July 2009

31 July

Alex Gomes reflects on WPT win

After one of the Team PokerStars Pros has a big win, we like to give them a chance to tell us what it was like. Even though he is the newest WPT millionaire, Brazilian Pro Alex Gomes took the time to sit down and tell us what it was like...more

Stud: Hand strategy

by Adam "STUDSTOOD" Roberts This past year, I have been blogging on many different topics and aspects of overall poker play, including bankroll requirements (both per session and for the long term), game selection (based on limit of game, type of game- especially with regards to your own ability), money...more

PokerStars IPT Venice off to a flyer

Venice is a tourist magnet, packed with folks snaking their way through the city's winding streets or gliding gracefully along the waterways on a river taxi to see one of countless historical attractions. So when PokerStars revealed this would be the second stop of its Italian Poker Tour, everyone expected...more

30 July

APPT: Festival in the East

My, they grow up so fast. Just a few short years ago, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour was a smattering of events in the Far East, a short series of tournaments that looked to test the poker waters in that part of the world. Today, even we folks in the...more

Scene set for PokerStars IPT Venice

It's been known as the City of Bridges, the City of Water, and even the City of Light. Now Venice, for a few days at least, can be called the City of Poker, as the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour begins the second leg of its debut season. The first...more

29 July

2009 WCOOP: Extreme satellites!

Sometime in the mid-90s, I was sitting in a bar in Colorado after a long day falling down a mountain. On the TV above the bar, men were jumping out of helicopters and then throwing themselves over snow-packed summits with abandon.They called it Extreme Skiing. I was intrigued. Who were...more

Sunday Million Online Poker Show (7-26-09)


The worst possible river with Chad Brown

Chad Brown's best chance at a WSOP bracelet in 2009 came in the $10,000 Limit Hold'em championship. A tough limit hold'em player in his own right, Brown tore through the field and looked good for the victory. And then there was the worst possible river you could imagine. In this...more

28 July

Raymer, Haxton to hit ESPN tonight

It sort of feels like we just left the Amazon Room. We can still smell the burgers from the Poker Kitchen, see the thousands of players, and hear the countless bad beat stories. It feels like yesterday (instead of a couple of weeks ago). Well, now it's time to go...more

Chad Brown escorts Norm Chad to the money

Chad Brown has seen a lot of things in poker, and he is one of few people to ever see the ultra-rare occurrence of ESPN's Norman Chad making the money at a WSOP event.This week we're looking at some of Brown's experience's at this year's WSOP and Chad has been...more

The Online Poker Show (7-27-09)

Back in the days before television, people competed on an American radio program titled, "The $64 Question." When TV became the new American source of entertainment, the price tag for the show producers went up. Now the show was called "The $64,000 Question." It seemed people just loved watching other...more

27 July

Americas to face off for title at end of world

There is a place at the end of the world, where snow falls in August, where the women can fell governments, and red meat is eaten with such fervor that the idea of a boneless, skinless chicken breast is, at best, quaint. Patagonia, this mythical sounding place in southwest of...more

Chad Brown's sick O-E run

Now that we've temporarily taken a break from the 2009 WSOP, it's time to look back on a couple of stories that fell by the wayside during the month of coverage. Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown had a pretty darned good Series, but it was not without its hurdles. Below,...more

PokerStars Sunday tournament results (7-26-09)

Find me a place online where more money is awarded on Sunday. Just do it and I'll shut up. No? Then let's review this week's biggest tournament events. Without question, this week's biggest winner was Danneville. Even after a heads-up deal, Danneville won more than $220,000 for beating out more...more

Danneville Does the Deed and Takes Sunday Million Victory

A double-edged sword, some might call it. The large number of players in the tournament removes any chance for an overlay in the $1.5 million guaranteed event. But that high number also means that the prize pool soars well beyond that already impressive dollar amount. And PokerStars can call it...more

No Chop Here: ch0ppy wins $1 Million Turbo Takedown - Team Pro Edition

Tonight brought out 24,445 players to different twist on the monthly $1 Million Turbo Takedown. For 2,000 Frequent Players Points (FPPs) players could take their seats against the slew of Team PokerStars Pros sitting with various bounties on their heads. Various because depending on when the player signed up for...more

26 July

Aguskb takes down deal-free $135K in Sunday Warm-Up!

4,303 players ponied up the $215 entry fee into this week's Sunday Warm-Up, blowing through the guarantee and building a prize pool of $860,600. Even with such a large field, it only took a little over eight hours to reach the final table, and only 90 minutes for Aguskb to...more

gabo2584 grabs July's Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout title

SnG kings, queens, princes, princesses, and court jesters found their way into this month's $50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout freeroll. 572 SnG royalty grabbed their tickets to the freeroll ball in attempt to make way with the $12,000 sitting on the throne for one lucky player. The 81...more

EPT Moscow becomes EPT Kiev

Well, we had our bags packed for an August in Moscow, but we're happy to go elsewhere. As you might have heard, the Russian government has recently closed most of its casinos. That was going to make it really difficult to host the first Season 6 EPT event there. Always...more

25 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Chevalier's win cherry on the pie

The concept of poker tourism will never be the same after the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown. It's safe to say that not a single visitor to this stunning alpine town, nestled deep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand's South Island, has failed to sample at least one of...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Kiwi challenge fades as Aussies go heads-up

The chase for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event crown is down to the final two after Glenn Maiden and Mark Walker were eliminated in third and fourth positions respectively. Walker, a 28-year-old machine operator from Cambridge on New Zealand's North Island, pushed all-in with 5♣ 3♣ on a...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Snow to surf, season finale coming up

Andrew Hinrichsen's charge towards the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event title retains the momentum of an avalanche after claiming the scalp of Steve Smith. The 21-year-old from Melbourne, who qualified for this event on PokerStars, made a ballsy call on the flop of J♦ 4♦ [10s] with Q♦ 9♦...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Goliath gone, Hinrichsen leads

The race for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event title has been turned on its head after the elimination of four players in quick succession. First out was David Bradford, who committed his short stack with A♥ [10d] against John Pye's A♦ 9♠. A nine in the window was...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Kiwis on top in latest chapter of trans-Tasman rivalry

New Zealanders love nothing more than to beat Australia - no matter what the sporting arena. The Kiwis are in prime position to chalk up another one over their trans-Tasman rivals after the final table for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event was decided. There are seven New Zealanders...more

24 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Final table profiles

Seat 1: Will Mauga (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier (106,500 in chips): Born in New Zealand but a resident of Brisbane since he was two-years-old, this 25-year-old painting contractor who runs his own business is married with three children. He qualified for this event via an $11 buy-in event on PokerStars...more

ANZPT Queenstown: It's Otago versus the rest

Two more players have hit the rail, leaving just 11 players chasing a spot at the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event final table. Just as his chip count looked to be heading in the right direction, Sydney's Raj Ramakrishnan found himself in a hand with John Pye, with...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Hachem out, 13 remain in final table race

The tight play of day two has made way for several quick-fire eliminations early on day three of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event at SKYCITY Casino. Only 13 of the 18 starters remain in the hunt for a spot at tonight's final table after a cut-throat opening hour...more

