January 2012

31 January

Gambit360 runs circles around field, captures 1/31/12 Super Tuesday

The last Super Tuesday of January drew a large group of 378 to play the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament. That meant a prize pool of $378,000 -- again, as usual, crushing the $150K guarantee -- with the top 45 finishers dividing the cash and $73,143 due the winner barring...more

Andrulis snatches lead as EPT brings Deauville to life

The sun shone on Deauville this morning as more than 330 players worked their way through registration and into the halls of the Deauville conference centre. It's a place that makes it clear from the start that it's used to the spotlight. Part of Casino Deauville (which itself is...more

TCOOP: How Mongy won Player of the Series

Scott "Mongy" O'Reilly played every single event of the 2012 Turbo Championship of Online Poker. Scott "Mongy" O'Reilly won a TCOOP championship and tens of thousands of dollars. Scott "Mongy" O'Reilly won the TCOOP Player of the Series title. We knew all of those things about Scott O'Reilly. But...how did...more

EPT Deauville: Brammer top dawg in France

Chris Brammer isn't a gregarious player at the table, he's almost always shelled up in a large pair of over-ear headphones, but in the other sense he's a certainly a lively player. High volume and high VPP, Brammer is often the player betting, raising and opening, behaviour which has no...more

EPT8 Deauville: What matters to Mattern

Arnaud Mattern won his European Poker Tour title in Prague in 2007, his part being that of the quiet Frenchman in sensible clothes. It was the result that launched Mattern onto the international stage. Previous results were small yes, but perfectly formed, early evidence of Mattern's capacity to batter...more

Eureka Poker Tour to return for Season 2

After a successful run across Central and Eastern Europe last year, the Eureka Poker Tour is coming back for another season. Today PokerStars announced Eureka will return April 9-14 at the Golden Sun Casino in Zagreb, Croatia for a €1,000+100 main event. It's been just a year since the tour...more

EPT Deauville: Mitchell, Dempsey and Frankland, short stacks looking for action

Kara Scott is sat in seat one at table seventeen which just so happens to be the seat closest to the entrance and the first spot which spectators who have managed to make it past security reach. Consequently there's more people lolling around on the rail near Ms Scott than...more

EPT8 Deauville: Situation normal for in form Duhamel

Jonathan Duhamel's draw is perhaps not the easiest. Across from him sit Kevin Vandersmissen and Philip Meulyzer, both of whom have final table experience on the European poker Tour, having finished second and sixth respectively at EPT Snowfest in Season 7. That said it might be they who think...more

McDonagh accepts Australia Hall of Fame induction

Over the course of the past few years, we have come to wonder when Danny McDonagh slept. When we arrived at any tournament venue, he was there and looked like he'd just come in from a week's rest at a luxury spa. When we left 14 hours later, McDonagh was...more

Getting to know Team PokerStars Online's Richard "Tzen1" Veenman

Richard "Tzen1" Veenman isn't like your typical member of Team PokerStars Online. Veenman, who signed on to represent PokerStars last January, splits a part-time IT job in the Netherlands with his chase toward Supernova Elite on PokerStars every year. And, unlike most online poker pros who specialize in no-limit hold'em...more

EPT Deauville: Kaspars Renga, limpet mine

A silver foil helium balloon floats next to table five, tied by a thin piece of ribbon to the rail which separates the tables from passing traffic. There are no other balloons in the room, it must be marking something. Or someone. Sitting beneath the shiny balloon are a few...more

EPT8 Deauville: Numbers add up and up in Normandy

As we alluded at the start of today's coverage, Deauville isn't exactly easy to get to. Yet it has consistently proven to be one of the most popular destinations for players on the European Poker Tour. Take this standard itinerary. A flight from around anywhere in the world will...more

EPT Deauville: Local betting rules

The French do things their own way and why shouldn't they? It is their country after all. They eat when they want for however long they want, which is certainly something that the PokerStars Blog team can get on board with, much to the concern of respective partners back in...more

EPT8 Deauville: Difficult to reach, hard to beat

You could say that Deauville is the Edelweiss of the European Poker Tour. Edelweiss, as well as being a hit for Rogers and Hammerstein, is a plant that thrives in climactic extremes, growing mostly above 1700 meters on the sides of mountains for example. Because of its unique habitat...more

PokerStars unveils new We Are Poker ad

Just before the PCA, we unveiled the all-new PokerStars television campaign, We Are Poker. Featuring highly-charged, atmospheric scenes, these ads went down well and will be coming to a television screen near you some time soon. Now PokerStars has released a third advert in the series. Watch out for appearances...more

30 January

PokerStars weekend review (1-30-12)

Slow. Motion. That's. What. This. Monday. Is. It's not only that I had a really long weekend or that I'm out of coffee. It's that after a week and half of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker, I'm really used to everything moving very, very fast. TCOOP ended last night,...more

TCOOP closes with (quick) bang

If you blinked, you might have missed it, but there was no mistaking the sound of a lot of money rushing by really fast and slamming into the bankrolls of PokerStars' newest Turbo Championship of Online Poker champions. Sunday marked the end of the very first TCOOP, one that was...more

Juan Miguel Tomé wins Estrellas Madrid

After five days of intense play and the shortest final table of the history of the Estrellas Poker Tour, the circuit now has its newest champion. PokerStars qualifier Juan Miguel Tome defeated the almost invincible Luis Rufas to be crowned the first Estrellas Poker Tour winner of Season 3. Tomé...more

Milestone hands making it rain in 75 billionth hand promo

So, you're walking down the street. You've got your earbuds in, maybe grooving to a little Sly and the Family Stone and thinking about how you wished you had chosen a different pair of underwear to wear that day. Without warning, you trip over a plain brown envelope and fall...more

DaWarsaw: Lights, camera, go-karts!

In the mid-December I had to put away my grinding sessions for a few days as a filming crew came to my home town - Warsaw. I was very anxious about meeting them and extremely excited about shooting the video. You all have already probably seen Nanonoko's short film by...more

Team PokerStars Pro Bonavena makes IPT final

We watched him win EPT Prague with inventive play and a bubbly personality that endeared him to the rail. Since that day in 2008, Salvatore Bonavena, the Team PokerStars Pro, has gone on to yet more success with live winnings totaling $2.2 million. Now he is poised for another big...more

29 January

CharlesTY. becomes January 29 Sunday Million champion

Every Sunday on PokerStars is a big day. There's a reason the big tournaments that play out on Sundays are called "the majors." Big guarantees and even bigger prize pools award millions of dollars to players who compete and make it into that money. January 29 was no different -...more

TCOOP: As The Stars Tweet Part 2

The Turbo Championship Of Online Poker (TCOOP) is in full swing with 31 of the 50 events already consigned to the history books. Has it been a success so far? We would like to think so and the prize pools seem to confirm that thought too, as through the first...more

TCOOP: Betudontbet wins the 2012 TCOOP Main Event and $382,855

After 48 events and over $16 million in combined prize pools, PokerStars' inaugural TCOOP sprinted to the finish today with its $700 buy-in NLHE main event. The $1.5 million guarantee was shattered, the player count rising to 3,667 and the prize pool to $2,438,555 by the close of late registration....more

TCOOP: KvicKiller zips to the finish line in Event 50 ($215 NLHE Hyper-Turbo Wrap Party)

Normally the Sunday Supersonic - a $215 hyper-turbo tournament held on PokerStars every Sunday - sports a modest $40,000 guarantee and attracts between 900 and 1,000 players. The whole tournament typically plays out in less than two hours, providing large prizes to the players that make the final table for...more

Battle of the Planets: Why yes, beyessa won the January Triple Shootout

Double the fun this month for SnG grinders as the monthly Battle of the Planets $50,000 triple shootout kicked off twice. jusTTsmile took home the $12,000.00 first place prize at the beginning of the month but failed to become the first player to win the tournament twice in the same...more

-JullySL- wins Women's Sunday, denies lulilla second title

January was a big month. It started with the celebration of 2012 and a winding down from the holidays, and the last Sunday of the month ended with a big Women's Sunday tournament that provided poker excitement through to the very last hand. The month is not over, though. The...more

TCOOP: Actafool9 acts like a winner in Event 46 ($215 NLHE)

On the last day of TCOOP, Event 46 was one of six events that focused mainly on NLHE but threw an 8-game mix as well. Yes, the series is already coming to an end. If it seemed like a fast 11 days of events, it was. They were all turbo...more

TCOOP: lcallany wins $210K, Event #47 ($2,100 NLHE High Roller), $239K for AlexKP with chop

The high-dollar event on the TCOOP schedule was Event #47, a $2,100 buy-in no-limit hold'em "high roller" tourney that attracted many of online poker's top players. About 460 were seated when first hands were dealt at noon ET, although the total field would continue to grow over the 90 minutes...more

TCOOP: Tridynamo powers to the Event #48 8-Game win

Pitch, Spit in the Ocean, No Peeky Baseball, 31, Chicago, Black Bottom, Follow the Queen, Rivers. All games you may play at a home game (although the last one was an event at the recent PokerStars Caribbean Adventure ). On the last day of the 2012 Turbo Championship of Online...more

TCOOP: SirFlux delivers 1.21 gigawatts of power to Event 45, $109 NLHE

All good things must come to an end; it's the one guarantee there is in this life. Sadly, TCOOP is no exception to this rule, and today was the final day for what has been an action-packed 10 days of turbo poker. With six tournaments on the schedule, this series...more

Kovalchuk leads IPT San Remo

Former PokerStars Italian Poker Tour winner Olevksii Kovalchuk leads the field as IPT San Remo moves into Day 3. After 10 hours of play on Day 2, 37 players remained in the hunt for the €175,000 first prize. Kovalchuk, from Ukraine, won the recent Nova Gorica leg of the IPT,...more

Rubén Velasco Merino leads, ESPT Madrid final set

While those who like things fast have been lapping up the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker, a super-paced live event was taking place in Spain. In Day 3 of the PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour Madrid, it took less than two hours to get rid of 30 players to ensure...more

28 January

TCOOP: Aliscan scores win in Event 44 Speedway Special ($33 NLHE)

You know you're a poker player when ... you choose to play the TCOOP on PokerStars on a Saturday night rather than make any other plans. It takes some dedication to turn down a night out with friends, or even a relaxing evening with a movie, for turbo poker. The...more

TCOOP: kollerPS collars Event #41 title after chop with Honk Madison ($109 PLO Heads-Up)

Talk about action. Pot-limit Omaha. Heads-up format. Five-minute levels. Saturday's TCOOP Event #41, a $109 buy-in PLO heads-up tourney, certainly had everything an action junkie could want. A total of 1,127 players saw the event as inviting enough to enter, thereby creating a $112,700 prize pool, more than twice the...more

TCOOP: BackstabX_x, in front the whole way, never looks back in Event 42 ($33+R NLHE)

Yesterday, TCOOP 38 provided an object lesson on the perils of deal-making - or, more importantly, failing to make a deal. To book-end that lesson, today gave us 2012 TCOOP Event 42, $33+R No-Limit Hold'em (2x-Turbo), an event in which one player so dominated the final table that a deal...more

