2010 PokerStars Year in Review
If someone told us that Harrison Gimbel won the PCA last week, we wouldn't be all that surprised. Though we've since traveled the world of PokerStars tournaments and the labyrinth of the online contests, it seems barely any time has passed since we were sitting at Atlantis in January and watching Gimbel become the youngest-ever PCA winner. Somehow, 12 months have passed, and in that time we've seen and written so much, it's almost impossible to believe it's all happened.
To reassure ourselves it's not been one big fever dream, we've looked back at the 2010 archives and picked out some of the top stories. It's something we've done each December since 2005. Now it's time to do it again.
Our passports are worn, our fingers are numb, and our eyes are crossed, but we've enjoyed this latest trip around the sun. It's time to pack our bags for 2011. While we're doing that, here's a look back what happened in 2010.
Happy New Year, folks.
Click the headlines to read the whole story
HARRISON GIMBEL WINS 2010 PCA--The 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was again one for the record books. William Reynolds took home the $25,000 High Roller title while Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso won the Ladies Event. The biggest news of the month, however, was Harrison Gimbel. At age 19, he became the youngest ever PCA winner. After winning a $1,000 live satellite at the PCA, he parlayed his $1,000 into $2.2 million.
CHINESE TAIPEI WINS WORLD CUP OF POKER VI--The live final of the World Cup of Poker took the the finalists to the Bahamas where Chinese Taipei won took the title in its first ever appearance at the World Cup.
JAKE CODY WINS EPT DEAUVILLE--The EPT had spent six season looking for its first double champion. It got very close in Deauville, France when one-time champion Mike McDonald made it heads-up against Jake Cody. By now everyone knows how that one ended. Ship the title to Cody.
RENNIE CARNEVALE PICKS UP FIRST 2010 ANZPT TITLE--After getting last-minute permission to buy in to the ANZPT Adelaide event with his Frequent Player Points, Rennie Carnevale won nearly $166,000 in the main event.
JOERI ZANDVLIET WINS UKIPT EVENT FOR THE DUTCH--The UK & Ireland poker tour might have been built to appeal to local UKIPT players, but Dutchman Joeri Zandvliet had other things in mind. His victory in Manchester bagged him more than 63,000 quid.
POKERSTARS PLAYERS HELP HAITI--2010's devastating earthquake in Haiti happened during the PCA. By mid-February, PokerStars and its players had donated nearly 1.5 million to help the relief effort.
POKERSTARS DEALS 40 BILLIONTH HAND--In a moment that still seems made up, PokerStars dealt its 40 billionth hand. As part of the promotion, the hand's winner Senecady picked up an addition $24,000 in cash.
RICHIERICHZH WINS BIGGEST SUNDAY MILLION--As part of the 40 billionth hand celebration, PokerStars hosted a huge Sunday Million with a field of more than 36,000 players and a prize pool worth more than $7.2 million. When it was over RichieRichZH had won $1.14 million.
TOM MARCHESE WINS NAPT VENETIAN--In what many have described as the breakout performance of the year, Tom Marchese kicked off his year by winning the NAPT's first event on American soil.
NAPT LAUNCHES BOUNTY SHOOTOUT FORMAT--In a first of its kind event, PokerStars hosted the $25,000 Bounty Shootout at the Venetian. The events combine a bounty tournament with a shootout and award the bulk of the prize money to the winner. The first title went to Ashton Griffin.
NACHO BARBERO WINS FIRST LAPT EVENT--In what would eventually prove to be a history-making Season 3 LAPT performance, Team PokerStars Pro Joe "Nacho" Barbero took home his first LAPT title. Before the need of the season, he would have two LAPT titles on his resume.
KEVIN MACPHEE WINS EPT BERLIN--In a EPT Berlin that will be talked about for ages, one of poker's wunderkind's picked up a major EPT win.
TONY HACHEM WINS *ANOTHER* ANZPT EVENT--In what would prove to be yet another history making year for Tony Hachem, the ANZPT awarded him the champion's trophy for the event in Perth.
THE BIG GAME UNVEILED--PokerStars unleashed its popular and innovative cash game television show, The Big Game, that puts some of the world's toughest players up against an internet qualifying Loose Cannon who is fronted $100,000 to sit with the big dogs and gets to keep all the profit.
BINH NGUYEN A WINNER IN MANILA--In a special APPT event, Binh Nguyen made good on his name and took down the PAGCOR Chairman's Cup.