ANZPT Queenstown: On the road to poker paradise

Queenstown has turned on a spectacular day - brilliant sunshine reflecting off the lake and surrounding snow-capped mountains, only the slightest breeze and just a hint of frost in the air - for the finale to the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. Yesterday, 92 players took their seats...more

ANZPT Queenstown: View looks promising for Panorama's own

John Guthrie is the chip leader heading into the final day of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event after a dramatic end to day two at SKYCITY Casino. The local winery owner and property developer holds more than 20 per cent of the chips in play (more than 650,000...more

Stud: Pieced out

by Adam "STUDSTOOD" Roberts Another topic I want to cover for tournaments is getting staked or "pieced out." Being that tournaments have such a high short term luck factor, many players prefer not using their own money for buy-ins. This is all well and good, but if you are one...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Mayor decrees we're down to three tables

The flow of eliminations has slowed to a trickle coming up to the start of level 13 (1200/2400 with a 400 ante) late on day two in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. The remaining players have just been condensed into three tables of nine (thanks to former Queenstown...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Hachem on the march

We're down to four tables and 35 players midway through level 11 late on day two of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. This may be a small venue, but the atmosphere matches that of any major poker tournament with a packed rail and the local equivalent of the...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Pye still hot on a chilly evening

The outcasts have returned from the "official" poker table here at SKYCITY Casino with 48 players still in the hunt for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event title. As the mercury plummets into single digits outside (snow fell on the nearby hills around Queenstown last night), the temperature is...more

ANZPT Queenstown: 60 to go in Friday night flight

For the first time, all remaining players are seated in SKYCITY Casino for the charge to the money and the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown title. The 28 survivors from today's first session have been joined by 32 players from the second session of the day. The latter session produced...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Nines just fine as Scott sets sail

The first hour of play in the second session of day two in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown main Event has been completed, with only five of the 45 starters eliminated - half that of the first session earlier today. The SKYCITY Casino tournament room is packed to capacity with...more

23 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Pye cooks up a treat for day two entree

After a head-spinning two-and-a-half levels of action in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event, the day's first group was slashed from 46 to 28, and now another 45 players have taken their seats in the tournament poker area at SKYCITY Casino. The big mover of the opening session was...more

ANZPT Queenstown: A raft of early eliminations

Like the bubbling brook that runs along side the Novotel Lakeside where many of the players are staying, there's been a steady stream of players leaving the tournament area early on day two of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. PokerStars Team Australia pro Tony Hachem ... "that's the...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Time to steak a claim on day 2

Thursday night presented a variety of opportunities for players tuning up ahead of day two in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. Many players and qualifiers had enjoyed a day's skiing at nearby Coronet Peak before others boarded a taxi for the trip up the mountain later in the...more

Oh, baby, what a World Series

Kerry Bordinat was feeding her baby, in part because that's what a mom does, and in part because there wasn't anybody else around. Her husband was off turkey hunting and the baby was hungry. What's a mom to do? It was April 20 and PokerStars had just opened the gates...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Day 2 seat draw

ANZPT commish Danny McDonagh is known as one of the most innovative and dynamic tournament directors in the poker world, but we reckon he's almost outdone himself with tomorrow's schedule for day two of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. Must be the alpine air! After four day one...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Colman in a canter

All the numbers are in for the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event, with a total field of 134 players having been reduced to 91 after four day one flights. Those players are fighting for a share of NZD $303,750, with the winner taking home just over NZD $88,000...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Blinds, bets, blizzards & BBQ

The day two line-up for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event has almost been decided with less than 90 minutes remaining on day 1D. Players started with 20,000 in chips and have five one-hour levels scheduled: Level 1: 50/100 Level 2: 75/150 Level 3: 100/200 Level 4: 100/200 (ante...more

22 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Andy handily placed for day two

The chips may be bagged up for the evening in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event, but things are just heating up at SKYCITY Casino. Media and guests have started to arrive for this evening's celebrity event, with local luminaries including TV personality and SKYCITY Auckland poker ambassador Brooke...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Levick's KO leaves Hachem in box seat

The battle for the ANZPT Overall Points title has just taken a dramatic turn with the elimination of leader Chris Levick midway through level four on day 1C of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. Levick, who won the ANZPT Melbourne title, busted out in brutal circumstances when he...more

21 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Vote for Milford a sound decision

One of the travel options available to players here for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown main Event is a day trip to Milford Sound, a 15-kilometre long fjord situated about 45 minutes' flight to the west of Queenstown. With its soaring cliffs, waterfalls tumbling hundreds of feet, snow-capped peaks and...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Qualifiers put Captain Cook to shame

We thought our trip directly from Las Vegas to Queenstown was long, but a pair of PokerStars qualifiers have put that effort to shame. Hats off to Ville Nurmi from Finland and Argentinean Cesar Cavagnero for journeying staggering distances to take their seats on day 1C of the PokerStars.net...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Where would you rather be on a Wednesday?

The skies have cleared and the Queenstown tourist booking agents are working overtime to handle all the inquiries from poker players with an afternoon to spare. From spa treatments, luge rides, jet boating to tandem parachute jumps, everyone seems to have their plans in place; one of the attractions...more

The Online Poker Show (7-19-09)

During our time at the World Series of Poker, you might have forgotten that our video teams spend a lot of time keeping track of the big online action on Sunday. Most notably, the folks behind PokerStars/tv produce a terrific highlight show of the biggest weekly tournament in the world....more

ANZPT Queenstown: Dr Who? Tardis owner leads on day 1B

The final drops of rain fell on a wet and woolly Otago day just as players started to leave SKYCITY Casino for the evening after day 1B of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. The day 1B field of 35 was whittled down to 28 after five one-hour levels,...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Go jump off a bridge

For a country of 4.3 million people, New Zealand has made a surprising number of contributions to popular culture, but arguably the best known is the bungy jump. The man whose name is indelibly linked to bungy jumping, AJ Hackett, teamed up with fellow speed skier Henry van Asch...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Nelson enters as qualifier exits

Players continue to arrive for a taste of alpine adventure before taking their seats in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. PokerStars Sponsored player and 2006 Aussie Millions champ Lee "Final Table" Nelson just popped in to check on proceedings. Nelson (who coincidentally lives in a town called Nelson...more

20 July

ANZPT Queenstown: Put another log on the fire

The smoke from the many open fires burning throughout the town is drifting pass the windows of the tournament area here at SKYCITY, creating a unique backdrop to day 1B of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. The light is already fading as the rain continues to tumble down...more

ANZPT Queenstown: It's good for the garden

Welcome to day 1B of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. The brilliant sunshine of yesterday has been replaced by grey skies and rain, but there's barely a bar or restaurant without an open fireplace so a lazy day looks in order for the players not taking their seats...more

Alex Gomes wins WPT Bellagio Cup

The World Series of Poker can be discouraging. You can play all month long and barely have anything to show for it. Look at Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes. The best win he came away with in the 2009 Series was a $5,300 cash for an 80th place finish in...more

WSOP finalist Kevin Schaffle


PokerStars Sunday tournament results (7-19-09)

If you're anything like us, you've just spent the last three days sleeping. You're eyes are puffy, your internal organs are coming up for air, and your early0onset arthritis is pleading with you to take a month away from a computer keyboard. The World Series of Poker is over until...more

