Barney Boatman Breaks his Duck

At last Barney Boatman has ended his poker tournament duck as he took down a tournament win worth $546,080 in the World Series of Poker.

He’s a player well-known on the circuit for playing a cool game of poker rarely if at all losing his temper or going tilt due to bad cards. Rarely reckless in his it is surprising he has not managed to pull in enough successful or relevant wins over the last couple years. In his last major cash was when he won fourth place in the €4,600 No Limit Hold’em main event tournament in the European Poker Tour’s San Remo event in October 2011. He took €225,000 ($310,212) for his troubles and then that was last of Barney Boatman’s big cashes for a while.

2012 was a no go year for the much loved poker player after 2011. It was such a dismal year for the pro poker player that 2012 ended up putting him in the 3,562 spot $40,785 to record as tournament wins and what was a negative ROI for the year. That compared to his 2011 wins of $425,161 that saw him take 235th place.

However just recently he’s finally got back into the money with 2 major success stories coming from 2013 so far bringing him up to tournament career earnings of $2,720,871. A more than respectable amount!

It was the 44th World Series of Poker where his bracelet win went relatively unnoticed due to the sheer number of tournaments surrounding his win. It was a massive achievement without a doubt, but what it meant to Barney as a player probably went marginally unnoticed by the poker world. It was a duck breaking victory that put his name back on the poker circuit as force to be reckoned with as well as confirm to Barney as a poker player that he still belongs in the rough and tumble competitive world of poker.

It was event 49 that would bring Barney back to life. He paid the $1,500 buy-in and went for his usual cash position, which he seems to have become somewhat of expert at beating the bubble when it comes to WSOP events. After a gruelling few sessions grinding hard at the tables he was yet again on another career busting final table, and this time he was going to go all the way to take the bracelet and the half a million plus prize that went with the prestige.

Barney had cashed 25 times in the WSOP before this and became the first ever British player to get into the winners spot in this particular WSOP tournament giving him a third achievement to add to the cash and bracelet.

Since then Barney has gone on to take tough fought second place spot in the £1,000 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Max tournament held in the EPT/UK and Ireland Poker Tour in London in just a few days ago that saw him win £11,920 ($19,327) on home turf.

It’s looking brighter for one of Britain’s adorned poker players and hopefully now Barney has confirmed he has the right to remain, hopefully we’ll be seeing more from his corner in the future.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open begins in Hollywood Florida

Las Vegas might be the main gaming hub in the United States, but Hollywood, Florida is these days the home of a major poker tournament. It goes by the name of Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and it attracts players from all over the country and abroad, with a prize pool of $10 million guaranteed. The organizers have posted the standings at the end of Day 1 on Twitter, for those who want to stay up-to-date with everything that happens at this tournament:

The official game of the tournament is Texas hold ‘em, but there are Omaha tables available for those who prefer this type of poker. can provide them with educated advice about how to tackle the specific challenges of the game. Among the poker pros that will attend this year’s edition is Noah Schwartz, who also lives nearby therefore he feels like he has home pitch advantage. He feels great in front of the camera and gave a short interview to Diane Cox, where he talks about his expectations for this tournament, but also some major events in his life: Noah Schwartz recently celebrated his 30th birthday and although his plan of partying every day in August when down the drain, not everything is lost. The poker player plans on throwing a huge party on August 30th and also announced his intention of getting involved in charity work. The Noah Schwartz foundation will try to help underprivileged teens and he hopes that as a result of his involvement, some kids going the wrong way will turn around. Meanwhile, he can have all the fun in the world with fellow poker players, as Shannon Shorr thanked on Twitter those who threw a first-rate party in Hollywood:

Not all poker players who bought in for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open are particularly interested in parties and social events. Most of them are focused entirely on the challenge at hand and those unlucky to go bust at the end of day one, expressed their frustration over Twitter. Tony Dunst was one of them and instead of getting ready for party, he prepares for what he expects to be an uphill battle the next days:

2006 WSOP Winner Jamie Gold has sold his WSOP Bracelet

Just over a month ago Jamie Gold announced he would put his World Series Of Poker gold bracelet up for sale via an auction, which incidentally enough sparked up a ripple of rumours regarding Jamie’s financial situation.
It was the biggest WSOP ever back then in 2006 when 8,773 players player’s registered for converted $10,000 WSOP Texas Hold’em No Limit Main Event, which hasn’t managed to attract such a staggering number of buy-ins since instead hovering around the 6,500 entrants mark in subsequent events. That 2006 Main Event’s magnificent field of players rolled up with a $12 million first place pay-off, the biggest prize poker had ever seen to that date, and that top prize currently stands as the second largest tournament pay-off in the history of poker.
Gold had an amazing run talking players into and out of calls that seemed to go his way each time a decision was made. With Johnny Chan, the 10 times WSOP bracelet winner, behind him as his coach all the way Gold looked invincible. He was up against pros with the likes of Alan Cunningham struggling to get the better of the relatively unknown Jamie Gold at that time.
After that massive win Jamie got himself into some legal disputes after allegedly agreeing to give half his winnings to a sponsor if he cashed, a deal apparently thrashed out before he had won the bracelet. It is rumoured that Jamie broke down on that agreement in which legal action ensued forcing Jamie to come to a private agreement. Jamie has always maintained he would pay, and that the fiasco was made worse by the media. In the end after taxes and half his cash gone, plus some failed tournaments and a relatively unsuccessful poker career prior to his big win, Jamie asked Heritage Auctions to handle the sale of his bracelet.
The bracelet has 259 stones comprising of rubies, sapphires, black diamonds complimented by yellow as well as white gold plus it has a certain amount of prestige attached to it being a WSOP main event gold bracelet.
As of July the 13th the bracelet finally went up for auction and on August the 1st it was sold for $65,725. Other bracelets auctioned off in the past have reached into the region of $150,000. However, despite being the bracelet that was rewarded with the most amount of cash a WSOP Texas Holdem Main Event has ever paid, the bidding didn’t reach into 6 figures on this occasion.
The new owner of the bracelet is to remain anonymous. Bids for the pricey piece of jewellery were accepted in person, via telephone and via email until finally the highest bidder received the good news.
Check out for more on poker gaming and why poker is so popular and you can also look at all the hands Jamie Gold played during the 2006 WSOP also starring Daniel Negreanu.

Photo Brunson gets seat card

The BBC doesn’t give him much press; but go over to Wikipedia and you’ll find lots of information on Doyle Brunson ( Earlier this summer, Doyle announced that the hours needed to compete in the World Series of Poker events were just too grueling and that he was not planning to enter any events.
The reaction on poker forums like, Twitter, Facebook and in the poker community was immediate. Most of the comments bemoaned the fact that the poker legend wasn’t going for his eleventh WSOP bracelet or stated that the WSOP would not be the same without him.
Brunson’s poker career is filled with firsts. He was the first player to win over a million dollars in poker tournaments. He was the first of only four people to win the WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour title. Doyle is one of the two people to win WSOP bracelets in four consecutive years. His book Super System was the first poker theory and strategy books to cover casino poker and become a staple of every player’s poker library. He is one of only four to hold multiple Main Event titles. In 2006, Brunson was voted the number one most influential force in poker by Bluff magazine.
One day 1B of this year’s WSOP Main Event, Doyle received another first.
Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, kicked off the day’s activities with a welcoming speech and talked about the WSOP legend Doyle Brunson. Doyle was called up and Stewart unveiled a bust of the ten-time bracelet winner that the WSOP commissioned.

Amid cheers from the gathered players, Stewart remarked, “Think of it as the first step in a more tangible Poker Hall of Fame.” The bust will be on permanent display at the Rio.

Stewart went on to state that he had a tournament seat card for the Main Event with Doyle’s name on it. With his trademark smile, Doyle accepted the entry and generated more cheers and another round of Twitter and forum posts as Pokers living legend took his seat at the ESPN feature table for his try at bracelet eleven and his third Main Event Title. The Twitterverse was also quick to point out that Doyle sat in the wrong seat at the feature table. The floor asked if the player would take Doyle’s original seat which he did.

