Archive for August, 2017

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 4: J. C. Tran Leads Stacked Final Table That Includes Hellmuth, Rettenmaier

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 4: J. C. Tran Leads Stacked Final Table That Includes Hellmuth, Rettenmaier

After 12 hours of battle, the final table of the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event has been determined. It is one of the stronger final tables in recent memory, with poker professional J. C. Tran looking to become a three-time champion on the WPT circuit as Marvin Rettenmaier looks for his third and Phil Hellmuth looks for his first.

24 players came back on Wednesday, all with the ambitions of being one of the final six who would vie for the crown. Tran was dominating the event as play began, the only player over the three million mark in chips and only Steven Tabb above two million. In looking at the last three tables, there wasn’t a weak spot anywhere; along with Tran, Hellmuth and Rettenmaier, there were such names as Oddie Dardon, Garrett Greer, David ‘ODB’ Baker, David ‘Doc’ Sands and Tuan Le arranged around the various patches of felt.

With the “Action Clock” by Protection Poker in play, the competitors had 30 seconds to make their decisions and, if there was more thought required, six “time chips” were given to the Day 4 participants to use for an additional 30 seconds each. This arrangement had been in place since one table before the bubble on Day 3 (as it will be for the remainder of the WPT Main Tour Season XVI schedule) and, for the most part, seems to have been seamlessly integrated into the WPT action.

Tran had fortune on his side early on as he four-flushed Paul Balzano to increase his lead further, while Hellmuth improved his stack to nearly one million chips in four-flushing Rettenmaier. The news wasn’t as good for Allan Le, who pushed from early position with pocket nines and ran into Mike Heshmati’s pocket Queens to eliminate Le in 24th place. Le was soon followed to the rail by Balzano, Lawrence Ma, Arkadi Onikoul, Greer and Le, Heshmati and Jason Les as the play quickly brought the field down to two tables within the first two hours of the Day 4 play.

After the redraw Tran was still at the helm of the field with 3.211 million chips, but the footsteps were drawing closer. Dardon was within roughly 300K of Tran on the leaderboard while Baker had popped over the two million mark in chips also. Hellmuth, who was responsible for eliminating Greer from the tournament, was healthy with 1.288 million in chips, but Rettenmaier was struggling to stay over the 20bb level.

At this point, Hellmuth and Rettenmaier both continued a slow grind upwards, although they would sometimes surprisingly clash with each other. On an A-K-Q-J-J board, Rettenmaier fired out a river bet that had the new host of the WPT’s “Raw Deal” segment talking to himself. As he pieced the hand together in his mind, Hellmuth commented, “Man, how did I lose this pot? I flopped Aces with the nut flush draw.” After more deliberation, Hellmuth released his hand and Rettenmaier improved the health of his stack with a roughly 350K pot.

Tran, however, wasn’t letting anyone creep any closer to him. He eliminated Igor Zektser in 15th place, Ben Nguyen in 13th place and Alex Greenblatt in tenth place to bring his stack over the six million chip mark heading to the unofficial final table. Only Adam Swan was within shouting distance and he barely had half of Tran’s stack (6.6 million to 3.320 million). Both Rettenmaier and Hellmuth were lurking with almost identical stacks (1.69 million for Rettenmaier, 1.62 million for Hellmuth) as the unofficial final table began.

With only three players to eliminate, the survivors of the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event settled in for what would turn out to be a drawn-out battle. Within the first 30 hands, both Rettenmaier and Hellmuth had improved their station in the game in reaching 3.13 million chips for Hellmuth and Rettenmaier moving up to 2.6 million. As they were improving their chances in the tournament, Tran maintained his stranglehold on the tournament in knocking off Dardon in ninth place and Jared Griener in eighth place to set the stage for the final elimination of the night.

On Hand 111 of the unofficial play at the final table, Tran opened for a raise out of the cutoff and Sands three-bet the action to 560K. Tran wasted little time in putting Sands to the test, moving all in, and Sands made the call. It was a classic race, Sands’ pocket Kings against Tran’s Big Chick (A-Q), and fortune was still sitting on Tran’s shoulder. The flop came down Q-Q-6 to give Tran trips and, instead of a cowboy coming to the rescue for Sands, the case lady hit on the river to give Tran quads and eliminate Sands on the final table bubble in seventh place.

