June 2013

30 June

Sunday Million: Flush098765 runs down EDWARDHOPPER, banks $194k

June's final Sunday Million came down to a formidable final three. Flush098765 has a MTT C.V. as long as your arm, JohnnyDepp has final table appearances in the Sunday Warm-Up and SCOOP and EDWARDHOPPER is another familiar face at major online events, notching runner-up finishes in the Super Tuesday, WCOOP,...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Pop the bubbly! j_kork claims $88K and the win

Tonight's final table of the $500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up featured a SCOOP champion, a former champ of this very event, and a TCOOP champ. But, none of them would take a second title this evening. The TCOOP champ 88Xin88 had the best shot, getting into heads-up play against j_kork. After...more

Dexteredeuce claims June 30 Women's Sunday victory

Overlay! For two weeks in a row, the Women's Sunday has provided an overlay for players. The $10K guarantee is usually left behind for larger prize pools, but this weekend is the second in which players had an extra few hundred dollars added to the pool by PokerStars. Who doesn't...more

7stol21 wins the $1M Ultimate Freeroll, konn999 takes top dollar

The Road to 100 Billion hands took over eleven years and tonight marked the final leg of our massive celebration. Nothing says celebration like free money and to keep the party going, PokerStars gave away seven figures in today's $1M Ultimate Freeroll. This was no ordinary freeroll. In order to...more

UKIPT Series2: Gabriel Dragomir claims victory and £16,480

The decision of start of final table chip leader Gabriel Dragomir to lock up £10,000 as part of a nine way chop seemed a smart one given that by the time play was six handed he was the second shortest stack. However, the Romanian rallied, was almost even going into...more

Battle of the Planets: bigbluffzinc picks up the pieces in $12K victory

The first one to the final table this evening would be the last one standing. Our final two would enter the last table at much different times as AndyUK18 was the last person to claim a second round victory in tonight's $50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout freeroll. But,...more

UKIPT Series 2: Day 2, level 25-29 updates (blinds 60,000-120,000 ante 20,000)

11.25pm: Gabriel Dragomir wins UKIPT Series 2 (£16,480); Paul Zimbler second (£8,000) On the final hand Paul Zimbler raised to 250,000 on the button, Gabriel Dragomir moved all-in and Zimbler made the call for his last 1,500,000. Dragomir: 4♠4♦ Zimber: K♥Q♠ The board stayed low coming [10h]2♠7♦5♦9♣ and the two...more

UKIPT Series2: Day 2, level 19-24 updates (15,000-30,000 ante 4,000)

7.10pm: Break time The players are now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level 25 updates in a new post. 7pm: Dragomir and Mok both collect £1,305 Down to just a dozen now as Catalin Dragomir and Peter Mok were eliminated at different tables in quick succession. No details...more

UKIPT Series2: Day 2, level 13-18 updates (4,000-8,000 ante 1,000)

3.40pm: End of the level That's the end of level 18, you'll find level 19 updates in a new post. 3.35pm: Pang pings the river Another double up now for a player at risk... It was Callan Pang at risk, all-in for 98,000 with K♦Q♠ and behind to Aaron Armstrong's...more

29 June

UKIPT Series2: PokerStars qualifier Callum Palfrey powers to the top

Another Day one, another sell out here at The Hippodrome Casino in London. A massive 262 players took part today, for some context consider that only 343 players played in the first UKIPT Series back in April. Those 262 combined with the 216 from yesterday mean that the total number...more

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

9.05pm: Play is over Day 1B of the UKIPT Series2 is over, roughly 75 players have made it through. They and the 62 players who advanced from Day 1A will be back tomorrow at noon as we play to a winner. A full wrap of today's play is on the...more

UKIPT Series 2: Day 1B, level 1-6 updates (200-400 ante 50)

5.25pm: Six down, six to go The players are now halfway through the day and like the first six levels this post is done. You'll find level seven updates in a new post 5.15pm: Hartigan's got heart if not chips Unfortunately for James Hartigan his stack has only gone in...more

28 June

UKIPT Series 2: James Thomson leads sold out UKIPT Series

After Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody won the first ever UKIPT Series event back in April it looked like, as a Series, it might have peaked too soon and the other two planned for 2013 would pale into insignificance. But the middle child has proved anything but difficult as it's...more

PokerStars software tips (from the people who use them most)

As part of the PokerStars Road to 100 Billion celebration, we asked Team Online to look back at the development of the PokerStars software and offer some tips on how to get the most out of it. Saying that the members of Team Online play a lot at PokerStars is...more

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

9pm:Day 1A is done Play has come to an end here at The Hippodrome, players are bagging and tagging. A full wrap of the days play is on the way. 8.45pm:Floor! A little bit of controversy in a hand involving UKIPT3 Bristol runner-up James Greenwood. Five players took a [10c]3♠Q♥...more

Andre Coimbra's $100,000 challenge: looking back, moving forward

July is about to start and it will mark the beginning of the second half of my $100K challenge, which involves turning $100 into $100K playing MTTs. So it's a good time to look at the first half of the year to think about what went right and what went...more

Still picking my spots ten years later

I'm writing from poolside right now, watching the kids swimming and enjoying some down time. I suspect you'll e reading this while I'm on a family vacation before I go back for the Main Event in July. When I look at the WSOP schedule each year, I tend to prefer...more

UKIPT Series 2: Day 1A, level 1-6 updates (200-400 ante 50)

5.25pm:Half a dozen down That's the end of level six, you'll find level seven updates in a new post. 5.15pm:Exits Some of the players who've exited in the opening six levels of play include: Edvinas Gruzdas, Simon Lynas, Chaminda Tennakoon, Alexander Zeugman, Dhanak Vishal, Vitaliy Baklikov and Vasile Scutaru. BLINDS...more

Poker Strategy: Kyle Julius shows why block betting can get you in trouble

Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius and the Sunday Million have a relationship like few others, yet theirs is not always a happy marriage. After winning poker's biggest weekly tournament in 2012, Julius was more bridesmaid than groom when he lost out to Estonia's 'parmupilll' heads-up earlier this year. But thanks to one...more

27 June

The changing face of PokerStars

You may have heard that we recently celebrated dealing our 100 billionth hand. That wouldn't be a surprise, we didn't keep it too quiet. In fact, we gave away $1,000,000 on that one big hand amid a $5,000,000 celebration. That's great, but us guys in Poker Room Management, we're all...more

That bracelet I don't have (yet)

It's World Series of Poker time again, another chance for me to play a lot of my favorite games (including non-hold'em games) as well as to try again for a WSOP bracelet. I've come close many times -- in fact, I've finished second in WSOP events on three occasions. But...more

This or That with Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown (WSOP Edition)

Team PokerStars' Chad Brown, who plays on PokerStars under 'ChadBrownPRO', has a monkey on his back--despite having more than $3 million in lifetime tournament winnings, he's never won a World Series of Poker bracelet. That's something he hopes to change this summer in Las Vegas during the 2013 WSOP. Brown...more

Grim beat robs Jason Mercier of bracelet challenge

Jason Mercier yesterday looked set for a final table finish in WSOP 2013 Event #44: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em and a chance at a third World Series bracelet, but a grim 4.55% outdraw for the chip lead knocked the Team PokerStars Pro out in 16th for $21,773. Jason Mercier playing at...more

26 June

Staying normal at the WSOP

It's WSOP time again! This year we've rented a house with a number of other people -- about 10 total -- which will do a lot, I think, to help create kind of a domestic environment during the many weeks we'll be in Las Vegas. It's necessary, actually, when going...more

All Heated up and ready for a bracelet

Editor's note: Last night, Jason Mercier bagged chips good enough to be in eighth place out of the remaining 22 people left in Event #44. He wrote this a few days ago, so we thought we better get it published before he wins a bracelet and makes it outdated. I'm...more

Meet Eric 'AceQuad' Brix, your SCOOP Leaderboard champion

Eric Brix grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul called White Bear Lake in Minnesota. It was a typical middle class town in which Brix spent a lot of time fishing, waterskiing, quad biking and wrestling, a sport in which he competed at school for nine years. Anytime during...more

UKIPT Series 2 starts Friday, qualify today!

