As you all know, Stanley Sludikoff, the owner of Poker Player Newspaper, passed away March 12, 2016.

It is time to pass the newspaper on to a new owner.

If you're someone who understands Poker and the Poker Industry, Publishing and Advertising, and Money Making, then this is your opportunity to become a part of a great business venture.

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Guest posts

Poker's Platinum Publisher

By Geno Lawrenzi Jr.

Poor Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. There they were, in the presence of the powerful Wizard of Oz. They didn't know what the Wizard looked like -- only that he had a powerful voice and he kept their knees quaking with his pronouncements and observations.

Poker and the world of gambling have their own Wizards of Oz.  Their names may vary because of their involvement in this or that project -- Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, the Binions, Pappy Smith, Mike Caro and many more.

Add Stanley Sludikoff to that list. Better yet, consider him at or near the head of the list.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (12 votes)

Justin Oliver - A Canadian Pro in the Business of Gold

By: Derrick Oliver

To suggest the start of Justin Oliver’s poker career has been ‘golden’ is to simply point out the obvious. The 38 year old Canadian has only been playing competitive poker for five years now and he already has a 1st and a 2nd at the World Series of Poker to his credit. You might say his whole life has been golden - literally. Oliver is the son of a very well-known businessman who deals primarily in gold and silver. A jeweler. But don’t make the mistake of calling his father the most famous jeweler in Canada.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

"Open-Minded & Accepting" - The Poker Community Perfect Fit for Openly Gay Pro Ryan Laplante

Derrick Oliver-Dewan

Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan

Like most poker ‘young guns’ these days, Ryan Laplante lives and breathes cards, studying and working on his game to the point of racking up more than 3,300 online tournament cashes in his career so far, and he’s only 24.  Like most online superstars, he’s gearing up for three weeks of day and night competition at the upcoming World Championship of Online Poker in September, where he expects to play an incredible 1,500 events. But, unlike most poker pros, Laplante is openly gay.
“I feel as though the poker community is one of the most open-minded and accepting industries you can be involved with,” says the Brainerd, Minnesota native. “It’s filled with many kind, intelligent and hard working individuals and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
Despite calling a male dominated, seemingly macho and high testosterone industry his vocation’s home, Laplante says there have only been a few minor incidents involving recreational players and a few ‘bad apples’, who have since apologized.
“Being openly gay in this community is much easier compared to high school or even my experience at a rural college.  As a whole, it’s very accepting and open-minded and because of that I’ve ran into almost no issues at or away from the table.”
Laplante admits the gay community is fairly small in poker, about 30 players that he knows of, but says it’s a close knit group and they do come together regularly on poker forums to discuss a variety of issues. He points to the success of Vanessa Selbst, another openly gay pro and perhaps the most feared player on the planet, as inspiration for his own career path. Selbst just captured her third bracelet at the World Series of Poker, winning Event #2, the $25,000 buy-in Mix Max No-Limit Hold’em event, for a whopping $900,000. She’s won well more than $10 million in her career, making her the winningest female player ever.
"I think Vanessa showed from the start of her career that you can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or a woman and be very successful and well-received in this industry. I didn't know about Vanessa when I joined the community as an out gay man over six years ago, but as I learned about her and followed her success it gave me hope for my own future in the game.”
Laplante is finding his own success in poker, and then some. Not even at his 25th birthday yet and he’s already earned more than $1 million bluffing and check raising opponents worldwide. He’s made three final tables and pocketed more than $300,000 at the WSOP, the biggest and baddest series of poker tournaments in the world. This summer, he cashed six times to bring his career total to an impressive 12, and he finished 5th in Event #39 for a cool $114,000 and his first six-figure score.

“Yes, it was a break out year for me and I’ve got absolutely no complaints about the past six months. I am really excited about the next six months, and the next couple of years for that matter, because I feel as though I’m really starting to hit my groove. My game is, by far, at its best ever and I’m starting to catch some good cards as well. You combine those two things and you get some great results.”
Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Download and Read the Poker Player Digital Edition for July 14th, 2014 (Vol. 18 Number 2)

June 2nd, 2014 Issue of Poker Player NewspaperDownload the July 14th Digital edition PDF of Poker Player Newspaper.

