Posts Tagged ‘Takes’

Scott Margereson Takes Down Faraz Jaka to Win WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

 Scott Margereson Takes Down Faraz Jaka to Win WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

In one of the longer final tables of the Season XVI schedule, Scott Margereson was able to vanquish Faraz Jaka to win his first major live tournament championship, the 2018 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, early on Thursday morning.

Margereson, who was a fixture in the Top Ten since Day 2 of the tournament, started off the day as the third largest stack among the six men at the final table. Brian Hastings had a massive 12.855 million stack, but Joey Couden (8.255 million) and Margereson (8.195 million) were within shouting distance. Looking to come off the short end of the game were Jeff Fielder (4.32 million), Matt Stout (3.19 million) and Jaka (2.45 million).

The sextet would play out the remainder of the level from the night before (40K/80K, 10K ante) and jump to Level 30 (50K/100K, 15K ante) before the action would get warmed up. On Hand 34, Couden took enough chips from Margereson and Fielder to move into the lead over Hastings, but ten hands later the tide would swing in Margereson’s favor. After a raise from Jaka, a call from Margereson and Fielder and a completion from Hastings in the big blind, a 10-10-4 flop greeted the players. Hastings would be the only one who dropped from the action after Jaka popped a 325K bet in the center and the 7♣ put two clubs on the baize. Jaka now checked his option but, after Margereson bet 1.35 million and Fielder called after some thought, Jaka cleared out of the way.

Now down to two players, the 6♣ put the possibility for a flush on the board. Margereson used up a Time Chip to consider his action before he settled on an all-in move. Fielder, thinking he had trapped Margereson, immediately called and spiked his 5♣ 4♣ on the felt for the rivered flush. That wasn’t good enough, however; Margereson turned up two red fours for the flopped boat that had Fielder drawing dead from the start. After the chips were counted, Fielder was determined to be the player at risk for elimination, leaving the tournament in sixth place.

Only three hands later, another player would go down. Stout would open the betting and Jaka would three-bet him until Stout’s remaining stack was in the center. Stout turned up pocket tens for the fight, but Jaka had the goods for battle with pocket Queens. A Queen on the flop left Stout drawing way thin and the case Queen on the turn left him drawing dead, sending the popular philanthropist (Stout is the founder of the Charity Series of Poker)/poker professional to the rail in fifth place.

Now down to four players, Couden (12.14 million) and Margereson (12.005 million) were the massive leaders, but Hastings (9.045 million) and Jaka (6.075 million) looked to make a run at the top. Hastings drew first blood, doubling up through Couden when his pocket Aces defeated Couden’s pocket sevens after both players flopped a set, to take over the lead. Margereson, however, would fight back to take the lead away from Hastings again as Level 32 began.

With the blinds beginning to catch up with the stacks, the swings became more massive. Over the span of 20 hands, every man at the table held the lead. Another 20 hands, however, would lead to another player leaving the tournament.

After a Couden raise under the gun, Jaka woke up in the big blind and three bet the action. Couden would move all in and Jaka snapped off the call, showing pocket Kings that served as a cooler to Couden’s pocket Queens. Once no ladies came to the flop, turn or river, Couden was out of the tournament in fourth place as Jaka took over the lead with more than half of the chips in play.

The trio of pros (while Jaka and Hastings have quite a bit of live success, Margereson’s has come online, where he has earned over $ 4 million in tournament earnings) battled it out over 45 more hands before someone took command. That “someone” was Margereson, who knocked out Hastings after he rivered a flush and headed to heads up action against Jaka with nearly a 3:1 lead.

The twosome would play for 30 hands without a significant move in the chip counts, but on the 200th hand of the final table the drama became more intense. After Jaka limped in and Margereson checked, a K-8-7-9 flop and turn only brought a before from Margereson on the turn and a Jaka call. An Ace on the river brought another bet out of Margereson, this time for three million chips, but Jaka read Margereson for a bluff and called. Jaka was correct as Margereson, holding a 10-5, had air as Jaka tabled his 7-5 for bottom pair, good enough to take the pot and tie up the event as each player held 19.6 million chips.

