Another round-up of the weekly poker news headlines including the Poker Masters, lots of charitable giving, and much more.
It’s time to sit down behind the Grand Piano of poker and bust out some of the greatest hits of the past week, starting with Poker Central and the Poker Masters.
Was it a success?
After Poker Night in America (PNIA) decided to bust out a second episode of the cringe-worthy King of the Hill, I’m not sure what represents a success these days, but I think we’ll see another season.
Steffen Sontheimer dominated the festival, making four of the five final tables, bubbling the other, winning $2,733,000 a flashy purple jacket, and $50,000 from Daniel Negreanu in a nifty little side bet.
Heading into the final event (the $100k) any one of the entrants could have won the Purple Jacket, including players who hadn’t bothered to compete in the other four events. If they are to have a second season, then they will have to fix that minor leak.
The event also saw a Twitter bust-up emerge after Daniel Negreanu was humble enough to admit his peers were way ahead of him regarding live MTT skills and laughed at Phil Hellmuth for believing he is the number one seed in these things. Hellmuth responded by defending his right to claim regency because Sontheimer, Fedor Holz and co., well, they have too many flaws. I wrote about the whole debate, right here.
The World Series of Poker Has a Birthday, Releases More WSOPE Details; Cartwright Wins a 7th Gold Ring
The World Series of Poker’s (WSOP), online platform WSOP.com, turned four-years-old this week. In an interview with The Las Vegas Sun WSOP.com chief Bill Rini explained how the poker room had grown revenue on an annual basis, but he was disappointed that Californian poker players hadn’t flocked to the state to take more of a punt. His colleague Seth Palansky said that interstate compacts are the way forward.
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is only four weeks away. WSOP officials announced that PokerNews would take charge of the media coverage, and there would be 14-days of live streaming courtesy of both the WSOP & King’s Casino.
There will be over €18m in Guarantees, including €5m for the €10,350 Main Event which will carry a re-entry clause for the first time in history. They also reminded us that Chris Ferguson could still win the WSOP Player of the Year award, and what a fun sight that would be.
The WSOPE kicks off with a 14-gold ring World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) series, and earlier this week, Kyle Cartwright enjoyed success with the brand when he won his seventh ring at the Imperial Palace in Biloxi. It was the second time Cartwright had won the $1,675 WSOPC Main Event on the property. He picked up $118,332 for the win.
888Poker Sponsor German High Stakes Poker and Donate to REG
888Poker will sponsor the WSOPE in Rozvadov, but I’m not sure how long that relationship will last given partypoker’s recent partnerships with the WSOP including sponsoring WSOPC events in Brazil and Uruguay.
Unperturbed, 888Poker announced plans to sponsor the German version of High Stakes Poker. The show currently airs on the German TV channel Sport 1, and amongst those playing include the King’s Casino owner, Leon Tsoukernik.
And 888Poker, also did their bit for charity this week. The second largest online poker room in the world donated close to $50,000 to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) via Raising For Effective Giving (REG) after donating reg fees from three of their XL Eclipse events.
PokerStars Partner with CARE International, Axe Beat The Clock, and Gruissem Wins a WCOOP Title
Sticking with the REG theme and co-founder Philipp Gruissem won his first World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) title when he took down a $215 rebuy event for $75k. Chris Hunichen also won his first WCOOP title after triumphing in a PLO 6-Max for $53k. And Pedro Zagalo took down the $25k PLO High Roller for $420k.
Like 888Poker, PokerStars also got into the charitable act this week after partnering with CARE International. The pair is raising money for the victims of Hurricane Irma.
And finally, PokerStars took Beat The Clock out of the lobby and moved it into the trash can to make way for better products. PokerStars also released their Festival schedule for Sochi and announced a second MEGASTACK event in Malta.
Bits and Bobs
PokerStars associate Kevin Hart has been in the news this week. The man who has promised to put the fun back into poker has issued a public apology to his pregnant wife, and two children after it became apparent that he had been up to no good with a young 26-year old actress and singer, Montia Sabagg.
Hart came clean after it became clear he was the victim of a blackmail plot. Sources close to TMZ stated that a tape showing the pair in some sexual act was in play, although Kevin Hart cannot be seen having sex. Sabagg held a press conference to say she had been ‘involved’ with Hart but denied any involvement in a tape or a blackmail plot.
Dan Bilzerian was also in the news this week. During an interview with Graham Bensinger, the King of Instagram revealed that he gave all of his trust fund money to his brother, because he didn’t need it, and once had $18m in play during a poker game with a ‘crazy billionaire.’
The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced JetSmarter as their official private jet partner, which is absurd when you think people who have $18m on the table are the only ones likely to want to use the service.
Sean Yu won the Commerce Poker Series for $209,030 and promptly donated 5% of his winnings to the Hurricane Irma fund. Alex Greenblatt won the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event in Black Hawk for $179,274, and Leung Cheung won the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event in Leeds for £37,900.
Finally, Timothy Adams shared his secrets to success in Poker Routines, Jordan Young shared his rock bottom moments in my new column Poker Grit, and I opined on which online poker room would win the Game of Doors?
Time, ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.