The streets of London town are paved with gold, you know. Maybe we can't promise gold, but we can deliver some great poker action in a top class card room in the heart of the capital (and the chance to win £20,000 or so). Qualifiers to the £275 tournament are...more

No match for Magardan in 6/25/13 Super Tuesday

There were two Greeks and three players from the United Kingdom on today's Super Tuesday final table, but in the end it came down to a battle of Germany with a heads-up contest between countrymen Magardan and CrownUpGuy for the title. We don't know if they are friends, or even...more

25 June

Enjoying the view

My first month as a new Team PokerStars Online member has brought so many good things upon me and my poker life. First and foremost, I have received tons of positive feedback, kind and supportive words from followers, blog-readers or visitors of my training sessions - and I would like...more

Get your seat for the $1 million ultimate freeroll

Ladies and gentlemen, the facts in evidence are as follows: We know the prize pool: It's $1 million. We know the first place prize: It's $50,000. We know how much it costs to get in: Nothing. And, so I ask, what is there left to know except this: do you...more

June 23, 2013 Sunday Million

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World Series grind

When non-poker playing people find out I spend all summer in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, they always ooh and ahh like they can't imagine a more relaxing and glamorous way to spend the summer. In truth, WSOP time is 90% work and only 10% play. The...more

The De Meulder heart at WSOP time

In the spring we were playing the Belgium Poker Challenge in Middelkerke and, as a matter of fact, Matthias even won the tournament. You could say our time there is somewhat the start of a new era for me. Not because of my brother's win, which was great obviously, more...more

24 June

Tips to avoid online poker mistakes

As part of the PokerStars Road to 100 Billion celebration, we asked Team Online to look back at the development of the PokerStars software and offer some tips on how to get the most out of it. Making mistakes in poker is expensive. Nobody is perfect, but by using some...more

Qualify for Eureka Bulgaria today!

Eureka Bulgaria takes place next month on the coast of the stunning Black Sea at the Golden Sands Resort, one of Bulgaria's best kept secrets, just down the road from Varna, one of the largest cities in the Balkans. Online qualifiers to its €1,100 Main Event are running now (in...more

Mobile online poker for the benefit of mankind

What games do the smartest people play? Bridge? Chess? Magic: The Gathering? Well, we can actually look at the question from a Darwinian point of view and more or less prove which game attracts the smartest people. It pretty much has to be poker, because, as Madonna sang to us...more

PokerStars weekend review (24th June 2013)

Before you do anything else, make sure that you bookmark this Zoom & Boom page, because it could win you lots and lots of extra money. And, while you're at it, you've got to see this Phil Hellmuth hand. Zoom & Boom your way to free cash Zoom & Boom...more

23 June

Sunday Million: huuuz cruises to victory, scores $180k

Huuuz hit his rush at the perfect moment. After negotiations for a five-way deal failed, huuuz shifted into high gear and took out three players in a row, getting heads-up with Snusarn at a 5 to 1 chip advantage. Snusarn quickly doubled and gave huuuz enough of a scare to...more

Dejan "dejanaceking" Divkovic sweeps final table of Zoom $1 Million guarantee for $166K

Do not confuse this tournament as a turbo as the Zoom name may imply. In fact after the 120 minute late registration both the Sunday Warm-Up (started just two hours earlier) and this tournament had 21% of the field remaining. Yes, only 2,526 players being whisked away to another table...more

Sunday Warm-Up: KHAAAAAAAN! khanrava slays final table for $88K

Khan is a title of a ruler or Captain James T. Kirk's nemesis from Star Trek. Fittingly, khanrava is now a Sunday Warm-Up title holder after taking down tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up. Thanks to the 2,814 players donating $215 a piece, khanrava walked away with $88,641.87 after defeating iamtheboss12...more

Women's Sunday: Seventh time's the charm for luckyno75

It took seven trips to the final table, but luckyno75 is at last a Women's Sunday champion. As recently as six weeks ago, the Romanian made a third-place finish, adding to her three seconds and two sixth-place finishes. Today, she plowed through the final table, eliminating seven of her eight...more

K1R5TY14 keeps crushing, from modeling to poker

What does a poker player look like? Kirsty Buttle is often told that she doesn't look like one. Perhaps people expect a young man wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. Maybe they look for an elderly gentleman in a cowboy hat. But we in poker learned long ago that there is...more

21 June

Getting the most out of the PokerStars lobby

The PokerStars lobby is the gateway to being dealt into a hand. You may wll have noticed that the ring game lobby has recently changed in a few very noticeable ways. Among the improvements, there are now a total of six ways to get directly seated in the ring game...more

Brazil: The growth of poker in the country of football

I want to talk about something that is making me very happy as a professional poker player: the growth of poker in Brazil! In the last few years we saw countless happenings that show the development of this captivating sport in the country so dear to my heart. The subject...more

My big WSOP change

I am writing from Toronto. I came here right after EPT Monte Carlo to play SCOOP, and I continue to play a regular schedule online. I start at 11 a.m. and in most cases will finish around 10 p.m., so it's like a normal working day. I eat meals at...more

Tzen1's SCOOP walkthrough

I figured it might be fun if I'll do a small review of my version of the SCOOP Main Event and the Limit Hold'em events. Let's break it down! The 20th of May was a big day for me. Online there are only really two tourneys every year in which...more

20 June

Sunday Million June 16 highlights

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This or That: Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (WSOP Edition)

Jose Ignacio Barbero, more popularly known as "Nacho" Barbero, is one of Argentina's most famous gamers. Not only has he serve on the Argentinean national team in Magic: The Gathering tournaments, he now represents Team PokerStars in poker tournaments around the world. Barbero established himself as a fixture on the...more

From Mallorca to Vegas

Hello from Mallorca, the Spanish island in the Mediterranean between Spain and Italy. I'm here conducting a one-week poker seminar along with some other coaches. We're here helping a big group of people learn about poker and the poker player's lifestyle. Teaching the seminar has been quite interesting, and we're...more

Greenstein takes 3rd at WSOP ($99,091), Cody chasing second bracelet

Barry Greenstein last night just missed out on picking up his fourth WSOP bracelet. The American Team PokerStars Pro busted out of Event #31: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low 8-or-Better in 3rd place for $99,091, coincidentally scoring his third cash of the summer. Barry Greenstein: there's life in the ol' bear...more

19 June

Zoom and BOOM!: Win with kings, get paid extra

PokerStars may have already hit its 100 Billionth hand, but the party isn't over yet. It seems there's still some extra cash sitting around that the PokerStars brass is just itching to give away. Enter: Zoom and BOOM! You might remember the recent hubbub about the Greatest Poker Hand in...more

PokerStars joins the GameJam against cancer

Back in March, PokerStars was honoured to be invited by Cancer Research UK to take part in its second Citizen Science Project 'GameJam'. PokerStars employees joined the charity's world-leading scientists and technology gurus from the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google to help design and develop a mobile game that...more

2013 SCOOP Tournament Leader Board correction

During SCOOP 2013, there were four separate tournament leader boards: Low, Medium, High and Overall. An error was identified in the initial calculation of points awarded from High stakes tournaments with small fields, which affected the results of the High and Overall leader boards. The advertised rules required that leader...more

Poker Strategy: Let's talk about Heads Up!

Hi everybody! Taking the cue from the interesting video that recently appeared on PokerNews Italia in which three major heads up players suggest some starting points to reflect upon this speciality, I also wish to analyze the theory of heads up tournaments to express my personal view. Among poker tournaments,...more

Behind the curtain at 100 Billion

At 8:24 PM here on the Isle of Man on Thursday, June 13th, 2013, PokerStars reached a mind-blowing milestone in our corporate history (and really in the history of poker) - we dealt our one hundred billionth hand of poker. Let me write that number out for you: 100,000,000,000 I...more

Slyde announced as the Official Watch Sponsor of EPT Season 10

Slyde has today been revealed as the Official Watch Sponsor for the European Poker Tour Season 10. Winners of this season's Main Events and High Rollers, inclusive of the PCA 2014, will be lucky enough to strap on a specially-designed luxury Swiss watch of their own. This is the second...more

18 June

dunner1624 like a dinner in 6/18/13 Super Tuesday

Winning poker tournaments can often involve crazy coolers, huge suckouts and a fair share of lady luck. Then there are the days where you keep your head down as it all just seems to fall into place. That was the case for dunner1624 in the weekly Super Tuesday. dunner1624 picked...more

Million dollar Zoom 100 tournament this Sunday

This Sunday, the largest Zoom tournament ever is going to take place. A massive $1,000,000 guarantee has been put up as part of the 100 Billion Hands Celebration meaning that they'll be a huge prize whether 10,000 players put up a fast $109 bucks or not. How can you miss...more

Are we rational, irrational or both?

Nowadays, elite poker is more and more a scientific game, in which it's increasingly complicated for an amateur player to survive and succeed. Who's to blame? I can find only one explanation: online poker! Any regular player is now playing more hands in a week than Doyle Bruson played live...more

Marrrrrbbbbbbssss!

I apologise if this is a bit hastily written, but you have to understand the more time I spend indoors writing this for you, the less time I'm out in the 29 degree sun drinking Pina Coladas. (Although you can see exactly what went on at the event by clicking...more

17 June

Win big with Golden Sit & Go's now!

