Posts Tagged ‘Michael’

WPT Choctaw Day 2: Michael Stashin Looms Large

 WPT Choctaw Day 2: Michael Stashin Looms Large

The World Series of Poker is over, so it is time for other poker tournaments to return to the spotlight. Up now: World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw. The WPT Choctaw Main Event moves on to its third day today with Michael Stashin holding the lead out of the remaining 24 players with 5.585 million in chips.

There were two starting flights for this tournament; Friday’s Day 1A saw 340 entries (unlimited re-entries were permitted until the start of Day 2) and Day 1B was larger, as expected, with 562 entries. Add to those the 22 late entries before Day 2 began and the total field for WPT Choctaw is 927 entries.

After pulling out the various tournament fees from the $ 3,700 buy-in, the total prize pool amounts to $ 3.121 million. The top 99 players make the money (min cash is $ 6,400) with the winner receiving nearly $ 600,000.

Now let’s go back to Michael Stashin for a moment. I don’t know when the last time was that I saw a player with such an otherworldly chip lead at this point in a major tournament. There have been plenty of times when someone has a huge stack with nine players remaining or six players remaining, but look at what Stashin is doing.

Stashin has 5.585 million chips. The second place player, Eric Bunch, has only 1.965 million. And that’s with TWENTY-FOUR players remaining! Stashin has more chips as the second, third, and fourth place players combined and again, there are two dozen players left in the field. That’s almost unheard of.

Two of Stashin’s bigger hands that allowed him to jump that high in the chip counts came late in the day. According to the report, with 28 players remaining, KC Panjwani bet 75,000 pre-flop, Cary Moomjian called, and Stashin raised to 200,000. Panjwani shoved for 846,000 and Stashin called after Moomjian folded.

It was a bit of a cooler hand, with Stashin holding Kings against Panjwani’s Jacks. The Kings improved to a set and Panjwani was out of the tournament. That took Stashin’s stack up to 4.210 million at the time.

Then, shortly thereafter, Bryan Campanello raised to 55,000 pre-flop UTG and Stashin raised to 125,000. Moomjian called and Campanello folded. On the flop of A-8-5 rainbow, Moomjian checked, Stashin bet 90,000, and Moomjian called. When a Jack came on the turn, Moomjian got aggressive, betting 350,000. Shashin then moved all-in, obviously putting Moomjian to a decision for all of his chips. Moomjian decided it was go time, calling for about 900,000.

The cards that were revealed shocked everyone. Stashin had a Jack for top pair ( did not see/tell us the other card), while Moomjian had…K-Q? It’s one thing to lead out with a bluff, but then to call off what is still a decent stack with air is just bizarre. Granted, Moomjian still had outs, but if he was up against an Ace, which considering Shashin’s all-in move, he very well could have been, he would have been drawing dead. As it stood, Moomjian got no help on the river and was eliminated in 26th place.

According to the report, Campanello said, “I watched the hand and I don’t know what I just saw. If I knew it wasn’t collusion, I would think it’s collusion.”

Stashin and the other 23 players are just now resuming the action. The plan for Monday is to play down to six players.

2017 World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Michael Stashin – 5,585,000
2. Eric Bunch -1,965,000
3. Bryan Campanello – 1,800,000
4. Kamran Munaf – 1,730,000
5. Jordan Cristos – 1,695,000
6. Zachary Smiley – 1,645,000
7. Kevin Calenzo – 1,585,000
8. Jeffrey Chang – 1,330,000
9. Josh Kay – 1,260,000
10. Jason Emmons – 1,110,000


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2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas: Michael Gentili Surges to Chip Lead on Day 4, 16 Players Remaining

 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas: Michael Gentili Surges to Chip Lead on Day 4, 16 Players Remaining

It was a quick day of work for the players left alive at the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event on Thursday. After only six hours of play, the field was whittled down to the final 16 players as Michael Gentili surged to the lead.

Nick Maimone was the chip leader at the start of Day 4, sitting astride a massive stack of 1.75 million chips. There were some notables looking to chop him down, however, as Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier was tucked in behind him with 1.333 million chips. Additionally, there was a chance at some history as John Dibella, who won this same tournament back in 2012 when it was the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (and a $ 10,000 buy in tournament), sat in third place with his 1.119 million stack.

