Posts Tagged ‘Big’

Poker Pros Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Win Tag Team, “Big One High Roller” Sets Off

 Poker Pros Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Win Tag Team, “Big One High Roller” Sets Off

The 2016 World Series of Poker crept closer to its Championship Event with the conclusion of the inaugural Tag Team event on Friday. With several top-notch pros entered into the event, it was the duo of Doug Polk and Ryan Fee who walked away as champions.

Event #61 – $ 1000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em

The final nine teams left in Event #61 were all looking to ring up the first bracelet in an event that may very well become a staple at the WSOP. The format – teams of two to four players could tag in and out at any time during the course of the tournament – brought several partnerships to the felt, but none were working the format better than Polk and Fee. At the start of the final day of play, Polk and Fee were the only players over the million chip mark with 1.243 million. In fact, they had more than double the chips of the second place team of John Gale and T. J. Shulman (606K) and more than ten times the chips of the short stack triumvirate of the Little Family (pro Jonathan and his parents Larry and Rita).

The story of the short stack was true for many of the competitors. Although they would hang around for the first 10 hands, Team Little just didn’t have the ammunition to get anything going, falling in ninth place at the hands of Team Mittelman (Niel Mittelman, Adam Greenberg and Gabe Paul). Next to go was the trio of Marco Caruso, Mike Padula and Daniel Urban, who saw their dreams of WSOP gold disappear in eighth place after losing a race against Team Charania (Mohsin Charania and Marvin Rettenmaier) for most of their stack and delivering the rest to Team Dempsey (James Dempsey and Chris Godfrey) when they couldn’t win a similar race. Finally, Team Peters (Reuben Peters and Robert Altman) succumbed to Team Dempsey in seventh place when Dempsey’s A-Q stood over Altman’s K-8…and this action was just in the first two hours!

By the 50th hand of the final table, two more teams would be gone. Team Gale was able to knock off Team Lybaert (Bart Lybaert, Adam Owen, Benny Glaser and Owais Ahmed) in sixth place after Gale flopped Aces up unnecessarily against Lybaert’s J-10 of spades. It wasn’t enough to keep Team Lybaert around, however, as they would depart in fifth place after Team Mittelman turned a flush against Gale’s Big Slick.

With four teams remaining, Polk and Fee were still cruising in the lead, waiting for a challenger to emerge. They got over the two million chip mark in eliminating Team Dempsey in fourth after Fee turned a Broadway straight to best Dempsey’s flopped top pair of Aces. Soon after Dempsey’s elimination, they were joined above that plateau by Team Mittelman when they four-flushed Team Charania from the event despite getting it all in pre-flop at a serious disadvantage (Rettenmaier’s pocket nines for Team Charania against Mittelman’s pocket fives).

Heads up play started with the two teams relatively even in chips, but Fee would assert his team’s claim on first within 20 hands to move out to almost a 4:1 lead. Mittelman, however, would find a key double to bring the match back to near even. This would be the way the heads up play would go – back and forth – for 107 hands, or more hands of heads up play than it took to eliminate the previous seven teams (102). When the end came, however, it came quickly.

On the final hand, an A♠ 10♠ 7 flop brought a check-call from Fee after Paul bet out 90K. the 9♠ on the turn saw a similar action, with Paul betting out 180K being the only difference. The 5 didn’t seem to help anyone, but Paul moved all in and Fee snapped him off, saying “The nuts,” as he tossed up K♠ 3♠. All Paul could show was a flopped two pair with his A-10 as the championship went to Doug Polk and Ryan Fee.

1. Doug Polk/Ryan Fee, $ 153,358
2. Niel Mittelman/Adam Greenberg/Gabe Paul, $ 94,748
3. Mohsin Charania/Marvin Rettenmaier, $ 66,458
4. James Dempsey/Chris Godfrey, $ 47,278
5. Bart Lybaert/Adam Owen/Benny Glaser/Owais Ahmed, $ 34,118
6. John Gale/T. J. Shulman, $ 24,982
7. Reuben Peters/Robert Altman, $ 18,564
8. Marco Caruso/Mike Padula/Daniel Urban, $ 14,003
9. Jonathan, Larry and Rita Little, $ 10,724

Event #67 – $ 111,111 One Drop High Roller

The largest buy-in event on the 2016 WSOP schedule, the One Drop High Roller naturally brought out some of the biggest guns in the poker world. The re-entry event (yes, if you burned through more than $ 100K, you had the option of chucking another $ 111,111 at the event) saw 171 entries racked up through the Day 1 action, but those aren’t the final numbers. With registration open until the start of play this afternoon, there could very well be more players who jump into the mix.

