Season 9 of Asia-Pacific Poker Tour scheduled revealed recently announced that the key dates for the upcoming Season 9 of Asia-Pacific Poker Tour were revealed. The tournament is going to start mid January 2015 and the last stop will take place in November, with a dozen of events in between.

Winners will take home significant amounts of money and the priceless golden bracelets, so there are plenty of reasons to check out the dates and make your plans for 2015 accordingly. Poker professionals are expected to attend in greater numbers, after more of them participate in 2014 than in the previous season. Australian players will probably represent the vast majority of those who sit down at the tables, but fast rising Asian players are also expected to tag along.

vegastexastInteresting enough, the previous two seasons saw a surge in the number of amateurs, with one explanation being that the buy ins are not prohibitive. There is an indissoluble link between the number of professionals who participate and how many amateurs find it worthwhile to spend a few hundreds of dollars. Despite the fact that they know that competition will be tough, regular players are always looking forward to playing the same tournaments as the best in this line of work.

Season 9 of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour begins with a bang on January 14, when the Aussie Millions Poker Championship kicks off at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. This is by far the most important tournament of all those held in Asia and one that has an impressive tradition, spanning over 21 events. Given the fact that it is sponsored by PokerStars, it is only fair to expect most if not all of their professionals to participate.

The same goes for some of the next stops of the APPT, with tournaments being held in Macau and New Zealand, with Perth and Sydney being also gracious hosts for these events. Two interesting events scheduled for 2015 are the APPT Manila and the Macau Poker Cup 23 which start in early August and conclude mid-September. Overall there are millions of dollars to be won at these tables and coveted trophies to collect, making the Season 9 of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour the highlight of 2015.

Check out the complete schedule for the next season of the APPT:

Jan. 14-Feb. 2 Aussie Millions Poker Championship
Feb. 5-15 ANZPT Perth
Feb. 27-March 15 Macau Poker Cup 22
March 11-23 ANZPT Sydney
April 7-12 APPT Seoul
May 13-24 APPT Macau
July 31-Aug. 9 APPT Manila
Aug. 28-Sept. 13 Macau Poker Cup 23
Oct. 8-20 ANZPT Melbourne
Oct. 30-Nov. 15 Asia Championship of Poker

Andre Lettau prevails in €5,300 Main Event at EPT Barcelona

The European Poker Tour Barcelona was bound to set new milestones and probably some records, as this was the 100th event organized by the EPT. Poker professionals were fully aware of the fact that this will attract thousands of players and they made sure that their plans included this prominent tournament. They were right to participate in the €5,300 Main Event which ended up bringing together a total of 1496 players and creating a prize pool of millions of dollars.

TrophyThe winner was certain to collect a total of more than €1 million, while the first to be sent to the rail at the final table having to settle for 10 times less. This explains why those who made a deep run in the €5,300 Main Event at EPT Barcelona found it impossible to relax and they kept pushing forward. Many poker professionals and even more amateurs were eliminated much earlier and some of them were players who won the ante package over the Internet, as a result of playing in qualifiers.

It goes without saying that the vast majority of players paid the buy-in out-of-pocket, so they did their very best to enjoy the top return on investment. Some of the most intense hands were played during the bubble stage and this is when some of the last poker professionals were eliminated. There were plenty of pros who failed to make the money and the fact that none of them reached the final table is surprising.

Andre Lettau, Samuel Phillips and Hossein Ensan made the final table with decent stacks and they were entitled to have high expectations. Each caused the elimination of one opponent and by the time three handed play began, they contemplated the possibility of a deal. It was Samuel Phillips who made the proposition and the fact that he had the biggest that at that moment, made it much easier for his opponents to accept the agreement.

Once the money was split according to how many chips they had in front of them, the American and the two remaining Germans were left to play for the trophy. Andre Lettau was no longer under pressure and despite the fact that he had the second stack, he was the more aggressive player and his strategy paid off big time. He doubled up ones and from that point onward there was no stopping to him, as he won the tournament and a corresponding paycheck of almost €800,000.

To get the right idea about how the final table looked like at the Barcelona Main Event, check this list:





1 Andre Lettau Germany €794,058
2 Samuel Phillips United States €1,021,275
3 Hossein Ensan Germany €652,667
4 Andrea Dato Italy €362,000
5 Andrey Shatilov Russia €286,000
6 Kiryl Radzivonau Belarus €224,500
7 Ji Zhang Germany €171,600
8 Slaven Popov Bulgaria €121,300

Slyde signs new sponsorship deal with the European Poker Tour

Less than one month from now, the European Poker Tour will resume in Barcelona and the 100th event will unfold in Catalonia. There are plenty of poker professionals expected to attend this competition, with most of them chasing the elusive victories in this famous tournament. It all begins with this one event, but until the end of the year, the series will travel throughout Europe, bringing together some of the best poker players in the world.

The prizes awarded are comparable to the ones won by the most successful players at the World Series of Poker, but so are the buy-ins. This has a deterring effect on regular players, who don’t have the resources or experience to compete against professionals who sit on a pile of money. Nevertheless, there is never a shortage of players at the EPT, with the series gaining traction every year and attracting more sponsors.vegastexas spread the news about Slyde signing new a sponsorship deal with the European Poker Tour. This is not the first time that the famous watch manufacturer decides to team up with the organizers of the most important poker series on the old continent. With so many players competing in this tournament and even more watching action live over the Internet, both parties involved have a lot to gain from this source of exposure.

Slyde is the official watch sponsor for the third year now and they will be providing the winners with a state-of-the-art product. Depending on the tournament they win, players will receive a lot of money and a ‘Black and Steel’ or a ‘Black and Rose’ Slyde on top of their payout. Wearing such a watch is a sign of distinction, similar to the one generated by those who are the lucky owners of a WSOP bracelet.

This is not the only partner for the European poker tour 2014, with Skullcandy and Suesswaren being more than willing to sponsor the circuit. Those who will be traveling to Barcelona will definitely notice the famous brands proudly displayed at the premises and the ones who end up winning events will enjoy their fine products. The Barcelona tournament begins on August 16 and will last for almost 2 weeks, being the first and most important milestone for players who frequently attend the European Poker Tour.

WSOP takes drastic action against Mike Matusow

If there is one poker players against whom it is expected that tournament organizers will take action, then this definitely has to be Mike Matusow. He has quite the personality and will never back off from a fight, picking up on the vibes and jumping in the fray whenever opportunity arises. The thing about Mike is that he makes valid observations, it is just that he sometimes he can’t refrain from saying the right thing on the wrong occasion.

What happened at the World Series of poker 2014 is a bit surprising, because Mike got penalized for a rather awkward reason. He was involved in the heads-up tournament, a competition that he dominated for many years and he felt quite comfortable at the tables. Matusow is rarely rude towards opponents, but he fails to contain his enthusiasm and complaints all the time when things don’t go according to the plan.Mike Matusow

This time was different because everything was going his way and the incident occurred at the end of a hand he won. Following a great play from Mike, he ended up winning a significant pot and as a result he felt the need to celebrate this occasion properly. He set out from the table and moved a few paces before letting it out, expressing his happiness in a loud manner that caught everyone’s attention.

Mike Matusow reaction was rather amusing and there were no complaints issued by fellow poker players, not even the one that lost the pot. Professionals and amateurs alike expect their peers to express their happiness in various ways, so they were not too surprised by this incident. The interesting part is that the organizers decided to get involved and the first thing they did was to analyze Mike for a full orbit.

This means that he could play a single hand for a complete round, until the dealer button got in front of the same player. In the latter stage of the tournament, such a radical punishment can inflict a lot of damage on the player involved, because it prevents them from winning a dime. Add to this that two blinds are lost in the process and it comes as no surprise that Mike was particularly upset by this decision.

