Posts Tagged ‘Today’

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Begins Today

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Begins Today

It may have seemed like a lifetime ago, but the tournament poker world has only been on hiatus for about two weeks. That slight respite from play has left hundreds of players itching to get back to the felt and the only thing that will scratch that itch is one of poker’s major tournaments. That’s right…the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is set to open play today, with a plethora of action available.

Once again back in its home at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, the 2018 PCA is back in full swing after a one-year “dream” as the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. The PCA has traditionally been the “kickoff” for tournament poker in the New Year and 2018 isn’t breaking that tradition. In fact, the 2018 PCA is wasting no time in getting the eyes of the poker world focused on it.

Saturday will mark the start of the $ 100,000 Super High Roller event, which is expected to draw defending champion Jason Koon and a host of the biggest names in poker. Bryn Kenney, who made these High Roller events his specialty in 2017 (and led many Player of the Year races before being passed in December by Adrian Mateos), is already on the grounds in the Bahamas and looking to make another run at a High Roller championship (he won a $ 50,000 High Roller tournament at the 2017 running of this event). You can also expect to see players like Koray Aldemir, Daniel Dvoress and others picking up chips for this tournament.

Although poker may be the reason for everyone being on the island, officials with PokerStars are not making the same mistake as last year. Instead of facing a 90+ tournament schedule as they did in 2017, the 2018 PCA is a scaled back affair with 31 tournaments on the roster. That will allow for Team PokerStars Pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Jake Cody, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree and celebrity Team PokerStars members comedian Kevin Hart and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt to take part is some of the non-poker outlets at Atlantis.

As far as the Main Event, more than 300 players have already earned their seats online to be a part of the action when it begins on Wednesday. For this year, the PCA Main Event will go back to its $ 10,000 buy in (it had been dropped to $ 5000 for last year’s tournament) and, in a refreshing change for a major championship, the tournament does not allow for re-entry. Once the final players come in from the online arena and the number of tournament poker professionals come into the tournament room, it promises to be a strong turnout (estimation is difficult because of the change in buy-in; in 2017, 738 runners came to the line but, in year’s past, the numbers have been bigger).

In 2017, the then-PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event final table was one for the ages. The table featured a historic run by John Dibella, who won the PCA back in 2014 and was looking to repeat. While Dibella ran out of gas in eighth place, former “November Niner” Cliff Josephy ran through the table to reach heads up action against another top pro, Christian Harder. In what turned out to be a frenetic fight Harder, who despite a lengthy poker resume had never taken a major poker title, was able to vanquish the veteran Josephy to capture the championship and the $ 429,664 payday.

For a look at the full schedule for the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – including the other High Roller tournaments and side events – visit their dedicated website. There will also be a list of those tournaments that will be live streamed over PokerStars TV. After a couple of weeks of slumber, the tournament poker world is coming back to life with the start of the 2018 PCA.

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“Molly’s Game” Premieres Today with Jessica Chastain Garnering Oscar Buzz

 “Molly’s Game” Premieres Today with Jessica Chastain Garnering Oscar Buzz

With Christmas just around the corner, time for many people might be a bit short. For those who are finished with their preparations (lucky dogs!), a movie might be in the cards. For those who have a fondness for poker, the latest attempt at a “poker movie” hits screens across the country and around the world today, with Oscar buzz aplenty.

After a long buildup Molly’s Game, the directorial debut of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin that stars Jessica Chastain as the titular star of the film and Idris Elba as her attorney. If you don’t know the story of the book penned by Molly Bloom, it is the story of a plucky underdog that was able to overcome the odds and become a winner…

OK, that’s not true, at least most of it. Molly’s Game, based on the book of the same name written by Bloom, was her expose of her time running and operating the biggest cash games around. From Hollywood, where Bloom ran her game for actors, directors, and other businessmen, to New York, where hedge fund managers, stockbrokers and politicians got in the game, Bloom detailed her time hustling to make a good deal of money for herself, all from tips from the players. It also detailed the down side, which saw Bloom abuse drugs, be stalked by the Russian mob and, eventually, her arrest by federal agents for illegal gambling (Bloom says it was because she started taking a rake off her games).

The poker world has anointed the film the “next big poker film,” but Sorkin has been trying to quash those thoughts from the start. And, to be honest, there is very little poker in the film. What does make the film, however, is the star turn of Chastain, who has been nominated twice for an Academy Award but never won. That may change with Molly’s Game.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Chastain discussed her interactions with Bloom and her research into portraying the complex lady. “To understand how she got trapped by these people, this was hard, and I think I was guilty of some judgment,” the Mail quoted Chastain. “We as a society have fallen to the pattern of blaming women for things, the way they look, dismissing them, shaming them for revealing their bodies. I absolutely had that judgment before I met her.”

