April 2008

30 April

PokerStars pays player to win World Series package

It was a comfortable Sunday afternoon in Germany and PokerStars player SanchoHH decided to play a 1000 Frequent Player Point buy-in VIP Club satellite. The top 200 players in the event were slated to receive a World Series Step 4 ticket worth $215. The 29 year-old from Hanover, Germany is...more

29 April

Battle of the Planets awards first Triple Shootout winner

The stars of the Sit & Go community aligned for the inaugural Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout on Sunday. To gain entry to this prestigious tournament, a player had to finish in the top ten of one of the Battle of the Planets Leader Boards. That’s no easy...more

28 April

PokerStars Sunday Tournament Results (4-27-08)

It's never a bad day when you make six figures for playing a few hours of poker. This weekend, five players in the PokerStars Sunday Million had just that kind of day. A friendly chop at the end of the Sunday Million netted the top five places more than $100,000...more

25 April

Team PokerStars Pros on the silver screen

This weekend in select theaters the new poker film Deal will hit the screens. Featuring the talents of Hollywood veteran Burt Reynolds and the always-watchable Shannon Elizabeth, Deal is the story of a young up-and-comer in the poker world, his ascent to the top, and the trials that come along...more

PokerStars to send players to Life Ball 2008

PokerStars is gearing up to send some of its players to Life Ball 2008. The largest annual charity event and fundraiser for AIDS research has been running since 1993. Life Ball has since become a gigantic and surreal celebration of life attended by celebrities and wealthy philanthropists from around the...more

24 April

Victoria Coren joins Team PokerStars Pro

In 2005, I was in the back of a London television studio, cramped into a sound booth, and watching the World Cup of Poker II play out on a closed stage. A few feet away, I saw the back of a blonde head from which was coming one of the...more

23 April

PokerStars Passport winner hits Mediterranean

PokerStars Passport winner Dustin Mele is back from another trip to Europe. Not only has he suffered the ugly side of variance, he's done so with a smile. As he also is responsible for waking me up from an airport nap just in time for me to get on the...more

22 April

Supernova Elite riding in style

Some people are born for the road. A guy known as "scossett" on PokerStars is one of those people. Just one year ago, he gave up a career in real estate and set out on a journey. He packed his car, drove from Ontario to Colorado. He went skiiing for...more

21 April

Two live packages for the price of none

Every once in a while, we tell a story here about folks who win their big event seats with nothing more than their PokerStars Frequent Player Points. Occassionally, these players go exceptionally deep in the live events and give us even more stories to tell. For instance, in 2005, FPP...more

PokerStars Sunday Tournaments Results (4-20-08)

Two hundred grand for less than one day's work. That's what players have to expect from the PokerStars Sunday Million and that's what they get every week. This week, Nous44 won more than $200,000 for an outright win in the Sunday Million. A full list of all the PokerStars Sunday...more

18 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Glen Chorny is crowned the new EPT Grand Final Champion

by Stephen Bartley and Brad Willis All photos © Neil Stoddart Glen Chorny lifted his arms in the air. His A-5 had bettered Denes Kalo's K-Q and in that moment he had become the new PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Grand Final champion. Glen Chorny, PokerStars qualifier, and EPT Grand Final...more

17 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Final table live action continues...

If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also read profiles of the final table players here, as well as keeping tabs on the latest chip counts here and winner information...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Final table live action

If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also read profiles of the final table players here, as well as keeping tabs on the latest chip counts here and winner information...more

EPT Monte Carlo Final Table Players

Seat 1: Denes Kalo, 31, Budapest, Hungary--1,190,000 Denes Kalo was born and lives in Budapest, Hungary. He works as the sales manager of a broker company and has been playing poker for three years with increasingly good results. He came second in the 2006 EPM Vienna for €50,440 and then...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Battle for final table -- live

Players have re-started at the 12,000/24,000/3,000 level. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 3pm --...more

EPT Monte Carlo: On the brink of a new champion

As you might have read here on the blog, day four didn’t end as everyone expected it would. Having started with five tables the plan was to play down to one table of eight players – eight finalists who would slog it out for the most coveted prize in European...more

16 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 4 to be continued...

