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Columbus to host Mid-States Poker Tour

The Mid-States Poker Tour is not the biggest poker tournament hosted by casinos in the United States, but it is quite a tempting proposition for local players. In the absence of major series taking place in February and March, these tournaments are bringing together many poker players who don’t mind competing for a guaranteed prize pools of €100,000 and above.Columbus to host Mid-States Poker Tour

The most recent winner of such an event is Brian Arbaugh won the opening event in the aforementioned series. Many more tournaments are scheduled in late January and early February, with Columbus becoming the hotspots for poker players from all over the country. The buy ins are more than reasonable, with players being allowed to buy in for as little as $30 and winners frequently return home win the five digit amount.

If you want to know when the next competition starts and plan on attending several tournaments, check out the complete list of MSPT Running Aces events:

Day Time Event Buy-In
Saturday, Jan. 31 10:00 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em Bounty $30
Saturday, Jan. 31 2:00 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Saturday, Jan. 31 6:00 p.m. Super Satellite $65
Sunday, Feb. 1 10:00 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em Bounty $30
Sunday, Feb. 1 2:00 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Sunday, Feb. 1 6:00 p.m. Super Satellite $65
Monday, Feb. 2 10:00 a.m. NLHE Bounty $60
Monday, Feb. 2 6:00 p.m. Freeroll (2 Main Event Seats Added)
Tuesday, Feb. 3 10:00 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em $30
Tuesday, Feb. 3 6:00 p.m. Super Satellite $65
Wednesday, Feb. 4 10:00 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em $50
Wednesday, Feb. 4 6:30 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Thursday, Feb. 5 10:00 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em $30
Thursday, Feb. 5 12:30 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Thursday, Feb. 5 6:30 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Friday, Feb. 6 10:30 a.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Friday, Feb. 6 4:00 p.m. Main Event Day 1a $1,100
Friday, Feb. 6 7:00 p.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Saturday, Feb. 7 10:30 a.m. Main Event Qualifier $220+30+10
Saturday, Feb. 7 4:00 p.m. Main Event Day 1b $1,100
Sunday, Feb. 8 10:30 a.m. Main Event Day 2

Lisandro wins another AU$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament

Jeff Lisandro is on a winning streak and it looks like the sky’s the limit for this poker professional, who participates in all sort of tournaments. While he is an accomplished Texas hold ‘em player, he also has a talent for prevailing in pot limit Omaha and his most recent accomplishments came at these tables. He bought in for the AU$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament at the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific festival and outshined more than 300 players.

Jeff Lisandro Winner ShotsThere were plenty of Australian players to beat, which is only natural since this tournament is held on the continent, but very few of them were a match for Jeff. He is a multiple WSOP bracelet winner and by prevailing in this tournament, he added the sixth coveted bracelet to his collection. There are not many players out there who can beat him in a competitive game of Omaha, with those who made the final table being fully aware of the danger.

The winner was guaranteed a prize exceeding AU$50,000, while the one finishing in the second place had to settle for AU$30,000. The final table was comprised of eight players, but two of them were eliminated at the end of Day 2, which meant that only six of them returned for the final act of the competition.

Jeff Lisandro was not the chip leader but he lasted long enough, to see three more players being sent to the rail and then he made his move against Zane Ly. Throughout Day 3, he was the player to dominate the tables and doubled up twice, but in the end he was eliminated in the third place. With the vast majority of his chips going to Jeff, Lisandro had no problem in wrapping things up when heads-up began. He had a significant advantage over Jason Gray and it took less than half an hour for the winner to be decided.

This is how the final table shaped up and the prizes collected by the eight finalists:

1 Jeff Lisandro $51,660
2 Jason Gray $31,931
3 Zane Ly $22,771
4 Gary Benson $16,563
5 Paul Sharbanee $12,282
6 Paul Mac $9,282
7 Stephen Woodhead $7,146
8 Oliver Gill $5,603

Jeff Lisandro also made a deep run at the World Series of Poker in 2014 and is among those who frequently participate in the flagship tournament. He will probably travel with his poker buddies to Las Vegas this November to see Daniel Negreanu and McClelland inducted into the Hall of Fame.…

Allen Kessler wins WSOP Circuit Foxwoods trophy

The WSOP Circuit Foxwoods is not exactly the most important stop in the World Series of Poker circuit, but even so, it attracted a record number of players. The prospect of winning the coveted WSOP ring and $170,000 attracted a total of 506 players, with each of them paying $1675. There were no players booking their seats as a result of winning qualifiers, but even so locals and players from neighboring states swarm the casino hosting the event.

pokershoppingThe 2014/2015 World Series of Poker Circuit Foxwoods $1,675 Main Event was the last one scheduled for this series and many of those who participated in the side events also attended. Even though online poker rooms are not allowed to serve US players, many find a way of competing over the Internet and a handful of them came here to put their skills to the test. The winner was guaranteed to win 100 times more than he invested, with nine players making the final table.

