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Badugi on the Rise at PokerStars

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

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Badugi on the Rise at PokerStars

Badugi, one of the lesser known poker games, was recently added to the roster at PokerStars. In the past few months, Badugi has received a lot of attention at the online poker room and continues to climb the popularity ladder in 2009.

There are very few online poker rooms offering the game of Badugi, which certainly left the managers of Poker to wonder just how well it would attract online poker players. Any doubts may now be set aside as Badugi has drawn thousands of players just in the month of January.

Badugi is virtually unlike any other poker game. It could be compared to Low-Hand poker games, but the hand development rules are completely different. A player gets only 4 cards to work with, followed by three draw phases.

A Badugi hand may consist of no pairs and no same-suit cards, with the winner being the payer with the lowest hand. If, after three draws, a player has a pair or same-suit, the highest of the two is left out, leaving a 3 card (or less) hand. A 4 card hand always beats a 3 card hand, regardless of the numerical values. Aces are always low and straights do not count. A hand of A-2-3-4 off-suit is best possible hand, known as Badugi.

PokerStars offers Badugi in both cash games and tournaments, Multi-Table and Sit’n’Go alike. Badugi Ring Game stakes range from $.25/$.50 up to $10/$20, Fixed Limit only. Multi-Table Badugi Tournaments are offered with buy-ins of $2+$.20 up to $20+$2 in both Fixed Limit and Pot Limit. Over on the Sit’n’Go side, PokerStars has Badugi tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $1+$.20 to $200+$15 in Fixed Limit, plus Turbo Badugi.

PokerStars World Record Tournament

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 World Record Tournament A Huge Success

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, continued its usual astonishingly high rate of player traffic last weekend, but this time with an interesting twist. The online poker room closed out 2008 with a “Guinness World Record Tournament” that would attempt to break the record for the largest participation of any poker tournament.

The endeavor was not only a success; it attracted as many poker players as could possibly be seated. capped the action at 35,000 players, and every single seat was filled before the tournament got underway. This comes as little surprise as the online poker room required a buy-in of only $11 ($10+$1), paying a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000. A little basic match tells us that even with the seats full, the buy-in only covers $350,000 of the purse, topped off by an extra $150,000 put up by PokerStars. Any moderately seasoned online poker player will tell you the added value of such an overlay is always welcome.

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The odds of winning an online poker tournament whilst competing against 34,999 other players are obviously minuscule at best, but it certainly helps when a whopping 8,749 players are guaranteed to finish in the money bubble.

Surprisingly, the PokerStars Guinness World Record Tournament only lasted about 9-1/2 hours. With so many competitors, you would have expected a longer session. Then again, this isn’t the WSOP, where players invest $10k just to participate. With only $11 at stake, players could afford to take more risks – risks that paid off undoubtedly well for “stan34powa” who won the online poker tournament, claiming a top prize of $30,000. (See PokerStars Guinness World Record Tournament Final Table Results below.)

As if that weren’t enough to make the headlines for PokerStars over the weekend, the online poker room hosted several other highly valuable events that drew in astounding traffic. Eleven 10,000-seater SNG’s with $1 buy-in and $10,000 added were extremely popular, but then who wouldn’t pay $1 for a shot at $2,000? The cash table traffic piqued at nearly 37,000.

Another big traffic boost came from the special Sunday Million tournament, upped to a guaranteed prize pool of $2.5 million for this special occasion. With over 16,000 players taking part, the prize jumped well over $3.2 million before the participants converged on the tables.

It just goes to show why PokerStars is the world’s largest online poker room.

PokerStars Guinness World Record Tournament Final Table Results
1st - stan34powa ($30,000)
2nd - meiky777 ($20,000)
3rd - rumred14 ($15,000)
4th - Goldman007 ($10,000)
5th - Nekochan48 ($7,500)
6th - gustave44 ($5,000)
7th - n0ideahh ($3,500)
8th - alepolice ($2,500)
9th - ONE_TIMEE ($2,000)
10th - FuFish ($1,500)

PokerStars 2009 Caribbean Adventure

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

PokerStars 2009 Caribbean Adventure Attracts Boris Becker

Poker tournament gurus are being given even more ways to participate in the upcoming 2009 EPT Caribbean Adventure sponsored by It’s been announced that Boris Becker, former renowned tennis pro and current celebrity star team member at PokerStars, will be taking part in a special side-show event that will see someone awarded the $10,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event buy-in.

