Posts Tagged ‘2016’
The European Poker Tour is dead. Long live the European Poker Tour! On Monday, Jasper Meijer van Putten won the last-ever EPT event, taking the crown in the EPT Prague Main Event. PokerStars, which operates the European Poker Tour, announced earlier this year that it will kill the EPT brand and convert the tour into two new ones: the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival.
Meijer van Putten began the final table second-to-last in chips with 3.815 million, well behind the 9.710 million of chip leader Marton Czuczor. On just the second hand of the day, though, Meijer van Putten took a nice pot from Czuczor with top pair to grow his stack by about a million chips.
The very next hand, Samantha “Sam” Cohen was the first player eliminated. Czuczor raised pre-flop to 280,000 with pocket Tens, David Peters called with pocket Nines, and Cohen also called, for some reason, with Q-8. The flop, though, came down Q-8-2, giving Cohen top two pair. She checked, as did Czuczor. Peters bet 350,000, Cohen raised to 1 million, Czuczor folded, and Peters called after some thought. Unfortunately for Cohen, the turn was a 9 and she went all-in. Peters called with his set and Cohen wasn’t saved on the river. Peters was now in the lead with 13.4 million chips.
On Hand 22, Czuczor raised pre-flop with pocket Nines to 280,000. According to the PokerNews live reporting, Marius Gierse shoved for 2.94 million with pocket Fives. Everyone else folded, but Czuczor called. Gierse was unable to get any help and was gone in fourth place.
Sergei Petrushevskii was eliminated in fourth place. In his doomed hand, Meijer van Putten had pocket Queens and raised to 400,000 pre-flop. Czuczor re-raised to 1.5 million with just K-J and then Petrushevskii moved all-in for 3.77 with A-7 of clubs. Meijer van Putten went all-in over the top for 8 million, isolating himself against Petrushevskii. The flop of 9-T-J gave Petrushevskii a pair of Jacks, but that wasn’t too useful against Queens. The 8 on the turn gave Meijer van Putten a straight and since another Queen didn’t fall on the river, that was it for Petrushevskii.
The remaining chip stacks were fairly close: Meijer van Putten had 13.565 million, Peters had 11.365 million, and Czuczor had 10.815 million. The three men discussed a deal. It appeared that they had an agreement, but when Czuczor clarified that he didn’t want to give up as much money as the other two had thought, the deal fell apart and they continued play.
Meijer van Putten soared from that point, quickly amassing more chips than the other two players combined. It took a while, but Peters was finally knocked out in third place when he called off his stack pre-flop with Q-7 against Czuczor’s A-Q. Peters did flop a 7, but Czuczor found an Ace on the river to setup heads-up play against Meijer van Putten.
Meijer van Putten, though, had a massive lead heading into the pre-heads-up dinner break, 26.050 million to 9.7 million Czuczor must have had a hell of a meal because he came out of the break on fire, nearly evening up the match. At that point, the two men discussed another deal, eventually agreeing that Meijer van Putten would receive €649,300 of the remaining prize pool, while Czuczor would get €630,000. They would play for €50,000.
Czuczor couldn’t keep the momentum going, quickly falling way behind once again. Soon, out-chipped about threefold, he moved all-in with Deuces after Meijer van Putten raised with K-J of clubs. Meijer van Putten called, flopped a Jack, and that was it. The European Poker Tour is no more.
2016 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Jasper Meijer van Putten – €699,300*
2. Marton Czuczor – €630,000*
3. David Peters – €397,300
4. Sergei Petrushevskii – €284,550
5. Marius Gierse – €203,800
6. Sam Cohen – €145,900
*Indicates final table deal
2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 5: Final Table Determined with James Romero, Ryan Tosoc Leading Justin Bonomo
The final table has been determined for the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event and it is shaping up to be an impressive battle. While James Romero has been able to pull away from the pack a bit, players such as Ryan Tosoc and Justin Bonomo (just to name a couple) are poised to try to take him down.
Starting the action on Friday, the 19 players remaining were looking to capture one of the sextet of seats that would be in action later today. Tosoc was at the helm of the pack with Bonomo in pursuit, but it was three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour who was drawing the attention down the leaderboard. Unfortunately for Seymour, his deep run in this WPT event ended earlier than he wanted on Friday afternoon.
