By Shari Geller
The World Series of Poker held its annual conference call at 1:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 15, with Executive Director Ty Stewart and Tournament Director Jack Effel sharing news and information about the upcoming series and took questions from the media. Stewart started out by telling the participants that the theme of this year's series is "To get it right and put on the best damned poker tournament series in the world."
The 44th annual WSOP will start on May 29th at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. "One of our big goals over the past few years has been to kick off the series with a bang," Stewart said as he introduced some of the special events set for this year.
NC Native Collects Gold Ring and $250K in First Cash
If ever there was a poker fairytale with storybook ending, it happened April 15 at the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, nestled in the majestic Smoky Mountains.
The first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit ever held in North Carolina ended in spectacular fashion on Monday evening as John Bowman won the top prize of a quarter-of-a-million dollars to go along with Harrah’s Cherokee’s Main Event Championship. He stunned the poker world, his competitors, and even himself with the unexpected victory.
By Shari Geller
And that's a wrap. The first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) came to a close after midnight local time on Tuesday, April 16th. The Crown Casino in Melbourne held the inaugural expansion of the WSOP to the land down under with five bracelet events, one high roller non-bracelet event, and, at its conclusion, the end of a nearly five-year bracelet drought for one of poker's most famous faces.
By Shari Geller
Phil Ivey added to his WSOP bracelet collection with a ninth win at the inaugural World Series of Poker - Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) this week in Melbourne, Australia. But he was not the only US player who found gold on the other side of the globe. Following on the heels of the WSOP's successful expansion into Europe, the WSOP APAC is awarding bracelets in five different events held at the Crown Casino Melbourne.
The first bracelet event, a No Limit Hold'em $1,000 buy-in, five-day event, was won by American Bryan Piccioli, who defeated Aussie Jonathan Karamalikis for the $211,575 top prize. It was a tough final table, boasting 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel and 2012 5th place finisher Jeremy Ausmus, who finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Cory Waaland knocked out every single player at the most recent final table and now Waaland has his first WSOP Circuit gold ring.
The 26-year-old poker pro from Greenville, won the most recent WSOP Circuit tournament which was played at Caesars Atlantic City. He topped a big field of 495 players en route to an impressive first time victory that paid $31,928 in prize money. Known in the online poker world for his moniker – MJ 23 STYLEZ – one can see immediately see the Michael Jordan references. After he won, Waaland even performed the all-too-familiar Jordan shrug with his palms turned up, as if to say “I can do no wrong.”
Indeed, Waaland did no wrong on this night – busting every single player at the final table in a long session that lasted some nine hours. It was the culmination of a two-day competition which ended very late on Friday night inside a nearly deserted poker arena, except for a few of Waaland’s close friends, and the eventual runner up–Charlie, Xu from Mays Landing, NJ.
“This is sweet,” Waaland said. “It all went great for me tonight. It was about a perfect as it gets.”
By Wendeen H. Eolis
A complicated relationship between Rational Group (PokerStars) and Caesars Entertainment has begun to reveal itself in earnest in recent weeks with an eclectic crowd of movers and shakers surrounding the players at the top of their respective pyramids.
The two companies, with assistance from empowered supporters, have been known to deliver understated slaps back and forth over the years, but lately the protagonists are exchanging more powerful blows.
Members of the Scheinberg family and top executives in the corporate empire of Caesars Entertainment are in the mix. So are the likes of American Gaming Association president, Frank Fahrenkopf, who will soon take his leave from his longtime position there.
The cast of characters in recent machinations between the two companies has also included Scott Wilson, a business consultant/professional gambler with powerful connections. He was the spark that ignited a telephone call between Caesars and PokerStars -- the call that was heard around the world last week in a report by Nathan Vardi in Forbes Magazine.
Mark Scheinberg and Mitch Garber are the key players in the sandbox
Poker Player Newspaper has learned the identities of the "two high level officials" that were referenced without attribution in the Forbes article. They were Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive and Mark Scheinberg, CEO of PokerStars.
Adam Teasdale outlasted a field of 616 entrants in the $1,675 Harrah’s Resort Main Event early Tuesday morning in Atlantic City, NJ. The score marked the largest of the aspiring pro’s career, awarding him better than $194,000, a WSOP Circuit gold ring and a berth in the $1 Million WSOP National Championship.
Teasdale lost his father about a year ago, making the championship performance that much more dear to him.
“This is absolutely going out to him and the rest of my family,” Teasdale of his father. “I told them that I could do it and this is just a start to a new beginning for me.”
Event 5 Champion Becomes First Female WSOP Circuit Winner Ever at Harrah’s Rincon
Donna Delfin finally managed to do what no other female poker player has done in the nine-season history of WSOP Circuit events at Harrah’s Rincon. Despite more than 100 gold ring events played since 2005, no female had ever won a gold ring up to this point. Delfin, fresh off two previous final table appearances which took place last month at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, arrived at this finale with even more determination. She overcame a formidable lineup en route to what was not just a personal triumph as a poker player, but a historic achievement as well.
by Shari Geller
The 2012 WSOP Main Event is in the books and while we have a new champ, Gregory Merson, it is tempting to put an asterisk by his name and wonder what might have been. Because in poker, as in life, every action has a ripple effect that reverberates far beyond its beginning. One such ripple started with a questionable floor ruling on a hand involving eventual October Niner, Andras Koroknai, and ended when the final table bubble burst last July, establishing who would be part of the final table.
Back on Day 5, ultimate sixth-place finisher, Koroknai, was involved in a controversial hand with later tenth-place finisher, Gaelle Baumann. Baumann had min-raised from under the gun to 60K and it folded around to Koroknai in the small blind. He shoved for his last 1.3 million, and when Gavin Smith in the big blind folded, Koroknai mucked his cards. It was then that he realized that Baumann was still in the hand, and he attempted to retrieve his cards, but only one could be found.
In recent years, Maryland has been known as the home of second-place finishers at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
In 2005, Severn resident Steve Dannenmann finished second to Australia’s Joe Hachem. In 2009, Oakland logger Darvin Moon finished second to Michigan’s Joe Cada. But 2012 proved to be Maryland’s year, with Laurel’s Greg Merson, 24, capturing the gold bracelet and $8,531,853 this morning at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Merson outlasted a total Main Event field of 6,598 players who each ponied up $10,000 for the chance to win poker’s most prestigious tournament.
He also survived a marathon final session of play that spanned almost exactly 12 hours, beginning at 5:45pm Pacific time on Tuesday and concluding at 5:44am Pacific time on Thursday.