Archive for January, 2018

Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

 Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

There were a lot of firsts this week on the World Poker Tour (WPT). You had the inaugural WPT European Championship, which, held in Berlin, was also the first WPT Main Tour event to be held in Germany. It was the first televised Main Tour event in Europe in five years (so much for “World” Poker Tour) and it was the first WPT win for Ole Schemion, who just happens to be a Berlin native.

Schemion was the chip leader going into the final table, but it was a close race for the top spot. He had 2.840 million chips, while Michael Mrakes had 2.640 million and Hanyong Kuo had 2.505 million. After those three, it was a steep drop to the next three: Amjad Nader had 1.095 million, Michael Behnert had 600,000, and Patric Brandt had 470,000.

It was as easy of a final table for Schemion as you will ever see on the World Poker Tour. From the get-go, he extended his lead, and while he didn’t win every hand he got involved in, he was never really at risk of even taking a big hit.

Though there were some short stacks to begin the final table, it took until after the first break for anyone to be eliminated. On Hand 37 (thank you, WPT.com), a crippled Nader shoved pre-flop with K-Q and both Schemion (A-T) and Mrakes (9-9) made the call. The flop of A-6-5 gave Schemion the lead, so he bet to force a fold from Mrakes. It’s too bad for Mrakes that he did that (though quite reasonable), an 8 on the turn and 7 on the river would have given him a straight. As it were, Schemion won the hand and eliminated Nader in sixth place.

Twenty hands later, Kuo moved all-in pre-flop for just 170,000 chips with K-9 suited. Schemion called with a dominating A-9. Nothing on the board helped Kuo and his kicker and he was out in fifth place.

Then, just three hands later, Behnert was gone. He shoved pre-flop with A-9 suited, called by Brandt and his K-3 suited. A 3 landed on the flop and nothing else showed up to improve Behnert’s hand, so the tournament was down to three players.

The knockouts kept coming, as on Hand 61, only two hands after Behnert’s ouster, it was time for Brandt to go. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what happened, as WPT.com’s account was incomplete, but the money got in on the flop with Brandt holding J-9 suited and Schemion holding at least a 4. As none of the board cards helped Brandt, I’ll guess that Schemion had A-4 or 4-4 and it held up.

At any rate, Schemion went into heads-up against Mrakes with a 6.685 million to 3.465 million chip lead. Mrakes was able to close the gap a bit after Schemion initially grew his lead, but it wasn’t enough. On the final hand, Schemion raised to 180,000 pre-flop with K-7 of clubs, Mrakes three-bet to 600,000 with 7-5 of spades, and Schemion called. The flop was K-Q-9 with two spades, giving Schemion top pair and Mrakes a flush draw. Mrakes shoved and after much thought, including the use of two time bank extensions chips, Schemion decided to call. The flush never appeared for Mrakes and Ole Schemion won the WPT European Championship.

2018 World Poker Tour European Championship – Final Table Results

1. Ole Schemion – €218,435 ($ 255,352)
2. Michal Mrakes – €143,845 ($ 178,892)
3. Patrice Brandt – €93,105 ($ 115,077)
4. Michael Behnert – €60,730 ($ 74,088)
5. Han Kuo Yong – €46,705 ($ 57,118)
6. Amjad Nader – €39,010 ($ 47,323)

The post Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker

 Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker

Online poker room partypoker has added yet another pro to its roster of ambassadors, Isaac “Ike” Haxton, who immediately becomes one of the most prominent members of the partypoker team. Partypoker has been a tear lately in its signings, inking the likes of Fedor Holz, 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Martin Jacobsen, Jason Koon, and Kristen Bicknell in just the last few months.

On the partypoker blog, Haxton said:

I am very excited to be joining the partypoker team. I’ve been very impressed with their growth over the last year or so. From expanding their online cash game and tournament offerings, to improving their software, and most of all rolling out their ambitious and innovative live events program, their commitment to growing the game and providing a great product for their players has been clear. I’m truly proud to represent the company, which I believe is going to be the future of poker, online and live.

According to the database at TheHendonMob.com, Haxton has amassed $ 15,879,226 in live tournament earnings, ranking him 21st all-time. His biggest cash was for more than $ 2.5 million when he finished second in the 2014 Aussie Millions $ 250,000 Challenge.

