Lee Davy brings you his weekly round up of poker news: including highlights from the World Series of Poker Europe, a new sponsorship deal for World Poker Tour and more.
We start in Berlin.
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) has returned to European shores, after their newly biennial jauninserted t Down Under. There are 10-bracelets up for grabs, and a Player of the Year race to sort out.
Five bracelets have been handed out at the time of writing. The first event saw Makarios Avramidis pull off a shock. Born in Greece, but now living in Germany, the restaurateur beat a final table that included the likes of Paul Michaelis, Stephen Chidwick and Marvin Rettenmaier on his way to victory in Event #1: Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE).
The hosts won their first bracelet in Event #2: €550 The Oktoberfest NLHE. Dietrich Fast stopping John Gale from winning his third bracelet; Steve O’Dwyer finishing fifth. Gale wasn’t able to bring the bracelet to the British Isles, but Richard Gryko was. He took down Event #3: €3,250 Eight-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) denying Roberto Romanello a berth in the Triple Crown club.
They say that money goes to money, and that was certainly the case when Credit Suisse employee Ryan Hefter won Event #4: €1,650 No-Limit Hold’em, Monster Stack; David Peters finished ninth.
Finally, Alex Komaromi became the first bracelet winner from Uruguay after winning Event #5: €2,200 8-Game Mixed Event. That final table included the likes of Scott Clements (2nd), Jonathan Duhamel (4th) and Shaun Deeb (5th).
It will be interesting to see if the WSOP keeps their word and moves back to Australia for the WSOP-APAC next year. If that’s the case, then we won’t see the event return to Europe until 2017. When it does, I want to see it move to Ogmore Vale, and I give my reasonings why right here.
From the WSOP to the World Poker Tour (WPT).
I spent the week in the wonderful city of Brussels, where I participated in the WPT National Main Event. It didn’t work out. I lost…again. But I did get to see my first-ever begging baby. Read all about it in my Confessions Series right here.
I might be able to afford a WPT National Main Event buy-in, but it will be some time before I will be entering into a WPT Alpha8 event. But if I were to start playing the lottery, buy some tickets and win, in the next few weeks, then I am in luck. The prestigious Super High Roller buy-in will be making a return to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. A $100,000 buy-in event will become part of the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December.
The winner of both the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas & Five Diamond Classic Main Event will each receive an Aurae 14k solid gold Mastercard. The two companies have struck a sponsorship agreement. If you are thinking what’s the point of that? It’s worth knowing that each card will come equipped with $10,000 worth of free spending money.
With the likes of the WPT, EPT and WSOP manhandling the high roller end of the market, what about the working class end?
888Poker have that covered with their 888Poker Live Local Series. They had a surprise in store this week when they announced plans to hold their Grand Final in the Football Mineirao Stadium in Brazil. There are 62,000 seats. I am sure there will be room.
The Irish Open announced their schedule for the 2016 iteration. The Main Event will carry a €500,000 guarantee, but there was no sign of the sponsors PaddyPower on the press release. It seems the oldest poker tournament in Europe is after a new sponsor.
The Irish Open weren’t alone in parting company with old buddies this week. PKR decided their Team Pro policy was not going to be a part of their future. Eleanor Gudger and Dan O’Callaghan are now looking for new work. And PokerStars decided they had reached the end of their relationship with tennis sensation Rafael Nadal. The Grand Slam giant parted ways with the Red Spade after three years where he is rumoured to have earned $6.5m.
Rafael Nadal once played against Vanessa Selbst in heads-up action. Selbst put the Spaniard in his place. This week the most coveted female poker player in history turned her hand towards charity fundraising. Selbst and a wide range of poker pros and celebrities raised $160,000 for the Urban Justice Centre in New York. Selbst is a board member of the non-profit.
Full Tilt gave the rest of poker an idea of future strategy when they appeared on the PC video game platform Steam Greenlight. There are a lot of eyeballs glued to Steam, and a lot of them are youngsters. I offered my opinion on whether the future would see teenage boys turning into pro poker players after a 15-year-old Hearthstone star signed a pro eSports contract with Archon. You can read all about it right here.
A few individuals who deserve a clap.
Corey Thompson won the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room Main Event for $131,720; Greg Himmelbrand won the Parx Casino Big Stax XIII for $80,725, and Russ Head won the WSOP Circuit event in Southern Indiana for $123,420.
Time Ladies & Gentlemen, please.
Someone just called the clock.