TCOOP: grauito grabs a win in Event #43 ($109 NL Omaha Hi/Lo 6-Max, Hyper-Turbo)

Limit betting, split pots, low variance. A-2? Nice hand. Slow and steady wins the game. This is Omaha Hi/Lo. Preflop all-ins, slim edges, 8 big blind stacks, double eliminations. A-2? Shove! 1,200 players to one in less than two hours. This is Omaha Hi/Lo during TCOOP. Any questions? 1,198 players...more

TCOOP: wyatt_earp14 guns down the final table in Event #40 H.O.R.S.E. title

A quiet Saturday afternoon with your beloved and you glance over at the horse and carriage across the park and think that would be perfect capper for great day. After paying the fee for the majestic steeds to drive you around the city the driver calmly whispers to the horses...more

27 January

TCOOP: gabrieldin6's deal-making brinksmanship pays off in Event 38 ($55 NLHE Ante Up)

When I was in school, I took a semester-look seminar in negotiation. The class taught me that, as much as negotiation is a science (employing myriad acronyms like BATNA to explain why people will behave in certain predictable ways during a negotiation), it's also an art form. The science only...more

TCOOP: Code_version dominates and wins Event 39 ($109 FLHE 6-Max)

What better way to prepare for the last weekend of TCOOP events (11 of them, to be exact) than to dabble in a FLHE event on Friday? There were NLHE and PLO options as well, but limit players were finally given their platform on which to shine in Event 39....more

TCOOP: AlexKP cleans up, wins Event #37 ($55 PLO [6-Max, 2R1A])

Event #37 on the Turbo Championship of Online Poker schedule was guaranteed to feature a few hours of action-fueled power poker. The game was six-handed pot-limit Omaha, with a $55 buy-in plus a couple of re-buys and an add-on available to inspire further risk-taking early on. And five-minute levels --...more

TCOOP: flaszeczka outflanks the competition in Event 36, $82 NLHE (6-max)

When you get all-in with pocket aces in a hold'em game and find yourself up against a smaller pair, you're roughly a 4-to-1 favorite to win the hand. Most of the time you'll win the hand, but sometimes you'll find yourself looking at the board and realizing that the unlikely...more

Women's Poker League: Bertie867 & SARITA15350 Comment on 2011 Victories

For the better part of 2011, the PokerStars Women's Poker League became more exciting by the month. Women played the league tournaments on a regular basis, and those who earned the most points found extra cash in their online poker bank accounts in addition to the money they won in...more

TCOOP: Black Friday refugees cashing in

Until 2011, for many young American poker players Mexico was a vacation spot. It was the place they spent their Spring Break holidays or a couple of regrettable nights in Tijuana. It was never the place they intended to call home. That all changed on April 15, 2011. "I was...more

TLB winner to fight Sports Star for record prize

If you're not a former winner of PokerStars' Tournament Leader Board, you may not even know this event exists, much less what's happening with it. However, it's become so interesting that we have to pay it some attention. It's history-making, after all. Every week for as long as I can...more

Muhamet Perati leads IPT San Remo

While things were already in full swing at ESPT Madrid, PokerStars IPT San Remo opened its doors for another bumper crowd in the tour's sixth Season 3 event. 102 played Day 1A of the €2,000 tournament, including 16 PokerStars qualifiers. After eight levels, with blinds at 400-800 (ante 75), the...more

ESPT Madrid playing to €113,000 first prize

There can be no doubting the continued success of the PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour. Yesterday's Day 1B of the Madrid event, the first of Season 3, attracted another huge field of 263 players, 69 of whom qualified on PokerStars. At the end of the night, 118 of them had made...more

26 January

TCOOP: Without question, Sisnleicht? wins Event 35 ($55 PLO 4-Max)

The inaugural TCOOP series is more than halfway to its completion, so you can be sure the final days will be packed with as much turbo online poker action as possible. Today, players were able to choose from NLHE two ways, Razz, and this particular Omaha option. With the continuously...more

TCOOP: WorDn lays down the law in Event #34 ($215 NLHE, 2x-Chance)

TCOOP Event #34, a $215 NLHE double chance soiree, not only produced the second-largest prize pool the series has seen, but resulted in our first six-figure winner. Although Event #25 listed a $112,000 first-place prize, champion wcsquad3 made away with $85,652.01 after a four-way deal. Tonight, Germany's WorDn cracked the...more

TCOOP: wintyara swiftly secures Event #33 title ($33 razz)

Razz has a well-earned reputation as one of poker's most painful variants, the sad brick-brick-brick of uncooperative late-street cards having caused immeasurable suffering to many who have played the game. Accelerate the pace of the game by spreading it as a turbo-style tourney, however, and the duration of such suffering...more

TCOOP: i.love.ri loves rebuys, wins Event 32, $5.50+R NLHE (3x-Turbo)

The rebuy tournament. There's not another creature like it in all of poker, which is enough to scare some players away all by itself. But for everyone else, there's just something about the rebuy. Some players see it as an opportunity to go crazy. Others see it as an opportunity...more

PCA 2012 Travel Diary

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is supposed to be one of the premiere events in the poker world. It did not disappoint! It was absolutely gorgeous and I got to share hosting duties with the lovely Kristy Arnett. Just in case you haven't seen the white sandy beaches, the palm trees,...more

TCOOP: Ten questions with Toby Lewis

Toby Lewis may look like any other young poker player, but he stands out among his peers. Reserved, appreciative of his success, and modest, the man known as "810ofclubs" on PokerStars stands apart from the young balla set from which the younger champions ofte come. His biggest success to date...more

PokerStars set to deal 75 billionth hand

The Road to 100 Billion is not a short one, but there are fortunately a lot more stops along the way there these days. They are rest stops where we can take a break, consider the trip ahead, and, indeed, win a lot of money. PokerStars announced this morning that,...more

Denis the menace leads ESPT Madrid

Casino Gran Madrid is a familiar name to European poker players. It was here that last year's EPT Grand Final was held, and it will be a stop once more in EPT Season 8. This week, it is playing host to another PokerStars event: The Estrellas Poker Tour Madrid, the...more

25 January

TCOOP: barrakko takes down Event 31 ($22 Stud H/L) for wife and country

Split, split, scoop. Split, split, scoop. Sounds like a popular children's game, doesn't it? And in fact it does involve a group of people sitting in a circle, trying not to be "It" - if you define "It" as "the person with no seat in the circle." The salient difference:...more

ElkY, Pius Heinz win European Poker Awards

Everyone knows ElkY is a man of personality. These days, no one questions Pius Heinz's tournament game. Now, the European Poker Awards have taken notice as well. Tonight in Paris, the European Poker Awards held its 11th annual awards ceremony and honored two Team PokerStars Pros for their contributions to...more

TCOOP: Rounder63 takes down Event #30 ($11+R PLO 6-Max, 3x-Turbo) Now pay that man his money!

I know what you're thinking. "3x-Turbo? Has PokerStars completely lost their minds?" While I cannot speak directly to the mental faculties of the PokerStars tournament designers, I can tell you that a 3x-Turbo doesn't run three times faster than a regular turbo. Instead, it offers a rebuy period three times...more

TCOOP: twirlpro runs circles around field, wins Event #29 ($109 NLHE [Shootout])

A thousand poker players gathered around 100 tables on Wednesday morning for Event #29 of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker, a $109 buy-in no-limit hold'em Shootout. With five-minute levels and starting stacks of 5,000 (reset each round), the one among them who would win three ten-handed sit-n-gos -- each...more

TCOOP: andthe kicks the competition in Event 28, $82 NLHE (2x Chance)

Another day, another slate of TCOOP tournaments bursting with PokerStars players looking to make a big score in a short timeframe. If you're a fan of the "Cadillac of poker," today's first event was a good one: an $82 NLHE affair, full-ring style, with a guaranteed prize pool of $150,000...more

TCOOP: The unlikely champion

There is a village in southern India with no electricity, medical care, or proper infrastructure. You'd be lucky to find one person there who has even heard of poker, let alone poker played on something called the internet. This is where Andy Ganapathy grew up. There is a kind of...more

Liv Boeree on being reimagined as a dominatrix and more

Editor's note: This Q&A with Liv Boeree took place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 13. Walking into the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure poker room, an intimidating figure of Liv Boeree, wearing six-inch heels and wielding a whip, greeted thousands of poker players. Between waterslides and poker at the PCA,...more

TCOOP: As the Stars Tweet

The Turbo Championship of Online Poker was announced in December 2011, and players all over the world have been waiting for the tournament series to kick off. The wait is over. The inaugural 2012 PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker kicked off on Jan. 19 with a $22 no-limit hold's...more

AlexeyKID tops huge field in Super Tuesday (1/24/12); Lodden 2nd, Kling 5th

This week's Super Tuesday saw no decline in numbers resulting from the ongoing TCOOP, with another big field of 445 showing up for the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament. That's a small increase from last week, and in fact represents the largest Super Tuesday field since almost a year ago...more

24 January

TCOOP: Mcolombo masters Event 27 ($22+R NLHE 2x-Turbo)

Double turbo means levels of five minutes each. The rebuy portion of the tournament allows for more action, though, as the first mistake can be rectified with another buy-in. Add-ons at the end of the one-hour registration level also give players the option to pad their stacks going into the...more

TCOOP: Poker Own U owns Event 26 ($22 Stud)

In the spectrum of poker variants, limit stud has the sex appeal of your typical octogenarian: not much. But even your typical octogenarian is sexy to someone out there, and so it is with limit stud. The game has a devoted, hard-core following of fans, the likes of which you...more

TCOOP: wcsquad3 wins Event #25 ($215 NLHE), $85K after four-way chop

Marking the midway point of the 50-event Turbo Championship of Online Poker was Event #25, a $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament. Think Sunday Million, only with 5-minute levels, meaning a winner would necessarily be determined in considerably less time than the 12 hours or so it normally takes to decide...more

TCOOP: Second time's the charm for Sir_Don_John in Event 24, $109 PLO/8 (6-max)

Some players bust from a final table knowing that they've missed their only chance. Others are knocked down only temporarily, vowing to get back up and reach the promised land once again. And today, in Event 24, $109 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo (6-max), one of the latter group showed exactly what...more

TCOOP: Baja272's hole in one

The motivation to play poker comes from a lot of different places. Some people want to make a million bucks. Some people want to be a world champion. Thomas, a PokerStars player from Copenhagen, just wants to play golf. At 38 years old, Thomas (aka Baja272 on PokerStars) has a...more

Depositor freerolls: Free money still flowing

When PokerStars gives away free money, people show up in droves. It's science, or something. In any case, it makes a lot of sense. When PokerStars offers freerolls to people in return for their real money deposits, things started getting a little crowded around the cash register. Nine days ago,...more

TCOOP: Not everyone loves turbos (but you probably should)

Not everyone loves turbos, and I've heard some of my peers bemoan the lack of deepstacked, early level play with 100+ BBs. But from my perspective, deepstacked play is simply not the most important skill for a tournament player, and regardless of the speed of the structure, your success in...more

Online Poker Show: Sunday Million, January 22

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23 January

TCOOP: Andy123460 of Canada wins Event 23 ($153 NLHE 6-Max Hyper Turbo)

The Turbo Championship of Online Poker consists of a series of turbo tournaments. Some of the events, like this one, are hyper turbo tournaments. It means three-minute levels and some of the fastest poker you'll ever see. Or you might not see it if you blink. We haven't blinked yet....more

TCOOP: thomber26 tops the field in Event #22 ($82 Omaha Hi/Lo), Nuno Coelho 3rd

Typically one of the slowest-paced games in the poker canon, Omaha Hi/Lo got the TCOOP treatment today, resulting in a tournament that not only took a scant three hours and forty minutes to play down from over a thousand players to a winner, but featured a 16-minute final table. No...more

TCOOP: Big hands bring big bucks for biggielaw in Event 21 ($44 NLHE 4-max)

You might have read recently in this poker blog that pot-limit Omaha is the true action game in the poker spectrum. Four cards - and the draws and re-draws that they can combine to create - lead to big pots and big swings. While that all may be true, for...more

TCOOP: TLD2008 tops Event 20, $55 PLO (6-max, 1R1A)

Action has been the catchword throughout TCOOP - you can't have a turbo tournament without plenty of it - but the catchword was in all caps for today's 20th event of this tournament series. After all, there's probably no purer distillation of action in this world than turbo shorthanded Pot-Limit...more

TCOOP: What the winners get

Finally, the mystery is solved. After a month of waiting, we now know what winners of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker will receive to commemorate their titles. As you know, World Championship of Online Poker champs receive a bracelet. Spring Championship of Online Poker title-holders get a fancy watch....more

TCOOP: Who needs a schedule?

