Posts Tagged ‘Griffin Benger’

Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

2016 WSOP Main Event Final TableAs hard to believe as it may seem to some of us, Day one for the Final Table, the “November 9” of the World Series of Poker Main Event, is in the history books. The day saw some back and forth swings of the chip lead between Qui Nguyen and Cliff Josephy. Josephy came into the first day with the chip lead. On the very first hand, Nguyen, who was in second place, came out swinging as he four-bet Josephy to 8,250,00. Josephy quickly folded, giving Nguyen the chip lead.

Qui Nguyen vs Cliff JosephyAlthough that chip lead was exchanged several times between these two guys, the night delivered some unexpected moves that saw almost half the field sent to the rails. First out was the Spaniard, Fernando Pons. When he shoved, Josephy snapped called and Pons was eliminated in ninth place and went home with a million dollars. Not bad for his first time! The eliminated players thus far are:

  1. Fernando Pons (9th $1,000,000)
  2. Jerry Wong (8th $1,100,076)
  3. Griffin Benger (7th $1,250,190)
  4. Kenny Haellart (6th $1,464,258)

Here are the chip counts heading into Day Two of the Final Table:

Seat 1: Vojtech Ruzicka – 62,250,000 (62 bbs)
Seat 2: Qui Nguyen – 128,625,000 (128 bbs)
Seat 3: Cliff Josephy – 63,850,000 (63 bbs)
Seat 4: Michael Ruane – 23,700,000 (23 bbs)
Seat 5: Gordon Vayo – 58,200,000 (58 bbs)

Our eyes and ears at the Rio Hotel and Casino are anxious for the Day Two action to start at the Final Table. It looks like Nguyen could be impossible to beat, but we all know that things can turn around swiftly at the poker table. My wife is pulling for Michael Ruane, however, and it doesn’t look too good for him right now. For both of their sake, hopefully Lady Luck will finally throw some good cards his way.

If you run into any of our guys there make sure to say “Hi” from the team at the Texas Poker Store.

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Texas Poker StoreQueen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

It’s hard for me to believe, but the Global Poker League has completed its seventh week of online action. After this week’s matches are completed, the second phase of the schedule — the GPL’s Summer Series — will begin in Las Vegas on June 6th, making life way more convenient for those players who will also be playing in the World Series of Poker events.

Global Poker LeagueFor those of us who hadn’t spent much time watching poker before, much less finding themselves addicted to the entertainment value of the game, the Summer Series should be an exciting change of pace from the online matches we’ve gotten used to enjoying. First of all, the action will be live on the felt in the GPL’s Las Vegas studio. Second, there will only be Heads-Up matches, but it will be cross-conference action (for the first time) until all the Americas Conference teams have played all the Eurasia Conference teams. As they’ve done in the HU matches online, winners will receive three points per game for their teams and losers receive no points, so a total of nine points per match will be at stake. It will be fascinating to see how the results of these cross-conference games scramble up the rankings.

Of course, the HU action will be live streamed on Twitch, GPL and other platforms globally so we can continue cheering for our favorite team. There are some cross-conference pairings I’d love to see, but for now we only know which teams are playing when (http://www.globalpokerleague.com/schedule/)

The GPL has made the games easy-to-watch as well as highly entertaining for newbies like me by providing Great Content: web cams to get to know what’s going on inside each player’s head (from strategy to analyzing their opponent to how much they love their dogs); excellent interviews (Laura Cornelius and Eric Danis in the Lounge) and two humorous and knowledgeable commentators (Griffin Benger and Sam Grafton during the matches). In other words, there’s enough pure entertainment value so that my lack of poker savvy didn’t preclude enjoying the competition. In the end, I never forgot that I was rooting for the NY Rounders and the LA Sunset, the two teams representing places I’ve spent most of my life.

Team Texas Poker tore's Night HawkOn the other hand, for experienced poker players, the level of chatter and commentary was never dumbed down; the participants all speak the language of poker and it’s been up to me to determine how much I’ve wanted to learn. Suffice it to say that I’ve learned more about poker in the last two months than I’d ever known (considering we’ve owned an online poker supply store for four years) and more importantly, I’ve become intrigued by it. I’ve researched a bunch of terms I didn’t understand, watched late night poker on TV with my husband so we could discuss everything from player position to ranges, bluffing and gut shots and I’m ready to take my place at one of our tables and play.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is all playing out for us, the audience, just as Alex Dreyfus envisioned several years ago. What fascinated me when I decided to make the GPL the focus of my blog was that it was something new in the world of poker: a fan experience with digital content and competition at its core. And its founder, Dreyfus wanted . . . needed ambassadors to help him make poker bigger and more mainstream. Dreyfus knew “this skill game, sport game, brain game, whatever you want to call it” was not just gambling. He also knew that without exploiting its entertainment value and getting the media to talk about it, it would slowly die.

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Queen of Hearts ParisBy: Queen of Hearts Paris   

It’s hard to believe, but the Global Poker League, the creation of Alexandre Dreyfus that began as a concept to shake up the poker world three years ago, is about to embark on its first GPL season tomorrow, April 5th. Although not drawing quite as much attention as the start of the MLB season, every poker-related site has been covering GPL- news steadily since the 12 teams and their team managers were announced, and USA Today is now covering the league in their sport’s section.

Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports and Entertainment

The GPL’s inaugural draft, live-streamed on Twitch.tv, more than lived up to its hype and the suspense that built up before each team’s wildcard picks has kept social media buzzing. It’s clear to me that each of the team managers has not only totally bought into the “poker as a team sport” concept but, more importantly, understands and embraces his or her role as “chief marketing officer and brand ambassador” for their team.

So far, only two team managers (Andre Akkari for the Sao Paulo Metropolitans and Phillip Gruissem for the Berlin Bears) decided NOT to play themselves and chose to name two wildcard players. We’ll fill you in on the remaining wildcard picks as they are revealed

As this series continues, we’ll explore many of the nuances of the league as well as some of the unknowns that are yet to be grappled with. For the time being, however, we know that there will be three online-match days per week every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – either 6-Max matches or Heads-Up matches.

The following is the general schedule announced by the GPL:

  • The GPL Regular Season: April 5th, 2016 –September 22nd, 2016 – Three match days per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • The GPL Summer Series: June 6th, 2016 –July 8th, 2016 – 33 days of daily heads-up battles filmed live on location in GPL’s Las Vegas studio.
  • The GPL Playoffs: (Dates TBA) – The Global Poker League’s Final Eight play for one of four places in the final.
  • The GPL Finals: November 22nd-23rd, 2016 – Live from London at the SSE Arena, Wembley Stadium, where the first ever GPL Champion will be crowned.

Go to http://www.globalpokerleague.com/schedule for a more detailed schedule.

TPS Poker ChipsAs the season progresses, we’ll do our best to keep you informed about each of the teams so you can begin to identify your favorite team and become a fan. Of course, all the action will be carried online and live-streamed on Twitch.tv along with live commentary delivered by online legends Sam Grafton and Griffin Benger. Get on board, poker players! Poker Chips begin flying on Tuesday. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

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