March 2012

31 March

EPT8 Campione: Jannick Wrang takes title and 640,000 Euro

Unlike in other events this season, those watching today kind of knew that this final table would be a long one. The reasons were obvious. For a start the days in Campione begin at 2pm rather than 12pm, but aside from this obvious logic (and that most final tables...more

EPT8 Campione: Railing strategy

Tournament director Teresa Nousiainen stood next to the final table announcing the introduction of the black and green 100,000 chip. Her information seemed to be largely ignored by the rail, which contained the likes of Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov, Cathy Hong, Roberto Romanello and several of the remaining players'...more

SuperStar Showdown: Blom out to a $198,438 lead over Haxton in million-dollar match

A lot of you thought it was too good to be true and the timing far too suspect. A million-dollar SuperStar Showdown on April Fools' weekend? Isaac Haxton and Viktor Blom playing $200/$400 no-limit hold'em for four hours a day until one felted the other? Surely we'd all tune in...more

EPT8 Campione: Busquet feeling the pressure

Olivier 'adonis112' Busquet has looked unflappable for the last week but is he starting to wobble under this late pressure? He twice made raises the last level that he's expressed dismay over after the hand had finished. Both were three-bets, both hands finished with him passing chips across the table....more

EPT8 Campione: De Visscher mounting a comeback, five remain

Koen De Visscher is a calm and collected sort. There are no histrionics, no hand waving or speech play, just sensible measured decisions. His final table had not been going well, his chip stack slowly bleeding away, yet De Visscher was outwardly showing little frustration. We decided to catch up...more

EPT8 Campione: Three in a row for the Danes?

We may not be on course for a first double winner to end the years of speculation as to who that might be (thanks a lot David Vamplew), but there is at least a statistic that could be equaled tonight. In the eight seasons of the European Poker Tour...more

EPT8 Campione: Deep stacked six-max

thumb-promo.jpg" src="/en/blog/ept-thumb-promo.jpg" width="130" height="100" class="mt-image-left" style="float: left; margin: 0 20px 20px 0;" />It's often said that the EPT has a great structure but at the moment it's looking like it might be just too good. Stefano Puccilli's bust out left six players with the shortest, Koen De Visscher, still...more

EPT8 Campione: Last of the locals take a bow

Sailing past the Casino right now is a small flotilla of sail boats, sheets fully hoisted and the wind on their backs, drifting slowly down Lake Lugano. The only thing disturbing the tranquility of it all being the man in a speed boat yelling at them through a bull...more

EPT8 Campione: Looking back from the stage

You might be wondering how things look behind the TV cameras, currently broadcasting this event around the world on EPT Live Lite, and on Italian television. Then again you might still be blinded by myodesopsia (ignore the red line that appears when you type that into Word) caused by...more

EPT8 Campione: Which countries crush the EPT?

We're keeping up with the times. You know, with all this Twitter malarkey. Yes, the @PokerStarsBlog twitter account has been cranking up its follower number and now sits proudly with 21,653 to its name. One of those followers, @vegetera, a Swedish online poker pro, got in touch with us to...more

EPT8 Campione: Introducing the players

Welcome to the final day of the European Poker Tour main event in Campione, Italy, where the last eight players, from a field of 570, will face off for one last time to win the title, the trophy, the Shamballa bracelet and €640,000. Play starts at 2pm, with every...more

30 March

EPT8 Campione: Soulier heads last eight into tricky finale table

End of day reports on the European Poker Tour are normally written late at night, in darkness, with the food gone, the bar closing and the debris of the day; beer bottles, plastic cups, sandwich crusts and ex-boyfriends, strewn across the floor, cast aside by players who also had...more

EPT8 Campione: EPT Live's James Hartigan looks on

The EPT has been ground-breaking in many ways but, in terms of spectators, none more so than with the live stream. Other tours and events have followed in its footsteps but the James Hartigan-fronted show continues to be the best around. EPT Live Lite, as introduced at Deauville earlier this...more

April Foolishness coming at PokerStars

So, this was a real problem. Yesterday I wrote this post about Viktor Blom and Isaac Haxton playing a heads-up match for $1 million this weekend. I thought it was pretty straight-forward and full of seriousness. But, noooooooo. Everyone in the comments and forums thought I was involved in some...more

EPT8 Campione: Finesse works for some, beating hell out of it works for others

The first level of play marked the departure of one of the last of this week's over-achievers; Panagiotis Gavriulidis. Gavriulidis was something of a tournament gorilla this week, approaching poker with the finesse of an cave man hammering a mammoth into shape. If his hand didn't fit a scenario...more

Team PokerStars Pros talk LAPT Season 5

This past week, the Latin American Poker Tour kicked off its fifth season with a stop in Viña del Mar, Chile, the first of five events that include Uruguay, Colombia and Peru. It marked the third time the LAPT has visited the Viña del Mar Enjoy Casino & Resort, and...more

EPT8 Campione: De Visscher's dreams coming to life

The decision was made last night that we would not stop at six levels and that we'd continue to play down to a final 24. Losing those two players, 26 down to 24, took an hour more leaving field and watching media tired and daydreaming of bed (does it count...more

EPT8 Campione: Busquet shrugging off the swings on way to first final

Olivier Busquet finished among the leaders last night, but not without having to endure some rough patches that could have eliminated a lesser player. In the break before the last level last night, or what was believed to be the last level until it was announced that it wasn't,...more

EPT8 Campione: Day 4 seat draw

Well, well, well, here we are again. Just 24 players remain, eight of which will make it through to the final table. Jannick Wrang starts as the chip leader but will have the discomfort of a deep stacked Fabrice Soulier sat on his immediate left. The last remaining EPT champion,...more

EPT8 Campione: The Campione way of life

Everyone seems to have settled in well to the Campione way of life after nearly a week in country, or in exclave. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means working late, getting up late, arriving at work early and wondering what anyone who lives here does to pay...more

29 March

EPT8 Campione: Jannick Wrang on top with 24 remaining

The plan was to play down to 24. Then, like responsible parents curtailing playtime, it was decided to play six levels and call it a night. Then, like an irresponsible parent, they were allowed to play on until 24, and that meant a late finish. Then it was decided...more

EPT8 Campione: Jannick Wrang hops into the chip lead

Poker is a game of incomplete information. If I was to tell you that Jannick Wrang had finished 9th on the MicroMillions leader board (he did) then you might think of him as a low stakes grinder with unrealised potential. Wrang, who qualified for this tournament on PokerStars, is currently...more

EPT8 Campione: De Visscher chasing second final table

He's held the chip lead today, now, after a hand just before the dinner break, has slipped to third. But Koen de Visscher remains one of the major contenders. "In the beginning of the day I was pretty short and I kept being short on the bubble and then...more

EPT8 Campione: Chasing the double crown

EPT winners are selfish. There have been 81 European Poker Tour main events, each of which have had a player's name chiselled into the history books, yet they've all conspired to leave the PokerStars Blog repeatedly banging out copy about an 'historic first double EPT winner'. And here we go...more

EPT8 Campione: It's not about the money (it is about the money)

There are some polite lies that are standard in poker tournaments, helpful little phrases handed out with player bags that allow the whole system to run smoothly, and without people falling out. "Nice hand," is one of them, usually only used when on the receiving end of a lunatic...more

EPT8 Campione: The bubble bursts. Oh no, it doesn't. oh yes, it does!

"We need to double check our numbers. All media to the side, please," announced tournament director Teresa Nousiainen. Joining the notepads (well, the ones that listened to Nousiainen's announcement) was Benas Molis. The Lithuanian stood by on the inside of the rail talking to friends (on the outside of the...more

EPT8 Campione: Keeping your head as everyone else loses theirs

We expected to burst the bubble within a level today, but play has been slow to get going with each of the last 99 quite keen to be among the last 88. Play has been particularly slow on table eight, where the game was halted for nearly ten minutes...more

All hail GodlikeRoy, newest member of Team Online

Team Online was looking at Oceania. It needed somebody under the Australia or New Zealand flag, someone who could represent the community there better than any player in that part of the world. There were many candidates. There aren't many poker players in the world who wouldn't take a spot...more

How I become the MicroMillions Player of Series winner

I am a big fan of all the tournament series on PokerStars. WCOOP, SCOOP and TCOOP have always been big successes and I try my best to get as good results as possible. When I first heard of MicroMillions my first thought was its another great idea but I assumed...more

SuperStar Showdow: Blom, Haxton to face off in $1 millon match

This was always going to happen, wasn't it? From the very first hand of the very first SuperStar Showdown in December 2010, it was always going to end up right here at this moment when Viktor "Isildur1" Blom and Isaac Haxton agreed to face off for $1 million. Today we...more

EPT8 Campione: Day 3 seat draw

Find below the Day 3 seat draw. Just 11 more players will bust before the money and among those most at risk are Thomas Butzhammer (48,200), Walter Blattler (48,100) and Raoul Refos (27,700). Eight previous EPT winners are still in the field making this a likely candidate for the...more

EPT8 Campione: Players back on dry land to play down to 24

The EPT party got underway in typical fashion last night, albeit on a boat. Revellers walked up the gangplank to the sound of dance music, echoing off the mountains, and wobbled off the gangplank having had a boating tour of the lake and a few cocktails, albeit after a...more

Estrellas Valencia in full swing

The PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour is once again underway, this time in Valencia, where Casino Valencia plays host to the second event of the season. Yesterday's Day 1A of the €1,000 + €100 event saw 176 players at the felt, 81 of them having qualified online on PokerStars. After eight...more

28 March

EPT8 Campione: Balazs Botond bags up the best to lead into Day 3

If Day 1 introduces the players, Day 2 introduces the likely winners. As the dust settled on another six levels (there really was dust, stoked up by the television people rigging up the set for later this week), a handful of players had separated from the pack to look...more

EPT8 Campione: What's not to like as Antonius returns to the tour

We should all hate Patrik Antonius. It's true. There's enough envy in poker to wallpaper his house and line the cat tray for years. He's the type of player you can forgive players for finding insufferable, the type of person that, in moments of low self-esteem, usually about five...more

EPT8 Campione: Fighting the postprandial dip

Eat food, play poker. This is a bad combination. After chowing down on a big dinner your body's blood glucose drops following the insulin secretion caused by your gut's reaction to the glucose in the food. That's the science, here's the result. You get lethargic. Trying to play poker, let...more

EPT8 Campione: What's that got to do with the price of tea?

If you need refreshment while playing EPT Campione the Casino have kindly laid on a few options. There's mineral water, bottles of the stuff, free for you to help yourself. There's also tea and coffee, but only the coffee is free, the tea isn't. I'm not sure what is...more

EPT Campione: Swingy Boeree chipping up in the shadow of Vamplew

David Vamplew's 320,000 stack is casting a large shadow from the corner of the tournament room. The young Brit isn't the kind of player you'd want to have sat on your left, let alone when he's one of the tournament chip leaders. Despite that Liv Boeree has successfully managed to...more

EPT8 Campione: Chip leader Chouity chasing recognition

Nicolas Chouity. Think of that name. What does it mean to you? Does it leap out as a premier league player, one who has taken down one of the biggest tournaments around and has the online results to back it up? Do you put Chouity's name alongside EPT winners such...more

EPT8 Campione: Hard working, tee-totalling, PoY chasing Romanello

When Roberto Romanello won EPT Prague two seasons ago he became an immediate favourite. For one he couldn't stop himself crying. Ordinarily this means you shuffle your feet, point into the distance and pretend you need to be there. But for Romanello, they were tears of relief, mixed with...more

Marcin Horecki snags MicroMillions Player of Series

I can imagine the scene inside the Abacus Bunker at PokerStars HQ. A frustrated employee stands in front of Abacus Prime counting the colored balls over and over again. "This can't be right!" he exclaims. "No one will believe us!" But again and again, the numbers come out the same....more

EPT8 Campione: Day 2 seat draw, now it's getting Italian

At the end of Day 1A we were struck by the calmness of proceedings. There was a quiet that we simply hadn't attached to European Poker Tour events in Italy. Where was the arm waving and the Latin histrionics? Where were the over-enthusiastic members of the Italian press shoving their...more

EPT8 Campione: Things hotting up, and other Day 2 cliches...

During the walk to work this morning, time was spent discussing whether it is always this warm in the last days of March in the foothills of the Alps. After a couple of days wondering there was no question this morning that Campione is getting hotter. You'd expect the...more

NoaTheArk survives Super Tuesday flood of foes, wins $92K (3/27/12)

The Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament that routinely brings out online poker's best, was back on tonight with another big field coming out to do battle. A total of 480 players bought in this week, creating a $480,000 prize pool and easily besting the event's $300K...more

27 March

EPT8 Campione: Chouity leads all star pack at end of Day 1

Not unlike its predecessor, Day 1B was not much on drama today. Well, not for the first hour at least. That's when Ilan Boujenah came to life. Agitated by what he deemed to be the unsporting actions of an opponent acting before him, Boujenah, who reached the final table...more

EPT8 Campione: Prize pool and payouts

The numbers have been crunched and the beads of the abacus have been flicked back and forth. We have the all-important final numbers for the first ever EPT Campione. The prize pool comes in at *drumroll* €2,764,500 and the winner will take home *more dramatic drumroll* €640,000. In all some...more

EPT8 Campione: It's in the bag for Faraz Jaka

The impeccably dressed Faraz Jaka is among the Day 1B field. What with his violet check shirt, neat trousers and elegant shoes, Jaka single-handedly raises the bar on sartorial standards among poker players, with the possible exception of that guy in the blue sequined hat and orthopaedic shoes. Even...more

EPT8 Campione: Boeree and Weisner on trolling and talent

Great strides have been made to make poker if not a more welcoming place to women, then certainly more accessible. While tournament fields are hardly equality levelled it's certainly no surprise for any table to have one or two female players seated at it. While the internet provides the playground...more

EPT8 Campione: Italians dominate but still await second winner

In the history of the European Poker Tour there has only been one Italian winner. It's not a lot (still one more than Spain, who must content themselves with the soccer World Cup) given the numbers of Italians who parade themselves on the EPT, not least in the six...more

EPT8 Campione: Passionate Hallaert a sucker for the game

Kenny Hallaert is fast becoming a regular face on the EPT, both on and off the tables. The 30-year old sits fourth on the Belgian all-time money list with $704,409, behind Kevin Vandersmissen, Team PokerStars Pro Pierre Neuville and Davidi Kitai (3rd to 1st on the podium respectively), which is...more

EPT8 Campione: New approach for Minieri about to pay off?

