Philip Padron Makes History With First Asian Poker Tour Tile Defence

Asian Poker TourIt’s been all go at the Resorts World Manila’s Genting Club over the past few days with the Manila Millions and Asian Poker Tour (APT) Philippines main event running – although you might have missed the very notable milestone of Philip Padron becoming the first player to defend a title on the tour.

The Filipino took down the $500+$50 buy-in APT Philippines Asian Heads Up Championship for $11,620 in a 60-player field – just four short of capacity when 13 players failed to appear – after having secured last year’s title for $9,930 to create a little piece of tour history.

Not that the home favourite had an easy time of it as he outlasted players such as Team Bodog Pro Jennette ‘Jay’ Tan, McLean Karr, Winfred Yu, Nam Le, Jojo Allado, Czardy Rivera, Kai Paulsen, Daniel Chua, Justin Chan, Sparrow Cheung, SJ Kim, Julian Hasse and Manila Millions winner Allan Le – who pocketed $1,685,000 for that incredible success – to claim the winner’s cheque from a $29,100 prize pool that saw eight players paid.

Champion Survives Scare to Make Final

Padron saw off New Zealand’s Daniel Francis, Hong Kong’s Ken Wong – this year’s Aussie Millions main event runner-up – Japan’s Sekiya Yosuke, fellow Philippines player Lester Edoc and Australian Michael Marvanek, who is a Macau cash game regular, on the way to his best-of-three title clash with Frenchman Ira Blumenthal.

However, Padron had to survive a huge scare against Edoc to even make the semi-finals after finding himself in need of a club on the river to complete a flush when out-flopped by his opponent.
All-in pre-flop, Padron revealed 9c-6c to be ahead of Edoc’s 5s-4c. But that all changed on the 2c-5c-Ah flop as Edoc caught middle pair and an inside straight draw. With his tournament life at stake, Padron had to find a club from the last two cards to double-up.

The Qs turn was no help, but the 3c – while completing Edoc’s straight – gave Padron the flush to stay in contention to defend his title. He completed his comeback later when Edoc shoved all-in for his last 9,000 while holding Ad-8d, but was left disappointed when Padron’s Ac-Kd held up for the knockout.

Ira Blumenthal Conquers Tough Route to Last Two

Certainly, Blumenthal has form in the Philippines so it should be no great surprise that he did well again, having previously accumulated $124,547 from three in-the-money finishes, with his runner-up spot in the $2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event of the 2007 Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Philippines – also in Manila – earning him $113,858.

Blumenthal also faced a tough route to the final after defeating Hong Kong’s Edwin Hui, Thailand-based Englishman Ben Abrahams, and Philippines duo Don Carmona and Michael De Leon – before seeing off latest Bodog recruit Tan in the semi-finals.

In what was her debut as a Team Bodog Pro, the 23-year-old from Hong Kong fell just short of the final to take third spot – and $2,910 – when her all-in move with Ah-Jd ran into the Js-Jh of Blumenthal.
Unfortunately, for Tan, the Qc-8s-10h-2c-6s board was no help, although it was still a fantastic performance from the three-strong Team Bodog member and bodes well for the future.

Marathon Final Sees Filipino Crowned Champion

Philip Padron

In what became a momentous final clash that ran comfortably into the early hours, Padron began well to correctly call Blumenthal’s 3,500 bluff on the river with only king-high. But the Filipino star went on to make several mistakes to find himself with a short stack – and was ultimately forced into calling an all-in shove on the river from his French opponent on a 6c-Ad-Jc-As-2h board, only to see Blumenthal reveal Ac-Js for the full house.

That made it 1-0 to Blumenthal, but Padron was not ready to give up after that disappointing loss and bounced back by taking the second match-up as their clash moved past midnight.
Finally, at about 3am, Padron was crowned champion when, on the button, he raised to 2,000, only for Blumenthal to make it 6,000 to go. However, the home favourite responded with an all-in, which the French player called for a showdown.

Padron revealed As-Jh for a classic race against the 10d-10s of Blumenthal. The Filipino took the lead with top pair on the 5d-Jc-7s flop – and stayed there when the 7h turn and Qc river were no help to runner-up Blumenthal. The Frenchman did, however, leave with $5,820 for his second place finish.

