Lee Davy captures the week’s poker headlines including a storm concerning the Poker Hall of Fame, complaints about the reduction in European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final buy-in, and much more.
The Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) Class of 2015 is known and spears tipped with xenophobic poison are currently being thrown around the Internet. Whether one of the them lands in the ass of someone who can propose radical changes to the existing process remains to be seen.
The two newest additions are multiple World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winners Jennifer Harman and John Juanda. Despite Juanda being Indonesian by birth, he is being branded as a North American along with the other 50 members of what one respected member of our little bubble called ‘Madame Tussaud’s of US Poker.’
John Duthie created that cool brand during an exclusive op-ed penned for PokerNews this week. The EPT founder was angry that once again international players failed to make the cut. Joe Beevers went one step further by creating his very own PHOF on his personal blog. There is currently one incumbent: the late Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot.
Moving swiftly from the 2015 PHOF to the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year (POY) and Mike Gorodinsky saw off a late challenge from Jonathan Duhamel to become the 11th player to win the award. Gorodinsky couldn’t even flame a creme brulee in Berlin, but his 42nd place finish in Event: #8 €1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo was critical, as it earned him 94.62 points, and the final margin between him and Duhamel was 77.17 points.
Duhamel was able to squeeze into contention by exploding like a human hand grenade in Berlin. He cashed three times, made two final tables, and won the €25,600 High Roller for €554,395. He now owns three WSOP bracelets.
The World Series of Poker Europe’s (WSOPE) inaugural trip to Berlin came to a close with a second bracelet victory for Kevin MacPhee. The American won the €10,450 Main Event to win the €883,000 first prize. It’s the most successful live tournament annual haul in MacPhee’s professional career.
All that remains to draw a line under the 2015 WSOP is to crown the Main Event champion. I sat down to talk about the possibility of wearing that crown with Pierre Neuville this week, and the favourite to win the title – Joe McKeehen – warmed up for the big day by taking down the 2015 Wynn Poker Classic.
Rounding off the WSOP news of the week and DraftKings have decided it’s best they enter a cooling off period in their relationship with the WSOP. The announcement came amid the troubles the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operator is currently facing after Nevada gaming authorities stamped down on their action until they apply for, and successfully gain, a licence.
From Berlin to Malta.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) Malta Festival is currently underway. Natan Chauskin won the Italian Poker Tour (IPT) Main Event for €149,560; Steve O’Dwyer won the €10,000 Single Day High Roller earning €327,030 and Mike McDonald won the €25,000 High Roller for €498,575.
In the side-event news, highlights included Anthony Zinno winning the €5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-Handed event for €67,610 and Justin Bonomo doing likewise in a €2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event to win €96,410. The Main Event is in its fourth day of action. There are 19-players left including the likes of Kitty Kuo, Faraz Jaka and Niall Farrell. Johnny Lodden created a little bit of history when he cashed for the 21st time – an EPT record.
EPT Malta is the second of six EPT festivals this season. As usual the Grand Final will take place in Monte Carlo, and EPT officials recently announced a change that will see the Main Event buy-in reduce from €10,600 to €5,300. The decision was made to lure more recreational players into the fold, but it wasn’t a decision that was popular with the professionals. I spoke to some and you can catch up on their feedback right here.
Some news from the darker side of poker.
Daniel Tzvetkoff, the man many believe is responsible for the fall of online poker in the US, has been spotted alive and well in Australia’s Gold Coast this week. The former Intabill founder escaped a lengthy jail sentence after becoming an FBI informant during the whole Black Friday thingamajig.
It seems Borgata Chipgate Scandal star Christian Lusardi was unable to cut the same sort of deal as the Australian. The FBI wasn’t interested in Lusardi’s knowledge on how to get his hands on counterfeit chips. This week a judge slammed a gavel down on a five-year jail sentence. I doubt Alligator Blood author James Leighton will be looking to write a book on this dude.
I will end as I always do with some individual flair.
Germany’s Konrad Swinarski won the inaugural Full Tilt International Poker Open in Dublin for $47,064: Nick Aguilera won the Run It Up Reno Main Event for $42,830: Krzysztof Stybaniewicz won the largest WSOPC Main Event in 2015 at Hammond for $356,043: Zachery Scheider won the WSOPC High Roller at that same location for $101,250, and the British trio of Joe Beevers, Sin Melin and Scott O’Reilly picked up a sponsorship deal with the Swedish nicotine aid outfit Nicoccino.
Time ladies and gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.