99 players make it to Day 4 at ISPT

There were high expectations for the International Stadiums Poker Tour and they were met and exceeded, with 421 players making it to Day 3. The number was reduced to double digits and Day 4 will begin with Ole Schemion as chip leader, with slightly more than 1.5 million chips. He kept a low profile throughout the previous day of competitions, but surged in the final hours of play, doubling up twice in just a few hands. What makes his performance even more remarkable, is that Ole is only 20 years old and can’t brag about the same tournament experience as many of his opponents.

He is widely regarded as a loose aggressive player who thrives both online and at live venues, with $3.1 million earned solely in live tournaments. If he achieves a similar performance at the International Stadiums Poker Tour his fortune will increase by another €1 million. One of the most interesting hands of Day 3 was won by Schemion with an unassuming starting hand, as he was dealt Q-6 and improved it to two pairs. His opponent made a move against him and went all in with A-K on the river, and Ole was the initial raiser and the one with initiative with all streets snap called.

This is not the only occasion when Schemion has lured opponents into traps with his aggressive style of play, as he doubled up again with a full house over a flush. Neil Benardout, Alban Juen and Ben Middleton will join him at the top of the standings with stacks exceeding 1 million chips, while other professional players are a few hundred thousands behind the pack. Among them it is worth mentioning Sam Trickett, Dave Ulliot and Toby Lewis who are all within striking distance and could make a move against the chip leader when play resumes in Day 4.

Texas hold ‘em is the main game at the International Stadiums Poker Tour but there are several side events featuring Omaha. In order to get familiar with the similarities between the two games, check out Meanwhile, the ISPT resumes with the remaining poker players trying to make it to the final table, while short stackers are simply trying to climb a few positions. Liz Lieu, Tony G, Boris Becker, James Akenhead are a few of the poker players who finished in the money.





PokerStars Launches Helping Hands Program; Joins Fight Against Cancer

For many, cancer is a topic that unfortunately hits home. There are many of us who have lost loved ones to cancer and can easily sympathize with cancer research efforts being conducted worldwide. Many of these efforts require private funding, which are often raised through fund raising events and through various campaigns that encourage the public to contribute some of their hard-earned money towards research. PokerStars, which according to Wikipedia is the largest online poker card room in existence, recently launched its “Helping Hands” campaign. This was done in aims of linking PokerStars employees and players to various charitable causes.

The Helping Hands program was designed as a way to join the online poker world with various causes. The program is currently focusing on the UK-based Race for Life, which is hosted by Cancer Research UK and is currently raising money for breast cancer awareness. Since the first Race for Life, which was in 1994, the event has raised nearly 500 Million GBP. PokerStars now provides a way to get in on the event and make their own contributions towards the cause. This is regardless of their physical or geographical location; meaning players on the other side of the world can make their own donations towards the race.

PokerStars’ first focus was meeting the request of one of its female employees. The online poker phenom announced that it will cover her entry fee for the event and are providing a platform where online poker players can get involved in donating towards her race, even if they’re not in the United Kingdom. PokerStars will be hosting charity tournaments between June 1 and June 9, 2013 with a buy-in of $10. $5 of each buy-in will go towards a general prize pool and $5 will go towards the Race for Life.

The Race for Life is a 10K fun run that will take place in Clapham Common, London. On the same day, PokerStars will launch a unique user name where players can make a direct donation to Cancer Research UK from their online poker bankroll. In the software client, the Transfer Funds menu will include the username “raceforlife” and all funds transferred to this account will be donated to Cancer Research UK. With the ease and accessibility of donations, it’s expected PokerStars will make quite a sizable contribution to the Race for Life!




Ian Simpson- Winner of 2013 Irish Open and Groom-to-Be

On Monday, April 1st, the 2013 Irish Open came to an end in Dublin, Ireland at the Burlington Hotel. After finishing in fourth place in last year’s Irish Open, Ian Simpson made a fantastic comeback to win the grand prize in this year’s Irish Open poker tournament. In addition to winning the title, Simpson also bested Michael Farrelly heads up. For his first place finish, Simpson took home £265,000 as well as asked for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. Of course, she said yes!

