This edition of The Week That Was features action from the first major tournament series of the year rolled along with several major tournaments, while the two major online poker sites took turns making big announcements.
This week at the PCA
The first major tournament of 2011, the $100,000 Super High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, drew a surprising 38 entrants, with just five players getting paid. At the final table, it was Eugene Katchalov defeating Daniel Negreanu heads-up to win the title along with $1,500,000. Negreanu was consoled with winning $1,000,000, passing Phil Ivey on the all-time tournament earnings list, passing the $14,000,000 mark.
Next up for the PCA was the $10,000 Main Event, drawing another record field of 1,560 players, with four players to become millionaires at the final table. Chris Moneymaker seemed poised to make the final table, but fell just short with an 11th place finish. Ana Marquez, the leader going into the penultimate day of play, earned the highest finish for a woman at the PCA, finishing in 10th place. The overwhelming chip leader at the final table was Chris “GettingDaize” Oliver, who held over 19,000,000 in chips, more than three times as many chips as second place Galen Hall when play resumes Saturday afternoon with coverage available on ESPN3.com, later moving to ESPN2.
Two other high-profile tournaments conclude on the final day of the PCA Sunday. Shaun Deeb and Michael Binger are the big names at the $5,000 Bounty Shootout final table, while another record was created as a field of 153 players took $25,000 out of their bankrolls to participate in the High Roller Event.
But Wait, There’s More from the PCA!
PokerStars also made news away from the tables with a pair of announcements during the week. First was the introduction of PokerStars Home Games, allowing users to create their own personal poker clubs to play with their friends online, no matter where they live around the world. Later in the week, PokerStars announced the first two stops in the United States for the NAPT, with a visit to the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles March 5-10 and making a return to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut April 8-13. Also formally announced were stops on the LAPT, including a pair of “regional” events in Chile and Colombia with smaller buy-ins. For those who like European vacations the Eureka Poker Tour was announced; a series of tournaments in Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic as PokerStars expands their grip on the tournament circuit scene with their 10th tournament series, with two more series scheduled to be announced by year’s end.
Full Tilt Poker announces FTOPS XIX and new tournament format
Full Tilt Poker got into the act of making announcements this week with the release of the schedule of FTOPS XIX, running February 6 through February 20. FTOPS XIX will feature 45 tournaments with buyins as low as $109 up to $10,000 in a variety of disciplines and formats with $22,000,000 in guaranteed prize pools available to players.
When the FTOPS XIX schedule was released January 10th, observers noticed there were several TBA listings, wondering what would be filled in those slots. The next day, all was revealed as Full Tilt Poker announced the creation of multi-entry tournaments, which allow players to buy into the same tournament multiple times with varying limits on entries depending on how the tournament is structured. The FTOPS schedule will feature nine of these multi-entry tournaments; including their Main Event,
a $600+40 no-limit hold’em tournament with a $3,000,000 guarantee.
New Jersey became the first state to pass a bill authorizing intrastate online gambling, awaiting governor Chris Christie’s action as to whether he’ll pass or veto the bill. Season 9 of the World Poker Tour starts Feb. 13 on FSN with 26 one-hour episodes. The Aussie Millions got underway with their first event, the triple chance $1,100 no-limit hold’em event. Scottish businessman/philanthropist William Haughey has been identified as the individual who purchased Peter Eastgate’s 2008 WSOP Main Event bracelet in an eBay auction last year.
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