“Rampage” Wins $500K in Poker Game, “Nik Airball” Loses $760K on Hustler Casino Live

"Rampage" Wins $500K in Poker Game, "Nik Airball" Loses $760K on Hustler Casino Live

Ethan “Rampage” Yau, who won a cash game career-best $523,000, made a sick hero call with ace-high to win a massive pot against Nikhil “Nik Airball” Arcot during Friday night’s Hustler Casino Live stream.

It was an evening to remember for Yau and one to forget for Airball, who lost a significant chunk of his previous $1.1 million HCL profits, according to the website TrackingPoker.com.

Arcot dropped $759,200 on Friday, about half of that from two hands — both failed bluff attempts against Stanley Choi and Yau. Things started off poorly for the HCL regular but then he began to pick up some momentum for a brief while. And then he bluffed off bunches to Choi.

In that hand, on a board of {2-Spades}{k-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}{10-Clubs}, Airball bet $30,000 with sqaudoosh, or {7-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}. Choi, holding {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} for second pair, wasn’t a believer and made the call. With $80,000 in the pot, the {2-Diamonds} paired the board on the river. Nik Airball couldn’t possibly win at showdown so he went for a massive over-bet, $165,000. That put Choi in the tank for a couple of minutes before he made the call to scoop a $410,000 pot.

Poker Vlogger Makes Epic Hero Call

Rampage took a bunch from Airball as well in a separate hand, which was arguably the most memorable pot of the night. Yau raised to $2,000 from the cut-off with {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} before Airball three-bet to $10,000 from the straddle with {a-Diamonds}{3-Spades}. Big Slick wasn’t going anywhere so a call was made.

The flop came out {q-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} and the preflop aggressor led for $6,000, once again receiving a call. When the {q-Diamonds} hit on the turn, Airball ripped off another bet, this time for $30,000. Yet again, his opponent called with ace-high to see the {8-Diamonds} on the river. Knowing ace-rag wasn’t going to be enough to win at showdown, he fired out one last bet, and it was a big one — $110,000. Within about two seconds, Rampage made the call with a better ace-high and collected the $313,000 pot.

“Oh my god. How do you snap-call with ace-high?” a frustrated Nik Airball asked following the hand.

Rampage, one of the most popular poker vloggers in history, would continue punishing Nik Airball, and the entire table for that matter, the rest of the night. He booked a $523,000 win on the session, his largest cash game profit ever. Yau’s greatest poker score overall, however, was for $894,240 when he took down the a $25,000 high roller during the December WPT World Championship series at Wynn Las Vegas.

Prior to Friday night’s show, Rampage had $89,000 in profits on Hustler Casino Live across 15 sessions. The win couldn’t have come at a better time for the live-stream regular. He’d recently written a blog post about a $400,000 downswing he’s been on since the Wynn score.

Bold Strategy, Cotton

bill klein poker

While Rampage was the biggest winner on the felt, but the Gutsiest Performance of the Night award goes to Bill Klein, who had the guts to show up decked out in Purdue University gear on the day his beloved Boilermakers became just the second #1 seed in NCAA Tournament history to lose to a #16 seed — Farliegh Dickinson University.

Not only that, but Klein wore the Purdue attire throughout the session even after he became aware of his team’s pitiful performance. Purdue (29-6), the Big Ten Conference regular season and tournament champions were a 17-point favorite against a 21-15 team that seemingly had virtually no shot at pulling off the upset, yet they somehow did, winning the First Round matchup 63-58 in one of the most shocking games in NCAA Tournament history.

Despite the historic loss, Klein had the guts to show up dressed to support his team and deserves props for doing so. Unlike his Boilermakers, the high-stakes poker regular won on Friday — $53,600 — perhaps a bit of consolation for him.

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PokerNews Launches NEW Online Poker Tournament Calendar

PokerNews Launches NEW Online Poker Tournament Calendar

Ever struggled to decide what online poker tournament to play? Don’t worry — PokerNews have made things simple for you.

That’s why we’re launching the new Online Poker Tournament Calendar that will enable you to easily search thousands of online poker tournaments from some of the best online poker sites, with handy filters for buy-in level, game type and start time.

You can then head straight to the client with a click of a button by clicking ‘Register’ next to the tournament of your choice.

Bookmark the Online Tournament Calendar today!

Ready for Jam-Packed Year of Online Poker

Whatever site you play online poker on, 2023 looks like it’s going to be another huge year of festivals, promotions, tournaments and more — from SCOOP on PokerStars, XL Series on 888poker and MILLIONS Online on PartyPoker, and the Online Poker Tournament Calendar will form a useful tool for all types of players according to Head of PokerNews, Mark Powell-Bevan.

“The PokerNews team have been working hard behind the scenes on the Online Poker Tournament Calendar,” he said. “And I’m excited that it’s finally being launched.