Of those 171 entries, 88 of them will return on Day 2 with a stack to play. Leading the way will be Koray Aldemir who, according to his Hendon Mob resume, has only played in a tournament with a buy-in higher than $ 5000 once (the 2015 WSOP Championship Event) and only has tournament earnings about five times ($ 561,683) more than what he bought in for on Friday. He ripped through the field late in the evening on Friday to build a 3.789 million chip stack, dwarfing anyone else in the field by almost a million chips.

Although he has a big lead now, Aldemir will have to watch his back. Fedor Holz is lurking in that second place slot, while the remainder of the Top Ten looks like a horror show of top-flight players:

1. Koray Aldemir, 3.789 million
2. Fedor Holz, 2.884 million
3. Brian Green, 2.36 million
4. Michael Mizrachi, 2.296 million
5. Dominik Nitsche, 2.15 million
6. Jeff Gross, 2.105 million
7. Kyle Julius, 2 million
8. Sergio Espina Aido, 1.867 million
9. Joe McKeehen, 1.866 million
10. Adrian Mateos, 1.842 million

Day Two will kick off at 2PM on Saturday (Pacific Time), at which point the final numbers for the tournament will be compiled and the prize pool, number of payees and the eventual first place prize, which should be well over $ 2 million if not $ 3 million if new entries are received, will be revealed.

Poker News Daily

All for Nothing: Vanessa Rousso Ousted In Third on “Big Brother”

 All for Nothing: Vanessa Rousso Ousted In Third on “Big Brother”

A two-part public service warning here:  1) Watching reality television is roughly akin to having a lobotomy without the benefit of anesthesia, so don’t do it, and 2) If you want to waste three months, there’s better ways to do it.

After three months in which she obviously played the best game of anyone in the house – a fact that was acknowledged by her fellow competitors – poker professional Vanessa Rousso’s own success came back to bite her as she was unceremoniously sent out of the competition in third place on the CBS reality show Big Brother.

When we last left the Big Brother compound, Rousso had just split the “bromance” of John and Steve up by sending John to the Jury House, hot on the heels of her being the Head of Household that had busted up the “showmance” of Austin and Liz. “You’ll never win this game without me,” Austin said as he hit the doorway last week, but Rousso’s final two competitors, his “showmance” partner Liz and Steve, didn’t look to be much competition for Rousso. Sure enough, in the first of a three part battle, Rousso locked up one of the slots to determine who would pick the final two players.

Over the last weekend, the second competition was held between Liz and Steve, which called for the two to navigate through an obstacle course and complete a crossword puzzle. Steve was able to do this in a quicker time than Liz, punching his ticket to compete against Vanessa in the third part of the competition to determine who the final two players would be. As soon as Steve was ensconced in that second seat, the intrigue began.

Despite the fact that they both had agreed to a deal to not eliminate the other one, both Rousso and Steve were ready to break that agreement from the moment it was known they were competing against each other. With Rousso’s fingerprints over virtually every part of the Big Brother season – she was Head of Household on many occasions, had been able to work out of tough situations with timely Power of Veto wins, had manipulated other HoH and PoV winners to do her dirty work and was only on the eviction block once before the final five were determined – Steve knew he couldn’t take Rousso to the final two because she had played the game masterfully; likewise, Rousso couldn’t take Steve because of his likeability factor with some of the Jury members (the final nine evictions of the season – Shelli, Jackie, Becky, James, Meg, Julia (Liz’ twin), Austin, John and the “odd man out” from the final three).

In the final competition, host Julie Chen asked both Rousso and Steve several “A or B” questions about their former houseguests and what they would say in response to questions about their stay in the Big Brother house. Steve took an early lead but, with only two questions to go, Rousso was able to tie up the competition when Steve tripped up on a question. It would eventually come down to the final question, which Steve answered correctly to win the final competition. Once the threesome was drawn back into the living room, Steve dropped the bomb that he had been waiting to release:  sending Rousso home in third place as he bawled more crocodile tears than can be found in the Okefenokee Swamp.

