Norm Macdonald, a comedian from Canada known for his stint as the host of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, passed away at age 61 after a decade-long battle with cancer. Macdonald was an avid poker player and sports bettor. Macdonald cashed in a trio of World Series of Poker events, won two lo-fi Aria nightly tournaments, and was briefly sponsored by PokerStars during the height of the online poker boom in the late 2000s.
It was only a matter of time before Phil Hellmuth's win streak ended in high-stakes heads up poker matches. Tom Dwan stepped into the second round of High Stakes Duel III and emerged the victor with a $200,000 score by defeating Phil Hellmuth at PokerGo's studio at the Aria in Las Vegas.
Tom Dwan and Phil Hellmuth will finally meet each other in a long-awaited heads-up battle. The two have a throwdown set for late August for High Stakes Duel III with $200,000 on the line. Tune in to PokerGo on August 25 and see if Hellmuth can maintain his undefeated record after beating Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, and Nick Wright.
Despite the fact that Daniel Negreanu was the big betting favorite against Phil Hellmuth in the second installment of their High Stakes Duel on Poker GO, the Poker Brat came out on top of Kid Poker this week to win another $100,000. Hellmuth is now up $200,000, but Negreanu is expected to play a rematch sometime in June for a chance to break even against the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner.
ESPN will no longer broadcast the World Series of Poker. The 2021 WSOP moves to CBS Sports, which is available via Paramount+ streaming service. The WSOP and CBS Sports agreed to a multi-year partnership. ESPN's coverage of the WSOP was an integral part of the online poker boom in the early 2000s when they aired the epic run by Chris Moneymaker at the 2003 WSOP.
Several of the biggest names in Hollywood played in Hank's Home Game charity event on PokerStars over the weekend. Actor Hank Azaria, mostly known for doing multiple voices on 'The Simpsons', hosted a special virtual home game to help raise money for various charities. Some of his poker-playing thespian friends included Don Cheadle (Oceans's 11), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Michael Cera (Arrested Development), Michael Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer) and Josh Charles (Dead Poets Society). Michael Cera won $20,000 for First Responders First, a charity for frontline health care workers.
After ten sessions, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu completed 4,651 hands of their High Stakes Feud at $200/$400 NL. Polk won Round 10, arguably the most exciting session to date, and banked $117,624. Polk extended his lead, while Negreanu is now down $144K with more than 80% of their high-stakes grudge match remaining. They have approximately 45 more sessions remaining at the current rate.
Doug Polk ended a two-session skid with a small win during Round 6 of his High Stakes Feud against Daniel Negreanu. KidPoker won the first round of $200/$400 NL during a live session at the Aria, before Polk won the next two online. During Round 4 and Round 5, Negreanu erased the deficit and took a slight lead. However, Polk is back ahead by +$67K after 2,374 hands completed.
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu played their first online session of their High Stakes Duel over at WSOP.com last Friday, and Polk banked $218K over 424 hands at $200/$400 NL (two tables). Negreanu won $117K during a 200-hand live initial session, but he now trails Polk by $101K after 624 hands of their 25,000-hand heads-up duel. The two will throw down in the High Stakes Duel three times this week on GGPoker.tv on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:30pm PT.
PokerGo will produce a new season of High Stakes Poker starting on December 16. The classic program will finally get rebooted much to the delight of pros and fans alike. The first batch of high-stakes cash game action included Tom Dan, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, and Jason Koon. No word on whether or not Gabe Kaplan also makes his comeback as an announcer.
Love them or hate them but Phil Hellmuth and Tony G blowing up at each other is hysterical content. One of the many thing I miss about the poker boom, were the televised blow ups of our favorite poker villains. PokerStars released one of their clip videos of their favorite moments with Tony G needling Hellmuth during The Big Game.
The poker world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest ambassadors and beloved players. Mike Sexton passed away at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer. Sexton loved the game of poker and he sought to share his love of the game with people all over the world. Sexton won over $6.7 million in live tournaments and unknown millions in cash games, including a WSOP bracelet in 1989. Sexton also won an event on the WPT in 2016. Sexton is widely known as an announcer for the World Poke Tour. He inspired people to become better players, but more importantly Sexton inspired pros to become better people.
Flashbacks are always fun, especially monsterpottens involving two well-known pros clashing during an episode of the classic TV Series "High Stakes Poker". In this classic hand, Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu squared off in a $575,000 pot for the ages, which was the biggest pot in the history of televised poker (at the time). They both flopped sets, but Gus turned quads with pocket fives and fireworks ensued on the river.
An alleged cheating scandal has blown up over the last week that Doug Polk referred to as the “biggest story of the year”. Sacramento-based pro Mike Postle got named in cheating scam after he went on a heater to win $250,000 in cash games while appearing on the Stones Gambling Hall live stream. After several days of bad press, Stones Gambling Hall shut down the live stream and hired a third-party investigator with an obvious conflict of interest.
It's never a dull day when Phil Hellmuth sits down at a TV table. During a recent Live of the Bike, Phil Hellmuth played a session in late August with Mike Matusow and a couple of regulars at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Big Mike sucked out a gutshot on the river, which sent Hellmuth over the edge.
