Calvin “Cal42688” Anderson is one of the better known online poker tournament players in the game (and for good reason) and 2013 could very well be the breakout year for Anderson considering he has had a fair amount of live tournament success in 2013, and just made poker history by joining online poker legend Shaun Deeb as the only poker players with four PokerStars SCOOP titles.
In 2013 Anderson has finished 5th in the 2013 Irish Poker Open Main Event, 10th in the PokerStars EPT Berlin Main Event, as well as cashing in the PokerStars PCA Main Event and the EPT Grand Final Main Event. Anderson’s biggest live tournament score came in 2011 when he finished 14th in the PokerStars PCA Main Event for $115k.
Anderson’s fourth SCOOP win came in Event #25-M, a $215 Fixed Limit Holdem 6-Max tournament. Cal Anderson took on another talented poker player who flies under the radar, Nick Abou Risk from Ireland, who finished as the runner-up in Anderson’s historic win:
- Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (Mexico) $23,643.00
- Nick "nabourisk" Abou Risk (Ireland) $17,636.40
- b8chatz (United Kingdom) $13,099.50
- jonstarz (United Kingdom) $8,946.00
- nimzon (Finland) $6,390.00
- Truelove13 (Russia) $3,834.00
Here is a look at Anderson’s three other SCOOP titles:
- 2012 SCOOP -12-H: $2100 PL Omaha Heads-Up: $18,408
- 2011 SCOOP-27-H: $2100 Razz: $46,200
- 2010 SCOOP – 17-L: $15 PLO w/Rebuys: $26,940
Not to be outdone, Deeb is also making waves during the 2013 SCOOP series. Deeb won four titles last year on his way to the SCOOP leader-board title, and this year Deeb has already made multiple final tables, and is now sitting atop the SCOOP leader-board for the second straight year. Here is a look at the Overall Leaders on the SCOOP leader-board (PokerStars also runs individual leader-boards for the Low, Medium, and High buy-in events):
There is still a lot of poker left to be played before the 2013 SCOOP tournament series comes to a close, including the Main Events this Sunday, so there is still plenty of time for a leader-board shakeup, as well as more SCOOP history to possibly be made. Check out the top poker rooms today at our Titan Poker Top Online Rooms section.
*Resources: www.pokerstarsblog.com, www.pokerstars.com/scoop, www.thehendonmob.com
After Travis Makar’s decision to release some five-hours of secretly recorded audio tapes where the principles involved with the cheating and/or cover-up that took place during the Super-User scandal were caught red-handed talking about their indiscretions, several other periphery people that were involved with Ultimate Bet during that time-frame, namely UB pros Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth, have gone into damage control after being mentioned on the tapes – it should be noted that both Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth were not identified as having cheated players or been part of the cover-up.
Shortly after the tapes came to light Phil Hellmuth released a statement via his agent Brian Balsbaugh, and now over a week later Annie Duke has decided to do the same, posting an exceptionally long statement on her Facebook page, along with statements from John Vorhaus (who assisted Duke in commentating for several tournaments at UB) and former UB Pro Relations Manager Joanne Priam.
Unlike Hellmuth, whose name was brought up on the tapes as someone that the truth must be hidden from, Duke’s name was brought up in a way that indicated she knew of the “AuditMonster” program that allowed Russ Hamilton and co. to cheat players. According to Russ, and now corroborated by Duke herself, she did use the program (which was on a 15-minute delay) when she commentated for several Ultimate Bet tournaments. Get special treatment with your poker play if your a Club Titan VIP!
Because of this, and because of other issues in her past such as the Epic Poker League, Duke has come under heavy fire from the poker community, which led to the following statement being released:
Statement from Annie Duke: https://www.facebook.com/notes/annie-duke/statement-from-annie-duke-john-vorhaus-and-joanne-priam/568062933233804
Listening to the leaked audio that describes an elaborate attempt by some of UltimateBet.com’s founders, including Russ Hamilton and Greg Pierson, to cover up cheating reminds me once again how much I regret having been associated with the people that were involved in this conspiracy. The release of this audio has spurred accusations and I want to make it clear that I have never used a tool on a delay or otherwise that gave me or anyone else access to hole cards for use during real money play nor was I aware that such a tool existed until the scandal broke.
