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Jean-Robert Bellande needs to lose 9lbs in 9 Days for $70k

A while back, Jean-Robert Bellande entered into a fairly reasonable weight loss bet where he needed to lose 50 pounds in five months to win $70,000. Well the deadline for this bet is fast approaching as he’s sitting at 254 pounds and needs to hit 245 pounds by November 1st. Here’s a tweet from JRB himself on the matter:

70k weight loss bet: must weigh 245lbs by Nov 1st. 9 days to go and I’m frozen at 254lbs (started at 287lbs). Brutal! #brokescale

He’s lost 43 pounds in over four and a half months, which is pretty damn good! But it’s not quite good enough to win $70k yet, which is his ultimate goal. So can JRB show enough discipline to drop the last few pounds and scoop a big payout?

When you party as hard as JRB, nothing is a given when it comes to weight loss. And Halloween is the day before he weighs in one final time to conclude the bet, so there’s this to think about too. But he’s definitely working on the goal, as he tweeted the following about his current activity (see photo):

I think the last time I swam laps was 30yrs ago…but 70k is some good motivation. I need to weigh 245lbs by Halloween (was 287lbs).

Whether JRB wins or loses the wager, let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out like the Mike Matusow/Ted Forrest weight lost bet. Four years after the matter, these two are still bickering about if Matusow still owes $1.7 million to Forrest.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News

Nolan Dalla Rants on Dan Colman in WWE Style Video

Few people feel as strongly about poker as Nolan Dalla, the WSOP’s senior writer and Poker Night in America’s creative director. So when somebody like Dan Colman disses the game and calls it “dark,” Dalla takes offense.

Nolan recently put out a short video where he rants on the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop champion for previous comments. At the heart of his complaint is that Colman bashes a game that’s given him over $22 million in live tournament winnings this year.

And you’ll definitely want to see Dalla’s delivery, which is akin to the old WWE interviews from years ago, with wrestlers ferociously shaking and stomping around while threatening their opponent. Maybe Dalla doesn’t threaten Colman in this particular video, but the 23-year-old certainly wouldn’t want to get in the ring with Dalla considering the fiery passion that he puts into this rant.

Posted in General, General Posts

Doug “WCGRider” Polk still offended over Daniel Negreanu’s High Stakes Comments

Back in the summer, Daniel Negreanu made the bold claim that he could re-learn to beat Six-Max $25/$50 NL Hold’em online cash games in just two weeks. This of course, drew some skepticism from the high stakes online community who dedicates most of their time to beating these games.

Doug “WCGRider” Polk was one of those who quickly jumped on the skepticism wagon, even offering to take Negreanu up on a $1 million prop bet. Kid Poker declined the wager, even though he’d boasted that he would “bet a million” on his ability to beat $25/$50 NLHE. And shortly thereafter, it seemed like the matter was over with.

But you don’t just claim that you can beat these kind of stakes in two weeks and expect to ride off into the sunset. Polk is still annoyed at what Negreanu said and brought the subject up once again in an interview with CardPlayer.

During the interview, it became apparent that Negreanu meant he needed two weeks to study, then a full year to beat $25/$50 NL games. However Polk was still “insulted” by what Kid Poker said, as you can see from this excerpt of the interview:

It was extremely insulting for him to insinuate that he could just hop into these games and beat them. I think Negreanu is a fantastic live tournament player. He has great results and is a great ambassador for the game of poker, but he is not a good high-stakes online cash game player. He’s just not. There are guys who spent a lot of time and energy making their way to that level and winning and he’s basically dismissing their effort by saying he could just jump in and beat them. Most of the older, more recognizable live pros just don’t have the skill set to win online.

The whole live vs. online pros debate is one that goes back centuries…at least comparative to online poker’s short history. And with internet poker getting tougher with each passing year, online grinders feel like it’s even more unbeatable. So while Negreanu may be great at live poker, he’s unlikely to convince anybody that he can beat high stakes online games until he actually does it again.

