Tagged: Poker

Not even ill health can stop Maria Lampropulos in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

So, the news out of the Bahamas is that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is now over for 2018, with the Main Event won for the first time by a female: Maria Lampropulos of Argentina.

She outlasted the entire final table to take home over $1 million smackeroos, even though she was under the weather the whole time. She was forever coughing and wheezing on the final table live stream. “Cough, cough!”

Some people thought it was impressive that Lampropulos managed to win even though she was so sick; normally, being under the weather would be too big a distraction for most players. Others thought this was an unfair distraction to the other players, who ended up tilted by her coughing fits!

Too bad, guys. If this coughing really was a “strategy” instead of a real sickness, then it’s the rest of the field’s fault that they didn’t come up with this idea first.

To the winner goes the spoils, or in this case, the money. Congratulations, Maria; now go to bed.

On a related note, I had an opportunity to see the poker movie Molly’s Game on the weekend, so expect a link to my movie review of it, soon.


PokerStars Championship Bahamas is on this week! Good distraction from winter.

Now that the College Football Playoff is over (won by the Clemson Tigers, much to Vegas’s chagrin), I need something else to tune in to. So I am going online to watch the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. At least, I’m watching what went on earlier today, now that I’m at home.

This is the first event of the newly-rebranded PokerStars Championship, a tour that is replacing the European Poker Tour (EPT) whose last event was in Prague in December. This series is also replacing the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour and the Latin American Poker Tour. There is also another new series going on this year called the PokerStars Festival, which are smaller, more regional tournaments.

This Bahamas event, which began last Friday and runs until Jan. 14., is going by this new fancy “PokerStars Championship Bahamas” name. Until this year it used to be called the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is a far better name than this one is. This new name “PokerStars Championship Bahamas” just sounds generic.

On the other hand, until this year the Bahamas event was actually a stop on the “EPT”, and that made absolutely no sense because the place is nowhere near Europe. 

Personally, I like tuning in this event — the Bahamas is a prestige stop in the poker world and it is probably the biggest sporting event annually there (if you consider poker a “sport”, which it isn’t). It takes place at the Atlantis which is a really cool resort to begin with, one where I hopefully will take my future wife on her honeymoon. (I need a girlfriend!!) 

Also, this stop is always held during the pit of January, and holding it in the Bahamas is a good way to get everyone’s minds off of winter. In fact, I wish I was there in the Bahamas right now instead of sitting here in frozen Canada suffering through minus-45 degree temperatures, Celsius!

Anyway, there are a number of livestreams going on Twitch and on YouTube from this poker tournament in the Bahamas. Definitely check them out if you’re bored and want something better to do. 

The live updates on the $5,000 Main Event are here. Also, here is the recap of Jason Koon’s win in the $100,000 Super High Roller, and the recap of Bryn Kenney’s win in the $50,000 Single-Day High Roller.

World Series of Poker update: currently watching the One Drop High Roller live stream

Hi again, folks. Now that the baseball game is over, I am doing something that has been a regular and favorite activity of mine every Sunday night for years: watching poker. 

Tonight, I am watching the live stream of the World Series of Poker event #67: the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em, a major WSOP event featuring some really good poker players. 

Tonight, current WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen is at the final table — but maybe he won’t be there for much longer, because he moved all-in just now. And just as I write this, he wins the hand! What fun. (Of course, this is all being shown on a delay.)

This final table at the Rio should last a while yet and you can watch it here. Updates are here.

The biggest event of them all at the WSOP, the Main Event, is now just under way as well. Updates for that are here as well. For all the news of all the events go to WSOP.com

Now as I write this, McKeehen’s been eliminated. That is it for now — back to poker watching.

WSOP is on! First final table of 2016 is tonight

It’s on! The World Series of Poker has started this week in Las Vegas at the Rio (as of May 31) and we are counting down to the first winner tonight. Tonight they are holding the final table of the Casino Employees’ championship, the event in which the casino workers, dealers, etc., all try their luck at winning at poker. It is restricted to casino employees, keeping out all of these bigshot poker players that you see on TV, but the winner wins the same WSOP bracelet that the bigshots are awarded in these other events. The last time I checked, the final table was down to three people, and they were on a dinner break. Updates here.

Also on now is the Colossus. That is that massive event basically open to any poker player walking in off the street and looking to win at the WSOP. For a very affordable $565 buy-in, you could end up winning a million dollars, guaranteed. There is something like 22,000 people participating in this including many big names, so it’s massive. 

Last year a fellow named Cord Garcia won it and he took home $638,880. Final table for this year’s event should be next Tuesday.

