Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer

 Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer

In September 2016, poker pro Phil Galfond announced that he was going to start his own online poker room named after his poker training site, Run It Once. His idea was to build something that would cater to players of all types, that would focus on fairness, and that would be transparent. Since then, we have heard so little about the new poker room that most of us assumed the project had been shelved. But last week, Galfond wrote a long blog post on (which we assume is the web address for the poker room), explaining what has been going on and trying to get back to the concept of transparency.

Galfond explained that the delays have largely been related to software development.

“Our software delays weren’t the typical delays that come with the territory,” he said. “We made some significant missteps early in our software development (I don’t just mean our tech team – I’m as much to blame as anyone) and it set us on a course that’s been very difficult to navigate.”

He brought in new leadership and a new tech team, which resulted in a reworking of the development strategy. They believed they had the option of either continuing down the track they were on with the downside that future development would be hampered, or redo a whole bunch of things to increase flexibility, but which would also push back the launch even further.

They decided to go for a hybrid strategy of staying on track with cash games and launching them this summer while continuing to work on tournaments, which would be launched in Phase 2.

Galfond said this decision was made for a few reasons:

1. We didn’t want to release anything we aren’t proud of, so launching with unpolished and partial versions of multiple offerings was off the table.
2. We figured that you’d rather have something from us than to wait much longer for us to offer everything.
3. We were furthest along on cash games, and even if we hadn’t been, launching with tournaments only would be extremely challenging for a new site fighting for liquidity.

As mentioned, a big goal for Run It Once was to make a poker room for players, rather than make all decisions just to benefit the business. As such, Galfond said that the rake will be “sensible,” allowing people to actually be able to beat the games if they are good players. He also said the cash games will be “focused on fun and on pure, authentic poker.”

The rewards system will be good for both pros and recreational players. Pros will benefit the most, but recs should be happy, as well. And interestingly, Galfond said it will be impossible to leave rewards unclaimed.

Phase 2, which does not have a target date yet, will include:

1. General software enhancements, more user options
2. A distinct SNG offering
3. An innovative Tournament experience
4. An awesome nosebleed stakes offering, with several unique ideas from someone who’s played these games for a long time and thinks he knows what they need!

Between now and when Phase 1 launches, Galfond has promised to provide updates on what to expect.

The post Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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WSOP November Nine is No More, Final Table Returns to Summer

 WSOP November Nine is No More, Final Table Returns to Summer

When it was announced a decade ago that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table would be moved to November, rather than directly following the preceding days of the tournament, many jaws in the poker community dropped. To many, it was an intriguing idea, meant to allow ESPN to build up the excitement leading up to the final table, but to others, it was sacrilege. We have grown accustomed to the November Nine, though, which is why it may come as a shock to hear that it is no more. Starting this year, the Main Event final table will be contested in July following a two day break once the composition of the final table is determined.

This sudden change is the result of a deal between ESPN and Poker Central which sees Poker Central acquiring both the television broadcast and digital media rights to the World Series of Poker. ESPN will air the WSOP Main Event semi-live with a 30-minute delay, including the final table. Before this deal, the only portion of the Main Event that ESPN broadcast live was the final table in November. The rest of the Main Event was shown in weekly edited episodes leading up to the November Nine.

ESPN will also air a number of “original episodes” during the year.

“ESPN has been our home since 2002 and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade,” said Ty Stewart, the executive director of the WSOP. “Having every day live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time.”

The bulk of the WSOP Main Event will remain the same. Days 1A, 1B, and 1C will be July 8th through July 10th. The survivors of Day 1A will participate in Day 2A on July 11th; likewise, the Day 1B survivors will meet on July 11th for Day 2B, though in a separate field from those in Day 2A. Day 2C will be on July 12th. Starting July 13th, the remaining field will be unified through Day 7 on July 17th.

