Archive for Phil Hellmuth

WSOP: Cada Tops Field at USD 10k NLHE Main Event Day 1c

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

With the holiday over, the fireworks were confined to the inside of the Rio as Day 1c of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event drew the biggest field yet of the Day 1 flights. 1,697 players signed up for Day 1c, prompting tournament officials to shift the schedule to five levels on Days 1c and 1d, as opposed to the four levels played on Days 1a and 1b. Among the poker superstars taking the field on Day 1c were Scotty Nguyen, Jamie Gold, Dennis Phillips, Joe Hachem, Matt Savage, Daniel Negreanu, and John Juanda. Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver brought out the athletic star power, as the former light heavyweight champ took to the felt. At the close of play, Joe Cada led Day 1c survivors.

Phil Hellmuth made his customary Main Event grand entrance, coming in on a Roman sedan chair as multitudes of toga-wearing and body-painted models escorted the 11-time bracelet winner to his seat. Also in the field was “Miami” John Cernuto, who returned to WSOP action, after collapsing during a preliminary event this summer.

The larger field meant more big names busting out, and some of the early eliminations included David Saab, David “Chino” Rheem, Evelyn Ng, and Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu’s stay at the featured table was much shorter than he had hoped, as he was sent home well before dinner break. All the money went in on the    flop, and Negreanu opened   for two pair. He was in deep trouble when his opponent made the call and tabled   for the bigger two pair, and when the turn brought the  Negreanu was left with only two outs. The  on the river wasn’t one of them, and Kid Poker was finished.

Jamie Gold was another Day 1c casualty, busting later in the afternoon when he got it all in with   to an opponent’s pocket jacks. Gold missed the    flop entirely, and when the turn brought the  , he was drawing dead. Other Day 1c eliminations included John Caldwell, Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri, and Annie Duke.

One thing players didn’t want to see at their table at any point during this WSOP was the trademark fedora of triple bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro. Lisandro’s winning ways continued all through Day 1c, as he racked up an impressive stack to finish the day among chip leaders. In an early pot, Lisandro checked his big blind to see the flop. Lisandro bet out and the small blind called. The   hit the turn, and both players checked. The small blind fired a bet when the   hit the river, and Lisandro quickly raised. After a moment’s hesitation the small blind called and showed   for eights full of aces. Lisandro tabled   for jacks full of eights, and scooped yet another big pot.

1983 Main Event champ Tom McEvoy won the Champions’ Invitational event earlier this summer, but couldn’t make it through the minefield of Day 1c. He made his exit after the dinner break and was soon joined on the rail by late eliminations Brandon Cantu, David Singer, and recent “Rumble Nowhere Near the Rio” winner, Liv Boeree.

Joe Cada

Joe Cada

As play drew to a close, WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla took a moment to recognize one player in particular who would move on to Day 2. Kent Senter was diagnosed in March with multiple myleoma, a rare cancer of the plasma cells, and given anywhere from six months to two years to live. Senter, a father of four, had always dreamed of playing in the WSOP Main Event, and with his diagnosis and the expensive treatments, that dream seemed unlikely to ever come true until Bluff Magazine publisher Eric Morris contacted PokerStars, who put up the USD 10,000 entry fee, so that Senter could live out his dream. Senter made it through Day 1c with a medium stack and received an ovation from the entire room when Dalla introduced him.

Joe Cada was the man sitting with the most chips when the final pot was pushed, his stack of 187,225 establishing him as the overall chip leader of all the Day 1 flights so far. Tyler Patterson, Sebastian Stier, and Chance Kornuth also finished with hefty stacks. Other notable Day 1c survivors included Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Terrence “Not Johnny” Chan, Marc Naalden, Justin Bonomo, Hevad Khan, Isabelle Mercier, Dennis Phillips, and Howard Lederer.


Phil Hellmuth enters dressed up as Caesar

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

The latest amusing anecdote comes straight from the WSOP in Las Vegas. It is about the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em champion, Phil Hellmuth who

Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

dressed up as Julius Caesar and paraded through the entrance to the World Series of Poker last Sunday. He arrived in a car outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and was accompanied by dozens of women and trumpeters, which drove the fans into frenzy.

