Archive for January, 2018

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 5: Adrian Mateos Storms from Short Stack to Lead Final Table

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 5: Adrian Mateos Storms from Short Stack to Lead Final Table

It’s going to be difficult for anyone to come from beneath Stasiewicz and challenge for the final table, but Day 2 chip leader Oleg Titov (488K) and Mateos (236K) are ones to watch if it is to happen.” That was one of our final sentences from yesterday’s report on the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event and, sure enough, it came to pass. After 13 hours of play on Saturday, three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and former European Poker Tour champion Adrian Mateos emerged as the chip leader going to Sunday’s final table.

16 players started the day on Saturday with 2016 Poker Player of the Year David Peters sitting high on the top of the leaderboard. He was the only player over the three million chip mark (3.105 million), but Maria Lampropulos (2.313 million) and Adalfer Morales Gamarra (1.196 million) were willing to take on the challenge. You had to look way down the leaderboard to see Mateos, who came into Day 5 with only 236,000 in chips and looked to be one of those players heading for the rail quickly on Saturday.

Instead of exiting the Atlantis Resort Spa tournament room early, however, Mateos fought tooth and nail to stay in the event. The Spaniard check shoved his stack on the river against Jonathan West on a 9-5-6 flop to breathe some life into his stack and was able to double up through Daniel Coupal when his A-3 caught against Coupal’s pocket eights on a Q-A-10-K-Q board. Those two hands got Mateos healthy and near a million chips (919K) as the afternoon wore on.

Instead of Mateos hitting the rail, some of his fellow competitors took his place. Gamarra took down Florian Maurer in fifteenth place when Gamarra rivered a Queen with his A-Q to knock off Maurer’s pocket sixes out. The big action was at the top as players shuffled through the leader’s chair, however, as nobody seemed to get a firm grasp of the leaderboard.

Shawn Buchanan made the first big move, jumping to the lead after doubling up to 1.65 million through Gamarra. Then Michael Farrow took over the lead after eliminating Jean Ateba in fourteenth place. Lampropulos was up next, battling with Oleg Titov and coming out on the winning side to push her to 2.63 million. Finally, it was Koray Aldemir’s turn to sit at the helm, betting Farrow off the pot to crack the three million mark. This was in the span of 20 minutes!

Stasiewicz never could get anything going, ultimately dropping from the tournament in thirteenth place at the hands of Buchanan. Aldemir, still holding on to the lead, extended it in eliminating Jonathan West in twelfth place and climbing to 5.455 million. Mateos also continued his climb upward, once again using an A-3 but this time against Peters’ pocket nines, on an A-8-8-5-Q board to reach almost two million in chips; Peters could not come back from this beat, eventually falling in eleventh place at the hands of Coupal as his A-J failed against Coupal’s Big Slick.

While Peters was picking up his eleventh-place money ($ 75,640), the unofficial final table was set. Gamarra was one of the very active players during the day’s play and he was unfazed when he took his A-10 off suit against Farrow’s pocket fives. The flop was clean, but the Ace on the turn changed fortunes. Farrow, looking for one of the two fives left in the deck, instead saw a ten give Gamarra two pair and send Farrow out in tenth place.

Now at one table, the tournament wasn’t “official” yet. There was one more player that needed to be eliminated for that and three more to reach the goal set at the start of the day (six handed). Aldemir was the dominant leader at this point, his 5.915 million chips over Lampropulos’ 2.875 million, and Mateos was still in the lower levels of the leaderboard with his 1.16 million stack. The final nine headed off and, stunningly, Mateos went on a rush.

Lampropulos made the table official with her elimination of Patryk Poterek in ninth place, but the first two dozen hands were uneventful other than that. On Hand 58, however, Aldemir would lose the lead to Lampropulos when he couldn’t beat Titov pocket Queens with an A-7 off suit. Titov, however, turned around and doubled up Buchanan to make the Canadian a threat in the tournament. After taking a break following the 63rd hand of the final table, there were still eight players left.

