EPT Changes 2007 Schedule

The 2007 EPT French Poker Open has been cancelled. According to the CEO of the European Poker Tour, John Duthie:

The European Poker Tour (EPT) regrets to announce that the 2007 French Open poker tournament due to be held at Casino Barrière de Deauville from 20-24th February, 2007, has been cancelled. This is as a direct result of last-minute intervention by the French authorities making it impossible for the Lucien Barrière group to run a poker tournament on their premises in Deauville. We sincerely apologise to all players due to attend the event, but unfortunately these circumstances were beyond our control. We are considering the feasibility of appealing against this decision to the highest authority and will advise of any developments.

All of the other events are running as previously scheduled though. The next event, The EPT German Open, will be held in Dortmund, Germany between March 8-11, followed shortly thereafter by the EPT Polish Open in Warsaw between March 14-17, 2007.

The season will culminate with the Monte Carlo Grand Final at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, beginning on March 28, 2007.

EPT Copenhagen - Scandinavian Open Begins

In what seems like a never-ending stream of live poker tournaments running simultaneously, The European Poker Tour kicks off their EPT Copenhagen Scandinavian Open today in Denmark at Casino Copenhagen. This event will be covered live by the official PokerStars Blog, so we will be checking their site for updates.

Apparently Team PokerStars members Isabel Mercier, Katja Thater, Bertrand Grospellier, Tom McEvoy and Luca Pagano will be in attendance.

Random fact of the day: according to the EPT website a jacket is required at the Casino Copenhagen - no sports wear is allowed. Can you honestly picture the average poker player in anything BUT sportswear? I'm wondering if they are making an exception for the event, especially since a huge number of the entrants have qualified via PokerStars. If not, it would be refreshing seeing a room full of players not covered in poker logos.

Either way, the event will run between January 17-20th, and has completely sold out.

Aussie Million Main Event

Since online satellites have been running for what seems like, well, forever, it is almost hard to believe that the Main Event of the 2007 Aussie Millions is finally underway in Melbourne. Dr. Pauly is in the Land Down Under covering the event for PokerNews.com, and according to him they are now down to the top 80 players who are all in the money. You can see the full list of players via the "read" link below, but a few notable names still in the running are:

Gus Hansen, Keith Sexton, Andrew Black, Patrik Antonius, Kristy Gazes, Ross Boatman, Kirill Gerasimov, and Joe Hachem.

Go check out Pauly's blog and PokerNews.com for videos, news, and info on all the live happenings at this event.

Aussie Millions Updates

Quick reminder to all that the illustrious Dr. Pauly is in the Land Down Under doing his one-of-a-kind coverage of the 2007 Aussie Millions for PokerNews. In case you have missed his reports to date, you can find them via these links:

Aussie Arrival
Day 2: Two Champions Crowned
Day 3: Marathon Omaha

If there is any possible chance that you aren't aware, half of the poker-playing world has flown down to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. (The other half is at Atlantis in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.)

The Aussie Millions Championship Event begins on Sunday, January 14th.

PokerStars Last Chance For Australia

Still looking to go to Australia? PokerStars will be holding their Aussie Millions qualifier tomorrow, Saturday January 6th at 22:00 ET. Buy-in for the qualifier is $500 plus $30, and they will be awarding one Aussie Millions prize package for every $10,000 in the prize pool. For the mathematically challenged, that is one prize package for every 20 people entered.

Each prize package includes a $7900 entry into the Aussie Millions tournament, plus $2100 for travel expenses. If there are remaining funds in the prize pool, they will be distributing it in $530 rebates as well as a single cash prize for whatever is left over under $530.

If you want to try to satellite into the above qualifier you still have two chances: Stars is running $15 plus $1 tournaments tonight at 22:00 ET and tomorrow at 19:00 ET, each of which is a rebuy/add-on tourney giving away 1 seat to the qualifier for every $530 in the prize pool.