With the match even, any hand held the potential for a player to be eliminated. That outcome arrived on Hand 232 after Margereson moved all in and Jaka made the call. Jaka’s A-8 held the advantage pre-flop against Margereson’s Q-J, but the poker fates put a Q-J-9 flop that switched the advantage to Margereson. The turn seven teased Jaka with the inside straight possibility, but the Ace on the river slammed the door and knocked Jaka out in second.

1. Scott Margereson, $ 696,740
2. Faraz Jaka, $ 454,496
3. Brian Hastings, $ 336,466
4. Joey Couden, $ 251,523
5. Matt Stout, $ 189,880
6. Jeff Fielder, $ 144,775

With the completion of the tournament in Florida, the WPT will now head to Las Vegas for a spate of tournaments to complete Season XVI. The WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship will be conducted from May 1-6 and a WPT High Roller event ($ 25,000 buy in) will take place from May 5-6, with the final table of that tournament being played on May 25 at the sparkling eSports Arena Las Vegas. The WPT will give one more shot for players to win on the Season XVI schedule with the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic from May 20-23 before bringing together as many current and former champions as possible for the WPT Tournament of Champions. That tournament will run from May 24-26, with the final table also being held in the eSports Arena Las Vegas.

The post Scott Margereson Takes Down Faraz Jaka to Win WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left

If it was Saturday, the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event was set to play off its Day 4 schedule. By the time the dust settled on the poker battleground of the Casino Atrium Prague in the Czech Republic late Saturday night, local favorite Michal Mrakes – who has been hovering about the upper reaches of the leaderboard since the start of the tournament – had taken over the lead with only 16 players remaining.

At the start of the day, 49 players were set to take on whatever Saturday’s play held for them. Perhaps looking a bit brighter on the day was chip leader Paul Michaelis, who woke up on Saturday morning after spending his second day atop the leaderboard. Michaelis’ 1.27 million in chips was pretty much threatened by only one person – Mrakes, who was the only other player over a million chips with his 1.032 million chip stack. With pros such as Fatima Moreira de Melo, Marcin Horecki, Alex Foxen and Jason Wheeler lurking down the standings, however, that looked to be a situation that would change quickly.

Horecki was one of the players that had no fortune over the entirety of the Day 4 proceedings. On a 6-7-10-Q-9 board, Horecki faced a 103K chip bet out of Serhil Popovych that he didn’t believe. Horecki would make the call, only to see that Popovych probably caught up on the river against him after Popovych showed a 10-9 for the rivered two pair. Horecki didn’t show (perhaps an A-Q?) ash Popovych cracked the million-chip mark and Horecki dropped to around 200K in chips. Those would go into the center in a race between Horecki’s pocket Jacks and the Big Slick of Thomas Lentrodt moments later, which Horecki led until a cruel King came on the river to eliminate him from the tournament.

Mrakes, on the other hand, was heading in the opposite direction. He eliminated Dermot Blain when Blain put his remaining chips on the line against Mrakes. Once again it was a race, Mrakes’ pocket treys against Blain’s K-Q off suit, but this situation ended much quicker than Horecki’s. The 3-J-3 flop gave “only” quads to Mrakes to leave Blain drawing dead immediately; after a meaningless turn and river, Blain packed his bags as Mrakes stacked up his 1.44 million chips.

Mrakes was amongst the leaders at this point but, after the tournament was redrawn with 24 players to go, he firmly grabbed the top slot. Mrakes raised the betting to 60K and Hon Cheong Lee didn’t hesitate on putting in the three-bet of 180K. After Mrakes called, a 4-4-4 flop was dealt that might have slowed down some players. Mrakes did, checking his option, but Lee fired off 110K that Mrakes called. An eight on the turn brought another check-call out of Mrakes, this time for 225K of Lee’s chips. When a seemingly innocent deuce came on the river, Mrakes checked again and the fireworks were lit.

