Face the Ace Hits the Airways as a Big Hit

Date: August 4, 2009

Full Tilt Poker has hit the airways and the new show would seem to be a rather large success.  Face the Ace hit television sets across the world this weekend and has already added $40,000 to one players bankroll and another will be going for $1,000,000 next weekend.  Are these set ups to get ratings or have three professionals actually lost to these amateurs?

This ticket was one of the most sought after in recent times.  Full Tilt ran freeroll after freeroll for their players that allowed them to win entries into their main event for this show.  In most cases, individuals had to cash in their player points to enter the various satellites and then finish in the top couple of positions in order to get to the final event.

Now they are all seeing the fruits of their labor and by the early results, the wait was well worth it.  The first player to hit the felt has the dubious honor of going up against Phil Ivey.  With the performance that he had in the WSOP, it would have seemed as though Jonathan Nygaard would be easy work for him.  Not so fast, Nygaard pulled a huge upset and managed to get Ivey on with a weak Ace.  The board blanked and Nygaard decided to walk with the $40k instead of risking it.

The next player, Topel, has a bit more gamble in him.  His first round draw was not much better than Nygaard’s in that he drew Erick Lindgren.  Once again though, the pro came up short and he actually made fairly quick work of him.  The $40k payday was not enough for him though and he drew another card and when the door opened up, Howard Lederer was standing behind it.

While Lederer is far from a slouch, he has not exactly been tearing up the poker tables lately and that trend would continue as Topel managed to get just about every chip in plan in the middle of the table pre-flop with KK against Lederer’s AQ.  The flop gave Lederer an inside straight draw, but one of the last two kings never hit the felt and Lederer was left with virtually no chips at all.

For his victory, Topel was given the option of taking down a payday of $200,000, about 5 times his annual salary, or risk walking away with nothing and go for the $1,000,000 match.  He put the $200,000 back in the vault and will now risk it all against an as of yet unknown player on August 8th.  Half of you wants to smack him upside his head and the other half wants to pat him on his back and wish him the best.

This show is even further proof that ‘amateur’s are on a much even par with pro’s than people think. While you would expect a player to get lucky every now and again, to have 3 consecutive pro’s fall to amateurs in consecutive matches was probably not part of the game plan for Full Tilt.  Not only that, but it also does some damage to the idea that poker is a game of skill.  There simply is not another ‘sport’ that an amateur can have such success against a professional time and again.

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7-Deuce Side Bet Finally Available Online

Date: August 4, 2009

If you watch High Stakes Poker at all, you know some of the most entertaining hands took place when the 7-Deuce side bet was on.  This is a bet that is in place with everyone on the table. When someone takes down a hand with 7-2, is it a bluff or showdown, they win a side bet from everyone on the table.  The action that it adds to a standard game is unbelievable and it is simply amazing the lengths people will go to in order to take down that small bet.

Both sites on the Cereus network, Absolute and UB, have decided to add the game and it is already hitting the online poker world pretty hard.  Just about every poker forum online is buzzing with the opportunity to sit down at these tables and bluff someone out of a big hand.

The beauty of the feature is that you just never know what people are going to have now.  Even the straightest of players will often fall victim to the lure of the side bet and start throwing extreme amounts of money around in order to take down that bet.  The funny thing is that they are often wagering 10 or more times the bounty in order to win it.  Once they get going, it is hard to let go.

Cereus has been on damage control for quite some time now.  Just a while back, they were involved in a much publicized scandal where players were able to get the hands of the people that they were facing. The scams ended up being tracked down to people that were involved with the site and traffic fell off dramatically.  This in fact was very instrumental in Cereus overhauling their software to ensure that this would never happen again.  The damage was done however, and they slipped down in the overall power rankings of sites and currently reside at 7th.

The new feature is also perfect timing as they are in full swing with their Aruba Super Satellite tournament.  50 players will have their shot at traveling to Aruba to play in a satellite tournament to the main event.  The attractive feature for the players is that even if you don’t make it to the main event, you are still getting a nice little vacation out of the deal.  In most cases, you do not get to the site until you have actually won the main event entry.  This is a nice change of pace and one of the most popular online tournaments for a main event in existence.

Now you have the shot at not only getting into the Aruba tournament, but also playing in one of the most entertaining games around.  If you sit down at one of these tables, get ready to sling chips and strap in because the action is often ferocious.  Just the thought of someone having a 7-2 in their hand can cause fireworks.  More on this game to come as we are sure that sooner or later we will have to sit down at one of these tables to see what all the fuss is about.

