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The week in pictures: November 11th – November 17th, 2014

Nov 19, 2014

Weekly news in pictures

The world last week was a place of excitement and disaster so lets look back at some of the big stories that hit the headlines

Quatar was cleared of allegations of wrong doing surrounding their being awarded the 2022 World Cup by FIFA the body that oversees international soccer. Despite a huge number of allegations the report supposedly gave the rich nation in which it’s actually too hot to feasibly play football a clean bill of health although the report itself is not to be published in full and has already been criticized by one of the authors for being misrepresented. UEFA are already threatening to quit FIFA over the scandal.And a scandal is perhaps what the Rosetta project could become as the 1.4 billion Euro adventure into the depths of space managed to get 300 million miles from Earth, catch up with a speeding comet and then crash into it, bounce a few times and dive into one of the few places its solar panels couldn’t recharge its batteries. Still hailed as a huge success by the scientific community it remains to be seen just how much real information will be gleaned from the results.

Of course real information is hard to come by these days and Vladimir Putin seemed a tad disingenuous when he cited a long journey home and a need for sleep as being the reasons behind his leaving the G20 Summit in Australia quite as early as he did. Of course many observers would point to the fact just about every other leader had lambasted him for his attitude and behavior over Ukraine, and that Russia was rapidly becoming isolated on the world stage.

In sports a very disappointed Roger Federer was forced to pull out of the ATP World Tour final versus long term rival Novak Djokovic due to a back injury. Apologizing in person at the O2 Arena in London he said sorry for not being match fit in what was a massive PR disaster for the ATP, and an unfortunately tainted default win for Djokovic who admitted this wasn’t the way he wanted to win the trophy. Will Federer recover his fitness or have we seen the last of the six time ATP champion? Find out on our daily news pages but in the meantime lets have a look back at our headlines from last week.

1. One company’s trash is another company’s treasure. With Echo Group hunting VIP gamblers, the Townsville casino was becoming too insignificant in the whole picture, so the company sold it for $70 million to someone willing to fix it up and revive it.
Jupiter Townsville

Townsville’s gem (Photo: Morgan Evan)

2. After remote gambling operators have taken a major financial blow because of the new license fees and taxes imposed in the UK, the Maltese Government is offering to help heal their bleeding wounds.
Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera comes to the rescue (Photo: Times of Malta)

Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera comes to the rescue (Photo: Times of Malta)

3. A trained chef and poker player, Martin Jacobson has surely figured out the secret recipe for success, because he just won $10 million and his very first gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
If  the game of poker were a dish...what would it be?  (Photo: Martin  Jacobson blog)

If the game of poker were a dish…what would it be? (Photo: Martin Jacobson blog)

4. It took a long time, but Atlantic City is finally waking up and smelling the coffee. Losing five casinos and leaving thousands of workers unemployed has finally hurt enough to convince officials that it’s time for a change.
Casino Campus

Casino Campus (Photo: Spy Hollywood)

5. One of the largest Asian gambling groups, Genting, is resilient to the general decline on the gambling market.
Genting says VIPs will save the day

Genting says VIPs will save the day (Photo: Genting Casino)

6. The state of Illinois allowed video gaming machines in bars and restaurants and so far the experience has been positive.
Joy of casino: Illinois style (Photo:)

Casino joy: Illinois style (Photo: Chris LaPelusa/Sun Day Photo)

7. New information has been made available in connection to Paul Phua illegal betting ring, which might lead to case dismissal.
Paul Phua: case dismissed? title=

Paul Phua: case dismissed? (Photo: Youtube via The Review Journal )

Meanwhile Boko Haran we accused of being behind the suicide bombing that struck a Nigerian school assembly killing 46 and injuring 79 students, an event that made a mockery of government claims to have signed a ceasefire with the Islamic terrorist group, and elsewhere the Dutch have discovered a new outbreak of an even more contagious, and thus dangerous, strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans. Will we all end up tarred and feathered? You’ll have to keep up to date with our daily news pages to find out.

