Tag Archives: world poker tour

James Romero won WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

The 27 year old American player managed a breathtaking performance, so much the more that Romero had participated in only two other official poker tournaments before, and $3,803 was his biggest win in the DeepStack Extravaganza IV, Las Vegas, a tournament with $1,600 buy-in.

The 15th World Poker Tour has pulled the curtain at the end of last year after Bellagio Casino hosted the famous poker event once again. This edition of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic enjoyed an all-time WPT high in terms of the number of participants, bringing to the tables as many as 791 players who paid buy-ins of $10,000 that eventually formed a prize-pool of $7,672,700.

The player from Portland, Oregon, has made it big to win a huge prize while playing for the very first time in a major tournament: $1,938,118! He also won himself a red Hublot King Power Unico Carbon watch.

The first day of the tournament “screened out” 368 of the 519 players who entered the game initially. The first chip leader was Robin Hegele, with 183,000. We couldn’t help noticing the famous actress Jennifer Tilly among the participants, who finished the day ranking 4th with 134,225 chips and even took out Mike Sexton, the famous host/presenter of WPT tournaments. Another story of the first day was the all-in battle lost by Daniel Negreanu to Joey Weissman. Negreanu had , Weissman , and   were dealt, making the pair of fours too little to beat the nines and stay in the game. But the Canadian of Romanian origin will be seen re-entering the tournament several times.

The second day started with 48 tables, and before level 9 all the 791 available entries were covered, making this (while I risk repeating myself) an all-time high participation in the tournament, overtaking the 664 entries of 2007. One of the shock meetings of the day was that of Dan Smith and Erik Seidel. The latter won the battle only to be later on “erased” by Liv Boeree.

Soon after the last entries, the organizers were in the position to inform us that the prize would be worth $1,938,118 (including a $15,000 seat to the WPT Tournament of Champions), with those ranked 64th to 72th due double their investment and pocket $22,251.

The statement of the day came from actress Jennifer Tilly: “Long day of poker. I don’t know what hurts more: my back or my brain.”

The day-end saw Ryan Hughes as chip leader, with 364.400 chips.

The third day officially started with level 11, $600 small blind – $1,200 big blind and $200 ante. The 31 tables accommodated 277 players in the Bellagio Poker Room.

One of the interesting clashes of the day was that of 888Poker Ambassador, Dominik Nitsche and Samuel Chartier. The latter threw in his last 88,000 chips for his hand of , and the German answered with  from the big blind. The dealer laid  on the table, and Nitsche hit a flush. The day ended at 2 AM with 75 players left and the same Ryan Hughes as leader with 1,212,500 chips, followed by Christian Harder with 829,500 chips and James Romero with 771,000.

The fourth day began with 75 players of which 72 were in the money! Mike Matusow was eliminated by Dan O’Brien and exit the competition 74th. An interesting hand was played on this day between Joe Hachem and Dani Stern. Joe moved all in for his last 116,000 chips with , and Stern showed him . The flop was , the turn  and the river . No Aces, no nines on the table, and Hachem must settle for the $25,320 prize for ranking 63rd.

The hand that kept Romero in the game was played at level 20 when the small blind was $5,000 and the big blind $10,000 with an ante of $1,000. James Romero raised 24,000 chips and Ryan Hughes re-raised, putting 55,000 chips on the table; Romero went all in with his remaining 485,000 chips. Hughes took the challenge and hands were shown: Ryan had , while James had . The dealer showed , and Romero got doubled. Just six hands before the end of the day, Ryan Hughes got removed by Justin Bonomo and finished the tournament ranking 21st.

Ryan Tosoc was the chip leader (3,492,000 chips) in the end of the day, but Richard Seymour, 3 times former Super-Bowl champion with New England Patriots, finishing the day 553,000 chips was the actual surprise.

Tables 8, 20 and 21 gathered together the last 19 players in the last before (5th) day of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The first to leave the tournament was Corey Hochman, with James Romero taking down his opponents one by one. Rob Wazwaz, Stephen Graner or J.C. Tran (double WPT champion), all fell victim.

No wonder that the day ended with Romero as chip leader with nearly 10 million chips, seconded by Ryan Tosoc with 4,465,000 chips and Justin Bonomo with 3,360,000.

The final table was played on December 10. The sixth and last day saw 135 hands played and ended at 11 pm, at level 32, with $75,000-$150,000 blinds and $25,000 ante. Igor Yaroshevskyy, Justin Bonomo, Alex Condon and Jake Schindler left the competition one by one, richer by $268,545 to $736,579.

The heads-up was played between Tosoc and Romero and lasted only half an hour (16 hands). Tosoc entered the last act in the competition with a huge handicap, with Romero having nearly 7 times more chips before the start of the heads-up.

On the final hand, Ryan Tosoc started with , and James Romero with . The dealer then showed  and history was written: Romero won one of the greatest victories in the history of poker, becoming richer by nearly 2 million dollars in just one week of work, stress and sweat at the table. Congratulations!

e-Sports – a going industry

by Bogdan Fechită


During the last years, the e-sports market has exploded. Millions of young people who have left outdoors sports in favor of those on the computer have managed to make a new industry out of their passion. An industry that has grown to surpass the income of the music industry.

e-Sports is an international term that defines electronic sports practiced on the computer at a competitive and professional level. If you are a dedicated Counter Strike player and you know every move of the game, you have big chances to become a e-Sports professional player. There are other electronic games that have made the industry grow: League of Legends, DOTA, Warcraft 3, FIFA or Team Fortress 2

Professional players are divided into various clans, which can compete in one game or in more. Those competing in different games are multigaming clans and consist of experts in several games.


The beginning of the frenzy

The attraction of people towards electronic games is not something new. In 1980, Atari, the company producing games, organized a tournament dedicated to the game of Space Invaders, to which more than 10,000 participants enrolled. Starting with the 90s, sponsored competitions are becoming a habit, and thereby their popularity increases. Thus, the Cyberathlete Professional League is founded, in 1997, the first organization dedicated to professional players of electronic games.

