Posts Tagged ‘Liv Boeree’

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

For the past week, the mention of Las Vegas has conjured up the horrifying sights and sounds from the deadliest mass shooting in history that took place last Sunday night. Our thoughts and prayers have centered on the 59 innocent concert-goers who were killed in the cowardly attack by a lone gunman and the more than 500 attendees who were injured, many critically. On this tragic night, what happened in Vegas definitely did not stay in Vegas, as outrage, grief and heartbreak spread to the families and friends of the victims, while also affecting everyone, everywhere.

Of course, it spread immediately to the gaming industry, hotel and casino owners and workers and, of course, the thousands of poker players who either live in Vegas or consider the neon mecca their second home.

A Las Vegas Victims’ Fund was started on GoFundMe on Monday morning by Steve Sisolak, current chairman of the Clark County Commission. He began the campaign with a $10,000 donation, and an initial goal of $500,000. To date, the donations have exceeded over $10 million to be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families. In addition, many pledges of support have come directly from the gaming industry, including $3 million from MGM Resorts, $4 million from the Las Vegas Sands and many others.

Members of the poker community took to Twitter to express their sympathy, sorrow and support. What follows is a small sampling:

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/815261361987002368/feylDgM9_bigger.jpgLiv Boeree @Liv_Boeree  Thinking of you, Las Vegas. Look after each other 😢❤️
Mike Leah @GoLeafsGoEh  So many lives..stolen senselessly. why people are allowed to purchase guns that can do this kind of harm I’ll never understand. Cmon world smarten up.🙏
Phil Hellmuth @phil_hellmuth Sending prayers to the victims, and families of the victims, in Las Vegas.

Mike Sexton‏ @Mike_partypoker So proud of Vegas community – lines to give blood very long, people waiting hrs – others bringing free food & drinks to them. 👍

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2859295132/d8178537f10443c9dc443691083d16d7_bigger.jpegDanielle Andersen @dmoongirl – Do not say his name. He is nobody. Do not show his face. He is nobody. Do not share his motives. He is nobody. Let him die a nobody.

Read more reactions from the Poker World here

If you would like to contribute to the Las Vegas Victims Fund please click here.

Send me your thoughts and comments

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!

Send us your comments!

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

One of the nicest trends happening in the poker world recently is the desire to give back.  Of course, there have always been charitable players, but for the most part they were individuals who donated a portion of their earnings to causes they believed in. Phil Hellmuth, to name just one, has been involved with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Peace Thru Sports Foundation of Shimon Peres and several other charities.

With the poker boom came poker organizations, like PokerStars and their players, making substantive contributions every year to various worthy causes, from  tsunami relief in 2004 to helping the victims of the devastating earthquake that ripped apart Haiti in 2010.

One Drop, a charity dedicated to providing access to safe drinking water around the world, received tremendous attention in the poker world and beyond, especially in 2012 during the Big One for One Drop heads-up match between Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett. $111,111 from each entry went to One Drop, totaling $5.3 million, the single biggest donation any poker event had ever produced. In fact, over the last five years over $10 million has been raised by the annual One Drop tournaments at the WSOP.

Adriano Mannino Since 2014, however, there has been an increase in charitable donations across the poker world. One of the primary reasons for that is REG, or Raising for Effective Giving.  Three poker superstars, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, and Philipp Gruissem, already involved with effective altruism, pitched the idea of spreading the word to the poker community and soon REG was born, with Adriano Mannino named REG Chairman.

REG takes donations and distributes them to groups that are the most effective in reducing suffering around the world. Briefly, REG use scientific facts and rational decision-making, collaborations with researchers, think tanks, and analysts, to find the most effective charitable opportunities, those that help the most people possible for the amount of money raised. By doing so, donations become more cost effective by increasing the number of people helped per unit of money donated. In other words, they know how to get the most bang for their bucks.

