Posts Tagged ‘John’

Story of John Hesp Possibly to Become Feature Film

 Story of John Hesp Possibly to Become Feature Film

This summer at the World Series of Poker, Englishman John Hesp had perhaps the run of a lifetime. In the WSOP Championship Event, Hesp played his cards well enough that he made the final table among the chip leaders in the tournament before bowing out in fourth place for a $ 2.6 million payday. That amazing story has caught the attention of the movie industry, whom Hesp is stating is now courting him for a biographical feature film.

According to the Hull Daily Mail’s Alex Grove, Hesp was called by Tinseltown before the Championship Event even ended. “I got contacted by two or three producers when I was out in Vegas, including some Hollywood names, but I elected to go with a U. K.-based company,” Hesp admitted during a ceremony at his home casino, Napoleon’s Casino in Hull. “The offer is formalized in writing and I’ve just got my legal team sorting things out. It’s about 90% through.”

The story of Hesp is one of those stories that, if it were written as fiction, would be tremendously difficult to believe. The grandfatherly 64-year old Hesp had played poker for decades, but only around his home casino in the U. K. His highest ever cash in a tournament was at Napoleon’s earlier this year in June, when he walked off with a $ 1000 prize (£785) for winning a £10 rebuy tournament.

That was until the WSOP, however. In the $ 10,000 Championship Event (by far the largest tournament Hesp had ever participated in), Hesp went on a magical run over the fortnight. Wearing a “coat of many colors” (actually of piecemeal materials that clashed horrendously) and a Panama hat, Hesp captured the visual attention of many in the WSOP tournament arena. His chip stack, which he kept increasing over the span of the WSOP Championship Event, only seemed to further the “legend” that was being born.

By the time the final table was set, Hesp found himself in second place (behind eventual champion Scott Blumstein) and immediately took over the chip lead on Day 8. Were it not for what even he admitted was a bit of a blunder in a hand against Blumstein, it is possible that Hesp would have marched all the way to the World Championship. Instead, Hesp became a legendary figure like 2008 WSOP Championship Event final tablist Dennis Phillips, a player who didn’t win the event but was more notable than the person that did.

It’s arguable that Hesp is having more of an impact since he’s become famous for his WSOP exploits. He has returned home – not hit the international tournament circuit – and assisted his family with some of the $ 2.6 million in winnings (by law, there is no taxation on British citizens for U. S. casino winnings). According to Grove, Hesp recently was feted at his home casino for his WSOP performance, but he would like to do more for the place where he honed his poker game.

“Bridlington has suffered in recent years with the decline of the mining and steel industry,” Hesp noted to Grove. “I want to help…I think it would be great to bring a major poker tournament to Bridlington. It’s firmly in my mind and there are a few people working behind the scenes but I can’t just wave a magic wand.”

Whether the movie gets off the ground or not is irrelevant. The story of Hesp – even without further documentation – is what is inspiring. For those outside the game, the “underdog story” of a grandfatherly man making it big is the major draw. For poker fans, his inspiring run towards poker’s ultimate reward is a story that they believe they can emulate. For Hesp, those are things that cannot be adequately told in a simple movie.

The post Story of John Hesp Possibly to Become Feature Film appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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John Duthie Takes Helm of partypoker LIVE

 John Duthie Takes Helm of partypoker LIVE

John Duthie, former PokerStars executive and founder of the European Poker Tour, has made the move over to one of his ex-company’s rivals and has been named President of partypoker LIVE on a five-year deal. Announced in January, partypoker LIVE, as the name implies, is partypoker’s new live poker tournament tour, slated to begin in late March.

The hire is a bit of a coup for partypoker, as Duthie is a legend in the industry, one of the founding fathers of live (and successful) international poker tours. He is also an accomplished poker player in his own right, with more than $ 3 million live tournament winnings.

In an announcement on the partypoker blog, Duthie expressed his excitement for his new role:

I have been impressed with the progress of partypoker and in particular the number of trusted, experienced and well-respected individuals and organisations that have chosen to put their support behind the partypoker brand. I believe there is a gap in the market for an operator whose primary focus is poker and who will listen to, and work with, the poker community as this was something that was absolutely key to the growth and success of the EPT. I still love the game just as much as the first time I saw my first flop and I believe this passion will help partypoker LIVE become the largest and most fun poker tour in the world. I plan to enjoy myself immensely working with and meeting old friends.

He expanded on his comments about “listening” in an interview with the partypoker blog, saying, “Anything that any player has to say, I’ll happily listen to. To be honest, I’ve always listened to players. You can mould an event into something very successful with just good feedback. Listening, making changes and combining them with our own ideas can only be for the good.”