South Korea is one of the countries with the largest number of e-sports fans, and this is because the industry has been promoted since the ’90s through various events dedicated to professional players.

The development of the electronic systems, increasing the number of internet connections and the launching of several games with attractive graphics contributed in the next decade to the explosion of this industry. Tournaments, leagues, teams, communities of gamers and superstars have appeared.


More Crowded Arenas than the football ones

Thus, at the present time, the events dedicated to electronic games come to attract more viewers than even the football matches of Ligue 1 . Prizes are also very generous.

Last year, several major events under the umbrella of DreamHack took place in Romania. During April 24th-26th, the best players in the world of Counter-Strike Global Offensive and Dota2 were at Cluj. A real festival of electronic games featuring four international tournaments and five national competitions was held in Bucharest, the participants playing Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. The best 16 teams in the world of Counter Strike were brought back to Cluj, and they have played for an award of $ 100,000. All three events have prize pools between € 110,000 and 250,000. And this year, DreamHack will organize a major event during 16th – 18th of September, in Bucharest.

Not only the professional players are attracted to these events, but also the gaming fans. On every competition the rooms are full, sometimes with thousands of spectators, which led to an unusual situation, in Romania, at least: the e-sports competitions gathered more fans to than the football matches of the first echelon.

Things are not so different in other countries, as well. The important duels are broadcasted by  television channels and dedicated channels for the electronic games have even apeared. For example, the 2011 Global Starcraft League Final attracted a number of 25,000 spectators at the arena and 300,000 spectators were present online, and Major League Gaming has had over 11 million unique visitors in 2012.


Big sponsors, matching investments

This situation has not gone unnoticed by the major sponsors. More and more big names associate their image with this new industry. Coca Cola and Red Bull are just two examples of those. Often, smaller clans have their own sponsors that support their work.

Investors in the gaming segment have understood the potential of this industry and began to penetrate this market, as well. There already is an e-sports competitions dedicated arena in Beijing, and Ourgame, company that owns the World Poker Tour, has announced its intentions to invest in the development of an similar arena like in Las Vegas. Until now, most of the competitions were held in rented locations, so this is a new step for e-sports industry.

According to some reasearch published on American websites, e-sports industry has come to exceed the revenue of the music industry. Annually, competitions and e-sports events around the world produce an estimated net income of 20 billion dollars more comparing to the music industry. A figure that can not be ignored by investors.


”The Sport of the Future”

What’s next? Dreamhack, the entity that organizes the largest events of this kind in Romania, believes that electronic games will become the sport of the future, and according to studentpress.ro, Romania is already one of the most important countries on the e-Sports map. A study entitled “The Global Growth of Esports” shows that there are already 89 million people in the world declaring themselves to be e-Sports fans, and it is estimated that this figure will reach 145 million in 2017.

The figures are also encouraging for the Romanian industry. Silviu Stroie, President of the Professional Gaming League, the most popular video game league in Romania, told dreamhack.ro that there are three million fans of electronic games in our country. “If you look how quickly it develops, we can say without a doubt that electronic sport is the most promising sport of the future,” added Stroie.

And the evolution of technology and how the International Olympic Committee sees this new industry seems to give them justice. The future is full of possibilities for e-sports.

de Bogdan Fechită


În ultimii ani, piața dedicată e-sports a explodat. Milioanele de tineri care au lăsat sporturile practicate în aer liber în favoarea celor pe calculator au reușit să facă din noua lor pasiune o nouă industrie. O industrie care a ajuns să depășească veniturile industriei muzicale.

e-Sports e un termen internațional care definește sporturile electronice practicate la un nivel competițional și profesionist pe calculator. Dacă ești jucător înrăit de Counter Strike și cunoști toate mișcările jocului, atunci ai șanse mari să devii un profesionist în e-Sports. Există și alte jocuri electronice care au făcut industria să crească: League of Legends, DOTA, Warcraft 3, FIFA sau Team Fortress 2.

Jucătorii profesioniști se împart în diferite clanuri care pot să concureze într-un singur joc sau în mai multe. Cei care concurează în jocuri diferite sunt clanuri multigaming și au în componență experți în mai multe jocuri.


Începutul nebuniei

Atracția oamenilor către jocurile electronice nu e ceva nou. În 1980, Atari, celebra companie producătoare de jocuri, a organizat un turneu dedicat jocului Space Invaders la care s-au înscris peste 10,000 de participanți. Începând cu anii ’90, competițiile sponsorizate încep să devină o obișnuință, iar în acest fel crește și popularitatea lor. Astfel, în 1997 e fondată Cyberathlete Professional League, prima organizație dedicată jucătorilor profesioniști de jocuri electronice.

Coreea de Sud e una din țările cu cei mai mulți pasionați de e-sports, iar asta se datorează faptului că aceasta industrie a fost promovată încă din anii ’90 prin diferite evenimente dedicate jucătorilor profesioniști.

Dezvoltarea sistemelor electronice, creșterea numărului de conexiuni la internet și lansarea mai multor jocuri cu grafică atrăgătoare a contribuit în următorul deceniu la explozia acestei industrii. Au apărut turnee, ligi, echipe, comunități de gameri și superstaruri.

Arene mai pline ca la fotbal

Așa se face că în momentul de față evenimentele dedicate jocurilor electronice ajung să atragă mai mulți spectatori chiar și decât meciurile de fotbal din Liga 1. Premiile sunt și ele foarte generoase.

Anul trecut, în România, au avut loc mai multe evenimente majore sub umbrela DreamHack. În perioada 24-26 aprilie, la Cluj, au fost prezenți cei mai buni jucători de Counter-Strike Global Offensive și Dota2 din lume. La București, a avut loc un adevărat festival al jocurilor electronice care a cuprins patru turnee internaționale și cinci competiții naționale în care s-a jucat Heroes of the Storm și HearthStone. Toamna anului trecut a adus din nou la Cluj cele mai bune 16 echipe din lume de Counter Strike care și-au disputat un premiu de 100,000$. Toate cele trei evenimente au avut fonduri de premiere între 110,000 euro și 250,000$. Și în acest an, DreamHack va organiza un eveniment major pe 16-18 septembrie, la București.

