Tony Dunst wins WPT Caribbean Poker Tour Main Event

Unlike a lot of companies the World Poker Tour (WPT) doesn’t have a policy that excludes its employees from playing in their events, and this weekend one of the WPT’s most prominent employees, Tony Dunst, didn’t just play in a WPT tournament, he won it!

Dunst is the host of the WPT’s Raw Deal segment, where he discusses some aspect of the poker world (be it a poker hand or a rule or whatever) in a frank and candid manner.

Originally known for his online results, and his penchant to overdress at the poker tables, preferring to a don a tailored suit instead of the usual poker garb of hat and hoodie, Dunst first came to the attention of the poker world during his deep run in the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

Dunst would take his 15 minutes of exposure and use it to help him land his gig with the WPT as well as a starring role in the poker documentary Bet Raise Fold, where his life was documented pre- and post-Black Friday.

The WPT Caribbean Poker Tour

The victory in St. Maarten was Dunst’s first since he won the $3,000 No Limit Holdem tournament at the 2008 Bellagio Cup, and is the third largest cash of his career, and the first “major” tournament title on his resume.

Dunst entered the final table as the chip-leader, but his path to victory would be no easy task considering not one but two former WPT champions stood in his way, Giacomo Fundaro, and one of the game’s top tournament players, Germany’s Marvin Rettenmaier.

  1. Tony Dunst — $145,000
  2. Giacomo Fundaro — $100,000
  3. Severin Schleser — $63,500
  4. Marvin Rettenmaier — $46,800
  5. Zoltan Purak — $35,900
  6. Robert Bakker — $28,700

You can find more details on the tournament by visiting the www.worldpokertour.com website.

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Tournament Report: Senior Tour launched, Nutsinho’s 1st live win, and more

Senior Poker Tour Announced

The Professional Poker Tour failed, the Epic Poker League failed, and the LIPS tour is still struggling to gain traction in the poker world, so you wouldn’t think another niche poker tour would pique much interest, but that hasn’t been the case at all with the recently announced Senior Poker Tour.

Here are the details: Senior Poker Tour Press Release

Jared Jaffee Triumphs in Jacksonville

The 2013 WPT bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble (is anyone else getting annoyed with the names for these tournaments? I thought the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic was pretty bad, but this is starting to get a bit ridiculous) saw Jared Jaffee win his first live tournament title (a recurring theme this week) pocketing over $250k to boot.

  1. Jared Jaffee – $252,749
  2. Blake Purvis – $166,139
  3. Michael Horchoff – $106,904
  4. Margo Costa – $79,114
  5. Corrie Wunstel – $59,335
  6. Johnny Price – $47,468

Nutsinho Adds HPT Title to his Resume

Held at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, the latest stop on the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) had a few more big names in the field that the typical event, and in the end it was online poker pro Richard “nutsinho” Lyndacker who took the top spot, outlasting the 353 player field, and capturing his first live tournament title in the process.

  1. Richard Lyndaker – $122,548
  2. Steven Patch – $74,346
  3. Cory Waaland – $49,785
  4. Shaun Suller – $34,722
  5. Tim West – $20,041
  6. Tony Cuppone – $20,425
  7. Ed Liu – $17,259
  8. Dan Alspach – $14,297
  9. Dylan Hortin – $12,255

Himmelbrand Wins Event #1 at the Borgata Fall Poker Open

A $500 buy-in and a $1 million guarantee will always attract a big field, and that’s exactly what happened in Event #1 of the Borgata Fall Poker Open, with 2,899 entrants creating a near $1.5 million prize-pool.

  1. Greg Himmelbrand – $243,630
  2. Luis Diaz – $157,983
  3. Simon Lam – $103,457
  4. Edward Jacobs – $87,952
  5. Frank Nelson – $72,966
  6. Brian Rosengarten – $58,120
  7. George Alberto – $43,413
  8. Patrick Chan – $29,406
  9. Chad Jackson – $21,009

Noah Boeken Wins the 2013 Masters Classic in Amsterdam

One of the bigger and older independent tournaments in the world is the Masters Classic in Amsterdam, and frankly this event doesn’t get the publicity it deserves. This year 298 players entered the €4,400 buy-in Main Event and it was Dutchman Noah Boeken who came away with the trophy and over $400k.

