Posts Tagged ‘Championship’

WPT Maryland Live! Championship Event Kicks Off Today

 WPT Maryland Live! Championship Event Kicks Off Today

For the third consecutive year, the World Poker Tour has backed up the production trucks at Maryland Live! in Hanover for an event on their Season XVI schedule.

Starting at noon today, the $ 3500 buy in Main Event becomes the focal point of the players gathered in Maryland. Two Day Ones (Day 1B is scheduled to run on Sunday) will comprise the field, which will have plenty of opportunity to meet the $ 2,000,000 guarantee that Maryland Live! has put up. There are unlimited re-entries for the tournament and late registration will continue until the start of Day 2 on Monday. The tournament is a “best stack forward” event, meaning that players can play both Day Ones but only the best stack from their efforts will move to Day 2 action.

The $ 2,000,000 guaranteed prize pool tournament is one of the success stories of the WPT in that, two years ago, it was a venture into an arena where they weren’t sure of the potential success. Maryland Live! wasn’t sure of their drawing power either as they had just opened for business a few months earlier. What started with a bit of mystery as to its potential success has, two years later, become one of the more popular stops on the WPT circuit.

In 2015, 337 entrants (a very good number for an inaugural event) came to the tables at Maryland Live! to battle it out for a $ 1,063,000 prize pool. It was one of the events where Cate Hall first garnered a good deal of recognition in making it to the final table. Her drive at the title would come up short, however, as Aaron Mermelstein was able to outlast Xin “Tony” Wang to capture the first ever championship of the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event.

After more people heard the buzz of its first journey, the numbers increased for last year’s tournament. By the time late registration ended, players had ponied up the $ 3500 (at least once) 554 times to build a $ 1,772,800 prize pool. Hall made it back to the final table again, this time facing Darren Elias (looking for his third ever WPT championship) and Benjamin Zamani (who would eventually become the 2016 WPT Player of the Year), but none of them would figure into the heads-up battle. In the end, Zachary Smiley would earn the championship and the $ 356,536 payday after defeating Ryan Belz.

The WPT has been on site for the past few days, getting the players warmed up for the battles that are coming. A WPT Welcome Party for the players was held last night, which brought in poker professional Christian Harder and several members of the Royal Flush Girls. From photos that have appeared on Twitter, the event was well attended and enjoyed by all.

There is some question amongst the players, however – will the $ 2 million guarantee be met? If they are to meet that guarantee, then there will have to be another increase roughly equivalent to last year’s tournament. The 2016 version of the event brought in 64% more entries than the inaugural year; if this year’s tournament were to make a similar increase, that would be a 900-entry field. While that might be a bit fanciful to think of, it is possible to imagine a 700-entry field, which would also pass the $ 2 million guaranteed prize pool with room to spare ($ 2.3 million).

The cards will hit the air at noon today and the proceeding are not going to be a part of the Season XVI broadcast schedule (which could have an impact on the numbers). The final table, however, will be a part of the stream schedule on PokerGO that the WPT agreed to earlier this year. Can Cate Hall make it three years in a row at the final table? Who will emerge from what should be a competitive field? We’ll answer those and other questions as the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event kicks off play later today.

The post WPT Maryland Live! Championship Event Kicks Off Today appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Steffen Sontheimer Claims Main Event, Overall Championship of 2017 Poker Masters

 Steffen Sontheimer Claims Main Event, Overall Championship of 2017 Poker Masters

Capping a week of potentially his best poker ever, Germany’s Steffen Sontheimer picked up his second victory of the 2017 Poker Masters, the $ 100,000 Main Event, and easily claimed the overall “Player of the Series” championship and the Purple Jacket that goes along with the title.

Three days of play saw the 36 entries whittled down to the final six, the only men (and the entirety of the Poker Masters was a sausage fest – no ladies took part in the series of tournaments) who would receive a payday from the $ 3.6 million prize pool. At the start of action on Wednesday it was another German, Fedor Holz, who led the final table with his 1.471 million in chips. Three more German players, Christian Christner (1.367 million), Sontheimer (1.354 million) and Stefan Schillhabel (1.218 million) provided a German wall against two States of America players, Justin Bonomo (1.05 million) and Seth Davies (740,000), who had their work cut out for them in breaking through the German blockade.

