Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Scott Seiver Biggest Gun in Super High Roller, Holds Lead After Day 1

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Scott Seiver Biggest Gun in Super High Roller, Holds Lead After Day 1

The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is underway at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and, with one event, it has captured the attention of the poker world. The $ 100,000 Super High Roller event has completed Day 1 as Scott Seiver, the 2013 champion of the event, holds the lead in his hunt for a second title.

It seems that many had the $ 100,000 buy in (at the minimum…it is a rebuy event, after all) lying around to jump into the event when it started on Saturday afternoon. Such notables in the High Roller arena as Steffen Sontheimer, Koray Aldemir, Ben Tollerene and 2017 Poker Player of the Year Adrian Mateos (sorry, Bryn Kenney) were on the felt for the start of the tournament, with others drifting in after the start. Nick Petrangelo, Daniel Negreanu (utilizing a scooter due to an ACL injury – who said poker wasn’t a contact sport?) and the defending champion of this tournament, Jason Koon, all slowly drifted to the felt, but it was a non-poker name that caught the attention of railbirds in the Atlantis tournament room.

As he did in 2017 when he entered the tournament, comedian Kevin Hart immediately drew the attention of everyone as he entered the event. The wisecracking star of the new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle maintained the same attitude that he utilized in last year’s tournament, but it also seemed that he had learned something about poker over the past year that he has been a “friend of PokerStars” (along with Olympic champion Usain Bolt). He would four-bet both Petrangelo and Aldemir out of a pot (saying, “I’m sick of this s**t” while putting the 65K in chips together to push them out), but another hand sent the popular comedian into his pocket for another buy in.

After Mateos opened the betting from the cutoff and Hart (button), Stefan Schillhabel and Seiver (blinds) all called, a J-5-7 flop was checked as was a ten on the turn. When the river completed the board with a four, the floodgates would open. Schillhabel checked his option, but Seiver fired away with a 22K bet. Mateos got out of the way, but Hart popped the cost of play up to 51K when it came to his action. Now it was Schillhabel’s turn to fold, but Seiver contemplated his next move carefully.

After the time in the tank, Seiver decided his only option was to push all in and, using most of his time on the “shot clock,” Hart made the call. Hart’s 8-6 off suit was good for a rivered straight to the eight, but Seiver’s 9-8 was good for a higher turned straight to the Jack. The pot was a massive 330K strong and it was enough to push Seiver into the lead.

Hart was undaunted, however, as he fired off another bullet in the tournament. This was also true for many other competitors, including Orpen Kisacikoglu, Negreanu (in a flush versus flush situation against Sam Greenwood), but Sontheimer and 2016 Poker Player of the Year David Peters did not immediately reenter. With the option for re-entry (or even a first entry, as Cary Katz did early Sunday morning) open until the start of Day 2 action, there is a potential for several other High Roller regulars to either take their first shot in the tournament or re-enter.

1. Scott Seiver, 804,000
2. Justin Bonomo, 799,000
3. Jean-Noel Thorel, 598,000
4. Ivan Luca, 587,000
5. Sam Greenwood, 569,000
6. Bryn Kenney, 548,000
7. Christopher Kruk, 533,000
8. Stephen Chidwick, 492,000
9. Erik Seidel, 479,000
10. Kevin Hobbs, 472,000

Hart, for his part, will be around for Day 2 of the event, holding a 316,000-chip stack. Others over the starting stack of 250K include Steve O’Dwyer (451K), Negreanu (438K), defending champion Koon (363K) and Igor Kurganov (333K), while Dan Shak (246K), Isaac Haxton (244K), Byron Kaverman (230K) and the shortest stack of all Seth Davies (181K) have some work to do on Sunday.

Beginning today, the $ 100,000 Super High Roller will be live-streamed over PokerStars TV as the final players jump in and the tournament works to crowning a champion. From then on, PokerStars TV will be covering the action from the Bahamas as the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure plays out.

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Begins Today

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Begins Today

It may have seemed like a lifetime ago, but the tournament poker world has only been on hiatus for about two weeks. That slight respite from play has left hundreds of players itching to get back to the felt and the only thing that will scratch that itch is one of poker’s major tournaments. That’s right…the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is set to open play today, with a plethora of action available.

Once again back in its home at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, the 2018 PCA is back in full swing after a one-year “dream” as the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. The PCA has traditionally been the “kickoff” for tournament poker in the New Year and 2018 isn’t breaking that tradition. In fact, the 2018 PCA is wasting no time in getting the eyes of the poker world focused on it.

