What happens when one of the best football players in the world takes on one of Hollywood's most-gifted actors in a heads-up poker match? Cristano Ronaldo played heads-up poker against Aaron Paul as a part of the PokerStars Duel series. The winner won money for the charity of their choice. Ronaldo got coaching from Vanessa Selbst, while Paul got coached by Fatima Moreria de Melo. In this short video, you see how Ronaldo defeated Aaron Paul heads-up for the win.
David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, purchased nearly 4 million shares of Amaya stock (or approximately $53 million worth of stock at $13.77 per share). The altruistic hedge fund manager has a positive outlook on Amaya's future as a gaming company that already has verticals set up in poker, casino gaming, sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Einhorn is an avid poker player who holds his own against the biggest sharks in Vegas. Although the billionaire does not play in many WSOP events, whenever he goes deep, he always donates any winnings to charity. He donated over $5 million of his WSOP poker winnings which he earned from his deep runs at the 2006 Main Event and the 2012 One Drop. Einhorn finished in third place at the 2012 One Drop, which paid out $4.3 million… and Einhorn gave it all away.
Sebastian Malec played a PokerStars qualifier for €27 and parlayed that into €1.1 million. The 21-year old amateur from Poland survived a field of 1,785 players to win the EPT13 Bracelona Main Event. Malec, a self-professed EPT fanboy, shipped €1,122,800 for first place when he defeated Germany's Uri Reichenstein heads-up for the win. British pro Adam Owen finished in third place. Malec was so moved by the victory, he burst into tears. Meanwhile, in the last event of the Barcelona series, Connor Drinan won the €10K High Rollers event and took home a score worth nearly €850K.
Only seven players remain in the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event and seven different countries are represented. Germany's Uri Reichenstein had a slight lead over Holland's Thomas De Rooij in second place overall. British pro Adam Owen is third in chips. Also appearing at the final table… Sebastian Malec (Poland), Zorlu Er (Turkey), Andreas Chalkiadakis (Greece), and Harcharan Dogra Dogra (Spain). This record-setting field of 1,785 runners drew in a prize pool worth of €8.6 million. First place gets over €1.1 million. The champion will be declared on Sunday.
The Main Event at the EPT13 Barcelona was cut down to 22 players at the end of Day 4 and Sebastian Malec in the lead. Only three tables left and they are all seeking the first place booty worth €1,122,800. Notables still alive include Adam Owen and Nuno Capucho. For updates, head over to PokerStars Blog. You can also watch the live stream of Day 5 as they attempt to play down to the final table.
Belgian Anthony Chimkovitch bagged up the most chips at the end of Day 3 at the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event. Fewer than 100 remain out of the original record-setting 1,785 runners. Notables still alive are Jason Mercier, Nuno Capucho, Adam Owen, Bryn Kenney, November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka, Sam Grafton, Byron Kaverman, Jason Koon, and Eugene Katchalov. First place pays out €1,122,800. They won't reach the final table on Day 4, but let's see how close they do get. Watch the action on Day 4 via the EPT Live crew on PokerStars TV's by clicking here.
MasterChef aired two episodes last night and David Williams survived the cut on both episodes of the popular cooking reality series. In the first episode, David Williams impressed Chef Gordon Ramsay with two standout dishes: Tandoori Black Cod with Red Quinoa and Chickpea Puree and Salmon Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, Fresh Tarragon, and Creme Fraiche. Williams survived the cut to advance to the Elite 8 home cooks. On the second episode, Williams passed a skills challenge and cooked an excellent batch of French Fries, which automatically got him into the final seven. Yes, only six other contestants stand in David Williams' way of becoming the next Master Chef!
The money bubble burst on Day 2 at the EPT13 Barcelona and when the dust settled at the end of the day, approximately 290 players remained out of 1,785 original runners. The total prize pool is just a shade under €9 million and first place pays out €1,122,800 to the champ. Nicolas Chouity bagged up the most chips and heads into Day 3 as the leader. Other notables still alive include… Davidi Kitai, Gaelle Baumann, Chance Kornuth, Mike McDonald, Philipp Gruissem, Jake Cody, Jason Mercier, Connor Drinan, Adam Owen, Sam Greenwood, Harrison Gimbel, Darryll Fish, Eugene Katchalov, Jason Koon, Felipe Ramos, Andreas Hoivold, Sam Grafton, Byron Kaverman, Bryn Kenney, Kitty Kuo, and Jimmy Guerrero. You can watch the action on Day 3 live from Barcelona via the crew at PokerStarsTV starting at noon ET or 6am Vegas time. Click here for the Day 3 live stream.
