Weekly Poker Roundup: June 19, 2015
The month of June is halfway over, as is the 2015 World Series of Poker. Let’s take a quick look around what was going on in the poker world this week:
Vanessa Rousso’s Crowded House
Professional poker player Vanessa Rousso will be one of 14 contestants on the 17th season of “Big Brother,” which begins Wednesday, June 24th on CBS. She played in three World Series of Poker tournaments this summer, but is skipping the rest of the WSOP to participate in the show.
“Big Brother” has been broadcast in the United States since 2000; it is a “reality” competition in which a number of “houseguests” live in a house together and have their lives broadcast non-stop until they leave the show, thanks to dozens of well-placed cameras throughout the property. They have no contact at all with the outside world – no internet, no television, no radio, no phone calls, no newspaper, no nothing. They only have each other and, of course, Julie Chen, the show’s host, who guides them through various contests that serve to advance the show along and provide various rewards to assist the winners in their quest for the grand prize of $500,000.
Rousso said that as part of her strategy, she will try to hide the fact that she is a professional poker player from the other houseguests. She did not elaborate as to why, but she wants to lessen the chances of being recognized.
Big Names Win Gold
Those who know nothing about poker think it is all luck. This week was further evidence that that could not be further from the truth, as three familiar faces won gold bracelets at the 2015 World Series of Poker. First up was Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond, one of the kings of online poker. He first won a bracelet back in 2008 as he was really just getting into the live tournament scene. This week, he took down the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship in one of the smallest fields – just 77 – that you will ever see in a WSOP event. But that just meant that the field was dense with strong players; there were no fish in this tournament. The final table alone included Eli Elezra, Nick Schulman, Erik Seidel, Dan Smith, and Bernard Lee.
Next was Jeff Madsen, who won the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split Championship. This was Madsen’s fourth career WSOP bracelet. He exploded onto the live tournament scene in 2006, when he won two bracelets and came in third in two other WSOP events at the tender age of 21. He became the youngest player to win two bracelets in a single WSOP and, naturally, won the WSOP Player of the Year award.
Later in the week, Jason Mercier captured his third career bracelet, winning the $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event. Mercier dominated the final table, eliminating four of his five opponents, including Simon Deadman in the heads-up match. Also of note at the final table was Mike Gorodinsky, who finished third. Gorodinsky was the runner-up to Phil Hellmuth the week before when Hellmuth won his 14th career WSOP bracelet.
Sam Trickett a Free Agent
2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop runner-up and one of the best poker players the UK has to offer, Sam Trickett, has split from Everest Poker after just over a year. Everest Poker, a member of the iPoker Network, began sponsoring Trickett in March 2014. The relationship got off to a rousing start, as Trickett finished second in the World Poker Tour Venice Main Event, cashing for nearly $100,000.
The highlight of the relationship was to be a fun promotion in which Everest Poker players could win up to 10 percent of Trickett’s earnings during the 2014 World Series of Poker, but problems with foot allergies and a foot laceration made for a disappointing Series for Trickett, as he only cashed twice and not for much money (for him, not for the average person).
Everest campaigns manager Dave Bland released a statement about the break-up, writing:
Sam’s time as the sponsored pro with Everest Poker was one which saw some real highs for us, both as an online poker room and fans of the game. Our players had a really unique way of enjoying Sam’s progress at the World Series of Poker last year through our “Share 10% of Sam,” and Sam has been an exemplary ambassador for our brand. We’d like to thank him for his contribution to Everest Poker in the past 12 months and we’re really looking forward to a summer with some exciting news just around the corner.
Caesars Fined in New Jersey
Caesars Interactive Entertainment was fined $15,000 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for violating the state’s self-exclusion regulations. The original complaint was filed by the DGE on April 30th; the order from DGE Director David Rebuck was made public this week. According to the order, Caesars allowed players who had self-excluded themselves from online poker in the state to open gaming accounts, permitted five of those players to actually get onto the tables and play, and sent promotional materials to 231 self-excluded individuals. The WSOP commented on the situation, saying that it self-reported the infractions and that nothing was done intentionally; a “lapse in procedure” occurred.
Caesars was previously fined $10,000 in November 2014 for similar issues after sending promotional e-mails to over 250 self-excluded players earlier in the year.
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