2014: events, people, numbers
2014: events, people, numbers

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the New Year is just round the corner and it’s time to sum everything up. We’ll tell you about the most significant events of the leaving year, name the best offline player and the largest distribution in poker.

This year is extremely authentic. It is pretty foolish to say that it has been a better or a worse year than a previous one – it is just special.

It soaked up the large amount of the most interesting events, some of which have brought the whole poker world into the state of shock.

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WPT Five Diamond & Alpha8: Millions of Bellagio
WPT Five Diamond & Alpha8: Millions of Bellagio

Two significant tournaments have ended in the Las-Vegas – WPT: Five Diamond World Poker Classic and Alpha8. There were millions of dollars at stake at both tournaments and the number of the distinguished players went beyond the limit.

Perhaps we will start from $10,400 WPT Five Diamond. The most interesting six-day tournament would be most likely considered as High Roller tournament on the European land, but bets are always higher in Vegas.

Almost 600 people (586 to be exact) anted the required buy-in – that’s a new record! It has beaten the result from the previous year for approximately 150 buy-ins, where 449 registrations took place.

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EPT Prague: Russians attack
EPT Prague: Russians attack

18 days, 70 tournaments and a bunch of new records – Prague Poker Festival again brings calm streets of Czech’s capital to live. Despite there is a huge number of interesting events, central place of the festival is most definitely taken by EPT.

As Russian proverb says, “We’ve all been there and drank honey and beer” – and it is true in the case. At least partly, because we surely have drunk beer – as it’s good and chip in Czech Republic. Even the creator of PokerDiscover, who have been into Top-10 of OFC World Championship Main Event, visited Prague. But we’ll talk about this sometimes later…

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Poker in Czech Republic
Poker in Czech Republic

One can find more than enough opportunities for poker playing in a rather small Czech Republic. There are several well-known clubs in Prague only, and once in December the town turns into poker capital of the world.

In the Czech Republic there are approximately 60,000 slot machines. It is a lot for a country with 10.5 million inhabitants. From the end of 90s the number of slots was growing – 1,000 more each year. The explanation is the existed laws in force: licensed companies could install as many slot machines as they wanted and open infinite number of branches.

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Poker Notepad: Pot Commitment
Poker Notepad: Pot Commitment

In this first part of series of theoretical articles “Poker Notepad” we are going to talk on one very significant topic for those who play live: being pot-committed. This is especially important for those playing cash games as they have absolutely no clue about it.

Let’s get through the “terms used” as all the nerdy articles seem to start like this, aren’t they?

It is very common to hear or see the following logic in cash game: the player invest more than a half of his stack into the pot and calls on the turn and river just because he is “pot committed”, or “too much involved”. And the main focus is the invested money, not pot odds.

Weird.

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King's Casino Rozvadov: The Czech miracle
King's Casino Rozvadov: The Czech miracle

In the teeny-tiny village at the German-Czech border one can find a casino with the largest poker room in Europe – 60-70 tables are available at any time.

An hour and a half’s from Nuremberg and two-hour's drive from Prague, as if right at the border, there’s a human settlement Rozvadov which is so small that its population numbers less than 1,000 inhabitants. It gained the worldwide and European fame due to the King's Casino, build in 2003.

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Revolution on PokerStars, or How AMaya predicted
Revolution on PokerStars, or How AMaya predicted

Even before the monopolist room PokerStars has been bought by the Canadian company Amaya there was strong trend for room to be reconstructed in favor of the recreational players. The latest changes have caused an outrage even among those-who-have-seen-everything regulars, who are now taking votes for the most famous team PokerStars player Daniel Negreanu to leave the poker room.

Just to confide this statement, let’s get through the list of the latest controversial changes in global poker economics:

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City of Dreams: the poker capital of Macau
City of Dreams: the poker capital of Macau

In addition to the enormous tower-hotels, several shows of world standard, numerous entertaining centers and a few hundred gambling tables City of Dreams has one more trump card: the only PokerStars room in Macau.

Short Profile:

The name: City of Dreams or CoD Macau

Its owner: Melco Crown Entertainment

Location: China area, Macau

The square of gambling halls: 39,000 m2

Opening year: 2009.

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Belorussian Poker Tour: Not the first spin and not a spoiled one
Belorussian Poker Tour: Not the first spin and not a spoiled one

The first official Belorussian Poker Tour has ended with triumph: the new records have been set. The players are happy. The managers are satisfied. However there were some imperfections. But one can say for sure: the format of continuous poker tournament has been adopted easily and will be improved with time.

During the period of time from 31 October to 10 November the doors of the "Victoria Olimp Hotel" located in the capital were opened again for poker players from all over Belarus and neighboring countries. This championship has got a new name, in the manner of European series – Belorussian Poker Tour, a new intelligible schedule and, what is more, organizational issues gave rise to no special complaints.

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The second gambling zone is opened in Russia
The second gambling zone is opened in Russia

The Kemerovo Company “Alti” has opened the first casino Altai Palace at the gambling zone “Sibirskaya Moneta”, situated in 250 km from Barnaul. This establishment have been already welcoming new clients, despite the fact that only the ground floor out of four is operated.

In November there emerged one more gambling zone in Russia. Now there are two of them out of five. For a long time “Azov-City” has been the only legal territory with functioning gambling institutions.

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Poker in the Republic of Moldova
Poker in the Republic of Moldova

Small but very proud country of Moldova is situated in south-east Europe and has considerable amount of poker resources. There are a few excellent poker clubs and casinos in Chisinau.

The population of Moldova accounts for only 3,500,000 inhabitants, 800,000 of them live in the capital – Chisinau. In early 90s, when the country declared its sovereignty, the first casinos started emerging.

The legal system in Moldova is far more loyal or, to be more precise – not as perfect, as in Russia, Ukraine and some other countries of former Soviet Union, which fight against gambling industry using the most radical means.

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Martin Jacobson: from chef to a world champion
Martin Jacobson: from chef to a world champion

Swede Martin Jacobson, the winner of 2014 WSOP Main Event, didn’t like mathematics in school. For that reason he decided to do something more practical in his life and... he studied to be a chef. Jacobson couldn’t even imagine, what will happen in seven years.

After many years of chasing the great title Swede has reached his goal.

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Bellagio: The Home of High Rollers
Bellagio: The Home of High Rollers

TV Show High Stakes Poker was filmed here, famous WET fountain is situated nearby, Cirque du Soleil performs here and the most famous poker players gather on this place.

Short info:

Name: Bellagio

Owner: MGM Resorts 

Place: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Total gambling area: 10,800 sq. m.

Opening Year: 1998.

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WSOP Main Event 2014: Gentlemen, place your bets
WSOP Main Event 2014: Gentlemen, place your bets

Only one week separates us from the biggest final table of the year - November Nine. Traditionally, the best skilled theoreticians of the world – those, who are connected with bookmaking – evaluated who is going to be the most likely winner and owner of 10 million dollar prize.

Waiting for the end of the most interesting poker event till November – despite of the fact that the tournament itself started in summer – is very boring. It’s just like with the final season of “Breaking Bad” – it was also divided into two parts. And that was dreadful.

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Poker in the Ukraine
Poker in the Ukraine

Just about a year ago poker in the Ukraine was listed as a sport. Clubs are placed all over the country – in Lvov, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Cherkassy and, certainly, Kiev.

History of the Ukrainian industry of gambling is very much similar to the one in Russia. The law which forbids gambling came in force in 2009. It actually made a lot of casinos and slots machine clubs working undercover.

5 years later we can’t say that the situation has changed significantly. Big and little gambling houses are being closed for several times a year. It is a common practice.

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