Star-Studded Field Expected to Compete for Guaranteed $3 Million Prize Pool
World Poker Tour will make its 10th visit to the five-star Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for one of the most popular events on its schedule when the WPT Borgata Poker Open begins September 16, 2012.
As the tournament where Daniel Negreanu won his first-ever World Poker Tour title, where Dwyte Pilgrim first made his presence known on the professional poker tour, and where Olivier Busquet claimed victory after overcoming a 19-1 deficit at the final table, the WPT Borgata Poker Open has a storied history of creating memorable moments and unforgettable champions.
Featuring a $3,500 buy-in with re-entry on Day 1B and a $3 million guaranteed prize pool, this year’s tournament promises to add a stunning new chapter to that history, attracting some of the brightest stars in poker to the Atlantic City boardwalk as they compete for fame, fortune, and the chance to have their name etched onto the prestigious WPT Champions Cup alongside Season X winner Bobby Oboodi who took home more than $922,000 for his first-place finish. Professional players who have already confirmed their appearance at this year’s tournament include Season IX Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger, WPT Champions Club member Will “The Thrill” Failla, and noted pros Brian Hastings, Daniel Buzgon, and David “Doc” Sands.
“Last year, this event made World Poker Tour history by attracting 1,313 entrants to this amazing tournament,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “This is a tremendous event at an incredible property, and we can’t wait to see which players step up to compete for this prestigious title against the biggest field on the World Poker Tour.”
As one of the largest poker rooms on the East Coast, Borgata spreads a full spectrum of lively Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Stud, and mixed cash games with action 24 hours per day and attractive buy-ins for every player. In addition, Borgata offers 250 table games, including Blackjack, Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, Baccarat, and more. Away from the tables, players can relax at Borgata’s world-class Spa Toccare and enjoy dinner at any of its amazing restaurants, including Seablue, Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille, and Bobby Flay’s Steak. In the evenings, clubs such as mur.mur, MIXX, and Gypsy Bar offer players the chance to party at some of the hottest spots on the Jersey shore.
All WPT tournament players are invited to join the WPT Royal Flush Girls at a Welcome Party at MIXX nightclub on Sunday, September 16. WPT Champions Club members and ClubWPT VIPs are also invited to join the WPT cast at Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille for a WPT Champions Club dinner starting at 7pm on Monday, September 17, followed by a player’s party at Gypsy Bar, starting at 10pm. The final table of this televised tournament begins at 3:30pm ET on September 21.
When WPT Grand Prix de Paris kicks off on September 10, the setting will once again be the historic and prestigious Aviation Club de France. While the World Poker Tour has made its Parisian home here for the last decade, the Aviation Club de France has been in existence for many more decades before that, transitioning through several different iterations to become the gaming club it is today.
When it was founded in Paris in 1907, the Aviation Club de France was a private and very confidential venue, dedicated solely to aviators. Over the years, the Club began to welcome more and more new members and, by the 1960s, had become one of the most prestigious places to see and be seen. The ACF, as members name it, is located on the Champs Elysées next to the Arc de Triomphe, a location as famous and historic as the Club itself. Nowadays, hundreds of members come through the Club’s doors every day to enjoy its gambling tables, including Poker 21 (Black Jack Parisian Style), Punto Banco, Baccarat, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and a large variety of poker cash games (from low to high limits) and daily tournaments in the Poker Room.
Chronology of Aviation Club de France:
1907: A group of aviators create a private club located on the Champs Elysées and inspired by English member’s clubs. Since that day, the name has remained “Aviation Club de France.”
1925: The ACF becomes a gaming club and membership is opened to non-aviators on the condition that they be elegant and well-educated to be able to sit down at the bridge or bacarrat tables.
1975: The Aviation Club de France opens its brand new gastronomic restaurant with five Chefs dedicated to members.
1995: The ACF is the first gaming club to welcome a poker room in France. Its increasing popularity reaches Rummy and Backgammon players who discover this yet-unknown card game.
1998: The Grand Prix de Paris poker tournament is a success with the world’s best players, and in 2003, the Aviation Club de France welcomes the World Poker Tour cameras, giving worldwide televised coverage to this prestigious international poker tournament.
2007: For the 100th birthday of the club, the ACF is completely re-designed, giving a very contemporary touch to the luxurious venue. Players and members are thrilled to be provided with even more comfort and services.