11-time gold bracelet winner Hellmuth had won the WSOP main event 20 years ago and now appears again at the event’s poker table. Female gladiators with body paint and muses carrying rose petals in bags accompanied him throughout. “When you dress as Caesar you actually feel more powerful. Kiss my ring!” Hellmuth’s said while speaking to the AP, and continued “Hail Caesar!”

The television cameras showed how Phil was rolled in, greeted Jeffrey Pollack, the World Series of Poker Commissioner, and then had a quick change into standard attire for the tournament start.

During last year’s WSOP, Hellmuth surprised everyone with his Gen. George S. Patton attire, and this year it’s Caesar, and so the guess is that this annual dress up will become a tradition. “It’s a kind of fun. I think it’s great for poker” were his words.

Compared to Hellmuth, the other players had everyday attire without a bombastic entry but some players did have some gimmicks up their sleeve during the tournament of 2008, trying to draw attention to themselves and may be distract competition. Such as last year’s number three, Dennis Phillips, who won USD 4.5 million at the series’ final table and had a dozen supporters dressed in a white collared shirt and a St. Louis Cardinals hat.

Meanwhile, the WSOP sell-outs are looking great this year with almost 1,700 players entering this year’s tournament last Sunday. Many are expecting a bigger sale by today, one to reach a record of 2,600 players. In fact, July 6 is the last day and entries to the tournament are accepted with hopefuls guessing on an additional 800 new tournament applicants. Last year it was the turn of Peter Eastgate to win the event with a prize of USD 9.15 million. Eastgate had entered the event through a USD 10,000 buy-in tournament contested by another 6,844 players.

Veldhuis, Young talk WSOP $5k Shootout

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2009 by mikewebb82

According to Lex Veldhuis, today’s $5,000 No Limit Hold’em shootout might as well be a different sport. The game is so different from a

Lex Veldhuis

Lex Veldhuis

standard NLHE tournament that the Dutch pro says, “comparing it to a No Limit Hold’em tournament is like comparing Texas Hold’em to Omaha.”  The key difference, Veldhuis says, is the table draw.

In a shootout format, players compete in a series of single-table tournaments, with the winner of each table advancing to the next round. The WSOP’s $5k event features three rounds in total, with the starting field slated to be distilled to a five-handed final table by Day 3.

Since players don’t move tables as in a normal tournament, avoiding the big name pros and SNG icons while registering can be key. “Your table matters more in a tournament like this,” Veldhuis told to leading online site. “It’s so much more important.” Beyond table draw, which is uncontrollable, the pros point to the importance of adaptability as a key to success.

“I noticed in this tournament a lot of people were going wild preflop, so I’m sitting back and waiting for hands,” said 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Young. “At the same time, people have been noticing that I’m playing tight so I’ve been able to get away with a couple of big bluffs.”

Veldhuis, meanwhile, took the opposite tack on his Day 1 table. “You have to adjust for going from full-ring to shorthanded play,” he said. “I try to pick on people who switch gears too late. “I try to double my stack early by putting pressure on people who are playing too tight. If I get to four-handed play I usually have the chip lead.

“I’ve made plenty of blow-ups with eight or nine people left too,” he said. “But it’s all about pressure.” Young told that he found the shootout format easier than a normal freezeout-format tournament. “I like it,” he said. “You’ve got to know how to play from ten players down to heads-up. For every player that you lose it’s a different game. “It’s also good because you’re at the same table the whole time, so you can adapt to the players’ different strategies.”

In Day 1 action, Veldhuis emerged victorious at a table that included Philippe Rouas and Jerrod Ankenman. He’ll return to action on Monday for Round 2 guaranteed $16,740 in prize money. Also advancing to the second round were Phil Ivey, Davidi Kitai, Danny Wong and Joe Serock.

A total of 280 players bought-in to the Shootout event, including poker icons Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Jennifer Harman and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Hellmuth was eliminated after a sometimes testy heads-up battle with Andrea Bonelli, while Ferguson, J.C. Tran, Isaac Baron and Jonathan Little also numbered among the eliminated.

Leonardo DiCaprio Starring in Online Poker Movie

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by mikewebb82

Move over, “Titanic,” there’s a new sheriff in town. Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an untitled film about internet

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

gambling outfits in Costa Rica, according to the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly.

