Posts Tagged ‘PartyPoker’

Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

 Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

I once made a pretty big call in a tournament for a couple hundred dollars. I lost, but I ended up coming in third and won $ 3,500, which is this high roller’s most sizable tourney score. I know, I know, stop bragging already. I cannot imagine, though, making a call with almost an empty hand and €100,000. But that’s what Viktor “Isildur1” Blom did this weekend in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany €5,300 Main Event and that is why he is a pro and I am just here writing about it.

Of the more than 1,000 players who started the event, just 13 remained going into the final day and when the official eight-handed final table was set, Blom was second in chips with 144.8 million, nearly tied with Pavel Pesluv (143.1 million) who was coincidentally the man he would face at the end. Ondrej Drozd was way ahead with 258.6 million.

But you’re here to read about what happened to close out the tourney, so let’s skip to that. During heads-up, Plesuv went on a tear, building as much as a 9-to-1 chip lead on Blom, clearly looking like he was going to take home the title. But Blom roared back, eventually taking the lead.

On the final hand, Hand 242 of the final table, blinds were 6 million/12 million with 12 million chip ante. Holding K-6, Blom raised pre-flop to 35 million and Plesuv called with Q-7. Clearly, neither man had an incredible hand, but this was heads-up, so a face card is pretty solid.

The flop was Q-9-K, pairing both players’ top cards and giving both backdoor flush draws. Blom bet 45 million this time and Plesuv check-called. The A was dealt on the turn, now giving Plesuv a flush draw. He check-called a huge 105 million chip bet from Blom to bring on the river 5. At that point, with just third pair and a busted flush draw, Plesuv moved all-in for 299 million.

Blom tanked. He had just 344 million chips remaining, so if he were to call – with just second pair, mind you – he was crippled. And then, casually, he made the call, picking off Plesuv’s bluff and sending the announcers on the telecast into a frenzy. I couldn’t hear what Plesuv said to him, but he was smiling and frankly seemed impressed that Blom was able to read him correctly.

From the brief commentary that I heard in the video clip I watched, the analysts seemed to reason that Blom may have figured the only hand he was losing to was an Ace-high flush based on Plesuv’s play. Since Blom had the K and Plesuv check-called an Ace on the turn with a heart flush draw out there, Plesuv either had worse than a pair of Kings or was waiting on his Ace-high flush to come in. Blom took the chance that Plesuv didn’t have the flush and he was right.

Before heads-up, Blom and Plesuv made a deal to in which they would each win €750,000 and leave €100,000 plus the trophy for which to play. Of course, after the Mike Leah controversy, people may be skeptical as to whether or not making a deal tarnishes Blom’s victory, but it certainly looks like both men played all-out, like both were definitely trying to win (Blom probably wouldn’t have come back from 9-to-1 down if this wasn’t the case). Plus, €100,000 is nothing to sneeze at, so it was not likely that either would’ve just thrown away a chance to win the extra dough once the deal was made and the money was there for the taking.

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Partypoker to Roll Out Software Update, New Power Series Schedule

 Partypoker to Roll Out Software Update, New Power Series Schedule

On Friday, partypoker announced that it will release a software update on February 24th which will “see a number of significant improvements to the playing experience.” In the same blog post, the online poker also revealed that it will launch the new Power Series on March 5th. Let’s take a closer look at each.

The software update appears to largely cosmetic, though cosmetic can be good if it makes it easier to see what’s going on at the virtual tables. In the partypoker blog post, the following changes were listed:

• Re-introduction of the oval shaped table alongside the existing table design
• New and improved player plates with larger fonts, improving players’ multi-tabling experience
• Improved display of player notes
• A brand new time-bank indicator
• A number of smaller enhancements, improving the look and feel of the tables

So, nothing earth-shattering, but if things on the table are easier to see and read, especially for multi-tablers, these changes should be positive.

As for the Power Series, we will have to wait and see, as the new schedule won’t be revealed until March. Partypoker says the new schedule will have “increased guarantees, an improved mix of game types and optimised structures.”

And since this is online poker, there will be leader boards. The weekly Power Series leader boards will start March 5th and will be divided into low, medium, and high buy-in levels in order to give as many players as possible a chance to earn rewards. The top ten players each week on the high leader board will receive a $ 5,300 seat to the Millions Online tournament later this year. Those who finish in the top ten more than once will receive $ 5,300 in tournament dollars.