Chapter one of the book Italians of the EPT*, is about Luca Pagano. The cheerful champion of the Italian game has been one of the nation's success stories both on and off the table - this event is being run by Pagano events, for example. While he himself has...more

PokerStars Travel Blog: Madrid

Madrid was one of the EPT stops I had already frequented, as The EPT Grand Final in Season 7 had been held there last May. When we explored the city, I wanted to do something a little different to what we had seen before, so I did my usual research...more

Fore! Sergio Garcia headed to Estrellas Poker Tour

Make way in Valencia, because Sergio Garcia has a tee time. In this case, however, you won't find him on the first tee or sipping a cocktail at the 19th Hole. No, this week, Garcia is going caddy-less to Valencia for the Estrellas Poker Tour. While he may not have...more

EPT8 Campione: Walking on eggshells with Victor Ramdin

Preparation is a key element for continued success. Athletes must stretch, poker players must practice, all must eat. I may have been breaking some kind of poker etiquette by doing so, confronting Victor Ramdin at his starting table, but it had to be broached. At breakfast this morning, Victor, did...more

EPT8 Campione: Two more to watch

Those looking to spot the latent threats within the tournament field on Day 1B would do well to start with those showing impressive form on home soil. For that, look no further than Domenico Cordi and Andrea Benelli. Cordi doesn't have the long tournament Palmares, peppered with big wins....more

EPT8 Campione: Hills, bills and thrills ahead of Day 1B

If you like rain, open plains, a chill in the air, and plenty to do with your time, Campione might not be the place for you. Today it's 68 degrees with a light breeze coming in from the south, between mountains stretching thousands of feet into the sky. If...more

Welcome to EPT Campione


26 March

EPT8 Campione: Andreoni leads but it's Yunis who impresses on Day 1A

Campione is a quiet town and today was a quiet day. The European Poker Tour didn't exactly shout its arrival in this tiny Italian enclave, it simply invited itself in, promising to be good and not cause any trouble. There was no drama, no yelling, no histrionics, just eight...more

EPT8 Campione: All quiet as Kastle chips up

There's an unusual level of quiet across these late stages of Day 1A. It's really quite odd. I've conferred with some colleagues, they agree it's quite peculiar. Here we are in Italy surrounded by passionate players and yet things feel calmer than ice-cold Copenhagen. It's almost... supernatural. I can't place...more

EPT8 Campione: Yunis eyeing another big finish

Nick Yunis has been throwing his chips about a bit. As I approached his table to watch I was stopped by a member of the media who stepped in front of me, as if to warn me of some kind of danger ahead. "Nick Yunis is playing every hand,"...more

EPT8 Campione: No smooth running for variance embracing Karr

McLean Karr has become a regular face on the EPT, so much so that's he's beginning to blend into the crowd. That's no mean feat for a tall guy with a lot of table chat. At EPT Madrid he seemed to merge identities with Kevin MacPhee, although that didn't seem...more

EPT8 Campione: Looking back on the first Italian EPT

It was a bright, sunny afternoon on the Italian Riviera and final table day in the first Italian European Poker Tour main event. The ocean sparkled under the glare of the sun, scooters whizzed by at youthful speeds and beautiful people, wearing beautiful things, were about to spend the...more

Pavlikova takes FPS Snowfest

The France Poker Series has found its latest winner, and she is Veronika Pavlikova. On Sunday, Pavlikova, an 18-year-old, finished atop the 296-player field. Her take? The FPS trophy and €70,000. The PokerStars qualifier scored her first major victory in an event featured many seasoned players, including Guillaume Darcourt, Thibaud...more

PokerStars weekend review (3-25-12)

So, the PokerStars Blog didn't blow up this weekend, and as near as I can tell, that's a win. By all accounts, it should've been in shards all over the ethereal floors of the intertubes. That's how big the action was this weekend was. Not only did we have live...more

EPT8 Campione: Three to follow

Casino di Campione may be hosting its first European Poker Tour event, but for the Italian Poker Tour, this place is one of several regular stops that have made the IPT one of the most successful, and richest, of the regional tours. Not for the IPT modest €500 buy-ins,...more

Tuesdays get a makeover with new Women's Tuesday tournament

Let's face it, Tuesday is normally kind of a boring day. It doesn't have all the drama and angst of a Monday, and certainly none of the anticipation of a Friday. It doesn't even have the distinction of being "hump day," if you want to call that a distinction. But...more

EPT8 Campione: "Dude, where's my horse?" aka pros en route to Campione

Day 1A may be light on big name pros, but it always is. We may well have the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Theo Jorgensen, Alex Kravchenko, Pierre Neuville and Luca Pagano already grinding, as well as many other names, including Luca Falashi, James Mitchell, James Dempsey, Roberto Romanello and...more

EPT8 Campione: Italian enthusiasm for side events and parties

The growth of poker has reached fully around the globe spreading out from Las Vegas through Ireland into the UK, mainland Europe and Asia, down through Central and South America. You would be hard pressed, however, to find any nation that has taken to the game more enthusiastically than the...more

A VIP win of $5,236.15 for RiusVIP in the Women's Sunday First Birthday

Happy Birthday to us! We wanted to celebrate with all of our players and fans, so we doubled the guarantees and bounties for this special birthday Women's Sunday. And the response was fantastic! After a week of celebratory freerolls and today's live web chat, this was icing on our PokerStars...more

EPT8 Campione: Could you direct me to the Casino please?

A quick word about the tournament room, although to talk about that we must first have a quick word about the casino. As we mentioned in the introduction, Casino di Campione is a bit of a landmark in this area, a giant monolith, like the concrete sarcophagus of a...more

EPT8 Campione: A big lake, a big casino and a big field

The European Poker Tour inched its way into Campione d'Italia last night, a town resting almost unnoticed between the alpine foothills of Switzerland, for the next event of Season 8. I say inches because the EPT 18-wheeler would have found things a bit tight around here, the winding roads...more

MicroMillions: Zabaleta1 wins the Main Event!

Ten days, 100 events, thousands of prize winners, millions of dollars in cash. The PokerStars MicroMillions offered something for everyone and lived up to the hype in every way possible. Could the Main Event possibly match the previous 99 events and cap off a series to remember? You bet it...more

25 March

Koka77 captures March 25th Sunday Million title

Look, it's not a MicroMillions recap! This is something familiar, as it happens each and every Sunday. That's not to say the Sunday Million is mundane in any way, though. How can a $1 million guarantee be anything but exciting? Don't worry; I'm not waiting for an answer. True, the...more

MicroMillions: Sh_Ad1337 turns $11 into $35K in Event #97 (NLHE, Sunday Storm Spec. Ed.)

Like last Sunday's Event #32 -- another "Sunday Storm Special Edition" -- Event #97 offered players a $11 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament with an eye-boggling $400,000 guarantee attached. In last week's event, a total of 40,774 joined the fray, thus beating that guarantee by a few thousand. Swordsman885 sliced and...more

MicroMillions: ut12952 capitalizes in Event #99 ($5.50 NLHE Turbo)

The inaugural MicroMillions series is coming to an end and it has been a successful one featuring a few first time winners. Before tonight ut12952 had only won a few 180-man sit-n-gos but not anything like Event 99, a $5.50 NLHE turbo event. After tonight he can now say that...more

MicroMillions: Poker Own U pwns Event #100 ($1+R Hyper-Turbo)

After eleven days of round-the-clock tournament action, the inaugural PokerStars MicroMillions came to a close tonight. And what better way to celebrate than with the scorching action of a $1+R Hyper-Turbo? Serving as the MicroMillions' raging wrap party, Event #100 drew 10,532 revelers, who made 31,875 rebuys and 5,933 add-ons...more

Sunday Warm-Up: X marks the spot, Xading wins after three-way deal

100 tournaments in 10 day, can you say busy much? The MicroMillions main event drew 54,065 players tonight with a guarantee busting $1.08 million prize pool capping off a successful run for our micro-stakes players who got the same coverage as our big time tournaments for the past week and...more

MicroMillions: NeoForastero wraps up the series with a win in Event 96, $1+$ NLHE (3x-Turbo)

After a week and a half of swollen prize pools for small buy-ins, the MicroMillions entered its final day with one more full slate of events. On tap for just a $1 was 2012 MicroMillions Event 96, $1+R No-Limit Hold'em (3x-Turbo). Sure, the turbo nature of the tournament would...more

MicroMillions: Duttert does it, wins Event #94 ($5.50 NLHE); ZabrodinK binks $7K in chop

What a wild ride it has been over the last 11 days of PokerStars' first ever MicroMillions series! With just a few events left to count today -- including that $1 million guarantee Main Event -- the 100-event series has seen more than 1.2 million entrants participate, with many among...more

Battle of the Planets: Jackal69 preys on final table for victory, Team Online's Lind fifth

The recent success of the MicroMillions tournament series is another way that PokerStars gives low stakes players a shot at the spotlight usually reserved here at the PokerStarsBlog for the big Sunday Majors and the live poker tours like the LAPT and EPT. Tonight's $50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Aliro Diaz keeps the trophy home

It's been said that war is 90 percent boredom, 10 percent fear. The same could be said about poker. We saw one level go by without action, and then the next looked like it was going to bring more of the same, but then it happened. That 10 percent...more

MicroMillions Event 95 ($2.22 NL HU Hyper-Turbo) Fokenlol makes quick work of field

The final day of the first PokerStars MicroMillions series features the fastest tournament of the series, a $2.22 no-limit hold'em, heads-up hyper-turbo tournament. Players started each match with 5,000 chips with blinds at 20/40 as the blinds go up every 2 minutes. A field of 13,503 players created a prize...more

MicroMillions: TITANnvkz unsinkable in Event 92, $2.20+R NLHE (Action Hour, 6-max)

For those who truly enjoy action, rebuy events are one of the great joys of tournament poker. The prize pools tend to be far larger than freezeouts with comparable buy-ins, and those who build their stacks during the rebuy period tend to find themselves with lots of room for post-flop...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Dealing with the break

Our first level of play brought us two eliminations, the second brought none. While not much was going on, we did manage to see one showdown last level. It was the only one. Javier Venegas raised to 100,000 and Felipe Velasquez called. The flop came 6♠3♥4♥ and both players...more

MicroMillions: Ivandub finds a flu shot takes down Event #93 ($5.50 8-game)

The final day rush for the MicroMillions Player of the Series begins with ELGRAND4 and Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki tied at the top of the list with a 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure package for the winner. But, with the logjam at the top of the list with players...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: A little slow, a little quick

The day started off fairly tight, but before the end of the level, we'd have our first two eliminations. Some players folded some big hands early on. We started the day off in Level 25, with 20,000/40,000 blinds and a 5,000 ante. In one of the first hands of...more

ANZPT Sydney: Huntly claims mighty win for Scotland

It didn't take long following the break for a one-two blow to finish off the ANZPT Sydney Main Event and crown Scotland's Gordon Huntly as our newest poker champion! Three-handed, it took a bit of a cooler to finish off the determined Anthony Aston. Liam O'Rourke opened with a raise...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: The final eight, a little late

We're here, the first final table of LAPT Season 5. We saw 672 players sign up, 651 actually showed up (21 no-shows), and they've all been eliminated except for eight. And while majority of the 104 players who've cashed have already been paid out, our remaining eight are fighting...more

MicroMillions: AA-BILL-AA aces competition in Event #91, $3.30 NLHE

A total of 6,717 players entered event #91 creating a prize pool of $20,151 that meant the $15,000 guarantee was easily surpassed. Of the near 7,000 runners only 855 players would turn a profit with a min cash locking up $5.44 whilst the winner would pocket $3,127.51. Among the thousands...more

ANZPT Sydney: Nothing is still something

"What do you write about when there's nothing to write about?" was the question asked by hostess Lynn Gilmartin to us a short while ago. It's a great question. Sometimes it's hard to make nothing sound exciting, but like it or not, nothing is still something. The last two...more

MicroMillions: marsss14 hits the right keys in Event #90 $2.20 NLHE 6-Max

It's often a fine line between deal and no deal in a poker tournament. Usually the breaking point is a stubborn player, perhaps with an inflated chip stack, or worse, an inflated ego, trying to squeeze every last dollar. However in a rare twist, tonight's event had a perfectly good...more

ANZPT Sydney: O'Rourke, O'Brien, Oh my!

As the players take the next scheduled break, and the evening slowly draws towards midnight, we find ourselves four-handed after a fascinating session of play. It was dominated by Liam O'Rourke in many respects. He played nearly every pot, won plenty of them and was responsible for the elimination of...more

ANZPT Sydney: Sour dessert leaves us with five

We're not sure what the players ate at dinner, but our final seven have quickly become five after the fast and furious eliminations of Oliver Speidel and Craig Blight. It was a sour dessert for Blight who was quickly all in just moments after the resumption of play. In fact,...more

ANZPT Sydney: Early pain puts Rowe and Lancken on the rail

Boom boom! Just like that we've lost the first two players of our ANZPT Sydney Main Event final table. First to go was unfortunately 2008 APPT Sydney champion in Martin Rowe. And it took a very cruel river blow to do the damage. With the blinds at 12k/24k/2k, Rowe opened...more

ANZPT Sydney: Our final table is set

The official ANZPT Sydney final table of nine have been formed after we went from 16 to nine with a series of pretty rapid bustouts. Kristina Griffiths and Steve Lindeblad lost the battle with their short stacks, before Mishel Anunu's tournament came unstuck in unlucky 13th place. Anunu fell when...more

24 March

ANZPT Sydney: Collopy rocked; RAWKZ soars

We've recently redrawn for the final two tables and are now down to 16 players remaining in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. Damien Walsh, Luke Downes and Laurence Hall were recent casualties while the devastating elimination of American Jim Collopy was the trigger for the redraw. A distraught Collopy was...more

ANZPT Sydney: The thrill of the sweat

"Bottle of water?" announced one of the perky Star Poker waitresses as she stood next to table two here in the Oasis Lounge. "Anyone?" she sighed. "I'll take it if no one wants it," shouted Erich Stadler from across the table. The waitress came over and delivered the water, as...more

MicroMillions Event 87 ($11 NL): Latapierce deals a win, earns $18,678

The closing weekend of the MicroMillions series started with a slate of ten tournaments, the "featured" tournament Event 87. The $10+1 no-limit hold'em tournament with 15,878 entrants, creating a prize pool of $158,780 with 2,025 players making the money. The MicroMillions Player of the Series race intensified as the...more

MicroMillions: Alfons777999 annihilates final table in Event #88 ($5.50 PLO 6-Max, 1R1A)

It's one thing to win a tournament. It's another to eliminate every single player at the final table. But how about eliminating every single player at the final table, all in the space of 13 hands and four minutes of playing time? Alfons777999 can now add that feat to his...more

