Posts Tagged ‘Season’

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 Yanbin. 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 Yanbin  –  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

Daniel Weinman Wins WPT Season XV Tournament of Champions

 Daniel Weinman Wins WPT Season XV Tournament of Champions

Though the next World Poker Tour event is just around the corner, WPT Season XV officially ended Sunday night as Daniel Weinman won the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Because it is now invitational only, the WPT’s season-ending tournament is small – just 66 players entered – but as it is limited to former WPT title winners, the field was obviously stacked with heavy hitters. Even those that may not be the absolute cream of the crop still clearly have both experience and success staring down the pressure that comes with a deep run in a major tournament.

For his win, Weinman received $ 381,500. But that’s not all. He also won a heap of other prizes, including a $ 15,000 entry into next year’s WPT Tournament of Champions, a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe, a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, a pair of Monster Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones, a custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables, a one-week stay with Wyndham Extra Holidays, and a spot in Tiger’s Poker Night, which is a presented by the WPT. Not bad. I mean, the headphones are kind of ridiculous looking, the watch is gaudy is hell, I would have nowhere to put the poker table, and the Audi isn’t really a practical family car for a guy like me, but I wasn’t the one who won all of that stuff.

Speaking with legendary WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage after the victory, Weinman said, “It feels incredible. I think I played some awesome poker today and I came out on top so I can’t really ask for anything more. It was a long three days, I was very sick the first day, I was kind of lucky to get through. But then I feel like I was able to focus on the last two days.”

Weinman began final table play as the chip leader and held onto the lead for most of Sunday. Most people relish the idea of having the largest chip stack at the poker table, but Weinman had some interesting thoughts about that, saying, “….I’d almost rather be short, just kind of have my mind-game simplified. Being the chip leader you really have to be involved in tons of pots, and I really didn’t have chips the entire tournament until the later stages of yesterday when I kind of went on a rush.”

It is kind of like being a high seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. There is a lot of pressure on you in the opening round because you are expected to win. The lower seed, or in this case, the short stack, has nothing to lose and is therefore sometimes able to put pressure on the favorite.

As mentioned, the WPT turns around very fast from here. Season XVI begins later this week with WPT Beijing, an invitation-only tournament. After that, it’s WPT Amsterdam in the first week of May.

World Poker Tour Season XIV Tournament of Champions – Final Money Results

1.    Daniel Weinman – $ 381,500
2.    Michael Mizrachi – $ 218,000
3.    Daniel Santoro – $ 133,525
4.    David Ormsby – $ 95,375
5.    Erik Seidel – $ 73,575
6.    Dylan Wilkerson – $ 57,225
7.    Stefan Schillhabel – $ 49,050
8.    Jesse Sylvia – $ 43,600
9.    Jonathan Jaffe – $ 38,150

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Begins Dash to End Season XV with WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

 World Poker Tour Begins Dash to End Season XV with WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

Looking to finish off the Season XV schedule with a bang, the World Poker Tour will be setting up shop in the sunny state of Florida for the next 10 days. Kicking off the trio of events to finish this year’s WPT roster of events will be tomorrow’s start of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Now in its second year, the change for the WPT to playing its final events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, seems to have worked out well. When it was held last year, the WPT scheduled three events – a $ 3500 buy in tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown), a $ 10,000 tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale) and a $ 15,000 restricted access event (the inaugural WPT Tournament of Champions) – that were all conducted on the grounds in Hollywood. For the most part, the WPT was satisfied with the numbers for two of the events and are looking to pick up the numbers on the third.

The Showdown was quite popular with the players, with 1222 entries being received for the “re-entry” tournament (eventually won by Justin Young over Garrett Greer). Even the Finale went well, with 342 players ponying up the $ 10K to be a part of the action (and seeing David ‘Chino’ Rheem emerge as champion). Perhaps the only disappointing spot on the season closer was the inaugural Tournament of Champions, but that could have been more from the format than the lack of players who wanted to take part.

The Tournament of Champions replaced the WPT World Championship during last year’s finale in Florida. Only players who had previously won a WPT Main Tour event (not a National or Regional title) were eligible to take part in the tournament. The players who had won on the tour over the previous year had part of their prize from winning their event pulled to guarantee them access to the tournament, but past champions had to put up $ 15,000 to play in the tournament. This resulted in a rather paltry 64 players that took part in the TOC, with 2015 WPT Amsterdam champion Farid Yachou becoming the first ever champion of the WPT TOC.

