Posts Tagged ‘2017’

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 2: Niall Farrell Takes Late Lead at Expense of Buddy

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 2: Niall Farrell Takes Late Lead at Expense of Buddy

Niall Farrell is the chip leader after Day 2 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event, finishing the day with 893,000 chips. Not only is he the only player above the 800,000 chip mark (nearly 900,000 at that), he is also the only one above 700,000. The closest competitor is Chuck Nguyen with 644,000; he’s the only other player that even has 600,000. Just 57 players remain of the original field of 421.

Registration was open until the beginning of Level 11 on Monday and those who were eliminated in either of the two starting flights were also allowed to re-enter one more time on Day 2, so tournament added 45 more players yesterday to get to that 421 total.

With the final numbers in, the prize pool added up to $ 1,347,200. The winner will take home $ 284,638. Just 53 players will make the money, so some near the bottom of the chip counts might not have gotten the best night’s sleep last night, as the beginning of Day 3 should be tense.

The chip leader, Farrell, has been one of the most successful players on the live tournament tour in the past year. Among other accomplishments, he won the partypoker WPT Caribbean Main Event in November, finished eighth in the 2016 High Roller for One Drop, and finished second at the 2016 WSOP $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout Event. All told, he has more than $ 3.3 million in live tournament earnings and currently sits thirteenth in the Global Poker Index.

Farrell made his leap to the top of the leader board very late on Day 2 when he eliminated fellow WPT champ and good friend, Chris Moorman. Farrell raised pre-flop, Moorman re-raised, and then Farrell four-bet to 59,000 before Moorman decided to just call. On the flop of K-J-3, Farrell bet 52,000 and Moorman called. The turn was a Queen and Farrell checked this time, Moorman then bet 50,000, and Farrell called after some thought. On the river Deuce, Farrell checked again, Moorman pondered his decision for a bit before he decided to go all-in for 130,000. Farrell had baited him, instantly calling with A-T for the nut-straight. Moorman turned over pocket Tens and that was it for him.

Tweeting afterward, Moorman wrote, “Had heaps then bluffed it all off to @Firaldo87poker when he had the nuts and I had the blockers #howgooddoesherun.”

The tournament will get back underway at noon Pacific Time at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Niall Farrell – 893,000
2.    Chuck Nguyen – 644,000
3.    Alex Foxen – 568,000
4.    John Hadley – 471,000
5.    Sorel Mizzi – 466,000
6.    Steven Tabb – 462,000
7.    Brian Altman – 358,000
8.    Dan Harmetz – 332,000
9.    Mohsin Charania – 321,000
10.    Kevin Eyster – 314,000

Poker News Daily

2017 WSOP Europe Schedule Announced

 2017 WSOP Europe Schedule Announced

The schedule for this fall’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe was published last week; it features 11 events, five of which have a combined €17 million in guarantees. Hosting the festival will be the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, a venue that has risen quickly in the poker world as one of poker’s premier tournament venues.

Last October, the WSOP agreed to a long-term deal with the King’s Casino that will have the WSOP Europe held there this year and in 2019. In 2018, the King’s Casino will host one WSOP Circuit stop in the spring and one in the fall and the one each spring in 2019 and 2021.

For those wondering where WSOP Europe will be held in 2018…it won’t! While the WSOP Europe was originally and annual event, it was decided in 2013 to hold it only every other year. In even-numbered years, the WSOP festival outside the United States will be the WSOP Asia Pacific.

“I’m so proud that that the WSOP Europe is coming to King’s,” said Leon Tsoukernik, the casino’s founder, owner, and CEO, in a press release. “I started off with a dream and my dream has come true and I hope poker players have their dreams come true too when they see the sheer size and facilities of King’s. With the awarding of WSOP gold bracelets, we have brought a huge piece of Las Vegas to Europe and we aim to deliver Vegas standards with this event too.”

Tsoukernik bought land in Rozvadov, a small town on the German border, in 2002, and in 2003 opened King’s Casino. An avid poker player himself (he won the 2016 EPT Prague Super High Roller Event), Tsoukernik took his casino into the direction of poker full-bore in 2009. It now has the largest poker room in Europe with 160 tables.

“WSOP Europe has struggled to find a permanent home since debuting in 2007 because we could never really find the venue or partner to replicate what we have in Las Vegas,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said in the same press release. “But I truly believe in Leon’s vision, his passion and King’s Casino to execute the best WSOP Europe to date. We are bullish in this becoming the European equivalent of the WSOP in Las Vegas, something we have always dreamed of doing when we first began our foray into Europe a decade ago.”

