Posts Tagged ‘Main’

2017 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event Day 1A – Trung Pham Rockets to Front

 2017 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event Day 1A – Trung Pham Rockets to Front

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is back in action this week with a stop in Atlantic City with the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event (I’ll be honest – I actually double-checked to see if it was the Borgata Winter Poker Open because I apparently don’t understand calendars). The first of two starting flights drew 283 entries, so it will take a big leap to surpass last year’s field of 1,179. It could very well happen, though, as a) the second of two starting flights is always the bigger one, and b) there are unlimited re-entries through Level 10, which will be mid-Tuesday afternoon. With a relatively affordable $ 3,500 buy-in, there are plenty of opportunities for the field to balloon.

The chip leader after Day 1A is Trung Pham, who has 327,300 chips. He is light years ahead of the second place Allan Rabinowitz, who is holding onto 207,500 chips at day’s end. One of the hands that helped Pham get to where he is now happened during Level 7, the second-to-last level of the day.

Pham raised to 1,600 chips pre-flop (blinds and antes were 300/600/100) and Johanssy Joseph called. The player on the button (according to WPT.com, this person was nameless) shoved for 14,200, prompting Pham to re-raise to 27,800, perhaps trying to force Joseph out of the hand and take on the button one-on-one. Joseph wasn’t going anywhere, though. In fact, he raised all-in for 61,700 chips. Pham called, putting both of his opponents at risk.

It was an interesting call, as Pham held T-9 of hearts. Joseph had pocket Nines and the button had pocket Tens, taking away all of Pham’s pairing outs (though if Joseph and the button had higher pairs, it wouldn’t have mattered that much, anyway). Pham was looking for a flush or straight at this point.

The flop of Q-7-2 with one heart wasn’t particularly useful to Pham, but then the poker gods spoke, presenting him with a 6 on the turn and an 8 on the river for the runner-runner straight. He eliminated two players in a single hand and grew his stack to 200,000 chips, good enough for the chip lead at that time. Clearly, he turned on the jets after that to increase his stack by more than 60 percent by the end of the night.

Day 1B, which just recently got underway, will follow the same schedule as Day 1B in the name of fairness. Again, players can re-enter as much as they would like – this is a WPT event, after all – so expect some bloated registration numbers today. The survivors from the two starting flights, plus late entrants, will come together on Tuesday for Day 2.

2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1. Trung Pham – 327,300
2. Allan Rabinowitz – 207,500
3. Joe Elpayaa – 181,600
4. Erik Cajelais – 169,900
5. Brandon Seo – 161,200
6. Dean Hutchison – 151,200
7. Matthew Silberzweig – 148,200
8. Shaun Deeb – 141,000
9. Michael Gagliano – 127,000
10. Reinaldo Troconis – 109,800

Featured photo credit: WPT.com/Joe Giron

The post 2017 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event Day 1A – Trung Pham Rockets to Front appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Day 2: Aaron Mermelstein in Command

 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Day 2: Aaron Mermelstein in Command

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event is one of the few “major” live poker tournaments on the calendar not to be associated with a larger tour like the World Poker Tour, PokerStars Championship, or World Series of Poker. Yesterday was a busy day for the SHRPO, as the 266 players who made it through Day 1 were whittled to just 30 by the end of Day 2, crossing the money bubble in the process (“crossing”?). Aaron Mermelstein leads with 2.706 million chips, the only player above the 2 million chip mark.

Mermelstein’s biggest hand of the day and the one that really gave him his upwards momentum, came during Level 19 with 45 players remaining. Pre-flop, he raised to 27,000, only to see Ashton Griffin three-bet to 70,000. After the rest of the table folded, Mermelstein called to bring on a flop of 2-9-T. The action went check-check and a King was dealt on the turn. Mermelstein checked again, Griffin bet 115,000 chips, but then Mermelstein check-raised to 265,000, a bet which Griffin called. With a 6 on the river, Mermelstein bet 400,000 chips, more than what Griffin had left in his stack. Griffin made the call for his remaining 290,000 chips and turned over pocket tens for a flopped set. Mermelstein, though, had 8-7 suited for a rivered straight. Griffin was out of the tournament in 45th place, while Mermelstein grew his chip stack to 1.8 million.

