Online poker giant partypoker has added Netherlands’ highest money earner, Marcel Luske, to its team of sponsored pros. Luske joins the likes of England’s Sam Trickett, Wales’ Robert Romanello, Australia’s Jackie Glazier, and Brazil’s Joao Simao on the brand’s roster.

Speaking about the new development, Managing Director of partypoker Tom Waters stated:

“Adding someone with as much experience as Marcel to the partypoker team is very exciting. He has been in the poker world for a long time and is a respected name so it is a pleasure to see him join and support partypoker. I look forward to seeing Marcel turn back the years on the partypoker LIVE circuit!”

Marcel Luske, nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” has earned many accolades over the years and has registered two deep runs at back-to-back WSOP Main Events.

Between 2001 and 2014, Luske accumulated six-figure annual sums in all but three years.

Commenting on his latest move, Luske said:

“I have been following the journey of partypoker for many years and have been playing in all the partypoker LIVE events recently. I look forward to being part of this new era with partypoker.”

Published in Poker Gossip

Cassidy Battikha emerged victorious at the LIVE Grand Prix Canada, beating 2,570 players to take home a cool $84,050. With a CAD$14,000 entrance fee, a prize pool which exceeded the events CAD$500,000 guarantee was on offer.

The 100 online qualifiers for the event got a Golden Chip, with CAD$20,000 allocated for the player who could last the longest. 

By the time the final table was reached on Day 3, two players were still in the race, namely Kevin Zeidler and top Canadian pro Mike Leah.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Battikha and Karim Abdelhamid remained to fight it out for the title.

But before that, the final three players agreed to deal. Battikha and Karim Abdelhamid locked up at least CAD$62,500 apiece, and Kevin Zeidler CAD$53,450, not counting his CAD$20,000 award, with an additional CAD$20,000 left for the winner.

After Zeidler’s exit, the heads-up duel ended in a jiffy. Battikha’s J-8 beat his opponent’s Q-9 for the victory, and the biggest poker score of his career.

Final Table Results:

1: Cassidy Battikha $84,050

2: Karim Abdelhamid $62,500

3: Kevin Zeidler $53,450 (+$20k)

4: Mike Leah $25,000

5: Leandre St-Laurent $14,580

6: Shahar Ohaion $10,000

7: Emmanuel Kyrkinis $7,500

8: Dilovan Hussein $6,000 

9: Kyle Chang $5,000

Published in Poker Gossip

Raffaele Sorrentino won the €5,300 PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo event, beating 727 to take home the PSC title, and its €466,714 ($508,281) first place prize. This win helped him take his career earnings to $928,135.

Speaking about his latest triumph, Sorrentino commented:

“Last week, I felt that I could win. And then when I was here, it was day after day, getting nearer and nearer. And finally, I’ve won.. I’m really happy. It’s just a dream come true.”

The €5,300 PSC Main Event, conducted at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, saw Daniel Negreanu in 51st (€12,080), Dan Smith in 34th (€15,420), Manig Loeser in 28th (€19,840), Paul Tedeschi in 18th (€25,700), Sergio Aido in 14th (€33,600), Bertrand Grospellier in 12th (€33,600), and Davidi Kitai in 7th (€79,750) earn a return on their investment.

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Sorrentino and Klatt were left to fight it out for the main prize. The former held a 3:1 chip lead over Klatt into heads-up play. 

Before starting their battle, the duo locked up €451,714 and €402,786 respectively, leaving €15,000 and the title for the winner.

After a brief tussle, all the chips were in the middle preflop with Sorrentino’s pocket rockets holding up against pocket queens of his opponent.

Final Table Results:

1: Raffaele Sorrentino (It) €466,714

2: Andreas Klatt (Ger) €402,786

3: Andrey Bondar (Rus) €271,500

4: Maxim Panyak (Rus) €199,900

5: Michael Kolkowicz (Fr) €147,120

6: Diego Zeiter (Arg) €108,300

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Philipp Gruissem took down the PokerStars Championship's €25,500 Single-Day High Roller event, beating 58 players and 27 re-entries to walk home with a cool first place prize worth €485,135.