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National Poker Week Would Appear to Have Been a Huge Success

Date: July 28, 2009

Who would have ever thought that the game of poker would be stealing away world headlines? The onslaught of the poker world to Capitol Hill has had quite an affect and it actually seems like it may have made a difference. A large amount of the State Directors of the PPA were on hand to  hold meeting and attempt to get Washington to see the light in regards to the playing of online poker.

Some of the information that came out of the meetings seems to have made an impression on some of the powers that be. One very interesting fact was a research project that had been done on the Poker Stars site in reference to how many of the hands actually go to showdown. This was done to show that poker is not a game of luck, but one of skill that makes the player rely on instincts to get out of a bad situation and limit their losses. This is something that one cannot do when they make a wager in any other form of gambling.

The stat that was rather enlightening that after tracking well over 100,000,000 hands, they found that a mere 25% actually went to showdown. This number made lawmakers take a step back and take a look at the game of poker as a game of skill.  If the laws are going to get passed in poker’s favor, this is a huge step in the right direction. Now all we need to do is catch President Obama and some of his cronies sitting around the table with chips and cards in front of them!

Another feather in the cap of the PPA was that they managed to bring to light the ‘good’ that poker has brought to many organizations. It is not uncommon for a local charity or church to hold a poker tournament as a way to raise money. This is not to mention the millions of dollars that the major poker players have donated over the last few years.  It is not uncommon for any of them to drop 6 figures into the basket when it is passed around.

As with anything else though, only time will tell if all of this lobbying is going to be successful. It would however seem as though poker is slowly but surely starting to tilt the scales in their favor. Hopefully we will see this trend continue because once the United States officially gets on board, the poker world is sure to benefit.

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Did You Get Your Name in the Record Books?

Date: July 24, 2009

This past weekend featured some of the best action for online poker players in quite some time.  While internet tournaments are known to have fields that live rooms would take days to get through, this weekend was something else entirely.  Both Poker Stars and Full Tilt were trying to set a record for the largest online tournament ever.  The existing record was already held by Poker Stars.

Knowing that they need to beat 35,000 players, both sites ramped up their efforts and added a ton of cash to the tournaments.  Poker Stars was up first with a $1 buy in.  This made it quite easy to draw players and when the final starting bell went off, 65,000 players had made their way to their computers to be a part of history.  The winner of the tournament was “004 license” and he managed to put $13,000 in his account about 10 hours after he put up his buck.  Not a bad day.

Full Tilt was next, but had a cap of 50,000 players on their tournament.  However, their tournament had a $5 buy in with $500,000 guaranteed.  That was enough to have everyone, including myself, ante up and take a shot at the massive $45,000 first place prize.  No luck on my end as two suckouts had me heading to the rail before the second hour, but that was hardly the case for “breo40” who ended up the eventual winner and added the large bounty to his account.

There is still some debate as to who will get the title because while Poker Stars had a much larger field, the tournament at Full Tilt had a larger prize pool.  In all likelihood, Poker Stars will hold the title, but I doubt if Full Tilt will take this one lying down.  They spent a ton of cash promoting this and will more than likely take another shot and open the next one up to 100,000 players if they have to in order to beat their main rival for internet poker.

Tournaments like this are a lot of fun to play in because the chips are usually flying pretty freely.  If you can get any kind of a run, you can coast into the money and possibly a payday that you would not be able to get in other tournaments on a small bankroll.  Keep your eyes peeled for the next round of the “Record Breaker” tournament at both sites.  Their rivalry is our gain as both will probably ante up plenty of extra cash to hold the title.

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Paddy Power Poker announces S’n’G Soda promotion

Date: July 13, 2009

$2,000 to be won by STT players over 2 week period

paddypowerpoker.com today announces the S’n’G Soda promotion, in which prizes will be awarded to Single Table Tournament (STT) players. $2,000 in cash and tournament tokens will be won over a 2 week period, running from 00.00 on July 15th to 23.59 on July 28th.

Prizes will be awarded to STT players in two categories (dependant on buy-in, $1 – $10 and $11+) and a points boost will be available to those who play 50 or more games in the counting period.

