Posts Tagged ‘Series’

Steffen Sontheimer Grabs Event #2, Overall Series Lead at 2017 Poker Masters

 Steffen Sontheimer Grabs Event #2, Overall Series Lead at 2017 Poker Masters

The inaugural Poker Masters is in full swing this weekend, wrapping up the second of its five-event schedule on Friday night. In Event #2, a $ 50,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event, Germany’s Steffen Sontheimer captured the victory and the overall lead on the Poker Masters “Player of the Series” race.

50 entrants had been whittled down to the final seven on Friday afternoon, with two men making their second trip to a final table in as many events. Not only was Sontheimer on the felt, but Spain’s Adrian Mateos joined the final seven as well. Those two men were mired in the middle of the pack to start the final day, however, as Christian Christner, Fedor Holz and Tom Marchese were all over a million chips each. Behind them, 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and current Player of the Year leader Bryn Kenney tried to get into the game.

Kenney was the first to depart the festivities only 20 minutes into the day. Pushing off the button for his remaining 350K in chips, Kenney was looked up by Sontheimer in the “sheriff” role. Kenney got his chips in good, his pocket sixes running against Sontheimer’s A-7 off suit, but it wasn’t to be. An Ace fell on the flop and, looking for one of the final two sixes in the deck, Kenney instead saw a Jack (that increased Kenney’s chances of survival to a Broadway straight for the chop) on the turn and a five on the river that sent him to the rail in seventh place.

Sontheimer continued his offensive in taking down Mateos next. Once again, Mateos got it in good with pocket sevens, but Sontheimer’s A-Q once again found an Ace on the flop. After a Jack and a nine completed the board, Mateos was out the door in sixth place and Sontheimer was the new chip leader with almost two million chips.

Christner could never find any traction at the final table. His stack slowly bled through his fingers and, although he did double through Sontheimer at one point, it only served to redistribute the chips around the table. On his final hand, Christner found pocket Jacks to his liking and made his stand by going to the races against Holz’s Big Slick. All the drama was removed again when an Ace came on the flop and, after no Knave came on the turn or river, Christner was out in fifth place and Holz took over the chip lead.

For his part, Hellmuth was a placid lake during his stay at the final table. That was probably because he didn’t have anything to play, pushing his short stack to the center with an A-10 off suit that he knew would be racing at the minimum. Marchese, another player who was quiet for the duration of the final table, found his one moment in the sun in calling Hellmuth’s all in with pocket sixes. A six on the flop shot Hellmuth down immediately and, once the turn was dealt, Hellmuth was out. After the formality of the river completed the board, Hellmuth was out in fourth and off to Event #3 on the Poker Masters schedule.

Marchese was shot down only 20 minutes after his elimination of Hellmuth and, as seemed to be the case for the majority of the all-ins at the final table, Marchese led pre-flop. His A♠ J♠ led Holz’s A♣ 10♣ before the flop spoke; when it came down 7♣ J♣ 9♣, all discussion ended as Holz flopped the stone nuts and Marchese began packing his bags, eliminated in third place.

When heads up play began, it was thought to be a formality. Holz’s 5.444 million chip stack dwarfed that of Sontheimer (810K), but 30 minutes of action saw Sontheimer pull his way back into the match, 2.56 million chips to Holz’s 3.69 million. Sontheimer clawed his way into the lead by bluffing Holz off a hand and, once in the driver’s seat, refused to give up the steering wheel.

On the final hand, Holz made a minimal raise and was met with an all-in from Sontheimer. Holz called off his stack and showed a K-J off suit for battle, normally good except when it runs into an A-J, which is what Sontheimer held. The seven high, four club board saw Sontheimer improve to the nut flush against Holz’s second nut flush, ending the tournament in Sontheimer’s favor.