Some notable names that failed to earn a return on their investment included Dan Colman, Mike Watson, David Yan and Erik Seidel.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Gruissem and Steve O'Dwyer were left to fight it out for the title.

The duo struck a deal that made sure O’Dwyer pocketed €494,665 and Gruissem collected €465,135. The remaining €20,000 was up for grabs. After two hands of going all-in blind, Gruissem earned the win for €485,135.

Final Table Results:

1: Philipp Gruissem €485,135
2: Steve O’Dwyer €494,665
3: John Juanda €266,550
4: Justin Bonomo €205,100
5: Oliver Weis €162,450
6: Mikita Badziakouski €127,030
7: Daniel Dvoress €100,000
8: Jason Mercier €78,100
9: Nick Petrangelo €59,350

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Formula One legend Mika Hakkinen has become the latest high-profile name to join the popular online poker website Unibet.

Unibet chose Hakkinen to promote the Finnish-facing site and to help develop Formula 1 content. At the moment it is not clear whether Hakkinen will represent the company in any upcoming Unibet Open tournaments.

Hakkinen, with two F1 titles to his name, is widely regarded as one of the best drivers in the sport.

Unibet has been trying to attract recreational players recently and has roped in non-poker players like eSports streamers to compete in its Battle Royale format Sit & Go's.

It must be noted that Hakkinen does not have any prior experience in the business.

The Unibet brand has been active on this front and has signed Ian Simpson, Dara O’Kearney and Dave Lappin as brand ambassadors earlier in the year. Sam Grafton and Charlotte van Brabander were already on the roster.

There are also reports that Unibet might recruit Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.


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PokerStars parent company Amaya Gaming was fined in New Jersey for allowing wagers from out-of-state players.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) said a “flaw” in geolocation software allowed customers outside the state to gamble at, thereby violating the DGE’s strict intrastate gambling rules.

Amaya was fined $25,000 (€23,500) by the regulator in a decision taken on January 20. However, the decision was made public only this week.

The NJDGE said its investigation proved that “a limited number” of out-of-state patrons were allowed to wager “for a short period of time before a subsequent geolocation check detected such patrons and blocked them”.

The NJDGE added that PokerStars has now updated its software to ensure course correction.

The DGE said it found “sufficient legal and factual support” to explain the imposition of a $25k fine on Amaya US Services Ltd., which executed a stipulation of settlement with the DGE.

 Last year, gaming technology supplier GAN too was dealt with in a similar manner by New Jersey for having “inadvertently activated software" that enabled six out-of-state gamblers to wager via Betfair Interactive.

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Tennis icon Boris Becker is the latest high-profile name to join the partypoker bandwagon in an ambassadorial role. This isn't the first time the German has assumed such a role. He was earlier associated with PokerStars from 2007 to 2013 as part of the Team SportStar. 

Just to mark the occasion of Becker's signing, the company has launched a special promotion for its players called Beat The Ace. The site's players will have a chance to play four $5,000 freerolls, with the final winner setting up a heads-up clash against Becker for up to $25,000.

Confirming the collaboration with the tennis star, Tom Waters, Group Head at partypoker, said:

“Boris’ mental strength and desire to win will make him a tough competitor at the poker table, and I’m sure he’ll test our players as part of the partypoker Tennis Missions promotion!”

Becker's resume boasts of $111,417 playing live poker tournaments. His best performance came at the 2009 WPT $25,500 Championship Event, where he finished 40th place for a $40,855. Earlier this year, Becker put up a good show at the £5,000 WPT UK Festival, finishing 13th for £15,000 ($18,278).

Speaking about his new role at partypoker, Becker said:

“There are a lot of similarities between tennis and poker. Tennis rankings have been instrumental in turning tennis players into superstars recognized the world over. I hope to be able to help do the same for poker and poker players.”