2017 WSOP Europe Schedule (dates indicate starting flight days)

Event #1: October 19-21 – €1,100 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em – €500,000 Guarantee – re-entry next flight
Event #2: October 23-24 – €550 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Max – re-entry
Event #3: October 25 – €1,100 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em – re-entry – €500 bounty on every player’s head
Event #4: October 26 – €1,650 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed – single re-entry
Event #5: October 27-31 – €550 Colossus No-Limit Hold’em – €2,000,000 Guarantee – two starting flights per day – one re-entry per flight
Event #6: October 28 – €2,200 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed – unlimited re-entry
Event #7: October 31 – €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – re-entry
Event #8: November 1-2 – €1,100 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em – €500,000 Guarantee – re-entry
Event #9: November 1 – €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller – re-entry
Event #10: November 3- €111,111 High Roller for One Drop – €10,000,000 Guarantee – re-entry (111 player cap)
Event #11: November 4-5 – €10,300 WSOP Europe Main Event – €4,000,000 Guarantee – single re-entry

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 1B: Ting Ho Takes Overall Chip Lead

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 1B: Ting Ho Takes Overall Chip Lead

The second of two starting flights of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event drew to a close last night with 210 players deciding to give it a go on Sunday. That brings the combined field to 376 so far; registration is open until the beginning of Level 11 (Monday will start on Level 9) and those who already played are still permitted one more entry on Day 2, so we won’t know the final numbers until later today. The Day 1B chip leader was Ting Ho, whose 181,300 chips also barely edged those of Saturday’s leader, Dhaval Joshi, for the overall chip lead.

Ting Ho’s live tournament profile is interesting. She has $ 373,070 in earnings according to; nothing incredible for a poker player, but still a very nice sum. She has a long list of more than 60 live cashes, but even with all those successes and her six-figure earnings total, the vast majority of her scores are in three-digit buy-in tournaments. Ho’s largest cash came back in 2012 when she won a $ 500 + $ 50 at the Wynn Classic for $ 51,876. More recently, she finished 16th at the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Event for $ 35,000.

Ho wasn’t necessarily planning on playing in this event, but she took a shot at a satellite at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort and won a seat, so here she is.

As Ho isn’t a “name” poker player, she was not featured in the live tournament updates until late, when she was at or near the top of the leader board. After the evening ended, she told about her day, saying that early on, she was just “grinding,” slowly building her stack through small, uneventful pots.

“But then I had aces cracked,” she said, recalling a hand in which someone called her with 6-9 suited pre-flop and went on to river a straight.

She continued (courtesy

And then an orbit later I have pocket aces again. It was the same action, a person raised, another called, so I made it 4x [the big blind] again, and then fold, and I get a call. So I’m like, ‘Ah [laughs]!’ And then the flop comes queen-high board with three diamonds, and I have the ace of diamonds. So I lead, I think he wanted to just call, but he threw out one too many orange chips (5,000) so it had to be a raise, so I flat. The turn comes a brick, I check, and he just piles all in. I thought for a while, I would have still had 15 big blinds going into Day 2, and I just decided to call, and he had ace-king.

There are 197 players remaining from the two starting flights, but as mentioned, expect the field to grow a bit more today. Day 2 begins at 12:00pm Pacific.

2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Ting Ho – 181,300
2.    Ben Barad – 172,700
3.    Alan Bittikofer – 132,500
4.    Kou Vang – 111,400
5.    Ari Engel – 105,600
6.    Tyler Patterson – 104,100
7.    Alan Snow – 103,800
8.    Dan O’Brien – 101,800
9.    Eddy Sabat – 100,300
10.    Bob Buckenmayer – 99,800

2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Ting Ho – 181,300
2.    Dhaval Joshi – 181,100
3.    Jon Borenstein – 173,800
4.    Ben Barad – 172,700
5.    Michael Tureniec – 146,000
6.    Kelly Douglas – 139,100
7.    Alan Bittikofer – 132,500
8.    Eric Baldwin – 113,700
9.    J. C. Tran – 112,900
10.    Kou Vang – 111,400

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Day 1A: Conclusion of “California Swing” Has POY Contenders Out for Battle

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Day 1A: Conclusion of “California Swing” Has POY Contenders Out for Battle

With nary a break from the conclusion of the Bay 101 Shooting Star on Friday, the World Poker Tour literally jumped right back into the action with their next tournament event. The WPT Rolling Thunder, at the Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento, kicked off its week of activities with the first of two-Day Ones on Saturday. By the end of the day, 166 entries had been received and 86 players will move on for Day 2 on Monday.

