Posts Tagged ‘Dollar’

WPN Million Dollar Sunday Guaranteed Covered for First Time

 WPN Million Dollar Sunday Guaranteed Covered for First Time

The Winning Poker Network (WPN) finally won. On Sunday, August 24th, the network hosted its eighth Million Dollar Sunday tournament and for the first time, the guaranteed prize pool was covered.

The U.S.-facing network, which includes sites such as America’s Cardroom, Poker Host, and True Poker, launched its ambitious million-dollar guaranteed tournament back in December 2014. It was a bold move, as the network did not seem nearly big enough to guarantee that kind of money, but as one of the few networks that is not licensed in the United States but still accepts American customers, it wanted to make a splash.

WPN ran into serious problems just as the first Million Dollar Sunday began, though, as the network was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which caused disconnections, table freezes, and registration problems. The network’s IT staff scrambled to try to stop the attack, but they couldn’t do it; the tournament was eventually cancelled and all buy-ins and fees were refunded.

The tournament was rescheduled for February 2015 and ran just fine, so WPN scheduled five more for the fall of last year. The DDoS attacks returned for the next two tournaments, though the network was ready for them. While the attacks caused some problems, the issues were kept to a minimum and the events proceeded as planned. WPN CEO Phil Nagy even went on Twitch to let people know that he had received a ransom demand from the attackers, a demand which he refused to pay.

But even though WPN seemed to have solved the DDoS problem, it still had the problem of attendance. The network simply did not have enough players willing to pay the $ 500 + $ 40 entry to allow the million dollar guarantee to be hit. The network had to pay out over half a million dollars in overlay for those first three fall tournaments combined. As such, for the remaining fall tournaments, the guarantee was cut in half, though to make up for it, two more tournaments were added.

In the seven total Million Dollar Sundays leading up to this weekend, WPN had paid out a million dollars in overlay.

But finally, this past Sunday, the Winning Poker Network attracted 2,118 entrants to its $ 500 + $ 40 Million Dollar Sunday, creating a prize pool of $ 1,059,000. Player “OIDA!!!” took the $ 211,800 first prize.

At least $ 200,000 was guaranteed to the winner and in a nice gesture, the members of the final table were given a free bank wire in order to allow them to receive their winnings quickly, if they wanted to withdraw them.

The network also added a special bounty for the Million Dollar Sunday tournament to celebrate the new season of “Game of Thrones,” which debuted Sunday night. Whoever knocked out a player by the name “King-Joffrey,” named after the whiny, evil, boy-king from the show, received $ 500.

Poker News Daily

2016 WPT L. A. Poker Classic Main Event Day 5: Anthony Spinella Leads Final Six for Million Dollar Payday

 2016 WPT L. A. Poker Classic Main Event Day 5: Anthony Spinella Leads Final Six for Million Dollar Payday

The final table is set for the World Poker Tour’s latest stop in southern California at the L. A. Poker Classic. Heading up the six-man final table will be 2015 World Series of Poker “hybrid” (online/live tournament) bracelet winner Anthony Spinella, who will come to the final table with a nice chip stack of 3.705 million.

It looked as if it would be a quick day for the 14 men who returned to action on Wednesday to work their way down to the final six. Chip leader Mike Shariati, looking for his second WPT championship of Season XIV, was in the lead with a massive stack of 2.45 million chips, while such players as three-time WSOP and former WPT champion John Hennigan, Jesse Yaginuma, Ty Reiman, David ‘Doc’ Sands and Seth Davies lurked behind looking to take him down. From the moment the call of “shuffle up and deal” was made, the action was frenetic.

Sands was all in on one of the first hands, his pocket Jacks running up against Farid Jattin’s Big Slick and turning an unnecessary set to make his victory a bit sweeter with the double up. On the other side, Yaginuma went the other way – out the door – when his K-J off suit couldn’t work a miracle against Spinella’s pocket Kings. In taking the hand, Spinella joined Shariati as the only players over the two million chip mark.

