After being unveiled as the official sponsor of this year's WSOP and organizing 888 Poker Live at Aspers London, 888poker has now entered into an agreement with Russian Poker Tour (RPT).

After its launch in 2009, the RPT has conducted several poker tournaments in Eastern Europe, handing out over $30 million in prize money. As per the agreement, the world's second largest poker site will host multiple online satellites through to RPT live tournaments.

The first leg of the new RPT season will be held in Belarus' Minsk from April 2-11. The headline act of this stopover will be the $990 Main Event, with the winner expected to walk away with $50,000.

Among the big names that will be present at the main include Russia’s Oleg Suntsov and Dimitry Stelmak, Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyuk, Moldovan pro Fedor Zapsha, and Italy’s Paolo Palmieri.

Interestingly, 80% of the field is expected to be comprised of amateurs.

Commenting on the Russian Poker Tour, Russian pro Anatoly Filatov said:

“My first RPT was in Kiev around five years ago. It was my second live event series. Everything was new, I was excited and a bit nervous and couldn't wait for the beginning of the event.. Since those early years, a lot of new things changed. The RPT grew in a large structure, and has spread into different countries such as Ukraine, Montenegro and others.” 

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After PokerStars, 888poker has become the latest high-profile online poker room to revamp its loyalty programme.

Under the new program, 888poker will switch from a rakeback model to a system based on challenges, tokens and level progress.

The '888poker Club' will be launched on March 28. Customers will be rewarded when they are are complete challenges on poker, casino and sportsbook.

On completion of a target, customers will climb up the ladder to receive Gold Tokens that can be exchanged for a prize.

When a player moves up five levels, he/she will get a Club Scratchcard. Interestingly, nobody will be demoted even if the service is not frequently used.

Cashback commitments under the current scheme will remain as they are despite the revamp of the program.

888poker said the following about this latest decision:

“We'd like to assure you that despite these major changes, 888poker will fully honour its cashback commitment to all players, including its VIPs, who are currently entitled to yearly cash back in the existing rewards plan.

“Moreover, any reward points players accumulated in the current rewards programme will be automatically transferred to Gold Tokens, with equal value, in the new 888poker Club and will continue to be redeemable any time.

“The cashback available in our current rewards programme will likely not correspond to that offered in the new 888poker Club.”

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The schedule for 2016 WSOP - the greatest poker tournament event one the planet - was released earlier in the week by the organizers.

Like most previous editions, the annual celebration of the world's best poker talent will commenced with Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em on June 1st. The WSOP however will run until July 12 when Event #69: $1,111 Little One for One Drop will be conducted.

Just like last year, this edition too will comprise several events that have previously captured the imagination of players, including the $565 buy-in Colossus II that drew a vast field of 22,374 players. With re-entries, a prize pool worth $11.2 million was created last year at this event.

This season will witness Colossus II run from June 2 until June 6. However, there is a major difference. Last year, the winner pocketed $638,880 for first place, while this time that person will take home at least $1 million.

$565 Pot-Limit Omaha event will feature as part of eight brand new bracelet tournaments this year. This is an attempt by the WSOP to encourage more participation in lower buy-in events.

A $1,000 Tag Team event is part of the schedule this time around. The last time this format features in the WSOP was way back in  1983.

Under the rules, four player teams to compete against one another, till we have a final winne, members of which will get a bracelet each.

The all-important main event will commence on July 9. There is good news for players as their starting stack will be increased from 30,000 to 50,000 chips. That's not all. 15 % and not 10% of the total player pool will finish in the money this year.

Commenting the 2016 WSOP schedule, Tournament Director Jack Effel said:

“Our schedule this year really runs the gamut for all levels of poker enthusiasts, so we hope you will peruse the events and make your plans to join us this summer at the Rio.” 

The complete schedule for the 2016 World Series of Poker is available on the official website.

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James Woods is one American celebrity who not only supports poker events but also raises his voice in favor of its legislation in the country. He is often seen taking part in several poker tournaments.

The Hollywood actor's first good performance at the poker table arrived in 2004. Recently he registered yet another memorable win in Southern California at the L.A. Poker Classic series at the Commerce Casino.

Woods took down Event #37: $1,100 Omaha 8 or Better, overcoming 87 players to win $21,065 in prize monies. A prize pool worth $88,000 was created at event that also had a Remington Trophy memento up for grabs.

Woods was in sensational form at the two-month long L.A. Poker Classic, with six cashes at the series.

