Headlines – BLUFF October 2013

Legendary Poker Player Bobby Hoff Passes Away at 73

LONG BEACH, CA — Poker legend Bobby Hoff passed away Aug. 25, 2013, from undetermined causes at his home in Long Beach, California. The original “Wizard” famously finished runner-up to an under the influence Hal Fowler at the 1979 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Bobby HoffHoff was considered one of the best No Limit Hold’em players during his time and was eliminated holding pocket aces to Fowler’s seven six off-suit. Unfortunately for Hoff, that was the closest he ever came to winning a bracelet.

“Hoff became known as ‘The Wizard’ because he was so respected by his peers as a great all-around player,” said noted poker writer Nolan Dalla. “He would make what were truly outstanding plays, mostly in mixed cash games. Even players like Doyle (Brunson) and Chip (Reese) knew Hoff was arguably the best cash game player over a long period of time. The word ‘best’ gets thrown around a lot, but Hoff really was revered by everyone that played high stakes.”

Hoff did collect 11 WSOP cashes over four decades and suffered a stroke that seriously affected his health in 2010. Hoff split his time between poker and blackjack, he joined a blackjack team and after about five years he was banned at blackjack in most of Las Vegas.

Hoff was a fixture at Binion’s Horseshoe with old school Vegas legends like Doyle Brunson, Brian “Sailor” Roberts and Stuey Ungar. Later in life he moved to California and was a regular at the Commerce.

Senator John McCain Caught Playing Poker During Senate Hearing on Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The argument that all press is good press was put to the test recently when Arizona Sen. John McCain was caught playing poker on his iPhone during a Senate hearing concerning military action against Syria on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

McCain has a long history of an anti-online poker platform. The former presidential candidate defended his actions via Twitter, “Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing — worst of all I lost!”

To be clear, McCain was playing for free play chips during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His blunder quickly became the fodder for late-night talk show hosts Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.

McCain has long supported Native American gaming and has received a large amount of financial support from Indian gaming lobbies.  He was a two-time chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee in Congress but McCain’s stance on online gaming is another story.

He voted for the 1998 Internet Gambling Amendment, which would have criminalized placing any wagers or receiving any wagers on the Internet. He also voted for the SAFE Port Act that hid the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in 2006.

The World Poker Tour Announced Lynn Gilmartin to Host WPT and Alpha8 Events

The World Poker Tour announced that Kimberly Lansing would be leaving her position as anchor for the WPT Television broadcasts after five seasons with the tour. The second half of the announcement was that Alpha8 anchor Lynn Gilmartin would pull double duty and cover the WPT branded tour stops as well.

Gilmartin has hosted the Aussie Millions and WSOP APAC coverage in recent years for television and has traveled the world covering the largest tournaments poker has to offer.

“Joining the WPT team for Alpha8 was a dream come true,” said Gilmartin. “Kimberly is someone I’ve admired since I first started working in poker and now, to follow her on the WPT? I have some huge shoes to fill and am overwhelmingly honored to be given this opportunity.”

Lansing spent five years as part of the WPT broadcast team — the last three as anchor. Her final appearance came as a participant for the Legends of Poker WPT Foundation Ladies’ Night Invitational won by Vanessa Rousso.

“Kimberly will always be part of the WPT family, even if she’s no longer sitting in the anchor’s chair,” said Adam Pilska, WPT president. “We’re saddened by her departure as Kim helped define the anchor role and elevate the World Poker Tour episodes to another level. We’re thrilled that Lynn is able to step in and carry on the tradition of providing the expertise and fun Kim has brought to our events and broadcasts over the past years.”

Jens Kyllönen and Ignat Liviu Report Hotel Break-in, Possible Laptop Hacking During EPT Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN — High stakes online poker players Jens Kyllönen and Ignat Liviu were seemingly victims in a laptop hacking scam while staying at Hotel Arts in Barcelona for the EPT event.

Kyllönen took to the forums to report how his laptop was mysteriously stolen and then replaced in his room in a matter of minutes.  Kyllönen met with the hotel’s security a few times and involved PokerStars security in the case.

Both players had separate occurrences where their room keys would not work. After having the keys recoded at the front desk they discovered their laptops were missing.

Kyllönen returned to his room to find his laptop reappeared in a matter of minutes with his software altered. He returned a second time to find his laptop missing, left the room in fear and the laptop was mysteriously found by a hotel staff member. He suspects that either a Trojan or a keylogger had been installed on his computer.

PokerStars Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones confirmed that an investigation was ongoing in the thread and verified Kyllönen and Liviu’s stories.

Guarantees Smashed and Records Set at Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

HOLLYWOOD, FL — The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, made huge waves when it announced it would host a $5,300 Main Event with re-entry with a $10,000,000 prizepool guarantee.

The event drew 2,384 entrants and smashed the guarantee by almost $2 million. Blair Hinkle won the event for $1.7 million after defeating Justin Bonomo in an epic five-hour heads-up match. Bonomo’s defeat was cushioned by the $1.1 million he earned for his runner-up finish.

The World Poker Tour debuted their new high roller Alpha8 tournament series with a $100,000 buy-in during the SHRPO. Steven Silverman won the inaugural event for $891,660 by defeating 2013 November Niner J.C. Tran heads-up. The event generated 21 entries from 18 players for a $2 million-plus prizepool.

WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage was on hand for the event just days after undergoing spinal surgery on his neck. The consummate professional wore a restrictive neck brace while overseeing both events.

EPT Barcelona Huge Success with Lunkin and Middleton Winning Big, Changes in BLUFF POY Lead

BARCELONA, SPAIN — The PokerStars EPT Barcelona stop was by most measures a success, save for the laptop incidents, with Vitaly Lunkin and Tom Middleton winning seven-figure scores and Daniel Negreanu taking the top spot in the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year race.

Lunkin took down the super high roller event for $1,025,829 in a 51-player field. He bested a tough final table that included Erik Seidel, Steve O’Dwyer, Mike McDonald, 2013 November Niner David Benefield, wunderkind Ole Schemion and Fabian Quoss.

British pro Tom Middleton won the Main Event and $1,245,472 after holding the chip lead from Day 3. The field totaled 1,234 entrants and built a $7.9 million prizepool.

Daniel Negreanu finished runner-up to Thomas Muehloecker in the high roller but more importantly added 209.30 points to his POY total to put him in the lead over Mike Watson. Schemion and O’Dwyer also moved up in the POY standings with their cashes.

Carter Gill Goes Viral

LAS VEGAS, NV —Carter Gill’s bustout hand from the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event was highlighted on ESPN’s broadcast and it went viral. Gill had two pair, aces and tens, on the turn and the river paired David Paredes’ superior queen kicker and knocked Gill out of the tournament.

Gill’s wry smile falling to open-jawed disbelief was television gold and it quickly became one the most viewed poker clips on YouTube. The clip made the rounds on mainstream media sites like Yahoo!, USA Today, Deadspin and Gawker. At time of publication the clip had registered more than 2 million views.

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October 2013