Posts Tagged ‘Lead’

Mike Del Vecchio Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Rolling Thunder

 Mike Del Vecchio Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Rolling Thunder

After seizing the lead during the previous night’s action, Mike Del Vecchio refused to be denied. Taking the sizeable chip lead he had earned, Del Vecchio would never look back as he rumbled through the remaining five men to capture his first major championship at the World Poker Tour’s Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino outside of Sacramento on Wednesday night.

Del Vecchio (4.27 million) held a healthy advantage over two difficult players, John Hadley (2.978 million) and Sorel Mizzi (2.283 million), when the cards hit the air on Wednesday afternoon outside the Golden State’s state capitol. In the bottom half of the ladder, Connor Drinan (1.349 million) and Steven Tabb (1.075 million) were looking to draw themselves back into the fight while WPT Champions’ Club member Olivier Busquet sat on the short stack (676,000) to start the day’s action. Just after High Noon, the sextet of poker warriors headed into the fray to determine the next champion on the circuit.

The combatants would shuffle chips around for two dozen hands before the first significant action of the final table. After a raise from Drinan, Hadley three bet the action only to see Drinan go for it with an all in four bet. Pondering his position, Hadley finally came up with a call and the race was on, Hadley’s A-J off suit against Drinan’s pocket tens. In the window of the flop came an Ace to push Hadley into the lead and, when neither of the remaining tens in the deck came out on the turn or river, Hadley had secured his double up while Drinan fell to just over a million chips.

The situation would get even worse for Drinan on Hand 27. After Busquet moved all in from the button, Drinan moved all in “over the top” from the small blind and Hadley, in the big blind, called both bets to put Busquet and Drinan in danger of elimination. Hadley had the goods as the cards were turned up:

Hadley – pocket Jacks
Drinan – K-J off suit
Busquet – Q-10 off suit

But the flop didn’t cooperate with either Hadley. Coming down Q-10-3, Busquet went from the “outhouse to the penthouse” in flopping Queens up, but Drinan also was in good shape with his open-ended straight draw as Hadley’s Jacks shriveled. A six on the turn and an unnecessary Queen on the river kept Busquet in the lead and gave him a massive triple up while eliminating Drinan in sixth place.

While the battling lower on the leaderboard raged onward, Del Vecchio quietly moved further into the lead. He cracked the five million chip mark by Hand 31 and kept it at that point for the next 20 hands before doubling up Hadley. On Hand 57, Tabb would take over the chip lead from Del Vecchio, but only ten hands later Del Vecchio would retake the lead from Tabb.

Although Tabb would momentarily take the lead back when he eliminated a short-stacked Busquet in fifth place on Hand 76, Del Vecchio would fight back. Del Vecchio would take down Hadley in fourth place to put some distance between him and Tabb but, just as quickly, Tabb reemerged as the chip leader on Hand 84. The duo fought back and forth, but they were also keenly aware of the dangerous Mizzi in their midst, who was staying viable with a mixture of timely all ins for doubles against his well-stacked opponents.

Mizzi’s patience paid off as, over the course of the next 70-plus hands, he found himself in second place and it was Tabb who was in the basement. On Hand 157, Del Vecchio kicked up the action in a “blind versus blind” battle and Tabb made his stand with an all-in. Del Vecchio made the call, turning over an A-8 off suit, while Tabb chose the Royal Court (K-Q) to stake his tournament life. When the nine-high board came with no paint, he was out in third place and Del Vecchio moved to heads up play against Mizzi with slightly less than a 2:1 lead.

Try as he might, Mizzi could never seem to wrest the lead from Del Vecchio. He came close on Hand 167, when he pulled within 120,000 chips of Del Vecchio, but Del Vecchio would reestablish his advantage (and then some) in winning a nearly 3.4 million pot on Hand 172. It would take another ten hands of action, but the end was nigh.

