Posts Tagged ‘Five’
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.
2017 WPT L. A. Poker Classic Day Five: Daniel Strelitz In Charge at Final Table with Mike Sexton Lurking
For the third consecutive day and in dominant fashion, Daniel Strelitz has set himself as the man to beat at the 2017 World Poker Tour L. A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. He will be leading the final table this afternoon when play reconvenes and faces a daunting challenge in a group of men that includes 2017 WPT champion and commentator Mike Sexton.
16 players came back to the tables on Wednesday, looking to whittle the contenders down to the official WPT final table of six. Strelitz was carrying the chip lead, as he did after Day Three of the tournament, and was the only player left with better than a two million chip stack (2.02 million, to be exact). There was a litany of contenders looking to derail Strelitz’s run, however, including Matt Berkey (1.118 million), former WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock (1.157 million), Rainer Kempe (798K), Sexton (908K), Simeon Naydenov (478K) and a short stacked Dzmitry Urbanovich (288K).
With a million-dollar payday awaiting the eventual champion, the players were deliberate in the actions and looking for the best opportunity to move up the pay ladder. Naydenov found an early double up through Donald Maloney in a classic race situation – Maloney’s pocket Queens against Naydenov’s Big Slick – that saw Naydenov flop a King to take the hand. Meanwhile, Sexton was the beneficiary of some of Kempe’s chips when he eliminated the German but tripled up Visnja Leutic when she caught Queens up against Sexton’s pocket Kings.
Strelitz wasn’t sitting back on his laurels, however. He knocked off Dean Baranowski in 17th place and, within a couple of hours of the opening bell, was sitting on a stack of 2.6 million. Strelitz continued to dominate the field and, after Naydenov eliminated Urbanovich (who survived much longer than many thought) in 11th place, headed to the unofficial final table of ten men with 3.45 million in chips.
He could have just sat back and cruised into the final table with the chips that he had, but Strelitz kept getting strong cards. He knocked off John Cynn in tenth place, adding Cynn’s roughly 500K in chips to his stack, and approached the four million mark in forcing Serock off a hand only seven hands into play at the unofficial final table. He didn’t slow down over the next rotation around the table either, putting together some more moves to bring his stack to 4.42 million. About the only player who could slow down Strelitz was Sexton, who chipped a couple small pots out of Strelitz to stay viable in the tournament.
After a break in the tournament to move to Level 25, Strelitz exploded on the remaining field. On Hand 55, Strelitz was able to eliminate Serock in eighth place after sparring with him over several hands and, only twelve hands later, showed Berkey the door in seventh place after rivering a miraculous nut flush against Berkey’s flopped Broadway straight. In knocking off three of the four players at the unofficial final table, Strelitz’s chip stack soared over six million to set him up as the dominant force at the official WPT final table:
1. Daniel Strelitz, 6.485 million
2. Simeon Naydenov, 2.86 million
3. Jesse Martin, 2.54 million
4. Jared Griener, 1.895 million
5. Mike Sexton, 1.165 million
6. Richard Tuhrim, 680,000
While Strelitz’s run has been quite impressive, the eyes of the poker world are set firmly on Sexton. After being barred from playing on the circuit for much of its fifteen-year history, Sexton would win his first WPT championship at the WPT partypoker.net Montreal tournament in November 2016, Sexton has catapulted himself into the race for the Season XV Player of the Year competition. With a victory here at the LAPC, Sexton will be barely behind the current leader Benjamin Zamani, with plenty of time to pass him before the season’s conclusion.
Don’t leave anyone else out of pulling a surprise, however. Naydenov is particularly dangerous and, as the player closest to Strelitz in the chip count and on Strelitz’s immediate left, only needs a couple of breaks to catch up. It might be a task for Martin, Griener or especially Tuhrim (as the short stack) to make any big moves, but there’s plenty of chips out there that can easily switch hands should the fortunes change.
The final table of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic will begin at 4PM (Pacific Time) and is set to be recorded for broadcast on the Season XV schedule of the WPT on Fox Sports 1 (there is no live stream of the tournament). At stake for the remaining six men is the lion’s share of the $ 5 million prize pool, including the top prize of $ 1,001,110 for the eventual champion.
