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.
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.
Klay Thompson, an NBA All-Star and member of the Golden State Warriors, recently appeared on Kneading Dough with Maverick Carter to discuss finance but the chat delved into how Thompson spent a lot of money when he first entered the league and one of his big leaks happened to be the losing at poker against his much-better teammates like Steph Curry and David Lee.
Christmas and the holidays are right around the corner and if you're looking for a different gift considering gifting a relative or friend a Master Class featuring Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu. Both well-known pros joined Master Class as a guest instructor.
James Holzhauer, a former online poker enthusiast and sports betting pro from Las Vegas, made waves when he went on an epic run on Jeopardy! earlier in the year with a 32-game winning streak. Holzhauer recently won the annual Tournament of Champions. He will also appear at the 2019 partypoker LIVE Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas with a special trivia event at the Baha Mar Casino.
Phil Hellmuth lost a prop bet worth $20,000 when he could not return a tennis ball hit by tennis pro Ellis Guernsey. Hellmuth had 20 attempts and could not return a single one.
The latest episode of True Gordie Podcast featured Instagram star and poker player Dan Bilzerian. He normally hates interviews but sat down with True Gordie to discuss life as an Instagram baller and fleecing some rich dude for $50-plus million because his opponent thought he was a dumb trust fund kid.
James Holzhauer took the Jeopardy! world by storm by passing $1 million in winnings in only 14 episodes. Holzhauer, a pro sportsbettor from Las Vegas, won 15 matches in a row and counting. Ken Jennings won 74 matches back in 2004, but no one has come close to Jennings' mastery until Holzhauer's arrival three weeks ago. The Vegas sportsbettor has been destroying the competition and averaging twice as much as Jennings did during his record-setting run.
James Holzhauer set the single-game record on Jeopardy! this week with a score worth $110,914. Holzhauer, a professional sportsbettor from Las Vegas, plays an unorthodox style. He bounced around the board to effectively hunt Daily Doubles and went all-in to double up whenever he had the opportunity. Purists might loathe his aggressive hunting methods, but he's made quite the name for himself in a short time. Holzhauer banked over $244,000 in only four matches and he rocketed into the Top 10 in all-time Jeopardy! winnings.
Phil Hellmuth, who won more WSOP bracelets than anyone else in history, will be taking on Dusk till Dawn owner Rob Yong in a heads-up challenge. The two will be playing five heads-up battles with $100,000 on the line in each match. Yong is also a high-stakes player who thinks that the 15-time bracelet winner has no chance against him.
Several former NBA players, including Chris Bosh, helped raise $500,000 for the After-School All-Stars South Florida during special poker tournament over the weekend in Miami. The fifth annual event, All-In for All-Stars, included ex-Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning and UFC champ Suga Evans were among the attendees. Loni Harwood won the tournament.
Things got out of hand at the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday. Pro Justin Pechie captured the incident on his phone when two poker players were involved in fisticuffs. As expected, chips went flying everywhere before security stepped in.
It was a crazy wager, but American poker pro Rich Altai won the $100,000 prop bet where he had to live in complete isolation and seclusion for 30 days. After 20 days, Australian poker pro Rory Young realized Altai was going to all the way for the win, so he negotiated a buy-out worth $62,000. Altai agreed, and he exited the sequestered room where he lived in total darkness and silence for 20 days.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies are hitting lows for the year. Current prices are similar to August 2017 levels, shortly after the 2017 World Series of Poker ended and numerous poker pros were heavily vested in crypto. Will the drastic drop see a significant number of crypto-vested poker players return to the daily grind? Which notables will come out of retirement after stepping away? Or is it time to borrow money from Timex or Johnny Bax and buy as much BTC as you can?
Some prop bets are funny. Others are weird. And then there's the dangerous ones. Two poker players met each other playing in a cash game at the Bellagio and hammered out the terms of a $100,000 prop bet. Aussie pro Rory Young bet American grinder Rich Alati that Alati could not live inside a bathroom in total darkness for 30 days with no electronic devices and zero interaction with people. There were some finer details ironed out between the two and a private live stream was set up to keep tabs on Alati. The entire event is being recorded for a potential reality series. At the present moment, Alati has been in the dark for ten days and counting.
Former sports bettor and high-stakes poker pro Haralabos Voulgaris is joining the Dallas Mavericks according to a report by ESPN. Voulgaris, also known as Bob or by his Twitter handle @Haralabob, is finally getting his dream job: running the analytics department of an actual NBA team. Since the early 2000s, Voulgaris was known in gambling circles as the premier bettor in the NBA. Haralabob utlized his proprietary algorithm, Ewing, nicknamed after former NBA star Patrick Ewing, to predict game totals. Haralabob wagered up to a $1 million on the over/under of a single game.
Timur Margolin won his first bracelet, avenged a heads-up loss, and denied Jesus Ferguson another bracelet... all in one swoop. Timur Margolin won Event #43 $2,500 NL for a score worth $507,274 and he knocked Jesus out in fourth place. Jesus would have to wait another day to win a seventh bracelet.
Jamie Staples posted a video discussing his Ultimate Sweat victory. Jamie and his brother Matt won $150,000 from Bill Perkins for weighing in within a pound of each other during an epic weight loss/gain prop bet. After dedicating a year of his life to getting into shape, Jamie is moving on and focusing on poker. Watch his updated video here.
Ship it to Matt and Jamie Staples! The brothers earned $150,000 for winning a wild proposition wager with Bill Perkins. A year ago, Perkins offered the Staples brothers 50-1 odds on a $3,000 bet that Matt and Jamie could not weigh within a single pound of each other. The oversized Jamie and undersized Matt were 170+ pounds apart and accepted the wager. The brothers worked on their bodies for a full year. Matt added 50+ pounds, while Jamie dropped 117 pounds. At the weigh in on Sunday in Reno, bother brothers weighed the same... 188.3 pounds.
Always bet on black! Wesley Snipes gave that bit of sagely advice in the film Passenger 57. Moments after Jake Cody chopped the high roller event at the partypoker UK Poker Championships in Nottingham, he took his entire winnings (approximately $60K USD) and bet it all on a single spin of roulette. Cody got the approval from the Dusk Till Dawn Cardroom and Casino owner Rob Yong. Much to the delight of his rail, Cody won his wager and doubled up when the ball landed on Black 22. Cody banked $120K for 30 seconds of work.
In July 2017, the first recreational marijuana stores opened for business in the state of Nevada and it's been a cash cow ever since. According to the Department of Taxation in Nevada, in six months of operation in 2017, cannabis dispensaries sold over $200 million in products and the state netted $30 million in overall tax revenue and fees. The 10% retail sales tax generated $9.5 million in revenue. At the present rate, Nevada will exceed $420 million in overall cannabis sales in 2018.
What happens when you match the fastest man in the world against one of the funniest comedians in Hollywood? Usain Bolt and Kevin Hart battled it out the #GameOn series of contests in the Bahamas including a 100-meter sprint, heads-up poker bout, and chicken nuggets. Find out who wins the ultimate beach race and who crushed nuggets in under ten seconds.
From all of us at Club Poker, here's to a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy belated Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa. We hope you have a fantastic end to 2017. Best wishes to a healthy and flop-heavy 2018. And to our 420-friendly readers... blaze on and happy holidaze!
And now for something completely different! Doug Polk posted a hysterical video breaking down the truth on how different countries played poker differently. The American pro (with a British mother) explained how Americans were super nitty and how they played differently from Brits, Scandis, Russians, French, Germans, and Brazilians. A nice light-hearted take on the varied styles in the poker universe.