GGPoker break Guinness World Record with WSOP main event

Back in the summer, the World Series of Poker’s Online Series had a flagship event – the $5,000 Main Event. Hosted by GGPoker, it would break records to the extent that this week, the Guinness World Records department have been in touch with GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu himself to award the commendation.

Here’s the GGPoker video where Negreanu takes the award from Michael Empric, the official Adjudicator for Guinness World Records.

The single largest prize pool for an online poker tournament, the WSOP Main Event being cancelled in the summer led to record numbers in the GGPoker event instead, with a $27,559,500 prize pool created by 5,802 players putting up the $5,000 entry fee.

With 54 WSOP bracelets given away on GGPoker during their WSOP bracelet events, the winner of the $5,000-entry Main Event, Bulgarian poker player Stoyan Madanzhiev, won $3,904,685 as one of the 728 players who cashed in the tournament.

Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker, was – as you can imagine – delighted with the Guinness World Records team being in touch.

“This Guinness World Records title was on our radar from the very beginning,” he said. “Players and fans of poker expect nothing less than record-breaking prizes when it comes to the World Series of Poker and GGPoker delivered.”

Ty Stewart, the World Series of Poker’s Director was equally impressed with the turnout and hailed it as a huge achievement by GGPoker themselves.

“Breaking a Guinness World Records title shows what happens when you combine GGPoker’s amazing platform with the World Series of Poker brand. This will be a tough record to beat.”

Stewart may well be spot on, there. While GGPoker’s phenomenal effort warrants the biggest of congratulations, if there is any hint of a World Series of Poker Main Event next year taking place live at the Rio in Las Vegas, it’s unlikely that the online version would sell out so well.

That said, a natural counter-point to the argument that a WSOP Main Event taking place with everyone in Sin City would take the players away from the online version is that hype can build the online version. Rather than go against the online version, if the two hypothetical events were staged at different times of the year (the live version in July, the online version in December, for instance), it might benefit both eventual prizepools.

While there’s no guarantee that there will ever be another WSOP Online Main Event, there will never be a better achievement within poker than to have ridden out a ban on live play is such a record-breaking way. The World Series of Poker and GGPoker deserve all the plaudits for taking on and climbing that particular mountain.

Poker News

Galfond on the deck as October ends with Kornuth on top

The action has been fast and furious, there have been big swings this way and that and both men have kept us thoroughly entertained on the Run It Once Twitch channel during the month of October.

After some fantastic PLO action, Phil Galfond is $234,000 down in his latest challenge against former WSOP bracelet winner Chance Kornuth after 8,500 hands.

While that may sound bad enough, such are the odds and stake of the sidebet, which would see Kornuth cash for another $1 million

Playing at blinds of $100/$200 per hand, there are bound to be a lot more swings in the next 26,500 hands, after all, there are 35,000 hands to take place in total in this mammoth challenge, far more than Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk will play in their 25,000-hand clash that starts on Thursday.

The betting odds have really swung in Kornuth’s favour this week, with Galfond’s favourite status seriously under threat for the first time.

While Galfond was a huge favourite just a month ago, he is currently a 1.86 chance, just a few pots being lost away from Kornuth, who at 2.00 possibly represents the best value.

While Galfond has it in his locker to mount a comeback, as he revealed to us in our exclusive interview a few months back, Kornuth finds himself in a great place, both professionally and personally. Reporting his progress back to fans and players via his Chip Leader coaching site, Kornuth has put together a spectacular run of form in the challenge and is long enough in the tooth to know how quickly he could experience some variance – it’s Pot Limit Omaha and he’s been around the block long enough to understand how it all works.

That said, he’s in great form and Galfond clearly has a lot of respect for his opponent, jovially bemoaning his multi-tasking ability during last week’s losing days at the felt in the Galfond Challenge:

You can watch the highlights of Day 15 right here, with Kornuth’s advantage now nearing a quarter of a million dollars. It’s really amazing to see how well he is doing and how his positive mindset is giving him a ‘chance’ of what remains an upset in sportsbetting terms.

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How playing Cribbage can improve your poker game

There are a number of card games from which the game of poker was derived or has been heavily influenced by. Cribbage, while it can teach you a lot of skills that help you when playing poker, is not one of them.