Under normal circumstances, fellow poker players will refrain from taking sides in such an incident and many of them agree with the organizers. On this occasion, Daniel Negreanu and some of his peers decided that it is worth defending Mike, because they felt that he did nothing wrong. Granted he celebrated victory loudly and that might’ve broken the concentration of players located nearby, the impact was minimal and Matusow didn’t even get a warning prior to this sanction.

Nolan Dalla’s take on the best poker books

Not many poker players find the time to read inspiring poker books, in fact there are only a handful who still have this hobby. The reason for why their numbers are dwindling is that there are other sources of information, and most of them are far more effective. Instead of reading a thick tome that was probably written many years ago when online poker was not fully fledged, players can focus on various forums and interact with active professionals.

This doesn’t mean that reading poker books is completely useless, in fact Nolan Dalla emphasizes the importance of doing it on a daily basis. In order to simplify prospective readers’ mission, he made a list of the best poker books ever written and given his immense experience it is worth taking into account.Nolan Dalla

Big Deal:  One Year as a Professional Poker Player is the book that he considers to be the most important one, with the author being Anthony Holden. He is not only an accomplished writer, but also a highly intelligent person, who was willing to spend a lot of time to understand the intricacies of the game. The second best book as far as Nolan is concerned goes by the name of Poker Faces by David Hayano and it has been selling like hot cookies for more than 30 years.

The author focuses on the difficulties encountered by low tier poker players, without ignoring completely those few who made their way to the top of the food chain. Ghosts at the Table, by Des Wilson is another great book to read, with the action taking place between 2005 and 2006 when the author traveled nationwide. His valiant effort of collecting interesting tales that are worth discussing paid off and the result is an immersive book that is worth a place in any bookshelf.

Al Alvarez and his remarkable The Biggest Game in Town, is another title that is worth the time, with James McManus being another writer that Nolan endorses. In fact there are two books written by him, with one of them being published in 2004 and going by the name of Positively Fifth Street. Cowboys Full:  The Story of Poker is the second and both of them encourage players to take a look at a couple of interesting stories that are only tangentially related to poker and focus on iconic players.

PokerStars invites players inside the Shark Cage

Another page of poker history is about to be written at PokerStars, now that the Shark Cage competition will unveil its first winner. The event was announced some months ago and the original format of the competition, as well as the presence of prominent poker players should ensure its success. Among those who are expected to feature in the video soon to be released are Lex Veldhuis, Phil Laak, Tony Dunst and Jennifer Harman.

PokerStars invites players inside the Shark Cage

These are the poker professionals, but the other two players that will sit beside them to complete the shorthanded table are equally interesting. Everyone is familiar with actor Jason Alexander, who played in numerous movies including the blockbuster TV series Seinfeld. The 6th player is a skilled qualifier who outshined many of his peers in satellites, while also convincing the organizers with his funny and immersive video.

The selection process is very important to those who plan on participating in the Shark Cage competition, but viewers are more interested in its format. The name is pretty intuitive, as players spend time inside the cage for an entire orbit whenever fall victim to a successful bluff or when they are caught red-handed. The idea of sending a fellow player into the cage is appealing for two reasons and will provide poker pros and amateurs alike with the impetus to bluff more often.

To start with, the opponent held captive in the cage will be unable to play six hands, therefore he won’t have the chance to increase his stack. Furthermore, the experience itself promises to be quite amusing and nobody will want to find himself on the wrong side of the bars. The poker professionals are favorites to prevail, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the qualifier or the TV star.

PokerStars kept the interest for Shark Cage series alive by releasing teaser videos and those who want to learn more about this competition should check out This is nothing more than a sneak preview but more episodes will be released, and once the entire event comes to an end, players will get to watch it from back-to-back. Pressure is enhanced by the presence of a shot clock, so despite the fact that this is a live event, hands will be played at a fast pace.