The screenplay will be written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who both served in the same capacity in the 1998 film “Rounders,” which drew many of today’s poker prodigies to the game. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), “Rounders” marked the first official writing credits for Koppelman and Levien. The duo has also teamed up with DiCaprio to bring “Beat the Reaper” to the big screen. The film, which will be released next year, has the following plot according to IMDB: “ER doctor Peter Brown’s life is turned upside down when he crosses paths with a mobster who appears to know him from his former life as a hitman.”

No release date has been given for DiCaprio’s online poker movie. An article on noted that DiCaprio’s plate is quite full: “DiCaprio has an enormous list of films in pre-production. For the time being, at least, he’ll be working on Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception.’ Whenever he’s finished with that, he will probably have developed five more projects.” IMDB notes that DiCaprio has 21 films in development.

Whether the film will focus on online poker, casinos, or sports betting remains to be seen and various websites pitch the movie in several different ways. Tokwiro-owned online poker rooms Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker are both based in San Jose, the Central American country’s capital city. A report by CBS News program “60 Minutes” identified the offices of the sites as being located in a “strip mall.” Both Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker comprise the CEREUS Network, which was formed in November.

Action Poker, the flagship site of the network of the same name, has offices in Costa Rica. Joining the site in the tropical nation is Doyle’s Room, which opened the 2009 calendar year by jumping to the USA-friendly Cake Poker Network. Ten-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, whose “Texas Dolly” moniker has made him one of the industry’s foremost faces, is the site’s namesake. Also holding a presence in Costa Rica is PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site. According to, which ranks online poker site traffic, PokerStars has a seven-day running average of 22,000 cash game players. It happily accepts customers from the United States.

“Rounders” starred Edward Norton and Matt Damon. The movie was released five years before Chris Moneymaker became a household after the Tennessee accountant defeated Sammy Farha in the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Since then, Koppelman and Levien have kept their love for poker alive, teaming up for ESPN’s short-lived series “Tilt,” which starred Michael Madsen as Don “The Matador” Everest. “Tilt” premiered in 2005, ran for one season, and featured appearances by poker superstars including Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, and T.J. Cloutier. Negreanu is fresh off a cameo in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Finally, Koppelman and Levien wrote “Oceans Thirteen,” which came out in 2007. It was the third installment of the franchise, which stars Damon, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Andy Garcia, and Julia Roberts. “Oceans Thirteen” returned to its roots in Las Vegas as the team sought revenge on casino owner Willy Blank (played by Al Pacino). The movie also stars Don Cheadle, who founded Ante Up for Africa along with Norman Epstein and “Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up Annie Duke.

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.

$10 Million 10th Anniversary WSOP Promotion Continues at UltimateBet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by mikewebb82

UltimateBet, one of the oldest of all online poker sites, continues its 10th anniversary celebration this summer with a possible USD 10 million sponsorship package at the World Series of Poker Main Event. It’s all a part of UB’s “From a Dime to a USD 10 Million Dream,” offering players of any means a chance to take part in poker’s biggest tournament, with a special promotion offering the next would-be Main Event winner the opportunity to pocket a 10-year UltimateBet sponsorship deal.

To join UltimateBet’s team and have a chance at the sponsorship package, players entering the Main Event must complete the following four steps:

• Go to the Bellagio Hotel daily between 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.



• Use the house phone near the Hotel Guest Elevators and ask the operator to put you through to “Phil Hellmuth.”

• Wait near the entrance to the Guest Elevators and one of UB’s friendly staffers will come to collect you.

• Fill in and sign a registration form, available only in UltimateBet’s hospitality suite at the Bellagio.

Participating players must then wear UB gear throughout their Main Event play to remain eligible, but everyone’s a winner here. Each player who takes part will receive a swag package containing UltimateBet’s 10th Anniversary T-shirts, flexi-fit peaked cap, poker cards, padded seat cushion, a card protector, and access to an invitation-only UltimateBet Party scheduled for June 29, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., at the famed Studio 54 club of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The gala will be attended by many stars from the UB team, including Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Liv Boeree, Tiffany Michelle, Michael Binger, Matt Graham and others.