Knowing what I know today, I would have never encouraged anyone to play on the UltimateBet.com site under that management. I’m horrified at the lengths to which these people went to try to cover up their actions, and I am very sorry that I ever agreed to work with them. I remain very upset that people were cheated and that, partly because of the actions of the people on this tape, it took far too long to pay back the $23 million that was owed to the victims, and that hand history information was never fully provided to the public.
However, the audio recordings and the data dump from Travis Makar and others also make it completely clear who the perpetrators of the UltimateBet.com cheating were, and that I was not involved in their scheme in any way. For those who have not taken the time to listen to the full audio, at one point Russ Hamilton mischaracterizes my legitimate role as a commentator as he tries to concoct a cover story for his scheme. I can only assume that he is referring to the several times that I commentated on tournaments in which a delayed broadcast was provided to the public, as this was the only delay that I was ever aware of.
In the audio Dan Friedberg says, “I think for the public, it just has to be former consultant to the company, ah, took advantage of a server flaw by hacking into the client…” (This can be heard at 47:01 on the audio). Then Russ Hamilton adds, “And what you could also say is that the tool was originally set for a 15 minute delay and he [Makar] hacked it to a, uh, yeah, to a real time…” (47:29 on the audio). Then Russ continues, ‘Annie Duke used it on a 15 minute delay quite a few times.’ (47:41 on the audio). It is clear that they are trying to concoct a story to cover up what they did by suggesting that a third party hacked a legitimate delayed broadcast tool to create a cheating tool.
The facts are that during commentary, what I saw as the hands were being played wasexactly what every other spectator of the table was able to see. I and other co-commentators were providing commentary as we watched live play, and the broadcast of our comments was delayed as is standard practice to avoid affecting play. The screen that I saw was captured and streamed onto the internet along with my commentary so anyone who tuned into the broadcast saw exactly the same screen that I saw. The broadcast delay was designed to protect the integrity of the game by making sure that the hands my co-commentators and I were commenting on would be finished BEFORE our commentary was broadcast on the Internet. The existence of the delay was made public during the broadcasts. And we were never shown any non-public hole card information, during or after hands. Delayed commentary on tournaments was and still is standard practice for semi-live broadcasts of events, including the World Series of Poker Main Event.
At a separate point on the tape Dan Friedberg and Russ Hamilton discuss Houston Curtis’ account on UltimateBet.com. (This can be heard beginning at 59:55 on the audio). Dan says ‘we don’t want to come and ever mention that name [h_curtis], obviously’ and Russ adds (at 1:00:11): ‘you can’t, ‘cause a lot of people know him, that’s his name, Hellmuth knows him, Annie knows him, and they know the name on the screen.’
Russ is saying they can’t include Houston’s name on any cheating accounts list provided to the public, because I know Houston. Russ knew that if I heard that cheating had been detected on that account that I would have immediately called Houston to ask him what had happened. Russ also knew that Houston would have then told me that the only other person who had access to the login for this account was Russ himself and that would have opened Russ up to suspicion. This highlights the fact that I was unaware of Russ’s involvement in the cheating and that they were actively trying to hide it from me.
These tapes make it clear that the perpetrators went to great lengths to lie, concoct multiple stories and conspire to cover-up their cheating. They tried to minimize their exposure in part by pawning off responsibility to Absolute Poker, the new owners. Absolute Poker did eventually, through an arduous audit process, working closely with the KGC, refund more than $23 million to players who were affected by the cheating. I stand by my decision at the time the scandal broke to try to work with Absolute to help facilitate that process.
