Tag Archives: WSOP

Poker Pro Antes Up Las Vegas World Series of Poker Winnings “For a Song”

A professional poker player and award-winning songwriter, Jason Mershon, has come up with a unique and ambitious plan to promote his new poker song called “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’.” 

In what is believed to be the first offering of its kind, Mershon is planning on entering the 2010 Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, and is agreeing to share 50 percent of any Final Table winnings with the first 15,000 people who download and purchase his song at his website: www.playinpokerforalivin.com

“It’s just my way of saying ‘thank you’ to those fans who like my new song,” says Mershon. “I wrote the song to humorously tell what it’s really like being a professional poker player; the sarcastic attitudes of many professional poker players; and the monotony of actually playing poker for a living and grinding out the long hours in a casino card room.” The song itself, “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’,” has already received great reviews from poker players and card room owners alike, who have stated that it’s the best song written about poker in years. 

Mershon has spent most of his life in the entertainment business, and is now a recognized professional poker player in Southern California. He plans to update his progress during the tournament on his Twitter and Facebook page, thus giving people a “virtual seat” at the tournament. 

Since winning two awards at the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2006 for his rock musical, “Rock and Roll Heaven” (aka “Heaven Rocks”) which can be found at www.rnrheavenrocks.com, Jason Mershon has been a regular fixture in the California and Las Vegas poker circuit. 

“I probably spend 90% of my time playing in cash games,” says Mershon, “but I’m also considered a pretty good tournament player as well. So, I don’t want people to think I’m ‘dead money’ in the World Series of Poker,” he laughed. 

“Additionally,” he concluded, “I’m offering a special extended limited edition of my poker song which will only be available to the first 15,000 fans who purchase the song.”

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Uncategorized

Historic Binion’s Hotel in Las Vegas to Close

Another legendary landmark Las Vegas hotel has put up a permanent no vacancy sign. Binion’s announced Monday it will shut down its 365 rooms on Dec. 14. The casino and other operations, though, will reportedly remain open. 

Binion’s officials have said the reason for shutting down the hotel operations was because of the ever slumping economy which has forced room rates to drop and vacancies to rise. 

Even though the casino will stay open, there’s no question the decision will be a blow to a downtown that has struggled — even during the talks of revitalization. 

It’s been a staple on Fremont Street for more than half a century. Word of the closure spread quickly. 

Binion’s original coffee shop and Keno operation will also close, but the entire casino operation — including the Sports Book and the famed poker room which hosted the World Series of Poker from 1970 to 2005 — will stay open. 

But the hotel closure could impact gaming. 

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is trying to help Binion’s owners and lenders hammer out a deal to keep the hotel open. He said he does not think this will impact his plan to revitalize downtown. 

“Once you start saying you’re not going to do those things, then you recede. Vegas is a very funny place. We go through these ups and downs. We’ve been here before, perhaps not to this level, but I don’t blame this on Las Vegas. Las Vegas has the infrastructure in place. We’ve got the best hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment,” Goodman said. 

Goodman said it’s hard to find investors to come in with fresh money to refurbish rooms, but he’s not giving up.  “We have to keep pushing forward, now more than ever,” Goodman said. 

About 100 people will be laid off when the hotel closes. 

Anyone who has a reservation after Dec. 14 is being referred to Binion’s sister property across the street, The Four Queens. 

Most of the restaurants, including the famed Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse, will remain open.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, food, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Jeffery Pollack Resigns from World Series of Poker, Harrah’s in Las Vegas

World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack has resigned from his post at the WSOP and Harrah’s.  Friday, November 13th, was Pollack’s last day on the job. JeffreyPollock

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m leaving with just great memories and a really nice sense of it being a great run. More than anything else, I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to have been part of the WSOP,” said Pollack, who was instrumental in growing the WSOP since assuming his position in 2005. 

The WSOP entered its 40th year this year, with Michigan pro Joe Cada crowned its latest and youngest champion last week. 

World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said there were no immediate intentions to replace Pollack. 

Back in May, Pollack teamed with former Party Gaming CEO Mitch Garber to lead Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, the casino giant’s newly-formed online arm. Pollack was slated to be its President and Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman commented in a press release announcing the launch: “As the world’s largest gaming company, Harrah’s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion. It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.” 

Pollack said his next career move remains up in the air: “I really wanted to see this year through, see this series through. I’m leaving on an absolute high note.”

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, travel, Uncategorized

Las Vegas World Series of Poker $8.5 Million Main Event Won Today by Youngest Winner Ever– 21-year-old Joe Cada from Michigan

A 21-year-old Michigan poker professional who chose cards over college won the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas early today, winning $8.55 million and becoming the youngest player to win the tournament in its 40-year history. JoeCada

Joe Cada of Shelby Township, Mich., turned over a pair of nines early after 46-year old Darvin Moon called his all-in wager with a suited queen-jack, setting up an about-even race for most of the chips on the table. 

