American pro Jason Mercier will no longer be a sponsored pro for PokerStars. After 8.5 years as a Team Pro, Mercier decided to not renew his contract, which expired at the end of 2017. Mercier is a new father and he made the tough decision to stop traveling internationally to play tournaments, while focusing on his family instead. For more details, read Mercier's farewell post on PokerStars Blog. In addition to Vanessa Selbst's venture into hedge funds, Mercier is the second high-profile American pro who did not renew their sponsorships with PokerStars in 2018.
The 2019 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) kicks off on September 5, 2019 and runs through September 23 with 73 events. Each event has three tiers of buy-ins, except the Main Event which has two tiers. Event #70-L Main Event has a $55 buy-in and $1.25 million guarantee. Event #70-H has a $5,200 buy-in and a $10 million guarantee. The 2019 WCOOP includes four UFC-branded events, plus a first-ever charity event.
In the ongoing war between bots and humans, partypoker took another huge step in the right direction after it removed 121 bots in July 2019. This is the largest crackdown since earlier this year when partypoker revealed their newly formed Poker Fraud Team eliminated 277 bot accounts over a four-month period.
The 2019 partypoker LIVE EUROPE Main Event has come to a close. Czech Republic's Lucas Zaskodny outlasted 504 players to win a cool million (USD) or €906,770 per terms of his heads-up deal with Josef Snejberg. French pro Romain Lewis took third place. Team partypoker pro Roberto Romanello, Sam Grafton and Charlie Carrel also made the final table in RozVegas.
Daria 'Scarlett_D' Feshchenko, a 26-year old poker pro from Russia, is the newest ambassador for 888poker. Feshchenko plays high-stakes cash games in Russia, but you can find her online playing $50/$100 NL under the moniker Scarlett_D.
Turkey's Orpen Kisacikoglu outlasted a field of 32 runners to take down the Triton Super High Roller €100K at the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Europe event in RozVegas. The €100K final table also included partypoker Pro Kristen Bicknell, Vladimir Troyanovksiy, Ben Heath, Wai Kin Yong, and Cary Katz. Kisacikoglu banked a cool million in Euros.
The 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series London continued with the £100,000 NL Main Event championship. The Main Event attracted a record-smashing 130 runners. The tough final table included Jungleman, Stephen Chidwick, Michael Chi Zhang, Sam Greenwood, Mike Soyza, Ben Heath, Paul Phua, and Wai Kin Wong. The top two chopped, but Wai Kin Yong eventually defeated Phua heads up for the title and the cash for £2,591,695 or approximately $3.15 million USD.
Aaron Zang won the richest tournament in the history of poker when he defeated Bryn Kenney heads up and overcame a 5-1 deficit to win the million dollar buy-in 2019 Triton Million in London. Zang and Kenney made a heads-up deal, so Kenney actually banked more as a second-place finisher with nearly £16.9 million. With over $55.5 million in earnings, Kenney took over first place in the all-time money winner list according to Hendon Mob.
After two long days of action, the £1,050,000 buy-in Triton Million is down to its final table. Vivek Rajkumar leads the final eight that also includes Stephen Chidwick, Tim Adams, Bryn Kenney, Alfred DeCarolis, Aaron Zang, Dan Smith, and Bill Perkins. First place pays out £19 million in this charity event that raised £2.7 million for a Helping Hand Charity.
The 2019 Triton High Roller Series in London features the Million for Charity, a £1,050,000 million buy-in event with portion of the pool set aside for charity. Day 1 is underway in this invite only event with a mix of high-stake rec players and high-stakes ballers. This event had 54 players with only the top 11 places getting paid out and £19,000,000 to first place. At least £2.7 million got raised for charity.
The poker community, especially in Great Britain and Europe, is saddened at the loss of one of the biggest characters in the game. Mad Marty Wilson made a splash on television poker in the UK around the turn of the century, which helped usher in a British poker boom. Wilson passed away on Friday after a six-month bout with cancer.
The new season of the World Poker Tour kicked off with the WPT Gardens Poker Fest at the Gardens Casino outside of Los Angeles. This year's $5K buy-in event attracted 373 runners and a prize pool worth $1.75 million. The final table included Cord Garcia, Andy Wisdom, Roger Teska, Lior Orel, Lars Kamphues, and Laszlo Molnar. Maria Ho missed the final table by a couple of spots when she busted in eighth place. Roger Teska rallied from a huge heads-up deficit to defeat Laszlo Molnar and win the WPT Gardens. Teska banked $368K.
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.
The 2019 World Series of Poker is complete and Australian pro Robert Campbell is leading the Player of the Year race over last year's champ Shaun Deeb. Deeb is second overall with ten more events schedule for this October at the 2019 WSOP Europe at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Dan Zack, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hui round out the top 5 in the POY.
The 2019 World Series of Poker announced the newest class of inductees into the Hall of Fame. Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim got nods this year. They were the only two recognized on a ballot of ten possible candidates that also included Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, David Chiu, Eli Elezra, Jesus Ferguson, Ted Forrest, and Mike Matusow.
The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship concluded at the Rio Casino when Germany's Hossein Ensan defeated Italy's Dario Sammartino heads up to win $10,000,000 and the coveted Main Event bracelet. Three players began Day 10 with Ensan holding a sizable lead. Canada's Alex Livingston busted in third place for a $4 million score. After 101 hands of heads-up action, Sammartino banked $6 million for a runner-up consolation prize. Ensan, 55, became the oldest Main Event Champ since Noel Furlong in 1999.
The 2019 WSOP Main Event continued with Day 9 action that saw the returning five players play down to the final three. Germany's Hossein Ensan began the day with the big stack and by the end of Day 9, he retained the lead with 375M. On Day 9, Chicago Cubs superfan Kevin Maahs busted in fifth place and Garry Gates got picked off in fourth place. Alex Livingston is second in chips, while Italian pro Dario Sammartino is the short stack. They return on Tuesday to play down to a champion.
The 2019 WSOP Main Event final table played down from nine to five players on the first of three days of action. Two players busted in the first 11 hands and four players were eliminated overall including Zhen Cai, Nick Marchington, Tim Su, and Milos Skrbic. At the end of Day 8, Hossein Ensan continued to hold the lead with 207.7 million, while Garry Gates was not far behind with 171.7 million.