January 2009

31 January

RPT St Petersburg: The final nine

It's taken two days to get down from a bumper 201 entries to the final nine players in the first Russian Poker Tour event in chilly St Petersburg. Top of the pile sits a PokerStars qualifier: 1. Dumitru Gaina, Moldova, 501,000. The young player is determined to seize his chip...more

RPT St Petersburg: Kravchenko woe

There are two frustrating things that can befall you in a poker tournament: firstly your aces can get cracked, and secondly there will be times when you bust on the bubble. Sometimes, both these things happen together; two misfortunes that make for one devastating conclusion. Such was the case for...more

30 January

Stud: Quality over quantity

by Adam "STUDstood" Roberts In today's blog, I will cover how to gather as much quality information as possible to enable you to become the best poker player you can be. Note that I specifically said "quality information," as opposed to the quantity of information. As poker has grown,...more

RPT St Petersburg: From Russia with love

Let's be honest, starting a new poker tour is a bit of a leap into the unknown. You do know the destinations will appeal, and you do know the event organisation and format will be second-to-none. What you don't know is just how many players will take the trouble to...more

29 January

VIP Club: A car for the Kiwi

How many people have you met who list among their hobbies, "drinking with friends, being balla and traveling?" If you live in the poker world, your answer probably includes a list of more than a few people. Now, however, see if you can find any people among that list who...more

27 January

Daniel Negreanu's $10 Challenge

Daniel Negreanu is the type of guy who enjoys a challenge. Whether it's on the poker felt, the links, or at a pool table, Negreanu will battle just about anybody. Now, he's out to battle himself. Kid Poker has decided to take on a challenge that seems almost unthinkable for...more

26 January

VIP Club: A $50 flip for Elite status

Boston's Jake Abdalla wanted it to be a special moment. Certainly, anyone who makes it to the PokerStars VIP Club's Supernova Elite status could pretty much write the one million VIP Player Point off as special and move on. But, hey, people have already done that. Abdalla wanted something different....more

Vanessa Rousso grinds at Beau Rivage

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso recently made the final table of the Southern Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi. Since she's getting off to a sweet start in 2009, we asked Rousso to give us a few of her thoughts on her finish. Here's what she had...more

PokerStars Sunday tournament results 1-25-09

The last Sunday of any month makes for a busy day at PokerStars. This weekend was even busier. Not only did we have two new Team PokerStars Pro members, but we also saw the monthly Battle of the Planets Triple showdown, and its winner ISANI. Top honors in this week's...more

jnic00 Becomes the Newest Sunday Million Champion

For math-minded people, exact numbers that need no rounding up or down for simplicity's sake are beautiful things. They will be pleased to see the numbers for the January 26th Sunday Million tournament. An even number of 8,500 players entered the tournament, creating a very pretty prize pool of $1.7...more

25 January

Breaking news: Phillips, Schwartz join Team PokerStars Pro

Just a few days ago, we stood in a very long line at the Santiago, Chile airport. It snaked back and forth between the stanchions for 45 minutes. About five minutes behind us in line was 2008 WSOP third place finisher Dennis Phillips on his way home from the LAPT...more

Combo Shot: Snookerfun Repeats as Sunday Warm-Up Champ

$112,642.80 That amount went to our winner tonight as the skillfully lucky player that parries and fought through the 4,366 player field. Those players ponyed up $215 for the entry fee to the $750,000 Sunday Warm-up Guarantee this evening, thus no overlay as the guarantee from PokerStars was not needed...more

vballbobbi Thumps Competition in $1 Million Turbo Takedown Win

There's no better value then a freeroll that pays out such big dollar amounts for a just a little time on the cash game tables, MTTs, or Sit and Go's here at PokerStars. The monthly $1 Million Turbo Takedown continues to provide players with a chance at something for nothing....more

ISANI Takes Home January Battle of the Planets Title to Holland

A new poker fiscal year, and a great way for a Sit and Go player to start off the year right with the PokerStars' Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout freeroll. 439 SnG specialists lined up today after qualifying during weekly point races, to take their shot at the...more

PokerStars Passport winners ready to hit road

For the past 13 months, we have shared a friendship with Dustin Mele, the first-ever PokerStars Passport winner. Mele won the PokerStars Passport in December 2007, and during 2008, he and his girlfriend Tracy became friends and part of the PokerStars family. As we traveled around the world to PokerStars...more

24 January

EPT Deauville: Kranich cruises to EPT glory

No one ever won a poker tournament without making the odd bluff, hitting the odd card, laying the odd trap and making the occasional hero call that might also have sent them to the rail. The 28-year-old Moritz Kranich from Hamburg, Germany, has shown all the requisite skills and...more

EPT Deauville: Level 28 updates

Live updates from level 28 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 28. Blinds: 40,000-80,000 (ante: 5,000) 8.57pm: Moritz Kranich, a PokerStars qualifier from Germany, win the EPT...more

EPT Deauville: Level 27 updates

Live updates from level 27 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 27. Blinds: 30,000-60,000 (ante: 5,000) 8.42pm: How about now? Esquevin calls from the small blind but...more

EPT Deauville: Level 26 updates

Live updates from level 26 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 26. Blinds: 25,000-50,000 (ante: 5,000) 6.35pm: Double up for Esquevin, Benelli's slump continues Arnaud Esquevin's day...more

EPT Deauville: Level 25 updates

Live updates from level 25 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 25. Blinds: 20,000-40,000 (ante: 4,000) 5.33pm: No Benelli for it And in the last hand, Benelli...more

EPT Deauville: Level 24 updates

Live updates from level 24 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 24. Blinds: 15,000-30,000 (ante: 3,000) 4.13pm: AB takes chunk out of TC My notebook reads: 78...more

EPT Deauville: Level 23 updates (contd.)

Live updates from level 23 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 23. Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 2,000) 3.05pm: Thomas Delattre from France, eliminated in eighth place for €77,400...more

EPT Deauville: Introducing the finalists

Television crews, casino staff, dealers and players are currently undergoing last-minute preparations for today's final table. The returning eight players are already guaranteed a payday of at least €77,400 but all eyes will be on the first prize of €851,400. (A full list of prizewinners to date can be found...more

23 January

EPT Deauville: Allez les Bleus

Fifty percent of the starting field here in Deauville were French. Of the 48 players who have cashed so far at Casino Barriere this week, 21 grew up beneath le tricolore. And tomorrow's final table, which begins in Normandy at 2pm, will feature eight players. Five of them, you guessed...more

EPT Deauville: Level 23 updates

Live updates from level 23 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 23. Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 2,000) 7.40pm: Final table set And with that, tomorrow's final table is...more

EPT Deauville: Level 22 updates

Live updates from level 22 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 22. Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000) 6.45pm: In your own time While Clemencon was making a name...more

EPT Deauville: Level 21 updates

Live updates from level 21 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 21. Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 1,000) 6.15pm: Double up for Daraux David Daraux finally got his caller...more

EPT Deauville: Level 20 updates

Live updates from level 20 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 20. Blinds: 5,000-10,000 (ante: 1,000) 4.40pm: Launais, Launais; Launais, Launais; feeling hot, hot, hot On the...more

EPT Deauville: Level 19 updates

Live updates from level 19 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 19. Blinds: 4,000-8,000 (ante: 1,000) 3.30pm: The others around the table We play eight-handed on the...more

EPT Deauville: Level 18 updates

Live updates from level 18 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 18. Blinds: 3,000-6,000 (ante: 500) 2.11pm: Did you double up son? Bruno Launias made it 20,000...more

EPT Deauville: Level 17 updates

Live updates from level 17 of the EPT Deauville are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in level 17. Blinds: 2,500-5,000 (ante: 500) 1.07pm: What was and what now is Joep van den Bijgaart...more

EPT Deauville: The European long contest

It's day three at EPT Deauville and as the engineers in front of us wire up the lights and cameras of the television table, we await the action that will decide who sits around it. We will begin today with 47 players battling through as many levels at it will...more

22 January

LAPT Vina del Mar: From half a big blind to an LAPT championship

by Brad Willis and Change 100 Vina del Mar, Chile is luxury without pretension. To wit: the Hotel Del Mar is a five-star joint with a bingo parlor on the first floor. The rooms are as well-appointed as any on the PokerStars tours and the staff is friendly enough to...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 25 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 24. Blinds: 20,000/40,000/4,000 Last updated 2:05am 2:05am--Fabian Ortiz battles from half...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 24 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 24. Blinds: 15,000/30,000/3,000 Last updated 12:47am 12:47am--And...we're back Cards are in...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 23 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 23. Blinds: 12,000/24,000/3,000 Last updated 11:27pm 11:27pm--Fabio Escobar eliminated sixth place...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 22 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 22. Blinds: 10,000/20,000/2,000 Last updated 8:41pm 8:46pm-- Vamos a comer Our...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 21 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 21. Blinds: 8,000/16,000/2,000 Last updated 7:36pm 7:36pm--Nueve, nueve Fabian Ortiz kicked...more

EPT Deauville: Day two done and dusted

When we started today the general consensus was that we wouldn't get anywhere near the last 32 player stage, which is what is usually expected on day two of an EPT. All the hallmarks of a long day in the saddle were plain to see: nearly 250 players and...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 20 live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 20. Blinds: 6,000/12,000/1,000 Last updated 6:24pm 6:24pm--Players take a 15-minute break...more

EPT Deauville: Chomp

David Ulliott is continuing his easy progress through the field, most recently sending Eduard Kapitonov packing with A-K against K-J. Ulliott expressed his gratitude to the aggressive player sitting one to the right of Kapitonov, who had been raising a lot of pots and prompted the Russian's shove from the...more

EPT Deauville: Taxi for...