I have to confess that my tournament game is a bit rusty because I haven't played many big tournaments lately. My main issue about playing big tournaments is that if I do well, they take too long and that makes it really hard to have a working schedule like non-poker...more

TCOOP: From coffee shop to champion

For Scott O'Reilly, age 27, it started nearly a decade ago. In Amsterdam. In a coffee shop. That's where all the good stories start, isn't it? Putting aside any of the other details (the internet has a long memory, y'all), O'Reilly was hanging out in said coffee shop when he...more

22 January

James "Asprin1" Akenhead finds sweet relief in the Sunday Million

After 19 events of high-speed TCOOP madness, it was a relief to sink back into the old routine of the Sunday Million. Big stacks. Long time banks. Comfy fifteen-minute levels. 7,125 Sunday grinders agreed, buying in for $215 apiece to create a $1,425,000 prize pool. 1,080 places were paid with...more

TCOOP: alberto ka goes from $215 to $90k in under two hours

In less time than it takes to watch a basketball game, fly from London to Madrid, or even write and code a typical PokerStars Blog recap, Brazil's alberto ka turned $215 into more than $90,000. The top four finishers made more this afternoon than most folks in their home countries...more

RasA86 wins $112K and Sunday Warm-Up title for Denmark

Every Sunday on PokerStars is a busy one. With the line-up of Sunday majors, players need a strict schedule and several computer monitors to get in on all of the action. Today is one of those days that requires even more attention because of all of the TCOOP action, but...more

TCOOP: Arxigos aces Event 18 for PLO title ($22+R PLO 6-Max 2x-Turbo)

Sundays are typically leisure days, ones that offer a slower pace than the rest of the week with time to relax. Even with the regular Sunday tournaments on PokerStars, players can ease in to the action with the Sunday Warm-Up and other events. It may be a grind at times,...more

Title for susan63nl after 3-way chop in Jan 22 Women's Sunday

With all of the tournament reports on the PokerStars blog covering the Sunday majors and the new TCOOP series, there is a lot of talk about smashing guarantees. Not to brag, but it's something the women of PokerStars do every week with the Women's Sunday. When the event started last...more

TCOOP: 8r0k34$$ crushes final table in Event 17 ($109 NLHE, 1R1A)

It's Sunday. As most online poker players are aware, Sunday is the day of the biggest tournaments on PokerStars - the Sunday majors, as they're colloquially called. It only made sense, then, to schedule 2012 TCOOP Event 17, $109 No-Lmit Hold'em (1R1A), for a Sunday. With a price point of...more

TCOOP: Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis snares Event #16, $68k ($55 NLHE [Knockout])

Sunday was another day full of high-speed, rapid-fire action as the Turbo Championship of Online Poker continued on PokerStars. Among the tourneys on offer was Event #16, a $55 buy-in no-limit hold'em affair with five-minute levels and $10 bounties for each knockout recorded. There were about 7,000 players seated when...more

TCOOP: ocropTi a perfect fit in Event 15, $55 NLHE (6-max, Hyper-Turbo)

If you've ever played a hand of live poker, you know that it's agonizingly slow compared to the online game - even if you only play one table at a time when you're checking and raising on your computer. So what do you do when you start to find even...more

TCOOP: Phat cash by phatlat, hauling in $22K after Event #14 win

As Brad Willis mentioned a few days ago the precious guarantees by PokerStars for the 2012 Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) have been getting a savage beatdown. Today's Event #14's $55 buy-in No Limit Omaha Hi/Low tournament (with two rebuys/one add-on) would continue this trend. The 1,321 entries alone...more

21 January

TCOOP: PURGER111 coughs up a win in Event #13 ($33 NLHE)

On a normal weekend we call this one the "Saturday Speedway," a catchy little name for a $33 buy-in turbo affair. And on a normal weekend it would carry a $50,000 guarantee and award its winner somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,000. But this is no ordinary weekend. This is...more

TCOOP: Cejakas14 crushes Event #11 ($109 Heads-up NLHE)

Eight and a half hours? Granted, that's pretty long for a TCOOP tournament, but considering a standard-speed version of today's $109 NLHE heads-up event would take the better part of two days, eight and a half hours is a pretty good clip to go from 2,830 to one. The $150K...more

TCOOP: Victory comes in two shakes of a LAMBTON's tail in Event 12 ($33 Triple Stud)

Triple Stud. Three variants of stud poker rolled into one. Three times the Stud fun. And during the 2012 TCOOP, they come at three times the normal pace. By PokerStars' lofty standards, the turnout was modest for 2012 TCOOP Event 12, $33 Triple Stud. 1,720 stud aficianados and / or...more

TCOOP: StøvsugerN sucks up all the chips in Event 10

Personal disclosure time: I had no idea what a "3x-Turbo" tournament was the first time I played one on PokerStars a few years ago. The tournament in question was a satellite for a live event. I knew the satellite was a turbo tournament. And I knew there was a rebuy...more

TCOOP: Baja272 barrels through to Event #9 win ($55 PLO [Knockout])

They call it the action game. Throw in five-minute levels and knockout bounties as added accelerants, and a pot-limit Omaha tourney becomes a blazing blur. Or a blurry blaze. Or whatever... no time to fuss over it. Suffice it to say, Event #9 of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker,...more

20 January

TCOOP: _JMCD_89 brings home a win in Event #8 ($82 NLHE, Big Antes 2x Chance)

So many structural variations of no-limit hold'em tournaments are available on PokerStars that we sometimes have trouble keeping up with them ourselves. Today's TCOOP events alone showcased three formats-- a six-max shootout, a rebuy, and one that just resulted in a slam-bang, tilt-a-whirl, did-that-just-happen final table. Event #8 actually had...more

TCOOP: jmc8609 runs the table in Event #7 victory

If you have ever witnessed the destruction power of a three year old hyped up on chocolate chip cookies and kool-aid you might have an idea how the 2012 TCOOP Event #7 prize pool got as big as a Sunday Major. Just a $22 buy-in that attracted a stadium-sized 10,381...more

TCOOP: Ghoulio scares up nearly $32K for $55 in Event #6 (NLHE 6-max. Shootout)

Event #6 in the Turbo Championship of Online Poker offered players the unique opportunity to win five short-handed, no-limit hold'em turbo-style sit-n-gos and turn a mere $55 into nearly $32K. All in about six hours or so, too! A total of 3,994 players decided such an offer sounded worth their...more

TCOOP: Freerolling to $40k

At 23 years old, a guy we'll call Colby (because, er, that's his name) makes his living playing poker. That is to say, he had money on PokerStars before this whole Turbo Championship of Online Poker thing came to be. However, that didn't stop him from cashing in on the...more

TCOOP: chismann chisels out a win in Event 5, $22 PL Draw

If you learned to play poker well before the advent of the online game, chances are you started off with Five-Card Draw. Compared to some other forms of poker it's a relatively simple game to learn, and with only two rounds of betting the action moves along at a pretty...more

TCOOP: Sweeping up the guarantees

Woah. Somebody made a mess. And somebody better clean it up before Mom gets home or we're all going to be in trouble. Here, she put up all these beautiful TCOOP guarantees, and what do we do? We shatter them, destroy them, leave them in shards all over the floor....more

Travel Guide: EPT Deauville

From Jan. 31 through Feb. 6, 2012, the European Poker Tour will travel to the seaside resort of Deauville in France. The stop, which features several events, will look to build upon last year's record-breaking field in the €5,000 + €300 Main Event that saw Lucien Cohen top an 891-player...more

19 January

TCOOP: Mongy mauls the masses in Event #4 ($33 NLHE)

$3,092 per hour. A CEO's salary? A supermodel's? Viktor Blom's profits at $500/$1,000 NLHE? On an ordinary day, any of those would apply. Today, it was the average hourly win rate of the nine individuals who closed out Day 1 of the inaugural TCOOP with a final table appearance in...more

TCOOP: SixthSenSe19 sees dollar signs after Event #3 victory

Opening Day. A magical time for fans and players alike in any sporting contest. Everyone on equal footing, no week-long road trips away from spouses and kids, no massive injuries to the team's star player that signed a $100 million contract in the offseason. No brutal losing streaks that have...more

TCOOP: gazon7 grabs Event #2 ($33 NLO Hi/Lo) after three-way chop

Four cards. Short levels. Split pots. No-limit betting. As Jake said to Elwood... "Hit it!" Like the Bluesmobile careening toward Chicago, the TCOOP got off to a fast start on Thursday with four events, all of which featured super-quick five-minute levels that ensured lots of rapid-fire play in each. Of...more

TCOOP: 88Xin88 prospers in Event 1, $22 NLHE [6-max]

In some cultures particular numbers are considered luckier than others. In China, one of the luckiest numbers is eight, the word for which has a similar sound to the word for "prosper" or "wealth." If you're the kind of person who believes in luck, you could do a lot worse...more

Proud to be part of the Team

Team PokerStars Pro has been around nearly as long as PokerStars itself. During its 10 years in existence, the world's leading online poker room has signed many of the game's greatest minds and personalities ever seated at a poker table. While some have come and gone, a select few have...more

18 January

As the Stars Tweet: 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

A late holiday present or a fantastic start to the new year -- however you look at it, the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean adventure is the winter highlight for poker players across the globe. For the ninth year running, swarms of players flocked to Paradise Island for 10 days of poker...more

TCOOP: How long does it take to win a championship?