Although Simpson was the ultimate winner of the 2013 Irish Open, there were several other notable players that were seen at the final table. Michael Farrelly finished in second place with £141,500 and Mark Davis took third place with £99,000. Namir Mohamed, Calvin Anderson, Declan Connolly, Tom Brady and Adam Fallon were also among the eight finalists at the final table with Simpson.

Once Adam Fallon reached the final table, he was disappointed once he was eliminated from the table. Fallon was forced to reschedule his flight back to the United States, but Fallon found himself all-in and at risk Pre-Flop holding an Ace-Jack unsuited. Unfortunately, Fallon’s hand was not able to hold against Farrelly’s Ace-King unsuited. The Flop, Turn and River gave the board triple Nines, a Queen and Six. After Fallon’s elimination, Tom Brady was the next player to leave the tournament when his short stack all-in Pre-Flop was called by two other opponents. The Flop, Turn and River gave the board an Ace, Five, King, Ten and Seven and Namir Mohamed showed an Ace. Brady was holding a Six-Three unsuited, ultimately sending him home.

Mohammed took fourth place after he lost a race to Simpson. Once Farrelly opened for a raise Pre-Flop, Mohamed three-bet shoved, only to have Simpson shove again. Fortunately for Simpson, his pocket Tens held up against Mohamed’s Ace-Queen unsuited. The Flop, Turn and River gave the board a Jack, Five, Eight, Three and Six.

Mark Davis took third place and winner would be determined within three hands of heads-up play between Farrelly and Simpson. Farrelly was holding a Seven-Four unsuited and Simpson was holding a Four-Three unsuited. The Flop revealed a Queen, Five and Six on the board. Farrelly immediately bet and Simpson raised his bet to one million. Farrelly then proceeded to move all-in and Simpson called. Both players were holding open-ended straight draws. Unfortunately, Farrelly’s open-ended straight was not as strong as Simpson’s. The Turn revealed an Eight on the board and the Two spiked on the River, ultimately giving Simpson the winning hand.

Before any of the cards on the table were removed from the last game, Simpson got down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend, Emma. In addition to Simpson’s great winnings, he also went home knowing who he would be spending the rest of his life with.


Poker of Today

The poker player of today is much different than the poker player of yesterday. The picture that comes to mind of yesterday’s poker player might be that of a rich tycoon, sitting in the back room of a Las Vegas hotel or at an exclusive men’s club with other male tycoons, elites, and the like. High stakes poker used to be a sport for the rich and the connected.

The poker player of today comes from all backgrounds, ethnicities, socio-economic status, gender, and age. The ever present televised poker games such as World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour have brought the old closed-door game into the contemporary world. The attraction of these highly publicized games and tournaments have turned millions of people into avid poker enthusiasts. Though many people do not participate in these hyper-visible representations of the modern day poker game, they do find other ways to enjoy the game socially.

Online poker gaming is the revolution that has helped draw the at-home player to countless poker rooms in the virtual world. So the poker room is no longer just in Las Vegas, it is on demand and at your fingertips. There are a number of games to choose from like Texas Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and many others, though Texas Holdem is one of the most popular both online and in the real-world games. There are no longer physical limitations placed upon the game. Any number of hands can be dealt on any number of tables. Gameplay can be 24 hours a day and seven days per week. There is always a room to join, a table to flop, and a hand to win. Therefore, the opportunities for online poker gameplay are infinite.

Furthermore, the opportunities for online poker continue to expand. Even in the United States there are attempts to legalize real-money online poker games. Some of these states include New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, which have already legalized online poker gambling. Other states are now also looking into poker legislation. Texas is looking to pass an amendment that will opt into any Federal legislation that gets passed to legalize and regulate online poker. New York is proposing legalization of intrastate online poker. Illinois wants to expand laws to legalize internet gambling, including poker. California introduced a bill to permit intrastate online poker and to create a regulatory framework for it. Hawaii and Iowa introduced similar bills, though the one in Iowa did not make it out of full committee this time. Australia is also approaching the idea of creating regulated online poker gambling as an initiative for consumer protection. The point is, the popularity of online poker is spreading and the tide for the real money games being legalized will surely come in sooner rather than later.


