Posts Tagged ‘Some’

Daniel Negreanu Has Some Thoughts on WSOP POY Math

 Daniel Negreanu Has Some Thoughts on WSOP POY Math

A week ago, I wrote an article lamenting Chris Ferguson’s presence near the top of the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year leader board. He is down to third from the second spot he was in at the time I wrote it, but he is still dangerously close to the number one spot. In the piece, I mentioned that multitude of cashes, while really nice in and of themselves, are not really all that impressive as far as cashes go and thus “shines a light on what may be a weakness of the scoring system.”

Apparently, great minds think alike, as Poker Hall of Famer and the man in seventh on the WSOP POY list, Daniel Negreanu, is right there with me. But unlike me, “Kid Poker” knows a thing or two about poker, so he actually has some concrete ideas of how to revamp the Player of the Year scoring.

In his blog on Full Contact Poker, Negreanu listed five adjustments he would like to make to the POY system, starting with the number of cashes that should be counted. He finds it lame that players who have the time and money to enter 40, 50, or 60 events have a massive advantage, as if they are decent enough players, they are bound to cash in 20-25 percent of them and even if the cashes are small, they will score enough points to threaten for the POY title.

Instead, Negreanu says, only a player’s best eight cashes should count, which would level the playing field a bit and make deep runs more significant in the scoring.

His second thought is about the scoring itself. Negreanu feels that there is not a wide enough spread in points between the winner of an event and a min-casher. “In a 600 player field, the current system rewarded the winner the equivalent of 4 min cashes,” he wrote. “That’s not a good ratio.”

A better ration is 8-to-1, Negreanu said. Figure out how much of a win should be worth, set the min-cash boundary, then work out the numbers in between. He brainstormed something like 75 percent of first place points for second place, 65 percent for third, 60 percent for forth, and on down the line. Those figures sounded like they were just quick, back of the napkin work, and could certainly be adjusted.

Third, Negreanu thinks that the $ 10,000 championship events should be worth more points than lower buy-in tournaments because the fields are typically tougher.

Fourth, he said that the field size used in POY calculations should be capped at 8,000 so as not to overweight the Colossus, which attracts as many as 20,000 players. Now, based on the calculator on its website, it looks like the WSOP only directly counts the buy-in and prize money won in its scoring, but since field size affects what the prizes are, it is an indirect factor, so something might be able to be done to Negreanu’s liking.

Negreanu’s final suggestion is one which he says will be the most controversial, and that is if someone does not win a bracelet, that person cannot win Player of the Year.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to require at least one win to be rewarded POY. In fact I think it adds a cool dynamic to the race,” he wrote. “You may have a points leader at the top without a bracelet who in the homestretch needs that win to win the title. Yes, I’m aware that this would exclude me from contention in the 2017 race, but it isn’t about me, it’s about a system that absolutely guarantees the ultimate winner will be deserving.”

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Reviewing Our WSOP Predictions: Crystal Ball…You Have Some Explaining’ To Do!

 Reviewing Our WSOP Predictions: Crystal Ball…You Have Some Explaining’ To Do!

Early Wednesday morning, the 2016 World Series of Poker Championship Event concluded, crowning a new World Champion. Qui Nguyen dominated (or Gordon Vayo gave up, depending on your viewpoint) en route to the championship, keeping all his opponents off balance with his moves on the felt and boggling the mind of even three-time WSOP bracelet winner Antonio Esfandiari, who was offering commentary from the ESPN broadcast booth, as to what actions he would take. We’ll look at how Nguyen will be as the newly crowned champion later this week, but for now let’s review the Crystal Ball’s selections as to the finishing order…a preliminary look indicates that the Ball has some explaining to do!

Ninth – Fernando Pons and Eighth – Jerry Wong (8th) – Predicted eighth and ninth

These two picks were arguably the easiest for the Crystal Ball to make when it came to the “November Nine” final table. Both came in with less than 20 big blinds and both had to get some action going early lest they see their chip stacks bled to the point it wouldn’t matter the cards. The Crystal Ball saw Wong going first and Pons next in eighth, so for them to be switched around is a pretty good bit of work for the Orbital Prognosticator.

Seventh – Griffin Benger – Predicted third

The case could be made that Benger never got ahold of any cards to work with. It also could be said that Benger didn’t make the most of the opportunities that he had. He was one of the players who never seemed to get the gist of the action at the final table on the opening night of play and, once he decided to make a stand with a suited Ace against Gordon Vayo’s pocket tens, you could almost predict that Vayo’s hand would stand. It is still Benger’s biggest cash of his career, but we were way off on predicting him to be around on Tuesday night.

