The major online poker rooms are acting like your favorite sports franchise; snatching up any big-name player they can get their hands on. In the past few weeks PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and even PKR Poker have added a number of big-names to their professional rosters.
Full Tilt Poker has been pretty quiet on the signing front since adding Annette Obrestad to their lineup prior to the World Series of Poker, but this week they did add Professional Boxer, and semi-professional poker player, Audley Harrison. Harrison will be fighting for the Heavyweight Championship against David Swaye in Manchester England in mid-November.
PokerStars has been very active; signing top Russian online poker player Maxim Lykov to Team PokerStars Pro, as well as Romanian Billiards Champion turned poker player Toni Judet this week. These signings come on the heels of the site adding Liv Boeree and David Williams to their roster.
PKR Poker decided to throw their hat into the ring as well, signing Scott Shelley. Shelley won the £1,000 No Limit Holdem tournament at the World Series of Poker Europe, and in the process denied JP Kelly a repeat win in the event, and a shot at the record books –Kelly would have bested Phil Ivey’s mark for the youngest player with three WSOP bracelets.
The arms race between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker continues to heat up, with both rooms snatching up every top poker player available, as the two online poker powers battle for poker supremacy. The latest addition to the Team PokerStars Pro lineup is Russian online phenom Maxim Lykov.
Lykov has been playing at the PokerStars tables since 2005, and has turned two $40 deposits into an ever-swelling bankroll. Lykov has also started wetting his feet at live poker tournaments, and has had a string of good results, and is approaching $1 million in career earnings according to the HendonMob.com ($944,804 to put an exact number on it).
Lykov’s biggest win to date was at the 2009 EPT Kiev Main Event where he finished 1st, earning a $468,000 payday. According to pocketfives.com, Lykov has over $1 million in online tournament winnings, playing at a variety of sites including Full Tilt Poker (kaKeTKa), Absolute Poker (MuckAndLose), and of course PokerStars where he plays under the screen-name ‘justdec’.
Lykov joins Liv Boeree (formerly of UB), David Williams (formerly of Bodog), and Vanessa Selbst as 2010 PokerStars signings. Although the site has parted ways with 2008 WSOP Main Event champion Peter Eastgate, Hevad Kahn, and poker’s first Triple Crown Winner (EPT, WPT, and WSOP winner) Gavin Griffin.
After last week’s court ruling that upheld the state’s law banning online poker in Washington State, the world’s largest online poker room PokerStars withdrew from the market citing the recent ruling as the impetus for their departure. Fortunately for poker players in Washington State Full Tilt Poker –and other US-friendly poker rooms like UB and Bodog– have continued to offer online poker games to residents of the one state in the US that has banned online poker.
However, all is not sunny in Washington State: Many fearful online poker players have E-Mailed Full Tilt Poker seeking more information on the site’s current stance regarding the law and were sent the following response from Full Tilt Poker’s customer support team:
“In light of recent legal events, Full Tilt Poker notifies all of its players from Washington State that we are closely monitoring and have been assessing the recent legal developments that have occurred in Washington along with our advisors.
While the option to play real-money poker games of skill is still available on Full Tilt Poker, we will have further information about the status of real-money play by Washington residents in the near future.”
Not exactly the most encouraging message I’ve ever seen. You can be sure we’ll be keeping a close eye as this situation continues to unfold.
Full Tilt News supplied by PokerNewsBoy.com
A quick look at the leader-board at the European Poker Tour’s London stop has two notable names on it; one near the top and the other near the bottom. The player who is virtually in a tie for the chip-lead is 4-time WSOP bracelet winner John Juanda, who seems to do pretty well in London poker tournaments considering he won the 2008 WSOPE Main Event championship in London. The player near the bottom who will also be the focus of attention is Tom “KingofCards” Marchese, who is battling for the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year award.
Here is a look at the seat assignments and chip counts of the remaining 8 players:
· Seat 1: David Vamplew— 3,670,000
· Seat 2: Thomas Marchese— 1,480,000
· Seat 3: Fernando Brito— 1,100,000
· Seat 4: Per Ummer— 1,245,000
· Seat 5: Artur Wasek— 2,250,000
· Seat 6: Kayvan Payman— 1,295,000
· Seat 7: Kyle Bowker— 7,165,000
· Seat 8: John Juanda — 7,075,000
The final table will get underway at noon London time, with each player guaranteed a minimum payday of £66,800 for their efforts. The complete final table payouts are:
1 = £900,000
2 = £545,000
3 = £300,000
4 = £240,000
5 = £190,000
6 = £145,000
7 = £100,000
8 = £66,800
PokerStars News supplied by PokerNewsBoy.com