For the last decade, the tournament was paused at that point and then taken up again in November. No more. The November Nine is gone. Now there will be just a two-day break to allow the final table members to get some rest (and presumably do some interviews). The final table will then begin on July 20th and play down to six players. Those six will play down to three on July 21st and the champion will be determined on July 22nd.

Just like it did for the November Nine, ESPN will broadcast the entire final table semi-live. The rest of the live coverage of the Main Event will only be a few hours each day on ESPN and ESPN2.

Coverage that ESPN does not broadcast on television will be streamed by Poker Central online.

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Fedor Holz Uses Outstanding Summer Run to Capture POY Leads

 Fedor Holz Uses Outstanding Summer Run to Capture POY Leads

After a two-month span that saw him earn almost $ 10 million, Germany’s Fedor Holz has emerged from the orgy of poker in Las Vegas as the overall leader of the two major Player of the Year leaderboards in the industry.

Holz’s play has simply been mind-boggling since Memorial Day in the United States. Coming over from Germany with the object of playing as many events as possible (between the World Series of Poker, Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl and an assortment of High Roller events at Aria), Holz could easily say he had a little bit of good fortune on his way to the midpoint of July. Not only was Holz the runner-up at the Super High Roller Bowl (for a $ 3.5 million payday), he won three of the various Aria High Roller (either $ 50,000 or $ 25,000) tournaments to the tune of $ 1.3 million. Wrapping up his sizzling summer swing in Sin City, Holz captured his first bracelet at the WSOP by winning the One Drop High Roller for a $ 4.9 million bank. Add it all up (including his three other WSOP cashes) and it means there’s a German bank that will be the recipient of a $ 9,952,698 windfall (thanks to the Hendon Mob database for the official stats).

The thunderous roll that Holz has been on is reflected in the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race. Not only has Holz come from nowhere to take over the lead with his 5738 points, he has been able to make sure that his lead is a dominant one. The second place competitor, Justin Bonomo, is a major tournament championship victory behind Holz with his 4470 points (a 1268-point deficit). Third place David Peters, who used the 2016 WSOP to bank his first bracelet also, is definitely in the mix with the two men above him with his 4331 points.

After the top three, there is quite some distance back to the fourth place slot. After picking up his first WSOP bracelet (to go along with a World Poker Tour title), Tony ‘Bond_18’ Dunst has stayed in the conversation for POY. It is arguable that Dunst has had the best first six months of 2016 as, back in February, Dunst was the runner-up at the Aussie Millions Main Event and he has put together some solid work in other tournaments. Still, the 3740 points Dunst has put together lags behind the triumvirate atop the standings.

Rounding out the Top Five is one of last year’s top players who finished 2015 in the Top 20. Defending World Champion (at least until November) Joe McKeehen has played some outstanding poker through the first six months of 2016, earning him 3738 points and putting him fifth on the CardPlayer leaderboard. Only two points behind Dunst, McKeehen easily could threaten the players above him should he get on a heater during the second half of the year.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the CardPlayer rankings are Chance Kornuth (3730 points), Dan Smith (3629), Cary Katz (3320) Anthony Gregg (3223) and Ari Engel (3202) in sixth through tenth places, respectively.

Although it may be a more intricate system, the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race comes up with the same conclusion that CardPlayer Magazine did. Holz rumbled to the top slot with eight of his finishes since May 27 contributing to his 4727.64-point total. Holz’s competition on the GPI POY is a definitive departure from that of CardPlayer as 2016 WSOP double bracelet winner Jason Mercier is the man primarily chasing him at this mark. Mercier has put together 4339.38 points so far in 2016 on the GPI rankings and, bar the performance of Holz, it would be Mercier that many would be speaking about as the best player so far in 2016.

One of the interesting mechanics of the GPI rankings is the closeness in point totals put together by the players. Holz’s lead over Mercier (388.26 points) is almost dominant when compared to Mercier’s edge over third place Nick Petrangelo’s 4200.71 points (138.67 points). In fact, there are only two more players in the GPI tables that have been able to eclipse the 4000-point mark:  fourth place Bryn Kenney (4063.37 points) and fifth place Anthony Zinno (4058.35).

