Poker News

Michael Mizrachi Avoids Bankruptcy by Winning the WSOP Event #2

Although his brother, Robert Mizrachi started the final table of the Event #2 ahead of Michael, it was Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi who ended winning the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship. The final table show down saw The Grinder go up against the Russian Vladimir Schmelev in a heads-up match, who he outwitted, to win his first WSOP bracelet and the $1,559,046 cash prize.

Michael Mizrachi - First WSOP bracelet

The winning of over a million and half dollars came to Michael as a blessing in time of need considering he was almost bankrupt. In a previously posted article we looked how Michael was in serious financial trouble and even facing losing his house because of his unwise spending sprees and a huge tax bill. This latest win will pull Michael into the green enabling him to pay his tax bill of $339,711 which has been hunting him.

Considering Michael was broke, I hope he did not to sell too much part of his action. Smile

Brian Townsend Leaves CardRunners

A little more than a month after Cole South said his farewells and left CardRunners, Brian Townsend is now also throwing in the towel announcing his exit from the most known coaching site. Full Tilt Poker wasted no time in their announcement that they will be immediately dropping Brians unique avatar and withdrawing his sponsorship deal which was tied to his CardRunners instructor status.

Brian Townsend

Brian told in his blog on the 2nd of June that his resonation came because he felt he has been tied down to the company for too long and would like to concentrate more on playing poker. Although Full Tilt Poker has taken away Brian’s playing nick name and unique avatar which held “red pro” status. He will continue to play a Full Tilt Poker but under his old nickname “sbrugby” once again. Brian will not leave CardRunners completely and will continue to participate on the website’s forum, but not as an official instructor.

The Mastermind Behind the EPT Berlin Robbery Was Arrested This Weekend

The German police arrested a man named Mohammed Abou-C, who is said to be the mastermind behind the EPT Berlin robbery.

Mohammed Abou-C
Mohamed Abou-C playing some poker

The thieves got away with €242,000 after storming into the Grand Hyatt Hotel which was hosting the EPT in Berlin. It was an easy target for the bandits, because the organizers did not pay attention to adequately protect the money which was on display in the lobby. The robbers would have stole even more if a hotel employee had not grabbed one of the bags of loot which allegedly contained over €500,000.

PINA1980 Wins a Trip to Mount Everest at PokerStars

As most of you know already the online poker website sponsors some of the best poker professionals in the business. But it’s sponsorship of professionals does not stop at poker. In order to get its name out there, PokerStars has an initiative way in finding events or celebrities that could boost their reputation. One of their most recent signings included Gianluigi ’Gigi’ Buffon, the professional goalkeeper for the Italian national soccer team. As PokerStars widens it’s net in looking to add to their line-up of sporting stars and celebrities, they stumbled across two brothers Damien and Willie Benegas who are seek to conquer Mount Everest (this will be Willie’s 10th trip to the summit).

Willie Benegas, Mount Everest
Willie Benegas on the top of Mount Everest in a past climb

Changes to the WSOP Bracelet

In an earlier post made, we reported on Steve Soffa, the renowned Las Vegas jeweller showcasing his newly designed World Series of Poker bracelets. Ever since pictures of the new design where made public, people have been voicing their options on the new bracelet design. With most criticizing its fancy looks and suggesting that it was a little bit overdone, organizers have heard the calls and have decided to modify the original plans.


Players that end-up winning a bracelet now will have the on-site team ready to personalise their bracelet by engraving their name and event details. Winners also have the option to opt out of the "extra features", such as decoration locations, size and quantity. All bracelets will be created out of special solid gold clasp and will contain the WSOP logo and card suit. It will also contain cut diamonds and the card suit will be decorated with black diamonds and rubies.

PokerStars Signs an Italian Soccer Superstar

Gianluigi ’Gigi’ Buffon, the professional goalkeeper for the Italian national soccer team and Juventus will be PokerStars' newest ambassador. The world's largest poker room officially announced on Wednesday, that they have once again signed a world famous sportsman in their line-up of professional sports players.


Daniel Negreanu Opens His Own Virtual Poker Room at PokerStars

Daniel Negreanu didn’t spend too much time worrying about Phil Ivey getting his own poker room at the Aria, as PokerStars gave him his own online poker room. Accessible from the PokerStars software client under the name Daniel’s Room, you can play high stakes cash games, ranging from $20/$40 and working their way up to $100/$200.

Daniel's Room

Daniel’s Room is not for the amateurs, with tens of thousands dollars required to challenge the pros. Of course, Daniel himself will be visiting the room on a regular basis, and for those who do beat him, not only do they get to take his money, they also get the opportunity to raise attention on their gameplay as they humiliate ’KidPoker’ in his own room. Who knows, with the attention that Negreanu attracts these days, players who go up against him and are successful could end up being featured on TV or getting a gig for themselves.

Is Phil Hellmuth Still the World’s Best Poker Player?

Phil Hellmuth, one of the most famous poker players in the world, hasn’t been able to win any live tournament since 2007, which is a rather uncomfortable experience for someone who already owns 11 WSOP bracelets. Phil’s self-esteem is still in the skies, though, as a recent interview proves this. Michael Kaplan visited Phil Hellmuth in his Palo Alto home, and this is where the poker pro paraphrased his rather self-conscious statement. He said he is still the best Hold'em player in the world, and, despite his series of failures, he is catching up with the ever-improving modern poker. (Experts say that the reason for Phil's lack of success might be that he cannot keep pace with the 'new generation' of hyperaggressive players that are willing to take all the risks needed to win.)

Phil Hellmuth

The Ivey Room Has Opened Its Doors in the Aria

The new high stakes poker room of the Aria Resort & Casino has finally opened, and celebrated its launch with an invitational tournament offering a prize pool of one million dollars.

Poker pros, celebrities and rich entrepreneurs attended the grand opening ceremony of the Ivey Room this Saturday. Phil Ivey (after whom the room was named) gave an opening speech, and after that, all the people invited sat down to take part in the one million dollar guaranteed tournament. The players that made it to the final table took a share of the prize pool, and there was a special $100,000 prize offered for the player eliminating Phil himself. WPT winner David 'Chino' Rheem took the knockout bounty.

The final table decided to go for a deal and refrained from taking the game all the way to heads-up. The tournament winner was supposed to play heads-up with Phil Ivey for another $100,000. Larry Litton, the one with the biggest stack took the challenge, but didn't manage to take down the 7-time WSOP champion.

Phil Ivey and Larry Litton

Mission Accomplished - Boku87 Turns $5 into $100,000

The German PokerStars pro, Thomas ’Boku87’ Boekhoff managed to fulfil his challenge one month ahead of schedule by building a bankroll of $100,000 out of $5. The crazy multitable grinder who often plays up to 50 tables at once, started his challenge back in 2009, on the 15th June. Just this March, he managed to play an astonishing 4139 SNG-s, which calculated to 133 games per day, with his monthly earnings reaching $8,674.

Boku Challenge Completed

Boku87 first announced on the 2+2 forum on the 19th May the following statement:
"challenge successfully completed Smile
Will post screenshot of bankroll and graphs tomorrow"

Profit chart:

Boku87 Profit Chart

Phil Laak Aims for World Record - More Than 74 Hours of Non-Stop Poker

The American poker pro Phil ’Unabomber’ Laak has in his sights to break world record for the longest poker session, set by Paul Zimbler in 2009. The 2009 record set by Paul Zimbler took place at the WSOPE, where the British poker player played heads-up matches for 74 hours 20 minutes and 21 seconds. Paul had a convincing winrate (he won 102 matches out of 183), considering that he was playing straight for 74 hours and up against other poker pros like Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth.

WPT winner Phil Laak is planning to break Zimbler’s record, starting his never-ending session on the 2nd June, at the WSOP in the Bellagio Las Vegas.

Ben Grundy Says Poker is Not the Same Anymore, But He Would be Happy to Take the 'Durrrr Challenge'

The Omaha wizard Ben 'Milkybarkid' Grundy shared with his fans in his latest blog entry that he is contemplating on accepting the 'durrrr challenge'. Ben Grundy stated in a 2009 interview and his blog that he had won more than eight million dollars in Pot Limit Omaha during his career. His bankroll would suit even the highest stakes, but he is rarely playing the nosebleed games. This might change, though, as he mentions on his blog that he might go up against durrrr and his challenge.

