Posts Tagged ‘Players’

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 4: David Peters Seizes Control, Leads with 16 Players Left

 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 4: David Peters Seizes Control, Leads with 16 Players Left

After another long day of battle on the green baize at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, David Peters has taken control of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event with 16 players remaining. In fact, he is the only player over the three million mark in chips, with nearly a million-chip lead over the second-place stack.

43 runners came back to the line for the start of action on Friday with Karl Stark holding the edge over Peters to start the day. On the very first hand, Stark demonstrated he was going to defend his lead as Lachezar Petkov pushed all in off the button. Stark took one peek at his cards from the small blind and immediately made the call, tabling a questionable A-9 off suit against Petkov’s also questionable K-Q off suit. Once the board ran out ten high, Petkov was out before his chair was even warm and Stark extended his lead.

The news wasn’t good for another player who has made some waves at the 2018 PCA. Maria Konnikova, who has been taking lessons on poker from none other than Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel as she researches a book, was the short stack to start the day. When she did find a moment to move, it turned out to be the wrong one. After Aleksandr Milyaev put out a bet and Konnikova moved all in, Stark would four bet the action and call when Milyaev moved all in. As it would turn out, Konnikova was drawing between “slim” and “none” and “slim” was heading to the door:

Stark:  A♠ Q♠
Konnikova:  Q-J off suit
Milyaev:  pocket Aces

Konnikova needed a great deal of help and the 7-6-7 flop left her drawing to less than 1% for the win. Once the 4 came on the turn, both Stark and Konnikova were drawing dead, but Konnikova’s tournament life was extinguished as the meaningless river card was dealt. As she left the felt in 42nd place, Stark’s once dominant stack was chopped by a quarter million chips while Milyaev stacked 580K in chips.

Stark’s day was about to get much worse after that hand. He would double up Adrian Mateos to fall under the million-chip mark and never find his way back to the lead. On his final hand, he saw Liv Boeree open the action and made the call. Koray Aldemir, never one to let someone else drive the action, three-bet the action to 100K in chips that was enough to get Boeree out of the way. Stark was having none of it, though, as he pushed all in. Aldemir, after learning it was Stark’s 762K in chips at stake, sighed and made the call.

Aldemir’s Big Slick was racing against Stark’s pocket nines as the dealer prepped for action. The J-6-4-Q flop and turn kept Stark in the lead but offered other outs for Aldemir (any Ace, any King and the tens in the deck). Sure enough, a King came on the river to cruelly take the hand from Stark and deposit the chips into Aldemir’s lap.

While Stark was flaming out, Peters quietly led an attack that soon saw him take over the lead. He flopped the nut flush against Jean Ateba to push his stack to 1.47 million and eclipsed the two million chip mark when he took a pot off Uladzimir Anoshka. Although he would have a slight misstep in doubling up Patryk Poterek, that would be the last mistake that the 2016 Poker Player of the Year would make. Peters eliminated Helio Chreem in 21st place and Milyaev in 19th place to crack the three million mark. No one else would get to Peters as the final hand of the night dramatically shut down the action.

Maria Lampropulos had been active throughout the day and, after opening from the hijack position, Boeree challenged her with a three bet. Lampropulos four-bet the former European Poker Tour champion, but it was only a min-raise from 100K to 200K. Boeree read this for weakness and, after some contemplation, moved all in. Without making a sound, Lampropulos pushed a stack out to indicate a call and the hands were turned up:

Lampropulos:  pocket Kings
Boeree:  pocket Queens

Nothing changed on the A-J-J-7-A board and Boeree’s ladies were crushed by Lampropulos’ cowboys. As Boeree headed to the cage for her 17th place payout, Lampropulos added the 670K pot to her stack and must be seen as a challenger for Peters on Day 5:

1. David Peters, 3.105 million
2. Maria Lampropulos, 2.313 million
3. Adalfer Morales Gamarra, 1.916 million
4. Jonathan West, 1.656 million
5. Koray Aldemir, 1.42 million
6. Christian Rudolph, 1.285 million
7. Shawn Buchanan, 992,000
8. Michael Farrow, 981,000
9. Patryk Poterek, 918,000
10. Bartosz Stasiewicz, 624,000

It’s going to be difficult for anyone to come from beneath Stasiewicz and challenge for the final table, but Day 2 chip leader Oleg Titov (488K) and Mateos (236K) are ones to watch if it is to happen. Outside of Peters and Lampropulos, watch Aldemir and West; they have been hovering around the upper reaches of the tournament since it started and are playing outstanding poker.

PokerStars TV will have all the action of the final two tables as the players look to get down to the final table. Action begins at noon on Saturday as the remaining 16 players battle it out for the first-place prize of slightly more than a million dollars.

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Poker Players Await Ruling on Stations Casino Bad Beat Jackpot Denial

 Poker Players Await Ruling on Stations Casino Bad Beat Jackpot Denial

When you think you have the goods in a poker hand and lose big, it hurts. But when you think you have the goods, lose big, but in turn hit a casino’s Bad Beat Jackpot, it feels amazing. Now take that to the next, depressing level and think you won the Bad Beat Jackpot only to have the casino say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

That is the situation facing poker players who were playing at the Station casinos on July 7th at about noon. According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Len Schreter beat Avi Shamir in a poker game at Red Rock Resort with a straight flush over straight flush. As this qualified for the Bad Beat Jackpot (it looks like Aces full must be beaten and both hole cards must be used; if Aces full, one hole card must be an Ace), a sign lit up in every Station poker room, indicating that everyone playing at the moment might have just one a piece of the jackpot.

The Bad Beat Jackpot, funded with a maximum one dollar drop from every cash game hand at every Station casino, was up to about $ 120,000, so Shamir, as the loser of the hand, had won $ 60,000. Schreter, the winner, was to receive $ 30,000, and the rest of the players at the Station poker tables were to split up the rest of the prize pool evenly.

But Red Rock poker manager Forrest Caldwell, after talking it over with the top brass, invalidated the jackpot win. Surveillance footage showed that Schreter had turned over his cards out of turn after the river card was dealt. According to the Bad Beat Jackpot promotion’s rules, “discussion of hands during the play by players, at the discretion of management, may void a Jumbo Hold ‘Em Jackpot,” and management interpreted Schreter’s action as discussion of the hand.

Players asked the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to review the case and investigator Bill Olliges determined that Schreter’s action did not affect the outcome of the hand, so the Bad Beat Jackpot should be paid out.

Station appealed and a hearing was held last week where Station presented its case. While the video footage made it obvious that Schreter had shown his cards before he was supposed to, the LVRJ report does not say whether or not the betting had occurred as such so as to make his action inconsequential.

If Shamir was already all-in (and other players had folded), Schreter showing his cards didn’t matter. If Shamir still had chips and therefore was going to need to make some sort of decision in the hand, Schreter showing he had the best straight flush definitely made a difference. Without knowledge of Schreter’s hand, there was no way Shamir was going to fold.

Since Olliges had already ruled that Schreter’s enthusiastic reveal did not affect the outcome, it seems like Shamir had no further opportunity to act in the hand, but the LVRJ report does not make that clear.

For his part, Schreter feels terrible about everything.

“I was hurt emotionally by Red Rock, but this guy [Shamir] was hurt financially,” he said in his testimony. “Red Rock kicked me in the stomach, but Red Rock kicked him in a place a lot lower than that.”

Michael Bluestein, who was playing at Santa Fe Station when the bad beat happened and would therefore be due a small portion of the jackpot, said at the hearing that the motivation for Station not to pay out was “pure greed.”

It does seem odd that Station would get so uptight about paying out a Bad Beat Jackpot that was funded by a drop the players paid in cash games. The payout is not coming from Station’s coffers. The only real reason one could think of for not paying is that the giant jackpot amount attracted more players and Station didn’t want to see its poker room traffic decrease with a reset jackpot.

