August 2017

31 August

MPC27: Baby Dragon Day 1 coverage archive

A frantic day here at PokerStars LIVE Macau has now come to a close as the record-breaking Baby Dragon field was culled by over 80%. Day 1 of the unofficial warm-up event saw the previous field record of 602 surpassed with ease as 793 hopefuls ponied up the HK$8,000 (~$1,000)...more

Koray Aldemir tops PokerStars Championship Barcelona leader board

With the conclusion of the PokerStars Championship in Barcelona, is the addition of another player to the Player of the Year final in the Bahamas next January. This year, the PokerStars Championship Player of the Year contest is a little different to what has come before. Each event features its...more

30 August

PokerStars live event satellite changes

Many PokerStars players have been lucky enough and skilled enough to win entry to a live event via an online satellite. We've been sending players to the PCA for 10 years, and although it was before my time, I believe our first ever live event satellites sent four players to...more

WCOOP 2017: New $10K event added!

You thought we'd told you all there was to tell about this year's World Championship of Online Poker. Honestly...we thought the same. But, as it turns out, there was more to tell. Or more accurately put, there is now more to tell. The tournaments team just slid up into our...more

Poetry and Pints: The Ultimate Dublin Tavern Tour

With PokerStars heading back to Ireland for the upcoming PokerStars Festival Dublin, poker players have another chance to experience one of the more enjoyable stops on the tournament circuit. Those who do make the trip should consider arriving a little early or plan to stay an extra day or...more

Up to your neck in a PokerStars Championship Main Event

Who needs vast levels of experience to win a PokerStars Championship Main Event? Turns out all you need is a scarf. Or maybe a loose t-shirt. Two players stood out both for their performances in Barcelona, and their style of play, not so much the way they played their cards,...more

29 August

Super Tuesday: NEED100KFAST returns for third time, wins $63K (8-29-17)

After playing most of the previous few hours with a slightly-above-average chip stack, Sweden's NEED100KFAST went on a quick run and entered three-handed play at tonight's Super Tuesday final with the lead. And then it disappeared. After losing one coin flip and then being coaxed into a river bluff on...more

Introducing PokerStars Winning Moments Videos

Online tournament poker is a game where emotions run high. There are few things more exciting than running deep while sweating each turn of a card. The poker gods can bless you with glory or smash your hopes and dreams into pieces. We who love this game have all been...more

Saying goodbye--and thank you--to Rachel Kranz

The last time I was in Las Vegas was the summer of 2013 for the World Series of Poker. It was my first time playing and, while it was 'just' a $1,000 event, I was excited and nervous in equal parts. After a few hours of playing, it quickly became...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona replay


Day-by-day at the PokerStars Championship Barcelona

There's something about Barcelona that makes it the perfect hub for high stakes poker. Call it the climate, the scenery, or just the warm welcome. But whatever it was there were more records broken this year at Casino Barcelona as the PokerStars Championship moved in for nine days. Day 1...more

28 August

Weekend Review: Dimitri005 wins Sunday Million while Barcelona headlines the weekend

A brief round-up of the world of PokerStars this past weekend... Weekend highlights on PokerStars • Dimitri005 wins the Sunday Million and $132,000 • Sebastian Sorensson wins Barcelona Main Event • Ronnie Kaiser wins Barcelona High Roller Dimitri005 wins Sunday Million We start with the Sunday Million, which was back...more

Sunday Million: Dimitri005 earns $132K after four-way deal (8-27-17)

Last week Dimitri005 turned a $59 investment into more than $6,500 as the runner-up in a $59 tournament here at PokerStars. It was the largest of a dozen or so four-figure cashes for the player from the Czech Republic over the last three years, and the second this month. Tonight...more

27 August

Sebastian Sorensson, playing second ever tournament, wins PokerStars Championship Barcelona

Sebastian Sorensson: Wrote his own fairytale Two compelling storylines dominated the final days of the PokerStars Championship Main Event in Barcelona. Could Andre Akkari win his first major title on the PokerStars circuit? Or would Raffaele Sorrentino deny him, and in the process set an extraordinary record of two titles...more

Kaiser's chief! Wins €10K HR for €735K at PokerStars Championship Barcelona

Ronny Kaiser, €10K emperor Chalk that up as another enormous tournament from Barcelona. The €10,300 High Roller is the last flagship event on the schedule; popular with both those with the biggest bank-rolls and those looking to take a leap into the biggest stages. Our final table tonight had a...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Down to five in the €10K High Roller

The High Roller is creeping closer to a champion. Only a handful of players are left fighting for the title of champion and €1 million. Ronny Kaiser is still in the lead with about 11 million, but Markus Durnegger is in hot pursuit with about 10 million. Kaiser has tasted...more

Watch the action from Barcelona Live on!

