Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Nottingham Live: Giving It Away

Fireworks are set to fly this November as the Black Belt Nottingham Live makes its hotly anticipated debut in the East Midlands, home of Robin Hood.

And like the Nottingham swordsman, we're going to be 'giving it away' by serving up an array of sumptuous Belt Bonuses for you to feast upon.

Despite a slimmer buy-in of $125+15, we've decided to echo the bonus packages from the London Live, meaning that we're once again adding up to 20% on all cash prizes and $250 on the heads of our soon-to-be announced bounties.

All players have the option of entering the tournament armed with one of three of the following packages:

Standard Package
Yellow Belts
$20 for eliminating a bounty

VIP Package

Orange Belts
$100 for eliminating a bounty
10% added to all prizes

VIP Plus Package
Purple Belts (and above)
$250 for eliminating a bounty
20% added to all prizes

To see how you can reach each Belt Level and take advantage of the value on offer, check out our Belt-Up Rewards System. To qualify for a package, you must be the relevant Belt colour on the day of the tournament.

To register for the event, you can either buy in directly by locating the tournament in Scheduled > London Live > Nottingham Live Day 1A/1B or, alternatively, purchase a token from the Black Belt Poker Store using Spending Points.

If you don't already have an account, then opening one is easy: simply download the poker client and follow the step-by-step process provided.

We're also hosting weekly satellites on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm. For as little as $3, you can secure your seat into the Main Event and enjoy one of the best-structured, affordable and fun-filled events on the poker calendar.

So, what are you waiting for? Start targeting that next Belt Level for your chance to become Sheriff of Valuetown.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

BBP Academy: Cash Is King

"MTTs for show, cash for dough," and in just one week's time, we'll be showing you how you can get your hands on some of that dough in our latest Black Belt Poker Academy: Cash Is King.

For the incredible price of just £99, our team of expert coaches will guide you through the ins-and-outs of life at the cash felt, covering a wide range of topics such as player identification, dealing with short-stackers, and how to play a deep-stack against tough opponents.

The Academy will hit Vic Casino shores this Saturday, September 3, with poker theorist Alex Rousso leading the way. Joining him on the flanks will be World Heads-Up Champion Nik Persaud, as well as Black Belt Sam Razavi.

Although Sam may have stolen the spotlight with his recent UKIPT Cork title, he is also an established online cash game pro having been a winning cash game player for the last several years. Late last year, he was one of just two winners of Grading III, where players were assessed on their cash game play over a four-week period.

If you want to follow in Sam's footstep, then be sure to book your seat for Cash Is King.

To secure your ticket for Saturday's event, or any future Academy, please drop us an email at training@blackbeltpoker.com to discuss payment options. Alternatively, you can purchase a token in the Black Belt Poker Store under Live Events.

As Neil himself said: "One day's intensive tuition to take your cash game to the next level for 99 quid. You can't say fairer than that."

Friday, 26 August 2011

Turn a Little into a Nottingham Live Seat

A popular rock band may have sang about the "cold November rain", but this Fall we're inviting you to spend three days under the warmth of the Dusk Till Dawn roof with the hotly anticipated Black Belt Nottingham Live.

It'll still be raining indoors, but raining value as we serve up the usual array of bounties, Belt bonuses and a guaranteed $50,000 prize pool, all for the snap-call, bargain price of $125+15!

The Nottingham Live offers players the unique opportunity to turn a little into a lotto, but from Monday, August 29, you'll have the chance to qualify for even less with our weekly satellites.

Not only can you qualify for as little as $3, but we're also guaranteeing an incredible four seats into the Main Event, regardless of runners.

The full satellite schedule is as follows:

$10+1 No Limit Hold'em Freezeout
Mondays, 8.30pm, 1 seat guaranteed into Nottingham Live

$3+0.3 No Limit Hold'em Rebuy/Add-on

Tuesdays, 8.30pm, 1 seat guaranteed into Nottingham Live

$20+1 No Limit Hold'em Freezeout
Wednesdays, 8.30pm, 2 seats guaranteed into Nottingham Live

All the above satellites are now available for registration in the online cardroom lobby. If you don't already have an account, then opening one is easy: simply download the poker software and follow the step-by-step process provided.

Alternatively, you can purchase a token via the Black Belt Poker Store. To use Spending Points, sign in to the online community, select Store and find your chosen satellite in the Online Tourney Tokens tab

To register for the Nottingham Live, you can either buy in directly by locating the tournament in Scheduled > Black Belt Tournaments >Nottingham Live Day 1A/1B or by purchasing a token from the Black Belt Poker Store.

Don't forget that League XI continues this Tuesday with four winners over the eight legs receiving free entry into the Nottingham Live. With just one leg in the bag, it's not to late for you to compete for one of those fantastic prizes and secure you seat in the most exciting event of the year.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

New League, New Records

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, and it's a new league as a record-breaking 159 turn up for the hotly anticipated opening leg of League XI, shattering the previous record of 132 to make this the largest field in Black Belt Poker League history.

The field was a melting pot of talent with Black Belts Neil Channing and Sam Razavi mixing it up with the likes of Jamie Burland, Owen Robinson, Andy Miles, Gareth Alder and the only son-and-father combo (that we know of…), Warren Wooldridge and Papa 'Bambury' Wooldridge. On this occasion, senior bettered junior by 48 places.

Despite a gaggle of former League Champions, performances were lacklustre as League II winner Mark 'russellhansen' Brassington was the best of the best with a disappointing 53rd. With reigning Champion Tom 'Werrrrd' Drew absent without leave, early signs suggest we may have a brand new King of the Poker Castle.

The early pacesetter is mystical entity 'jymjam', who defeated the equally enigmatic KBV1TALS heads-up to claim the $214.65 prize. Also on the final table were familiar faces Andy 'BoatDrink' Butcher, Simon 'ourkidsid' Herrick and Mark 'SebastianKat' Cooper, whilst poor Simon 'TheSimian' Morris was the bubble boy in 21st.

1st jymjam -- $214.65
2nd KBV1TALS -- $127.20
3rd BoraBoraBoy -- $79.50
4th doochats -- $63.60
5th BoatDrink -- $55.65
6th ourkidsid -- $47.70
7th SebastianKat -- $39.75
8th stevegw -- $31.80
9th lcm54 -- $23.85
10th Ste4dy3ddie -- $15.90
11th disciple999 -- $9.54
12th chillisaucemayo -- $9.54
13th donielyons -- $9.54
14th FlaxseedGoji -- $9.54
15th FlopTheNuts -- $9.54
16th LuckyJJhazan -- $9.54
17th sceaga2 -- $9.54
18th dajaroo -- $9.54
19th browndog0 -- $9.54
20th Essxhg -- $9.54

After just one outing, it doesn't take Stephen Hawking to calculate the League Standings…

1st jymjam -- 184 points
2nd KBV1TALS -- 176 points
3rd BoraBoraBoy -- 172 points
4th doochats -- 168 points
5th BoatDrink -- 165 points
6th ourkidsid -- 162 points
7th SebastianKat -- 159 points
8th stevegw -- 156 points
9th lcm54 -- 153 points
10th Ste4dy3ddie -- 151 points

The Deepstack Mulligan is a $15+1.5 deep-stacked event that follows the League each week at 8.30pm. As with the League, the Mulligan also enjoyed record-breaking numbers, peaking at 42 and creating a prize pool of $630.

The recipient of the lion's share was former Grader Carey 'CareybearBBP' Hollick. She post-pipped Ian 'mork1971' Goodwin to shower herself in $252.00 of spondoolies. Ste4dy3ddie - who finalled in the League - felt the splash of the bubble in sixth.

1st CareybearBBP -- $252.00
2nd mork1971 -- $157.50
3rd nickhem1 -- $100.80
4th RedKiteBlackBelt -- $69.30
5th jdogbbp -- $50.40

League XI is like no other league before; this time, we're offering an incredible four prizes with winners receiving a free seat into the recently announced Black Belt Nottingham Live, as well as an automatic last-longer for next year's London Live, and a personalised 'League Champion' hoodie for the winner.

The Nottingham Live is a brand new event being held at the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club this November 18-20. The buy-in fee is $125+15 with a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000. If you would like to register, then you can so via the cardroom lobby.

Fancy a free Nottingha Live seat? Then be sure to join us next week for Leg 2. To download the software, simply click here and follow the step-by-step process provided.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Become Sheriff of Nottingham in League XI

This November, we're giving you the chance to become Sheriff of Nottingham as the Black Belt Poker League returns with its bow drawn, ready to fire an arrow at the tree of value.

Four merry men will earn themselves a star prize, each feasting on a free seat into the recently announced Black Belt Nottingham Live.

They will then battle in a last-longer for a free 2012 London Live seat, whilst the Champion will get to play in a one-of-a-kind Black Belt Poker personalised hoodie, emblazened with their name and League achievement.

The Black Belt Nottingham Live is braced to hit the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club this November 18-20 with a $125+15 price tag and $50,000 guaranteed prize pool. For a bargain-bucket price, you'll get to play in the UK's most popular cardroom alongside top pros such as Richard Ashby, Neil Channing and Aussie Millions finalist Sam Razavi.