A lot of you (and frankly, a lot of us) wondered how long it might take to finish a PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker event. After all, it sometimes takes a couple of days to win a championship in SCOOP or WCOOP tournaments. Accounting for the time investment in...more

PCA 2012: From FPPs to big cash

Back in May, PokerStars player Steve "Roversfan95" Westlund from Lancashire in the UK started playing the PCA Mega-Path satellites. Within 18 days, he had worked his way through all eight rounds and won himself a $15,000 trip to the Bahamas. At the time, it was the biggest prize he'd ever...more

The Only Thing You See, You Know It's Gonna Be... AceSpades11, SuperTuesday champ (1/17/12)

Another big field showed up for tonight's Super Tuesday, with 439 coming out to play. That's the biggest group to participate in PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament so far in 2012, and the largest since 442 played four weeks ago -- which at the time was the largest Super...more

17 January

TCOOP: What the Team Pros think

In just 48 hours, PokerStars will debut its newest tournament series, the Turbo Championship of Online Poker. The 50-event all-turbo online festival of events kicks off Thursday at noon ET with a $200,000 guaranteed $22 no-limit hold'em turbo event. While we were at the PCA last week, we sat down...more

15 January

Ticiz toughs it out and wins $200K in Sunday Million

The Sunday Million is a big deal. In the online poker business, it's the largest weekly tournament, and its $1 million prize pool guarantee is nothing to sneeze at. Each Sunday, it's one of the most watched and discussed events in poker. This week, however, there were more than a...more

PCA 2012: Kathy Saraf Wins PCA Women's Event

They started with 75 players, but in the end, there can only be one winner. After two days and 18 hours of play, the winner in the PokerStars Women Live $1K NLHE event was Kathy Saraf. She and second place finisher Lauren Kling had been playing heads-up for only about...more

Sunday Warm-Up: MikiOpasniy outlasts FinancialPOK for the title and $115K

"Any way that suited the other man would suit him - any way just so's he got a bet, he was satisfied". A quote from tavern regular Simon Wheeler talking about the gambling man Jim Smiley in the Mark Twain short story "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Mr....more

Whiteshad155 of Germany wins January 15 Women's Sunday

When online tournaments and live events collide, the online events sometimes take the hit. As the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure wound down in the sunny Bahamas resort, the Women's Sunday actually saw a dip in the usual numbers. Poker fatigue? Sunburn? It's anyone's guess. The PCA did, in fact, wind down...more

Free money alert, deposit now

Everyone likes the idea of free money, right? I mean, why ignore the offer of something for nothing? Right now, PokerStars is in the mood for giving away cold, hard cash. Just by making a deposit or reloading your account, you can enter a series of special $1,000 freerolls with...more

14 January

PCA 2012: Bilokur wins $1.1 million high roller, Duhamel second

It was a final table perfect as a send-off for the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. There were no weak links, no one out of place, no anomalies in ability. Just eight great players in peak form meeting for one last day to decide the winner of the $25,000 High...more

WCP VIII: Peru wins the World Cup of Poker

Peru has won the World Cup of Poker, snatching the title away from the Netherlands and Japan in an exciting eight-way team battle. Peru had never been far from the lead but a strong finish in the final heads-up rounds powered them through to victory and the $90,000 winner's purse....more

WCP VIII: Seeded matches set, Netherlands with one hand on the trophy

The final round robin heads up matches are over and it's the Netherlands out ahead with just one set of high pressure seeded heads up matches to play. Bar a miraculous turn of events, which is always possible in the World Cup, it will be one of three countries lifting...more

PCA 2012: When live poker just isn't enough

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has been a mammoth festival of live poker with tournaments of all formats and buy-ins catering for every player. What's more, it has given online terrors more used to clicking buttons to make bets the chance to use real chips at real tables instead. Those online...more

PCA 2012: The welcome face in the crowd

It's not unusual for people to want to watch events like yesterday's main event or today's high roller final. A certain breed can happily spend a couple of hours glued to the action, and might rush in from the beach, the bar, or wherever, to see the heads-up conclusion and...more

WCP VIII: Round five in the books, Tajikistan taking the reins

The World Cup of Poker always throws up some oddities. If it's not the biggest slow roll ever then it's having to deal with a team mate flying home early. This time we've just had to deal with the fact we had eleven winners out of ten sit-and-gos. Thankfully that's...more

PCA 2012: How does a Duhamel run like a god?

As the blog team engaged in an important debriefing last night, we were joined by Emma. She's sort of the Shawshank Redemption's Red Redding to the PCA. If somebody needs something, Emma can get it. Over the years, Emma has been a great source of stuff and advice for the...more

WCP VIII: Johnson explains the final push

Neil Johnson bounces round like he owns the place because, in a way, he does. Johnson is the EPT tournament host and is also the man in charge of the World Cup of Poker, a two-day team event which is approaching its final stages. This morning the team captains, including...more

PCA 2012: Frick-ing amazing

It's nearly five minutes into the first break of the last event of the 2012 PCA, and this guy won't make up his mind. It's a queen-high board, there is a bet to him, and the guy seems content to just spend his break thinking. Meanwhile, Marie Frick's eyes don't...more

PCA 2012: Breaking down at the PCA

The Imperial Ballroom at Atlantis is one of the biggest you'll ever see. With 50,000 square feet and 26-foot high ceilings, it can host functions so grand that others, even the neighbouring Grand Ballroom, can't. That's only 25,000 square feet. It's in this cavernous space that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure...more

WCP VIII: Germany and Japan dominant, Peru closing in (round four over)

Japan and Germany are neck and neck after the first event of Day 2 of the World Cup of Poker with 133 points apiece, Peru just one point behind with 132. Humberto Brenes' Costa Rica team along are yet to break the 100 point barrier and will have to mount...more

PCA 2012: Looking like champions

When we left last night the final table area was a mass of dislodged chairs, empty drink cups and the debris of a memorable final table. Today it's back to being a spotless amphitheatre, beautifully lit, neat and orderly. No half empty bottles of Hennessy here. The same goes...more

PCA 2012: A million-dollar benediction

The nature of this endeavor, this brave new world in which the video of what we see is streamed to your computer, means that we know things 40 minutes before you do. For instance, we know that within thirty seconds of the start of the $25,000 High Roller final table,...more

PCA 2012: Down to ten at PCA Women's Event

After eleven hours of play yesterday the PokerStars Women Live event ended Day 1 a little after one in the morning. The players were hoping to get to the final table of nine before the day ended but it wasn't to be. There was an all-in the next-to-last hand, but...more

WCP VIII: Day 2 begins with an international summit, talks succeed

Welcome back to the World Cup of Poker. It's Day 2 and we've waved goodbye to Italy leaving eight teams to battle it out for the World Cup of Poker. Germany are top pipping Team Japan by one point with after taking top in round three late last night. As...more

John Dibella wins the PCA Main Event

...more

13 January

WCP VIII: Day 1 ends hopes of Italian double, resurgent Germany top

Who would have thought it? Reigning champions Italy out with barely a whimper. After round one and two performances that left them languishing in ninth position on the leader board, Italy limped out of their title defence with a ninth-place exit in the multi-table madness of round three. An...more

PCA 2012: Amateur John Dibella wins main event, $1,775,000

One week out of every year, the Atlantis resort is the home office of hundreds of professional poker players. For John Dibella, his wife Wendy, and their two girls, it's no office. It's a regular vacation spot. This week, Dibella's children are at home in New York going to school....more

WCP VIII: Six remain as the tussle for the top continues

In the lead up to the final table of round three of the World Cup of Poker both Team Costa Rica (7th) and the catch-all Team Rest of the World (8th) were sent to the rail, maybe not happy, but certainly relieved due to the knowledge that they had already...more

PCA 2012: Jason Koon leads high rollers but Duhamel in pursuit

You shouldn't be reading this. At least not yet. No, it's not because we're breaking some 40 minute rule that embargoes the results of the high roller until the live stream has finished streaming. It's because we expected the 56 remaining returning players to take all night, playing down...more

WCP VIII: Multi-table madness in round three, Italy bust

Admin, the world over it's a nightmare. You base a decision on a document only to find out that you've been given incorrect information. The poker world is no different. It turns out that the email I received regarding the World Cup of Poker didn't have the final version attached....more

PCA 2012: Tough field for Ladies event

A total of 75 women registered today at the beginning of the PokerStars Women Live tournament here at the PCA in the Bahamas. Members of Team PokerStars Pro sat down at the tables including Vanessa Rousso, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Fatima Moreira De Melo, and Ana Marquez. Team PokerStars Online's...more

WCP VIII: Japan leads, Italy facing the chop

Entering the third and final round of the day it's high stakes player Masaaki Kagawa's Team Japan leading the World Cup of Poker with defending champions Italy currently facing the Day 1 chop. Only eight teams will make it through to Day 2 and Captain Luca Pagano is going to...more

PCA 2012: The business end of the high roller event

If anyone thought he high roller event would be anything like the main - whereby all those short stacks feel nothing but gay relief and move all-in with reckless abandon -- they were wrong. For the high rollers there's some comfort in a return for their money, but the...more

PCA 2012: Quiet bubble pop

When the bubble burst in the PCA Main Event on Tuesday, loud whooping and cheering swept the room. Some 160 players had just made themselves at least $15,000 and they were happy. For many, this was their biggest live score; a dream realised and a first return on a poker...more

WCP VIII: Bring on the water boy, Jake Schwartz steps forward

Humberto Brenes is one of the most expressive players on the poker circuit, particularly when TV cameras or an audience is nearby. So when he had both, albeit with the cameras pointing the other way towards the main event final table, you just knew that things were going to get...more

PCA 2012: Bernstein's $260,000 poker vacation

Just a month ago, PokerStars player David Bernstein was dreaming of making the big time. He loved the game, but as he had never so much as played a live tournament, his chances of success were somewhat slim. Then something rather cool happened. After finishing up work one day, he...more

PCA 2012: Getting the picture

"My God!" someone exclaims. "I've never seen anyone's fingers work so fast." Neil Stoddart and his assistant Kim Curtin have taken over the stage of the 2012 PCA main event. Every few seconds, a strobe flashes while Stoddart and Curtin measure the lights. This final table will not start until...more

PCA 2012: Duhamel mauls Perkins then Wahlbeck on way to a million

Jonathan Duhamel has a lot of chips. Bill Perkins has not as much as he used to have. Duhamel's stack is piled up neatly, a tower reaching to his face, which is smiling. Perkins's stack is a mess, disorganised, all over the place and miserable looking. The same could...more

WCP VIII: Japan bossing it after round one

Team Japan have got off to a flying start winning three of the five sit-and gos of first round, scoring 41 out of a possible 50 points. The league table shows that Japan and France are currently the teams to beat while defending champions Italy and poker powerhouse Germany are...more

PCA 2012: Seeing is believing

Life is good for Jason Koon. A short while ago he eliminated Pierre Neuville from the high roller to assume the chip lead, stacking up some 550,000 chips. Then, from out of nowhere, a friend brought him a drink of some kind, actually more a cup of pink gloop...more

PCA 2012: Seats open here, there and everywhere

Such has been the dramatic thinning of the High Roller field in the early stages that we've already lost half the players. From the 54 survivors who returned for Day 2 just three levels ago, only 28 remain across four tables. A $25,000 buy-in event it may be, but no...more

PCA 2012: Red Bull Robbie starts with a double

A floral shirt sits in stark relief against the coffee-colored skin of the cocktail server. He's holding up one finger at the strawberry blonde man with the goatee in the middle of the stage. "One?" asks the server. A look of seriousness--fierce, almost anxious seriousness--crosses the goateed man's face. This...more

WCP VIII: How it works

The World Cup of Poker has become famed for its intricate and evolving formats and ranking systems. No one year has the tournament played out using the same rules as before but maybe, just maybe, this is the year the cup has been cracked. A series of turbo sit-and-gos followed...more

PCA 2012: Who wants to be a millionaire?