Every day, more poker players are pledging to participate in REG, and it is quickly becoming a preferred way for them to donate to charitable organizations around the world.

REG has always had the goal to establish a “culture of giving” in the poker community, one that extends beyond the occasional charity-specific poker tournament. Nevertheless, spokesperson Boeree, noting the incredible success of One Drop, says that in 2017;  “ I really think one of the most biggest, and also the most fun ways I can think of doing is having a couple of these big charity tournaments. You’ve seen the fantastic success of One Drop, some of the events PokerStars have. We have the contacts to do that, we have the locations. That’s what we want to knuckle down and do – one or two really fun, prestigious—probably more high roller-oriented charity tournaments.”

Whether it’s a few major charity tournaments or a new way of life for players, charities around the world are benefiting from the generous nature of the poker community.

Send us your thoughts!

Queen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

I haven’t written much about the Global Poker League lately, mostly because there hasn’t been a whole lot to report. Don’t get me wrong; the League has been thriving, we know which teams are clearly going to make the playoffs and I’ve been enjoying watching the heads-up matches in The Cube tremendously.  I find it mesmerizing to watch the same men and women who I’ve seen sitting at tables at huge events like the WSOP, WPT or Super High Roller matches displaying their “poker pro” personalities and then, when they come to play a GPL match, they morph into “performance” mode, actually entertaining us while playing poker.  The 6-max and heads-upGlobal Poker League matches played in the first part of the season were interesting for a different reason. The players on the webcams thought out loud; they explained their strategy or game plan or state of mind to us, the audience, but their opponents couldn’t hear them. That was a great learning tool for me as a beginning poker player, and a way to get to know the players better as well.

And, that’s when the concept of individual poker players feeling committed to their team (almost an oxymoron) and supporting each other began to take hold — and when I found myself rooting for my favorite teams (LA Sunset and NY Rounders) and checking out the standings. In fact, part of what helped me enjoy a match when my team wasn’t playing was the overall standings. That, and the opportunity to learn something new from some of the brightest, and in some cases best-looking professional athletes around. Hold on a minute; I just wrote “athletes.” Alex Dreyfus’ vision to “sportify” poker has already started working on me.

But there’s never been anything quite like standing up, face-to-face with your opponent, in a 20-ton glass soundproof Cube out of which you can neither see nor hear a thing, knowing your hole cards are exposed for all the world to see, while the viewing audience can see and hear everything, including the good bluffs and bad folds, the constant chatter, trash talk, teasing and off-beat humor, even the beads of sweat on your upper lip. It’s hot in The Cube, and the soundtrack is intimidating, especially when the heart beat starts pounding and the time clock is on. Boys still sound like boys but boys can conquer men in The Cube (think Fedor vs. Mizzi ).

The Cube - Aaron Paul vs. Fabrice SoulierAnd where else in the world could I have watched 3-time Emmy award winning, poker-loving, sexy-cool actor, Aaron Paul (brilliant wildcard pick by Liv Boeree for the LA Sunset) go face-to-face against The Paris Aviators’ team manager, the also sexy and undeniably hot poker superstar, Fabrice Soulier? Paul used both his poker and acting skills, including the Jesse Pinkman stare down, to win 2-1, but the match was an inspired way to open competition in The Cube. The potential for future wildcard picks who play poker is phenomenal.

Team Texas Poker Store's Night Hawk Poker TableIt sounded gimmicky to me at first, but I’m forced to admit it. Putting poker players in The Cube to face off in a poker match has proven to be another brilliant move by Alex Dreyfus. Bringing in the professionalism and polish of Joe Stapleton, along with Eric Danis for commentary and Laura Cornelius for interviews has upped the ante. With the Summer Series coming to a close and the playoffs beginning, who knows what additional twists, turns and enhancements – faster action, more music, light shows, more projection – will be added to The Cube and to the GPL in general. What I now know I can count on is that it’s bound to be fun, and bound to be innovative.

Click to add your thoughts!