Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A New Age of Enlightenment

If you're sick of waxing cars and catching flies with chopsticks, then Black Belt Poker may have the remedy you've been waiting for. After much anticipation, today finally witnesses the official launch of Enlightenment, a brand new training programme that seeks to turn prospective students into poker masters through a variety of training methods.

Enlightenment commences at Orange Belt, with players being assigned a personal Sensei and receiving 'Cards of Fury', our monthly Enlightenment newsletter, with hints and tips including advice from recent GUKPT Luton Champion Neil Channing.

As players scale the Belts, their relationship with their personal Sensei intensifies. If they manage to reach Purple Belt, then not only will they receive a DeucesCracked token and free copy of Hold'em Manager, but they will also be eligible for a free Database Keihatsu every six months in which their personal Sensei searches for leaks by running a fine-tooth comb through their hands and data.

At Purple Belt, players also receive the opportunity to attend one free Dojo Session a month. A Dojo Session is an online seminar in which a Blue or Brown Belt presents a lecture on a pre-specified topic. There are four Dojo Sessions scheduled every month with players receiving more free seats the higher their Belt.

If you are seeking Ultimate Enlightenment, however, then you may wish to aim for Green where you will experience a personal training session with your Sensei every single month. In 1-to-1 Enlightenment, students can be trained on a topic of their choosing, with their Sensei offering feedback on how best to improve their game.

Although the free benefits of Enlightenment start at Orange Belt, this doesn't mean that everyone else can't reap the rewards of the Enlightenment process. For just 300 Spending Points, you can attend a Dojo Session and secure your place in one of the seminars. 1-to-1 Enlightenment Sessions are also available for purchase.

Enlightenment is an exciting new programme exclusive to Black Belt Poker, and is being delivered at no extra cost to our loyal players. All these benefits are being thrown onto what they already receive including freerolls, Academy seats, community points, live backing and much, much more.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing Enlightenment in action," commented Black Belt Poker co-founder Neil Channing. "We have a talented group of sponsored pros who are keen to help players work their way through the Belts and become better players. Having a pro analyse your game to this extent makes a huge difference and I wouldn't be surprised to see some really good players emerge from the process."

Enlightenment is already up and running with the first Dojo Session scheduled for kick-off tomorrow at 8pm. If you would like to book your seat, then simply log in to the community and go to 'Live Events' in the 'Store' to purchase your token. But be quick, as there are only eight spots available for each Session!

A fictional martial arts master once said, "In Okinawa, all Miyagi know two things: fish and karate," but now with Black Belt Poker's Enlightenment, they can master poker too! At Black Belt Poker, Ultimate Enlightenment is in the palm of your hands.

Click here for all the details.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Academy Just One Week Away

Dust off those text books and start sharpening those pencils as in just one week's time, the Black Belt Poker Academy returns to the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London for another day of high-level poker mentoring.

From 1-7pm on Saturday, September 4, 2010, Bluff columnist Alex Rousso will once again be joined by Black Belt Poker co-founders and poker pros Neil Channing and Nik Persaud to discuss the topic Poker Psychology: Tells and Tilt. With years of experience between them, both live and online, the Black Belt Poker duo will seek to share all their knowledge and wisdom with attendees on how to out-wit opponents whilst maintaining your composure at the table.

The schedule is as follows:

1.00: Introduction - the importance of poker psychology
1.15: Tells - what to look for and what not to give away!
2.00: Tells Workshop - students practise their poker game, concentrating on tells
2.45: Short break with sandwiches
3.00: Guest Tilt - how to master yourself and take advantage of others
3.45: Tilt Exercises Workshop
4.15: Video Spot the Tilt - scrutinise various videos to see who's really tilting and why
4.45: Short break
5.00: Scared Money - what a pro knows about your bankroll weaknesses
5.45: All Poker Workshop - general instruction with pros analysing your play
6.30: Bankroll Management 101 - why the basics are so important
7.00: Seminar ends

At 7.45pm, there will be an optional entry into the Vic's Saturday night tournament, a £50+6 No Limit Hold'em freezeout. Exclusive to Academy attendees, Black Belt Poker are offering a last-longer in which the last man/woman standing will receive free entry into the next Bluff Europe/Black Belt Poker Academy.

The Academy is capped at 30 and costs £150 per ticket. If you would like to attend next week's Academy, then simply send a cheque to Black Belt Poker Limited, The Rotunda, 42/3 Gloucester Crescent, London, NW1 7DL or transfer the money via the Black Belt Poker cardroom. For more information on cardroom transfers, please contact info@blackbeltpoker.com.

Alternatively, you can purchase your ticket with Spending Points earned through playing on the site. An Academy ticket is now available in the Black Belt Poker Store for 4,500 Spending Points. Simply log in to the community and select 'Store' in the top right hand menu.

If you're Orange Belt or above, then you may wish to wait a couple of days, as on Monday, August 31, Black Belt Poker will be holding its monthly Orange Belt Academy Freeroll. With two free seats available every month, this is a great way to take advantage of the benefits of scaling the Belts and ensure that you don't miss out on a great opportunity to develop your game.

