April 8, 2014
Ronit Chamani Leads The Player of the Year Race
We have been so used to see Vanessa Selbst claim the top spots on every list, whether it’s Global Poker Ladies, The Women All Time Money List, The Global Poker Index or GPI Player of the Year Ladies. But this month something very interesting happened as the South African poker player Ronit Chamani took first in GPI Player of the Year Ladies, kicking Vanessa Selbst one place down to #2.
But that’s not Ronit Chamani’s only accomplishment as she also enters the overall GPI Player of the Year race, where only six players have better rankings than Chamani:
1. Keven Stammen
2. Dominik Panka
3. Dan Heimiller
4. Mike “Timex” McDonald
5. Jason Mercier
6. Amichai Barer
7. Ronit Chamani
Ronit Chamani’s race against the top began in January, when she became 13th in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship winning $31,344. At the same venue she took 11th in the NL Hold’em Six Max. In February she was runner-up in a PLO Event at WPT L.A. Poker Classic and in March she won the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars $1,900 NL Holdem Event for $152.080, beating Joe Kuether heads-up for the title. By the way, Ana Marquez placed 17th in the same event.
Even though Chamani has been playing for a couple of years now and had some nice results, the poker world first really noticed her in November 2013, when she won the Highroller at the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic for $70,779 in Johannesburg, South Africa. And from then on her impressive run has continued.
In an interview with CalvinAyre.com Chamani gave a lot of credit for her development as a poker player to her boyfriend Ryan D’Angelo: “I have learned a lot from my boyfriend Ryan D’Angelo, who is one of the best players in the world, and my game has definitely elevated through him. I owe him a lot. Being a South African female poker player nobody ever made me a part of any group during those first few years; where people discuss hands and feed of each other. So for me my poker career has always been very internal. I believe you can only get so far if you don’t have feedback from other people.”
You can listen to the interview here.
It will be interesting to see if Chamani can keep up with Vanessa Selbst, when the WSOP starts at May 27. Selbst has only played a few tournaments since the PCA in January, but is expected to play a tight schedule at WSOP in order to capture her third bracelet.
April 4, 2014
Kristy Arnett Leaves PokerNews
Today the popular reporter and host at PokerNews Kristy Arnett announced on Twitter, that she is leaving PokerNews to pursue other dreams. Kristy Arnett has been working for the website for four years, reporting from tournaments all around the world. Over the years Kristy has covered WSOP, EPT and WPT tournaments among others from every destination on the planet and had the chance to interview both recreational and professional poker players. She claims that Phil Ivey is the most difficult to interview and Jason Mercier and Maria Ho some of her personal favourites.
In a video posted on youtube the good-humoured reporter has compiled some of her favourite clips from the last four years:
Besides Kristy’s video reporting she has been the host of the weekly PokerNews Podcast and two years ago she launched her own strategy podcast, Strategy With Kristy. In the strategy podcasts she’s been covering all aspects of online and live poker, as well as sharing her own ups and downs as a poker player.
On Twitter Kristy Arnett told that she’s not planning to quite playing poker any time soon. And that seems to be a good idea as Kristy won the MiniFTOPS Event #12, a Heads-Up Shootout with over 4000 runners, in 2010. In 2013 she participated in the televised cashgame Poker Night in America together with the likes of Mick ‘The Mouth’ Matusow, Shaun Deeb, Gavin Smith, Greg Mueller and Matz Glantz. The show is yet to air, but you can check it out here: pokernight.com.
With fellow hostess, the colourful Sarah ‘Aunty Chardonnay’ Grant, Kristy runs the website Pretty Broad where they discuss topics like relationsships, sex, travelling and health: prettybroad.com
Did we mention that Kristy is also very dedicated to fitness and living heathly? No wonder she needs a little more time to follow all her dreams. We wish Kristy the best of luck.