Statement from Co-Commentator JohnVorhaus:
I worked alongside Annie Duke doing play-by-play and color commentary on UltimateBetonline poker tournaments during the mid-2000s. The use of a delay function during those broadcasts was for the express purpose of ensuring that our commentary didn't inadvertently give information to the tournament players and had no connection whatsoever with the so-called ‘super-user scandal.’ Those who attempt to tar Annie with this brush are saying, essentially, ‘Person A used a hammer to build a treehouse, then Person B used a similar hammer to bludgeon a victim; therefore, Person A is guilty.’ The logic of this doesn't hold up to the merest application of common sense.
Statement from Joanne Priam:
I am the former Pro Relations Manager for UB and was part of the team that helped organize the commentating of online tournaments. Annie agreed to participate as a commentator only if we could ensure that there was enough of a small delay in the broadcast so that we could avoid any live commentating affecting players' behavior in the event they were listening. After it was confirmed the delay was feasible she agreed to commentate. It is my understanding that during the tournament, Annie was isolated in a recording studio with only a screen in which to report on and that she did not have access to a computer in which to log on to UB, view hole cards or interact in any way with players. I am disgusted by the actions of the criminals that cheated people out of millions of dollars, and wish they could be thrown in jail, but I can assure you that during the few times that Annie Duke was commentating it was impossible for her to do anything more than view a screen and commentate as requested.
On Wednesday night the World Series of Poker unveiled the upcoming WSOP Circuit Series schedule for the 2013/2014 season. In all there will be 22 official stops on the 2013/2014 schedule, as well as the National Championship, which will take place at Caesars Atlantic City this time around –last year it was in Las Vegas, and this year it will take place in Louisiana at Harrah’s New Orleans. Check out the latest schedule at Titan Poker Tournaments section.
The WSOPC has had a great year with excellent attendance numbers, which is likely the reason the WSOP has expanded the Circuit Series by three stops this time around. “The WSOP Circuit continues to pick up momentum,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We’re proud to have become North America’s largest poker tour, and believe we have the most complete offering out there. With big fields, good value, and exciting stops, the action doesn’t stop all year long.”
The three new stops on the tour are:
- Horseshoe Cincinnati
- Casino Montreal
- Horseshoe Cleveland
The upcoming season will kick-off in Connecticut at Foxwoods in August, followed by stops in Mississippi, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, and Lake Tahoe, before the WSOPC makes one of its two stops North of the Border, first in Vancouver, Canada in late-October, and then just a couple weeks later the WSOPC will be in Montreal.
Here is a look at the complete schedule from the www.wsop.com website:
||MAIN EVENT DATES
||Foxwoods Resort Casino (Connecticut)
||August 8 -19, 2013
||IP Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi, MS)
||September 5 -16, 2013
||Horseshoe Cincinnati (Ohio)
||September 19 – 30, 2013
||Horseshoe Southern Indiana
||October 3-14, 2013
||Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
||October 17-28, 2013
||Harveys Lake Tahoe
||October 24 – November 4, 2013
||River Rock (Vancouver, Canada)
||October 28 - November 8, 2013
||Horseshoe Bossier City (Louisiana)
||November 7 - 18, 2013
||Casino Montreal (Montreal, Canada)
||November 13 – 24, 2013
||Harrah’s Atlantic City
||November 29 – December 9, 2013
|| December 7-9
||Harrah’s Rincon (San Diego area)
||December 5 – 16, 2013
||Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)
||January 9-20, 2014
||Harrah’s Tunica (Mississippi)
||January 23 – February 3, 2014
||Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
||February 6-17, 2014
||Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
||February 20 – March 3, 2014
||The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
||March 6 - 17, 2014
||March 20 – March 31, 2014
||Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
||April 3 - 14, 2014
||Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa)
||April 10 – 21, 2014
||April 17 – April 28, 2014
||The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk (Colorado)
||April 24 – May 5, 2014
||Harrah’s New Orleans
||May 8 – May 19, 2014
||WSOP National Championship
Caesars Atlantic City
From 1970 through 2006 the World Series of Poker was in a constant state of growth, which is pretty impressive considering the event has and always will be the largest poker tournament in the game. But a funny thing happened when the “Poker Boom” pinnacled in 2006, the tournament series was still pulling in massive numbers (especially for the Main Event) but the prestige and the buzz around the entire tournament series has been severely lacking.