1. Steffen Sontheimer, $ 900,000
2. Fedor Holz, $ 550,000
3. Tom Marchese, $ 300,000
4. Phil Hellmuth, $ 200,000
5. Christian Christner, $ 175,000
6. Adrian Mateos, $ 150,000
7. Bryn Kenney, $ 125,000

(Dan Shak, eliminated eighth on Thursday night, collected $ 100,000 for his finish)

With the win, Sontheimer seizes control of the “Player of the Series” race. The win, plus his $ 1.104 million in earnings during the 2017 Poker Masters schedule, puts him in first place on the leaderboard. With three events to go, however, it is still anyone’s Poker Masters Purple Jacket to grab onto.

The post Steffen Sontheimer Grabs Event #2, Overall Series Lead at 2017 Poker Masters appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Citing Early Demand, Guarantees at 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Increased

 Citing Early Demand, Guarantees at 2017 World Series of Poker Europe Increased

As anticipation builds for the event – as well as the demand from the players – officials from King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and the World Series of Poker have announced changes to the guarantees for the upcoming 2017 World Series of Poker Europe.

The biggest announcement was regarding the guaranteed prize pool for the Main Event of the WSOP Europe. Instead of a €4 million guaranteed prize pool for the Main Event, another €1 million has been added to bring the total pool up to €5 million. The increased money will allow the eventual champion of the Main Event to walk away with a €1 million payday.

“We are encouraged by the number of early bookings for the WSOP-E, so much so that we have raised the total guarantee of the Main Event to €5,000,000 and now guarantee €1,000,000 to the winner,” said King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik, according to PokerNews.com’s Brett Collson. “My advice is to book now and secure your spot.”

The news regarding the increase of the Main Event prize pool was big, but further details regarding the biggest buy-in event at the WSOP-E continue to build the excitement. According to Tsoukernik, 90 players have committed to take part in the €111,111 High Roller event, scheduled to begin on November 3. Some of the players committed to the event include High Roller stalwarts such as Fedor Holz and Antonio Esfandiari and include others such as Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen and Antanas “Tony G” Guoga.

With the field capped at 111 players for the High Roller (and a guaranteed prize pool of €10 million), Tsoukernik has pledged to give up his seat should it be required. Tsoukernik, in an act of philanthropy, stated that should he walk away from the High Roller event, he would still allow his €11,111 deposit for his seat to be kept. The “juice” in the High Roller, that €11,111, will go to the One Drop Foundation, the organization founded by Canadian poker player/businessman/Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalliberte to ensure all people around the world have access to water.

The remainder of the WSOP-E schedule features nine other bracelet events, all with guaranteed prize pools from €500,000 to €2 million. The €2 million guaranteed prize pool will be “The Colossus,” a €550 buy-in event that would have to bring in 4000 entries to break even. Beginning on October 27, there will be 10 flights run to attempt to reach that magical figure.

There is a tremendous amount of history in the WSOP-E despite its short tenure. The inaugural WSOP-E Main Event saw the youngest ever WSOP bracelet winner, Annette Obrestad, pick up her first bracelet one day shy of her 19th birthday. In 2008, the final table of the Main Event featured Ivan Demidov, who became the first (and, so far, only) person to make the final table of the Main Event in Las Vegas and Europe in the same year. Demidov’s feat was joined by the crowning of John Juanda as the champion of the Main Event.

In 2009, a stirring battle between (now) Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu and CardPlayer Magazine owner Barry Shulman was the highlight of the WSOP-E. After five hours of heads-up play, Shulman was eventually able to defeat Negreanu to capture his second WSOP bracelet. 2010 would see the U. K.’s James Bord take down the WSOP-E Main Event championship in front of his countrymen.

In 2011, the WSOP-E decided to hit the road. Going from the Casino at the Empire in London to the Majestic Barriere Cannes and the Le Croisette Barriere in Cannes, seven bracelets were awarded as Elio Fox stopped Chris Moorman from taking his first WSOP bracelet. 2012 would be a historic year as Phil Hellmuth became the first player to win both the WSOP Main Events in Las Vegas and in Europe and, in 2013, Adrian Mateos picked up his first WSOP bracelet in defeating Fabrice Soulier for the crown.

