Posts Tagged ‘Main’

2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event Day 2 – Kimbo Ung Tops Pack Leader Board

 2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event Day 2 – Kimbo Ung Tops Pack Leader Board

Barely more than 100 players remain of the original 493 after Day 2 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic. It should be a tense day, as 62 players get paid and there will be plenty of short stacks just trying to stay alive while the big stacks work on accumulating chips.

The race at the top is extremely tight, which is not something we frequently see at this stage in a major tournament. There is often one player who pulls ahead at this point (and often drops down later); sometimes two players form their own mini peloton. But in this case, the top FOUR players are within 10,000 chips of each other and another three are not too far behind.

Kimbo Ung is the chip leader with 379,400 chips, but hot on his heels are Chance Kornuth (374,400), Dennis Blieden (370,500), and John Misirian (370,000). In the fifth spot is Tan Nguyen with 350,000 and then, after a bit of a gap, are Marc Macdonnell with 333,200 and Toby Lewis with 315,300. Seven players with more than 300,000 chips. Should be a fun day at the top and bottom of the standings.

Ung, who won his seat in a $ 1,100 satellite, told at the end of the day that he didn’t really do anything special to get to that position.

“I just gradually built, the same thing yesterday and today. I just keep chipping up. I’ve lost a few pots here and there. I lost a big pot at the end, I would have had 500,000 if I didn’t lose that pot,” he said. “I didn’t have any good hands at all, I just kept playing the suited connectors and building up little by little.”

The hand to which Ung referred appears to be the last one that reported for Day 2. The site caught up with the action on the flop with the board reading J♣-9-2♠. There was about 40,000 already in the pot and Ung raised a 17,500 chip bet to 38,000. Kornuth thought about it and re-raised to 77,200. Ung then tanked for a couple minutes before finally folding. Kornuth showed 6♣-7♣.

As mentioned, there were 493 entries in the $ 9,500 + $ 500 tournament, creating a prize pool of almost $ 4.7 million. $ 1 million will be awarded to the winner, which was the guaranteed first prize. Payouts go down to 62nd place; the min-cash is $ 16,640.

According to, Kimbo Ung has but two live tournament cashes, which is double the number that this writer has (and mine isn’t even recorded on One is for just $ 585, but the other is a sweet $ 125,901 cash for winning the 2010 Heartland Poker Tour Las Vegas Main Event. Thus, any sort of cash will be significant to Ung relative to his career earnings.

2018 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Kimbo Ung – 379,400
2. Chance Kornuth – 374,400
3. Dennis Blieden – 370,500
4. John Misirian – 370,000
5. Tan Nguyen – 350,000
6. Marc Macdonnell – 333,200
7. Toby Lewis – 315,300
8. Jean Gaspard – 298,000
9. Manuel Martinez – 276,500
10. Sam Sanusi – 254,500

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Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

 Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

I once made a pretty big call in a tournament for a couple hundred dollars. I lost, but I ended up coming in third and won $ 3,500, which is this high roller’s most sizable tourney score. I know, I know, stop bragging already. I cannot imagine, though, making a call with almost an empty hand and €100,000. But that’s what Viktor “Isildur1” Blom did this weekend in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany €5,300 Main Event and that is why he is a pro and I am just here writing about it.

Of the more than 1,000 players who started the event, just 13 remained going into the final day and when the official eight-handed final table was set, Blom was second in chips with 144.8 million, nearly tied with Pavel Pesluv (143.1 million) who was coincidentally the man he would face at the end. Ondrej Drozd was way ahead with 258.6 million.

But you’re here to read about what happened to close out the tourney, so let’s skip to that. During heads-up, Plesuv went on a tear, building as much as a 9-to-1 chip lead on Blom, clearly looking like he was going to take home the title. But Blom roared back, eventually taking the lead.

On the final hand, Hand 242 of the final table, blinds were 6 million/12 million with 12 million chip ante. Holding K-6, Blom raised pre-flop to 35 million and Plesuv called with Q-7. Clearly, neither man had an incredible hand, but this was heads-up, so a face card is pretty solid.