EPT SNOWFEST CROWNS ITS FIRST CHAMPION--After years of setting up shop in Europe's big cities, the EPT took a ski vacation to the Austrian Alps for Snowfest. when it was over, Allan Baekke was champion.
POKERSTARS.TV GETS A MAKEOVER--After a successful launch and many a month as the go-to spot for online poker television, PokerStars.tv took on a new look with tons of new features.
GEORGE LIND III BECOMES FIRST SUPEROVE ELITE OF 2010--There is a reason George Lind III was a founding member of PokerStars' Team Online, and he showed it by making it to Supernova Elite by April.
GILLES AUGUSTUS WINS UKIPT COVENTRY--There's nothing quite like a winner who celebrates his victory with tequila. It may happen a lot on the LAPT, but when Gilles Augustus won UKIPT Coventry, he showed everyone there how to celebrate with a couple of shots.
VANESSA SELBST TAKES NAPT TITLE--While she hadn't yet taken her spot on Team PokerStars Pro (that would come just a few months later) Vanessa Selbst proved herself on the North American Poker Tour with a $750,000 win at the Mohegan Sun.
JASON MERCIER WINS...AGAIN--By this time, it had become old hat to say Jason Mercier had won something, but it was still our duty to report Mercier's victory at the NAPT Mohegan Sun Bounty Shootout. He won a piddly half a million bucks for a couple of days of work.
LIV BOEREE WINS IN SAN REMO--On her way to becoming a member of Team PokerStars Pro, Liv Boeree picked up €1.25 million for her victory at EPT San Remo.
ANGELO HAMATAJ WINS ANZPT SYDNEY--In what was then the second-biggest ANZPT event in the tour's history, Angelo Hamataj beat a tough field for the lion's share of a prize pool work nearly AUD $900,000.
EPT GRAND FINAL CROWNS ITS CHAMPION--For the sixth time in its history, the European Poker Tour returned to Monte Carlo for its Grand Final. When it was over, Nicolas Chouity hoisted the trophy. He had parlayed a $22 rebuy satellite on PokerStars into a €1.7 prize.
TOBIAS REIKENMEIER WINS MONTE CARLO HIGH ROLLER--To close out the European Poker Tour's sixth season, Tobias Reikenmeier turned €25,0000 into nearly a million by way of the EPT Grand Final High Roller event.
TOETAG U WINS SCOOP'S BIGGEST PRIZE--It was another banner year for the Spring Championship of Online Poker, one that saw toetag U win the biggest of main event prizes. For a complete look at all the major SCOOP stories, see the 2010 Spring Championship of Online Poker archive.
VICTORINO TORRES WINS IN MACAU--The Asia Pacific Poker Tour once again lit up Macau and when it was over, Victorino Torres had claimed the title
KATJA THATER WINS EPT AWARD--Katja Thater was one of eight people who had tied for the EPT Awards' Mixed Game Player of the Year. To break the tie, the eight battled it out online, and Thater emerged with the victory.
POKERSTARS OPENS DANIEL'S ROOM--The big dogs need their own house, so PokerStars opened up a bunch of high-limit rooms for the high-rolling crowd.
POKERSTARS LAUNCHES TWITTER POKER LEAGUE--In what has since become a weekly event and feature on the PokerStars Blog, PokerStars unveiled a poker league specifically designed for the world's tweeters.
RUSSIAN POKER SERIES DEBUTS IN KYIV--In what proved to be a successful jaunt across the Russian-speaking region, the Russian Poker Series kicked off its tour in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kirill Telezhkin took the title at the debut event.
NACHO BARBERO MAKES LAPT HISTORY--Jose "Nacho" Barbero's win in Lima, Peru was his second consecutive victory on the LAPT, making him the first and only person to win two LAPT titles.
CANADA WINS AMERICAS CUP OF POKER--They may have had to fly all the way to Peru to do it, but the members of Team Canada claimed the PokerStars Americas Cup of Poker title for their country.
FEMI FAKINLE WINS UKIPT KILARNEY--Femi Fakinle kept the Irish trophy at home after winning UKIPT Killarney on his home turf. For the work, he picked up more than €63,000.
TEAM POKERSTARS PRO SIGNS VANESSA SELBST AND DAVID WILLIAMS--In one of the biggest pick-ups of the year, Team PokerStars Pro snagged two of the hottest names in poker. The addition of Vanessa Selbst and David Williams to the stable was heralded as one of the smartest signings of 2010.
