Phil Hellmuth Joins Heads-Up UFA Team

One of the world’s top tournament players, Phil Hellmuth, has become a partner in the organization that is staging the first-ever World Heads-Up Poker Championship in June 2001.

Phil, who won the World Series Championship event in 1989 and half a dozen WSOP bracelets since, heard about plans for the new style event while he was in the UK recently to take part in the Channel 4 TV tournament “Late Night Poker.” He was so impressed by the new concept that he offered to help promote the event in America, and the organizing board enthusiastically accepted.

Phil commented, “To play a tournament in this way is just a great idea. It will prove really attractive to the players at all levels, to sponsors and to television. As a player, I can’t wait to get involved.”

Phil will be one of a four-member group of celebrity players who will be taking part in a special “Heads-Up Challenge” during the tournament at the Concord Card Casino in Vienna, Austria. Each member of the team will be accepting eight challenges each from any player in the world to play heads up matches at up to $10,000 a time.

Because of the expected demand for seats to take on members of the celebrity team-–expected to include Johnnie Chan, Ted Forest and Annie Duke–-a challenge list will be issued later.

Mark’s Pick of the Month

Well as promised, here is the “Pick of the Month” for October. Wow, what a month! There is a fantastic selection of tournaments for you to choose from, definitely an amazing month to play poker. There is poker taking place in all corners of the globe, some hot climates like the Caribbean Island of Aruba and Costa Rica, and some a little colder, like the International Poker Festival in Moscow and the Irish Winter Classic in Dublin, Ireland. Many great locations with exciting action promised. I would also like to welcome some New UFA events to the annual schedule and wish the best of luck to those involved and thank them all for promoting poker. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all poker players worldwide the best of luck in these events; I look forward to posting some of your names into our results section.

My pick for this month is the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods.

If I can manage to get on top of the massive amount of work here I just may manage to play in a few of the events myself!! I hope to see you all there.

Sept 26th – October 3rd: Tom McEvoy’s Poker Spectacular at The Hollywood Park Casino, Inglewood, Los Angeles. Eight Events with $200,000 Guaranteed prize money. Lowest Buy-In $120 and highest $225. This is the second Tom McEvoy event and promises to be even more successful that the 1st one last year. Great Hospitality at this Casino, along with many of the famous faces of poker.

September 26th – October 4th: Austrian Classic at The Concord Card Casino, in the picturesque city of Vienna, Austria. If you have never been to The Concord Card Casino before, this event is a must for the good food, hospitality and elegant environment in which to play poker. Total of nine events with lowest buy-in of $63.00 + $13.00 entry fee and maximum buy-in of $625 + $32.00 entry fee. Looking at numbers for last year’s event, this year’s event promises to offer even larger money prizes, not forgetting there is money awarded to The Best All Round Points Winner at the end of the tournaments.

October 4th – October 7th: Poker EM 2000 at Casino Austria in Baden, again a very delightful and inviting place to play poker, take in the sites as well as the gambling. This is considered The greatest 7-card stud tournament in the world with an estimated prize pool of ATS 10,000.000 ($625,000), and there is also a freeroll tournament for the first 120 players that register to play in the main event. There are three events and the final 24 players of each day go through to the main event held on the last day. A very different structure for a tournament but one that promises a nail-biting experience at the final table.

October 5th – October 17th: Big Poker Oktober from The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Satellites are held daily for this tournament (the second largest event held by the Bicycle) There is going to be a $20,000 All Around Points Championship, along with a banquet at the end of all of the events. The buy-ins range from $50 – $300 + entry fees and the estimated prize pool is set at $500,000. With this years refurbishments nearing completion, The Bicycle has certainly put in 100% effort to ensure that your gaming experience is an enjoyable one and they are always having added promotions in the casino to win extra cash or cars.

October 5th – October 8th: Canadian Poker Championship at Casino Yellowhead in Alberta. There are four events, and the main event is being held on the last day. This is $100 buy-in and there is $50,000 prize pool on offer. There is limited seating, so it is best to register early. This is not a tournament that I can say very much about, as I am not familiar with the casino, but I am sure that many great players will be determined to be crowned the Canadian Poker Champion and I look forward to posting their photo on my website.

October 6th – October 10th: Casino Europa Celebrity Poker Challenge at Casino Europa, San Jose, Costa Rica. This is the second major event to take place at this casino. This one promises to be just as exciting as the first, with large numbers of players all trying to share the $10,000 Guaranteed prize money for each event. Not bad for a buy-in of $10.00. Yes, $10.00. You may ask what the catch is. Well, there isn’t one. Guaranteed to be star-struck with all the celebrities putting their names to these five events and also a Card Player cruise for two is offered to the best overall player. If you have nothing scheduled for these above dates, I would highly recommend you get a flight to Costa Rica and enjoy the whole experience. New!