It took three days for 15 players to be left in the race and immediately after the bubble stage came to an end, action picked up speed. Chris Lovett had a lot of chips in front of him at some point, but he squandered his advantage and he was the first eliminated, with four players following. Once the final table began, Allen Kessler took the initiative and he sent two players to the rail in the first 30 minutes.

This made it possible for him to consolidate the advantage over Greg White and Mark Dube, players that he eventually faced during three handed play. Greg was the first to be eliminated, which made it certain for the remaining two players that they wouldn’t go home with less than $100,000. Allen was ahead in terms of both stakes and morale, raising aggressively hand after hand, until Mark Dube had no choice but to commit all his chips.

This didn’t end up well for him as he lost it all in one hand, finishing second for $105k, while Allen Kessler went on to win the 2014/2015 World Series of Poker Circuit Foxwoods $1,675 Main Event. This is how the final table looked like and the amounts collected by the nine finalists:

1 Allen Kessler $170,031
2 Mark Dube $105,103
3 Greg White $76,791
4 Hilary Dombrowski $56,940
5 Alex Rocha $42,785
6 Mike Quibble $32,662
7 Kevin Darouvar $25,306
8 Matt Zola $19,851
9 Michael Lavoie $15,837

Dan Smith loses lead in GPI leaderboards

The Mid-States Poker Tour Majestic Star came to an end, with the main event being the final milestone and it was Brian Zimcosky who emerged victorious. The poker player has the reputation of making deep runs in various tournaments and he lived up to it, by making the final table of the main event. This is not the first time that he competes in a tournament hosted under this brand, with his most recent performance being a third place in March.table

Back then he won almost $30,000 and now that he emerged victorious, he was awarded twice as much money, not to mention the pride of outshining more than 220 players. The final table featured nine players and there was no shortage of poker professionals among those who survived the first day. One of those who were expected to make the final table was Chad Holloway, a poker player who has a lot of experience in both live and online poker tables.

He did a fine job in the first day and brought a decently large stack to Day 2, but he couldn’t follow through and failed to make the final table. The bubble burst before Mike Deis was eliminated, which means that Michael received $2000, the amount corresponding to the one who finished in the 26th place. Joel Casper looked like a strong contender for the final table but he was stopped in his tracks and came just four places shy of making this deep run.

Brian Zimcosky and Alex Kaufman quickly emerged as favorites to win the trophy as both of them were among the chip leaders at the final table. Each of them caused the elimination of two other players and consolidated their position at the top of the food chain, setting the stage for the heads up. The terms of a potential deal were discussed, but since the two players couldn’t reach a conclusion, they had no choice but to play under the final hand was dealt.

It was the right decision for Brian Zimcosky who won it all and $61,000 as one can see below:

Place Player Prize
1 Brian Zimcosky $61,870
2 Alex Kaufman $36,459
3 Brad Sailor $20,992
4 Bob Chow $17,017
5 Gerald Siemienas $13,528
6 Paul Fisher $11,048
7 William Luciano $8,839
8 Mike Mustafa $6,629
9 Bryan Schultz $4,419
10 Brad Rhodes $2,873

First $15000 Full Tilt Poker Jackpot SNG won by Russian female player

The news about a Full Tilt Poker Jackpot SNG awarding a first prize of $15,000 sent shockwaves among poker players who prefer online action over live casinos. The idea behind this competition was straightforward, with players being invited to participate in regular tournaments, while competing for a lot of money. In order to be eligible for a five-digit paycheck, players didn’t have to risk more than $10 out-of-pocket, as pretty much any sit and go would qualify.pokershopping

Everything that one hopes to learn about the structure of these tournaments and what makes them eligible for $15,000 can be found at Players are supposed to sit down at the tables and follow the routine, with the software announcing the ones that will be competing for the massive paycheck. Everything is random, so regardless of the game of choice all the players have exactly the same chances of boosting their bankroll it

The first winner is a female poker players from Russia who was playing in a $10 sit and go and discovered with satisfaction that the payouts were generously boosted. By the time she realized that instead of a regular double digit amount she had a chance of winning $15,000, the 23-year-old student was shocked. This didn’t have a negative effect on her game, because she kept pushing her opponents and didn’t settle for a consolation prize.

Speaking of which, the one who finished third received $2,000, while the runner-up took home $3000, more than they were expecting. Alisa became the first tournament winner to take advantage of the new Full Tilt Poker campaign and her achievement serves as an example to fellow poker players. These freezeout tournaments are immensely popular at the aforementioned poker room, mostly due to the fact that they take little time to complete.

