Posts Tagged ‘table’

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 4: J. C. Tran Leads Stacked Final Table That Includes Hellmuth, Rettenmaier

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 4: J. C. Tran Leads Stacked Final Table That Includes Hellmuth, Rettenmaier

After 12 hours of battle, the final table of the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event has been determined. It is one of the stronger final tables in recent memory, with poker professional J. C. Tran looking to become a three-time champion on the WPT circuit as Marvin Rettenmaier looks for his third and Phil Hellmuth looks for his first.

24 players came back on Wednesday, all with the ambitions of being one of the final six who would vie for the crown. Tran was dominating the event as play began, the only player over the three million mark in chips and only Steven Tabb above two million. In looking at the last three tables, there wasn’t a weak spot anywhere; along with Tran, Hellmuth and Rettenmaier, there were such names as Oddie Dardon, Garrett Greer, David ‘ODB’ Baker, David ‘Doc’ Sands and Tuan Le arranged around the various patches of felt.

With the “Action Clock” by Protection Poker in play, the competitors had 30 seconds to make their decisions and, if there was more thought required, six “time chips” were given to the Day 4 participants to use for an additional 30 seconds each. This arrangement had been in place since one table before the bubble on Day 3 (as it will be for the remainder of the WPT Main Tour Season XVI schedule) and, for the most part, seems to have been seamlessly integrated into the WPT action.

Tran had fortune on his side early on as he four-flushed Paul Balzano to increase his lead further, while Hellmuth improved his stack to nearly one million chips in four-flushing Rettenmaier. The news wasn’t as good for Allan Le, who pushed from early position with pocket nines and ran into Mike Heshmati’s pocket Queens to eliminate Le in 24th place. Le was soon followed to the rail by Balzano, Lawrence Ma, Arkadi Onikoul, Greer and Le, Heshmati and Jason Les as the play quickly brought the field down to two tables within the first two hours of the Day 4 play.

After the redraw Tran was still at the helm of the field with 3.211 million chips, but the footsteps were drawing closer. Dardon was within roughly 300K of Tran on the leaderboard while Baker had popped over the two million mark in chips also. Hellmuth, who was responsible for eliminating Greer from the tournament, was healthy with 1.288 million in chips, but Rettenmaier was struggling to stay over the 20bb level.

At this point, Hellmuth and Rettenmaier both continued a slow grind upwards, although they would sometimes surprisingly clash with each other. On an A-K-Q-J-J board, Rettenmaier fired out a river bet that had the new host of the WPT’s “Raw Deal” segment talking to himself. As he pieced the hand together in his mind, Hellmuth commented, “Man, how did I lose this pot? I flopped Aces with the nut flush draw.” After more deliberation, Hellmuth released his hand and Rettenmaier improved the health of his stack with a roughly 350K pot.

Tran, however, wasn’t letting anyone creep any closer to him. He eliminated Igor Zektser in 15th place, Ben Nguyen in 13th place and Alex Greenblatt in tenth place to bring his stack over the six million chip mark heading to the unofficial final table. Only Adam Swan was within shouting distance and he barely had half of Tran’s stack (6.6 million to 3.320 million). Both Rettenmaier and Hellmuth were lurking with almost identical stacks (1.69 million for Rettenmaier, 1.62 million for Hellmuth) as the unofficial final table began.

With only three players to eliminate, the survivors of the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event settled in for what would turn out to be a drawn-out battle. Within the first 30 hands, both Rettenmaier and Hellmuth had improved their station in the game in reaching 3.13 million chips for Hellmuth and Rettenmaier moving up to 2.6 million. As they were improving their chances in the tournament, Tran maintained his stranglehold on the tournament in knocking off Dardon in ninth place and Jared Griener in eighth place to set the stage for the final elimination of the night.

