Posts Tagged ‘Next’

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 2: 101 Remain with Oleg Titov Leading; Money Bubble Up Next

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 2: 101 Remain with Oleg Titov Leading; Money Bubble Up Next

Day 2 of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the books and, with the money bubble on the horizon, Russia’s Oleg Titov holds the lead over the 101 players that remain.

By the time that two Day Ones were in the books, 571 players had ponied up the $ 10,000 buy in to participate in the 2018 PCA Main Event. That number is a big leap, prize pool wise, over the 738 players who paid $ 5000 in 2017 to play. The $ 5.645 million prize pool – of which the winner will take a $ 1,081,100 payday – also dwarfs last year’s efforts ($ 3.376 million).

By the time Day 2 started on Wednesday afternoon, only 324 of those 571 entries were still around with hopes of winning the championship. Heading the pack was Day 1B chip leader, sitting on a stack of 155,000 chips, while the Day 1A chip leader, Affif Prado, could only muster up 137,500 but was on an extra day of rest. Lurking in the pack were many members of the Team PokerStars Pro stable, including Jake Cody, Liv Boeree and Barry Greenstein, and other pros such as Nick Petrangelo, Koray Aldemir and Oleksii Khoroshenin.

The Day 2 proceedings got off to a roaring start with the awarding of one of the $ 30,000 Platinum Passes to next year’s $ 25,000 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). Before the day got off to a start, one of the remaining tables was chosen and a single hand was dealt out between the players (one of which was poker pro Mike Leah). An all-club 8-10-6 flop was dealt and each player turned up a card, with Leah taking the lead by turning up a ten but Pavel Ignatov giving a sweat by turning up a 9♣ (straight flush and flush draw). A blank four came on the turn and, with another eight on the river, the players turned up their cards.

Leah, who had led the entire way, did not improve on his pair of tens, but Thai Ha did. With a deuce showing, the second hole card was turned up. That 8♠ yanked the hand away from Leah and, with trip eights, made Ha unbeatable and the winner of the Platinum Pass. The odd part of the story? Ha wasn’t at the table when the hand occurred! He would wander into the scene after the hand was played, wondering what the commotion was, before finding out he was the big winner to start Day 2.

As typical for action at the start of the day, there were several casualties that barely got their chips unbagged before they hit the door. Mustapha Kanit, Martins Adeniya, Jared Jaffee, Dmitar Danchev, Leah and Ignatov barely had time to warm their seats before they were out of chips and heading into the Bahamian afternoon. The news was better for others, however, as the day played out.

Journalist and psychologist (and could we soon hyphenate that to “journalist/psychologist/poker pro?”) Maria Konnikova has been the talk of the Atlantis Resort after her stunning win in the $ 1500 PokerStars National Championship preliminary event, but either the “run good” is still with her or there are some skills to the good doctor. She bought into the Main Event just before late registration closed on Wednesday and, by the end of the night, was able to take her 30K starting stack up to 266,000. That has Konnikova still in the hunt amongst the 101 other players who will be back on Thursday to drive to the title.

1. Oleg Titov, 493,000
2. Gleidibe Goncalves, 472,000
3. Lucas Blanco, 435,000
4. Karl Stark, 424,000
5. Michael Stashin, 403,000
6. Keith Lehr, 374,500
7. Christian Rudolph, 367,500
8. Adrian Mateos, 358,000
9. Alexander Gambino, 352,500
10. Jonathan West, 344,000
(tie) Patryk Poterek, 344,000

Lurking under the Top Ten are such names as David Peters (327K), Jack Sinclair (274K), Konnikova (266K) and Vladimir Troyanovskiy (231K). Those with some work to do include Kevin MacPhee (38,500), Ivan Luca (77K) and Greenstein (69K).

The first task for those returning to the Atlantis tournament room on Thursday will be determining who is going to get paid. 87 players will be a recipient of at least $ 17,500 and a new entry for their Hendon Mob page. The PokerStars TV live stream will bring some of the action to fans and, by the end of the night, it is possible that the final three tables will have been determined as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event looks for a new champion.

The post 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 2: 101 Remain with Oleg Titov Leading; Money Bubble Up Next appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

The final “big” tournament on the 2017 calendar, the PokerStars Championship Prague, has completed its second day at the Casino Atrium Prague. While the leaderboard may be a bit bereft of top pros, there is a fairly heated battle for first place as Paul Michaelis’ 630,500 chip stack hold the edge over Omid Mojaverian (597,500) and Erik Walfridsson (536,500).

