Weekly Poker Roundup: February 28, 2016
Stars Shine at 2nd Annual American Poker Awards
The 2nd Annual American Poker Awards ceremony was held Thursday night, as 15 poker players, executives, and members of the poker community were honored for their achievements in 2015. Let’s skip the rest of the formalities and just see who won what:
Tournament Performance of the Year: Anthony Zinno, WPT L.A. Poker Classic
Moment of the Year: Daniel Negreanu Eliminated 11th in WSOP Main Event
Breakout Performance of the Year: Joshua Beckley
Event of the Year (Buy-In Up To $2,000): WSOP The Colossus
Event of the Year (Buy-In Over $2,000): Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Industry Person of the Year: Matt Savage, TDA Founder, WPT Executive Director
Charitable Initiative of the Year: Charity Series of Poker (Matthew Stout)
Media Person of the Year: Donnie Peters
Poker Presenter of the Year: Kara Scott
Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year: WSOP adds online bracelet event
Media Content of the Year: Joe Giron shoots photo of Negreanu crumbled on the floor after WSOP Main Event elimination
Jury Award: Kevin Mathers
Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Sexton
2015 GPI Player of the Year: Byron Kaverman
2015 GPI Female Player of the Year: Kelly Minkin
Global Poker League Holds First Draft
Just before the American Poker Awards, in the same SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, the inaugural draft for the Global Poker League was held. The draft lasted four rounds, with the managers of each of the twelve teams selecting one player per round. The Rome Emperors and team manager Max Pescatori had the coveted first pick and went with Italy’s Mustapha Kanit.
The choice of Kanit was no surprise. While he wasn’t the highest ranked player in the GPI at the end of 2015, he was still the highest ranking Italian at 31st. More importantly, though, he is one of the hottest tournament players in the world. Last year, amongst other cashes, he won the Super High Roller 8-Handed Event at the EPT Grand Final for over $1 million, won the High Roller 8-Max at EPT Barcelona for over $800,000, and finished third in the WSOP Europe €25,600 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for about a quarter-million. This year, he has won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PCA for nearly $600,000 and 8-Handed High Roller at EPT Dublin for over half a million dollars. Guess he likes High Roller events.
Here is how the first round panned out. The rest of the team rosters can be found at globalpokerleague.com. In the coming week, team managers will select two more players as their Wild Card selections, which can include themselves.
- Rome Emperors – Mustapha Kanit
- Montreal Nationals – Mike McDonald
- New York Rounders – Jason Mercier
- San Francisco Rush – Phil Galfond
- Las Vegas Moneymakers – Anthony Zinno
- Sao Paulo Metropolitans – Darren Elias
- London Royals – Igor Kurganov
- Moscow Wolverines – Dzmitry Urbanovich
- Los Angeles Sunset – Fedor Holz
- Berlin Bears – Brian Rast
- Paris Aviators – Bertrand Grospellier
- Hong Kong Stars – Weiyi Chang
Borgata Changing Gaming Software Providers
Though bwin.party is still the Borgata’s online poker software provider in New Jersey, it appears that its days may be numbered. GAN (once called GameAccount Network) recently announced that it has agreed to be the online gaming platform provider for the Borgata for play money gambling, which it calls “Simulated Gaming.” GAN may also become Borgata’s real money gaming partner if “certain conditions” are met.
Considering the next bit of news, though, it looks like those conditions may already have been met. eGaming Ewview has reported that Pala Interactive has been chosen to replace bwin.party as Borgata’s online poker provider. The switch will take place by the end of Q2 2016. There should be no conflict between GAN and Pala, as GAN’s platform is “provider agnostic” and can accept games from any other provider, like Pala or bwin.party.
In September, GVC Holdings bought bwin.party. The problem that this is causing for bwin.party is that GVC is not licensed in New Jersey. Earlier this month, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued GVC an operational waiver, which permitted bwin.party to continue operating in the state, but its New Jersey-based employees can have no contact with GVC until GVC is officially licensed.
2016 WSOP Schedule Released
The schedule for the 2016 World Series of Poker was released this week; the Series will run from May 31st through July 18th. There will be a total of 69 events, up one from last year, with eight new tournaments. One of those new tournaments is a Tag Team event, in which two to four players play as a team, switching in and out as they see fit. Every player on the team must play at least one round of blinds.
The $565 Colossus is back this year, as well, with six (SIX!) starting flights spread across three days – one in the morning and one at night. In order to ease congestion experience at the cashier on day two as player after player was eliminated, the structure was changed to make sure the tournament gets down to the money during each starting flight. And because it is a re-entry tournament, there could be instances where players make the money more than once.
The Main Event will have three starting flights, as usual, beginning on July 9th. The action will run through July 18th, when it will break until the November Nine, though that name might be slightly misleading, since the final table will begin on October 30th so that it doesn’t conflict with the presidential election.
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