Posts Tagged ‘Series’

2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Maria Ho on Verge of History, Leads Main Event Final Table

After battling through 529 players, the final six competitors have been determined for the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event final table. Looking to make history (as she has already done in this event), Maria Ho will look to carry on the lead she’s held for the past two days and turn it into a championship.

12 players started the day at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, with several stories looking to unfold. While all eyes would have normally been on the historic run of Ho, there was another bit of history evident in the appearance of defending WSOP-E champion Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee was looking to do something that hadn’t been done since Johnny Chan in 1987/88 – win back-to-back WSOP Main Event titles – but he had his work cut out for him on the short stack (1.06 million). Add in two strong Brits – Jack Salter and Niall Farrell – among the last dozen and it was setting up to be a stirring run to the final six.

MacPhee was active in the early going, getting his chips moving in the first three hands to add about 100K in chips to his stack, while Ho was maintaining her place atop the mountain. Farrell would eke out a slight lead about an hour in as Andrei Boghean and Marc MacDonnell would depart the festivities, but that lead would be short-lived. On a 10 6 3 J A board, Ho was able to get Farrell to lay his hand down after she fired a 500K bet on the river, chips she would use to continue to batter her opposition.

Only a couple of hands after clashing with Farrell, Ho would remove one of her biggest threats from the tourney. From under the gun, MacPhee put out an opener as Ho simply called in the cutoff. Farrell and Marti Roca De Torres defended their blinds and the Q 7 4 flop hit the felt. The blinds checked and dutifully folded after MacPhee fired another bet of 210K and Ho made the call. A 9 came on the turn and MacPhee powered out another bet, this time of 430K. Ho, after some quick calculations and an examination of MacPhee’s stack, moved all in and MacPhee made the call. Ho’s J 10 (open ended straight and flush draw) was actually in pretty good position against MacPhee’s pocket Kings. That “pretty good” position turned into a “winning” one when another King came on the river to give Ho the straight and the knockout of the defending champion in tenth place.

The unofficial final table redrew at this point with Ho (6.635 million) holding a 2.5 million chip lead over Mathijs Jonkers (4.015 million). Farrell, for all his activity, was still in third (3.075 million) after the redraw while the rest of the field was under three million chips each. With only one more elimination to the “official” final table, the players settled in for what would become a drawn-out fight.

Over the next seven hours, the players jousted to get in position for the penultimate day of the WSOP-E Main Event. Above it all was Ho, who attracted chips like a magnet in maintaining her lead. After De Torres was able to quash the dreams of Stepan Osinovski in eliminating him in ninth place, the official table was set with Ho still reigning supreme.

With more time to spare, WSOP officials decided that action would continue and two more players would meet their demise. On Hand 52, Luis Rodriguez would push all in from under the gun only to run into Farrell’s pocket Aces. Rodriguez’s K-6 off suit would find no help as he exited in eighth place. About 10 hands later, Salter would suffer a back-to-back beating. First, Speranza’s Big Slick beat Salter’s Jacks to bring the British champion into the danger zone. Then, on the very next hand, Salter would depart the tournament in seventh place when his K-J failed to catch up to De Torres’ A-7.

Here is how the final six will line up for tomorrow’s action:

1. Maria Ho, 7.83 million
2. Marti Roca De Torres, 7.26 million
3. Gianluca Speranza, 4.4 million
4. Niall Farrell, 3.025 million
5. Mathijs Jonkers, 2.785 million
6. Robert Bickley, 1.085 million

Ho has been in control of this event for the last two days and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take it down, considering her experience in the game. If she were able to win the championship, she would become the first woman to win the WSOP Main Event of any of the three competitions (Las Vegas, Europe, or Asia/Pacific, which will be contested next year). It is conceivable that she will eclipse the previous best for a female at a WSOP Main Event, which is the fifth-place finish by Barbara Enright in the 1995 WSOP Main Event.

There are some very talented players in pursuit of Ho, however. Speranza is a veteran of the European poker wars and Farrell has a wealth of big match experience. De Torres, Jonkers and Bickley are wild cards in the mix, but Bickley and Jonkers might not have enough chips to make a difference.

The final table will continue at noon Friday (6AM East Coast Time) in the King’s Casino. The proceedings will be live streamed at WSOP.com on a half-hour delay. At stake is the €1,115,207 first place money, the WSOP-Europe Championship Event bracelet and, for Maria Ho, the chance to etch her name into history.

