April 2013

30 April

APPT7 Cebu: Sun and cards in the air

We've made it to Day 1A. The sun set on one side of the island and rose on the other. Players on the Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino welcomed the night and players at the Shangri-La got treated to some early rays of sunshine. Now they're getting treated with some...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Sbrissa gives his fans what they want

Imagine the crowd rushing a college football field after a huge win and taking down the goalposts. Then apply that image to the final table set of a poker tournament and you'll have a good idea what we witnessed in São Paulo moments after Victor Sbrissa won the 2013 PokerStars.net...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Death by a thousand cuts for Murta

When heads-up play began, Daniel Murta was the chip underdog to Victor Sbrissa. Slowly, small pot by small pot, Sbrissa began to increase his lead. He liberally raised his button against Murta's big blind. He played many pots out of position against Murta, often using the check-raise to induce folds....more

LAPT6 Brazil: Third time no charm for Pardo

There was a lot of final table experience at the LAPT6 Brazil final table. We all knew about Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Leo Fernandez. But the most under-the-radar source of final table experience came from Colombian Rafael Pardo. Pardo was at the final table the first time the...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Brescia knuckles under

Leonardo Brescia had been having a quiet final table. Despite all of the action around him - pair versus pair, a flip here, a double-up there, even a few eliminations - he has somehow stayed out of the fray. The problem for Brescia was that the blinds were continuing to...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Underpairs end Ximenes; Akkari out too

At this stage of the game, players are willing to take flips where they can. When the stacks are so shallow, it's not a bad strategy. You cross your fingers and take your chances. The problem is that you don't always find yourself in a flip. Sometimes it's pair versus...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Tough day for Fernandez

I feel Leo Fernandez' pain. He came into today's final table as the chip leader, but his stack of 56 big blinds was definitely vulnerable. The vulnerability was on full display early after he doubled up Victor Sbrissa, cutting his stack in half. Still, the Team PokerStars Pro could draw...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Grigoletti the first to fall

Yesterday we went more than two and a half hours without an elimination. Ten times, a short stacked moved all in and was called. Ten times, the short stack got chips back. Today, the first elimination occurred the first time anyone moved all in. It was the fourth hand of...more

The (almost) Sickest Setups

Team Online recently ran a 'PokerStars Sickest Setup Contest' calling out to players around the world to show off their shiny grind stations. "Impress with a vast array of screens and technology!" they asked. "Dazzle and amaze us with where in the world you're playing from!" they suggested. "Send us...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Portuguese lessons

I've learned a few Portuguese words this week at the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Brazil Main Event. Chá means tea. A mamão is a papaya. Jogo bonito is an elegant phrase to describe the style of football favored by Brazilians, and bom dia is a standard greeting. There's...more

APPT7 Cebu: Poker in paradise

Every circuit needs a vacation. After a record-breaking 10-day poker marathon at the Macau Poker Cup, APPT staff and players drearily boarded planes and flew off into the overcast Macau sky. Many of them landed in paradise. The warm-weathered, white-sanded APPT stop with an abundance of roast suckling pig is...more

A tale of three birthdays in Berlin

At the Berlin stop of the Season 9 European Poker Tour, three professional poker players celebrated their birthday: Chris Brammer, Calvin Anderson, and Griffin Benger. Off of the felt, the celebrations were probably similar - the nightlife in the capital city of Germany is spectacular - but on the felt,...more

The grind to Supernova Elite

I've been continuing to grind a lot on my way to earning Supernova Elite, and so thought I'd write a little about what I've been learning along the way. In order to earn FPPs for Supernova Elite, I've been playing a lot of heads-up sit-n-gos and heads-up cash games, and...more

29 April

LAPT6 Brazil: Fernandez, Akkari among final eight

Well that took longer than expected. When last I posted, six called all-in bets resulted in five double-ups and a triple-up. There were another three double-ups and one more triple-up before the remaining players succeeded in knocking out one of their own to end Day 3 of the 2013 PokerStars.net...more

LAPT6 Brazil: El doble

The lights have not gone out and the internet is working just fine. That's not always the case in South America, but today we haven't had any problems. The only problem we're having right now is finding the last elimination of the day. Since the final nine players collapsed to...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Nacho consumed

The Nacho party parade has hit a brick wall. After bouncing between 1 million and 1.5 million all day, Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero suddenly finds himself standing at the payouts desk, collecting R$31,300 for finishing in 11th place. "It was an impressive run," noted my colleague Sergio Prado....more

LAPT6 Brazil: Team Pros running the show

The Red Spade Brigade - Team PokerStars - continues to have its way with the late stages of LAPT6 Brazil. All three remaining Team Pros are leading the tournament. Sitting at the feature table right now are chip leader Leo Fernandez (2,010,000) and Andre Akkari (1,785,000). Jose "Nacho" Barbero started...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Wheel of time

Journey with me all the way back to the dawn of the Latin American Poker Tour. Early May of 2008 was a heady time. Nobody knew if Latin America was ready for the kind of poker tournaments that the LAPT wanted to bring, but somebody had to try. The first...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Slowdown

The whirlwind Level 21 drew to a close just past 3pm local time, and with it so did the eliminations. For the first 40 minutes of Level 22, not a single player busted out. Not one. "The storm before the calm?" joked my colleage Sergio Prado. That flurry of bust-outs...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Lights, camera...

It's been really tough to keep up with the action in the first level of play today. Table 3 has been an absolute widowmaker. The table started as the lone 7-handed table in the field, and already four players have busted off that table. Fernando Ferreira (31st), Daniel Ades (30th),...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Fantasy Land

It was late when Day 2 of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Brazil Main Event concluded last night. Things went even later at the Nara Bar upstairs in the Tivoli Hotel, host venue for the event. Two separate games of Open Face Chinese Poker were being played with...more

EPT Concierge at your service in Monaco

We're just a week away from the kick off of the EPT Grand Final in Monaco, and the EPT Concierge service is looking for ways to make you happy. If you're on your way to Monaco next week, here's a quick menu of just a few things that will be...more

EPT9 Berlin champion Daniel Pidun

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PokerStars: Best Mobile Poker Operator

We knew it was good. We've played it. We love it. We'd play on it all day if we could. Now, the PokerStars Mobile app is getting even more recognition from the gaming industry. The mGaming Awards put together by iGaming Business just named PokerStars Best Mobile Poker Operator of...more

PokerStars weekend review (4-28-13)

I'll never cease to be amazed at the Red Spade Open. It's one of those events that has a reasonable buy-in of $55 but draws huge crowds. It's not so little that it can guarantee every punter in the world show up, but it's not so large that it fails...more

More for less

At this year's World Series of Poker Asia Pacific, I won my entry to the $10,000 Main Event via satellite. I have to say - it feels great to satellite into a big event. Since I was planning to play the Main Event no matter what, winning a seat via...more

Sunday Million: Rozar1o Agro grabs win, $198K after chop; $201K for pasha I986

It was yet another huge Sunday Million this week with 7,695 runners coming out to play the weekly $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament. The Ukraine's Rozar1o Agro had but an average stack to start the final table, and when heads-up play began with pasha I986 of Belarus the latter enjoyed...more

28 April

LAPT6 Brazil: Play it again, Nacho

Sometimes poker tournaments have a way of blending together, especially after you've been on the tour long enough to start re-visiting stops multiple times. That feeling of déjà vu is hard to shake when you're watching players get the chips in the middle on flips late in a tournament, and...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Threads in the tapestry

Stories that we're following at this late hour in São Paulo (approaching 1:15am): Akkari: Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari started Day 2 in 208th place out of 211 players. He had 18,800 in chips, which was about 12 big blinds. With 40 players left in the tournament, Akkari is still...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Wrecking ball

If it seems like we've called Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero's name a lot today, it's because we have. He has made it impossible not to do so. I'm not sure how many scalps he's collected at Table 5 or how many dreams he's crushed today. Judging by his...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Under the radar with Affif Prado

There's a great story potentially brewing out on the last eight tables of the LAPT6 Brazil Main Event involving Team PokerStars Pro. Nacho Barbero still leads the tournament (rocking 775,000 at last check, halfway through the 3000-6000 level) but this time around we're going to check in with the Number...more

Women's Sunday: At long last, pkrbadgirl takes top honors

By now, the final table of the Women's Sunday must feel like home for Jacqueline "pkrbadgirl" Garvie. Today actually marked her sixth trip here-- she made it three weekends in a row back in August 2012 and came so close to a win on January 27th, ultimately finishing second for...more

Sunday Warm-Up: hbx13902 boxes out the field landing the win and $93K

Ah, spring is here and with it comes the Spring Championship of Online Poker or otherwise known as SCOOP. Bracelet hunting become watch hunting on May 12th as the low, medium, and high versions of Event #1's NLHE 6-max will get everyone's attention. Especially the alarm clocks of the PokerStarsBlog's...more

LAPT6 Brazil: The Hevad Khan Rule

Remember Mario Masciotro? He was one of two players, along with Amos Bem, who made Day 2 of both the R$1,500 PLO side event and the R$4,000 Main Event. He and Be moth remain on Table 4, a table that will not break today. Masciotro's day started off badly, when...more

Battle of the Planets: WOO WOO for woosewoo taking down April's freeroll for $12K

The last bit of snow has finally melted here in the northland as spring has finally arrived despite a very bad weather groundhog by the name of Punxsutawney Phil stating the spring thaw was supposed to come early this year. Luckily for the SnG players at PokerStars getting a foot...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Pop goes the bubble

At LAPT6 Chile, we were robbed of a money bubble. It was a wild time that seemed to conclude with the elimination of a Team PokerStars Pro. We were gunning for a repeat scenario here at LAPT6 Brazil but the endangered Team Pro survived an all-in and happily glided into...more

LAPT6 Brazil: The Nacho Barbero Poker Tour

Let's start with some raw numbers. With 24 minutes to go in Level 13, the 1200-2400-300 level, Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero had 592,000 in chips. I'm no mathemagician, but my smartphone calculator tells me that Barbero's stack is the equivalent of almost 247 big blinds. It's also more...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Double your pleasure