For her part, Rousso conducted herself as if she had been eliminated from a tournament. She quickly composed herself and even accepted the blabbering of both Steve and Liz in their apologies before leaving the house with her head held up. In the eviction chair being interviewed by Chen, Rousso admitted that she would have done the same thing to Steve without any guilt and didn’t question any part of the game she played. During the gathering of the Jury and the previous six houseguests who had been eliminated, she finally informed everyone in the game who she was and her success as a poker player to the respectful acknowledgement of her fellow competitors.

The final two now faced the Jury and it wasn’t even a contest. Despite the factor he was ineffective through much of the competition, Steve played more of a role in the Big Brother house than his opponent, Liz, and he had been able to link in a friendly manner with many of the Jury members (despite being about as social as wallpaper). As such, he would be the one to win the Jury vote, 6-3 (the three votes for Liz? Her sister, her “showmance” and Rousso, who probably wanted to ram the $ 500K somewhere inappropriate) and take down the $ 500,000 first prize. Liz was able to take home the $ 50,000 consolation prize and as for Rousso? She gets paid the per diem that comes along with appearing on a television show.

It is thought that the next poker professional taking part in a reality program will be Anna Khait’s turn on the next Survivor series (not the one that started on Wednesday night but the one which will air in early 2016). Unfortunately, poker’s fandom may not be as willing to put up with watching one of their own on a reality program lose again, especially after Rousso’s well-deserved run in Big Brother that should have netted her the victory instead got her the final seat on the Jury, truly the definition of “all or nothing.”

Poker News Daily

Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

 Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

n what has been a tumultuous two days, poker professional Vanessa Rousso has put herself in position to be under consideration for the $ 500,000 first prize on the CBS reality show Big Brother. After fighting her way into the final three, Rousso now has the potential to make the final two. Come next week, Rousso may be one of the people who is considered by a Jury vote for the victory in the competition.

After winning the Head of Household on last Thursday’s episode, Rousso knew that there were plenty of issues that she still faced. Situated between two partnerships – the “showmance” between Austin and Liz and the “bromance” between Steve and John – Rousso had to tread lightly in making decisions as the HoH. After interviewing all the contestants, Rousso would decide to put up John and Steve for elimination.

The Power of Veto competition would prove to be pivotal, however. John, who was the target of Rousso for elimination, emerged as the victor of the PoV competition and used that power to remove himself from the elimination seat. Now faced with putting up one of the members of her “Sixth Sense” alliance, Rousso decided that Austin would allow her the best chance to look like she was putting up a strong opponent but in reality target Steve for elimination. Thus, Austin went on the block as the Big Brother household headed to a special elimination on Tuesday night.

Sometime between the Sunday episode and the Tuesday elimination, Rousso would switch her allegiance from Austin to Steve, breaking up the “showmance” that had probably lasted longer than many thought it would. Rousso’s logic was that Austin presented more of a challenge in competitions (especially the more physical ones) and that, if Rousso went to the final three with both Austin and Liz, she would be the “odd man out” (and a final three of her, Liz and either Steve or John was much more preferable). Thus, after John used his vote on Steve and Liz used hers on Austin, Rousso broke the tie by stunningly sending Austin out of the house.

Now down to four – Steve, John, Liz and herself – Rousso was in a tough position. Barred from competing for the next HoH (and earning an automatic spot in the final three), Rousso had to watch as Steve took over from her and nominated John and Rousso for elimination. Only one other person would be guaranteed a seat in the final three – the winner of the PoV – and Rousso, needing to pull herself off the block, won the PoV and guaranteed her slot in the final three. With John and now Liz on the elimination table, Rousso decided to split the “bromance” this time by knocking off John, setting up an intriguing three person battle for the coming week.

With three people remaining, Rousso now had to punch the ticket for the final two. In what turned out to be a marathon of a physical challenge – hanging on a rope swing, being dunked in some red goo that didn’t look particularly enjoyable and slammed repeatedly into a foam rubber wall – Rousso first watched as Steve fell to his demise and then was able to convince Liz to fall from her swing willingly. Some of the more vocal fans have insinuated that Rousso might have offered Liz something for her giving up (a trip to the final two, perhaps?), but it is unknown if this was the case.