April 3, 2014
Sofia Lövgren Leaves Team PKR
March 31 it was announced that the swedish pro Sofia Lövgren is leaving Team PKR. Lövgren has been representing the site since 2010. The 24-year old pro is mainly an online player, but she has played some live tournaments as well. In october 2013 she played in the £10.300 highroller at the EPT London. On day 2 with only two tables left Lövgren was the chipleader, but Carla Sabini’s nut flush draw that made it on the river crippled Lövgren, who was sent packing shortly after with £21,540 in her pocket.
“From chippy to bust in 15 mins is very frustrating, but that’s poker. Busting tournament after tournament, often before the money, is part of the game and something both me and my sponsor understand. Online cash games are my bread and butter, so tournaments are a bonus”, Lövgren told PokerPlayer Magazine after the event.
On her homepage Lövgren wrote about her farewell to PKR: “After four amazing years as a Team PKR Pro I’m today leaving the team. I’m so grateful for this amazing time and the big support from Dan, Jake, Neil, the whole staff and all players!
It is now six years since I started from the lowest levels building a bankroll on PKR. After grinding millions of hands and just turning 20 I was given the responsibility to be the first female Team Pro. I was from day 1 very well treated by this unique and friendly community. So many people have tried to encourage me and made my poker life enjoyable.”
Lövgren has not yet announced what she is going to do now, but it seems that she has some interesting prospects ahead: “I’m starting my next big adventure and within two weeks it will be official!” So we’ll just have to wait and see, what’s up next for the young Scandinavian.
March 11, 2014
Lily Kiletto Runner-Up in Heart Land Poker Tour
Lily Kiletto made it all the way to heads-up in Heartland Poker Tour at Aqua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. Unfortunately she was not able to beat Mark Jones, who’s the new HPT champion.
In the last hand Mark Jones moved all in holding Kd Th. Kiletto called with Ad Jc and was ahead. The flop brought 6s 4d 3d and Kiletto was still ahead. The turn was Qh and Kiletto now only had to fade a king or a ten. Unfortunately the river was Ts and Kiletto was out taking home $55.607 for her second place finish.
March 10, 2014
Lily Kiletto Once Again on a Final Table
When Heartland Poker Tour plays down to a winner tomorrow it’s with Lily Kiletto at the table. The 31 year old designer, model and poker pro has actually been playing cash games for 10 years now, but it was first when she started playing tournaments two years ago, that the general public got an eye on her.
I February 2012 she was runner up to Matt Giannetti in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, taking home $191,880. Only nine months after she was at another WPT final table, this time the WPT Montreal Main Event. Here she got $129.543 for her 5th place finish. Only a month ago she was knocked out on 19th place at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
Before going into the final table at Aqua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, Kiletto is fourth in chips. You can follow the live stream from the final table from 1 pm. tomorrow.
Lily Kiletto is currently ranked #16 on the Global Poker Index Ladies and #621 on the over all index.
March 10, 2014
New Team Online Pro: “I Would Like to Inspire More Women to Play the Game”
In an interview Katerina Malasidou, the new Team Online member, talks about her way into poker and how her boyfriend poker pro André Coimbra taught her the game. Before turning pro Katarina worked as an accountant, a job she did not really like: “While I was working there, I was observing from the outside Andre’s life as a poker player, and he would get to travel. He would go to the Bahamas and send me photos of him at the swimming pool, sunny days, while I was in January, for example, I was locked inside an office, raining outside, no sunlight. I was a bit jealous of the lifestyle.”
Without really knowing the game Katarina quit her job: “It was at that particular moment, which was a turning point in my life. He (André Coimbra) couldn’t guarantee that I would win and make money out of it, but he said that he would help me and support me and that he really believed that I could actually make a living out of it and be good at it with his help.”
In the beginning Katarina played micro-stakes and studied the game a lot. Today she plays mid stakes Hyper Turbo Satellites, but as the games are getting tougher and tougher, the edges are very small. On the other hand the superfast format makes it possible to play a lot of them and get some volume in.
“Because the edges are small, that makes the variance of them is very, very big, so if you play like 1000, 5000 tournaments, that’s not a big enough sample to determine whether you’re in good or bad. You need many thousands of tournaments before you can say, “Okay, I’m doing this right” or “No, something is wrong here”.”
