After a lengthy legislative battle in Michigan, online poker officially launched one week after online gambling went live. So far, PokerStars in conjunction with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, is the first and only online poker site in Michigan, but BetMGM Poker and the Greektown is expected to get into the mix next.
The 2021 WPT Montreal Online played out at partypoker due to the pandemic forcing the event to the virtual tables. The $3,200 buy-in WPT Montreal Online attracted 888 players and the top 133 places paid out. Dan Shak was the chip leader heading into the final table but he busted in third place. Jack Hardcastle knocked out Rayan Chamas heads-up for the WPT title, $447,859 in cash, and the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup Event.
Down at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the World Poker Tour finished out a live tournament. Ilyas Muradi outlasted a field of 1,573 players to take down the $3,500 buy-in 2021 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. When the dust settled, Ilyas Muradi edged out Robel Andemichael heads-up to win the first place prize worth over $809,515. Ronnie Bardah busted in third place. The final table also included Francis Margaglione, Jesse Lonis, Tsz Shing, and Andy Hwang.
Phil Galfond won another Galfond Challenge at Run It Once Poker. With less than 10,000 hands remaining in a 35,000-hand heads-up PLO battle, Chance Kornuth threw in the towel against Phil Galfond. Galfond banked $726,500 through 25,400 hands of $100/$200 PLO. Kornuth lost $250,000 in the side bet with Galfond at 4 to 1 odds. Galfond has now won three out of seven scheduled challenges.
One session after he lost over $300K and found himself down a cool million in the High Stakes Feud against Doug Polk, Daniel Negreanu stormed back to win $390K in a single session for the highest score to date during their 25,000-hand heads-up challenge at $200/$400 NL. Polk dropped nearly 10 buy-ins during his worst-session. After 31 rounds, Polk still leads by $612K with 6,000 hands remaining.
The high-stakes feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu is now at 17,878 hands, but for the first time since the two began their highly-anticipated joust, Negreanu officially fell below the $1 million mark. Negreanu was stuck almost a million last month, but he chipped away and won half of that back. However, Polk won four session in a row and during Round 30 he banked $298,984.93 over 770 hands. Polk currently leads with $1,002,595 with a little more than 7000 hands to go.
The World Poker Tour will have a new owner and news of the WPT sale broke today. Allied eSports Entertainment sold the World Poker Tour to a private group called Element Partners, LLC for $78,250,000. The deal will finalize in the upcoming weeks. Lyle Berman and Steve Lipscomb started the WPT 2002 and it's amazing to see the company grow into a multi-million dollar and global entity.
The 2020 WSOP Winter Online Circuit at GGPoker featured 18 ring events that began in mid-December and concluded this weekend with the Main Event championship. The Main Event attracted 6,395 runners to the $1,700 buy-in championships affair and the pool topped over $10.3 million. American pro Joe Cheong finished in third place, while Lithuania's Paulius Plausinaitis defeated 'turkey1' heads-up for the WSOP Circuit ring and a first-place prize worth over $1.2 million.
Casinos in Colorado no longer must adhere to a state law that imposed a maximum bet of $100 for all wagers thanks to Amendment 77, which included all table games and poker. The $100 max bet rule made poker cash games problematic, especially no-limit action, because you could never raise more than $100 at any given time. Under the new regulations starting May 1, all 33 Colorado casinos in Blackhak, Central City, and Cripple Creek now have the option to cap bets or allow unlimited action, which is expected to boost tourism with baccarat and high-stake poker.
Las Vegas lost another entertainment legend when word broke that Siegfried Fischbacher from Siegfried and Roy fame from their long-time running show at the Mirage Casino passed away at ag 81 from complications of pancreatic cancer. Siegfried and Roy first performed in Las Vegas in 1967 initially as a magic and illusionist act with big cats. They started working at the Mirage in 1990 before an mauling accident ended their 14-year run.
Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire who helped shaped modern-day Las Vegas, passed away at age 87 due to complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Adelson was the CEO of Las Vegas Sands corporation that operated the Venetian and Palazzo Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, in addition to the Sands Convention Center. He also owned casinos in Macau including the Sands and Macau Venetian. Forbes estimated his fortune at $35 billion and they listed him as the #19 richest person in the world according to their 2020 ankings.
The High-Stakes Fued continues in 2021. Daniel Negreanu won nearly 100K during a 750-hand session against Doug Polk in their High Stakes Heads-Up Battle. Negreanu continues to chip away and grind out small wins to trim his deficit to approximately -$645K. Kid Poker was stuck in a hole nearly $1 million in December, but he stopped the bleeding at the end of the year after hitting the midway mark. The two agreed to complete the 25,000-hand challenge.
The Poker Hall of Fame will only be inducting one person this year and former WSOP Main Evet world champion Huckleberry Seed earned a nod into the HOF as the lone member of the class of 2020. Seed won the voting round with 76 votes to edge out tournament director Matt Savage, PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, Patrik Antonius, Jesus Ferguson, and broadcasters Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.
The 2020 World Series of Poker finally crowned its champion, albeit a few days into 2021. Damian Salas defeated Joseph Herbert heads-up at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas to win the 2020 WSOP Main Event Championship. The hybrid heads-up battle featured the winner of an international final table (starting on GG Poker and ending at the King's Casino in RozVegas) and a domestic final table (starting at WSOP.com and ending at the Rio Casino). Salas earns an additional $1 million in cash and the champion bracelet.