Scanning the Day 2 starter lists for today's Main Event and the R$1,500 PLO re-entry event, two names jumped out: Amos Ben of Chile and Mario Masciotro of Brazil. Each man appeared on both lists. Ben was bringing a robust 129,600 in chips back to Main Event and was 3rd...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Men in black

Being a floor person or tournament director at a poker tournament is often a thankless job. Players tend not to notice the things that you do to keep the tournament running smoothly. They only notice you when a dispute pops up at a table. When that happens, one player is...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Jogo bonito

This nation has a bit of a reputation when it comes to jogo bonito, the "beautiful game" of football. PokerStars Team Sportstar Ronaldo, who played this 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Brazil Main Event on Day 1a, is nothing short of a legend for the prowess he displays with...more

Terry Fan wins largest ever Red Dragon

The Red Dragon has a new master. Terry Fan has won the Red Dragon Main Event and HK $1,771,000. Fan won the largest prize in Red Dragon history by overcoming the largest field to ever assemble on the Asian continent. Red Dragon winner Terry Fan After three Day 1s, the...more

Rafa Nadal notches eighth Barcelona win

The weather in Barcelona wasn't ideal. Rain delayed matches and soaked the clay courts at the ATP Barcelona Open. What's more, tennis legend and PokerStars favorite Rafa Nadal was coming off a runner-up finish at the Monte Carlo Masters. It was a situation where Rafa could've been forgiven for phoning...more

27 April

MPC Red Dragon Day 3 updates

9:42pm: Terry Fan wins the Red Dragon Terry Fan has won the largest Red Dragon in history. Our Red Dragon champion, Terry Fan It was a speedy heads-up match and the first big pot yielded our victor. Fan raised to 200,000 from the button and Gie Angelo Reyes three-bet to...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Salas rules the rooms

There's a certain accepted style when it comes to writing end-of-day recaps of major poker tournaments. It goes something like this: if you bag up the most chips at the end of the night, you get your picture in the blog. Say hello to Damian Salas, who bagged up 250,200...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Something you don't see every day

You do this job long enough - and I've been doing it for five years, which is certainly long enough - and you'll start to think you've seen it all. But poker, she has a way of showing you, on a regular basis, just how much you haven't seen. The...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Past POTYs hanging on

For the last few seasons, the LAPT has crowned a Player of the Year at the end of the season. The Player of the Year is based on a formula that, knowing the lengths to which PokerStars will go to achieve perfection, was probably developed by NASA scientists. In Season...more

LAPT6 Brazil: A terrible power

I realize that few of the readers of tonight's blog are from the States, but back home we have a crappy television show on a third rate cable station called "1000 Ways to Die". I'm positive I've never watched it, but it's one of those things that sort of seeps...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Solo man in a crowded room

As the resident .com blogger for PokerStars at this LAPT stop, I'm one of the few people here that has a devil of a time communicating. I speak no Portuguese, and my Spanish is rusty enough that I only do Spanish-speakers with people who speak slowly and clearly. I'm not...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Slow day for the team

The re-entry period is over. The staff are still adding up all the numbers, checking them, re-checking them, then cursing when they realized they forgot to carry the 1 and have to start all over. It'll be a bit longer before things are finalized, but right now the Big Board...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Gone but not forgotten

As I mentioned earlier in the day, the LAPT is operating out of two ballrooms at the Tivoli Hotel in São Paulo. The main ballroom has 30 tables spread out in an L-shape, while an overflow room one level down contains another 15 tables. Those extra tables weren't used for...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Re-Entry -- a short story

Entries: 379. Table 2 looks like any other table on the tournament floor. It's populated by a collection of ten men, ranging in age from young to old, all of whom appear to be native to the Latin American region. The oldest gentleman at the table, a gray-haired type with...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Records may fall

It's a packed house. Yesterday the field consisted of 295 entries, which includes the re-entries that were executed in the first four level of the day. With thirty 10-handed tables available in the main tournament room, the overflow room was only used for last night's super-satellite. Today the Big Board...more

EPT9 Berlin: Daniel Pidun makes it a first for Germany, winning title and €880,000

And so we got the happily-ever-after. Despite fears of a flat-lining finale, removed from the excitement and drama of typically high-profiled contests, EPT Berlin wrapped up in short-and-sweet style, a final table to remember, albeit with a penultimate day most would prefer to forget. There was the expectation of a...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: Griffin Benger turns 28 and comes of age in spectacular fashion

Name recognition for Griffin Benger is not all that high on the live poker scene. Before today, his total recorded tournament haul was $263,139, which didn't even earn him a place in the top 150 in Canada. However, mention the name "Flush_Entity" to any of the online kids and you'll...more

MPC Red Dragon: Fanny Li leads final 18

The Red Dragon was merciless in Day 2. The survivors of all three flights converged for the first time today and most of them were eliminated in a quick, ruthless manner. Today was also the first time we knew for a fact that our future champion was somewhere in the...more

EPT9 Berlin: Looking back at the action

It's been another action-packed festival here on the European Poker Tour and we've been bringing you news, views and interviews, but it hasn't all gone to plan. The video team pulled together some of the bloopers, B roll and banter from the cutting room floor of EPT Berlin. Excuse our...more

LAPT6 Brazil: No busking allowed

This morning, on the three-block walk from my hotel to the Tivoli Hotel, the venue for the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Brazil Main Event, I passed a ten-strong motorcycle gang wearing leather jackets that had something to say about omertà, "the categorical prohibition of cooperation with state authorities";...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: Can Benger apply the icing to his birthday cake?

Griffin Benger is celebrating his birthday today and who wouldn't like a €429,000 cake? If matters continue to go as swimmingly for Benger as they have during the opening four levels of the €10,000 high roller, he could find himself in the position to offer €15,000 for each of the...more

EPT9 Berlin: Robert Haigh bearing down on Jan Bendik in Player of the Year race

Robert Haigh's phenomenal run in the EPT Berlin Main Event* has pulled him right in behind Slovakian number one Jan Bendik on the EPT Player of the Year leader board. Bendik had looked in a near unassailable position to win with close to a 1,000 point lead over his closest...more

EPT9 Berlin final table: How long could this take?

There was a point yesterday when people looked out the window, saw that the sun was still up and asked each other "what shall we do tonight?" Play had reached its closing stages and with ten left it would surely only be a small matter of dusting off the last...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 6: More data than you can shake a stick at. And a graph

There's no two ways about it: German players have been dominant at this EPT Berlin main event. It may have been mentioned on this Blog once or twice before, but it is no less relevant now. Of the eight seats around the final table, five of them were filled by...more

EPT9 Berlin: Ronny Voth eventually keeps a lead, wins €14,400 in turbo

Habitual chip leader Ronny Voth finally managed to hold onto a big stack to win a trophy here in Germany. Voth had held the chip lead in the Main Event and, after busting out in 50th in that for €15,000, then did the same in the €10,300 High Roller. That...more

EPT9 Berlin: Henri Kettunen beats Jan Collado in PLO heads-up for €19,200

Henri Kettunen beat EPT regular Jan Collado in the €2,200 PLO Heads-Up to win €19,200 and an EPT trophy. Collado, who has seven EPT Main Event wins, including a 9th place PCA finish for $175,000 the year Poorya Nazari won the title for $3,000,000 (and Benny Spindler came 3rd for...more

EPT Berlin High Roller: Lykov and Kabrhel stick to their guns over late-night showdown

The €10,000 high roller tournament resumed at 1pm today, and even though there had been an adjournment of 13 hours since they bagged up last night, it didn't feel as though all slates had been wiped clean. Many thoughts still lingered on yesterday's closing stages, specifically the last hand of...more

EPT9 Berlin final table: Cheer first, ask questions later - life on the divided rail

While the players at the final table may all look the same, there's a very clear difference among the audience, where I secured one of only a few empty seats. First of all it's worth pointing out that there is actually an audience, despite our concerns that the anonymous nature...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 6: Finalists have potential to rescue tournament from obscurity

What a weird week it has been at EPT Berlin. We started with 912 players, studded with stars. It was one of the biggest events we had ever seen. So much, so predictable; we always knew this event would be a cracker. But as the clock ticked around to midnight...more

EPT9 Berlin: Final table player profiles

Here are the final eight at EPT Berlin season nine: Seat 1: Julian Thomas, 32, Karlsruhe, Germany - 1,735,000 Julian Thomas works as a poker coach and mainly competes in sit-and-go and multi-table tournaments online. He is currently writing a sit-and-go strategy book called "Advanced Concepts in SNG Play" to...more

26 April

MPC Red Dragon Day 2 updates

12:30am: That's it Day 2 has come to an end. The chips are being bagged up and Fanny Li will be our chip leader. A full wrap of today's events will be popping up on the PokerStars Blog shortly. 12:30am: Close call Yufei Zhen raised to 50,000 and Phil Lau...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Nacho's very not dead

Mistakes get made in this business. Hands get mis-reported, players get mis-busted. Call it the fog of war, if you want, but these things do happen. Earlier today I scoured the room for Team PokerStars Pro Jose Barbero and couldn't find him. I naturally assumed that he had busted, neither...more

LAPT6 Brazil: The way we watch what we're watching

Standing out amidst the tournament tables while I searched for stories and for warmth, I was struck by two things. First: as the field has collapsed to close to 100 players, the L-shaped tournament room has been collapsed in such a way as to maximize certain space for the super...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Chilling effect

At the back of the main tournament room of the Tivoli Hotel in São Paulo, behind a long, narrow desk covered in black cloth, you might currently find some bloggers and photographers huddling together for warmth. Anybody who's been around the tournament circuit long enough has run into this issue...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Red spade of courage

We're approaching the dinner break with five of the seven members of the Red Spade Brigade - Team PokerStars - still alive in the tournament. One of them may even be the current chip leader. Definitely not the leader: Jose "Nacho" Barbero and Team PokerStars Sportstar Ronaldo. Both men suffered...more