PokerNews Online Tournament Calendar
Use the calendar filters to sort and find your next online poker tournament!

“We’ve seen just how much readers have used the calendar on our sister website Assopoker – not just during big festivals, but also to find out the latest freerolls and best Sunday tournaments that are running.

“We hope PokerNews readers will make full use of it ahead of another jam-packed year of online poker.”

Plan Your Tournament Grind with the Online Poker Tournament Calendar

We know there are plenty of online poker sites for you to choose from, each with a selection of different tournament offerings, and that it’s important to sort one from the other.

So whether you’re playing on PokerStars, 888poker or PartyPoker the online poker tournament calendar will help you figure out what tournaments to add to your grind!

It can also help answer questions like:

  • What online poker tournaments are on today?
  • When do the biggest online poker tournaments start?
  • What are the best online poker tournaments on 888poker?
  • Where are the best freeroll poker tournaments?

Note: Please be aware that the PokerNews Online Poker Tournament Calendar is currently limited to ‘global’ poker markets only. It does not include ring-fenced or US markets such as PokerStars NJ and MI.

Simple to Use

There are four simple steps to using the Online Poker Tournament Calendar:

  1. Using the easy-to-use filters from the drop-down menu, pick the site or sites that you wish to play on. It doesn’t matter if you have an account on multiple sites, as they are all visible within the calendar.
  2. Next, you can sort the tournaments by buy-in, start time and guarantee to make sure you find the right tournament for you.
  3. Scroll through the calendar and pick the tournament that’s right for you
  4. With the click of a button you can head right to the poker site and register for the tournament
Online Poker Tournament Calendar Checklist
Name Surname
Will Shillibier

European Executive Editor

Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019.

He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.

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Vivian Saliba Shares Top Tips That Are Perfect for 888poker’s Daily PLO Mystery Bounty Tournaments

Vivian Saliba Shares Top Tips That Are Perfect for 888poker's Daily PLO Mystery Bounty Tournaments

888poker has quickly become the home of Mystery Bounty tournaments, having not long wrapped its first-ever Mystery Bounty Festival as well as introducing daily Mystery Bounty events.

Many players only think Mystery Bountys take place in the No Limit Hold’em streets, but did you know that 888poker also runs daily Pot-Limit Omaha editions of the new and exciting tournament format.

So, if you’re not used to the dynamics of PLO but are interested in getting to grips with it so you can get in on more Mystery Bounty fun, then check out these excellent beginner tips from PLO specialist and ambassador Vivian Saliba.

Play Connected Cards

The best starting hands in PLO are where the cards connect with each other. Holding double-suited cards gives you two routes to make a flush and you want cards that can also make straights easily, so something like {k-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}{j-Spades}{10-Spades} would be considered a good hand. You can make high flushes as well as the high end of straights.

Play Fewer Hands

Even though the rules are straightforward, you’ll need to study to become a good PLO player. Despite having more cards to play with, it’s actually better to play fewer hands.

Knowing which hands to open preflop will put you in a better position to make strong hands when you’re out battling on the virtual felt.

888poker Freeroll Poker Tournaments

Get Exclusive 888poker Freeroll Passwords Here!

Try to Make the Nuts

Play with high cards and big pairs but remember not to get too attached to those hands as there is a lot more post-flop play in PLO. Making the nuts in PLO is a lot more important than in No Limit Hold’em.

Bluff with Blockers

Although it’s important to play fewer hands and focus on making the nuts like the previous points, it’s essential to pay attention to potential blockers in your hands because there are so many cards in play.

For example, if the board has four spades and you hold the {a-Spades}, you have the nut-flush blocker. Watch out for these good bluffing opportunities should the occasion arise.

888poker Mystery Bounty Main Event Highlights How Special This Format Is

Double Check Your Hand

You don’t want to get to the river and have a surprise! Don’t be afraid to double-check your hand – whether you’re playing live or on the 888poker desktop client and mobile app – to make sure you have what you think you have.

Do Not Make These Five Common PLO Mistakes

Check Out the PokerNews 888poker Review

Now is the perfect time to join 888poker. If you have not already done so, remember to download 888poker via PokerNews and create your free account.

And be sure to check out our 888poker Review by clicking the button below to find out about all the amazing welcome bonuses the site offers.


  • PLO is becoming more and more popular each year. If you’ve been thinking of giving the game a go, check out these top tips, which are perfect for Omaha novices.

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Calum Grant

Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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PokerStars Gives Ontario Basketball Fans Red Pass Treatment w/ Stapes & Shaban

PokerStars Gives Ontario Basketball Fans Red Pass Treatment w/ Stapes & Shaban

Five lucky fans of the Toronto Raptors won an extraordinary trip to see their favorite team play in LA. This lucky quintet won this opportunity through the PokerStars Red Spade Pass program. As well as catching a pair of Raptors games, the Red Spade Passers also got shipped out to Vegas for a unique experience that included fine dining, Cirque du Soleil, and a poker experience with Joe Stapleton.

