Daniel Negreanu Wins WSOP Asian Pacific Main Event

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Kid Poker, known on his Canadian birth certificate as Daniel Negreanu, has racked up another big win in the poker world, capturing the title at the first World Series of Poker Asian Pacific main event of 2013. Beating out a 405 player field at the event held at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, Negreanu has now officially notched his fifth WSOP bracelet, his first since 2008. His payout, meanwhile, of AU$1,038,825 (or USD $1,038,825) was his first 7-figure payday in any WSOP event.

In heads-up play against the man that would become runner-up Daniel Marton, Negreanu had a commanding chip lead of 9 to 1. This also gives Negreanu the lead in the 2013 Player of the Year contest, admittedly still early in its running. But having finished fourth the Event #3, the WSOP APAC AU$2,20 Mixed Event, certainly helps. That event, incidentally, comprised of 8 games in one, was won by Kid Poker’s good friend and fellow poker pro Phil Ivey, who claimed with this win his 9th World Series of Poker bracelet.

Neagreanu’s first WSOP bracelet came in 1998 when he was just 23 years old, at the time the youngest player ever to pick up a WSOP bracelet. This WSOP APAC Main Event win brings his career winnings to over $17 million. Daniel Neagreanu travels the world representing the Poker Stars team of professional players in events like the upcoming PokerStars and Monte-CarloCasino European Poker Tour Grand Final, Europe’s largest poker tournament, taking place in Monaco, as well as the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer.

Big Wins In Live Poker This Week

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Here are a couple of the big weeks notched up in professional poker this week.

Phil Ivey, whose been on a steady losing streak since the start of this year (with one notable exception) finally had a good week at the table, walking away from his second biggest winning streak in 2013 with over $760K. Never the less, Ivey remains over $1 million down for the year overall.

According to Card Player, other big winners for the first quarter of the year include Viktor Blom (ahead over $3 million), Phil Galfond (up almost $2 million), and Patrik Antonius (up over $1.5 million). Meanwhile Gus Hansen and Ben Sulsky are the two biggest losers for the first three months of 2013 with losses of $1.6 million and $1.9 million respectively.

Then over in live tournament poker play this week, the U.K.’s own Neil Raine came out on top at the France Poker Series Snowfest Evian Main Event beating out more than 280 players for a €60K take. According to his own blog, last year Raine scored a $62,500 profit in online poker and a $13,000 profit in live poker.

Winner of the PartyPoker Premier League VI was Dan Shak, who claimed a $450K grand prize for his efforts. Also this week math teacher Ellie Biesek of Poland became the first woman to win a main event in the Genting Poker Series, claiming £38,750 for her win. Twenty-one year old Bart Lybaert of Begium won the 2013 Eureka Poker Tour Czech Repbulic Main Event, for a €115,000 take. And Dinesh Alt from Switzerland won the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event for a £155,808 take.

Pros Head to Lock Poker to Compete

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Lock Poker is a place where the pros come to play with a two-tiered Lock Pro program that tracks the performance of over 2 dozen poker pofessionals. Lock Pro Elite includes players like (TheGrinder) Michael Mizrachi, with over $14 million in cashes and 3 WSOP bracelets including two WSOP $50k Players Championship titles and a 5th place finish in the WSOP Main Event. It also includes the 2012 WSOPE Event #6: €1,500 Pot Limit Omaha champion (YuranPt) Francisco De Costa Santos; the youngest player ever to win a WSOPE bracelet (Annette15) Annette Obrestad; and former member of the Brunson 10 at the now-defunct Doyle’s Room (which has since been reinvented as America’s Cardroom, incidentally) Chris Moorman, and more. And then there’s Lock Pro which includes up and comers like (Aumnicient) Wesley Clark, (Hurricanejeff) Jeffrey Romano, (EVConsultant) Emanuel Ferreira and more.

All Lock Poker’s players can track track the progress and performance of the Lock Pro and Lock Pro Elite members on an MGR Leaderboard that looks at ring games, tournaments and flops played on Lock Poker’s tables.

In addition, Lock Poker provides detailed information about each player in its Pro and Pro Elite teams. This includes a bio of the player with bullet-point highlights of the player’s professional poker career, if available the date they started playing poker professional and their current career winnings since then, as well as links to the player’s own website, if available, or other websites providing more information and access to the player.

Get to know your poker pros and Lock Poker Pro.

Next Poker Hall of Fame Inductees: Eric Drache and Brian Roberts

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The late Brian “Sailor” Roberts and the still-live-and-kicking Eric Drache are the next two individuals to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, making them the 43rd and 44th people to join that esteemed group.