The sudden rush of eliminations has continued, with Ricardo Sousa now making his way to the rail. The Portuguese player ran A-J into the A-K of Laurent Polito, and although they both ended up making a flush in hears, Polito had the ace. On a neighbouring table, Michel Abecassis was...more

EPT Deauville: First of the fallers

After the quickest possible bubble, lasting exactly one hand, the process of one-by-one eliminations begins, started by Amerigo Santoro who got himself €6,225 for 64th place a few minutes afterward. The same fate was bestowed upon Alessandro Cavalieri, a PokerStars qualifier from Italy, out in 63rd. It was veteran...more

EPT Deauville: Bursting the bubble

Two things have just happened here in Deauville. The first is that the latest official chip count has been posted over on the chip counts page. They were taken at the end of level 14, about half an hour before we started hand-for-hand play. The second monumental moment from recent...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 19 continued live updates

Live updates from the final table of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. This post will track the action in Level 19 where play ended on Day 2. Blinds: 5,000/10,000/1,000 Last updated...more

EPT Deauville: All together now

Nothing like a few all-ins to spice things up a bit. Our thanks to Andrea Piva, Mika Paasonen, Gino Alacqua, and Toni Ojala for their efforts. First it was Andrea Piva, all-in against Marine Bondet de la Bernard, a name that should surely have the word "Countess" before it,...more

EPT Deauville: Never write off the Germans

It's true these days that seemingly every poker player you ever meet claims to be "big online". My German colleague Robin Scherr at PokerStarsblog.de sometimes wears a T-shirt that reads: "I swear I win all the time online". But that knowing irony didn't stop Scherr describing Moritz Kranich as a...more

EPT Deauville: Two Dutch players sitting next to each other

There are two players from Holland sitting next to each other. What headline could you possibly come up with to go with that information? Ladies and gentlemen, a big hand for "Double Dutch". I'll be here all week. Joep van den Bijgaart, left, and Jorn Walthaus, right In truth, the...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Final table profiles

The final table of the Latin American Poker Tour event in Vina del Mar Chile will run Thursday afternoon local time. The PokerStars Blog will have live coverage of the final nine players from the first flop to the last river. For a brief look at our final table players,...more

EPT Deauville: Rocky Barbosa

Joao Barbosa was standing, which could only mean one thing - the preparations for elimination were underway and his K-6 didn't look too good against De La Gorse's K-Q. Ricardo Sousa had no fear for his countryman though, not surprised when Barbosa hit the required six on the river....more

EPT Deauville: The fall of Scandinavia

Time was when you couldn't move during the late stages of an EPT without bumping into a Scandinavian. Swedish and Danish players in particular destroyed these fields and romped to final tables and championships as if it was no more difficult than hopping in the Volvo and nipping down to...more

EPT Deauville: Here come the Cavalieri

Ninety players have the money in sight, cheques written and waiting just thirty places away. Naturally the initial all-in flurry has become a slow trawl through these middle levels, with the relief of doubling up even more powerful than before. Just ask any French or Italian player. There's still...more

EPT Deauville: Chips

That much anticipated chip count from the end of level 12 is now on the chip counts page. The local player Eric Haber has come from nowhere to lead the current counts, but the German PokerStars qualifier Moritz Kranich is also in contention, thanks in no small part to those...more

EPT Deauville: Hands and stuff

The former France international footballer Vikash Dhorasoo is enjoying his conversion to poker, and he's prospering still here on home soil. He raised to 3,575 on two hands in succession, the first was a routine blinds-and-antes pick-up; the second found a customer in Carlos Ramos, the American PokerStars qualifier. They...more

EPT Deauville: The art of noise

The noise right now is coming from Michael Fratty. The Frenchman erupts like Vesuvius on every hand sending ripples of mirth and misery around the ballroom in equal measure. It all goes on one table away from Dave Ulliott, an Englishman not into this sort of thing. "Bring him...more

EPT Deauville: The big reveal

Among the numerous opponents faced by Gus Hansen on his charge to the Aussie Millions title last year was the American Josh Prager, who is a PokerStars qualifier here in Deauville. Hansen's tournament win down under is now famously documented in the book "Every Hand Revealed", and although Prager plays...more

EPT Deauville: Cheering Tommy

Tommy Pavlicek just doubled up with K-J over A-Q on a board of J-J-A-Q-8. The PokerStars qualifier was eager to stack his new chips. Pavlicek looks different these days, a shaved head replacing his former Beatle mop-top, now on course to secure a third career EPT cash. As if...more

EPT Deauville: Chips and pics and video blogs

The full official counts from the end of level 10 have now been added to the chip count page. The young Belgian player Jonathan Abdellatif leads the way with 150,000, but David Ulliott and Michel Abecassis are breathing down his neck. Isabelle Mercier is still also sitting pretty with 53,000....more

EPT Deauville: The Fish talks

Players have taken their first 15 minute break of the day and a full, official chip count is now being processed. Check the chip counts page in a few minutes for the updated counts, and continue to click over there throughout the day. David Ulliott is still near the top,...more

EPT Deauville: Hey, Otto man

Yesterday Michael Fratty sat through several levels of play watching movies on a portable DVD player. He said very little, appearing to be oblivious to the game, keeping himself to himself behind a cool exterior. Cut to today where we just saw, check that, heard the flip side -...more

EPT Deauville: Treading a familiar path

The player reward system on PokerStars has been adding incentives to online play for years: bronze stars become silver; silver turns to gold; gold morphs into platinum, before we leave the metals behind and go cosmic. There we meet our Supernovas and Supernovas Elite. On the European Poker Tour, there's...more

EPT Deauville: Sympathy for El Diablo

A "Yes! (Bang). (Bang). Yes!" in that order - another double up to keep a player's cash dream alive. Balance that with the "(Bang) Non! (Bang). (Bang)" and you have the Morse code of victory and defeat ringing across the ballroom. It's easy to translate. Over on Gino Alacqua's...more

EPT Deauville: Offending the poker gods

There comes a time when you realise that the world is conspiring against you and you know that the game is well and truly up. The PokerStars qualifier Elroy Wilms knows that feeling: he has just been busted from this event in the most emphatic of circumstances. After tangling and...more

EPT Deauville: Thanks for playing

Devilfish to the left, Devilfish to the right. Fatigue can get to you on the tour but not usually enough for you to start seeing double. In one direction I saw chip leader Ulliott and a few minute later there he was again, in the complete opposite direction. Such...more

EPT Deauville: Fallers and stayers

The familiar day two refrain, "Seat open!" has begun to ring out across Casino Barriere. The short stacks have been shoving, the big stacks have been calling and there's a queue at the door to the exit. Vanessa Rousso was near the front of it. The Team PokerStars Pro's final...more

EPT Deauville: The great Devilfish mystery

The conversation around the dinner table last night centred on one crucial question. "If I distract the waiter, do you reckon you can swipe that half-full bottle of wine?" Once that was settled, and the wine was successfully liberated, the assembled journalists put their collective minds to another pressing quandary:...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Damian Salas leads final nine after marathon session

If Day 1 of the LAPT Vina del Mar was marked by action, speed, and players' complete and utter willingness to get in there and gamble, Day 2 was its polar opposite. It took a 15-hour session to whittle the field from 63 players down to the nine who will...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 19 live updates

Live updates from the Level 19 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 5,000/10,000/1,000 Last updated 3:04am 3:04am-- Carter Phillips eliminated in 10th place ($9,167) With the table five-handed and the...more

21 January

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 18 live updates

Live updates from the Level 18 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 4,000/8,000/500 Last updated 2:39am 2:39am-- Down to 10 With Ariel Celestino's elimination we're on the final table bubble...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 17 live updates

Live updates from the Level 17 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 3,000/6,000/500 Last updated 1:28am 1:31am--Time for a new level Level 17 is now a thing of the past....more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 16 live updates

Live updates from the Level 16 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 2,500/5,000/400 Last updated 11:53pm 12:00am--Benoit Gariepy hurt, still alive Canada's Benoit Gariepy just took a big hit to...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 15 live updates

Live updates from the Level 15 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 2,000/4,000/300 Last updated 10:55pm 10:55pm--Redraw With 18 players remaining, everybody is re-drawing for a new seat. Nine more...more

EPT Deauville: Another day in the books

Stop press: Such are the vagaries -- the beautiful vagaries -- of tournament poker that we can even write this update. Three hands before what you read below was published, it was entirely accurate. But in the time it took us to formulate the paragraphs below, they were rendered irrelevant....more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 14 live updates

Live updates from the Level 14 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 1,500/3,000/300 Last updated 7:16pm 7:16pm--Well, that didn't work After an hour and half on the bubble and adding...more

EPT Deauville: The bottle of Remy

With less than a level to play it's a case of keeping up with latest dispatches from the front - several players get a mention. Dave Ulliott just passed the 50K barrier courtesy of a simple 8s-6s hand, good for a flopped pair of sixes that bettered the pocket...more

EPT Deauville: Some things that are happening

There are many ways to skin a cat, likewise to cover a poker tournament. Sometimes it's tempting to stand by a single table for a round or two to get a feel for how one particular group is playing over a sustained period. But sometimes it's also good just to...more

EPT Deauville: To pirate is argh...