The Academies are highly acclaimed and frequently receive positive reviews from attendees. If you would like to hear from some of the game's hottest talents, then be sure to secure your seat now and we look forward to seeing you at the Vic next week.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Robinson Denied Second UKIPT Final

Hot off the success of Jamie Burland's win in Brighton, the Black Belt Poker army once again ambushed the UKIPT as the PokerStars sponsored Tour made its latest stop in Edinburgh.

On this occasion, however, it was fellow Blue Belt Owen Robinson who shone brightest, ending Day 1 with a comfortable chip lead and looking odds on favourtie of repeating his final table performance at Leg 3 in Nottingham.

Heading into the final day, Owen was indeed present, but struggling as the shortest stack of 11 with 218,000. Among the remaining soldiers were EPT winner Jake Cody, as well as Manchester and inaugural winner Joeri Zandvliet, who was looking to become the first ever double UKIPT Champion.

Despite dodging the first two bullets, it was third time unlucky for Owen as he ultimately departed in ninth place, missing out on the 'official' final table by just one place. With blinds at 8,000 and 16,000 with a running ante of 2,000, Owen came over the top of Nick Risk's open of 33,000 for a total of 290,000 with Ad-Qc. Risk made the call with Ah-Tc, and duly spiked one of his three outs on a Ts-8s-Jc-4c-As board. Owen took away £3,400 for his troubles.

Having ended Day 1B as the biggest stack, Risk was able to continue his momentum throughout the tournament, eventually overcoming a tough, and eclectic final table to lap up the title and £50,000 first prize, not to mention £5,000 EPT London seat. On the final hand, runner up Mantas Puidokas of Lithuania found himself all in with Kh-9h, but was unable to fend off the Jc-6s of Risk as the board came down a cruel 6c-Jd-9c-6d-Td to hammer in the final nail and crown Risk as Champion.

401 players participated including familiar faces such as Julian Thew, JP Kelly, Vicky Coren and Jude Ainsworth. Black Belt Poker were equally well represented with Simon Mairs, Adam Latimer, Jamie Burland, Niall Farrell, Jesse May and Kevin Williams all flying the flag, the latter of whom sneaked into the cash in 56th. Also making the money was Neil Channing, the recent GUKPT Luton Champion exiting in 47th for £900.

"I love the UKIPT," commented Neil. "It's hard to justify the days off and the hotels for a smallish event, but I couldn't resist Edinburgh. In Brighton, we were watching Jamie Burland win the final and myself and two of the other Black Belt Poker players won three of the four seats in the satellite they had going, so we were very happy to be coming to Edingburgh, it's lovely. In the UKIPT, the age is a lot lower than in the GUKPT and you get a lot more Internet players, and it's nice to get out there and talk to those guys about Black Belt."

"I just wanted to say cheers to everyone for the support over the last week," added Owen. "I had a great time in Edinburgh, it's just a major shame that I couldn't go all the way. The Black Belt Poker team are the absolute stone cold nuts and I had a great night afterwards."

With the next port-of-call being the Burlington Hotel in Dublin in September, the UKIPT can expect to see Irishman Owen making another appearance, as well a handful of other Black Belt Poker pros including Green Belt Mike Carroll who triumphed in a satellite at the Edinburgh leg. Either way, Black Belt Poker will continue to make its mark on what has quickly emerged as the UK's most popular poker tour.

1st Nick Risk (Canada) -- £50,000
2nd Mantas Puidokas (Lithuania) -- £27,700
3rd Luke Marsh (England) -- £17,600
4th Joeri Zandvliet (Netherlands) -- £13,100
5th Richard Chadwick (England) -- £10,300
6th Max Silver (England) -- £8,200
7th Suzanne Pyefinch (England) -- £6,300
8th Mary Martin (England) -- £4,800
9th Owen Robinson (England) -- £3,400

All images courtesy of Anne Laymond. Anne is a highly sought after photographer in the poker industry. If you would like to contact her regarding offers of work or to purchase a high-res image, you can do so by emailing her at laymond@gmail.com.

Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

Owen Robinson

Adam Latimer

Jamie Burland

Jesse May

Kevin Williams

Neil Channing

Simon Mairs

No 'Mair for Simon in Leg 3

Most people would associate Tuesday with Shrove Tuesday, but in the poker world, the only Tuesday worth knowing about is Super Tuesday, a day in which Black Belt Poker go poker crazy with an evening of unadulterated fun and frolics from the comfort of your own armchair.

With Challenge Channing running in tandem, League VI entered its third leg with a spring in its step. 63 in all deposited $5+0.50, with the impressive field boasting numerous regulars, as well as London Live finalist Dean 'blackbeltkickbox' Aldred and Black Belt Poker's duetting jacks: Adam 'trojandonkey' Latimer and a debuting Chris 'cyprusdonkey' Poutashi.

After a hard-fought out slog, it was Blue Belt and future Black Belt Poker mentor Simon 'AlwaysMissing' Mairs who came up trumps, snapping up $100.80 after toppling fellow Blue Belt and recent UKIPT finalist Owen 'Ruaction' Robinson heads-up.

