October 2012

31 October

From Yesterday to The Joker: My journey back to PokerStars

Like so many poker players, Black Friday hit me harder than a one-outer on the river. I'd just finished unpacking my boxes from a cross-country move to Las Vegas and felt so excited to be grinding online again. Amazing what a difference a few hours can make; I spent most...more

OMGitshunt wins OMG first prize of $103K in 10/30/12 Super Tuesday

Last week we were expressing excitement about a record-tying field of 540 players participating in the Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament. It was just the second time we'd seen the field exceed 500 players, which of course meant a better-than-half-million-dollar prize pool, plus a cool six-figure payday...more

30 October

All-Star Showdown: Dan "w00ki3z." Cates defeats Alexander "Sussie Smith" Roumeliotis, advances to semifinals

Twenty-one months ago, Dan "w00ki3z." Cates got his first taste of a four-table high-stakes showdown on PokerStars. Playing against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Cates lost over $51,000 to the King of Swing in one of the first SuperStar Showdown matches, but certainly not his taste for action. Hungry for more, Cates...more

EPT: Mikalai Pobal continues to lead POY race

Belarus player and EPT Barcelona champion Mikalai Pobal is still leading the EPT Player of the Year Awards but already the race is proving an exciting one - with a whole host of new names showing great promise with two events now under our belts. The sheer scale of the...more

PCA 2013: $10 win changing lives around the globe

Rokas Kelminskas was on a boat he thought was bound for Nassau. It was a holiday cruise with his mother, a vacation get-away that promised to dock in the Bahamas. Kelminskas had visions of Nassau, Paradise Island, and the fabulous Atlantis hotel. It didn't quite end that way. "Our ship...more

29 October

Tricks and treats from PokerStars Pros

Everyone knows Team PokerStars Pros have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to winning a poker tournament. They also have lots of experience playing the upcoming PCA PokerStars Women Live event and, as a result, know all the best treats to seek out while enjoying the beautiful...more

B000000M! promotion closes with a bang

That sound you heard over the PokerStars' sky was both a bang and a BOOM! In the span of a week, PokerStars gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to celebrate the one millionth hand shared on its BOOM! hand replayer. Last week, Zakvcho' from Armenia won a $215 ticket...more

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu wins ACOP Deepstack Championship

PokerStars Macau completed its opening weekend of the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) and the unique set-up to the schedule was well received. For the majority of the long schedule, which runs from October 26 to November 11, the newest addition to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour will offer...more

We love the PCA

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PokerStars weekend review (10-28-12)

Any given Sunday means the possibility of lives changing on PokerStars.In a period of less than 24 hours, millions of dollars in prize money change hands. This weekend, it was even bigger. Not only did the big weekend majors play out, but the All-Star Showdown kicked off and the ANZPT...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Paul Hockin is King

The ANZPT Melbourne Main Event has concluded with the title once again crossing the Tasman as New Zealand's Paul Hockin has emerged victorious after a tough final table. After leading on Day 1b, Hockin found himself the short stack when the players made a deal three-handed. It looked to be...more

All-Star Showdown: Haxton wins epic 17-hr. quarterfinal match vs. Alex "Kanu7" Millar

After 17 hours and more than 3,800 hands, the second All-Star Showdown quarterfinal is done, with Team Online's Isaac Haxton coming back from the brink of elimination to defeat Alex "Kanu7" Millar in a truly epic heads-up battle to earn a spot in the semifinals. On Friday afternoon, Haxton (playing...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Guzzardi gutted in third

It's been three and a half hours of three-handed warfare but finally we've seen this tough trio broken after the elimination of Michael Guzzardi in third place. When the three players struck a deal some time ago to lock up a healthy pay day and play for a little loose...more

28 October

ANZPT Melbourne: Straight-flush leaves us with three

One player who has flown largely under the radar in this tournament is Michael Lo Giudice. After doubling up through Kristian Lunardi late on Day 2 with pocket kings, Lo Giudice has been able to maintain his position to reach the final four players in the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event....more

Comeback win for g3r4rd0x in October 28 Sunday Million

The schedule of Sunday tournaments on PokerStars is enough to satisfy even the strongest multi-tabler in the game. Players have everything they could want in tournaments, not to mention cash games, on their favorite online poker site. From the PCA satellites to the Sunday Million, there are trips to win...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Izzy flips out

Ismail Ismail is the next to go as our ANZPT Melbourne final table has rapidly reached the final four players. Ismail battled the short stack for large portions of the tournament, but he stayed tight and picked his spots to strike with great efficiency. After surviving to reach the final...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Bang, bang, double bang!

We waited what felt like an eternity for the first elimination of this final table but as soon as the players took a break, it's gone bang, bang, double bang, with now three more players on the rail, including a double elimination to see us down to the final five....more

ANZPT Melbourne: Matusik misses

The first two hours of play on this final table were intense. There were very few big pots of note with the clock wind back failing to create the action we were looking for. We did get close to losing two players in one hand though, when Michael Guzzardi and...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Final table underway

The players are taking their seats and shaking off the cobwebs of a late night in preparation of another tough day ahead on the felt of the Crown Poker Room. We've reached the final day of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event and today we'll be crowning the newest champion of...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Run dat Game rolls over final table, scores $95k

It takes a pinch of hubris to choose a screen name like "Run dat Game," but it's pretty safe to say Chris Lovett has earned it. In October 2011 Lovett twice final tabled the Sunday 500, coming away with more than $50,000 in earnings. One year later, he finally has...more

Russia dominates, timeofbells wins October 28 Women's Sunday

With November on the calendar to hit in a few days, it is a reminder that the holidays are around the corner and 2013 is only about two months away. The new year brings a lot of excitement, but not much like the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The Bahamas in January...more

Battle of the Planets: Hanggy handles field, captures October title

It's the last Sunday of the month, which means it's time for the monthly freeroll with the $50K prize pool for which players earn tickets via their Sit & Go performances -- the Battle of the Planets. A total of 522 players earned seats into this month's Battle, which meant...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Final Table Player Profiles

Two long days of play has seen our ANZPT Melbourne field of 345 reduced to the final table of nine. It was a long road to get to this point, but the journey has only just begun as the $172,500 first-place prize awaits. Our final table is interesting mix with...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Warner dominates to lead final table

When we walked into the Crown Poker Room this afternoon, we always knew we were in for a long day. The equation to turn 141 players into just nine was a complex one that would test the patience and endurance of players and media alike. But none of us really...more

Iqbal Ahmed tops Day 2 of the ACOP Deepstack Championship

One hundred ninety-two players have whittled down to just 10 as the final table is set for Event 1 of the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP). Leading the remaining field in theHKD $10,000 Deepstack Championship is Iqbal Ahmed from the United Kingdom with 551,000. Taiwan's Raymond Wu (481,000) holds...more

ANZPT Melbourne: ANZ Player of the Year returns for Season 5

With our players now deep into the money, we thought it might be a good opportunity to take a look at the Australia New Zealand Player of the Year award which is back for Season 5. Once again over AU$40,000 in prizes will be awarded to the two players who...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Pop!

Sometimes the bubble can be a dramatic time. Hand-for-hand play builds the tension as the short stacks play a game of cat and mouse to try and avoid being the one to miss the money. Often one of the TD's will grab the microphone to announce the action and build...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Cheong with chips on the bubble

The players have returned from their dinner break and are back in action here at the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. There would have been a few nervous stomachs at dinner, with the short stacks knowing that they are within sight of the cash but also just one misstep from the...more

27 October

ANZPT Melbourne: Embracing technology

Over the years, poker players have embraced the use of technology. Through the evolution of online poker, to the growth of social media, there is no doubt that the online medium has made it easier for poker players to stay up to date with news and communicate to each other...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Enjoying the ride with Tristan Bain

"Stick around and watch me give it all back!" Those were the words of Aussie young gun Tristan Bain after he raked in a massive pot to eliminate arguably the biggest name in the room in Australia's World Champion in Joe Hachem. Bain had flopped a set as Hachem got...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Surviving coolers

It's amazing the number of times we hear players complain to us about how cold it is at a poker table. It doesn't matter where we are in the world, or the temperature outside, things can get really cool inside a casino due to air conditioning units that seem to...more

ANZPT Melbourne: A long road to the final table

We're back in the Crown Poker Room as 141 players have returned for Day 2 of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. It's going to be a long day as our goal is to reduce that field to our final table of nine. Before our players get that far, they will...more