LIVE UPDATES | CHIP COUNTS | PLAYER PROFILES Now playing: PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event final table -- REPLAY...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Patrick Leonard discusses "that hand"

Rewinding back a few days to when we were on the money bubble in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event, a hand between Patrick Leonard and Luigi Shehadeh up on the feature table became a huge social media talking point. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Down to single digits in the €10K HR, Kaiser still leads

We're down to an unofficial final table in the €10K High Roller. That's right, we've had a speedy day filled with lots of eliminations and big hands. Our start-of-day chip leader, Ronny Kaiser, remains in the lead with 6.1 million. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Kaiser though. Benjamin Pollak,...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Studying late-stage strategy with SamSquid

The €10K High Roller is ticking along nicely. They're down to 22, and you'll find all the bust-outs and chip counts at the bottom of this post. But first, how should one play in these late stages of big tournaments? One player who certainly knows is Sam 'TheSquid' Grafton, still...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: €10K High Roller final day kicks off with a plan

When the 34 remaining players in the €10,300 High Roller took their seats, they had a decision to make before play even began. In a need to have the tournament finish before 3am (in order to empty the main tournament room for packing down), the tournament director presented the players...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Main Event final table live updates

• Sebastian Sorensson wins PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event for €987,043 • Lachezar Petkov finishes second for €917,347 • PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo Main Event champion Raffaele Sorrentino finishes third; Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari fifth 11:10pm: Sebastian Sorensson is the champion, winning €987,043 Lachezar Petkov eliminated in second (€917,347) Level...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Final table player profiles

As we wait to start the final day -- or as you follow along once it has begun -- learn more about the final six players in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event. (Research by Jan Kores, Media Coordinator.) The final six Seat 1: Usman Siddique, 25, Walsall, UK, PokerStars...more

26 August

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Day 2 finishes with 34, Cody in top 10

Another day of high rolling action is done. We're in the money and only 34 players are left. Ronny Kaiser finds himself in the lead with a whopping 2,696,000 while Luiz Rodriguez finished the day second in chips with 1,893,000. Boris Kolev rounds off the top three with 1,3700,000 and...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Riding the €10K HR bubble with Adrian Mateos

There were 34 minutes and 57 seconds left till dinner break when the PSC Barcelona High Roller clock stopped. Only 83 players were left and just 79 would make the money. Blinds were 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000 ante and Adrian Mateos was short stacked with 52,000. Even though he's just...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Vlogging rollercoaster with Jeff Gross

Team PokerStars Pro Jeff Gross had a good start to Barcelona. He got got upgraded on his flight over and then got two deep runs early on. Gross played his way into the money in the €1,100 National Championship and then finished 47th in the €2,200 National High Roller. He...more

Raffaele Sorrentino leads last six in Barcelona with shot at Championship double

An hour into Day 5 of the Main Event today and you might have thought there was nothing to the business of reducing a field of 16 by 10. The first level featured four eliminations. There followed a couple more in the next. A quick-fire day looked likely. But it...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Dinner time in the €10K HR, two away from the money

After six one-hour levels of play here on Day 2, the €10,300 High Roller has gone from around 260 players to just 81, all of whom are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Only 79 of them will make the money and be guaranteed an €18,400 payday though, so there's...more

Jake Cody on cash game action in Macau

What does a tournament player do in between live stops? Ask our €10,300 High Roller field and the most common answer might be "relax and play online". But what does a cash game player do when they need a break from the grind? For Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, the...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Team Pros halved as prizes announced in €10K HR

It's the second break of the €10,300 High Roller, and the one thing all the players were waiting for has now been revealed. I'm talking about the money of course. The winner of this event will bank a massive €1,036,800 for their efforts. That's €184,600 (equivalent to 18 entries;...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Registration's closed in the €10K HR, but who's in?

A jazz octet. Every player in a game of polo. The main cast of The Hateful Eight. That's all this tournament was missing in order to match last year's turnout. In the end this massive €10,300 High Roller received 557 total entries, with 431 unique entries and 126 re-entries. That's...more

25 August

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Lopez leads after Day 1 of €10K High Roller

It's true what they say: everyone shows up in Barcelona. OK, so Phil Ivey isn't here. But just about everyone else is, and all the big names were out today to battle in the €10,300 High Roller - the last big buy-in event of this Championship festival. Last year (when...more

Chidwick's $1million heater and Piqué's best ever score

Day ones of High Rollers, while chock full of the world's best players, are still day ones. The average talent level and bankroll of the players might be far higher than, say, the Main Event; but the 30,000 chip pots can't quite compete with the 3 million chip pots going...more

Weekend planner: Barcelona, Power up, Pique, StreamBoat, and more!

It's the weekend, and for you that hopefully means a couple of days with nothing to do except the things you want to do. For us, well it means finishing off our coverage of the PokerStars Championship Barcelona events and then getting back to real life. In any case, you...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: €10K High Roller field swells, while Negreanu waits for dinner

More than half of Day 1 is now done in the €10,300 High Roller, so here's a midday update with all the gossip. There's around 400 runners in this one at the time of writing, which already puts $4 million into the prize pool. Of course, registration is open until...more

Jaime Staples discusses his first live win for €22K, and gives an #UltimateSweat update

While most eyes have been pinned on the Main Event and it's massive €1.41 million first-place prize, an array of side events have been taking place throughout the week in the Casino Barcelona and Hotel Arts. One of those side events - a €550 Pot Limit Omaha Turbo - finished...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: The €10,000 High Roller kicks-off

As things wind-down here for Day 4 of the Barcelona Main Event, things are about to kick-off for the remaining high-rollers still in town, with the €10,300 Single Re-entry High Roller starting shortly. This is apparently the very best €10k high-roller out there -- but don't take my word for...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Andre Akkari surges ahead to lead final 16