For the most part today's high roller action has started in the same way it did yesterday. For the most part everyone looks like they're simply passing the time before something exciting happens. For the most part they're right, as players busy themselves with the usual electronic devices, of...more

PCA 2012: The astonishing rise of Randy Lew

Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew began Day 2 of the High Roller with just 25,600 chips; smallest in the room and good for only ten big blinds. Now, as you may know, Lew is something of a poker machine, capable of multi-tabling 24 tables online, while recent live result such as his...more

WCP VIII: The World Cup begins

The World Cup of Poker returns for its eighth outing returning to what we'd like to think of as its spiritual home, the PCA. The two day event will pit nine teams, listed below, against each other in a fight to the death across a series of formats to settle...more

PCA 2012: Main event final table players ready for their close-up

It all comes down to this: eight players, several million dollars, one table, and a giant satellite television truck. After a year of waiting, a week of playing, and the eliminations of a thousand other people, we are ready to crown a new PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion. The final eight...more

PCA 2012: From 56 to 8 as High Rollers return

There was a touch of the old school to the $25,000 High Roller event yesterday. First the price tag was enough to make civilians wince. Then there was the line-up, the proverbial who's who of poker with enough swagger to shake a building to the ground. Then there were...more

12 January

PCA 2012: Nick Yunis writing unlikely story in $25,000 High Roller

Nick Yunis promised the story would get better, and it did. The man who won a satellite entry to the PCA $25,000 High Roller last night, busted out in the first three levels today and then won a last-minute single table satellite to get back in and finish Day 1...more

PCA 2012: Two world champs and a McLovin

What is McLovin doing playing in the $25,000 High Roller? Hold on one second, that's not McLovin, that's Noah Schwartz, winner of the $5,000 PLO turbo side event of last week. But it does look like him, so much so he's even wearing a McLovin t-shirt. If you don't know...more

PCA 2012: Jaka leads final eight after late session at main event

There was a curious atmosphere as the final table was forged from the 24 remaining players who returned to the tournament room at Atlantis today. Playing late into the night, with the clock nudging 12.30am, order, to a certain extent, had been given a temporary leave of absence, giving...more

PCA 2012: Augdal flattens Cajelais

Erik Cajelais is a big guy. Tattoos cover his arms and he usually sports an unhappy scowl that even in the very lightest of terms says 'don't talk to me'. I can't imagine it would be easy to knock him out, at the poker or off, but it's something Terje...more

PCA 2012: Way to stay alive

Ville Wahlbeck started today on the most tricky of tables. Described earlier right here, it was also the home of Joe Cada, Jonathan Duhamel, Eugene Katchalov, ElkY and Philipp Gruissem. While Duhamel in particular has prospered, up to more than 200,000 right now, Wahlbeck has been finding the going tough....more

PCA 2012: Final table draw

We are down to just one table here at the PCA and it looks like chip leader Kyle Julius has been gifted the golden ticket. Julius has all the stacks that could do him damage to his right and the short stacks in a line to his left. European Poker...more

PCA 2012: Perla Migova wins Shutter Speed Freeroll

Everyone who arrived at the PCA this week got their hands on the official magazine of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. For the past three years at the PCA, these glossy magazines have greeted PCA travelers and have been the source of information and untold riches for the readers. Not only...more

PCA 2012: Late nights, lots of noise

If there's one thing you don't want to hear while working at a poker event, it's the tournament director announcing there will be five more levels of play after dinner. For the players themselves it means a late night, of course. For us bloggers and floor staff, it means a...more

PCA 2012: Gregg gets into trouble

I blame the break. You know it's the last hand of the level and that no-one's going to get involved unnecessarily as there's more important things to do, you know, like run to the bathroom, update your facebook status or jam some $6 pizza down your neck. Was Anthony Gregg...more

PCA 2012: The unlikely story of Nick Yunis & the $25,000 High Roller

"That doesn't make sense," I said. And I meant it. Despite my adoration for PCA media coordinator, ombudsman, and all-around Girl Friday Mad Harper, it was starting to get late, and I'd just learned that the $25,000 High Roller was playing until 2am. On little sleep already, I might have...more

PCA 2012: Women dominating on and off the tables

Two women dominate the television stage at the moment, although only one of them has a shot at winning the PCA Main Event. Natalie Hof is the German presenter for PokerStars.tv, a chipper young television personality bringing energy and life to the German audience. But she looked ready to...more

PCA 2012: Whispering Rousso racking up chips

Some people have voices that carry, other do not. Sean Deeb is certainly in the first group, Vanessa Rousso the second. Deeb's chuckle can be heard from almost any point in a tournament room and, much like those eyes that follow you in old painting, it always sounds like it's...more

PCA 2012: Xuan Liu pushing ahead, a shoe-in for the final table?

Xuan Liu makes playing poker look effortless. No, scratch that, she makes playing poker look like a shampoo commercial. Liu sits at the table with her legs tucked up beneath her kneeling on her chair in a riding side-saddle kind of way. Jet black hair cascades down towards her chip...more

PCA 2012: Playing our tune at Johnny Rockets

Right now somebody not far from here is listening to Chantilly Lace by The Big Bopper on the juke box of Johnny Rockets. As players get away for their hour's dinner break the options are limited. There's not enough time to get off the island so resort options come...more

PCA 2012: Stranger in a stranger land

Dan Shak is reading Facebook on his iPad, and the graphics on the screen are red. Something about this disturbs me, but I can't quite put my finger on why I'm so uncomfortable. My Facebook graphics are blue. Everybody I know who uses Facebook has blue graphics. But not Dan...more

PCA 2012: Viktor Blom, mauled by the 'beast'

"Bill, you're a beast." This was Barry Greenstein to Bill Perkins after the Texan had dispatched Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom to the rail. Blom had made a typical aggressive shove on the river, and Perkins had made a, well, typical Perkins call. The thing about Perkins is that when he gets...more

PCA 2012: Beef provolone and chips

The main event has now dropped to two tables with eight more players to leave before play ends for the day. With 17th place finisher Daniel Schmieding now gone the players were granted liberty for a few minutes. Ruben Visser and Martin Jacobson, who share a table, spoke with...more

PCA 2012: Jason Mercier: player, model, failed coffee drinker

The life of a Team PokerStars Pro isn't quite as easy as you may think. It's not all playing, partying and hanging out with Liv Boeree/Daniel Negreanu/insert your favourite pro's name here. They have... obligations. Interviews, blogs, guest commentary, meet-and-greets all pepper a Team Pros life like variance. The upswings...more

PCA 2012: Down to two tables, Visser leads

We're down to two tables and Dutchman Ruben 'rubentv' Visser has moved into the lead while overnight chip monster Faraz Jaka has slipped below the 2,010,000 average. We're back to eight-handed play across these last two tables. The pressure is ramping up yet again with half of the remaining players...more

PCA 2012: Pierre Neuville, proving how poker keeps you young

Pierre Neuville is, by some way, the oldest player in the High Roller field. We know this not because he looks in any way ancient, but because he just told us it is his 69th birthday today. While many retired gentlemen of a certain age may be happy to stay...more

PCA 2012: Team Online's Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome wins live

Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome came to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure to play the Canada Cup final table. When that didn't work out as well as she hoped, she moved on to the first side event she planned to play, a $1,000 Omaha-8 and Stud-8 combination. Though she's an Omaha-8 specialist who...more

PCA 2012: Alafogiannis puts pedal to the metal

Nikolaos Alafogiannis is a man that wears his heart on his sleeve, right alongside advertising for a 1963 Chevrolet race. Martin Jacobson had three-bet Byron Kaverman's button raise from 60,000 up to somewhere in the region of 140,000 when Alafogiannis appeared to find a hand: the giveaway being a rocking...more

PCA 2012: David Labchuk's secret

"Don't repeat that. Don't tell anybody." David Labchuk is alone at a table There are stacks of chips and television release forms all over the table, but Labchuk is otherwise alone until I arrive. He hadn't arrived too early, but he didn't do what everybody else seems to do, which...more

PCA 2012: High rollers finding things to do

When you first look at the high roller field you might make a couple of assumptions. The first that most players seem to have something else they need to be doing. The second how it's funny that high rollers tend to dress like young boys who a few years...more

PCA 2012: Negreanu threatened with a punch in the face

Daniel Negreanu has just been threatened with a punch in the face. This surely is something that must be looked into. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man. Negreanu was bent in his chair, his torso twisted at a right angle from the table, as...more

PCA 2012: The multi-millionaires' table

If you happened to have a spare $25,000--who hasn't?--and decided to enter a High Roller poker event, you should never be entirely surprised to land up with a tough table. Sure, there will be a few soft spots in the field, folk with perhaps more money than poker prowess, but...more

PCA 2012: Everything (but then again nothing) to see here

If you're a spectator here today you're watching one of the most dramatic days of play. The only problem is you're unlikely to see any of it. It's a tribute to both the quality of player and quality of supporter that the bleachers are packed full for the start,...more

PCA 2012: He's baaaaaaaaaack

Bill Perkins isn't a quitter. That much we know. Known in other circles as William O. Perkins III, the Texas titan founded the venture capital firm Small Ventures to focus on energy, technology, and entertainment. For the past 15 years, he's been making start-ups' dreams come true, and he's done...more

PCA 2012: A change in atmosphere with 24 left

There is rain forecast today and perhaps that atmospheric pressure drop has filtered through to the main event. The air is thick with tension. Gone is the laughter of yesterday. There is no banter, no smiling for the cameras. Twenty-four players remain and just eight will make it through to...more

PCA 2012: Jaka leads the main as high rollers take their seats

It's a bumper day at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure today with not one but TWO major events getting underway in the tournament room of Atlantis. The first you'll be familiar with. The Main Event reaches another crucial stage today (are there any non-crucial stages?) as the remaining 24 players...more

11 January

PCA 2012: Jaka reprising role as chip leader headed to Day 5

Like dust motes in a sunlit room, PCA players get hard to pin down on Day 4. One minute they're sailing carefree at the rafters, and in a blink they're gone and forgotten as if they weren't ever there at all. It's a fickle business, poker. Defying that axiom, however,...more

PCA 2012: Eating sand, short sleeves and tension mounting

The tournament floor seems to be getting busier, even as the number of players gets fewer. As the clock ticks down, just three tables are in action beyond the two feature tables, and the first hints of crowd trouble are brewing; curious railbirds fluttering forward to catch glimpse of...more

PCA 2012: Duhamel wins $5K side event for $240,000

2010 World Champion and Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel has won the PCA $5,000 NL event for $239,830. The 24-year-old French-Canadian beat a clutch of other Team PokerStars Pros including Jason Mercier who came third for $80,460 and the current world champion Pius Heinz who came fifth for $45,980. Duhamel's...more