October 11th – October 18th: International Poker Festival 2000 at The Moscau Casino, Moscow, Russia. Jeff Lisandro, Mel Judah and Marsha Waggoner invite all poker players to participate in their first major poker tournament, which will include a New European Team Event that is a $20,000 Freeroll. There are many famous landmarks to see during the day and then enjoy the action of the tournaments in the evening. Remember to get your visa if you are planning to travel to Russia for this event. Buy-ins range from $200 to $1000 + entry fees, so the prize money should be good. New!

October 12th – October 14th: Irish Winter Classic at Merrion Square Club, Dublin, Ireland. This is a relatively short tournament in comparison to the others in October, but don’t be fooled by this. The three days pack in high action, with the lowest buy-in of $240 and the highest on the last event of $1600. Once again, this is an experience certainly to be added to your list of events attended, great company and the best Guinness you will ever taste the whole world over. Remember that many great poker players of our day have originated from Ireland, this includes the 1999 World Champion – Noel Furlong and Padraig Parkinson who finished 3rd in the same event.

October 13th – October 22nd: Anniversary Series 2000 at The Sprit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, Oregon. There are 10 events and all of them are TOC qualifying events. Six of the events have $2500 added, one has $4000 added, two have $10,000 guaranteed and the main event not only guarantees $25,000 but is a Terminator Event, so you earn $25.00 bounty on every player you knock out (with your cards, not your fist). Event #9 is a two-player team event with a buy-in of $130; the other events are $120 apart from the final day when the buy-in is $220. This has all the makings of a great tournament and I am sure that the casino won’t be disappointed at the number of players that turn up to take advantage of their generosity.

October 14th – October 22nd: The 4th Annual Thunder by the Bay at Ladbrokes Casino, San Pablo, San Francisco. Once again, the return of this annual tournament just shows that they have the formula for success correct with the overall guaranteed prize pool of $180,000. The satellites begin on October 13th at 2:00 p.m., and will continue to be run daily. There are eight events in all, with a freeroll being held on the last day for the top 30 points winners from the week. There will also be a player appreciation dinner and from 1:00 p.m. Midnight on the last day there will be a high hand giveaway every hour. Lots of guaranteed money should generate a very full and action-packed card room.

October 15th – October 22nd: UK Masters will take place at The Rainbow Casino, Birmingham, England. This is the first major event for this relatively new casino in the North of England. Over the past year this casino has offered some very exciting action and has built up a loyal base of poker players, who will take part in this eight-day event, with the buy-ins ranging from $40.00-$800. The UK Masters pot limit hold ’em game will be held over a two day period with the final 33 players battling it out on the 22nd to see who will hold the title for the year 2000. Birmingham is a great place for Indian curries, and don’t forget the famous Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips restaurant. New!

October 17th – October 24th: Seniors World Championships of Poker held this year at a new venue, The Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, Los Angeles. This great event has now been moved from The Crystal Park Casino to The Hollywood Park and promises to be an enjoyable experience for all that take part, under the watchful eye of tournament director Robert Thompson. Satellites are held every day at 10:00 a.m., and the Super Satellite for the Seniors VII Event will be held on October 22nd @ 8:00 p.m. There are a total of seven events, with the main event taking place over the final two days. There will also be an awards banquet to follow the final table. You have to be over 50 to take part in the Seniors event, but there are nightly tournaments open to all ages. An extremely courteous tournament and your chance to play with the ladies and gentleman of the poker world.

October 19th – October 22nd: Poker tournament at Pokerworld, Vienna, Austria. At the time that this pick of the month goes to print I have no updated information on this tournament and when they do have an event and I manage to get the schedule, I can never get the results. So apologies to any of you that play at Pokerworld, but maybe you could have a word with management or get the information to me some other way. I would really appreciate it.

October 20th – October 22nd: Haig Kelegian Classic, taking place at Ocean’s Eleven Casino, Oceanside, California. There is a cash award of $1500 to the best overall points player. Three events, each having $7,500 guaranteed, a free complimentary buffet, trophies and t-shirts being given away for the reasonable buy-in of $100 + $20 entry fee. Great hospitality, good food and guaranteed to be a memorable event.

October 22nd – October 31st: 1ST Annual GPPA World Master Classics of Poker taking place in the exotic location of Palm Beach, on the Caribbean Island of Aruba. Wow, what a venue, and somewhere I would love to go. Just imagine the wonderful experiences that the Caribbean would have to offer Tina and our children, and great poker for me, but work calls. Maybe next year. With the expertise and organization behind this tournament from the German Poker Players Association and nine events with buy-ins from $100-$1000 + entry fee, plus a free roll first event where players are guaranteed much fun and a chance to win many many prizes, this will start the tournament off with great atmosphere to carry through the rest of the days. Being in the same structure as a European tournament, there will be some pot limit games in the schedule. New!

