Posts Tagged ‘Players’

New Team Poker Organization Attempts to Capture Poker Players’ Attention

 New Team Poker Organization Attempts to Capture Poker Players’ Attention

For at least the last couple of decades, there has been attempts at creating a poker system that would involve teams. While poker is, at its essence, an individualistic pursuit, casual fans and newcomers have stated in the past that “team” competition is something they also like. Several attempts have come in a live format and now one has started for the online world.

Team Gaming announced recently their “Team Poker” concept, which has been trademarked by its founder, Glyn Ottorfy. Citing previous efforts that present “no good team play option for online poker, partly due to the potential for collusion,” Ottorfy’s “Team Poker” system has created a system that allows for tournament competitions, team versus team battles and promotions, among other things. Also taken into consideration are team sizes, with a handicap process which allows smaller teams to compete on par with larger ones.

In the effort to combat collusion, the “Team Poker” concept employs what is called by the company a patent-pending “Seating Protocol” which “eliminates any potential for collusion between teammates in poker tournaments by never allowing teammates on the same table with opponents.” Few details are provided on this “protocol,” however, including how it would apply to final table circumstances.

“Our patented system brings a synergism and camaraderie to poker that only teams can enable,” said Ottorfy during the announcement of the new organization. “We plan to re-ignite the poker industry with team and league play in addition to the traditional individual performance and reward system. Team Poker is truly the new paradigm in poker.”

Ottorfy is looking to crowdsource the backing to get Team Poker up and running. Team Poker has been posted to Indiegogo, where the goal is to raise $ 50,000 within the next two months. Several award levels are offered to those who get involved, including subscriptions for play on the site and team waivers. The newly released Indiegogo campaign has had a bit of a time getting off the ground, however.

The “team poker” concept has been an idea that has been brewing since the early 1990s. Former gaming executive Robert Turner, in a discussion with this writer, recalled having an idea for a “team poker” concept as far back as 1991. “Marsha Waggoner and I took a team from the U. S. to Australia around 1992,” Turner commented. “Mike Sexton and Phil Hellmuth were on the trip, wish I had pictures!”

In 1999, Turner was behind the creation of World Team Poker, which he would spend the next decade bringing to fruition. “We signed 285 world-class players to contracts for the league,” Turner noted, which would be divvied up originally on a country status. In 2010, the first World Team Poker competition was held at the Bicycle Casino, with Team China (featuring former World Champion Johnny Chan and Maria Ho as key cogs) taking the inaugural championship.

A second World Team Poker event was set for play in Las Vegas at the South Point Casino in May 2011, but fates would intervene. “We were set for play, had Fox Sports 1 on tap for airing the tournament in prime time, but “Black Friday” caused a delay,” Turner recounted. “We’re still keeping hope alive (about bringing World Team Poker back), however, if online poker could make a comeback.”

In its own way, the inaugural Global Poker League also presented a “team” concept. Started in 2016, the GPL captured the attention of many in the poker world, but a second season has been a bit slow in its premiere. The GPL founder, Alexandre Dreyfus, has stated he’s trying to fix issues with the league, such as its length in 2016 that lasted from March until November, before moving forward with the league.

Whether Ottorfy will be able to develop “Team Poker” remains to be seen. Changing the mindset of the “lone wolf” poker player, however, is a difficult task. Even if it is only online, Ottorfy’s “Team Poker” faces an uphill climb.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Bailing Out PKR Players Left Holding the Bag

 PokerStars Bailing Out PKR Players Left Holding the Bag

One of the worst things that can happen in the online poker world is when a poker site closes shop, leaving players looking for another room at which to play. Even worse is when the poker site goes under and takes its customers’ money with it. But that’s exactly what happened in early May when Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) skin filed for administrative protection (basically the UK’s equivalent of bankruptcy) and subsequently disappeared.

While player funds were frozen at the time, it was believed initially that customers would receive their money. MPN’s Head of Product, Alex Scott, said in a blog post, “PKR has repeatedly assured us that player funds are held in a segregated client account, for the express purpose of storing such funds, in accordance with their licence obligations in the United Kingdom and Alderney. We believe this to be true.”

