Posts Tagged ‘Makes’

World Poker Tour Makes Late Addition to Season XVI with WPT Amsterdam

 World Poker Tour Makes Late Addition to Season XVI with WPT Amsterdam

Not content to sit on their laurels of an outstanding Season XVI, the World Poker Tour has added another event to the roster for the current season. After initially being off the schedule, the WPT Amsterdam will be back for another run from the top pros in Europe just prior to the end of season festivities.

For the fourth year in a row, the WPT Amsterdam will be contested at the Holland Casino Amsterdam. The €3300 Main Event will take place from April 16-20, giving its champion just long enough to get to the States of America for the WPT Tournament of Champions. All winners from the current season receive a seat in the Tournament of Champions as a part of their victory, along with a WPT bracelet, their name inscribed on the Champions’ Cup and a nice financial payday.

“We are proud to return to Holland Casino, home of the first-ever WPT Main Tour event in the Netherlands, for a spectacular festival in partnership with WPTDeepStacks,” said Hermance Blum, General Manager of WPT Europe. “One of the world’s most passionate poker communities is the Netherlands, and Amsterdam presents the perfect location for players wishing to travel to a major European tournament series. With both WPTDeepStacks and WPT Main Tour main events on the schedule, we look forward to seeing you at Holland Casino Amsterdam in April for an incredible week of poker.”

As Blum alluded to, the return of the WPT Main Tour isn’t the only reason for celebration in the Netherlands come April. Along with the Main Tour, the WPTDeepStacks will be back in action. The WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam will be a €1500 buy in tournament that will run just prior to the Main Event on April 13-16.

“It is a great honor for Holland Casino to bring the prestigious World Poker Tour for a fourth consecutive year and WPTDeepStacks for a second year back to Amsterdam,” said Erwin van Lambaart, the Chief Executive Officer of Holland Casino. “Hosting the WPT at Holland Casino ensures a poker festival of the highest standards, and we look forward to welcoming in the world’s best players as they compete on the game’s biggest stage.”

With the addition of the WPT Amsterdam as a part of the Main Tour schedule, there is officially seven events left on the Season XVI schedule. The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open is currently ongoing, with the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open just around the horizon beginning on January 28. The venerable WPT L. A. Poker Classic (with its $ 10,000 buy in) awaits players on February 24, with the WPT Rolling Thunder in Northern California beginning on March 2. On April 13, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, will play host to the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Once the WPT Amsterdam is completed (and provided that victor is old enough – European casinos have a lower age threshold for entry), then the Season XVI champions will head for Las Vegas for the Tournament of Champions in May. While the current season’s champions are already assured a seat, any past champion of the WPT can buy in directly to the $ 15,000 event. Last year’s tournament was held as a part of the festivities at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, with Daniel Weinman defeating hometown favorite Michael Mizrachi to capture the championship.

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Online Gambling Bill Makes It Through Michigan House Committee

 Online Gambling Bill Makes It Through Michigan House Committee

A bill to legalize online gambling passed through a Michigan House of Representatives committee Wednesday and though it will be nearly impossible for it to advance any further during this legislative session, there is some hope for the next.

The Bill, House Bill 4926, was introduced by Rep. Brandt Iden three months ago. He told Online Poker Report (OPR) in October that he wanted to see it pass the House by Thanksgiving.

“Throughout the month of October, I’m hoping to gain a lot of headway,” Iden told OPR. “If I had my way, we’ll be able to get everyone to the table and put a bill together and through the House before the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll see how achievable it is, but that’s my goal.”

Well, it clearly wasn’t achievable, as it only just now made it through a committee and the legislative session is about to end. The good news, though, is that in Michigan, bills can carry over to the next session, so Iden will not have to start from scratch.

The bill stipulates that prospective online gambling operators would be required to pay a $ 100,000 licensing application fee. If granted a five-year license, the fee for the first year would be $ 200,000 and then $ 100,000 each year thereafter.