Poker Hall of Fame and Shame

Poker greats have experienced their own highs and lows, much like the professional players of a number of other games. Poker has its own halls of fame and shame designated for those who have found themselves in great esteem and those who have found themselves in embarrassing situations. Some high profile players have spent stints in both halls since 2012.

Ilari Sahamies has had an interesting 2012moving between the two halls. He rode the poker roller coaster but ended in triumph but luckily for him, he ended 2012 in the hall of fame and by all indications he is gearing up for a similar experience in 2013. The poker superstar started 2013 with a win and a loss.

A duo of cheaters was discovered in Jean Paul Pasqualini and Cederic Rossi. The duo has been slapped with a suspension by the Global Poker Index after damning video evidence revealed suspicious activities. They were found guilty of using hand signals to tip each other off.

This suspension is no doubt good news for many poker players who are appalled by the idea that others are using dishonest means to gain an advantage over them. What makes matters worse is the allegation that the cheating may have been going on since 2009 since the video evidence was gleaned from the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour main event in which the duo placed first and second.. The decision to suspend the players was made after overwhelming feedback from the top 20 GPI players in favor of the move. Of course this is not the first time that the GPI is banning players however this case is special because of the heights to which the players climbed.

On a more positive note, one of pokers greatest is making a laudable philanthropic move by playing for charity, a move that is sure to secure him a place in the poker hall of fame and who knows? Maybe a Nobel peace prize as well. Negreanu has set in motion, plans to raise over 200,000 dollars for the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He announced his pans recently via twitter and also published a video explaining his plans. Negreanu hs pledged to match the sum of all donations received and this is of course, in addition to his initial donation of 100,000 dollars.

In addition to offering to host a social event at his newly renovated home for four donors Negreanu has encouraged all his followers to share and repost his twitter post ad video to get the word out. In order to qualify for random selection for the social event, donors have to pledge at least 2,500 dollars. The move has inspired many of his followers and other poker fans to make donation; and to date the fund has grown to just over 158,000 dollars.




Newest Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody

Jake Cody is a triple crown winner with European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker titles to his name at only twenty two years of age. This professional poker player from the UK was signed by Daniel Negreanu at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas and is now the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro.

According to, Jake Cody is from Birmingham in the UK. But what is interesting about this English poker player is that his career started online, he placed a $10 deposit and played twelve hours a day, he has never had to make a deposit since with over $600,000 in online winnings.

Jake Cody entered the live events in 2010 where he went on to win 857,000 Euro in the European Poker Tour and £273,783 in the World Poker Tour Event in London the same year.

He gave up his studies to play poker on a professional level and within a few years he has over $3 million in live earnings. His first World Series of Poker bracelet win was in 2011 and he was the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year at the European Poker Awards in 2011.

To date he has twenty live cashes and it will be exciting to see how this young player progresses as part of the Team PokerStars Pro.

Other Team PokerStars Pro Players

Team PokerStars Pro is made up of a number of known names in the poker world including Daniel Negreanu, a Canadian pro player who has four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker titles to his name. Daniel Negreanu was also voted Card Player of the Year and World Series of Poker Player of the Year in 2004. He has a total of over $16 million in live winnings.

Another of the known names is Jonathan Duhamel who is better known for winning the 2010 World Series of Poker main event. This French Canadian pro player from Quebec was the first ever Canadian to win a main event bracelet at the World Series of Poker. He has over $10 million in live earnings.

Then there is Joe Cada, a very famous American professional poker player who is the youngest player to ever win a World Series of Poker main event at twenty one years of age. He won the 2009 World Series of Poker event. He has seven World Series of Poker cashes to his name. Joe Cada is also an avid online poker player taking part is various Sunday major tournaments.

As we can see Jake Cody is joining a prestigious team of poker players by joining Team PokerStars pro and we can only sit back and watch as he grows from strength to strength.