1. J. C. Tran, 8.295 million
2. Art Papazyan, 6.005 million
3. Phil Hellmuth, 2.94 million
4. D. J. Alexander, 2.73 million
5. Adam Swan, 1.655 million
6. Marvin Rettenmaier, 1.225 million

There’s a great chance at history in this WPT final table. Should Tran or Rettenmaier win the tournament, they would join the pantheon of players – Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, David ‘Chino’ Rheem and Darren Elias – who have won three WPT titles. Hellmuth, for all the accolades he has received in his career, has NEVER won a WPT event despite making four final tables. The “fly in the ointment” could be Papazyan, who might have a slim poker resume (only seven cashes) but has a monster stack of chips at his disposal.

The final table of the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker will be the first live-streamed through the arrangement between the WPT and Poker Central over the subscription outlet PokerGO. It will begin at 4:30PM (Pacific Time) and will also be videotaped for broadcast on Fox Sports 1 later in the year. It promises to be an entertaining event as the WPT crowns their latest champion tonight at “The Bike.”

Poker News Daily

Ron Paul Scolds Rep. Charlie Dent for Sneaky RAWA Efforts in Op-Ed

 Ron Paul Scolds Rep. Charlie Dent for Sneaky RAWA Efforts in Op Ed

Regardless of what one thinks about former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, poker fans have got to appreciate the support he has given online poker over the years. And though he is no longer in the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul is still making his feelings known about the subject, calling out Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent in an op-ed for PennLive.com for attempting to sneak an online gambling ban through without so much of a debate.

In June, it was reported that Dent was going to attempt to add language to the House Appropriations Bill – a gigantic bill which authorizes government funds each year – that would nullify the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) clarification of the Wire Act from back in December 2011.

The Wire Act, originally passed in 1961, explicitly made sports betting over telephone lines illegal as a way to try to slow down organized crime. As online gambling and poker rose to prominence, the Department of Justice interpreted the Wire Act to include all online gambling, not just sports betting.

In December 2011, though, the OLC clarified the Wire Act, saying that it did only ban internet sports betting. Because of this correct re-interpretation, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have legalized and regulated online gambling and a number of states, including Dent’s Pennsylvania, are working on the same thing.

This got Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and one of the country’s biggest Republican political donors, riled up and since then, he has tried to push his Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) through Congress, a bill which essentially says, “Yeah, that OLC memo doesn’t count. The Wire Act bans all online gambling.”

He has used Republican Senators and Representatives who want to be in his good graces to do his bidding, one of the latest of which seems to be Dent.

Dent actually tried this last year, but his colleagues found out about it before he could submit his amendment to the Appropriations Bill and told him it wasn’t going to happen. He still submitted it to save face before withdrawing it. Here is how it read.

And now, as Dent gets set to insert RAWA-language into another Appropriations Bill, Ron Paul is spitting fire. In his op-ed, Paul says that Dent’s “….proposed ban on online gambling violates the principles of federalism and threatens the constitutional rights of all Americans, regardless of whether they gamble online.”

He goes on to outline how arguments against online gambling are mostly bullshit scare tactics and that “Criminalizing online gaming could also set a dangerous precedent that could be used to attack other rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.”

Paul adds that the sheer fact that RAWA supporters like Dent are trying to sneak this through is evidence that they know they are full of shit. Otherwise, they would let it be debated.

“Sneaking this bill onto the Appropriations bill is exactly the type of political ‘trick play’ that has made so many Americans disgusted with Congress,” Paul writes. “This is especially so given that it is an open secret that much of the support for this bill comes from one billionaire caisson owner who is also one of the country’s largest political donors. No wonder a federal ban on online gaming is opposed by political figures from across the political spectrum, from libertarians like myself to progressives like Barney Frank.”

Featured photo credit: ronpaulinstitute.org

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 2: Oddie Dardon Out in Front as Money Bubble Nears

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 2: Oddie Dardon Out in Front as Money Bubble Nears

No more separate flights at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event, as Monday was Day 2, when the survivors of each of the three Day 1’s came together in a single, unified field to try to make their way toward their poker dreams. Oddie Dardon is the chip leader going into Day 2 with 775,000 chips.

Dardon finished Day 1C with 160,000 chips, good for ninth-best of that flight and placing him squarely among the overall chip leaders heading into Day 2. One of the hands that really put him in position to make a run came in Level 15. According to the WPT.com report, Day 1C chip leader Cody Slaubaugh raised pre-flop to 7,000 chips, Will Kassouf called, Dardon called, Mel Wiener called from the small blind, and the button also called. Action! On the 9-T-J (two hearts) flop, the action checked to Kassouf, who bet 25,000. Dardon raised to 55,000 and then Wiener moved all-in for 180,000. Everybody folded back to Dardon, who snap-called.

It was no mystery why Dardon was so eager to make the call, as he had K-Q for the nut straight. Wiener’s hand was almost as good – Q-8 for the second-best possible straight, given the cards on the board. Great luck turned into terrible luck. The turn and river changed nothing and Wiener was eliminated from the tournament. Dardon was already the chip leader at that point, increasing his stack up to 860,000.

Dardon, whose real first name is Osmin, has more than $ 2.3 million live tournament earnings, according to TheHendonMob.com. His best cash was for just over half a million dollars for a third place finish at the 2008 World Poker Tour Championship. He has had some success recently, winning a $ 1,100 event at the Deepstack Extravaganza III in July for $ 311,664 and finishing tenth at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open just a couple weeks ago.

Another 48 players registered for this tournament before Day 2 began, so the final tally is 763 entries. The total prize pool is approximately $ 2.74 million with the winner receiving $ 653,692 and a seat in the $ 15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions. The tournament will pay down to 81 players; min-cash is $ 7,135.

As there are just 90 players left and therefore the tournament is one table away from the money, the Action Clock will be put into action. All players will have 30 seconds to act, timed by a large digital clock set into the table in front of and controlled by the dealer. Players are given four time extension chips that grant them an additional 30 seconds each. When the tournament is down to three tables, all remaining players will have their time extension chip stack reset to six and when the final table is reached, the players will have stacks of eight time extension chips. The base time to act remains the same at 30 seconds.

2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Oddie Dardon – 775,000
2. J.C. Tran – 565,000
3. Hovhannes Khachatryan – 530,000
4. D.J. Alexander – 517,500
5. David “ODB” Baker – 479,000
6. Alex Greenblatt – 461,500
7. Marcos Exterkotter – 447,000
8. Nikhil Gera – 447,000
9. Curt Kohlberg – 445,000
10. Mark Hamilton – 435,000

Featured photo credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1C: Cody Slaubaugh Takes Overall Lead

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1C: Cody Slaubaugh Takes Overall Lead

The final of the three starting flights of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event went down on Sunday, as 383 more entries were paid for, bringing the total Day 1 field to 715. Keep in mind that that number doesn’t mean 715 “players,” as this is a re-entry tournament. Thus, “entries” means “paid entries.” The chip leader for Day 1C – who also became the overall chip leader of the tournament – was Cody Slaubaugh with 310,500 chips.

“I chipped up early,” Slaubaugh told WPT.com afterward. “I got a double in the second level and ran pretty hot from there on out. I had a big hand, top two versus bottom two versus an open-ended draw for like a 100K pot early and that got me going. That put me up at like 120 or 130K. Then I just won some small pots and won a big flip for like 60K in Level 7 with jacks versus ace-king.”

Slaubaugh has $ 1.3 million in live tournament earnings, according to TheHendonMob.com. His biggest cash came almost a decade ago, when he finished second in a $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2008 World Series of Poker for $ 389,128. Slaubaugh has three cashes on the World Poker Tour.

Slaubaugh also has $ 1.6 million recorded online poker tournament winnings, according to PocketFives.com.

The live coverage of any poker tournament – whether you’re talking online or on television – features non-poker celebrities whenever possible. There’s almost always video of Ray Romano and Brad Garrett on ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker. PokerStars has been hyping up Kevin Hart incessantly. I will admit, though, even though I usually know who the celebrity is, even if it’s just a situation where I’ve only “heard of” the name of some model, I have never heard of the person who is all over WPT.com’s coverage of the WPT Legends of Poker: GACKT.

Now, when I first read that name, I thought it was an awfully odd spelling of the ubiquitous Nickelodeon slime. GACKT, though, is a Japanese musician, singer, and songwriter. He has a pretty impressive list of credentials, including holding the record for the most consecutive top ten singles for a male soloist in Japanese music history. While I would assume not more than a handful of players at the Legends of Poker have any idea who he is, GACKT (whose real name is Kamui Gakuto), isn’t a total poker noob. He has $ 93,000 in live tournament earnings, most of which came from a fourth place finish at the ARIA High Roller 65 in July.

Though all three starting flights have wrapped up, the total prize pool, and therefore the prize breakdown, will not be known until after play begins on Monday’s Day 2. Players can still register up until the cards get in the air Monday; shortly thereafter, the prize money will be posted.

2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event – Day 1C Chip Leaders

1. Cody Slaubaugh – 310,500
2. Mel Wiener – 307,100
3. Benjamin Nguyen – 245,100
4. Men Nguyen – 185,000
5. Zachary Smiley – 176,900
6. James Carroll – 176,200
7. Shankar Pillai – 173,500
8. Kristina Holst – 162,200
9. Oddie Dardon – 160,000
10. Jim Mangiamele – 159,300

Featured photo credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr.

