Archive for June 2016

Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

The World Series of Poker continues its annual tradition of ever-growing popularity to the overwhelming joy of the winners and the disappointment of the losers. Many come to learn and sharpen their skills for next year, while hoping that they may get really lucky this year and walk away with a pocketful of new found wealth. Others come to add to their existing WSOP earnings, while still others come simply to have fun, rub elbows with the greats and hope they don’t lose too much this time around.

Let’s catch you up with the current results:

Adrian Mateos

Event #33: $1500 Summer Solstice No-Limit Hold’em was taken down by Adrian Mateos, a young 21 -year-old from Madrid, Spain, who  bested a field of 1,840 poker lovers. This was a brand new event corresponding with the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – giving players that much more time to reach for the gold. But 1,839 players were denied the title of champion and Mateos walked away with $409,171 and the WSOP gold bracelet.

Andrey ZaichenkoEvent #34: $1500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Russian poker player, Andrey Zaichenko, had a smile on his face when he realized he was sitting at the final table, a bigger smile when he realized that he reached his goal of getting the gold bracelet, and an even bigger smile when he collected $117,947 for his efforts and patience. Now he can return to his home in Moscow as the 11th Russian gold bracelet winner in history.

Michael GathyEvent #35: $5000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em 27-year-old Michael Gathy from Brussels, Belgium, wrapped up his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet and walked away grinning ear to ear knowing he had to make his way to the payout room and collect his well earned victory cash of $560,843, for total poker winnings of $1,463,269 big bucks.

Hani AwadEvent #36: $2500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better was taken away by Hani Awad, who is originally from Israel and now calls Las Vegas home. With this win the high stakes recreational poker player reached the gold bracelet club when, at age 65,  he put on his first WSOP gold bracelet and received a big fat paycheck of $213,186.

Jiaqi XuEvent #37: $1500 Pot-Limit Omaha Jiaqi Xu from Columbia, MD, was determined to win, and win he did. This amateur poker player outplayed a field of 776 participating players and walked away with his first gold bracelet and a sweet $212,128, his biggest win ever. As Xu said, “The cards fell my way at the right time,” and the cards seemed to favor him all the way to the final table and his eventual championship.

Rafael LebronEvent #38: $3000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em Rafael Lebron from Puyallup, WA, was all smiles when he defeated a field of 245 to reach the final table, which included the reigning Main Event Champion, Joe McKeehen, and other formidable players. As Lebron accurately stated, “I wasn’t the best player at the final table at all, I might have been the worst.  But, I got lucky.  This was my day.” Lebron goes home with $169,337 … not bad for the worst player at the final table.

Martin KoslovEvent #39: $10,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship. It took 293 players to be sent to the rails for Martin Kozlov to finally reach the coveted gold bracelet and a whopping payday of  $665,709. This was his fifth time to cash at this year’s WSOP — not bad for this Aussie pro.

Christopher VitchEvent #40: $2500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) 33-year-old professional poker player, Christopher Vitch, finally captured his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and took home $136,854 after defeating a relatively small field of 236 entrants in this first-time event at the WSOP.  The competition included three forms of lowball draw poker, played in rotation.  The games were Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, Ace-to-Five Triple Draw and Badugi.

So there it is, another eight WSOP gold bracelets and more than two million dollars paid out just for these eight event champions, let alone all the other players who reached cash status through these events. That’s a lot of greenbacks; was any of that awarded to you? If it was, we’d love to hear your story, so send us your comments.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisBy Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Ok, here we go with our latest report on the happenings at the 47th Annual World Series of Poker. We left off at Event #20:  the $10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship which was won by Ray Dehkharghani.


Calvin LeeCalvin Lee won Event #21: $3000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em and collected a whopping $531,577 in prize money. Out of a field of 1,029 entrants, it was nice to see him walk away with his first bracelet and all that money.


Danny Le


Event #22: $1500 Limit Hold’em belonged to Danny Le winning his first WSOP gold bracelet and a sweet prize of $188,815 by taking it out of the hands of a field of 665 players.



