Posts Tagged ‘numbers’
The PokerStars Championships have made their inaugural swing to the Sortis Hotel, Spa and Casino in Panama City, Panama. The $ 3500 Main Event has booked its two-Day Ones at this point, but it is arguable that the overall numbers might be a bit low for the side tournaments and the Main Event.
On Day 1A, slightly more than 100 players would answer the bell for action, with a noted fighter emerging at the top of the standings. While Igor Yaroshevskyy reigned supreme over the Day 1A survivors with his 219,300 in chips, it was retired MMA champion Tito Ortiz who was drawing the lion’s share of attention. Ortiz, who has fought and won championships in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and most recently fought for Bellator MMA, was in second place behind Yaroshevskyy with his 182,000 in chips, setting himself up for Day Two well. Along with Jason Koon (175,500), Steve O’Dwyer (117,000) and former World Champion Ryan Riess (77,300), the day was replete with notables among the survivors.
Day 1B was expected to bring out a throng of players and it didn’t disappoint. 259 players came to the tables on Wednesday to bring the total number for the tournament to roughly 360 players. Of that number, 128 survived the minefields of Day 1B to join with their 43 counterparts from Day 1A to bring 171 players back to the fray on Day 2 Thursday. With his 154,300 in chips, Jiachen Gong emerged as the chip leader from Day 1B, but he will be down a bit in the overall standings.
1. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 219,600
2. Tito Ortiz, 182,000
3. Jason Koon, 175,500
4. Jiachen Gong, 154,300
5. Caufman Talley, 150,300
6. Martin Kus, 146,800
7. Kamal Abdel Bittar, 146,700
8. Luke Graham, 140,300
9. Vincente Delgado, 138,000
10. Pablo Fernandez, 133,700
What has been the bigger story of the PokerStars Championship Panama is the player numbers that have shown for the preliminary tournaments. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the player response to the Panama event against the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, but it is the only comparison that can be made currently for the “new” tour (the PokerStars Championships have taken over for the European Poker Tour and the “regional” tours that were once part of the PokerStars family). In looking at the comparison, it could be said that the Panama event isn’t drawing as hoped.
The Main Event of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (itself formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) saw a respectable crowd of 738 players turn out for the $ 5000 buy in tournament (and that was a low mark for the event – in 2016, 928 players came to the line). Although more than 350 players for a first-time event would be nice for most, for a PokerStars branded event it has to be considered a bit of a disappointment. If that doesn’t do it, then a look at some of the preliminary events – and a comparison to their counterparts in the Bahamas – might paint another picture.
For a $ 1000 “Win the Button” No Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament at the Atlantis event, 68 entries were received in the tournament; at the Panama event, only four entries were received. Another Turbo event, this one for $ 2000, only drew 19 entries from those amassed in Panama City. The $ 50,000 Super High Roller tournament, a staple of the old EPT, brought in only 21 players in Panama, very different from the 68 entries that came in for the Bahamas tournament. The “name” tournaments on the PokerStars schedule – such as their PokerStars Open (a $ 220 buy in tournament) – did draw equivalent numbers, but the PokerStars National Championship was different – a $ 1000 buy in event with re-entry for Panama, a $ 2000 single entry tournament for the Bahamas. Those tournaments saw roughly equivalent prize pools.
These numbers might not be quite as worrisome as it appears, however. The Panama stop is a first-time event, as will be the next stop on the PokerStars Championship circuit in Macau. It won’t be until May, when the PokerStars Championships head to Monte Carlo, where there can be comparisons made to tournaments that existed on the old EPT circuit. But it might be a bit concerning that player numbers are low as it might indicate players aren’t warming to the new “international” PokerStars Championship circuit.
The PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event will continue through the weekend. On Monday, the next champion will be crowned as the PokerStars Championships experiment continues onward.