All-Star Showdown: Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky leads wire-to-wire, tops Tobias "KTPOKP" Kuder in first quarterfinal

Attention high-stakes railbirds! The All-Star Showdown is here! The first of four quarterfinal matches has ended, with Benjamin "Sauce123" Sulsky beating Tobias "KTPOKP" Kuder in just under six hours to secure a spot in the semifinals. The format for the All-Star Showdown is a variation on the SuperStar Showdowns of...more

Kitty pounces on Day 1 of the ACOP Deepstack Championship

The 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) is now underway atPokerStars Macau and the opening event drew 192 players for the HKD $10,000 Deepstack Championship. The top 22 players will cash for a share of the HKD $1,713,408 prize money with the eventual winner taking home nearly HKD $420,000. Taiwanese...more

ANZPT Melbourne: King Paulie leads the way

Today was the second and final chance for players to be a part of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event at Melbourne's Crown Poker Room. We were expecting a solid field and the final number of 159 for Day 1b was suitably impressive. It brought the total number of entrants to...more

ANZPT Melbourne: It's all about the money

The prize pool for the 2012 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event has been released and we have the payouts for you right there. The top 41 players will finish in the money with a min-cash worth AU$3,450. Reaching the final table of nine will net AU$13,800 while top prize is an...more

26 October

ANZPT Melbourne: Some international flavour

Registration for the 2012 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event has now been locked out and we have the official numbers. A total of 159 players took part in today's flight to bring us to a total number of 345 for the event - a record for the ANZPT in Melbourne which...more

ANZPT Melbourne: The action never stops at Crown

If you're a poker fan, living in Melbourne, there is simply no better place to be than in the Crown Poker Room on a chilly Saturday evening. The room is always a hub of vibrant activity with plenty of fun and entertainment to be found. Looking around the room today...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Off to the races

You'll have to forgive us if we're a little distracted today. You see, betting on sports is not just an Australian pastime...it's a religion. And this time of the year that means the Spring Racing Carnival. If you were wandering through the city this morning and you were impressed to...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Stars come out to play

"Oh my God! I could've slept for another 20 minutes!" sighed Danny McDonagh as he arrived in the Crown Poker Room this afternoon. A ruthlessly efficient man with his time, McDonagh rolled up at 12:10pm unaware that the start time for Day 1b was set a little later than the...more

DaWarsaw raking it in with B000000M!

Team PokerStars Online's Grzegorz 'DaWarsaw' Mikielewic is just one of the 1,937 winners that have picked up $207,246 in bonus B000000M! money over the last four days. To celebrate 1,000,000 hands being BOOM!ed we've been giving out 100 big blind bounties to anyone that wins a Zoom hand Hold 'em...more

B000000M! More than $200,000 won through BOOM! already

Are you ready for some Friday night BOOM!ing? We certainly hope so. We launched the B000000M! promotion on Monday to celebrate (what we hoped would be) the week that the 1,000,000th PokerStars hand was BOOM!ed. We cracked that nut today with what was an epic hand*, which you can see...more

All-Star Showdown: The stage is set for tomorrow, $800,000 in the pot

The All-Star Showdown starts tomorrow. Eight players are confirmed, each putting $100,000 into the pot ready to prove themselves at the highest level (and, of course, the first prize of more than $500,000). All eight have outstanding high stakes credentials but only one can win the All-Star Showdown. The matches...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Jordanou flying, Hachem lurking

A new season of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour arrived today as the Crown Poker Room was once again host to the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. The tables were buzzing as the cards were in the air at 12:10pm this afternoon to see 186 players take to the felt....more

ANZPT Melbourne: McKenzie dines on chips

We've just returned from an extended break of 20 minutes with our field of 186 reduced to 103 players. The break acted as the dinner break for the evening, and that isn't a whole lot of time to grab some food. So as soon as the clock ticked down, the...more

25 October

ANZPT Melbourne: "Raking pots and winning trophies" by Dale Marsland

It's pretty hard to win poker tournament. Even the most skilful poker professionals will tell you that multi-table tournaments are a high variance way to make a living. Survive a sea of humanity, avoid the bad beat land mines that potentially lurk at the fall of every card, and somehow...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Hitting new heights

As we enter the 4th level of play for the day, we've received word that the total number of entrants so far Day 1a is 183. However that likely to grow a few more with latecomers Billy "The Croc" Argyros and Joe Hachem reportedly on their way down to the...more

ANZPT Melbourne: Trick or treat?

Walking through the aisles of the Crown Poker Room this afternoon, I couldn't help but be a little perturbed when I saw a rather shady character walking slowly towards me. Dressed in a brown robe and hood pulled down over his head, this didn't seem like a dude to mess...more

ANZPT Melbourne: A new beginning

The location looks the same, but a fresh start greets us as a new season of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour kicks off today in the familiar setting of the luxurious Crown Casino in Melbourne. It's Season 5 of the ANZPT and less than two months since Brit Sam...more

APPT6 Macau: The action kicks off tomorrow!

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) welcomes its Macau leg of Season 6 tomorrow (26 October) with the inaugural Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) held at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex in Macau. The PokerStars Macau series runs from 26 October-11 November and features the HKD $100,000 (US $13,000) Main...more

Travel Guide: Macau

The PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) returns to Macau this month for the Asia Championship of Poker, giving players from all over the world a reason to visit Asia's most famous poker destination. Macau's Grand Waldo Hotel will play host to 18 official Asia Player of the Year events,...more

B000000M! Win with Katchalov's fours and scoop 100 big blinds

Welcome to day four of B0000000M!, our week-long give-you-money celebration of (almost) 1,000,000 hands BOOM!ed. All week we've been giving you 100 big blinds each time you win with the chosen hand of the day at showdown on a Zoom table (as long as you remember to BOOM! it, of...more

24 October

Hit the slopes at PokerStars Snowfest

Snowfest returns to the PokerStars roster this winter for one week of poker, ski and board action. The Austrian town of Saalbach Hinterglemm and Alpine Palace resort have twice hosted EPT legs (which were won by Eric Baake and Vladimir Geshkenbein) and we're planting the red spade on its slopes...more

PokerStars unveils monster All-Star Showdown

PokerStars is about to put on one of the biggest showdowns it's ever hosted, and it's one like you've never seen. Eight people. A $100,000 buy-in. Seven days. A $550,000 first prize. They're calling it the All-Star Showdown, and it is scheduled to begin this weekend. The contest will pit...more

B000000M! win 100 big blinds BOOM!ing Ramdin's 7c 5c

Today is a happy ZOOMing and BOOM!ing day for the loose-aggressive player. It's day three of the B0000000M! promotion where you can win 100 big blinds by winning with the hand of the day - in this case Victor Ramdin's 7♣5♣ - at the ZOOM tables and then BOOM!ing it....more

mendezoo captures six-figure payday, tops massive 10/23/12 Super Tuesday

The Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament, features three hours of late registration. So we try not to get too excited around here about field sizes and prize pools until after that three-hour period has elapsed. Then we take a looksee. However, eyebrows were raised a little early...more

23 October

As the Stars Tweet: Missed ring, the shot clock & a Selbst win

The World Series of Poker Circuit stop in Hammond, which is just outside Chicago, drew hordes of players this past week including Team PokerStars Pros Chad Brown and Victor Ramdin, though the duo found contrasting success. "Bad start to my trip to Chicago WSOP Hammond tourney. My flight got delayed...more

B000000M! $61,796 won yesterday with ElkY's hand, win more today

Yesterday we launched a week-long B000000M! promotion to celebrate the approaching milestone of one million hands shared on our BOOM! Hand Replayer. By the end of the day's play $61,796 had been won in 100 big blind chunks by players around the world winning with Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier's chosen hand...more

Double Vision returns next weekend

Next weekend your chance to win has doubled. No, you won't be given two PokerStars Blog One Time Chips™, but there are twice as many Sunday Majors to win as usual. Two Kickoffs, two Warm-Ups, two Storms and two Millions make for a happy Sunday grinder. Mark the 4 November...more

22 October

Eugene Katachalov session

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PCA 2013: I want to go back

Don't miss the $10 PCA qualifiers running every Sunday on PokerStars. The top ten finishers all get seats to the 2013 PCA! People head down to the Bahamas for various reasons but if you're a poker player and you're in Nassau during January, you're probably there for the PCA. The...more

PokerStars weekend review (10-22-12)