Posted in General, General Posts, High Stakes Poker, Poker News, Pro Players

Scott Davies realizes Dream – Wins 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event and $850k

Like many poker players, Scott Davies can trace his poker origins back to the day when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event. And ever since seeing Moneymaker achieve poker fame, Davies made it his mission to eventually win a gold bracelet. Last night, Davies achieved his decade-old dream by taking down the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event along with a A$850,136 top prize.

“Oh my god, this is amazing!” Davies said after his win. “This is the Super Bowl to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. When I decided I was going to play poker for a living I just remember Chris Moneymaker winning the Main Event and thought one day I might get a chance to do that.”

Davies had to top a 329-player field in this event to claim his first gold bracelet. And this wasn’t an easy task, considering the level of competition involved. Greg Merson, Jeff Lisandro, Joe Hachem and Phil Hellmuth were just some of the outstanding players in this $10k buy-in event. But none of them proved to be much of a threat as they busted out early on.

Some of the notables who did fare well in the APAC Main Event include Sam Higgs (32nd), Xuan Liu (31st), Aaron Lim (24th), cricket legend Shane Warne (22nd), Tobias Reinkemeier (20th) and Brandon Shack-Harris (17th). As for Shack-Harris, he was chasing a top-two finish, which would have given him the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year award. However, busting out in 17th place secured the POY for George Danzer.

Moving on to the final table, this was a nice mix of noted pros and amateurs. Ang Italiano belonged in the latter category as she satellited into the APAC Main Event through a $130 feeder. And the “Last Woman Standing” couldn’t have been disappointed with her sixth-place effort and A$118,769 prize. Henry Wang was another intriguing amateur, as he battled towards a third-place finish and A$343,805 payout.

His elimination set up a heads-up match between Davies and Britain’s Jack Salter for the title. The latter came into this tourney with plenty of accomplishments and over $1.5 million in live winnings. But Davies was no slouch either, with over $400k in live earnings. He also had a slight chip advantage, which proved to be a mute point as both players battled back and forth for two hours.

In the end, Davies got the better end of the deck and prevailed. “If there was ever a day to run good, this was the day to run good,” he said. “I picked up aces twice and then flopped a full house when Jack flops trips to win the event. This is probably the best I’ve ever run in a single day.”

2014 WSOP APAC Final Table Results (All AUD)
1. Scott Davies (USA) – $850,136
2. Jack Salter (UK) – $516,960
3. Henry Wang (Taiwan) – $343,805
4. Kyle Montgomery (USA) – $231,287
5. Frank Kassela (USA) – $164,089
6. Ang Italiano (Australia) – $118,769

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Live Tournaments, Poker News, World Series of Poker

George Danzer wraps up 2014 WSOP Player of the Year Award

In one of the most dramatic WSOP Player of the Year races in history, George Danzer finally emerged victorious. He and Brandon Shack-Harris exchanged the lead three times, and it came down to the final event.

Shack-Harris actually made a push to secure the POY award in the Event #9 Main Event. But his run ended in 17th place when his pocket jacks were cracked by Frank Kassela’s A-9 combo. Shack-Harris took one last shot in the Event #10 $25k High Roller, where he needed to get fourth place or better. However, he didn’t make it very far in this 68-player event, which finalized Danzer as the POY. Here’s a look at how both players fared in the Vegas-based and Australia-based WSOPs:

George Danzer – 923 .5 points, 3 bracelets, 5 final tables, 10 cashes, $867,649 earned
Brandon Shack-Harris – 829.2 points, 1 bracelet, 5 final tables, 9 cashes, $1,448,716 earned

Danzer came into the 2014 WSOP as a guy who’d made six WSOP final tables, only to never walk away with a bracelet. Well variance certainly favored him this time around as he won a $10k Seven Card Razz event, $10k Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo tournament and a $5k Eight-Game Mixed tourney. He also increased his live tournament winnings substantially, breaching the $2 million mark with his latest victory.

