DANISH PLAYERS LEAD THE WORLD

Danish FlagFrederik Jensen’s win in the PokerStars European Poker Tour main event in Madrid over the weekend was the fifth for Danish players on the tour, a country that has consistently produced some of the best players in the world.

From a population of only five and a half million, Denmark has produced a World Series of Poker Main Event winner, five European Poker Tour winners, five World Poker Tour winners (combining for seven titles) and countless other champions around the world.

Gus Hansen is perhaps the most well-known.

The “Great Dane” won the first ever World Poker Tour event — the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas — before adding the Los Angeles Poker Classic title in the same season. Hansen then added the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure title a year later (then a WPT event) and has since claimed the Aussie Millions to his list of victories, famously writing a book detailing every hand played on his way to the win, appropriately titled, “Every Hand Revealed.”

Joining Hansen on the WPT roll call are the likes of Theo Jorgensen, Caspar Hansen, Christian Grundtvig and Rehne Pederesen, winners of some of poker’s richest prizes, with Sander Lyloff, Peter Jepsen, Allan Baekke, Mickey Petersen and now Frederik Jensen added their names to the list of European champions.

In 2008 Peter Eastgate became the youngest World Series of Poker main event champion in history. Some suggested Eastgate was the new Gus Hansen, something that countryman Jacob Rasmussen replied: “It’s more like Gus Hansen is the first Peter Eastgate.”

Frederik Jensen’s win is just the latest Danish triumph. Read more about the Danish Poker Federation on their website.

THE MONEYMAKER EFFECT ON THE BIG SCREEN

 

ALL-IN – The Poker Movie is not the first cinematic release to highlight the “Moneymaker Effect”.

Cinema Chairs Ifpblog 21mar12The story of a novice player winning a seat to a major poker tournament via the internet formed part of the plot to the movie Lucky You starring Eric Bana and Robert Duvall, in which a father and son settled their differences at the poker tables of the World Series, all while an unknown “internet player” defied everyone to take the title.

While Lucky You portrayed the fictional story, ALL IN recounts in part the non-fiction version, of a Tennessee accountant named Chris Moneymaker (a name too good to make up) who now forms part of poker’s history; from the early days of the game in Las Vegas, to the current state of a game which, in the United States at least, is in legal turmoil.

In essence Moneymaker’s impact was simple. When he was pictured having turned $39 into $2.5 million, he showed the world how a few dollars on the internet could be turned into big money in Las Vegas (he has since added nearly $1 million in tournaments earnings to his record, having become known as one of the leading players of the past decade). It spawned countless new events such as the World and European Poker Tour, offering the same opportunity to new and old players.

The “boom” was at its loudest in the years following Moneymaker, who topped a field of 839 players. In 2004 the figure was 2,576, then up to 5,619 in 2005. At its most popular (and legal) in 2006 the main event had a field of 8,773.

Then the lawmen stepped in, denying poker to millions of American players. In the years following payments between players and poker companies was rendered almost impossible, and then last year Black Friday rolled back the law to effectively prohibit online poker itself. These draconian measures continue to be fought state by state, as well as on a federal level.

Lucky You had a happy ending. Father and son made up and, while neither won the World Series (a questionable fold, it should be said), poker was shown as the great game that it is, uniting people regardless of background to play a game loved by millions. Fiction perhaps, but hopefully the non-fiction version is not far off.

CANADIAN POKER FEDERATION JOINS IFP

Canadian FlagThe Canadian Poker Federation (Federation Canadienne du Poker) has become the newest member of the International Federation of Poker, taking the number of official member nations of the IFP up to 41.

Canada has for many years been a poker playing nation, producing of talented poker players, perhaps most notably Daniel Negreanu, one of the leading players of his generation, and stars in the current game. In 2010 Jonathan Duhamel became the first Canadian to win the World Series of Poker Main Event.

The legal status of Canadian poker players remains stable. While the Quebec government has independently legalised online poker, the Canadian government does not issue licenses and players are free to play on foreign based poker sites.

By joining the IFP community the Canadian Poker Federation, chaired by Robert Storey, adds its weight to the shared aims of promoting poker as a skill game, a Mind Sport that can be played by everyone, regardless of background.