Is this the worst bad beat in WSOP history?

Poker pro Melanie Weisner was cruising along in the $5k No Limit Holdem event as Day 2 was coming to a close when she took one of the more horrific beats I’ve ever seen or heard of in poker.

Here is how it went down according to the live reporting team:


It’s certainly not the worst bad beat possible, as a runner-runner gutshot straight flush would trump it, but boy oh boy this is a sick way to go from potential chip-leader to one of the short-stacks in a World Series of Poker tournament with two dozen players remaining.

Had Melanie Weisner won this hand she would have been heading into Day 3 of the tournament with over 1.1 million in chips with her nearest competitor sitting on just 700k. Instead it is Margareta Morris who is sitting on the chip-lead, with Weisner now well below the average chip-stack, but far from out of the tournament.

Perhaps the only good thing about the beat was that it occurred at the end of the day, so Weisner has a full night to put it behind her.

Weisner has been one of those players who has made a bunch of deep runs in WSOP events (17 cashes since 2010) and is seeking her first WSOP bracelet; in fact, she is in search of her first WSOP final table.


Breakdown of the Commercial Intelligence NJ iGaming poll

decisionsA recent poll conducted by the group Commercial Intelligence gave us some new insights on New Jersey’s iGaming industry.

The poll is from January, so some of the data will be dated, but it’s still important to break down some of the findings –At Thursday’s online gambling hearing in Pennsylvania a Commercial Intelligence rep stated a follow up poll would be released at the end of May.

Here is a look at some of the more interesting results.

25% of respondents have been gambling online for at least 4 years (pre-Black Friday). Interestingly, this means that the vast majority of online gamblers in New Jersey began playing after the DOJ stepped in and shutdown PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker.

Another interesting metric discovered in CI’s research was the average age of online gamblers in New Jersey; 46 for players who began after the November launch and 42 for players who were already gambling online prior to legalization. These numbers fly in the face of what our general notion of an online gambler is.

33% of online gamblers are female.

Online poker is the most popular online offering, with 59% of respondents claiming to have played online poker in the past 12 months. Live poker ranked near the bottom, with 77% of respondents having participated in the past 12 months. This ranks poker below Blackjack, Bingo, Slots, Roulette, Other Table Games, and Lottery Tickets.

Online revenue is closely tied to land-based brand awareness.

* Borgata was the favored land-based casino (34%) and is also the largest revenue generator of New Jersey’s online gambling sites.

* Caesars came in second (24%) and is the second largest revenue generator online.

* Tropicana was third, and is the third largest online revenue generator.

One troubling piece of data was the perception that it is harder to win money online than in a land-based casino.

In January (when the poll was conducted) 80% of respondents said they have experienced no trouble being verified by a New Jersey site, and 85% said they have had no trouble with payment processing.



PPA gets behind conservative groups who have come out against Adelson

online-pokerThe Poker Players Alliance has become a lot more vocal this year as they try to stave off Sheldon Adelson’s attempts to ban online gambling.

Fortunately, this time around the PPA is not standing alone, as a number of groups (including the AGA) have come out in opposition of the proposed ban, including a number of conservative groups, 10 of whom sent a letter to Congress blasting Adelson’s efforts and calling on the Judiciary Committee to ignore the efforts to ban online gambling.

After the letter was sent the PPA issued a press release applauding these groups; groups not usually known for being on the pro side of gambling issues it should be noted. You can read the entire PPA statement at the end of this article.

Later in the week the PPA sent Executive Director to Pennsylvania to testify in Pennsylvania at a house hearing on online poker. You can watch Pappas’s testimony in the video below:

Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2014) – ­ John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement regarding a letter sent from ten conservative and free market organizations urging the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to oppose the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 4301).

“These forward-thinking organizations are standing up for states’ rights and supporting what’s in the best interest of American consumers by opposing Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) legislation to prohibit Internet gambling.

Stripping states’ of their right to regulate Internet gambling eliminates their ability to mandate technologies that protect consumers against money laundering, underage access, and compulsive gambling behaviors. As mentioned in the groups’ letter, prohibiting states from legalizing and regulating   the practice will only encourage the growth of unregulated operators in a dangerous black market.

