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Matt Bond Wins First Ring Awarded at Lumière

The first-ever WSOP Circuit ring awarded at Lumière Place Casino in St. Louis goes to Matt Bond of Irving, Texas for winning the opening event,$580 No Limit Hold’em.(Matt’s first name is Justin,but he goes by middle name Matt.) He came to the final table second in chips and battled headsup for nearly two hours before getting the last of Peter Nigh’s chips with A9 dominating Nigh’s A3.Bond collected $17,779 for the win. Nigh, who was the chip leader at the start of the final table, picked up $10,989 for second place.

This event drew 127 entrants for a total prize pool of $63,500. The final 15 players got paid. Two time WSOP Circuit ring winner Tim Vance was in the starting field along with Palm Beach Kennel Club Casino Champion Jeff Gunnip and single ring owner DJ MacKinnon.They all failed to make the money. None of the player sat the final table owned any WSOP or Circuit bling.

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Susie Isaacs - Ladies Legend The 1998 WSOP - The Year of Dreams

Derrick Oliver-Dewan

Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan

The World Series of Poker has produced a number of remarkable stories of fate over the years and two of the best ever come from the 1998 main event.   Perhaps, the most famous anecdote was delivered by Mike Matusow in his book Checkraising the Devil, when he opted not to play the world championship that year because he had a dream 'The Prince of Poker' Scotty Nguyen would win the event and the $1 million that went with it.

Confident his vision was accurate, Matusow gave half his buy-in, $5000, to Nguyen so he could play instead.  His friends and family thought he was 'Nuts' but 'The Mouth' was confident and maintains to this day he never doubted his decision for a second, not once, because he had seen the outcome vividly in his sleep.   The rest, as they say, is histoy; Nguyen defeated Florida's Kevin McBride heads-up to win, uttering one of the most famous quotes in poker history in the process, "You call and  it's gonna be all over baby."

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Poker News Brief: Ultimate Poker Signs Deal with Reno’s Peppermill Nevada

by Haley Hintze

Licensed online poker site Ultimate Poker expanding its reach into the state’s second-largest market in early March, courtesy of a major deal with Reno’s Peppermill Resort Hotel. The recently renovated Peppermill is one of the leading casino destinations in the Reno-Tahoe market, whose population is dwarfed by greater Las Vegas, but remains the state’s second most populous region. The deal also includes four smaller Peppermill affiliated casinos -- Western Village (Sparks), and the Rainbow, Peppermill Wendover, and Montego Bay (all in Wendover). Ultimate Poker is associated with the Vegas-centric Station Casino family, and lacked prominent landbased casino exposure before this deal.

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Thunder Valley: JC Tran Wins 2nd WPT Title

Tran has won quite a bit playing tournament poker over the years, and his career earnings now stand at $11,214,250 according to Hendon Mob poker database. He now has 14 cashes at WPT events and he has won $3,440,918 on tour (12th all-time), but this cash so close to home has to mean a lot, even to a poker player who has accomplished so much in his career.

At a certain point Tran began building a dominant chip lead and it proved too much to overcome, even after Harwell doubled up on the 198th hand of play. On Hand 207 Tran knocked Harwell below 10 big blinds, and a short time later it was over.

On Hand 211 Harwell moved all in preflop for 1,125,000 and Tran called. The two players tabled their hands and Tran had the lead with K4 over Harwell’s 85. The final board was dealt 642109 and Tran won his second WPT title. Harwell was eliminated in second place after a solid run in the tournament and he took home $200,030 for his impressive play at the final table.

Tran adds $302,750 to his sizable career earnings. He also gets a $15,400 seat in the season-ending WPT World Championship, a special edition pair of 24K Monster headphones, and his name will go on the WPT Champions Cup for the second time. Congratulations to JC Tran on the hometown victory. The next tour stop will be the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open that runs from March 21-25.

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Poker News Briefs: South Carolina’s Graham Seeks Wire Act Strengthening

by Haley Hintze

US Senator Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) has announced his intent to introduce Congressional legislation seeking to expand the US’s 1961 Wire Act to cover most forms of online gambling. Graham is among a handful of state and federal level politicians to speak out on the matter in recent months, aligning themselves with the philosophy of an anti-online-gambling push being funded by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. Political observers have speculated that some of the politicians are seeking to curry favor (and possibly contributions) from Adelson, a leading GOP donor who famously dropped at least $10 million into Newt Gingrich’s failed 2012 presidential campaign. Graham, in his statement, wants to strengthen the Wire Act’s reach, reversing a 2011 interpretation by US Attorney General Eric Holder that the law applies only to sports betting.