On Hand 111 of the unofficial play at the final table, Tran opened for a raise out of the cutoff and Sands three-bet the action to 560K. Tran wasted little time in putting Sands to the test, moving all in, and Sands made the call. It was a classic race, Sands’ pocket Kings against Tran’s Big Chick (A-Q), and fortune was still sitting on Tran’s shoulder. The flop came down Q-Q-6 to give Tran trips and, instead of a cowboy coming to the rescue for Sands, the case lady hit on the river to give Tran quads and eliminate Sands on the final table bubble in seventh place.

1. J. C. Tran, 8.295 million
2. Art Papazyan, 6.005 million
3. Phil Hellmuth, 2.94 million
4. D. J. Alexander, 2.73 million
5. Adam Swan, 1.655 million
6. Marvin Rettenmaier, 1.225 million

There’s a great chance at history in this WPT final table. Should Tran or Rettenmaier win the tournament, they would join the pantheon of players – Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, David ‘Chino’ Rheem and Darren Elias – who have won three WPT titles. Hellmuth, for all the accolades he has received in his career, has NEVER won a WPT event despite making four final tables. The “fly in the ointment” could be Papazyan, who might have a slim poker resume (only seven cashes) but has a monster stack of chips at his disposal.

The final table of the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker will be the first live-streamed through the arrangement between the WPT and Poker Central over the subscription outlet PokerGO. It will begin at 4:30PM (Pacific Time) and will also be videotaped for broadcast on Fox Sports 1 later in the year. It promises to be an entertaining event as the WPT crowns their latest champion tonight at “The Bike.”

Poker News Daily

Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

 Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

After battling through the 1682 player field, six men are left at the final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona, which will be played out on Sunday at the Casino Barcelona in Spain.

Sixteen players came back with the chance of making the final table on Saturday, with Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari in command of the field. Sitting with 6.16 million in chips, Akkari still had to contend with the likes of a past champion on the PokerStars Championship circuit, Monte Carlo champion Raffaele Sorrentino, and Alex Difelice. It was an international gathering as well, with 14 nations represented amongst the 16 men (only the United Kingdom had more than one representative, with three).

The players wasted little time in getting down to business. Yaron Zeev Malki was the first player to depart (and receive the final €61,400 payout from the prize pool), leaving 15 guys guaranteed €69,600 for their efforts. Andrew Hedley, Day 2 chip leader Mauricio Salazar Sanchez, and Rens Feenstra all went out for that payday as it seemed the day would wrap up quick in playing from the remaining 12 players to the eight-handed PokerStars Championship final table.

That was the point where the tournament hit a logjam. Although there was plenty of effort at knocking out players, it always seemed that the all-in player found an opportune moment and double up. Tsugunari Toma (through Lachezar Plamenov Petkov) and Aeragan Arunan (through Albert Daher) would be two players who survived such action, although Toma would depart in twelfth place at the hands of Petkov. When Donald Duarte Sierra was eliminated by Sorrentino in eleventh place, Sorrentino’s pocket Jacks standing over Sierra’s A-7, the final table “bubble” was within sight.

Sorrentino and Akkari would be the most aggressive players of the Day __ action, often bullying the players on their respective tables with their “power poker” play. The news wasn’t as good for Difelice, however, as he found pocket Queens to his liking for an all-in move. The problem was Arunan woke up behind him with pocket Aces and, after the board rolled out with no lady waiting, Difelice headed to the rail in tenth place and brought about a redraw to the nine-handed unofficial final table just before the remaining nine men took a dinner break.