PokerStars just can't help themselves. The poker room and promo guys and gals are drunk on 100 Billion Hand Celebrations.* All this week they're pumping money into Golden Sit & Go's, a bonus $1,000,000, we've been told, which could end up being much more. Get your multi-tabling head on! More...more

WSOP weekend round-up: blow-ups, bracelets and tragedy

Chip leads might look good on paper (or felt), but converting them into the 'Big W' is another matter. Just ask Scott Seiver. In Event #23: $2,500 Seven-Card Stud, Seiver controlled over 50% of the chips with just four players left. Five hours later, that percentage was nothing but a...more

My embarrassing WSOP memories

That brutal, masochistic thing they call the World Series of Poker is once again up and running. From start to finish, WSOP is six weeks of poker, more tournaments than anyone can handle and enough cash game action to drive people insane. Yes, I am going to play again. This...more

PokerStars weekend review (17 June 2013)

It's as if we should preface each weekend review with the words: 'Every weekend is massive at PokerStars, but this is the reason that this weekend was particularly insane. So, this weekend... PokerStars broke the world record for the largest ever poker tournament again. This time a field of 225,000...more

Meet Isidora 'microulis69' Panagiotopoulou, winner of the 100 Billionth Hand and $103,800

Last Thursday evening, Isidora Panagiotopoulou met up with her sister-in-law at her husband's store to take a shot at the Million Dollar Hand. A $100,000 bounty was being given out to the winner of PokerStars 100 billionth hand and both wanted to win. They were not the only ones, just...more

16 June

Mr.SlavaPro outlasts 225,000 players to win World Record Tournament and $25,000

Records are made to be broken, and PokerStars players do just that with astounding regularity. Eighteen months ago, PokerStars celebrated its tenth anniversary and the surrounding festivities included its fourth World Record tournament, where 200,000 players played for a $250,000 prize pool. But after Thursday's bombastic 100 Billionth Hand celebration...more

Sunday Million: Capote18 pens a happy ending, banks $172k

Tonight's Sunday Million capped off a historic week in which PokerStars dealt it's 100 Billionth hand, broke the World Record for the largest poker tournament ever played, and continued a massive $5M giveaway in celebration. Still, the Million was the granddaddy of the weekend majors, drawing 6,435 players. The prize...more

Sunday Warm-Up: sava-lenivec wins $73,203.33

Russia, Lithuania, Romania (times two), United Arab Emirates, Israel, Bulgaria, Norway, and Germany all decided to join our colorful $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up final table this evening. While it would take just under an hour to reach heads-up play (including a five-minute break and stoppage time for a three-way deal...more

K1R5TY14 conquers June 16 Women's Sunday

Sometimes, players inquire as to the need for PokerStars Women. But even more often, people wonder why there aren't more women in poker. The head of PS Women explained that in this post, with the help of a giant pink bunny. One of the ways that PS Women has allowed...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Final table, level 30-32 updates (100,000-200,000)

8.35pm: Ludovic Geilich (€130,000) wins the PokerStars Marbella Festival! It was four aggressive days of poker from our champion, who bested 763 runners, fueled by guts and favoured by fortune. The gregarious Pablo Rojas, who already had an Estrellas title - the 2012 Ibiza leg - on his C.V. finishes...more

APPT7 Macau: Alexandre Chieng becomes first Chinese champion on APPT. The new Moneymaker?

Through six-and-a-half seasons of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, there had never been a winner from China. It seems impossible that a country of more than 1.3 billion people couldn't find a champion on the tour that skirts its borders, but the game remains in its infancy in the People's...more

APPT7 Macau: Hong gone (phooey)

At the end of level 23, just after Dinesh Alt's jacks held up to oust ShuYang Yu, four of our five remaining players had almost identical chip stacks. Ling Tong had 1,662,000; Nan Hong had 1,650,000; Kenneth Leong had 1,618,000 and Alt had 1,610,000. (Only Alexandre Chieng's 1,149,000 was sub-standard,...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 4, level 26-29 updates (50,000-100,000, ante 10,000)

End of level 29 - Time for a pause We've scarcely been able to snatch a breath of fresh air, so blistering has been the start but the end of level 29 means the clock has been paused and the players, rail and media have all been given time to...more

APPT7 Macau: Alt escapes Hong/Ling trap, takes it out on Yu

After the explosive start to today's action, the six-handed passage of play slowed somewhat. Each of the remaining players had good sized stacks and plenty of pedigree. Even the supposed amateurs among them had developed both the game and the table posture of the pros over the past couple of...more

15 June

APPT7 Macau: Growing rail underlines increasing appetite for game in Asia

After the usual introductions, the final table is under way in Macau, surrounded by the low walls of the PokerStars Live card room and a pretty sizeable rail. I was interested to discover who the spectators were supporting and waited to hear which player got the biggest ovation after his...more

APPT7 Macau: Final table player profiles

Nine players remain at APPT7 Macau, each hunting the first prize of HKD $2,165,000 (US $279,355) and their first APPT title. A reminder of the full payouts for the final table is at the bottom. Final table players (seat order): Seat 1 - Jennette "Jay" Tan, 28, Hong Kong --...more

Take a stress-free vacation with PokerStars TV

While the WSOP clamors on in Las Vegas and the thousands of players there hunker down to outlast the huge fields, the frigid air conditioning, and the long lines for food, water, and bathrooms, I sit here perusing videos from the PokerStars Women channel on PokerStars TV. Not to say...more

APPT7 Macau: Kenneth Leong wins massive late pot, seizes chip lead for final

Forty players were eliminated on day three of APPT7 Macau, and each will go home with a detailed story of their tournament. Some will know they were fortunate to get as far as they did, others will lament a missed opportunity. But while each tale is no doubt fascinating for...more

APPT7 Macau: Yu, Chiew and Vlad playing deep-stack chicken

Following a poker tournament when you are far away from the room can sometimes actually be the best way to do it. Even though you're reliant only on third party updates, it is far easier to aggregate the various sources when you aren't surrounded by all the sound and fury....more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 3, level 23-25 updates (20,000-40,000, ante 5,000)

9.05pm: Geilich leads PokerStars Marbella Festival final table field Day 3 of the PokerStars Marbella Festival was always guaranteed to be a cracker and after a tough day's poker, it was Ludovic Geilich who beat off all and sundry to claim the chip lead. Geilich proved a conundrum impossible to...more

APPT7 Macau: Troyanovskiy v Wong, battle of two continents' high rollers

With only 17 players remaining in the main event, you'd have thought it would be time to blot out all distractions and re-double focus in a bid to make the final table. But for Vladimir Troyanovskiy, the biggest distraction is now dangled in front of his nose: the HKD $100,000...more

APPT Macau: Proud Lin watches as three women make run for final table

Celina Lin is an interested spectator of the final four tables here in Macau, the real-life Team PokerStars Pro peering over the rail as well as out of the advertising screens hanging from the walls. Lin is a legend in these parts: she was the first woman to win a...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 3, level 19-22 updates (10,000-20,000, ante 3,000)

4.40pm: Level 22 complete; break Another two levels have passed and so a fifteen minute hiatus is due. See you shortly. -- RS 4.35pm: Abellan spikes McDonald With two minutes left on the tournament clock, Stuart McDonald four-bet all-in against Miguel Abellan, who called. It was A♦ Q♠ for McDonald...more

APPT7 Macau: Lost coupons, bubble creepers and a harsh exit for Blaschke (aka bubble bursts in Macau)

It has been very well established over the past few days, months, years that they do things very quickly in the card rooms over here. But ever the contrarians, the poker players of APPT7 Macau just conspired to play a pretty lengthy bubble -- 12 hands long, to be precise....more

14 June

APPT7 Macau: Thrilling finish to day two means tension spills over

We knew the bubble was approaching when we entered the final level of play last night, on day two of APPT7 Macau. There were 52 players still involved, each of whom knew the money kicked in at 48. The race was on: would four players bust before the clock ticked...more

6-COOP man Dan 'djk123' Kelly chasing down Negreanu at WSOP

Dan 'djk123' Kelly should think about renaming himself 'ATM123' because the 6-COOP winner has been a human cash machine this World Series of Poker. While 400,000 of you battled away for $1,000,000 on PokerStars last night, Kelly notched up his sixth cash of the series. Tenth in Event #21: $3,000...more

APPT7 Macau: Day three seat draw

Here's the seat draw for day three at APPT7 Macau. We start with 49 players, one off the money, which means the day will begin with hand-for-hand play. Click through to see full list of payouts. (Table, seat, name, chips) 1 1 Kosei Ichinose 365,000 1 2 Yan Cui 484,000...more

Join our World Record attempt, play for free and win $25,000!