We are still a long way off from the $10,000 Main Event which is the most prestigious event right at the end. Last year Joe McKeehen won the event and took home $7.68 million! There are 69 events, in total. The full tournament schedule is here. Also, the live reporting can be found here and live streams are here, and the streaming schedule is here. 

The WSOP is worth following simply to try and improve your own poker game, and also to see the different variants of poker and how different the rules are for each one of them. 

Anyway, following the WSOP is another one of these good boredom-fighting activities I always look forward to when the warmer weather arrives, along with watching baseball, golf tournaments and auto races, summer blockbuster movies, and every four years, the USA political conventions (!). It all helps make summer something to look forward to. 

Also, this has been a very big week for poker already because results are in from the 2016 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl held earlier this week at ARIA Las Vegas, and you can find out how that event went here.

Right now I’m at home, watching the feed from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure


I am relaxing on this Friday night watching the live stream from the Bahamas from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure poker tournament at the Atlantis resort. Right now the $100,000 Super High Roller final table is on and Joe McKeehen is trying to follow up his big WSOP Main Event victory with another win against Bryn Kenney, but is really in tough as I write this. The live reporting from heads-up play is here. 

As well, the $5,300 Main Event has started and you can check out the reporting from Day 1A here. This whole event will last for a few days yet. Anyway, that’s what I am watching, poker. Tomorrow, it is the NFL Playoffs. “Playoffs?!” 

Update: And just as I post this Kenney wins the title. I guess it’s on to World Poker Tour reruns on YouTube for me the rest of the night.

Poker news: Daniel Negreanu biopic on TSN, and a word about the PokerStars players strike

Here is some poker news to tell you about on this, the first day of December, 2015. 

First of all, a number of the top poker players on PokerStars are going on strike. Yes, that is right, poker is having a players strike!  There is supposed to be this big boycott of the PokerStars site going on for three days this week, and it has to do with some of the changes PokerStars are making to their VIP program and so on. In short, the top players say they hate it and say they are getting the shaft, so they are going to sit out. 

On the other hand, the fish out there are looking at these players and saying “good! Go out on strike! It’ll make it easier for all of us to win on PokerStars the next few days!” 

This is actually a common concern, though. People are saying it’s becoming way too difficult for the average Joe poker player to win anymore at online poker. They say the top players are winning too much, and that it’s hurting the game and depressing participation in it. These folks have a point.  

Anyway, here is a story about the whole situation on PokerNews.

The other thing is that TSN4 is running a documentary tonight called Kid Poker, all about the story of Canadian poker legend Daniel Negreanu. Not coincidentally, this doc runs the same evening of the first day of the players strike. It starts at 8:30pm Eastern, 7:30pm Central time. That’s all I have.

It’s November, and I’m bored out of my skull!!!

Life is getting boring fast here in frozen Trudeau-Liberal Canada. 

It’s November, and because it’s November people here are obsessed about whether it is going to snow, like other places. (Looks like it will hold off a few more days yet.) Like elsewhere, it is getting dark earlier and earlier, and it is increasingly bleak and miserable-looking. 

From a personal standpoint, life is boring. The World Series is over, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are wrapping up their miserable season this weekend with a total nothing CFL game in Montreal, and there’s nothing to do. So in a vain attempt trying not be bored, I am sitting here at home watching poker reruns on Twitch.tv. 

World Series of Poker Main Event final table is on in a few days, folks. Just trying to get all psyched for that.

Poker update: PokerStars in NJ, Poker Central hits the air, and Vanessa Rousso is 3rd on Big Brother 17


On to poker news now, and there are a few highlights from the world of poker to share as we hit the month of October: 

  • First of all, the big news out of New Jersey at the end of September is that PokerStars is being approved to operate in the state. This is big, big news! PokerStars is the most popular poker site out there in the world today, and they run the best tournaments online and off (the EPT tour, etc.) but they had been held up from getting a license in NJ for the longest time because of what happened with all of the “bad actor” nonsense that went on before the big poker crackdown in 2011. This company (now owned by Amaya Inc.) is finally out of the doghouse with the US government and is finally getting entry back into the USA. Hopefully, states like Nevada will let them get a license as well. This is exactly what poker fans want to see, because these other sites that were getting licensed were really not up to much, in anyone’s opinion. And quite honestly it was killing the game. So this is a positive step in the right direction. Now, all that’s needed is for more US states to allow online poker…
  • Second is the launch of the Poker Central channel as of Oct. 1. I am hoping for big things for this effort as I am a poker TV junkie, but it’s really wait-and-see. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of distribution — it is available on various streaming platforms like XBOX and the like, but that’s about it. Also, there was an article on Poker News Daily that wasn’t all that complimentary. It sounds like initially they are running a lot of poker show reruns for the most part, most of which you can already find online. The good news is Poker Central has been doing a few live streams on the Twitch platform with Maria Ho, so I might be able to tune in to some of those.
  • Finally, the latest season of Big Brother was livened up by the inclusion of star poker player Vanessa Rousso, a veteran of one poker TV show after another. While I didn’t bother to watch this series this year, as usual, I understand Rousso stayed in the game a long time and ended up finishing third. 