Players don’t have to wait for a long time at the tables and even if you are not playing at full potential, you don’t have to worry about fatigue hurting your game. The $15000 Full Tilt Poker Jackpot SNGs are bound to continue in August, but it is not certain how long the boosted payouts will be awarded. This means that those who have an account with this poker room, should take advantage of this promotion while it lasts and hopefully add thousands of dollars on top of their regular payouts.…

GPI announces the American Poker Awards

The Global Poker Index is one of the most respected authorities when it comes to ranking poker professionals, due to the fact that their leaderboards are always accurate. The best poker players are trying to improve their position on these lists, because this is the definitive proof that they are doing great at live tournaments. Not surprisingly, the GPI is gaining a lot of traction and the best proof that they plan to expand, is that they will organize the American Poker Awards.

It is a competition that plans on rewarding the most successful players from North America, the place where poker was invented and perfected over the years. It is a bit ironic, that right now American players are not allowed to play their favorite game over the Internet, but there are good signs that legislation is slowly changing. Lawmakers are contemplating the possibility of passing favorable laws and eventually, things will return to normal although it might take a while for that to happen.American Poker Awards

As far as the GPI tries to achieve, they plan on bringing together the top American poker pros and host a festivity that is very similar to the European Poker Awards. On this side of the Atlantic, players are receiving trophies every year and the first edition took place more than 13 years ago. Being nominated and winning a prize is a reason of great pride for the recipients and it comes as no surprise that the names are easily recognizable by those who are even remotely interested in poker.

Depending on what happens at the World Series of Poker, American players can improve their chances of being the first to win a prize at the upcoming awards. To get a general idea about the favorites, it is enough to check out the GPI player of the year and top 300 leader boards. Granted this players from the United States have to go online elsewhere and compete over the Internet from beyond borders, they are doing a good job and have a decent chance at winning an award.

The organizers are poised to improve brand recognition worldwide and such a competition has the potential of establishing the Global Poker Index as a top player. More details regarding the upcoming awards are to be unveiled as we don’t even know the location for the ceremony. It would come as no surprise if the organizers will choose a place in the United States to award the prizes, especially with their new project involving a poker magazine to be launched in Las Vegas.…

Kyle Bowker wins No-Limit Hold’em Main Event Championship

The WSOP National Championship acts as a magnet for those who want to boost their bankroll ahead of the World Series of Poker. The two competitions are quite similar just as the name suggests, but the buy ins are far more affordable for the former. Kyle Bowker can afford to participate in pretty much any live poker tournament and he’s expected to feature in Las Vegas among other poker professionals in June.

Meanwhile, he was inspired to join the other 325 players in the tournament hosted by a casino in Philadelphia and gladly paid $1675 to participate. The No-Limit Hold’em Main Event Championship exceeded expectations and the prize pool surged far beyond the guaranteed amount. An eclectic mix of poker professionals and amateurs made this competition even more exciting and the fact that Kyle Bowker prevailed is hardly a surprise.pokershopping

He has played his fair share of live tournaments, but until recently he had to settle for deep runs and plenty of money finishes. It is a bit surprising that this is the first time he wins a big competition, but those who have followed his activity over the last couple of years will see in this achievement a confirmation of his huge potential. Proper bankroll management and unbridled enthusiasm for the game itself kept him going, when everything seemed to be stacked against him.

Reaching the final table was a challenge, but things turned from difficult to insanely complicated when just nine players were left. Jeff Madsen, David Baker, Ryan Eriquezzo, Eric Baldwin and Loni Harwood were all eliminated earlier that day, but the ones still standing were no pushovers. It definitely helped Kyle that all these poker professionals were out of the picture, but he fought a difficult battle nevertheless.

He brought a decent stack to the final table but he was not even remotely close to matching the chip leader’s stack, so he had to take it one step at a time. In the end, Kyle outshined all of them including several WSOPC ring wearers and claimed a prize of $115k. In case you’re wondering how much the other eight players to call, this list will pretty much answer all questions:

  1. Kyle Bowker – $115,920
  2. Justin Liberto – $72,664
  3. Joe Kuether – $52,280
  4. David Bivins – $38,778
  5. Kevin Saul – $29,212
  6. Antonio Payne – $22,342
  7. Timothy West – $17,338
  8. Thomas Cannuli – $13,648
  9. Anthony Minniti – $10,896

Finally some good news for Gus Hansen

When you are widely regarded as one of the best poker players in the world and losses keep piling up over the Internet, it is obvious that you’re doing something wrong. Most people would freak out and stop any activity right away, but that’s why Gus Hansen is different and much appreciated. The Danish poker player keeps going despite all the adversity and he shows no sign of slowing down.

Gus HansenThe last couple of weeks were far better than the last few years combined, with Hansen winning almost $1 million in one weekend. He came $150,000 shy of crossing the threshold, but even so he can consider himself fortunate to have ended the losing streak. In the great scheme of things, not even $1 million would represent much, because Gus is claimed to have lost an eight digit amount over the Internet.

