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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Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in Poker Movie

Date: June 25, 2009
Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in Poker Movie

Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in Poker Movie

In addition to the televising of the World Series of poker, the movie Rounder’s brought this once taboo game of poker out into the limelight. There is rarely a poker game that goes by where someone does not quote Teddy KGB by saying “I stick it in you.” Good news all you poker movie fans, because Brian Koppelman and David Levien are at it again.

While there is no working title out on the wire as of yet, the draw to the movie is that the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio has apparently been signed to play the lead role. The rumor mill has it that the movie is based on the experiences related to an online casino that is based in Costa Rica.

Without a working title or any leaks as to the meat of the script, it is a little difficult to see where the picture would go, but with the popularity of online poker and the success that these players are having at the World Series of Poker, the possibilities are endless.

Will it be the story of a successful young gambler that makes the transition from online to live play or will it be more desperate like the ending of Catch Me If You Can or the Basketball Diaries? It is quite easy to picture DiCaprio playing a desperate gambler who has maxed out all of his credit cards and is now trying to find a way to get back into action.

Something else that could be explored here is the recent scandal that involved Absolute/UB. It would be quite interesting to see the story behind the people that were involved in that mess. Only time will tell though as everyone is being very tight lipped about the project. One thing is for sure, poker players will flock to the theaters to see how Hollywood portrays their world this time around.


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paddypower.com launches betting markets for 2009 World Series of Poker

Date: June 6, 2009

Ireland’s largest bookmaker offers “To Make Final Table”, “Top Irish Player” & “Number of Entrants” markets

Paddy Power Poker today launches a variety of betting markets for the biggest and most anticipated poker tournament of 2009, the World Series of Poker* Main Event in Las Vegas. Markets include “To Make Final Table”, “Number of Entrants”, “Top Irish Player”, and “Age of Winner”.

In the “To Make Final Table” market, defending champion Peter Eastgate is available at 66/1, with players such as Chris Ferguson, Brian Townsend, Barry Greenstein and Gavin Smith part of a group of top professionals available at 80/1.

WSOP $10,000 Main Event – Outright Winner** – selected odds

Allen Cunningham 66/1

Daniel Negreanu 66/1

Gus Hansen 66/1

Patrick Antonius 66/1

Tony G 100/1

Dan Harrington 100/1

Jennifer Tilly 175/1

The “Number of Entrants” market offers punters an opportunity to bet on the size of this year’s Main Event (a total of 6,844 runners made up last year’s field, with a record 8,773 taking part in the 2006 Main Event). Will the current economic climate have an impact on the number of players willing to pay the $10,000 buy-in?

WSOP $10,000 Main Event – Number of Entrants** – selected odds
4,500 – 4,999 8/1

5,000 – 5,499 6/1

5,500 – 5.999 4/1

6,000 – 6,499 3/1

6,500 – 6,999 5/1

7,000 – 7,400 7/1

In the “Top Irish Player” market, some of the country’s best-known players are offered at 20/1 to finish ahead of all other Irishmen in the Main Event. Members of this group include Andy Black and bracelet-winners Marty Smyth and Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary.

Paddy Power Poker Signup Bonus

WSOP $10,000 Main Event – Top Irish Player** – selected odds

Donnacha O’Dea 20/1

Rory Rees Brennan 20/1

Jude Ainsworth 25/1

Padraig Parkinson 28/1

Alan Smurfit 33/1

Tom Hanlon 33/1

*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah’s License Company, LLC (”Harrah’s”). Harrah’s does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, Paddy Power Poker or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

**Odds are subject to change. The full list of 2009 World Series of Poker Bets can be found at Paddy Power Poker. Click on poker on the left hand side of the page.

For Online Poker visit Paddy Power Poker.


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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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John Phan Wins Bluff Player of the Year Award

Date: January 5, 2009

John Phan has had a monster year. First, he won two bracelets at the World Series of Poker. Then he made two WPT final tables in little over a month, including winning his first WPT title at the Legends of Poker. Now he is the Bluff Magazine 2008 Player of the Year.

Phan edged out Michael Binger for the award, which is the first for Phan. He started the year off with a 6th place finish at the Bay 101 WPT event. He then went on a historic run at the World Series of Poker that netted him two championship bracelets. The first of his bracelets came in the $3,000 No Limit Holdem event. This event saw an epic heads-up match between Phan and Johnny Neckar. After several hours of play and a private chopping of the prize money, the two decided that they would go all-in blind for three straight hands. This provided some of the best entertainment of the WSOP, with Neckar taking two out of the three hands. In the end, Phan came out on top for the top prize and his first bracelet.


William Hill Poker




He then made the final table of the 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball event. Both Michael Mizrachi and David Sklansky made the table with Phan. In the end, Phan emerged from this table victorious as well to claim his 2nd WSOP bracelet. Phan was the only multi-bracelet winner of the WSOP.

Next, Phan made the final table of the Bellagio Cup IV, where he finished in 5th place. He then a little over a month later made the final table of the Legends of Poker event in Los Angeles. This time, Phan was able to take down the event, the WPT championship bracelet, and the $1.1 Million top prize.

For the year, Phan earned over $2.1 Million.


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Chino Rheem Wins WPT Event at Doyle Brunson Five Diamond

Date: December 21, 2008

Last month, Chino Rheem finished 7th at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. This month, Rheem was able to overcome a 497 player field to win his first ever WPT title at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

The final table of the this event was stacked with many top pros including Amnon Filippi, Hoyt Corkins, Justin Young, and Steve Sung. Corkins was the first player to be eliminated from the event when his flopped pair of queens ran into a flopped pair of kings by Justin Young.





