Posts Tagged ‘Crowd’

2018 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 1A: Massive First Day Crowd Promises for Huge Field

 2018 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 1A: Massive First Day Crowd Promises for Huge Field

On Friday in the cavernous tournament arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, Day 1A of the World Poker Tour’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown took place. The massive outpouring of players for the first day of action promises that there will be a huge field for the tournament and that the guaranteed prize pool of $ 3 million will be shattered.

With the $ 3 million guaranteed prize pool, that meant that the $ 3500 buy in tournament had to rack up roughly 895 players (taking out the juice) for the Seminole Indians not to be on the hook for the difference. To help reach that mark, there were two Day Ones scheduled and players could re-enter the tournament as many times as they liked up until the start of Level 9. From the start, however, it seemed the players were amped for the event, regardless of what the guarantee was.

When the players came together for the “shuffle up and deal” call on Friday morning, nearly 200 players were already in their seats. The tables in the new Seminole Hard Rock tournament arena rapidly filled from that point, reaching 387 entries by the start of Level 3 and passing the 500 mark (504) to start Level 5. By the time the end of late registration for Day 1A reached a close, 646 entries were in the books, essentially guaranteeing that the Seminoles wouldn’t be reaching in their pockets for any overlay for the tournament by Saturday night.  

With such a large field on Day 1A, you might have thought that it was a softer field. Nothing was further from the truth as, from the start of the day, such notable names as former WPT champions Joe Ebanks, Darren Elias and Jonathan Little were on the felt, joined by Cliff Josephy, Blake Bohn, Neil Blumenfield and the defending champion of this tournament, Tony Sinishtaj. As the day wore on, they were joined by such figures as former World Champion Joseph McKeehen, WPT champions Tony Dunst and Olivier Busquet, Joseph Cheong and Shankar Pillai.

With the players from Day 1A knowing they still had a chance to come back on Day 1B to try to build a stack, play was rather active. Halfway through the day, six players had amassed stacks of more than 100K chips (after starting with 30K) and that number only went up as the evening hours began. By the dinner break, eight members of the field were counted over the magical 100K mark, with Robert Transue over 200K (204,300). By the end of the night, however, there was a new “sheriff” in town, Uri Kadosh, who had assumed the lead.

1. Uri Kadosh, 245,500
2. Robert Transue, 239,500
3. Nguyet Dao, 237,300
4. Paul Snead, 220,000
5. Matt Glantz, 191,500
6. Joseph McKeehen, 187,700
7. John Gordon, 187,500
8. Zachary Smiley, 170,400
9. Brian Hastings, 166,400
10. Joseph Gotlieb, 164,900

Lurking under the Top Ten are such notable names as Scott Clements (158,300 chips), Art Papazyan (156,200), Curt Kohlberg (142,600) and Jeff Gross (142,500). Of the 646 entries received on Day 1A, 227 players will come back for action on Sunday.

When Day 1B begins bright and early at 11AM on Saturday morning, expect a stampede of players to come to the tournament arena. It is likely that the opening bell for Day 1B will have enough players to crack the guarantee and the numbers should soar past 1000 players by the time registration closes. It isn’t out of question to believe that the final numbers will be bigger than last year’s field, which received 1207 entries by the time registration was closed. If it were to do this, the prize pool would easily be over $ 3.25 million and make for another successful stop for the WPT and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Sizeable Day 1C Crowd Brings New Leader to Overall Standings

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Sizeable Day 1C Crowd Brings New Leader to Overall Standings

As expected on Saturday, Day 1C of the €1000 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack at the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe was the largest of the three-Day Ones. After the day’s action, a new overall leader for the tournament was crowned as Day Two looms on the horizon.

How big was Saturday’s field? The players were flocking to the felt for the very start of the day’s play, something that is usually unheard of in a tournament. 127 players were already on their respective tables with their 20,000 in chips. By the end of the first level of fourteen for the day, the field jumped up to 183 and showed little signs of slowing down.

Among those taking their patch of felt were players who had previously been entered in the tournament. According to the rules of the Monster Stack, players could re-enter the tournament if they busted out of Days 1A and/or 1B. Players such as Kunal Patni, Kenny Hallaert, Aylar Lie, Alex Foxen, Kristen Bicknell and Thomas Pettersson made the maximum donation to the prize pool (€3000) and were looking for a cash to offset the early expenditure at the WSOP-E.

The Monster Stack had a guarantee on it (€500,000), so King’s Casino and WSOP-E officials were pleased when that was cracked just after Level 4 began. The 261 entries that were on the Day 1C clock brought the total number up to 516 total entries and, with another four levels of late registration available, there was a nice prize pool being built for the first event of the 2017 WSOP-E.

By the time the late registration period had ended and Level 9 began after dinner, there were 306 players registered for Day 1C. That brought the total to 561 entries for the three-Day Ones, building a prize pool of €538,280 for the top 85 finishers to divvy up. The first-place payday will award the first bracelet of the 2017 WSOP-E and give that fortunate champion a €117,708 payday.

As the tournament drove into the Czech evening, the body count of players who had been sent to the rail began to rise. Kenny Hallaert, John Racener, Erik Cajelais, Brandon Cantu, Phil Hellmuth, Felipe Ramos and Bicknell were all out soon after the dinner break. For a select few, however, they would rewrite the overall leaderboard.

One player in particular was on the move throughout the day, but in the final level of the night he kicked in the afterburners. Sander van Wesemael was sitting on an impressive stack of 137K in chips when Level 14 began, but a battle he started with Veysel Kortan completely changed his fortunes.