Then again, by being so shitty about it, Station might lose customers, anyway.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal says the NGCB will likely consider hearing officer’s recommendation when it meets January 10th and 11th.

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

If it was Saturday, the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event was set to play off its Day 4 schedule. By the time the dust settled on the poker battleground of the Casino Atrium Prague in the Czech Republic late Saturday night, local favorite Michal Mrakes – who has been hovering about the upper reaches of the leaderboard since the start of the tournament – had taken over the lead with only 16 players remaining.

At the start of the day, 49 players were set to take on whatever Saturday’s play held for them. Perhaps looking a bit brighter on the day was chip leader Paul Michaelis, who woke up on Saturday morning after spending his second day atop the leaderboard. Michaelis’ 1.27 million in chips was pretty much threatened by only one person – Mrakes, who was the only other player over a million chips with his 1.032 million chip stack. With pros such as Fatima Moreira de Melo, Marcin Horecki, Alex Foxen and Jason Wheeler lurking down the standings, however, that looked to be a situation that would change quickly.

Horecki was one of the players that had no fortune over the entirety of the Day 4 proceedings. On a 6-7-10-Q-9 board, Horecki faced a 103K chip bet out of Serhil Popovych that he didn’t believe. Horecki would make the call, only to see that Popovych probably caught up on the river against him after Popovych showed a 10-9 for the rivered two pair. Horecki didn’t show (perhaps an A-Q?) ash Popovych cracked the million-chip mark and Horecki dropped to around 200K in chips. Those would go into the center in a race between Horecki’s pocket Jacks and the Big Slick of Thomas Lentrodt moments later, which Horecki led until a cruel King came on the river to eliminate him from the tournament.

Mrakes, on the other hand, was heading in the opposite direction. He eliminated Dermot Blain when Blain put his remaining chips on the line against Mrakes. Once again it was a race, Mrakes’ pocket treys against Blain’s K-Q off suit, but this situation ended much quicker than Horecki’s. The 3-J-3 flop gave “only” quads to Mrakes to leave Blain drawing dead immediately; after a meaningless turn and river, Blain packed his bags as Mrakes stacked up his 1.44 million chips.

Mrakes was amongst the leaders at this point but, after the tournament was redrawn with 24 players to go, he firmly grabbed the top slot. Mrakes raised the betting to 60K and Hon Cheong Lee didn’t hesitate on putting in the three-bet of 180K. After Mrakes called, a 4-4-4 flop was dealt that might have slowed down some players. Mrakes did, checking his option, but Lee fired off 110K that Mrakes called. An eight on the turn brought another check-call out of Mrakes, this time for 225K of Lee’s chips. When a seemingly innocent deuce came on the river, Mrakes checked again and the fireworks were lit.

Lee pushed out the remainder of his stack, totaling over 850K, and Mrakes was put to a decision of calling off a huge amount of his chips or making a quantum leap upwards in the tournament. After the deliberation, Mrakes boldly made the call and it was the right move. On the 4-4-4-8-2 board, all Lee could muster was a Q-7 to play the flopped set of fours. Mrakes wasn’t much better with his A-10, but it was enough to win the hand, eliminate Lee and push Mrakes to 3.89 million chips and a solid chip lead.

Mrakes continued to expand on that chip stack, even able to withstand doubling up an opponent, before the final bell rung. He will enter Day 5 a massive chip leader and a prohibitive favorite for making the final table:

1. Michal Mrakes, 4.945 million
2. Valentyn Shabelnyk, 3.225 million
3. Robert Heidorn, 2.485 million
4. Jason Wheeler, 2.4 million
5. Colin Robinson, 2.085 million
6. Navot Golan, 1.955 million
7. Matas Cimbolas, 1.615 million
8. Thomas Lentrodt, 1.52 million
9. Harry Lodge, 1.36 million
10. Pierre Calamusa, 900,000

With 15 players left, the minimum payday for those still standing is €38,400. That is small change compared to what the eventual champion will walk off with on Monday night. That fortunate player will step away from Prague with a great Christmas present of €775,000.