That is all for the moment.

The 2015 World Series of Poker is on!!!


It is a light night in the world of sports, so I intend to spend this evening tuned into the live stream of the first final table at the 2015 World Series of Poker from Las Vegas! 

The first event is the Casino Employees event, open only to casino employees (ie. Dealers, etc.). So the final table for that one will start, right after these folks are done eating! Aargh.

The 68th and last event, is the $10,000 Main Event (No-limit Texas Hold ’em), and that won’t start until July. And it won’t end until November!! In between, there are many others for many different variants of poker. 

Probably the big event in the early days Is the Colossus, which has a $5,000,000 prize but only costs a cheap $565 to enter. As a result, everyone and their dog is expected to show up for that one. They are expecting the biggest field ever for a live poker tournament in that one. The first day for the Colossus is actually tomorrow.

(Update, June 2: apparently there is a lot of griping now about the Colossus payouts.)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the live streams from the Rio, it will give me something to do while waiting for the Golden State-vs.-Cleveland NBA finals to start. 

Currently watching the final day of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

I am watching the live stream right now of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event final table that is on in the Bahamas.

The Main Event is down to two players, and I’m surprised that Chance Kornuth isn’t one of them because he had a big lead last night. But all his chips are gone now as he was eliminated in third place.

Well, as Doyle Brunson would say, that’s poker folks. Live updates are here from PokerNews. That is all from me here for the moment.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is on!!

Well, today was the first day of action at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure down in Nassau, Bahamas. The first day of the $100000 Super High Roller is over and you can read about the action here. Also, PokerStars is streaming the feature table at their site.

The whole thing lasts for a little while after this, until the 14th, so there is still plenty of action ahead to watch online. And that’s good, because I was sort of tuning in and out of the first day’s live stream and not really paying too much attention to it.

This is the first major poker event of 2015 and definitely a good way to kick off the year for the poker fans. It is arguably the most prestigious event on the European Poker Tour, even though the Bahamas is nowhere near Europe. It’s a bonus that the action is taking place in a warm, glamorous location at the Atlantis resort there, so that has me thinking again of winter getaway ideas.

Also, I’ve sort of made a new year’s resolution to try and get back into poker as far as actually playing it is concerned, so watching the live streams of this event ought to help with poker strategy and things like that. At least, I hope so, because my game needs all the help it can get.

WSOP final three players going at it in Las Vegas tonight — could be a late night

The final table at the World Series of Poker main event is down to three players, and notably, none of them Americans. The remaining players are from, get this, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. And all of them are currently based in London, where online poker is legal. Let that be a lesson to you, USA, you can’t expect to stay good at poker for long if you refuse to let most of your citizens play online!

Story here. Also, live reporting is here.

Personally, I don’t think I can hack watching the entire final table all night, due to a cold that has me knocked out, so I’ll be heading to bed soon. I’ll probably end up sleeping through the winning hand.

As an aside, current conditions where I am are minus 11 Celsius. Current conditions in Las Vegas this evening: plus 19 Celsius.

Once again — why am I here?!? And that is my comment for now.

Update: Martin Jacobson from Sweden wins the Main Event and the grand prize of $10 million!

Not much going on EXCEPT: WSOP counting down to Nov. Nine!

wsopIt’s among the slowest nights of the year in sports, with not much going on beyond the Home Run Derby.

But it’s among the biggest nights in the world of poker as the $10,000 Main Event at the Rio in Las Vegas plays down from 27 remaining players down to the November Nine. The last nine players standing then return to the Rio in November to play for the title and millions upon millions of dollars.

PokerNews is covering all the action from the Rio, and you can follow their updates from the Main Event here.


From a purely Canadian perspective it has been a fascinating World Series of Poker so far in Las Vegas.


For those who are not so familiar, there’s something like 62 events here, with this one being the last one. We’ve had ten Canadians win WSOP bracelets already, with the last of them won by Kristen Bicknell in the Ladies event.

Also contending for Player of the Year honors has been Daniel Negreanu, who wound up going heads-up in a battle with Eli Elezra at the 2-7 Triple Draw championship. Elezra ended up prevailing. Still, it’s been a record year for Canada at the Main Event, with the ten bracelets being the most for any country outside the USA  in one year.

We’ve seen a lot of action at the $10,000 Main Event as the field is down to 68 as today begins. Some 6352 players started this tournament last week.

Among the highlights for a lot of people was the deep run of poker legend Doyle Brunson, 80 years old, former Main Event champion, who made it to day 4 and cashed at the Main Event.

As usual, though, the list of people at the top of the field today consists mainly of folks we’ve never heard of. The goal is to get the field down to nine players and then play the final table later this fall.

Oh, and for those wondering, Roberto Luongo did compete at the Main Event this year, but didn’t finish in the money.


Since a lot of the sports that Canadians usually follow are in the tank right at the moment (see post below), we fans need something else to watch. Right now, top-flight poker is happening at the World Poker Tour event in Montreal. This is the only WPT event in Canada this year and is definitely a welcome sight for people there who are starved for things to do right now.

The final table is down to three players and there is a live video feed from the event that is streaming on the WPT website. You can also get the live updates from the final table here. You’re welcome.


Well I have decided to show my face again here, even though I am still on vacation and really ought to be doing nothing at all during my time off.

I was in Montana last week, and believe it or not it was the first time I have ever been to Montana, even though I’ve lived in Saskatchewan most of my life, and even though Montana shares most of the US border with Saskatchewan.

So what was the big major breaking news story down there last week in the USA?  Why, what else: Chick-Fil-A.

There was a huge Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day organized to show appreciation for the restaurant, all in the wake of comments by its Christian CEO that they support traditional marriage and not same-sex marriage.

People have since been lining up for or against Chick-Fil-A, staging these various events. This, my friends, is why the USA is in the trouble it is in today. People there are too busy fighting each other on social issues, and not spending enough time trying to get the whole country out of the collective economic muck it currently finds itself in. All this “culture war” nonsense is a waste of time and unfortunately continues to dominate life in the USA.

Personally, I think it’s dumb for a CEO to make any comments that might turn off any potential customers, but then again I don’t run Chick-Fil-A.

As well, the guns continue to run rampant in the ‘States with the latest shootings in a Sikh temple on the weekend. All in all, it’s a sad situation with guns in the States.

Now onto Olympics news, and the big story in this country is the controversy over the women’s soccer match the other day, in which the officials hosed Canada and cost us the game against the Americans. Is it any wonder that I’m not following the Olympics? Stuff like this — the usual overbearing and questionable officiating — is exactly what turns me off the Games every year it is held. (It also turns me off the CFL, but that’s a rant for another day.)

All in all, I chose the right year to not be interested in the Olympics, given the results there so far. We’ve won just one gold medal so far, and we’ve had lots of bad luck with folks like Simon Whitfield crashing out of his event, and so on. So this year has been kind of a downer generally.

In other Olympics news, CBC won the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics Games.

That has prompted the usual outrage from the usual people who complain about CBC using taxpayers’ money to acquire sporting events. They say the private networks should cover it instead — except, nobody in private enterprise wanted to pay to cover it anyway. Bell and Rogers both pulled out of the bidding because they said they couldn’t afford it. Someone had to step up and cover the Olympics, so it might as well be the CBC. Besides, it sounds like they paid a lot less than CTV is paying, so they should do all right financially in the whole deal.

Believe me, if no one were showing the Olympic Games on TV in Canada, there would be riots in the streets. I have no problems with CBC using taxpayers’ money to acquire sporting events, as long as they don’t break the bank. Besides, public broadcaster BBC is covering the games in London and no one is complaining about them. (Think about it.)

In POKER news — the online players’ LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE appears to be over in the US following PokerStars acquisition of Full Tilt Poker and settlement with the Department of Justice. The Full Tilt players are going to be refunded and it clears the way for regulation to finally happen in the USA. It’s about time, I say.

Finally, sad news — word this past week that the author Gore Vidal has died, and also the composer Marvin Hamlisch has also died. 

That is all for now.


So the Final Table is set at the World Series of Poker $10000 Main Event, to reconvene in October to decide the championship. The summer portion of the WSOP wrapped up last night at the Rio as they counted down the bust-outs down to the nine players left, and I followed an audio feed from some outfit called Fifth Street Radio that actually covered the event live. Boy, what a comedown from last year when ESPN carried much of the WSOP Main Event live on TV as it happened, but that is the state of poker these days.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect interest to pick up by October, as the final table consists of a bunch of rank no-names mostly from the ‘States. The only interesting story lines ended up busting out late: the lone Canadian left, Marc Ladouceur from Quebec, busted in 13th place. As well, two women who stood the best shot in years at winning, Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann, busted before making it to the final table. Baumann ended up bubling out in tenth place. So that’s another big storyline  — the potential for a female to win the event or be at the final table — down the tubes, too.