In October, Iden told OPR that the biggest challenge was arguably getting all of the state’s tribes and the three commercial casinos to all agree on the legislation. Lawmakers could always go ahead and vote for bills without the blessing of all the stakeholders, but is generally a good idea to get those who may be operating the gaming sites to be onboard.

“They’re constantly looking to expand their operations with new gamers. They realize they have generations of gamers that are going to be looking at new platforms, and if they don’t get on board they will miss bus,” Iden said to OPR.

For this Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee vote, Iden said that the committee did meet with stakeholders the day before in order to discuss the bill. The three commercial casinos – Greektown, MGM Detroit, and Motor City – all now apparently support the legislation when they did not previously (they supported legalized online gambling, just not the bill as written.

As first reported on Twitter by Gambling Compliance’s Chris Krafcik, there were two main amendments to the bill in committee. The first requires gaming servers to be located on the property of a licensed casino. Krafcik says this is important because it may put online gambling in sync with the Michigan constitution, which says that gambling must take place at a casino. Having the servers at a casino theoretically means that online gambling is occurring at the casino, in essence a new gaming offering by existing licensed operators, rather than an expansion of gambling.

The other change is an adjustment to the tax rate. The amended bill says licensees must pay a tax of 10 percent on gross gaming revenue, down from 15 percent previously.

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2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1B: Valentin Vornicu Makes Most of Second Chance, Takes Over Chip Lead

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1B: Valentin Vornicu Makes Most of Second Chance, Takes Over Chip Lead

After coming up dry on Day 1A of the event, Valentin Vornicu got the most out of his second shot at the tournament on Saturday, emerging as the overall leader of the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker with one more Day One left.

Looking to top Day 1A’s 155 entries, Day 1B saw another throng of poker professionals and amateurs looking to take their shot. At the sounding of the “shuffle up and deal” call, notables such as WPT Champions’ Club members Tony Dunst and Barry Greenstein were at their tables alongside Eric Baldwin, Ray Quartomy, and Matt Stout, who were all back from their Day 1A disappointment for another chance. Vornicu was on that list also, but the day didn’t start very well for him.

About three hours into Saturday’s play, Vornicu found himself staring at a Q♠ 10 6♣ 5♣ 8♣ board, Vornicu fired off a bet but was met with an all-in check raise from the small blind. Vornicu couldn’t put together the logic behind his opponent’s hand and, after several minutes, made the call and turned up pocket fives for the turned set. Vornicu’s opponent, however, had stuck around for the runner-runner nut flush with his A♣ 3♣, sending the nine-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner to the rail for his second chance at his second chance.

Vornicu would make the most of his last chance on Saturday. Within three hours of using his re-entry option for Day 1B, Vornicu had run his stack up to over 183K in chips to take over the chip lead. After the dinner break, Vornicu’s star continued to rise as he picked off a bluff and rivered a straight to cross the 200K mark. The only thing that stopped the “Vornicu Express” was the end of 10 levels of play for the day, when he bagged 286,700 in chips.

1. Valentin Vornicu, 286,700
2. Adam Geyer, 273,000
3. Peter Neff, 266,100
4. Igor Zekster, 198,700
5. Tuan Mai, 179,400
6. Jamie Armstrong, 164,900
7. Bill Germanis, 152,100
8. Gaurav Raina, 146,600
9. Skip Huber, 135,200
10. Derek Wolters, 133,800

Among those who have to decide if playing Day 1C is going to be worthwhile are Samantha Cohen, Allen Kessler, Mike Matusow, Jordan Cristos, Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan, Stout and Quartomy. Of the 177 entries that were received on Saturday (bringing the total field to 332), only 60 people would be standing by the final bell in the Bike’s tournament arena (117 between the first two Day Ones).

Vornicu is an intriguing player. He has the second most WSOP-C rings of all time (behind only Maurice Hawkins) and is only about $ 10K short of earning $ 1 million in his tournament poker career. Surprisingly, none of those winnings has ever come from a WPT Main Tour event; if (and it’s a strong if) Vornicu is able to cash in this tournament, it would be his first-ever WPT cash on the Main Tour schedule.

