Posts Tagged ‘High’

Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller Event

 Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller Event

When we were kids, my brother and I were huge Milwaukee Brewers fans (and still are). Baseball’s all-time stolen base leader, Rickey Henderson, was never a member of the Brewers, but my brother loved him nonetheless because they shared the same first name (though my sibling’s name doesn’t have the “e”). As such, I predict the child version of my bro would have just become a gigantic fan of last night’s winner of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100,000 Super High Roller Event, Cary Katz.

Unfortunately for us, we are not related to the man, so there are no generous birthday gifts in our future. For his real relatives, though, they could be in for quite the boon after Katz’s nearly $ 1.5 million win.

One thing that is nuts about Katz’s victory is that he did not even play on Day 1 of the tournament. As players were allowed to register before the beginning of Day 2, he did just that, sacrificing the ability to build up chips on the first day. Of course, he could have busted out on Day 1, so there is a trade-off there. With just 48 entrants, though, opting to skip the first day is a sizable risk.

As such, Katz was one of the short stacks going into the seven-handed final table with 855,000 chips, one of just two players below the million chip mark. For comparison, the three players at the top of the standings – Ivan Luca, Justin Bonomo, and Daniel Negreanu – had 2.760 million, 2.695 million, and 2.415 million, respectively.

For quite a while, Katz made little to no headway, languishing at the bottom of the chip counts. Even after he doubled twice and two players busted out by Hand 45 of the final table, Katz was still the short stack with 1.210 million chips. Luca and Bryn Kenney, meanwhile, were up over 4 million.

Shockingly, Luca and Kenney locked horns two hands later, with both ending up all-in. Kenney’s A-K bested Luca’s A-J and suddenly the chip lead from nearly the entire day was out in fifth place and Kenney had 8.260 million chips.

Katz was up and down for a while after that, mostly remaining the short stack, but he got aggressive leading up to Hand 121, frequently shoving and forcing folds. After Kenney lost a solid pot to Bonomo, there was virtually a three-way tie at about 4 million chips.

A few hands later, Katz forced Kenney out of a big hand and when Bonomo knocked out Kenney shortly thereafter, it was somehow Katz in the lead going into heads-up, 6.695 million to 5.305 million. And it didn’t take long for Katz to clinch it. He extended his lead four hands into heads-up when his quads beat Bonomo’s full house (it was impressive that Bonomo wasn’t eliminated right there).

Three hands later, Bonomo shoved for 3.3 million with A-K and Katz called with 8-8. Bonomo wasn’t able to pair either of his cards, capping Cary Katz’s amazing run to the Super High Roller title.

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100K Super High Roller – Final Table Results

1. Cary Katz – $ 1,492,340
2. Justin Bonomo – $ 1,077,800
3. Bryn Kenney – $ 686,960
4. Daniel Negreanu – $ 521,140
5. Ivan Luca – $ 402,700
6. Ike Haxton – $ 307,940
7. Sam Greenwood – $ 248,720

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Ivan Luca Leads Super High Roller Final Table

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Ivan Luca Leads Super High Roller Final Table

The final table of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100,000 Super High Roller Event was determined yesterday as the seven remaining players vie for the title on Monday. It is a tight race at the top with Ivan Luca holding the chip lead with 2.76 million chips, followed by Justin Bonomo with 2.695 million and Daniel Negreanu with 2.415 million.

All seven players are guaranteed at least $ 248,720. Thus, Negreanu has already made up his tournament losses from last year; he recently posted on his blog that despite nearly $ 2.8 million in live tournament cashes, he lost $ 86,140 in 2017. His average buy-in was over $ 40,000, though, so Negreanu considered that net loss virtually “break even.”

As one would expect in a Super High Roller tournament, the rest of the final table is also a “who’s who” of the tournament poker world. Bryn Kenney, who led the Player of the Year races last year before being overtaken late by Adrian Mateos, is in fourth place with 1.485 million chips. Isaac Haxton is in fifth with 1.095 million and two players have fewer than 1 million chips: Cary Katz (855,000, no relation to this writer) and Sam Greenwood (695,000).

The chip leader, Ivan Luca, is tops on Argentina’s all-time money list, according to TheHendonMob.com, with over $ 5.3 million in live tournament earnings. He doesn’t have one insane cash that makes up the bulk of his earnings, like many seven-figure lifetime winners do, but rather many five and six-figure scores. His best cash came at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure two years ago, when he finished third in the $ 50,000 High Roller Eight-Handed event for nearly half a million dollars. That was one of five cashes for him at the 2016 PCA; all were final table appearances.

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has been a “big deal” poker festival for a number of years and as the earliest major event of the calendar year, it tends to feel even more significant. There is something a tad more special about it in 2018, though, as the PCA didn’t exist last year, at least in name. Remember, PokerStars, which owns the European Poker Tour, decided to do away with the European Poker Tour brand (as well as regional tournament brands) and rebrand everything with its own name. Thus, the EPT, APPT, LAPT and more became the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival last year. The tournaments were all still there, just rearranged and with different names.