Anyway, the Main Event will be back in October, and I’ll likely tune in to see what happens even though no one beyond absolute poker die-hards is going to care.


I just thought I would update you on the progress of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Based on what I’ve gathered from Twitter and elsewhere Luongo is still alive and kicking on Day 3 of the Main Event. Today alone, he has outlasted such poker names as Peter Eastgate, Jerry Yang and Pius Heinz, all former winners of this event.

Not only that, his brother Fabio Luongo is also in it and doing even better at last report. If both Luongos hang in there for another day they stand a good chance of cashing at this event.

Here’s a story filed at Yahoo from a few hours ago, charting Luongo’s progress. In other news, there are lots of Twitter rumors out there that Luongo might be traded to the Leafs. Dream on, Leaf followers.


Tonight has got to be the slowest night of the year as far as sports is concerned — the only rival for that title would have to be All-Star Monday night when there was also basically nothing going on except for the home-run hitting contest.

Let’s see, now. I guess the ESPN ESPY awards were tonight, and there was an MLS soccer game between Toronto and Vancouver (who cares — zzzz), and the Calgary Stampede has its Rangeland Derby and rodeo going on. Apart from maybe a few other horse races at the local tracks and the usual minor league sports, that is pretty much it.

…WHICH LEAVES THE FIELD WIDE OPEN FOR POKER, with the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event still going on as we speak in Las Vegas at the Rio. The field continues to whittle down and you can follow the updates here at the WSOP website.

As usual the main event has attracted its fair share of celebrities, with the likes of Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Kevin Pollak and others in the field — much to the amusement of everyone. The appearance of the usual celebrities is part of what makes the Main Event what it is, and some of them turn out to be pretty good at the game (ie. Jennifer Tilly).

One of the celebrities competing at the 2012 Main Event, which will raise eyebrows up here in hockey-mad frozen Canada, is none other than Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo.

Yes, indeed, he’s playing in the Main Event. Folks in Vancouver seem to be making a scandal out of the fact that he’s been sponsored for his $10,000 stake by BC Lottery Corporation, and as usual the whiners are calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Actually, this sort of thing happens all the time in poker– with gaming companies picking up the tab for celebrities to go and play and help promote their brands.

If Luongo does well, it’s great for BC Lottery Corporation because it means he’ll get on TV when ESPN runs the highlights from the WSOP on Tuesday nights. It’ll mean lots of publicity for the casinos and online activities that BC Lottery  runs. And as a matter of fact, Luongo has been doing pretty well and at last report was still alive and in contention. So give Luongo a break, eh? 

Actually, maybe he should retire from the NHL entirely and do this full time, since Vancouver doesn’t seem to want him anymore anyway.

Another sports celebrity who made his way into the WSOP field is none other than Canadian UFC star Georges St.Pierre. I noticed he even made the cover of this month’s WPT Poker magazine. Alas, he didn’t last long, busting out quickly on his very first day. 

Poker may look easy but trust me when I say that even when compared to the UFC, it isn’t.


I haven’t posted much about this year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, but there have been some happenings — Phil Hellmuth, Michael Mizrachi and Andy Bloch win bracelets, the Year of the Woman (Vanessa SelbstAllyn Jaffrey-Shulman etc.), and so on.   

But what I really want to talk about is the big event that just wrapped up yesterday at the Rio. That was the sensational charity event created by poker player/philanthropist/Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte to help the One Drop charity,a charity designed to provide safe water for all around the world. There was an incredible $1 million buy-in which 48 of the absolute best players out there took advantage of, and there was an incredible $18 million grand prize for the winner.

I watched the ESPN live feed of the final table on the Internet the other day and it was incredible poker, with lots of all-ins and plenty of intensity.

In the end it was Antonio Esfandiari who ended up winning the biggest tournament of his life, and biggest payday of his life, over Sam Trickett, who nevertheless still goes home with a runner-up prize of $10 million dollars.

It’s hard to believe the rest of the tournament will be able to top last night for excitement, but there is the WSOP Main Event which is due to start July 7 and wrap up July 16 with the names of the nine players who will reconvene at the final table in October.

Great WSOP so far — the action has really helped get the minds of a lot of people off of the host of other problems the game of poker is having at the moment in the USA.