Archive for May, 2013
by Bridget Wright | Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2013
It feels as though we are only just crowned Greg Merson as the 2012 World Series of Poker World Champion but the 2013 World Series of Poker is already here. With sixty-two WSOP bracelets being given away over the one and a half months of the event there is a great deal of poker action taking place every single day. Today, we analyse all the tournaments taking place in the first week of the event.
Event Number 1 $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em
The Casino Employees Championship is one of the few closed tournaments that will take place during the 2013 World Series of Poker. The tournament has been held since 2000 and rewards casino dealers and employees, who work tirelessly over the course of the event, with the opportunity to play for a WSOP bracelet with a buy-in of only $500. Although the Casino Employees Championship generally draws very little attention it is still hotly contested by the players who take part.
Event Number 2 $5000 No-Limit Hold’em (Eight Handed)
The $5000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Handed event is the first open event of the 2013 World Series of Poker and is sure to attract a stacked field with a number of leading players looking to get their World Series started off on the right foot. Mike Sexton, Matt Salsberg, Chino Rheem, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Schulman and Barry Greenstein have all confirmed that they will be taking part in the event. This tournament is a new addition to the WSOP schedule and looks to have achieved its aim of getting the leading players involved in the action early.
Event Number 3 $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Re-entry
This will be the only re-entry event in the 2013 World Series of Poker with players who bust in the opening flight eligible to rejoin the tournament when the second flight begins. The WSOP has cut down on re-entry tournaments in recent years and is using this event to analyse the popularity of the controversial format.
Event Number 4 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed
This is the first of six Six Handed tournaments that will take place during the 2013 World Series of Poker. This tournament is a good opportunity for amateur players to get involved as the buy-in is low and it isn’t expected to draw many of the leading professionals. The 2012 edition of this tournament was won by three time WSOP winner Matt Matros.
Event Number 5 $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or Better
The first non-hold’em event of the 2013 WSOP will take place on Friday. This is the first opportunity for Omaha and Stud specialists to get involved in the action and it is sure to draw a strong field. This tournament was won by Ukrainian youngster Oleskii Kovalcuk who claimed his second WSOP bracelet in as many years.
Event Number 6 $1,500 Millionaire Maker No Limit Hold’em
The Millionaire Maker was one of the events that stuck out when the official 2013 World Series of Poker schedule was released. This tournament offers a $1 million-guaranteed first-place prize and is expected to draw one of the biggest fields outside the Main Event. Tournament organizers are clearly hoping that the winner will be a low-level grinded or amateur player but a number of top pros are sure to have a crack at this event.
Event Number 7 $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
This year the World Series of Poker will feature a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament every single weekend. These tournaments have been added to support amateur players who may only have the opportunity to head to Las Vegas for a single weekend but want to live out their dream of playing for a WSOP bracelet. Don’t expect many top players to take part in these tournaments but there are sure to be a number of life-changing and inspiration stories.
Event Number 8 $2500 Eight-Game Mix (3 day event) NLH; LH; 7-Card Razz; 7-Card St; 7-Card St Hi-Lo; PLO; Omaha Hi-Lo; 2-7 TD Lowball
Mixed tournaments are become an increasingly popular feature on the tournament calendar and the WSOP has included five such events on the 2013 schedule. This is another event set to draw a strong field with WSOP Player of the Year leader Daniel Negreanu signaling his intentions to take part. The 2012 edition of this tournament was won by the consistent David Baker who claimed his first WSOP bracelet after twenty-five finishes in the money.
We will keep you to date with all the news and action from the 2013 World Series of Poker here at Poker.Com.
by Bridget Wright | Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Jonathan Hilton defeated a strong field to win the 2013 World Series of Poker National Championship and claim the first place prize of $355,599 as well as a World Series of Poker bracelet at Harrah’s New Orleans on Monday.
The WSOP National Championship drew a strong field of 127 players with WSOP Circuit Main Event winners, WSOP Circuit Casino Champions, WSOP Circuit qualifiers and 2012 WSOP Player of the Year Top 100 place getters making up the field in the invitation only event.
Hilton qualified for the National Championship after a string of impressive performances on the circuit this season that included eight cashes; five final table appearances and a gold ring victory at the Council Bluffs event.
While the cash prize wasn’t the biggest of Hilton’s poker career it was quiet clear he considered this his biggest win yet.
“This means a lot more to me now because I got second in a bracelet event last year,” Hilton said.
“It was right there in front of me and I really thought I was going to win, but didn’t.
“I think now it feels better than had I won it the first time, because I’ve been thinking about this all year.”
There is a great level of camaraderie between the players on the World Series of Poker Circuit and Hilton said he was delighted to win the event for the ‘grinders’ of the tour.
“While I was playing this event I started getting a lot of love on Twitter from people who really wanted a grinder to win it,” Hilton said.
“We don’t get a lot of credit, like it’s second level poker, like we’re grinding and putting in more time.
“I don’t think many of the players get credit for how good they are.”
The conclusion of the WSOP National Champion means the Circuit tour is in the books for another year and it’s time for the traditional World Series of Poker to begin.
You can stay up to date with all the latest World Series of Poker news and updates here at Poker.com.
by Bridget Wright | Published: Monday, May 27th, 2013
Chino Rheem capitalized on his final table chip lead to win the 2013 World Poker Tour World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Rheem went into the final table with a big chip lead, which he never relinquished as he stormed to his second World Poker Tour Title.