Payouts from the APT Philippines Asian Heads Up Championship

  1. Philip Padron (Philippines) – $11,620
  2. Ira Blumenthal (France) – $5,820
  3. Jennette ‘Jay’ Tan (Hong Kong) – $2,910
  4. Michael Marvanek (Australia) – $2,910
  5. Lester Edoc (Philippines) – $1,460
  6. Marc Rivera (Philippines) – $1,460
  7. SJ Kim (South Korea) – $1,460
  8. Michael De Leon (Philippines) – $1,460

partypoker Offering Incredible WSOP And WPT Packages

partypoker PromotionsRoll up, roll up, it’s time for some thrilling poker action at partypoker, where players can secure packages to this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) and April’s World Poker Tour (WPT) Vienna.

Yes, the poker room is offering players the chance to win incredible prizes that will take them to Las Vegas and Italy, as well as possibly gain entry to the Spring Million promotion that is guaranteeing $1 million in prizes come early May.

That’s not all, though, as players can still qualify for the partypoker Card Rush promotion, which will see prizes offered from 10 PartyPoints all the way up to $5,000.

Really, there couldn’t be a better time to sign up to partypoker with so much going on, as well as the poker website’s normal line-up of events and promotions.

Hurry! Card Rush Promotion Ends Tomorrow

But be quick if you want to win some prizes from the Card Rush offer as it closes at midnight tomorrow ET (Eastern Time Zone, February 28). However, if you do manage to get some play in, you can quickly earn 15 PartyPoints for a card that will include a free gift from among the 1.8 million on offer.

Check out the ‘Prizes’ tab, then look for ‘Card Rush Race’ to get going, folks. There are still prizes up for grabs, including entry to $2,000 and $20,000 freerolls, as well as an incredible 25,000 PartyPoints, and even $5,000 in hard cash.

The Card Rush Freeroll Schedule

  • Friday, March 2, 13:00 ET, $2,000 Card Rush Freeroll; 14:30 ET, $15,000 Card Rush Freeroll
  • Saturday, March 3, 13:00 ET, $5,000 Card Rush Freeroll; 14:30 ET, $10,000 Card Rush Freeroll
  • Sunday, March 4, 13:00 ET, $3,000 Card Rush Freeroll; 13:00, $20,000 Card Rush Freeroll
  • Monday, March 5, 14:30 ET, $7,500 Card Rush Freeroll

Other prizes include as many as 20 Card Rush Race points, which will see the leading 200 earners win from $100 to $9,000, while every 20th placer from 220 up to 2,200 is guaranteed $50.

WSOP 2012 Qualifiers Kick Off

Meanwhile, partypoker’s WSOP 2012 promotion kicks off at midnight ET tonight and runs until 23:59 on Sunday, June 17, when players can grab hold off a $14,000 package through satellites that includes the $10,000 main event buy-in and quality accommodation at a top Las Vegas hotel for 10 nights, as well as $2,000 cash to spend.

Each Sunday from 14:50 ET will see a $750 buy-in WSOP Satellite run, which will reward 5% of the field with those incredible WSOP packages.

However, partypoker know that not everyone has the bankroll to afford such a large buy-in, so the poker room are also providing sub-satellites that run daily, from freerolls to WSOP Satellite Qualifiers that cost just $80.

partypoker WSOP 2012 FreerollsFreerolls to Las Vegas Start Here

The freeroll will see the leading 25 players handed tickets to the daily $2 WSOP Sub Qualifier Speed Rebuy – and thereafter you can aim for a spot in the WSOP Satellite Qualifier as every $80 added to the prize pool provides an entry.

There is also a $4 WSOP Sub Qualifier Speed Rebuy with the same criteria and even a $9 WSOP Sub Qualifier Speed event that will hand out WSOP Satellite Qualifier seats for 10% of the field.

Then, if you are again among the top 10% in this $80 event – which run daily at 14:50 and 19:50 ET, as well as Sundays with a turbo tournament at 12:50 ET – you are in the $750 buy-in WSOP Satellite and just one step away from getting on a flight to Vegas come early July… if you can make the top 5%.

Get on over to partypoker to take a look at their full qualifying structure page for a shot at the big time… and big bucks!

