Posts Tagged ‘David’

David Peters Stuns Fedor Holz, Takes Major Poker Player of the Year Awards

 David Peters Stuns Fedor Holz, Takes Major Poker Player of the Year Awards

After leading the two races for Poker Player of the Year pretty much since the World Series of Poker concluded in July, it was assumed that German poker superstar Fedor Holz was a lock to take down those awards come the end of December. Well, you know what they say about “assume?” Instead of reveling in the dual victories, Holz had to watch helplessly as David Peters used a late surge literally in the final tournament of the year to pass him and win both major POY races.

Peters was a good distance back of Holz on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race in mid-November, in the second-place slot by almost 1300 points. Peters would then go on a rampage that saw him win an event and finish as the runner up in the November 18-19 Aria High Roller and Super High Roller tournaments to pull within roughly 500 points of Holz. With only December left on the calendar, Peters continued storming the felt in both the States and Europe.

By finishing at the final table in two events during the running of the Bellagio’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Peters knocked another 250 points off Holz’s lead, but he was still short. With the POY award within his reach, Peters went to the final-ever European Poker Tour event in Prague, Czech Republic, and finished in third place for the final EPT event in history. The 1280 points he picked up for that tournament allowed him to pass Holz by a healthy margin with his 8181 points.

So where did it go bad for Holz? From the end of October on to the end of the year, Holz failed to score a single point on the CardPlayer rankings. In a normal circumstance, Holz’s 7058 points would have been more than enough to earn him the POY championship. With the advent of major tournaments going to the end of the calendar year – and the high roller tournaments that normally come along with them – it wasn’t enough in 2016 for Holz to win the CardPlayer POY.

How far from the pack were Peters and Holz? The third-place finisher, Justin Bonomo, could only muster 6020 points to finish in third place, more than 2000 points behind Peters and more than 1000 behind Holz. Two other players, fourth place Ari Engel (5653 points) and fifth place Jake Schindler (5178 points) both used big December rushes to reach their positions. Engel made a final run at the title with his final table finish at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Rock n’ Roll Poker Open, but was unable to cash for points from his six money finishes in Prague, while Schindler made a big move with his third-place finish at the World Poker Tour’s Main Event during the Bellagio tournament series.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year rankings are Sam Soverel (4989 points, sixth place), Chance Kornuth (4838, seventh), Dan Smith (4799, eighth), Connor Drinan (4637, ninth) and Ankush Mandavia (4460, tenth).

With the more complex scoring of the Global Poker Index rankings, it was going to be tougher for Peters to pass Holz, but he would do it. His final two cashes of 2016 – his third-place finish in the EPT Prague Main Event (worth 482.16 points) and the fifth-place finish at the Five Diamond High Roller (203.68 points) – replaced two of his other top 13 finishes to push him by Holz by the closest of margins. When the final totals were put together, Peters’ 3666.31 points had managed to eclipse Holz’s 3644.8 points (remember, no cashes in the last two months of the year) and give Peters the GPI POY award.

Bonomo was once again the odd-man out in the triumvirate of players at the top, finishing in third place with his very respectable 3479.7 points. On the GPI rankings, Kornuth’s finishes got more love than on the CardPlayer board, with Kornuth hitting the fourth-place spot with 3336.54 points. Even former WSOP Europe and EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos, who didn’t even show up in the Top Ten for CardPlayer, got his name in at fifth place with 3316.07 points.

Engel dropped in the rankings in the comparison between the GPI and CardPlayer Magazine, with the winner of the 2016 Aussie Millions (we’re less than a month away from the 2017 version) settling for sixth place on the GPI poll with 3290.43 points. Rounding out the next four spots are Paul Volpe (3192.88 points, seventh place), Nick Petrangelo (3176.03, eighth), Mandavia (3138.97, ninth) and Samuel Panzica (3114.66, tenth); three of those four men weren’t even mentioned on the CardPlayer Top Ten.

Although it may be the end of 2016 and the beginning of the New Year, poker professionals and amateurs alike aren’t going to be given a very long break. On January 6, the very first PokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) will kick off, featuring a plethora of poker for those in attendance at the Atlantis Hotel. The 2017 Aussie Millions will open for play on January 11, perhaps setting up for a clash between two popular international tournaments. The WPT also gets into the mix with the start of the L. A. Poker Classic schedule on January 13 and the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ, on January 17. Add in the various smaller tours with stops on the schedule (the WSOP Circuit, the Heartland Poker Tour, and others) and the race for 2017 Player of the Year will be off and running!