(Note: Players who have already qualified or who will qualify online at UltimateBet are also eligible, but must complete the four registration steps above. Call (702) 326-0241 or (702) 326 6380 for more information on UB’s Bellagio Hospitality Suite)

“Nobody throws a birthday party like UltimateBet,” said UltimateBet Pro Player Phil Hellmuth. “And this is a massive one. There’s an extra 10 million bucks on the line here in Vegas — that’s one million for every year UB’s been dealing cards.”

Hellmuth plans to make the party even more special by giving away a prize package to the Aruba Poker Classic valued at USD 8500, including entrance for two at a special VIP party in Aruba.

UltimateBet continues its plan to give away at least 50 Main Event seats for the World Series of Poker (“WSOP”) at a 50 Package Satellite coming up soon, with the USD 530 buy-in tourney scheduled for June 21st at 17:30.

More information on UltimateBet’s 10th Anniversary celebration is available at

Top Poker Players You Want To Watch At the WSOP 09

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by mikewebb82
Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

Phillip J. Hellmuth, Jr. (born July 16, 1964) is an American professional poker player. He is best known for holding a record 11 World Series of Poker bracelets, for winning the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker and for his temperamental, “poker brat” personality. He is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.

At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Hellmuth won his record-breaking 11th bracelet in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event. Hellmuth also holds the records for most WSOP cashes (68) and most WSOP final tables (41), recently overtaking TJ Cloutier. At the Main Event of the 2008 World Series of Poker Hellmuth made a deep run finishing in 45th place out of a field of 6,844. He was the last former champion standing at the event when he was knocked out. Hellmuth took home $154,400.

Nike Name: Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat
Home town: Palo Alto, California
Bracelet(s): 11

Phillip D. Ivey AKA “Tiger Woods of Poker”

Phillip D. Ivey AKA “Tiger Woods of Poker”

Phillip D. Ivey (born February 1, 1976) is an American professional poker player who has won five World Series of Poker bracelets and has a World Poker Tour title, making the final table there a record eight times.

In 2006, Ivey was enticed to London to participate in The London All Star Challenge of the inaugural European Poker Masters. Not only Europe’s first-ever independent poker tour, the EPM boasted the best lineup of players ever seen in Europe. As one of the favorites, Ivey made it to the final table to finish seventh, and collected £6,700 ($12,534). In November 2005, Ivey won the $1,000,000 first prize at the Monte Carlo Millions tournament. Just one day after, Ivey took home another $600,000 for finishing first at “The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo”. His six opponents were (in reverse finishing order) Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson, Dave Ulliott, and John Juanda. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $10,000,000. $3,104,014 of his total winnings have come from cashes as the WSOP.

Nick Name: Phillip D. Ivey AKA “Tiger Woods of Poker
Home town: Las Vegas, Nevada
Bracelet(s) : 5

Daniel Negreanu AKA “Kid Poker”

Daniel Negreanu AKA “Kid Poker”

Daniel Negreanu (born July 26, 1974) is a Canadian professional poker player with four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour Championship titles and won the poker Player of the Year award for 2004.

In 1997, he won two events at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods, earning $55,064 as well as being named the tournament’s best all-around player. Negreanu followed this triumph by winning $169,460 at the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event in the 1998 World Series of Poker and becoming the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history — a record he held until 2004. In June 2007 Negreanu signed with PokerStars, joining Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer and many other professional poker players as a member of Team PokerStars. November 2008, Negreanu won the fourth-annual British Columbia Poker Championships main event, topping a field of 690 players (a personal high for Daniel), and earning $371,910 CAD ($299,951 USD).

Nick Name: Daniel Negreanu AKA “Kid  Poker
Home town: Toronto
Bracelet(s) : 4

Michael Matusow AKA “The Mouth”

Michael Matusow AKA “The Mouth”

Michael Matusow (born April 30, 1968 in Los Angeles, California) is an American professional poker player, residing in Henderson, Nevada. Matusow’s nickname of “The Mouth” reflects his reputation for trash-talking at the poker table. He is also known for sometimes ruining hours or days of good play with a single spectacular misjudgment, (known as a “Mike Matusow Blow-up” or “Mike Matusow Meltdown”). Matusow began playing poker seriously in the early 1990s, first while working as a poker dealer, then as a professional player. His successes include being a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, and the winner of the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. He has played in many tournaments around the world and his winnings (as of 2008) total over $6,800,000.

