Final post, Card Squad retiring

As of tonight, Card Squad will be retiring. I'd like to send out my thanks to everyone who has visited our site over the past few years, and especially to those that we got to know on a personal level while playing the WWdN tournaments, Mondays at the Hoy, The Mookie, and all of the WPBT/blogger events.

M. Barrett Sandler, or Hoyazo as he is probably best known to most of you, has provided us with invaluable insight to the game. He will continue blogging about poker and analyzing hands over at his personal blog.

Wil Wheaton can be found blogging all over the net, including our sister site TV Squad where he gives an insightful (and hilarious) look into the world of Star Trek TNG. He can also be found writing on his personal blog, about geek stuff, news at Netscape, and blogging LA. Wil would like to say "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

It's been a pleasure working with both of them.

As for me, I'm simply moving my desk down the virtual hall. I'm staying with Weblogs Inc., posting for both Slashfood and Blogging Baby. Bet you didn't know I could cook! If you have some time, come visit me there.

Again, thanks to all our readers, it has been a great run!

Borgata Winter Poker Open Final

I was absolutely thrilled to see that the winner of the 2007 Borgata Winter Poker Open was none other than John Hennigan. He's always been one of my favorites (even back in his pool playing days) and it's been far too long since he has placed first in a tournament. The final table had some pretty crazy hands, especially the very last one that resulted in Hennigan taking down the title. If you have time, go read the play-by-play over at Bluff.

The final six players and their prize money were:

1. John Hennigan $1,606,223
2. Chuck Kelley $849,082
3. John Gale $443,096
4. Joe Simmons $387,709
5. Michael Sukonik $332,322
6. John James $276,935

WSOP Tournament Circuit: Horseshoe Council Bluffs

The latest 2007 World Series of Poker tournament circuit event, held at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, IA, began yesterday and runs through February 7th, culminating with a $5,000 buy-in Championship Event. They are currently running satellites ranging in price between $60 and $110.

Schedule of events is as follows:

Monday, January 29 - $300 NLHE
Tuesday, January 30 - $500 NLHE
Wednesday, January 31 - $300 NLHE
Thursay, February 1 - $500 NLHE
Friday, February 2 - $1,000 NLHE
Saturday, February 3 - $1500 NLHE
Saturday, February 3 - $300 Limit Hold'em
Mon, Feb. 5 - Wed, Feb. 7
$5000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship Event

SE7EN Magazine Launched

Bluff Media, along with Publications Services of America, launched their newest magazine SE7EN at the Sundance Film Festival. The publication is geared towards men whose interest lay in sports, gaming, and an affluent lifestyle. According to Bluff:

The premier issue of SE7EN magazine boasts Hollywood icon and man's man Ray Liotta on the cover. Inside, he speaks to readers about his much anticipated upcoming film 'Smokin' Aces' due out at the end of January. Other features include exclusive stories with top athletes, such as Michael Strahan and Oscar de la Hoya, as well as SE7EN's selection of the sexiest female athletes, the SE7EN Guide to the Well-Rounded Man, and an entire section on gambling aptly named JUICE.

For more info on the magazine, you can visit their website.

Women's Ultimate Poker Challenge

Speaking of Ladies events, Woman Poker Player magazine and The Ultimate Poker Challenge have teamed up to create the Ultimate Women's Poker Challenge.

The event will be held on February 9th at Binions in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final table is scheduled for February 10th and will be televised for a future episode of UPC. Buy-in for the event is $200, though according to their website, Binions will be holding single table satellites beginning on February 8th.

For more details on this event, you can visit the UPC website via the 'read' link below.

Lips Tour Grand Championship Scheduled

The Lips Tour (Ladies International Poker Series) has announced the details for the upcoming Grand Championship. The event will take place at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas between July 20-22nd, 2007. In addition to the regularly scheduled games, they will be adding a H.O.S. event this year. If you are interested in participating, the Orleans is offering special room rates for the event.

Also, the Lips Tour will be making their next stop at the Commerce Casino for the World Poker Tour Ladies Event on February 3rd. The buy-in for this event will be $1060, and the first place winner will also receive a $25,000 seat into the WPT Championship at the Bellagio.

