Posts Tagged ‘Showdown’

Dennis Blieden Defeats Toby Lewis in “David vs. Goliath” Showdown, Wins WPT L. A. Poker Classic

 Dennis Blieden Defeats Toby Lewis in “David vs. Goliath” Showdown, Wins WPT L. A. Poker Classic

In a classic battle of “David versus Goliath” Dennis Blieden, who had only cashed twice in his tournament poker career, was able to vanquish poker pro Toby Lewis to win the 25th running (and 16th under the World Poker Tour banner) of the L. A. Poker Classic’s Championship Event.

Lewis led the six-man final table as they gathered together on Thursday afternoon to determine the champion. Blieden, for his part, was within shouting distance of Lewis’ stack (5.39 million to Blieden’s 4.125 million), while the remainder of the field looked to play catchup. Marc MacDonnell (1.695 million), Derek Wolters (1.52 million), Peter Hengsakul (1.065 million) and Manuel Martinez (985K) all had their work cut out for them if they were going to get in the mix for the title.

Blieden came out of the gates on a rampage, winning four of the first five hands, and would be responsible for the first elimination only six hands in. On Hand 6, Martinez raised the flop from under the gun and Blieden, out of position in the big blind, made the call to see an 8-8-2 flop. Blieden would then check-raise a Martinez continuation bet, which Martinez only called, to see a six on the turn. Blieden once again led out, this time for 230K, and after Martinez came over the top of his bet with an all-in move, Blieden was more than happy to call.

Martinez had a beautiful pair of ladies in his pocket, but the whims of fate had struck for Blieden. His 8-6 had found trips on the flop and filled up the boat on the turn, leaving Martinez looking for one of the remaining Queens in the deck to reverse his fortunes. Another six on the river gave Martinez three pair, still not good enough to beat Blieden’s boat, and send him out of the tournament in sixth place.

That hand would temporarily move Blieden into the lead, but Lewis would take it back with authority a few hands later. After limping into a pot, Wolters would call but Blieden would three bet the action. Lewis made the call and Wolters folded as the dealer fanned out the innocuous 8-3-2 flop. Blieden aggressively led out and, after a moment of thought, Lewis made the call. On a ten turn, Blieden fired again for 360K and, pondering for a moment again, Lewis made the call. A King came on the river and it was Blieden’s turn to pause, using up a Time Bank chip before firing his third bullet (of 785K) at the pot. Lewis didn’t hesitate this time, calling the bet and showing pocket fives for FOURTH pair. Surprisingly, it was good; Blieden was pushing air with his Q-9 off suit and, soon after he showed his hand, the 3 million-plus pot and the chip lead were pushed to Lewis.

Undaunted, Blieden went back to work in building his stack back up. He knocked out Hengsakul in fifth place, but it was another clash with Lewis that put him back into the lead. 25 hands after losing that big pot to Lewis, Blieden would turn a flush against Lewis to capture a nearly four million chip pot to rocket up to 7.05 million. Lewis wasn’t in bad shape with his 3.63 million in chips (good for second with four players left) but he – nor anyone else at the table – would get close to Blieden again.

Although Lewis would take down both MacDonnell and Wolters in fourth and third places, respectively, Blieden steamrolled the opposition so much that he held more than a 5:1 edge when heads up play began. On the second hand of heads up (Hand 79), the final battle would commence and the tournament would be concluded.

Lewis raised the betting pre-flop and, after Blieden three-bet the action, responded with a four bet of his own. Blieden just called and saw a 6-6-3 flop, which he also check-called after a 400K bet from Lewis. The Queen on the turn saw Blieden check again and pause after Lewis hammered in his remaining 2.2 million chips. Blieden tentatively called and showed his Big Chick (A-Q), Queens up, while Lewis sprung his trap one street too late in turning up his pocket tens. Looking for one of two tens to save his tournament life, Lewis instead made an inferior full house with the six on the river, giving the championship to Blieden.