About two hours into the Day 5 play, Tosoc pushed out a bet and Seymour put him to the test by moving all in. Tosoc debated his situation for a couple of minutes before making the call, finding his K-Q off suit live against Seymour’s off suit A-10. The J-9-8 flop kept Seymour in the lead, but the 10 on the turn wasn’t something he was looking for as it gave Tosoc a King-high straight. To add insult to injury, the Ace on the river improved Seymour to a worthless two pair against Tosoc’s Broadway, sending the former NFL star to the rail in 18th place. In earning his fifth ever WPT cash, Seymour also earned his best cash ever ($ 52,174) and continues to strive for that landmark poker title that he’s working towards.
As Tosoc was ending Seymour’s day, however, he was losing the chip lead. On the other table, Romero was clashing with Rob Wazwaz on a 10-2-2-6-J board that saw Wazwaz push the final chips of his stack to the center on the river. Romero called with no concerns and, after the cards were up, it was obvious why. Romero’s A-2 had flopped the world while Wazwaz’s K-10 held a losing two pair. Romero rocketed to six million chips following the hand as Wazwaz reviewed the play of the hand in his head as he headed to the cage in 17th place.
Romero kept up the pressure on his opponents but was also the beneficiary of some fortune on Friday. He would eliminate Stephen Graner in 15th place after his A-Q flopped Aces up against Graner’s pocket Jacks, then would move on to the unofficial final table of 10 with a massive chip stack of 6.395 million. That stack only got bigger when he took down J. C. Tran in tenth place, once again holding A-Q against Tran’s pocket tens and seeing a board of Q-4-3-Q-A.
Now sitting on about a third of the chips in play, Romero didn’t exactly sit back and let everyone else decide the future final table. In fact, Romero would be the player who would end the action for the evening in what started as a three-way pot. Jake Schindler would open the betting out of the cutoff and both Romero (button) and Chris Klodnicki (big blind) came along. After a K-9-7 flop, Klodnicki fired a bet of 220K. Schindler thought it over for a bit before making the call and, after a five-minute tank of his own that brought a calling of the clock, Romero popped the action up to 510K. Warily Klodnicki made the call, as did Schindler, building the largest pot of the tournament to this point.
A turn four didn’t seem to help anyone but it would bring the final action on the hand. Both Klodnicki and Schindler checked to Romero, who put out another bet of 510K for consideration. Klodnicki didn’t believe the story that Romero was telling, moving all in over Romero’s bet, but Schindler decided that Romero had the goods. It turned out Schindler was correct as Romero showed pocket sevens for the set against Klodnicki’s K-9 (Kings up). Needing a King or a nine to top Romero, Klodnicki instead saw a five to end his tournament on the television bubble and stack Romero massively for Saturday’s action.
1. James Romero, 9.86 million
2. Ryan Tosoc, 4.465 million
3. Justin Bonomo, 3.36 million
4. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 2.57 million
5. Alex Condon, 2.265 million
6. Jake Schindler, 1.21 million
This shapes up as one of the tougher final tables in recent memory on the WPT. Schindler, even on the short stack, knows what is necessary to win as a former champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 25,000 High Roller (2014). With his finish in this tournament, Condon will crack the $ 1 million mark in career earnings and, should he win, would rocket close to $ 3 million in earnings. Yaroshevskyy is close to $ 2 million in earnings (mostly on the European circuit) but is looking for his breakthrough championship, while Bonomo, Tosoc and Romero are known commodities.
It promises to be an entertaining battle this afternoon/evening as these six men contend for this WPT title. The winner will join such names as Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Antonio Esfandiari, Eugene Katchalov, David ‘Chino’ Rheem and Mohsin Charania as champions of this event. While that is definitely some rarefied air, the $ 1,938,118 first place check might be more of what the players are looking at.
2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4: 19 Remain with Plenty of Known Pros Chasing Ryan Tosoc
After another six levels of play on Thursday, the final 19 contenders have been determined for the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Atop the standings is an unknown commodity, Ryan Tosoc, who has a host of known pros and a former NFL defensive lineman in hot pursuit.
The Day 4 action started innocently enough with the drive to determining who would get paid from the event. 75 players came back to the tables Thursday afternoon, but three of those people would have rather stayed in bed. The reason? They would receive exactly $ 0 for having put in three days of work and not receive any return on the $ 10,000 (at the minimum, as it was an unlimited rebuy tournament) buy-in.
Instead of waiting to get down to the bubble, Bellagio officials chose to move into hand-for-hand play to start the day’s action. There was hope by the staff that, by taking this action, the bubble would pop sooner rather than players delaying the action through tanking and “Hollywooding” on the cusp of the payout. Instead of popping the bubble quickly, however, it seemed to extend the agony for the players rather than shorten it.
