August 2012

31 August

APPT Melbourne: Down they fall

Crown Poker Room head honcho Jonno Pittock just swung by our desk to share his surprise about the rate of attrition today in the APPT Melbourne Main Event. Approaching the end of the third level of the day, already we've lost almost half of our starting day field. We started...more

APPT Melbourne: Crown Poker Room heating up

The Crown Poker Room is a hub of activity this afternoon. With Day 2 of the APPT Main Event in full swing (currently 115 players remaining approaching the end of Level 9), there's plenty going on throughout Australia's premier poker room. A large gathering of players are currently at the...more

APPT Melbourne: Spring has sprung

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month. The first of September brings with it the first day of spring here in Australia. Yes, we live in the future out here. The sun is starting to shine, the birds are singing, the days are starting to get a...more

WCOOP 2012: Action kicks off Sunday

It's here. After a year of waiting, planning, bankroll-building, and anticipation, the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker has arrived. This Sunday, the biggest online poker series in the world kicks off with 65 events and $30 million in guaranteed money. Here at the PokerStars Blog, we have filled the...more

PokerStars Radio


Italian Poker Tour returns to Campione

With 110 players in its Day 1A field, the popular Italian Poker Tour has returned to the shores of Campione for Day 1A. Now Day 1B is underway with an even bigger crowd. The kickoff of this week's tournament marks the third event of the IPT's fourth season. The €2,200...more

WCOOP: Still my favorite after all these years

I remember how uneasy I felt this time last year, gearing up for the WCOOP. Even in the last few days leading up to the huge series, I still felt like I was getting my feet wet, returning to online poker after the forced four-month hiatus of Black Friday. Sometimes...more

APPT Melbourne: Teddy takes control on Day 1b

TGIF. Thank God It's Friday. It's a phrase used by many office workers hanging out for a weekend of drinking beer and watching sports after a rough week at work. We love Fridays as well, but unfortunately the life of a poker professional really doesn't revolve the concept of time....more

APPT Melbourne: Where's Wally?

As we enter the sixth level of the day, I thought I'd catch up with the progress of reigning APPT Melbourne champion, Leo Boxell. The Australian Poker Hall of Famer was sitting quietly up in the high-limit area of the poker room, and as usual, had a healthy stack in...more

30 August

APPT Melbourne: Poker Scramble

Playing a full day of live poker can take its toll. It's hard to stay focussed when you're not getting any good cards, the guy on your left is talking smack, and you'd just rather be up at the bar watching the footy. Staying patient and relaxed at the table...more

APPT Melbourne: Friends become rivals

Yesterday we talked about some of the super-tough table lineups that had formed here at the APPT Melbourne Main Event. Well, there is no relief for players today either, with every table containing several notable players who we are sure they would much rather avoid. 2011 Aussie Millions champion David...more

APPT Melbourne: Embracing diversity

Australia is a country that embraces its multiculturalism. Melbourne in particular has an enormously diverse community and we're proud to share this great land with people from all walks of life. If you've spent any time in Melbourne, you've probably found yourself walking through Chinatown, eating pasta along the very...more

APPT Melbourne: Rubie rules Day 1a

It felt like a long wait. The APPT Melbourne event was on everyone's poker calendar and finally the wait was over. It had only been a month since Dave Allan collected the title at the APPT Queenstown, yet somehow the wait felt longer. Perhaps it was the excitement over a...more

My WCOOP will be cheaper than my MicroMillions

In the past two years I've been mainly a satellites player and the WCOOP period was the second most profitable period of the year for me (first was the SCOOP) as there was a lot of great value satellites! This year I've decided to start learning how to play the...more

As the Stars Tweet: Futbol, WCOOP, and More

Last week, members of Team PokerStars Pro were still in Barcelona for the European Poker Tour. We could bore you with chip-count tweets, but we're sure you want to know about all of the fun things they did away from the felt. One night, the tournament finished up early and...more

APPT Melbourne: Flying the flag for Team PokerStars

The stars are out to play here at the APPT Melbourne Main Event with the red spade flag of Team PokerStars being dusted off and prepared to fly high this week. It's been some time since we've seen so many members of Team PokerStars together at a poker event here...more

APPT Melbourne: Stacked field floors Aston

As we tick into the fourth level of play, we are still awaiting confirmation of numbers but with eleven tables in play, and most of them looking pretty full, we'll predict a Day 1a field of close to 100 players. Last year we saw 260 players in total with Leo...more

APPT Melbourne: The blogger's lifeline

Being a tournament blogger doesn't require too much assistance for us to do our job effectively. All we need is a desk in a quiet corner of the room, preferably with a moderately comfortable chair, a nearby power outlet for the humble ol' lappy, and a connection with the World...more

APPT Melbourne: The home of poker down under

Welcome to the luxurious Crown Casino in Melbourne for the continuation of Season 6 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. The APPT Melbourne has positioned itself as one of the premier stops on the local tour, with the $5,000 buy-in attracting the cream of the crop from throughout Australia, New...more

29 August

PokerStars Radio readying mics for WCOOP

Don't touch that radio dial, because in just a few days PokerStars Radio is hitting the airwaves again. Back by popular demand, PokerStars Radio will reprise its WCOOP show with some of the best commentary and interviews in all of online poker. Beginning September 2 and running through September 25,...more

PCA 2013: Soldiering on, going to PCA for free (again)

Former soldier Steve "Roversfan95" Westlund has done it again - winning himself a seat to the PCA for the second year running via PokerStars' Mega-Path satellite series. Steve, who was in the British Army for 23 years and served all over the world including Belfast, the first Gulf War and...more

Why should you play WCOOP?

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Sheeter 200 wraps up huge 8/28/12 Super Tuesday, $92K

The last Super Tuesday of August also marked the last before the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker begins this weekend, meaning the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament will be taking a hiatus for a few weeks. Perhaps as a result, a larger than average field came out for this...more

28 August

WCOOP reload bonus hits PokerStars

Want some extra money to play the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker? PokerStars just announced a 20% reload bonus up to $100. Beginning right now and running until 23:59 ET Sept 4, your real money deposit with the bonus code WCOOP will get you an extra 20% up to...more

What do you love about Barcelona?

While in Barcelona for the European Poker Tour, we caught up with some of the players who were playing the High Roller event and asked them what they love about Barcelona. "I would say a lot of shisha places. So whenever you get busted from a tournament you can just...more

PokerStars Macau reveals ACOP title events

Today, PokerStars Macau revealed that the highly anticipated October 26 - November 11 launch of the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) will have certain tournaments designated as ACOP Title Events. These events have buy-ins ranging from HK $8,000 (US $1,000) to HK $250,000 (US $32,000) with the exception of...more

27 August

PokerStars weekend review (8-26-12)

There is a lion loose in Essex. Or there isn't. It's hard to say. Somebody claims to have seen one, and that's been enough to start police and sharpshooters on a mission to find a lion where a lion doesn't belong. This is, by far, the biggest news of interest...more

26 August

Sunday Million: nebo_blizko blitzes final table, scores $184k

For a lot of us, tomorrow brings the dawn of a new school year. For others, it's the last "normal" Sunday grind for at least a month, the WCOOP poised to take over our minds and monitors in one week's time. Amidst these lazy last days of summer, this week's...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Incognito no longer, undaDISGUISE wins $97K

Tonight's champion will get to hold on to that title for awhile. No, not just the normal seven days from Sunday to Sunday but instead since a little thing called the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) will be traveling through for the next three weeks the $500,000 guaranteed Sunday...more

Minko23 defeats PS Friend Sjlot to win August 26 Women's Sunday

The month of August is almost over, and so is the PokerStars Women Mobile Summer Pinterest competition. We've been pinning and repinning photos throughout the month, but there are only a few coming in during this last week so far. The competition closes at midnight on Friday, so if you...more

Battle of the Planets: Another Great from Russia, TheGreatRus claims August title

With the enlarged player pool of 729 runners (as opposed to 509 last month and 380 in June), the first round was not the easy stepping stone as it has been for recent previous months of this tournament. Instead of having to knock out four or five players, mostly full...more

25 August

EPT9 Barcelona: Mikalai Pobal beats Finns to first million of Season 9

At times it has felt like the first main event of the new season has been headlined by Finnish players from the start. On day one Aku Joentausta held the lead. Then heads were turned by the return of Ilari Sahamies to live tournament poker. Then a third contender...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Drunken Finns? We've got drunken Finns!

