2011 WSOP Event #2 Info

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WSOPThe largest Heads-Up event in WSOP history, this $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship has brought out some of the best and brightest in the poker world. With 128 entrants showing up, making a nice, round bracket, the prize pool is just over $3 million.

Paying just 16 players, a min-cash in this event takes home just north of $67,000. Not bad for a couple of days work left.

Nosebleed Heads-Up player Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan went deep in this event, and with the final sixteen left, had to appear as a favorite. However, he could not outfox the Great Dane, Gus Hansen, in the round of 16, and now can only watch from the rail.

Eric Froelich and Yevgeniy Timoshenko will face off to win their half of the bracket, playing the winner of Jake Cody and Gus Hansen in the final. The losers in the semifinals will each take home almost $284,000, with the runner up $525,000 and the winner gets the bracelet and a nice $851,192.

The semifinals and finals will be played later today, with a champion having the bracelet on their wrist to go out on the town this weekend. Stay tuned for updates!

Changes on the Merge Poker Network

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Merge Gaming issued a statement today which affects players in France and the United States, in short:

1. Players from France will no longer be able to play on any Merge Poker Network site for real money. Their only access will be to the Cashier so they can withdraw their bankroll. This applies to new and existing players.

2. Players from the following US states are now restricted from creating new real money accounts on any Merge Poker Site:

– New York
– Washington
– Maryland
– Missouri
– Louisiana

NOTE: This only applies to new players from these states – existing players are unaffected.

Also, as I am sure you’re aware rakeback will no longer be offered to new players after June 1st, 2011. They will be offering new promotions to replace rakeback, they’re currently in the final stages of planning and we will release information about the new program in the next few days.

Merge Poker adds Weekly 100k Guaranteed

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Lock PokerThe Merge Poker Network has announced that $100,000 will now be the guaranteed prize pool for the Sunday Deepstack every week, including this one. Take your seat this Sunday with a $109 entrance coupon, by buying in for $100 + $9, or by qualifying through the 100 Seats to $100K Freeroll. There are several online poker sites that we highly recommend on the Merge network with Lock Poker being the most popular one.

The Merge Poker Network has become the place to play since Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars pulled out of the US. Look for their daily and weekly guaranteed tournaments to continue to grow as the network grows. More USA Accepted Poker Sites.

$100,000 Sunday Guaranteed

When: Sunday, May 15th @ 15:00 Merge Poker Time (16:00 EST)
How: $100 + $9, $109 Deepstack Coupon, 10,900 VIP Points
Prizes: $100,000 Guaranteed
Where: Tournaments >> Scheduled >> Special

In addition to the usual buy-ins, players can now qualify for this major tourney via the 100 Seats to $100K Freeroll. Earn 250 VIP points in the week before the 100 Seats freeroll, then finish in the top 100 to win a $109 Coupon for Sunday’s showdown.

100 Seats to $100K Freeroll

When: Saturday, May 14th @ 15:00 Merge Poker Time (16:00 EST)
How: Earn 250 VIP pts before the freeroll starts
Prizes: 100 free seats for $100k Guaranteed
Where: Tournaments >> Scheduled >> Special

Full Tilt Poker Series Goes Ukrainian

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Full Tilt Poker is taking their live poker series to the Ukraine, with three newly scheduled tournaments offering up a total guaranteed prize pool of about $1 million. With the full support of the Ukranian Sport Poker Federation behind it, the inaugural Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series will take place July 24 – 31, September 18 – 25 and November 18 – 27 in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Buy-ins for these three events range from $1,500 to $2,500 but satellites are running now at Full Tilt Poker offering seats in these events for as little as nothing.

Freeroll satellite qualifiers into the Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series started on May 1, 2011 and run three times daily, at 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00 MSK. Each event’s player pool is capped at 1,000. From each of these events, the top 100 players will move on to a weekly freeroll final taking place every Thursday at 19:00 MSK. From each of these final round freerolls, 5 players will win seats in the next scheduled live event in Kiev.

Besides winning seats in these first-ever Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series events, satellite winners will also receive live poker lessons from Full Tilt pros Vitaly Lunkin and Nikolay Evdakov.

The first two events on the schedule have $1,500 buy-ins while event #3 is being considered the Grand Final of the inaugural Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker series and therefore has a $2,500 buy-in.

Building a Bankroll

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Building a bankroll is essential if you want to become a winning poker player. It goes without saying that you need to win more than you lose if you want to build your bankroll but there are other important steps to take, and winning alone is not enough.

Bankroll Management

The first and most important step to take is to set aside some money to be your starting poker bankroll. Use money that you can afford to lose and to live without. This way you will not have to take money out of your poker bankroll to pay bills and you will also be able to put your winnings back in to the bankroll allowing it to grow.