Max Pescatori was in. Max Pescatori is now out. The pirate was forced to walk the plank when down to his last 3,500 in level seven, with blinds biting at 200-400 with a 50 running ante. With the last Deauville winner Mats Iremark to his immediate right passing hte...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 13 live updates

Live updates from the Level 13 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 1,200/2,400/200 Last updated 5:10pm 5:15pm--Level 13 ends Players are on a 15 minute break. 5:10pm--Dabul down! One of...more

EPT Deauville: L'argent

The bean-counters have just emerged from the safe brandishing the full list of payouts from EPT Deauville. There were 645 players over the two days, generating a prize pool of €3,096,000, of which €851,000 will go to the winner. Bien. Not so bien was the sight moments ago of Luca...more

EPT Deauville: Moseying out of town

Alfonso Amendola, who normally sports full western attire at EPTs complete with gallon hat, cowboy shirt and a thick cigar, just helped Polish player Pawel Chmiel on his way to the chip lead. Amendola made it 975 from under-the-gun and got two callers, one of which was Chmiel, a...more

EPT Deauville: A round on the outside

I don't know much French, but I do know this: "Tapie!" is "All in!" and "Ooo la la!" is just about anything from: [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] to [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] to "Look at those fireworks, aren't they nice." Moments ago, all of those words, and all of those definitions, fireworks excluded, came...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 12 live updates

Live updates from the Level 12 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 1,000/2,000/150 Last updated 3:31pm 3:40pm-- Chiquitita hits the river Not only are we fans of Jyries "Chiquitita" Aguad...more

EPT Deauville: Express yourself

"Bang! Madonna! Bravo." Those three words just summed up Francesco Cirianni's afternoon. The bang was the sound of him moving all-in; the 'Madonna!' on seeing the call and the hand he was up against, and the 'Bravo!' a sporting salute when his opponent's K-J easily manoeuvred passed his own...more

EPT Deauville: Italians

Andrea Benelli grew accustomed to being near the centre of attention when he made the final table in Warsaw late last year, earning €45,745 for his seventh place there, a table that also featured Dario Minieri. This afternoon, Benelli found himself again on Minieri's table and again centre of attention....more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 11 live updates

Live updates from the Level 10 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 800/1600/100 Last updated 2:05pm 2:05pm--Kings fall again It doesn't appear to be a good day to pick up...more

EPT Deauville: Champions of the short stacks

If you're going to have only three chips, it's as well to make sure they're either grey or green. The grey chip, worth 5,000, didn't feature on day 1A and confused counters when it appeared in starting stacks this afternoon. On the first sweep of the room it seemed as...more

EPT Deauville: Thew survives Baer attack

We mentioned Julian Thew earlier, referring to him as the man who sent Greg Raymer to the rail in minutes the last time the EPT stopped by in Deauville. Thew was no fluke and was on his way to winning an EPT event himself, as well as others across...more

EPT Deauville: Bring in the old, take out the new

The board read Kh-Js-5h-Jd-8c and Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott had bet 15,000, leaving himself just a few grand behind. His young opponent, Martins Adeniya, had the decision to make, facing down the fish in an inter-generational hand spanning decades. Aside from being a below average lounge singer, as demonstrated yesterday...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Level 10 live updates

Live updates from the Level 10 of the LAPT event in Vina del Mar Chile are brought to you by Change100 and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Blinds: 600/1200/100 Last updated 1:15pm 1:15pm--Villa takes down two in five minutes Columbia's Hernan Villa has eliminted two players...more

EPT Deauville: Dario done up and departed

Dario Minieri has just been coolered out of this tournament in a fairly miserable battle of the blinds for the Team PokerStars Pro. Michael Fratty made up Minieri's big blind and called when the Italian made it 500 to go. The flop came J-Q-10, with two hearts. This must have...more

EPT Deauville: Those who came before

With two levels played you can now find a selection of the latest chip counts on the chip count page which will be updated throughout the day. One player who made it through Day 1A was Canadian Isabelle Mercier, bagging up 48,000 late yesterday. A good day at the...more

EPT Deauville: News just in

A quick spin around the tournament floor yielded a handful of news nuggets from the end of level two. From the Department of Bust-Outs: Antony Lellouche, Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes, and Andy Black are early fallers. From the Double Up Department: "I was up to 24K in the first level."...more

EPT Deauville: Home from home

You fly all the way from the United States for a seat by the Normandy coast and you end up sitting next to your roommate. Such was the story for Brandon Schaefer and Carl Olson, room-mates from the University of Washington in Seattle, who qualified at PokerStars for EPT Deauville...more

EPT Deauville: Lost kingdom

While Dario Minieri lost half of his stack back in level one his tablemates are proving to be running hot and cold. From the hot tap Soren Kongsgaard just flushed away Jean Luc Boulay, his nines no match for Kongsgaard's aces. Then from the cold tap Michael Fratty watches...more

EPT Deauville: Chin stroking

When a player moves all in, shrugs his shoulders and stands up preparing to leave, he's usually not concealing the nuts. But such was the case for Olaf De Zeeuw, the Dutch player on table 12, who had witnessed at close quarters the car crash sevens-versus-aces hand described below, and...more

EPT Deauville: Hold on to your hats

Maybe it's just the sense of occasion but Deauville always provides a shock hand to set the adrenaline rushing in the first half hour of play. Two years ago it was Julian Thew, a then future EPT winner, who busted World Champion and Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer within...more

EPT Deauville: Astronomy

The field of day 1B in Deauville this afternoon is as full of stars as a clear night sky. From our perch on the stage at the end of the Grand Ballroom, we need only move our eyes as if a spook behind a painting in a Scooby Doo haunted...more

EPT Deauville: From the top

There may be the addition of a TV stage, ready for a local broadcast later in the week, but apart from that the grand ballroom looks about the same as it did yesterday ready for another EPT day one. The early forecast predicts another 300 players will take their...more

20 January

LAPT Vina del Mar: 63

Sixty-three. It's a number of more significance than you might think. For instance, when a horse and a donkey make sweet, sweet equine love, the result is often an offspring with 63 chromosomes. It also happens to be the number of players who will play Day 2 of the LAPT...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Akkari Axed

Ladies and gentlemen, Andre Akkari has left the building. This leaves Alexandre Gomes as the lone remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field, after a stunning hand that left everyone's collective jaws on the floor. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. Andre Akkari sees the bad news Akkari...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Max is down, Maria's up

With all the drama surrounding the Brenes family playing today, it's easy to forget that there is another poker-playing family in the field today-- Max Stern and his wife Maria. Max and Maria both have WSOP bracelets; he has three and she has one, famously earned in a seven-card...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: BrenesWatch, Part 3

Another Brenes down! Send a stretcher! Table 25, conveniently located right in front of media row, has been one of the more... let's say "spirited" tables in the room today, with Alex Brenes perched at one end and Brazil's Ariel Celestino at the other. Celestino in particular has been quite...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: More flopping, less flipping

We'll be honest. We consider Brazilian Gualter Salles to be one heckuva nice guy. He is unassuming, friendly, and seems generally happy to be competing on the Latin American Poker Tour. When things don't go his way at the tables, he smiles, shrugs, and walks away. In his other...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: BrenesWatch, Part 2

Brenes down! Alert the media! Jose Humberto Brenes, the elder of Humberto's two sons, just met his tournament end after getting his chips in with A-J and running into his opponent's A-Q. Though Brenes flopped good, pairing his jack, a queen arrived on the turn to destroy his hopes...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Representing the other side of the pond

There are 50 Chileans in today's event. They make up nearly 25% of the field. Argentinians number in the thirties. The United States is represented by a similar number. As for the number of people who flew over from the United Kingdom...well, that's another story. As it happens, there are...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Ylon on Ylon

Ylon Schwartz had toyed with the idea of disappearing off the face of the earth after November 2008. With his million bucks locked up and millions more on the line at the World Series final table, Schwartz bandied about the possibility he would just slip into some Brazilian hammock and...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Five of one hundred

Of the 100 players remaining in this event, five are women and a few of them quite decorated players at that. The fairer sex typically can account for perhaps 2-2 1/2 percent of any given tournament field, so at least for this event, the ladies are running rather well....more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Alive at dinner

When tournament director Mike Ward announced we would halt play when we reached 63 players, we didn't think we would threaten that number for some time. However, the way things have been going all afternoon, 63 seems like an easy number to hit. We've lost nearly half the field in...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Costa Rican Royalty

While the field will have to shrink a bit more before the Brenes family has to worry about being seated together, paterfamilias Humberto was recently moved to a table that already boasts two members of Costa Rica's poker royalty. Brenes is now seated to the left of the "first lady"...more

EPT Deauville: From where we left off

Many attractions lure the world traveller to these parts. The picturesque streets are only the backdrop to the town's annual film festival, and year-round Deauville is one of the centres of French horse racing. After this week, it will become time for Deauville to be recognised once again as a...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Ask not for whom the bell tolls

About every fifteen minutes, we weren't sure if it was dinner time or if Juau Parra Garces needed someone to bring him a cup of tea. No matter how significant the hand he played, if he won (or needed some luck) he rang the little bell. It was quite a...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: BrenesWatch, Part 1

Humberto Brenes knows what's up when a camera crew moves in on a table in rapid fashion-- someone must be all in. And just a few moments ago, that someone was his son, Jose Humberto. The elder Brenes folded his hand and quickly scooted over to his son's table,...more

