Feb 4 2012

More details come to light on Thor Hansen’s battle with cancer

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

According to fellow Norwegian poker pro Andreas Hoivold, Thor Hansen has stage IV Colon Cancer, which has spread to his abdomen, lungs, and liver. Hoivold made a passionate Facebook post regarding the commonality of the disease, as well as the preventable measures that people can take for early detection: Namely a colonoscopy.

Hansen’s battle with cancer first came to light last week when Twitter and the 2+2 poker forum became abuzz with the rumor, which led many people close to Hansen to confirm the bad news.

Here is a look at Hoivold’s entire Facebook post, which everyone should take to heart and pass on:

A short update on Thor Hansen: The cancer he has is colon cancer (Norwegian: Tykktarmskreft), one of the most common cancers there is. It is in stage IV, which is kind of bad. The cancer has spread throughout his abdomen, liver and lungs and it is no longer curable. But there is hope! He can, if his cancer respons well to treatment, live for many more years.

There is one tragedy. If he had been checked for this type of cancer (procedure called colonoscopy) they would have been able to treat it. I write this so other people will take a colon cancer screening and not end up in the same situation. It is an easy test that everyone over the age of 50 should take once every 10 years. I hope I am not offending anyone by writing this, but it is very important.”

Hansen is a Norwegian poker legend, credited with being one of the first Europeans to play at the World Series of Poker; the 64 year-old has been a friend and mentor to many players in the poker world, and the entire poker world is pulling for Hansen to beat the disease.

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Feb 3 2012

Entraction rebranded to IGT Poker Network

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

International Game Technology (IGT) purchased the Entraction Poker Network last March in an effort to position themselves should online poker come to the United States, with the company applying for a license in Nevada (along with many other online poker providers) as well as leaving markets where laws prohibited online poker.

With all of their legal pieces now in place, IGT announced yesterday that the Entraction Poker Network would be rebranded, and is now known as the IGT Poker Network. Entraction (now the IGT Poker Network) is the 14th ranked online poker room/network according to PokerScout.com with peak traffic of over 2,200 real-money cash-game players, and features such prominent poker sites as Devilfish Poker, NoIQ Poker, and 24h Poker.

According to an IGT spokesman, the company is hoping to attract more online poker rooms to their network with their new brand and potential Nevada license. In a recent press release issued during the ICE Online Gaming Expo in London the company explained how it would begin its expansion:

“IGT is well known for innovation in gaming and at ICE 2012, we will prove that we are redefining the gaming industry yet again with an expanded online and mobile lineup highlighting the best products for our global casino customers,” said Gideon Bierer, executive vice president of IGT Interactive, “This is the first show where we will be able to demonstrate the full range of products and services which our recent acquisition of Entraction has enabled us to do. All Entraction products will be shown under the IGT brand [and] conference attendees will see how IGT’s poker network is a serious and competitive alternative for existing poker operators.”


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Feb 2 2012

2012 WSOP schedule released; major changes revealed

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Beginning on Tuesday the official WSOP Twitter feed started releasing details about the upcoming 2012 WSOP schedule; first giving the official dates and then delving into a few changes players will notice at this year’s tournament series, including the paring down of the WSOP Main Event by three days (including the elimination of the off-day in between the Day 1 flights and Day 2) which the WSOP claims will not affect the structure in any way.

Here is a look at some of the Tweets from the WSOP Twitter account on Tuesday/Wednesday:

“The 43rd Annual WSOP will take place from May 27 to July 16, 2012 at @RioVegas. Full schedule comes at 1 PM ET Wednesday.”

“For the 2012 WSOP, an expected 470 poker tables will be utilized…nearly 100 more than last year!”

“The WSOP Main Event this year will be 3 days shorter without compromising structure at all. #winallaround”

“New start time at WSOP in 2012…10 AM. Okay, just kidding, EXCEPT for Seniors Event which will begin at 10 AM this year”

Perhaps the biggest change to the 2012 World Series of poker, or what will surely be the most talked about, is the WSOP’s decision to do away with the November Nine; which became highly expendable now that ESPN and the WSOP has moved to a “live feed” format for the final table.

“A few hints on WSOP schedule coming tomorrow…you won’t find the November Nine returning.”

The WSOP plans to release the full schedule for the 2012 WSOP at 1 PM on Wednesday; we’ll keep you posted on any other exciting new changes as well as what tournaments have been added or subtracted.

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Feb 1 2012

MIT students take part in Poker Bot contest

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While the world of online poker is trying to minimize the effect poker bots have at the online tables, it seems that students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are going the other way with this concept, offering $30,000 in prizes to the student or team of students who develops the best poker bot software.

The contest, called the 6.912 MIT Pokerbots Competition, will be held on February 6th, 2011, where the teams of students will watch their poker bots do battle in a tournament with $30,000 in prizes on the line. Here is how the competition’s homepage describes the challenge:

“The 6.912 MIT Pokerbots Competition is a computerized poker tournament, where teams have 1 month to program a completely autonomous “pokerbot” to compete against other teams. Poker has become a cultural phenomenon as as an inherently complex game of incomplete information, brings many interesting problems and challenges to players. Competitors must learn and apply concepts in economics, mathematics, and computer science not normally developed together in academic settings to conquer their opponents and emerge victorious.

“Over $30,000 in prizes and attention from some of the most prestigious tech and trading firms out there await the best competitors. This IAP, channel your programming ability and strategic quantitative thinking skills to become the inaugural pokerbots champion!”

So how did this idea come about at one of the most prestigious schools in the United States? MIT is currently offering a special three-week course in online poker where the 200 students who registered will learn about everything from mathematical strategies to software development.

The MIT course is being run by Will Ma, a former World Poker Tour (WPT) Champion with over $1.7 million in career tournament earnings. Ma is also a top online poker player (playing under the witty PokerStars handle “cutiepi314’) and a former instructor at the online poker training site Cardrunners.

There are currently 51 teams registered for the contest.

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Jan 30 2012

Isildur1 wins $335k hand at PokerStars

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The man who is responsible for the 10 largest pots in online poker history, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, scooped his largest pot even on his new site PokerStars (where he is a member of Team PokerStars Pro). While it’s not in the ballpark of the seven-figure pots Isildur1 was known for at Full Tilt Poker, the win on PokerStars, a $335k pot against the anonymous “1Il|1Il|1il|”, was his largest to date at the site.

The hand took place at a $100/$200 PLO game where Isildur1 was seated along with high-stakes regulars “1Il|1Il|1il|” and “patpatman” when the following hand occurred:

Pre-Flop: patpatman opened to $600 from 1st position; Isildur1 3-bet to $2,260 on the button; 1Il|1Il|1il| made the call from the Small Blind; patpatman 4-bet to $10k; Isildur1 made the call; 1Il|1Il|1il| decided to 5-Bet; patpatman called; Isildur1 called.

Flop: Ts-4s-3d: 1Il|1Il|1il| bet $114,235 (leaving himself only $4,125 left in his stack); patpatman folded, and Isildur1 put 1Il|1Il|1il| all-in with a raise. 1Il|1Il|1il| tabled Ad-Ac-5c-6s for a pair of Aces and an open-ended straight-draw: Isildur1 tabled As-Qs-Qh-Td for a pair of Queens and the nut-flush-draw.

The Turn was the Jack of Spades, locking up the hand for Isildur1. The inconsequential River card was the 8 of Spades.

Despite the massive pot, Isildur1 is currently down over $330k for the year thus far at the online poker tables, but he did win over $1 million at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) after winning the $100k Super-High-Roller tournament.

For more information on the ultra-high-stakes online poker games you can check out highstakesdb.com.

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