Posts Tagged ‘Season’

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.

Poker News Daily

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.

Poker News Daily

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

Poker News Daily

Pete Yanhan Chen Wins WPT Beijing to Open WPT Season XVI

 Pete Yanhan Chen Wins WPT Beijing to Open WPT Season XVI

Well, we kind of knew this was going to happen going into the final table of the first event of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Season XVI, but Pete Yanhan Chen made it official Wednesday, winning WPT Beijing. Chen entered the six-handed final table with a prohibitive chip lead, holding more chips than his five opponents combined.

Chen’s lead was never really in doubt the entire final table. He wielded his chip stack like Reinhardt’s hammer in Overwatch, keeping everyone at bay while he chipped up.

The one time it looked like maybe, possibly, Chen could be at risk of coming back to the pack was with four players remaining. According to WPT.com, he raised all-in pre-flop under the gun and Zhang Wenbin called all-in for around a million chips. Zhang had Chen dominated with K-J against K-7 and it held up, allowing him to double-up to 2.2 million. Chen still had 7.4 million, so it wasn’t a big deal.

The very next hand, the 79th of the final table, Zhang raised to 195,000 pre-flop and Chen again shoved, putting Zhang all-in. Zhang called with pocket Queens, way ahead of Chen’s K-J. If Zhang doubled-up on this hand, he would be well within striking distance of Chen. That didn’t happen, though, as Chen flopped a King to give him a better pair and then rivered another King for good measure. Zhang was out of the tournament in fourth place and Chen got his chips back from the previous hand, growing his stack to 9.715 million.

Shortly thereafter, Lu Yingqi was knocked out in third place, setting up the heads-up match between Chen Yanhan and Chen Ke. Yanhan (we’re switching naming conventions now since they are both Chens), of course, had a huge lead, 9.99 million to 2.01 million. Ke held on as long as he could, but it was no contest.

Finally, on Hand #111 of the final table, Ke moved all-in for just over a million chips and Yanhan made the easy call, holding K-4 of spades. Ke was behind with Q-3, but at least had two live cards, which is about all you can ask for in that situation. None of the community cards helped either player, meaning Yanhan won the hand, the pot, and the tournament.

With a first prize worth about USD $ 300,000, Pete Yanhan Chen has now won over $ 1 million in his live tournament career. He has dozens of small cashes dating back to 2011, the vast majority of which are from tournaments in Asia. His largest cash before this won came back in 2014, when he finished fifth place in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event for $ 74,170.

2017 World Poker Tour Beijing Main Event – Final Table Results

1.    Pete Yanhan Chen – CNY 2,063,454 (USD $ 299,485)
2.    Chen Ke – CNY 1,373,026 (USD $ 199,278)
3.    Lu Yingqi – CNY 882,619 (USD $ 128,101)
4.    Zhang Wenben – CNY 585,468 (USD $ 84,974)
5.    Tan Yancheng – CNY 450,616 (USD $ 65,401)
6.    Bryan Huang – CNY 373,218 (USD $ 54,168)

Poker News Daily

Pete Yanhan Chen Wins WPT Beijing to Open WPT Season XVI

 Pete Yanhan Chen Wins WPT Beijing to Open WPT Season XVI

Well, we kind of knew this was going to happen going into the final table of the first event of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Season XVI, but Pete Yanhan Chen made it official Wednesday, winning WPT Beijing. Chen entered the six-handed final table with a prohibitive chip lead, holding more chips than his five opponents combined.

Chen’s lead was never really in doubt the entire final table. He wielded his chip stack like Reinhardt’s hammer in Overwatch, keeping everyone at bay while he chipped up.

The one time it looked like maybe, possibly, Chen could be at risk of coming back to the pack was with four players remaining. According to WPT.com, he raised all-in pre-flop under the gun and Zhang Wenbin called all-in for around a million chips. Zhang had Chen dominated with K-J against K-7 and it held up, allowing him to double-up to 2.2 million. Chen still had 7.4 million, so it wasn’t a big deal.

The very next hand, the 79th of the final table, Zhang raised to 195,000 pre-flop and Chen again shoved, putting Zhang all-in. Zhang called with pocket Queens, way ahead of Chen’s K-J. If Zhang doubled-up on this hand, he would be well within striking distance of Chen. That didn’t happen, though, as Chen flopped a King to give him a better pair and then rivered another King for good measure. Zhang was out of the tournament in fourth place and Chen got his chips back from the previous hand, growing his stack to 9.715 million.

Shortly thereafter, Lu Yingqi was knocked out in third place, setting up the heads-up match between Chen Yanhan and Chen Ke. Yanhan (we’re switching naming conventions now since they are both Chens), of course, had a huge lead, 9.99 million to 2.01 million. Ke held on as long as he could, but it was no contest.

Finally, on Hand #111 of the final table, Ke moved all-in for just over a million chips and Yanhan made the easy call, holding K-4 of spades. Ke was behind with Q-3, but at least had two live cards, which is about all you can ask for in that situation. None of the community cards helped either player, meaning Yanhan won the hand, the pot, and the tournament.

With a first prize worth about USD $ 300,000, Pete Yanhan Chen has now won over $ 1 million in his live tournament career. He has dozens of small cashes dating back to 2011, the vast majority of which are from tournaments in Asia. His largest cash before this won came back in 2014, when he finished fifth place in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event for $ 74,170.

2017 World Poker Tour Beijing Main Event – Final Table Results

1.    Pete Yanhan Chen – CNY 2,063,454 (USD $ 299,485)
2.    Chen Ke – CNY 1,373,026 (USD $ 199,278)
3.    Lu Yingqi – CNY 882,619 (USD $ 128,101)
4.    Zhang Wenben – CNY 585,468 (USD $ 84,974)
5.    Tan Yancheng – CNY 450,616 (USD $ 65,401)
6.    Bryan Huang – CNY 373,218 (USD $ 54,168)

Poker News Daily



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