Seven lucky members of the online poker room will take on Boris Becker heads-up in a Battleship tournament. This means that they will be seated across the table from Boris, looking him directly in the eye as the hands go down, but there will be no real cards or live dealer. Instead, all players will play their usual “online poker” style on laptops – hence the ‘Battleship’ reference.

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Boris Becker commented in a company statement, “Battleship poker gives you all the fast play luxuries of online poker, but also allows you to look your opponent in the eye. It’s an exciting game to play and I’m really looking forward to competing against these players.”

The main prize for the Boris Becker Battleship tournament will be a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure prize package that includes the $10,000 buy-in to the Main Event. So far, four players have already won their seat to compete again Becker, all from North America: Michel Dion and Keith Anderson of Quebec, Canada, Itsik Oknin of Ottawa, Canada and Joshua Miloy of Oley, Pennsylvania, USA.

There are still 40 Caribbean Adventure prize packages up for grab at PokerStars. Satellites will be running through December 28th. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicks off January 5th, 2009, and will continue through January 10th at the Bahamas Atlantis Resort and Casino. Attempts Guinness Record

Monday, December 15th, 2008

PokerStars Attempts Guinness Record With Largest Poker Tournament

As the world’s largest online poker room, it comes as little surprise that would present its latest invitation to online poker fans around the world. On December 28th, PokerStars will attempt to shatter the Guinness Book of World Records by hosting the ‘World’s Largest Poker Tournament’.

To entice as much player participation as possible, the online poker room is putting up a massive $500,000 Guarantee Prize Pool with a cut-rate buy-in of only $11 ($10+$1). The seats are capped off at 35,000 players, and thus far, the poker tournament has received quite a bit of attention.

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If you do the math, you’ll find that 35,000 players putting up $10 each towards the $500k guarantee only comes out to $350,000, which means that even if PokerStars fills all of the available seats, the online poker room will still be shelling out an additional $150,000 out of pocket. Any seasoned online poker fan knows that an overlay equals added value to any poker tournament, especially when the starting price is so small to begin with.

The PokerStars World Record attempt will go down at 3:30pm ET on Dec. 28, 2008. Considering the excessive number of active tables, up to 3,500, the blind levels had to be set low, with PokerStars choosing a near Turbo-style increase of 10 minutes blinds.

We mentioned that PokerStars would be attempting to “break” the current world record for the largest poker tournament, but you may not remember is that last year, PokerStars already accomplished that monumental feat. Last summer, PokerStars drew the attention of 20,000 poker players with a similar tournament that put the PokerStars name into the Guinness book, along with ‘Lynna1’, who collected $20,000 for the 1st place win.

There are already several thousand players registered for the ‘World’s Largest Poker Tournament’, so don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of history. According to the PokerStars lobby, “This is an official attempt at the Guinness world record for World’s Largest Poker Tournament! $500,000 is guaranteed!” At only $11 to enter, you’ll want to register early, before all 35,000 seats are taken.

PokerStars SCOOP 2009

Monday, December 8th, 2008

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PokerStars Presents New Online Poker Tournament Series, SCOOP 2009

PokerStars has announced it will be hosting a brand new online poker tournament in 2009, the Spring Championship of Online Poker, readily termed ‘SCOOP’. Not all of the details have been released at this point, but the online poker tournament series promises to be both lucrative and highly popular.

Thus far, the only particulars to be reported are that the SCOOP series will be held in the same format manner as the WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker), but likely on a smaller scale; and that the buy-in has been unofficially set at $1,500+$75.

It has also been confirmed, according to the PokerStars web site, that some finalists in the WBCOOP (World Blogger Championship of Online Poker), set to take place on December 21st, 2008, will be awarded seats in the 2009 SCOOP Main Event.

The PokerStars WBCOOP 2nd place finisher will receive an EPT prize package plus SCOOP Main Event seat, worth $11,000. The 4th place finisher is rewarded with a SCOOP Main Event seat, plus Step 6 ticket, worth $3,675. The 6th place finisher will receive a SCOOP Main Event Seat, worth the full buy-in of $1,575.

PokerStars was established in 2000 and has since grown to overwhelming heights, now ranked as the number one online poker room in the entire industry. PokerStars averages more than 170,000 active, real-money players at peak hours, seeing the most volume in the tournament roster. With numbers like these, we can rest assured the 2009 Spring Championship of Online Poker will be phenomenally successful, as are most of PokerStars ventures.