Set some guidelines on how you will be managing your bankroll. You don’t need to make up a whole lot of rules and in fact it is probably better if you only start out with a few. The most important rule to start out with is:

  • Do not buy in to a game with more than 5 % of your total bankroll balance. This rule is absolutely critical and without it you are destined to fail. This rule will protect you from something called ‘Variance’. Variance is the name for the extended good and bad periods that every poker player experiences until the true percentages have a chance to balance out. For example if you flip a coin there are only two possible outcomes, heads and tails. This would mean that half of the time it will come up heads and half of the time tails. If you try this out with 10 flips of the coin you may find that heads came up 7 times or 70 %. Over a longer period of time the results of the coin flip will even out to 50 %. If you buy in to a game using a bigger percentage of your current bankroll and run in to a negative variance you will risk losing your entire bankroll before the percentages have had a chance to even out.

Take Advantage of First Deposit Bonuses and VIP Rewards Programs

All online poker sites have a first deposit bonus where you get a certain amount of bonus money usually based upon your first deposit amount. These bonuses get converted in to cash based upon the poker points that you earn from playing cash games and tournaments. Once you have cleared your bonus or the remaining amount of the bonus has expired then you will want to continue playing at the site if there is some form of VIP rewards program or else move on to another site where you get another first deposit bonus again.

The reason that getting a first deposit bonus and a good VIP program is so important is because at the end of the month you will find that you have built your bankroll up even if you did not win any money during the month of play. Basically with the bonus and the VIP rewards you will be building your bankroll even if you only broke even during your month of play.

Bodog Cash PerSuit, Win an iPad2

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Bodog Poker wants you to have a new iPad2.  Join Bodog Poker’s new Cash PerSuit promotion and you can win cash bonuses, freeroll entries, and tickets to weekly iPad2 drawings.  Cash PerSuit begins on May 02, 2011 and has three promotional features.  Each week of the promotion there is a bonus to be earned based on how many Poker Points you earn and how many days you earn each level.

Earn 10 Poker Points per day on 4 days and get a $15 Bonus

Earn 10 Poker Points per day on all 7 days and get a $20 Bonus

Earn 25 Poker Points per day for 4 days and get a $25 Bonus

Earn 25 Poker Points per day for all 7 days and get a $30 Bonus

May 2nd-May 8th is Diamond Week; May 9th-May 15th is Club Week; May 16th-May 22nd is Hearts Week; and May 23rd-May29th is Spades Week.  You can earn the bonus each week, but you can only earn one of the bonuses per week.  So if you have 10pts per day for 6 days you can get the $15 Bonus, but if you get 10 Poker Points on the 7th day, you only get the $20 Bonus, not both the 4 day and the 7 day bonus.

You may think it odd that the weeks are named after the suits in the deck and may chalk it up to just Bodog wanting to use the name “PerSuit”.  There is a good reason for the name, however.  At the end of the promotion on June 4, 2011 there is a $10,000 freeroll.  The only way to get into that freeroll is to make a flush on a Texas Holdem ring game.  The flush has some stipulations.  The flush must be in the suit for that week.  Remember the weeks of the promotion are named after the suits in a deck of cards.  You only need to use one card of your hole cards to make the flush, but the hand must go to showdown for a ticket to the freeroll to be issued.  yes, a lot to remember, but it is a $10K Freeroll.

Here are the terms and conditions for the freeroll tickets:

Tournament runs on June 4th at 7:15 PM ET. When a player receives a qualifying flush, they will receive a Tournament Ticket to the $10,000 Freeroll via email by 12:00:00 PM ET the next day. Players can only receive one Tournament Ticket for the $10,000 Freeroll. To qualify for a Tournament Ticket, the flush must be the same suit as the suit of that week (ex: during Diamond Week, a player must receive a Diamond Flush for the hand to qualify), at least one hole card needs to be used, the flush must occur in a Texas Hold’em Cash Game, the hand MUST go to showdown and the hand does not have to be the winning hand. The Tournament Ticket is non-transferrable and can only be used on the $10,000 Freeroll.

Finally, on to the coveted iPad2.  The iPads will be awarded in drawings each week of the promotion.  To get a ticket to the iPad2 drawing, a player needs to earn 10 Poker Points per day for 4 days of the week.

