Posts Tagged ‘event’

Two Day Ones Completed in PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event, Overall Numbers Down

 Two Day Ones Completed in PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event, Overall Numbers Down

The PokerStars Championships have made their inaugural swing to the Sortis Hotel, Spa and Casino in Panama City, Panama. The $ 3500 Main Event has booked its two-Day Ones at this point, but it is arguable that the overall numbers might be a bit low for the side tournaments and the Main Event.

On Day 1A, slightly more than 100 players would answer the bell for action, with a noted fighter emerging at the top of the standings. While Igor Yaroshevskyy reigned supreme over the Day 1A survivors with his 219,300 in chips, it was retired MMA champion Tito Ortiz who was drawing the lion’s share of attention. Ortiz, who has fought and won championships in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and most recently fought for Bellator MMA, was in second place behind Yaroshevskyy with his 182,000 in chips, setting himself up for Day Two well. Along with Jason Koon (175,500), Steve O’Dwyer (117,000) and former World Champion Ryan Riess (77,300), the day was replete with notables among the survivors.

Day 1B was expected to bring out a throng of players and it didn’t disappoint. 259 players came to the tables on Wednesday to bring the total number for the tournament to roughly 360 players. Of that number, 128 survived the minefields of Day 1B to join with their 43 counterparts from Day 1A to bring 171 players back to the fray on Day 2 Thursday. With his 154,300 in chips, Jiachen Gong emerged as the chip leader from Day 1B, but he will be down a bit in the overall standings.

1. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 219,600
2. Tito Ortiz, 182,000
3. Jason Koon, 175,500
4. Jiachen Gong, 154,300
5. Caufman Talley, 150,300
6. Martin Kus, 146,800
7. Kamal Abdel Bittar, 146,700
8. Luke Graham, 140,300
9. Vincente Delgado, 138,000
10. Pablo Fernandez, 133,700

What has been the bigger story of the PokerStars Championship Panama is the player numbers that have shown for the preliminary tournaments. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the player response to the Panama event against the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, but it is the only comparison that can be made currently for the “new” tour (the PokerStars Championships have taken over for the European Poker Tour and the “regional” tours that were once part of the PokerStars family). In looking at the comparison, it could be said that the Panama event isn’t drawing as hoped.

The Main Event of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (itself formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) saw a respectable crowd of 738 players turn out for the $ 5000 buy in tournament (and that was a low mark for the event – in 2016, 928 players came to the line). Although more than 350 players for a first-time event would be nice for most, for a PokerStars branded event it has to be considered a bit of a disappointment. If that doesn’t do it, then a look at some of the preliminary events – and a comparison to their counterparts in the Bahamas – might paint another picture.

For a $ 1000 “Win the Button” No Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament at the Atlantis event, 68 entries were received in the tournament; at the Panama event, only four entries were received. Another Turbo event, this one for $ 2000, only drew 19 entries from those amassed in Panama City. The $ 50,000 Super High Roller tournament, a staple of the old EPT, brought in only 21 players in Panama, very different from the 68 entries that came in for the Bahamas tournament. The “name” tournaments on the PokerStars schedule – such as their PokerStars Open (a $ 220 buy in tournament) – did draw equivalent numbers, but the PokerStars National Championship was different – a $ 1000 buy in event with re-entry for Panama, a $ 2000 single entry tournament for the Bahamas. Those tournaments saw roughly equivalent prize pools.

These numbers might not be quite as worrisome as it appears, however. The Panama stop is a first-time event, as will be the next stop on the PokerStars Championship circuit in Macau. It won’t be until May, when the PokerStars Championships head to Monte Carlo, where there can be comparisons made to tournaments that existed on the old EPT circuit. But it might be a bit concerning that player numbers are low as it might indicate players aren’t warming to the new “international” PokerStars Championship circuit.

The PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event will continue through the weekend. On Monday, the next champion will be crowned as the PokerStars Championships experiment continues onward.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Final Table Set

Mike Del Vecchio will take a sizable chip lead into the six-handed final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event final table Wednesday as the tournament heads into its last day. With 4.27 million chips, Del Vecchio has about 1.3 million more than his closest competitor, John Hadley.

With a minimum final table cash of $ 52,222, Del Vecchio is already in for the largest live tournament cash of his career. His best career cash $ 51,377, earned by winning a $ 1,500 tourney a the Grand Challenge Tournament Series in 2012. Thus, should he bomb out Wednesday and only place sixth, he will still eclipse his career-high cash. Overall, Del Vecchio has $ 282,784 in lifetime earnings.