Now the reigning WSOP Player of the Year, Danzer will receive a free $10k seat in the 2015 WSOP Main Event. Perhaps more importantly, his picture will be displayed in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for years to come. The bar is set high for Danzer in 2015, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs at next year’s WSOP.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Pro Players, World Series of Poker

Phil Hellmuth’s Wife says “No” to Wife Swap

Phil Hellmuth has never been one to shy away from attention. In fact, as the picture to the right suggests, he fully seeks out attention whenever he can get it. So when ABC came calling to see if he wanted to appear on Wife Swap, Hellmuth was excited to do the show.

The Poker Brat wouldn’t have been the first celebrity to appear on the long-running show, which has featured Andy Dick, Coolio, Lorenzo Lamas, Mark McGrath and Ric Flair. But he would have been the first poker pro on Wife Swap and would’ve received $100,000. Perhaps more important to Hellmuth is the attention and good PR that would’ve come from this opportunity, as he told PokerNews the following:

It’s pretty cool to get that offer. I would love to do it. That kind of stuff is fun for me, and I feel like it’s a chance for the world to see me, to see the real me. I think too often people think I’m a jerk. If they see me on that show over two weeks – never lose my temper, never swear, a lot of patience – I think they would say wow, this is the Phil that we’ve never seen before, but this is the real Phil.

Okay so done deal, right? Not quite since the Mrs. wasn’t so thrilled about being on Wife Swap. Apparently, she’s camera shy and has a professional image to keep up. Here’s a look at what the Poker Brat said regarding his wife:

Unfortunately my wife is a psychiatrist at a pretty famous institution, and she hates press. She doesn’t like it when they show her on the World Series of Poker coverage…It’s unfortunate for me that she just really has no interest. My wife is beautiful, she’s in fantastic shape, I drool over her every day.

Judging from the last comment that Hellmuth made, his wife’s refusal to do the show doesn’t seem to be affecting their relationship.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News, Poker Television, Pro Players

Study says Winning Poker Players stay Calm and soldier on

Having a good poker face has become a cliche that you see discussed on mainstream shows when they run a cheesy poker episode. However, there’s good reason why remaining emotionless and calm in the face of danger leads to success – it works.

A recent University of Helsinki study revealed that winning poker players are the best at separating their emotions from results. And this goes beyond just avoiding giving up tells with your poker face, but also remaining level-headed during downswings.

U. of Helsinki’s findings suggest that there’s a somewhat converse relationship between poker experience and keeping your cool on the felt. One excerpt from the research states:

The results indicate that a predisposition for emotional stability – that is, lower scores on emotionality – is linked to high levels of poker experience. Thus, in order to become a successful and experienced poker player, it helps to be able to “keep cool” under pressure.

We’re all human, so sometimes ranting is unavoidable when some classless newb starts celebrating because they just three-outed you on the river. But the better you can suppress your disappointment and continue playing good poker, the more likely you are to be successful. Of course, as the study pointed out, it also helps immensely if you’re an experienced player. So spending more time on the felt is key to developing a thick skin in the poker world.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Pro Players

Daniel Negreanu Angry over Crockfords beating Phil Ivey

The biggest gaming-related story from last week involved Phil Ivey losing his baccarat edge sorting lawsuit against Crockfords. This means that Ivey misses out on a chance to collect the £7.7 million that he won through edge sorting.

Ivey obviously isn’t happy about the matter, professing that he didn’t cheat Crockfords even after the case was decided. And his close friend, Daniel Negreanu, isn’t happy about the judgement either. What really makes Kid Poker angry is that Crockfords is in the business of beating people out of their money, yet they didn’t man up and accept their losses.

“I think it’s ludicrous, I think it’s absurd, completely unfair and absolutely wrong,” he told “Casinos, by nature, are designed to take advantage of people by manipulating and deceiving them into thinking they can win. A player gets the best of them, in the sense that he finds flaws in what they’re offering and they should go, ‘Oops, we screwed up.’ They should pay it like honorable people and then move on and address their issues.”

Judge John Mitting of the UK High Court disagrees. Mitting ruled that although Ivey didn’t think he was cheating, the advantage that the 10-time WSOP champ used to set up the edge sorting conditions was cheating. But in Negreanu’s mind, all Ivey did was gain a fair advantage and beat Crockfords at their own game.