Essentially Sontheimer had the Purple Jacket sewn up from the start as any of the other five men needed to win the Main Event to knock him from his perch AND needed Sontheimer to finish down the table to slip past him. But there was still a great deal of money to divvy up, hence the early action was quite placid as the participants jousted amongst each other for position. How placid? It was almost five HOURS before the first elimination would take place.

On Hand 93, Schillhabel moved all in over the top of a Bonomo bet and Bonomo was up to the challenge. Schillhabel was ahead at the start with his A-3 over Bonomo’s K-Q off suit and his lead improved when a trey came on the flop. Schillhabel dodged paint on the turn but, when a K♣ slapped the river, the result completely flipped over to Bonomo and sent Schillhabel to the rail in sixth place.

Even with the Schillhabel chips, Bonomo was still in dire straits with his short stack. On Hand 122, he got his remaining chips to the center in a completely dominated position. Bonomo’s K-10 was in a terrible spot against Sontheimer’s A-10, but it got even worse when Christner joined the part with his Big Slick. Covered on both avenues, an eight-high flop hit nobody, keeping Christner in the lead and sending Bonomo to the rail in fifth place.

After Bonomo’s departure, the pace of play ramped up. Davies would head out the door in fourth place only two hands after Bonomo, taking a tough beat when his A-7 was outrun by Christner’s K-7 when a King appeared on the flop. Christner’s rush continued when, on Hand 126, he knocked off Holz in third place when his pocket sevens stood up against Holz’s Q-J on an intriguing yet uneventful A-10-2-8-5 board.

At this point, Sontheimer captured the overall series championship and the Purple Jacket. With his final challenger in Holz out of the running, Sontheimer would earn enough cash – the criteria for the Poker Masters Player of the Series battle – that Christner could not catch him. The best that Christner could do was finish in second place behind Sontheimer, with the other option being a fourth-place finish should Sontheimer win.

At the start of heads up play, Christner was in a dominating spot with his 4.91 million in chips. Sontheimer, sitting on 2.29 million as the action kicked off, tried to make some inroads in the first few hands, but Christner was able to pick off the Sontheimer bluffs to increase his lead. Sontheimer righted the ship on Hand 133, getting a big double up when his A-8 flopped an Ace and the turn gave him an eight for two pair against Christner’s pocket deuces. Soon after this double up, Sontheimer would seize control of the event.

On the very next hand, Christner tried to keep the pressure on his countryman with a raise to 115K while holding a meager 7 3. Sontheimer called with a connector, 10-9 off suit, and got even stronger on a J-A-8 flop (open-ended straight draw). Sontheimer check-called a bet from Christner and caught gold on the 7♠ turn for the straight. Sontheimer checked, but Christner saw the straight potential and checked behind him. With a second seven on the turn, Sontheimer checked again and Christner felt good about his trips, firing a 320K bet. Finally, Sontheimer sprung to life, check-raising to 1.5 million, which sent Christner into the tank and his time extension buttons. After a moment, Christner made the call and winced when Sontheimer turned up the straight, shifting the chip lead from Christner to Sontheimer.

It would take another 33 hands, but Sontheimer would never let Christner back in the game. On Hand 167, Sontheimer made a raise off the button and Christner moved all in. Sontheimer nearly beat him into the pot, showing pocket Queens, as Christner meekly showed his pocket deuces for battle. The Jack-high board didn’t hit anyone, giving the pot, the Main Event championship, and the Purple Jacket to Sontheimer.