Featured Articles:
Calling Out Sexism in Poker — Beyond Maguire, Molly’s Game, and “The Mouth” - by Wendeen H. Eolis

Featured Strategy - Mike Caro: Today's Word is Revenge

Tournament Results:
World Series of Poker Events 53 to the Main Event (#65)

AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

California’s Next Gold Rush

by Robert Turner

Where California goes, the world follows. Not only is California a global leader in the entertainment and technology industries but a less well-known fact is that it is one of the most diverse places for gambling in the world.  The Golden State features 25 percent of the nation’s tribal gaming, a long-established horse racing industry, a state lottery, bingo halls and nearly a hundred card rooms. California has very much been a gambler’s paradise since the Gold Rush days. Its large population and huge appetite for everything gambling makes it the grand prize of the newly-regulated online gambling industry.

Amaya’s deal to purchase PokerStars was likely made with an eye to returning to a soon-to-be regulated U.S. market. Getting a foothold in California would be the key to success for any online gambling company. The California card room industry has been around for eighty years and made the transition from a very unsafe environment to the modern state-of-the-art gaming facilities of today. California’s highly-regulated gambling industry is a major employer and taxpayer in the state and is a model for what a regulated online gaming industry could look like.

The gaming industry in Los Angeles is showing signs of healthy growth with several large hotel projects in the works with the Bicycle Casino breaking ground this week on a new hotel slated for completion in October 2015 while the Commerce Casino is undertaking a major remodeling project. The Garden Casino in Hawaiian Gardens has also announced plans for a new casino, and Hollywood Park has been approved to build a whole new entertainment complex with a new casino.

Having worked in the California gaming industry for nearly 30 years, I have seen many changes in its development and expansion first-hand. I remember helping to clean up Gardena, which was a breeding ground for some of the top cheaters in the country at one time. I was there from the dark days of the Horseshoe Casino to the opening of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Casino in 2000. Visionaries like George Hardie transformed California gambling establishments from places filled with widespread cheating to the safe, regulated gambling market it is today. This did not happen overnight; it evolved over time.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Final Table Set at 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event

Photo by: Joe Giron [L to R: In seat order (Pappaconstantinou, Stephensen, van Hoof, Newhouse, Larrabe, Tonking, Sindelar, Jacobson, Politano]) LAS VEGAS (July 15, 2014 -Photo by: Joe Giron [L to R: In seat order (Pappaconstantinou, Stephensen, van Hoof, Newhouse, Larrabe, Tonking, Sindelar, Jacobson, Politano]) – The 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – is down to its final nine players. The “November Nine” – a diverse and international group – is all that remains of the massive field of 6,683 players from 87 different nations who entered the iconic tournament seeking poker’s most coveted title and a top prize of $10 million.

The final nine players represent six countries – Brazil, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United States. The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Monday, November 10 to vie for poker’s ultimate trophy – a WSOP gold bracelet – and the lion’s share of the Main Event’s $62,820,200 total prize pool. The winner will receive a guaranteed first-place prize of $10,000,000, with the other eight players sharing another $18,480,121.

The November Nine and their respective seat assignments and chip counts are as follows:

Seat 1 - Billy Pappaconstantinou – 17,500,000

Perhaps the most unlikely final tablist this year is 29-year-old world foosball champion “Billy Pappas” Pappaconstantinou from Lowell, Massachusetts. He is a 29-year-old professional foosball player who is playing the WSOP Main Event for the first time.  In fact, Billy has no previous WSOP experience.  In total, he has earned $16,379 in live poker tournaments, mainly from a $500 buy-in event at the 2010 World Poker Finals where he took 8th place and won $15,341.  But Pappaconstantinou is no stranger to long grueling hours of extreme tension and focus and credits his experience playing professional foosball as benefitting his deep run in the WSOP Main Event.  The single Pappaconstantinou jetted into the WSOP Main Event from a European foosball tournament, and has plans to return back to Europe for another foosball event later this month.  He is a five-time U.S. foosball champion and is a world-recognized champion in foosball hoping to add his name to the legendary list of poker world champions.