So, in 2017, the PCA was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, which has absolutely zero ring to it, especially for a poker tour stop that had such a unique name and status in the poker world. Fortunately, PokerStars came to its senses near the end of 2017 and decided to bring back the European Poker Tour, Asia-Pacific Poker Tour, and Latin American Poker Tour, reinstating some normalcy to the world. The revival of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure name had even been announced months earlier, a sign that changes were afoot.

The final table of the PCA Super High Roller will begin at 3:30pm local time as the seven players maneuver for the $ 1.5 million first prize.

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100K Super High Roller Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1. Ivan Luca – 2,760,000
2. Justin Bonomo – 2,695,000
3. Daniel Negreanu – 2,415,000
4. Bryn Kenney – 1,485,000
5. Isaac Haxton – 1,095,000
6. Cary Katz – 855,000
7. Sam Greenwood – 695,000

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2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Scott Seiver Biggest Gun in Super High Roller, Holds Lead After Day 1

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: Scott Seiver Biggest Gun in Super High Roller, Holds Lead After Day 1

The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is underway at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and, with one event, it has captured the attention of the poker world. The $ 100,000 Super High Roller event has completed Day 1 as Scott Seiver, the 2013 champion of the event, holds the lead in his hunt for a second title.

It seems that many had the $ 100,000 buy in (at the minimum…it is a rebuy event, after all) lying around to jump into the event when it started on Saturday afternoon. Such notables in the High Roller arena as Steffen Sontheimer, Koray Aldemir, Ben Tollerene and 2017 Poker Player of the Year Adrian Mateos (sorry, Bryn Kenney) were on the felt for the start of the tournament, with others drifting in after the start. Nick Petrangelo, Daniel Negreanu (utilizing a scooter due to an ACL injury – who said poker wasn’t a contact sport?) and the defending champion of this tournament, Jason Koon, all slowly drifted to the felt, but it was a non-poker name that caught the attention of railbirds in the Atlantis tournament room.

As he did in 2017 when he entered the tournament, comedian Kevin Hart immediately drew the attention of everyone as he entered the event. The wisecracking star of the new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle maintained the same attitude that he utilized in last year’s tournament, but it also seemed that he had learned something about poker over the past year that he has been a “friend of PokerStars” (along with Olympic champion Usain Bolt). He would four-bet both Petrangelo and Aldemir out of a pot (saying, “I’m sick of this s**t” while putting the 65K in chips together to push them out), but another hand sent the popular comedian into his pocket for another buy in.

After Mateos opened the betting from the cutoff and Hart (button), Stefan Schillhabel and Seiver (blinds) all called, a J-5-7 flop was checked as was a ten on the turn. When the river completed the board with a four, the floodgates would open. Schillhabel checked his option, but Seiver fired away with a 22K bet. Mateos got out of the way, but Hart popped the cost of play up to 51K when it came to his action. Now it was Schillhabel’s turn to fold, but Seiver contemplated his next move carefully.

After the time in the tank, Seiver decided his only option was to push all in and, using most of his time on the “shot clock,” Hart made the call. Hart’s 8-6 off suit was good for a rivered straight to the eight, but Seiver’s 9-8 was good for a higher turned straight to the Jack. The pot was a massive 330K strong and it was enough to push Seiver into the lead.

Hart was undaunted, however, as he fired off another bullet in the tournament. This was also true for many other competitors, including Orpen Kisacikoglu, Negreanu (in a flush versus flush situation against Sam Greenwood), but Sontheimer and 2016 Poker Player of the Year David Peters did not immediately reenter. With the option for re-entry (or even a first entry, as Cary Katz did early Sunday morning) open until the start of Day 2 action, there is a potential for several other High Roller regulars to either take their first shot in the tournament or re-enter.

1. Scott Seiver, 804,000
2. Justin Bonomo, 799,000
3. Jean-Noel Thorel, 598,000
4. Ivan Luca, 587,000
5. Sam Greenwood, 569,000
6. Bryn Kenney, 548,000
7. Christopher Kruk, 533,000
8. Stephen Chidwick, 492,000
9. Erik Seidel, 479,000
10. Kevin Hobbs, 472,000

Hart, for his part, will be around for Day 2 of the event, holding a 316,000-chip stack. Others over the starting stack of 250K include Steve O’Dwyer (451K), Negreanu (438K), defending champion Koon (363K) and Igor Kurganov (333K), while Dan Shak (246K), Isaac Haxton (244K), Byron Kaverman (230K) and the shortest stack of all Seth Davies (181K) have some work to do on Sunday.

Beginning today, the $ 100,000 Super High Roller will be live-streamed over PokerStars TV as the final players jump in and the tournament works to crowning a champion. From then on, PokerStars TV will be covering the action from the Bahamas as the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure plays out.