2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

The 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure begins this weekend at the gorgeous Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, and Brad "Otis" Willis of the official PokerStars Blog is there covering the event live. He already has some amazing pictures up of the resort and surrounding area, which is a nice change of pace (yes, I get sick of looking at pictures of poker players all the time) so go check them out when you get a chance.

The event itself is an $8000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em World Poker Tour championship. Last year's winner, Steve Paul-Ambrose, took down the title when he beat Brook Lyter in heads up play, collecting $1,363,100 and a $25,000 entry into the $25,000 WPT Championship. Lyter won $681,500 for finishing in second place.

PokerStars has also brought along the 27 finalists of the The Moneymaker Millionaire challenge to the Bahamas, so we will be watching for results of that as well. Should be a very exciting weekend of poker.

(image: PokerStars.com)

Doyle's Room Last Chance for Australia

For those of you still hoping to win a prize package to the Aussie Millions in January there are still a few sites out there running promotions offering ways to qualify, all of which we will be looking at over the next few days.

Doyle's Room will be hosting their $198 freezout tournament this Friday, December 29th at 6pm EST, offering a 1st place guaranteed prize package worth $11,000. The package includes entry into the tournament (approx. $7850 USD, give or take a bit of exchange rate) with the remaining cash going towards your travel expenses. To enter you can either buy in directly, or win a $24.20 single-table tourney satellite or a $3 daily multi-table tournament qualifier.

The Aussie Millions will be held in Melbourne, Australia between January 6-19th at the Crown Casino. The Championship Event begins on the 14th.

Aussie Millions Last Chance Tourneys at FTP

Full Tilt Poker is running two Last Chance tournaments this week to qualify for the 2007 Aussie Millions which will be held in January at the Melbourne Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

The final $1,000 qualifier will be held today, December 18th, at 9pm EST, and the last $300 weekly tournament will be held this Thursday, December 21, also at 9pm EST. You can buy-in directly to either event, though satellites/super-satellites are still available around the clock starting at $4.40 or as little as 50 Full Tilt Points.

The prize package for this event includes air and hotel in Australia for you and a guest, spending money, and a single tournament entry - total value is approximately $18k.

2007 Asian Poker Classic

For those of you who jet-set around the globe playing cards, you may be happy to hear that India has got itself some pokah. Between March 1-5 of 2007, the Asian Poker Classic will be held in Goa, India. The three-day No Limit Hold'em event will be held at the InterContinental Grand Resort Goa, and the prize pool is set at a guaranteed one million US dollars. The event will be filmed and broadcast, which should be pretty cool - I'd personally love to see some footage of the area.

For more information on the tournament, as well as the surrounding areas, you can visit the official APC website via the 'read' link below.

2006 World Cup of Poker Updates

A short time ago players were competing in heads-up battles online at PokerStars to win a seat in the 2006 World Cup of Poker. The winners were named and the WCP is now well underway in Barcelona where the final eight teams are battling it out. According to the offical PokerStars Blog, professional poker player Isabelle Mercier will be playing for Team Canada, and pro Tom McEvoy is playing for Team USA.

Team Brazil has won Heat 1. Current points are as follows:

1st Brazil 15
2nd USA 12
3rd Israel 9
4th Poland 7
5th Ireland 5
6th England 3
7th Iceland 2
8th Canada 1

For full details of the event, you can check out the PokerStars blog or the WCP information page.

2006 Grand Prix de Paris

The championship event at the 2006 Grand Prix de Paris began today at the Aviation Club de France. This event will continue through Friday, June 16th and is being filmed as part of the World Poker Tour. The tourmament itself began on May 29th and will continue through June 18th.

According to the WPT Live Tournament Updates, at the dinner break Phil Hellmuth is leading the pack so far on Day One. Currently, there are 200 of the original 220 players remaining. Some of the reported chip counts are as follows: (average chip stack is 16,500)

Phil Hellmuth  55,000
John Duthie  36,000
Jan Sorensen  35,000
Fabrice Soulier  34,000
Rob Hollink  25,000
Isabelle Mercier  20,000
Juha Helppi  15,000
Victor Ramdin  15,000

PokerStars 2006 World Cup of Poker

It is time again for the qualifying rounds to begin for the PokerStars World Cup of Poker. If you are not familiar with the WCP, it is a competition between qualifying countries in a series of heads-up matches, culminating in a final event held (this year) in Barcelona, Spain with $200,000 on the line.