At the 1998 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Matusow paid half of Scotty Nguyen’s entrance fee into a satellite event for the $10,000 no limit Texas hold ’em main event. Nguyen went on to win, and gave $333,333 to Matusow in return for his partial stake. In 2001, he finished 6th place in the WSOP $10,000 no limit Hold ’em main event. Matusow says that the decisive hand was when he was bluffed by eventual champion Juan Carlos Mortensen, but did not trust his instincts to call. At the 2004 WSOP main event, Matusow was a focal point of ESPN’s coverage, as he verbally attacked eventual champion Greg Raymer. In the 2005 WSOP, Matusow finished 9th out of 5,619 players in the main event, winning $1,000,000. Several months later, he won the WSOP Tournament of Champions in a heads-up battle against Hoyt Corkins, earning another $1,000,000 in the process, making him the first player to win two million dollar prizes in the same year. He also placed third in the Tournament of Champions the following year, winning $250,000. At the 2008 WSOP, Matusow won a third bracelet in the $5000 No Limit 2-7 Draw with rebuys event defeating Jeff Lisandro heads up for the $537,862 first prize.

Nick Name: Michael Matusow AKA “The Mouth
Home town: Las Vegas, Nevada
Bracelet(s) : 4

Gustav Hansen AKA “The Great Dane”

Gustav Hansen AKA “The Great Dane”

Gustav Hansen (born February 13, 1974 outside Copenhagen, Denmark) is a professional Danish poker player who lives in Monaco. In his poker career Hansen has won a record three World Poker Tour open titles, the 2007 Aussie Millions main event and was the season one winner of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. Before turning to playing poker professionally in 1997, Hansen was a world class backgammon player and a youth tennis champion.

Hansen started playing poker at the Ocean View Card Room in Santa Cruz, California while he was an exchange student at UC Santa Cruz in 1993. He is notorious for his extremely loose, aggressive play. He has a reputation for raising or bluffing with almost any two cards, which leads to opponents calling (or raising) his bets when he has a legitimate hand. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,200,000. Hansen finished in the money in 150th place in the 2004 Main Event. In the 2006 Tournament of Champions, Gus made a World Series of Poker final table, but lost on the very first hand with Ace King against a pair of 9s. In 2007 Hansen cashed in the money in the $10,000 no limit Texas hold ’em championship, coming in 61st place out of a field of 6,358 players, winning $154,194. In 2008 he came in 160th place out of a field of 6,844 players to win a prize of $41,816.

Nick Name: Gustav Hansen AKA “The Great Dane
Home town: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bracelet(s) : 0 

Doyle F. Brunson AKA “Texas Dolly”

Doyle F. Brunson AKA “Texas Dolly”

Doyle F. Brunson (born August 10, 1933) is an iconic American professional poker player who has played professionally for over 50 years. He is the first two-time World Series of Poker main event champion to win consecutively, a Poker Hall of Fame inductee, and the author of several highly influential books on poker.

Brunson is the first player to earn $1 million in poker tournaments and has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets throughout his career, tied with Johnny Chan for second all-time, one behind Phil Hellmuth’s eleven. He is also one of only four players to have won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker multiple times, which he did in 1976 and 1977. In addition, he is the first of five players to win both the WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour title. In January 2006, Bluff Magazine voted Brunson the #1 most influential force in the world of poker
Brunson continues to play in the biggest poker games in the world, including a $4000/$8000 limit mixed poker game in “Bobby’s Room” at the Bellagio. He also plays in many of the biggest poker tournaments around the world. He won his ninth gold bracelet in a mixed games event in 2003, and in 2004 he finished 53rd (in a field of 2,576) in the No Limit Texas hold ’em Championship event. He won the Legends of Poker World Poker Tour event in 2004 (garnering him a $1.1 million prize) and finished fourth in the WPT’s first championship event. Early in the morning on July 1, 2005, less than a week after Chan had won his 10th gold bracelet – setting a new record – Brunson tied the record at the 2005 WSOP. He is currently one bracelet behind Phil Hellmuth, who earned his 11th bracelet at the WSOP on June 11, 2007.