ANZPT Sydney: Karma bites

As we enter the final day of the 2012 ANZPT Sydney Main Event, it seems appropriate to look back almost twelve months to this final table last year. It was one of our favourite final tables of all time. Not so much because of Michael Kanaan's dominant victory (although that...more

MicroMillions: ELGRAND4 grabs the win in Event #89 ($5.50 NLHE Turbo)

With ten tournaments remaining in the MicroMillions, the Player of the Series race is racing toward a photo finish. Only 15 points separate fifth place from first on the leaderboard, and after his win tonight in Event #89, ELGRAND4 is among the top dogs, only five points behind AleksS69 and...more

MicroMillions: hazzy7 picks up snazzy $15K, Event #85 title ($8.80 NLHE, 1R1A)

Hard to believe the MicroMillions is nearly over -- just one more day! Today's schedule saw 10 more events play out, all featuring teeny tiny buy-ins and big bodacious prizes. Event #85 was no exception, an $8.80 buy-in "1R1A" no-limit hold'em tourney with a huge $50K guarantee. Of course, as...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Bursting on break

The final table bubble burst at an unusual time. Level 24 had just come to an end -- signaled by the "Jaws" theme song -- and a few players ran out to do whatever it is they do during breaks. But while they were out and about frolicking across...more

MicroMillions: maks0965 makes it happen in Event #86 ($2.22+R NL Hold'em 3x-Turbo)

Making it to the money is the first goal, then getting to the final table, followed by top three and then the win. For maks0965 all of those goals were meet in Event 86 of the MicroMillions series. At each step, except for the final one, he was not at...more

MicroMillions: Vamoooo! Brazil's Bruno GT captures the flag in Event 84, $5.50 NLHE (6-max)

If you've never been to Brazil, you're missing out on one of most fantastic, friendliest cultures in the world. (And if you've never been to Brazil, why haven't you been? The Latin American Poker Tour has a stop in Brazil every season. Get qualifying!) That calm, friendly demeanor was...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Changing pace and showing face

Ten players are left and action has dropped a gear or two. It's hard to keep the blistering pace we started the day off with. Stacks are getting big and so is the money. The final ten are guaranteed $9,130, but that's only a fraction of the $129,470 that...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: The millionaires club

And just like that, we're down to 12. But Daniela Horno is not among the final dozen. The start-of-day chip leader had quite the roller coaster ride on the chip counts page. She started up top, but then rushed to the bottom. She fought her way back to average...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: A morning rumble and an afternoon tumble

It's been a massacre. We're 90 minutes into Day 3 and we're already down to our last 20 players. Players are now guaranteed $3,860, but they have bigger goals in mind, we're almost down to the final two tables. And that means we're getting closer to the final table....more

MicroMillions: Bang a drum for humtum111, Event #83 winner ($1+R NLHE, 3x-Turbo)

We've entered the final weekend of events in the 100-event MicroMillions series, with 10 tournaments scheduled today and 10 more on Sunday. Among the early offerings today was Event #83, a $1 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament with a turbo-style structure and extended rebuy period. As we've seen with the other...more

MicroMillions: Pokerroos go one-two, thePanther00 wins Event #82 ($4.40 PLO)

A raise of hands if you set your alarm for Event #82 2012 MicroMillions Pot Limit Omaha $4.40 tournament with a $5,000.00 guarantee. Anyone? Anyone still living out there? 82 tournaments for ten days straight at all hours of the night and day and some players have managed to down...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Lady in the lead

Another shot. Every player has one tournament where they wish things had gone differently. Maybe it was a bad call, a failed bluff or a bad beat, but you replay the hand in your head night after night. It tortures you to sleep. If only you had another shot......more

MicroMillions: eccles08 takes the largest slice of the cake in Event #81, $3.30 NLHE

An Eccles cake is a small, heavy bun made traditionally in the United Kingdom. It is no French fancy, there are no hundreds and thousands on its top, just a few tough currants scattered within the mix, possibly a mild dusting of demerara sugar. It's a good summary of...more

ANZPT Sydney: Heather hooks lead for the Irish

It was always going to be a tough ask today. 208 players into a final table of nine within ten levels of play - virtually an impossible equation, but we gave it a crack here on Day 2 of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. As the players bag and tag...more

SCOOP 2012 schedule released

Back in the days when I worked on British national newspapers (not listening in on anyone's voicemails, I hasten to add), getting scoops was the measuring stick of success. Today is a little like old times: I've got my hands on a SCOOP scoop. And while that makes me happy,...more

MicroMillions: Yo-yo dealing sees yoyomir win Event #80 $2.20 NLHE

Another day and more opportunities for micro-limit players to experience true championship poker with huge fields and ever bigger prize pools, thanks to the PokerStars MicroMillions. The final event of the day was Event #80 of the schedule. A $10,000 guarantee was offered for the $2.20 No Limit Holdem Event...more

ANZPT Sydney: A world of mouth-watering delights at The Star

Being Saturday night here in Sydney, we thought it might be a good chance to take a closer look at some of the exciting dining options here at The Star. The $850 million renovations have provided a wealth of new offerings which are sure to please poker players who love...more

ANZPT Sydney: Bubble games

We love the bubble. It scares a lot of players, but for the media, it's great fun. Poker tournaments aren't everything that you see on TV. There are plenty of lulls, which we do our creative best to make sound exciting for you at home. Fortunately when it comes to...more

ANZPT Sydney: "He goes deep in every tournament ever"

When thinking of a story to write for my next piece here at the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, I turned to colleague Josh Bell who has been bringing you all of the live updates at this event. Without missing a beat, Josh said, "What about Oliver Speidel? He's a beast...more

23 March

MicroMillions: ALVARADO 111 wins Event #79 ($5.50 FL Omaha Hi/Lo)

Sometimes sitting back and staying afloat on a final table while letting all the others get into the big pots and put their stacks at a risk is the best formula. That was just the formula that ALVARADO 111 used on his way to winning Event 79 of the MicroMillions...more

ANZPT Sydney: Rowe on the radar

As poker reporters we do our very best to cover as much action in the tournament as humanly possible, but unfortunately we're not omnipresent and we do very occasionally miss some action. That's why we love it when we we're wandering tables and get stopped by friendly railbirds who share...more

MegaMillions Event 78 ($5.50 7-Stud): Manni Mansen manages win after deal

The PokerStars MicroMillions series is dominated with dozens of hold'em events, which makes sense since it's the most popular poker game played online. Sometimes you want to get out of that rut and play something different. Event 78, $5.50 Seven Card Stud, the lone tournament consisting of just the high...more

MicroMillions: THE RIPPER V slashes to victory in Event 77, $11 NLHE

Tournament poker is a funny thing. At times, you see the player with the dominant chip stack bully his or her way to victory, winning pot after pot and getting enough bounces of luck along the way to make it look easy. Other times, the best hand constantly gets beaten....more

ANZPT Sydney: The hunter and the jeweller

With the second level of today's play approaching a conclusion, a couple of big stacks have started to put a bit of a gap between themselves and the rest of the field. Scotsman Gordon Huntly appears to be the first player to crack 200,000 and we decided to wander over...more

MicroMillions: Dig it! ditch395 wins Event #76, $5.50 NLHE [Knockout]

If you look up "knockout" in the dictionary, you'll learn that the word means "an act of knocking someone out, esp. in boxing." It's also a quick way to make a dollar during the MicroMillions, at least if you're playing in one of its handful of tournaments with bounties on...more

ANZPT Sydney: One of the greatest achievements of all time

We've seen some remarkable achievements in the poker world. Brunson winning back-to-back WSOP championinships in 1977 and 1978. Chan doing likewise in 1987 and 1988. Ungar winning it all in 1980 and 1981 before returning sixteen years later to do it all again in 1997. More recently, there's Hachem's breakthrough...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Horno leads the final 32

What once occupied two days and two separate conference rooms now fits snuggly in four, green-felted LAPT tables. Day 1A and 1B produced a total of 672 players, but only 190 would survive to make it to Day 2. Now, only 32 remain. Leading the final 32 is Daniela...more

MicroMillions: SergeySil83 turns $8.80 into $8K-plus, wins Event #75 (NLHE, Ante Up)

The second of two "Ante Up" tourneys in the 100-event MicroMillions series, the $8.80 buy-in no-limit hold'em Event #75, drew 5,869 entrants to create a $46,952 prize pool, thus exceeding the event's $40K guarantee. The top 765 finishers got paid, with $7,348.08 going to the winner. Antes Go Up, Players...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: So many options

Our final 52 players have returned from their hour-long dinner break. They'll be playing another three levels or until we reach 32 players. The choice is theirs, but not really, it's up to the cards. But they do have a choice on where to eat though. While there are...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: The bubble has burst

We're making money. The bubble was easy to burst, made weak by large blinds and aggressive play. In about three hands of hand-for-hand play, we got our bubble boy. The unlucky 105th place finisher for LAPT Viña del Mar was Claudio Scandura. Scandura and Rene Manzano were facing a...more

MicroMillions: jointy333 wins Event #73 ($5.50+R NL Single Draw 2-7)

Sometimes the cards you are dealt in life are not the ones that you really want, you can't just give them back and re-draw for another chance. For jointy333 he was able to give some cards back today for an opportunity to improve his chance at winning Event 73 of...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Return business

There's lots of return business at the LAPT. Three of the top ten Player of the Year players managed to make it to Day 2. Leandro Csome and Miguel Alvarez de Lugo, who finished 3rd and 5th respectively, were eliminated early on today. But the reigning champ, Pablo Gonzalez,...more

MicroMillions: netting the max, netzroht earns Event #74 victory ($1+R NLO8 3X-Turbo)

Despite playing and reporting here for awhile, the mention of a "3X-Turbo" had me diving into the website for some details. 3X-Turbo. Three strikes and yer out! No. Three times the blinds speed? No. But, I stretched out this morning just in case. Three times the fun? Getting warmer....more

LAPT Viña del Mar: A helping hand

Poker and charity go hand in hand and the LAPT is no stranger to giving back. In Costa Rica, Humberto Brenes set up a fund to help stop illegal shark finning. In Mar del Plata, the LAPT donated two ambulances to the local hospital. And more recently, the kids...more

Forty-two survive France Poker Series Day 1A

More than 100 people started Day 1A of the France Poker Series, and at the end of the day, only 42 remained. Today, those people are enjoying the skiing and atmosphere around Lake Geneva in Evian, France as Day 1B play gets underway. The second day 1 flight of the...more

MicroMillions: Wil_PipA shoves through Event #72, $3.30 NLHE

When the final table of Event #72 started there was a clear chip leader, made 1n U$$R, who sat with 6,475,427, more than double what anyone else held. On the second hand a raise to 200,000 was put in, a call was made and the action arrived on made 1n...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Solved and unsolved mysteries

It's hard not to enjoy life here at Viña del Mar. The weather is beautiful and the hotel has a fantastic view of the beach. When you eat at the hotel's seafood restaurant at around 7:30pm, you dine with a beach-side sunset. The town is youthful too, several private...more

MicroMillions: NovayaRus' claims first big win in Event #71 $2.20 NLHE with Rebuys

The micro-stakes rebuy event is a format created by the Gods of Degen. Made from the purest elements known to man, it was crafted together to provide poker players with the most sensual and soothing relaxation therapy possible. It's the ultimate in stress relief. It's a therapy that cannot be...more

ANZPT Sydney: Nothing wrong for Truong

The final hands have been dealt and the players have bagged, tagged and called it an evening with approximately 129 surviving the day. For some, it was a long day with eight levels and a dinner break, while others could take their time over dinner down on the Sydney harbour...more

ANZPT Sydney: Eddy leads them to dinner

As we entered the sixth level of the day, we scoured the room for the big stacks and spotted a runaway chip leader as PokerStars qualifier Luke Edwards had steamrolled his way to an impressive stack of 110,000. We wandered past the table of the 2010 ANZPT Darwin runner-up to...more

22 March

MicroMillions: Stunning reversal lands (((FOX)))017 Event #70 title ($4.40 NLHE 4-Max)

Life can turn on a dime, or so goes the saying. And tournament lives are fraught with the same unpredictability. Having aces against kings no more guarantees a win than a chip and a chair spells elimination. For much of this evening, this event was dominated by a single player,...more

ANZPT Sydney: It's poker with a snap!

Nothing frustrates players more than slow dealers. It's the thorn in the side of live poker. Slow hand rates, cards flying off the table, exposed cards, misdeals. It doesn't happen online, but also doesn't happen (often) here in The Star Poker Room. The dealers here are a pretty friendly mob...more

MicroMillions: mdv1978 wins for Russia in Event 69, $3.30 Triple Stud

If you've ever played a game of HORSE and wished you could just ditch the silly flop games to show off what a skilled poker player you really are, today's MicroMillions event was tailor-made for you. Triple Stud consists of a rotation of three different variations of Seven Card Stud:...more

ANZPT Sydney: Hall of Fame well represented

Without trying to categorize players too much, we couldn't help but notice that there is a distinct bias towards the more "experienced" players in today's field. The old school is certainly representing while many of the country's young guns appear to be missing from this event. Poker is certainly a...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: João Lopes leads Day 1

The two-day long Day 1 has come to an end. João Lopes will lead the remaining 190 with 207,700. As predicted, today's field was significantly larger than yesterday's. A total of 367 signed up for Day 1B, making the official number for LAPT: Viña del Mar 651. These 651...more

MicroMillions: bzik2000 is slick enough in Event #68 victory

While in Vegas, a gambler can find some big numbers if they have little regards for the odds staring back at them while at the table games. A $10 bet on snake-eyes (two) or boxcars (twelve) at the craps table will return $300 at some casinos (we will overlook the...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Prizes, parties, porsches

Things just got official. Players. Prize pool. Parties. Porsches. We've had developments on all these things since our last update. The Porsches part might baffle you, but that's because it's supposed to be singular, Porsche. Did that help? Didn't think so. The Enjoy Hotel & Casino is hosting a...more

ANZPT Sydney: Pushing the records in Sydney

Poker players are used to running on little sleep and grabbing a bit of rest wherever and whenever they can. The online grinders are usually up before the birds to grind on PokerStars, with many known to have fallen asleep at the table during the breaks. Then there's the cash...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Prose about pros

Dinner break has come and gone, putting us in the last four levels of Day 1. Several things are going on right now. Our stomachs are digesting food, our minds are going around their usual circles and poker being is played. And when poker is played, chips get lost....more

MicroMillions: KidForum Event #66 champ ($8.80 NLHE); Sne1231 biggest cash after 5-way chop

We're more than 60 events into the MicroMillions' 100-event schedule and there are no signs of any drop off of players interested in trying to turn a little into a lot. Case in point: Event #66 featured an $8.80 buy-in and a $40K guarantee, and a whopping 7,518 joined the...more