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Chef Turned Poker Player Wins His First Major Tournament

Nov 14, 2014
Martin Jacobson has won the final battle of the World Series of Poker

Martin Jacobson has won the final battle of the World Series of Poker

If you thought amateur poker players don’t have what it takes to win major tournaments, guess again.

When 27 year-old Martin Jacobson made it to the final table at the World Series of Poker 2014, many believed the Swedish poker player just got lucky. To think that he would actually win the tournament seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago, when online gambling news introduced him to the world as a former cook who took a break from his time in the kitchen to give poker a try.

Before participating in the November Nine, he had made it to four final tables and had earned more than $1.2 million. But nothing compares to his latest accomplishment: the $10 million guaranteed prize offered at the World Series of Poker, along with a title coveted even by the industry’s biggest names.

The tournament lasted for more than 81 hours. It took Jacobson 45 hours to oust Norwegian player Felix Stephensenand and win his first gold bracelet. “This is what I played for,” he said, referring to his new $500,000 bracelet. “This is all that mattered to me.”

Bleacher Report: WSOP 2014 Results: Winner, Prize Money for November 9 Main Event Finals

Martin Jacobson was already on the right track to becoming a well-respected poker player, but the $10 million prize and gold bracelet he won at this year’s WSOP will surely boost his career. His outstanding performance was applauded by fellow players and poker fans, as he beat out Jorryt van Hoof and Felix Stephensen on the last day of the main event.

Van Hoof, who entered the game as chip leader, was nearly flawless on Monday night, but he was the first one to go after struggling to make decisions all night. First he lost a massive pot to Stephensen, then he held on for a while, but when blinds were increased to $800,000 and $1.6 million, he started to run out of time. A couple of hands later, he was eliminated.

“I didn’t feel as comfortable out there playing tonight as I was yesterday. I moved to the five seat and the light was bothering me. It seemed brighter there. I had more trouble seeing and focusing,” he explained.

After that, Jacobson had the advantage and did not make any mistakes. Finally, on hand no. 328, he went all in and Stephensen had no option but to call. The Swedish player beat his Norwegian opponent, whose described his second-place result as disappointing.

Independent: World Series of Poker 2014: Martin Jacobsen claims $10m prize after learning the game while training to be a chef

Out of all players who made it to the November Nine, Jacobson was the only one who had won more than $1 million in World Series of Poker career earnings. He did come out second in some cases, but he has never managed to make his way to the top.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect tournament’, but this was close to perfect, maybe,” he said in an interview after the game was over.

Throughout the two days of playing, the young Swedish poker pro kept a calm stillness. He didn’t care for any of the tricks other players use to hide their tells, like wearing sunglasses, a hoodie or a baseball cap.

His main rival, the 24 year-old Norwegian player Felix Stephensen, took home $5.1 million in cash. “It’s disappointing to be so close, but I got really lucky to get this far, and it was a tough final table,” he told reporters.

They defeated Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof, who started out as chip leader and maintained his position at the top throughout most of the game. The 31 year-old poker pro won $3.8 million for third place.

“I enjoyed playing with these guys. We’re going to meet up. And the winner will pay for my dinner,” he said.

GamingZion: Martin Jacobson Cooking Up a Plan to Win the WSOP

Jacobson started developing an interest for poker when he was 18, after his father gave him a poker book as a birthday present. He liked the game from the very beginning, but his real passion was cooking so he studied culinary school to become a world-class chef.

After working as a chef in Stockholm for a while, he decided to take a chance on another offer. But this suddenly fell through, leaving him with little options. So while he was looking for another opportunity to work as a chef, he took up poker.

“I started playing sit-and-gos online, and they were my bread and butter,” he told reporters. “I made some extra money online and [those sit-and-gos] ironically helped prepare me for the steps on PokerStars.”

His first notable result in poker was qualifying for the 2008 World Series of Poker. With $12,000 in his pocket after winning one of the satellites, he wasn’t sure about what to do next: head for Vegas or keep the money?

“I called my mom and asked for her advice,” he told reporters. “She said, ‘Obviously, you are going to Vegas.’ That’s not what I was expecting her to say, but when she did, I definitely decided to go.”