Buchanan would use those newfound chips to mount his own charge to the lead. By the end of the next break (Hand 89), Buchanan had passed both Lampropulos and Aldemir to take over the lead. Another 90 minutes of action, however, would tell a different story.

Mateos started his march to the top by first knocking out Gamarra when Mateos’ flopped pair of eights survived the open-ended straight draw of Gamarra. Now on 3.71 million chips, Mateos stayed on the offensive, taking more chips from Aldemir when he sneakily played pocket Kings for all their worth on an 6-9-Q-6-6 board. After that hand, Mateos had won four of the previous seven hands and was in the lead with more than five million chips.

The news wasn’t so good for Titov, who was the Day 2 chip leader. His chip stack slowly slipped through his fingers until he was down to his last 600K or so in chips. After Coupal moved all in from the button on his small blind, however, Titov thought he found a point to make a stand. It turned out to be the wrong move – Coupal held a decent A-J off suit on the button but Titov could only muster a K-2 off suit for the battle. An Ace came on the flop (along with a deuce), but no one else would get anything on the trey turn and the eight river. As Titov shook hands and realized he was the television table “bubble boy,” Mateos was in firm control of the festivities.

1. Adrian Mateos, 5.675 million
2. Shawn Buchanan, 3.755 million
3. Maria Lampropulos, 3.505 million
4. Koray Aldemir, 2.34 million
5. Daniel Coupal, 1.275 million
6. Christian Rudolph, 905,000

The final table promises to be an excellent battle between players who have been on both sides of the fortune scale. Mateos’ battle back from the short stack is evident, but Buchanan, Lampropulos, Aldemir and Coupal have been fortunate to stay in the upper echelon of the leaderboard for much of the tournament. Rudolph was up in that group but, since he has sunk to the short stack, it isn’t realistic to see him winning this championship. That’s why they play tournaments to the end, however…

Today’s final table will be running simultaneously with the $ 25,000 High Roller action, so the PokerStars TV crew will be stretched covering both events. Beginning at 3:30PM (Bahamas time, 2:30PM Eastern time), the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event final table will play out with everyone guaranteed a big six figure payout ($ 229,760) and a new Hendon Mob flag. The top prize is the goal, though, where $ 1,081,100 awaits the eventual champion.

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Million Dollar Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on Chico Network

 Million Dollar Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on Chico Network

You don’t hear much about online poker bad beat jackpots anymore. Back in “the day,” they were quite popular, as players loved having that miniscule chance at a gigantic payday in what would otherwise be a regular cash game. But over time, people stopped wanted to pay the extra drop for the jackpot and the bad beat tables declined in popularity. They still exist, though, and one of the largest jackpots of all time was hit this past Sunday night on the Chico Network, worth $ 994,119.

The Chico Network is comprised of just three poker rooms – BetOnline.ag, TigerGaming.com, and SportsBetting.ag – but it still sits at 15th in PokerScout’s cash game traffic rankings with a seven-day average of 700 cash game players. One thing that likely elevates the Chico Network despite having such a small roster of skins is that it is a “gray market” site, meaning that it accepts U.S. customers.

On the Chico Network, the bad beat jackpot starts at $ 100,000 and increases constantly, as long as it hasn’t been hit. An extra rake is taken from the pot at specially-marked bad beat jackpot tables at the rate of 10 cents per $ 4 in the pot, with a maximum of 50 cents per hand. For a hand to qualify for the bad beat jackpot, a player must lose a hand holding four of a kind Jacks or better. At least four players must be dealt into the hand, the hand must go to showdown, and both the winning hand and losing hand must use both of their hole cards.

The loser of the hand – and thus the “winner” of the bad beat – receives 27.5 percent of the bad beat jackpot. The winner of the hand gets 15 percent, the other players who were dealt cards at the table split 15 percent equally, 5 percent is split evenly among players at the other bad beat jackpot tables, 10 percent goes to the house, and the remaining 27.5 percent is used to seed the next jackpot.

