Posts Tagged ‘Three’

2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

The 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event steamed onward on Wednesday, with the final three tables being determined and Steven Greenberg taking over the chip lead with a 3.753 million chip stack.

Day 3 of the tournament saw 159 players returning to the tables at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ, but there was an ominous tone to the proceedings. With 156 players getting paid in the tournament, that meant that three people that came back to the Borgata on Wednesday would be departing quickly and with nothing to show for their efforts. The cards hit the air just after noon on Wednesday to take on this challenge and nobody wanted to be one of those who would depart on the bubble of the cash.

The first two eliminations came within 10 minutes of the opening bell, bringing the tournament to the stone money bubble with 157 players remaining. On the fifth hand of hand-for-hand play, not one but two players were knocked out to split the 156th place money. First, Jonas Wexler went all in with a K-Q, but chip leader A. J. Kelsall looked him up with pocket fives, flopped a set and rivered an unnecessary boat to take him out. Simultaneously, Konstantinos Koufalis got the last of his chips in on an A K 5 4 flop and turn against Erick But. Koufalis’ K♣ Q had a few hopes against But’s A J (the other two Kings, any heart), but the river 7♦ ended those hopes. Although both were eliminated on the bubble, Wexler and Koufalis did get a small return on their time through earning $ 3064.50 each for their finish in a tie for 156th place.

Once the money bubble popped, there was the usual “short stack rush” from the players who were just hanging on in the tournament to make the money. Micah Raskin, Esther Taylor, John Roveto, Keven Stammen, Cornel Cimpan, Ray Quartomy, Ryan D’Angelo, and Richard Seymour all picked up some cash for their efforts and, after a few hours, new contenders would emerge for the championship. In one case, that contender was almost out of the tournament before hitting a huge rush to race to the end of the night.

With a flop and turn of 6 5♣ 3♣ J and facing a 55K bet from his opponent (into a 70K pot), Steven Greenberg pondered the situation extensively before moving the remainder of his stack (265K) into the center. Greenberg’s opponent, Richard Foster, himself took a moment before making the call and turning up his 9♣ 4♣ for the baby flush draw. Greenberg had the goods with his 6 5 (two pair), but he had to also feel some trepidation with the possibility of nine clubs ending his tournament. The river was a black card, but it was the K♠, giving Greenberg the double up to 600K and starting him on a hot streak.

Greenberg didn’t waste those newfound chips. He more than doubled that stack (to 1.285 million) by the time the dinner break rolled around, putting him in the Top Ten in the tournament. After the sustenance, Greenberg came back to the felt to take down former WPT champion Mike Linster in a classic race, Greenberg’s pocket Queens standing against Linster’s Big Slick, to crack the two million chip mark. Although he would double up a tough customer in Eric Afriat to fall off that perch, Greenberg didn’t take his foot off the gas. As the tournament day inched towards its conclusion, Greenberg had not only recovered those chips he gave to Afriat but also added to the stack, going over four million chips in eliminating Collin Whyte in 31st place late in the evening.

On the last hand of the night, Joseph Giulino pushed out his last 326K in chips, the classic “double up or don’t come back tomorrow” move, and he was looked up by Adam Hendrix. Giulino’s pocket fives were ahead of Hendrix’s A-Q through the flop, but a Queen on the turn flipped the fortunes. When the river wasn’t a five, Giulino was out of the tournament in 28th place, setting the stage for the final three tables today.

1. Steven Greenberg, 3.753 million
2. Chase Bianchi, 3.698 million
3. Stephen Song, 2.613 million
4. Raghuram Jonnalagedda, 2.503 million
5. Kane Kalas, 2.281 million
6. Daniel Aharoni, 1.994 million
7. Damjan Radanov, 1.974 million
8. David Paredes, 1.5 million
9. Spencer Champlin, 1.33 million
10. Ioannis Patsourakis, 1.309 million

Bubbling under the Top Ten are former World Champion Joseph McKeehen, (1.185 million), Afriat (1.123 million), Jonathan Little (1.1 million) and Kevin Saul (940,000). They are still in it, but Casey Yontz (495,000) and Amnon Filippi (484,000) have some work to do if they are to drive much further.

