Posts Tagged ‘Liv Boeree’

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 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.

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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.

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Queen of Hearts ParisTexas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

After writing four blogs about the Global Poker League (GPL) (1.What is the Global Poker League (GPL) and… |2. Did You Watch The GPL Draft? | 3. We’ll Know More When They Want To Tell Us More, |4. What’s the Goal?) we planned to begin focusing in on each of the teams. But with play beginning in a week, I was also desperately searching for news of the “wildcard” selections. Two days ago, I decided to take a chance and send a tweet to Alex Dreyfus, GPL, who answered me immediately with the first two teams to announce. (Not bad for timing, by the way) Soon after that, wildcard announcements started breaking rapidly.

As a reminder, we’ve already reported that most team managers were expected to name themselves as one of their two wildcards. Also, the question about whether the wildcard had to be one of the draft-eligible players who hadn’t yet been selected has been answered; the fact is that anybody can be a wildcard! In other words, depending on their overall strategy, some team managers might choose a high-ranking player to make their team stronger, while others might choose to attract more buzz and increase marketability by choosing someone with known fan appeal.

Alexandre LuneauFabrice SoulierFabrice Soulier, Team Manager of the Paris Aviators, was the first to announce his GPL wildcards. Soulier named himself as expected, and then welcomed Alexandre “Alexonmoon” Luneau, to the Aviators. He chose Luneau despite the fact that there were many higher ranked French players. Luneau, however, is not only a seriously sexy gamer; he’s one of the most successful online poker players in the world. He is also known for his starring role in “Nosebleed,” an exclusive documentary about the world of online high stake players, directed and produced by Victor Saumont,. His goal now is to win a bracelet at the 2016 WSOP.

Anatoly FilatovNext to announce his picks was Anatoly Filatov, manager of the Moscow Wolverines, who proudly made his announcement live from Moscow’s Red Square. He chose the #1 ranked poker player in the Ukraine, Igor Yaroshevsky, who he said was smart and tough.  This was most definitely a team-strengthening choice; Yaroshevsky has nine Top 15 finishes on the live tournament circuit since last year’s WSOP. And for his second choice, Filatov charmingly named a young, smart and fearless player — himself.

Once the floodgates opened, the wildcard announcements kept coming. Manager of the Rome Emperors, Max Pescatori chose himself and high-stakes poker player Todd Brunson, whose resume includes taking billionaire Texas businessman Andy Beal at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $5 million last year. His total live tournament winnings exceed $4,000,000 and he’s won a gold bracelet at the WSOP. Oh, and his father is the legendary Doyle Brunson.

Liv BoereeLondon Royals Team Manager, Liv Boeree, already managing one of the GPL’s early favorites, announced on Twitter that her wildcard picks are the top-ranked female poker player in the world (Boeree herself) and “the one and only” Sam Trickett.

Trickett has live tournament earnings exceeding $20m, and has competed against the world’s top poker players in both cash games and tournaments. He’s known for his quickness which should be an asset in the GPL format. He and his fellow teammates, Kurganov, Boeree, and Justin Bonomo have already shared a deep bonding experience at Burning Man. And of course, Boeree and Kurganov are a hot item. Lots of chemistry on this team!

Yesterday and today, three more teams made their wildcard announcements. First came Faraz Jaka, manager of the San Francisco Rush who chose himself and added young pro, Jonathan Jaffe. They were quickly followed by Philipp Gruissem, managing the Berlin Bears, the first team manager NOT to name himself as a wildcard player.  He chose @junglemandan  (aka Daniel Cates) and @bp22 (aka amateur poker player Bill Perkins) to play for his team. And today, we had Chris Moneymaker, team manager of the Las Vegas Moneymakers, welcome @RuMCaKeS (amateur Scott Ball) which made the eSports enthusiast extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity.

Global Poker League - Week One

There will be much more to come, so stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to speed. We want our followers to be ahead of the curve. And, we hope to get a few of you excited, maybe even hooked on a particular team in the 12-team league before the action begins on April 5th, 2016. Make sure to check out all the action at the GPL poker tables starting next Tuesday.

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