According to Chastain, she felt that Bloom’s reasons for creating and running these poker games – where millions of dollars were on the table and Bloom herself says she earned upwards of $ 4 million per year from running – was, in part, a response to her father’s treatment. “It comes from her childhood. Her dad made it clear that he made the rules,” Chastain said in the interview. “She would have to follow them until she makes her own money. So, she goes for an industry where she feels she can get that liberty.”

Much like the book, there won’t be any names mentioned in the cinematic version of Molly’s Game. Bloom, who was privy to a great deal of private information from very powerful people, chose not to broach those trusts in her tome (the closest she gets to dirt is against actor Tobey Maguire, who comes off as a douche in the book). Sorkin, in adapting Bloom’s book into a screenplay, held to that bond and didn’t reveal any dirt either.

The film itself has earned quite a bit of awards buzz for its participants. Chastain has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress and there is considerable attention being given to Sorkin (Adapted Screenplay), Chastain and Elba (Best Actor) for this year’s Oscars. Whether it will meet the critics’ high standards remains to be seen, however.

Molly’s Game opens today in a limited release, with a wide release set for the beginning of January. The cinemaplex is a bit crowded this weekend, with the release of Hugh Jackman’s musical The Greatest Showman, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Jumanji:  Welcome to the Jungle, and Matt Damon’s Downsizing all in the mix (and another Academy Award hopeful in All the Money in the World coming on Christmas Day). If you’ve been good and got all your Christmas responsibilities completed, some time at the cinema might be just what the doctor ordered.

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World Poker Tour’s Borgata Poker Open Kicks Off Action Today

 World Poker Tour’s Borgata Poker Open Kicks Off Action Today

After a stop out in California earlier this month, the Season XV schedule of the World Poker Tour chugs eastward, setting its wheels down in Atlantic City and, in particular, the Borgata for its eponymous Borgata Poker Open.

The Borgata Poker Open is being contested for the 14th time as a featured part of the WPT circuit and it has had just about as many changes to its tournament format in that time. When first contested in 2003, the buy-in was $ 5000 and only 235 players came out for the freeze-out tournament (Noli Francisco was the first-ever champion at a final table that also featured runner up Charlie Shoten, David Oppenheim and 2016 Poker Hall of Fame nominee Carlos Mortensen). Only two years later in the midst of the “poker boom,” the buy-in was kicked up to $ 10,000 and 515 runners came to the line (Al Ardebili would be the person made a millionaire in winning the tournament). After 2006, however, and Roy Winston’s victory over a 560-player field, the participation rate began to fall.

This was also the time when the “re-entry” tournament began to take hold and, in 2009, it was brought to the Borgata Poker Open. That year was the first that featured rebuys for its players (at a “reduced” rate of $ 3500 per entry) and the players came out in droves with the rubber band off their bankrolls. In that 2009 event, 1018 entries were eventually recorded (with Olivier Busquet winning the championship) and the Borgata has gone on to set records for player entries in WPT events (1313 entries for the WPT Borgata Poker Open in 2011 is the best the tournament has ever done).

“We are proud to return to Borgata again for Season XV, and the WPT Borgata Poker Open represents the first of two stops this season at this premier East Coast venue,” said WPT Chief Executive Officer Adam Pliska prior to the start of the tournament schedule. “Borgata is home to some of the largest WPT fields in history and many of the WPT’s most prestigious champions, one of whom is legendary two-time World Poker Tour winner Daniel Negreanu. Other past champions include Season XIII Hublot WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno and Darren Elias.”

The Borgata also seems happy to welcome back the WPT and the players to its grounds. “We are excited to welcome the World Poker Tour back to Borgata for the 14th edition of the WPT Borgata Poker Open,” said Joe Lupo, the Senior Vice President of Operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “The WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship event has consistently drawn more than 1,000 entries for each of the past seven seasons, and we look forward to hosting another world-class WPT event.”

This year’s event will be quite similar to last year’s battle. Two Day Ones will be played (Day 1A today, Day 1B on Monday) with an initial $ 3500 entry fee ($ 200 juice). There will be unlimited re-entries up to and including Level 10 for each starting day, at which point registration (or re-entry) will be locked. Depending on how much the field wants to gamble, it is very likely that the tournament will crack the 1000-entry mark and, with some loose wallets and/or some unfortunate breaks, another 500 entries would push the prize pool well over $ 4 million.

While not stating what Day 1 they will take part in, plenty of professionals should be on the ground for the festivities. Loni Harwood, Allen Kessler, Matt Affleck, Asher Conniff and former champion Zinno have been taking part of some of the preliminary action, but there should be hordes of other people who will invade the Jersey Shore for the tournament. Defending champion David Paredes is expected to be a part of that horde, looking to defend his championship.

The remainder of the schedule for the WPT Borgata Poker Open has the final table being played out on Friday. That final table will not only be taped for broadcast during the Season XV schedule, it will also be streamed online with a 30-minute delay. The final table will stream on both WPT.com and on Twitch.tv.