Dan Smith is a player in form. Not content is he with striking up $3,650,758 in live tournament winnings this year, a large chunk of which comes from his €962,925 win in the EPT9 Barcelona Super High Roller, but Smith, just a matter of hours ago, booked first place in...more

21 October

Sunday Million: Dan "Danny98765" Smith takes first place and then some

Dan "Danny98765" Smith was already on a career-making rush when he sat down to play today's Sunday Million. Akin to ElkY's 2008 or Vanessa Selbst's 2010, Smith has banked $3.6 million in live tournament earnings in 2012, including wins in the $100k Aussie Millions Super High Roller, the €50k EPT...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Vzsolt800 shocks the final table with $108K win

After being in the driver's seat for a WCOOP win last month with five to go and walking away in fourth place with a lot of cash but no bracelet, Vzsolt800 would hang around in tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-up just long enough to take home a Sunday Major title...more

Janet167 wins tough fight for October 21 Women's Sunday title

It makes sense that when Vanessa Selbst gives poker advice, people listen. So when she says that the PCA Ladies Event is the best women's event of the year, people listen. And women are waiting on pins and needles for their chance to win their seats into that best event...more

19 October

PCA 2013: Selbst says PokerStars Women Live "best by far"

Vanessa Selbst says it best, so I will let her fill you in. The incredibly talented Team PokerStars Pro calls it "the best women's event of the year by far." But that's only part of what she had to say about the PokerStars Women Live event coming up January 12-13...more

B000000M! Win 100 big blinds by sharing your hand with the BOOM! Hand Replayer

Do you want to win 100 big blinds for free? Of course you do. And you can by taking part in out B000000M! promotion by booming a Zoom hand chosen by Team PokerStars Pro each day for a week starting from Monday, 22 October to celebrate almost 1,000,000 hands shared...more

As the Stars Tweet: Space jumping, playing uncle, and more

Sometimes, in poker, you have to take a leap of faith. Whether you're faced with an all-in bet for your tournament life or you're about to pull the trigger on a massive, three-barrel bluff, it takes a bit of courage to be able to close your eyes and jump. Well...more

18 October

Isaac Haxton joins Team PokerStars Online

Introducing the poker world to Isaac Haxton is a bit like introducing Hollywood to Johnny Depp. Haxton is as much of a veteran of the online poker community as anybody in the modern age. He's among the most feared competitors in both the live and online realms. There isn't a...more

EPT9 Sanremo in review: Ludovic Lacay leads from the front

Ludovic Lacay may have been the big winner at EPT Sanremo but he certainly wasn't the only player to leave with a smile on his face. Vesa Leikos won €210,000 in a huge 450 runner €2,100 side event. Benny Spindler took €253,000 beating Keven 'stammdogg' Stammen heads-up in the High...more

Travel Diary: Sanremo

I'm writing this blog as I sit in my hotel lobby in Sanremo, Italy, waiting for my taxi to Nice, where I will begin my long journey back to Australia. For the past 10 days I've been in Sanremo for the PokerStars.it European Poker Tour. When flying all the way...more

PokerStars London VIP party

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Team PokerStars Online: And the new member is...

Well, you guessed, and you guessed, and you guessed, and guess what? Some of you got it right. Earlier this week, we announced that Team PokerStars Online was adding a new member to its stable. During the 36 hours of the contest, we had nearly 1,500 guesses. About 10% of...more

17 October

Estrellas Poker Tour awards close 21 October, vote today!

Voting closes for the Estrellas Poker Tour Season 3 awards this week. You have until 21 October to make your votes count by heading on through to the Estrellas Poker Tour awards website . That's just four days of voting left so if you have a penchant for poker on...more

Karim El Rharbaoui beats Patrick Renkers to title at France Poker Series Sunfest Mazagan

Karim El Rharbaoui last weekend won the France Poker Series Mazagan Sunfest for MAD 505,000 ($59,443) beating French journeyman Richard Ekert and Dutch grinder Patrick Renkers into podium finishes. Renkers would have fancied his chances at the final table given his experience and $313,216 in live tournament winnings. The Dutchman...more

RcknTheSbrbs rolls through 10/16/12 Super Tuesday for $93,860 win

There was another huge turnout this week for the Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament. The 494 entrants represented the biggest field since early April, and the fourth-largest of the year. That group created a prize pool of $494,000, well above the $300K guarantee for the event. The...more

16 October

UKIPT online main event: Eight set to jet into Bristol, £77,126 for first

The inaugural UKIPT online main event final table is set. After two days of online combat we have eight players remaining who will have to jet into Bristol, United Kingdom from as far away as Uruguay and Russia. Although the chip leader zugzwang16 is a phenomenal player in his own...more

Guess the next member of Team PokerStars Online, win cash (Updated!)

The Team PokerStars Online family is about to grow, but--at least for right now--we're not going to tell you who's coming to dinner. It's up to you to guess, and if you do, you could win a little bankroll of your own. Here's how it works. If you can guess...more

15 October

PCA: Tour of Atlantis

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PCA 2013: The making of a rock star named ElkY

There is an argument to be made that Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was a rockstar long before 2008. That argument goes something like, "In the world of Starcraft, people looked at ElkY like he was Elvis." That may be so, but I will contend until my dying day that I saw...more

PokerStars weekend review (10-15-12)

Ludovic Lacay claimed the biggest headlines heading into this weekend by winning EPT Sanremo and €744,910 beating French Canadian Jason Lavallee heads-up. EPT Sanremo had been a good one for the east side of Canada (Marc-Andre Ladouceur won the first of two High Rollers for €132,000). As EPT Sanremo began...more

14 October

Sunday Million: bagoch bags $196k, snags first major online title

This looked to be one of those final tables when the chip leader runs away with it. Armed with more than twice the chips of his closest competitor, a$$ou came in with a huge advantage that served him well all the way to five-handed play. That's when a pair of...more

Sunday Warm-Up: TKO for vladulaNko earning a $109K victory

Marathon. Usually the word marathon is used to describe a foot race of 26.2 miles, with the current world record at a breath taking two hours three minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Figuring this reporter has been training several months for a distance of half that amount, HOPING to run under...more

ZlyKurczak87 zaps October 14 Women's Sunday victory

October brings a change in temperature and season, and begins to usher in the holidays. It is a time for setting new goals, refreshing attitudes, and preparing to finish the year on a positive note. There are less than three months to make this year the best it can be,...more

12 October

Make it to Macau, ACOP for $700 or less

You want to go to Macau. You may not know it, but rest assured, you do. You want to fly into the Hong Kong airport (a full city of luxury under one roof). You want to take the ferry across to Macau. You want to experience a city unlike any...more

UKIPT Online debuts Sunday

The UK & Ireland Poker Tour revolutionized live tournament poker in the region. Now, for the first time in its three-season history, the UKIPT will take its action online and open it up to millions of people around the world. But there's a catch. This tournament will test both your...more

11 October

EPT9 Sanremo: Ludovic Lacay ends barren spell in emphatic fashion, wins main event

A couple of weeks ago, Ludovic Lacay's Facebook friends were subject to a polite request. "Until new notice poker is going terrible," Lacay wrote on his status update. "Please stop asking :)" The smiley face could not disguise the fact that here was a poker player running bad. But those...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Lynn Gilmartin talks to main event winner Ludovic Lacay

Lynn Gilmartin talks to the new EPT9 Sanremo champion Ludovic Lacay about a long day at the table. The Frenchman, who looked content in front of his stack of chips and winning hand, spoke about his performance, his expectations, running good and playing to his best. We also saw...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Jose Carlos Garcia finishes strong at EPT Sanremo

As the dust settles on EPT Sanremo, for another season at least, they'll be plenty looking back on the festival with a smile on their face and a bulge in their wallet. Among the happiest of that crew will be Jose Carlos Garcia who won the last big tournament of...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Kilian Kramer beats Petersen and co in six-max turbo, pockets €68,200

Kilian Kramer tonight won €68,200 in Event #28 beating a tough six-handed final table. Kramer is an easy figure to pick out in a crowd. Not only is he a tall guy but, handy if your eyesight is lacking, he's easy to find given his deep booming voice. Up close...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Cheering for Lavallee, or Lacay, it doesn't matter

Usually as the number of players in a poker tournament is reduced so too are the number of spectators. But the opposite is happening in the theatre of Casino Sanremo thanks largely to a sizeable gathering of Jason Lavallee supporters. Or are they Ludovic Lacay supporters? Some 20 or...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Roger Hairabedian beats Max Martinez to take heads-up crown

