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The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2014: #10-6
It was another roller coaster of a year for poker news with dizzying highs and stomach-churning lows.
Every year PokerListings attempts to rank our 20 Best and Worst Moments with varying levels of success.
Is it impossible to categorically “rank” the numerous complex breaking stories and moments of the poker world? Probably yes. But that doesn’t keep us from trying.
Today we're taking a look at the best moments from 10-6. Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
You can also embrace your dark side and check out the 20 Worst Moments in Poker 2014.
10. Maria Ho Wins 2nd Last Woman Standing Title
Becoming the last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event is an incredible achievement for any female poker player.
Doing it twice? That’s bonkers.
It’s also exactly what Maria Ho pulled off this summer when she made it all the way to 77th place.
Ho does a ton for poker and of course teamed up with Tiffany Michelle to appear on Season 15 of The Amazing Race so it’s great to see one of the most well-known players pulling off such a remarkable achievement.
Perhaps the only downside of Ho’s achievement was that she actually busted earlier than in 2007 when she finished 38th.
The only solution? Becoming last woman standing for a third time! Or maybe just win it all next time. Third time’s the charm?
9. Martin Jacobson Wins Main Event, 4th in SCOOP
There’s an argument that it doesn’t really matter who wins the Main Event but if you’re into that kind of thing it’s hard to complain about Sweden’s Martin Jacobson winning $10 million in November.
Jacobson brings a lot to the table including unquestionable skill, savvy media skills and a great reputation in the poker community.
He’s also very health-conscious, which is a dramatic difference from the poker pros of yore.
It remains to be seen what effect Jacobson will have on poker in Sweden although that country has been poker-crazed for a long time anyways and Jacobson actually lives in London these days.
Ryan Riess, Greg Merson and Pius Heinz all had their moments but we’ve got high hopes for Jacobson.
8. PartyPoker Signs Multi-Year Deal with Devils, 76ers
It’s been a slow start for legal poker in the USA with Ultimate Poker closing and dwindling traffic in Nevada but PartyPoker scored a major coup by signing multi-year deals with the NJ Devils and Philadelphia 76ers.
This my friends is called synergy and hopefully these major deals are just a sign of things to come.
In the rest of the world online poker is a major mainstream sports sponsor with logos on mainstream teams.
Will that ever come to the USA? No one really knows but the PartyPoker deal was a step in the right direction.
Let’s hope for more of the same in the future.
7. Isai Scheinberg Wins UKIPT Side Event
Talk about a perfect moment.
Isai Scheinberg, the beloved founder of PokerStars, who pretty much bailed out everyone by agreeing to take over the assets of Full Tilt Poker, left the poker industry by winning a poker tournament.
Scheinberg, who’s notoriously private, decided to play the UKIPT event in the Isle of Man and ended up winning the High Roller event.
While the money - a paltry £13,850 - likely meant very little for a man who sold PokerStars for nearly $5 billion the memory will likely stay with Scheinberg for a very long time to come.
In many ways it was a goodbye to the Scheinberg family, who did a lot for the growth of poker despite being out of the spotlight for the majority of the time.
The victory also led to an epic photo of Scheinberg grinning ear-to-ear as the PokerStars staff crowded into the frame.
In the end it was clear that Scheinberg simply loves poker and poker loves him back.
6. Kurganov, Gruissem, Boeree Start REG Charity
A great deal of people in the poker industry sometimes questions what they actually contribute to the world.
Because poker is essentially a zero-sum game whenever you win that means someone else has to lose.
That doesn’t mean poker players can’t contribute to society in a positive way, however.
This year Igor Kurganov, Philipp Gruissem and Liv Boeree helped start one of the boldest charity initiatives in the history of poker.
The idea behind REG (Raising for Effective Giving) is maximizing the potential value of donations.
Some charities fall woefully short of impacting people’s lives despite big donations while others bring incredible value for small donations.
The goal of REG is to pinpoint the most +EV charities and funnel money in their direction.
The whole thing has a very “poker” feel to it and in this case it’s a good thing.
It’s incredibly exciting and may eventually change the way poker players are perceived in the mainstream media although that’s not the point.
Any poker player can join by pledging 2% of their gross poker winnings.