Posts Tagged ‘2017’
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
After five days of battle at the Solis Hotel, Spa and Casino in Panama City, the final six men have been determined for the second-ever stop on the PokerStars Championship circuit in Panama. When the final table plays out on Monday, Russia’s Denis Timofeev will continue at the helm as he did on Day 4, but he’ll be sitting atop a 3.905 million chip stack for the penultimate battle.
12 men came back on Sunday with the task of setting the final table for the tournament. Timofeev, as previously stated, was in the lead with slightly more than two millino chips and there were some notable names in the pack behind him. Of particular interest was 2015 GPI Player of the Year Byron Kaverman, who was in third place with 1.236 million in chips, and the man who was the chip leader through the first two days of the tournament, Igor Yaroshevskyy. Yaroshevskyy was on the short stack with 422,000 in chips, however, and needed to make an early move to get back to viability.
It would take less than two hours for the players to eliminate three men and set the unofficial final table. Yaroshevskyy was the man who would earn that dubious honor, pushing all in after Kenneth Smaron put out a raise and Harpreet Gill made the call. Smaron immediately made the call and, after Gill sheepishly showed a A-2 as he mucked, Smaron showed Big Slick. Yaroshevskyy was beaten by a pip, holding Big Chick, but the flop had a sense of humor in coming down K-Q-3. Unfortunately for Yaroshevskyy, he couldn’t find another Queen to best Smaron and headed to the rail in tenth place ($ 27,260) and Smaron took over the lead.
Now with nine men on the redrawn unofficial final table, Timofeev and Kaverman were seated with Kaverman on Timofeev’s immediate left. Although he was out of position to a tough player, the duo didn’t tangle much. Instead, Timofeev took out his aggression on other members of the table. He forced Jonathan Abdellatif to lay a hand down and slowly saw his chip stack inch upwards. As Level 22 began in the tournament (10K/20K with a 3K ante), Timofeev was slightly behind Smaron while Kaverman was having difficulties.
Kaverman never got anything started once play reached the final table, getting his final chips in against Smaron with K-J against Smaron’s pocket treys. A monochrome 6♦ 3♦ 8♦ flop left Kaverman looking for something that would provide a split pot, but that wouldn’t come when a Queen came on the turn. Once the irrelevant river was dealt (a second Queen), Kaverman was ousted in eighth place and Smaron’s chip lead got bigger.
With one player left to the close of business for the night, play tightened up considerably until one stunning hand between Smaron and Timofeev. On a 9-2-8-4-J board and with 935,000 in the pot, Timofeev pondered his action before checking to the chip leader, normally not a recommended action. Smaron played his position, moving all in against Timofeev, who this time went deep into the tank. After a five minute reconstruction in his mind, Timofeev made the call and saw Smaron had 10-8 for a flopped middle pair. Letting off a relieved sigh, Timofeev showed a J-7 for the rivered top pair and took down the 3.29 million chip pot.
The very next hand, Timofeev stayed active in pushing a bet off the button. James Salmon three bet his stack out of the big blind and, completely unlike his hand with Smaron, Timofeev immediately made the call. His A-10 might have been on the lower end of the call spectrum, but it was the correct move as Salmon only mustered an A-2 for battle. A flopped ten all but ended the proceedings and, after a trey and a four came on the turn and river, Salmon was out in seventh and Timofeev was off to Monday’s final table with the chip lead.
1. Denis Timofeev, 3.095 million
2. Robin Wozniczek, 2.87 million
3. Kenneth Smaron, 1.855 million
4. Jonathan Abdellatif, 1.155 million
5. Harpreet Gill, 735,000
6. Anthony Diotte, 465,000
Play will resume in Panama City at noon on Monday, with the first-ever champion of the PokerStars Championship Panama taking home $ 293,860 for their efforts.
2017 PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event: Igor Yaroshevskyy Continues Domination in Leading Day 2
After crushing what was the smaller of the Day One fields, Ukrainian poker professional Igor Yaroshevskyy has continued his domination as he holds the Day 2 lead at the PokerStars Championship Panama’s Main Event.
Yaroshevskyy, sitting on top of 219,600 in chips, came into Day 2 with a monstrous lead over the remaining 171 players that remained after 366 players started the event. Second place was a bit of a surprise for many in the form of MMA champion Tito Ortiz, but those who underestimated him on Day 1A fell to his wrath as he amassed 182,000 chips. The Day 1B chip leader, Jiachen Gong, was in fourth place with 154,300 in chips, but he was looking way up at Yaroshevskyy as he strove to catch him.