1. Dennis Blieden, $ 1,000,000
2. Toby Lewis, $ 603,630
3. Derek Wolters, $ 430,210
4. Marc MacDonnell, $ 319,310
5. Peter Hengsakul, $ 244,430
6. Manuel Martinez, $ 186,235

There is no rest for the WPT and its players. As soon as the tournament concluded at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, the WPT workhorses packed up the circus and moved up the coast to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort for the WPT Rolling Thunder tournament. That tournament runs from today through March 6, with two Day Ones kicking off the action on Friday and Saturday. For now, however, Dennis Blieden is celebrating his first major poker title as the champion of the L. A. Poker Classic.

The post Dennis Blieden Defeats Toby Lewis in “David vs. Goliath” Showdown, Wins WPT L. A. Poker Classic appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Tony Sinishtaj Takes Down WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown; SHR Poker Finale at Final Table

 Tony Sinishtaj Takes Down WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown; SHR Poker Finale at Final Table

It has been a hectic week of poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. Battling through more than 1200 entries, including one of the biggest money winners in the history of poker, Tony Sinishtaj emerged victorious in the World Poker Tour’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown last night.

The Showdown started the day with Dan Colman, ranked third in all-time earnings behind only Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel, heading the field with his 9.975 million in chips. Sinishtaj was close behind Colman at the start, holding 9.515 million in chips himself, while Darryll Fish held down the third-place slot with 7.525 million chips. The bottom three – Simeon Naydenov (3.115 million), Robert Mizrachi (3.1 million) and Eric Beller (2.96 million) – were not considered to be real threats to the leaders, but with the right combination of skill and luck could thrust themselves into that position.

Thirteen hands in, one of the bottom three was gone. As is his wont, Naydenov wasn’t playing to move up the ladder, pushing all in for roughly his starting stack. And, per his style, Colman wasn’t about to let such a dangerous opponent get any chips uncontested. It proved that Colman had the edge, his A-7 holding firm over Naydenov’s K-8 after Colman flopped an Ace and turned one, to send Naydenov to the rail in sixth place and increase Colman’s lead.

Another thirteen hands of play saw the second elimination of the day and, once again, it was one of those players who started in the bottom half of the standings. On the cutoff, Beller would move all in as he looked to steal some blinds and antes. Unfortunately for him, Mizrachi woke up on the button with a hand and made the call. Once everyone else got out of the way, Beller showed his A-7 off suit for the battle while Mizrachi popped up pocket Kings to defend his chips. It was all but over from the beginning; a King in the window gave Mizrachi an utterly dominant set to leave Beller drawing dead and, after the formality of the turn and the river, out of the tournament in fifth place.

After Beller headed to the Hard Rock cage to collect his winnings, the remaining four men hit the brakes on the tournament. There wouldn’t be an elimination for the next 80-plus hands, but there was action. Most of it was coming from Colman, who looked to play sheriff on the table and instead saw his chip stack dwindle precariously. After doubling up Sinishtaj for the second time, Colman’s scraps for chips went to the center on Hand 114 with pocket deuces. Although both Fish and Sinishtaj would look him up, Fish would get credit for the elimination as he made a pair of sevens to knock out Colman in fourth place.

Only 20 hands later, the next departure came. Mizrachi was probably pleased about moving into the final three money, but a poker player’s drive always comes from trying to win the tournament they’re in. Fish was the beneficiary once again, making a pair of Queens on the flop against Mizrachi’s pocket fours, to eliminate the hometown favorite (the Mizrachis hail from Hollywood) in third place.

Even though he had been fairly active, Fish was still facing a pretty steep climb in heads up play against Sinishtaj. Down by a 2-1 margin, Fish played masterfully in the early parts of the heads-up battle and, over the span of roughly 20 hands, had taken over the lead. After another ten hands, the lead for Fish would stretch out to its own 2-1 margin over Sinishtaj. For Fish, that would prove to be the final highlight of his time in the Showdown.

On Hand 168, Fish limped in and Sinishtaj raised the action to 1.4 million. Fish pondered what was on Sinishtaj’s mind before moving all in and without hesitation Sinishtaj made the call. It turned out he was right – pre-flop at least – as Sinishtaj’s pocket sevens were leading Fish’s pocket deuces. Once the board ran out Q-J-9-A-9, Sinishtaj could breathe again as he took a key double up and retook the lead from Fish.

