Posts Tagged ‘Negreanu’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

As I watched, and thoroughly enjoyed the 2018 World Series of Poker, especially the Final Table at the Main Event and the Big One for One Drop, I thought it might be fun to take a more in-depth look at four poker players who not only amassed a whole lot of on-screen time, but also some incredible amounts of prize money as well.

The first poker player I want to focus on is, of course, Justin Bonomo. After winning the Super High Roller Bowl China for $4.8 million, he then won the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl for a whopping $5 million. At the 2018 WSOP he went on to win his second bracelet in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship plus cashing in a few $25,000 High Rollers at the Aria before entering the $1,000,000 buy-in The Big One for One Drop at the WSOP.

When asked about his amazing streak thus far, Bonomo said, “I have been on the streak of a lifetime, obviously never expected anything like this. I think I am a great player but what I have done is above and beyond what I ever expected or even deserved, to be honest.”

So how did the 32-year-old prepare to play in the $1 million tournament, which he called a great privilege and responsibility? He meditated daily, studied hard and got a lot of rest to be as prepared as possible for the buy-in size and skill level of the field. He also thought about something else: the all-time money list, saying:“it would be kind of sweet if I passed Negreanu.”

After conquering the The Big One for One Drop and winning $10 million, Bonomo made poker history by moving into first place on the All-Time Money List. ( and indeed, surpassing my main man, @Real Kid Poker, in the process). In fact, with this win, Bonomo has locked up the biggest year in the history of poker, eclipsing the $22.3 million-year Dan Colman had back in 2014.

I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished but I don’t let it get to my head, Bonomo stated. I understand that results don’t mean that I’m the best player in the world and I don’t actually think that I’m the best player in the world. I certainly think I’m up there but I’m going to try not to let the results go to my head.”

Fortunately, Bonomo’s father was in attendance to watch his son win the biggest tournament of his career. After previous trophies and bracelets wound up in the hands of Bonomo’s mother, this one went right to his dad. “It feels really nice to be able to give him an extra special bracelet so he’ll have something to keep of his own,” Bonomo said.

After his history-making run, Bonomo plans to take some much-needed time off, including a return visit to Burning Man.

I best start practicing harder and spend longer hours at our poker table if I want to wrap a WSOP bracelet around my wrist.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

The 2016 47th Annual World Series of Poker came to a thunderous end on 11-2-16 with Qui Nguyen taking the title, bracelet and 8+ million dollars home.

After months of waiting and anxious anticipation the World Series of Poker played out to the final table heads up between Qui Nguyen and Gordon Vayo. Finally, on hand #364,  Qui Nguyen raises to 8,500,000 on the button and Gordon Vayo moves all in for 53,000,000 from the big blind. Nguyen snap calls.

Vayo shows Jspade10spadeand is dominated by Nguyen’s Kclub10club.

Both rails jump up screaming at the top of their lungs for their respective player.

The flop is Kdiamond9club7diamondand Nguyen flops top pair, but Vayo flops a double gutshot straight draw. Vayo must pull an eight or a queen to double up again and continue this heads-up match.

The turn is the 2spadeVayo is drawing dead and just one card away from a runner-up finish, while Nguyen is one card away from more than an $8 million first place prize, his first WSOP bracelet and entering poker history as the 2016 World Series of Poker Champion.The look of disappointmen - Gordon Vayo

The river is the 3heartand his rail goes completely nuts celebrating their champion’s success. Nguyen drags the pot with a pair of kings and Vayo is eliminated in second place.

Although you can see disappointment on Vayo’s face, it’s not all sad news. After all, he still walks away with $4,661,228 for his second place finish. Not bad for a young 27-year-old who now has 27 WSOP Cashes totaling  just north of five million dollars.

Qui Nguyen wins 2016 WSOP Main EventNguyen is the newest Main Event champion, playing the Final Table in what many poker experts (including Negreanu, Hellmuth and Esfandiari) described as an unconventional, highly unpredictable and aggressive style that kept them, as well as his opponents guessing. What an exciting player and deserving champ!