Seat 2 - Felix Stephensen – 32,775,000

Stephensen is a 23-year-old originally from Oslo, Norway now living in London, England.  This is his second year in a row playing the WSOP Main Event, but he has no previous WSOP cashes or earnings.  This is the only event he entered at the 2014 WSOP.  He has only $22,118 in career live earnings, but the young poker pro finds himself at the biggest final table in poker.  His highest previous finish was a 12th place finish at the 2009 Norwegian Championships in Nottingham, UK.

Seat 3 - Jorryt van Hoof – 38,375,000

Netherlands makes back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables, with van Hoof’s deep run here following last year’s seventh place finish from Michiel Brummelhuis.  van Hoof is a 31-year-old from Eindhoven with only three previous WSOP cashes and $27,956 in earnings.  Worldwide, Jorryt has won $358,580 in live poker tournaments.  van Hoof played only one other WSOP event this summer, failing to cash.  He has never cashed in the WSOP Main Event but he will enter the final table as the chip leader with 38,375,000 – 19.1% of the chips in play.

Seat 4 - Mark Newhouse – 26,000,000

Newhouse has made history, becoming the first-ever November Niner to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. (The November Nine concept dates back to 2008, where the final table has been paused until November).  Newhouse finished in 9th place in 2013, collecting $733,224.  He has already guaranteed himself at least $730,725, but has positioned himself for a deeper run this year.  Newhouse becomes the first player since Dan Harrington in 2003-2004 to make back-to-back Main Event final tables.  The big difference is Newhouse has participated in field sizes of 6,352 in 2013 and 6,693 this year, where Harrington faced 839 in 2003 and 2,576 in 2004.  Thus, Newhouse has outlasted 13,029 in the past two Main Events, while Harrington outlasted 3,410. The 29-year-old Las Vegas resident (originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina) has $906,093 in career WSOP earnings, with eight previous WSOP cashes.  Newhouse has had a rough 2014 WSOP, entering 17 previous bracelet events without cashing before his deep run here in the Main Event.  The former Appalachian State student is single, and has participated in the WSOP Main Event every year since 2006. His total live poker tournament winnings are $2,776,172.

Seat 5 - Andoni Larrabe – 22,550,000

Larrabe is a 22-year-old Spaniard poker professional from Basque, now living in London, England, and is the youngest player remaining in the field and the first Spaniard to make the WSOP Main Event final table since Carlos Mortensen won the event in 2001.  The poker professional went to school at San Viato in Spain, but now calls London, England home.  Andoni has $20,068 in career WSOP earnings via three WSOP cashes but has won a tournament in the Bahamas in 2013, good for $218,710.  In total, Larrabe has $341,266 in career poker earnings, impressive for someone just 22 years old.  The WSOP Main Event was the sixth event Larrabe entered this summer, and it will be the first one he cashes in.  Last year marked the first time Larrabe participated in the WSOP Main Event.

Seat 6 - William Tonking – 15,050,000

Another inexperienced WSOP player is 27-year-old William Tonking, from Flemington, New Jersey, who came into this Main Event with $13,421 in career live poker earnings via three previous WSOP cashes.  This is Tonking’s first time to cash in the WSOP Main Event, after playing it previously in 2008 and 2013.  He played two WSOP events this summer, including the Main Event, and has now cashed in both.  He finished 77th out of 1,475 entrants in Event #58 on July 1.  Tonking has $93,306 in live poker tournament earnings.  The former University of South Carolina student is single and makes his living as an online cash game player.

Seat 7 - Daniel Sindelar – 21,200,000

Sindelar is a 30-year-old poker professional originally from Columbus, Nebraska now living in Las Vegas, who has 17 previous WSOP cashes and more than $227,791 in earnings in WSOP events.  He has career earnings of $527,779.  The former University of Nebraska student is an avid golfer who played the WSOP Main Event the past six years, this year becoming his first time to cash.  The single Sindelar played 19 WSOP events this summer, cashing in four of them.