More departures from the CardPlayer rankings are seen further down the GPI standings. Steve O’Dwyer (3975.92 points), Peters (3935.82), Dominik Nitsche (3823.32), Sean Winter (3818.11) and Adrian Mateos (3798.23) are in the sixth through tenth place slots, respectively. If you’re scoring at home, this means that, between the two ranking systems, there are 18 men who can claim that they are in the Top Ten rankings in the world of poker (Winter and Mateos, for example, don’t appear in CardPlayer’s Top 50 and Mercier is the 31st best player).

It may seem as if there’s plenty of time for the tournament pros to take a break but, before they know it, the different tours will be back in action. What has become a traditional restart to the tournament poker calendar, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, FL, will kick off its action at the end of July. The World Poker Tour has already gotten back into their Season XIV schedule with a stop at Choctaw, OK, and will continue with the start of the Legends of Poker later this month in California. Finally, The European Poker Tour comes back for its 13th season in Barcelona, Spain, beginning in August.

These are just the major tournament schedules that will be in action soon. There are a host of minor tournaments held around the world that could push some new names into the mix and the overweighing factor of High Roller events could skew the rankings even further. Whichever way you look at it, there’s going to be a fight for the different Player of the Year awards…that’s if Fedor Holz cools off anytime soon.

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partypoker Rises in Traffic Rankings Thanks to Summer Promo

 partypoker Rises in Traffic Rankings Thanks to Summer Promo

Today when I confirmed to one of my two prized offspring (for clarification, I only have two children – I wasn’t implying that I have more and I only cherish two of them) that I was indeed born in the 1970’s, the other said that that makes me seem “ancient.” Of course, it isn’t just the mathematics of my age that makes me seem old to them, it is also the stories with which I regale them about how there was no internet when I was kid or how phones had cords or how my parents didn’t have to furnish every piece of equipment when I played Little League baseball. What also makes me feel old is when I think back to how long ago it was that partypoker (once spelled with proper capitalization) was the 800-pound gorilla of the online poker world.

You young twenty-somethings, with your Instagrams and your Snapchats only know of PokerStars as the dominant poker room. But once, more than a decade ago, it was partypoker. The poker room that was a party ruled the roost and we all enjoyed our dealt rakeback and plentiful reload bonuses. But once partypoker decided to pull out of the U.S. market after the UIGEA passed in late 2006, its player traffic sunk like a stone and PokerStars took over. party, while still one of the largest poker rooms in the world for a number of years, has largely been an afterthought since.

This past weekend, though, partypoker hit a level it had not seen for two years: the third largest international poker room in the world. According to, partypoker now ranks only behind PokerStars and 888poker in terms of dot-com poker rooms that do not accept U.S. customers. PokerStars has a seven-day average of 12,000 cash game players, 888poker has a seven-day average of 1,800 (that’s not a typo – PokerStars is that much larger than everyone else), and partypoker has a seven-day average of 1,050 players, recently eclipsing the iPoker Network, which has 1,000. Bodog is actually ahead of partypoker with 1,250 players, but it still accepts U.S. customers, so it is not a fair comparison.

The poker room’s rise is likely thanks to the “Summer of Grind” promotion it has been running since June 20th. Continuing through August 14th, it is a very simple promotion, rewarding players for playing as many hands as possible. There are two missions: one for cash games and one for Sit-and-Go’s.

The cash game mission is called fastGrind and gives out cash for playing in hands at fastforward tables. It requires A LOT of hands, but fastforward hands are…fast…and there is still a month and a half left in the promotion. Players who play 30,000 total fastforward hands will receive $ 150 cash. Get up to 60,000 and that’s an additional $ 150. The 100,000 hand mark awards another $ 300, while the 250,000 hand milestone pays out $ 900 more. All told, players can win $ 1,500 cash if they reach 250,000 hands.

This is the part of the promo that is undoubtedly driving partypoker’s ascent, as customers are grinding away for that free money.

The Sit-and-Go side is similar, just with smaller numbers. The milestones for tournaments played are 400 Sit-and-Go’s, 750, 1,250, and 3,000, with incremental payouts of $ 100, $ 100, $ 150, and $ 650. That means those who complete 3,000 Sit-and-Go’s during the promotion will receive $ 1,000 cash.

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GPL Summer Series Heat 1: Aaron Paul Makes Debut

 GPL Summer Series Heat 1: Aaron Paul Makes Debut

The 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is well underway in at the Rio in Las Vegas and of course, that is going to be the talk of the poker world for much of this summer. Not to be forgotten, though, is the Global Poker League, which began its Summer Series last week with Heat 1, live at the GPL studios in Vegas.

The Summer Series is similar to the heads-up rounds of the GPL’s regular season, except that, as mentioned, these contests are held live. As most professional poker players are in town for the WSOP or at least part of it, the Global Poker League took this portion of the poker calendar is a great opportunity to get the competitors out from behind the safety of their computer screens and in front of each other for the one-on-one matches. Also in contrast to the regular season, these matches are inter-conference, pitting a team from one conference against a team from the other.

The highlight of the GPL Summer Series Heat 1 was the debut of actor Aaron Paul, best known for his
Emmy Award-winning portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in the decorated AMC television series, “Breaking Bad.” Paul was the only non-poker pro to be selected for one of the GPL’s twelve teams, chosen by LA Sunset manager Maria Ho as one of her Wild Card picks. His selection was clearly a PR move, but it is not like Ho can just hide him and let the other members of her team carry him along. Each player must play in a minimum number of contests during the season, so it was inevitable that Paul would have to put his poker skills to the test at some point.

Paul played in the very first heads-up contest of the Summer Series for the LA Sunset, pitted against the manager of the Paris Aviators, Fabrice Soulier. Their match marked the first appearance of The Cube on a GPL broadcast; the two men were isolated from the rest of the broadcast studio in the huge plexiglass box. Rather than sit at a poker table with a live dealer, Paul and Soulier stood facing each other, each with a pedestal-mounted tablet in front of them with which they could interact in order to see their hole cards and input their bets. Also in between them were two monitors that displayed the community cards.

It what was perhaps a surprise, Aaron Paul took two out of three games from Fabrice Soulier, earning six points for his team. Soulier earned three points for his lone win. The first two games were decided fairly quickly, as neither lasted more than 50 hands, but the rubber match dragged on, requiring 109 hands before Paul wrapped it up.

There were two clean sweeps last week: Montreal’s Martin Jacobson won all three games against Hong Kong’s Randy Lew and Sao Paolo’s Felipe Ramos earned nine points against Berlin’s Jeff Gross. Additionally, the Americas Conference won every match last week.

GPL Summer Series Heat 1 Results

LA Sunset (Aaron Paul) 6, Paris Aviators (Fabrice Soulier) 3
San Francisco Rush (Jonathan Jaffe) 6, Moscow Wolverines (Dzmitry Urbanovich) 3
Las Vegas Moneymakers (Scott Ball) 6, London Royals (Chris Moorman) 3
Montreal Nationals (Martin Jacobson) 9, Hong Kong Stars (Randy Lew) 0
Sao Paolo Mets (Felipe Ramos) 9, Berlin Bears (Jeff Gross) 0
New York Rounders (Kevin MacPhee) 6, Rome Emperors (Timothy Adams) 3

Global Poker League Standings

Americas Conference

Montreal Nationals – 115 points
LA Sunset – 101 points
New York Rounders – 93 points
Sao Paolo Mets – 91 points
San Francisco Rush – 75 points
Las Vegas Moneymakers – 71 points

Eurasia Conference

London Royals – 100 points
Moscow Wolverines – 95 points
Hong Kong Stars – 91 points
Paris Aviators – 89 points
Berlin Bears – 74 points
Rome Emperors – 66 points

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