Part of the situation was that players kept getting double ups. Brandon Meyers found a double through Dzmitry Urbanovich only four hands in, keeping Meyers alive, and Kristina Holst did the same thing at the same time in a hand against Tyler Reiman. It took a three-way pot about 45 minutes into the day’s play before an elimination would occur.
Moving all in from under the gun, Keith Lehr had to be a bit concerned when both Darren Rabinowitz (who moved all in from the hijack) and Dan Smith (who called out of the big blind) decided to look him up. Smith had a pocket pair of Queens to take against Rabinowitz and Lehr, who both held Big Slick, and the 10-6-3-6-5 board looked OK for Smith until you considered the suits. With four clubs on the board, it became a question of who had a club amongst their hole cards. That fortunate individual was Rabinowitz, whose A♣ played to take both the side pot with Smith and the overall pot, knocking off Lehr in the process.
Two hours into hand-for-hand play, only one player (Lehr) was eliminated and the players were beginning to get a bit restless. One of those restless souls was Mike Matusow, who raised up the small blind of Dan O’Brien to see a J-10-3 flop. O’Brien would check-call a bet from Matusow to see a Queen come on the turn and the fuse was lit. This time O’Brien would check-raise the turn bet out of Matusow, bringing an all-in three-bet from Matusow and an immediate call from O’Brien. Both had straights when the cards were on their backs, but O’Brien’s A-K gave him Broadway and Matusow’s 9-8 left him with the sucker end of the deal. Drawing dead, Matusow left the floor in 74th place ($ 0) as hand-for-hand continued.
After almost three hours of hand-for-hand tedium, it was chip leader Ryan Hughes who finally took care of the situation. 22 hands into the day (yes, 22 hands in nearly three hours), Jerry Wong pushed his chips to the center and Hughes nearly beat him into the pot with his call. Wong’s pocket Jacks looked good, but Hughes’ pocket Kings looked even better. After a ten-high board was laid out, Wong was out on the money bubble and Hughes extended his lead.
With everyone now guaranteed at lin 2east $ 22,251, things lightened up as the payouts began. Mark Radoja, Aaron Massey, Joe Hachem, David Pham, Haixia Zhang, Anatoly Filatov, Jesse Sylvia and Urbanovich were just some of the players who departed before the dinner break. After dinner, Hughes took some hits to his stack and, after doubling up James Romero, fell under the chip average for the first time in almost three days. Hughes would never recover from that hit to his stack, eventually departing in 21st place for his efforts.
The day was particularly nice for two participants. Richard Seymour, who holds three Super Bowl rings from his time with the New England Patriots (he would finish his career in 2012 with the Oakland Raiders), has segued into poker to soothe his competitive beast and he has some game to his walk. After starting the day with about 270,000 in chips, Seymour had broken the million chip mark after the dinner break. Although he would fall back to the pack by the end of the night, Seymour will be one of the players to watch on Friday as a potential final tablist.
The other player who made some noise was Tosoc. In a three way all-in situation just after midnight, Tosoc was up against both Jared Jaffee and Christian Christner and had the goods for battle. His pocket Aces stood up over Jaffee’s pocket Kings and Christner’s pocket treys, with the resulting 3.3 million pot pushing Tosoc into the lead. Jaffee suffered a significant hit to his stack but was still alive with 700K in chips, while Christner hit the rail in 22nd place. That pot alone made sure that Tosoc would be the chip leader going into Friday’s action:
Ryan Tosoc, 3.492 million
Justin Bonomo, 2.687 million
James Romero, 2.03 million
JC Tran, 1.806 million
Stephen Graner, 1.655 million
Jake Schindler, 1.289 million
Rob Wazwaz, 1.28 million
Bob Buckenmayer, 1.212 million
Alex Condon, 1.189 million
Igor Yaroshevsky, 1.065 million
While he has been around since 2012, Tosoc hasn’t exactly made an impact on the tournament poker world. Since his first cash in a World Series of Poker Circuit preliminary event four years ago, arguably Tosoc’s biggest achievement would be his final table finish in the $ 1 million guaranteed finale of the Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 at the Venetian in September of this year. That $ 125,523 payday was the largest one of his career – unless he finishes this tournament in eighth place or better.
