PokerStars reveals schedule for TCOOP 2015

2015 has already started on a positive note for many poker players and those who play over the Internet are the luckiest ones. In the absence of major land-based casinos hosting tournament and in anticipation on the Aussie millions, PokerStars is hosting plenty of competitions. They are aimed to a broad spectrum of customers, ranging from amateurs to highrollers and the one that represents the highlight of February goes by the name of TCOOP 2015.PokerStars reveals schedule for TCOOP 2015

It begins on January 28 and it will conclude on Sunday, February 1, but there are dozens of events that players can join meanwhile. The buy ins are not prohibitive and players will only need to commit an amount ranging from $50-$215 and in return they will be competing for a guaranteed prize pools that frequently exceed six digit amount.

This is the schedule for the upcoming TCOOP 2015:

28-Jan 08:00 28 $82.00 TCOOP-28: $82 NL Hold’em [Turbo, Re-Entry], $250K Gtd $250,000
28-Jan 10:00 29 $215.00 TCOOP-29: $215 NL Hold’em [6-Max, Turbo, Shootout, Progressive Super-Knockout], $150K Gtd, No Late Registration $150,000
28-Jan 12:00 30 $11.00 TCOOP-30: $11+R PL Omaha [6-Max,3x-Turbo], $125K Gtd $125,000
28-Jan 14:00 31 $82.00 TCOOP-31: $82 Stud H/L [Turbo], $25K Gtd $25,000
29-Jan 12:00 32 $7.50 TCOOP-32: $7.50+R NL Hold’em [3x-Turbo], $300K Gtd $300,000
29-Jan 14:00 33 $82.00 TCOOP-33: $82 Razz [Turbo], $50K Gtd $50,000
29-Jan 16:00 34 $215.00 TCOOP-34: $215 NL Hold’em [Turbo, Re-Entry], $600K Gtd $600,000
29-Jan 18:00 35 $82.00 TCOOP-35: $82 PL Omaha [4-Max, Turbo], $100K Gtd $100,000
30-Jan 08:00 36 $27.00 TCOOP-36: $27 NL Draw [Turbo, Re-Entry], $25K Gtd $25,000
30-Jan 10:00 37 $82.00 TCOOP-37: $82 NL Hold’em [6-Max, Turbo], $225K Gtd $225,000
30-Jan 12:00 38 $215.00 TCOOP-38: $215 NL Hold’em [Turbo, Ante Up, Progressive Super-Knockout], $200K Gtd $200,000
30-Jan 14:00 39 $82.00 TCOOP-39: $82 FL Hold’em [6-Max, Turbo], $50K Gtd $50,000
31-Jan 10:00 40 $215.00 TCOOP-40: $215 HORSE [Turbo], $50K Gtd $50,000
31-Jan 12:00 41 $215.00 TCOOP-41: $215 PL Omaha [Turbo, Heads-Up, Super-Knockout], $125K Gtd, No Late Registration $125,000
31-Jan 14:00 42 $82.00 TCOOP-42: $82 NL Hold’em [Turbo], $250K Gtd $250,000
31-Jan 16:00 43 $109.00 TCOOP-43: $109 NL Omaha H/L [6-Max, Hyper-Turbo], $75K Gtd $75,000
31-Jan 19:00 44 $33.00 TCOOP-44: $33 Saturday Speedway Special Edition [Turbo], $175K Gtd $175,000
1-Feb 06:00 45 $109.00 TCOOP-45: $109 NL Hold’em [Turbo], $225K Gtd $225,000
1-Feb 10:00 46 $215.00 TCOOP-46: $215 NL Hold’em [Turbo, Ultra-Deep], $500K Gtd $500,000
1-Feb 12:00 47 $2,100.00 TCOOP-47: $2,100 NL Hold’em [Turbo, High Roller], $1.25M Gtd $1,250,000
1-Feb 13:30 48 $320.00 TCOOP-48: $320 8-Game [Turbo], $100K Gtd $100,000
1-Feb 15:30 49 $700.00 TCOOP-49: $700 NL Hold’em Main Event [Turbo], $2M Gtd, $300K+ to 1st Place! $2,000,000
1-Feb 18:30 50 $215.00 TCOOP-50: $215 Sunday Supersonic TCOOP Wrap-Up [Hyper-Turbo], $500K Gtd $500,000

George Danzer wins AU$5,000 8-Game Mixed Event

George Danzer proved once again that he is one of the best mixed poker players, after winning the AU$5,000 8-Game Mixed Event at the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. This victory was an important milestone for the German player and it brought him one step closer to winning the player of the year award. He was already ahead and as a result of this victory, he consolidated his position, something that was noted and commented on at http://calvinayre.com/2014/10/15/poker/george-danzer-wins-wsop-apac-event-8-au5000-8-game-mixed-and-takes-a-big-lead-in-the-wsop-player-of-the-year-race/.