LAPT6 Brazil: The devil in the details

I'd probably be remiss if I didn't say a few words about the LAPT's new host venue in São Paulo, the Tivoli Hotel. The last two years, the LAPT's Brazil event took place at the Sheraton World Trade Center here in town. The rooms there were luxurious, the tournament ballroom...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Robert Haigh leads heading into final table after marathon session

Those of a purest disposition should look away now. EPT Berlin will not be the final table we might have wished for. It's an awkward truth but after an afternoon of eliminations, tomorrow's eight-handed final will be a new experience for everyone. There is talent there, that much is certain,...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: Lykov leads final seven as high rollers prove that they do it quicker

At noon today in Berlin, 63 players returned to the function suite of the Hyatt Hotel and prepared to play poker for hundreds of thousands of euros. Seventeen of them took a sharp left when they walked into the room and took their seats at the three remaining tables of...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Yes, that Ronaldo

Several times already today I've written that we'll get to Ronaldo "later". Later is now. Sitting in this room at the feature table, approximately forty feet to my left, is one of the greatest strikers in the history of soccer. He's younger than I am (which, truth be told, is...more

MPC Red Dragon: Reyes rises to the lead

Today was a big day. Two hours before the tournament even started, the Red Dragon Main Event beat the record for largest poker tournament in Asia. The line was set at 635 unique players and tournament staff were hoping to get 700 players. No one expected the 891 entries we...more

EPT9 Berlin: Button bashing Joe Kuether bags €36,500

Joe Kuether has picked up an EPT trophy and €36,500 in Berlin taking the American to $1.25m in live career winnings. It's Kuether second cash of the festival having min-cashed in, and quickly then bust from, the €3,000 Berlin Cup High Roller (which Micah Raskin went on to win). David...more

LAPT6 Brazil: Pull up a chair

How many of you would want Vanessa Selbst to your immediate left in a tournament? How about an ex-wife or an ex-husband? In the last tournament I played, the last seat in the event was sold to my ex-wife. She was on my immediate left, no less. We're civil enough...more

LAPT6 Brazil: The conventional wisdom

People like to cite "conventional wisdom" as support for unexamined position statements. In poker, the "conventional wisdom" used to be that pros would never play the first starting flight of a multi-starting flight poker event. There were a lot of reasons for that, some rooted in poker and some not....more

LAPT6 Brazil: A grand city for a grand tournament

From the Department of Little Known Facts, I give you this: São Paulo, host city for the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Season 6 Brazil Main Event, is the most populous city in all of the Americas. More than 11 million paulistanos call the city home; another 9 million...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: All pretend not to care, all clearly do, as bubble bursts on Berlin

As the main event sought its two final table bubble boys -- ie, the players finishing ninth and tenth for €56,000, but without an invitation to the last day's play -- the €10,000 High Roller was flirting with a bubble of an even colder nature. Sixteen players were scheduled to...more

EPT9 Berlin: Poker advice on how not to suck

There's loads of poker advice flying around; "Three-bet this, four-bet jam that." "No set, no bet." "Don't slow play aces, never fold kings." That is all well and good (and content that you can find at places like PokerSchoolOnline) but for some real pro knowledge you've got to go to...more

EPT9 Berlin: Unstoppable Luske wins another trophy

Marcel Luske is a machine, an unstoppable poker machine. Just a few hours after James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton were congratulating him on the EPTLive webcast about his last side event win, Luske was back at it winning another EPT trophy. Sure, it's another small event but Luske's mantelpiece must...more

EPT in Monaco: Worth Every Bubble

At the YouTube hangout for the Women's Sunday 2nd birthday party, Team Pro Celina Lin said she was "doing more travelling since I got married cause I feel like it's my last chance to travel and play...till the babies start popping out." In the past few years, I've also been...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Do you want me to call? Poker's curious rituals

The animal kingdom has made a fortune out of opening the doors to some of its extraordinary mating rituals. It is how we've seen things like the male hooded seal inflate its nasal cavities into pink balloons, a move that female hooded seals apparently find irresistible given that there exist...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Germans eye record presence at EPT final table. Or not

Much has been made already this week about the remarkable achievements of the home nation, who provided eight of the final 17 players here, all of whom were in the top nine at the start of the day. The lone infiltrator in that peloton was Dashgyn Aliev, of Russia, and...more

Red Spade Open headlines big PokerStars weekend

You could be forgiven if you just wanted to lock yourself at home for the next few days and go nowhere. I mean, there might be a social anthropologist who might raise an eyebrow or two, but nobody who pays attention to PokerStars will bat an eye. This is one...more

Family road trip

Moving our United States home base recently meant packing two adults, two huge suitcases, several large carry-on bags, one mostly-deflated air mattress, three pillows, and two five-pound dogs into a cherry red hybrid, New York City bound. Although I had driven cross-country before, I usually crammed all of the driving...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Some delighted, some devastated. Busquet among the latter

What looks exciting to watch must feel painful to play. Olivier Busquet had a difficult job when he turned up to work this afternoon, but few players looked as prepared. It may have been coincidence, but Busquet arrived with only seconds to go before the start, saving himself the distractions...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Pascal Vos speaks to PokerStars.tv

The German dominance of EPT Berlin shows no sign of abating. But Pascal Vos, from the neighbouring Netherlands, is one of six players from elsewhere attempting to ruin the home party, and his country has the momentum after victory for Ruben Visser last month in London. Vos had a chat...more

EPT9 Berlin: Brahim Oubella wins a €330 turbo for €14,750

Frenchman Brahim Oubella has notched up his third EPT cash and second €330 turbo victory, following some trophy time at EPT Prague. It's another decent spin-up for Oubella. Will a deep run in an EPT Main Event come soon? EPT9 Berlin, event #34 Date: 25 April 2013 Buy-in: €330 Game:...more

EPT9 Berlin: Tuomas Nurmi picks up a short-handed €41,000

Tuomas Nurmi has joined the ranks of players here in Berlin making a career-best score. Nurmi picked up €41,000, the largest chunk of a four-way deal. Well-known Spanish player Ana Marquez came close to the big money but bust in 6th place for €7,570, while coin-tosser Cengiz Ulusu picked up...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller Day 2: Getting lively with Litvinov, hot with Lykov, but where are the Germans?

We never thought it would happen, but it has. A High Roller event on the European Poker Tour will play to its conclusion without either Tobias Reinkemeier or Philipp Gruissem in the ranks. It's not that they're out--that would be a step too far--it's rather that they didn't enter. We...more

EPT9 Berlin: Chris Day scores career best, wins €74,700

Chris Day yesterday won €74,700, a record score for the Brit, beating Finn Risto Ailamo heads-up. Mantas Visockis has followed up his EPT London Main Event runner-up finish (£377,436) with another great result here in Berlin coming 4th for €18,700. He won a big field €330 event a few days...more

MPC Red Dragon Day 1C updates

4:15am: Done Day 1C has come to a close. Stay tuned for a wrap of today's events. 4:10am: Close race Once again, the title of chip leader came down to the final few hands of the day. Big stacks kept popping up over at Table 2. Vincent Rubianes, Gie Reyes...more

EPT9 Berlin: Campione champ Jannick Wrang gets another trophy, wins €17,000

EPT Campione winner Jannick 'EDWARDHOPPER' Wrang has picked up another EPT trophy, albeit a smaller one, in mixed game event #26 at EPT Berlin. Wrang's victory was worth €17,000. You can read about the Wrang Campione title win here. EPT9 Berlin, event #26 Date: 24-25 April 2013 Buy-in: €550 Game:...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: If it were all about the money...

Each morning the press receive the updated player list which gets shorter and shorter each day. So you get used to seeing the names, even if you can't apply them to faces. With only 17 left a closer look is warranted to see who is overachieving, and who should be...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 5: Cutting the field in half to fill a final table

Hello everyone and welcome back to the German capital for day five of EPT Berlin. The European Poker Tour has never been quite so completely in the thrall of one nation as it has this week, where eight of the final 17 players are playing on their home turf. Not...more

25 April

MPC Red Dragon: Wang rises to the lead in Day 1B

The sun has set on another day at the Red Dragon. This metaphorical sun seems to run counter to the real, giant ball of gas that gives us heat light and life. The Red Dragon sun rose at 7pm and shined poker, chips and non-stop action on 288 players who...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: A new Roman empire as Herold slices stars down to size

Neil Stoddart took one of the defining photographs from day four of EPT Berlin before the first level of the day was even done. It showed Boris Becker and Sandra Naujoks loitering by the exit door, dispatched from the tournament with only a min-cash to each of their names. Boris...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: Max Lykov leads into the night

High Rollers have never really been the type to snivel at a late night. Their natural environment is that period unnatural to everyone else, the witching hour beyond midnight, when everyone else, even those charged with their supervision, would rather be somewhere else, and asleep. But play on they do...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: Olivier Busquet talks Berlin and looks ahead to Monte Carlo

Kristy Arnett talks to Olivier Busquet about events so far, a split pot, and a look ahead to the Grand Final in Monte Carlo. By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --> This script tag will cause the Brightcove...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: The big-name-killing virus strikes again

EPT Berlin is gradually becoming one of those tournaments. You know, one of the events when your eyes scan the final few tables and skip from one seat rapidly to the next, desperately seeking a familiar face on which to alight for a few moments. The final 20 here would...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: As the final table closes in we ask: who's that guy?