Back from the evening meal, the players didn’t even get a chance to settle into their seats before a stunning hand brought about the end of the night. Albert Daher raised from under the gun and found Sorrentino ready with calling chips. The hand got more interesting when Mesbah Guerfi moved all in from the hijack and, after everyone cleared out of the blinds, Daher wasted little time in making the call. Sorrentino was still interested, however, getting a count of Daher’s all in (for 3.4 million) before making the call himself. The massive pot brought about strong hands from all its participants:

Guerfi:  pocket treys
Daher:  A-Q off suit
Sorrentino:  pocket Jacks

Although he came in with the worst of it, Daher immediately took over the lead on the Q-Q-10 flop. Sitting with trip ladies, Daher had to feel good until the King peeled on the turn. Now Sorrentino had an open-ender to the straight and, like a thunderbolt, the open-ender was closed when the river nine gave Sorrentino his straight. Covering both men (Guerfi out in ninth and Daher out in eighth), Sorrentino took over the chip lead.

There was still some work left as tournament officials pushed onward, trying to get the table to the final six due to the stack sizes in relation to the blinds and antes. Akkari, who was at the bottom of the table after the double knockout, finally found his stride and moved up the leaderboard. In fact, Akkari used his knockout of Arunan in seventh place to solidify his third place standing for Sunday’s final table:

1. Raffaele Sorrentino, 15.5 million
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, 10.325 million
3. Andre Akkari, 8.15 million
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito, 6.475 million
5. Sebastian Sorensson, 6.125 million
6. Usman Siddique, 3.875 million

The final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event will commence at noon on Sunday (6AM Eastern Time in the States), with the six men chopping up the remaining prize pool. Although all are guaranteed a minimum of €252,000, they all have their eyes cast to the top of the ladder where €1,410,000 is awaiting the champion.

Poker News Daily

Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

 Former PSC Champion Raffaele Sorrentino, Andre Akkari Head PokerStars Championship Barcelona Final Table

After battling through the 1682 player field, six men are left at the final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona, which will be played out on Sunday at the Casino Barcelona in Spain.

Sixteen players came back with the chance of making the final table on Saturday, with Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari in command of the field. Sitting with 6.16 million in chips, Akkari still had to contend with the likes of a past champion on the PokerStars Championship circuit, Monte Carlo champion Raffaele Sorrentino, and Alex Difelice. It was an international gathering as well, with 14 nations represented amongst the 16 men (only the United Kingdom had more than one representative, with three).

The players wasted little time in getting down to business. Yaron Zeev Malki was the first player to depart (and receive the final €61,400 payout from the prize pool), leaving 15 guys guaranteed €69,600 for their efforts. Andrew Hedley, Day 2 chip leader Mauricio Salazar Sanchez, and Rens Feenstra all went out for that payday as it seemed the day would wrap up quick in playing from the remaining 12 players to the eight-handed PokerStars Championship final table.

That was the point where the tournament hit a logjam. Although there was plenty of effort at knocking out players, it always seemed that the all-in player found an opportune moment and double up. Tsugunari Toma (through Lachezar Plamenov Petkov) and Aeragan Arunan (through Albert Daher) would be two players who survived such action, although Toma would depart in twelfth place at the hands of Petkov. When Donald Duarte Sierra was eliminated by Sorrentino in eleventh place, Sorrentino’s pocket Jacks standing over Sierra’s A-7, the final table “bubble” was within sight.

Sorrentino and Akkari would be the most aggressive players of the Day __ action, often bullying the players on their respective tables with their “power poker” play. The news wasn’t as good for Difelice, however, as he found pocket Queens to his liking for an all-in move. The problem was Arunan woke up behind him with pocket Aces and, after the board rolled out with no lady waiting, Difelice headed to the rail in tenth place and brought about a redraw to the nine-handed unofficial final table just before the remaining nine men took a dinner break.

Back from the evening meal, the players didn’t even get a chance to settle into their seats before a stunning hand brought about the end of the night. Albert Daher raised from under the gun and found Sorrentino ready with calling chips. The hand got more interesting when Mesbah Guerfi moved all in from the hijack and, after everyone cleared out of the blinds, Daher wasted little time in making the call. Sorrentino was still interested, however, getting a count of Daher’s all in (for 3.4 million) before making the call himself. The massive pot brought about strong hands from all its participants:

Guerfi:  pocket treys
Daher:  A-Q off suit
Sorrentino:  pocket Jacks

Although he came in with the worst of it, Daher immediately took over the lead on the Q-Q-10 flop. Sitting with trip ladies, Daher had to feel good until the King peeled on the turn. Now Sorrentino had an open-ender to the straight and, like a thunderbolt, the open-ender was closed when the river nine gave Sorrentino his straight. Covering both men (Guerfi out in ninth and Daher out in eighth), Sorrentino took over the chip lead.

