The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 15-11

ISPT Wembley
Matt Salsberg, Scotty Nguyen and the ISPT headline today's list.

Every year the poker world reaches dizzying heights and plummets to gut-wrenching lows and 2013 was no different.

From legendary hot streaks to an entire new direction for the online poker industry, we like celebrating the highlights best.

Today we take you through numbers 15 to 11 of the best, most memorable, most awe-inspiring moments from the poker world in 2013.

Enjoy and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

15. Bet Raise Fold Documentary Released

The most comprehensive online poker documentary ever made was premiered to an audience of poker pros, media and industry figures in Las Vegas during the 2013 World Series of Poker.

Jay Rosenkrantz
Jay Rosenkrantz was one of the people behind Bet Raise Fold.
 

Masterminded by high-stakes pros Jay Rosenkrantz and Taylor Caby, and produced by Director Ryan Firpo and Director of Photography Michael Epple, Bet Raise Fold took over three years to produce.

The team started by producing BOOM: The Incredible True Story of Online Poker, and began by following poker players Danielle Andersen, Tony Dunst and Martin Bradstreet. During production the poker world was rocked by Black Friday, and the documentary took on an entirely new meaning.

Funded entirely by online poker winnings put together by a group of elite high-stakes poker professionals, Bet Raise Fold has now been released worldwide and can be purchased online for as low as $9.99.

14. TV Writer Salsberg Wins WPT Player of the Year

Television producer and writer Matt Salsberg made a name for himself working on shows like Weeds and Entourage, but in 2013 he added World Poker Tour Player of the Year to his list of credits.

Salsberg won the WPT main event in Paris, incredibly the same tournament he had referenced in an episode of Weeds years before.

He went on to final-table two more WPT main events in the next six months. By the end of the WPT's 11th season Salsberg had racked up more results than anyone else on the tour and was officially crowned Player of the Year.

PokerListings.com traveled to Salsberg's home in Los Angeles to shoot a short documentary on his life and poker accomplishments. Watch it below.


13. Online Poker Becomes Inclusive to Rec Players

If 2008 was “The Year of the Pro”, 2013 was most definitely the year the poker world turned its attention back to the recreational player.

Ten years after Chris Moneymaker's win sparked the boom, the online poker climate had become predatory and intimidating to beginner and recreational players.

2013 was the year online poker rooms recognized the developing problem and took steps to remedy it.

By tweaking software to make games more accessible to new players, gamifying the online poker experience with missions and accomplishments and generally doing everything they could to make online poker appealing to non-grinders, operators were able to point online poker in a more inclusive direction in 2013.

Rob Yong
Rob Yong from Dusk Till Dawn was the main reason ISPT Wembley even happened.
 

12. Rob Yong Puts Up €1m to Make ISPT Wembley Happen

There are plenty of hair-brained schemes hatched in the poker world but few had the scope and grandiose ambition of the proposed International Stadiums Poker Tour and its inaugural Wembley event.

Months of confusing advertising and mysteriously plummeting guarantees fed the poker world's skepticism and it wasn't until Rob Yong from the London Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club stepped in that it was taken seriously.

Yong pledged to cover a €1 million prize for the winner of the Wembley event and it worked. Based on Yong's reputation a consensus began to form that the event would actually take place.

On May 31st, the same day the WSOP was debuting its Millionaire Maker event in Las Vegas, the ISPT erected a poker village on the pitch of Wembley and announced shuffle up and deal. It ended up being one of the biggest overlays in poker history.

Just 761 players entered, meaning Yong was on the hook for nearly €600k, but the event succeeded in putting on one of the biggest poker spectacles ever.

11. Scotty Nguyen Makes Hall of Fame Baby

Every year a couple poker greats gain entry to immortality by way of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame.

2013 saw two long overdue additions: Scotty Nguyen and Tom McEvoy.

McEvoy has been lobbying tirelessly for years for his spot in the HOF and this year it paid off. McEvoy was so excited he let the cat out of the bag by tweeting the announcement days before the WSOP had planned to officially announce the news.

Scotty was overdue to be inducted, perhaps set back a few years by his drunken outbursts at the 2008 WSOP.

But, as Daniel Negrenau told us, it would be ridiculous to bar someone who has done so much for poker based on a few indiscretions.

Scotty Nguyen is one of the few true A-List poker TV celebrities that helped catalyze poker's exploding popularity following Moneymaker's win, a truly deserving member of the Hall of Fame.


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More Best and Worst Moments in Poker in 2013



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