Thursday December 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm

We're quickly approaching the end of 2019 and the end of the decade. So much happened in 2019, we have a special two-part series highlighting the best and most interesting stories of 2019. In the first half of 2019, some of the big stories involved Chino Rheem winning the 2019 PCA and Spain's Roman Colillas taking down the inaugural PSPC in the Bahamas for $5.1 million. Bryn Kenney shipped the largest Aussie Millions in history. Just before the WSOP, Daniel Negreanu stepped down after 12 years as a sponsored pro and ambassador for PokerStars. Gianluca 'Tankanza' Speranza won the SCOOP Main Event in back-to-back years.

2019part1

As 2019 quickly comes to and end and the decade of the 2010s comes to a close, we compiled a list of some of the top stories and weird things that happened along the way. It's like how Kierkegaard wrote about life is lived forwards but understood backwards. It's also how like Joe Walsh explained in the Eagles documentary, "You look back and life seems like a finally crafted novel, but at the time it isn't because it's a bunch of random and chaotic events crashing into each other." Or something like that.

We compiled a fancy link dump of the best of the best from the first part of 2019.

JANUARY 2019

January 2019 started out like mostly every other year with everyone positive about the how the new year will shake out at the tables with personal goals and resolutions.

Who would have thought that the 2019 PCA down in the Bahamas would be its last ever? Chino Rheem went to the Bahamas and shipped the 2019 PCA for a $1.5 million score and he picked off Daniel Strelitz heads-up for the title.

Meanwhile, the first ever PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) concluded with Spain's Roman Colillas defeating French pro Julien Martini heads-up for the inaugural PSPC title and $5.1 million in cash. Colillas, dubbed Spain's Chris Moneymaker, turned a modest satellite buy-in into $5 million to bink the first PSPC.

Phil Hellmuth went to Atlantic City to play at the annual Winter Poker Open and the Poker Brat won a heads-up title.

PokerStars introduced 6+ Hold'em or their version of Short Deck Poker.

Gavin Smith passed away at the end of January, which totally shocked the poker community. There were no shortage of eulogies and stories being shared about Gavin Smith's hijinks and other wild anecdotes.

FEBRUARY 2019

In February, the suits at PokerStars did not wait very long to tap Ramon Colillas (aka the Spanish Chris Moneymaker) as the newest ambassador for the Red Spade.

David Peters capped off February by winning the 2019 US Poker Open Main Event for $1.32 million to secure the overall USPO Championship. Meanwhile, Stephen Chidwick shipped two 2019 USPO events.

Top Twitch and YouTubes streamers, Jaime Staples and Jeff Gross, left PokerStars after several years as sponsored players.

Bryn Kenney went down under and won the largest-ever Aussie Millions when he shipped the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event for $1.27 million.

MARCH 2019

In March... PokerStars' loss one again became partypoker's gain. Both Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples joined partypoker as their newest members of partypoker Team Online, which was a huge undertaking by partypoker to bolster their roster of sponsored players with two of the most influential poker streamers and other online pros.

A suspect robbed the Bellagio poker room and then died after a fatal shootout with police at the Bellagio valet.

Meanwhile, a wild poker fight broke out in the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona.

West Virginia became the fifth US state to legalize online poker.

Vinicius Lima took down the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $728,430 at the HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas during an experiment in which the WPT postponed the final table of an event to be played out in Vegas.

Old David Baker also won a WPT final table in Las Vegas when he won the conclusion of the 2019 LA Poker Classic, which started out at Commerce Casino in LA and ended up in Vegas at the Luxor.

Timothy Adams won the 2019 Triton High Roller Series in Jeju, Korea for $2.34 million, while Jason Koon took down the Triton Super High Roller Short Deck title for $2.9 million.

APRIL 2019

In April, former poker player and current sports bettor, James Holzhauer, took the world by storm when he went on an epic winning streak on Jeopardy.