AlwaysMissing -- $100.80
Ruaction -- $69.30
99Ranny -- $42.52
bizmarkkk -- $31.50
ACarey -- $23.62
tristiano -- $18.90
PeterV1972 -- $15.75
sandy1611 -- $12.60

36-years young from Bradford, Simon is braced to become a Black Belt Poker mentor when our Training System officially launches on Sep 1. Simon participated in Grading II: Destination Dublin, and performed well enough to be fast-tracked to Blue Belt status and win one of three Irish Open packages. During the Grading, he displayed a steady upward curve, making few mistakes and impressing many with his high level of composure and discipline. Last night's performance certainly puts him in good stead, and he'll be keen to start transferring his abilities over to any propsective students.

As a result of his triumph, Simon has jumped up to 12th on the leader board, leap-frogging the likes of Gavin 'TFMonty007' Hall and reigning League Champion Trevor 'cleavertrevor' Myers. At the high end of the spectrum, there has been a changing guards, Patrick Winterbottom bubbling the Leg in ninth, but picking up enough points to top the leaderboard with 230 points, just two more than Andrew 'miggggy' Maguire who came 35th.

1st paddyjim67 -- 230 points
2nd miggggy -- 228 points
3rd Kevish47 -- 222 points
4th PeterV1972 -- 215 points
5th BoatDrink -- 210 points
6th SirNutFlopper -- 205 points
7th huddy2602 -- 203 points
8th sandy1611 202 points
9th DiddavidBEL09 -- 199 points

The $15+1.5 deepstack Mulligan commenced an hour later, and attracted 23 players in all. After the smoke had cleared and the dust settled, it was Purple Belt Sean 'bolden1212' Bolden who came out smelling of roses, his first place finish netting hism $172.50.

bolden1212 -- $172.50
lionrampant27 -- $103.50
TheSimian -- $69

Just missing out in the Mulligan was fourth-placed Jamal 'bbpjimjam' El Shetob, but the Yellow Belt more than made up for his near miss by striking gold in the Donakement, a $0.50 rebuy frenzy in which fallen soldiers from the League can release any pent up aggression by continuously hammering down on the rebuy button. 21 played the event including UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland, League I winner Adam Saunders, and Tom 'Werrrrd' Drew who bubbled in fourth.

bbpjimjam -- $19.25
PEterV1972 -- $11.55
JimmyTheBhoy -- $7.70

The League is really hotting up at the moment with barely a gnat's nostril hair separating the players at the top. No one is racing ahead, so it's not too late for you to get involved and mount your assault on the leader board. Just getting into the top 10 guarantees you prizes in the form of Belt Points and a free token to acclaimed tutorial site DeucesCracked. To open an account is easy, simply download the poker client and follow the step-by-step process provided.

Monday, 23 August 2010

BBP Tweaked & Fine-Tuned

Over the last several weeks, mechanics at iPoker have been hard at work to improve the software, and today were able to upgrade the Black Belt Poker software to its latest version. After absorbing the suggestions from the Black Belt Poker 'Cardroom' group, iPoker decided to tweak and fine-tune some of those niggling issues in order to enhance the overall playing experience and make Black Belt Poker an even more enticing proposition.

Perhaps the most obvious change is the aesthetics of the table design. Many Black Belt Poker players, especially those who multi-table, commented that names, chips, and the timer were difficult to see clearly. In response, nametags are now bordered with a contrasting background, whilst the timer now appears in the nametag, ultimately appearing in the avatar area for the final countdown. Consequently, there should now be no excuse for accidentally timing out with those aces.

Other modifications include:

(i) Players can change the colour of the chat background to their liking.
(ii) Player can view players' notes via hovering the mouse cursor over the targeted player.
(iii) A dealer's area has been added to the top-centre of the table for rebuys/top-ups.
(iv) New chip and pot designs.
(v) The position of marketing messages has been relocated to the top-left.
(vi) Hand strength position has been moved next to nametags.
(vii) All-in odds now appear in the nametag.
(viii) Players can view folded cards by hovering the mouse cursor over their cards.
(ix) Tile and cascade functionality is now supported for multiple monitors.
(x) The waiting list button has been split into two buttons: 'join waiting list' and 'join similar table'.
(xi) Players can view pot and rake by hovering the mouse cursor over the pot.

The iPoker team are already back reworking the software, and will be eager to make further changes and issue another release before the end of the year. Already planned for the next update is the removal of the pop-ups that have been frustrating some users.

Remember, if you have any comments regarding the Black Belt Poker skin and suggestions on how to improve the software, then please feel free to leave your feedback in our 'Cardroom' Group. All comments are noted and forwarded to iPoker who have been making a considerable effort of late to take note of player feedback.

If you would like to play on Black Belt Poker and test out the latest software, then getting involved couldn't be easier. Simply download the poker client and follow the step-by-step process provided to opening your account.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Future is Brighton!

After a brief hiatus, the GUKPT satellites have returned to a network near you, and are now available on the Black Belt Poker skin. For the paltry sum of 55p, you could earn yourself a seat in a GUKPT Main Event and the opportunity to emulate Black Belt Poker's Neil Channing who became the latest Champion by taking down the Luton leg for £64,050.

The next leg will take place at the G Casino in Brighton from October 4-10 and is expected to be a hotly contested affair. In the weeks leading up to the event, Black Belt Poker are offering satellite winners a £1,800 package, including buy-in, flights and/or spending money, and four nights of accommodation.

Satellites come in the form of multiple stages, with the final stage being a £60+6 rebuy every Monday at 8pm. Players can purchase 3,000 more chips for £30, and/or an add-on of 5,000 for the same price. The first £66 super satellite will take place on Monday, August 23. Win a seat, and you'll be on your way to Brighton!

