Poker News in Brief: Dec. 7-13, 2009

Mark Smith

The Full Tilt Poker Million VIII, PokerStars APPT Sydney and more high-stakes Isildur1 action dominated the poker world during the second week of December.

PokerListings was there for all the breaking news, but there were also a number of items that didn’t warrant a position on the front page.

Fortunately, as part of our ongoing Poker News in Brief feature, we’ve compiled a list of the lesser-known stories below.

This week we’ll look at Mark “Pegasus” Smith winning his fourth WSOPC title, Vanessa Rousso in a prominent men’s magazine, the main event of ECOOP V and more.

Fourth WSOPC Title for Mark “Pegasus” Smith

Mark “Pegasus” Smith made history this week by winning his fourth World Series of Poker Circuit title, tying him with Men “The Master” Nguyen for the most in circuit history.

Smith outlasted 566 players to win first place in the 2009 WSOPC Harrah’s Atlantic City $340 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event. He took down $34,649 for his efforts.

The victory is especially impressive considering the 57-year-old Georgetown, Kentucky, resident only started playing No-Limit Hold’em four years ago.

“Five years ago I had never even heard of No-Limit Hold’em,” he said after winning.

Smith now has five final tables at five different stops on the World Series Circuit over the last year. His last victory on the circuit came just last month during the WSOPC Horseshoe Indiana event.

PokerListings Players Cash at ECOOP V

The European Championship of Online Poker V was held on the iPoker Network last Sunday.

Online player Shevmouse outlasted 1,050 players to take down the first-place prize of $331,065, but there were also several PokerListings players who made the money.

Playing on CD Poker, LUDOVC finished in 103rd place for $1,891 while XxspeedskaterxX finished 118th for $1,891. Finally, William Hill player zzz219 made $1,734 for coming in 128th.

The total ECOOP V series awarded over $5.5 million over 14 tournaments in 14 days.

Vanessa Rousso Appears in Hustler

Vanessa Rousso

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso has made yet another mainstream media appearance – this time in Hustler Magazine.

Rousso was featured in an article called Poker Queen Shows Her Hand in which she shared some of her poker secrets. She did not appear nude in the magazine.

It’s been a successful year for Rousso, who finished runner-up in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, got signed by, appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and won the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo High Roller event for $749,467.

She currently sits fourth on the women's all-time live tournament earnings list with $2.3 million.

Haitao Wu Crowned GUKPT Champion of Champions

Haitao Wu won the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour’s final event of the year at the G Casino in Luton this week.

The Dundee, Scotland, resident overcame a field of 125 players to claim a first-place prize of £25,000 at the GUKPT Champion of Champions tournament.

The 30-year-old won his way into the tournament through a £500 side event on the London stop on the tour.

Wu, who often plays poker with his wife Kerry, was ecstatic after the win.

“Kerry has been very supportive, looking after our beautiful daughters when I have been playing,” he said. “We will have a great Christmas now and will be visiting China early next year, when my parents will meet (our daughters) for the first time.”

The 2010 GUKPT will begin with a £1,000 buy-in event in Bolton on Jan. 22.

New PokerStars Team Pro Tuesdays

PokerStars started a new promo on Tuesday where players will be actively rooting against members of Team PokerStars Pro.

Team Pro Tuesday will include two Outlast the Pros events where PokerStars will add $1,000 to the prize pool.

The $1,000 will be split between the players who manage to outlast every member of Team PokerStars Pro playing in that particular event.

“That makes for some interesting side rooting,” said Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.

“If you are one of the big stacks, you’re obviously hoping that the pros stay alive as long as possible so that you can get a bigger piece of the pie. If you are a short stack, then you want to see the pros go broke!” 

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