Winter Poker Open Final Table

Bluff has announced the final six players who will be moving on to the televised World Poker Tour final table tomorrow at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Players and their chip counts are as follows:

Joe Simmons 5,500,000
John Gale 4,830,000
John Hennigan 3,255,000
Chuck Kelley 1,610,000
Michael Sukonik 1,305,000
John James 535,000

The four players who rounded off the top ten but didn't make the final table were:

7. Joseph Cappello $221,548
8. John Racener $166,161
9. David Redlin $110,774
10. Davidson Matthew $72,003

For a detailed recap of today's play, as well as a look at the final six players, check out Bluff Magazine's coverage.

FTOPS Complete Schedule Now Up

Full Tilt Poker has updated their website with the complete schedule of events for FTOPS (Full Tilt Online Poker Series) which begins on February 9th. If you are planning to play any of the events, satellites are running as we speak so you have an opportunity to get into the tournaments for much less than the buy-in fee. The series wraps with a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool Main Event.

Updated schedule is as follows:

February 9, 21:00 ET
NLHE $216 buy-in
Hosted by Erik Seidel
Guaranteed prize pool: $200,000

February 10, 18:00 ET
HORSE $216 buy-in
Hosted by Andy Bloch
Guaranteed prize pool: $100,000

February 11, 18:00 ET
NLHE $322 buy-in
Hosted by Erick Lindgren
Guaranteed prize pool: $750,000

February 12, 21:00 ET
PLO Rebuy $109 buy-in
Hosted by Lee Watkinson
Guaranteed prize pool: $50,000

February 13, 21:00 ET
6-handed NLHE $216 buy-in
Hosted by John Juanda
Guaranteed prize pool: $350,000

February 14, 21:00 ET
Omaha Hi/Lo $216 buy-in
Hosted by Mike Matusow
Guaranteed prize pool: $75,000

February 15, 21:00 ET
NLHE w/rebuys, $216 buy-in
Hosted by Allen Cunningham
Guaranteed prize pool: $100,000

February 16, 21:00 ET
Pot-Limit Hold'em $216 buy-in
Hosted by Rafe Furst
Guaranteed prize pool: $125,000

February 17, 18:00 ET
HA (12 minute blinds alternating between Hold'em and Omaha) - $322 buy-in
Hosted by Jennifer Harman
Guaranteed prize pool: $150,000

February 18, 18:00 ET
Main Event - NLHE with T5000 starting stacks - $535 buy-in
Hosted by Chris Ferguson
Guaranteed prize pool: $1,500,000

3rd Annual National Heads Up Poker Championship

The third annual National Heads Up Poker Championship is scheduled to run between March 1-4 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Confirmed to be participating are:

Chris Ferguson (who was the runner-up in both 2005 and 2006), Phil Hellmuth (2005 winner), Ted Forrest (2006 winner), as well as Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, and Greg Raymer.

There will be 64 players altogether, including one player who will win their way in via the free online challenge NBC is hosting. I'm not sure if it is too late to qualify, but you can check out their website for more information. The show will be aired on NBC in April, 2007.

Jamie Gold and Bodog part company

In news that I'm sure is going to upset legions of Jamie Gold fans (almost hard to say that with a straight face), Bodog has ended their endorsement deal with the 2006 Main Event winner. According to Haley at PokerNews, an email from Susan Mainzer, the Senior Media Relations Manager at Bodog marketing company Media states that:

"...the decision is placed squarely within the context of Bodog's other market choices surrounding online poker in the United States, including Bodog's recent decision to terminate all non-Internet related advertising within the States.

Nothing has been mentioned about Josh Arieh, David Williams, or Evelyn Ng, who are also members of Team Bodog.

To view the entire article, follow the "read" link below.

Borgata Winter Poker Open

Today is the 4th day of the Winter Poker Open Main Event at the Borgata in Atlantic City, and of the 27 players remaining only 6 will move on to the WPT televised final table tomorrow. Among those remaining are John Phan, John Gale, and Chip Jett. Also, one of my my all-time favorites, John Hennigan, is still in the running. Hennigan also cashed in event #9 of this series, $5000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em, placing 21/242.

As usual, the Bluff Magazine team is providing their outstanding live coverage, so you can check in with them for updates throughout the day.

Deja Vu With Neteller?