There’s only 24 hours left to bid on a WPT Champions Club Dinner at WPT Borgata Poker Open September 16 – 21, 2012 in Atlantic City. Here’s what the package includes:
The winner of the WPT Foundation charity auction and a guest will attend an exclusive, invite-only event usually only accessible to World Poker Tour Champions who have proven their skill at the table and had their achievement memorialized on the WPT Champions Cup. This private dinner will provide unprecedented, personal access where you and a guest will get to eat, drink, and trade stories with members of the WPT cast including the WPT Royal Flush Girls, and some of the game’s legendary players and personalities. WPT Borgata Poker Open is the biggest event on the World Poker Tour, and and past Champions Club dinners have attracted players including:
- Jake Cody – WPT London Season 9 Champion
- Shawn Cunix – WPT bestbet Jacksonville Season 10 Champion
- James Dempsey – WPT Five Diamond Season 10 Champion
- Will “The Thrill” Failla – WPT Legends of Poker Season 10 Champion
- Jonathan Little – WPT Mirage Poker Showdown Season 6 Champion and WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals Season 7 Champion
- Matt Waxman – WPT Grand Prix de Paris Season 10 Champion
- Dwyte Pilgrim – WPT Borgata Poker Open Season 9 Champion
Along with this amazing dining experience, the winner will also receive one night’s accommodation at The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa*.
If you want to rub elbows and share stories, dinner, and cocktails with poker royalty, this is a must-attend event.
* Standard double occupancy room, incidentals not included.
And then there were three. The most recent World Poker Tour Season X episode, WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open – Part 2, closed with only half of the players that started the episode remaining at the final table of WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open.
The episode started much as the last one had, with Shawn Cunix as the chip leader followed by James Calderaro and Darren Elias. Rounding out the bottom of the chip counts were Daniel Buzgon, WPT Raw Deal analyst Tony Dunst and WPT Player of the Year points leader Will Failla. And that was not a great place to be. By the end of the episode, we lost all three players at the bottom half of the leaderboard and James Calderaro took over the chip lead.
Although Failla hit the rail early in the episode (sent their by Cunix), he still remained in the WPT Player of the Year point lead and even stayed around to watch from the WPT Royal Flush Girl Social Bar (see video below). Elias then dismissed Dunst to bring the field down to four, but Dunst went straight back to his day job and into the booth for WPT Live Streaming and a Raw Deal segment. Calderaro then busted Buzgon to bring the table down to the three who would finish the episode. In the last hand, Caldreraro would hit a 10-high straight and parlay it into the chip lead.
Here are the chip counts to end Part 2:
1. James Calderaro – 4,865,000
2. Shawn Cunix – 2,720,000
3. Darren Elias – 1,995,000
For the new two Sundays at 4pm ET on ClubWPT.com, VIP members will have the opportunity to win a $5,000 WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Series Main Event package and the chance to win millions as the next WPT Champion.
One Member in EACH tournament will win a seat into the 2012 World Poker Tour Jacksonville bestbet Fall Series Main Event tournament running November 9th – 13th, 2012 at the bestbet Jacksonville poker room in Jacksonville, FL, where millions of dollars and poker stardom are up for grabs. The seat winner will also receive six nights accommodation and travel allowance for one person. This package has an estimated value of $5,000. If the cost is below that amount, the difference will be awarded to the winner in cash.
With satellites running daily, now’s the time to take your shot at playing alongside poker’s finest; you could be the next WPT Poker-Made Millionaire:
Date and Time for the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Series qualifier tournaments:
Sunday, September 2nd at 4:00PM ET
Sunday, September 9th at 4:00PM ET
Satellite times are:
August 26th – September 9th Daily*: 3:45PM, 5:45PM, 6:45PM 8:45PM, 9:45PM, 11:45PM ET
August 26th – September 9th Daily*: 12:45AM, 9:45AM, 10:45AM, 12:45PM, 1:45PM ET
This prize is NON-TRANSFERRABLE and CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THE 2012 WORLD POKER TOUR JACKSONVILLE BESTBET FALL SERIES EVENT AND LOCATION.
*For Daily Satellites, the top 10 from each daily satellite wins an entry into the Final Event. On the day of the event, satellites will run only at times prior to Final Event’s scheduled start time.
Note: WPT $3,500 Seat prize winner’s option. The winner (1st place) of this tournament in September may substitute in place of the seat, a one-time cash payment of $1,250. The choice of prize substitution must be made in writing and once made is final. See Official Tournament Rules for more information on this tournament.