But a board of two sevens, a king, an eight and a deuce didn’t connect with either player’s cards and gave Cada the win. 

“I ran really well and I never really thought this was possible,” Cada said. “It was one of those dreams and I’m thankful it came true.” 

The hand abruptly ended a final table that saw Moon, a logger from western Maryland, bounce back to a dominant chip lead after being down 2-1 in chips to start the night. 

“I knew if I could catch, I got him,” Moon said of the final hand. “I just took a shot.”

 Cada broke a record for the tournament’s youngest winner set last year by Peter Eastgate of Denmark. Cada is 340 days younger than Eastgate. 

The record was previously held for two decades by 11-time gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who posed for pictures with Cada after the win. 

When asked what’s next for him after reaching the pinnacle for poker so early in his career, Cada said: “To win it back-to-back.” 

Moon and Cada traded the lead several times in 88 hands spanning nearly three hours of play, with one 20-minute break. 

Moon won $5.18 million for second place. 

“I only play good when my back’s against the wall,” said Cada, who was nearly ousted from the tournament on Saturday when he held about 1 percent of the chips in play after 123 hands. 

The players traded chips atop a table with a stack of cash and a gold bracelet on its felt, and in front of nearly 1,500 screaming fans in a capacity crowd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

Their tug-of-war ended an epic tournament that began with 6,494 players in July. 

Unlike Cada, who said he regularly plays about a dozen tournaments at a time online or three at a time in heads-up cash games, Moon hasn’t played a single hand of online poker. He doesn’t even own a computer or have an e-mail address.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, sports

Final Table of World Series of Poker Starts Saturday in Las Vegas

The final nine poker players will square off next Saturday at Noon at the Rio at the final table of the World Series of Poker.  It will conclude when two remain and await the championship. The winner will receive a payout of $8.5 million; ninth place takes home $1.3 million. 

The top four at the Main Event final table will control 75 percent of the chips. 

If you want to take in the action, the Penn & Teller Theater viewing is free to the public to anyone 21 and older. Space allocated on first-come, first-served basis. 

ESPN will air a two-hour telecast on Saturday and Monday’s final table. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access has followed the action and will continue to do so until the end. 

Player standing and stats going into the Main Event: 

1. Darvin Moon, 45, Oakland, MD, $58.9 million (in chips)

2. Erich Buchman, 29, Hewlitt, NY, $34.8 million

3. Steve Begletter, 47, Chappaqua, NY, $29.9 million

4. Jeff Schuman, 34, Las Vegas, NV, $19.6 million

5. Joseph Cada, 21, Shelby Township, MI, $13.2 million

6. Kevin Schaffel, 51, Coral Springs, FLA, $12.4 million

7. Phil Ivey, 32, Las Vegas, NV, $9.8 million

8. Antoine Saout, 25, St. Martine des Champs, France, $9.5 million

9. James Akenhead, 26, London, England, $6.8 million

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Harrah’s Extends World Series of Poker Contract with IMG Sports & Entertainment

Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment and IMG Sports & Entertainment announced a four-year contract extension for global representation of the WSOP property. 

According to the agreement, IMG will continue to use its international network to help establish the brand in areas beyond Las Vegas and London. 

“We are looking to emphasize the ‘World’ in World Series of Poker as our vision of the brand extends beyond the annual events in Las Vegas and London,” said Mitch Garber, CEO of Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment. 

“By tapping the global reach and expertise of IMG, we are confident that together we can take the brand to new levels on the international stage through new international bracelet events and other WSOP licensed poker events.”

 IMG has worked with the WSOP since 2005 and helped attract corporate sponsors like Jack Link’s, Hershey’s and Planters.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

Final Table Revealed for World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

The original field of World Series of Poker (WSOP) began with 6,494 competitors.  Now, after nearly 11 hours of play in the Rio’s convention pavilion, the nine-player final table is set for the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 no-limit hold ‘em world championship.  

The final table, a mixed bag of experienced poker professionals and amateurs ranging in age from 21 to 51, are now on a four-month break. 

The World Series of Poker resumes November 7, this time inside the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater.  The nine players will compete until a heads-up table of two is reached.  The pair will come back November 9 and play for the title.  ESPN will broadcast it the next evening. 