The game of cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century, and itself was spawned as a variant of the game ‘noddy’, which would eventually slip into the archives to be replaced by the stronger branch that sprouted from its original tree. Think of cribbage as Frasier to noddy being Cheers.

The skills you can obtain by playing ‘crib’ can help you at the poker table, but how? Let’s first learn how to play the game of cribbage.

How to Play Cribbage

Playing cribbage may sound like it’s complicated, but actually it is one of the most intuitive card games ever invented and once you’ve learned what to do, it’s really easy to remember all the rules. It’s the ‘riding a bike’ of card games, and once crib players learn and enjoy the game, they often play it for the rest of their lives.

While you can play with three or even four players, the best version of the game is the two-player one and that’s what we’ll stick to. There’s a point to doing so, too, as poker’s heads-up battle that ends all t0urnaments or short-handed cash game tables, or even a large proportion of poker hands where the action is between two players alone, are all heavily linked to cribbage play.

The aim of the game is to score 121 points, or two circuits of the cribbage table, which you’ll need with a standard pack of 52 cards to begin the game. You’ll also need markers to track your progress around the crib ‘board’, and you do so by taking the back marker and overtaking the front marker with it by the requisite number of points that you’re scoring. That way, should you drop your marker, the other one – the marker that reflects your current score – is still in the board and can be counted from.

Each player cuts for the first deal, which can be important between close players, as 121 points isn’t much to have to score, so games typically last between 15-20 minutes, although a really low-scoring one might last half an hour if you’re teaching someone the game and taking it slowly. If the person turning up the top card picks a jack, they score two points off the bat.

Each player is dealt six cards, after the receiver cuts the deck, and of these six cards, each player decided which four to keep in their hand and which two to discard into the ‘box’, a four-card second ‘hand’ which the dealer will get to declare a little later on.

Players then start the game.

Each player plays a card and there are various ways to score points by playing the next card in sequence, right up to a total of 31 points (pictures count as ten, an ace counts only as one).

How to Win at Cribbage… and Poker

There are many ways of scoring at cribbage and while we’ll talk about the way those scoring methods tally with some of the ways you can win at poker, we could easily fill a small novel with methods. Instead, you can watch a short guide on how to play the popular game of cribbage right here:

Knowing the likelihood of what cards your opponent is holding down to the actions they make is a huge crossover with poker, and in cribbage, it’s vital. Players often hold onto cards they can make runs with, and a common cribbage mantra is to ‘never break a run, never never break a double-run’. A double-run of say, 6-7-7-8 is highly likely to improve with the turn-up, which is cut after the initial deal of the cards.

Therefore, if you play a two and someone lays a seven down – announcing ‘nine’ as is polite to do so throughout the playing part of the game, what else could they have in their hand? Well, an eight would make a fifteen, so is likely, as is another seven for a paired card. A six would be highly possible too, as it amounts to part of a run and if their first two cards they play are, say, a six and a seven, you can start laying picture cards without worrying about being paired and giving away two points.

Building up a picture of your opponent’s hand while playing the cards will allow you to score plenty of points during this period of the game, and it’s a little like the betting streets in poker. You’re trying to establish an early range of cards for your opponent. Say, you notice that they often play middle suited connectors such as a six and seven. If the flop then brings cards such as five, eight or nine, you need to react to the possibility that the board is helping their hand by restricting your betting style. If you’ve pegged your cribbage opponent as holding 6-7 and associated cards start worrying you, you might need to play defensively or change how you look at your own card during the playing phase.

This should impact how you throw out cards to the ‘box’, too. If it’s your box, then you want cards in there that are helpful to scoring. The opposite is true of course if you’re throwing out into your opponent’s box.

Cribbage, like poker, is a game where you must adapt very quickly to make the most of each situation. In poker, that can be across flop, turn and river as you try to win each pot. In cribbage, it’s about amounting as many points as you can each hand, whilst simultaneously trying to break the scoring potential of your opponent’s holdings.

The similarities between the games of cribbage and poker are many, but there are just as many differences too. As well as learning a completely new game if you choose to play it, you’ll also increase your ability to adapt during gameplay – something poker players at the very highest level credit as being crucial to success.

