Loni Harwood continues WSOP Circuit Run with 3rd Ring Win

Loni Harwood has been quite successful taking part in the World Series of Poker Circuit events, having just recently earned her third ring. The most recent win took place after Harwood took part in the 2017 World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club No Limit Hold’em Re-entry event. The tournament had a $365 buy-in and by the end of the tournament, Harwood was $61,156 richer and had earned her 3rd gold ring.

Harwood has already seen success during game play this year before the WSOP Circuit win by finishing third in the $1 million guaranteed no limit hold’em tournament that took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open. The $1,100 buy-in event provided Harwood with a prize of just over $110,000.

During the most recent WSOPC win, Harwood held a major chip lead when the final day of game play took place. 11.2 million chips were in play and Harwood held 7.7 million with only four players left to compete. It would only take an hour for the poker pro to earn the title after eliminating the three opponents.

The final hand would see A.J. Kelsall go all-in pre-flop and Harwood would call. Kelsall held A-5 while Hardwood was holding pocket deuces. The pair would hold up and give Harwood the WSOPC win. The poker pro was excited about the win and continues to show her skill when hitting the poker tables.

Final Results of the WSOPC event:

First Place Loni Harwood $61,156
Second Place Andrew Kelsall $37,772
Third Place Alex Nguyen $28,068
Fourth Place Keith Labarrie $21,111
Fifth Place Frank Muir $16,075
Sixth Place Lawrence Paden $12,385
Seventh Place John Depersio $9,654
Eighth Place Robert Georato $7,610
Ninth Place Debra Dorcy $6,065

The World Series of Poker Circuit continues and Harwood is sure to continue taking part in events in the hopes of securing a fourth gold ring.

Kevin Hart Loses Big at PokerStars Championship Bahamas

Comedian Kevin Hart is known for providing an audience with a premium comedic performance in the movies he stars in. Hart specializes in making people laugh and seems to spend his spare time enjoying the poker tables. Hart was spotted taking part in poker tournaments of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, though not enjoying a solid performance. The comedian has lost over $300,000 as he competed in three different events of the series.

It seems that Hart maybe should have spent a little time reading online poker reviews and practicing at the top sites like PokerStars before heading down to compete in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas events. Hart first entered the Super High Roller Event, paying the $100,000 buy-in to take part. He ended up buying in a second time, so he lost a total of $200,000 during this event.

His next try was during the No Limit Hold’em main event which had a smaller $5,000 buy-in, so not a huge hit for the movie star. The next day, Hart took part in another high roller event, this time the single-day version. This event had a buy-in of $50,000. Once he was eliminated, Hart bought in for an additional $50,000 but was eliminated yet again. Since the tournament offered only one re-entry, Hart was unable to buy-in again.

The PokerStars Championship Bahamas is far from over with several tournaments still remaining. Hart may stick around and try again to gain back some of the money he has lost so far while competing. There are still no limit hold’em events on the schedule as well as a pot-limit Omaha event with a $25,000 buy-in.

Hart spoke with PokerNews about his foray into the poker tournament scene, stating that he had a good experience competing at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas for the very first time. Hart said it felt good to be embraced, be accepted and be treated well. Hart even took to his Facebook page to post an interesting video about his experince at the poker series.


November Brings In Close to $5 million for Poker Rooms of Pennsylvania

The poker rooms in the state of Pennsylvania did quite well during the month of November, bringing in close to $5 million in revenues. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revealed that the money produced $4.87 million from players who took to the felt, with 225 poker tables operating for the month across the state.

The November 2016 figures were slightly higher than what was earned last year. For the month in 2015, $4.83 million was produced. Poker rooms have been operating in the state for a decade, having produced just over $360 million in the process. The top earner was the Parx Casino who brought in $1.42 million from the operation of 45 gaming tables.

Pennsylvania is steadily becoming the top state in the US when it comes to the gambling industry. By just looking at poker earnings for November, the state has taken the top spot, outperforming New Jersey and Maryland, two states who offer a nice selection of casinos and gambling facilities. New Jersey was just under Pennsylvania with $4.6 million in poker revenues but this was online and land based combined. Maryland earned only $2.67, almost half of what Pennsylvania was able to produce.