Call us seers, clairvoyants, psychics. Or oracles, prophets or soothsayers. But a couple of hours ago we intimated at PokerStars Blog that the EPT Barcelona main event may be headed to a heads up duel between two drunken Finns. You know what? We might be right. When Ilari Sahamies, Joni...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Laurent Polito upsets the form-book to reign in Spain

Surprise winners are part and parcel of major poker tournaments, but they tend to be rarer in High Roller events. If a seasoned commentator had looked at the line-up for the final 12 of the €10,000 High Roller event in Barcelona today - a field including Andrew Lichtenberger, Jonathan Duhamel,...more

EPT Barcelona: Steve O'Dwyer gambling it up with Bryn Kenney in the €5,000 turbo

'It's everyone's favourite tournament. You get deep stacked play but it's done in a day and you always get two or three of your friends on your table. There's lots of hands, lots of gamble and everyone's trying to get unstuck,' said Steve O'Dwyer, looking like a big kid in...more

EPT9 Barcelona: It is enough!

EPT final tables don't usually last 13 hours. When they do there's usually something memorable to talk about, even if it's just a rush hour taxi ride to catch a plane home on 45 minutes sleep, while typing an end of day report and brushing your teeth. When the...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Two drunken Finns

With two final tables to play to a close tonight, there were all kinds of permutations for intriguing mini-battles to develop. We were looking forward to seeing John Juanda clash with Ilari Sahamies in a live versus online skirmish to please the purists from both environments, for example. Meanwhile on...more

EPT Barcelona: The vision behind the EPT champions Slyde by HD3 watch

You'll almost certainly have seen or heard about the new Slyde by HD3 watch that will be gifted to each EPT main event champion: images of the flash timepiece, which is worth €5,480, have been splashed across the digital displays in the EPT tournament room room and across this blog...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Spain expects but can Rodriguez deliver?

He was Spain's best hope, its only hope, for a first Spanish winner on the European Poker Tour. That it might come on home soil only added to the spirit of Fiesta. Samuel Rodriguez was second in chips at the start today and a nation held its breath. Things...more

EPT9 Barcelona: A Round With...the silent high rollers

There is an awful lot to focus on in the tournament room this afternoon, including the circus stage of the main event final table, the one-last-hurrah insanity of the €5,000 six-max turbo, plus the tail end of another couple of events. It is easy to forget about the High...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The Daily Strategy: The final table

Welcome to the latest instalment of PokerStars Blog's regular series: The Daily Strategy. Every day during season nine of the European Poker Tour, we will be quizzing Team PokerStars Pro for their advice on a specific element of major tournament strategy, aimed at introducing new players to key elements...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Double final table day

Today is the end of the beginning. It is 13 days since the first EPT festival of season nine began at Casino Barcelona and we have now reached the final hurdle. And what a grandstand finale we have lined up: two final tables, a combined prize pool of more than...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Terje Augdal claims the €10,000 Heads Up Championship title, wins €126,700

Terje Augdal won the €10,000 Heads Up Championships late last night bagging €126,700 beating Marc-Andre Ladouceur in a ten-hour epic. It was the final strenuous hurdle at the end of a tough draw which saw him beat, in order; Timothy Adams, Jussi Niemel, Team PokerStars Pro and WSOP Main Event...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Final table player profiles

The final table of the EPT Barcelona main event takes place at Casino Barcelona in Spain on Saturday 25 August, 2012. The final table players, with their biographies and starting chip counts are below. Full coverage of the Barcelona Poker Festival can be found at the PokerStars Blog. The...more

24 August

EPT9 Barcelona: Reinkemeier leads High Rollers into star-studded final day

This EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller event can be summarised in two fragments of Jason Mercier's tweets. Yesterday the Team PokerStars Pro was describing how he was forced to reload after busting first hand, then this afternoon he was at it again. "Table is absurd tough," Mercier said. That is...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Brilliant Sahamies poised for glory

Ilari Sahamies cares not for the facets of everyday life. The Finn has worn the same non-descript grey tracksuit for most of the week. He's ambivalent towards TV cameras. He peppers any quotes to the press with unusable expletives. He forgets what the blinds are and goes home only...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Augdal on the verge of victory in the €10,000 Heads Up Championship

Terje Augdal is currently two-nil up against Marc-Andre Ladouceur in the final of the inaugural €10,000 Heads Up Championships and the third bout has just begun putting the Norwegian close to the €126,700 first place prize. Ladouceur will have to win the remaining three contests if he's to close out...more

EPT9 Barcelona: From the archive: Carter Phillips' extraordinary bluff

The EPT main event in Barcelona is on its dinner break, with nine players remaining. It is always a strange period of play at this time, when the remaining competitors are seated around a pseudo final table. There are nine players left but one more still needs to bust before...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Don't judge a book by its cover

Assembled in a loose throng in Barcelona about an hour ago were seven young men, between the age of about 20 and 30. Between them, they could boast only three pairs of shoes (one a pair of scruffy red espadrilles), three pairs of sandals, two pairs of socks (one inside...more

As the Stars Tweet: Ole!

The PokerStars European Poker Tour kicked off Season 9 in Barcelona, Spain, with a €50,000 Super High Roller event last week. Plenty of Team PokerStars Pros anted up to play including 2010 World Series of Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel who reentered twice, and the Twitterverse was filled with SHR...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Teaching a pit-bull to chill

Despite a first-rate performance, Fatima Moreira de Melo's day came to an end in 16th place today, one table short of her first EPT final table. Moreira de Melo enjoyed a great day three and a difficult day four, but the plan came to an end on day five....more

EPT9 Barcelona: Mr or Miss Double Champion - Who will it be?

Yesterday afternoon, with two former champions still battling through Day 4 of EPT9 Barcelona, the PokerStars Blog took an (almost) scientific look at the double champion hoodoo that has beset the Tour. No one has ever won two EPT main events and we want to know why. The conclusion from...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Bonomo and Smith against it in €10,000 Heads Up Championship semis

Justin Bonomo and Dan Smith are in danger of getting knocked in the semi-finals of the €10,000 Heads Up Championship, Bonomo is currently one-all against his opponent Marc-Andre Ladouceur but is trailing in the decider. Smith is behind one-nil to Norwegian Terje Augdal and will have to wiin both remaining...more

EPT9 Barcelona: High rollers in the ascendant

There were 111 players in the High Roller yesterday, 76 when they returned this afternoon. Now that figure stands at 50. Jean-Noel Thorel, who was in second place overnight behind Taylor Paur, was struck by Max Greenwood who relieved him of more than 40,000. Greenwood turned that into more...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Ilari 'Ziigmund' Sahamies spends €2,000 on a massage

The world of the high stakes poker player can seem entirely alien to the outside observer. There are €10,000, €50,000 and €100,000 buy-ins, wallet-busting bottle service and watches that cost an average annual salary. Things that you and I would balk at are considered normal and often not considered at...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The featureless table

At this stage something has been written or videoed about each of the remaining players. They're an eclectic bunch, made up of multiple bracelet winners at one end, and local club players at the other. In fact, two players have a total of zero career earnings in live events...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Back from the pitch to the poker tables

Yesterday night some of the world's most celebrated high rollers - the flouncers and prima donnas of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona - took to the soccer field of Camp Nou to contest the Spanish Super Cup. It meant that the high rollers of the poker world had some competition...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Day 2 seat draw, €10k Heads Up Championships on hold

Day 2 of the €10,000 High may well be under way but we've stalled in the semi-finals of the €10,000 Heads Up Championship. Yesterday, when the tournament was initially scheduled to conclude, the remaining players semi-finalists Justin Bonomo, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Dan Smith and Terje Augdal, as well as Steven Siverrman...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Home is where the hope is for Samuel Rodriguez

Home advantage can be a powerful commodity in a great number of pursuits. Yesterday at the tables of the European Poker Tour main event in Barcelona, it came into play for Samuel Rodriguez, a 25-year-old student and hotel worker from just around the corner. Despite playing in his first EPT...more

23 August

EPT9 Barcelona: Taylor Paur leads the reloading High Rollers

Another day, another High Roller, another €10,000 invested in search of the big prize. Actually for many it was €10,000 plus another €10,000 as today's High Roller allowed for a re-load - a second bullet fired at the sun. For the Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, that slug was quickly...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Samuel Rodriguez the surprise leader on Day 4

It took a little more than six hours to reduce a field of 61 to 24, the final three tables of players who will return to Casino Barcelona tomorrow with an eye on reaching the first main event final table of the new season. There are few dull moments...more

Introducing the European Players Council

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EPT9 Barcelona: The last 26 with two to go

With 26 players remaining it's worth taking a look at who is left - players you may or may not have already come across. Joni Jouhkimainen could be the player poised to use Barcelona as a springboard to greater success, according to the Finnish poker press. The Finns are...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Who's been crushing the side events?

