PokerStars Breaks Record for Online Poker Tournament

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PokerStars is not only the largest online poker site online, but is also the only one of the three online poker sites to overcome Black Friday and continue to bring in impressive results.  The online poker site also held the record for the largest online poker tournament in history, and just this month they decided to attempt to break their own world record once again.  The site placed a cap on the tournament, which featured a $1 buy-in and $250k in the guaranteed prize pool.  The numbers were so high that they brought in an incredible 200,000 players, which is even more amazing considering the fact that they were in the United States market when they originally broke the record.

As if the 200k players wasn’t impressive enough, take into consideration that this number was hit more than three hours before the tournament actually began.  Based on the old numbers, if PokerStars was still in the US market, there is a very realistic chance that this number could have hit 300k in total players, which would have been absurd.

The old record that PokerStars set was 149,196 players, and was set around two years ago, back on December 27, 2009.  It was seen that this number was actually passed in the pre-registration period, many days before the tournament even began.  It’s not much of a surprise that the players were eliminated incredibly fast from this tournament, as many players went for the “go all-in and either double up, or go home” method, since it was only a $1 tournament.  This meant that the players were in the cash only 2 and a half hours into the event.  This meant there was 12,150 players left, and the first payouts were $4.  The first place prize was set at $50k, but the players had a bit of work to do in order to outlast 12k more players.

While it was a nice feeling for everyone who made the money to get into it so quickly, they weren’t nearly as fortunate when it came down to finding an eventual winner.  It took five additional hours for a champion to be found, and a deal was actually made over three handed play as well.  The deal gave the first place winner $40,258.83, and he played by the name of sokoluk1991.  Second place went to Kaitz20, and this player took down $34k for their efforts.  Third place was a player who played under the name King-2-Z, and they took home $25,741.17.  Not a bad deal for just a $1 investment eh?

Exclusive Luvin Poker Freerolls

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Holdem Poker Chat is proud to announce weekly freerolls at Luvin Poker.  These events will be held every Wednesday at 9pm eastern time.  Only players who use our link to Luvin Poker will be eligible to play in these exclusive freerolls.

Luvin Poker is a great site that particularly caters to woman poker players.  Ladies should check them out this Monday November 07, 2011 for a special Ladies Only Freeroll with a $100 prize pool.  Luvin Poker also recently announced that all cash ring games in US dollars will have a $1 rake cap.

Ladies Only Freeroll:

site: Luvin Poker
date: Monday November 07, 2011
time: 9:00 pm et
name:Girls Night In- $100 Ladies Only Freeroll
buyin: Freeroll
prize: $100
password: None, gender specific

Weekly Exclusive Holdem Poker Chat Freerolls

site: Luvin Poker
date: Wednesdays for the rest of 2011
time: 9:00 pm et
name: $25 HPC Freeroll
buyin: Freeroll
prize: $25
password: None, only players who signed up through Holdem Poker Chat can register

Holdem Poker Chat looks forward to seeing you at the Luvin Poker tables


Carbon Poker $500 Freeroll

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Carbon PokerCarbon Poker is pleased to announce that players from the United States are now allowed to sign up for new accounts.  Sign up for a new Carbon Poker account with Holdem Poker Chat and we will put you into a monthly $500 Freeroll!  Also, play in an exclusive $500 added tournament  for only $2.20.

These special tournaments will not have a password.  They are not a “new players only” deal either.  Any player who signed up to Carbon Poker through our links, at any time, will be issued coupons to play.  The first of these great value added tournaments will run on November 12 and 13.  Get ready to play today.

Name: Exclusive $500 Freeroll
Where: CarbonPoker Lobby
When:  November 12th @ 15:00 CarbonPoker Server time.
Location: CarbonPoker>> Tournaments>> Private>> Scheduled.

Name: Exclusive $500 Added Value – $2.20 Buyin
Where: CarbonPoker Lobby
When:  November 13th @ 15:00 CarbonPoker Server time
Location: CarbonPoker>> Tournaments>> Private>> Scheduled.