At the end of 2013, it was announced that the WSOP-E and its international counterpart, the WSOP Asia/Pacific, would alternate years instead of being contested each year. The WSOP Asia/Pacific would take the even-numbered years and the WSOP-E would take the odd-numbered years. Thus, the WSOP-E would not be contested until 2015, when it was moved to the Spielbank Berlin in Germany. Kevin MacPhee defeated a 313-player field to win the bracelet that year.

What memorable events will be etched into the history books from the trip to the Czech Republic? It will all unfold beginning on October 19 when the World Series of Poker Europe starts.

Poker News Daily

Poker Central Introduces Poker Masters Tournament Series

 Poker Central Introduces Poker Masters Tournament Series

The ARIA Resort & Casino has seemingly become the place to go in Las Vegas for a big tournament series if one can’t or does not want to play in the World Series of Poker at the Rio. And in a bit of unheralded news from a couple weeks ago – perhaps overshadowed by the WSOP and Poker Central’s need to promote its new subscription streaming service, PokerGO – Poker Central has announced that it will launch a new high stakes tournament series at the ARIA in September. The Poker Masters will run for a week, from September 13th through September 20th.

Unlike many week-long poker festivals that try to fit in as many tournaments as possible, the Poker Masters will consist of just five events, but that is because of the hefty price tag on each: four $ 50,000 buy-in events and one $ 100,000 buy-in event.

The $ 50,000 tournaments will all permit one re-entry per player and, as an incentive to get players to commit to playing, Poker Central and ARIA will not charge a rake to anyone who registers “on time.” Late entries and re-entries will be subject to a rake.

And then, anyone who plays in all four $ 50,000 tournaments will be able to enter the $ 100,000 “Main Event” rake free.

“Poker Masters is a testament to PokerGO’s commitment to deliver the highest quality live poker programming,” said Joe Kakaty, president of Poker Central, in a press release. “We look forward to continually expanding our live event offering throughout the year to provide our subscribers the opportunity to watch the best content the game has to offer.”

The Poker Masters tournament series will implement a 30-second shot clock “per hand” (though one would assume this means “per action”) and every player will have three 60-second time banks per day. This is similar to Action Clock that the World Poker Tour just announced, though the WPT structures its time banks a bit differently.

In a nod to the annual Masters golf championship in Augusta, Georgia, the Poker Masters (the name can’t be a coincidence) will also be awarded one player the Poker Masters Purple Jacket, designed by Waraire Boswell.

The player who earns the most money across all five events (no goofy points system here, just pure money) will receive the Purple Jacket.

“We have hosted a number of successful high-stakes tournaments at ARIA and are looking forward to our upcoming Poker Masters event this fall,” said Sean McCormack, director of poker operations for ARIA Resort & Casino. “Poker Central has been a great partner over the years while leading the industry in the production of poker events worldwide.”

The first $ 50,000 event will begin on September 13th, with the other three $ 50,000 events beginning on each successive day. The $ 50,000 tournament will be two-day affairs. The $ 100,000 event will begin on September 18th and last three days. There are no limits on how many people can enter.

The Poker Masters will be streamed on PokerGo every day of the festival, except for September 17th. As this is a Sunday, it may just be that Poker Central decided not to spend money trying to go up against the NFL.

Poker News Daily

Breaking Down The 2017 World Series of Poker Final Table

 Breaking Down The 2017 World Series of Poker Final Table

After heading off on an unknown road a couple of weeks ago – and, instead of having to wait 100 days to come back as in year’s past – the final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker’s $ 10,000 Championship Event is ready for action on Thursday night. In front of the cameras of ESPN, poker’s next World Champion will be determined. But who will it be? Let’s break it down and determine who will eventually emerge as the “last man standing” in poker’s premiere event.