The amount that Pennsylvania was able to earn is astonishing, considering that online gambling is not available in the state just yet. Lawmakers are trying to pass legislation to get the ball rolling but efforts have been stalled. Based on how the industry is currently operating, the state would see success if they were to offer online poker as well as casino gaming.

It will certainly be interesting to see how well the state performs once legislation is in place. Pennsylvania is still a front runner when it comes to being the next state in the US to legalize and regulate online poker.

NJ Referendum Rejection Leads to Expansion at Pennsylvania Casino

While New Jersey will not be expanding casino gaming into the northern region of the state, this decision has opened up one casino venue in Pennsylvania to announce a major expansion. If gaming had been approved for North Jersey, the Sands casino of Bethlehem might not be considering the $90 million expansion they just announced this week. The casino will be adding more table games and slot options now that gaming is not a threat in any other area of New Jersey besides Atlantic City.

The Sands Bethlehem will now have to wait until state gaming regulators agree to the plans of construction proposed. The construction process could start as soon as January but approval will be needed for the addition of table games.

Currently in the state, there is a cap that allows casinos to only offer a maximum of 250 table games. With the addition that the Sands is planning, they would be over this cap. The state gaming board always expected that a casino would eventually ask to go over the cap and they assumed that the Sands would be the first to do so.

The expansion will include gaming options but so much more. More dining space will be added for guests along with public restrooms and back-of-house facilities. Sands Bethlehem President, Mark Juliano, stated that the casino is proud to continue their commitment towards reinvestment in the property by making this significant addition. Officials are planning on making the addition in the parking lot that currently sits at the north of the casino.

Since the addition will be placed in the parking lot, the parking area will actually be smaller. More parking will be provided within the property along with parking available in an area near the Hoover Mason Trestle. It will be interesting to see if approval will be provided and what exactly the Sands will be added to the property.

WSOP Announces Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen for Poker Hall of Fame Induction

It was announced today by the World Series of Poker that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen will be the next two individuals inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. The players will mark the 51st and 52nd inductees of the Poker Hall of Fame, with a formal ceremony taking place on October 26th at Binion’s Gambling Hall.

Binion’s Gambling Hall, located in the downtown area of Las Vegas, played host to the WSOP beginning in 1970 to 2004. The ceremony will begin at 7:00pm, with both men being honored during the start of the final table of the Main Event tournament on the 30th.

The public brought the list of inductees down to ten individuals and these finalists were then voted on by a panel which consists of the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame as well as those involved in the media. This vote determined that Brunson and Mortensen will be the next inducted.

Additional finalists who were up for the vote included:

  • Chris Bjorin
  • Humberto Brenes
  • Eli Elezra
  • Bruno Fitoussi
  • Chris Moneymaker
  • Max Pescatori
  • Matt Savage
  • David Ulliott

Brunson commented on being named an inductee by stating that it is a true honor to be inducted by his peers into the prestigious institution. Brunson talked about how he grew up going to the ceremonies and that he has always respected and admired the members. He considers joining the ranks an honor of a lifetime.

Mortensen also commented on being inducted, stating he has played the game for over 20 years as a professional. The game has given him many things that he cherishes and he has always wanted to be included among the great players of the game who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. He is very happy to be included in the company of such legends.


River Poker Series Main Event Won by November Niner

The November Nine are the remaining nine players who will return to the felt this fall to finish out the World Series of Poker Main Event. Each player would be expected to currently be competing in big events to rev up their skills for the WSOP competition. Gordon Vayo is one such member of the November Nine who has been hitting the felt and recently used his skills to take down a big event.

Vayo was competing in The River Poker Series $2,500 Main Event which offered up $2.5 million in guaranteed prize money. Vayo was able to outlast the competition at the WinStar Casino to claim the first place prize of $587,120.