Aaron Mermelstein has just over $ 2 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, according to TheHendonMob.com. Most of his cashes are in the four to mid-five figure range, though his largest is $ 712,305, which he achieved by winning a $ 3,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2015 Borgata Winter Poker Open. He has a couple recent cashes in major events, including a 426th place finish in the World Series of Poker Main Event and a 39th place finish in the World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event.

One interesting player left with chips is Joe Kuether, who made the final table of the $ 1,100 event at the SHRPO. Normally, that is just cool, seeing someone make deep runs in two events, but in this case, it could pose a problem for him (a good one). The final table of the $ 1,100 event has not been run yet – it will take place on Tuesday. So, if he makes it far enough in the SHRPO Main Event, Kuether might end up getting some exercise running back and forth between tournaments.

The plan for Monday is to play down to the nine-handed final table. Everyone beginning Monday’s action is already guaranteed at least $ 19,531, with the last player to be eliminated Monday afternoon or evening receiving $ 61,303.

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Aaron Mermelstein – 2,706,000
2. Adam Levy – 1,960,000
3. Yi Chi Li – 1,816,000
4. Matt Berkey – 1,795,000
5. Samuel Bernabeu – 1,285,000
6. Odie Dardon – 1,154,000
7. David Sands – 1,044,000
8. Glenn Becker – 1,029,000
9. Michael Aron – 1,000,000
10. Diana Shirey – 923,000

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2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) Main Event is down to its final table, as the field was sliced from 30 players entering Day 3 to just nine. Aaron Mermelstein entered the day’s action as the chip leader and exited in the same spot, sporting a fairly healthy lead holding 6.15 million chips.

Mermelstein’s cushion over Yi Chi Li is about 1.6 million chips, which amounts to 40 buy-ins, so that gap is not insignificant. After Li and his 4.555 million chips is Matt Berkey with 4.045 million. So despite Mermelstein’s chip lead and the fact that I just said it is “not insignificant,” we’re looking at a pretty solid battle at the top.

After those three, it actually gets quite interesting, as from fourth place to eighth place, there is just a 655,000 chip spread with all five players in the 2 million chip range. After Berkey is Adam Levy (2.675 million chips), Martin Kozlov (2.320 million), Michael Aron (2.200 million), Dylan Drazen (2.110 million), and Luke Brereton (2.020 million). The jockeying for position among those five players could be interesting.

Pulling up the rear is Joe Kuether with just 565,000 million chips. Don’t feel too bad for him, though, and not just because he is guaranteed at least $ 75,413. On Tuesday, he will have the enviable and exhausting task of trying to navigate two final tables, as he had already made the final table of the $ 1,100 buy-in event before the SHRPO Main Event had begun.

One has to wonder if Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open organizers foresaw this as a possibility when they created the schedule or if they just didn’t care. My guess is some of both. Part of what was hyped by the casino for the SHRPO was the “Big 4,” which consists of the $ 1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry event, the $ 5,250 Main Event, the $ 2,650 Freeze Out, and the $ 25,500 High Roller Re-entry event. They were scheduled to create somewhat of a spectacle, with the tournaments starting on different days, but all four final tables being played today in the same room, all streamed online.

Final tables occurring at the same time has happened before, most notably at the World Series of Poker, but when you have 60-70 events, sometimes that sort of thing is inevitable. The Big 4 was intentionally done; organizers likely decided to just take the chance that someone might make more than one final table.

I have seen players try to play in two tournaments at once – I remember Barry Greenstein once scurrying between tables at the WSOP (I think it was one final table and one tournament that was part-way through) – but two final tables simultaneously is a new one.

Said final tables are just getting underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Should be a fascinating day of poker.

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

Aaron Mermelstein – 6,150,000
Yi Chi Li – 4,555,000
Matt Berkey – 4,045,000
Adam Levy – 2,675,000
Martin Kozlov – 2,320,000
Michael Aron – 2,200,000
Dylan Drazen – 2,110,000
Luke Brereton – 2,020,000
Joe Kuether – 565,000

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2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Day 1B: Top Four Survivors from Day’s Action Take Overall Chip Lead

 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Day 1B: Top Four Survivors from Day’s Action Take Overall Chip Lead

The second of two-Day Ones is in the books at the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, with the top four finishers from the Day 1B action taking down the overall leaderboard of the tournament because of their play.

Before the cards even went into the air on Saturday, an important milestone had been eclipsed. With 212 players in their seats (at $ 5000 a pop), the $ 3 million guarantee was met for the Main Event. This was important because the last three SHRPO Main Events had failed to meet their guarantees, with the Seminole Indian operators of the Hard Rock picking up the overlay. Before the tournament even started, the Tribe was clear of any financial dues for the tournament, something that they had to be pleased with.

As with Day 1A, top poker pros were more than willing to step back into the ring following a post-World Series of Poker slumber. Jonathan Little was one of those players, getting a big double up only four hands into the action. As Little recounted over Share My Pair, he was UTG +1 with pocket Aces and found a willing combatant in the big blind with pocket Jacks who wanted to three-bet him. After some back and forth, all the chips were in the center, with Little’s pocket Aces standing tall to give him twice his starting stack and leaving an unfortunate soul questioning how to play pocket Jacks.

By the time noon had passed, the tournament clock showed 700 entries in the tournament, with former SHRPO champion Blair Hinkle back for a second bite of the apple after not making it through Day 1A (the other three former champions – Dan Colman, Omar Zazay and defending champion Jason Koon – all made it through Day 1A). Tony Dunst, Matt Stout, former World Champion Joe McKeehen, Brian Altman, and current World Champion Scott Blumstein were also on their second chances (or fourth, depending on how you count – players could re-enter once each Day One, for a grand total of $ 20,000 (plus juice) if all four chances were used) in the tournament.

 After late registration/re-entry closed following Level 9, the players got their first look at the bounty they were playing for. An astounding 887 entries were received in the tournament, building a $ 4,301,950 prize pool for the top 111 players to divvy up. Nearly the entire final table will take home a six-figure payday (ninth place will “only” earn $ 75,413), with the eventual champion of the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event taking home a $ 754,083 boost to the bankroll.

When the clock called for the end of Day 1B, it wasn’t surprising that the top four players from Day 1B’s action would take over the tournament leaderboard:

1. Diana Shirey, 398,900
2. Chance Kornuth, 365,000
3. David Diaz, 346,000
4. Shawn Nguyen, 345,800
5. Benjamin Ridgway, 285,900
6. Gabriel Andrade, 277,000
7. John Dubois, 234,100
8. Samuel Bernabeu, 214,700
9. Nipun Java, 213,900
10. Jorge Gomez, 211,100

When merged with the leaderboard from Day 1A, here are your overall leaders:

1. Diana Shirey, 398,900
2. Chance Kornuth, 365,000
3. David Diaz, 346,000
4. Shawn Nguyen, 345,800
5. Andy Philachack, 290,000*
6. Pablo Fernandez, 290,000*
7. Benjamin Ridgway, 285,900
8. Gabriel Andrade, 277,000
9. Lahn Pham, 270,500*
10. Alexander Turyansky, 263,300*

(* – Day 1A players)

142 players from the 480 entries made it through the Day 1B battlefield and, combined with the 127 players from Day 1A, will make for a busy Day 2 with 269 players. Plans are to play down to a final table by Tuesday, however, meaning that there will be a great deal of carnage today, not only to just get to the money bubble but also to get to a manageable number of players for action on Monday at the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event.

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Jay Lee Wins 2017 WPT Choctaw Main Event

 Jay Lee Wins 2017 WPT Choctaw Main Event

After Day 2 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event, Michael Stashin was lapping the field. After Day 3, Josh Kay was head and shoulders above everyone else. And because this is poker, neither of them ended up winning. Instead, it was 27-year old Texan Jay Lee who rose from third place going into the final table to win the whole thing and nearly $ 600,000.

