Posts Tagged ‘Into’

World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

 World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

The World Poker Tour has, at certain points in its history, stretched their moniker as far as “world.” For a few years, the organization barely left the States of America and, if it did, it was still on the North American continent. Of late, however, the WPT has been stretching out into the international market, as demonstrated by their latest endeavors on both sides of the globe.

The WPT and India-based announced that they would be collaborating to expand poker in the billion-people strong country. This Asia-Pacific expansion between the two groups will be twofold, with a new tournament – the WPTDeepStacks India – as well as a brand-new honor for yearly performance in the WPT India Player of the Year award. Between both endeavors, the WPT and are looking to make poker even bigger in the country.

“With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape,” added Angelica Hael, the WPT’s Vice President of Global Tour Management. “Together with our partner, the WPT looks forward to not only sharing the WPT experience through the expansion of WPTDeepStacks to the region, but also giving Indian players incremental value with the WPT India Player of the Year award.”

“We are excited for WPT and Adda52 to take its partnership to new heights by bringing WPTDeepStacks to one of India’s most beautiful locations, Goa,” Anuj Gupta, the founder & Chief Executive Officer of, added. “WPTDeepStacks India will be an exceptionally unique event since the tournament will be held onboard a floating ship. As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is the perfect fit for the Indian poker community.”

As Gupta stated, the WPTDeepStacks India will be held from November 7-13 at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, India. The $ 1000 buy-in tournament will be the capstone to the other innovation produced by the partnership between the WPT and Addar52, the WPT India Player of the Year award. Along with the DeepStacks tournament, two other events in India will be held to find the best player in the country.

From July 20-24, the Deltin Poker Tour Goa will hold a $ 540 Main Event, with the people who cash in the tournament earning all-important points towards the WPT India POY. From September 6-11, there will be another $ 540 tournament for the Deltin Poker Tour Goa where players can earn more points. Along with the November WPT DeepStacks tournament, the player who earns the most points through the three tournaments will win the WPT India Player of the Year award.

Danny McDonagh, the WPT Live Events Specialist, commented, “Alongside the outstanding team at, the World Poker Tour is proud to introduce a dedicated WPT India Player of the Year award to showcase the region’s top talent and to bring WPTDeepStacks to this flourishing market.” In making this statement, McDonagh also brought up the prizes for those who vie for this title. The eventual champion will be named Player of the Year and earn a $ 5000 credit for WPT events and Deltin tournaments during Season XVII of the WPT.

Alongside their stretch into the Asia-Pacific market, the WPT is also looking southward for more poker action. Earlier this week the WPT announced that they had paired with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay to bring a televised poker event to the South American country. As a part of their Season XVI schedule, the new WPTDeepStacks Uruguay Main Event (with two opening day flights and a $ 1500 buy in) will play from November 1-5 this fall.

“With its entry into South America, the World Poker Tour is now on its fifth continent,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, in announcing the new stop. “As the WPT continues its global expansion, we look forward to showcasing the abundance of poker talent across the globe and bringing the game to new audiences worldwide, starting with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay.”

“It is an honor that a company as prestigious as the World Poker Tour has chosen Enjoy Punta del Este to co-host the tour’s first televised event in South America,” said Sebastián Truffello, the General Manager of Enjoy Punta del Este. “It is no secret that the WPT features the best televised poker tournaments in the world, and it is our great pleasure to partner with the WPT for this extraordinary event. We have no doubt that the combination of Enjoy’s expertise and infrastructure, plus the incredible experience of participating in a world-class WPT televised tournament, will result in an incredible event for all of those who attend.”

It seems that the WPTDeepStacks event won’t be the only tournament going on around that time. Although it has yet to be finalized, there is a full schedule of preliminary events that will surround the WPT tournament in Punta del Este, promising plenty of poker action for all. For those that don’t do so well on the tables, there is plenty of beaches and entertainment to take the mind off the losses – at least for a bit.

The WPT – the organization where “world” was once a funny joke – is truly striving to make it an integral part of its being. With the new events spanning the globe in India and South America, the reach of the WPT seems to only become greater.

Poker News Daily

Marc Macdonnell Takes Massive Lead into Day 3 of WPT Nottingham

 Marc Macdonnell Takes Massive Lead into Day 3 of WPT Nottingham

Using a hotly contested hand that was the talk of the Day 2 action, Marc Macdonnell took a massive lead at the midpoint of the play and cruised into the chip lead of the World Poker Tour stop at the Dusk ‘til Dawn Casino in Nottingham, the United Kingdom, on Friday.

262 players came back to the tables, still not knowing what they were going to be playing for. With registration going on until the close of the second level of play on Friday, there was a chance that the official entries total would crack the guarantee of £1 million. In the end, it did come home for the hosts of Dusk ‘til Dawn, with 522 entries ensuring that the guaranteed amount was hit and setting out the payout schedule.

For the WPT Nottingham, 54 players would earn a piece of the £1 million, with the minimum payday of £4500 for those taking home a min-cash. The very flat pay schedule gives the person who will finish in sixth place at the official WPT final table a £40,000 payday. The top slot is where everyone wants to finish, however, with that player taking down the £200,000 first place prize and the seat at the Season XV WPT Tournament of Champions next spring.

As the day’s action played out, once again the focus of many was on the sideshow carnival act that has become William Kassouf. Kassouf, who was the focus of the late stages of the 2016 World Series of Poker Championship Event, was up to his usual shenanigans at the start of Day 2 of the WPT Nottingham. It worked for a bit as he climbed over the 100K mark in chips, but his demise was almost as delicious to watch as his dismissal from the WSOP was on ESPN.

Kassouf would lose much of his stack to a player who, while Kassouf’s mouth motored along, flopped a straight flush and Kassouf paid off his all-in. “Turn and river are an off-suit queen and off-suit king and I’ve rivered the nut straight with J-10,” Kassouf reported to the WPT Updates team. “He’s got 3 2 for the straight flush. Calls a raise with three-high, marvelous.” Kassouf would pitch in his final chips holding another J-10 and see the K-4-3-A-5 board blank, giving the hand to Karl McDonald and his pocket nines.

For those that weren’t distracted by the sideshow act, they would have seen some pretty good poker played out of Macdonnell. He was able to build a sizeable stack after defeating both Alex Goulder and Ludovic Geilich when he hit a royal flush, then would increase that stack in rivering a full house against Simon Higgins when Macdonnell’s pocket sevens found gold on a 7-2-5-Q-Q board against Higgins’ A-Q. Those chips earned would give Macdonnell a monster stack heading to Saturday’s play.

Marc Macdonnell, 974,000
Alex Ward, 534,000
Seamus Cahill, 501,000
Ben Windsor, 497,000
Alex Zeligman, 489,000
Sondre Sagstuen, 476,000
Christopher Yong, 431,000
Marc Foggin, 422,000
Patrick Leonard, 418,000
Kuljinder Sidhu, 414,000

The remaining 61 players will return on Saturday afternoon with a sizeable bit of work in front of them. First, they will have to pop the money bubble at 54 players, meaning seven people will walk away with nothing but a story from the WPT Nottingham. After that bubble has popped, the more difficult task of getting to the six-handed WPT final table will be in play. At this time, the plans are for the final table to be played on Sunday (and live streamed on and their Twitch channel), but that could be subject to change.

Poker News Daily

Qui Nguyen Takes Gigandor Lead into Second Day of WSOP “November Nine” Main Even Final Table

 Qui Nguyen Takes Gigandor Lead into Second Day of WSOP “November Nine” Main Even Final Table

After three and a half months of waiting, the final table of the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – the November Nine, if you will – got underway Sunday night. Of course, Sunday night was October 30th, not November, which could be confusing, but that is because the U.S. Presidential Election is next Tuesday, the week the final table would normally take place, and thus the WSOP pushed the November Nine ahead a week. With the October shift plus having the final table broadcast opposite NFL’s Sunday Night Football and Major League Baseball’s historic World Series, it will be interesting to see if anyone actually watched.

Those who did watch saw Qui Nguyen build a spectacular chip lead heading into the second day of final table action. Let’s first take a look at what the chip counts looked like before play started last night:

1.    Cliff Josephy – 74,600,000
2.    Qui Nguyen – 67,925,000
3.    Gordon Vayo – 49,375,000
4.    Kenny Hallaert – 43,325,000
5.    Michael Ruane – 31,600,000
6.    Vojtech Ruzicka – 27,300,000
7.    Griffin Benger – 26,175,000
8.    Jerry Wong – 10,175,000
9.    Fernando Pons – 6,150,000

Nguyen grabbed the lead on the very first hand of the night, getting into a raising battle with Cliff Josephy. A 1.25 million chip raise by Nguyen was followed by a 3.2 million chip three-bet by Josephy, but it was Nguyen’s 8.25 million chip four-bet that got Josephy to fold.

Fernando Pons, the amateur who essentially entered the Main Event on a whim, was the first to go, a not unexpected elimination, considering he was the short stack. On Hand 16 of the final table, he moved all-in for 4.625 million with A-6 and was called by Josephy, who had K-J. Josephy flopped a King and rivered another to knock out Pons in ninth place and regain the chip lead.

That left Jerry Wong as the short stack and guess what? He was the next to go. Wong did double-up once, but on Hand 60, his fate was sealed. Vojtech Ruzicka and Gordon Vayo both raised pre-flop before Wong moved all-in over the top for 8.5 million. Ruzicka raised again to 13.5 million, forcing Vayo out of the hand and setting up a showdown with Wong. Wong was nearly dead from the start, facing Ruzicka’s Queens with his own Jacks. And sure enough, there were no Jacks to come for Wong and he was eliminated in eight place.

Eight hands later, Vayo raised to 2.2 million pre-flop and Griffin Benger shoved for 7.325 with A-9 suited. Vayo called, flipping over pocket Tens. Benger did pair his 9 on the flop, but that was it as he was sent home in seventh place with one and a quarter million dollars. It was a hard luck final table for Benger, as he won just a single hand (when he moved all-in and got no callers) and admitted later that he had gone completely card dead.

Nguyen, in the meantime, even if he wasn’t always in the lead, was generally holding strong in the 70-90 million chip range. What got him his huge advantage was the last hand of the night. Kenny Hallaert raised to 2.3 million under-the-gun pre-flop and Nguyen re-raised to 5.7 million. Everyone folded to Hallaert who, perhaps surprisingly, went all-in for 35.625 million. Nguyen insta-called, revealing pocket Aces to Hallaert’s A-Q.

In the “thank you Captain Obvious” statement of the night, Tournament Director Jack Effel announced, “This is not a good spot for Kenny.”

Hallaert was able to flop top pair, giving him a little bit of a chance, but the next two cards were low, dashing any slight hopes he may have had as he hit the rail in sixth place. It was the largest pot of the Main Event, one which firmly established Nguyen as the man to beat today.

The second day of the November Nine will begin at 4:30pm ET and will conclude when just two players remain. Television coverage will begin at 5:00pm (30-minute delay) on ESPN2.

2016 World Series of Poker Main Event – November Nine Day 2 Chip Counts

1.    Qui Nguyen – 128,625,000
2.    Cliff Josephy – 63,850,000
3.    Vojtech Ruzicka – 62,250,000
4.    Gordon Vayo – 58,200,000
5.    Michael Ruane – 23,700,000

Poker News Daily

Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen Inducted Into Poker Hall of Fame

 Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen Inducted Into Poker Hall of Fame

In a lavish ceremony at the birthplace of the World Series of Poker, poker professionals Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen were enshrined as the 2016 inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame.

The ceremony brought out many of the living Hall of Famers to welcome their new mates to poker’s Valhalla. In an especially memorable moment, the younger Brunson was joined by his father and now fellow Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson for a family photo of the occasion. The celebration was especially sweet in that it is the first time that a father and son have been enshrined in poker’s greatest lifetime achievement award.

“This wasn’t quite what I expected,” Todd Brunson noted before his acceptance speech, “so I apologize for what’s about to come,” to the laughter of the audience. Brunson then went on to deliver a solid five-minute routine that would earn a stand-up comedian his living if he had been in that arena. But there were some serious moments as Brunson thanked a few people for what they had done for him.

“First off, I’d like to thank my mother,” Brunson began. “My mother had a big impact on me not only as a person but also as a poker player. That may surprise some because my mother…hasn’t played a hand of poker in her life. But she taught me valuable lessons about life that transcended poker. The #1 thing she taught me was the value of a dollar…my mom is very frivolous, very good with money.” Brunson continued to regale those in attendance with stories about his time in the game and left the stage to raucous applause.

Both men were more than worthy of their induction into the Hall. Mortensen is the first-ever European player inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, having used his skills around the world and spread the game of poker to his fellow countrymen in Spain. He is the leading all-time money winner on the World Poker Tour and is tied for the most WPT titles in the history of the circuit (three, along with Anthony Zinno and Gus Hansen). On the World Series of Poker stage, Mortensen was the winner of the WSOP Championship Event in 2001 and, along with his win in the WPT World Championship in 2007, is the only man to win both the WSOP World Championship and the WPT version. In his career, Mortensen has won over $ 6.8 million.

Brunson might be viewed as the more traditional inductee to the Poker Hall of Fame. Brunson has had a successful tournament career, earning a WSOP bracelet in 2005, and he has finished as high as 13th in the WSOP Championship Event. Brunson also has 45 other WSOP cashes, seven trips to the WPT cash out cage and a solo effort on the soon-to-be-departed European Poker Tour to make up his $ 4.3 million in career earnings.

Where Brunson has made his money, in the true tradition of what poker is supposed to be about (to many in the poker world), is on the cash game felt. For at least 25 years, Brunson has plied his trade in the high stakes cash game arena, earning untold amounts of money from that endeavor but assuredly enough to support a very nice lifestyle. In one setting alone that has been documented, Brunson defeated businessman and billionaire Andy Beal in a $ 200,000/$ 400,000 Limit Hold’em matchup to the tune of over $ 13 million. That success was documented by Michael Craig in his seminal work The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King.

Congratulations to both men for their induction into the Poker Hall of Fame!

Poker News Daily

Brunson, Mortensen Earn Induction into Poker Hall of Fame

 Brunson, Mortensen Earn Induction into Poker Hall of Fame

In what will certainly be a hotly discussed situation, poker professionals Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen have been chosen as the 2016 inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday, October 26, the induction ceremony will take place at Binion’s Gambling Hall (the original home of the World Series of Poker). The traditional ceremony and dinner will take place at 7PM in the Longhorn Room, the original location of Benny’s Bullpen (the high-stakes area when Poker Hall of Famer Benny Binion owned the establishment). When the ceremonies are conducted, the two new inductees will have plenty to discuss.

Brunson will join his father, Doyle, as the only father/son combination to be inducted into poker’s version of Mount Olympus. The owner of one World Series of Poker bracelet (and almost $ 4.3 million in tournament poker earnings), Brunson is by far better known for his exploits in the cash game arena, where he has been able to make a very lucrative living for nearly a quarter of a century. He is considered one of the finest mixed game players in the world, playing for the highest stakes possible wherever he goes. In fact, when billionaire banker Andy Beal challenged the world’s greatest poker players to battle it out in Limit Hold’em and Beal was a massive leader, it was Brunson who came in to clean up as he moved a two-million-dollar loss into a ten-million-dollar plus victory (the story excellently told by Michael Craig’s 2005 book The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King).

“It’s a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson when he was notified of his selection.  “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members.  To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime.”

Mortensen becomes the first-ever European inducted into the Hall. Mortensen, who has been the ambassador of poker to Spain and other Latin countries, won the WSOP Championship Event in 2001, but he hasn’t stopped there in his poker pursuits. He is the leading all-time money earner on the World Poker Tour, having earned three titles (including the WPT World Championship, becoming the only person to have won both the WSOP World Championship and the WPT World Championship) and over $ 6.8 million. He has traveled the world playing the game, often at the highest stakes available.

“I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years,” commented Mortensen.  “This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish.  I’ve always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame.  To be included with the legends makes me very happy.  I want to thank my friends, the poker fans, and all the people who vote for me.  I take this honor very seriously.”

With all the kudos and congratulations to both Brunson and Mortensen, there is probably going to be some outrage from other segments of the poker community. The efforts from the United Kingdom to have David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott become the first inductee from Europe are going to once again bring an outcry that the Poker Hall of Fame is too U. S.-centric to be able to accurately reflect the worldwide poker community. With four other international players (Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Bruno Fitoussi and Max Pescatori) and one who is now a U. S. citizen (Eli Elezra), it was thought that both slots in 2016 would go to international players.

Then there are the other two men – Chris Moneymaker and tournament director Matt Savage – that had a wellspring of support from many in the poker world. As one of the sparks to the “poker boom” in the Aughts after winning the WSOP World Championship in 2003, Moneymaker was thought by many to be a shoo-in for one of the induction seats. Savage, as an industry nominee, faced a bit more of a difficult road but, due to his unparalleled popularity, was considered to have a good shot at induction. For this induction cycle, however, these two must join Elezra and the international contingent in being happy with the nomination but not the induction into the Hall.

As previously stated, the Poker Hall of Fame will induct Brunson and Mortensen on October 29 at 7PM at Binion’s Gaming Hall in Las Vegas. Congratulations to all the nominees and especially to the two new members of the Hall!

Poker News Daily

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