(Unfortunate thanks to Falstaff for bringing this issue to my attention first over at his blog.)

Neteller, we have a problem. And I'm not talking about the "I saw an ant on the kitchen floor" kind of problem, but rather more like the "I just saw every wall in the house fall in from termite destruction" kind of problem. Well, maybe it's not quite that serious. Yet. But it's damn close. And getting closer.

After reading all of Iggy's recent posts rehashing the whole Pokerspot debacle (fabulous reads btw, especially in light of what Neteller is now telling us), I cannot help but feel a strong (too strong) sense of deja vu as I read over the latest and greatest news from Neteller regarding how U.S. online gamblers can all get their deposits out of their now-useless Neteller accounts. Is it me, or do the following statements -- taken directly from Neteller's newly-updated homepage statement for U.S. poker players -- sound an awful lot like the statements made by one Russ "Dutch" Boyd a few years ago as the Pokerspot shizz was about to really hit the proverbial fan? Here is what Neteller has to say as of this weekend:

"How can I withdraw funds from my NETELLER account?

At this time, our ability to provide US members with withdrawals is significantly reduced. As a top priority, we are working to resolve all withdrawal issues, but in the meantime we continue to maintain these funds in trust on your behalf. Please check this page regularly for more updates.

Why can't I use my Gold NETELLER Card anymore?

The Gold NETELLER Card is not available as a withdrawal option at this time.

We are doing our best to restore our withdrawal options but don't know how long this will take. In the meantime your funds are safely maintained in trust accounts. We will communicate any updates as soon as possible.

Why can't I get a Gold NETELLER Card anymore?

We are temporarily not issuing Gold NETELLER Cards. The Gold NETELLER Card is not available as a withdrawal option at this time."

Both of these ideas are very troubling to me. Obviously, the inability to get any of our funds -- our funds -- out of Neteller in any way is angering to say the least. What's more, after a useless attempt at emailing Neteller support last week, and eventually having to call Neteller cusotmer service because of the ineptitude of the email I received, I was told by a nice English-speaking woman in Canada a few days ago that the Neteller card was the best and most reliable way for me to withdraw my funds as quickly as possible. Uh huh. Now, not three days later, no more Neteller cards are being issued (presumably including mine), and it wouldn't matter anyways because withdrawals are no longer being permitted via the Neteller card.

Where does this leave us? Nowhere. With nothing. And the worst part is, I swear if you change the name at the bottom of these announcements from "Neteller Support" to "Russ Boyd", I wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between the two sets of communications. Would you?

2007 World Poker Open final results

The 2007 World Poker Open Championship Event wrapped yesterday, and Bryan Sumner took down the title and over $900,000 in cash. This is the second year in a row that this event has failed to reach $1 million for first place. Quite surprisingly, the total number of entrants only reached 294 as opposed to last year which had 327. It will be interesting to see if other upcoming main events can maintain the numbers that we have seen over the past few years.

The final 9 finishers in this tournament and their prize money were as follows:

1 Bryan Sumner (Bluff reports $904,574, CardPlayer reports $913,986)
2 Daniel Negreanu (Bluff reports $497,517, CardPlayer reports $502,691)
3 Young Cho $257,058
4 Gary Kainer $199,934
5 Thang "Kido" Pham $171,372
6 J.C. Tran $142,810
7 Robert Thompson $114,248
8 Matt Russell $85,686
9 James Bullard $57,124

For a complete recap of the tournament, visit the guys over at Bluff Magazine who covered the event live.

Reminder -- WPBT Tournament Series Re-Starts Sunday Jan. 28

This is just a quick reminder today for this weekend to all you poker blogger types out there. That's right -- the World Poker Bloggers Tour returns for its spectacular kickoff tournament to the 2007 WPBT season, coming this Sunday night at 9pm ET on full tilt. Come join everyone who's anyone in the poker blogging community as the group's best and the brightest come out to play and mix things up in what is, in this blogger's view anyways, without a doubt the best concentration of poker blogging skill and mettle anywhere on the Internets.

