Carbon Poker Introduces $5K Value Added Tourneys for December

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Throughout this month of December 2011, Carbon Poker is holding a series of Value Added Tournaments, meaning that to whatever the prize pool amounts to based on registered player buy-ins, Carbon Poker will contribute an additional amount. In this case, that amount is $1,000. And with five of these such tournaments scheduled for December 2011, that makes for $5,000 in Value Added Tournaments.

In an interesting twist on the conventional tourney buy-in, to enter these tournaments you must pay a cash buy-in and earn a minimum of 250 VIP points. The cash part of the buy-ins decreases as the series progresses, with the December 10th tournament costing $10 + $1, the December 17th event costing $5 + $0.50, the December 24th, Christmas Eve, event costing $2 + $0.20, the December 25th, Christmas Day, event costing $1 + $0.10 and the December 31st, New Years Eve event costing $1 + $0.10 as well.

To earn VIP points, simply participate in real money cash ring games and tournaments at Carbon Poker. Every time a hand makes it to the flop, the players still in the hand at that time receive VIP points.

You must earn 250 additional VIP points for each successive Value Added Tournament you wish to enter beyond the first one. However, the VIP points you earn for the entry requirements for these Value Added Tournaments will not be deducted from your account once you enter the event. That means you may still utilize these VIP points for such benefits as guaranteed tournament entries, live seat satellite entries, to unlock bonuses and exchange for cash.

Online Poker Pro Randy “nanonoko” Lew Wins APPT Macau Main Event

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asia pacific poker tourRandy “nanonoko” Lew is one of the most profitable, and well-known online poker players in the game today.  Lew started out his online poker career like many other did, simply dabbling in cash games and figuring out the “how to” of online poker.  Lew now consistently achieves the Supernova Elite status on the massive online poker site PokerStars, and is also a member of the Team PokerStars Poker pros.  Lew was stuck in a tough spot after Black Friday though, as he could no longer play the game that was actually his full time job, and he ended up moving to Canada in order to continue playing.

This past week though, Lew decided to dabble a bit more in the live tournament circuit, and found himself at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau’s Main Event.  The event drew in some big names from the poker world, including one of the biggest in Phil Ivey, who was sent home during Day 2 of the action.  While Lew has played over 5 million online poker hands since August of 2008, he was not nearly as used to playing on the live tournament circuit, so it was a different feel you could assume.

Fortunately, Lew knows the game of poker incredibly well, and he found himself heading into the final table of the event.  Lew was nearly sent home in 9th though, as he was all in with his Queens and was able to hit the third queen to give him a nice double up and send him to the final table against the pocket Aces of David Steicke.  He had his work cut out for him though, as he started the final table with the fewest chips out of any of the players at the table, and had some building to do in order to become a serious contender.

He did what he does best at the final table though, and found himself grinding it out and building up his stack over time.  When all was said and done it was him against Jimmy Pan for the heads up match, and he had a slight advantage to start the action.  A few hands later, Lew found himself at risk with pocket sixes, and was against two over cards in the A-9 that Pan was holding.  Lew hit a six to give himself a set, and grabbed the chip lead back.  He went on to hold off his opponent from any type of comeback, and took down the grand prize of $484,617.  Pan got a nice prize for his efforts as well, and he went home with $304,106.

Site Claims To Have Stake in WSOP Main Event Champion Pius Heinz

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With the 2011 World Series of Poker now in the books, many people assumed that there wouldn’t be much on the news front until next year.  That would be incorrect though, as an interesting bit of news has come out about the new World Series of Poker Main Event champion, Pius Heinz.  Heinz beat out the field of over 6,800 players, and won an exciting heads up match against Martin Staszko to win the gold bracelet, and also won $8.7 million for his efforts.

The news that came after the winning effort from Heinz, was that he was staked into the event.  Being staked is something that commonly happens in the World Series of Poker, and the idea behind it is that people will sell a percentage of their entry into the tournament, and in return will give back a percentage of their winnings.  Heinz apparently went onto an online poker site and was looking for someone to buy a part of his action into a $1,500 event, and after he made it to the final table of the event; he went back for a stake of the $10,000 Main Event.  The site decided to buy a “large part” of his action, as one of the members of the site said.

Essentially what this would mean, is that whatever percentage that they bought of Heinzs’ action, he would now pay that percentage back to the site for buying him into the event (which most likely is a pretty pay day).  The site has also staked three other World Series of Poker bracelet winners this year as well, so all in all, they had a nice year in terms of staking.  The official numbers that were reported are 170 different players staked, and 2,915 total events that players were staked for.  Overall, it made up $1 million at least of staking, which they most likely made back pretty easily from their four total bracelet winners, but mainly Heinz!

