Posts Tagged ‘Championship’

2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table, Night One: Scott Blumstein Retakes Lead as Play is Cut Short

 2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table, Night One: Scott Blumstein Retakes Lead as Play is Cut Short

The 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event’s Night One (seems a bit odd to say that!) action is in the books and it certainly was entertaining. As the seven players (more on that in a bit) prepare to take on Night Two in a few hours, Scott Blumstein will have a monstrous lead, bigger than the one he brought to the table on Thursday night for action.

Blumstein’s 97.25 million in chips were slightly ahead of John Hesp’s 85.7 million stack, but the duo sitting beside each other didn’t look to have anyone who would challenge them. The closest competitor to the Top Two was Benjamin Pollok, whose own mountain of 35.175 million chips looked monstrous until compared to Blumstein and Hesp. Hot on Pollok’s heels was Bryan Piccioli with 33.8 million and Dan Ott was in decent shape with his 26.475 million markers. Damian Salas (22.175 million), Antoine Saout (21.75 million), Jack Sinclair (20.2 million) and a short-stacked Ben Lamb (18.5 million) rounded out those who were looking to take down the crème atop the final table.

To say that there were some fireworks to start the evening’s festivities would be a huge understatement. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of line to say that the opening salvo of hands was perhaps the most exciting in recent WSOP final table history. That the man having the most fun with his stay in Las Vegas was responsible for it would not be surprising.

Hesp came out of the gates with his guns, cannons, missiles and atom bombs of joviality and freewheeling poker decisions, entertaining the crowd in the Brasilia Room at the Rio and the millions watching at home via ESPN. On the very first hand of action, he would suck some chips out of Saout with a worse hand and, when he asked if he should show, he was egged on by the crowd (and some of his tablemates) to show the bluff right in Saout’s face. Saout’s didn’t seem pleased by the grandstanding, but it wasn’t over yet.

On the very next hand, Hesp would three-bet Ott and Ott would not be able to find the means to call. Once again egged on, Hesp showed his hand – pocket Queens (that had Ott beaten pre-flop) – that demonstrated he would make a move whether he had the goods or not. This led to the THIRD HAND of the night, in which Hesp only made a raise to get everyone out of the way. After showing his J-10 off suit as he raked in the chips, Hesp basked in the enjoyment and adulation that the entirety of the room seemed to be having and giving him.

Thus, the actions on Hand 4 of the tournament were a bit of a reality check for everyone. After Sinclair made a raise to 1.6 million off the button, Lamb decided to defend his big blind – it was only a question of how. Lamb eventually settled on moving his 18 million-chip stack to the center and an undaunted Sinclair made the call. Sinclair’s A-Q dominated the A 9 of Lamb, but the board decided it wanted to play some games. Coming down with a 6-5-4 flop, Lamb had a chance at backdoor straight and flush draws to take the hand. A turn trey eliminated the flush draws but opened some action for Lamb to a split on the open-ended straight draw.  All Lamb’s hopes were dashed, however, when a ten came on the river to eliminate him in ninth place ($ 1,000,000).

After the elimination of Lamb, a bit of seriousness seemed to settle in over the remaining eight men. Because of his early actions, Hesp had moved out to a decent lead over Blumstein, while the remainder of the field looked to catch up with them. Pollok seemed to be the best at doing this as his chip stack slowly crept up to solidify his third-place position. When there was a clash, it was between two players that probably shouldn’t have been colliding.

Normally at a final table, the two largest stacks – especially if they are in the positions that Hesp and Blumstein found themselves in – will avoid each other rather than butt heads. Thus, on Hand 47 when Blumstein opened the betting from under the gun, it was perceived that he’d get the walk about as his stack deemed. In the big blind, however, was Hesp, who called to see a flop with the only player who could hurt his stack, and the twosome saw an A-7-5 hit the felt.

Unknown to either player (but known to those watching on ESPN), a storm was brewing. Hesp had connected with his A-10 on the flop, but it was Blumenstein who was dominating with the pocket Aces he had raised with. That domination only became an evisceration when a ten hit on the turn, giving Hesp two pair but leaving him drawing dead to Blumstein’s set of Aces. That evisceration was total as, after Hesp checked his option and Blumstein bet, Hesp check-raised with his two pair. When Blumstein took no time to four-bet the action to 17 million, Hesp incorrectly moved all in and Blumstein immediately called. An innocuous trey completed the board and Blumstein rocketed back into a massive chip lead.

