Posts Tagged ‘event’

2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 2: Senthuran Vijayaratnam Knows How to Bluff

 2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 2: Senthuran Vijayaratnam Knows How to Bluff

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event wrapped up Monday as nearly 200 players were eliminated, whittling the field of 234 survivors from the three Day 1 flights to just 43. David Peters is the chip leader going into Day 3 with 1.614 million chips, but Feizal Satchu is close behind with 1.521 million. Nobody else has more than 900,000 chips.

Looking through the WPT.com live reporting, there was clearly one hand that was the most entertaining of the day. Hand-for-hand on the money bubble, Senthuran Vijayaratnam, an amateur player who said he had been raising quite a lot with any two cards, raised to 11,500 (5,000 chip big blind) under the gun and called when Jamie Sequeira re-raised to 35,000.

On the flop of K-T-2, both men checked. With a 5 on the turn, Vijayaratnam bet 40,000 and Sequeira called. On the river 7, which also put three spades on the board, Vijayaratnam moved all-in, putting Sequeira to a decision for his tournament life. Knowing he could be eliminated on the verge of the money, Sequeira got defensive, talking about how “blessed” Vijayaratnam was and how “fucking crazy” he was to bet that much on the bubble.

It got even better when Sequeira asked Vijayaratnam what he thought he had, a question that doesn’t often get answered during the hand. Vijayaratnam, though, told Sequeira he thought he had Aces. This, naturally, got Sequeira even more tense, as he said, “Aces? And you play me like that? You play me like that preflop?”

If Vijayaratnam’s goal as to put his opponent on tilt it was working.

Sequeira used two of his 30-second time chips (the Action Clock was in effect) while still thinking out loud about what his foe might have. After finally folding, Vijayaratnam shows his Q-7 bluff.

Of course, this hurt Sequeira’s feelings and he says, “Remember, what goes around comes around. It comes around.”

Yeah, maybe. Sometimes people bluff in poker.

Sequeira did make the money, but didn’t make it far after the bubble burst. Vijayaratnam ended the day in seventh place with 680,000 chips.

Vijayaratnam sounds like my kind of guy. He realizes that poker is fun. Sure, they are all trying to win money out there, but why not enjoy yourself while doing so? He told WPT.com afterward:

The thing is, I don’t play poker for a living. That’s why nobody knows me. I literally only come to Montreal. Really nowhere else. I have family and I have work. I have fun playing poker, so that’s why I was showing my bluffs. I have fun with this, and I show it. This cameras are there, this might make for good coverage, so I show it, and then he went on for the next few minutes, going after me, blah, blah, blah.

You go on with your bad self.

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. David Peters – 1,614,000
2. Feizal Satchu – 1,521,000
3. Justin Liberto – 875,000
4. Duff Charette – 798,000
5. Yu Gao – 714,000
6. Brady Hinnegan – 690,000
7. Senthuran Vijayaratnam – 680,000
8. Bradley Ellis – 592,000
9. Debra Ann Holman – 572,000
10. Alex Keating – 561,000

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2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 3: Eric Afriat Aims for Second Playground Final Table This Year

 2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 3: Eric Afriat Aims for Second Playground Final Table This Year

There are only sixteen players remaining of the 606 original entries in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event as action moves into Day 4 on Wednesday. Eric Afriat is the chip leader with 2.4 million chips, the only play over the 2 million mark.

Afriat has some unfinished business at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. In February, finished third in the WPT Playground Main Event, winning CAD $ 108,690 (USD $ 82,716). That tournament holds a special spot in poker history, as it was won by Ema Zajmovic, who became the first women ever to win an open WPT Main Event.

Afriat does have one World Poker Tour title under his belt, as he won the 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Championship Event. That victory was worth a bit over $ 1 million; that and his WPT Playground finish make up the bulk of his $ 1.83 million in career live earnings.

