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It was Luke Schwartz’s birthday today and he got a great present – 8 points for a 3rd place finish.

We had to wait a while for Vanessa Rousso this morning but in the meantime we had fun taking pictures of a monkey on a trike in front of the frequently changing whiteboard we use to tally points.

See all the pictures from the Premier League Heat 4 at PartyPoker Facebook page.

At the start of play it was all about Tony G. Was he going to give the trike to Full Flush for his birthday? No, we saw a very focused Tony today with no bike antics but he still busted in 6th and has two more heats to save his skin.

The bike is parked for the time being… There was also a rare sight today – a bagel for JC Tran – who then joined us for lunch with M Resort’s Executive Director of Marketing Richar Fitoussi in the fabulous buffet.


Laak and Benyamine are starting to totally dominate the Premier League and both look set to have significant stacks at the final table.

Laak’s three wins out of three lock him down as a big favourite for the final table but Phil Hellmuth won four out of six heats in season one and still didn’t take the title!

Benyamine’s runner-up spot today after an epic heads-up tussle with The Unabomber also leaves him sitting very pretty.

“I cannot believe it,” exclaimed Laak, who again donned the yellow jersey for the first half of the heat. “How the hell did I do that!”


“My whole strategy from the get go was to crawl forward and just try and survive like any good poker player should. It’s not about winning it is about not dying – if you manage to not die you’ve won! So that’s the mantra…survive!”

One question we asked today though is where is Laak’s famous rail as he goes through one of the hottest streaks in his career?

“Jennifer(Tilly) and Antonio (Esfandiari) aren’t around at the moment. Jennifer has a tv interview for a film in LA on the 18th so she wont be able to make it, as for Antonio we’ll have to wait and see. Antonio is busy being Antonio, while Jennifer actually walks on to stage on the Craig Ferguson Show at 5pm on Thurrsday when the final is due to start!”

The PartyPoker and Matchroom crew have already seen a lot of Esfandiari after being invited to join him at the Hard Rock on Saturday – we’ll see if ‘The Magician’ appears from behind the curtain soon I’m sure….

League standings at the end of day four and the domination of Laak and Benyamine gives hope to all the other players looking to secure a final table place. Giovanni Safina third in the Premier League on day four after qualifying for 100 euros on – what a result!

Guess who the Ambassador of Poker Mike Sexton tipped for the Premier League before a card was dealt – a certain Mr David Benyamine, who sits in a dominant second position.

  1. Phil Laak – 48 points
  2. David Benyamine – 35 points
  3. Giovanni Safina – 21 points
  4. JC Tran – 17 points
  5. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 16 points
  6. Roland De Wolfe – 14 points
  7. Luke Schwartz – 12 points
  8. Vanessa Rousso – 12 points
  9. Ian Frazer – 10 points
  10. Phil Hellmuth – 6 points
  11. Tony G – 5 points
  12. Daniel Negreanu – 4 points

For details on all the hands see PokerNews live updates.


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