PETER EASTGATE TAKES A BREAK--In move that shocked the poker world, 2008 WSOP champion Peter Eastgate announced he was taking an open-ended hiatus from the game. He has yet to return.
THE LONG, LONELY WALK OF MATT AFFLECK--Although just a moment in poker history, this was unquestionably the best written, best photographed story on the PokerStars Blog in 2010. Recounted and reprinted over and over since the incident, Howard Swains and photographer Joe Giron captured the story perfectly.
JONATHAN DUHAMEL MAKES NOVEMBER NINE-With a big chip lead and intense momentum, Canadian PokerStars qualifier Jonathan Duhamel finished the WSOP summer session with the Main Event chip lead.
UKIPT BRIGHTON CROWNS BURLAND--In one of the toughest UKIPT final tables of the season, Jamie Burland a PokerStars qualifier, walked away with the victory.
LUCKY COIN IN QUEENSTOWN--What did it take for the winner of ANZPT Queenstown to lift the trophy? Apparently, just a little lucky charm.
POKERSTARS LAUNCHES WOMEN'S POKER LEAGUE--PokerStats has redoubled its efforts this year to bring more women into poker. This year's introduction of the Women's Poker League has proven to be a big success and a very big draw for women in the game.
CHALLENGERS DISMANTLE TEAM POKERSTARS PRO--In the second annual All Star Week, Team PokerStars Pro came poised to defend its title. This year, victory eluded the stable of Pros.
HABERNIG NOTCHES LAPT WIN--He'd gone to South America on vacation and ended up in Florianopolis, Brazil where he took down the first-ever LAPT event in that city.
NAUV KASHYAP WINS ANZPT GOLD COAST--It was a final table for the memory books, Nauv Kashyap won more than $182,000 for the ANZPT Gold Coast victory.
STANI DENIES MATTERN DOUBLE EPT WIN--Arnaud Mattern was set to make EPT history with the first-ever two-time EPT win. Kevin Stani said no way and took the EPT Tallinn title for himself.
POKERSTARS INTRODUCES TRIPLE STUD--Always on the innovation tip, PokerStars unveiled its brand new rotation game, Triple Stud, to satisfy the people who want to play Stud, Stud-8, and Razz in the same game.
RISK MANEGMENT IN EDINBURGH--With the Fringe Festival going on in the background, Nick Abou Risk, a PokerStars qualifier from Canada, won 50,000 pounds for his victory at UKIPT Edinburgh.
TOBY LEWIS WINS EPT VILAMOURA--After a beautiful week in Portugal, a little golf, and a lot of poker, Toby Lewis won more than €467,000 for the EPT Vilamoura championship.
JAMES MCCARTY WINS POKERSTARS MACAU CUP--In a record-breaking Macau Cup event, James McCarty walked away with the title.
BROTHA D (W)RAPS UP WIN IN AUCKLAND--As if he weren't already famous enough in New Zealand, hip hop artist won the ANZPT event there in Sepetember.
POKERSTARS DEALS 50 BILLIONTH HAND-Only a few months after dealing it 40 billionth hand, PokerStars dealt the 50 billionth. The winner of the hand, tbvle, won more than $56,000 for being in the right place, at the right time, with the right cards.
SANSOUR TOPS LAPT GRAND FINAL--To close a successful third season on the LAPT, PokerStars qualifier Martin Sansour won the second-biggest LAPT event in history for $322,000.
ALEX KRAVCHENKO WINS WCOOP BRACELET--As the history-making 2010 WCOOP wound its way toward the main event, Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko won the $10,000 8-game bracelet for $345,800.
POTTERPOKER WINS $2.2 MILLION IN WCOOP MAIN EVENT--It was--and still is--the biggest first prize in online poker history. POKERPOTTER won it all in the WCOOP main event after besting a field of 2,443 for the championship.
LIV BOEREE JOINS TEAM POKERSTARS PRO--Not too far removed from her win in San Remo, Liv Beoree got her coveted spot on Team PokerStars Pro.
VAMPLEW BEATS JUANDA FOR EPT LONDON TITLE--At age 23, David Vamplew found himself heads up against John Juanda for the biggest poker title in the UK. He finished with a comeback victory that will be talked about in London for ages.
LYKOV JOINS TEAM POKERSTARS PRO--After a couple of years of becoming one of the biggest Russian-speaking players on the circuit, Maxim Lykov took his rightful place on Team PokerStars Pro.