409 players returned on Thursday to work the field down more from the 848 runners who originally started the event. Local favorite Michal Mrakes held the edge with 202,700 chips to start the day. He was followed up by Day 1B chip leader Tsugunari Toma (181,600) and Xixiang Luo (174,900), but down the leaderboard were some more notable players. Defending World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion Marti Roca De Torres (170,900), former “November Niner” and Czech poker legend Martin Staszko (133,100) and several PokerStars Team Pros headed by Marcin Horecki (110,400).

With the schedule set for six levels of 75-minutes each, there was plenty of chances for play amongst the horde of players remaining. There was also the chance at getting to the money bubble as, after the final entries were accepted and tallied up, 127 players would walk off with a cash from their trip to the Czech Republic. €8700 would be earned for a min-cash by those at the bottom of the table, with the top seven finishers all guaranteed a six-figure payday. All wanted the top prize, however, which came in at €775,000 when the final numbers were calculated.

As usual at the start of a new day, there were a flurry of early knockouts from players on the short stack looking to double up quick. Stefan Schillhabel, Stephen Chidwick, Gaelle Baumann, Tom Middleton, Christoph Vogelsang, Manig Loeser and Sylvain Loosli were all out of the event within the first two levels. But a couple of players bore watching as they made their moves during the day.

Noted psychologist/writer Dr. Maria Konnikova, who has been pursuing poker over the past year as part of a book she is researching, was all in and got a double up through Guillaume Pau Davy when her A-10 caught against his pocket Jacks on a 7-6-3-A-Q board. She then turned around and nearly doubled again against Hari Bercovici when, on an all-hearts board, she was able to induce Bercovici to come along with her to the river where her J played. By the end of the night’s action, the good Dr. Konnikova had held onto enough chips to move onto Day 3 as a very short stack.

Michaelis slowly was making a decent chip stack until one of the final hands of the night catapulted him into the lead. After raising pre-flop, Michaelis saw Romain Lewis three-bet him to 20K. After a couple of moments, Michaelis made the call and the twosome saw a 9-6-5 rainbow flop that both checked. After a four came on the turn, Michaelis popped another bet into the center, this time for 33K, and Lewis made the call. The river paired with another four, which seemed innocent but set off the fireworks.

Michaelis moved all in, forcing Lewis to a decision for his tournament life. With 115,000 chips in front of him (still a strong stack to head to Day 3 with), Lewis thought for a good amount of time before the clock was called on him. As the clock clicked down, Lewis eventually made the call and was unfortunately on the wrong side of the decision. Michaelis’ pocket fives have flopped a set and rivered a boat as Lewis could only muster a 7 6 for two pair.

That hand thrust Michaelis into the lead with 635,000 in chips and, by the end of the night, it was good enough to hold the overall lead:

1. Paul Michaelis, 630,500
2. Omid Mojaverian, 597,500
3. Erik Walfridsson, 536,500
4. Boris Kolev, 510,500
5. Daniel Barriocanal, 504,000
6. Dimitrios Kalaroutis, 417,000
7. Paraschos Stavridis, 414,000
8. Fatima Moreira de Melo, 406,000
9. Kalidou Sow, 405,000
10. Robert Heidorn, 394,500

140 players will return on Friday afternoon to the Casino Atrium Prague, where the first order of business will be to pop the money bubble. 13 players will walk into the Prague afternoon tomorrow with absolutely nothing to show for their efforts, which should make for a very tense early couple of hours in the tournament. Once those 127 lucky souls are determined, the €4.1 million-plus prize pool will begin to get carved up as the latest winners on the PokerStars Championship circuit are determined.

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Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room – The Next Big Florida Poker Destination?

 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room – The Next Big Florida Poker Destination?

Ever since the state legislature removed the limits imposed on its poker rooms, the poker industry in Florida has exploded. Those previous rules limited what stakes could be played for and limited how much could be on the table. In 2009, however, the legislature “uncapped” the poker rooms to allow them to play for pretty much any stakes they wanted. The result was a gold rush to the Sunshine State by poker players of all ilk.

Along with the major tournament circuits like the World Poker Tour (who now conducts their final three events in the state) and the World Series of Poker Circuit, expansion of poker rooms not only in tables but in ACTUAL number of rooms has been the norm. As of 2017, there are 24 poker rooms in the state, some associated with thoroughbred horse racing tracks, some in the Seminole Indian casinos and a couple (like bestbet Jacksonville) that stand alone while offering simulcast wagering on the ponies. In 2016, these rooms generated $ 147 million in revenues (a 231% increase over 2006 revenues); by comparison, the poker rooms in Nevada generated $ 117 million in revenues for the year.

