In this week’s poker news round-up we cover the release of a brand new game from PokerStars, the second instalment of King of the Hill, and an appearance on the Lewis Howes podcast from one of poker’s most elegant.
The most impressive news story of the week has to be the release of the real money version of PokerStars Power Up. It’s the most significant disruptive force in the online poker industry since Full Tilt Poker launched Rush Poker in 2010.
If Hearthstone and Poker made love, Power Up would be the bastard offspring. It’s the clearest indication, yet, that an online poker room understands the need to pivot if they are going to continue growing in an ever-advancing technological age.
Generally, a bit of Ike Haxton bashing excepted, the feedback has been excellent. The game did encounter some problems and had to be taken off the shelf for a screwdriver poke, but Stars promise it will return early next week.
I still haven’t played the game.
I reserve full judgment until I do.
In other PokerStars news, a former employee, Michael Josem, wrote a piece for PokerNews identifying that Stars were advertising four positions to work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. The most interesting point about the jobs is they report to Poker Innovation and not Game Integrity a point that Josem believes will lead to more new games enshrined in AI. I shared my thoughts on the move, here.
Finally, PokerStars Team Pro Aditya Agarwal became the latest player from India to become involved in the Global Poker Index’s foray into his homeland. Agarwal will take the reins of his hometown team The Kolkata Creators.
partypoker Has a World #1; Grand Prix Austria News; Becker Bankruptcy Talk
From one GPL star to another and Fedor Holz won his first tournament since joining partypoker. Holz appeared at the Grand Prix in Austria and took down the €2,200 buy-in High Roller for €34,000. It was also a week where Holz underlined his prominence outside of the poker world when he featured on the Lewis Howes podcast.
The Main Event at the Grand Prix Austria attracted 5,230 entrants, and Vladimir Burstein took the title and €47,250 in prize money after a five-way deal saw the runner-up Martin Lechter earning the most money €48,530.
One of the stars of the Grand Prix was the two time Wimbledon winner, Boris Becker, but his appearance saw the UK journalists preparing to get blood on their pen, after suggesting Becker was bankrupt with a debt load of £34m. Sources close to the star tell me that the story is a load of old codswallop.
Finally, partypoker ambassador, Kristen Bicknell, moved past Cate Hall to become the Global Poker Index (GPI) Female World Number One. Bicknell recently made the final table of the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event in Sao Paulo finishing in the seventh place.
WSOP News: Hesp is Back, Gold Ring Update, Ferguson Could Get a Banner
John Hesp is back!
Who cares about his next movie?
Three months after he finished fourth at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for $2.6m, Hesp has finally made an ITM cash, and would you Adam & Eve it; it was a seventh-place finish in the £10 rebuy at his local where he earned £200. The Rio is alright, but it’s not a patch on Napoleons.
The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) is currently entertaining Europeans in the village of Rozvadov in the Czech Republic. Seven gold ring events are in the bag: Andrej Desset won the opening game for €94,495. In April he won the partypoker Grand Prix Germany at the same venue.
888Poker Country Manager Ben Bensimhon beat PokerStars Team Pro Felipe Ramos to earn his second gold ring in a matter of a few months. And Catalin Pop added a gold ring to the 888Live King’s Main Event he won earlier in the year.
Across the pond, and Justin Boggs topped a field of 424 entrants to win the $139,920 first prize in the WSOPC Main Event in Southern Indiana. Danny Lawson won the Casino Championship award.
Finally, if Chris “Jesus” Ferguson does win the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) his face will be thrust upon a banner unfurled during the 49th Annual WSOP. The WSOP confirmed the news in a WSOPE Media Guide. Ferguson was rewarded with a free seat into the WSOPE Main Event for cashing 15-times during the summer to take the POY lead into King’s.
Bits and Bobs
Smain Mamouni topped a field of 433 entrants to win the $105,255 first prize at the WPTDeepStacks Marrakech Main Event, and the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced six new stops in their latest schedule and the Bay 101 Shooting Stars event was not amongst them. Rumours abound that the casino’s decision to move home and reduce table space is a primary reason.
A former online poker pro has won the World Scrabble Championships. David “Deldar182” Eldar took the honour and £7,000 first prize in Nottingham. Eldar has won millions playing mid-high stakes cash games online at PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Olivier Busquet won the second King of the Hill event, and £200,000 in prize money. Busquet defeated Shaun Deeb in Round 1, before taking out Parker “Tonkaaaa” Talbot in the final.
Finally, Jaime Staples shared his habits in Poker Routines, and I wondered why nobody thought it was a little odd that Dan Bilzerian would choose to film his escape from the Las Vegas massacre with bullets flying around his head in Selfie Psychosis.
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone just called the clock.