After Piccioli eliminated Sinclair in eighth place ($ 1.2 million), his pocket Aces ruling over Sinclair’s K♠ J♠, another 11 hands were played before a somewhat controversial decision. Roughly at 11:30PM (Pacific Time), either WSOP officials or the honchos of ESPN decided that it was time to end play for the night, short of the final six that had originally been on the schedule. Because of that decision, seven men will come back on Friday night to continue the festivities.

1. Scott Blumstein, 178.3 million
2. Benjamin Pollok, 77.525 million
3. Bryan Piccioli, 35.75 million
4. John Hesp, 22.475 million
5. Dan Ott, 16.35 million
6. Damian Salas, 15.625 million
7. Antoine Saout, 14.55 million
8. Jack Sinclair, $ 1,200,000*
9. Ben Lamb, $ 1,000,000*

(* – eliminated on Thursday night)

Play resumes this evening at 6PM (Pacific Time, 9PM Eastern Time), at which point the final seven will play down to the final three combatants. This will be the final stoppage for the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event as, on Saturday night, a new World Champion will be crowned.

Poker News Daily

2017 World Series of Poker: Championship Event Money Bubble Pops, Patrick Lavecchia Tops Field

 2017 World Series of Poker: Championship Event Money Bubble Pops, Patrick Lavecchia Tops Field

Late Thursday evening, the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event reached its second milestone. After becoming the third-largest WSOP Championship Event of all time (the first milestone), the first players to take a bit of the more than $ 67 million prize pool (and get a new mark on their Hendon Mob poker resumes) have been determined with the popping of the money bubble.

That didn’t look like it would happen when Day 3 started Thursday morning. 2600 players were still in contention when the cards hit the air, leaving some wondering if they would be able to make it to the money during Thursday’s play. Leading the pack when they went off the line was Artan Dedusha, but that Day 2 overall lead and a $ 1.50 would get him a cup of coffee and not much more until the money was reached.

More than half of the field that came back on Thursday left the Rio tournament poker arena with nothing more than shattered dreams. Of those that didn’t even come close to the money bubble, former World Champion Greg Raymer was one of the surprises. Coming back from the dinner break with a healthy stack of chips around 300K and looking to drive deep in the Championship Event once again, Raymer would get gutted in back to back hands that led to his demise. First, Raymer’s pocket tens were clipped by a rivered set of sixes to take about 40% of his stack, then saw his pocket Kings get topped by an opponent’s pocket pair of nines that found a third on the flop.

Raymer had plenty of company to join him on the rail to watch the bubble pop. 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem, two-time World Champion Johnny Chan, 1983 World Champion Tom McEvoy, Brandon Shack-Harris, Brian Rast, Mike Matusow, Adrian Mateos, Pierre Neuville, Kristin Bicknell, Juha Helppi, Doug Polk (who will have much more time for commentary on the WSOP broadcasts now), Loni Harwood and Rainer Kempe all would be sent off before the money was in sight. They also weren’t part of the decision that faced WSOP players and officials late in the night.

The original plan for the day was to play five levels (at two hours each) and quit around roughly midnight, but tournament officials decided that, with only 18 players left to the 1084 players who would earn a cash, that one more level on the night would be enough. The players adjusted to this change and, befitting of the decision, battled it out through the two hours of the extra level with several players benefitting from the extra time.

Dominik Nitsche made his statement in the extra level, knocking off Jesus Maceira Gonzales to move his stack up to 745K, while Tom Cannuli aided the field in eliminating another player when his pocket Queens stood over his opponent’s Big Slick on an eight-high board. As the end of the level approached, there were two more players to eliminate to get to the money and WSOP officials decided to go hand-for-hand.

Just before that hand-for-hand process began, there was a particularly interesting hand between, surprisingly, two pros. On a Q-3-2-7-9 board and facing a 63K bet from former “November Niner” Antoine Saout into a healthy pot, Scott Seiver heard the tournament director call for hand-for-hand play as he made his decision. More thought didn’t seem to help Seiver as he could never find the reason for a call as he chucked his cards to the muck. Saout showed some larceny in his soul as he showed Seiver a J-4 for complete air as the table moved on to hand-for-hand action.

The very first deal of hand-for-hand action brought Day 3 to a close. Two players, former WSOP Championship Event final tablist “Tex” Barch and Jason Funke, were able to double up through their hands and stay in the tournament, but two others didn’t. Davidi Kitai rivered an unnecessary full house to eliminate Quan Zhou short of the money and, simultaneously, Roger Campbell couldn’t get a fourth heart on the board for his A as Kenny Shilh’s Queen-high flush eliminated him from the tournament.