Seat 8 - Martin Jacobson – 14,900,000

Jacobson enters this final table as the only one with more than $1 million in career WSOP earnings, with $1,224,706 in 15 previous cashes.  The 27-year-old originally from Stockholm, Sweden now living in London, United Kingdom finished in 6th place during last year’s $111,111 One Drop High Roller event, collecting $807,427 in the process.  This summer, Jacobson has played 27 events, with the Main Event his third cash.  In total, the Swedish poker professional has $4,807,316 in worldwide tournament winnings – also the most of anyone remaining.  This is the first time he has cashed in the WSOP Main Event.  Jacobson becomes the first Swedish-born player at the WSOP Main Event final table since 2006, when Erik Friberg finished 8th and collected $1,979,189.  So a seventh place or higher finish puts Jacobson in the Swedish record books at the WSOP, but he will need a fifth place or better finish to take home the largest amount for a Swedish-born player in the Main Event.

Seat 9 - Bruno Politano – 12,125,000

The first Brazilian ever to make the WSOP Main Event final table, Politano is from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil and will start play as the shortest stack remaining.  The 31-year-old single Administrator plays poker as a hobby with just three cashes on his WSOP resume entering the Main Event, totaling $25,404.  He has now cashed in three of ten events entered in the 2014 WSOP.  Originally from Sao Paolo, Politano has $110,054 in worldwide poker earnings.  He has never cashed in the Main Event previously.

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Photo By: Joe Giron

LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2014) – While the final card of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker is likely to fall in the wee hours on Tuesday, July 15, it will be just a few short hours from then when television viewers will be able to get their first glimpse of the expansive television coverage from this year’s tournament.
On Tuesday, July 15 from 8-10 pm ET, ESPN begins their TV coverage of the 2014 World Series of Poker, with the first two of what will be 24 original episodes from the record-breaking event. 
The WSOP National Championship took place over Memorial Day Weekend on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey and featured 126 players, all of whom qualified based on performance.  ESPN cameras captured all the final table action, as notable WSOP gold bracelet winners Dominik Nitsche, Matthew Ashton and Athanasios Polychronopoulos faced off against the best of the best from the WSOP Circuit qualifiers. 
In a WSOP television first, the venue was outdoors, with the opening weekend of the Jersey Shore in full effect on the famed Atlantic City boardwalk.  In Tuesday’s back-to-back one-hour episodes, ESPN covers the finale where more than $1.2 million is up for grabs.
Following a one-week hiatus, ESPN coverage of the 2014 World Series of Poker returns with action from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 29 with coverage of the $1 million buy-in Big One for ONE DROP charity tournament.  For three consecutive weeks (July 29, August 5 & August 12), the WSOP on ESPN airs on Tuesday nights from 8-10 PM ET and provides Big One coverage.
Then, the WSOP on ESPN returns on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 9 PM ET, and airs for seven consecutive Sunday night’s providing WSOP Main Event coverage where this year’s winner will walk away with $10 million. The WSOP Main Event coverage will air consistently on Sunday nights in two-hour blocks from 9:00 PM ET to 11:00 PM ET.
Norman Chad and Lon McEachern call all the action. Dan Ochs and Steve Flower are the executives in charge of poker coverage on ESPN. 
The following page details all of ESPN’s World Series of Poker television plans for the 45th Annual World Series of Poker.
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45th Annual World Series of Poker® & 10th Year at Rio Becomes Biggest Ever, Establishing Several Key Records

