session you can only hope, often in vain, that you will flop a perfectly disguised set to win a huge pot. PokerStars player Josh Evans has done just that three times this afternoon - and is now vying for the chip lead in the...more

13 July

2007 World Series: Shark in deeper waters

Humberto Brenes speaks English, but he doesn't need to. When he's in a hand, his face is expressive enough that words are unnecessary. He doesn't give off too many tells, but when it's his turn to act, it's pretty clear what he's going to do. Furthermore, you don't even have...more

2007 World Series: Dario Takes a Hit

by Craig CunninghamDario Minieri built a monster stack yesterday, running over his table to take the chip lead. He's at the ESPN Feature Table today, and the table dynamics are much different.Dario's in the 7s, and the other end of the table is the danger zone. David Tran (1s) is...more

2007 World Series: I Won't be stupid, says Dario

by Simon YoungPokerStars' Dario Minieri was a young man full of confidence as he walked into the Amazon Room for the start of play - and no wonder considering he needs heavy lifting gear to stack all his chips. But despite his enormous lead, the Italian gave away a cautiousness...more

2007 World Series: Day 4 of the Dario?

There is something around the Amazon Room today that I haven't found in a week.Quiet.Now, with only 300 or so players starting the day, the long lines of people waiting to get in to see their friends and family has all but disappeared. Now in the money, the players and...more

2007 World Series: PokerStars Winners

Note: We've made every effort to make sure we have an accurate list. However, in some cases, the official list may have a name spelled incorrectly and result in an error. Please let us know if you see any inaccuracies.Tuan Lam $4,840,981 Raymond Rahme $3,048,025 Hevad Khan $956,243 David Tran...more

2007 World Series: Day of the Dario

by PokerStars Team BlogI had many stories in mind for today. The last I expected was the meteoric rise of Dario Minieri.Though I had planned for and fully expected a clash between the two rain kings (see below), the story of Dario Minieri was a late-day add that made my...more

2007 World Series: Marco Mills Mints a Multitude of M's

While PokerStars own Jeff "mrrain" Banghart and Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan holding down the first and third chip positions after the dinner break, several other players are emerging as threats as the evening moves on.Joe Pharo from Scottsdale was one of the last players to leave the Amazon Room for the...more

2007 World Series: Dinner without Duthie (barely)

It was a dinner fashioned for the poker history books. Among the seven diners, four had written poker books, and three wished they had. I was among them, dining on a miso-oriented sea bass and a cocktail or two. It ended sooner than it should and Tony Holden ended up...more

2007 World Series: Happy Humberto's Hungry

by Simon YoungPost bubble madness, and the Amazon Room has a more calm feeling to it, despite players busting out at an alarming rate once again. But you can always rely on a certain gentleman with a moustache to raise the decibel level again."Come on - rooooaaaaarr. Hunger, hunger, hunger,"...more

2007 World Series: Floating with the bubble

When play went hand-for-hand on the bubble, PokerStars' Team Blog floated around the room. These are their impressions the moments leading up to the bubble's pop.Tight on the bubbleBrad WillisA man sat crestfallen underneath a row of pay phones in the hallway. He looked like he could cry if he...more

12 July

2007 World Series: Brazil still in action

by Maria Mayrinck of the PokerStars Brazilian BlogDay 3 of the 2007 World Series Main Event has many Brazilians still in the race, such as Christian Toth, Gualter Salles, Edson Esquio and Robert Chiró.Christian Toth, from Rio de Janeiro, 39, is an old familiar name in the gaming world, having...more

2007 World Series: Elizondo Running Well

by Simon YoungAfter playing Day 2a with great success, you might think Daniel Elizondo would take it easy on his day off before getting down to the serious business of making the money today. Breakfast in bed followed by hours lounging around the pool, perhaps? Or maybe a relaxing meal...more

2007 World Series: Starting the Run to the Money

797 players playing down to 621 for the money, that's how we begin Day 3. Harrah's has suffered with their facilities, yet half the Amazon Room is now empty save for a few cash games.For the dozens of PokerStars qualifiers, starting tables and your stack have a big impact on...more

2007 World Series: The Bubble Cometh

I've written so much about it that writers have actually started including me in their stories about the tournament bubble. I love it. You can have Day 1. Heck, you can have the final table. There is no more pure joy during the World Series than the moment the bubble...more