Five hands later, it was over. After a raise from Sinishtaj, Fish made the call to see an 8 3♠ 2 flop. After first checking his option and seeing Sinishtaj fire again, Fish check-raised all-in for his tournament existence. Once again with no hesitation, Sinishtaj called the bet and turned up a K Q for the flush draw against Fish’s A-3 off suit (pair of treys). The end came quickly when a 6 came on the turn to leave Fish drawing dead and, after the exercise of dealing the river (a 9, for the record), crowning Sinishtaj the champion of the Showdown.

1. Tony Sinishtaj, $ 661,283 plus seat in WPT Tournament of Champions
2. Darryll Fish, $ 453,185
3. Robert Mizrachi, $ 293,864
4. Dan Colman, $ 217,686
5. Eric Beller, $ 164,438
6. Simeon Naydenov, $ 132,889

After taking a day off for the end of the Showdown, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale will step to the fore for its conclusion on Thursday. Surviving from the 349-player field are six men who, for their $ 10,000 buy-in, will be amply rewarded today for their three days of labor!

Leading the way will be WPT Champions’ Club member Alan Sternberg, who will hold a sizeable stack of 4.605 million in chips when the table comes together again. Sternberg, the 2011 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star champion, has some quality competition looking to take him down once the cards hit the air. Just behind Sternberg is former World Champion Ryan Riess, sitting on a stack of 3.09 million chips, and a member of last year’s “November Nine,” Cliff Josephy, a little further back with 1.855 million chips. Toss in other “grizzled veterans” of the poker wars like Tim West (1.995 million), Terry Schumacher (1.385 million) and Jason Koon (1.03 million) and the final table should be an exciting one.

The final table of the Finale will begin at noon at the Hard Rock and the live stream with former WPT champion Tony Dunst will begin at 12:30 on delay at (the tournament is not a part of the television schedule on Fox Sports 1). It also will mark the final entry from Season XV champions into the WPT Tournament of Champions (which begins Friday) if someone other than Sternberg should win the tournament (Sternberg, as a former champion, must buy into the ToC unless he wins the Finale).

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2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event Final Table Set

The home stretch of the World Poker Tour season is in full effect as the final table has been set for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event, the first of the season-end trifecta along with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and the WPT Tournament of Champions, all happening in the same week. Leading the six-handed final table is Dan Colman, who, with 9.975 million chips is only slightly ahead of Tony Sinishtaj, who has 9.515 million.

To begin Monday’s final table, it looks like a three player race. Along with Colman and Sinishtaj is Darryll Fish, who has 7.525 million. After those three, there is a large gap to the bottom half of the chip counts, with Simeon Naydenov, Robert Mizrachi, and Eric Beller all around 3 million.

Colman, from a purely money standpoint, is one of the most successful live tournament players in poker history. He has won nearly $ 28 million in live tourneys, good for third all-time behind Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel. While he has had a fantastic 2017 already, it was 2014 during which he exploded onto the scene and wowed the poker world. In April of that year, Colman won the European Poker Tour Grand Final Super High Roller for $ 2,127,398 and then triumphed in the World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop to the tune of $ 15,306,668. In July, he “only” managed a third place finish at the Aria $ 100K Super High Roller for almost $ 800,000. Then, in August, he had two cashes for over a million bucks: a runner-up finish in the EPT Barcelona High Roller and a win at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event. Colman finished off 2014 with a victory at the WPT Alpha8 London for almost a million dollars and then a “lowly” seventh place finish at the Asia Championship of Poker Macau, a piddly $ 373,932 score.

Dan Colman had just two live tournament cashes in 2015, but they totaled over $ 1.8 million. Last year, he only had four cashes, but they added up to around $ 1.3 million. So far in 2017, Colman has almost $ 2 million live tournament cashes. When he makes the money, he really makes the money.

For making the final table, Colman and the other five players have already guaranteed themselves at least $ 132,889. First place is worth $ 661,283.

This tournament has an odd schedule in that there is now a break before the final table so that players can enter the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale if they so choose. That tourney began Sunday, but registration remained open until the start of play today. The Showdown final table will be contested on Wednesday, April 5th.