If people are flocking to your business, it is only natural to want to update those surroundings. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa isn’t as acclaimed as its brethren in Hollywood, FL, but it is making a name for itself as a poker destination. First came a massive renovation that saw the poker room move away from the casino floor into a special area of the casino. Those renovations were completed in January and they have made a great difference in the potential future success of the room.

Walking into the room on a Friday night around 7PM, I was expecting about half the 46 tables around the room to be in action. Imagine my surprise when every table – even the two tables in the “High Roller” lounge – was full of action. Sure, there was a tournament going on – a $ 200 buy-in event with a $ 10,000 prize pool guaranteed that eventually fielded around 70 entries – but there was no other explanation for the room to be as packed as it was. Walking to the board to pick a game, I saw why the tables were packed.

The Hard Rock Tampa spreads a list of games, with Texas Hold’em (limit and no limit) as the most prevalent game but Omaha has a strong presence. If there were to be a call for some Stud games, I got the impression that they would spread that, too, IF there were enough people calling for it. There was also a wide array of stakes, from the $ 1/$ 2 for No Limit Hold’em to $ 2/$ 2 Pot Limit Omaha, a $ 2/$ 5 spread game (Hold’em) all the way up to what looked like a $ 30/$ 60 game (this was going on in the separate “High Roller” room). Having a game for everyone’s bankroll is key to bringing in the players, a fact not missed by the Hard Rock Tampa poker room staff.

Everything about the Hard Rock Tampa poker room was top notch. From the chairs at the table (plush and comfortable) to the amenities around the room, you could certainly tell that the Seminole Indian tribe spared no cost in improving its offerings. And it isn’t like they’ve jammed a bunch of tables into a room and put everyone elbow to elbow. The Hard Rock Tampa poker room has a full-service bar, a snack bar (burgers, sandwiches, and other offerings) and 40 HDTVs arranged around the room. Waitress service is quick and there’s even massage service for the players grinding away on the felt.

The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa has hosted some WPT DeepStacks events in the past, but they are deserving of a higher profile tournament schedule. Perhaps a WSOP Circuit roster of tournaments or maybe even a full-fledged WPT Main Tour stop (and where the hell are the smaller tours like the Heartland Poker Tour and the CardPlayer Poker Tour?) would be well-served to come to the poker room for a spell. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa poker room is a must-play stop for players who come to Florida; with the wide array of games and stakes, the plush surroundings, and its ease of access (Tampa International Airport is nearby), the poker world is really missing something special.

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New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

 New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

It isn’t very often that movies about gambling – and especially poker – come across any of the forms of media from Hollywood. Arguably the best known of this genre is the seminal poker film Rounders and there are few other examples that would compare (for comedy, check out The Grand and, to help Matt Savage’s retirement fund, go for Lucky You). A new effort that didn’t even go to the silver screen is now drawing attention for its realistic look at gambling and poker.

One of the best things that has come from the streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix is that they are now developing their own programming. That’s where a fan of gambling films can find Win It All, streaming on Netflix basically any time that the viewer wants to watch it. The movie has a 95% approval rating on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes (based on 20 reviews) and an average rating of 7.5 out of 10, while it also garners a 78 (on a scale of 100) on the website Metacritic.

The movie focuses on Eddie Garrett (Jake Johnson, known for his work on the Fox comedy New Girl), a gambler whose day job is parking cars at Wrigley Field in Chicago (for anyone who has ever tried to park in the neighborhood surrounding the home of the Cubs, you’ll understand the job) and who by night is, as his Gamblers’ Anonymous sponsor Gene (Keegan-Michael Key of the Comedy Central program Key & Peele), someone who has “never won.” But things are about to change for Garrett after he does a favor for a friend of his named Michael (Jose Antonio Garcia):  hold onto a duffel bag while he is incarcerated, but don’t look inside it.

While it should be easy to do a favor, curiosity gets the better of Eddie and he eventually cracks open the bag to find a crapload of money inside. And, naturally, because he is a compulsive gambler, Eddie eventually blows the money in the bag through a variety of gambling means. Where the twist comes to the movie is when Michael calls Eddie from prison to let him know that he’s being released early and Eddie must come up with the money that he’s lost in the only way he knows – gambling.

The premise may not be appealing to those who consider themselves “professional gamblers,” but Win It All works because of the directing of the film. Director Joe Swanberg gives the film a great look at how the underground gambling scene works (he also films it very well), but Swanberg also doesn’t shirk scenes away from the “world of gambling.” Win It All is as much a look at the gambling world as it is a glimpse into the mind and psychology of a person who tries to do the right things but sometimes steps awry.