In the 1970’s the World Series of Poker was a niche event, the chances that the average person knew the names Doyle Brunson or Johnny Moss were slim to none, and if they did recognize the name it was only on a very general level. In the 1980’s the WSOP was even less of a spectacle. Not only were we getting to a point of “been-there, done-that”, but with fields that were no longer made up of solely of the best players in the world and maybe a handful of amateurs, the interest from the general public was definitely waning. By the 1990’s it wasn’t even a certainty that the WSOP would be sustainable in the future.
Fortunately by the mid-1990’s there was a renewed interest in the game, and with online poker launching in 1998 the WSOP was already seeing an increase in popularity and buzz well before Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 win. With Positively Fifth Street, Rounders, the Hole-Card camera, Chris Moneymaker, and the advancement of online poker the WSOP reached a “Golden Age” which continued for multiple years thanks to the poker bug biting countries around the globe.
All that being said, throughout it all –the highs and the lows—the WSOP really didn’t change. Instead of being proactive with wither their marketing or in the way the tournament was presented, they simply went with the flow, and in the case of the current Caesars Entertainment era they have simply supersaturated anything they deem to be popular, to the point that it becomes a watered down version of the original.
This is why I feel the WSOP is starting to get the point where it really doesn’t matter. There is no buzz to 95% of the tournaments (or if there is, it’s simply been manufactured buzz) and there is no special, individualized, identity to many of the tournaments 60+ tournaments. The WSOP is now a typical tournament series with a Main Event, some-type of Super-High Roller and High-Roller tournaments, and then meaningless preliminary events –with the only difference being these preliminary events award bracelets.
Personally I’d like to see the WSOP whittled down to maybe 20 “real” WSOP tournaments, while the other tournaments, including all events under a $5,000 buy-in being dropped as bracelet-events. I still want a massive tournament series, maybe even more tournaments, but I want a special emphasis placed on the higher-buy-in tournaments. Download Titan Poker Software for Free at TPBC!
With rumors of Caesars Entertainment preparing to launch their WSOP.com online poker room in Nevada in the next week --which is sure to be the most powerful early brand in the US market-- Ultimate Poker is starting to clean-up around its edges a bit and has put a verification system in place for Verizon, Cricket, and Virgin Mobile users, according to PokerFuse.com.
The lack of a verification system, especially for the hundreds of thousands of Verizon users, was one of the biggest hindrances for Ultimate Poker in attracting players. Now that Ultimate Poker has put this system in place it will be interesting to see if they can pull in Verizon users before other sites start popping-up, and people are unaware that they can now play from their Verizon, Cricket, and Virgin devices.
Ultimate Poker was so adamant on being first in the market that the company was willing to rollout a stripped-down version of their software simply to beat their competitors to the punch. The reviews of the Ultimate Poker software have not been kind, with people likening the software to early online poker rooms from 2001. One poster on PokerForums.org had this t say about the software:
Big thumbs down...
No scrolling for bet sizing on the middle turn ball on the mouse
Can't input bet sizing in an effective manner with the numerical pad
Also, they give you a random hourly text input (those puzzling "discolored/unreadable" codes that you see at credit cards, websites, etc. when you are sign up for an account)...not so great when you are the middle of hands on multiple tables
According to Todd Witteles’ website, PokerFraudAlert.com, he has heard that Caesars Entertainment is planning on launching their WSOP.com Nevada site in the coming week. The WSOP.com website will feature 888’s software, and unlike Ultimate Poker which developed its own software, the WSOP.com should be ready to go from day-one.
As more and more online poker rooms come online in what is a very small market –Nevada has less than 3 million residents—you can expect a number of upgrades and improvements to constantly be taking place, and you can also expect new and enticing promotions and bonuses to be offered to players in an effort to woo them away from competitors.
The question is, did Ultimate Poker do itself a favor by being first, or will they be remembered for their “not ready for primetime” debut, that not only featured inferior software and a lack of verification, but also the use of Ultimate Bet-connected Iovation to run checks on players, while other sites like WSOP.com unroll a near-perfect product right out of the gate? Get the detailed review on Titan Poker here.
In Part 1 of this series I detailed how the online poker world has changed since the poker boom, and offered up some thoughts and opinions on what online poker players will have to get used to in this “new” phase of online poker. In Part 1 I started off with a couple of things that have already begun to be implemented: Capped stakes and a ban on P2P transfers.
In this installment I’ll take a look at three more things poker players will have to deal with moving forward.
In 2005 the entire world was a site’s player-pool, but with a number of countries legalizing and regulating online gaming the worldwide market has been balkanized (a term I first saw used on CalvinAyre.com) with each area offering their own regulations.
It’s unlikely the worldwide market will ever return, since regulating foreign companies is next to impossible, as is collecting tax revenue from them, so online poker players will have to get used to these smaller player-pools.
One major drawback to this will be off-peak-hour traffic, which for smaller markets like Nevada is almost non-existent.
Another change that will most certainly be welcomed by poker players is that we will now be able to hold criminals and cheats responsible for their actions. No longer will the analogy of “It’s like stealing from a drug-dealer” apply to online poker thefts.
The End of the Rakeback Grinder
I for one will be ecstatic when this particular poker player is a thing of the past, the Rakeback Grinder. A Rakeback Grinder is a player who plays extremely tight, so tight that they are at best breaking even, BUT, because of their rakeback deal they are able to grind out a decent profit every month. I have yet to figure out why online poker sites decided to cater to these players: Yes, they are high-volume (high-rake) players, but they are terrible for the long-term poker ecosystem.
These players are probably one of the worst things that have happened to online poker as they tend to sit at 16+ tables and play uber-tight, basically killing action in the game. Now imagine what happens when you have three or four of these players at a single table!
Hopefully, the new US markets decide to implement something along the lines of B&M rewards system, where the rewards themselves cannot be enough to earn a living. I’d really like to see players rewarded by the number of hours they play instead of the number of hands they play. Looking for the latest poker promotions? Head over to our Promotions Titan Poker page.
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, the US online poker world entered a new era with the launch of Ultimate Poker in Nevada. This era has already begun in other locales around the globe, where regulated markets are starting to outnumber the unregulated ones, and more importantly, where sites are starting to abide by the laws of the different countries they operate in. It would appear that slowly but surely the online poker world is changing. Gone are the days of unregulated markets and a Wild West attitude towards the games, and US poker players are going to be faced with some very hard truths moving forward in the new poker environment.
In this series I’ll take a look at five truths the poker community will have to get used to in the new online poker climate. In this installment I’ll take a look at two things that will likely be enforced at legal US poker rooms, capped stakes and a ban on P2P transfers. Get the latest updates from around the poker world at our Titan Poker News page.
One of the first things I noticed about Ultimate Poker was that the company had capped its stakes at fairly low limits -- $5/$10 for No Limit games and $10/$20 for Fixed Limit games. I would have said that this was done to keep their small player-pool bunched together if capped stakes weren’t taking hold at other online poker site, chief among them Party Poker.
By capping the stakes online poker sites accomplish the following:
- No loss of rake since whether the stakes are $10/$20 or $1,000/$2,000 the rake itself is capped, usually at $3.
- Like a slow restaurant removing half their tables it keeps all of the players together, giving the appearance of a busier site, and keeping tables from constantly being short-handed and breaking.
- It eliminates many of the cheating complaints and charges leveled across poker forums. If cheats can only expect to make $2,000 instead of $200,000 online poker is not as appealing to them.
