Posts Tagged ‘Blackbelt Poker’

APPT Macau Day Two

August 28, 2009

Action is fast and furious at the APPT Macau: Play started at 12:15 with 196 runners out of the 429 who ponied up the HK$40,000 (around £3,170) buy-in.

97 players have since fallen by the wayside including  GUKPT 2007 Grand Final champ Leo Kam who was unfortunate to have ElkY sitting two seats to his left. Elky’s table is an interesting one with a lot of chips flying around – a deep-stacked Tom Hall from the UK is giving as good as he gets, as is the tournament’s starting chip-leader Norway’s Kristoffer Myhre.

The Hit Squad’s Karl Mahrenholz is still chugging away, he’s on the same table as PokerStars pro David Saab who’s stack has yo-yo’d from 8,000 back up to 72,000.

Blackbelt Poker's Sida Yuen, image courtesy of PokerStars blog

Blackbelt Poker's Sida Yuen, image courtesy of PokerStars blog

PokerStars pro Celina Lin (whom I managed to bag an interview with) managed to run Ace Queen into Ace King and has been knocked out, but the story of the day for the UK is Blackbelt Poker Brownbelt Sida Yuen. He’s run his starting stack of 73,000 up to over 270,000 is sitting on a mountain of chips and is currently slapping his table around in the process. After raising UTG Sida four-bet Joshua Ang off a hand when re-raised, effectively putting Ang to the test for his tournament life. He also smashed an opponent’s Pocket Eights with the mighty Ace Nine of spades, tabling two pair to take him over the 270,000 mark.

With Blinds about to go up to 1,200/2,400 with a 200 ante and the average stack at around 80,000 it’s starting to get near crunch time for many players.

The brothers Hachem are still in it and going strong, though Hachem senior (that would be Joe) just got runner, runner two paired – his King’s and Eight’s losing out to Aces and Tens leaving him a distinctly unhappy camper. He’s sitting on around the 55,000 mark.

Full Tilt’s David Chiu has just doubled up with Pocket Nines at the expense of Eric Assadourian to bring the Chinese American pro back into contention.

Poker Stars pro Daniel ‘rekrul’ Schreiber has just taken a hit at the hands of online Aussie whiz kid Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis –flush and gutshot straight draws losing out to the Australian’s top set leaving Schreiber on 79,000 and elevating the Monster to 115,000.

The tourney is on break for the next ten minutes so I’ll be posting again at the end of the day.

Those of you who want to keep abreast of the action can follow it on the Pokerstars blog or the Poker News live updates.

Advertisements

APPT Macau Day 1C Summary

August 27, 2009

Well play has finished for the day and the chips are in the midst of being tagged and bagged as I type.

The official player count has yet to come in but the tourney screen is showing that 86 players look to have made the final cut, though that may drop slightly once the dust has settled.

The official Day 1C chip leader is UK player Tom Hall who’s sitting pretty on 120,700, Blackbelt Poker’s Sida Yuen

Liv Boeree, image courtesy of Poker News

Liv Boeree, image courtesy of Poker News

is sitting on around 72,600 after busting the lovely Liv Boeree, her Pocket Eights proving no match for Sida’s Pocket Queens when all the chips went in. Still a cash of HK$35,500 (£2,826) in the HK$5,000 7-handed event yesterday should take the edge off.

Vic regular James Mitchell also failed to make the cut unfortunately; he was last seen heading for the cash tables with a determined expression on his face. Tournament steamroller JC Tran was also one of the players who just couldn’t get anything going today and he is also out.

Josh ‘JJProdigy’ Field is sitting on a stack of 93,700 though is strangely registered as a UK player rather than a US one, though this may have something to do with the fact he is currently calling Blighty home at the moment.

Brothers Hachem made it through to Day 2 both on around 50,000 chips and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier also made the cut finishing the day on 65,000 after his Pocket Kings held up against an opponent’s over-enthusiastic shove with a gutshot on a 2h 2d 3c board.

After eliminating David ‘Chino’ Rheem Theo Tran was one of the big stacks for most of the day before taking a hit 20-minutes before the end of play after running his Nine-high flush into the nuts leaving him with a stack of 62,600.

The current chip leader is Kristoffer Myhre from Norway who has 183,400. In second place is Peter Nielsen from Denmark with 141,500. In third place is PokerStars Online Qualifier Roel Pijpers from Netherlands with 125,500. They all played Day 1B.

The total prize pool is HKD $16,130,400  (£1.2 million) which makes it the biggest prize pool ever in Asia. Play resumes for Day Two tomorrow at 12:15pm (5:15am GMT) with 196 out of the 429 runners making it past the respective Day 1’s.