2017 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship – Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Dan Colman – 9,975,000
2.    Tony Sinishtaj – 9,515,000
3.    Darryll Fish – 7,525,000
4.    Simeon Naydenov – 3,115,000
5.    Robert Mizrachi – 3,100,000
6.    Eric Beller – 2,960,000

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Matt Affleck Leads after Day Two of 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

 Matt Affleck Leads after Day Two of 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

The festival of poker that is the finale of the World Poker Tour’s Season XV schedule has begun in Southeast Florida. Two days are in the books for the 2017 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the first event of a trilogy of poker tournaments over the next ten days, with popular poker professional Matt Affleck atop the standings.

As expected, the players flocked to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, for the start of the tournament on Friday. The $ 3500 buy in event was a true free-for-all – no limit to re-entry if you got your money to the cage before the start of Level 9 – as the chips, cards and cash were flowing over the tournament floor. By the time that registration had closed for the Showdown, 1207 entries had been received to build a prize pool of $ 3.862 million. 151 players would earn a share of that bounty, with the eventual champion taking home $ 661,283 and a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions for their efforts.

The carnage from Day 1 was stunning to see. Of those 1207 entries, only 476 players would remain standing to see Day 2 play on Saturday. Leading the way when the cards hit the air were Alejandro Duque, who sat on 320,600 in chips and was only one of two players over the 300K mark along with Dantonio Brown (317K). Kelly Minkin (280,700), who won a 275K pot late in the final level, filled out the show slot as the attention turned towards Saturday’s action.

With so many players remaining, it was going to be difficult for the field to get to the final 151 that would earn a min-cash for their stay in the Showdown. Just like Friday, however, the players were more than willing to get their chips in action. By the time the tournament took a break for dinner, the tournament clock read 156 players remaining, making the time out for sustenance even more stressful for those in danger of elimination. Coming back after the break, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton was one of those casualties, his Big Slick failing to run down Bryn Kenney’s pocket Queens to bring the tournament to 152 players.

At this point, one of the stranger things occurred. As tournament director Tony Burns announced that all tables would pause to begin hand-for-hand play, several all-in situations developed that had to be played out one-by-one. One of those participants who were all in – Fermin Micheo – came out on the wrong side of the equation, however, to finish in 152nd place and pop the money bubble without one hand of hand-for-hand play taking place.

With a min-cash of $ 5002 guaranteed in their pockets, several of the participants looked to attempt to build up their stacks or head to the cage to get their money. Blake Bohn and Dermot Blain would show up at the cage to collect their minimum cash payday, while Minkin would find a new opponent to fight it out with atop the standings. Minkin only seemed to increase her stack as the day wore on, building up to a high point of 1.22 million after the money bubble popped, while Ankush Mandavia, but they were both surpassed by Affleck in the final level.

Affleck had avoided the attention of many in the Seminole Hard Rock tournament room, but once he passed the million-chip mark it became difficult to miss him. On the final hand of the night, Bob Bounahra put out a raise from under the gun only to see Garrett Greer three bet him from middle position. Affleck would simply call from the button and, after Bounahra also called, a seemingly innocent 7-4-2 flop hit the felt. Bounahra checked his option and saw Greer fire out 95K. Affleck once again just called and, after Bounahra folded, another seven came. Greer and Affleck eyed each other suspiciously but checked as a Queen finished off the board. Greer put his final 300K or so in chips at risk by moving all in and, after deliberating the situation for a couple of minutes, Affleck made the call. Greer had found one of his cards on the river as he turned up his K-Q, but Affleck out-pipped him with the A-Q (Big Chick) to win the hand with his better kicker. As Greer headed to the cage, Affleck added to the monster stack of chips he’ll have to begin Day 3 with on Sunday.

1. Matt Affleck, 1.849 million
2. Eric Beller, 1.155 million
3. Phil Hui, 1.12 million
4. Ubaid Habib, 1.061 million
5. Robert Mizrachi, 1.038 million
6. Dietrich Fast, 1.02 million
7. Brandon Caputo, 1.004 million
8. Chad Eveslage, 930,000
9. Kelly Minkin, 873,000
10. Lance Howard, 849,000

The remainder of the 66 players in the field will present some potential challenges to these players. Erik Seidel, Daniel Strelitz (who can make some inroads into pushing his name into contention for the WPT Player of the Year award should he win the tournament), Dan Colman, Jason Mercier and Mandavia are all well stacked and looking to make their move to the top.