Overall, Vornicu has not only taken over the combined Day One leaderboard, the two men pursuing him join him to make up the Top Three in the tournament:

1. Valentin Vornicu, 286,700
2. Adam Geyer, 273,000
3. Peter Neff, 266,100
4. Thomas Zanot, 217,700*
5. Igor Zekster, 198,700
6. David Lambard, 183,900*
7. Tuan Mai, 179,400
8. Gary Sewell, 176,700*
9. Vince Salvatore, 173,000*
10. Christopher Staats, 167,900*

(* – Day 1A player)

The final Day One – and the final chance for many of those around the Bike – will kick off at noon on Sunday. The players will have one re-entry available should they bust on Sunday, then there will be a final “last chance” for players to buy in (30K in chips for $ 4000; it is possible that a player could burn through seven buy-ins, or $ 28,000, without success) before the start of Day Two on Monday. With the popularity of the first two days of the tournament, it is likely that the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker will crack the 500-entry mark and could take a run at 600.

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Tom Dwan Makes Comeback on Revived “Poker After Dark”

 Tom Dwan Makes Comeback on Revived “Poker After Dark”

On Monday, Poker Central will revive the fan favorite Poker After Dark for its subscription service PokerGO. When the cards hit the air for the return of the show, it will also feature the return of a player who once held the poker world’s attention but has of late been a footnote to the game.

Coming back from the cash games in Macau, Tom Dwan (formerly known by his online moniker of ‘durrrr’) will be the featured competitor when the cards hit the air at 8PM on the inaugural episode of Poker After Dark on PokerGO. “I travel around a lot to play poker, and in Manila and Macau people ask me about those shows,” Dwan mentioned to Poker Central’s Remko Rinkema. “All over the world people liked watching those, and every time I get asked ‘When will they be back?’ I’m excited that now, after six years, they will be back.”

Dwan was one of the staples of Poker After Dark when it originally aired and the program brings back pleasant thoughts for Dwan as Monday approaches. “The shows were fun, they ended up being more interesting and more fun than I expected,” Dwan noted to Rinkema. “It also helped that I won basically every hand that I played. If I called they were bluffing, if I was bluffing they folded. I’m hoping that continues,” Dwan said with a chuckle.

Dwan has been an afterthought to many in poker after a stirring start. Storming the scene in the mid-2000s with an attacking style that caught many off guard, Dwan made his name in the high stakes online poker world and, particularly, heads-up poker. He attempted to have an impact on the live tournament world, including making several prop bets regarding winning World Series of Poker bracelets, but was unable to win any major championships. Still, the $ 2.2 million in career earnings from those games came in handy with one of his online endeavors.

The “durrrr Challenge” was a boast by Dwan that he was one of the best heads-up players in the world, with Dwan putting up a sizeable chunk of change to prove it. The challenge was for Dwan and an opponent to play 50,000 hands of No Limit Texas Hold’em or, in other cases, Pot Limit Omaha at stakes of $ 200/$ 400 over an agreed-on period. If Dwan were to emerge with even a penny of profit, his opponent would owe him $ 500,000. If his opponent were to come out ahead, however, Dwan would pay $ 1.5 million.

Two players stepped up to take the challenge (which wasn’t extended to poker professional Phil Galfond), Patrik Antonius and Dan Cates, with neither competition reaching a conclusion. In fact, the Cates/Dwan battle paused around “Black Friday,” with Cates ahead $ 1.2 million and Dwan showing absolutely no inclination to continuing the match. Instead, Dwan withdrew from the international poker community to concentrate on the lucrative cash game market in the Chinese gaming metropolis of Macau, where he’s basically been in action to the exclusion of the remainder of the poker world since around 2014.

