Posts Tagged ‘Second’

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

Sam Panzica Earns Second WPT Title in Winning 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star

 Sam Panzica Earns Second WPT Title in Winning 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star

Although it appeared at the beginning that start of day chip leader chip leader David ‘Chino’ Rheem would be the one making history, it was Sam Panzica who would etch his name in the World Poker Tour record books after winning the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star championship early Saturday morning.

Rheem came into the action on Friday with a massive chip lead over the field. His 10.65 million chips dominated the second-place stack of Rainer Kempe (3.705 million), who could have been more concerned with fending off Panzica (3.215 million) and Paul Volpe (3.005 million) than mounting an attack. Anthony Spinella (2.635 million) also bore watching as, with a singular double up, he would push his name into the second-place slot. Only Dennis Stevermer, the short stack on the table with less than a million chips (980,000), was the only player who those in the Bay 101 tournament arena thought would have no shot at the title.

Surprisingly (considering he only held 12 big blinds entering the action), Stevermer wasn’t the first departure from the final table. He got a key double through Kempe to crack the 1.5 million chip mark, then started using the “all in” move to further increase his stack. In a span of ten hands, Stevermer would move all in four times – and not be called – and win one pot outright with a pre-flop raise to get over the two million chip mark. This aggression allowed him to be able to witness the first elimination of the day – and it wasn’t him.

After Rheem popped the pot out of the cutoff on Hand 37, Kempe (the final Shooting Star left in the tournament) moved all in out of the small blind in an attempt to push the chip leader off his hand. Instead, given the opportunity to knock out a dangerous opponent, Rheem quickly made the call. It didn’t hurt that Rheem also had pocket Kings, a definitive favorite against Kempe’s A-9 off suit. Kempe would get no help from the eight-high board and not only left the tournament in sixth place but also had to hand his Shooting Star medallion and a signed t-shirt to Rheem, who was more interested perhaps in the $ 2500 that came along with the bounty knockout.

Rheem’s dominance was only enhanced with the Kempe elimination as he now held more chips (13.485 million) than the other four men did combined (10.705 million). Volpe put a dent in it by doubling through Rheem on the next hand after Kempe’s departure, but this status quo would stay in place for some time. In fact, it would be almost 30 hands before a significant change would occur in the standings.

On Hand 65, Spinella put in a raise to 250K and Rheem defended his big blind to see a monochrome K 9 2 flop. Rheem checked his option and, after Spinella put in another 250K bet, Rheem fired all in over Spinella’s bet. Stunningly Spinella immediately called, showing a J 3 for a flopped flush, while Rheem held the A (along with an off suit eight) for the redraw to the nut flush. Unfortunately for Rheem, a black nine and a black Jack finished off the board, doubling up Spinella to 7.74 million chips (and second place) and knocking Rheem under an eight-figure stack for the first time at the final table.

Rheem would rectify that situation in eliminating Stevermer only seven hands later. The chips went all in pre-flop and Stevermer had the edge with his A-8 over Rheem’s K-9. The flop was a tantalizing one, coming 9-7-6 to give Rheem the tentative lead with his pair of nines but giving Stevermer an open ended straight draw. That draw wouldn’t come home, however, as Stevermer, who many thought was dead meat on arrival at the final table, lasted 72 hands before departing in fifth place.

Back over 11 million in chips, Rheem tried to put the foot back on the gas pedal and win what would be his record fourth WPT title, but Spinella would once again be a thorn in his side. On Hand 84, Rheem lost the chip lead for the first time when, after a J-5-2 flop, Rheem let Spinella have a 4.1 million pot to fall back to second place by only 25,000 chips. Spinella and Rheem would clash again on the next hand and the endgame would be the same, except this time Spinella rivered a deuce after turning an Ace for two pair against Rheem’s flopped pair of Kings to win the hand. With that win, Spinella was now the dominant chip leader, moving past 12 million in chips as Rheem slipped back to 6.675 million.

This only served to light a fire under Rheem, who would take down Volpe a few hands later. On Hand 90, Rheem pushed the action to 375K and Volpe, in the big blind, defended to see an 8 7♠ 4♠ flop. This seemingly innocuous flop instead seemed to light the fireworks as, after Rheem sent another 375K to the pot, Volpe check-raised his remaining three million chips. Rheem immediately called, showing pocket Kings, while Volpe was quite live with his Q♠ J♠ for the flush draw. The turn and river were black, but they were clubs, sending Volpe home in fourth place while pushing Rheem into a solid second behind Spinella.