Because there is no longer a “November Nine,” momentum is going to count for something when the players come back. Those players who were cruising on Monday when the final table was determined are still going to be feeling good about their chances. But, as any good poker player knows, “feeling good” isn’t the same as playing good. Thus, this is how the Poker News Daily Crystal Ball sees the action breaking down over the next three nights.

Just to update those who have come to the party late, here’s the breakdown (by seat) of the players remaining:

Seat 1:  John Hesp, 85.7 million
Seat 2:  Scott Blumstein, 97.25 million
Seat 3:  Antoine Saout, 21.75 million
Seat 4:  Benjamin Pollok, 35.175 million
Seat 5:  Jack Sinclair, 20.2 million
Seat 6:  Damian Salas, 22.175 million
Seat 7:  Ben Lamb, 18.5 million
Seat 8:  Bryan Piccioli, 33.8 million
Seat 9:  Dan Ott, 26.475 million

And now, the predictions:

Ninth Place:  Damian Salas

Salas is one of the unknown factors at the final table, but he’s surrounded by a slew of sharks. With Lamb on his left and Pollok on his right, he will be under siege almost from the starting gun. I see Pollak being the beneficiary of most of Salas’ chip stack in knocking him out, but Salas will get the nice parting gift of a $ 1 million payday on his way out of the Rio.

Eighth Place:  Jack Sinclair

Sinclair has a similar problem that Salas has, bereft of ammunition while the armies mass around him. He also doesn’t have a great deal of experience in this situation; he has a grand total of three cashes in his poker career, with two coming at this year’s WSOP and the other (and previously his largest payday) coming at the partypoker Millions Live in April, where Sinclair made £7500. For his departure, I see a race situation between he and Saout, with Saout emerging on top as Sinclair heads to the door in eighth for $ 1.2 million.

Seventh Place:  Ben Lamb

Lamb is arguably one of the best players at the table, but you can’t last on the short stack that he’ll start the day with on Thursday. People know Lamb’s history and talent and aren’t going to mix it up with him unless they have a monster, meaning that Lamb will have little opportunity to pick up chips to bolster his stack. With both Salas and Sinclair out, I see the chips heading to the stack of Pollak, who also is a veteran of the international poker wars who can trade chops with Lamb without breathing hard.

Sixth Place:  Dan Ott

Ott will be able to squeak through the Thursday segment of the final table – playing down from nine to six – but that’s where the road will end. He won’t be too disappointed, however, with the $ 1.675 million that he will take home for his two weeks of work. His only other cashes came at this year’s WSOP in two preliminary events for career earnings of slightly more than $ 3500.

Fifth Place:  Bryan Piccioli

Piccioli has the experience to come from the pack, but it is going to be tough to get any action with both the big stacks Hesp and Blumstein on his left. As such, his ability to get chips by stealing from the late positions – the button, the cutoff, and the hijack – is going to be severely limited. It will wear on his stack and, while Piccioli will get through Thursday’s play, I can’t see him going beyond Friday.

Fourth Place:  John Hesp

Everyone loves Hesp because of his freewheeling attitude, his age, and the fun he’s having on the felt during his run to the Championship Event final table. These are all great, but the inexperience he has on the table – he’s never played a tournament larger than £100 prior to this – and the pressure will eventually catch up with him. Hesp will be having fun all the way to the bank with the $ 2.6 million he’ll get for his finish on Friday night.

Third Place:  Antoine Saout

Saout will be one of the shorter stacks to start the day on Thursday, but his experience will be able to carry him to the final night of action on Saturday. He’ll be the third-place stack, however, with Blumstein and Pollak having vacuumed up sizeable stacks of chips through the first couple of days. It won’t be such a bad thing for Saout, who finished in the same position back in 2009, and he’ll earn a similar payday ($ 3.5 million versus the $ 3,479,670 in 2009) for his second trip to the WSOP Championship Event final table.

