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Scotty Nguyen Makes Poker Hall of Fame

The names of the 2013 inductees to the Poker Hall of Fame are out. Balloting by poker fans created a short list of ten from which living Hall of Fame members and poker journalists picked Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen. The ceremonies will take place on November 3. It is not easy to become a member of this elite poker club. Both Nguyen and McEvoy had been nominated four times before and were elected only the fifth time.
McEvoy was the winner of the 1983 World Series of Poker Championship Event. He was the first poker player ever to win the event after gaining entry through a satellite tournament. Though he has four WSOP bracelets and $2.95 million in live tournament winnings, McEnvoy has been chosen for his contribution to poker away from the tables. He has written 14 books, many co-authored with T. J. Cloutier and Brad Daugherty, on a wide range of poker disciplines. McEvoy has been a great ambassador of both live tournament play and online poker.
It is Nguyen’s nomination that will set the poker world rocking because his fan base is simply phenomenal. He is known as “The Prince of Poker” and controversy is his middle name. One of his most infamous pronouncements was in the 1998 WSOP Championship Event, which he ultimately won. In the final hand he warned the runner-up Kevin McBride, “You call, it’s gonna be all over, baby.” But this time Scotty is in the news for the right reason. He Tweeted, “I thank you all (for) your love and support all of these years, baby!” Nguyen has won five WSOP bracelets. His prized possession is the one received for winning the 2008 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship. Nguyen has succeeded on other poker circuits as well. He has reached eight final tables in the World Poker Tour, winning the World Poker Open in Tunica in Season IV. His career earnings are over $11.7 million.
The most prominent among those who did not make it were Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow, Carlos Mortensen and Huck Seed. Jennifer has been on the short list now for three years running. She has been inducted in the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2010, but will have to wait at least a year before she gets entry into the more hallowed portal.

Another Listless WSOP Main Event Table

Going into the last 50 of the 2013 WSOP Main Event there were three names of interest. The first was Jackie Glazier. Jackie Glazier has already become the last woman standing and she was on the 12th spot at the end of Day 5. Hopes began to rise for a woman in the final table for only the second time in WSOP history. The first time was eons ago. However, Jackie began to drop her chips and was eliminated in 31st place. In the end she could not even match Gaelle Baumann’s 10th place in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Jackie is an Australian from a place called Wantirna. The $229,281 that she took home from the WSOP Main Event pushed her lifetime earnings to just above $1 million. After exiting Jackie Tweeted, “My dream came to an end tonight. Guess I will have to make a new one tomorrow …”
The second name of interest was Carlos Mortensen. He was the Main Event winner in 2001. The last person to repeat a Las Vegas WSOP Main Event win was Stu Ungar in 1997. The poker fans are tiring of new winners every year and would love to see a repeat winner. But Mortensen too crashed out before the final table. He was eliminated in 10th place and won $573,204. Many rate Mortensen as the best No Limit Hold’em tournament player of all-time. But what the world of poker wants is a known player winning a big tournament.
The third player has made it to the final table. J C Tran is the saving grace of the otherwise listless final table. Because of his presence one can say that the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table is better than the previous year. Tran has two WSOP bracelets and a number of achievements to his credit. He is the chip leader as well. Hopefully he will prevail over his lesser known colleagues. The full final table details are as follows. The numbers are chip counts in millions.
J C Tran 38.000
Amir Lehavot 29.700
Marc McLaughlin 26.525
Jay Farber 25.975
Ryan Riess 25.875
Sylvain Loosli 19.600
Michiel Brummelhuis 11.275
Mark Newhouse 7.350
David Benefield 6.375

Gregg Wins The One Drop

The first big event of WSOP 2013 is done. This is the One Drop High Roller with a buy-in of $111,111. This event was not as exciting as its precursor, the Big One for One Drop, which featured a $1 million buy-in and a top prize of $18 plus. The One Drop High Roller had a top prize of $4,830,619, which was won by Anthony Gregg along with the coveted bracelet. The 26-year-old hails from Columbia in Maryland.
Till last year Gregg was known as the man who mentored Greg Merson to the Main Event win and then stepped aside while his protégée savored the glory. This year Gregg hit the trail on his own. Soon after WSOP 2012, in August Gregg won the Parx Open Poker Classic WPT Event, taking home $416,127. He then finished second at the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo in May 2013. With the One Drop packet Gregg has boosted his live tournaments earnings to over $8 million, and is probably one of the fastest to reach this figure. In an act that can be termed as either extremely confident or totally brash, Gregg multi-tabled playing Day 1 of the $25,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event simultaneously with the final table of the One Drop. Poker players are generally effusive about their wins, especially big ones like this one. But all the Gregg could manage was, “What is there to say?”
Gregg beat Chris Klodnicki in the heads up, who won $2,985,495. In third place was William Perkins, whose pay packet was $1,965,163. But when the final table began all eyes were on Antonio Esfandiari, the man who won $18 million last year in the Big One for One Drop. Some on the rails felt he should let someone else win this year, whereas others wanted him to do the double. In the end Esfandiari finished fourth raking in $1,433,438. At this stage of WSOP 2013 the top ten in descending order in the Player of the Year leader board are David (Bakes) Baker, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Schneider, Marco Johnson, Chris Klodnicki, Anthony Gregg, Jared Hamby, Daniel Kelly, Jason Duval and Mark Radoja.