MicroMillions: Anadilia comes from behind in Event 67, $1 NLHE (3x-Turbo, Rebuys)

Rabbi, ribeye, rebuy! Those were the calls you used to hear when rebuy tournaments were more popular on the live tournament circuit. Those days are largely over, but rebuy tournaments remain alive and well on PokerStars. 2012 MicroMillions Event 67, $1 NLHE (3x-Turbo, Rebuys) was on tap today to give...more

MicroMillions Event 65: 8csvb8 is great, wins $5,300

Time to go through the MicroMillions checklist before reporting the final table: 1. Small buy-in - $5.50 CHECK 2. Large field - 8,781 entries CHECK 3. Guarantee easily met - $43,905 prize pool, compared to the $25,000 guarantee CHECK 4. Big first place prize compared to buy-in - $6,591.07 CHECK...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Viña Nightlife

So you're here in Viña del Mar and you've busted out or feel the urge to celebrate making it past Day 1. Where do you go? Lucky for you, there are several places around the area. We here at the PokerStars Blog took some time to research the options....more

MicroMillions: Moe4379 mows down Event #64 ($2.20 NL Omaha 2R1A)

Doing a search for Moe4379 showed that before today his largest cash was for $496. After today it will show a cash for $3,110.35 thanks to a win in Event 64 of the MicroMillions. That addition to his bankroll should help him take some more shots at turning a little...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: FPP to LAPT

There were several different roads a player could take to register for LAPT: Viña del Mar. Locals could qualify at local tournaments hosted by Enjoy, while the rest of the world could try to qualify online. Whether it be through steps, satellites or super-satellites, playing on PokerStars could get...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: We have to stop here, this is wine country

When you go to certain countries, there are certain things you have to do. When you go to Chile, you taste the wine. This region of the South America is world-famous for its wine making. It's an art that the region has been practicing for more 500 years. But,...more

France Poker Series Snowfest underway

Today, the France Poker Series kicked off its third event of Season 2 in the beautiful town of Evian. The 13-stop PokerStars-sponsored series opened its Snowfest party today on the shores of Lake Geneva. Day 1A began with 103 players, among them Team PokerStars Pros Julien Brécard and Belgian twins...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: They grow so fast

It seems like only yesterday that the Enjoy Hotel & Casino was hosting its first LAPT event. It was Januray 2009 and Peter Eastgate had just won the Main Event. Michael Jackson was still alive and LAPT: Viña del Mar saw a total of 216 entrants. Those were different...more

ANZPT Sydney: Ryall rules the roost on Day 1a

A new season and a new look for the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour saw Sydney kick things off in impressive fashion today on Day 1a of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. With a focus on larger tournaments with bigger prize pools, the ANZPT is going to be pushing...more

MicroMillions: zzzzephyr16 breezes to victory in Event #63, $3.30 NLHE (2x Chance)

As the final nine players of Event #63 sat down at the final table few seemed to notice the mild breeze blowing from the Czech Republic. zzzzephyr16 started the final table as the shortest stack with little more than 2,000,000 chips, just 12.5 big blinds, but having made it this...more

MicroMillions: Take note of the Russians

Let's first accept a few givens. Russia is big. Russia has a lot of people inside its borders. Russia turns out a lot of good poker players. We know all of that. With those givens stated, it must be said: Wow, Russia is killing the MicroMillions. We're now more than...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Day 1B is underway

The second flight of players is starting to trickle into the room here in LAPT Viña del Mar. We're expecting a bigger field today as a mass of online qualifiers are lined up outside of registration. We're also guaranteed at least double the amount of Team PokerStars Pros today....more

Travel Guide: Campione

Later this month, the PokerStars European Poker Tour will be making its first stop in the beautiful city of Campione, a small Italian village located within Switzerland on the edge of Lake Lugano. The destination is a must-see for travel enthusiasts as Campione offers breathtaking views and a rare taste...more

ANZPT Sydney: The shark has been scoped

As we move into the sixth level of play for the day and it appears that Andrew Li has emerged as the chip leader with an impressive stack of 107,000. But it appears that tablemate Tom Grigg has been quick to scout his opposition. "Here's his SharkScope!" laughed Grigg as...more

ANZPT Sydney: The oasis of the casino

As we mentioned a little earlier in the day, we have four tables set out in an overflow area that has been setup in the Oasis Lounge - just a short stroll from the end of the poker room. Heading out there to check out the action and we were...more

ANZPT Sydney: Play that funky music

When you travel to different poker events around the world you soon discover that there are many nuisances and variations to the rules of this great game of Texas Holdem. It's simple to learn, but takes a lifetime to master as they say. Well, it can take a lifetime to...more

ANZPT Sydney: Stellar field packs The Star as Day 1a kicks off

The cards are in the air in The Star Poker Room as the opening flight of the ANZPT Sydney $2,200 Main Event is underway. It's the first event of Season 4 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour and, traditionally, the largest of the tour. Over the years, Sydney...more

MicroMillions: jagur1 mauls massive field in Event #61 $4.40 NL

How many of you woke up with sublime thoughts about winning a poker tournament? Today, 14,587 courageous souls took a plunge into the heart of darkness knowing almost 90% of them would perish before they had a crack at the money. A few thousand would be annihilated in the first...more

21 March

MicroMillions: blackmoore lights up Event #62 ($2.20 FL Hold'em 6-Max Turbo)

Sometime after 2 am in Bosnia-Herzegovina, blackmoore arrived home after busting out of a live tournament. But rather than fall in to bed with visions of cards flying behind his eyes, he fired up PokerStars to watch them fly across the screen. Blackmoore late registered for Event #62, the MicroMillions'...more

MicroMillions: Viktor4ik777 victorious in Event #59 ($11 NLHE)

It can be a disadvantage to be unable to understand the chat of other players at the poker table, but the advantage is that there are few distractions. Viktor4ik777 of the Ukraine was undeterred in the late stages of this event's final table by insistences of deal talks or the...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Barrientos leads Day 1A

It's the end of Day 1A ok? But don't be heart broken, we'll be back tomorrow with Day 1B. It'll be just like today, 15,000 starting stack, 10 levels and constant coverage of the best poker Latin America has to offer. For now though, we'll give you a run...more

MicroMillions: ritsar breaks new ground in Event 58, $4.40 4-max turbo shootout

I've been writing for the PokerStarsBlog since 2008. When I woke up this morning and checked the schedule to see which MicroMillions event I'd be covering today, I puzzled over what I saw: 2012 MicroMillions Event 58, $4.40 No-Limit Hold'em (4-Max, 7x-Shootout, Turbo). I couldn't recall ever having covered a...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Leaders emerge

It's almost time to close the page on the first day of LAPT's fifth season. 284 players started out the day and only about 115 remain. When someone loses their chips, somebody else wins them. So far, we've found two players who seem to have amassed more chips than...more

MicroMillions: -zeppooo- wins Event #60 ($1+R PL Omaha 2x-Turbo)

Turning a $1 investment into a little more than $4,000 is a nice return on an investment. Chances are -zeppooo- put a little more than just $1 in on his way to winning Event 60 but we are sure that he is still happy with turning whatever amount it was...more

MicroMillions: Avalon08 grabs Event #57, $8.2K after three-way chop ($8.80 NLHE)

The MicroMillions keeps rolling along, drawing huge, guarantee-busting fields for event after event. I was curious about just how many had played in the series thus far, and so got an idea to add up how many entrants there were through the first 50 events. Soon I realized ten fingers...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: We're back!

We're back! Most things tend to come back from dinner breaks. Appetites and energy aren't on that list, and this time, neither was the internet. But after some jerry-rigging with iPhone tethering, and a few IT people doing whatever wizardry they do, we're back to full speed. Poker players...more

MicroMillions: Juro91 turns FPPs into $4,925 victory in Event 56

Event 56 of the PokerStars MicroMillions series featured 9,440 players putting up $5,50, creating a prize pool of $47,200 parceled out to the top 1,260 players. The winner is expected to pocket nearly $7,000. However, a deal with four players remaining flattened the payouts at the top. In the...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: What's going on?

What's going on in Viña del Mar? The answer to this question depends on when you ask it. A lot of things go on around this neck of the woods. If today, you answered "The grand opening for LAPT's fifth season," you'd be correct. For your correct answer, you'd...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Return of the king

What would you do if you won Player of the Year at the LAPT? My guess is that you'd come to every single LAPT event the following season, mostly because that's the prize. That's exactly what Season 4 Player of the Year, Pablo Gonzalez, is in the process of...more

MicroMillions: EDWARDHOPPER tops leaderboard at halfway point

Today we reached the halfway point in the first ever PokerStars MicroMillions series. In just the first week, the new festival of tournaments for low-limit grinders has proven to be a success beyond everyone's wildest expectations. Not only are players winning big prizes on their small buy-ins, but many of...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: The table master

Not many sports are played out on tables, but Giovanni Rodriguez is on his way to master them all. Rodriguez, 47, is a world-class paralympic table tennis player. The Costa Rican table tennis star is currently ranked 21st in the world and has his eyes set on gold in...more

Team PokerStars Pro Victoria Coren to marry David Mitchell

It was 2005 when someone led me into an audio booth in a London television studio. I was due to sit down next to James Hartigan to provide some color commentary for the World Cup of Poker II. While I waited my turn, I stared at the back of a...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: Better than expected

While many consider anything in poker to be a dream job, the industry is responsible for some of the worst commutes in the world. Layovers, 11-hour flights, crowded trains and expensive cab fares are all commonplace in poker. Making these commutes a daily thing would require time travel and...more

MicroMillions: stmetal forges a victory in Event 55, $5.50 NLHE [Knockout, Turbo]

Unless you're a fruit fly or some other tiny organism, five hours isn't a terribly long time. It's less than a full day at work for most people. In terms of poker it's certainly less than the time it takes to play out a full tournament - unless, of course,...more

MicroMillions: aklybok budgets the best to win Event #54, $3.30 NLHE (Ante Up)

While the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was laying out the cuts, hikes and incentives for the coming year in the UK nine players were sitting down at the final table of Event 54 of the MicroMillions. While all 4572 runners had looked on the MicroMillions budget of...more

LAPT Viña del Mar: 'Tis the season

Seasons are changing all across the world. Those in the northern part of the world are starting to see warmer days, with spring rearing its beautiful head. South of the equator, countries are seeing temperate days and cool nights, courtesy of fall. Things here at the LAPT are also...more

Zoom Poker: The strategy

I am no theorist. I am no tactician. I'm a blogger who could better tell you how to make a great gumbo. That said, I know smart people. Lots of them. People who are good at boiling down the basics of a problem and turning it into something understandable for...more

Sydney provides the perfect start for Season 4 of the ANZPT

After you've been doing this job for a while you get used to living out of a suitcase. Life on the road certainly has its perks, but the ability to have a diverse range of fashion options isn't one of them. This evening I find myself landing in Sydney for...more

MicroMillions: It's all ok for dimokpro in Event #53 $2.20 NLHE

After a year's worth of championship events have been crammed into the first week of the PokerStars MicroMillions, the micro-limit grinding continued this evening with Event #53 of the popular schedule. It was the $2.20 No Limit Holdem Event with another impressive field of 9,077 players taking to the virtual...more

Super Tuesday 3/20: Calvin7v goes from worst to first, wins $102,600

This week's Super Tuesday drew a stunning 540 entrants for a prize pool of $540,000, meaning the winner could become the first to earn a six-figure score in the $1,000 buy-in tournament. Although there was talk of a deal, calvinv7 bested Bryn Kenney heads-up, going from 9th of 9 at...more

MicroMillions: jurome002 is Number One in Event 52, $1 NLHE

A dollar doesn't buy you much anymore. But for jurome002, champion of 2012 MicroMillions Event 52, $1 No-Limit Hold'em, it bought $2,144.15. $5,000. That was the number that the PokerStars supercomputer (set up in a maximum security compound in an undisclosed location on the Isle of Man) crunched and spit...more

20 March

MicroMillions: It's a date to remember for October_9th, Event #51 champion ($4.40+R NLHE, 4-Max)

You know a game format has really arrived when it gets its own event at the World Series of Poker. Heads-up NLHE finally got its own bracelet event midway through the aughts. Badugi was added to the 10-game mix last year. And in 2012, 4-max no-limit hold'em will have its...more

MicroMillions: Victory for WelshViking in Event #50 ($11 NLHE)

With a name like WelshViking, a strong image is conveyed. Put a solid chip lead behind that name, and victory was inevitable. Though WelshViking went into the final table as one of the middle stacks, it took just one double-up through the chip leader to take the lead, and there...more

MicroMillions: kromestar shines in Event #49 $4.40 Mixed NLHE/PLO

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." The origins of that ubiquitous saying are unknown, but when in doubt, just give Shakespeare credit. Besides, the "grass is always greener" metaphor sounds like something from one of Richard III's rambling soliloquies. In a dual mixed-game format,...more

MicroMillions: Donkaey stomps way to $9K win in Event #48 (NLHE $8.80, Big Antes)

Event #48 of the MicroMillions series, a no-limit hold'em tourney, featured a (relatively) bigger buy-in of $8.80. Equally notable was its "big antes" format, one of just two such events in the 100-event series (along with Event #29, won by Rafa_Nadal10). That meant antes from the first level, with the...more

MicroMillions: Horvat69 holds on to win Event 47, $5.50 NL Hold'em [2x Chance]

Second chances in life come around rarely enough that they can fairly be called a precious commodity. In tournament poker they don't come around at all - at least, that's the way things used to be. One of the many wonders of modern online poker tournaments is the ability to...more

MicroMillions: sergiuo surges to win in Event #46 ($1+R NLHE 3x-Turbo)

It is not how you start but how you finish that matters, for sergiuo he finished as strong as ever to take down Event 46, a $1 re-buy NLHE 3x-Turbo event. He came into the final table in the bottom half of the leader board with less than 10 big...more

Success means value and "wanting to be there" for Vanessa Selbst

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst didn't take long to rack up another live tournament victory in 2012. She took down a $5100 event at the LA Poker Classic (LAPC) for a $140,000 payday in what she called "one of the toughest fields I've ever played in." She followed that up...more

MicroMillions: The Walking Man

People call George Dickson "Sarge." The man from Edinburgh spent 23 years in the Army before retiring to a life of pensions training. It's not quite the military life, but it suits him just fine. Being married, the father of three, and grandfather to two keeps him busy, but not...more

MicroMillions: HOLDINTRIPZZ holdz the secret to success in Event #45 ($3 NLHE 6-Max)

It is not difficult to understand the thinking behind this marvelous MicroMillions series. Day after day, huge numbers of people join the action on PokerStars, playing for sums of money that quite accurately represent how the majority of people view poker: as a bit of fun. MicroMillions recognises the contribution...more