There's been a huge amount of side events here at EPT Barcelona and while the blue ribbon side events like the €10,000 High Roller, €50,000 Super High Roller and €10,000 Heads Up Championship get a lot of attention, many of the others fly under the radar. Dan Smith, as seems...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Hoodoo you think you are? The two-time EPT jinx

It nearly happened in Copenhagen and it was close again in Monte Carlo. Then it seemed to be on in Barcelona, before hopes shifted to Dortmund, where they were snuffed out once again. Ram Vaswani, Brandon Schaefer, Mark Teltscher and Mike McDonald already had one EPT title apiece when they...more

Road to 100 Billion: The second happiest day of a winner's life

At 44 years old, Sergey "som6873" Tsiganov probably already had an inkling that he had already known his happiest days. Almost any parent will tell you, the happiest day of his life is watching his child come into the world. Tsiganov is no different, and he remembers the day his...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The good, the bad, and the unlucky

Marcos Fernandez, a relatively unknown player in Spain, caused problems early this week when one player tweeted about not liking his appearance. Fernandez does not have horns or fangs or anything like that. Instead he's played every day with his hood up, one that has a zip that can...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Fatima Moreira de Melo into the final 50

Fatima Moriera de Melo is going deep into the money here at EPT Barcelona and now has €16,800 locked up. All eyes are still on the €1,007,550 first prize and, of course, the title and Slyde H3 watch. By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Not as Super, but the High Rollers are back

The travelling poker community is pretty small, and players tend to see the same faces across the table time and time again. It only gets smaller when the buy-in goes up, and some of the highest high rollers must be sick of the sight of one another. "Ah, you again."...more

EPT9 Barcelona, High Roller: Day 1 seat draw

The Day 1 seat draw for the €10,000 High Roller event. Red 1 1. Taylor Paur United States 2. Ekrem Sanioglu Turkey 3. Mike Watson Canada 4. Sam Chartier Canada 5. Ognjen Sekularac Serbia 6. Bertrand Grospellier France 7. Erik Anton Wigg Sweden 8. Stanislav Labutkin Russian Federation Red 2...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The Daily Strategy: Scheduling your EPT festival

Welcome to the latest installment of PokerStars Blog's regular series: The Daily Strategy. Every day during season nine of the European Poker Tour, we will be quizzing Team PokerStars Pro for their advice on a specific element of major tournament strategy, aimed at introducing new players to key elements of...more

EPT9 Barcelona, €10,000 Heads Up Championships: Smith, Bonomo and Augdal waiting for the semi-finals

Justin Bonomo, Terje Augdal and on-fire high roller Dan Smith are all through to the semi-finals in the €10,000 Heads Up Championships guaranteeing themselves a minimum €38,000 payout. One of Marc-Andre Ladouceur and Steven Silverman will join them in the semis but all five have decided to put the tournament...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Antonin Duda getting the numbers right

As play ended last night Antonin Duda could look back on a good day at the tables. But he had to look twice. Grabbing one of the polythene bags in which players let their chips rest for the night, Duda inked in his chip count: 147,000. He looked at...more

22 August

EPT9 Barcelona: A dude named Duda destroys Day 3

EPT Barcelona, season nine, is becoming one of the best tournaments there has ever been on the tour. There have been some virtuoso displays by established stars, breakout performances from future heroes, and a dude named Duda leading them all at the end of a frantic third day. The Duda...more

EPT Barcelona: Seiver and Watson in final ten of €2k, round three of €10k HU

We've said it before and I'll wager that we'll say it again, but this is truly a festival of poker. There are currently four or five tournament going on with the main event the Ferris wheel around which everything else rotates. Dotted around the room are other attractions, including the...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The other side of the screen

It is easy to think that the pictures you can watch on EPT Live right now are equally simple to produce. In a way they are - but only as long as you have a team of highly skilled production staff who have been doing this for years. But it...more

EPT PokerStars Mobile Lounge

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World Cup of Poker IX locks final teams

After two weeks of online battle, eight teams can now celebrate locking up spots in the live finals in the World Cup of Poker. All eight teams will get expenses-paid trips to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure where they will play for national pride and big cash in front of a...more

EPT9 Barcelona, €10,300 Heads Up Championships: Elky out. Minieri, Duhamel through.

We've had some big scalps in round one with ElkY falling to Rui Cao and Alec Torelli getting taken out by Samuli Sipila. Jonathan Duhamel has just knocked out Martin Jacobson in their third and final match while Juha Helppi seems to have Sorel Mizzi up against the ropes as...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Ninety nine

The tournament information board in Barcelona is currently telling players to go on their third break of the day. It's the end of level 18 and when they return, they will be playing blinds of 3,000-6,000 with a 1,000 ante. The other number that matters at the moment is in...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The Daily Strategy: The bubble

Welcome to the third instalment of PokerStars Blog's new regular series: The Daily Strategy. Each day during the season we'll be talking to Team PokerStars Pros for their take on specific aspects of a poker tournament, giving new and experienced players an insight into how professional players think. On...more

EPT9 Barcelona, €10,300 Heads Up Championships: First round draw

The European Poker Tour isn't just about the main event, there is a huge amount of side events and this season we've committed ourselves to bringing you more from the biggest and best of these. Added to the popular and wallet busting High Rollers and Super High Rollers, we've added...more

Winner's Circle: Dan Smith

Just this week, Dan Smith booked his fifth win of 2012, by winning the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller. Smith bested a field of 55 players to win €962,925 (post two-player deal), bringing his 2012 total to $3.3 million. That's pretty impressive right? We caught up with Smith during...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Sahamies the top story on the morning report

Poker tournaments almost never take place in what non poker people would call the morning. Noon is about the earliest we ever kick off, and when a poker clock shows "AM" it is almost always the early hours. Nevertheless the first two levels of any day is what we consider...more

#PS100K challenge: Big wins for the @PokerStars crew

It was quite some blow out. Ten days of #PS100K partying to celebrate the @PokerStars Twitter account breaking through the 100,000 follower barrier. There was a $15,000 freeroll and WCOOP tickets aplenty as challenges were thrown down to the growing horde (currently all 103,711 of you). You took them on...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Something to tweet about in the first orbit

The early changing fortunes of Team PokerStars Pro Before we had even got anywhere near the tournament room, much less towards a first proper feature post, two members of Team PokerStars Pro were merrily tweeting their changing fortunes to hundreds of thousands of followers. Less than five minutes after...more

EPT9 Barcelona: John Juanda leads challengers on the New Day

No day on the new look European Poker Tour owes as much to the recent structural rejig as today, Day Three, when we plough on into the money. Time was when Day Three meant the race to 24 players, and it could go on late into the night. But no...more

21 August

waaluigi wallops field, wins 8/21/12 Super Tuesday, $70K

This week's Super Tuesday saw 364 players turn out for the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney, a bit of a dip following several weeks' worth of above-average fields. That field still created a big $364,000 prize pool, besting the event's $300K guarantee. The top 45 finishers divided up those...more

EPT9 Barcelona: John Juanda runs hot to lead chase for million

John Juanda is the chip leader at the end of Day Two of EPT9 Barcelona - a day on which the players learnt they were competing for a first prize of more than a million euros. After counting heads for the best part of two days, administrators finally determined that...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The Daily Strategy: Approaching day two

Welcome to the second installment of PokerStars Blog's new regular series: The Daily Strategy. Every day during season nine of the European Poker Tour, we will be quizzing Team PokerStars Pro for their advice on a specific element of major tournament strategy, aimed at introducing new players to key elements...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Prima donna Negreanu takes on the EPT concierge service

If anyone is going to be a challenge for the European Poker Tour's new concierge service then it's going to be high-rolling, fast-talking, vegan-eating Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Were the EPT facilitators able to match up to the big man's requests? Find out by watching the video with Lynn...more

Vote in the Estrellas Poker Tour awards

The Estrellas Poker Tour has wrapped up for a year, albeit on a high point rolling into EPT Barcelona, which means that it's time to look back and see who deserves extra plaudits for their performances of power poker. You can go direct to the Estrellas Poker Tour awards website...more