Stapleton MC-ed the proceedings along with PokerStars ambassador Arlie Shaban and Raptors commentator Jack Armstrong. The three celebrities hosted the Red Spade Passers throughout the experience, flying with them to Vegas and taking in the Raptors games.

This Red Spade pass event was “built with the Raptors in mind” according to a PokerStars spokesperson. “Fan insight told us that during these winter months in Ontario, Sports lovers look forward to a trip away or road trip to watch their team in warmer climates.”

Each of the winners won their passes in a different manner.

One player, Kiana, earned her place through the Raptors app. She was able to bring along her father who used to coach baseball. Both of them described their Red Spade Pass adventure as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Two other winners earned in the Raptors’ stadium as part of the Pass the Spade competition. This competition saw each section of the Raptors’ stadium compete to be the fastest to pass an inflatable poker chip from one end to the other.

The remaining two winners won their passes in a PokerStars freeroll spin and GameTime—a game played from home during the live broadcast of a Raptors game.

What Are The Best Ontario (CA) Online Poker Sites in 2023?

Toronto To LA To Vegas

The Red Spade Pass experience started in Toronto, Ontario.

The winners and their plus ones boarded their flight for LA on the Wednesday, arriving later that day. After snagging a bite to eat, the first stop was the Crypto.com Arena. Here, the Red Spade Passers watched Raptors lose to the Clippers.

C’est la vie, as they say in Canada.

The next day everyone was up with the lark to board a private charter out to Las Vegas.

Once the plane touched down, the Red Spade Pass winners headed to the poker room at Resorts World Las Vegas. Stapes was on hand to give everyone a quick course in Poker 101. Then the team hit the tables.

Despite being a poker beginner, Kiana was the ultimate winner, earning herself a Raptors jersey signed by her favorite player.

With the poker session settled, the Passers moved to the strip for dinner at Nobu, a showing of Cirque du Soleil’s O, and some after-dinner slots.

With a full day of Vegas shenanigans at their back, it was then time to return to the airport and to LA.

…And Back Again

Friday saw the Red Spade Passers rest up, taking a breather after all the excitement. Several side activities were called on account of weather, allowing the Red Spade Passers to hit the spa at their hotel and get their bearings.

The Passers then regrouped in the evening at the Crypto.com Arena to see the Raptors take another beating, this time at hands of the LA Lakers.

After the game, the Passers enjoyed LA’s famous food truck scene before heading back to the airport for a night flight back home to Toronto.

You can keep an eye out on PokerStars for more Red Spade Pass opportunities and you can hear Joe Stapleton talk about the LA trip, his comic book, and the upcoming US SCOOPs on the new episode of the PokerNews Podcast.


  • Five lucky fans of the Toronto Raptors won an extraordinary trip through @PokerStars Red Pass.

  • Five Ontario @PokerStars Red Pass winners got to spend time w/ @Stapes & @ArlieShaban. Details here.

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Saskatchewan Gambling Laws ▷ SK Legal Gambling Age Canada

Canadian Flag with Gambling Implements on Top

Saskatchewan online gambling is just the icing for the land-blocked Canadian province. Punters living there have had the opportunity to play at First Nation casinos for quite some time. There’s also a fully operational Saskatchewan lottery you might want to learn more about. Things are panning out for real money players in the province, giving a lot of topics to discuss. Pick one from the element above if you have something particular in mind.

Saskatchewan Gambling Regulators

There are two main institutions that dictate pace and direction regarding Saskatchewan online gambling laws. Those are the Indian Gaming Authority and the Liquor and Gaming Authority. Learning from the past, legislators have come up with a robust regulatory structure which strikes a balancing act between user safety and better employment rates in the First Nation community. Here’s more information on the two authorities we mentioned.

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

One of the gaming regulators in charge is the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). SIGA was instituted with the idea of creating employment for First Nation residents in the province, and it was a complete success. It’s worth emphasising that the mission of SIGA extends far beyond the creation of jobs.

The authority has a social responsibility function, releases annual reports, and regulates all First Nation casinos in Saskatchewan. As it is, SIGA became the operator of the only locally regulated online gaming site, though other Saskatchewan casino sites, regulated abroad, are also available.

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is a state-owned enterprise established to keep gaming operators and liquor vendors in check. SLGA enforces the law in line with the legal gambling in Saskatchewan, which also is the legal drinking age in the province. The regulator is the sole owner of all video lottery terminals in the province and licenses all other forms of real-money betting. These are the main obligations of the SLGA in a nutshell:

🏠 Location Regina
🕹 Controls Alcohol, Cannabis, Gambling
🧔🏼 Owns All Video Lottery Terminals
🎰 Regulated Gambling Types Bingo, Raffles, Casinos, Breakopen Tickets, Poker, Horse Racing
✅ Operates 70+ Liquor Stores

All that said, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will be reinstituted in April of 2023 under a new name – Lotteries and Gaming Saskatchewan. The new legal entity will take the reins on the same areas of expertise the SLGA is controlling now, while the SLGA will take a back seat and continue to have a say only on charitable gambling.