It looks as though it will be a long day on the Jersey Shore. The plans are to play from the final 27 players at noon down to the WPT final table of six. Once this is achieved, the survivors will come back on Friday with the championship hanging in the lurch, along with the $ 651,928 that the eventual champion will take home.

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Three Bracelets Awarded as Event #4 Prepares to Start

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Three Bracelets Awarded as Event #4 Prepares to Start

The 2017 World Series of Poker Europe is in full swing as we speak, with Event #4, the €1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament, taking the stage at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Prior to the start of Event #4 today, there’s been a flurry of activity that has seen three bracelets handed out.

Event #3 – €1000 No Limit Hold’em Turbo “Bounty Hunter”

A double oddity at a WSOP tournament schedule, Event #3 started and finished in the same day, with the players coming out for a rare bounty tournament on a schedule. Players were putting up a minimum of €1000 (there were unlimited reentries) and a bounty of €300 on each player’s head. With the potential to make enough money in bounties to cover the entry fee, players flocked to the tournament on Wednesday and did decide a champion early Thursday morning.

85 players were in their seats when the “shuffle up and deal” call went out and the numbers kept climbing through the early registration period. By the time the first break was called, 259 entries had been logged (remember, this was an unlimited reentry event). A few hours later registration closed in the tournament with the count officially landing on 325 entries, building a prize pool of €214,337. 49 players would be recipients of a piece of that pool, but the biggest prize would go to the champion in the form of €53,557 and a shiny new WSOP bracelet (along with any bounties claimed along the way).

Once Viacheslav Goryachev bubbled the money, the players were guaranteed a payday but kept the drive on to the championship. Players like Mike Leah, Kristen Bicknell and current POY contender Chris Ferguson were able to work their way through the field for a cash. Indicative of the locale, when the final table was reached at 1AM, there was only one player from the Western hemisphere that was still alive.

John Racener, also in the fight for the WSOP POY, was one of only two representatives at the final table (Israel’s Liran Twito was the other) that didn’t call Europe home. Racener would go down in a double elimination that saw him leave with Yves Kupfermunz at the hands of Martin Kabrhel. In fact, Kabrhel would be responsible for the final five eliminations of the tournament as he pocketed €1500 for those alone on the way to the championship.

1. Martin Kabrhel, €53,557
2. Philipp Caranica, €33,094
3. Salvatore Camarda, €22,159
4. Liran Twito, €15,168
5. Yves Kupfermunz, €10,620
6. John Racener, €7609
7. Bernd Gleissner, €5582
8. Georgios Koliofotis, €4195
9. Viktor Kovachev, €3232

Event #2 – Originally slated to be a three-day tournament, the €500 Pot Limit Omaha event was cut by a day on Tuesday when they reached Day 2 with only 31 players remaining. The volatile nature of Omaha Hold’em promised that the eliminations would come quickly and they did, with Brazil’s Vivian Saliba, Brandon Cantu, and James Akenhead all departing the tournament arena before the first break of the day. As the final table approached Kristen Bicknell (having an excellent WSOP-E) and Sander van Wesemael were eliminated, with van Wesemael’s departure coming on the final table bubble.

Familiar faces at the final table were those of Sergio Fernandez and Andreas Klatt, with Fernandez holding the lead at the start of play. Klatt, starting in the middle of the pack, suffered a bit of a setback when his nut flush walked into Georgios Zisimopoulos’s boat, but Klatt would fight back immediately. After doubling up through Krzysztof Magott on the very next hand, he would work his stack up to a point where he was able to get some revenge on Zisimopoulos with a well-timed bluff for a big stack of chips (835K).