Bryan Huang, image courtesy of PokerStars blog

Bryan Huang, image courtesy of PokerStars blog

Work-wise I managed to squeeze in an interview with Asia Team PokerStars pro Bryan Huang who was in a remarkably upbeat mood despite being knocked out of the tournament after being horribly outdrawn by second pair, which effectively crippled him. His short-stacked shove with Pocket Sevens a few hands later lost out to Ace Queen to see him hit the rail. Bryan took down the APT Macau just a scant two-weeks ago and was voted ‘Rookie of the Year 2008’ by Bluff Australasia after cashing in three back-to-back APPT events last year.

Tune in tomorrow for more updates and action, it looks like my interview with Joe Hachem is scheduled for then as well so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Right, I’m off to hit the cash tables up and hopefully make me some money, laters people…

APPT Macau Day 1C

August 27, 2009
Image courtesy of PokerStars blog

Image courtesy of PokerStars blog

The growing popularity of poker in Asia is evident and players and press alike were treated to a flashy opening ceremony featuring a traditional Chinese mask-changing performance complete with Team PokerStars pro Chris Moneymaker as the Chinese ‘God of Wealth’. But then, with a name like Moneymaker that has also become synonymous with poker’s sudden rise in popularity, this is quite apt, if slightly ironic being as Chris was eliminated on Day 1B yesterday.

As is often the case with poker tournaments, it’s the last Day 1 that is always the busiest and Day 1C in the APPT Macau is no exception with 185 confirmed entries.

That makes a total of 429 players, which despite being 109 players down on last years field makes for a record prizepool of HKD $16 million (around £1.2 million) due to the HKD $15,000 increase in buy-in from the 2008 APPT Macau leg. Top 48 get paid with the winner taking home a massive HKD $4,194,000 (£333,246).

It looks like this is shaping up to be one of the toughest starting days so far: Tournament steamroller JC Tran and brother Hien are in attendance as is 2005 WSOP champ Joe Hachem and brother Tony who is also the recent winner of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour.
2008 WSOP final tablist David ‘Chino’ Rheem is here as is New York’s Amnon Filippi in addition to WPT winners David Chiu and Russia’s Yevgeniy Timoshenko.

The UK’s Liv Boeree is also playing today and Team PokerStars sponsored pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier is

Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier

Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier

actually sitting right behind me at table 18, sporting red hair and matching red and black shirt along with trademark sunglasses.

Despite all the high profile American, Australian and Asian players it was first blood for the UK though – Blackbelt Poker’s Sida Yuen enjoyed an early double up to take the chip lead after flopping the nut straight and open-ended straight flush draw holding Five Six of diamonds against his opponents trip Sevens. Needless to say all the chips were in the middle on the flop and with no pair up his unfortunate opponent was the first man to hit the rail on level one… Ouch!

‘Chino’ Rheem has also hit the rail on level three – his flopped set of Fours rivered by Theo Tran’s open-ended straight.

As with the other two starting days there will be seven levels of play today, scheduled to finish at around eight o’clock.

I’m hoping to get that Joe Hachem interview in the bag today, as well as one with Chinese Australian PokerStars pro Celina Lin and hopefully one with another up-and-coming young Asian poker player by the name of Bryan Huang who was voted Bluff Australia’s Rookie of the year 2008.

I’ll let you know how it all goes and keep you posted with a summary of the action a little later on.

For full coverage of the APPT visit the PokerStars official tourney blog here or the Poker News live tournament updates here.

All images courtesy of PokerStars blog.

GUKPT Summer Series Walsall

June 30, 2009

Greetings poker fans, and let me welcome you to another exciting instalment of the happenings of the UK poker scene.

It’s been a busy last couple of weeks for me both on and off the tables and continuing where I left off on Sunday let’s get right back into the thick of the action:

Congratulations are in order for Birmingham’s Vincent Price on taking down the GUKPT Walsall leg of the Summer Series.

Read the full feature here on Poker News UK.

After seeing off a tough field featuring the odd poker professional that included Mickey Wernick and Liam ‘the gentleman’ Flood, Vincent also saw off challenges from seasoned UK tournament circuit players like Maria Demetriou and GUKPT Champion of Champion’s winner Ash Hussain.

Several Cardiff players were in attendance including 6-card PLO sickos Marco Clarke and Rana Gurnham and Neil Channing and Nik Persaud’s stable of Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers in the form of Henry Griffiths (another South Wales boy) John Lundy and Toby Lewis were also on hand to give Mr Price a run for his money.

The price it seemed, was right for 21-year-old Birmingham native and Broadway casino regular Vincent, who was playing in his first big buy-in live tournament (note, not his first live tournament just his first tourney with a buy-in over £100).

After eliminating four of the nine players on the final table, crushing each in quick succession Vince found himself heads-up with 19-year-old Blackbeltpoker.com bluebelt Toby Lewis after Toby dispatched third place finisher Simon Wickenden with the mighty Ace King; which beat Simon’s Pocket Sixes in an all-in pre-flop race.