Lee pushed out the remainder of his stack, totaling over 850K, and Mrakes was put to a decision of calling off a huge amount of his chips or making a quantum leap upwards in the tournament. After the deliberation, Mrakes boldly made the call and it was the right move. On the 4-4-4-8-2 board, all Lee could muster was a Q-7 to play the flopped set of fours. Mrakes wasn’t much better with his A-10, but it was enough to win the hand, eliminate Lee and push Mrakes to 3.89 million chips and a solid chip lead.

Mrakes continued to expand on that chip stack, even able to withstand doubling up an opponent, before the final bell rung. He will enter Day 5 a massive chip leader and a prohibitive favorite for making the final table:

1. Michal Mrakes, 4.945 million
2. Valentyn Shabelnyk, 3.225 million
3. Robert Heidorn, 2.485 million
4. Jason Wheeler, 2.4 million
5. Colin Robinson, 2.085 million
6. Navot Golan, 1.955 million
7. Matas Cimbolas, 1.615 million
8. Thomas Lentrodt, 1.52 million
9. Harry Lodge, 1.36 million
10. Pierre Calamusa, 900,000

With 15 players left, the minimum payday for those still standing is €38,400. That is small change compared to what the eventual champion will walk off with on Monday night. That fortunate player will step away from Prague with a great Christmas present of €775,000.

The post 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 4 – Michal Mrakes Takes Over Lead with 16 Players Left appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3 – Blake Bohn Takes Over Lead Short of the Money Bubble

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3 – Blake Bohn Takes Over Lead Short of the Money Bubble

Day 3 of the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas is in the books and, for the first time in the tournament, Brandon Meyers isn’t atop the leaderboard. While he does lurk down the ladder a bit, Blake Bohn has taken over the lead with the money bubble looming for Day 4’s action.

With 316 players remaining from the 812 entries that came in, it was a given that the money wasn’t going to be reached on Thursday. That didn’t mean there wasn’t some work to do as players looked to garner chips to get in the best position to drive deep in the event. Meyers was best situated for making that deep drive, starting Day 3 with a stack of 388,100 chips, while Daniel Strelitz (310,900) joined him as the only players above the 300K mark.

Day 3 was the longest day of the tournament so far, with seven 90-minute levels on tap for the assembled players, and they didn’t tiptoe into the waters on Thursday. A short-stacked Mike Wattel was taken down by 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner (but zero-time WPT champion) Phil Hellmuth moments into the start of the day, while a short-stacked former Super Bowl champion in Richard Seymour went in the other direction. Seymour would use pocket tens to outrun Joshua Ladines’ A Q on a nine-high board to get back in the race.

Wattel wasn’t the only notable pro who departed the Bellagio soon after the day’s play began. Jeremy Ausmus, Matt Berkey, Kathy Liebert, former WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja and WPT champion Pat Lyons all found a spot on the rail to watch the proceedings as Mike Del Vecchio took center stage. He was able to four-bet both Shawn Buchanan and Cate Hall out of a hand to pull close to 100K, then blew by that mark by getting just Hall to lay down her hand. Del Vecchio’s continued aggression would keep his stack fluctuating but moving upwards throughout the Day 3 action.

Del Vecchio’s high water mark came in eliminating one of the biggest names in the game in the evening hours. After a raising battle between him and Daniel Negreanu, Del Vecchio was able to get Negreanu to commit his final chips pre-flop with pocket Queens. The problem for Negreanu is that Del Vecchio had pocket Kings for the cooler; once no other Ladies showed on the board, Negreanu was out of the Five Diamond, one of his favorite tournaments of the year, while Del Vecchio stacked up 345K in chips.