Davies would wait for the right moment to get his chips to the center but would be the victim of bad fortune. In a battle of the blinds, Davies would get his chips in against Binh Nguyen, his A♠ 10♠ way out in front of Nguyen’s K-6 off suit, and a ten in the window on the flop looked good. After the dealer fanned the flop, though, a King was revealed to put Nguyen in the lead. To make things more interesting, a Jack was also in the mix on the flop, giving Davies a shot at an inside Broadway straight with his Ace over card and pair of tens. Unfortunately for Davies, the eight on the turn and the four on the river didn’t help him as he headed to the Commerce Casino’s exits in 13th place.

With the elimination of Davies, Shariati made a move on another leaderboard. In the WPT Player of the Year race, Shariati passed Cate Hall for the lead (Hall, for the first time in her career, failed to cash in a WPT event) to take over the lead in the year-long standings. The points that he would earn would only go up the deeper he finished in the tournament (and so would his POY lead), so Shariati had some impetus to staying in the tournament.

Spinella would take over the lead after a battle against Reiman. After a raise from Reiman and calls from Spinella and Hennigan, a 10-6-4 flop saw everyone check to Spinella, who pushed out a bet of 77K. Hennigan made the call and Reiman sprang into action, check-raising Spinella to 245K. Spinella called and, after Hennigan opted out, a Jack came on the turn. Both men decided to check on the knave but, when the board paired with another ten, Reiman would check-call a Spinella bet of 285K. Reiman turned up his pocket Kings, a good hand in most cases, but Spinella’s A-10 had found a triplet on the river to give him the hand and the lead in the tournament.

After Sands was eliminated from the tournament in 11th place at the hands of Sam Soverel, the final 10 men came together to work to the final six. Spinella had cracked the three million chip mark by this point while Jattin and Dietrich Fast looked to catch up. Only two hands into the final table play, Fast would emerge as a challenger for Spinella when he eliminated Tim Cramer in tenth place.

At this point, the players seemed to realize they were playing for some significant money and the action slowed. It would be another 30 hands before Soverel would eliminate Reiman in ninth place, Soverel’s pocket Kings coolering Reiman’s pocket tens on an A-5-3-5-A board. Roughly ten hands later, another key hand would catapult one player to the final table and send another one to the rail.

After Nguyen made a raise from the button, Alex Keating three-bet out of the big blind and Nguyen moved all in. Keating made the call and, as the cards were turned up, the dealer noted that the chip stacks of the two men were quite similar. Keating’s A-K was in the race against Nguyen’s pocket fives and things looked good for Nguyen on the 10-7-4 flop. The Ace on the turn, however, changed the tune over to Keating’s liking. Once a nine came on the river, the chips were counted and it was found that Keating was all-in, while Nguyen had all but one chip – 5000 – at risk. With the hand, Keating went up to 1.715 million chips while Nguyen went out of the tournament in eighth place when he anted in his singular 5K chip on the next hand and lost.

On Hand 50, the final table was set. After Hennigan popped the betting from the button, Spinella three-bet him out of the big blind and Hennigan moved all in. Spinella made the call, tossing up his pocket Queens, while Hennigan could only groan over the cooler as he showed his pocket Jacks. The eight high board helped neither man, sending Hennigan to the rail in seventh place and setting the table for today’s determination of a champion:

1. Anthony Spinella, 3.705 million
2. Farid Jattin, 2.63 million
3. Mike Shariati, 2.535 million
4. Sam Soverel, 2.425 million
5. Dietrich Fast, 2.365 million
6. Alex Keating, 1.785 million

The final table of the 2016 WPT L. A. Poker Classic will begin at 4PM (Pacific Time) and will be taped for broadcast as a part of the Season XIV series on Fox Sports. It should be an exciting finale as Spinella looks to earn the second leg of poker’s Triple Crown, Shariati looks to possibly win his second WPT championship of the season or any of the other four men look to make their breakthrough on the WPT.

