In this week’s Calling the Clock, Lee Davy brings you news of the 48th Annual World Series of Poker schedule, a second James Chen victory at the Aussie Millions, and much more.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has pinned the schedule for the 48th Annual poker paradise, on the canteen notice board and there is a developing theme.
Of the 74 bracelets up for grabs in the summer, three of them are online events. It’s the third successive year that online bracelet events have featured – meaning they are now as much a part of the furniture as long queues – but it will be the first time the winner of an online bracelet event won’t step foot into the Rio. The $1,000 Online Championship returns and the new $333 & $3,333 buy-in unlimited re-entry events make up the triumvirate. All three events will play out entirely on WSOP.com.
There are five more new events. The first open event will be a $10,000 Tag Team event. A $365 buy-in Giant with Day 1’s held on five consecutive Friday’s also joins the roster. The other new kids in town include a Marathon event, a $10k Omaha event, $1k Super Turbo Bounty, and a $2,500 Big Bet Mix.
As you know, Nevada is only one of three states where you can play a straight game of online poker, and this week we heard news of two more states trying to follow their lead.
The long shot is Hawaii. Senator Will Espero filed online poker bill SB.677 in the hope that he could attract more tourists to the island. Part of Espero’s cunning plan is to enter into compacts with other regulated states so they can lure people to the island via online poker prizes.
The other state to get everybody’s hopes up for nothing is Massachusetts. Senator Bruce Tarr pushed SD.618 underneath the noses of those that matter most, although they might miss it as it’s only three paragraphs long.
Finally, Virginia inched a little closer to legalising live poker in the state. Senator Louise Lucas managed to squeeze Bill 1400 pass the Senate General Laws Committee 8-7. Her casino bill died by a vote of 7-8. What happens next with the poker bill is a question only Albert Einstein can answer, and I am afraid he is dead.
Sticking with Stateside poker news and the American Poker Awards (APA) revealed further details of their February Beverly Hills shindig. Over 150 guests will watch Alex Dreyfus and the team hand out 15 awards. Fresh out of the trophy makers workshop are new awards for Event of the Year, Mid-Major Circuit of the Year, Twitch Streamer of the Year, Podcast of the Year, PocketFives Legacy Award, and a special Hendon Mob Award.
One of the favourites to land a slot on the short list for the Podcast of the Year award is Parker ‘TonkaaaaP’ Talbot. The Canadian Twitch streamer with a combined social media and Twitch following of over 80,000 peeps this week joined 888Poker as a member of their ambassadorial team.
Parker will be streaming five nights a week – how dare he take two days off – and will be appearing at 888Live King’s Festival to do the commentary work alongside David Tuchman in what looks like a strong partnership at 888Live events.
Australasia Poker News
888Poker withdrew their services from Australia last week, and this week I learned that grassroots poker players in the country were trying their very best to prevent further bloodletting in that part of the world.
The withdrawal of 888 came about after the Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, inadvertently put the future of online poker in jeopardy when he drew up the Interactive Gambling Bill in his bid to squeeze the life out of the in-play betting market.
Australian grassroots players got together, threw a few shrimps on the barbie, opened up some tinnies, and created the Australian Online Poker Alliance. They now plan to pepper politicians with poker propaganda – good luck with that.
Switching from online to live and the Aussie Millions is in full swing. Seven players remain in the $100,000 Challenge including the 2016 Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year David Peters, Fedor Holz, Sam Trickett, and local hero David Steicke. That event plays down to a winner on Saturday.
And James Chen won his second tournament of the series when he took down the hotly contested $25k match to add to his victory in the HORSE event. Chen banked $652,909.
And Chen wasn’t the only player earning a decent wage this week. Grant Hinkle won his first World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring after topping a field of 1,451 players in Choctaw for $375,427. Michael Graffeo earned $290,687 when he came out trumps against a field of 1,509 entrants in the WPTDeepStacks event at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open. And Michael Hahn pocketed $190,417 when he defeated 590 candidates to win the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Ameristar East Main Event.
The Borgata Winter Poker Open promises to be something special after the opening event – $560 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Deep Stack Kickoff – attracted 5,512 entrants, making it the largest field the Borgata has ever handled by quite a considerable margin. The final seven players cut a deal that saw them all take home big six-figure scores with Aristoteles Neto taking the title and $216,155.
Over in the UK, and John Bonadies won the first Genting Poker Series (GPS) Main Event of the new season for £31,591, and Stephen Shayler beat 448 participants in the second iteration of the new DTD200 format in Dusk till Dawn for £20,000.
And finally, Vanessa Rousso announced plans to release her first record on Feb 5. It’s called ‘Kiss Face’ and is the first single released in partnership with her N1TEL1TE compadre Melissa Ouellet. And Doug Polk’s YouTube channel received a huge spike in traffic when he critiqued Dan Bilzerian’s play after the bearded wonder hopped onto Bill Perkin’s Americas Cardroom account for a spot of heads-up during Perkin’s Twitch Stream.
Polk wasn’t impressed and suggested he may not have won all of his money playing poker, and the media gobbled it up like a Northern eats mushy peas and gravy.
Time Ladies & Gentleman,
Someone has just called the clock.