With those two eliminations, the final 1084 were determined as a wild celebration ensued (Zhou and Campbell played one hand for a seat to next year’s WSOP Championship Event – Zhou would win that). As everyone celebrated the fact that they had $ 15,000 in their pockets, these players were looking to take much more than the minimum cash:

1. Patrick Lavecchia, 1.552 million
2. Pawel Brzeski, 1.546 million
3. Antoine Saout, 1.529 million
4. Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, 1.523 million
5. Derek Bowers, 1.376 million
6. Mickey Craft, 1.345 million
7. Edward Nassif, 1.345 million
8. Scott Blumstein, 1.34 million
9. Artan Dedusha, 1.288 million
10. Greg Dyer, 1.276 million

Bubbling under the Top Ten is one of last year’s “November Nine” combatants Kenny Hallaert (1.256 million, eleventh place), joined by such other notables as Kitai (1.116 million), Ben Lamb (1.016 million) and Andrey Pateychuk (1 million) over the million-chip mark. Sofia Lovgren (997K), Cannuli (990K), Nitsche (829K) and Jared Jaffee (811K) are all in good shape to make a long run.

Day 4 will begin at 11AM (Pacific Time) as the remaining players decide who gets what piece of the monstrous prize pool. While making it to this point is an achievement, all who are surviving – even Jeff Del Castilho, who sits with EXACTLY 2000 in chips to start the day – still have the dream of becoming poker’s next World Champion. That still is a long way away, however, as the 2017 World Series of Poker grinds onward.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Announces WPT European Championship

 World Poker Tour Announces WPT European Championship

Perhaps looking to partially fill the void left by the termination of the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced today the addition of the Season XVI WPT European Championship to the schedule, a poker festival culminating with the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event. The entire tour stop will run January 5th through January 15th next year at Spielbank Casino in Berlin, Germany, with the Main Event going January 10th through close.

“It is with great pleasure that the World Poker Tour announces the WPT European Championship and the return of a televised event to Europe,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “Much has changed since the WPT’s last televised European event in Season XII, but one thing that has remained certain is Europe’s incredible enthusiasm for poker. The continent is home to some of the world’s most talented poker players, including several WPT Champions Club members. We look forward to hosting the entire poker world in Berlin for the televised WPT European Championship.”

The World Poker Tour is also mixing its tours in a sense with the WPT European Championship, starting off the stop with a €1,500 WPTDeepStacks Event (by the way, why are there no spaces in WPTDeepStacks?).

“As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is excited to be the opening event of the WPT European Championship festival,” said Executive Director of WPTDeepStacks Chris Torina. “Offering our €1,500 buy-in WPTDeepStacks Berlin event in combination with the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event, plus all of the other great events we have filled the schedule with, will create one of the best festivals not only in Europe, but around the world.”

Interestingly, with as long as the World Poker Tour has been around, this will be the first time it has made a stop in Berlin. Marcel Langner, Director of Operations for Spielbank Casino, expressed his excitement in the WPT statement:

Spielbank Casino is honored to partner with the World Poker Tour to welcome the WPT to Germany for the first time in its rich history. Poker’s popularity in Europe is no secret. We are proud to welcome players not only from across all of Europe, but the entire world, and to showcase all that this amazing region has to offer on the global stage of the World Poker Tour.

As of right now, the WPT European Championship will slot in as the caboose of the WPT schedule, coming a month after the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

There have been just two WPT stops so far this season, WPT Beijing and WPT Amsterdam. The remaining seven – not counting the WPT European Championship – are all in North America, starting with WPT Choctaw in August. There will surely be more stops added, though, as mainstays such as WPT Bay 101 younger, popular stops such as WPT Rolling Thunder have yet to appear on the list.

Poker News Daily

2017 World Series of Poker: Elior Sion Defeats Tough Final Table, Captures $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship

 2017 World Series of Poker: Elior Sion Defeats Tough Final Table, Captures $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship

Despite arguably not being one of the “bigger” names on the final table, the United Kingdom’s Elior Sion defeated a tough final table to capture one of the biggest prizes in tournament poker, the $ 50,000 Poker Players’ Championship at the 2017 World Series of Poker.