Poker News Daily

Million Dollar PokerStars Spin & Go Winners Now Total a Dozen

 Million Dollar PokerStars Spin & Go Winners Now Total a Dozen

In October, I said about PokerStarsAnniversary Spin & Go promotion, “So yeah, you’re not going to win the million dollars, or anything in the upper prize tiers, for that matter, but it’s there and you will likely get annoyed when somebody else wins it.”

Are you annoyed yet?

In the span of about a month, seven players have won a million dollars in PokerStars Spin & Go’s. One winner surprised me, but a half dozen more is just gross.

October marked the one-year anniversary of PokerStars’ launch of the Spin & Go, its version of the lottery Sit-and-Go. To celebrate, the world’s largest online poker site added two affordable buy-in levels, each with a jackpot of $ 1 million. Here’s a review of the two new options, along with the associated probabilities of hitting the different buy-in multipliers:

Bronze – $ 0.50 Buy-in

2,400,000x buy-in multiplier ($ 1,000,000 first prize) – 3 in 100,000,000
240x – 4,000 in 100,000,000
120x – 8,000 in 100,000,000
25x – 50,000 in 100,000,000
10x – 100,000 in 100,000,000
6x – 7,500,000 in 100,000,000
4x – 17,477,003 in 100,000,000
2x – 74,860,994 in 100,000,000

Silver – $ 5 Buy-in

2,400,000x buy-in multiplier ($ 1,000,000 first prize) – 3 in 10,000,000
240x – 400 in 10,000,000
120x – 800 in 10,000,000
25x – 5,000 in 10,000,000
10x – 10,000 in 10,000,000
6x – 750,000 in 10,000,000
4x – 1,897,703 in 10,000,000
2x – 7,336,094 in 10,000,000

The $ 100 Spin & Go’s also award a $ 1 million top prize, but the prize structure is exactly the same as it normally is. The two above are the ones that are special for the anniversary promo.

As you can see, the chances of nailing the top multiplier and, in turn, winning the three-handed Spin & Go for the jackpot, are essentially zero. Hence, my claim that you won’t win. I mean, I encourage people to go ahead and try if they want to, particularly if they normally play Spin & Go’s, but don’t expect to win.

Except that a bunch of people have won. A dozen players have won a million dollars since Spin & Go’s launched, but seven of those have now come since this promotion started. Those lucky players are:

‘Samara Lúcio’ from Brazil – $ 5 Spin & Go
‘wrawras’ from Brazil – $ 100 Spin & Go
‘barrakuuda4’ from Estonia – $ 100 Spin & Go
‘prophethicks’ from England – $ 5 Spin & Go
‘handbt1’ from Germany – $ 5 Spin & Go
‘ifipushud325’ – from Australia – $ 5 Spin & Go
‘Koovoon’ – from Canada – $ 100 Spin & Go

The Anniversary Spin & Go promotion is scheduled to conclude at the end of this month.

Poker News Daily

WPN Forced to Slash Million Dollar Sunday Guarantee in Half

 WPN Forced to Slash Million Dollar Sunday Guarantee in Half

The Million Dollar Sunday tournaments on the Winning Poker Network (WPN) have never managed to reach that million dollar guarantee, which why they will no longer be Million Dollar Sundays. While there has been no official announcement on its website, WPN has decided to chop the million dollar guarantee in half to $ 500,000. At the same time, though, the promotion will be extended an extra two weeks, doubling the number of “Million Dollar” Sundays remaining so that the total guaranteed prize money will stay at $ 2 million.

It has been a struggle for the network, which includes such poker rooms as True Poker, Poker Host, and America’s Cardroom, ever since it made the bold move to become the first U.S.-facing poker network since Black Friday to offer a million dollar guaranteed tournament. Its first attempt was back in December, but the network was hit with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack right when the event began. The DDoS attacks started a couple weeks beforehand, but stopped in the days leading up to the tournament, so network officials thought they were in the clear. They were very wrong. The attacks caused tables to freeze, players to be disconnected, and prevented players from registering. WPN staff paused the tournament several times to try to get things under control, but they couldn’t, so WPN CEO Phil Nagy made the executive decision to cancel the tournament after it was already running and refund all buy-ins and fees.