2007 World Series: RaiNKhaN set to meet mrrain as Day 2 ends

I wrongly assumed RaiNKhaN's table would break shortly after dinner. The battle between RaiNKhaN and Gus Hansen, I thought, would have to wait for another day. I must have had the table breaking order wrong in my head, because the table remained firmly in place. In fact, when Sorel Mizzi...more

2007 World Series: Jacks Beat Up Kings Again

by Simon YoungProfessional online player Paul "mrp123" Ihrie was having an average day at the office where his stack was stuck more or less at its starting point of 74,300. But PokerStars qualifier Paul must have had something special for dinner, because when they returned from the break he dealt...more

2007 World Series: When Stars Collide

As the dinner break approached, the crowd of 1300+ players had been halved down to 638 players. Many PokerStars qualifiers made moves through the first three levels of the day.Scottsdale's Andrew Qiu doubled his stack, from 85k up to 170k. Art "ott2323" Cole had a nice run as well. "I...more

2007 World Series: RaiNKhaN meet Gus, Gus meet RaiNKhaN

An ESPN producer was hovering over RaiNKhaN as the big guy tried to rack up his towers of chips. It was only a matter of time before the table broke and the time had come just as ESPN had really gotten into taping a segment on the PokerStars SNG king."I...more

2007 World Series: Gladys still in thanks to one out

by Simon YoungA few days ago we had the pleasure of finding PokerStars qualifier Gladys Landegger, an Argentinian who moved to Los Angeles where she met and married an attorney, Al, from Austria. He watched proudly from the rail on Day 1C as Gladys built a nice chip stack of...more

2007 World Series: What Do You Do With the Big Stack?

by Craig CunninghamJeff Norman began the day with the chiplead. Playing a short stack can be tough, but sometimes playing a massive stack can have its own landmines.Jeff started the day wanting to play tight, but the passive table caused him to change gears. He started Level 1 in the...more

11 July

2007 World Series: Four places, four faces

The crowd cheered. It was a real, heartfelt, appreciative applause. Someone had made them legitimately happy. In the early days of the World Series, spectators have been relegated to standing in a long line to get in to see their friends and families. While not the best situation for spectators,...more

2007 World Series: Moneymaker on Fire (in the poker sense)

by Simon YoungChris Moneymaker is showing his table the sort of form that propelled him to that most exclusive of poker clubs - WSOP World Champions. After beginning the day here on 48,900 he has already topped 90,000 within the first level. And, as my our picture shows, even he...more

2007 World Series: Day 1 Chipleader Jeff Norman Surfs to Table 75

by Craig Cunningham"Jeff and I were up until 7:00AM celebrating the big day," said John Armbrust as he unbagged his chips at his new table. "I knew you said you were good luck, but I didn't realize it was this good!"Jeff Norman held the chiplead from all Day 1's with...more

2007 World Series: Fasten Your Seatbelts

by Simon YoungHold on tight, folks, as the second of our day twos is about to start. If yesterday was anything to go by, we are about to enter a blood-letting so intense Genghis Khan would have been impressed. The reason is the short stacks who managed to crawl into...more

2007 World Series: Day 2A flies by

After four Day 1 sessions that lasted until the wee morning hours, a Day 2 that ends at a reasonable time is as welcome as breakfast in bed. After starting with more than 1000 players in this first flight of Day 2, the field destroyed itself from within in just...more

2007 World Series: Cagney, Snowden, and Brokos Convene at Table 33

by Craig CunninghamWith 1k/2k blinds and a 300 ante, players are busting at a dizzying pace. It's difficult for the floor to keep up as they break tables from the back of the Amazon Room toward the ESPN Feature Table. Francis "teacuppoker" Cagney, Daniel Snowden, and Andrew "foucault82" Brokos traveled...more

2007 World Series: The Midas Touch

by Simon YoungI think I am turning into something of a lucky charm. Quite often I will post a report on a player only to see them tumbling to tournament oblivion soon after, and at one stage early in the Main Event it was getting so bad I felt like...more

2007 World Series: Chasing the Lizard King

We met Isaac Haxton seven months ago. Long, dark hair spilled over his shoulders and frame his dark sunglasses and occasional wry smile. He started the final table of the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with a massive chip lead. He ended up finishing in second place and earning a whopping...more

