Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Inside Straight -- News

Reviews, News, and Interviews From Around the Poker World

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Nov 30, 2008


Age Before Beauty - With a Little Bit of Luck

Doyle Brunson and Annette ObrestadAway from the frantic tournament action, the World Series Of Poker Europe, held at the Empire Casino, London, in September, hosted an intriguing battle between former main event champion, Annette Obrestad and Texas road gambler and ten-time bracelet winner, Doyle Brunson in a 'best of three' heads-up no-limit hold'em match.

Older was proven to be wiser as Brunson emerged the victor, defeating Obrestad 2-0.

During the first match, Obrestad went all in on the flop with an open-ended straight draw. She was called by Brunson who had made a pair. Obrestad hit a queen-high straight on the turn, but Brunson rivered a king-high straight and took round one down.

After about 15 minutes of play during round two, the pair got down to it again on a jack-high flop. Obrestad had Brunson on the flop, but the poker legend made two pair on the turn and it was all over.

He may have lucked out but that's all part of the game.

Yoshihiro Tasaka's Got Seoul

Yoshihiro TasakaForty nine-year-old Yoshihiro Tasaka has become Japan's first ever competitor to win an Asia Pacific Poker Tour title. One hundred and sixty five players took part in the event which ran over three days at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino in Korea, creating a prize pool of KRW 465,300,000, which is approximately $400,777.

Professionals competing for the top prize of KRW 148,896,000, (approximately USD $128,250) included Team PokerStars Pros Greg Raymer, Hevad Khan, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.

After 13 hours at the final table, Yoshihiro Tasaka emerged as the champion when his 9 2 hit a nine on the flop, against the A 4 of his opponent.

President of the APPT, Jeffrey Haas said, "This year 35 Japanese players travelled across to Seoul to play in the main event compared to 21 in season one last year - to me this player increase highlights the growth in poker culture and appreciation for the sport of tournament poker in this part of the world and it is very fitting to see a Japanese player return home with the title. It is very exciting for the region to see some home-grown heroes."

PokerStars London Sojourn

LondonNot to be outdone by the World Series of Poker parking tanks on its lawn, the European Poker Tour blasted right back with record numbers attending the London leg of the Tour. guaranteed a first prize of £1 million, which surely helped to boost the numbers, and after John Juanda's win at the WSOPE, the Americans had finally got their game on with Michael Martin taking down the top prize, and a couple of days later, EPT San Remo winner Jason Mercier completing the hat-trick for the states with his triumph in the £20,000 buy-in £1 Million Dollar Showdown for which he lifted £516,000.

See the full tournament report later in this issue.

Juand-another Bracelet, John?

John Juanda wins a WSOPE braceletThe World Series of Poker Europe, presented by Betfair, and an attendant posse of the world's best poker players, descended on London in September to chase four of the five remaining bracelets to be won in 2008. Europeans - well, the Danish specifically - cut a swathe through events No. 1 and 3 with Jesper Hougaard collecting his second bracelet this year for his victory in the £1,500 no-limit hold'em event, and Theo Jorgensen lifting the £5,000 pot-limit Omaha title.

Sherkan Farnood from Afghanistan took down event No. 2, the £2,500 H.O.R.S.E tournament, so by the time the £10,000 main event started, the States were down 3-nil, prompting one Euro wag to exclaim, "Two Danes and an Afghanastani? How could America let this happen!"

Well, the U.S. contingent was galvanised by its limp performance in the previous events and fought back valiantly with John Juanda (wait … isn't he from Indonesia? ... oh well … nevermind) storming through a record-breaking 20 hour final table to win his fourth bracelet and £868,800.

Juanda went on to claim second place in the European Poker Tour £1 Million Showdown proving that Indones … sorry … Americans can venture from home soil and successfully mix it up with the locals.

See the features in this issue on both of these events.

€2 Million Prize Pool Expected at Belgium Poker Championship

Euro chipsThe Belgium Poker Championship is back for the fourth consecutive year at the Casino of Namur and Spa in Belgium from Nov. 15 - 23. Last year, this event had over 800 entrants, and with a buy-in of €1,500, it had a lot to offer.

With capacity doubled to 1,600 and a buy-in of €1,550 + €150 this year, the championship event is pushing the boundaries in the hope of breaking the record for the largest event ever held in Europe.

Last year's winner was native Jamel Maistriaux. He took home €300,092 for first place. But this year the prize pool is expected to reach €2 million, so there is an awful lot at stake for any wannabe champion - once they are over 21-years-old. There will be many side events and cash games also, and the main event, which will be televised, will run for nine days.

Irish Eyes are Smiling

Padraig has signed Card Player writer and Irish poker pro, Padraig Parkinson. He joins pot-limit Omaha world champion Marty Smyth on Team BoylePoker. The sponsorship will see Parkinson play bounty tournaments and write a blog on, as well as representing the site on the international circuit.

