Posts Tagged ‘Qui Nguyen’

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Last year at this time we were making our own side bets as to who would make it into the 48th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event, who would eventually make it to the Final 9, and ultimately who would end up taking it down, walk away with the much coveted title of Poker Champion, take the Championship Bracelet, and the millions of dollars.

It ended up being Scott Blumstein who took it all home and stuffed $8.15 million into his bank account. In 2016 Qui Nguyen took the title and $8, 005, 310, and in 2015 Joe McKeehen took it all down and walked with $7.68 million, but who will be in it and who will take the 49th WSOP Main Event glory and riches home this year? It is still too early to know.

As we have already reported, the 49th Annual WSOP is scheduled to start on May 29th for registration and the first event will begin on May30th. The Main Event will begin July 2nd and it’s expected to reach the Final Table by July 12th.

For those of you who want or hope to enter any of this year’s events here is a link to the complete list of the 2018  49th Annual World Series of Poker Schedule. Do you have any favorites for this year? Will you be heading to the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this year? If so, we hope to see you there.

Send us your comments and or questions.

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

It’s a little difficult to keep on top of everything that is happening at the World Series of Poker. Did you realize that the WSOP is larger than football, baseball, basketball or hockey in overall numbers? For example last year the WSOP attracted more than 107,000 players from over 100 countries and paid out more than $221 million to the winners.

This year the series is expected to be bigger and richer than ever with a total of 74 different events to be played out over the course of 54 days. That, my friends, is more than just a little difficult to keep on top of. Most other sporting events that fans follow are linear in nature. At some point, in other words, it comes down to the top eight, then the top four, and then the two finalists and then the champion. That model even holds true for the Global Poker League.

Not so in poker, especially at the WSOP. There are numerous events going on, some simultaneously, and if you’re an avid fan like we are at the Texas Poker Store, you have a lot of “favorite players” to keep your eyes on, as well as favorite events. So, we love the COLOSSUS ever since its inauguration in 2015 when Cord Garcia plopped down his $565.00 buy-in,  and triumphed over a field of more than 22,000 players to collect his gold bracelet and more than half a million dollars.

Other big favorites, including ours, is the $1,500 No-Limit Texas Hold’em; the Millionaire Maker with its $1,500 buy-in and guaranteed $1 million first prize, and, of course, the WSOP Main Event, which last year boasted more than 6,700 players and paid the winner, Qui Nguyen, more than $8 million.

With all of the above in mind, we can tell you the following:

Of the finished events:

Event 1 – Casino Employees $565 No-Limit Hold’em won by Bryan Hollis

Event 2 – $10,000 Tag team NL Hold’em won by Igor Kuganov and Liv Boeree

Event 3 -$3000 NL Hold’em Shootout won by Upeshka De Silva

Event 4 -$1500 Omahi Hi-Lo 8 or Better won by Benjamin Zamani

As of this writing, the leader in the $111,111 HIGH ROLLER for ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em is the hugely popular Bertrand” Elky” Grospellier, who holds a commanding chip lead with only nine players remaining. Martin Jacobson, Dario Sammartino, Chris Moore and Rainer Kempe are also among the last nine. With a first-place prize of $3,686,865and a bracelet, this should be one helluva final table!

Of course, by the time we publish, that all might change. That’s just part of why we love the compelling and unpredictable world of poker!

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

One thing I never thought Daniel Negreanu needed was a sidekick! Don’t get me wrong; his pairing with Phil Hellmuth as ESPN analysts during their coverage of the 2016 WSOP’s Final Table was positively brilliant, and the pair’s expertise was only exceeded by their dazzling repartee (along with the unpredictable and engaging play of last year’s champion, Qui Nguyen) .

At the time, “Kid Poker” repeatedly made the point that people (especially if they’re new to the game) need to have fun and be entertained—which includes different personalities, exciting styles of play, amusing table talk– if they’re going to become the next generation of poker fans. Negreanu always enjoyed “trash-chatting” at the poker table, but it has gotten harder to do with so many serious young players hiding under their headphones and refusing to engage.