Second Place:  Scott Blumstein

Blumstein seems to have the magic touch to this point in the tournament, but the heat eventually has to cool. The heads-up battle between he and Pollak will be epic – I can even see Blumstein entering the mano y mano fight with the chip lead – but Pollak’s overall skills will allow him to eventually wear down Blumstein. All it takes in heads up play is a couple of mistakes and I don’t see Pollak making them.

First Place:  Benjamin Pollak

The Frenchman is a veteran of the international tournament poker battles, thus he won’t be unnerved by the situation. He’s battled the biggest names in the world, won almost $ 3 million and been to the Winner’s Circle across Europe. Pollak came into Day 7 back on Monday as one of the shorter stacks and he only ratcheted up his play and his chip stack as he motored through the field that day. He should keep the ship steaming forward – all the way to the WSOP Championship Event title.

Whether the Crystal Ball’s predictions come true or not, it promises to be an exciting three days of poker coming from the Rio starting on Thursday night. By the time Saturday comes around, we will know who poker’s next World Champion will be.

Poker News Daily

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Set

One of the most exciting days on the annual poker calendar has been completed, as the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event final table has been determined. Leading the final nine players into Thursday’s action is New Jersey’s Scott Blumstein with 97.250 million chips, followed by the UK’s John Hesp with 85.700 million.

Beyond the chip counts, this final table is historic, as it is the first time it features two players who have previously made a WSOP Main Event final table. Antoine Saout, currently seventh in chips, finished third in the Main Event in 2009, while Ben Lamb, in the ninth spot right now, finished third in 2011.

We almost had a third repeat final table member, as Michael Ruane just missed, bowing out in tenth place. Ruane made the Main Event final table last year and would have become just the second person to make back-to-back Main Event final tables. Mark Newhouse did so in 2013 and 2014, finishing in ninth both times.

But wait, there’s more. Saout’s and Lamb’s appearances at the final table are even that much more amazing considering that not only did they both make the final table in the past decade, but they also put together incredibly deep runs in other Main Events. Last year, Saout placed 25th, while in 2009, Lamb came a few breaths away from the final table, getting eliminated in 14th place.

The odds of two final table appearances in such large fields (this year was the third-largest Main Event at 7,221 players) plus making the final three tables last year are just astronomical. Even if neither Saout nor Lamb win the whole thing, they are players that I know I, personally, will remember for a long time.

From purely a chip count perspective, it will be very difficult for either man to make it all the way to the end. Saout has just 21.750 million chips and Lamb is the short stack with 18.050 million. In fact, after Hesp’s 85.700 million chips, the next largest stack belongs to Benjamin Pollak, who has 35.175 million. Everybody is looking way up at the two leaders. Blumstein and Hesp have more chips between them than do the other seven players combined.

Antoine Saout is also part of another first this week. Both he and Pollak are from France, marking the first time in WSOP history that two people from France have made the final table.

For those of you who want to watch the action at the final table, remember that it will play out this week, rather than in November, as it had done for the past decade. The players get a break Tuesday and Wednesday (well, a partial break, as they will have to do interviews for television and what not) and then come back Thursday for a three-day final table.

On Thursday, play will go until six players remain, on Friday, it will go until three remain, and on Saturday a winner will be determined.

The entire final table will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, starting at 9:00pm ET each night. ESPN2 will broadcast the final table on Thursday, while ESPN will have it Friday and Saturday. All of the action will be “semi-live” with a 30 minute delay.

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Chip Counts

1. Scott Blumstein – 97,250,000
2. John Hesp – 85,700,000
3. Benjamin Pollak – 35,175,000
4. Bryan Piccioli – 33,800,000
5. Dan Ott – 26,475,000
6. Damian Salas – 22,175,000
7. Antoine Saout – 21,750,000
8. Jack Sinclair – 20,200,000
9. Ben Lamb – 18,050,000

Poker News Daily



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