In the big hand on Sunday, there were four players dealt in. “pokerplayer4ever” had Qd-Td, while “Tyrant” had Jd-Jc at a $ 1/$ 2 No-Limit Hold’em table. Tyrant raised to $ 5 pre-flop, pokerplayer4ever re-raised to $ 18, the other two players folded, and Tyrant called.

The flop of 8d-9d-Jd had to have made pokerplayer4ever’s heart jump, as he had just flopped a straight-flush. Tyrant checked, pokerplayer4ever bet $ 10.17, and Tyrant called. The 4d came on the turn and both players checked. The river was the Jd, giving Tyrant quads! He checked, pokerplayer4ever moved all-in for $ 179.22 and at that point, Tyrant had to know he was about to profit a couple hundred bucks or nail the score of a lifetime.
Think about it. Tyrant had quads and saw his opponent, who had been aggressive except for the turn, move all-in with four diamonds on the board, plus straight and flush possibilities. Tyrant had almost every hand dead to rights, so he was definitely winning – in most cases – a $ 400 pot.

But there were two combinations of hole cards he could lose to – Q-T or 7-T of diamonds – and one of those was the hand that pokerplayer4ever had. And since they were at the bad beat jackpot table, Tyrant knew he was about to make some money.

As the loser of the hand, Tyrant won the largest portion of the bad beat jackpot, $ 273,382.82. pokerplayer4ever received $ 149,018.49 for winning the hand and the other two players won $ 74,509.25 and $ 74,509.24.

The sad part of this tale, though, is that there were two players at the table who were sitting out. Those bathroom breaks cost over $ 37,000 each.

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 4: David Peters Seizes Control, Leads with 16 Players Left

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 4: David Peters Seizes Control, Leads with 16 Players Left

After another long day of battle on the green baize at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, David Peters has taken control of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event with 16 players remaining. In fact, he is the only player over the three million mark in chips, with nearly a million-chip lead over the second-place stack.

43 runners came back to the line for the start of action on Friday with Karl Stark holding the edge over Peters to start the day. On the very first hand, Stark demonstrated he was going to defend his lead as Lachezar Petkov pushed all in off the button. Stark took one peek at his cards from the small blind and immediately made the call, tabling a questionable A-9 off suit against Petkov’s also questionable K-Q off suit. Once the board ran out ten high, Petkov was out before his chair was even warm and Stark extended his lead.

The news wasn’t good for another player who has made some waves at the 2018 PCA. Maria Konnikova, who has been taking lessons on poker from none other than Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel as she researches a book, was the short stack to start the day. When she did find a moment to move, it turned out to be the wrong one. After Aleksandr Milyaev put out a bet and Konnikova moved all in, Stark would four bet the action and call when Milyaev moved all in. As it would turn out, Konnikova was drawing between “slim” and “none” and “slim” was heading to the door:

Stark:  A♠ Q♠
Konnikova:  Q-J off suit
Milyaev:  pocket Aces

Konnikova needed a great deal of help and the 7-6-7 flop left her drawing to less than 1% for the win. Once the 4 came on the turn, both Stark and Konnikova were drawing dead, but Konnikova’s tournament life was extinguished as the meaningless river card was dealt. As she left the felt in 42nd place, Stark’s once dominant stack was chopped by a quarter million chips while Milyaev stacked 580K in chips.

Stark’s day was about to get much worse after that hand. He would double up Adrian Mateos to fall under the million-chip mark and never find his way back to the lead. On his final hand, he saw Liv Boeree open the action and made the call. Koray Aldemir, never one to let someone else drive the action, three-bet the action to 100K in chips that was enough to get Boeree out of the way. Stark was having none of it, though, as he pushed all in. Aldemir, after learning it was Stark’s 762K in chips at stake, sighed and made the call.

Aldemir’s Big Slick was racing against Stark’s pocket nines as the dealer prepped for action. The J-6-4-Q flop and turn kept Stark in the lead but offered other outs for Aldemir (any Ace, any King and the tens in the deck). Sure enough, a King came on the river to cruelly take the hand from Stark and deposit the chips into Aldemir’s lap.