If you've ever had the chance to talk to Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari about our favorite card game -- as we at the PokerStars Blog have many times over the years -- you discover the amiable Brazilian inevitably has a cool, almost serene "big picture" view of the game....more

24 August

Power Up hits UK with more to come

Perhaps you have heard about it. If you were in the right place, you may have even had a chance to play it. Now, PokerStars' newest innovation is about to go primetime. This week in Barcelona, the PokerStars people behind Power Up gave some folks a look under the hood...more

Neymar is gone, but Piqué says happiness can return to Barcelona

Neymar's exit was heard around the world. When the Brazilian football star left FC Barcelona earlier this month, there was a outpouring of emotions from Barcelona fans and players that ranged from shock to anger to sadness. Gerard Piqué was also sad to see his teammate go--but there was one...more

Retrospective: Hollywood, a guitar, and a bubble that just wouldn't burst

This post was originally published in August 2014 from the 100th European Poker Tour event, held in Barcelona. The 100th EPT Main Event deserved a memorable bubble and this tournament in Barcelona somehow managed to deliver it. It was an almost never-ending bubble period, which even now hasn't quite finished....more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Richardson bags the Day 3 lead

Bubbles, blow-ups and a bundle of bust-outs; what more could you ask for on Day 3 of this enormous Main Event? The 287 players who returned to action at midday have been reduced to 70 more than 12 hours later. Enormous pots were plentiful. And the chip lead seemed to...more

23 August

Salazar leads last 300 at PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event

Tournament reporters were gleeful last night when Jose Latorre won an enormous pot within the last five minutes of play to soar into the overall chip lead of the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event. It stopped us having to scour a field of more than 650 players to identify who...more

Join Bill Perkins and the world's best poker streamers on Streamboat 2

Singularity can be hard to concept to wrap your mind around. The results of singularity, by definition, are unimaginable. It's the hypothesis that one day artificial intelligence will advance to the point where it triggers an explosion of technological growth that will change the world beyond our wildest dreams. It's...more

22 August

Super Tuesday: Late surge pushes AaronBeen to $48K win (8-22-17)

Five times prior to tonight, Aaron "AaronBeen" Been had found himself at the final table of the Super Tuesday. Other than the first of those - a runner-up finish back in 2011 - he hadn't been particularly close to pulling off a win. And when tonight's final table began with...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Latorre's last minute loot bags him Day 1B lead

Day 1B of the Barcelona Main Event is the day of the year that every poker reporter dreads. Not for a lack of action or poker talent; this 1,229-strong field had that in spades (clubs, hearts, and diamonds). But because at the end of it all, we have to wade...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Main Event Day 1B live updates

Click for the full wrap from Day 1B. All today's scintillating coverage (and some drab stuff too) is below: 12 midnight: That's it folks That's the end of today's eight levels. A full wrap up of the day is incoming. As we thought, Jose Latorre is way in front. He...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Gerard Piqué makes his annual return

When you come to Barcelona for the PokerStars Championship, you're guaranteed a bunch of things: 1. Beautiful weather 2. An amazing tournament schedule 3. Great fun away from the tables 4. Plenty of money on the line That list could go on and on. But one majorly exciting thing that's...more

21 August

Easy! Kurganov glides through final to claim PokerStars Championship Barcelona SHR title

Final tables tend to go by quickly when a chip leader goes on a charge. Here in Barcelona today, that was never more evident than when Igor Kurganov sat down facing eight others at the start of the final day of the €50,000 Super High Roller event at the PokerStars...more

Weekend Review: Barcelona and a half-price Sunday Million

The Sunday Million was huge. The weekend majors were crazy. PokerStars Championship Barcelona kicked off. Want to catch up on the weekend of action? Keep reading below. ALL THINGS BARCELONA The PokerStars Championship events in Barcelona are already underway, and within the next few hours we expect to know who...more

MPC27: The Preview

The Macau Poker Cup series has reached new heights this season and all things indicate that MPC27 (August 25 - September 10) will be even bigger and better! The previous MPC poker festival had 5,527 participants and nearly HK$60 million (~USD $7.7m) in prize money across 25 Official Asia Player...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: €50K Super High Roller final table updates

• Team PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov wins Super High Roller for €1,084,100 • Bartlomiej Machon finishes second for €858,700 • Koray Aldemir, Dietrich Fast, Ivan Luca, Christopher Kruk, Bryn Kenney, Stanley Choi final table; Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu finishes ninth 6:45pm: Igor Kurganov wins Super High Roller (€1,084,100), Bartlomiej...more

Half-Price Sunday Million: mdf92 soars to $212K victory (8-20-17)

It was about this time last year when mdf92 made a relatively deep run in the Sunday Million. Finishing in 75th place that day was good for $1,150 - not a huge cash in the big scheme of things, but a lot for somebody who usually played in tournaments with...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Adalfer Morales leads Day 1A of Main Event

It's difficult to know where to begin wrapping up the action from a Main Event Day 1A. As always the day started with hope and optimism, with a couple of hundred early adopters (averse to the more fashionable Day 1B), taking their seats. And as always it ended 12 hours...more

20 August

Koray Aldemir leads as Negreanu, Kurganov make PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50K finale

