Friday, 27 January 2012

Mental Game of Poker: Available Now

Every month, players are able to collate Belt Points in return for their time at the table, which they can then transfer into Spending Points and spend on various items such as merchandise, training and live events.

Now, we're giving you the chance to invest those points in the most vital book on poker in recent years: The Mental Game of Poker.

We're already rewarding players for maintaining their Belt with the Orange Belt Freerolls, Grab a Grand, and more, but now you can also secure your copy of Jared Tendler's highly acclaimed publication for just 1,000 Spending Points - that's merely two months' worth of maintaining Orange.

Jared Tendler is a professional psychologist who has furthered the games of some of poker's most consistent pros, including names such as online phenom Dusty Leatherass Schmidt and EPT Champion Ben NeverScaredB Wilinofsky.

In the process, he has quickly established himself as the frontrunner in mental game coaching, whilst also elevating the increasing importance of topics such as tilt control, confidence, and coping with variance - crucial elements in a game of diminishing edges.

Now, with the help of poker scribe Barry Carter, Jared has managed to condense all his theories into one book, meaning you can learn all the key elements of the mental game of poker in one fell swoop and for the incredible price of 1,000 Spending Points.

Ordering your copy couldn't be easier: simply log in to your community account at, select Store in the top right-hand menu, and then locate The Mental Game of Poker under the Merchandise heading. The book - and all its proven strategies - will then be in your hands within days.

The Black Belt Poker Store is split into four categories, with a plethora of rewards at your disposal including Academy seats, online tournament tokens, T-shirts and caps, and subscription to acclaimed tutorial site DeucesCracked.

One of our most popular items are Dojo Sessions, which are a snip at just 300 Spending Points. The next available Session is PLO Cafe, in which professional Omaha cash game player Jerome Bradpiece will be analysing the hands of attendees and helping players fine-tune their game. But be warned: tickets sell out fast, so secure your seat now via the Store.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Gorilla Warfare in Leg 3

Breaking news: I won the office sweepstake! And my prediction of 118 for that evening's Black Belt Poker League was right on the nose and would have earned me a bonus prize on Bruce's Price is Right. As it was, I was forced to settle for £2 (50p of which was my initial investment), which although was a welcome addition to the coffee fund, paled in comparison to the booty collected by Leg 3 winner Anthony BoraBoraBoy Giuntini who saw his digital count rise by $147.52.

A proud member of Koddzilla's Carps, Anthony played the recent Black Belt Nottingham Live dressed as a gorilla in a bid to earn some extra dough for Cancer Research, but whilst he fell short on that occasion, there was no monkeying around on Tuesday as he defeated a tough final table that included former League Champion Adam JHobbit1 Saunders, and also unknown entity Essxhg who was appearing in his second final table after finishing sixth last week.

Further down the list, Leg 1 and 2 winners Mark SebastianKat Cooper and Shaun TableKnight Herran-Venables came 101st and 97th respectively, whilst reigning League Champion Mark bornTOflirt Atkinson fell in 52nd. Last week's League leader, kippery, came 54th.

1st BoraBoraBoy -- $147.52
2nd AlRawling -- $100.30
3rd bas2604 -- $76.70
4th StakattakBBP -- $54.57
5th Essxhg -- $38.35
6th paul6543 -- $30.97
7th JHobbit1 -- $25.07
8th pbsef81 -- $20.65
9th Nanoplankton -- $16.22
10th G3OFF -- $14.16
11th Gums1981 -- $14.16
12th BoatDrink -- $14.16
13th BarnabasStinson -- $12.39
14th HesGot2Aces -- $12.39
15th whosurmama -- $12.39

A total of 178 players have tackled this opening trio of legs, but only one has empty space above him: Allan AlRawling Rawling, whose second place finish sees him leapfrog the likes of Sarrannedipity, Mrdroodle and BoatDrink into pole position with 349 points. Having said that, nemesis BoraBoraBoy is breathing down his neck like a parched parrot with 347.

1st AlRawling -- 349 points
2nd BoraBoraBoy -- 347 points
3rd kippery -- 340 points
4th Essxhg -- 329 points
5th JHobbit1 -- 329 points
6th Sarannedipity -- 315 points
7th Touagorimou -- 311 points
8th BubbleCloud -- 309 points
9th Mrdroodle -- 304 points
10th BoatDrink -- 293 points

11th TeamPokerTourUK -- 292 points
12th Nanoplankton -- 290 points
13th TheSimian -- 290 points
14th ZoeRiZZ0 -- 287 points
15th clevski1 -- 284 points
16th NPStars1 -- 16 points
17th russellhansen -- 278 points
18th wondrwman -- 273 points
19th FlopTheNuts77 -- 270 points
20th BarnabasStinson -- 269 points

In this week's Deepstack Mulligan, Kevin S0lution Birt rectified his bubble chagrin from seven days previous to take down Wednesday's outing. He unknowingly swapped places with dionysian who topped the podium last week.

