Team Americas Wins Caesars Cup

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The 2011 Caesars Cup featured two teams who had star-studded lineups, but one who was looking for redemption after a tough loss back in 2009.  Back in 2009, Team Europe took down the event with a score of four to one, but Team Americas was determined to make this years’ Caesars Cup a closer affair.  This years’ match-up featured Phil Hellmuth leading Team Americas, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier leading Team Europe.

The Caesars Cup works very similar to the Ryder Cup in Golf.  Both of the two players listed above pick four players to play for their side, and then it is a best of five series with multiple different heads up and two player poker events.  Hellmuth had a team filled with stars such as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Jason Mercier (who took Huck Seed’s spot), and the current Player of the Year leader Ben Lamb (who replaced Doyle Brunson).  Team Europe had their own star studded lineup of Grospellier, Gus Hansen, Jake Cody, Tony G, and Max Lykov.

The series kicked off with a tag team match, which included two players from both sides.  Team Americas sent out Mercier and Lamb against Jake Cody and Tony G.  Team America was able to take the first event, and get a 1-0 lead.  Then came another tag team match, with Hellmuth pairing up with Negreanu, who actually paired up together back in 2009; but lost the event.  This time they were up against Hansen and Lykov, and they had the same result as 2009, which evened up the series at 1-1.

At that point, came the heads up matches, and the first even put Chan against Team Europe’s captain Grospellier.  In the end, having the “C” for captain was not enough to take down the strong Johnny Chan, and Team Americas went up 2-1.  Hellmuth entered the last heads up match to finish the deal for Team Americas, and he knocked off Lykov to give Team Americas the win, and take home the 2011 Caesars Cup.

An interesting side note to this is that Hellmuth and Lamb both represented Team Americas, and are the two players who head the current Player of the Year race.

Elio Fox Takes Down The WSOPE Championship Event Gold Bracelet

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The €10,400 buy-in World Series of Poker Europe’s Championship Event drew in an impressive field of 593 players, and a very nice prize pool of €5,692,800.  The final table featured some big named players, and a few unknown names as well.  Overall though, when play was down to the final eight players, the chip stacks were fairly competitive, and it made for an exciting final table of play.  In the end though, it was a story of one player who started off the day as the chip leader, and ended the day with all of the chips in his stack.

The heads up match came down to two well-known players in Elio Fox and Chris Moorman.  The two players duked it out for 200 hands that went on for a good while, before a champion was crowned.

To set the final table from nine to eight players, the final player eliminated was one of the most well-known players in the event, in Patrik Antonius.  This set up a final table of eight players with chip stacks that ranged from 3.99 million to 1.015 million.  It featured the following players, Fox, Moorman, Jake Cody, Dermot Blain, Brian Roberts, Max Silver, Moritz Kranich, and Shawn Buchanan.  After the first elimination, play went on for another 75 hands before there was another elimination, which made for pretty tense play amongst the players.

The table was then eliminated down to the final four, which featured Fox, Moorman, Brian Roberts, and Moritz Kranich.  Moorman and Fox continued to put quite a bit of pressure on Roberts, who eventually was eliminated in fourth, and was then followed up by an elimination of Kranich in third.  This set up the heads up match.

Fox started out with a 2 to 1 chip lead over Moorman, and Fox just seemed to hold control for most of the match.  It wasn’t until the 201st hand of the tournament though until Fox was finally able to land the knockout blow, as his A-10 was up against the A-7 of Moorman.  Fox’s hand was able to hold up, and take down the grand prize of €1,400,000,as well as the gold bracelet.  Moorman on the other hand took home a nice consolation prize of €800,000.

Tony G Cashes the WSOPE Main Event and Cashes In On a Prop Bet

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Cashing at the World Series of Poker Europe’s Main Event is already a huge feat, and one that many players dream of.  On that note, some players just dream of playing in the Main Event at all; and cashing is just an added bonus that most players never could even imagine happening.  Well, for Tony G, who has had some nice scores in his day in the game of poker; he was so confident that he would cash in the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe’s Main Event, that he decided to place a nice $20,000 wager on that he would make the money in the Main Event.

