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.
American pro Sam Soverel dominated the 2019 Poker Masters at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas with two event victories and seven final tables during the ten-event high roller series. He won Event #7 $25,000 PLO and took down Event #10 $50,000 NL Main Event for $680,000. In total, he banked $1.4 million including the coveted Purple Jacket.
Two more well-known pros are no longer sponsored players and members of Team PokerStars. Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree are no longer with PokerStars as the online poker giants shifts away from traditional sponsored pros. Meanwhile, PokerStars is also pulling the plug on Power Up Poker, one of the many new formats they introduced in the last few years that was more like a video game than old school poker.
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 World Series of Poker issued a statement today to recognize Australian pro Robert Campbell as the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year and not Daniel Negreanu. They incorrectly awarded 2019 WSOP POY to Daniel Negreanu at the conclusion of the WSOP Europe because of a error in their database. After an investigation, the WSOP discovered Negreanu got awarded POY points in an event he did not cash. Campbell wins the 2019 WSOP POY with Shaun Deeb finishing in second place and Negreanu finishing in third place.
Daniel Negreanu secured the 2019 World Series of Poker Player of the Year with a strong performance at the WSOP Europe at King's Casino in RozVegas that included seven cashes and a final table. Kid Poker caught Australian pro, Robert Campbell, who went into the WSOPE as the POY leader. Negreanu, a 6-time bracelet winner, won his third Player of the Year title, but became the first player to win POY without securing a bracelet victory.
Pennsylvania, now the fifth largest state in America after edging out Illinois with 12.8 million residents, officially has online poker again when PokerStars PA went online during a soft launch on Monday. The official launch will be Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
The 2019 WSOP Europe concluded with the 15th and final event at the King's Casino in RozVegas. French pro Bertrand Grospellier, otherwise known as 'ElkY', won the Event #15 €550 Colossus NL for his second career bracelet. Elky faded a field of 2,738 runners to win €190,375. Shaun Deeb finished in 11th place but missed out on catching Daniel Negreanu for 2019 WSOP Player of the Year.
Nova Scotia's Geoffrey Hum outlasted 1,109 runners and an insanely difficult final table to win the 2019 WPT Montreal at the Playground Casino in Montreal. Hum defeated Colorado's Adedapo Ajayi heads-up to win $500,000 CAD. The rest of the stacked final table had over $46 million in career cashes including Joseph Choeng, Mike Watson, Kristen Bicknell, and Swedish pro Martin Jacobsen. Hum also won a seat into the season-ending TOC in Las Vegas in 2020.
Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, First Reformed) will write and direct a new revenge-thriller film titled "The Card Counter" by HanWay Films. The new poker movie features Oscar Isaac (Rise of Skywalker, A Most Violent Year, Inside Llewyn Davis) as a professional poker player named William Tell with a dark past.
Greece's Alexandros Kolonias outlasted a field of 541 players to win the 2019 WSOP Europe Event #14 €10,350 Main Event. Kolonias outlasted a final four that included Italian pro Dario Sammartino, American pro Anthony Zinno, and Germany's Class Segebrecht. Sammartino, the runner-up at the 2019 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, finished in fourth place. Anthony Zinno busted in third place. Kolonias knocked out Segebrecht to win the bracelet and €1,133,678.
The 2019 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Championship is down to the final table of six players at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Anthony Zinno is the big stack with 16.8 million. Also still alive are Dario Sammartino, Rifat Palevic, Alexandros Kolonias, Anh Do, and Class Segebrecht. On Thursday, someone will win the bracelet and €1.13 million in cash. Follow WSOP for updates starting at 2pm local time in RozVegas.
And then there were 14. The 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event attracted 541 enrants this year with €1.1 million set aside to the champion. Dario Sammartino and David ODB Baker lead the final 14 players. Anthony Zinno and Julien Martini also still left in the hunt.
Chin Wei Lim, a high roller from Malaysia, won his first WSOP bracelet with a victory in WSOP Europe Event #12 €100,000 Diamond High Roller. Chin Wei Lim defeated Jean-Noel Thorel heads up to win the bracelet and €2,172,104. Phil Ivey went deep with an eighth-place finish. Earlier in the week, Lim took second in the €250K Super High Roller.
Besim Hot won his first bracelet with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #10 €25,500 Mixed Games Championship. Hot outlasted a difficult final table and picked off Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win €385,911. Daniel Negreanu finished in sixth place, which propelled him into the overall lead in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race.
Australian pro Kahle Burns won his first bracelet with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #8 €25,500 Platinum High Roller. Burns banked a score worth €596,883 for outlasting a final table that included WSOP Main Event champ Hossein Ensan, Sam Trickett, Tim Adams, Alex Foxen, and WSOP POY Leader Robert Campbell. Burns knocked out Sam Trickett in second place and denied Trickett's decade long quest to finally win a bracelet.
Action at the 2019 WSOP Europe continued at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Espen Sandvik outlasted a mixed games final table that included Jeff Madsen and Phil Hellmuth to win WSOPE Event #5 €2,500 8-Game Mix for €75,246. Siamak Tooran outlasted a field of 111 players to win WSOP Europe Event #6 €25,500 Short Deck High Roller NL for a score worth €740,996. Tomas Fara from the Czech Republic outlasted 377 runners and won WSOPE Event #7 €1,100 Turbo Bounty Hunter NL for €59,904. Meanwhile, Greece's Vangelis Kaimakamis faded 766 players to win WSOPE Event #3 €1,350 Mini Main Event for €167,056.
James Chen rallied back from a short stack at the final table to win the 2019 WSOP Europe Event #4 €250,000 Super High Roller at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Chen banked €2,844,215 and outlasted a final table that included Cary Katz, Tony G, Christoph Vogelsang, and Chin Wei Lim. Chen defeated Lim heads-up for the bracelet, which would be the first ever for Taiwan.
American pro Dash Dudley won his second PLO bracelet of 2019. He took down his first bracelet earlier this summer in Las Vegas at the 2019 WSOP, and he added a second one with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #2 €550 PLO by fading a field of 467 players to win €51,600. In Event #1 €350 NL Opener, Jeff Lisandro made the final table but busted in 8th place. Ukraine's Renat Bohdanov went on to win the first event at the WSOP Europe.