EPT Deauville: Grind over for Grospellier

As dusk gives way to the pitiless black of the winter's night, play inside the chandelier-lit grand ballroom of the Casino Barriere edges towards its conclusion. Cast miserably into the outer-reaches late on day 1a was Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, France's favourite son, Team PokerStars Pro, and on current form one...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: By the numbers

We've just received the official numbers from the tournament staff. Here's how the LAPT Vina del Mar prizes look. Two hundred sixteen people sat down this morning to play. The top 27 of those players are competing for the $523,800 prize pool and will walk away with at least $5,238....more

EPT Deauville: Memorable Mercier moments

The last time the EPT stopped by these parts it through up one of the most memorable finals of the EPT history book. Many more have since rivalled it but for season two it was something of a classic, and not just for the backdrop of chandelier elegance. Everyone...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: The Magnificent Rise and Perilous Fall of Juan Carlos Alvarado

J.C. Alvarado's day was starting nicely. He doubled up during the first level, taking his stack past the 20,000 mark, giving him some added ammunition with which to work his tricky, loose-aggressive style. However, sometime just past the first break, things began to turn the wrong way for the young...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: The painted man

Riddle time! What's platinum blonde, has a shovel in the back of its head, and has made an LAPT final table? If you guessed Maria Stern, you would be close. She lacks the shovel. a better guess...Costa Rican Steven Thompson. Thompson made the final table of the Sane Jose event...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Where sand turns to gold

Now that two levels have passed, the blinds have risen to 75-150, and some players' early jitters have worn off, big pots are finally materializing. J.C. Alvarado was the recipient of an early double-up and now sits comfortably around the 25,000 chip mark while Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari just...more

EPT Deauville: Setting the record straight

It's been an up and down day for Tony Dobson. The PokerStars qualifier from London, England, tangled with Joao Barbosa during the opening couple of levels, with the EPT Warsaw champion coming out on top, before Dobson hauled it back up to somewhere near his starting stack. Then he chipped...more

EPT Deauville: Esquevin askin' questions

We mentioned earlier that you could cross from one side of the room to the other standing only on the heads of former champions. Well, you can still do that but you'll need to leap the last ten feet, over the gap left by the busted Arnaud Mattern. The...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: A family affair

It's no big surprise anymore to see Humberto Brenes walk into an LAPT tournament room. The only real shocker would be if he didn't show up. He, his visor, and his sharks are now a fixture on this circuit. Furthermore, seeing brother Alex alongside the Shark is a pretty common...more

EPT Deauville: The perfect combination

You'd rather be lucky than good. And best of all, you'd rather be both. Sebastian Ruthenburg's nickname, with which he does not quibble is "Luckbox". And his reputation - EPT Barcelona champion, World Series bracelet winner - shows that he's good. Ruthenberg just took K-8 up against A-6 all in...more

EPT Deauville: Confessions of Le Dangereux's Mind

Following the naming conventions of the likes of "Being John Malkovich" or "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", a blockbuster poker film might one day be released entitled "Goading Phil Hellmuth". At last summer's World Series, the Romanian Cristian Dragomir staked his claim as leading man with some fraught feature-table shenanigans against the...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Topping off the down payment

Tom "Aln_The_Kid" Alner lives with his mom. Still in his early 20s and full of love and respect for his mum, the kid from the UK has no real problem with his current living arrangements. Nonetheless, there comes a time in every guy's life when it's time to get out...more

EPT Deauville: Au revoir, Pascal

The French poker veteran and EPT Vienna champion Pascal Perrault is out. "Thank-you, goodbye," he said as he packed headphones into a neat case and made his way out of the tournament room. He had K-9 and was all in on a nine-high flop. His decent-stacked opponent hit his up...more

EPT Deauville: Crash bang for Lang Van

As play reaches the halfway mark - four levels gone and a second 15 minute break - happiest of the bunch is likely to be Belgian player Jonathan Abdellatif on 54,000, the likely big stack. There are others feeling pleased with themselves. No swan dive for the French player...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: The Tables of Death

There are more than a few bleary-eyed faces in the field this afternoon after last night's welcome party-- a raucous fiesta that left the bar completely out of Cristal (not the premium champagne, but rather the name of the local brew). As our 215 starters made their way through the...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Summertime stars

While our fellow PokerStars bloggers shiver through a French winter, we here in Chile had a day to enjoy a Chilean summer. After a Monday of sunburns, 90 degree weather, and southern hemisphere sweating, it's now time to get to the poker. Chilean skies show us a different pattern of...more

EPT Deauville: Initials LL

One of the bigger stacks right now is that of Frenchman Ludovic Lacay, although by the look on his face you wouldn't know it. Lacay plays in his work face at the table, whether he's grinding through the early levels or making sweeping moves at the final table -...more

EPT Deauville: Up to the Gill

Carter Gill has become a familiar face on the EPT, LAPT and APPT in the past couple of years, either qualifying in PokerStars satellites or exchanging online tournament dollars to make it to the big dances. And he's done mighty well: a cash in the main events in Asia (Macau)...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Welcome to the Garden City

Walking into the vast, four-story atrium that greets you upon entering the Hotel del Mar, here on the sun-splashed Chilean coastline, the clatter of chips is unmistakable. Players are milling about, tall leggy women in tight orange dresses are handing out goody bags and inside the Enjoy Casino, dealers are...more

Alexandre Gomes flushed with success

It's been quite a year for Team PokerStars Pro Alexandre Gomes. He's had online success, won a WSOP bracelet ($770,000), final tabled at LAPT Punta Del Este ($68,000) - and earlier this month grabbed fourth place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure ($750,000). Here, he tells the PokerStars Blog about that...more

EPT Deauville: Couldn't call quick enough

You can put the buy-ins up to €5,000, but you can't guarantee the action won't be as frantic as a $5 turbo rebuy. Passing by an outer table about 20 minutes into level three, I noticed Philippe Dauteuil, who made the final table last year in London, involved in a...more

EPT Deauville: Incomprehensible

Jean Pierre Gleize was shouting something, but to anyone who has since jettisoned their high school French it was just bluster. But the local railbirds were laughing, clued in to Gleize's good natured frustration at a player at his table. "He says the player is very very very lucky"...more

EPT Deauville: French Canadian

She's always on the list as hailing from Canada, but French blood runs through Isabelle Mercier's veins. And something about the air in France brings out the best in the Team PokerStars Pro: she made the final table here the last time we visited Deauville, and she's already off to...more

EPT Deauville: No daylight please, we're poker players

Blinds are 25-50 in the first level, introduced by tournament director Thomas Kremser and his French equivalent. The music played as the order was given to shuffle up and deal, a collection of musical numbers that was cut short by one player's request for silence during an above average...more

EPT Deauville: Keeping watch

Back in the early days of the EPT, just about everything was smaller: the buy-ins, the prize-pool, the fields and - notably - the press corps and their accommodation. I remember sitting at a tressel table beneath a staircase at the Gran Casino, Barcelona, for instance, alongside only three other...more

EPT Deauville: Glad to be back

You know you're at an EPT when on your way to work you can see ships passing on the horizon. The Bahamas, San Remo and Monte Carlo have this in common, Barcelona too, and now you can ink in Deauville to that list, where you don't even need to...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Summer party in pictures

It's easy to throw a party in the wintertime. People are cold, bored, and generally uninterested in all things interesting. In the summertime, though, things are much different. It's hard to throw a party and make people show up. If PokerStars throws a party, though, people come out with bells...more

19 January

EPT Deauville: The return

Three years ago, when the Deauville date disappeared from the European Poker Tour schedule, there was an outpouring of first mild sadness, then widespread sorrow and then full-blown grief. Staff and players alike united to mourn the passing of inarguably the most distinctive poker venues and began referring to the...more

LAPT Vina del Mar: Summer in Chile

There may be no way to properly explain what it feels like to fly over the Andes mountain range. It's natural awe conflicted with the trailer for the the movie "Alive." Anyone who has seen that flick knows how those folks ended up. So it's enough to make one happy...more

PokerStars Sunday tournament results (1-18-09)

As PokerStars gears up for another amazing week in live poker, the Sunday majors chugged along with the kind of huge prize money we've come to expect from the biggest online events. The PokerStars bloggers will be reporting from the LAPT's event in Vina Del Mar, Chile and the EPT...more

Hail to LosChief for Winning the January 18th Sunday Million

The third Sunday Million of the year took after its predecessors by breaking through the $1.5 million guarantee with a stellar turnout. While live tournament players are traversing the globe, from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure that just wrapped in the Bahamas to the next stop on the European Poker Tour...more

18 January

SpaceyFCB takes down Sunday Warm-Up

Another Sunday, another gigantic field for the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. In this edition, 4,180 players ponied up their $215 for a shot at a six-figure payday. After some eight hours of play, the final nine players settled in around the final table. The final table bubble was brief but...more

16 January

Stud: More on staking

by Adam "STUDstood" Roberts This week I want to continue on the topic of staking, but discuss where it is done as a package deal, which includes personal expenses, as opposed to where it is only in a "game-by-game" arrangement. Although this type of staking deal is usually only...more

Poker strategy: Vicky Coren's guide to changing gears

Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren enjoyed a great run at this month's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event, finishing 30th for $40,000. With life tournament winnings of more than $1.2 million, including $941,513 for the EPT London title in 2006, she's an ideal person to write about the importance of changing...more

12 January

PokerStars Sunday tournament results (1-11-09)

With the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure now just a happy memory, it is time to turn our attention back to the other important matters at hand. PokerStars had another banner weekend and the Sunday tournaments were the highlight. Early this morning livelikunger won nearly $190,000 in the Sunday Million after outlasting...more

livelikunger Lives Like a Sunday Million Champion!