On Tuesday, Becker and Novak Djokovic parted ways after a three-year association. With plenty of time on his hands, one wonders whether Becker will take more keen interest in his performances on the felt going forward.

Published in Poker Gossip

Wai Yong emerged victorious at the 2016 Triton Super High Roller Series Main Event to take home the first prize for $2,097,622.

44 players participated in the HK$500,000 (US$63,400) buy-in tournament, which had a prize pool of US$6,285,640 on offer.

Some of the big names that were part of this high-profile event included Tom Dwan, Dan Cates, Fedor Holz, Mustapha Kanit, and Erik Seidel. 

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left between Yong and Bryn Kenney to fight it out for the main prize.

Going into the heads-up round, Yong held a 2-1 chip lead over his last opponent.

This duel didn't last long and the final hand of the game wa splayed when Bryn Kenney went all-in preflop holding K-9. Yong, with K-10, made the call. With no help from the community cards, Bryn had to settle for a second place finish for $1,401,694.

Final Table Results: 

1: Wai Kin Yong $2,080,557
2: Bryn Kenney $1,401,694
3: Sergio Aido $848,557
4: John Juanda $584,560
5: Winfred Yu $402,275
6: Peter Chan $301,712
7: Wai Chan $245,145
8: David Peters $213,709
9: Arnaud Romain $207,430

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James “Flushy” Dempsey emerged victorious at the Grand Prix Poker Tour Brighton Main Event for a first place prize of $40,000. In doing so, he beat a strong field of 2,100 at the Amex stadium to take his live earnings to $2,062,726. Flushy also boasts of $1,075,976 in online winnings.

224 players made it to Day 2 of the $109 buy-in tournament, ensuring at least $330 for their efforts. Nine players made it to the final table after a four-hour long battle.

After a series of eliminations, it was left between Dempsey and Tom Simm to fight it out for the title. The former held a 24m to 17.6m chip advantage over the latter.

The final hand of the contest was played when Dempsey (10d-9d) and Simm (8d-7d) went all-in on a Q-J-2 flop with two diamonds. With no help from the turn and river, Simm had to settle for a second place finish for $24,000.

Final Table Results: 

1: James Dempsey $40,000
2: Tom Simm $24,000
3: Seth Webber $16,000
4: James Alsop $12,260
5: Ken Priestnall $9,000
6: Peter Burgon $7,000
7: Paul Nugent $5,500
8: Jamie Robinson $4,000
9: Jaraslaw Szwarc $3,000

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Poker players to find a mention in the recently released list of wealthy and high-profile figures who used an offshore tax haven to deposit their wealth.

The lid on this was blown open by a whistleblower to show links of the rich and famous with world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

A massive 11.5m documents were leaked revealing names of 12 national leaders, 143 politicians, as well as some Swedish poker players.

Included among the poker players are three men who have previously served a three-year jail term for fraud back in 2011.

According to court documents, they operated a firm in Sweden, also registered in the British Virgin Islands, with Mossack Fonseca as their agent.

After the Panama Papers were leaked, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter highlighted the links of these men and their Nordic gambling site.

Following that, several other parties have now come under the scanner of authorities. These include several Swedish individuals, businesses, and the famous Scandinavian bank, Nordea.

Sweden boasts of one of the highest corporate and personal tax rates across the globe.

After the recent revelations, over 400 Swedish firms and people named in the Panama Papers will be investigated by Swedish tax authority.

Sweden's Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said:

“It is a crime – tax evasion – it is totally unacceptable. I mean, the whole of the Swedish model is based on the fact that you accept and pay taxes.”

The Panama Papers were first handed over to a German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in August 2015. Journalists from over 80 countries across the globe worked on these documents to join the dots.

Interestingly, the full list of names is being worked on at the moment and is likely to be made public in May.

Published in Poker Gossip
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