Nu doar jucătorii profesioniști sunt atrași de aceste evenimente, ci și fanii jocurilor de noroc. La fiecare competiție sălile sunt pline, uneori cu mii de spectatori, ceea ce a dus la o situație inedită cel puțin în România: s-au adunat mai mulți fani la competițiile de e-sports decât la meciurile din primul eșalon fotbalistic.

În alte țări lucrurile nu sunt prea diferite. Duelurile importante sunt televizate și au apărut chiar posturi dedicate jocurilor electronice. Spre exemplu, Finalele Ligii Globale de Starcraft din 2011 a atras 25,000 de spectatori în arenă și 300,000 de spectatori online, iar Major League Gaming a avut peste 11 milioane de vizitatori unici în 2012.

Sponsori mari, investiții pe măsură

Situația aceasta nu a trecut neobservată de marii sponsori. Tot mai multe nume importante își asociază imaginea cu această nouă industrie. Coca Cola și Red Bull sunt doar două exemple. Deseori, clanurile au proprii sponsori mai mici care le susțin activitatea.

Investitorii din segmentul de gaming au înțeles și ei potențialul acestei industrii și au început să pătrundă și pe această piață. La Beijing există deja o arenă dedicată competițiilor de e-sports, iar Ourgame, companie ce deține și World Poker Tour, a anunțat că intenționază să investească într-o arenă asemănătoare în Las Vegas. Până acum, majoritatea competițiilor au loc în spații închiriate, așa că acesta reprezintă un nou pas pentru industria de e-sports.

Conform unor analize publicate pe site-urile americane, industria de e-sports a ajuns să o depășească în privința veniturilor pe cea muzicală. Anual, competițiile și evenimentele e-sports din întreaga lume produc venituri nete estimate cu 20 de miliarde de dolari în plus față de industria muzicală. O cifră care nu mai poate fi ignorată de investitori.


”Sportul viitorului”

Ce urmează? Dreamhack, entitatea care organizează cele mai de amploare evenimente din România, crede că jocurile electronice vor deveni sportul viitorului, iar România este deja una din cele mai importante țări de pe harta e-Sports, conform studentpress.ro. Un studiu intitulat ”The Global Growth of Esports” arată că în lume există deja 89 milioane de oameni care se declară fani ai e-Sports și se estimează că această cifră va urca până la 145 de milioane în 2017.

Cifrele sunt încurajatoare și pentru industria din România. Silviu Stroie, președinte Profesional Gaming League, cea mai cunoscută ligă de jocuri video din România, a afirmat pentru dreamhack.ro că există trei milioane de fani ai jocurilor electronice în țara noastră. ”Dacă ne uităm cât de repede se dezvoltă, putem spune fără niciun dubiu că sportul electronic este cel mai promiţător sport al viitorului”, a adăugat Stroie.

Iar evoluția tehnologiei și modul în care Comitetul Internațional Olimpic privește această nouă industrie pare să îi da dreptate. Viitorul e plin de posibilități pentru e-sports.

Lyle Berman, business and poker

Lyle Arnold Berman is businessman, poker player, WSOP bracelet winner and chairman of the World Poker Tour board. So, it’s a high-stakes poker player with a fierce entrepreneurial streak. And for the most part, his risk-taking has paid off. In the 1970s, when leather goods were seen as upscale, he transformed his family’s small leather-wholesaling company into a mass-market retailer. He burst onto the gaming scene with Grand Casinos Inc., the first operator to spot opportunities managing Indian casinos in Minnesota and in dockside gambling along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Education and first business

Berman grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota where he was graduated in 1964 with a degree in business administration. He then went to work for his father’s leather business, Berman Buckskin. When the business was sold to W. R. Grace in 1979, he stayed on as president and CEO. The company was then later sold to the Melville Corporation where it became Wilsons Leather. From 1994 to 2000 he was the chairman and CEO of the Rainforest Cafe chain of restaurants and retail stores.


Berman began playing tournaments in the mid-1980’s, with his first memory coming from when he knocked Tom McEvoy out of one of the first events he ever played.  Although he didn’t play much, he always tried to play in the bigger events.  In 1994 he won first place at Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker in the $500 Pot Limit Omaha event, winning $97,750.  His success at the World Series of Poker has been even greater.  He won his first of three WSOP bracelets in 1989, defeating all comers in the $1,500 Limit Omaha event, winning $108,600. Number two came in 1992, winning $192,000 in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Number three came just two years later, winning $128,000 in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Deuce to 7 Draw Event.  On top of three bracelets he also finished second three times. He has shown that despite calling No Limit Hold’em his best game, he can hold his own at any game thrown in front of him. Berman has also found success on his own WPT, finishing in the money of three tournaments. His career tournament earnings are approaching three million dollars.

Big Business

Berman also played an important role in gaming companies. In 1990 he was a co-founder of Grand Casinos, a company that sought to create gambling establishments outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It was identified by Fortune Magazine as the fastest growing company in America, and in culmination, 1998 brought the substantial merger of Hilton Casinos and Grand Casinos, with the formation of the Lakes Gaming Corporation as a spin-off company.

World Poker Tour

Lyle might have been happy with the immense growth of his casino operations and innumerable business successes under his belt, but it can’t be said that he will pass up a promising new business opportunity.

In 2001, Lyle agreed to meet with Steve Lipscomb to discuss a proposition to televise poker tournaments. It had the ingredients of a successful venture, including Lyle’s gut feeling to invest in the idea. With the blessings of Lakes’ Board of Directors, the finances were in place, and the first tournament was held, taped and offered for sale. The Travel Channel entered into an agreement with Lakes to air the first season of the World Poker Tour.