After Klatt eliminated Zisimopoulos in third place, he held a slim 800K chip lead over Nico Ehlers. While some settled in for an extended fight, the players had other ideas. It took only thirty minutes of play for Klatt to vanquish Ehlers, his A-J-10-2 standing tall against Ehlers’ K-Q-7-5 on a Q-9-6-8-Q board, and take down the WSOP bracelet.

1. Andreas Klatt, €56,400
2. Nico Ehlers, €34,860
3. Georgios Zisimopoulos, €23,979
4. Theodoros Aidonopoulos, €16,809
5. Sergio Fernandez, €11,985
6. Krysztof Magott, €8700
7. Michal Maryska, €6433
8. Vasile Stancu, €4847

Event #1 – €1000 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

Wrapping up the first event of the WSOP-E, Oleksandr Shcherbak captured the first bracelet of the 2017 schedule, outdueling Viliyan Petleshkov in a dominant display of heads up poker. While both were far removed from chip leader Carlo Savinelli at the start of the day (Petleshkov in fourth, Shcherbak in seventh), they quickly emerged as the dominant players at the table. After Shcherbak eliminated Sergio Fernandez in third place, he took an almost 800K chip lead to the heads-up battle.

Shcherbak got Petleshkov down early, but the Bulgarian would refuse to give up. Petleshkov took the lead over after 15 hands of paly, but Shcherbak would battle back to reclaim his top slot position. He also would never again let Petleshkov back into the game, grinding him down over the span of 20 hands until he got his chips in with a dominant position.

After a Petleshkov raise with Big Chick, Shcherbak three bet the proceedings to 800K while holding pocket sevens. Petleshkov decided the time was right to make a move and he did so, pushing his remaining chips to the center. Shcherbak called and, after the flop came down J-8-2, he stayed in the lead. Shcherbak’s claim to the title was sealed when another seven came on the turn, leaving Petleshkov drawing dead and ending the first event of the 2017 WSOP-E.

1. Oleksandr Shcherbak, €117,708
2. Viliyan Petleshkov, €72,747
3. Sergio Fernandez, €49,929
4. Carlo Savinelli, €34,869
5. Walter Treccarichi, €24,787
6. Peter Bstieler, €17,940
7. Serge Danis, €13,225
8. Ismael Bojang, €9934
9. Ali Sameeian, €7605

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Three Hands You Need to Fold Pre-Flop and Why

 Three Hands You Need to Fold Pre Flop and Why

Even if you are a neophyte to the game of poker, there are some basic tenets that you have before you even pick up a stack of chips to bet. One, when you get pocket Aces, you pound your opposition with a pre-flop raise otherwise everyone and their brother gets to play the hand and potentially crack your bullets. Two, you don’t need to play “special” hands like a 7-2, universally recognized as the worst hand in poker. Finally, there isn’t a such thing as “funsies,” 99% of the time you’re playing poker for a reason – normally to make some money.

Beyond that, the education of a poker player gets a bit grey. Here’s a basic thought on some hands that new players will play simply because “someone told them it was worthwhile” or “but (insert professional player here) always plays this hand” or even “I had a feeling.” If you can put these into your repertoire of hands you need to fold pre-flop, you’ll potentially find that your sessions are more profitable.

Jack-10 (Suited or unsuited)

At first glance, J-10 is a pretty sweet looking hand. It holds the potential to make four nut straights, the only two card combination to be able to do that, and it can let you float a bet on the flop if they are suited and two of that suit hit the felt. The problem with J-10 is that it doesn’t play well after the flop.

If you get a flop that contains a Jack, then you have issues with the kicker that, in most cases, is going to be dominated by an opponent playing Q-J, K-J, or A-J. If you pair the ten, then the same situation is in play with a similar number of options that beat you – A-10, K-10 and Q-10. If they are suited and the two matching suit cards that come on the flop are under the ten, then there is a chance (a slim one, about 1-in-592) that an A-K, A-Q, or K-Q is out there to clip you. And let’s not even get into the potential for straights (K-Q, Q-9, 9-8) should you flop two pair.

