Posts Tagged ‘Second’

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1B: Valentin Vornicu Makes Most of Second Chance, Takes Over Chip Lead

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1B: Valentin Vornicu Makes Most of Second Chance, Takes Over Chip Lead

After coming up dry on Day 1A of the event, Valentin Vornicu got the most out of his second shot at the tournament on Saturday, emerging as the overall leader of the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker with one more Day One left.

Looking to top Day 1A’s 155 entries, Day 1B saw another throng of poker professionals and amateurs looking to take their shot. At the sounding of the “shuffle up and deal” call, notables such as WPT Champions’ Club members Tony Dunst and Barry Greenstein were at their tables alongside Eric Baldwin, Ray Quartomy, and Matt Stout, who were all back from their Day 1A disappointment for another chance. Vornicu was on that list also, but the day didn’t start very well for him.

About three hours into Saturday’s play, Vornicu found himself staring at a Q♠ 10 6♣ 5♣ 8♣ board, Vornicu fired off a bet but was met with an all-in check raise from the small blind. Vornicu couldn’t put together the logic behind his opponent’s hand and, after several minutes, made the call and turned up pocket fives for the turned set. Vornicu’s opponent, however, had stuck around for the runner-runner nut flush with his A♣ 3♣, sending the nine-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner to the rail for his second chance at his second chance.

Vornicu would make the most of his last chance on Saturday. Within three hours of using his re-entry option for Day 1B, Vornicu had run his stack up to over 183K in chips to take over the chip lead. After the dinner break, Vornicu’s star continued to rise as he picked off a bluff and rivered a straight to cross the 200K mark. The only thing that stopped the “Vornicu Express” was the end of 10 levels of play for the day, when he bagged 286,700 in chips.

1. Valentin Vornicu, 286,700
2. Adam Geyer, 273,000
3. Peter Neff, 266,100
4. Igor Zekster, 198,700
5. Tuan Mai, 179,400
6. Jamie Armstrong, 164,900
7. Bill Germanis, 152,100
8. Gaurav Raina, 146,600
9. Skip Huber, 135,200
10. Derek Wolters, 133,800

Among those who have to decide if playing Day 1C is going to be worthwhile are Samantha Cohen, Allen Kessler, Mike Matusow, Jordan Cristos, Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan, Stout and Quartomy. Of the 177 entries that were received on Saturday (bringing the total field to 332), only 60 people would be standing by the final bell in the Bike’s tournament arena (117 between the first two Day Ones).

Vornicu is an intriguing player. He has the second most WSOP-C rings of all time (behind only Maurice Hawkins) and is only about $ 10K short of earning $ 1 million in his tournament poker career. Surprisingly, none of those winnings has ever come from a WPT Main Tour event; if (and it’s a strong if) Vornicu is able to cash in this tournament, it would be his first-ever WPT cash on the Main Tour schedule.

Overall, Vornicu has not only taken over the combined Day One leaderboard, the two men pursuing him join him to make up the Top Three in the tournament:

1. Valentin Vornicu, 286,700
2. Adam Geyer, 273,000
3. Peter Neff, 266,100
4. Thomas Zanot, 217,700*
5. Igor Zekster, 198,700
6. David Lambard, 183,900*
7. Tuan Mai, 179,400
8. Gary Sewell, 176,700*
9. Vince Salvatore, 173,000*
10. Christopher Staats, 167,900*

(* – Day 1A player)

The final Day One – and the final chance for many of those around the Bike – will kick off at noon on Sunday. The players will have one re-entry available should they bust on Sunday, then there will be a final “last chance” for players to buy in (30K in chips for $ 4000; it is possible that a player could burn through seven buy-ins, or $ 28,000, without success) before the start of Day Two on Monday. With the popularity of the first two days of the tournament, it is likely that the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker will crack the 500-entry mark and could take a run at 600.

Poker News Daily

Ryan Riess Picks Up Second Leg of Triple Crown, Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale

 Ryan Riess Picks Up Second Leg of Triple Crown, Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale

Working his way through one of the final $ 10,000 buy-in events left on the World Poker Tour schedule, former World Champion Ryan Riess emerged from a tough final table to take the second leg of poker’s “Triple Crown” in winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale last night.

Coming into the action on Thursday, Riess was second in chips (with his 3.09 million stack) behind only former WPT champion Alan Sternberg, who was on top of the final table with 4.605 million chips. There were potential trouble spots in every other seat, with 2016 “November Niner” Cliff Josephy (1.855 million) and top pros Tim West (1.995 million) and Jason Koon (1.03 million) awaiting the battle. Even arguably the least experienced player on the table, Terry Schumacher (1.385 million), had a lengthy international poker resume (with Hendon Mob flags from Australia, Spain, the U. S. and his native Belgium) that made him dangerous.

The players wasted little time getting the action going in the Hard Rock tournament arena. Only 18 hands into the final table, Josephy would take his shot at moving into contention, but he chose the wrong time to take that shot. Moving in with an A-J off suit after a West raise, Sternberg woke up in the big blind with pocket Kings and made the call. Once West’s cards found the muck, the race was on between the duo. After it came down ten high – with nigh an Ace or Jack in the mix – Josephy was out in sixth place and Sternberg increased his lead over the field.

A quick nine hands later, the next elimination hit the rail. Schumacher defended his blind after a raise from Koon to see an A-J-4 rainbow flop. Schumacher would check-call a bet from Koon and, after a seven came on the turn, would check-call another bet from Koon. When the 8 came on the river – the third heart offering a flush possibility as well as going runner-runner on a potential straight – Schumacher checked again and Koon moved all in.