Pope Wins Bracelet Phelps Busts Out

The first open event of 2013 WSOP, the $5,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em, ended with a win for Trevor Pope. But before that 18-time Olympic gold medal winning swimmer and amateur poker player Michael Phelps made his WSOP debut. Phelps has been known to play cash games with the likes of Doyle Brunson in between his Olympic stints.
Phelps came to Las Vegas just to take a look and catch up with his poker friends. Antonio Esfandiari and Jeff Gross convinced him to “throw in a buy-in” and see what happens at his first WSOP event and Phelps went along. In due course he landed up against Vanessa Selbst, arguably one of the greatest female poker players from the current lot. He ended up getting knocked out in the 178th place. After going bust Phelps Tweeted, “Ha ha come on we had a blast! Until you took the beat of course.” The event had a starting field of 481 players, which meant that Phelps finished well into the top half. This was not all that bad for a debut performance.
Pope took home his first ever WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $553,906. He entered the final table with a massive chip lead. He had almost half the chips in play and six times as many as the next man. And he finished off his competitors with a ruthless efficiency that a strong position enables. One of Pope’s supporters on the rails was a dog named Revis. He was Joey Weissman’s mascot last year and this year Revis did the trick for Pope. The Rio hallway allows canines and 2013 WSOP may see many more of them now.
EPT winner David Vamplew lost in the heads up to Pope and won a packet of $342,450. The only previous bracelet winner in the final table was Dan Kelly, who finished in 6th place. The total prize pool for this event was $2,260,700. The top 56 players finished in the money. Some of the more well known players to do so included Bryan Piccioli, Antonio Esfandiari, Brandon Cantu, Jesse Sylvia, Jeremy Ausmus, David Sands, Brian Rast and Tom Marchese.

Ultimate Bet Super User Scandal Resurfaces

The Ultimate Bet ( Super User scandal refuses to fade away. Just when good things have happened in the online poker space, the scandal has resurfaced. Travis Makar, Russ Hamilton’s personal assistant, released audio tapes of secretly recorded meetings between Ultimate Bet founders and lawyers. The reveal a frank and free admission of wrong doings. The scandal revolved around a feature in the software known as AuditMonster that allowed those in possession of a code to see the pocket cards of the players.
The tapes have Russ Hamilton admitting that he took the money. Hamilton tries to exonerate himself by saying he used a part of that money to prop up Ultimate Bet, which otherwise would have to close down. He however refused to provide any funds to pay back the victims.
The most shocking revelations concern well known and reputed poker professionals Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth. Both were long standing brand ambassadors at Ultimate Bet, who quit just before the scandal broke, giving rise to some rumors about their involvement. These tapes reveal that both these poker players were actually part owners of the online poker room. Though they do not appear as participants, they were discussed by Hamilton and his coterie.
Annie Duke had gone on record claiming that she had no knowledge of the AuditMonster feature. However, in the tapes Hamilton says that on multiple occasions Annie had actually used the tool on a “15 minute delay”. He stated that she had her own copy of the tool, implying that she was in the know and had the opportunity to use the tool. Annie has responded to these allegations through Twitter. She claims that she had access to the delayed viewing of cards only for a few Ultimate Bet tournament events where she was a radio commentator. She added that this is standard practice for WSOP commentators for live events also. Her final Tweet was, “Sad a few folks making accusations and assumptions without fully appreciating this.” The interesting part is that during one of the tournaments in which Annie used the tool her then boyfriend, a novice player, won over $200,000.
Hellmuth comes out almost unscathed. The coterie discussed him and concluded that he was not suitable to be brought into the loop. Attorney Daniel Friedberg said, “Phil is the absolute worst possible person on the planet to ever be even remotely close to this. He can be controlled”. Hellmuth has expressed his disgust after listening to the tapes.

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