If a £66 rebuy is above your bankroll, then don't fret, as Black Belt Poker are offering a number of Stage 1 and 2 feeders into the weekly super satellite. The schedule is as follows:

Stage 1:

Daily (4.25pm) -- £8+0.80 turbo rebuy
Daily (6.05pm) -- £6+0.60 turbo rebuy
Daily (11.10am & 10.10pm) -- £4+0.40 turbo rebuy
Daily (1.50pm) -- £3+0.30 turbo rebuy
Mondays (7pm) -- £3.30+0.33 speed rebuy

Daily (Ongoing) -- £12+1.2 five-handed STT
Daily (Ongoing) -- £12+1.2 ten-handed STT
Daily (Ongoing) -- £12+0.6 heads-up STT

Stage 2:

Daily (1.12pm) -- £1+0.1 turbo rebuy (into 4.25pm Stage 1)
Daily (11.50am) -- £0.50+0.05 turbo rebuy (into 1.50pm Stage 1)

Daily (ongoing) -- £0.44+0.4 one hand turn-over STTs (into 11.10am/10.10pm Stage 1)

Brighton has been a prosperous location for Black Belt Poker of late with Blue Belt Jamie Burland triumphing in the UKIPT. We'd love to make it a UKIPT/GUKPT double, so if you would like to grab your taste of Main Event glory, then be sure to ambush those satellites and book your seat. Good luck, the future's Brighton!

To open an account is easy: just download the poker client and follow the simple step-by-step process provided.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

IPO Sats Now Available on BBP

With in excess of a thousand poker fanatics making the now annual pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle, the International Poker Open (IPO) has quickly become Europe's largest live tournament and is also one of the most cosmopolitan, attracting players from countries such as Scotland, Holland, Belgium and, most notably, France.

Scheduled for October 15-17 at the Regency Hotel in Dublin, the IPO is set to be another roaring success, with players looking to repeat the success of reigning Champion Markus Sippe of Germany who defeated a field of 1,440 to take home the title and $62,250 first prize. In the process, he overcame pros such as Jesse May, Padraig Parkinson, Keith Hawkins, and recent bracelet winners James Dempsey and Richard Ashby.

Now, for the first time ever, you can qualify for the IPO via Black Belt Poker. Starting this week, Black Belt Poker are hosting daily satellites with feeders from as little as €3.30.

The full satellite schedule is as follows:

Daily (7.45pm): Super Sat Feeder Rebuy -- €3+0.30
Daily (8.15pm): Super Sat Freezeout -- €20+2
Daily (9.30pm): Super Sat Feeder Freezeout -- €5+0.50
Saturdays & Sundays (3pm): Super Sat Feeder Rebuy -- €3+0.30

Alternatively, if you wish to buy-in directly for the full €180+20, then you can do so online by downloading the Black Belt Poker client and selecting 'Scheduled' > 'IPO 2010' in the cardroom lobby. There is a choice of two starting days; simply click register for your preferred day.

Last year, BoylePoker offered their players additional chips to the 10,000 starting stack, and Black Belt Poker are serving up the same deal. To be eligible for the extra 2,000 chips, all you have to do is rake $15 (just 30 Belt Points for Yellow Belts) in each of the months of August and September. If you rake $15 in just one of those months, you will receive 1,000. To check your progress, simply go to your 'account' on the community site or contact BBP directly at info@blackbeltpoker.com.

2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing commented: "The IPO is one of my favorite tournaments of the year. Considering the large numbers, Boyles do a great job in organising the event and they always do their utmost to look after the players. There's a marvellous atmosphere, and the Irish players are always up for a good 'craic'. In fact, they often craic my big hands when I'm over there."

"The IPO truly is a unique event," added 2008 Poker Million Champion Marty Smyth, "and manages to capture the experience of a big buy-in event for a fraction of the entry fee that you would normally associate with a tournament of this scale."

With €20,000 added and an estimated prize pool of €250,000, the IPO is set for another record-breaking year, with players of all types looking to turn a small acorn into a giant oak tree. If you would like your slice of the pie, then why not qualify online at Black Belt Poker. To play is easy: simply download the poker client and follow the step-by-step process to open an account.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Nak for Poker; Richard Dally Wins Leg 2

Players once again ambushed the Black Belt Poker cardroom last night as Super Tuesday hit our shores and served up its usual banquet of poker nibbles. The main course was the second leg of League VI, a chance for redemption and momentum alike as no fewer than 90 salivating poker fanatics took their seat and prepared to feast on the sumptuous delights on offer.

Black Belt Poker's representatives must have eaten prior to arrival as early indigestion quickly ensued. CEO Warren Wooldridge felt the splash of the wooden spoon bubble, whilst GUKPT Luton Champion Neil Channing and Blue Belt Owen Robinson finished 88th and 87th respectively. Instead, top honours went to Yellow Belt Richard 'nakgeela4' Dally who triumphed on his first attempt to take home $135.00 and bragging rights for the next seven days. Also finalling were League IV Champion Andy 'RedKiteBlackBelt' Brisland and Leg 1 finalist Andrew 'miggggy' Maguire.

