Some of the biggest names in the poker circuit were honored for their performances in 2016 at the recently held 8th Annual Swedish Poker Awards took place recently. Sweden’s Player of the Year (POY), a title that has been won by high-stakes online cash player Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson, too was handed out at the ceremony.

This year that honor belonged to Simon “C Darwin2” Mattsson who also won a separate award for Achievement of the Year. Mattsson has amassed $4,988,194 playing online tournaments, including $3,007,385 on PokerStars under the screen name C Darwin2. He has accumulated another $693,128 at live poker events.

Last year, Mattsson won $3.5 million online and $102,237 from live tournaments. Commenting on his solid show, he said:

“It is very rewarding to receive awards when so many others have also accomplished great achievements and results during the year. The most important thing for me right now is to try to be humble and to realize that every year might not be like 2016. It is a matter of not becoming content, to keep my feet on the ground and to not think I am better than I really am."

With this award, Mattsson joins the likes of the 2-times WSOP winner Chris Björin (2010), WSOP champion Alexander Anter (2011), and the 2013 EPT London winner Robin Ylitalo (2013).

Other players to receive awards at the Annual Swedish Poker Awards included Simon “Dybban” Lindell for Ambassador of the Year; “DeathByQuads” for Breakthrough of the Year; and amateur player Bo “Tommy” Alm for Regarding Player of the Year.

Published in Poker Gossip

Michael Hahn emerged victorious at Heartland Poker Tour’s Ameristar Casino East Chicago leg’s main event, beating 590 players to take home the first place prize of $190,417.  The $1,650 buy-in event had a pool worth $849,866 on offer. 

Hahn has now taken his career earnings to $1,029,818 thanks to the biggest payday till date.

Some of the notable names to have earned a return on their investment included Ravi Raghavan in 56th ($3,047), Eddie Ochana in 50th ($3,300), Shiva Dudani in 43rd ($3,893), Dash Dudley in 22nd ($5,585), Fadi Hamad in 14th ($9,732), and Nadya Magnus in 11th ($13,032).

After few days of intense poker, nine players made it to the final table. Post a series of eliminations, Michael Hahn and Nikola Budrakoski remained to battle it out in the heads-up round.

The final hand of the game was played when Budrakoski shoved his remaining 13bbs pre-flop with pocket fives. Hahn made the call with Ad-6d, and hit a flush to condemn Budrakoski to a second place finish for $117,631.

Final Table Results:

1: Michael Hahn $190,417

2: Nikola Budrakoski $117,631

3: Daniel Loizzo $77,095

4: Jacob Baumgartner $53,569

5: Vihn Tran $38,928

6: Joseph Elpayaa $30,212

7: Brekstyn Schutten $25,388

8: Jerry Siemienas $21,157

 

9: Stan Jablonski $16,925

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Rehman Kassam emerged victorious at the first edition of the PokerStars Festival London Main Event, beating 944 players to take home 89,320 ($111,638). The win helped the 23-year-old to take his career earnings to  $239,498. Commenting on the win, Kassam said “it was great to play at such a big tournament.”

The event, held at the Hippodrome casino in London, had a prize pool of £824,112 ($1,030,037) on offer. 183 players earned a return on their £990 investment. This list included the likes of Luca Pagano in 104th (£1,690), James Akenhead in 89th (£2,105), Liv Boeree in 76th (£2,105), and Diego Gomez in 50th (£2,640).

Eight players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Kassam, Daniel Harwood Eric Cech were left to fight it out for the coveted title. The trio then cracked a deal that saw Harwood take £95,000, Kassam £81,320, and Cech £70,000. This left £8,000 on the table for the final winner. Cech was the first to exit, leaving Kassam and Daniel to battle it out in the heads-up round.

The final hand of the match was played when Kassam (K-10) and Harwood (10-7) went all-in on a 10-6-5 flop. The 4 and Q dealt on turn and river meant Kassam was crowned champion for the inaugural edition.

Final Table Results: 

1: Rehman Kassam (UK) £89,320*
2: Daniel Harwood (UK) £95,000*
3: Eric Cech (Au) £70,000*
4: Yuriy Boyko (Ire) £43,370
5: Clement Tripodi (Fra) £31,510
6: Ludovic Geilich (UK) £22,950
7: Alexis Fleur (Fra) £16,702
8: Lam Van Trinh (UK) £12,150

Published in Poker Gossip

Thomas Boivin emerged victorious at Event #6 of the Aussie Millions - the AU$1,150 No Limit Hold’em Six Max tournament - to take home A$117,950 (US$88,195). The Belgian poker pro outplayed a field of 516 players over the course of two days to mark the second biggest win of his career.