Day four began with fourty players, many of whom had a legitimate shot at the final table. Among them, Team PokerStars Pros, young online wunderkinds, and seasoned tournament rounders. Each knew that, by the time they went to sleep, they'd know whether they would be sitting at Thursday's final table...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 23 Live Action

Players have re-started at the 10,000/20,000/2,000 level. If you're following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 1:15am--In an...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 22 Live Action

Players have re-started at the 8000/16000/2,000 level. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 11:22pm--Fifteen minute...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 21 Live Action

Players have re-started at the 6000/12000/100 level. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 9.21pm --...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 20 live action

Players have re-started at the 5000/10000/100 level. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 6.14pm --...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 18/19

Players have re-started at the 3000/6000/500 level. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. Winner information is available here. 4:00pm--Players on...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Sneak peak of PokerStars.tv

Just in to PokerStars Blog Central...a brand new internet TV station dedicated completely to PokerStars live and online events. PokerStars.tv, currently available as a BETA product, is a TV poker portal offering a massive collection of top poker action from events like the EPT, APPT and the World Cup of...more

EPT Monte Carlo: From five tables to one - day four begins

It was late last night when Denes Kalo closed the days play in the PokerSars.com EPT Grand Final, by virtue of a pair of kings which struck two players down in the prime hours of this morning. It left 39 to return today for what will be a tense step-by-step...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 3 ends deep in the money

Esfandiari leads the pack -- Hachem, Pagano, and Rahme stay alive There is a reason record books exist. Today's money bubble is one of those reasons. The plan today was to play down from 124 players to 40. It was viewed as a simple task. Only one thing stood in...more

15 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 18

If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. 12.55am -- A double elimination takes us down to 39 players and closes play...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 17

If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. See previous action from Level 16 HERE. 11:49pm--With 44 players remaining, it's time for...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 16

Day three is underway at the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, now entering level 15 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You...more

Barry Greenstein wins Stars of Poker

It was an event at which money could not buy a seat for just anybody. Invitation-only was the phrase of the day. No doubt, anybody here would've taken a seat in a shot. The prize pool for the single table tournament was a whopping $100,000. First place would get half...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 15

Day three is underway at the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, now entering level 15 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 14

Day three is underway at the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, now entering level 13 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from level 13

Day three is underway at the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, now entering level 13 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 3 full of surprises

It's easy to marvel at difference 24 hours can make. This time Monday, there were around 400 players in this room, all vying for the final table in a single contest. This morning, there are 124 people coming back into this room with their eyes on the same prize. Only...more

14 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Curtain closes on day two

The dynamic of day two is always hard to predict. The days prior seem pedestrian compared to the cut throat nature when the fields of days 1 A&B join together. The brief camaraderie of having survived that day evaporates, and the simple 'every man for himself' nature of the game...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Elites shoot for Stars of Poker

For the past several days, there has been a quiet rumor of a special event starting up here at the EPT Grand Final. We've finally confirmed the details of what's being called the Stars of Poker tournament. Coming soon to a tournament room near you...a $100,000 prize pool for a...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Young guns vs. old hands

Youth vs. experience. It's a common theme in the poker world these days. There are many people in this room who have both. The PokerStars Video Blog went out in search of these folks and to hear what they had to say on the subject....more

EPT Monte Carlo: A scout around the tables

“I just won my first coin-flip in this tournament against a Scandinavian. I’m one-for-four now!” This is Woody Deck, experiencing what for many poker players is a truly significant moment in their day. Things have moved fast today, with just over 150 players remaining, but we play on until 13...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 11 Wrap

After writing thousands upon thousands of words about poker, it gets really easy to start falling back on cliches. If I were to do that right now, I would choose...dropping like flies. There is currently a discussion among the tournament staff about cutting a level from the day and stopping...more

EPT Monte Carlo: What about room service?

If you’re trying to find your own look at the poker table you can do worse than start with a Fedora. Baseball caps, visors, shades, iPods, woollen hats, hey, that’s all been done. What you need is a felt hat the type Don Corleone used to wear, typical of artists...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 10 Wrap

Level 10 was a wild one by all accounts. It saw Joe Hachem and Luca Pagano both move over the 200,000 chip mark. It also saw the end of some big names. Chips flying as the are, we could be down below 123 players tonight (the over/under mark in a...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The Unbearable Lightness of Deeb

There was a time when people said Deeb and the poker world thought, "Freddy." Though the Lebanese Deeb is here in Monte Carlo, too, he is sharing the last name and Day 2 action with a Deeb of a different kind. As the dinner break ended, young Shaun Deeb sat...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Elevator fears and fooseball with Noah

The maximum capacity of the Monte Carlo Bay elevators is 21 people. I'd like to see the people who took part in the capacity test. They must be very cute, what with their elfish ears and ability to hide behind light posts. In the final moments before the end of...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Dinner break look-back

The story of the moment, at least in terms of Team PokerStars Pros, is the meteoric rise of Joe Hachem Hachem started the day with a respectable average stack. Before long, he was up to 80,000. Then 160,000. Hachem eyes Chad Brown In the last hand before the dinner break,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 9 Wrap

Players have sat down for one hour of play before they'll be able to break for some dinner. Roving reporters Ed and Steve have been on the case for all of Level 9. Here's the wrap-up. The Ed Report Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 ante 100 Antonio Esfandiari is sitting...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The difference between coach and first class