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 3 – Paul Michaelis Remains in the Lead, 49 Players Remaining

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 3 – Paul Michaelis Remains in the Lead, 49 Players Remaining

Instead of letting the pack catch up to him on Day 3 of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, Paul Michaelis instead extended his lead. When the 49 players come back for Day 4 on Saturday, Michaelis’ name will be atop the leaderboard with 1.27 million in chips.

140 players came back on Friday with dreams of the latest PokerStars Championship trophy still in their heads, but the start of the day would be cruel. With only 127 players earning a cash from the tournament, there would be 13 unfortunate souls that wouldn’t earn anything from their trip to the Czech Republic except a memory. With this thought in mind, the field headed off on a planned five, 90-minute level day of action.

PokerStars Team Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo had arguably one of the more interesting days on the felt and it started virtually from the first hand of the day. After Martin Staszko opened the action and de Melo three-bet him, Michael Koran decided to make his stand. After Staszko ducked out of the way, de Melo called Koran’s all in and it initially appeared that there would be little drama. Both players had Big Slick, but de Melo’s was A♣ K♣, which became important when the flop came J♣ 7♣ 5♣. Koran went from chopping to out of the tournament as de Melo improved to 525K.

It only took about 30 minutes to reach hand-for-hand play, but it would take three times that to actually pop the money bubble. With two shorties behind him, Thomas Mercier put in enough chips to cover both from the button and only Mihai Manole decided to look him up. Mercier had the goods, however, as his A-J off suit was in the lead against Manole’s A-4. The K-Q-K flop opened up some chop opportunities and the five on the turn added to them, but the ten on the river only improved Mercier to an unnecessary Broadway straight. Fortunately for Manole, he was eliminated while Andrzej Siemieniak was getting knocked off by Konstantin Farber, meaning that Siemieniak and Manole shared the min-cash of €8700 (hey, €4350 is better than zero).

After the money bubble popped, the cash out cage became one of the most popular spots at the Casino Atrium Prague. It seemed that de Melo was responsible for most of those players heading to cash out as, on two different occasions, de Melo came out on the right side of an all-in situation and knocked out three players between the two situations. Through those two double knockouts, de Melo has remained in contention in the tournament.

The first time around, de Melo was on an A-K and got Arnaud Enselme and Aleksandr Mordvinov to commit with pocket Queens and pocket nines, respectively. While she was covering Enselme, she was running behind in chips to Mordvinov, which made the Ace on the 6-4-A flop fortuitous for the PokerStars Team Pro. Looking to dodge a nine or a Queen, the turn five and the river deuce didn’t change anything as de Melo tripled up, Mordvinov was cut down to 372K and Enselme was out the door.

The second time de Melo double dipped, it took down two pros. After James Akenhead pushed all in and Martin Staszko responded with his own all in “over the top” of Akenhead, de Melo could have quietly walked away. Instead, she called both bets and tabled pocket Queens for battle against Akenhead’s Big Chick (A-Q) and Staszko’s A-10. Nothing hit until the ten on the river, way too little, too late as de Melo took the double knockout to move close to a million in chips.

While de Melo was charging up the leaderboard and finished the day in excellent shape with 723,000 in chips (good for 11th place), it was Michaelis who quietly expanded his lead. He would reach over 1.5 million in chips at one point and, although he had a couple of missteps late in the night, he still was only one of two players to have more than a million chips when the close of action for Friday came:

1. Paul Michaelis, 1.27 million
2. Michal Mrakes, 1.032 million
3. Jason Wheeler, 931,000
4. Navot Golan, 888,000
5. Anatolii Zyrin, 825,000
6. Serhil Popvych, 812,000
7. Gavin O’Rourke, 803,000
8. Assaf Ben Yosef, 793,000
9. Alex Foxen, 761,000
10. Daniel Barriocanal, 740,000

Action is set to resume at noon Saturday in Prague (6AM Eastern Time) and is set to have five more 90-minute levels of play. That could change if there is a mass rush for the door from the 49 players that are left. With €775,000 going to the eventual champion in the PokerStars Championship Prague, the remaining players won’t be in any hurry to depart the proceedings.