The latest stop on the World Poker Tour schedule, at Maryland Live! in Hanover, is a recent addition to the roster of events. In a short time, however, the action at the East Coast casino has brought out a throng of players, which was proven by the Day 1A outpouring of players for the Main Event.
The $ 3500 buy-in event featured a format that has become de rigueur on the WPT circuit. If a player was knocked out on Day 1A, they had the option of using one re-entry to get back in the game. Day 1B, set to begin on Sunday, features the same option available to all players (including the ones who played on Day 1A) and, should a player have two stacks from both Day Ones, the larger stack would move over. Finally, there would be one more entry available to players – before the start of Day 2 play on Monday – meaning that players could be in for as many as five entries ($ 17,500) if the fortunes ran against them during the two Day Ones.
The players who massed for the “shuffle up and deal” on Saturday afternoon weren’t thinking about needing another buy-in. 136 players were in their seats for the call to action, with such notable pros as WPT champion Darren Elias, Aaron Massey, Cate Hall and Shannon Shorr occupying real estate on the felt around Maryland Live! After the first level of the day was out of the way, the last big winner on the WPT, Borgata Poker Open champion Jesse Sylvia, joined the field along with Christian Harder.
By the time the dinner break arrived for the players, 221 entries had been received with 186 of the players still in the tournament. Those numbers indicate that there could be a rather large turnout for this event as, if tournament norms hold, the Day 1B field is usually two times as large as the Day 1A entries. For the inaugural event last year, 337 individual players came to the baize for action (defending champion Aaron Mermelstein is expected back to defend his title on Sunday). In all likelihood, the multiple re-entries will ensure that the prize pool will be larger than last year’s bounty.
The action around Maryland Live! wasn’t kind to some of the people in the tournament. Harder would pop two buy-ins but, according to his Twitter feed, will come back on Sunday to fire again. Jake Schwartz and Shorr also were in for two buy-ins on Saturday, with Schwartz departing on his second run in a particularly painful fashion. On a Q-6-6- flop and turn, Schwartz was all-in and watching two opponents battle to see who would go against him. A river ten saw one of the two opponents fold to a river bet, at which point the aggressor showed pocket tens for the rivered set. Schwartz could only sigh and show a Queen (for at least a flopped two pair) as he packed his bags for the hotel (and taking another shot on Sunday).
The news wasn’t all bad for the players. 97 survived the Day 1A minefields and two, Andy Spears and Daniel Burke, actually cracked the 200K mark in chips. In looking at the Top Ten, poker fans may recognize a “blast from the past” that has joined the Maryland Live! Main Event in his backyard:
Andy Spears, 211,500 Daniel Burke, 203,600 Franco Bonacci, 181,300 Anthony Zinno, 166,500 Ethan Foxman, 164,700 Ardit Kurshumi, 161,500 Alex Foxen, 154,000 Ian Davis, 151,800 Mike Del Vecchio, 144,100 Steve Dannenmann, 142,000
For those who didn’t pick out the name, Dannenmann was the runner up to 2005 World Series of Poker Championship Event winner Joe Hachem. Dannenmann, who plays sparingly nowadays but still brings a great deal of joy to the tables (much as he did in 2005 when battling Hachem), is looking to add to his career stats with the WPT coming to his home casino. Of the slightly more than $ 4.8 million that Dannenmann has won in his career, $ 4.3 million of it was won in that 2005 WSOP tournament.
Day 1B will probably not feature anyone from the Day 1A Top Ten in the fray, but it will provide those that aren’t happy with their stacks – or those that haven’t gotten into the tournament yet – another opportunity to reach for the stars. It should also toss minimum of another 200 entries into the kitty, guaranteeing that the 2016 WPT Maryland Live! Main Event is going to be a big one.
After a four-day period where the software was tested and approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, PokerStars once again is alive and well on U. S. soil – or at least New Jersey soil as a part of their online gaming and poker industry.