There are two options here:  hit perfectly and hope someone ignores the straight potential of the board, calling your bets all the way, or missing and having to let the hand go. If you get a flop like K-Q-x, about the only people who might come with you are pocket pairs (King, Queen or “x”) or those that have you beaten (A-K, A-Q, K-Q, any King or Queen combination and the pairer for the “x”). If the flop comes empty – say A-7-4, for example – then you’re left with air to bluff with; most wouldn’t consider chasing it any further with this dismal holding.

Baby pairs

Everyone loves to potentially crack a big pair by playing a small one – between deuces and fives – and set mining their way into the lead. But what happens when you’ve completely missed with your little ones? It gets pretty ugly in this case.

In pre-flop action, the baby pairs don’t hold up well if there is a great deal of action in front of you. Say you’re sitting on deuces on the button when someone fires a bet out of middle position, the hijack calls and the cutoff three-bets the situation. Your pocket deuces don’t look so good now, do they? There’s nothing wrong with sending the hand to the muck here and, in fact, it is the proper play with the flurry of activity ahead of you.

The baby pairs don’t hold up well if the cards on the flop are all higher cards, at best giving you the fourth-best hand after the flop. They also don’t work well as a straight filler. For example, if you have pocket treys and fill out a 2-4-5 flop to make it an open ended straight draw, there are other potential players that crush your baby pair or could best you in a straight situation.

Extremely Gapped Suited Cards

If you were to get dealt two extremely gapped cards – say a K-2 or a Q-3, for example – there would, for most players, be little hesitation in putting those in the muck. Why then, if there is the same symbol in the corner for each card, does it make a difference? While their suited nature does open the potential for a flush, it isn’t going to do much in any other circumstance.

If that flush draw comes, then you’re committing with weak holdings – sneaky for the flush potential, yes, but weak otherwise. If you flop a King, then you have kicker issues that come up and the same works if you hit the kicker – your top card might not be enough to win at showdown unless you make trips with the kicker.

Summary

We sometimes have to play hands we’d rather not play on certain occasions. But if you can control when you voluntarily put chips in play to hands, making sure they have strong potential (not always, mind you, but more often than not) instead of weaker holdings, you should find more success on the tables. And isn’t winning hands – and the chips that go along with those hands – why we sit down at the table?

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2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Three: Strong Final Level Gives Daniel Strelitz Chip Lead

 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Three: Strong Final Level Gives Daniel Strelitz Chip Lead

111 players returned to the famed Commerce Casino for Day 3 of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event on Monday; just 45 made it through to Tuesday as the tournament now gets down to the nitty-gritty. Daniel Strelitz is the chip leader with 1.051 million, the only player with over a million chips.

Strelitz has over $ 1.6 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, but is still trying to pick up his first major tournament title. He came oh so close this past summer when he finished second in the World Series of Poker $ 5,000 No-Limit event, earning $ 338,774.

Strelitz didn’t expect to amass the chip stack that he did going into the final level, as he only had 560,000. Not that that is a paltry sum, as it would still put him in the top ten, but just about doubling that in one level was a bit of a surprise.

In the hand that got him over the million chip plateau, Strelitz raised to 14,000 pre-flop with pocket Sevens, Ted Gillis re-raised to 27,000, and Strelitz called. Strelitz flopped a set on a Nine-high board and checked to Gillis, who saw that as an opening and bet 60,000. That was just what Strelitz wanted (unless Gillis had Nines, but that obviously was quite unlikely), so he check-raised to 130,000. Gillis then moved all-in for 280,000 and Strelitz made the easy call.

Gillis had pocket Queens for an overpair to the board. The turn and river were no help and he was eliminated while Strelitz nabbed the chip lead.