Sixth – Kenny Hallaert – Predicted second

Another huge swing and a miss for the Crystal Ball. Hallaert was a very active player through the action on Sunday, but on the very last hand of the evening he caught a suited Big Chick (A♣ Q♣) against chip leader Qui Nguyen. Problem was Nguyen, who had been very aggressive in his own right, had the goods this time around with pocket Aces. A Queen on the flop offered some hope to the Belgian, but nothing else would come to change the outcome. At about this time, we were smacking the Crystal Ball upside the glass for two complete fans on the prediction front.

Fifth – Vojtech Ruzicka (5th) – Predicted seventh

The smack upside the Crystal Ball seemed to help, if for a moment. Ruzicka was eliminated only four hands into the action on Monday night, with Ruzicka losing most of his chips to Vayo in a race (Big Slick against pocket eights) before the rest of his chips went to Nguyen. Ruzicka was an entertaining player who demonstrated that he might have a lengthy career in poker if it is something he desires.

Fourth – Michael Ruane (4th) – Predicted sixth

Another close but not quite situation. Ruane also was very impressive when he was on the felt, he was just woefully low on chips during the play on Monday night. Nguyen would again administer the coup de grace to one of his opponents and, by this time, the Crystal Ball was wondering how he missed the play of the Vegas resident.

Third – Cliff Josephy (3rd) – Predicted first

Josephy was primed to become the World Champion, playing outstanding poker for virtually the entirety of the tournament. Then he ran into a typhoon by the name of Qui Nguyen, whose basic strategy seemed to be, “What do they think I’ll do? Let me do the exact opposite!”

Josephy never seemed to be able to get a grasp on what Nguyen was doing to his right, so he had to feel good when he got his chips in the center on a K-3-2 flop holding pocket deuces. Lo and behold, it wasn’t Nguyen he had to worry about but Vayo, who was set mining in his own right with his pocket treys (and anyone who says they would have gotten away from Josephy’s hand is either delusional or lying).

Second – Gordon Vayo – Predicted fifth

The Crystal Ball predicted that Vayo wouldn’t make any mistakes and, for the most part, the Ball was correct. Some might consider his highly conservative play – where he sat back looking for a big hand to strike against the steamroller that Nguyen had become. He delayed the inevitable for almost eight hours (the tournament ended as the sun was beginning to rise on Sin City) before succumbing to Nguyen’s formidable rush.

First – Qui Nguyen – Predicted fourth

By all reasoning, Nguyen should have been out long before Tuesday night. For some reason, it seemed that nobody wanted to mix it up with him, especially after opening the play on Sunday night by four-betting chip leader Josephy to immediately seize the lead. It also didn’t hurt that every instance he was in a pot, he hit some piece of the flop, turn or river. Nguyen’s opponents eventually got gun shy in trying to take him on, to their detriment and to Nguyen’s great success.

With the conclusion of the “November Nine” final table, the WSOP has concluded for 2016. We’ve got a few things to look at as to the event, however, which we’ll look at tomorrow.

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Top Tournament Location bestbet Jacksonville Violates Florida Law with Some Games

 Top Tournament Location bestbet Jacksonville Violates Florida Law with Some Games

An administrative law judge in Florida ruled earlier this week that one of the top destinations in Florida for poker tournaments, bestbet Jacksonville, has been violating state laws in running certain games on their floor.

The case was a challenge by the Jacksonville Kennel Club, the owners of bestbet Jacksonville, and was heard by Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk. The original law designated that pari-mutuel operators – of which bestbet Jacksonville would fall under – could not operate games that are “banked,” or which feature the house playing against the players. Those types of games, most often blackjack, three card poker and other table games, are the purveyance of the Seminole Indians of Florida and their properties located around the Sunshine State.

To get around this law, bestbet Jacksonville offered a variant of three-card poker that, instead of having the house bank the game, saw a “designated player” used. That “designated player” would then play against the others in the game and take the position that the house would normally be put in. According to original complaints filed, however, bestbet Jacksonville allegedly took the actions a step further.

In the case of the Florida card room, which generates almost $ 1 million per month in action, they took the steps of hiring a third-party person to take the seat in the “designated player” box and were provided with chips that were handed out to other players. There is some question as to whether these third party players actually played any of the games they were sitting in on (and hence complying the law) or were just there to man the chip stack and not play (a violation). According to Jacksonville Business Journal writer Dara Kam, the complaints mentioned this factor, with a lawyer from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, William Hall, stating on June 1, “All the designated player does is sit next to the chips (and doesn’t play)…can that person legitimately be called a player?”