Sure, during this time of year, Sundays are for football in the United States. But Sundays year-round are for online poker. And where better to get your fix of the best and most lucrative online poker tournaments on the internet? PokerStars. Give yourself a pat on the back for that...more

11 January

aligator67 Eats Em' Up During Sunday Warm-Up Win

As the excitement of the recently completed 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (see Poorya Nazari's winner's interview here) is packed back up until next year, it's back to the virtual tables for the big weekend tournaments. The $750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up opened its doors for over 4,032 players this evening,...more

10 January

2009 PCA: Nazari crowned king of Atlantis

Every step around Paradise Island is an assault on the senses: vibrant colours dazzle from the sea, sand and bartenders' shirts, while the sound of calypso music pipes through the undergrowth 24-hour a day. Strangers are greeted with warm handshakes wherever they go, and the smells and tastes of the...more

2009 PCA: Level 30 updates

Real-time updates from Level 30 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 150,000-300,000 (30,000). Last updated: 9:42pm 9:53pm--Nazari relishes his win The...more

2009 PCA: Level 29 updates

Real-time updates from Level 29 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 100,000-200,000 (20,000). Last updated: 8:45pm 8:53--Walking to break The last...more

2009 PCA: Level 28 updates

Real-time updates from Level 28 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 75,000-150,000 (15,000). 7:27pm--Level ends Players are on a short break...more

2009 PCA: From the Caribbean to the Mediterranean

by Alex Villegas The EPT has grown like a pleasurable virus throughout Europe. Its infected places such as Prague, Dortmund and Deauville with poker players and hefty buy-ins. It's grown strong enough to make its way across the Atlantic to an island by the name of Paradise. The PCA is,...more

2009 PCA: Level 27 updates

Real-time updates from Level 27 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 60,000-120,000 (15,000). 5.35pm: Chips for dinner. The remaining players have...more

2009 PCA: Level 25 and 26 updates

Real-time updates from Level 25 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 50,000-100,000 (10,000). 3.28pm: Daniel Heimiller, USA, eliminated in seventh place,...more

2009 PCA: Final table player profiles

The eight players at the final table come from all over the poker spectrum. The poker veterans and newcomers are all fighting for one of the biggest prizes in poker. The top three players in this event will walk away with more than one million bucks. The winner will pull...more

2009 PCA: On the Cusp of History

$3 million. How many chances in a lifetime do you get a crack at $1 million, let alone $3 million? Eight players have a shot at making history and securing a hefty payday in the process. The 2009 PokerStars PCA began on Monday. 1,347 brave souls forked over $10,000 a...more

2009 PCA: Eight to return for final table

Around these parts, if you want to sit down for a decent meal, you are advised to get a reservation. Otherwise, you may go hungry or end up eating a tuna sandwich out of a deli cooler. If you have the right amount of money in your pocket, you can...more

2009 PCA: Peter Eastgate wins...again

by Alex Villegas With great power comes great responsibility. With the WSOP main event bracelet comes 9.1 million dollars and the title of ambassador of poker. Aside from fame, glory, parties and public relation events, the World Champion is expected to do one thing: play poker. Today Peter Eastgate proved...more

9 January

2009 PCA: Level 25 updates

Real-time updates from Level 25 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 40,000-80,000 (5,000). 1:36am--Jan Fernandez Eliminated in 9th Place; Final Table Set Poorya...more

2009 PCA: Level 24 updates

Real-time updates from Level 24 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 30,000-60,000 (5,000). Post last updated at 12:00am 12:00am--Players on break After 12...more

2009 PCA: Level 23 updates

Real-time updates from Level 23 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 20,000-40,000 (4,000). Post last updated at 10.05pm 10.05pm--Monster call from Saul, good Benny Spindler...more

2009 PCA: Level 22 updates

Real-time updates from Level 22 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 15,000-30,000 (2,000). Post last updated at 8.31pm 8:31pm--Gomes Likes 9-8 Suited An interesting hand...more

2009 PCA: Bahbak "bigredAK" Oboodi Wins 2009 World Championship of Battleship Poker

64 players began the The World Championship of Battleship Poker on Thursday. They bought in for $2,000 a piece and were battling it out for the $44,800 first place prize and the prestige and honor that accompanies the World Championship of Battleship Poker. The top 8 places would make the...more

2009 PCA: Hevad Khan wins $200,000

by Alex Villegas The new year is always a time for change, resolution and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Being only nine days into the year, plenty of people have already given up on their new year's resolution (I know I have), but not Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan. After having...more

2009 PCA: Level 21 updates

Real-time updates from Level 21 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 12,000-24,000 (2,000). 5:43pm--Dinner break Players take a one-hour dinner break. Alex Gomes, below, is...more

2009 PCA: Battleship Final Four Results; Championship Match Set

And we're down to two players in the 2009 World Championship of Battleship Poker. The Final Four was a best-of-three series. Former champion Sorel Mizzi (Clubs Bracket Winner) took on Jared Bleznick (Diamonds Bracket Winner), while Bahbak Oboodi (Hearts Bracket Winner) played Richard Gryko (Spades Bracket Winner). Semi-Finals Results: Jared...more

2009 PCA: Level 20 updates

Real-time updates from Level 20 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 10,000-20,000 (2,000). Post last updated at 4.00pm 4:00pm--Break time...again Although we are just 20 minutes away...more

2009 PCA: Battleship Elite Eight Results; Final Four Set

The final eight players returned to the Imperial Ballroom for the conclusion of the World Championship of Battleship Poker. Actually, it was only seven players initially. Justin Bonomo arrived a few minutes late against his opponent Richard Gryko from London. Elite 8 Results: Clubs Bracket: Sorel Mizzi defeated Ryan Gartitta...more

2009 PCA: Level 19 concluded

Real-time updates from Level 19 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 8,000-16,000 (1,500). 1.48pm--Small pot for Paster The final hand on the feature table earns a 150,000...more

2009 PCA: The World Championship of Battleship Poker - Day 2 Begins

There are eight players remaining in the World Championship of Battleship Poker out of the 64 total entrants who bought into the $2,000 event. All of the remaining players are in the money. First place pays out $44,800. Second place pays $25,600. Third and fourth place pays $12,800 while places...more

2009 PCA: The day ahead

Welcome to day four of the 2009 PCA. So far, we've seen a lot of words written about a typically spectacular tournament on Paradise Island in the Bahamas as we've sliced a starting field of 1,347 into the 32 who remain today. By way of introduction to the penultimate day's...more

8 January

$25K High Roller: ElkY the highest of rollers

Any player can win a poker tournament in any number of circumstances. An individual can sometimes go on the biggest rush of their life and make all the right decisions at all the pivotal moments; another can just get lucky time and again. But sometimes, every now and then,...more

2009 PCA: Battleship Round 2 and Round 3 Results; Final 8 Set

It was a hectic day in the Imperial Ballroom. The Main Event championship held most of everyone's attention in the room as 103 players were reduced to the final 32.The $25K High Rollers Event final table was played out under the bright lights of the TV table. On the other...more

2009 PCA: Another day in paradise

This is a day that might have lasted long into the night and, quite possibly, deep into tomorrow. Compressing a field of 102 players to the 32 needed for day four's action could easily have taken 12 hours or more. As it is, I write this only six hours of...more

$25K High Roller: Level 17 and 18 Updates

You can follow all the action from start to finish on EPTLive with expert commentary and analysis all the way through and highlights will be updated here throughout the day. Click refresh for the latest real-time updates. Levels are 60 minutes long and we play down to a winner....more

2009 PCA: Level 19 updates

Real-time updates from Level 19 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 8,000-16,000 (1,500). Post last updated at 6:54pm 6:54pm--Michael Durrer Eliminated in 33rd...more

$25K High Roller: Level 16 updates

You can follow all the action from start to finish on EPTLive with expert commentary and analysis all the way through and highlights will be updated here throughout the day. Click refresh for the latest real-time updates. Levels are 60 minutes long and we play down to a winner....more

2009 PCA: Level 18 updates

Real-time updates from Level 18 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 6,000-12,000 (1,500). Post last updated at 5:59pm 6:08pm--Break time The remaining 36...more

2009 PCA: Battleship Round 1 Results

The opening round of the World Championship of Battleship Poker is complete. There are 32 players remaining. Sorel Mizzi won his first match, but Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin and Jon Turner both failed to advance to Round 2. Here are Round 1 results... Clubs Bracket: Shawn Buchanan defeated Philip...more

$25K High Roller: Level 15 updates

You can follow all the action from start to finish on EPTLive with expert commentary and analysis all the way through and highlights will be updated here throughout the day. Click refresh for the latest real-time updates. Levels are 60 minutes long and we play down to a winner....more

2009 PCA: Level 17 updates

Real-time updates from Level 17 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 5,000-10,000 (1,000). Post last updated at 4:30pm 4.30pm--Break-time Players take a 15...more

2009 PCA: Level 16 updates

Real-time updates from Level 16 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 4,000-8,000 (1,000). Post last updated at 3:00pm 3.02pm--Schwartz's life support runs out...more

