Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for January 12, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 12, 2018

Top High Stakes Online Poker Player Announced

2017’s top scorer was player Berri Sweet, who recorded a profit of almost $1.8 million last year

With the high stakes online poker leader board books now closed for 2017, the publication Poker News has published the top scorer, a player using the handle Berri Sweet who amassed earnings of $1,769,395 at the PokerStars high-stakes cash tables, upstaging the 2016 top earner Alexander Kostritsyn’s $1,466,568.

2015’s winner on $3,497,527, the legendary Viktor Blom, fared less well in 2017, ending on a positive $645,327.

Last year’s second biggest winner was Timofey Kuznetsov on $1,454,838, whilst at the sad end of the list the biggest loser in 2017 was Sami Kelopuro, who ended the year down $1,277,737.

Berri Sweet’s final score brings his career online earnings to $2.33 million

See the full list of winners and losers here:

Poker Ace To Leave Pokerstars

Jason Mercier is now a family man

Top international poker professional Jason Mercier has announced that he is to sever his commercial connection with PokerStars in order to spend more time at home with his wife and a child born last October.

“My life was changed forever that day, and for the better,” Mercier said in his announcement. “Becoming a parent brings about a complete transformation of who you are. I no longer let myself be so concerned with what I want, but more so the well being of my wife and my child (and future children). Serving and leading my family is of utmost importance.”

Mercier’s resignation from PokerStars comes just days after fellow ace Vanessa Selbst took the same course in order to pursue a career in the hedge fund sector (see previous InfoPowa report).

Mercier’s skills are not to be entirely lost; he noted that he will continue to play, saying:

“Just to be clear, I’m not retiring from poker by any means. Not only will I be back at the PCA next year and look forward to playing the PokerStars Player Championship, I still plan to play all the big Florida series events, and as of now I plan to go to Las Vegas for the WSOP this summer.”

Party Poker Announces Latam Tourney Stop

Latin American Poker Championships will take place Feb. 24-March 4 in Punta del Este

PartyPoker has joined the growing list of online poker providers showing increased interest in the Latin American market, announcing this week that it has scheduled a live tour stop in the region.

The poker provider is investing $2 million in prize pool guarantees at its Latin American Poker Championships (LAPC) which will take place Feb. 24-March 4 at the Conrad Resort on the coast of Uruguay in Punta del Este over a nine day period.

Highlights of the event will be a $1 million guaranteed main event and a $200,000 guaranteed High Roller competition, seats for which are already available through online satellite competition offers that provide winners with $15,000 travel, accommodation and play packages.

Poker Ace Steve O’Dwyer In Another Big High Roller Win

Takes down a third PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller for $769,000

Poker professional Steve O’Dwyer has done it again, taking down his third PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller title to claim the $769,000 main prize this week, bringing his career live poker earnings to over $21 million.

He triumphed against a field of 46, many of them respected names in the international game such as Byron Kaverman, Erik Seidel and Ben Pollak, all of whom made the final table.

Entering the heads up stage against Kaverman with a chip deficit, O’Dwyer quickly got down to business and managed to equal and then overtake Kaverman’s chip lead, reaching a 3 to 1 supremacy that enabled him to eliminate his tough final opponent.

Kaverman’s consolation runner up prize was worth $531,860.

Other final table cashes included:

Jean-Noel Thorel 339,480
Erik Seidel $260,260
Benjamin Pollak $203,680
Orpen Kisacikoglu $158,420

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

CasinoMeister heart Top 5 casinos


325% Slots Bonus on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Deposit

3Dice Casino

110% up to $110 Welcome Bonus


300% Slots Bonus up to $3,000 on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Deposits

Roaring 21 Casino

400% up to $4,000 + 100 Free Spins Welcome Bonus Package