It’s not easy to pin the tail on the Nebuchadnezzar of the poker industry. Is the king of poker a cash game player; tournament player; online; live; or the perfect blend of both. And who casts a vote? Should we shrink the crowd to the droplet of the poker community, or should we broaden it across the ocean of hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have the game running through their veins?
If we did the latter, then one name would surface as the king. A name that the poker industry insiders would scoff at when naming him as the top man, but the poker industry is like Hogwarts. The muggles don’t get to see what’s going on beyond the train station wall.
Phil Hellmuth Jr. spent the last week in Rio de Janeiro as partypoker’s guest during their inaugural MILLIONS South American adventure. As is standard with the man who seems to dwarf any tournament that he rocks up to, his performance off the felt seemed to attract more attention than on it.
On this occasion, Hellmuth Jr’s PR team thought it would be a cracking idea if he entered the $10,300 MILLIONS Main Event accompanied by a samba band resplendent with thong-wearing women, and drummer boys. Only Hellmuth decided to jig into the tournament arena late, drawing precious attention away from the action, and onto him (although I suspect most observers were looking at her, her and her).
Chance Kornuth wasn’t a fan of the grand entrance, posting on Twitter that it ‘shouldn’t be allowed unless ur early/on time. Not fair to distract other players who are making big poker decisions for 15+mins imo.’
Andrew Teng was one of those people making a ‘big poker decision’ while Hellmuth danced his way around the tournament room like the pied piper. Posting on Twitter, Teng wrote, ‘Had to make decision for whole stack while some guy is in the corner dancing with a flag and some kind of carnival band.’
What are your thoughts on Hellmuth’s grand entrances – are they good or bad for the game, and should time be built in for them to avoid bugging the rest of the field?
Hellmuth didn’t have a great run on the felt. The 15-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner only cashed in one event, finishing 3/67 in the $550 No-Limit Hold’em – Win The Button.
MILLIONS South America held two $25,000 buy-in events.
In the first event, 41-entrants created a prize pool of $994,250, in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em Enjoy Punta del Este Super High Roller. partypoker’s decision to use the South American casino as a sponsor provided $500,000 in casino chips distributed between the final five players.
The winner was Jonathan Depa, who defeated Alex Keating, heads-up, to win his first live tournament, after losing heads-up on four separate occasions in the past eight months. Depa picked up $400,000 for his win plus $150,000 in Enjoy casino chips.
By the time the second $25,000 event came around the corner, those who could afford such a sum seemed to have left fearing the plague with Joaquin Melogno topping a field of 14-entrants to win the $180,000 first prize. It was a cracking MILLIONS series for the Uruguayan who also finished 3/97 in the $10,300 High Roller.
The next partypoker MILLIONS event takes place 13-26 May at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, and there is a two-day CAD 25,000 Super High Roller on the schedule for Sat-Sun 25-26 May.
partypoker Ink Deal With No-Limit Gaming
During the Triton Poker Series in Jeju, we sat down with the Dusk till Dawn (DTD) owner, and partypoker insider, Rob Yong, and learned more on his strategy to make partypoker the #1 live streaming powerhouse in the world.
The revolution began when partypoker became the sponsor for Bill Perkins’ The Thirst Lounge and then continued when the likes of Jeff Gross and Matt and Jamie Staples joining the team.
And this week, more news hit the grapevine.
partypoker is now the primary sponsor of No-Limit Gaming (NLG), the Esports and poker outfit spawned by high stakes poker players Fedor Holz, Stefan Schillhabel and Stefan Sontheimer.
The news means that NLG streamers will play on partypoker’s software, and the team will be present at as many MILLIONS events as they can muster. High rollers live streaming for NLG include the Triple Crown winner Niall Farrell, one of the best players in the world right now, Rainer Kempe, and former Triton Poker Series winner, Manig Loeser.
Fedor Holz on Goals, Bryn Kenney on Magic, Sam Trickett on Football
As a partypoker ambassador, Fedor Holz would have been instrumental in carving out the NLG deal, and this week, the former Triton Poker Series winner, wrote a blog post on his 2019 goals.
Amongst his list is things like:
- Be vulnerable in relationships.
- Do a TED Talk.
- Give one day for others.
And don’t worry.
- Launch top-tier poker content.
You can catch the full list, right here.
Holz wasn’t the only partypoker ambassador ‘sharing’ this week. PokerNews caught up with Sam Trickett to talk his life before poker, specifically, his experience as a semi-professional footballer.
You can read the two-part article right here.
And Trickett wasn’t the only high stakes poker player talking about his life before the game. The Aussie Millions Main Event winner, Bryn Kenney, also joined the fray to talk about the importance that Magic the Gathering had on his life.
Finally, it’s not often that you see Alex Foxen sitting down for an interview, but SoMuchPoker got the scope recently. Learn more about the Global Poker Index (GPI) #1 right here.
High Rollers Feature in GPA Award Shortlists
Foxen and his partner Kristen Bicknell will be in Las Vegas on April 5 to pick up their awards for the 2018 GPI Player and Female Player of the Year at the inaugural Global Poker Awards (GPA).
The GPA is the amalgamation of the European and American Poker Awards, operated by the GPI, and the industry widely criticised the nomination process, particularly in the Live Streaming and Vlogging Categories.
A 130-person nomination panel nominated Jason Somerville as Streamer of the Year despite the PokerStars ambassador hardly putting out any content, and noises of discontent clanged over Doug Polk’s nomination in the Vlogger of the Year Category, with Polk himself calling the awards a joke.
The GPI reacted by posting a statement on social media reassuring the community that they had taken the feedback on board and would make the necessary changes in 2020.
In the meantime, here are the High Rollers up for nomination.
Justin Bonomo and John Cynn fight it out with Maria Lampropulos and Dylan Linde for the Tournament Performance of the Year.
Ali Imsirovic and Michael Soyza feature in the Breakout Player of the Year Category alongside Ping Liu and Maria Konnikova.
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu feature in the Vlogger of the Year Category alongside Marle Cordeiro, Joe Ingram and Andrew Neeme.
Maria Ho and Nick Schulman are in the running for the Broadcaster of the Year award. Cary Katz and Rob Yong could win the Industry Person of the Year prize. ARIA’s Paul Campbell is a favourite to win the Tournament Director of the Year award, and Triton Poker Series livestream broadcaster, Lex Veldhuis, features in the Streamer of the Year and Broadcaster of the Year Categories.
Tournament Dates Live and Online
PokerStars announced the dates ( May 12 to May 27) for the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), but have so far left the meat out of that particular sandwich.
The Triton Poker Series returns to the Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro May 5 to May 17. It’s going to be the biggest Triton event ever, with ten events spread over 13-days, including new formats such as Short-Deck and No-Limit Hold’em Turbo, and Pot Limit Omaha.
You can read the full schedule here.
The Tweet of the Week
We will leave you with the tweet of the week, and this little gem from Erik Seidel.
A guy just told me I look exactly the same as when we met 30 years ago, made me appreciate my wife even more for marrying a guy who looked 60— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) March 20, 2019
And that’s this week’s Pinnacle.