Posts Tagged ‘After’

Tom Dwan Makes Comeback on Revived “Poker After Dark”

 Tom Dwan Makes Comeback on Revived “Poker After Dark”

On Monday, Poker Central will revive the fan favorite Poker After Dark for its subscription service PokerGO. When the cards hit the air for the return of the show, it will also feature the return of a player who once held the poker world’s attention but has of late been a footnote to the game.

Coming back from the cash games in Macau, Tom Dwan (formerly known by his online moniker of ‘durrrr’) will be the featured competitor when the cards hit the air at 8PM on the inaugural episode of Poker After Dark on PokerGO. “I travel around a lot to play poker, and in Manila and Macau people ask me about those shows,” Dwan mentioned to Poker Central’s Remko Rinkema. “All over the world people liked watching those, and every time I get asked ‘When will they be back?’ I’m excited that now, after six years, they will be back.”

Dwan was one of the staples of Poker After Dark when it originally aired and the program brings back pleasant thoughts for Dwan as Monday approaches. “The shows were fun, they ended up being more interesting and more fun than I expected,” Dwan noted to Rinkema. “It also helped that I won basically every hand that I played. If I called they were bluffing, if I was bluffing they folded. I’m hoping that continues,” Dwan said with a chuckle.

Dwan has been an afterthought to many in poker after a stirring start. Storming the scene in the mid-2000s with an attacking style that caught many off guard, Dwan made his name in the high stakes online poker world and, particularly, heads-up poker. He attempted to have an impact on the live tournament world, including making several prop bets regarding winning World Series of Poker bracelets, but was unable to win any major championships. Still, the $ 2.2 million in career earnings from those games came in handy with one of his online endeavors.

The “durrrr Challenge” was a boast by Dwan that he was one of the best heads-up players in the world, with Dwan putting up a sizeable chunk of change to prove it. The challenge was for Dwan and an opponent to play 50,000 hands of No Limit Texas Hold’em or, in other cases, Pot Limit Omaha at stakes of $ 200/$ 400 over an agreed-on period. If Dwan were to emerge with even a penny of profit, his opponent would owe him $ 500,000. If his opponent were to come out ahead, however, Dwan would pay $ 1.5 million.

Two players stepped up to take the challenge (which wasn’t extended to poker professional Phil Galfond), Patrik Antonius and Dan Cates, with neither competition reaching a conclusion. In fact, the Cates/Dwan battle paused around “Black Friday,” with Cates ahead $ 1.2 million and Dwan showing absolutely no inclination to continuing the match. Instead, Dwan withdrew from the international poker community to concentrate on the lucrative cash game market in the Chinese gaming metropolis of Macau, where he’s basically been in action to the exclusion of the remainder of the poker world since around 2014.

The return of Poker After Dark will also see the return of another player that is considered a “living legend.” Doyle Brunson is said to be donning his cowboy hat for another run on the program, beginning on Tuesday night and continuing Wednesday night. Brunson has stepped away from tournament poker but is still holding court at Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio as a cash game player. His will be a welcomed return to a lineup that was already star-studded:

August 14 (Monday)

Tom Dwan
Daniel Negreanu
Antonio Esfandiari
Jean-Robert Bellande
Lauren Roberts
Bill Klein

August 15 (Tuesday) and August 16 (Wednesday)

Tom Dwan
Doyle Brunson
Andrew Robl
Jean-Robert Bellande
Lauren Roberts
Bill Klein

The game will be the usual that was originally on Poker After Dark:  $ 200/$ 400 Texas Hold’em, minimum buy in and a $ 400 button ante. The players will all walk to the table at ARIA Resort & Casino with a minimum of $ 100,000. Poker Central will live-stream the return of Poker After Dark over PokerGO beginning at 8PM (Eastern Time) on all three days as it continues to try to build an audience for their subscription service.

Will Dwan still have the same effect he had on top pros that he had on his first run on Poker After Dark? Or will he face a different poker world? Those questions and others will be answered starting on Monday.

Poker News Daily

Poker Central to Resurrect “Poker After Dark”

 Poker Central to Resurrect “Poker After Dark”

Poker Central has announced that it will be bringing back one of the most popular poker television shows, “Poker After Dark.” It will be broadcast live only on Poker Central’s PokerGO subscription service beginning Monday, August 7th.

“PokerGO’s vast content library will now include the return of one of the most beloved poker shows in the world as we continue our commitment to delivering premium live content our subscribers want to see,” said Poker Central president Joe Kakaty in a press release. “We plan to announce additional high stakes tournaments and original programming in the near future as we continue to build on the PokerGO offering.”