Dutch pro Ed de Haas is sipping espresso with his pinkie finger raised on high, English style. He’s enjoying the comforts that a stack of 72K affords him as irrelevant hands play out between the others. He sits sandwiched between two Team PokerStars Pros. Two his left Joe Hachem, and...more

EPT Monte Carlo: From Africa to Vegas to Monte Carlo

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme holds a unique honor. He's the only person from the continent of Africa to ever make a World Series final table. That happened less than a year ago. Just last week, Rahme placed 43rd (and in the money) in the PokerStars European Poker Tour. Now...more

Team PokerStars Pro Profile: Luca Pagano

Luca Pagano is a man of trademarks. He has a trademark Italia jacket, a trademark wink, and a trademark smile. Emotional yet composed, friendly yet fierce, and confident yet humble--Pagano defines them all. In an age when many parents have been forced to come to grips with having poker players...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 7 and 8 Wrap

So far today, players have finished off the second half of Level 7 and the whole of Level 8. Fewer than 300 players remain in the field. As mentioned earlier today, the top 80 players in the event will get paid. We won't reach that number today (unless something apocalyptic...more

EPT Monte Carlo: A-games and A-bombs in level 8

Victor Ramdin started with less than 2,000 today, he now has over 30k. I can’t tell you exactly what happened but the old Ramdin theory of ‘too much importance placed on two cards’ may have proven true – at least once. “I got my A-game back sir! I got enough...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Elite among the elite

It's a long way from Phoenix, Arizona to Monte Carlo. The time difference can turn a man's sleep schedule upside down. It's no big deal to the man sitting in the one-seat at Table 35. He's shown he can pound the tables no matter the time of day or how...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Light shed on table Greenstein

Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is on death watch. The media have gathered round him, the last rites of photos performed and just a glimpse of that last hand left to do - a hand that must surely be coming. The thing is, this stakeout is now into its seventh...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Back with a bang for day two in Monaco

A peaceful evening, a good night’s sleep, a slow morning and a pleasant walk to your table is a best case scenario for each of the 382 players who have made it through to day two. But things may not have gone totally according to plan this morning. Some might...more

PokerStars Sunday Tournament Results (4-13-08)

As the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final raged on in Monte Carlo, the big sunday tournaments at PokerStars played on and played big. Congratulations to the UK's graslevy for winning more than $200,000 in the PokerStars Sunday Million. All of the big tournament results from this week are below....more

13 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1 chip leader doing France proud

Day 1B of the PokerStars EPT Grand Final defined the word "grind." It was more than 12 hours of poker among more than 400 people, all vying for a spot in Day 2. The goal was not victory, but survival. It was a goal achieved by more than 200 of...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Say hello to Cyril

It's about this time of night we start searching out the movers and shakers. Nobody has moved nor shaken more than a guy we've come to know as Cyril Bensoussan. At one moment, we had his stack on 65,000 and started trying to figure out who he was. Before we...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The chip leader speaks

It's too early to say whether Day 1A chip leader Stephen Kjaerstad's lead will hold going into Day 2. For the moment, though, the PokerStars player can rest comfortably knowing he will be one of the biggest stacks. The PokerStars video blog team caught up with Kjaerstad today....more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 5 closes

Mad Harper, the woman who knows just about everything there is to know about the PokerStars EPT statistics walked by a little bit ago and offhandedly mentioned that 48 countries are represented here at the EPT Grand Final. That puts it at nearly 25% of the world's countries with at...more

EPT Monte Carlo: European debut for Paul-Ambrose

Team PokerStars Pro Steve Paul Ambrose is hovering around the average mark. A pot goes the way of Richard Ashby, sending a few vital thousands out from under Steve's control. It’s a table in the shadows of others, particularly the table of Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown a few feet...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Perspectives in agony

Let's put this in perspective. Imagine you're playing an online tournament. During this event, you can only get up to go to the bathroom every 90 minutes. You've started with 1,500 chips. After eight hours of play, during which you've likely played against the exact same opponents the whole time,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 4 Wrap-Up

Now that the bifurcated dinner break is wrapping up, we're able to make some sense of Level 4, a time that saw the exit of Chris Moneymaker, Boris Becker, and William Thorson. Some selected chip counts are now fresh on the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo Chip Counts page. Level 4...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Dinner break odds and ends

As happened yesterday the dinner break has been split into two – one half heading off for an hour whilst the other plays on, and then vice-versa. It's all co-ordinated to ensure diners dont clash head to head at the buffet. Players may be well versed in math, able to...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Boris bounced, history repeats

The security team at the PokerStars EPT Grand Final is earning its euros today. As mentioned in Stephen's last post, Table 22 features the toughest line-up in the room. Right next door, Boris Becker held court in the nine-seat. Between the poker being played at Table 22 and Becker's celebrity,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The gravitational pull of table 22