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Party Poker MILLIONS Series Looks to Break Through in 2018

 Party Poker MILLIONS Series Looks to Break Through in 2018

While PokerStars has been very active in the live poker community, first with the dearly departed European Poker Tour (a moment of silence, please) and now the PokerStars Championships, partypoker has been relatively quiet. That will change in 2018 as partypoker is upping the ante on their live efforts with the second year of their Party Poker MILLIONS Series.

After testing the waters with smaller live events, partypoker has gone full bore with trying to kickstart their live poker ventures and the MILLIONS franchise. They hired the founder of the EPT, John Duthie, to be the president of Party Poker LIVE (the overseer of the MILLIONS events) earlier in 2017 and followed it up by drawing former World Poker Tour announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton away from the WPT for an executive position with the organization. Those two gentlemen seem to have put the final touches on what promises to be an exciting series come 2018.

Duthie, who has the background from the creation of the EPT in his memory, knows what needs to be done first. “Putting players first is key to ensuring that the partypoker LIVE brand thrives and is well-respected, and it’s been great to be part of this,” Duthie noted during the announcement of the 2018 schedule. “The response to the partypoker MILLIONS series has been incredible, and I think the increased prize pools next year are going to take the events to a whole new level. It’s going to be very exciting.”

Sexton echoed Duthie’s statements, saying, “As partypoker LIVE’s flagship series, partypoker MILLIONS has attracted a huge number of players in its first year and proved a resounding success. The MILLIONS series has brought a great deal of excitement to the live and online poker world and really engaged players with a very competitive environment, so I can’t wait to see the impact of even bigger prize pool guarantees in 2018.”

The newly revealed events will offer a minimum of $ 5 million in guaranteed prize money at multiple stops around the world. Some of those stops will have a massive $ 10 million guaranteed prize pool. At the $ 10 million stops, partypoker is guaranteeing that the top three finishers will walk off with at least a million and that a minimum of 250 players will earn at least $ 10,000 for their min-cash.

The continuation of the inaugural season will be later this month with the first of the $ 5 million guaranteed events, the Caribbean Poker Party at The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Beginning on November 20, the first two of four Day One flights will be held with the goal to meet that $ 5 million guarantee (1000 players). The final table of the event will be played on November 25 (Saturday), where most of the prize pool will be divvied up.

From the sunny climes of the Dominican Republic, the Party Poker MILLIONS will traverse the world, including the cyber world:

MILLIONS Online                                         December 2-6
MILLIONS Germany                                     February 10-18
(end of Season One)
MILLIONS Grand Final – Barcelona             April 7-15*
MILLIONS North America – Canada            April 21-29**
MILLIONS Russia – Sochi                            August 4-12
MILLIONS UK – Dusk ‘Til Dawn                September 20-October 9
MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party                November 10-18*

(* – $ 5 million guaranteed prize pool)

(** – $ 10 million Canadian guaranteed prize pool)

The resurgence of partypoker in the live arena comes at an intriguing point in the international poker community. There is already a plethora of live poker events in the world, especially with the PokerStars Championships, the World Poker Tour and even the World Series of Poker Circuit and its ventures into foreign lands. The brain trust behind the Party Poker MILLIONS have cast an eye at the tournament poker calendar in the scheduling of their events, however.

From a look at the schedule, the MILLIONS is avoiding the beginning of the calendar year and the glut of international tournaments that occur just after January begins. In particular, the newly revived PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (back from its one-year experiment as the PokerStars Championships Bahamas) and the Aussie Millions suck up much of the oxygen in the room during the month. By waiting until mid-February for their stop in Germany, the MILLIONS team is giving themselves the best opportunity at success when the calendar is less crowded.

They’ve also utilized their online home as a springboard to get players to the live events. Satellites are running continuously on partypoker for the MILLIONS tournaments and they have been well received by the international poker world. Duthie, obviously remembering how the EPT exploded from online poker satellites, is looking for lightning to strike twice with the MILLIONS series.

Still, the players will be the ones who vote with the most important marker – their money. Many eyes will be cast towards Punta Cana later this month to see if Duthie and Sexton have something going with the MILLIONS. Knowing their history in poker, don’t bet against them.

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Theodore McQuilkin Tops Six Handed Event, European “Colossus” and PLO Underway

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Theodore McQuilkin Tops Six Handed Event, European “Colossus” and PLO Underway

The King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, has been a hotbed of activity over the past week with the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe in action on its grounds. It’s about to kick up another notch as the European version of “The Colossus” hits full stride, while it is also time to celebrate as the fourth bracelet of the schedule has been awarded.