At this point, Panzica was in no position to even posit winning the tournament. With slightly more than three million in chips, Panzica’s stack was three time smaller than Rheem’s and almost four times smaller than Spinella’s. The longest journeys take a singular step, as the saying goes, and Panzica’s journey was an audacious one.

The threesome played 18 hands before Panzica took over second place, but Rheem still was exercising his dominance. Another 30 hands would see Rheem reestablish his edge with 13.25 million chips, while Panzica and Spinella fought over the scraps. On Hand 151, however, Panzica and Rheem would enter a hand that would change the course of the tournament.

Panzica raised the button and Spinella made the call from the small blind, but Rheem was having none of it. He moved all in out of the big blind and Panzica was more than happy to dance, pushing his stack to the center. A cautious Spinella got out of the way and it proved to be the right move; Panzica’s pocket Aces dominated Rheem’s Q-J and, after the ten-high flop came down, the double for Panzica put him neck and neck with Rheem for the chip lead.

Panzica would take over at this point and never look back. The very next hand after doubling through Rheem, Panzica seized the chip lead after butting heads with Rheem again and stretched it out over the next five hands. In taking another big pot against Rheem – this one worth 8.3 million chips – Panzica would put Rheem on the short stack. The end was on the horizon, but the final chapter remained to be written.

On Hand 167, Spinella doubled through Rheem to drop the former chip leader to only two big blinds and would eliminate him on the very next hand. Spinella now was sitting with a nice 5.75 million stack, but it dwindled in the face of the monstrous 18.475 million chip mountain sitting in front of Panzica. Although he earned one double to pull closer, Spinella never saw the chip lead in heads up play.

On the final hand, Spinella pushed out a raise only to see Panzica power over the top of him all in. Spinella called and tabled an A-8, normally good in a heads up setting, but Panzica had a couple of pips on him in tabling A-10. The Jack high flop (J-5-3-4-5) didn’t change anything, sending Panzica to his second WPT championship in winning the Shooting Star.

1. Sam Panzica, $ 1,373,000
2. Anthony Spinella, $ 786,610
3. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, $ 521,660
4. Paul Volpe, $ 349,610
5. Dennis Stevermer, $ 243,090
6. Rainer Kempe, $ 188,460

There’s no rest for these men as, for Rheem, Kempe and Volpe at the minimum, the final leg of the WPT California Swing starts today. The WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento begins on Saturday and it is the final chance for players to earn points toward that title (Mike Sexton currently leads those standings). Panzica will also probably head to Thunder Valley also, but not until he’s finished celebrating his second WPT title.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Four: Daniel Strelitz Tops Field for Second Straight Day

 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Four: Daniel Strelitz Tops Field for Second Straight Day

Daniel Strelitz went into Day 4 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic as the chip leader and ended it in the same spot as just 18 players remain in one of the WPT’s original tour stops. Finishing with 2.02 million chips, he nearly exactly doubled his chips from the start of the day to the finish.

After Day 3, Strelitz was the only player with more than 1 million chips. Similarly, he ended Day 4 as the only one with more than 2 million. The next closest player is Allan Le, with 1.68 million. After the two of them, just four other players have at least 1 million.

After the night was over, Strelitz spoke with WPT.com about his day, saying that he didn’t expect to be the chip leader again, as he had lost a large chunk of chips early. When asked how he ran his stack up again, Strelitz replied, “I just kept making lots of strong hands. I was opening a lot, and they were letting me kind of just win the blinds over and over, and then I made two straights, made a flush, and got paid off a bunch.”

Both of those straights came late in the evening. The first was against Visnja Luetic, who raised pre-flop to 35,000 and was called by Strelitz. The flop was J-9-5, at which point Luetic bet 75,000 and Strelitz called. The turn was a 7 and once again, Luetic bet 125,000 and was called by Strelitz. I think you can see what’s coming. It was the same betting on the river after a 4 was dealt and Strelitz showed T-8 for a straight, beating Luetic’s J-9, two pair. That hand got Strelitz over 2 million chips.

The second straight was ALSO against Luetic, though Luetic didn’t take as much damage this time. Luetic once again raised to 35,000 and both Strelitz and Rainer Kempe called. The flop was Q-8-8 and this time Luetic checked. Strelitz bet 55,000, Kempe bailed, and Luetic called. Both players checked the King on the turn. Luetic checked the river 9, but called Strelitz’s 140,000 chip bet. Strelitz showed J-T for a straight Luetic mucked her cards.