The 100 Billion Hands Celebration just refuses to stop. This Sunday, PokerStars is juicing an enormous tournament - scratch that - the most enormous tournament to have ever taken place by guaranteeing a $300,000 World Record prize pool. And, you know what, it only costs $1 to play. Just one...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 2, level 15-18 updates (4,000-8,000, ante 500)

9.54pm: Derrick snatches Day 2 chip lead at the PokerStars Marbella Festival Day 2 of the PokerStars Marbella Festival saw the dual Day 1 flights combine to wage war at the felt in the sunny Casino Marbella - Canadian Nick Boehler returning as the chipleader and man to beat although...more

APPT7 Macau: Day two ends on the stone bubble, with Yan Cui out front

Danny McDonagh of PokerStars Macau has an uncanny ability to predict the course a tournament will take. Getting things started this afternoon, McDonagh said that we would play seven levels and get pretty close to the money bubble. It didn't seem likely -- we still had 168 players and only...more

APPT7 Macau: Matt Carter dodges Yip and evades reporter's death knock

Reporting on a poker tournament is not exactly front-line journalism. We're not in parliament or a war-zone; no one will lose their job or their life. But all things are relative, of course, and approaching a player when they have just lost an enormous pot, or been eliminated from the...more

Recipe for success

Things have been going well for me over the last year. Poker has been going well, but I've also had a great time pursuing a course in culinary studies which included an internship in a restaurant. I first started to explore getting involved in culinary studies about a year ago....more

APPT7 Macau: Ivan Zalac: More than just your usual internet punk

"Tell these Aussies not to leave me carrying the flag by myself, my shoulder hurts." This was Ivan Zalac, from Sydney, who has made a bit of a name for himself over the past couple of years as a regular on the poker circuit Down Under. He was talking to...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 2, level 11-14 updates (1,500-3,000, ante 300)

4.28pm: End of level 14 The fourth level of the day has ended - the players are well drilled in the routine of streaming out into the sunshine every two hours and have just done so. We'll be back in 15 minutes. 4.31pm: Animosity on table 3 Day 1a chip...more

APPT7 Macau: Wu departs, Im clings on, but Carter picks up speed

As anyone who has played or witnessed a major poker tournament will know, there is nothing so chaotic as the opening levels of day two. In the late stages of the opening flights, players cling on to short stacks to ensure they can tell their families that they at least...more

APPT7 Macau: Poker meets Happy Families

For those of us of a childish disposition -- or, more specifically, a childish western disposition -- some of the names you find in this part of the world are endlessly amusing. Several years ago in Las Vegas, we talked about the very real possibility of a player, probably with...more

13 June

APPT7 Macau: Day two seat draw

It's day two of APPT7 Macau and the 186 players who survived the wreckage of their respective day ones now merge to play down close to the money. The tournament administrators will announce shortly before play starts at 3pm how many levels they expect to play today, but my guess...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1B level 9 & 10 updates (600-1200 ante 100)

11.42pm: Boehler leads Day 1b and the field at the PokerStars Marbella Festival Sell-out would be an understatement. The second day 1 flight at this joint UKIPT/ESPT stop was brimming with players hoping to jump into the action. The tournament staff at Casino Marbella went above and beyond to accommodate...more

microulis69 wins PokerStars 100 Billionth Hand for $103,800

The 100 Billionth Hand has hit! microulis69 from Greece was sat on table Euryalos XI playing some microstakes $0.02/$0.05 action, just another kid with a dream (and probably several tables open). That dream came a little closer to reality when their table froze for The Million Dollar Hand, and closer...more

World Series 2013: The Pro story so far

The 2013 World Series is barely two weeks old and so far it's been a case of 'almost but not quite' for the guys and gals of Team PokerStars. As the starting stacks are laid out for Event #24, the stats read: six final table finishes, zero bracelets. But that's...more

A taste for wine

My new apartment in Salzburg has come together so well. My girlfriend and I have finally finished with the decorating and she is very happy with it. I just assembled the last piece of furniture, our couch. I've also managed to entirely replenish my wine refrigerator. We decided to empty...more

APPT7 Macau: Tomaz Yip skips to the lead at end of Day 1B

APPT Macau is a five day event and we are still three of those away from naming a winner. But a couple of crucial questions about the tournament were resolved this evening, during the closing stages of Day 1B, when we learned how many players had anted up and what...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1B, level 5-8 updates (blinds 400-800 ante 100)

9:40pm: Hundred Billion hits as DaWarsaw doubles Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz moved all-in from the small blind with two black fives, and raced against the button's K♦ Q♦. The flop came a sweaty T♥ 8♦ 4♠. The turn was the nut-out-adding card,the T♦. This would not be the end for DaWarsaw...more

APPT7 Macau: More than a quarter million bucks up top!

The money has been counted and the abacuses have been put away. We have our full prize structure for APPT Macau. Here are all the details, and prizewinners will be filled in as and when they are known in the panel at the top of the main APPT Macau page....more

APPT7 Macau: Celina Lin and Raymond Wu: the perfect team?

PokerStars Blog has an inauspicious history in team poker events. During one such tournament in London about eight years ago, two of this manor's writers took to the felt as a partnership and lasted a grand total of two hands combined. Stephen Bartley carefully folded the first hand, as is...more

APPT7 Macau: They come from far and wide

Let's not beat around the bush, Macau is far away. It takes about 11 hours to get to here from Europe, nine from Australia and even four hours from Tokyo or Beijing. Actually that's how long it takes to get to Hong Kong, which is the closest major international airport....more

APPT7 Macau: This post has a photo of Lacey Jones in it

The registration window has now slammed shut on APPT Macau, with 204 players this side of it and everyone else excluded. It means that our combined total from the opening two flights is 388 players, making this the biggest APPT event since the corresponding fixture here in November 2011, when...more

Win $100,000 today with the 100 Billionth Hand!

Join us for the live PokerStars Blog countdown here! It's here! The Million Dollar Hand is being dealt today! We're nearly at the end of the 'Road to 100 Billion', which has been showering PokerStars players with cash, and today one player will win in excess of $100,000 just for...more

APPT7 Macau: The race for the riches of the Player of the Year

As much as we sometimes like to dance around the fact, poker is all about the money. You'll often hear players talk about the "glory" of winning a title or the importance of the "respect of the poker community", but the chances are that anyone talking like that has already...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1B Level 1-4 updates (100-200 ante 25)

4.15pm: End of level four - 15 minute break The booming baritone of the tournament director just announced the end of the level over the tannoy and the players needed little encouragement to bolt out of the darkened recesses of the casino into the blazing sunshine outside. We'll be back...more

APPT7 Macau: Alex Niu and his menagerie of good-luck trinkets

Back at the APPT season opener in Seoul, my colleague Alex Villegas* introduced us all to Alex Niu, a television presenter, actor, sportswear ambassador and all-round superstar in Chinese Taipei. Villegas did a pretty good job of filling us in on all the key facts about Niu, even including details...more

APPT7 Macau: Hitting the ground running

Action is under way on Day 1B in Macau. It's past 3.01pm so of course it is. (They run a tight ship here.) But in truth, action has been under way for quite some time as a last-chance turbo satellite kicked off a couple of hours ago, promising another five...more

12 June

APPT7 Macau: Day 1B to start, stronger and more committed than ever

Yesterday evening, a 184-strong field for Day 1A of APPT Macau was hacked back to 81 players. But like the hydra of mythology, day one fields at major poker tournaments only grow more powerful the more they are attacked, meaning today's battle for the poker gods will be against a...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1A, level 9 updates (500-1,000, ante 100)

Shubin heads field on Day 1a at the PokerStars Marbella Festival The ground-breaking conjunction of the UKIPT and ESPT tours was always likely to prove seismic and so it proved as a sell-out field of 352 converged at the nexus point of Casino Marbella to do battle. With sun, sand...more

A Defense of Joe Cada

When you win the World Series of Poker Main Event, you are immediately slapped with two lofty unspoken expectations. The first is that you will serve as an ambassador for the game, and the second is you'll somehow show the world you're not just a one-hit wonder. With that in...more

We are poker? We are poker!

PokerStars uses the tagline 'We Are Poker'. What does that even mean? It causes me to reflect on community interactions I have had, from as recently as yesterday when I was in the bank preparing my WSOP wire. I could see the young teller was intrigued by the transaction; however,...more

APPT7 Macau: Swift day at City of Dreams sends Lum, Carter and Nan out front

Poker has a tremendous habit of ignoring reputations. You can come to Macau as the reigning world champion, for example, buy in to a $3,000 tournament and be knocked out in round about an hour. Such was the lot for Greg Merson today, who won't have much to write home...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1B, level 5-8 updates (400-800, ante 100)

9.45pm: June not feeling so August It's always great to see a healthy contingent of ladies turn out for the pokers to break up the rivers of machismo that tend to pool at the poker tables. Sadly the few women to have made the trip to Marbella have not fared...more

Fish & trips

2011 was a terrible year for me poker-wise. It seemed I was seeing the ugly side of variance every time I sat down to play. However, in 2012 I started finally turning it around. Experiencing such highs and lows in the game made me realize I had to adapt more...more

Giant pink bunnies and why PokerStars Women exists

I'm lucky enough to look after the PokerStars Women department. This means lots of interesting work, although I did once have a nightmare about a giant pink bunny chasing me. He was throwing carrots and shouting, "Make women play poker!" Mostly it's great, and thankfully the bunny wasn't real. I've...more