Collegiate sports are fun to watch. I love my Virginia Cavaliers; while I don’t get too hung up on the exploits of kids half my age (my wife would argue this), I enjoy cheering for my alma mater’s student-athletes and I do take a little pride in seeing them get better and better throughout their years in school. The NCAA, on the other hand, the body that governs collegiate athletics, tends to be a piece of shit. The jackassery of the NCAA was in rare form recently as five University of Richmond baseball players were suspended for having the gall to do something as reckless as play fantasy football.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the University will not release the names of the five players, but two are known to be two of the team’s best players: Keenan Bartlett and Kurtis Brown. Considering the Spiders have played five games and certain players have missed all five games, it is not particularly difficult to decipher which guys may have been suspended.
The exact violation that was committed has not been disclosed, either, but it was related to fantasy football. Technically, playing fantasy football is against NCAA rules. The Times-Dispatch provided the text of the rule:
You are not eligible to compete if you knowingly participate in any sports wagering activity that involves intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required.
Thus, if the baseball players did play fantasy football for money, they technically violated NCAA rules. But man, if it was just your typical college kids playing daily fantasy (or season-long fantasy) for a few bucks, someone in the NCAA office has got to understand that nobody violated the spirit of the rule.
And arguably the worst part is that the kids are suspended indefinitely. The University provided a statement to the Times-Dispatch, which read, in part, “As a result of these violations, these five student-athletes will be ineligible for competition until the NCAA’s reinstatement process has been completed.”
They have missed five games already. They could miss the entire 2017 baseball season for playing fantasy football. That’s insane.
I understand why the gambling rules are in place. Gambling by student-athletes can open the door to players getting in trouble financially and then potentially doing something that damages the integrity of the game. While rare, there have been point-shaving incidents, for instance, in college basketball. In those situations, a player was paid by gamblers to purposely make sure his game (one in which his team was a solid favorite) stayed within the spread so that the gamblers, who bet on the underdog, could win. The player wasn’t trying to lose, just not win by too much.
Things like that weren’t necessarily fueled a player gambling, but simply being enticed with a sizeable sum of money. If a student-athlete gambles and runs up a debt, who knows what sort of mess he could get himself (or herself) into?
But this whole thing is just dumb, unless there is way more to it than it seems. To suspend five baseball players indefinitely for fantasy football is way beyond the intent of the gambling rule and it would be nice if someone at the NCAA would realize this. Unfortunately, the players have already missed five games, so plenty of damage has been done.
PokerStars announced a slew of new PokerStars Festival stops on Tuesday, indicating a rapid expansion of the new live poker tour into Latin American and Asia. The first of these stops, Chile, will come after the previously scheduled upcoming stops in London and Rozvadov.
“We are excited to take our PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival across the globe bringing our vision for live poker to a whole new level, ensuring a year filled with far more winning moments than ever before,” said PokerStars’ Director of Live Events, Edgar Stuchly, in Tuesday’s press release. “The wide range of poker events on offer in new and exciting destinations shows the expansion of poker and underscores our commitment to growing the game while providing the best live poker experience to players all over the world.”
As our readers may well know by now, PokerStars killed off the European Poker Tour (EPT) at the end of 2016, replacing it with two new tours: PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival. It seems that the PokerStars Championship will approximate what the EPT was in spirit, with 10-11 day events at major casinos around the world and €/$ 5,000 Main Events.
The PokerStars Festival is the little brother to the Championship, not unlike the World Series of Poker Circuit. The Festival will typically be at lesser-known venues, the stops will be a bit shorter, and the events will mostly come in at lower price points.
Before the PokerStars Championship began – before the EPT was even dead – the PokerStars Festival kicked off at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. In a couple weeks, it will head to London.
In today’s press release, five more PokerStars Festival stops were announced:
PokerStars Festival Chile – May 20th to May 27th – Vina del Mar Hotel & Casino
PokerStars Festival Marbella – June 19th to June 25th – Casino Marbella, Spain
PokerStars Festival Korea – July 14th to July 24th – Paradise City, Incheon, South Korea
PokerStars Festival Manila – July 28th to August 7th – PokerStars LIVE at City of Dreams Manila
PokerStars Festival Uruguay – September 16th – September 23rd – Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino
When PokerStars announced in August 2016 that it was retiring the European Poker Tour brand name and launching the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival, the company gave a quick reason for ending one of the most prestigious live poker tours on the planet:
“With the European Poker Tour (EPT) outgrowing its European borders, PokerStars is making its biggest live events even bigger, by encompassing key PokerStars sponsored events from around the world and bringing players worldwide the much-loved EPT experience”
As we can see, PokerStars is certainly expanding this transformed EPT outside of Europe. Only of the five PokerStars Festival stops listed above is in Europe. Two of the three previously scheduled Festival stops (London and Rozvadov) are in Europe.