He added, though, that just because the funds were in a segregated bank account does not mean that the money would make its way into players’ pockets.

Scott was prophetic. PKR is gone and so is everyone’s money.

Enter PokerStars. The world’s largest online poker room announced last week that it has reached an agreement with PKR’s court-appointed administrator in which it will step in and make PKR players whole. All PKR players, regardless of whether or not they already have a PokerStars account, will get their PKR money back, straight from PokerStars’ coffers. There are no strings attached to the deal; PKR players can immediately cash out their funds from PokerStars if they so choose.

Players will (or already did) receive an e-mail from PokerStars detailing the steps required to claim their funds. For those who already have PokerStars accounts, “it should take just a few clicks.” Those who are not PokerStars customers will need to create a Stars account, but it should still otherwise be a fairly simple process and those people will not be required to play at all on PokerStars.

Some people may look at this and think PokerStars is doing it just to get in everyone’s good graces and that’s partially correct. PokerStars readily admits it but also says the important thing is to help poker players:

We expect that some players will choose to use that bankroll to play with us and we will gain some new customers, which is certainly a good business decision on our part. However, the motivation behind this move is simple: to do what’s right.

PokerStars concluded its blog post with the following:

We’re not doing this to improve our bottom line and we are not acquiring or planning to revive the PKR software platform. We’re doing this because we think it’s the right thing to do for the poker world and to encourage others to join us in putting you, the player, first by segregating and protecting player balances from operating funds. PokerStars is proud that we’re in a position where we’re able to step in and help these players and encourage all companies in the industry to put players first.

Poker News Daily

2017 World Series of Poker: Elior Sion Defeats Tough Final Table, Captures $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship

 2017 World Series of Poker: Elior Sion Defeats Tough Final Table, Captures $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship

Despite arguably not being one of the “bigger” names on the final table, the United Kingdom’s Elior Sion defeated a tough final table to capture one of the biggest prizes in tournament poker, the $ 50,000 Poker Players’ Championship at the 2017 World Series of Poker.

At the start of the final day, the six-man pack was led by none other than Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu, who has been having one of the best WSOP runs of his career that hasn’t resulted in a bracelet, was the leader of that pack at the start of action on Thursday with his 5.93 million chips. That lead wasn’t a huge one, however, as Isaac Haxton was within about 700K in chips (5.205 million) of Canada’s favorite son. Sion started the day in the middle of the pack with his 4.75 million chips, with Germany’s Johannes Becker (4.56 million), Austria’s Ivo Donev (2.99 million chips) and a short stacked (but two-time WSOP winner) Paul Volpe (1.57 million) rounding out the field.

Rather than a sedate opening to the day’s festivities, the six men came out jamming the pots against each other. There also seem to be no rhyme or reason to it as Sion took a big chunk of chips from Haxton, only to turn right around a couple of hands later and give them back and more. Volpe, however, never could get anything going; he lost the first hand he played against Negreanu in Stud Hi/Lo, then saw Sion knock him out in sixth place moments later in 2-7 Triple Draw as Sion took a third draw to make a Deuce to Seven “Wheel” (2-4-5-6-7) to beat him.

The chips continued to fly around the table, with Haxton taking some chips from Becker in 2-7 Triple Draw to take a short-lived lead. The reason that was short lived was because Becker got them back – and the lead – when the game shifted to No Limit Hold’em. Undaunted, Haxton fought back to be the first player to crack the 10 million chip mark when, in Stud, he took hands from both Becker and Negreanu.

Negreanu’s day was a rollercoaster, to be honest. He never got over the stack he started the day with, but he was in every hand trying to work his stack. It seemed on several occasions he got it in with the “second best” hand, as he did against Becker when he made an inferior ten-high straight to Becker’s Jack-high straight, and that gradually worked his stack down. It would eventually lead to his demise, much earlier than he thought it would be.