1st S0lution -- $135.00 (50 points)
2nd SvenBenson66 -- $90.00 (30 points)
3rd Nanoplankton -- $45.00 (10 points)
4th JHobbit1 -- $30.00 (5 points)
5th dionysian (5 points)

Victory will like have come have somewhat of a relief for S0lution, as he bubbled that evening's Barney Rubble Orange Belt Freeroll. His conquerers won a total of nine tournament tokens between them into the daily $6K GTD event with Black Belt Poker doubling any winnings.

1st HammerHorror -- 5 tokens
2nd eixip50 -- 3 tokens
3rd tristiano -- 1 token

If you'd like to take a munch out of the value being dangled above, then there's nothing to stop you: simply click here to download the software and open an account by following the step-by-step process provided.

Even if tax season and the festive aftermath is thinning your wallet, then we still have some free money to give you. Tonight, at 20:00, the Yellow Belt No-Lose Deepstack returns with another $100 of added money up for grabs. Entry is $1 with no registration fee, and everyone gets their money back, whatever your postion.

Previous reports:

Week 1 - League XIII: Cool for 'SebastianKat'
Week 2 - No Knightmare for Shaun in Leg 2

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Just £99 for an Academy - That's No Level

Forget spoiling your other half this Valentine's month to ostentatious restaurants and overpriced candy; why not treat yourself instead and take your game into the poker pitstop courtesy of the first Black Belt Poker Academy of the year?

On Saturday, February 25, Black Belt Poker will be returning to the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London for another day of intensive poker tutelage with two of our finest mentors: Bluff Europe columnist Alex Rousso and Blue Belt Kevin Williams.

The subject matter will be Learning to Adjust: Levelling & Exploitation with Alex and Kevin guiding you through a plethora of related topics such as Game Theory, Table Dynamics and Poker Trackers. Meanwhile, players will be invited to participate in workshops within smaller groups, as well as asking any questions or queries they may have.

The full schedule is as follows:

No Right Answers: Applying Game Theory (Alex)
Who's Got a Target on Their Back? (Workshop)
Short Break
Using Trackers to Exploit Opponents (Kevin)
Adjusting to Table Dynamics - Three Key Concepts (Workshop)
Exploitation and Four-Street Poker (Alex/Kevin)
Short break
Making & Executing a Plan (Workshop)
K.I.S.S.: Avoiding Overthink (Alex)
Levelling: Who's Zooming Who? (Workshop)
Seminar Ends

As an exclusive offer to Academy attendees, anyone who wishes to play the Vic's £50+6 tournament later that evening will automatically be entered into a last-longer with the last (wo)man standing winning free entry into the next Academy.

Academy seats are a snip at just £99, or the reduced price of £400 for five. If you would like to attend February's outing, or any other Academies from our 2012 schedule (see here), then simply drop us an email at to register your interest and discuss payment options.

Alternatively, Black Belt Poker players can secure their seat in seconds by purchasing a token from the Store for 4,800 Spending Points. If you are Green Belt or above and wish to use one of your free tickets, then simply get in touch to confirm attendance.

"Our last Academy of the year was a sell out," reveals Bluff Europe columnist Alex Rousso, "and we also received some of the best feedback ever. We've worked hard on the format of our Academies over the last two years and they really are a fantastic learning experience. Come see for yourself."

For one time only, February 25 will feature a double-Academy as 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing hosts a day of educational gems at the Northern Poker Stars Poker Club in Carlisle. The topic will be Tournament Play with Neil divulging all the skills that helped him to a near three million in live tournament winnings. Contact to reserve your seat.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

No Knightmare for Shaun in Leg 2

Once upon a time, a knight of the table (although not necessarily of the 'round' variety) galloped into Leg 2 of BBP League XIII to test his might. Every quest had been conquered, every dragon in the kingdom slayed, and the last damsel in distress already rescued (by Shrek, who probably did you a favour, mate). There wasn't much else to do, so, he laid down the lance, parked his trusty steed, tipped the stablehand, filled up his chalice, and... switched on the computer!