We hope other groups will join the effort to protect the freedoms of individuals by allowing states the opportunity to provide poker players with a safe and regulated online gambling environment through clear laws and strong enforcements, while adding benefit to their state through increased revenue and jobs.”

About The Poker Players Alliance

The Poker Players Alliance (;   is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of over 1,000,000 online and offline poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players’ rights.

Mike “MikeyCasino” Azzaro wins $50k Guarantee for 3rd time

PartyWhen New Jersey launched their online gambling industry back in November of 2013 partypoker kicked off the launch with a huge announcement. The day the first hand of licensed online poker was dealt in New Jersey partypoker (via and announced they would be hosting a $50k Guaranteed tournament every Sunday.

The site got some free advertisement for the tournament when the same player won the first two $50k Guarantees ever held in New Jersey, Mike “MikeyCasino” Azzaro. Azzaro’s amazing achievement was the biggest buzz during the first two weeks of legal online poker in New Jersey.

And now Azzaro is back in the spotlight, after winning the tournament for the third time.

Win #3 is the sweetest of them all

This week Azzaro added to his New Jersey legacy by winning the $50k Guaranteed for a third time, an amazing accomplishment considering that to my knowledge no other player has won the tournament even twice.

The $200 buy-in tournament ($185=$15 tournament fee) attracted 304 players and produced a prize-pool of $56,240. This was one of the weakest turnouts for the tournament in several weeks, and will likely put to bed any ideas that partypoker might up the guarantee for the weekly tournament anytime soon.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the latest running of the partypoker $50k Guaranteed:

1. MikeyCasino – $11,248.00

2. Hunter43 – $7,676.76

3. KNNP2013 – $4,780.40

4. FooQuan – $3,093.20

5. pattyweber – $2,080.88

6. hort336 – $1,630.96

7. billjr85 – $1,321.64

8. tank79 – $1,068.56

9. TommyKittens – $815.48

You can find more details on Azzaro’s win at the official partypoker NJ blog.

Azzaro’s win came a week after partypoker ran their second $100k Guarantee, but even though the prize-pool this past week was just half of the week before, the $11,248 payday was easily the largest of Azzaro’s three victories, for the inaugural $50k win “mikeycasino” pocketed $8,050, and he added another $7,100 for his second victory the following week.





NJ partypoker adds Neteller to ease payment processing struggles

netellerNeteller is now available at the following New Jersey online poker sites:





With Credit cards still being declined at a considerable rate New Jersey online poker rooms have been busy adding alternative payment options for their players, and after this week’s announcement by and payment processing has taken a giant step forward. and are now offering Neteller, a fairly well-known eWallet (especially in online poker circles) along with their other alternative options, which includes Skrill (MoneyBookers), cash at the Borgata, pre-paid credit cards, and ACH (eChecks).

The two partypoker sites in New Jersey aren’t the only ones that have added Neteller, and partnered with Optimal Payments (Neteller’s parent company) just over a week ago, leaving Ultimate Poker as the only New Jersey online poker site that is not offering Neteller – does accept PayNearMe deposits, the only site that does, which can be made at 7-11 locations in New Jersey.

Neteller won’t solve the payment processing issues in New Jersey, but every additional option is a win at this point, as offering NJ players as many alternatives as possible until banks relax their restrictions on credit cards for online gambling transactions.

Additionally, Neteller allows players who want to use a credit card to fund their account the capability of doing so, although they will have to setup a Neteller account (linked to the credit card) and there is of course a 2.5% fee.

Here is a look at the message partypoker sent to me announcing the availability of Neteller:

If you have been unable to deposit with your credit or debit card in the past then NETELLER is here to help. NETELLER’s service allows for the highest success rates possible, so if you want to use Visa to deposit on partypoker, use NETELLER.

WPT Alpha 8 tournament series set to debut on FOX Sports 1

alpha8The World Poker Tour’s latest effort to reenergize televised poker is about to gets its chance, as the WPT’s Alpha8 Super High Roller series is set to debut on FOX Sports 1 tonight, Sunday, March 16.