Apparently it was enough for Judge Van Wyk to make a decision on the case. In a 54-page decision, Van Wyk found that the bestbet Jacksonville “designated player” game was in violation of the state’s gaming codes. “Given the strict statutory prohibition against gambling, the intricate regulatory scheme imposed and the narrow carve out for card rooms, the games cannot be allowed to continue to operate in the current manner,” the judge wrote. “(The card room statute) is that authorized games are not casino gaming because the participants play against each other. As currently operated, the designated player is a player in name only.”

In making her decision, Van Wyk handed down a $ 4500 fine to bestbet Jacksonville (along with the order to cease the games). It is expected that attorneys for the card room will file an appeal and it is not known whether bestbet Jacksonville will quit spreading the “designated player” games until the final decision is rendered.

The case has become important because of the ongoing fight between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe that had exclusivity over “house banked” gaming in the state. The previous deal between the parties expired in December 2015 and, despite negotiations between the two entities, no new compact has emerged that passed muster in the Florida Legislature. If a deal cannot be reached, the state of Florida looks to lose approximately $ 3 billion in Seminole gaming revenues over a five-year period.

In just a few years, bestbet Jacksonville has become one of the most popular stops for many of the tournament poker circuits that traipse across the United States. As host for stops on the World Poker Tour, the Mid-States Poker Tour, the CardPlayer Poker Tour and other smaller circuits (not to mention their own in-house events), bestbet Jacksonville challenges some of the other operations in the state such as the Seminole Hard Rock locations and dog and horse racing tracks located around the state.

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Nationals, Wolverines Open Some Space Heading to Final Week of GPL Season’s First Half

 Nationals, Wolverines Open Some Space Heading to Final Week of GPL Season’s First Half

Week 7 of the Global Poker League has concluded and, with one more week before the teams take a slight pause before heading to Las Vegas for the “Summer Series” and the 2016 World Series of Poker, two teams have opened up some space from the rest of the competition in their conferences.

In the GPL Eurasia, the Moscow Wolverines were sitting comfortably atop the standings after a dominant Week 6 performance. Just as easily as it was established, however, that 14-point edge over the Paris Aviators disappeared over three days of play. It started with the less-than stellar play of Igor Yaroshevsky in the Six Max action on Tuesday, where Yaroshevsky could only pull in two points between the two matches. The situation didn’t get any better in their heads up match, where the Wolverines’ Andrey Pateychuk could only manage to pick up three points against the Hong Kong Stars’ Weiyi Zhang on Wednesday. By picking up only five points, the Wolverines opened the door for the rest of the GPL Eurasia to close in on them.

Taking most advantage of the Wolverines’ tough week was the London Royals. Tied with the Aviators in second place a week earlier, the Royals were able to chip out 11 points for the week, eight courtesy of Chris Moorman in the Six Max sit and gos and three more from Igor Kurganov after his loss to the Rome Emperors’ Dario Sammartino in their heads up fight. The 11 points the Royals picked up were one point more than Aviators earned over the week, putting the two teams right on the heels of the Wolverines with one week to go before the WSOP break.

After Week 7, here’s how the GPL Eurasia is lining up:

Moscow Wolverines 87 8
London Royals 79 8
Paris Aviators 78 8
Hong Kong Stars 74 5
Berlin Bears 64 3
Rome Emperors 58 3


There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to the GPL Americas after several weeks of dominance by the former leader. For some time, the New York Rounders have been able to withstand the assault of several of the other members of the conference and remained atop the mountain. Week 7, however, proved to be a bit of an undoing for the Rounders as they dropped from first place for the first time in the month of May.

Week 7 got off to a tough start when the brother of Rounders manager Bryn Kenney, Tyler, could only muster two points during the Six Max sit and go action on Tuesday afternoon. Kenney’s teammate Jason Wheeler picked up some slack when he was able to defeat the Las Vegas Moneymakers’ Jake Cody, 6-3, in their heads up match on Thursday, but some of the other squads in the GPL Americas pounced on the weak week for the Rounders overall. In fact, one team pounced so well they were able to take over first place.