WPT Enterprises broke from Lakes in order to become a public company in 2004, but Lyle, who had the confidence to back the project from the beginning, remains deeply committed and sits on the board of directors of WPTE. He plays an integral role in the company’s decisions to license its products, broadcast its shows internationally, and find new ways to market the ever-growing WPT brand.

Lyle Berman has made a living from keeping an open mind and making sound investments and wise business decisions. Through these qualities and a tremendous amount of life experience, he has gained the respect of the business world and the poker community alike.

He has recently had a book published, aptly named „I’m All In”. The autobiography gives a considerable insight into his upbringing, work ethic, family and friends, and the secrets to his successful life so far.

Awards & Results

He won the B’nai B’rith Great American Traditions award in 1995 and the Gaming Executive of the Year award in 1996.

In 2005, Lyle Berman competed in the National Heads Up Championship. He finished in fifth place losing to eventual champion Phil Hellmuth Jr.

Although he prefers high-stakes cash games, he has as of 2009 won over $2,500,000 in live poker tournaments. His 16 cashes at the WSOP account for $1,446,317 of those winnings. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.

According to the James McManus book Positively Fifth Street, Berman has bankrolled T. J. Cloutier in numerous poker tournaments, including the 2000 WSOP main event, where he finished 2nd. Berman currently resides in Plymouth, Minnesota and has 4 children.

The best poker results:






16th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #2 – WSOP Limit Hold’em



May 5, 1985

18th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #7 – WSOP Pot Limit Omaha



May 6, 1987

2005 National Heads-Up Poker Championship
No Limit Hold’em



Mar 5, 2005

20th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #1 – WSOP Limit Omaha



May 1, 1989

20th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #14 – WSOP World Championship – No Limit Hold’em



May 14, 1989

23rd Annual World Series of Poker
Event #16 – WSOP No Limit Hold’em



May 7, 1992

25th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #20 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball



May 5, 1994

28th Annual World Series of Poker
Event #16 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball



May 4, 1997

31st Annual World Series of Poker
Event #12 – WSOP No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball



May 4, 2000

39th World Series of Poker 2008
Event #45 – WSOP H.O.R.S.E World Championship



Jun 25, 2008

41st World Series of Poker 2010
Event #2 – WSOP PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. Omaha Hi/Lo Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball



May 28, 2010

World Poker Finals / WPT Event Season 4
WPT Main Event – No Limit Hold’em



Nov 18, 2005

WPT World Championship / WPT Event Season 5
WPT No Limit Hold’em Championship



Apr 27, 2007




Residence Plymouth, Minnesota
Born August 6, 1941 (age 72)

World Series of Poker

Bracelets 3
Money finishes 16
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
5th, 1989

World Poker Tour

Titles None
Final tables 1
Money finishes 3

WPT Fallsview Poker Classic: Matthew Lapossie is the winner!

Fallsview Casino Resort was the host of World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic which had 383 players on start who paid a buy-in CAD $5,000.

Canadian Matthew Lapossie came away with the victory after a series of ups and downs, bad beats, and one-of-a-kind poker hands. He was the chip leader after the first day of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic event and the last man standing from a field of 383 players.

Jason James started the day with a huge chip lead and he maintained a good chip position for most of the day. Short stacks Xiahu Chen (10th – CAD $26,462) and John Boulougouris (9th – CAD $36,320) weren’t as fortunate as they were eliminated within the first five hands of 10-handed play.

After that, it was Lapossie’s time to shine. He eliminated the next player in style, catching an unlikely hand on the turn. Peter Labib was fairly confident when he shoved the turn with the nut flush. But the smile on his face was immediately erased after Lapossie snap-called with the winning hand – A STRAIGHT FLUSH. The river couldn’t change anything as Labib left the table still wondering what he had done wrong to deserve this.

The Canadian, however, was still far away from winning the WPT title. He was put to the test after the big hand, losing an all-in battle with pocket Aces. Moreover, Lapossie lost another important pot with a full-house. He bet on a 5-K-5-8-K board while holding another five. His opponent, Jason James, tank-called with the bigger boat.

After more than four hours with seven players it was finally Dave Graham who was knocked out in seventh place for CAD $54,478. Graham lost a vital coin flip holding A-8 versus James’ sixes and the official final table was set.

Seat 1: Spiro Mikrogianakis – 1,900,000 chips
Seat 2: Jason James – 2,800,000 chips
Seat 3: Howie Leung – 1,405,000 chips
Seat 4: Josue Sauvageau – 2,690,000 chips
Seat 5 : Dylan Wilkerson – 1,640,000 chips
Seat 6: Matthew Lapossie – 885,000 chips

After countless chops and a few double-ups it was Howie Leung, who came into the day as one of the short stacks, who was knocked out in sixth place for CAD $72,639 when he couldn’t beat ace-king with pocket eights.

French Canadian Josue Sauvageau was next knocked out in fifth place, which was the exact same place he finished in this same event last year. Sauvageau took home CAD $90,799 after his jacks fell short to Wilkerson’s ace-queen.

Four-handed play was very cautious as nobody was taking the risk of being the next player knocked out. After the dinner break things picked up a little but and eventually it was Spiro Mikrogianakis who hit the road in fourth place. The local favorite took home CAD $121,066 when he was eliminated in a three-way all in. Mikrogianakis held sixes against Wilkerson’s queen-ten and Lapossie’s ace-king. Lapossie walked away victorious in this pot and that gave him a big lead with three left.

James 4-bet all in holding ace-seven and he ran into Lapossie’s ace-king. James was knocked out in third place and he took home CAD $163,439 for his efforts. From then on, Lapossie never looked back, securing his big lead and first place. After 22 hands of heads up play the tournament was done as Wilkerson was knocked out holding pocket fours against Lapossie’s ace-five of spades. The board gave Lapossie a pair of aces and Wilkerson cashed in CAD $228,806, while the winner took down the big prize of CAD $342,266 plus a guaranteed place at the WPT Championship event at Borgata.

