Monday, February 23, 2009

Jamie Gold Hosts Charity Poker Tournament after Oscars, by Tom Jenkins - Poker News Daily - 22nd February 2009

Tonight, the 81st annual Academy Awards will take place from the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. Many in the poker world are in town not for the Oscars, but for the L.A. Poker Classic, a World Poker Tour (WPT) event taking place at the Commerce Casino. One notable exception is 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Jamie Gold, who is hosting a charity poker tournament late Sunday night benefiting Children Uniting Nations.

The winner of the fundraising event will receive a $10,000 entry into the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas beginning on July 3rd. The all-expense paid trip to Sin City includes a private dinner and coaching by Gold. The Los Angeles tournament will be held at 10:00pm on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton after the Oscar festivities have concluded. Confirmed to appear alongside Gold are Lee Watkinson and Full Tilt Poker pro Howard Lederer. The tournament is sponsored by the Merge Gaming Network online poker room ACED, which recently signed Gold. The Network accepts players from the United States.

Seating in the event will be capped when 30 players have registered and the field will consist of a mix of celebrities and poker fans. The gala is co-sponsored by the Hollywood Reporter and will feature musical performances by Colby O’Donis, JabbawockeeZ, Sophie B. Hawkins, Doug E. Fresh, Teairra Mari, and D.J. AM. According to a press release distributed by tournament organizer GreasieWheels, Jennifer Aniston, Pierce Brosnan, Christina Milian, Jane Seymour, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill and Hillary Clinton are all proud supporters of Children Uniting Nations.

According to the non-profit organization’s website, Children Uniting Nations “is committed to help every child find a way out of cruelty, neglect, and anger. This organization is dedicated to help children find their way to fulfill their dreams. Children Uniting Nations’ mission is to create loving, tolerant, and capable world citizens.” The Los Angeles-based organization was founded by entertainment mogul Daphna Edwards Ziman. The Oscar Viewing Party taking place at the Beverly Hilton has a price tag of $1,000; After Party tickets can be purchased for $150.

Gold famously won the 2006 WSOP Main Event, defeating Paul Wasicka heads-up and pocketing $12 million. Since then, Gold has served as a front man for 50 charity events and helped raise over $110 million. In addition to Children Uniting Nations, Gold’s efforts have benefited The Sunflower Organization, Montel Williams MS Foundation, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He’s right at home in Hollywood after originally gaining fame as a talent agent.

Gold took 35th in the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event, taking home £27,150. He’s also competed on GSN’s “High Stakes Poker” and NBC’s “Poker After Dark.” During the 2007 installment of the “National Heads-Up Poker Championship,” which also airs on NBC, Gold bested Jennifer Tilly in the first round before falling to Phil Gordon in the round of 32. In 2008, he also bowed out in the second round, this time to Scott Fischman. Gold served as the keynote speaker at the Casino Affiliate Programs (CAP) Euro 2008 conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The Academy Awards recognize the best in the motion picture industry annually. Accolades will be handed out for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Original Score, among others. Presenters will include a veritable “who’s who” of Hollywood personalities and the festivities begin at 8:00pm Eastern Time. Previous Best Picture winners include “No Country for Old Men,” “The Departed,” “Crash,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Chicago,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “Gladiator.” This year’s nominees include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Actor Hugh Jackman will host. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

WSOP Tunica Championship Event Kicks off Today, by Tom Jenkins - Poker News Daily - 2nd February 2009

The Deep South plays host to another high stakes tournament this week. Fresh off the conclusion of the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) Southern Poker Championship, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit Event Championship begins today. Harrah’s Casino in Tunica plays host this time around to some of poker’s top players.

Last month, the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi was the site of the WPT festivities, which saw Allen “AawwNutz” Carter take home $1 million for the win. Two weeks later, the action moves north to Tunica, located just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. The $5,150 buy-in WSOP Circuit Event Championship begins today and will crown a champion on Wednesday. Each player will begin with 20,000 chips and the blind levels will last for 40 minutes. Each level is followed by a 15 minute break and play will occur on Monday until the final 27 remain. On Tuesday, the survivors will return to Harrah’s to determine a final table. A winner will be named on Wednesday.

A total of 15 events comprise the WSOP schedule in Tunica. In the $340 buy-in opening No Limit Hold’em tournament, Ronald Sewell defeated a field of 540 entrants en route to a $37,000 payday. Sewell defeated Mark “Pegasus” Smith heads-up; the runner up took home $18,000 for his efforts. Event #2, another $340 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event, was taken down by Perry Ernest, who blazed through 446 players and walked away with $32,000. Vincent Meeks finished second in that tournament and earned $16,000.