The chip leader going forward is Darvin Moon, a logger from Cleveland, Md.. The other eight players in the final table are Eric Buchman of Valley Stream, N.Y., former Bear Stearns executive Steven Begleiter of Chappaqua, N.Y., Card Player magazine editor Jeff Shulman of Las Vegas, Joseph Cada of Shelby Township, Mich., Kevin Schaffel, Coral Springs, Fla., Antoine Saout of France, standout poker player Phil Ivey of Las Vegas and James Akenhead of London.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, travel, Uncategorized

Las Vegas World Series of Poker Impervious to Economic Woes

Once again, poker has seemingly proven impervious to these difficult times. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) “Stimulus Special” tournament in Las Vegas (with a lower-than-normal $1,000 buy-in) sold out, drawing 6,012 players. It was the fourth-largest field of all time, trailing only the main events in 2006 (8,773 players), 2008 (6,844) and 2007 (6,358). The winner was 24-year-old Steven Sung, who pocketed $771,106.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

Andrew Cohen Wins Casino Employees Poker Championship at World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Andrew Cohen, from Las Vegas, captured the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em championship atAndrewCohen the 2009 World Series of Poker, winning $83,778.  This year’s field drew 867 dealers, floorpeople and bartenders and generated a prize-pool of $389,700.

Originally from New York, Cohen is a bartender at the Palms Casino, inside the Nine steakhouse in Las Vegas.  “The one thing that I always wanted—for any poker player—this is it,” Cohen remarked. “I told all these guys here, it’s not about the money to me, and I’m not even a rich guy.” 

Cohen called his wife moments after winning, and she was crying at their Las Vegas home. “She knows how much the gold bracelet means to me. Life doesn’t get much better than today,” he said.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Poker Ace Annie Duke ‘All In’ at World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Poker ace Annie Duke plays poker like she is running a business, not letting emotions rule her play, thinking quicklyAnnieDuke and accurately, as witnessed in her latest TV show stint.  With CEO-like skills, she is one of the most successful female poker players in the world.  The 43-year-old Duke has been playing in the World Series of Poker since 1994 and has cashed in on 37 events, earning more than $1.13 million through the Rio tournament annually held in Las Vegas. 

Her best finish in the tournament’s $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em Main Event was in 2000 when she placed 10th and won $52,160.  She won her first World Series of Poker champion’s bracelet in 2004 at an Omaha High-Low event. 

“I’ll probably play in about 15 to 20 events at the World Series,” Duke said. “It’s a long haul.” 

Duke drafted a new legion of fans and followers, boosting poker’s image in the process, as a contestant in the television series “The Celebrity Apprentice.”  She was one of 16 personalities trying to raise money for charity while trying not to be fired by the host, billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump.  Duke finished second ahead of a whole slew of sports stars, but it was her acrimonious verbal battles with comedienne Joan Rivers, the show’s eventual winner, that had the audience turning on in record numbers, driving ratings out the roof. 

Rivers said Duke was worse than “Hitler” and compared poker players to members of the Mafia.  Although the comments raised the ire of the poker community and officials at the World Series of Poker, the media boost couldn’t have been better for the game, Duke and Trump– it raised more than $1.5 million for various charities. 

But Duke believes that Rivers still owes poker players and Las Vegas an apology. 

“Poker is a legitimate profession,” said Duke, who is a graduate of Columbia University with degrees in psychology and English.  She also spent five years working toward a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in cognitive psychology, which she has set aside for now. 

Divorced, Duke is the mother of four children, ranging in age from 7 to 14.  

Her brother is poker standout Howard Lederer, who has two World Series of Poker titles to his credit.  On four occasions she and her bro have ended up at the same table during World Series of Poker play- each time she has knocked him out of the competition, adding “I guess I have bragging rights.” 

Duke is well known for her charitable giving efforts.  Through poker events, she has raised millions of dollars for children’s hospitals and educational foundations. 

In 2007, she and actor Don Cheadle established the Ante Up for Africa event, a $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold ‘em annual Las Vegas event in July that raises funds for the survivors of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.  The event attracts the best Hollywood A-list celebrities and the poker elite, raising $500,000 last year alone for the cause. 

Duke is also an activist on Capitol Hill in trying to change the federal law outlawing the Internet wagering.  She is one of the founding members of the Poker Players Alliance, which supports making online poker once again a legal activity.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, travel, Uncategorized

Las Vegan Phil Ivey Wins Rare Seventh World Series of Poker Gold Bracelet

The 2009 World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split / Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split champion is 32-year-old Las Vegan Phil Ivey. Ivey collected $220,538 for first place. He was also awarded his seventh WSOP gold bracelet. PhilIvey

Ivey now has 7 wins, 19 final table appearances, and 33 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.  Ivey currently has $3,439,386 in WSOP winnings. 