Haxton burst onto the scene back in 2007 when he was the runner-up in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. It was his first recorded live tournament cash and if I remember correctly, one notable thing about it was that the televised final table was outside on a windy day, making for some adventurous poker. Despite all of his success, he does not have a WSOP bracelet or a WPT title, though he does have some big wins in some super high roller-type events. In the last couple years, Haxton has really made his cashes count – if you look at his tournament resume, it’s a string of six-figure scores.

Of course, that’s just live tournaments, which doesn’t take into account his online exploits, nor does it have anything to do with cash games.

According to the partypoker announcement, Haxton, “will play a key role in partypoker’s efforts to work closely with the poker player community,” something one might expect an online poker ambassador to do.

In that same blog post, partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters expressed his thoughts on Haxton:

We are delighted that Isaac is joining us at partypoker. Isaac’s profile and experience makes him a perfect ambassador for the company. Over the years he has also demonstrated a real commitment to principles and will play a key role in helping us meet and exceed player expectations. We are in the process of building a poker site for the players and Isaac will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goals.

Cover photo credit: partypoker blog

The post Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Darryll Fish Captures First Major Title, Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

 Darryll Fish Captures First Major Title, Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

Battling through one of the larger fields during the Season XVI schedule, poker professional Darryll Fish broke through with his first ever major tour victory in winning the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, last night.

The hometown favorite at the final table, Fish was one of six players who had come through the 911 entry field to vie for the crown. He didn’t lead as the final table began, however. That honor went to Russia’s Aleksandr Shevelev and his 6.96 million stack, with Ness Reilly tucked into the second slot with her 6.295 million chips. Fish, for his part, hovered in the third-place slot (5.92 million chips) while the rest of the field – Brett Bader (3.16 million), Alan Krockey (2.81 million) and former WPT champion Andy Frankenberger (2.17 million) – needed quite a bit of help if they were going to contend for the championship.

The players throughout the final table were playing as if said table was on fire. On Hand 19, Reilly opened the betting under the gun and Krockey didn’t believe her as he moved all in. Reilly wasted little time in making the call, tabling pocket Kings to go to the races against Krockey’s Big Chick (A-Q). Looking for another lady to join him on the board, Krockey instead saw the board run out nine high, ending his tournament in sixth place and moving Reilly into contention with 6.4 million chips.

Reilly didn’t slow down after that knockout either. Fish and Shevelev put her to the test in her big bling and, after calling a 175K bet, everyone checked to the river on an A-9-2-5-9 board. Reilly would check that board and, after Fish fired a good sized 450K bet, Shevelev dropped from the proceedings. Reilly, though, didn’t believe Fish’s story and made the call. It turned out to be the right one as Fish showed a K-J for complete air; Reilly, on the other hand, showed a 4-3 for the turned Wheel and scooped the 1.5 million chip pot.

Shevelev didn’t get concerned with Reilly storming up on him, he just took down a player to reestablish control at the final table. On Hand 32, Shevelev innocently raised the pot and saw Reilly three bet the action up to 500K. Demonstrating the usage of the WPT “Time Bank” chips (the WPT uses their 30-second “Action Clock” just before the field makes the money; players receive six “Time Bank” chips worth 60 seconds each for use each day until the end of the tournament), Bader tossed one in the pot and, as the clock was at 10, five-bet to 1.35 million.

Now it was Shevelev’s turn to use one of his “Time Bank” chips and, after the deliberation, his reply was to move all in. After Reilly decided that discretion was the better part of valor, Bader took another Time Bank worth of extra time before making the decision to call for his tournament life. When the cards came up, the hand played itself.

Bader’s pocket Queens were only down against two hands (pocket Aces and Kings) and racing against one other (Big Slick) and the race was at hand with Shevelev holding Slick. With his tournament life on the line, Bader was dismayed to see a King in the window on a K-4-4 flop to push Shevelev into the lead. Needing a Queen to remain at the table, Bader instead hit the rail in fifth place as a deuce and a nine finished off the board, sending Shevelev over the 12 million chip mark.  