Nominated by the public and then voted on by a panel of 36 member of the media and existing Poker Hall of Fame members, the pair includes one successful poker player and one innovative poker administrator.

The posthumous inductee of this year’s pair is Brian “Sailor” Roberts, who died back in 1995. He was the 1975 WSOP champion and a renowned member of the Texas Road Gamblers, which included fellow legends Amarillo Slim and Doyle Brunson both of whom have already been inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame.

Eric Drache, meanwhile, was tournament director of the World Series of Poker between 1973 and 1988 and is attributed with creating the idea of satellite tournaments, those smaller buy-in events that instead of awarding cash prizes award seats into bigger poker tournament events. Formerly managing land based card rooms at The Mirage, the Golden Nugget and the Silverbird, Drache was a consultant on a number of poker television products and himself an accomplished player of 7-Card Stud, having reached the top 3 in five WSOP 7-Card Stud events. Drache was also the person who came up with the idea of Poker Hall of Fame in the first place. In fact, upon hearing of his selection as an inductee this year he said that when he and Jack Binion came up with the concept of the Poker Hall of Fame he never considered himself a potential candidate.

Gus Hansen, Viktor Blom, Tom Dwan All Rejoin Full Tilt Poker

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Even while a few big named poker pros are still cleaning up the mess from their involvement in the old Full Tilt Poker, at least three of their former teammates on Team Full Tilt have signed back on to the team when the new Full Tilt Poker opens this November. Gus Hansen, known as “The Great Dane” on the poker felt, was first to step back into the ring, giving him the title of Full Tilt Poker’s new Ambassador. Joining Ambassador Hansen, as of this week, are Viktor Blom (aka Isildur1) and Tom Dwan (aka durrrr).

The new Full Tilt team will collectively don the name: “The Professionals” and stage high-stakes heads-up battles against one another to attract attention to the revivified site.

Ironically, Viktor Blom is perhaps best known for his obscurity — after keeping his true identity under the radar for over a year while gaining awe and admiration for his play as the mysterious “Isildur1”. Tom Dwan is most renowned for the million dollar challenges he opened to any and all takers — and frequently dominated. Both players are in their 20s.

Hansen is the senior of the trio, at 38, and winner of numerous world championships, including at World Series of Poker and World Series of Poker Europe events.

The new Full Tilt Poker, now a Poker Stars product, will open on November 6 around the world except in Hansen’s own homeland along with other holdouts France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Estonia and of course the U.S.

Amarillo Slim Heads Off Into the Sunset

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With his cowboy boots nearby (or possibly on) and his two horses by his hospice bedside, Amarillo Slim, poker legend, took his last few breaths of life before heading to the old cattle ranch in the sky. Or possibly to Vegas.

Amarillo Slim became synonymous with poker in 1972 when he won the WSOP championship after a 22 hour match. In his lifetime he went on to win 3 more WSOP bracelets.

Born December 31, 1928, he died in a Baptist hospice, St. Anthony’s, near his home in Amarillo, Texas on Sunday, the 29th of April, ’12 at the age of 83.

WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla says he’ll be remembered as the 20th century’s most famous poker player. Part of that was because of his unassailable poker prowess, but another part of it was because of the outlandish stunts he pulled. These include beating Willie Nelson at dominoes for $300,000; Monterey Fats at pool with a broomstick for a pool cue; and Evil Kenivel at golf with hammer for his club. He rode a camel through a Moroccan casino and appeared on numerous TV talk shoes, including The Tonight Show and 60 Minutes.

Unfortunately celebrity also had its price, as Slim was the victim of robberies on 3 occassions: in 2009, 2007, and 2006. He also entered into a plea agreement on a child indeceny charge which he denied to his death, saying the agreement was simply to spare his family a lengthy, ugly trial.

Slim will long be remembered, however, as the man perhaps most responsible for giving Texas Holdem the mainstream status it now bears.

Lock Poker Adds Two New Players to Pro Team

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Two English poker pros are the latest players to be signed to the Lock Poker team: LockPRO ELITE. Chris Moorman and Nicky Evans join Brett Jungblut, Eric Lynch and Jose Macedo as representatives of the site reputed of late to unseat the now defunct Full Tilt Poker as one of the biggest and most popular poker sites in the world.

You might recognize Chris Moornman, aka “moorman1” of Essex, as a former member of the Brunson 10 representing the now-defunct Doyles Room Poker site. More recently, Moorman cashed out $1,051,466 in this year’s World Series of Poker, including a second place win in the 6-handed $10K NL Hold’em event, worth $716,282, and a third place finish in the 6-handed $2.5K NL Hold’em event, worth $271,800. His online poker performance is even more impressive, with career winnings of around $7.5 million. Moorman is currently in the top 5 players on the 2011 World Series of Poker Player of the Year leader board.

