Posts Tagged ‘2012 World Series of Poker’

Merson Wins 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event

by | Published: Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Greg Merson has survived several bad beats and over eleven hours of three-handed play to win the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event.

The American pro is the first player to win a preliminary bracelet and the Main Event since Chris Ferguson in 2000 and unseats Phil Hellmuth to win the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Award.

Merson proved his mental toughness by coming back from one of the worst beats in the entire tournament after it appeared like he had the tournament as good as won.

The twenty-four-year-old called an all-in bet from Jesse Sylvia and had Sylvia’s Ace-King dominated by his pocket kings.

Sylvia needed an Ace to keep his World Series dream alive but improved his chances by flopping a wheel draw.

He received no help on the turn but couldn’t believe his luck when he hit a four on the river to make his straight.

It was another several hours before the final three finally became a final two.

Young gun Jake Balsiger finally ran out of luck when his shove with Queen-Ten was called by Merson with King-Queen.

Three sixes on the flop gave Balsiger a chance at a chop but, for once, the best hand held up.

After the eleven hour three-handed battle the heads-up duel between Sylvia and Merson was a bit anti-climactic.

Merson grinded down Sylvia and really applied the pressure by moving all-in after a Sylvia three-bet.

Sylvia called but was disappointed to see his Queen-Jack was behind Merson’s King-Five.

Sylvia received no help on the board and Merson finally secured the bracelet, title of World Champion and $8,531,853 first place prizemoney.

Merson admitted in a post-tournament interview that he was filled with relief when the final card hit and he had finally wrapped up the title.

“I felt a lot of relief. I knew going into the heads-up match that I was going to try and apply as much pressure as possible from the beginning and if I got a two to one chip lead I was going to take a shot at winning the tournament,” Merson said.

It was a magnificent comeback for Merson who under a year ago was battling a serious drug addiction.

“I knew I was going to turn everything around and be fine but I couldn’t imagine having a ridiculous year like this,” he said.

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2012 World Series of Poker Main Event – Final Table

by | Published: Monday, October 29th, 2012

We are now only two sleeps away from the highly anticipated 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table. During the last few months we have given you a chance to get to know the various members of the October 9 but today we will be analyzing their preparation for the life-changing event and accessing their chances of taking home the coveted bracelet and the $8,527,982 first place prize.

Jesse Sylvia (Chip Leader with 43,875,000)

Jesse Sylvia has the pressure of being the chip leader heading into the final table and is aiming to become just the third player since 2005 to convert the chip lead going into the final table into a Main Event victory.

Sylvia has spent the downtime before the final table relaxing with family and friends as well as playing a few tournaments and watching a lot of videos to prepare for the event.

As the chip-leader Sylvia should make a pretty deep run in the final table but will be good enough to convert this into a win? Sylvia has limited big event final table experience so we expect him to fall just short of claiming his first ever major tournament victory.

Our Prediction: 3rd

Andras Koroknai (2nd in chips with 29,375,000)

The only non-American at the final table will have all of Europe behind him as he aims to become the first Hungarian to win the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Koroknai has kept a low profile during the break so not much is known about what he has done to prepare for the final table.

Koroknai is an experienced player on the live tournament scene and proved that he has the ability to win a big tournament by claiming the 2010 World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic. The Hungarian is one of the leading contenders to claim the World Championship.

Our Prediction: 2nd

Greg Merson

Greg Merson has had a stellar 2012 and will win the World Series of Poker Player of the year award if he is successful this week.

Merson has been committed to continuing his normal routine during the break, which mostly includes cash games, but did play several events at the World Series of Poker Europe.

Merson is the in-form player heading into the final table having already won a bracelet, in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em six-handed event, at this year’s World Series. However, because of this we believe that the other players at the final table will have analyzed Merson’s game extensively and he will be the main target at the table.

Our Prediction:  4th

Russell Thomas (4th in chips with 24,800,000)

Russell Thomas is only a part-time poker player but is still incredibly well known on the professional tour after cashing in the World Series on three occasions in the last few years.

Thomas has easily had the best preparation for the final table. He hired World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Jason Somerville as a coach who put him through a three-month training program that included several simulations of the final table.

Thomas is an extremely talented player who has really taken advantage of the break between the tournament proper and the final table. He is our pick to go all the way and win the 2012 World Series of Poker.

Our Prediction: 1st

Steven Gee (5th in chips with 16,860,000)

Steven Gee heads into the final table with easily the most poker experience having started playing seriously in the 1970s.

Gee has been watching the ESPN coverage of the final table and studying the play of each October 9 opponents extremely closely.

Gee’s biggest asset is his World Series Of Poker final table experience having won a bracelet, in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, at the 2010 World Series of Poker. If he can get a bit of luck Gee is definitely a chance to win a second bracelet.

Our Prediction: 6th

Michael Esposito (6th in chips with 16,260,000)

Michael Esposito has cashed in the World Series of Poker on three occasions but this will easily be his biggest cash of all.

The forty-four-year-old admitted that he hasn’t done much preparation and will be relying on his poker experience during the final table.

Esposito appears happy to have made it this far and it’s tough to see him making a deep run.

Our Prediction: 8th

Robert Salaburu (7th in chips with 15,155,000)

Robert Salaburu has been a professional poker player for all of his adult life but has more experience in cash games than live poker tournaments.

Salaburu has spent the break preparing for the final table by playing as many live poker tournaments as possible but also enjoyed a relaxing European vacation.

Salaburu is a dark horse who probably has the best chance of any of the short stacks to make a deep run in the tournament. If he can double up early all other players will need to watch out.

Our Prediction: 5th

Jacob Balsiger (8th in chips with 13,115,000)

The twenty-one-year-old is aiming to become the youngest World Series of Poker Main Event winner in history.

