ANZPT Player of the Year
David Lim has this week become player of the series at the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour after the final tournament in Auckland finished. He had a three way fight on his hands against Edison Nguyen and Sal Fazzino with one event remaining, but both of his challengers busted early, giving Lim his chance. He remained composed and eventually made it into the money, securing enough points to win player of the year. The tour included six events, and his final cash was in addition to an earlier 21st place and a win in the opening event. Interestingly, the player who finished 3rd in the player of the year race, Dean Blatt, had bubbled the first event of the tour. The race was close enough that, If he had cashed that event, he would have in fact won the player of the year title. Edison Nguyen finished a respectable 2nd.
Felix Stephensen Tax Troubles
Having taken 2nd place in this years WSOP main event for $5.1 million, you would think the troubles of Felix Stephensen would only involve feeling a bit down about narrowly missing out on winning the main event. It has come to light though, that under Norwegian tax laws he could be in line to lose 50% of his prize money. Stephensen has lived in London for two and a half years, but strict Norwegian rules say that you must be a resident in a different country for three years before being excluded from having to pay taxes in Norway. If his 2nd place had come one year later he would only have to pay UK taxes on poker winnings, which are a slightly fairer 0%.
The Facebook Feud
Most poker players do everything they can maintain a good reputation, even if it means going to court to defend themselves. This is exactly what happened after a group of players travelled to Las Vegas together. After $2,000 had gone missing and Nicholas Polias had apparently short changed one his friends by mistake, he quickly became the target of accusations thrown at him publicly on facebook. He was called a 'thief' and had his reputation questioned despite having settled up the short changing problem. The missing $2,000 was eventually found however, and Polias launched legal action for defamation of character, and won the case. He was awarded $340,000.
Hellmuth Finds a Good Seat
With his past history of struggling against great players in big cash games, Phil Hellmuth jr has this week found a great way to solve the problem. He has found a group of significantly less skilled players who want to play for significantly more money. In the so called 'silicon valley' area of California, Hellmuth has used his connections to get a seat into a game which includes company CEOs and a well known NBA star. Reports suggest his opponents have a combined worth of almost $5 billion, and are happy to test themselves against the most decorated man in WSOP history. Let's hope Hellmuths bankroll management matches his tournament Holdem skills.