In these super high roller events with the eye-popping buy-ins, it's sometimes easy to forget how mentally challenging tournament bubbles can be. These players have seen and experienced it all -- most of them, anyway -- but that doesn't necessarily prevent extra adrenaline from flowing when the money draws near....more

19 August

Adrian Mateos leads at Day 1's end at PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50K

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a poker player in possession of a good fortune must be in want of an August trip to Barcelona. Whatever you call it, and whatever the state of the poker landscape, if you host a PokerStars event at Casino Barcelona, it will be...more

18 August

On terror, fear, and perseverance in Barcelona

On a Friday, we'd normally be shouting at you about the upcoming weekend and all the action ahead. We'd be pushing you to coverage of the PokerStars Championship and telling you about promotions and other fun stuff. That would happen on any normal Friday. This isn't a normal Friday by...more

WCOOP 2017: The schedules!

Earlier this week, the PokerStars Tournaments Team came to you with news of this year's World Championship of Online Poker. It was packed full of information about satellites, a low buy-in tier, new structures, and everything else. You can read it here. Well, almost everything. As some of you pointed...more

17 August

2017ACOP: Super High Roller Early Bird Special

The Asia Championship of Poker is the Far East's biggest stage for high stakes poker and this year is sure to be the biggest yet as the 2017 ACOP features five events with buy-ins of USD $10,000 or more: Oct. 21-23: HK$800,000 (~100K USD) Super High Roller (Shot Clock, Unlimited...more

15 August

Super Tuesday: lforoni rides chip lead to heads-up deal, $52K (8-15-17)

Brazil's lforoni had the chip lead as this week's Super Tuesday final table began and never looked like anything other than a win was possible until the table was four-handed. A series of coin flips evened out the stacks a bit at that point and suggested a few other potential...more

5 things you might not know about Sunday Million Live

Are you ready for this unique poker event? What it is (and what it isn't) Sunday Million Live is an exciting one-off version of the weekly classic, with Day 1 played online before the action goes live on Day 2 at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on September...more

WCOOP 2017: Attention tournament dreamers

WCOOP 2017 is fast approaching, running from September 3rd-26th. Although the Tournaments Team is buckled down in order to get it ready for you, I thought I'd take some time to provide insight into changes we're making for this year's series. Get Low The single biggest change in this year's...more

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Player of the... what now?

One of the contests that has flown under the radar this year has been the PokerStars Championship Player of the Year. Unlike other years this has taken on an event specific formula, with the winner of each event leader board (rather than a season long one) earning a $16,000 VIP...more

14 August

The Money Men: Top 10 Highest Earning Sports Superstars

How many times have you heard people say, 'It's not the winning but the taking part that counts'? On one level that might be true, but the fact remains that most people play sports to win. And if you keep winning and rise to the top of your discipline,...more

Usain Bolt links up with the world's fastest poker game

Special edition is the first PokerStars celebrity branded game Following Usain Bolt's retirement from his spectacular athletics career, the fastest man on the planet has brought his record-breaking speed to the fastest poker game in the world for a special edition of ZOOM poker at PokerStars. The ZOOM Usain Bolt...more

Weekend Review: Tomati25 wins Half Price Sunday Million to headline PokerStars weekend

Everything that happened in the world of PokerStars this past weekend... Weekend highlights on PokerStars • Tomati25 wins the Half Price Sunday Million • Check out the full list of weekend winners • PokerStars Championship Barcelona starts this week Tomati25 wins Sunday Million in dramatic style It was another half-price...more

Half-Price Sunday Million: Tomati25 bests Duraircwb heads-up for $228K (8-13-17)

Two months after drawing a massive field and handing out six-figure prizes to four different players, the Half-Price Sunday Million returned to the lineup this week. More than 15 hours after it began, just two players remained: the late-surging leader, Tomati25, and the short-stacked past Sunday Warm-Up and TCOOP finalist,...more

PokerStars MEGASTACK expands into Spain and Portugal

PokerStars launches its low buy-in tournament series in Valencia, Estoril and Madrid The popular MEGASTACK live poker tournament series aimed at recreational players is heading to the Iberia peninsula, with tournament stops confirmed in Valencia, Estoril and Madrid. The low buy-in poker tournaments have been attracting local players across Europe...more

11 August

Weekend Planner: PCA, Kevin Hart, Podcasts, Barcelona, and more!

It's been a busy week in the world of PokerStars... • The PCA is back! • PokerStars joins Kevin Hart in Hollywood • Poker in the Ears returns • An interview with Sunday Million runner-up Ryan "Diidums" Davies • Introducing Spin & Go Max • Barcelona ahoy! The PCA is...more

Ryan "Diidums" Davies and a perfect $118K Sunday Million dream

Life can be hard sometimes, as Ryan "Diidums" Davies, a 20-year-old from Cardiff, Wales, knows all too well. In the space of about 48 hours last weekend he had to contend with the following: • Convincing himself that, having been awake for 28 hours and playing the Sunday Million for...more

PokerStars to return to Sochi with new Poker Festival

PokerStars is heading back to Sochi, with the announcement of a new Festival to the poker calendar this coming October. Russia's luxury holiday resort will host the weeklong PokerStars Festival Sochi at the Sochi Casino & Resort, which played host to PokerStars Championship Sochi in May this year. Sochi Casino...more

PokerStars London Super Series returns to the Hippodrome

This week we reported the news that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure would be back in January 2018. Not only that but the buy-in would return to its original $10,000. If that's the type of money that makes you wince (you're in good company) it can also seem a world away...more

10 August

Kevin Hart & Kid Poker: Which one is the sidekick?