George Danzer Heads-UpDanzer is one of the few players to have won 3 WSOP in a single year, joining a group of poker professionals who can brag about such a personal achievement. Jeff Lisandro, Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest, Puggy Pearson and Phil Hellmuth are the ones who achieved something similar, with all of them being very active at World Series of poker tables. George’s performance is not that surprising, if we consider the number of tournaments he attended this year, but what is impressive is his winning percentage.

Even when he didn’t emerge victorious, the poker professional makes a deep run in these tournaments and he reached the final table of several competitions. He is well-versed in the art of playing Texas hold ‘em, but feels comfortable at Omaha tables, while 8-Game Mixed remains his specialty. As a result of prevailing in the AU$5000 event, he won the bracelet, earned more points in the player of the year race and also collected a paycheck of AU$84,000.

En route to victory, he had to outshine several poker professionals, with the most difficult to beat being Scott Clements and Jonathan Duhamel. Both of them made the final table and added more chips to their stacks by causing the elimination of three other finalists, but in the end they were no match for George. He challenged Jonathan in a big pot when three handed play began and won it all, while securing a significant advantage over the runner-up is

Scott Clements had just 10% of Danzer’s chips and despite his best efforts, he was unable to overcome this deficit. He had to settle for the second-place worth AU$52,000, while George won 30,000 more and the bracelet. Below you can see the complete payout structure:

Place Name Country Prize (AU$)
1 George Danzer Germany $84,600
2 Scott Clements Canada $52,340
3 Jonathan Duhamel Canada $34,291
4 Ismael Bojang Germany $23,688
5 Tino Lechich Australia $17,371
6 Sam Khouiss Australia $13,310

Martin Kozlov wins 2014 Sydney Championship Main Event

The first two months of each year belong to Australian poker players, with hundreds of them traveling to Sydney for the Aussie Millions. Action cooled down over the next couple of months and even though local casinos run occasional tournaments, they are no match for their counterparts in America and Europe. Right now the European Poker Tour is underway and the World Series of Poker is expected to resume in early November, with the vast majority of poker players attending these competitions.

freeinternetAustralians who don’t have the desire to travel the long distance or the resources to participate in the highroller events in Macau, have a couple of alternatives. The 2014 Championship Main Event attracted plenty of professionals and amateurs, with a Sydney casino acting as a gracious host for the competition. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those who play the AU$3000 buy-in were locals, but there were several foreigners who found it impossible to resist the temptation of playing.

Australian poker players had a hard time outshining opponents, but many of them survived the bubble stage and almost all of those who made the final table were locals. A total of 235 players participated and the prize pool greatly exceeded the initial estimates, with the winner expected to win in excess of $170,000. By comparison, the first one to be sent to the rail at the stage was guaranteed an amount 10 times lower, which explains why the last nine survivors were so cautious.

Martin Kozlov, Bernard Beh and Daniel Neilson emerged as favorites to win once the final table began, but Daniel suffered a disappointing early exit. He had to settle for the fifth-place and just a bit over $40,000, leaving the other two players to compete for the first prize and the glory. It was an exciting heads-up, with both players being at the helm for a couple of hands and the game could have gone either way. After the final hand was dealt, Martin was the last player standing and for his tenacity he received the first prize of $171,000.