Travel Diary: Seoul

I've just taken off from Incheon airport, now flying 40,000 miles in the air, Melbourne-bound, after my first visit to Korea. I've been to a lot of airports over the years and a few have impressed me, but I must say that Incheon Airport blew me away. I was a...more

MicroMillions: 06springer06 binks Event #44 $2.20 NL

Trying to survive a field with 10,000 players is a daunting task, but if you do, it's a Herculean feat. The MicroMillions makes every event affordable for low-stakes players, which in turn creates massive fields. Some of the MicroMillions events, especially the no-limit affairs, are essentially virtual meat grinders and...more

Online Poker Show: Sunday Million, March 18


19 March

MicroMillions: farmer488 cultivates crown in Event #42 $5.50 PL Omaha Hi/Lo

Pot-limit Omaha is the quintessential game for action junkies, but pot-limit Omaha high/low is a finesse game that attracts a varying mix ranging from the usual cast of "shoot first, ask questions later" degenerates who gamble it up, and meticulous split-pot veterans known for their nitty and cantankerous nature. For...more

MicroMillions: smattle smiling after Event #43 win ($5.50 Razz)

With 100 different events, PokerStars' MicroMillions series has something for everyone, including tournaments in just about every format one can imagine. Hold'em and Omaha events have dominated the schedule so far, with stud hi/lo, draw, Badugi, H.O.R.S.E. events also popping up here and there. Event #43 presented players with the...more

MicroMillions: EpicEpicEpic wins epic Event #41 ($11 NLHE 6-Max)

Going into the final table, EpicEpicEpic was second in chips, but by taking care of the very first elimination, the player moved into first place and didn't look back. After securing the most money in a five-handed deal, EpicEpicEpic didn't slow down, handling two of the next three eliminations and...more

MicroMillions: Karmic victory for MarinaFrank in Event 40, $2.20 NLHE (2R, 1A)

In tournament poker, it's rare that the player with the most chips doesn't try to exert maximum pressure and leverage from those chips when it comes time to make a deal. Yet in 2012 MicroMillions Event 40, $2.20 No-Limit Hold'em (2R, 1A), heads-up chip leader MarinaFrank offered an even chop...more

MicroMillions: coolly crushes Event 39, $8.80 NLHE

Every once in a while, the stars align, the poker gods smile, and some lucky poker player goes on a run the likes of which fuels dreams for years. I'm not saying that's run at the final table of 2012 MicroMillions Event 39, $8.80 No-Limit Hold'em will necessarily hold...more

MicroMillions: RomaShamin roars back to win Event 38, $5.50 NL Draw

Five-Card Draw is one of the oldest forms of poker around. Mark Twain grew up playing it on riverboats while traveling the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. It's the game the legendary frontiersman Wild Bill Hickok was playing when he was killed in the Black Hills mining...more

MicroMillions: Russia's Beat666ru beats all to clinch Event #36 title ($1 NLHE)

Of all the rituals established for the end of a major poker tournament, the traditional winner's photo can be among the most grueling. As if it wasn't enough to be shoved this way and that by a bank of trigger-happy photographers, the tournament winner is also forced to pose while...more

MicroMillions: Luck is on LUCKYDIMA 1's side in Event #37 ($5.50 NLHE Turbo)

When one registers for a turbo-style tournament they sit down with the understanding that they will play a fast paced tourney that will see the average hover between the 15 to 20 big blinds deep area. That was just the case for Event 37, a $5.50 NLHE turbo event that...more

PokerStars weekend review (3-18-12)

Listen, PokerStars. We only have so many fingers. There are only so many stories we can cover at one time. We even recruited more than 100 more fingers to help us this week just to keep up with the action you're throwing at us. It's starting to get a little...more

MicroMillions winner has her own super Nova shine

On the fringe of the Este River floodplain, on the outer edge of endless acres of rich farming fields, sits the city of Buxtehude, Germany. Forty thousand people live up and down the tree-lined streets, and the vast majority of them have to get their hair cut at one point...more

Team Online's Tyler "Frosty012" Frost in the spotlight

You may know Tyler "Frosty012" Frost from his blog. You may know him from the countless hours he puts in on PokerStars to remain a Supernova Elite. You may just know him as that young guy drinking PBR at the cowboy bar in Vancouver. Regardless, as of today, you're sharing...more

MicroMillions: NIck_Sem177 wins for Kazakhstan in Event #35 $2.20 NLHE 6-Max

One of the great things that I've noticed so far in the PokerStars MicroMillions is the diverse nationalities that we find deep into these tournaments. The Canadians and the Germans appear to have been prominent, but again today for Event #35 we've seen very international final table with NIck_Sem177 putting...more

18 March

Germany's SpeckBasu wins $231K in March 18 Sunday Million

Things have been a little busy around these parts. Last weekend, the Sunday Million celebrated its sixth anniversary with a monstrous special tournament that paid out more than $6.7 million. It took a few days to recover from that one. And starting this past Thursday, the MicroMillions kicked off a...more

MicroMillions: Swordsman885 slices and dices way to victory in Event #32 Sunday Storm Special Edition

I can only imagine the collective thunderous sound of 40,000 poker players packed under one roof and slugging it out in the same tournament. It would be impossible to play cards without ear plugs because the clattering of thousands of players simultaneously shuffling their stacks would be deafening. Furthermore, if...more

MicroMillions: lars hp tops massive minefield in Event #33 ($1+R NLHE, 3x-Turbo)

I'm not sure I've ever seen a billion chips in play. Hundreds of millions, sure. Even the WSOP Main Event has that. Half a billion? Perhaps in one of those uber-juiced anniversary tournaments PokerStars so loves to run. But 1.2 BILLION CHIPS in play? I know. It's insane. But when...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Maverick 36O harnesses momentum and mojo, winning $102,990

With MicroMillions madness sweeping the virtual tables and March Madness competing for the attention of more than a few Sunday grinders, this week's Warm-Up almost felt like a relaxing walk in the park. That is, if your idea of relaxation is competing for a six-figure score. 3,280 players came out...more

MicroMillions: Snize07 seizes Event #34 title ($5.50 NLHE Knockout Turbo)

It's not often that the initial chip leader at a final table maintains that lead until the end. And in a tournament filled with as many swings as a turbo, it is an even greater feat. But snize07 did just that, going into the final table with a significant lead...more

MicroMillions: UCIHAVEU top stud in Event #31 $5.50 HORSE

Today was a day to mix things up in the MicroMillions series. There was a NLHE [Big Antes] tournament as well as some Badugi action. If that wasn't enough for players who wanted to try something besides the standard NLHE tournaments, there was also the $5.50 HORSE. Here, players...more

MicroMillions: devilspenny does God's work in Event 30, $8.80 NLHE (6-max)

Imagine, for a second, that you are a small-stakes players that makes it to the final table of one of the 100 MicroMillions events taking place during the 2012 MicroMillions series on PokerStars. How likely would you be to seek a deal to smooth out the top payouts and ensure...more

LolaPichora scores Women's Sunday win for Costa Rica

Next weekend is the first birthday of our Women's Sunday baby! After we finally spilled the beans this week, it feels good to spread the word and get ready for all of the festivities. In addition to the March 25 Women's Sunday having a $20K guarantee, all of the pros...more

MicroMillions: Rafa_Nadal10 swings to victory in Event #29 ($5.50 NLHE Big Antes)

The best victories can be the ones in which a player starts as an underdog and overcomes the odds. Rafa_Nadal10 did just that, going into the final table as the second shortest stack of the nine players, but a slow and steady comeback plan allowed Rafa_Nadal10 to climb, get to...more

SuperStar Showdown: Kanu7's comeback falls short as Blom pockets $37,687

Alex Millar is not a household name. He doesn't travel the tournament circuit, preferring a quieter life in his native England. Unlike many of his fellow online pros, Millar is neither a social media maven nor a self-promoter. He's given only one interview we know of, and it happened to...more

MicroMillions: YUVSEG takes down Event 28, $5.50 Limit Badugi

Badugi is a funny creature among modern poker variants. There's no doubt that it's one of the newer forms of the game being played regularly around the world, as no records of it exist further back than the 1980s. Despite its modernity, though, Badugi's origins are as shrouded in mystery...more

MicroMillions: Nemans dominates Event #27 ($5.50 NLHE 1r+1a)

It did not take long to determine who the favorite was to win this event, after eliminating three of the first four players Nemans held the chip lead and the rest of his opponents started to fear getting involved against him. Eventually Nemans would eliminate his remaining four opponents...more

MicroMillions: $HARKYMATTO$ attacks field, wins Event #26 ($3.30+R NLHE, 6-max.)

A packed schedule of 10 different MicroMillions events kicked off on Sunday with a $3.30 no-limit hold'em tournament. Short-handed (6-max.) play ensured lots of action. This one included rebuys as well to add some excitement early on as well as further sweeten the prize pool. Players started with 5,000 chips...more

MicroMillions: Victory for VMBernardo in Event #25 ($1 NLHE)

The MicroMillions marched on with Event #25, another $1 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament kicking off late Saturday evening and lasting into the wee hours of Sunday. This one drew another huge field of 16,208, thus creating a $14,749.28 prize pool -- nearly three times the event's $5K guarantee. The top...more

MicroMillions: hektisch wins Event #23 ($8.80 NLHE Shootout)

Having to win four SNGs did not seem to phase hektisch who did just that to take down the latest MicroMillions event, a $8.80 8-max NLHE Shootout. It took just over 11 hours for him to do so, but he is probably not looking at the time spent when...more

17 March

MicroMillions: Epic comeback gives Mrs.Wendy the win in Event #22 ($11 NLHE), Feltin'Donks takes top dollar

We've witnessed our fair share of incredible comebacks here on the PokerStars Blog. Galen Hall's heads-up performance at the 2011 PCA Main Event comes to mind. So does Fabian Ortiz's journey from half a big blind to LAPT champion. Only one week ago, slyfox151 went from outhouse to penthouse at...more

MicroMillions: bilton11 banks bucks for Belgium in Event #24 ($5.50 PLO 6-Max, Turbo)

Less than a quarter of the way through the inaugural MicroMillions, I'm going to go out on a limb and declare PokerStars' newest tournament series a smashing success. The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy notwithstanding, micro-stakes players are relishing in the opportunity to turn loose change into big bucks and have...more

MicroMillions: Netti.S1984 nails Event #20 ($8.80+R NLHE)

It is rare to enter a final table with the chip lead and take it to the winner's circle, but netti.S1984 did just that. Netti.S1984's lead was substantial at the beginning of the final table, more than two times the stack of the second place DonTrulli. Though competitors made solid...more

MicroMillions: kingcoles80 reigns supreme in Event 19 ($5.50 NLHE)

The third day of PokerStars MicroMillions series is in full swing, and with it being St. Patrick's day everyone is hoping they have the luck of the Irish on their side as the hunt down the green. A total of 12,980 players joined together to chase down the green in...more

EPT8 Madrid: Jensen topples great Scot to win Spanish title

The last two players in the EPT Madrid main event took their seats at either end of the table. It was the denouement of a week of play, but seemed like the first hand to be played in about an hour. To everyone's relief a period of endless deal...more

EPT8 Madrid: MacIntyre chasing Vamplew's Scottish crown

Frazer MacIntyre has just moved into second place on the Scottish all-time money list behind EPT London champion David Vamplew thanks to the elimination of Bruno Lopes here at EPT Madrid. French rapper Lopes bust out to Andrei Stoenescu in fourth place for €140,000. MacIntyre needed to bag a third...more

MicromIllions: Miiitta defies the odds in Event #21 $2.22+R 3x-Turbo

Event #21's internet splash attracted a lot of things. Before any card was even dealt, the $2.22+R 3x-Turbo Saturday Splash Special Edition tournament attracted the largest guarantee of the MicroMillons yet: $150,000. The tournament also attracted a lot of players, 22,306 to be exact. After the 90-minute rebuy and...more

EPT8 Madrid: No title for Spain as Ibanez's run comes to an end

Throughout the entire day the row of Spanish reporters in the media room have been buoyant. Once more they were in good position to see one of their own win an EPT, a Spaniard on home soil no less. But with the departure of their man Ricardo Ibañez, that...more

MicroMillions: Vanko63 vanquishes field in Event #18 ($5.50 PL Draw)

It's the game that started it all, poker-wise. Five-card draw, played on steamboats and in saloons during poker's earliest days, and still played well into the 20th century until stud and eventually hold'em came along to grab the poker world's fancy. Five-card draw has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts on...more

EPT8 Madrid: Ibanez booked, schoolboy error or professional foul?

The departure of Ilan Boujenah has not eliminated the possibility of fireworks at this final table with Ricardo Ibanez, Spain's sole survivor, getting involved in some controversial spots. If this was a football match, Ibanez would be featuring frequently on the half-time replays. He is, so far, the only player...more

EPT8 Madrid: Ibanez brings audience back to life

The tournament room is like a departure lounge right now. Nobody talks and instead they spend their time looking at two screens that will let them know when it's time to leave. There's no formal seating for those wanting to watch the final table. Instead, people have taken to...more

MicroMillions: alienface#9 abducts chips, Event #17 title ($3.30 NLHE)

The 100-event-long tourney journey continued overnight and into Saturday morning at PokerStars MicroMillions with Event #17, a $3.30 no-limit hold'em tournament with 5,000 starting chips and 10-minute levels. When the first hands were dealt the field had only just crossed 3,000 entrants, but after two hours of late registration a...more

EPT8 Madrid: MacIntyre winning but Boujenah loving the battle

Towards the end of the level 26 (20,000-40,000, ante 5,000) Ilan Boujenah and Fraser MacIntyre clashed in an interesting spot which saw Boujenah lose close to half of his stack. While we've learnt that Boujenah is not one to shrink away from an argument, its now becoming clear that he...more

EPT8 Madrid: Duval's dream comes to an end, out in 8th

Jason Duval's incredible adventure is at an end. The Quebecois, playing his first European Poker Tour event, has enjoyed a great week, going from a one round penalty in level one for accidentally checking the nuts (A royal flush no less), to reaching the final table. But the realities...more

EPT8 Madrid: The hidden millions of Andrei Stoenescu

I have just stolen $4,850,000 from EPT Madrid final tablist Andrei Stoenescu. I don't know how it happened. I'm making no excuses but things can happen to a man's mind in the fog of war or, our version of it, the back end of a six-day poker tournament when you've...more

EPT8 Madrid: Short stacked but Levi not running dry

No one has a short stack by choice, but Nicolas Levi is among those players who cope well when handcuffed by its limitations. The Frenchman, reaching his second final table of the season, knows that his survival today will depend on getting his chips in. But even on this...more

EPT8 Madrid: McDonald's double on hold

As the final table table gets underway one player not returning is Mike McDonald. The former EPT Champion was the ninth place finisher last night, bringing the day to a close but ending speculation (again) about the chances of a first double winner. Talking after the final eight were...more

EPT8 Madrid: Who will be the next Madrid Champion?