1. Steffen Sontheimer, $ 1,512,000
2. Christian Christner, $ 864,000
3. Fedor Holz, $ 504,000
4. Seth Davies, $ 324,000
5. Justin Bonomo, $ 216,000
6. Stefan Schillhabel, $ 180,000

The post Steffen Sontheimer Claims Main Event, Overall Championship of 2017 Poker Masters appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Sebastian Sorensson Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona

 Sebastian Sorensson Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona

The live poker tournament scene has been strong the last couple years, but even so, it is pretty incredible – at least to me – that a non-World Series of Poker tourney could garner 1,682 entries. But that is exactly what the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event did and it was that large of a field (minus one, really) that Sebastian Sorensson defeated to win nearly €1 million over the weekend.

Sorensson is basically my poker fantasy come to life. He is a low-stakes online player who qualified for this tournament via a $ 200 satellite on PokerStars. Sure, sometimes it gets tense for us even though we play for a few cents or a few bucks at a time because, after all, those few cents or few bucks are not always an insignificant portion of our bankroll. Plus, we’re competitive and want to win. But no matter how seriously we take our hobby, a major live tournament is like another world entirely.

“The days are so, so long,” Sorensson told PokerNews.com afterward. “It’s really exhausting.”

Reading more about how he got started in poker is pretty amazing. In 2015, he bet on underdog Nate Diaz to defeat Michael Johnson in a UFC fight. The underdog came through and Sorensson won $ 1,000. He then took at $ 1,000 and bet that Donald Trump would win the Republican Presidential nomination and then let those winnings ride on Trump (ugh) winning the election (emotional hedging, I guess?).

With his gambling bankroll up to $ 12,000, he decided to take up micro-stakes poker, which led to PokerStars Championship Barcelona.

According to PokerNews, Sorensson played exactly like I would have, me being a fellow micro-stakes player. Once he made the money, he played tight, trying to survive the money jumps. I, myself, did just that in my most successful live tournament adventure, but I only made $ 3,500 for third place, a FAR FAR FAR cry from what Sorensson just accomplished, so our similarities end there.

Sorensson entered the six-handed final table as the second-shortest stack, holding just 6.125 million chips. For comparison, chip leader Raffaele Sorrentino had 15.5 million. He quickly made more than two million chips in just over one orbit and after 26 hands – just a few after Usman Siddique was knocked out in sixth place – Sorensson was up to 10 million chips. Even more interesting is that he was in fourth place, but the spread between first and fourth was fewer than one million chips. Even Sorrentino, who had fallen to fifth, still had 8.425 million. Things had tightened up quickly.

Sorensson held steady for quite some time, staying within about a million or so of the 10 million chip mark for about another 60 hands, but he eventually lost a big hand to Sorrentino, who was now soaring (more than doubling the chip count we just mentioned), and fell down to close to 5 million.

5 million sounds like a lot of chips, but with blinds at 300,000/600,000, he had to make a move, so he moved all-in on Hand 94, fortunately survived with a worse Ace than Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, when the board allowed them to chop.

After that, there were two speedy eliminations – Andre Akkari in fifth place and Brian Esposito in fourth place – before the 100th hand. Sorensson was the one who got Esposito with A-Q versus K-Q, allowing him to grow his stack to 11.4 million. A few hands later, he was at 16.680 million, still well behind Petkov, who had 22.280 million, but almost equally ahead of Esposito, who was the short stack again with 11.450 million.

With the stacks shallow because of the escalating blinds and the chip counts starting to converge again, the three remaining players eventually discussed a deal. They agreed that Petkov would get the most at €917,347, Sorensson would bank €887,043, and Sorrentino would receive €850,110. They would leave €100,000 on the table as incentive to try to win.

Just four hands later, Sorrentino was eliminated in third place by Sorensson (who had just taken a massive pot from Petkov) and suddenly Sorensson was in complete command of the tournament going into heads-up play with 40.9 million chips versus Petkov’s 9.5 million.