1,054 players competed in the event and after a five way deal was made between the five remaining players, Vayo would find himself earning the title. The win marked the first time this year that Vayo was able to earn a final table finish, apart from earning a seat in the Main Event of the WSOP. When the pro comes back to compete in the WSOP event, he will be third in chips.

It is interesting to note that the River Poker main event finished up with a final five deal, most likely due to the big top prize of $1 million. The difference between the first place finish and second place was over $700,000 if players had decided to keep in line with the official payout structure.

In the end, Vayo took a huge lead and had over half of the chips in play when he decided to strike a deal for the final payouts. He was eventually given more than 20% of the total prize money based on the amounts agreed upon by the final players.

Final Payouts:

First                       Gordon Vayo                     $587,120

Second                 Benjamin Ector                 $344,826

Third                      Dean Bobel                         $225,048

Fourth                  Layne Flack                         $225,190

Fifth                       Grant Hinkle                       $207,669

Sixth                      Long Nguyen                     $70,054

Seventh               Jeffrey Duvall                    $40,893

Eighth                   Daniel Fuhs                         $32,623


Hollywood Park Casino to Open This Fall

Players will have a new venue in which to enjoy poker gaming by this fall in the state of California. Hollywood Park Casino is set to open in the coming months with the new casino offering a nice selection of poker gaming options.

The casino will feature 110,000 square feet of space and will offer 125 tables featuring poker. The venue will also include a restaurant featuring American fare. Located near the Los Angeles International Airport and Downtown L.A., the casino is sure to be frequented by visitors. Parking will be offered in a garage area as well a valet made available.

Deven Kumar is the General Manager of the Hollywood Park Casino who stated that the casino was trying to do exactly what the motto on the sign says, and that is to ‘Raise Your Expectations’. Kumar feels the casino has a great opportunity to attract new customers with what is around the area and what will come in the future.

During a media tour of the facility, Kumar stated that construction is around 95% complete. The move from the former site to the new facility is just a few weeks from taking place. The grand opening is currently scheduled for the 22nd of October. As the venue celebrates its grand opening a special celebrity poker tournament will be hosted on-site. The high limit poker gaming area will provide the backdrop for the event with 15 tables ready for the gamers to hit the felt.

Kumar stated the casino wants to do more tournaments and will be including high caliber options such as charity and celebrity events. As the venue moves forward, plans exist to place more emphasis on poker games. Players are only have to wait a little over two months to be able to enjoy all the poker gaming the new casino has to offer.

New Schedule Released for 2016-2017 WSOP Circuit

The World Series of Poker Circuit is a popular option for both poker pros and amateurs. Players love traveling to different states across the US as well as internationally to take part in unique poker tournaments. Each tournament offers something different, with a new location, varying formats and buy-ins. The WSOP recently announced the new schedule for the 13th season of the WSOP Circuit which will include 22 stops domestically as well as six international circuit stops. The WSOP also plans on adding eight more stops to the schedule for even more game play.

Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP, commented on the new schedule via a press release by stating:

“We are excited to be adding a couple new stops to the domestic tour this year, expanding the international tour and continuing to refine each stop to make them bigger and better. We want to continue to provide the opportunity for everyone to take a shot at becoming a World Series of Poker champion.”

The new season will begin on the 4th of August with the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino hosting the event. Based in North Carolina, players will be able to compete for several days with events spread out across the US and internationally until late next year.

Full Schedule of Events:

Series Dates Location
August 4-16, 2016 Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
August 18-29, 2016 Foxwoods Resorts (Connecticut)
August 25 – September 5, 2016 Planet Hollywood (Las Vegas Strip)
September 8-19, 2016 IP (Biloxi, Mississippi)
September 29 – October 10, 2016 Horseshoe S. Indiana (Louisville)
October 13-24, 2016 Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
October 27 – November 7, 2016 Harveys Lake Tahoe (Nevada)
November 10-21, 2016 Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
November 24 – December 5, 2016 Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
December 1-12, 2016 The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
January 5-16, 2017 Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)
January 19-30, 2017 Horseshoe Tunica (Mississippi)
February 2-13, 2017 Potawatomi (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
February 9-20, 2017 Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
February 23 – March 6, 2017 Bally’s Las Vegas
March 4-15, 2017 The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
March 9-20, 2017 Harrah’s Atlantic City (New Jersey)
March 16-27, 2017 Hard Rock (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
March 30 – April 10, 2017 Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Omaha/Iowa)
April 13-24, 2017 Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
April 27 – May 8, 2017 Horseshoe Baltimore (Maryland)
May 11-22, 2017 Harrah’s New Orleans (Louisiana)
TBD WSOP Global Casino Championship
September 8-20 CASINO CAMPIONE Campione, Italy
September 29 – October 9 SPIELBANK BERLIN, Berlin, Germany
October 27 – November 14 KING’S CASINO, Rozvadov, Czech Republic
November 3-16 SONESTA MAHO BEACH RESORT & CASINO, St Maarten, Caribbean
November 11-27 CERCLE CLICHY MONTMARTRE, Paris, France
December 2-11 ENJOY CONRAD PUNTA DEL ESTE, Punta del Este, Uruguay


Chris Ferguson Receives Poor Reception during WSOP Gaming

Poker players from around the world have been visiting Las Vegas, Nevada over the past few weeks to take part in the 2016 World Series of Poker. Amateurs as well as well-known pros have taken to the felt in the hopes of earning WSOP gold, earning top prize money and being cheered on for their efforts. While this has been taking place, there have also been a few boos from the audience as players who are not seen in a positive light try to compete in various WSOP events.

One of the most notable occurrences in the poker world is known as Black Friday. Back in April of 2011, this day marked the time when online poker would be no more in the United States, at least for a few years. Several poker players were connected to online poker sites that owed players money after Black Friday including Chris Ferguson.

Ferguson was a top player back in the day, having held the position as the Director of Full Tilt Poker in the past. Ferguson played well in tournaments and was respected as a contributor to the game in a variety of ways. However, his association with problems in the poker industry gave the pro a bad reputation and his appearance at the 2016 WSOP was not left unnoticed.

The pro competed in events of the series including the most recent $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Ferguson was actually able to make it quite far in the competition, earning a 4th place finish. When he made the final table, a series of boos and cat-calls begin, even heckling from those in attendance. However, there were also those in attendance who supported Ferguson and began to yell as well.

Ferguson has not been willing to talk about the incident at the WSOP or discuss the fiasco known as Full Tilt Poker, in the past. With such a poor reception during the WSOP event, it will be interesting to see if the pro continues to compete as the WSOP moves forward.

Online Poker Site Moves Forward via Native American Tribe

Yesterday, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma announced they are moving forward with their online casino gaming site. The first phase has started with the platform having been created, offering poker, pull-tabs and bingo. Residents in the United States can take part in the gaming options except individuals located within the state of Oklahoma. International markets are also not able to take part.

The new games such as poker are free to play. The tribe plans on offering a real money gaming site in the near future, possible as soon as August. The site is currently operating at PokerTribe.com. According to the tribe, the second phase will see more games added, with real money game play offered for international markets.

Currently, only three states in the US offer real money online gaming, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. The Iowa Tribe has two land based casinos that are located in the state of Oklahoma, one the Ioway Casino Resort and the other the Cimarron Casino. The tribe has close to 800 members.

In November, a ruling was made by an arbitrator that stated that online poker site would not be violating the gaming compact with the state of Oklahoma but the tribe did need to have the ruling certified by an Oklahoma City United States District Court Judge. The certification was given and the tribe was able to move forward with online gaming plans.

The tribe has worked with Universal Entertainment for software development and plans on completing phase three after the second phase, providing the gaming options for cruises and international flights. This could happen as soon as 2017.

The Arapaho and Cheyenne Tribes, also of Oklahoma, did have plans to launch pokertribes.com but were objected by the United States government, not being allowed to do so. For now, the Iowa Tribe will be the only one offering such gaming options.