The flop was Q-9-K, pairing both players’ top cards and giving both backdoor flush draws. Blom bet 45 million this time and Plesuv check-called. The A was dealt on the turn, now giving Plesuv a flush draw. He check-called a huge 105 million chip bet from Blom to bring on the river 5. At that point, with just third pair and a busted flush draw, Plesuv moved all-in for 299 million.

Blom tanked. He had just 344 million chips remaining, so if he were to call – with just second pair, mind you – he was crippled. And then, casually, he made the call, picking off Plesuv’s bluff and sending the announcers on the telecast into a frenzy. I couldn’t hear what Plesuv said to him, but he was smiling and frankly seemed impressed that Blom was able to read him correctly.

From the brief commentary that I heard in the video clip I watched, the analysts seemed to reason that Blom may have figured the only hand he was losing to was an Ace-high flush based on Plesuv’s play. Since Blom had the K and Plesuv check-called an Ace on the turn with a heart flush draw out there, Plesuv either had worse than a pair of Kings or was waiting on his Ace-high flush to come in. Blom took the chance that Plesuv didn’t have the flush and he was right.

Before heads-up, Blom and Plesuv made a deal to in which they would each win €750,000 and leave €100,000 plus the trophy for which to play. Of course, after the Mike Leah controversy, people may be skeptical as to whether or not making a deal tarnishes Blom’s victory, but it certainly looks like both men played all-out, like both were definitely trying to win (Blom probably wouldn’t have come back from 9-to-1 down if this wasn’t the case). Plus, €100,000 is nothing to sneeze at, so it was not likely that either would’ve just thrown away a chance to win the extra dough once the deal was made and the money was there for the taking.

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Mike Leah Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event

 Mike Leah Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event

Let’s just say that the Fallsview Casino Resort overlooking the Canadian side of Niagara Falls isn’t a venue that Mike Leah is going to stop visiting any time soon. On Monday night, Leah won his first World Poker Tour (WPT) title, taking the crown at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in what was the tournament’s largest field ever: 517 entries. His purse for the win was CAD $ 451,821 (about USD $ 358,520).

Leah isn’t going to be a repeat customer of Fallsview just because he won last night. Leah actually has quite the history at the casino, one which has treated him extremely well. Prior to his victory, Mike Leah won the CAD $ 1,100 preliminary event at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic three out of the last four years: 2014, 2016, and 2017 for a total of CAD $ 573,334.

“To do it here, where I’ve had so much success winning three tournaments already, is pretty cool,” the Ontario native told afterward. “So close to home, in my home country, it’s a pretty special tournament to win. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet.”

Leah had gotten tantalizingly close to a WPT once before, finishing second to Anthony Zinno at the 2015 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He doesn’t have any World Series of Poker bracelets, either, but he does have a number of WSOP Circuit wins.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Leah said to “Winning a WPT has been near the top of my goal list for a long time, especially getting so close almost exactly three years ago when I lost to Anthony Zinno heads up at LAPC, so I’ve been pretty hungry to get back here again since that.”

He’ll have a chance to improve on that runner-up finish soon, as the L.A. Poker Classic is the next stop on the World Poker Tour. Leah now has almost $ 7 million in live tournament earnings.

Unlike many major tournaments, the final day of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic did not begin at the final table, but rather with 20 players remaining. Leah was third going into Monday’s action with 1.235 million chips, 600,000+ behind the leader, Joe Ferrier.

For much of yesterday, Leah stayed in his general starting range. He dipped below 1 million chips for a little bit, then rose back up to around 1.6 million, but for the most part, he was in that 1-1.5 million chip range. The big move came with just seven players remaining when he moved all-in after some raising pre-flop and doubled through Tim Rutherford with A-K versus A-Q to jump to 3.105 million chips and into the lead. When he eliminated David Eldridge to clinch a spot at the official final table, he was in second place with 3.970 million chips.