Lapossie battled hard and was ultimately rewarded with the huge CAD $342,266 first-place prize for his high quality play. This victory is by far Lapossie’s best tournament result, as he etches his name in the huge WPT trophy. Lapossie will forever be part of the WPT Champions Club and we will see him back again at the WPT Championship event.

The Payout of this final table was:





Matthew Lapossie

CAD $342,266


Dylan Wilkerson

CAD $228,806


Jason James

CAD $147,090


Spiro Mikrogianakis

CAD $108,956


Josue Sauvageau

CAD $81,716


Howie Leung

CAD $65,373


(Română) Turneul Vedetelor PokerFest 1 s-a incheiat cu Liviu Varciu castigator

Sorry, this entry is only available in Romanian.

Men “The Master” Nguyen

Men Nguyen is a vietnamese-american professional poker player and is known on the international poker circuit as “The Master.” In addition to the admiration he garners due to his expert play, Men is famous for his caring nature. He has contributed a great deal to communities in his native Vietnam, and provided for those in need in New York City after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In 1967, he dropped out of school at age 13 and became a bus driver to help support his family. In early 1978, a staunch anti-Communist, he escaped from the Communist regime of Vietnam by boat and sailed with 87 compatriots to Pulau Besar in Malaysia. In 1978, he received political asylum from the United States and settled in Los Angeles, California.

Nguyen didn’t speak English and couldn’t get work for three months. He took three english classes every weekday. Finally, three months later, Men got a part-time job as a furniture delivery man tables, chairs, and sofa beds. He made $10 a day. When he was able to speak english a little bit he got a job as a machinist. That’s what he did for almost eight years.

In 1986 he became an American citizen. In 1984 he went on a junket to Las Vegas and played poker for the first time in his life. He continued to go every weekend and lose hundreds of dollars, earning him the nickname “Money Machine”.

Men Nguyen began playing tournaments in 1986. One day, he went to the Dunes to play high-low and there was no game, everyone was at the Stardust playing in the tournament. He took a cab there and saw that Bob Thompson (famous tournament director) was running a Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better tournament. He entered and finished eighth. There were more than 300 players and the buy-in was $330. Johnny Moss won first place. Nguyen loved the excitement and a year later he won his first tournament. It was at the Bicycle Club…a Diamond Jim Brady Eight-or-Better event.

With his poker earnings, he opened a dry cleaning business and furniture store, but sold them in 1990 because they took too much of his time and didn’t make enough money. Through these businesses he would, however, meet and work with many Vietnamese people who would fall under his tutelage.

Nguyen met his future wife, Van, in Vietnam. He eventually brought her to the United States, where they settled in Bell Gardens, California. They have 3 children. Van Nguyen learned poker from her husband. She won the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational in March 2008, becoming the first woman to ever win a WPT mixed event.

Nguyen has over 120 finishes in the money from 2000 to 2004, and has won more than 75 tournaments. Nguyen is known for tutoring players, many of whom go on to be successful in their own right, including his cousins David Pham, Minh Nguyen, and his wife Van Nguyen. At one time, Benny Behnen, grandson of Benny Binion, believed Nguyen trained more tournament winners than anyone else. Men receives a portion of some of his students’ winnings. In 1991 one of his students gave him the nickname “The Master,” and now he is widely known as “Men the Master.” He donates a portion of the money he earns through tournaments and tutoring to charities in Vietnam, and in 1996, with the earnings from his final-table finish in the World Series of Poker, built a kindergarten in Vietnam.

While allegations have been made regarding Nguyen’s possible involvement with tournament cheating, nothing has been proven and Nguyen has consistently denied any such actions. As of 2011, his total live tournament winnings exceed $10,300,000. His 78 cashes as the WSOP account for $3,151,075 of those winnings.

Men “The Master” Nguyen is an unlikely messiah. He is loud, brash and borders on abusive at times at the poker table. He is a smoker and a drinker and has even left a WSOP Final Table in no condition to legally drive. But according to more voices Men Nguyen has also been the best card player in the world over the past decade.

Men Nguyen has his own stable of protégés. They are novice gamblers, many of them from his own native Vietnam and are required to live by Men’s rules: 2 am curfew, no drugs, no sex with other players’ spouses and above all else, if the Master says it then the Student better do it. Many of Men’s former students have gone on to major tournament success – most notably two-time WSOP bracelet winner David “The Dragon” Pham.

Men’s own poker credentials are as impressive as any:

Total Winnings


World Series of Poker







Final Tables


World Poker Tour







Final Tables


He and Johnny Chan are easily the most successful non-US players to have played in major tournaments.

Men Nguyen has remained an influential force in Vietnam through the financing of two different schools in his homeland as well as offering tutelage to recent Vietnamese immigrants searching for a viable livelihood in the US.

He is a cherished member of the LA community and has been featured in an article for the May 15, 2003 edition of the magazine LA Weekly. Men lives in Bell Gardens, Southern California.


  • Nguyen has three daughters, each born on the same date but in different years.
  • Nguyen brought 14,000 kilograms of rice to poor Vietnamese families in the spring of 2006.
  • Nguyen is a practicing Buddhist and incorporates elements of that philosophy into his poker playing and teaching.
  • Nguyen credits much of his success at his ability to read other people.
  • Nguyen has won four of his seven WSOP bracelets in seven-card stud tournaments.
  • Nguyen escaped Communist Vietnam by boat when he was 24 eventually receiving political asylum form the U.S. in 1978.
  • Nguyen has tutored numerous Vietnamese players, including his cousins David Pham and Minh Nguyen and more recently Can Kim Hua.