2009 PCA: Level 15 updates

Real-time updates from Level 15 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 3,000-6,000 (500). Post last updated at 1:30pm 1:40pm--Break Players are on a...more

2009 PCA: The World Championship of Battleship Poker Begins

One of the most highly anticipated events at the 2009 PCA has to be the World Championship of Battleship Poker. Essentially, Battleship is a $2,000 buy-in 64 player heads-up SNG. The prize pool is $128,000. The top eight places will be paid prize money and first place will take home...more

$25K High Roller: Level 12 and 13 updates

You can follow all the action from start to finish on EPTLive with expert commentary and analysis all the way through and highlights will be updated here throughout the day. Click refresh for the latest real-time updates. Levels are 60 minutes long and we play down to a winner....more

$25K High Roller: The last of the high rollers

Players have done their interviews, pre-flight checks and are wired into the final table, sparkling with blues and greens, ready to play. There are never enough pictures to be taken, but once the bank of photographers are done play will commence. In the meantime here's a few more details...more

$25K High Roller: Keep on rolling

If you stuck with it through to the end of the high roller event last night you'll know what preceded today's final was fifteen hours of timeless poker, culminating early this morning with the elimination of Bill Edler, a gentleman through to the end, who shook hands with his...more

2009 PCA: The rich get richer

Today's miracle at the Atlantis Hotel and Resort, Paradise Island, the Bahamas, will be the disappearance of 70 poker players on day three of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. There were 102 players bagging up chips at the end of day two yesterday evening, but there is only space on day...more

$25K High Roller: Ready for tomorrow's final

The final table is in place. With ten minutes to go before 3am the decisive hand played out, a bubble hand that was ultimately worth more than $45,000 to someone. Bill Edler had been moving in from time to time, hoping to gain the momentum he needed to kick-start...more

$25K High Roller: The post mortem of a hand

A season of EPTs means watching thousands of hands but among them only a few ever stand out. The running theme at the end of level 11, as players mill around waiting for chips to be coloured up, is what will probably be known from now on as the...more

$25K High Roller: A touch of class by Daniel Alaei

In what could be the fold of the week, Daniel Alaei just mucked kings to Eli Elezra, the two big stacks at the table. With all of the action pre-flop, Daniel Negreanu raised, Elezra made it 26,000 before Alaei re-raised to 70,000. Negreanu folded before Elezra raised again to...more

$25K High Roller: Caught in a trap

Usually the thought of the bubble, the money and a place on a feature table is big deal. But in a high roller event, with players plastered with bracelets, titles and all manner of plaudits you suspect that isn't as big a deal as it might be. Play has...more

$25K High Roller: Closing in

It seemed to take only a few blinks but suddenly we're down to 14. Antonio Esfandiari is out, so too PokerStars Six man Ivan Demidov. But with blinds now 1,500-3,000 with a 300 ante things are getting pricey. Dennis Phillips is still taking advantage of the occasion re-raise, tangling...more

7 January

$25K High Roller: Ten to go

With level nine underway people are starting to question how long this is going to last. By that I mean the players. This will go on, most people think, until eight players remain, and typically this seems to be what the players want. And with blinds now 1,000-2,000 with...more

$25K High Roller: No Mercier at the break

The end of the level and another break. Notable chips counts from some of the remaining players are below. Daniel Alaei, whose tournament hopes were boosted earlier today with a pot against Antonio Esfandiari, holds the chip lead on approximately 195,000, closely followed by Michael Fosco who can thank...more

$25K High Roller: Clash of the Titans

We didn't have to wait for first blood on table three. It started with Denis Phillips limping under-the-gun. Jason Mercier next to him did the same, so did Daniel Negreanu and Isaac Haxton. Fosco and Hansen stayed in from the blinds. That's six to see the flop of 9h-3c-7c....more

2009 PCA: Nothing Happens Unless First a Dream

Pulitzer prize winning poet and writer Carl Sandburg once said, "Nothing happens unless first a dream." At the start of Day 2, 380 players entered the Imperial Ballroom with a dream dancing around their heads. That dream? Winning the 2009 PCA and taking home a cool $3 million. Each player...more

2009 PCA: Level 14 updates

Real-time updates from Level 14 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 2,500-5,000 (400). Post last updated at 9.00pm 9:21pm--Day 2 play ends--David Baker...more

$25K High Roller: Tables of death

Another player departs leaving three tables of eight, the most notable being table three, a thorough going bruiser featuring a line up that can only cause tremors in the time continuum. Denis Phillips, Jason Mercier, ElkY, Daniel Negreanu, Humberto Brenes, Isaac Haxton, Michael Fosco and Hansen make this an...more

$25K High Roller: Flames and flameouts

Eliminations after the break, taking us from 28 to 26 players. With blinds now at 600-1,200 with a 100 ante, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu saw to the first, seeing off Isaac Baron who had been stranded as one of the short stacks for some time. Then Dutch PokerStars...more

2009 PCA: Level 13 Updates

Real-time updates from Level 12 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 2,500-4,000 (400). Post last updated at 7:44pm 7:44pm--Players on break The 142...more

$25K High Roller: Chips for dinner

In the early fog of today Greg Raymer was eliminated from the High Roller event, one of the 18 players to depart so far, along with Dario Minieri. Daniel Negreanu on the other hand is headed in a nicer direction, resting on 105,000 at the break after two recent...more

$25K High Roller: Boom boom gone

The high roller event is just a dream gone by for two more players. Sorel Mizzi, who suffered in a bad hand in the first levels, held on with some fight but couldn't massage his 5,000 into anything that might last into level six. Gone. It was the same...more

2009 PCA: Level 12 updates

Real-time updates from Level 12 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 1,500-3,000 (300). Post last updated at 6:19pm 6:17pm--Time for a break Break...more

$25K High Roller: Into level six

More changes at the tables with ElkY slotting in opposite Eric Seidel. Josh Arieh just bumped his stack up a little, limping with pocket jacks to beat Joe Hachem to a pot. Daniel Negreanu called a pre-flop raise by Shaun Deeb on the button, 5,200 for a flop of...more

$25K High Roller: Ferguson falls to Hachem

Chris Moorman just earned himself a few extra thousand thanks to some hefty re-raising, taking his stack up to 45,000. Another player heading in the right direction is Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem. He just saw off Chris Ferguson when, on a board of 2d-6c-Ks-3d he made it 4,200...more

$25K High Roller: A page turner

Boris Becker booms on, another pot going his way from the big blind which takes him to 56,000 as the blinds go up to 200-400 with a running ante of 50. Gus Hansen has been quiet, by virtue of being deep into a book that he rests on the...more

2009 PCA: Level 11 updates

Real-time updates from Level 11 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 1,200-2,400 (300). 4.30pm--A new force There's a new name at the top...more

$25K High Roller: One down, 47 to go

Into level three and the gap seats have been removed. What we see is now what we get. Humberto Brenes squeezed into the field at the last opportunity, bringing the official total 48 players, sitting next to Daniel Negreanu who may or may not have dropped his bid to...more

2009 PCA: Poker Camp Begins

Spending your Bahamas vacation inside a classroom seems like an odd thing to do, but when you have a rare opportunity to pick the brains of the top poker pros in the world, sacrificing a little bit of sunshine is more than worth it. The first ever PCA PokerStars Poker...more

2009 PCA: Level 10 updates

Real-time updates from Level 10 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 1,000-2,000 (200). This post last updated at 2:56pm. 2:56pm--Level ends, chips up...more

$25K High Roller: Chips at the break

The first break is fast approaching in the High Roller event. There are no great changes on the landscape other than the new arrivals. Ivan Demidov took a pot from Dario Minieri, who every time I walk past seems to be making a decision on the river. Ivan Demidov...more

$25K High Roller: See you on the beach?

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is usually in a talkative mood and today is no different. Thirteen hours sleep and no food in 30 seems to have done something to the Team PokerStars Pro who is sharp-eyed and the life and soul of the party. Although, he claims not...more

2009 PCA: Level 9 updates

Real-time updates from Level 9 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul "Dr Pauly" McGuire, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates. Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 800-1,600 (200). This post last updated at 1:28pm. 1:28pm--Schwartz lets one go...more

$25K High Roller: Early forays

An early saunter around the high roller event, tucked in on the other side of the tournament room, reveals a few table draws to entice the rail birds. Team PokerStars Pro and last years' main event winner ElkY Grospellier sits alongside Eric Seidel. Shaun Deeb has Sorel Mizzi, World...more

2009 PCA: Day 2 Begins and Some Tough Tables

There are 380 players who survived the opening flights of the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The top 199 players will be awarded prize money and the money bubble should break sometime this evening. Felipe Ramos from Brazil is the current chipleader with 360,100. "It's all about your table draw," one...more

PCA $25K High Roller: Strap yourself in

Poker's best come here today loaded with visions of poker glory. If yesterday's World Cup of Poker had the one off excitement of soccer's FA Cup, then today's high roller event must surely be the Pro Bowl, All-Star game and Stanford cricket series all rolled into one. Every star...more

World Cup of Poker: Germany crowned champions

After the build up, the early rounds and the long battle that made up the final, not to mention the countless contests to determine who would fly to the Bahamas to represent their country, the new World Cup of Poker champions have been crowned. Germany, led by PokerStars Shooting...more

2009 PCA: A few hundred to fight for three million

If we let our imaginations wander, we see a benevolent poker deity sitting on a cloud of cash with a quaint abacus at his fingertips. It is he who will decide for what these tenacious PCA runners will fight. In our wildest of dreams we predicted a $2.5 million first...more