Saturday will mark the start of the $ 100,000 Super High Roller event, which is expected to draw defending champion Jason Koon and a host of the biggest names in poker. Bryn Kenney, who made these High Roller events his specialty in 2017 (and led many Player of the Year races before being passed in December by Adrian Mateos), is already on the grounds in the Bahamas and looking to make another run at a High Roller championship (he won a $ 50,000 High Roller tournament at the 2017 running of this event). You can also expect to see players like Koray Aldemir, Daniel Dvoress and others picking up chips for this tournament.

Although poker may be the reason for everyone being on the island, officials with PokerStars are not making the same mistake as last year. Instead of facing a 90+ tournament schedule as they did in 2017, the 2018 PCA is a scaled back affair with 31 tournaments on the roster. That will allow for Team PokerStars Pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Jake Cody, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree and celebrity Team PokerStars members comedian Kevin Hart and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt to take part is some of the non-poker outlets at Atlantis.

As far as the Main Event, more than 300 players have already earned their seats online to be a part of the action when it begins on Wednesday. For this year, the PCA Main Event will go back to its $ 10,000 buy in (it had been dropped to $ 5000 for last year’s tournament) and, in a refreshing change for a major championship, the tournament does not allow for re-entry. Once the final players come in from the online arena and the number of tournament poker professionals come into the tournament room, it promises to be a strong turnout (estimation is difficult because of the change in buy-in; in 2017, 738 runners came to the line but, in year’s past, the numbers have been bigger).

In 2017, the then-PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event final table was one for the ages. The table featured a historic run by John Dibella, who won the PCA back in 2014 and was looking to repeat. While Dibella ran out of gas in eighth place, former “November Niner” Cliff Josephy ran through the table to reach heads up action against another top pro, Christian Harder. In what turned out to be a frenetic fight Harder, who despite a lengthy poker resume had never taken a major poker title, was able to vanquish the veteran Josephy to capture the championship and the $ 429,664 payday.

For a look at the full schedule for the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – including the other High Roller tournaments and side events – visit their dedicated website. There will also be a list of those tournaments that will be live streamed over PokerStars TV. After a couple of weeks of slumber, the tournament poker world is coming back to life with the start of the 2018 PCA.

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Announced

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Announced

While many may be prepping for the upcoming holiday season, the folks at the PokerStars Championships are getting things prepared for 2018. That’s because pretty much as soon as the hangovers wear off after New Year’s Eve, the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will begin. Now we know the schedule for what has become one of the premiere events on the tournament poker calendar.

It seems that the authorities at the PokerStars Championships have learned their lessons from last year’s experiments. Instead of lopping the PCA in with the PokerStars Championships (last year’s tournament schedule was called the PokerStars Championships Bahamas), the original moniker has been returned while keeping it on the roster of events for the PokerStars Championships. There have been some other changes also that should be more “player friendly” than the 2017 version was.

First up is the Championship Event of the tournament schedule. Despite dropping the buy in for the tournament down to $ 5000, player numbers plummeted for the 2017 version of the tournament (in 2016, 928 players turned out for the PCA Championship Event; in 2017, only 738 runners came to the line). For 2018, the PCA is going “back to the future” in reinstating the $ 10,000 buy in for the Championship Event. By getting back to the $ 10K entry fee, the PokerStars Championship staff is looking to rebuild the prestige of the event.

Second, the 2017 PokerStars Championships Bahamas was widely panned because of the number of events that were run. More than 90 official events were a part of the schedule, something that the players thought was a money grab by the PokerStars Championships staff and the owner of the tour, Amaya Gaming (now The Stars Group). For 2018, that number has been pared down tremendously.

Kicking off the festivities on January 6, the $ 100,000 Super High Roller event will be the first to hit the felt. By January 14, 31 tournaments will have taken place for the 2018 roster of events, cutting the schedule from 2017 by two-thirds in an emphasis of “quality over quantity.” The shortened schedule will not only be easier on the players’ wallets, but it will also allow for other action outside of the PCA schedule itself.

If a player isn’t up for the tournaments on the official schedule, PokerStars Championships officials will be operating a host of sit-and-go events with buy ins starting at $ 120. There will also be cash games running 24/7, with stakes starting out at $ 1/$ 2 and going up to $ 200/$ 400. Pretty much any discipline of poker – be it No Limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em, Seven Card Stud or even Chinese poker. The Texas and Omaha Hold’em tables will also have a High Hand bonus paid out hourly.

Finally, there is the locale of the tournament. The Atlantis Paradise Island Resort has been the home of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure since its inception and 2018 will be no different. The amenities of the hotel – plus the player adventures that PokerStars is looking to set up, including exclusive player parties – are world renown and should give those that are looking to soothe a beating at the tables with some of the sun of the Caribbean – hey, who doesn’t like being in the sun when winter has its icy grip on half the planet?

