Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for January 18, 2019

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 18, 2019

Colillas Takes PSPC Crown (Update)

Pockets $5.1 million first prize

Spanish former fitness trainer and professional poker player Ramon Colillas (30) emerged victorious and $5.1 million richer in the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), $25,000 buy-in poker tournament.

Colillas won free entry into the tournament as part of a PokerStars global promotion that awarded 320 people a $30,000 Platinum Pass package, which in addition to free entry, covered travel and hotel accommodations at the Atlantis at Paradise Island Resort and Casino in the Bahamas.

He outplayed a field of 1,039 players in the tournament that produced a record-breaking total prize pool of $26,455,500 and defeated Julien Martini in heads up play, sending the Frenchman home with an impressive second prize of $2,974,000.

PokerStars Director of Poker Marketing, Eric Hollreiser said: “We couldn’t have scripted a better outcome for the tournament and PokerStars congratulates Ramon and all of the competitors for making this an historic event.

“Ramon’s victory is a reminder that with a dream, some talent and a little luck, poker can change your life. We’re proud to have created a special experience for more than a thousand players, but especially for those like Ramon who had never previously dreamed of playing in such a tournament.”

MPN Brings Back Universal Championship Of Poker

112 events between January 13 and February 10

The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) has brought back the Universal Championship of Poker (UCOP) Passport and Mini from January 13 to February 10, 2019.

UCOP offers two series comprising 112 events and over Euro 500,000 guaranteed.

The UCOP Passport leaderboard will award Euro 10,000 worth of prizes across all UCOP Passport events from 27 January to 10 February 2019 in which the top player will take home three MPN Poker Tour packages worth Euro 4,500 plus a Euro 550 Online Tournament tickets package.

Players will have the opportunity to travel to any of the remaining MPNPT live poker events in 2019, taking place in European cities. The winner will receive entry into the main event and one side event, accommodation for themselves and a guest, plus cash towards travel expenses.

Winners of any UCOP Passport event will also qualify for the Tournament of Champions on 17 February 2019, with a reward of one MPN Poker Tour package worth Euro 1,500. Additionally, the MPN has scheduled twelve 50 percent Super Bounty Events awarding over Euro 40,000 in prizes.

The popular UCOP Mini series also makes a return from 13-27 January, offering the same format as UCOP Passport but with buy-ins and guarantees at one tenth the size.

With a range of buy-ins from Euro 0.55 to Euro 320 across both series, players can experience the action, whatever their level.

Qualification for both the UCOP Passport and UCOP Mini series is available at a fraction of the cost with satellites currently running 24 hours a day on all participating MPN poker rooms.

The packed satellite schedule includes a 50 Seat Mega Feeder to the UCOP Passport Main Event (Euro 22 entry freeze out guaranteeing Euro 5,500 in seats) at 14:30 GMT on 10 February, a weekly Euro 0.11 satellite into the Euro 50,000 UCOP Passport Main Event every Sunday at 15:45 GMT, and many more.

Full details of the promotion can be found here:

“The MPN have gone global with this newest iteration of UCOP. Building on the amazing success of our biggest ever tournament series last year, we’re giving players on our network the chance to experience the exhilarating thrills and luxury of our MPN Poker Tour festivals,” Alex Scott, managing director for poker at Microgaming said. “For any live poker aficionado this is a dream ticket, and we look forward to welcoming the lucky winners along.”

Greenwood Wins Pokerstars PCA $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em

For $1.77 million first prize

Canadian poker pro Sam Greenwood has won the first of two PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller events, banking $1,775,460 in the process.

Greenwood outplayed a field of 61, eighteen of which were re-entries, ultimately finishing off Henrik Hecken heads-up after three intense days of play.

Hecken boosted his bank balance with $1,284,260, reward for his second-place finish.

Other players in the money were:

3. Jesus Cortes – $828,560
4. Christopher Hunichen – $627,340
5. Talal Shakerchi – $485,300
6. Igor Kurganov – $378,760
7. Steffen Sontheimer – $301,820
8. Stephen Chidwick – $236,720

WSOP Announces 20 X $10,000 And Above Events For 2019

In celebration of 50th anniversary

The World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) 50th annual tournament, scheduled from May 28 to July 16, 2019, includes a 20-event schedule of buy-ins priced $10,000 and higher.

The 2019 schedule will offer its first-ever “Short Deck” No-Limit Hold’em event, priced at a buy-in of $10,000 and a $50,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, both structured as four day events.

The 50th running of the WSOP Main Event is expected to play out from July 3-16, 2019. Players will again have three different starting flights to choose from.

“New wrinkles this year include an increased starting stack of 60,000 chips, the utilization of the Big Blind Ante format, and the ability for players to buy into the event as late as the start of play on Day 2 (either July 6 or July 7 at 12 noon),” a press statement reads. The event remains a freeze out format in which players may only enter once.

“We are proud to be the only tournament series offering such a wide variety of poker variants,” WSOP Vice President Jack Effel, said. “Players at this buy-in level should continue to expect terrific structures, with registration open until Day 2 in most cases and plenty of play to determine the champion in each discipline.”

A record 123,865 entries participated in the 2018 WSOP, creating a 49-year high of $266,889,193 in prize money. The average WSOP gold bracelet event in 2018 had a $3,421,656 prize pool with $655,337 going to the winner.

The 2018 WSOP featured huge field sizes once again in signature events, with the Main Event (7,874), Millionaire Maker (7,361), Monster Stack (6,260), Crazy Eights (8,598), Seniors Championship (5,918) and Colossus (13,070) combining to attract an impressive 49,081 entries.

The majority of these signature events return in 2019, with the addition of a new opening weekend high value event to help usher in the 50th running of the WSOP – dubbed the ‘Big 50’.

Pokerstars Launch 6+ Poker Game

New cash game is in the short deck hold’em format

PokerStars rolled out its new 6+ poker game this week.

The short deck hold’em format sees all numbered cards lower than a six removed from the deck and a new blind structure introduced, the “Button Blind”. Instead of small and big blinds, all players post an ante and only the player on the button posts a blind.

“6+ is an exciting poker variant that often produces big hands and a lot of action, so we’re excited to bring it to the tables”, said Chris Straghalis, Director of Poker Product at PokerStars. “While the format has proven popular with high stakes players, the range of stakes available on PokerStars and similarities to hold’em mean that it should appeal to those who may want to try a new game but don’t want something too different. We’re looking forward to seeing what people think.”

Rheem Takes 2019 PCA Main Event

Wraps up PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2019 with a $1.5 million win

David “Chino” Rheem (38) has emerged as the first prize winner of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event after defeating Daniel Strelitz heads up at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

Besting a field of 771 players, Rheem boosted his bank balance with a $1.567 million first prize taking his live earnings past the $10 million mark.

Strelitz banked a $951,480 second prize and Scott Wellenbach, a 67-year-old Buddhist from Canada who donates all his poker winnings to charity, a third prize of $671,240.

Other final table results were:

4 Pavel Veksler – Ukraine – $503,440
5 Vicent Bosca – Spain – $396,880
6 Brian Altman – USA – $297,020
7 Mihai Minole – Romania – $208,920
8 Marc-Andre Ladouceur – Canada – $146,840
9 Simon Deadman – UK – $116,460

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.

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