Event #4 – €1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em

After being advised not to play in the tournament because it would be a “tough field,” France’s Theodore McQuilkin decided to go ahead and win his first WSOP bracelet and a first-place payday of €88,043.

McQuilkin came into the final table on Saturday in the bottom half of the standings with his 754,000 in chips, better than only Maksym Shulga and Petr Setka. Leading the way was hometown favorite Jan Bednar, whose 1.761 million in chips was closely followed by Andrej Desset and Jerry Odeen. Sitting smack in the middle of the pack in fourth place was the dangerous Ognjen Sekularac, the Serbian pro who only has $ 1.45 million or so in career earnings in his pocket.

The seven men were not quite at the “official” final table, needing to knock off one more player, and they took their time determining that unfortunate soul. Surprisingly it was Sekularac, who had trouble gaining any traction in the first 90 minutes of action. After he saw Odeen open for a bet and McQuilkin call, Sekularac went for the squeeze by moving all in. Odeen was undaunted, moving his stack all in “over the top” and McQuilkin quickly got out of the way. Odeen was sitting on Big Slick, completely dominating Sekularac’s A-2, and the King-high board changed nothing as Sekularac surprisingly was out in seventh place.

That was the last time that McQuilkin would seemingly be on the losing end of a hand. Only five hands into the official final table, McQuilkin knocked off Shulga in sixth to thrust the Frenchman into the championship mix. He slowly built that stack up until, on Hand 77, he knocked off Odeen in fourth to take a dominant lead three handed. Even after Bednar eliminated Desset in third place, he was still a 2.5:1 underdog against the massive stack of McQuilkin.

Heads up would last all of two hands. On Hand 110, McQuilkin raised the action to 165K with pocket Kings and he got exactly what he had hoped for. Bednar woke up with a big hand himself, Big Chick (A-Q), and pushed all in, which was happily called by McQuilkin. The 10-8-5-9-A four-club board improved McQuilkin to the unnecessary nut flush as he sent Bednar home in second as McQuilkin seized the championship.

1. Theodore McQuilkin, €88,043
2. Jan Bednar, €54,410
3. Andrej Desset, €35,714
4. Jerry Odeen, €24,046
5. Petr Setka, €16,618
6. Maksym Shulga, €11,797

Event #5 – €500 “The Colossus” No Limit Hold’em

There’s already a huge buzz building around “The Colossus” and it hasn’t even reached the midpoint of its series of Day Ones.  Four flights have racked up 760 players to this point, with 44 of those surviving to be eligible to move on to Day 2 on Wednesday. With six more flights to build the field, it is completely illogical to even look at the leaderboard, but so far Konstantinos Misailidis (419,000) has come out of the carnage with the chip lead. Others so far in the mix for Wednesday’s play include John Racener (334,000), former “November Niner” Kenny Hallaert (206,000) and Racener’s fellow POY contender Alex Foxen (189,000).

Event #6 – €2000 Pot Limit Omaha

Day One of the highest Euro buy in event for Omaha saw 191 entries come to the tables, including many of the contenders for the POY race. When the tournament restarts on Sunday, 31 players will be in action, with current POY leader Chris Ferguson, Mike Leah and Racener in the mix. They will be chasing Liran Twito (802,000), whose stack thoroughly outpaces second place Pim van Holsteyn (627,000) atop the leaderboard.

Player of the Year Race

Although he came into the WSOP-E with a slim lead, Ferguson has been able to expand it during the first week of the schedule. With 1005.71 points, he is the only player over that threshold. Ryan Hughes (961.23) has passed John Racener (914.32) for second place on the rankings, while (an absent from the WSOP-E) John Monnette (865.21) and Alex Foxen (786.76) round out the Top Five (Foxen’s chances at the POY may be slim and none and slim is leaving the building).

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Three Bracelets Awarded as Event #4 Prepares to Start

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Three Bracelets Awarded as Event #4 Prepares to Start

The 2017 World Series of Poker Europe is in full swing as we speak, with Event #4, the €1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament, taking the stage at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Prior to the start of Event #4 today, there’s been a flurry of activity that has seen three bracelets handed out.

Event #3 – €1000 No Limit Hold’em Turbo “Bounty Hunter”

A double oddity at a WSOP tournament schedule, Event #3 started and finished in the same day, with the players coming out for a rare bounty tournament on a schedule. Players were putting up a minimum of €1000 (there were unlimited reentries) and a bounty of €300 on each player’s head. With the potential to make enough money in bounties to cover the entry fee, players flocked to the tournament on Wednesday and did decide a champion early Thursday morning.