Enjoy cribbage as the newest card game you play and one of the oldest games in history could be of huge benefit to you I the very modern world of competitive poker.

Poker News

Matthias Eibinger wins partypoker high roller Big Game for $357,500


The latest high roller Big Game was exactly that, a very big one indeed, and after 138 entries created a massive $357,500 prizepool, it was Austrian poker powerhouse Matthias Eibinger who walked away with the title. 

The partypoker Big Game online has a $2,600 buy-in and lives up to its name, taking place on a Sunday amid the majors that stretch out across all the major poker networks such as partypoker itself, as well as PokerStars, 888poker and GGPoker. 

The tournament is a long way from the partypoker Big Game of the former hit TV show where it was cash that was king. Checkout this episode from the archives: 

With the final nine featuring plenty of other big names, it would be a tournament that disappointed some luminaries of the poker world, with Spanish modern poker legend Adrian Mateos and German high roller regular Ole Schemion both missing out on the money places. 

Once the final table was reached, it would be Francois Billard who was eliminated first, with the Canadian 8th-place finisher cashing for $11,440. Italian player Luigi Shehadeh cashed in 7th place for $13,942, adding to the near-million he’s made on the live circuit. In 6th place, it was Cypriot player Aliaksei Boika who crashed out and they were followed by Spaniard Juan Pardo Dominguez, who cashed for $21,450 in 5th place. 

It was the turn of the current partypoker MILLIONS Online champion Benjamin Chalot to bow out in 4th place, and Eugenio Peralta of Italy missed out on the heads-up battle. Mark Radoja has been in terrific form in recent weeks, but he couldn’t get the better of the stubborn and decisive Matthias Eibinger, who took down the title, earning $80,687 compared to Radoja’s runner-up score of $58,086. 

Elsewhere in the Sunday Majors, Darren Elias took the win in the Sunday High Rollers $1,500 for $62,163 but was keen to highlight on Twitter just how good a day he actually had. 

It was time to celebrate for Eibinger, however, after a terrific heads-up victory over a dangerous opponent in Mark Radoja. He’ll be full of confidence heading into the next high roller event, and we’ll bring you more major news on tournaments such as this week’s Sunday MILLION$ event on GGPoker later this week. 

Partypoker High Roller ‘The Big Game’ Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Matthias EIbinger Austria $80,687
2nd Mark Radoja Canada $58,086
3rd Eugenio Peralta Italy $42,299
4th Benjamin Chalot France $30,387
5th Juan Pardo Dominguez Spain $21,450
6th Aliaksei Boika Cyprus $16,981
7th Luigi Shehadeh Italy $13,942
8th Francois Billard Canada $11,440
Poker News

PokerStars announce 1st year anniversary Pennsylvania Series

1st Year Anniversary Pennsylvania Series

1st Year Anniversary Pennsylvania Series It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full year since PokerStars brought online poker back to Pennsylvania. In that time, numbers have been strong, tournaments have welcomed more and more players and the Keystone State has maintained its active status. 

To express their thanks to the poker community – and possibly remind them that PokerStars have put in the first year’s hard work on the back of rumours that other poker sites are about to wade into the market – there will be a slew of tournament to reward loyal players. 

The PokerStars 1st Anniversary Series will feature a total prizepool of at least $1 million between November 8th and 15th, with 35 events culminating in a $100-entry Main Event which has a $200,000 guarantee. 

As well as the Main, however, there are some other really fun-sounding events. With over $10,000 in tickets to events up for grabs in seven freerolls, PokerStars players can qualify right now for as little as $1 and ‘Stars will be hoping plenty of players do so. Other signature events that players can qualify for include the $100 Sunday Special on November 8th which guarantees $100K, the $20-entry ‘Mini’ Main Event on November 15th which has a $25,000 prize pool and a $50 phased tournament running throughout the series which has a guarantee of $50,000. 

With the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approving applictions for online poker from both 888poker and, ‘Stars can expect their year of domination of the Pennsylvanian market to be at an end, but there’s no doubt that this year of loyalty that the biggest poker brand has bought will serve them well as other providers enter the arena. 