The $ 3500 tournament featured many of the same rules that govern other WPT events. Players were allowed one rebuy should they bust out of the event and that rule (one buy in, one rebuy) could be used by a player on both Day Ones. Players could also utilize a single entry on Day 2 if they got into the tournament before Level 11. Should they run through all those chances, an unfortunate player could spend $ 17,500 on this tournament, which helps to make for a nice prize pool for the WPT and Thunder Valley.

As the cards went in the air, there were two “player races” that were drawing some attention by those in contention. Arguably the bigger one, the race for WPT Player of the Year, has tightened up considerably since the start of Season XV. After the first few events of Season XV, Benjamin Zamani had run off from the pack after three final table finishes had accrued him 2500 points. That once sizeable lead has now collapsed and is under assault from not one but two players.

Sam Panzica, the champion of the Bay 101 Shooting Star, not only picked up his second career WPT win but also his second WPT win of the Season XV schedule. Those two wins – along with another cash at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in December – have earned him 2450 points for the season. Simply one more cash, which earns a player 50 points, would tie him with Zamani and any finish above 27th place in a bigger event on the WPT circuit would push him past Zamani.

The second man is as unlikely a contender as you might expect. Despite being prevented for years from playing events on the circuit, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton has worked his way into the mix for POY honors. After winning the WPT Montreal and making the final table of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic, Sexton tossed some more points on his resume at the Bay 101 with a 22nd place finish. That whirlwind of success has pushed Sexton to 2100 points, making him a viable contender for the POY crown.

The second player race drawing attention was the WPT California Swing, a special three-tournament event to encourage participation in the three California stops on the WPT schedule – the LAPC, the Bay 101 and the Rolling Thunder – that is in its fourth year. Players must play all three events on the “swing” and receive points for their finishes. After the Rolling Thunder, the player with the most points earns special prizes associated with each event when they return to play in 2018.

Not surprisingly, Sexton tops the field in the WPT California Swing standings with 227 points, but he is ineligible to win the competition as he is an employee of the WPT. With that stated, it is Rainer Kempe who is the man the players are chasing as he sits in second place with his 207 points. It is a good distance back to LAPC champion Daniel Strelitz in third place with 179 points but he, Igor Yaroshevskyy (171 points) and Garrett Greer (161 points), but they all are in contention for the WPT California Swing prize as the Rolling Thunder begins.

As to Day 1A of the WPT Rolling Thunder? Plenty of those battling it out for supremacy in the races mentioned above took their chairs on Day 1A and came out on the other side. Zamani, looking to fend off the POY challengers, ended Day 1A with a decent stack of 104,000 by bagging time. Panzica also made it through the day, although taking two shots to build a stack of 57,900 by the time play was called.

The news wasn’t so good for others, but they will have a chance to get back in the battle on Sunday. Defending champion Harrison Gimbel, Chris Moorman, Marvin Rettenmaier, Matthew Waxman, and Pratyush Buddiga all headed to the rails on Saturday, while the leaderboard features some familiar names topped by an unfamiliar one, Dhaval Joshi.

1. Dhaval Joshi, 181,100
2. Jon Borenstein, 173,800
3. Michael Tureniec, 146,000
4. Kelly Douglas, 139,100
5. Eric Baldwin, 113,700
6. J. C. Tran, 112,900
7. Benjamin Zamani, 104,000
8. Erik Christensen, 101,700
9. Alex Foxen, 95,400
10. Charles Maddalena, 89,400

Day 1B will start at noon (Pacific Time) and, if things hold as usual for the final day of a multi-Day One tournament, the Thunder Valley Casino will be awash with players taking their shots at WPT gold. Last year 409 entrants were received for this event and that number is completely within shot for this year’s combatants. If the field can generate at least that number of entries, the prize pool would be over $ 1.3 million, a nice pie to divvy up for those looking for the next championship on the WPT Season XV schedule.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 3: Final Table Set With “Chino” Rheem Seeking Record-Setting Fourth Title

 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 3: Final Table Set With “Chino” Rheem Seeking Record Setting Fourth Title

After one of the longer days of action this year on the circuit, the final table was set early Friday morning for the World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, CA. It promises to be an exciting final table as one Shooting Star remains in the event and the chip leader could etch their name into the WPT record books.

Walking into the Bay 101 on Thursday, the players were all aware it was going to be a long day as the end of Day 3 would only come with the establishment of the six-handed WPT final table. 44 players stepped back to the tables for action with Paul Volpe in command of the field with his 1.7 million-plus chip stack. Along with Volpe were five of the Shooting Star bounties – Garrett Greer, David Williams, Rainer Kempe, Christian Harder and Mike Sexton – who each held a $ 2500 bonus for whomever knocked them out.