An epic hour-and-a-half heads-up battle ensued where the chip lead changed hands several times, but it was victory for Vincent when his turned full house on a 6-4-9-4-8 board proved too strong for Toby’s King Nine when all the money went in on the river.

“I’m over the moon, shocked still really, it still hasn’t sunk in yet and I can’t believe it. This is the first big tournament that I’ve ever played in and the first big tournament that I’ve ever bought into before for £500. This is the first real big cash that I’ve ever won,’ confirmed an ecstatic Mr Price, who has been a regular on the Birmingham live circuit for the last three years.

GUKPT Walsall leg winner Vincent Price. Image courtesy of the GUKPT/BlueSquare

GUKPT Walsall leg winner Vincent Price. Image courtesy of the GUKPT/BlueSquare

“My heads-up opponent Toby [Blackbeltpoker.com blue belt Toby Lewis] was solid and was the one player going on to the final table that I didn’t want to get involved in many pots with. He was a very solid player and heads-up went on for an hour and a half – it was a brilliant match against him and all credit to him he was very persistent and he raised my blinds like 90% of the time. He’s played in almost all of the GUKPT’s and I’m sure he’ll win one later on down the line; he’s definitely got the talent for it.”

Both Vincent and Toby agreed to a deal where both took around £16,000 for there troubles and played out for the prestige of the trophy and a seat in the £100,000 Champion of Champion’s tournament held at the end of the year in the Vic.

“I’m really looking forward to December, the Champion of Champion’s event. Funnily enough, when I actually bought into the tournament I didn’t even know that there was a seat for that tournament. It will be a very tough event with all the winners of the other events so it won’t be a walk in the park at all,’ confirmed Vince.

MBN…

Needless to say, while I played in the £200 side event (where I managed to run my Pocket Kings into Pocket Aces in a blind v blind battle on level three… doh!) my cash return for the weekend was somewhat less than £16,000.

I did however manage to make £300 playing in the casino’s local £50 triple-chance deep-stack on Sunday after we all agreed to a 12-way chop.

What? A twelve way chop… Now while deals are part and parcel of tournament poker, I usually like to play them out to a conclusion, but… well being as the tourney didn’t start until 21:30 (after I had finished all my work, obviously…) by the time 03:30 came around with 12 very evenly stacked players left, and still facing a two hour drive back to Cardiff, when someone mentioned some quick, easy money the mercenary in me jumped at the opportunity.

Working nine till five

Well, more like twelve till six by the time I crawled out of bed after arriving home at 05:30am, but I have been cranking out the features this week.

I’ve just sent off my tourney report to Poker News UK so you can read in more detail about the GUKPT’s fine Summer Series.

On a juicy gossip note, after chatting to Jonathan Rabb, the GUKPT tour manager it seems that we might not have seen the last of the Summer Series:

“We have recently bought the Isle of Capri casino, which is in the Rico Stadium in Coventry, that’s now going to be turned into a G-casino and we will be hoping to have a GUKPT event there soon… it’s quite possible that there may well be a Summer Series event 4 in there in September, but we have yet to finalise those details,” teased Jonathan.

He also hinted that the GUKPT maybe Europe bound next year, with a possibility of a leg or two in Belgium as the Rank Group own two casinos out there that have recently started spreading poker games.

Remember folks, you read it here first 😉
SCOOOOOOOOOP!!

Visit Poker News UK for the full low-down.

Right well, I’ve got me some feature to write for Poker Pro Europe as well (I’ll let you know more details closer to the time) and still have to put some work into my Micro-stakes Mission as well as conquer the world of online poker.

Super-stardom here we come…

The Dragon Has Landed

June 1, 2009

Welcome back poker fans, apologies for the long time no post. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, some poker related, some not and have been working, writing and networking like a trooper in a successful attempt clear my workload before taking a well deserved working holiday to the poker Mecca that is Las Vegas.

On a work related note I’ve got a couple of articles due for publication soon. The first is a piece for WPT magazine on 6-card Pot Limit Omaha. Yes that’s right folks, all the mischief and mayhem of its 4-card brother only harder, sicker, faster and more swingy with bigger pots… While it may sound insane it’s also loads of fun and believe it or not, there is some skill involved. Read the feature to find out more; it’s in issue 43 out this month I believe.

I’ve just sold WPT a profile on Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak, which should be out in issue 44.
Phil is an off-the-wall kinda guy, so we have an off-the-wall kind of feature – it was a fun one to write so I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

I submitted a ‘Heads Up’ interview with Roland De Wolfe and Juha Helppi to Poker Pro Europe, which should be out soon – I’ll let you know the details just as soon as I find out when it’ll be in print.