126 warriors - including the likes of Blue Belts Ross Jarvis and Jamie Burland - turned up for Leg 2, which commenced last Super Tuesday at the usual time of 19:30. A fierce battle ensued and before we knew it, we were down to two Yellow Belts: Shaun 'TableKnight' Herran-Venables and Mick 'FishtFuct' Williams.

Shaun eventually swung the axe and connected, eliminating his rival to reap the $144.95 first prize, 151 points and a guaranteed seat in the end of league SNG playoff (for the fourth BBP Live seat). Victory means Shaun is now 60th in the overall standings.

For his efforts, Mick 'FishtFuct' Williams, now 67th overall, bagged a princely $100.80 and 143 points - not bad for a $5 investment. Third place was claimed by Barrie 'rinkydinky23' Cullen, who binked $76.54 and 139 points. The Yellow Belt is now 71st and one spot behind League XII champion Mark 'bornTOflirt' Atkinson. Fourth and fifth spots were secured by Nottingham Live finalist Adam 'ACarey' Carey and League II champion Mark 'russellhansen' Brassington respectively.

1st TableKnight -- $144.95
2nd FishtFuct -- $100.80
3rd rinkydinky23 -- $76.54
4th ACarey -- $56.70
5th russellhansen -- $37.80
6th Essxhg -- $31.50
7th TheZartog -- $25.20
8th BubbleCloud -- $18.90
9th mrdroodle -- $15.75
10th ZoeRiZZ0 -- $14.17
11th browndog0 -- $14.17
12th sammyforever6 -- $14.17
13th SirNutFlopper -- 13.54
14th WiseOwlBB -- $13.54
15th nakgeela4 -- $13.54
16th NPStars1 -- $12.91
17th kippery -- $12.91
18th doochats -- $12.91

Top spot in the overall standings is currently shared by two Orange Belts: David 'kippery' Read and Andy 'mrdroodle' Erskine, who are both on 275 points. Ian 'FlopTheNuts77' Fox, who finished second in Leg 1, is sitting behind them with 249 points whilst Leg 1 winner Mark 'SebastianKat' Cooper has slipped out of the top 20 after crashing out in 119th place.

1st kippery -- 275 points
2nd mrdroodle -- 275 points
3rd FlopTheNuts77 -- 249 points
4th russellhansen -- 246 points
5th Sarannedipity -- 242 points
6th Touagorimou -- 236 points
7th Yosemity2207 -- 230 points
8th BubbleCloud -- 229 points
9th NPStars1 -- 227 points
10th rungoodPLS -- 222 points

11th doochats -- 220 points
12th fialie -- 216 points
13th plusEVldn -- 216 points
14th AlRawling -- 214 points
15th JHobbit1 -- 211 points
16th AngelVickie48 -- 208 points
17th Essxhg -- 205 points
18th BoraBoraBoy -- 204 points
19th clevski1 -- 203 points
20th Th3End1sN1gh -- 202 points

Even if you missed out in Leg 1 (like the top three finishers this week), don't worry because you still have plenty of time to make your mark in League XIII. The action will return for its third outing next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

On Wednesday at 20:00, we witnessed the return of the Slice of the Action Orange Belt Freeroll. This time around, we were awarding shares of Black Belt Sam Razavi in next month's UKIPT in Galway.

Last year, four lucky Orange Belts won in excess of $16,000 after Sam took down UKIPT Cork. Will he be able to repeat the feat in Ireland? There were 71 runners in last night's freeroll, which suggests he isn't short on support. Below are the players that won a piece of the pie:

1st NPenfold666 -- $100 sponsorship
2nd StakattakBBP -- $50 sponsorship
3rd ourkidsid -- $25 sponsorship
4th jfdiwins -- $25 sponsorship

Just 30 minutes later (at 20:00pm), 32 players dipped into the $15+1.5 Deepstack Mulligan. Orange Belt Spencer 'dionysian' Lawrence came out on top in that tournament. The top five also received Belt Points.

1st dionysian -- $177.60 (50 points)
2nd 99Ranny -- $120.00 (30 points)
3rd craigsidders -- $72.00 (10 points)
4th MRMANC -- $48.00 (5 points)
5th TartanSpecialI -- $26.40 (5 points)
6th S0lution -- $26.40

Don't have an account? Then click here to download the software and open an account by following the simple step-by-step process provided.