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“Players loved our Double Up STT promo, which focused on STTs with Double Up payouts, so we decided it was time to reward players who prefer standard STTs”, said Paddy Power, Communications Manager for Paddy Power Poker. “Cold hard cash is what’s on offer; I’m sure our players will approve!”

10-player and 6-player STTs (also known as Sit’n’Gos) run on Paddy Power Poker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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paddypowerpoker.com invites players on Paddy’s Vegas Vacation

Date: July 1, 2009

Money-added tournaments scheduled for June 30th-July 3rd

Paddy Power Poker today invites players to take part in Paddy’s Vegas Vacation, which is scheduled from June 30th to July 3rd. The tournaments take place each evening at 8.45pm and the poker room is adding at least $100 to the prizepool of each.

“Paddy’s Vegas Vacation is designed for those of us who can’t get to Sin City for the start of the world championship event later this week” said Paddy Power, Communications Manager at Paddy Power Poker. “We’re adding cash to the prizepools and there are a variety of tournaments to choose from – we may not be in Vegas but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some thrilling tournament action during the most exciting time in the poker calendar!”

Paddy’s Vegas Vacation Tournaments:

Tues, June 30th @ 8.45pm: Paddy’s Rebuy Championship $5 NLH – $100 Added

Weds, July 1st @ 8.45pm: Paddy’s Omaha Championship $10 PLO – $100 Added

Thurs, July 2nd @ 8.45pm: Paddy’s Short-Handed Championship $5 NLH – $100 Added

Friday, July 3rd @ 8.45pm: Paddy’s Main Event Championship $20 NLH – $250 Added

To register for the Paddy’s Vegas Vacation tournaments, open the poker software lobby and select ‘Scheduled Tournaments’. Sort the tournaments by name or date to find the desired tournament.

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Irish Winter Festival

Date: June 25, 2009

Paddy Power Poker announces full Irish Winter Festival schedule, Festival to return to Citywest Hotel in Dublin on October 23rd – 26th. Paddy Power Poker today announces the full Irish Winter Festival tournament schedule, headlined by the €1,500 + €150 Irish Masters main event. The festival, which will be run in association with the Jackpot Card Club, returns to Citywest Hotel in Dublin, home of the Irish Open 2009 and the Irish Winter Festival 2008.

Taking place over October Bank Holiday weekend, the Irish Winter Festival features an estimated festival prizepool of €1,000,000. In addition to the Irish Masters main event (a €1,500 + €150 NLH freezeout starting on Saturday October 24th and running for three days), the festival will include a $150 + €15 NLH rebuy Super Satellite on Friday October 23rd.

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A €500 + €50 NLH freezeout 2-day tournament is scheduled to start on Sunday October 25th, with a €300 + €30 Round-Of-Each (Holdem & Omaha) freezeout tournament taking place on Monday October 26th.

“Many players have already made plans to get to Dublin for the October Bank Holiday weekend, so we’re happy to be able to release full details on the festival schedule”, said Eric Booth, Head of Poker at Paddy Power Poker. “I’m particularly excited about our new Round-Of-Each freezeout, a tournament which many players have hoped for. We’ve done our best to make the Irish Winter Festival a ‘must-attend’ festival for both local and international players; it’s gonna be great!”

Weekly super satellites ($200 + $15 freezeouts) to the Irish Masters run on paddypowerpoker.com each Sunday evening, with a variety of feeders running daily. The Irish Winter Festival packages to be won at the super satellites are made up of an Irish Masters ticket plus accommodation and expenses.

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Online poker players have multiple ways to win prestigious 2009 WSOP packages at Titan Poker.

Date: May 26, 2009

Online poker players everywhere interested in playing in the biggest poker event of the year can qualify for their 2009 World Series of Poker seats at Titan Poker, the leading poker room in Europe and the largest venue on the iPoker Network.

Titan Poker is awarding its top players with $13,000 WSOP packages, which include the $10,000 buy-in to the World Series of Poker Main Event, 7 nights of luxury accommodation at the Rio Hotel and Casino, and travel to Las Vegas, where the prestigious poker tournament will be staged this summer.

Online poker players from around the world have been competing for the WSOP prizes at Titan Poker’s satellite qualifiers, which start for entries as low as $0.77+$0.07.

In addition to the tournament series leading to the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, players are also vying at Titan Poker’s satellite tournaments to win seats to the 2009 WSOP World Championship of Pot-Limit Omaha. A satellite series is also taking place awarding winners with seats at two WSOP no limit poker $1,500 Buy-in Events.