“Poker After Dark” debuted on New Year’s Day 2007, a time when online poker site-sponsored poker television was all the rage. Sponsored by the then-high flying Full Tilt Poker, the show featured six players – mostly Full Tilt pros or pros with close ties to Full Tilt pros – buying-in for $ 20,000 each in a winner-take-all Sit-and-Go. It aired Tuesday through Saturday at 2:05am ET on NBC (hence the “After Dark” part of the title) and at 1:00am ET on Sunday. The first five shows were regular episodes, airing the Sit-and-Go competition as it wound down to a winner. The Sunday program was a “director’s cut” summary of sorts with additional commentary and highlights.

In the show’s fourth season, some episodes featured cash games.

Ali Nejad served as the show’s commentator, though his kept his input to a minimum, as much of the point of “Poker After Dark” was to allow fans to hear the table banter.

“Poker After Dark” filmed seven seasons, but the show halted airing in September 2011 after the Black Friday scandal shut down Full Tilt Poker and its sponsorship of the show. The last few weeks did not air on NBC.

Ali Nejad will return to provide commentary for version 2.0 of “Poker After Dark,” along with Nick Schulman. While the original show’s game of choice was No-Limit Hold’em, the new one will feature different disciplines, including Pot-Limit Omaha and Mixed Games, designed to cater toward present-day player preferences.

Poker Central has said that Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari are already committed to participate in the first episode.

The new show will be produced by the top name in poker television, Poker PROductions, and will be filmed at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The final season of the show’s original run was also filmed at the ARIA Resort after four seasons at the South Point Casino and two at the Golden Nugget.

Poker Central is making a hard charge at becoming the center of poker programming. It surprised a lot of people by cutting a deal with the World Series of Poker to be the primary broadcaster of this year’s WSOP Main Event, which got underway Saturday. ESPN’s family of networks will air a few hours of the Main Event each day until the final table, while PokerGO will show the rest. ESPN will broadcast the entire WSOP Main Event final table, which will take place this month rather than in November.

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

2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic: Ben Wilinofsky Leads Record Field After Day One

 2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic: Ben Wilinofsky Leads Record Field After Day One

After a record field for the event flooded into the casino, “semi-retired” poker professional Ben Wilinofsky emerged as the chip leader following Day One of the World Poker Tour’s Fallsview Poker Classic in Canada last night.

Long a popular stop for poker players due to its proximity to the U. S./Canadian border and its beautiful surroundings, the Fallsview Casino was ready for a rush of players for this tournament, a $ 5000 buy in event with one rebuy should a player bust out of the event. Several top players were in attendance for the earlier events on the calendar, with Canadians Xuan Liu and Mike Leah taking down two of those preliminary engagements. This was the one the players were waiting for and, once the call to arms was made with the “shuffle up and deal,” the players immediately responded.

As soon as the bell sounded, roughly 350 players were on the tables in the Fallsview Casino tournament room. This was significant as, in the 2016 tournament, 423 entries were received to set the record. Depending on how deep the pockets were for the players – which included two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell, WPT Champions’ Club members Olivier Busquet, Anthony Zinno and Darren Elias, among others – there was a good chance that the record would be broken in this tournament. As Level 3 began, 373 entries had been received and the late registration was still going on.

Several players would play a bit looser than normal, taking advantage of the chance to either build up a stack or get back into the tournament with their one rebuy option. Mike Dentale was one of the players who took advantage of that rebuy option, his K-Q catching on a Q 8♣ 6 flop against his opponent’s K 10. After a blank turn, Dentale seemed to be primed for his double up, but a diamond on the river canceled that action, instead sending Dentale back to his wallet for another $ 5,000 for his “one time.”

After Level 6, the popularity of the Fallsview Casino and this particular WPT event were demonstrated. With late registration and the one rebuy option still on the table, there were 428 entries received to crack the 2016 record. With those actions available until the start of Level 10 following the dinner break, it became a question of just how high the numbers would go.

As the tournament worked into the late-night hours, the notable names began to drop to the side, either exhausting their two chances at glory or choosing to stick to one shot only. Such players as Marvin Rettenmaier, Mike Watson, Dietrich Fast, Nenad Medic and Leah were all out the door by the time the close of action came after Level 13. By the time the chips were bagged and the names were noted, Wilinofsky – who hadn’t even been noticed by tournament staff until they received his day’s work – was holding a decent Day One lead.