Strelitz could have finished Day 4 with even more chips, but doubled-up Matt Schultz late to retreat back to the 2 million mark.

One interesting, non-Strelitz note for the day: after the re-draw for the final three tables, Allan Le was seated next to his brother, Nam Le. After Nam was eliminated in 27th place (not by his brother), he told WPT.com of the experience having to compete directly against Allan, “It’s kind of awkward, but it’s bound to happen if we keep playing tournaments and get deep.”

Day 5 will begin at noon PT Wednesday and will conclude when the official six-handed final table is determined.

2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 4 Chip Counts

1.    Daniel Strelitz – 2,020,000
2.    Allan Le – 1,680,000
3.    Jesse Martin – 1,581,000
4.    Joe Serock – 1,157,000
5.    Matt Berkey – 1,118,000
6.    William Vo – 1,081,000
7.    John Cynn – 922,000
8.    Mike Sexton – 908,000
9.    Rainer Kempe – 798,000
10.    Richard Tuhrim – 753,000
11.    Donald Maloney – 727,000
12.    Jared Griener – 618,000
13.    Matt Schultz – 577,000
14.    Simeon Naydenov – 448,000
15.    Visnja Luetic – 365,000
16.    James Calderaro – 318,000
17.    Dzmitry Urbanovich – 288,000
18.    Dean Baranowski – 273,000

Poker News Daily

partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event Day 3: Ema Zajmovic Seeking Second WPT Final Table

 partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event Day 3: Ema Zajmovic Seeking Second WPT Final Table

The partypoker.net World Poker Tour (WPT) Playground Main Event is down to its final day, with just ten players remaining from the 28 that began Monday’s action. After Day 3, it is French-Canadian Ema Zajmovic who holds the chip lead with 2.985 million chips.

Zajmovic, a Quebec native, is apparently quite fond of Montreal’s Playground Poker Club, as this is her second straight deep run at this card room. In November, she made the final table and finished fifth in the partypoker.net WPT Montreal Main Event, winning CAD $ 102,010 (USD $ 76,108). That cash comprises the bulk of her $ 100,000 in live tournament earnings, though she did also cash in this past summer’s World Series of Poker Main Event for $ 15,000.

As she was last time she was in this position, Zajmovic is seeking to become the first woman in World Poker Tour history to win an open Main Event.

“Honestly, I have been running really good today,”Zajmovic told WPT.com. “It is a mix too because I have spots where I have the momentum. I hope it will continues [sic] tomorrow because at the last final table it was so bad because I ran so bad. I think the key is to have the momentum all the time and play the best you can with what you have. We’ll see what happens and if I can keep getting lucky.”

Very early on in Day 3, Zajmovic experienced some of that “run good.” After chip Hendrik Latz (the chip leader entering the day) raised pre-flop to 40,000 chips and Jean-Pascal Savard (second in chips) called, Zajmovic moved all-in for 330,000. Latz called and Savard folded. Zajmovic turned over A-Q suited, but Latz held A-K, dominating her hand. The flop was J-8-8 with none of Zajmovic’s suit, so her flush was out the window. She struck gold on the turn, though, with a Queen and with a low card on the river, Zajmovic survived to double-up.

Another player was an illustration of how things can go south in a hurry in poker. Henry Tran at one point had 2.330 million chips, over 20 percent of the chips in play at the time when the average stack was 3.6 percent of the tournament’s chips. He couldn’t keep it going, though, ending Day 3 with just over half a million chips. It looks like he just kept get caught up in hands where he couldn’t seal the deal, committing lots of chips and then having to bail. For instance, in one hand, he raised to 52,000 pre-flop, Savard re-raised to 139,000, and Tran decided to four-bet to 277,000. When Savard shoved, though, Tran tanked and finally laid down his hand, as he would have been risking his tournament life. That left him with 575,000 chips at the time.

Day 4 – what appears to be the final day of the tournament – is underway at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal.

partypoker.net World Poker Tour Playground Main Event – Day 3 Chip Counts

1.    Ema Zajmovic – 2,985,000
2.    Jean-Pascal Savard – 2,095,000
3.    Tam Ho – 1,700,000
4.    Eric Afriat – 1,135,000
5.    Jean-Francois Bouchard – 1,005,000
6.    Carter Swidler – 615,000
7.    Henry Tran – 525,000
8.    Ryan Yu – 520,000
9.    Danny Li – 495,000
10.    Mekhail Mekhail – 300,000

Poker News Daily

Marton Czuczor Leads EPT Prague Final Table, David Peters a Close Second

 Marton Czuczor Leads EPT Prague Final Table, David Peters a Close Second

The final table has been determined for the final event in the history of the European Poker Tour. Six players will come back to the felt at the Hilton Prague Hotel on Monday at noon local time (6AM East Coast time) with Marton Czuczor holding a slim lead over David Peters.