Just a bit into Day 3 of the event, Tony G had made it into the money, and received both a nice payday from cashing, and also for his $20,000 bet on himself at 5 to 1 odds.  These odds gave him a payout of $100k for getting into the cash, and he also took home €37,000 for his efforts throughout the tournament.  Tony G then went on to survive Day 3 of the event with 24 other players, and make it to Day 4 of the event in Cannes, France.

As if it couldn’t get any better for Tony G, he also got to tell James Bord about the big win on the online gambling site; which is interesting because Bord is actually one of the owners of

Tony G has been in the news quite a bit lately, as he recently replaced Dario Minieri in the Caesars Cup (which may not hold up with this deep run at the Main Event), and also for getting into an argument with Andrew Robl at the tables.  On top of that though, he also debated filing a lawsuit against the AGCC for their actions against Full Tilt Poker.

While Tony G wasn’t able to build up his short stack when he entered Day 4 and make a final table push, he did end up finishing the event in 24th place and getting a nice payday.  Overall, you could say that his $125k+ payday was a nice consolation to not winning the 2011 WSOPE Main Event.

ESPN to Air WSOP Final Table (Nearly ) Live

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Leading cable sports network ESPN has just announced that they will be changing the way they will broadcast this year’s WSOP Main Event Final Table in November. Instead of broadcasting a recorded version of the events multi-million dollar conclusion after it’s already taken place, the cable network and its online affiliates announced they will be broadcasting the final table live…or nearly live.

What that means is the stations (and online affiliates) will be showing the WSOP main event final table from day 3 through day 8 with only a 15 minute delay. The action takes place on November 6 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. The competition will proceed until the 9-player final table has been dwindled down to the top three competitors. This will be broadcast on ESPN2. Then, the conclusion will take place on November 8 and be broadcast on ESPN.

Providing the play-by-play will be Lon McEachern and David Tuchman while Norman Chad and the team from ESPN Inside Deal will cover the breaks. There will also be a group of professional poker players present to provide commentary on the goings-on. Although most of these pro player names are still to be announced, one confirmed commentator will be “The Magician” Antonio Esfandiari, there for the final two days of the event. Esfandiari was the winner of last year’s World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

The first prize for the winner of this year’s World Series of Poker championship is approximately $8.7 million.

WSOP November Nine Schedule Tweaked

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The World Series of Poker Main Event is one of the most watched and followed televised poker tournaments out there today.  It draws in between 6,000 and 7,000 players consistently, and features the “November Nine” which is the final table of the event.  The idea behind this is that the final nine players are set in July, but have around a four month break until the play continues in front of a massive live crowd and huge television audience on ESPN and ESPN2.  The final table schedule was set and ready to go, but Caesars Interactive Entertainment, who owns the World Series of Poker, recently decided to make a change to the format.

The idea behind the change is that it will help improve the TV coverage for ESPN and ESPN2.  The November Nine was set to kick off on November 5th, and go through November 7th, but it has been changed to kick off on the 6th of November at 11:30am PDT.  One other thing that changed in the format is that it was originally planned for players to take a day off from the action and for play to continue with two players in heads up play.  The new plan is that there will still be a break in the action for a day, but it will then feature the final three players taking the stage at 5:00pm.

The televised coverage of the event will work very similar to how the live action worked during the Main Event, in which there was a small delay in the action.  The November Nine will feature a fifteen minute delay, and players will also get to see the players’ hole cards, and hear the commentary as well.

The final table coverage will most likely feature some big names in poker, just as the Main Event did.  The coverage of the 2011 Main Event drew in some commentary from players like Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, and Olivier Busquet, who all chimed in to give some analysis after they were no longer in the action.

The 2011 November Nine should draw an incredible amount of interest this year, as it features some of the young up and coming players in poker; as well as a wide range of players who have different styles of play.