EPT Season 9: Landmark gold for EPT London, scheduling change for Berlin to Monaco

EPT London has found itself a new home for Season 9 at a stunning new hotel venue, The Landmark London. Originally opened as one of the great railway hotels of the late 19th Century, The Landmark London was fully refurbished into five-star luxury in the 1990s and, so we've heard,...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Prize pool and payouts show how things change

There may or may not be an office within PokerStars where creative types swing from trapezes, bounce around on space hoppers and play X-Box while thinking up new ideas. But the idea to revamp the European Poker Tour, bringing regional and international events together, such as happened this week with...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Pictorial chip count

There are numerous ways in which we are treated on the European Poker Tour. There are the wonderful locations, the outstanding food, drink and concierge services, and you should hear it when the press room comedians get their games going: it is hilarious, I can tell you. Pure comedy gold....more

Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen High Rollin' along

Angel Guillen arrived in Barcelona fresh off LAPT high roller success and followed that up with back-to-back final tables (although he didn't quite make a podium finish this time around). Guillen, who has impressed on his European campaigns, is here looking for his fourth EPT main event cash. The Team...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Leaders and losers

The landscape is beginning to change in the tournament room. Over on the staff desk a pile of I.D. cards is being collected. At 1pm it was as tall as a brick laid on its side, representing about fifty players no longer with us. It'll be bigger by now....more

Defending MPCC champ: Raiden Kan

Raiden Kan is a permanent fixture on the poker scene in Macau in both cash games and tournaments. Last year, the 28-year old captured his first major poker title when he won the Macau Poker Cup Championship 2011. The 2012 edition of the MPCC is only 2 weeks away so...more

EPT9 Barcelona: When Veldhuis met the skiing Northugs

The "poker player meets sports star for 'poker masterclass'" concept is almost as old as major poker tournaments themselves. Ever since the very earliest days of the EPT, a procession of footballers, tennis players, gymnasts, dressage horses, high divers, racing drivers, cyclists and ludo world champions have been told in...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Joentausta leads the 600 into Day 2

After two lengthy opening days 600 players return today for six levels each lasting 75 minutes. Yesterday Guy Bachar topped the Day 1B field at the close with 170,000, short of the overall leader Aku Joentausta, who bagged up 236,200 on Day 1A. Bachar's total is good for fifth...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Side event news, 21 August

We'd hope that you'd be well aware by now that EPT Barcelona has a huge roster of side events running here throughout the entire festival. You can check out who cashed where by checking our EPT and ESPT side events cashes page and also the full schedule of events by...more

20 August

EPT9 Barcelona: Bahar leads on day, Joentausta overall

It is hard to imagine it could be hotter in Barcelona this week. During the daytime the heat and humidity keeps you indoors where the air conditioning, strong enough to frost the walls of a small cupboard, proves futile when taking on nearly 700 players in a tournament room, sitting...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Matt Kay, navigating the Ch0ppy waters of the EPT

Poker is the proverbial hard way to make an easy living, but do you really know how hard? The perfect person to tell us was in today's field at EPT Barcelona - but I bet few of his table-mates know exactly who they were dealing with. Matt "Ch0ppy" Kay, from...more

PokerStars hits 85 billionth hand, pays out big prizes

Before everything stopped, the previous pot was worth 12 cents. The entire purse wouldn't buy a stick of gum in most industrialized parts of the world. But then, the poker world stopped turning for a moment at a .02/.05 no-limit hold'em table. For an uncomfortable second, it was as if...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The Daily Strategy: Early stages

It's the opening stages of the opening day of a major poker tournament and for a new player it is an unfamiliar world. It may also seem uneventful, boring even, as hundreds of players with the same starting stack play mostly small pots that will have very little impact on...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Qualifier of the Day: Mark Suddes

Having a child changes your life. Beers and curry becomes milk and nappies, nights on the tiles become mornings at the stove and for Mark Suddes, a PokerStars qualifier to EPT Barcelona this week, long online tournaments became pot limit Omaha cash. "In case I need to stop and help...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Sea, sand and winning poker tournaments

Yesterday the PokerStars Women event played out its final table. Boasting a talented line-up, including Leo Margets, Lucia Martinez and Charlotte van Brabander; it was won by Russian pro Liya Gerasimova, a regular on the European Poker Tour, who credited her lucky dress with bringing her luck, and a...more

Lee Jones' Journal: "Let's Make a Deal"

About a year ago, PokerStars instituted a policy at its live events that all final table deals must be made at the table. Of course, if you're not sure what a final table deal is or why one cares where it's made, then that first sentence was probably of little...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Sabato keeps rolling as worlds collide

You will read a lot over the coming season about changes to the European Poker Tour. There are fewer stops, but they are longer; there are more tournaments and they are richer; you win a bracelet and a watch with your million-odd euros. Perhaps more significant than even the glittering...more

EPT Barcelona: Party time

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EPT9 Barcelona: New arrivals take a bow

In the early hours of this morning three of the game's best players were locked into a tense contest to win practically nothing. Barry Greenstein, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Ana Marquez were giving away nothing against three members of the foreign press. ElkY would win, donating his winnings "to...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Let the calculations begin

So much of poker these days is about numbers: your VPIP, PFR and 3B, blah, blah, blah. But in the live environment, especially these major tournaments, only one figure tends to matter: how much money is in the prize pool? As is now typical, Day 1B is the day on...more

PokerStars weekend review 8-20-12

The action has been hot on and off the felt this weekend with Sunday majors on PokerStars and the High Roller and record-breaking ESPT main event coming to an end and EPT Barcelona kicking off the start to a sweltering new season (the ninth, no less). Click thrugh the links...more

19 August

Fish4trips reeled in a Sunday Million win on August 19

This weekend was one that divided attention between a live tournament and the online events. The Sunday Million was right on schedule, online and boasting of its $1 million guarantee as always. But many people were in Barcelona or tracking the events there as the European Poker Tour kicked off...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Really? Another one?? cal42688 collects the Sunday Warm-Up title

This spring we watched Shaun Deeb destroy the 2012 SCOOP series with eight final tables and four champion watches. In the same series Dan "djk123" collected his first SCOOP title to go with his three WCOOP titles. Tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up would also feature someone with the same type...more

Spookikiki scores top prize in August 19 Women's Sunday

It was a busy Sunday for the PokerStars Women crew. The much-anticipated PS Women Live tournament was in its second and final day in Barcelona, and the excitement of Liya Gerasimova's eventual win was the story of the day. The final post from the scene of the action was delivered...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Aku Joentausta leads ninth birthday celebrations

The EPT entered its ninth year today in the city that has hosted all but a handful of the tour's most notable anniversaries. Day 1A of the latest main event kicked off under the auspices of Gran Casino Barcelona, as it has done every year since 2005. Plenty is the...more

EPT9 Barcelona: He helped Rafa Nadal, now he takes his seat

Rafa Nadal needed help and Sergey Martynenko answered the call. Actually so did around 799 others but Martynenko did it best, making a 30 second video offering his advice ("Ask Daniel Negreanu") how to best learn this great game of ours. The video, quite frankly, is superb, combining humour...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Super duper Dan Smith, Super High Roller champion

When the European Poker Tour went to Vienna in season one, try to guess how much the buy in was for the first event of the festival. Go on, have a stab. PAUSE...WAITS...GUESSING HAPPENING...CONTINUE If you said €80 then you almost certainly cheated. But you were also right. It's true:...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Liya Gerasimova in 'chip and a chair' win

The winner of the PokerStars Women Live tourney at EPT Barcelona is Liya Gerasimova. The Russian player made a remarkable final table comeback to take home €10,700 and the PokerStars Women trophy. At one point Liya had less than one big blind, but a three hand series of double-ups...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Qualifier of the Day: Paul Williams

In this job sometimes you have to stand outside men's bathrooms. I'd caught up with Paul Williams at the break. Actually, just before the break. He was sneaking out a minute early to beat the rush for the bathroom. Then I got in his way, foiling that plan before...more

EPT9 Barcelona: When blinds attack

Three days ago these Super High Rollers started playing with stacks of 250,000 chips and blinds of 500-1,000. Even to those cursed by peanut sized brains, that's a pretty straightforward big blind to stack size ratio calculation. (The starting stack here represented 25 2,500 150 big blinds.) Flash forward...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Liya Gerasimova's crazy short-stacked ride

Women's tournaments tend to be good humoured affairs, but this one in Barcelona is particularly pleasant, with the players chatting like friends as they play. I've just witnessed a cheery few hands that made the three remaining players giggle. Liya Gerasimova laughed the most - her happiness tinged with relief....more

EPT9 Barcelona: The origins of the High Roller phenomenon

It is final table day of the Super High Roller event and it says a lot about the way the EPT has progressed that we barely bat an eyelid any more at 60 players parting with €50,000 to play a game of cards. They're now battling to cut up a...more

EPT9 Barcelona: PokerStars Women Live final table is set

The PokerStars party last night was loud, lively, and involved some clowns dressed in odd clothes. The clowns were the party entertainment, not the players, who were mostly all smartly dressed and wouldn't possibly clown around due to their poker commitments in the morning. The women who have returned...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Who's playing and well, who's not?