British Columbia Lottery Corporation

SIGA – operator of PlayNow.com, chose to lean on the expertise of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) by selecting it as its official vendor. As the name suggests, BCLC is a British Columbia organisation feeding profit back to the province to help communities and improve healthcare, education, etc. It’s also the operator who runs PlayNow.com in British Columbia. After a three-way agreement between the BCLS, the SIGA, and SaskGaming, the former was officialised as the operator of PlayNow.com

Big Administrative Building

Anti-money laundering, security, and compliance are at the core of the value system of BCLS. The corporation was established on the foundation of fairness and caring for players. How much the organisation cares about the impact of what it does is materialised in the form of GameSense – a dedicated player health service. GameSense educates players betting real money on sites like the best Canadian online casinos on the risk of problem gambling.

What Can You Bet on?

The big question everyone is asking themselves is what you are signing up for as a legal user of the gambling sites in Saskatchewan. If we look at the big picture, we see a well-functioning industry where the last significant update was the addition of legal online gambling in Saskatchewan. Fans of lottery games, sports betting, and casino games are all attended to. All persons 19 and above are eligible to:

  • Play online casino games
  • Play In-person casino games
  • Play poker tournaments and cash games
  • Bet on sports
  • Participate in the lottery

Legal Land-Based Casinos

Physical casinos are in the scope of legal establishments as per the Saskatchewan gambling laws. The advantage is given to native Canadian tribes who are in charge of six of the active land-based casinos in Saskatchewan. Only two are not under the control of First Nation people. Below we listed the legal casino facilities to visit in Saskatchewan:

  • Casino Regina (1880 Saskatchewan Drive, Regina, SK)
  • Dakota Dunes Casino (204 Dakota Dunes Way, Whitecap, SK)
  • Gold Eagle Casino (11902 Railway Ave. E., North Battleford, SK)
  • Moose Jaw Casino (21 Fairford St. E., Moose Jaw, SK)
  • Living Sky Casino (1401 North Service Road E., Swift Current, SK)
  • Gold Horse Casino (3910 41 St., Lloydminster, SK)

Casino Regina comes across as being the classiest of all six facilities cited above. It was built in 1912, and despite not working around the clock (it’s closed between 2 am and 9 am), the casino packs an impressive 1000 slot machines. This is also one of the few places where poker tournaments are organised.

Casino and Sportsbook Sites

The federal government approved single-game sports betting in August 2021. Sports gamblers, however, had to wait up until November 2022 for legal online betting to go live. PlayNow – the managed by SaskGaming site – is now the only online option for SK punters. It has a full package of betting features alongside casino games and responsible gambling functions. Online poker is out of reach at the moment, but you can find cash games and tournaments at some of the legal casinos in Saskatchewan.


Despite the gambling age in Saskatchewan being 19 years, buying lottery tickets requires only 18 years of age. Sask Lotteries runs the lottery in Saskatchewan and is a very basic-looking form of sports betting. Young-looking visitors are asked for a picture ID per the “ID under 25” policy the operator places on record. The games you can play include Daily Grand, Lotto 649, Western 649, MAX, Western MAX, Poker Lotto, and Pick.

Legal Gambling Age

The legal gambling age in Saskatchewan is 19, as in most Canadian provinces where games of chance are not outlawed. The age requirement is an important deterrent for the prevention of gambling addiction in Saskatchewan. This is why for milder forms of gaming, such as the lottery, the age requirement is lowered to 18.

Hand Gesture Telling You to Stop

All operators, be it the lottery or casino ones, are very local about the dangers of problem gambling and use every opportunity to advise players to seek help if they sense they need such. We want to take the occasion to do the same. Visit the site of Saskatchewan’s problem gambling help service or call 1-800-306-6789.


We keep hearing certain questions get asked more often than others like is online gambling legal in Saskatchewan? So, after doing our research, we were able to put together an informer response to the five most frequently asked questions concerning SK gambling laws.

1️⃣ Is gambling legal in Saskatchewan?

With two SK gambling regulators, it’s safe to say that activities of this kind are not only legal but heavily regulated. Take the lottery as an example. Even a benevolent act such as buying a lottery ticket is subjected to an age requirement. On top of that, only licensed operators can host games of chance.

2️⃣ What’s the legal gambling age in Saskatchewan?

The legal SK gambling age is 19 years. Attempting to bet real money at a younger age will constitute underage gambling, which is punishable by law. Both parties – player and operator – are both subjected to punishment in the case of an underage gambling count.

