Posts Tagged ‘holds’

2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Day 1A: 132 Runners Come Out, Sean Marshall Holds Early Lead

 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Day 1A: 132 Runners Come Out, Sean Marshall Holds Early Lead

Coming right on the heels of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic, the WPT Rolling Thunder kicked off action on Friday for the next WPT event. Located outside of Sacramento, the WPT Rolling Thunder has become one of the popular stops on the WPT circuit and, if Day 1A is any indication, the $ 3500 buy-in tournament is still a favorite of the players.

The newly redecorated and expanded poker room at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort was ready for action at noon on Friday and the players didn’t disappoint. For their $ 3500 buy-in, the players would receive a stack of 30,000 in chips and, should they be eliminated in the first Day One, would be able to re-enter once on Friday. If they shot both of those bullets off, then they could come back on Saturday and have the same two-shot option. If those four options didn’t work for players, then they could buy-in one more time before the start of Day 2, meaning that players (if really unlucky) could enter as many as five times ($ 17,500) if they so desired.

Defending champion Mike Del Vecchio led the professionals in the field to the line as Day 1A began. Del Vecchio was joined by other WPT Champions Club members such as Tyler Patterson, Daniel Strelitz and three-time champion Darren Elias. There was also a strong contingent of pros looking for their first WPT title, including Ari Engel, Eddy Sabat, Blair Hinkle, Amir Lehavot and Zachary Gruneberg.

After Level 2, 67 entries were already in the kitty as other pros began to stake out their patch of felt in the Thunder Valley poker room. Kathy Liebert, Darren Rabinowitz, Allen Kessler, Matt Salsberg and Jared Griener were among those players as the halfway mark of the first eight levels of play were reached. And the players continued to quietly stroll into the event, with 111 entries into the tournament at this same mark.

Although it was relatively quiet, contenders rose to the top of the standings around this point. In what would eventually become a pot that would crown the chip leader, Sean Yu was able to get his final chips in the center. He was met by a call from Sean Marshall and William Murray, who saw a J-10-8 and had the opportunity to bet into a dry side pot. Marshall took this opportunity, but Murray wasn’t ready to let it go yet and made the call. A five on the turn brought about the same action – a bet from Marshall, a call from Murray – but the river six opened several options and shut down action from both men.

When the cards were turned up, it became evident that Marshall had survived a run through the gauntlet. His K-J off suit had caught on the flop and dodged the straight outs of both Murray (K-Q) and Yu (9-8) to take the hand. With those chips, Marshall improved to 143,000 in chips, knocked Murray down to only 51K and sent Yu out of the tournament.

While Marshall was cruising to the end of day chip lead, others would have to take their chances (perhaps) on Saturday. Liebert, Engel, Curt Kohlberg and WPT DeepStacks Player of the Year Rex Clinkscales all were eliminated on Friday and have the option of returning on Saturday. One player who won’t be returning on Saturday is Marshall, who powered his way to the chip lead by the time the final hand was dealt on Friday.

1. Sean Marshall, 142,100
2. Eddy Sabat, 140,400
3. Matt Salsberg, 139,200
4. Ping Liu, 130,100
5. Jesse Rockowitz, 126,200
6. Joseph Alban, 122,000
7. Glenn Larson, 100,100
8. Jared Greiner, 93,900
9. Brian Green, 89,600
10. Gauran Raina, 88,000

Of the 132 entries received on Day 1A, 71 players came through the carnage. This number is expected to increase tremendously on Saturday as the newly redesigned Thunder Valley poker room can handle a large throng of players. According to WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage, the Thunder Valley poker room “could host 1000 players” and he would like to see this event crack its record of 465 from Season XII. That would mean that another 333 entries would have to come out between now and the start of Day 2 on Sunday, a number that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for the 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder.

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2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 4: Final Table Determined, Zach Gruneberg Holds Massive Lead

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 4: Final Table Determined, Zach Gruneberg Holds Massive Lead

Dominating play once it reached the unofficial final table, Zach Gruneberg will hold a dominant lead when the final six players meet this afternoon to determine the champion of the 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City.