Just when you think you've seen everyone in the tournament field, you notice that of the 22 players remaining half of them are complete strangers. With a field of 912 it was inevitable that some new faces would emerge at the business end, but this week they really are out...more

EPT9 Berlin: Ankush 'pistons87' Mandavia wins second heads-up event of the season

Ankush 'pistons87' Mandavia today beat up-and-coming German pro Kilian Kramer to claim his second heads-up side event of the season. Not only did the pair collect €11,870 and €11,370 respectively but they've now stretched out at the top of the EPT Season 9 Heads-Up Player of the Year leader board....more

Poker experiences

There are so many different formats for tournament poker. I played in two unique tournament formats recently, one I didn't much like and one that I really enjoyed. The first, the one I didn't like, was the Premier League VI event in London. I had been invited to the Premier...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller: Not your average bathroom break

There's a coarse phrase used among the proles of Great Britain (ie, me and my ilk) which reminds them (ie, us) that even Her Majesty is made of flesh and blood. I'll paraphrase for the readers of a family blog, but it goes something like: "Even the Queen's effluence is...more

Touring and finding inspiration in Berlin

Being a hostess for PokerStars.tv, I have had the privilege of visiting some of the most glamorous cities in the world. There are a few things outside of poker (and vast sums of money being thrown around, of course) that connect all the stops on the European Poker Tour. Every...more

EPT9 Berlin: Brian Trisler wins sit-and-go, takes trophy

Well, I think this is a first: an EPT trophy with a 1st place payout of less than €1,000. It was only a matter of time given this season's new approach to laying a lot of different forms and formats of poker. Surely 'PL 5 Card Stud deep stack turbo...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: Once more with feeling for Pratyush Buddiga

When you've worked the EPT circuit for so long it's not always easy to find a unique spin to place on an event. More often than not the tournaments playing out before you feel similar to a previous tournament, and only the names have been changed. It certainly doesn't help...more

EPT9 Berlin: Ghattas Kortas wins the button and €9,820

Swedish player Ghattas Kortas came out on top of event #27, the €330 Win the Button tournament to claim a €9,820 pay day after a heads-up deal with Spaniard Daniel Rauta. Well done, Ghattas. EPT9 Berlin, event #27 Date: 24 April 2013 Buy-in: €330 Game: NLHE Players: 175 Prize pool:...more

EPT9 Berlin: Jonas Lauck takes down the turbo bounty, wins €20,000 (and more)

Jonas Lauck won the large bounty €500 + €500 bounty event yesterday to pocket €20,000. No, wait, at least €20,500. Bounty events have a split prize pool with half the money being paid out according to your finishing position and the rest being given out to the player that scalps...more

This or That with Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin

Victor Ramdin wears many hats. Not only is he a Team PokerStars Pro, he is a business owner, philanthropist and a family man. While he's been around the poker world for a while, it wasn't until 2006 that Ramdin made a name for himself by taking down the World Poker...more

EPT9 Berlin: Marcel Luske wins again, pockets €32,000 in €1k PLO

The resurgent Marcel Luske is continuing his fine run of form with yet another EPT side event win, his third of the season. Add that onto a recent Sunday Warm-Up win and you've got to ask yourself what Luske has done to change his game. It's a question we're going...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: Security desks and hot-dog sellers: the minutiae of Day 4 on the EPT

Apart from the fact that there are fewer tables and an all-round tenser atmosphere, there are countless unexpected ways in which things change at EPT events as the week draws inexorably to its conclusion. At EPT Berlin this week, it's been revealing to watch the table by the security desk,...more

EPT9 Berlin High Roller, Day 1: Players rolling up

The EPT High Roller has started a short while ago with many of the usual suspects turning over their €10,300 entrance fee. Artem Litvinov, Steve O'Dwyer, Dominik Nitsche, Todd Terry, Griffin Benger and Vladimir Troyanovskiy, are joined by the likes of Jason Lavallee, Timothy Adams and Jan Heitmann. We've got...more

EPT9 Berlin: Moorman settles for second again as Studer scoops €131,000

Poor old Chris Moorman, he keeps missing out on trophies. This time round, in the €2,150 No-Limit Hold'em event #20, the poker prodigy was held to the runner-up spot by Daniel Studer. Still, Moorman did get to pocket €72,900 so not all's lost. Studer scored by far the largest win...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: The face (and smell) of a winner

In horse racing circles there's a school of thought that suggests the appearance of the horse prior to a race can tell you a lot about its chances in the race. For instance, a horse that's light on its feet, dancing even, is likely ready to run at its best,...more

MPC Red Dragon Day 1B updates

3:05am: Done The clock has stopped and Day 1B has come to a close. Zhenwu Wang will finish as our chip leader with 161,700, slightly behind Lohia's 164,500 in Day 1A. Stay tuned for a full wrap of today's events. 2:50am: Four more The clock has stopped and a lucky...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: Heading to the final two tables

Day four of EPT Berlin is now under way, and the plan is to play five 90-minute levels or down to the last 16 players, whichever comes soonest. My bet is on the five levels, but I suspect it will be close. The tournament has progressed at a startling clip,...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 4: Seat draw

Morning all. It's seat draw time again. Here are the table assignments for the final 55 players. The general idea is usually to reduce this field to 24 -- ie, the last three tables -- but I suspect we may go a little further and just play five 90-minute levels...more

24 April

MPC Red Dragon: Lohia locks the lead in Day 1A

The field got quartered, and then some. Day 1A attracted 209 players, but after slightly more than 8 hours of play, only 51 remain. Leading those final 51 is Sailesh Lohia, with 164,500. Sailesh Lohia From the very beginning, the Red Dragon was a massacre. All-ins and calls were more...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Flying Finn Aku Joentausta keeps lead with style

Sometimes you see things for the first time and know also that it will be for the last time. A dealer, for instance, spotted earlier, standing at a urinal, brushing his teeth. And yet there he was, double fisting. Then there are things that you see for the first time...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Nor-way! Scandis overtake Lebanon in chase for Country of the Year

Among yesterday's scintillating coverage from EPT Berlin was a beauty of a post about the EPT Player of the Year race, in particular how it was all but locked up for Jan Bendik (whether or not he knew it). But there's even more interesting reading on the EPT Awards page...more

PokerStars Blog turns eight years old

I'm sitting here at my desk. It's sort of scuffed. There are rings on it from coffee cups and too-wet glasses. There are a couple of stacks of poker chips from all over the world. There's a painted donkey (don't ask). This desk is well used. It occurred to me...more

EPT9 Berlin: Anaras Alekberovas back on the ascendency

Lithuanian Anaras Alekberovas last lit up the European Poker Tour when the made the final table of EPT Barcelona. A solid performance there saw him finish in 4th place for €301,750. Here in Berlin he's chipped up once again with 1,400,000, just behind chip leader Aku Joentausta's 1,500,000 (who also...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Beaten in Barcelona, Joentausta is a banker in Berlin

Nobody was really that surprised when the Finns started season nine in winning Fashion. They didn't exactly win the opening event in Barcelona exactly, but they could have if they'd wanted too. Such is the monotone insouciance of the Finns, or Ilari Sahamies and Joni Jouhkimainen at least. But there...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Life through a poker snapper's lens

As ever on the European Poker Tour, Neil Stoddart has been snapping away in Berlin today like a Belieber with a new Instagram login. We don't always get the chance to exhibit his work as we might like, so here's a special gallery post dedicated to pictures alone. (And captions.)...more

PS Women: Chips and tips from Lydia Cugudda

Coming off a second place finish at the recent UKIPT Series Main Event for £13,140, Lydia Cugudda is seeing the payoff from the last five years of work on her game. Lydia, who plays under the screen name "domilid," learned to play at a local club in Germany where she...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: The bubble. Or: What did the Romans ever do for poker?

A crowd, a camera held up on a big stick, and then nothing. Such is the period of play known as the bubble. It's also a period of great hypocrisy, as the interest shown in those whose tournament life is, we admit, wholly false. There were a few notable points...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Lybaert and Hall graduate to the big game

Last month in Rozvadov, in the west of the Czech Republic close to the border with Germany, a young Belgian poker player named Bart Lybaert won the first Eureka Poker Tour event to visit the town's King's Casino. He beat 421 players and earned €115,000, and even more remarkably, it...more

EPT9 Berlin: Reigning champ Davidi Kitai battles through bubble, busts

Davidi Kitai doesn't have the usual look of a poker player. He doesn't wear sports clothing - no oversized baseball, sweat pants or sports jersey - and he doesn't fit the old school look either - no dress slacks, shirt or cufflinks. If you pulled the Belgian Triple Crown winner...more

Speed it up, please

There has been plenty of talk about slow games in the poker tournaments. Many well known players have demanded that something should be done about it, and I agree. There is no better way of getting rid of the casual players than making the game so slow it becomes boring...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Closing in on the money, Boris Becker talks to PokerStars.tv

Boris Becker is closing in on the second EPT cash of his career. He's also sitting on the EPT Live feature table, where he is mixing up his play and surprising players and viewer alike. He chats to Kristy Arnett about his tournament so far and his future plans. By...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: BB in the BB, SB in the SB. Help us fill fantasy EPTLive table

If you've been following the tweets of Boris Becker over the past couple of days (@TheBorisBecker), you'll notice a confusing and endearing habit of his to refer to himself in the third person. But because it's Twitter, he does it in abbreviated form, meaning "BB", as in "Into Level 14,...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Ali Azabdaftar and the five big blinds

Yesterday it was Markus Grawe who "returned" as the short stack. Today it was Ali Azabdaftar. The Austrian seemed to know the game was up, even before he took his seat. There were obvious signs; he'd left his coat on and likely had a taxi waiting outside with the engine...more

EPT9 Berlin: Marcel Juneman takes title, Pierre Neuville cashes again

Event #22, the €330 turbo, played out a little like the Sunday Million thanks to a five-way chop. Marcel Juneman picked up the largest chunk of the money (€8,035) and the trophy in one of the more 'fun' events of the EPT Berlin tournament schedule. Pierre Neuville picks up another...more

MPC Red Dragon Day 1A updates

3:10am: Done Day 1A of the Red Dragon Main Event has come to a close. Stay tuned for a full wrap of today's events. 2:55am: Lohia keeps it coming Sailesh Lohia scored another one. Former Red Dragon champion Patrick Lee had managed to survive a double up and a few...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 3: Burst the bubble, then race to the final 50. Sounds like a plan