There was still some work left as tournament officials pushed onward, trying to get the table to the final six due to the stack sizes in relation to the blinds and antes. Akkari, who was at the bottom of the table after the double knockout, finally found his stride and moved up the leaderboard. In fact, Akkari used his knockout of Arunan in seventh place to solidify his third place standing for Sunday’s final table:

1. Raffaele Sorrentino, 15.5 million
2. Lachezar Plamenov Petkov, 10.325 million
3. Andre Akkari, 8.15 million
4. Brian Kaufman Esposito, 6.475 million
5. Sebastian Sorensson, 6.125 million
6. Usman Siddique, 3.875 million

The final table for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event will commence at noon on Sunday (6AM Eastern Time in the States), with the six men chopping up the remaining prize pool. Although all are guaranteed a minimum of €252,000, they all have their eyes cast to the top of the ladder where €1,410,000 is awaiting the champion.

Poker News Daily

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) Main Event is down to its final table, as the field was sliced from 30 players entering Day 3 to just nine. Aaron Mermelstein entered the day’s action as the chip leader and exited in the same spot, sporting a fairly healthy lead holding 6.15 million chips.

Mermelstein’s cushion over Yi Chi Li is about 1.6 million chips, which amounts to 40 buy-ins, so that gap is not insignificant. After Li and his 4.555 million chips is Matt Berkey with 4.045 million. So despite Mermelstein’s chip lead and the fact that I just said it is “not insignificant,” we’re looking at a pretty solid battle at the top.

After those three, it actually gets quite interesting, as from fourth place to eighth place, there is just a 655,000 chip spread with all five players in the 2 million chip range. After Berkey is Adam Levy (2.675 million chips), Martin Kozlov (2.320 million), Michael Aron (2.200 million), Dylan Drazen (2.110 million), and Luke Brereton (2.020 million). The jockeying for position among those five players could be interesting.

Pulling up the rear is Joe Kuether with just 565,000 million chips. Don’t feel too bad for him, though, and not just because he is guaranteed at least $ 75,413. On Tuesday, he will have the enviable and exhausting task of trying to navigate two final tables, as he had already made the final table of the $ 1,100 buy-in event before the SHRPO Main Event had begun.

One has to wonder if Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open organizers foresaw this as a possibility when they created the schedule or if they just didn’t care. My guess is some of both. Part of what was hyped by the casino for the SHRPO was the “Big 4,” which consists of the $ 1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry event, the $ 5,250 Main Event, the $ 2,650 Freeze Out, and the $ 25,500 High Roller Re-entry event. They were scheduled to create somewhat of a spectacle, with the tournaments starting on different days, but all four final tables being played today in the same room, all streamed online.

Final tables occurring at the same time has happened before, most notably at the World Series of Poker, but when you have 60-70 events, sometimes that sort of thing is inevitable. The Big 4 was intentionally done; organizers likely decided to just take the chance that someone might make more than one final table.

I have seen players try to play in two tournaments at once – I remember Barry Greenstein once scurrying between tables at the WSOP (I think it was one final table and one tournament that was part-way through) – but two final tables simultaneously is a new one.

Said final tables are just getting underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Should be a fascinating day of poker.