The 32 players who started the day began the parade towards the doors of the Atlantis Resort and Casino almost immediately. Gaelle Baumann would put her short stack into the center with an off-suit Q-J, but it was topped by Rodrigo Cordoba’s pocket sevens. The flop would bring Baumann an Ace and a ten, but nothing else would come on the turn or river, as Baumann hit the rail within 20 minutes of the start of the day’s play.

Pratyush Buddiga would also fall victim early on. In a “blind versus blind” battle, Buddiga would push all in out of the small blind and found a willing participant in Marcin Kapkowski. Buddiga had larceny in his heart as he showed his 9 6, which was completely dominated by Kapkowski’s A 9. While he didn’t need it, Kapkowski got the A♠ on an all-black flop, virtually ending any chance at the hand for Buddiga. Once a King came on the turn, it was official and Buddiga was out the door.

As these players were departing, Maimone was finding the waters rough in the position of chip leader. After getting up over the two million mark (2.3 million, exactly, after eliminating Scott Stewart), he gradually saw those chips slip through his fingers. Maimone saw his flopped trip sevens eclipsed by Michael Vela’s turned straight to fall to 1.3 million and donated more to Vela’s cause moments later when Vela flopped a set of eights against what Maimone said were pocket nines. Gentili, who had been motoring on well through the day, was the recipient of Maimone’s final 700K in chips when his pocket Kings stood tall against Maimone’s Big Slick on a Jack-high board.

Gentili, who found himself with over 2.4 million chips after defeating Maimone, didn’t put it on cruise control after that clash. On a 10-7-9-Q-2 board, Gentili fired a river bet of 400K into what would eventually become a 1.2 million pot against Michael Bartholomew, sending Bartholomew into the tank. He considered the possibility of a “set versus set” situation, admitting, “That would be pretty sick,” as the clock was called on him. As the count went down, Bartholomew made the call and saw Gentili put down a pocket pair of tens for the set; Bartholomew was right as he disgustedly showed his pocket sevens for a lesser set as the pot went to Gentili.

When Dibella knocked off Rex Clinkscales in 17th place, his A-10 off-suit flopping two pair against Clinkscales pocket eights and turning a boat, the decision was made to halt the proceedings. With 16 players remaining, Gentili has put himself in a dominant position.

1. Michael Gentili, 3.708 million
2. Aleksei Opalikhin, 2.084 million
3. Nadya Magnus, 1.87 million
4. Michael Vela, 1.811 million
5. Rodrigo Cordoba, 1.777 million
6. Cliff Josephy, 1.331 million
7. Rasmuch Glaesel, 1.319 million
8. Christian Harder, 1.305 million
9. John Dibella, 1.294 million
10. Allon Allison, 1.015 million
11. Marcin Kapkowski, 950,000
12. Michael Bartholomew, 877,000
13. Alan Schein, 635,000
14. Pedro Cabeca, 540,000
15. Ryan Riess, 371,000
16. Jason Mercier, 340,000

Day 5 will commence at noon on Friday, with the goal to chop more than half the remaining players for the final table – and final day – of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas. In a break with previous traditions, the final table will be six handed and the players that earn their way there will come back on Saturday to play for the championship and the $ 480,012 first place prize.

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2016 WPT Montreal Day 2: Michael Gathy Leads Remaining 50 Players

 2016 WPT Montreal Day 2: Michael Gathy Leads Remaining 50 Players

For some reason, the second day of a major, week-long poker tournament always amuses me. You have hundreds of players who made it through their starting flight, a significant accomplishment for many, and then, just like that, most of them drop by the wayside when they return for Day 2. DOESN’T ANYONE CARE ABOUT THEIR CHIPS? HOW DO SO MANY PEOPLE GET ELIMINATED SO QUICKLY? And then, inevitably, it will take forever to get rid of the last couple tables of players before the final table. Take your time and enjoy the ride, for pete’s sake! There are no moral victories in poker; getting pas the first day is meaningless.

That said, there are 50 players remaining from the 247 that began Day 2 in the 2016 World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event. Michael Gathy is your chip leader with 860,000 chips, followed by Ema Zajmovic with 807,000 and Tam Ho with 800,000 on the nose.