TEAM POKERSTARS PRO SIGNS JUDET--Just a few days after Max Lykov took his spot on the Team, Toni Judet (a pool hustler and poker player from Romania) found himself with a spot on the team, too.
KOZLOV OWNS ANZPT MELBOURNE--In a David v. Goliath battle, Martin Kozlov played the role of the short-stacked slingshot wielder and walked away with the victory.
THEO JORGENSEN ASSUMES ROLE WTH TEAM PRO--After months of waiting for it to happen, we finally taw Theo Jorgensen sign up with Team PokerStars Pro. It was a long time coming, but worth the wait.
TONY HACHEM WINS ANZPT PLAYER OF THE YEAR...AGAIN!--It's a pretty serious accomplishment to win Player of the Year on any tour once. To do it twice is the stuff of history books. That's exactly what Tony Hachem did on the ANZPT for the past two seasons.
BROTHA D WINS AGAIN!--Just a month out from winning an event in Auckland, Danny "Brotha D" Leaoasavaii won yet another event, this time at ANZPT Darwin.
EILER DENIES NEGREANU EPT VICTORY--All the talk at EPT Vienna had been about Daniel Negreanu finally finding some success on the European Poker Tour. When it was over, however, the €700,000 and title went to Michael Eiler.
HASSE CLAIMS MPCC CROWN--In its second year, the Macau Poker Cup Championship had already become Asia's premier event. When it was over, Germany's Julian Hasse had won more than HK$1 million for the first place finish.
SELBST WINS A BIG ONE--After what had already been a banner year for the new Team PokerStars Pro, Vanessa Selbst added a Partouche Poker Tour victory to her resume and $1.8 million to her bankroll.
JONATHAN DUHAMEL BECOMES POKER'S WORLD CHAMPION--After four months of shadow-boxing, poker, and anticipation, Jonathan Duhamel rolled over the November Nine final table in Las Vegas to become the 2010 WSOP Main Event champion.
TEHAN RUNS THE TABLE FOR NAPT WIN--In a startling and rare performance, Joe Tehan eliminated every player at the NAPT Los Angeles final table to win the title and $725,000 first prize. One night later, Eric Baldwin won the NAPT LA Bounty Shootout.
YOUNG-SHIM IM MAKES APPT HISTORY--With a victory at APPT Cebu, Young-shim Im became the first woman to win an APPT title.
LUNDMARK WINS EPT BARCELONA--He may have been quiet and unassuming, but that didn't mean that Kent Lundmark couldn't play poker. At age 22, the Swede took down EPT Barcelona for €825,000.
RISK WINS AGAIN ON UKIPT--After a historic snowstorm that delayed UKIPT Galway, Nick About Risk made history by winning a second UKIPT title and becoming the first two-time tour winner.
ISILDUR1 SIGNS ON WITH TEAM POKERSTARS PRO--In what many people would describe as the biggest news story on the PokerStars Blog all year, notorious and mysterious Isildur1 signed with Team PokerStars Pro and began his series of SuperStar Showdowns.
HUANG WINS ASIA PLAYER OF THE YEAR--After a banner season on the APPT, Bryan Huang won the Asia Player of the Year award and told us all about it in this post.
POKERSTARS INTRODUCES SUNDAY KICKOFF--To give those early-risers and Europeans something to do in the earlier hours on Sunday, PokerStars unveiled the 8am ET $109 Sunday Kickoff event.
APPT CROWNS GRAND FINAL CHAMPION--After a history-making season on the APPT, it finally came to an end in Sydney at the end of the year with the crowning of champion Jonathan Karamalikis.
ESPN ANNOUNCES PCA PLANS--In what will be a brand new and, frankly, pretty cool innovation at the PCA, ESPN announced plans to broadcast the PCA final table on a one-our delay on ESPN3.com and ESPN 2...with hole cards exposed. Standby for cool.
ROMANELLO RUNS OVER EPT PRAGUE--With a rare display of emotion, Roberti Romanello choked up as he accepted his EPT Prague title for €640,000.
HAXTON BEATS UP ON ISILDUR1--In the first of what will likely be many SuperStar Showdowns, Isaac Haxton took a little more than $40,000 off Isildur1. Both men had a few words to say about the match in Fighting Words. The next Showdown is scheduled for January 2. Tony G. is next in line to take a shot at Isildur1.