Not bad when you consider he only had one previous cash at the WSOP for $9,029.00. That makes this win just about 900 times sweeter.

2016 WSOP Winner Qui Nguyen

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

I have always loved poker-themed movies, even before I became a real poker enthusiast through watching and blogging about the Global Poker League throughout the year.  Let’s face it; there’s usually some suspense, some thrills, some humor, some paranoia and at least a few fascinating and/or dubious characters – you know, just like a high-stakes poker game.  The “Cincinnati Kid,” “High Roller,” “Rounders,” “Runner Runner,” and who can forget “Casino Royal”  when James Bond sits at the final table and defeats his arch enemy, LeChiffre,  are among the many films that come to mind as poker-based and fun to watch. Not to mention Negreanu’s documentary, “KidPoker,” which we have written about several times in this blog.

Molly "Princess of Poker" BloomSo it’s no wonder that I’m eagerly awaiting a movie on the horizon titled, “Molly’s Game.” First of all, one of my all-time favorite wordsmiths, Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, will be making his debut as the director of the film. He’s brilliant, and his dialogue is always spot on, so I know he’ll capture all the action at the poker tables with perfection.

The movie is based on former high-stakes “Poker Princess” Molly Bloom.  Never heard of her? Well, she came to L.A. at the age of 26 and rose from cocktail waitress to running the most exclusive, star-studded underground poker game ever seen in Hollywood, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, during the late 2000s. Her private games attracted a who’s who list of pro athletes, financiers, billionaires and A-list actors, including Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire, Leo and Matt. Eventually, the game moved to NY and was ultimately shut down by the FBI (but you can see all about that in the movie.)

Jessica ChastainIdris ElbaAs if that weren’t enough, the super-talented, two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Martian) has signed on to play Molly Bloom and the sexy, charismatic British actor, Idris Elba, (The Wire, Luther, Star Trek:Beyond, Beasts of No Nation) will play Bloom’s attorney.

As Sorkin stated, “They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.”

Others in serious talks to join the cast are Kevin Costner and Michael Cera.

It’s scheduled for release in 2017 and I can’t wait. In my mind, this promises to be the next great poker movie.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

There seems to be a slight dispute regarding the election of Chris Moneymaker into the Poker Hall of Fame. The argument is that in reality he never really achieved poker legend status, certainly not as a champion of the felt in the same league as Negreanu or Hellmuth.

Chris MoneymakerAfter all, Chris has pocketed only about 3.5 million dollars, and although that makes for a nice nest egg for most, it cannot be compared to the $30,600,000 in prize money that Negreanu has amassed, or Hellmuth’s 14 bracelets and winnings that exceed $20,900,000, to say nothing of their enormous contributions to the poker world.

I say, yeah so? Every Hall of Fame has had lots of inductees that might seem questionable to some, but for whatever reasons, they were inducted into their respective Halls of Fame. It might be timing, or a unique style or something that was revolutionary at the time, but there were reasons.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has, for the most part, awarded their choices to the best of Rock and Roll, like the Beatles, the Stones and Stevie Wonder.  Yet they also inducted Joan Jett, who wrote only two hit songs, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “Little Liar.” Nevertheless,  while her over all sales have only amounted to 10 million records worldwide, she still got her name into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s a far cry from the 600,000,000 by the Beatles.

The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Mike Piazza with an amazing 427 home runs, 396 of which were hit as catcher, along with a .308 batting average and 1,335 runs batted in (RBIs). But it has also had a few controversial choices, such as NY Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto, who only has 1,588 career hits and barely a .273 batting average and only 38 homers, again a far cry from the 427 homers by Piazza.

Poker Hall of FameAnd now we have this argument about Moneymaker. C’mon give me a break. If you can put people into national Halls of Fame for their respective contributions in their chosen fields, then I say that Chris Moneymaker, a 27-year-old who defied the odds and beat the pros at their own game, getting into the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $39 online satellite and winning it all has certainly, in my most humble opinion, earned his place into the Poker Hall of Fame. He certainly changed the face of poker and taught the world that anyone could cash in big resulting in thousands of new players trying to be Moneymakers.

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