Men Nguyen best results:


Date Tournament Place Prize ($)
16-Feb-2013 $ 125 No Limit Hold’em – Rebuy
2013 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
1st 21,255
27-Jan-2013 $ 340 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
2013 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
8th 1,130
12-Feb-2012 $ 550 Omaha Hi/Lo
2012 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
1st 16,640
12-Jun-2011 WSOP $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Las Vegas
10th 32,488
03-Jun-2010 WSOP $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
41st World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2010, Las Vegas
1st 394,807
20-Nov-2009 $ 5,000 + 250 No Limit Hold’em – Championship
2009 United States Poker Championship, Atlantic City
2nd 138,600
21-Sep-2009 WSOP £ 2,500 + 150 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha
2009 World Series Of Poker – Europe , London
4th 58,381
27-Apr-2009 [WSOPC]  $ 5,000 + 150 No Limit Hold’em – Championship Event
WSOP Circuit – Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
3rd 91,937
03-Nov-2008 $ 4,800 + 200 No Limit Hold’em
2008 World Poker Finals, Mashantucket
1st 127,765
12-Aug-2008 $ 500 + 45 Omaha Hi/Lo
2008 Legends of Poker, Los Angeles
1st 20,535
10-Aug-2008 $ 300 + 35 No Limit Hold’em
2008 Legends of Poker, Los Angeles
1st 65,700
13-Feb-2008 $ 2,500 + 95 Limit Hold’em
2008 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
1st 42,870
07-Feb-2008 $ 1,500 + 85 No Limit Hold’em
2008 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
1st 81,870
03-Feb-2008 $ 300 + 35 Seven Card Stud
2008 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
1st 15,129
14-Jan-2008 $ 500 + 50 No Limit Hold’em
2008 Gold Strike World Poker Open, Tunica
1st 51,330
04-Apr-2007 [WSOPC]  $ 5,000 + 150 Circuit Championship Event
WSOP Circuit – Caesars Indiana, Elizabeth
1st 238,756
01-Oct-2006 $ 1,000 + 80 No Limit Hold’em
2006 United States Poker Championship, Atlantic City
1st 87,097
18-Apr-2006 WPT  $ 25,000 + 500 WPT Championship – No Limit Hold’em
Fourth Annual Five-Star World Poker Classic, Las Vegas
6th 292,915
30-Oct-2005 [WSOPC]  $ 10,000 Championship Event – No Limit Hold’em
2005 WSOP Circuit Tournaments – Caesars Indiana, Elizabeth
2nd 243,200
28-Oct-2004 $ 500 + 65 No Limit Hold’em Seniors
2004 World Poker Finals, Mashantucket
1st 43,640
14-May-2003 WSOP$ 5,000 Seven Card Stud
34th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2003, Las Vegas
1st 178,560

Tony Dunst wins 2013 Caribbean World Poker Tour

Sunday, November 24, the Caribbean World Poker Tour came to an end. The tournament took place at the Casino Royale in the beautiful St. Maarten. Tony “Bond18” Dunst, won the first major tournament of his career and the first prize worth $ 145,000. Dunst has defeated a final table that included two former WPT champions, Giacomo Fundaro and Marvin Rettenmaier. For Dunst, this was the fifth cashing and the second WPT final table of his career. The money prize has also proved to be the third biggest win of his career, but one that will cement his WTP champion position in rankings. In addition to the title and money, Dunst has won a $ 15,400 seat at WPT World Championship, which will be held in Borgata, May 2014.

The Caribbean tournament had a field of 200 players who paid the $ 3,200 + $ 300 = $ 3,500, buy-in, creating a $ 592.864 prize pool. 

Noi ne vom concentra asupra lucrurilor ce s-au petrecut la runda finală, acolo unde ultimii 6 jucători au dat totul pentru a învinge. Poziția jucătorilor la masă a fost următoarea:

We will focus on the action of the final table, where the last six remaining players gave everything they got to win. The position of players at the table was as follows:

Seat 1.  Tony Dunst  –  1,418,000 chips  (118 big blinds)
Seat 2.  Giacomo Fundaro  –  458,000 chips  (38 big blinds)
Seat 3.  Zoltan Purak  –  324,000 chips  (27 big blinds)
Seat 4.  Marvin Rettenmaier  –  1,046,000 chips  (87 big blinds)
Seat 5.  Robbie Bakker  –  1,069,000 chips (89 big blinds)
Seat 6.  Severin Schleser  –  1,416,000 chips (118 big blinds)

Robbie Bakker was relatively inactive during the first stretch of play at the final table but he got aggressive 34 hands into play when he moved all in from the small blind on the river with the board reading Aclub10heart5club2diamondQclub. Dunst called under the gun with Jclub10club and the flush cracked Bakker’s pocket aces (AheartAspade). Bakker took home $28,700 in prize money as the sixth-place finisher and Dunst increased his chip lead.

Champions Club member Giacomo Fundaro then doubled up thru Dunst before the next elimination sailed into port. Zoltan Purak was all in preflop with 8club8diamond against the AclubQclub of Dunst and the board was dealt 5club2club5diamond10heartQdiamond. Dunst made a pair of queens on the river to score his second elimination at the final table and Zoltan was awarded $35,900 in prize money for fifth place.

The next big pot was another double up sandwiched in between the eliminations and this time it was twice-over Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier who survived an all in against Dunst. The next time Marvin moved all in he would not be so lucky. Marvin’s last stand was made with Jheart8heart in the hole against the AdiamondJspade of Severin Schleser. The board ran out AspadeKclub2diamond7club10heart and Rettenmaier took home $46,800 in prize money in fourth place.

On Schleser’s final hand he five-bet shoved all in to end a raising war against Dunst and then the two players tabled their hands. Dunst was ahead with AspadeKclub and Severin was dominated with AclubQdiamond in the hole. The board fell Kheart10diamond8spade9club4club and Severin was eliminated in third place, good for $63,500.

Dunst defeated Italian Giacomo Fundaro heads-up for the win. Dunst had a chip lead of roughly 5-to-1 when the final showdown began, and although Fundaro was able to mount a small comeback, Dunst eventually was able to extend his lead to nearly 10-to-1 before the final arose.