At the start of the final day, the six-man pack was led by none other than Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu, who has been having one of the best WSOP runs of his career that hasn’t resulted in a bracelet, was the leader of that pack at the start of action on Thursday with his 5.93 million chips. That lead wasn’t a huge one, however, as Isaac Haxton was within about 700K in chips (5.205 million) of Canada’s favorite son. Sion started the day in the middle of the pack with his 4.75 million chips, with Germany’s Johannes Becker (4.56 million), Austria’s Ivo Donev (2.99 million chips) and a short stacked (but two-time WSOP winner) Paul Volpe (1.57 million) rounding out the field.

Rather than a sedate opening to the day’s festivities, the six men came out jamming the pots against each other. There also seem to be no rhyme or reason to it as Sion took a big chunk of chips from Haxton, only to turn right around a couple of hands later and give them back and more. Volpe, however, never could get anything going; he lost the first hand he played against Negreanu in Stud Hi/Lo, then saw Sion knock him out in sixth place moments later in 2-7 Triple Draw as Sion took a third draw to make a Deuce to Seven “Wheel” (2-4-5-6-7) to beat him.

The chips continued to fly around the table, with Haxton taking some chips from Becker in 2-7 Triple Draw to take a short-lived lead. The reason that was short lived was because Becker got them back – and the lead – when the game shifted to No Limit Hold’em. Undaunted, Haxton fought back to be the first player to crack the 10 million chip mark when, in Stud, he took hands from both Becker and Negreanu.

Negreanu’s day was a rollercoaster, to be honest. He never got over the stack he started the day with, but he was in every hand trying to work his stack. It seemed on several occasions he got it in with the “second best” hand, as he did against Becker when he made an inferior ten-high straight to Becker’s Jack-high straight, and that gradually worked his stack down. It would eventually lead to his demise, much earlier than he thought it would be.

In Pot Limit Omaha, Haxton raised the bet and Donev made the call off the button. With two well stacked players in front of him, Negreanu defended his big blind to see an 8♣ 6♠ 4♣ flop. Negreanu would pot the action but, after a fold from Haxton, Donev re-potted him to put Negreanu at risk. Negreanu made the call and grimaced when he saw the news: His J♣ 10 9♣ 4 had hit a pair with a redraw to a Jack-high flush, but Donev’s A A♣ K♣ 3 had him dominated on the better flush draw and a better pair. The turn 2♣ ended any drama for the hand, leaving Negreanu drawing dead and, after a 6 completed the board, he would hit the rail in fifth place.

Haxton and Becker continued to be the aggressors as the early evening hours approached, even taking to battling against each other as they swapped the lead. Haxton would take down Donev in fourth place in NLHE, rivering a five for a set against Donev’s pocket Kings after the chips went all in pre-flop. That thrust Haxton into the lead, but it would be incredibly short lived.

During a round of NLHE, Haxton and Becker, who had about 9 million chips himself, went to battle. Haxton opened the betting, but Becker three-bet back at him. Sion, in the big blind, quietly got out of the way and Haxton, not slowing down at all, fired a four-bet of over two million chips. Becker surprisingly only called and they went to the flop.

The 9-8-7 flop was wet, bringing a check from Becker, but Haxton fearlessly pounded him, pushing a tower of chips totaling 2.7 million to the center. After a moment of contemplation, Becker check-raised all in and Haxton immediately called, showing pocket Kings. That was nice, but Becker’s pocket Aces were nicer, putting him in the lead. There was paint on the turn, but it was a Knave, and the five on the river didn’t help Haxton. Becker scooped up the massive 18 million-plus pot and Haxton looked at his 1.555 million in scraps; Those would go to Sion on the very next hand, in Stud, as Haxton finished in third place.

Going to heads up play, Sion was at a serious disadvantage to Becker. His 6.525 million in chips paled in comparison to Becker’s 18.48 million stack, but Sion started a slow but steady grind. By the time the duo reached the dinner break, Sion had cut Becker’s lead to only three million chips and, after some chow, took the lead when they came back to some hands of NLHE. After more than three hours of heads-up action, Sion was sitting with roughly the same lead Becker had started the fight with.

Becker’s strength seemed to be the Omaha games, PLO and Hi/Lo, and he would climb back into the match on a couple of occasions through those disciplines. The rest of the games went Sion’s way, as he would not only come back after a bad Omaha experience to reestablish his edge. As the clock moved into Friday morning – and the twosome entered their seventh hour of heads-up play – the end would come, oddly enough in Omaha Hi/Lo.