With that big stack, it wasn’t like Shevelev needed any help, but the players couldn’t resist giving it to him. After doubling up Frankenberger, Reilly would ship a sizeable chunk of her chips to the Russian after he sneakily turned a nine-high straight while holding an 8-5 off suit in the big blind. The resulting 8.1 million pot pushed Shevelev’s stack even higher and many on the rail thought the tournament was over.

Reilly couldn’t overcome the hand against Shevelev. Roughly 10 hands after battling the chip leader, Reilly would lock horns with Fish in a race. Reilly had the best of it pre-flop with her pocket Jacks against Fish’s A 10, but an Ace on the flop changed the fortunes of each player. There was paint on the turn, but it wasn’t the Jack that Reilly was looking for (Queen). Down to the river, Reilly instead saw a second nine as the hand went to Fish and she went to the cash out cage in fourth place.

Shevelev now had a challenger in Fish, but Frankenberger wasn’t going to go away easily. Looking to become a two-time champion on the WPT, Frankenberger would battle it out against the two big stacks for 30 hands before finally succumbing to Fish. With Frankenberger holding pocket sevens and Fish showing A♣ J♣, the flop kept Frankenberger safe. The Jack on the turn, however, wasn’t what Frankenberger wanted to see. Once a trey came on the river, Frankenberger’s dream of a second WPT title was dashed as he exited in third place.

With the knockout of Frankenberger, Fish narrowed the gap with Shevelev, but it was still a 4.4 million advantage for the Russian heading to the endgame. Forty hands into heads up play, however, Fish had been able to bring the stacks to almost even (Shevelev’s 13.9 million to Fish’s 13.4 million). That’s where the tournament would remain, with each player jumping out to a substantive lead before being reeled back in, for much of the four-plus hour battle.

Once the blinds reached the astronomical level of 300K/600K with a 100K ante, however, the deep stacks were gone and the all-in moves began. Beginning with Hand 199, eight of the next 10 hands would see a player all-in, with Hand 209 being the penultimate hand for the players. With Fish holding the lead, Shevelev challenged him with an all in and Fish made the call.

Shevelev had roughly a 60/40 edge with his A-10 over Fish’s K-J and continued to hold that edge when the flop came Q-9-8. A King on the turn, however, gave the lead over to Fish and left Shevelev looking for an Ace or a Jack (straight) to take the hand back. There was a straight on the river with the 10, but that straight was an unnecessary one for Fish to the King as he captured the hand and the championship.

1. Darryll Fish, $ 511,604
2. Aleksandr Shevelev, $ 331,116
3. Andy Frankenberger, $ 244,342
4. Ness Reilly, $ 182,249
5. Brett Bader, $ 137,440
6. Alan Krockey, $ 104,784

With this title, Fish goes over $ 3.75 million in career tournament earnings, a career that had previously been bereft of a major tournament championship. Although Fish has won on the WSOP Circuit and at the Aussie Millions, this is the first title for Fish on a major tournament schedule. It also adds on to an amazing 150 cashes for a career (and add in another 325 online finishes) that is showing no signs of slowing down.

The post Darryll Fish Captures First Major Title, Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Online Poker Bill Passes New York Senate Gaming Committee

 Online Poker Bill Passes New York Senate Gaming Committee

If at first you don’t succeed…you know how it goes. Such is the case in the New York state legislature, where for the third consecutive year, a bill which would legalize and regulate online poker has made it through the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. S3898 passed easily by a 10-1 vote and now moves on to the Senate Finance Committee.

There was significant movement with the bill last year, as it not only made it out of the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, but also the Finance Committee and then passed a vote of the full Senate in mid-June. Despite having half the year to get through the Assembly, it never even made it out of committee there. And it’s not even that it lost a vote; the Assembly really just didn’t bother with it.

One would think that it would move fairly quickly this time, as it is the same bill as last year. It was introduced around this time in 2017, getting through the first committee and reported to Finance in mid-February. Now, I don’t know what Senate schedules look like and there are certainly more pressing issues in Albany, New York than online poker, but it wouldn’t be difficult to envision lawmakers shuttling S3898 through the process in a hurry to get it over to the Assembly with as much time left in the year as possible.