  1. Noah Boeken – $412,012
  2. Simon Persson – $245,623
  3. Clyde Terlaan – $141,034
  4. Luuk Gieles – $112,511
  5. Andrew Chen – $96,664
  6. Charlie Combes – $72,933
  7. Johan Verhagen – $63,386
  8. Rob Hollink – $47,541
  9. Dmitry Nemirovsky – $31,694

 

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Party Poker Premier League VII Lineup and Heats

After some last minute additions, a few cancellations, and subsequent replacements we now have the official lineup for the Party Poker Premier League VII taking place at the Playground Club in Montreal. Party Poker also released the lineups for each of the six preliminary heats that will decide which players move on to the final table for a shot at the money.

The Tournament

The Party Poker Premier League VII will run from November 20-26 with the players participating in four matches each (more on that below), with the top four point getters moving on to the final table. The top four point getters will be joined by two more players, determined by heads-up matches between the next four top point getters.

The buy-in for the tournament is set at $125,000.

Kara Scott and Jesse May will handle the hosting and commentary duties, although the matches will not be available on a live stream, so you’ll have to wait for the broadcast to see the action –live reporting will be available however.

The Heats

Unlike in previous years where 16 players were divided into two groups of eight, this year the Premier League will feature 12 players, who will take part in six, eight-player heats. The point accumulation remains the same, but now the players will compete against the entire field in the round-robin style heats.

You can check out the Heat schedule at the Party Poker blog.

The Players

The tournament entry list has been in a constant state of flux, with Tony G just one of the players who committed but later dropped out and had to be replaced. This continued on right up until the last minute as a couple of last minute scratches –Greg Mueller and Greg Merson—saw Daniel Colman and Brian Rast added to the star-studded lineup.

Here is a look at the now-official lineup for the tournament:

  1. Antonio  “The Magician” Esfandiari
  2. Dan Shak
  3. Phil Laak
  4. Vanessa Selbst
  5. Scott Seiver
  6. Daniel “Jungleman” Cates
  7. Jason Koon
  8. Jeff Gross
  9. Sorel Mizzi
  10. Daniel Colman
  11. Jonathan Duhamel
  12. Brain Rast

Past Winners

Here is a list of the previous six Party Poker Premier League winners:

  • Premier League I: Juha Helppi
  • Premier League II: Andy Black
  • Premier League III: JC Tran
  • Premier League IV: David Benyamine
  • Premier League V: Scott Seiver
  • Premier League VI: Dan Shak

 

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Expanded thoughts on Ultimate Beat Pt 3: Pointing fingers

Scott Bell pulled back the curtain on the Ultimate Beat super-user scandal in his recently released documentary, Ultimate Beat: Too much to lose which you can purchase here. In this three-part series I want to offer up some expanded thoughts on different aspects of the Super-User period and how it relates to poker in general.

In each part I’ll offer up my thoughts on a different aspect of the super-user cheating:

  • Part 1: Players didn’t just lose money
  • Part 2: Was this exclusive to AP and UB?
  • Part 3: Who was at fault?

Who is at fault?

Thesis: Let’s not perform an injustice in our pursuit of justice.

We pretty much know who the main players in the scandal were, but even five years after the fact there are still many questions as to how far the tentacles of the super-user scandals infiltrated the company and the associates of the main perpetrators.

However, even if these people may have had an inkling that something was indeed rotten in Denmark, I just don’t see the point of trying to ruin reputations over it.

There are so many names attached to the super-user scandals in some way shape or form that it becomes a very simple exercise to connect the dates and just indict everyone that had their name/address attached to a super-user account, anyone who ever golfed with Russ Hamilton, or anyone that ever received player-to-player transfers from a super-user account.