Check out the complete list of finalists and the prizes collected by each of them:

1 Martin Kozlov $171,080
2 Bernard Beh $108,570
3 Sam Capra $61,194
4 Andrew Yam $49,350
5 Daniel Neilson $41,125
6 Steve Pappas $34,545
7 Jarred Graham $27,965
8 Ismail Ismail $21,385
9 John Parker $16,450

The biggest play money pot won at Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt Poker is the place where highrollers frequently come together to compete for huge amounts and there is no shortage of professionals at nosebleed limits. As compared to other poker rooms, these prominent tables always see plenty of action, with the downswings being ample. Since this poker room was acquired by PokerStars, the number of customers also increased and this applies to both those who compete exclusively at cash tables and those who prefer to play for virtual currency.freeinter

In order to keep the latter wired to their poker services, Full Tilt Poker announced that it plans on boosting the play money community. As more players jump on the bandwagon, the number of virtual currency in circulation also increased, which explains how it was possible for six players to compete for a pot in excess of $1 billion. Even though this is nothing more than play money, the simple fact that the six players got to amass so many chips is impressive.

What usually happens is that those who choose play money are doing so in an attempt of getting used to the game and quickly make the transition to real currency. Apparently, the six players took the game very seriously, because when the winner of the hand was decided, a player using the nickname “1shini” took down a 10 digit figure. The winning hand was a high flush that took opponents by surprise, while allowing this player to set a personal record.

Play money are awarded to players from the very beginning, so those who set up an account will receive 1000 chips right away without strings attached. Those who end up losing the initial bankroll are provided with 1000 more and the cycle goes on and on, indefinitely. The only problem is that there are many who don’t take the game seriously unless there is a stake, which explains why the poker room decided to make it possible for players to purchase virtual currency with real money.

The conversion rate is $1.99 for 200,000 chips and $199.99 for 100 million chips, an amount that many find it worth to pay. At a first glance it might look like buying virtual currency with real money would defeat the purpose, but there is a reason for why some players do it. Those who are willing to invest in play money will also do their best when playing on virtual currency, which means that the experience can be both educative and challenging.

Phil Ivey adds tenth WSOP bracelet

Phil Ivey had his plate full in 2014, being involved in two baccarat scandals and he is currently facing a plethora of charges. Borgata is unwilling to drop the case and claim the poker professional won millions of dollars after using what they call edge sorting. Ivey simply took advantage of the flawed deck of cards that the casino employees were using to maximize his chances to win while decreasing the house edge.freeinternet

Meanwhile, he has plenty of reasons to be thrilled with his performance, as he emerged victorious once again at the World Series of poker. This is the 10th time that he wins a bracelet and even though he has a wide gap to close before overtaking Phil Hellmuth, he is clearly on the right track. The leader was unlucky this year and suffered an untimely elimination from the main event as a result of bluffing too much, so 2015 will be particularly interesting.

Ivey signed up for Event 50: $1500 Eight-Game Mix where he had an edge over most of his opponents, but even so it was pretty difficult to make the final table. Those who participated in this tournament were players who spend a lot of time almost exclusively at these tables, therefore they knew exactly what they were doing. The journey was every bit as exciting as the destination, with the highlights of this tournament being briefly presented at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp42QqlE2tk.

By the time final table began, Phil was not the chip leader but had just enough in front of him to put his tremendous experience to good use. His most difficult opponent was Daniel Negreanu who is also very experienced at this version of poker, but he didn’t stand a chance in event 50. As poker players were eliminated, Ivey consolidated his lead and when heads-up play began it was fairly obvious that the runner-up didn’t have a chance.

By winning his 10th gold bracelet, Phil Ivey is tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan and the good news is that Doyle is unlikely to win another bracelet. The poker veteran decided not to play anymore in the World Series of poker, as his aged prevents him from being competitive in lengthy events. This means that the two Phils will be left fighting for the lead in the next couple of years and even though Hellmuth has an advantage right now, Ivey is well-positioned for staging a remarkable comeback.

Vanessa Selbst claims 3rd WSOP bracelet and POY lead

Good things come in bundles and Vanessa Selbst can definitely confirm this theory, as her victory at the World Series of Poker had a two-pronged effect. The obvious one was that she claimed her third bracelet and a significant paycheck in the process, the other one was that as a result of winning the tournament she consolidated her position at the top of the POY.

Vanessa Selbst

This is a leaderboard ran by the Global Poker Index which celebrates the most successful live tournament players, so the WSOP made a significant impact on the standings. Vanessa was always within striking distance from the leader, but her victory at in Las Vegas made it possible to leapfrog the pack and she now sits on the highest place.