Poker News Daily

David Baazov No Longer Pursuing Amaya Acquisition

 David Baazov No Longer Pursuing Amaya Acquisition

Former Amaya, Inc. CEO David Baazov has ended his bid to purchase his former company and take it private. His offer was for CAD $ 24 per share, a 30 percent premium over Amaya’s stock price on November 11th, the date the offer was made. The total deal would have been worth nearly CAD $ 3.5 billion.

In a micro-statement on Tuesday, Amaya confirmed that the deal was off, saying, “Amaya Inc. (NASDAQ: AYA; TSX: AYA) confirmed today that discussions with its former Chief Executive Officer, David Baazov, regarding the offer to acquire Amaya by an entity to be formed, have terminated.”

Baazov also issued a statement to the media, explaining, “It became evident that the share price premium demanded by certain shareholders exceeded the price at which my investors and I would be willing to complete a transaction.”

It seems that the mention of “certain shareholders” might be a reference to SpringOwl Asset Management’s CEO Jason Ader, who wrote a letter to Amaya’s current CEO earlier this month objecting to Baazov’s offer, even going so far as to encourage the company to stop associating with its former boss altogether.

In the letter, Ader was very critical of Baazov himself, citing the insider trading scandal of which Baazov is currently the center and a $ 870 million judgment against Amaya in the Kentucky domain name seizure case, among other reasons.

The insider trading case goes back to when Amaya bought PokerStars parent Rational Group for $ 4.9 billion in June 2014. In March of this year, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s financial regulator charged Baazov and others with insider trading, saying he engaged in “aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information.”

Baazov took a look of absence from Amaya shortly after the charges were made and eventually resigned in August.

In September, the AMF further accused Baazov and his cohorts of directing a kickback scheme to reward each other for insider information which led to trading profits. Kickbacks consisted of things like cash, checks, a $ 13,000 Rolex watch, and even allegedly a ten percent profit distribution for the people involved in the PokerStars acquisition.

When the announcement was made earlier this week that the deal had fallen apart, Amaya’s share price tumbled before the market’s open. On Monday, Amaya’s stock closed at USD $ 14.45 per share, but opened on Tuesday at USD $ 13.40, a drop of more than 7 percent. But as often happens, it rebounded over the course of the day, finishing at USD $ 14.25, down less than 2 percent.

Even though Baazov seemingly took a shot at Ader in his statement, it almost certainly wasn’t just Ader who didn’t like the deal. Beyond the dubiousness of Baazov’s involvement, the funds to buy Amaya were coming from an odd web of foreign investors. It would have been a complicated, highly leveraged transaction and was probably not worth the risk.

Poker News Daily

Marton Czuczor Leads EPT Prague Final Table, David Peters a Close Second

 Marton Czuczor Leads EPT Prague Final Table, David Peters a Close Second

The final table has been determined for the final event in the history of the European Poker Tour. Six players will come back to the felt at the Hilton Prague Hotel on Monday at noon local time (6AM East Coast time) with Marton Czuczor holding a slim lead over David Peters.

Peters, who ended Day 3 with the chip lead, didn’t hold that slot at the end of Day 4, but he was in second place at that time as well. With 18 players remaining, Jasper Meijer van Putten was at the helm of the ship with his 3.77 million in chips. Peters was lurking behind him with 2.985 million chips, while Czuczor was also in the debate in third place with 2.935 million chips.

The day got off to a big bang as Czuczor and van Putten decided to clash. After Andrew Hulme opened the betting pre-flop and van Putten called off the button, Czuczor pushed the action with a three-bet to 375K. Hulme got out of the way, but van Putten decided to stay around for a look at the flop. A K-J-6 flop greeted the duo and Czuczor was undaunted, putting out another 300K. van Putten also was still interested as he made the call and a five was dealt on the turn. After Czuczor laid out another 720K on the turn, van Putten decided discretion was the better part of valor, mucking his hand and sending the pot and the chip lead over to Czuczor.

It wasn’t long after this battle that Peters got back into the game. He raised pre-flop from the cutoff and only the small blind of Sergei Petrushevskii came along for the ride. A 4-Q-3 flop saw Petrushevskii check-call a bet of 145K from Peters and, after a ten came on the turn, he would do the same, this time following a 260K bet. A four on the river opened a couple of different options as Peters fired a third bullet of 370K at Petrushevskii. After some deliberation, Petrushevskii made the call and saw Peters toss pocket Kings on the felt. Whatever Petrushevskii had it wasn’t good enough; as he sent his cards to the muck, the nearly million chip pot pushed Peters back into the lead with almost four million chips.

Czuczor and Peters remained the story of the day’s play on Sunday, with one or the other at the top of the leaderboard for much of the day. By the time the last nine players were reached, it was Czuczor’s turn to lead the event with his 6.7 million in chips. Sam Cohen, the final lady in the tournament, was a bit behind in second place with her 4.88 million in chips, while Peters was located down the ladder with the second shortest stack after having run into some bad fortune.

