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

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.

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.

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

World Poker Open, down to 18

The 2007 Gold Strike World Poker Open is down to the final 18 players heading into today's action. According to Bluff Magazine who is covering the event live, Gavin Smith took 19th place and the remaining competitors vying for the title will be:

Jim Bullard - 966,000
Young Cho - 674,000
JC Tran - 561,000
Robert Thompson - 466,000
Daniel Negreanu - 446,000
Brian Gabrielle - 323,000
Gary Kainer - 300,000
Jeremy Tinsley - 295,000
Bryan Sumner - 290,000
Eddy Putrus - 255,000
Amir Vahedi - 236,000
Matt Russell - 201,000
Adeep Harb - 194,000
John Racener - 178,000
Don Mullis - 168,000
Thang (Kido) Pham - 166,000
Justin Marsh - 109,000
Jolyne Thompson - 72,000

Chip counts via Check them out for live updates throughout the remainder of the tournament.

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.

2007 Gold Strike World Poker Open

The $10,000 buy-in WPT Main Event at the Gold Strike World Poker Open (not to be confused with the Winter Poker Open which is also currently running) is well underway, and according to the live coverage provided by Bluff Magazine, they will be playing down to 18 players today. It's unbelievable how many big names are still in the race - top nine chip leaders are as follows:

Thang (Kido) Pham 580,000
Victor Ramdin 570,000
Hoyt Corkins 450,000
Gavin Smith 320,000
JC Tran 305,000
John Racener 240,000
Matt Russell 140,000
Amir Vahedi 88,000
Mark Seif 88,000

Last year, Scotty Nguyen won the championship event in this tournament, claiming $969,421. The second place finisher was none other than Michael Mizrachi, helping solidify his Player of the Year standings early on in the year.

For more on the live action in this tournament, go check out

Lou Krieger Wins Binion's Author's Challenge

Poker Author Lou KriegerWhile we all sit here and try to decide if the sky is actually falling on Internet poker or not, there is still some real live B&M poker happening out there, including the Poker Author's challenge at Binion's.

It sounded like a lot of fun, and made me wish I'd collected all my WSOP writings from last year and put them into book form, so I could face off against John Vorhaus (whose homegame I donk around in regularly -- incidentally, even if you can't find the sucker, and therefore know you're the sucker, you're still the sucker) and other guys like Richard Sparks (Diary of a Mad Poker Player), Charlie Shoten (No Limit Life) and everyone's favorite author / blogger, Lou Krieger.

The tourney went off this weekend, and Lou Krieger emerged victorious. This pleases me greatly, because Lou is a great guy, a great friend to all poker bloggers everywhere, and has been a voice of reason throughout what I'm just going to call "the recent unpleasantness."

Lou has all the details of his championship run, in true self-effacing form, at his blog.

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