Tristan Wade Takes Down WSOPE Shootout Event

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The World Series of Poker Europe still has two bracelets to hand out, but one bracelet has now been given out to player who had to beat out one of the toughest final tables in recent history.  Tristan Wade took down the WSOPE Event #4, which was a €3000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout event.  While it was a shootout event that featured the winners from each table advancing, the chips were a bit different due to the table setups from earlier.  This didn’t make much of a difference though, as Wade outplayed the field and got hot at the right times to take down the event.

The final table featured names like Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Steve O’Dwyer, Mike Watson, Max Silver, Richard Toth, Emil Patel, John Armbrust, and Taylor Paur.  Grospellier looked to be a force to be reckoned with early on in play, but was eliminated in fifth place in the event, but took home a solid €47,763 for his efforts.  It eventually came down to Wade and Michael Watson in heads up play to decide who would take down the bracelet and the €182,048 grand prize.

Heads up play went on for nearly two hours before Wade changed his play style and began to get aggressive.  He started pushing all in on the big blind, raising consistently from the button, and putting an incredible amount of pressure on his opponent.  Watson continued to hang around and push back as much as he could, and even got the match-up close as his K-10 suited beat out the pocket Jack’s of Wade; but it wasn’t meant to be in the end as Wade picked up Jack’s again and held up against Watson’s A-5.

Wade outlasted 257 other players to become a WSOPE gold bracelet winner, and also got the impressive first place pay day as well.  Watson was still paid out a nice €112,526 for his impressive run as well.

The World Series of Poker Europe continues on now while Event #5, a No Limit Hold’em Split Format event winds down, and the same goes for the Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha Event #6.  The final event is the €10,000 buy-in WSOPE Championship event.

Steve Billirakis Wins WSOPE Event #3

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Event #3 of the World Series of Poker Europe made the switch from No Limit Hold’em to Pot Limit Omaha.  The first two events at the WSOPE featured new names to take down gold bracelets, but event number 3 was a different story, as Steve Billirakis now took down his second gold bracelet of his career.  The final table of this PLO event featured some big names as well, so the task wasn’t easy in any way for Billirakis.  He made it past the likes of Sam Trickett, 2011 November Nine participant Eoghan O’Dea, and Sam Chartier.

It was about three hours of play until the final table was down to its final five players, but Billirakis and Trickett remained alive and in the hunt for the gold bracelet.  When five players remained, Billirakis was at the back of the pack though, and sitting in fourth place in chips; while what some would consider his toughest opponent, Trickett, was in first place.  It wasn’t until just before dinner break that Billirakis was able to make his move though, and took a big pot from Trickett, moving him all the way up to second in chips.

After the break, play didn’t take nearly as long as it did to get to this point, as Billirakis and Michele Di Lauro made it out on top, and headed into heads up play.  Heads up play was the shortest of all the action, as it lasted a grand total of two hands before the new champion was crowned.  Billirakis took a one million chip pot from Di Lauro on the first hand, to give himself a massive four to one chip lead over his opponent; and his next hand ended the tournament all together.

Billirakis won the bracelet, and the €238,140 first place prize for his incredible run.  Di Lauro on the other hand had a nice payout for the second place finish, getting €147,171.

The World Series of Poker Europe will now continue on with a few more events before the players head into the €10,000 WSOPE Main Event, which will feature some of the best names in the game.

Andrew Hinrichsen Wins WSOPE Event #2

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The World Series of Poker Europe’s second event was a massive hit to say the least.  An incredible  771 players bought in to the €1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event; which made it the largest number of entrants to an WSOPE event in history, surpassing the old record of 608 by more than 150 players.  The winner of the event got a nice pay day too, and took home €148,030 for winning it all.  All in all, the event drew a total prize pool of €740,160.

That beautiful first place prize was taken down by a player who may not be incredibly well known in the live poker circuit; but he has brought in some nice results in this past year.  Andrew Hinrichsen played in the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas this year, and while he wasn’t able to win a gold bracelet then, he still finished in 23rd place and won $302,005 for his strong run.  It only took a few months after that for him to win that gold bracelet though, as he is now the winner of the second event at the WSOPE.  His recent cashes don’t stop there though, as he also finished sixth in a preliminary event at the Aussie Millions, and finished second in the Australia-New Zealand Poker Tour as well.  All of this puts him at a total of just over $750k in live poker tournament winnings in his career.