Day 4 action began on Thursday with 27 hopefuls remaining in the chase for the championship. Steven Greenberg was the dominant player through the Day 3 festivities and his 3.753 million chip stack showed it. But it wasn’t a runaway for Greenberg, however, as Chase Bianchi was on his heels with a 3.698 million chip stack. In addition to these two men, four former WPT champions were still in the mix, with Champions’ Club members David Paredes, Eric Afriat, Jonathan Little and Kevin Saul all with viable stacks.

The exits to the tournament arena at the Borgata needed to be a revolving door for as fast as the players departed the tournament on Thursday. In less than an hour, two players were out the door. Within the first two levels of play, the field was down to 17 players as notables such as Little and Shankar Pillai found their ways to the rail. As this was going on, Greenberg was still in good shape but had given up the chip lead to Stephen Song as the field tightened up.

After Casey Yontz was bounced out in 17th place following the second break of the day, the field was redrawn for two tables. Greenberg and Song ended up on the same table as former World Champion Joseph McKeehen and Kane Kalas, while Saul, Paredes and Afriat had to deal with Gruneberg and Bianchi. With the field bunched together, it was still a battle to see who would make the final table.

Although Gruneberg would make a slight misstep after the redraw in doubling up Saul, that would be the last mistake he would make for the night. With 1.7 million in chips, Gruneberg first picked up a double up from Bianchi to crack the three million chip mark. He would eclipse the four million chip mark in eliminating Adam Hendrix in 12th place, his A-K hitting the world against Hendrix’s K-10 on an unbelievable A-K-10 flop. Even after the unofficial final table was determined with the elimination of Daniel Aharoni in 10th place (by Song), Gruneberg kept his arrow pointing upwards.

Within the first 20 hands of final table action, Gruneberg had cracked the seven million mark in chips and had taken over the chip lead. That lead expanded when Gruneberg eliminated Day 3 chip leader Greenberg, his A-K playing where Greenberg’s A-8 didn’t on a 10-4-4-A-2 board, in ninth place. Now on 10 million-plus chips, Greenberg began to play a bullying “power poker” style that left everyone breathless in his wake.

Then there was the battle that truly pushed Gruneberg firmly to the fore. Gruneberg raised preflop and McKeehen called, but Song wanted to enrich the pot. He three bet the action to 675K and, after both Gruneberg and McKeehen called, saw a Q-Q-10-3 flop and turn. On that turn trey, Song bet out 850K and only Gruneberg came along to see a river nine complete the board. With a myriad of options on the table, Song fired again, this time for 1.4 million, but he was unable to shake Gruneberg, who immediately called. All Song could show was Big Slick for a missed straight draw, while Gruneberg showed pocket Jacks to take the more than six million chip pot with two pair. That pot pushed Gruneberg over 14 million chips and left the field chasing him.

Although he would give some back to Zaki in doubling him up, Gruneberg continued to storm through the remainder of the field. Gruneberg worked over the 16 million mark when down to the television table bubble and, after McKeehen eliminated Bianchi to set that television table, was over 17 million to have almost half the chips in play:

1. Zach Gruneberg, 17.6 million
2. Joseph McKeehen, 5.955 million
3. Justin Zaki, 5.565 million
4. Michael Marder, 3.08 million
5. Stephen Song, 2.74 million
6. Eric Afriat, 2.28 million

From all appearance, this is Gruneberg’s tournament to lose. Any one of the other five men will have a tough road to hoe in knocking out such tough pros as McKeehen, Zaki, Song or Afriat, and Marder didn’t get to his position because of his charm. Gruneberg, meanwhile, can either sit back and wait for someone to rise to his level or use the power of the big stack to crush his opposition. What approach he takes – and it will be seen from the start of final table play – will have a huge amount to do with how the final table plays out.

The final table will resume at 2PM (Eastern Time) and will be streamed as a part of PokerGO’s programming. It will NOT be taped for broadcast during the Season XVI schedule on Fox Sports. The eventual champion of the tournament will walk off with a $ 651,928 payday and their seat in this year’s WPT Tournament of Champions.

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2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

The 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event steamed onward on Wednesday, with the final three tables being determined and Steven Greenberg taking over the chip lead with a 3.753 million chip stack.