The tournament was rescheduled for February and was successful. Possibly because of that, the network decided to run more of these million dollar guarantees, so it scheduled five for the fall; one in September and then one each Sunday in October. When the September tournament started, the DDoS attacks came back, causing similar problems as before. Phil Nagy went on Twitch to keep players apprised of the situation and even revealed that he had received a ransom communication from the attacker, which Nagy didn’t even consider. Fortunately, the network weathered the storm and the tournament was able to finish.

Same story for the first Million Dollar Sunday in October, but there have not been any reports of any DDoS attacks from this past Sunday.

But even if the attacks have stopped, that doesn’t eliminate the fact that the network didn’t come remotely close to attracting enough players to the $ 540 buy-in ($ 500 + $ 40) tournament to cover the million dollar guarantee. WPN had to pay out $ 224,500 in overlay for the September tourney, $ 197,500 for the first October event, and almost $ 150,000 this past Sunday. Much of that could be attributed to the DDoS attacks, as they prevented players from registering and the most recent tournament saw its numbers improve without the attacks, but the WPN is likely just too small to host a million dollar guarantee.

As such, the guarantee for the remaining two events in the series has been cut to $ 500,000, but the network didn’t want to take away value from its players, so it added two more tournaments so that the total guarantee remains the same. The buy-in has also been cut to $ 270.

Poker News Daily

WPN Million Dollar Sunday Hit by DDoS Attack Again

 WPN Million Dollar Sunday Hit by DDoS Attack Again

Another million dollar guaranteed tournament, another Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the Winning Poker Network (WPN). On Sunday, September 13th, the network held the first of five fall Million Dollar Sunday tournaments, which guaranteed a million dollar prize pool and at least $ 200,000 to the winner. But, as has happened when WPN has attempted this in the past, unscrupulous cyber bullies tried to ruin the proceedings.

In a DDoS attack, the culprits flood the target’s machines with communications requests, overwhelming it and preventing it from handling legitimate requests. In the case of the Winning Poker Network, it causes tables to freeze and players to timeout. WPN had to cancel a million dollar tournament in December because of DDoS attacks, though another one earlier this year was able to run despite yet more attacks.

During this weekend’s tournament, WPN CEO Phil Nagy went on Twitch to explain what was going on:

In the beginning of the tournament we had to pause the tournament for five minutes and then we resumed the tournament…and we’re getting some extortion messages where they want us to send Bitcoins to stop the attacks. Well, um…no. Not gonna do that. I just can’t imagine paying the terrorists to stop. That’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

He went on to explain that it is possible that players could experience some pauses in the tournament, but that the technical staff was monitoring everything to make sure things went as smoothly as possible.

“What I really want to say is eff these guys SO much and there’s no possible way that I’m paying you or I’m giving in,” he said.

Nagy said that the connectivity problems and pauses were keeping players away and that the tournament was going to have significant overlay. He repeated a number of times that it was going to hurt his pocketbook. He refused, though, to cancel the tournament as he did in December 2014. While he and his staff had to pause the event this weekend a number of times, it was different than in December, when they were unable to get the attacks under control. At that time, he felt the best decision was to cancel the tournament and refund players’ money because he could not offer a fair game. This time, though, WPN was able to keep order, so Nagy kept the tournament running.

“I literally had some people in my office that said this tournament is going to overlay so much that you have a great opportunity to bow out of it and blame it on DDoS,” Nagy admitted. “And I said, ‘Well what’s the point of having a guarantee when it’s not really a guarantee?’”

As it turned out, the overlay was significant. A total of 1,549 people participated in the tournament, creating a $ 775,500 prize pool and a $ 224,500 overlay.

Poker News Daily