Diamond Week May 2-8, 2011 One iPad2 will be awarded

Club Week May 9-15, 2011 Two iPad2 will be awarded

Hearts Week May 16-22, 2011 Three iPad2 will be awarded

Spades Week May 23-29, 2011 Four iPad2 will be awarded

iPad2 Terms and Conditions:

For the purposes of this promotion, a day is from 12:00:00 AM ET until 11:59:59 PM ET. Every Monday of the promotion, names will be drawn for an iPad 2. To be eligible for the weekly draw, players must earn at least 10 Poker Points per day for 4 days of the week. Draw winners will be notified via phone within 24-48 hours of the draw being held. Draw winners will have a choice to receive either a Bodog branded iPad 2 or a $250 bonus. If chosen, the $250 bonus will have standard rollover: 3x Sports / 20x Casino / 3 Points per dollar.

Take heed.  This promotion is not automatic.  You must OPT-IN to participate in the promotion. To opt into the promotion, simply go to the Bodog Poker home page and click the Cash PerSuit banner located down the left side menu bar.  Enter your Bodog information and you will be signed up for the Cash PerSuit promotion.

Full Tilt Poker Statement on Withdrawals

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Full Tilt Poker released a statement in reaction to their agreement with the Justice Department.  It mostly says that they are pleased that they can give players their money back but the DoJ won’t give them the money that was seized.  That money represented a significant portion of player funds, and they are working to find some system to get money to players as their whole structure for payouts has been destroyed.  The bottom line for players is you still must wait.  Also, any pressure on DoJ in the form of comments on their Facebook page or to local law makers should be continued.  The negative press and anger from consumers is the only reason that we can see for the swift press release from Justice.  Continued pressure is the best way for players to facilitate the return of their funds.

Click Here for a List of Poker Sites that Accept US Players

Full Tilt Poker Statement:

Full Tilt Poker™ is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to regain the use of its worldwide domain name, www.fulltiltpoker.com.

Although players in the United States will not be permitted to engage in real-money play, the agreement expressly allows for real-money play outside of the United States.

In addition, the agreement represents an important first step towards returning funds to U.S. players because it allows Full Tilt Poker to utilize its domain to facilitate the withdrawal of player funds. But, unfortunately, there remain significant practical and legal impediments to returning funds to players in the immediate future. As a result of the recent enforcement action, there exists no authorized U.S. payment channel through which to make refunds; Full Tilt Poker has no accounting of the millions of dollars of player funds that were seized by the government; and the government has not agreed to permit any of the seized player funds to be returned to the players.

Finally, there are numerous legal and jurisdictional issues that must be considered before poker winnings can be paid out to players throughout the United States. While Full Tilt Poker continues to believe that online poker is not illegal under federal law or in 49 states, the indictment and civil forfeiture action filed last Friday require Full Tilt Poker to proceed with caution in this area.

Notwithstanding these issues, Full Tilt Poker is ready to work diligently with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York to try and resolve these issues and to get players their money back as soon as possible.


Poker Players to be allowed Withdrawals

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In what can only be the result of all the bad press the DoJ has gotten over their ignoring real crime while persecuting poker players, today they announced an agreement with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to facilitate the return of funds to US poker players.  The long-winded press release is reprinted in its entirety below, but one of the main points it makes is “The agreements allow for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use the pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com domain names to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies.” I think players should see action this swift as a victory of public opinion and some of the pressure the US Attorneys office of Southern New York has gotten from the public for attacking innocent poker players.

Reaction from Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars will be posted as soon as Holdem Poker Chat gets the news.  As of right now, withdrawals are not yet allowed, but I assume the ability needs to be coded into the software still.

Click Here for a List of Poker Sites that Accept US Players

Full Press Release:

As Part of Agreements, Use of Domain Names Pokerstars.com andFulltiltpoker.com Will Be Restored to Facilitate Return of U.S.Player Funds
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for theSouthern District of New York, announced today that the UnitedStates entered into domain-name use agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, two of three online poker companies named as defendants in an April 15 civil money laundering and forfeiture Complaint (the “Civil Complaint”), alleging bank fraud, wirefraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The Complaint, a related Indictment, and a related Restraining Order issued against multiple bank accounts utilized by the companies and their payment processors do not prohibit the companies from refunding players’ money. Nevertheless, this agreement will facilitate the return of money so that players can register their refund requests directly with Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “On April15th, this Office and the FBI took specific legal action against11 individuals who allegedly engaged not merely in the operationof illegal gambling businesses, but in massive wire fraud, bankfraud, and money laundering, despite repeated warnings and clear notice that their conduct was illegal in the United States. No individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each implicated poker company has at all times been free to reimburse any player’s deposited funds. In fact, this Office expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players, as today’s agreementswith PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate.”
Under the terms of the agreements with PokerStars andFull Tilt Poker, the companies agreed that they would not allow for, facilitate, or provide the ability for players located in the United States to engage in playing online poker for “real
money” or any other thing of value. The agreements allow for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use the pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com domain names to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies. The deposit of funds by U.S. players is expressly prohibited. In addition, the agreements do not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly allow for, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to provide for, and facilitate, players outside of the United States to engage in playing online poker for real money. The agreements also require the appointment of an independent Monitor to verify PokerStars’and Full Tilt Poker’s compliance with the agreements. The Government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker if it so chooses.
An Indictment was unsealed in Manhattan federal courton April 15, 2011 charging eleven defendants, including the founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing business in the United States – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker (the “Poker Companies”) – with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses. The United States also filed a Civil Complaint against the Poker Companies, their assets, and the assets of several payment processors for the Poker Companies. In addition, a restraining order was issued against multiple bank accounts utilized by the Poker Companies and their payment processors.The Government did not restrain any players’ accounts. Five Internet domain names used by the Poker Companies -pokerstars.com; fulltiltpoker.com;  absolutepoker.com;  ultimatebet.com;   and ub.com – were also seized. As alleged in the Indictment and Civil Complaint, the Poker Companies collectively obtained approximately $3 billion in proceeds as a result of their illegal activities.
Assistant U. S. Attorneys SHARON COHEN LEVIN, MICHAELLOCKARD and JASON COWLEY are in charge of the civil moneylaundering and forfeiture actions, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN and NICOLE FRIEDLANDER are in charge of the criminal case.

