Posts Tagged ‘2017’

Comedian Kevin Hart to Enter 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

 Comedian Kevin Hart to Enter 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

In its previous two seasons, the Super High Roller Bowl presented by Poker Central has had its share of businesspeople (Dan Shak, Kathy Lehne, both accomplished poker players) and poker professionals (too numerous to mention), but it has never had a “celebrity” in the mix. Some might still say that bar hasn’t been crossed but, with the announcement from Poker Central that comedian Kevin Hart will be taking part in the 2017 version of the tournament, they are drawing closer.

It doesn’t seem to faze the star of Central Intelligence that he’s in for at least $ 300,000, if not more should he choose to re-enter the tournament. “I love playing high stakes poker, and there’s no better competition than at the Super High Roller Bowl – the world championship of high stakes poker,” Hart stated during the announcement of his participation. “I am looking forward to all the support and positive vibes from my fans who will be tuning in through Poker Central to watch me stomp all over the competition.”

“For the last two years, the Super High Roller Bowl has been the premier high stakes poker event in the world. The addition of Kevin Hart this year takes it to a whole other level,” said Joe Kakaty, the president of Poker Central, who joined Hart for the announcement. “Kevin’s ability to resonate with audiences across the world gives Poker Central the platform to reach future poker fans who will be getting their first taste of the action.”

The 56-player field was already replete with some of the best poker players in the world. Including the inaugural champion Brian Rast and defending champion Rainer Kempe, other players such as 2016 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Jason Mercier, 2017 Super High Roller Bowl runner-up Fedor Holz, the two winners of the $ 1 million buy-in “Big One for One Drop” at the WSOP Antonio Esfandiari and Dan Colman, the only man to cash in both the previous tournaments, Erik Seidel, the all-time leading money winner in poker Daniel Negreanu and 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth are all a part of the field. It will present a challenge to Hart, who’s background in poker is, to be kind, limited.

Previous to 2017, there is little to no known information that Kevin Hart even was interested in the game of poker. That was until the inaugural PokerStars Championship Bahamas in January, when Hart mysteriously showed up to play in the $ 100,000 Super High Roller tournament and stayed around to take part in the $ 5000 Main Event. After the trip to Atlantis, Hart did not take part in another event until he showed up in Monte Carlo for the PSC festival, where he once again took part in the €100,000 Super High Roller. Demonstrating that you just don’t “drop in” and excel in the world of high stakes poker, Hart has yet to cash in any tournament.

The presence of Hart has also stirred interest in the poker community, for both good and bad. While he held a press conference in Monaco alongside Negreanu to ostensibly “make poker fun again,” Hart didn’t exactly point out any examples of how he, along with PokerStars, was going to exactly do just that. On the negative side, people have pointed out how it appears that PokerStars has sponsored Hart in the events he’s played, meaning that Hart is freerolling the game and doesn’t have to take it seriously (not to mention that, in being the #1 comedian in 2016 with over $ 87 million in earnings, a $ 100,000 tournament is chicken feed for him).

Could Hart “break his duck” in the Super High Roller Bowl this year? Fans will be able to see Hart in action when the first day of the tournament is streamed live through YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live on May 28. The remainder of the tournament will be broadcast through Poker Central’s digital distribution network, with the tournament being taped and edited for broadcast in its entirety later in the summer. With $ 16.8 million on the line – including $ 6 million for first place – the players will be bringing their “A” game – will Hart bring his or is he the comedic relief?

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2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event Final Table Set

The home stretch of the World Poker Tour season is in full effect as the final table has been set for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event, the first of the season-end trifecta along with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and the WPT Tournament of Champions, all happening in the same week. Leading the six-handed final table is Dan Colman, who, with 9.975 million chips is only slightly ahead of Tony Sinishtaj, who has 9.515 million.

