The Top 10 poker stories of 2011 Part 1

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 23, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

It’s been a busy year in the poker world, and with Black Friday and Full Tilt poker dominating the headlines we’ve decided to take a look at the 10 biggest stories of the year, some of which we almost forgot about ourselves with everything else going on in the poker world!

Here is a look at #10-#6 on our list of the biggest poker stories of the year (read #5-#1 here):

10. PokerStars reveals the identity of Isildur1

Wow! This seems like it happened a decade ago, but it was last December that PokerStars signed the anonymous online poker phenom known only as Isildur1, and it was in early January at the PCA that his identity was revealed. Of course, virtually everyone in the poker world knew he was Viktor Blom, but it was still a suspenseful day!

9. Two more Triple Crown winners

At the 2011 World Series of Poker both Jake Cody and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier joined Roland De Wolfe and Gavin Griffin as Triple Crown winners (accomplished by winning an EPT Championship, a WPT Championship, and a WSOP bracelet).

Cody’s achievement is by far the most impressive considering all three wins came within 16 months, and at the age of 22 he is the youngest Triple Crown winner in poker history (and likely to retain that record for quite some time).

8. PokerStars turns 10

After handling Black Friday in a flawless fashion (more on this in a minute) PokerStars had the chance to celebrate their 10th Anniversary in December, and the site did so by setting a number of records and handing out thousands of dollars in promotional money.

PokerStars attracted 200,000 players for their $1 buy-in tournament which set the record for the largest tournament in online poker history. The site followed this record up with the largest prize-pool in online poker history when their 10th Anniversary Sunday Million attracted 62,116 entrants for the $215 buy-in event. Both records were already held by PokerStars fwiw.

7. $1,000,000 buy-in WSOP Tournament

The Big One for One Drop has reached the threshold set by the WSOP in order for the outrageously priced tournament (sporting a $1 million buy-in) to be a bracelet event at the 2012 WSOP. The tournament will see 11.11% of each entry go to the charity of Cirque de Soleil founder and poker enthusiast Guy Laliberte. The One Drop charity’s goal is to supply clean drinking water around the globe.

22 players are already registered for the tournament, including Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel, Gus Hansen, Guy Laliberte, Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, Johnny Chan, Tony G, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.

6. Phil Hellmuth’s summer as a bridesmaid

Phil Hellmuth had a chance to put some serious distance between himself and Johnny Chan/Doyle Brunson but simply couldn’t seal the deal, finishing as the runner-up in three separate WSOP events this past summer. Until the Main Event it looked like Phil’s run would at least get him the Player of the Year Award, but Ben Lamb’s improbable final table run gave Phil his fourth runner-up finish as Lamb overtook him in the POY race.

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