Say goodbye to the EPT LAPT, and APPT…and say hello to the new PokerStars global CHAMPNIONSHIP! The suits at Amaya HQ decided to roll all of the circuits into one big one for a new world order of international poker tournaments. The current events will fall under one of two tours: PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival. Everyone will be competing for a unified Global Championship event that will take place at the newly branded PokerStars Championship in the Bahamas stop (say goodbye PCA as well!) in early January 2017.
The amazing, stupendous Fedor Holz did it again. He won another High Roller event when he took down the EPT13 Barcelona €50K High Roller. What separates this win from his other wins over the last two years? Holz is supposedly retired from poker after winning the One Drop at the WSOP, so technically, Holz played this event as a “recreational player” and not as a high-stakes regular. Holz shipped €1.3 million for the win in Barcelona and now has nearly $20 million (USD) in career winnings.
Only nine players are still alive in the EPT13 Barcelona €50K High Roller event including Erik Seidel and Fedor Holz. They are vying for a first-place prize worth €1.3 million. This event drew in 102 entries. Tim Adams is the chip leader with 8M. Also still alive are…Sam Greenwood, Alexandros Kolonias, Julian Stuer, Dan Dvoress, Manuchehr Khangah, and Sylvain Loosli. Action was suspended late on Day 1 with nine players, or just one short of the official final table of eight. The final nine return on Monday and the action will resume at 1pm local time. The final table stream begins at 2pm CET, or 5am PT Las Vegas time.
Daniel Negreanu is the latest poker player to dive into the podcasting realm. He's been video blogging for several years and known as a high-volume Twitter user, but it's surprising that Negreanu waited this long to star in his very own podcast. The new Full Contact Poker Podcast is in conjunction with the re-launch of Negreanu's main site FullContactPoker.com. The first guest on the FCP podcast is Brian Balsbaugh, a poker agent and owner of Poker Royalty.
How about some sick hero calls? PokerStars TV compiled their Top 5 Hero Calls from various final tables. Among those included in this latest compilation video are big-time pros like Erik Seidel, Steve O'Dwyer, Davidi Kitai and Jason Mercier. In Mercier's case, the bluff he sniffed out helped propel him to victory at the EPT San Remo…which in turn helped launch his storied career.
The future of online poker in California is on the clock. Last minute adjustments to online poker bill AB2863 were added in attempts to get a bill passed before the state legislature adjourns on August 31. The recent amendments include a flat tax of 10% on all poker websites, plus a five-year wait for anyone deemed a bad actor. The anti-PokerStars coalition of Indian tribes sought to keep PokerStars in the penalty box for five years before the can operate legally in California. The PokerStars coalition, which includes major L.A.-based card rooms like the Bicycle, Commerce, and Hawaiian Gardens along with the Morongo and San Manuel Mission tribes, are vehemently opposed to the 11th hour amendments. Both sides are iffy on whether or not the bill will pass in its current form. But time is running out. Will AB 2863 go to vote? Or will it die on the floor, like previous i-poker bills?
RIP Riviera Hotel and Casino. After sixty years of business, the Riviera is officially dunzo. The final tower was demolished last night and the event occurred without the fanfare and celebration that accompanied the initial demolition several months earlier. In June 2016, the majority of the property including the Monaco Tower was detonated amidst a rowdy celebration that also included fireworks. After struggling for almost two decades, the Riviera shut its doors in May 2015. The Las Vegas Convention Center purchased the land and will be utilizing the space as part of their expansion.
Is Donald Trump's race for President of the United States losing steam? The betting markets indicate that's the case. When we started tracking the odds for U.S. President, Trump's numbers have been shrinking while Hillary Clinton's odds have been sharply rising. Donald Trump hit a low peak in the market according to a recent report. He's now 3-1 to win the U.S. Presidency. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is as high as 1-5 to win in some betting shops. The bookies clearly think Clinton will become the next President.