Not only was this Lee’s first World Poker Tour title, it was only his third recorded cash in a live tournament, according to records kept by TheHendonMob.com. Those other two cashes amounted to just over $ 10,000, so needless to say, this was different territory for him.

As mentioned, Lee was third in chips going into Tuesday’s action, which is good, but he was significantly behind the chip leaders. Josh Kay was a one-man wrecking crew on Monday to enter the final table as the chip leader with 11.105 million chips. Next was Day 2’s runaway chip leader, Michael Stashin, with 7.685 million. The remaining four players, led by Lee, barely had more combined than Stashin did by himself. Lee was third with 3.455 million, Eric Bunch was fourth with 2.020 million, Paul Fisher was fifth with 1.700 million, and Jeb Hutton was the short stack with 1.645 million chips.

It certainly looked like it was going to be the Kay and Stashin show.

The two chip leaders maintained their edge on the field for the most part through nearly 50 hands and called Eric Bunch’s all-in, checking it through the river. Kay won the hand, lifting his stack above 13 million chips, while Stashin fell to around 5.5 million and Bunch was eliminated in sixth place.

On Hand 73, Paul Fisher raised to 260,000 and Stashin called to bring on a flop of 6-J-K. Fisher bet 375,000, Stashin moved all-in, and Fisher called-in, putting his tournament on the line. Fisher had a nice hand, K-7, for top pair, but Stashin nailed the flop, holding J-6 for two pair. He upped that to a boat on the river to knock out Fisher in fifth place and get his stack back up to 7.44 million while Kay was around 14 million.

In the meantime, Lee was letting the chip leaders do their thing, waiting for a good spot to make a move. He found it on Hand 89, when he was all-in pre-flop with pocket Sevens and called by Stashin and his A-9 suited. The pair held and Lee doubled to 4.740 million, sending Stashin down to 5.470 million.

Lee took off from there, continuing to grow his stack through the next dozen hands to move into second place. On Hand 101, he and Stashin got into another pre-flop raising war before getting all their chips in. Lee had another pair, Queens, and Stashin had pocket Eights. No drama here and all of a sudden, Michael Stashin was out of the tournament in fourth place and Lee was in the chip lead with 12.825 million, barely more than a big blind better than Kay.

It looked like Jeb Hutton had no chance at that point, down to only around 2 million chips, but he hung on, doubling through Lee, falling back, then doubling through Lee again. It was a wild ride from that point. On Hand 128, Lee doubled through Kay to surge to 17.225 million chips versus Kay’s 6.225 million and Hutton’s 4.150 million.

On Hand 142, Hutton kept it going, doubling through Kay to turn the tables, moving up to second place and 8.725 million chips, while Kay was down to 8.150 million. Lee himself had seen his stack recede to 10.725 million and just like that, it was a close race again.

At the break after Hand 154, Lee had extended his lead, building his stack to 12.85 million at the expense of Kay, who was down to 6.775 million.

And then, a dozen hands later, Jeb Hutton pulled into the lead – just barely – over Lee, a concept that would’ve been unheard of about 60 hands earlier. Kay was fading and eventually, on Hand 180, Lee knocked him out in third place to setup the heads-up match with Hutton, the guy who was the short stack going into the final table.

As long and nuts as the final table was, heads-up only lasted ten hands. On the final hand, Hutton raised to 550,000 pre-flop and Lee called. On the flop of J-4-4, both players checked, bringing on a 7 on the turn. Both checked again and a 9 was dealt on the river, making a flush and a straight possible. Lee bet 750,000 and then watched as Hutton raised to 2 million. Lee then moved all-in for 19.425 million and a surprised Hutton called for 7.025 million. Well now.

Hutton had reason to be confident, as he had made a Queen-high flush. It was Lee, though, whose heart had probably been pounding since the flop, as he had J-4 for a flopped full house and the WPT Choctaw Main Event title.

2017 World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Jay Lee – $ 593,173
2. James “Jeb” Hutton – $ 366,895
3. Josh Kay – $ 270,801
4. Michael Stashin – $ 202,617
5. Paul Fisher – $ 153,508
6. Eric Bunch – $ 117,761

Lead photo credit: WPT.com/Joe Giron

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