The top twenty players on each leader board will receive prizes. The medium and low winners won’t get Millions Online seats, but rather tournament ticket prizes valued at $ 22 to $ 530.

Partypoker says the leader boards will pay out $ 60,000 per week in prizes, though it was not exactly clear in the blog post if that means $ 60,000 per leader board or $ 60,000 total across all three leader boards. It is likely the latter, as the ten $ 5,300 buy-in awards would leave $ 7,000 in prizes for the remaining 50 winners. That works out to an average of $ 140 per person, which seems reasonable, considering many of the prizes on the low and medium leader boards will probably be in the $ 22 range or slightly higher. $ 60,000 split among twenty people on a low buy-in leader board would be a bit much.

In the first month, the leader board prizes will be doubled in total value, as will the number of winners.

On the blog, partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters said:

We know that our players were expecting our 2018 Leaderboard promotion to start immediately after Powerfest, however we want the players to benefit from the enhanced playing experience on the new tables when working towards the leaderboard prizes. Therefore we have decided to delay the Leaderboard promotion until Monday 5th March to coincide with the launch of the new MTT schedule. We wanted to ensure that the players do not miss out on any value and therefore we have doubled the Leaderboard giveaway for the first month.

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partypoker Inks Philipp Gruissem

 partypoker Inks Philipp Gruissem

Hey, it’s a day of the week and partypoker has added yet another player to its list of sponsored pros. This time it is German poker player Philipp Gruissem, also known as “philbort” online. Gruissem only started playing poker nine years ago, got hooked when he won a tournament for $ 200, and is now a poker playing fiend, having won approximately one gazillion dollars.

“I feel great about joining partypoker!” Gruissem said on the partypoker blog. “They are now bringing healthy competition back into the market and partypoker has a new and fresh vibe that will grow our poker community.”

According to PocketFives.com, Gruissem has won more than $ 3.5 million in online poker tournaments, though it could be more, as those results are only from tournaments the site tracks with the screennames Gruissem provides. He is currently 423rd in PocketFives’ rankings, though he peaked at 23rd in 2010.

On the live tournament side, Gruissem has amassed more than $ 11 million in earnings, his best live cash coming in 2013 when he won the WPT Alpha8 £100,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $ 1,379,840. In April 2014, he won almost exactly the same amount ($ 1,378,059) for taking the title in the EPT Grand Final €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller 8 Max.

If you look up and down Gruissem’s resume at TheHendonMob.com, you can see that theses sorts of high roller events are his specialty. Gruissem has yet to win a World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour title, though.

“I am honored that Philipp has agreed to join us at partypoker,” said partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters. “Philipp is such a well-respected player both in the German and global poker community that he is a perfect fit to join the team. He also has a great character and experience and will bring something a little different to the team.”

Gruissem is one of the four co-founders of Raising for Effective Giving (REG), a charitable organization which practices “effective altruism” in an effort to (put way too simply) target charities that can help the most people per dollar donated and in areas where those dollars can be used most efficiently. Gruissem founded the organization with fellow poker pros Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, and Stefan Huber.

Currently, Raising for Effective Giving targets three charitable causes: poverty alleviation, animal welfare, and risks from emerging technologies.

Gruissem has jumped right in to his relationship with partypoker, playing the Powerfest tournament series, which runs through this weekend. He plans on playing in the $ 5,200 buy-in event (wait…this is online poker, not the WSOP?) with a $ 1 million guaranteed prize pool on Sunday. That same day, he will make his first appearance as a partypoker ambassador in a live tournament when he plays in the MILLIONS Germany.

Cover photo credit: partypoker blog

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partypoker Releases 2018 Tournament Series Schedule

 partypoker Releases 2018 Tournament Series Schedule

One of the nice things about the beginning of the year is that we move away from the holiday live tournament doldrums and get right into tournament season. The same holds true online and on Friday, while the site is in the midst of its Powerfest series, partypoker announced the full schedule of 10 online poker tournament festivals for 2018.