Gathy isn’t exactly a household name amongst poker fans (heck, most of the best players aren’t nowadays with the dearth of televised poker in the U.S.), but he has had a lot of success on the live tournament circuit. He won his third World Series of Poker bracelet this summer and finished as the runner-up twice. With those plus two other in-the-money finishes, he is currently eighth in the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year standings. Perhaps interestingly, looking at his record on, Gathy does not have a single World Poker Tour cash. In all, he has about $ 2.2 million in lifetime earnings.

Though he is the chip leader, Gathy was not involved in what may have been the most “made for TV” hand of the day. Early in Level 16, shortly after the dinner break, Ted Doukas raised to 8,500 pre-flop with pocket Kings and Kenneth Lindgren shoved for 50,500 with pocket Fives. Terris Preston decided to go all-in over the top of THAT with Queens and though Doukas needed to think about it (after all, two all-ins could indicate Aces), he did decided to make the call for 323,500. Both Doukas and Lindgren flopped their sets, though that was of little help to Lindgren, who was down to one out. A Four on the turn eliminated Preston and a fourth King on the river sealed the deal, giving Doukas the pot and the chip lead at the time with 705,000 chips. He finished the day a little bit south of that mark and will enter Day 3 in seventh place.

Speaking of Day 3, it is just getting underway at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. Today will be relatively short as far as poker tournaments go, with just five 90-minute levels scheduled and no dinner break.

2016 WPT Montreal – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Michael Gathy – 860,000
2.    Ema Zajmovic – 807,000
3.    Tam Ho – 800,000
4.    Jason Mann – 796,000
5.    Alex Keating – 721,000
6.    Robert McGhee – 711,000
7.    Ted Doukas – 694,000
8.    Antonin Duda – 633,000
9.    Samuel Gagnon – 604,000
10.    Jeffrey Cormier – 559,000

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Michael Hahn Takes Overall Lead After Two Day Ones at WPT Choctaw

 Michael Hahn Takes Overall Lead After Two Day Ones at WPT Choctaw

The two Day Ones for the World Poker Tour’s Season XV stop at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Oklahoma are in the books. Coming through the larger of the two, Michael Hahn ended Day 1B with a sizeable chip stack of 370,000 chips to pace the field heading to Sunday’s Day 2 action. With more than 1000 entries already received in the $ 3500 buy in tournament (easily outpacing the $ 3 million guaranteed prize pool) and late registration not ending until the start of Day 2 today, the tournament promises to be entertaining throughout the upcoming week.

Festivities started on Friday at the Choctaw Casino Resort with 387 entries being registered by the end of the night’s action (the tournament featured unlimited rebuys until the start of Day 2). Despite their best efforts, players such as Brandon Cantu (who made a wild bluff on a J-10-9-5-4 board with only K-8 against Alex Yen’s pocket Aces to be eliminated), Erick Lindgren (pocket Jacks couldn’t find a third against Grayson Ramage’s pocket Queens), Pratyush Buddiga (pocket Kings run down by the flush of Matt Bond) and Cate Hall were only some of the more than 200 players who didn’t survive the action from Day 1A. Steve Gross, however, was able to make it through the minefield, bagging up 299,500 chips to head to today’s action.

1. Steve Gross, 299,500
2. Hiren Patel, 298,800
3. Marcos Exterkotter, 248,200
4. Bobby Oboodi, 232,000
5. Jeff Kester, 223,500
6. Alex Lynskey, 220,600
7. Rodney Springs, 218,300
8. Cary Jones, 209,400
9. Dustin Schooner, 204,600
10. Cord Garcia, 199,000

Several notable names bubbled under the Top Ten from the 107 players who came out of the Day 1A battles. Olivier Busquet (11th place, 198,600), Tommy Vedes (14th, 190,200) Dan Shak (19th, 163,000) and Andy Philachack (20th, 157,000) all took a day off on Saturday with their seats through to Day 2 sealed.

As per usual for multi-Day One tournaments, Day 1B turned out to be the bigger of the two starting days by far. By the end of the night on Saturday, 651 entries had been racked up to bring the total for the tournament to 1038 entries. With late registration and the reentry period closing with the start of action on Sunday, it still isn’t known what the prize pool will be, what the first place prize will be nor how many of the participants will be paid.