2009 PCA: After Midnight - Day 1B

Welcome to the after Midnight edition of Day 1B at the PCA. We're currently on Level 8 with approximately 230 players remaining. Victor Ramdin found himself involved in a massive pot. He opened with a min-raise. His opponent (who was drinking a can of Sands beer) popped him with a...more

2009 PCA: Second

Play has entered the final level of day 1B; indeed it's the final level of two day ones during which two thirds of the 1,347 starters have departed into the Bahamian night. Around this time yesterday, Felipe Ramos started his incredible charge to the chip lead. The PokerStars player from...more

6 January

2009 PCA: Moving pictures

The PokerStars video blog team get to know the major players on the tour better than most. You should see them in action, lining up the prime contenders ahead of time to assess their expectations for the day ahead, hanging around the tables trying to get interesting mid-play tid-bits, then...more

2009 PCA: Late Night Musings

Tables are breaking at a rapid pace as a flurry of bustouts have been increasing over Level 7. There are around 270 players remaining with 30 minutes to go in this level. - A couple of Team Poker Stars Pros are no longer with us. Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier...more

2009 PCA: Five from six

The sixth level of the day comes immediately after dinner (tuna melt and Jamba Juice, for us). For those who didn't have time for dessert, here's some after-dinner treats. We offer them in the form of a few quotes from around the room. 1) "I don't see flops." Normally when...more

2009 PCA: It's that time again...

Earlier today, my colleague Paul McGuire noticed a hand involving the new World Champion Peter Eastgate where an unknown player showed a huge bluff after Eastgate folded on the end. "That's what's gonna happen to you now," said Jean-Robert Bellande, also on the table. "Everyone's gonna be gunning for you."...more

2009 PCA: BREAKING--$3 million first prize

This is one of those posts that doesn't require fancy prose, five-dollar words, and a picture of something pretty. The numbers speak for themselves and do it in a kick-your-face kind of way. You ready? Total prize pool for the 2009 PCA Main Event: $12,674,000 First prize for the 2009...more

2009 PCA: Post-Dinner Team PokerStars Update

Victor Ramdin seems to be doing the best out of all of the Team PokerStars Pros playing on Day 1B. Ramdin is closing in on 100,000. The Brazilians are lurking near the top of the pack. Andre Akkari and Aelxandre Gomes have over 60,000 Katja Thater has been below average...more

2009 PCA: Nice guys finish...

Earlier we told you about Brandon Schaefer and his rise from FPP EPT qualifer in 2005 to EPT champion and poker pro. Anyone who has ever met Schaefer knows he could probably compete for Nicest Guy In Poker. Unlike the old adage however, Schaefer has a pretty hard time coming...more

World Cup of Poker: Play continues in the final

Below you'll find regular updates from the final table of the PokerStars World Cup of Poker which you can also see for yourselves, live on EPTLive, with every hand, including hole cards, shown from start to finish. Click refresh for latest updates here as the final progresses and for...more

2009 PCA: Snack wrap B

Going into this evening's dinner break, at the first major pause on day 1B, the story is a familiar one of some players making hay, others crashing and burning, handfuls heading the leaderboard, hordes hitting the bars. During the most recent sweep of the room conducted shortly before the interruption...more

2009 PCA: Champion down

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure holds a place in Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's heart, and not just because he won $2 million here last year. "The PCA is always a special tournament for poker players, especially because the location is so great and because there are so many online qualifiers and the...more

2009 PCA: Railbirds Flock to Dario

As action passed the 6 o'clock hour, there are approximately 470 players remaining in today's field. Here are some random tidbits... - Two-time bracelet winner Mark Seif is among the early chipleaders with almost 100,000. - This is the time of the day when you start to see a lot...more

2009 PCA: The defending champ speaks

So, 2008 wasn't everybody's best year. I think we can all agree on that. For Team PokerStars Pro Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier, the doldrums and crashes of last year don't apply. He kicked off the year by winning $2 million in the 2008 PCA. By year's end, he'd won a WPT...more

2009 PCA: Monique

Monique stood in the middle of the Imperial Ballroom with a smile so big, the TV lights on the main stage couldn't compete. "It's been six months?" I said. "June 13th" she said. "That's the date." When she says the date, it comes out like a person offering the day...more

2009 PCA: The Ballad of Apestyles and Maridu

The popular version of the oft-repeated Bonnie and Clyde story describes the exploits of a young male/female team of lovers/outlaws terrorising the southern states of America during the Great Depression of the early 20th century. They fight, they rob, they stick up banks and they assemble a gang of eager...more

PCA 2009: The Post-Modern American Dream Revisited

I would not have a job in poker if it were not for Chris Moneymaker. In fact, there are several hundred players in today's event that would not be here in the Bahamas if it were not for Chris Moneymaker. The eternal flame of the American Dream has dulled to...more

2009 PCA: $36 buys a good story

Rebekah Mercer has had quite a career to this point. She's been a college dean. She's been an editor for a publishing house. She's been a writer. Now she's thinking she would like to get into poker writing. The recent transplant from Ft. Worth, Texas to Oklahoma City is not...more

2009 PCA: Akkari's $1 million year

There was a time when Andre Akkari couldn't play a $10,000 event. Hell, there was a time when Andre Akkari couldn't play a $10 event, and it wasn't too long ago. Just a couple of years back, Andre Akkari didn't have a bankroll. He wanted one, but as many of...more

2009 PCA: Post useless without photos

In the fictional poker award ceremony just invented in my head, the winner of the "Best Dressed Man in Poker" for the past 15 years has been Thomas Kremser, tournament director of the EPT. It's really been a walkover for the Austrian TD. Ever since he first came to...more

2009 PCA: Day 1B Early Musings

I love to stroll the aisles in the early levels of the opening flights of a major tournament like the PCA. There's a collective buzz and energy in the Imperial Room that will slowly dissipate as the tournament progresses. You also get a glimpse of the weird and eccentric players...more

2009 PCA: Poker Camp

When most people come to the Caribbean, the last thing on their mind is getting an education. The school books have been left behind and anything that seems in the least bit professorial is relegated to the backs of minds. This, however, is a group of poker players. While they...more

2009 PCA: FPP value

By now, it should be established that PokerStars Frequent Player Points are worth something. VIP Club members have bought cars, trips, horses, and in one case, a nice house. This is not to mention the countless other goods and services that can be purchased in the FPP Store. [As an...more

2009 PCA: Random? Rigged more like

Some players around a single poker table this afternoon: Johnny Lodden, ElkY, Victor Ramdin, Dario Minieri. And around another one: Andre Akkari, Gualter Salles, Thierry Van Den Berg. And another one: Hevad Khan, Gus Hansen, Layne Flack and Orel Hirshiser. And then there's Boris Becker and Chris Moneymaker on...more

World Cup of Poker: Final table updates

Below you'll find regular updates from the final table of the PokerStars World Cup of Poker which you can also see for yourselves, live on EPTLive with every hand, including hole cards, shown from start to finish. Click refresh for latest updates as the final progresses and for a...more

World Cup of Poker: Final table about to start

Players are enjoying a break before the final gets underway. From the five tables top points went to Italy, Poland, Mexico, Great Britain and USA winning tables. But there remains everything to play for with Canadian captain Daniel Negreanu, his team in last place, the most buoyant and optimistic....more

PCA 2009: Profiles - Ricky "FiveFingerz" Puleo

Everyone has a story about how they ended up in the Bahamas. One particularly intriguing and inspiring story involves Ricky "FiveFingerz" Puleo. The Maryland native won his seat to the PCA on PokerStars by winning one of the Steps satellites with a mere $27 investment. Puleo grew up near Annapolis,...more

World Cup of Poker: Two tables to go...

Great Britain captain Vicky Coren sent Malthe Strothmann to the rail with ace-king, helping her stack sour to more than 6,000. At her table is Lee Nelson, still in contention and supported by his team mates cheering his every play. Then Italian player Valeriano Bilancetti moved all-in, called by...more

2009 PCA: Once more with feeling

Veteran tournament reporters have a tough relationship with any second Day 1. Day 1A is one of pomp and circumstance. It's a new beginning, something fresh, something that feels unique. Day 1B is...well, at its beginning it is a carbon copy of Day 1A. The opening speeches, the welcome videos,...more

World Cup of Poker: Closing in

"That's how we do it!" This was Daniel Negreanu railing a teammate who doubled up with K-J, hitting a king on the flop and turn. Negreanu made it sound easy, something his buddy at the table was having trouble believing. "Yeah, sure!" The eliminations are starting to happen. Negreanu...more

World Cup of Poker: Happy to be here

A casual atmosphere on Vicky Coren's table who passes the early levels talking about the benefits of busting from the PCA in the first few levels with Lee Nelson and German player Malthe Strothmann. All seem to be in agreement that if you going to bust out early this...more

World Cup of Poker: We're underway

Introductions are being made, some between team mates, with the opening sit and goes about ready to start. Blinds start at 25-50, increasing every 15 minutes for a quick paced battle royale in this first stage. Nine countries in the chase for a first prize of $100,000. Time then...more

World Cup of Poker: Let the finals begin

It's World Cup of Poker final day - let your hair down, unplug the phone, send the kids to the movies and sit back with EPTLive on screen. It comes but once a year and start to finish it will all be done with today. The lights were down...more

