Posts Tagged ‘Chris Moneymaker’

$500,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool at Hollywood Poker Open

by | Published: Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The Hollywood Poker Open Championship Event kicks off at the M Resort in Las Vegas on June 27, which is less than one week away.

Season 2The tournament, which features a $2,500 buy-in with a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool, runs from the 27th until the 29th. You can expect to see many Vegas-regular poker pros at the event, including HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker, just like last year.

The second season of the championship has grown from last year, with even more seat winners set to participate thanks to the addition of six new regional stops and increased local promotions at Penn National Gaming properties over the past eight months.

Even more seats are due to be handed out this week. The M Resort is set to host eight no-limit hold’em satellites that will award the winners a seat into the $2,500 Main Event. Each qualifier has a buy-in of $235 and will guarantee at least one Main Event seat. The satellites will run from June 25 – 27, with times ranging from 10 AM – 10 PM. Click here to read the structure of the eight Mega/Turbo satellites.

One of the highlights of the three day Hollywood Poker Open tournament is the $1,800 pot-limit Omaha event, which will begin at 2 PM local time on Saturday, June 28.

“We had strong momentum following a successful Season 1 of the Hollywood Poker Open last year, and that has continued with each regional event this year,” said Gaye Gullo, Vice President of Marketing for Penn National Gaming. “Our players value the numerous opportunities to get in on the action for the Hollywood Poker Open. Offering a Las Vegas Championship is icing on the cake for what’s grown to be a well-respected tournament series, and we’re proud of that.”

Last year, Ana Marquez outlasted a field of 631 to take out the top prize of $320,189 in the Championship Event, defeating Ryan Tepen heads-up for the title. She was joined in the Main Event final table by Kory Kilpatrick, who came 3rd with $129,641, Ramzi Jelassi, 4th with $90,080, Sam Stein, 5th with $65,461, and Max Greenwood, 6th with $50,803.

Who will take out the top prize this year? Stay tuned to find out!

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Joey Couden Overcomes Chip Deficit to Win Columbus Main Event

by | Published: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Joey Couden came back from a 7-1 chip disadvantage during heads-up play in the 2014 Hollywood Poker Open Columbus Regional Main Event to take out a win. But the poker player never panicked, “You can’t ever let losing enter your mind.”

“It’s a poison,” he continued. “I was born to win this tournament. I’ve been playing in the Columbus area since I was 15,” the Columbus native added.

Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Joey Couden $60,827
2 John Michalak $36,496
3 Christopher Collins $24,330
4 Todd Funderburg $17,944
5 Jimmie Adams $13,483
6 Scott Dehm $11,151
7 Patrick Grace III $9,124
8 Danny Clements $7,096
9 Stephan Birtcher $5,576


After collecting over $60,000 from the win, Couden’s career live tournament earnings has moved above the half-million dollar mark. “I’ll be playing some at the World Series,” he said of his immediate plans for the money.

2014 Hollywood Poker Open

image courtesy of

Couden outlasted a record-setting HPO field of 126 players, who created a total prize pool of $202,754, to take out the top spot. The 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, Chris Moneymaker, was one of those players, but was eliminated early on in Day 1. Moneymaker’s hopes of winning his second HPO Regional title of the year were cut short.

At the end of play on Day 1, there were 29 players who would make the cut and return to try and make the money on Day 2. Only 13 would get a cut of the prize pool, so there was plenty of work left for those still in the field.

Couden started his run to the final two when he hit runner-runner nut flush to take down a big pot.

Couden eliminated Christopher Collins in third place ($24,330) with a two pair, guaranteeing himself second or first place.  Heads-up play started with him holding a slight chip advantage over Michalak, but that didn’t last long as Michalak soon took control of the match.

After nearly three hours in, things began to change in Couden’s favor when he doubled with an Ace of Clubs and 10 of Clubs against Michalak’s Ace of Hearts and 6 of Spades. Couden remained on top, eventually eliminating Michalak in second place for $36,496.

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Negreanu Pulls out Of NBC Heads-Up Championship

by | Published: Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Daniel Negreanu has withdrawn from the NBC National Heads-Up Championship that will be held from January 24th to January 26th.

The NBC National Heads-Up Championship is a made-for-tv event that features sixty-four of the best or most well-known poker players from around the world.

Negreanu was set to compete in the event for the eighth time but cited a prior commitment as his reason not to compete.

“First off I like to stay how much I love the event and how great that I think it is for poker and how important it is for this event to be back on the schedule in light of what has happened in the United States,” Negreanu said.