1st nakgeela4 -- $135.00
2nd miggggy -- $90.00
3rd huddy2602 -- $56.25
4th Bambury -- $42.75
5th rattersbrfc -- $33.75
6th MrChiz79 -- $27.00
7th BoatDrink -- $22.50
8th weatherman1 -- $18.00
9th RedKiteBlackBelt -- $13.50
10th TheZartog -- $11.25

Continuing a trend that, until last weekend, had been set by Channing, miggggy followed up his near miss in the League by finishing second in the Mulligan. 33 players stumped up the $15 fee including Brown Belt Adam Latimer and 2009 Poker Million finalist Peter Vasiliou, but top dog was ultimately League II Champion Mark 'russellhansen' Brassinton who triumphed for $225.00.

1st russellhansen - $225.00
2nd miggggy -- $135.00
3rd justinsanem8 -- $90

Talking of former Champions, League III winner Adam 'JHobbit1' Saunders was the star of the 33-man $0.50 Donkament rebuy, earning himself $45.20 for a modest $2.50 investment. Second place went to Gavin 'TFMonty007' Hall whilst fellow Blue Belt Simon 'AlwaysMissing' Mairs bubbled in sixth.

1st JHobbit1 -- $45.20
2nd TFMonty007 -- $28.25
3rd diamondskull -- $18.08
4th generalshifty -- $12.43
5th Mrdroodle -- $9.04

Super Tuesday was great fun, but also highly profitable for a number of deserving players, in particular miggggy who now tops the League standings with 199 points, with Blue Belt Kevin Williams snapping on his heels like an alligator with toothache in second with 188 points. Also flying high is Rob 'SirNutFlopper' Weston who won a trip to Vegas this summer courtesy of our Quad Aces promotion. Other notables include Peter Vasiliou in 10th, Gavin Hall 14th, and reigning Champion Trevor 'cleavertrevor' Myers in 17th.

1st miggggy -- 199 points
2nd Kevish47 -- 188 points
3rd DididavidBEL09 -- 178 points
4th SirNutFlopper -- 174 points
5th BoatDrink -- 174 points
6th paddyjim67 -- 173 points
7th TheZartog -- 161 points
8th huddy2602 -- 159 points
9th MrChiz79 -- 155 points

For the full League standings, see our League Group on the community forum.

117 players in all have played a League VI event, and it's not too late for you to join in the fun. With added points for finalists, and six legs still to go, you can still reap the rewards of finishing in the final 10, if not winning our star prize of an all-expenses trip to watch the final of Late Night Poker as the special guest of 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing. Simply download the cardroom software and follow the step-by-step process provided to enable you to participate in Black Belt Poker's increasingly popular Super Tuesday promotion.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Neil Channing Wins GUKPT Luton

After multiple near misses, Neil Channing last night achieved a long-awaited goal by taking down the sixth leg of the GUKPT in Luton. Dominant throughout, Channing toppled a tough final table which included Carlo Citrone, Joe Grech and former Walsall Champion Jeff Kimber to capture the title and £64,050 first prize.

Although 2010 has been a lucrative year for the high stakes pro, Channing was constantly the bridesmaid, being forced to settle for second spots in a number of events such as January's iPoker Monthly Million, the GUKPT London Main Event, and, most recently, the $5,000 Shootout at the World Series of Poker.

But following this weekend's triumphant performance, Channing finds himself walking down the aisle as the latest GUKPT Champion, and finally part of that elite group of Champions that boasts celebrated UK pros such as Praz Bansi, Julian Thew, Sam Trickett and Black Belt Poker's Jerome Bradpiece.

Finishing Day 1A seventh in chips with 71,275, Channing carried his good form over to Day 2 to quickly take over the chip lead with around 300,000. From there, he didn't look back, eliminating Stephen Rawle, Arjanit Kondaj and friend Paul Parker to head into Day 3's final as the chip leader with a whopping 612,500.

Initially, the cards evaded Channing, but the 2008 Irish Open Champion remained patient, allowing his opponents to eliminate one another before applying the pressure and dispatching of Les Fenton in seventh. Moments later, and Channing added Citrone to his hit list, K-8 brushing aside T-8 suited to send the Geordie home.

With George White and Keith Johnson picking up fourth and third respectively, Channing found himself heads-up with a near 2:1 chip lead and a gnat's nostril hair away from victory. The man who stood in his way was Adebayo Odetoyinbo, a stalwart of the now defunct Gutshot Club who had stunned players with his trash-talking and table shenagans which included kissing both biceps and declaring that he loved himself.

However, with just two gladiators remaining, it was the cards that did the talking, and with all the chips flying in preflop, Channing's A-K was in dominating shape against the A-9 of Odetoyinbo. A T-Q-4-6-2 board later and after three days of hard-fought poker, Neil Channing was declared the 2010 GUKPT Luton Champion

A popular character on the circuit, Channing has been a staple of UK poker for a number of years, but is perhaps best known as a live cash pro at the Vic in London where he plies his trade. In recent years, he has ambushed the tournament circuit, becoming Irish Open Champion in 2008 and cashing in no fewer than 25 WSOP events. Despite this being his first GUKPT title to date, victory in Luton means that Channing now boasts in excess of $2.8 million in live tournament winnings and jumps up to seventh in England's all-time money list.

