Poker News Round-up
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Poker News Round-up: Week #24
Week two of the World Series Of Poker has been a bit of a better one for those eagerly keeping an eye on their WSOP fantasy league teams. Whilst week one was characterised by the emergence of some new and often young talent at the final tables, week two saw plenty of the more recognisable names going deep.
The week started with Phil Ivey looking to add another bracelet to his already impressive tally in the $5,000 world championship stud event. In the end though Ivey narrowly missed out on a sixth WSOP win as he went down at the heads up stage against the experienced Chris Reslock, who took only seven hands to secure first place and just over a quarter of a million dollars.
Joining him on five bracelets shortly afterwards was Allen Cunningham, who won the $5,000 world championship pot limit hold’em against a very high calibre field. 56 players that started this tournament were already bracelet winners, and Roland de Wolfe can’t have been too chuffed when he sat down to find three of them at his table in the form of David Grey, Todd Brunson and Howard Lederer. As might have been expected, the final table was very tough and Cunningham had to see of the likes of Humberto Brenes, Jeff Lisandro, Jason Lester and Gavin Griffin to take the title. In doing so he became the third youngest player to reach five bracelets, and also became the fifth person ever to win a bracelet in three consecutive years.
One of the players who reached five wins quicker than Cunningham was Phil Hellmuth, who has just kept adding to that total since. Having started the series tied with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson on a record ten wins each, Hellmuth no longer has to share this accolade with anybody else following his victory in event fifteen, $1,500 no limit hold’em. Criticisms have been levelled at Hellmuth in the past, such as that he can only play Texas hold’em (all his wins have been at hold’em), and even then only in tournaments and not cash games, but there is just no arguing that eleven bracelets is a truly magnificent achievement. Chan and Brunson were on hand to present the bracelet to Hellmuth, and both agreed that they have now been fired up with an extra incentive to capture another title for themselves.
As historic as Hellmuth’s win was, there were very few people actually present to witness it live. This was one of the events being broadcast to subscribers ‘as live’, with a one hour delay to prevent the possibility of any outside interference from those who got to see players’ hole cards. All players were allowed to have just one guest present to view proceedings, whilst all other friends, family and fans had to watch the delayed broadcast from outside the room. In their efforts to ensure no details of events were leaked to anyone outside, organisers insisted that no mobile phones were allowed in the room, and that the whole group spent the entire duration of the final table together, even on dinner breaks.
Raymer then had an even better chance to collect another title in the $2,000 stud hi/lo tournament a few days later. Down to four players, Raymer had eliminated the previous three and had more chips than the remaining three players combined. From such a dominant position Raymer then saw every one of those chips slip through his fingers in the space of forty minutes as the other three took turns to relieve him of his stack. The Fossilman made an unexpected exit in fourth place, and Ryan Hughes went on to win the title.
Daniel Negreanu had rated himself a 5/1 shot to pick up a bracelet this year and had accommodated several bets via his website from anyone who disagreed that he would collect his fourth WSOP win. He had also offered to take bets that he would pick up his next bracelet before Hellmuth. The latter part had gone down early for him as Hellmuth had already cruised to victory days before, but any takers for the former part were made to sweat in event twenty one, $1,500 no limit hold’em shootout. Negreanu was amongst the nine players who started the final table all equal on chips and began to take control of the table early on. With seven players left he had over half the chips in play and looked like he was going to stroll to victory. However, following hot on the heels of Greg Raymer’s performance, Negreanu then turned in a Devon Loch style performance of his own. Even with three left he looked a shoe-in for the title, but never really recovered after doubling up eventual winner Don Baruch when all in on a massive draw that missed, and instead Negreanu took a series of hits that saw him eliminated in third.
Rumours had been circulating for some time that Negreanu was about to become a member of the Pokerstars team, and sure enough that announcement was made this week. He had previously been the figurehead of his own online cardroom, Full Contact Poker, but it never really established itself in the market and after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was introduced, speculation was rife that the Full Contact poker room could not continue on its own. All Full Contact player accounts have now been transferred across to Pokerstars, although the Full Contact website will still exist to host features such as the forum and Negreanu’s blog.
Another rumour that had been floating around for a while was also substantiated this week when the European Poker Tour confirmed that the buy in for the regular season of events had been increased to €8,000 (or the equivalent value in those countries which do not use the Euro.) The grand final in Monte Carlo will remain at the present buy in of €10,000. A surprise addition to the schedule was announced that will see the tour now include the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. This was formerly a World Poker Tour event and might seem a strange addition as it is clearly nowhere near Europe, but it does demonstrate how successful John Duthie’s previous events have been that he is now looking to expand further afield. This year the PCA attracted 937 players and it would easily break the record number of entries for an EPT event if it drew in a similar number in January.
The Great British Poker Tour stops off at Bournemouth this weekend where Joe Beevers amongst others will be looking to get a little more live success under his belt before heading off to Vegas. Details of the GBPT event and of course all the action from the WSOP will be featured here next week.
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