Things didn’t work out for him back in 2008, but since then he started to take the game more seriously. His scores got better and better, he finished second in the PokerStars Sunday Million, then he qualified for the European Poker Tour in London and Budapest. In just one year, he had the chance to be in three major main events.

The WSOP 2014 brought him his first gold bracelet, as well as the respect and admirations of his fellow poker players.

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WSOP Senior Event Brings Heimiller His Second Bracelet

Jun 11, 2014

WSOP Senior Event Brings Heimiller His Second BraceletUntil July 14, the 2014 World Series of Poker will be the main attraction in Las Vegas. All eyes are on the world’s best poker players, as they battle it out for poker’s most coveted bracelets. This year’s edition of the tournament is already proving to be the largest ever, with the senior’s event drawing a record number of players.With more than 4,400 players joining the game, the total prize pool added up to almost $4 million. Dan Heimiller managed to make his way to the top, winning his second bracelet and a prize of $627,462. Read more about the 2014 WSOP here:

CardPlayer: Dan Heimiller Wins World Series of Poker Seniors Event and Second Career Bracelet

This year’s tournament drew the largest seniors event field in WSOP history. A total of 4,425 players paid the $1,000 buy-in, hoping to get a bigger share of the $3,982,500 prize pool. However, only three notable players made it to the top. David Tran and Dennis Phillips tied for 5th place; Dan Heimiller fought 58-year-old Iowa firefighter Don Maas for the title and won.

CardPlayer has described Heimiller as “one of the quirkiest players on the tournament circuit”. The poker pro has won his second career bracelet and pocketed his biggest cash prize so far – $627,462. Heimiller’s total tournament earnings now add up to $4.7 million.

“Back in 2002, it wasn’t for as much cash, so that makes this one a lot more important,” Heimiller said about his first win. “It was also a smaller field and wasn’t as prestigious back then. It was a great feeling, but this one feels extra spectacular because it was for such a big prize.”

ESPN: Heimiller outlasts 4,425 in Seniors

The 2014 WSOP schedule includes some spectacular events, such as the $1 million buy-in One Drop, the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, the $25,000 mixed-max and the Main Event. But the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Championship always gets a lot of well-deserved attention. This year, the event drew a massive field of 4,425 players over the age of 50.

Dan Heimiller proved he is not ready to retire from poker just yet, by making his way to the final table and defeating his rival Don Maas heads-up. Maas won his first cash prize at the WSOP. The 58 year-old is captain of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. For Dan Heimiller, winning the event meant grabbing his second WSOP bracelet and taking home $627,462 in cash.

PokerUpdate: Dan Heimiller Wins WSOP Seniors Title

PokerUpdate offers a detailed account of the largest Seniors Event in WSOP history, which started out with more than 4,400 players. At the beginning of the third day, there were only 32 players left; a couple of hours more and the number was reduced to 10.
One of the players at the final table was Dennis Philips, who finished third place 2008 Main Event and came in second in the Seniors Event in 2012. The poker pro seemed confident that he could get a better result this year, but in the end he came in 5th, winning a prize worth well over $150,000.

Donald Maas, David Smith and Dan Heimiller were the last three players standing, with Maas having more chips than the other two combined. Heimiller knocked Smith into 3rd place, claiming his chips and leaving him with a $279,412 cash prize. With a chip advantage of about 3:1, the player managed to eliminate Maas, who earned $388,054 for his efforts. Heimiller became champion and claimed his second WSOP bracelet, as well as over $600,000 in cash.

Bluff Heimiller Scores the Eagle While Kitai Wins Third Bracelet

Sunday was a big day for players who participated in the 2014 WSOP. The schedule included seven tournaments and two ceremonies, and Bluff offers a detailed account of each and every event. Davidi Kitai beat Gordon Vayo, taking the big prize at the Six-Max event and securing his third bracelet.

Meanwhile, the Seniors Championship started at 11 am and took 12 hours to go from a total of 32 players to the final three. The Golden Eagle Trophy ended up in Dan Heimiller’s hands, who held the chip lead with 4,140,000. Throughout his career, Heimiller sat at 60 final tables and won 8 of them. This is his second WSOP bracelet.

