Another round-up of poker news including the release of the schedule for the 49th Annual World Series of Poker, a new record for the World Poker Tour at the Bellagio, and Dan Smith and the Crowley Brothers promise to match $1m in a new charity drive.
I’ll start my weekly round-up of news from the world of chips, cards, and cocky card sharps by focusing on the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
In the summer, the iconic poker series returns for the 49th time, and we got a sneak peek at the schedule when someone accidentally leaked the information onto the Club Poker website.
Well, not exactly, the WSOP rectified the situation by releasing the pukka schedule within days of the cock-up.
There will be 78 bracelet events, four more than last year. The most notable change to the roster is the scheduling of 12-bracelet events after the Main Event begins. The series ends with the $1m buy-in One Drop event.
There are nine new events, five have dropped off the radar, and the focus seems to be on providing amateur players with more value, more games for high rollers and lovers of Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO).
Click here for the full schedule.
One man who already has a WSOP bracelet is Jared Jaffee, and this week the New Yorker added a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring to his booty after taking down the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino in California for $211,220.
News From The World Poker Tour
Switching effortlessly to another titan of poker with the word ‘World’ in the title, and Ryan Tosoc made a mockery of the odds when he won the largest-ever World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic, 12-months after coming runner-up in the same event.
Tosoc earned $1.2m for finishing second to James Romero in Season XV, and he banked another $2m for going all the way this time around, beating William Foxen in heads-up action. The event attracted 812 entrants, 21 more than the record set last year.
And the WPTDeepStacks brand crowned another champion, this time in Deauville. Bruno Benveniste took down the event, beating 421 entrants, for his first major title, beating Sandro Pitzanti in heads up to bank €93,700.
News From PokerStars
The final PokerStars Championship of 2017 is currently plucking away in the bowels of Prague. Timothy Adams is the most significant winner thus far, taking down the €25,000 buy-in Super High Roller. The Canadian topped a field of 34 entrants to win the €555,000 first prize, beating Mikita Badziakouski in heads-up action.
The Global Poker Index (GPI) World #1, Adrian Mateos, finished third in that one, and he also finished fourth in a second €25k buy-in event held a few days later. This one attracted 50 entrants, and Albert Daher won the €324,727 first prize, beating Ryan Riess in heads-up action.
Other PokerStars Championship Prague winners include last year’s Main Event winner Jasper Van Putten winning a €10k for €150,000. Jussi Nevanlinna winning a €1,100 Win The Button event for €39,200. And David Peters winning a €2k Turbo for €51,000.
In other PokerStars news, the largest online poker room in the world has teamed up with the largest online retailer in the world. PokerStars is selling branded merchandise on Amazon if you are struggling to buy your other half a Christmas present.
Bits and Bobs
Ireland won the International Federation of Match Poker Nations Cup (IFMP). Team Captain Andy Black won the Most Valuable Player award. The United States Department of Justice (USDJ) revealed the former Full Tilt CEO, Ray Bitar, used banks on the island of Guernsey to launder his money. The news emerged after the USDJ declared a share scheme with Guernsey officials over any dirty money found that involved American investigations. A total of $25.4m of Bitar’s money was split down the middle.
The former Australian part-time high stakes poker player who is awaiting trial for his part in a $76m Ponzi scheme of a different kind ended up in a hospital this week. 58-year-old, Bill Jordanou, received a tomahawk butt to the face over a car deal gone wrong. Jordanou ended up with a busted jaw, nose, and perforated eardrum.
Ari Engel came from nowhere to win the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Player of the Year award. Engel, who only cashed once in an HPT event this season, won the Championship event for $162,154, and as none of the POY challengers came anywhere, he earned a right to play in six HPT Main Event for free next season.
Mike Dentale bested a sick final table that included the likes of Mark Radoja, Joseph Cheong, Dylan Linde, Jack Salter, and Paul Volpe to capture the $185,061 first prize in the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian December Extravaganza.
And fresh off his $100,000 WPT Super High Roller win at the Bellagio, Dan Smith has once again teamed up with the DFS Crowley Brothers to launch a Charity Matching Drive through Raising for Effective Giving (REG). Between now and the end of the year the trio will match your donations up to a limit of $1m.
India’s Poker Sports League (PSL) has turned to chess grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand, to help them convince the legal eagles in their homeland that poker is a game of skill. Inspired by marketing expert Bernadette Jiwa I pose 21 questions that every online poker room should answer, and inspired by a genuinely miserable Jose Mourinho; I wrote Poker and Bad Beats: How to Complain The Right Way?
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.