Congratulations to Barry Carter who has just be made the new editor of the UK’s Poker News. This can only be a good thing as Barry is one of the UK poker scene’s more prolific writers and I’m sure the website will go from strength to strength. Check out his ‘Get Carter’ poker blog.

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

On a slightly less work related note I just got back from Vegas this week after a ‘working’ holiday, well actually that’s not strictly true, more a holiday that I intended to combine with work but the interview I had scheduled has been delayed to some other point in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

This is not such a bad thing however as it gave me ample time to indulge in second favourite pastime, playing poker (the first being writing about poker obviously).

While I’m not going to go into details about bad beats and winnings, I came back with more money than I went with and have a few interesting statistics for you:

Out of the 8 Tafia members who went on the trip only four of us were poker players, that being said we did alright for ourselves and learned that the Yanks don’t like to fold middle pair much.

Welsh Busted: 5

Yanks Busted: 34

Brazilians Busted: 1 (I met two, one of whom was a professional pool player who is friends with Maltese snooker pro Tony Drago whom I didn’t bust, the other was called Hannibal – which I thought was quite a cool name, unfortunately for him he didn’t eat me alive…)

Of course take note that ‘Busted’ means taken down to the felt, not just beaten in a pot.

Hours played: 37

So that’s nearly a Yank an hour, rest assured folks next time we’ll do better ;).

A big hello to some of the American guys I ended up playing with, they were a friendly bunch. Most specifically Casey, a Vegas DJ who looked like Seth Rogan and showed my brother and I a great time taking us to an after-hours nightclub at 6am after a 7 hour poker session and getting us in for free.

Casey, if you’re out there bud you’ve got my business card, drop me a line as I managed to lose my wallet that night with your business card in it. Any fan of Human Traffic is always welcome in Cardiff, and yes, it’s just like it is in the film…

Also thanks to Boston Dan, a guy myself and Alan ‘Wheel Warrior’ Wicks ended up playing with all night. We got the whole table gambling like crazies and drinking Jagerbombs – a truly tremendous evening, especially as Alan and myself ended up with most of the money on the table when we finished playing at around 6.30am.

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it 🙂

One Way Poker

What goes up must come down. It took me three days to get over my jetlag but I did manage to finish third in my local deep-stack tournament (at the Grosvenor, Cardiff Bay – location of the August leg of the GUKPT) the day after getting home, which was nice.

I was in Swansea over the weekend at Aspers casino for the launch of the Romanello family’s (yes Roberto and his brothers have decided to make their mark on the world of online poker) new poker website launch.

OneWayPoker.com is an iPoker skin so not only can you play on one of the internets’ largest poker networks you can also find some of Wales’ finest butting heads over the poker tables – and yes we do have some good players…

I spent most of the night ‘networking’ (a posh word for work-related drinking) and had an entertaining evening hanging around with Jon Kalmar who is a thoroughly nice guy. He’ll be hitting up Las Vegas from next Wednesday hoping to repeat chance with another great finish in the Main Event so I wish him the best of luck.

Aside from the Romanello family (including Roberto, obviously…) also in attendance were some of Cardiff and Swansea’s finest including Rana Gurnham, Marko Clarke and Neil ‘Six-card’ Shellard, Full-Tilt sponsored red pro Andrew Feldman, Marc Goodwin, Mickey Wernick and many more who I didn’t get a chance to chat to.

To Leeds and beyond…

Unless the poker gods smile on me in the next four weeks and grant me a WSOP package I will unfortunately be UK grounded for the duration of the Series.

I will however be keeping a close eye on the action and hope that the UK contingent do us proud.

We should have a fighting chance for bracelets this year what with Mr Channing and Mr Persaud’s Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers.

Congratulations to Cardiff (well Newport actually, but if I was from there then I’d want people to say I was from Cardiff…) player Henry Griffiths who qualified for blue belt. While he won’t be going to Vegas (that was brown belt and above) he has got himself a nice deal for playing in some of the UK poker tours fine side events so we wish him the best of luck.

On a UK poker related note I’ll be heading up to Leeds next month to cover the Coral British Masters Poker Tour where I will be hoping for a shot at fortune and glory myself.

Qualify online at www.coralpoker.com, www.galapoker.co.uk and www.eurobetpoker.net for as little as nothing as they are running a series of freerolls from 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are a whole host of other qualifiers and the main event itself is only £500+£50 for a two-day deep-stack.

There’s also a £200 and £100 side event so for those without the bankroll to hit up Sin City, try Leeds. It might not be as glamorous but for quality British poker they’ll be some good play and the chance to win some cash… Show me a downside.

I’ll either be posting next on Friday or Monday (depending on my work schedule) so stay tuned poker fans.

And if all else fails, try Wales…