Channing is currently the face of Black Belt Poker where he can be found playing on his Challenge Channing cash table every Tuesday from 7.30pm as part of our Super Tuesday promotion. If you would like to test yourself against the latest GUKPT Champion, then simply download the cardroom software and follow the simple step-by-step process provided. See you at the tables!

1st Neil Channing -- £64,050
2nd Adebayo Odetoyinbo -- £43,500
3rd Keith Johnson -- £28,050
4th George White -- £16,600
5th Carlo Citrone -- £12,600
6th Ricky Mackintosh -- £10,300
7th Les Fenton -- £8,000
8th Joe Grech -- £6,300
9th Jeff Kimber -- £4,600
10th Victor Ilyukhin -- £4,000

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Super Tuesday Hits the Mark

Last night, Super Tuesday enjoyed a record-breaking showing as players arrived in their droves to tackle the opening leg of League VI and commence their challenge for Bully's star prize: an all-expenses paid trip to the Cardiff studios to watch the final of Late Night Poker.

95 players stepped up to the oche in all. Among the rabble were 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing, Quad Aces Winner Rob 'SirNutFlopper' Weston, and previous League winners Mark 'russelhansen' Brassington, Adam 'JHobbit1' Saunders, Trevor 'cleavertrevor' Myers and Andy 'RedKiteBlackBelt' Brisland.

After a hard-fought battle that would make Braveheart look like a romantic comedy, it was Nick 'NPenfold666 Mazur who struck bullseye, the Yellow Belt toppling a tough final table that included Blue Belts Kevin 'Kevish47' Williams and Simon 'AlwaysMissing' Mairs to take home the $142.50 first prize and, perhaps most importantly, those sumptuous bragging rights.

1st NPenfold666 -- $142.50
2nd Kevish47 -- $95.00
3rd paddyjim67 -- $59.37
4th kylemilne89 -- $45.12
5th SEAMROG -- $35.62
6th DididavidBEL09 -- $28.50
7th SirNutFlopper -- $23.75
8th miggggy -- $19.00
9th AlwaysMissing -- $14.25
10th NicklasBendtner -- $11.87

Black Belt Poker's sponsored pros were a foreboding presence all night, and especially prominent in the 50 cent Donkament. Armed with a new time and buy-in, the Donkament attracted a record-high 43 hopefuls, all of whom were looking to cure those League woes with a last-ditch victory.

In the end, however, it was Blue Belt Rob '7Enygma7' Jarrett-Smith who served up a nine-dart finish when he overcame Poker Million finalist Peter 'PeterV1972' Vasiliou to take home the lion's share of the prize pool, the majority of which likely derived from the virtual pocket of yours truly

1st 7Enygma7 -- $41.20
2nd PeterV1972 -- $25.75
3rd forgot2piknik -- $16.48
4th russellhansen -- $11.33
5th justinsanem8 -- $8.24
6th jamesfub1
7th bbpjimjam
8th TheSimian
9th TeeDeeEye1

Along with the Challenge Channing cash game, Black Belt Poker also hosted its weekly Mulligan, a second-chance tournament in which players get to participate in a deep-stacked online MTT for an affordable price. I'd like to say that this means skill is given the optimum chance to prevail, but I didn't cash, so instead I shall lie and say that Chris 'CroadYuk' Roadnight 'luckboxed' his way to first and a tasty $252.00 worth of bacon, with Brown Belt Adam 'trojandonkey' Latimer also squeaking into the money.

1st CroadYuk -- $252.00
2nd miggggy -- $157.50
3rd generalshifty -- $100.80
4th cleavertrevor -- $69.30
5th trojandonkey -- $50.40
6th StilettoMafios
7th ourkidsid
8th habbad
9th ACarey
10th gnomeeee

Super Tuesday was a roaring success with a friendly, yet competitive atmosphere that hopefully reflected what Black Belt Poker is about. Black Belt Poker would like to offer our gratitude to those who participated, and we hope you'll join us next week for another night of poker festivity in which the League, Donakment, Mulligan and Challenge Channing will all be making a welcome return.

If you're a new reader drooling at the prospect of taking a bite out of the value currently on offer, then it's not too late to get involved. Simply download the cardroom software, follow the simple step-by-step process provided, and join us next Tuesday for the second leg of the League. There's always room in the Mad House.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Impressive Turnout at BBP Academy

Last weekend, the Bluff/Black Belt Poker Academy made its third outing of the year with Neil Channing, Nik Persaud and Alex Rousso once again combining forces at the Grosvenor Victoria in London.

The topic of discussion was 'Accumulating Chips in Tournaments' with mentors assessing the various playing styles available to players. Whilst Neil highlighted the advantages of the small ball style, Nik argued why the loose-aggressive style was the style of the future. Alex, meanwhile, suggested the benefits to adopting a tight-aggressive style.

As always, players were encouraged to debate points made, as well as participate in group workshops in which mock hands are played out with the mentors answering any questions and critiquing the various decisions made. Also offering his expertise was Adam Latimer, who although qualified in the Orange Belt Academy Freeroll, has since worked himself up to Brown Belt and was on hand to share his thoughts and know-how.