One of the bits of business that had to be completed at the start of Day 2 in the Solis Hotel, Spa & Casino was setting the official prize pool and payouts for the cast gathered in Panama City. Once late registration closed on the tournament, 366 players had officially come to the party putting up $ 5,000 each to build a $ 1,775,100 prize pool. Officials with the Solis and the PokerStars Championship put their heads together and determined that 71 players would get at least a minimum payday of $ 7720, nearly 20% of the field earning a cash. The big prize for the eventual champion was set at $ 293,860, a nice chunk of change for traipsing to Central America for a poker tournament.
Yaroshevskyy came out of the gates firing on Day 2, knocking off Vicente Delgado on one of the first hands of the day. After Delgado opened the betting, Yaroshevskyy wasted little time in putting out a three bet. Undaunted, Delgado stepped up and made it four bets (21.2K) to go, at which time Yaroshevskyy seemed to have had enough. He asked how much Delgado had behind him, then five bet the action up to 47.5K. Delgado seemed ready for the fight, moving all in at this point, and Yaroshevskyy immediately made the call.
When the cards came face up, at least one of the hands was legitimate. Yaroshevskyy staked his chip lead on pocket Kings (entirely expected), but the table was simply stunned to see Delgado unveiled his A♥ 2♥ to fight for his tournament life. A Jack high board rolled out (J-5-10-9-8, for the record) to send Delgado, who had been among the bigger stacks in the room, out of the event and Yaroshevskyy’s chip stack up to a dominating 355,000.
That wasn’t even the biggest knockout for Yaroshevskyy on the day. After a raise from Thomas Altamirano and a call from Rafael Moraes, Yaroshevskyy followed suit. With all those chips in the center, a short-stacked Ambrose Ng in the big blind decided to see who was serious by moving all in (16K). Altamirano, it turned out, wasn’t, but Moraes called the bet. This now sparked Yaroshevskyy’s interest as, after a quick peek at Moraes chip stack, he moved enough chips to put Moraes at risk. Moraes made the call to set up a three-way situation (in order of strength):
Yaroshevskyy – pocket tens
Ng – pocket fours
Moraes – A♥ Q♥
It was all over but the crying when the flop came 8-10-7 to give Yaroshevskyy a crushing set. An Ace on the turn ended it for both Moraes and Ng and, to make it worse for Moraes, a Queen would come on the river for Queens up. That wasn’t good enough against Yaroshevskyy’s set, however, as both Moraes and Ng walked away while Yaroshevskyy’s stack soared to 450,000.
Lather, rinse, repeat…this is the way the day went for the Ukrainian wrecking ball. Late in the afternoon as the number of survivors slipped under 100, Yaroshevskyy was sitting atop a 710,000-chip stack, vastly outpacing his closest competitors. The final level of the day (play stops early in Panama!) played out with a bit of drama as the field tried to reach the money. That didn’t happen, meaning the remaining 78 players will come back on Friday with the first order of business to pop the money bubble.
1. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 745,500
2. Denis Timofeev, 569,000
3. Caufman Talley, 546,000
4. Tito Ortiz, 270,500
5. Vincent Allevato, 256,500
6. Pablo Gordillo, 254,500
7. Pedro Romanzo Pollino, 244,000
8. Eduards Kudrjavcevs, 237,000
9. Jessica Perez Borrego, 235,500
10. Kenneth Smaron, 234,500
Play will resume at noon on Friday in the Solis, with seven very unhappy people being sent out of the tournament arena with nothing to show for their efforts. PokerStars Live! will have all the action as the next champion is determined for the PokerStars Championships.
Although it appeared at the beginning that start of day chip leader chip leader David ‘Chino’ Rheem would be the one making history, it was Sam Panzica who would etch his name in the World Poker Tour record books after winning the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star championship early Saturday morning.
Rheem came into the action on Friday with a massive chip lead over the field. His 10.65 million chips dominated the second-place stack of Rainer Kempe (3.705 million), who could have been more concerned with fending off Panzica (3.215 million) and Paul Volpe (3.005 million) than mounting an attack. Anthony Spinella (2.635 million) also bore watching as, with a singular double up, he would push his name into the second-place slot. Only Dennis Stevermer, the short stack on the table with less than a million chips (980,000), was the only player who those in the Bay 101 tournament arena thought would have no shot at the title.