Partnering with Resorts Casino Hotel, PokerStars prepped for their big debut today by going through a four day “soft” opening, where various pieces of the PokerStars software (which looks very much like the worldwide client) were tested for the DGE approval. Those tests were capped at 500 players and seemed to do fairly well overall, drawing in peak numbers on Saturday night at 10:50PM of 209 players and on Sunday night at 9:33PM of 304 players (figures courtesy of PokerScout.com). This led to the actions of the DGE this morning, which had been something that many New Jersey online poker players had been looking forward to.
At roughly 7AM this morning Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars, announced to that waiting audience that they were ready to go live. “We could not be more proud to bring PokerStars to New Jersey,” said David Baazov, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amaya. “Working with our partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, we look forward to providing the most exciting, innovative and secure gaming experience to New Jersey.” Their partner with Resorts Casino Hotel, owner Morris Bailey, was likewise enthusiastic about the debut in saying, “This is a great day for online gaming, for state players and residents and for Atlantic City. Resorts has worked diligently to build a home for globally renowned brands in New Jersey and, with the addition of PokerStars, is proud to introduce yet another respected partner.”
As the day started, plenty of the members of Team PokerStars Pro were on hand for the grand opening. Jason Mercier piped up on Twitter, “Welcome to PokerStars New Jersey!” while showing a shot of him playing from the Resorts Casino Hotel with his dog, Marshmallow. Chris Moneymaker took some time off from his managerial duties with the Global Poker League’s Las Vegas Moneymakers to tell his followers over Twitter that, “PokerStars is back in the USA! Real money is open for play in NJ and I am on my way there!” Other Team Pro members such as Jason Somerville, Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst and Jennifer Shahade also sounded off about the debut.
Along with the world-class poker software that they use, PokerStars will also provide other gaming outlets for New Jersey residents. Through pokerstarsnj.com, players will take part in poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and slot games. These offerings will be available to Garden City residents through home computers, laptops, tablets and mobile offerings. It also has to be emphasized that, at this time, PokerStars is only open for people INSIDE THE BORDERS OF NEW JERSEY, as many people seem to be unaware that regulated online gaming and poker is only active in three states.
So what has been the overall impact on the online poker scene in New Jersey with the addition of PokerStars? That is going to take some more time to determine, but initial looks at the numbers are not seeing a massive influx of players to the new PokerStars offering, that of Party/Borgata nor WSOP/888.
With only a few days of data to look at, the peak numbers of each of the three sites are about what would be expected. WSOP/888 had peak numbers of 376 players on Saturday and 360 players on Sunday, while Party/Borgata saw peaks of 255 and 272 (it must be noted that these peaks were prior to the peaks for PokerStars/Resorts on those same days). The overall seven day averages also aren’t greatly affected as WSOP/888 has a seven-day average of 180 cash game players (the standard of measurement by PokerScout), Party/Borgata 110 and a “suggested” average for PokerStars/Resorts of 110 also.
All of those numbers would translate out to roughly what the market was averaging previously with just WSOP/888 and Party/Borgata in the mix. These preliminary numbers would say that the apex has been reached and there isn’t further growth possible in the New Jersey market, but both PokerStars/Resorts and WSOP/888 are ramping up player promotions that might change these numbers for the better.
The true impact of PokerStars on the New Jersey online gaming and poker industry won’t really be felt for a couple of months, so let’s enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts. PokerStars is alive and well and back in the United States – at least for New Jersey residents.
After a great deal of hype in the media and across the internet, the boycott that was to have shown the online gaming giant Amaya Gaming and its PokerStars brand who had the “force” in the way the game is offered appears to have had no apparent impact, with PokerStars’ overall numbers surging over their usual levels.
The boycott of PokerStars, which began on Tuesday and is expected to conclude today, was a walkout led by Dani ‘Ansky’ Stern. Stern, who has complained about the recent changes by Amaya Gaming to their PokerStars brand – including the discontinuation of the Supernova Elite program on the site – led the charge for a boycott of PokerStars through a post on the Two Plus Two forums. In that post, he laid out the plan and what he was looking to do.