This may simplify the process and make sure that we nail everyone involved, in terms of fairness to the people involved it’s a miscarriage of justice.

I had the chance to speak with one such person off the record a while back, someone who I found very credible and honest, and I would posit that trying to tie up every loose end in the investigation will end up ensnaring more innocent victims than guilty ones. Accusations get tossed around on the Internet far too easily, and if you were unfortunate enough to associate with Russ Hamilton and played on Ultimate Bet during the early to mid-2000’s I don’t think you should immediately be investigated.

Yes, I would love to know, who knew what and when. I would love to know who ignored the clear red flags. But knowing that money you are receiving could possibly be from ill-gotten means is not a major crime, and doesn’t make these people responsible in any way, shape, or form for the cheating itself. I’d much rather not know if specific names in the poker world had an inkling of what was transpiring if it means we spare the reputations of players who simply found themselves unwittingly caught up in the whole ugly affair.

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Expanded thoughts on Ultimate Beat Pt 2: How deep does cheating run

Scott Bell pulled back the curtain on the Ultimate Beat super-user scandal in his recently released documentary, Ultimate Beat: Too much to lose which you can purchase here. In this three-part series I want to offer up some expanded thoughts on different aspects of the Super-User period and how it relates to poker in general.

In each part I’ll offer up my thoughts on a different aspect of the super-user cheating:

  • Part 1: Players didn’t just lose money
  • Part 2: Was this exclusive to AP and UB?
  • Part 3: Who was at fault?

Was this exclusive to UB and AP?

Thesis: Cheating was almost certainly not confined to Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker.

Looking back at it now, I’m pretty much of the opinion that online poker in the early and mid-2000’s was a complete shit-show –and “shit-show” should carry some weight, as anyone who reads my columns knows I don’t swear very often.

There was shady stuff happening at every level, from the players, to the employees, to the owners, to the payment processing companies.  So if you think a company like Full Tilt Poker was above cheating you more directly than using your deposits for marketing you’re out of your mind. I don’t know if they did, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

Also, if you think a company’s only transgression was to falsely coded credit card transactions to skirt US law, you’re out of your mind too. The truth of the matter is we really don’t know the full extent of what went on at these sites.

UB and AP super-users were incredibly sloppy. Full Tilt Poker was caught only because of an act of god. Is it really too much of a stretch of the imagination to envision another company screwing around with their RNG or employing a massive fleet of poker bots to increase the number of tables running and to slowly bleed lower limit players?

After what we know as fact, can we put anything past these companies? And by anything, I mean ANYTHING!

In 2005 the notion that a wildly successful online poker room would cheat its players was laughed at, and it turned out to be true: In 2011 Tom Dwan was willing to vouch for Full Tilt Poker to the point of promising seven-figures of his own money, and he was only bailed out by PokerStars.

It’s not that I think big names like Party Poker or PokerStars have cheated their players, but let’s put them up on our shoulders as a symbol of purity and righteousness either. You and I have no clue what went on during the Wild West days of the online poker industry.

 

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Expanded thoughts on Ultimate Beat Pt 1: Money wasn’t the only thing lost

Scott Bell pulled back the curtain on the Ultimate Beat super-user scandal in his recently released documentary, Ultimate Beat: Too much to lose which you can purchase here. In this three-part series I want to offer up some expanded thoughts on different aspects of the Super-User period and how it relates to poker in general.

In each part I’ll offer up my thoughts on a different aspect of the super-user cheating:

  • Part 1: Players didn’t just lose money
  • Part 2: Was this exclusive to AP and UB?
  • Part 3: Who was at fault?

Players didn’t just lose money

Thesis: The money won/stolen by the Super-Users is just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s nearly impossible to calculate how much money was really stolen by the Super-Users at Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, and it would be even more difficult to try to calculate how much financial havoc was thrust upon the affected players beyond their at the table losses.