1. Ben Wilinofsky, 275,900
2. Mark Toulouse, 262,700
3. Carlo Alteri, 241,000
4. David Cloutier, 236,700
5. David Ho, 230,000
6. Jason James, 213,400
7. Anthony Dalpra, 199,600
8. Andy Zhang, 198,100
9. Aaron Massey, 196,200
10. Darren Elias, 195,000

Wilinofsky’s rise to the top isn’t surprising considering his talents. A former European Poker Tour champion with almost $ 1.4 million in tournament earnings, Wilinofsky has also been quite open about personal issues he has had that have kept him from pursuing live tournament poker full time. Those problems – depression and anxiety issues – have kept the Canadian online professional out of the casinos but, with the WPT in his backyard for a stay, he suspended his “semi-retirement” (his definition of his status in the game) to try to add another jewel to his poker resume.

Action resumes at noon with Day Two of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. With 152 players remaining from the record-setting 489 entries that were eventually tallied (no prize pool or payouts have been announced yet), the money bubble will pop at some time on Friday, but there’s more to deal with than just popping the bubble. The serious work will be done on Friday as, with plans for the final table to play on Saturday, the field will be jammed to get down to the six-handed WPT final table.

Poker News Daily

State of Iowa Disbands State Forfeiture Unit After Poker Players’ Lawsuit

 State of Iowa Disbands State Forfeiture Unit After Poker Players’ Lawsuit

After a lawsuit brought by two traveling poker players over the confiscation of their bankrolls, the State of Iowa has not only refunded the players their monies beyond what they were carrying but also disbanded the police unit in charge of such actions.

On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced that it was disbanding its Drug Interdiction Team, which was charged with monitoring drug traffic in the Hawkeye State. As a part of their actions, however, the Drug Interdiction Team could, upon stopping someone, confiscate whatever was found in the vehicle as a “property forfeiture.” In some cases, this involved people losing property that they were carrying with them or, in many cases, large amounts of cash that the Drug Interdiction Team would seize, questioning the owners why they were traveling with so much moolah.

Per Nick Sibilla of the Institute of Justice, since 1985 Iowa has been one of the most vociferous enforcers of seizure laws, which allows law enforcement to take property even if someone isn’t convicted of a crime. Sibilla writes that more than 19,000 people had cash seized by the different law enforcement arms in Iowa, with 4200 vehicles, 37 real estate properties and $ 55 million. From now on, the Iowa Department of Public Safety – State Patrol officers – will not participate in such seizures.

In an official statement, Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Nathan Ludwig noted, “The State Patrol will no longer specifically assign Troopers to interdiction (seizure) duty on a full-time basis.” While this removes the State Patrols from the situation, individual city and county law enforcement officers can continue with their seizure protocols.

The actions by the Iowa Department of Public Safety may well be traced back to two poker players who decided to fight the system.

In April 2013, William Davis and John Newmerzhycky, two California poker players in the Midwest to take part in tournaments on the World Series of Poker Circuit, were stopped after they allegedly failed to signal when passing a vehicle. Citing Newmerzhycky’s alleged “fidgeting,” two State Troopers pulled the men out, searched the vehicle, and came up with slightly more than $ 100,000 and a small amount of marijuana.

Following Newmerzhycky’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge, the state seized the entirety of the $ 100K, sparking a federal lawsuit from Davis and Newmerzhycky that challenged the officers’ contentions. Davis and Newmerzhycky said there was no probable cause for them to be stopped as they had signaled and that the seized money was a part of a “warrantless search” and thus taken illegally. After the two men decided to stand and fight the case (and a review of the dashboard camera from the officers, which indeed showed they did signal), the Poweshiek County Attorney’s Office (where the case was held) chose to return $ 90,000 to the two men in the hopes they would go away.

The quick answer:  they didn’t. Continuing with their federal case, the players forced the state of Iowa’s hand, with Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Peterzalek eventually deciding to settle the case prior to going to trial and, with the ending of the State Troopers involvement in these cases, hope to put the issue behind them. Peterzalek and the State of Iowa will add in another $ 60,000 to Davis and Newmerzhycky, stating that “in light of the complexity of the case and the potential exposure to the state,” it was best to take that action. Davis and Newmerzhycky were suing for damages and attorney’s fees that could have driven the cost to the state up massively.

In this case, the story has a successful conclusion for the players. But it must be said that it is not always in the best interests of players to travel with massive amounts of money on their persons. In most cases, if you know you’re going to a certain casino, if a wire can be arranged it is for the best.

Poker News Daily

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