The players weren’t concerned with that on Day 1B, however, they were just looking to get through with a decent stack. Some of the players that were eliminated on Day 1A, such as Cantu and Hall, came back for another taste on Day 1B and fared a bit better, making it to the end with a chip stack and a chair to move to Day 2. Others, such as WPT announcer Vince Van Patten, weren’t as fortunate, heading to the rail (for the record, Van Patten’s broadcast partner and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton also was knocked off).

When the smoke had cleared from the Day 1B fight, Hahn had amassed a humongous stack of chips good enough not only for the Day 1B lead but also a place at the top of the overall leaderboard.

1. Michael Hahn, 370,000
2. Chad Gilliam, 313,800
3. Drew Dumanski, 300,500
4. Kyle Bowker, 300,000
5. Jake Schindler, 273,400
6. Orlando Romero, 260,800
7. James Mackey, 199,700
8. Andre Crooks, 191,800
9. Jesse Yaginuma, 184,600
10. Darren Elias, 165,100

Putting the two Day Ones together show Hahn and Gilliam are in excellent shape to make deep runs in the event.

1. Michael Hahn, 370,000
2. Chad Gilliam, 313,800
3. Drew Dumanski, 300,500
4. Kyle Bowker, 300,000
5. Steve Gross, 299,500
6. Hiren Patel, 298,800
7. Jake Schindler, 273,400
8. Orlando Romero, 260,800
9. Marcos Exterkotter, 248,200
10. Bobby Oboodi, 232,000

Once again, the final numbers won’t be known for the WPT Choctaw until the first cards hit the air on Sunday’s Day 2 action. At that point, the late registration/reentry period will end and the final tallies will be made. First place for the WPT Choctaw could range in the $ 400-$ 500,000 range, meaning someone will be in store for a decent payday from a few days of work on the Oklahoma prairie.

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2016 Monster WPT Tournament of Champions Day 2: Strong Final Table Features Jonathan Jaffe, Michael Mizrachi Among Leaders

 2016 Monster WPT Tournament of Champions Day 2: Strong Final Table Features Jonathan Jaffe, Michael Mizrachi Among Leaders

The first-ever final table for the Monster World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions has been set after a day of play on Saturday and it has six men that are well-qualified to be sitting in the seats. Atop the leaderboard when action resumes this afternoon is Jonathan Jaffe, but he’ll be facing some heat from Florida’s own Michael Mizrachi.

31 men returned on Saturday from the 64 player field, looking to claim their piece of the prize pool and potentially the first title of this semi-invitational event (players are eligible by having won a previous WPT event; those that didn’t win during the Season XIV schedule had to pony up a $ 15,000 buy in to be able to play). The man who had the best fortunes through the action on Friday was defending WPT Amsterdam champion Farid Yachou, who was able to eke out the lead over Mizrachi at the closing bell Friday night. But with only eight men taking down anything for their efforts from this tournament, the tension between the players was already at peak levels as they vied for the crown.

Coming in as the short stack for the day, former World Champion Joe Hachem was the first casualty of the day; his hopes were raised after doubling through Justin Young, but those hopes were dashed when Hachem got it in with A-Q on an A-Q-10 flop only to see Anthony Zinno turn up a K-J for Broadway. The story was a bit different for players such as Asher Conniff and Mike Scarborough, who doubled and tripled up at their tables, respectively.

Mizrachi began to make his move for the title early on after a particularly interesting hand against Griffin Paul. Paul raised out of the hijack and Mizrachi three-bet the action from the button. After the blinds got out of the way, Paul popped in a four bet of 24,500 and Mizrachi made the call to see an A-5-4 flop. Dual checks were followed by a second four, bringing a check-call from Paul of a 15K Mizrachi bet, and a seemingly innocuous eight fell on the river.

Paul would check his option and, after Mizrachi moved all in, Paul went deep in the tank. He would burn off three of his “Time Bank” chips (the “Action Clock” of 30 seconds was in play once again on Day 2 and each player had four 30 second “Time Bank” chips to use as they pleased) in deliberating his action, finally settling on a call and turning up pocket Kings for two pair. Mizrachi, however, had him clipped in turning up an A-Q for a better two pair, knocking Paul out of the tournament and sending Mizrachi into the lead.

