The Year That Was: June 2013

BLUFF_2013_June(400)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.

HEADLINES

Anthony Gregg Wins $4.8 Million in $111,111 One Drop High Roller

Few people would have their minds on playing another tournament while at the final table of the $111,111 One Drop High Roller, the second largest buy-in event in the history of the World Series of Poker and the second-most prestigious event on the schedule at the 2013 WSOP.

Anthony Gregg isn’t most people. As the One Drop High Roller played towards a single table, Gregg gave himself an insurance policy in case he busted out of the tournament – he late registered for the $25,000 Six-Max event that was running simultaneously a few feet away in the Amazon Room.

Erick Lindgren Redeems Himself with 2nd Bracelet in $5K Six-Max

For Erick Lindgren, winning his second career bracelet in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max event is worth more than the $606,317. This bracelet marks the beginning of a new chapter in the long time poker pro’s life.

After having a highly publicized sports betting problem, the 36 year-old former Team Full Tilt Pro had checked into a rehab center early in 2013 to work through his addiction to non-poker related gambling. He was unable to pay back several million in sports betting debt and was working on a backing arrangement in order to get back in action.

Tom Schneider Wins Second HORSE Bracelet of 2013 WSOP

There’s been a fair amount of talk about Daniel Negreanu and his pursuit of becoming the first ever two-time World Series of Poker Player of the Year, but now he has some competition for that honor.

That’s because, for the second time in a week, Tom Schneider won a HORSE bracelet at the 2013 WSOP, beating out a talented final table to win the $5,000 event for his fourth career bracelet.

PokerStars CEO Forfeits $50 Million to US Government

PokerStars CEO Mark Scheinberg has agreed to pay $50 million in order to settle the US Department of Justice’s forfeiture complaint against the company.

The fine stems from civil penalties imposed in response to the allegations that PokerStars lied to US banks about the nature of its business in order to operate online poker in the country.

This deal is separate from the 2012 settlement agreement PokerStars made with the government last year that led to the purchase of Full Tilt Poker’s assets.

Mike Matusow Captures Fourth Career WSOP Bracelet in $5K Stud Hi-Lo

It took almost five years to the day, but Mike Matusow finally returned to the winner’s circle at the 2013 WSOP, defeating Matthew Ashton in the early morning hours Saturday to win his fourth career bracelet.

Matusow was emotional in the moments following his victory in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low event, reflecting on his constant struggle to balance his life at the table with his issues away from the felt.

“I go through a lot of ups and downs, medicine wise,” said Matusow. “When my head is level, and my focus is right, I play at the level I’m supposed to play at.”

Niklas Heinecker Takes Down GuangDong Asia Millions Main Event

For most poker players the World Series of Poker is the most important time of the year. Forgoing the first week of the Series would be seen as a major sacrifice for most top players. But Macau came calling with an event that got many of the top pros to skip Vegas. The GuangDong Asia Millions Main Event, a HK$1,000,000 ($130,000 US) buy-in event, that attracted some of the Macau locals that have made cash games in the Asian gambling mecca famous over the past couple of years, stole some of the biggest names from poker for a few days.

Niklas Heinecker topped the 71-player field on Friday, beating a final table that included Sorel MizziIsaac Haxton and Igor Kurganov, to win HK$34,600,000 ($4,457,000 US). The $15.4 Million US payout was the third largest non-WSOP event in history behind the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge ($23.5 Million US) and the 2007 WPT Championship ($15.495 Million US).

The Contenders: Eric Baldwin Faces Off Against Stacked Final Table

FROM THE MAGAZINE

The Man that Changed the World

This WSOP marks the 10th anniversary of the event that WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla labeled at the time as “the sonic boom of poker.”

In the 10 years that have passed since Moneymaker, then a 27-year-old accountant from Nashville, TN, won poker’s most prestigious title, the poker world has grown exponentially. But it almost didn’t happen — there were a number of times along the way that Moneymaker’s historic journey hit speed bumps.

Bet, Raise, Fold

When they set out to make a documentary about online poker more than three years ago, Jay Rosenkrantz, Taylor Caby and Ryan Firpo could not have known what was in store for them.

What began as a way to show the world what the online poker industry was all about and the unbelievable lives that online poker players led became something very different on April 15, 2011.

The filmmakers were following the lives of three very different poker players. Danielle “dmoongirl” Moon-Anderson lived in Minnesota with her husband and son, while crushing some of the biggest cash games available online. Tony “Bond_18” Dunst was just beginning his job with the World Poker Tour, transitioning from the life as an online tournament player into something very different.

Finally there was Martin “AlexeiMartov” Bradstreet, a frequent winner at nosebleed stakes, whose interest in chess and StarCraft led to an easy transition to poker, where his game theory and optimal strategy worked to his great advantage.

The Man Behind the Machine

The World Series of Poker as we know it would not exist as it does today without Jack Effel. One of the world’s foremost tournament directors has helped shape the WSOP into what it is today. The past few years, more than 70,000 players have played in his events each year, the largest buy-in tournament in history was held under his watch and he has had a hand in expanding the brand to Europe; and most recently, to Australia for the Asia Pacific championship.

With all of the industry buzz surrounding him and the world’s best players on speed dial, Effel concerns himself more with how the average player experiences the WSOP. The explosion of poker’s popularity almost left customer service behind — the old-school-way poker players were accustomed to having a casino host take care of all their needs simply wasn’t scalable.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH

David “Bakes” Baker –

TOP MONEY EARNERS

  1. Anthony Gregg – $4,830,619
  2. Niklas Heinecker – $4,456,885
  3. Jeffrey Rossiter – $3,155,887
  4. Chris Klodnicki – $3,086,229
  5. Sorel Mizzi – $2,106,798
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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