Parkinson said, "I'm obviously delighted to be joining a top flight poker team such as BoylePoker, and with Marty Smyth already having scored a couple of world class goals I'm looking forward to establishing myself in the first team. As Eric Harrison, the youth team coach at Manchester United said, 'if it's good enough for [Eric] Cantona, it's good enough for me'."

Parkinson has come close to the top spot many times in World Series of Poker events, including two third places in 1999 and 2006. In 2002, he won the fifth series of Late Night Poker, and is a well-known character in the international poker community. He happily started his time in Team BoylePoker with a 13th place finish in the £5,000 pot-limit Omaha event at the World Series of Poker Europe. His total tournament winnings exceed $1 million.

The Irishman's bubbly personality has made him a popular TV commentator, and he is a central figure in the charity, Poker for the Homeless, (formerly Simon Poker Day) which has raised tens of thousands of euro for Irish homeless charities.

Head of poker at Boyle Sports, Paul Spillane said, "Padraig's talent both on and off the felt speaks for itself. He is a tremendous ambassador for the game, an extraordinary player, and we're extremely lucky and proud that he will be representing BoylePoker at the world's biggest poker tournaments." Poker Den and Women's World Open

Poker has been busy on the television front. Poker Den: The Big Game III ran from 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 until 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 in East London. Twenty-one players hit the felt at different stages, and more than 30 hours of poker were played.

Among those who went home happy were Englishman Andrew Feldman, who made a profit of $63,350, American Robert Williamson III, who was up $63,675, and German online qualifier Bodo Sbrzesny who shone on the night, and is now $22,850 in the black.

A spokesman said, "We gave an exclusive opportunity for one VIP to play in the poker den through a rake race on the site and the winner certainly didn't disappoint. Bodo Sbrzesny is certainly one to look out for in the future."

Players who came out a little worse for wear included 2004 World Series of Poker main event runner-up, David Williams, who lost $40,000, and Brit Roland de Wolfe who was down $50,000. However, the loser of the night award goes to Sammy "Any Two" George, whose pocket was $78,425 lighter after leaving the Den.

The game will be broadcast on UK Channel Five early next year and distributed worldwide after.

Elsewhere the $3,000 Women's World Open II found its champion after sparks flew when 36 players from the U.S. and Europe got serious in the hope of taking home a hefty piece of the $108,000 prize pool. But it was the Europeans who truly won out in this year's event with final results which look like this:

First: Soraya Homam, Germany ($50,000)
Second: Stefanie Bergener, Germany ($22,000)
Third: May Maceiras, Spain ($14,000)
Fourth: Eliza Burnett, England: ($10,000)
Fifth: Michelle Orpe, England ($7,000)
Sixth: Kyla Kalmar, England ($5,000)

Other female greats who took part, but fell before the finish line were Erica Schoenberg, last year's champion Bev Pace, Card Player columnist Jen Mason, Late Night Poker finalist Maria Demetriou, and Xuyen 'Bad Girl' Pham.

On the last hand of the night Homam picked up A K, and went all in. Bergener called with A 6. The board fell Q 8 7 3 10 and with that Homam took the title, the money, and the glory, for this year.

Coverage of the final will be shown on UK Channel Five next year with commentary by Jesse May and Robert Williamson III.

DuplicatePoker Crashes With Market

Duplicate has closed up shop blaming the global financial crisis for being unable to continue its service. Visitors to the website on Oct. 5 were met with a short statement saying:

"Duplicate is sadly bidding farewell to its players. Caught in the middle of the global financial situation the company is not able to continue to provide service [sic]. We are a small victim of the global financial crisis.

Regretfully as of the [sic] today, October 5th, 2008 we are closing our service. We thank our players for being with us. Hopefully at later time [sic] and in a better economic climate Duplicate Poker will re-appear.


The Duplicate Poker Team"

Customers of the online poker room should visit to request withdrawal of any monies remaining in their accounts.

iPoker Thinks Big

23 year-old Frenchman Olivier "axp15" Lombard took down the $500,000 top prize of an online tournament on the iPoker network in September.

Olivier qualified for the $2.5 million guaranteed tournament four days previous in an event he almost forgot to play in. Then, after winning the seat, he had to decide whether to go away on holidays or take a shot at the event. In the end, the draw of the virtual felt was just too strong and he cut his trip short to play via remote Internet access in Senegal.

The online cash player emerged triumphant from a field of 1,596 after 14 hours of strenuous play.

"Never give up," is his advice to other tournament hopefuls. "Always go for number one."

The last minute decision has transformed his life, and he can now take as many holidays as he likes, before returning to his very first home in France.

Elsewhere, iPoker's popular European Championship of Online Poker (ECOOP) returns from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7 with over $4 million guaranteed across limit, no-limit, pot-limit Omaha, pot-limit Omaha high-low, and seven-card stud. The third installment of the event can be played on VC Poker, PaddyPowerPoker, Titan, BoylePoker, Bet365, BlueSquarePoker, Expekt, and a host of other big name sites, each running their own special promotions.