- It eliminates the potential for money laundering through chip-dumping.
- It keeps player losses to a “reasonable” amount, effectively destroying the “you could log on and lose your house in an hour” argument used by gaming opponents.
Capping the stakes will only aggravate high-level pros, but they are such a small segment in the poker world this really won’t be a problem –although it will probably seem like the end of the world if you read 2+2.
Bans on P2P Transfers
The second change players will have to get used to will be a ban on Player-to-Player transfers. This shouldn’t be a big deal since it will once again be easy to move money on and off a poker site, but players –especially backers and their horses—have grown used to this method of funding a poker account over the years.
The reason P2P transfers will likely be prohibited is to appease people concerned about underage gamblers getting online, and players circumventing deposit limits. P2P transfers have historically been the cause of numerous scamming ranging from people getting rolled when exchanging money to players simply abusing the system.
On August 28, 2013 The European Poker Tour (EPT) will turn 10, when Season X of the popular poker tour kicks-off with a stop in Barcelona. While very little was made of the historic 10th Anniversary of the tour when PokerStars released the Season X schedule on Monday, going by the site’s history with their own 10th Anniversary it’s a good bet that PokerStars has some special events planned for Season X of the PokerStars EPT.
Once again the EPT schedule has been streamlined, with the tour focusing on its most popular destinations and building full tournament series around the EPT Main Events. The only real changes to the schedule were the EPT San Remo and the EPT London, both reverting back to their usual dates on the calendar. Click this link for the latest Titan Poker bonus today!
"During a successful Season 9 where we decided to host fewer and bigger events incorporating the national tours, we listened to an enormous amount of player feedback who valued less time spent travelling, and more time spent playing. Since the Sanremo tournament will be held immediately before the EPT Grand Final in April, it will mean players can spend the whole month of April on the beautiful Riviera," said EPT President Edgar Stuchly in the press release on the PokerStars blog.
Here is a look at the current dates for the Season X stops on the European Poker Tour:
||Main Event Dates
||Aug 15-25, 2012
||Aug 19-25, 2012
||€5,000 + 300
||Oct 3-11, 2012
||Oct 5-11, 2012
||€5,000 + 300
||Dec 5-15, 2012
||Dec 9- 15, 2012
||€5,000 + 300
||Jan 5-14, 2013
||Jan 7-13, 2013
||$10,000 + 300
||Jan 30-Feb 9, 2013
||Feb 3-9, 2013
||€5,000 + 300
||Mar 5-16, 2013
||Mar 10-16, 2013
||£5,000 + 250
||Apr 17-27, 2013
||Apr 21-27, 2013
||€5,000 + 300
|POKERSTARS AND MONTE-CARLO®CASINO EPT GRAND FINAL
||May 6-15, 2013
||May 6-12, 2013
||€10,000 + 600
Remarkably, after nearly nine full seasons the European Poker Tour has yet to see a player win multiple titles. Compare this to the World Poker Tour’s track record of 19 players with multiple championship titles, and two, Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen, having three championships on their resume. So, in 120 tournaments the WPT has crowned 19 repeat winners, and in 90 tournaments the EPT has crowned ZERO!
*Resources: www.pokerstarsblog.com, www.europeanpokertour.com
If you haven’t glanced at the online poker traffic numbers provided by PokerScout.com in a while you might be asking yourself what is going on with the US market. Bovada is now the #1 online poker room in the US market according to PokerScout.com, and Merge and Revolution are battling for the #2 spot, whereas just six months ago Revolution was easily holding the #1 spot, followed by Merge and then Bodog.
It’s been a terrible past couple of months for the Revolution Network, which now finds itself in a virtual tie with the Merge Gaming Network for the title of the second largest online poker provider in the US. Bodog (under the banner of Bovada) is leading the US market when it comes to traffic with near-double the amount at either Revolution or Merge according to PokerScout.com.
