Chino Rheem created history as he become only the fourth player ever to win three World Poker Tour titles. Rheem achieved this feat after he emerged victorious at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $10,000 Finale in Hollywood for $705,885.

Thanks to this triumph, he is now part of an elite group of players comprising Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen and Anthony Zinno. This win also helped the Californian to take his career earnings to $8,082,134.

In superb display, the 36 year-old pro beat a strong field of 342 players over five days at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino to take home the coveted title.

Speaking about his win, Rheem said:

“With everything I’ve been through and where I’m at in life and where my head’s at, this probably would be the number one [victory], even though it’s not even a million-dollar score. It’s the smallest one I’ve done of the big ones, but this ranks as being up there as far as timing and everything.”

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left for Rheem and Aditya Prasetyo to fight it out for the titel.

The final hand of the heads-up battle was played when Rheem (7-6) moved all-in preflop only to be called by Aditya with K-9. The board ran J-10-4-7-7, which consigned Prasetyo to a second place finish for worth $484,130. Rheem's previous WPT wins include the 2008 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1,538,730, and the 2013 WPT World Championship for $1,150,297.

Interestingly, Rheem's biggest scored arrived at 2008 WSOP Main Event when he finished 7th for $1,772,650.

Final Table Results:

1: Chino Rheem $705,885

2: Aditya Prasetyo $484,130

3: Richard Leger $311,305

4: Adrian Mateos $200,510

5: William Benson $154,585

6: Bryan Piccioli $127,905

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Ruslan Dykshteyn beat a strong field of 2,923 players to win the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for a top prize of $184,705.

Event #9, a $570 No-Limit Hold’em Deep Stack Reentry, went on for four days and created a prize pool of $1,461,500.

Dykshteyn’s win was the second biggest of his career so far, taking his lifetime earnings to $789,314.

Some of the most notable pros to walk home from Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida with a return on their investment included Jerry Yang in 180th ($1,286), Kathy Liebert in 118th ($1,900), Aaron Mermelstein in 33rd ($5,188), and Asher Conniff in 12th ($14,615).

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

However in the heads-up battle, Dykshtey was too good on the night and Mizrachi had to settle for a second place finish for $174,700. His career earnings have nowed increased to $5,698,910.

Final Table Results:

1: Ruslan Dykshteyn $184,705

2: Robert Mizrachi $174,700

3: Casey Kaplan $134,700

4: Darren Rabinowitz $124,700

5: Safiya Umerova $76,144

6: Joel Dickerson $60,625

7: Jose Beznos $45,307

8: Ory Hen $30,692

9: Jonathan Ruiz $21,923

The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will conclude on April 24 with the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions. 

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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.

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Henrique Pinho took down the 2016 Marrakech Poker Open, beating 220 players over three days for a $40,400 first place prize. 

This win took the Portuguese player’s career earnings to $246,730.

Eight players were part of the last day’s action at Casino de Marrakech, with Abdenbi Abida as the chip leader.

The tables turned after a series of eliminations, with Pinho and Patrick Groppi making it to the heads-up round. Coming into the final battle Pinho held a 3:1 chip advantage over Groppi.

The final hand of the tournament was played when Pinho (Ks-10s) and Groppi (As-Ah) went all-in on a Qs-Js-5d flop. With 8s and 6c fell on the turn and river respectively, the Egyptian-Swiss pro had to settle for a second place finish for $253,422.

“Unfortunately, poker in Africa in general isn’t developed at all. Except in Morocco where some nice events are organized a couple of times per year,” he said after the event.

Final Table Results:

1 Henrique Pinho (Portugal) $40,400

2 Patrick Groppi (Switz) $36,250

3 Fahd (Morocco) $21,200

4 Abdenbi Abida (France) $15,400

5 Mathieu Papineau (France) $11,400

6 Ali Mechiche (Morocco) $8,900

7 Van der Ghinst (Belgium) $7,250

8 Mathieu Biague (France) $5,700

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Earlier this week, Amaya Gaming announced the launch of PokerStars' in New Jersey, following a brief soft launch. In order to help the government regulator take a closer look at the product, the company launched its services on a restricted basis last week.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement then gave the necessary approvals to PokerStars so that a full launch could be proceeded with in NJ.

The state's residents will now be able to access poker tournaments and Spin  & Go, but also a host of online casino games, which will accessible via desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

Amaya chairman and chief executive, David Baazov, said:

“We could not be more proud to bring PokerStars to New Jersey; working with our partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, we look forward to providing the most exciting, innovative and secure gaming experience to New Jersey.” 

PokerStars’ full launch plans will be bolstered by the NYX Gaming Group, which has rolled out several slot games along with the operator.

Two of which, ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘Irish Eyes 2’ and ‘An Evening With Holly Madison’, have been included in the early phase.

Matt Davey, chief executive of NYX, said: 

“It’s great to see PokerStars launching in New Jersey with over 20 titles from our studio NextGen; this is part of our six-year licensing agreement with Amaya, and follows the successful launch of our games on PokerStars’ global online casino.”

Sam Hobcraft, director of casino at PokerStars, said:

“NextGen slots have proven to be very popular with our customers in Europe and so we are pleased to be able to offer these games in New Jersey.”

NetEnt too announced that its desktop and mobile games will go live with PokerStars in state after having earned a transactional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Björn Krantz, managing director of NetEnt Americas, said: 

"I am confident that our portfolio offering will support their strategy to build sustainable long-term digital casino growth in New Jersey.”

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Harrison Gimbel beat 408 players to capture the Thunder Main Event in Lincoln for $275,112 first place prize. Gimbel played solid poker over five days in the event that comprised of a $1,308,800 prize pool.

The Florida pro first grabbed headlines when he won the 2010 PCA Main Event for $2.2 million. Back then, aged 19, he became the youngest player ever to win a PCA event.

Gimbel has been a consistent performer since then, taking his career earnings to $3,737,806.

At the $3,500 Main Event, held at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, some of the big names that earned a return on their investment were Andy Frankenberger in 44th ($7,329), Alan Engel in 39th ($7,329), Paul Volpe in 33rd ($8,507), Olivier Busquet in 27th ($9,685), Taylor Paur in 13th ($16,360), and JC Tran in 12th ($20,025).

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

The final hand of the game was played when Gimbel (5-4) and Charania (K-Q) moved all-in preflop. The board ran J-3-2-5-5 to condemn Charania to a second place finish for $192,132.

After securing a runner-up finish, Charania took to social micro-blogging site to tweet the follow:

“If I was gonna lose heads up at least it was against one of my favorite Jews @Harrison_Gimbel #WPTRollingThunder #wpt”

Final Table Results:

1: Harrison Gimbel $275,112

2: Mohsin Charania $192,132

3: Russell Garrett $123,682

4: Markus Gonsalves $91,616

5: Hafiz Khan $68,712

6: Derek Wolters $54,970 

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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.


Published in Poker Gossip