The early stages of day three at EPT Berlin will be dominated by talk about the money. In short, it's coming. We had 912 entrants to this tournament over two opening flights and when they reconvened this morning, after an electric day two yesterday, there were 168 players left. The...more

Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler rolling, chops and wins Super Tuesday again (4/23/13)

As is usually the case for the Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament on PokerStars, a number of familiar names participated, with several still around at night's end. And from the field of 538 who played this week, it was one of the familiar ones atop the...more

EPT9 Berlin: Day three seat draw

Here's the seat draw for day three at EPT Berlin. The first order of business today will be the bubble. There are 168 players remaining and only 136 of them will be paid. Here are your contenders. Table, seat, name, country, chips 1 1 Colin Moffatt USA 252,600 1 2...more

23 April

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Aku Joentausta ends in front as fortunes differ for other leaders

We have spent the best part of this season trying to downplay the importance of an early chip-lead. Day one leaders almost never make the money and even less frequently reach the final table. Don't get excited until the bubble bursts, we insist. At about the mid-point of day two...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Beer, poker and football with Norway's Eilert Eilertsen

Poker players have in-built currency convertors, trading in denominations that many people don't even know exist. Tournament chips are instantly converted into big blinds, VPPs in the online account are thought of in terms of buy ins. And when these human calculators travel the globe, as required by their profession,...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Lamatsch makes decision on der Match

Tournament directors are there to make the important decisions, and there was none as important as the one faced by Thomas Lamatsch tonight. He'd scheduled six levels of 75 minutes, meaning play would end at some time around 9pm. But that wasn't earlier enough for some who were eyeing kick...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: The European Poker Tour - THE MUSICAL!

In a remarkable piece of eye-catching co-ordinating, the TV production team have managed to pick a feature table of particular imaginative colour, contrasted perfectly with darkness. There are eight players at the table who, when pictured from above, seem to show all four colours of the day-glow palette used for...more

Eureka headed to Croatia

You have a month. That's long enough to do just about anything. In this case, your only mission is to find a way to get to Croatia for the next stop of the Eureka Poker Tour. PokerStars is going to make it as easy as possible for you. After kicking...more

EPT9 Berlin: Eugene Katchalov on never giving up

Eugene Katchalov is pretty good at this poker tournament stuff so we've heard. A career live tournament of $7,356,556 should be a pretty good indication of that. Our video blog team tapped him up at the break to find out how the Team Pro stays focussed when stuck in the...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: The bluff that went wrong for Sam Grafton

Sam Grafton went deep at EPT Deauville a few weeks ago, narrowly missing out on a first EPT final table. Sam Grafton He came to Berlin with similar intentions but was eliminated today. In this interview with Kristy Arnett he talks about the bluff that went wrong... By use of...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: I can confirm that potential PoY winner Jan Bendik does not speak English

Jan Bendik seems to have the EPT Season 9 Player of the Year award wrapped up. Points wise he's a full main event win ahead of everyone else. He must be delighted. It's just that nobody seemed to have any idea how to find out. So I asked him: Jan,...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Season nine cupboard bare for EPT heavyweights USA, UK and Germany

Yesterday evening, after tournament administrators announced the final number of entrants to EPT Berlin, our media co-ordinator extraordinaire Mad Harper was able to scour the lists and produce her trademark nationalities pie-chart, offering a pictorial, country-by-country breakdown of this bumper field. The full data -- and the aforementioned pie-chart --...more

Grinding away life tilt

The last time I wrote a blog, it was all about my travel problems in 2012. Sad to say, it was a bad start to 2013 for me. My travel woes continued as I was unable to make it to the PCA. It was the same situation as EPT Prague...more

EPT9 Berlin: Jason Wheeler chops with Patrick Renkers in €2,100 turbo (event #19)

It was around this time last year that Wheeler was looking like a good shout to make the final table of the EPT Grand Final but things did not go his way. He bust out in 18th for €40,000. It was a good pay day, but a far cry from...more

A different kind of Chinese New Year

My wife's grandma is from Shanghai, so this year we spent Chinese New Year there. We had a "reunion lunch" in Singapore with my side of the family and then hopped on a plane to Shanghai so we could have the reunion dinner with hers. At the reunion dinner, the...more

The Mizrachi under the beard

The Grand Hyatt Berlin was packed on Monday for Day 1b of the EPT Berlin Main Event, and the late registration tables were tucked away in a small corner outside of the main tournament room. Although only a small percentage of the players were sequestered in this area, many of...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: If nobody saw Markus Grewe leave was he really eliminated?

Markus Grewe knew that when he woke up this morning his working day would be difficult. The root cause was essentially financial, the 2,600 he would return to on Day 2, the shortest stack of any in play today. To look at his chips from a distance would be to...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Mettle proven online, Mark 'RenRad 01' Darner tries his luck in Europe

When a player says that this is his first EPT event, you can't help but categorise his as a rookie, who may be overawed by the experience of the big tournament arena. But even though Mark Darner confessed this morning that this was his first time on the tour --...more

EPT9 Berlin: The science of choosing the TV table

There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of the webcast and the blog, more than most appreciate. Just one thing is working out which table should be brought into the spotlight for the webcast. It really isn't just a matter of looking down the list and...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Video introduction with Kristy Arnett and Rick Dacey

It's a fine day in Berlin as we welcome players back for day two of the EPT Main Event. Here's Kristy Arnett, of PokerStars.tv, and Rick Dacey, of PokerStars Blog, with your video introduction to the day. One of them has decided to unfasten an extra button this morning, revealing...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Ronny Voth leads overall as field of 485 unites

We've reached Day 2 of EPT Berlin, or something like day 42 of Season 9. It's an unusually large field that returns today. Some 485 players are left thanks to a stellar field in excess of 900 which crammed into the Grand Hyatt over the previous two days. Now we...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Seat draw and payout information

It's day two of EPT9 Berlin and there's no need for idle pleasantries. Here's the seat draw for today's action, with payout details below. We will be welcoming back 478 players, who are each in search of the €880,000 first prize. Day two seat draw at EPT9 Berlin 1 1...more

22 April

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Postprandial surge sends the Grinder out front

They came in their hundreds. Some came early and some came late, although fully aware that with a full week ahead of them nothing was going to be won in the next eight levels. Some were in their seats long before there was anyone to sit next to. Others wandered...more

EPT9 Berlin: Vincent Gabel is the stud of EPT Berlin, wins event #18

Vincent Gabel has won the €550 PL 7-Card Stud for €5,660 after cutting a heads-up deal with Rudolf Zintel, who won another side event yesterday. Dutchman Paul Berende managed to inch his way into the money for a smaller €1,400 pay day. That should help with the bar tab. EPT9...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Just two pots a day can help save a Mizrachi from elimination

Do players enjoy dinner better with 20,000 chips at the break, or 145,000 chips? It's one of those questions we may never know the answer to. But if that first amount bugged Michael Mizrachi as his tucked into his schnitzel, the latter amount - the figure he has now -...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Final numbers are in...it's 912-handed in Berlin

Counting the number of players in an EPT main event is a far more difficult business than just wandering around the tables with one of those clicking things in your hand. Players qualify or buy in online then want to switch days; some turn up a day early or a...more

Come play the Monaco Cup (€1,100 buy-in, €500,000 guarantee)

We may be in the thick of the action here at EPT Berlin but that doesn't mean that we don't have one eye on the upcoming grand final. If you haven't been to Monaco before, you really should because it's like nowhere else you've been. There's opulence, grandiose avenues and...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Hats off to Joni Jouhkimainen

Some dealers you never hear from, others like to be a vocal presence keeping things in order. Usually though they keep themselves to themselves, only speaking when spoken to and remaining stoic when a less well brought up person on the other side of the table accuses them of ruining...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Victor Ramdin gets things into perspective

Victor Ramdin has always been a good person to listen to regarding poker work/life balance. The New Yorker is a tyrant at the tables, but he's a real philanthropist off of them, and he seems to know exactly what is important and what's not. Here in Berlin, he has doubled...more

Poker School Online prepping for Red Spade Open

We at PokerSchoolOnline were delighted to hear that this fantastic bounty tournament is set to return on April 28th, so much so that we want to offer you an opportunity to win your $55 entry for free. The Red Spade Open boasts a staggering $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool including at...more

EPT9 Berlin: Emil Eranosyan runs best to win €550 PLO for €14,000

Before arriving in Berlin, Emil Eranosyan had clocked up the equivalent of $20,582 in live tournament cashes. Yesterday, following two days of six-handed PLO play, Eranosyan pretty much doubled that amount beating Aleksandras Rusinovas heads up. Rusinovas has had more previous success at the tournament tables, not least of all...more

Macau Poker Cup prepares for first Red Dragon at the City of Dreams

PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams is well into its Macau Poker Cup (MPC) schedule and after several record-setting preliminary events, the main event is fast approaching as the HK $11,000 Red Dragon event begins this Wednesday. In celebration of the new poker room the Red Dragon has been...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Bee-boy Buddiga back in Berlin

As we explained yesterday when we looked back in history, it's now 366 days since the EPT Berlin final table of last season came to an end, won by Davidi Kitai. As we also said, it was a good one, with the bridesmaidish Andrew Chen in second place and Andre...more

EPT9 Berlin: Don't I know you from somewhere?

