Poker News in Brief: Sep. 13-19

Olivier Busquet
Olivier Busquet

With the 2010 WSOPE in full swing, the poker world was buzzing this week.

It was a very busy week for poker news as Phil Laak won his first bracelet, APPT Auckland began in New Zealand and Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies went on a warpath in the high stakes games on Full Tilt Poker.

Because the PokerListings’ news team is fully entrenched in London, there were numerous lesser-known stories that could have been missed altogether.

Fortunately we’ve gathered some of those stories in our ongoing Poker News in Brief feature below.

This week we’ll take a look at thousands of players hitting the felt at Commerce Casino, the start of the WPT Borgata Poker Open, Anders Berg winning his second WCOOP title and more.

WPT Borgata Poker Open Begins

With most of the poker world focused on London, the WPT Borgata Poker Open kicked off on Saturday.

A total of 331 players bought in on Day 1a including Tom “kingsofcards” Marchese, Allen Bari, Steve Zolotow, Mike Leah, Dan O’Brien and last year’s winner Olivier Busquet. Day 1b starts today.

Last year the WPT lowered the buy-in from $10,000 to $3,500 and as a result the field doubled with 1,018 runners.

Looking to build on that trend the buy-in remains the same as last year and organizers are hoping for record numbers.

The final table is set to take place this Thursday.

Anders "Donald" Berg Wins WCOOP 34

Norwegian poker pro Anders “Donald” Berg is the latest player to become a two-time WCOOP bracelet winner.

Berg, who is a member of Team PokerStars Online, outlasted a field of 446 players to win the $320 buy-in Limit Triple Draw 2-7 event this week. He took home $25,890 for his efforts in the contest.

The PhD-holder has been playing online poker since the early days and has had some success on the European Poker Tour, coming 37th place in the 2008 EPT Grand Final.

SpadeClub Shuts Down

CardPlayer Magazine’s brief experiment with online poker has come to an end.

The subscription-based SpadeClub closed its doors this week and will redirect all its existing players to the Zen Entertainment Network.

SpadeClub offered players the chance to take part in numerous tournaments and cash games for a monthly fee of $20 or $180 a year.

Subscription poker sites are able to operate freely in the U.S. because players do not wager real money. Despite that fact they have never seriously challenged the popularity of traditional poker sites.

New Celebs for Million Dollar Challenge

PokerStars announced a new batch of celebrities for its Million Dollar Challenge this week.

The new season, which begins today, will see Super Bowl Champion John Elway, Dancing with the Stars Brooke Burke, NBA Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton and Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood all take to the felt in the heads-up competition.

Each week contestants on the show will attempt to beat one of the celebrities in a heads-up match for a shot at playing a Team PokerStars Pro for $25,000.

If a contestant beats the Team PokerStars Pro as well, they will have a chance to play Daniel Negreanu for $100,000 and shot at $1 million.

Thousand Flock to Commerce Tournament

Commerce Casino made history this week by hosting the biggest live $120 buy-in tournament on record.

A total of 3,030 players ended up buying into the No-Limit Hold’em turbo tournament on Sunday. With six different starting sessions the prizepool blossomed to $300k and first place alone was worth $100k.

Rudy Fulson, a plumber from L.A., outlasted everyone to claim the first place prize.

"I don't look around at other people's stacks to see where I am in the tournament," said Fulson. "I concentrate on my table and try to be dominant. I'm a winner and I won't settle for anything less."

The event had six starting sessions and players were allowed to re-enter after busting, which helped boost the prize pool.

Thanks to the tournament’s success, the Commerce Casino is already planning another one for November.

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