World Series: Playing the Short Stack and the Big Stack

by Craig CunninghamIt's one thing to start with a monster stack on Day 2A, as PokerStars qualifier Jeff Banghart did. With 186k in chips, he began the day 5th in chips and saw blinds and antes as chips to grab rather than life or death decisions. For many players, their...more

2007 World Series: When You Don't Want to Go Home with Richard Fong

by Craig CunninghamPokerStars qualifier Richard Fong started the day with 79k in chips, comfortable for the start of Day 2A. Down to 47k after one faulty hand, he suddenly was faced with a decision for all his chips."I made a bad play against the 7s," he said. "I was in...more

2007 World Series: Has Anyone Seen ElkY's Lobster?

by Simon YoungMany poker players like to use a lucky charm when they play. Greg Raymer, of course, has his fossil, Isabelle Mercier has a skull and Humberto Brenes uses a shark. Team PokerStars' ElkY is no different. For as long as I can remember, he has used a "lucky"...more

10 July

2007 World Series: Rain storm a comin'

It almost looks cloudy in Las Vegas today. Though the sun is still bright, there is a haze in the air that I can only assume is drifting smoke from the numerous wildfires in region. Regardless, in another place--say Nebraska, for instance--hot, hazy air like this is a harbinger of...more

2007 World Series: Blood, Sweat and Tears

by Simon YoungThe start of day two is always a bloodbath. It reminds me of a huge gladiatorial battle in the Colosseum: The room is packed with short stacks who, having scraped through the first day, are no more than defenceless slaves thrown into the arena to face the best...more

2007 World Series: A new day

At long last, we have just begun Day 2 of the 2007 World Series. Sure, it's going to be a two-day Day 2, but that's not nearly as long as the four-day Day 1. What's more, we're now entering the stage in which every pot becomes more important and in...more

2007 World Series: Day 1 complete...really

After four straight sixteen hour days, Day 1 of the 2007 World Series has come to a close. Day 2 will host two flights, A & B, tomorrow and Wednesday. After that, all of the survivors will finally come together in the same room at at the same time.Coverage here...more

2007 World Series: PokerStars Live!

Last night, a friend and I were tossing about the concept of PokerStars as a live card room. You know, you walk through the glass doors into PokerStars Live Casino and sit down across from all the PokerStars players you see every day online. There's Greg Raymer playing 2-7, there's...more

2007 World Series: The Six Dollar Man

by Simon YoungIt's not often you can make $6 go a long way, but Yannick Pons has done just that. His investment in a $3 rebuy on PokerStars (he took the add on) has taken him all the way from France to Vegas, bought him into the $10,000 WSOP Main...more

2007 World Series: Kevin "lucko21" O'Brien--A Razor Slashes at the Table

Kevin was sitting comfortably with 79k in chips, feeling great about his table. When one player busts, you never know who will grab a chair.Kevin had Dan Heimiller in the 5s for much of the day. The relatively unknown veteran has ten WSOP final tables under his belt, including a...more

2007 World Series: Crunching Numbers for Dinner

by Simon YoungAs the players shuffled out for their dinner break, they had some rather interesting news to digest. Finally, on this the last of four first-day flights, the entries and prize money have been totted up.The field is officially 6,358, down from more than 8,700 last year, but the...more

2007 World Series: RaiNKhAN, the Freshmaker

Hevad "RaiNKhAN" Khan is sitting in the one seat of a corner table. He is as unsuspecting of me as his opponents are of him. While he is absolutely destroying his table in the first half of the day, I'm secretly plotting to change his identity. Khan doesn't know it...more

2007 World Series: Big Moves Early on Day 1D

by Craig CunninghamA shooting star from last year has joined a $16 PokerStars qualifier from this year to battle for the chip lead before the dinner break.Dario Minieri had a monster stack last year as a PokerStars qualifier from Rome. As happens at the Main Event, his stack gave him...more

2007 World Series: Rudolf 's Just Desserts

by Simon YoungChef Rudolf Pfister thought his goose was cooked when, all in with A-K against Q-Q, his opponent hit a third queen on the river. He was simmering away when the flop did not help, a blank turn failed to take the heat off, and the apparent killer queen...more

9 July

2007 World Series: Like Peas in a Pod-- Shawn "sprstoner" Glines and Kevin "lucko21" O'Brien

by Craig CunninghamAs PokerStars players progress and move up levels, some of the best players have learned a great secret that gives them an edge in their progress. They find new friends to regularly confide in to pick apart their game.PokerStars qualifiers Shawn "sprstoner" Glines and Kevin "lucko21" O'Brien talk...more