USA Poker Sites for April 2011

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With recent developments for United States players we have decided to summarize the current choices for US poker online.  This is not meant to be a listing of every site that allows players from the Land of the Free, rather it is a compilation of the sites that Holdem Poker Chat has confidence in and that we feel comfortable recommending to you, the players.




Sportsbook PokerSportsBook Poker

Sportsbook Poker is a financially stable company.  They run the rapidly expanding Merge Gaming software.  As the name implies, you will run into poker players who are really just sports gamblers without a good grasp on poker fundamentals.  Soft play and easy marks are what you can expect with Sportsbook Poker.  The initial signup bonus is a liberal 100% up to $1,000.  No special code is needed to receive this bonus.


Luvin Poker

Luvin Poker is the only room on the growing Everleaf Network that Holdem Poker Chat recommends.   Ladies, if you are tired of the male dominated world of poker, Luvin Poker’s player base is 40% female.    They also offer a huge 200% bonus up to $1,000.  you must enter the code HPCMAX for this bonus.


Lock Poker

Lock Poker is on the Merge Network.  They have recently signed some poker pros to represent them at live events.  Lock Poker has some of the most rewarding monthly promotions.  Cash game players will especially like their rake races and challenges.  Lock Poker offers an initial deposit 200% bonus up to $1,200.  No bonus code is needed to get this deal.


Bodog Poker

Bodog Poker is one of the oldest and most respected names in online wagering.  Their core sportsbook business insures a steady flow of less than savvy players to the poker tables.  In the new order, Bodog offers some of the highest prize pool tournaments available to US players.  The initial deposit bonus of 110% up to $1,100 is nothing to sneeze at.  No bonus code is needed to get this great bonus.


Carbon PokerCarbon Poker

Carbon Poker is the flagship of the Merge Network.  They have perhaps the widest selection of tournaments available on a daily basis.  there is usually always a tournament starting in a few minutes.  There are a few high buyin events, but with the new influx of players expect more mid and high level buyin events to appear.  their $109 buyin $50k guaranteed tournament runs every Sunday.  Initial deposit bonus at carbon poker is 200% up to $500.  you must use the code HPC500 to receive this bonus.

Feds seize Poker Domain Names

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The Feds are once again going after poker sites without defining what “illegal gambling” is. Without a real law, or a working definition, this amounts to just a strong arm shakedown. “We are big tough guys so we will tell you what to do, even though we have no lawful basis to do so”

Excerpt from a press release I am sure that they are very proud of:



Multi-Billion Dollar Civil Money Laundering And Forfeiture Action Also Filed

Internet Domain Names Used By The Poker Companies Seized

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JANICE FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of an indictment today charging 11 defendants, including the founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing business in the United States—PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker (the “Poker Companies”)—with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The United States also filed a civil money laundering and in rem forfeiture complaint (the “Civil Complaint”) against the Poker Companies, their assets, and the assets of several payment processors for the Poker Companies. In addition, restraining orders were issued against more than 75 bank accounts utilized by the Poker Companies and their payment processors, and five Internet domain names used by the Poker Companies to host their illegal poker games were seized.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits. Moreover, as we allege, in their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don’t like simply because they can’t bear to be parted from their profits.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK said: “These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck. They lied to banks about the true nature of their business. Then, some of the defendants found banks willing to flout the law for a fee. The defendants bet the house that they could continue their scheme, and they lost.”

The whole press release can be found here: