John Dibella: Winner of 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event

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John Dibella was declared winner of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2012 main event. For his accomplishment, he claims a $1,775,000 grand prize, along with 2,400 points toward Card Player Magazine’s Player of the Year Award.

Dibella avoided the $10,000 buy-in into the 2012 PCA main event through a live satellite that cost $1,000 to enter. This made him one of three amateur players to make it to the final table. Considering there were only 8 players at the final table, that meant amateurs made up almost half the final table.

Runner-up in the event was Kyle Julius who claimed $1.5 million and 2,000 Player of the Year points for his accomplishment. Franz Jaka came in third place, for $775k and 1,600 POY points. Xuan Liu came in fourth place for $600k and 1,200 POY points. Mark Drover came in fifth place for $468k and 1,000 POY points. Anthony Gregg came in sixth place for $364k and 800 POY points. David Bernstein came in seventh place for $260k and 600 POY points. And Ruben Visser came in eighth place for $156,400 and 400 POY points.

Dibella claims this as his biggest cash win in live poker. His prior winnings include tenth place in a 2006 WSOP event ($1.5k NL Holdem) and he cashed for $16,000, previously his biggest win to date, as coincidence would have it, in the ’08 PCA main event.

Before taking down the 2012 Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure main event, John Dibella’s total poker career winnings was $42k.

PCA Main Event Down to 24 Players

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureThe 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has had some exciting poker to this point, and it started off with their $100k buy-in High Roller event.  Now, the PCA Main Event is down to only 24 players at the end of Day 4, and one player finds himself at the top of the leaderboard and sitting pretty heading into Day 5.  Faraz Jaka may not be incredibly well-known to the common poker fan, but his play has been stellar, as he has found himself almost always near the top of the leaderboard throughout this tournament, and heading into Day 5 he sits alone at the top.

Jaka has a total of 4.1 million chips, and continued to grow on his lead throughout the day.  Currently, his closest competitor is Alex Fitzgerald (2.70 million), but he is still over 1.4 million chips behind Jaka.  There are quite a few players who are still within striking distance of course, and one hand can change everything, but it’s hard not to like the way that Jaka is playing currently.  To round out the top five, you’ll find Phil D’Auteuil with 2.28 million, Anthony Gregg with 2.14 million, and Byron Kaverman with 2.13 million chips. Close behind is Sam Greenwood in 6th with 2.10 million chips, but after that the remainder of the field finds themselves below 2 million chips.

As far as other players who are remaining in the field, there is one female player remaining, as Xuan Liu is sitting with over one million chips, at 1,082,000.  Liu has been impressive in this past year, as she had some nice cashes at the World Series of Poker, and also had a third place finish at the European Poker Tour’s San Remo event.  Some of the other players that you may know by name are Daniel Shiff with 834k, Ruben Visser with 461k, and David Peters 424k, who all have a shot to be able to make a run when it matters most.

Something interesting to note about the event in terms of players who were sent home already, was that well-known golfer Sergio Garcia took his seat, and even made a run into Day 4!  He was eliminated though when his A-J couldn’t catch up to the pocket queens of his opponent.  Garcia did make it into the top 50 though, and took home a payout of $35k for his efforts.  Other well-known players who have been sent home are Galen Hall, Chris Klodnicki, and Arnaud Mattern.  Barry Greenstein also has been sent home, but he made it into the cash, as he finished in 25th place and took home $46k.

Action will continue at Noon local time on Thursday, and players will play down until we have a final table set.

WSOP Main Event Winner Gets Robbed

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In some shocking news, a former World Series of Poker Main Event winner is in the middle of an alleged assault on Wednesday morning.  Jonathan Duhamel is one of the best up and coming young stars in the poker world, and is best known for winning the 2010 WSOP Main Event, and taking home the $8.9 million grand prize for it.  On top of the alleged assault, his home was also the target in a home invasion as well.  No one has made statements about it except for Duhamel’s agent, Phillipe Jette, who made a few remarks that help prove the truth in this story.

Jette said that Duhamel was injured during the incident, and made statements like that his “Christmas photos won’t be the prettiest”, and also that “getting out of bed will be particularly hard tomorrow”.

There hasn’t bee anyone specifically named  in this assault yet, but the story is that two men went to a house on Wednesday morning at 9:15am in Boucherville.  The two men then rang the door bell and this led to them assaulting the man who opened the door.  It was an armed assault, and no one has stated if there was anything taken from the house by the two men who were involved.

Duhamel has had quite a bit of success in the poker world, which obviously all starts with his $8.9 million payday.  After winning the Main Event, he went on to travel around the world and play in many different poker tournaments.  He won over $600k on his trip, and is also a part of Team PokerStars Pro roster as well.

You never want to hear a story about any type of assault, but this is not the first time that a poker player has been in the midst of a situation like this.  Doyle Brunson wrote about his run in with a home invasion and assault, and Greg Raymer was also once nearly robbed at the Bellagio as well.  Obviously before any final conclusions are made, we’ll have to see what exactly happened, but this is a story that is definitely worth keeping your eye on.

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.

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.

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.

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.

LadBrokes Poker Irish Poker Festival 10 Seat Guarantee

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Earlier today, Ladbrokes Poker, announced it is guaranteeing 10 seats (worth €550 each) for the main event of the 2011 Irish Poker Festival in the weekly qualifying final on the 15th September. Ladbrokes Poker has also lowered the buy-in to the weekly final to €50+5 with daily satellites available.

The Irish Poker Festival is a must on anyone’s Poker calendar – the 2010 event saw 633 runners in the main event alone, and 2011 is already shaping up to be bigger. The four day event will be held from the 29th September to 2nd October, with the €550 main event once again having a guaranteed prizepool of a massive €250,000.
Ladbrokes is also throwing in a value bursting offer  for the first 10 Ladbrokes qualifiers who are knocked out of the Killarney Main Event. They will be entered into the two day side event starting on Saturday 1st October (seat worth €300). Ladbrokes qualifiers who are knocked out 11th to 20th will be entered to the one day side event on Sunday 2nd October (seat worth €150).

Ladbrokes has also released odds on the winner of the tournament, so those who fancy a flutter on the nationality, age, sex and even how they qualified can have one.  At the moment it is 4/7 that the winner will be from Ireland or 15/8 that he or she will be 24 years old or younger. Ladbrokes is also offering odd of 9/2 that a woman will make the final table again this year.

Susanna Havukainen, from Ladbrokes Poker said:

“The excitement is really building for this year’s Irish Poker Festival in Killarney. We are delighted to be able to guarantee 10 seats for the main event from the qualifier on September 15th , and with the live event so close and so many still wanting that ticket the competition is bound to get intense.”