3️⃣ Can I bet on sports from Saskatchewan?

The most recent development in regard to sports betting in Saskatchewan is the launch of the online sportsbook PlayNow.com operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. It allows for betting on sports. The sportsbook even partnered with the Roughriders in order to promote its offering to sports bettors.

4️⃣ When was SK online casino gaming legalised?

On 3 November 2022, was the launch of PlayNow.com – the first legal online casino and betting site in Saskatchewan. The operator promises to upgrade its website with an online poker offering in 2023. The website is property of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation – known to be a licensed firm.

5️⃣ Who operates bingo establishments in Saskatchewan?

That would be the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gambling Authority. Since bingo cannot be played online, the mission of the SLGA is to provide SK residents with a clean land-based alternative. There are more than a dozen bingo halls in Saskatchewan following the compliance requirements of the SLGA.

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Barbero & Iqbal Early PGT PLO Series Winners; Negreanu Denied Trophy

Barbero & Iqbal Early PGT PLO Series Winners; Negreanu Denied Trophy

The first-ever PokerGO Tour (PGT) Pot-Limit Omaha Series is underway in Las Vegas and has attracted the likes of Phil Galfond, Eli Elezra and reigning Female Player of the Year Cherish Andrews. The PLO series consists of nine events with buy-ins beginning at $2,200 and climbing up to the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.

Some of the winners so far inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Casino & Resort include PGT newcomer Daniyal Iqbal (Event #1: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha – $160,000), seasoned high-stakes pro Nacho Barbero (Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha – $234,000) and Allen Shen, who denied Daniel Negreanu the trophy in Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty to win $91,290.

Read about the 2023 PGT Mixed Game Festival!

High Stakes PLO Action

The first event of the inaugural PLO series attracted 200 runners for a prize pool of $1 million. Among those who made runs extending into the money were Ka Kwan Lau (24th – $10,000), Maxx Coleman (16th – $20,000) and the always entertaining Ren Lin (12th – $30,000).

David Williams, who has won both a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and Circuit ring in mixed game events, finished in ninth place for $30,000, while Ethan “Rampage” Yau finished in eighth for $40,000 just a few weeks after the poker vlogger won two trophies in the same studio during the Global Poker Awards.

There were other big names at the final table, including four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen (6th – $50,000), but it was Daniyal Iqbal who topped them all after defeating heads-up opponent Roussos Koliakoudakis ($120,000).

Daniyal Iqbal
Daniyal Iqbal

Iqbal, who told PokerGO he is an engineer who mainly plays PLO cash games, had only a single Hendon Mob cash before entering the PokerGO Studio. Needless to say, his $160,000 score bests his 38th-place finish in last summer’s Venetian DeepStack $1,100 PLO Championship for $2,516.

Event #1: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results

  1 Daniyal Iqbal United States $160,000
  2 Roussos Koliakoudakis Greece $120,000
  3 Stanislav Halatenko Ukraine $90,000
  4 Eelis Parssinen Netherlands $70,000
  5 Peng Zheng United States $60,000
  6 Jeff Madsen United States $50,000
  7 Sean Troha United States $40,000
  8 Ethan “Rampage” Yau United States $40,000
  9 David Williams United States $30,000

In the next event, Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty, Canada’s Allen Shen defeated Daniel Negreanu during heads-up play to deny the fellow Canadian yet another PGT title. Shen earned $91,290 and Negreanu walked away with $69,810.

Other players who made up the final table included Joseph Cheong (3rd – $53,700), Isaac Kempton (4th – $37,590) and Ky Nguyen (5th – $32,220).

Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty Final Table Results

  1 Allen Shen Canada $91,290
  2 Daniel Negreanu Canada $69,810
  3 Joseph Cheong United States $53,700
  4 Isaac Kempton United States $37,590
  5 Ky Nguyen United States $32,220
  6 Nathan Zimnik United States $26,850

Later in the series, Argentina’s Nacho Barbero got through a field of 130 runners to win $234,000 in Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha that included Dash Dudley (16th – $26,000), Williams (15th – $26,000), Jared Bleznick (11th – $39,000) and Ben Lamb (8th – $52,000).

Adam Hendrix fell in third place for $130,000 before Barbero defeated Austria’s Jonas Kronwitter, who in turn took home $169,000.

Barbero has had an eventful and lucrative year, first finishing fourth in the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas for $1.5 million and then taking down a Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam event for $600,000 earlier this month.

Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results

  1 Nacho Barbero Argentina $234,000
  2 Jonas Kronwitter Austria $169,000
  3 Adam Hendrix United States $130,000
  4 Eelis Parssinen Finland $104,000
  5 Sam Soverel United States $91,000
  6 Josh Arieh United States $78,000
  7 Bryce Yockey United States $65,000
  8 Ben Lamb United States $52,000
  9 Noah Schwartz United States $52,000

Another highlight of the series was Sean Troha taking down Event #4: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo for $200,000 after getting through a field that included Negreanu (10th – $24,000), Yuval Bronshtein (4th – $80,000) and runner-up Michael Wang ($136,000).