I will admit, I have always been a skeptic about the extra prizes awarded at major tournaments. The trophy is cool, the money is fantastic, the prestige is even wonderful, but really, who cares about a pair of overpriced headphones or a gaudy watch? Well, it’s time for me to eat crow, as apparently that watch is something Afriat has been targeting.

Speaking with WPT.com after Day 3, Afriat said he was actually a little peeved that he didn’t grab the timepiece in February:

What I want the most is the Hublot watch, because when I won their contract was signed for the following week. It was the last tournament that didn’t award the watch. They awarded it the following week, and I missed out on the watch. So the watch will be very important to me. Because a watch you can carry it around, you feel like you won something, but I can’t carry the big trophy

You know what? That makes a lot of sense. It’s like being able to wear a World Series of Poker bracelet, except I wouldn’t be surprised if players were more willing to don the Hublot watch over the bracelet, as the watch is both cool and practical, as opposed to just being a large piece of jewelry. Personally (and not that I will ever even come remotely close to this), if I won a WSOP bracelet, I don’t think I’d wear it on a regular basis (or even an irregular basis), as I’m not a jewelry guy. A nice watch, though, I could do, plus it has a neat story behind it.

Normally, the chip leader has a significant hand or two that helped get him to the top, but Afriat said his Day 3 was mostly just a gradual build. His biggest hand was actually a loss when his opponent hit a set of Jacks against his pocket Queens.

Though only sixteen players remain, Day 4 will play down to just the six-handed final table before adjourning.

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 3 Chip Counts

1. Eric Afriat – 2,400,000
2. Curt Kohlberg – 1,804,000
3. Ryan Rivers – 1,655,000
4. Maxime Heroux – 1,623,000
5. Duff Charette – 1,583,000
6. Bradley Ellis – 1,563,000
7. Derek Wolters – 1,257,000
8. David Peters – 1,216,000
9. Alex Keating – 1,051,000
10. Brendan Ziyad Baksh – 56,000
11. Feizal Satchu – 633,000
12. Mohammad Abu-Hadbah – 627,000
13. Brady Hinnegan – 579,000
14. Patrick Quinn – 453,000
15. Justin Liberto – 451,000
16. Adam Shannon – 340,000

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2017 WPT Montreal Main Event: Robert Rose Leads After Starting Flights

 2017 WPT Montreal Main Event: Robert Rose Leads After Starting Flights

The weekend saw the start of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event at the Playground Poker Club, a CAD $ 3,850 tourney with a guaranteed prize pool of CAD $ 2 million. Tournament organizers are hoping to match the excitement of last year’s WPT Montreal, which saw Poker Hall of Famer and legendary WPT announcer Mike Sexton finally win his first World Poker Tour title. Sexton is back this year – no longer behind the mic – and made it through Day 1C after busting at the tail end of Day 1B. The chip leader of Day 1C and the overall leader of the event going into Monday’s action is Robert Rose with 300,600 chips.

As is evident by the opening paragraph, this is a re-entry event, though re-entries were not restricted to only those who lost all of their chips. Even those who finished a starting flight with chips could re-enter in a subsequent flight if they weren’t satisfied with their ending stack. Once registration closed for Day 1C, though, that was it; there was no re-entry prior to Day 2 (nor could multiple entries be made for a single starting flight).

A total of 606 entries were paid for the WPT Montreal Main Event, with Day 1C, as expected being the largest, accounting for just more than half the total buy-ins. The prize pool just beat the guarantee, coming in at CAD $ 2.057 million. 76 players will make the money, with the winner making CAD $ 403,570.

Rose solidified his hold on the top spot just as Day 1C was about to end when Chrishan Sivasundaram moved all-in over the top of his pre-flop raise for 25,500 chips. Rose called with two red Nines, up against the K-Q of Sivasundaram. Nothing above an Eight landed on the board and Sivasundaram was eliminated while Rose took his stack to nearly 300,000, adding a bit more in the final few hands.

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1. Conray Watson – 229,000
2. Marc-Olivier Tanguay – 215,000
3. Darren Keyes – 208,300
4. Fabrice Pastor – 201,000
5. Andrew Dick – 161,400
6. Marc-Andre Ladouceur – 136,000
7. Joe Tehan – 126,100
8. Yannick Gauthier – 123,800
9. Joe Godbout – 111,700
10. Christian Harder – 110,000

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1. Noeung Troeung – 280,900
2. Brian Altman – 239,700
3. Asher Conniff – 210,800
4. Yu Gao – 183,600
5. Tony Dunst – 155,600
6. Scott Plummer – 155,100
7. Shane Currey – 152,800
8. Mike Leah – 146,300
9. Danny Boyaci – 143,000
10. Duff Charette – 123,300

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 1C Chip Leaders

1. Robert Rose – 300,600
2. Michael Mizrachi – 246,900
3. Grigoriy Shvarts – 216,200
4. Ari Engel – 196,600
5. Brady Hinnegan – 178,200
6. Shaan Siddiqui – 174,900
7. Jonathan Marrie – 174,100
8. Matthew Sherman – 166,200
9. Maxime Heroux – 165,900
10. Graham Ivany – 160,000

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Robert Rose – 300,600
2. Noeung Troeung – 280,900
3. Michael Mizrachi – 246,900
4. Brian Altman – 239,700
5. Conray Watson – 229,000
6. Grigoriy Shvarts – 216,200
7. Marc-Olivier Tanguay – 215,000
8. Asher Conniff – 210,800
9. Darren Keyes – 208,300
10. Fabrice Pastor – 201,000

 

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Marti Roca De Torres Comes from Behind to Earn WSOP-E Championship Event Title

 Marti Roca De Torres Comes from Behind to Earn WSOP E Championship Event Title

After an epic 14-hour battle in which he fought from an extremely disadvantageous position, Marti Roca De Torres was able to come back and defeat Gianluca Speranza to win the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Championship Event bracelet.

The six players coming back on Friday to determine the championship ran the gamut of poker experience. Chip leader Maria Ho (7.83 million) was riding a hot streak as the leader for the last two days and arguably was one of the most experienced players on the felt. Roca De Torres was right behind her, however, with his 7.26 million stack but not the same wealth of experience. After them, the contenders were few as Gianluca Speranza (4.4 million), WSOP bracelet winner Niall Farrell (3.025 million), Mathijs Jonkers (2.785 million) and Robert Bickley (1.085 million) rounded out the table.

Roca De Torres came out of the stall firing and it nearly got him in trouble. He would double up Bickley on the first hand of action, but that would be a momentary setback. Roca De Torres won four consecutive hands, with the last one battling against Ho’s first action of the day, to slip into the lead by a mere 5000 chips. Roca De Torres extended that lead on Hand 76 when, with pocket Queens, he got Ho to bet on the flop and turn (he called) after he had hit a set on the flop and Ho hit top pair with her K-Q off suit.

It was the beginning of the end for Ho. After a Farrell raise to 275K, Ho asked for a chip count (3.255 million) and then moved all in with her leading stack. Farrell immediately called, tabling pocket Jacks, while Ho could only roll over pocket deuces for the fight. An Ace high board didn’t change anything and, for the first time in two days, Ho was the short stack on the table and Farrell was challenging Roca De Torres for the lead.

Down to her last 1.26 million ten hands after clashing with Farrell, Ho moved her stack into the center and Roca De Torres, in the small blind, only called her all in. Farrell asked for a count of Roca De Torres’ chips (and learning that Roca De Torres’ had more) before moving all in over the top of Ho’s all in. Roca De Torres didn’t hesitate at all in making the call, slapping his cards on the felt triumphantly:

Ho: A-J off suit
Farrell:  pocket Kings
Roca De Torres:  pocket Aces

With Farrell drawing thin and Ho drawing virtually to air, the nine-high board didn’t come close to giving anyone other than Roca De Torres anything. Because she started the hand with the least chips, Ho was dismissed in sixth place while Farrell was bounced in fifth place as Roca De Torres took a massive lead.