Previous reports:

Week 1 - League XIII: Cool for 'SebastianKat'

Thursday, 12 January 2012

League XIII: Cool for Sebastian Kat

Black Belt Poker entered the new year with just one New Year's Resolution: to continue offering value to our players. And first up was the latest Black Belt Poker League, which arrived last (Super) Tuesday with a near-recording breaking attendance.

153 in total sat down for the opening leg, including Black Belt Poker sponsored pros Kevin Williams, Warren Wooldridge and Jamie Burland, as well as head honcho Neil Channing - all keen to make an explosive start to the League's unlucky-for-some thirteenth outing.

The dangling-carrot on this occasion is three free seats into a 2012 Black Belt Live Main Event, as well as 200 Belt Points just for participating in all eight legs. Meanwhile, each leg winner once again earns entry into a Second Chance SNG to battle it out for the fourth Black Belt Live seat.

The first man to secure his spot in the SNG - although he may, of course, be collecting silverware in eight weeks' time - was Mark 'SebastianKat' Cooper, who used his feline skills to outwit fellow furry beast Ian 'FlopTheNuts77' Fox and snap up first. $173.28 sure buys a lot of catnip.

Meanwhile, mrdroodle proved that his League XII form was no fluke with a sixth place finish, whilst Sarannedipity also finalled in 10th. Reigning Champion Mark 'bornTOflirt' Atkinson came 68th.

1st SebastianKat -- $173.28
2nd FlopTheNuts77 -- $121.60
3rd kippery -- $91.20
4th vinsangel -- $68.02
5th Nanoplankton -- $45.60
6th Mrdroodle -- $38.00
7th Yosemity2207 -- $30.40
8th BobbersAllin -- $22.80
9th AlRawling -- $17.10
10th Sarannedipity -- $13.68
11th LegendKing1 -- $13.68
12th huzi9mm -- $13.68
13th StilettoMafiosa -- $12.16
14th gnomeeee -- $12.16
15th AngelVickie48 -- $12.16
16th rungootPLS -- $10.26
17th Mo33a -- $10.26
18th Touagorimou -- $10.26
19th forgot2piknik -- $8.74
20th wondrwman -- $8.74
21st TeeDeeEye1 -- $8.74
22nd FastFuse -- $8.74
23rd clevski1 -- $8.74

Get the calculators out - some complicated maths required for this one. Unsurprisingly, the top three also hold fort on the standings podium after turning a tournament token into a fruitful venture.

1st SebastianKat -- 177 points
2nd FlopTheNuts77 -- 169 points
3rd kippery -- 165 points
4th vinsangel -- 161 points
5th Nanoplankton -- 158 points
6th Mrdroodle -- 155 points
7th Yosemity2207 -- 152 points
8th BobbersAllin -- 149 points
9th AlRawling -- 146 points
10th Sarannedipity -- 144 points
11th LegendKing1 -- 142 points
12th huzi9mm -- 141 points
13th StilettoMafiosa -- 140 points
14th gnomeeee -- 139 points
15th AngelVickie48 -- 138 points
16th rungootPLS -- 137 points
17th Mo33a -- 136 points
18th Touagorimou -- 135 points
19th forgot2piknik -- 134 points
20th wondrwman -- 133 points

The action returned the following night with a respectable 37 players in the Deepstack Mulligan. Yellow Belt MRMANC (not a Manchester United fan, I suspect) took the spoils:

1st MRMANC -- $205.36 (50 Belt Points)
2nd WiseOwlBB -- $138.75 (30 Belt Points)
3rd 99Ranny -- $83.25 (10 Belt Points)
4th 47chris -- $55.50 (5 Belt Points)
5th S0lution -- $41.62 (5 Belt Points)
6th desiretheright -- $30.52

Also on Wednesday was our latest, and newest Orange Belt Freeroll, the 'Omaha Orgy', in which winners earned entry into various Omaha tournaments on Black Belt Poker, including the $100+9 Monday Night Omaha freezeout.

Ironically, 'LillJem' rose highest. The face behind the moniker? Jemma Pateman, who completed an incredible double after picked up an entire season's worth of League tokens in last week's Freeroll. Can she score the hat-trick in next week's Slice of the Action and bag a piece of UKIPT Cork Champion Sam Razavi in Galway?

1st LillJem -- Monday Night Omaha ($100+9)
2nd bagpussrocks -- $500 GTD Omaha ($50+5)
3rd JHobbit1 -- Monday Night Omaha Satellite ($20+2)
4th FlopTheNuts77 -- Monday Night Omaha Satellite ($20+2)

If you're new to Black Belt Poker, and like what you see, then jumping aboard the gravy train is easy: simply click here to download the poker client and follow the step-by-step process to opening your account.

