Posts Tagged ‘Season’

World Poker Tour Makes Late Addition to Season XVI with WPT Amsterdam

 World Poker Tour Makes Late Addition to Season XVI with WPT Amsterdam

Not content to sit on their laurels of an outstanding Season XVI, the World Poker Tour has added another event to the roster for the current season. After initially being off the schedule, the WPT Amsterdam will be back for another run from the top pros in Europe just prior to the end of season festivities.

For the fourth year in a row, the WPT Amsterdam will be contested at the Holland Casino Amsterdam. The €3300 Main Event will take place from April 16-20, giving its champion just long enough to get to the States of America for the WPT Tournament of Champions. All winners from the current season receive a seat in the Tournament of Champions as a part of their victory, along with a WPT bracelet, their name inscribed on the Champions’ Cup and a nice financial payday.

“We are proud to return to Holland Casino, home of the first-ever WPT Main Tour event in the Netherlands, for a spectacular festival in partnership with WPTDeepStacks,” said Hermance Blum, General Manager of WPT Europe. “One of the world’s most passionate poker communities is the Netherlands, and Amsterdam presents the perfect location for players wishing to travel to a major European tournament series. With both WPTDeepStacks and WPT Main Tour main events on the schedule, we look forward to seeing you at Holland Casino Amsterdam in April for an incredible week of poker.”

As Blum alluded to, the return of the WPT Main Tour isn’t the only reason for celebration in the Netherlands come April. Along with the Main Tour, the WPTDeepStacks will be back in action. The WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam will be a €1500 buy in tournament that will run just prior to the Main Event on April 13-16.

“It is a great honor for Holland Casino to bring the prestigious World Poker Tour for a fourth consecutive year and WPTDeepStacks for a second year back to Amsterdam,” said Erwin van Lambaart, the Chief Executive Officer of Holland Casino. “Hosting the WPT at Holland Casino ensures a poker festival of the highest standards, and we look forward to welcoming in the world’s best players as they compete on the game’s biggest stage.”

With the addition of the WPT Amsterdam as a part of the Main Tour schedule, there is officially seven events left on the Season XVI schedule. The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open is currently ongoing, with the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open just around the horizon beginning on January 28. The venerable WPT L. A. Poker Classic (with its $ 10,000 buy in) awaits players on February 24, with the WPT Rolling Thunder in Northern California beginning on March 2. On April 13, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, will play host to the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Once the WPT Amsterdam is completed (and provided that victor is old enough – European casinos have a lower age threshold for entry), then the Season XVI champions will head for Las Vegas for the Tournament of Champions in May. While the current season’s champions are already assured a seat, any past champion of the WPT can buy in directly to the $ 15,000 event. Last year’s tournament was held as a part of the festivities at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, with Daniel Weinman defeating hometown favorite Michael Mizrachi to capture the championship.

The post World Poker Tour Makes Late Addition to Season XVI with WPT Amsterdam appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Stunning Late Season Move Puts Adrian Mateos Over Bryn Kenney in Player of the Year Races

 Stunning Late Season Move Puts Adrian Mateos Over Bryn Kenney in Player of the Year Races

In a stunning, late season move that is similar to what occurred last year, Spanish poker professional Adrian Mateos has used a surge of success at the tables to pass the man who has led virtually since the start of the year, Bryn Kenney, in the Player of the Year races in tournament poker.

Mateos began the month of December in fourth place on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year leaderboard behind Kenney and it seemed that he was going to have a tough time catching the leader. Not only did he have to climb over two people to even reach Kenney, Mateos had to make up roughly 2000 points to even have a chance at equaling Kenney. But that is exactly what Mateos has done, utilizing the final PokerStars Championship event to do it.

After finishing off November by winning the $ 5000 Eight Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Caribbean Poker Party, Mateos went on a run in December that was stunning. Beginning at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Mateos earned three final table finishes, but he wasn’t done yet. Flying back to Europe for the PSC Prague (which would turn out to be the final event ever on that circuit), Mateos earned four more cashes, three final tables and two tournaments that earned him POY points. By the end of December, Mateos had totaled up 2118 points to pass Kenney and take over first place.

It wasn’t like Kenney didn’t try to maintain his lead. He picked up 105 points for a seventh-place finish in the $ 25,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on the WPT Five Diamond schedule, but it wasn’t enough to ward off the invading Spaniard. As of December 30 (and barring any last-minute finishes), Mateos and his 7220 points will earn the CardPlayer POY over Kenney’s 7173 points.