One of Del Vecchio’s more significant hands came with just eleven players remaining. Denzel Suntay limped pre-flop, Del Vecchio raised to 65,000, Suntay called, and the flop came down 8-5-2. Suntay check-called a 55,000 chip bet and the two saw a turn Ten. They checked that to bring on a Queen on the river. Suntay woke up, betting 145,000, but then Del Vecchio raised to 415,000. Suntay called and showed he had Pocket Rockets, a reasonable hand with which to feel confident on that board. Del Vecchio, though, had pocket Queens, good for a set. That pot took his stack to 3.85 million chips.

As our readers may know, this event is also the end of the WPT’s “California Swing,” which is comprised of the three California stops that have taken place in succession: WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, and WPT Rolling Thunder. Players earned points based on their finish in each event and once Dean Baranowski was eliminated in 14th place in WPT Rolling Thunder, it meant that Rainer Kempe was the California Swing champ thanks to an 18th place finish at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic and a sixth place finish at WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.

Kempe wins a grand prize that will benefit him greatly at next year’s California Swing. He will receive up to six nights’ accommodation at the Commerce Casino’s Crowne Plaza Hotel for the 2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event plus an airport transfer, up to five nights’ accommodation at the Thunder Valley Casino Resorts for the 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event plus $ 500 food and beverage credit, and up to $ 1,000 in accommodation credit for the 2018 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event and Shooting Star status.

The six-handed final table of the 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event is now underway; someone will be crowned the next World Poker Tour champion tonight.

2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Mike Del Vecchio  –  4,270,000
2.    John Hadley  –  2,978,000
3.    Sorel Mizzi  –  2,283,000
4.    Connor Drinan  –  1,349,000
5.    Steven Tabb  –  1,075,000
6.    Olivier Busquet  –  676,000

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 2: Niall Farrell Takes Late Lead at Expense of Buddy

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 2: Niall Farrell Takes Late Lead at Expense of Buddy

Niall Farrell is the chip leader after Day 2 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event, finishing the day with 893,000 chips. Not only is he the only player above the 800,000 chip mark (nearly 900,000 at that), he is also the only one above 700,000. The closest competitor is Chuck Nguyen with 644,000; he’s the only other player that even has 600,000. Just 57 players remain of the original field of 421.

Registration was open until the beginning of Level 11 on Monday and those who were eliminated in either of the two starting flights were also allowed to re-enter one more time on Day 2, so tournament added 45 more players yesterday to get to that 421 total.

With the final numbers in, the prize pool added up to $ 1,347,200. The winner will take home $ 284,638. Just 53 players will make the money, so some near the bottom of the chip counts might not have gotten the best night’s sleep last night, as the beginning of Day 3 should be tense.

The chip leader, Farrell, has been one of the most successful players on the live tournament tour in the past year. Among other accomplishments, he won the partypoker WPT Caribbean Main Event in November, finished eighth in the 2016 High Roller for One Drop, and finished second at the 2016 WSOP $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout Event. All told, he has more than $ 3.3 million in live tournament earnings and currently sits thirteenth in the Global Poker Index.

Farrell made his leap to the top of the leader board very late on Day 2 when he eliminated fellow WPT champ and good friend, Chris Moorman. Farrell raised pre-flop, Moorman re-raised, and then Farrell four-bet to 59,000 before Moorman decided to just call. On the flop of K-J-3, Farrell bet 52,000 and Moorman called. The turn was a Queen and Farrell checked this time, Moorman then bet 50,000, and Farrell called after some thought. On the river Deuce, Farrell checked again, Moorman pondered his decision for a bit before he decided to go all-in for 130,000. Farrell had baited him, instantly calling with A-T for the nut-straight. Moorman turned over pocket Tens and that was it for him.

Tweeting afterward, Moorman wrote, “Had heaps then bluffed it all off to @Firaldo87poker when he had the nuts and I had the blockers #howgooddoesherun.”

The tournament will get back underway at noon Pacific Time at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Niall Farrell – 893,000
2.    Chuck Nguyen – 644,000
3.    Alex Foxen – 568,000
4.    John Hadley – 471,000
5.    Sorel Mizzi – 466,000
6.    Steven Tabb – 462,000
7.    Brian Altman – 358,000
8.    Dan Harmetz – 332,000
9.    Mohsin Charania – 321,000
10.    Kevin Eyster – 314,000

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 1B: Ting Ho Takes Overall Chip Lead

 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event Day 1B: Ting Ho Takes Overall Chip Lead

The second of two starting flights of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event drew to a close last night with 210 players deciding to give it a go on Sunday. That brings the combined field to 376 so far; registration is open until the beginning of Level 11 (Monday will start on Level 9) and those who already played are still permitted one more entry on Day 2, so we won’t know the final numbers until later today. The Day 1B chip leader was Ting Ho, whose 181,300 chips also barely edged those of Saturday’s leader, Dhaval Joshi, for the overall chip lead.

Ting Ho’s live tournament profile is interesting. She has $ 373,070 in earnings according to TheHendonMob.com; nothing incredible for a poker player, but still a very nice sum. She has a long list of more than 60 live cashes, but even with all those successes and her six-figure earnings total, the vast majority of her scores are in three-digit buy-in tournaments. Ho’s largest cash came back in 2012 when she won a $ 500 + $ 50 at the Wynn Classic for $ 51,876. More recently, she finished 16th at the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Event for $ 35,000.

Ho wasn’t necessarily planning on playing in this event, but she took a shot at a satellite at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort and won a seat, so here she is.

As Ho isn’t a “name” poker player, she was not featured in the live tournament updates until late, when she was at or near the top of the leader board. After the evening ended, she told WPT.com about her day, saying that early on, she was just “grinding,” slowly building her stack through small, uneventful pots.

“But then I had aces cracked,” she said, recalling a hand in which someone called her with 6-9 suited pre-flop and went on to river a straight.

She continued (courtesy WPT.com):

And then an orbit later I have pocket aces again. It was the same action, a person raised, another called, so I made it 4x [the big blind] again, and then fold, and I get a call. So I’m like, ‘Ah [laughs]!’ And then the flop comes queen-high board with three diamonds, and I have the ace of diamonds. So I lead, I think he wanted to just call, but he threw out one too many orange chips (5,000) so it had to be a raise, so I flat. The turn comes a brick, I check, and he just piles all in. I thought for a while, I would have still had 15 big blinds going into Day 2, and I just decided to call, and he had ace-king.

There are 197 players remaining from the two starting flights, but as mentioned, expect the field to grow a bit more today. Day 2 begins at 12:00pm Pacific.

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

1.    Ting Ho – 181,300
2.    Ben Barad – 172,700
3.    Alan Bittikofer – 132,500
4.    Kou Vang – 111,400
5.    Ari Engel – 105,600
6.    Tyler Patterson – 104,100
7.    Alan Snow – 103,800
8.    Dan O’Brien – 101,800
9.    Eddy Sabat – 100,300
10.    Bob Buckenmayer – 99,800

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

1.    Ting Ho – 181,300
2.    Dhaval Joshi – 181,100
3.    Jon Borenstein – 173,800
4.    Ben Barad – 172,700
5.    Michael Tureniec – 146,000
6.    Kelly Douglas – 139,100
7.    Alan Bittikofer – 132,500
8.    Eric Baldwin – 113,700
9.    J. C. Tran – 112,900
10.    Kou Vang – 111,400

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 2: Paul Volpe Pulls to Lead, Five Shooting Stars Remain

 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 2: Paul Volpe Pulls to Lead, Five Shooting Stars Remain

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, CA, is in the books and it is shaping up to be an outstanding stretch run. Atop the final 44 players remaining is poker professional Paul Volpe, but there are plenty of challenges facing him. Not only are there five Shooting Stars left in the tournament, one of them is WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, who is looking to take over the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race should he make the final table.

264 players came back for Day 2 play, greeted with the news that they wanted:  the prize pool information. The massive 806 entries for the tournament – a record for the tournament – built a prize pool of $ 5,722,600 (part of this prize pool was the bonuses paid out to the Day 1 chip leaders and the player bounties), with WPT and Bay 101 officials deciding that 81 players would receive a minimum piece of $ 13,660. The eyes of all those left in the tournament were easily focused atop the pay scale, with a whopping $ 1,373,000 reserved for the eventual champion.

Now knowing how many players would be paid, the audacious task was set for Day 2. First, the field needed to work down to the money – meaning slightly more than two-thirds (70%) of the field would be disappointed on Wednesday – then take on getting down as close to 36 players to keep Thursday’s action (to the official WPT final table of six) as short as possible. While one of those endeavors would be completed, the other came up a bit short.