Players outside of the States of America can participate in online qualifiers at PokerStars, where packages worth $ 14,855 will be earned. Those packages include the $ 10K seat to the tournament, hotel accommodations, $ 1000 cash (presumably for travel expenses) and more benefits. Last month, PokerStars NJ offered to players in the state of New Jersey a satellite for the PCA, but it isn’t known if there will be any more run on the regulated site of PokerStars in the U. S.

For more information on the official schedule for the 2018 PCA, be sure to visit PokerStars for all the details. With some of the revisions done by PokerStars Championships officials, the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure may return the event to its once lofty perch as one of the preeminent tournaments of the year.

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PokerStars Returns to its Roots; 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Set

 PokerStars Returns to its Roots; 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Set

Perhaps recognizing the error in their previous actions, The Stars Group has announced that their January tournament in the Bahamas will be returning in 2018, including a return to the name it was previously known as.

The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to action at its traditional home at Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, the Bahamas, from January 6-14. Along with returning the original name of the event, PokerStars is also stepping out on a limb a bit in returning the buy in to its original amount. After spending several years as a $ 5000 buy in event, the 2018 PCA Main Event will be a $ 10,000 tournament, ensuring the tournament’s place in the pantheon of “must play” international poker tournaments.

The return to the PCA moniker was obviously on the minds of Stars Group officials. “We’re reviewing our live events and incorporating player feedback to ensure we’re delivering the highest quality experience and exceeding player expectations whenever possible,” Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications, stated during the announcement.

“This feedback included suggestions that we restore the PCA name and improve the quality of that event to reflect the great heritage and unique experience that made PCA one of the most-anticipated poker events of the year,” Hollreiser continued. “We’re restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival. We will also increase the promotions around PCA in order to bring even more people and make qualifying for packages as exciting as we can. We are committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event.”

There was plenty of outrage that came along with the 2017 tournament. Roughly along the same period as 2018’s play, the 2017 “PokerStars Championship Bahamas” featured over 90 events crammed into the timeframe. It seems that was too much, even for poker players who are always looking for action. Because of some of that criticism, PokerStars has streamlined the tournaments to a more sensible 30 events that will feature longer levels (40 minutes or more) and more play for the participants.

PokerStars is also looking out for the pocketbooks and wallets of PCA participants. Tournament fees have been reduced for the High Roller tournaments and any tournament with less than 19-minute levels will be reduced by 50%. These moves will allow the players to keep upwards of $ 300,000 in their bankrolls.

Finally, another complaint from the players regarding the 2017 tournament series was the treatment of those players. Many felt that they weren’t appreciated by PokerStars, especially after the decade-plus treatment by past ownership, with the parties and “SWAG” bags presented to the players. In response to this, PokerStars has set a large schedule of non-poker related activities and some “Q&A” sessions with Team PokerStars Pro members. Player parties are a key element of this change, including the aforementioned “SWAG” bags that will be valued at $ 200 each.

What isn’t being indicated by PokerStars nor The Stars Group is what will be the future of the “PokerStars Championship” or “PokerStars Festivals.” These events have been less than popular with players, including disappointing turnouts in Panama, Macau and Sochi. There isn’t any schedule beyond the final 2017 date in Prague, Czech Republic for the PokerStars Championship and there isn’t any indication whether the PCA will still be considered a part of the PokerStars Championship or whether the PokerStars Championship will continue to exist.

While a firm schedule hasn’t been set yet, satellites will begin running for the 2018 PCA in September. With the changes made, perhaps the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to its previous success.

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Mike Watson Outlasts Anthony Gregg to Capture PokerStars Caribbean Adventure EPT Championship

 Mike Watson Outlasts Anthony Gregg to Capture PokerStars Caribbean Adventure EPT Championship

They came into the final table as the top two players, so it was only natural that they would be the ones who would decide the championship. After all was said and done, Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson emerged as champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure European Poker Tour Main Event over Anthony Gregg, who was denied the championship in his third ever trip to the PCA EPT Main Event final table.

The duo had paced the play through Day 5, ending up 1-2 with Watson’s 6.585 million chip stack taking the top of the leaderboard over Gregg’s 5.68 million at the close of business on Wednesday night. Someone else who had been fighting with Watson through the course of Wednesday’s play was Vladimir Troyanovskiy, who lurked in the middle of the pack with his 5.025 million in chips, while Toby Lewis looked to add a second EPT title to his resume with his 4.665 million chip stack. Phillip McAllister (3.04 million) and Randy Kritzer (2.575 million) had nice stacks but had to get active or get left behind.

It was the shorties who got busy early as McAllister and Kritzer started the day off by throwing their chips about. For McAllister, it worked as he took an early pot off of Gregg to get a bit healthier, but not so much for Kritzer as he lost two consecutive hands to McAllister and Gregg. On Hand 8, the twosome quit playing around the table and dealt with each other in the blinds, with Kritzer raising out of the small and McAllister defending the big. What seemed to be an innocent 9 6 Q flop brought out the fireworks, however.