With major online events taking place on during the summer as they awarded 31 WSOP bracelets – one for every day during July – and 888poker consistently welcoming strong numbers, particularly during Sundays throughout the year, in tournaments such as The Whale, the future bodes very well for the poker-playing residents of Pennsylvania. 

Poker News

Andre Akkari’s Furia partners with PokerStars for poker and esports collaboration


A partnership between PokerStars and one of most famous South American poker players in history could yield more fans across poker and eSports.


André Akkari, who for years has been associated with PokerStars, the world’s most popular poker site, has cashed for over $2.67 million in live tournaments alone and currently ranks as the 629th most successful player in poker history. That’s only at the live felt, however, with Akkari’s online reach creating plenty more cashes along the way.

With some of that money, he became an investor for the eSports team Furia back in August of 2017 when the team was formed by Akkari and fellow Brazilians Jaime ‘raizen’ Pádua and Crisitan Guedes.

Furia, who will be playing in the forthcoming BLAST Premier Fall regular season, are a United States-based team and after a successful period playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) have joined forces with PokerStars, who are excited about the partnership.

“The team at Furia work very hard, lead by example, and are always looking to improve and evolve,” said Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Associate Director of Public Relations at ‘Stars. “This approach, as well as their general ethos, sits extremely well with what we aim for at PokerStars. It will be exciting for us to see what we can bring our community and how we can engage new audiences by working together with such a passionate team.”

Well put. Akkari himself, as CEO of Team Furia and a passionate PokerStars Ambassador said, “Poker plays a natural part in Furia’s DNA. It’s all about making optimal decisions in the moment for long-term results. The partnership is a natural step for expansion as we look to move beyond eSports.”

Poker and eSports go together very naturally, and it will be interesting to see how fast the crossover appeal takes, with poker players and eSports players having lots of transferabe skills. With Akkari likely to lead the streaming team in poker tournaments, alongside Lali Tournier, a top Latin American female poker professional with live poker cashes in major tournaments across the globe, the future looks bright for both Furia and PokerStars.

We wait to see what the future holds for the partnership and Akkari, who we remember most for a famous hand in the recent past where Niall ‘Firaldo’ Farrell was behind the Brazilian’s cowboys right up until the river card which he called out of the air.

Poker News

Microgaming introduces Hold’em poker casino game


There were many who mourned the loss of poker on the MPN, but a new game on the Microgaming Network has brought poker back to fans of the game – albeit in a slightly different format.

The MPN Tour was a highlight of the poker schedule for many, up until fairly recently a fixture, welcoming players to far flung venues such as the Battle of Malta Festival:

Microgaming’s online casino already supplies operators worldwide with a wide variety of casino games, but as well as the traditional table-game inspired roulette, blackjack and craps variations, along with new and exciting skill-based efforts, poker will be added into the portfolio very soon.

parssinen-leads-plo-poker-masters-with-five-events-to-play-min-minRepresenting something of a bonus to loyal Microgaming customers who stuck around despite there being less poker via the network, MPN may have closed some months ago, but poker is back.

Up until just a few short months ago, MPN players were on the end of 16 years of MPN poker, a run which went back to – you’ve guessed it – shortly after the year Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event.

The number of poker or poker-related websites that came into being during the year after the ‘Moneymaker Effect’ took hold must have been incredible.

Hold’Em Poker is the first poker game to come along on Microgaming and will be the first of any according to the company’s press release.

John Coleman, the Chief Executive Officer at Microgaming, said, “Hold’Em Poker will add a new dimension to our online casino vertical, introducing a range of fun and exciting poker games to our platform. Designed to appeal to both poker and casino players, these games will deliver even further choice to our customers as we continue to diversify and innovate our content offering.”

It may be starting with Hold’Em Poker, but it won’t end there. Games such as Lucky Showdown will be added in forthcoming months, and will offer poker and casino fans the perfect blend of addictive gameplay and the chance to flex poker skills that might have been in danger of going rusty during lockdown.

Promising to ‘immerse players in a realistic poker room environment’, Hold’Em Poker will be a fresh take on poker, and costs €5 to enter, effectively playing as a €5-entry Sit ‘n’ Go (SNG) tournament. As with most poker offerings post 2017, the game is highly optimized towards mobile players, and fits in with the ‘gamers’ feel to many poker brands’ newest initiatives.

