Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which is the story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), the media-dubbed "poker princess" and poker host who ran high-stakes poker games in Hollywood and NYC. In real life, celebs like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leo DiCaprio were regulars in games that Molly ran in Los Angeles. Idris Elba played Bloom's lawyer tasked with keeping her out of prison. The buzz in the Hollywood press is that Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are contenders for this upcoming Oscars race.
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!
The Winter Series will run on PokerStars starting December 25 and running through January 7, 2018. The Winter Series offers four buy-in levels to fit everyone's bankroll needs with Micro levels up to $5.50 and High up to $5,200. There will be plenty of Hold'em, PLO, Turbos, Prog-KOs, and Zooms. Plus, much much more. Four Platinum Passes to the $25K PSPC will be awarded during the Winter Series, so here's your first online chance to win one! Also, PokerStars is hosting a year-end New Year's Eve Magic Freeroll, which starts on the morning of December 31st.
PokerStars announced two paths how you can win one of the first 19 Platinum Passes to the inaugural $25K buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) at the 2019 PCA in the Bahamas. Platinum Passes are valued at $30K. Players have 4 chances to win one online during the upcoming PokerStars Winter Series Main Event, which kicks off on Christmas. Players hunting for a free seat to the PSPC will also have a shot to win a Platinum Pass by playing in live events in Macau, Brazil, London, Ulster, Italy, and at the 2018 PCA.
Will Fedor Holz conquer eSports next? The German wunderkind banked $26.7 million in tournament earnings in a small window of time (including over $16M in one year). Holz recently stepped away from full-time grinding to pursue other business ventures, but even playing part-time, Holz won over $6M in events this year. Word is out on the street that Holz invested an undisclosed amount into an eSports company that is the parent company of Team Envy and the Dallas Fuel. For more details, read the ESPN UK article.
Ship it to France! Kalidou Sow made a heads-up deal with Jason Wheeler at the final table of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event. Sow went on to win the heads-up battle for the Main Event title and €675K in cash. American pro Wheeler walked away with €570K.
The PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event final table is down to six players at the Casino Atrium Prague at the Hilton. Kalidou Sow from France is the chip leader heading into the final day, but American Jason Wheeler is right behind him. Michal Mrakes, Gabriele Lepore, Colin Robinson, Harry Lodge rounded out the final table. First place pays out €775,000. Who will win the last major tournament in 2017? Final table resumes Monday afternoon.
Say hello to the newly launched PokerStars Players No-Limit Championship a.k.a. PSPC to commence in the Bahamas in 2019. And welcome back to the mix to the EPT, LAPT, and APPT. The regional tournament series got shelved after the introduction of the PokerStars Championship brand. But the old-school tours will return! The PCA returns in January 2018 and the other tours will soon recapture its old glory, especially the EPT. It's been a busy day of announcements for PokerStars and they also began pushing a themed-hashtag #AreYouPlaying.
A version of the 2018 WSOP schedule got leaked last week, but the folks at the World Series of Poker HQ finally released the official schedule. The 2018 WSOP will be in its 49th year featuring 78 bracelet events. The cheapest buy-in will be $365 and the largest is $1 million for the Big One for One Drop. Several new events are on the schedule this year including... $100K High Roller, $50K High Roller, $365 PLO GIANT, $1,500 BOUNTY PLO, and the new $1,500 THE CLOSER with 30-minute levels. The 2018 WSOP begins May 29 at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas and runs through July 17. The $10K Main Event begins on July 2 and plays down to a champion, which will be crowned on July 14.
What are cryptocurrencies? Why is half of my Twitter timeline clogged up with poker pros going nuts about Bitcoin? Why is the other half of Twitter whining about pros bragging about Bitcoin? And what the heck are CryptoKitties? Luckily, we have Doug Polk to get everyone up to speed on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The poker pro, popular YouTuber, and "crypto enthusiast" launched a CoinCentral.com, a news site for all things cryptocurrency. In addition, Polk launched a second YouTube channel to specifically discuss cryptos.
Last year, Ryan Tosoc finished in second place in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio. And this year? Tosoc finally secured his first major tournament win. Tosoc faded a record-setting field of 812 entrants and walked away with $1.95 million. Tosoc defeated Alex Foxen heads-up for his first WPT title.
Ho ho ho! The holiday season is rapidly approaching and PokerStars is in the giving spirit. How about a half-priced Sunday Million with a $1 million guarantee? Yup, this Sunday December 10, 2018 will have a half-price buy-in. In all, the PokerStars Christmas Calendar Bonanza boasts over $2 million in various giveaways. The Christmas Bonanza is underway and runs thru the Christmas Day Freeroll.
The WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio Casino is down to 90 players out of the record-snapping field of 812 entrants. First place pays out $1,958,065 and second place gets $1.1M. The top 81 places get paid, so the bubble will pop early on Day 4. Blake Bohn is the chip leader with 871K. Among the former champs in the hunt for another WPT title... Chino Rheem, Daniel Strelitz, Matt Gianetti, Jared Jaffee. Anthony Gregg, Darren Elias, Mike Del Vecchio, and Ben Zamani. Other notables still alive on the bubble... Sylvian Loosli, Cate Hall, Steve Gross, Chip Jett, Amit Makhija, Ben Yu, The Dragon, Ralph Perry, Clayton Maguire, Jim Collopy, Eddy Sabat, Billy Baxter, Ashton Griffin, Danny Wong, Alex Foxen, Dan Colman, Lauren Roberts, Mike Gagliano, Farid Jatten, Chance Kornuth, Sean Perry, Matt Moss, and Steffen Sontheimer. For updates, follow along with the WPT reporting crew.
Yesterday, there may or may not have been a leaked schedule for the 2018 World Series of Poker. Was it a sloppy intern? Or rogue hackers? A couple of forum members on our parent site Club Poker snapped a couple of screencaps before the 77-event schedule was taken down. No one knows for sure if it is the 2018 final schedule, or a preliminary schedule. We can only confirm the date of the return of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, which will occur on July 15, 2018.
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.
A couple of big tournament results of note. Canadian pro Kristen Bicknell won the 5K event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. Bicknell won $228K and moved into the Top 25 for most money won by a female player. At the WSOP International Circuit in Paris, Marius Conan faded a field of 811 entrants to win the Main Event. Conan won a circuit ring and €200K in cash.
The Bellagio poker room in Las Vegas has been very active this week. Not only was it the scene of a daylight robbery, but the annual Five Diamond Classic is underway. The staff added a high roller event to the series and the $100,000 buy-in event attracted 39 runners. Dan Smith defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up for the victory. Smith won $1.4 million and Kid Poker banked $936K. Negreanu re-took first place on the All Time Money list with the runner-up finish.
Molly Bloom, author of Molly's Game, appeared for an interview at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in California. A decade ago, Bloom ran some of the biggest high stakes games in New York City and Hollywood that featured A-list stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire. "Players were winning and losing a million dollars a week," explained Molly Bloom. Watch/listen to the interview here.
Everyone at PokerStars HQ is having a field day over the viral video that Daniel Negreanu posted on his Facebook page. Negreanu has been tutoring the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt and comedian Kevin Hart for their heads-up showdown in the Bahamas at the 2018 PCA in January. A video captured their hijinks that included an ice bath challenge. The viral video passed 1M view and both Hart and Bolt. You can view the video over on Negreanu's FB page.