Katarina, who is a supernova, is not aiming at supernova elite this years. It would demand that she was playing more tables as she explains: “I could try to increase the volume, but I think it’s much better as an option to try to improve my game and move up in stakes rather than go crazy by 30-tabling or something like that, which is very hard. I would rather spend time on improving my game.”
Another goal of Katarina is to inspire more women to play poker: “because there aren’t that many playing compared to men, and it’s nice to see more girls at the tables. Apart from that, I just want to share my love for the game with everyone.”
You can read the whole interview with the sympathetic pro at Pokerstrategy.com here
March 7, 2014
Jennifer Tilly Out in 22nd Place at LAPC
So close and still no cigar for actress and poker player Jennifer Tilly. Going into day 4 of the L.A. Poker Classic Tilly was third in chips and as the day progressed she at one point was the chipleader with around one million in chips, when the avarage was 327.000. Big names were sent to the rail, among them Bryn Kenney, Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchalov, Greg Merson and Matthew Waxman.
Tilly’s decline started when she clashed with Josh Neufeld. Neufeld raises under the gun to 26,000, and Jennifer Tilly called from the button. The flop came 9c 6s 2d , Neufeld bet 30,000, Tilly raised to 90,000, and Neufeld called. The turn was the Ah , Neufeld checked, Tilly bet 150,000, and Neufeld called.
The river was the Kh , and Neufeld bet out 450,000. Tilly tanked for a while before calling, and Neufeld turned over Kd Ks for a rivered set of kings. Tilly mucked in frustration, and Neufeld won the pot. Tilly’s body language implied that she had the best hand on the turn, but the call on the river knocked her all the way down to 71,000 in chips (5 bb).
After doubling up with pocket tens, Tilly was soon all in again from the small blind holding As 10d . Chris Moorman called from the big blind with 7h 6h . The board came 8d 5d 4c 2h Qh , and Moorman flopped an eight-high straight to win the pot and eliminate Jennifer Tilly in 22nd place. For her effort Tilly collected $42.550, while the most successful online poker player of all time Chris Moorman went on to win his first major live titel, beating Glenn Lefaye heads up.
March 4, 2014
Jennifer Tilly Third in Chips on Day 3 of WPT L.A. Poker Classic
On day 3 of World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic the money bubble bursted, leaving 63 players to return tomorrow for day 4. Leading the pack is Jesse Yaginuma with 804.000 in chips, Glenn Lafaye with 760.000 and on third place no other than Jennifer Tilly, the well known actor and poker player, with 639.500 in chips.
Day 3 saw a lot of strong players eliminated including Daniel Negreanu, Paul Volpe, Marvin Rettenmaier, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Scott Seiver, Blair Hinkle, Christina Lindley, Darryll Fish, Dan Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, JC Tran, Joe Hachem, Erik Seidel, Dominik Nitsche, and defending LAPC champion Paul Klann.
I 2007 Jennifer Tilly received a lot of criticism and laughter after the famous hand she played in Poker After Dark against Patrik Antonius. But hey! Wouldn’t you be a little intimidated playing the likes of Antonius and Phil Ivey? Any way here’s the hand:
Since then Jennifer Tilly has done pretty well for herself, earning nearly 900.000 in tournament winnings. At L.A. Poker Classic she is guaranteed at least $18.970, but it’s no wonder if the charismatic Tilly has her eyes fixed on the first prize of $1,015,460. Go Jenny, Go!
February 27, 2014
Katerina “Katerina289” Malasidou Joins PokerStar Team Online
Today it was announced that three new players are joining PokerStars Team Online. One of the players is the Greek born Katerina Malasidou who goes by the screenname “Katerina289” on PokerStars. Katarina Malasidou was one of the 500 players with Supernova status that applied to be part of Team Online. Besides Katarina Team Online picked Matthias ”Mati312” Brandner , a badugi specialist from Vienna, and Luka ”’LukaSteel” Kovač, a Limit Hold’em player from Slovenia. As Team Online manager Chris Jonat stated:
” We had a number of fantastic candidates during the open application process, many of whom we’ll be keeping tabs on going forward. Ultimately, we chose people who represented game types and countries that were new to our Team.”
