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Takahiro Nakai Becomes Second Japanese Player to Win WSOP Bracelet

A Japanese poker player has won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet for the first time in WSOP history.
The lucky player, Takahiro Nakai, beat a 2,497-strong field to emerge as the champion of the $1k NL Holdem, the 57th event of WSOP 2015. The only other Japanese player who could achieve such a feat was Naoya Kihara, who won the WSOP 2012 $5k Six Max PL Omaha event.
Nakai, who is now 36 years old, is employed in a tech company. He began playing online poker games several years back, but decided to visit Las Vegas to take part in the WSOP. He will never regret his decision as he can now take home a large first-place prize of $399,039.
The event was supposed to conclude within 3 days, but Nakai and Mel Weiner, his heads-up opponent, had to return for the fourth day to play for the title. Nakai started the game with a chip advantage of 3 – 2 and quickly converted his chip advantage into a win.
The heads-up match lasted just eight hands. During the last hand, Nakai bet all-in from the big blind, and Weiner responded with an Ace of Diamonds and a Jack of Hearts. Nakai, who held a Queen of Spades and the Seven of Hearts responded with a call. The board presented the Queen of Clubs, the Jack of Hearts, the Six of Spades, the King of Clubs, and the Nine of Hearts, providing a fitting pair to Nakai’s Queen of Spades. This helped Nakai win the championship title, while his opponent took home the runner-up prize of $248,034.
The players who finished third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth were Paul Vas Nunes ($175,559), Glenn LaFaye ($126,612), Jonas Lauck ($92,453), Robert Piltz ($68,317), David Martinezcano ($51,103), Frederico Dabus ($38,676), and Barry Schultz ($29,619).

Stout to Host Second Charity Series of Poker on July 5

Matt Stout, a professional poker player from New Jersey, will host the second edition of Charity Series of Poker, an annual event that benefits Three Square. The event will be held at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino at 7:00 p.m. local time on July 5, Sunday.
The Charity Series of Poker features a re-buy tournament with a buy-in of $300 plus $100 per re-buy and add-on, based on the 50/50 rake-free format. Any member of the public can take part in this event and grab their chance to donate to charity.
Several professional poker players have already expressed their desire to take part in this event, and bounty prizes will be offered to anybody who beats them. The bounty prize includes copies of World Series of Zombies comics by Chad Holloway, the managing editor of PokerNews.
In addition, players who defeat James Woods, poker player and Hollywood actor, will receive a bounty prize package of autographed photographs from his TV and movie projects and DVDs.
Stout, who specializes in running charity poker tournaments, said: “We drink, gamble, have a blast, and donate tens of thousands of meals to hungry people in need who live just miles away from where we’re taking shots and flipping for all the money, jewelry, and glory all summer.”
Last year, as much as $14,605 was raised for Three Square, a food bank that annually provides 43,000 free meals to the needy.
Winners of World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship titles, including Carlos Mortensen, Ryan Riess, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Merson, and others have taken part in the Charity Series of Poker.
Commenting on the concept of charity poker, Stout says he “feels a responsibility to give back” as the game of poker has given a lot to him, adding that he knows many people “who feel the same way.”

FFP’s Software Upgrade Changes Tournaments to Deliver Superior Experience

Full Flush Poker (FFP) has announced that it has upgraded its software program, transforming the structure of its antes tournaments to give players a better FFP experience.
A spokesperson for Full Flush Poker said that the firm gives top priority to player experience. Admitting that the company was aware of the limitations of its software program for some time, he said that the company has responded to player feedback and upgraded its software accordingly.
He said that the company was also aware that the recent update to its antes tournament structure was essential to “long-term growth” and that the company is proud to “give players more of what they want in our tournaments for a guaranteed more enjoyable and competitive time at the FFP Tables.”
FFP has been making attempts to tweak its tournament lineup for a long time. Now, a majority of its daily poker events reflect the new antes structure with extended blinds.
Thanks to these tweaks, players can focus more on the skill aspect of the game of poker at a tournament’s business end and middle levels, effectively putting an end to the “all-in fest” that most of the previous FFP tournaments ended with.
The software upgrade makes the online poker room more flexible and enables it to introduce antes whenever required and to create innovative structures for various poker tournaments.
Thanks to the upgrade, players can expect a superior gaming experience at Full Flush Poker. It enables FFP to deliver a greater range of online poker tournaments, slow as well as fast, giving adventure-loving poker players the chance to gain access to Super Turbo and Turbo formats.
FFP has upgraded its software to coincide with its summer poker tournament series, an event that is just around the corner. Details of this event are yet to be revealed.