In Pot Limit Omaha, Haxton raised the bet and Donev made the call off the button. With two well stacked players in front of him, Negreanu defended his big blind to see an 8♣ 6♠ 4♣ flop. Negreanu would pot the action but, after a fold from Haxton, Donev re-potted him to put Negreanu at risk. Negreanu made the call and grimaced when he saw the news: His J♣ 10 9♣ 4 had hit a pair with a redraw to a Jack-high flush, but Donev’s A A♣ K♣ 3 had him dominated on the better flush draw and a better pair. The turn 2♣ ended any drama for the hand, leaving Negreanu drawing dead and, after a 6 completed the board, he would hit the rail in fifth place.

Haxton and Becker continued to be the aggressors as the early evening hours approached, even taking to battling against each other as they swapped the lead. Haxton would take down Donev in fourth place in NLHE, rivering a five for a set against Donev’s pocket Kings after the chips went all in pre-flop. That thrust Haxton into the lead, but it would be incredibly short lived.

During a round of NLHE, Haxton and Becker, who had about 9 million chips himself, went to battle. Haxton opened the betting, but Becker three-bet back at him. Sion, in the big blind, quietly got out of the way and Haxton, not slowing down at all, fired a four-bet of over two million chips. Becker surprisingly only called and they went to the flop.

The 9-8-7 flop was wet, bringing a check from Becker, but Haxton fearlessly pounded him, pushing a tower of chips totaling 2.7 million to the center. After a moment of contemplation, Becker check-raised all in and Haxton immediately called, showing pocket Kings. That was nice, but Becker’s pocket Aces were nicer, putting him in the lead. There was paint on the turn, but it was a Knave, and the five on the river didn’t help Haxton. Becker scooped up the massive 18 million-plus pot and Haxton looked at his 1.555 million in scraps; Those would go to Sion on the very next hand, in Stud, as Haxton finished in third place.

Going to heads up play, Sion was at a serious disadvantage to Becker. His 6.525 million in chips paled in comparison to Becker’s 18.48 million stack, but Sion started a slow but steady grind. By the time the duo reached the dinner break, Sion had cut Becker’s lead to only three million chips and, after some chow, took the lead when they came back to some hands of NLHE. After more than three hours of heads-up action, Sion was sitting with roughly the same lead Becker had started the fight with.

Becker’s strength seemed to be the Omaha games, PLO and Hi/Lo, and he would climb back into the match on a couple of occasions through those disciplines. The rest of the games went Sion’s way, as he would not only come back after a bad Omaha experience to reestablish his edge. As the clock moved into Friday morning – and the twosome entered their seventh hour of heads-up play – the end would come, oddly enough in Omaha Hi/Lo.

Becker limped pre-flop and Sion didn’t push him, checking his option to see a 7-5-5 flop. Sion checked his option again but, after Becker fired, Sion check-raised him and Becker called. A nine on the turn brought a bet out of Sion and Becker, with a dwindling stack, put his final chips in the center. Sion called and turned up Q-J-7-5 for the flopped full house, while Becker was looking low with his Q-6-6-2 (Becker had a flush, but it was worthless against Sion’s boat). Needing an Ace, trey, four or eight to make the low, Becker instead saw the case five fall, giving Sion quads and, with no low, the hand and the championship of the $ 50,000 Poker Players’ Championship.

1. Elior Sion, $ 1,395,767
2. Johannes Becker, $ 862,649
3. Isaac Haxton, $ 595,812
4. Ivo Donev, $ 419,337
5. Daniel Negreanu, $ 300,852
6. Paul Volpe, $ 220,111

Poker News Daily

Players Choose Progressive Knockout for PokerStars SCOOP Finale

 Players Choose Progressive Knockout for PokerStars SCOOP Finale

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) began this weekend and though the public could see the two-week schedule in its entirety online, that schedule had been incomplete until Monday. Still open was the Event #57, the Players’ Choice event, whose game type, as one would figure based on its title, was left up to players to decide upon. PokerStars hosted the vote on its Facebook page, allowing people to vote by “like” emoticons. That vote closed yesterday and emerging has the clear winner was No-Limit Progressive Knockout, a tournament suggested by popular Twitch streamer Jamie Staples.

“Progressive Knockouts are a really fun form of tournament; I am excited this has been the most voted option. I wish everyone the best of luck in the Players’ Choice event!” said Staples in a press release issued by the world’s largest online poker room.

