Posts Tagged ‘Second’

2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 3: Eric Afriat Aims for Second Playground Final Table This Year

 2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 3: Eric Afriat Aims for Second Playground Final Table This Year

There are only sixteen players remaining of the 606 original entries in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event as action moves into Day 4 on Wednesday. Eric Afriat is the chip leader with 2.4 million chips, the only play over the 2 million mark.

Afriat has some unfinished business at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. In February, finished third in the WPT Playground Main Event, winning CAD $ 108,690 (USD $ 82,716). That tournament holds a special spot in poker history, as it was won by Ema Zajmovic, who became the first women ever to win an open WPT Main Event.

Afriat does have one World Poker Tour title under his belt, as he won the 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Championship Event. That victory was worth a bit over $ 1 million; that and his WPT Playground finish make up the bulk of his $ 1.83 million in career live earnings.

I will admit, I have always been a skeptic about the extra prizes awarded at major tournaments. The trophy is cool, the money is fantastic, the prestige is even wonderful, but really, who cares about a pair of overpriced headphones or a gaudy watch? Well, it’s time for me to eat crow, as apparently that watch is something Afriat has been targeting.

Speaking with WPT.com after Day 3, Afriat said he was actually a little peeved that he didn’t grab the timepiece in February:

What I want the most is the Hublot watch, because when I won their contract was signed for the following week. It was the last tournament that didn’t award the watch. They awarded it the following week, and I missed out on the watch. So the watch will be very important to me. Because a watch you can carry it around, you feel like you won something, but I can’t carry the big trophy

You know what? That makes a lot of sense. It’s like being able to wear a World Series of Poker bracelet, except I wouldn’t be surprised if players were more willing to don the Hublot watch over the bracelet, as the watch is both cool and practical, as opposed to just being a large piece of jewelry. Personally (and not that I will ever even come remotely close to this), if I won a WSOP bracelet, I don’t think I’d wear it on a regular basis (or even an irregular basis), as I’m not a jewelry guy. A nice watch, though, I could do, plus it has a neat story behind it.

Normally, the chip leader has a significant hand or two that helped get him to the top, but Afriat said his Day 3 was mostly just a gradual build. His biggest hand was actually a loss when his opponent hit a set of Jacks against his pocket Queens.

Though only sixteen players remain, Day 4 will play down to just the six-handed final table before adjourning.

2017 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Day 3 Chip Counts

1. Eric Afriat – 2,400,000
2. Curt Kohlberg – 1,804,000
3. Ryan Rivers – 1,655,000
4. Maxime Heroux – 1,623,000
5. Duff Charette – 1,583,000
6. Bradley Ellis – 1,563,000
7. Derek Wolters – 1,257,000
8. David Peters – 1,216,000
9. Alex Keating – 1,051,000
10. Brendan Ziyad Baksh – 56,000
11. Feizal Satchu – 633,000
12. Mohammad Abu-Hadbah – 627,000
13. Brady Hinnegan – 579,000
14. Patrick Quinn – 453,000
15. Justin Liberto – 451,000
16. Adam Shannon – 340,000

The post 2017 WPT Montreal Main Event Day 3: Eric Afriat Aims for Second Playground Final Table This Year appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Second Wave of Absolute Poker Refunds Approved

 Second Wave of Absolute Poker Refunds Approved

A month ago, former Absolute Poker (AP) customers who had their funds stolen by the site’s owners when AP disappeared after Black Friday saw the first wave of refunds hit their bank accounts. Those people who did not receive their money but still submitted valid claims should be seeing their money in the near future. The Garden City Group (GCG), the Department of Justice-selected claims administrator, recently announced the second wave of payments has been approved.

The GCG wrote on its site that “within the next few weeks,” all those who submitted approved petitions will be notified via e-mail with the dollar amount they will be receiving plus the method of payment. Instructions will be included on how to submit banking information for electronic transfers.

Those who owe money to the government will also receive their money if their petitions were approved, but they will have money taken out to settle their outstanding debt. From the GCG message:

GCG will also be sending an email notice to certain Petitioners who were approved for payment and were identified as having a delinquent debt qualifying for collection through the Treasury Offset Program. Payments for these Petitioners will be reduced in order to satisfy their debt in part or in whole. To receive the balance of their payment, Petitioners must provide GCG with the information required to complete a Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form. Instructions on how to provide this information will be included in the email notice.

The GCG says that this upcoming round of payments will cover about 4,600 former Absolute Poker players and total approximately $ 3.7 million. Compare that to the first wave of payments, which totaled almost $ 33.5 million to 7,400 former customers of Absolute.

It came as a surprise to the poker community when it was announced in April that Absolute Poker and UltimateBet customers would be getting their money back. The two sister sites were already infamous because of ownership-led “super user” cheating scandals and when the sites just dropped off the face of the Earth after Black Friday in April 2011, people just kind of thought, “Figures.”

After the Black Friday indictments, PokerStars settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, paying hundreds of millions of dollars, an amount which included the purchase of rival Full Tilt Poker. PokerStars easily refunded U.S. players whose accounts were closed when PokerStars had to leave the U.S. market. Full Tilt, though, couldn’t pay people back because some of its owners intentionally used player funds to pay themselves (and Full Tilt had money moving through payment processors frozen). Part of PokerStars’ deal involved repaying Full Tilt customers, which took years, but eventually got done.

After the payments were made, there was enough money left over from the Full Tilt process to refund Absolute Poker and UltimateBet players. This process has been much faster, taking just months to get the first payments sent to bank accounts.

The post Second Wave of Absolute Poker Refunds Approved appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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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.

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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).

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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

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