WPT Vienna Satellites Up and Running

Of course, partypoker and WPT Poker are famous for their great giveaways and this is certainly also true of the WPT Vienna promotion that is running right now at the website until 23:59 ET on Sunday, March 25.

If you have your sights set on making it to Vienna’s Montesino Casino for the April 10 to 15 main event, partypoker have numerous WPT packages worth $7,000 to give away.

Qualifiers run every day between now and March 25, with freerolls providing the leading 25 players with entry to the $1 WPT Vienna Sub Qualifier Speed Rebuy tournament.

However, players can also buy into the $6 Sub Qualifier Speed event – with both Sub Qualifier tournaments offering seats for each $40 added to their prize pools in the Satellite Qualifier that runs every day.

The WPT Vienna Satellite Qualifiers start at 13:45 and 20:45 ET every day, while there is also a Sunday turbo event. Similar to the above satellites, every $375 added to the prize pool will provide one seat at the next WPT Vienna Satellite.

World Poker Tour Vienna$7,000 Packages to be Won

One $7,000 package is already guaranteed from the $375 buy-in Vienna Satellite that runs every Sunday at 15:20 ET, while each extra $7,000 added to the prize pool also assures places in the main event come April 10.

The WPT Vienna prize package includes the $4,700 buy-in to the main event, as well as six nights’ hotel accommodation and $900 to spend.

Keep the faith and maybe you’ll be lining up alongside some of the world’s best poker pros as they all aim to emulate Dimitry Gromov’s success from last year when he defeated fellow Russian Maksim Kolosov in their heads-up encounter to leave Italy with $636,733.

If you are interested, check out the full qualifying structure here and get registered today for an opportunity to face up to the top pros in Vienna.

WPT Foundation Lines Up Celebrities And Pros For Several Charity Events

WPT FoundationWhoever said that poker is a force for evil as it encourages people to gamble might well have to eat their words as the World Poker Tour (WPT) has got together with numerous poker pros and celebrities to launch the WPT Foundation with the aim of using the tour’s influence as an “engine for important change in the world”.

The WPT Foundation plans to host several charity poker events entitled WPT Playing for a Better World that aim to raise cash for their worldwide charity partners, including World Central Kitchen, We Advance, Enough Project, and Conservation International.

The first tournament will be hosted on Sunday, March 11, by SLS Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, with the celebrities already signed up including the likes of Joel Madden, Jeremy Piven, Don Cheadle, Gerard Butler, Maria Bello, Eva Longoria, Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell.

Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari Signed Up

These stars of the big screen and music industry should certainly enjoy the event as they will be able to compare their poker skills – and maybe even win a lesson or two – against pros such as Andy Frankenberger, Maria Ho, Jamie Gold, Tony G, Vanessa Selbst, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Harrington and Daniel Negreanu, as well as the WPT’s very own Tony Dunst and Mike Sexton.

The first stop will see celebrities enjoy some poker lessons, before then getting down to the serious business of playing in a $500 buy-in round-robin tournament, enjoying an auction and a raffle – with tickets priced at $100 – to raise funds for the previously mentioned charities.

The WPT has already made a donation of $100,000 towards the event, with the tour’s chief executive officer Steve Heller saying he expects a positive response from all concerned.

Steve Heller Says WPT is ‘Dedicated’ to Supporting Charities

Heller stated: “World Poker Tour has always been dedicated to supporting charitable causes, but by establishing WPT Foundation we are making a deep, lasting commitment to philanthropy the likes of which the poker world has not seen before.”

Steve Heller“With poker as a platform for an ongoing programme and the support of celebrities, our poker player family and fantastic global charities, we’re confident the world will be shown how WPT and the poker community can be an engine for important change in the world, and we’re pleased to fuel that engine with an initial $100,000 donation.”

“The launch event of WPT Playing for a Better World at the beautiful SLS Hotel will be a night to remember and the first of many such WPT Foundation events to come.”

Players will definitely enjoy more than just top-quality poker, though, as multi-award-winning Spanish chef José Andrés will be on hand to provide a buffet from his The Bazaar restaurant, which is attached to the SLS Hotel.