The remainder of the Top Ten on the CardPlayer list were seemingly OK with where they finished on the end-of-year rankings as they didn’t make a serious drive upwards. Fedor Holz, the runner-up in 2016 (more on this in a minute) will finish in the third-place slot in 2017, earning 5875 points (and more than $ 6.3 million) to hold off Koray Aldemir (5510) in fourth place. Justin Bonomo used a steady stream of cashes in the Five Diamond $ 25K tournaments to ease into fifth place (5411), while 2016 Player of the Year David Peters (5034), Stephen Chidwick (4912), Jason Koon (4859), Steffen Sontheimer (4782) and Benjamin Pollak (4660) round out the sixth through tenth places, respectively.

Mateos’ late season surge also saw him eclipse Kenney on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. Much like the CardPlayer ladder, Mateos was in fifth place to start the month on the GPI board with plenty of space for his numbers to rise (under the GPI rankings, only the 13 best finishes for a player, utilizing a complex calculating system, are counted towards the rankings). Of the seven cashes that Mateos had, five of them improved his 13-tournament total. That 1051.36 increase was enough to push him over the top.

As of December 30, Mateos has the top slot on the GPI POY with a total of 3504.71, while Kenney had to stand pat on his 3478.06 points because his effort at the Five Diamond didn’t knock off one of his 13 prior finishes. Chidwick also climbed a bit during the month of December, moving into third place (3247.43) over Peters (3244.62). Dan Smith, who won the $ 100,000 Super High Roller at the Five Diamond and picked up some more points in another $ 25K event, jumped up to fifth place (3235.92) to conclude 2017.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the GPI POY are Ari Engel (3206.87), Holz (3172.03), Koon (3138.27), Nick Petrangelo (3133.46) and Stefan Schillhabel (3123.39) in the sixth through tenth positions.

The final month of 2017 is remarkable in its similarity to what happened last year. In 2016, Holz dominated the POY races all season long before, in a last-minute rush, Peters was able to pass Holz and take away both POY titles. If Kenney doesn’t find a poker tournament between now and Monday, he will fall victim to the same late-season lightning strike that hit Holz in 2016, only this time at the hands of Mateos.

The end of season rush by Mateos also demonstrates one of the problems that the ranking systems haven’t been able to overcome. Of the eight tournaments (counting the Caribbean tournament) that Mateos played to overcome Kenney, four of them were High Roller events with a buy in over $ 25,000. Without those high-dollar tournaments (which add more points due to their buy-in but offer fewer obstacles in the number of players), it is unlikely that Mateos would have even gotten within sniffing distance of Kenney, who himself built the massive lead he had through primarily playing High Roller events (of his 29 cashes in 2017, 25 of them were in tournaments with more than a $ 25K buy-in).

Hopefully the CardPlayer and Global Poker Index rankings will find a way to deal with the far too numerous High Roller and Super High Roller events in 2018 (limiting the number of cashes from such events might be a good start). For 2017, however, the ink is almost dry as Adrian Mateos looks to become one of the youngest, if not THE youngest, player (23) to ever capture the awards in the two predominant Player of the Year races.

The post Stunning Late Season Move Puts Adrian Mateos Over Bryn Kenney in Player of the Year Races appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Matt Savage and World Poker Tour Issues Statement Regarding Taking Shooting Star Off Season XVI Schedule

 Matt Savage and World Poker Tour Issues Statement Regarding Taking Shooting Star Off Season XVI Schedule

The World Poker Tour recently released the remainder of its Season XVI schedule and, for the most part, the usual suspects were a part of the roster of events. There was one quite noticeable absence, however, as the Bay 101 Shooting Star was not in its usual spot between the WPT L. A. Poker Classic and the WPT Rolling Thunder.

On the WPT schedule since the Season II schedule, the Bay 101 Shooting Star was one of the most popular tournaments on the WPT schedule. Until recently, it was unique in that it was the only bounty tournament on the WPT schedule. Players could enter the event (it started as a $ 10,000 buy-in tournament but, by last year, the buy-in was reduced to $ 7500) and, if they eliminated a few of the 50 poker professionals who were “bounties” in the tournament, they could eliminate their buy-in without having to cash. It also awarded a bonus payout for the leaders after the two-part Day Ones.

These little bonuses for the players brought them out in droves. Professional poker players scrambled to be named one of the “bounties” for the tournament, wearing it as a badge of honor to signify that they were a “notable” in the tournament poker world. It also translated into very nice crowds for the tournament. After starting in 2004 with what was then an unheard of 243 players (and a rousing final table that featured poker pro Phil Gordon defeating defending World Champion Chris Moneymaker for the championship), the 2017 version of the tournament brought in 806 entries, its best performance in its history (and saw Sam Panzica win his second event of the Season XV schedule).

Thus, the actual background on why the WPT didn’t have the Bay 101 Shooting Star on the schedule was a bit of a mystery. The reason for the removal of the fan- and player-favorite tournament wasn’t given in any press release from the WPT or from Bay 101, but now someone for whom the tournament is near to their heart has spoken up. In reaction to Poker News Daily’s editorial on the subject, WPT Executive Tournament Director Matt Savage reached out, clearing away the cobwebs as to why the Bay 101 was taken off the Season XVI schedule.

Poker News Daily: OK, let’s get right to it. Why isn’t the Bay 101 Shooting Star on the Season XVI schedule?

Matt Savage:  It was mutually agreed upon between officials on both sides that the Bay 101 would not be a part of the Season XVI World Poker Tour schedule. Bay 101 will always have a special place in the WPT history books and we would encourage players to continue to visit our friends at Bay 101 Casino.

PND:  Will the Bay 101 Shooting Star return to the schedule in the future?

MS:  We have seen events return to the WPT schedule in the past, as evidenced by the most recent return of the Lucky Hearts Poker Open (at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL) to the Season XVI schedule. We have a group of very exciting events on the roster, including the six newly announced stops, and we look forward to players joining us in Europe (the first-ever WPT European Championship will be contested in January) and throughout the United States and Canada.

PND:  The Bay 101 Shooting Star is something that is very close to your heart, having created the tournament. What are your thoughts on the subject?

MS:  If we are going to do the Shooting Star tournament, I want to do it right. The Shooting Star may be a no-go this year on the WPT, but of course I’d love to run it this year and, hopefully, we can bring it back to the WPT in 2019.

Poker News Daily would like to thank Matt for clearing up the story a bit regarding the Bay 101 Shooting Star. While it would be good to see it continue uninterrupted, players can hope that it returns in some manner – whether it be a “stand alone” tournament or as a part of the WPT roster of events.

The post Matt Savage and World Poker Tour Issues Statement Regarding Taking Shooting Star Off Season XVI Schedule appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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India’s Poker Sports League Moves Forward with Inaugural Season

 India’s Poker Sports League Moves Forward with Inaugural Season

Up until Sunday, it had been a rumor that had yet to come to fruition. After running its draft for the 12 teams that make up the league, India’s Poker Sports League has gone from just a rumor to preparing for its first ever season.

On Sunday at the Playboy Club in Delhi, the 12 franchises that make up the league met to choose players for their teams. The squads, blindly picking numbers, arranged themselves from the first pick to the twelfth. Then, utilizing a “snake” draft (the first round would go 1-12, the second round 12-1, the third round 1-12, the fourth 12-1, etc.), each team picked first their pro player from a pool. The next pool was for players who had qualified for the draft from live play and, rounding out the process, players who had qualified for the league from online play.

What was perhaps the most interesting thing about the Poker Sports League is, from the start, there are individual owners for each of the teams that are major businessmen from India. These are the 12 owners of the teams and the businesses they represent:

Bengaluru Jokers – Kunal Shah (Co-founder, FreeCharge)
Chennai Bulls – Girish Mathrubootham (Co-founder, FreshDesk)
Delhi Panthers – Rishi Kajaria (Kajaria Ceramics); Ruchirans Jaipuria (Jaipuria Group); Abhishek Jain (Leela Jewels); Gaurav Goel (Dhampur Sugar)
Goan Nuts – Gaurav Mohan (Eventwala)
Gujrat Acers – Harish Bahl and Manish Vij (Smile Group); Mukesh Agarwal (VITWO LLP)
Haryana Hunters – Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta (Co-founder, Citrus Payments)
Hyderabad Kings – Amit Shah, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah (IIFL-Wealth)
Kolkata Royals – Ankkit Bhadur (Playboy North);; Taarun V. Jain (Legend Group)
Mumbai Anchors – Mehul Shah (Anchor Electrical)
Pune Sharks – Rishabh Jhunjhunwala (Bhilwara Group); Shamit Kehmka (Synapse India); Chetan Kaharia (Kajaria Ceramics); Sachin Goel
Punjab Bluffers – Aditya Munjal (Hero Cycles Group); Arjun Jain (White Fox); Shiva Vig (Anika International)
Rajasthan Tilters – Purrshottam Bhaggeria (Filatex Group)

