Posts Tagged ‘Pool’

Massive NFL Survivor Pool Shut Down by Feds

 Massive NFL Survivor Pool Shut Down by Feds

I know sports betting is illegal in most of the United States, but dammit, it still really grinds my gears when a sports betting or betting-related enterprise, event, or site that otherwise isn’t hurting anyone gets busted. That’s what happened last week when federal agents shut down Ron & Mike’s Football Pool, seizing money and the business’s documentation.

First reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Ron & Mike’s Football Pool had been run by Ron Kronengold and Mike Bernstein for at least eight years. It was an online “survivor pool,” in which participants picked one NFL team to win each week. If that team wins, the participant moves on to the next week. If the team loses, the player is done in the contest. The big catch is that a player cannot choose the same team more than once.

These types of pools are common, both online ( has one called the Eliminator Challenge) and among friends or in the workplace. They are a fun way to get a sweat during the NFL week and not only require at least a some sort of skill in picking a winner, but also to strategize picks, knowing you can’t just pick the team with the best matchup every week.

But Ron and Mike, based out of New York, ran their pool online for real money. If they did not take a rake from the entry fees, this would not be illegal in the state, so it is still a bit of a mystery why their site was shut down or what charges they might eventually be facing. According to, there was nothing in the contest rules that said the site was getting a cut.

That said, there was a lot of money involved, with total prizes this season estimated to be more than $ 2.5 million. ESPN reports that there were two pools initially this NFL season, each with a maximum of 10,000 entries at $ 100 apiece. Because of their popularity, a $ 200 “second chance” pool was created. A $ 100 mid-season pool and a $ 500 high-roller pool were also available. There were more than 23,000 entries across all of the pools.

Ron and Mike clearly didn’t hide the pool, as players could register at (the URL is no longer active) and Kronengold himself received a trademark on the name “Ron & Mike’s” in 2012. At the same time, they only took cash for entry fees and players had to mail it to “Green River” at a Plainview, New York UPS Store P.O. Box.

Players who were still alive in the pools received a communication from Ron & Mike’s which read:

Please be advised that the Ron and Mike website has been forced to shut down at this time and is unlikely to open again. We understand your frustration and anger at this time but closure of the pool is beyond our control. We apologize to those that are still alive in our various pools and we ask for your patience and understanding while we contemplate the next steps. Unfortunately at this time we cannot make any additional comments.

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2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 2 – Brandon Meyers Maintains Lead as Prize Pool Determined

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 2 – Brandon Meyers Maintains Lead as Prize Pool Determined

Continuing to hold court over the throng of players still in the tournament, poker professional Brandon Meyers continued to hold the lead as Day 2 of the 2017 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic concluded. At the same time, those that are left in the event found out what they were playing for once late registration/reentry closed.

Out of the 600-plus entries that were received on Day 1, Meyers was the one who drove the tournament. He would finish the day with an impressive 152,750 in chips but, as the poker adage goes, you can’t win a tournament on the first day. You also can’t win it when there are still players to enter the event, which was the case here with late registration/reentry (the $ 10,000 tournament was an unlimited reentry tournament) lasting until Level Nine (the next to last level of the night on Day 2).

Undaunted, Meyers continued to work much like he had done on Day 1. He would flop trip Aces against Ray Quartomy to add to his stack early in the day’s action, then eliminate his fellow pro later in what was a cooler of a hand. The raises went back and forth for several beats until Quartomy was all in. When the hands came up, it was predictable; Quartomy’s pocket Kings were looking up at the only hand that could beat them, Meyers’ pocket Aces, and the board didn’t bring another Cowboy to save Quartomy. With the chips from Quartomy firmly ensconced in his stack, Meyers eclipsed the 200K mark (213,000, to be exact) for the tournament.

While Meyers threatened to run off and make the tournament a mockery, the entry numbers kept climbing. 792 entries were confirmed during Level 8, breaking the record for the event (791) set just last year. And as the clock clicked down to the start of Level 9 and the end of the late registration/reentry period, it became apparent just how big the 2017 WPT Five Diamond was going to be.

Once the final entries were counted, the prize pool and the final payouts were stunning. Of the $ 7,876,400 prize pool built by the 812 entries in the event, 81 players will eventually earn a cash from the WPT Five Diamond. The minimum payout of $ 19,691 leads up to a final table that will see each player earn a six-figure cash from the event. At the very top, the eventual runner-up in the tournament will receive $ 1,134,202 for his (or her) efforts, while the next champion of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic takes home a $ 1,958,065 payday and a seat at next spring’s WPT Tournament of Champions.

With their goals now set, the players began to mix it up a bit with varying degrees of success. Gus Hansen, who was wafting between a table in the Five Diamond tournament and a high stakes cash game running in Bobby’s Room, became a contender during the last level of the night in getting his stack up to 118,700. As the first ever champion of the WPT Five Diamond (and the first ever champion in WPT history), he will bear watching as the tournament enters Day 3 on Thursday.

There were other players that didn’t see success on Day 2 of the tournament, however. Players like Ronit Chamani, Mike Shariati, Toby Lewis, Jordan Cristos, current Player of the Year leader Bryn Kenney, Shankar Pillai, and Anthony Zinno (among a wealth of others) will not be receiving cards from a dealer in the WPT Five Diamond anymore. There’s still a large contingent of players left in the tournament – 320 players from the 812 entries – who have a dream of winning the championship yet.

1. Brandon Meyers, 388,100
2. Daniel Strelitz, 310,900
3. Todd Hovenden, 230,300
4. Anthony Gregg, 225,600
5. Darren Elias, 214,700
6. Kenny Nguyen, 214,000
7. Rory Young, 213,000
8. Rainer Kempe, 200,000
9. Alex Foxen, 181,700
10. Matthew Moss, 180,000

Other players bubbling under the Top Ten include former WPT champions Taylor Paur (166,000), Mike Del Vecchio (155,100) and Kevin Eyster (136,700), and poker professionals Eddy Sabat (148,000), high stakes cash game player Lauren Roberts (148,000), Anthony Spinella (138,000), Blake Bohn (137,500) and former ‘Big One for One Drop’ champion Dan Colman (137,000).

We’re still a good distance away from anyone getting a bite out of the pie that is the prize pool. In fact, Thursday’s action (five levels of 90 minutes each) will probably only serve to bring the pack closer to the money. The bubble should pop on Friday, at which point the WPT’s “shot clock” will enter the game and the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will start handing out the cash from the bounty that had been built.

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More Prizes Added to Sweeten WPT Tournament of Champions Prize Pool

 More Prizes Added to Sweeten WPT Tournament of Champions Prize Pool

As the date approaches for the first rendition of this version of the World Poker Tour’s Tournament of Champions, the tour officially announced on Tuesday that more prizes had been added to the awards that will be handed out in the event.

Monster, the official headphones and speakers of the WPT, announced that they would be awarding everyone who makes the six handed final table of the Tournament of Champions their special Monster SoundStage, a high-definition wireless home music system that is made for multi-room usage. This type of system normally retails for nearly $ 500, making it a nice prize for anyone to receive. The big news, however, is in what Monster will award the eventual victor of the Tournament of Champions.

When the tournament is completed and one man (sorry ladies…no woman has ever won an event on the WPT Main Tour) is holding all the chips, Monster will also present that player with a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. The base price on the 2016 ‘Vette is $ 55,400, making the entire prize pool (more on this in a second) worth an additional $ 250,000 to those who take part in the event. It’s all a way to say “thank you” to the WPT for a great relationship, according to the CEO of Monster.

“The World Poker Tour has been a tremendous partner for the past two years, showcasing Monster’s high-performance headphones and speakers to thousands of poker players and millions of television viewers around the world,” said Head Monster (Chief Executive Officer) Noel Lee. “With so many Monsterous WPT Champions planning to compete in the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions, we knew that a 2016 Corvette was the perfect first-place prize to celebrate this great accomplishment.”

WPT President Adam Pliska was also happy with the additions to the prize pool. “We are incredibly thankful for Head Monster Noel Lee and his amazing team, who remain extraordinary partners and continue to add significant value to the WPT Champions’ Club,” Pliska stated during the announcement. “For more than two years our champions have enjoyed industry-leading headphones and speakers from Monster, and now the winner of the newly-branded Monster WPT Tournament of Champions will drive off in 2016 Corvette courtesy of Monster, befitting the champion of champions.”

In addition to these new prizes announced by Monster, the eventual champion will also receive some other nice additions. An extra $ 100,000 cash on top of whatever is generated by the prize pool is a start, as are a specially created Hublot watch (another sponsor of the WPT), a premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables, an Aurae Solid Gold MasterCard, a pair of Monster Gold Headphones, a seat at the next Tiger’s Poker Night (with golfer Tiger Woods, naturally) and a round of golf at Shadow Creek Golf Course with WPT executive tournament director Matt Savage and two friends. Through offering these prizes, the WPT is hoping to draw a crowd to their Tournament of Champions event.

For those that haven’t kept track, the month of April the WPT will basically set up shop in Florida with a host of tournaments set to take place. Beginning on April 15, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will take place, with the $ 3500 buy-in event a prelude of sorts for the bigger events coming up. On April 17, the $ 10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale will begin, which will be the final chance that a player will have to earn WPT Player of the Year points for Season XIV and/or their way into the final event that is on the schedule for the WPT in the Sunshine State.

The Monster WPT Tournament of Champions (as it is now known) will begin on April 22 with some very special caveats in place. The tournament is only open to the 227 (unless someone repeats, it will be 229) players who have won an event on the Main Tour for the WPT and those players then have to pony up a $ 15,000 buy-in to enter the event. The tournament is supposed to replace the traditional WPT World Championship, which had suffered from a drop in participation over the years despite a change in venue (from the Bellagio in Las Vegas to the Borgata in Atlantic City; some say it needs to change back) and a reduction in the buy-in (from $ 25,000 to $ 15,000). There is a huge question as to whether the players will come to the event, however, because of scheduling (the European Poker Tour’s Grand Final will begin on April 30 in Monte Carlo, but there is plenty of preliminary action that already has players drooling).

The new additions to the prize pool are quite nice, but will they draw out some players who were “on the fence” over the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions? We’ll have to wait and see when the play begins later this month.

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