His latest win took the 68-year-old's live earnings to $194,488. This particular event has turned out to be lucky for him, as his previous best show also came at the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic. Back the, Woods finished the $10,000 Championship Event in 24th out of 692 entries for $39,859.

 

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Charlie Carrel beat 66 players to win the EPT Dublin €10,300 Single-Day High Roller for €164,500 ($185,104) in prize money. With 23 re-entries, a prize pool worth €863,300 was created for the event.

Charlie Carrel's first tournament cash in came in April 2014. He ended the year with $186,221 in winnings. In 2015 with a big win at the Monte Carlo €25,500 High Roller event, the Briton took that tally to $1,509,380. Carrel has already added a cool $507,974 to his bankroll in 2016, talking his career earnings to $2,203,575.

To secure his latest win, the UK poker pro had to beat some of the best players on the circuit like Steve O’Dwyer, Mustapha Kanit, and Mike McDonald, Mark Radoja, Jeff Rossiter, and Dominik Nitsche.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left for Carrel and Nitsche to fight it out for the title.

The final hand of the heads-up battle was played when Carrel (A-A) and Nitsche (A-Q) went all-in preflop. The board ran J-10-5-4-8 to hand Carrel the coveted EPT title, while Nitsche had to settle for a second place prize of €139,450.

Final Table Results:

1: Charlie Carrel (UK) €164,500

2: Dominik Nitsche (Germany) €139,450

3: Mark Radoja (Canada)

4: Francois Billard (Canada) €128,120

5: Paul-Francois Tedeschi (France) €66,480

6: Demetrio Barreca (Italy) €51,800

7: Jeff Rossiter (Australia) €41,000

8: Senh Ung (UK) €31,940

9: Viacheslav Goryachev (Russia) €24,170 

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Online poker giant PokerStars will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its iconic Sunday Million tournament by offering players a $10 million guaranteed prize pool. 1,200 free seats will be given away through a weekly freeroll hyper-turbo satellite.

In order to give an opportunity to as many players as possible to play the marquee event, the PokerStars has done away with the single entry format. Players will be able to re-enter the $215 buy-in tournament up to three times.

One can predict a surge in the number of participants in the much-loved Sunday Million tournament on March 20.

Speaking about the much-awaited tournament, Twitch streamer Jamie Staples, who will be hosting a live stream while playing in the event, said:

“The Sunday Million Anniversary tournament is one of the biggest events on the poker calendar. And when you throw in a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and more than a thousand free seats as well, it’s a tournament that every poker player should aspire to play.”

Fans of the Sunday Million will know that the first edition of the tournament was held on March 6, 2006, with 5,893 players with a 1,178,600 prize pool. One can safely say that the winner of the 10th instalment will take home a cool $2 million.

In order to cover the $10 million guarantee, PokerStars will need around 50,000 players to enter the competition. However, none of the previous anniversary tournaments have failed to achieve their guaranteed targets.

The 4th anniversary ($4m guaranteed) witnessed participation from 36,169 players for a prize pool of $7,223,800, while 9th anniversary ($9m guaranteed) event had 50,432 players registered, creating a total prize pool of $10,086,400.

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Chris Leong emerged victorious at the WPT Winter Poker Open Championship, beating a field of 1,171 players for a $816,246 payday.

The $3,500 buy-in WPT Winter Poker Open Championship, held at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, saw a pool worth $3,748,371 being created.

Leong played solid poker for six days to take home the coveted WPT title.

The New York resident has been a regular on the poker circuit since 2010, but this latest triumph was the biggest score of his career, which boasts of $1,194,968 in lifetime earnings.

Some of the notable players that managed to earn a return on their investment during the World Poker Tour’s stop at the Borgata Hotel included Mukul Pahuja in 24th ($16,868), Aaron Mermelstein in 19th ($16,868), Kane Kalas in 17th ($20,054), Kou Vang in 15th ($29,987), Aaron Overton in 11th ($44,793), and Keith Morrow in 7th ($131,193).

Interestingly, Chris was the shortest stack on the final day of the event that had players likes 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, and 2009 WPT winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko.

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

At the heads up, Yaraliyev held a 21.7m to 14.3m chip advantage over Leong. But the later emerged on top for 106 hands. The final hand of the game was played when Leong (A-8) went all-in preflop. Yaraliyev called with pocket queens. The board ran A-6-4-J-5 to consign Rafael Yaraliyev to a runner-up finish for $487,288, while Leong scripted a memorable win.