There is a reason that the word “paltry” is used along with the inaugural WPT TOC. The 64 players that attended the tournament in 2016 were from the 227 previous champions that have been crowned in the history of the WPT Main Tour. The 17 players (plus two more from the Seminole Hard Rock events preceding the TOC) who have won on the WPT this season are guaranteed entry and bring the total potential number of participants to 242 (Darren Elias was a prior WPT Champions’ Club member and Sam Panzica won two tournaments during the season), but who will show up from the Champions’ Club to take them on? The WPT is trying to bring in some more former champions for the tournament by spicing up the prize package.

The tournament sponsor, Monster Headphones, has not only added $ 100,000 to the prize pool but also has put up a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe for the eventual champion, a high-end sports car that starts at $ 41,000. This is in addition to other “spoils of war” such as a custom-made poker table from BBO Poker Tables, custom fit sunglasses from Maui Jim, and a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, among other items.

The tournament will once again feature a different structure than the usual WPT events. Starting with six-handed tables, a 30-second shot clock will also be employed, which basically means what it says – players have 30 seconds to make their decisions on each street. If a player needs more time, they are given five 30-second extensions that they can use as they see fit (one at a time or all five at once) up to the final table. At the final table, the players will be reset with four 30-second extensions each.

The Showdown and the Finale are also the last chances players have to earn points towards the WPT Player of the Year. With those two events remaining, it is a neck and neck battle between Benjamin Zamani (2500 points), who has led for virtually the entire season, and two-time WPT champion Panzica (2450 points). If those two should falter, lurking in the background is WPT Montreal champion, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton (2100), who could be itching to be a spoiler in the competition between Zamani and Panzica. Elias (1650 points) and WPT L. A. Poker Classic champion Daniel Strelitz (1450) round out the Top Five, but they would need astronomically good runs in Florida to get into the race (like winning both the Showdown and the Finale).

The next 10 days will be a poker junkie’s dream and, after all the chips have been tossed and cards ruffed, the doors on Season XV of the World Poker Tour. The only question remaining is who will be the big winners? We’ll look to answer those questions starting tomorrow with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Poker News Daily

Global Poker League Second Season Waits While Expansion Occurs in China, Other Areas

 Global Poker League Second Season Waits While Expansion Occurs in China, Other Areas

It was thought by this point that the Global Poker League, the burgeoning team poker organization created by the Global Poker Index and its head honcho Alex Dreyfus, would have already started its second season. However, Season 2 of the GPL has been held up while Dreyfus moves forward with other endeavors.

Chief among Dreyfus’ current interests are the start of the eight-team GPL China. For that league, Dreyfus has been able to sign a major deal with JuzhongJoy, a Beijing operation that will assist Dreyfus with operations, distribution, and sponsorships inside the Communist (but still quite capitalist when it comes to business) nation. “We want to…become the NBA of poker in China!” Dreyfus enthusiastically stated in an e-mail announcing the partnership.

This isn’t the end of regionalized GPL outlets either. “I am happy to tease that GPL will support other regional initiatives such as the GPL Heads Up Challenge in France,” Dreyfus mentioned in the e-mail. “Alongside GPL China, we are currently preparing the rollout of GPL India and GPL Latin America also. Our goal is to connect poker fans and help them be a part of the GPL adventure, regardless of where they are.”

The India market is one that has been particularly red-hot of late. In February two outlets, the Poker Sports League and the Online Poker League, opened for business in the second largest nation in the world. It must be thought that Dreyfus, whom it appeared that both organizations were mimicking with the introduction of their leagues, is wanting to take on these upstarts and become the definitive regional league when it comes to poker.

The fate of the original GPL is one that has come up on a few occasions. Since the Montreal Nationals defeated the Berlin Bears in December in a series that went the maximum 11-game distance before the Nationals took down the title 6-5, there has been absolutely nothing that has come up regarding the GPL. There are reasons for this, however.

In an exclusive discussion with Poker News Daily, Dreyfus has said that “there were issues” with the inaugural season of the GPL. “In no way did we envision the season going nine months long,” Dreyfus commented and he is accurate. Few sports leagues can function on such an elongated schedule because keeping the attention of the fans is paramount. Dreyfus has said that he wants a shorter season and is working towards that goal.