There were plenty of Shooting Stars left at the start of the day and, if they were on the short stack, it seems they quickly found the exit. Shooting Star bounty Chris Moorman was the first to go at the hands of Stuart Tuvey, netting Tuvey a $ 2500 bonus for knocking out the British pro along with his Shooting Star medallion and a commemorative t-shirt. Former NFL star Richard Seymour soon followed Moorman (Seymour’s pocket eights couldn’t catch Tuan Mai’s pocket Kings), along with Jason Koon, Anthony Zinno, Cliff Josephy, Marvin Rettenmaier, Bruce Buffer, Tom Schneider, Joe McKeehen, and Tyler Patterson. By the start of Level 14, there were still 23 Shooting Stars remaining, giving players plenty to strive for.

The news wasn’t all bad for the Shooting Stars. Former World Champion Scotty Nguyen doubled early to get up to 220K in chips, while Rainer Kempe (360K) and Noah Schwartz (305K) were at the top of those with the bounties on their heads. Also coming up the ladder at the start of the new level was Volpe who, while not a Shooting Star, had quietly worked his way into the mix with a 305K stack.

The parade of superstars with the Shooting Star medallion hanging around their necks – at least until they were knocked out of the tournament – continued throughout the afternoon. Andy Frankenberger, Mohsin Charania, ESPN poker announcer Lon McEachern, Igor Kurganov, Pat Lyons, and Tim West all hit the door after their chips disappeared from their grasp. Just as quickly as he went up the ladder, Shooting Star Nguyen would also head for the door in a particularly painful hand. After catching trip Aces on the turn against WPT Champions’ Club member Brian Altman with his Big Slick, Nguyen got his final chips to the center on the river only to see that Altman had flopped a set of fives and, with the turn Ace, made a boat.

With Shooting Star Mike Matusow heading to the door before the dinner break, 99 players were left and the money bubble was looming. What wasn’t going to be made, however, was the goal of reaching the final 36 players. Still, the players surged onward and, as the bubble came closer, Dominik Nitsche, Jesse Sylvia, Todd Brunson, and Ryan Riess would miss out on making the money in losing their bounty. What would come next would be an extended hand-for-hand period, with nobody wanting to depart the event.

For almost two hours, there were no eliminations in the tournament but plenty of double up. Sexton himself would triple up during this process, using pocket Queens against Eduards Kudrjavcevs’ pocket eights and another unnamed player to stay alive in the tournament. It wasn’t until Eddy Sabat, using pocket Kings, vanquished Oscar Zarate-Ramirez’s K♦ J♦ that the money bubble was popped and the remaining 81 players could celebrate their min-cash payday.

Once the bubble was done, the march to the cage began. Matt Stout (Shooting Star bounty) and Jeff Gross (SSB) both took home min-cashes, while Noah Schwartz (SSB), Chance Kornuth (SSB), David Tuchman (SSB), Sorel Mizzi (SSB), and defending champion Stefan Schillhabel all earned a bit more. As Level 21 began (and the clock passed 2:30AM), Bay 101 officials determined that the action would end at 3AM, regardless of how many players were remaining from the 46 players that were left.

Only two players were eliminated over the last 30 minutes of action, but the story for most was the rise of Volpe. With only 108K after the money bubble popped, Volpe increased his stack to 1.7 million and did it without great fanfare in the tournament arena. He would close the day out by adding a few more chips in holding a decent lead over Dan O’Brien.

1. Paul Volpe, 1.749 million
2. Dan O’Brien, 1.339 million
3. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 1.19 million
4. Charlie Carrel, 1.042 million
5. Garrett Greer, 1.034 million
6. Matt Affleck, 1.018 million
7. Sergio Aido, 879,000
8. Sam Panzica, 814,000
9. Tom West, 804,000
10. Brian Altman, 762,000

Greer holds court on the five Shooting Stars remaining, with David Williams (685,000), Kempe (513,000), Christian Harder (385,000) and Sexton (391,000) still hanging on to their medallions.

Because of the late night of play, the tournament will resume at 1PM (Pacific Time) with the requirement that the players reach the final six players before action will stop. With 44 players left in the tournament, that is going to be a difficult task, but it needs to be done to set the final table for Friday’s championship day at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.

Poker News Daily



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