2007 World Series: Granny to the rescue

If patience is a virtue, Kevin "Four-7-Kevin" Williams is one virtuous dude. The PokerStars Frequent Point Point qualifier from the UK was on a complete freeroll. He had the buy-in money in his bank account and made it Vegas in time for the Series. That's when the problems began.A few...more

2007 World Series: Negreanu's Early Wobble

by Simon YoungDaniel Negreanu sat down at a terrible seat today. He felt uncomfortable, shaky even. But it was nothing to do with his opponents at the table - they seem an amiable enough bunch - but his chair. In today's hi-tech world, The Rio had come up with a...more

2007 World Series: PokerStars Qualifier Jeff Norman Has Overall Day 1 Chiplead

by Criag CunninghamAs I left Table 58 after talking to PokerStars qualifier Jeff Norman and John Armbrust, I told them, "Hey, I've had good luck with my players I've done stories on after the dinner break." Jeff smiled and went back to his hand, immediately losing 7k in chips to...more

2007 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker

It’s time again for the world’s biggest online poker tournament series. This year, PokerStars is guaranteeing a monster $15 million over 23 events in the World Championship of Online Poker.Last year, PokerStars set the bar high when it put up $10 million in guaranteed prize money over 18 events. By...more

PokerStars World Cup of Poker IV

Sometimes poker is about more than the game. Sometimes poker is about more than the money. PokerStars has just announced its fourth annual World Cup of Poker, and that means poker is once again the subject of national pride.The PokerStars World Cup of Poker IV is an international team-based competition...more

2007 World Series: Day 1C comes to a close

Finally, we can put Day 1 to bed. Or, at least, that's what we'd planned. Tomorrow was supposed to be a day off for everybody. Harrah's changed its mind and decided on a Day 1D. So, tomorrow, we'll be back with the whatever is left of the World Series field....more

2007 World Series: Gladys' Night (And The Chips)

by Simon YoungThere can't be too many players at this year's Main Event called Gladys - but I found one, fighting it out with two other PokerStars qualifiers on the same table as Katja Thater. I'm not sure what a group of PokerStars qualifiers should be called, perhaps "a set"...more

PokerStars Sunday Million Results (7-8-07)

Usually, when I watch the Sunday Million, it's in the dark of night. I might have the TV on in the background or some music playing to keep my ears busy. However, this Sunday, I sweated the final table from the media room of the WSOP. A media colleague who...more

2007 World Series: Anticipation of tilt

The worst kind of tilt is not the kind that strikes you immediately, punches you in the kidneys, and the runs away. It's the kind you can feel coming, starting in your intestines, working up through your stomach, and eventually out of your mouth in a stream of, as my...more

The Anonymous Jeff Norman

Yesterday was 7/7/07, the day of luck for many. Today, sevens have been lucky for Jeff Norman."I've flopped two sets with pocket sevens," said Jeff."You flopped a full house once," said John Armbrust. John had qualified through PokerStars last year, near the chip lead in Day 2 then running through...more

2007 World Series: Rousso's blind aggression

by Simon YoungI once had the pleasure of playing with Vanessa Rousso. I say pleasure, since she is a nice lady and has a tremendous poker reputation, but it quickly became painful, too, as I witnessed first hand how she would defend her big blind. She kept telling me that...more

2007 World Series: Battle of the network stars

If there's anyone here who can almost be guaranteed to offer an apology after a bad beat, it's Dilba Demirbag. Her name may not ring a bell to some Americans, but Dilba is the bees knees in most other parts of the word, especially her native Sweden. Her hit, "I'm...more

2007 World Series: ESPN Feature Table with Chris Moneymaker

by Craig CunninghamYou know when you're playing at the ESPN Feature Table when you go to your assigned table seat only to find a new table number hanging over the table. PokerStars qualifier Dane Steven Cass walked from one end of the Amazon Room to the ESPN set and found...more

2007 World Series: Hachem the Railbird

by Simon YoungJoe Hachem has good reason to stay away from the heaving Amazon Room today. After all, he spent all of yesterday in the place before making it through with 35,300 chips, and is probably grateful for the chance of a rest. But somehow I suspect he will show...more