Staking is just one of the many ways that players can get into World Series of Poker Events, and avoid having to pay the whole buy-in.  The 2012 World Series is only a few months away, so start preparing for the action!

Pius Heinz is the 2011 WSOP Main Event Champion

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WSOPIt took quite a while for the field of 6,865 players to be eliminated down to one, but when all was said and done, it ended up being one of the most exciting events in history.  The November Nine kicked off on Sunday, and before the action started back on Tuesday, we were left with only three players who were playing to win the biggest tournament out there.  The three players who were left featured the 2011 Player of the Year Ben Lamb, Pius Heinz from Germany, and Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic.  When the action started, Heinz was the massive chip leader with 107.8 million chips, and had more than both of his opponents combined; as Lamb had 55.4 million, and Staszko had 42.7 million.

The action was exciting from the word go, as Staszko was all in against Lamb on the very first hand; which resulted in Staszko’s pocket sevens holding up against the K-J of Lamb.  This left Lamb nearly crippled with only 10 big blinds left, and he would push the rest in only three hands later.  He shoved Q-6 all in, and was snap called by the pocket Jack’s of Staszko.  That was that for our three handed play, and the heads up match would be between Staszko and Heinz.

Staszko was the chip leader entering play, but they two went back and forth more than one could possibly imagine.  The play went on for hours, and then came hand number 115 which started with Staszko as a 124.75 million to 81.15 million chip lead.  The two went back and forth with a few raises, before Heinz finally pushed all in with a flop of Tc-7c-Ks showing.  Staszko debated it for a minute or two, and finally made the call, turning over Qc-9c for a flush draw and straight draw as well.  Heinz turned over Ah-Qh, and to his surprise was actually the favorite to win the hand, as a Jack would give him a better straight than Staszko.  Heinz was able to dodge Staszko’s outs, and went on to take a huge 162.3 million to 43.6 million chip lead.

It was all over just eight hands later, as Staszko pushed his last 39.8 million in the middle, and was called by Heinz, who flipped over A-K off suit.  Staszko had only 10c-7c, and was behind his opponent.  The board helped neither, which gave Heinz the win with Ace high.

Heinz took home the gold bracelet, and the incredible $8.7 million grand prize, and will now be among the most well-known names in poker for years to come.  For his efforts, Staszko got an excellent consolation prize of $5.7 million.

Party Poker WPT Ireland Satellites Begin

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Party Poker is one of the primary sponsors of the World Poker Tour and as such holds satellite series’ for most of its major tournaments. The latest addition to the Party Poker WPT satellite series is WPT Ireland.

Running from November 7 through December 18, 2011, the Party Poker WPT Ireland satellite series includes daily freerolls and cash satellite qualifiers for as little as $1. The series culminates in a weekly WPT Ireland Satellite where 1 seat at the WPT Ireland main event is guaranteed, with more prize package awards likely.

Each Party Poker WPT Ireland prize package is valued at $6,000 and includes the $3,600 buy-in into the main event as well as $1,400 in spending cash, hotel accommodations throughout the stay with breakfast and dinner included and Party Poker’s world famous hospitality. Party Poker will award one of these $6K prize packages to 1 in 20 competitors in its weekly WPT Ireland Satellite, taking place every Sunday at 2:20 pm ET, with a $320 direct buy-in.

You can avoid the direct buy-in by winning a seat through a $33 satellite qualifier. These take place twice every day but Sundays when it takes place once in the form of a Turbo tournament. You can also win seats in this event via a $4 speed sub qualifier or a $1 speed sub qualifier with a rebuy. Finally, you can avoid paying buy-ins into this series altogether by first winning one of Party Poker’s daily WPT Ireland freerolls. These give out seats in the $1 rebuy sub qualifier.

2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Down to the Final Three

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There is always an incredible amount of excitement surrounding the World Series of Poker Main Event, but it is never bigger than early November when the Final Table is set to kick off.  There were nine players who started the day on Sunday, and they played down to three.  Those three will now play until there is only one champion on Tuesday.  The action kicked off at 3:30pm EST, with a fifteen minute delay for the broadcast on ESPN.

The final nine players featured some names that were well-known, and a few that fans had to learn about.  The final nine players looked like this (in order of chip stack to start the day)- Martin Staszko, Eoghan O’Dea, Matt Giannetti, Phil Collins, Ben Lamb, Badih Bounahra, Pius Heinz, Anton Makiievskyi, and Sam Holden.  Each player who finished higher than 8th place was awarded a $1 million payday at least, but the real push was for the $8.7 million first place prize.