Sure the Super-Users decimated some players at the poker tables, but think about the fallout from these monetary losses:

  • How many players quit poker over these losses; lacking confidence in their poker skills?
  • How many personal relationships were destroyed?
  • How many players turned to drugs and other vices?
  • How many people borrowed to try to chase their UB losses?

Basically, the super-users didn’t just steal money from well-to-do poker players; they destroyed many lives and left behind an utterly disgusted and cynical poker world, that not only has major trust issues to this day (as well they should) but many people in the poker community have a “well everyone else is cheating me and cutting corners attitude” that they themselves have become mini-angle-shooters and corner-cutters.

So it might be easy to summarize the super-user scandals by looking at the bottom line –the currently used number of $22 million is staggering for sure—but the true measure of the super-user era is pretty much incalculable.

I say this because the super-user scandal was so far reaching; it affected dozens to possibly hundreds of players. The victim wasn’t a single player we could put a face to. We couldn’t say, “Wow, that sucks, but you should have been more careful,” because when it came to the super-user scandal every person’s situation was unique.

For instance, Brad Booth stubbornly continued playing at Ultimate Bet despite losing his shirt (almost literally) and going into debt to chase his losses on UB. So it could be argued that he should have quit the site well before it came to that point.

But other players were simply one-time victims, or as Amarillo Slim would say, “Sheep that were sheared”, so how could they have ever protected themselves against being cheated?

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US turbulent ROW steady in latest online poker traffic report

Other than a little bit of leapfrogging, there hasn’t been much change in the top five online poker providers according to www.pokerscout.com’s traffic numbers. On the other hand, the US market has been anything but steady. With the departure of Lock Poker from the Revolution Gaming Network, the imminent launch of online poker in New Jersey, and WSOP.com’s supplanting of UltimatePoker.com as the most-trafficked online poker room in Nevada the US poker industry is shaping up for a wild winter.

International Traffic

PokerStars still has a virtual stranglehold on the worldwide market, with nearly 10x the traffic of its closest competitors, and the battle for #2 is still between four other sites: Full Tilt Poker, the iPoker Network, the 888 Poker Network, and Party Poker.

All four sites have average traffic between 2,200 and 2,700 players according to PokerScout.com’s data, and as we’ve seen in recent months, traffic tends to bounce back and forth between these sites. Nobody has been able to separate themselves from the chase pack.

US Traffic Unregulated Sites

Like PokerStars in the International market, the unregulated market in the United States is essentially Bodog/Bovada, and then everyone else.

Bodog is the only room that has managed to keep their withdrawal times to a minimum and do so consistently, and this one aspect is enough to put them light years ahead of their competitors in the US market.

Just a year ago, you would have been laughed off the forums as a complete crackpot if you said that two of the US industry’s top providers would be the Winning Poker Network and the Chico Poker Network, but that is indeed the case in the topsy-turvy world of unregulated poker in the US.

Here is a look at how the Top US-facing sites stack-up in terms of their seven-day rolling average of cash game players according to PokerScout.com:

Site US Rank World Rank Avg. Traffic
Bodog #1 #9 1,400
Winning Poker Network #2 #22 415
Chico Poker Network #3 #25 385
Merge Poker Network #4 #26 335
Revolution Gaming #5 #29 260
Lock Poker #6 N/A N/A

 

US Traffic Regulated Sites

In Nevada Caesars Entertainment’s and 888’s WSOP.com poker room has now surpassed Ultimate Poker in terms of overall traffic, despite spotting its competitor a six-month head-start in the market. The pokerscout.com traffic numbers are still really close (WSOP.com’s seven-day average is 129 players while Ultimate Poker’s is 115), but the trend has WSOP.com gaining and Ultimate Poker slowly leaking players.

 

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Lock Poker and Revolution continue he-said she-said battle

Amid their middle of the night departure from the Revolution Gaming Network, Lock Poker has found itself in the middle of yet another controversy as the embattled poker room and their former partners at Revolution Gaming have been firing accusations at one another.

So, while Lock Poker is busy trying to migrate their players to the new client and setup their new software, they are also still dealing with what is turning out to be a very messy divorce.