There are currently seven confirmed partypoker LIVE tour stops, as follows (list courtesy of the partypoker blog):

March 23-27 – partypoker Million Sochi [Sochi Casino & Resort] – $ 1 million guaranteed, $ 1,100 buy-in
April 6-10 – partypoker Grand Prix Austria [CCC Montesino] €500,000 – guaranteed, €225 buy-in
April 18-23 – partypoker MILLIONS [Dusk Till Dawn] – £6 million guaranteed, £5,300 buy-in
April 25-May 1 – partypoker Grand Prix Canada [Playground Poker Club] – CA$ 500,000 guaranteed, CA$ 220 buy-in
April 27-May 1 – partypoker Grand Prix Germany [King’s Casino] – €500,000 guaranteed, €225 buy-in
May 5-10 – partypoker Million North America [Playground Poker Club] – CA$ 5 million guaranteed, CA$ 5,300 buy-in
June 1-5 – partypoker Million Germany [King’s Casino] – €1m guaranteed, €1,100 buy-in

Tom Waters, Managing Director of partypoker, weighed in on Duthie’s hire:

We are thrilled that John has joined us at the beginning of this journey. Very few people in the world have made such a significant contribution to poker and his experience, relationships and understanding of players will be a huge asset to us. Our guarantees are ambitious but our marketing strategy is to provide value to players instead of investing money outside of the poker community and we are confident that with John’s guidance we can optimise this strategy for the benefit of the live poker market. partypoker LIVE will offer a minimum of 5M GTD for 5K buy-in, 1M GTD for 1K buy-in and 500K GTD for 200 buy-in and we plan to visit as many continents and countries as possible. All events will feature at least one Online Day 1 for players who have limited time to spend away from home or simply wish to reduce their expenses. We love our holiday themed events such as the Caribbean Poker Party and are planning more of these.

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WPT Maryland Live! Main Event Day 1B: John Sargent is Killing It

 WPT Maryland Live! Main Event Day 1B: John Sargent is Killing It

John Sargent lords over the field of the World Poker Tour Maryland Live! Main Event, as the second of two starting flights concluded on Sunday. With 324,300 chips, he is the only player over the 300,000 mark. In fact, only a few players made it over 200,000 and barely did so at that; Sargent’s lead over his closest competitor is more than 100,000 chips.

For once in his life, my colleague Earl Burton was completely wrong,* as he said yesterday that Day 1B would likely be twice as large as Day 1A.** Well, there were 250 entries on Day 1A and 280 on Day 1B, so that math doesn’t work. That said, it is a bit surprising. The overall turnout of 530 entries after the two starting flights (players can still enter or re-enter before the start of Day 2) is very good for this young event, but it is definitely unusual to see to fairly equal starting days.

Remember that we are using the term “entries” for a reason. As this is a re-entry tournament, saying “players” would fail to account for the times individuals bought back into the event. Players are allowed one re-entry per starting flight plus another before Day 2, so it is possible that some players could pay the $ 3,500 five times. Those who made it through Day 1A were also allowed to re-enter on Day 1B to try to finish with a bigger stack; anyone who survived a starting flight could also re-enter before Day 2 and just begin with the initial starting stack instead of what they finished the previous day with.

Of those 250 entries, 112 players made it to Day 2, so before any late entrants are counted, that’s 209 players ready to go for today’s action.

If John Sargent can use his massive stack to make a run to the money, it would automatically be his largest live cash. According to, he has just one live tournament cash: a 140th place finish in a ring event at this year’s WSOP Circuit in Baltimore, good for $ 1,060.

The 530 total entries prior to Day 2 means that the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event will easily clear its $ 1.5 million guarantee. The buy-in is $ 3,300 plus a $ 200 fee for the house. $ 100 of the $ 3,300 buy-in is earmarked for “registration staff,” thus $ 3,200 from each entry is put into the prize pool. Doing the math, that means the prize pool will be at least $ 1.696 million, eliminating the need for Maryland Live! management to have to sweat out an overlay.

Day 2 continues on Monday; the tournament structure states that the day will go for ten levels or down to 27 players, presumably whichever is hit sooner. On Tuesday’s Day 3, the tournament will play down to six players, who will meet on Wednesday for the final table.

*Just kidding, he’s always wrong.

**Actually, what he really said was “the Day 1B field is usually two times as large as the Day 1A entries,” but, like Donald Trump, I don’t have too much of a concern for facts.

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2016 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 1A: John Lee, Kou Vang Neck-and-Neck

 2016 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 1A: John Lee, Kou Vang Neck and Neck

As the Aussie Millions came to a close, the World Poker Tour (WPT) got its first Main Event of 2016 going as the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event kicked off in Atlantic City Sunday. It was fantastic timing, too, as just a week after a ridiculous, historic blizzard, the city broke its high temperature record for January 31st. In New Jersey, at the end of January, the thermometer hit a balmy 64 degrees, besting the previous record – set in 1988 and 2012 – by one degree. What snow?