Cesar GarciaEvent #23: $2000 No-Limit Hold’em was taken down by Cesar Garcia who walked away with a huge paycheck for $447,739 after defeating a field of 1,419 hungry souls.



Jason MercierJason Mercier, of the Global Poker League’s NY Rounders, won  Event #24: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship and collected $422,874 for all his hard work. He also walked away with his fifth career gold bracelet after pushing through a field of 170 of players.




Michael GaglianoEvent #25: $2500 No-Limit Hold’em was captured by Michael Gagliano, who collected a fat check of $448,463 plus his first bracelet.




Benny GlaserEvent #26 – $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better was conquered by Benny Glaser out of a field of 934 for his second bracelet plus a nice lump sum of $244,103.




Johnnie CraigEvent #27: $1000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Johnnie Craig at 54 made WSOP history by winning the largest-ever seniors poker tournament with 4499 entrants. Craig, from Baytown, TX, collected $538,204 and picked up his first gold bracelet.



Ian JohnsIan Johns took down Event #28: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet and collected $290,635 from a field of 110 very serious players.


Alexander Ziskin

Event #29: $1500 No-Limit Hold’em was picked up by Alexander Ziskin. He walked away with his first gold bracelet plus a hefty $401,494, running through a field of 1,796 entrants.



Viatcheslav Ortynskiy

Viatcheslav Ortynskiy from Russia grabbed up Event #30: $3000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha  and took home his first WSOP bracelet along with a nice payday of $344,327.



James MooreEvent #31: $1000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em  was taken by James Moore, a physician and radiologist from New Hope, Pennsylvania, who won his first gold WSOP bracelet plus $230,626 big ones, after taking down 1,476 entrants.


Benny Glaser

Event #32: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship was mastered by Benny Glaser, who took home his second bracelet for the summer plus an extra little check for $407,194. The first bracelet came when he ran away with Event #26 and collected  $244,103 . That gave him a total of three gold WSOP bracelets and, in case you missed it, a total of $651,297 for the summer thus far.

That makes it 32 completed, hard-knocking events out of a total of 69 this year. That, folks, is almost half way until we reach the Main Event. Do you have any thoughts as to who will make the Final Table this year? If so send us your comments.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

First things first. Our friend James Alexander, who finished 19th in the 2013 Main Event, finished in sixth place out of a sizeable field of 2,242 players in Event #17: $1000 No-Limit Hold’em.  This marked his fourth WSOP cash.  Although it was not as big as his Main Event winnings ($285,408), he still pocketed a very nice $58,758. The Flying Walrus in McAllen, Texas

Go James; I’m expecting at least one round of drinks at The Flying Walrus.

Now to pick up where we left off a few days ago. We left off at Event #11: $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed which was wrapped up by Jean “Prince” Gaspard. So here we go, straight from the Rio Hotel and Casino in Vegas.

Ryan LaPlanteEvent #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha
Ryan LaPlante, a 26-year-old poker pro from Brainerd, MN.,  collected $190,328 in prize money and his very first gold bracelet, making this one of the biggest wins of his career.  Event #12 ended up being his respectable 18th time to make the payouts at the WSOP. This was a record setting event with a huge total of 2,483 entrants which, of course, became the biggest Pot-Limit Omaha competition ever, at least in live poker history.

Reb PorterEvent #13: $1500 Seven Card Razz
Rep Porter, a poker pro from Woodinville, WA, won his third bracelet and entered into the exclusive three gold bracelet club.  Porter collected $142,624 in prize money by hanging strong during the fierce battles in the field of 461 entries.

Jason DeWittEvent #14: $1500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em
A professional poker player from San Diego, CA, Jason DeWitt, defeated a field of 7,190 entrants. DeWitt walked away with $1,065,403, plus his 2nd bracelet. He was quoted as saying “To win a tournament with a 7,000-player field is just insane. It’s just incredible.”