Day 3 of the tournament saw 159 players returning to the tables at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ, but there was an ominous tone to the proceedings. With 156 players getting paid in the tournament, that meant that three people that came back to the Borgata on Wednesday would be departing quickly and with nothing to show for their efforts. The cards hit the air just after noon on Wednesday to take on this challenge and nobody wanted to be one of those who would depart on the bubble of the cash.

The first two eliminations came within 10 minutes of the opening bell, bringing the tournament to the stone money bubble with 157 players remaining. On the fifth hand of hand-for-hand play, not one but two players were knocked out to split the 156th place money. First, Jonas Wexler went all in with a K-Q, but chip leader A. J. Kelsall looked him up with pocket fives, flopped a set and rivered an unnecessary boat to take him out. Simultaneously, Konstantinos Koufalis got the last of his chips in on an A K 5 4 flop and turn against Erick But. Koufalis’ K♣ Q had a few hopes against But’s A J (the other two Kings, any heart), but the river 7♦ ended those hopes. Although both were eliminated on the bubble, Wexler and Koufalis did get a small return on their time through earning $ 3064.50 each for their finish in a tie for 156th place.

Once the money bubble popped, there was the usual “short stack rush” from the players who were just hanging on in the tournament to make the money. Micah Raskin, Esther Taylor, John Roveto, Keven Stammen, Cornel Cimpan, Ray Quartomy, Ryan D’Angelo, and Richard Seymour all picked up some cash for their efforts and, after a few hours, new contenders would emerge for the championship. In one case, that contender was almost out of the tournament before hitting a huge rush to race to the end of the night.

With a flop and turn of 6 5♣ 3♣ J and facing a 55K bet from his opponent (into a 70K pot), Steven Greenberg pondered the situation extensively before moving the remainder of his stack (265K) into the center. Greenberg’s opponent, Richard Foster, himself took a moment before making the call and turning up his 9♣ 4♣ for the baby flush draw. Greenberg had the goods with his 6 5 (two pair), but he had to also feel some trepidation with the possibility of nine clubs ending his tournament. The river was a black card, but it was the K♠, giving Greenberg the double up to 600K and starting him on a hot streak.

Greenberg didn’t waste those newfound chips. He more than doubled that stack (to 1.285 million) by the time the dinner break rolled around, putting him in the Top Ten in the tournament. After the sustenance, Greenberg came back to the felt to take down former WPT champion Mike Linster in a classic race, Greenberg’s pocket Queens standing against Linster’s Big Slick, to crack the two million chip mark. Although he would double up a tough customer in Eric Afriat to fall off that perch, Greenberg didn’t take his foot off the gas. As the tournament day inched towards its conclusion, Greenberg had not only recovered those chips he gave to Afriat but also added to the stack, going over four million chips in eliminating Collin Whyte in 31st place late in the evening.

On the last hand of the night, Joseph Giulino pushed out his last 326K in chips, the classic “double up or don’t come back tomorrow” move, and he was looked up by Adam Hendrix. Giulino’s pocket fives were ahead of Hendrix’s A-Q through the flop, but a Queen on the turn flipped the fortunes. When the river wasn’t a five, Giulino was out of the tournament in 28th place, setting the stage for the final three tables today.

1. Steven Greenberg, 3.753 million
2. Chase Bianchi, 3.698 million
3. Stephen Song, 2.613 million
4. Raghuram Jonnalagedda, 2.503 million
5. Kane Kalas, 2.281 million
6. Daniel Aharoni, 1.994 million
7. Damjan Radanov, 1.974 million
8. David Paredes, 1.5 million
9. Spencer Champlin, 1.33 million
10. Ioannis Patsourakis, 1.309 million

Bubbling under the Top Ten are former World Champion Joseph McKeehen, (1.185 million), Afriat (1.123 million), Jonathan Little (1.1 million) and Kevin Saul (940,000). They are still in it, but Casey Yontz (495,000) and Amnon Filippi (484,000) have some work to do if they are to drive much further.