There’s a casino element to the action too, with a random prize-pool generator introducing a progressive jackpot that seeds at a bulky €25,000.

With a phased release week of December 1st on the horizon, the full version will be available to all players from December 9th, just a fortnight before Christmas. That’s a present every MPN player can enjoy.

Poker News

Elio Fox leads Super MILLION$ final table as Elky on the chase for the title

Cards and chips

Cards and chipsAnother star-studded final table of nine players will compete for the latest Super MILLION$ title as the weekly $10,300 GGPoker tournament comes to a close tonight live on Twitch. 

With Elio Fox leading the way with 3,098,695 chips , it’s a U.K. one-two as Ludovic Geilich goes into play second in chips with 2,764,461. 

While both those players will have plenty of hope, it is the presence of GGPoker ambassador Bertrand Grospellier – or ‘ElkY’ to his many fans – who is leading much of the interest in this week’s showdown. 

‘ElkY’ has been a huge player over many years in the game, with a personal highlights reel that is the envy of virtually every poker player on the planet.

Players will return to action this evening on GGPoker’s Twitch channel chasing Elio Fox after an entertaining first day of action. With the $10,300 buy-in paid in full by 153 players, that meant the guaranteed prizepool of $1.5 million had just been exceeded. 

The money bubble would pop paying 20 of those players and it would be the Norwegian player ‘FiestaPagana’ who bubbled, cashing for nothing at all and nudging everyone else into the profit column to the tune of at least $18,128, although of course that only represented a return on the initial investment of $7,828. 

Plenty of the players who cashed before the final table was reached are luminaries we know well from both previous weeks of the Super MILLION$ and high roller events in general, such as Mark Radoja, Joao Vieira, Andras Nemeth, recent Big Game winner Matthias Eibinger and Stephen Chidwick all of whom made money on Day 1. When David Peters was knocked out in 10th place, that was it for the night, setting in place the top nine. 

Sweden’s Niklas Astedt will be looking to go one better this week and seal the title, but he’ll have a mountain to climb in terms of chips, too, with just 657,166 chips to his name, just 11 big blinds. A double-up, however, and he’ll be right back in contention. 

With a top prize of $321,948 up for grabs to the winner and a runner-up prize of $249,704 also highly lucrative, the play will be fierce. As huge as it sounds, no-one will want the 9th-place prize of $42,160 to come their way at the end of the final day. 

Super MILLION$ Final Table Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Elio Fox United Kingdom 3,098,695
2nd Ludovic Geilich United Kingdom 2,764,461
3rd ‘rebuyguy’ Costa Rica 2,381,397
4th Christian Rudolph Germany 2,300,048
5th Sebastien Grax France 1,656,933
6th Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier France 1,245,988
7th Niklas Astedt Sweden 657,166
8th Timothy Nuter U.S.A. 621,978
9th Ami Barer Canada 573,334
Poker News

Super MILLION$ won by Sebastien Grax for $321,948


This week’s $10,300-entry Super MILLION$ final table was won by former French footballer Sebastien Grax, who stole a march on fellow Frenchman ElkY, a.k.a. Bertrand Grospellier, by winning $321,948 and the title.

marigliano-takes-opening-plo-poker-masters-event-inlineWith the poker world gambling their money away on the outcome of Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s clash at the polls, the only victory the final nine players wanted to see at the final table of GGPoker’s flagship high roller event was their own.  

Having come into play with the shortest stack, it was perhaps no surprise that Canadian player Ami Barer busted first, cashing for $42,160 in the process. He was followed out of the tournament by American player Timothy Nuter, as the lowest two stacks at the start of the day proved decisive in who went out earliest.  

That trend continued with 7th-placed finisher Niklas Astedt, who was unable to improve on his runner-up result in last week’s corresponding event by cashing for $70,084.  

With six players remaining, it would be British player Elio Fox, who led the field at the start of the day who went out, a disappointing finish confounding the stack he came into play with. Nothing went right for that Brit, but Ludovic Geilich laddered a little further when it was ElkY’s turn to bust. The French former gamer-turned-poker-pro went from chip leader with five remaining to sitting on the virtual rail having cashed for ‘just’ $116,505. It was an all-French all-in, too, with Grax the eventual winner when his ace-king held against ElkY’s king-jack.  

