Poker Highlights of 2019

2019 has not been short of poker entertainment. From one of the biggest sites saying their farewells to a generation, to topless dealers in Malta, we have broken down some of the biggest stories poker has brought us over the past year.

By: James Currie

The PSPC

This year marked the first year of the PSPC tournament, the only one of its kind to date. And no matter what skill level of poker you’re at, you could not miss having a piece of this. After thousands entered online, 320 players freerolled their way to the bahamas to battle it out for a top prize of $5.1 million.

The $25k NLHE tournament final table was unique in the fact that it blended such a wide range of players that could win their way in for nothing. However, it was in fact Róman Colillas who outlasted the field, taking home the $5.1 million in cash, alongside a tasty PokerStars sponsorship deal. He also now gets to join fellow pro Chris Moneymaker promoting the site at future live stops.

PokerStars deemed the event that big of a success that they declared a second event would take place in Barcelona in 2020.

WSOP Main Event Win

The WSOP Main Event is certainly the most prestigious tournament year upon year. 2019 saw Germany’s Hossein Ensan bank the win and take home $10,000,000.

The tournament was also marked as the 2nd biggest Main Event is WSOP history with 8,569 entries, second to the 2006 Main Event which received 8,773 entries. This is undeniably due to the late registration that ran on day 2, combined with the day 1c entries. Hopefully the 2020 event can break the record!

MGN Shutting Down

Sad times for the online generation, over the past 16 years Microgaming Network offered a raw and more fun approach to online poker with it’s variety of skins and playful software. Unfortunately, next year we will see the company close its doors. In September 2019, the decision was made to shut the network down. This move was very unexpected and did not go down well within the poker community. Microgaming’s CEO John Coleman said regarding the situation:

‘The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business.’

Despite this, a lot of users believe the issue circulates from the rise in bots over the years and MGN is one site that has been hit hard by this problem.

We’re unsure what the future of MGN will hold for now, but the players have been encouraged to play up until the closure of the site in may 2020.

Topless Dealers in Malta

A comedic idea at first, though many seemed to have a strong opinion on the event and found the shirtless proposal demeaning for all involved. In an era of social media, many people called out the act on twitter.

The dealers at the Battle of Malta Ladies Event were given an extra €50 to go shirtless all for a bit of fun, yet it did not seem to be fun for anyone by the looks of things. They were apparently given an hours notice to take their tops off but some dealers denied the request. Those that refused were taken off the event last minute, including one of the best professional dealers from the UK.

The whole situation shines a light on what the dealers are being put through over in Malta, all for the sake of a quick buck. Poor hotel conditions, low pay and pressureful work situations and if they are to speak up, are at risk of losing their job.

Postlegate

Mike Postle has been involved in one of the biggest cheating scandals we have seen in recent years. Allegations were made at Stones Live Cash Games a few months back after a series of bizarre plays occured that a lot of players found to be absurd. Daniel Negreanu promptly took to twitter after seeing the controversy.

24 victims who had lost a lot of money playing with Postle are currently in the process of suing him, alongside Stones Gambling Hall, in a $30 million lawsuit. Postle was berated for constantly checking his phone prior to making big decisions alongside the mysterious hat he was wearing. Pro poker player Jonathan little shared his opinion on the matter.

Biggest Live Pot

Triton Poker has become more and more popular over the past few years and no wonder why. Live commentary, super high stakes and the best players in the world gambling for it all, what more could you ask for?

In this €2k/€4k (with €8k straddle) cash game, Isaac Haxton battles in a pot worth €1.2 million against Asian pro Tan Xuan. Unfortunately for Xuan, running it three times was not enough to see any return on his money.

Triton Charity Event

This years Triton event for charity was the biggest poker tournament ever in recorded history. With 54 entries, and a staggering £19 million ($23 million) for first, Chinese businessman Aaron Zang won the tournament, after chopping heads up with Bryn Kenney.

Each player contributed £50,000 of their entry to the event that managed to raise £2.7 million for a charitable cause, props to that!

Some familiar faces were also in the mix shown to be having a good time.

What were your most memorable poker moments from 2019?

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