Surprisingly (considering he only held 12 big blinds entering the action), Stevermer wasn’t the first departure from the final table. He got a key double through Kempe to crack the 1.5 million chip mark, then started using the “all in” move to further increase his stack. In a span of ten hands, Stevermer would move all in four times – and not be called – and win one pot outright with a pre-flop raise to get over the two million chip mark. This aggression allowed him to be able to witness the first elimination of the day – and it wasn’t him.
After Rheem popped the pot out of the cutoff on Hand 37, Kempe (the final Shooting Star left in the tournament) moved all in out of the small blind in an attempt to push the chip leader off his hand. Instead, given the opportunity to knock out a dangerous opponent, Rheem quickly made the call. It didn’t hurt that Rheem also had pocket Kings, a definitive favorite against Kempe’s A-9 off suit. Kempe would get no help from the eight-high board and not only left the tournament in sixth place but also had to hand his Shooting Star medallion and a signed t-shirt to Rheem, who was more interested perhaps in the $ 2500 that came along with the bounty knockout.
Rheem’s dominance was only enhanced with the Kempe elimination as he now held more chips (13.485 million) than the other four men did combined (10.705 million). Volpe put a dent in it by doubling through Rheem on the next hand after Kempe’s departure, but this status quo would stay in place for some time. In fact, it would be almost 30 hands before a significant change would occur in the standings.
On Hand 65, Spinella put in a raise to 250K and Rheem defended his big blind to see a monochrome K♥ 9♥ 2♥ flop. Rheem checked his option and, after Spinella put in another 250K bet, Rheem fired all in over Spinella’s bet. Stunningly Spinella immediately called, showing a J♥ 3♥ for a flopped flush, while Rheem held the A♥ (along with an off suit eight) for the redraw to the nut flush. Unfortunately for Rheem, a black nine and a black Jack finished off the board, doubling up Spinella to 7.74 million chips (and second place) and knocking Rheem under an eight-figure stack for the first time at the final table.
Rheem would rectify that situation in eliminating Stevermer only seven hands later. The chips went all in pre-flop and Stevermer had the edge with his A-8 over Rheem’s K-9. The flop was a tantalizing one, coming 9-7-6 to give Rheem the tentative lead with his pair of nines but giving Stevermer an open ended straight draw. That draw wouldn’t come home, however, as Stevermer, who many thought was dead meat on arrival at the final table, lasted 72 hands before departing in fifth place.
Back over 11 million in chips, Rheem tried to put the foot back on the gas pedal and win what would be his record fourth WPT title, but Spinella would once again be a thorn in his side. On Hand 84, Rheem lost the chip lead for the first time when, after a J-5-2 flop, Rheem let Spinella have a 4.1 million pot to fall back to second place by only 25,000 chips. Spinella and Rheem would clash again on the next hand and the endgame would be the same, except this time Spinella rivered a deuce after turning an Ace for two pair against Rheem’s flopped pair of Kings to win the hand. With that win, Spinella was now the dominant chip leader, moving past 12 million in chips as Rheem slipped back to 6.675 million.
This only served to light a fire under Rheem, who would take down Volpe a few hands later. On Hand 90, Rheem pushed the action to 375K and Volpe, in the big blind, defended to see an 8♦ 7♠ 4♠ flop. This seemingly innocuous flop instead seemed to light the fireworks as, after Rheem sent another 375K to the pot, Volpe check-raised his remaining three million chips. Rheem immediately called, showing pocket Kings, while Volpe was quite live with his Q♠ J♠ for the flush draw. The turn and river were black, but they were clubs, sending Volpe home in fourth place while pushing Rheem into a solid second behind Spinella.
At this point, Panzica was in no position to even posit winning the tournament. With slightly more than three million in chips, Panzica’s stack was three time smaller than Rheem’s and almost four times smaller than Spinella’s. The longest journeys take a singular step, as the saying goes, and Panzica’s journey was an audacious one.
The threesome played 18 hands before Panzica took over second place, but Rheem still was exercising his dominance. Another 30 hands would see Rheem reestablish his edge with 13.25 million chips, while Panzica and Spinella fought over the scraps. On Hand 151, however, Panzica and Rheem would enter a hand that would change the course of the tournament.