On Hand 182, Mizzi called a Del Vecchio bet to see an innocent 7-4-2 flop and called another bet to head to the turn. Another four didn’t seem to change things, but Mizzi’s check-raise to 1.75 million of Del Vecchio’s 600K turn bet seemed to indicate differently. Del Vecchio didn’t back down, going all in and putting Mizzi to the test, which Mizzi would respond by calling off his chips. With a 6♠ 5♠ for the open-ended straight flush draw, Mizzi would need at least another spade to complete his flush or a card to complete his straight, but Del Vecchio was asking for a red card as his 5-4 hit trips on the turn to have the lead. The final card would come down in favor of Del Vecchio as the J helped nobody, sending the chips and the championship of the WPT Rolling Thunder to Mike Del Vecchio.

Mike Del Vecchio, $ 284,638
Sorel Mizzi, $ 190,105
Steve Tabb, $ 122,296
John Hadley, $ 81,930
Olivier Busquet, $ 63,013
Connor Drinan, $ 52,222

With the completion of the WPT Rolling Thunder, the WPT staff and players can take a bit of a break. The next stop on the Season XV schedule is the season ending three tournament swing at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown begins on March 31, while the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale begins on April 2 and the WPT Tournament of Champions begins on April 7. This trio of events will close out the Season XV schedule and Mike Del Vecchio will be a part of it as the champion of the WPT Rolling Thunder.

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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

2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Three: Strong Final Level Gives Daniel Strelitz Chip Lead

 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Three: Strong Final Level Gives Daniel Strelitz Chip Lead

111 players returned to the famed Commerce Casino for Day 3 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event on Monday; just 45 made it through to Tuesday as the tournament now gets down to the nitty-gritty. Daniel Strelitz is the chip leader with 1.051 million, the only player with over a million chips.

Strelitz has over $ 1.6 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, but is still trying to pick up his first major tournament title. He came oh so close this past summer when he finished second in the World Series of Poker $ 5,000 No-Limit event, earning $ 338,774.

Strelitz didn’t expect to amass the chip stack that he did going into the final level, as he only had 560,000. Not that that is a paltry sum, as it would still put him in the top ten, but just about doubling that in one level was a bit of a surprise.

In the hand that got him over the million chip plateau, Strelitz raised to 14,000 pre-flop with pocket Sevens, Ted Gillis re-raised to 27,000, and Strelitz called. Strelitz flopped a set on a Nine-high board and checked to Gillis, who saw that as an opening and bet 60,000. That was just what Strelitz wanted (unless Gillis had Nines, but that obviously was quite unlikely), so he check-raised to 130,000. Gillis then moved all-in for 280,000 and Strelitz made the easy call.

Gillis had pocket Queens for an overpair to the board. The turn and river were no help and he was eliminated while Strelitz nabbed the chip lead.

Speaking with WPT.com after the day was over, Strelitz looked back on his crazy final level.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I started with 560k, and I instantly played two three-bet pots and won them both to get up to seven something. Then I flopped a set against a guy who clearly had an over pair, and so I played it aggressively and that pushed me over a million, it was pretty sweet.”

He is not taking anything for granted, though, as he knows good feelings can be fleeting in poker.

“There is still a long way to go, I’ve been in this spot before and gotten 30th. There is still a long, long way. There are still two or three more days to go until the final table. It’s a long tournament,” he said.

Day 4 is underway out in California. All 45 players who entered the day are already in the money, so Tuesday is about getting paid more and possibly putting oneself in position to make the final table. There will be eight hours of poker play, not counting breaks, so while the final table isn’t likely to be determined, it should be within sight by the end of the night.

2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

Daniel Strelitz – 1,051,000
Mike Sexton – 739,000
Gavin Griffin – 714,000
Mike Eskandari – 688,000
Allan Le – 606,000
Omar Zaza – 594,000
Simeon Naydenov – 579,000
Sameer Aljanedi – 565,000
Visnja Luetic – 551,000
Danny Fuhs – 485,000

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