Despite that chip gap, heads-up went on for a long, long time, nearly 70 hands. Petkov even took the lead at one point, but Sorensson regained control quickly and eventually put it away. On the final hand, Petkov went all-in pre-flop for 18.2 million chips with K-9 and Sorensson easily called with A-K. The flop provided Sorensson another Ace and when the turn didn’t give Petkov any of the outs he needed for a runner-runner miracle, it was all over and Sebastian Sorensson became my poker hero.

2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table Results

1. Sebastian Sorensson – €987,043
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov – €917,347
3. Raffaele Sorrentino – €850,110
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito – €402,000
5. Andre Akkari – €317,960
6. Usman Siddique – €252,000

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Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

 Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

After battling through the 1682 player field, six men are left at the final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona, which will be played out on Sunday at the Casino Barcelona in Spain.

Sixteen players came back with the chance of making the final table on Saturday, with Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari in command of the field. Sitting with 6.16 million in chips, Akkari still had to contend with the likes of a past champion on the PokerStars Championship circuit, Monte Carlo champion Raffaele Sorrentino, and Alex Difelice. It was an international gathering as well, with 14 nations represented amongst the 16 men (only the United Kingdom had more than one representative, with three).

The players wasted little time in getting down to business. Yaron Zeev Malki was the first player to depart (and receive the final €61,400 payout from the prize pool), leaving 15 guys guaranteed €69,600 for their efforts. Andrew Hedley, Day 2 chip leader Mauricio Salazar Sanchez, and Rens Feenstra all went out for that payday as it seemed the day would wrap up quick in playing from the remaining 12 players to the eight-handed PokerStars Championship final table.

That was the point where the tournament hit a logjam. Although there was plenty of effort at knocking out players, it always seemed that the all-in player found an opportune moment and double up. Tsugunari Toma (through Lachezar Plamenov Petkov) and Aeragan Arunan (through Albert Daher) would be two players who survived such action, although Toma would depart in twelfth place at the hands of Petkov. When Donald Duarte Sierra was eliminated by Sorrentino in eleventh place, Sorrentino’s pocket Jacks standing over Sierra’s A-7, the final table “bubble” was within sight.

Sorrentino and Akkari would be the most aggressive players of the Day __ action, often bullying the players on their respective tables with their “power poker” play. The news wasn’t as good for Difelice, however, as he found pocket Queens to his liking for an all-in move. The problem was Arunan woke up behind him with pocket Aces and, after the board rolled out with no lady waiting, Difelice headed to the rail in tenth place and brought about a redraw to the nine-handed unofficial final table just before the remaining nine men took a dinner break.

Back from the evening meal, the players didn’t even get a chance to settle into their seats before a stunning hand brought about the end of the night. Albert Daher raised from under the gun and found Sorrentino ready with calling chips. The hand got more interesting when Mesbah Guerfi moved all in from the hijack and, after everyone cleared out of the blinds, Daher wasted little time in making the call. Sorrentino was still interested, however, getting a count of Daher’s all in (for 3.4 million) before making the call himself. The massive pot brought about strong hands from all its participants:

Guerfi:  pocket treys
Daher:  A-Q off suit
Sorrentino:  pocket Jacks

Although he came in with the worst of it, Daher immediately took over the lead on the Q-Q-10 flop. Sitting with trip ladies, Daher had to feel good until the King peeled on the turn. Now Sorrentino had an open-ender to the straight and, like a thunderbolt, the open-ender was closed when the river nine gave Sorrentino his straight. Covering both men (Guerfi out in ninth and Daher out in eighth), Sorrentino took over the chip lead.

There was still some work left as tournament officials pushed onward, trying to get the table to the final six due to the stack sizes in relation to the blinds and antes. Akkari, who was at the bottom of the table after the double knockout, finally found his stride and moved up the leaderboard. In fact, Akkari used his knockout of Arunan in seventh place to solidify his third place standing for Sunday’s final table:

1. Raffaele Sorrentino, 15.5 million
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, 10.325 million
3. Andre Akkari, 8.15 million
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito, 6.475 million
5. Sebastian Sorensson, 6.125 million
6. Usman Siddique, 3.875 million

The final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event will commence at noon on Sunday (6AM Eastern Time in the States), with the six men chopping up the remaining prize pool. Although all are guaranteed a minimum of €252,000, they all have their eyes cast to the top of the ladder where €1,410,000 is awaiting the champion.