However, he was made to work for it by the resurgent Erick Lindgren, requiring three hours to put the two-time WPT champion away in heads-up despite starting with a three to one chip advantage.
The victory was Rheem’s fourth tournament payday of more than $1 million but he said this win meant the most to him.
“It is special because this is the WPT World Championship and its full of stacked players and every table that you look at always has three or four top pros that you recognise,” Rheem said.
Rheem has been dragged into a number of controversies in recent years but he is hopeful this victory will let him concentrate on his poker and leave his issues in the past.
“Hopefully I can have a better mindset and outlook on life,” Rheem said.
“The World Series is right around the corner and this gives me my swagger back and a big confidence boost going into the World Series this summer, so I’m really just going to try and crush.
“I’m definitely not going to try and be as careless or reckless as I have been in the past and I’m going to try to take my time when I’m thinking and not be so impulsive when making decisions.”
Lindgren has been through a number of controversies of his own in the last eighteen months and Rheem wanted to send a message to members of the poker community who have been highly critical of Lindgren.
“You can read and hear a lot of things but don’t judge unless you really understand or you know,” Rheem said.
“Erick is a great guy and a great person; he has had some ups and downs in his life but who hasn’t, who hasn’t made mistakes?
“At least he can be a man and come out and be clean about it and admit it.
“He is just trying to make better with his life doing what he is very good at doing.”
Rheem wasn’t the only player to seal a big win on the weekend with Hollywood Producer Matt Salsberg securing the WPT Player of the Year Award from Paul Volpe and Paul Klann.
The World Poker Tour may be over for another year but it’s almost time to get ready for the 2013 World Series of Poker!
by Bridget Wright | Published: Friday, May 24th, 2013
It took only two hours of play on day five of the 2013 World Poker Tour World Championship for the televised final table to be set.
The in-form Daniel Negreanu was the short-stack for the majority of the last two days of the tournament but fell narrowly short of qualifying for the televised final table when he was eliminated by close friend Erick Lindgren.
Negreanu was clearly disappointed but was still able to take home his third six figure cash of the year after winning the WSOP APAC Main Event and finishing fourth in the European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event.
All eyes will be on Lindgren when the televised final table kicks off later tonight.
Not only is the thirty-six-year-old attempting to join Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen as the only players to have won three World Poker Tour titles but the first place prize of $1,150,297 is sure to help pay off some of the gambling debts that saw Lindgren end up in a rehab clinic for gambling addiction at the end of last year.
Lindgren (3,355,000) is currently sitting in second place behind chip leader Chino Rheem who holds 5,495,000 in chips.
Rheem has a wealth of final table experience in the world’s biggest tournaments after finishing seventh in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event and winning the $20,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em event in the Epic Poker League.
Lindgren isn’t the only former World Poker Tour champion at the table with Jonathan Roy holding 1,900,000 in chips.
Roy won the World Poker Tour Montreal event at the end of 2012 and won the € 2,000 No Limit Hold’em 8 Max Turbo Bounty at the 2012 European Poker Tour Grand Final.
This is Roy’s second major final table of the year after he finished fourth in the 2013 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
Rounding out the final table are David Peters (1,085,000), Brandon Steven (1,210,000) and Matt Hyman (1,560,000).
All three are experienced tournament poker players who have all cashed for large amounts at the World Series of Poker, making this one of the toughest final table fields in the history of the World Poker Tour.
You can stay up to date with all the action from the final table here at Poker.com.
by Bridget Wright | Published: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Amir Babakhani finished day three of the World Poker Tour World Championship as chip leader and is on track to become only the second player in history to win back-to-back WPT titles.
Babakhani has 1,220,000 in chips followed by Brandon Steven (1,091,000), Matt Hyman (1,042,000), Hyon Kim (891,000) and A.P. Phahurat (878,000).
If Babakhani is able to convert his chip lead into victory he will join Marvin Rettenmaier as the only player to win two World Poker Tour tournaments in a row after his breakthrough victory in the WPT Canadian Spring Championship earlier this month.
It will be a tricky assignment for Babakhani as there are still a number of leading players left in the hunt for the WPT World Championship.
Daniel Negreanu is currently in the best form of his life and recovered from a disappointing day two to finish day three in the top twenty.
The Canadian currently holds 444,000 and still has a great deal of work to do but with a World Series of Poker Bracelet and a top four finish in the European Poker Tour Grand Final it would take a brave man to bet against him.
One of the big stories of the tournament has been the run of Erick Lindgren who has only just re-joined the tournament poker circuit after a stint in rehab to treat his gambling addicition.
Lindgren dominated the lead-up events to the Main Event, winning the $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em event for $ 39,722 and finishing third in the $ 1,000 No Limit Hold’em.
Lindgren is currently sitting just outside the top ten but has an excellent opportunity to win his third World Poker Tour Title and announce his return as a serious tournament contender.
Other big name players still in the hunt include Jason Mercier and Dan Shak while Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari,Ben Lamb , Mike Linster and Matt Salsberg were all eliminated.
Day four of the World Poker Tour World Championship is already underway and you can stay up to date with all the action here at Poker.Com.
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