The leader heading into the final level of the day, Kortan decided that he wanted to get fancy and began blind raising every hand. After one Kortan blind raise, van Wesemael decided to stand up and three-bet the action, which Kortan called. An A♠ Q♠ 8♠ monochrome flop brought a check-raise out of Kortan, taking van Wesemael’s 10K bet up to 28K, which was called by van Wesemael. Kortan kept the pressure on a nine on the turn and, on a King river to put plenty of possibilities on board, Kortan would move all in.

Now it was time for van Wesemael to think about the hand for a bit and, although the clock was called, he made his decision before a floorman could get to the table for the count. Van Wesemael called to put his tournament life at stake and it was the right move as his A Q was good over Kortan’s sheepishly turned up 7-3 air to shoot van Wesemael to 300,000 in chips. Soon afterwards, Kortan was out of the door instead of heading to Day 2.

1. Sander van Wesemael, 323,500
2. Valentin Vornicu, 296,500
3. Giovanni Petroni, 239,000
4. Scott Stewart, 207,500
5. Tobias Bornefalk, 207,000
6. Pawel Czichowski, 199,000
7. Emil Lukac, 192,000
8. Thanh Hoang, 179,000
9. Konstantinos Tsirakidis, 178,000
10. Christophe Pereira, 170,000

With the conclusion of Day 1C, van Wesemael will become the overall leader of the tournament. In fact, the top five from Day 1C make up half the Top Ten overall leaderboard:

1. Sander van Wesemael, 323,500
2. Valentin Vornicu, 296,500
3. Ismael Bojang, 268,500*
4. Sergio Fernandez, 267,000**
5. Jeff Cormier, 265,000*
6. Giovanni Petroni, 239,000
7. Micky Blasi, 213,000*
8. Ryan Hefter, 208,000***
9. Scott Stewart, 207,500
10. Tobias Bornefalk, 207,000

(* – Day 1A player)
(** – Day 1B player)
(*** – Day 1A player, defending champion)

All totaled, 114 players survived the three days of action in the King’s Casino tournament arena and one of them will be the eventual champion of Event #1. Day 2 kicks off on Sunday and is expected to play down to the first champion of the WSOP Europe, but it is entirely possible that the tournament may have to go into “overtime” with the number of players remaining.

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EPT Prague Main Event Day 1A: Excellent Crowd Flocks Czech Republic, Anton Astapau Holds Lead

 EPT Prague Main Event Day 1A: Excellent Crowd Flocks Czech Republic, Anton Astapau Holds Lead

With the holiday season fast approaching, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for poker’s best to make that big score to cover the presents being given. Thus, the European Poker Tour’s stop in Prague, the Czech Republic at the Hilton Prague Hotel is a welcome sight for the crème of European poker as the battle it out for the final EPT championship of 2015.

After the two-Day Ones for the World Poker Tour drew in 255 total entries last week, there was some concern over the potential for the EPT event (the different buy-ins, €3000 for the WPT and €5000 for the EPT, also brought reason for concern). Those concerns would prove to be for naught, however, as the tables around the Hilton Prague were stocked with players from around the world. Neil Blumenfield, the third place finisher at this year’s World Series of Poker Championship Event, was on the felt from the start, enjoying his time beside the Danube.

Blumenfield wasn’t the only notable name who would find his way to the tables on Day 1A. Donnacha O’Dea, Craig McCorkell, Jani Sointula, Dominik Nitsche, Martin Finger, Anton Wigg, Morten Mortensen, Pierre Neuville (who oddly was seated with his fellow “November Niner” Blumenfield once he got his chips), Rhys Jones and Mike Watson all came to the baize eventually as the tournament worked through the late registration period. By the time it was cut off, Juha Helppi, Jason Mercier, Ole Schemion, Dario Sammartino, Alex Kravchenko and Mike McDonald would add their names to a growing list of contenders.

You can’t win the tournament on the first day of the event, but it is also true that you cannot win a poker tournament if you’re no longer in said event. That was the unfortunate end for both Blumenfield and Neuville, who were out of the tournament before the dinner break came. They were joined in a long dinner by such players as reigning WSOP Europe Main Event champion Kevin MacPhee and Mustapha Kanit as the evening unfolded.

Back from the dinner break, there were several players to watch in the upper echelons of the leaderboard. 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Adrian Mateos was comfortably ensconced in the Top Ten with his 112,000 and former WPT champion Andy Hwang sat a little further back with his 92K in chips, but Ghattas Kortas was at the helm with a stack of 160,000 chips (or more than five times the starting chips of 30K). Kortas would stay in the upper reaches of the leaderboard, but he would be unable to hold that lead as new contenders emerged from the pack.

Hwang, who was responsible for the elimination of Neuville from this tournament, was the first to make a charge, moving up to 140K in taking a pot off of Mikal Blomlie. Hwang wouldn’t be able to maintain the run, though, as he dropped back under the 100K line by the end of the night. Raine Kempe, who finished third in the WPT’s trip to the Playground Poker Club in Montreal in November, made a run at the top, but he would come up a bit short with his 137,400. Even Mateos’ great day was overshadowed by the man who will sleep very well after Day 1A, Anton Astapau.

1. Anton Astapau, 190,600
2. Ghattas Kortas, 151,200
3. Adrian Mateos, 150,200
4. Raine Kempe, 137,400
5. Sonny Franco, 129,900
6. Charlie Carrel, 120,500
7. Preben Stokkan, 116,000
8. Andy Hwang,99,200
9. Anton Wigg, 90,000
10. Ilkin Amirov, 85,000

Day 1B will be set to take off in Prague at noon local time (6AM Eastern Time) and will feature a whole new cast of characters. While it might not hit the mark set by the 2014 version of this tournament (where a whopping 1107 players trekked to the felt), it is still lining up to be a very large field for the overall event. The tournament will have Day 2 play begin on Saturday and the champion of the EPT Prague will be determined on Wednesday.

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