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From intense action to new beginnings, the gaming industry has been rife with fresh developments. Co-founder of the erstwhile Epic Poker League (EPL), Jeffrey Pollack has joined World Wrestling Federation (WWF) owner Vince McMahon promoted professional football league XFL as its new President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). The XFL itself has seen one season and is now re-launching in a new avatar in 2020. Pollack will oversee the eight XFL teams and business operations for the XFL.
There has been non-stop tournament action at Horseshoe Tunica that is part of the annual roster of circuit stops for world’s leading poker tournament brand, World Series of Poker (WSOP). While we saw the $400 NLHE 8-Max crown a champion in Stanislav Angelov who banked $25,145 in the event, William Firebaugh took down the $600 NLHE Big Blind Ante for $36,219. For Angelov and Firebaugh, the titles also brought them their career’s second WSOP Circuit gold rings.
Jeffrey Pollack Named President of Professional Football League XFL
Chairman of the now defunct and disgraced Epic Poker League (EPL), Jeffrey Pollack has been named President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of upcoming professional football league, XFL.
Pollack who has a 25-year track record in sports was last working as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer and Special Advisor, for the Los Angeles Chargers before joining the XFL.
XFL announced his appointment on January 23. In addition to managing the eight XFL teams, Pollack will oversee strategic planning and business operations for the league.
“Just as Oliver Luck is perfectly suited to be Commissioner & CEO, so too is Jeffrey Pollack suited perfectly to be XFL President & COO with his extraordinary experience and diverse background across a variety of global sports properties,” said World Wrestling Federation (WWF) owner Vince McMahon. McMahon who has founded XFL added, “I have no doubt that Oliver and Jeffrey will successfully reimagine the game of football and guide the XFL to long-term success.”
In his official statement, Pollack said, “It’s not often that a new professional sports league is positioned for success like the XFL. There’s a clear vision for what we will offer our fans, players and partners, and I look forward to working closely with Vince and Oliver to bring that vision to life.”
Pollack has earlier also served as Commissioner and Vice-President (Marketing) for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) from 2005 to 2009. In 2005, he set out a goal to “grow the popularity of the World Series of Poker,” and has certainly been one of the prominent faces behind making this vision come true.
In 2011, he along with Annie Duke co-founded an exclusive, high-stakes poker league called the Epic Poker League (EPL) that was organized by Federated Sporting and Gaming. The EPL was open only to certain poker players that included the likes of Mike McDonald, Michael Mirachi, and Erik Seidel.
However, it left several poker players in the lurch by not paying them the prize money and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Pollack’s reputation took a serious beating inthe debacle that caused the league’s closure.
Notably, McMahon launched the XFL in 2001 but despite the hype surrounding it, the league failed to continue beyond the first year. With his long-standing experience in gaming, Pollack is believed to add momentum to McMahon’s plans for re-launching the XFL in 2020.
Stanislav Angelov Wins 2019 WSOPC Horseshoe Tunica $400 NLHE 8-Max
A recent entrant in the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) circles, Stanislav Angelov recently took down the $400 NLHE 8-Max event at the 2019 WSOPC Horseshoe Tunica stop for $25,145. Angelov beat a field of 311 entries to win his second WSOPC gold ring.
This is Angelov’s second WSOPC title in two months. Last December Angelov had taken down the $250 NLHE at the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee to pick up his first gold ring.
‘’I’m just playing good I think, I’m having a good run too. I’m really grateful,” said Angelov, who owns a limousine company and wishes to become a full time professional player.
‘’I’m trying to become a full-time poker player. We will see how it goes. I’ve always been a good tournament player. I used to be successful online. I just don’t play online anymore because it’s not regulated very well. But I’m loving the series, I like the people too. As long as I’m successful, I’m going to keep doing it,’’ he added.
The event allowed for unlimited re-entries and registered a total of 311 entries, making for a $102,630 prize pool. The top 32 players earned a min cash equaling $661 and the unofficial final table was set after the elimination of Calvin Kincade (11th for $1,683). At this point, Angelov held the largest stack with 850,000 in chips, with Harold Lackwood (785,000) and William Stanford (645,000) close behind.
Arthur Farmer (10th for $2,164) ended up bubbling the final table.
Final Table Recap
Randall Davenport was the first casualty on the final table and crashed in ninth place. Following him to the rail were Bill Latter, Kenneth Mreen and James Harper who were eliminated in eighth, seventh and sixth place respectively.
Larry Riggs was out in fifth place, and Taylor Deane left in fourth place.
William Latta was subsequently knocked out in third place, leaving Larry Riggs and Angelov in contention for the title. Angelov defeated Riggs heads-up and picked the title.
Final Table Results (USD)
William Firebaugh Wins 2019 WSOPC Horseshoe Tunica $600 NLHE BB Ante
Besting a field of 293 entries, William Firebaugh took down the $600 NLHE Big Blind Ante at the 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Horseshoe Tunica for $36,219 and added a second WSOPC gold ring to his kitty.
Firebaugh, who is a professional player with a strong preference for cash games, finds tournaments attractive for their element of competitive poker.
‘’It feels good. It’s not a feeling that happens very often. At least for me. It happened once and it was a long time ago,‘’Firebaugh said. ‘’Winning a big tournament is definitely a cool thing. It motivates me. Yes, the prize money does too. But I like the competitive aspect of tournaments. The Circuit is a pretty famous stop so it’s always cool to get any kind of trophy. It’s pretty awesome.’’
The final table featured the likes of top pros like seven-time WSOPC ring winner Kyle Cartwright, who was defeated by Firebaugh in the heads-up match. “I got lucky at the final table, won a big race. Everyone played well, no one was getting out of line or too crazy so you definitely had to hit some cards, as you always do, but specially at this table. Same during heads up, I Just hit the cards. He had the second-best hand every time. That’s tournaments. Anyone can win on a given day,” Firebaugh elaborated, on his run at the event.
The field had whittled down to the final 16 by the time Day 1 concluded. The money was reached on the first day itself, with 30 finishers to min-cash at least $1,023 from the $150,895 prize pool.
Charles Wooden (30th for $1,023) was the first player to finish in the money. Following him to the rail were Bobby Fuentes (11th for $2,690), Joshua Turner (14th for $2,211), Terry Moore (18th for $1,842), Cary Marshall (20th for $1,557) and Maxwell Young (27th for $1,160).
Leading up to the unofficial ten-handed final table, Firebaugh held the chip lead with a stack of 1,100,000. Following him in chip counts were Cartwright (959,000) and Don Dove (955,000).
Craig Flood (10th for $2,690) was eliminated whiskers short of the final table.
Final Table Recap
John Gravagna was eliminated first on the final table in ninth place with Scott Hall and Hank Sitton following him out next.
Donald Dove hit the rail in sixth place, while Randy Crenshaw collected the fifth place payout.
Following the elimination of Andrew Stevenson and Randall Davenport in fourth and third places respectively, Kyle Cartwright went heads-up with Firebaugh. The latter relegated the start-of-day chip leader to a runner-up finish to win his second WSOPC gold ring.
Final Table Results (USD)