In this week’s poker news round-up we see Greece winning their third bracelet of the World Series of Poker Europe festival, Phil Hellmuth agreeing to coach November Niner Federico Butteroni, and much more.
Normally, when I think of the word Greece, an image of Olivia Newton John’s skin tight black leggings and red high heels creep into that rock crevice of a brain of mine. The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) in Berlin is changing that. I’m not happy about it. Now when I think of the word Greece I see hairy men winning WSOP bracelets.
The lads from England are not too far behind.
Richard Gryko won Event #3, and Barny Boatman won his second career bracelet winning Event #7. Both events were Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) with Boatman capturing the €550 buy-in bracelet, and Gryko taking the honours in the more prestigious €3,250 buy-in event.
Barny Boatman was a founding member of The Hendon Mob, before all rights to that claim were sold to Alex Dreyfus. Joe ‘The Elegance’ Beevers was also part of poker’s first ever crew, and I caught up with him this week to talk about Boatman’s success, the Betting Emporium and much more.
As I type, there are two events remaining in the inaugural visit to Berlin. Once the Main Event and High Roller are done and dusted, all that remains will be to crown a WSOP Main Event champion.
This week we learned that November Niner Federico Butteroni has hired none other than Phil Hellmuth to coach him prior to the big day. I got the opportunity to speak to another Nov Niner this week. Neil Blumenfield, 61, hasn’t secured a coaching contract from one of poker’s giants, but he has secured a sponsorship deal with one of them. 888Poker has got Blumenfield’s back, and you can read all about it right here.
The cream of poker’s top will soon be flying from Berlin to Malta for the second visit of the European Poker Tour (EPT). A plethora of big buy-in action is on offer, as they once again unite with the Italian Poker Tour (IPT), but the innovation doesn’t stop with live Spin & Go, and Flipout events being held for the first time.
The EPT was one of the winners at the 2015 Global Poker Index (GPI) European Poker Awards (EPA), earlier in the year, winning the Event of the Year Over $2,000 Award. At the other end of that scale, PokerListings Battle of Malta (BOM) picked up the Event of the Year Under $2,000 award, and in a few weeks they will be hosting their fourth iteration of the popular low buy-in event.
The BOM holds numerous records in European live tournament poker including the largest field ever assembled in Malta when 1,447 entrants turned up to duel last year. At a recent press conference held ahead of the 2015 BOM event, Paul Bugeja, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Malta Tourism Authority, told google-eyed reporters that the event handled 12% of the nation’s GDP, second only to tourism.
Malta is going to be huge.
But so is Prague in December.
This week Tonybet Poker announced plans to host their second OFC World Championships at Kings Casino in the Corinthia Hotel in Prague. The festival will take place in December, and will feature a series of events including a €10k OFC High Roller and €1k OFC Main Event.
The OFC Championships squeezes between the EPT Prague Festival and the WPT Prague Main Event. Partypoker sponsor the WPT Prague Main Event, and this week the online poker room announced a series of controversial changes in line with their Poker for the People campaign.
In a bid to retain recreational players, partypoker took the decision to automate cash game placements, and will not allow you to see avatars or screen names until dealing you a hand. This second change largely negates third party software such as seating scripts. A third change – the limiting of hand histories – is planned in the coming weeks, and should spell the end for HUDs on the site.
Partypoker aren’t the only online poker room changing furniture this week. PKR also announced plans for ‘seismic changes’ in 2016, and the Team Pro Ambassador concept does not fall within the remit. As such, PKR Pros Dan O’ Callaghan, and Eleanor Gudger are now surplus to requirements.
If O’ Callaghan and Gudger start struggling for cash, perhaps the pair could organise a fight?
That’s what Olivier Busquet did this week when he sent out an open invite for an MMA fight on Twitter. JC Alvarado – not content with beating up opponents on the WSOPE Main Event Final Table – answered the call, and the pair will now square off sometime in April with Alvarado posting $150,000 in prize money, and Busquet $120,000.
Three other players were landing knockout blows this week.
Amanda Heidbrick won the opening event at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Hammond for $101,190, Lin Shi won the soon to be defunct Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) Melbourne Main Event for $170,641, and Michael Ferrarotti won the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Michigan State Poker Championships for $134,642.
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.