Mississippi resident Ryan Stevenson has won the World Series of Poker-Circuit Harrah’s Tunica main event, earning $204k, a shiny WSOP-C gold ring and a seat at the WSOP National Championship at Harrah’s New Orleans May 21-23. Stevenson outlasted a demonically inspired field of 666 players, which just bested last year’s 647 entrants. Stevenson held the third-highest stack when the nine-handed final table got underway, and Stevenson personally knocked off his last five opponents, including runner-up Norman McKeldin, who earned $126k. Andrew Rothfolk took third and $92k.
PokerStars has announced that its land-based poker room at the Hippodrome casino in London’s Leicester Square will be open for business March 4. Pokerstars LIVE will offer cash games around the clock and will also host a new low buy-in tournament series April 12-14 presented by the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). Hippodrome chairman Simon Thomas said the new room’s “luxury interior design has been developed to take poker to a new level … with great lighting, comfortable seating and the audiovisual support to the needs of the poker player.”
While expanding into the offline realm, PokerStars is simultaneously exploring new avenues online. As promised in November, PokerStars social gaming product has made its Facebook debut. Essentially a gateway to PokerStars.net with added ‘gamification’ features, the beta release of Stars’ Flash-based Facebook app has already exceeded its player capacity. Full details on the app can be found here. And yes, Americans can play.
Television coverage of the World Poker Tour’s Season XI will get underway this month on Fox Sports Networks (FSN). The first of 33 one-hour episodes will air Sunday, Feb. 24, with Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten once again manning the microphones and Kimberly Lansing returning as show anchor.
Finally, the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) held their initial online satellites this weekend. A whopping 130 players entered via Mypok.fr and Partouche.fr, with 13 surviving to progress to Day 2 aka the first day of live play on the pitch in London’s Wembley Stadium. This coming weekend will see US players get their chance to qualify for the privilege of flying across the Atlantic on their own dime to find out if the event is cancelled at the last minute.