The thing about a packed tournament room is that it soon begins to smell. It's a combination of the heat outside, the faltering air conditioning inside, the TV set, complete with several hundred thousand bulbs, and 400 players wearing non-breathable fabrics living on adrenaline. This is what they've been...more

EPT9 Barcelona: And now the Main Event

There's been a rolling start to this ninth season, which began earlier this week. A soft launch if you like, with the Estrellas Poker Tour main event kicking off and concluding ahead of the Super High Roller event that will reach its finale today. That makes today the first...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Super high rolling into the final table

My friend Dean knows eff all about horse racing, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a "system". Whether or not he is at the track, and whether or not the race is even between horses, Dean's "tip" is always the same. "Bet on the one in the red hat,"...more

18 August

EPT9 Barcelona: Smith leads Super High Rollers into final

The landscape of a high-stakes poker tournament can change quickly from morning through to night. Steve O'Dwyer began the day on top of the order. Talking this morning he put it down to being "the luckiest player" on day one. He then jokingly predicted that the field were playing...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Fashionably late, but plenty to celebrate

The PokerStars party kicked off at 8pm, but the tourney director of the Women's event at EPT Barcelona knew none of our players wanted to be first through the door standing in a half-empty room clutching a glass of cava. No, the PokerStars women played until 9pm. Only then...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Hair today, gone tomorrow: the rise of Ilari Sahamies

Things were very different on September 16, 2005. The United States had never had a black president, Charlton Athletic were second in the English Premier League, and the European Poker Tour was giddily stumbling into its second season, only a few months after the end of what was a staggeringly...more

EPT9 Barcelona: A tale of two sisters

Charlotte van Brabander and her sister Camille sit at adjacent tables. They look very alike, but Camille has blonde hair while Charlotte has brunette. Camille wears a plain white top, while Charlotte sports a fancy black one decorated with tassels resembling fish scales - and of course Charlotte wears...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Welcome to the family Artem

It's time to welcome Artem Litvinov into the EPT family. Let's face it. The man has played countless main and side events, even a few high and super high rollers. It's time he was considered a regular, even if he can be a little irregular. If you've heard of...more

EPT9 Barcelona: The many possibilities of a PokerStars Women double

PokerStars Blog loves a double winner. There has never been a double EPT Champion, and we have yet to crown a PokerStars Women Live double winner! I wouldn't dare to say a women's double would be a bigger deal than two EPT wins... but only because the guys on...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Rebuying, and when to do it

One of the great attractions of poker is the egalitarian nature of its strategy decisions. You or I sometimes have to ponder how to play pocket jacks in early position in our cheap, kitchen-table home games, much like Daniel Negreanu sometimes has to figure that out in the kinds of...more

EPT9 Barcelona: All too easy for second chance O'Dwyer

It's easy to wonder if in some ways the Super High Roller event isn't just a professional poker player's life dramatized in a single event. It's life at its most pleasant, where being able to re-buy means essentially you can't lose, and even if you do lose you don't...more

EPT9 Barcelona: PokerStars women take their seats

August is a great time to visit Barcelona. Stroll away from Casino Barcelona and you'll find a beach packed with tourists enjoying a city break in the sun. The sand is inviting, the sea is warm, the bars are tempting, and there are racks of red and white bikes for...more

Estrellas Poker Tour: Grand Final update

There were 49 players returning for Day 3 of Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona and now eight remain for tomorrow's final. The €1,100 main event, which is sponsored by, is being held at Casino Barcelona. The full list of entrants featured 1,036 players from 55 countries, creating a €1,004,920 prize...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Super High Rolling

It is noon Saturday in Barcelona on Spain's north-eastern coast. For most of the city's 4.5 million residents, there is nothing unusual about it: time for a jog along the beach, a pail of water splashed outside the front of the restaurant, a drive to the nearest square of asphalt...more

17 August

Team Pro giving back: "I know Victor is going to take care of me."

Victor Ramdin takes two things with him wherever he goes. One is a PokerStars Team Pro patch. The other is a passion for charity. But long before Ramdin donned the Team Pro patch, he was looking for ways to help his home country, Guyana. Back in 1995, Ramdin joined a...more

Get the new EPT Guide app for your mobile device

Away from your computer, but want to keep up with the European Poker Tour? Well, now it's a lot easier. The EPT's new mobile app launched today with everything you need to know about Season 9 of Europe's biggest and richest tour. Today, the EPT kicked off its ninth season...more

EPT Barcelona Super High Roller kickoff

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Team PokerStars Online: Prop betting with DaWarsaw

Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz is good at poker. Better put, he's good at online poker, and it served him well-enough to earn a spot on Team PokerStars Online. With that understood, you should know Mikielewicz is terrible at prop betting. I mean, really stinky. Fortunately, he can admit it. That's really...more

EPT9 Barcelona: Super High Roller underway, while Ainsworth leads record-breaking ESPT field

The €50,000 Super High Roller is underway and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is the first to find himself in a hole for EPT Barcelona having been eliminated by Mike 'Timex' McDonald. There are rebuys allowed so Kid Poker may yet re-enter the fray. You can read the Super High...more

#PS100K challenge, the finale: BOOM! a hand, win one of five $700 WCOOP tickets!

We're coming into the home straight of our #PS100K promotion and, boy, we're pulling out all the stops to celebrate the @PokerStars Twitter account breaking through 100,000 followers. We're giving out five tickets into the WCOOP-23: $700 NL Hold'em tournament? The two-day tournament, which takes place 9 September, has a...more

16 August

Celebrate summer with a new iPad

We all know that women are superb multi-taskers, and I'll admit, I've been known to take it to extremes. On some of my busier days I've been observed cooking, talking on the phone, and playing poker all at the same time. It used to take a lot of running back...more

Road to 100 Billion: Who wins the milestone hands?

If you're one of those people who love a good conspiracy theory, you might sit there writing up your newsletter and think, "That Road to 100 Billion is just like all of those sweepstakes. Nobody really wins." Well, of course, we beat you to the punch by publishing all the...more

Travel Guide: Panama

Season 5 of the Latin American Poker Tour is well under way with events from Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia already in the books. The next stop is brand new on the tour - Panama City, Panama. The $2,300+$200 buy-in event kicks off Sept. 26 through 30, 2012 at the...more

As the Stars Tweet: From the Olympics to ice cream sandwiches

Everyone was in full-Olympics mode last week, even the members of Team PokerStars Pro. Some were fortunate enough to go to London and enjoy the games in person, but others were forced to follow along from the sidelines, and even reminisce about high school. "Pretty random, watching my first event...more

ESPT3 Barcelona: Butzhammer nails down huge Day 1A field

The final main event of the Estrellas Poker Tour season began yesterday in Barcelona with a huge 372 players entering Day 1A of the €1,100 event. That ending leads to a new beginning with ESPT Barcelona flowing into EPT Barcelona, the first stop of EPT Season 9. While High Rollers...more

#PS100K challenge, 8: Get a star to re-tweet, win a $530 WCOOP ticket

Do you want to win a ticket into WCOOP-13: $530 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Knockout]? Of course you do. The two-day tournament, which takes place 6 September, has a $500,000 guarantee and thousands of dollars in bounties up for grabs. Each player you knock out will instantly pocket you $101. You...more

15 August

Estrellas lights Barcelona sky, shines beacon for EPT

Today begins a poker festival like none Barcelona, Spain has seen before. Over the next week and a half, poker players who have made their way to the Iberian Peninsula will have an opportunity to play more poker than they ever have before. It will begin with the Estrellas Poker...more

The 85 Billion milestones click over $121,000, much more to be won

If you just so happened to stumble across the ring game tables over the last couple of days you might be excused for wondering why everyone was chatting about how many hands had been played. We'll fill you in. It's all part of our Road to 100 Billion promotion and...more

Science, charity, and water polo

Can you believe I didn't win the Main Event again? If you can believe it, I didn't even make the final nine. Sorry! I know it hasn't aired on TV yet. I'm always bad at giving away spoilers. Another World Series of Poker has come to a close. Once again,...more

World Cup of Poker: Week 1 update

Bunker Bob is back! As we mentioned last week, the ninth World Cup of Poker will play out this year, now with a heads-up format. Everyone has a chance to play for his or her country, an effort that could land them in the live finals at the PokerStars Caribbean...more

#PS100K challenge, 7: Who's the greatest EPT champ? Who won the WCOOP tickets?

It's been a record-breaking week for the @PokerStars Twitter account. Not only do we sprint through the magical 100,000 barrier - the whole reason behind the #PS100K challenge - but we scored a record number of re-tweets yesterday, more than 1,500, smashing the 250 needed to kick in another $1,000...more

Raise a glass to OLD TIME GIN, 8/14/12 Super Tuesday champ

This week's Super Tuesday saw yet another large turnout with 433 entrants. That meant a total prize pool of $433,000, well over the tournament's $300K guarantee. The top 54 finishers got paid, with $83,092.70 due the winner. They had just crossed the four-hour mark when 100 players remained, with Team...more

14 August

The Nan-Olympics

I want you to look at the photo below. Take a good close look at the legend that is Randy "nanonoko" Lew. The man isn't only a master gamesman. He's not merely a man who can play more tables of poker at once than I can eat shrimp in one...more

PokerStars people, events up for British Poker Awards

We are, admittedly, a little biased, but when the British Poker Awards announced its nominees for the year, we were not at all surprised to find a lot of familiar names on the list. Now, if you're as big of a fan as we are of the crew under the...more

#PS100K challenge, 6: Re-tweet, five $215 WCOOP seats to be won!

It's day six of the #PS100K challenge and as the @Pokerstars Twitter account burst the banks of the 100,000 follower levy yesterday we're juicing today's action by giving away $215 WCOOP tickets to five members of the @PokerStars community. But your name only goes into the draw if you complete...more

13 August

@PokerStars breaks 100,000 Twitter followers, WCOOP tickets up for grabs

If you've been following the @PokerStars or @PokerStarsBlog Twitter accounts of late you may have seen the #PS100K hashtag. It's been our celebratory cry as @PokerStars has neared the 100,000 follower mark and has been the easy label for ten days of money-adding challenges all aimed at giving you, the...more

Launching at EPT Barcelona: PSLive card

European Poker Tour players, please check in at the front desk and collect your membership card to the future. When EPT Barcelona kicks off in a few days, it will do so using the brand new PSLive system, the brand new registration set-up for all European Poker Tour festivals. PSLive...more

PCA 2013: Hey, look! Satellites!

I spent an inordinate amount of time outside this weekend, and no small amount of it came on Saturday night during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. In the early part of the show, I looked to the sky and thought, "There's one!" only to discover in disappointment...nope, just...more

Planning my EPT Barcelona trip

The ninth season of the European Poker Tour is kicking off in Barcelona, and I'm really excited about it because is probably within the top five of my favorite cities in the world. The first place anyone must visit is La Rambla. This is my favorite street because there is...more

NURLAN81 beats BrynKenney to $244,979 in the Red Spade Open

When Bryn Kenny arrives at the final table of a $55 tournament you've got to say that a lot of the smart money would be backing him to win. He's won some $2,848,699 in online tournaments at PokerStars and $2,267,981 in live tournaments, including a $643,000 3rd place finish behind...more

#PS100K challenge, 5: Elky and Dario caption competition

It's day five of the #PS100K challenge - the mid-point of our ten-day Twitter challenge - and we've decided to give you a fun little challenge to help you deal with the post-Olympic comedown. All you need to do is to send the @PokerStars Twitter account a comedy caption to...more

PokerStars weekend review 8-12-12

An epic weekend has just passed. Not only did London 2012 set a Olympics personal best but the @PokerStars Twitter account almost broke the 100,000 follower barrier (it's really close) and NURLAN81 of Kazakhstan took the top prize of $244,979.24, which amounts to around 37 years of the average annual...more

12 August

Sunday Million: BeN-Cls surges to the finish, banks $191k

In this game, we live by the river and we die by the river. Too many flops and turns to count have sent us into mega-tilted fits of rage, but river cards, good or bad, seem to stick the longest in our memory banks. Rivers have a power and a...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The luck of the Irish

You have to love a guy who wears a t-shirt inspired by the movie The Big Lebowski. Robbie Renehan, a 29-year-old who qualified for the 2012 Latin American Poker Tour Colombian National Poker Championship by winning a qualifier on PokerStars, is the guy who's been parading John Goodman's face...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Poland takes home the gold, surud claims $88K

For the second straight week, the players got a bit greedy. Who can blame a person wanting $88,925.24 all to themselves as a shot for this kind of money does not happen every day unless you are someone with a massive bankroll playing high stakes open faced Chinese Poker on...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Fregona's inspired run ends

Jayr Fregona was short-stacked on Day 1. He was short-stacked on Day 2. He started Day 3 in 21st chip position of 25 players. And he started Day 4 as 8th of 8. Despite being that perpetual short stack, Fregona kept surviving. Sometimes, in players' efforts to get all the...more

S00Z scoops Women's Sunday top prize of $2,556.25

August is in full swing, and so is our Pinterest Mobile Summer photo contest. We got through the first week with a fair amount of submissions and awarded our first weekly PS Women goodie bag to the judge's pick of best photo thus far. And every woman who submitted a...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Experience falters

I don't know what the final three players ate on the dinner break. Usually players come back from dinner lethargic and not willing to mix it up. Here in Medellin, the first two hands back from dinner produced all in three-bets, with the second of the two actually going to...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Colombians implode as Vanegas loses his cape

Tournament poker is a damn funny thing. In the first couple of levels, Weider Vanegas could do no wrong. He started third in chips and notched the first three eliminations to climb to the chip lead with 3.7 million in chips. Vanegas, wearing a red "The Flash" shirt and with...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Renehen to the party as Velasquez exits

A tough level for Cristian Velasquez just ended with his elimination in 5th place. Velasquez, dressed in a white polo today, had positioned himself to contend for the top prizes in the final three spots of the tournament. His moment of truth came in a hand in which Jayr Fregona...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Two more scalps for Vanegas

So far it looks like the poker gods have chosen Weider Vanegas to smile upon today. Vanegas started out strong, including picking off a river bluff by Hernan Villa in a three-way pot. Vanegas only had a lowly pair of deuces, but it was good enough against Villa's ace-high. That...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Short straw for Perez

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. When today started, if you had bet me it'd take more than an hour of play before a player was eliminated, I'd have taken that bet without hesitating. Four short stacks made it seem almost impossible that...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Centerpiece

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. No long words today. No fancy metaphors or Medellin-related anecdotes. The central focus of today is poker. Some time in the next 8 to 12 hours, somebody is going to win 284.7 million Colombian Pesos - about...more

#PS100K challenge, 4: Deposit with TWITTER100 code, bag $1,000 for the freeroll

You've never had it so easy. It's day four of the #PS100K challenge and all we need is 100 players to pop $10 (or more) into their PokerStars account using the TWITTER100 code. We hit that target and they'll be another $1,000 into the prize pool for our 100,000 follower...more

11 August

LAPT5 Colombia: No more waiting

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Sometimes this job turns into a bit of a waiting game. You're waiting for someone to bust. And while you might have acquaintances, even friends, who are playing in the tournament, your loyalties go out the window...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Anatomy of an elimination

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. At this stage of the game, with the stacks shallow, getting lucky and getting good cards is as important as playing great poker. Because no matter how great you play, if you get unlucky you can bust...more

LAPT5 Colombia: ¡Vivan los cortitos!

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Given how quick the eliminations were coming in the first two levels of the day, it was only a matter of time before the tournament reverted to the mean and the short stacks started doubling up. First...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Value bet or bluff?

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. The tournament is down to two tables now, a time when the chip-rich have a tendency to get chip-richer and the chip-poor have a tendency to get eliminated. The psychological battles are more intense now as players...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The old guard

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. "They" say that in 2012, poker has become a young man's game. Young players have the focus to spend hours upon hours playing multiple tables online, shortening the learning curve. They also have the stamina and focus...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Lucky star

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. "Papa don't preach. I'm in trouble deep," crooned Madonna from the radio of the SUV as Arturo, our driver for the last few days, drove us from our hotel to the Allegre Casino. I don't know if...more

#PS100K challenge, 3: Take a photo, send it in, boost the prize pool

You're looking fantastic today. Just incredible. The camera loves you, ya know, so why not share it with the world. And if you're going to then you may as well do it to boost the #PS100K prize pool by another $1,000. That's the third of ten community challenges going out...more

10 August

LAPT5 Colombia: Ospina on top again

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. When we started Day 2 of the 2012 Latin American Poker Tour Colombia Main Event, Ruben Ospina was the chip leader with 171,300. And when we ended Day 2, Ospina was still the chip leader. He...more

LAPT5 Colombia: A round with the leader

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. For all the time I've spent watching people play poker - and after four years, I can say it's more time than I ever thought I'd spend watching people play poker - I'd like to believe I've...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Post of the hour

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. COINFLIP OF THE HOUR After the button player opened for 9,500, Brazilian Fellipe Nunes shoved all in for 74,500, drawing a cluck of exasperation from his opponent. That player hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The rubber band point

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. I made a note last hour of the fact that the average stack, in terms of big blinds, has been continuing to decline over the course of Day 2 here in Medellin, contrary to expectations. It's becoming...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The Red Spade Brigade marches on

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. To start Day 2, the Red Spade Brigade was represented by six players: Team Pros Jose Barbero, Andre Akkari, Angel Guillen and Humberto Brenes, and Team Online players Freddy Torres and Jorge Limon. Three levels into the...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Cry havoc

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. We're starting to get to the point in the tournament where the pots have more weight, more impact. More people are slamming the tables when they lose all in pots ("Please don't slam the tables," the tournament...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The effects of sleep deprivation

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. The player party last night went late. People were struggling back to their hotels at 3am, and I don't believe they were the last ones home. Many of the partygoers were already eliminated on Day 1a or...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Sleep vikings, party vikings and poker vikings

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. There are some bleary eyes in the Casino Allegre this morning as we begin to prepare for Day 2 of the 2012 Latin American Poker Tour Colombia Main Event. Last night the traditional players' party took...more

Still time to register for Barcelona event

The PokerStars Women Live event in Barcelona kicks off on August 17 for a long weekend of poker in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Seven lucky qualifiers are getting ready now for a trip that to one of the most popular stops on the EPT circuit....more

PokerStars strategy: Selbst explains why you don't show

Vannesa Selbst is one of the most respected poker players on the planet. A fine mind, a winning smile and a voracious appetite to win have led to enormous tournament success for Selbst over the last few years A huge $5,463,252 in live tournament winnings, two NAPT titles and as...more

As the Stars Tweet: What have the Pros been up to?

Over the summer, the members of Team PokerStars Pro were on a hunt for gold in the desert, but after the long arduous grind there needs to be a little bit of a break. Before the European Poker Tour kicks off in Barcelona, we wanted to take a look at...more

Strategy tip: Playing live tourneys

When playing in a live tourney that has a good structure, this would be a strategy that I would apply: assuming that there are many amateurs in the field, I really like to play small ball. The reason for this is that I will be able to be in many...more

PokerStars' 85 billionth hand, big prizes both in sight

If you haven't checked your map or GPS for a while, I'd suggest you do so right now. When you do, you might realize you've been on the Road to 100 Bilion for a long time and not realized it. Now is a good time to start paying attention, because...more

Play the $1m Red Spade Open this Sunday, destroy Team Pro for cash

Dum-der-dum-der-dum. Can you hear that? Dum-der-dum-der-dum. It's the sound of war drums pealing in from across the valley. Head hunters and scalpers are getting ready to take down Team PokerStars Pros in this Sunday's $1,000,000 guarantee so ready your war gear (laptop, power drinks, lucky hoody and AAA batteries for...more

#PS100K challenge, 2: Follow Friday all the way to a big money freeroll

Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel was yesterday bombarded with Twitter questions using the #AskDuhamel hashtag, smashing the 500 needed to fulfill the first of ten challenges set to celebrate the @PokerStars Twitter account's attempts to break through 100,000 followers. You can check back through Duhamel's answers on the @PokerStars twitter...more

9 August

LAPT5 Colombia: When the big wheel starts to spin

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. The chip bags are out and players are furiously scribbling their names, counting, re-counting, and triple-counting their stacks, shoving it all into a chip ag and heading for the doors. Day 1b of the 2012 Latin...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Guillen gunning again

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. We've been keeping a close eye on Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen today. Earlier this season, Guillen sparkled on his way to a runner-up finish at LAPT Punta del Este. That finish was worth $126,000, a nice...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The in-between moments

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. When you travel to an event like LAPT5 Colombia, the poker predominates. This is, first and foremost, a poker tournament. Everybody's here to plunk down $2500 for the Main Event (and more, perhaps, in side events) to...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Never clear the rail

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Last year at LAPT4 Colombia, the rail was a sight to behold. That tournament, which drew an LAPT record 681 players, packed in almost as much excitement on the rail as it did at the tables. Spectators...more

LAPT5 Colombia: E-I-E-I-O

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Last year, Australia's Stu McDonald reached the final table of LAPT4 Colombia. That final table was one in which the bustouts were few and far between. After an extended stretch of six-handed play, McDonald helped negotiate a...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Multi-tasking

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. I'm going to admit that, over the last few years, I've become a fan of high-caliber, international-level soccer. Football, as the rest of the world calls it. And if ever an area of the world were football-crazed,...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Study break

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. For the typical recreational player, a $2500 poker tournament is a luxury that's often out of reach. Family, mortgage payments, day-to-day living expenses, and other typical drains on an individual's bank account ensure that playing in a...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Medellin's white rabbits

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Given the pace that PokerStars Team Online player Freddy Torres set yesterday with his Day 1a-leading performance, you'd think that his fellow PokerStars teammates would have extra incentive to show up on time today. And you'd be...more

Help Rafa winners sets sights for Spain

Sergey "Flat Noise" Martynenko is a happy husband, father, and researcher. Poker is a hobby, one he expected to give him a little enjoyment now and then. He only started playing two years ago. Now, after winning the "Help Rafa" campaign, Martynenko is less than two weeks from traveling to...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Double your pleasure - it's Day 1b

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. For the second day in a row, Sade's "Smooth Operator" is softly crooning at us from the overhead speakers at the Casino Allegre. For the second day in a row, the tournament staff are gathered around a...more

MPCC a must-play event for the Asia Player of the Year race

Since 2009, the Asia Player of the Year (APOY) title has been awarded to the best player on the Asian poker circuit. Some things have changed along the way: the winners now receive a one-year sponsorship from PokerStars Macau; several legs of the APPT are now recognized as Official APOY...more

PokerStars forms European Players Council

If there is one axiom that has always held true about PokerStars, it is that the players come first. Today, the company highlighted that fact again with the formation of the European Players Council (EPC). The EPC will meet for the first time next week in advance of the kickoff...more

Win the World Cup of Poker

Qualifiers for the highly popular World Cup of Poker start this weekend so if you like the idea of playing for your country in a live two-day tournament in the Bahamas, at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure no less, then clear your schedule. Players from Peru were glad that they did...more

EPT Awards add High Roller category

The big money European Poker Tour players finally have an award to call their own. The EPT announced this morning that it will present a "High Roller of the Year" award at the end of Season 9. The honor will go to the EPT player who racks up the most...more

#PS100K challenge, 1: Ask Duhamel a question, win a share of $25,000

Twitter is aflutter with #AskDuhamel hashtags. They're everywhere, flapping their electrical wings across the worldwide web looking for the WSOP 2010 champion as the opening throw-down of our @PokerStars Twitter promotion. To celebrate @PokerStars breaking the 100,000 fan milestone - we've currently got 99,293 - we're launching the #PS100K challenge...more

8 August

LAPT5 Colombia: Déjà vu as Torres leads again

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Before play started this morning, I wrote about the surprises that might be in store for us over the next five days at the 2012 Latin American Poker Tour Colombia Main Event. We know that Sunday...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Faces in the crowd

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. We're getting into the late stages of Day 1a now, with about half the starting field of 115 players still sitting at the tables. This is the time of night when chip leaders usually start emerging, but...more

LAPT5 Colombia: You don't bring me flowers

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. There's a flower festival taking place in the Premium Plaza shopping mall this week. That's the shopping mall where the Allegre Casino - host venue for LAPT5 Colombia - is located. The flower festival is a welcome...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Paging the poker police