8 July

2007 World Series: Bernie is back

In 2005, the World Series was still learning to be a behemoth. An adolescent giant at the time, the media room was still the size of a closet and, at least in the early going, no one much cared where I roamed or took my laptop. They were grand old...more

2007 World Series: Licensed to Thrill

by Simon YoungMore than a 1,700 players showed up today hoping to serve up the WSOP title on a plate. Only one, of course, from this and the three other Day 1 flights will be able to feast on that particular prize in just over a week's time. But hang...more

2007 World Series: Fossilman Arrives

by Craig CunninghamDavid Vinot (2s) from St. Louis and Chance Maguire (3s) from Louisville sat quietly in anticipation of the start of their Main Event experience. Big grins hit their face when they heard Greg "Fossilman" Raymer was sitting in the 1s. "I'm pretty excited," said Chance. "Actually, I introduced...more

2007 World Series: Day 1C marks big turnout

A few weeks back, most everybody through today would be the last official Day 1. So, folks who didn't want to take a day off between Day 1 and Day 2 told Harrah's they preferred this day. The result, it appears, is that today will be the biggest of the...more

2007 World Series: Halfway through Day 1

Today, 07/07/07 was said too be the luckiest day of the century. For a few hundred poker players, that might well be true. For others, it might as well have been Groucho Marx's birthday or Arbor Day. Or something otherwise uneventful, anyway.Either way, it was a day full of action...more

2007 World Series: Adam takes on the big boys

by Simon YoungThe field in Day 1 of the Main Event is so large that it is entirely possible to get through it without having to battle against a big-name player. When I tried my luck here last year, for example, I did not face any known biggies until I...more

A Big Move from "NVme5" and "gunning4you"

The first dinner break is where Day 1 chipleaders start to emerge. PokerStars qualifiers Quy "NVme5" Nguyen and Scott "gunning4you" Seiver sat among the top twenty in chips heading toward midnight.Quy sat at 75k after he pulled in another nice pot. "I've been playing for two years," said the Ontario...more

2007 World Series: Un-tilt

I was in a bad mood from the moment I opened my eyes this morning. The guy in the neighboring room had set his alarm for the ungodly hour of 10am and left long before that. For the next 120 minutes, the alarm buzzed in a fashion that not only...more

2007 World Series: Two Writers and a Blouse

by Simon YoungHow can I write a blog entry knowing it will be critiqued by the two published authors that it features? After some thought, I deduce that every stroke of my virtual pen must surely be a thing of poetic beauty. Right, here goes...David Flusfeder was dreaming all night...more

2007 World Series: Rob "Vaga_Lion" Akery Aches for the Big Score

Supernova Rob "Vaga_Lion" Akery from Bristol, England has moved from the microstakes of PokerStars to the biggest games anywhere.Rob's first passion was Age of Empires, where he is known as Vagabond_Lion. He was an expert player, made instructional videos, and played tournaments. "I was sixteen and won a tournament for...more

2007 World Series: His face rings a bell

Gavin Mackay: big hands, right on cueby Simon YoungAs I wound my way around the groaning (as in full, not moaning, although some are a little grumpy) Amazon Room I spotted one face that looked vaguely familiar. A few steps closer and I realised it was telesales boss Gavin Mackay,...more

2007 World Series: Vamoooooo Brazil!

Editor's note: You may or may not know, we have a wild and crazy Brazilian PokerStars blogger here named Maria. She's been trailing the Brazilians around with a fervor that only caffeine and poker passion can produce. Since she writes in her native Portuguese (and I can't understand 95% of...more

2007 World Series: Doing it for real

My wife long ago made me give up the "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" view of life. For a guy who spends his life bouncing from one gambling town to another, loving the one I'm with could be dangerous on a...more

2007 Wolrd Series: Alan Smurfit's New Card Protector

by Craig CunninghamAlan Smurfit settled into the 1s of the Main Event, unknown to most players at the table. His card protector gave him away.Alan had a long career at his family business in Ireland, which Jefferson Smurfit was sold to Stone Container in the US to create Smurfit-Stone. When...more

7 July

2007 World Series: Duthie's on Tap and Running Hot

by Simon YoungJohn Duthie, like so many visionaries before him, had his flash of inspiration while soaking in the bath. As he played with his rubber duck (okay, that bit I may have made up, but it's a nice image nonetheless) he had his eureeka moment that was the European...more