PokerStars smashes tournament Guinness World Record

We knew it was going to be big, but PokerStars players showed just how much they are up for a challenge by not only beating the Guinness World Record for the largest online poker tournament ever held - but absolutely smashing it. Beating it to a pulp. Pulverising it. Well,...more

danilov153 springs traps enroute to Sunday Million victory

The Sunday Million this evening had slightly less players than the successful Guinness Book of World Records attempt earlier in the evening when the capped 65,000 players piled into the dollar tournament with PokerStars doubling the prize pool to $130,000 (won by 004 license after ten hours who took home...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Measey on the mark

After a very civilised five one-hour levels, day 1A has been completed in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event - the first major tournament to be played in this idyllic resort town, deep in New Zealand's South Island. A total of 27 players were registered for day 1A, with...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Time to get the blood pumping

The sun has started to slip behind Bob's Peak, the statuesque peak that overlooks Queenstown. Not only is 2400-foot Bob's Peak home to the Skyline Gondola (steepest) in the southern hemisphere, it is home to the heart-stopping Ledge Bungy. There are bigger bungy jumps in the region, but this...more

19 July

leclash le-wins $132K in Sunday Warm-up Victory

With the madness of the World Series of Poker behind us (at least until the November Nine return to the Main Event final table), 4,209 players filled the void this evening by trading $215 for a ticket to the $750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up. Easily breaking the guarantee, 630 players divided...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Friendly game for a friendly town

What a contrast - after covering the 2009 WSOP Main Event and single-day fields of almost 3000 players, following the 23 players in action on day 1A of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event is very refreshing. It's more like a home game atmosphere - introductions have been made,...more

ANZPT Queenstown: Hachem sends cards into the air

What a way to start the day - a stroll along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, a steaming hot latte in the crisp but brilliant sunshine and a midday start for day 1A of the NZD $2500 buy-in PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event. Mornings don't come much better! A...more

ANZPT Queenstown: The ultimate Alpine adventure

From the moment the pilot says to keep an eye out for the glaciers as the Airbus picks it way through a series of 10,000-plus feet snow-capped peaks high over the South Island of New Zealand, you know Queenstown isn't going to be the typical stopover for a poker...more

17 July

Be part of a record-breaking tournament this weekend

Unless you have buried your head in the sand for the past few years, you'll know that whatever PokerStars does is usually big. Take last December, for example, when we bagged a Guinness World Record for staging the largest ever online poker tournament with a mind-boggling 35,000 players. Well, we...more

16 July

WSOP Main Event: November Nine chips

The final table of the World Series Main Event is set. The players listed below will return in November to play for the Championship bracelet and the near-$9m first prize. PokerStars players who cashed in the Main Event can be found on the prize-winners' page and you can review all...more

WSOP Day 7 wrap


WSOP Main Event: New November Nine

It started with the sun high in the blue Nevada sky and was ended this evening by a man named Moon. The players, organisers and media expected to finish in the early hours of Thursday with daylight dawning in Las Vegas. Instead it was wrapped up by 11pm. But...more

WSOP Main Event: A Round On the Almost Final Table

Players returned from their dinner break -- their final dinner break as either members of the November Nine or the Non-November Nine -- to play level 33 of the World Series Championship Event. At this point 14 players remained, seven on each table, and I was feeling in the mood...more

15 July

WSOP Main Event: The last supper

Nick Maimone, the PokerStars sponsored player from North Carolina, readily admitted today that he was running like God. Not only did he come from behind twice (once, a two outer on the turn), he managed to make pocket queens hold up against big slick. Within three hours this afternoon, he...more

WSOP Main Event: On the long road

There's a long road ahead of us and it's called Highway18-9. It disappears over the horizon long away in the distance but while it stretches across the desert the road is in fact air conditioned and you don't move along it, it moves along you. The road is carpeted,...more

WSOP Main Event: Numero One

As was always to be expected, action has been slow in the Amazon Room today. The plan was to trim the field from 27 to nine, with an indefinite period allotted to do so, and the line was set at somewhere around three in the morning. That said, it hasn't...more

WSOP Main Event: Picking up the flag

Kevin Schaffel is one of those guys who isn't afraid to set lofty goals. When he filled out bio questionairres for poker web sites, he listed his top ambition as winning the World Series of Poker Main Event. For most people, that would be like quitting their job to focus...more

WSOP Main Event: Doubling up the hard way

A PokerStars player from Charlotte, North Carolina has had a dynamite first hour. Nick Maimone, who tweets his progress as FU_15, just doubled up in a rip roaring hand against Phil Ivey. With just a million left Maimone led by shoving, watching as the action folded to Ivey on...more

WSOP Main Event: Until November

Until November, this is the biggest day of the poker year so far. Until November, these 27 players are under the most intense pressure of any World Series competitors of the year. Until November, we will see today the biggest pots of the World Series year. Until November, the focus...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 8 chip counts

Only 27 players remain in the World Series of Poker Main Event. It is day eight, and today they will reduce the field further to the final nine who will return in November to decide the new World Champion. Seven PokerStars players remain in the field at the start of...more

WSOP Main Event: Where dreams die and dreams are made

We were 64 and we dreamed of being 27. And true to its billing as the city where dreams are made, Las Vegas brought us to our target in record-quick time, with nary a nip nor tuck nor surgeon's scalpel in sight. The field of the Main Event of the...more

WSOP Main Event: We play on...

The expectation on days like these is that progress will be slow. The reminder, thrown into any conversation about how long a day will last, is the final day of last year where the long hours spent reducing the field from 27 to nine which last year ended as...more

14 July

WSOP Main Event: Lamb chops through WSOP field

If you've ever sat in the stands at a sports stadium and watched so-called professional athletes make a hash of the most rudimentary tasks they are paid millions of dollars a year to complete, you've probably also muttered the words: "Hell, I could do better than them." For a poker...more

WSOP Main Event: Life is tweet

Mobile phones have always been part and parcel of the poker player's armoury, along with headphones, iPods and tip money. Texting friends your latest news was pretty straight forward, also mandatory if they had a piece of you. But now there's an easier way to let the world know...more

WSOP Main Event: Six figures, good and bad

As of this moment, the remaining players in the 2009 World Series of Poker are guaranteed $178,000. For some people, that's more money than they make in two, three, even four years of work. For a lot of poker players, that's a decent yearly nut. For everyone playing right now,...more

WSOP Main Event: A tale of two tables

The second feature table is in the shadow of the main stage table, the coliseum type arena that produces a surge of noise every once in a while that no one understands exactly. There's a three foot high wall along one side where standing room only spectators look over...more

WSOP Main Event: Moneymaker II?

When a PokerStars qualifier at the World Series Main Event tells you that he is an accountancy student, it is only to be expected that images begin appearing in your mind of that qualifier's face photoshopped onto Chris Moneymaker's body; specifically the moment when the qualified accountant from Tennessee won...more

WSOP Main Event: Blue 6

There used to be a time the World Series was small enough the Tournament Director could say, "You're sitting at that table over there. Put your tail in the chair and play." Eventually, the crowds necessitated numbering the tables. Now, the WSOP is so big, the tables have numbers and...more

WSOP Main Event: The ring

From the Roman Colosseum, to the old Wild West rodeos, through PT Barnum's circuses and now poker. When it's time for a show, you need a circular arena, a ring, in which to pitch competitor against competitor. In the Amazon Room today, the tournament officials have got their gladiatorial battlefield....more

WSOP Main Event: No rest on day seven...

