Archive for Annie Duke

‘Ante up for Africa’ draws big stars, lots of money

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by mikewebb82

The Third Annual ‘Ante up for Africa’ tournament was held in Las Vegas amid the 2009 World Series of Poker last week. The tournament was the brainchild of poker pro Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle. The proceeds, normally donated by players, goes to the people of Darfur.

On a good note this year was the amount of entries compared to last year. There were a total of 138 players who ‘anted up’ the USD 5,000 to play in the No Limit Hold’em game this year. With a price pool of over USD 670Million, the first place winner would receive USD 177,730.

Alex Bolotin

Alex Bolotin

Alex Bolotin was the lucky player to win this year’s Ante up for Africa event. Bolotin donated half of his winnings to the ENOUGH Project and International Rescue Committee, the charity that has benefited from this poker event. Other celebrites and poker players raised USD 362,000 for the Crisis in Darfur. Of the 18 players who finished in the money, 17 donated at least a portion of their winnings to the cause.

The tournament lasted 10 hours this year and was held in the Rio Pavilion’s Amazon room, with hundreds of spectators trying to get a glimpse of all the celebrities in attendance.


Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Unveils National Poker Week

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by mikewebb82

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is planning a National Poker Week from July 19 to July 25. The PPA is the industry’s one million member

Poker Players Alliance

Poker Players Alliance

 strong lobbying force.

The PPA unveiled National Poker Week at a press conference on Monday inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino during the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP). The gala featured Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), whose Internet Gambling Study Bill was introduced during the 110th Congress, but failed to be marked up by the House Judiciary Committee. Also present were PPA Chairman and former three-term Senator from New York Alfonse D’Amato, Poker News Daily Guest Columnist and Tournament Directors Association Co-Founder Linda Johnson, and 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer.

After the press conference, Berkley issued the “Shuffle Up and Deal” command to start play in the Amazon Room.

“I thought it went very well. Shelley Berkley was magnificent with her command for the issue and stated why it’s important for poker players to get involved in a meaningful way. She explained that the poker community should rally around the initiatives that the PPA is putting forth in order to make sure that legislation like Barney Frank’s bill will get passed,” PPA Executive Director John Pappas said on Monday at press conference.

Frank has two measures in the US Congress. HR 2267 establishes a licensing and regulatory framework for the internet gambling industry in the United States. HR 2266 delays the regulations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) from being implemented for one year to December 1st, 2010.

The PPA will fly in of over 30 of its State Directors to Washington, D.C. as part of the National Poker Week. While in the nation’s capital, the State Directors will meet with their elected officials to pitch support for legislation like HR 2266 and HR 2267. In addition, the crew will deliver a petition to President Obama calling for exemption of poker from the UIGEA. Over 10,000 concerned players have signed the virtual poker petition, which will be delivered on July 22. It opens with a simple statement regarding the rights of poker players: “I am a voter and a fellow poker player asking for your support of my right to play games of skill like poker on the Internet.” In order to sign the petition, a person’s first name, last name, e-mail address, and mailing address are required. As I wrote this paragraph, 20 players have lent their names.

Professional poker players slated to be part of the event include Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Poker News Daily Guest Columnist Annie Duke, Jan Fisher, Linda Johnson, and 2008 November Nine member Dennis Phillips. On July 21, a charity poker tournament benefiting the United Service Organizations (USO) and the Malone House at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will take place. The PPA is fronting the costs for the event in order to ensure that all the money raised goes directly to beneficiary organizations. The prizes and buy-in for the tournament were not available at the time of writing.

A key element leading up to National Poker Week is the launch of, which invites poker players from around the country to submit a video of why the game is important to them and why the US Government should legalize the Great American Pastime. All videos will be entered into a drawing for a two night Las Vegas package complete with airfare for two people. A total of 16 amateur videos are currently posted, including a clip from Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX). In addition, World Poker Tour Host Mike Sexton, “Cowboy” Kenna James, and Lederer have all submitted recordings. Interested WSOP spectators and players can produce their own videos at the PPA’s booth outside the Amazon Room.

Members of the press present at the 45 minute long event on Monday received a tutorial on the PPA’s new National Poker Week web tools. In addition, it was revealed that a variety of telephone and e-mail campaigns were being planned.