“He never did anything to manipulate the cards,” Negreanu explained. “They agreed to every single one of stipulations. So where’s the level of responsibility in that? It sets a really bad precedent for gamblers who are going to gamble high.”

As Negreanu alluded to at the end, Crockfords’ refusal to pay Ivey sets a dangerous precedent for all of their other high stakes gamblers. But on the other hand, as long as these high rollers aren’t going out of their way to gain an advantage, they shouldn’t have to worry.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News, Pro Players

George Danzer wins 3rd Bracelet in WSOP APAC Event #8

Coming into the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific, one of the biggest stories involved the close battle between George Danzer and Brandon Shack-Harris for Player of the Year. The two have since traded spots multiple times, but Danzer may have finally put the competition to rest with his victory in the $5,000 8-Game tournament.

The German poker pro topped a 48-player field in Event #8 to win the $84,600 first-place prize. More importantly, he took a huge lead in the 2014 POY race and completes the rare feat of winning three WSOP gold bracelets in one year.

“You dream of something like this,” Danzer said after his victory. “I wanted to get sixth place in this tournament. That’s what I wanted to accomplish. I was really short and just nitting it up to the bubble because it was so important for Player of the Year.”

It certainly wasn’t easy for Danzer to win this event when you consider that he started the 6-player final table with the shortest stack. However, he doubled up through Scott Clements, then won a huge three-way pot to take the chip lead.

Danzer continued building his stack until he faced Clements heads-up for the title. The two players would exchange the lead several times before Clements shoved with Qs-6s, and Danzer called with Jd-Ts. The latter would win when he flopped a 10, and the turn and river bricked for Clements.

The victory gives Danzer a 100+ point lead on Shack-Harris for POY, though he doesn’t quite feel comfortable just yet. “I’m in the lead now but I’m not sure about anything!” Danzer added, “It will end when one of us busts in the $25,000 High Roller, not before.”

2014 WSOP APAC Event #8 Final Table Results
1st: George Danzer- $84,600
2nd: Scott Clements -$52,340
3rd: Jonathan Duhamel – $34,291
4th: Ismael Bojang – $23,688
5th: Tino Lechich- $17,371
6th: Sam Khouiss – $13,310

Posted in General, General Posts, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Pro Players, World Series of Poker

Alex Antonios denies Hellmuth Bracelet #14 at WSOP APAC

When the final table was formed in Event #7 of the WSOP APAC, nobody was paying attention to anybody except for Phil Hellmuth. The 14-time WSOP champion was one of six final-table players gunning for the victory in this $2,200 Six-Max NL Hold’em tournament.

Things started off well for Hellmuth as he knocked out November Niner Bruno Politano in sixth place. This gave Hellmuth the chip lead and plenty of confidence. But things changed when play became four-handed, though, and the Poker Brat busted out in fourth place.

This paved the way for Alex Antonios to win the tournament and grab a A$128,784 payout. After the victory, Antonios was pretty humble about himself winning a gold bracelet. “It’s obviously tough to win a bracelet,” he said. “People like Phil have been around for 25 years and have only won 13. I really lucked out on this one and it may never happen again, but I would definitely like another shot at a bracelet.”

Going back to Hellmuth, this was the only legitimate shot that he’s had at winning a gold bracelet so far. He quickly busted out of the first five events and complained of breathing problems. However, Event #7 was noticeably different for the Poker Brat as he was his normal self – ripping on opponents’ play and building himself up. But once he took the final-table chip lead, things went downhill and he fell short of extending his bracelet record.

As for Antonios, the Sydney-based cash pro etched his name into WSOP lore with a bracelet victory. And the 25-year-old said that he hopes to one day have another shot at winning a bracelet.

2014 WSOP APAC $2,200 Six-Max NL Hold’em
1st: Alexander Antonios – $128,784
2nd: Michael Tran – $79,646
3rd: Steven Zhou – $55,365
4th: Phil Hellmuth – $38,909
5th: Yu Kurita – $27,624
6th: Bruno Politano – $19,809

Posted in General, General Posts, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Pro Players, World Series of Poker