Posts Tagged ‘Split’

Split Decision as to Leader of Different Player of the Year Races

 Split Decision as to Leader of Different Player of the Year Races

With the tournament poker world motoring through the first quarter of the calendar year, it is a “split decision” as to who is the leader in the major Player of the Year races. In fact, in one race the name is a familiar one but, in the other, the “top dog” might surprise many.

On the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year board, the leader of the pack is a player who has been on fire through the first two months of the year. The United Kingdom’s Toby Lewis has been scintillating through February, taking down the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event championship for a $ 1.1 million-plus payday. That wasn’t enough for the Brit, however, as he left the land “Down Under” and came to the L. A. Poker Classic with his groove still working. Lewis would finish second in the World Poker Tour Main Event of the LAPC to start March, earning another $ 600,000-plus in cash and earning (between the two events) 3780 points, ahead in the POY by a wide margin over the field.

Just how far ahead is Lewis at this point? Second place Justin Bonomo has a half million dollars more in earnings over Lewis to this point of 2018 (thanks to some decent High Roller finishes), but he has “only” earned 2156 points on the CardPlayer board. And Bonomo BARELY eked out the second-place slot on the CardPlayer POY. 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion Maria Lampropulos’ victory was enough to give her 2100 points and the final podium spot entering March. Koray Aldemir (1940 points) and Aussie Millions runner-up Stefan Huber (1900) round out the Top Five in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

The fifth-place spot marks the return of one of the legends of online poker. After not cashing in a live tournament event since 2014, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom has made a splash back into the game. The partypoker MILLIONS Germany was where Blom made his green, taking down the €5000 Main Event for a nearly million-Euro cash. Although Blom had cashed in a preliminary tournament earlier on the MILLIONS schedule, the Main Event win was the first time that Blom cashed in a tournament since the 2014 European Poker Tour Season X finale at the Grand Final in Monte Carlo. The 1824 points for the victory also put Blom in sixth place on the POY rankings.

L. A. Poker Classic champion Dennis Blieden slides in behind Blom on the board, the 1800 points for his WPT championship officially landing him in seventh. That clipped Adrian Mateos, who has not won yet in 2018 but has three final tables and 1795 points for eighth place. Rounding out the Top Ten for the CardPlayer Player of the Year race are Stephen Chidwick (1770 points) and Tim Rutherford (1760) in ninth and tenth places, respectively.

To say that there is a different poker reality on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race would be a huge understatement. Of the ten players that come up on the CardPlayer rankings, only THREE of them make an appearance on the GPI ladder. In fact, the player who has seized the GPI Player of the Year lead at this point is a player that only the most hard-core poker fans might have heard of.

Although he has a runner-up finish in a 2016 World Series of Poker preliminary event, Georgios Zisimopoulos hasn’t exactly set the poker world on fire in his career. Mostly content to stay in Europe and play in the multitude of events there, Zisimopoulos has come out of the gate in 2018 with a vengeance. Between three tournament schedules, Zisimopoulos has been able to cash in a slew of tournaments, good enough to be able to put him atop the GPI standings.

Zisimopoulos has only one win among the eleven cashes he has earned (in a $ 500 Bounty event at the Merit Poker Western Tournament in January), but those 11 cashes have generated 1631.11 points, good enough for the top slot on the GPI POY leaderboard. To compare the two ranking systems, while Zisimopoulos is leading the way on the GPI countdown, he isn’t found on the CardPlayer system until 93rd place.

Another player who has been a serial casher is Nick Pupillo. Stunningly, Pupillo has cashed 13 times since January 1, with a top cash coming for his sixth-place finish at the Heartland Poker Tour’s Main Event at the Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, CO ($ 31,855). In those 13 cashes, Pupillo has accumulated 1618.23 points and takes hold of the second-place slot on the GPI standings.

Former World Champion Joe McKeehen seems to have come out in 2018 with a mission. He’s been playing several major tournaments on the WPT, with a best finish of third at the WPT Thunder Valley last week, and those larger field events have given him enough points to capture the third-place slot on the GPI rankings with 1478.17 points. Hot on his heels are Joao Pires Simao (1452.97 points) and Chidwick (1430.66), who round out the Top Five on the GPI.

The second half of the Top Ten brings more surprises. Ari Engel is in sixth at this point in the season, his 1426.10 points barely behind Chidwick, while Timothy Miles is a bit further back at 1411.31 points in seventh. Although he is in first on the CardPlayer rankings, Lewis can only get to eighth on the GPI board with his 1383.74 points. Bonomo (1371.99 points) and Daniel Negreanu (1345.64) round out the GPI Player of the Year race in ninth and tenth places, respectively.

