Posts Tagged ‘tournament’

Poker Central Introduces Poker Masters Tournament Series

 Poker Central Introduces Poker Masters Tournament Series

The ARIA Resort & Casino has seemingly become the place to go in Las Vegas for a big tournament series if one can’t or does not want to play in the World Series of Poker at the Rio. And in a bit of unheralded news from a couple weeks ago – perhaps overshadowed by the WSOP and Poker Central’s need to promote its new subscription streaming service, PokerGO – Poker Central has announced that it will launch a new high stakes tournament series at the ARIA in September. The Poker Masters will run for a week, from September 13th through September 20th.

Unlike many week-long poker festivals that try to fit in as many tournaments as possible, the Poker Masters will consist of just five events, but that is because of the hefty price tag on each: four $ 50,000 buy-in events and one $ 100,000 buy-in event.

The $ 50,000 tournaments will all permit one re-entry per player and, as an incentive to get players to commit to playing, Poker Central and ARIA will not charge a rake to anyone who registers “on time.” Late entries and re-entries will be subject to a rake.

And then, anyone who plays in all four $ 50,000 tournaments will be able to enter the $ 100,000 “Main Event” rake free.

“Poker Masters is a testament to PokerGO’s commitment to deliver the highest quality live poker programming,” said Joe Kakaty, president of Poker Central, in a press release. “We look forward to continually expanding our live event offering throughout the year to provide our subscribers the opportunity to watch the best content the game has to offer.”

The Poker Masters tournament series will implement a 30-second shot clock “per hand” (though one would assume this means “per action”) and every player will have three 60-second time banks per day. This is similar to Action Clock that the World Poker Tour just announced, though the WPT structures its time banks a bit differently.

In a nod to the annual Masters golf championship in Augusta, Georgia, the Poker Masters (the name can’t be a coincidence) will also be awarded one player the Poker Masters Purple Jacket, designed by Waraire Boswell.

The player who earns the most money across all five events (no goofy points system here, just pure money) will receive the Purple Jacket.

“We have hosted a number of successful high-stakes tournaments at ARIA and are looking forward to our upcoming Poker Masters event this fall,” said Sean McCormack, director of poker operations for ARIA Resort & Casino. “Poker Central has been a great partner over the years while leading the industry in the production of poker events worldwide.”

The first $ 50,000 event will begin on September 13th, with the other three $ 50,000 events beginning on each successive day. The $ 50,000 tournament will be two-day affairs. The $ 100,000 event will begin on September 18th and last three days. There are no limits on how many people can enter.

The Poker Masters will be streamed on PokerGo every day of the festival, except for September 17th. As this is a Sunday, it may just be that Poker Central decided not to spend money trying to go up against the NFL.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Changes Tournament Formats, Goes To “Shot Clock” For Events

 World Poker Tour Changes Tournament Formats, Goes To “Shot Clock” For Events

After experimenting with it during its closer of season event for the past two years, the World Poker Tour became the first tournament circuit to shift its tournaments to run on a “shot clock.” Furthermore, the Season XVI events will be played in an eight-handed format, a change from the nine or ten player tables of past years.

The World Poker Tour is proud to be the first to implement the Action Clock across all of its Main Tour events,” said Matt Savage, the WPT’s Executive Tour Director, during the announcement of the rule changes. “Many players, both recreational and professional, have expressed concerns that unnecessary tanking has taken a lot of the fun out of poker. Poker should always be fun, and it was a no-brainer decision to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events following its success in the WPT Tournament of Champions and WPT500 Los Angeles. With the Action Clock, more action equals more fun, and who doesn’t want more fun in poker?”

The “Action Clock” will be sponsored by Protection Poker and it will be used at all future WPT Main Tour events. The rule will not be utilized for the entirety of the tournament, however. It will be implemented when the tournament reaches the last table before the money bubble pops and last until the end of the tournament. There are also extensive rules on the options the players will have in making their decisions.