It looks as though it will be a long day on the Jersey Shore. The plans are to play from the final 27 players at noon down to the WPT final table of six. Once this is achieved, the survivors will come back on Friday with the championship hanging in the lurch, along with the $ 651,928 that the eventual champion will take home.

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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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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

The final “big” tournament on the 2017 calendar, the PokerStars Championship Prague, has completed its second day at the Casino Atrium Prague. While the leaderboard may be a bit bereft of top pros, there is a fairly heated battle for first place as Paul Michaelis’ 630,500 chip stack hold the edge over Omid Mojaverian (597,500) and Erik Walfridsson (536,500).

409 players returned on Thursday to work the field down more from the 848 runners who originally started the event. Local favorite Michal Mrakes held the edge with 202,700 chips to start the day. He was followed up by Day 1B chip leader Tsugunari Toma (181,600) and Xixiang Luo (174,900), but down the leaderboard were some more notable players. Defending World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion Marti Roca De Torres (170,900), former “November Niner” and Czech poker legend Martin Staszko (133,100) and several PokerStars Team Pros headed by Marcin Horecki (110,400).

With the schedule set for six levels of 75-minutes each, there was plenty of chances for play amongst the horde of players remaining. There was also the chance at getting to the money bubble as, after the final entries were accepted and tallied up, 127 players would walk off with a cash from their trip to the Czech Republic. €8700 would be earned for a min-cash by those at the bottom of the table, with the top seven finishers all guaranteed a six-figure payday. All wanted the top prize, however, which came in at €775,000 when the final numbers were calculated.

As usual at the start of a new day, there were a flurry of early knockouts from players on the short stack looking to double up quick. Stefan Schillhabel, Stephen Chidwick, Gaelle Baumann, Tom Middleton, Christoph Vogelsang, Manig Loeser and Sylvain Loosli were all out of the event within the first two levels. But a couple of players bore watching as they made their moves during the day.

Noted psychologist/writer Dr. Maria Konnikova, who has been pursuing poker over the past year as part of a book she is researching, was all in and got a double up through Guillaume Pau Davy when her A-10 caught against his pocket Jacks on a 7-6-3-A-Q board. She then turned around and nearly doubled again against Hari Bercovici when, on an all-hearts board, she was able to induce Bercovici to come along with her to the river where her J played. By the end of the night’s action, the good Dr. Konnikova had held onto enough chips to move onto Day 3 as a very short stack.

Michaelis slowly was making a decent chip stack until one of the final hands of the night catapulted him into the lead. After raising pre-flop, Michaelis saw Romain Lewis three-bet him to 20K. After a couple of moments, Michaelis made the call and the twosome saw a 9-6-5 rainbow flop that both checked. After a four came on the turn, Michaelis popped another bet into the center, this time for 33K, and Lewis made the call. The river paired with another four, which seemed innocent but set off the fireworks.

Michaelis moved all in, forcing Lewis to a decision for his tournament life. With 115,000 chips in front of him (still a strong stack to head to Day 3 with), Lewis thought for a good amount of time before the clock was called on him. As the clock clicked down, Lewis eventually made the call and was unfortunately on the wrong side of the decision. Michaelis’ pocket fives have flopped a set and rivered a boat as Lewis could only muster a 7 6 for two pair.

That hand thrust Michaelis into the lead with 635,000 in chips and, by the end of the night, it was good enough to hold the overall lead:

1. Paul Michaelis, 630,500
2. Omid Mojaverian, 597,500
3. Erik Walfridsson, 536,500
4. Boris Kolev, 510,500
5. Daniel Barriocanal, 504,000
6. Dimitrios Kalaroutis, 417,000
7. Paraschos Stavridis, 414,000
8. Fatima Moreira de Melo, 406,000
9. Kalidou Sow, 405,000
10. Robert Heidorn, 394,500

140 players will return on Friday afternoon to the Casino Atrium Prague, where the first order of business will be to pop the money bubble. 13 players will walk into the Prague afternoon tomorrow with absolutely nothing to show for their efforts, which should make for a very tense early couple of hours in the tournament. Once those 127 lucky souls are determined, the €4.1 million-plus prize pool will begin to get carved up as the latest winners on the PokerStars Championship circuit are determined.

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