The Las Vegan is one of the rare poker players who excels at both tournaments and cash games, being nearly a mythological figure in the poker world that is unquestionably one of the game’s most enigmatic personalities. Considered by many to be one of the most publicity-shy poker star in the world, Ivey rarely gives out interviews or reveals much about his private life. Yet the further Ivey runs away from the spotlight, the more it seems to shine upon him. Ivey’s numerous wagering exploits have become part of the popular modern folklore, making it difficult at time to separate fact from fiction.   

Ivey routinely makes stratospheric-sized prop and sports bets. He reportedly bet $1 million on last year’s Super Bowl. He won. 

Ivey’s “poker office” was in the luxurious Trump Taj Mahal until the age of 24, when he moved to Las Vegas. He then started playing tournament poker and gradually attained superstar status.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

$1,000 World Series of Poker Buy-In Earns 24-Year-Old $771,106 in Las Vegas

Steven Sung, a 24-year-old resident of Torrance, California, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated with his parent to the United States 17 years ago, is a very determined poker player.  His true grit paid off. SteveSung

He didn’t like the way he played in the World Series of Poker’s Special Anniversary $40,000 buy-in, no-limit hold ‘em event in Las Vegas. 

Sung lost in the first day of competition. 

Undaunted, Sung, who has been playing poker professionally for three years, fought back his emotional funk and then ponied up $1,000 more to participate in the tournament’s “Stimulus Special,” a low buy-in, no-limit hold ‘em event that attracted 6,012 players. 

He played for over four days.  His efforts earned Sung his first World Series of Poker championship bracelet just before midnight on Wednesday at the Rio, pocketing $771,106. 

Sung has won $949,476 in his World Series of Poker career, with more than $2.3 million in career winnings through several poker tournaments. 

For now, Sung plans to on continuing to play in the World Series of Poker upcoming events, including the main event. 

The $1,000 buy-in event he won attracted the fourth-largest field of players in World Series of Poker history, trailing only the main event of 2006 (8,773 players), 2008 (6,844 players) and 2007 (6,358 players).

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

Rare World Series of Poker Feat Pulled off by Las Vegan

Las Vegan Thang Luu, a 34-year-old Vietnam native who has been living in the United States for the past 17 years, has won the $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low World Series of Poker (WSOP) event for the second year in a row.   Luu also finished second in the same event in 2007. ThangLuu

Luu raked in $263,135 for first place, the largest cash prize ever awarded in an Omaha High-Low tournament.  He defeated a field of 918 players over three days. 

The last time any poker player has finished first, first and second in the same event at WSOP was Johnny Chan’s accumulated record in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event in 1987-1989.  Chan won the titles the fist two years but finished runner-up to poker “bad boy” Phil Hellmuth in 1989.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, sports, Uncategorized

Can’t make it to Las Vegas to watch the World Series of Poker?

Can’t make it next week to Las Vegas to watch the World Series of Poker?  That’s not a problem according to WSOP officials. Twenty-four of the final tables for the 40th Annual WSOP will be streamed live via the Internet. 

Click on the following link to view the online poker schedule:

http://www.pokerlistings.com/select-wsop-final-tables-to-stream-live-online-41326

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, travel, Uncategorized

World Series of Poker Prepares to Shuffle Up & Deal in Las Vegas

Despite the sour economy and Nevada gaming revenues being down almost 10 percent in 2008 and more than 16 percent down over the first two months of 2009, is apparently not an overriding concern for officials for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas who remain optimistic and confident that the variety and depth of the best poker playerspetereastgate in the world will be the draw needed for the 57-event WSOP tournament that begins its six-week run May 26 at The Rio, the host casino for the event. 

To sweeten the pot, a $40,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event on May 28 is expected to draw poker’s most elite players.  Then, two days later, the tournament will host a $1,000 buy-in no-limit event that is expected to attract another approximate 6,000 players. 

If that’s not enough draw, on May 31, a special two-day Champions Invitational will take place with the 27 living previous World Series of Poker world champions being invited to participate in a no-limit hold’em event. 

The 2009 World Series of Poker event will include 10 World Championship $10,000 buy-in events and seven $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments.  The $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event, which mixes five different poker games, will take place on June 26.  The $10,000 buy-in World Championship No-Limit Hold’em Main Event will being on July 3 and reach its final table of nine players on July 15. 

For the second straight year, players will then wait four months before returning to the Rio on November 7 to play for the championship, which ESPN will televise on a same-day taped delay.

Last year’s World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas drew 58,720 entries from 124 countries and awarded a prize pool of more than $180.7 million.  The winner in November was 22-year-old Peter Eastgate of Denmark, who became the tournament’s youngest-ever word champion, taking away $9.15 million in a four-hour heads-up final table with Russian Ivan Demidov.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, sports, travel