After a check from McAllister, Kritzer fired off 325K and McAllister pushed his roughly three million stack to the center, which Kritzer called. His Q♠ 10♣ (top pair) was ahead of McAllister’s 8♠ 7 (open ended straight draw), but things would get worse for Kritzer. A 4 came on the turn to open up a flush draw for McAllister, which came home on the 8 that landed on the river. After the chips were counted, Kritzer was determined to be the one at risk and he was eliminated in sixth place.

Now flush with newfound chips, McAllister got a bit frisky. Raising the button with an off suit J-8, McAllister found a welcome opponent in Watson, who called with a J-5. The flop nailed McAllister square, J-8-4, and Watson check-called a bet from McAllister. This action would repeat itself on a 7♣ and, for Watson, a 5 river and, once Watson saw he was behind the entire way, was dismayed to see that he had put in more than 1.5 million in chips voluntarily. Those chips allowed McAllister to take over the lead ten hands into the final table.

McAllister dominated the play over the next 80 hands, sitting as the only player over 10 million in chips, before the next elimination took place. After a tough beat when his A-J was eclipsed by Watson’s pocket Queens on a J-4-8-10-6 board, Troyanovskiy attempted to revive his stack against Gregg. On an A♣ 8 4 flop Troyanovskiy, holding a 7 3, looked to pull a flush out of the magician’s hat against Gregg’s A-Q. With nine outs twice, Troyanovskiy instead saw a ten and a nine – neither of them hearts – come on the turn and river to end his stay in the Bahamas in fifth place in the tournament.

Over the next 20 hands, the four men gradually drew closer to each other, McAllister coming back to the field and Gregg creeping up the leaderboard. Just before a level up, however, Gregg would get a key double in a race situation against Lewis, his pocket nines outlasting Lewis’ Big Slick, to take over the chip lead. That lead was fleeting, however, as Watson eked out a few chips from Gregg and McAllister before the break to take back the lead from Gregg.

Once Level 33 commenced, Lewis would expire. Four hands into the new level, McAllister limped in from the button and Lewis, in the small blind, read it for weakness and moved all in. He forgot about Watson in the big blind, however, who checked his cards and reshoved for his stack. McAllister slinked off to the corner and, when the hands were turned up, Lewis was in a bit of trouble.

Watson was ahead with his off suit A-J against Lewis’ K-9 (for the record, McAllister folded a 9-6), but there was drama afoot. The 10-6-3 flop was innocent enough, but the King on the turn put Lewis out in front. Looking for an Ace or a Queen to best Lewis, Watson caught lightning in a bottle when a Queen hit the river to deliver an unlikely Broadway straight and send Lewis out of the tournament in fourth place.

Watson slowly put his foot on the pedal at this point, drawing out to nearly a 2:1 lead over Gregg and almost 4:1 over McAllister within 25 hands of knocking off Lewis. Once he eliminated McAllister in third place, his 8♣ 7♣ finding a flush against McAllister’s pocket Jacks after McAllister trapped Watson pre-flop with a limp and a Watson all-in push, he kept his lead at 2:1 over Gregg, but the heads up battle would prove to be arguably the most intriguing part of the overall final table.

First, the duo struck a deal that saw Watson take home $ 695,325 and Gregg sew up $ 612,175, putting $ 33K aside along with the trophy to play for. They then set into a 72-hand matchup that, while Watson stayed in the lead, saw Gregg fight valiantly at several points. While he couldn’t work his way into the lead at any point, Gregg never just tossed in the towel and instead provided excellent competition all the way to the end.

On the final hand, Gregg would limp in and, after Watson checked and the 8 6 2 monochrome flop hit the table, Watson checked again. Once Gregg put a bet in, Watson sprang into action with a check raise. Reviewing the action, Gregg rechecked his cards and, after the moment of consideration, moved all in. Now it was Watson’s turn to think it over and, after he made the call, both men reluctantly turned up their cards. Gregg’s off suit A-8 was in the lead, but Watson’s 7 4♠ had a wealth of redraw options (a heart for the flush, a five for the straight). More outs came for Watson when the 7♠ entered the fray on the turn and, unfortunately for Gregg, there were just too many outs in the mix; the river brought the 5 to bring Watson the heart flush and the victory.

1. Mike Watson, $ 728,325*
2. Anthony Gregg, $ 612,175*
3. Phillip McAllister, $ 356,020
4. Toby Lewis, $ 267,340
5. Vladimir Troyanovskiy, $ 207,940
6. Randy Kritzer, $ 153,920
7. Ken Demlakian, $ 110,220^
8. Timothy Ulmer, $ 78,540^

(* – reflects final table deal)
(^ – official EPT final table finisher, eliminated Wednesday night)

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