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Leon Tsoukernik/Matt Kirk Battle Ramps Up as Fellow Players Take Sides

 Leon Tsoukernik/Matt Kirk Battle Ramps Up as Fellow Players Take Sides

One thing that a poker player has in the world of gambling is his integrity. The trust of your fellow players – whether it be in financial transactions or in actual play of the game – is integral to being able to operate in the gambling community. Thus, the battle between King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik and high stakes pro Matt Kirk has captured the interest of the poker community, with several top players taking sides.

For those of you who are unaware of the situation, earlier this year Tsoukernik allegedly borrowed $ 3 million from Kirk during a heads-up poker match, which the Czech businessman then reportedly lost back to Kirk in Las Vegas. After trading text messages between each other in an attempt to rectify the situation, the duo was unable to come to terms of repayment and are now trading lawsuits. Kirk filed a lawsuit to get his money back in Clark County Court in Vegas and Tsoukernik responded with his own lawsuit against not only Kirk but also Aria in Sin City to the tune of $ 10 million.

Tsoukernik’s defense is that Aria continually plied him with alcohol to the point that he was “physically and visibly impaired.” Kirk, he says, took advantage of him in that state and kept him at the table by continually loaning him money to continue the game. Additionally, Tsoukernik alleges that Aria blocked anyone from coming to his aid to rescue him from the game.

Normally this wouldn’t have been enough to draw the attention of the poker community, but recent actions by Tsoukernik seem to have irritated many. At this year’s World Series of Poker Europe, WSOP officials announced the return of the “Big One for One Drop,” the million-dollar buy in tournament that features the deepest pocketed pros in the poker world, to Las Vegas for 2018. During the announcement of the return of the event, WSOP officials also announced the first player who had put their deposit down on their seat in the event:  Tsoukernik.

This bit of news seemed to set off several players. On his platform with CardPlayer.com, Gavin Griffin sounded off with his thoughts on the issue. “It has to be clear to the World Series of Poker that this man is untrustworthy when it comes to poker,” Griffin wrote on their virtual pages. “Why, then, would they want to be associated with him in any way? He’s defrauding and scamming their customers on a regular basis and generally making the high stakes games that are frequented by these players much tougher to deal with. After all, in poker, if you can’t trust someone to pay you when you play, how can you play with that person?”

Never one to hold his opinion, Daniel Negreanu also responded on the issue. In a Tweet on his account, Negreanu ripped Tsoukernik in saying, “The ‘I was too drunk’ excuse is such horseshit. Besides, this is the SECOND time this guy stiffed someone (allegedly Tsoukernik had a similar situation with the defending champion of the “Big One,” Elton Tsang, in which he refused to pay him a million Euro debt)!” Poker’s living legend, Doyle Brunson, also backed up Kirk in a Tweet.

It was another frequent High Roller participant, however, who had the best thought on the issue. Bill Perkins, who has paid out untold amounts in poker and prop-betting losses to many in the poker world, offered his thoughts through Twitter. “I’ve lost endless trunks of money tired,” Perkins began. “It hurt paying but paid every time, even when I wasn’t tired.”

There is still plenty to be heard regarding this case. Whether Kirk or Tsoukernik’s lawsuits even have merit (there were no contracts signed other than their verbal communications) has yet to be established and Tsoukernik going after the Aria is probably not a good idea (one casino owner suing another? Not a good look). It also could have ramifications on the usage of the King’s Casino in the future for the WSOP (could they cancel their contract because of Tsoukernik’s actions?). Alas, we will have to wait for 2018 to see how it plays out.

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