Only time will tell whether she will get to consolidate his position or if the runner-up will make an impressive comeback in the upcoming months. For the time being the PokerStars Team Pro has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about what the future will bring, since she is still active at the World Series of Poker. There are plenty more bracelets to claim and money to be won, not to mention the points that would accumulate and improve her chances of dominating the leaderboard.

She sat down at the tables of the Event 2 – $25k mixed Max NLHE which has a significant prize pool and of course, plenty of competitive players. By the time the final table was reached, Selbst was certain to win a six digit amount due to her healthy stack, but the first prize of $871,000 was what she was aiming for. In total, she won in excess of $10 million in live tournaments alone, which is an impressive figure that few many players can brag about.

Her performance at the World Series of Poker comes as no surprise, since Vanessa is quite familiar with the intensity of this competition. The runner-up gave her a run for her money but in the end he had to settle for a bit over $500,000, an amount that would make many poker players blush with envy. It was a nice finish for Jason Mo and an even better one for Selbst who hit two birds with one stone and should be very difficult to overthrow at the top of the Player of the Year leaderboard.

Philipp Gruissem triumphs at EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final High Roller event

The main events of prominent live poker tournaments used to be the highlight of the series, but a brand-new breed of competitions threatened to strip them of all their glory. While the main events keep bringing together the most players, it is the highroller tournaments that act as a magnet for the best poker players. The European Poker Tour Monte Carlo Grand Final High Roller event made no exception and it was well-known poker Pro Philipp Gruissem who emerged victorious.

This is one of the guys who can afford to participate in plenty of highroller competitions and he made a habit of buying in for all prominent ones. It would’ve come as a huge surprise for him to miss the Monaco event, despite the fact that he had to pay $25,000 just to get a seat. This is the price that all poker pros had to pay and only the best ones decided to take a leap of faith, knowing that they will be competing against equally competent opponents.

Philipp Gruissem has a reputation of being extremely effective at highroller tournaments and the fact that he lock horns with the likes of Sam Trickett, Phil Ivey, Eric Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, or Antonio Esfandiari made no difference to him. With so many players interested in this tournament, it comes as no surprise that the winner was expected to win in excess of €1 million. The only reason for why this didn’t happen is that the remaining two players decided to split the prize according to their chip stacks.freeinternet

This is common practice at major tournaments and with so much money on the table, it would’ve been unreasonable for the remaining players to refuse a potential deal. Gruissem had a slight advantage in chips and as a result he was guaranteed to win more money even if he would’ve come in second, but he found the resources to win the competition. Once an agreement was reached, the remaining players didn’t bother to play for too long and in a matter of hands it was all over.

Gruissem has a reputation of being not only a very good poker player but also a charitable person, with 10% of his winnings being donated. On this particular occasion, almost €100,000 will end up helping those less fortunate overcome many obstacles, so those who made the final table and failed to win the event can find solace in that. Only nine players made it this far and if you’re wondering how much money each of them got, all you need to do is to check out this list:

  1. Philipp Gruissem – €993,963
  2. Scott Seiver – €857,637
  3. Davidi Kitai – €526,400
  4. John Juanda – €426,800
  5. Byron Kaverman – €337,650
  6. Martin Finger – €256,400
  7. Stephen Chidwick – €187,200
  8. Chenxiang Miao – €136,900
  9. Pascal Lefrancois – €113,250

Bertrand Grospellier talks about the life of poker pros

The difference between appearance and reality is considerable in all circumstances, but this is especially true when it comes to the glamorous life of poker professionals. From outside, it looks like these people have no worries in the world and they can do whatever they like, whenever they like it. The idea of not having a day job and enough money to fulfill all your dreams is obviously appealing, but Bertrand Grospellier offers a different perspective.

Bertrand GrospellierHe knows what he’s talking about, as he has been playing poker professionally for more than a decade, after quitting another lucrative career. As a teenager, he was among the best StarCraft players in the world and won a decent amount of money by outshining competitors in this videogame. Shifting to poker was a logical step forward and he has been playing ever since, while being more or less successful.

The first few years were difficult and this is something that many aspiring poker players need to prepare for, as not all of them make is too far. Elky was somewhat fortune to survive the initial downswings and his perseverance kept him afloat, long enough for him to score his big win in 2004. The next two years were remarkable and Bertrand was always within striking distance of the best players worldwide.