Roger Hairabedian has continued an incredible run of form this autumn by beating Team PokerStars Pro Max Martinez in Event #24: €990 Heads-up. Hairabedian made two final tables in the recent WSOPE, winning one event, to score his first bracelet and take him up to $3,777,458 in live tournament winnings....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Andrew Dean head of class in main event turbo, books €13,800

Main events are huge, colossal beasts. They take days to play out thanks to 30,000 starting stacks and slow moving blinds that kick-off at 50-100. It Ludovic Lacay six days to win EPT Sanremo. Six long days which were only broken up by morning games of tennis (we saw him...more

EPT Sanremo: Rumen Nanev navigates his way to victory in Event #27

Rumen Nanev has been a player that flies under the radar. He's twice made deep runs in EPT main events in the last couple of season (21th at EPT Barcelona, 18th at EPT Deauville) but hasn't grabbed the headlines. There has been no overnight chip leads, no final tables, no...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Vesa Leikos wins €210,000 in enormous €2,100 side event

Finnish grinder Vesa Leikos has won €210,000 in the enormous €2,100 side event beating the well rated Michal Polchlopek, one of Poland's rising stars of the game, head-up. The tournament side event, which started five days ago, picked up an incredible 450 runners building a €873,000 prize pool. JC Alvarado...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Lynn Gilmartin talks to Jason Lavallee

Jason Lavallee talks to Lynn Gilmartin about how the final table is progressing - in his view badly - and about his unorthodox preparations for the day - largely drinking and sleeping, as well as a plate of spaghetti. Lavallee also talks about the dominance of Ludovic Lacay in...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Toilet humour with Stapleton and Hartigan

If you have been listening to the English coverage on EPTLive, you have no doubt heard James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton talking about their working conditions today. Let's get one thing straight: the people known as "talent" in this industry (or any other) don't have things too bad. But today...more

EPT9 Sanremo: This day in history: The crowning of Jason Mercier

It's a story often told among poker circles, dusted off whenever a final table passes the ten hour mark or play slows to an unbearable crawl. It is of course the story of the first ever EPT Sanremo final table back in Season 4. More important than the destination,...more

EPT Sanremo: Sebastian Gohr wins the button and €21,700

Sebastian Ghor tonight won the €990 'Win the button' tournament beating Dmitry Grishin heads-up and avoiding EPT regular Martin Jacobson in third. The German, who lives in Brighton, UK, qualified for the main event online, failed to cash in that but scored a solid result in this new variant. A...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Benny Spindler returns to live poker, wins

Benny Spindler will be dining in style tonight after taking down the EPT9 Sanremo High Roller event, good for €253,000 - and a pristine silver cutlery set. Spindler also now wins his second Shamballa bracelet, adding this title to his EPT London crown, where he also won the exclusive bling....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Liv Boeree and Jason Mercier

Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Jason Mercier both won their EPT title here in Sanremo (Mercier in season four, Boeree in season six). Boeree may have won more but Mercier claims to have won the tougher final table (a point which Boeree concedes). PokerStars.tv caught up with the pair...more

EPT Sanremo: Heads up High Rollers, cutlery on the line

The final stages of the €10,000 High Roller event are taking place in the middle of some civilised chaos. Benny Spindler and Keven Stammen are heads up, playing for a bunch of cash and a bundle of additional prizes, but there are a lot of other people busy doing what...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Ludovic Lacay riding wave of Gallic success

One of the most successful players at today's final is Frenchman Ludovic Lacay. Should he win it would be the latest in a line of successes for French poker, dating back more than a year, starting here in Sanremo. Yorane Kerignard reached the final table in Season 8, and...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Philippe Boucher upgrades to a €28,700 win in Event #22

The French side of Canada continues to celebrate here in EPT Sanremo thanks to Phillipe Boucher who this afternoon beat Mikko Turtiainen heads-up to win €28,700 and all the plaudits that go with it (massage not included). Boucher's win follows in the footsteps of Marc-Andre Ladouceur who won the €5,300...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Back to the Future, Sanremo style

In Back to the Future you need a DeLorean and in Looper you'll be shot if you try it. But time travel is possible in Sanremo, and you only need to walk through a door. As you probably know already, the pictures you are seeing on EPTLive from the final...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Oleksii Kravchuk beats Casey Kastle heads-up, wins Event #20

Oleksii Kravchuk last night beat EPT regular Casey Kastle in Event #20: €990 No-Limit Hold 'em to win €32,000. Kastle, who has $1,697,260 in live winnings, has cashed five times in EPT main events but is yet to make the big money. His deepest run was a 15th place finish...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Dominik Nitsche bags another trophy, McDonald and Elder final table

Dominik Nitsche has won Event #25 for €35,000 beating two EPT champs to the trophy and pushing him through the $2,000,000 career winnings barrier. The German, who won LAPT Mar del Plata for $381,030 in 2009, beat Niclas Martinsson heads-up and also outlasted EPT Sanremo champ Rupert (fifth, €7,000) and...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Seven return in the high roller

When play stopped last night in the high roller just seven of the field of 84 (including reloads) remained. And leading them was Sweden's Joel Nordkvist. He stands to double his career earnings if he wins the €288,000 first prize. But in his way are some of the fiercest...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Introduction to the final table with Lynn Gilmartin

If you had seen Rick Dacey at about 3am this morning/last night, you would have had no idea that he would be capable of getting up this morning and providing an introduction to the final table video, with Lynn Gilmartin of PokerStars.tv. But he did, and here is that video....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Lavallee leads main event into final day

And so to the final table. After five days of play just eight of the original 797 players remain to contest the final of EPT Sanremo. At stake is a first prize of €800,000. Yesterday we saw the collapse of one chip leader and the emergence of another. While...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Final table player profiles

EPT9 Sanremo is at its final table, the final eight from a starting field of 797. The winner will receive €800,000, plus an exclusive Slyde watch, and become the second champion of EPT season nine. The final table line up is as follows: Seat 1: Ludovic Lacay, 27, Toulouse, France...more

ACOP Ready to Launch

Nearly a year has passed since the PokerStars Macau announcement of the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) and the official Macau leg for APPT Season 6 is now only 2 weeks away from its October 26 launch. The region has previously focused on poker tournaments between HKD $10,000-40,000 so...more

10 October

EPT9 Sanremo: Jason Lavallee leads Ludovic Lacay into final table

EPT9 Sanremo has reached its final table, the eight players who will return tomorrow to decide the winner of the €800,000 first prize. The tone for the day was set early, when the life-force of Inge Forsmo, vivid before today, was finally snuffed out in a massive couple of hands....more

EPT9 Sanremo: High rolling to the final table

The contrast between the main event and the high roller is pretty stark. While the main event rumbles on in the theatre, with beams of bright light illuminating the central stage and the final table, the high roller event plays on in relative obscurity, beneath the mural of a...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Behind the scenes at Pagano events

The European Poker Tour event in Sanremo is one of a number major poker festivals in Italy organised by Pagano Events, the family business of the Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano. Luca and his father Claudio have run the business since the mid 1990s, arranging poker tournaments on cruises and...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Balazs Botond barges to €10,500 win in 'Antes only' event

Balazs Botond is finding Italian tournaments to be happy hunting grounds. Following up from his fourth-place finish at EPT Campione for €157,000 in Season 8, Botond last night took down the €330 'Antes only' event to pocket €10,500. That win takes Botond's career live earnings to $519,592 and with three...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Ludovic Lacay shares his thoughts with Lynn Gilmartin

Ludovic Lacay has been spending his mornings this week playing tennis and his afternoons and evenings at the poker table, steadily moving up to within the top three in chips in the main event. At the last break, Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Lacay to get an update on his...more

The Game of the Moment: Open-Face Chinese Poker

They may be in Sanremo, Italy, for the PokerStars European Poker Tour, but quite a few players are occupying their time away from the felt with another card game. Earlier this week, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Scott Seiver were among the players who partook in a 34-hour session of open-face...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The unfinished story of Mr Bojang

In the middle of the pack right now is Ismael Bojang. It's a name that should be easy to remember, and yet not much is known about the German who is notching up his second cash of the EPT season. Bojang though is unusual among the poker community being...more