85 players were in their seats when the “shuffle up and deal” call went out and the numbers kept climbing through the early registration period. By the time the first break was called, 259 entries had been logged (remember, this was an unlimited reentry event). A few hours later registration closed in the tournament with the count officially landing on 325 entries, building a prize pool of €214,337. 49 players would be recipients of a piece of that pool, but the biggest prize would go to the champion in the form of €53,557 and a shiny new WSOP bracelet (along with any bounties claimed along the way).

Once Viacheslav Goryachev bubbled the money, the players were guaranteed a payday but kept the drive on to the championship. Players like Mike Leah, Kristen Bicknell and current POY contender Chris Ferguson were able to work their way through the field for a cash. Indicative of the locale, when the final table was reached at 1AM, there was only one player from the Western hemisphere that was still alive.

John Racener, also in the fight for the WSOP POY, was one of only two representatives at the final table (Israel’s Liran Twito was the other) that didn’t call Europe home. Racener would go down in a double elimination that saw him leave with Yves Kupfermunz at the hands of Martin Kabrhel. In fact, Kabrhel would be responsible for the final five eliminations of the tournament as he pocketed €1500 for those alone on the way to the championship.

1. Martin Kabrhel, €53,557
2. Philipp Caranica, €33,094
3. Salvatore Camarda, €22,159
4. Liran Twito, €15,168
5. Yves Kupfermunz, €10,620
6. John Racener, €7609
7. Bernd Gleissner, €5582
8. Georgios Koliofotis, €4195
9. Viktor Kovachev, €3232

Event #2 – Originally slated to be a three-day tournament, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha event was cut by a day on Tuesday when they reached Day 2 with only 31 players remaining. The volatile nature of Omaha Hold’em promised that the eliminations would come quickly and they did, with Brazil’s Vivian Saliba, Brandon Cantu, and James Akenhead all departing the tournament arena before the first break of the day. As the final table approached Kristen Bicknell (having an excellent WSOP-E) and Sander van Wesemael were eliminated, with van Wesemael’s departure coming on the final table bubble.

Familiar faces at the final table were those of Sergio Fernandez and Andreas Klatt, with Fernandez holding the lead at the start of play. Klatt, starting in the middle of the pack, suffered a bit of a setback when his nut flush walked into Georgios Zisimopoulos’s boat, but Klatt would fight back immediately. After doubling up through Krzysztof Magott on the very next hand, he would work his stack up to a point where he was able to get some revenge on Zisimopoulos with a well-timed bluff for a big stack of chips (835K).

After Klatt eliminated Zisimopoulos in third place, he held a slim 800K chip lead over Nico Ehlers. While some settled in for an extended fight, the players had other ideas. It took only thirty minutes of play for Klatt to vanquish Ehlers, his A-J-10-2 standing tall against Ehlers’ K-Q-7-5 on a Q-9-6-8-Q board, and take down the WSOP bracelet.

1. Andreas Klatt, €56,400
2. Nico Ehlers, €34,860
3. Georgios Zisimopoulos, €23,979
4. Theodoros Aidonopoulos, €16,809
5. Sergio Fernandez, €11,985
6. Krysztof Magott, €8700
7. Michal Maryska, €6433
8. Vasile Stancu, €4847

Event #1 – €1000 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

Wrapping up the first event of the WSOP-E, Oleksandr Shcherbak captured the first bracelet of the 2017 schedule, outdueling Viliyan Petleshkov in a dominant display of heads up poker. While both were far removed from chip leader Carlo Savinelli at the start of the day (Petleshkov in fourth, Shcherbak in seventh), they quickly emerged as the dominant players at the table. After Shcherbak eliminated Sergio Fernandez in third place, he took an almost 800K chip lead to the heads-up battle.

Shcherbak got Petleshkov down early, but the Bulgarian would refuse to give up. Petleshkov took the lead over after 15 hands of paly, but Shcherbak would battle back to reclaim his top slot position. He also would never again let Petleshkov back into the game, grinding him down over the span of 20 hands until he got his chips in with a dominant position.

After a Petleshkov raise with Big Chick, Shcherbak three bet the proceedings to 800K while holding pocket sevens. Petleshkov decided the time was right to make a move and he did so, pushing his remaining chips to the center. Shcherbak called and, after the flop came down J-8-2, he stayed in the lead. Shcherbak’s claim to the title was sealed when another seven came on the turn, leaving Petleshkov drawing dead and ending the first event of the 2017 WSOP-E.

