Full Tilt Poker Galway Festival schedule announced

The schedule for the Full Tilt Poker Galway festival has been announced on the official Full Tilt poker site.

The Live Event is to kick off on 27th July and run through until 12th August, being rounded up by a No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.

There are lots of poker events underway in the lead up to the festival, which aren’t necessarily related, for example the PokerStars 100 Billion Poker hands promotion, which is due to take place some time in June, as the company celebrates 100 Billion hands played on their online game.

I’ve played a few games on Pokerstars recently, as usually I tend to stick to Full Tilt, however even I can’t deny that the excitement of the Ultimate Freeroll and the Million Dollar Hand is pulling me in.

Back to Full Tilt, the festival this year is boasting 60 events, and winning certain events will give you a free “FTOPS XXIII Main Event ticket worth $635 in addition to titles and cash earnings.” – fulltiltpoker.com

Is anyone going to the Galway Festival this year? I’s set to be a good one!

Kobe Bryant invited to WSOP

Many online poker players yesterday heard that Kobe Bryant has been invited to play at WSOP (World Series of Poker) in tribute to the late Lakers Owner, Jerry Buss, who sadly passed away on February 18th, 2013.

Posting on Twitter on June 10th, WSOP (@wsop) said:

“Poker misses Dr. Buss. Game. Class. We invite @kobebryant to play in tribute. #sharksvsmamba” – although, sadly, Kobe Bryant then took to Twitter to reply to the request saying ” @wsop Thanks for the invite, means a lot. Doc says no go. I’ll be there in spirit, no bluff. Dr. Buss, best owner ever.”

Kobe Bryant talks to WSOPUnfortunately, Kobe had to decline the special invite due to doctor’s orders, but said he’ll be there “in spirit”

WSOP 2013 will continue through until July 15th 2013 in Nevada, boasting 62 bracelet events (one more than last year). Read the various Poker Reviews at poker.gamble.co.uk for help on choosing where to play online.


PokerStars to celebrate 100 Billion hands in June

Throughout June, PokerStars players like me are being treated to what can only be described as one of the biggest months in poker EVER with the 100 Billionth hand promotion!

PokerStars are running their promotion throughout June to celebrate 100 Billion poker hands having been played, 100 BILLION! Officials say they are expecting the 100 billionth hand to be dealt around the 14th June this year, with one hand paying $1 million ( the Million Dollar Hand).

PokerStars Ultimate Freeroll

I personally am more looking forward to getting stuck into some of the other promotions that they are offering throughout the month, one of them being the Ultimate Freeroll which is a special freeroll tournament which is offering a $1,000,000 prize pool and the winner will grab the grand prize of $50,000. For those also interested in the Ultimate Freeroll, it is going to take place on 30th June.

Of course, other promotions will be running throughout the month to celebrate this jaw dropping event, and more information on all of the promotions that are running is available at pokerstars.com along with a pretty cool video which can only add more excitement to the event!

For those that are new to poker and want to take part in the month long celebration but don’t know exactly how to play poker, read through the Poker Strategy guide at poker.gamble.co.uk – i found it to be very helpful and it has certainly improved my play style! Good Luck to everyone taking part this month and let me know in the comments if any of you have any impressive wins.

Full Tilt Poker Galway Festival

The Full Tilt Poker Galway Festival will be coming to the city later this year (29th July to 12th August, specifically) after PokerStars allowed it to be re-branded from the original UKIPT Galway Festival.

This is the first live poker festival since Full Tilt poker re-launched back in Q4 2012, after closing almost two years prior, following the events of Black Friday which caused thousands of players around the world to have their accounts frozen.

So far, one of the only pro poker player’s attendances has been confirmed, and that is Mr Gus Hansen, if you have read my previous posts you will know that he is in my top 3 favourite poker players of all time.

Hopefully I will be attending this years event as I haven’t been to any live poker festivals for some time now, and I definitely think it would be interesting to see Full Tilt’s first attempt at hosting one.