League XI commences Tuesday, August 23 at 7.30pm, exclusively on Black Belt Poker. As usual, the League will run over eight legs, taking place every Tuesday. The event can be located in the lobby under Scheduled > Black Belt Tournaments and costs $5+0.50 to enter. You can also buy in using Belt Points by purchasing a token in the Black Belt Poker Store.

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

Once again, we're offering some incredible prizes to those who make it into the top 10:

1st Nottingham Live Seat, London Live Last-Longer & Personalised Hoodie
2nd Nottingham Live Seat & London Live Last-Longer
3rd Nottingham Live Seat & London Live Last-Longer
4th Nottingham Live Seat & London Live Last-Longer
5th 600 Belt Points
6th 500 Belt Points
7th 400 Belt Points
8th 300 Belt Points
9th 200 Belt Points
10th 100 Belt Points

Last time, Blue Belt Tom Drew became the first ever double League winner when he took down the tenth League to date. As a result, he got to script and star in his very own poker scene alongisde the Black Belt Poker team with Jesse May commentating from the booth.

Tom Drew's done it twice, but next time - as the giant blue finger would say - it could be you...

Previous Winners:

League I: Adam Saunders
League II: Mark Brassington
League III: David Meunier
League IV: Andy Brisland
League V: Trevor Myers
League VI: Mark Ranson
League VII: Tom Drew
League VIII: Trevor Ingman
League IX: Jamie Burland
League X: Tom Drew
League XI

To download the software, simply click here and follow the step-by-step process provided.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Academy: Poker in the Modern World

If you're struggling to keep up with all the latest technologies and want to learn more about how you can further your game in the current climate, then look no further than our latest Black Belt Poker Academy: Poker in the Modern World.

Poker is a constantly changing game and staying ahead of the pack is hard work, but this Saturday, August 20, our expert tutors will make simple some of the cutting-edge tools required to win at the online felt.

Joining Bluff Europe columnist Alex Rousso will be cash game pro Kevin Williams, who recently won iPoker's weekly $200,000 GTD tournament for $42,000. Together, they will cover a range of topics from poker trackers, HUDs, odds compilers, PokerStove, forums and more.

We spoke to poker coach Alex Rousso about the Academy:


The Academy will take place at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London with the following schedule:

- Introduction: getting the most from poker tools
- Talk: hand review using trackers
- Workshop: Poker Tracker vs. Hold'em Manager
- Talk: optimising your HUD
- Workshop: using HUDs
- Watch The Pros: using HUDs
- Talk: avoiding red herrings
- Talk: Hand review using trackers
- Workshop: further tracking software advice
- Mini Workshops: odds & equity software, training advice, or live satellites

As was recently announced, all Academy tickets are now just £99, or a bargain £400 for four. To book your ticket for Saturday's event, or any future Academy, please drop us an email at training@blackbeltpoker.com to discuss payment options. Alternatively, you can purchase a token in the Black Belt Poker Store under 'Live Events'.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Black Belt Live Heads to Nottingham

November is traditionally the time for sparklers and bonfires, but this year we're serving up more fireworks than an Olympic opening ceremony with the inaugural... Black Belt Nottingham Live.

Following the success of the London Live, we decided that one affordable, well-structured, added-value tournament a year wasn't enough for our players, so are proud to announce our latest poker bonanza taking place at the highly acclaimed Dust Till Dawn Poker Club in Nottingham.

Scheduled for November 18-20, the Nottingham Live will be a No Limit Hold'em freezeout with a buy-in to suit all wallet sizes. For just $125+15, you'll get to play a deep-stacked event alongside both amateurs and pros alike including Richard Ashby, Sam Razavi and Jamie Burland.

"We never really planned to have two live events a year," commented Neil Channing, "but we've been so overwhelmed with the popularity of our London Live, that we decided to host another one in Nottingham. I love getting to know our players, and these events are a great opportunity for people to meet the other members of the community, and hopefully plenty of new faces too."

"DTD's an amazing venue," added Black Belt Poker CEO and WSOP finalist Warren Wooldridge, "and we're all looking forward to playing there. Rob and his team do a great job and I think our players will really enjoy playing an affordable event in such a nice card room. It's also a great chance for those in other parts of the country to experience a Black Belt Poker live event."

Black Belt Poker are guaranteeing a $50,000 prize pool, as well as adding value with Belt Bonuses and pro bounties. And for those looking to qualify for a bargain price, we'll also be hosting an array of satellites in the weeks leading up to the event.

Registration will open this Monday, available exclusively through the Black Belt Poker online cardroom.

In the meantime, if you haven't yet created an account, doing so couldn't be easier: simply download the poker client and follow the simple steps provided. If you encounter any problems, then please don't hesitate to contact customer support.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Magnificent Seven

It's time to get out your posh frocks and hit the red carpet as the British Poker Awards makes its second appearance to date. Coinciding with this year's Poker in the Park, the ceremony will take place on the main stage at 3pm on Saturday, September 3 with appearances from a plethora of stars from the UK poker scene including Liv Boeree, Sam Trickett and Jake Cody.

As always, there are numerous categories for you to cast your vote, such as 'Best International Player' and 'Best Poker League', with a couple of other news one thrown into the mix including the somewhat controversial 'Best Social Media User'.

Last year, Black Belt Poker sponsored pros Neil Channing and Richard Ashby walked away with silverware, and this time they're in contention again with no fewer than six nominations between them, in addition to a minor appearance on the list from yours truly.

Best Cash Player - Richard Ashby
Mixed Game Player - Richard Ashby
PLO Player - Richard Ashby
Online Player - Richard Ashby
Best Blogger - Neil Channing, Snoopy
Best Contribution to Poker - Neil Channing

Like a flock of magpies chasing a milk float, we love shiny stuff here at Black Belt Poker, so please help us brighten up the office by voting for the aforementioned in their respective categories. To cast your vote, simply go to thebritishpokerawards.com and tick the relevant boxes. Once you've submitted your votes, you'll then be thrown into a free draw in which one lucky person will win a free seat into the weekly £300 event at Palm Beach.

With the exception of Neil inexplicably being excluded from the 'Personality of the Year' category, this year's ceremony should be great fun, especially if Black Belt Poker can capture some gold. The website states: "The second annual British Poker Awards isn’t about self-congratulatory back-slapping; it’s about honouring the players who have done us so proud on the world stage this year," but you know what, we could do with a quick back-slap to soften the blow of recent bad beats, so cast your vote now.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

CEO Receives Promotion

Warren Wooldridge has become the latest player to scale the ranks of the Black Belt Poker Belt-Up Rewards System and become Brown Belt. As a result, he now receives $4,000 in live tournament backing every month.

Warren became CEO of Black Belt Poker 18 months ago and decided to test the product himself by working his way through the Belts. He reached Blue Belt after several months and later earned his spot in the Vegas 11 where he'd get to stay in the Black Belt Poker luxury mansion and spend his sponsorship on WSOP tournaments.

One of those tournaments was Event #54.

Across four days of blood, sweat and tears, Warren battled his way through a mammoth 4,576-thick field to finish third for an incredible $288,946, eliminated when his A-J was cruelly outdrawn by A-9. In doing so, he inflated the Vegas Prize Fund to $9,232.76, which led to 127 Black Belt Poker players receiving $72.70 each.

Although Black Belt Poker backing works on a 50-50 deal, we also offer a unique benefit in the form of Prize Points and award points for any in-the-money finish. Warren therefore received an enormous 433,419 points, which was enough to propel him to Brown Belt and keep him at that level for in excess of 8 months.

This means that he'll have $32,000 in tournament sponsorship at his disposal without the need to play a single hand!

Despite his tender years and youthful looks, Warren is a veteran of the felt and has been a trusted member of the 'poker scene' for many a year. With a long string of results including second in the 2007 Luton GUKPT (an event which long-time friend Neil Channing would win three years later), Warren has collated an impressive $573,911 in live tournament winnings.

"Although I'm CEO of Black Belt Poker, I'm a poker fanatic and love to play whenever I have the chance," commented Warren. "I'm really looking forward to spending my Brown Belt sponsorship on upcoming tournaments and will be making my first stop at the Edinburgh UKIPT in just over a week's time.

"Prize Points are a great benefit that you won't find elsewhere. Our rewards system is structured so that it rewards success in live tournaments. Because I have a family and a full-time job, I don't have as much free time as other players, but this shows just how far you can get even if poker isn't your primary profession."

If you'd like to follow Warren in becoming one of our sponsored pros, then be sure to check out the Belt-Up Rewards System for more information.

Related links:

Warren Wooldridge Finishes Third in Event #54
Event #54 Image Gallery
Event #54 Live Coverage
Neil Channing Blog - 'Who's the Boss?'
Pre-Vegas Blog - 'Moving House is Stressful!'
Vegas 11 Page
Belt-Up Rewards System
Vegas Prize Fund
Vegas Prize Fund Pays Out $9.2K!

