The Year That Was: November 2013

BLUFF_2013_11(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.


Ryan Riess Wins the 2013 WSOP Main Event, $8.3 Million

After a three-and-a-half month hiatus, the final nine players in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event returned to fight it out for $8.3 million and the chance to be poker’s World Champion. BLUFF’s coverage featured a second screen experience with pros giving their analysis in real time, and when play reached the heads-up stage there were live running stats.

Once the action started, Ryan Riess made a beeline towards the chiplead, emerging from the middle of the pack. Mark Newhouse and David Benefield each got a double and a better chance to run up their short stacks, but they were still the first two players out. Michiel Brummelhuis soon followed, and six-handed play carried on for some time.

Then there was the infamous panda-crashing of the Main Event stage. What followed was a flurry of further eliminations, with Marc-Etienne McLaughlin and JC Tran going out in sixth and fifth respectively, followed by Sylvain Loosli and Amir Lehavot.

That pitted Jay Farber and Riess in a heads-up battle, one that would eventually go to the 23-year-old from Michigan.

Online Poker Goes Live in New Jersey

The good news for New Jersey residents started in early November and carried through to the end of the year. They were in position to be the second state to offer online poker players located within their borders the chance to get back on the virtual tables for the first time since 2011. The process moved quickly, from the announcement of the transactional wavier process to the awarding of said waivers in the matter of a few days.

The approved companies started their soft launch on November 21, and all but one reached final approval for a full launch five days later. Kevmath even did a breakdown of online gambling in New Jersey in By the Numbers, but throughout the process there was one big name missing – PokerStars. The online giants were eventually put on a two-year probation and will not be able to reapply for the licensing process during that period.

Philipp Gruissem Wins Back-to-Back Alpha8 Titles, Becomes POY Contender

It looked like the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year award was Daniel Negreanu’s to run away with after his won the WSOPE High Roller, but with seven weeks left in the year a serious contender emerged. Philipp Gruissem took home a couple of High Rollers himself, specifically two consecutive WPT Alpha8 titles in London and St. Kitts to earn himself over $2.4 million.

That second win pushed Gruissem over the 1,000 point mark in the BLUFF POY race and put him in second, within striking distance of Negreanu’s previously insurmountable lead. Another edition of By the Numbers looked at Gruissem’s dominance on the High Roller circuit.

Tournament Vets Jared Jaffee and Tony Dunst Get First WPT Titles

There was a lot of action on the World Poker Tour during the month of November, with two players with a lot of time on the tournament circuit under their belts claiming their first major titles. Jared Jaffee added his name to the WPT Champions Cup at the bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble, while Tony Dunst, a member of the WPT broadcast team, earned his victory in the Caribbean.

WSOP APAC Moves to October in 2014, WSOP Europe on Hiatus until 2015

2013 saw the first ever WSOP event in Australia, with WSOP APAC falling in April. In 2014, however, its place on the schedule will be in October with the tournament scheduled to run from October 1-17. It’s part of a complete reorganization by the WSOP, with WSOP Europe on hiatus in 2014 and set to rotate every other year with WSOP APAC moving forward.

The Rundown – Joe Versaci, Zach Elwood and Remembering ‘Little Man’ Mike Sica

One of the highlights in the early days of BLUFF’s The Rundown featured a chat with Josh Brikis, who told a few stories about “Little Man” Mike Sica, who had recently lost his battle with cancer. Lance, Paul and Tim also talked to Ultimate Gaming CMO Joe Versaci and BLUFF contributor Zach Elwood.



A Change of Pace

You can’t really run out of superlatives when describing the career of Vanessa Selbst. She’s the most successful female tournament player in history with $8 million in lifetime earnings at the age of 29. Selbst is also one of only two women, along with Jennifer Harman, to win two open WSOP bracelet events.

But she’s so much more — Selbst is one of the most successful poker players in the world over the last five years, with no qualifiers. She had a banner year in 2010, winning the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event and the first of back-to-back NAPT Mohegan Sun titles. After “quiet” years in 2011 and 2012, quiet being a relative term as Selbst won another NAPT title, an LAPC side event and her second bracelet, 2013 has been a return to form for Selbst. What was “holding her back” during that time? How about a law degree from Yale.

Kara Scott – Sideline Superstar

Kara Scott plays an integral part of the World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN, providing a much-needed balance. Now enjoying her third year in her role as a sideline reporter, Scott has become one of the most familiar faces to poker players and fans around the world.


Philipp Gruissem – 275 BLUFF POY Points


1. Ryan Riess – $8,361,570
2. Jay Farber – $5,174,357
3. Amir Lehavot – $3,727,823
4. Sylvain Loosli – $2,792,533
5. J.C. Tran – $2,106,893

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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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