For players traveling to the European Poker Tour (EPT) stop in San Remo, Italy, this week, the recent eruption of a volcano in Iceland threw a kink into their plans. The Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in southeast Iceland, which erupted just after Midnight on Wednesday, has caused thousands of flights to be delayed or cancelled and its effects could be felt on the European continent this weekend. Just after the eruption, however, several players found themselves seeking other methods of travel to Italy.
One of the people who was able to get to Italy before flights were disrupted was EPT and “High Stakes Poker” announcer Kara Scott. “Because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland, most flights from London are cancelled. I’m on one of the few squeaking through – phew,” tweeted Scott prior to arrival in San Remo. Barry Greenstein, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as fortunate. “San Remo EPT has started, but London airports were shut down because of volcanic ash from Iceland,” Greenstein tweeted prior to the start of Day 1B action early this morning. “So we had to drive. We are in the Alps in Italy as our chips are being blinded off. ETA 4:30 PM.”
Players were also finishing their preparations for the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship, which starts on Sunday from the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Many players were taking part in a host of events in Sin City, including the final preliminary events of the Five Star World Poker Classic at the Bellagio, the Venetian Deep Stack tournament series, and the start of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit stop at Caesars Palace. For many of them, the additional practice prior to the start of the WPT Championship has been profitable.
Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad has been one player who has done well in tournaments at the Bellagio. She has already cashed in two events and tweeted, “Headin to Bellagio soon to play the 500. Also playing the 5k tomorrow and then ME on the 18th WEEE poker.” After 15 hours of play on Thursday, Obrestad was able to once again tweet her followers about her success when she wrote, “Down to 9, playing FT and the 5k tomorrow!” The top prize in the $500 buy-in tournament is $21,000.
Jonathan “FieryJustice” Little also played masterful poker in a run during another preliminary event leading up to the WPT Championship. “Heads up between me and Rene Angelil,” Little tweeted on Thursday night prior to the start of heads-up action. “He has 1.3 mil I have 700k. Playing 600/1200-100. Hopefully it will be a long boring match.” It turned out that the battle would last less than two hours, with Little turning the tables against the man best known as Celine Dion’s husband and manager. “Shipped the belt, title, and $67000. Got lucky to hit a flush, then had Q2 hold against J8,” Little tweeted following his win.
On the other side of the equation, poker player Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler seemed to have a bit of a tough run for his day in Las Vegas. “Wow three events in vegas today, bellagio 500nl, venetian dse 300, caesars circuit opener,” the man known as “Chainsaw” tweeted as he started the day. After busting from the Bellagio tournament only two hours later, Kessler entered the Venetian tournament, which started a discussion featuring B.J. Nemeth and tournament director Matt Savage.
“Venetian deepstack is hardly a deepstack,” Kessler, who is known for his prickly demeanor about poker’s rules and structures, tweeted while playing at the Venetian. “6 levels in the avg stack has only 25 blinds.” This prompted Nemeth to tweet, and Savage to re-tweet, “That’s what @SavagePoker & I have been saying! If you add play to start a tourney, it has to come from somewhere!”
On a couple of fronts not poker-related, Jeff Madsen’s reported prop bet about him going to Israel seems to be a long-running April Fool’s joke. Madsen tweeted on Thursday, “I’ve landed safely here in Israel everybody! This will be a great adventure!,” and included a doctored Twitpic of himself standing alongside actor Sasha Baron Cohen’s character Borat in what appears to be Israel. “Hollywood” Dave Stann was the first to comment on Madsen’s joke, tweeting, “Damn you @JeffMadsenobv!! I knew it was April Fool’s from the jump.”
On the hockey betting front, noted fan Daniel Negreanu was avidly watching the opening of the National Hockey League playoffs. Of particular interest to Negreanu was the Western Conference quarterfinal pitting the Vancouver Canucks against the Los Angeles Kings. “I bet another 5k on Vancouver tonight,” Negreanu tweeted to his followers. “If they lose game 1, I’ll be shocked.” The game was hard fought and went into overtime before Mikael Samuelsson netted the game winner, pushing the Canucks to a 3-2 victory. “Canucks win,” “Kid Poker” happily chirped after the game. “Phew close one. Loving the hockey games. So fun!”
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