To begin Monday’s final table, it looks like a three player race. Along with Colman and Sinishtaj is Darryll Fish, who has 7.525 million. After those three, there is a large gap to the bottom half of the chip counts, with Simeon Naydenov, Robert Mizrachi, and Eric Beller all around 3 million.

Colman, from a purely money standpoint, is one of the most successful live tournament players in poker history. He has won nearly $ 28 million in live tourneys, good for third all-time behind Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel. While he has had a fantastic 2017 already, it was 2014 during which he exploded onto the scene and wowed the poker world. In April of that year, Colman won the European Poker Tour Grand Final Super High Roller for $ 2,127,398 and then triumphed in the World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop to the tune of $ 15,306,668. In July, he “only” managed a third place finish at the Aria $ 100K Super High Roller for almost $ 800,000. Then, in August, he had two cashes for over a million bucks: a runner-up finish in the EPT Barcelona High Roller and a win at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event. Colman finished off 2014 with a victory at the WPT Alpha8 London for almost a million dollars and then a “lowly” seventh place finish at the Asia Championship of Poker Macau, a piddly $ 373,932 score.

Dan Colman had just two live tournament cashes in 2015, but they totaled over $ 1.8 million. Last year, he only had four cashes, but they added up to around $ 1.3 million. So far in 2017, Colman has almost $ 2 million live tournament cashes. When he makes the money, he really makes the money.

For making the final table, Colman and the other five players have already guaranteed themselves at least $ 132,889. First place is worth $ 661,283.

This tournament has an odd schedule in that there is now a break before the final table so that players can enter the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale if they so choose. That tourney began Sunday, but registration remained open until the start of play today. The Showdown final table will be contested on Wednesday, April 5th.

2017 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship – Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Dan Colman – 9,975,000
2.    Tony Sinishtaj – 9,515,000
3.    Darryll Fish – 7,525,000
4.    Simeon Naydenov – 3,115,000
5.    Robert Mizrachi – 3,100,000
6.    Eric Beller – 2,960,000

Poker News Daily

Matt Affleck Leads after Day Two of 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

 Matt Affleck Leads after Day Two of 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

The festival of poker that is the finale of the World Poker Tour’s Season XV schedule has begun in Southeast Florida. Two days are in the books for the 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the first event of a trilogy of poker tournaments over the next ten days, with popular poker professional Matt Affleck atop the standings.

As expected, the players flocked to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, for the start of the tournament on Friday. The $ 3500 buy in event was a true free-for-all – no limit to re-entry if you got your money to the cage before the start of Level 9 – as the chips, cards and cash were flowing over the tournament floor. By the time that registration had closed for the Showdown, 1207 entries had been received to build a prize pool of $ 3.862 million. 151 players would earn a share of that bounty, with the eventual champion taking home $ 661,283 and a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions for their efforts.

The carnage from Day 1 was stunning to see. Of those 1207 entries, only 476 players would remain standing to see Day 2 play on Saturday. Leading the way when the cards hit the air were Alejandro Duque, who sat on 320,600 in chips and was only one of two players over the 300K mark along with Dantonio Brown (317K). Kelly Minkin (280,700), who won a 275K pot late in the final level, filled out the show slot as the attention turned towards Saturday’s action.

With so many players remaining, it was going to be difficult for the field to get to the final 151 that would earn a min-cash for their stay in the Showdown. Just like Friday, however, the players were more than willing to get their chips in action. By the time the tournament took a break for dinner, the tournament clock read 156 players remaining, making the time out for sustenance even more stressful for those in danger of elimination. Coming back after the break, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton was one of those casualties, his Big Slick failing to run down Bryn Kenney’s pocket Queens to bring the tournament to 152 players.

At this point, one of the stranger things occurred. As tournament director Tony Burns announced that all tables would pause to begin hand-for-hand play, several all-in situations developed that had to be played out one-by-one. One of those participants who were all in – Fermin Micheo – came out on the wrong side of the equation, however, to finish in 152nd place and pop the money bubble without one hand of hand-for-hand play taking place.

With a min-cash of $ 5002 guaranteed in their pockets, several of the participants looked to attempt to build up their stacks or head to the cage to get their money. Blake Bohn and Dermot Blain would show up at the cage to collect their minimum cash payday, while Minkin would find a new opponent to fight it out with atop the standings. Minkin only seemed to increase her stack as the day wore on, building up to a high point of 1.22 million after the money bubble popped, while Ankush Mandavia, but they were both surpassed by Affleck in the final level.

Affleck had avoided the attention of many in the Seminole Hard Rock tournament room, but once he passed the million-chip mark it became difficult to miss him. On the final hand of the night, Bob Bounahra put out a raise from under the gun only to see Garrett Greer three bet him from middle position. Affleck would simply call from the button and, after Bounahra also called, a seemingly innocent 7-4-2 flop hit the felt. Bounahra checked his option and saw Greer fire out 95K. Affleck once again just called and, after Bounahra folded, another seven came. Greer and Affleck eyed each other suspiciously but checked as a Queen finished off the board. Greer put his final 300K or so in chips at risk by moving all in and, after deliberating the situation for a couple of minutes, Affleck made the call. Greer had found one of his cards on the river as he turned up his K-Q, but Affleck out-pipped him with the A-Q (Big Chick) to win the hand with his better kicker. As Greer headed to the cage, Affleck added to the monster stack of chips he’ll have to begin Day 3 with on Sunday.

1. Matt Affleck, 1.849 million
2. Eric Beller, 1.155 million
3. Phil Hui, 1.12 million
4. Ubaid Habib, 1.061 million
5. Robert Mizrachi, 1.038 million
6. Dietrich Fast, 1.02 million
7. Brandon Caputo, 1.004 million
8. Chad Eveslage, 930,000
9. Kelly Minkin, 873,000
10. Lance Howard, 849,000

The remainder of the 66 players in the field will present some potential challenges to these players. Erik Seidel, Daniel Strelitz (who can make some inroads into pushing his name into contention for the WPT Player of the Year award should he win the tournament), Dan Colman, Jason Mercier and Mandavia are all well stacked and looking to make their move to the top.

Play resumes at noon at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and should conclude with about 30 players remaining. The final table for the Showdown isn’t scheduled until April 5, so tournament officials are either drawing out the conclusion of the tournament or building in a day off for those who make the final table. For those who are out of the tournament – or would enjoy a day of mulit-tabling – the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, the $ 10,000 tournament on the triumvirate of events offered by the WPT, will begin today. It is going to be hectic on the tables in the Seminole Hard Rock this afternoon as the WPT wraps up its Season XV schedule!

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces 2017 SCOOP Schedule

 PokerStars Announces 2017 SCOOP Schedule

PokerStars has released the schedule for the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), one that promises to be the poker room’s most ambitious yet. Last year’s SCOOP broke all sorts of PokerStars records, but this one will be a week longer, and have $ 55 million in guaranteed prize pools, $ 15 million more than the 2016 version. It will have the usual SCOOP schedule format, with events running in triplicate with three separate buy-ins for each. All told, there are 57 events on the schedule, which means there are 171 total tournaments.

The extra week is at the beginning of the SCOOP scheduled, reserved for “phased” tournaments. The way these week is there are multiple starting flights spread across several days (a week, in this case). Each flight lasts the same amount of time. Later in the poker festival, the survivors from all those flights return to continue the tournament. It’s a way to give people a chance to play in a huge tourney was big prize pools, but not have to commit to playing for a day or two straight.

One interesting game type making its SCOOP debut is “Win the Button,” which first showed up in last year’s WCOOP. There will be both No-Limit Hold’em and No-Limit Omaha versions of the event. In Win the Button, the player who wins the hand gets the button on the next hand, thus the name makes perfect sense. These tourneys tend to feature more aggressive play, as the reward for winning a hand is much greater than normal.