That lead took a hit when Fundaro doubled up just three hands into the final match. Fundaro shoved all in on a board reading Jheart6heart4diamond9heartJspade with Aheart3heart in the hole. Dunst called with 4heart2heart but his flush was behind the nut flush held by Fundaro. That pot gave Fundaro 2,550,000, but Dunst was still in the lead with 3,180,000.

On Hand 115 at the final table Tony took control of the match once again. Dunst bet 530,000 into a pot worth 800,000 with the board reading Jheart10spade3spade3diamondAclub and Fundaro called. Dunst turned over Aspade3heart for a full house and Fundaro mucked his cards. Dunst held 5,345,000 after the hand and Fundaro was decimated with just 385,000 remaining.

Five hands later it was all over. Dunst moved all in preflop holding Jdiamond2heart and Fundaro called with Kheart3heart in the hole. The final board of the tournament was dealt Jspade9diamond2spade6spade6heart and Dunst earned his spot on the WPT Champions Trophy. Fundaro was awarded $100,000 as the runner up and Dunst took home the lion’s share of the prize pool worth $145,000 and WPT champions trophy.

2013 Caribbean WPT Final Results:





Tony Dunst



Giacomo Fundaro



Severin Schleser

$ 63,500


Marvin Rettenmaier

$ 46,800


Zoltan Purak

$ 35,900


Robert Bakker

$ 28,700


MIKE MATUSOW and his „Mouth”

Everyone knows, the mouth of Mike cannot remain silent at the poker table. He talks away and he says nothing. Yada-yada-yada. Uff! For that he was nicknamed “The Mouth” …nevertheless we love and remember him as one of the greatest poker players of all time. Here’s his story.

Known foremost for his animated antics at the table, there’s no doubt Mike is an extremely talented tournament player, holding four WSOP bracelets and having made the final table of the main event on two occasions. His wild personality isn’t just a show for the cameras, and his tendency to take his tournament winnings to the high limit cash games has seen his fortunes fluctuate wildly over the years, and he spent 6 months in jail after being set up and entrapped by an undercover police officer to whom he sold cocaine.

Matusow’s first experience of poker was playing video poker in the Maxim Casino at the age of 18, which he played regularly, to the extent that he suffered from repetitive strain injury in his shoulders and arms. He occasionally stole money from his mother’s purse and at one point attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

Matusow took up poker at a young age when a friend introduced him to the game just before the 1990s. The game would soon become more and more serious for him. He took up a job as a poker dealer where he was able to pick up on various strategies and watch others play hand after hand, which helped him greatly. Following dealing, Mike took up the game professionally and never looked back.

Everyone may remember that Scotty Nguyen won the 1998 WSOP Main Event for a cool $1 million. If you watch the footage of the event, you’ll see Mike Matusow rooting Scotty on from the rail. The Mouth paid one-third of Scotty’s satellite buy-in, which he ended up parlaying into an overall victory in the Main Event. For this, Matusow was given a third of Nguyen’s winnings.

One year later, Matusow would win his first bracelet. He followed that up the next year with some more WSOP cashes before making a very deep run at the 2001 Main Event. He placed sixth and earned almost $240,000. In 2002, Matusow won his second bracelet and in 2005 he made another deep run in the Main Event. This time around, he finish was slightly worse when he placed ninth, but it was worth more than four times what he earned in his previous Main Event final table. He took home $1 million. Later that same year, the WSOP Tournament of Champions was held and Matusow won the event for another $1 million. He would eventually win his third bracelet in 2008, cashing multiple other times along the way. Matusow won his fourth bracelet in 2013 in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better tournament, defeating Matthew Ashton heads-up and earning $266,503.

World Series of Poker Bracelets



Prize Money


$3,500 No Limit Hold ’em



$5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better



$5,000 No Limit 2–7 Draw w/Rebuys



$5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better


„The Mouth” performed and in other poker events. This are the highlights moments:

In October 2004, Matusow made his first World Poker Tour (WPT) final table at the UltimateBet Aruba Classic, earning $250,000 for 3rd place. In 2006, he finished runner-up to Tony G in the WPT Bad Boys of Poker II in heads-up play. Matusow also appeared in Poker Superstars III, where he made it to the Elite Eight. In the winner-take-all championship match, Matusow beat seven other players to win $500,000. He also appeared in the second, third, fourth and sixth season of High Stakes Poker. In September 2006, Mike made his debut on the European Poker Tour in Barcelona; however, he was eliminated on the first day. In early 2007, Matusow appeared on two episodes of Poker After Dark where he finished 3rd and 2nd respectively. In July 2007, Matusow won $671,320 after coming in second place at the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup III Championship after online pro Kevin Saul defeated him during heads-up play. On November 11, 2008 at the World Poker Tour Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Matusow made another WPT final table, he finished in 6th place, earning $124,048.

Short profile of Mike:

Live Tournament Earnings: $8,469,284

Career Cashes: 86

Career Wins: 12

Career Final Tables: 45

Last 10 results of Mike Matusow:





Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Event #21 – No Limit Hold’em Championship



Aug 22, 2013





Empire State Poker Championship
Event #5 – Main Event – No Limit Hold’em



Aug 9, 2013

44th World Series of Poker 2013
Event #46 – WSOP Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better



Jun 25, 2013

44th World Series of Poker 2013
Event #31 – WSOP Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better



Jun 17, 2013

44th World Series of Poker 2013
Event #25 – WSOP Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better



Jun 13, 2013

44th World Series of Poker 2013
Event #13 – WSOP 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better



Jun 5, 2013

44th World Series of Poker 2013
Event #5 – WSOP Omaha & 7 Card Stud 8 or Better



May 31, 2013

NBC Heads Up Championship
Heads Up – No Limit Hold’em



Jan 24, 2013

43rd World Series of Poker 2012
Event #52 – WSOP 10 Game Mix / Six Handed



Jun 29, 2012

43rd World Series of Poker 2012
Event #24 – WSOP Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better



Jun 11, 2012


J.C.Tran a becoming legend


J.C.Tran or more accurate Justin Cuong Van Tran is a young player who treads his way, a way at the end of which lies the rank of World Poker legend. At the time this article is being written, Tran is cheap leader of the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table, and due to his vast stack and experience, he is the hot favorite to win the golden bracelet. With almost $ 8.3 million earned in poker tournaments throughout his career, J.C. Tran has a lot to say in the world of poker.