APPT7 Macau: Steady progress for the silent assassins Gregg and Troyanovskiy

There's been a lot of conversation lately about the importance of politeness at the poker tables, much of it prompted by Brad Willis's excellent blog on the subject. Over here in Asia, there is almost none of the loathsome one-upmanship you often see around the tables of north America and...more

APPT7 Macau: The stars lurking in the crowd

One week ago, the PokerStars Live card room at the City of Dreams was full to bursting with poker superstars. There was ElkY, there was Isaac Haxton, there was Jonathan Duhamel, Greg Merson, Gus Hansen and Shaun Deeb. There were also six German players, who would ultimately dominate things, and...more

PokerStars Macau announces second annual ACOP festival

It seems like only yesterday that PokerStars LIVE Macau launched Asia's first HK $100,000 (US $13,000) Main Event but the second annual Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) is just around the corner. Scheduled for October 18-November 3, the ACOP has doubled the Main Event guarantee to HK $20m (US $2.6m)...more

PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 1A, level 1-4 updates (100-200, ante 25)

4.25pm: Ready, steady, break! Everyone needs to take a breather once in a while and the end of level 4 is the signal for the players to stream out into the sunshine and do just that. 10 minutes and the players will be back in action. See you then! 4.02pm:...more

APPT7 Macau: Full house at the new home of poker in Asia

For anyone who has never been to Macau, I can say one thing: you really should see it. I wouldn't go so far as to say you will love it -- it is perhaps the very definition of an acquired taste -- but you should definitely take a look if...more

APPT7 Macau: Speedy McDonagh gets things started double quick

When you travel the world reporting on poker tournaments, you get to know a lot of the staff. None is more important to the smooth running of an event than the tournament director. The clue is in the name. Every single tournament director employed on PokerStars tours is absolutely excellent...more

tarantula535 preys on 6/11/13 Super Tuesday field, wins $97,660

This week's Super Tuesday saw the turnout once again exceed the 500-player mark as 514 took part in PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament, thus building a $514,000 prize pool and easily crushing the $300K guarantee. Even with that large field, however, the tourney was decided in relatively quick fashion...more

11 June

APPT7 Macau: Tsuchikawa completes side event hat-trick in Macau

The main event of this APPT stop is, of course, where most of our focus will be this week. But every PokerStars festival these days features significantly more than just one tournament, and we have been knee-deep in side event action over the past few days. The PokerStars LIVE crew...more

APPT7 Macau: The return to the City of Dreams

Good morning everyone and welcome back to Macau, where the dust has just about now settled on the spectacular GuangDong Asia Millions of last week, and Niklas Heinecker's $4.5m victory. Niklas Heinecker and his big trophy Today we return to something more familiar. It is season seven of the Asia...more

Mickey Petersen on winning streaks and the WSOP

In poker you so often hear about how confidence and winning streaks are everything. They are apparently the reason people go on major heaters, get huge amounts of confidence in their reads and plays, and why they perform well in multiple tournaments in a row. And by that logic no...more

Take a free six-max masterclass with Felix 'xflixx' Schneiders

Here's a guy that's almost too cool for school but, by his own admission, you'll always find him there as his passion for poker drives him to learn more about the game every day. Felix 'xflixx' Schneiders is the newest addition to PokerStars Team Online and he's here to help...more

Joe Cada makes second final table of the World Series

Former World Champion Joe Cada has started this year's WSOP in blistering form. The Team PokerStars Pro has made two final tables, both of which he finished fourth in for a combined $245,210 score. The most recent deep run came last night in Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $161,642,...more

$694,209 given away in 100 Billion Hand milestones, much more to be won

PokerStars has given away almost $700,000 in milestone payments since the 99,700,000,000th hand was dealt on Friday. Given away. Not awarded in prize pool. Given to these players. That's an incredible amount of free money to shower upon the cash game tables. But not, maybe, as impressive as this number:...more

Too juicy to leave

The cash games in Mexico City have never been better and I've been putting in some crazy hours at the tables. Some sessions I've played for 14, 17, even 20 hours at a time. I'm exhausted, but these games are too juicy to miss. I still play online on Sundays,...more

Daniel Negreanu calls it, wins Greatest Poker Hand title

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu can now add the title of 'Greatest Ever Poker Hand' to his lengthy list of poker plaudits. We asked poker fans around the world to vote on which of 22 PokerStars handpicked clips should be voted as the best hand in the history of PokerStars....more

Watch the Sunday Million final table (9 June 2013)

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 Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the...more

10 June

A Picture of 2007

You know, it's just a picture of a bunch of PokerStars employees at an event they worked. But sometimes, the story behind the picture... It was 2007 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). I vaguely remember us gathering for the picture; I think it was the day of the main...more

International Rules? There's an app for that

Poker has done so much for me I feel it is only right to give back and do something positive for the industry. To me, the players are the industry and I believe they deserve to get the best possible poker experience for their money. That's why I'm so passionate...more

PokerStars weekend review (06-10-2013)

You know that the 100 Billion Hand Celebration milestones are paying out at PokerStars right now? You do know that, right? Every million hands that pass by, all the way up to the colossal 100,000,000,000th hand, PokerStars are giving away a load of free money at the cash game tables....more

9 June

~The$amurai~ carves up Sunday Million field, wins $186K-plus

Sunday is fun day on PokerStars, with the $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney known as the Sunday Million highlighting the good times. There were 6,669 players who decided it would be fun this Sunday to participate in online poker's most popular weekly tournament, and after almost 12 hours ~The$amurai~ of...more

Sunday Warm-Up: sms2306 calls in a $93K win

Official time of the $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up clocked in at 57 minutes. That would include a nice five minute break for the final three players to catch their breath while bingogobernd turned what is normally a long, drawn out fight for a significant amount of money in this case...more

idontfold3 tramples Ghost Orchid in 6/9/13 Women's Sunday

How often do you see pocket aces shown down five times in a 25-minute period? I've covered hundreds of these things and can't recall an instance when I've seen them pop up more in such a small number of hands. Aces won four times and were cracked once (yay maths!)...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Delayed gratification for Gutierrez

It's so rare to get two bites at the apple, two chances to grab that brass ring. Players work hard to put themselves in a position to do it even once. The second opportunity could be a lifetime away. Last year, Weider Gutierrez was poised to grab 5 million of...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Oh-so-close for Moscoso

If ever there was a player who visibly, demonstrably wanted to win the LAPT6 Colombia Main Event, it was Miguel Moscoso. He bucked the trend of the conservative, reserved final table today. He was energetic, he was loud, he was rambunctious and most of all he was active. He played...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Cracked aces are the end for Velasco

The final three players - Miguel Velasco, Miguel Moscoso and Weider Gutierrez - agreed to a deal that guaranteed each man COP 145,243,000. The runner-up will receive an extra COP 10,000,000; the winner an extra COP 20,001,000. We expected to see play loosen up a bit with a deal in...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Friends on the rail

Alejandro Arrubarrena was the tightest player at the final table today, according to the statisticians of TVPokerPro, who are streaming the final table. That style might have served him well at a wild and crazy final table, but with most of the table playing that way, it meant that Arrubarrena...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Luzardo settles for 6th

That was a long, long wait. For the last two hours, the players have been playing very, very cautiously. The chip leader, Miguel Velasco, hasn't played many pots at all. Neither has Alejandro Arrubarrena. Pablo Luzardo has been getting run over after showing an incredibly tight river fold earlier in...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Roca rocks out

Mayu Roca is no longer the short stack. Roca played only one hand at today's final table. He waited patiently for a shoving hand. It took him long enough to find one that Juan Manuel Pastor played two hands and busted out in 8th place. Yet with the blind approaching...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Four kings shepherd Pastor out the door

Sometimes the cards break your way, everyone folds to your bluffs and pays off your monsters, and life is grand. Other times, you run into kings twice in the first orbit of a big buy-in final table and find yourself standing at the cage, waiting to collect 8th-place money as...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Run for the money

The cab ride every morning between my hotel and the Casino Allegre takes me about a mile down Avenida Poblado, the main artery of Medellin. This morning, I noticed that the southbound side of the street was completely closed to cars. Joggers, dog-walkers and bicyclists had command of the blacktop...more

Rafa Nadal wins historic eighth French Open

Rafa Nadal today won a career-defining French Open final to become the first male tennis player to win the same Grand Slam title eight times over. It's an incredible achievement which came with his 59th win out of 60 matches at Roland Garros in Paris. It's an astonishing record for...more

Greatest Poker Hand: Hall soul crushes Oliver, Van Den Bijgaart makes impossible fold

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? Voting closes tomorrow, 10 June. There was a lot of talk about about Sami 'Lrslzk' Kelopuro making an anstonishing set laydown in SCOOP recently. If that impressed you then you should probably be...more

8 June

LAPT6 Colombia: Velasco comes from way behind to head final table

It took exactly 7 minutes and 3 seconds of post-dinner play to eliminate the last two players on Day 3 of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship. When the final eight players return tomorrow, they'll be led by Colombia's own Miguel Velasco. Before we get...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Standstill