2009 WSOP: Simmons Caps Final 27 in NLHE #28; Tran, Kurtzman Lead in PLO #30 and HORSE #31

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by mikewebb82

Day 2 of Event #28, USD 1500 No-Limit Hold’em, concluded with the field narrowing from the original 2,638 who signed up for Day 1 to the final 27 who will return for Day 3. As play concluded in the evening, the chip leader was Joe Simmons on a stack of 1,120,000, followed by Jason Potter with 929,000, and Rico Ramirez with 789,000.

Play started at 2:00 p.m., and the money bubble was burst about 90 minutes later, with the remaining 270 players all earning at least USD 2,808. Cody Slaubaugh was among the 56 bustees who failed to make the cut. He opened the pot to 3,000 from middle position before Kyle Hegeman made it 9,000 total from the big blind. Slaubaugh reraised to 20,000. Hegeman moved all in over the top for his last 42,900 and Slaubaugh called, only to discover that he was dominated by Hegeman. The board ran out, and Slaubaugh was crippled with 4,200. After doubling a few hands later, Slaubaugh got the rest of chips into the middle against an opponent. The opponent turned a set to send Slaubaugh to the rail.

Once the bubble passed, the shorter stacks busted out rapidly, 65 in the first hour. 2008 Main Event runner-up Ivan Demidov was one of three contestants eliminated simultaneously when four players at one table were dealt pocket pairs, and all four decided to make a stand before the flop. Champie Douglas’s pair of kings was best, and they held up against a pair of queens, Demidov’s tens, and another player’s sixes. About an hour later, Douglas pulled off an only slightly less dramatic double-elimination when he was best from beginning to end against and on the board. Douglas would eventually succumb though, in 69th place, worth USD 6,121.

One of the largest pots Joe Simmons collected on his way to the end-of-day chip lead came at the expense of Neil Channing. Both had big pocket pairs –Channing and Simmons and together they put 300,000 chips into the middle on the safe-looking flop. Neither the turn nor the river helped Channing. Not even God could save the queens.

Liv Boeree was running hot for awhile. She check-called all in on the flop, made a flush on the turn, and the river dream card was just the icing on the double-up cake. Less than an hour later she doubled again with pocket aces besting A-K. Her luck couldn’t hold out, though, and she exited the tournament in the 57th place (USD 7,237) after running    into an opponent’s pair of red aces.

The notables who collected a check before heading home were Thor Hansen, Kelly Kim, Mats Gavatin, Clark Hamagami, Tony Cousineau, and overnight chip leader Van Dung Nguyen.

The remaining 27 players will reassemble Monday at 1:00 p.m. PDT and play to the end. All are now guaranteed a minimum payout of USD 18688, and the winner will be getting USD 639,331 and a nice piece of WSOP jewelry.

$2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Event #30, Day 1 – J.C. Tran Seizes Early Lead

It was a killing field for Day 1 of Event #30, $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, a new WSOP event for 2009. The starting field of 436 was squeezed down to just 61 by the time tournament officials stopped the mayhem. On the top of the heap stood J.C. Tran with 176,900. Len Ashby finished in the second chip position with 123,500, followed by Jesse Rios with 109,200. John Juanda, Theo Jorgensen, Eli Elezra, David Chiu, Andy Bloch, and Phil Ivey are also still in the fight.

Players started at noon with 2,500 in tournament chips, plus two add-on chips, redeemable during the first three levels of play for another 2,500 each. A “table of death” was formed early with C.K. Hua, Jeffrey Lisandro, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Rob Hollink, Jesper Hougaard, Kirill Gerasimov, and Gavin Smith all seated at the same table. Not surprisingly, this table saw a disproportionate share of action.

Smith and Lisandro managed to get all their chips into contention on the board, with Smith. On the river meant that Lisandro doubled up with his set of deuces. A short time later, it was Hua and Ulliott who put it all at risk, this time on the flop. Ulliott was ahead, but Hua had the draws. When the turn and river fell, Hua had two pairs to Ulliott’s one, and the Devilfish had to use his last add-on chip.