PCA 2012: The Bear fights on, 32 remain as Greenstein goes for gold

Barry Greenstein sits at a table absent-mindedly fiddling with his remaining chips. There aren't many of them, little more than 100,000 but in many ways he should be thankful to have any at all. Just moments before Greenstein had got it in with J♣T♣, against the J♥J♦ of Kyle Julius...more

PCA 2012: PokerStars qualifier Drover making mark

A message wings its way to PokerStars Blog HQ here at the PCA. "Get some coverage of Mark Drover already. Kid is killing it!" This was one of his friends from back home in Newfoundland, Canada. Always willing to please, we set about investigating Drover, who it turns out is...more

PCA 2012: The view from the rail

Amid the television cameras, the roving camera crews, the sound men, the tournament reporters, Robbie Thompson calling the action, a couple of production staff and meters of cable on the main stage, there stands a lady in flip flops, wearing a pink and purple floral dress, her arms crossed...more

PCA 2012: Keeping up with the joneses

There is no methadone for the kind of jones the staff members of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure suffer every year. Nothing can ease the twitching, sometimes painful itch, the one that rises up like a sharp-toothed nicotine fit or deep, maniacal hunger. Imagine a fasting monk at a Vegas buffet....more

PCA 2012: Martin Jacobson closing in on another final table

Martin Jacobson sits at one of the outer tables, chin resting on a water bottle, arms lightly resting on the rail, hands covering his cards, a stack of blue 5,000 chips out in front. He looks relaxed. His opponent, Marc Tschirch, looks less so. The German had led 31,000...more

PCA 2012: Sergio Garcia out of bounds

He makes a point of saying that golf his is life, but poker is his entertainment. For much of this week, it seemed that pro golfer Sergio Garcia could make an awful lot of money from his hobby at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but he will have to be content...more

PCA 2012: Patient, poised, powerful Pagano

The story started ten years ago. As PokerStars was opening its virtual doors for the first time a young Italian was making a $50 deposit which 10 years later would make him one of the most accomplished Italian players of the game. The stories of PokerStars and Pagano have...more

PCA 2012: The Most Interesting Thing About Each Table Awards

Day 4 begins with eight tables and 64 players. Now that the field has been reduced to a manageable size, it's easy to see the points of import and interest in the area past the stanchions. We spent a bit of time this morning taking a look at the seat...more

PCA 2012: Forty must go

Within the next half an hour, 64 of the PCA main event chairs will have people in them. Sometime within, oh say, seven hours after that, only 24 of the seats will be full. It's what happens between then and now that concerns us today. In the world of poker...more

Super Tuesday 1/10/12: Show the money to fold_em_sho7

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure didn't put a damper on tonight's Super Tuesday as 366 players registered. The $366,000 prize pool was split up amongst the final 45 players with the winner expecting to earn over $70,000. After an attempt at a five-handed deal failed, fold_em_sho7 maintained their chip lead...more

10 January

PCA 2012: Phil D'Auteuil leads sprint to finish

We were promised six levels for today. It was the sensible, prudent and time honoured choice; cutting the field by the required amount and leaving players a short day tomorrow. But in making that choice they could not have expected things to go so quickly. We mean really quick....more

PCA 2012: Xuan Liu, last woman standing

"How much did you have at the start of the hand?" This was Xuan Liu staring intently at Nicholas Grippo on the button, who had three-bet her early position raise. The answer was around 200,000, about two-thirds of her own towers of yellow 1,000 and blue 5,000 chips. She passed....more

PCA 2012: Goldilocks. The Bear, & 140 characters

This story should have Barry Greenstein listed as a co-author, because, in all fairness, he wrote half of it. Greenstein is doing very well in the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event, but you don't need me to tell you that. Greenstein will tell you the whole story himself, as...more

PCA 2012: Stalling with 97 left

Marty Debruhl sat spinning a single chip between two fingers. Martin Jacobson had opened to 12,000 from the hijack and the action had passed to Debruhl in the big blind for 6,000 of his 31,000 stack. The tall American kept looking back over his shoulder at the clock, which showed...more

PCA 2012: Going, going, but nowhere near gone

It look about 45 minutes to burst the bubble this afternoon and as we approach the half way stage of the scheduled six levels some 79 players have been eliminated. They now clutch pay-out tickets and wait in line for their reward; some happy, some disappointed, but at least...more

PCA 2012: Forced out

Leif Force has been eliminated from the poker tournament, and we're going to make an example of him. As of this very moment, we've reached the point at which only ten percent of the starting field remains. This milestone represents some nine hundred eliminations since we started this affair on...more

PCA 2012: Side events rocking

While the main event field shrinks, so action in the side events at Atlantis grows. We told you yesterday about some of the wacky variants being played out, including the Win the Button, a no-limit hold'em game where the player who wins the pot gets the button on the next...more

PCA 2012: Behind the cameras

I don't think I've ever watched any Spanish television but, from what I've just seen, it must be odd. Juan Manuel Pastor was being interviewed by EPT presenter Gael Garcia Diaz and thought nothing of barking like a dog into the camera before screaming for security after being pounced on...more

PCA 2012: Freeroller still going Strong

Warren Strong had never played a live poker tournament in his life when he won a freeroll to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Here for free, with $10,000 tournament buy-in, flights and accommodation at Atlantis thrown in, Strong already considers himself a winner. But the dream is not over yet: in...more

PCA 2012: Post bubble ergo proptor bubble

I'm not sure there's a greater change in atmosphere, in any pursuit, than that of the bubble bursting in a high stakes poker tournament. From one minute to the next the mood changes from nervous tension to relaxed joy. You may not have won, but the pressures of playing...more

PCA 2012: Potential Happiness

Think of a child on a swing. He's kicked, pushed, and kicked himself with such joy that he is now as high in the air as the swing will take him. Now, stop the video. There the boy is, suspended above the air in that sweet spot that--when you finally...more

PCA 2012: The malady of captain Babak Malekain

Two-thirds of the way through play yesterday it was brought to our attention that one chair had been vacant since noon. That stack, which started at 136,000, had slowly eroded in a sea of blinds as its captain, Babak Malekain, who had been struck down by a terrible sickness, failed...more

PCA 2012: Once more unto the beach, dear friends

If Henry V was a poker player, I doubt many would want to beat him - he had a terrible temper and a habit of invading France. That said, he was a fine motivator of men, at least according to Shakespeare. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood This was...more

9 January

2012 PCA: Faraz Jaka flush going into Day 3

We know these three things about Faraz Jaka. First, he could survive in the wild with a can of tuna and easy access to an able bartender. Second, his name is exceptionally fun to sing to the tune of Frère Jacques. Third, his performance on Day 2 of the PCA...more

PCA 2012: High stakes PCA poker

In the same room Day 1 of the $100,000 Super High Roller played out, the high stakes games have been running. It is a place that only the biggest players and super rich can enter, let alone play within. As I linger outside, garnering several suspicious looks from the policeman...more

PCA 2012: Sergio Garcia, from PGA to PCA

In 2002, during a practice round for the Masters at Augusta, Sergio Garcia did something spectacular. Renowned for his powerful drives, he sent his tee shot on the notorious par 5, 575-yard second hole a full 322 yards straight down the middle. His second shot, with a 2-iron, was smacked...more

PCA 2012: The solutions to all of poker's problems

Problems arise, solutions are found. It's the way the world works and life is better for it. Some of mankind's greatest inventions came about through innovation and need. Spectacles for instance, underpants too and more recently the double ristretto venti nonfat organic chocolate brownie frappuccino extra hot with foam...more

PCA 2012: David Labchuk wins Canada Cup

David Labchuk is used to making adjustments. He does it for a living. The chiropractor from Calgary spends his professional time cracking, manipulating, and working his patients back to normal. "I don't know what it's going to be like back in Calgary," he said. "Everyone is going to be asking...more

PCA 2012: Do you know Babak Malekain?

Do you know Babak Malekain? The Swedish player started the day with 134,800 and is yet to be seen at the felt today. His stack has been dwindling at an accelerating rate and currently sits silent, unhappy and directionless on 80,000. If you know Malekain, we suggest you send him...more

PCA 2012: Fancy a little bit on the side?

PokerStars live events have long been admired for providing a veritable feast of side events. But while most offer the usual array of no-limit hold'em, PLO or even mixed games, nothing has ever quite matched up to what's on offer at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this week. This is, after...more

PCA 2012: "Luck" of the tournament leader board

It's an argument with gaping holes but one made frequently nonetheless, predominantly by people unfamiliar with the game or those with an axe to grind: poker is all about luck. No one denies there's some luck involved; the shuffle by its nature is just that, as is getting to...more

PCA 2012: Doing the double

There are three players among the 310 remaining who have won this event before; they are Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier (2008, $2,000,000), Harrison Gimbel (2010, $2,200,000) and Galen Hall (2011, $2,300,000). Each faces an uphill task to repeat the monumental task of winning this year's PCA, but all three have the...more

PCA 2012: Gone with a whisper

People often exclaim, usually in a frothing orgy of schadenfreude, "Oh, how the might have fallen!" It's meant to convey some sort of great import, some crashing collapse of giants. At the PCA, when the mighty fall, it happens with a barely audible sigh. If you hadn't seen it with...more

PCA 2012: Reputations mean nothing to Santos

Two European Poker Tour champions, a WSOP and double WPT champion, and another WPT champion sit at the same table. Squeezed between them is PokerStars qualifier Roberto Bermejo Santos from Spain, a man who many would say has a terrible seat draw today. But poker is a fickle game. While...more

PCA 2012: The curious case of Faraz Jaka and the tin of tuna

Faraz Jaka knows how to get at fish, no matter the obstacle or barrier. At around 5.30pm yesterday afternoon, on his day off from the main event, Jaka tweeted "Anyone have any ideas how I can open a can of Tuna without a can opener or a knife?" It...more

PCA 2012: Aren't you the man they used to call Peter Eichhardt?

