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.”

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

Poker legend Billy Baxter registered the second biggest win of his professional career after coming 3rd at the L.A. Poker Classic $1,100 $1 Million Guaranteed event for $173,580.

The tournament, which saw 1,840 players take part, witnessed a deal being struck among the finalists with $27,000 being difference between 1st and 4th places.

The L.A. Poker Classic $1,100 buy-in event offered a prize pool worth $1,840,000. Some of the big names that earned a return on their investment included Eli Elezra in 138th ($2,400), Mike Shariati in 132nd ($2,620), Sorel Mizzi in 117th ($3,090), David Pham in 111th ($3,090), Kelly Minkin in 94th ($3,620), Dan Heimiller in 66th ($4,510), John Racener in 31st ($7,070), Cate Hall in 27th ($8,120), and David Baker in 25th ($8,120).

Nine players made it to the final table and after the game eventually reached four-handed play Jesse Vilchez, Aditya Prasetyo, Daniel Barriocanal and Billy Baxter subsequently agreed to divvy the money up with all the remaining players on between 38 and 56 big blinds.

Baxter, after this win, has now taken his career earnings to $2,602,892. The 77-year-old has 7 WSOP bracelets, all in lowball games, and is only behind Phil Ivey (10) in terms of non-Hold’em bracelets won. 

Final Table Results:

1: Jesse Vilchez $185,010*

2: Aditya Prasetyo $186,770*

3: Billy Baxter $173,580*

4: Daniel Barriocanal $162,000*

5: John Conkright $72,320

6: Walter Fisher $58,250

7: Maxwell Lineberger $48,270

8: Lou Ojeda $38,250 

9: Kevin Andriamahefa $28,410

Online poker giant PokerStars has announced that it has started testing a new poker game called ‘PokerStars Power Up’.

According to a blog post on the website, PokerStars described it as a traditional No Limit Hold'em game, with the addition of power cards that allow the player to influence hands and alter gameplay.

Power cards include ‘Clone’, wherein the player is given a copy of the last power played in the hand; ‘Engineer’, which allows the player to select the deck’s next card from three options; and ‘X-Ray’, which makes it mandatory for players to reveal one hole card.

Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars, said:

“Power Up is currently in closed Alpha, meaning that we still have a lot of adjustments to make and many more features to add.

“For these reasons, it’s only available to a limited number of people and real money games are still a long way off.

“We’ll periodically expand the pool of players, while tweaking and adding features, while constantly taking feedback from the participants.”

Rasset further added:

“More projects are in development with one common objective - to bring sustainable growth to PokerStars through exciting new products that people will discover and re-engage with.

“And this will mean that more people will continue to enjoy the great game of poker.”

On the face of it, this looks an exciting new idea from the PokerStars stable. It remains to be seen how the players receive this concept and whether it delivers benefits to the company in the long run.


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.

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

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


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.”

Online poker giant Partypoker has expanded its service offering from online and mobile gaming after the company announced a new live event series for 2017.

The ‘PartyPoker Live’ tour for 2017 will be headlined by the ‘PartyPoker Million’, with every even multi-million dollar prize pools.

The series will also comprise ‘PartyPoker Million Nationals’, where players will vie for guaranteed prize pools over $500,000 (€474,000).

The inaugural series will kick off with the Playground Poker Club in Canada this May.

Tom Waters, group head of PartyPoker, commented:

“With the 2017 PartyPoker Live events schedule, there will be something for everyone.

 “Online qualifiers start from $0.01 on PartyPoker, giving players the opportunity to travel all over the world to take part in some amazing events.”

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