Troha has had a strong series that also saw him finish seventh in Event #1 for $40,000 and 11th in the currently underway Event #6: $10,000 Mixed PLO / PLO8 / Big O for $25,800.

Sean Troha
Sean Troha

Still to come in the PGT PLO Series is Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty, as well as Event #8: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship and Event #9: $2,200 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha.

2023 PGT PLO Series Remaining Schedule

  March 17 Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty
  March 18 Event #8: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
  March 19 Event #9: $2,200 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha

A full list of winners so far at the 2023 PGT PLo Series is available in the table below.

2023 PGT PLO Series Winners So Far

  March 12 Event #1: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 200 $1,000,000 Daniyal Iqbal United States $160,000
  March 13 Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty 179 $895,000 Allen Shen Canada $91,290
  March 14 Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 130 $1,300,000 Nacho Barbero Argentina $234,000
  March 15 Event #4: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 80 $800,000 Sean Troha United States $200,000
  March 16 Event #5: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 112 $1,120,000 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $220,400
  March 17 Event #6: $10,000 Mixed PLO / PLO8 / Big O 86 $860,000 TBD TBD $206,400

Photos courtesy of PokerGO

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Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Showing Love to Poker’s Elephant Men

The Elephant Man

Elephant men

High stakes poker gets love and rightly so. Those players put a lot on the line. Whether it is their own money or their backer’s, vast sums are passed back and forth, a money dance on the upper tier of the great poker pyramid.

Mid-stakes tournament players get love and rightly so. They battle it out on the “felt of dreams,” where great multiples of the buy-in can be won. The amateurs and professionals, the recs and regs, the enthusiasts and the battle-hardened are all swimming in a sea of variance, their edge unrealizable but their optimism intact. 

The TV cash game players get love and rightly so. They straddle. They play Seven-Deuce. They splash the pots. They make high wire bluffs and calls that are scrutinized endlessly by the “chat pros.” They risk more than just their money. They risk their reputations as their characters under pressure are laid bare. 

they are poker’s innovators, inventing new games for a sparse audience

But what about the mixed game players? They sit in the dark corner of the casino or perhaps, if they are lucky, tucked away in a private room. Out of sight, out of mind, they are poker’s innovators, inventing new games for a sparse audience. Poker’s all-rounders, they have sacrificed specialization for the wonder of variety. Poker’s elephant men, they are the loveless. Until now. 

A five-day feast of miscellany

From March 19-23, Cardplayer Lifestyle and their affable leader Robbie Strazynski will be hosting the fourth edition of the Mixed Game Festival, a five-day feast of miscellany at Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. PokerStars sponsors the festival and they have added a €3,000 ($3,204) EPT Prague Mixed Game package to be awarded to winner of the H.O.R.S.E. tournament. 

The cash game action will be non-stop throughout the festival at stakes as low as $4/$8 with higher stakes available upon request. At previous Mixed Game Festivals, there was just one tournament to accompany the plethora of mixed game cash tables. This time, there will be two: a $260 Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament on Monday, March 20 whetting the whistle for the $260 H.O.R.S.E. Main Event on Thursday, March 23.

Beyond the EPT Prague prize package, the Mixed Game Festival has organized a trio of book signings to enhance the party atmosphere. On Tuesday, March 21, WSOP bracelet winner Dylan Linde will be signing copies of his book, Mastering Mixed Games. Then, on Wednesday, March 22, WSOP bracelet winner Chris Wallace will be signing copies of his book, Getting Started With HORSE. Meanwhile, Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra will be on hand to sign copies of his autobiography, Pulling the Trigger for a discounted price of $10.

Director of partnerships & PR at PokerStars Rebecca McAdam was emphatic about the importance of events such as this. “It provides players who love to dabble in a variety of games a home-game type atmosphere and environment, but of course with some serious competition,” she said. “We are very happy to be a part of it by giving the community something that continues the journey onwards after the Vegas shenanigans!”

On the other side of the pond

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, The Festival Series and its good-humored leader Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk are building up to their second event of the year in Malta. Satellites on Unibet Poker are already underway and pumping out €1,600 ($1,709) packages for a trip to the sunny archipelago from May 15-22. 

PLO, Sviten Special, and Chinese Poker tournaments peppered in

The Festival Series had a hugely successful stop in Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn in February. Ignacio Menedez took home first prize money of £38,595 ($41,214) in that one after a heads-up deal with Sean O’Donnell in the 609 runner £450 ($481) No-Limit Hold’em Main Event. However, a key feature of The Festival Series is the mix of formats with PLO, Sviten Special, and Chinese Poker tournaments peppered in. There is also some crossover with the other casino game tournaments: roulette, blackjack, slots, and even sports betting.   