J.C.Tran is a Vietnamese-American professional poker player, based in Sacramento, California. Tran’s family moved to the United States when he was two years old. Tran was born in Vietnam, and is the youngest of eight children of Vietnamese parents. He received a degree in business management information from California State University, but chose poker as his profession.

Tran is a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event champion, has made eight World Poker Tour (WPT) final tables, winner of a WPT title, won at the World Poker Challenge and is the WPT Player of the Year of their fifth season.

He started with the home games and then went on playing the $9-$18 game at Capitol Casino in Sacramento. His first big live tournament performance came in 2004 at the World Poker Tour World Poker Finals where he finished 5th and collected $354,000 cash prize. Another big money finish was at the 2005 WSOP where Tran again scored 5th in a $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and cashed $118,000. The same year he played two more final tables in major poker tournaments and collected $200,000 cash prize for 7th place at the WPT Borgata Poker Open and a $252,000 prize at the $10K WSOP Circuit event at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Some of Tran’s other big money finishes include $312,000 at the 2006 World Poker Finals in Mashantucket, $2,800 No-Limit tournament and $266,000 for winning a $2,000 event at the Fifth Annual Five Diamond World Poker Classic the same year. He also cashed in six WSOP events and won back-to-back tournaments – the World Poker Finals and the Five Diamond – for a total payday of nearly $700,000.

Hot out of the gates in 2007, Tran boosted his WPT final table appearances by three with a solid run that started in February (sixth at the World Poker Open), continued to March (second at the L.A. Poker Classic for $1.2 million) and saw him seal the deal in April (first at the World Poker Challenge in Reno with the first place finish and $683,000 in cash). Eager to shed his reputation as “the best poker player without a bracelet,” Tran defeated his opponent, Danish player Rasmus Nielsen, in heads-up play for $630,000 at WSOP 2008, Event 49th, winning his first bracelet. Despite the large payout, though, it was the gold that kept J.C. going. Tran’s second bracelet along with $235,000 prize came in $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the 2009 WSOP.

As of September 2010, Tran’s live tournament cashes exceed to over $8 Million with 28 WSOP cashes worth a total of $1.6 Million.

However, J.C. Tran is known not only for his live tournament achievements, he’s got some big online winnings in his pocket as well. He’s the winner of the biggest online poker tournament – 2006 PokerStars WCOOP Man Event, $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em. Along with the WCOOP title Tran collected the $670,000 first place cash prize.

J.C. Tran has signed on to be the newest Team Pro for online poker site 888poker. Tran will be representing 888 exclusively, and not just at the WSOP Main Event, but also at future WPT events, online events and the WSOPE, to be held in Paris this October.

Tran’s personal life is just as active as his poker career. The young bachelor’s favorite activity is partying with friends – many of whom will show up to sweat him at tournaments – with some sports thrown in the mix. He also enjoys music, mostly hip hop, electronic and R&B.


Final-tabled at three consecutive WPT tournaments in as many months in 2007

Won the WPT Season 6 Player of the Year race

Was born in the coastal city of Nha Trang in south-central Vietnam

Has seven brothers and sisters

Earned a degree in business management information systems from UC-Sacramento

Won his first WSOP bracelet in 2008

J.C. Tran’s best poker results:






$ 100,000 No Limit Hold’em – WPT Alpha 8
Seminole Hard Rock 2013 Poker Open, Hollywood


$ 526,890


$ 10,000 World Championship – No Limit Hold’em Day 1A (Event #62A)
44th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2013, Las Vegas


$ 733,224


A$ 25,000 No Limit Hold’em – Semi Shootout
2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, Melbourne


$ 97,800


HK$ 32,000 No Limit Hold’em – APT Macau
2009 Asian Poker Tour – Macau, Macau


$ 117,479


$ 2,500 Pot Limit Omaha
40th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2009, Las Vegas


$ 235,685


A$ 100,000 No Limit Hold’em Challenge
2009 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, Melbourne


$ 213,111


$ 75,000 No Limit Hold’em – Final
PartyPoker.com Premier League Poker III, London


$ 300,000


$ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em
39th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2008, Las Vegas


$ 631,170


$ 10,000 World Championship Limit Hold’em
39th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2008, Las Vegas


$ 128,075


$ 5,000 No Limit Hold’em
2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Las Vegas


$ 523,075


$ 3,000 No Limit Hold’em
Fifth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic, Las Vegas


$ 272,320


$ 5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Championship Event
World Poker Challenge, Reno


$ 683,473


$ 9,900 No Limit Hold’em – WPT Event
2007 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles


$ 1,177,010


$ 10,000 Main Event – No Limit Hold’em
2007 Gold Strike World Poker Open, Tunica


$ 142,810


$ 2,000 No Limit Hold’em
Fifth Annual Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Las Vegas


$ 266,820


$ 2,800 No Limit Hold’em
2006 World Poker Finals, Mashantucket


$ 312,388


$ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em
37th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2006, Las Vegas


$ 92,301


$ 9,600 Championship Event – No Limit Hold’em
2006 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles


$ 265,728


[WSOPC]  $ 10,000 Championship Event – No Limit Hold’em
WSOP Tournament Circuit – Paris/Bally’s Las Vegas, Las Vegas


$ 251,920


$ 9,700 Championship Event – No Limit Hold’em
2005 Borgata Poker Open – WPT, Atlantic City


$ 199,820


$ 2,000 No Limit Hold’em
36th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2005, Las Vegas


$ 118,350


$ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em
Rio Las Vegas Poker Festival, Las Vegas


$ 97,470


$ 10,000 No Limit Hold’em Final Day – WPT
2004 World Poker Finals, Mashantucket


$ 353,850