Steve O’Dwyer wins European Poker Tour Main Event

Last night saw Steve O’Dwyer win the 9th season of the European Poker Tour Main Event, fending off over 531 players and beating many big names in poker such as Daniel Negreanu and Jake Cody to the top spot.

As you may have recently read, I have been keeping up a lot lately with online poker in the USA and following some of the major events such as the recent launch of Ultimate Poker in Nevada. Another one of my favourite poker habits, is following the European Poker Tour (EPT).

Last night saw O’Dwyer fend off some of the biggest and best poker players in the world to take the title, and eventually scooped the €1,224,000 prize!

Trying to keep as up to date as possible with the game on Twitter, it seems that O’Dwyer has lived up to his name and won one of the toughest games going.

Also in the final 8 were Jake Cody, one of my new poker idols that has managed to win some of the more impressive games lately with his aggressive playing style, and then of course, we have Daniel Negreanu, who, alongside Blom is definitely up there in my top 5 favourite poker players of all time. Eventually though, Negreanu, or @RealKidPoker as he is known on Twitter managed to walk away with €321,000 in prize money, still not a bad amount!

Ultimate Poker launches in Nevada, USA

Yesterday saw Ultimate Poker launch online poker in Nevada, USA for the first time. As we all know, online poker has been very up in the air in the United States in recent years following the events of Black Friday and the two years of frozen accounts for US Full Tilt players, which has recently been announced as being handled by GCG to get US players their Full Tilt Refunds.

The new online poker site has had some good reviews since it’s launch and players in Nevada can visit ultimatepoker.com as long as they are over 21 years of age and are playing in Nevada, other players are able to register an account but aren’t allowed to play online until they arrive in Nevada.

Ultimate Poker comes to Nevada

If you have been keeping up with some of my recent posts you will know that I have a keen interest for online poker and especially like to keep up to date with what’s happening in the US. So far, 2013 looks to me as though it is going to be a good year for poker, with the launch of Ultimate Poker, “America’s first and only regulated online real money poker site.” and the fantastic news that those that had their full tilt accounts frozen are finally getting to hear some news on the handling of the funds in their accounts.

For those that are new to online poker or want to improve your game, visit the poker school at poker.gamble.co.uk for tips, strategies and odds.

Hard Rock Poker Open 2013 $10m Guaranteed Tournament

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has announced the upcoming Hard Rock Poker Open tournament, running throughout August, with the Main Event running from 08/22 to 08/29 which will guarantee a $10 million pool that players will attempt to win.

I think this could be the largest (correct me if i’m wrong) guaranteed poker tournament prize ever, with others such as the WPT generating much higher, however they are more well known and attract more players. This is perhaps why this $10m guaranteed tournament looked so exciting when I first saw it on Twitter this morning.

The Main Event is going to run from August 22nd through to the 29th and will have a Buy-In of $5,300, which is considerably lower than a lot of other tournaments that can’t manage to offer such a high guaranteed prize.

Source: pokerbankrollblog.com

Speaking about this exciting new tournament that poker players around the world are no doubt looking forward to, the Director of Poker at Seminole Hard Rock, William Mason said that the $10 million guarantee would mean the winner would receive around $1.7 million. I am certainly looking forward to the event in Hollywood, as it has been confirmed that the Main Event will be part of a series running throughout August which will see multiple other poker rooms across Florida play lower entry fee tourney’s which will allow the winners to progress to the $10m guaranteed Main Event.
According to southflorida.com there are no plans to televise the tournament which is making many poker players online and off consider taking part in the tournament, which is understandable with such an irresistible tournament to play for.

Good Luck to everyone taking part in the Hard Rock Poker Open $10m guaranteed tourney, hopefully I will see you there!

How Viktor Blom won $1.7m in a matter of hours

Many people aspire to play poker professionally and become internationally known as the best, and for a very small minority, this dream does come true, I’m talking of course, about Viktor Blom, the Swedish poker player, who at just 22 is one of the best (in my opinion) and successful poker players out there.