The first elimination took quite a while, as all of the players were a bit tight with their chips and wanted to feel out their opponents.  Eventually, it was Sam Holden (who started as the short stack), who ran his A-J into the A-K of Ben Lamb sending him home in 9th.  After that, the eliminations came steadily in around 30-45 minute increments, with Makiievskyi going home as his K-Q couldn’t hold off the pocket 9’s of Pius Heinz.  Heinz began running hot at this point, and was looking good in terms of his chip stack.  It wasn’t long after that elimination though Bounahra’s A-5 pre-flop shove was way behind the A-9 of Staszko.

We were then down to six players before O’Dea made a huge call against Ben Lamb, and had A-9, against the Q-8 of Lamb.  Unfortunately for O’Dea; it just didn’t hold, and Lamb hit an 8 on the river to leave O’Dea with just over 2 big blinds.  He was indeed the next player gone, as he shoved his final chips in to no avail.

Just before we got to the dinner break, we saw one more elimination in the well-known Phil Collins.  Collins pushed his A-7 suited against the 9’s of Heinz, and had both a straight and flush draw after the turn, but was not able to hit anything in the end.  Collins was the 5th place finisher, and we only had one more elimination before they called the day.

One last thing to note before the final elimination, was how much of a turn around that Heinz had.  After the dinner break, he actually won another big pot and had over 100 million chips at this point.  The final knockout came when Matt Giannetti pushed his last 12 million, and showed A-3, but was up against the pocket Kings of Lamb.  The flop gave Lamb quad Kings, and sent Giannetti to the rail.

The three players are set to roll on Tuesday, with Heinz leading the way with over 107 million, Lamb in second with 55 million, and Staszko still very much alive with 42 million.

Daniel Santoro Takes Down WPT Foxwoods Event

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Daniel Santoro is not the most well-known poker player in the game today, but he definitely made a name for himself after this World Poker Tour Foxwoods event.  Before this event, Santoro had a total live tournament earnings of $260,862, and he gave himself quite a bump on that total with his impressive win at this tournament.  The first place prize was set at $449,910 that he pocketed, and he was involved in a few big hands at the final table, and one hand that determined his fate as the eventual champion.

The final table featured six players with Steven Brackesy starting atop the leaderboard with 1.81 million chips, and was followed up by Christian Harder (1.29 million), Santoro (1.16 million), Bob Carbone (588k), Eli Berg (496k), and Andy Frankenberger (374k).  The first three eliminations happened fairly quickly, and the first elimination sent Berg home after only three hands.  Frankenberger was the next to go, and after that came one of the biggest hands of the tournament.

It involved Brackesy and Santoro, who got involved pre-flop and were going back and forth before getting it all in.  Brackesy flipped over A-4 suited to be quite a bit behind the pocket Queens that Santoro were holding.  This pot put Santoro in a massive chip lead over the remaining players, and it ended up having Santoro matched up against Harder to decide who would win it all.

Heads up play kicked off with Santoro as the chip leader by almost 4 times Harder’s chip stack.  Harder was forced all the way under 400k in chips before making a massive comeback and doubling up to get back into it.  Harder’s incredible storm back saw him actually take the chip lead at one point before Santoro was able to turn it back around.  The final hand of the tournament saw Santoro re-raise his opponent, which led to Harder to push the remainder of his chips into the middle.  Santoro made the call with A-K, and was up against the pocket ten’s of his opponent.  It wasn’t until the final card that Santoro was able to take the lead, and win the entire event.

While Santoro won the championship and the huge grand prize, Harder got a nice consolation prize of $248,962 for his run as well.

Andrey Pateychuk Wins EPT San Remo

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The EPT San Remo has wound down to one winner from the 837 starting players.  And it found one player who has been playing his best poker recently take down the grand prize and the European Poker Tour trophy.  The prize pool was built up to a nice €3,734,694, with the first place player taking home €800,000.  After many ups and downs for many players in the event, Andrey Pateychuk beat out his opponent Dimitar Danchev in heads up play, with one of the craziest runner-runner knockout blows in recent history.  Pateychuk has had quite a bit of success recently, as he is fresh off of a 15th place finish at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Heads up play was really decided on one hand that came just over 2 hours after the two had gone back and forth, with Pateychuk doing pretty well throughout.  The hand will be talked about for quite a while, and rightfully so.  Danchev kicked off the action with a small raise, which led to a three bet from Pateychuk.  Danchev then just called, and the flop came out with 2-4-9 with two spades, and Pateychuk put out a bet of 1,200,000.  Danchev then raised, and they were off to the races as Pateychuk pushed it all in.  This led to a call from Danchev, who turned over 10-9 for top pair; while his opponent turned over 6-7 to be way, way behind.  The poker Gods were on his side on this day though, as the turn came with an 8 and the river came with a 5 to give Pateychuk runner runner straight cards to leave Danchev nearly out of chips.  Danchev doubled up once, but was then knocked out.