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High Stakes Sports Bettor Rob Gorodetsky Banned from Vegas Sports Books

 High Stakes Sports Bettor Rob Gorodetsky Banned from Vegas Sports Books

A life as a professional sports bettor is a difficult one. Whereas most of us get paid at the end of the day regardless of how successful that day was, sports bettors need to win to pay the bills. Even salespeople, who sometimes risk making no money at all if they don’t sell, aren’t typically looking at losing thousands because of a bad day at the office. You know what makes a sports betting professional’s life even harder? Not having anywhere to bet. This is what has happened to high roller sports bettor and former poker pro Robert Gorodetsky, according to an article in USA Today.

In late December, USA Today tailed Gorodetsky for a week to see what the hell this guy was all about. At just 25-years old, Gorodetsky has been extremely successful, wagering tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per day and emerging as a healthy net winner for the last few years. He says he doesn’t have much of a system, that he bets on gut instinct, something that confounds casinos and other sports bettors. Those who have seen him on a regular basis, like casino hosts, say they haven’t seen any evidence of cheating, but some other sports bettors can’t believe he can win so much just flying by the seat of his pants.

Gorodetsky frequently posts winning betting tickets on Instagram, but his critics point out that on the flip side, he never posts losing tickets.

It is sharing like this that led to his recent problem. In the USA Today piece, Gorodetsky bragged about his connections and gambling discussions with a number of professional athletes and coaches.

Talking about New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Gorodetsky pointed USA Today to a May Instagram picture of the two of them with their arms around each other. He then told a quick story about how he loaned Beckham $ 10,000 to play blackjack. Beckham won and paid Gorodetsky back. He also showed the journalist a text from Beckham in which he expressed interest in laying $ 20,000 on a baseball game, but that bet never happened.

Gorodetsky also told about texting back and forth with Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Damon Jones about baseball picks. L.A. Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma is also a friend/acquaintance who Gorodetsky will talk to before games.
“He’ll always secretly be like, ‘Who do you got?’ You know what I’m saying?”

MGM Resorts International confirmed to USA Today that it has banned Gorodetsky from sports betting at its casinos. The implication the USA Today is making is that these and other professional sports insider connections are a red flag and may have contributed to the exile.

One other warning sign was Gorodetsky’s thoughts about how easy it would be to pay college players to shave points in games:

You just pay college kids, inner-city college kids who don’t have any money. Give them 10 grand. That’s like a million dollars to them. You know what I’m saying? Have a bad game, here’s 10 grand. I don’t see how they wouldn’t do it.

I’d spread it around Vegas, 20 grand a place. They’d never notice. I wouldn’t beat one casino badly. I’d take a little piece from every single (sports) book.

Gorodetsky said he would never actually do it, but that it would be easy if he wanted to.

Cover photo credit: @bigrobstyle on Instagram

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Unibet Pares Back High Stakes Cash Games

 Unibet Pares Back High Stakes Cash Games

It has been a while since we have heard of an online poker room cutting back its high stakes cash game offerings, but here we are again. Unibet Poker has announced that it has removed its highest level of cash game, the €800 No-Limit and Pot-Limit tables. There was not a whole lot of action at these lofty heights, but Unibet feels that their elimination is the best move for the health of its poker economy. The games were added less than a year ago, in March 2017.

Unibet’s Head of Poker David Pomroy explained:

Our main priority has always been to safeguard the ecology of our site as everything we do is ultimately built on that foundation. The addition of NL800 and PL800 had contributed to short-handed games and slightly faster loss rates of recreational players at our higher stakes. Although the situation was by no means critical, we decided it was best to act on that trend sooner rather than later. We’ll be launching a new promotion next month which will be aimed at our recreational higher stakes players and will consider restoring NL800 and PL800 in the future once we feel a sufficient support structure is in place. This decision doesn’t change our long-term ambitions to continue growing the site but right now our focus is on ensuring that we continue to offer a non-predatory environment and the most enjoyable cash games online.

Analyzing that statement a bit (and without first-hand knowledge of what the Unibet lobby has looked like of late), it looks like what was happening was that deep pocketed casual players – and what in many cases may have been “fish” – were getting destroyed at the high stakes tables. There seemed to be a couple things at play contributing to that. One was that the €800 No-Limit and Pot-Limit tables were naturally not as popular as low stakes games and were thus less populated, creating short-handed tables. Second, those that did sit at the tables are generally going to be the most skilled players. Add those two things up and you get recreational players playing short-handed games – games in which blinds come around faster and which generally require more skill than full-ring – against tough players, resulting in rec players’ accounts getting drained quickly.

Online poker rooms love high stakes recreational players, as they are the ones that lose money and have to re-deposit, but they don’t want them losing quickly and not having fun. If that happens, the players are less likely to re-deposit and keep playing. Thus the need to protect them and, in Unibet’s case, remove the highest stakes cash game tables from the lobby.

The highest stakes No-Limit and Pot-Limit games on Unibet are now €400, the same level it was a few years ago.

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