2009 PCA: Full-fat wrap

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure might have outgrown its name these days. Really it's more of an extravaganza than a plain old adventure: countless tournaments, thousands of players, millions of bucks. We're only just through the first of six days and we've already seen enough action to last right through...more

2009 PCA: Vamos Ramos

The six seat had no part in the hand, but he was shaking his head like everybody else in the room. "Would you deal him a cooler? Somebody needs to cool that guy off." The three seat--who had also not been in the hand-- looked like he'd just escaped death....more

Battle Boris: Becker booms by battlers

Boris is well and truly back. The scene was set here in the Imperial Ballroom for a Battle Boris extravaganza, with six players lining up one-by-one take a shot at the PokerStars ambassador. The tennis legend was all that stood between them and a seat in the PCA tomorrow, a...more

5 January

2009 PCA: Greenstein Rising

I caught the action on the flop. The board read Kh-Ks-8s. A very nervous looking player in Seat 1 fired out 4,500. Barry Greenstein had around 25,000 or so stacked up in two columns. He reached down and grabbed a column with each hand and announced that he was all...more

2009 PCA: The Tom McEvoy post

Rummaging through the official World Series of Poker archive at the University of Nevada this summer, I found the original, official bracelet winner's questionnaire handed to the 1983 Main Event champion. That man was a then-unknown player relatively new to poker, who had won a bracelet in a $1,000...more

2009 PCA: Raymer's vow, and the Tommy Angelo experiment

"Someday I'm going to try the Tommy Angelo experiment." That's Greg Raymer holding court in the two-seat. Though his face doesn't give away what happened to his chip stack, it's clear even at 12 feet that it must have had something to do with aces. "What you do," Raymer explains,...more

2009 PCA: Post-Dinner Malaise

There is an unexplained phenomenon in poker. For some odd reason there is an unusual number of bustouts in the level right after the dinner break. Perhaps players lose their focus over the lengthy break, or maybe they have a few cocktails at dinner and loosen up their game upon...more

2009 PCA: A Polish drama

It's a quiet moment on media row at the mid-point of level six. One PokerStars.com blogger is talking to the one and only PokerStars.pl (Poland) blogger about the tournament to date. Dot.com: "I just heard that Marcin Horecki has close to 70,000." Dot.pl: "No, he's got about 17,000. That's all....more

2009 PCA: PokerStars Columbus

Last year the intrepid explorers hired by the European Poker Tour discovered a new part of their continent. It was here in the Bahamas, previously erroneously considered to be part of the Americas, but established now - and forever more - as a wonderful outcrop of Europe. Making themselves at...more

2009 PCA: D'Amato on the stump

There are many famous folks in the room tonight. Most are doing their battles on the Bahamian baize. One man, however, stands out for a fight going on 944 miles away in Washington D.C. As you might already know, Former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato serves as the chairman of the...more

World Cup of Poker: All smiles on WCP eve

The closing stages of the World Cup of Poker started this morning. No cards were dealt but team uniforms and patience were required for the pre-tournament photo shoot, each team marching on stage in turn with the table draped in the relevant national colours, flashing their best smile before...more

2009 PCA: The snack wrap

When we bloggers begin to finish up our work for the night, we put our biggest efforts into what we oh-so-creatively call The Wrap. Now, as we finish up the fifth level of the day and go to dinner, it's time for a brief snack. Here's a quick breakdown of...more

2009: Fifteen Minutes

I glanced up at the clock. There were less than two minutes remaining in the level. I made a mad dash for the door and exited the tournament area. My intended destination was the toilet. With well over 600 players still remaining in the tournament (and most of them of...more

2009 PCA: The Four Corners

There's one area of the Imperial Ballroom that features four tables of significance with three Team PokerStars Pros. If I stand in the aisle, I could catch the action on all four tables. At the first table, Greg Raymer has an intimidating a big stack worth 80,000. Evelyn Ng is...more

2009 PCA: Some words with The Bear

I don't pretend to know what goes on inside Barry Greenstein's head on Day 1 of a tournament. The man can make it through Day 1 like nobody's business. It probably takes some effort, but Greenstein makes it look easy. He can kick back, read a paper, and do his...more

2009 PCA: Of all the tables in all the room, he sits down at mine

It's day 1A at the PCA and the tournament officials have told us that 660 players stumped up the $10,000 for a shot at the big time. These days, that's small-fry for the likes of Ylon Schwartz, the PokerStars Million Dollar Man who cruised to fourth in the World Series...more

2009 PCA: Not the softest table

Poker tournament reporting revolves around a few themes. Bad beats, cold decks, table banter, and the greatest of all fallback stories: The Table of Death. When all else seems mundane, the Table of Death always provides a few stories. Let's just be honest with ourselves. There are no easy tables...more

2009 PCA: A Tale of Two Gavins

Team PokerStars Pro Gavin Griffin (US) and Gavin Smith (Canada) are often confused for each other and rightly fully so. Both are professional poker players who share the same first name. Both have won an WPT event and they each have $4.5 million in career tournament earnings. Right now, the...more

2009 PCA: Fossilman on the up

Even though he is only 44-years-old, Greg Raymer is among the more senior competitors lining up here at the PCA. But as has been documented on countless previous occasions, the extreme youth exhibited around the major poker tournament tables these days owes a large amount to Raymer, specifically his 2004...more

2009 PCA: A sample of the field

When entering a field of this size, the emotions run the gamut. The new kids on the block are nervous. The old hands are relaxed enough to show up late. The PokerStars video blog team talked to folks like Hevad Khan and Shaun Deeb as they came in today. Here's...more

2009 PCA: Honorary members of the team

Time and respect when properly combined can confer upon a person a certain place of honor that he might not have otherwise been able to achieve. Governor Kirk Fordice, may he rest in peace, once made me an honorary Mississippian. I probably didn't deserve that. If I were somehow appointed...more

2009 PCA: The online invasion

In many respects covering a huge poker tournament, both in terms of field size and prestige, is markedly easier than dealing with a smaller event. Although it's easy to be daunted by the mammoth line-up and long, long hours, one does not have to travel too far to find a...more

2009 PCA: Early Musings

The first level of a poker tournament is sort of like the first day back to school. During a quick stroll through the tournament area, you're bound to discover a couple of familiar faces along with some folks you haven't seen in months or even years on the tournament trail....more

2009 PCA: A peek at paradise

As has become standard operating procedure on the PokerStars-sponsored circuit, the PokerStars video blogging team is on the ground and capturing everything our many words can't convey. Over the course of the next week, you will be able to see countless video blogs (not to mention a ton of live...more

2009 PCA: Team PokerStars Pros

Team PokerStars Pros represent some of the premier tournament players in the world. But it's not their astute poker acumen that makes them among the most luminous stars in the galaxy. They are true international rounders and ambassadors of poker constantly on the move representing PokerStars wherever they play... Asia,...more

2009 PCA: As big as it gets

"This is big." That was the first thing we thought as we walked into the tournament area. The sprawling ballroom stretches far enough that we wouldn't recognize our brothers if they were standing on the far wall. The psychedelic tropical-themed carpet stretches across a floor so large, we have considered...more

Stolen! First Sunday Million of 2009 Taken by stoledog

What to do on the first weekend of 2009... Work on those New Year's resolutions by going to the gym, reading a book, or spending more time with family? Seriously, these are poker players we're talking about here, and with a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool on PokerStars, they're certainly...more

4 January

2009 PCA: Party on

"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi se soir?" No? I don't blame you. And here's why. Even though the house band crank out this most rhetorical of questions numerous times on a fitting night of excess, this is not the occasion that you settle for fifth, fourth, third or even second best....more

Buller00 comes from behind in amazing Sunday Warm-Up Victory!

PokerStars ended the holiday season on a high note with another massive crowd lining up for the Sunday Warm-Up. The first Sunday Warm-Up of 2009 blew through the guarantee, with 4103 players building a massive $829,600 prize pool. Anybody who thought that registration would be slow with so many players...more

3 January

2009 PCA: Five years on Paradise Island

The Atlantis Resort and Casino is the largest destination in the Caribbean. It spans most of Paradise Island's beach and enjoys such an enormity that first-time visitors are bound to be lost for most of their first day here. The fortunate element of one losing his way here is that...more

World Cup of Poker: Can Poland prevent an American repeat?

Team Poland has been here before. Led by Philip Hilm, Poland took down the 2006 World Cup of Poker at the live finals in Barcelona, defeating the Tom McEvoy-captained Team USA for the title. Two years later, they're back after overcoming challenges from Austria, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, the...more

2 January

VIP Club: Second female Supernova ready to shine in '09

As 2008 came to a close, we became aware that one of the year's Supernova Elite players was the second female to ever achieve the top status. You may know her online as PokerSnoopy or in person as Millie Shiu. When we found out she was now a Supernova Elite,...more

World Cup of Poker: Kiwis prepped for finals debut

Team New Zealand had to, quite literally, top the rest of the world to win their way into the World Cup of Poker finals. Competing in the "Rest of the World" division, the Kiwis topped teams from Armenia, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, the Philippines, South Africa, and Taiwan to...more

1 January

World Cup of Poker: Team Latvia celebrates maiden voyage to finals

Just a little more than four weeks ago, the Europe III Divisional Finals ended in a tie, with Team Latvia and Team Spain both putting up 43 points each. The decision would lie with a tiebreaker, a winner-take all heads-up match played by one member from each team. It was...more

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