After being hit with the deck for the first two days of the tournament (by his own admission), Meyers had a day where he simply attempted to survive. It wasn’t until the early evening hours that Meyers was able to eke over his starting day stack to 395K, but it seemed to get his engines going. Meyers would push Andy Frankenberger to the brink before Frankenberger folded a hand and Meyers scooped up the chips to move to 483K.

As the dinner break arrived, 113 players were still alive in the tournament with two 90-minute levels left to play. Strelitz had moved to the lead at this point with 828K in chips, but he would go no higher on Day 3 and instead gave back a few chips. Bohn was the man who made the moves late in the evening in a hand against one of the top “High Roller” players in the game.

After an opening bet from Bohn, Kempe would move in for his remaining stack. Everyone else would get out of the way, but Bohn was steadfast and made the call. It turned out to be the correct decision; Bohn’s Big Slick was better than Kempe’s Big Chick (A-Q) and, after a King was in the window on the flop, the German was left drawing extremely thin. A blank on the turn meant that Kempe was now drawing dead just short of the money bubble.

Bohn would add onto his 815K stack as the players crept closer to the money. Just short of the time when the WPT “Action Clock” (the 30-second “shot clock” used by the WPT one table from the money bubble) would be activated, the last 90 players reached the end of Level 17 and bagged and tagged their booty. Bohn was the man who bagged the most, 871,000, to seize the lead heading to Day 4.

1. Blake Bohn, 871,000
2. Daniel Strelitz, 791,000
3. Sean Perry, 758,000
4. Matthew Moss, 748,500
5. Artem Markov, 674,500
6. Brandon Meyers, 638,000
7. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 592,500
8. Chance Kornuth, 586,000
9. Matt Giannetti, 549,000
10. Satish Surapaneni, 541,000

Day 4 action at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicks off at noon today with some important business to take care of. Nine players must be eliminated to get to the 81 players who’ll earn a min-cash of slightly more than $ 19K from the tournament. The WPT “Action Clock” will be employed from now until a champion is crowned, with that champion walking off with a $ 1,958,065 Christmas present.

The post 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3 – Blake Bohn Takes Over Lead Short of the Money Bubble appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 1 – Brandon Meyers Takes Early Lead

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 1 – Brandon Meyers Takes Early Lead

The World Poker Tour is back in action as the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $ 10,400 Main Event kicked off Tuesday. A very stout 600 entries were tallied on Day 1, setting the tournament up to potentially break last year’s Five Diamond record of 791 entries.

This tournament does not have multiple starting flights, so most of who will participate likely already showed up on Day 1, but there is still a ways to go before the final registration numbers will be known. Registration closes at the beginning of Level 9, which won’t happen until Wednesday night (there were five levels played on Day 1). The Five Diamond Main Event is also an unlimited re-entry tournament, so those who are knocked out on Day 1 or Day 2 can keep trying, even as I write this, provided they have the funds to do so.

That the Five Diamond is a re-entry event has generated some controversy. As my colleague Earl Burton wrote recently, poker pro Allen Kessler posted a poll on Twitter to see what format people wanted for the tournament and of the 623 votes, half were cast in favor of the traditional freezeout, one buy-in per person format. Unlimited re-entry only grabbed 11 percent of the vote, while 39 percent of voters preferred just a single re-entry.

Many don’t like unlimited re-entry tournaments because it gives the deep-pocketed pros an advantage. It is hard enough to outlast these fantastic players, but it can feel nearly impossible to beat them several times over when they get to keep buying a new stack of chips. Of course, the big argument in favor of multiple re-entry tournaments is that the prize pool can grow larger.

Those that like the compromise of the single re-entry favor that because while it doesn’t give an overwhelming advantage to the richest players, it also allows for a $ 10,000 mulligan of sorts if someone runs into awful luck early. It might not be fun to have to knock out someone like Daniel Negreanu more than once (I’m not picking on Negreanu – just using him as an example of a player who could and has re-entered expensive tournaments), but it is less fun to pay $ 10,000 and then hit the rail 30 minutes later when your Kings run into Aces.