Peters showed tremendous fortitude in forging his comeback. He took some chips from Czuczor to get back over three million, then capped another pot off Janos Kurtosi to top the four million point. When he knocked out Kurtosi in ninth place after turning a flush against Kurtosi’s air bluff, Peters was back up to 6.3 million chips and in the middle of the battle for the chip lead once again.

Not to be outdone, Czuczor took out a player himself. Instead of stopping with eight players remaining (the traditional EPT final table), action continued as Czuczor bumped off Kiryl Radzivonau off in eighth place, Czuczor’s pocket Kings holding against Radzivonau’s pocket nines, to push his lead back out to a comfortable level with 8.55 million chips. By the end of Level 28, Czuczor had more than a 2.6 million chip lead over Peters.

Both Czuczor and Peters captained the table as Level 29 began. It seemed that, if Czuczor wasn’t winning a pot, it was Peters, as the duo pulled away from the other five players on the table. Czuczor at one point cracked the 11 million chip mark before settling back to under 10 million by the end of the day’s play. Peters would be the one to bring about the closure of play, knocking off David Lopez Llacer in seventh place to firmly grasp the second-place slot for Monday’s final table.

1. Marton Czuczor, 9.71 million
2. David Peters, 8.88 million
3. Sergei Petrushevskii, 5.265 million
4. Sam Cohen, 4.52 million
5. Jasper Meijer van Putten, 3.815 million
6. Marius Gierse, 3.55 million

(Llacer in seventh and Radzivonau in eighth will both receive credit for making an EPT final table.)

Czuczor and Peters are going to have most of the attention for Monday’s final table, but it isn’t out of the question for someone from the remaining four players to make their mark. Cohen in particular has played a strong game and, should she win, she would join the sorority of Victoria Coren-Mitchell, Sandra Naujoks and Liv Boeree as the only women to have ever won an EPT Main Event.

Whatever happens on Monday it will be bittersweet as the EPT Prague – and the EPT itself – come to a close.

Poker News Daily

David Peters in The Lead at Final European Poker Tour Event in Prague

 David Peters in The Lead at Final European Poker Tour Event in Prague

It is said that if you’re going to go out, go out with a bang. The European Poker Tour is doing just that as, in their final Main Event in the illustrious tour’s history in Prague, Czech Republic, David Peters is holding the lead after Day Three with only 65 players remaining.

This will be the final EPT event ever because of changes instituted by the ownership of the circuit, Amaya Gaming. Instead of operating the EPT and various national sub-tours (the United Kingdom/Ireland Poker Tour and the Eureka Poker Tour, among others), Amaya Gaming has decided to close the doors on all of those and open “a new era” when the calendar turns to 2017 in a couple of weeks. Once the new year begins, there will be the “PokerStars Championships,” which will be huge tournament schedules located around the world, while the “PokerStars Festivals” will look to take the place of the regional tours around the world.

The players decided that, if the EPT was to be no more, then they wanted to be there for the final moments of action. Over two Day Ones (remember, the EPT Main Events offer only one shot), 1192 players came to the tables, topping the record for the event set back in 2014. Over the past two years, only the EPT Barcelona (which has been the kickoff for the season since 2014) has drawn in more players than the EPT Prague.

Day Two of the tournament was perhaps the most arduous for the players. Working their way down close to the money bubble of 231 players, tournament directors determined that, if there weren’t two eliminations before the end of the current level of play (Level 14, 1500/3000 with a 500 ante), then action would pause and everyone would come back on Friday with two people leaving with no money. If one person would be knocked off, then action would continue until the money bubble popped.

Of course, the obvious happened. One player, Espen Solaas, was eliminated by Apostolos Bechrakis rather quickly, ensuring another hour plus of play while the money bubble was popped. That came when Mike Brandau opened the betting and Attila Valentai three-bet his stack. Brandau made the call, showing pocket eights that were racing against Valentai’s Big Slick, and was rather unhappy when a King came in the window of a K-9-6 flop. A Jack on the turn kept Valentai in the lead, but the thunderbolt of an eight came on the river to give Brandau the set and the knockout, ending the day for the 231 players who earned at least a min-cash of €7560 from the event.

Friday’s play was a bit more rapid as the players looked to drive to the final table. Former EPT champion Nicolas Chouity (644,000) started off the day with the chip lead and the chance of another final piece of EPT history. In the 13-year history of the EPT, only one person – Victoria Coren-Mitchell – has ever won two EPT titles. With this being the final EPT, Chouity had the best shot at becoming the second person to pull off the feat.