Though the press release seemed to imply that PokerStars Championship stops had been added, none have been. The upcoming schedule for the PokerStars Championship still includes just the stops that had already been known: Panama, Macau, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona.
After coming into the final table action, James Romero didn’t let much slow him down as he rode his chip lead to his first major championship, the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Romero had a dominant lead to start the action on Saturday afternoon. With 9.855 million in chips, his closest competitor, Ryan Tosoc (4.46 million), was behind by more than a 2:1 deficit. Nearly three times behind Romero was Justin Bonomo (3.385 million) while Igor Yaroshevskyy (2.565 million), Alex Condon (2.26 million) and Jake Schindler (1.205 million) all had a tough road to hoe if they were going to climb into contention. Thus, everyone in the WPT arena at the Bellagio thought that it was Romero’s tournament to lose, usually the kiss of death to most players.
Perhaps because of the stakes they were playing for (sixth place earned $ 258,545; the champion took down $ 1,938,118) or perhaps because of their deep stacks (even the short-stacked Schindler had 24 big blinds to work with), the early action was a bit tepid. On Hand 17, Tosoc would take down a 2.7 million chip hand against Bonomo, his Big Slick flopping two pair, to firm up his hold on second place at the table, but other than that the six men were content to shuffle chips around the felt. On Hand 25, Romero and Bonomo clashed and, after a flop bet on a K-6-3 rainbow, Bonomo mucked his cards to send Romero over the 12 million mark in chips.
It wasn’t until Hand 59 that the first player was eliminated. After Yaroshevskyy moved all in for almost 1.5 million chips, everyone looked to the table captain, Romero, to look him up. Romero did, but it also helped that he had the goods to go to battle; his pocket Queens were in very good shape against Yaroshevskyy’s A-10 off suit and, when the board ran out nine-high, Romero was the “executioner” of the first elimination in the sixth place Yaroshevskyy.
Only two hands later, another soldier fell. Schindler pushed out an opening bet from the cutoff and Bonomo not only wanted to see the flop with him but wanted to play for all his chips out of the small blind. Schindler decided to play along and was in dominant shape with his pocket sevens over Bonomo’s pocket fives. A seven on the flop all but sealed the hand and, after the turn card didn’t have a five on it, Bonomo was drawing dead and out of the tournament in fifth place.
The floodgates continued to spew out players as, only two more hands after Bonomo’s departure, another player would hit the exits. Condon never seemed to get anything going throughout the day and, when he tried to make a move, it would prove to not be the opportune moment. Moving all in from the button, Condon saw the chip leader Romero make the call and turn up pocket fives. Condon was on a move with his Q♣ 9♣, but he was alive and actually improved on the K-J-8 flop. An Ace continued to tease Condon – but Romero was still in the lead – and, after the board completed with an innocuous seven, Condon’s straight dream was dead. He shipped his chips to Romero and exited to the darkness surrounding the WPT final table in fourth place.
Now down to three players, Romero still had a sizeable lead with his 11.435 million in chips, but both Tosoc (7.14 million) and even Schindler (5.155 million) could take a massive chomp out of his chip stack if he made the slightest mistake. Romero didn’t make that mistake, however, instead lengthening his lead over the next 20 hands to the point that his chip stack was larger than the chip stacks of Tosoc and Schindler added together. It would take another 37 hands before Romero vanquished Schindler in third place but, when his K-J nailed a King on the flop against Schindler’s pocket sixes to knock him out in third, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Romero (20.95 million chips) was going to win the heads up against Tosoc (2.775 million) to win the title.
Tosoc didn’t go quietly, fighting back over 16 hands, but it was too much in the end. After Tosoc moved all in from the button, Romero immediately made the call and slapped pocket Kings on the table. Tosoc could only shake his head as he tabled his pocket fives and, once the A-J-9-4-6 board rolled off, the championship was Romero’s.
1. James Romero, $ 1,938,118
2. Ryan Tosoc, $ 1,124,051
3. Jake Schindler, $ 738,579
4. Alex Condon, $ 494,889
5. Justin Bonomo, $ 345,272
6. Igor Yaroshevskyy, $ 268,545