With just one leg in the bag, the League is still wide open.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Black Belts Go Down Under

January is usually a time for licking your financial wounds and preparing for the upcoming tax bill, but for the top poker pros, an even tougher predicament faces them: should they play the Aussie Millions, or head to Bahamian shores for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure?

For Black Belts Richard Ashby and Sam Razavi, the perhaps more illustrious and equally sunny former is their destination of choice, with the action kicking off this Thursday and culminating in a total of 51 tournaments including the A$10,000 Main Event.

"I'm heading over on Tuesday evening," reveals Richard. "I'm going to be playing the Main Event, and all the non-Hold'em side events, although I'll skip the really small ones, and also the two big ones: A$100,000 and A$250,000. This time I'll be pretty much playing poker throughout the whole trip.

"The cash games are really good over there and I'll be playing them daily unless I'm still alive in a tournament. They used to have big Limit games, Omaha High, which were great, but now they tend to be Pot Limit games instead.

"I'm a big fan of the Aussie Millions," he adds, "and would say it's the best event on the calendar, with Vegas second. The complex and the hotel are really nice, and the dealers and staff in the Crown Casino are friendly. There's always a lot of action too."

Both Richard and Sam have enjoyed success in Melbourne. Although Richard took down an Eight-Game side event in 2011, his biggest payday was A$150,000 when he came seventh in the Main Event in 2009. Fellow Brit Barny Boatman came eighth.

"The Main Event's usually quite soft," Richard claims. "I think when Joe Hachem won the World Series back in 2005, it attracted a lot of players to the tournament, and there are also tonnes of satellites. I won't be treating it any differently to other big tournaments though."

In last year's event, Brown Belt Sam Razavi made a star-studded final that included Chris Moorman and Patrik Antonius. He ultimately departed in sixth place for A$250,000. Former Brown Belt James Keys finished second for $1,035,000.

Sam's performance earned him enough points to reach Black Belt and formed the launch pad for his tournament career. Just a few months later, he would join Jamie Burland as one of two Black Belt Poker UKIPT Champions when he took down the title in Cork.

This year, both Sam and Richard will be looking to go that one step further and bring home the title, and we'll be keeping a close eye on their progress and keeping you updated via the Black Belt Poker Groups.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Go Live With League XIII

The Black Belt Poker League returns this Tuesday for its first outing of the new year. The final digit in the date may have changed, but the value at Black Belt Poker continues to deliver as we serve up our usual dose of bonuses and rewards.

This time around, we're offering four lucky players the chance to play a Black Belt Live event and echo the achievements of Nottingham Live champion Stuart Hyson who won $15,500 when he captured the title at Dust Till Dawn.

In 2012, we plan to host three Black Belt Live events, and if you finish in the top three of League XIII, you will receive free entry into a Main Event of your choosing, wherever the venue may be. In addition, the overall Champion will earn himself a personalised Black Belt Poker hoodie, as well as all the bragging rights he can handle.

League XIII commences Tuesday, January 10 at 19:30, 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 also giving away Belt Points to those who make it into the top 10, but just miss out on star prize:

1st 2012 Black Belt Live Seat & Personalised Hoodie
2nd 2012 Black Belt Live Seat
3rd 2012 Black Belt Live Seat
4th 725 Belt Points
5th 600 Belt Points
6th 500 Belt Points
7th 400 Belt Points
8th 300 Belt Points
9th 200 Belt Points
10th 100 Belt Points

As with the previous League, we're offering all leg winners who couldn't quite to make it into the top three spots one final bite of the cherry in a Second Chance SNG. The SNG will take place the day after the final leg of the League on Wednesday, February 29, with the last man standing reaping the same rewards as the overall winners and earning free entry into one of our 2012 Black Belt Live events.

This means that even if you're in last place with just one leg to go, you still have a chance of winning the star prize!

And it doesn't end there. Anyone who manages to sweet-talk the Mrs. and escape to the computer to play all eight league legs will once again be rewarded with an additional 200 Belt Points. That's extra value just for turning up, regardless of your final position in the standings!

Last time, Yellow Belt Mark 'BornTOflirt' Atkinson became the Black Belt Poker League Champion when he took down the twelfth League to date. As a result, he was invited for a slap-up meal at the Black Belt Poker Christmas party to wine and dine with the likes of Neil Channing and Richard Ashby, before being entered into a £100 SNG against the Black Belt Poker team of sponsored pros.