Amnon Filippi and Steve Sung were both eliminated from the event when when they were on the short end of a three way all-in against Justin Young. Filippi held pocket nines against the pocked kings of Sung and the pocket aces of Young. Young’s rockets were good and both Filippi and Sung hit the door. Sung started the hand with more chips and would become the 4th place finisher.

Evan McNiff was eliminated after a couple of hands against Chino Rheem. Rheem first outdrew McNiff when his A-9 spiked a nine on the turn against the A-J of McNiff. Later, McNiff was all-in against Rheem. Rheem miraculously was ahead with 10-9 suited against the 10-4 offsuit of McNiff. The board missed both players and the 10-9 played. At this point play was heads up between Chino Rheem and Justin Young.


William Hill Poker

Heads up play would last over five hours with both players taking their turn as the chip leader. The tide turned to Chino’s favor when he caught a better two pair against Young to take the chip lead. A few hands later Chino would move all-in over the top of a 4.4 million chip raise from Young. The board read Ks-7d-3d and Young went into the tank. Finally he let the hand go and Rheem showed Ad-4d for the nut flush draw.

The final hand between these two would come around 1:30 A.M. Pacific time when Young moved all-in on a Q-8-3 flop. Rheem snap called with pocket kings and Young showed Q-5 for a pair of queens. The turn and river missed both players and Chino Rheem became the champion of the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

For his win, Chino Rheem took home $1.538 Million and his first WPT title. After finishing 7th in the WSOP Main Event, Rheem felt that this win was validation. This win will surely prove that his run in the WSOP Main Event was no fluke.


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Irish capture top four spots in Poker Million

Date: December 15, 2008

paddypowerpoker.com pro Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary finishes third

The quartet of Marty Smyth, Eoghan O’Dea, Ciaran O’Leary and Liam Flood completed a historic 1-2-3-4 in the Poker Million final in London on Friday, December 12th.  The Irish professionals were joined on the final table by internet qualifiers Kevin Allen of England and Sven Peter Neilsen of Norway.  However, these two players were the first to be knocked out, leaving the four Irishmen to fight it out for the bulk of the prizepool and the glory.

Liam ‘The Gentleman’ Flood, one of the best known Irish professionals due to his decades of success at the tables and long involvement with the Irish Open, was knocked out in fourth spot.  He was followed by Paddy Power Poker pro and WSOP bracelet-holder Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary, leaving Eoghan O’Dea, who won $315,000 and captured the ECOOP III Main Event crown earlier in the week while playing on Paddy Power Poker, heads-up with former Irish Open winner Marty Smyth.

O’Dea eventually took the runner-up spot, allowing Smyth to add the Poker Million title to his trophy cabinet and $1,000,000 to his bank account.  This clean sweep of the top four positions completes a remarkable year for Irish poker, with the numbers attending live festivals and playing online flourishing despite a slowdown in the wider economy.


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Irish players dominate Poker Million semi-finals

Date: December 12, 2008

paddypowerpoker.com launches Poker Million betting market

Paddy Power Poker today launches the Outright Winner betting market for the 2008 Poker Million, after four of the six final table seats were claimed by Irishmen following stunning performances in the semi-finals.

Paddy Power Poker pro Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary goes into Friday’s final holding the joint chip lead alongside Eoghan O’Dea, who won $315,000 and captured the European Championship of Online Poker III Main Event crown earlier in the week while playing on Paddy Power Poker.  They are joined by compatriots Liam ‘The Gentleman’ Flood and the reigning WSOP Pot Limit Omaha World Champion and former Irish Open winner Marty Smyth.  The final two seats are taken by two internet qualifiers, Kevin Allen and Sven Peter Neilsen.

All eyes are now on the $1,000,000 first prize on offer to the outright winner of the tournament, while the other five players will make do with prizes ranging from $75,000 for sixth place to $260,000 for second.  The final table will be shown live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm.


William Hill Poker

Poker Million – Outright Winner*

Marty Smyth (282,000)           3/1

Ciaran O’Leary (339.000)       7/2

Eoghan O’Dea (339,000)         7/2

Liam Flood (237,000)              4/1

Kevin Allen (224,000)             5/1

Sven Peter Neilsen (179,000)  8/1

*Odds are subject to change. The Poker Million betting market can be found at www.paddypowerpoker.com. Click on poker on the left hand side of the page.


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paddy power poker pro Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary through to Poker Million final

Date: December 11, 2008

Popular Irishman finishes semi-final as chip leader

Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary, paddy power poker brand ambassador, emerged as chip leader following the first semi-final of the Poker Million in London, England.  O’Leary, who joined an elite club of Irish WSOP bracelet holders when he won the $1,500 No Limit holdem Event 3 of the WSOP 2007, takes 339,000 chips through to the Poker Million final.  The event will be shown live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm on Friday, December 12th.

The affable Corkman was joined by compatriot Liam ‘The Gentleman’ Flood and Kevin Allen in making it through the semi-final tournament, with all eyes focused on the $1,000,000 first prize on offer Friday night.  The other prizes to be won range from $75,000 for sixth up to $260,000 for second.

Pacific Poker



“We are thrilled with Ciaran’s performance in the Poker Million; he won his heat outright and finished chip leader in his semi-final”, said Eric Booth, Head of Poker at paddy power poker.  “He’s well placed to power his way to victory on Friday and has been boosted by all the support received from paddy power poker players, both on the poker tables and via his official blog. Hopefully he is giving us a preview of what to expect of him next April at the paddy power poker Irish Open; we’d love to see his name on the Terry Rogers Memorial Trophy!”


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