This win has now helped Boivin take his live earnings to $616,583. That's not all. He's also won close to $452,680 playing under the screen name Martom.

The AU$1,150 buy-in tournament, held at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, had a prize pool of A$528,900 up for grabs.

Some of the notable players to earn a return on their investment included Joe Ebanks (48th), Johanssy Joseph (37th), Martin Finger (30th), Duff Charette (31st), Darryll Fish (24th), Daniel Tang (20th), Steffan Sontheimer (17th), and Thomas Muehloecker (14th).

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left for Boivin and Joel Feldman to fight it out for the title.

After a protracted heads-up battle, Boivin was crowned champion, while Feldman had to settle for $78,440 as second place prize.

Final Table Results:

1: Thomas Boivin (Belgium) $117,950
2: Joel Feldman (Australia) $78,440
3: Kitty Kuo (Taiwan) $47,385
4: Francesco Sergi (Australia) $34,225
5: Manig Loeser (U.K.) $23,640
6: Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia) $17,030

 

Published in Poker Gossip

PokerStars' parent company Amaya Gaming has stated that it expects to generate a record revenue for the 12 months through to December 31, 2016.

The company expects its revenues to be in the range of $1.15 billion (€1.08 billion) and $1.16 billion, compared to the $1.07 billion posted in 2016.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to be in the range of $521 million and $526 million, an improvement over the 2016 total of $459 million.

In addition, adjusted net earnings should fall between $364 million and $374 million, up from $291 million in 2015.

Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive of Amaya, commented:

“We anticipate that 2016 will be a record year of revenues for Amaya; we also saw better than expected fourth quarter results from our casino offering, operational excellence program and a successful re-launch in Portugal, all while continuing to take an efficient and measured approach to marketing our product offerings.

“We built positive momentum in 2016 that accelerated throughout the year and which we believe was largely the result of the positive impact of our strategy to improve the poker ecosystem for recreational players and leverage our global competitive advantage in online poker to acquire new customers, cross-sell existing and new customers into our online casino and sportsbook offerings, and maximise the lifetime value of all of our customers.

“We expect to continue this momentum and execute on our strategy in 2017 despite anticipated further headwinds, including continued declines in the value of our customers’ local currencies against the US dollar, which has been significant over the past two years, and the previously announced potential cessation of our real-money online poker offering in Australia.

“We anticipate that certain operational initiatives, including the introduction of a new cross-vertical customer loyalty program, the potential expansion into new markets, our continued focus on achieving product parity in our online casino and sportsbook, and our operational excellence program, will help to both drive our business forward and mitigate these and future headwinds.”

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Bryn Kenney emerged victorious at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (PCB) $50K High Roller for $969,075, taking his career earnings to $13,153,881.

Speaking about his big win, the WSOP bracelet holder said:

“I was in ninth position with seven big blinds but I got my rush. Sometimes you just have to wait it out and fortunately good cards came. The right people busted, I got fortunate spots and was able to win it!”

The $50K High Roller, hosted by the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas, drew 49 entries and 20 rebuys to create a prize pool worth $3,313,035.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left for Kenney and Mustapha Kanit

As the duo went into the heads-up round, Kenney held a 2 to 1 chip lead over Kanit. After a tough duel, the final hand of the match was played when Kenney moved (A-J) all-in preflop. Kanit (9-9) made the call and the dealer laid out a Q-J-2-7-3 board. That was it then and Kanit had to be happy with a second place finish for $695,740, while Bryn Kenney bagged the title. 

“It was a close heads-up match. First I had a nice lead and then he took the lead. Then I showed him a bluff where he could’ve closed the game if he would’ve called there on the river. Fortunately, he didn’t,” Kenney further added.

Final Table Results:

1: Bryn Kenney $969,075
2: Mustapha Kanit $695,740
3: Byron Kaverman $452,220
4: Daniel Colman $341,240
5: Stephen Chidwick $265,040
6: Benjamin Tollerene $205,400
7: Sergi Reixach $162,340
8: Daniel Dvoress $125,900
9: Cary Katz $96,080

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Jason Koon won the inaugural PokerStars Championship Bahamas $100,000 Super High Roller, beating 54 players to take home $1,650,300 first place prize.

In doing so, Koon registered his biggest ever score since 2008. Post this win, Koon took his career earnings to $8,143,080.

Speaking about his latest win, Koon said:

“I think it’s really important to keep my eye on the rail, stay grounded and realize that I’m having a mini-Fedor moment and that’s awesome. But at the same time, there’s a bunch of guys that are more talented than I am so I need to work hard and stay on top of it.”

