World Series of Poker Europe

The Nightly Turbo: Negreanu's Bankroll Challenge, Alleged High-Stakes Poker Scam, & More

Daniel Negreanu

Why is Daniel Negreanu grinding the low-stakes cash games at PokerStars? We'll have that story, plus the latest on an alleged high-stakes online poker scam, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Parx Open Poker Classic saw just 47 players survive. For a look at the top pros still in contention, read our WPT recap.

How did the Sunday Majors play out on PokerStars? Who took down the biggest score? Find out in the Sunday Briefing.

Did you miss Sunday's World Poker Tour coverage on FSN? Read our WPT recap to get caught up.

When did Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov hit his first big score? Find out that and more in the latest Seat Open.

Last week, Marvin Rettenmaier became the first player ever to win back-to-back WPT titles. Matthew Pitt takes a look back at Rettenmaier's rise to the top.

Low Limit Grinder

In 2009, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu decided to try something new. The man with millions in poker winnings set a goal for himself to turn $10 into $100,000 within three years by playing ring games at PokerStars.

Negreanu began by playing $0.01/$0.02 and didn't allow himself to move up in limits until he had 500 big blinds at the next limit. Why was he taking on such a daunting task? "It's kinda fun," he said in his blog. "It will help me have a better understanding for these lower limit games and the best approach to beating them."

Daniel's challenge hit a lull shortly after it began. In fact, it's already well past the three-year cutoff point. But on Monday, Negreanu resumed the challenge by sitting at a $.25/.50 no-limit hold'em cash game with a total bankroll of $221.70. This time around, the challenge won't have a time frame.

Negreanu playing $.25/$.50 on Monday
Negreanu playing $.25/$.50 on Monday

Ironically, Negreanu began the challenge after learning about Chris Ferguson's $0-to-$10,000 bankroll challenge from 2007. Of course, we all know how Negreanu feels about Ferguson now.

For the list of rules and results from Negreanu's bankroll challenge, check out And, if you want to face off against Daniel at the tables, you might be fortunate enough to have him sit down at your table in the near future.

Another High-Stakes Scam?

Controversy seems to follow Matt Marafioti everywhere these days. This month, the brash poker pro from Canada is under fire from the poker community because of allegations he was involved in a hole-card hacking scheme with Swedish poker player and IT expert Samer Rahman.

The speculation began last week when an anonymous person posted an alleged Skype conversation between Marafioti and Rahman at The dialogue contains discussion about hacking the computer of Canadian poker player Will "molswi47" Molson so that Marafioti could view Molson's cards. "Lets def get molswi," Marafioti allegedly said in the chat. "I can access his computers I think and he will play me all day."

Marafioti and Rahman had different stories regarding the chat log. Marafioti said he and Rahman were friends but that the Skype conversation had been "doctored." Rahman, meanwhile, denied that he and Marafioti were even friends.

However, several photos of Rahman and Marafioti together were posted by members of TwoPlusTwo, confirming that the two maintained some sort of relationship. Marafioti's friend William Reynolds then added fuel to the fire by posting a series of Twitter messages sent from Marafioti to him about Molson.

There have also been connections between Rahman and Swedish player Mohamed Kowssarie, who was alleged to have stolen millions of dollars from Patrik Antonius and Johnny Lodden in a 2007 hacking scheme. Antonius accused Kowssarie of sending a Trojan virus into his computer to see his hole cards. Kowssarie denied the allegations earlier this year in a Swedish poker magazine.

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops. In the meantime, we recommend checking out the thread at

EPT Barcelona

Season 9 of the European Poker Tour kicked off in Barcelona on Monday. The EPT has teamed up with the Estrellas Poker Tour to offer a large series of events from Aug. 13 through 25 at the Casino de Barcelona.

The first event on the schedule doesn't begin until Tuesday, but the Estrellas Poker Tour began the festivities Monday with a €165 Super Satellite to the €1,100 Estrellas Main Event. The series opens with a €220 no-limit hold'em tournament on Tuesday, followed by dozens of events organized by Estrellas and the EPT over the next 10 days.

PokerNews will be reporting live from EPT Barcelona during the €5,300 Main Event, the €10,000 High Roller and the €50,000 Super High Roller, so keep it locked in to our Live Reporting Page as soon as the Super High Roller gets under way on Aug. 17. Several top pros are already confirmed for the event, including Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov, and Jonathan Duhamel.

Visit the EPT Barcelona website for the complete schedule of events.

Renehan Wins LAPT Colombian National Poker Championship

Robbie Renehan claimed victory at the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour Colombian National Poker Championship in Medellin on Sunday evening. The 29-year-old Irishman bested a field of 337 over four days and collected $148,709 and his first LAPT title.

Renehan began the final as one of the short stacks (less than 10 big blinds), but slowly built his stack before he eliminated Cristian Velasquez in fifth place, allowing him to close in on the big stacks of Weider Gutierrez and Raul Paez. Gutierrez, the last Colombian left in the field, was crippled by Paez with four players left and eventually bowed out in fourth place. Paez hit a three-outer on the river, much to the dismay of Gutierrez and his rail, and the Colombian collected $52,091 for his efforts.

Despite winning the massive pot against Gutierrez, Paez wasn't able to make good use of his new chips. Paez's stack was cut from 5 million to around 1.1 million (with 6.1 million total in play), and he moved all in preflop with {A-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}. Jayr Fregona called with pocket sevens, and his pair held up to eliminated the Spaniard in third place.

That left Renehan and Fregona playing for the title. The two traded the lead a few times, but it was Renehan who provided the final blow. On the final hand of the tournament, Fregona three-bet shoved for around 1.5 million with {A-Hearts}{8-Spades} and Rehenan called instantly with pocket queens. The board ran out {4-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}, giving Rehehan a rivered set and the victory.

Here's a look at the results from the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour Colombian National Poker Championship:

2012 LAPT Medellin Final Table Results

1Robbie Renehan$148,709
2Jayr Fregona$114,857
3Raul Paez$69,914
4Weider Gutierrez$52,091
5Cristian Velasquez$39,960
6Hernan Villa$ 31,394
7Ruben Ospina$ 23,549
8Luis Felipe Herrera$ 17,840

For a closer look at how the final table played out, visit the PokerStars Blog.


With the Olympic Games in London coming to a close over the weekend, Team PokerStars Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew took some time away from his hyper-grind on the virtual felts to create his own version of the games — the "nan-o-lympics." In his latest video blog, Lew showed off his talents at weightlifting, basketball, track and field, boxing, and other sports.

Needless to say, McKayla Maroney is not impressed.

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