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When Hinrichsen made it to the final table he was sitting in second place with 434k in chips, and even got that total up to 800k in chips.  He couldn’t hold his big chip stack though, as he actually entered heads up play as a three to one underdog in terms of his stack.  He rallied back though, and it only took about fifteen minutes for him to get it all in against his opponent, Gianluca Speranza.  This of course ended up with a nice double up to give him the chip lead, and the rest was history from there.

Speranza got a nice pay out for his second place finish as well, taking home €91,262.  The World Series of Poker Europe continued on with event #3 on Wednesday, and will continue to host events through the rest of the month.

Party Poker WPT Prague Satellites On Now

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Party Poker has begun its satellite tournament series for the World Poker Tour stop in the Czech Republic. Party Poker’s WPT Prague satellite series runs October 3 through November 20 during which the site will be awarding multiple prize packages into the WPT Prague worth $7,500 a piece.

The Party Poker WPT Prague satellite series starts with daily freerolls that each award advancement into a sub qualifier speed rebuy event for the top 50 finishers. That sub qualifier speed rebuy is also a daily event, this time with a $1 direct buy-in, and which awards seats in the satellite qualifier to one player for every $44 in the prize pool. There’s also a daily sub qualifier speed event without a rebuy that has a $5.50 + $0.50 direct buy-in and awards seats in the satellite qualifier to one in every eight players.

That WPT Prague satellite qualifier takes place daily and is a Turbo event on Sundays. It has a direct buy-in of $40 + $4 and awards seats in the satellite final to one in ten players. That WPT Prague satellite final takes place weekly, on Sundays, for a $375 + $25 direct buy-in and awards one seat for every 20 players competing, with one prize package minimum guaranteed.

The WPT Prague is the latest addition to the World Poker Tour itinerary, taking place at Prague’s Corinthia Casino betweeen December 1 and 5, 2011. Each Party Poker prize package into the WPT Prague includes the $5,000 buy-in into the main event, $1,300 in expense money, and luxury hotel accommodations during your stay.

Guillaume Humbert Takes Down WSOPE Event #1; Denies Hellmuth 12th Bracelet

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With Event #1 at the World Series of Poker Europe drawing a ton of interest, one player stood out above all of the other big names.  Phil Hellmuth made it into the final 12 of the event, and looked to be on his way to taking down his 12 WSOP bracelet.  Mixed with Phil there were quite a few other big names in the event as well, as players like Jason Mercier, Vanessa Selbst, and Daniel Negreanu took their shot at the €215,999 first place prize.

It looked like Hellmuth had a realistic shot at taking down his 12th gold bracelet in the No Limit Hold’em Six-Max Event, but he was unable to hold up in the end.  Hellmuth got in some coin flips that didn’t hold up, and also got a bit tilted at some of the players who he was matched up against.  Hellmuth’s efforts were good enough for a 7th place finish, and a nice €24,183 pay day.  This finish will put him close to the current Player of the Year leader Ben Lamb, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Player of the Year race will end up.

The real story of the event came down to Guillaume Humbert, who finished in first place and took home the grand prize of €215,999.  Humbert is actually a part time online poker pro, who used some of his earnings to buy-in to this event, and this was actually his first ever live poker tournament of his career.  He grinded his way through the final 12 players, and got to heads up play against Azusa Maeda.  When heads up play began, Humbert was about 600k in chips behind Maeda, but played aggressively for around an hour to gain a chip lead, and never actually had a hand go to showdown.  Play finally came to an end with Maeda pushing all in with a straight draw and back door flush draw; but he was dominated by a flopped straight of Humbert.  Maeada took home a nice consolation prize of €133,471 for an excellent run; but it was Humbert’s day in the end.

You could assume that this probably won’t be the last that we see of Guillaume Humbert at the World Series of Poker Europe.