About an hour and five-five minutes ago, 12 players remained in the Main Event. Everyone in the media was dreaming of an early evening with a meal and some drinks in Parque Lleras, the hip neighborhood of Medellin. The short stacks laughed at that dream. Precisely two players have been...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Changing fortunes

German Arias had been living a charmed life the last few days. His big hands held up and netted him the stacks of several opponents in the process. Every decision he made seemed like the correct one and, better yet, worked out. Things have turned against him during the last...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Team Pro down

We're short one Team PokerStars Pro. Leo Fernandez had been on the feature table all day (if you don't count the 45 minutes at the start of the day when he wasn't here). His stack bumped up, bumped down, bumped up and bumped down. Fernandez finally found himself in a...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Roca galloping hard

Mayu Roca continues to tear things up at the outer tables. He's flirting with about a million in chips after getting massive river value out of Miguel Velasco for a second time today. Roca's stack puts him just off the pace set by chip leader German Arias. Really, Velasco was...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Latecomers and early-goers

I'm no poker pro. Thanks to Black Friday I'm hardly even a recreational player anymore. I suppose there could be some strategy or some excuses as to why players can't show up on time for the later stages of multi-day tournaments. Maybe. Or maybe they're just tough to wake up...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Set the pieces in motion

No Rafa tennis today. No World Cup qualifying either. After a frenetic Day 2 yesterday at the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship, things should be much calmer and more focused today as the remaining 24 players jockey for position for tomorrow's final-table stretch run to...more

Greatest Poker Hand: Jaka forces a nit-fold, Gimbel represents

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? The PokerStars TV team have been busy drawing together some great bits of TV poker for your delectation. Today's picks are from the NAPT Bounty Shootout, courtesy of Faraz Jaka, who forces an...more

7 June

LAPT6 Colombia: Arias at the pole after short, weird day

Day 2 of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship was a weird, weird day. To give you a sense of how weird it was, I can't remember the last time that the field played down to the final 24 players on Day 2 at an...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Controversy erupts

Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez finds himself at an outer table after dinner, embroiled in controversy. He played a hand against a similarly-stacked player. On the river of a Q-4-2-2-4 board, the other player bet. Fernandez pondered his call. It's well known that poker players try to "psyche" each other...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Monsterstacken alert

Despite all the chips on the feature table (currently about 2 million, give or take a hundred thousand), the first monsterstacken wasn't found underneath the bright lights. It is on one of the outer tables and it belongs to Colombian player German Arias. Arias started the day with 115,800 in...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Bite-sized updates

The field is making an ordered push towards the dinner break in about an hour. The most exciting thing that's happened since I last posted is the start of the Colombia-Argentina World Cup qualifier, so let's just get to a couple of quick hits: TRIPLE-UP OF THE HOUR: Pablo Gonzalez...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Who's winning?

During the boom years, railbirds who weren't well versed in poker would often ask questions that seemed strange to those of us firmly implanted inside the bubble. They'd fumble over player names and they'd want to know what place they were when they busted in Level 4. Sometimes they wanted...more

LAPT6 Colombia: The wait

In big buy-in tournament poker, when the money bubble approaches, the field plays hand-for-hand. Each table plays a hand and has to wait for all other tables to complete the same hand before moving onto the next hand. This is done for two principal reasons: to prevent stalling and to...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Passport winner hiding in plain sight

I've written in the past about how, over time, the LAPT truly has become Latin America's poker tour. In the early seasons, players from outside Latin America regularly participated at and won LAPT events. Yet over the last few seasons the shift towards a playerbase that is almost entirely from...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Concentration required

I should have been writing this morning. But at 9:32am Medellin time, PokerStars Head of Lime Tossing Brad Willis tweeted, "I don't play tennis and my knowledge of the game comes from DFW & a few months of watching. But this French Open semifinal is art." Oh right! The Nadal-Djokovic...more

Road to 100 Billion: Milestone hands start today

Today, it begins. Strap on your seat belts. Keep your eyes peeled. You're now in the final stretch on the Road to 100 Billion. Sometime in the next few hours, PokerStars will deal its 99,700,000,000th hand, and that one will be worth money to the fortunate folks dealt in. As...more

Rafa Nadal gives artful performance in semis, advances to Sunday

Fans billed it the "Final before the Final." One online commentor said any Nadal vs. Djokovic match should be declared a national holiday, because no fan of tennis should have to go to work when two masters are at work on the clay. Today's semifinal match at Roland Garros between...more

PS Women in May: From Monte Carlo experiences to focusing on charity

May was full of excitement, from the season finale of the European Poker Tour in Monte Carlo to a plethora of news about charity, fundraising, and good news for Fatima Moreira de Melo's family. Interesting experiences interspersed with the generous nature of PokerStars and its players, the month that passed...more

Win with your 'Stars Protector' from Saturday

Keep your eyes on the @PokerStars Twitter account and PokerStars Facebook page. A fun new promotion kicks off this Saturday (8 June) where you can win 1,000 FPP simply by posting a picture of your card protector*. "Why?" we hear you cry. Because every edge counts, so they say, and...more

GDAM Day 3: Niklas Heinecker becomes latest German wizard to crush High Roller, wins $4.5m

Speaking in the PokerStars.tv commentary booth this afternoon, Mike McDonald was amused by what he said was some extreme underselling in the final table player profile of Niklas Heinecker. "He's probably one of the top five poker players in the world," McDonald said. "And they're focusing on one 70th-place finish...more

Greatest Poker Hand: Haxton and Lykov bossing it

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? There was a time that players whose faces are now plastered everywhere were pretty much unknown. They were just grinders at home, possibly known by their online moniker better than the one on...more

6 June

GDAM Day 3: Level 15-17 updates - 1m-2m (300,000 ante)

6.30pm: Niklas Heinecker wins GDAM main event and $34,600,000 HKD ($4,464,516 USD) Jeff Rossiter out in second, winning $24,500,000 ($3,161,290) Heads up lasted precisely three hands. Niklas Heinecker limped from the button and Jeff Rossiter shoved his 18 big blind stack in the middle. Heinecker called instantly. Heinecker: A♥9♥ Rossiter:...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Merry as a cricket

Poker is enough to drive anybody mad. Yesterday, Team PokerStars Pro Cristian "El Grillo" de Leon couldn't get anything going. He was the only member of the Red Spade Brigade who entered Day 1a and failed to advance to Day 2. Today he tried again. His stack kept growing and...more

GDAM: Final table player profiles

Here are the details of the final eight players contesting a prize pool of more than HKD $119,000,000 at the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions presented by PokerStars. Full details of the payouts are at the bottom of the page. Seat 1: Igor Kurganov, 25 - London, UK - 18,400,000 chips...more

LAPT6 Colombia: We are the world

On the tournament poker circuit, there are the players you see at every stop. You know them, they know you, and even if you've never shared so much as a beer, friendly greetings are usually exchanged. If you do know them, warm handshakes, hugs and beers are definitely on tap...more

LAPT6 Colombia: A round with the champ

When I was a kid, Mike Tyson was a boxing monster. He was at the top of his form, the top of his game, and regularly destroyed anyone foolish enough to get in the ring with him. My friends and I used to joke about what it would take for...more

LAPT6 Colombia: No more safety net

Now that late registration for Day 1b is closed, tournament staff have brought out the slide rules and the abacus to figure out how many total entries there are. I'll have that information confirmed later in the day but right now it looks like the Day 1b total will be...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Winter is coming

Outside the Allegre Casino, Medellin may be the City of Eternal Spring. Inside the casino, however, it's a war between summer and winter. A player flagged me down as I was walking among the tables on the main section of the floor. I know my Spanish isn't the best but...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Tournament of champions

In the five-plus seasons of its existence, the LAPT has produced 25 individual champions through 26 events. The difference between events and champions is accounted by Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero, who won back-to-back events in Season 3. Four out of the 25 are playing in the field today....more

LAPT6 Colombia: Burning up prior to re-entry

I'm going to level with you. I dislike writing about hands on Day 1 of a four-day tournament, especially in the first half of the day. While those hands are important in the sense that they allow players to gauge each other and to begin to build stacks, in the...more

GDAM Day 2: Sorel Mizzi leads final after 'nuts' day in Macau

At the EPT Grand Final in Monaco last month, us poker reporters learned a pretty harsh lesson. We had been so busy spewing our superlatives around on poker tournaments that didn't really deserve them that by the time we found ourselves a genuine all-star final table, we had devalued all...more

LAPT6 Colombia: The cutting edge

When you fly into Medellin airport, you pass over row after row of greenhouses. Flowers are a big part of the economy and the culture here, so much that there is an annual flower festival that takes place every August. The festival is more than 50 years old at this...more