October 23rd – October 29th: European Poker Classic at The Grosvenor Victoria Casino, London, England, or just The Vic as we all still call it. Well, this is a place that is very dear to my heart; I won my first ever tournament here back in 1984, where I was crowned the UK 7-Card Stud Champion. It is a great place to play poker, and I am very happy to see them enter the tournament circuit again. By the way, the food in the restaurant is fantastic, ask Tina — I took her there on our first date (not quite what she had expected, but once you are bitten by the poker bug, it’s just something you want to share with everyone). Enough of me and back to what’s on offer, six events, the main event taking place over the final two days, three EPPA ranking events (European Poker Players Association) so this is sure to be a great tournament and I will expect that many of my friends will be there to battle it out for the prize money. Say hi to Jeff for me — he runs the cardroom — and be lucky.

October 26th – November 5th: Fall Poker Tournament at The Peppermill Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Super Satellites start on the 26th and will run all day. There are 10 events in this tournament with a buy-in from $120-$540 for Limit Championship Hold ’em event on the 4th November. They always have a good turnout at the events hosted by The Peppermill, and I am sure that this great value for money event will be as successful as it has been in the past years.

October 26th – November 5th: Fall Vacation at Lake Elsinore Resort in California. This is an annual event that in the past has proved to be very successful. Schedule not yet confirmed, once it comes through I will put it into the tournament section on my website.

October 27th – November 3rd: Triple Crown at Fort McDowell Casino, Fountain Hills in Arizona. This is a unique format for a Seniors Event or any event that I have seen before. At the end of the seven days the search will be over to find the World Champion Senior Poker/Gin Rummy and Golf player. This promises to be an exciting overall event with an awards banquet on the final day. Plenty of gin rummy action promised outside of the main events. New!

October 29th – November 19th: World Poker Finals at Foxwood Resort Casino, Manshantucket in Connecticut. This is the largest casino complex in the world, and this event has been so popular in the past that early room reservations are highly recommended. This is a 22-day tournament. What a way to spend three weeks — playing poker in the sumptuous surroundings of the Foxwood Resort, plenty to do other than play poker and plenty to keep the family amused. Super Satellites for the main event are being played on October 13th, 20th, 27th and 28th and then satellites are being held daily from the 29th for many of the 16 events that will take place during the World Poker Finals. 10 events will have $2000 added. This will be awarded to the winner and a qualification in the 2001 TOC. Four events have $5,000 added with one of the 7-card stud events having $10,000 added for a buy-in of $2580. $20,000 will be added to the prize pool for the main event and this has a buy-in of $5100, but if you are lucky in the satellites you could get into this event for a total outlay of$120. With this very successful formula, this event will certainly give you an action packed poker tournament with the big names of poker certainly making an appearance to try to take away the title and of course the very large cash prize. The major events on this schedule are over two days, so take your annual vacation and get to Foxwood to witness and take part in this amazing poker experience.

General notes

Just some general information that I want to relay to you all. Please remember that all of the major events that were scheduled at The Crystal Park have now been either moved to The Hollywood Park or cancelled. Please check with both casinos before making plans to take part in an event.

Also, I just want to say how sad the news was that the Hall of Fame at Binions was cancelled. It should have taken place in Sept/Oct. This was always a fantastic event, especially as a new player was inducted into the legendary Hall of Fame and bringing it back again after a two year absence was met with great excitement by everyone. I hope that this special tournament is not buried forever, and certainly it would be nice if Binions would still elect a player into the Hall of Fame annually, maybe after the World Series of Poker. We all would like to be recognized in some way for the contributions we make to the poker world, and the longer the induction is left, the longer the list of players gets that should be in there already, so the decision of who goes in next becomes so much harder to make, and of course hope that the decision made won’t upset some of those overlooked. Just remember all of you out there to support the WSOP, as we would not like to lose that momentous tournament, the pinnacle of the poker world and it is up to us all to keep it going.

Again, more sad news that The Carnivale of Poker for Jan 2001 has had to be cancelled, but I am sure that with the determination of Bonnie Damiano it will return again with a vengeance in 2002. Maybe we should remember that no matter how bad we all thought it was at Harrah’s, we would have rather it be there in 2001 than be cancelled completely.

When you attend any of the above tournaments this month, just remember the hard work and effort that goes in behind the scenes to ensure that everything goes off smoothly for the players taking part. Sometimes things may not be quite the way you would have chosen for yourself, but just relax and enjoy the event. And don’t forget to be nice to the dealers, it is not easy for them either, they would all like to deal everyone the winning cards.