Randy Lew (not a robot) to defend championship in Macau

Randy Lew is about ready to celebrate his first anniversary with the companion he loves the most. They've spent the past eleven months together. It's a relationship like you've never seen. Randy Lew loves his APPT Macau trophy. As you might remember, the member of Team PokerStars Online won the...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Rock-stars Raskin, Raskin and Raskin come to Sanremo

What with the dazzling lights, scores of groupies and enormous sums of money, poker has a good claim to the title as the new rock 'n' roll. But as far as Micah Raskin is concerned, there's no need for the "new" version at all: he has brought plenty of the...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Lauri Varonen leads the €990 PLO side event, bubble near

Every stop on the European Poker Tour is now a full blown poker festival of multiple events (we're talking 20+) with buy-ins ranging from €220 satellites and €330 turbos all the way up to the main event and €10,300 High Roller (live updates of which can be found here). One...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The marvellous Mare Blu

PokerStars.tv's Lynn Gilmartin dropped in to the infamous Mare Blu restaurant for a free meal behind the scenes snoop. The obvious attempt to get dinner for free hard-hitting investigative look at Mare Blu shows that, unlike most poker players, the chefs there subscribe to high levels of hygenic cleanliness. This...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Day 5 intro with Lynn Gilmartin and Rick Dacey

The €5,000 EPT9 Sanremo main event plays down from 24 players to eight today. It's a critical stage in the tournament where a good return on investment can turn into a life changing one. Will you bump out with a healthy €23,000 or will you guarantee yourself an eighth-place €65,450...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Stage set for penultimate day heroics

The atmosphere is temperate and calm in the theatre of Casino Sanremo, and the seats comfortable, but as for poker you can't see anything. Events on the stage are being recorded for television, with the live feed starting tomorrow on EPTLive. For now though the view from the seats...more

EPT9 Sanremo: High Rollers play it out away from the limelight

No matter how long a poker festival goes on, there will still be players with bricks of cash ready to buy in to the later events. Some are looking to play the rush, others to haul out of a hole, the majority simply completing a well-prepared schedule decided long in...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Faraz Jaka leads monster €2k event #15, €210,000 for the win

Faraz Jaka will sit down at 3pm (local time) with the largest stack in Event #15: €2,200 No-Limit Hold 'em. All 38 players are now in the money but the huge 450-man field has created a mammoth €210,000 first place prize which many of the remaining field will feel entitled...more

EPT9 Sanremo: High drama expected as chase to final table hots up

Good afternoon one and all and welcome back to Sanremo for day five. I hope you are all wearing your bow-ties and evening gowns because today is the day we go up market. After four days in the main casino, the remaining three tables and 24 players have now decamped...more

9 October

blumenkind53 blows through 10/9/12 Super Tuesday field, earns nearly $84K

This week's Super Tuesday saw yet another big field join the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament that often brings together online poker's elite. A total of 464 joined the fray this time, making a $464,000 prize pool and easily besting the $300K guarantee. The top 54 finishers divided the prize...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Jason Tompkins leads Inge Forsmo into last 24

At some point today Jason Tompkins may just have felt he was beginning to own this main event. The Irishman was among the first to break the million mark, then wasted little time turning that into 1.5 million before his stack peaked tonight at 2,423,000. That puts Tompkins, who...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Jason Mercier first in line for the re-load blessing

As the main event in Sanremo gets very close to bagging and tagging for the night, the players in the High Roller event are preparing to play on into the early hours. They did not begin until 5pm local time, with registration closing after their dinner break at around 10.30pm....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Giada Fang talks about tearing up the track

Giada Fang, an Italian member of Team PokerStars Online, was out on the racing track yesterday swapping cards for karts. Today Fang is playing in a €1,000 ladies' invitational on the TV set that will host the EPT Sanremo final table this Thursday. One player will bundle €800,000 into a...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Isaac Haxton pops his EPT cherry

If you drew up a list of the last 30 players at EPT Sanremo, then put an asterisk beside the name of everyone who has never cashed in the main event of an EPT festival, you would be looking at 17 little stars. You might think, though, that at least...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Revenge of the high rolling reloaders

Steve O'Dwyer was back. In his hand was a scrap of paper and he wished to be seated immediately. It was partly owing to impatience, partly so he could put the events of the last few minutes behind him. He'd just been eliminated from the high roller event and...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Chip leader Matt Salsberg talks to PokerStars.tv (plus bonus Deeb)

Matt Salsberg has a morning routine here in Sanremo. It's a simple walk down the seafront in the Italian sunshine. The ritual certainly seems to be paying dividends at the moment. Salsberg started the day on average chips but quickly built a stack and, going into the dinner break, was...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The silence of the High Rollers

Somewhere in an alternate universe, poker tournaments get the attention they deserve. In this one, there can be bellowing and chaos about a player doubling a short stack in a €300 Hyper Turbo, while at the same time a field bulging with EPT champions, World Series bracelet winners and the...more

As the Stars Tweet: Biking, temple running, and more

After busting from the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in Cannes, France, dozens of professional poker players migrated northeast to Sanremo, Italy, for the next stop on the ninth season of the European Poker Tour: EPT Sanremo. If you catch the right train, the trip from Cannes to...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Players under starters orders with EPT Concierge

On the outskirts of Sanremo lies a dusty thunder bowl known as the Pista Oleandri karting circuit high up in the San Donato foothills in a part of the country where rows of greenhouses turn the valleys from green to white. To those from out of town it looked...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Miguel Silva wins the doubloons in Event #19

Miguel Silva last night won Event #19, a fast and frenzied hyper turbo tournament with 172 runners. A nine-way chop saw everyone at the final table collect €2,800 but Silva pulled through for the win to scoop €4,770 - a tidy payout for a few hours work. Silva, from Portugal,...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Jason Tompkins aims to paint Sanremo green

Back in the early days of the European Poker Tour, there used to be a running bet between the writers of PokerStars Blog and two reporters from an Irish online poker site. Essentially it was a last-longer centred on the main event field: we would take PokerStars qualifiers, they would...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Dutchman Vincent Van Der Fluit wins Event #17: €990 turbo

Dutchman Vincent van der Fluit last night won the €990 turbo beating wisecracking Canadian businessman Jody Bertozzi to the trophy and €42,500 first place prize. Both Van der Fluit, a WSOP bracelet winner from this summer who turns 25 later this month, and Bertozzi benefited from eighth place finisher Igor...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Four Italians without a title

The playing field is now down to six tables, roped off in a corner of the tournament room and surrounded by side events, press and a team of tournament staff who escort players to the pay-out desk one by one. Their number is decreasing slowly, with three of the...more

Making friends and memories at the PCA

Where else but at the poker table at the PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) would you have a chance to hang out and chat with TV celebrity Ricki Lake? For Tina Bergstom and Jennifer Tokarek that was the memory that stands out as the most memorable from their trips to the...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Day 2 draw of the mammoth €2,200 side event

Day 2 of the €2,200 started today with 216 players left from a starting field of 450, a mammoth amount for an EPT side event. A huge €210,000 sits up top for the winner, along with a lovely, shiny EPT trophy. The overnight chip leader was Sofiano Vergitsis with 145,500...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Just a minute? Players and officials round on the stallers

Here is a common tournament poker scenario, the kind that occurs increasingly frequently on the European Poker Tour and beyond. It is late on day two and the money bubble is gradually floating closer. Perhaps 20 more people need to bust before a min-cash is guaranteed. As expected, players begin...more

EPT9 Sanremo: From 66 to 24

It's the fifth day of EPT Sanremo and a familiar pattern is beginning to emerge. Each morning the sun blazes over the city, which looks as pert and sparkly as you imagine it does in the height of summer. Each day is framed with familiar sights and sounds. The...more

8 October

EPT Sanremo: 'How to smash the MicroMillions,' a guide by Marcin Horecki

Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is a player better known for final tabling EPT main events than grinding micro-stakes tournaments. Two third-place finishes have pocketed Horecki close to $900,000 alone but, as Lynn Gilmartin found out, he's got a certain amount of pride in his MicroMillions leader board win from...more

EPT9 Sanremo: None can catch Inge Forsmo as Norwegian bludgeons on

People in poker often use the word "polarizing", typically to describe a bet that represents either a bluff or the nuts. But EPT Sanremo can often be a polarizing tournament: either it is painfully slow as players Hollywood on every decision, or it is terrifyingly fast as they think: "Eff...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Inga Forsma talks poker and patience...