Poker News Daily

Sebastian Sorensson Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona

 Sebastian Sorensson Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona

The live poker tournament scene has been strong the last couple years, but even so, it is pretty incredible – at least to me – that a non-World Series of Poker tourney could garner 1,682 entries. But that is exactly what the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event did and it was that large of a field (minus one, really) that Sebastian Sorensson defeated to win nearly €1 million over the weekend.

Sorensson is basically my poker fantasy come to life. He is a low-stakes online player who qualified for this tournament via a $ 200 satellite on PokerStars. Sure, sometimes it gets tense for us even though we play for a few cents or a few bucks at a time because, after all, those few cents or few bucks are not always an insignificant portion of our bankroll. Plus, we’re competitive and want to win. But no matter how seriously we take our hobby, a major live tournament is like another world entirely.

“The days are so, so long,” Sorensson told PokerNews.com afterward. “It’s really exhausting.”

Reading more about how he got started in poker is pretty amazing. In 2015, he bet on underdog Nate Diaz to defeat Michael Johnson in a UFC fight. The underdog came through and Sorensson won $ 1,000. He then took at $ 1,000 and bet that Donald Trump would win the Republican Presidential nomination and then let those winnings ride on Trump (ugh) winning the election (emotional hedging, I guess?).

With his gambling bankroll up to $ 12,000, he decided to take up micro-stakes poker, which led to PokerStars Championship Barcelona.

According to PokerNews, Sorensson played exactly like I would have, me being a fellow micro-stakes player. Once he made the money, he played tight, trying to survive the money jumps. I, myself, did just that in my most successful live tournament adventure, but I only made $ 3,500 for third place, a FAR FAR FAR cry from what Sorensson just accomplished, so our similarities end there.

Sorensson entered the six-handed final table as the second-shortest stack, holding just 6.125 million chips. For comparison, chip leader Raffaele Sorrentino had 15.5 million. He quickly made more than two million chips in just over one orbit and after 26 hands – just a few after Usman Siddique was knocked out in sixth place – Sorensson was up to 10 million chips. Even more interesting is that he was in fourth place, but the spread between first and fourth was fewer than one million chips. Even Sorrentino, who had fallen to fifth, still had 8.425 million. Things had tightened up quickly.

Sorensson held steady for quite some time, staying within about a million or so of the 10 million chip mark for about another 60 hands, but he eventually lost a big hand to Sorrentino, who was now soaring (more than doubling the chip count we just mentioned), and fell down to close to 5 million.

5 million sounds like a lot of chips, but with blinds at 300,000/600,000, he had to make a move, so he moved all-in on Hand 94, fortunately survived with a worse Ace than Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, when the board allowed them to chop.

After that, there were two speedy eliminations – Andre Akkari in fifth place and Brian Esposito in fourth place – before the 100th hand. Sorensson was the one who got Esposito with A-Q versus K-Q, allowing him to grow his stack to 11.4 million. A few hands later, he was at 16.680 million, still well behind Petkov, who had 22.280 million, but almost equally ahead of Esposito, who was the short stack again with 11.450 million.

With the stacks shallow because of the escalating blinds and the chip counts starting to converge again, the three remaining players eventually discussed a deal. They agreed that Petkov would get the most at €917,347, Sorensson would bank €887,043, and Sorrentino would receive €850,110. They would leave €100,000 on the table as incentive to try to win.

Just four hands later, Sorrentino was eliminated in third place by Sorensson (who had just taken a massive pot from Petkov) and suddenly Sorensson was in complete command of the tournament going into heads-up play with 40.9 million chips versus Petkov’s 9.5 million.

Despite that chip gap, heads-up went on for a long, long time, nearly 70 hands. Petkov even took the lead at one point, but Sorensson regained control quickly and eventually put it away. On the final hand, Petkov went all-in pre-flop for 18.2 million chips with K-9 and Sorensson easily called with A-K. The flop provided Sorensson another Ace and when the turn didn’t give Petkov any of the outs he needed for a runner-runner miracle, it was all over and Sebastian Sorensson became my poker hero.

2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table Results

1. Sebastian Sorensson – €987,043
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov – €917,347
3. Raffaele Sorrentino – €850,110
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito – €402,000
5. Andre Akkari – €317,960
6. Usman Siddique – €252,000

Poker News Daily



usa poker svenska poker finland poker Deutsch poker spain poker italy poker france poker japan poker greece poker china poker brazil poker denemark poker netherlands poker india poker russia poker korea poker turkey poker
romanian poker bulgarian poker croatian poker czech poker israel   poker norway poker poland poker serbia poker slovakia poker slovenia poker