There was an amusing moment at EPT London last month when Vicky Coren tweeted a picture of her starting table, which featured James Dempsey and Toby Lewis to her immediate left. Barny Boatman was one of the first to reply by saying, "At least you're the only one not drawn...more

PokerStars weekend review (4-21-13)

If you haven't been paying attention this weekend, things are hopping in Berlin. The first Berlin Cup drew a massive crowd. A couple of days later, EPT Berlin kicked off with a sizable field and a veritable who's who of talent. We've got live coverage of EPT Berlin going on...more

EPT9 Berlin: Sergey Selin takes down the €2,100 PLO turbo (event #15), wins €39,300

Russian player Sergey Selin yesterday took down the €2,1000 PLO turbo to collect €39,300 and a lovely shiny trophy (that was what he was after, the money was just a bonus, right?). Michel Abecassis also made the final table. The Frenchman recently broke through the million dollar mark of career...more

EPT9 Berlin: Resurgent Marcel Luske talks (and talks)

Marcel Luske is quite the character and once you get the Flying Dutchman started you really have a job getting him to stop. Just ask the video blog's Kristy Arnett who caught up with the pro during the break of the EPT Berlin Main Event. Luske is a player reinvigorated....more

EPT9 Berlin: You don't think you speak German, but you do

You don't think you speak German, but actually you do. You just didn't know it. I'll tell you how. If, like many in the poker community, you follow a host of the top poker players on Twitter, you'll probably discover that every now and again you find them tweeting in...more

Pipi Huang wins Event 1 at Macau Poker Cup

'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams' had a hugely successful opening weekend as it set several new marks while hosting the 18th installment of the popular Macau Poker Cup (MPC) series. The first two tournaments drew back-to-back 300-player fields -- the first time ever for poker in Asia. Headlining...more

EPT9 Berlin: Micah Raskin wins Berlin Cup High Roller for €105,368

Micah Raskin last night won the Berlin Cup High Roller following a three-way chop with Najib Kamand and Ilkin Amirov which saw all three players collect €105,368. Raskin came out on top for the trophy beating a tough final table which included Canadians Sorel Mizzi and Jason Lavallee. It's not...more

PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams has record-setting opening day

'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams' officially opened on Friday and exceeded all expectations as the Macau Poker Cup drew 334 players for it's HK $2,000 Deepstack Event. The tournament is the first side event in Asia to cross the 300-player mark in a single day. "There's been a...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: On the loose, Benny "The Tibetan Mastiff" Spindler

A player arriving late at a table can expect one of two welcomes. He'll either be greeted by a warm "hallo" or will be blanked completely. It's why the arriving player rarely says anything, not wanting the public indignity that comes with it. My guess is that Benny Spindler is...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: The ever increasing EPT who's who list

There is nothing so reliable on PokerStars Blog as the "Who's who" post on Day 1. It's phone (check!), wallet (check!), media badge (check!) when we leave the hotel in the morning, then it's intro post (check!), who's who post (check!), first cup of coffee (check!) when we get to...more

EPT9 Berlin: Kathrine Weir wins women's event for €4,200

Kathrine Weir yesterday won the €330 women's event for €4,200 as foreign raiders froze out local players from a podium finish. Weir (USA), Johanna Kamp (Netherlands) and Hui-Chen Kuo (China) took the lion's share of the €11,349 prize pool. This was a career largest recorded live win for Weir. EPT9...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: A return for more of the same

It's Day 1B of EPT Berlin and you know the drill by now. Whatever you liked about yesterday will go double for today, and whatever you didn't like will go double too. The even shorter version is that today will be bigger and better than yesterday's effort, which attracted 347...more

21 April

Sunday Million: Pr0fiteer earns nice return, $222K for first

In a tournament with thousands of players, it's usually the case that many will occupy the top spot in the counts before a winner is ultimately decided. But it's the final stages when sitting in first position is most desirable, and this week's Sunday Million winner Pr0fiteer was able to...more

Sunday Warm-Up: phaplap is all that winning $98K after three-way deal

Making a Sunday Major final table is quite the accomplishment. First, you need to have the means of buying into the tournament or the skill to acquire a ticket through the many satellite opportunities. Then, defeating past champions, Team PokerStars Pros and Team Online members, and several thousand players to...more

Gold medal for OlimpiadAA for Women's Sunday victory

April has presented many new opportunities for women on the PokerStars tables. The weekly PLO tournaments are doing well, with more new players trying out the games each week. (The $5.50 PLO is on Thursday at 15:00 ET, and the $1.10 PLO is on Sunday at 15:15 ET.) Add to...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Ronny Voth soars to early lead in the German capital

The European Poker Tour calendar has been re-jigged pretty much every year since the start. Two years ago on this day, Liv Boeree won EPT Sanremo, which was previously the appetiser for the Grand Final. But precisely 12 months later, Davidi Kitai was hoisting the EPT Berlin trophy aloft as...more

EPT9 Berlin: Pieter de Korver captures Berlin Cup and €145,400

Former EPT Grand Final winner Pieter de Korver has won the Berlin Cup claiming his first major title since the EPT Grand Final four years ago. De Korver topped a field of 911 players to take the lion's share of the big money after a three-way chop gifted him €145,400....more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Choc-ices, albatross, tasser cafes - introducing the usherettes

There's an hour left to play on the opening day. Players begin to flag, partly owing to the after effects of a schnitzel-rich dinner, partly owing to the late hour. By now the sights have grown familiar. Over on the far corner of the tournament room a side event is...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Berlin in a dinner break

Talking about what's going on outside is often pointless when shouting it from the inside of a poker tournament. Getting players to turn their backs on the tables and go outside when they've flown from around the world to be here, is usually pointless, and we tend only to write...more

Rafa falls in Monte Carlo

Forty-six. It's a winning streak so long, it would be a wonder if anyone ever broke the record. That was how many consecutive victories Rafael Nadal had at the Monte Carlo Masters. That was also, unfortunately, where it ended for Rafa today. Though the King of Clay was poised to...more

EPT9 Berlin: Welcome to the German capital

Say what you want about PokerStars.tv, but its employees are certainly efficient. Which other outlet, for instance, could condense a a couple of hundred years' history in one of Europe's most celebrated capital cities into a video clip lasting barely 150 seconds? Exactly. Here you go. It's time for Kristy...more

EPT9 Berlin: Rudolf Zintel zips up €15,000 win

Rudolf Zintel was one of the early winners here in Berlin having sealed a solid €15,000 win after a three-handed deal with Italian Giuseppe Cimelli and the Swiss Simon Burri. Zintel's trophy came after in a €330 deep stack tournament just ahead of the EPT Berlin Main Event which sports...more

EPT9 Berlin: Party time

The PokerStars party took place last night in the Felix Club Restaurant on Behrenstrasse. In times past, PokerStars Blog has attempted to cover these events with purple prose, poring over sketchy memories from a night when the only thing that was for certain was that the drinks were "Oh, free...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Cleavage and the art of concealment

Poker is all about the art of concealment. Players are always concealing something, whether it's their cards, the strength or weakness of their hand, the pulsing vein in their neck, or simply the ketchup stain on their shirt from the Hyatt burger scoffed earlier. Others take this even further. Over...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Dominik Nitsche on why 'home' is not really home

Dominik Nitsche is one of the most recognisable German players in the world, having collected more stamps in his passport than perhaps anyone else in poker over the past couple of years. But it turns out Kristy Arnett of PokerStars.tv (no stranger to the departure lounges of the world) had...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: More than just your average side event

The fashion this season on the European Poker Tour has been to roll into these cities several days before the main event begins, arrange a €1,100 buy in tournament and then sit back and watch as the supposed prime attraction struggles to reach the bar you've set. This is not...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: On this day in history - Kitai triumphs

Quite conveniently for someone hoping to highlight something that happened "On this day in history", it is exactly a year to the day that Belgian pro Davidi Kitai triumphantly hoisted aloft the winner's trophy in the Berlin main event. I would have accepted some other news, an unusual hand perhaps...more

EPT9 Berlin: Rupert Elder beats Max Heinzelmann (again) to claim €49,800

Rupert Elder started off his EPT Berlin campaign with a victory reminiscent of his EPT title win back in Season 7 by beating Max Heinzelmann in Event #5 (€1,100 NLHE turbo) for €49,800. Elder beat Heinzelmann into the runner-up spot in the Sanremo Main Event two seasons ago to claim...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: What Dortmund started, Berlin continues

Compared with the likes of Barcelona, London and Deauville, our present surroundings of Berlin are relatively new to the European Poker Tour. We came here for the first time in season six -- this is only our fourth visit to the German capital -- and yet already it is firmly...more

EPT9 Berlin: EPT London runner-up Mantas Visockis takes a trophy in Berlin

Mantas Visockis last month finished runner-up to Dutchman Ruben Visser in the EPT London Main Event. He's gone one further here in Berlin after beating Behnert Michael Juergen heads-up after making a three-handed deal. Team Pro Marcin Horecki went deep in the €330 event to kick off the festival with...more

EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Sun shines on main event opening day

The European Poker Tour woke up in Berlin today, the penultimate leg of the tour's ninth season. The sunshine and blue skies serve as a welcome reminder that the tour has shed its winter coat now basks in its spring prime, just in time for the remaining two events here...more

19 April

Win a Main Event Passport!

Main Event Passport satellites are live today. They're your versatile way to playing the biggest events in the world, whether it's the WSOP in Las Vegas, the PCA in the Caribbean or an EPT, APPT or LAPT Main Event. Want to get a starting stack in the Big One for...more

Moving forward, looking back

I think many poker players are dreamers. I certainly am, and it's not just because I'm a Pisces. Poker players are trained to look at the bigger picture, the long run, and are always setting goals. Without goals, we are lost and I'm always trying to reach a higher level...more

Berlin Cup draws more than 900 players

If you need any kind of indication about how big this weekend's EPT Berlin main event will be, take a look at the Berlin Cup. More than 900 players showed up for this week's €1,100 Berlin Cup and built a prize pool that will pay €180,000 to the winner. Nearly...more

18 April

Anatomy of a Sunday Grind: April 14

Sunday Grind: April 14, 2013 The night before my Sunday Grind, my favorite pastime is to go down to the hot tub in our complex that overlooks the ocean. Often, my husband and I will relay hands to each other from the jam-packed Saturday session, and I'll put my back...more

It's wise to specialize

When I'm facing a big life decision, I try to take a short break from my everyday routine. I find that the time away brings me a lot of clarity. After the PCA I needed to unplug for a while, so I took a ski holiday in France with my...more

EPT Berlin starts Sunday, sweet deal for EPT Monaco

The EPT Berlin Main Event starts this Sunday. Grab a bratwurst, order a Weißbier and settle back for another incredible European Poker Tour event. If you're thinking about turning up to play then check out the full EPT Berlin schedule here. Buy-ins range from €120 all the way up to...more

17 April

A look back at Kid Poker's career

Daniel Negreanu is undoubtedly one of the top professional poker players in the world. As a Team PokerStars Pro and great ambassador to the game, Negreanu has accomplished more than most people can dream during his long poker career. Negreanu burst onto the tournament scene in 1997 with three wins,...more

Rolling up a stake, going to Vegas

Moving house is always a tremendous amount of work, but this time, it's worth it. My girlfriend and I have been settling into our new apartment in Salzburg, Austria. It's a beautiful city and I love our neighborhood. It's lovely to walk around and full of restaurants we enjoy. Also,...more

SCOOP satellites start today!