Panzica raised the button and Spinella made the call from the small blind, but Rheem was having none of it. He moved all in out of the big blind and Panzica was more than happy to dance, pushing his stack to the center. A cautious Spinella got out of the way and it proved to be the right move; Panzica’s pocket Aces dominated Rheem’s Q-J and, after the ten-high flop came down, the double for Panzica put him neck and neck with Rheem for the chip lead.
Panzica would take over at this point and never look back. The very next hand after doubling through Rheem, Panzica seized the chip lead after butting heads with Rheem again and stretched it out over the next five hands. In taking another big pot against Rheem – this one worth 8.3 million chips – Panzica would put Rheem on the short stack. The end was on the horizon, but the final chapter remained to be written.
On Hand 167, Spinella doubled through Rheem to drop the former chip leader to only two big blinds and would eliminate him on the very next hand. Spinella now was sitting with a nice 5.75 million stack, but it dwindled in the face of the monstrous 18.475 million chip mountain sitting in front of Panzica. Although he earned one double to pull closer, Spinella never saw the chip lead in heads up play.
On the final hand, Spinella pushed out a raise only to see Panzica power over the top of him all in. Spinella called and tabled an A-8, normally good in a heads up setting, but Panzica had a couple of pips on him in tabling A-10. The Jack high flop (J-5-3-4-5) didn’t change anything, sending Panzica to his second WPT championship in winning the Shooting Star.
1. Sam Panzica, $ 1,373,000
2. Anthony Spinella, $ 786,610
3. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, $ 521,660
4. Paul Volpe, $ 349,610
5. Dennis Stevermer, $ 243,090
6. Rainer Kempe, $ 188,460
There’s no rest for these men as, for Rheem, Kempe and Volpe at the minimum, the final leg of the WPT California Swing starts today. The WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento begins on Saturday and it is the final chance for players to earn points toward that title (Mike Sexton currently leads those standings). Panzica will also probably head to Thunder Valley also, but not until he’s finished celebrating his second WPT title.
Mike Del Vecchio will take a sizable chip lead into the six-handed final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event final table Wednesday as the tournament heads into its last day. With 4.27 million chips, Del Vecchio has about 1.3 million more than his closest competitor, John Hadley.
With a minimum final table cash of $ 52,222, Del Vecchio is already in for the largest live tournament cash of his career. His best career cash $ 51,377, earned by winning a $ 1,500 tourney a the Grand Challenge Tournament Series in 2012. Thus, should he bomb out Wednesday and only place sixth, he will still eclipse his career-high cash. Overall, Del Vecchio has $ 282,784 in lifetime earnings.
One of Del Vecchio’s more significant hands came with just eleven players remaining. Denzel Suntay limped pre-flop, Del Vecchio raised to 65,000, Suntay called, and the flop came down 8-5-2. Suntay check-called a 55,000 chip bet and the two saw a turn Ten. They checked that to bring on a Queen on the river. Suntay woke up, betting 145,000, but then Del Vecchio raised to 415,000. Suntay called and showed he had Pocket Rockets, a reasonable hand with which to feel confident on that board. Del Vecchio, though, had pocket Queens, good for a set. That pot took his stack to 3.85 million chips.
As our readers may know, this event is also the end of the WPT’s “California Swing,” which is comprised of the three California stops that have taken place in succession: WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, and WPT Rolling Thunder. Players earned points based on their finish in each event and once Dean Baranowski was eliminated in 14th place in WPT Rolling Thunder, it meant that Rainer Kempe was the California Swing champ thanks to an 18th place finish at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic and a sixth place finish at WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.
Kempe wins a grand prize that will benefit him greatly at next year’s California Swing. He will receive up to six nights’ accommodation at the Commerce Casino’s Crowne Plaza Hotel for the 2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event plus an airport transfer, up to five nights’ accommodation at the Thunder Valley Casino Resorts for the 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event plus $ 500 food and beverage credit, and up to $ 1,000 in accommodation credit for the 2018 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event and Shooting Star status.
The six-handed final table of the 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event is now underway; someone will be crowned the next World Poker Tour champion tonight.
2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Mike Del Vecchio – 4,270,000
2. John Hadley – 2,978,000
3. Sorel Mizzi – 2,283,000
4. Connor Drinan – 1,349,000
5. Steven Tabb – 1,075,000
6. Olivier Busquet – 676,000