Ben Grundy chart
Screenshot of Ben Grundy's 11 worst sessions... with his profit still at $7,695,980.
WP Ben.

"Durrrr challenge. I've actually considered giving this a go.... the offer of $1.5 million if i beat him, compared to paying out $500,000 is really appealing. I'd definitely do it if i could sell a big enough percentage. I'd guess the worse case scenario would be losing $2 million ish, then having to pay up $500k. I'm way to much of a bankroll nit to take the chance of that kind of loss. It would be interesting, i'm not ruling it out under the right circumstances." - says Ben Grundy in his blog.

Police Raids in Russia - More and More Illegal Casinos Appear on Scene

The Russian gambling law, introduced in 2009, has not been overly successful, as more and more illegal gambling places keep sprouting all over the bigger cities in Russia.

The Russian judiciary has accepted Vadimir Putin's 2006 proposal and exiled casino games into four special zones: the territory of the Kaliningrad Enclave, the shore of the Sea of Azov, the Southern Region and the Eastern Primorve Region. These territories have not become the Russian Las Vegas. Instead of this, we can see a mass of illegal casinos open all over Russia. Authorities are on a vicious hunt, trying to stop this progression. According to the Moscow Times, the police has already caught two of the big fish in the past days.

More Illegal Casinos in Moscow

In a luxury apartment in Mosfilmovskaya street they have found 2 poker tables, 2 roulette tables and 10 slot machines. The casino had been operating on an invitational basis and the police confiscated around $500,000 on the spot. The owner of the casino was a British entrepreneur. He managed to escape, and if he gets caught, he will face five years in prison.

There was an even bigger casino operating in Malaya Ordynka street with 4 blackjack and 4 poker tables, roulette, and 21 slot machines. The players were obliged to purchase at least $3000 in chips upon entrance and the room was guarded by security guards and cameras. The police managed to sneak an agent in, and had the commando crew assault the casino, where they have found more than one million dollars.

The New WSOP Bracelet Raising Controversy

Harrah’s Entertainment hired the jewelry designer Steve Soffa to create the new WSOP bracelet, but the design didn’t turn out to be overly popular with the public.

The first WSOP bracelet was made in 1976 and had an estimated value of $500. As the WSOP’s prestige grew, so did the emphasis on the design of the bracelet. By the time 2008 came around, the bracelet was made out of 18-carat white gold and also had 291 2.81 carat diamonds encrusted into it.

The Australian designer Steve Soffa has shown a love for the game for a long time now and he often utilises poker as a theme for his creations. He was also the designer of the wristwatch called ’Suicide King’, which was worn by the 2009 WSOP champion Joe Cada.

Suicide King

Cereus Network Finally Got Rid of the Security Flaw

Although the Cereus Network has announced on the 14th of May that they have taken care of the security gap that made it possible for hackers to view their opponents' hole cards and access others' poker accounts, employees of PokerTableRatings (PTR) were once again easily able to get around the system.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, PTR found a security gap in the software of the well-known Cereus Network. The main concern was that the network wasn't using the industry standard SSL encryption, but their own XOR coding system, which proved to be inefficient against outside threats. Programmers of the Cereus Network started to fix the problem immediately, and according to announcements made by Cereus, they managed to rewrite their software with the SSL encryption technique.

Cereus - PTR

As Cereus had requested PTR to test their system after the repair process, they tried once again to hack the software. To everyone's surprise, they have succeeded once again. Although they weren't able to view hole cards this time, the did manage to access poker accounts.

Cereus has once again kindly thanked them for their help, and the programmers are once again sterted to work on the issue.

On the 16th of May Cereus patched again and have informed PTR that they believe the issue is solved. After some testing PTR confirmed that SSL is now being used everywhere for Cereus. The login vulnerability no longer exists. They are not ensuring a proper implementation, but it seems like the biggest problems have been addressed.

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