The WPBT, conceived of by Byron and now this year managed as well by Columbo, is a series of poker tournaments, limited only to poker bloggers or at least players with some actual semblance of an actual blog. The series first ran in 2006, and Byron has conceived of a brilliant scoring script (B recently explained to me what a script actually is, so now I get to use that word and put it in italics too!) that enables them to award Player of the Year (POY) points to the top half of finishers in each event, and to keep a running tally throughout the year of all the players' performances. The semiannual live WPBT poker tournaments held in Las Vegas each summer and winter also count towards the WPBT POY scoring, and generally the live tourneys have the heaviest weight as well due to the higher live-casino buyins, so this only adds to the excitement already generated by this fun and hotly-contest series of poker tournaments among our little group. And the end result is the WPBT Player of the Year leaderboard, which will be hosted and updated regularly on either Byron's and/or Columbo's blog, where anyone can view the list of the top points-winners thus far in the year's WPBT tournaments. Personally, I found this to be one of the most fun aspects of playing poker with the bloggers during 2006. But then, that might have had something to do with the fact that I ended the year in 4th place in POY overall points among the 150+ bloggers who showed up to play in one or more of these tournaments last year.

In any event, this coming Sunday night at 9pm ET marks the first new tournament of the 2007 WPBT season, so all of you bloggers out there will want to make sure you get in early so as not to fall behind in the POY race for the year. Especially you guys who did poorly early in 2006, and a great number of you who started blogging later during 2006 and thus did not have the chance to gain enough POY points to make the top of the list, this is your time to get in there and make an early splash. This Sunday's event will be no-limit holdem, and bears a $26 (tier 1 token) buyin on full tilt, so not only are there the first round of WPBT POY points at stake, but also a nice amount of cash to play for as well. So be sure to come on out and join the crowd this weekend, and support your fellow bloggers as well as make your mark and show your skills for all to see for 2007. I am already registered, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing you all there. Best of luck though, as I always seem to get it up for these WPBT tournaments, so you'll want to watch out for me if I pop onto your table at some point along the way.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll see you on Sunday for the WPBT on full tilt. Also, go stop by Miami Don's blog today for a nice post detailing the odds-on favorites to take down the 2007 WPBT POY race. Don can always be counted on for the Vegas odds spin on things, and the WPBT is no exception.

LA Poker Classic begins tomorrow

It's getting almost hard to keep track of them all, as January seems to have more poker tournaments than any other month. The 2007 LA Poker Classic begins tomorrow, January 25th at the Commerce Casino in California. This is a huge series, spanning almost a full month before culminating with the WPT $10,000 buy-in Championship Event. The final table last year was as follows:

1. Alan Goehring $2,391,550
2. Daniel Quach $1,162,560
3. Michael Woo $571,315
4. Steve Simmons $338,803
5. J.C. Tran $265,728
6. Per Ummer $199,296
7. Anahit Galajian $166,080
8. Kevan Casey $132,864
9. Michael McClain $99,648

This year's events are scheduled as follows:

Jan. 25 $300 NLHE
Jan. 26 $300 Limit Hold'em
Jan. 27 $300 O8
Jan. 28 $300 NLHE w/ rebuys
Jan. 29 $300 Seven Card Stud
Jan. 30 $500 NLHE
Jan. 31 $500 NLHE Shootout
Feb. 01 $500 NLHE
Feb. 02 $1000 Limit Hold'em
Feb. 03 $1000 Ladies NLHE
Feb. 04 $300 Seven Card Stud
Feb. 05 $1000 NLHE
Feb. 06 $500 O8
Feb. 07 $500 Turbo NLHE 6-handed
Feb. 08 $1500 NLHE
Feb. 09 $1000 Limit Hold'em
Feb. 10 $1000 NLHE Shootout w/rebuys
Feb. 11 $300 NLHE
Feb. 12 $2500 NLHE
Feb. 13 $1000 NLHE PPT Event
Feb. 15 $2500 Limit Hold'em
Feb. 16 $2500 NLHE
Feb. 17 $1500 Limit Hold'em
Feb. 18 $500 NLHE Shootout
Feb. 19 $1000 NLHE
Feb. 20 $500 NLHE
Feb. 21 $1500 NLHE
Feb. 21 $1500 NLHE
Feb. 22 $1000 NLHE
Feb. 24 $10,000 NLHE World Poker Tour Championship Event
Mar. 03 Celebrity Invitational Event

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