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Looking forward to the November Nine!

Many people may not remember the story behind the origin of the November Nine. The nine players who qualify to participate in the final event of the World Series of Poker have been called the November Nine since 2008, when the event sponsor and the broadcast networks in charge decided it would make for better entertainment if the final event were postponed to November despite most of the WSOP events being held over the summer months. This delay allows for equal coverage of all players involved, as the winner is not known in advance of the game’s broadcast. This increases fans’ interest in the game and allows more people to get excited to see what’s going to happen.

In 2010, Canadians have even more interest in the main event than usual, as there are two Canadian poker stars in the November Nine this year. Jonathan Duhamel, who is currently the biggest chip holder, and Matt Jarvis, currently in fifth, are both originally from Canada and proud to represent their country in the tournament. No Canadian has won the WSOP final event yet, but this year that could all change. This year, out of 7,319 participants and with a total prize pool of almost $69 million, two Canadian players will be walking away from the WSOP main event with no less than $811,823 apiece. Be sure to tune in on November 6 to see how these Canadian poker stars fare!

Canadian poker star Daniel Negreanu narrowly misses EPT victory

The €5,300 main event of the European Poker Tour in Vienna this year attracted 587 players who were putting up their best fight for part of the substantial prize pool worth €2,935,000. One of the players participating in the EPT was Canadian poker star David Negreanu, and he came within a hair of becoming the most accomplished winner in the game’s history. But his victory just wasn’t in the cards this time, as his lead was destroyed when the Czech and Italian teams surprised him with their superior hands – one with a straight, the other with pocket aces, against which Negreanu’s two pair was no match.

The new German poker star named Michael Eiler came in first place overall, while Canada’s hero placed fourth. Negreanu is still the second most profitable poker star with his total career earnings topping $13 million. He’s getting closer and closer to being the all-time biggest money winner, trailing the first-place poker star Phil Ivey by about a half million dollars. Canadian fans have nothing to worry about, as their favourite poker player is still on top of his game and will be sure to make you proud next time.

What is the World Poker Tour?

The World Poker Tour is not to be confused with the World Series of Poker. The latter began in 1970, whereas the World Poker Tour debuted at the end of 2002. Thanks in part to the escalating popularity of poker tournaments due to the TV broadcasts of WSOP events, and in turn thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of poker in general due to online poker rooms making it easier than ever to participate in the game, the WPT was born, giving professional poker players (and aspiring poker players) another tournament in which they could put their skills to the test against the world’s best.

The World Poker Tour, like WSOP, is also televised, drawing impressive audiences of poker fans who remain glued to their screens during the events. This increased exposure for the game of poker continues to fuel its popularity among Canadians, who frequent online poker rooms in record numbers and seek out live tournaments whenever possible.

Canadians played particularly well during the WPT third and fourth seasons. First Daniel Negreanu, a household name to poker fans around the world, was named player of the year, followed by Gavin Smith, the famed poker player from Ontario. Negreanu took home over $1.7 million in the Five Diamond World Poker Classiv event in 2004 alone. Along with Bertrand Grospelier of France, who won season seven, these players are the biggest poker stars of the WPT who are not Americans.

World Series of Poker explained

The World Series of Poker, more commonly referred to as WSOP, is one of the most prestigious and largest poker tournament series in the world. Entrants come from all over the world, with many of the strongest players hailing from the United States and a few from Canada, and the event itself is held annually in Las Vegas at various casinos.

The first such tournament was held in 1970 and grew very slowly in popularity over the following decade, from six players the first year to 52 in 1982. Shortly thereafter, it became possible to win one’s way into WSOP events via satellite tournaments, which led to an explosion in participants, peaking at almost nine thousand for the main event in 2006.

Around 2006, online poker rooms had become insanely popular, which led to a lot of government regulation that resulted in many poker players no longer being able to qualify for the WSOP via online poker rooms, causing a drop in the number of applicants. Online poker continues to draw huge crowds, of course, but things aren’t as simple as they used to be.

The event most popular and celebrated event at the WSOP is without a doubt the Main Event, a $10,000 no-limit Texas Hold’em tournament in which the victors win millions. In 2010 Canada has two players who will face off against seven other opponents at the final table in November, with Jonathan Duhamel of Montreal ranked first and Matt Jarvis of Vancouver ranked fifth.

As Day 3 closes, Sorel Mizzi is still on top Down Under

Even though other players are dropping like flies around him, it’s still far from over for Sorel Mizzi, who is currently leading the pack at the Aussie Millions Main Event. Competition is fierce and he remains neck-and-neck with two other strong players, Randy Dorfman from the States and Patrik Antonius from Finland. Beyond the top three players, Chris Moorman of the UK and Cliff Lee are also hanging on as the game progresses.

Although Tobias Reinkemeier of German had been putting up a strong fight the last time we checked in, he hasn’t fared well against numerous clashes with Antonius, which have caused his stack to dwindle significantly. He is still hanging on, but isn’t as much of a threat as he had seemed earlier in the competition.

Stay tuned for another update as the game continues tomorrow.

Record high-stakes tournament catapults winner to second-place ranking

This year marked a new record in the world of poker with the first season of the Aussie Millions event dubbed “Super High Rollers.” The event boasts an astronomical buy-in of $250,000, which more than doubles the previous record that had been a tie between another Aussie Millions event and a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure event, both of which require a $100,000 buy-in.

The winner of this new event, American Erik Seidel, is a remarkably accomplished poker pro who deserves the attention and has proven himself a worthy adversary for the star-studded competition. With the first place paying out a whopping $2.5 million, coming in first catapulted Seidel up to second place in the list of all-time most successful poker players in the world. He now stands at second only to Canadian poker star Daniel Negreanu, who has been at the top of the list for quite some time with little competition from anyone but American super star Phil Ivey.

With such an exciting start to 2011, this is shaping up to be another great year for live poker tournaments, especially as the prize pools grow exponentially thanks to increased interest in poker as well as the slowly recovering world economy.

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