GDAM Day 2: The first slow down ever seen in Macau

I genuinely never thought I would say it, but action has slowed a little here in Macau, where ten players remain on two tables and we need to lose one more before we consolidate. As previously stated, the blinds are extraordinarily high and getting involved pretty much means moving all...more

GDAM Day 2: Eleven left, eight to be paid

Players are on a 15-minute break, which offers one of those rare chances for us to take stock. There's not really any other way to phrase this, but things have taken on the proceedings of a crapshoot here, with blinds now up to 300,000-600,000 (70,000 ante) and almost no one...more

Keeping it cool and calm with Talonchick at the WSOP

Las Vegas has been called a Disneyland for adults, and for many, it's all that and more. There are plenty of rides and thrills to rival any theme park, some of the brightest lights in the world (the Luxor hotel's pyramid light can be seen from space), an excess of...more

Small edges

I've recently learned that if you want to run deep in the Sunday Million, you'd better play it from my condo. I took 13th place a little while back and over the course of that month, both guys I share the place with finished in the top 15! It's not...more

GDAM Day 2: Multiple double ups, multiple eliminations

The UK's last representative in Macau has just been sent back to the cash games. Tom McDonald got it all in with pocket sevens, but Niklas Heinecker had tens and nothing changed on the board. Tom McDonald: out As we mentioned earlier, stacks are exceptionally shallow now and one pot...more

GDAM Day 2: The land where no stack is a big stack

We have 17 players left at the City of Dreams, with nine of them still certain to see those dreams left in tatters by the end of the day. The blinds are now exceptional big -- 150,000-300,000, with an average stack of about 7.5m (25 big blinds) -- and even...more

GDAM Day 2: Who's in for what?

The various poker databases out there all contain a fairly obvious flaw. Although they mostly track tournament poker winnings, there are none that track tournament investment. We now what people take away from the winner's window, but we don't necessarily know how much they deposited at other cages before that....more

Greatest Poker Hand: ElkY runs like ElkY for the first time

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? A phrase came around a few years ago that meant to run really, really, really well. It meant to run like God, but probably a little better. That phrase was 'to run like...more

GDAM Day 2: Painful day for ElkY and Duhamel as field disintegrates

ElkY tweeted a few moments ago about his elimination. He lost a huge amount of his chips when he ran pocket sixes into the mighty A-5 and lost, and then lost with pocket sevens to ace-king. For 130,000 reasons, ElkY wasn't especially happy to bust, but let's be honest, part...more

GDAM Day 2: Vorsprung durch Technik as the German wizards land in Macau

We've known in Europe for several years that if you want to win a high roller tournament, you had better have a German passport or else you've got pretty much no chance. First there was Tobias Reinkemeier, then there was Philipp Gruissem, and then Igor Kurganov appeared on the scene....more

GDAM Day 2: An absolute fortune

It wasn't until I was writing an introductory tweet this morning that it hit me just how big this tournament really was. "It's day two of #GDAM in Macau," I twittered, like a twittering goof. "We're playing all the way to a final table and through a near $750,000 bubble."*...more

5 June

GDAM Day 2: All the way to the final table

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams, Macau, for what will be one of the most intriguing days of the poker-playing year. This is day two of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions, which yesterday accumulated one of the biggest prize pools in poker...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Esquivel's up top when the final horn sounds

His name is Luis Hernan Esquivel. He is from Chile and today he was wearing a pinkish-red sweatshirt. By the end of Day 1a of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship he had accumulated 214,600, good for the overnight chip lead. He also had acquired...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Flight of the Angel

At the start of Day 1a, I wrote a post about Juan Pablo Angel, the striker for Atletico Nacional who was in today's field. He busted out somewhere around the second break and presumably is already home, in bed, resting up for a morning training session tomorrow with Thierry Henry....more

LAPT6 Colombia: Shine bright like an emerald

When I tap a player on the shoulder in this part of the world, my first question invariably is, "¿Hablas ingles?" Although I speak enough Spanish to get by, I've learned that it's often easier to converse in English if the player speaks English. Some don't, and so then sentences...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Cards don't speak

Beginning poker players tend to fall into two categories: those who bluff way too much and those who don't bluff nearly enough. Finding the right balance of bluffing frequency is quite a challenge, and recognizing the optimum times to deploy the bluff is no less difficult. They are skills that...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Quick hits

The field, trimmed down to 117 from the starting 210, is getting ready for its 630pm dinner break. Before then, a few quick thought that struck me as I was walking among the tables: CASINO AD OF THE HOUR: Allegre Casino has chosen to hang an ad on the tournament...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Not quite as regular

It's a busy time of year in the poker world. Events that take place anywhere outside of Las Vegas butt heads with the World Series of Poker, which kicked off a week ago. I know what a great product the LAPT puts out - I've been covering events on tour...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Blogger meets Dogger

Somehow, in two previous trips to Medellin, I have failed to write about the hot dog vendor at the Allegre Casino. That oversight ends now. Everyone in the poker world seems to be trending towards healthy eating over the course of the last year. It all started with All American...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Taking a shot

Despite what "they" say about assuming things, I'm going to assume that if you're a regular reader of this blog, your poker skill is higher than that of the average recreational player. That's a good starting point for a post recently written by Brad Willis, the PokerStars Head of Blogging,...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Where Angel doesn't fear to tread

In South America, football is life. I'm not talking about that peculiarly American version of the game with runs, passes and tackles. I'm talking about the world's game - soccer, as it's called in the U.S. Footballers are gods in this part of the world. LAPT players were given an...more

GDAM Day 1: Duhamel and Haxton - the cream that rise to the top

Let's not pretend we don't know: if you're a poker player, there's a pretty good reason to be in Las Vegas at the moment. But if you went to Nevada today and wanted to find find the reigning WSOP champion, or the 2010 champion, or the guy that goes by...more

GDAM Day 2: Seat draw

Here's the full table draw for Day 2 of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions presented by PokerStars. Prize pool information is at the bottom. 1 1 Ping San Chan 3,500,000 1 2 Anthony Tony Gregg 2,541,000 1 3 Thomas Mcdonald 3,576,000 1 4 Fenglei Qian 5,075,000 1 5 Anson Yan...more

LAPT6 Colombia: Strike up the music

Taxis are a way of life in big cities, especially when you travel. This morning, for the 1.5-mile trip from my hotel in Medellin, Colombia to the Casino Allegre, host venue for the Latin American Poker Tour PokerStars.net Colombia National Poker Championship, my cab driver was a thin, weathered man...more

Rafa reaches semifinals at Roland Garros

I read an article the other day in which someone suggested (more than half-seriously) that the French Open be re-named after PokerStars' ambassador and tennis legend Rafael Nadal. If you don't already know, most folks in those parts call it Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros, or more succinctly, Roland...more

GDAM Day 1: Shaun Deeb and the fold he couldn't quite make

Some time last week, Shaun Deeb was commentating on an online hand between Sami 'Lrslzk' Kelopuro and mrGR33N13 in the semi-final of the $21,000 SCOOP High Roller heads up event. Kelopuro folded middle set -- middle set! heads up! -- and was right to do so after mrGR33N13 river a...more

Five million shark Tian 'wobbly_au' Shou steps forward

"My friend was convinced I would make it big on PokerStars so he gave me $50 and a one-hour lesson in Hold'em. Six months later I had $100,000. Three years later I had made a million and saved my family from poverty." - Tian 'wobbly_au' Shou If that was the...more

Road to 100 Billion: Cash in on $1 million freeroll

It's this simple: answer a trivia question and you can have a chance to play in a $1 million tournament. Today, PokerStars kicked off the first of its trivia freerolls that can get you into the $1 Million Ultimate Freeroll at the end of this month. In all, there are...more

GDAM Day 1: 'I see you...' aka Paying the price for information

One of the founding principals of poker, on which much of the game's popularity is based, is that all the information about any unfolded hand is available to any player at any time -- as long as he or she is prepared to pay for it. The phrase "I see...more

Meeting my idol

I've been a soccer fan my whole life but when it came to FIFA, Ronaldo Nazario was my biggest idol. One of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, he's the highest goal scorer in the history of the World Cup and won FIFA Player of the Year three times....more

Greatest Poker Hand: MacPhee's hero call tilts Selbst

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? Well, have you? Here are a couple more choice clips we're putting under your nose, one of which is a clash of two big-name players in a levelling war that could wreck friendships...more

GDAM Day 1: Unfamiliar faces behind big reputations hiding in Macau

For the past couple of years, poker players and commentators have been having a version of the following conversation. Q: "Where's Player X these days?" A: "He's playing the big cash games in Macau." The conversation ends about there, with no further explanation likely to be either necessary or forthcoming....more