If you want to know even more about the event, then visit

PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour Back For Season Two

Eureka Poker TourPoker tours are appearing all across the globe right now as the world’s greatest game continues to expand and develop at a pace no one could realistically have predicted, with one of the most recent additions, the PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour, returning for a second year.

We already have the big-name series such as the World Poker Tour (WPT), European Poker Tour (EPT), Asian Poker Tour (APT), Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) and Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT).

Then there are more localised events, including the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT), North American Poker Tour (NAPT), Partouche Poker Tour (PPT), Italian Poker Tour (IPT), Estrellas Poker Tour, Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), and even the Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT).

Essentially, the majority of the world is well covered by tours, with only a few exceptions, although the World Series of Poker (WSOP) have moved beyond their Vegas home in recent years to create the WSOP Europe and right now the WSOP Africa is smack bang in the middle of a second season in South African city Johannesburg.

Eastern and Central European Poker Boost

But, incredibly, eastern and central Europe have been sidelined somewhat, so the return of the PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour for a second outing will be most welcome in countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Certainly, poker players throughout the region warmly welcomed the five events that were held last year as the tour took in Prague (twice), Zagreb, Varna and Nova Gorica.

While the schedule for this year’s tour is still not yet complete, three stops have been announced – with Latvia, Croatia and Bulgaria the first countries to be certain of welcoming thousands of players and spectators to some of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Season Two will kick off in Croatia on April 9, lasting six days until the 14th, at Zagreb’s Golden Sun Casino and featuring a €1,000+€100 buy-in main event from the 11th until the 14th.

Croatia, Bulgaria and Latvia on 2012 Schedule

The other confirmed dates are in Bulgaria and Latvia, of course, with Varna’s Casino & Hotel International at the Golden Sands Resort staging a seven-day event from June 4 to 10, with this leg also including a €1,100 buy-in main event from the seventh to the 10th.

Four months later, from October 1 to 7, Riga’s Royal Casino will also play host to a four-day main event that again possesses a €1,100 buy-in and kicks off on the fourth.

Now, many of you online poker hopefuls in eastern and central Europe will surely have eyed up live tournament competition – and where better to begin than in Zagreb come the middle of April?

OK, OK, OK, I realise the vast majority of you won’t have the €1,100 buy-in readily available. But that’s where PokerStars comes in – as the poker room are offering free entry through a series of online satellites to players in Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Freerolls to Zagreb Running Now


These freerolls are staged on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays every week right now at 19:30 CET (Central European Time) on, with each event offering more than €100-worth of added satellite tickets.

The satellites can be found in the PokerStars lobby. Once there, look for the following tabs: ‘Tournaments’, and then ‘Regional’. If successful, you’ll have to follow up by visiting ‘Events’ and then ‘Special’ for the main satellites.

Of course, it’s all up to you to secure those main satellite event seats and, hopefully, one of the packages on offer from PokerStars.

There are seat-only prizes, as well as the more sought-after seat, hotel accommodation and expenses award, so – if you fancy getting ready for a trip to the Croatian tournament that promises to possess a prize pool in excess of €200,000 – it could be time to check out the satellites.

Follow in the Footsteps of Richard Bodis

Hungarian Richard Bodis won last August’s €730+€70 buy-in main event in Season One for a top prize of €47,298 ($68,061) after outlasting a 259-player field in Zagreb that created a prize pool of €183,400 ($263,908). But you can expect that winner’s cheque and starting line-up to be larger this year.

However, never fear, if you’re not already signed up to PokerStars, it’s really easy. Just get on over to and follow the instructions.

You can also take advantage of their 100% first-deposit bonus for as much as $600. Click here to visit

Remember to bookmark Max Poker Bonus so you can get the latest information on the second season of the Eureka Poker Tour, including updates on additional stops being added to the series.

The PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour Season Two Schedule

  • April 9-14: Eureka Croatia, Golden Sun Casino, Zagreb, €1,000+€100* buy-in main event (April 11-14, 400-player maximum)
  • June 4-10: Eureka Bulgaria, Casino & Hotel International, Golden Sands Resort, Varna, €1,000+€100* buy-in main event (June 7-10, 500-player maximum)
  • October 1-7: Eureka Latvia, Royal Casino, Riga, €1,000+€100* buy-in main event (October 4-7, 500-player maximum)

* 3% of prize pool covers floor staff and dealers costs.