As a part of that shorter season, Dreyfus says that there are changes afoot for the entire way the GPL operates. “I don’t think anyone want to see the same exact format of last year, with hundreds of matches played, long delays and such,” Dreyfus commented. “We know what we want to do based on the feedback from the audience and the mistakes we made…we will make the GPL a better product.”

Part of that new approach probably will not include changes to the online format that the GPL used in 2016. The online matches were found by newcomers to the Twitch streams to be a bit of a disappointment as they were expecting to tune in to watch the players actually sitting around a table under live circumstances. The online format of those matches, however, allow for players from around the world to be a part of the action rather than requiring them to be in a set location. There might be some changes made to the “Summer Series” – which basically were the online matches but with the participants standing inside “The Cube” to play while the World Series of Poker was running in Las Vegas – but Dreyfus would not elaborate on what changes would be made except to say they would be announced “soon.”

Dreyfus isn’t letting the GPL sit idle, as shown by his actions in India, France, and China. But it would be good to see something on the international circuit – even if it were just a start date – so that those who have become fans of the GPL know when it will return.

Poker News Daily

Inaugural Global Poker League Season to Conclude This Week

 Inaugural Global Poker League Season to Conclude This Week

The Global Poker League will wrap up their inaugural season beginning on Tuesday. By the end of the week – Thursday, to be precise – the first champion of the fledgling poker league will be crowned, with that champion taking down a $ 100,000 grand prize as their reward.

After playing through a grueling 14-week regular season that was split up pre- and post-World Series of Poker and battling through the “Summer Series” that saw the teams meet physically, the GPL determined the eight teams of the 12-team league that would compete for the GPL World Championship last month. These eight teams will play on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the two conferences deciding their champions on those days.

First up will be the GPL Americas on Tuesday, with the lineup going off as such:

#1 Montreal Nationals (130K in chips) vs. #4 San Francisco Rush (100K), 3PM Eastern Time
#3 Sao Paulo Metropolitans (110K) vs. #2 L. A. Sunset (120K) 4:30PM Eastern Time

Each team will choose three players from their roster for the “best of seven” (meaning a team will need to win four matches) heads up schedules that will take place (a fourth player can also be chosen by the manager that can take the place of one of the original three team members, but that swap can only be done at the start of a series). As the higher seeds, both the Nationals and the Sunset will get to see the rosters of their opponents before setting their lineups (another benefit of having a better regular season record in addition to the extra chips), which will be critical to finding just the right player combination for the fight at hand. The victors of those two matches will meet at 6PM (Eastern Time) to determine the champion of the GPL Americas.

On Wednesday, it will be the GPL Eurasia’s turn to hit “The Cube” in Las Vegas:

#1 Moscow Wolverines (130K) vs. #4 London Royals (100K), 3PM Eastern Time
#3 Berlin Bears (110K) vs. #2 Hong Kong Stars (120K), 4:30PM Eastern Time

The same format as for the GPL Americas on Tuesday will hold for the GPL Eurasia on Wednesday. The teams will have three of their players on hand for battle, with each schedule being decided on a “best of seven” heads up format and the final two teams expected to hit “The Cube” to determine the champion at 6PM (Eastern Time).

There are some interesting twists that will ensure that all players will get in “The Cube.” Each player must have played at least once in the contest before a player can make a repeat appearance. After each of the three players have been used on a set schedule from the manager, the managers for each team can then name – on a player-by-player basis – who will enter “The Cube” next for the team.

Once each conference has determined their champion, Thursday will be “Championship Day” for one of those two teams and the GPL itself. The GPL Championship will see each team enter “The Cube” in a “best of nine” (five victories to win) series. Each team will start off with 500K in chips for each match and neither team will have any advantage – no knowledge of the other team’s lineup, no chip advantage, nothing.

From a look at the way things are set with the schedule, it is possible to see that the GPL Americas teams might have an advantage. Playing on their “home court” per se because they are in the country, the Americas teams will be on their normal schedule. This might be negated if the GPL Eurasia teams arrive a bit early to get their team members (and their “body clocks”) on the same schedule as the Americas teams (3PM Eastern is late evening in Europe and early morning in Asia, not to mention noon in Las Vegas where the matches will take place). Teams like the Wolverines (with their all-Russian lineup) and the Stars (with their Chinese roster) could have their work cut out for them.

By Thursday, the first champion will make history for the GPL. Who will it be? Follow along at the GPL website, where you can watch the action on their live stream from Las Vegas and where you can also get in on their Bracket Challenge!

Poker News Daily



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