While Stark was flaming out, Peters quietly led an attack that soon saw him take over the lead. He flopped the nut flush against Jean Ateba to push his stack to 1.47 million and eclipsed the two million chip mark when he took a pot off Uladzimir Anoshka. Although he would have a slight misstep in doubling up Patryk Poterek, that would be the last mistake that the 2016 Poker Player of the Year would make. Peters eliminated Helio Chreem in 21st place and Milyaev in 19th place to crack the three million mark. No one else would get to Peters as the final hand of the night dramatically shut down the action.

Maria Lampropulos had been active throughout the day and, after opening from the hijack position, Boeree challenged her with a three bet. Lampropulos four-bet the former European Poker Tour champion, but it was only a min-raise from 100K to 200K. Boeree read this for weakness and, after some contemplation, moved all in. Without making a sound, Lampropulos pushed a stack out to indicate a call and the hands were turned up:

Lampropulos:  pocket Kings
Boeree:  pocket Queens

Nothing changed on the A-J-J-7-A board and Boeree’s ladies were crushed by Lampropulos’ cowboys. As Boeree headed to the cage for her 17th place payout, Lampropulos added the 670K pot to her stack and must be seen as a challenger for Peters on Day 5:

1. David Peters, 3.105 million
2. Maria Lampropulos, 2.313 million
3. Adalfer Morales Gamarra, 1.916 million
4. Jonathan West, 1.656 million
5. Koray Aldemir, 1.42 million
6. Christian Rudolph, 1.285 million
7. Shawn Buchanan, 992,000
8. Michael Farrow, 981,000
9. Patryk Poterek, 918,000
10. Bartosz Stasiewicz, 624,000

It’s going to be difficult for anyone to come from beneath Stasiewicz and challenge for the final table, but Day 2 chip leader Oleg Titov (488K) and Mateos (236K) are ones to watch if it is to happen. Outside of Peters and Lampropulos, watch Aldemir and West; they have been hovering around the upper reaches of the tournament since it started and are playing outstanding poker.

PokerStars TV will have all the action of the final two tables as the players look to get down to the final table. Action begins at noon on Saturday as the remaining 16 players battle it out for the first-place prize of slightly more than a million dollars.

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New York-New York Casino Cashier Robbed

 New York New York Casino Cashier Robbed

Another Las Vegas casino was hit this week, as a cage at New York-New York was robbed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. At the time of this writing, about 24 hours since the robbery, the suspect has not been captured.

At about 1:00am January 10th, a man armed with a handgun approached a cashier and demanded cash. Money was handed over without incident, it appears, as the man’s weapon remained in his waistband. He then escaped through the south entrance of the casino and fled in a taxicab.

As can be seen in the security camera picture distributed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect is a black male wearing black rimmed glasses and a black beanie cap. In the picture, he appears to be wearing a black mock turtleneck shirt, but the police notice says he was wearing a black hooded jacket. The report also notes he was wearing black mechanics gloves, dark jeans, and black shoes, and looks like he is in his early to mid thirties.

This is the second cage robbery on the Las Vegas Strip in a month and a half. In late November, man robbed the cashier of the Bellagio poker room in the middle of the afternoon. It was similarly non-violent, as the crook just walked up to the cashier, showed a handgun, demanded money, got it, and ran out of the casino with the cash in a plastic bag. He got into a silver car at the valet station and escaped.

The man, described as a 30 to 40-year old white male between 5’ 7” and 5’ 9” tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds, is still at large. The pictures of him are not as clear as the New York-New York suspect, but he looked like he was wearing a blond wig and black rimmed glasses as a disguise, as well as some sort of half-mask or partial bandage on his face.

There was also a man in the getaway car when it was parked at the valet, but he was able to leave the car before the Bellagio suspect drove off. Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. John Pelletier said it is believed that the man was being held against his will and was not an accomplice, though at the time, it was too early to label his presence as a kidnapping. The man was unharmed.