359 players showed up for Day 1A of the tournament and about 200 were eliminated, leaving 162 to make it through to Day 2. John Lee emerged as the chip leader with 210,700 chips, but hot on his tail is Kou Vang with 209,300. Anthony Newman is also close, sitting in third place with 195,500.

Other notable names who still have chips include Kevin Saul (153,600), Barry Hutter (139,300), Vanessa Selbst (130,500), Anthony Gregg (127,400), Jonathan Little (110,400), Olivier Busquet (81,200), and Anthony Zinno (68,000).

Tournament leader John Lee has some solid live tournament experience, though most of his cashes are in rather low buy-in events under $ 1,000. He has earned $ 371,828 in his career according to, most of that coming at the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, where he finished 44th and won $ 247,399. He has also already cashed at the Borgata Winter Poker Open, albeit for just $ 1,089. Then again, when that’s about double your buy-in from the $ 2 Million Deep Stack event, that’s not such a bad day. I mean, hell, I’d like to make $ 500 today.

There will be one more opening flight for the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event, the appropriately named Day 1B on Monday, which will begin at 11:00am ET. The survivors from both starting flights will return to the Borgata at noon on Tuesday for Day 2. The tourney will run through Friday with the live streamed final table.

2016 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1.    John Lee – 210,700
2.    Kou Vang – 209,300
3.    Anthony Newman – 195,500
4.    Lawrence Lakatosh – 176,300
5.    Jared Griener – 170,700
6.    Steven Buckner – 167,300
7.    Michael Morton – 160,400
8.    Kevin Saul – 153,600
9.    Geoffrey Cudd – 142,900
10.    Barry Hutter – 139,300

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Jennifer Harman, John Juanda Elected to Poker Hall of Fame

 Jennifer Harman, John Juanda Elected to Poker Hall of Fame

Jennifer Harman and John Juanda were announced as the newest members of the Poker Hall of Fame today after nomination, vetting, and voting phases dating back to this summer. They will be inducted on Friday, November 6th at Binion’s Gambling Hall, the former long-time home of the World Series of Poker.

Harman and Juanda are two of the most recognizable faces to casual poker fans who watched poker television during the poker boom of around a decade ago. They were members of the Team Full Tilt core, appearing on many Full Tilt-sponsored programs. It helped, of course, that they were also successful poker players.

The two become the 49th and 50th enshrines into the Poker Hall of Fame. Eight other poker players and contributors were amongst the finalists for this year’s class, but will have to wait until next year for another shot. They include David “Devilfish” Ulliott, David Chiu, Chris Bjorin, Bruno Fitoussi, Terry Rogers, Max Pescatori, Carlos Mortensen, and Matt Savage. Harman and Juanda were selected by a panel consisting of the 23 living Hall of Fame members and 16 members of the media.

In press release, Harman let loose her excitement for the honor, saying, “It’s truly an honor to be selected into the PHOF. Poker has been an unbelievable journey for me and to have the respect of my peers is truly amazing.  I want to thank everyone for the amazing support.  I’m so happy!!!!”

Juanda was a bit calmer (at least seemingly, as we only have his comments in text form), saying, “I appreciate the recognition. It’s an honor to see my name among so many players I have admired and respected throughout my career: Chip Reese, Erik Seidel, Dan Harrington, Daniel Negreanu.  Thank you to all the fans who nominated me and to the HOF and media members who voted me in.”

Below are the official write-ups on each inductee from Caesars Entertainment and

Jennifer Harman

Jen Harman has a long list of tournament accomplishments, including more than $ 2.7 million in earnings, two WPT final tables, 12 WSOP final tables, and the honor of being the first woman to win multiple WSOP bracelets in open events.  However, what might be even more impressive than her tournament results is her skills in the cash games.  The Reno, Nevada native has been a staple in the biggest cash games in Vegas for more than a decade and is one of the only women to play cash at such high stakes.  The mother of two also dedicates much of her time to using poker to raise money for charitable causes, including the National Kidney Foundation and the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

John Juanda

Johnson “John” Juanda is a 44-year-old Indonesian-born poker pro who doesn’t do much talking, but his poker resume speaks for itself.  He has amassed more than $ 17 million in tournament winnings, including five WSOP gold bracelets, an EPT title, plus WPT, APT, PPT, and many other tournament victories.  He’s also won wherever he has went, with victories in Europe, Australia, Asia and North America.  A long-time U.S. resident, Juanda came to the United States in 1990 to attend college at Oklahoma State University and then went on to receive his Master’s Degree from Seattle University.  But since 1997 John has made his income on the felt and in so doing has cemented himself as one of the most consistent and successful players of the last two decades.

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