PokerStars Mats Sundin

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

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PokerStars Awarding VIP Hockey Seats With Host Mats Sundin

Fans of NHL hockey and online poker will find an intriguing opportunity on the horizon as PokerStars is promoting a chance to win VIP Lounge seats at the New York Rangers VS Carolina Hurricanes game at Madison Square Garden, trumped by the hosting of Mats Sundin.

PokerStars is currently promoting a chance for three of its members to win this once-in-a-lifetime prize that includes travel to New York City to watch an exceptional ice hockey game with NHL legend Mats Sundin. As the newest ambassador, Mats Sundin will join the lucky winners in the VIP Suite at Madison Square Garden to watch the New York Rangers take on the Carolina Hurricanes on December 13 at 7pm ET.

The prize package includes $1,000 for travel expenses and spending cash, luxury hotel accommodations at the Manhattan Hotel and VIP Lounge tickets for the game. And of course, Mats Sundin will be joining the winners in the VIP Lounge for dinner.

For a shot at winning this awesome prize, members of PokerStars can take part in daily ‘Meet Mats USA Freerolls’. These Freeroll competitions began on November 18th and will continue through December 7th. The top 50 finishers in each qualifier will move on to the ‘Meet Mats USA Freeroll Final’, scheduled to take place December 7th at 4pm ET. The three top finishers in the final event will win the NHL prize package, while the top 20% of the field will share in the $500 prize pool for the tournament.

While Freerolls are always the preferred way to win such exclusive prize packages, members of PokerStars will also find daily satellite competitions, also running through December 7th. The buy-in for ‘Meet Mats USA Satellites’ is $2.20, with one player for every $11 in the prize pool moving on to the ‘Meet Mats USA Final’.

Another option is to buy-in directly to the PokerStars Meet Mats USA Freeroll Final on December 7th for $11. Members of PokerStars will find the daily qualifiers, satellites and final event available in the PokerStars Lobby under Tourney > Regional. Note that all tournaments labeled ‘Meet Mats USA’ are restricted to US resident members of PokerStars.

PokerStars Barry Greenstein

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

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Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein Tutors Poker Players

An extraordinary event took place over the weekend at PokerStars. It was not an excessive prize pool, nor an exclusive VIP only tournament, but rather a chance to truly delve into the mind of one of today’s most prolific poker pros, Barry Greenstein.

Deemed the Barry Greenstein’s “Masterclass”, members of PokerStars were invited to participate in a Frequent Player Point (FFP) tournament. Entry required 60,000 FPP, but those who did not have enough points were encouraged to watch the match as Greenstein explained the reasoning behind each and every move he made, showing his hole cards whenever possible.

Participants and onlookers were permitted to ask questions of the Team PokerStars Pro throughout the poker tournament, which he kindly answered as thoroughly as possible. With a $6,000 prize pool, Barry Greenstein declared that, should he happen to finish in the money bubble, all of his winnings would be immediately donated to the admirable charity, Children Incorporated.

Greenstein’s “Masterclass Eight Game” was a Single Table (Sit n Go) Tournament that that included instructional play of the following games: Limit Texas Hold’em, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit 7 Card Stud, Limit 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, Limit 2-7 Triple Draw, No Limit Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Razz.

Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein was the perfect choice for such an auspicious occasion. A 3-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Greenstein has cashed 37 times in the WSOP throughout his career. He also penned the best-selling poker strategy novel “Ace on the River”, which all participants in the Masterclass received as a gift from the poker pro. Greenstein is famous for handing out an autographed copy of his poker book to anyone who busts him out of a major tournament.

Online poker enthusiasts who missed the incredible display of proffered wisdom at PokerStars can relive the experience starting November 30th, when the online poker room will be replaying the Barry Greenstein Masterclass.

Keshner79 Wins Sunday Millions

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

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“kesher79” Takes Down PokerStars Sunday Million

With the finalization of the 2008 WSOP Main Event last weekend, online poker fans are geared up more than ever to take on some of the biggest poker tournaments on the Internet. PokerStars Sunday Million was certainly no exception as nearly 8,000 participants bought into the online poker tournament, jumping the expected $1.5 million prize pool to $1,599,800.

The tournament kicked off at 9:30pm Sunday and continued into the morning, lasting just over 10-1/2 hours. It was an action packed adventure from start to finish as some of the top poker pros took part, including Barry “barryg1” Greenstein and Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu.

In an interesting twist of events, the final table came down to only 8 players, rather than the usual 9. “LEstradioto” was eliminated in the 9th position before the final table was prepared, leaving the final 8 to battle it out for the top prize of nearly $200k.

Dwindling quickly, it came down to heads-up play when “mjluth” went all-in pre-flop with A-K offsuit against the K-Q offsuit of “kesher79”. The Q paired on the Turn, sending mjluth to the virtual rails in 3rd for $89k.

It took only 5 minutes to declare a winner once kesher79 and “rS.Wisdom” settled into one-on-one. With 300k/600k blinds, kesher79 raised 1.8m from the button. A call from rS.Wisdom brought the Flop, Jh-Td-2h. A check from rS.Wisdom inspired a 2.4m raise from kesher79, to which rS.Wisdom called. Then came the Turn, Ac. Another check from rS.Wisdom, and another 6m Raise from kesher79. The River, 2s, brought another check from rS.Wisdom, while kesher79 went all-in.

After only a moment’s thought, rS.Wisdom called the bet to reveal his slow-play of two pair, Aces and Tens; an excellent hand, but nothing compared to the Quad 2s kesher79 was holding.

For his amazing final hand, kesher79 was awarded the 1st place prize of $195,975, while rS.Wisdom exited the table proudly with a 2nd place purse of $132,143.

PokerStars $1.5M GTD Sunday Million Final Table Results

1st - kesher79 ($195,975.50)
2nd - rS.Wisdom ($132,143.48)
3rd - mjluth ($89,588.80)
4th - maverick8487 ($72,790.90)
5th - Mr_BigQueso ($56,792.90)
6th - orkim ($40,794.90)
7th - RiverCardRob ($27,996.50)
8th - jarocho123 ($18,397.70)
9th - LEstradioto ($11,198.60)

PokerStars Sponsors Zoe Gillings

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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PokerStars Sponsors Female Snowboarding Star, Zoe Gillings

UK-based PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, offered their sponsorship to Zoe Gillings last week. Gillings, Britain’s premier female snowboarding star, happily accepted the offer and will be sporting PokerStars branded gear throughout the upcoming season.

The news came just after Zoe Gillings returned to the UK after a fourth place finish in Argentina’s opening round of the FIS Snowboardcross World Cup. As Gillings looks to expand on her already impressive accomplishments in recent years, the Internet gaming company PokerStars will be backing her every step of the way.

“We are absolutely delighted to be supporting Zoe as she heads into another year on the World Cup circuit and begins to look ahead to the Winter Olympics in 2010,” expressed Tom Wyse, Marketing Director of PokerStars Download. “We are committed to supporting local sport and we hope our backing will help drive her towards her goals.”

Zoe was honored with the British Olympic Association’s Athlete of the Year Award in for her exceptional triumphs in the 2007/08 season, which included a 2nd place finish in the Japan FIS World Cup Snowboardcross finals, a 4th place finish in the Korean FIS World Cup Snowboardcross finals, and a 6th place finish in snowboardcross at Colorado, USA’s prestigious X-Games.

PokerStars EPT Hungary

Monday, November 24th, 2008

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UK’s Will Fry Takes 1st in PokerStars EPT Hungary

The European Poker Tour (EPT) made its first historic stop in Budapest, Hungary last weekend as Will Fry of Nottingham, England whittled his way through the impressive field of 540 competitors to take the 2st place crown and a healthy prize of nearly €600,000.

At 28 years old, Will Fry is a former casino croupier who plays regular low- to mid-level stakes cash game player, but after his sensational victory last weekend at the sponsored EPT event, that may soon change. Fry routed some phenomenal pro poker players in Budapest, including the 2007 WSOPE winner Annette Obrestad, EPT London winner Vicky Coren, PokerStars Pro Katja Thater and recent RPT victor Bertrand “ElkY” Gropsellier.

The Main Event of PokerStars EPT Hungary took 3 days to complete, culminating in heads-up action against Romanian Ciprian Hrisca and Will Fry as Martin Jacobsen of Sweden busted out in 3rd. Hrisca and Fry battled it out for the next 30 minutes, each determined to skillfully whisk away the EPT title.

The final hand came down to a battle of raises and re-raises until finally all the chips were on the table pre-flop. Fry revealed pocket Jacks while Hrisca turned over A-6 off-suit. Hrisca’s chances grew minimally when the Flop came down Td-Qs-6s, but the Turn and River came up empty, giving Fry the triumphant win.

Ciprian Hrisca walked away with the second place prize of €342,608 and a great deal of pride for his home country of Romania. Will Fry claimed the PokerStars EPT-Hungary Title and a monumental cash of €595,839 for his 1st place emergence.