Qualifiers run live at the online poker room and a total of 50 players who win satellites will be invited to provide a convincing tape. In order to collect free tickets to qualifiers, players are expected to create an online account and make their first real money deposit.

Dermot Blain wins 2013 GPI Irish Player of the Year

Dermot Blain wins 2013 GPI Irish Player of the YearDermot Blain is not a household name in the world of online poker, but the Irish player is one of the best at live tables. He brings loads of experience at the tables and is one of the most active players when it comes to live tournaments, which explains why he soared to the top of the GPI. Blain still has a long way to go to tie the leaders, but he is the most successful Irish player at least if we are to believe the Global Poker Index who awarded him the trophy in 2013.

Dermot Blain won 2013 GPI Irish Player of the Year after making deep runs in prominent tournaments and even when he failed to make the final table, he finished in the money. In terms of sheer amounts collected, Dermot is not one of the most successful players, but he is constant and gives opponents a run for their money. When asked about what tournament ranks at the top of his list, he said that finishing fourth at the High Roller in Galway to collect €11,000 is the thing that he was most proud of in 2013.

One of the reasons for why this tournament is cherished by the Irish poker player is that it was played on home soil, where Blain rarely misses a live event. He also acts as a Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador and goes to great lengths to promote events hosted by the poker company in Ireland, while providing his countrymen with an incentive to attend. The GPI list features for more Irish poker players who have been particularly successful in 2013, but a significant gap separating them from Dermot Blain.

  1. Dermot Blain – 430 points
  2. Peter Murphy – 260 points
  3. Marc MacDonnell – 236 points
  4. O’Shea – 235 points
  5. Sean Prendiville – 227 points

Irish poker players are trying to match his performance but so far they failed to come even close and it is unlikely for Blain to lose his advantage in 2014. In fact, he won the prestigious GPI Irish Player of the Year twice in a row and in this particular case, past performance can be used to forecast future results. He is going to participate in the UKIPT Dublin and Marbella tournaments this year and both events award precious points in the global poker index standings.

Dermot is a pot limit Omaha specialist and it comes as no surprise that he focuses mostly on these tournaments, without ignoring Texas hold ’em games. He played both at the Atlantic Ocean during the Full Tilt Poker’s Montreal Festival in October and was equally successful. The British Awards for poker players are quickly approaching and the fact that Blain ranks at the top of the GPI list increases the chances of him winning the trophy for Irish players. Only time will tell whether 2015 will be just as profitable for Dermot, what is certain is that we’ll see plenty of him at live tournament tables.

Is it worth paying for online poker training?

pokertrainingIn online poker, practice makes perfect, but there is no point in running in circles and learning from personal mistakes, when there are more convenient alternatives. Online poker training software and websites that provide qualified service to aspiring players have been around for quite a while and some of them are worth checking out. is at the top of the list for obvious reasons, as its reputation precedes it and it is affiliated to several professionals.

Players receive a five days free trial, which gives them the time to check out the comprehensive range of products and services before making a decision. There are not many poker training websites that provide you with this opportunity, not to mention that the monthly fee is not significant for someone who plays on a daily basis. Players are promised to push their career into overdrive by following the common sense recommendations given by the ones running these websites, which is alluring to say the least.

Not all websites require players to sign up and pay a monthly subscription, with some having a one-time fee that grants unlimited access to the websites resources. Add to this the fact that some of them are affiliated to poker professionals who post frequently and even interact with customers, and it makes perfect sense to set up a subscription when asked for one. A decent alternative to the aforementioned online poker training website is PokerSavvy Plus, with a monthly fee of $25.

It also offers players one week free to explore the services they offer and this website focuses almost exclusively on sit and goes and multitable tournaments played in 6-max format. Players are advised to read the description of each online poker training website, to determine which type of game they focus on. Assuming you try to build up a bankroll and don’t have access to significant resources, it might be worth checking out CardRunners.