Full Tilt Poker Revival seen as Unlikely

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The latest rumors about embattled Full Tilt Poker and their fall from grace had unknown European investors set to buy up the beleaguered franchise.  Now ERG Magazine is reporting that those investors are only interested in certain UK and Ireland based parts of the company.  The word is that they want nothing to do with anything facing the United States.

Many industry watchers think that such a deal has very little chance of being completed in time for the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) hearing slated to take place in London on Thursday  July 28, 2011.  Most believe that Full Tilt Poker will not be allowed to restart operations with their AGCC License without some sort of financial deal in place by that time.

Whether or not a deal for just some of the assets does take place, will non-US players return to the brand if they do not see US player balances being paid?

Report: Full Tilt Poker Sold

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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

2011 WSOP Event 20 Recap

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WSOPYet another Stimulus Special event was played for Event 20: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em. 3,175 people showed up at the Rio, all on June 12th, to begin their march for the bracelet. 324 of these players cashed this event, almost as many as played Event 19 altogether!

A min-cash was just shy of $2,000, effectively doubling your entry fee. Gavin Smith, Hoyt Corkins, John Phan, and Lex Veldhuis represented the pros in this event, toeing their way through this massive field to make some money.

Frequently, these $1,000 buyins become the story of the amateurs. Almost everyone at the final table experienced their first WSOP cash at this event. There was a total of one bracelet between the nine of them (which went with 9th place finisher James Schaaf).

One player at the final table, though, has had his share of World Series success. Jason Somerville was at his fifth WSOP final table. His previous 4 finishes were each 2nd – 5th. Before this event, his winnings at the WSOP were just over $1 million.

It came as no surprise that Somerville got heads-up against Yashar Darian. Darian had a few previous cashes, all last year, and all at $1,000 or $1,500 events. However, before this event, he had failed to crack the top 200. The heads-up play did not last long, however. They got it all-in on the very first hand of heads-up, putting almost all of the chips in play into the pot. The chips were counted down, and Somerville had Darian outchipped. When the cards were turned over, Darian knew he was doomed: Somerville had the aces. Somerville was able to fade the board and dispatch the New Jersey native, sending him home with $300k.

Somerville, however, rounded out his final table experience with his win, beating the largest single day starting field in WSOP history. He collected his first bracelet and $493,091. He had a very supportive rail, including good friend Daniel Negreanu, and parlayed that into an astounding victory.


2011 WSOP Event 15 Recap

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WSOPYet another Hold’em tournament was found in Event 15: $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em. Unlike No Limit, players in this event are only allowed to bet or raise the value of the pot rather than the entirety of their stack.

765 players registered to play this event, creating a prize pool just over $1 million. All came out with the hope of earning a bracelet by paying one of the smallest buyins in this year’s WSOP. Only one, however, would make true on that wish.

A min-cash would almost double your entry fee, and many well known pros made at least the nearly 3k. John Dolan, Alessio Isaia (with his 3rd cash this WSOP), Hoyt Corkins, and Christian Harder all went deep in this event and made some good profit on their $1,500. However, all would exit the tournament before the final table was formed, either to enter another tournament or watch disappointedly from the rail.

Ted Lawson, Ali Eslami (also cashing for his 3rd time this event), and Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler made this final table very difficult to overcome. While Lawson and Eslami bowed out early, Kessler had his sights strongly set on the bracelet.

To win the bracelet, Kessler would have to overcome lesser-known pro Brian Rast. Rast, who was staked by ‘The Magician’ Antonio Esfandiari, proved too much for the Chainsaw and ended up taking the bracelet and the $227,232 that went along with it. Kessler would have to be satisfied with the 2nd place prize of $120k and the hope of winning his first bracelet some other time.


2011 WSOP Event 14 Recap

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WSOPAnother Limit Hold’em tournament was played for Event 14: $3,000 LHE. While being a Hold’em tournament, its limit nature only brought out 337 players to vie for the bracelet, creating a prize pool just shy of $1 million.

Such a small field means that fewer players make the cash, and this event only paid the top 36 finishers. Barely making into the money by finishing in 36th was WSOP bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker, who was eventually joined in cashing by Marco Traniello (best known as Jen Harman’s husband), Sorel Mizzi, and Victor Ramdin (who celebrated back to back cashes).

The final table brought some TV time to players that had not received much in the past. In fact, former November Niner Jeff Shulman was the only player to have received much, and his run was cut short as he was the first elimination from the final table.

Brandon Demes entered the final table and allowed those chips to carry him into heads-up play against Tyler Bonkowski. However, Bonkowski was too much for him, and sent him to the rail to collect his $136k second place prize.

Bonkowski, who had a handful of cashes in last year’s WSOP, gets his first this year this win. He also collects a new piece of jewelry and $220,817 to parlay into another WSOP victory.


Bodog Mini Poker Series begins June 11, 2011

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Bodog Poker launches their Mini Poker Series Saturday June 11, 2011.  The Mini Poker Series boasts as one of its prizes the very first 2012 WSOP Main Event prize packages to be won.  The series boasts 30 preliminary events, all with guaranteed prize pools.   The real jewel is the final and you cannot buy into it, you have to win your way in.  All events are holdem poker, but some interesting structures await.

Bodog Mini Series of Poker is accessible to everyone.  All of the 30 preliminary events have a small $11 buy in.  Getting into the final event can be done with quality or quantity, or a little of both.

Mini Poker Series Events #1- #30

1. Top 3 winners receive a ticket to the Mini Poker Series
Final on July 14th
2. Players finishing 4th to 9th receive a ticket to the Mini
Poker Series Semifinal on July 12th
3. Prize pool will be distributed as per Bodog’s standard
multi-table payout table


Mini Poker Series Semifinal

1. Top 50 finishers will receive entry into the Mini Poker
Series final on July 14th

How do I get invited?
1. Play in 15 to 24 Mini Poker Series Events OR
2. Place 4th to 9th in any Mini Poker Series Event

Mini Poker Series Final

1. 1st place Grand Prize: $12,000 prize package, including
a 2012 Main Event buy-in
2. 2nd and 3rd place prize: Bodog Poker Open VI prize
package, including a buy-in for every BPO event
3. 4th to 9th place prize: $162 Tournament Ticket for entry to the
$100,000 Guaranteed Tournament every Sunday at 4PM ET

How do I get invited?
1. Play in 25 or more qualifying events OR
2. Finish in the top 50 in the Semifinal OR
3. Place in the top 3 in a qualifying event

Full Mini Series Schedule

Who Will Be This Month’s Carbon Poker Tourney King

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Every month Carbon Poker holds its Tourney King promotion, and with June of 2011 just getting underway, it’s anybody’s game once again. Throughout the entire month, Carbon Poker keeps track of the performance of all of its tournament players, in both low and high limit games. Carbon Poker tracks this progress on two different leaderboards – a low-limit and a high-limit leader board – each with its own set of prizes with a combined total value between the two leader boards of more than $20,000.

If you play in a tournament with a buy-in under $20, then that performance is tracked on the low-limit leader board. If you play a tournament with a buy-in $20 or higher, you get on the high-limit leader board. At the end of the month, each leader board features a Grand Final tournament for its top 250 players. Each player will get a starting chipstack reflecting their position on the monthly leader board. Players can even play in enough low and high limit tournaments throughout the month to land them in both Grand Final Tournaments.

First place in the high limit leader board grand final gets $3,000 cash; second place gets $1,800; third gets $1,200; fourth gets $600 and fifth gets $450. Sixth through 15th get $100 cash plus an entry into a special $50K freeroll. Sixteenth through fiftieth get either a $50K entry ticket, a $60 satellite ticket into the $50K freeroll or both.

The low limit leader board grand final gives $1,500 to first, $900 to second, $600 to third, $300 to fourth and $225 to fifth, with a similar arrangment of prizes for sixth through 50th, except with the addition of an $11 satellite ticket into the $60 satellite.