The day belonged to Peters, however. After starting the day with only around 300K in chips, Peters never seemed to lose a hand throughout the day. In particular it seemed that Peters picked on Oleg Vasylchenko for chips as, during Level 16, Peters bet Vasylchenko out of a hand (with the board reading 8-2-A-9-5 with three spades) and picked up a nice pot. Their second clash would be much more dramatic.

In Level 17, Peters called a three-bet out of Vasylchenko to see another monochrome flop, a 9♠ 7♠ 6♠ arrangement. Peters would check his option and, after Vasylchenko pushed out 45K in chips, Peters moved all in over him. Vasylchenko considered his options for a moment, then called and showed a 10-8 for a flopped straight. Peters’ pocket sevens were good for a set, but he would need some help…which came in the 6♣ on the turn for a boat. Drawing dead, the meaningless K♠ sent Vasylchenko out of the tournament and catapulted Peters into the lead with 1.15 million chips.

Peters only kept climbing from that point, ending the action on Friday as the only player over two million chips.

1. David Peters, 2.036 million
2. Stoyan Obreshkov, 1.356 million
3 . Apostolos Bechrakis, 1.036 million
4. Janos Kurtosi, 1.026 million
5. Viteszlav Pesta, 1.025 million
6. Kyosti Isberg, 978,000
7. Andrew Hulme, 902,000
8. Marton Czuczor, 897,000
9. Hirokazu Kobayashi, 864,000
10. David Lopez Llacer, 862,000

With a win in this event, Peters would pass Fedor Holz for the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year award (Holz currently has 7058 points, Peters 6901). Peters would at the minimum have to make the final table to get by the German. On the other major POY race, the Global Poker Index POY, Peters is perhaps too far back to pass Holz, but he could pass Nick Petrangelo for second in the standings.

Action will continue at the Hilton Prague Hotel on Saturday at noon local time, with the plan to get the field down to the three tables. On Monday, the final champion in the history of the EPT will be crowned, with that player walking off with a €774,600 payday.

Poker News Daily

Ex-Amaya CEO David Baazov Makes $3.48 Billion Offer to Buy Company

 Ex Amaya CEO David Baazov Makes $3.48 Billion Offer to Buy Company

Amaya Inc., parent company of PokerStars, announced on Monday that it has received an offer from former CEO David Baazov to purchase the entire company. The offer price is CAD $ 24 per share, making the total deal valued at approximately CAD $ 3.48 billion.

Amaya’s stock price closed at CAD $ 18.34 on Friday, so Baazov’s offer represents a healthy 31 percent premium. Shares have leapt on the news, opening Monday morning at CAD $ 21. They are currently at CAD $ 21.50, a more than 17 percent increase from Friday’s close.

Baazov owns 17.2 percent of Amaya; his offer is not technically directly from him, but rather from a company that has yet to be created of which he will be the head. He also, as one might expect, will not be fronting all of the capital required to make the purchase. Four funds are contributing to the effort.

Baazov was the CEO of Amaya when the company bought the Rational Group, the firm that owned PokerStars, back in June 2014 in a stunning deal worth nearly $ 5 billion.

In March 2016, Baazov was charged by the Quebec’s financial regulatory body, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) with insider trading in connection with the PokerStars purchase. The AMF said he was involved with “aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information.”

Shortly after the charges were filed, he took a leave of absence from Amaya. In August, he made that departure permanent, resigning from his post at the company. The news got worse for him in September, as the AMF accused he and others of putting together a kickback scheme to reward each other for insider information that led to trading profits. Kickbacks allegedly took the form of cash, checks, and even jewelry like a $ 13,000 Rolex watch. There is even evidence of an alleged 10 percent profit distribution to people involved in the 2014 PokerStars sale.

Amaya issued a statement on Baazov’s acquisition offer. It has been reprinted below:

Amaya Inc. (NASDAQ: AYA; TSX: AYA) confirmed today that it has received a non-binding all cash offer from its former Chief Executive Officer, David Baazov, on behalf of an entity to be formed to acquire Amaya at a price of CAD$ 24.00 per common share. Amaya also confirms that the offer provides for a USD$ 200 million deposit into escrow upon execution of a definitive agreement in respect of a potential transaction that would be converted into a one-year structurally subordinated, interest bearing debt obligation to fund a portion of the USD$ 400 million deferred purchase price for Amaya’s acquisition of the Rational Group in August 2014, such amount to be convertible into equity following the closing of such potential transaction.

The Board of Directors of Amaya, with the assistance of its advisors, will consider Mr. Baazov’s offer.  Shareholders of Amaya do not need to take any action with respect to any offer at this time. Amaya intends to provide updates if and when necessary in accordance with applicable securities laws.

As of the time of this release, there can be no assurance that Mr. Baazov’s offer or that any future bid or offer will ultimately result in a completed transaction.

Poker News Daily



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