The $10,000 Razz Event was another popular competition on the schedule, with 12 players remaining in the game by Sunday. David Bach started out well, as chip leader, but he was soon eliminated and came in 8th. Daniel Negreanu was really hoping to win his seventh WSOP bracelet, but ended up finishing in 10th. The title went to George Danzer, who defeated Shack-Harris to win his first bracelet and the $294,792 prize.

CardsChat WSOP Day 13: Danzer, Kitai, and Heimiller Collect Gold

CardsChat also offers a thorough report on the 13th day of this year’s WSOP, which brought three players some impressive cash rewards and new bracelets. Davidi Kitai, a Triple Crown winner, has won his third WSOP bracelet. George Danzer is at his first, and Dan Heimiller took home his second one.

It wasn’t a good day for James Woods, one of the celebrities present at WSOP; the poker pro started to experience chest pain while he was playing. It is believed that the pain was caused by heart problems and the player was transported to the hospital by ambulance. Later that day, he tweeted that the incident was in fact caused by food poisoning.

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Poker Playing Priest Wins and Donates $100K to Catholic Church

Dec 16, 2011
Catholic Poker Playing Priest

Poker Playing Priest

Poker playing priest is the new nick name of a Catholic paint-ball playing Father Andrew Trapp who made big news recently for his appearance on Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge. Not only did the poker playing priest appear, but he almost made it through the last round. Though he didn’t win, he was able to raise $100,000 toward the construction of a new church in South Carolina.

Church celebrates as priest wins $100K in poker tourney

St. Michael Catholic Church in Garden City Beach needs over $1 million to build a new church. Father Andrew Trapp made a dent in that figure by winning $100,000 in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge televised poker tournament.

Trapp’s final episode aired Sunday, and was watched by he and dozens of fellow church members at St. Michael’s. Trapp said he hopes his brief television fame shows people that priests are normal people. “This is an opportunity, hopefully, for people to see a young guy that’s a priest, that’s normal, that can have fun, have friends and try to do something great for the church.”

South Carolina’s Poker Playing Priest wins $100,000

Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge left audiences stunned in October when S.Carolina poker playing priest Father Andrew Trapp beat NBA Champ John Salley, Team Poker Stars Pro Vanessa Rousso and her teammate and four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu to win $100,000 and a chance to come back earlier this month for a crack at the $1,000,000 grand prize.

Fr. Trapp, the poker playing priest lost the final round of Fox TV’s “Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge” on Dec. 27; but he still won $100,000. The winner was a 9-11 first responder at the World Trade Center.

Known as “Father Rambo” for his paintball play, the poker priest held rosary beads in a hand against Salley. After beating the former Pistons Bad Boy, Trapp shocked Rousso, and took home the six-figure prize when poker star Negreanu misread the strength of Trapp’s cards.

Trapp immediately donated all winnings to the St. Michael’s Church in Garden City, SC, where he’s associate pastor. His goal was to win the million dollar prize to help St. Michael’s build a new church, which is currently $1.5 million dollars short of its goal. In an interview, Trapp said, “I think I represented the church and the priesthood well, which was my main goal…I think my parishioners will be proud of me.

Church looks back at poker playing priest’s run for $1 million

St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Garden City, S.C., is in a four-year, $6.5 million fundraiser for a new church. “Our church family’s grown. We have over 3,000 [people] and 400 families,” said C. Griffith, a St. Michael’s member for more over 20 years.

Overcrowding isn’t the only issue at the Garden City church. Should a strong hurricane go through the area, St. Michael’s probably wouldn’t be standing in the aftermath.

As of Christmas, about $4 million was raised for building a church that’ll be at par with safety codes, hold over 900 people and bear hurricane-force winds. It’s a big upgrade from the old church. The project hopes to give new hope to worshipers at St. Michael’s.

Trapp’s played his role in bringing a new church to his parishioners. The poker playing priest appeared on the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge playing for $1 million wanting to break ground on the multi-million dollar construction project.

Trapp lost in the final round of the show to poker pro, Negreneau, but walked away from the competition with $100,000. The cash, he says, is going straight to who needs it the most — his parish.