Final Table Results:

1 Chris Leong $816,246

2 Rafael Yaraliyev $487,288

3 Liam He $297,995

4 Joe McKeehen $249,267

5 Yevgeniy Timoshekno $206,160

6 Matthew Wantman $166,803

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Despite playing professional poker for several years, Joe Reddick won his tournament in the last week of January 2016. Though he registered his first tournament cash in 2009, Reddick had to wait for almost six years to break the jinx.

Reddick won Borgata Winter Poker Open $1 Million Deep Stack to achieve a definitive career milestone by beating a field of 3,270 players.

Reddick won $217,792 for his efforts, which propelled his career earnings to $590,282.

A prize pool of $1,307,200 was created at Event #10: $450 NL $1 Million Deep Stack of the Borgata Winter Poker Open, with 300 places being paid.

Among the notable players who earned a return on their investment were Ryan Olisar in 100th ($1,902), Tyler Patterson in 77th ($2,219), Kevin Saul in 62nd ($2,739), Jamie Kerstetter in 61st ($2,739), Greg Himmelbrand in 44th ($3,487), Zo Karim in 13th ($8,242), and Mike Linster in 11th ($11,412).

Ten players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left between Almog Biton and Reddick to fight it out for the title.

However, Reddick was in fine form during the heads-up to consign Biton to a second place finish for $142,268.

Final Table Results:

1 Joseph Reddick $217,792

2 Almog Biton $142,268

3 Hector Chevalier $93,260

4 Jason Bral $78,298

5 Farid Jattin $63,716

6 Tony Cheng $50,058

7 Theofanopoulos $36,772

8 Cathy Dever $24,726

9 Mike Wilson $17,752

10 Bill Miller $11,412.

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Ari Engel emerged victorious at the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event, beating a strong field of 732 players for a top prize of AUS$1.6 million (US$1,120,110).

Engel played solid poker to register the biggest score of his professional career. Thanks to his latest triumph, the Canadian's tournament earnings were stretched to $3,369,505. The event, conducted at Melbourne's Crown Casino, consisted of a prize pool worth AUS$ 7.32 million (US$5,124,507).

Some of the big names the managed to earn a return on their investment were Liv Boeree (80th), Joe Hachem (79th), Max Silver (72nd), Tony Hachem (65th), Mustapha Kanit (59th), Philipp Gruissem (51st), and Stephen Chidwick.

Seven players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Tony Dunst and Ari Engel had to battle it out for the title. Engel had a 12.35m to 9.52m chip advantage over Tony Dunst into heads-up. It took 123 hands and four hours of poker, before the deciding hand before the main event concluded.

The final had was played when Engel (J-7) moved all-in on a 10-4-2-J-9 board. Dunst (A-4) made the call that condemned him to a second place finish for AUS$1 million, while the former was declared champion.

Final Table Results:

1 Ari Engel (Can) $1,600,000

2 Tony Dunst (USA) $1,000,000

3 Samantha Abernathy (USA) $625,000

4 Alexander Lynskey (Aus) $445,000

5 Dylan Honeyman (Aus) $340,000

6 Kitty Kuo (Taipei) $270,000

7 John Apostolidis (Aus) $210,000

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Paul Hoefer emerged victorious at the Aussie Millions $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event, beating 190 players for a cool A$106,920 (US$74,515) in prize money.

Hoefer played solid poker over two days to take his not just capture LK Boutique Aussie Millions championship ring but also stretch his live career earnings to $1,046,853.

The German has been on a solid run in the last couple of years. In 2015 he registered the biggest score of his career with a win at the WSOP $1,111 No Limit Hold’em Little One for One-Drop event for $645,969, beating a strong field of 4,555 players.

This latest win was Hoefer's second biggest career score.

10 players made it to the final table. After a series of eliminations, Hoefer had to battle it out with Alex Grocott for the title.

The former held a 1.75m to 1m chip advantage over his opponent, as the heads-up commenced.

It did not take him much time to outclass Grocott with the final duel lasting less than 30 minutes.

Hoefer (K-3) and Grocott (10-5) went all-in on a K-10-4-J-K board. Grocott had to be content with a runner-up finish for A$70,565, while Hoefer was crowned the champion.

Final Table Results:

1 Paul Hoefer A$106,920

2 Alex Grocott A$70,565

3 Mogens Hansen A$44,890

4 Vic Spadavecchia A$36,335

5 Robert Nguyen A$28,905

6 Frank Williams A$23,510

7 Karib Yustinus A$19,235

8 Najeem Ajez A$14,960

9 Piyush Gupta A$10,685

10 Michael Tomeny A$8,550

 

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