Nick Name: Doyle F. Brunson AKA “Texas Dolly
Home town: Las Vegas, Nevada
Bracelet(s) : 10

Gregory Raymer AKA “Fossilman”

Gregory Raymer AKA “Fossilman”

Gregory Raymer (born June 25, 1964 in Minot, North Dakota), nicknamed “Fossilman”, is a professional poker player. He is best known for winning the 2004 World Series of Poker main event, and for the opaque holographic sunglasses that he sometimes wears during hands.

In 2005 Raymer also entered the inaugural British Poker Open which was filmed in London and was the UK’s biggest live poker event in history. As a firm favorite Raymer made the final table to come third in a live final and collect around £20,000. In March 2006, Raymer (as “Fossilman”) took second place in the first quarterly $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament on PokerStars, winning over $180,000 in a field of over 1500 tournament players. On September 17th, 2007, Raymer won the $320 WCOOP Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys Event on PokerStars, winning $168,362. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $6,000,000. The majority of that figure, $5,712,585, have come from his 12 cashes at the WSOP.

Nick Name: Gregory Raymer AKA “Fossilman
Home town: Raleigh, North Carolina
Bracelet(s) : 1

Scotty Nguyen  AKA “The Train” / “The Prince of Poker”

Scotty Nguyen AKA “The Train” / “The Prince of Poker”

Thuan “Scotty” Nguyen (born October 28, 1962 in Nha Trang, Vietnam) is a Vietnamese American professional poker player who is a five time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, most notably as the winner of the 1998 World Series of Poker Main Event and the 2008 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship. This win also made him the first and currently only player to win both the WSOP Main Event and $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. events. He also stated that the only type of World Series of Poker event he has yet to win is 2-7 lowball. Nguyen is one of the most active players in professional poker today, and from 2000 to 2004 he finished in the money in more than 100 events.

Scotty nearly made the final table of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, finishing in 11th place out of a field of 6,358 and earning $476,926. At the 2008 $50,000 World Series of Poker H.O.R.S.E. event, Nguyen exhibited what many have considered objectionable and even rule-breaking behavior. In 2009, Nguyen won the inaugural LA Poker Classic $10,000 H.O.R.S.E World Championship at the Commerce Casino’s annual LA Poker Classic Series. This 1st place finish earned him $339,743, and further cemented Nguyen’s reputation as one of the greatest masters of all variations of fixed limit poker. As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $10,300,000. Of those winnings, $4,694,049 have come at the WSOP. Nguyen has also made appearances on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour playing Elimination Blackjack.

Nick Name: Scotty Nguyen  AKA “The Train” / “The Prince of Poker
Bracelet(s) : 5

Phil Laak AKA “The Unabomber”

Phil Laak AKA “The Unabomber”

Philip “Phil” Laak (pronounced “lock”; born September 8, 1972, in Dublin, Ireland) is a professional poker player, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Laak was the winner of a World Poker Tour (WPT) title in 2004 and has appeared on numerous nationally-aired television shows.

His first major tournament victory was at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Celebrity Invitational in February 2004. He has made two other WPT final tables since: sixth place in both the season two Battle of Champions and the 2005 Five Diamond World Poker Classic. At the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Laak finished second to Johnny Chan in the $2,500 pot limit hold ’em event. Laak defeated Ram Vaswani to win the inaugural William Hill Poker Grand Prix, taking home the £150,000 first prize. At the 2007 conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in Vancouver, British Columbia, Laak and fellow professional player Ali Eslami competed against, and beat, Polaris, a poker playing computer program developed at the University of Alberta, in two of the four rounds with the remaining rounds being a loss and a draw. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,750,000. Laak has written a monthly column called “Being Phil Laak” in the poker-themed Bluff Magazine since late 2005. Laak co-hosted a show called “I Bet You” on the (MOJO network) with his friend Antonio Esfandiari where they can be found betting on any and all things. Laak also played in the 2009 Aussie Millions cash game Invitational.

Nick Name: Phil Laak AKA “The Unabomber
Home town: San Francisco, California