Head of poker for Unibet Kris Bergvall highlighted the player-centric aspect of The Festival Series:

“Malta is one of Europe’s great poker destinations and Unibet Poker is delighted to be creating pathways for our players to go there to play a festival with a diversity of formats that prides itself on player experience.”

Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Q & A

VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to both Strazynski and von Zweigbergk to ask them a couple of questions about their respective events. 

VSO: These types of festivals are important in and of themselves, but what kind of turnout would you say is a success? 

Strazynski: So ours is a hybrid festival, incorporating both cash games and tournaments. I’m hoping to have at least 50 players show up for our Omaha8/Stud8 tournament, which I’d personally consider a decent turnout for a “random Monday in March.” I’d like to believe we’ll hopefully get double that for our Thursday HORSE tournament, which carries with it the added EPT Prague Prize Package for the winner. 

For the cash games on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I’d love if we could get three low-stakes dealer’s choice tables running simultaneously throughout.

we are still the new kid on the block

von Zweigbergk: Success is always when friends and players are happy with the events and tournaments that we host. In numbers terms, an increase in total entries versus the same tournament in the previous event means we are making progress and spreading the word. 

The Festival Series is not even two years old, so we are still the new kid on the block. Nonetheless, In absolute numbers, I would like to quote my hero Dr. Evil: “One million dollars!”

VSO: What’s your elevator pitch to players who play Hold’em and not much else to give the other games a try?  

Strazynski: While “Hold’em” and “poker” might appear to be synonymous terms, poker encompasses dozens of variants and I’d argue strongly that you’re not a “complete” poker player until you have achieved proficiency at the full gamut of draw, flop, and stud games. 

What I tend to love about the mix, beyond the games themselves, is that most games are played fixed limit, which means that it won’t “cost you your bankroll” while you learn each game. You can sit on the same $200 for hours at a $4/$8 game, having an absolute blast with the other players, while learning all the games, and never have to worry that your money will be gone in an instant. 

I can’t go back to Hold’em; it’s too boring!”

If that’s not enough to persuade you, I’d say that changing the game every orbit keeps the mind fresh and active. So many folks who have tried mixed games for the first time at our Mixed Game Festival have told me “I can’t go back to Hold’em; it’s too boring!

von ZweigbergkDo you like whining when your AA doesn’t hold up? I can guarantee that when you play PLO 4/5/6 you will enjoy it even more.

VSO: Mixed game players are poker’s elephant men. Discuss.

Strazynski: I don’t know about elephant men, but poker is full of characters and we are always looking for more. I promise that if you sit down at a table at the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival, you will find plenty.

von Zweigbergk: Hahaha, the mixed game crowd are definitely a special breed. I remember back in the EPT days when Finns started to have bigger pots playing Chinese poker at the bars or at parties after hours. We invented amazing games like Sviten Special, Thriller, The Pyramid, Indian poker, and we added gambling elements like three boards and point systems. We also introduced more joker or wild card variations. If you can imagine it, we played it! 

We may be elephant men but I think we deserve the center stage! 

The mixed game players are indeed worthy of love and thanks to Strazynski, von Zweigbergk and their ilk, they are getting some. In the words of John Merrick when played by John Hurt in “The Elephant Man”: 

“I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!”

The post Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Showing Love to Poker’s Elephant Men appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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French Star Moundir Zoughari Triumphs in Marrakech Poker Open High Roller

French Star Moundir Zoughari Triumphs in Marrakech Poker Open High Roller

In the early hours of Friday, March 17, the long battle at the final table of the €2,000 buy-in High Roller of the Marrakech Poker Open finally came to an end with the crowning of a well-known French figure, Moundir Zoughari, who took home the biggest trophy of his career as well as the €55,000 first-place prize.

With 124 entries recorded, the event created a prize pool of 2,157,900 MAD (€195,200). This was by far the biggest cash of Moundir’s career according to his Hendon Mob profile and his first significant victory on the live circuit against a strong field.

With four players left, the famous Survivor contestant even managed to eliminate all his competitors, not the least of which was recent EPT finalist Fabrice Bigot, cash game grinder Samiyel Duzgun and finally Swiss pro and multiple SCOOP winner Dinesh Alt in the final heads-up.

MPO 2023 High Roller Final Table Results

Place Player Prize (In MAD) Euros
1 Moundir Zoughari 600,000MAD €54,000
2 Dinesh Alt 400,000MAD 36 000
3 Samiyel Duzgun 258,000MAD €23,200
4 Fabrice Bigot 188,000MAD €17,000
5 Tristan Forge 138,000MAD €12,200
6 Kamal 108,00MAD €10,000
7 Karo Nuri 88,500MAD €8,000
8 Mohamed Mamouni 73,000MAD €6,500
9 Anas Tadini 60,000MAD €5,400

Follow live updates from the MPO €1,500 Main Event here.