Event #3 kicked off on January 22nd. At the end of the two day tournament, Michael Ratcliff earned $37,000 for his win in the $340 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament, besting Kevin Miles, who pocketed an $18,000 consolation prize. In the tournament series’ first $540 buy-in tournament, Reginald Roberts outlasted a field of 469 players. In the end, Roberts battled against Scotty Carroll, who amassed $29,000 for his second place showing. Event #5 saw Nic Vita and Ethan Foulkes duel heads-up, with the former winning $65,000 for first. The event attracted a healthy 905 entrants, the largest turnout in an event so far.

Event #6 was a $440 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament in which Mark Fleddermann won his second WSOP Circuit Event title. In 2005, he tasted victory in a $1,500 No Limit event in Tunica for $118,000, outlasting a final table that included poker pro Mark Seif. The $230 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #7), as expected, had a sizable field, as 621 players took to the felts at Harrah’s. The contest’s finale saw Kevin Waldie defeat Robert Castoire, with the pair taking home $30,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Dennis Booze was the talk of the town in Event #8, a $230 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament. Booze won $22,000 for his efforts, twice as much as Michael McKee, whom he beat heads-up; a total of 470 entrants turned out. It was Booze’s third WSOP Circuit Event final table; the other two came at Harrah’s New Orleans and Caesars Indiana (now Horseshoe Indiana).

Many poker players will recall Ken Smith’s run through the 2007 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. Smith finished 50th in the $10,000 buy-in tournament for $190,000. In Event #9 at Harrah’s Tunica, he was back to his winning ways, emerging victorious atop the field for $26,000. In the subsequent $440 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament, another Ken, Kenny Long, defeated a field of 316 poker hopefuls. Long won $30,000, besting a player who got his start in the Deep South, Team PokerStars Pro and 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker.

Mike Carter defeated Sean McMahon in a $550 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament. The event, #11, drew 416 entries, including former WSOP Circuit Event winner Allen Kessler, who finished in ninth place. The final preliminary event completed prior to Monday’s start of the $5,150 feature tournament saw Justin Truesdell (truesyalose online) defeat Chris Love for a first place prize of $77,000.

The “Shuffle Up and Deal” order for the Main Event will be issued at Noon Central Time today. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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WSOP 2009 Will Again Feature Final Table Hiatus

4-month break remains in main event final table pause at World Series of Poker

February 2, 2009 (InfoPowa News) -- This year's World Series of Poker epic in Las Vegas will again feature a four-month break before the final table action takes place in the NLTH main event, and there will be a new one-time $40,000 buy-in tournament at the start of the series to commemorate its 40th anniversary of the championship.

The break was introduced at the behest of television executives last year, and delayed the final table of the world's richest poker tournament to allow ESPN television broadcasts to air without viewers knowing the outcome. The entry field of tournament field of 6,844 players was reduced to nine final tablers in July, but the final table action did not start until November, when 22-year-old Danish player Peter Eastgate became the event's youngest winner and won $9.15 million.

Tournament and cable network officials said ratings went up 50 percent for last year's final table, which aired the same day play finished.

Phil Hellmuth, an 11-time gold bracelet winner at the series, said most players think the main event's break is good for the game, allowing for more buildup to a winner and creating a bigger spectacle when the final nine players finally square off.

The 2009 World Series of Poker, starting May 27 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, will have 57 gold bracelet events, up from 55 last year. The main event starts July 3 and its winner will be honoured on November 10th.

Gone from the series are five re-buy events, in which players were allowed to buy themselves back into the tournament after they got knocked out.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Arce And Suzuki Top Day 1A Of APT Philippines

Day 1A of the Asian Poker Tour's second-ever Manila leg began yesterday with two WSOP bracelet-winners in the midst of the players who had paid the $2,700 to enter the event.

Among the field was 1990 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Mansour Matloubi and Philippines native Toto Leonidas. The latter gave the order to "shuffle up and deal" and play was on.

Overall, 75 runners were there to play the first day, beginning with 10,000 in chips and playing through ten one-hour blind levels. At the end of play, only 19 remained. Arce is the Day 1a leader, followed by Suzuki, Anders Andersson, Derek Hernandez, and Eddie Hearn. They will meet the survivors of Day 1B tomorrow. (Credit: CAP)

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