Upon conclusion of the Academy, players were entered into the evening's £50 freezeout hosted by the Vic. As an added bonus, Black Belt Poker were offering free Skype sessions to the final four Academy players. The winners of the last-longer were Caroline Salvatore, John Thompson, Paul Walters and Keith Greaves. They will all be hearing from our Blue/Brown Belts very soon.

Nick Spiers: "It was a great day followed by an exceptional evening. How the so-called poker players out there who want to improve their game cannot see the value in attending an Academy day I just cannot fathom - three top class poker pros spending six hours talking with passion about a game they all obviously love, and all for the price of a substandard plumber! Get in on the next one before they realise they are undercharging.

Chris Nicol: "I am very grateful to all at Black Belt Poker and Bluff Europe for the training and look forward to future events and using the full features on the site."

Anne Loughlin: "It was an amazing value day and I made the investment back twice over that same evening, so can only imagine it will pay for itself over and over!"

Caroline Salvatore: "The course was excellent and I enjoyed it immensely."

The latest Academy was our biggest turnout to date and a reflection of the high level of mentorship offered. If you would like to attend a future Academy, then you can book your seat for free by qualifying via our Orange Belt Academy Freeroll. To make Orange, you require just 500 Belt Points which can be earned via playing on the Black Belt Poker skin.To open an account is easy: just download the cardroom software and follow the simple step-by-step process provided.

If you would prefer to buy in directly, or simply want to know more details, then please contact Black Belt Poker at info@blackbeltpoker.com.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Vote Channing

Neil Channing's trophy cabinet might have an Irish Poker title beaming against the glass, but there's still room for more, and with your help, we can add a British Poker Award to his collection.

On September 13, 2010, the Fox Poker Club will play host to The British Poker Awards, a poker awards ceremony that looks to honour those who have achieved greatness throughout the last 12 months.

There are a number of categories including 'Best Online Player', 'Best International Player' and 'Best UK Cardroom'. Neil has been nominated for an award in the 'Best Cash Player' category and is sharing company with Richard Ashby, Luke Schwartz, Ben Grundy, Ben Roberts and Bambos Charalambos.

In the live arena especially, cash games are particularly hard to judge due to their almost covert nature, but Neil has been a permanent fixture for many years, and is believed to have taken more money off London tourists than all the Capital's major attractions combined. He plays in the highest games the Vic has to offer, and even participated in the 'Big Game' where he played for 48 hours straight.

"I'm honoured to be nominated," commented Neil proudly. "I'm not sure how many on the list made money this year, but that's the thing about cash, you just never know. It would be great to win it, although I'm not sure I want to encourage my nippers."

If you would like to vote for Neil, then the process couldn't be easier. Simply click here and tick the boxes provided. Once you have submitted, you will be automatically entered into the free draw to win a ticket to the awards, hopefully to see Neil pick up the title of 'Best Cash Player'. That would be marvellous.

To share your view on who should win which category, please feel free to submit your thoughts in the comments' box below.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Channing Wins Heads-Up Challenge

Last night, and with just one week to go before the launch of League VI, Black Belt Poker hosted its first ever Super Duper Tuesday, a high value night of fun and frolics in which ECOOP promotion winner Brian 'brigal19' Gallagher took on Neil Channing in a best-of-three Challenge Channing Heads-Up Special for a cool $1,000.

The opening battle was a brisk affair, Neil utilsing his experience to apply a small ball style, ultimately finishing off his opponent before the end of the first level. The final hand was somewhat brutal, Neil calling a bet of 60 on a 3h-4x-7h-Jh board with Tc-9h, before moving all in over the top of Brian's lead of 150 on the 8c river. Brian immediately called, but his 6h-5s for the flopped nuts had been cruelly pipped to the post by Neil's superior straight, and it was first blood to the pro.

As the rail began to simmer, the two players prepared for Round 2, Neil just one victory away from saving the company $1,000 and ensuring Snoopy receives his wages this month. In stark contrast to the opening match, Part Deux was an epic affair with more twists and turns than an episode of Poirot. The encounter commenced in cagey fashion, neither player willing to commit and min-raising the order the day, before later picking up pace with frequent three-bets.

Both players took turns in doubling up at some stage: Brian with Ah-Jc versus Ac-2s, and Neil with Kh-5s versus Ah-Jh, but, eventually, something had to give, and after both players had chopped one with 9s-8s versus 9h-8c all in on a flop of 3s-2d-9d, the final hand arrived. Armed with the chip lead, Neil came over the top of Brian's open of 320 for a total of 1,990 with 3s-3c, and Brian made the call with Kh-Jc. The 2d-5s-Ts flop changed nothing, as did the 4s, and with Neil making a set on the 3h river, it was game over, Goliath defeating David as Neil sealed the deal without having to reach for that third bullet.

"Brian played really well," complimented Neil in the aftermath, "but, on the night, the cards fell my way. I found some good hands on the first match, and then won a couple of crucial all-ins on the second. It could easily have gone to a decided battle, and if it had, I would have had a real fight on my hands. After so many seconds recently, though, it felt marvellous to finally get a first. I should definitely play more events where there are only two runners."

Despite the $1,000 evading him on this occasion, Brian battled on, and, to his credit, avoided a 3-0 whitewash to snatch the final showdown and narrow the deficit to 2:1. He'd failed to topple the Irish Open Champion, but had left the virtual felt with his pride in tact. What's more, Brian triumphed in the Mulligan, fending off 19 other competitors to take down the $300 first prize, as well as the free Academy seat!