There are also a number of Progressive Knockout tournaments on the schedule. In these, half the buy-in is put into the prize pool, while half is used as a bounty on each player’s head. Instead of winning a player’s entire bounty when knocking them out, though, you only get half of it, while the other half is added to your own bounty.

And then there is the one event that is the Progressive 100% Knockout. In this one, ALL of the buy-in is used as bounty. The only way to win money is to eliminate other players.

As mentioned, the 2016 SCOOP destroyed records. With nearly $ 91 million prize pools (168 total tourneys), it set the mark for the largest combined prize pool for an online tournament series in poker history.

The three Main Events all set records themselves, as well:

•    2016 SCOOP $ 10,000 High Main Event: 824 players, $ 8,000,001.76 prize pool (previous record 694 players, $ 6,940,000 prize pool in 2015 SCOOP)
•    2016 SCOOP $ 1,000 Mid Main Event: 5,026 players, $ 4,786,661.88 prize pool (previous record 4,238 players, $ 4,238,000 prize pool in 2015 SCOOP)
•    2016 SCOOP $ 100 Low Main Event: 24,591 players, $ 2,255,978.34 prize pool (previous record 23,045 players, $ 2,304,500 prize pool in 2013 SCOOP)

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Kenneth Smaron Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Panama

 Kenneth Smaron Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Panama

When the six-handed final table of the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event began, Kenneth Smaron was in third place with 1.855 million chips. He wasn’t in bad shape by any means, but he was still a million chips out of second and two million out of first, so he definitely had an uphill battle. Since I am mentioning his name at the outset, you might have correctly guessed that he climbed that hill successfully, winning the tournament and nearly $ 300,000.

At a typical final table, you have one or two players who tend to dominate or at least hold the chip lead for most of the way before the heads-up portion of the contest. Heads-up, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen. This final table was unique in that aside from Anthony Diotte, who was eliminated on the third hand, every player held the chip lead at some point.

Denis Timofeev began with the largest chip stack, but after Diotte’s elimination, it was Robin Luca Wozniczek who took over, just inching ahead of Timofeev. Wozniczek soon ran into trouble and Timofeev regained the lead. Wozniczek himself was eliminated on the 35th hand (told you he ran into trouble).

Harpreet Gill doubled through Timofeev soon after that and then went on a quick run to make his way to the top of the chip counts. He then got abused by Smaron, highlighted by a pot worth about 2.5 million chips.

For a long time after that, Smaron looked like he was running away with the tournament, building his stack at points to over 6 and 7 million chips. His two competitors, Timofeev and Gill, though, kept forging ahead, eventually pulling into nearly a three-way tie on Hand 156.

The chip lead was upended multiple times in the next few hands before Smaron knocked out Timofeev in third place. Going into heads-up, it was relatively close, with Smaron ahead 6.130 million to 4.895 million.

It didn’t stay close for long, as Smaron won it in just nine hands. On the final hand, Gill limped with T-8, Smaron raised to 350,000 with K-J of clubs, and Gill decided it was time to move all-in for his remaining 2.615 million chips. Smaron thought about it, but finally decided to call (obviously, or else this wouldn’t be the final hand). The flop was great for Smaron without actually giving him a hand – Q-A-9 with two clubs, giving him a royal flush draw. The next two cards did nothing for either player and Smaron won with his King-high.

Smaron, an accomplished online poker player, now has more than $ 1.2 million in live tournament earnings. This was his first major main event title, though he did win the 2015 European Poker Tour Prague High Roller for about half of his total earnings, $ 654,302.

2017 PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event – Final Table Results

1.    Kenneth Smaron – $ 293,860
2.    Harpreet Gill – $ 217,860
3.    Denis Timofeev – $ 161,340
4.    Jonathan Abdellatif – $ 119,480
5.    Robin Luca Wozniczek – $ 88,480
6.    Anthony Diotte – $ 65,520

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