The inaugural episode took place at last year’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, where 18 players registered for the $100,000 buy-in tournament. The tournament also allowed players to reenter, and three players took advantage of that option and fired a second bullet, Daniel Perper, Daniel Alaei, and Isaac Haxton –none of the three cashed in the tournament.

“WPT Alpha8 offers viewers an unprecedented look into how poker is played at its very highest levels,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “We took a bold, fresh approach by creating a show with a hip and modern feel befitting the atmosphere expected by players who can afford to play at the game’s very highest stakes. Combined with great behind-the-scenes lifestyle footage and expert commentary, these ultra-high roller events showcase poker as it’s never been seen before.”

The Big Names are Missing

While the WPT Alpha8 is being billed as the best of the best in poker it falls short when it comes to big name entrants, especially for the WPT viewer who is expecting to see Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, and Daniel Negreanu.

Anyone tuning into tonight’s Alpha8 premier will instead see names like Matt Glantz, Steve Silverman, JC Tran, and Jeff Gross.

Will Alpha8 Differ From Televised WPT Tournaments

It appears that the WPT is promoting this as a high-class poker event, but the million-dollar question is whether the Alpha8 series will use the same formatting as standard WPT episodes, making it little more than a rehashing of their current product under a different brand. Or will it be altogether different? I suppose we’ll find out tonight.

One difference viewers will notice immediately is the host and commentators as Alpha8 will feature presenter Lynn Gilmartin, as well as longtime poker commentator Ali Nejad and poker pro Olivier Busquet. This trio should create a stark line from the commentary of Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten with more nuanced and sophisticated commentary, but whether or not this will play to the casual viewer is still unknown at this point.

Borgata/Party announce NJCOP tournament series in New Jersey

PartyNext month New Jersey online poker players are going to have a lot of tournament options to choose from as partypoker and Borgata have just released the full schedule for their New Jersey Championships of Online Poker tournament series.

The NJCOP series will feature 15 tournaments and run from April 19-27, with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $500, and a total of $600k in guaranteed prize-money up for grabs. The series will run at the same time the Borgata hosts the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship, which will allow all of the players in Atlantic City for the live tournament series to also participate in the online tournament series.

Here is a look at the featured events for the series:

* NJCOP #1- $50,000 Freeroll – Saturday, April 19th at 4:00pm?Final Table this freeroll for free entry to all 14 remaining NJCOP Events!

* NJCOP #3*- $100,000 Guaranteed – Sunday, April 20th at 5:00pm?First place takes home $25,000 Guaranteed!

* NJCOP #13*- $200,000 Guaranteed – Sunday, April 27th at 5:00pm?First place scoops $50,000 Guaranteed!

“We are pleased to launch the state’s largest guaranteed online poker series to-date,” said Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Lupo. “Having experienced a 14% or $3.1 million gain in overall internet gaming revenue for the month of February, Borgata continues to stay aggressive in implementing innovative and intriguing virtual gaming options such as the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker that we believe will appeal to our customers and further strengthen our position as a leader in online gaming.”

“If you love poker then you need to be in New Jersey come April 19,” said Team partypoker captain Mike Sexton. “The online poker action in New Jersey has been red hot since day one and the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker will be the ultimate test for pros and amateurs alike. What’s more if you are coming from out of town to play the partypoker WPT World Championship at the Borgata it is timed so you can make the most of the live and online games! ”

For more information on the series you can visit or


Sam Trickett signs with Everest Poker; offering 10% of WSOP winnings

sam-trickett_mediumOne of the top poker players in the world, and the UK’s all-time money leader has just landed a new sponsorship deal, as Everest Poker has announced it has inked Sam Trickett to a new deal where he will operate as a brand ambassador for the site.

In addition to repping Everest Poker for the foreseeable future, including at the 2014 World Series of poker this summer, Trickett and Everest Poker are giving away 10% of Trickett’s winnings at the 2014 WSOP, with the only exception the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament.

On his signing Trickett said:

“I’m very excited to be joining Everest Poker and I’m looking forward to interacting with our players online and at Everest Poker Live events, where I’ll be playing and coaching. Everest is a great poker brand and I will be doing everything I can to make it one of the most recognised in the world.”