An Academy seat was also up for grabs in Black Belt Poker's other exclusive tournament, the 11pm Donkament. This prestigious honour went to Richard 'johnny2time' Hurst, the Orange Belt topping a 29-thick field to earn himself $118.50 and a free mentoring session on 'Poker Psychology: Tells & Tilt' with Neil Channing, Alex Rousso and a yet-to-be-announced special guest.

Super Duper Tuesday was a huge success, but it was little more than an hors d'oeuvre for next week's Super Tuesday in which the latest batch of wide-eyed, success-hungry poker fanatics go in search of fortune, bragging rights, and an all-expenses trip to the Cardiff studios to watch the final of Late Night Poker! If you would like the chance to meet the players and watch all the action from the green room, then see here for all the details on League VI and we look forward to seeing you in next week's event.

BBP League Returns to Super Tuesday

Super Duper Tuesday might be in the bag, but don't think you're getting a rest just yet, as next week we're giving you a one-way ticket back into the centre of Valuetown with the launch of League VI.

As always, Black Belt Poker like to serve up something different, and this time around we'll be inviting first place to the Cardiff studios to watch the final of groundbreaking poker show Late Night Poker!

As a special guest of Neil Channing, the League VI Champion will get to meet the players, hang out in the green room, and watch all the action with access to the hole cards. They will also stay in the Ryder Cup's luxurious Celtic Manor Hotel and receive $150 in travel expenses.

The League will be a weekly $5 No Limit Hold'em freezeout commencing on Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 and running for eight weeks until Tuesday, Sep 28. The prizes for the top 10 places are as follows:

1st Late Night Poker Experience & DeucesCracked Token
2nd 1,000 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
3rd 850 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
4th 750 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
5th 600 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
6th 500 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
7th 400 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
8th 300 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
9th 200 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token
10th 100 Belt Points & DeucesCracked Token

Points for each leg will be awarded in reverse order, so that in a 50-runner event, 50th would earn 1 point, and 1st 50 points. The top 10 finishers per leg receive the following additional points:

1st 25 Points
2nd 18 Points
3rd 15 Points
4th 12 Points
5th 10 Points
6th 08 Points
7th 06 Points
8th 04 Points
9th 02 Points
10th 01 Point

The League is open to Yellow Belts and above and you can join at any point. This is a great opportunity to not only witness the legendary Late Night Poker unfold, but also play the likes of Neil Channing, League V Champion Trevor 'cleavertrevor' Myers and the Black Belt Poker sponsored pros.

If your aces are cracked in the League, then fear not, as we have two other tournaments waiting in the wings. At the new time of 8.30pm, the Mulligan is a deep-stacked freezeout that offers plenty of room for skill to prevail, and all for just $15+1.50!

Then, at 9.30pm is when the real fun starts as we introduce our $0.50+0.05 donkament, a No Limit rebuy frenzy that gives players the opportunity to release all that pent up frustration from any bad beats suffered during the previous tournaments.

If that isn't enough to whet your appetite, then Neil Channing will be returning for Challenge Channing, a $0.25/0.50 full-ring cash game starting at 9.30pm. If you fancy fleecing Channing's pockets, then simply search for 'Table Channing' in the cash game lobby.

Super Tuesday is back and better than ever, and we'd love for you to join us next Tuesday for the opening week, whatever your Belt level. So, log in, get signed up, and brace yourself for some poker fun and frolics, Black Belt Poker style.

To open an account is easy: just download the cardroom software and follow the simple step-by-step process provided.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Super Duper Tuesday

The League might be on a brief hiatus, but this week Black Belt Poker will still be taking you to Valuetown with our Super Duper Tuesday.

Prior to the World Series, Black Belt Poker held an exclusive ECOOP promotion in which the player who cashed the most times on Black Belt Poker would win an added prize. The winner was Brian 'brigal19' Gallagher.

Now, in Super Duper Tuesday, Brian will be taking on 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing in a Challenge Channing Heads-Up Special. The encounter will be a best-of-three, and if Brian wins, he'll earn himself and additional $1,000!

The opening battle will commence at 7pm (8pm, then 9pm) on Tuesday, Aug 3, 2010, and you are cordially invited to come and rail to cheer on the player of your choosing and join in with all the fun and frolics of the chat box.

As always, Black Belt Poker will be hosting its Deepstack Mulligan (9.30pm) and Tuesday Donkament (11pm), but for Super Duper Tuesday, we're adding bonus prizes to first place in both tournaments in the form of an Academy seat worth £199!

Yesterday, Black Belt Poker hosted its latest Academy, in which poker aficionados Neil Channing, Nik Persaud and Alex Rousso offered their expertise to the latest batch of attendees. Take down one of our Super Duper Tuesday events, and you will be going to the next Academy absolutely free!

Super Duper Tuesday is set to be a roller coaster of a night, and we'd like all our loyal players, whatever your Belt level, to come along for the ride. To find any upcoming Black Belt Poker tournaments, simply select 'scheduled' > 'Black Belt Tournaments' in the cardroom lobby and we look forward to seeing you both at the tables, and on the rail.

This offer is open to everyone, including new users. To open an account is easy: just download the cardroom software and follow the simple step-by-step process provided.