GDAM Day 1: Getting it noisily as outdraws begin in Macau

Winning a monstrous pot in a poker tournament is something that delights anyone, even those who prefer to keep a lid on their emotions. You will never see the likes of Philipp Gruissem or Erik Seidel leap from their chair to celebrate a huge double up, not even (perhaps especially)...more

joeyspanne88 tops Caio Pessagno Team Online heads-up, wins 6/4/13 Super Tuesday

While many top players are in Las Vegas already for the World Series of Poker, there were still a number of good ones who took the virtual felt for this week's Super Tuesday, PokerStars's weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament. Several notables made the final table, in fact, with Team Online...more

GDAM Day 1: The coolest kid in town

There's nothing quite so exciting as anything that is totally new, but in poker these days, much as in any walk of life, it can be difficult to break new ground. It is why what is happening in Macau today is so thrilling: the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions, presented by...more

4 June

Nick Wong wins the GDAM Warm-up event

The highly anticipated 'GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions' (GDAM) was launched on Tuesday afternoon with the HK $250,000 (US $32k) Warm-Up event. The 1-day tournament was held in Macau at the 'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams' poker room and drew an impressive 45-player field where the Top Five players...more

Sunday Million - June 2nd 2013

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 Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the...more

The queen-nine villain

I've told this story to a lot of my friends and a few of them refused to believe it was true. They couldn't comprehend why anyone in their right mind would make this play, but I'm telling you--it happened. I was at the Commerce Casino, playing a $1,000 mega-satellite to...more

Greatest Poker Hand: Spindler ships and Parise bluff-raises

Have you voted in the hunt for The Greatest Ever Poker Hand in the History of PokerStars? As part of our the upcoming 100 billion hand party we're taking a look at some of the best, funniest, memorable and strategically sound clips of PokerStars history. Not only is it a...more

Love them all

I was thrilled to know I am the first PokerStars-sponsored player to win the TLB Weekly. So when I thought what should I write about it for the blog, one thing came to my mind: the beginning of my career. Why? Because the way I see low stakes tournaments has...more

Competitive spirit took UwouldntKnow all the way in SCOOP

Since her team's win at the 1998 European Women's Hardball Championship and their 1999 World Women's Championship, Kjersti Grini has been well known in Norway for her skills on the hardball court. Now she is becoming known in another competitive arena with her recent win as UwouldntKnow at the PokerStars...more

Team PokerStars Pros rail poker reporter to WSOP bracelet

I'm a blessed man. Not only do I get the chance to travel to Las Vegas each summer for the World Series of Poker (not to mention stops on the European Poker Tour) to report on my favorite players, most of which are Team PokerStars Pros, but this summer I...more

3 June

Great Poker Hand: Zoom and BOOM!

With a little more than a week to go in the voting, the front runners are emerging in PokerStars Greatest Poker Hand contest. Last week, we showed you the One Where Daniel Calls It. It currently sits at the top of the voting. While the Negreanu hand is out in...more

A $16,000 dealer mistake

I had a pretty good March. I final tabled an LAPT event in Chile and a tournament in Panama, and I won an FTOPS event on Full Tilt Poker. All told I cleared $250,000 in tournament winnings. It started with LAPT6 Chile. This was the first LAPT event that used...more

Opinion: Before the bubble

I've written a lot about poker in the past decade, and most of the pieces you've read are about things that happened after the money bubble popped. It's rare that any of us concern ourselves with the people who bust before the bubble. I played my first World Series of...more

PokerStars weekend review (06-03-2013)

It's that wonderful time of year for dedicated online grinders and recreational poker players alike: the World Series of Poker. Thanks to the WSOP, a whole swathe of poker's best and brightest players are sucked out of PokerStars waters. That, some would argue, makes for softer tournaments. Not that we're...more

Anthony Hachem crowned champion of ANZPT Repechage

When heads-up play commenced with the ANZPT Repechage trophy on the line it was Anthony Hachem holding a two-to-one chip advantage over Japan's Iori Yogo. One would think that the weight of expectations would be on the son of a World Champion, but it was Yogo who looked a little...more

ANZPT Repechage: Bouskila busts in third

With Anthony Hachem turning on the afterburners as the big stack, the pressure was on both Michel Bouskila and Iori Yogo to make something happen. In the end they were forced to clash with each other. Bouskila was down to around 2.5 million when he announced himself all in from...more

ANZPT Repechage: And then there were three

Fabain Craib was a dominant force on Day 2 of this ANZPT Repechage Main Event. He powered along beautifully and picked up a few big hands to help things along. If his pocket kings had held against Ian Thomson's pocket jacks on the final table bubble, he would've started this...more

2 June

ATHIED87 with the win after Sunday Million deal with Donkab0mber

The World Series of Poker is well underway in Las Vegas and SCOOP is still in the rearview, but that didn't stop a big field from turning out for this week's Sunday Million, online poker's most popular weekly tournament. The $215 buy-in event saw 6,733 players take part, and after...more

ANZPT Repechage: Top and tail for Kanaan

After the elimination of Daniel Neilson in 6th place, the final five players on the ANZPT Repechage final table knuckled down into an epic battle. The chips were flying in every direction with several all ins, coolers, bad beats and suckouts. Iori Yogo put Anthony Hachem onto the short stack,...more

ANZPT Repechage: Kondevski and Neilson depart

Tony Kondevksi is a staple on the Australian poker scene. If he's not playing, he's railing, and if he's not railing, he's following the updates online on PokerStars or Facebook. As a former Melbourne Champs Main Event winner, this event would hold a special place in his heart, and it...more

ANZPT Repechage: Two down

After an orbit of pretty tight play that barely saw a flop, we've lost our first two players in pretty rapid succession. It was Ian Thomson who took hits in back-to-backhands to become our first casualty of this final table. The first hand saw Thomson lured into the pot from...more

ANZPT Repechage: Set for a thrilling finale

The stage has been set for a thrilling finale here at the Crown Poker Room as the ANZPT Repechage Main Event reaches an exciting climax today. Our final table is a beauty with several well-known, talented and well-credentialed players which should see some entertaining poker this afternoon. Leading the way...more

Sunday Warm-Up: Päffchen punches out final table winning $94K, De Meulder third

Pardon the shorter field of 3,010 for this week's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up as poker players may be a tad tired after two weeks of constant high, medium, and low stakes tournaments during another successful run for the SCOOP series. Or that little poker party currently being held in Las...more

Kispocok91 captures June 2 Women's Sunday win

The first weekend of June was one filled with opportunities to donate to charity. Our May initiative to help raise money for Cancer Research UK was taken to new levels with Team PokerStars Pro's decision to run a Race for Life and help with fundraising. Final numbers aren't in yet,...more

ANZPT Repechage: Final table player profiles

The ANZPT Repechage Main Event saw 844 entries from 598 unique players and after three flights and two solid days of poker, the field has been reduced to a final table of nine. Let's find out a little more about our final table participants. Seat 1: Michel Bouskila (Sydney, Australia)...more

ANZPT Repechage: Craib on top of cracking final table

It was a day that was certainly much longer than expected. Much like a racehorse that sprints out of the gates, we were leading the pack by six lengths, looked a winner on the turn but eventually ran out of legs in the home stretch. We thought we were going...more

ANZPT Repechage: Dinner plans anyone?

There has been some heated debate this evening about when to take a dinner break, if indeed at all. It seems that tournament officials were pretty confident that this tournament would continue to roll along at breakneck speeds so that a dinner break wouldn't be required. Unfortunately things have tightened...more

ANZPT Repechage: Yogo stalking his prey

As we rapidly approach the ANZPT Repechage final table with around 30 players remaining at the start of Level 19, Daniel Neilson, Dave Allan and Fabian Craib are among the big stacks. They're players we've seen a fair bit of in tournaments around Australia, but it's another familiar face at...more

1 June

ANZPT Repechage: A tale of two latecomers

The last two registrations into the ANZPT Repechage Main Event on Day 1b were Tino Lechich and Ben McLean, and both have different stories to tell. McLean apparently had some confusion over his entry which was won online on PokerStars. He thought he was registered for Day 1c, but after...more

ANZPT Repechage: Bully or bust

We're approaching the money bubble here at the ANZPT Repechage Main Event. The big screen is currently showing us 67 players left, but only 63 of those will take home some cash. The bubble in this event is somewhat unique as it means different things to different players. Reaching the...more

ANZPT Repechage: It's moving day

We're back in action here in the Crown Poker Room as Day 1c of the ANZPT Repechage Main Event is in full swing. It should be an interesting day of poker ahead of us. Over the past three days 844 players endured the rapid-fire structure of this event with just...more

Edo Naftaly tops Day 1c of ANZPT Repechage

We were hoping to see a big turnout today for Day 1c of the ANZPT Repechage Main Event. A line of 350 was thrown up before the start of the day, with ANZPT head honcho Danny McDonagh saying that he would be disappointed to not reach that mark. Well, Danny...more

ANZPT Repechage: Escape the Winter chill in the Hot Zone

Saturday nights can be a crazy time to be in the Crown Poker Room. As the night draws on there is always an increasingly diverse range of people that stumble their way through the room. The fellas have come from the footy, the girls are on their way to the...more

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