Everest Poker’s Des Duffy explained the promotion where Everest Poker players can win a share of Trickett’s 2014 WSOP earnings, saying:

“We want to encourage players to get behind Sam’s quest for a first bracelet this summer and we’re excited to reveal that Sam will be offering players the chance to share in 10% of his winnings in the 20 to 30 bracelet events he enters this year, excluding the One Drop. With Sam’s consistent record of cashing at high profile tournaments there could be a huge amount of value on the table. Plus we’ll capture the atmosphere of Las Vegas through a series of video blogs that Sam will be recording during the series. I think for players who can’t make it to Las Vegas themselves, having a share in Sam Trickett will be the next best thing.”

Trickett is widely considered to be one of the top cash and tournament players in the game, and has an enormous amount of success in his brief career.

Trickett has formerly worn the patch of Titan Poker, and acted as ambassador for and the International Stadiums Poker Tour.


Barny Boatman wins back-to-back Lifetime Achievement Awards

british pokerNot too long ago Barny Boatman was walking across the stage at the Global Poker Index European Poker Awards to collect the Lifetime Achievement Award, and this past Monday the Hendon Mobber (or former Hendon Mobber now?) made it two-for-two, as he collected the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Poker Awards.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was one of two trophies Barny won on Monday evening at the Hippodrome, as the longtime poker pro took home the Performance of the Year trophy for his World Series of Poker bracelet victory this past summer.

Boatman wasn’t the only double winner on the evening as Sam Trickett also had his name called twice, once for Best Live Cash Game Player (an award voted on by fellow pros) as well as for Best Live Tournament Player.

Another player who walked away with two trophies was Alex Millar. Millar, AKA “Kanu7,”won for Best Online Cash-Game Player and British Poker Player of the Year.

Some other award winners were Sam Grafton for Personality of the Year; Daniel Negreanu for Best International Player; Neil Channing for Best Blogger; and the most unsurprising winner of all, Chris Moorman who took home the Best Online Tournament Player award.

Here is a look at the rest of the winners:

* Pros Choice: Best Tournament Director: Toby Stone

* Best Contribution to Growing and Promoting Poker: Tony Kendall

* Best Social Media User: Victoria Coren

* Best UK Tournament: EPT London

* Best Live Card Room: Dusk Till Dawn

* Best Poker League: Redtooth Poker

* Best Poker Training Site: Run It Once

* Best Poker Software: PokerTracker

To find out more about the British Poker Awards you can visit their website at

Blue Shark Optics dubs April 19 Poker Day USA

chips-US-flagLooking for something to day on Saturday, April 19? If you’re a poker player you might be able to find a poker event or perhaps organize one of your own, as Blue Shark Optics (makers of a whole line of poker specific eyewear) has started a movement to turn the day into Poker Day USA.

The company is hoping to raise awareness and let people celebrate the game of poker. Blue Shark Optics is hoping other groups will hop on board and join them in their effort.

So far nine entities have signed on as cosponsors:

* The PPC Poker Tour

* Shark Tank Poker Club

* OnTilt Radio

* ESPN Poker Radio

* Ante UP Magazine


* Poker Gives


* Above EV Poker

Here is what the Blue Shark Optics website had to say about the new “holiday” they created:

“There are all sorts of ‘National Days.’ Some ‘official,’ others not. Some recognized by the government some not. And yet, despite numbering over 60 million, poker players are pretty much ignored. Most love the game. Some support their families by playing the game. For the vast majority, poker is entertainment with benefits. A game of skill, strategy, and mathematical probabilities, poker is the All-American game. It is not recognized as such, and it’s players are not given their day in the sun.

“So, we have established a National Poker Day. And we will celebrate it on April 19th. Every year. And we will make the effort to spread the word.”

Do we need it?

The short answer to this question is no.

The longer, but not too long, answer is that it’s little more than a gimmick, and while I’m a fan of poker I don’t see the need to celebrate the game.

However, if the day can be turned into something fun and is not taken too seriously by the organizers it could be a worthwhile undertaking.