Rumors began swirling in Las Vegas that the Rio Casino would be sold to a one of two groups that would either use the space to create a train station for a high-speed rail from LA to Vegas. Or, a group that wanted to bring a MLB franchise to Vegas would use the area to build a brand new baseball stadium.

MAY 2019

In May... Gianluca 'Tankanza' Speranza, an Italian pro living in Austria, shipped the 2019 SCOOP Main Event on PokerStars in back-to-back years. He took down the 2018 SCOOP Main Event and successfully defended his title and won a little more than one million.

Maurice Hawkins won a record-breaking 13 th WSOP Circuit ring with a score at the 2019 WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica.

James Carroll took down the 2019 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and that final table played out at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

Mikita Badziakouski, Steve O'Dwyer, Winfred Yu, Bryn Kenney, John Juanda, Rui Cao, Ben Lamb, and Jungleman won Triton Super High Roller events in Montenegro. Bryn Kenney kept up his hot 2019 with a victory at the 2019 Triton Montenegro Main Event for $2.7 million.

Maning Loeser picked off Wei Huang heads-up to win the 2019 EPT Monte Carlo for €603,777.

Just before the start of the 2019 WSOP, Daniel Negreanu stepped down as a pitchman for PokerStars. Shocker, eh? KidPoker and the red spade went hand-in-hand for over a decade.

Latest news
Friday January 17, 2020 at 9:38 pm
2020 Aussie Millions: Farid Jattin wins 25K Challenge for $983,646 AUD

Farid Jattin outlasted 169 runners to win the $25K Challenge at the 2020 Aussie Millions hosted at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. Jattin chopped heads up with George Wolff to win $983,646 AUD or approximately $679K USD. The final table also included Steve O'Dwyer, Sam Greenwood, Masato Yokosawa, Jack Sinclair, and Kenny Hallaert.

Thursday January 16, 2020 at 2:00 am
WSOP announces 'Value Menu' bracelet events for 2020 WSOP

The World Series of Poker announced a special round of value menu events at the 2020 WSOP that include buy-ins of $1,000 or less. A total of 25 bracelet events will be hosted at the Rio Casino this summer that have a modest and affordable buy-in. A baker's dozen of events, 13 in total, at the 2020 WSOP will have buy-ins $888 or less including the $400 Colossus and numerous $500 buy-in deepstacked bracelet events.

Wednesday January 15, 2020 at 3:53 am
Dustin Schoonover wins WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant and first ring

The World Series of Poker Circuit's latest stop hit up the Oklahoma/Dallas area for the 2020 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant. Dustin Schoonover outlasted 1,065 runners in the $1,700 buy-in Main Event to win $272,846. The Choctaw Durant final table also included John Skrovan, Brant Jolly, Mark Newton, Christopher Staats, Allen Brivic, Montana Bills, Austin Lewis, and Trung Pham.

Tuesday January 14, 2020 at 4:48 am
Chance Kornuth leads final table at 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship

Season XVIII of the World Poker Tour continued with the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship that attracted 257 runners for their annual big tournament every January at the Hawaiian Gardens just outside Los Angeles. The 2020 WPT Gardens final table of six is set to resume on March 31, 2020 at the HyperX eSports Arena at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. Chance Kornuth bagged up the lead at the final table that also included Tuan Phan, Qing Liu, Straton Wilhelm, Jonathan Cohen, and Markus Gonsalves.

Friday January 10, 2020 at 2:09 pm
Interview: Martin Harris, Author of Poker and Pop Culture

D and B Poker published "Poker and Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game" by Martin Harris. During the poker boom, Harris authored a popular blog titled Hard-Boiled Poker. Harris quit his job as an English professor and went to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker for numerous outlets. Over the last 15 years, Harris compiled a collection of essays that became the genesis of Poker and Pop Culture. We're fortunate that Harris sat down with us for a fun interview.

Friday January 10, 2020 at 3:00 am
2020 WSOP releases $10,000 Championship events schedule

A total of 17 championship caliber events with at least a buy-in of $10,000 are on the schedule for the 2020 World Series of Poker at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. The WSOP released the dates for all $10K championships including the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, $10,000 Main Event, and the $10,000 WSOP.com Online NL Championship, which is the online $10K event hosted online.

