Poker News Round-up
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Poker News Round-up: Week #18
We’ll start this week with a report of the WPT grand final event which didn’t quite finish in time to make it into last week’s review. The starting stacks were doubled to 100,000 a few days prior to the tournament’s first day to try and generate more entries in anticipation of a poor attendance, but in truth either you have $25,000 to spend on a tournament buy in or you don’t and enlarging the starting stacks had a predictably negligible effect. Only 338 players started the event in comparison to last year’s 545 in a sure sign that many people are having to tighten their belts this year. Of course most of the best known players in the world were there, theoretically meaning that there were just less marginal players taking part. There wasn’t a total absence of dead money though as the following hand demonstrates when early in day one Andy Bloch and one opponent saw a flop of . Bloch led out for 300 and called the raise of 500 more to see a turn of . Bloch called another 1500 and when the appeared on the river that appeared to prompt his adversary to reach for the self destruct button. His bet of 10,000 was met by a raise to 30,000 by Bloch which should have set the alarm bells ringing, but undeterred he pumped it up to 80,000. Bloch duly moved all in (holding the straight flush) and presumably only just managed to stifle a chuckle when his benefactor folded, leaving himself just 17,000 to cling on to.
Phil Hellmuth enjoys his attention seeking late arrivals, but after turning up a full four hours late he was left with egg on his face when he was out of his seat and heading for the door just fifteen minutes later. He and Amnon Filippi twice got involved in monster pots and twice Filippi found the ideal river card to send the Poker Brat packing, no doubt reflecting on his bad luck with typical good humour.
A slow start to the tournament saw few other players joining Hellmuth on the rail in the early stages but as the tournament progressed the pace picked up, much to the displeasure of Andy Bloch for one. "The structure sucks” he said on day three. "I want everybody to know about it. We spend two and half days wasting all this time for a fifty percent jump. If they want to do that then do it in the later levels, but not now. It sucks. Why not just start us out with 50k and have the levels go up slower? They just want it to look good on paper. Look, wow, you get 100k. So what? It's ridiculous!"
When the money bubble burst on day four it was good news for two of the three Hendon Mob members who had played, with both Barny and Ross Boatman still in the hunt. Barny busted later that day in 33rd place whilst Ross continued well into day five for a highly creditable 15th place after losing a race to Christian Harder. Harder had a good run himself, finishing in fourth place when he was involved in a double elimination with Bertrand Grospellier at the hands of Israeli Ran Azor. He then faced off against Russian Yevgeniy Timoshenko in a heads up battle that lasted just one hand. After Timoshenko had moved in with his massive stack over the initial raise, Azor decided it was time to gamble and called with . Timoshenko’s fell behind to a queen on the flop but the ten on the river which gave Azor two pair also completed the Russian’s Broadway straight for the tournament victory. The prize money was more comparable to second place in 2008 rather than David Chiu’s top prize, but $2,149,960 is very welcome by anyone’s standards and especially so when you’re just 21 years old.
The third place for Grospellier gave him enough points to overtake John Phan in the final event of season seven to take the title of WPT Player Of The Year. Whereas some people might like to take a break after a big tournament result, it was quite the opposite for Elky. This week he has also set a new world record for multi-tabling the most sit n goes in an hour when he opened up 62 games simultaneously across four monitors. With a requirement to show a profit at the end for the achievement to be valid, amazingly it all came down to the very last game in which he scored a victory to push himself slightly into profit for the session and set a new record. With multi-tabling ability like that it’s no wonder he became the first player ever to achieve Supernova and then also Supernova Elite status on Pokerstars.
Here in the UK the main tournament of the week was the GUKPT in Manchester at which 298 people played, helping to confirm the idea that poker tournaments in Europe at least are managing to defy the recession (attendance being only 3.5% down on last year’s equivalent event.) We are used to seeing Chris Moorman crush online MTTs now and many people have been saying that he will convert that into a major live win any time soon, but he has actually been beaten to the punch by his old man. Having entered his father into the tournament as a birthday present, Chris had to take a step back and watch Simon Moorman outlast the whole field for a £88,630 pay day. It looks like Moorman senior is going to be back at further live events in the near future and with personal training from the person who became ranked the number one online MTT player in the world in January he seems a decent bet to get himself on the scoresheet again before too long.
Anyone who remembers the original The Poker Show brought to us with Padraig Parkinson’s own unique flavour will have been pleased to see a radio version of the show return this week as Padraig teamed up with Jesse May for a lively first few episodes. So far the guest list has been most impressive, including Phil Hellmuth and Dan Harrington, but the best part is that anyone can get involved if they have something interesting to say by just adding the show to Skype or MSN contacts so it would be good to hear some Hendon Mob readers on there offering some pearls of wisdom.
As has already been mentioned here in the past couple of weeks, Party Poker seems to be doing plenty that would suggest they think a return to the US market is imminent. Further news on that front this week is that they have brought back Mike Sexton as ambassador and host for the site. Sexton’s association with Party fizzled out with the introduction of the UIGEA, but he is now back and will be at the WSOP wearing Party Poker gear and greeting the online qualifiers. Choosing an American as the site representative would seem a little odd if the expectation was that there would not be a return to accepting US customers, so this ranks as a very interesting move by Party. They are presumably keeping themselves well up to speed with what people like Barney Frank are doing, and he had some interesting news when he spoke at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington this week. He believes that he has now generated sufficient support for his Gambling Regulation And Enforcement Act and he will be introducing the bill next week. He claims to have the backing of many who helped to pass the SAFE Port Act without realising that the UIGEA was deceptively tacked onto it, and the Republicans have now been replaced by Democrats who may well have a different approach to the issue so this could be very good news indeed.
So hopefully there will be further news of any developments with that to bring you next week, along with the results of the EPT grand final which has proved to be a massive attraction once again in Monte Carlo.
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