Poker News Round-up
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Poker News Round-up: Week #17
All the talk this week has of course been of the final event of the World Poker Tour championship event at the Bellagio. At a whopping $25,000 entry, there is no bigger buy in hold’em event around, including of course the main event of the World Series Of Poker. With a record field for this tournament of 639 runners, the prize pool stood just a little short of $16 million, meaning that the first prize for a week’s work here is over $3.9 million.
Playing only two hands does not represent a great deal of value for your $25,000 outlay but that is exactly what happened to Ted Forrest after a sickening incident just minutes into day 1b. His opponent Hollis Stabler inadvertently led out for 30,000 of his 50,000 starting stack after picking up the wrong colour chips. Realising that it was his intention to only bet 3,000, Forrest could not get his own money in quickly enough with pocket aces and perhaps still fazed by his error, Stabler proceeded to call off the rest of his stack with pocket queens on a king high flop. A miracle queen on the river gave Stabler a set and quite possibly put Forrest into therapy for the rest of the week.
Anna Wroblewski had taken first place in one of the smaller events at this festival just days beforehand and was still on form as she took the chip lead after the first day, although by day two it was Englishman Roland de Wolfe who was leading the way with a healthy stack. Current world champion Jamie Gold had won money from a bet with Phil Hellmuth after surviving the first day, but by day three he had also bust despite his ongoing attempts to talk opponents into making mistakes. Gold is still without a tournament cash since his WSOP main event victory last year and looks in danger of going into this year’s World Series without any sort of result under his belt during his reign.
By the end of day three, the bubble had burst at 100 players, Kirk Morrison had made it four consecutive cashes in WPT events and Phil Hellmuth had moved ominously to the top of the leaderboard. Not many people outside of Los Angeles will have heard of Paul Lee but he is a highly experienced tournament player and by the close of play at day four he had taken the chip lead whilst Hellmuth and de Wolfe suffered big hits.
Promising newcomer Praz Bansi was eliminated in 50th place on day five followed by fellow Brits Marc Goodwin and Roland de Wolfe as the field thinned and payouts jumped up in size. With just two tables remaining the there was a very real chance that this event could be won for the first time by a former WSOP main event winner as both Hellmuth and Carlos Mortensen were still alive. Whilst Hellmuth exited in 18th place, Mortensen was still strong when the final table was formed and at the time of writing is joint chip leader with just eight players left.
Domestically, the fourth event of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour has concluded in Manchester and it was stalwart of British poker Dave Colclough who used all his experience to beat a field of 285 runners. Colclough and Barry Neville had arrived at the final table with most of the chips in play in front of those two, and they were unsurprisingly the pair left when heads up play began. Colclough became Dusk Till Dawn’s second sponsored player to win a GUKPT event and banked £88,300 for his efforts.
Not such great news this week for the club itself however as it emerged that three casino chains have objected to their gambling licence. Gala, Stanley’s and LCI have all tried to block the opening of the Nottingham club and a hearing has been scheduled for September. Whilst construction of the club is almost complete it is unlikely that any poker will be actually be played in it much before Christmas even if the next hearing is favourable for the DTD team.
US congressman Barney Frank, who has already made clear his opposition to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, has now introduced legislation designed to counter it. Whilst not seeking a full repeal of the act, Frank is seeking to add a subchapter to existing legislation which seeks proper regulation of monetary transactions. By focussing on protection against public concerns such as money laundering, fraud and compulsive gambling Frank hopes to establish procedures that would allow companies to accept wagers online from people in the US.
It is thought that other congressmen may also follow up with further legislation which would delay the enactment of the UIGEA by commissioning a study of internet gambling, and separately to introduce legislation to highlight poker’s role within internet gambling as a game of skill.
It will be a long struggle to restore internet poker to its former status but it seems more and more people are ready to add their voices to the cause.
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