Posts Tagged ‘Mike Matusow’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" Paris

Lynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

On July 27, I wrote my blog paying tribute to one of the legends of poker, Mike Sexton.  He had just been honored by having the WPT Champions Cup named the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, a well-deserved accolade which he called a humbling distinction.

Sadly, a mere six weeks later, the beloved poker legend passed away on the 6th of September at the age of 72. After he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was under hospice care and passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends.

Because he was so well known by most of us as the Ambassador of Poker and the highly respected announcer for the WPT, always signing off with his familiar “may all your cards be live and may all your pots be monsters, ” some of us might not have known that Sexton was a heckuvva poker player, too.

Mike Saxton Rest In Peace

In 2006, the WSOP Tournament of Champions invited 27 players to participate, including six “wild card” choices. Sexton was a wild card. After hours of exciting play against the likes of Chris Ferguson, Gus Hansen, defending Tournament of Champions winner Mike Matusow and the 2004 WSOP Player of the Year, Daniel Negreanu. What followed was an amazing display of poker prowess as Sexton and Negreanu battled heads-up for 12-hours, with Sexton ultimately beating Negreanu to win the million dollar prize. Sexton proceeded to donate half the prize money to charity.

Mike Sexton was one of the last real gentlemen of poker. He will be remembered with love and respect by the entire poker world.

Click here to leave me your thoughts or comments!

Back at the beginning of it all, in 1970, a guy named Johnny Moss was elected by his peers as the first World Champion of Poker and received a silver cup as a prize. A year later, in 1971, he defeated a field of six (including himself) and was awarded the championship title and a total of $30,000 . Flash forward 42 years to 2012, and a guy named Greg Merson was declared the World Champion of poker and took home $8,531,853 after defeating a field of 6,598 players. Now it is the 44th annual World Series of Poker and it continues to amaze us; it continues to create millionaires and change lives forever. Who will be this year’s WSOP Champion?

Here’s the latest from the floor at the Rio:

Ben VolpeEvent 45 drew a field of 678 to the poker tables to battle each other in the $1,500 Ante-Only No-Limit Hold’em tournament. Ben Volpe, The 26-year-old from Chicago, Illinois, comfortably ran through that field until he was heads-up with Paul Lieu. Then it turned into a back and forth war where, for a while, it looked like Volpe was through. He was holding a pair of queens and snap called an all-in by Lieu holding pocket fours. The river gave Lieu the win with trip fours and it seemed as though Volpe just gritted his teeth, recouped his poker chips and went in for the kill. Volpe took the WSOP title, his first gold bracelet and $201,399.

Vladimir ShchemelevVladimir Shchemelev, 40 years old from St. Petersburg, Russia, championed event 46, a $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low tournament. Shchemelev outlasted a fairly heavy field of 435 players chasing the dream, among them Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, Joe Hachem and several other prior bracelet winners. Shchemelev fought heads-up against two-time bracelet winner Mel Judah and came out on top to win his first gold bracelet and WSOP title plus $279,094 to celebrate his victory.

Marco JohnsonMarco Johnson, a 27-year-old poker professional from Walnut Creek, California, finally wraps his first gold bracelet around his wrist. Johnson has been close before. He came in second in the same event last year and just  a few days ago he was runner up yet again. But, he wasn’t satisfied and this time in event 48, a $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em event, he held tough and outplayed a total field of 343 players  and easily defeated Jeff Thompson heads-up to finally take home the bracelet that has eluded him in the past, along with a 2013 Championship title and $206,796.

And so the 44th Annual World Series of Poker, in what has now become traditional, continues to amaze, continues to make millionaires and continues to change lives.

Click here to leave us your comments!

We left off at Event #22 on Wednesday with the crazed comebacks of  Randy Ohel that led him to win the $2,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball and his first WSOP bracelet. Ohel became the 18th first-time bracelet winner of 2012 on Wednesday. By far, the first-timers were dominating the individual event championships, with only four other bracelets being awarded to previous winners. And now it’s Friday and so far the trend is continuing and we have four more bracelet first-time winners.

Simon Charette,  a poker pro from Toronto won Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold ’em Six-Handed and took home a nice little prize of $567,624 and his first very own gold bracelet to show off back home. Maybe he should rent out the XS Nightclub for the night and throw the biggest party in celebration of achieving his goal:  the WSOP Championship Title and bracelet, not to mention that he now has more than $2.2 million in earnings over 88 career cashes.

Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better  belonged to Joe Cassidy, another young pro with lots of career cashes totaling more than $1.8 million, but up to now, has never won a title bout. He captured a World Series of Poker Championship Title and his first sweet, shiny gold bracelet along with  $294,777 after beating Scotty Nguyen in an epic heads up battle. Cassidy was up against some formidable and, I’m sure, intimidating players with impressive poker credentials, not just Nguyen but also Mike Matusow and Phil Ivey. Way to go, Joe.

Brian Meinders, a quiet professional poker player from New Jersey who’s had a modestly successful career with a total of seven cashes finally broke through and captured Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold ’em Shootout.  He persevered through a field of 365 that included some notables like Phil Hellmuth, Barry Shulman and lots more. He takes home the WSOP Championship title, a tidy little sum of $116,118  and finally, his first gold bracelet.

Austin Scott wins Event #26: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha , not the Congressman Austin Scott, not the football player Austin Scott, but the pro poker player from Oklahoma, Austin “Gabe” Scott, who last year came in eighth in this same event . What a difference a year makes.  This time around Scott wrestled a field of 589 focused, dedicated players who were not going to let him take the title easily. He pockets $361,797 plus his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

So far there have been 26 bracelets awarded and there are 35 more left to award. Are you at the Rio Las Vegas waiting for your chance? Or are you watching every poker DVD you can get your hands on in hopes of learning enough to be there next year?

Click here to leave us your comments!