Mizrachi meteoric rise would be short-lived, however, as another contender arose from the pack. With all the chips going in pre-flop, John Hennigan and Matt Salsberg went to the races with Salsberg’s Big Slick up against Hennigan’s pocket Queens. A paint card came on the flop, but the J-6-2 didn’t help either player and kept Hennigan in the lead. A four on the turn was another blank, leaving Salsberg grasping for one of six outs that didn’t come when the river rolled with another six. Hennigan’s two pair took the hand as he scooped up Salsberg’s chips and sent him towards the door in 21st place.

How bad did it get for Mizrachi? Soon after Salsberg’s departure, Mizrachi had to double through Jonathan Roy to reach 58K in chips, let alone get back to six figures in chips. Meanwhile, Hennigan continued to power his way through the field when his actions forced Roy to burn through all four of his “Time Bank” chips before folding his hand on a J-7-5-9-A board, claiming to have had two pair on a non-flush capable board. With his 435,000 in chips, Hennigan seemed to be in solid position for the final table, while Mizrachi was holding on for dear life.

The first dent in Hennigan’s armor came when Jaffe doubled through him. After a pre-flop raising war eventually ended with Jaffe all in, Hennigan’s pocket Queens weren’t in very good shape against Jaffe’s pocket Aces. An Ace on the turn left Hennigan drawing dead and, after the chips were counted, Jaffe picked up the 583,000 pot to take over the lead with 15 players remaining as Hennigan fell back to 235,000 in chips.

Hennigan would be victimized by another cooler, but this time it would cost him his tournament existence. On a Q-6-4-2-A board, Darren Elias moved all in against ‘Johnny World’ and, after using two “Time Bank” chips, Hennigan made the call with only pocket sevens. Elias had the pocket Aces this time and the unnecessary Ace on the river only improved him to a set, knocking Hennigan to the rail in 14th place after having held the lead a half-hour earlier.

Mizrachi began his climb back by eliminating Tyler Patterson in 13th place and doubled up through Ravi Raghavan to crack the 200K mark once again (215K, to be exact). After Justin Young’s run at a second WPT title in a week came to a close in tenth place (Young was the victor at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown on Wednesday last week), the final nine came together with Mizrachi among the bottom feeders. With only one more elimination to the money, the players were all aware of what was on the line.

The final nine men would battle through 75 hands and a dinner break before that unfortunate “bubble boy” was determined. Pushing with his pocket treys, Raghavan was looked up by Noah Schwartz’s Big Slick and held up after a flop and turn of Q-J-8-8. The Ace on the river wasn’t what he wanted to see, however, as it gave Schwartz a better two pair, Aces up, to send Raghavan to the rail with nothing to show for two days’ work and guarantee everyone left a minimum $ 38,160 payday.

Jaffe became the first player to crack the million chip mark as Mizrachi’s battles continued. He would double up through Elias to get over 330K in chips and take a hand from Jaffe to crack 400K. Once Mizrachi eliminated Yevgeniy Timoshenko in eighth place, he had completed a Lazarus-like recovery to actually become a challenger – albeit distant – to Jaffe with his 575,000 in chips.

It was inevitable that the two would clash and, on Hand 111, Jaffe and Mizrachi would face off. With about 225K in a pot with a board reading Q-6-4-10-8, Jaffe faced a 100K bet from Mizrachi. After some deliberation (including asking Mizrachi his hand content, of which of course he received no reply), Jaffe decided to fold; Mizrachi did kindly show him his pocket Queens for the flopped set as the twosome drew almost equal in chips.

Five hands later, the final table was set. Schwartz and Andy Frankenberger got their chips to the center, with Frankenberger at risk, and Schwartz held the power. His pocket eights were in good shape against Frankenberger’s A-6 off suit and, after it failed to find anything on the 9-5-4-5-Q board, Frankenberger headed for the exits in seventh place while the final six bagged their chips.

1. Jonathan Jaffe, 996,000
2. Michael Mizrachi, 871,000
3. Noah Schwartz, 532,000
4. Darren Elias, 324,000
5. Farid Yachou, 264,000
6. Vlad Darie, 214,000

The final table will begin at 4PM (Eastern Time) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The live stream will begin over Twitch approximately a half-hour later, featuring commentary from WPT Champions’ Club member Tony Dunst and Vanessa Selbst, as these six men figure out who earns the first-ever Monster WPT Tournament of Champions victory and the multitude of spoils that go along with it.

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