The biggest issue is the allegations of player poaching, where Revolution Gaming redirected Lock Players logging into the old client (perhaps unaware of the split) to a new site called Pure Poker, where players were told Lock Poker was booted from the Revolution Network and their balances could now be accessed at Pure Poker. Which turns out to not be the case, as you can read here on PokerFraudAlert.com: Who is Pure Poker: Exactly who you think it is.

In response to this Lock Poker issued the following statement:

We’ve been hearing concerns from players regarding their balances and we would like to clear up some of the confusion.

- Lock has NO relationship whatsoever with Pure Poker

- Pure Poker has NO Lock player data or account details

- The software update installation of Pure Poker software is an attempt to mislead Lock customers

- Lock Poker’s new software must be downloaded at lockpoker.eu

Lock terminated its contract with the Revolution Network on October 29th, it has since to our attention that some players who attempt open the Lock software are having a competitor’s software installed on their computer via the Revolution Network software updater.

Lock has NO relationship whatsoever with Pure Poker. Pure Poker has NO Lock player data or account details. Your account information and balances are held with Lock. We have built a one set process to migrate your existing account to our new software, visit https://migrate.lockpoker.eu and you will be guided through the steps.

This is clearly an attempt by the network to take Lock players and damage Lock’s business via a deceptive and misleading practice.

Initially the page where Lock players were redirected contained a patently false statement – that Lock’s poker services were “terminated”. Our legal counsel wrote to the operator of the Revolution network and demanded that this statement be taken down and, we confirmed that the page had been corrected to remove the false statement in less than an hour. However, the network has failed to resolve the more pressing issue – being that it is attempting to take Lock players and damage their business via a deceptive and misleading practice. This is conduct that is obviously meant to damage Lock and to cause confusion in the minds of consumers.

Finally, the regulatory and licensing authority for the Revolution Network have been put on notice that the network operator appears to be allowing an unlicensed poker site to operate as part of their network, in addition to the damages they are intentionally causing to Lock. There is no indication on the purepoker.eu site that their business operations are licesned in Curaco or elsewhere. This site appears to be a sham and players deal with it at their own risk.

Now Revolution is firing a return volley, which then received more return fire from Lock Poker’s Shane Bridges, as Revolution sent a statement to PokerFuse.com that reads in part:

“The Network tried very hard to help Lock work through its problems with slow withdrawals to players… Due to lack of payment to the Network and a large growing debt, the Network had no choice but to eventually segregate Lock players almost entirely from Network cash games.”

Where this is going, and how it will end, is unclear at this time, but the entire situation seems to be negatively affecting the Revolution Gaming Network and Lock Poker.

 

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iPoker announces iPOPS V tournament series

From November 16th to December 1st the iPoker Network will be hosting their fifth iPOPS tournament series. In all there will be 16 separate tournaments with $1,250,000 in guaranteed prize-money up for grabs.

Online tournament series have grown in popularity in recent years, following the success of Full Tilt poker’s FTOPS tournament series and PokerStars wildly popular WCOOP and SCOOP series. Now virtually every online poker site and network offers an online tournament series, and the iPOPS has quickly become one of the most popular among players.

The series is broken down into two weeks; the first week will feature low-buy-in iPOPS tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $1 up to $100 for the High-Roller tournament, while Week 2 will feature high-buy-in tournaments ranging from $30 up to $330 for the high-roller tournament. The iPOPS V Main Event will be a $200 buy-in No Limit Holdem tournament with a $400k guarantee –double the amount of iPoker’s usual $200k guarantee Sunday Special tournament.

iPOPS V Week 1

Date Tournament Name Game Buy-In Guarantee
Nov. 16 iPOPS-1L $5K GTD NLHE Rebuy (Multi-Entry) $1 + $0.10 $5,000
Nov. 17 iPOPS-2L $50K GTD NLHE Freezeout (Re-entry) $50 + $5 $50,000
Nov. 18 iPOPS-3L $40K GTD High Roller NLHE Freezeout $100 + $9 $40,000
Nov. 19 iPOPS-4L $20K GTD NLHE Rebuy $10 + $1 $20,000
Nov. 20 iPOPS-5L $10K GTD Turbo NLHE Rebuy $5 + $0.50 $10,000
Nov. 21 iPOPS-6L $5K GTD 6 Max NLHE Rebuy $2 + $0.20 $5,000
Nov. 22 iPOPS-7L $25K Deepstack NLHE Freezeout $30 + $3 $25,000
Nov. 23 iPOPS-8L $25K GTD NLHE Rebuy $30 + $3 $25,000

iPOPS V Week 2

Date Tournament Name Game Buy-In Guarantee
Nov. 24 iPOPS-1H $300K GTD NLHE Freezeout $150 + $10 $300,000
Nov. 25 iPOPS-2H $100K High Roller NLHE Freezeout (Re-entry) $330 + $20 $100,000
Nov. 26 iPOPS-3H $80K GTD NLHE Rebuy $80 + $8 $80,000
Nov. 27 iPOPS-4H $50K GTD NLHE Rebuy $40 + $4 $50,000
Nov. 28 iPOPS-5H $30K GTD – 6 Max NLHE Rebuy $30 + $3 $30,000
Nov. 29 iPOPS-6H $80K GTD Deepstack NLHE Freezeout $100 + $9 $80,000
Nov. 30 iPOPS-7H $40K GTD NLHE Freezeout $50 + $5 $40,000
Dec. 1 iPOPS Main Event $400K GTD NLHE Freezeout $200 + $15 $400,000

 

The iPoker Network is the second largest online poker provider in the world, trailing only PokerStars according to www.pokerscout.com’s traffic numbers. The Network contains a number of well-known and well-respected online poker rooms including William Hill, Bet365, Betfair, and Titan Poker. All of the iPoker skins will be offering entry into iPOPS tournaments.

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US online poker upheaval after Lock Poker leaves Revolution

For those of us that follow the US online poker industry it’s been an interesting couple of years since April 15, 2011, when PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were exiled from the US market, leaving a collection of smaller networks unused to being in the spotlight to fill the void.

Since Black Friday virtually every network has spent time as the most-trafficked US online poker site: Merge Gaming Network, Revolution Gaming Network, and Bodog. We’ve also seen networks rebranded, upgraded, and shutdown, with poker rooms jumping from network to network for a variety of reasons.

The latest shakeup is one of the biggest since Black Friday, as Lock Poker has announced they are leaving the Revolution Gaming Network, formerly known as the Cake Poker Network (which they joined in 2012 after a fallout with the Merge Gaming Network led them to Cake Poker) and will now go it alone, operating as an independent online poker room.

Needless to say the split has not been pretty. Lock Poker fired first, issuing a press release this morning detailing their decision, including a parting shot at Revolution:

Lock has elected to exercise its right to terminate the contract as a result of the numerous and ongoing breaches of contract by the network operator.

However, the story didn’t end there. As PokerFuse.com is reporting, players logging in to the old Lock Poker software on the Revolution Gaming are being redirected to a new poker site, PurePoker.com, which is claiming to be a longstanding online poker room:

Due to Lock’s ongoing financial issues, the poker service to Lock was terminated. We apologize for the inconvenience. Pure Poker is offering you a chance to redeem your Lock player balance immediately.

Lock Poker has denied these claims, issuing a statement to PokerFuse.com and other outlets, as well as detailing the transgressions they are accusing the revolution Gaming Network of which allows them to terminate their agreement with the network. Lock Poker is also extremely unhappy with revolution’s attempt to steer Lock players to a new skin according to the statement they gave to pokerfuse.com:

“This is clearly an attempt by the network to take Lock players and damage Lock’s business via a deceptive and misleading practice. The network operator has been given an opportunity to correct this and have refused to do so,” 

Obviously this story is far from over, and regardless of how it turns out the US online poker industry (the unregulated rooms that is) is likely going to be thrown into yet another period of tumult.

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