Part of this job is having results, images and names from random poker tournaments engraved into your skull. It's not always a problem, or wasn't. Having started to cover the European Poker Tour in season two I got to around Season six and noticed results were no longer sticking...more

PCA 2012: A public health message

It must be said. Why it must be said, I don't know, but apparently, it must be said. Poker tournament players, I implore you...wash your hands when you leave the bathroom We live in an era in which germs are one of the greatest threats to humanity. For the love...more

PCA 2012: Three champs, one room

"Some of my friends are pros," said Eugene Katchalov. It sounded like a placating statement made by someone accused of bigotry, as it was it was merely Katchalov explaining to a member of the Team PokerStars Pro Q&A audience that pros don't soft play each other. If it had...more

PCA 2012: Lights, cameras, action... out

A brief look through the seat draw showed one immediate table of interest. Thrown together by the fate of the random number generator, or names on pieces of paper drawn from a hat (or whatever mechanism they use these days) were four members of Team PokerStars Pro. It was a...more

PCA 2012: Januar-Eh Nine sit down for Canada Cup

In the far corner of the main tournament room of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, it looks like a hockey game could break out at any moment. Eight men and one woman are lined up in front of media row, all of them decked out in hockey jerseys from all over...more

PCA 2012: Looking on the bright side

Welcome back to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, now in its fifth day. That means Day 2 of the Main Event, the combined field under the same roof, the same glorious sunshine above that roof, and for the lucky at least, there that sunshine shall stay. A total of 544...more

Shamandez conjures up a Sunday Million win

There's a bar on the ground floor of the Atlantis' Coral Tower. As hotel bars go, it's nothing out of the ordinary. The overstuffed chairs are sufficiently comfortable, the cocktails priced a bit higher than one would like, and the internet is as consistent as you'll get on Paradise Island....more

8 January

Alex Venovski tops Pagano and Mattern to lead Day 2

In summing up the second day of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event here's what happened in the tournament room today. Alex Venovski may not have planned to do so but finished chip leader on 194,000. Several people, like Phil D'Auteuil on 165,000 and Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano...more

PCA 2012: Luca Pagano's lost cause

Luca Pagano has a dilemma. Does he buy some more underwear or keep on the ones he's wearing today? He is flying high in chips and may want to keep his lucky undergarments, but if not he'd have to buy some more because he has not seen his luggage since...more

PCA 2012: Raise your glasses for the happy couple

Journalism is all about sources, both using and verifying them. When it turned out that a Swede was behind one table playing through to the end of the day fully loaded with red wine it was to roving poker and aviation reporter (and fellow Swede) Erik Rosenberg that we...more

PCA 2012: Horizons new for Thurman and Becker

If you take a look at Team PokerStars Online player Kevin Thurman's profile page you'll read about a man turning his back on his regular job to find a new challenge with which to liven up his career. Thurman, who plays under the name 'WizardOfAhhs' found an answer by turning...more

PCA 2012: Liv Boeree, the lady from Kent

Among the sea of Twitter and other assorted social media outpourings from players during a large-scale tournament like this, one in particular jumped out as warranting further investigation. "Moved to the feature table. Got the drunkest Norwegian ever to my left singing 'lady from Kent' and telling seat 3 he...more

PCA 2012: Going a round with Heath Herring

Poker attracts players of all sizes, occupations and backgrounds. Labourers chip away beside highfaluting aristocrats, diminutive Italian maestros spray chips into lanky American traders. Poker is the great leveller. The cards do not respect size or strength nor, like marathon running, budget airlines or Michelin starred restaurants, do they...more

Sunday Warm-Up: WINWINWINWIN for BAGBAGBAGBAG after three-way chop

If you have ever played a sport to a tie that required some form of overtime for the contest to be settled then tonight's heads-up match for the $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up was poker's equivalent. 3,619 players would drop their $215 buy-ins with a shot at $113,677.77 first prize, but...more

Canada's xAlyssaxx Marks the Spot with Jan. 8 Women's Sunday Victory

The numbers are already climbing, and this is only the second Women's Sunday of 2012. Call me Positive Patty (not really, please), but I believe that this tournament is going to regularly climb over 300 registrants as the weeks come and go. If that $10K guarantee is surpassed week after...more

Battle of the Planets: Smiling all the way to the bank, jusTTsmile wins $12K

We will call this the Battle of Planets: Holiday Edition. Nothing different about awarding $50,000 to our SnG champions from the various "planets" buy-in levels except the timing. Usually the big freeroll happens during the last Sunday of each month but since PokerStars recognized that the players might want to...more

PCA 2012: Time to salute another PokerStars landmark

You might think 31 years of age was too young for someone to be awarded a lifetime achievement award, and 27 for that matter, and in a lot of domains you'd be absolutely right. But poker doesn't fit neatly into the real world, its participants subscribe to an alternative...more

PCA 2012: Action everywhere

It takes 1'37" to wander stride purposefully back from the press room to the PokerStars blogging desk on the tournament floor after picking up a free, tepid coffee doing some important research. During that small walk you can really see how much action there is the PCA. It is...more

PCA 2012: So, what's Isildur1 doing TODAY?

When it came time to square up the table for nine-handed play, the dealer told Viktor "Isildur1" Blom he had to move directly in the center of the felt. It must be exactly how he's felt for the past 24 hours: at the center of the poker world. Known almost...more

PCA 2012: Mattern the man of the moment (again)

Three EPT champions sit at table 39; Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Arnaud Mattern, as well as reigning Grand Final champ Ivan Freitez. Any of the three could be well chipped at this point but it is Frenchman Mattern, one of the players to have come closest to...more

PCA 2012: When will it end?

Poor Jason Mercier. This is a man who has never made it to Day 2 of a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event; a man who, despite seemingly winning every other big prize on the planet, cannot seem to get off the ground here. $7.6 million in tournament winnings he may...more

PCA 2012: Looking for your big break

Well done. You've made it unscathed through the first two levels of the PCA main event. You now have a 15 minute break. Ironically, you're about to find out that the break can be more exhausting that actually playing as you compete with 700 other players to make the...more

PCA 2012: Randy "nanonoko" Lew on his World Record attempt

Everybody in the main tournament room of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event today is playing one table apiece. Randy Lew is playing 40 games at one time and logging more than 3,200 hands of poker per hour. As of this moment, Lew is profitable for the day (making almost...more

PCA 2012: Probing the brain of Greenstein

Dragging yourself out of bed before midday to play poker is hard enough for many poker players, getting up an hour earlier to sit in on a Q&A is harder still but, believe me, it's worth the effort. At 11am this morning, equipped with 40oz of hot coffee and...more

PCA 2012: The $8.7 million lucky hoodie

Walk around any poker tournament and a popular garment of choice is the hoodie, even if we are in the Caribbean heat of the Bahamas. Over on table 34, a young man sat down in a cream hoodie, checked shorts and trainers. Just another young gun taking a crack at...more

PCA 2012: The January Man

Among the field today, amid row after row of PokerStars hoodies, sports team clothing and beach shoes, is a player as identifiable for his name as for his appearance. When Bertrand "ElkY Grospellier first took a seat at a poker table he did so as a professional gamer, a...more

PCA 2012: You're free to leave

There is a $1 toll to cross the bridge onto Paradise Island, but it's free to leave. The economics of tourism don't need a better example of supply and demand. Paradise Island is home to Atlantis. It's the Caribbean's biggest resort, a gigantic, opulent place where sculptures are insured at...more

PCA 2012: Morning in Atlantis as Day 1B begins

Morning at Atlantis, and provided you weren't up late until morning, this can be the best part of the day at Atlantis, particular on some of the resorts unspoiled beaches. It may be a little different during the day, with several hundred people competing for their own corner of...more

7 January

Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom on his PCA Super High Roller win

...more

Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom talks about PCA Super High Roller win

In a rare video interview, Team PokerStars Pro Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom has talked about his joy at winning his first live tournament. And what an event to do it in: the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller. Team PokerStars Pro Blom picked up $1.25 million for his impressive win--beating...more

PCA 2012: Repik's long repast & Day 1A chip lead

There is one certain way to make sure you don't squander your chip lead after a healthy repast. You simply don't come back from dinner. This is the strategy employed by Russian businessman Alex Repik on Day 1A of the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event. Repik, most famous in...more

Viktor 'Isildur1' wins $1.25m at PCA Super High Roller

It's the mark of a true champion: to master online poker, almost redrawing it in your own image, before transferring that gift to the live poker stage while the eyes of the world are watching. Not only that; only a true champion could do this against the best opposition,...more

PCA 2012: Nitsche challenging the kings of cashing

A list was released a little while back by that website which lists live winnings, you know the one, showing the most internationally prolific tournament players. This was not a celebration of value but of intercontinental vigour, totalling the number of countries in which individual players have cashed. Topping...more

PCA 2012: When the robot slows down

There are around one hundred tables in the main tournament room of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and Randy Lew is only allowed to play one of them today. He's a leashed dog, a grounded pilot, a caged bird. Forcing Lew to sit and look at one deck and a mere...more

PCA 2012: Empty chair leads the Main Event

I appreciate this is hard to believe, but an empty chair is currently runaway chip leader of the PCA Main Event. Alex Repik had such a good start to his tournament that he has not bothered coming back from the dinner break, which finished well over an hour and 20...more

PCA 2012: Letting the cards do the talking

Victor Ramdin and Jude Ainworth sit just one table apart, both well chipped with 90,000 and 80,000 respectively. Both players are well known for playing styles that live on the wild side of town. Ainsworth seems to possess a pathological hatred of folding. The Irishman, who has enjoyed prodigious...more

PCA 2012: Final three ensure fitting finale

If the lengthy period of three-handed play has been light on the drama of earlier levels, it's not something that is any concern to those packing the bleachers on the feature table. Three rows of seats are full, with others mounting the railings at the back for a better...more

PCA 2012: Three-handed stalemate

Stalemate at the final table as the final three players play on, fairly deep in blinds but Viktor Blom still in the driving seat, stacked up with more than that of Galen Hall and Dan Shak combined. Blom seems in control in other aspects also. For some time Hall...more

PCA 2012: Marty 'TheLipoFund' Mathis up and running again

Marty 'TheLipoFund' Mathis is one of poker's good guys. A slim, effervescent and happy go lucky grinder, Mathis is of those young 2+2'ers who, were it not for cruel fate, could be a lot better known than he is. At last year's PCA Mathis missed out on a top...more

PCA 2012: Moneymaker poisoned, persevering

Chris Moneymaker has a chip stack in front of him. Chris Moneymaker doesn't want to spew. These two sentences could easily be related, but they aren't. Moneymaker sits across the room with headphones over his ears and mirrored shades covering a pair of eyes that would likely reveal a very...more

PCA 2012: Topping the leaderboard

The European Poker Tour Player of the Year race is always hotly contested. The rankings take into account EPT main events as well as all side events with a buy-in of more than $/€/£1,000, meaning you won't necessarily sail to the top just by bagging a couple of EPT titles....more

PCA 2012: Blom in Bloom

Just 12 months ago Viktor Blom was unleashed onto the poker world. He'd been around a while, as Isildur1, but now his identity was confirmed; the young Swede with the innocent face, emerging from behind a curtain. Finally, it put a face to the man who had been pulling...more

PCA 2012: Caribbean booty, the PCA player bag

Qualifying online for the PCA main event gets you entry into the $10,000 main event at a heavily discounted price. It also gets you a room at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island for the week and enough spending money on your room's folio to keep you fed and...more

PCA 2012: All in the script for Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is used to tournament poker. He's used to big buy-in tournament poker and he's used to reaching final tables. He's used to watching others crash out before him and he used to making the money. He's also used to being eliminated, something he accepts as an everyday...more

PCA 2012: The stalkers are everywhere

It was nighttime when Ryan answered the phone in his room at Atlantis. The man on the other end of the line asked for the lady staying in the room. Ryan politely asked why the caller was asking for "Adrienne." "He wanted me to meet him somewhere!" Adrienne explained. See,...more

PCA 2012: Been there, Dunnett

For most people, having to cut short a dream holiday in Thailand would be a chore. Not so for Stephen Dunnett, who did just that to jet over to the Bahamas to play the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Why was he happy? He got here for free. Dunnett is one of...more