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

Aaron Mermelstein – 6,150,000
Yi Chi Li – 4,555,000
Matt Berkey – 4,045,000
Adam Levy – 2,675,000
Martin Kozlov – 2,320,000
Michael Aron – 2,200,000
Dylan Drazen – 2,110,000
Luke Brereton – 2,020,000
Joe Kuether – 565,000

Poker News Daily

Ratings Mixed for 2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table Coverage

 Ratings Mixed for 2017 WSOP Championship Event Final Table Coverage

Ratings for the live coverage of the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event final table have been released, with those results showing a mixed bag of information.

The WSOP Championship Event final table, broadcast live over ESPN from July 20-22, showed a slight improvement in comparison to the delayed “November Nine” coverage from 2016. The three-day average of the 2017 coverage was 615,000 viewers, a slight increase in comparison to last year’s “November Nine” final table average of 597,000 viewers, a 3% increase. For the broadcast week, the WSOP Championship Event’s third night – when Scott Blumstein closed the deal in winning the championship – was one of the highest rated programs for ESPN, finishing behind only a mid-season Major League Baseball game between the rival St. Louis Cardinals and the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs and the Summer League championship game between the Los Angeles Lakers (minus top draft pick Lonzo Ball, who sat the game out) and the Portland Trail Blazers.

That was the good side of the equation for officials, however.

On the negative side, the all-important 18-49 demographic – the demo that advertisers look at when determining what shows to advertise on and that broadcasters strive to reach for that reason – was down overall in year-to-year statistics. In 2017, the WSOP Championship Event final table captured 244,000 in that 18-49 demo, down from the 256,000 that viewed the tournament in 2016 (a drop of almost 5%). The viewers for the final night of the tournament were also at historic lows, with the 741,000 watchers down from 780,000 who watched in 2016 and barely more than the 735,000 who watched in 2012, the record low for the tournament in the last decade.

The television numbers aren’t the only worrisome sign for WSOP and ESPN officials.

The demographic breakdown of the WSOP Championship Event field shows signs that cannot be encouraging for Caesars. Of the 7221 players participating in this year’s tournament, only 347 of them were in the 21-25 demographic and only ONE of those players was a woman. In comparison, there were 884 players older than 56 in the Championship Event field, with 33 of those players being female. These numbers indicate that the oldest demographic in the tournament isn’t being replaced at the same rate from the younger side.

There could be a couple of reasons for the demographic numbers. The “millennials” that constitute the 21-30 demographic have been proving to be a difficult market for casinos to get in the first place. They aren’t as willing to “gamble” as other demographics are, preferring a skill based game over ones of “chance,” hence the casinos usage of video games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush for wagering purposes. That predisposition for skill based games over chance isn’t showing when it comes to poker, however, at least as far as the WSOP Championship Event.

It is also arguable that the lack of online poker in the States of America has caused a downswing. The younger demographic for years has been driven by the online game (look at the almost 3000 players making up the 26-35 demographic that participated in the WSOP Championship Event). If that were the case, however, it would not explain the 7221 overall players that participated in 2017, the largest field since 2010.

The move by officials from cable broadcasting giant ESPN and the World Series of Poker to do away with the “November Nine” was a huge step in that neither entity knew what would be the eventual outcome. At its inception, the “November Nine” was a huge success as it drew in an audience of 2.364 million for the final table broadcast in 2008 (the first year of the format). It never would draw that well again, gradually falling to the record low in 2012 (735,000), rebounding over the next three years back over a million viewers and falling to 780K in 2016. Thus, the 741,000 that watched in 2017 wasn’t the upswing that the WSOP nor ESPN were looking for.

The other possibility is that there just aren’t the “eyes” that are going to be watching during the season. Summer is the worst time of the year for television viewing and, while bringing the poker world to Las Vegas during what is its “down time” of the year might be a good idea for Caesars officials, when it comes to broadcasting the tournament it might not be the best thing.

The mixed numbers present several challenges for ESPN and the WSOP. While there are some bright areas, there are those that aren’t quite so sunny for either entity. Of importance for both organizations may be improving the television numbers in the immediate future.

Poker News Daily



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