When you put the most famous man in comedy together with the most famous man in poker...which one is the sidekick? It was Daniel Negreanu's BET debut. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner has been on big productions like Katy Perry's "Waking up in Vegas" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," but he...more

The PCA is back! PokerStars iconic live event returns in January

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicks off 2018 with $10,300 Main Event Technically speaking, you're not supposed to start an article with a quote, but on this occasion, we're happy to make an exception, because it comes from Director of Corporate Communications at PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, and it's something we think you...more

Something you didn't know about... Jeff Gross

The Team PokerStars Pro discusses his passion for soccer, staying in physical shape and his close friendship with former US Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps... Poker is inherently a sedentary playing experience, which is why keeping fit away from the tables is crucial if you want to stay mentally...more

9 August

Kevin Hart bets, Usain Bolt (really) flats

When Kevin Hart plays poker, we've come to expect the unexpected...and ridiculous. Add Daniel Negreanu and a super-flat Usain have a recipe for shenanigans. It was Usain Bolt's time to shine. One of the world's fastest humans had barely moved a muscle all night. Bolt was waiting for his...more

PokerStars takes Spin & Go to the Max

More spinning moments bring greater variety, thrills and added chances to win By now you're familiar with our Spin & Go range, which we launched back in 2014. You might even have played them, and won some of them. We've even featured stories on the Blog of how they've turned...more

Five reasons to play Barcelona (that you might not have considered)

We're fast approaching the next event on the PokerStars Championship schedule, with Barcelona little more than a week away. It's probably the most popular stop on the PokerStars calendar and with good reason. Here we present five of them in a not so subtle format. We went for obvious because...more

8 August

Super Tuesday: Patient Matfrankland triumphs for $70K (8-8-17)

Chances to win a tournament as consistently tough as the Super Tuesday don't come around often, as Mathew "Matfrankland" Frankland knows well. His last chance was in 2013, when he worked a short stack into serviceable position, got in on the turn with the nut flush, and was outdrawn by...more

Kevin Hart: Funnyman, Mission Man, Everyman

America's funniest man now has his own network. We went inside the launch party to see what Kevin Hart is like behind the scenes. "I'm not here to talk about me," Kevin Hart said to a party full of people that had come to see his newest creation, a streaming...more

7 August

Players Advisory Council: Join us in Barcelona

With another exciting World Series of Poker (WSOP) now in rear view, we're aiming our sights across the pond to PokerStars Championship Barcelona where more than €13,000,000 in guarantees await the 385+ players who have already qualified for the Main Event! In the follow-up to my initial blog post, I...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Uday Bansal bests record-breaking Main Event

It's been a thrilling week in Manila and the man smiling the widest now that the record-breaking Main Event is in the books is the new champion, India's Uday Bansal! He bested a field of 594 entries to claim the inaugural title, the illustrious trophy and PHP4,676,000 ($92,793) after a...more

Weekend Review: Grafton wins in Bucharest, but is there a winner in Manila?

Everything that happened in the world of PokerStars this past weekend... Weekend highlights on PokerStars • thx4urm0n3y wins the Sunday Million • Sam Grafton wins the PokerStars Festival main event in Bucharest • The PokerStars Festival plays down to a winner in Manila thx4urm0n3y wins Sunday Million There was a...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Three more fall, heads up set to start

We're almost ready to crown a champion here at PokerStars Festival Manila with a heads up battle between Antii Halme and Uday Bansal about to fire up! Currently it's Bansal out in front with 10,190,000 but Halme still has a great shot with a very respectable 7,600,000 worth of chips...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Down to five as Bansal blazes a trail

We're down to just five players here now in this PokerStars Festival Main Event with Tien Than Nguyen, Hoa Thinh Nguyen, Kenneth Buck and Sam Razavi all exiting since the final table began. It was Tien Than Nguyen who dropped first when he ended up on the wrong side of...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Final table player profiles

Player profiles courtesy of Media Coordinator Sam Cosby Seat 1: Antti Halme, 27, Tampere/Finland - 1,995,000 Antti Halme is a player who plays poker full time. The 27-year-old is mainly a multi table tournament player who plays online. Halme says his biggest poker accomplishment is a 2nd place finish in...more

Sunday Million: thx4urm0n3y makes the Milly great again (8-6-17)

thx4urm0n3y was on familiar ground as this week's Sunday Million drew to a close. The player from Canada had seized the chip lead with 35 players left and didn't really look back until the game was heads-up. By that time a deal had already been struck and based on the...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Falcon in front as final table set

The PokerStars Manila Main Event final table is now set after today's 14 starting runners have been cut down to nine. Incredibly, both Sam Razavi and Mike Takayama have made unofficial back-to-back final tables after finishing second place and fourth place respectively in last year's APPT Manila Main Event. Also...more

6 August

PokerStars Festival Manila: Falcon soars as Razavi and Takayama try back-to-back final tables