Comedian Kevin Hart

Still, I’m not sure he could have predicted that the fun would be provided by actor and comedian Kevin Hart, recently signed as a spokesperson by PokerStars. At a press conference ostensibly called by the superstar, Hart, accompanied by PokerStars Team Pro Negreanu, made the announcement that he was partnering with PokerStars “to make poker fun again.” Hart described how deeply in love with the game he is, and cited that he’d played in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas back in January and was in Monte Carlo where he had just played the Super High Roller; in fact, he said he’d been playing poker for at least 10 years.

But, Hart continued at the presser, he could see what the game is missing, saying, “and the game is missing ME.”  He went on to say that the game has had Daniel for quite some time, and “Daniel has done his job and brought fun to the game, but what Daniel is missing . . . is the black sidekick!”

Kid Poker did not just play straight man to Hart, often showing his own funny side as they fielded questions from the press, making it very obvious that the two had already developed a close relationship. Most importantly, both are clearly dedicated to the concept of elevating poker so that it’s fun to play and fun to watch. What a boon to poker, and what a party for poker fans.

If you have the time, the full press conference can be found on Pokernews.com, along with the article written by Frank Op de Woerd.

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris
As most of you know, my primary focus in this blog has been on the Global Poker League. I’m looking forward to the GPL’s Playoffs and Championship to be held in Las Vegas, but since they are still a couple of weeks away, I thought I’d look around for something else poker-related to get excited about. Luckily, I happened upon a great article by Marty Derbyshire (@MartyDerby). Since I agreed with everything he wrote, I’ll share the highlights with you.

Derbyshire’s premise is that he wants to “highlight positivity in the poker community” so he is launching a weekly column titled Good For The Game. Since I have always stressed my belief that the Global Poker League was extremely good for the game of poker, it seemed like a good fit. And it was.

That is probably because he began his series by writing about the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table, which my husband and I watched together and thoroughly enjoyed. We both found the action at the table incredibly exciting, which is not something I could have ever written before (because I didn’t understand poker prior to learning through watching the GPL matches) and because of the exhilarating pace, engaging coverage by ESPN and the enormously entertaining players at the Final Table. It looked to us as though the players were really having fun. It made me want to play poker.Qui Nguyen wins 2016 WSOP Main Event

The champion, Qui Nguyen, was the improbable but highly likable winner, and it was his style of play that helped make this such a compelling event. As Derbyshire wrote, “Nguyen . . . outplayed a final table full of professional players using an aggressive and relatively unpredictable style . . . effectively putting pressure on his opponents at every step and challenging them to make tough decisions.”.

Our all-time favorite, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu, served as ESPN’s analyst along with poker super star Phil Hellmuth, so that expert pairing, along with their on point analysis, helped a lot.  Negreanu was quoted heavily in the article, which made sense since he was so obviously loving the action.

Daniel Negreanu with Phil Hellmuth

“I think the whole final table was good for poker,” Negreanu said. “The speed of play for one, and Qui Nguyen specifically, played a style that, for lack of a better term, was not the boring, fundamentally correct and game-theory-optimal style. He was fascinating and exciting, because at any moment he could just be all in. He was doing things that were outside the box and unconventional and I think that gives hope to people that are not 23-year-old grinders who have studied game theory. They think if this guy can win, then I can win too.”

The author and Negreanu agreed that in the end, people want to be entertained, and that different personalities, table talk, bluffing, interesting characters, the pace of the game and going “all in” are the kinds of things that attract people and turn them into poker fans.

Alexandre Dreyfus must be smiling broadly somewhere, since that’s exactly what he’s been saying about his innovative team poker concept and the GPL.  His goal has always been to turn poker into entertainment that connects to the existing poker community, attracts new poker fans and is part of the burgeoning mainstream entertainment and e-sport sector on a global scale. But we can talk about that next time.

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