Double Werrrrd Score

He may speak an intangible language, and struggle with some of life's simplest tasks, but beyond the street talk and punctuality slip-ups, is there a sharp poker brain lurking in the murky depths? One that can lead a man to fortunes at the felt, and meticulously break down any opponent that steps in his way? Have we been bluffed all along?

The record books would suggest so.

Last night, and following hours of gruelling mouse-clicking, League X arrived at its conclusion and crowned its first double-champion: Tom 'Werrrrd' Drew.

A Blue Belt on the Belt-Up Rewards System, Tom receives $1,500 per month in live tournament backing and last month cashed in the Brighton UKIPT for £1,200. When he's not making money at the live felt, he can be found lingering in cyber space, either playing heads-up cash or, every Tuesday at 7.30pm, displaying his dominance in the Black Belt Poker League

Tom was a chunky 51 points in front heading into the final Leg; preventing victory would have been like trying to stop a herd of elephants with a pea-shooter, and despite the best attempts of the rest of the 47-strong field, Tom's ninth place finish (and, incredibly, fifth top 10 finish of League X) was more than enough to secure his seat on the throne, and a second visit following his triumph in League VII.

We'd have to confirm with our statisticians, but it looks like Tom is the first player to ever win a League without taking down an individual Leg. In the final outing, that honour belonged to Ian 'mork1971' Goodwin who turned a Spending Points' token into a juicy $94.000 payday.

1st mork1971 -- $94.00
2nd forgot2piknik -- $58.75
3rd rustypokerhead -- $37.60
4th nakgeela4 -- $25.85
5th losbert40 -- $18.80
6th S0lution
7th paul6543
8th eixip50
9th Werrrrd

As a result, Tom finished proceedings with 461 points, 66 ahead of League II Champion Mark 'russellhansen' Brassington who leap-frogged Zoe 'ZoeRiZZ0' Orton-Jay into second with a 10th place finish. Meanwhile, mork1971 jumped up to fourth, whilst last week's winner Dean 'LAYERCAKE35' Watson clung onto a top 10 spot despite coming 35th. The only player to drop out of the prize positions was '1080Sniper' who mysteriously no-showed.

1st Werrrrd (461 points) -- Ultimate Poker Fantasy Package
2nd russellhansen (395 points) -- 1,000 Belt Points
3rd ZoeRiZZ0 (392 points) -- 850 Belt Points
4th brigal19 (376 points) -- 750 Belt Points
5th mork1971 (375 points) -- 600 Belt Points
6th TopMossley (373 points) -- 500 Belt Points
7th bagpussrocks (372 points) -- 400 Belt Points
8th UliKoko (363 points) -- 300 Belt Points
9th RykanShadow (358 points) -- 200 Belt Points
10th LAYERCAKE35 (357 points) -- 100 Belt Points

11th sceaga2 -- 342 points
12th BoatDrink -- 338 points
13th nakgeela4 -- 336 points
14th 1080Sniper -- 336 points
15th thehingster -- 334 points
16th losbert40 -- 323 points
17th stevegw -- 322 points
18th eixip50 -- 300 points
19th tristiano -- 289 points
20th insider66666 -- 271 points

Although Tom will have been busy with a bottle of bubbly, the night wasn't quite over as the $15+1.5 Deepstack Mulligan hit BBP shores just 60 minutes later. Bizarrely, the event was gobbled up by two 'Ourkids', while WSOP online qualifier and winner of this very event last week, Sean 'Snotterz' Fennessey, once again made the money in third.

1st Ourkid888 -- $82.50
2nd ourkidsid -- $49.50
3rd Snotterz -- $33.00
4th losbert40
5th Touagorimou
6th paul6543
7th 99Ranny
8th sexyfilmer6
9th bagpussrocks
10th CareybearBBP
11th SebastianKat

After he's recovered from his hangover (I'm sure the celebrations will have been wild), Tom will be preparing to live out his Ultimate Poker Fantasy. Whilst we can't promise him Liv Boeree or Shannon Elizabeth, we can guarantee a dip into the world of amateur dramatics and a starring role in his own poker video with cameo appearances from Richard Ashby and Neil Channing and commentary from the legendary Jesse May.

As for everyone else, you have another League to look forward to, and a fresh start. League XI kicks-off in three weeks' time on Tuesday, August 23 with a soon-to-be-announced prize. Forget the November Nine, this is where it's at, so don't miss out on your chance to join poker's most illustrious list…

League I: Adam Saunders
League II: Mark Brassington
League III: David Meunier
League IV: Andy Brisland
League V: Trevor Myers
League VI: Mark Ranson
League VII: Tom Drew
League VIII: Trevor Ingman
League IX: Jamie Burland
League X: Tom Drew

To download the software, simply click here
and follow the step-by-step process provided.