Katarina Malasidou primarly focus on hyper-turbos SNG. Her boyfriend is another Team Online member, Andre Coimbra from Portugal. It seems that Coimbra convinced Katarina to quite her job to pursue a career in poker. It seems it has been working out pretty well, and Katarina now makes a living playing poker. She also spends some of her time writing blogs, for which she won the World Blogger Championship of Online Poker (WBCOOP) Best Female Blogger Award in 2013.
On her blog she shared the news with her followers: “Do I need to say how amazing this is? Two years ago I was starting out in poker and now I’m a member of Team Online! It’s a great honor for me and I still haven’t fully digested it yet. I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming…
Last fall PokerStars sent out an e-mail to Supernovas and Supernova Elites that they could fill in applications to become a member of Team Online. Of course I had to fill in one, not because I was convinced that they’d take me, but because it’s something I really wanted and I thought “I won’t lose anything for giving it a try”. So I took a shot at it. Eventually time passed and I completely forgot about it, so when I heard back from the team’s manager, I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. I remember I called André and we were both staring at my computer, reading the mail over and over.
Me: Does this say what I think it says?
André: I guess…
Me: It does, doesn’t it?
André: Looks like it…
André: We both understand the same thing, right?
Me: I think so…
Congrats to Katarina for making it so far. You can follow her blog here.
February 26, 2014
Adrienne “talonchick” Rowsome is Facing a New Challenge This Summer
In an interview with Pokernews Adrienne Rowsome from Team Online revealed that she and her husband, poker player Ryan Carter, are expecting a baby.
“The quiet in our household is definitely going to change this summer”, Adrienne Rowsome said, “because we are expecting our first prodigy to arrive. So we’ll see how that changes things. I’m looking forward to the challenge it presents having a baby in the house”.
Adrienne Rowsome that goes by the name “talonchick” online is a high stakes mixed game player, who’s favourite game is Omaha Hi-Lo Split. She is not the typical online wizard with a hoddie as she is also working part time as an occupational therapist. Both she and her husband have been playing poker for more than 10 years and even if the baby will mean great changes, Adrienne says in a PokerStars blog, that:
“I expect to still be playing poker after the baby is born. I will get maternity leave from the hospital so won’t have those obligations to worry about. I’m sure my time will be more compromised, but hopefully, I will still get a couple of hours a day to play some cash games. I’m sure it would be much more challenging if I was a tournament specialist”.
For her husband the changes should be manageable as well: “Ryan plays mostly NL Hold’Em, at this point focusing on heads-up sit-and-gos. But he played cash and MTTs for a number of years prior to that. Over the years, I’ve drawn him into some mixed game action, too. His approach to poker is really admirable. He works very hard at studying and improving himself”.
The couple live in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. And who says online poker is not romantic? Adrienne tells the story: “I transitioned to online poker very quickly as it was almost impossible for me to go play an eight hour session and then go work full time during the day and it was just exhausting. So when online poker came on the scene, I was just ecstatic. I loved playing online ‘cause I could just play for an hour while I was making dinner (… ). A couple of years ago I met somebody online and we started chatting in the chat box and you make friends through the poker community. The games I play, like the fixed limit Hi-Li Split games, it’s a fairly small community; you see the same names over and over again and now I know a lot of the faces behind the online names.
And so a couple of years ago I was heading down to Vegas and I was going to meet one of these guys behind the online name. And he had driven down there with a buddy and his buddy is now my husband! It just so happened that we met, we hit it off, I had not ever dated a poker player before and it was not really something that was on my radar. I kind of thought that that was kind of worklife and I wanted to keep personal out of that. But it’s been really great”.
February 26, 2014
How to Win a WPT – Advice From WPT-Champion Mette-Louise Christiansen
The 12th of February Mette-Louise Christiansen won the WPT National Vejle in Denmark. The 27-year old student from Sønderborg took home the first prize of 528.570 DKK ($98.801) when she beat Tina Christensen heads up. For the first time in poker history the final two players standing were women.