2007 World Series: Day 1B set for the lucky?

If you've not yet noticed the following, I'd suspect you're reading from somewhere other than Las Vegas:Today's date is 07/07/07. For the past 24 hours, people with a heart for superstition have been hopping off planes and into casinos for what a lot of folks are considering to be the...more

2007 World Series: PokerStars Chip Counts

Note: We've made every effort to make sure we have an accurate list. However, in some cases, the official list may have a name spelled incorrectly and result in an error. Please let us know if you see any inaccuracies.Final Table (Tuesday Noon PDT)(All 36--Bold indicates PokerStars player)Philip Hilm 22,070,000...more

2007 World Series: Day 1A in the books

Day 1A of the 2007 World Series has come to an end 14 hours after it started. More than 1,200 players started the day. Fewer than 500 finished. While important to make it this far, everyone in the field realizes they still have a long way to go. There are...more

2007 World Series: The Stack That Hal Built

by Simon YoungThere is little escape here from the dreaded bad beat. I don't mean just for the players, but for everyone else in earshot. If it's not someone hollering down their mobile phone telling a loved one back home about a terrible misfortune at the table, it's another collaring...more

2007 World Series: Daniel Snowden Makes It Through a Buzzsaw of a Table

by Craig CunninghamDaniel Snowden's starting table was cast with some ultra aggressive players. He was in the 1s with Eric Molina (2s), Steve Thornton (3s) Gabe Thaler (4s), Chris Bonita (6s), Beth Shak (7s), David Ritter (8s), and William Swan (9s). Molina finished 31st in last year's Main Event, and...more

2007 World Series: Who got the look?

Around these poker parts, flying the flag of your favorite online poker site is pretty common. This year, as in the past, people flying the PokerStars flag are outnumbering others. As every player has his or her own game, players have their own styles, as well. Here's a look around...more

2007 World Series: Royal Flush Rub Down

by Simon YoungThe noise in the Amazon Room never fails to amaze me. Despite most players - and there are officially 1,287 of them who started out today - sitting quietly and concentrating on the moment in hand, it is often hard to hear yourself think. The riffling of chips...more

2007 World Series: Badih "LEB_BEL" Bounahra Hopes the Third Time's a Charm

by Craig CunninghamBadih Bounahra sits in his third consecutive WSOP Main Event having made the dinner break with 41k. "I made it to Day 3 two years ago then busted on the first day last year," he said. "You just have to play your best all the time as you...more

2007 World Series: Wisdom among the dunces

I can't lie. There are some morons in the Amazon Room right now. I won't name names or point fingers, but I saw way too many ace-high flops see bet-raise-re-raise-all-in-call scenarios with hands like A9 vs AT. If the players started with 3000 chips and we were at the 200/400...more

2007 World Series: More Glory for Cory?

by Simon YoungIn 2003, the year that Chris Moneymaker made his money, Cory Zeidman finished 39th. You will not remember him for that, nor for his final table finish in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud event a year later, but you will likely recall one of his hands from the...more

6 July

2007 World Series: In search of the nuts

It was one empty table in a sea of poker mayhem. On it sat a hastily-printed sign on a piece of 8x11 paper. It read "Proceed to final table."If I knew it was going to be that easy, I would've entered myself. I mean, who needs to flop the nuts...more

2007 World Series: PokerStars Qualifiers Tip the Tables as Day 1A Begins

by Craig CunninghamPokerStars qualifiers filed into the room Friday to find their seats at Day 1A of the Main Event. For a few tables, they could have easily been playing on PokerStars as several tables were filled with qualifiers.At Table 47, Reuben Peters from Telluride, Colorado sat in the 2s...more

2007 World Series: ElkY off to a Flyer

by Simon YoungWhen it comes to poker, ElkY is a man in a hurry. The Team PokerStars Frenchman plays hard and fast on up to 12 tables at once online, and although he's only allowed to boss one table at a time here, he shows no sign of slowing down....more

2007 World Series: Begin the Big'un

In the part of the world I know, you'll find people who talk about big ol' good'uns and good ol' big'uns. In the part of the poker world I know, today begins the biggest of the good'uns and the goodest of the big'uns. Five minutes ago, in the wake of...more