This website proves particularly helpful for those playing freerolls often while providing educated advice to those who compete in heads-up tournaments. If you plan on playing exclusively or at least mostly sit’n goes, Sitngo Grinders is definitely a good place to start, while those who have already climbed up the ladder will find BlueFire Poker’s proposition particularly interesting. This website is dedicated to training highrollers and those who compete at high-stakes, which makes it less useful for beginners.

Shaun Deeb wins the Open-Face Chinese poker event at the PCA

Shaun Deeb wins the Open-Face ChineseTo say that Open-Face Chinese poker is a popular game would be an overstatement, but the truth is that this interesting variant of poker is gaining traction. Over the Internet, many professionals give it a try when they want to take a break from the daily routine, and amateurs are also testing the waters. What the game needs is enhanced popularity and the fact that there was a special event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, helps it greatly.

There was another player who benefited from the introduction of this unique competition and those who are familiar with Shaun Deeb’s actions on social networks are not surprised that he emerge victorious. He is widely regarded as the best Open-Face Chinese poker in the world and an authority when it comes to video tutorials. Unlike other poker professionals who are struggling to understand and master the game, Shaun is already teaching others how to maximize their profits.

He made powerful remarks over the course of time and those who had any doubts about his ability to actually play this game are now convinced. He cruised to an easy victory in the 2014 PCA Event #7: $2,000 Open-Face Chinese and force his accomplishment collected $32,000. The most dangerous opponents were Paul Volpe and Yu Benjamin who made the final table and played as aggressively as they could, but in the end they had to acknowledge their limitations.

Neither of them were frustrated by the fact that they finished second, respectively third as they admit Shaun superiority at Open-Face Chinese poker. Only seven players made the final table in this event and this is how the standings looked like when the tournament came to an end:

  1. Shaun Deeb – $32,380
  2. Paul Volpe –  $23,400
  3. Yu Benjamin – $14,900
  4. Michael Schwartz – $11,320
  5. Jason Mercier – $8,740
  6. Jonathan Turner – $6,680
  7. Michael Vela – $5,400

Latin American Poker Tour 2014 dates announced

vegastexasThere is no shortage of poker tournaments hosted by casinos in South America and 2014 begins with the highly anticipated PokerStars Caribbean adventure. Another major circuit is the Latin American Poker Tour, with stops scheduled throughout the year and official dates have finally been released. For the time being, we know with certainty that Brazil, Chile, Peru, Panama, Uruguay and another location that is yet to be disclosed, will be hosting the LAPT.

The circuit is already immensely popular among poker professionals from all over the world and the fact that it reached its seven consecutive edition is the best proof. Each year, the number of players who attended grew and in 2013 more players than ever before paid the buy-in. LAPT is expected to set new records this year and the prize pool will probably exceed $10 million, with players from at least 70 countries expected to attend.

Compared to 2012, last year, 25% more players flew to one of the six locations in South America and some lingered many days after the tournament has concluded. The organizers took note of what players expected from this circuit and have included a 500 NLH Freeze-Out event as well as setting the buy-in at $3000 for the Grand Final and $1700 for regular tournaments. The stakes are as high as they get and not surprisingly the payouts are equally generous, so highrollers will feel at home in South America.

Chile, Viña del Mar Enjoy Casino and Resort will host the first tournament in mid-March, while in the final days of May and the beginning of June, action shifts to Brazil, São Paulo at the Holiday Inn Anhembi. Panama City, Panama Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino is the place to be starting on July 23, as the tournament has a buy-in of $1700 and concludes on July 27.

Another location that is yet to be announced will host the fourth event in the Latin American Poker Tour 2014, while Lima, Peru Atlantic City Casino will be the next stop. The most important tournament will be hosted by Mantra Resort, Spa and Casino and the buy-in for LAPT Grand Final Punta del Este is $3000. The decision to organize different tournaments in six different countries in South America means that those who plan on traveling more in 2014 will find this to be the perfect chance to enjoy the best of both worlds.