Thursday January 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm
Brazilian pro Felipe 'Mojave' Ramos joins GGPoker

The new calendar year of 2020 was barely a day old when Felipe 'Mojave' Ramos announced the news on his social media feed that he will be joining GGPoker as their latest ambassador. Mojave joins the likes of Daniel Negreanu and Bryn Kenney as ambassadors. Mojave spent time as the top ranked Brazilian and Latin American online player with over $2.6 million in career tournament earnings.

Friday December 27, 2019 at 10:36 pm
2019: The Big Stories, Part 2

The year in review for 2019 continues with the second part that covers June through December. The World Series of Poker celebrated its 50th anniversary with a blowout at the Rio in Las Vegas. Hossein Ensan from Germany won the second-largest Main Event in WSOP history and he banked $10 million. PokerStars also announced the 2020 PSPC, which will take place in Barcelona in August 2020. PokerStars was also sold to Flutter (aka Paddy Power/Betfair). The Mike Postle cheating scandal also broke after he got caught cheating on the Stones Gambling Hall live stream.

Wednesday December 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidaze!

From everyone here at Club Poker, we want to wish you a joyful and bountiful holiday season. Merry Christmas and do not forget that the Winter Series kicks off today on PokerStars with 242 tournaments and $50 million in guaranteed prize pools. The new year is just around the corner, so start thinking about your 2020 poker resolutions.

Tuesday December 24, 2019 at 10:32 pm
Oklahoma Johnny Hale passes away at 92

Oklahoma Johnny Hale -- an old school poker player, author, and gambler -- passed away at the age of 92. Oklahoma Johnny worked diligently to bring players into the game of poker over the last several decades. He's also the author of the 1999 book "The Life and Times of a Gentleman Gambler: Oklahoma Johnny Hale on Poker and Las Vegas".

Wednesday December 18, 2019 at 12:13 am
Mikalai Pobal wins 2019 EPT Prague for €1,005,600

Belarus' Mikalai Pobal picked off Hungarian pro, Norbert Szecsi, to win the 2019 EPT Prague. Pobal faded a field of 1,154 runners to win €1 million and become the latest champion on the European Poker Tour. Pobal joined Vicky Coren as the only dual winner on the EPT. Pobal shipped the 2012 EPT Barcelona and waited seven years to take down his second EPT crown.

Saturday December 14, 2019 at 11:08 pm
PokerStars Winter Series begins on December 25

PokerStars will host their third-largest online series of the year with their annual PokerStars Winter Series, which begins on December 25 and lasts nearly three weeks with over 242 tournaments with $50 million in guaranteed prize pools including a special Sunday Million with a $3 million guarantee. At least 34 events have a modest buy-in of $5.50, while 47 events are catered for high-stakes players with buy-ins costing $1,000 or higher. The Main Event has three tiers with $55, $530, and $5,300 price points.

Thursday December 12, 2019 at 11:43 pm
2020 WSOP will run May 26 to July 15

The World Series of Poker announced the overall dates for the 51st installment of the WSOP at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. The 2020 WSOP will begin on May 26 and run through July 15. The prestigious $10,000 buy-in Main Event kicks off with four opening flights starting on Day 1A and concluding with Day 1B on July 4. Despite the rumors, the WSOP will remain at the Rio Casino for at least one more running.

Tuesday December 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm
Erik Gorman wins WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event

The 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Cherokee at Harrah's in Cherokee, North Carolina concluded this year's Circuit series. Event #10, also known as the $1,700 buy-in Main Event championship, featured 1,000 runners taking a shot at a Circuit ring and over a quarter-million in cash. Despite coming into the final day with the short stack, Erik Gorman from Maryland went the distance and he was the last person standing after he defeated Hannah Guthrie heads-up to win his first WSOP Circuit ring and $260,480 in cash.

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