“I have about 22k... I’m grinding...” This is Victor Ramdin, chewing gum, arms folded behind his back, his legs bouncing under the table in a way that makes the rest of him jig from side to side. He sips some water, gets a new hand, there’s a bet from the...more

EPT Monte Carlo: No repeat champion and Level 3 recap

It is our sad duty to report that any hope of seeing Gavin Griffin make a run at a second title here have vanished. Griffin never found any traction today and went out in the middle of Level 3. Full details can be found below. In the meantime, half of...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Never too late

For people who play these big events all the time, it's not a huge feeling to make Day 2 of an event. For septuagenarian Dom "The Dom-inator" Raynis, it's something special. He qualified for just a few bucks and survived Day 1A. Check out an interview with the happy qualifier...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 2 recap

From time to time here at the PokerStars Blog, we are graced with the talents of a roving reporter we know as Ed. Ed spends his time picking out the best hands from across the floor. This week, we are favored with his look at the floor. He's aided by...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Trinity of champions

The mission as I devised it was to peek in on PokerStars Passport holder Dustin Mele. I didn't know what I was getting into. Immediately upon my arrival, I was accosted by two security guards. They spoke in rapid-fire French, using the words, "Non, non, non!" as often as they...more

Team PokerStars Pro Profile: Lee Nelson

You might have heard the old saying, “Those that can, do... those that can’t do, teach.” It applies in all sort of life’s wild and varied fields but as far as Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson is concerned he does both, and well. You often hear stories of the older...more

EPT Monte Carlo: From mountain highs back to the foothills

The momentum of Dario Minieri at the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo last week was like a gathering wall of sound at a rock concert; a crescendo of noise building up and up before unleashing a shockwave powerful enough to either knock you off your feet, or, if you were part...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Channing and Coren look for more wins

Neil Channing is on a heater. Fresh off a win at the Irish Open, the longtime tournament rounder has made his way here to Monte Carlo. He's looking for another check in the win column. Vicky Coren, the only woman to ever win an event on the PokerStars European Poker...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 1 recap

From time to time here at the PokerStars Blog, we are graced with the talents of a roving reporter we know as Ed. Ed spends his time picking out the best hands from across the floor. This week, we are favored with his look at the floor. He's aided by...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Heads-up across a room

Gavin Griffin was sick. Literally. His nose sniffled, his eyes were red, and his every breath seemed to be full of real effort. Even the frivolousness of his pink hair couldn't offset the clarity of Griffin's head cold. Yet, there was a determination in his eye that no one could...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Game, set and snaps on table Boris

A quick walk around the poker room gives you a good idea of who’s here and where they’re sitting. Team PokerStars Pros Lee Nelson and 'ElkY' Grospellier share a table, as do Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown. But for some players you can make a pretty accurate guess as to...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Ready and set for the second half of day one

Six and a half levels of play were wrapped up in the early hours of this morning, 189 players leaving the opening day of the PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final tired but happy enough that their chips, and a return visit here on Monday, were in the bag. Now it’s time...more

12 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1A closes on Monte Carlo Bay

by Stephen Bartley and Brad Willis Monte Carlo seems like such a proper place to be witnessing such a melee. It's rich, historic, and perfect in nearly every way. The Grand Final is exactly the same. But, like anything that looks perfect, there is an underbelly of wild abandon that...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Keeping the opposition right where you want them

Greenstein -- Rail -- Short stack. I’ve walked passed Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein’s table again and again today, which also features Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano and Eli Elezra, and those three phrases kept flashing before my eyes. The image is of a table closest to the rail, (the...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The outing of Mystery Max and selected tales

It was only a matter of time before the case of Mystery Max was cracked. Frankly, we probably could've done it a while ago, but we thought it best to respect Max's privacy. If you missed the earlier report, a man we only knew as Max was closely guarding his...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Passing time and doubling up

Canadian PokerStars qualifier Tommy Pavlicek has become something of a regular on the PokerStars.com EPT this season, cashing a couple of times before shooting back to his winter in the Alps spent skiing. He’s wasted no time getting back from the partial break (owing to the split dinner), ready at...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Birthday patricide?