Chip leader coming into today was Inge Forsma who talked to Lynn Gilmartin during a pause in the bubble play about his remarkable progress. Forsma was the first to admit, when he spoke to the PokerStars Blog yesterday, that he isn't the most patient of players, having got his...more

PokerStars weekend review (10-7-12)

This is a standard review of the PokerStars news you might have missed if you were, say, traveling or in a foreign prison over the weekend. We do it every Monday, and we know you have come to expect it. But before we get on to that, you need to...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Surviving the bubble

Often the most revealing aspect of bubble play is not the all-in hands themselves, which usually end with a double-up for the player with aces, but the players with the short stacks who play, and live, hand by hand. One such player was Nadir Yusupov. The Russian seemed to...more

Pros and their pets

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EPT9 Sanremo: Sacre bleu! There's more to cuisine than Mare Blu...

PokerStars Blog does not court controversy. But at the risk of inviting ridicule and scorn from apparently everyone in the poker community, we have something to declare: "Mare Blu" is not the best restaurant in Sanremo. Even if you have never been to this stop on the EPT, you will...more

PCA 2013: Barry Greenstein's memories of River-itis

It was 2004, Barry Greenstein was on a boat, and he was sick in a way that the ship captain just couldn't understand. A few days earlier, the Voyager of the Seas had set out from south Florida on a trip unlike any the boat had ever seen. Its manifest...more

EPT Sanremo: Leo Margets leads Event #15, Day 1B starts at 7pm

Leo Margets last night bagged up 124,300 to take the Day 1A lead in Event #15: €2,200 No-Limit Hold 'em as the only player to break into six figures. Melanie Weisner is the closest to her with 94,800 while players such as JC Alvarado (77,000), Ilan Boujenah (77,400) and Dmirty...more

EPT9 Sanremo: On this day in history...the best bubble ever

We mentioned earlier how bubble time is among the most exciting periods of any poker tournament. And if most of us on the European Poker Tour were asked to name the best of the best, there would be a lot of votes proffered for EPT Sanremo Season Six, where...more

NotKillBears of Russia Hunts Down Women's Sunday Victory

As the first Women's Sunday of October took off on PokerStars, a popular European Poker Tour spot heated up in San Remo, Italy. Svetlana Orlik won the 56-player San Remo Ladies Event for €5,850. Team Pro Liv Boeree entered day three of the Main Event with 81,000 chips, "the high...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Welcome to to Day 3 with Lynn Gilmartin

Day 3 is the tipping point of EPT Sanremo. It's the day where the bubble will burst (now pretty soon) and title challengers emerge from the crowd. Yes, there is still three more days to play but this halfway point can make or break your trip. A starting field of...more

EPT9 Sanremo: A day for the excitable masochist

Underwhelment comes easily to tournament poker reporters. Most of us have seen hundreds of champions crowned, making it incrementally more difficult to be thrilled by that moment of triumph at the end of six exhausting days - no matter how many tears are shed, champagne corks popped or items of...more

7 October

Sunday Million: JopperHarryN goes from short stack to champion

Fifteen big blinds. It's enough to make an opponent think twice when you three-bet shove, enough to keep you out of total danger. But should that re-shove run afoul of the poker gods or into a monster hand, well, game over. That's the situation JopperHarryN faced as he made the...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Manta_Rays swims past the field for $100K victory

Tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up was about a pair of Russian players tearing up the final table busting each player from places fourth through ninth and looking to go 1-2 with $100,072.70 up top. Twice potential deals were shot down and twice Manta_Rays from Sweden would stand tall to claim...more

EPT9 Sanremo: May the Forsmo be with you

EPT9 Sanremo is coming nicely to the boil. After starting the day with 430 players, we sent more than half of them spiraling out to the side events or the restaurants, leaving us with about 160 chasing the €800,000 first prize - or at least an €8,000 min-cash should they...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Does Sanremo exist when there's nobody here to see it?

There's a café across the street from the Casino in San Remo called "Sabrina." You can sit outside in the sunshine while the waiters, either blond and tattooed or impossibly hairy bring you ice cream, sandwiches and drinks, while inside their boss polishes the zinc bar. It's a popular...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Dinner date with Jude Ainsworth

The cream is rising to the top today at EPT Sanremo, with a number of the game's biggest names starting to make their presence felt on the leader board. Pius Heinz and Nacho Barbero lead the Team PokerStars Pro charge, but Jude Ainsworth is another of the red spades...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The unstoppable force of Inge Forsmo, qualifier of the day

There are certain conversations that sound best in specific accents. For instance the language of lurve is better with a Latin inflection, much like it takes an American to insist that they can dodge bullets, baby, or to order a super-sized mega-bucket with extra mayo - and a Diet Coke....more

Warm your chips at Mazagan Sunfest (11-14 October, Morocco)

Fancy jetting off for some late summer sun and playing some poker while you're at it? Then step right up to France Poker Series' Mazagan Sunfest. The €1,100 main event runs 12-14 October with side events, including a €3,000 High Roller, taking place. Morocco, it's lovely at this time of...more

Valtteri Merikallio wins Eureka2 Latvia and €68,800

Players who play loose and fast are often accused of having a plane to catch. In the case of Valtteri Merikallio this was literally his predicament. The 34-year-old office worker missed one flight back home, due to the epic four-hour heads-up battle between Sam Macdonald and himself here in Riga....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Prop betting to better yourself

You may have read on the blog about the antics of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov earlier this week and their epic bike ride from Cannes to Sanremo. It was the next in a series of prop bets the pair arranged during WCOOP, with results determining who had...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Pros on pets

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms," said George Eliot. It's a large part of the attraction of owning pets, that if you feed them and occasionally give them a scratch behind the ears they'll love you unconditionally. That and the fact they'll...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Globe-trotting Sam Razavi rests up in Sanremo

The dinner break in Sanremo is among the more generous of any of the EPT stops. Not only is a lavish buffet provided, with wine, but it lasts for 95 minutes, offering plenty of time to try all nine courses and finish with a bowl of ice cream, else head...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Stammen beats Karr to trophy in Event #14, books €92,900

American grinder Keven 'Stammdoogg' Stammen has won Event #14: €2,200 NL Hold'em turbo beating McLean Karr heads-up for €92,000. The turbo event saw 153 players buy-in with players including EPT winner Kent Lundmark, Shannon Shorr and Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth making the money. Stammen entered the final table out...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Marc-Andre Ladouceur talks High Roller

Lynn Gilmartin talks to Marc-Andre Ladouceur who a few days ago won the IPT High Roller event in Sanremo, to open the week's events. In the video Ladouceur talks about how it feels to win a first major title against what was quality opposition. Still in the main event...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 3, Level 24 - 26 updates (blinds 20,000 - 40,000 ante 4,000)

8.20pm: Valtteri Merikallio wins Eureka Latvia (€ 68,800); Sam Macdonald eliminated in second place (€ 43,700) It's all over here in `Riga, Valtteri Merikallio has won Eureka Latvia. In the final hand Sam Macdonald limped on the button, Merikallio made it 150,000 to go, Macdonald jammed for around 700,000 and,...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Day 2 in history

There wasn't much Luca Bartoli could hope for when he turned up this morning, armed with a stack of just 6,000 chips. Even the soccer shirt he was wearing suggested he'd given up on some prize money to take to Boggi across the road. Instead he turned up to...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Introducing day two with Lynn Gilmartin and Rick Dacey

If you, like me, read the scintillating reports from EPT festival side events and think: "Who is this Rick Dacey who writes about these tournaments so eloquently? I wonder what he looks like" then this post is just for you. In the video below, Dacey chews the fat with...more

EPT9 Sanremo: All looking up at Trickett as the serious stuff begins

Day two of EPT9 Sanremo is already under way, with the 430 remaining players (from a starting field of 797) buckling down and preparing for another long day in the saddle. The players have already put in a 13-hour shift to emerge from their respective day ones, but none are...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 2, Level 20 - 23 updates (blinds 10,000-20,000 ante 2,000)

5.18pm: Break time The two remaining players are now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level 24 updates in a new post shortly. 5.15pm: Mac daddy A couple of small to medium sized pots in a row for Sam Macdonald have seen him stretch his chip lead once more....more

6 October

EPT9 Sanremo: Svetlana Orlik wins the women's event, bags €5,850

After a hard fought final table in the women's event, Svetlana Orlik has won an EPT trophy and €5,850 beating the ferocious Olga Iermolcheva heads up. It was the final pairing that always looked likely with the question being whether the irresistible force of Iermolcheva would be able to batter...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Sam Trickett edges into chip lead

The opening day of EPT Sanremo is now at an end, and Sam Trickett leads after a day that was decidedly more engaging that its predecessor. After yesterday's sedentary atmosphere, Day 1B started with drama and continued in the same manner until about 270 of its 477 starters remained....more

EPT9 Sanremo: Qualifier of the day: Stefano Giarrusso

Every now and again on the European Poker Tour, a young Italian player appears from absolutely nowhere, plays like a man or woman possessed and suddenly has a stack of chips so large they need a step-ladder to reach the top. This move is known as "doing a Minieri" after...more

EPT9 Sanremo: A chin-wag with Chris Moneymaker, plus late night tournament update

Chris Moneymaker is one of an extraordinarily strong showing from Team PokerStars Pro this afternoon, sitting as we enter the last level with 110,000. As he explains to Lynn Gilmartin, he managed to flop quads and get paid off earlier on, which has allowed him to get his head down...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The Daily Strategy: Hand ranges

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

Eureka2 Latvia: Paszkiewicz in Pole position at final table

When 81 players returned at the start of Day 2 Dariusz Paszkiewicz was firmly in the middle of the pack. By the time that number had been reduced to the final eight he was the leader of the pack. The Pole's late surge saw him bag up 1,068,000 overnight...more

EPT9 Sanremo: The Learning Game's brightest graduate, Nick Abou Risk

A few years ago in Dublin, Ireland, a small gathering of poker players working for a major online poker site got together and began a home game, into which they introduced an unusual rule. This wasn't any kind of bizarre variant or run-it-eight-times nonsense, nor was it a way to...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Nacho natters to Lynn Gilmartin

Jose Ignacio "Nacho" Barbero is one of the most successful players in Latin America, the winner of back-to-back titles on the Latin American Poker Tour among scores of major successes. Barbero is also the most successful Team PokerStars Pro from Latin America to have visited the European Poker Tour, winning...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Daniel Negreanu's dinner break rant

Daniel Negreanu is not a player to keep his opinion to himself. It's one of the first things that you learn in poker, around the same time you find out that calling with raggy aces or playing after a night out on the town isn't really that much of a...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 2, Level 19 -20 updates (blinds 5,000-10,000 ante 1,000)

12.55am: Overnight chip counts Seat 1. Zvorimir Zoric, Bosnia and Herzegowina, PokerStars Qualifier, 293,000 Seat 2.Vitalijs Tarhanovs, Latvia, 236,000 Seat 3.Gary Clarke, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 391,000 Seat 4.Valtteri Merikallio, Finland, 579,000 Seat 5.Joni Nenonen, Finland, 716,000 Seat 6.Dariusz Paszkiewicz, Poland, 1,068,000 Seat 7.Sam Macdonald, United Kingdom, PokerStars qualifier, 738,000...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Old fashioned glamour on the way to the baccarat table

The tournament staff is fairly rigid about letting members of the public inside the roped off tournament area. The rule is simple, keep out, or risk being awkwardly shuffled to the rail by a dealer or floor person who'd rather everyone obey the rules and not cause trouble. Earlier...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Freewheelin' with ElkY and Eugene Katchalov

Yesterday, as you'll no doubt have heard by now, Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov rolled into town on push bikes completing the second of three post-WCOOP bets. The PokerStars Blog caught up with them yesterday as they crossed the finishing line just outside the Casino Sanremo...more

EPT9 Sanremo: A round with Sam Trickett, Antonio Esfandiari and friends

Some tables are always tougher than others, and as we mentioned earlier today, some of the most difficult of all time have been arranged this afternoon in Sanremo. We usually reserve the "A Round With..." feature for deeper in these tournaments, but when Day 1B throws up a table boasting...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Information at your fingertips, the EPT Guide

Have you got a smart phone? Of course you have. Have you downloaded the free EPT Guide yet? Perhaps not. Well, if you've got a spare few seconds then jump into the iTunes app store or Google Play store to download the application. It's a no-brainer whether you're an EPT...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Improving your rail birding experience

If you hang around on the European Poker Tour long enough certain things become clear. While the outsider may look upon a tournament and declare all poker players look the same, the insider knows that within this mass of chip riffling humanity lurk poker's various breeds, each distinct in...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 2, Level 15 -18 updates (blinds 3,000-6,000 ante 500)

10.45pm: Break time Players are now on a 15 minute break, you'll find level 19 updates in a new post shortly. 10.40pm: Tomas Ksenevicius eliminated in 13th place (€ 3,500.00) And we're down to the final dozen. Sam Macdonald opened to 12,000 from the cut-off, Tomas Ksenevicius then moved all-inf...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Day 1B redefines 'star-studded'

The general consensus around Casino Sanremo yesterday was that the atmosphere in the tournament room was a little flat. This was not something to be disappointed about, nor in any way concerned. Rather it was almost as if Sanremo had come of age as a poker venue and our hosts...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Welcome to Day 1B with Lynn Gilmartin

PokerStars.tv's Lynn Gilmartin takes a look at the day's action with the help of some lumbering dolt from the PokerStars Blog. For a full wrap of yesterday's action check last night's wrap click here or you can a closer look at the Marc-Andre Ladouceur High Roller victory or Chris Sly's...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Second flight ready to play

It's another glorious late summer day in Sanremo, a town that rejects autumn and chooses a late summer instead. The sun is at its hottest in these moments before play starts. The town long ago voted against installing shade making it a punishing walk from even the nearest hotel....more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 2, Level 11 - 14 updates (blinds 1,200-2,400 ante 300)

5.18pm: Break The 36 remaining players are now on a 15 minute break, you'll find level 15 updates in a new post shortly. 5.15pm: Chip leaders There are 36 players left at the moment, and tables are playing eight handed max now. Some of those not too far behind...more

5 October

EPT9 Sanremo: Erion Islamay gets his nose in front at end of Day 1A

We have reached the end of Day 1A of EPT9 Sanremo and although this was not the most dramatic ten hours of poker the casino has ever seen, that fact itself is part of the tournament's success. In the past, we have known snaking queues for registration and long-delayed starts,...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Chris Sly railed by best mate Sam Trickett to Event #10 win

As best mate's go, Chris Sly has chosen pretty well. Why plump for the guy that moans, crashes on your couch and always seems to disappear when it's his round when you can instead have a jetsetting high stakes poker player with $17,470,283 in live tournament cashes. It seems that...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Here one minute, gone the next

It may not mean much at this stage but with a level left to play on Day 1A Mustapha Kanit looks like the early leader. Others out ahead include the likes of former EPT winner David Vamplew, and recent WPT Paris champion Matt Salsberg. Their success however is built...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Marc-Andre Ladouceur wins IPT High Roller and €132,400

Marc-Andre Ladouceur has won the Italian Poker Tour High Roller bagging €132,400 and his first live title. The Canadian overcame a three-to-one deficit against Swede Alex Roumeliotis in a four hour head-up putting to bed the disappointment of finishing runner-up in the €10,000 Heads-Up Championship at EPT Barcelona. "I remember...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Ana Marquez talks the talk

Ana Marquez came to EPT Sanremo this week with nothing but excitement, expectation and fond memories. This was the town in which she first met her now-boyfriend Bryn Kenney and it also boasts her (and everyone else's) favourite restaurant. Not only that, but Marquez is on the crest of a...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Passion and personality, but no Italian winner

Few spectacles on the European Poker Tour can rival that of an Italian winner. When Salvatore Bonavena won in Prague four seasons ago, becoming the first and so far only Italian winner, it seemed that Italy itself celebrated with him, metaphorically and physically as most of them appeared in...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1B, Level 9 - 10 updates (blinds 500-1,000 ante 100)

1.55am: In it to Finn it: Joni Nenonen leads Day 1B field When late registration slammed shut at the end of level two today a total of 141 players had paid their money. Coupled with the 137 from Day 1A they created a total field of 278 for the inaugural...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Squeezing them in

As detailed earlier, for the first time in five seasons in Sanremo, the main event has moved into a different tournament room, booting the roulette and blackjack tables into the ballroom and occupying the main gaming floor. It has never been easy to fit the monster fields of a 21st...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Manig Loeser the big winner in event #6, banks €39,600

Manig Loeser, the holder of one of the best names in poker, is an early winner at EPT Sanremo after trumping a 145-man field in Event #6: €990 No-Limit Hold'em turbo. Loeser had to navaigate his way past a tough field who were warming up for the main event which...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Qualifier of the Day: Charlie Combes

Sometimes when you're a poker player you have to deal with distractions, although none can be worse than a cleaner making off with your drink. Still, Charlie Combes managed to laugh it off, opting not to chase after her when the hand came to a close and he paused...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Victor Ramdin talks shop with Lynn Gilmartin

Lynn Gilmartin catches up with Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin on the steps of Casino Sanremo. Ramdin, a former WPT winner, talks about his progress in the main event which so far is going well. He's also a fan of the city itself and gives his opinion on the...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Mohamed Akeb beats Martin Staszko heads up in event #4

Martin Staszko is a man famous for coming second. Just last year the Team PokerStars Pro was sat opposite Pius Heinz in the World Series of Poker Main Event heads-up for a bracelet and $8,715,368. Staszko, who had got past 6,863 other players, couldn't quite make that final step but...more

EPT Sanremo: Pedal pushing poker players

Every Spring since 1907, the streets of Sanremo have been lined with cycling fans, cheering into town the finishing riders of "La Classica di Primavera", an epic bike race that starts in Milan and finishes here, about 300km and six-and-a-half hours later. It is the longest professional one-day race in...more

Tour of Sanremo

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EPT9 Sanremo: Lynn Gilmartin takes a walk around the town, eats ice cream

Sanremo has been a seaside casino town for many, many years. You'd be able to tell this purely from looking at the state of the PokerStars Blog's hotel accommodation. It's a step back in history, we can tell you. Let PokerStars.tv's Lynn Gilmartin give you a rundown of the history,...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1B, Level 5 - 8 updates (blinds 300-600 ante 75)

10.32pm: Break time Players are now on their final 15 minute break of the day, you'll find level nine updates in a new post. 10.25pm: Premium into premium Mantas Stikelis just doubled through Gytis Bernatavicius, pocket aces versus pocket jacks. A Q♣K♣[10h] flop gave Stikelis a fright but his hand...more

From one grind to another

What an intense month it has been! Its funny how whenever a big series like SCOOP or WCOOP is coming up you cant wait for it to start and you are so motivated to grind all the events every day, and then towards the end, well I think my colleague...more

EPT9 Sanremo: It looks like, sounds like and is a poker tournament

Casino Sanremo stands as one of the more glamorous venues on the European Poker Tour schedule. It's not just the building itself, a 1905 liberty-style monument to glamour and excess (like the Gold Coast in Las Vegas), but also the interior, one of polished marble, vast paintings, and state...more

ElkY and nanonoko among new ACOP confirmations

PokerStars Macau has confirmed that Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier and Randy 'nanonoko' Lew will be coming to the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker(ACOP) which runs from October 26 to November 11 at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex in Macau. "I'm very excited to come back to Macau" said ElkY. "I really...more

EPT9 Sanremo: Lynn Gilmartin introduces EPT9 Sanremo

EPT Sanremo is one of the most popular tournaments in the poker world. There are big fields, loads of side events, beautiful late summer-early autumnal weather and, if the they-won't-shut-up-about-it food fanatics are to be believed, some incredible ravioli round the corner. PokerStars.tv's Lynn Gilmartin will be on hand throughout...more

EPT Sanremo: Welcome to the Italian Riviera

It is the first week of October and the first day of a new European Poker Tour main event. Ordinarily this means some harmless exaggeration about the beauty of our seaside location, the glory of the climate, the sun-kissed sandy beaches and bobbing blue sea. But for once the exaggeration...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1B, Level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)

5.15pm: Break it up That's the end of level four here in Riga, players are now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates in a new post shortly. 5.05pm: Pace of play The pace of play today definitely seems more sedate and calm than yesterday, when...more

4 October

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1A, Level 9-10 updates (blinds 500-1,000 ante 100)

1.50am: Latvian leads Day 1A field The third stop of Season two of the Eureka Poker Tour saw us welcomed to a new venue, the Royal Casino Spa and Hotel resort in Riga, Latvia. After ten frantic levels of play, during which more than 100 of the 137 players were...more

Team Pros headed to Sanremo

The PokerStars European Poker Tour is in Sanremo for its second stop on the Season 9 schedule. Sanremo is a favorite stop on the EPT, evidenced by the 837-player field that showed up for the Season 8 Main Event. What attracts players to the City of Flowers? We asked members...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1A, Level 5-8 updates (blinds 300-600 ante 75)

10.50pm: Break Players are now filtering out of the tournament area as they're now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level nine updates in a new post. 10.40pm: You're not in Kaunas* anymore Lithuania's Mantas Puidokas has not had a good couple of levels. First his stack was cut...more

Women's Poker League: Sick play in 3 divisions from $icksosick!

The PokerStars Women's Poker League is a gathering of sorts. Women gather in these tournaments to accumulate results over the course of a month. It may be done for fun, pride, the love of competition, and/or for the many cash prizes that await the top players. And with three bankroll...more

Team Pro Jason Mercier earns €84,000 at WSOPE

It was not the result he hoped for, but it was better than almost everybody did in this year's World Series of Poker Europe. This afternoon in Cannes, France, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mericer placed eighth in the WSOPE main event for €84,672. Mercier started the day with the shortest...more

Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1A, Level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)

5.30pm: Break time That's four levels down, players are now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates in a new post. 5.20pm: Zero Sum game Contrasting fortunes for two players at table one both of whom have made final tables at UKIPT events. Irishman Peter Barrable, who...more

3 October

Jason Mercier chasing third WSOP title, Hellmuth leads final table

Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has made the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe and is looking to not only win €1,022,376 and his third WSOP bracelet but to stop Phill Hellmuth winning a record 13th. Mercier starts tomorrow's final table short, just 7th in chips with...more

As the Stars Tweet: Bracelet hunting and Rafa Nadal

With the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker in the rearview mirror, the poker community has turned its collective attention to the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe. When it's all said and done, a total of seven bracelets will be awarded in Cannes, France, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason...more

PCA memories

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Six-max with the ladies

Six-max tournaments and ladies tournaments are my two of my favorite forms. So when PokerStars Women debuted its weekly Tuesday six-max, I pined to play from afar. But it wasn't to be until a beautiful night in Jerusalem. In my new rental with views of the old City, I entered...more

KaptianKush crushes, captures 10/2/12 Super Tuesday, collects $89K

The Super Tuesday saw yet another big turnout this week, with 466 entrants jumping into the $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em event. That meant a prize pool of $466,000 -- well above the $300K guarantee. The top 54 finishers would divide the loot, with $89,425.40 due the winner barring any final...more

2 October

paysafecard becomes official payment provider sponsor of EPT Season 9

The leading internet prepaid payment solution, paysafecard, will be the official payment provider sponsor of the European Poker Tour Season 9, EPT President Edgar Stuchly announced today. The sponsorship will see paysafecard branding in and around the tournament area at events during Season 9 starting at EPT Sanremo, and players...more

Dream another dream with me, Rafa

Have you ever had one of those dreams that was so good you didn't want to wake up? So real that it takes you a few minutes to realize that everything that happened in the dream was just a figment of your imagination? Unfortunately that was what happened to me...more

VIP Club Live: London Raising

One of the more fun jobs at PokerStars is coming up with cool new ways to entertain and reward our players. That plum assignment travels around the company depending on the circumstances, but recently the VIP team on the Isle of Man got their shot. Their mission: invent a party...more

1 October

PS Women in September: Women Star in WCOOP and Macau Poker Cup

Women play a starring role at the poker tables. Whether they are capturing mainstream attention at a live final table like Ana Marquez at WSOPE or enjoying online action in WCOOP without revealing their identities, the female contingent can never be discounted. And with PokerStars Women events to welcome more...more

PCA 2013: Join the 10th anniversary party, qualify for $10

This January we'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) with the best 10 days of poker you'll find anywhere on the planet, sunken mythological city or not. It's a 40-event poker festival that simply shouldn't be missed and now you can be there taking a...more

PokerStars weekend review (10-1-12)

Poker is a game of improbable comebacks and incredible capitulations, so to most online poker players the resurrection of Europe in the Ryder Cup after a languid 10-6 Day 2 display to win 14.5-13.5 at the death will have be of less surprise than to the average observer. As European...more