It is a difficult choice for who would be the better opponent for Rousso in the final two. Although she has been partners of some sort with Liz since pretty much the start of the show, Rousso knows that if she were to take Liz to the final two with her, Liz would have two votes automatically from Austin and her twin, Julia. With six other members in the Jury (Becky, Jackie, James, John, Meg and Shelli round out that field), Liz would only have to garner three more votes to take the $ 500,000 prize from Rousso. The situation doesn’t get any easier with Steve, however, as he has probably three solid votes with James, Meg and John (and “solid votes” indicates voting on friendship and previous alliance rather than who played the best game) and would only need two more (Austin and Julia with a payback?) to turn against Rousso to take the bounty.

Over the next week, it will be revealed who will be the one to head to the final two with Rousso. There will be a broadcast on Sunday night (8PM Eastern Time), but it probably won’t be until the 90-minute season finale on Wednesday night that we actually learn who will join Rousso in the final two. Then it is up to a vote of the Jury to determine whether Rousso will be rewarded with $ 500,000 for playing an outstanding game or whether alliances and friendships will be the final determinant.

Poker News Daily

Vanessa Rousso’s Partner says It’s “Absolutely Not True” CBS is Fixing “Big Brother”

 Vanessa Rousso’s Partner says It’s “Absolutely Not True” CBS is Fixing “Big Brother”

As they are pulling into the final week of what has been a summer-long run, the CBS reality television show Big Brother is down to its final five competitors. Of the five houseguests remaining, one is poker professional Vanessa Rousso. Rousso has shown a dominant mental game throughout the run of this summer’s program, but she still has to make it down to the final two and, after that, through the Jury that will decide who wins the $ 500,000 grand prize.

But what would be tougher, being on the inside and playing the game or sitting on the outside and worrying about the game? You might have noticed that, when she knows she is on camera, Rousso will kiss her ring finger. That is an “I love you” to her partner, Melissa Ouellet, whom Vanessa has been away from now for almost 90 days and who has been sweating the proceedings heavily. She has also had to deal with the accusations from the Big Brother faithful that the producers are “fixing” the show for Vanessa and other more hurtful statements about Rousso in general.

Poker News Daily was able to speak with Ouellet as Rousso reaches the end of the Big Brother battle and found that it may be tougher for someone outside the game than the person actually in it.

Poker News Daily:  How difficult has it been for you during Vanessa’s time in the house?

Melissa Ouellet:  Before Vanessa left to the Big Brother house, we spent 24/7 together and we were inseparable. Being away from her for four months has been a very lonely summer.

I do believe this time away will only make our relationship stronger. Vanessa being in the house brings a lot of mixed emotions…I don’t think she will ever understand the stress and pain I’ve had to go through, not being able to tell her who is on your side and who’s not, not being able to hug her while she is being emotional…these situations are extremely hard on you, but at the end of the day it is all worth it. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve LOVED watching Vanessa on Big Brother. It has been a great experience on her end and mine.

PND:  To the best of your knowledge, does Vanessa have any roles on television pending once she exits the Big Brother house?

MO:  There is apparently a rumor that the show Big Brother is being rigged for Vanessa to win to promote this new show called Poker Face. I would love to make this nice and clear that this is absolutely NOT true. Vanessa has worked extremely hard to get herself to where she is at in the game and if she wins Big Brother it’s because she deserves it and has played an incredible game.

PND:  Do you pay any attention to the fan blogs and what they say? And how do you handle those who are critics of Vanessa?

MO:  I am on social media quite a bit and I am aware of all that is being said out there. At first I was devastated by what I was reading – it literally broke my heart – but as the summer went by I started to realize that the critics and the things being said about Vanessa are just out of control and there’s a lot of jealousy out there. Normally I would say people are jealous of successful people. Vanessa is a GENIUS and not everyone understands her brain and her intelligence, but she is always 10 steps ahead from everyone. It also seems as if Vanessa has this magical power to get away with anything and everything, she knows how to handle situations and always knows what to say…clearly people aren’t liking that. With this said, I must also say Vanessa has some REALLY incredible loyal fans out there who love her and supported her game play from Day 1.

PND:  Why do you think there is so much vitriol from fans of the show towards Vanessa?