Father and son bonding. It comes in so many forms. There's the first fishing trip. The first shared beer. The first brutal, ugly, birthday suckout. We talked earlier today about the fickle poker fates and their clever table draws. Among the most clever today was that of Peter and Josh...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Double ups and Team on Team action

When players come back from dinner break, something always happens. Whether the after dinner coffee makes them jittery or the blinds make them jumpy, players start to get their chips in. That's been happening here, and to the benefit of some Team PokerStars Pros. News from the floor reports that...more

PokerStars gives away $1 million in World Series Seats

For the past several years, there has been no easier or cheaper way to get into the World Series Main Event than play an online qualifier at PokerStars. Nothing about that has changed...except, it's just gotten cheaper. How much cheaper? Free. PokerStars announced today, it will give away $1 million...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Heitman takes a hit but Danzer neither shaken nor stirred

PokerStars sponsored player George Danzer cuts an impressive jib when he turns up to play a PokerStars.com EPT – smart suit, a collar on his shirt, the trademark scarf – not of the Dario Minieri kind, but the dress version, made of silk and with a pattern of some kind....more

EPT Monte Carlo: Mystery Max and the case of the missing screen name

Greg "Fossilman" Raymer isn't much for coffeehousing. We learned that back in 2004 when he didn't bite on Mike Matusow's cojone bait. With that understood, that doesn't mean Raymer sits quietly at the table. To the contrary, Raymer has a story for just about every occasion. He enjoys his time...more

EPT Mote Carlo: Dinner break odds and ends

At the first half of the dinner break (it's staggered in two groups tonight) Freddy Deeb stepped up to Blogger Central with a simple request. The man may be flush with cash and traveling the world to play in poker tournaments. Alas, he had no iPod charger. Fortunately, we did....more

EPT Monte Carlo: PokerStars Player Lounge

There's exclusive and then there is really exclusive. Getting to Monte Carlo to play in the PokerStars EPT Grand Final is an accomplishment in itself. The buy-in alone is enough to make this tournament among the most exclusive in the world. Here, though, among the elite players in the field,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Flashing lights and sparkle on table Isabelle

Back at the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo Johannes Strassmann scribbled his way through day one, day two and was the last player eliminated on day three in ninth place, a fly's wing distance from his second final table of season four. The notes, he told me, were because he wants...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The Stolzmann Crown

I don't even remember when I met Steve Stolzmann. It's been years ago, and if memory serves, was in Season 1 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour. When we met, I only knew Stolzmann as a firefigher from the upper Midwest. Now, Stolzmann is what I like to call a...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The Neagreanu guarantee?

As mentioned here earlier, there is a large contingent of Team PokerStars Pros in the field today. Some members of the Team, however, have one more day of rest before launching into a marathon week of poker. Among those with the day off is Daniel Negreanu. Well-rested and feeling good,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Raymer all clammed up

Greg Raymer sat behind his lizard-eye shades and beneath a hat more suited for the Caribbean than Monte Carlo Bay. His face was as still as the trademark fossil in front of him. He'd come in for a raise from late position, but now was facing a re-raise from the...more

Team PokerStars Pro Profile: Andre Akkari

Andre Akkari is not like many poker pros. He didn't start his career with massive satellite parlay or bankroll built on multi-tabling 20 SNGs at a time. Akkari started with a bankroll of exactly nothing. At first, he was a struggling businessman in Brazil. His time was short and his...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Never too soon for some

Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari is playing his first PokerStars.com EPT. From 50 tables few provide easy draws, not least Andre’s table which throws him up against fellow Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano and PokerStars qualifier Christian Harder. Luca’s start shone brightly in San Remo last week, the combination...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Titans clash

At an event the size and scope of the PokerStars EPT Grand Final, you expect to see planets collide. No matter how random the seat draw, the biggest players in the poker world will not be able to avoid each other Whether it's silly luck or some sick joke played...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The hunt for the title begins

The welcome is complete, the parties are over. Having made the short hop over the Franco-Italian border the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour has pulled into its spiritual home to get back to business. If you like poker, if you like opulence and if you like all that’s great about this...more

11 April

EPT Monte Carlo: The party before the poker

By now, the story is the stuff of legend. Just a few years ago, a poker player and TV director named John Duthie sat in the bathtub and had a small epiphany. As he told me in March 2005, "I sat in the bath and thought, 'that would be a...more

Griffin and Brown join Team PokerStars Pro

The skies were cloudy in Monte Carlo this morning, but by the middle of the afternoon, the sun broke through and cast the spotlight on Team PokerStars Pro's newest members. PokerStars announced this morning it has added Gavin Griffin and Chad Brown to its stable of elite poker players. Both...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Picture perfect on Cote D'Azur

When I passed through Monte Carlo five days ago on my way back from the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo it was 18 degrees and I looked but I couldn’t see a cloud in the sky. It was sandals weather, beach weather - in short the weather Monte Carlo was designed...more

10 April

EPT Monte Carlo: Fortunes by the Sea

When you arrive in Monte Carlo on the chopping blades of a helicopter shuttle, the opulence is impossible to ignore. Giant mansions are set into the cliffs and look down over a churning Mediterranean Sea. The people sharing the helicopter with you have arrived with a briefcase, but otherwise sans...more