Satellites for the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) start today. That's right, you can begin your qualification campaign right now. SCOOP 2013 is an enormous $40,000,000 guaranteed online festival which pitches tournaments at three levels; low, medium and high with each buy-in 10 times larger than the one before....more

PokerStars Live at The City of Dreams opens Friday

After months of anticipation, the 'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams' poker room will finally open its doors to the world come Friday, April 19 at 3pm. The Macau Poker Cup (MPC) will launch the cardroom and runs from April 19-28. The 18th installment of the MPC is expected...more

EPT Grand Final confirms full cash game slate

Today I'm happy to confirm that this year's PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final will be the largest festival of cash games in the tour's history. Yes, cash games. Certainly, we will have our full slate of championship tournaments. Yes, we'll have side events and Sit & Gos....more

Unkn0wn123 makes a name as latest Super Tuesday winner (4/16/13)

It's Tuesday again and that means something super happened once more on PokerStars, namely the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament that routinely attracts online poker's best. It was another big field this week, with 530 players creating a $530,000 prize pool, again easily exceeding the $300K guarantee. And after 11...more

16 April

As the Stars Tweet: Daniel Negreanu's WSOP APAC Win

After five long years, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu finally won his fifth World Series of Poker gold bracelet, joining the likes of Stu Ungar, Scotty Nguyen and Berry Johnston on the all-time list. Negreanu's latest win came in the inaugural WSOP Asia Pacific A$10,000 Main Event, where he overcame...more

Some Girls

Back in my field hockey days, I was tested for doping all the time at major events. They'd do it at the Olympics, the World Cup, the European Championships, all the big tournaments. Sometimes they'd even test us during our training periods. One time, I got the results back and...more

Watch the Sunday Million final table (14 April 2013)

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Watch the Sunday Million final table (14 April 2013)

Nick 'gbmantis' Niergarth won the Sunday Million this weekend just gone by and if you'd watched the final table you would have had little reason to doubt that he'd take it down. Niergarth had a large chip lead to begin with and that swiftly grew through massive to astoundingly enormous.*...more

15 April

Daniel Negreanu wins WSOP APAC, $1m and bracelet number five

Daniel Negreanu today won the WSOP APAC Main Event for A$1,038,825 collecting his fifth WSOP bracelet in a dominating final table performance. The Team PokerStars Pro never looked out of his comfort zone and held a significant chip lead from pillar to post. "Number five," said Negreanu when handed the...more

Red Spade Open returns April 28

I don't know about you, but I find some measure of comfort in the big red spade. I mean, red spades don't occur in nature, and yet somehow when I see the PokerStars flag flying, it makes me feel at home. With that in mind, you probably won't be surprised...more

Back to basics

Online poker is becoming tougher every day. Competition is fierce. I've found it helps to re-focus on doing the easy things, the things people don't think about much, making it a good foundations to play our best poker. First of all, you should try to have zero distractions while you're...more

Announcing: Sickest Setup contest winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the PokerStars Sickest Setup Contest! More than 700 photos were shared, and we were impressed by the quality and creativity of many of the entries. Team Online members had a hard time choosing their favourites. All told, 24 different entrants received votes from the Team....more

PokerStars weekend review (04-15-13)

It's been a big weekend for Team PokerStars Pro. Jake Cody and Matthias De Meulder both won national PokerStars events while Daniel Negreanu was busy going bracelet hunting down under in the WSOP APAC Main Event. At the time of writing he was dominant chip leader with five players remaining....more

Sunday Million: Nick "gbmantis" Niergarth goes wire to wire, wins $235k

Nick "gbmantis" Niergarth had been here twice before but years ago. Then a 22 year-old college student, Niergarth finished third in the Sunday Million in December 2007. About 18 months earlier he'd finished fourth. Niergarth went on to make final tables in the WCOOP and SCOOP, and the $179,760 he...more

14 April

Sunday Warm-Up: FOO-92's return trip to final table worth $107K

Experience pays dividends at the tables as the players who you will read about below have it in spades. Tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-up field of 3,432 players had plenty of folks lined up near the final table with a shot at the $107,765.70 first place prize who have been...more

Women's Sunday: heralove goes from worst to first

Sometimes all it takes is one hand to turn it around. Heralove arrived at the final table as the short stack, and little did she know that only seconds later, she'd play the pivotal hand in her tournament. The first deal pitted chip leader Miss AJ's pocket jacks against heralove's...more

UKIPT Series: Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody wins UKIPT Series 1 and £19,400

The inaugural UKIPT Series is going to be tough to top as Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody defeated a field of 343 to claim the first prize of £19,400 and his first tournament victory since he completed his Triple Crown in May 2011. Your champion - Jake Cody He's had...more

UKIPT Series 1: Day 2 Level 25-30 updates (blinds 60,000 - 120,000 ante 20,000)

11.30pm: Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody wins UKIPT Series 1 It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that with the stacks as they were and the blinds high that the next all-in would decide this tournament. And so it proved. From the button Jake Cody raised to 240,000,...more

UKIPT Series 1: Day 2 Level 19-24 updates (blinds 15,000 - 30,000 ante 4,000)

8.10pm: Break time The players are now on a 15 minute break whilst tournament staff colour up and race off the 1k chips. You'll find level 25 updates in a new post. 8pm: Jake Cody wins a million chip pot I joined the action to see a sizeable amount of...more

UKIPT Series 1: Day 2 Level 13-18 updates (Blinds 4,000-8,000 ante 100)

3.30pm: End of the level, end of this post That's the end of level 18, you'll find level 19 updates in a new post shortly. 3.25pm: Mitchell miracle continues Mitchell Cooper had slipped back down to 37,000 by the time he found another spot to get it in. He moved...more

13 April

UKIPT Series 1: Nikolay Ponomarev leads after Day 1B

With another 196 players entering the fray today when they were added to the 147 from Day 1A the final number of runners for the first ever UKIPT Series event was confirmed at 343. A short time later the prizepool computer spat out £19,400 as the number of pounds sterling...more

UKIPT Series 1: Day 1B, Level 7-12 updates (Blinds 1,000-2,000 ante 300)

9pm: Play is done for the day Roughly 60 players made it through to Day 2, a wrap of the day's play is on the way. 8.40pm: Last four hands The clock has been paused and the remaining players will play four more hands before bagging and tagging their chips....more

UKIPT Series 1: Day 1B Level 1-6 updates (Blinds 200-400 ante 50)

5.30pm: Half a dozen done and dusted That's six levels in the book, this half dozen didn't quite see the half dozen levels through though as Richard Evans, Ashioue Miah, Jen Chiang, Dominic Webber, Peter Blow and Manoj Sangany are all out. You'll find level seven updates in a new...more

12 April

UKIPT Series 1, London: Pat Simcoe cooking on gas, leads after Day 1A

In December 2009 PokerStars took a bit of step into the unknown when they launched a regional tour in the shape of the UKIPT. Three and a half years on and they've launched the UKIPT Series. It's designed to compliment the main UKIPT tour and to cater for the grass...more

UKIPT Series 1, London: Day 1A, Level 7-12 updates (Blinds 1,000-2,000 ante 300)

9.10pm: Done for the day Play is over for the day, it appears that roughly 46 of the 147 players made it through the day, a wrap of the day's play is on the way. 8.55pm: Last three hands The clock has been paused and the players will play three...more

Borderline Gambling: Buenos Aires, Argentina

To live well, the right things have to go wrong. I don't know in what proportion. But in Buenos Aires, I seemed determined to find out. I woke up in Santiago at five. The cabbie told me to pay him in advance so the police wouldn't see us exchanging money...more

Olympic swimming

These days it seems like everybody is trying to get in shape in some way. People are exercising. People are changing their diets. More people are beginning to understand that even though poker is a mind sport, good physical form is still very important. Tournament days require a great deal...more

Stars shining over WSOP APAC

Last week, the first ever World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific kicked off at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. Plenty of Team PokerStars Pros flocked down under to battle it out for one of the five WSOP bracelets up for grabs, and while no one has been able to ship one...more

PS Women Live wants to send ladies to Monte Carlo

I'd like to see a show of hands. Who would like to receive a €2,300 prize package to go to the EPT Monte Carlo and play in the Women's Event? Maybe the better question is this... Does anyone NOT want to go to Monaco? First of all, it's Monte Carlo....more

UKIPT Series 1, London: Day 1A, Level 1-6 updates (Blinds 200-400 ante 50)

5.45pm: Halfway there That's six of the 12 levels done and dusted. You'll find the second half of today's entertainment in a new post. 5.35pm: Someone's going to hit a set So said Robert Panayi as the dealer prepared to deal the fate of a three-way all-in. This is how...more

EPT9 Berlin: Lundmark and O'Dwyer chasing bountiful Bendik for EPT Player of the Year title

There are just two EPT stops left in which to score Player of the Year points and Barcelona champion Kent Lundmark and back-to-back London final tablist Steve O'Dwyer are going to have to be firing on all cylinders if they're to catch up with Slovakia's number one, Jan Bendik. Bendik...more

11 April

Envy: your biggest limitation or your biggest drive

Over the years I have turned my passion into a job. I've gotten results and satisfaction. I have a major sponsor. I have created a successful business. Inevitably, this has put me in a position to perceive a feeling of envy toward me. I'm not surprised to be envied, I...more