Progressive Knockout tournaments are not for the passive player, not for the kind of person who is content with trying to fold their way into a min-cash. Read: I would be terrible at Progressive Knockouts.

As the name implies, it is a knockout tournament, where part of the buy-in is used as a bounty on every player’s head. Eliminate a player, claim their bounty.

But the Progressive Knockout takes it to another level entirely. In these, half of the buy-in is put into the prize pool, while the other half is the bounty on the head of every player in the tournament. So, in a $ 10 buy-in event, $ 5 from each player goes to the prize pool and $ 5 is the bounty on each player. But it gets a bit more complicated than that. When you eliminated an opponent, you don’t get their entire bounty; you only get half. The other half is added to your OWN bounty, making you an even juicier target for your opponents.

What that little twist does is make Progressive Knockout Tournaments more action-packed, as so much of the value comes from actually notching eliminations. And it’s not just about being aggressive in trying to knock people out. The aggressive play needs to start from the get-go, as players must build up big enough stacks to allow them to have opponents covered and be able to eliminate them when the opportunity arises.

“We always take into account the latest trends and player preferences when building the SCOOP schedule,” said Mike Jones, Poker Operations Manager. “A Players’ Choice event is a great way for our customers to directly contribute to that. This event will be a fun way to close out SCOOP 2017, and I’m delighted that our players chose this format.”

The Players’ Choice event will be held on Monday, May 22nd at 11:00am. The three buy-in levels will be $ 11, $ 109, and $ 1,050. Jamie Staples plans on streaming all of his SCOOP events, opting for the low-tier buy-in.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Opens Voting for SCOOP Players’ Choice Award

 PokerStars Opens Voting for SCOOP Players’ Choice Award

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is underway, but there is one event on the schedule later this month in which the details have yet to be completed. The 57th and final event of the 2017 PokerStars SCOOP is the Players’ Choice event, where the game type is to be determined by – as you might guess – the players. To tally the votes, PokerStars has put up a public poll on its Facebook page.

There are four event candidates, each chosen by one of the members of Team PokerStars Pro Online: Jaime Staples, Mikhail Shalamov, Randy Lew, and Lex Veldhuis. Here are the options:

No-Limit Hold’em Progressive Knockout – in this type of tournament, half of the buy-in goes to the prize pool and the other half is used as a bounty on each player’s head. When you eliminate an opponent, you don’t get all of their bounty, but rather just half of it. The other half is added to your own bounty. Thus, eventually there will be players who will be gigantic targets.

Jamie Staples, the popular Twitch streamer who suggested the Progressive Knockout for SCOOP, said in a press release, “I believe Progressive Knockouts are the future of tournament poker. It adds a layer of complexity, and excitement that starts from the very beginning of the tournament.”

No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Win the Button Turbo – fairly self-explanatory, in a Win the Button tournament, the player who wins the hand receives the button for the following hand. The button does not move around the table like normal.

“This format is great,” Mikhail Shalamov said, “even when you’re not in the hand you get to cheer for other people to win the pot so that you don’t have to post big blind.”

No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Deep Stacks Turbo – Randy “nanonoko” Lew is the proponent of this one, saying “A lot of times in tournaments we don’t get the option of playing with deep stacks like in cash games, so I’d love to see more deeper stacked tournaments come into play.”

Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha – hey, another six-max game (and the press release prefaced it with a NLHE designation, which is obviously just a copy/paste error).

“Pot Limit Omaha is a great game,” explained Lex Veldhuis. “There is a lot of depth to it. Even when you’re short stacked in tournaments there is a still a lot of room to play. Every street is an all-out war because people can represent so many different hands.”

Players can vote for their choice (players’ choice!) on Facebook by selecting one of four emoticons, representing each of the four games. To be honest, I feel kind of bad for Lex Veldhuis, as the “angry” emoticon is associated with his tourney.

Voting ends at noon ET on May 8th and the winner will be announced that same day. The event will have three buy-in levels: $ 11, $ 109, and $ 1,050.

Poker News Daily

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