8 April

PokerStars announces reload bonus

PokerStars players have decided they love Battle of the Planets. That seems pretty clear based on the fact people were playing in the high orbit by the time I woke up Sunday morning. Now, PokerStars is giving its players even more incentive to get in the game. To celebrate the...more

7 April

PokerStars Sunday Tournament Results (4-6-2008)

The kickoff of PokerStars' brand new SNG tournament leader board, Battle of the Planets, may have taken center stage this weekend, but the big tournaments paid out the spotlight money. The United Kingdom's Vaga_Lion won more than $177,000 for a first place finish in this week's Sunday Million. Denmark's piahottt...more

5 April

EPT San Remo: Jason Mercier, a PokerStars qualifier from Florida wins in San Remo

EPT San Remo winner Jason Mercier Jason Mercier could have been in Amsterdam right now. Having won his ticket to the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo on PokerStars Jason was all set to travel here with a few buddies until at the last minute his friends opted instead for a...more

EPT San Remo: Final table live updates

Jason Mercier, a PokerStars qualifier from the United States, wins the EPT San Remo and €869,000. 5.55pm – Antony Lellouche from France, eliminated in second place for €505,000. In just the second hand of the heads-up match Jason bet pre-flop. Antony Lellouche pushed all-in and Jason called. It only took...more

EPT San Remo: Final table player profiles

The finalists Seat 1: Gregory Genovese, 37, Rome, Italy - 694,000 chips Investment broker Gregory, 37, has only been playing Hold’em for a year but has played Italian poker – a form of five-card draw – for a long time. This is his firsta major live tournament - he...more

EPT San Remo: Italy braced for final table triumph

It’s Saturday afternoon in San Remo and for an update on the weather check back to any of the introductions from this week. But as for the atmosphere inside Casino San Remo there’s been a subtle change overnight. Today the last remaining eight players of the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo...more

4 April

EPT San Remo: Final table in place after a long day at the baize

When the final nine players squeezed in around the feature table to play until one more of them was gone, nobody really expected the night to go on much longer. Typically these stages are a patient yet spirited pause whilst the short stack finds a hand to move all-in with;...more

Monte Carlo beckons for the EPT finale

If you want to find out what EPT tournaments are really like from the fun side of the rail and fancy trying it out in one of the most exclusive poker destinations in the world than your last chance to qualify for the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo is...more

EPT San Remo: So close but not far enough

Action switches from two tables to the one table of nine and we’re just one elimination from our PokerStars.com EPT San Remo final table. There’s a raise from William Thorson which is re-raised all-in by Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri who has been the figurehead in this third day with...more

EPT San Remo: Countdown to the final

Felipe Ramos was eliminated by Anthony Lellouche in 13th place shortly before the dinner break, having scrapped with the Frenchman earlier on for the majority of his stack. It was a simple case of sixes for Ramos, sevens for Lellouche which put an end to Brazils’ hope of its first...more

EPT San Remo: The Italian job

As play pauses for a one hour dinner break the video blog team took a closer look at Italian poker......more

EPT San Remo: Things slow down as we get to 13

In contrast to the PokerStars.com EPT Warsaw which you might remember staged a day three that lasted a few minutes over two hours, the EPT San Remo has nothing like that kind of pace, even with Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri at the reins. He did managed to get the...more

EPT San Remo: Meanwhile on the other table

Jan Heitmann heads for the door, eliminated by Dag Palovic on the feature table, and Bart Wetsteijn from Holland followed him in fifteenth place. That happened under the TV lights but a few feet away sit the ‘other’ table players - a whole new world much darker and altogether more...more

EPT San Remo: The Dario show continues but Jan Heitmann hangs on

With just two tables left, Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri took a hit, calling PokerStars Sponsored player Jan Heitmann’s all-in. The German showed A-8 whilst Dario had pocket queens. It looked like a standard manoeuvre from Dario about to overtake a few more but the flop was brutal, bringing an...more

EPT San Remo: Good news for Lellouche but the day ends for others

Anthony Lellouche didn’t look too good when he called Stefan Raffay’s all-in. He had kings to Stefan’s’ tens but was in no mood to assume anything, his face preferring to wait to make sure. He needn’t have worried. His kings held and sent Stefan out. Marcus Golser is also out,...more

EPT San Remo: No let up in eliminations

Paul Alterman first out on the day against Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri in a typically fuel injected start, kings against queens. Ville Nyman on one of the tables not under TV lights has also gone having started the day with 61k. Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri Ezio Guagliata was...more

EPT San Remo: The last 31 battle down to the final

If you want an idea of what colour the buildings are here in San Remo put it this way – think of the colour you’d paint a room in your house to get that summer feel. Then, take that colour and slap it on your outside walls – that’s how...more