Peters, who ended Day 3 with the chip lead, didn’t hold that slot at the end of Day 4, but he was in second place at that time as well. With 18 players remaining, Jasper Meijer van Putten was at the helm of the ship with his 3.77 million in chips. Peters was lurking behind him with 2.985 million chips, while Czuczor was also in the debate in third place with 2.935 million chips.

The day got off to a big bang as Czuczor and van Putten decided to clash. After Andrew Hulme opened the betting pre-flop and van Putten called off the button, Czuczor pushed the action with a three-bet to 375K. Hulme got out of the way, but van Putten decided to stay around for a look at the flop. A K-J-6 flop greeted the duo and Czuczor was undaunted, putting out another 300K. van Putten also was still interested as he made the call and a five was dealt on the turn. After Czuczor laid out another 720K on the turn, van Putten decided discretion was the better part of valor, mucking his hand and sending the pot and the chip lead over to Czuczor.

It wasn’t long after this battle that Peters got back into the game. He raised pre-flop from the cutoff and only the small blind of Sergei Petrushevskii came along for the ride. A 4-Q-3 flop saw Petrushevskii check-call a bet of 145K from Peters and, after a ten came on the turn, he would do the same, this time following a 260K bet. A four on the river opened a couple of different options as Peters fired a third bullet of 370K at Petrushevskii. After some deliberation, Petrushevskii made the call and saw Peters toss pocket Kings on the felt. Whatever Petrushevskii had it wasn’t good enough; as he sent his cards to the muck, the nearly million chip pot pushed Peters back into the lead with almost four million chips.

Czuczor and Peters remained the story of the day’s play on Sunday, with one or the other at the top of the leaderboard for much of the day. By the time the last nine players were reached, it was Czuczor’s turn to lead the event with his 6.7 million in chips. Sam Cohen, the final lady in the tournament, was a bit behind in second place with her 4.88 million in chips, while Peters was located down the ladder with the second shortest stack after having run into some bad fortune.

Peters showed tremendous fortitude in forging his comeback. He took some chips from Czuczor to get back over three million, then capped another pot off Janos Kurtosi to top the four million point. When he knocked out Kurtosi in ninth place after turning a flush against Kurtosi’s air bluff, Peters was back up to 6.3 million chips and in the middle of the battle for the chip lead once again.

Not to be outdone, Czuczor took out a player himself. Instead of stopping with eight players remaining (the traditional EPT final table), action continued as Czuczor bumped off Kiryl Radzivonau off in eighth place, Czuczor’s pocket Kings holding against Radzivonau’s pocket nines, to push his lead back out to a comfortable level with 8.55 million chips. By the end of Level 28, Czuczor had more than a 2.6 million chip lead over Peters.

Both Czuczor and Peters captained the table as Level 29 began. It seemed that, if Czuczor wasn’t winning a pot, it was Peters, as the duo pulled away from the other five players on the table. Czuczor at one point cracked the 11 million chip mark before settling back to under 10 million by the end of the day’s play. Peters would be the one to bring about the closure of play, knocking off David Lopez Llacer in seventh place to firmly grasp the second-place slot for Monday’s final table.

1. Marton Czuczor, 9.71 million
2. David Peters, 8.88 million
3. Sergei Petrushevskii, 5.265 million
4. Sam Cohen, 4.52 million
5. Jasper Meijer van Putten, 3.815 million
6. Marius Gierse, 3.55 million

(Llacer in seventh and Radzivonau in eighth will both receive credit for making an EPT final table.)

Czuczor and Peters are going to have most of the attention for Monday’s final table, but it isn’t out of the question for someone from the remaining four players to make their mark. Cohen in particular has played a strong game and, should she win, she would join the sorority of Victoria Coren-Mitchell, Sandra Naujoks and Liv Boeree as the only women to have ever won an EPT Main Event.

Whatever happens on Monday it will be bittersweet as the EPT Prague – and the EPT itself – come to a close.

Poker News Daily



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