Balsiger has hired Mike McDonald as his coach and the pair have been working closely in the last month.

We expect Balsiger to come out firing and that could get him into some early trouble.

Our Prediction: 9th

Jeremy Ausmus (9th in chips with 9,805,000)

Jeremy Ausmus heads into the final table with the short stack and will need a bit of luck if he is going to become World Champion.

The family-man has watched his opposition during the World Series telecast but has stuck to his regular routine.

Ausmus is a patient enough player to realize that he still has enough chips to work with. We don’t think he will win but he probably won’t be the first player out either.

Our Prediction: 7th

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Trickett Dominates 2012 British Poker Awards

by | Published: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Sam Trickett has dominated the 2012 British Poker Awards that were held on board the HMS President at London’s Embankment last night.

Big One For One Drop runner-up Trickett swept the major awards, winning the awards for Best Cash Player, Best Tournament Player and Poker Player of the Year.

The awards cap off a stellar year for the former plumber, who has won $12,742,104 in the past calendar year.

Most of those winnings came from Trickett’s incredible second place finish in the World Series of Poker high-stakes Big One For One Drop event.

Trickett lost the heads-up battle to Antonio Esfandiari but the second place prize was enough for him to jump to third place in the All Time Poker Tournament Money list.

The English professional poker player also won the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event and cashed in the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller.

Pokerstars Pokerstars sponsored professional Vanessa Selbst won the award for best international player.

The Yale graduate has also had an incredible year, winning the Los Angeles Poker Classic $5,100 No Limit Hold’em Main Event as well as her second World Series of Poker bracelet in the $2,500 10 Game event.

The victory made her just the second woman (after Jennifer Harman) to win multiple World Series of Poker bracelets in open events.

Fellow Team Pokerstars Pokerstars Pro Liv Boeree won the award for Poker Personality of the Year after another successful year both on and off the poker table.

Full 2012 British Poker Awards results:

Player of the Year: Sam Trickett

Best International Player: Vanessa Selbst

Best Card Room: Dusk Til Dawn

Best Tournament Director: Toby Stone

Best Cash Player: Sam Trickett

Best Tournament Player: Sam Trickett

Best Online Player: Chris Moorman

Poker Personality of the Year: Liv Boeree

Best Poker Forum: The Hendon Mob

Best UK Tournament: UKIPT Nottingham

Best Card Room Restaurant: The Vic

Best Card Room Bar: Palm Beach

Best Poker Blogger/ Social Media: Neil Channing

Best Poker League: Champions Poker League

Biggest Contribution to Growing and Promoting Poker: Kirsty Thompson

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October 9 Spotlight: Andras Koroknai

by | Published: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Andras Koroknai will be the only non-American at the final table for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event.

The Hungarian will fly the flag for all European poker players and is sure to receive loud and boisterous support from his fellow Hungarians, who supported him all the way through the main event.

“It was an amazing experience and feeling. I was really thankful that they were there. Hungarians are the best fans and supporters,” Koroknai said.

Koroknai gave his supporters a great deal to cheer about, eliminating both the 11th and 10th place finishers in the tournament.

However, he was an unpopular figure for some as he crushed the hopes of Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann, who were both aiming to become the first female poker players to make the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

But Koroknai had no sympathy for either player.

“When I sit down at the table, I don’t care if it’s a male or female player, everybody is equal and everybody wants to win. Everybody is each other’s opponents. There is no friendship at the poker table,” the Hungarian said.

Koroknai considers himself extremely lucky, not just to be a member of the October 9, but to be alive at all.

He was badly injured in a moped action in Greece and only avoided falling down a cliff thanks to a well-placed street sign.

But it was this accident that led Koroknai to a professional poker career.

“I was injured and it affected my soul and body and I was really depressed with life and needed to find something else to do,” Koroknai said.

“For the first part of my first year playing poker, I did not win any tournaments, and after that I started to win smaller tournaments.”

Koroknai is planning to spend his time before the final table playing poker throughout Europe and working on his English.

He currently has the second highest chip stack, behind Jesse Sylvia, and is priced at $5.25 to win the event.

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October 9 Spotlight: Steve Gee

by | Published: Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

When the final table of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event begins on the 28th of October no player at the table will have more poker experience than Steve Gee.

The Chinese born Gee has been playing Poker longer than most of his competition at the final table has been alive.

“I was a professional poker player in the 1970’s, back when I was in my 20’s playing draw lowball. At 22, I was playing the biggest games around. At that time, I was the only young guy at the table.  Poker was not popular back in those days like it is today.  Being a poker player was a lot like being a pool hustler,” Gee said.

Because of his experience as a professional poker player in two completely different eras Gee is well positioned to compare the poker world of the 1970s to the poker world of today.

“I was the only 20-something year-old there. There were some guys in their 30’s, some in their 40’s. Everybody else was in their 50’s.  But the world’s changed now.  Look at a poker room in a casino today and the whole lineup is in their 20’s,” Gee said.

In contrast to the early days of his poker career Gee is the oldest player in the October 9 but doesn’t believe his age will affect his chances of becoming World Poker Champion.

“I don’t think there’s any advantage or disadvantage, I am an older guy, but I’m just as quick as the young guns,” Gee said.

Gee has already tasted success at the World Series of Poker, winning a gold bracelet in the $ 1,000 No Limit Hold’em at the 2010 event.

However, Gee believes that he has topped that achievement with his performance in this year’s main event.

“In 2010, that was the ultimate for me. That was the greatest summer of my life and my biggest poker accomplishment and I thought that nothing could ever surpass that. But this summer has been better than that. You can’t compare it. The Main Event is the greatest tournament out there. It’s the only tournament there is that can literally change your life,” Gee said.

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