Aggressive play, perseverance, and immense joy

Aware of the high level of his opponents, Moundir nevertheless did not give up and continued to play an aggressive game that paid off, until the very last hand, and also as it should be sometimes, a little help from variance.

On the final hand, Moundir four-bet shoved for about 30 big blinds with the {q-Spades}{j-Diamonds} and found himself snap-called by Alt with a better hand, {a-Spades}{k-Clubs}. The flop came {3-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and a {10-Hearts} on the turn giving Moundir more hope. The {j-Clubs} river gave him a straight and the win.

“There are emotions that can’t be explained. I never normally cry, but I couldn’t help it, it was too intense”

“What I’m feeling are the emotions of 10 years, 10 years of looking for that big win in a high roller, 10 years of investment in the professional and amateur poker scene, and days spent studying the game with those close to me,” he told PokerNews the day after his win.

“Winning in Marrakech has a special significance too, I got married here, I know all the family of the casino, and the field was difficult, it is enjoyable. There are emotions that can not be explained. I never normally cry, but I couldn’t help it, it was too intense,” he added.

Zoughari indeed had to face a tough final and go through many ups and downs. “I fell to seven big blinds, made some good calls, folded the queens when I could have easily been eliminated, and I was also helped by the cards sometimes, moments like that are unforgettable. I was aware that I was the fish at my table, which makes this win even more beautiful. “

The Winamax Team member lets Alt take comfort with 400,000 MAD (€36,000) while Duzgun completed the podium in third place for 258,000 MAD (€23,000).

MPO High Roller
MPO High Roller

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10 years of evolution and most of all of fun

“During all these years, where I have learned the most is in listening, perseverance, and discipline in continuity. Yesterday I met players who were stronger than me and I finally got to know their weaknesses, it was a real pleasure. I train about two hours a day, because I also have a busy family life!”

“I always give it my all, keeping my zest for life. And I’m happy to democratize poker and make it visible to the general public.”

And what’s next for the man who’s always teeming with projects?

“Of course, there is the promised land of every poker player, the WSOP in Las Vegas. I’m going to do everything I can to win a bracelet and I’m going to start preparing for this summer. I’m going to stay there for at least 18 days, work on my with several pros I know and maybe extend depending on my bankroll and my results.”

He added: “But before that, head to the Sismix with Winamax in May, which is looking huge!”

To review the table with commentary from Ronan Monfort and Quentin Lecomte, check out the video below.

The streaming of the Main Event will also be on the program today.

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Hard Rock to Serve as F1 Las Vegas GP Presenting Partner

Kambi Group to Continue Supplying SunBet with Solutions

Hard Rock International, the gaming and hospitality brand of the Seminole Tribe, has joined the roster of presenting partners for the inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix slated to take place on November 16-18 this year.

The Mirage Grandstands

The new arrangement with Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc. will allow Hard Rock to have its own Strip-adjacent grandstand structure for up to 3,000 fans, while the Mirage Hotel & Casino, which also offers a premier Strip vantage point for attendees of the race, will host a variety of F1-centric events and provide exquisite on-premises hospitality.

“We are very excited to partner with Las Vegas Grand Prix. Inc. and to create one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans and guests alike at the inaugural race,” commented Keith Sheldon, president of Hard Rock Entertainment for Hard Rock International.

From our involvement with the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and as an official team partner of Oracle Red Bull Racing, we’re thrilled to continue to grow our involvement in the sport and know first-hand what it will take to plan and execute an extraordinary race experience in the sports and entertainment capital of the world.

Keith Sheldon, president of Hard Rock Entertainment

Beginning Wednesday, March 22, all fans who have donated $7.77 to the Las Vegas Grand Prix Foundation to enter the priority interest list will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for The Mirage Grandstands during their designated time slot.

Remaining Mirage Grandstands tickets will be made available to the public via the Las Vegas Grand Prix website from Friday, March 24, while room and ticket packages for one of the most anticipated races of 2023 will be available for purchase via The Mirage website at a later date.

Match in Energy and Excitement

Chief commercial officer of Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc., Emily Prazer, hailed the worldwide popularity of the new presenting partner for the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and the excitement the Hard Rock brand brings.

Our event’s high intensity and energy are a great match for the excitement associated with the Hard Rock, and we look forward to providing fans with another opportunity to watch the race from an exciting vantage point on the Las Vegas Strip.

Emily Prazer, CCO, Las Vegas Grand Prix

Touted as the greatest racing spectacle on the planet, Formula 1 is set to arrive for the first time in the world gambling and entertainment capital and light up the Las Vegas Strip in November, providing fans of racing with an opportunity to witness an unforgettable race alongside the 3.8-mile track that weaves past world-famous landmarks, casinos and hotels right through the neon heart of the city.

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