In the days following the event many medias – if not all – claimed it was the first time a women won an WPT Main Event. In fact this is not true. In 2011 the russian poker player Natalia Nikitina took down the WPT National Paris at the Aviation Club for €243.830. The tough final table included Sam Trickett among others.
So we do have two women winning WPT National events, but still no woman winning a WPT International event. In 2008 Van Nguyen won the WPT Invitational, but as the title says it was not an open event, thus not counting as a “real” champion event. So all you ladies out there, you can still become the first female WPT-winner in history.
In a press release from the danish gamingsite Danske Spil the amazing Mette-Louise Christiansen shares her thoughts on what it takes to win a WPT. In her own words:
1. Stay focused
I think for many players the greatest challenge is to stay focused for many hours and sometimes days in larger tournaments. Therefor it’s important not to loose concentration as it can ruin your game og you lose focus from the things you have to do while you are playing.
You will never go through a tournament without losing a hand where you started out a big favourite. You’ll often experience that you are ahead, but nothing is definite before all five cards are dealt. It happened to me twice at WPT Vejle in some mayor pots where my aces ended up losing, and then it’s really important not to tilt. What works for me is to take a small break away from the table and gather focus and then forget about the hand you just lost.
2. Believe in it
Some will call it superstition, others luck, but whatever you call it, it’s always important to believe in yourself. In tournaments all players bluff – if not, it’s really hard to go far on just premium hands.
For my part it’s also important that I follow my intuition by reading my opponents and go with it when I make hero calls.
In addition I think that if you believe in yourself and have confidence in your game, you are more able to succeed. I have often tried to be in a tournament or sit at a cashgame when I had an off day, and those times it’s easy to lose confidence in yourself, and it’s also those days you are losing. So always believe in yourself!
3. Your opponents are just as important as your cards
You might have many hands that look great as well as being card dead for hours. Remember always to pick your spots and exploit the players you are facing. Pretty quick you will get an impression as to who is playing tight or loose. And when blinds are starting to get up you have to think about who you can steal from and who will defend all the way with bad holdings.
If you consider those element you can go far, because you’ve made some good reads. In addition you always have to be aware of your position. If you want to make a bluff, it’s not always profitable to do it UTG (under the gun), but instead when several players have folded and there’s fewer players in the pot. If you are lowstacked you have to be willing to gamble it up and push with less than premium hands – especially it you are in the small blind and alone with the big blind to be able to steal blinds and antes.
Photo: Danske Spil
February 24, 2014
Six Great Escapes According to Liv Boeree
Are you spending to much time at the casino? Are you tired of travelling the circuit? Hanging out in noisy places with no real daylight? Why not try an escape to peace and the great outdoor life as PokerStars pro Liv Boeree sees it.
“Perhaps it was my rural upbringing, but I can quickly become irritable and depressed if surrounded by too much urbanisation and human activity without an outlet of the great outdoors”, Liv Boeree states in her new blog. Here she lists her six favourite peaceful places so far.
1 Red Rock Canyon & Mount Charleston, NV, USA
Only 45 minutes drive from the Rio Mount Charleston (11,916 ft/3,632 m) offers anything a climber could dream of and lots of different oppertunities for hiking. If that’s too far away, then try Red Rock Canyon, only 20 minutes drive from the Strip. A wild valley of vibrantly coloured rocks and peaks.
2 Death Valley, CA, USA
The lowest place in the Western Hemispere, and also the hottest place on Earth with a maximum recorded shade temperature of 56.7 C (134 F). Is that really a place you would like to go? Liv is in for the challenge, “Many of my friends think I’m crazy (I prefer to call it “hardcore”), but I’ve made a number of trips alone to this beautiful, exotic world”. 193 km (120 miles) from Las Vegas. Remember water!
3 Hollingbourne Hill, Kent, UK
The complete opposite of Death Valley. Liv’s home county, with “trees, grasses, breeze, cows and a stunning view of the lushness of Kent.” Only one hour away from London by train and worth a visit if you plan to participate in the next EPT London.