At 19 years old, Nicky Evans, aka “Cod Meharly”, is early into his professional poker career, and already touts over $1.1 million in online winnings and another $175K plus in live play. Recent wins include three near $30K wins between December 2010 and May 2011, across two Poker Stars events and one Full Tilt Poker event, two of which were first place wins. On his online profile, Evans lists Moorman as one of the players he admires most. He cashed in two 2011 WSOP events, including a $2,343 cash in the main event.

Michael Phelps, Other Athletes Play Poker in Their Free Time

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Something that hasn’t been reported nearly as much as it should be, is the involvement of professional athletes in the poker world during their down times.  Poker is one of the most popular hobbies for people throughout the world, and especially in places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and multiple other cities with casinos.  While a lot of athletes keep the fact that they play under wraps, Michael Phelps’ love for poker has come out more than once.

While Phelps has been spotted multiple times out playing and partying with the big names in poker out in Vegas, he really has no reason to hide his enjoyment of playing poker as a hobbie.  A few years back he was spotted playing on Thanksgiving, while also being connected with poker legend Doyle Brunson.  An even bigger story though was back in 2009 when he was spotted partying with Phil Ivey.  Ivey is one of the biggest names in poker, and I’m sure Phelps could only hope that Ivey was giving him some poker tips.

Michael Phelps has also been connected to playing on the Merge Network.  In a post on the two plus two forum, it was said that there may be a connection between Mer Brit and the Phelps family.  On Mer’s twitter account, she is only following 32 people; and three of them are Michael Phelps, his sister Hilary, and Michael’s girlfriend Nicole Johnson.  Of course this is all speculation, but there has been some contact between Michael’s sister and Mer on twitter.  On the other side though, Phelps is only following 60 people, and one of them is Mer Brit.

It seems that Michael Phelps doesn’t care about hiding the fact that he has a general interest in poker, but it leaves the question of how many other athletes play poker?  Of course there are quite a few who you can run into in a casino out in Vegas, especially retired players in the NFL, and NBA.  So next time you’re out in Vegas, or Atlantic City, or even Tunica or Biloxi; keep an eye out for a professional athlete or two.  I know I’ve seen a few in my time playing out in the casinos.

888 Poker Introduces A Por Ella Bounty Event

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888 Poker has introduced a new event in which players have the chance to take on the Last Woman Standing in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, Leo Margets. Hailing from Spain, the 888 Poker pro finished 27th in a field of 6,000 players to claim a $352,000 payday and now you have the chance to claim a $1,000 on her head every Thursday at 888 Poker’s A Por Ella bounty tournament.

Starting every Thursday at 20:00 GMT, A Por Ella costs only $10 + $1 to enter, with a $1,000 bounty on playername “LEO” on the first Thursday of every month and a $250 bounty on the rest of the Thursdays in any given month. The winner of each A Por Ella event and the winner of the bounty on LEO will both win bonus prizes of a free seat in the following week’s A Por Ella event. In addition, for that event 888 Poker will place a $50 bounty on each of those players’ heads, giving the rest of the players something extra to vie for.

Each A Por Ella event is capped at 500 players. If LEO doesn’t show to an event, her bounty will be split among the players at that event’s final table. If the previous week’s tournament or bounty winner doesn’t show to an event, the bonus bounty on their heads will be dissolved entirely.

You can find the A Por Ella tournament listed under the Multi-Table tab in your 888 Poker lobby.

Bodog Europe signs Tatjana Pasalic

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Bodog Europe has signed a new member of the team in the (very tasty) form of 26 year-old Tatjana Pasalic (@Tattytats) who will be joining Evelyn Ng (@EvyBabee) at the felts of the biggest tournaments in the world in the famous colours of the Bodog brand.

Lakers fan Tatjana is well known on the poker circuit as a player, TV presenter and journalist with a character that has ‘Bodog’ written all over her…literally:

She was born in Bosnia Herzegovina, but was brought up in Zagreb, Croatia. At the age of 19, she moved to Denmark and started getting interested in online poker and has been in the industry ever since.

Tatjana is (a) passionate (cook) and has been featured in as many televised cooking shows as she has poker programmes around the world and prides herself in personally answering every question sent to her Facebook page.

At night Tatjana tends to wear Chanel No.5 though currently is sporting Jean Paul Gaultier!

Her first tournament in the Bodog colours will be the WSOP Main Event (starts July 7th).

Tatjana commented: “Bodog’s brand is the one that fits me best…from the photo-shoot onwards everybody at Bodog has had a wicked sense of fun which is what I am about too so the synergy is obvious. They’ve all shown me great support already so it’s now just up to me to take down the World Series!”