Tosoc, Seymour and the remainder of the 19-player field will play tonight until the official six-handed WPT final table is set. That will put everything in place for Saturday’s final table action, which will be taped for broadcast on the Season XV schedule of the WPT on Fox Sports Network in 2017.
2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3: Money Bubble Not Popped, Ryan Hughes Continues to Lead
Day 3 and its seven levels are in the books for the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and, although they didn’t pop the money bubble on Wednesday, Ryan Hughes was able to lead the tournament for the second consecutive day.
277 players came back to chairs with chips in front of them on Wednesday with the goal of popping that said money bubble and starting to hand out some of the $ 7 million-plus prize pool to players. Not only was Hughes in good shape to start the day, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jennifer Tilly was right on his heels in second. Toss in such names as Anthony Spinella, David ‘The Dragon’ Pham and Justin Bonomo lurking down in the Top Ten and the day was set for some frenetic poker action.
Of interest to the railbirds in attendance (and a subject that comes up on occasion) is just how A) difficult the field is, and B) whether the tournament is geared towards the pros at the expense of the “amateur” players. The $ 10,000 buy in tournament was unlimited entries until the beginning of Level 9 on Tuesday and 791 entries were received, tying a WPT record. In an intriguing breakdown, 205 players individually counted for multiple “re-entry” into the Five Diamond. 152 of those players bought in twice, 43 players bought in three times and 10 players bought in four times OR MORE to reach the 791 entries. Hence, the 205 multi-buyers (accounting for at least 473 entries) along with the minimum 318 players who took one shot give the poker community evidence to debate the issue.
For some, it didn’t matter. Coming back to short stacks meant that they were either coming back to make their rush at the WPT Five Diamond title or they were heading back out the same doors they had just entered. Lily Kiletto was one of these unfortunate individuals as, with only about 9K from her original starting stack of 30K, she took a suited Ace against Barry Hutter’s pocket Jacks. Although she would flop her kicker, Kiletto couldn’t find trips or the flush and was out of the tournament early.
One of the people who benefitted from the multiple reentry process was former NFL defensive lineman Richard Seymour. In for at least three buy ins because he ran pocket Kings into pocket Aces twice over the first two days, Seymour saw his fortunes brighten a bit on Day 3. He doubled up through Daryll Fish and slowly chipped up throughout the day. Although he’ll at least have to finish in 42nd place or higher to get his buy ins back (that position pays $ 32,225), Seymour is in position to cash with his 230,000-chip stack to start Thursday.
The news wasn’t as good for a couple of ladies in the event. Cate Hall, who took the WPT by storm during Season XIV in making a couple of televised final tables (including this one), was ambling along nicely before getting involved in a three-way hand with Gerald Karlic and Hutter. After three betting Hutter’s raise, Hall watched him push all in for his stack and Karlic get out of the way. Hall, barely covering Hutter’s stack, took a lengthy tank of about 10 minutes (and involved a TD countdown after the clock was called) before calling. When the cards came up, everyone at the table was stunned.
While Hutter had a pocket pair, it was of Jacks, not Kings or Aces as had been expected. Hall’s holdings were suspect to begin with, an off suit A-10 that was alive against Hutter but with only one over card (and not an expected big pair). When the board ran out seven high, Hutter scored a huge double to over 313K in chips and Hall was left with scraps; soon after this clash, Hutter put Hall out of her misery in eliminating her from the tournament.
The other lady who had difficulties was Tilly. Starting the day with a plentiful 279,100 in chips, Tilly would go on a rollercoaster ride through the day that had her commenting on Twitter, “How quickly can you go from ‘I’m going to win $ 1.9 million!’ to ‘Oooh, I hope I can min-cash?’” The answer to the question? How about not even the min-cash?
Tilly was the victim of a massive cooler that had more drama than most films she reads the scripts for. After a flurry of betting against Jesse Sylvia, Tilly was all in pre-flop with pocket Kings against Sylvia’s pocket Aces. A King in the window of a K-10-9 flop pushed Tilly into the lead and had Sylvia lamenting that unfortunate card. A trey kept Tilly in the lead but an Ace on the river changed everything. In one card, Tilly went from a double to keep her dream of a cash alive to out of the tournament short of the dinner break.