Stern asked players not to play “one hand” of online poker on PokerStars from Tuesday through today, saying it was a “demonstration of force” aimed at showing Amaya Gaming who has the power in the game today. “We have the ability to act as one, to make our voices heard, and to rally players behind a fair grievance,” Stern opined. “PokerStars has made it clear they do not respect us, so we need to demonstrate that we are able to fight back with volume and force… The fight is on, this is the first battle and we will continue fighting as long as we need to.”
From the start, the boycott has been the subject of ridicule from many in the community. A “boycott” by definition is staying away from something permanently to assert pressure until a particular demand is met; setting an arbitrary three day period on this boycott circumvents that pressure. Secondly, the timing of the boycott – away from any of the major Sunday tournaments – has been pointed out by many (there was also talk of boycotting the European Poker Tour event coming up later this month in Prague, but that fell through). Finally, the lack of any support from the pros sponsored by PokerStars – Daniel Negreanu has talked about it (but is not taking part), Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier or a host of other top names in the game – was something that many found concerning. Remember, two-time EPT Champion Vicky Coren gave up her PokerStars sponsorship slightly more than a year ago because she had issues with Amaya Gaming’s operation of PokerStars.
So what has been the response to the massive “boycott?” The numbers on PokerStars have actually gone up rather than down.
According to the industry tracker PokerScout.com, the numbers on Tuesday were heavily in favor of PokerStars – or at least players taking advantage of a softer game with the “pros” out of the way. After peaking for well over 10 days in the 21,000-22,000 player range, Tuesday saw the peak numbers hit 37,758 cash game players (the industry standard due to players actually staying on the site for a lengthy period of time), more than 15,000 more than Sunday’s peak and 13,000 more than Monday.
For those that might have thought it was an anomaly, Wednesday’s numbers also went against the “boycotters.” Peaking on Wednesday at 25,847 according to PokerScout, it was quite a bit lower than the first day of the boycott but still significantly over the Sunday numbers on the site. With the first two days to extrapolate from, there is no reason to believe that, as Thursday afternoon and evening play out in the United States, the numbers internationally will continue to peak at larger than normal figures.
So what has been the reason behind the failure of the boycott? PokerStars is running a $ 10 million Christmas promotion, but it actually started more than two weeks ago (November 16, to be exact) and will continue to run through December 27. A scanning of the PokerStars website doesn’t demonstrate any other major promotions going on that would be a key indicator of why the player numbers would jump at this time.
The factor is that the “pros,” including Stern, may have overestimated their power in the deal. Poker players have long been people that operate on their own terms and, when faced with the potential to either make a political statement or make money, 99 out of 100 will opt to take the money with the “political statement” be damned. Thus, Stern’s “demonstration of force” is lacking in the “force” part of the equation. It could also be a backlash against the “1%” by the rest of the online community, who may believe that there is a disproportionate amount of promotional attention given to the “elite” of the game.
There has often been talk about boycotting different segments of the poker world for various transgressions by a certain body or organization. The World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, the Venetian poker room and others across the U. S. have been targeted by “boycotts” that all failed (or let’s say “didn’t reach their goal”) due to the general apathy of the poker player. Calls to actually boycott any Las Vegas Sands Corporation property – due to owner Sheldon Adelson’s drive to ban online poker – haven’t had any effect on the overall games at the Venetian as players vote with their feet and their cash and continue to frequent the establishment.
By no means did Stern expect that the boycott would affect PokerStars. “No one has any illusions of sinking PokerStars stock with a three day strike, or bringing down the company,” Stern wrote on Two Plus Two. But if the purpose behind the boycott was a “display of power” of the Supernova Elite and the players overall, as Stern believed it to be, then the boycott has massively failed.