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Foxwoods Poker Classic - She Lok Wong takes Championship Trophy

By Rhue R. Reis  [Pictured left to right: Sam Hadded, She Lok Wong, Mazen Neshiwat]

3-Way Agreement Leaves She Lok Wong With Championship Trophy and $95,000

The $2,700 No Limit Hold’em Main Event at the 2014 Foxwoods Poker Classic had 226 entrants start play on Friday battling it out for a piece of the $548,050 prize pool. Eighty-two returned at noon on Saturday for day two action. Play continued for just over ten hours before the money was reached, and another two hours before play was over for the night with thirteen players remaining. Play resumed at noon on Sunday and in two hours, the final table was determined. Seven hours of final table action culminated with the final three reaching an agreement that gave Mazen Nesheiwat of Poughkeepsie, NY $84,125 for 3rd, Sam Haddad of Westwood, MA collected $92,434 and the Commemorative Watch for 2nd, while She Lok Wong of Forest Hills, NY garnered the Championship Trophy and Top Prize Money of $95,000.

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Poker News Briefs: Utah House Investigation Reports Probable Felonies Linked in Online Poker Matters

by Haley Hintze

Utah House Investigation Reports Probable Felonies by Former State AG, US Senators Linked in Online Poker Matters – A 206-page report issued by a Utah House-authorized investigative panel in mid-March has asserted that former state Attorney General John Swallow may have committed as many as eight different felonies in a wide-ranging series of allegations with ties to the “Black Friday” online-poker processing conducted through a St. George, UT bank. Central to the investigation’s findings are evidence obtained from indicted Utah online marketer Jeremy Johnson, an unindicted, but important figure in the Black Friday affair. A secretly taped conversation of a meeting between Johnson and Swallow includes admissions of suspect behavior by Swallow, who resigned in November, and also includes the Johnson-alleged assertion of a million-dollar bribe paid through back channels to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) through back channels. The investigation into Swallow, led by two Utah county prosecutors, also includes the links to Reid and to US Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), but without formal federal assistance. According to the two Utah prosecutors, their request for the FBI to investigate Reed’s and Lee’s possible connections was blocked by the US Department of Justice.

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Poker News Briefs: New Jersey Online Gambling Numbers Rise Again

by Haley Hintze

Jersey Online Gambling Revenue Grows While Delaware Numbers Stagnate – The effect of “critical mass” on poker-play pool liquidity can be seen in the contrasting online-gambling revenue numbers posted in February by eastern US states New Jersey and Delaware, both of which went live with online-gambling services (including poker) in November.  New Jersey’s monthly revenue topped $10 million for the first time in February, more than a 20% day-over-day gain from January’s numbers, and the state has logged roughly a quarter of a million real-money signups in less than four months.  Meanwhile, much-smaller Delaware has struggled, seeing declining signups and revenue in each of the past two months.  Delaware’s small size and growth struggles are part of the impetus for the player-sharing deal it recently signed with Nevada, the third US state currently offering legalized online poker.

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It's War!! Poker War - The Poker Art of Robby Becker

by Barbara Rogers


Art by Robby Becker

This piece of art (above) reflects my brain on poker. I couldn't say it better with words. But poker dealer Robby Becker speaks to the poker player in us through his art. Robby and his wife left Vegas for Southern Florida and now he deals poker for Director Of Poker Operations, David Litvin, at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida as one of David's best dealers. His passion for art extends beyond poker. It includes plenty of beach themes and vistas from urban golf courses to fantastic sci-fi worlds. Robby's poker art specializes in colorful spay paint on canvas in abstract forms and adding the poker theme.  This has drawn so much attention to his work that David has made arrangement for Robby's work to be on display at Mardi Gras poker room. You can see more by going to robbybeckerart.com. You may want to invest in his art before he becomes famous, while it's still affordable.

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Christian Pham Defeats Pros to Win Caesars Palace Circuit Main Event and $214K

 2nd place Jonathan Gaviao just misses becoming first player to win two Circuit Main Events in the same season

Shortly before Christian Pham took his seat in the Caesars Palace Las Vegas Circuit Main Event, he and his friends had a Chinese dinner that ended with a fortune cookie. That fortune cookie read, “All your dreams will come true.” That cookie sure wasn’t lying.

Just a few days ago, Christian Pham was home in St Paul, Minnesota with no intention of playing poker in Sin City. However, he got a call from a backer offering to put him into the Circuit event and fly him out to boot. On a single day’s notice, Pham hopped a plane to Vegas with hope of making his poker dreams come true. Today, he did just that, winning the Circuit Main Event here in Las Vegas, earning $214,332, the Circuit ring, and a seat into the 2014 WSOP National Championship in Las Vegas.

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