While these owners strategized through the draft, the league announced the players who were the wild card selections for each team. This is where the rosters stepped outside of Indian players and picked up several professionals from around the world. One team, the Gujrat Acers, picked up an international player in Henrik Tollefsen, who sits in the twelfth slot in all time tournament earnings for Norwegian players; he is joined by India’s Raman Gujral, who is in the top 50 players in India in lifetime tournament earnings. Samad Razavi, who has the English flag as his Hendon Mob banner and is in 50th place in all-time earnings for English players, was picked up as a wild card by the Hyderabad Kings, while Patrick Leonard – another British pro who has over $ 700,000 in career earnings – will be joining the Rajasthan Tilters.

Full details haven’t been revealed as to how the league will be conducted, but it is expected that it will be a combination of live and online play for the nine player teams (one mentor/captain, two professional players, two wild cards, two live qualifiers and two online qualifiers). What can’t be questioned is the money that the 12 teams are vying for. Up for grabs for the twelve teams is 3.36 crores, or 33,600,000 rupees. That breaks down to roughly $ 525,000 U. S. dollars; for a comparison point, the winners of the inaugural Global Poker League championship, the Montreal Nationals, earned $ 100,000 for winning the league title.

The Poker Sports League says their mission statement is “to promote the tournament aspect of poker across India and to provide every poker enthusiast an opportunity to play for the pride of winning and to promote responsible poker.” For the first part of the statement – promoting tournament poker – it seems that the Poker Sports League is making significant inroads. As to how well it will do in the other aspects, only time will tell.

For more information on the Poker Sports League, be sure to visit their website.

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WPT Season XVI Begins, WPT Beijing Final Table Set

 WPT Season XVI Begins, WPT Beijing Final Table Set

Season XV of the World Poker Tour (WPT) just finished, but there is no rest for WPT staffers, as Season XVI has already begun. Beijing serves as the host of the kickoff event for the Tour’s sixteenth season, the first time an event on the “main” tour has even been held in China. Miraculously, the tournament, hosted by NUO Hotel Beijing, is a single-entry event. It is a true freezeout, unlike most WPT events nowadays, which allow re-entries into different starting flights. Registration was open until the beginning of Level 5, but the field was also capped at 400 players, so it was possible that registration was cut off early. It looks like the timing worked out, as just before the end of Level 5, the cap was nearly hit and the end registration numbers show that the field is 400 players strong.

With the entry limit hit, the total prize pool is set at CNY 9,600,000 (about USD $ 1,393,324). Payouts will go down to 50th place with the winner receiving CNY 2,063,454 (about USD $ 299,485).

Leading the charge into the final table is Chen Yanhan. And by “leading the charge,” I mean sprinting to the final table miles ahead of everyone else. Chen had 6.310 million chips, more than the other five players have COMBINED. The closest competitor is Zhang Wenbin, nearly five million chips behind.

Chen got to where he is through very aggressive play, swinging his big stack around very effectively. On many occasions late in the day, he raised over the top of players after they put in a large bets, forcing folds and scooping up pots without the need for a showdown.

For example, with seven players remaining, Chen called a 115,000 pre-flop raise by Tan Yancheng. On the flop of J-5-7, the two players checked (yes, the aggressiveness is coming). When a 2 was dealt on the turn, Chen led out for 145,000 and Tan called. Then, with a 7 on the river, Chen bet 450,000, Tan raised to 1 million chips, and Chen then decided to move all-in. Tan cut his losses and folded, falling down to about a million chips while Chen grew his lead significantly.

As the tournament is in China, the timing is going to be a bit nutty for poker fans in the rest of the world who would like to follow the action. The final table will commence at noon in Beijing on Wednesday, April 19th. Beijing is exactly half a day ahead of the eastern time zone in the United States, so the final table start is at midnight ET. Further conversions: 9:00pm in Las Vegas, 5:00am in London.

2017 World Poker Tour Beijing Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Chen Yanhan  –  6,310,000
2.    Zhang Wenbin  –  1,410,000
3.    Tan Yancheng  –  1,300,000
4.    Chen Ke  –  1,255,000
5.    Lu Yingqi  –  875,000
6.    Bryan Huang  –  820,000

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