Pala Poker to Host WPT in September

The World Poker Tour (WPT) will be held at the Pala Casino Spa & Resort from September 4 -13. The poker room at Pala Casino Spa & Resort will hold four WPT satellite tournaments to give players an opportunity to qualify for the event. The qualifiers will begin on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. in July 5, July 12, July 19, and July 26.
The WPT is an internationally acclaimed series of live poker tournaments. The final table action of most of these tournaments is broadcast live on TV. The series was launched by WPT Enterprises, headed by Steven Lipscomb.
Each tournament has a buy-in of $110+$20+$5, and each participant will receive a starting stack with $7,000/$3,000 in chips. Each event will have a 30-minute blind level and permit re-entries or late entries for up to four levels. Each event will also reward one out of 10 participants with a WPT Main Event seat worth $1,100. The Main Event will be played on September 13.
In July, Pala will host two more major poker events—the Quest for the Cup and the River Card Warm-up. The latter, which will be played on July 3 at 7:15 p.m., offers an estimated prize pool of $10,000 and has a buy-in of $100+$25+$10. The prize pool includes five free seats to the main event of the Quest for the Cup.
The former offers a guaranteed prize pool of $20,000, has a buy-in of $150+$30+$20 and 30-minute blinds, and gives each participant a starting chip stack of $8,000/$5,000. The winner’s name will be carved on the River Card Traveling Cup.
In July, Pala Poker will continue to hold popular promotions such as the Limit Flush Marathon, the High Hand, and the Chase for the Dough, in addition to a brand new event called the No Limit Rolling Hourly High Hand.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open to be Played from July 30

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) will be played at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood in Florida from July 30 to August 19, 2015. The schedule, which can be viewed at www.SHRPO.com, comprises a number of tournaments. The highlight is the Big Four, a four-event finale, which happens to be the first of its kind in poker history.
The Big Four, which will be streamed live online and broadcast on CBS Sports Network, will be played on August 18, Tuesday at Hard Rock Live. Phil Hellmuth, the poker celebrity, will host the event and supply the commentary for all the four events at the same time.
The Big Four, which guarantees a total prize pool of $7.5 million, includes the $5,250 SHRPO NL Hold’em Championship event, which will begin on August 15, Saturday at noon and will distribute a total prize pool of $1 million among the top 150 players; the $2,650 NL Hold’em, which will begin on August 16, Sunday and will distribute a guaranteed prize of $1 million among the top 60 players; the $25,400 High Roller NL Hold’em, which will be played on August 17, Monday and will distribute a guaranteed prize of $1 million among the top eight players; and the $1,100 NL Hold’em, which will be played at noon on August 17, Monday and will distribute a guaranteed prize pool of $500k among the top 75 players.
Larry Frank, the poker general manager for Seminole Gaming, said that the single-entry structure of the championship tournament will give all players “a unique opportunity” to play for and win their share of the guaranteed prize of $5 million. In addition, “the chance to be part of the finale that showcases four final tables at the same time heightens the energy and excitement of this year’s series,” he said.

Twin River to Introduce New Table Games, Including Poker

Twin River Casino plans to introduce new table games to its non-smoking section on the second floor. Once the new games are added, players can choose from 28 table games, of which 16 will be poker games, along with a mixture of classic games such as blackjack. The introduction of these new games will generate 120 additional jobs.
Twin River Chairman John E. Taylor said that listening to customer feedback is part of the casino’s business philosophy and that they opened a new poker room on player demand.
Patti Doyle, the spokeswoman for Twin River, said that the workforce will be expanded and that Twin River will hire more dealers, security staff, stage personnel, and floor managers.
The Lottery Division of the Department of Revenue of Rhode Island has already approved the new table games. In order to accommodate the new tables, the casino will move the 274 slot machine games that now occupy its second floor.
Both Doyle and Taylor said that Twin River’s goal is to compete effectively with the new Plainridge Casino, which is scheduled to launch in Plainville in Massachusetts on June 24.
Taylor said: “That’s what drives our laser-like focus on customer service, our plans for a new amenity hotel on property, and now, the expanded non-smoking floor offerings. We will continue to explore ways to remain competitive in this challenging regional market.”
By placing the new games in the non-smoking section on the second floor, the casino hopes to reproduce the vibe and energy of the gaming floors on the lower level. Since the casino has removed over 300 slot machine games that occupied the second floor, it could introduce extra dining options such as Rhodehouse Live and Shipyard Pub.
This enables the casino to “offer the excitement of table games in a non-smoking atmosphere,” as Taylor puts it.