Welcome back to the final day of the European Poker Tour main event in Madrid where we await the coronation of a new champion, a title worth €545,000. So who are the eight players who will contest the final table, from a field that was 477 strong earlier in...more

MicroMillions: Silence says it all for almogávares in Event #15 $4.40 NLHE 6-Max

We're only into the second day of the PokerStars MicroMillions and already the fifteenth event of the schedule was upon us as a massive field arrived on the virtual felt for Event #15: $4.40 No Limit Holdem 6-Max. This event offered a lucrative guarantee of $20,000, but by the time...more

16 March

MicroMillions: ghoul_0 scares up a win in Event #16 ($2.20 NLHE 6-Max Turbo)

Before the cards even went in the air, it was glaringly apparent that PokerStars underestimated the number of players for whom the words "6-max turbo" provoke a positively Pavlovian response. The $10,000 guarantee on MicroMillions Event #16 was doubled and then some by the close of late registration, the field...more

MicroMillions: furburger06 holds magic number in Event 13, $11 NLHE

Numbers are one way we humans make sense of the world around us. On their own, though, numbers don't actually mean anything. Only when we give them context do they have the power to describe the world around us. Take the number 15,831. In isolation it's just a value, a...more

MicroMillions: Winning prescription for .Medicate_~0 in Event #14 ($3.30 Stud H/L)

Hi/Lo games contain quite a few swings, and no one knows that better than .Medicate_~0. The chip leader at one point with two tables remaining, .Medicate_~0 took second place on the leaderboard at the start of the final table but soon found very tough competition in subiremos. and AARON661. But...more

MicroMillions: SMIRKIND smiling after Event #12 win ($1+R NLHE 3x-Turbo)

Like yesterday's MicroMillions Event #2, today's Event #12 followed a similar format -- a no-limit hold'em tourney played with a "turbo" structure (5-minute levels) with an inviting $1 buy-in. The tourney likewise allowed rebuys for an extended period of 90 minutes, thereby ensuring wild and woolly play from the get-go....more

MicroMillions: ricardolago reins in event #10 $5.50 NLHE

Ten percent. When downloading or updating something, you might groan when you see that number after two days, but not here. Not in the MicroMillions. Here we celebrate that number because it means all the poker madness we've seen is only 10 percent done. We still have a lot...more

MicroMillions: Staaken3000 stacks field in Event #9 $2.20 NL Omaha Hi-Lo

Sometimes you are the windshield. Sometimes you are the bug. Today Staaken3000 was the windshield and everyone else were the bugs. That is just how it goes some days when there is nothing you can do wrong and the cards just seem to fall your way. The ninth event of...more

EPT8 Madrid: McDonald busts, but Ibanez unstoppable en route to final

As is sometimes the case, one player dominated the main event today on his way to amassing a sizable lead going into tomorrow's final. That this player was previously unknown to us before the event started was also not unusual, but the manner in which Ricardo Ibanez assumed the...more

EPT8 Madrid: All (relatively) quiet on the outer table

If you're following the EPT Live Lite stream, which of course you are, then you'll see that there's been quite a lot of action on the feature table; all-ins, snap folds, rivered straights, cracked aces. All that jazz. That level of action just hasn't been happening at the outer table,...more

MicroMillions: Ireland's fivebetbluf3 blasts to victory in Event #8

Yesterday afternoon, PokerStars Blog's Tweeter In Chief (that's quite a job by the way; stay in school kids) announced to the world that we had a Micro Millions Series on our hands. "Sooo... rebuys ended after 20 mins. 71,420 players, 635,689 rebuys, 27,171 add-ons, prize pool $73,428 (was $25K guaranteed)."...more

Eureka tour to host charity event

Eureka Poker Tour - the only live poker tour dedicated to Central & Eastern European players - kicks off in beautiful Zagreb for Season 2 next month. Now players have a chance to win a €1,100 seat to the main event while helping to raise money for a great cause....more

EPT8 Madrid: Getting the right break

There's no formula for how a chip leader takes in the break. Some will linger, chatting with friends or a player, while others will leave the room and find somewhere to pace up and down in private for a few minutes. Ricardo Ibanez is among the latter. While the...more

PokerStars Women: Women's Sunday Birthday Celebration

Tell a child a secret and watch them squirm with excitement, so anxious to spill the beans and tell everyone. That was the PokerStars Women crew during the planning of the Women's Sunday First Birthday celebration. But now, with the permission of our bosses, we can finally share the secrets...more

EPT8 Madrid: Simão continues to show Brazilian flair, will he make the final?

In the football world (read soccer if you're North American) the Brazilians are known as the most skilled in the world. They've won the World Cup more times than anyone else (five) and had the greatest number of FIFA World Player of the Year wins (eight, way more than France...more

Winning the MicroMillions

The MicroMillions on PokerStars is a great new idea for any kind of poker player! It gives everyone a chance to play in a big tournament, and to experience a deep run in a major tournament is very fun, which is why it is great that they run so many...more

EPT8 Madrid: Familiar story for McDonald

Mike McDonald started the day having already amassed an impressive list of EPT results. This is McDonald's eighth cash on the Tour, which is impressive enough. But a closer look reveals that, when McDonald cashes in an EPT, he cashes deep. So far only one of his eight cashes...more

ZOOM! PokerStars launches new fast-paced poker game in beta

For the longtime PokerStars player, there is a familiar feeling that occurs when the "updates to install" notice appears upon launch of the software. For some people, there exists the mild annoyance of having to wait an additional 30 seconds before playing poker. For many others, there is a flutter...more

EPT8 Madrid: The Reign in Spain falls mainly on everyone else...

After speaking to some members of the Spanish media it turns out Spain are pretty good at pretty much everything ("Do you want us to name the sports we're not good at?"). As well as being the current soccer World Champions they lead the world in indoor soccer, handball,...more

MicroMillions Event 11 ($8.80 NL Hold'em): Thehibee2 buzzes competition, wins $11,879

Day 1 of PokerStars' first MegaMillions was a huge success. Day 2 brings more of the same as huge fields mean prize pools well over the listed guarantees. Event 11 is no exception as 10,393 players put up $8.80 to create a prize pool of $83,144, which was distributed...more

EPT8 Madrid: Donkey skin is not transparent

"Donkey skin is not transparent," said a Mexican member of the floor staff who happened to be in the press room (ransacking our refreshments). One 42" monitor sits in the corner of the room piping in the feature table direct from EPT Live Lite but is so positioned that there's...more

EPT Madrid: It's Day 4


EPT8 Madrid: Steady start, unless you're name is Dypvik

There was a quiet start to the day in the tournament room as the final 24 players returning to Casino Gran Madrid. The room is full of tables but empty of players, except for the three tables of the main event, one of which surrounded by lights and camera...more

MicroMillions: Looser Vogel stars as villain in Event #7 $2.20 NLHE

The first thing you do when you sit down at a table in any poker tournament, even before a single hand has been dealt, is look around the table and size up your opponents. With limited information at that point you have to generally stereotype people based on their appearance,...more

EPT8 Madrid: Day 4 seat draw and it's a cracking final 24

Ladies and gentlemen, we heard the early rumblings and we saw the flashes in the sky. This morning the storm hit Madrid as a thundering final 24 players prepare to sit down and battle their way down to eight last players. There's a good mix of established players (McDonald yet...more

15 March

MicroMillions: Brazil's JuvasJr wins Event #3 ($5.50 NLHE)

A quick search of the PokerStars blog site turns up no sign of JuvasJr ... until now. The Brazilian player entered the third MicroMillions event of this inaugural series looking to shine and did just that. When entering the final table at nearly 40 million behind the chip leader, the...more

MicroMillions: iso dj spins a win in Event 4, $3.30+R PLO 6-max

Pot-Limit Omaha. In its full-ring form the game is already full of action, with its four-card starting hands granting seemingly limitless possibilities to make a hand and its big-bet structure allowing players to get paid once they get there. If you reduce the table to just six seats, meaning hands...more

MicroMillions: JDRBaptista takes down a turbo in Event #6, $4.40 NLHE turbo

Quick. Speedy. Fast. Turbo. Today's MicroMillions Event #6: $4.40 NLHE Turbo, sure lived up to its name. Players registered quickly, made the money in a flash, reached the final table swiftly and played down to a winner at once. That winner was JDRBaptista, and for his victory, he'll take...more

MicroMillions: olmiilloos understands how to win Event 5, $10.50 NLHE

The "big" buy-in event on the first day of the first-ever Micro Millions series on PokerStars sported a price tag of a whopping $10.50. That's the point of the series, of course; the ability to play in large-field, big-prizepool tournament series shouldn't be reserved for people who can afford three-figure,...more

MicroMillions: waterbee174 winner of Event #2 ($1+R NLHE 3x-Turbo); Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert 2nd after EPT8 Madrid cash

With all due respect to the college hoops version of March Madness, PokerStars is staging a pretty wacky week-and-a-half of its own with the 100-event MicroMillions series. Indeed, for the next 11 days we're basically looking at a nonstop fast break of poker. Like those with multiple screens to follow...more

EPT8 Madrid: Boujenah in form but Simão shines to lead last 24

Three tables now remain in the European Poker Tour main event in Madrid; containing the final 24 players set to return tomorrow to reach one of eight seats in Saturday's finale. At this stage of play we usually tell you about the chip leader, and we will, it's João...more

EPT8 Madrid: Kenny Hallaert, big stack balla to micro grinder

This morning Kenny Hallaert walked into the Casino Gran Madrid with 102,000 chips in the €5,000 main event. He was yet to make the money but had to make the 72 player cut from the 112 remaining from a 447 starting field. The Belgian, not unused to this stage of...more

MicroMillions: SunTzze blazes the field in Event #1 $0.11 NLHE rebuy

If you build it they will come, and come they did for the first MicroMillions event, a $0.11 No Limit Hold'em Rebuy Madness tournament with a $25,000 guarantee. The unlimited rebuys brought in 71,420 players, starting with 50 chips, who were allowed to rebuy as much as they wished, as...more

EPT8 Madrid: Beaten Busquet gives lesson in short-stacked play

When we reach the end of the day we'll be talking about the best players of the day, and by default that means the 24 who will be returning tomorrow. But that doesn't always tell the full story. Olivier Busquet just crashed out in 34th place having put in...more

EPT8 Madrid: EPT Live Lite set for tomorrow

There are not many people that get to play poker on TV. There's that rotating bunch of big name pros that play the high stakes cash games, you know the ones, and those that somehow manage to shoehorn themselves into those invite-only events. Other than that you need to go...more

EPT8 Madrid: In tribute to (bubble boy) McLean Karr

Just to remind you once more, McLean Karr was the bubble boy today. That's McLean Karr, out in 73rd place. The bubble boy was McLean Karr. I just want to be sure I mention it because while the matter of who the unlucky bubble finisher will be is always...more

EPT8 Madrid: Heroes fighting for a berth in the final 24

We have thus far whittled down 112 players to 42 in Day 3 of the EPT Madrid main event, but another 18 players will be sent to the rail before bagging and tagging takes place. We've lost a plethora of notable players including Toby Lewis (57th), Johnny Lodden (60th), Barny...more

EPT8 Madrid: Boatman on course once more

Barny Boatman had something of a renaissance on the European Poker Tour this year, reaching the final table of EPT San Remo where he was eventually busted in fourth place to earn €225,000. Boatman was hardly a newcomer to the business end of a poker tournament, having earned more...more

EPT8 Madrid: As the bubble approaches...

The build-up to the bubble was costly for some. Joao Barbosa and David Benyamine would bust before it, so too Rupert Elder. From then on the action was fast. James Sudworth was among those moving all-in. Konstantinos Nanos tank folded to keep him alive. A table away Roberto Fernandez...more

EPT8 Madrid: Sudworth among those in bubble trouble

James Sudworth is a young British player who is probably better known for his love of Jagermesister and energy drinks than he is for his poker, but that's not to say the guy can't play. Sudworth has picked up $229,345 in live tournament winnings but in terms of big scores...more

Travel Guide: Sydney

The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour is returning to Sydney for the Season 4 kickoff event. For Sydney veterans or first-timers, the dynamic city has plenty to offer, but of course, the main attraction for those who are reading this is poker. Last year, the event attracted 393 players,...more

EPT8 Madrid: Happy memories for Barbosa

Were you to pick out the former EPT winners remaining in the field you'd start in the obvious places and find three big names, and on each occasion you'd say that Mike McDonald, Toby Lewis and Kevin MacPhee were three players you'd bank on coming close to a second...more

EPT8 Madrid: The pressures of being a modern day poker star

Mike McDonald is sauntering down the wide curved staircase that links the main gaming of the Casino Gran Madrid to the airy and well-lit room which hosts the final 112 players of the EPT Madrid main event. He looks focussed yet relaxed, he's studied his seat draw and he likes...more

EPT8 Madrid: Day 3 seat draw

Today is what we like to call a 'fulcrum' day: the turning point of the tournament. The bubble will burst, the post-bubble flurry will take place and a selection of players set to make the final table will make themselves known. At the moment chip leader Mike 'Timex' MacDonald looks...more

EPT8 Madrid: McDonald leads heading into Day 3

We're back for Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Main event in Casino Gran Madrid. For some this is the morning after the night before with the echo of 80,000 Real Madrid fans still echoing along the A6 motorway. For the others, who didn't fancy, or couldn't afford,...more

£1 million guarantee for UKIPT Nottingham

Bigger is better, right? Well, when it comes to prize guarantees at a poker tournament, then the higher they are, the happier we are. With that in mind, you should be as content as a hippo in a mud bath after reading this: PokerStars UKIPT Nottingham will now have a...more

14 March

EPT8 Madrid: A familiar view for McDonald, taking lead into day 3

First Erich Kollman led, then Dmitri Vitkind assumed control. But when it came time to bag up tonight, five levels having flown by, it was Mike McDonald with the advantage going into Day 3, with 112 players remaining. This, put simply, is what McDonald does, and his powerful performance...more

EPT8 Madrid: Runners and riders in the chase for EPT Awards

Like any popular event worth its salt the European Poker Tour stages its award ceremony at the end of each season, recognising the season's best performers in a typically lavish ceremony. This year will be no different with various awards up for grabs, chief among them being EPT Player...more

EPT8 Madrid: Casual Kollmann takes the chip lead

Is Erich Kollmann is the Barny Boatman* of Austrian poker? Despite never having made a single six-figure score, Kollmann has made $1,479,473 in live tournament cashes and sits second in the all-time money list for Austria behind Josef Klinger (who picked up €1,000,000 for his second place finish at the...more

MicroMillions: 24 hours to go

We're about to experience something on PokerStars we've never seen. For the first time in PokerStars' history, we will see 100 consecutive championship events dedicated to the loyal players who don't have thousands of dollars in buy-ins at their disposal. We will see lives changed, bankrolls built, and new champions...more

Travel Guide: Viña del Mar, Chile

On March 21, Season 5 of the Latin American Poker Tour will kick off in Viña del Mar, Chile, which is the first of five stops that include Uruguay, Colombia and Peru. This will be the third time the LAPT has visited the Viña del Mar Enjoy Casino & Resort...more

EPT8 Madrid: All the way from Season 1...