There are five different types of tournament series this year on partypoker, but two – the MILLIONS Online and High Roller Series – only happen once, at the end of the year. The Knockout Series, Monster Series, and Powerfest each occur three times and on the same rotating schedule.

Players on partypoker may already be familiar with the Monster Series and Powerfest, but the Knockout Series is new to the site this year. In the Knockout Series, every player starts a tournament with a bounty on their head; for every elimination, the player who wins the hand wins the other player’s bounty. It’s not all puppies and rainbows for the victor, though, as that person’s bounty increases, making them a juicier target. There will be three buy-in levels for each Knockout Series tournament, with buy-ins starting at $ 1.10 and going up to $ 530. The first Knockout Series will begin February 25th.

The High Roller Series, also new, is fairly straight-forward. It is simply a series with higher buy-ins than normal, $ 530 and up. It will last eight days starting November 25th and will run at the same time as the insane $ 20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online.

On the partypoker blog, site ambassador Patrick Leonard said:

Festivals to me is what tournament poker is all about. You slog about all year honing your skills and testing strategies that you work on off the table all for that one big moment you get during a festival where you’re playing for huge prizes with great structures. Both live and online partypoker festival titles are seen as important as any to players through all stakes.

As mentioned, partypoker’s first tournament series of the calendar year, Powerfest, is going on right now, having started a week ago. It runs through this weekend and features 147 tournaments with $ 15 million in guaranteed prize pools. Like the Knockout Series, Powerfest has three different buy-in tournaments per event.

partypoker’s 2018 tournament series schedule follows. Detailed tournament schedule breakdowns can be found on partypoker’s website for the current series and usually for series starting in the near future.

partypoker POWERFEST – January 21st – February 4th
partypoker KO Series – February 25th – March 4th
partypoker Monster Series – April 29th – May 6th
partypoker POWERFEST – May 6th – May 20th
partypoker KO Series – June 2nd – June 10th
partypoker Monster Series – July 29th – August 6th
partypoker POWERFEST – September 2nd – September 23rd
partypoker KO Series – October 28th – November 4th
partypoker Monster Series – November 18th – November 25t
partypoker MILLIONS Online + HR Series – November 25th – December 5th

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Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker

 Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker

Online poker room partypoker has added yet another pro to its roster of ambassadors, Isaac “Ike” Haxton, who immediately becomes one of the most prominent members of the partypoker team. Partypoker has been a tear lately in its signings, inking the likes of Fedor Holz, 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Martin Jacobsen, Jason Koon, and Kristen Bicknell in just the last few months.

On the partypoker blog, Haxton said:

I am very excited to be joining the partypoker team. I’ve been very impressed with their growth over the last year or so. From expanding their online cash game and tournament offerings, to improving their software, and most of all rolling out their ambitious and innovative live events program, their commitment to growing the game and providing a great product for their players has been clear. I’m truly proud to represent the company, which I believe is going to be the future of poker, online and live.

According to the database at TheHendonMob.com, Haxton has amassed $ 15,879,226 in live tournament earnings, ranking him 21st all-time. His biggest cash was for more than $ 2.5 million when he finished second in the 2014 Aussie Millions $ 250,000 Challenge.

Haxton burst onto the scene back in 2007 when he was the runner-up in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. It was his first recorded live tournament cash and if I remember correctly, one notable thing about it was that the televised final table was outside on a windy day, making for some adventurous poker. Despite all of his success, he does not have a WSOP bracelet or a WPT title, though he does have some big wins in some super high roller-type events. In the last couple years, Haxton has really made his cashes count – if you look at his tournament resume, it’s a string of six-figure scores.

Of course, that’s just live tournaments, which doesn’t take into account his online exploits, nor does it have anything to do with cash games.

According to the partypoker announcement, Haxton, “will play a key role in partypoker’s efforts to work closely with the poker player community,” something one might expect an online poker ambassador to do.

In that same blog post, partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters expressed his thoughts on Haxton:

We are delighted that Isaac is joining us at partypoker. Isaac’s profile and experience makes him a perfect ambassador for the company. Over the years he has also demonstrated a real commitment to principles and will play a key role in helping us meet and exceed player expectations. We are in the process of building a poker site for the players and Isaac will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goals.

Cover photo credit: partypoker blog

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