PCA 2012: Leaving empty handed

If you want to see what disappointment looks like, take a look at Scott Seiver. This is now impossible of course. Seiver was in no mood to stick around after his elimination in sixth pace, the last place to finish in the Super High Roller that comes with absolutely...more

PCA 2012: On the Super High bubble

It's taken just 35 minutes to lose two players from the final table, leaving six. We're on the bubble. If this wasn't already obvious you could also take the increase in the level of laughter as a sign that financial compensation as on the way, Daniel Negreanu and Scott...more

PCA 2012: The Walking Dead (Money)

Big name pros, EPT winners, freeroll winners, online grinders and have-a-go heroes: they're all here with a 30,000 chip stack and a shot at the PCA title. Some players swaggered in enjoying the glances of recognition, others sauntered through in flip flops more concerned with the coffee in their...more

How to use the PokerStars Blog's new features

If you are a longtime PokerStars Blog reader, you have likely noticed some big changes in recent days. Beginning this week at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, we have introduced a brand new reporting system to bring you live updates from the field. The new system pretty much speaks for itself,...more

PCA 2012: Everyone's here, we're ready to play

The Super High Rollers were supposed to start at 12 noon but, as hinted at yesterday, these guys aren't exactly sticklers for prompt starts and an hour ticked by before the stage looked anything like ready; the eight finalists, the floor staff and TV crew waiting patiently for someone...more

PCA 2012: Super High Rollers back to find a champion

What we did expect when play resumed in the Super High Roller yesterday was that the action wouldn't take long to play out. We were right there. What we didn't expect though was that it would be Isaac Haxton departing in ninth place to leave a final eight. Haxton...more

PCA 2012: Once more into the cavern for the main event

In Carlsbad, New Mexico, there is a giant cave filled with bats. To the average eye, they are an unorganized mammalian mass with no direction or purpose. But each night at dusk, those bats rise as one from the mouth of the cave to feast upon their nightly supper. To...more

6 January

PCA 2012: Galen Hall leads Super High Roller final table

In a $100,000 buy-in tournament, there are few people who have anything to prove. When the PCA Super High Roller tournament kicked off yesterday, the field had a combined live earnings of more than $100 million. These are not men who need another tournament victory to mark their worth in...more

PCA 2012: Shutter Speed freeroll in the picture

The PCA isn't all about the action at the tables, it's sometimes about the action off it, and not just troubled flights or troubled juice outlets. Visitors to Paradise Island can take part in another type of contest, one that relies on speed, dexterity and a good camera. Actually...more

PCA 2012: Erik on Erik as Negreanu busts Seidel

You've got to give it to Erik Seidel. He'd just been knocked out of a $100,000 buy-in tournament pretty close to the money by his All Time Money list rival Daniel Negreanu and still agreed to do a TV exit interview. Floor producer Erik Janssen ushered Seidel to one...more

PCA 2012: Lew ready for World Record

Randy Lew is the world's nicest machine. His smile is the kind mothers would buy for their children if such things were available at Macy's. His fingers work like virtuoso pianist. Instead of music, Lew makes money. Now he's preparing to set a Guinness World Record live at the PokerStars...more

PCA 2012: Your chance to meet the Pros

This is the biggest poker festival in the world outside of Las Vegas, so it's no surprise the best players are here. Many of them are Team PokerStars Pros, the elite band of merry men and women who travel the world and fly the PokerStars flag (or at least wear...more

PCA 2012: We are poker

As you walk into the rotunda that leads into the main tournament room here at the Atlantis resort you are confronted by ten foot high pictures of Daniel Negreanu, Ivan Demidov, ElkY and Liv Boeree, each of which are adorned with slogans such as 'we are competition', 'we are strong'...more

PCA 2012: Familiar territory for Molson

Plugging away at the Super High Roller rock face is Will Molson. The Canadian is among that group of players who seems to do the most damage when the stakes are ramped up high. The most obvious example came last year when Molson took down a dramatic (regular) High...more

PCA 2012: On the run with Galen Hall

It needs to be said. 2011 PCA champion Galen Hall and I have some things in common. We're both men, of course, which probably needn't be said, but there it is. We both know the rules of poker. We both need to go to the bathroom more than your average...more

PCA 2012: Lights, cameras and keep out of shot

The Super High Roller began rolling yesterday in the plush confines of a private room, carpeted, cordoned off and with a well-stocked bar, the familiar din of conversation between 30 players used to taking each other on in the richest environments. But today they switch to new environment, the...more

PCA 2012: Negreanu and Seidel battling the long game

Around this time last year Daniel Negreanu was heads up and even stacked against Eugene Katchalov in the $100,000 Super High Roller. During a short pause, instigated by the TV crew's attempts to to re-arrange stacks to opposite ends of the table, Kid Poker had just enough time to find...more

Big dreams and big plans for PCA Qualifiers

The PokerStars Women Live event at the PCA starts in a little over a week and to get things rolling, we wanted to introduce you to some of the players who have won seats through satellite qualifiers. The three players profiled here will fly in next week to enjoy three...more

PCA 2012: Super High Roller & the need for speed

This introduction to the second day of the $100,000 Super High Roller needs a preface. It's important that you know we here at the PokerStars Blog appreciate our jobs a great deal. There are not many opportunities in life to watch men plunk down $100,000 (and in some cases double...more

5 January

PCA 2012: Haxton leads Paradise curtain raiser

The first day of the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the bag, with 12 players eliminated from the curtain raiser, a high maintenance example of how poker has its great but also has its elite, 30 of them here today. For good measure it also has its rich;...more

PCA $100K Super High Roller underway

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PCA 2012: Paradise Island prop bets

Poker players love prop bets. They fill the time between events and can often be a great way to get out of it at the end of a festival, normally courtesy of poker playing friends who have enjoyed more success and are feeling liberally confident with their winnings. Using...more

PCA 2012: What makes a High Roller specialist?

We all know what it takes to be a winning poker player. You need a sharp mind, an aggressive streak that knows when to let go and a fearlessness that can get you in trouble out there in the real world. But what does it take to be a...more

PCA 2012: Shirley you can't be serious?

Or: "Terror at 30 feet." Flying to Nassau from almost anywhere else in the world involves a dramatic change of pace. From the bustling hubs of places like London or Atlanta, you arrive in a fluorescently lit hall, to the sound of a live tin-pan band and staff welcoming...more

PCA 2012: Rebuy! Wait. What?

In a room where people are playing a $100,000 buy-in tournament, the floorman doesn't need a microphone to be heard. Oh, sure, there is a lot of chitchat, but the Super High Roller event is a quiet one, and announcements aren't hard to hear. The most recent message was one...more

PCA 2012: Rays of sunshine

There was a school of 35 cownose ray pups swimming effortlessly around the pool in tight formation. Round and round their incubation pool they went, watched by a small crowd who had stopped on a wooden bridge overhead. Suddenly a few seagulls arrived, perching on the rocks by the side....more

PCA 2012: Eugene Katchalov, player of the year

While many were polishing off turkey and toasting in a new year with cheap champagne, Eugene Katchalov was bathing in the winning glow of his first Player of the Year title. The Ukranian-born, American-bred Team PokerStars Pro had an incredible twelve months on the live circuit fighting off stiff...more

PCA 2012: Going whole hog at The Poop Deck

"We've only got one hog," the lady said. The five people in front of her leaned closer and asked her to repeat herself. "We've only got one hog," she said again. She stood at the edge of the table, support stockings on her legs, and a serving tray propped against...more

PCA 2012: The Jamba Run

"The Jamba Run" is a familiar part of any day to players at the PCA. A short walk out the main door of the Coral Tower, across the taxi rank, past the multi-million dollar yachts parked in the marina and along a row of shops, sits Jamba Juice, the...more

PCA 2012: The big grin

This place is full of happy people. Look around Atlantis on a warm, sunny Caribbean day such as this and you'll see grins wider than the bridge that connects our gargantuan resort on Paradise Island to Nassau. Some happy folk are families enjoying their dream vacation, but others are poker...more

PCA 2012: Behind the castle walls with the kings of poker

The people who buy in to a $100,000 poker tournament are used to being treated differently. Daniel Negreanu has a personal assistant who makes him vegan Big Macs. Eugene Katchalov is a Bluff magazine cover boy. ElkY is...well, he's ElkY. They are people who routinely earn seven figures a year...more

PCA 2012: No soft spots in The Super High Roller

The variance of your starting table draw in a tournament should never be underestimated. It is, after all, the foundation upon which you build your main event campaign. You might get seated on a table full of nervous, never seen before faces. That's a good thing. On the flip...more

PCA 2012: Welcome to Paradise

The familiar glare of out of season sunshine. The now welcome chintz of the Lagoon Tower. The smell of whatever it is they put the giant aquariums. The warm feeling you get from the Coral Bar right next door to the check-in desk. Happy children wearing "This is what...more

3 January

bar-bar9999 grabs lead early, finishes strong to take 1/3/12 Super Tuesday

After three straight weeks of 400-plus-player fields, the first Super Tuesday of the year saw 388 come out for the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney. That field built a prize pool of $388,000, still well above the Super Tuesday's $150K guarantee. The top 45 finishers made the cash, with...more

PCA 2012: Wheels up for Paradise Island

There is a shade of blue that's hard to match on a terrestrial color wheel. It looks like a perfect sky, one that shimmers like a drunkard's mirror, one that seems like it was created by some wizard at Pixar studios. It's likely the first thing that will strike you...more

PokerStars Women's Poker League: December Winners & 2011 Honorees

Happy New Year! As everyone celebrates the dawn of 2012, we must make sure to honor those who excelled in 2011. The Women's Poker League wound down its year of tournaments in two divisions, and we not only have the December cash prize winners, but we can announce the yearly...more

2 January

Eugene Katchalov wins Bluff Player of the Year, ElkY second

When Eugene Katchalov looks back on his poker career, he will be hard-pressed to find a year better than 2011. It was the year he became a Team PokerStars Pro. It was the year he won his first WOSP bracelet. It was a close second for his highest-earning year. As...more

PokerStars 1-1-12 weekend review

Well, here it is. The year 2012. New chances. New resolve. New opportunities for all of those end-of-the-world predictions to finally come true. It's a glorious and historic time, to be sure. When historians of 2112 tell the tale of 2012, some of them will start much like this: And,...more

1 January

Ifold2ndnuts wins, shaniac seventh in seven-way chopped Sunday Million

New Year's Day brings its own excitement. It's more than a holiday for many people, as the start of a new calendar year also signifies new beginnings for poker players with goals to be met, bankrolls to be built, and old bad beats to be wiped from recent memory. Of...more

Sunday Warm-Up: jenbizzle sizzles a $97K victory to start 2012

You wake up in a dark room. There is a faint odor of champagne and confusion in the air what is your next move? Well, for 3,100 players the next move was to sign up for the New Year's hangover edition of the $500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up. These players are...more

Archie1833 wins $2,454 in New Year's Day Women's Sunday

Happy New Year! As we welcome in 2012, there are great things on tap for female players on PokerStars. And why not kick things off with the Women's Sunday tournament? The staple in the list of Sunday "Specials" has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year, with prize...more

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