A few days ago I stumbled upon one of those snippets of World Series wisdom which came from a Portuguese player who had come to the World Series many times. Slightly kooky but true nonetheless, it went something along the lines of the shorter the queue for the bathroom...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 7 chip counts

We have now reached day seven of the World Series Main Event, with 11 PokerStars players still in the hunt. The Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips remains in with a chance of completing spectacular back-to-back visits to the final table, but the man leading the charge at the moment is...more

WSOP Main Event: The repopulators

One percent. When the bombs finally fall, the sun melts the buildings, and the undead roam the plains, the population of the planet will be reduced to one percent of its current bursting-at-the-fault-lines population. It will be up to that one percent to repopulate Earth. Don't worry. It's not as...more

WSOP Main Event: No back to back for Peter Eastgate

It seemed like an impossible dream but one that deep down some hoped would become a reality. The chances of Peter Eastgate, the reigning world champion, making it back-to-back wins were always alive while he was playing, regardless of the size of his stack, but now that dream has...more

WSOP Main Event: One from there, one from here

"If you need any information about one of the Spanish qualifiers, I have it," said Ivan Marti, the PokerStars blog writer from Spain, who is presently following all Spanish speakers over at PokerStars Blog.es. This is the drill: while we at the .com wing of PokerStars blog keep a close...more

13 July

WSOP Main Event: My own private Ylon

The night before the 2008 World Series, the two other writers on this blog had the pleasure of meeting a man at the $3/$6 limit hold'em table at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Two weeks later, they were able to say they played low-limit hold'em with the fourth...more

WSOP Main Event: Changing faces of the Amazon Room

On 27 May this year the Amazon Room became the World Series hub when the first event of the World Series began that day in this room. From here the biggest live tournament series anywhere was co-ordinated, becoming like a command bunker where generals and field marshals co-ordinated mass...more

WSOP Main Event: A Round on the Feature Table

***STOP PRESS*** Moments after all of the below occurred, Joe Hachem was eliminated from the Main Event in 103rd place. Scroll to bottom for details of his exit. ***STOP PRESS*** As we were: Once the table was set featuring Peter Eastgate, Joe Hachem, Dennis Phillips and JC Tran, few could...more

WSOP Main Event: The ballad of ElkY

In a post-apocalyptic world--the one tired and washed out after the Casino Cough pandemic--there will be a minstrel with a lute who sits by trash can fires and sings a tale of the man known as ElkY. The epic song will wind through many a victory scored by the Mad...more

WSOP Main Event: Single Dutch

The idea was simple, but the best ones always are. On the walk to the Rio this morning from the Palms hotel across West Flamingo, we already knew that Noah Boeken and Thierry van den Berg, two Team PokerStars Pros from Holland, would be sat side by side when...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 5 wrap


WSOP Main Event: Comma a woman

Much as we'd like it to be the case, we can't pretend that PokerStars Blog is the only media outlet covering the World Series Main Event. And although we are without any question whatsoever the best*, we can happily doff our cap at some of the others perched on media...more

WSOP Main Event: A champion's run

It's been said that any donkey can win the World Series of Poker, and we'll admit, there have been cases of people winning the WSOP and never being heard from again. But it's not been too long since we saw two champions make remarkable runs through WSOP Main Event fields...more

WSOP Main Event: The opening salvo

The wagons have been drawn in and they're circling. You could use that analogy in a few ways today. First to describe the situation of some players, holding off as long as they can before their inevitable elimination. But you could also use it for the new lay out...more

WSOP Main Event: Squeezing tighter

The chatter among media representatives and tournament officials over the past couple of days has usually included the following line: "Yeah, but it's certain to slow down soon." The observation refers to the furious pace of eliminations since the bubble burst on Saturday; we have shed more than 450 players...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 6 chip counts

Day five was another short day at the World Series Main Event, and at the end of it the chip leaderboard looked very similar to how it appeared the previous evening. Of the 32 PokerStars players remaining in the field, Matt Affleck, from Seattle, is still the dominant force with...more

Want to Connect with Vicky Coren?

We all know our Team PokerStars Pro players are a talented bunch at the tables, but many are gifted away from the felt as well. Take Vicky Coren, for example, who is no stranger to radio and television. Our readers in the UK now have another chance to catch her...more

Zimmy41 claims Sunday Million win, Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier 3rd

Day Five of the World Series of Poker Main Event may have closed with only 185 remaining, and Team PokerStars Pros Noah Boeken, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Joe Hachem, Dennis Phillips, and defending champion Peter Eastgate are returning tomorrow for Day Six. Tonight however another Team PokerStars Pro was going for...more

12 July

WSOP Main Event: That was day five...

The day was drawing to a close, we'd lost another 200 players, and the sun was setting on another fine day in the desert. Walking the room was hardly an evening stroll but once Jack Effel came on the mike to announce that this would again be the last...more

Top pro devinr12 Dominates Sunday Warm-Up Final Table all the way to Victory!

It certainly seems like big live tournaments don't do any harm to the turnout in the PokerStars Guaranteed Tournaments. While PokerStars qualifiers made up a significant portion of the field in the World Series of Poker Main Event, going on right now in Las Vegas, there were still plenty...more

WSOP Main Event: Two face

ElkY is a television superhero, both hero and villain at the same time. ElkY belongs on television. Platinum blonde hair, sequined shirt, glittering leather arm band, designer sunglasses. He's the full package. What's more, he's an action player who gives the TV producers everything they need for a full broadcast....more

WSOP Main Event: Eastgate eases in and eases out of trouble

We've already highlighted on the blog the repeat attempts of Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, two former World champions, to go on a deep rampage the year of their title defence. Not only did they come close but they showed the true grit that this game demands for such...more

WSOP Main Event: Interview with the clones

Poker has its fans, no doubt. Just look out over the rail today and you'll see a line of people willing to stand on their feet for two hours at a time to watch people 40 feet away play cards . They don't move. They can barely see what happens,...more

WSOP Main Event: Keep moving... on and off the tables

It's not a bad way to start you're day, knowing you already made nearly $30,000 before you got out of bed, and if you managed to avoid spending that much last night after the early finish, you're still in a good place mentally, if not physically. Team PokerStars Pro...more

WSOP Main Event: Day four wrap


WSOP Main Event: Another round with ElkY

Let's kick off today with "A Round With...", the latest in an occasional series featuring the nitty-gritty action from a complete round of poker action from a single table. The Team PokerStars Pro Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier described his day four as his "worst day ever", even though he finished it...more

WSOP Main Event: The sticking place

"Screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail." -- Lady MacBeth Okay, Mojo-Hawks, get ready to blast away. Starting Day 5 soon. "Tie your courage to the sticking place and lay on..." -- Lou Diamond Phillips, via Twitter, just before the start of Day 5. Welcome, ladies and...more

WSOP Main Event: ElkY on ElkY


WSOP Main Event: Day 5 chip counts

After a short day four, the 407 players remaining in the World Series Main Event are now all in the money. The tournament chip leader is the PokerStars qualifier Matt "Mcmatto" Affleck, who has more than 1.8million chips. He is closely followed by qualifier James Akenhead. The complete list of...more

11 July

WSOP Main Event: It must be nice

It must be nice to be ElkY. On day four of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, the Frenchman -- Bertrand Grospellier, to the uninitiated -- arrived three minutes late to the Amazon Room, sat down in the big blind and found pocket threes. Already the dominant...more

WSOP Main Event: Phillips squared

It's a moment we have been waiting for since Day 1 of the 2009 World Series of Poker, a moment of such serendipity and fabulous coincidence that we dared not script it in our own minds. It is the stuff Hollywood producers throw in the trash can because no one...more

WSOP Main Event: Six Flags, Las Vegas

After the thrill ride of the bubble, the Amazon Room has now acquired another item of furniture to make it look even more like an amusement park. The cash-out table appeared down at the west end of the tournament arena and a makeshift winding fence in front of it shepherds...more

WSOP Main Event: In the money the hard way

"With 648 players remaining you're all in the money!" Jack Effel just made a lot of people very happy and $21,365 richer. After one hour 50 minutes, 13 hands and a lot of waiting around, Kia Hamadani had the dubious bubble boy honour forced upon him to the delight...more

2009 WSOP Day 3 wrap


WSOP Main Event: The hour when nothing happened

I've said it before and I will say it again. This is the happiest day of the year for poker. At no other point in any poker tournament anywhere can more than 600 people be simultaneously so happy. With 649 players remaining, only one of the people left in this...more

WSOP Main Event: Collective tension

Tournament poker is a game of stress and tension, where a single wrong decision can be the difference between a million and an eternal regret. For the most part, though, at least in the very early stages, the pressure is exerted and endured at the personal level. Your misstep will...more

WSOP Main Event: ElkY just in time

There is man in the two-seat of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's table who, at first glance could be a priest. He's wearing a black pea coat, a black shirt, and a white undershirt. A quick look would make it seem the guy is wearing a collar. The man is shaking his...more

WSOP Main Event: Can you spare a dollar, buddy

It may seem counter-intuitive, but as the defending World Series of Poker Main Event champion, the pressure is off Peter Eastgate. Not since Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, in 2005 and 2006, has a returning champion made a significant charge the following year in the Main Event, and even they...more

WSOP Main Event: Cash, check or busted

Once more with feeling, if you can muster it... After three full days at the table you can forgive a player for a few frayed edges, a 1,000 yard stare and a little self doubt. For many this will rank as the longest they've played. But elimination now is...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 4 chip counts

The combined chip counts for all the survivors heading into Day 4 of the World Series have now been made available by tournament staff. One hundred forty-three PokerStars players remain in the field. Team PokerStars Pro from France, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is the massive chip leader to start the day...more

2009 WSOP: France, Korea, England, Vegas

"Where is ElkY from?" That was just one of the questions bouncing all over media row tonight as reporters began building out their dossiers on Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. The scramble began just after 10:30pm when ElkY got paid off on a flopped set and became the first player in the...more

WSOP Main Event: The main feature

It's the most visible part of the Amazon Room but the least observed. The main event feature table, complete with secondary feature table, bleachers and a standing area, takes up a full quarter of the room, but you have to be in close to see anything that goes on....more

WSOP Main Event: Nelly talks to the video bloggers


WSOP Main Event: So good they named them twice

When the PokerStars qualifier Brian Hansen left his hotel room this morning, he was headed to the Rio and a chip stack of 333,500, which put him in the top 25 of the tournament. When his table broke midway through the afternoon, sending him from the overspill Brasilia Room and...more

WSOP Main Event: Here we go a-Wasieling

It's 8pm and the sun hasn't gone down in Las Vegas. Gray clouds hang on the horizon, making the Brits among us feel ever-so-slightly more at home. It's a long, post-apocalyptic service alley where we find Ron Wasiel smoking a cigarette. It is the last place you'd expect to find...more

10 July

WSOP Main Event: No spirit horse in sight as Phillips continues charge

You might know Lou Diamond Phillips as Richie Valens. You might know Lou Diamond Phillips as Jose Chavez. You might know him as Staff Sergeant John Monfriez or as the Monster in the Mirror. Or you may simply prefer to know him as Lou Diamond Phillips, winner of the...more

WSOP Main Event: A round with ElkY and Ivey

You can sometimes have too much of a good thing, but the "A Round With..." series is a great thing, a magnificent thing, and you can never get too much of that. (Just like italics, which are also cool.) After the relatively quiet but strategically interesting Round With Peter Eastgate...more

WSOP Main Event: Just like old times

If you have some tear gas, an electric cattle prod, and my mother-in-law, you just might be able to work your way through the crowd surrounding Table 102. Four deep with lookie-loos and surrounded by ESPN staff, the table might just be the toughest in the Amazon Room. The table...more

2009 WSOP Day 2B Wrap Up


WSOP Main Event: Chipped up

The square footage that the tournament area covers is gradually having its borders reeled in, making a walk around the Amazon Room a different experience every hour. New tables are brought in from the Brasilia, the faces you pass disappear behind ever increasing chip stacks, or disappear altogether to...more

WSOP Main Event: A round with Peter Eastgate

Are we ready for our first "A Round With..." of the World Series? Are we? I can't heeaaar you! Yeah, hot-damn, we sure are. Here's the latest in an occasional series in which we attempt to give a full insight into the mechanics of tournament poker. For obvious reasons, the...more

WSOP Main Event: Meaningless?

"The amount of chips I have right now doesn't really mean much." That's what PokerStars qualifier Amir Lehavot told the Associated Press. Yes, the Associated Press. That's the type of people who come calling when you come out of Day 2 of the WSOP with a massive chip lead over...more

WSOP Main Event: The slow crawl to the money

In any other tournament in any other city around the world busting on day three would be the kind of achievement rewarded with significant financial compensation. Playing for that long is enough to wear down anyone, from full time pros to the once a week home gamer. It seems...more

WSOP Main Event: Welcome back

Welcome back to the World Series of Poker. It's as though we had never been away. For the PokerStars players, reporters, friends and family members, today is the morning after the night before. After Nelly and co put on one of the finest parties at Rain at the Palms last...more

WSOP Main: it's getting hot here

Back in the early days of PokerStars, PokerStars blog, World Series qualification satellites and dreams becoming reality for Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, et al, those qualifiers who didn't go all the way to the winner's enclosure used to be happy with a bag full of T-shirts, a baseball cap...more

9 July

WSOP Main Event: Day 3 chip counts

The combined chip counts for all the survivors heading into day three of the World Series have now been made available by tournament staff. The PokerStars qualifier Amir Levahot is the clear tournament leader with 610,500. The Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has significantly more than the average,...more

WSOP Main Event: Getting serious

As of tomorrow what you see is what you get. After six days of play - the combination of four day ones and two day twos - the field unites. The tension will switch up a notch, opponents will eye each other more suspiciously and the careless will catch...more

WSOP Main Event: Mixed fortunes for Team America

There must be a disclaimer attached to the very top of this post. By the time you read what you are about to read, there is every chance it is wrong. At time of reporting what you are now reading, Ylon Schwartz was sitting in the Brasilia Room with about...more

8 July

WSOP Main Event: Sartorially speaking

Let's be honest. Poker players do not spring from a tradition of style. Sure, you have Amarillo Slim and his rattlesnake cap and a few other notables of poker's past, but by and large, poker players are a bunch of slobs. They're unshaven, sweatpants-wearing, and, as long as we're being...more

WSOP Main Event: A tale of two champions

There's little difference in the process of flying to any EPT venue. The same airline, the same flying time (all EPT destinations are two hours away from London regardless of actual distance), the same early start. You also tend to spot the occasional player on their way to the...more

WSOP Main Event: Friends

On day one of last year's World Series Main Event, Daniel Negreanu was positioned on the secondary feature table with three unknown PokerStars qualifiers. This table draw was responsible for one of the most criminally-laboured blog post analogies ever seen on PokerStars blog -- I thank you -- but...more

WSOP Main Event: The boys from Brasilia

A short walk from the Amazon Room, past registrations and the souvenir shop, is the Brasilia Room. Ahh the Brasilia Room. It conjures up images of beaches, rain forests, palm trees, salsa, that kind of thing. In reality, and this may be hardly surprising, it's the same aircraft hanger...more

WSOP Main Event: The squeaky wheel

If Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Maria Mayrinck is quiet, you know something is wrong. And not just kinda wrong. If she's quiet, suspect the worst (like, maybe she's not breathing). A couple of days ago, Mayrinck bemoaned her table draw. It put her at the same table as champion Joe...more

WSOP Main Event: Tom McEvoy's old times


WSOP Main Event: Names among names

There's a massive field in the Rio today, and some massive names gracing it. At PokerStars blog, we tend to follow a lot of them, owing to the presence on Team PokerStars Pro of some of the games brightest stars. But the World Series also frequently gives previously unheralded...more

WSOP Main Event: In the far far reaches of the Rio

Day two. No free jerky now. This is serious. Close to 3,000 players meaning every last table, every last inch of space, every dealer pulled out of retirement, is in the employ of the main event. The sign outside the Rio pool reads "No Lifeguard on duty. No Diving."...more

WSOP Main Event: It doesn't get much bigger

It takes nearly ten minutes--literally--to walk from Table 1 to the last table in action. To make the walk, one must navigate the whole of the Amazon Room and the throngs of people in the corridor. You must skip past the Dream Team Poker booth, the Starbucks, the Sao Paulo...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 2A chip counts

Day 2a of the World Series Main Event concluded late on Tuesday night, with more than 100 PokerStars players progressing to day three. The highest-ranked player is the qualifier Jerry Wong, followed by Brian Hansen, both from the United States. Ray Rahme, the Team PokerStars Pro from South Africa, will...more

WSOP Main Event: Qualifiers qualifying for day three in style

After four days of disunion and propagation, with players spread through numerous locations nursing mere saplings of chip stacks, today was the day that the scattered woodland took on the shape of a forest. All the disparate day 2a factions came together in the Amazon Room sometime during the third...more

WSOP Main Event: Kremenliev provides Garrett swansong

In contrast to Kremenliev's carefully navigated course, Garrett's navigation was more that of a man blindfolded and being the wheel of a truck with a flat tire. But what he lacked in poker finesse he made up for in comedic swagger, rousing a tired table into high spirits. He...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 2A Team PokerStars Pro roundup

If you think of it the right way, anybody in this room who plays on PokerStars and gets their seat through PokerStars is a member of Team PokerStars. We're all one big happy family, one Team, one united effort aimed at winning a bracelet. Or something like that. There are,...more

7 July

WSOP Main Event: Laying in wait, the praying Mathis

Players have recently returned from their dinner break and made their way back to their tables in the Amazon Room. As previously mentioned, the Brasilia Room is now empty, likewise the Miranda, and today's field is consolidated within the same four walls. Although it is another three days at least...more

WSOP Main Event: Tough time at tough table

A late great poker writer once told me that if nothing seems to be happening on the tournament floor stick around for a while. Well on a table like Luca Pagano's you don't have to stick around for long. His table is nothing short of ferocious featuring as it...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 1D overview


WSOP Main Event: $33 wins chance for new memories

When Manuel Sanchez was a child in Spain, he passed his time with his buddies playing poker. It was kid stuff and more likely to end in a row than in riches. Eventually, Sanchez gave it up in favor of other adolescent pursuits. Poker was a thing of the past....more

WSOP Main Event: Stars of the small screen

The common perception of Jason Alexander these days is that he's a man continually trying to shake his shadow, the follically-challenged, Kung Pao chicken-loving, former marine biologist/architect Art Vanderlay George Costanza from "Seinfeld". But here's the first reason to cast doubt on that received wisdom: why would anyone want to...more

WSOP Main Event: New Jersey tag team puts end to Thater hopes

Katja Thater never did anything to New Jersey, but two of the Garden State's sons, who live half an hour drive apart along I-287, just combined to ruin the Team PokerStars Pro's day. The World Series has been a good hunting ground for the German pro. She won her...more

WSOP Main Event: Before they were stars

Jeff Williams not only looked young. He was young. Curly-headed, skinny, and smiling like a kid on Christmas, he stood in a Monte Carlo hotel ballroom and looked around. Surrounded by some of the world's top poker pros, he was winning and beside himself with joy. People may have known...more

WSOP Main Event: "Do you?" "Yes." "Right, let's play poker."

The swimming pool at the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas, is no place to be if you're a gangling, milk-white, skeleton-thin-yet-with-a-paunch poker reporter from the United Kingdom. Nor is it much good if you're a red-haired, even-milkier-white, walking commercial for factor 900 sunscreen. But if your two PokerStars blog writers are...more

WSOP Main Event: The winner is here somewhere

We've seen the winner of this year's World Series Main Event. They've walked past us several times, we've walked past them while they playing hands at their table. We've even passed them at the break walking up and down the corridors of the Rio. But right now we don't...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 1D chip counts

Day 1D of the World Series Main Event is now complete, meaning all four of the first flights have now been played. From day 1D, the highest ranked PokerStars player is the qualifier from the United States, Jacob Avital, who is closely pursued by the Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY"...more

WSOP Main Event: The end of the longest day

There's a group of people who believe the ancient Mayans predicted the world would end on one particular day (December 21, 2012 to be precise). These believers are preparing for End Times as we speak. As that date is less than two years away, we have an idea. We suggest...more

WSOP Main Event: On and off camera

Shortly after midday, as players were preparing to begin day 1D of the Main Event, the PokerStars qualifier Serge Pouliot was looking for his friend. "I want to tell him I'm going to be on the feature table," Pouliot said. The 27-year-old from Montreal had arrived to what he thought...more

WSOP Main Event: Hanging around Chad Brown

It seems unfair to mention Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown without mentioning Shirley Rosario who has been sat to Brown's left all day so far. If it wasn't for the latter the former wouldn't currently have more than 100,000 making a nice pyramid of chips. As Rosario herself tweeted...more

