Thursday, May 21, 2015

EPT11 Grand Final: Hello again Mr Poker Player Man

monaco_8may2015.jpgThe view across Monaco

I couldn't end the EPT season without looking back on a moment that happened in EPT Deauville. We wrote about it on the Blog, and it turned out to be about more than a poker player having a bad day.

I first met Boutros Naim on the staircase outside the Deauville tournament room. He'd suffered a beat so bad that it was as though he were speaking in a trance. I think he'd had aces three times, and been crushed each time. The man needed to talk.

I ran into Naim again in Malta. He'd read the piece, but laughed at the idea of being this kind of ghost, cast away by the poker gods. He was instead a businessman, anthropologist, proud father and staunch pragmatist when it came to the crazy game of poker.

As a man who cannot bear the injustice in poker, Naim at least realises he's powerless to resist. And yet meets with success from time to time.

He played the entire Season 11 on the back of a super satellite win in Prague. It was to the Super High Roller, which in his own words he would have been mad to play. And so he cashed it in, and with the money free-rolled the rest of the season.

Now, having suffered none of the bad beats of France, we caught up on a few highlights of the year, notably his cash finish in Barcelona, in which he put his unconventional style to full use.

"In four days I played 23 hands!" he laughed. "I folded my way to 61st! And I don't bluff... everybody believes me when I bluff!"

Naim, 65, has always been a poker player, but turned to hold'em just three years ago. His bad back means sport is no longer possible, and it can make a day at the poker table an agony. But forget the physical pain. It's the mental kind that he can only laugh at. "In swimming or tennis effort rewards you, but not always in poker. I hate the injustice! There's no justice!"

But Naim, who lives 12 minutes away from the tournament room, keeps coming back, albeit having a tempestuous relationship with the cards. Case in point: while some dread being excluded from games, Naim insists on it.

When he busts from an online tournament Naim excludes himself for 12 hours. In his mind it prevents any attempt to chase losses or to put those injustices to right. Actually after he saw me on the stairs in Deauville he went back to his room and excluded himself for a month. He has these rules. He's also not a cash game player either, and winces at the thought of multi-tabling.

"No cash games for Boutros Naim!" he said, rubbing his temples. "No multi-tabling. I get a headache! One table. No more!"

But despite the anguish, the torture even, of modern poker, Naim keeps coming back. As he says, he's a man living every minute of his life as well as he can, whether that's in his converted stable in Monaco, or wherever he escapes to when the weather gets hot and the Grand Prix turns things noisy, or at the poker table. One year, missing his son who was studying at Harvard, he signed up for grad school to be near him, hopping on the train to Foxwoods at weekends. "I played like an idiot!" he said, as an aside.

So as we come to the end of another season, this is a salute to players like Boutros Naim, whose fondness for poker doesn't really fit the younger, more modern mould. Instead he's that type of player who can teach you a few things at the table, from all that stuff he's learned away from it.

"You know, I didn't make a single mistake", he said before we parted. "But I died with pocket aces - vanquished!"

He was talking about Deauville again. We both laughed at that.

To get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts, don't forget to download the EPT App on both Android or IOS.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Online Casino Releases New I-slot A Real Fixer Upper

The latest Rival Gaming I-slot is not a Fixer Upper, but the name of the new game. Fixer Upper is a 5 reel I-slot full of fun for every type of player. In our lives we have all come across that one thing where vision is seen and we will do anything to Fixer Up.

In this case, the Fixer Upper is a great game and probably costs less than actually fixing something up! The I-slot seems to be themed after the popular American Television show, Extreme Home Makeover, but in a cartoonish kind of way. Players will appreciate the fun graphics, which include color quality, animation, and unique uses of symbols and bonuses.

The screen is bordered with busted pipes that have been bandaged or patched. Inside the reels features many different tools, plus the two helpers in this project. The game is complete with a wild symbol, a bonus feature, and free spins. The wager limits are shockingly low considering the name of the game, a player can play max wagers for only between $2.00 and $20.00 per spin!

Rival Gaming has really stepped up this year by continually releasing hot and fresh games, in all areas, such as 3 reels, progressives, video bonus slots, and especially their I-slot section. This is their 5th I-slot release this year and all have been a hit. The new I-slot can be played at Rival Gaming casinos, such as, Lion Slots Casino and Cocoa Casino.

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Read More... [Source: Online Casino Reviews » i-Slots | Reviews of i-Slots | Rival Gaming i Slots Review]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PokerNews Podcast Episode #280: EPT Grand Final


Donnie and Remko talk about Erik Seidel’s big win at EPT Grand Final, Dzmitry Urbanovich’s insane run, and Scott Seiver’s excellence.