MO:  I never understood and never will understand the animosity towards Vanessa. My best guess for that would have to be because Vanessa is REALLY good at this game, and a lot of fans out there have their favorite houseguest. It also could be because Vanessa had a hand in almost every eviction and they blame her. I think Vanessa has played a fascinating game, not just because she is my girlfriend but I would have to say she has played the best game this season.

PND:  So what is your prediction for what the final days are going to be like for Vanessa? And what will they be like for you?

MO:  For the live eviction show tonight, Austin will go home. Whoever wins the next HOH will most probably put Vanessa up, but 100% she will win one of the most important Veto competition and save herself and most probably will end up in final 2 with either John or Steve. Of course, she will win overall! I do hope and pray the jury isn’t bitter and understands that Vanessa has played the best game.

While Rousso will get through tonight’s episode (airing at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central) and make the final four, the true test will come over the next 24 hours. Another player will be eliminated on Wednesday’s episode (same broadcast time as Tuesday) and the final three will be determined. Will Rousso make it to that pinnacle? And does she have enough gas to make it to the $ 500,000 finish line? We’ll have to watch and find out, but you can believe Melissa Ouellet will be watching much more intensely!

Poker News Daily

Rumors Say “The Fix Is In” For Vanessa Rousso to Win “Big Brother”

 Rumors Say “The Fix Is In” For Vanessa Rousso to Win “Big Brother”

If it wasn’t for the factor that there is a poker player involved in the proceedings, the number of people in the poker community watching the CBS reality show Big Brother would probably be much smaller than its current levels. With poker professional Vanessa Rousso in the final five players in the competition, rumors are now beginning to leak out that “the fix is in” from producers of the popular reality program and CBS executives to have Rousso win this year’s competition.

According to several popular Big Brother fan sites and blogs (the true fans of a television series, while sometimes overly analytical and pessimistic about their favorite series, are sometimes on track with show rumors), unnamed personnel that work on the show have stated that producers have had the show set up for Rousso to win pretty much since the start of this year’s competition. These sources state that producers have constantly fed insider information to Rousso to keep her abreast of her standing among the competitors. By using this information, Rousso would allegedly know what her fellow houseguests were feeling about her, know when to stroke egos or push hard against her fellow competitors or know when to keep her head low and let others be taken out.

Much of this commotion has come about since many of the “fan favorites” have already hit the bricks (or, as we would say in the poker industry, have “hit the rail”). The “fanatics” of the show, cheering for such players as Meg or James (who were both eliminated a week ago during the latest “double elimination night”), have loudly voiced their displeasure with the final six players – the wrestler Austin, the twins Liz and Julia, the dentist John, the musician Steve and Rousso – with many canceling their subscriptions to the all-access feed (24/7 access to the cameras in the Big Brother compound) that CBS provides for the program.

Another point that the naysayers make when referencing the potential for the game to be skewed towards Rousso point out the only time when she was on the eviction block during the run of the competition. Sitting with fellow houseguest Shelli on the eviction seat, Rousso was thought to have been a target at that time but several houseguests (including Meg and James, who had targeted Rousso) “mysteriously” switched their votes to evict Shelli from the game instead of Rousso. The “fans” of the show believe that the producers swayed the voting towards Shelli to keep Rousso alive in the competition.

Why would the producers care about who wins a reality competition? Rousso is allegedly supposed to be starring in another CBS show called Poker Face and winning the Big Brother competition would be a strong lead-in for promoting the upcoming television show. There is one problem with this, however; according to the IMDB.com, there is no program on tap for broadcast on the network and Rousso’s IMDB.com profile does not list any television programs that she is a part of after the conclusion of Big Brother.

IMDB does have Rousso taking part in a new documentary called Post Oak Bluff:  The Politics of Poker, which is currently in “post-production” according to IMDB and is supposed to be released before the end of the year. There is no mention, however, of any program on CBS or any other network, broadcast or cable, that would serve as a vehicle for Rousso or that would need the “bump” of winning Big Brother to promote it.

It may simply be the whining of a group of fanatics complaining about what they say is “one of the worst seasons” of the Big Brother competition. It may simply be the way for those same fans to explain why Rousso, who has shown some outstanding manipulation skills through her run on the show, hasn’t been targeted more by her fellow houseguests. Bur what if there is some truth to the rumors that Big Brother producers and CBS executives have skewed the game to Vanessa Rousso?

Poker News Daily



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