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2016 World Series of Poker Festivities Begin Today

 2016 World Series of Poker Festivities Begin Today

Here we are. Today, May 31st, is the first day of the 47th Annual World Series of Poker. With 69 events spanning a month and a half (not counting the break for the November Nine), the WSOP should prove once again to be one hell of an experience for all involved.

There are no official events at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas today – that all starts tomorrow with the $ 565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em Event. Tuesday is the day players start getting warmed up. The Pavilion Room green section is open for cash games of all sorts of stakes and will be running non-stop around the clock. Single-table satellites also begin today, allowing players to start trying to qualify for some of the WSOP events on the cheap.

Also kicking off on Tuesday are the popular Daily Deepstacks tournaments. These are one-day multi-table events, similar to the regular WSOP events, just on a much smaller scale. The buy-ins are more affordable than the WSOP tournaments, so even fans who just wanted to railbird some of the WSOP action can take a shot at minor WSOP glory. They aren’t bracelet events, just standard poker tournaments, but they can certainly be fun to and one can say they played AT the World Series of Poker, even if they didn’t technically play IN the World Series of Poker.

Here is the lineup for the Daily Deepstacks tourneys:

$ 135 No-Limit Hold’em – 7:00pm daily – 30 minute levels, 5,000 chip starting stack
$ 185 No-Limit Hold’em – 5:00pm daily – 30 minute levels, 10,000 chip starting stack
$ 235 No-Limit Hold’em – 2:00pm daily – 30 minute levels, 15,000 chip starting stack

Note: the $ 235 Daily Deepstack will not be held on June 3rd and June 4th, likely because the Colossus II will be in full swing and the $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship starts on June 4th. WSOP organizers probably need all the room they can get.

Mega Satellites begin tomorrow, June 1st and will run all the way through July 7th, just a couple days before the WSOP Main Event. These turbo, No-Limit Hold’em satellites cost $ 185 to enter and will award a $ 1,500 tournament entry plus $ 100 for every ten players who register. As they are turbo tournaments, the levels increase every 10 minutes. Starting stacks are 5,000 chips.

As for the rest of the WSOP schedule, it starts in earnest on Thursday with the first two flights of the Colossus II. There are six starting flights in all, two each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The prize pool is guaranteed to be at least $ 7 million with at least $ 1 million going to the winner. This is a re-entry tournament, so players who bust out in one starting flight may buy-in to any subsequent flight. In order to reduce the rush to the cashier later in the tournament, the money will be reached during every starting flight. Thus, it is entirely possible for players to cash more than once by making the money in one flight, busting out before the end of it, then entering another flight and cashing in that.

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PokerStars New Jersey Soft Launch Begins Today

 PokerStars New Jersey Soft Launch Begins Today

Today is a historic day in the United States as it is the first day in which PokerStars is up and running as a legal, regulated online poker room. Wednesday marks the start of the “soft launch” for PokerStars in New Jersey, when the poker site will host live internet poker games on a limited basis for testing purposes. Assuming everything goes as planned, the full launch will be on March 21st.

As this is just a testing period, PokerStars is capping the number of players that can be on at one time at 500. We are not quite sure, however, if this means 500 individual accounts can be logged on at once or 500 instances of players can be seated at once (for the latter, this would mean that, say, 250 players could be sitting at two tables each). We’re guessing it is the former, but either way, if you live in New Jersey and can’t logon, it is probably because the poker room has reached its maximum capacity.

For the first three days, PokerStars will not be accessible around the clock. On Wednesday, March 16th and Thursday, March 17th, PokerStars will be live only from 4:00pm to midnight (Eastern time, of course). On Friday, March 18th, that time frame will expand from 8:00am to midnight. Then, over the weekend, on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th, PokerStars New Jersey will run 24 hours a day. It is as gradual breaking-in period for both PokerStars and the New Jersey regulatory authorities to make sure everything goes smoothly, from the dealing of cards to the speed of the tables to the functioning of the cashier.

One would assume, given PokerStars extensive experience hosting the largest online poker traffic in the world, that there won’t be any hiccups as far as their software is concerned. The biggest thing the site probably needs to test is geolocation in order to make sure that nobody from outside New Jersey is able to logon and everybody within state borders who should be allowed to play is, in fact, detected properly and permitted entry.

PokerStars is allowing those who want to resurrect their old PokerStars.com accounts from before Black Friday to do so. Players just need to either login to PokerStars.com or PokerStars NJ with their old credentials (if they remember them) and click “Quick Account Creation.” The old PokerStars.com will be closed and all play money and StarsCoin (which have been converted from FPP at a rate of 1.6 StarsCoin per FPP, better than the international 1.2 per FPP) will transfer over. Players will also be given the VIP status that they had as of Black Friday.

Those who have a current PokerStars.com and want to create a separate PokerStars NJ account while still maintaining the dot com account, should avoid the “Quick Account Creation” process, since it will delete the dot com account. In this case, the VIP level will be the higher of the level at Black Friday or the level as it currently stands.

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