We already knew Tony G was a high roller. But his recent heads-up match against a casino owner was simply incredible. We'll bring you that story, plus a brand new event on the World Poker Tour, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.
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Los Angeles Lakers owner and high-stakes poker player Dr. Jerry Buss passed away on Monday. Rich Ryan remembered his 2011 encounter with Buss and more in his latest Five Thoughts piece.
CardRunners instructor Grant "balbomb" Coombs is one of the most successful small-stakes online cash-game players of all time. For his latest video, Coombs analyzes the play of fellow CardRunners instructor Matt "mdorand" Dorand's during a session of $100NL.
The first episode of the World Poker Tour Season XI will air on Fox Sports Net this Sunday. Chad Holloway caught up with WPT President Adam Pliska to discuss the upcoming season.
Tony G Wins €1.85M Pot
If there's a cast-iron guarantee when Tony G sits down at a poker table, it's that he'll take every opportunity to play big pots. Tony's friend, King's Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik, has the same approach to the game. Throw the two high rollers into a heads-up match, and fireworks are certain to ensue.
That's exactly what happened this past weekend at the Czech Republic's King's Casino Rozvadov, which Tony calls the "best casino in the world." During a three-day trip to the casino, Tony G played a massive heads-up match against Tsoukernik that resulted in some crazy million-dollar swings.
Tony G and Tsoukernik began their match by playing €2,000/€4,000 pot-limit Omaha on Friday, Feb. 15. Tsoukernik was a €500,000 winner in their first match, but Tony got redemption two days later.
After falling behind another €1 million on Sunday, Tony G offered to jack up the stakes to €5,000/€10,000, and subsequently won a massive €1.85 million pot that allowed him to leave as a €300,000 winner overall. Tony explained the action to PokerNews on Tuesday:
"Basically, Leon just cracked it at the end and shoved it in blind. I ended up having aces, , against I believe. We just decided to let the last hand run out and it got me out of the hole.
"Playing with the owner of the casino, Leon, it's just a really great casino, and they take great care of me," he added. "It's also been profitable on top of it. Leon's a great guy, and I'm going back there in a couple days to start again."
After Tony returns to King's Club for more action next week, he'll travel to London for next month's $125,000 buy-in PartyPoker Premier League VI. Following a brief hiatus from the game, it's nice to see our fearless leader where he belongs — showing his heart and commitment at a poker table.
Read his full trip report at TonyGPoker.com.
WPT Returns to Canada
On Tuesday, PartyPoker announced it will be sponsoring two World Poker Tour stops in Canada in 2013. The Playground Poker Club in Montreal will play host to the WPT Canadian Spring Championship May 3 through 9, followed by WPT Montreal Nov. 29 through Dec. 5.
The WPT Canadian Spring Championship is a new stop for Season XI and will feature a C$3,300 Main Event. PartyPoker.net will be running freerolls and qualifiers for the Spring Championship beginning March 11.
WPT Montreal will be a key stop in Season XII and will showcase a televised C$3,850 Main Event. A high-roller event will also be added and is expected to draw names like Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu, Gavin Smith, and Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, all of whom played in the Main Event last year. The WPT's Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, Tony Dunst, and Kimberly Lansing have already confirmed their attendance for the event.
Last year, 25-year-old Quebec native Jonathan Roy won the inaugural C$3,300 WPT Montreal Main Event, earning C$779,710, the trophy. The event in November attracted 1,173 players for a total prize pool of C$3,387,930 making it the third largest WPT event in history and the largest WPT event ever in Canada.
For more, visit worldpokertour.com.
Several poker tournaments around the world wrapped up on Monday, each offering big prizes to the winners. Here's a recap of the action:
UKIPT Cork Main Event (€250,000 Guaranteed)
Thomas Finneran, a 35-year-old poker player from Galway, Ireland topped a field of 387 to take down the Main Event at the UKIPT Cork. After six levels of play at the final table, Finneran defeated Stephen McGrath for the top prize of €55,440 after the two players agreed to a heads-up deal.
“I’ve played a fair bit of heads-up and worked on my game, it’s important to do that as the difference between first and second is big,” Finneran told the PokerStars Blog after the win.
*Denotes heads-up deal
WSOP Circuit Event #1A: No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry ($1,000,000 Guaranteed)
The opening event at the World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club attracted the largest field of the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit season thus far. The $580 buy-in re-entry event had 2,539 entrants, making it the second largest major poker tournament ever held in Florida.
Lou Cheffy, a financial planner from Naples, Florida, bested the large field to collect $183,983 in prize money along with his first WSOP-C gold ring. The final table included David Nicholson, who was seeking his fifth WSOPC ring, and John Holley, who was looking to collect his third. Cheffy entered the heads-up match second in chips behind Joel Furney who couldn’t hold the lead.
Parx Big Stax Main Event ($500,000 Guaranteed)
The Big Stax Poker Series at Parx Casino ended Monday with police officer Robert Boyko winning the $1,500 buy-in Main Event for $134,269. The win came after Boyko and Patrick Halter agreed to an even heads-up chop. Because Boyko started the heads-up match with a significant chip lead, he was awarded the title and trophy.
*Denotes heads-up deal
Sully Erna's Return to Poker
Godsmack front man Sully Erna has made several appearances at major poker tournaments over the years, including numerous stops at the World Series of Poker Main Event. And now, after taking a long break from the game, Erna is looking to take his poker game to the next level while the band is on hiatus from touring.
"I was finding that was I was very impatient and playing crappy hands," Erna told ESPN this week. "I was losing patience every time I was playing. I had to take a break."
Erna has two cashes at the WSOP Main Event (2006 and 2007) to go along with a runner-up finish at a $5,000 buy-in side event at the 2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Surrounded at the final table by poker pros Shane Schleger, Andrew Rob, David Williams, and Mark Teltscher, Erna advanced all the way to a heads-up match against JC Tran, eventually falling in second place for $307,325. Big finishes like that have given Erna the appetite for more poker tournaments.
"I'm making my comeback! I've studied the game. I'm getting the itch to play poker again," Erna said. "In fact, I'm in Los Angeles today and I'll be playing tonight. I need to shake the rust off. I'm ready to go deep and win a lot of money!"
ESPN has more.
Charity Poker in Las Vegas
In case you missed our story earlier today, the parent company of the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower recently celebrated the official launch of the free-to-play acePLAYpoker.com with the first acePLAYpoker Charity Championship. Among the players competing for $5,000 in charity money were poker pros Liz Lieu and Tony Dunst, two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir, BMX pros Ricardo Laguna and TJ Lavin, and Bellator Ring Girl Jade Bryce.
Here's a look at episode one of the event:
Read more about acePLAYpoker.com here at PokerNews.com.