“The simple answer that I am not playing is a prior commitment.

“I promised some friends who need me and my support that I would be there this weekend.

“I’ve looked back in my life and the amount of times that I have made a poker tournament a priority over my friends and my family… I don’t know if I could forgive myself for skipping out on my friends anymore.”

Although the absence of the popular Negreanu leads a hole in the tournament it is still filled with some of the best and most exciting poker players in the world.

Some of the big names competing in the tournament are:

Jean-Robert Bellande: The self-proclaimed bad boy of poker and contestant on the popular TV show Survivor is not the most talented player in the field but may be the most entertaining.

Doyle Brunson: The NBC National Heads-Up Championship is one of the few tournaments that haven’t been won by the Godfather of Poker.

Antonio Esfandiari: The Big One For One Drop winner reached the semifinals in the inaugural competition but has struggled in recent years.

Phil Hellmuth: The Poker Brat had a stellar 2012 and is looking to become the first person to win this tournament on multiple occasions.

Phil Ivey: Ivey sets high levels for himself and would be disappointed at his previous lackluster efforts in this event.

Greg Merson: The 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event winner is looking to add yet another accolade to his growing poker resume.

Chris Moneymaker: The man credited with igniting the poker boom has an excellent record in this event finishing runner-up in 2011.

Erik Seidel: The 2011 winner joins Hellmuth in the quest to win a second NBC National Heads-Up Championship.

Dan Smith: The 2012 GPI Poker Player of the Year is looking to maintain his number 1 GPI ranking.

The draw for the event is taking place tonight and we will post the draw here at as soon as it is available.


Sexton Throws Support Behind World Poker Tour Structure

by | Published: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Professional Poker Player Mike Sexton has thrown his support behind the structure of the World Poker Tour after the running of the World Poker Tour Montreal event was criticized by Allen Kessler.

Kessler was critical of the structure of the tournament arguing that the levels during the tournament were too short meaning that the second half of the tournament was decided by All-In bets that don’t favor the more skilled player.

Kessler believes that longer tournament with wider structures add positive expected value (EV) for professional poker players.

“If you don’t extend the level length as the event progresses, stacks become too short at the end, resulting in a series of all ins before it finally corrects itself,” Kessler said on Facebook.

Sexton, who is considered a leading poker ambassador, disagrees with Kessler and believes longer tournament aren’t good for the game.

“As for wider structures and longer live events, I’m against them because I don’t think they’re good for the game nor for the players who think they’re good for them,” Sexton said in a blog on Party Poker.

“Longer events make it less likely that businessmen (amateurs that add value) will play a tournament as recreational players can’t take a week off their job or away from their families to play poker tournaments.

“Second, if a recreational player wins a big-time event, it helps the growth of the game.

Sexton uses Chris Moneymaker, whose victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event is said to have been one of the main reasons for the Poker boom, as an example of an amateur player winning a tournament having a positive effect on the entire poker community.

“Does anyone think that a top pro – and fill in any name you want – winning a big-time tourney would benefit the game (meaning bring more players into poker) more than a newbie to poker who won a satellite to get in, or a prominent businessman or celebrity, or especially, an attractive young lady just getting started in poker,” Sexton said.

Sexton said that four days is the perfect length for World Poker Tour events as it gives recreational players the best possible opportunity to play in events without putting their jobs at risk.

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Duhamel Robbery Case Hits Court

by | Published: Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

The ex-girlfriend of 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel is expected to plead guilty to the home invasion and violent robbery of the poker professional.

Late last year Duhamel’s home was invaded by two intruders who threatened and beat him before demanding access to Duhamel’s safe.

The thief’s took $115,000 in cash and jewelry worth about $50,000 including Duhamel’s World Series of Poker Championship bracelet.

Duhamel was forced to stay in hospital overnight with minor injuries.

It was later revealed that the ring-leader of the attack was a woman Duhamel dated for a short period named Bianca Rojas-Latraverse.

The twenty-one year old is charged with conspiracy, breaking and entering, aggravated assault, forcible confinement and armed robbery.

Rojas-Latraverse’s attorney announced yesterday that her client had decided to switch her plea to a guilty one as she had “a change of heart” and wanted to restart her life with a “clean slate”.

Duhamel did not comment yesterday.

Duhamel became the first Canadian poker player to win the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2010.

He proved that the victory wasn’t a fluke by winning the High Roller Event at the 2011 European Poker Tour and finished fourth in the 2011 NBC National Heads-Up Championship, losing to fellow World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker in the final.

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