The Year That Was: December 2013

BLUFF_2013_12(300)Another calendar year is in the books and when the poker world looks back at 2013, they’ll see the first steps taken towards the return of online poker in the U.S, a dominating performance from Daniel Negreanu and the dominance of German players in High Roller events around the world. Every day until the end of the year BLUFF will take a look back at 2013, one month at time.


Voting Opens for the BLUFF Reader’s Choice Awards

BLUFF’s annual contest that lets our readers choose the winners in 14 categories opened in early December. Voting continues through January 2, and you can still make an impact on the results by making your voice heard here.

Dan Smith Wins Again, Gets First WPT Title and Over $1 Million

If 2012 was the peak of Dan Smith’s career, it would’ve been a fitting one – five tournament wins, 2 High Roller titles worth over $1 million, and five other six-figure cashes. One of the few things missing from Smith’s resume was a traditional ‘major title’, though, and in typical fashion he managed to do it in a big spot.

Smith earned the third seven-figure cash of his career, winning the 2013 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic to close out his year in style.

Julian Track Wins the 2013 EPT Prague Main Event

2013 has seen a lot of big debut performances, but few measure up to what Julian Track put together in the EPT Prague Main Event. In the first of what he promises will be just two career live poker events, both of which he qualified for online, Track won just under $1 million by beating a field of over 1,000 players in claiming the title.

It was a formidable final table lineup, one that featured 21-year-old Ole Schemion, Stephen Chidwick and Max Silver.

BLUFF Provides Extensive Coverage from EPT Prague

BLUFF was on the floor at the Hilton Prague for all of the action at the EPT, following the final days of the BLUFF Player of the Year race. While Daniel Negreanu ultimately fended off contenders like Philipp Gruissem, who didn’t play in Prague, and late comers like David Peters, there was plenty of stories coming from the Czech Republic.

Rafa Nadal played his first live poker tournament, a special charity event that was filmed for a documentary that will be released in 2014, against sports stars and poker pros. Ivan Soshnikov earned over $525,000 and defeated Olivier Busquet to win the High Roller in Prague, which featured a buy-in larger than any cash that Soshnikov had previously earned.

There were also interviews with a number of Team PokerStars pros. David Williams talked about making Day 3 of the Main Event and fatherhood, Jonathan Duhamel talked about being on the WSOP Main Event Rail of Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, and Vanessa Selbst gave us an update from the final table of the High Roller.

Derrick Rosenbarger, Julian Thomas & Masato Yokosawa Claim WPT Titles, Too

It was a busy close to 2013 for the World Poker Tour, who crowned four champions in the month of December. Derrick Rosenbarger started it all off by winning WPT Montreal, beating Mukul Pahuja heads-up. Masato Yokosawa won the first ever WPT event in South Korea, beating a field of 137 just two weeks after turning 21. Julian Thomas closed out the year by giving Germany its second consecutive title in Prague, adding his name to the WPT Champions Cup and earning himself $283,827.

PokerStars’ Application Suspended by New Jersey Division of Gaming

After numerous delays and unclear messages to PokerStars from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the news came in loud and clear midway through December. The NJDGE suspended PokerStars’ application for online gaming in the state for two years, with the decision stemming from unresolved issues surrounding the federal indictment of former PokerStars boss Isai Scheinberg.

The Rundown #10 – Brian Balsbaugh and Jay Rosenkrantz

While Paul enjoyed a second Thanksgiving, Lance and Tim chatted with Poker Royalty founder Brian Balsbaugh and Bet Raise Fold producer Jay Rosenkrantz in the tenth episode of the Rundown.



LG: Life’s Good

Lynn Gilmartin has a motto for the way she lives her life. “LG: Life’s Good.” It’s meant to express that we each control our own happiness. You might find it a bit cheesy at first — it’s a play on her initials — but once you get to know the woman behind it, you realize it’s as genuine as she is.

Gilmartin, the 28-year-old Australian who made up one-third of the full-time video presenters for PokerNews, has taken over the role of anchor on the World Poker Tour broadcasts and the upcoming Alpha8 television show.

WSOP Europe 2013

The seventh running of the World Series of Poker Europe featured as much talk about the future of the event as there was about the action on the felt, at least at the beginning of the series. The third and final year of the Caesars’ contract with Barriere took WSOPE to its third city and third different venue, to the shores of Lac d’Enghien in the suburbs of Paris.

The action came to a crescendo as two top American tournament pros took down long-awaited first bracelets, the first French multi-bracelet winner was crowned and big names made big runs in almost every event. The last days of the 2013 WSOPE brought serious drama in the WSOP POY race, which was won in epic fashion by Daniel Negreanu in his last opportunity of the year.

Shaniac Mexico Robusto

Shane “Shaniac” Schleger is the personification of the Japanese proverb: “Fall eight times, get up nine.” Shaniac fell on hard times more times than he can count, but the PokerStars Team Online pro always stood back up and kept fighting. Any degen can boost their bankroll and then dust it off in epic fashion, but it takes a certain skilled personality with a warrior’s mentality who can go busto-robusto-busto and back to robusto.

Unforeseen circumstances landed Shaniac south of the border in Mexico, where he found redemption and reclaimed his bankroll after a remarkable sixth-place finish (for $291,154.50) in the 2013 World Championship of Online Poker $5,200 Main Event on PokerStars.


Dan Smith – 402.24 BLUFF POY Points


1. Dan Smith – $1,161,692
2. Brian Rast – $1,109,539
3. Julian Track – $996,170
4. Georgios Sotiropoulos – $960,892
5. Gary Benson – $672,685
6. Erik Seidel – $650,100
7. Stephen Chidwick – $645,280

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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