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Standing on the rail here in Medellin, for the better part of the last hour, were two gentlemen from the local constabulary. They would have stood out even without the fluorescent yellow vests they wore, each with...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Growth spurt

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Far be it for me to be the one to judge a poker player's skill level. I haven't played a hand of poker since early December 2011. I have exactly zero major tournament wins to my credit....more

LAPT5 Colombia: Well qualified

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Every poker tour should have its Stephen Chidwick. Chidwick, for the uninitiated, burst onto the European scene several years back as a "serial qualifier". He wouldn't qualify just one time for an EPT event. He'd qualify multiple...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The ghost of Pablo Escobar

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. It's hard to come to a place like Medellin for a poker tournament - which is, for many people, nothing more than a glorified form of entertainment - without talking about Medellin's past. A friend sent me...more

LAPT5 Colombia: Outwit, outplay, outlast

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. Different types of players have different styles when it comes to tournament poker. Some are more aggressive, some more reckless. Others are more conservative, more passive. But all those different styles share on thing in common -...more

LAPT5 Colombia: The surprising poker journey

¿Busca la transmisión en vivo de LAPT5 Colombia en español? Haz click aquí. There are certain drives you can take in the world where, one moment you're hurtling along an ordinary, non-descript road through ordinary, non-descript surroundings, and the next moment you burst upon something spectacular. Along Interstate 15 from...more

DaWarsaw hits da small screen

Team PokerStars Online's Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz has been playing at PokerStars since 2004. After becoming one of the greatest online players from his home country of Poland, he snagged a coveted spot on Team Online. Now, he's the subject of a short film that hit the small screen today. He's...more

7 August

instigator85 stirs up 8/7/12 Super Tuesday win for $88K

It's that time of week again. Super Tuesday time, that is, the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney on PokerStars. Tonight's tourney was the 30th Super Tuesday of 2012. The average field for the Super Tuesday so far this year has been just over 419 entrants, meaning the average prize...more

EPT Concierge open for business

In what might be one of the coolest additions to the European Poker Tour in Season 9, today the EPT launched EPT Concierge, your one-stop-shop for just about anything you need on tour. One of the first offerings from the service? Football tickets at Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC....more

Travel Guide: Melbourne

The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour returns to Melbourne for the fourth time next month, giving players from all over the world a reason to visit one of poker's most popular destinations. Melbourne's Crown Casino will play host to a dozen poker tournaments over the two-week festival, including a...more

Race to 180: My prop bet with Spacegravy

Two members of Team Online have an issue. One feels like he's too big. One feels like he is too little. In a poker world where fitness has become the fashion, George Lind and Grayson Physioc have decided to put their money where their mouth is. Seriously. Here we have...more

Flat Noise wins the 'Help Rafa' competition and a seat in the EPT Barcelona main event!

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

Flat Noise 'Helps Rafa', wins a €5,300 EPT seat

Rafa Nadal may be one of the greatest living sportsmen, a terrifying opponent to face across a net, but when it comes to poker the King of Clay is yet a rank amateur. We asked the PokerStars masses to step in and offer Rafa a helping hand during his first...more

6 August

Travel Diary: Queenstown

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Queenstown, New Zealand, to cover the 2012 APPT Snowfest. I had heard all great things about this particular stop, however no words could have described just how beautiful it really was. As my plane landed amongst picturesque mountains, I knew I...more

PokerStars weekend review (8-5-12)

In the early morning hours between Friday and Saturday, PokerStars flipped the big green switch and the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker came to life. With a guaranteed prize pool of $30 million and 65 big events, it's going to make for a giant September for all of us....more

Travel Guide: EPT Barcelona

Season 9 of the European Poker Tour kicks off their eight-stop season in August with EPT Barcelona. By partnering with the Estrellas Poker Tour from Aug. 15 through 25, 2012, the EPT will create Spain's largest-ever poker festival. The Estrellas Poker Tour, which will take place from Aug. 15 through19,...more

5 August

Victory for vladobu6i, WizardOfAhhs takes seventh in Sunday Million

August is an unusual month. Not only are there several weeks without a major live tournament, the next online tournament series isn't until September. It's a rare time period in which players can enjoy their time at the online tables with a regular, unenhanced schedule of tournaments like the Sunday...more

Sunday Warm-Up: No deal nets UncaJ5 the full $95K in victory

The latest installment of the MicroMillions is in the rear view mirror (and hopefully Team Online's Andre Coimbra has recuperated from playing in all 100 events). Currently, players are flying their respective country's flags high as the 2012 London Olympics has a hold of nearly everyone's interest. Soon, especially for...more

Blue skies for luaazul3 after Women's Sunday victory

Have you heard about our latest competition? We announced our Pinterest Mobile Summer photo contest on August 1, and players are already submitting their photos. Playing PokerStars Mobile in a hammock with a cat? Done. Playing PS Mobile while enjoying the Summer Olympics coverage? Submitted. But there's plenty of time...more

Women's Poker League: Motittas wins Division 3 for second month

We often find familiar names in the Women's Poker League standings at the end of every month. There are women who play consistently in one or more leagues, and their results are indicative of their efforts. They are among the thousands of players who take to the league tables for...more

4 August

PS Women in July: Selbst rules live, new winners rule online

Keeping up with the news at PokerStars Women is made more complicated but much more exciting when big things happen. Vanessa Selbst wins her second WSOP bracelet. Vicky Coren interviews Rafael Nadal. Players like ShowMustG00n and kassike win Women's Sunday titles. We tracked it all so we could bring you...more

WCOOP 2012: It's here!

With the official launch of the PokerStars 2012 World Championship of Online Poker, we are now less than one month away from the first event. WCOOP 2012 begins Sunday September 2 at 11am ET with the first of 65 big money tournaments. For the next three weeks, WCOOP will offer...more

2 August

EPT live sets first broadcasts for Season 9

If you listen closely, you'll hear a light sipping and the dulcet British tones of James Hartigan as he has an afternoon tea and warms up his voice. Listen a little closer and you'll hear a loud hacking and some random expletives. That's Joe Stapleton, obviously, also warming up his...more

LAPT: Team Pros looking ahead to Panama

Last week, PokerStars Mexico held a press conference in a plush hotel in the heart of Mexico City's chic suburb of Condessa. The nation's two Team PokerStars Pros, Angel Guillen and Christian de Leon and Team Online's Jorge Limon, joined together for the first time since the LAPT Season 4...more

Shamballa Jewels renews partnership with EPT for Season 9

EPT President Edgar Stuchly today announced that the European Poker Tour will partner with Shamballa Jewels for a third consecutive year and confirmed the luxury jewellery brand as the Official Bracelet Sponsor of the European Poker Tour Season 9 High Roller and Super High Roller events. This announcement marks the...more

PokerStars strategy: Negreanu explains the madness of Viffer

While you may go straight to or click through direct to look at the fantastic tuition videos at, the PokerStars Blog is now serving up weekly slices of strategy pie. It's tasty, it's wholesome and it might just help you win your next tournament/sit-and-go/cash game session (delete...more

1 August

PokerStars Women: Mobile Summer Pinterest Competition

Summer and ice cream seem to go together. This also applies to gelato, frozen yogurt, or your refreshing summer treat of choice. Now think about the best bowl of ice cream that you can make. It might have several flavors side by side - or even mixed together - and...more

Lee Jones' Journal: "Flying the Plane"

I don't think this blog has a great deal of traction outside the poker community, so I'll assume that if you're reading this piece you're aware that PokerStars has recently consummated a deal to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker and we've settled with the U.S. Department of Justice....more

Supernova Elite binks IPT San Remo title

The final table of IPT San Remo came down to a battle of Supernovas. It ended with a Supernova as the last man sitting. Italian Alessandro Meoni beat out 375 players at the Casino Municipale for the €166,000 lion's share of the €727,500 prize pool. Meoni's final opponent, Raffaele Bertolucci,...more

#PS100K Challenge starts today

Are you ready for a challenge? Wait...are you ready for ten challenges? Wait...are you ready for ten challenges that could end up in winning you a bunch of money? Pay attention, folks, because if you use Twitter, PokerStars has a to-do list for you. Here's how it works: The @PokerStars...more

a.S.e High soars over all to claim 7/31/12 Super Tuesday, $77K

Like everyone else, we've got Olympics fever around here at PokerStars. So do many players, a lot of whom are temporarily sporting their home country's flags as their avatars through August 12th (by going to Options > Country Avatars). Much like the Olympics, the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament known...more