In another bold move, partypoker expanded their Team Online to include Kevin Martin. The former contestant on Big Brother Canada made a name for himself as streamer and he built a following with 80,00 devoted subscribers. Martin has been a pro since 2014 and streaming his sessions since 2015. He joins the recently expanded stable of partypoker Team Online that also include Jaime Staples and Jeff Gross.
Canadian poker pro Gavin Smith passed away in his sleep at the age of 50. Smith won a WPT title at the Mirage in 2005 and won his first WSOP bracelet in 2010. Smith banked over $6.3 million in tournaments. The magnanimous Smith was an integral part of Poker Road Radio during the peak of the online poker boom. Smith is currently ranked #11 on the all-time Canada money list.
One of the last remaining characters in poker, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, passed away at the age of 66. The attorney and poker pro from Minnesota won a WSOP bracelet in 2003, made a couple of televised final tables during the poker boom, and banked over $1.4 million in career earnings.
Short Deck poker was the main focus at the 2018 Triton Super High Roller series hosted in July in Jeju, South Korea. The biggest rage among the high roller scene was recorded for everyone's viewing pleasure. Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Paul Phua, Andrew Robl, and Mikita Badziakouski were involved in big hands as they played down to a champion. Kenneth Kee from Singapore would go on to win this event for approximately $2.9 million, but he dragged a key pot in a crazy cooler with A-A holding up against K-K and Q-Q.
ESPN released a new episode of their 30 for 30 podcast. This documentary series by ESPN focuses on the oral history of Chris Moneymaker and the 2003 World Series of Poker, which help fueled the poker boom. Several high-profile figures participated in the episode including Chris Moneymaker, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, tournament director Matt Savage, former WSOP media director Nolan Dalla, TV producer Matt Maranz, and Norman Chad.
The 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series has been releasing episodes of their high-stakes cash games in Jeju, South Korea. The sixth and latest episode features Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Paul Phua, Jason Koon, Mikita Badziakouski, Sam Greenwood, and Dom Nitsche. Paul Phua and Tom Dwan were involved in a juicy pot worth $2.3 million after Phua woke up with Aces in an UTG straddle. You won't believe what happens next!
At the Triton Super High Roller Series in Montenegro, two Americans – Jason Koon and Kane Kalas – jousted in one of the largest pots ever recorded in televised poker history. The €1.8 million pot (or $2 million USD) occurred during the live stream of nosebleed cash game session with blinds at 2K/4K and 10K ante. Doug Polk posted a great video where he broke down the action in the $2 million pot.
Joey Ingram invited Barry Greenstein to appear on the Poker Life Podcast. They had a four-hour discussion with Barry telling a myriad of stories -- both on the felt and off -- about a variety of topics including playing mixed games, playing against Tom Dwan, juicy cash games in China, Viffer stories, playing in Larry Flynt's home game in the Hollywood Hills, and some PokerStars talk. Ingram mentioned, "This was one of my favorite podcasts of all time. So much wisdom and great stories."
Poker After Dark continued with a new format this week on PokerGO. Moving Violations featured a minimum $20,000 buy-in with $50-$100 NL blinds. This installment included a couple of celebrities such as Don Cheadle and Jennifer Tilly. The infamous Antonio Esfandiari put Jennifer Tilly on "full tilt" after he got her to fold the better hand with a massive river bluff. Oh and there was another doozy of a hand. In a multi-way pot worth $250,000, Tilly flopped a set with pocket Aces but Esfandiari gambled it up with a big draw and got there on the river.
Paul 'X-22' Magriel, former chess prodigy and legendary backgammon player, passed away in his sleep at the age of 71. Erik Seidel confirmed Magriel's passing on Twitter today. Magriel got his 15 minutes of modern fame on an early episode of the World Poker Tour with his infamous verbal tick "Quack quack!" Magriel had also become a nemesis of Phil Hellmuth over the years especially after Magriel busted Hellmuth at the 2005 WSOP.
Celebrities playing poker! Poker Night in America (PNIA) is turning to celebrities to juice up the latest incarnation of their televised cash-game series. The lower-stakes celebrity version, Poker Night LIVE, will be taped at the Gardens Casino in Los Angeles. The celebrity version of Poker Night LIVE will debut on the CBS Sports Network on March 20, 2018.
I know you've been holding your breath and became near-dizzy anticipating the third installment of PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge. Yes, the third episode has finally been released much to the delight of the poker diaspora. The challenger, Mila Monroe from Germany, is playing a €25/€50 NL cash game against actor/comedian Kevin Hart, Liv Boeree, Daniel Negreanu, Faraz Jaka, and Charlie Carrel. You won't believe what happens next!
The first two episode of the PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge has been released. The Cash Challenge filmed in Monte Carlo featured Mila Monroe from Germany battling a festive table that included comedian Kevin Hart and a quartet of pros: Liv Boeree, Charlie Carrel, Faraz Jaka, and Daniel Negreanu. They played a NL cash game with €25/€50 blinds and a min buy-in of €10K and €25K max. The first episode included a crazy hand from Kevin Hart that was utterly redonkulous.