The constant throughout the day was Hughes, who never was seriously challenged. He’ll enter the Fontana Lounge at the Bellagio on Thursday as the chip leader (and the only player over a million chips) for the second day in a row:
Ryan Hughes, 1,212,500
Christian Harder, 829,500
James Romero, 771,000
Justin Bonomo, 767,500
Yan Lavrovsky, 720,500
Tony Utnage, 678,000
Chris Klodnicki, 586,500
Christian Christner, 565,000
Ron Paolucci, 529,000
Sergi Reixach, 528,000
Thursday’s Day 4 will feature another seven levels of play, with the first order of business getting to the money bubble. With only 75 players left (72 get paid), that should be done in rather quick order. It’s then on to determining the final three tables for Friday’s play ahead of Championship Saturday for the WPT Five Diamond.
Day 2 of the largest-ever World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event closed shop on Tuesday evening, still quite some distance from the money but with a notable young pro and a “blast from the past” taking up residence atop the standings.
The WPT Five Diamond has already etched its name in the annals of the tour’s history. By the time that late registration closed on Tuesday afternoon, 791 entries had stepped to the tables for action at the Bellagio. For a $ 10,000 event in this day and age, that is a stunning number of participants (there were unlimited rebuys for this tournament until the start of Level 9). In fact, the total field for the 2016 WPT Five Diamond equals the previous record field for a $ 10,000 WPT event (tied with the 2007 WPT L. A. Poker Classic, which also drew 791 entries).
The massive field that turned out for the WPT Five Diamond also generated a very healthy prize pool. After the deductions for rake and other amenities (approximately 7% of the total $ 10,400 buy in), the $ 7,672,700 prize pool became the largest ever $ 10,000 buy in tournament in the history of the WPT, besting the 2007 LAPC by almost $ 80,000. Particularly interested in these stats will be the 72 players who will take home a piece of the kitty, with a min-cash good for a $ 22,251 bump to the bankroll. The eventual champion of the tournament will take home $ 1,938,118, and second place will also become a new millionaire in picking up $ 1,124,051.
The reason we’re bringing up these numbers a bit early is that, as with most Day Twos, there isn’t much to talk about until they start getting close to the money. Of the original 519 players who came to the felt Monday, 368 of them came back on Tuesday to continue the festivities. If you’re quick with math, that means that there were 423 entries on Tuesday alone in the late registration process, with those latecomers having varied degrees of success by the end of five levels of action.
One player in particular had a rather quick stay at the tables. Noted poker professional/curmudgeon Allen Kessler ponied up his $ 10,000 and, within a half hour, had burned through his 30K in starting chips. Wearing a shirt parodying the motto of the website The Chive (Kessler’s shirt said “Keep Calm and Wait for Aces”), Kessler didn’t heed his own words in getting his chips to the center with a set of nines on the flop. The problem was his opponent held pocket Kings and had also flopped a set, leaving Kessler looking for the case nine. When that didn’t come, the normally cranky Kessler could only silently walk away after burning $ 10K in rapid fashion.
Kessler had plenty of company on the sidelines as the day’s action wore on. Newlywed Natasha Mercier (husband Jason waited until the very last minute to get in the game), Mohsin Charania, former NFL pro Richard Seymour (twice, both times his pocket Kings coolered by pocket Aces), Michael Mizrachi, Erik Seidel, and Justin Zaki all would be eliminated over the course of the day. As the action ended on Tuesday night, 270 players remained with quite a bit of work ahead of them.
Two players have been able to separate themselves from the pack. Using a late-night knockout, Ryan Hughes surged to the lead in the tournament; he will be sitting with a chip stack of 364,500 when the cards fly on Wednesday. Along with Hughes, 2005 World Series of Poker Ladies’ Champion Jennifer Tilly has enjoyed a good ride to this point, racking up 279,100 in chips for second place in the event. It’s come with a cost, however, as Tilly chirped over Twitter last night, “Long day of poker. I don’t know what hurts more, my back or my brain.”
1. Ryan Hughes, 364,500
2. Jennifer Tilly, 279,100
3. Samuel Bernabeu, 279,000
4. A. J. Gambino, 277,300
5. Kristina Holst, 267,000
6. Lucas Blanco Oliver, 263,000
7. Corey Hochman, 260,400
8. Anthony Spinella, 226,700
9. David Pham, 224,300
10. Justin Bonomo, 219,800
In a change to the schedule due to the large field in this tournament, Bellagio officials have determined that Wednesday’s Day 3 action will be seven 90-minute levels instead of the previously scheduled five. It will be tough to cut the 270-player field to the final 72 on Wednesday (the money bubble), but they’re going to have to pick up the pace if the official six handed WPT final table is to be played out on Saturday night.