The penultimate day has come to a close here in the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event as we prepare to crown a champion tomorrow. The plan today was to play 11 one-hour levels or until we reached the final table but ultimately we came up a little short of the...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Revelling in Chaos

It's all business in the poker room here today as our players have now reached the money, but last night it was a different story when they took a break from the tables to attend the PokerStars Festival Manila Players Party at Chaos Nightclub. Situated just a 30-second walk from...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Squid's in! Sam Grafton wins Main Event for €117,707

Sam Grafton - PSF Bucharest Main Event champion Every year, PokerStars TV commentator Joe Stapleton describes it as the 'year of Romania'. But he's not just cracking wise; for the past two years he has actually been spot on. Whenever PokerStars holds an event in the capital city of Bucharest,...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Action hand sees four reduced to heads-up on final table

WOW. What a hand we've just witnessed here at the final table of the PokerStars Festival Main Event. It saw the deep-stacked table of four reduced down to just two players, with the winner scooping almost 8 million chips and surging into a huge chip lead heads-up. WHAT A HAND...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: The week's winners so far

At the time of publishing, Sam Grafton and Anil Ozdemir are heads up for the Main Event title. They've just made a deal that sees Grafton lock up €110,007 and secures €97,993 for Ozdemir. There's €7,700 plus the trophy and title left to play for. CHIPS / PRIZES As the...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Bubble bursts as Vikram Verma falls

Show me the money! It's been an hour-long sweat on the stone bubble of this PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event but now the 87 remaining players can all breathe easy as they've locked up PHP90,000 ($1,800). The man walking away one shy of a payday was India's Vikram Verma who...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Record-breaking Romanian event now down to four after frantic final table start

Welcome back to Bucharest for the final day of the PokerStars Festival Main Event. This €1,100 tournament smashed all Romanian records in terms of field sizes (736) and prize pools (a massive €706,560!), and in just a few hands the final table of seven is now down to just...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Or Patreanu crowned High Roller champ

After two solid days of play, Or Patreanu walks away €55,500 richer after taking down the €2,200 High Roller Single Re-entry here in Bucharest. The 29-year old Israeli businessman outlasted a field of 101 players to claim the prize and the infamous spadie. But how did he get there? Let's...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Penultimate day pushes onwards

Welcome back to PokerStars Festival Manila where it's time for the penultimate day in the Main Event! 167 have returned for the 2pm restart and cards are now in the air. The plan is to play 11 one-hour levels or until we reach the final table. Those still in contention...more

5 August

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Main Event final table player profiles

Thanks to our Media Coordinator Jan Kores, you can get to know our final table players a little bit better. Here they are, in order of their chip stacks at the beginning of the final day. Anil Ozdemir - 9.35 million Istanbul, Turkey Anil Ozdemir is the youngest player...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Ozdemir leads final seven, with Grafton on his heels

Remember earlier when we told you this Day 3 had been fast and furious so far? Well that mood continued throughout the course of action across eight 60-minute levels, as player after player met their tournament demise. We almost couldn't keep up. The 58 (of 736 total entries) who started...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Grafton among the chip leaders as final 14 take a break

Things are really heating up now in the PokerStars Festival Main Event, particularly for British pro Sam Grafton. The Squid in action The Brit just eliminated the 16th place finisher, Yaniv Avinoam, to take the chip lead. Avinoam three-bet shoved for 513,000 over Grafton's 75,000 open (blinds 15K/30K), and 'The...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Yang the one to chase on Day 1C

It's a record-breaking day here in the Philippines as Day 1C of the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event concludes. Another 285 entries were fired this afternoon which takes our total tally up to 594 - that makes this field the biggest field in an event over PHP30,000 that the country...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Boogie on down in Bucharest

It's Saturday night here in Bucharest, which can only mean one thing... it's time to PARTY. With fast-paced action on the felt all week, we think it's only fair to invite you away from the tables for a night of free drinks, food and entertainment. Tonight (Sat 5th August) we'll...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Frosty decks and a thinning field

The chips are flying here on Day 1C as we've seen huge pots, frosty decks and almost half the field already decimated. As we play out the final three levels this evening let's take a look at some of the sicker hands that transpired. We need to go back to...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: An orbit with Sam 'TheSquid' Grafton

If there's one thing we've learned this week at the PokerStars Festival Bucharest, it's that the Romanian's aren't here to mess around. Based on what we've seen from the side-lines here, play has been fast, aggressive and a certainly a tad unpredictable. Today alone, we lost half the Main Event...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Moneymaker and Papazian felted from High Roller; prize pool is announced

There's barely an empty seat in the house of the poker room here at the JW Marriott Grand Hotel in Bucharest. Not only is the Main Event winding down in one end, but the ever-popular Bucharest Cup is running a very busy Day 1B also. And then there's the €2,200...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Former frontrunners fall in fast and furious fashion

We're only two 60-minute levels into Day 3 yet and we've already lost almost half of the starting field. Day 3 of this Main Event is looking pretty fast and furious so far, with just 34 of the 58 players still standing. It's not just the shortest of short stacks...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Remembering Noli Francisco

While Day 1C of this PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event reaches the halfway mark here in the heart of the Philippines, let's take a moment to honour number one on the country's all-time money list, Manuel 'Noli' Francisco. Sadly Francisco passed away earlier this year at age 75 but his...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Day 3 underway as we play down to final table

The Poker Room here at the JW Marriot is empty. For the first time since the Festival kicked off, just a handful of tables have bums in seats as play gets underway for Day 3 of the PokerStars Festival Main Event. All quiet at the Marriot...but not for long It's...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Third and final Main Event flight underway

Attention please players: This is your last call to get among the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event action! The third and final opening flight is now underway as players take to the felt here for Day 1C. Late registration will be open for the first nine levels of play. Those...more

4 August

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Solyom bags Day 2 lead, Grafton still in the hunt

River cards, eh? Where would we be without them in No Limit Hold'em tournaments? Forever stuck on the turn, that's where. Infinitely taking turns to take a turn for the worse until the tides start to turn. So thank heavens for the river cards. They bring a sense of closure...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Bubble bursts in Main and High Roller kicks off

The day has flown by here in Bucharest. Just a few short hours ago play started with 326 runners, all with hopes of claiming a chunk of the €706,560 prize pool. And then, just like that - 112 remained as we reached the money bubble. You can never really tell...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Falcon flying high on Day 1B

PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event Day 1B is done and dusted. We saw another 177 poker hopefuls fill the Grand Ballroom here at City of Dreams tonight, and adding that to Day 1A's 132 we're currently at a running total of 309. Of today's batch it was 44 who still...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Nietrzebka leads at halfway point; Grafton and Shitrit still alive with bubble looming

We're on the second break of the day here on Day 2 of the Main Event, and just 147 players now remain. Only 111 of them will make the money though, and secure a minimum return of at least €1,770 (you can check the full payout structure here). That...more

Weekend planner: It's Festival (and a funny) weekend!

So, you wanna play a big ol' poker tournament, but you can't really justify flying all the way to the Philippines? Or maybe you heard about that PokerStars Festival in Bucharest, but flights out of Manila are all booked up. Out of luck? No, sir! No ma'am! As it happens,...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Indian contingent out in force

One of the best things about the international poker circuit is seeing cultures collide when players from all around the world get together and battle it out on the felt. We may be here in Manila while India is around 5,000 kilometres away (that's 3,100 miles for those of you...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: The magical MegaStack champ, and more side event action

Take a close look at the photo below. That's Romania's Alexandry Anghel, who on Thursday night here at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bucharest took down the €170 MegaStack event for €15,440. Was it through magic that he won it? And was it through magic that he somehow managed to...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Hand of the day

As you'd imagine, we've seen some pretty sick hands in our time here on the PokerStars Blog. In fact we see them day in day out. We're used to them. We're numb to the bad-beat. I mean, it helps that we don't have to be at the receiving end of...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Prizes announced, with €133,400 up top for the champ

As play kicks off in the JW Marriot for Day 2 of the PokerStars Festival Bucharest, the prizes have finally been announced. Of the 736 that entered one of the three flights that took place over the last few days, 111 will be paid. A min-cash here is worth €1770,...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: After a crazy night (just ask Moneymaker), we're onto Day 2

Buna dimineata, good morning, hello, and welcome back to Bucharest. We trust you slept well? Since we last spoke, a lot has gone down here at the JW Marriott Hotel, so let's recap last night's festivities in the PokerStars Festival Main Event. While we said goodnight around 10pm, a whole...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: High Roller champion Peter Plater satellites to success

The inaugural PokerStars Festival Manila High Roller event has its first champion as Australia's Peter Plater has lifted the trophy and scored himself PHP3,100,000 ($61,520). A man on a hot streak, Plater landed his biggest result in his local casino last week for A$9,000 only to hop a plane to...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Day 1B begins

It's time again for another PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event flight as Day 1B is now underway. The second of three opening flights, today's plan is identical to yesterday with 12 45-minute levels on the cards, which means Day 1B will conclude at around 11:30pm. Players start with 30,000 in...more

3 August

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Fabian bags Day 1B chip lead; Grafton and defending champ still alive

Jam-packed poker rooms. Guarantees smashed. Aces cracked, straight flushes, and multiple pocket rockets vs pocket cowboys confrontations. What we had on our hands today was a busy, bustling Day 1B in Bucharest. We had a total of 401 players take their seat throughout the course of play, and after ten...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: When Daniel came to Bucharest

This year, Chris Moneymaker is the big name here at the PokerStars Festival Bucharest. But it was another Team PokerStars Pro who stole the limelight at this very same stop last summer. Who you ask? Here's a hint. He's Canadian. He's near/at the top of the all-time money list. And...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Guarantee smashed with Day 1C still to come

It's official; the €500,000 guarantee placed on the PokerStars Festival Bucharest has been eclipsed, and we've still got a whole other Day 1 flight to go! We were only three levels into today's play (Day 1B) when the number of entrants confirmed it. Another three levels later, registration came to...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Big stack Zak ahead of the pack

Another day and another Day 1 flight down here at PokerStars Festival Manila. Day 1A flights are notoriously the smallest and with 132 players pulling up seats today it looks like a great sign of things to come this week. Across 12 45-minute levels those starters were chopped down to...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Sam Grafton on his WSOP, Twitter game, online success, and poker as a job

There are certainly some beloved, colourful characters in the poker world, but for many different reasons. Daniel Negreanu? He's larger than life. Phil Ivey? He's an enigma. Charlie Carrel? His fashion sense draws the eye. Phil Hellmuth? Well, we've all seen Phil Hellmuth... Speaking of colourful... You can add Sam...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: A catch-up with Mr Moneymaker

He's the big name here at this year's PokerStars Festival Bucharest, and it's been a busy few days for the Team Pro and former WSOP Main Event World Champ. From endless selfies, to press conferences and even a sit-and-go with some of Romania's most famous glitterati - there has certainly...more

Barcelona: A guide to one of Europe's hippest and hottest poker destinations

Ever since Sweden's Alexander Stevic won the first ever stop on the inaugural season of the European Poker Tour (EPT) for €80,000 back in 2004, Barcelona's appeal as a poker destination has soared. This stunning city on Spain's east coast has consistently been a magnet for players, which is...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: High Roller unofficial final table set

While the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event just kicked off today with Day 1A, the High Roller is hammering home on the other side of the tournament floor. The unofficial final table in that event is now set as just nine players remain, and with only six places paying out,...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Action kicks off for Day 1B

Hello and welcome from a blistering Bucharest as play kicks off for Day 1B of the €500,000 guaranteed PokerStars Festival here in the Romanian capital. It was an exciting day here at the JW Marriot yesterday which saw a field of 177 whittled down to just 66 at close of...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Fidget spinning it up

Before entering a tournament, players will often try to assess their bankrolls, the potential toughness of the field, their expected value and return on their investment. Here in Manila, they need to add another factor to the equation: fidget spinner equity. Every player here at PokerStars Festival Manila will receive...more

2 August

PokerStars Festival Manila: Plenty of action

Welcome back to City of Dreams Manila! We have a huge day in store inside the Grand Ballroom with both the High Roller Day 2 and the Main Event Day 1A spread across the tournament floor. The High Roller began at 1pm and the field swelled from 35 last night...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Locals lead the way on Day 1A, with Kabatnic on top

It's an absolute scorcher here in Bucharest. Not only has the temperature been steadily rising outside, it's also been heating up in the Poker room of the JW Marriott, as play kicked off on Day 1A of the PokerStars Festival Bucharest. It's a hot one out there Back at the...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Or-Paz tops High Roller Day 1

Day 1 of the PokerStars Festival Manila High Roller and the chips of the remaining 18 players are in the bag. Things started slow at 5pm tonight with just six runners in their seats but eight hours later it was a total of 35 entries in the mix. That takes...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Moneymaker's in town

Last year Daniel Negreanu was the talk of the town after turning up to the Eureka 6 stop here in Bucharest. And at this year's PokerStars Festival Bucharest, another big name was rumoured to make an appearance in the "Paris of the East". Shortly into the beginning of the day,...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Meet Alexandru Papazian - Romania's #1 and first bracelet winner

Alexandru Papazian on Day 1A Back in May 2016, at the last ever EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, the PokerStars Blog was covering the €25,000 High Roller. When play got heads up, all the other tournaments in the room had finished. The duel was between two people who -...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Asmolov, Miyakita and Falcon all fall in High Roller

After humble beginnings with just six players to start, the High Roller is now firing on all cylinders as the total entrants has grown to 30. A couple of those are due to a lot of action and some re-entries with five players already busting their first bullet. The first...more

The Funniest Poker Scenes in TV & Film

In the cult book Big Deal, Anthony Holden sums up the game of poker perfectly: "Poker may be a branch of psychological warfare, an art form or indeed a way of life - but it is also merely a game, in which money is simply the means of keeping...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Making the best of Bucharest

Here at PokerStars Festival Bucharest, it ain't all fun and games... I mean... who are we kidding, of course it is! We're here for a jam-packed week of poker action which, as ever, will feature a whole host of tournaments, cash games and side-events throughout the week. But here in...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: Philippine cuisine

The High Roller is kicking on now and we're up to a total field size of 20 runners so far. While they battle it out on the felt, let's take a moment away from the table to check out some of the local cuisine that City of Dreams and Manila...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Klatt, bang, wallop! Bust-outs and slow-rolls from the off

We're only three levels into the Day 1A action but we've already seen our fair share of action and familiar faces. While the players are on their first 15-minute break of the day, allow me to bring you up to speed. Level 1 elimination Let's look at this hand from...more

PokerStars Festival Bucharest: The €500,000 Main Event stage is set

Buna ziua everyone (that's good afternoon, for all you non-Romanians), and welcome to beautiful Bucharest. We're back in town at the JW Marriott Hotel for the PokerStars Festival, and most importantly the Main Event, which comes with an attractive €500,000 guarantee. It was a little over a year ago...more

PokerStars Festival Manila: High Roller fires up

Welcome to the inaugural PokerStars Festival Manila! This 11-day tournament series is already in full swing as we pick up coverage for the High Roller event. We're in the Grand Ballroom at City of Dreams Casino where those joining the action will post up the PHP215,000 (~$4,300) entry fee and...more

1 August

Super Tuesday: Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert cruises to $57K victory (8-1-17)

Past November Niner and 2017 SCOOP-High NLHE champ Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert is well-acquainted with the final table of the Super Tuesday, having appeared at it no less than three times in the past, most recently in a fourth-place finish this past March. Tonight he surpassed all his previous finishes, bringing...more