Titan Poker WSOP Main Event Super Satellite tournaments are staged every Sunday night, while the other Super Satellites are running on Saturday nights, giving players multiple ways to win their way to Las Vegas and a possible WSOP bracelet.

New depositors at Titan Poker during the month of May have a chance to win a $13,000 WSOP Package completely for free. New depositing players receive tournament entries to a series of freeroll satellites, players can win their way to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas without making a single tournament payment.

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Last chance to get a free WSOP seat from 888 Poker

Date: May 23, 2009

There are plenty of sites out there that are offering WSOP packages, but few are offering the type of package that 888 Poker is putting out there for their players. Would you rather get package that gets you merely air fare and a seat in the tournament or would you rather win something that will have you in first class accommodations for the duration and an extra $3,000 in your pocket as well. All in all, you can win a package that is worth $20,000 as you make your attempt at poker fame.

The tournaments carry an entry fee of only $11 and there will be one on May 23rd and the final one is going to be held on Many 30th. Both tournaments are at 7:05pm GMT. The top 10 point earners from the series head to the final table to be held on June 6th.

As with most poker rooms, they offer plenty of incentives to sign up. If you don’t have an account yet, be sure to get one and take advantage of the 100 % bonus (up to $400) that they are currently offering. The site itself has been a big player for some time, but they have recently changed their software and nothing but positives have been seen on the internet ever since.

Time is running out for a free chance at the WSOP and with the package that 888 Poker is offering, they are a hard site to look past. You are not going to be facing the fields that you will at PokerStars or Full Tilt and it is a better package overall. You can sit on the sidelines or you can take your shot at what will be one of the largest fields and paydays that the WSOP has ever seen.

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Legalization of Online Poker

Date: February 5, 2009

Would obama legalize the online pokerFor many years now, Online Poker has provided a convenient form of entertainment and competition for millions around the world. However, for almost as long as online poker has existed, the United States Government has banned US based players from participating in the online poker world.

Senators and Governors have argued for years that Online Poker should be illegal for many different reasons. They argue that the pitfalls of gambling cause many American citizens to get into debt or to become addicted to a type of environment that causes degenerate behavior. While these arguments do have merit and the pitfalls of gambling are relevant, poker has been proven to be a game involving mostly skill, with a combination of luck: very far from the degenerate gambling involved in many casino games.

If slot machines, roulette, betting on dogs, and various other forms of gambling, such as poker, are legal at institutions such as Casinos, Dog Tracks, Horse Tracks, then why should online poker be prohibited. Poker is just a game, with money simply being used to keep the score. While I do admit, that there are some pitfalls to any sort of betting and that certain types of people, with addictive personalities should not participate, overall online poker is not a harmful game.

It is estimated that over 15 million Americans play online poker for money every year, with over $170 million being wagered online by Americans, as far back as 2005. While the 2008 numbers have yet to be verified, it is estimated to be as much as five times this amount. With over half a billion dollars being spent or exchanged each year, why wouldn’t the Government want in on this action?

While it is possible that with the changes occurring in the US Government, changes could occur within the Online Poker world as well. As Obama and his cabinet are looking to fund many new projects, there is an abundance of wealth to be made from the online world. Obama, who admits to being an avid poker player, is aware of the vast amounts of money exchanged on the internet and knows of the potential that legalizing online poker could provide for the Government.

Alfonse D’AmatoAlfonse D’Amato, who is a former Republican Senator from New York and serves as chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, has brought the subject of the legalization of online poker back into the eyes of Washington’s decision makers. In his recent article in “Roll Call”, which goes out to almost all congress members and senators, D’Amato has put the pressure on Washington to heed the request of millions of Americans and legalize online poker.

In the last paragraph of D’Amato’s article he summed up the opportunity that awaits the US Government with the following quote. “Obama is purported to be a skillful poker player, an expertise that should be an unwritten job requirement for all would-be U.S. presidents. Poker teaches you patience, and it trains you to calculate the odds and avoid unnecessary risks. If Obama applies his poker skills to his job in the White House, he will reject politically unpopular and economically untenable tax increases and look seriously at other potential revenue streams like Internet poker.”

With the economic pressure and the voices of millions of Americans, we can only hope that the legalization of Online Poker is right around the corner. Will 2009 be a historic year for Online Poker? I think it just might be!

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