Main Event with $10,000,000 First Place Guarantee, Grows in Participation for First Time Since 2010
LAS VEGAS (July 8, 2014) – In another remarkable testament to the health and strength of the game of poker globally, the 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas established a host of new records as poker enthusiasts from 107 different nations traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the game’s grandest spectacle.  The WSOP remained the industry standard-bearer, with a record-setting 82,360 entries in 65 events and awarding the largest prize pool in WSOP history: $225,584,873.
The new all-time high in participants surpassed by 3.6 percent the previous record of 79,471 set last year.
The Main Event in 2014 had 6,683 entries, creating the largest prize pool of the 2014 WSOP at $62,820,200.  The winner will receive $10,000,000.
“There is only one WSOP,” said World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart.  “We’re humbled to have seen this kind of response to our 10th series at the Rio.  More than ever before, we embraced the challenge to have something for everyone who loves the game.  With some of the biggest events ever organized it is clear poker remains strong and its best days are ahead. We can’t wait to start planning for next year.”
For the tenth consecutive year, the WSOP generated a total prize pool well in excess of $100 million, and for only the second time in its history, topped the $200 million mark.
In the 45-year history of the WSOP, the prestigious tournament has now awarded more than $2 billion in prize money. When added to the previous total -- $1,840,172,006 – this year’s massive prize pool brings the new all-time money awarded tally to $2,065,756,879.  More than $1 billion of this has come in the last 6 years alone ($1,005,789,961).  This year’s total prize pool surpassed last year’s amount by 14.4 percent.
Additionally, the WSOP, renowned for its ability to help raise significant amounts for charity, has surpassed the $5 million plateau for the second time in three years.  Through the first 64 events, WSOP players and tournaments have contributed $5,260,700 to the ONE DROP organization (  ONE DROP uses donations to directly implement water access projects, where an average of $100 can transform someone’s life forever. With the Big One for ONE DROP (Event #57), the Little One for ONE DROP (Event #62) and the All In for ONE DROP campaign, where players can donate 1% of their winnings to the cause, the poker community via the World Series of Poker has donated more than $12,000,000 since the partnership began in 2012 – enough to directly impact the lives of over 100,000 people.
Legions of amateur players competed alongside legendary poker pros, Hollywood A-listers and international sports figures to establish the new milestones.  Among the notable non-poker playing names competing during this year’s WSOP included: UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, Movie director Nick Cassavetes (Notebook), actor Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer), Model Triana Iglesias, NBA star Paul Pierce, Spain World Cup/FC Barcelona soccer player and singer Shakira’s boyfriend Gerard Pique, actor and comedian Kevin Pollak,, Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Gavin Polone, professional soccer player John Arne Riise, actor and comedian Ray Romano,  NFL defensive star and Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour, actress Jennifer Tilly, cricket superstar Shane Warne, NASCAR driver Jason White, actor James Woods.
The youngest player in this year’s WSOP Main Event was Zachary Zaffos, of Weston, Florida, who played Day 1-C of the Main Event and turned 21 just one day before entering.  The oldest player to participate in this year’s Main Event was 93-year-old William Wachter of Carmel, New York, who played Day 1-B. Wachter, was also the oldest participant last year.  Both players were eliminated on Day One. Jack Ury, at the young age of 95, still holds the WSOP record as oldest participant.  Poker Hall of Famer Henry Orenstein became the oldest person to cash this year, when the 90-year old finished in eighth place in Event #60.
The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship – commonly referred to as the WSOP Main Event, attracted the largest number of players since 2010, becoming the fifth-largest WSOP Main Event in the 45-year history of the event.
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2014 WSOP Main Event Bracelet Designed and Created by Jason of Beverly Hills To Commemorate The Main Event’s Tenth Year at Rio

LAS VEGAS—For the third consecutive year famed jewelry designer Jason Arasheben, “Jason of Beverly Hills,” has been commissioned to create the 2014 World Series of Poker® (WSOP) bracelet.

The coveted 2014 Main Event bracelet contains over 35 carats of white and black diamonds and weighs in at just under 300 grams of 14 karat white and yellow gold. The bracelet has a secret compartment that opens up to reveal a removable 10 million dollar gold gaming chip that represents this year’s historic purse. The masterpiece took over 300 man-hours to create.

These unique characteristics make this bracelet truly priceless in value.

“My goal with each years bracelet it to create a wow factor that eclipses the bracelets of years past. This bracelet is not only immaculate in design, but honors the tenth year running the Main Event at Rio,” said Jason Arasheben, founder of Jason of Beverly Hills. “This is the most expensive piece of championship jewelry in sports history.”

The Main Event bracelet will be unveiled at the Jason of Beverly Hills store on level 2 inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas on July 10th at 6pm.

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WSOP & Taxes - The Taxman Cometh and Right Soon

by M.G. Smith

If you're lucky enough to win some serious money at the WSOP (or any other tournament) and you're wondering what you need check out a great article by tax expert Russ Fox explaining how to pay your taxes when you cash in at the WSOP.  This helps answer some big questions regarding this subject.

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