For the time being, Hansen plans on taking it one step at a time and the first baby steps were made in the right direction as he won $320,000 on Saturday. He decided to stick to triple draw tables for a while and after losing a few hands in the beginning of the session, he returns on track and finished the day on a positive note. Most of the money were collected at $2k/$4k 2-7 TD tables against Dan “jungleman” Cates and five other players.

Dan was obviously the top counter candidate for Gus and the one with the best chance of crushing the table, but things took a different and surprising turn. Cates started to bleed chips from the first hand, eventually losing $200,000, while Hansen collected a combined amount of $570,000. Not so long ago, Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom were involved in a very exciting competition ran by Full Tilt Poker, with each of them captaining a team of players who want free rolls.

That was a fun and exciting competition, but this time they didn’t sit down at the same tables, instead Viktor Blom played against Doug Polk. It was a bad decision for the Swedish professional, as the $500/$1000 CAP NLHE tables action resulted in a $300,000 loss. Some of the money were recuperated later in the day, but the weekend itself was disappointing. The fact that Viktor lost the biggest hands due to bad luck alone as he played brilliantly, it is only a pale consolation.

Gus Hansen finished the day as the biggest winner, with $526,000 and the entire weekend filled his coffers with $850,000.…

Strategy in the Final Stages of a Tournament

Your online poker strategy must relate to the place you want to finish. You can play tight-aggressive (TAG) for a ITM finish (in the money). If you still play to win, you have to play more loose-aggressive (LAG) and to assume greater risks – for example, to shove with pocket pairs early.

In small tournaments (eg SNGs of 180 online poker people at Full Tilt), we always recommend LAG approach – largely due to the fact that the first places are awarded more consistent, like playing here. Similarly, satellite type tournaments or steps type tournaments ones, matter much more to come first and therefore to play looser. 1

Strategy for large, medium and small stack.

Play according to your stack size. Big stacks over 30xBB should play aggressive and to use to steal the blinds, game type and bluff squeeze. Need to coerce smaller stacks blinds and do not be afraid to call pre-flop when you have a marginal hand like suited connectors or a big ace.

Players with average stacks (between 15 and 30 BigBlinds) must play slightly tighter than a deep stack, yet to dominate players with short stacks and profit from other players in the same tight situation. You shouldn’t do too often shove preflop in early position without good hands, but stealing the pot is still very important. Most of the action should come from the mid- late position and it is very important not to become pot bound against adversaries with big stack. There are other more effective ways to gather chips than to get in a coin flip with the chip leader of your preflop.

Let’s be honest – small stack players need a miracle right now. If you have less than 10xBB, then you should put your best into play 50% of hands as soon as possible. Much of your game at this point depends on your luck and takes big risks.

Continue To Steal/Defend Blinds

Blinds value (+antes) is massive, which is why preflop pots are very important to steal.

When you’re in the final stages of a tournament, you have to try to steal the blinds in position as often as possible and take advantage of the players’ tight/weak on BBs. As long as you raise or bluff with hands that have outs (suited connectors for example) can still receive calls and to hit a monster.

I have to say two words about blinds occur.…

Norwegian government contemplates the legalization of poker

Norway leads by example and it is frequently cited as an ideal destination for those who cherish quality of life in an open-minded society. Poker players who plan on relocating there might be surprised to hear that the game is still illegal in Norway, although baby steps are being made in the right direction.

norwaypokerThe new government majority contemplates the possibility of legalizing poker and MP Roy Steffensen could be the one to make the decisive move. There are plenty of reasons for why the game should be legal, but so far there were no many willing to carry the flag and fight for this cause. As a result, Norwegian players who are looking forward for this year’s edition of the Norway Championship of Poker have already booked flights and accommodation in Dublin.

The capital of Ireland will act as a gracious host for this major event, between April 5th – 13th  which is frustrating for the numerous Norwegian poker pros. Many have already made a name for themselves both online and in land based casinos, yet they can’t play their favorite game in their own country. In the past, efforts hit a brick wall, given the ruling majority’s opposition, but there are reasons for optimism.

Current Minister of Culture Thorhild Widwey is a big supporter of poker and she is willing to make compromises so that a prominent tournament can be organized in a local casino. This is a small step rather than a giant leap, but for the poker community in Norway it is still something worth celebrating. If everything goes well, a Norwegian Poker Championship could be held in 2015, within borders. If and when it happens, you will find all information about the tournament on the Norwegian casino portal

Among those who made a significant contribution to the cause are Erlan Wiborg and Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsrud with the former accepting a heads-up challenged issued by the poker pro. Erlan bowed to Amundsrud and the professional made his point, with the entire campaign being aimed at promoting poker and speeding up its legalization.