Becker limped pre-flop and Sion didn’t push him, checking his option to see a 7-5-5 flop. Sion checked his option again but, after Becker fired, Sion check-raised him and Becker called. A nine on the turn brought a bet out of Sion and Becker, with a dwindling stack, put his final chips in the center. Sion called and turned up Q-J-7-5 for the flopped full house, while Becker was looking low with his Q-6-6-2 (Becker had a flush, but it was worthless against Sion’s boat). Needing an Ace, trey, four or eight to make the low, Becker instead saw the case five fall, giving Sion quads and, with no low, the hand and the championship of the $ 50,000 Poker Players’ Championship.

1. Elior Sion, $ 1,395,767
2. Johannes Becker, $ 862,649
3. Isaac Haxton, $ 595,812
4. Ivo Donev, $ 419,337
5. Daniel Negreanu, $ 300,852
6. Paul Volpe, $ 220,111

Poker News Daily

Broadcast Schedule Announced for WSOP Championship Event

 Broadcast Schedule Announced for WSOP Championship Event

It doesn’t seem like six weeks has gone that quickly, but the poker world is on the precipice of arguably its greatest event. The World Series of Poker’s $ 10,000 World Championship Event – also known as the “Main Event” – will begin on Saturday. For the first time in the history of poker’s premiere tournament, there will be live broadcasting of the event from start to finish over several television and streaming networks.

Beginning on Saturday afternoon at 2PM Eastern Time (11AM Pacific Time), the subscription network PokerGO will catch the “shuffle up and deal” for Day 1A of the event. PokerGO will broadcast the first two hours of the tournament over their means before turning it over to ESPN2 at 4PM. From 4PM to 8PM, ESPN2’s coverage will take over in its “live-delayed” format (all broadcasts will be on a 30-minute delay per Nevada Gaming Control Board stipulations) before turning it back over to the PokerGO folks from 8-9:15PM.

Sunday’s Day 1B has a slight adjustment to the broadcast schedule. From 2PM to 6PM, ESPN2 will take the lead to start the day, with PokerGO picking up the evening schedule from 6PM to 9:15PM. On Monday, Day 1C will be completely in the hands of PokerGO, which will start broadcasting at 2:30PM until 9:15PM Monday night.

The real fun for fans of poker will come after the Day Ones are out of the way. Tuesday will be full of poker, with Day 2A/B being broadcast from 2:30PM to 7:30PM on PokerGO, then switching over to “The Mothership,” ESPN, for the first time during the 2017 schedule. ESPN will carry Day 2A/B from 7:30PM until the start of SportsCenter at 11PM, at which point PokerGO will resume coverage for a half-hour before calling it a night. Wednesday will feature the final Day 2, Day 2C, with coverage from PokerGO (3:30PM-8PM) and ESOP (8PM-10PM).

Thursday’s Day 3 – the first day the entirety of the field will be together – is entirely in the hands of PokerGO, covering Day 3 from 2:30PM until 9:15PM that night. Then it is back to PokerGO and ESPN2 taking coverage on Friday for Day 4, covering nine hours – and that isn’t the longest day yet. After Day 5 (shared coverage between ESPN2, from 2PM to 4PM, and PokerGO from 4PM to 9:15PM), the final two days of the Championship Event will be shown in their entirety. Until they end – on July 16 with roughly 27 players and July 17 with the determination of the final table – ESPN2 will have primetime coverage, which switches over to PokerGO until 3AM each night.

After two days off (July 18-19), ESPN2 and ESPN will handle the broadcast of final table play. Beginning at 9PM on July 20-22, the cameras of ESPN will take viewers from nine players to six to three, ultimately crowning poker’s next World Champion on July 22. For the entirety of the broadcasts, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad will be on the call, with additional help from Kara Scott, while there are a host of top professionals who will be making guest appearances throughout the next two weeks of poker.

“This is poker’s Olympics and we are thrilled that ESPN and PokerGO have joined forces to bring viewers around the globe inside access to our game’s most prestigious event, the WSOP Main Event and the spectacle that it is,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We can’t wait to get started on July 8 and look forward to sharing this event with a massive audience.”

PokerGO is using the Championship Event broadcasts as a major push for subscribers to its channel. Covering 60+ hours outside of ESPN/ESPN2, PokerGO will offer their service for a $ 10 yearly discount by using the code SAVE10. Viewers can also sign up just to watch the next couple of weeks by purchasing a monthly pass to PokerGO for a $ 10 fee (no promo code required).

If you would like to print out the broadcast schedule for the WSOP Championship Event, you can find it here. With ESPN/ESPN2 covering it for 40+ hours and PokerGO for another 60+, there’s plenty of poker for even the most ardent fan and it starts tomorrow.

Poker News Daily

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