Poker News Daily

Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

 Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

After battling through the 1682 player field, six men are left at the final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona, which will be played out on Sunday at the Casino Barcelona in Spain.

Sixteen players came back with the chance of making the final table on Saturday, with Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari in command of the field. Sitting with 6.16 million in chips, Akkari still had to contend with the likes of a past champion on the PokerStars Championship circuit, Monte Carlo champion Raffaele Sorrentino, and Alex Difelice. It was an international gathering as well, with 14 nations represented amongst the 16 men (only the United Kingdom had more than one representative, with three).

The players wasted little time in getting down to business. Yaron Zeev Malki was the first player to depart (and receive the final €61,400 payout from the prize pool), leaving 15 guys guaranteed €69,600 for their efforts. Andrew Hedley, Day 2 chip leader Mauricio Salazar Sanchez, and Rens Feenstra all went out for that payday as it seemed the day would wrap up quick in playing from the remaining 12 players to the eight-handed PokerStars Championship final table.

That was the point where the tournament hit a logjam. Although there was plenty of effort at knocking out players, it always seemed that the all-in player found an opportune moment and double up. Tsugunari Toma (through Lachezar Plamenov Petkov) and Aeragan Arunan (through Albert Daher) would be two players who survived such action, although Toma would depart in twelfth place at the hands of Petkov. When Donald Duarte Sierra was eliminated by Sorrentino in eleventh place, Sorrentino’s pocket Jacks standing over Sierra’s A-7, the final table “bubble” was within sight.

Sorrentino and Akkari would be the most aggressive players of the Day __ action, often bullying the players on their respective tables with their “power poker” play. The news wasn’t as good for Difelice, however, as he found pocket Queens to his liking for an all-in move. The problem was Arunan woke up behind him with pocket Aces and, after the board rolled out with no lady waiting, Difelice headed to the rail in tenth place and brought about a redraw to the nine-handed unofficial final table just before the remaining nine men took a dinner break.

Back from the evening meal, the players didn’t even get a chance to settle into their seats before a stunning hand brought about the end of the night. Albert Daher raised from under the gun and found Sorrentino ready with calling chips. The hand got more interesting when Mesbah Guerfi moved all in from the hijack and, after everyone cleared out of the blinds, Daher wasted little time in making the call. Sorrentino was still interested, however, getting a count of Daher’s all in (for 3.4 million) before making the call himself. The massive pot brought about strong hands from all its participants:

Guerfi:  pocket treys
Daher:  A-Q off suit
Sorrentino:  pocket Jacks

Although he came in with the worst of it, Daher immediately took over the lead on the Q-Q-10 flop. Sitting with trip ladies, Daher had to feel good until the King peeled on the turn. Now Sorrentino had an open-ender to the straight and, like a thunderbolt, the open-ender was closed when the river nine gave Sorrentino his straight. Covering both men (Guerfi out in ninth and Daher out in eighth), Sorrentino took over the chip lead.

There was still some work left as tournament officials pushed onward, trying to get the table to the final six due to the stack sizes in relation to the blinds and antes. Akkari, who was at the bottom of the table after the double knockout, finally found his stride and moved up the leaderboard. In fact, Akkari used his knockout of Arunan in seventh place to solidify his third place standing for Sunday’s final table:

1. Raffaele Sorrentino, 15.5 million
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, 10.325 million
3. Andre Akkari, 8.15 million
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito, 6.475 million
5. Sebastian Sorensson, 6.125 million
6. Usman Siddique, 3.875 million

The final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event will commence at noon on Sunday (6AM Eastern Time in the States), with the six men chopping up the remaining prize pool. Although all are guaranteed a minimum of €252,000, they all have their eyes cast to the top of the ladder where €1,410,000 is awaiting the champion.

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