Phil Hellmuth may have gotten a little too eager in a heads-up pot against Mike Stoltz. Stoltz was first to act after the flop and he was contemplating his action when Hellmuth said, “All right, I call you,” and pushed his chips into the middle before Stoltz had bet. Stoltz then put his chips into the pot, and the hands were turned over. It was Stoltz’s wheel draw that rolled in when the board completed.

An astonishing mass of poker talent could not survive the day, including Greg Raymer, Gavin Griffin, Michael Mizrachi, Barry Greenstein, Max Pescatori, Jimmy Fricke, Burt Boutin, Shannon Shorr, Jason Mercier, Nenad Medic, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Gavin Smith, Robert Mizrachi, David Williams, Mike Sexton, Jesper Hougaard, Jan von Halle, Chau Giang, Sam Farha, Katja Thater, Clonie Gowen, Jared Hamby, Jeffrey Lisandro, Prahlad Friedman, Sabyl Landrum, Adam Junglen, Berry Johnston, Barry Shulman, Kirill Gerasimov, David Ulliott, Chris Bell, Mike Binger, and Dan Heimiller.

Play resumes on Monday at 2:00 p.m. PDT, and will go until either 3:00 a.m. or when a final table has been determined. The last 61 players will be competing for 45 payouts, ranging from USD 4,883 to USD 235,685 – plus the small matter of a gold bracelet for first – taken from a total prize pool of USD 1,002,800.

USD 1500 HORSE Event #31, Day 1 – Kurtzman Out in Front
Day 1 of Event #31, $1,500 HORSE, was slated for the evening shift as 770 participants commenced play at 5:00 p.m. After completion of the eight scheduled levels, the field had been whittled down to 220. Atop the leaderboard was Eric Kurtzman with 57,800, with Marco Traniello (55,000), Jim Silveira (55,000), and Andy Black (54,300) close behind.

The format of this event calls for the games to change every hand. Phil Ivey already has two bracelets in the 2009 WSOP, but even he can stand some luck once in awhile. Ivey was the big blind and called a raise from a player in early position. Ivey called down all the way to the river where, he finally led out. His opponent made the call. But the cowboys were no good against Ivey’s queen-high straight, made with    in the hole.

The pot put Ivey’s stack up to 5,200, after having been blinded off for most of the first two levels while the multi-tabling Ivey played in Event #30, the USD 2500 Pot-Limit Omaha. Ivey was eliminated in absentia near the end of the day, as he focused his attention on the Omaha event, where he is still in contention.

Mike Matusow didn’t share Ivey’s luck. He was eliminated in a hold’em hand, all in before the flop for his last 475 chips from the small blind . He was up against the   of Filipe Pacheco. Matusow estimated his chances at “about 50-50” when he saw the cards. He had to revise it to “about 99.9 percent against” after the flop came. It was zero on the turn card.

After getting crippled in a stud hand, Daniel Negreanu made his exit in hold’em just before the close of the day. He was all in against one opponent on the flop in the hole. The opponent called with a flush draw,that missed the  turn but filled when the river came  .

Others not getting a return-invitation to the party included Gavin Smith, Markus Golser, Billy Argyros, Dutch Boyd, Shirley Rosario, Maria Ho, Chau Giang, Todd Brunson, Mel Judah, Erick Lindgren, and PokerNews Editor-in-Chief, Haley Hintze.

But many familiar faces will return when the field takes off again on Day 2. These include Mickey Appleman, Paul Darden, Barry Greenstein, Anna Wroblewski, Mark Gregorich, Vanessa Rousso, Bryan Micon, Thor Hansen, Shannon Shorr, Archie Karas, Annie Duke, Marcel Luske, Chad Brown, Bryan Devonshire, Lacey Jones, Shannon Elizabeth, Fabrice Soulier, Blair Rodman, David Singer, Mimi Tran, Ming Lee, James Van Alstyne, Toto Leonidas, Perry Friedman, Joe Serock, Matt Savage, Katja Thater, Farzad Bonyadi, Rodney Pardey, and Al Barbieri.

All 220 surviving players will return to the felt when action gets underway at 2:00 p.m. PDT. The prize pool of USD 1,051,050 will be divided among 72 spots, each getting at least USD 2848, with USD 247,033 reserved for the winner.