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One of the best things about PokerStars is their creativity when it comes to rewarding people for playing on the site. Last year they started VIP Club Live, a series of parties for PokerStars players taking place in major cities around the world. This summer they brought the party to my neck of the woods: Vancouver.
Welcome to the Phil Hellmuth Brat-Master 2000, the very first interactive Phil Hellmuth-specific rap-and-beat flash soundboard. (Finally right?) The idea is simple: Use the Beat Selector to drop a fat beat, and then smash away on the Phil Hellmuth soundbites to spit sick Poker Brat flows. Open up our Scotty Nguyen Soundboard in another window if you want the Prince of Poker to make an appearance on your track. **The soundboard may take a few moments to load** Keep these two tips in mind: Wait for one beat to end before starting another. Hit lots and lots of buttons and find ways to tell a story using the soundbites.
So he's gone and done it. Layne Flack has a reality TV show. We've never seen much interaction between reality and Layne Flack before so this should be interesting. We've got the first episode embedded right here for you to watch so we'll let you draw your own conclusions. The show pretty much consists of Layne getting inebriated, gambling and ranting, all pretty enthusiastically. Yep, that's what he's like all right. Click through to the post page to see Parts 2-4.
To kick things off at the main event of the PokerStars.net NAPT Venetian a group of celebrities and poker pros played a $500 rebuy event followed by a red carpet. It was all to benefit Three Square, a charity based here in Las Vegas that helps the needy. In addition to the players who can be counted on for any Stars celeb event there were a few faces we haven't seen before. Christian Slater and Tony Hawk top that list. Slash appeared at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and he was back for this. We were hanging around the event for a bit but access was a bit restricted. We're going to leave it to the very capable Michael Kovac. These photos were shot by him and passed our way by PokerStars. As a special bonus the first person to stack Daniel Negreanu would take an electric guitar signed by Slash. Donnie Wahlberg did the deed and snagged the axe. He said after winning that his son had started playing and would love the guitar. Make sure you're on the post page to check out all the photos!
We were already stoked about heading down to Vegas on Thursday for the kick-off event of PokerStars.com's North American Poker Tour but we just got some news that makes it even better. T-Pain is performing at the private party on Friday night at Tao. A stampede of thoughts immediately filled our heads. What will we wear? How late will the open bar be open. But, most importantly, does T-Pain actually have any of his own songs or is he exclusively an auto-tune hook singer for other rappers? A quick perusal of youtube confirmed that he does in fact have a few songs of his own. Hits like "I'm in Love with a Stripper", "Can't Believe It" and "I Wear a Top Hat and Sing with an Auto-Tuner". (One of those might not be a real song.) We're hoping he just foregoes his own tracks and sings some sort of medley of all the hooks he's done but he'll probably just sing "On a Boat" and be done with it. Check back with us this weekend for the answers to the important questions, like what we finally decided to wear to the party and just how late the open bar was open.
There are plenty of poker pros in the seats at the 2009 WSOP Main Event but the only real celebrity we've seen is Ja Rule, and he's here to support Phil Ivey. Other players might have gangloads of supporters cheering every time they're in a pot but Ivey has Ja Rule. We're big fans of the lifestyle Ja Rule portrays in his videos. Jet skis, amazingly beautiful women, popping bottles of expensive drink, all good things. We think Ivey's down with that stuff too so it's no wonder these two hit it off. Anyway, one thing's for sure, if Ivey wins and Ja Rule's still around it's going to be a sick afterparty.
If you're anything like us you're going to be enjoying a few adult beverages as you watch this year's ESPN broadcast of the WSOP Main Event final table. To help you make the drinking part a bit more entertaining we've developed a drinking game based around televised poker. The game will work with any televised poker but for best results use it for final tables, since they show all full hands. The rules are simple and, if followed to the letter, will guarantee a drunkening to remember (or not remember).
We dug up another gem from this summer at the WSOP: Todd Brunson shotgunning beers in our kitchen at the PokerListings ranch. Not quite as awesome as Erica Schoenberg on the trampoline but still pretty good. This video was recorded during the epic birthday party we hosted for Lara Miller and it kicks off with a textbook shotgun demo from Mr. Brunson, complete with elevated finish and high-five with yours truly. Check below for the insider play-by-play. As a small aside, Brunson's wearing Roderick from POKERLISTINGS' media badge, not PokerNews as Lara says. Sadly some of the other participants were unable to learn the proper technique. Second up is Newby who pretty much blows the entire operation. Sorry Newby but it's true. First he punches the hole with the can vertical, then somehow takes like a minute to drink whatever was left. Third is our good friend, and pride of the French poker media, Benjo. He had the determination but didn't fully understand the process. Benjo forgets one important part, popping the top of the can. As a result he spends a good 18 seconds getting it done. I'm up next and I hold my own pretty well. I'm saying about 2.5 seconds. I get a nice little angle-shot in by yelling "Go!" while Todd's still punching the hole in his can.