The poker playing priest‘s winnings from Hollywood is putting quite the dent in construction costs for a new and improved St. Michael’s. There’s just $1.5 million to go, and those who gather at church each week say they’re more than thankful for such a generous donation to their future.

Poker playing priest went to take part in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge on behalf of his parish on a mission to raise cash for a new church.

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World Series of Poker Winner Awarded $8,715,638 Prize

Nov 10, 2011

world series of poker huge winner

The 2011 World Series of Poker concluded and after 12 days of 18 hours-per-day poker, one 22 year old remained standing and was crowned as Poker World Champion.

Pius Heinz, who hails from Cologne Germany, became a professional poker player only earlier this year, against the wishes of his mother, who wanted him to enter the Church. Pius, who enjoys female strippers, schnapps and recreational drugs just said no to the church, and instead spent his time hunting for online poker bonuses.

This year the WSOP Main event has 6685 of the toughest traditional and online poker masters, who each ponied up the $10,000 entry fee for a chance at eternal glory as well as the $8,715,638 first place prize.

World Series Of Poker

The runner up, a Czech player walked away with a $5.43 million consolation prize, not that he will have to weep too much since that’s more money than his entire village made in a century.

The German world poker champion turned out to be an astute businessman, making a deal with the king of online poker – Poker Stars – where he can be found playing so anyone can see if they have what it takes to beat the current world champion of poker.

“I hereby proudly announce that I am the 2011 world series of poker Champion !! I did it for Germany,” shouted Heinze to be overheard above the roar of fans and the din coming from hundreds of encamped international reporters. Pius Heinz not only becomes the first German to win the World Series of Poker.

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2010 Poker Hall of Fame inductees announced

Oct 21, 2010
Poker Hall of Fame

Two new names now appear on the list of the world’s top poker pros. The Poker Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington have been picked to be recognized for their outstanding poker achievements.

An induction ceremony will be held on November 8 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The induction will coincide with the festivities surrounding the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, which is the richest tournament in the entire world of poker.

Erik Seidel is an eight-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner. He is considered to be one of the world’s best tournament poker players. His most notable achievement was his runner-up finish to poker pro Johnny Chan at the 1988 WSOP – a game that was reproduced in the movie “Rounders”. Over more than four decades of play, Seidel has amassed an impressive $10 million in career wins.

Dan Harrington, easily spotted at the tables in his trademark green Red Sox hat, is most famed for his 1995 WSOP main event win. He also made it to the Main Event table in 2003 and 2004, which in itself is a very impressive feat. Harrington has enjoyed more than $6 million in lifetime wins. His most recent achievements include a series of poker strategy books entitled “Harrington on Hold’em” which some consider to be among the best strategy guides available.

The Poker Hall of Fame was established in 1979. With the two 2010 inductees this exclusive club will contain a total of 40 members, only 18 of which are still alive.

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World Series of Poker starts up with biggest pool of players, money since 2006

Jul 09, 2010
2010 WSOP

It’s shuffle up and deal time: The World Series of Poker has begun in Las Vegas with 7,319 entrants, the second-largest pool ever assembled for the world’s biggest poker event. Yesterday alone, 2,391 players entered, as Thursday marked the last day to buy in for $10,000.

Based on entrants, the total prize pool will be $68.8 million and the top prize is a huge $8.94 million; the top 747 finishers will win prizes. Last year, there were 6,494 total entrants for a prize pool of $61 million and a $8.55 prize for the winner Joe Cada, youngest ever to take this tournament.

As always, some celebrities were on hand to try their hand at a few poker hands, including Jason Alexander, Emmitt Smith, and Shannon Elizabeth, just to name a very few.

Though the peak number of participants set in 2006 was not reached, the numbers are up 12% on last year. Alexander was enthusiastic to an Associated Press reporter, to whom he said “I’m glad people are feeling like the economy’s back enough that they can do [play in the World Series of Poker]. It wasn’t because the interest in poker went away, so I have to assume people weren’t willing to speculate.”

Most observers also factor in an overall drop in attendance since 2006, as after the tournament the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, thereby discouraging many online poker rooms from accepted U.S. players – and getting them into the World Series of Poker.

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