Posts Tagged ‘prize’

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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PokerStars to Restrict Satellite Winners to One Prize Package Per Live Event

 PokerStars to Restrict Satellite Winners to One Prize Package Per Live Event

PokerStars has made yet another significant change to its online poker room policies, eliminating the ability for players to earn multiple seats into live tournaments via satellites. This is a massive departure from tradition, as many players (though not “many” relative to the total poker playing population) found satellites to be profitable endeavors past the initial tournament seat.

On the PokerStars blog, PokerStars Poker Operations Manager Mike Jones hearkened back to the 2003 World Series of Poker, which was famously won by amateur Chris Moneymaker, who also famously qualified for the WSOP Main Event via a $ 39 satellite on PokerStars. While satellites existed before then, they really weren’t all that popular as a means to gain entry into a bigger, more expensive tournament. Moneymaker’s success changed all that, though. Once amateur players saw what Moneymaker did, online satellites- not just at PokerStars – exploded. Now they are commonplace, woven into the fabric of online poker rooms.

Pokerstars, though, has seen the negative of satellites. Jones continued:

While recreational players dream of winning the poker experience of a lifetime with PokerStars, a fortunate and skilled few win multiple packages and seats to our live events, when they can only use one of them. These players have taken advantage of a system that allowed them to profit from winning against recreational or less experienced players. While this hasn’t been against the rules, it doesn’t make for as enjoyable experience as we would hope. The practice has, in fact, been off-putting for many, as we are seeing an increasing number of recreational players not even attempting to qualify for live events. This means that they are as a group less likely to experience the excitement that comes from playing live and the further investment in the poker world that comes from playing in a major live event.

The reason players continue to qualify for live events via satellites even after winning a seat is because they can convert the additional seats into cash. Say, for example, a person two prize packages for the WSOP Main Event via Stars satellites that pay for the $ 10,000 seat plus $ 2,500 in spending money for hotel and flights (I am just ballparking the prize package value). That player might use the first prize package to play in the Main Event, but since he is obviously just one person and can only occupy one seat, PokerStars gives him $ 12,500 for the second seat.

Many poker pros have taken advantage of this system over the years, often finding satellite fields to be softer than those of normal tournaments. Some pros win these things repeatedly, turning their seats into cash time after time.

PokerStars has seen the problem with this for recreational players, so starting with the satellites for PokerStars Festival Dublin, players can only win one prize package into the live tournament. No more playing in loads of satellites to win multiple seats.

“This limitation will, we hope, make sense to the majority of you and stand to reason as being fair,” wrote Jones. “We believe the change will create a more level playing field for all that want to visit our lower buy-in Festivals or experience the glitz and glamour of one of our bigger Championship events.”

PokerStars Festival Dublin runs September 25th through October 1st. Satellites are currently active at PokerStars.

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Petition Calls for Removal of Rake at WSOP Championship Event, Revenue Sharing for Additional Money in Prize Pools

 Petition Calls for Removal of Rake at WSOP Championship Event, Revenue Sharing for Additional Money in Prize Pools

In an ingenious move that might not gain any traction – but it doesn’t hurt to try – a poker fan has started a petition asking officials at the World Series of Poker to eliminate the rake on the WSOP Championship Event. In addition to this elimination of rake, the petition is also asking for a revenue sharing program over other WSOP events that will “spread the wealth” that Caesars Entertainment is pulling in over a variety of methods.

David Bass, an investment banker with Arena Capital Advisors who publishes a blog called, called for the petition earlier this week after some analysis of the current WSOP rake structure. “Our basic thesis is that a portion of the money paid by ESPN to the WSOP (or its parent company, Caesars) for the right (sic) to broadcast WSOP events and other ancillary revenue should be added to the WSOP prize pools,” Bass writes on his blog. “The WSOP should take no rake from the players on televised tournament buy-ins.”

Currently there are only two or three events that are televised by ESPN, a stark departure from the early days of the television contract between the WSOP and ESPN. In 2015, the Championship Event was one of those tournaments (the other was the WSOP National Championship) that reached the airwaves, so Bass has adjusted his petition accordingly. As a form of persuasion, Bass also attempts to demonstrate how much Caesars is taking in from just the rake alone in these tournaments.

“Poker is the only major global sports or gaming competitions where the players themselves provide the funding for tournament prize pools and operating expenses,” Bass writes on the petition that is addressed to Jack Effel, the WSOP Vice President and Executive Tournament Director, Executive Director of the WSOP Ty Stewart and Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky. “In addition, the players – including top professionals – are responsible for their own travel and out-of-pocket expenses necessary to participate at live events.” He then points out that the Championship Event’s $ 10,000 buy in automatically has 6% subtracted from it ($ 600) for “entry fees” and payments to dealers and floor staff. For the smaller tournaments, Bass states, the WSOP can hold anywhere from 10% to 18% ($ 65 on a $ 365 buy-in) for what is called “operating expenses.”

The explosion of the WSOP schedule is a point of emphasis by Bass. The 68 event schedule in Las Vegas, the WSOP Europe and its 10 event schedule, the WSOP Circuit and all are brought into the mix (surprisingly, Bass doesn’t mention the WSOP Asia/Pacific…guess that’s what happens when you alternate years). Cash games, satellite tournaments, numerous sponsorships (Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, anyone?) and other sidelights also are noted. Memorabilia sales, concessions and other miscellaneous sales to a “captive audience” also add to the kitty for Caesars, at least in Bass’ eyes.

At no point does Bass even begin to broach the subject of where ESPN’s rights deal with the WSOP to broadcast the tournament come into play or how much that the WSOP receives for those rights (one of the most closely kept secrets in Las Vegas besides Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place), probably a sizeable chunk of change in its own right. He does, however, point out where other major sports are doing a revenue sharing model.

Bass accurately points out that the National Football League gives players 47% of football-related revenues, with the other major sports leagues doing the same (the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League donate the most revenues, 50%, to the players). Additionally, the Professional Golf Association provides 60% of a tournament’s prize pool from their television rights, with the remaining 40% coming from the specific tournament’s title sponsor. “It is time for the prize pool composition to evolve, first by eliminating the rake on the top tournaments and second by supplementing the prize pool following a revenue sharing model that is common in other major international sports and gaming competitions,” Bass contends. “In doing so, the WSOP will continue to attract more participants, grow its appeal to TV and other media audiences, and increase the overall value of the WSOP brand.”

The counter from Caesars would probably be that there are huge expenses for putting on a poker tournament the size of a WSOP, especially the version in Las Vegas. That is difficult to prove, however, without actually seeing the accounting from the endeavor. If Caesars could actually show that the television rights, the rake and players’ fees and various other revenues being raised on the backs of the players either barely covers the expenditure or that they are operating at a loss, then they might have a leg to stand on. If that isn’t the case, then Bass may have something to go on here.

The website is well-known for its non-binding petitions that draw attention to controversial issues in the world today. They have had some “successful” petitions, with that word in quotation marks because it is difficult to determine just how much the petition had on the eventual result. touts the release of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian from Iran in January 2016 as one of its “success stories,” for example.

Currently Bass’ petition is off to a slow start. Only 37 people have taken the time to add their signatures, with the most prominent name on the list being that of three-time WSOP bracelet winner Matt Matros. In putting his name on the petition, Matros commented, “Players are providing much of the value and should be compensated accordingly,” something that isn’t a rare thought amongst the players.

Poker News Daily has reached out to Caesars Entertainment and WSOP officials for comment and will update this story as necessary.

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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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Binion’s Drops Tourney Series Guaranteed Prize Pools

 Binion’s Drops Tourney Series Guaranteed Prize Pools

Remember when Binion’s in downtown Las Vegas used to be a legendary venue for poker? Now it’s more like Binion’s is a place that people only hear about in legends. The latest piece of evidence in the near-disappearance of poker from Binion’s altogether came yesterday, as the gambling hall announced that it is dropping the guaranteed prize pools from its current tournament series.

The 2015 Binion’s Poker Open, part of the relatively unknown Players Poker Championship (PPC) Poker Tour, began on September 18th and is scheduled to run through October 4th. Twelve of the first fourteen events have $ 200 buy-ins and $ 10,000 guaranteed prize pools (the other two have $ 240 buy-ins), while the final tournament, the PPC Main Event, has a $ 300 prize pool and a $ 50,000 guarantee.

It appears, though, that Binion’s has not drawn enough players to hit those extremely modest numbers. In  Facebook post on Tuesday, a representative from the casino said that aside from the September 26th tourney and the Main Event, the rest of the tournaments will no longer have guaranteed prize pools. Here is the message in its entirety:

Due to VERY LOW attendance, we have elected to cancel the guarantee on our Binion’s Poker Open Events with the following exceptions:

Saturday, September 26th $ 200 NLH will have a $ 10,000 GUARANTEE

The $ 50,000 GUARANTEE PPC Poker Tour Event will run as scheduled.

We will continue to run all other scheduled events, just without any monetary guarantee.

We apologize for any inconvenience and I would like to personally thank everyone who has played in our Binion’s Poker Open. (Paul)

Think about what that means. Using tomorrow’s tournament as an example (I assume the rest of the $ 200 buy-in events are the same), the $ 200 buy-in is structured so that $ 165 goes to the prize pool and $ 35 is taken as a tournament fee. That means that only 61 players are needed to hit the guarantee (60.6, technically). That’s six full tables. Now, poker tournaments don’t always hit their guarantees, but it’s not always horrible. As long as they come close, it’s not a big deal and the players might still hit the cash game tables or their families might spend some time in the casino. But if the attendance is so bad, so “VERY LOW” that Binion’s felt compelled to cancel the rest of the guarantees, it must be awful. Like 20 people awful or something like that.

Unfortunately for reporting’s sake, the Binion’s Poker Open has been so under-publicized that is impossible to find information on the tournaments that have already been completed.

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