It was Scottish poker professional Ludovic Geilich who cashed in 4th place for $150,212 when he made a straight on the river, and couldn’t get away from committing all of his chips when Grax held the full house. Grax, has become something of a poker force to be reckoned with in recent years and has cashed for nearly a million dollars on the Hendon Mob.  

With three players left, the next elimination would be pivotal and it was Costa Rica-based online player ‘rebuyguy’ who departed, king-queen no good against Grax’s ace-four, and that pot gave the French player a big lead going into heads-up, with 11.3 million chips against the almost 4 million-chip stack of German player Christian Rudolph. 

Grax wrapped up the win quickly, with Rudolph happy to cash for a massive $249,704 score for being runner-up as Grax sealed the latest Super MILLION$ win on GGPoker. 

Super MILLION$ Final Table Results November 3rd: 






Sebastien Grax 




Christian Rudolph 





Costa Rica 



Ludovic Geilich 

United Kingdom 



Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier 




Elio Fox 

United Kingdom 



Niklas Astedt 




Timothy Nuter 




Ami Barer 




Poker News

Poker on Screen: Titanic (1997)



Some films use poker as a crutch to explain the tone of characters taking part in the story. They might be ruffians, gangsters, or down on their luck. Very rarely are they poker professionals, or if they are competent about the game in any way – as James Bond is supposed to be in 2006’s Casino Royale – then the film often gets it wrong.

This week’s example of poker on screen is in a movie that won an incredible 11 Oscars (or Academy Awards), still a record to this day. Despite being about a sinking ship, it was far from it at the box office. Yes, we’re talking about the 1997 movie, Titanic.

Directed by James Cameron, he of Terminator fame, the film would garner immense critical acclaim for the performances of both its leading man and lady in Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, but in the poker scene, it’s only Leo who is present. That’s because Di Caprio’s character, Jack Dawson hasn’t even got a ticket to board the ill-fated ship.

In the poker game in question, Jack is at the table with his friend Fabrizio, an Italian who we find criticising Jack for risking their money in a hand he’s clearly not got much of a hand in.

Jack Dawson then utters the immortal line: “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” 

The two men Jack and Fabrizio share the table with, brothers Sven and Olaf Gunderson, however, have risked two third class tickets to board the Titanic against Jack and Fabrizio’s last dimes.

With some dog-eared cards, plenty of trading cards goes on and while Fabrizio is getting nowhere, it’s clear that Jack is.

“The moment of truth – somebody’s life is about to change.”

Jack is only up against just Sven after both Fabrizio and Olaf admit that they have nothing.

Sven’s hand is two-pair, and Jack turns to Fabrizio, saying: “I’m sorry Fabrizio.”

Fabrizio starts swearing until Jack interrupts him to complete his sentence.

“I’m sorry… you’re not going to see your Mom again for a long time,” He says. “Because you’re going to America… full house, boys!”

As Fabrizio picks up the tickets, Jack is held by the throat as Olaf loads up the mother of all punches… before landing it on his idiot brother, Sven.

Jack and Fabrizio grab the tickets and the money before getting ready to hustle out of the bar with just five minutes until the titanic sets sail.

If you recall, the fate of both men who won the poker game didn’t exactly pay them off very well. While Sven and Olaf lived to scrap at the poker table another day, Jack would perish in the frozen wastes of the Atlantic Ocean, his grip on Rose’s raft slipping away as his life does at the end of the movie.

For Fabrizio, who had nothing to do with the game taking place and had a losing hand until Jack’s won, it was even worse. About to drown after the Titanic hits the iceberg and is flooded from the lower decks up, Fabrizio manages to grab a lifebelt and is in the water. Having that brief fleeting hope of escape, Fabrizio frees his tethered lifeboat ingeniously with a penknife, only to drift away from the boat. Far from a lingering death in the water, or possible lifeboat rescue, Fabrizio is then crushed to death by the broken funnel of the Titanic, which kills him instantly. For the Italian, poker really is a brutal game. 

Watch the poker scene in Titanic right here:–s