The World Poker Tour’s cast and crew are gearing up for the first televised European event of Season XI, travelling all the way from the WPT Legends of Poker in Los Angeles, California to the heart of Paris, France for the WPT Grand Prix de Paris at the elegant Aviation Club de France.
One of the longest running and most prestigious events on the World Poker Tour calendar, this year’s tournament begins on 10 September and features a €7,500 buy-in with re-entry on Day 1B. The winner of this tournament will claim the champion’s share of a multi-million Euro prize pool and have their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup alongside past winners such as David Benyamine, Surindar Sunar, Theo Jorgensen, and Season X champion Matthew Waxman who took home more than €500,000 last year. Notable names who confirmed their attendance include WPT Champions Club members Michael Mizrachi, David “Chino” Rheem, Scott Seiver, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Marvin Rettenmaier, Davidi Kitai, Guillaume Darcourt and Matthew Waxman. Other recognizable faces include Tony G, Jason Mercier, Kyle Julius, Dan O’brien, Fabrice Soulier, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates and Dominik Nitsche.
Commentators Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten will be joined in Paris by anchor Kimberly Lansing and the WPT Royal Flush Girls who will be on hand during play down and for the final table, which will be recorded for broadcast in the United States on FOX Sports Net in early 2013 before airing elsewhere in the world. Mike and Vince will call the final table action on 15 September, while Jesse May will host WPT’s final table live stream starting at 4:30pm CET on www.WorldPokerTour.com. Live streaming will also be available in French, with Bruno Fitoussi in the host seat.
WPT Champions Club members will be able to indulge in a fantastic array of off-the-felt activities while in the City of Lights, including an exclusive six course ‘Menu Dégustation’ at the world-famous restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which faces the Arc de Triomphe and is only footsteps away from the Aviation Club de France. Seating for this dinner, scheduled for Thursday, 13 September, is limited, so WPT Champions Club members who want a memorable taste of France should contact Hermance Blum at email@example.com to add their name to the guest list. Later that evening, all players in this year’s tournament are also invited to join the WPT cast at a special, VIP players party at Queen, which is known as one of Paris’ hottest night clubs.
The action doesn’t stop after the WPT Grand Prix de Paris final table wraps up on 15 September, as World Poker Tours immediately moves to the Portomaso Casino for WPT Malta starting 16 September. Sponsored by WPTPoker.com and Goldbet.com, this €3,300 tournament, with re-entry on Day 1B, is easily accessible via a direct flight from Paris*.
Last year, Phil Hellmuth and Tony G engaged in a heated battle during WPT Malta and, with both players already confirming their attendance at this year’s event, sparks are sure to fly once again. Other pros expected to play include Fabrice Soulier, Jason Mercier, and WPT Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier, the only player in WPT history to win back-to-back events.
Players tuning into the final table live stream on Thursday, 20 September will be in for a special treat, as both Phil Hellmuth and Tony G have committed to calling the action starting at 2:30pm CET on www.WorldPokerTour.com, provided they are not playing at the final table.
*Direct flights available on Airmalta.com from €250 (subject to availability)
We start WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open – Part 2 on Sunday at 8pm and 11pm local time on FSN much like we started Part 1 last Sunday, with six players still seated at the final table and Shawn Cunix as the chip leader. While that hardly tells the whole story of what happened during Part 1, the fact remains that five players still need to be eliminated before we can crown a new WPT Champion, and this episode definitely gets us on our way to that end.
Here’s what the chip counts were when Part 1 ended:
1. Shawn Cunix – 4,300,000
2. James Calderaro – 2,375,000
3. Darren Elias – 980,000
4. Daniel Buzgon – 960,000
5. Tony Dunst – 505,000
6. Will Failla – 460,000
As you can see, Cunix has a monstrous chip lead, while the bottom half of the chips counts are pretty crowded under a million in chips. There’s plenty of battling between the short stacks and not all of them will survive the episode. One who definitely doesn’t is WPT Raw Deal analyst Tony Dunst, who returns to the booth to break down the skill battle between Cunix and noted online pro Darren Elias.
Away from the felt, the WPT Royal Flush Girls take a tour of the Jacksonville bestbet facilities and WPT Anchor Marianela Pereyra sits down with WPT Champion James Dempsey for the newest 5 Questions segment (see below):
It’s an exciting episode with plenty of poker action for all, so make sure to tune in to, or set your DVR for, Sunday night at 8pm and 11pm local time on FSN to see who’s left standing after the dust settles at WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open.