Not surprising, he attends most of the European poker tour events and he made it a priority to participate in the Deauville tournament. He didn’t win any side events and he was rather disappointing in the main event, but these shortcomings didn’t have a deterring effect on the Frenchman. He confessed that as a poker professional, you need to put things into perspective so you don’t get sidetracked from your real priorities. This is a mistake that many poker players commit and many never realize the danger.

One of the recommendation that Grospellier makes to fellow players is to enjoy their lifestyle and keep in mind the fact that poker is not the only thing that matters. If you get involved in different projects and even become preoccupied with charitable events, it is less likely to get fully absorbed by poker.

This doesn’t mean that the game should ever be relegated to a hobby status, because the moment you stop thinking of it as a day job, you are bound to fail. The years made Bertrand wiser and his advice is worth following by those who one day hope to walk in his footsteps.

Flipout celebrations start this weekend at Full Tilt Poker

This is a big weekend for Full Tilt Poker as the online company prepares some massive celebrations while running the first ever Flipout tournaments. They’ve been preparing for this event for a long time, but they are finally ready to push the project into overdrive. For a full weekend, players will get familiar with this original format and compete in a total of 108 tournaments, for a prize pool of $25,000.

Full Tilt Poker

What makes these tournament special is that players can register up to three times, which is a step forward from the already popular rebuy tournaments. In order to encourage players to jump on the bandwagon, regardless of whatever bias they might have, Full Tilt Poker will bring in the big guns. The Flipout Festival will be attended by several Team Pro members and as always, those who eliminate these professionals will collect a nice bounty.

Among the Flipout tournaments, there are a couple of free rolls that will send players to real money events in one of the most important locations of the EPT. For example, players who win the tournaments on Sunday, March 23, will compete for a seat at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Vienna. Instead of paying the €5300 buy-in for the main event out-of-pocket, they will be securing a place among the best European players by winning this free-for-all.

Gus Hansen and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom are two of the poker professionals who will lock horns this weekend, and they will compete on many levels. On one hand, they would be an integral part of the Flipout Festival, on the other they will continue their heads-up battle. Contrary to what the name suggests, the two poker professionals won’t be alone in this endeavor, as each of them would have an entire team of supporters behind them.

Over the last couple of weeks, poker players who have an account with Full Tilt Poker got to choose between these two poker pros and join one team or the other. The poker company, went to great lengths to get players fully immersed into the atmosphere and even ran a special poll. Most of the questions were unrelated to poker but the results exceeded expectations and the interest around this confrontation is tremendous. The organizers were smart to combine the two events in one major festival, so those who are even remotely interested in poker shouldn’t leave their homes this weekend.

PokerStars gets involved for a good cause

Genes in SpaceProfessional poker players frequently feel the need to give something back to the community, by sharing their insights on forums and personal websites. Some are equally inclined to make generous donations and the beneficiaries are usually those less fortunate who are in dire need of financial support. It comes as no surprise that poker companies are occasionally funding similar projects and PokerStars’ recent initiative is definitely worth mentioning.

Rational Group is the company owning PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and over the last couple of months they got fully involved in the “Play to Cure: Genes in Space” project. This is an innovative game that is supposed to have a two-pronged effect, on one hand entertaining people, on the other helping researchers collect useful information, so they can beat cancer. The concept is intriguing to say the least and a lot of work was put into this game, which is now in its final stage and fully playable.

A stable version has hit the app market and thanks to the poker company, it is free to play and will continue to be available for download free of charge. The game is relatively simple as players are supposed to navigate the outer space at the board of a modern vessel, in an attempt of collecting Element Alpha. This resource is distributed all over the space, but some areas are particularly rich and that’s why players focus almost exclusively on these sectors.

The developers work together with cancer researchers, so that when players collect resources, they also accumulate valuable data that can be used by the scientists. What the researchers need is someone to map the routes which correspond to real genetic data, so that a lot of time is saved in the process. As far as players are concerned, this is anything but hard work, with their ship floating through a fascinating maze that changes all the time.

The project has tremendous potential, because it combines the best of both worlds and the fact that it is kept free by generous donations is its best-selling points. The developers hope that many mobile device users will choose to download this application and play a couple of levels whenever they have free time, so that they inadvertently help researchers. Only time will tell whether “Play to Cure: Genes in Space” will reach its full potential, but Rational Group’s involvement is honorable nonetheless.