Posts Tagged ‘Russell Thomas’

Team Europe Wins Caesars Cup

by | Published: Monday, April 15th, 2013

Team Europe, led by Sam Trickett, has defeated Team Asia-Pacific and Team Americas to win the Caesars Cup at the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

Team Europe defeated Team Asia-Pacific two legs to one to qualify for the final before defeating the reigning champions Team Americas to win their second Caesars Cup title.

Team Americas were heavy favorites heading into the final but went down a leg early when the star studded team of Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari lost to Trickett and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche.

The equally impressive team of Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth were able to tie the series up when they defeated Phillip Gruissem and Marvin Rettenmaier to take it to a decider.

The heads-up battle between Sam Holden and 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Greg Merson was extremely tight but Holden won a coin-flip hand that put him in the position to win the leg and the Caesars Cup for Team Europe.

Team Europe has now won two of the three editions of the popular team event, adding to the inaugural title that they won during the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe.

Gruissem had a stellar day on Sunday adding a victory in the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific $50,000 Re-Entry High Roller to the Caesars Cup crown.

Although the event wasn’t for a World Series of Poker bracelet Gruissem was still happy to score the first place prize of $825,000.

There is only one event left to be decided in the 2013 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific – the $10,000 Main Event.

Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu is the chip leader heading into the final table but he faces stiff competition from a host of local talent and Russell Thomas who has incredibly made his second World Series of Poker Main Event final table in less than a year.

You can stay up to date with all the action from the final table here at

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2013 Aussie Millions Kicks Off With Celebrity Tournament

by | Published: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The 2013 Aussie Millions has kicked off with the annual staging of the Joe Hachem and Shane Warne Celebrity Charity Poker tournament.

The tournament is now in its sixth year and brings together celebrities, professional poker players and amateurs to raise money for the Shane Warne Foundation – the charity founded by Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne.

2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe Hachem said he and Warne had bonded over their love of their families and want to bring happiness to children that aren’t as fortunate as their own.

“The Shane Warne Foundation helps sick and underprivileged kids in Australia and aboard,” Hachem said.

“You know how passionate I am about my family so it is a perfect match with Shane and I – he loves his kids so much and we are so lucky to have healthy kids that live a privileged life.

“If we can do anything to help some other kids have a better life that is great. “

The star-studded celebrity line-up included Liz Hurley, Australian comedians Glenn Robbins and Andy Lee, actor Gary Sweet as well as legendary Australian boxer Jeff Fenech.

Fenech, who is a previous winner of the tournament, said that he loves playing in the event and paid tribute to the hard work done by Warne.

“It is always great to be involved with the Shane Warne Foundation – He does a lot of work, people don’t realize what a generous and hardworking guy that Shane is,” Fenech said.

The Poker world was well represented in the tournament with Annette Obrestad, Robert Williamson III and Tony Hachem all taking part as well as 2012 October Niners Jake Balsiger, Jesse Sylvia and Russell Thomas who all played at the same table once again.

Joining Sylvia at the table was his girlfriend who has Sylvia worried about how fast she is improving.

“I’ve been teaching her how to play and she is getting better than I am,” Sylvia said.

“It’s really scary every time we play together she crushes me.”

Hachem proved his dedication to the tournament and the Shane Warne Foundation by blinding off his chips in the latter stages of $1,100 opening event of the Aussie Millions in order to host the event with Warne.

The tournament was won by Mike Turnly who won a seat in the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event as well as the 2013 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event.

The Aussie Millions continues this week and you can find all the latest coverage here at


Triple Threat Battle for 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event

by | Published: Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

There are only three players left in the running for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event World Championship after the first day of the final table was completed at the Penn and Teller Theatre yesterday.

Either chip leader Jesse Sylvia, the in-form Greg Merson or young gun Jake Balsiger will be crowned Poker World Champion tomorrow.

Merson, who will win the 2012 World Series of Poker player of the year award if he can win the gold bracelet, is the current chip leader with 88.35 million followed by Sylvia with 62.75 million and Balsiger with 46.75 million.

The final three were all responsible for eliminations yesterday.

World Series of Poker bracelet winner Steven Gee was the first player to go, holding pocket eights, when he called an all-in bet from Russell Thomas who showed down a pair of Jacks.

Sylvia and Merson then got in on the action eliminating Robert Salaburu and Michael Esposito in quick succession.

Merson took the chip lead when his Ace-King completely crushed the Ace-Queen of Andras Koroknai who was eliminated in sixth position, ending his hopes of becoming the first Hungarian World Series of Poker Main Event winner.

Jeremy Ausmus had been very quiet throughout the final table and was finally eliminated by Sylvia in fifth place but the family-man was clearly delighted to have taken home $2,155,313.

Balsiger had skillfully maneuvered his short stack into fourth position but he wasn’t planning on stop there.

The twenty-one year-old moved all-in with Ace-King and was surprisingly called by Russell Thomas who was dominated with Ace-Nine.

The board was no help to Thomas and the semi-professional poker player was eliminated in fourth position, taking home $2,851,537.

All three players have the chance to make history when the final table resumes.

Sylvia is aiming to become the first player to convert the chip lead into a Main Event victory since Jonathan Duhamel, Merson can become the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year and complete an incredible 2012 while Balsiger can become the youngest World Champion in World Series of Poker history.

We will keep you posted with all the latest news here at


October 9 Spotlight: Russell Thomas

by | Published: Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Despite only being a part-time poker player Russell Thomas is definitely on the radar of his October 9 opposition.

The twenty-four-year-old is incredibly well known in poker circles and enhanced his reputation further with his dominate performance in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event thus far.

Thomas was the chip-leader heading into the final twenty of the tournament and knocked out a host of top players on his way to the final table.

This is very impressive for a man who spends his day working on ObamaCare.

“I work on healthcare reform-type work for Aetna,” Thomas said.

“There are some regulations mandating insurance companies to pay back all of their members if we don’t pay enough out for medical claims for how much premiums we take in, so I forecast the amount for Aetna on a monthly basis.”

Thomas admits that it isn’t as glamorous as playing poker professionally but is happy with the choice he has made.

“I could have gone pro after college but I had a good career lined up. Poker does not give me any structure in my life. I don’t want to wake up at noon every day. I need structure in my life where I feel it,” Thomas said.

However, it didn’t take long to convince Thomas that he would almost have to give up his day job and start playing more poker if he is successful when the Main Event resumes in the last week of October.

“If I got out in ninth place I would definitely go back to my job, because I don’t think $750,000 is enough and because I don’t have a 100 percent of myself anyways. But If I got third or something I would quit for sure and just play poker,” the Temple University graduate said.

Thomas has taken advantage of the hiatus between the tournament proper and the final table by training with professional poker player Jason Somerville who has significant World Series of Poker final table experience.

“I chose Jason because I thought he had a lot of good ideas of how to prepare for the final table,” Thomas said.

“He’s a good player and has had a lot of good results. After talking to him, I thought we’d get along. I knew I needed a coach because I didn’t play much before the year prior. I’m not a tournament player, and final tables play out differently than a cash game and so I needed three months of coaching to prepare

“I’m definitely in better shape now than I was then.”

The World Series of Poker Main Event final table will resume on October 28 and you can follow all the action at