Paul VolpeEvent #15: $1500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed)
Paul Volpe conquered a field of 491 players and collected $149,943 in prize money, and his 2nd bracelet. Although winning any event is extremely satisfying, Volpe stated ““Honestly, the first win was more meaningful. It was on such a bigger stage because it was heads-up versus Daniel Negreanu.  There were so many more people sweating that one.  But this is also special because it’s Eight-Game Mix, which is very hard to do.  So, this one means a lot, but in a different way.”

Jason MercierEvent #16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit)
Jason Mercier ran over a field of only 100 players and became the newest member of poker’s elite four gold bracelet club. He became the 39th player in history with four or more WSOP titles to his name. Mercier collected $273,335 in prize money along with his fourth bracelet.

Chase BianchiEvent #17: $1000 No-Limit Hold’em
Chase Bianchi took down his premier WSOP cash, taking home a nice big paycheck for $316,920 and the much coveted gold bracelet to go along with it. This event recorded a total of 2,242 players. This is also the event that our friend, James Alexander, cashed out in 6th place.

Marco JohnsonEvent #18: $3000 H .O. R. S. E.
Marco Johnson. a professional poker player from Walnut Creek, CA, roped in the win of the H.O.R.S.E. tournament. This event lasted three days and nights. Johnson picked up $259,730 in prize money and his second gold bracelet by crushing a field of 400 hungry players.

Sam SoverelEvent #19: $1000 Pot-Limit Omaha
Sam Soverel, a professional poker player from West Palm Beach, FL, with more than two million dollars in total winnings, triumphed in this event consisting of a field of 1,106. Soverel raked in $185,317 in prize money and his very own first gold bracelet.

Ray DehKharghaniEvent #20: $10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship
Ray Dehkharghani walked off with all the marbles after trashing  Jason Mercier and a field of 100 hopeful players. Dehkharghani collected $273,338 in prize money and danced away with his first WSOP gold bracelet. This exciting tourney attracted 100 entrants.

We are now at better than $21 million paid out so far with still about 49 events to go. Y’all need to take your place at your local poker tables and practice, practice, practice, that is if you want a slice of the WSOP annual pie.

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Queen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

The spectacular annual World Series of Poker, currently underway in Las Vegas, attracts the world’s best live and online poker players along with thousands of amateur and professional players as well. And it’s absolutely no coincidence that Alex Dreyfus and crew scheduled the Global Poker League’s Summer Series Heads-Up matches to take place in their studio in Vegas at the same time. No surprise, either, that he decided to break out the much-hyped, but not quite ready-for-prime-time Cube ahead of schedule to provide the perfect contrast to the play at the WSOP. It’s up close and personal, it’s poker standing up, it’s innovative and it’s fun!

Sorel Mizzi - Berlin BearsFedor HoltzThere’s nothing quite like watching the #1 ranked Fedor Holz of the LA Sunset walk into the Cube and let it all out, swapping tells and funny trash talk while playing heads-up against Sorel Mizzi of the Berlin Bears (and breaking all the rules by crossing over to get a look at each other’s hole cards).

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching as the Global Poker League has worked its way into the poker world in just four months, already becoming part of the vernacular. Examples abound, like this headline I just plucked from a poker news site: Congratulations to Jason Mercier of the New York Rounders on your fourth bracelet! Branding doesn’t get any better than that.

I have loved the team competition, the web cams, the feeling of actually knowing some of the world’s greatest poker players. Although I wasn’t that impressed with the Cube at first, as I’ve watched big name players enjoy contending in this totally new and intriguing environment, I understand what a big a step this has been for the evolution of poker for the next generation.

I realize that somewhere in the middle of my 16-blog love affair with the GPL, I may have lost my way. It’s almost as though I was being paid to promote the Global Poker League, while in fact my real job is to promote The Texas Poker Store. I’ve always believed that providing good poker-related content would translate into more customers for our online store, but I’ve yet to see much evidence of that. I HAVE seen evidence that people are reading my blog, and my focus on the GPL has certainly garnered me a whole new bunch of likes and followers on Twitter. From what I’ve seen, the audience for poker isn’t going away any time soon; in fact, it’s on track to keep on growing, so one day my efforts may pay off. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on grinding.

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