PokerStars launches Battle of the Planets

PokerStars players have always controlled the stars. Now it's time for a Battle of the Planets. PokerStars has just introduced its first SNG Tournament Leader Board. Battle of the Planets is a weekly competition that promises to pay out more than $3 million a year to SNG players. Whether you...more

3 April

Hevad Khan wins big at Foxwoods

The past 12 months have been kind to Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan. First, there was that matter of making the final table at the 2007 World Series and winning nearly a million bucks. Just last week, Khan took down the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for nearly $100,000. Just a few...more

EPT San Remo: The curtains close on day two

The bubble was fast in getting here on day two, and as players dropped out it seemed there was no let up in the pace of eliminations. That was until the last hour or so which turned from a shooting range into a slow campaign of attrition - few all-ins...more

EPT San Remo: End of the road for Raymond Rahme

As reported several times in the blog this week Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme never wavered from his particular style of poker. It’s a style distinguished by one key feature – it’s successful. He was all-in a few times on day one, and more on day two, but his plan...more

EPT San Remo: The deft and the defeated

With Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri storming ahead (another big pot, busting another player) and French PokerStars qualifier Eric Koskas well in front, a few more players have felt the bite of the blinds, made a move and been banished to the rail including Theo Jorgensen, and PokerStars qualifiers Henrik...more

EPT San Remo: The best way to win an EPT title?

Joseph Mouawad did it in London, Reuben Peters did it in Dublin, Mike McDonald did it in Dortmund and Tim Vance did it in Copenhagen. Did I mention that Gavin Griffin did the same at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo last year? Exactly what these champions did was...more

EPT San Remo: Into the money

Before the dinner break we said goodbye to Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, who's seemed unable to pick up where he'd left off on day one. Then things began to move fast. Ten minutes of the fifteenth level is all it took to break the money mark with one of...more

EPT San Remo: Judging books by their results

Everyone's poker career starts somewhere, and for most that involves picking up a poker book and starting from page one. But those books have to be written by someone who has already been there and done it, as the video blog team found out......more

EPT San Remo: Raymond Rahme taking it to the opposition

Raymond Rahme moves all-in. Leo Gizzarelli, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, is in the tank. The others at this table look relieved to have nothing to do with any of this. There’s 39k of Raymond’s in the middle, put there after a raise from Leo who now faces...more

EPT San Remo: Ups and downs for Italy's finest

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano had a dynamite day 1a. His foot on the gas from the world go Luca put aside his obligations to the tournament (he is part of the organising team here) and set about gathering chips. At one point he was up to over 50k and...more

EPT San Remo: High then dry for Daniel Negreanu

From the start Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu’s table looked a difficult one. It featured PokerStars Sponsored Player Jan Heitmann for one and Mark Petersen (final table PokerStars.com EPT Copenhagen Season two) for another, as well as Thor Hansen sitting opposite. Thor had the same problem as Daniel though, that...more

EPT San Remo: Players return for day 2

It doesn’t take long for any April visitor to San Remo to realise that one day looks pretty much like the next. There are exceptions of course. It’s 18 degrees today not the 17 degrees of yesterday, and for a short time earlier I thought I saw a cloud. It...more

2 April

EPT San Remo: The story of day 1b

Day 1b closes after nine levels with PokerStars Sponsored Player Jan Heitmann among the leaders, ending the day at the top of the chip count list after what could well be described as a tough day for Team PokerStars Pro. Among the leaders on the day were French players Anthony...more

EPT San Remo: Negreanu and Strassmann battling to the end

Jonas Klausen is all-in on Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu’s table. His opponent facing him goes through a lot of face pulling and eye scratching as he thinks over what could be a call for his tournament life. Daniel shakes his head a little and Martin Wendt also playing looks...more

EPT San Remo: Defeated but still bold...

Earlier today the video blog team caught up with one player also known in other circles as a former actor on the US TV series 'The Bold and the Beautiful.' Actor Daniel McVicar didn't make it past the first day but still time for a chat......more

EPT San Remo: Boeken to the rail but Heitmann on track

Noah Boeken’s day never seemed to get going and he became the latest Team PokerStars Pro to be sent to the rail when he re-raised over the top of a bet worth 735, making it 3,400 to play. The flop read J-4-6. Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken “I think you...more

EPT San Remo: Keeping track of table Rousso

“I have about 9k. It’s been slow going, no big hands, no horrible hands. I wish I could say something more interesting!” That was Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso at the first break today but could easily apply now – four hours later. I stopped by to check out how...more

EPT San Remo: Passport to world poker

Since the PokerStars.com EPT in Dortmund one face has become more and more familiar, that of PokerStars Passport Winner Dustin Mele. If you remember, Dustin won the ten tournament passport prize after winning the Tournament Leader Board Top 100 event, entitling him to buy ins at ten tournaments around the...more