2007 World Series: Supernova Party

Tonight was one of those evenings at the World Series where most people spend their night either hopping from party to party or trying in vain to get on the list for the must-attend events of the evening. I spent my night at an invitation-only event at Moon inside the...more

2007 World Series: The Day Before Tomorrow

Late at night in the Rio's Amazon Room, sides of beef would feel perfectly comfortable. It's salad-bar-plate cold when the room gets basically empty. It would be silent but for the few cash games still running in the far corner of the room and the couple of drunks that frequent...more

5 July

2007 World Series: Fireworks and Stars

Today is a celebration of a beginning, the marking of the end, and a whisper of what's to come. As fireworks outside celebrate the birth of America's independence, the poker world's brightest stars stare at each other across the felt in the last of the preliminary events, a $5,000 rebuy...more

2007 World Series: Shot out

I've written this post four times and revised just as many, because I had no idea how it was going to end. Would it be that Team PokerStars would have three people on the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout final table? Would there be fewer? Or none? I was sure of...more

4 July

Andre Akkari joins Team PokerStars

PokerStars announced today that Brazilian Player Andre Akkari is joining the elite Team PokerStars. Anyone who watched poker in Brazil has likely seen Akkari as a poker commentator for ESPN Brazil. Now, Akkari is in Las Vegas flying the flags of both his native Brazil and his home poker site,...more

2007 World Series: Shooting into the money

Isabelle Mercier had her opponent all-in when I walked up. The look on her face was one of pure stone. There was no smile, no victorious smirk, no fist-pumping, no tears of joy. The river card made no difference to her opponent's hand. He was done and headed for the...more

2007 World Series: Facing off with Doyle

There are few final tables that carried the kind of anticipation as the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship's today. Sitting among the final nine was Doyle Brunson. Just this year, Phil Hellmuth won his eleventh World Series bracelet, passing Texas Dolly and putting the poker world in a suspended state...more

2007 World Series: One bullet at a time

If no-limit hold'em shootouts are fought with automatic weapons on an urban assault terrain, limit hold'em shootouts are the stuff of old westerns. You can only shoot one bullet at a time, hope you hit, and move on to the next bad guy. Today's World Series sees the $1,500 Limit...more

3 July

2007 World Series: Hachem's cash

It's not something that fits within these pages, necessarily, but for the past three months, I'd been walking around with one of Joe Hachem's hundred dollar bills in my pocket. The exact circumstances of how I obtained this cash is not a story I'll tell here, but the effect of...more

2 July

2007 World Series: Demons out

There comes a point in anyone's World Series at which they just want to say, "Forget it," and toss the chips in. This is the day to get those demons out. In this, the final week of preliminary events, Monday hosts the $1,000 no-limit hold'em rebuy tournament, a place to...more

2007 World Series: Getting there

This is my third time covering the World Series for the PokerStars Blog. In past years, the marathon has seemed like exactly that. The weeks crawled like claymation cartoons and the wait for the Main Event always seemed like a child's wait for summer vacation.This year, despite having more events,...more

PokerStars Sunday Million results (7-1-07)

On the same day PokerStars announced two new big Sunday tournaments and increased the guarantee on the Sunday Warm Up (see below), the Sunday Million drew an impressive 6,813 players. The players never cut a deal and Germany's tonijeromi walked away with a massive $192,126.60 in prize money. Congratulations to...more

2007 World Series: Crime, Gambling, Healthcare in the $10,000 PLO Championship

I walked up on Greg Raymer's table in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship and heard him say, "And then the adrenaline kicked in. I started chasing them. Then I thought, 'what if they have a gun?'"Ah, yes, the Bellagio story. I've heard Greg tell this story all over the world....more

1 July

2007 World Series: Gamblers' Sunday

I got in an argument with somebody last night about whether today's $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship offered players a re-buy. I said it was a re-buy tournament. My adversary told me I was wrong. I hate it when people tell me I'm wrong. The only thing I hate worse...more

2007 World Series: Maybe Sunday

I am a hopeful person. I am optimistic to a fault. Ever in search of a good story, I pin my writing dreams on the skill and fortune of a select group of poker professionals. They spend their days trying to fade 13 twice, and I spend my days hoping...more

2007 World Series: Day of the Boeken

I first met Noah Boeken in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was my first time in the country and the first time my luggage had been lost overseas. It was also the first time I'd covered a poker tournament in Europe. I walked around in the same clothes for two days and...more