Back to Day 1, Brandon Meyers emerged from Tuesday’s action as the chip leader, growing his initial 30,000 chip stack five-fold to 152,750. Gregory Back is second with 130,400, while Jonathan Kamhazi is third with 120,000 chips. Meyers is going for his second $ 10,000 event cash of the year. He previously had a wonderful finish in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, coming in 42nd for $ 176,399. His lifetime earnings amount to $ 1.23 million.

2017 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic – Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Brandon Meyers – 152,750
2. Gregory Back – 130,400
3. Jonathan Kamhazi – 120,000
4. Eric Baldwin – 114,700
5. Ray Pulford – 109,000
6. Kenny Nguyen – 103,500
7. Sam Stein – 98,000
8. Eric Bunch – 85,000
9. Ravi Raghavan – 85,000
10. Ray Qartomy – 82,000

The post 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 1 – Brandon Meyers Takes Early Lead appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1C: Cody Slaubaugh Takes Overall Lead

 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Day 1C: Cody Slaubaugh Takes Overall Lead

The final of the three starting flights of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event went down on Sunday, as 383 more entries were paid for, bringing the total Day 1 field to 715. Keep in mind that that number doesn’t mean 715 “players,” as this is a re-entry tournament. Thus, “entries” means “paid entries.” The chip leader for Day 1C – who also became the overall chip leader of the tournament – was Cody Slaubaugh with 310,500 chips.

“I chipped up early,” Slaubaugh told WPT.com afterward. “I got a double in the second level and ran pretty hot from there on out. I had a big hand, top two versus bottom two versus an open-ended draw for like a 100K pot early and that got me going. That put me up at like 120 or 130K. Then I just won some small pots and won a big flip for like 60K in Level 7 with jacks versus ace-king.”

Slaubaugh has $ 1.3 million in live tournament earnings, according to TheHendonMob.com. His biggest cash came almost a decade ago, when he finished second in a $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2008 World Series of Poker for $ 389,128. Slaubaugh has three cashes on the World Poker Tour.

Slaubaugh also has $ 1.6 million recorded online poker tournament winnings, according to PocketFives.com.

The live coverage of any poker tournament – whether you’re talking online or on television – features non-poker celebrities whenever possible. There’s almost always video of Ray Romano and Brad Garrett on ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker. PokerStars has been hyping up Kevin Hart incessantly. I will admit, though, even though I usually know who the celebrity is, even if it’s just a situation where I’ve only “heard of” the name of some model, I have never heard of the person who is all over WPT.com’s coverage of the WPT Legends of Poker: GACKT.

Now, when I first read that name, I thought it was an awfully odd spelling of the ubiquitous Nickelodeon slime. GACKT, though, is a Japanese musician, singer, and songwriter. He has a pretty impressive list of credentials, including holding the record for the most consecutive top ten singles for a male soloist in Japanese music history. While I would assume not more than a handful of players at the Legends of Poker have any idea who he is, GACKT (whose real name is Kamui Gakuto), isn’t a total poker noob. He has $ 93,000 in live tournament earnings, most of which came from a fourth place finish at the ARIA High Roller 65 in July.

Though all three starting flights have wrapped up, the total prize pool, and therefore the prize breakdown, will not be known until after play begins on Monday’s Day 2. Players can still register up until the cards get in the air Monday; shortly thereafter, the prize money will be posted.

2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event – Day 1C Chip Leaders

1. Cody Slaubaugh – 310,500
2. Mel Wiener – 307,100
3. Benjamin Nguyen – 245,100
4. Men Nguyen – 185,000
5. Zachary Smiley – 176,900
6. James Carroll – 176,200
7. Shankar Pillai – 173,500
8. Kristina Holst – 162,200
9. Oddie Dardon – 160,000
10. Jim Mangiamele – 159,300

Featured photo credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr.

Poker News Daily