Seven players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left for Koon and Charles Carrel to fight it out for the title. The duo played out an exciting battle before Koon emerged victorious. The final hand of the game was played when both players checked a K-Q-2-8 board all the way through to the river, which was a J. Carrel’s bet was responded to by Koon by moving all-in. Carrel (k-7) made the call and Koon (Q-8) had enough to clinch the contest.

Final Table Results: 

1: Jason Koon $1,650,300

2: Charles Carrel $1,191,900

3: Daniel Colman $759,660

4: Daniel Dvoress $576,300

5: Byron Kaverman $445,320

6: Connor Drinan $340,540

7: Bryn Kenney $275,060

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Back in November 2016, Dan Smith announced that he was aiming to raise $350,000 for noble causes that were close to his heart. Basically, Smith would match any total donations up to $175,000. However, in just two months, the poker pro has already raised a cool $1.7 million.

Interestingly, just 134 participants raised this big amount. Also, thanks to some generous donors, an additional $125,000 was contributed to the drive after it reached $175,000.  The extra funds were handed to three charities - 350.org, Against Malaria and Give Directly.

Big sums were also contributed by DFS pros Martin and Tom Crowley, helping Dan Smith’s second annual charity drive raise close to $1.7 million. 

Commenting on the same, Smith stated:

“The limited details I know of their story are amazing: two guys who plan on making a huge difference in the world by doing the thing they are the best at: fantasy sports. I can’t say enough great things about these two guys who really epitomize the effective altruism movement.”

This year’s hugely successful charity drive follows last year’s effort which witnessed a donation $140,000 for Smith’s favorite cases. He also put half that amount himself.

It is indeed wonderful to see such good work done by poker players. Giving back to the community is extremely essential and more players need to take up such endeavors.

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The latest innovation by PokerStars to draw more recreational players to the site is called The Deal. This feature is not entirely new, as Full Tilt implemented it back in 2015.

Considering it was very popular with FTP players, Amaya Gaming are hoping it receives a similar response this time around as well.

For a buy-in of either 7 or 70 StarsCoins, players can participate in quick-fire mini poker game. They will be dealt seven cards out of which two need to be discarded in order to form a five-card poker hand.

Players can avail cash payouts based on the rank of their hand. For instance, straight flush hands offers them a chance to enter a spin the wheel progressive jackpot round, with prizes starting from $25,000.

The Deal places less emphasis on skill and more on gambling elements, which appeals to both - gamblers as well as recreational players.

“This introduction of The Deal to PokerStars is great news. PokerStars players get the chance to play an exciting game, and Full Tilt players benefit from the additional liquidity that the PokerStars clients bring to the table. It’s sure to mean that the progressive jackpot builds up at an even faster rate and is triggered more frequently," Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations said.

While this appears as an excellent move on paper. One has to wait and check out how exactly it benefits PokerStars.

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Friday, 16 December 2016 17:22

12 Days of Christmas Promotion at PartyPoker

The best month of the year is here and the festive cheer is already in the air.

This is not just the time to have fun with friends and family but indulge in some of the most exciting things life has on offer.

Playing online poker during this wonderful time of the year can be extremely lucrative since operators tend to put out extremely generous offerings.

Partypoker too is no different and has some fantastic promotions on offer during this time.

For the 12 days of Christmas—25th December to 5th January—Partypoker is giving away a prize to every player. From stocking stuffers to books signed by poker pros, boxing gloves on boxing day, a partypoker MILLIONS Phase 1 entry, $100 cash bonuses, other random bonuses, and even a $2,500 package to the US Darts Masters final - every day holds a little something you’ll love.

This promotion runs daily, from 25th December 2016 until January 5th 2017 - from 00.00 CET to 23.59 CET. 

That’s not all. Partypoker plans to make this Boxing Day extremely special for your and your poker buddies.

This Boxing Day, Partypoker is going all-out with double guarantees, extra tourneys, and we’re even moving our biggest tournament of the week to give you a chance to score a slice of a whopping total prizepool!

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

The Title Fight

Guarantee: $500,000 (up from $250,000)

Buy-in: $215

Time: 20:00 CET

This tourney will also feature partypoker ambassador Carl Froch with a partypoker MILLIONS Phase 1 ticket (worth $675) bounty on his head. Knock him out and it’s yours.

The Uppercut

Guarantee: $100,000 (up from $50,000)

Buy-in: $109

Time: 20:00 CET

High Roller

Guarantee: $100,000 (up from $50,000)

Buy-in: $530

Time: 20:00 CET

Plus, Partypoker's adding an extra $20,000 Gtd 6-Max Turbo High Roller tourney ($530 buy-in) at 22:00 CET.

What better way to add to your relaxing day off than to score your slice of an extra $370,000 in prize pools?

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