Who won last year? Team Costa Rica. Who won the year before that? Team Costa Rica. I'm sensing a trend. Seems to me it is time to shake things up a little.

Players can gain entry to play for their country several ways:

Top two 2005 tournament leaderboard players from each country will automatically gain entry - if you meet this criteria PokerStars will email you directly.

FPP Entries: There will be qualifying rounds held online at PokerStars which cost 50 FPP to enter. For satellite times and details on how to become a member of Team USA, click here. Team Canada hopefuls can click here for more information. If you are from another country, follow this link.

Also, one player from each region will be nominated by PokerStars - though I'm not sure what criteria that decision is based on.

For more information on this competition check out the PokerStars WCP information page and visit Sir Brad 'Otis' Willis at the Official PokerStars Blog.

(Image: PokerStars)

Costa Rican Police Raid Bodog President's House

BoDog GirlsCosta Rica has made several efforts to make their country an attractive locale for online gaming sites. So what do the local authorities do when Bodog set up a poker reality show in San Jose? Why, send 100 cops to kick in the door and bust up the game, of course.

When this story first hit the wires a few days ago, my first thought was, "this is a shake down, because the Bodog guys didn't pay off the right officials." My second thought was, "Wait. No. This was during the filming of a reality television show. I bet this whole thing was set up." I suspect that the truth, should it ever come out, is somewhere in between the two: the Costa Rican power players surely want to get paid off by Canada's latest billionaire, Calvin Ayre. At the same time, I'm sure the massive police raid made for some fantastic and dramatic television, which helps spread Bodog's outlaw lifestyle brand.

Bill Rini has some excellent thoughts on the raid, over at his blog: "Now, I’m not attempting to suggest that Costa Rica is a bad place (the scuba diving is some of the best in the world). The State Dept. information above refers specifically to San Jose, the capital. But it does show that billionaires playing poker in their own homes is not a 100 cop sort of incident. It’s like a food cart vendor in Tijuana getting busted by 100 cops for a health code violation. No, this is more of a case where a law exists on the books so politicians and law enforcement use the most liberal reading of the law in order to promote their own agendas. They’re acting like America!!"

Acting like America, indeed. As many of you know, there is a bill before congress right now which would criminalize online gaming, including online poker. That bill is being cynically presented as vital to national security, and to protect The Children®.

But, like the Costa Rican raid, it's equal parts shakedown and theatre: Congress wants the online gaming sites to play ball and start lavishing them with lobbyist dollars, and douchebag Congressmen like its sponsor Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA 6) need to send out press releases which play to thier base and deflect attention away from what a miserable failure Congress has been in the last five years.

As Bill says, "Either way, the laws are being used to benefit those in power rather than to protect the interests of the people. And that is the biggest crime of all."

Image of the Bodog Girls from Bodognation. You're welcome.

EPT French Open

The European Poker Tour’s French Open is down to the final table right now and there are two players left. First place pays €480,000.

Mats Iremark is the chipleader and Mark Boudewijn is close behind. The heads up battle began when Kirill Gerasimov was knocked out in third place.

Isabelle Mercier made the final table too. She was knocked out in 7th place and won €60,800. Her pocket nines lost to A-K.

Continue reading EPT French Open

EPT French Open

The European Poker Tour is in Deauville, France right now and Day 1A just ended. Robert Cohen is the tourney chipleader and Theo Jorgensen is close behind in second.

Approximately 417 players signed up for this event. I’m not sure if the EPT or the Deauville Casino was expecting this large of a field.

They had to break up Day 1 into 2 fields. 209 players started Day 1A and the field has since thinned down to 57. Day 1B starts tomorrow on Thursday and the final table is set for Sunday.

Continue reading EPT French Open

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