WSOP Main Event: From the LAPT with love

The neat thing about the Latin American Poker Tour is that it's big enough to create some respectable prize pools, but it's still small enough that regulars on the tour are almost like a little family. Day 1D at the World Series of Poker is a reunion of sorts for...more

6 July

WSOP Main Event: $8,548,435 and a bracelet

The people who pay very close attention to the World Series (read: media types like us) are fascinated by the numbers--entrants, prize pools, places paid, and how much the big winners will make. We guess at it, bet on it, and wait with bated breath for the moment the numbers...more

WSOP Main Event: The day after the Sabbath

As everyone related to the poker world surely knows by now, day 1D of the World Series Main Event is more than just a sell out, it's an over-sell. Players are squeezed into each available corner of the Rio's three tournament rooms, and still hundreds have been forced to miss...more

WSOP Main Event: ElkY plugged in

I once watched Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier give up a two-to-one chip lead heads-up for an EPT crown. His opponent Magnus Pettersson from Sweden had no choice but to do it the hard way, nibbling here and there, playing a cast iron game and when the moment came, needling Grospellier...more

WSOP Main Event: "We are unable to accommodate any more players"

WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack walked to a podium in a tucked-away ballroom and stood before 130 very angry people. Hoarse and dealing with one of the most unfortunate controversies of his career with the World Series, Pollack delivered the bad news. The first words out of his mouth told the...more

WSOP Main Event: Akkari lighting the way

If there was a single unifying motif to yesterday's day 1C coverage it was the presence in just about every post of the one-woman blog-copy provider and Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Maria Mayrinck. We couldn't go five paces without hearing something from her, and we wrote most of it down....more

WSOP Main Event: The outer reaches

In 2006, I specifically bought a pair of Ecco shoes to save my feet during the long and multiple walks across the vast Amazon Ballroom. In subsequent years, I bought more Eccos as the WSOP expanded to the Brasilia Room and other nearby convention ballrooms. This year, I'm considering renting...more

WSOP Main Event: Roll out the red carpet

Former basketball pro John Salley's day began with a photo shoot in the Joe Hachem lounge, one shot featuring him with a shark biting at his neck. The shark, naturally, was held their by Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes who wasn't finished there, grabbing Lou Diamond Phillips next who...more

WSOP Main Event: The start of the end of the beginning

Phase one of operation World Series 2009 is almost complete. By close of play tonight, after five two-hour levels in the Amazon Room, we will finally have made it through our four-tiered day one. This is the final hurdle of the first stretch. And then it will get really exciting....more

WSOP Main Event: Day 1C chip counts

The Day 1C field was the largest of the first three days, boasting 1,696 players, of whom 1,106 remained after five levels of play. Joseph Cada of Shelby Township, MI, was the day 1C leader, bagging up 187,225. The highest ranked PokerStars qualifier was Timothy Little, with 133,650, and Hevad...more

WSOP Main Event: Once more with feeling

Walking through the hallway of the Rio as the last level of the day got underway, We've gotta get out of this place by the Animals belted out over the PA system, a poignant escort perhaps to those who had fallen in what has been a busy day 1c....more

WSOP Main Event: Noch einmal Deutschland

Back in the long forgotten hours of day 1a, we introduced you to a new European poker force. The players from Germany had made their way to Las Vegas clutching EPT titles, bundles of cash and a reputation as the players to fear on the international poker scene. We also...more

WSOP Main Event: A contrast in personalities

Hevad Khan is the picture of a lobotomy. Mechanical and working with a computer brain, every Khan movement is measured. Every raise is run through some internal algorithm you and I wouldn't understand. When he bets, it's like watching a beefy assembly line robot arm pick up chips and move...more

Jovdark6 comes from behind in spectacular Sunday Million Victory!

The holiday weekend and the kickoff of the World Series of Poker Main Event may have contributed to the smaller field in this week's Sunday Million, but the 7,307 players that showed up definitely brought the action. So much action that the final table kicked off with only eight...more

WSOP Main Event: Flying into the Amazon Room

Marcel Luske is struggling with his patches. It's midway through the penultimate level of the day, he has 46,000 chips (well above average) but is struggling with his patches. Which patches? His new Team PokerStars Pro ones, bestowed upon him a week ago like general's stars, when he became...more

5 July

WSOP Main Event: Senter at the center of the poker action

Kent Senter is a 55-year old father of four from Pittsburgh, PA. Eighteen months ago, Senter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, also known as Jimmy Valvano disease, and doctors expected him to live for another six months to two years. He had previously hurt his shoulder before moving to Pittsburgh...more

All the right toppings: pizzaiolo1 wins Sunday Warm-up

With over six thousand poker players currently crushing the World Series of Poker Main Event tonight's $750,000 Guarantee was sure to be a ghost town right? Wrong. 3,884 players found the less expensive $215 buy in for the Sunday Warm-up more to their liking easily going over the $750,000 Guarantee...more

WSOP Main Event: Poker freak

Most poker commentators know by now that the likes of Dario Minieri and Noah Boeken graduated to playing poker from their love of the card game Magic: The Gathering. Similarly, few biographies of their Team PokerStars Pro colleague Ylon Schwartz failed to mention his days as a chess hustler in...more

WSOP Main Event: Friends of the PokerStars Blog

There are so many Teams and Friends these days, it's hard to keep track of them all. There's the Team PokerStars Pro we all know and love. There's the recently-formed Friends of PokerStars, folks like Jason Alexander, Gualter Salles, and the like. There's Team PokerStars Blog, the few of us...more

WSOP 2009: Sporting PokerStars


WSOP Main Event: Solid gold poker

Not for Tom McEvoy the iPods, those badges of modern technology that equip the modern poker player against the first signs or boredom at the table. Not for Tom McEvoy the twitter account, revealing staccato insight into the last hand, the next hand and the quality of the fruit...more

WSOP Main Event: Needing no introduction that she won't provide herself

As play begins on any given day at the World Series of Poker, reporters begin scurrying across the Amazon Room in an attempt to locate the notable players. No master list exists of allocated seat positions, at least not in the opening stages, meaning this search process can become something...more

WSOP Main Event: Will the real Dennis Phillips please stand up?

In the climax of the Hollywood film "The Thomas Crowne Affair," the protagonist, a lovable yet mischievous super thief, avoids the authorities by dressing up dozens of people in a museum exactly as he is--a bowler hat and finely-tailored black suit. The gambit works and Crowne escapes. The scene in...more

WSOP Main Event: The power of Chen

Bill Chen always looks like his brain is working so feverishly and with such power that if he were to fall asleep at the table the clocks would spin backwards and the lights would go out. To match Chen's mathematical power you have to carry extra brain around in...more

WSOP Main Event: The job

This is the job. You win a step six satellite on PokerStars and you fly to Las Vegas from Paris, France, to play in the World Series Main Event. You sit down, you fold the first couple of hands and then you get dealt pocket fives. You get to a...more

WSOP Main Event: Billion dollar day

When the World Series of Poker opens this afternoon, it will hit a milestone that would make Benny Binion proud. As of this afternoon, the WSOP will cross the $1 billion mark for total prize money awarded. Between 1970-2005, the WSOP paid out $354,000,000 in total. Since then, the prize...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 1B chip counts

At the close of day 1B, 655 of the starting 873 players remained. Brandon Demes, from Tempe, AZ has the chip lead with 137,075. PokerStars' top player is qualifier Craig Hopkins from the United Kingdom, with 118,850 going into day two. The Team PokerStars Pro quartet of Alexander Kravchenko, Luca...more

WSOP Main Event: Fireworks!