While second place is normally a decent place to be, Revolution has seen traffic fall nearly 50% in the past couple months as the network has been the target for numerous criticisms, most of which focusing on the slow withdrawal times from the network which have stretched to three and four months. At one point they were the #1 online poker provider in the US, and were crushing Merge Gaming after one of their flagship skins, BlackChipPoker, jumped from Merge Gaming to the Winning Poker Network. But now the two networks have seen their roles reversed, as Merge Gaming is hanging on strong to its player base, while Revolution has seen its numbers plummet.
The recipient of Revolution’s slide is not really apparent just yet, Bodog has seen a marginal increase in their traffic numbers, while the Merge Gaming Network and the Winning Poker Network have held fairly steady.
Soon we will also see the impact of Ultimate Poker’s launch in Nevada on the US traffic numbers, and as more and more rooms come online in the now regulated market it could wreak real havoc on the remaining offshore sites that are still operating in the US. Currently the site is tracking just below Seals with Clubs in PokerScout’s reports, not quite the massive debut people were hoping for.
Here is a look at the US online poker provider traffic rankings according to PokerScout.com (as of 5/1/2013):
- Bodog/Bovada: Worldwide rank #11 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 1,100 cash-game players
- Revolution Gaming Network: Worldwide rank #14 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 680 cash-game players
- Merge Gaming Network: Worldwide rank #15 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 670 cash-game players
- Winning Poker Network: Worldwide rank #27 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 245 cash-game players
- Chico Poker Network: Worldwide rank #31 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 210 cash-game players
- Seals With Clubs: Worldwide Rank #42 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 84 cash-game players
- Ultimate Poker: Worldwide rank #43 – 7-Day Rolling Average of 75 cash-game players
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Anyone who follows the world of poker with any level of scrutiny is well aware of the massive drops in attendance at major poker tournaments that have been taking place over the past few years. Black Friday gets a lot of the blame for these drops –and rightly so—but even before the US Department of Justice decided to turn the entire poker world on its head attendance had been waning virtually across the board. Of course, a few tournaments and locales managed to buck the trend and keep their attendance numbers from plummeting, but there is also one part of the world that has seen a sharp increase in poker tournament attendance, Macau.
Known mainly for its ultra-high-stakes cash games, Macau has started to become far more than a playground for the ultra-wealthy and top-tier poker pros in the world, evidenced by the massive turnout for the recent Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. Prior to last week’s tournament, the attendance record for the tournament was a respectable 635 players, but this time around the tournament pulled-in a remarkable field of nearly 900 players, with the final number hitting 891 when all was said and done. And according to the PokerStars coverage of the tournament, this was with over 100 alternates never getting a chance to take a seat in the event!
The tournament itself is now in the hands of PokerStars (which is a likely reason for some of the growth this year) and if you think the Main Event was an outlier look no further than several of the preliminary events setting their own records. However you slice it, it seems like Macau could very well be the most desirable tournament destination next to Las Vegas in the middle of summer when the WSOP comes to town.
Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:
- Terry Fan: 1,771,000 HKD -- $228,516
- Gie Reyes: 1,242,000 HKD -- $160,258
- Neil Chen: 743,000 HKD -- $95,871
- Fei Xie: 555,000 HKD -- $71,613
- Andy Asihwardji: 393,000 HKD -- $50,710
- Fanny Li: 328,000 HKD -- $42,323
- Sailesh Lohia: 262,000 HKD -- $33,806
- Wesley Zhu: 196,000 HKD -- $25,290
- Ryan Yu: 153,000 HKD -- $19,742
The tournament series has been running for a number of years of now, and up until now has pretty much been known for two things: The first is of course having the coolest trophy in the history of poker (and perhaps in the history of sports?) as well as being pretty much responsible for putting Celina Lin on the poker map as she won this event in 2009 and again in 2012. Click here for the latest tournament schedule for Titan Poker.
*Resources: www.thehendonmob.com, www.pokerstarsmacau.com
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