Undersized WPT Championship; overstuffed SCOOP; PartyPoker inks Rettenmaier


HPT-WSOPC-WPT-SCOOPGerman pro Marvin Rettenmaier wasn’t a free agent for long. Less than two weeks after announcing he’d amicably parted ways with Titan Poker, Rettenmaier has signed on with Team PartyPoker, joining the likes of Kara Scott, Tony G and Mike Sexton. Party unveiled their latest standard bearer at the World Poker Tour Championship currently underway at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The 152-strong field at this year’s WPT Championship is making news for being the smallest since 2003’s 111 competitors took to the felt. Last year’s field was 220, up from 195 in 2010 but still way off 2007’s high-water mark of 639. Not the way WPT organizers would have hoped to finish out their season, no doubt.

By comparison, this year’s PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) was the most successful in its history. In terms of participants, Stars attracted 526,154 entries from 156 countries, smashing the previous high of 461,936 set in 2010, and the $65.3m prize pool beat 2010’s $64.2m. Nick Grippo won the $10k ‘high’ buy-in main event, earning $798k for overcoming 516 competitors. Due to a three-way deal, Canadian player “sp00led” and Polish player “sosickPL” each earned $718k for placing second and third respectively. Oh yeah, and some young punk named Shaun Deeb won an unprecedented fourth SCOOP 2012 event (and his fifth overall) by taking the $2k HORSE title. Dude, quit bogarting my tourney…

Turning back to the live poker tourney scene, Justin Truesdell won the final main event of the World Series of Poker Circuit’s current season at Harrah’s New Orleans. Truesdell outlasted 693 competitors (the largest-ever field for this WSOP-C stop) to earn $204k and his second gold ring (the first being at Harrah’s Tunica in 2009). Andrew Nguyen was the last to fall at Truesdell’s hands, taking $126k for second place. Truesdell will now compete for the WSOP National Championship in Vegas beginning July 6.

Also staging its last event pre-WSOP was the Heartland Poker Tour, which saw 377 players take the field for the main event at the Majestic Star Casinos in Gary, Indiana. Daniel Acevedo emerged triumphant, earning $133k for relegating James Chestnut to second place and $75k. Next up for the HPT is its first ever visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 20 at the Route 66 Casino.

In Europe, Pablo Rojas won the Estrellas Poker Tour Ibiza main event, outlasting 268 competitors to earn just under €41k. Because of an ill-advised deal made when the final table got down to three players, Rojas earned less than second-place finisher Amaury Legait (€50k) and barely more than third place finisher Daniel Ericson (€40k). The Estrellas shifts to San Sebastian on July 26.

Ben Dobson took the France Poker Series Amneville main event, earning €70k for outperforming a 317-strong field. It took three hours for Dobson to dispatch runner-up Guillaume Roiron, who earned €44k for second. Germany’s impressively named Johannes Meyer Zu Wendischoff earned €30k for finishing third.

Richard Evans took the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour main event in Dublin, earning €75k after striking a three-way deal with his remaining two opponents. Regardless how you add it up, Evans got a handsome return on the €45 he reportedly invested in an online qualifier. Stephen McGrath and Seamus Birt took second and third, but their deal ensured that each took home €60k.

Finally, the World Series of Poker has designated Guy Laliberté’s clean-water-for-developing-nations NGO One Drop as an official WSOP charity. It probably didn’t hurt that the $1m buy-in mega-high-roller Big One For One Drop has garnered no shortage of publicity for the WSOP.