Known online as “Isildur1“, Blom burst into the online poker world in late 2009, and later became one of the youngest to join Team PokerStars Pro in 2010, with his identity being revealed in 2011 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom

It is also well known, that Blom suffered the biggest loss on a single day in the entire history of poker when he lost $4.2 million to Brian Hastings on 8th December 2009 after playing for over five hours straight. Recently though, his winnings have started to look a lot more cheery, especially since the relaunch of Full Tilt Poker back in November 2012 when he was signed up for Full Tilt Poker, alongside Tom Dwan.

Starting off in 2013, Blom  had winnings of $2.4 million in just the first week of January, making it the largest winning streak he had had since Autumn 2009.

Last Thursday, Blom took to the tables against Ben Tollerene, finishing up $1.7 million, and leaving his opponent roughly the same amount worse off in losses. In more recent weeks his play has left him with not much to shout about, however, this match left him up there at approximately $4 million this year, just $300,000 ahead of second place player, Alexander Kostritsyn at $3.7 million. At the same time, poker pro Gus Hansen is down approximately $2.7 million so far this year.

So how has Blom got to where he is today? I think it is a combination of his aggressive playing style and the way he keeps his eye on the prize and plays some of the biggest tables out there. In March he took winnings of $1,769,775 after playing 54 sessions and 5,000 hands, proving that he is definitely here to stay.

Make sure to read the poker strategy tips at gamble.co.uk to improve your gameplay

Ruben Visser crowned winner of EPT London

Ruben Visser, 24, has took the crown as the EPT London Main Event winner, after storming ahead of the 647 other players in the event, and taking home the £595,000 prize. The 6 day Main Event made for some interesting following online, as players like Steve O’Dwyer, Theo Jorgensen, and Chris Moorman all placed in the final 8.

In what turned out to be a lengthy final day of the Main Event, Visser came out on top, and followed up with a tweet saying: “Thanks everyone for the support and congratulations the past days! Still feels unreal” 

I certainly hope to see a lot more of Visser’s gameplay after EPT in London, whilst other players like Mantas Visockis and Oluf Haglund both gave an impressive performance too.

This takes Ruben’s total winnings to a jaw dropping $1,977,887 since he first started playing for live cash back in 2008, and it isn’t the first time Visser has made the headlines with his poker strategy, after finishing as a runner up at the EPT Grand Final three years ago, and again in the Deauville Main Event last year.
I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Ruben Visser on yet another hefty win at EPT London 2013.

Full Tilt Poker Refunds To Begin Shortly

The Department of Justice (DOJ) have announced the appointment of claims administrators group Garden City Group (GCG) to manage the Full Tilt Poker (FTP) refunds to U.S Players, after accounts were frozen in 2011 (Black Friday).

FTP Poker US Refunds GCG

Claims Administrators Garden City Group are going to handle Full Tilt Poker claims

Full Tilt Poker Claims Administrator

Garden City Group were announced on Wednesday (March 13th) as being the people that are going to oversee the hopefully smooth return of funds to the US Full Tilt players that had their accounts frozen in 2011 following the events of Black Friday. The transition of funds has been a long time coming after the re-launch of Full Tilt Poker back in November 2012, where European players were granted access to their funds.

It is expected that the amount to be paid back to the awaiting poker players is somewhere around $150,000,000.

How to claim Full Tilt Poker refund

For any players asking “How do I claim my Full Tilt refund?” then the answer is *almost* simple..
Garden City Group (GCG) have set up a new website called fulltiltpokerclaims.com, where there is currently just an informative notice to those wishing to make a claim. Once the claims process begins, players will be able to submit a claim electronically.

In the meantime, the only information to go on is that “The victim claims process will begin shortly.”
This is still early days, as you aren’t yet able to register for e-mail notifications for when the process is going to begin. The “U.S. fraud victims will be able to seek compensation for their losses (“Petitions for Remission”).”  statement on the website suggests that the wheel is already in motion and people will be able to get some information soon.

I will keep up to date with any more news that is released regarding the Full Tilt Poker Refunds for US players over the coming weeks/months, as it seems after almost two years, American players may soon see their money again.