Day 1b at the 2009 World Series Main Event started with some very familiar words. Sure, Doyle Brunson uttered "Shuffle up and deal," but barely had he done so than an even more regular refrain began to ring out: "All in and call on table X!" The eliminations started exceptionally...more

WSOP Main Event: Couple days, couple thousand people

We are now nearly through two days at the 2009 World Series of Poker Main event and we've seen in the neighborhood of 2,000 people play so far. The final numbers on Day 2 have just come in and they are not exactly blockbuster. A total of 873 players showed...more

4 July

Tim McDermott, PokerStars qualifier


WSOP Main Event: Freeroll to the big dance

Dion Jones was in for a raise and looking at a board with a couple of aces on it. When he put a bet in on the river and got a call, it looked as if he wasn't entirely satisfied with the result. "Nines," he said with a slightly defeated...more

WSOP Main Event: The latest from Vicky Coren

We're not strangers to online information revolutions on the PokerStars blog. In fact the blog itself was at the forefront of a new kind of reporting when he began its work in 2005. So when twitter came along well, as you can imagine we jumped on board, with "tweets"...more

WSOP Main Event: Lights, Bryan Kerr, action...

There's a long-standing belief among cynical poker observers that any player seated at their table longer than about 15 minutes before play starts is unlikely to be the tournament winner. The kind of anxiety and anticipation that sends a player to their seat so early usually indicates a newbie to...more

WSOP Main Event: Mr. Unpronounceable

He is a man of results, but has a name so barely-decipherable that an addled tournament reporter may be hesitant to cover him. Team PokerStars Holland Pro Joep van den Bijgaart has made final tables in the Sunday Million, Sunday Warm-Up, and Sunday $500,000 on PokerStars. At just 22 years...more

WSOP day 1 overview


WSOP Main Event: Travel sickness

A table of contrasts in the blue section, where Team PokerStars Pros Barry Greenstein and Luca Pagano are enjoying a day sitting opposite each other courtesy of the random seat draw. One way of looking at Barry Greenstein's tournament record is to say he's done so well stateside that...more

How you feel in Las Vegas


Steven Tabb, PokerStars qualifier


WSOP Main Event: Three from Down Under up here

The journey to anywhere from Australia is not to be taken lightly. Australia, folks, is far away, and if you're going to leave, you had better really want to and make sure you're well prepared. It's a 927-hour flight home to pick up your toothbrush. Sometimes, though, it's well worth...more

WSOP Main Event: Cannibalism

Chris Moneymaker pulled out the only empty seat at Table 3 as he lamented his draw. "What a beat," he said. In the two seat sat Russian Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko. Two seats around the table was 2004 WSOP champion Greg Raymer. "Just kidding," Moneymaker said, and walked away...more

WSOP Main Event: Same as it ever was

I want to say that it's all new, that each year there's a new main event mould ready to fill by a refreshed cast. But then, who'd really want it to be any different? Sure, the four opening day ones might, from the outside at least, seem a bit...more

WSOP Main Event: Day 1A Chip Counts

At the close of Day 1A, 821 of the starting 1,116 players remained. Canada's Eric Cloutier has the chip lead with 150,750. PokerStars' top player is qualifier Joe Luht from the United States. He holds 108,125 going into Day 2. Just a few spots behind is Friend of PokerStars and...more

WSOP Main Event: Short Day 1A kicks off poker's biggest event

As far as we know, it is not written in any poker bible that every tournament Day 1 must be a blistering marathon that leaves the players a blubbering mess at the end. That understood, never before at the World Series have we left a Day 1 and thought, "Well,...more

3 July

WSOP Main Event: Rahme rolls on

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme may play online but the live poker environment is his home turf. Whether it's in South Africa, Australia, Monte Carlo, San Remo, the World Series or anywhere else the South African has cashed, the live poker scene is this man's front room and his...more

World Series Main Event: PokerStars' movie star

I can't pretend any different: I was first interested in tracking down the PokerStars qualifier Bill Murray because his name is Bill Murray. Not many of the names appearing on our long list stand out at the moment -- huge stacks are yet to develop and we don't yet know...more

WSOP Main Event: Shorthaul

It may be the first time in World Series history that players had a problem eating on their dinner break because the restaurants hadn't started seating yet. The tournament directors made a decision this morning to only play four levels. That means the dinner break officially began at 4:30pm. The...more

WSOP Main Event: Mercier on course as Spindler spun

His rise from young internet pro to becoming one of the game's biggest names took a little over a year for Jason Mercier. The Team PokerStars Pro has had a thrilling last 12 months. Beyond his EPT San Remo win back in season four, Mercier has made final tables,...more

WSOP Main Event: The new European force

Las Vegas still hosts poker's flagship tournament series -- at least on this side of the Atlantic. But regular readers of PokerStars blog will know all about the European Poker Tour (EPT), which recently finished its fifth record-breaking season and is now preparing for its sixth. Our friends in the...more

WSOP Main Event: It's getting hot in here, I'm sitting with T-Bone

It was an important moment. Cornell Haynes Jr. was about to raise the pot, but he had something important to do first. He stopped in mid-raise, raised a few fingers, and twinkled them in the air. A calm, confident smile spread across his face, his perfect teeth sparkling at the...more

World Series Main Event: Slow start, except for one

As far as poker is concerned there's no flash start to grab your attention. Unlike motor sport or football or um, chess, there's no early moment that shapes the rest of the game. Instead poker has a more organic evolutionary period, rendering the first half hour uneventful as most...more

WSOP Main Event: Ready to play

At the movies there's the previews and commercials, and at a concert there's at least one support to endure before the headline band shuffles languidly onto the stage. At the World Series of Poker, the undercard lasts for more than a month, features more than 50 tournaments, something like 15,000...more

2 July

WSOP: Winning to give back

For more than five weeks, everyone in the Amazon Room has been focused on one thing: winning as much money as possible and putting it in a pocket. Now, the players are going to spend their day winning money to give away. Today marks the third annual Ante Up For...more

1 July

WSOP: Wrapping things up

That's all, folks. There are no more preliminary events at the World Series of Poker. If a player hasn't cashed in one yet or still have a seat in one of the two events running today, he is going to have to make his nut in the Main Event. This...more

WSOP Event #55: Kid Poker cashing again

Last night at this time we were reporting that Daniel Negreanu had just hit his seventh cash of the year. Now we can report he's posted his eighth. Negreanu has been multi-tabling the 2-7 game and $5,000 short-handed event all day long. Just a little bit ago, Negreanu made it...more

WSOP: Gavin Griffin has game

We all know Gavin Griffin has game. Griffin was at one time the youngest person to ever win a WSOP bracelet. He was the first person to ever win poker's triple crown--WSOP, EPT, and WPT titles. He continues to be one of poker's top players. But, did you know he's...more