The return of Poker After Dark will also see the return of another player that is considered a “living legend.” Doyle Brunson is said to be donning his cowboy hat for another run on the program, beginning on Tuesday night and continuing Wednesday night. Brunson has stepped away from tournament poker but is still holding court at Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio as a cash game player. His will be a welcomed return to a lineup that was already star-studded:

August 14 (Monday)

Tom Dwan
Daniel Negreanu
Antonio Esfandiari
Jean-Robert Bellande
Lauren Roberts
Bill Klein

August 15 (Tuesday) and August 16 (Wednesday)

Tom Dwan
Doyle Brunson
Andrew Robl
Jean-Robert Bellande
Lauren Roberts
Bill Klein

The game will be the usual that was originally on Poker After Dark:  $ 200/$ 400 Texas Hold’em, minimum buy in and a $ 400 button ante. The players will all walk to the table at ARIA Resort & Casino with a minimum of $ 100,000. Poker Central will live-stream the return of Poker After Dark over PokerGO beginning at 8PM (Eastern Time) on all three days as it continues to try to build an audience for their subscription service.

Will Dwan still have the same effect he had on top pros that he had on his first run on Poker After Dark? Or will he face a different poker world? Those questions and others will be answered starting on Monday.

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2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 1B: Stephen Graner Makes Waves

 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 1B: Stephen Graner Makes Waves

The two starting flights of the ever-popular World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star are in the books and it is Stephen Graner who has a slight chip advantage over Charlie Carrel for the tournament’s pole position. With 332,700 and 320,800 chips, respectively, Graner and Carrel are the only two players in the event with more than 300,000 chips.

According to the report, Graner was not only the center of attention on Day 1B because of his chip stack, but also because of how he got to that point. Graner sat at the featured table all day Tuesday and knocked out two of the Shooting Star players – Ari Engel and James Calderaro – earning their bounties. Graner has already profited from the tournament with $ 5,000 in bounties and the $ 10,000 chip leader bonus, but he has no intention of relaxing.

One of the more interesting hands for Graner came against Calderaro. As reports it (with information received from players at the table), the intrigue started right away, when Graner raised pre-flop from middle position to 8,400 chips. This raised eyebrows as the big blind was just 1,200 chips and a 7x big blind opening raise from that position is quite unorthodox. Typically, there is no need to risk that many chips with no challengers. As such, people thought it was a “mis-click,” a term derived from online poker, when a player accidentally clicks the wrong button to make a bet (or fold, as the case may be) that he did not intend to make. Obviously, nobody can really mis-click in a live game, but people do sometimes miscount their chips or don’t realize they are putting out the wrong denomination.

Calderaro called and the two men saw a flop of K-5-3. Graner bet 13,000 at that point and Calderaro called again. On the 9 flop, Graner kept going, betting 24,000, followed by a Calderaro call. When a Queen landed on the river, Graner moved all-in. Calderaro tanked for nearly ten minutes, his remaining 65,000 chips at risk.

Calderaro eventually folded, informing the table he had A-K and just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Graner teased him, asking him if he folded “the worst bluff ever.”

Calderaro asked Graner to show what he had, but Graner didn’t. Calderaro felt that meant that Graner actually had the winning hand and just wanted to make him think he was bluffing.

Afterward, Graner gave mixed signals to, saying, “It was not a misclick, I just did not say anything when they were talking about it.”

But he added, “It’s hard for me to have something there.”

There were a total of 806 entries for the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, a record for this tournament. A $ 5,722,600 prize pool was generated; 81 players will make the money with first place receiving $ 1,373,000.

The 264 remaining players will resume play at noon Pacific time.

2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Stephen Graner – 332,700
2.    Charlie Carrel –     320,800
3.    Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4.    Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5.    Zach Hyman – 255,000
6.    Michael Rocco – 201,700
7.    Jon Turner – 187,200
8.    Chino Rheem – 174,700
9.    Bryan Piccioli – 170,100
10.    Tom Schneider – 168,100

2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    Stephen     Graner – 332,700
2.    Charlie Carrel – 320,800
3.    Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4.    Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5.    Eddy Sabat – 265,600
6.    Zach Hyman – 255,000
7.    Sergio Aldo – 242,500
8.    Sinisa Eimek – 235,400
9.    Eduazols Kudzjavcevs – 235,000
10.    Justin Young – 231,000

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