Volpe came out of the gates quickly, eliminating Mike Jacob in 41st place when his pocket Queens stood over Jacob’s Big Chick to push his stack over the two million mark. Other contenders were able to move out of the pack, however, including David ‘Chino’ Rheem, the three-time WPT champion. He defeated a tough opponent in Eddy Sabat when Rheem turned an Ace to go with his Big Slick, topping Sabat’s pocket tens and sending Sabat to the rail while Rheem pushed his way into contention. Also knocking on the door of Volpe was WPT Champions’ Club member Brian Altman, who took a few chips from Volpe in making his climb.

The remaining Shooting Stars fought valiantly to keep hold of their medallions and their $ 2500 bounties (by rule, a Shooting Star would keep their $ 2500 bounty should they win the tournament). Sexton would double up through Stephen Graner to move over the half-million mark, while Kempe eliminated Pratyush Buddiga in 35th place when he went runner-runner Jacks to make trips with his A-J over Buddiga’s A-K. For four of the Shooting Stars, that was about it for the highlights as they gradually saw their chips – and their bounties – end up in other players’ stacks.

First to go was Harder, knocked out by Tuan Mai when Mai’s pocket Kings dominated his pocket nines, in 34th place. Greer was the next Shooting Star to depart, losing all his chips to Huihan Wu over the course of two hands to leave in 23rd place. Sexton saw his bounty go to Mai, who collected his second bounty of the day (and third overall) in eliminating the Poker Hall of Famer is 22nd place. Finally, there was Williams, who saw his day end at the hands of Sergio Aido when his two pair, Queens up, was crushed by Aido’s straight; Williams would walk off in 16th place for his time in San Jose.

The story was a bit different for Kempe, however. After starting the day with 513,000 in chips, Kempe pretty much was on the climb throughout the action on Thursday. He would double up early in the afternoon against Igor Yaroshevskyy and stay on an ascendant path in defeating Ravi Raghavan, Yaroshevskyy again and Mai to crack the 2.5 million chip mark. By the time two six-handed tables were set, Kempe was over three million in chips and in second place behind Aido for the chip lead.

It was at this time that Rheem began to make his charge. He eliminated Wu in eleventh and doubled through Kempe to move to 3.695 million chips, all the while keeping the pressure on his opponents. Yaroshevskyy was his next victim as Rheem’s chip stack climbed to 4.5 million and, after a slight setback in doubling up Dennis Stevermer, got them back in winning a “straight versus straight” battle with Yaroshevskyy. As the clock passed 2AM, Rheem held onto his second-place stack and was now the contender challenging Aido.

When Rheem took down Yaroshevskyy in eighth place to see his mountain of chips grow to nearly five million and take the chip lead, the remaining seven men came to one table. Over the span of 59 hands – roughly two hours of table time – the players fought it out for those six seats available for the final battle at the Bay 101 Shooting Star. On Hand 59 in a “blind versus blind” battle, Kempe moved all in and Aido called for his tournament existence.

Kempe was on the blind steal with his miniscule 8-2 off suit and Aido had caught him in it with his K-Q off suit, but the poker gods are a fickle lot. A 7-3-2 flop paired Kempe’s rags and a Jack on the turn wasn’t the paint that Aido was looking for. Once a ten came on the river, Kempe’s rags became golden in sending Aido out on the official final table bubble.

David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 10.65 million Rainer Kempe, 3.705 million* Sam Panzica, 3.215 million Paul Volpe, 3.005 million Anthony Spinella, 2.635 million Dennis Stevermer, 980,000

(* – final Shooting Star remaining)

If Rheem can hold onto that massive chip lead and earn the victory at the Bay 101, he would become the record holder for WPT championships. Currently, Rheem is tied with Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno and Darren Elias in the annals of WPT history with three championships. If he is to win his fourth, Rheem must overcome a talented final table in the defending champion of the Super High Roller Bowl (Kempe), another member of the WPT Champions’ Club (Panzica), and two World Series of Poker bracelet holders (Volpe and Spinella). Only Stevermer could be looked at as the “least experienced” player on the table, but that would be a mistake; the veteran of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) has racked up almost $ 300K in earnings and is looking for his breakout victory.

The final table of the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star will commence at 4PM (Pacific Time) and, while there will be no livestream of the action, it will be taped for broadcast as part of the WPT on Fox Sports 1. Every player is guaranteed $ 188,460 for returning to the felt today, but they all would rather take down the $ 1,373,000 sitting atop the mountain for winning the championship.

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