The new leader in the GPL Americas is the Montreal Nationals, led by the outstanding performance of Mike McDonald in the Six Max on Tuesday. In the two sit and gos, ‘Timex’ earned a first and a second place performance for a total of 12 points (out of a possible 14). Although his teammate Pascal Lefrancois lost his heads up match to the San Francisco Rush’s Jonathan Jaffe 6-3, the 15 points the Nationals collected pushed them to the fore in the GPL Americas by a healthy margin.

With Week 7 now tallied, here’s how the GPL Americas looks:

Montreal Nationals 87 8
New York Rounders 81 7
L. A. Sunset 79 6
Sao Paulo Metropolitans 70 5
Las Vegas Moneymakers 63 3
San Francisco Rush 61 6


Week 8 will be the final week of the first half of the inaugural GPL season, starting off with its usual quartet of Six Max sit and gos – two for the GPL Eurasia and GPL Americas. Wednesday’s heads up battles for the GPL Eurasia feature a battle between the Royals and the Wolverines that may very well be for the conference leadership, while Thursday’s heads up matches will feature the marquee pairing of the Sunset and the Rounders as they try to catch the Nationals. It will lead to the “Summer Series” that begins in Las Vegas on June 6, featuring live action between the 12 teams in the league.

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PokerStars 100 Millionth Customer Promo Awards Some StarsCoin

 PokerStars 100 Millionth Customer Promo Awards Some StarsCoin

Historically, a PokerStars promotion has been something people can get excited about. So when I tell you that PokerStars is running a promo to celebrate the site’s 100 millionth player (including Full Tilt and all country-specific sites), you wouldn’t be crazy to get your hopes up. But don’t. I mean, yes, it is a promotion and yes, you can win something of value, but frankly, it’s a bit of a disappointment. But you know what? If you are going to play at PokerStars, anyway, and these promos end up fitting in to your game selection, go for it.

For the first two weeks of the month (starting yesterday, of course, but don’t worry about it – it shouldn’t be a bid deal), PokerStars has a couple VIP Steps Challenges for its players. Those who complete VIP Steps Challenge 1 by leveling up three VIP Steps during the two weeks will have a chance to win up to 1 million StarsCoin. VIP Steps Challenge 2 is similar, but it requires the completion of 10 VIP Steps for up to 2 million StarsCoin.

“Up to” is the operative phrase here as the chances of winning a million or two StarsCoin are extremely low. Like with Spin & Go jackpots, the prizes are determined by a probability table. The odds get better the higher up in the VIP tiers a player is, but don’t count on any sort of StarsCoin windfall.

For example, at the BronzeStar level, there is a 54.695 percent chance to win 5 StarsCoin for VIP Steps Challenge 1, a 27.50 percent chance to win 50, a 15 percent chance to win 100, so on and so forth until the 1 million chip prize, which has a .005 percent chance of hitting. The minimum prize is 100 starting with ChromeStars. ChromeStars and up will win 100 or 1,000 StarsCoin the vast majority of the time. The odds for the grand prize only elevate to 0.15 percent at best.

The VIP Steps Challenge 2 prizes are bigger, ranging from 50 to 2 million rather than 5 to 1 million. Odds are a little better to win something of note, but again, whatever.

For the final two weeks of the month, including Leap Day, PokerStars will offer challenges associated with milestones from the site’s history. PokerStars has not revealed what the actual challenges will be, but here are the milestones:

2001 – Launch of Real Money Poker Games
2002 – First WCOOP Main Event
2003 – Moneymaker wins the World Series
2004 – Launch of the EPT
2006 – The Sunday Million is Born
2007 – Daniel Negreanu joins Team PokerStars Pro
2008 – PokerStars hosts World Record Online Poker Tournament
2012 – Launch of the Mobile App
2013 – Launch of Zoom
2013 – 100 Billionth Hand
2014 – $ 10 Million Guaranteed in PCA Main Event
2015 – Football Stars join PokerStars
2015 – 13 Millionaires Made in Spin & Go’s
2015 – 253,692 Players in an Online Poker Tournament
2016 – PokerStars obtains license in New Jersey, USA

Once again, there is a prize probability chart for the challenges, which come in two flavors: Silver and Gold. Most of the time, the prize will be a seat in an All-in Shootout tournament (77.294 percent for Silver, 60.299 percent for Gold), but the rest are cash prizes. For the Silver challenge, the cash prizes range from $ 2 to $ 10,000 (.001 percent chance at the $ 10,000) and for Gold it’s $ 5 to $ 100,000.

The last part of the promo is a simple tournament. For 50 StarsCoin (guess you can use what you earned form the promo the rest of the month), players can enter a $ 100,000 Added VIP Club tournament.

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