It takes a particular European Poker Tour bore to be able to name particular winners. Luckily most of these geeks work at these events in some capacity, writing blogs. The name Alexander Stevic doesn't mean a lot to some people, but to aficionados, and anyone who has made a...more

EPT8 Madrid: MacPhee on the up as Terry takes a tumble

Kevin MacPhee is a well-known face on the EPT, one of the hard core of American players that has stuck with the tour since certain satellite issues manifested themselves a year ago, but unless you've met him in person you'd probably find it easier to spot him by his cap...more

EPT8 Madrid: Moreira de Melo the Olympic pit-bull

That last thing you'd think when meeting Fatima Moreira de Melo is of a pit-bull. The smiley, bright Dutch poker player doesn't seem anything less than someone enjoying life, happy to talk to anyone. But this is how the Team PokerStars Pro described herself in her past life as...more

EPT8 Madrid: A delightful Day 2 seat draw

Take a scan through today's seat draw. Go on, do it. It is a peach. Plenty of players, plenty of interesting tables and match-ups. Look at table 18 for instance. It's got Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden, high stakes cash player Olivier 'livb112' Busquet, EPT Vilamoura winner Toby Lewis,...more

EPT8 Madrid: The view outside for those inside

While the picture inside the Casino Gran Madrid changes, the picture outside remains the same. Were it not for the fact that the sun has an obligation to shine elsewhere, this part of the country would remain in permanent sunshine. Drawing back the curtains each morning unwraps a sun...more

EPT Madrid: End of Day 1B wrap


vbjishfij victorious in 3/13/12 Super Tuesday; Reinkemeier runner-up

Time again for the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney that routinely draws the best of the best, the Super Tuesday. This week's tourney drew 440 players, the same number as last week's tourney won by alexandr18ru for a $80,136 score. That meant another $440,000 prize pool -- easily eclipsing...more

13 March

SuperStar Showdown: Haxton comes back to edge Blom again

If the online rail of the SuperStar Showdown was a Greek chorus, this would've been Tuesday's song: "Either you weather the storm, or you don't. That's life." It was an axiom delivered by a railbird named skllzdatklls just before the world's poker community watched a bloody, eye-gouging brawl that saw...more

EPT8 Madrid: Navarette snatches lead at the end of first day

Play has ended on Day 1B of the European Poker Tour main event in Madrid, with Spaniard Juan Navarrete out in front. Navarrete had a good day at the tables, eliminating Steve O'Dwyer along the way. He bags up 173,200 tonight, for the overall chip lead. Chip leader Juan...more

EPT8 Madrid: Approaching the end of Day 1

When you enter the final level of a Day 1B there's always that creeping feeling the tournament is finally getting started. Thoughts of an overall Day 1 chip leader start to manifest, which is looking like Ilan Boujenah with around 190,000 in case you were wondering, and the disparity between...more

EPT8 Madrid: Prizepool and payouts

There's the glory, the winner's photo, the trophy and the Shamballa bracelet. There may even a win your buy-in back Skrill patch on your arm but more than anything else there's that big winner's cheque, an over-sized monstrosity that's so large it can be used to flag down cabs (we...more

Russian Poker Series announces Grand Final

In just two months, the Russian Poker Series Grand Final will decide the Player of the Season and the final champion of the season. Today, the Russian Poker Series announced it will hold its Grand Final in Kiev, Ukraine, May 11-20 at the famous Kreschatik Poker Club. The $3,000 buy-in...more

EPT8 Madrid: Cesar Garcia Dominguez leading Spanish charge

Let's be honest for a second. I know this is poker and all, but let's call a truce on truth: players from emerging poker nations tend to be seen as soft touches. Your 'average' American player will be seen as stronger because they're from the nation that owns the game...more

EPT8 Madrid: Are you the guy who checked the Royal Flush?

In his defence you don't always look out for the hand you only had a one in 649,740 chance of getting in the first place. Regardless, for the first levels of the day Jason Duval was known as "the Royal Flush guy", and not only that, "The guy who...more

Eureka Poker Tour: Paging Barry Greenstein

Among the life axioms in which you can trust, count on these: When Keith Richards shows up, you know it's a real party, and when Barry Greenstein shows up, you know it's a real poker tournament. Today, if you didn't trust it to be true, know this: the Eureka Poker...more

How I won EPT Copenhagen (Part 1)

Most importantly, I have a new blog at, so please everyone come and check it out! After UKIPT in Galway, where I had an absolute blast Saturday night at the players party I went straight from that to the airport at seven in the morning. I managed to sleep...more

EPT8 Madrid: Back to square one for Petersen

Two weeks ago Mickey Petersen was one in a million, well, one in 299, after winning EPT Copenhagen and a first prize of DKK2,515,000. Now he's back to being one in 300, blending back into the crowd to start the ascent towards a second EPT title. It may seem...more

EPT8 Madrid: Talent up top

The main tournament floor doesn't know how lucky it is, nor is it fully expecting the torrent of top class talent that is going to filter down over the next few hours. On the floor above the main playing area is another room packed with some twelve poker tables, each...more

EPT8 Madrid: Like a runaway Freitez train

This is the European Poker Tour's second visit to Madrid. Those who followed events in Season 7 will remember the first; a tournament from which emerged a final table of collisions, near-misses and that inescapable sense of inevitability. It proved to be a unique final - a grand final....more

EPT8 Madrid: It's all rum, betting and the lash as James Wilson chips up

As careers go professional poker player is certainly one of the more esoteric, but being a submariner probably just about tops it for wow factor. British navy submariner, sorry, former British navy submariner, James Wilson has to be the only person to have seriously broached both. This isn't the first...more

EPT8 Madrid: Second flight to play Day 1

Back in Madrid (well, the outskirts) the second day one flight is about to begin at Casino Gran Madrid. Yesterday a field of 130 took their seats in the tournament room, a number we expect to be topped today, with the notable names you've come to expect on the...more

12 March

EPT8 Madrid: Sergiy Baranov leads after fast paced opening day

Monday's are not normally this quick, at least it never is back at the office. But there was pace in this here Day 1A of EPT Madrid, a day now complete. After an afternoon and evening of free soft drinks, all day nibbles and of course poker, it's Ukrainian...more

EPT8 Madrid: Bolshie Baranov battling aggressive Adeniya for the chip lead

We all know that 'anything' can happen in poker. Huge chip swings will take place, chip leaders will stumble and fall, short stack nits will go on a rush and at some point there will be a dealer error that will irrevocably change someone's tournament life*. So while we say...more

EPT8 Madrid: A view through the lens

There are numerous things you have to get used to as a poker player, particularly when you take your seat in a European Poker Tour event. For a start the quality of opposition could be anything from world class to local class, with their personal class being anything from...more

EPT8 Madrid: Adeniya takes out Ziyard, Latin America looks on

A Latin American fever swept Ivan Freitez to the EPT Grand Final title here in Madrid last year, and there appears to be plenty of South and Central Americans looking to follow in his footsteps. Prime among those players at the moment is Juan Jose 'JC-TheGuide' Chavez. Chavez had found...more

Isildur1 and Haxton ready for re-start in SuperStar Showdown

Isaac Haxton can see clearly now. And while the rain may be gone, the pain may not be. Tuesday he'll get a chance to change that. As you might have heard, Haxton was more than 600 hands deep into a big SuperStar Showdown with Viktor "Isildur1" Blom yesterday when his...more

EPT8 Madrid: It's all about the title for Craig Hopkins

Craig Hopkins has been off the EPT circuit lately, having last played EPT Barcelona. The break is nothing to do with any loss of form at the tables, more a run of form off them. We've written stories about Hopkins before. It started back in 2008 when he finished...more

PokerStars weekend review (3-11-12)

Whew. That was a weekend and a half, wasn't it? One of those where you wake up on Monday and wonder if it was all real or if you contracted malaria and suffered fever dreams for 48 hours. In this case, it was real. A Sunday Million anniversary celebration worth...more

EPT8 Madrid: Showcasing the domestic talent

It's incredible what you can learn on a cigarette break. Not being a smoker but wanting to catch some of the beautiful Spanish weather I took the opportunity to go into the holding pen just off the tournament floor. To get outside any other way, such as out the front...more

EPT8 Madrid: Look at this picture and tell me what you see

You might be forgiven for thinking "what the hell is that?" when you arrive at Casino Gran Madrid. It happens as you catch a first glimpse at the Casino's logo, hoisted high up on a pillar so that it's visible from the motorway which speeds past linking Madrid with...more

EPT8 Madrid: Starting stacks, levels and dinner info

Good morning/afternoon/evening, poker fans (we're not time zone biased here on the PokerStars Blog). The European Poker Tour has returned to Madrid for its second time but this time round we're in a bright and breezy annex rather than the main casino floor. The tournament floor is reminiscent of...more

Andrew Kim wins APPT Seoul


EPT8 Madrid: No less grand than it used to be

The European Poker Tour is in Madrid this week for the next leg of Season 8. You may remember Madrid from past tournaments, such as EPT7 "the Grand Final" back in April of last year, where Ivan Freitez, the Venezuelan revolutionary seized power at the final table, trouncing the...more

Sunday Million 6th Anniversary Special: slyfox151 ships the title, toode takes top dollar

Iron and sugar. Believe it or not, these two diametrically opposed elements are actually the traditional gifts for a sixth anniversary. Iron is supposed to signify strength and stability while sugar reflects the sweetness that (fingers crossed) still coats the relationship. Admittedly, PokerStars could have gone a lot of ways...more

11 March

Sunday Warm-Up: jorjo2007 weaves through tough final table for the win

This week's $500,000 Sunday Warm-up guarantee was quiet younger brother sitting in the corner as big brother, Sunday Million, celebrated his sixth birthday party . Yes, the little sibling got a slice of cake and hit the piñata a few times but the focus was mostly on him. Well, the...more

FlipLeader wins flips and the Women's Sunday for nearly $3K

The countdown is on as the Women's Sunday approaches its first birthday. On March 25, what started as an experiment will celebrate its growth into the premiere online women's poker tournament in the world, and we cannot wait to get the party started! That party is already in motion with...more

SuperStar Showdown: Stormy weather strands Haxton, suspends match

After a 36-week hiatus, the SuperStar Showdown was set to return with a bang this afternoon. Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton, Viktor Blom's very first challenger (and the only net winner against him in Showdown matches) was back for another 2,500 hands at double the stakes. Only this time, rather than playing...more

APPT Seoul: Kim brings the crown home to America

When it comes to tournament reporting, I try to maintain as neutral a stance as possible. I've certainly befriended players over my years on the circuit but I strive not to let my friendships with them affect the coverage that I provide, to favor those players in any way over...more

APPT Seoul: Deal done and two more down

Following some lengthy discussions over a few slices of pizza, the final four players have worked out the following deal, based loosely on chip counts with a little negotiation thrown in. Andrew Kim: KRW 110,000,000 Moritz Ortmann: KRW 106,000,000 Rafael Sans: KRW 94,500,000 Vincent Rubianes: KRW 90,500,000 In addition, the...more

APPT Seoul: Zorc paving the way for a deal?

There's lots of emotions a player can run through during the course of a poker tournament. Satisfaction at knocking out a tough opponent. Elation at a critical double-up. Boredom through long stretches of inactivity. And of course, disappointment and resignation when the moment of your elimination seems all but assured....more

APPT Seoul 2012: Day 2 Nightly Notables

By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --> This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the...more

APPT Seoul: The severing of Severino

After a lengthy period of a whole lot of nothing, the deadlock has finally been broken with the recent elimination of Jose Severino in sixth place. It was a tough final table for Severino who battled long periods on the short stack. It seemed that he won the small pots...more

APPT Seoul: Kwon gone

Things are starting to get a little shove-y at our final table here in Seoul. That usually leads to some blood. Canadian Mike Kwon is the latest victim. Kwon was ready to depart earlier this afternoon. He wound up all in on the wrong side of a 10s versus 9s...more

APPT Seoul: Kamikaze Endo

The blow up. It's the car crash of a poker tournament. It happens to all of us at one time or another. And when it does, all we can hope for is that it happens on a quiet, dusty road somewhere in the outback, where no one is around and...more

APPT Seoul: Wong's missing chips

When APPT President Danny McDonagh made the official introductions at the final table, he announced Seat 7 as Ken Wong "with 527,000 chips." A surprised Wong looked down at a much shorter stack of only 115,000. "Where'd my chips go?" he asked in mock surprise. "Must be a misprint," said...more

10 March

APPT Seoul: Speeding to the final table

We've now reached the final table here in the APPT Seoul Main Event, and it only took a little over two hours of play today to do so. The players have been willing to get active which has provided some aggressive, entertaining play. The speed of play today can also...more

APPT Seoul: Big draws

If the first hour of Day 3 was about dominated aces, the second hour has to be about big draws. They're the kinds of hands that, if you flop them, you're either going broke and hitting the rail or scooting out to a big double-up. At Table 12, the result...more

APPT Seoul: Aces of domination

Action is under way here on Day 3 of the APPT Seoul Main Event and already we've seen plenty of carnage as the players seem prepared to move chips around. Of course, by this stage of the tournament a lot of that action is preflop. The blinds are big so...more

APPT Seoul: Who wants to be a hundred millionaire

The sun is shining in Seoul this morning as we prepare for Day 3 - the final day - of the 2012 APPT Seoul Main Event. It's winter so the temperatures are a little brisk, but all things considered it's a fine day to mint a hundred millionaire. That's...more

APPT Seoul: Endo's crescendo

We returned to the Paradise Walkerhill Casino in Seoul, South Korea, this morning along with 109 of Asia's finest poker players as Day 2 of the APPT Seoul Main Event took centre stage. We knew we were in for a long day - and we don't really like those. Seoul...more

APPT Seoul: Too much of a good thing is wonderful

The APPT has been a bit of a victim of its own success here on Day 2 in Seoul. The record turnout for Korea - 268 players paying KRW 3,000,000 each makes this tournament the richest ever in Korea - has created some logistical problems for APPT President Danny McDonagh...more

APPT Seoul: It's a fine line

The bubble is always a fun time to be part of a poker tournament. It doesn't matter if you're a player, an observer or a reporter, we all enjoy the drama associated with the fine line between success and disaster. There's a small, twisted part inside all of us that...more

APPT Seoul: Twice as nice

A funny thing may be underway here in Seoul. Not funny ha-ha, but funny curious. Curious like the curiosity of the NAPT Mohegan Sun events in 2010 and 2011, when Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier went back-to-back in their respective events (the Main Event for Selbst; the Bounty Shootout for...more

APPT Seoul: Tankers and stallers

You've probably heard us use phrases such as "in the tank" and "stalling" when we write up various hand histories at the tournaments we visit. Usually we try to provide some sort of adjective to help describe the situation to the readers at home when a player is taking a...more

APPT Seoul: Rail thin

A few hours ago I mused that, although the players in the 2012 APPT Seoul Main Event may reside in 37 different countries, they're all really citizens of the same country - the country of poker. Yet as I wandered the floor during the last hour, I was struck by...more

9 March

APPT Seoul: It's all about the structure

Unfortunately Team PokerStars have lost their last member in the APPT Seoul Main Event with Celina Lin dropping by our desk to let us know the sad news. Lin recalled to us that she raised ace-king from the cutoff before her opponent three-bet on the button. Lin moved all in...more

APPT Seoul: The language of poker

A few minutes before the end of Level 9, I caught an all in on Table 6. On a K-9-3 flop, a big stack tried bullying the short-stacked Hirotoshi Nakabo by making a bet big enough to put Nakabo all in. Nakabo snap-called with A♠A♣. His opponent was drawing thin...more

APPT Seoul: Got techno?

