So that’s 2013 done and dusted, for some it was lucky, for others 13 was definitely unlucky. Here, in no particular order, are our 10 biggest stories from the last 12 months, featuring controversies, new beginnings and German domination.
1) bwin.party Reenter American Market
It’d been a long time coming but in November the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa received New Jersey’s first Internet gambling permit. The Borgata partnered with bwin.party and on November 26th Americans within the state of New Jersey could play for real money on bwin.party.
2) Reiss The Beast Wins WSOP Main Event
The biggest poker tournament of the year was won by 23-year-old Ryan Reiss. The Michagan native pocketed $8,361,570 for his victory but what garnered most interest in the aftermath was the fact that he then declared himself to be the best player in the world. Let’s see if he can back up his claim in 2014.
3) Schemion Is Number One
Whilst Reiss might claim to be the best player in the world the title for best player in 2013 went to Ole Schemion. The German sensation just pipped Daniel Negreanu to the title of Global Poker Index’s 2013 Player of the Year.
4) German’s Dominate
Ole Schemion wasn’t the only German to enjoy a stellar 2013, as seemingly every High Roller event around the world was won by a German. Chief amongst them was Philipp Gruissem who won back to back WPT Alpha 8 titles for a combined $2,466,240. Other Germans who took down High Rollers included: Niklas Heinecker, Max Altergott and Martin Finger, whilst Tobias Reinkemeier was runner-up in two. Oh and with a reported $6,200,000 profit, Heinecker was the biggest online cash game winner of 2013.
5) Hansen’s Hole
Poker is a zero sum game and whilst Heinecker topped the profit list in online cash games Hansen is propping up the other end of the table. The Great Dane is down nearly $8,500,000 according to highstakesdb.com
6) Shak Attack
The star names taking part in the partypoker Premier League VI tripped off the tongue: Esfandiari, Trickett, Hellmuth, Negreanu, Rettenmaier and Mercier were all there. Dan Shak was one of the rank outsiders but the American businessman defeated Sam Trickett heads-up to win the title.
7) Canada Cleans Up
The Germans weren’t the only nation to dominate poker over the course of 2013. This year’s WSOP will be remembered as the ‘year of the Canadian.’ No less than 10 bracelets were won by players born in the Great White North and Daniel Negreanu then won the WSOP APAC main event to boot.
8) WSOP Hall of Fame Controversy: Nguyen Gets In, McEvoy Fights Back
This year Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and both caused some controversy in the poker community. In terms of sheer poker talent and contribution Nguyen – known as the Prince of Poker – was as shoe in, especially as this was the fifth time he’d been nominated. But as much as he’s known by older poker fans for his ‘you call it’s going to be all over baby,’ quote when he won the 1998 WSOP Main Event, he’s also known for his drunken swearing tirade at the final table of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E event in 2008.
As for McEvoy his induction caused Doyle Brunson, among others, to question whether the criteria for nomination needed changing, given that McEvoy didn’t meet most of the five criteria for nomination such as having played for high stakes.
9) Ivey Versus Crockfords
The biggest poker related controversy of 2013 didn’t even involve poker! The poker superstar won £7,700,000 playing Punto Banco at Crockfords Casino in London but the casino withheld his winnings accusing Ivey and his female accomplice of cheating. The story made the national press and it emerged that Ivey had been using a technique called ‘edge sorting’ to tip the odds in his favour.
10) Chris Moorman Hits 10 Million Mark
Who’s the best online tournament player of all-time? All the statistics point to it being Chris Moorman. The Brit holds the record for Triple Crowns – winning three tournaments with a $10,000 prize pool on three different sites within seven days – at 19 and accomplished that feat seven times in 2013. In September this year he became the first player to pass the $10,000,000 mark in online tournament winnings. Legend.
The all new partypoker Sunday tournament schedule
The all new partypoker has introduced a new Sunday tournament schedule. The key changes are the addition of an action-packed fun $10K Super Bounty and a wide range of new low buy-in tournaments featuring the best of the old but also new speed, rebuy, add-on and PLO tournaments – a great Sunday mix if you want to win top prizes and have fun playing tournament poker.