Speaking with WPT.com after the day was over, Strelitz looked back on his crazy final level.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I started with 560k, and I instantly played two three-bet pots and won them both to get up to seven something. Then I flopped a set against a guy who clearly had an over pair, and so I played it aggressively and that pushed me over a million, it was pretty sweet.”

He is not taking anything for granted, though, as he knows good feelings can be fleeting in poker.

“There is still a long way to go, I’ve been in this spot before and gotten 30th. There is still a long, long way. There are still two or three more days to go until the final table. It’s a long tournament,” he said.

Day 4 is underway out in California. All 45 players who entered the day are already in the money, so Tuesday is about getting paid more and possibly putting oneself in position to make the final table. There will be eight hours of poker play, not counting breaks, so while the final table isn’t likely to be determined, it should be within sight by the end of the night.

2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

Daniel Strelitz – 1,051,000
Mike Sexton – 739,000
Gavin Griffin – 714,000
Mike Eskandari – 688,000
Allan Le – 606,000
Omar Zaza – 594,000
Simeon Naydenov – 579,000
Sameer Aljanedi – 565,000
Visnja Luetic – 551,000
Danny Fuhs – 485,000

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partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event Day 2: Top Three Separated by a Thread

 partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event Day 2: Top Three Separated by a Thread

The World Poker Tour (WPT) got back in action this weekend north of the border at Montreal’s Playground Poker Club with the aptly named partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event. This is not to be confused with WPT Montreal, which the legendary Mike Sexton won at the same venue in November. After just two days (technically three, since there were two starting days), there are only 28 players remaining of the original 380. It is a very tight race at the top with Hendrik Latz going into Monday as the chip leader with 838,000 chips, but both Jean-Pascal Savard and Eric Afriat are close behind with 834,000 and 825,000, respectively.

A World Poker Tour title would be significant for anybody, but it would be tremendous for Latz, who has just $ 156,426 in lifetime live tournament earnings (my usual disclaimer applies: I say “just” like I wouldn’t KILL to have won that much money playing poker). Latz’s biggest live cash was for just over $ 50,000 when he finished 27th in the 2014 European Poker Tour (RIP EPT) Grand Final in 2014. Latz has one WPT cash to his credit: $ 31,611 for a 31st place finish in the 2015 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

As mentioned, the race for the top spot is extremely close, so it obviously didn’t take much for Latz to eek out the lead over his competitors. His big boost came at the end of the night. Nicolas Le Floch, who qualified via the tournament’s partial namesake, partypoker, moved all-in pre-flop for 150,000 chips with pocket Fives. Latz called with A-Q. The board left little suspense, producing an Ace on the flop. Le Floch got no help the rest of the way and was eliminated in 29th place while Hendrik Latz grew his stack to 830,000 chips. Clearly, he nabbed a few more chips to reach his end of Day 2 level.

The buy-in for the partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event is CAD $ 3,200 + $ 300. After three percent is taken out for staff gratuities, the total prize pool came out to CAD $ 1,179,520 (US $ 907,323). Just 48 players will finish in the money with CAD $ 261,000 (US $ 200,769) going to the eventual winner.

Obviously, the money bubble burst on Day 2; it did so in dramatic fashion. Thundup Ringpa and Savard raised and re-raised each other until Ringpa was all-in for 215,000 and Savard called. Ringpa had A-K suited and Savard had Aces; Savard had a huge advantage. The flop was K-J-9, pairing Ringpa’s King and then another King on the turn gave Ringpa trips and improbable lead. The river, though, was an Ace, giving Savard a full house and knocking Ringpa out of the tournament.

partypoker.net World Poker Tour Playground Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Hendrik Latz – 838,000
2.    Jean-Pascal Savard – 834,000
3.    Eric Afriat – 825,000
4.    Kelly Kellner – 809,000
5.    Henry Tran – 693,000
6.    Kalpesh Raichura – 645,000
7.    Pascal Lefrancois – 635,000
8.    Patrick Blye – 508,000
9.    Anthony Zinno – 499,000
10.    Ryan Yu – 491,000

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