Holding more than twice the number of chips than his other three competitors combined, Roca De Torres (17.48 million) looked to be in total command over Speranza (3.45 million), Bickley (3.035 million), and Jonkers (2.47 million). As it turned out, the tournament was barely getting started as the four men battled for almost six hours before the next departure occurred.

The chip stacks were quite fluent during this time, with Roca De Torres trying to eliminate his opposition but doubling them up more than he would like. He would lose the lead to first Speranza and then Bickley, who would double on SEVEN different occasions to take over the lead. Jonkers was about the only player who didn’t hold the lead, but he was able to stay vibrant in the tournament through a judicious use of the all-in move himself. In fact, it was Jonkers who would deliver the knockout that found the fourth-place finisher.

With the blinds and antes whipping around four handed, Bickley made a move all in out of the small blind, but Jonkers wasn’t going anywhere in making the call. Bickley had been caught, sheepishly showing his 3-2, while Jonkers was dominant with his A 7. The Q-10-9-2-9 not only didn’t help Bickley any, the three spades that were there improved Jonkers to the nut flush and sent Bickley out of the King’s Casino in fourth place.

Even after the knockout, Jonkers and Roca De Torres were still way behind Speranza. That chip discrepancy got even greater after Speranza, on Hand 194, bumped off Jonkers in third place after turning am unnecessary spade nut flush against a pair for Jonkers. As Speranza and Roca De Torres settled in for the heads-up match, Speranza held a more than 3:1 lead (19.95 million to 6.5 million).

Roca De Torres tried to come out aggressively from the start of heads up, but it almost worked against him. 15 hands into the battle, Speranza’s lead was almost 4:1 (22.05 million to 4.4 million) and it seemed that the tournament was firmly in Speranza’s hand. But just as they were sounding the last rites for Roca De Torres, he rose from the grave.

Building his stack with small victories, Roca De Torres would take over the lead on Hand 226 when he called a Speranza all-in bluff on the river. Although Speranza took the lead back only nine hands later, it seemed that bluff catch by Roca De Torres served to inspire him. He would continuously shove on the Italian and gradually grinded his way back into a competitive situation.

When the end came, it was stunningly fast. First, on Hand 269, Roca De Torres moved all in against and Speranza made the call. It was a race situation, Roca De Torres’ pocket fives up against Speranza’s A-J off suit, and the race got closer when Speranza spiked on the A-9-3 rainbow flop. That race ended, however, when a five hit on the turn to give Roca De Torres an unbeatable set and the hand. Left with only 775K after the chips were counted, Speranza sent them to the center on Hand 270 with a 10-8 off suit against Roca De Torres’ Q-5. No eight was found on the K-5-4-A-3 board, earning the title for Roca De Torres in an inspired run.

1. Marti Roca De Torres, €1,115,207
2. Gianluca Speranza, €689,246
3. Mathijs Jonkers, €476,585
4. Robert Bickley, €335,089
5. Niall Farrell, €239,639
6. Maria Ho, €174,365
7. Jack Salter, €129,121*
8. Luis Rodriguez, €97,344*

(* – eliminated on Thursday, part of official final table)

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

After battling through 529 players, the final six competitors have been determined for the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event final table. Looking to make history (as she has already done in this event), Maria Ho will look to carry on the lead she’s held for the past two days and turn it into a championship.

12 players started the day at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, with several stories looking to unfold. While all eyes would have normally been on the historic run of Ho, there was another bit of history evident in the appearance of defending WSOP-E champion Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee was looking to do something that hadn’t been done since Johnny Chan in 1987/88 – win back-to-back WSOP Main Event titles – but he had his work cut out for him on the short stack (1.06 million). Add in two strong Brits – Jack Salter and Niall Farrell – among the last dozen and it was setting up to be a stirring run to the final six.