A number of poker players tweeted about the Bellagio robbery as it happened, including actor James Woods. He wrote, “@Bellagio staff were fantastic. They surrendered the money quietly, so no customers would get hurt. Nobody even realized it was happening. Excellent staff, cool under pressure.”

Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson was playing in the Bellagio’s high stakes Bobby’s Room nearby and was unimpressed with the robber’s strategy. He tweeted, “The guy that robbed the cashier cage at the Bellagio should have walked south 10 yards and took our money in Bobby’s Room. He got 35k and we had about 200k in cash waiting to put it on deposit. Waitress said she could have hit the guy as he slowly left.”

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 3: David Peters Trails Karl Stark as Money Bubble Pops

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 3: David Peters Trails Karl Stark as Money Bubble Pops

The money bubble popped during Day 3 at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Thursday, with the first payouts from the $ 5.8 million prize pool being handed out. There are some that are looking a bit deeper into the payout schedule, however, as poker professional and former Poker Player of the Year David Peters is in pursuit of Sweden’s Karl Stark.

Thursday’s action kicked off with 101 players remaining from the 582-player field, but the mood was tense. Like any tournament that has the money bubble looming at the start of the day, there were those in the crowd whose return would not only be short but unfulfilling. With 87 players receiving a payout, that meant that 14 players would take the walk from the Atlantis Resort Spa’s tournament arena with nothing to show for their efforts.

While those unfortunate souls were being determined, the chip lead changed. Michael Stashin hooked up in a three-way hand with Oliver Weis and Gleidibe Goncalves, with his sweat holding pocket Kings paid off on a Q-5-2-6-5 board. After scooping up the 180K pot, Stashin took over the lead with 565,000 in chips as the drama intensified.

Peters and Stark also began to make their moves during the bubble period. Peters would knock off a tough opponent in Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen to get to 560,000 in chips, while Stark took down Charles Furey prior to the bubble to reach 555,000 in chips. Stashin, however, kept his foot on the pedal in winning a race against Joao Simao (Big Slick vs. pocket Queens) to nearly crack the million-chip mark. As Simao exited the tournament, the board read 90 players left to go.

More than two hours after the day’s start, the field reached the final 88 players and went hand-for-hand. Barry Greenstein had a miraculous double up during the hand-for-hand period, rivering a set of eights against his opponent’s pocket Aces, to stay alive in the event with only 19K in chips. It would take over 90 minutes for the unfortunate “bubble boy” to be determined in Nikita Neliubin, who ran his A♥ 3♥ into Luc Greenwood’s A-K off suit. Despite catching two hearts by the turn (and Greenwood hitting trip Kings), Neliubin couldn’t find another heart and was out in 88th place ($ 0).

With everyone now assured of a $ 17,500 payday, the cash out cage became a popular place. Gavin O’Rourke, Keith Lehr, Leo Margets, Kevin MacPhee and Harrison Gimbel all hit the rail with some money in their pockets as the tournament wound into the evening. Greenstein was able to grind out that 19K in chips and make it to the next payout level ($ 22,020), while Liv Boeree and Maria Konnikova both were able to work their way to the end of the night and get the right to bag for Day 4.

The day was marked by the performances of Peters and Stark, however. Both men climbed throughout the Day 3 action and, by the time the final hand was dealt, were the only two men over the million-chip mark. Along with Day 2 leader Oleg Titov, these three men bear the most watching as we move into the endgame for the tournament.

1. Karl Stark, 1.148 million
2. David Peters, 1.117 million
3. Oleg Titov, 938,000
4. Bartosz Stasiewicz, 802,000
5. Jonathan West, 765,000
6. Maria Lampropulos, 758,000
7. Koray Aldemir, 757,000
8. Michael Farrow, 691,000
9. Michael Stashin, 646,000
10. Christian Banz, 621,000

The remaining 43 players will return to the felt this afternoon as they look to find the next champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. While those that return today earn that $ 22,020 that Greenstein picked up, the dream for all is to take the million-dollar prize ($ 1,081,100, to be exact) up top.

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