Texas Dolly faded a potential bad beat! The legendary Doyle Brunson mentioned on his Twitter feed about a near-miss robbery at his home in Las Vegas last Friday morning. Apparently, a burglar showed up at the wrong house in Doyle Brunson's posh neighborhood and robbed one of his neighbors for only $500. Someone gave the thief a bunk tip about a poker player with nearly $1 million lying around his house, but the thief was given the incorrect address. Brunson reminded all his Twitter followers that he's been robbed five times and even though he's an 83-year old man… he's a heavily-armed old man and walks from his car to his house with a .357 Magnum pistol in his hand.
Amaya Gaming, parent company of PokerStars, announced that Rafi Ashkenazi will be their permanent CEO. In March 2016, Rafi Ashkenazi was tapped to become the interim CEO of Amaya after former CEO David Baazov resigned amidst an insider trading scandal. The news about the permanent CEO was made in conjunction with Amaya's quarterly earnings report and an announcement about a special PokerStars tournament series hosted at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey in late October. In case you own any Amaya stock, PokerStars had a very good fiscal quarter. Overall revenue is up 10% and online-gaming revenue is up 11%.
Jason Somerville, a PokerStars sponsored pro with a massive following on Twitch, appeared on CNBC the other day for an interview and healthy debate against a member of the anti-online gambling coalition. Somerville gave a stunning and convincing interview and totally schooled Rev. James Butler,the executive director of California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion. Butler tried to spout gloom and doom about the evils of online poker, and Somerville intelligently crafted an excellent argument on why online poker should return to U.S. soil.
For the last 12 years, the cameras at PokerStars TV captured the highs and lows of the poker world on various TV shows or PokerStars branded tournaments. After sifting through hours and hours of footage, they assembled the Top 5 Greatest Poker Moments in PokerStars TV history. Daniel Negreanu happens to be a part of three of those moments, alongside Steve O'Dwyer, Phil Ivey, Brazilian football star Ronaldo, and two-time EPT champion Vicky Coren.
It's almost time for WCOOP! The 2016 World Championship of Online Poker will kick off on Sunday September 4th on PokerStars. This year's WCOOP has been expanded to include 82 events with 12 new events plus a four-day Marathon Event and a $102,000 buy-in Super High-Roller. The Main Event will have a $10 million guarantee with first place winning at least $1.5 million. Plus, PokerStars created an additional accompanying series called Mini-WCOOP. Yeah, there will be baller events for the sharks and smaller buy-in events for beginners and players with modest bankrolls.
Poker Pro David Williams advanced to the top 10 home cooks on the reality TV show MasterChef hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. This past week, two episodes were aired back-to-back and David Williams survived the cut on both episodes. On the last episode, Williams cooked a Nutella breakfast Mystery Box Challenge and he barely survived the elimination challenge when he gambled with a near-disastrous bibimbap rice bowl. Despite the near miss, David Williams is still alive and among final nine home cooks competing for the title of Master Chef.
The Trump Taj Mahal will become the fifth casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey to shut its doors since 2014. Donald Trump built the Taj and its doors opened for the first time in April 1990. Carl Ichan is currently the owner of the Taj and the big dog decided it was time to pull the plug on an operation that had nothing but mounting debt and an ugly strike with one of its labor unions. If you have another four weeks to gamble it up at the Taj before they close its doors after Labor Day in early September.
Old-school online grinder mig.com won the WPT Choctaw at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma. Otherwise known in the real world as James Mackey, mig.com faded a field of 1,066 runners to win $666K for first place. Mackey has been playing in WPT events for over a decade, but this was the first time he burst through to the winner's circle. Mackey now has over $3.5 million in career live earnings.
The World Poker Tour heads to Oklahoma! The WPT Choctaw is down to its final table of six after Olivier Busquet bubbled in seventh place. This year's event attracted 1,066 runners and they created a prize pool worth $3.6 million. Bastian Fischer is the chip leader. Also still alive are James Mackey, Matt Smith, Craig Varnell, Ben Zamani, and Jack Duong. First place pays out $666K.
A junta of Chinese corporations led by Giant will purchase Playtika for $4.4 billion. Playtika is the social gaming casino company owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE). There have been numerous rumors over the last few months on whether or not Caesars would sell off CIE and their crown jewel the WSOP. Looks like Caesars sold Playtika instead, which is technically owned by CIE.