MacPhee was active in the early going, getting his chips moving in the first three hands to add about 100K in chips to his stack, while Ho was maintaining her place atop the mountain. Farrell would eke out a slight lead about an hour in as Andrei Boghean and Marc MacDonnell would depart the festivities, but that lead would be short-lived. On a 10 6 3 J A board, Ho was able to get Farrell to lay his hand down after she fired a 500K bet on the river, chips she would use to continue to batter her opposition.

Only a couple of hands after clashing with Farrell, Ho would remove one of her biggest threats from the tourney. From under the gun, MacPhee put out an opener as Ho simply called in the cutoff. Farrell and Marti Roca De Torres defended their blinds and the Q 7 4 flop hit the felt. The blinds checked and dutifully folded after MacPhee fired another bet of 210K and Ho made the call. A 9 came on the turn and MacPhee powered out another bet, this time of 430K. Ho, after some quick calculations and an examination of MacPhee’s stack, moved all in and MacPhee made the call. Ho’s J 10 (open ended straight and flush draw) was actually in pretty good position against MacPhee’s pocket Kings. That “pretty good” position turned into a “winning” one when another King came on the river to give Ho the straight and the knockout of the defending champion in tenth place.

The unofficial final table redrew at this point with Ho (6.635 million) holding a 2.5 million chip lead over Mathijs Jonkers (4.015 million). Farrell, for all his activity, was still in third (3.075 million) after the redraw while the rest of the field was under three million chips each. With only one more elimination to the “official” final table, the players settled in for what would become a drawn-out fight.

Over the next seven hours, the players jousted to get in position for the penultimate day of the WSOP-E Main Event. Above it all was Ho, who attracted chips like a magnet in maintaining her lead. After De Torres was able to quash the dreams of Stepan Osinovski in eliminating him in ninth place, the official table was set with Ho still reigning supreme.

With more time to spare, WSOP officials decided that action would continue and two more players would meet their demise. On Hand 52, Luis Rodriguez would push all in from under the gun only to run into Farrell’s pocket Aces. Rodriguez’s K-6 off suit would find no help as he exited in eighth place. About 10 hands later, Salter would suffer a back-to-back beating. First, Speranza’s Big Slick beat Salter’s Jacks to bring the British champion into the danger zone. Then, on the very next hand, Salter would depart the tournament in seventh place when his K-J failed to catch up to De Torres’ A-7.

Here is how the final six will line up for tomorrow’s action:

1. Maria Ho, 7.83 million
2. Marti Roca De Torres, 7.26 million
3. Gianluca Speranza, 4.4 million
4. Niall Farrell, 3.025 million
5. Mathijs Jonkers, 2.785 million
6. Robert Bickley, 1.085 million

Ho has been in control of this event for the last two days and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take it down, considering her experience in the game. If she were able to win the championship, she would become the first woman to win the WSOP Main Event of any of the three competitions (Las Vegas, Europe, or Asia/Pacific, which will be contested next year). It is conceivable that she will eclipse the previous best for a female at a WSOP Main Event, which is the fifth-place finish by Barbara Enright in the 1995 WSOP Main Event.

There are some very talented players in pursuit of Ho, however. Speranza is a veteran of the European poker wars and Farrell has a wealth of big match experience. De Torres, Jonkers and Bickley are wild cards in the mix, but Bickley and Jonkers might not have enough chips to make a difference.

The final table will continue at noon Friday (6AM East Coast Time) in the King’s Casino. The proceedings will be live streamed at WSOP.com on a half-hour delay. At stake is the €1,115,207 first place money, the WSOP-Europe Championship Event bracelet and, for Maria Ho, the chance to etch her name into history.

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