Following a fun time at dinner, we decided to venture further into the heart of Seoul in the search of a little shopping fix. Our goal was some cheap electronics. Being techies, it didn't really matter what kind, but if it beeped, flashed or buzzed, and was cheaper than the...more

APPT Seoul: Melting pot luck

Gamjatang, according to Wikipedia, is "a spicy Korean soup made with pork spine, vegetables, green onions, hot peppers and ground wild sesame seeds". It's deep red in color, slightly spicy on account of the peppers, and served with a variety of accoutrements, including the ubiquitous kimchi. It was also our...more

APPT Seoul: The sound of vitality

Welcome back to Seoul, South Korea for our continued coverage of the Season 5 APPT Seoul Main Event. We're loving our time here at this event. It's only a four-day tournament, which means today could be a long day as the record-setting field are reduced to the final two tables...more

WBCOOP 2012: The winners

They wrote. They tweeted. They played. Now, three people stand above the world's poker bloggers as the top dogs of the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. Over the past past couple of weeks, eligible poker bloggers across the globe have been engaged in a battle of poker, blogging,...more

Sunday Million guaranteeing $6 million prize pool this weekend

So, take a look at the logo on the left there. Most weeks out of the year, that logo serves its purpose completely. That's because most weeks, PokerStars guarantees one million bucks for the Sunday Million. This week, that logo is useless to me except for serving as the perfect...more

APPT Seoul: A Hale-storm hits Seoul

The morning after the night before. It was another romantically peaceful day in Seoul, South Korea, but it was a slow start to the day for many following the antics of last night's PokerStars player's party. Break dancing, topless Japanese men and too much soju saw many players nursing a...more

APPT Seoul: Hale to the chief

Energy. With all of our lights, computers and electronics, it's what powers the modern world. There's a killing to be made for anyone who can either devise new forms of energy or exploit existing ones. The current chip leader on Day 1b, 34-year-old Jhana Hale, falls into the latter camp....more

APPT Seoul: By the numbers

During the course of tournaments, we bloggers often come across little factoids that never make it into the blog for a variety of reasons. Having collected several of those factoids during the first two days of the 2012 APPT Seoul Main Event, I decided to take a page from my...more

8 March

APPT Seoul: A rough day in the office

The Day 1b flight of the APPT Seoul Main Event has come in at 139 entrants, and when combined with yesterday's numbers, has produced a total field of 268 players to shatter all previous records for a poker tournament in Seoul in terms of both number of entrants and prizepool....more

APPT Seoul: Rub-a-dub-dub

As I was packing up my laptop in my hotel room this morning, I spotted a stand-up on the nightstand advertising hotel massage services available by dialing Guest Services. Forty minutes of what massage go for the very reasonable rate of KRW 49,000, or about $45. I made a mental...more

APPT Seoul: A breath of fresh air

Here's a little story that should make PokerStars Blog guru Brad Willis pretty happy. You may recall his public health message at the PCA to spread the word amongst poker players to wash their hands after exiting the bathroom. We appreciate Brad's contribution towards a better planet, and while hygiene...more

APPT Seoul: In the bright white noise

While some people were busy mixing it up in a crazy PLO game last night, the rest of us sought a less stomach-churning way to decompress. The APPT stepped up with free alcohol, free food, some live DJs "dropping mad beats" (as I believe the kids say), and a break-dancing...more

APPT Seoul: That was a crazy game of poker

Arriving into the Paradise Walkerhill Casino this morning and it was business as usual. We found our desk, fired up the old laptop and settled in for another day of blogging duties. It was pretty quiet in the poker room, with tournament staff setting up tables and dealers getting last...more

APPT Seoul: Korean duality

There's a limited amount of floor space to work with in the Paradise Walkerhill Casino for the 2012 APPT Seoul Main Event. That's both a bad thing and a good thing. It's a bad thing because limited amount of floor space means that the tournament staff have to cap the...more

Money, VPPs, body fat, and investments in 2012

I will start by telling you my goals for 2012 1. Make as much money as possible 2. Reach 2 000 000 VPPs (2x Supernova Elite) 3. Go down to 15% body fat 4. Invest my money with double digits returns. Going for 2M VPPs and spending some time on...more

APPT Seoul: Park carries the flag on Day 1a

When I walked into the Paradise Walkerhill Casino this morning for Day 1a of the 2012 APPT Seoul Main Event, I passed by another function taking place just outside of the casino. The 2012 Puma Kick-off Event featured garishly colored sneakers, Korean mean wearing the last past-ironic fashions (t-shirt, ratty...more

Welcome to APPT Seoul Day 1A


APPT Seoul: Girl power

Looking around the Walkerhill Poker Room and we've noticed that among the remaining 84 players there are a significant percentage of female players still in contention. In fact, there's barely a table that doesn't have at least one woman playing, and many of them have two or more. In our...more

International Women's Day: Lessons in empowerment from the felt

International Women's Day was established in 1911, and is a national holiday in 25 countries. March 8 is observed as the day to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, and in the United States, the entire month of March is designated Women's History Month. In honor of the annual event,...more

APPT Seoul: Up in smoke

I've never adjusted to the amount of smoking that occurs in Asian casinos. You'd think, after a few years of living in Las Vegas and traveling around Asia, that I'd be used to the lazy plumes of smoke that are part and parcel of any casino experience and that are...more

APPT Seoul: McKenzie out in the cold

As we pass the halfway mark of the opening day of play here at the APPT Seoul Main Event, there are currently 98 players remaining from the starting field of 129, and our chip leader is currently a pretty familiar face. Is there anyone playing better/running hotter than Australian Oliver...more

7 March

APPT Seoul: Blessed silence

Spend any time in a casino in North America, South America, Australia or Europe and you will quickly become familiar with the incessant electronic melodies of hundreds of slot machines all competing for your attention. The machines typically take up more than 90% of the gaming floor in the standard...more

APPT Seoul: Wakeman returns to his roots

For Matt Wakeman, winning a PokerStars online satellite into the APPT Seoul Main Event was about more than just winning another poker tournament. He's done that many times before. This is about exploring himself, his family and his culture, in a way that he's never seen before. Wakeman is well...more

APPT Seoul: Lost in translation

The first person I saw after I got off my flight to Korea yesterday was Robert DeNiro. Yes, that Robert DeNiro. The one who played Ace Rothstein in Martin Scorsese's landmark film "Casino". The man lauded by many as the greatest actor of his generation. He was here, in Korea,...more

APPT Seoul: Winding it back

As the 2012 APPT Seoul gets under way here at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino in Seoul, we thought it would be interesting to wind the clock back to September 2008. It was the last time we were here and was one of the most memorable poker tournaments and final tables...more

Travel Guide: Madrid

The European Poker Tour made its inaugural stop in Madrid in Season 7. The gorgeous city served as the backdrop for the Grand Final. Always keeping us guessing, this year PokerStars has decided to return to Madrid, only this time, it will not be the Grand Final. Last year's event...more

SuperStar Showdown: Blom seeking revenge on Haxton

If revenge is, in fact, a dish best served cold, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom is doing it right. It's been nearly 15 months since he played his first SuperStar Showdown match. Indeed, it's been some 450 days since Blom dropped the first SuperStar Showdown to well-known rounder Isaac Haxton. Now, Blom...more

Super Tuesday 3/6/12: Alexandr18ru declared winner over Wilinofsky

This week's Super Tuesday featured 440 players turning out, creating a $440,000 prize pool for the final 54 players standings. Tonight's winner was expected to cash in for over $84,000, but it was another win for Russia as alexandr18ru claimed the title, defeating Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky for just over...more

APPT's got Seoul

Thinking back to 2008 and our first venture to Seoul for the Asia Pacific Poker Tour and it was an exciting time to be a part of the tour. I have fond memories of crazy taxi drivers, delicious Korean BBQ, too much Soju and a wild final table that saw...more

6 March

MicroMillions: Beyond the buy-ins

We've made much of the MicroMillions, the series' tiny buy-ins, and the big guaranteed prize pools. If you haven't seen our Tigger-like bouncing all over the PokerStars Blog, you probably haven't been looking closely enough. We're getting sort of caught up in the excitement. But, get this: there's a lot...more

Travel Diary: EPT Copenhagen

Copenhagen had been on my to-do list for quite some time, so to find out I was covering the EPT there was like a blessing in disguise. I knew it wasn't going to be warm and word on the street was that is was quite an expensive place, but that...more

Everything you wanted to know about poker (but were afraid to ask)

Anyone starting out in poker may feel a little daunted; there's a lot to take in and a seemingly steep learning curve to climb. Even players who know the basics may feel they have no place to go to get tips and strategies without fuss. As ever, PokerStars has the...more

Karasinsky wins IPT Nova Gorica for €140,000

The chatter in Italy yesterday was all about Carla Solinas and her monster lead heading into the final table of the Italian Poker Tour Nova Gorica event. Solinas had more than twice as many chips as second-placed Dubravko Bagic. As it turned out, Solinas finished runner-up, but not to Bagic....more

Online Poker Show: Sunday Million, March 4


5 March

PokerStars Hot Turbos: Guaranteed turbos every day

I'm going to make this quick, because, I know you are busy. You've got three appointments before noon, a meeting with somebody important, and five phone calls to return. But, hey, there's still time for a PokerStars tournament with a big guarantee, right? Right. Seriously, right. Today PokerStars launched the...more

PokerStars weekend review (3-4-12)

The Russians. They're at it again. They're winning all the money on PokerStars. It was the story last weekend, and it was the lead again this Sunday. Led by Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov (who won the Sunday 500 for more than $80,000), the Russians once again cleaned up this...more

MicroMillions: Making room in the tent

Okay, okay. We get it. You really, really like the new PokerStars MicroMillions tournament series. As of this hour (a week and half before the series kicks off, by the way), nearly 18,000 people have already signed up for Event #1. It's sort of overwhelming. In fact, it's gotten so...more

Team Pro Max Lykov takes Sunday 500

So, you might have thought the presidential elections in Russia were going to keep the people of that country too busy to play good poker. That is, you might have thought wrong. For the second week in a row, Russians trounced the Sunday majors. Not only did they pound on...more

Solinas leads as IPT Nova Gorica final table set

The PokerStars Italian Poker Tour never fails to deliver, bringing big fields and plenty of excitement. The Nova Gorica event, which reaches a climax later today, proves the point once more. Leading the final eight is Carla Solinas, one of the emerging talents of Italian poker. When I say leading...more

4 March

FairLaw wins hard-fought heads-up match for Sunday Million title

The home page for the Sunday Million contains more than information about the weekly event and its satellites. For example, I found a section of facts that informed of the date of the first ever Sunday Million ... on March 5, 2006. That means tomorrow is this tournament's birthday! Interestingly,...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Yes, we can! auercan takes down $112K in victory

It's hard not to look ahead to the next few weeks for the excitement coming across the upcoming tournaments here at PokerStars. You got the 6th anniversary of the original Sunday Major, the Sunday Million bigger and badder with a $6,000,000 guarantee and someone walking away with seven figures. Then,...more

Camogie captures Women's Sunday title for Ireland

In three weeks, the Women's Sunday will experience its first birthday! And instead of buying gifts for the Women's Sunday, it will be giving presents to the players who helped make the tournament such a success. That makes it a birthday for the women of PokerStars, in a way. For...more

2 March

PokerStars Women's Poker League: Canada, Brazil & Spain take top February spots

With three divisions in the Women's Poker League, players have more options than ever to compete at levels with which they are most comfortable. Some choose to play in two or three divisions, while others focus on one and improve their game as they go. Bankroll and game goals may...more

Gorby3975: Finding the mysterious winning Russian

When this week's Sunday Million dealt its final river card, we looked at the winner's name and knew we had seen it before. That's because the guy won the Sunday Storm just a week before. What's more, his Sunday Million win came by way of a 2,500 FPP VIP Club...more

1 March

MicroMillions: So, you like it then?

"This is freakin' awesome." That was among the first responses we got when we announced the first PokerStars MicroMillions yesterday. It came to us via our PokerStars Blog Twitter account from Hamilton, Ontario's Maureen McCarthy. "I'm taking my shot at the big score," she said. Now, we knew people were...more

PokerStars Women: Flickr Photo Competition

PokerStars loves a good celebration. We celebrate billionth hands on a regular basis, and you might remember the weeks-long festivities surrounding PokerStars' 10th Anniversary at the end of 2011. And if you've ever been to a PokerStars live event like the European Poker Tour, you're familiar with the dancers, drinks,...more

Thanks and thoughts after EPT Copenhagen

After EPT Copenhagen I was happy and exhausted in equal measure. I had only one feeling of loss: being unable to respond to the thousands of messages of sympathy. We are like that in smaller countries like Belgium; much closer to each other, and in our little world of Belgian...more