Here at PokerListings.com we like to keep things understated but since someone else recorded and leaked this video of Erica Schoenberg jumping on our trampoline we have to show it. Our friends at WickedChopsPoker got their hands on this vid of the breathtaking E-Scho rocking backflips and just being her general loveable self at the last PokerListings party of the 2009 WSOP. We thought we liked her before but when she showed up at the PokerListings Ranch with a case of Fat Tire and a desire for some trampoline action we were fighting the urge to get down on one knee right then and there. Happy birthday once again to Lara Miller, who the party was in honor of, and special thanks for filming. PS: There's also a video of Todd Brunson shotgunning beers in our kitchen but you'll have to do your own sleuthing for that one.
PokerStars threw their WSOP party last night and despite all the razz-a-matazz PokerStars could muster, it was rap superstar Nelly who stole the show. The party was hosted by Rain nightclub at the Palms casino, and the entertainments were many and varied. Dancers revelled on the dancefloor to a musical medley of contemporary dance and rock tunes, their grooves accompanied by alternating gouts of flames, delivered by overhead jets and periodic sprinklings of foam.
The red carpet opening ceremonies for the Ante Up For Africa event was pure spectacle, the pinnacle of poker's existence as part of mainstream pop culture. Media coverage for the event was overwhelming, with anywhere from 200-300 people on the floor, ranging from photographers, television camera operators, public relations specialists and reporters. Brad Garrett was the first celebrity to come out and he literally took more than 30 minutes to pose for every camera and talk to every reporter on the carpet. Other celebs, like Ben Affleck, were over the whole thing about halfway through the carpet walk. Affleck ignored everyone on the second half of the carpet and made his way into the Amazon Room. The official after-party for the event went down at Pure Nightclub inside Caesars Palace, and it was a much more subdued affair than the actual tournament. The entire main room was roped off for the party, which featured Charles Barkley partying it up and two of poker biggest names getting a lot of attention. Barkley went up to the DJ booth at one point and gave a tribute speech about Michael Jackson, saying that the two were good friends, and making sure the DJ followed with a Jackson song. On the other side of the club, a group of about 8-10 young women surrounded a booth that appeared to be the life of the party, with the females taking lots of pictures and generally having a good time. At the center of the chaos? None other than poker bad boys Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth.
Describing the Black Belt Poker mansion as a mansion is somewhat deceiving; Mexican villa is a closer representation. After getting buzzed through the front gates of the compound, you walk through the double front doors and step into the landing area to be greeted by a grand piano, water fountain, wide staircase and three different escape routes. Route one leads to the billiards room, route two to the TV room, and route three will take you to the kitchen, where you'll find three full-sized convection ovens. Walking through the dining room with a table fit for 30, you walk out to the back yard. The buildings surround the pool in the middle; a pool which includes a waterfall, grotto, volleyball net and jacuzzi. Now add 30 flats of beer, 6 shifts of grilled food, a crew of English poker pros and you have yourself a party.
One of the perks of working at the World Series of Poker is definitely the parties, and last night we were invited to check out the WSOP kick-off party hosted by the always enchanting Lacey Jones at the new club at the Rio, ND's. In true PL.com fashion we fenagled pretty much the best table in the house, resplendent with free bottle service and an amazing upwards view of the hottest dancer in the house. Between recruiting trips to the dance floor and refills of the questionable yet perfectly-priced drinks we barely had time to put together this video. Enjoy!
What's better than a charity car wash to raise money for a worthy cause? How about the Sapphire strip club girls soaping up your ride for just $5 while you eat a snow-cone and watch? It sounded like the impossible dream to us when we heard so we threw some dirt on our Prius and took it in for a clean. As if this video needs any real introduction.
There was only one good thing that came out of my last trip to Bellagio: the opportunity to get together with some buddies and get crunked while playing $2/$4 mixed games at Treasure Island. I don't really like to go to clubs, so this is my equivalent of "getting a table." It's a blast, especially when you're trying to learn the games as you go along at a high level of inebriation. Amanda "Mandy B" Baker, Paul Wasicka, Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke, Jason "OUEmoKid/JP OSU" Potter, Mike "SirWatts" Watson, and my friend from AC named Leo "smoothustler" August joined my girlfriend Aimee and me for the game. Since my girlfriend doesn't read my blog, I can safely say that the highlight of the night was set-over-setting her in pineapple and stacking her. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
The World Series of Poker announced today that All-In: The Poker Musical, a theater production focusing on nine players at the final table of the WSOP Main Event, will debut at the Rio's Masquerade Showroom during this year's $10,000 World Championship. The mix of poker and Broadway-style musical is completely unprecedented and represents a new opportunity to showcase the human drama of the world's favorite card game.
I've been very busy since my last entry. Well, maybe not busy, but just occupied for the most part.
Lasting close to 14 hours, Day 1 of this year's WPT World Poker Challenge was anything but short. A field of 261 coughed up their $7,500 buy-in and packed into the tournament area at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino here in Reno but by the end of this marathon day only 80 were left standing.
It's a yearly tradition on the World Poker Tour. Invite as many random celebrities as possible to the Commerce Casino, ply them with liquor, chocolate and 30-minute blind levels, and let the madness begin.
Sometimes the life of a poker tournament reporter can find you partying it up with the likes of Daniel Negreanu in one of Europe's hipper nightclubs. Such was the case last night at Copenhagen's Vega.
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