It may be a better effort than what could be coming down the pike soon. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has finished his directorial debut in Molly’s Game, his adaptation of “The Poker Princess” Molly Bloom’s story of working in the world of underground poker. The story of Bloom is well known to most in the poker world, how she went from a former Olympic hopeful to the organizer and host for the biggest high stakes cash games in first Hollywood and then New York. The problem with Molly’s Game? Sorkin doesn’t plan to tell the whole story.

On many occasions, Sorkin has stated he will not delve into the players who took part in the games, going as far as to not name them at all. That would mean ignoring (or at least putting on fictitious players) vast swaths of Bloom’s book where she talks about such power players as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and other Hollywood producers and businessmen. Sorkin has also said that Molly’s Game isn’t about the poker but about “Bloom’s journey to finding who she is.”

The problem for Molly’s Game is that it has lined up some A-list talent for what might be a horrendous story. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will play Bloom, with Idris Elba slated to play her attorney and be a major plot driver. Others such as Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Jeremy Strong are also a part of the project, which is slated for release later this year.

Until the Sorkin film premieres, we might have to do with Win It All to satisfy the jones for gambling movies. If the reviews are correct, it may be the better of the two films.

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New “Pros vs. Computer” Challenge to Begin Next Week

 New “Pros vs. Computer” Challenge to Begin Next Week

Not happy to take a draw during the competition in 2015, the brainiacs at Carnegie Mellon University have decided to challenge humanity once again on a battlefield perfect for determining future world domination – the poker table.

Starting on January 11, the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science and four poker professionals – Jason Les, Dong Kim, Daniel McAulay and Jimmy Chou – will once again battle on the virtual felt in the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence:  Upping the Ante” competition. Over the next 20 days (starting at 11AM and concluding at 7PM), each human player will play heads-up no limit Texas Hold’em against a new opponent, the brainchild of the programmers at Carnegie Mellon. Named “Libratus” (perhaps a derivative of the name of the Roman goddess Libertas, or “liberty,” or perhaps a name indicating balance (Libra), this computer program has been in development since 2015, when the Carnegie Mellon/Poker Pro battle was last waged.

The guidelines of the action have a few tweaks over the previous competition’s brilliant format. For the 2017 version, two matches will be played simultaneously online – one human player will be on the floor of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, one human player in an isolated room away from that action. Along with the extended time frame (the 2016 competition lasted only 14 days), this will allow the extra hands to be played and should allow for a more definitive answer as to who wins the match. At stake is a $ 200,000 payout (an improvement over the $ 100,000 offered in 2015).

Carnegie Mellon has put a great deal of effort into “Libratus” to make sure the AI is at its best for the competition. For the 2015 battle, the Carnegie Mellon computer called “Claudico” was pre-programmed with three million hours of computation to base its decisions on. “Libratus” will get five times that amount (15 million hours) and has been adjusted for some of the “tells” that humans noticed from “Claudico” in the 2015 competition. All of this has the Carnegie Mellon people very confident about their chances.

Tuomas Sandholm, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who, along with Ph.D. student Noam Brown, created “Libratus,” explained in the school’s press release the importance of the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence” competition. “Since the earliest days of AI research, beating top human players has been a powerful measure of progress in the field,” Sandholm said. “It was achieved with chess in 1997, with Jeopardy! in 2009 and with the board game Go just last year.”

“Poker poses a far more difficult challenge than these games, as it requires a machine to make extremely complicated decisions based on incomplete information while contending with bluffs, slow play and other ploys,” Sandholm concluded. The development of such computers – and their ability to make complex decisions rapidly – has an application to the benefit of mankind in that the AI can be used in medical analysis, the military, cybersecurity, and other business applications.

In the 2015 competition, Les and Kim were joined by fellow poker professionals Bjorn Li and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doug ‘WCGRider’ Polk in taking on “Claudico.” Over the span of 80,000 hands, the foursome was able to defeat the computer to the tune of $ 732,713, with Li racking up $ 528,033 of that amount, Polk picking up $ 213,671 and Kim earning slightly more than $ 70,000. Les will be the one looking for revenge as, in 2015, he was the only human to “lose” to “Claudico” by the amount of $ 80,482.

Despite the gaudy dollar figure, the overall match was considered a draw because of the relatively low number of hands played in the competition. In addition, Li was the only player who could be said to have thoroughly beaten the computer, with the Polk and Kim individual matches more in the “tie” column and Les’ battle a close loss. The extra 40,000 hands for the 2017 competition will either show more of an advantage for the humans or will bring the AI and the humans closer together in the final totals.

Can the humans withstand the assault by “Libratus” or will we finally succumb to our robot overlords? With the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence:  Upping the Ante” competition, we will have more fuel for the fire by the end of the month.

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