These standings will probably be completely turned over by the time Tax Day (April 15) arrives. There are two Main Tour events in the next month on the WPT and several WSOP Circuit events, but the biggest question mark for a tournament could be the rebirth of the European Poker Tour. The EPT Sochi begins on March 20 and many in the poker world will be watching to see if the players come back.

Changes by The Stars Group – including the cosmetic step of bringing back the old EPT moniker – have been made but, since there has only been the also-reborn PokerStars Caribbean Adventure to judge so far, it is unknown if the players are giving the reborn EPT a chance. It will have an impact on the Player of the Year races, however, so expect the top players in Europe to flock to the Russian coastal city.

The post Split Decision as to Leader of Different Player of the Year Races appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Split Decision on Phil Ivey/Borgata Lawsuits

 Split Decision on Phil Ivey/Borgata Lawsuits

After hearing evidence from both parties in the complicated case, a judge in U. S. District Court has issued a split decision on the case involving poker professional Phil Ivey and the Borgata in Atlantic City. That split decision has left any final financial decisions completely up in the air as to which party will emerge victorious.

Per’s John Brennan, U. S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman issued a rather intriguing decision after months of legal wrangling between Ivey and the Borgata. The case dates to 2012 when Ivey, looking to play high stakes baccarat in Atlantic City, was able to get the casino to acquiesce to many of his requests for a game. Some of those requests were to have a singular eight deck shoe of cards (down to the brand, Gemaco Borgata) and a private playing area provided; that a dealer fluent in Mandarin Chinese act as the dealer; that the deck be shuffled after every hand and that Ivey be allowed to have a “companion,” Cheng Yin Sun, join him at the table. In each case, Ivey’s request was granted.

Over four different occasions, Ivey and Sun journeyed to Atlantic City and, while in action, Sun would speak to the dealer in Mandarin Chinese that Ivey would like cards turned in a particular manner, supposedly as a “superstition” of his. Once again, the dealer and the Borgata acquiesced to the request and play continued onward. Over the span of 107 hours of play and betting $ 50,000 per hand, Ivey and Sun racked up winnings of $ 9.6 million against the Borgata.

The problem came with payment. After the Borgata learned that Crockfords in the United Kingdom had also been visited by Ivey and Sun (the difference only being that, in London, Ivey and Sun were playing a baccarat variant, punto banco) and, after almost $ 12 million had been won by the duo, refused to pay out, the Borgata followed suit. This brought about the legal action from Ivey, who claimed to have committed no infraction and won the money legitimately, and a countersuit from the Borgata claiming malfeasance.

In the discovery and interview process, it was determined that Ivey and Sun were utilizing “edge sorting,” or a method of identifying cards because they were miscut at the factory (well explained by my colleague and friend Dan Katz here). In Ivey’s opinion, the usage of such a technique was an “advantage” play, or a shifting of the odds from the casino’s favor to his (much like card counting in blackjack, another legal move that is frowned upon by the casinos). The Borgata countered that Ivey and Sun deceived the casino and its personnel and that, in fact, the usage of edge sorting was illegal.

Judge Hillman saw merit in each side’s arguments and adjudicated them accordingly. As to the Borgata’s contention that Ivey and Sun used an illegal means to win, Hillman said no. “To meet the elements of fraud, the Borgata must show that Ivey and Sun made a material misrepresentation and that the Borgata relied upon that misrepresentation to its detriment,” Hillman wrote. In his opinion the Borgata, through granting the requests that Ivey asked for, “trusted Ivey” and tried to “profit at (his) expense (as Ivey was trying to do against the casino).”

Ivey didn’t escape Judge Hillman’s gaze, however. Hillman determined that the usage of the “edge sorting” technique employed by Ivey and Sun – and the turning of the cards by the dealer so that they could be identified – “led the cards to be ‘marked’ even though neither player ever touched the cards themselves.” Hillman wrote. In stating that Ivey and Sun’s contentions that they weren’t “marking” the cards per se, Hillman determined that Ivey and Sun’s idea of a “marked” card “is too narrow. By using cards they caused to be maneuvered in order to identify their value only to them, Ivey and Sun adjusted the odds of baccarat in their favor. This is in complete contravention of the fundamental purpose of legalized gambling as set forth by the (New Jersey) CCA (Casino Control Act).”

On the Ivey case, Hillman sided with all the claims presented except for breach of contract and, as to the Borgata countersuit, found in favor of the breach of contract claim but tossed all other actions. Hillman also set a firm, 20-day window that the Borgata will submit briefs requesting damages from Ivey and Sun’s breach of contract and, 20 days after that, Ivey and Sun will respond to that submission.

The split decision is perhaps a way for Hillman to force the two parties back to the negotiating table to hammer out a settlement in the case. As it sits now, it is possible that there will be a resolution of all the actions regarding the 2012 Ivey/Borgata case by the end of this year.

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