The Super Poker Event of Europe 2012, otherwise known as Super 2012 for short, is planned to be the largest poker event, by player pool, in European history, with a whopping 4,000 player field. The event, featuring tables dealt 100% by fully professional dealers, will take place at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, Ireland from February 25 to 26, 2012, in its Citywest International Conference and Events Center. On the event’s final day March 31, the 8 remaining players will all be flown to a secret spot to play out the final table securely. The final table action will be streamed live over the Internet.
Cake Poker is planning to send players to this event through a series of satellite tournaments starting with buy-ins at just $0.20. Super 2012 Satellites run from November 1 through February 12 at Cake Poker with each top prize package valued at $1,500 and including the €300 + €40 buy-in into the Super 2012 main event as well as a cash stipend to help pay for travel and hotel accommodations and, of course, an official Cake Poker gear pack.
There are daily Super Satellites, Satellites and Semi-Final Satellites, all leading up to a $1,500 Final Satellite. The Super Poker $1,500 Final, then, takes place once per month between now and February 12 (see the site for details) for a $54 direct buy-in, with one Super 2012 prize package going out for every $1,500 in the prize pool. Many of these satellites are rebuy and add-on events.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The LA Times is reporting that European investors are poised to buy a majority stake in Pocket Kings, the parent company of Full Tilt Poker. So far this is the only report on the matter, but the Times got this quote from Phil Ivey’s lawyer, David Chesnoff “Mr. Ivey intends to dismiss his lawsuit as he believes Full Tilt is taking steps to see that the players are paid.” No statements directly from Full Tilt Poker were obtained but the report says “Attorneys close to Full Tilt said that the deal reached Thursday was part of broader negotiations to clear up its legal problems with Alderney and U.S. prosecutors.”
This should be tentative good news for US players with money on Full Tilt Poker. Any attempt to resurrect the brand should probably include paying players their outstanding balances. The report does not name the investors in any detail, and does not go as far as to say that US players are guaranteed to be paid.
It seems a bit odd that the LA Times broke this story. Usually news like this comes from more poker-centric sources. The story does have a couple inaccuracies. It states that three sites were “shut down” by the US government. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Bet. In one paragraph of the story they correctly mention that those “three” sites still operate outside the US and then in the next paragraph they call them “shut down”.
I am sure more information should become available soon. Check Holdem Poker Chat for up to the date information