Don't miss APPT Cebu

Over my seven year poker career, I've had the privilege of visiting some unique destinations. Cebu is one of my favorite places with a picturesque tropical area towards the south of the Philippines. The macro of the entire Cebu area speaks nothing short of leisure, hospitality, and serenity. The oceans...more

Watch the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller

If you had a spare €50,000 at EPT Barcelona you could have played the EPT Super High Roller and it could have been you calling the Chris Moorman five-bet shove with seven-high. But, alas, for the time being you'll have to settle for watching the action instead. Big names, big...more

10 April

Keys to a grind station

What goes into a sick online poker setup? Sure, the winner of Team PokerStars Online's Sickest Setup competition will probably have a super balla grind station, but does super balla work for everyone? Is it practical? The first thing players have to consider when setting up their grind station is...more

Table manners

Everyone who has played poker knows the feeling: the feeling when you want to jump over the table and knock the other guy's teeth in. I don't get that feeling often. Actually, I haven't got it in years. But when I started playing poker it was very different. One of...more

Liv Boeree and Jake Cody confirmed for UKIPT Series

The inaugural UKIPT Series event starts this Friday and both Liv Boeree and Jake Cody have confirmed that they'll be playing the £275 tournament. We told you yesterday how great the event was and it didn't take long for Boeree and Cody to toss their chips in. @liv_boeree @pokerstarsuk @ukipt...more

Another Super Tuesday win for mypokerf after four-way chop (4/9/13)

Another big group took to the virtual felt this week in the Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament at PokerStars. A total of 585 came out, building a $585,000 prize pool (nearly twice the $300K guarantee) to be divided by the top 72 finishers. After nearly 11 hours,...more

9 April

Life for lulu.pk70 as a mother, partner, Serbian Supernova

She was born in the small town of Prokuplje and never played cards as a child. But in January of 2013, she traveled 49 hours to get from Serbia to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas to play cards. On weekday mornings, Lidija Nikodinovic spends her time cleaning, washing,...more

Behind the scenes with Rafa Nadal

You must have seen the new Rafa Nadal video by now.* The king of clay is in a bath getting aces cracked by a former semi-pro pillow fighter who's too wrapped up in beating the 11-time Grand Slam champion to remember that she's in a library. Tsk, tsk. What a...more

£275 UKIPT Series launches this Friday

The UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) has been a runaway success since it opened its doors for business back in December 2009. Three seasons and multiple record-breaking fields later the UKIPT is on the verge of starting Season 4 (UKIPT Marbella, 12-16 June) but before then there's a taster...more

Budapest: Europe's must-see destination

For the last 10 or 11 years I've lived in Budapest. It's probably my favorite place on Earth. Everyone talks about Paris and Rome and London. I've been to each several times. They're fabulous cities, no doubt about it. But Budapest is a little different. Every time I come home...more

Watch the Sunday Million final table (7 April 2013)

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8 April

ESPT Valencia: Daniel Boender wins Estrellas Poker Tour Valencia and €104,550

Dutchman Daniel Boender beat a field of 483 players to win €104,550 beating Iberian hopes of a home win. Boender was the only player at the final table who wasn't Spanish or Portuguese while another Benelux player Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder snuck into the money with a 55th...more

PokerStars weekend review (04-08-2013)

Turning $100 into $20,000 over the course of three months is impressive (see Andre 'acoimbra' Coimbra's charity attempt of reaching $100,000 in a year) but $11 into $107,874.08 in one tournament? That's just insane. Last night Brazilian low stakes player 'ynarrol' topped a guarantee-beating field of 109,990 players in the...more

7 April

Sunday Million: Victorious VanDobeln wins $245k

Halfway through this final table, VanDobeln was one card away from the rail. Holding king-queen against pocket jacks on an eight-high board, he had about a 12% chance to survive the river. Somehow, VanDobeln found a king and doubled up, taking himself off the short stack and into safer territory...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Coming away up top, cmontopdeck takes down title and $109K

This week's Sunday Warm-Up champion's last shot at a major PokerStars final table ended up with a runner-up check, but history did not repeat itself as German player 'cmontopdeck' managed to reverse a heads-up chip deficit to win $109,712.77 and a Sunday Major title. 'cmontopdeck' beat 3,943 players on their...more

Kapilence captures April 7 Women's Sunday title

The women of PokerStars have more options than ever for exclusive tournaments. They ask for more events, and we try to accommodate. For example, March's Omaha Week prompted the establishment of two new PLO tournaments for women only. The Thursday event is at 15:00 ET, requires a $5.50 buy-in, and...more

5 April

Seafood? See food.

My plans to fly home to London and finally go about furnishing my flat were temporarily derailed when I was invited to the NBC Heads-Up Championship. I was delighted to get the opportunity to play, but since it was taking place only a few days after the PCA, it didn't...more

Kicking back with my sick setup

With the #sickestsetup PokerStars promo arriving, I decided to show you what my setup looks like. Being an ultimate grinder, I find the setup and work organization very, very important. I cannot imagine playing without comfortable conditions and or being free from distraction. Some people play in very chaotic setups,...more

Win a $100,000 this weekend (for the cost of a couple of beers)

Okay, we don't know how much a round of beers costs in your neck of the woods but we're going to have a stab at an average $6. Seems reasonable enough. Double that and you've got your entry into this weekend's $11 second anniversary Sunday Storm. It's got an enormous...more

PokerStars Strategy: Learn to smash it like Sami 'Lrslzk' Kelopuro

Sami 'Lrslzk' Kelopuro sits alongside Ilari Sahamies as one of the most feared Finnish players around. A player better known for being a resident in the nosebleed cash games, Kelopuro also has plenty of tournament talent to bring to the table. The Finn won the 2011 SCOOP Main Event for...more

4 April

PS Women: Roxieforu05, recharged

Esther Maludzinski and I have a history. On the day after Christmas in 2010, we were two of three players remaining in the last online satellite to the 2011 PCA Ladies Event. Two $3,500 packages were on the line, but after running her pocket fours into OCQueenie's pocket tens, Esther...more

Sick efficiency in my set-up

Having an efficient setup for playing online poker is crucial. When it comes to mass multi-tabling, a well thought-out and effective work station will buy you the precious seconds that you need to make the best decisions possible during each hand. Instead of worrying about timing out on all of...more

Stuck in the middle with you

There's a situation that arises in poker when a player raises and let's say you decide to call with a speculative hand. Then another player decides to put in a reraise. Suddenly you find yourself caught in the middle, which can be a pretty uncomfortable spot. Sometimes it's hard to...more

Bonkers Andre Coimbra binks a big 'un

Just a couple of weeks ago we told you that Andre 'acoimbra' Coimbra's $100 to $100,000 Challenge was 'moving'. We weren't wrong. Did you think that $100 into $6,700 in less than three months was an impressive spin-up? That's nothing, Coimbra's now up to $20,000. He's positively flying. The PokerStars...more

3 April

PS Women in March: Tournaments, Omaha, and a Birthday - Oh My!

March was a whirlwind month. From big tournaments like the MicroMillions 4 and WBCOOP to our Women's Sunday Second Birthday, there was a constant flow of news and excitement for PokerStars Women. Women were especially recognized in March, first on March 8 for International Women's Day. A special infographic demonstrated...more

Upgrading to a sicker--but not too sick--setup

My Team Online video was released fall 2011, most of the comments on the video were with regards to my poker setup, a La-Z-Boy chair and a tv table. In truth, that was my most sophisticated set up to date. For the years prior I didn't even own a desktop,...more

Racing to Supernova Elite in Italy

I have been playing a lot on PokerStars.it so far this year, where the games are good and the traffic is good as well. I actually have a goal this year of being the first to make Supernova Elite on PokerStars.it, and so it has been fun for me to...more

Watch the Sunday Million final table (31 March 2013)

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Estrellas Valencia Main Event starts today

The Estrellas Poker Tour Valencia Main Event begins today and we are jealous. Are we envious of the great structure, big field and top quality tournament direction? Well, yes, but no. It's currently forecast to be 21°C in Valencia today, which is a whole lot warmer than the glowering grey...more

veeea for victory in 4/2/13 Super Tuesday, earns $112,833

Another big group turned out this week for the Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament. The 597 who showed up created a prize pool of $597,000 -- nearly twice the $300K guarantee -- and when play completed about 10 hours and 15 minutes after the tourney began,...more

2 April

The history of my sick setup

Initially I was asked to send PokerStars a photo of my current setup for the Sickest Set-Up promotion. But, then they asked me to write a blog post about it... They didn't know that I've been blogging about my computer setups for five years! So, instead of writing about my...more

Rafa vs. Lucia

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The crucial art of confidence

The year has gotten off to a good start for me as far as poker goes. I'd been in a little bit of a cold streak for the second half of 2012, but I've started out the new year pretty well. The year began with me traveling -- to the...more

Poker just got better in Macau

Recently, PokerStars Macau announced details about their new poker room which will be rebranded 'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams'. I, along with a lot of other people, have been speculating where the new home would be for months and City of Dreams (COD) is at the top of...more

1 April

PokerStars weekend review (3-31-13)

So, it's April 1, a day we're supposed to either shut the heck up or tell you some wildly improbable thing you're supposed to believe. I think the latter is hacky, and I'd love to just take the day off and be quiet. But...well, the Sunday Million was no joke...more

Teaching the Mind Sport of poker to businessmen

Things are going well for me in 2013, as I'm playing a lot of poker and also having a chance to do other fun things like play golf and enjoy myself. I'm also getting increasingly involved in hosting poker tournaments for some businesses and other groups, thereby introducing poker to...more

cecko80 champ of huge Sunday Million after three-way deal

Not counting the mega-monstrous 7th Anniversary Special Sunday Million earlier this month, this week's version of online poker's popular $215 no-limit hold'em tournament featured the biggest field of the year with 9,498 players coming out. It would take just over half a day -- 12 hours and four minutes, to...more