Most of the bill is standard fare, but shortly before the full Senate vote last year, the dreaded “bad actor” clause was added. This type of clause, which has been seen in other online poker legislation, punishes operators who continued to accept U.S. players after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006. Some bad actor clauses outright ban these operators, while others delay their licensing application or assess fines.

The bad actor clause in the New York legislation says that, among others, this factor may be looked like by the New York Gaming Commission when evaluating the suitability of an applicant:

(f) Whether the applicant:

(i) has at any time, either directly, or through another person whom it owned, in whole or in significant part, or controlled:

(A) knowingly and willfully accepted or made available wagers on interactive gaming (including poker) from persons located in the United States after December thirty-first, two thousand six, unless such wager were affirmatively authorized by law of the United States or of each state in which persons making such wagers were located; or

(B) knowingly facilitated or otherwise provided services with respect to interactive gaming (including poker) involving persons located in the United States for a person described in clause (A) of this subparagraph and acted with knowledge of the fact that such wagers or interactive gaming involved persons located in the United States; or

(ii) has purchased or acquired, directly or indirectly, in whole or in significant part, a person described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph or will use that person or a covered asset in connection with interactive gaming licensed pursuant to this article.

It does not appear that this bad actor clause is of the strictest variety, as it does not say that such an operator would be automatically deemed ineligible to receive an online gaming license. Rather, an operators actions after the UIGEA should be considered by the Commission.

The post Online Poker Bill Passes New York Senate Gaming Committee appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

 2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

Alright, here’s the deal. I was not feeling well last night and ended up getting maybe an hour of sleep. By the time I gained a little energy, ran a couple errands that needed to be run, and greeted my kids at the school bus stop, the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open was already down to just eight players. I was going to write something about Monday’s action, but at that point it made no sense, so I just waited until now to say a little something about Tuesday. So there they are at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, down to six players and Aleksandr Shevelev in the chip lead with 6.960 million chips.

This is shaping up to be quite the competitive final table. Ness Reilly is close behind Shevelev with 6.295 million chips, while Darryll Fish isn’t far back with 5.920 million. The bottom three all have pretty solid stacks with which to work: Brett Bader (3.160 million), Alan Krockey (2.810 million), and Andy Frankenberger (2.170 million).

But it is Aleksandr Shevelev in the lead, the same position he was in heading into Day 4, though he is now 3 million chips richer (DISCLAIMER: tournament chips have no cash value). Two of Shevelev’s big moves came early in the day. In the first, Cong Pham and Shevelev got into a raising war pre-flop before Pham ended up all-in for 1.1 million chips. Shevelev had no trouble calling, holding K-K against Pham’s K-J. Pham was unable to get the minor miracle he needed and he was gone in 13th place. That took Shevelev’s chip stack up to about 5 million.

Just a few minutes later, he raised pre-flop to 85,000, Mario Prats Garcia called and Ness Reilly re-raised to 300,000. Shevelev made the call and Garcia folded to bring on a flop of T-7-5. Reilly bet 255,000 and Shevelev called. The turn was another Ten and this time Reilly check-called a 375,000 bet from Shevelev. Reilly again checked a King on the river and then Shevelev bet 550,000. After much thought and the expenditure of a time extension chip, Reilly folded to help Shevelev increase his chip count to just over 6 million.

It was a good thing he accumulated those chips because he ended up falling back under 5 million while Reilly surged ahead to take the lead. Shevelev was able to eliminated John Dolan in ninth place with Q-Q versus A-K, allowing him to get back over that 6 million chip mark. From there, he obviously added chips while Reilly gave a few back (she had gotten to over 8 million) and here we are.

The remaining six players are all guaranteed more than $ 100,000. They are all firmly aiming for the half million dollar first prize, though, as well as the honor of having their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.

The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event final table will begin at noon ET Wednesday.

2018 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1. Aleksandr Shevelev – 6,960,000
2. Ness Reilly – 6,295,000
3. Darryll Fish – 5,920,000
4. Brett Bader – 3,160,000
5. Alan Krockey – 2,810,000
6. Andy Frankenberger – 2,170,000

The post 2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily