Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Full Tilt Poker’

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #3 Tom Dwan

January 14, 2011 3 comments
Tom Dwan

Tom "Durrrr" Dwan finishing 2nd in a WSOP Event was perhaps the biggest spectacle in a non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history.

There is perhaps no more polarizing poker figure today than that of Tom Dwan.  If he’s playing poker, there are scores of eyeballs that want a peak at what he’s doing, what plays he’s making, and what the stakes are for.  Even online, railbirds show up in droves to get a glimpse of “Durrrr” taking on the world’s best poker players for stack sizes that many people won’t make in a lifetime.  He’s been involved in more than his fair share of a few million dollar pots, a few high stakes challenges, and a few entertaining prop bets, all the while drawing the interest of both the poker junkie and the casual fan.

Dwan’s career story is one that make people believe that anything is possible.  In much the same way that Chris Moneymaker ignited the poker boom in 2003, the emergence of Durrrr in 2004 on Full Tilt Poker launched a poker phenom that the public saw navigate his way from playing $6 Sit and Go tournaments off of a $45 stake from his grandfather, to playing at the highest cash games online.  Dwan has been the epitome of variance, with the most drastic up and down swings, and his meteoric rise to the top of Poker’s elite became all the more interesting when he signed as a member of Team Full Tilt in early November 2009.  Donning the red triangle on his shirt at live tournaments and high stakes live cash games around the globe, Dwan made huge waves at the World Series of Poker in 2010 with a great number of stories.  But his run in Event #11, a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Event had a back story with the likes of which was something that the World Series of Poker hadn’t ever really seen before.  The end result was a memory for everyone that will be forever etched into the poker world, one which people will recant as “I remember that WSOP event when Tom Dwan….” and everyone will fill in their own blank. In fact, the moment created by Dwan may have a larger historical impact on the game of poker than the Main Event this year, which is why I have him ranked above that story. Read more…

Advertisements

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #4 Tom Marchese

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Tom Marchese

Tom Marchese had a magnificent year, and finished as CardPlayer Player of the Year in 2010

I recognize the fact that I’ve been lagging on getting these stories up.  It’s been two weeks since my last post on Pablosplace, and really there is no excuse why I couldn’t finish the December Countdown of the Top 2010 Poker Player Stories in the month of December other than laziness.  So here we are at the second week of January, and life is settling down enough to the point that I’m going to blog again.  But before I get to talk about the things going on in my life, I want to complete this series.  So I say “hang on” to all of you that want to hear about the Pablosplace White Elephant gift exchange night, The recent Team7Deuce journey to the Bicycle Casino, and my biggest poker tournament cash to date.  I’ll get to those.  But for now, I want to get back to wrapping up the last four stories of 2010, because they’re worth telling.

At the Borgata Winter Open in January, there probably wasn’t a soul at the tables that had heard of the name Tom Marchese.  But slowly he racked up a chip stack en route to finishing in 3rd place in the $3,300 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event, and would book a $190,027 score.  Full Tilt Poker pro Jeff Madsen would win the event outright for a $625k payday and get all of the accolades, and deservedly so.  But what nobody realized was that the 3rd place finisher in this event was going to outdistance every other player in the world with performances that continued to turn heads at every stop that Marchese made. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #5 Sorel Mizzi

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment
Sorel Mizzi

Sorel Mizzi made headlines in 2010 by winning the Bluff Player of the Year, but was also mired in controversy

2010 was a tale of two stories for Sorel Mizzi.  The first story comes from his play in the live tournament  circuit, where if there was an award for “player of the half-year,” Mizzi won it in a landslide.  It’s hard to quantify exactly how good Mizzi’s first five months of the year were, other than to say that it was so good that he had the Bluff Magazine Player of the Year honor virtually locked up by the time that the calendar got to May.  Let’s take a look at the results from the first 5 months of the year:

January – Mizzi finished 5th in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5k Heads-up event, and 13th in the $5k prelim.  Then 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main event.

February – 2 final tables at the L.A. Poker Classic (a 2nd and 6th place finish) and 2 more at the Wynn Classic (a 6th place finish and a win in the $2k event)

March – Mizzi won TWO events at the EPT Snowfest at Hinterglemm.

April – Mizzi wins the $7,200 Buy in Main Event East Coast Championship at Borgata, and min-cashes at the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event.

May – A runner up at the WPT Rendez-Vous á Paris in France at the £25,000 Buy-in High Roller Event.

All told, the first 5 months of the year accounted for 10 final tables, with 4 of them resulting in Mizzi winning the tournament.  The sum total of his cashes was nearly $1.5 million by May, Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #6 Frank Kassela

December 29, 2010 1 comment
Frank Kassela

Frank Kassela's Two WSOP Bracelet wins, and 3 final tables made him the 2010 WSOP Player of The Year

I’m hesitant to call Frank Kassela’s 2010 a “breakout year” because as it turns out, he’s been playing solid poker since 2003.  A regular at final tables in tournaments around the U.S. for the last 7 years, Kassela had his best professional year yet in 2010 and on the World’s biggest stage.  The Tennessee native has been at the World Series of Poker a number of times in the past, and is no stranger to WSOP final tables. In fact in 2005, he shipped in pocket Aces with 4 players remaining in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, and got a caller in Johnny Chan with Q-Q.  But Chan spiked the Q, and found a way to use those chips to collect his 10th WSOP Bracelet as Kassela exited the tournament in 4th place.  5 years later, Kassela started the WSOP strong as he finising in 10th place in a $1,500 buy in Limit Hold’em event when his pocket tens failed to hold against Terrence Chan’s Ac-Jc.  But the final table bubble was just a precursor to the best WSOP performance of the year, and an important stepping stone to becoming the 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #7 John Juanda

December 29, 2010 1 comment
John Juanda

John Juanda had a fantastic year, even if most people didn't notice

There are few players in the game of poker that have been as consistently awesome as John Juanda, and yet still managed to escape the attention.  The Team Full Tilt Poker Pro has racked up incredible results in his poker career, amassing an impressive list of victories and final tables that make him the envy of every poker player.  For me, Juanda embodies the “true poker professional.” He’s never really sought out to create a “poker personality” or be at the front of the cameras.  Juanda has very quietly amassed 6 figure earnings in every year since 1997 (except 1999 when he only hit $91k despite 2 WSOP Final Tables), and coming into 2010 had eclipsed the $1 million earning mark in 4 years (2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008).  Juanda has tons of hardware to his name, including 4 WSOP Bracelets (including 1 in the WSOP-E Main Event), 6 WPT Final Tables, and an Aussie Millions win in their Million Dollar Challenge.  Coming into 2010, Juanda was ranked 8th on the All Time Money List in tournament earnings, and that’s not including how much Juanda has won at the tables playing ring games as one of the most well respected cash gamers in all of poker.  So when Juanda had another monster year, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, and the fact that it flew mostly under the radar should come as even less as a surprise.  But that doesn’t mean that Juanda’s year wasn’t one of the top stories of 2010.  In fact, 2010 was one of Juanda’s best ever, which makes him an easy add to this list. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #8 Phil Ivey

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey captured bracelet #8 in the 2010 WSOP

In my opinion, placing Phil Ivey on a poker list has nothing to do with “how much did he win?”  It does however have everything to do with “Where did he finish this time?”  There are very few people that are going to argue the fact that Phil Ivey is the greatest living poker player on the planet.  There are still a great number of people who will conjecture that Ivey is probably the greatest player to have ever played the game, and they can make a compelling argument.   Ivey is at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to money earned in the career tournament earnings category and finished the year with another “ho-hum” $1.6 million in earnings in 2010.  But the most compelling story over the 10 years that Ivey has played at the summer series in Las Vegas has been how many championships Ivey will win at the WSOP, and in 2010, we saw him increase that number by one, making him one of the best stories of the year. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stores – #12 Vladimir Schemelev

December 27, 2010 2 comments
Vladamir Schemelev

Vladamir Schemelev had an incredible WSOP in 2010, coming just 1 card short of a bracelet

The last few years at the World Series of Poker, there seems to have been a breakout by a player from Russia.  In 2008, it was Ivan Demidov who finished runner up in the Main Event in Las Vegas, and also final tabled the WSOP-Europe Main Event, finishing in 3rd.  In 2009, Vitaly Lunkin began the WSOP winning the $40k No Limit Hold’em event, and then finding 2 more final tables at the WSOP with a 2nd place finish in the $10k Pot Limit Omaha and a 4th place finish in the $50k H.O.R.S.E Championship, booking well over $2.7 Million between all of his cashes at the WSOP events.  But this year, it was an unknown cash specialist that took the WSOP by surprise named Vladimir Schemelev.

The first time that I saw Schemelev was at the $50k Players Championship event at the World Series of Poker Read more…