He kept climbing from there, knocking out Joe Ferrier on the ninth hand of the final table to move to 6.930 million chips. At the start of Level 29 with four players remaining, he was at nearly 8 million. Leah couldn’t keep up the hot run for much longer, though, steadily dropping chips until, by Hand 75, he was back to second with 4.835 million. Ryan Yu had taken over the lead with 6.185 million. It really looked like Yu was going to steamroll from there, as he knocked out Carlos Chadha in third place to grow his stack to 9.630 million and then bounced Tim Rutherford in second to go into heads-up against Leah with a huge lead, 10.800 million to 4.715 million.

On literally the first hand of heads-up play, though, Leah made a bold move. Yu raised to 4 million pre-flop (the big blind was 120,000) and Leah, either holding a great hand or sensing a big bluff because of that strange bet, moved all-in. It was barely more than what Yu had put in, but Yu folded, giving Leah the chip lead.

On the next two hands, Yu continued to play rather strangely. Leah limped pre-flop and Yu raised to 5 million. Leah re-raised all-in and Yu folded, leaving him with just 1.760 million chips to Leah’s 13.755 million. Then, Yu raised pre-flop to 1.700 million and Leah shoved. Obviously, Yu needed to put his last chips in, an amount that was less than the small blind, but for some reason, he folded AGAIN, leaving himself with just 40,000 chips.

Yu survived a few more hands, but it was academic from there as Leah won his first WPT title. Unfortunately, this event was neither live streamed nor televised, so I don’t know if we will find out what Yu had in those key hands. It was bizarre.

Cover Photo Credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

 Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

Toby Lewis won the Aussie Millions Main Event this weekend, triumphing over a field of 800 runners. The A$ 1,458,198 (USD $ 1,178,513) first prize was the biggest score of his career, eclipsing his ~$ 600,000 cash for winning EPT Vilamoura in 2010. He now has nearly $ 4.4 million in live tournament earnings.

Lewis went into the seven-handed final table (yes, seven-handed) as the chip leader and never looked back. Ok, technically he looked “up” at times, as he was neck-and-neck with Espen Solaas (5.835 million to 5.680 million chips) initially before Solaas overtook him for the lead early on. Before we get too bogged down with it all, here is what the chip stacks looked like to start the final table:

Toby Lewis – 5.835 million
Espen Solaas – 5.680 million
Ben Richardson – 4.870 million
Mike Del Vecchio – 3.065 million
Stefan Huber – 1.975 million
Chul-Hyon Park – 1.670 million
John Schumacher – 955,000

Schumacher was the first to go on Hand 25. Solaas shoved pre-flop with 7d-5d, likely a power move, but Schumacher looked him up with 5c-5s. Unfortunately for Schumacher, Solass hit a runner-runner diamond flush to take the hand and eliminate Schumacher in seventh place.

Solaas continued to add chips, but on Hand 37, Lewis took a huge pot from Stefan Huber to climb to 8.365 million and regain the chip lead by nearly 1.5 million over Solaas. Lewis ran into a rough patch over the next three orbits or so, seeing his stack dip below 6 million. In the meantime, Chul-Hyon Park came out of nowhere to take the lead after doubling through Solaas on Hand 54. The very next hand, Ben Richardson was knocked out in sixth place Solaas, K-K against A-Q.

Park held the lead for a while, but Lewis kept chipping up while Solaas was a bit stagnant. By Hand 80, Lewis had risen to 7 million chips and back into the chip lead. On Hand 95, he took a massive chunk of change from Park with A-K against J-J. Lewis paired his King and got Park to pay him off handsomely on the river. That put a canyon between Lewis and the field, while Park fell to the short stack.

It was Mike Del Vecchio who bowed out next, though, eliminated in fifth place by Lewis. By Hand 107, Lewis had 15.810 million chips, twice the chips of the other three players combined. At that point, his three opponents were just trying to make it to third place. Lewis was fully aware of this and made them pay, pounding away at them while they stayed out of his way.

“He knew he had to be very tight,” Lewis said of Park to Aussie Millions officials after the tournament. “[Huber and Solaas] both understood ICM very well. It’s an absolute disaster for either of them to get it in against me. It was one of those spots where eventually something had to give but nobody wanted it to give.”