622 Entries into the Nationally Televised WPT Event Generate $2.1 Million Prize Pool
Many of the game’s biggest stars made their way to Los Angeles, CA for the WPT Legends of Poker at the world-renowned Bicycle Casino. However, in the end, it was Josh Hale who shined brightest, capturing one of World Poker Tour’s most prestigious titles and adding his name to the WPT Champions Cup.
Hale, an amateur player from San Diego, CA, entered the stacked final table as the overwhelming chip leader with 40% of the chips in play and a near a 2-1 advantage over the next largest stack held by professional player Greg Mueller, who finished in fifth place. Other notable pros at the table included Jeff Madsen, who finished in sixth position, and Ali Eslami, who had a roller-coaster session that saw him rebuild his stack from just one big blind all the way back to more than 4 million chips before his eventual elimination in fourth place.
With three players left, Hale found himself in second position behind eventual runner-up Max Steinberg and ahead of third-place finisher Raouf Malek. Hale played a patient game, picking his spots and staying out of trouble, which resulted in his entering heads-up play with just over 4.5 million chips versus Steinberg’s stack of more than 14.1 million.
Hale steadily chipped up against Steinberg and then took the lead when he rivered a queen-high flush on a board of 10c-10h-6h-4d-3h to best Steinberg’s two pair of 10s and 6s. From there, Hale never looked back, taking just 13 more hands to eliminate Steinberg and claim his spot in poker history.
“I felt pretty good about the way I was playing poker,” Hale said after his victory. “There were a couple [of] interesting tournament spots that I may have played wrong, just because I don’t play a lot of tournaments. But I think my overall, fundamental poker game was good. I was never really nervous.”
“My plan going heads up against Max was to get it in bad and then suck out, which I did. So I feel pretty good about that. I stuck to my plan,” he joked.
With 622 entries, the star-studded field included some of the game’s best-known pros, including WPT Champions Club members Erick Lindgren, Dwyte Pilgrim, Andy Frankenberger, Jonathan Little, and defending champion Will “The Thrill” Failla. Other notable names that helped generate a prize pool worth more than $2.1 million included WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock, Vanessa Selbst, Joseph Cheong, and David Williams.
The field also contained three ClubWPT online qualifiers – Matthew Carranza, Phillip Smith, and Efren Abustan – each of whom won their free tournament entries playing online at www.ClubWPT.com. Carranza failed to make it past Day 1 while both Smith and Abustan finished in the money, with Abustan taking home more than $18,000 after a deep run that saw him bust in 17th place.
World Poker Tour returns to Europe for its next televised tournament, as players head to the City of Lights for the €7,500 WPT Grand Prix de Paris at the elegant Aviation Club de France on the Champs-Élysées starting September 10.
Final Table Pay-Outs
1. Josh Hale — $500,000, including entry into the $25,000 WPT World Championship
2. Max Steinberg – $293,490
3. Raouf Malek – $192,400
4. Ali Eslami – $133,700
5. Greg Mueller – $97,100
6. Jeff Madsen – $75,400
When ClubWPT qualifiers win a package to a World Poker Tour event they not only get the chance to play for millions and a chance to have their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup but also the the opportunity to attend VIP events and hang out with the WPT cast and WPT Champions. All part of the WPT Experience.
The most recent qualifier to get the full WPT Experience was Matt C. at WPT Legends of Poker. Even though Matt busted on Day 1B of the tournament, he still had an amazing experience, but we’ll let him tell you about it himself in the video below:
After the interview, Matt headed out to Venice Beach to hang out with the WPT Royal Flush Girls, Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, Tony Dunst and WPT Champions Prahlad Friedman and Dwyte Pilgrim, experience the legendary Venice Boardwalk and shoot a little hoops with Tony and Prahlad.
The next morning, Matt took a trip to local golf course Rio Tinto to play a round with Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, WPT Royal Flush Girls Jeannie, Tugba, Brittany and Angelique. No word yet if he put any money on the game with Mike, but we’ll keep you posted if we find out.
If you want a chance to win a WPT package and get the full WPT Experience like Matt C. did, there are three upcoming tournaments available to do just that – two for WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Series and one for WPT Montreal. Check out the ClubWPT promotions page for more details and sign up for ClubWPT now.