The two decided to make a deal before heads up play began though, and both players took home €600k, with €80k going to the winner of the heads up match.  So that sent Pateychuk home with 680k, and Danchev with €600k.

The €680k payday for Pateychuk is his largest of his career, which is a nice payday for a player who has only played the game for three years in total.  Danchev also had his biggest score of his career in this event, and both of these two may be names to look out for in the poker circuit in the future.

Final Table at EPT San Remo Is Set

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The European Poker Tour San Remo event has been an interesting one, and it is now down to it’s final eight players.  It started off with a solid field of 837 players, and created a prize pool of €3,734,694; with a first place prize of €800,000 going to the eventual winner.  The final table bubble boy was a popular player from Norway, Johnny Lodden; who took home a payday of €45,000.  There were many big names in the event, ranging from Joseph Cheong, 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champ Elio Fox, Vanessa Selbst, David Bach, Tyler Bonkowski, and many more.  Two of the most well-known players currently remaining are Kevin MacPhee and Barny Boatman.

As far as the remaining players go in terms of chip stacks, we see one player who is a bit ahead of the field, as Daniel Neilson is currently holding 6.7 million chips.  Currently in second place is Dimitar Danchev, who is from Bulgaria, and is sitting with 4.43 million chips.  Neilson has had some good results of his own in the past, as he finished in the top 100 of last year’s World Series of Poker Main Event, and has won a total of $700k in live tournaments in his career.

The players who are currently sitting behind Neilson are Danchev of course with 4.43 million chips, followed by Jan Bendick with 3.98 million, Andrey Pateychuk with 3.1 million, Boatman with 2.5 million, Yorane Kerignard with 2.15 million, Rocco Palumbo with 1.16 million, and MacPhee bringing up the rear with 1.11 million.  Each player who made the final table is guaranteed to take home at least €63,000, and the top six finishers will take home more than  €130,000.  One other player who might stand out from this group is Pateychuk, who is coming off of a 15th place finish at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Chris McClung was the chip leader heading into the day, but was unable to hold onto his chip lead, and ended up finishing in 14th place.  The final day of action will kick off tomorrow until the winner of the 2011 European Poker Tour San Remo event is decided later in the day.

Chris McClung Holds Lead at EPT San Remo

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Day 4 of the European Poker Tour’s San Remo event featured some crazy hands, and had some very good play overall.  One player stood out above the rest though, as Chris McClung ended with the chip lead with 3.14 million chips.  What’s even more impressive about McClung’s chip stack, is the fact that his closest opponent has 2.01 million chips, giving McClung a very favorable lead in terms of chips going into Day 5.  He got quite a few of these chips from a huge hand against Joseph Cheong, and one that probably changed the tournament.

The hand happened late in Day 4, and saw Mustapha Kanit open up to 41k, with McClung three betting to 104k.  The action didn’t stop there though as Cheong then went ahead and four bet, which led to a fold from Kanit, and McClung shoving over the top for right around a million additional chips.  But what’s mind blowing about this hand, is that Cheong called and turned over his pocket King’s, and was a huge favorite against the Queen-Seven of hearts that McClung held.  McClung was able to hit the flush on the turn, and take the massive chip stack.

This leaves the event with 24 players remaining out of the 837 who started the event, with many big names still remaining as well.  A few of the well-known remaining players feature the likes of Elio Fox with 377k, Kanit (mentioned above) with 1.76 million chips, Alessio Isaia with 1.52 million chips, Kevin MacPhee with 1.44 million chips, Barry Boatman with 1.25 million chips, and Johnny Lodden with 1.22 million chips.  Mike McDonald is also currently in the event with 292k, and the same goes for Lex Veldhuis with 877k.

As far as the players who were eliminated on Day 4, big time players like Vanessa Selbst, David Bach, Tyler Bonkowski, and John Duthie were all sent to the rail with Cheong.

The play tomorrow will feature these 24 players playing down until the final table of eight players is decided, and could potentially feature a star-studded final table by the end of the day.  We’ll keep you updated on the action once the final table is set.