Play resumes at noon at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and should conclude with about 30 players remaining. The final table for the Showdown isn’t scheduled until April 5, so tournament officials are either drawing out the conclusion of the tournament or building in a day off for those who make the final table. For those who are out of the tournament – or would enjoy a day of mulit-tabling – the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, the $ 10,000 tournament on the triumvirate of events offered by the WPT, will begin today. It is going to be hectic on the tables in the Seminole Hard Rock this afternoon as the WPT wraps up its Season XV schedule!

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World Poker Tour Begins Dash to End Season XV with WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

 World Poker Tour Begins Dash to End Season XV with WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

Looking to finish off the Season XV schedule with a bang, the World Poker Tour will be setting up shop in the sunny state of Florida for the next 10 days. Kicking off the trio of events to finish this year’s WPT roster of events will be tomorrow’s start of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Now in its second year, the change for the WPT to playing its final events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, seems to have worked out well. When it was held last year, the WPT scheduled three events – a $ 3500 buy in tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown), a $ 10,000 tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale) and a $ 15,000 restricted access event (the inaugural WPT Tournament of Champions) – that were all conducted on the grounds in Hollywood. For the most part, the WPT was satisfied with the numbers for two of the events and are looking to pick up the numbers on the third.

The Showdown was quite popular with the players, with 1222 entries being received for the “re-entry” tournament (eventually won by Justin Young over Garrett Greer). Even the Finale went well, with 342 players ponying up the $ 10K to be a part of the action (and seeing David ‘Chino’ Rheem emerge as champion). Perhaps the only disappointing spot on the season closer was the inaugural Tournament of Champions, but that could have been more from the format than the lack of players who wanted to take part.

The Tournament of Champions replaced the WPT World Championship during last year’s finale in Florida. Only players who had previously won a WPT Main Tour event (not a National or Regional title) were eligible to take part in the tournament. The players who had won on the tour over the previous year had part of their prize from winning their event pulled to guarantee them access to the tournament, but past champions had to put up $ 15,000 to play in the tournament. This resulted in a rather paltry 64 players that took part in the TOC, with 2015 WPT Amsterdam champion Farid Yachou becoming the first ever champion of the WPT TOC.

There is a reason that the word “paltry” is used along with the inaugural WPT TOC. The 64 players that attended the tournament in 2016 were from the 227 previous champions that have been crowned in the history of the WPT Main Tour. The 17 players (plus two more from the Seminole Hard Rock events preceding the TOC) who have won on the WPT this season are guaranteed entry and bring the total potential number of participants to 242 (Darren Elias was a prior WPT Champions’ Club member and Sam Panzica won two tournaments during the season), but who will show up from the Champions’ Club to take them on? The WPT is trying to bring in some more former champions for the tournament by spicing up the prize package.

The tournament sponsor, Monster Headphones, has not only added $ 100,000 to the prize pool but also has put up a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe for the eventual champion, a high-end sports car that starts at $ 41,000. This is in addition to other “spoils of war” such as a custom-made poker table from BBO Poker Tables, custom fit sunglasses from Maui Jim, and a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, among other items.

The tournament will once again feature a different structure than the usual WPT events. Starting with six-handed tables, a 30-second shot clock will also be employed, which basically means what it says – players have 30 seconds to make their decisions on each street. If a player needs more time, they are given five 30-second extensions that they can use as they see fit (one at a time or all five at once) up to the final table. At the final table, the players will be reset with four 30-second extensions each.

The Showdown and the Finale are also the last chances players have to earn points towards the WPT Player of the Year. With those two events remaining, it is a neck and neck battle between Benjamin Zamani (2500 points), who has led for virtually the entire season, and two-time WPT champion Panzica (2450 points). If those two should falter, lurking in the background is WPT Montreal champion, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton (2100), who could be itching to be a spoiler in the competition between Zamani and Panzica. Elias (1650 points) and WPT L. A. Poker Classic champion Daniel Strelitz (1450) round out the Top Five, but they would need astronomically good runs in Florida to get into the race (like winning both the Showdown and the Finale).

The next 10 days will be a poker junkie’s dream and, after all the chips have been tossed and cards ruffed, the doors on Season XV of the World Poker Tour. The only question remaining is who will be the big winners? We’ll look to answer those questions starting tomorrow with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

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