1. Oleksandr Shcherbak, €117,708
2. Viliyan Petleshkov, €72,747
3. Sergio Fernandez, €49,929
4. Carlo Savinelli, €34,869
5. Walter Treccarichi, €24,787
6. Peter Bstieler, €17,940
7. Serge Danis, €13,225
8. Ismael Bojang, €9934
9. Ali Sameeian, €7605

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Final 13 Players Determined in Event #1 With Italy’s Carlo Savinelli Leading

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Final 13 Players Determined in Event #1 With Italy’s Carlo Savinelli Leading

It was moving day at the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe on Sunday as the kickoff tournament for the schedule, the €1000 No Limit Hold’em, tried to reach its final table. While it didn’t reach that audacious goal, the final 13 players were determined with Italy’s Carlo Savinelli holding down the lead.

115 players came back on Sunday afternoon to the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, for Day 2 with dreams of a WSOP championship dancing in their heads. Leading the way after a dominant Day 1C was Sander van Wesemael, who held a monstrous stack of 323,500 chips to start action. Following him up were nine-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Valentin Vornicu, Day 1A chip leader Ismael Bojang and Day 1B chip leader Sergio Fernandez. Although these men held big stacks to start the day, they still had to make sure they made it to the money.

With only 85 players receiving a piece of the prize pool (a min-cash earned a player €1952), there would be 30 players who would leave the King’s Casino with nothing but a story to tell. The field went about knocking the numbers down almost immediately as, within two hours, there were only 90 players left. When the time came for the bubble to pop, there was a trio of eliminations rather than the usual one or two.

While hand-for-hand play was going on, Viktor Katzenberger was the first one eliminated. Katzenberger wasn’t alone, however, as Mario Mosbock would be dispatched from the tournament and, moments later, Konstantinos Tsirakidis came to the end of his tournament life. With all three eliminations occurring on the same hand of hand-for-hand play and the 85th and 84th positions in question, the three players chopped up the €3904 amongst each other as the rest of the field celebrated just before the end of the first level of play of the day.

Once the bubble popped, the cash out cage became the place to be. As players like Ivo Donev, defending champion of the event Ryan Hefter, Mike Leah, James Akenhead, Allen Kessler, and Ryan Hughes (earning valuable WSOP POY points) met their tournament demise, several players hit the accelerator to drive to the final table. Both Bojang and Vornicu earned their chips during the run up to and after the money bubble popped, but it was another player who would eclipse them for the overall chip lead by the time the tournament was stopped early Monday morning in Rozvadov.

Savinelli wasn’t doing badly on the day, sitting with about 750,000 in chips, when he entered a four-player hand with Viliyan Petleshkov, Pierre Neuville and Pawel Csichowski. All four would check a very dangerous J-10-9 flop, but a deuce on the turn brought some action. Savinelli bet out 150,000 that saw only Csichowski come along and, after a Queen on the turn brought more intrigue, the fireworks were lit.

Csichowski pushed out the remainder of his stack – roughly 300K in chips – and Savinelli immediately made the call. A disconsolate Csichowski asked if Savinelli had a King and Savinelli indeed did…in fact, he had two with his pocket pair of Cowboys. Csichowski could only turn up his 8-6 for the bottom end of the straight and head to the cage to pick up his 15th place payday.

Using that elimination, Savinelli would cruise through the remaining half hour of the evening. When officials with the WSOP, noting that there was little chance of getting to the nine-handed official final table, called the end of the day at 2AM local time, Savinelli claimed the top slot on the leaderboard for Day 2 of Event #1.

1. Carlo Savinelli, 1.34 million
2. Serge Danis, 1.19 million
3. Ismael Bojang, 1.12 million
4. Viliyan Petleshkov, 1.035 million
5. Sergio Fernandez, 980,000
6. Pierre Neuville, 823,000
7. Oleksandr Shcherbak, 780,000
8. Georgios Zisimopoulos, 775,000
9. Peter Bstieler, 765,000
10. Ali Sameeian, 760,000
11. Rene Crha, 685,000
12. Alexandre Viard, 640,000
13. Walter Treccarichi, 310,000

The remaining 13 men will return to the felt at 2PM on Monday, with the first bracelet of the 2017 WSOP-E set to be awarded sometime tomorrow night in the King’s Casino. At the same time, Event #2 on the schedule, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, will kick off its Day 1 action. It will be a busy day in Rozvadov on Monday as the 2017 World Series of Poker kicks into full throat.

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