EPT San Remo: Isabelle out at the dinner break

As the first half of the field pause at the dinner break the smoke is clearing on a tough first four hours, particularly for Team PokerStars Pros. Following the eliminations of ElkY and Lee Nelson, Isabelle Mercier is the next to be busted, her pocket kings out flanked by Q-T...more

EPT San Remo: Two struck out in level four

Things seemed to have calmed down a tad before it all started running bad for Team PokerStars Pro 'ElkY' Grospellier. After a bad bluff he was left with little more than a couple of grand which he pushed in with against Dutchman Ed de Haas. It was a good natured...more

EPT San Remo: Early flare ups and the calm before the storm

You’d expect the first few levels to be uneventful ones, players easing into the day, maybe chatting with table mates. But so often this is turned on its head and that applies here to the PokerStars European Poker Tour San Remo. Already, with just a level gone, we have seen...more

EPT San Remo: Early line ups

Play has begun on day 1b with six Team PokerStars Pros tucked in somewhere around the card room. Daniel Negreanu sits with Thomas Brolin, Juha Helppi and Joris Jaspers, one of the tougher tables on the day so no wonder he was asking me about the dinner break. Isabelle Mercier,...more

EPT San Remo: Back for more on day 1b

Noon, kids playing, lazy pedestrians with no need to rush; pedestrians with a need to rush deciding instead to take it slow, all passing by the hotel window. Everything is slow, and why not? Wednesday in San Remo looks pretty much like Tuesday did. Maybe take sip coffee, fling the...more

1 April

EPT San Remo: Sun sets on the day1a Riviera

San Remo is named after Saint Romulus of Genoa, a man of the warrior clergy who died in a cave at Villa Matutiae which stands near the town that now bears his name. The picture depicting him shows Romulus in Episcopal dress with a sword in hand ready to fight,...more

PokerStars Tournament Leader Board competition hits fourth month

The PokerStars Tournament Leader Board competition now has three months behind it. Though it's still anybody's game for the year, there are some folks who have been working pretty hard to jump out to the early lead. Here's a quick recap of where the TLB competitions look so far. PokerStars...more

EPT San Remo: Nine levels done and play stops for the day

Minutes left on the day and Dario Minieri, who had built his stack up from 3k to over 30k had a setback when he called Rolf Slotboom’s all-in. The Dutchman showed his pocket aces, ahead of Dario’s pocket kings which were crushed by an ace on the turn. It cost...more

EPT San Remo: Tomba La Bomba

Busted, but not one to feel defeated, Alberto Tomba talked with Kara Scott about his PokerStars.com EPT experience... For latest chip counts click here....more

EPT San Remo: Rahme up, Sonnert down and Dario somewhere in the middle

Play has reached the end of level seven and players take a 15 minute break. Organisers have opted to play a ninth level today, leaving us with two more levels before the end of the day. Chance then to catch up with Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme break to see...more

EPT San Remo: Dinner over, it's into level six

Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater has busted out of the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo. She got her stack of 5,000 all-in with pocket tens, but didn’t count on running into pocket kings. With a king on the flop, and another player admitting that he folded a ten it was all...more

EPT San Remo: Uphill task for downhill champ

An Italian player rests his hands on a countryman’s shoulders, says a few words in his ear, wishes him luck and disappears. The man in question, getting the well wishes, is Alberto Tomba - a man famous in Italy and around the world as one of the best slalom skiers...more

EPT San Remo: At the break with Tom McEvoy and Luca Pagano

The dinner break has arrived after four levels, for some anyway. With such a large field the room has been split into two groups. The first group gets a 15 minute break, the other group gets a one hour dinner break. When they return the first group will do the...more

EPT San Remo: Some good, some bad, some ugly

Winning a PokerStars.com EPT is one thing, but winning it as well as organising it in the first place would be something else entirely. That’s the achievement available to one player – Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano. He has to win first though. He can worry about that later though...more

EPT San Remo: The cast of characters

It’s a day at the office for some but even so there’s the sense that there are worse ways to make a living. Kara Scott caught up with two Englishman abroad earlier today... Roland de Wolfe and Peter Gould. You can keep track of selected chip counts throughout the day...more

EPT San Remo: Lessons in poker inside and outside the cardroom

Early draws have thrown together a few familiar faces. Mel Judah starts alongside Magnus Petersson (EPT Season 3 Copenhagen winner) and London pro Joe Grech, whilst Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri lines up with Carl Hostrup and Rolf Slotboom. PokerStars qualifier Steve Jelinek will spend the first hours with Marcus...more

EPT San Remo: Sea, sun and poker

The sea breaks over the rocks on the beach, the palm trees lean towards the morning sunshine, dedicated fitness fanatics play tennis outside and coffee as thick as syrup doesn’t jolt you awake as much as give you a gentle nudge, welcoming you into your day. Or is this just...more

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