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: Robert Bulman
League XII: Mark Atkinson
League XIII: ?...

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

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

OMG! First Place & Back to Back Finals

For most, the festive period is one of rest, a time to ravage a turkey, share a tipple with the in-laws, and blow off the one-year dust from the Monopoly. For Black Belt Poker player Martin 'OMGDannyRudd' Malone, however, it was a time for making money... real money.

As December 25 drew to a close and the final mince pies were consumed, Martin received a belated, but welcome Christmas present when he defeated a 725-thick field to take down iPoker's $100,000 Guaranteed tournament.

A 27-year old former youth worker from Southampton, Martin is an MTT specialist who plays tournaments ranging from $5 rebuys to the Sunday Majors. On this occasion, he managed to turn an initial investment of $200+15 into a juicy $30,450, thus ensuring he finished 2011 with a bang.

"It felt great to win," revealed Martin. "I think I shouted 'Boom!' quite a lot and ran to tell the Mrs. I had won it. She was eating breakfast at the time having already had a full night's sleep - its a strange world all this poker stuff!

"There was a huge jump from second to first of around $15,000," he continued, "so it was pretty sick playing heads-up for double the prize of second. In the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think that if I finished in the runner-up spot, I'd have to replay the whole tournament and come second again just to win the amount I was currently playing for!"

Several other Black Belt Poker players made the money, including Andrew 'LegendKing1' Dwyer (28th: $841.00) and Jerome 'GONGONONGO' Bradpiece (92nd: $203.00). Martin isn't the only Black Belt Poker player to win the event; Blue Belt Kevin Williams achieved the same feat earlier in the year for a whopping $42,000, although with a less 'seasonal' guaranteed prize pool of $200,000.

Although Martin doesn't consider himself a pro, he does label himself an 'online grinder', and just one week later he was back at the table to defend his title. Amazingly, the New Year celebrations almost echoed the Christmas cheer when he made an incredible second consecutive final table and finished ninth for $1,899.80. In the same tournament, Orange Belt Chris 'SchnauzerSoze04' Cope finished 15th for $1,024.00.

Martin's feat, and near back-to-back wins, was an exceptional achievement, and a great way to greet 2012. To learn more from Black Belt Poker's most in-form player, I caught up with him just a couple of days ago to talk about his victory, second final table, and how the heck he convinced the Mrs. to exchange a festive evening in front of a log fire for a lengthy session behind the monitor.

Check out the interview here...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Ross Jarvis Becomes Latest Blue Belt

Professional poker player Ross Jarvis has become the latest player to scale the ranks of the Belt-Up Rewards System and reach Blue Belt.

As a result, he'll now be receiving $1,500 per month in live tournament backing, as well as free entry into the £750 UKIPT Galway Main Event as part of our Blue & Improved promotion.

Ross is a 26-year old former student from Chesterfield who worked as journalist for Poker Player Magazine before turning pro earlier in the year. Since then he has been able to churn out a comfortable living at the online felt playing mid-stakes six-handed cash.

He only occasionally ventures into brick and mortar, yet already has two titles to his name including victories in the Virgin Poker Festival and Sky Poker Tour. Ross will be looking to add to the trophy cabinet this New Year when he makes his debut as a Black Belt Poker sponsored pro at January's Main Event at the Fox Poker Club.

Ross' venture commenced in early November when he was one of a number of hand-picked recipients of 'Channing's Golden Ticket' and invited to the lavish Ritz Hotel for an exclusive presentation on Black Belt Poker.

"I’d never been inside the grand palace before and it was quite the spectacle," he wrote in a recent blog entry. "…in a separate room around the corner was a worldwide first: a large group of online poker players dressed respectably in a suit and tie… Channing and Warren Wooldrige gave a presentation on the benefits of being a sponsored Blue Belt to us all and I was left feeling it was just the sort of fresh start and challenge that I wanted."

Over the course of the next two months, Ross ambushed the Black Belt Poker tables, and reached the Blue Belt threshold of 50,000 Belt Points in mid-December, allowing him to sit back and relax during the festive period. In the meantime, he even found time to write a strategy article offering advice to those looking to turn pro.

"We're really pleased to have Ross join the team as one of our sponsored pros," commented Neil Channing. "Given his writing background and determination to succeed in a major live event, what we're offering suits him to a tee. What's more, he's a nice, friendly lad who's always looking to improve his game. It's great to have him on board."

If you play mid-stakes cash and would like to follow in the footsteps of Ross, then check out the Belt-Up Rewards System now.