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IPT Malta: PokerStars player Jaroslaw Sikora leads the final table

The final table for IPT Malta is set with PokerStars player Jaroslaw Sikora leading with 7.6 million in chips. The Polish player finished 70th for €4,220 in the Eureka High Roller event in Prague in December. Sikora moved clearly into the lead after winning a big three-bet pot towards the end of play when he picked off a 555,000 bluff from Georgios Zisimopoulos.

NEIL3778_EPT11MAL_Jaroslaw_Sikora_Neil Stoddart-2.jpg

Jaroslaw Sikora is the chip leader going into tomorrow's final table

Sikora leads ahead of Frederik Reusch (4,730,000), the German player has a couple of previous results including a final table in the €1,000 PLO event at EPT Prague where he came 8th for €4,270. Reusch moved into second place after dispatching Flaviano Cammisuli, the start of the day chip leader, with A♣T♦ against A♦9♥.


Flaviano Cammisuli

In third place with 4,375,000 is arguably the best-known player at the table, EPT10 Prague champion Julian Track. Track picked up €725,700 for winning the EPT and will be hoping to supplement his earnings with another six-figure score by taking down this event.

The full list of players and chip counts is as follows:

Seat 1: Michael Bernhard Feil Germany PokerStars player 3,305,000
Seat 2: Frederik Reusch Germany PokerStars player 4,730,000
Seat 3: Nicolino di Carlo Italy 2,585,000
Seat 4: Ezio Nisoli Italy 1,960,000
Seat 5: Julian Track Germany PokerStars qualifier 4,375,000
Seat 6: Jaroslaw Sikora Poland PokerStars player 7,600,000
Seat 7: Georgios Zisimopoulos Greece PokerStars player 4,000,000
Seat 8: Georgi Abuladze Estonia PokerStars qualifier 2,645,000


Julian Track

All the finalists are now guaranteed a minimum payout of €21,000 but the first place prize is worth more than ten times that amount:

1st € 221,200
2nd € 128,300
3rd € 90,200
4th € 67,000
5th € 52,000
6th € 39,000
7th € 29,800
8th € 21,000

The players are due back tomorrow at 11.45am with the tournament scheduled to start at 12.15pm. It'll be shown on a live stream (Italian commentary only) with hole cards up and on a 45-minute delay. I'll be following the same time as the delay so you can expect live coverage from around 1pm local time.

Side events

Bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche leads the final 15 players of the in the IPT €2k High Roller event with 1.2 million in chips and the blinds at 10,000/20,000 (3,000). EPT Copenhagen runner-up Pierre Neuville (750,000) and EPT9 London finalist Ludovic Geilich (260,000) are also among those still involved, all are guaranteed a minmum payout of €10,550 with €177,000 going to the winner.


Dominik Nitsche

In the IPT Malta Cup, it's heads-up between Dimitar Bashov and Matthieu Rodrigeuz with €62,000 for the winner and €36,400 for the runner-up, Bashov has a slight lead at this point. Giovanni Rizzo finished in 6th place for €10,900.

Rosaro Garzon came all the way from Madrid to play the €200 Women's Event but her victory made it all worthwhile. Before taking down the €200 event for a lifetime best cash of €4k, the 64-year-old, who was being railed by her husband throughout the tourney, said she was surprised at how aggressively the women played. "I didn't think it would be like this!" she said. She beat Canadian EPT regular Elizabeth Bennet-Martin heads-up to snag her first ever trophy. There were 70 entries in the tourney creating a €13,580 prize pool with nine paid. EPT London Women's Event winner Jackie Cachia bust the event but her partner Lina Teuma finished fourth for €1,400.

NEIL3638_EPT11MAL_Maria_Ladies_Event_Winner_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Rosaro Garzon

Portugal's Jose Quintas won last night's €500 Midnight Hyperturbo at the EPT Malta Poker Festival. The EPT regular snagged the trophy and €23,490 first prize after beating Italian Luca Fiorini heads-up. There were 229 players in the event creating a €111,065 prize pool with 31 paid. Others who cashed included Mikhail Korotkikh, Jan Bendik, George Tavoularis (who has already won two Flipout events at the festival), Lasse Frost and Bernard Boutbol.

Remember, the EPT Main Event is still going on for a while yet tonight, follow all the action here.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eureka5 Rozvadov: A numbers game

Tournament Director Thomas Lamatsch and his team counted up all the entries this morning and once they had the total prize pool, worked out the payouts.

The total of 664 entries created a prize pool of €664,000. A total of 95 players will finish in the money with a min cash earning €2,000. If a player makes the final table of eight they'll be guaranteed €12,770 and the winner will take home €119,200. For a full breakdown of prizes click here.


Little Thomas has the real power

Of the 664 entries, 529 were unique players. With Rozvadov being so close the German border, German players dominated with 243 players (46% of the field). The Czech Republic (51) and Poland (49) respectively were second and third on the list. A pie chart illustration of the nationalities represented can be seen below:


A total of 58 players busted throughout the first frantic level of the day. Some of those to depart included:

Arsenii Karmatckii, Justus Held, Marek Bartoszewicz, Erich Kollmann, Bastian Dohler, Yehuda Cohen, Tim Reusch, Kolman Malamud, Piotr Weryszko, Daniel Rose, Pascal Scheiperpeter, Patryk Wladyslaw Poterek, Bartosz Piesiewicz, Francis Alfred Klar, Leonardo Armino, Jörg Peisert, Christian Schwenk, Lukasz Mroczek, Timo Salvatore Scarcella, Matthias Gude, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Mateusz Mlynarczyk and Robert Zipf.

Eureka Rozvadov Key Facts:
- Players began with 25,000 chips (an increase from Season 4's 20,000)
- 255 players started Day 2
- Nine one-hour levels make up Day 2 and play will finish around 1am
- 95 players will make the money and earn at least €2k
- Total number of entries was a record 664

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Battle of the Planets: WOO WOO for woosewoo taking down April's freeroll for $12K


The last bit of snow has finally melted here in the northland as spring has finally arrived despite a very bad weather groundhog by the name of Punxsutawney Phil stating the spring thaw was supposed to come early this year. Luckily for the SnG players at PokerStars getting a foot of snow in mid-April will not usually hinder their ability to hit the tables enough to earn a ticket to tonight's $50,000 Battle of the Planets Freeroll. Our champ tonight also had to dig out a path to victory as Hungary's woosewoo started heads-up play with a big chip deficit but fought back quickly to claim this month's $12,000.00 prize. It has been a long time coming for woosewoo who made the very first Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout final table in April of 2008.

Down to the final pairing on Table 8 with Titan-tan trailing 4,709 to 5,791 chips and the blinds up to 125/250 ante 25 wychtor would led with a min-raise from the button as Titan-tan called. [4h][3d][2h] on the flop got Titan-tan to take the lead and bet 430 as wychtor's hand was stuck on the min-raise button and hit it again. Titan-tan three-bet to 2,000 as wychtor's hand moved up to all-in as Titan-tan called with a king-high flush draw [Kh][9h]. wychtor already had a made hand with pocket aces [As][Ac] and after two more small cards laid down [3c] and [4d] Titan-tan would leave with nothing in 82nd place as the remaining 81 players locked up $195.00.

turataika, Hanggy, and Joellos15 quickly snagged their seats and kicked back for a while to wait for the remaining six seats to fill up before playing for $12,000.00. One of those seats was filled by turataika who plays in many of the Sunday Majors and made some cash in the Super Tuesday last year, grabbing $3,234 in 23rd place. After X-fold2u-X was finished off by sTitC at the three hour mark of the tournament it was down to pif-pafdaddy and niclassen18 to fill the final seat. With the blinds at 125/250 ante 25 and pif-pafdaddy behind by 680 chips both players liked their hands enough to get all-in preflop. For good reason too as pif-pafdaddy pulled up aces [Ad][As] and niclassen18 queens [Qs][Qd] and after an all low board [6h] [2s] [7h] [9h] [3h] pif-pafdaddy would collect the 12,820 chip pot and the one after it to start up the final table below:


Seat 1: messier111 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: pif-pafdaddy (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: woosewoo (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: turataika (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: chimera252 (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: Hanggy (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: sTitCx (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: Bredik75 (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: Joellos15 (1500 in chips)

Action starts early

Usually during the opening 10/20 blind level the players mainly circle each other to get a scent of each other's play. Tonight we would a major confrontation one hand before the hourly five minute break. sTitCx would raise to 80 from middle position as Joellos15 made the call from the button and both took a gander at the [8d][5d][9s] flop. sTitCx bet for 120 as Joellos15 bumped up to 315 and sTitCx called. [6d] on the turn and sTitCx backed off and checked as Joellos15 tossed in another 340. sTitCx check-raised to 1,195 all-in as Joellos15 called for less holding a flopped set of eights [8s][8h]. Unfortunately the turn gave sTitCx the nut straight [7s][Ts] and with the [7c] on the river Joellos15 earned $775.00 in ninth place.

Sound familiar?

While the 15/30 level was kept all eight players in the game the 25/50 level could not say the same. After a min-raise UTG by turataika both sTitCx and Bredik75 decided to make the call from middle position as three went to see the [6d][Ts][9d] flop. turataika kept up the betting with a 225 chip bet as Bredik75 made it 550 total, turataika was not done and shoved for 1,362 total holding a flush draw [Jd][Ad] hoping Bredik75 would go away. Holding a set of nines [9s][9h] Bredik75 quickly made the call. Much like the flopped set from the previous elimination, the draw got there as the [4c] turn and fateful [5d] river sent Bredik75 down to 41 chips. Four hands later pif-pafdaddy would collect the scraps as Bredik75 exited in eighth place ($1,200.00).

Hung up

Still in the 25/50 blind level chimera252 holding an unfamiliar red badge which proclaims the UK player has earned over 1 million lifetime VPPs at PokerStars next to the seven stars of the VIP Supernova Elite. Able to open in the small blind, chimera252 made it 130 as Hanggy decided [As][Js] and a 1,050 shove was enough to shoo the raiser away. chimera252 only thought about how quickly to call with pocket aces [Ah][Ac]. Despite catching four outs on the flop [Qd] [Qs] [Kd] [7h] [9d] Hanggy's night was done in seventh place ($1,700.00).

Rolling home

Strangely no eliminations in the 50/100 level but things heated up quick in the 75/150 blind level as pif-pafdaddy and woosewoo decided to knot up for a 3,208 chip preflop pot. Check out below to see who stayed and who collected $2,200.00 in sixth place:

RSS readers please click through to view video

pif-pafdaddy's open shove from the small blind with [7c][Kc] got called by woosewoo's small ace [Ah][5s] and with an ace on the flop [8h] [9s] [As] [Qc] [Tc] pif-pafdaddy got whacked in sixth place ($2,200.00).

Monster slayed

The chimera of ancient Greece was a fire-breathing creature. chimera252 of PokerStars just likes to take chips while multi-tabling. Two hands after pif-pafdaddy headed home chimera252 tried to steal the blinds with an open shove from the small blind for 1,525 chips. sTitCx's two facecards [Qh][Ks] were enough to make the call as chimera252 turned over the small connector. The board toyed with the Supernova Elite throwing several extra outs on the [2h] [4s] [4c] [7h] [4d] but could not connect enough to stay alive, finishing in fifth place ($2,735.00).

Half of four is two

And two players remaining was all that was left at the final table after this hand. With the blinds at 100/200 sTitCx set off a chain reaction of bets that would leave turataika and messier111 in a three-way all-in and 7,504 chips in the middle. Watch below as one player skated away with it all:

RSS readers please click through to view video

turataika's pocket tens [Td][Tc] held messier111's sevens [7c][7s] and sTitCx's sixes [6d][6s] at a big disadvantage. However, messier111 covered all bets and nailed a third seven on the [Ks] [7h] [9d] [Qh] [Qd] board taking down the 7,504 chip pot and showing the door to sTitCx in fourth place ($3,350.00) and turataika in third ($4,500.00).

Woo woo!
9,813 to 3,687 chip deficit would only take five for woosewoo to overturn and take down the April 2013 Battle of the Planets title. With the blinds moving up to 125/250 ante 25 and woosewoo flipping the chip advantage towards the Hungarian after winning a big flip of fours against big slick with woosewoo's pocket fours making it through the [9h] [2d] [2c] [5s] [Jd] board for the win.

Seven hands later and woosewoo holding a 9,523 to 3,977 chip lead, the Hungarian would min-raise from the button as messier111 called. [Kh][6c][4c] flop got messier111 to play possum as woosewoo followed through with a 375 chip bet and messier111 sprung to life with a check-raise all-in. Holding a flopped two pair [4h][Ks] woosewoo quickly made the call only needing to dodge a six as messier111 showed [9d][6h]. Evasion successful as the [8d] turn and [Jd] sealed up the $12,000.00 victory for woosewoo!

April Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout Freeroll results (04-28-13):

Players entered: 538
Places paid: 81
Buy-in: Freeroll ticket
Prize pool: $50,000.00
First place: $12,000.00

1. woosewoo (Hungary) $12,000.00
2. messier111 (Canada) $7,500.00
3. turataika (Finland) $4,500.00
4. sTitCx (Portugal) $3,350.00
5. chimera252 (United Kingdom) $2,735.00
6. pif-pafdaddy (Ukraine) $2,200.00
7. Hanggy (Hong Kong) $1,700.00
8. Bredik75 (Czech Republic) $1,200.00
9. Joellos15 (Netherlands) $775.00

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

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