4 Swiss Alps
Going to EPT Campione? If you have a day off then rent a car and drive into the alps. Liv tells how she “quickly succeeded in getting both spectacularly lost and breathtaken, stumbling across a crumbling ruin of a rook overlooking a giant alpine valley”.
5 Dandenong Hills, Melbourne, Australia
Even though Liv was tangled up in a giant cobweb with very angry looking inhabitants she lists the Dandenong Hills, a range of small mountains just outside Melbourne, as one of her favourite places. If the buzz at Aussie Millions gets too much, this is the place to be renewed and vitalized.
6 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
The cathedral by the fascinating architect Gaudi is not in the wilderness. That said, “it’s one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever visited in my life … one of the most breathtaking, intricate buildings you will ever see”. If you are playing the EPT Barcelona there is simply no excuse for not visiting the catedral.
Maybe is the time Liv took away from the tables that gave her a comeback at the start of the year, when she became runner up in the UKIPT Edinburgh for £59.180 after suffering a long downswing.
You can read the rest of Liv’s blog here.
February 20, 2014
Ultimate Poker Signs “dmoongirl “
Did you see the documentary Bet Raise Fold – the Story about Online Poker? Remember Danielle Andersen, the sympathetic young woman, who provided for her family playing online poker under her screenname “dmoongirl”? Then you also remember how her livelihood was taken away from her when Black Friday hit. And how she was forced to travel from the little town in Minnesota, where she lived, to casinos far away from her family for days and weeks.
A lot has happen since then. The american players at Full Tilt are due to get their money back in March. Online poker har been legalized in New Jersey and Nevada. And Yesterday it was announced that Danielle Andersen is signed as the newest pro at Ultimate Poker. Here she will join a stong team consisting of Antonio Esfandiari, Jason Somerville and Dan O’Brien.
You can follow her checking the Ultimate Poker headquarter in Las Vegas out with Jason Sommerville as her guide here.
Because of Danielle’s signing with Ultimate Poker she has now moved to Las Vegas, where her husband and son are soon to join her.
February 20, 2014
Christina Lindney Wins The Venetian $200K
Since Christina Lindley quite acting to pursue a career as a professional poker player she’s been doing rather well. This evening she won the $ 1100 No-Limit Hold’em $200.000 Guarenteed Main Event at The Venetian. The tough final table included Matt Stout and Justin Young and Christina beat the former heads up to take the first prize and the trophy for $ 70.000.
Christina Lindley has other great achievements on her CV. In 2010 she won the PokerStars USA COOP for $ 127.500 and in 2013 she came 5th in the Grand Prix de Paris’ Main Event for $ 113.614.
In 2013 Christina was signed as the first pro at online poker website acePLAYpoker.com. In the press release she stated: ” I’m absolutely thrilled to be playing on acePLAYpoker.com in Nevada and to begin to further promote the reemergence of online poker on the U. S. scene with such a renowned website in Las Vegas.”
Christina Lindley is #12 on the GPI Ladies and #15 on the PoY Ladies.
Photo: Venetian Poker Room
February 17, 2014
Maria Ho Wins the Sunday 500
It was certainly a good idea when the taiwanese-american pro Maria Ho chose to head to Vancouver to play the Sunday mayors as she ended up winning the PokerStars Sunday 500. At a tough final table, that included the swedish pro Jakob “mendieta19” Carlsson and the EPT-winner Nicolas “niccc” Chouity, Maria “Femmeonfelt” Ho beat Chouity heads up, collecting a nice pay check of $80.370.
The recent victory looks promising for the upcoming World Series of Poker, where Ho for several years have done very well. As the first and only person she has twice been Last Woman Standing in the Main Event. I 2007 she finished 38th and in 2011 she became 27th. The same year she was runner-up in Event #4, a $5000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, collecting $540.020. It was the largest single cash a female had ever had at the WSOP.
Will 2014 be the year where Maria wins her first braclet?
Maria Ho is currently ranked #4 on the Global Poker Index Ladies and #130 over all.