Eventually it was Park who gave, getting unlucky when his Queens fell to Solaas’s Sevens when Solaas turned a set.

After Park’s elimination, the remaining three players began to discuss a deal. Lewis, though, he was way ahead, likely didn’t want to risk a string of bad luck and just wanted to lock up a serious payday right then and there. The other two players, Huber and Solaas, were probably more than happy to also lock up a prize and relax a little bit. They agreed that Lewis would get A$ 1,383,198, Solaas, who was in second place, would receive A$ 1,177,103, and Huber would get A$ 909,699. A$ 75,000 was left on the table for an incentive to keep playing.

It took about another 30 hands to decide it. Solaas went out in third place when his Nines fell to Lewis’ Kings. Lewis had little trouble finishing off Huber. On the final hand, Huber raised pre-flop with A-8 and Lewis called with Q-T. Lewis flopped trips and you can guess what happened from there.

2018 Aussie Millions Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Toby Lewis – A$ 1,458,198
2. Espen Solaas – A$ 909,699
3. Ben Richardson – A$ 1,177,103
4. Mike Del Vecchio – A$ 470,000
5. Stefan Huber – A$ 370,000
6. Chul-Hyon Park – A$ 300,000
7. John Schumacher – A$ 235,000

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2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 2 – A.J. Kelsall Leads on the Bubble

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 2 – A.J. Kelsall Leads on the Bubble

There were probably a whole bunch of players at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open that didn’t sleep well last night, as 159 players remain in the Main Event with the payouts going down to 156 places. The short stacks have got to be wondering if they can hang on to at least come up with the $ 6,129 min cash. A.J. Kelsall is the chip leader heading into Day 3 with 768,500 chips, followed very closely by Chun Li with 755,000.

The tournament just missed out on beating last year’s record of 1,312 entries, coming in at 1,244. There were 343 entries on Day 1A, 680 on Day 1B, and another 221 through the first two levels of Day 2. The overall prize pool is just south of $ 4 million with the winner taking home $ 651,928.

The chip leader, A.J. Kelsall, is having a hell of a week. Not only is he leading a WPT Main Event on the money bubble, but he is also a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan; in just a few days, the Eagles will be playing in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. The Eagles are underdogs, but they were underdogs in the NFC Championship game with their backup quarterback, as well, so how knows what can happen?

After Day 2, Kelsall talked Eagles with

I’ll tell you the saying that I have and it’s kind of funny. There’s only two things I want in life. An Eagles Super Bowl and a WSOP bracelet. Then whatever happens after that is fine. Somebody asked me that last week, when I came fifth in the [WPTDeepStacks] event down in Hollywood. And in that one, I said I would probably give up the win for the Super Bowl, but this one is so big. I flew up here and went to the game last Sunday and I have a flight Saturday night to go to the Super Bowl. That should tell you how big of a fan I am. If you sign me up for like sixth right now and an Eagles Super Bowl, I’ll take it. I’ll sign it.

Sixth pays $ 138,254, which would certainly buy a few hot dogs at the game (not that Kelsall will get up to go to the concession stand and risk missing any of the action).

According to, Kelsall has just over a million dollars in live tournament cashes. His best was for $ 124,731 for a first place finish in the $ 1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Championship of the Winter Poker Open in Tampa. Hmm…Winter Poker Open…is that an omen? Hmm?

Kelsall told that while he considers himself a good No-Limit Hold’em player, he likes other games better, but he continues to play Hold’em because the money is best in that game. A “jack of all trades” is what he calls himself.

“It’s cliche, but I think it’s true. I consider myself a B or a B+ in pretty much every game. An A in nothing, but I consider myself decent in every game,” he said.

Well, so far, so good with Hold’em. Let’s see if he keeps it going and gives himself an epic weekend.

2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. A.J. Kelsall – 768,500
2. Chun Li – 755,000
3. Dan Colpoys – 590,500
4. Richard Foster – 587,000
5. Chase Bianchi – 568,000
6. Joe McKeehen – 548,000
7. Nick Jivkov – 529,500
8. Sean Remz – 512,000
9. Will Givens – 510,000
10. Stephen Song – 509,000

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