Now Schumacher paused, mulling the action in his head before making the river decision. Schumacher made the call and Koon surprisingly showed nothing but air – a Q-10 off suit that missed everything. Schumacher opened his bluff catcher, an A-6 for a pair of Aces, to take the hand and send Koon home in fifth place.

After Koon was away from the table, the tournament bogged down as the remaining four players battled it out. West was on the verge of elimination at a couple of points, but was able to survive one through chopping the pot and another when he doubled through. Unfortunately, that isn’t a way to stay viable in a tournament, as West found out on Hand 74.

In a blind versus blind battle, West moved all in and Riess decided to look him up, which turned out to be the right decision. Riess’ A-10 was ahead of West’s K-J, but the Q-J-2 flop moved West into the lead. Just as quickly as the poker gods gave, however, they would take away; a King on the turn made two pair for West but filled out Broadway for Riess to push him back in front. Needing another Jack or a King on the river, the innocent seven didn’t help West at all as he was eliminated in fourth place.

With two big stacks around him, Schumacher never could mount much offense in the three-handed battle. Watching his chips bleed away, Schumacher would put in his final chips in after a bet from Sternberg and a call from the small blind by Riess. The all-in move by Schumacher was good enough to get Sternberg out, but Riess made the call and saw his pocket nines were ahead of Schumacher’s J 7. Nothing helpful came for Schumacher on the A-6-5-K-4 board, eliminating the Belgian in third place and sending Riess to heads up action against Sternberg with a slight (1.5 million) chip disadvantage.

Deeply stacked, Sternberg and Riess were expected to fight it out over an extended period, but the end came rather quickly. Riess would chip pieces out of Sternberg’s stack to take a small lead over the former WPT champion before, on Hand 210, the end would come. Riess would open the betting with a 450K bet and Sternberg popped him to 1.15 million. Riess aggressively moved all in with his dominant chip stack and, after pondering his options, Sternberg made the call to see what would be the final flop of the tournament.

It was a race situation between the combatants, with Riess’ Big Slick racing against Sternberg’s pocket sevens, and it turned out Riess had a better engine. A King on the flop with two sixes gave Riess Kings up and, after another King came on the turn, Sternberg was drawing dead. Once a ten came on the river to officially complete the hand, Riess was celebrating winning the championship of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale.

1. Ryan Riess, $ 716,088 and a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions
2. Alan Sternberg, $ 491,081
3. Terry Schumacher, $ 315,726
4. Tim West, $ 204,466
5. Jason Koon, $ 157,599
6. Cliff Josephy, $ 130,370

With the victory, Riess has now completed the second leg of poker’s “Triple Crown.” The 2013 World Series of Poker $ 10,000 Championship Event victor now only needs a Main Event victory on the PokerStars Championships (the replacement for the European Poker Tour) stage to complete the trifecta, something that could be well within his grasp with his career earnings (over $ 10 million) and his youthful age (26).

There is still one more tournament on the schedule for the WPT at the Seminole Hard Rock and it is the Season XV closer. The WPT Tournament of Champions, with a field comprised only of the past season’s champions and WPT Champions’ Club members (players who have previously won a WPT event), begins this afternoon. There is hope that, with various amenities added as prizes and $ 100,000 added to the prize pool (the Season XV champions have already had $ 15,000 pulled from their prize money for their seat; former champions must pony up the ducats), that the field will be larger than last year’s disappointing 64 players (out of a potential 227 players).

Poker News Daily

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale Day 2 – Alan Sternberg Aims for Second WPT Title

 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale Day 2 – Alan Sternberg Aims for Second WPT Title

With the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown paused before the final table, the $ 10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale was into its second day on Monday. When registration closed at the start of Day 2, there were 349 total entries, up seven from last year, and 193 players ready to go. When the smoke cleared at the end of the night, just 27 players remained with Alan Sternberg emerging as the chip leader.

Though Sternberg is out in front, it is really nearly a dead heat, as he has 1.6 million chips on the nose while Terry Schumacher is less than a big blind behind with 1.591 million. 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Ryan Reiss has also eclipsed the million chip mark, starting Day 3 with 1.056 million.

Speaking with WPT.com after he had bagged his chips, Sternberg said that his road to the chip lead was “a pretty steady build.”

“There was about an hour in the middle of the day where I lost a third of my stack, but outside of that it was a pretty steady crawl up,” he added. “My biggest hand was I five-bet all in against Jonathan Little with A-K suited, and he had kings. The flop card was an ace, and that gave me the chip lead, and I just went from there.”

Hey, nobody said poker tournaments didn’t require a little luck.

Sternberg also employed what looked to be a wise strategy when the tournament was on the money bubble and action slowed way, way down. Noting that his table was stuffed with strong players like Jake Cody and Marvin Rettenmaier, Sternberg said he just sat back and tried not to engage if he didn’t have to.

“I just kind of took it easy, played my hands,” he said. His stack was still more than double the average when he finally got away from the table.

Sternberg is familiar with this territory, deep in a major live tournament. Though this will only be his tenth recorded live cash, he has one gigantic one on his resume: a million dollar win at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship in 2011. All told, he has about $ 1.2 million in live earnings.

With the 349 entries for the tournament, the prize pool ended up at $ 3,315,500. Payouts go down to 44 places, so everyone playing today has already made the money. The winner will walk away with $ 716,088.

Day 3 is just getting started at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and will play down to the six-handed final table.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Alan Sternberg – 1,600,000
2.    Terry Schumacher – 1,591,000
3.    Ryan Riess – 1,056,000
4.    Josh Kay – 842,000
5.    Tim West – 828,000
6.    Cliff Josephy – 746,000
7.    Pat Lyons – 656,000
8.    Marvin Rettenmaier – 611,000
9.    Alex Keating – 608,000
10.    Noah Vaillancourt – 500,000

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

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



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