Once the “Action Clock” is implemented, each player will be given four “time extension” chips that are of 30 second value each. The players can use those as they see fit – one at a time or all at once for a critical decision – and if they use them all, they’re gone…for a bit. When the tournament reaches three tables, the remaining players are reset to six “time extension” chips with the same rules in effect. When the six-player final table is determined, those players will receive eight “time extension” chips to go to war with.

“Protection Poker is pleased to expand its partnership with the World Poker Tour to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events,” said Cavin Quintanilla, the Chief Executive Officer of Gaming Advancement Marketing Entertainment, LLC, the ownership behind Protection Poker. “The World Poker Tour is poker’s most player-friendly tour, and we look forward to players experiencing the ‘Action Clock’ on a global scale.”

This rule is only being applied to the players one table from the money, but another rule change being implemented by Savage could have even more of an effect on WPT events. Traditionally, the WPT starts at a nine-player table – the industry standard, for the most part – with an occasional step to a 10-player table should the tournament be bigger than normal. For Season XVI and moving forward, the WPT will be working with the casino properties that hold their events and change over to an eight-handed table.

The change to an eight-handed table versus a nine- or even ten-handed table is significant for a couple of reasons. First, the play will move around the table incrementally quicker for the players, perhaps forcing the action in places where it would normally have been more sedate. Second, the move will make for a more comfortable setting for the players, something that is more important than the public might think.

As stated by Savage, the “Action Clock” has been utilized at the WPT Tournament of Champions for its two-year history. The players in the event, former WPT champions all, have stated that its usage was excellent for those tournaments. Two-time WPT champion Daniel Negreanu has been a loud proponent of the usage of a “shot clock” in poker, saying that playing the Tournament of Champions and other “shot clock” events have spoiled him to the point that he doesn’t like playing No Limit Hold’em events without the device.

There are those who aren’t enamored with the idea, however. Some believe that having the “shot clock” will be detrimental to newcomers taking part in WPT events because of the added pressure. There is also the question of its implementation. Poker professional Ari Engel brought this point up (noting he has played in only three tournaments implementing the “shot clock”) in stating on Twitter, “Have not played many…but when I did the clock was not implemented universally fairly. Need A+ dealers for shot clock.”

No indication was given during the announcement that this is only a test period, so it appears that the “Action Clock” rule is now the norm with the WPT. Whether other circuits implement it remains to be seen.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Underway with High Rollers Tournament Starting

 PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Underway with High Rollers Tournament Starting

After mixed results from their two previous stops in the Bahamas and Panama, the PokerStars Championship has churned on to one of the wealthiest places on Earth (the net worth of an average household in the city? $ 437,031), Monte Carlo, and the Monte Carlo Casino. The €100,000 Super High Roller tournament started on Thursday while a €10,000 tournament with a surprisingly low number of players wrapped up.

That €10,000 tournament was a bit of a surprise. Only 110 players made an appearance in the tournament, but the price tag of the event ensured they would be playing for a million-dollar prize pool (€1,067,000, to be exact). After battling through a field that included former World Champion Ryan Riess (who started the day as the chip leader), Luc Greenwood, Steve O’Dwyer, and Koray Aldemir, Ole Schemion was able to defeat Murad Akhundov to win the championship. While Schemion picked up a nice €274,750 score, the lack of numbers in the tournament might have been of concern to the PokerStars brass.

Those fears were somewhat allayed by the €100,000 Super High Roller. 47 players have come out for the tournament – and nine of them have re-entered the event – to put themselves in a €200,000 hole to start the PSC Monte Carlo. One of those who rebought in the tournament was Daniel Negreanu, who at least made the most of it by finishing the day in second place. Negreanu, who isn’t afraid to put some rebuys into a tournament, didn’t have to go beyond his second bullet after doubling through Dan Smith and chopping some more chips off Christoph Vogelsang to reach his apex for Day One.

PokerStars once again is welcoming actor/comedian Kevin Hart into the fray in Monte Carlo. Hart was a surprise appearance in the Bahamas back in January but didn’t show up in Panama for any of the tournament schedule in Central America. While Hart didn’t perform very well in the Bahamas, he will be around for a second day in Monte Carlo. On his second bullet like Negreanu, Hart would be the beneficiary of pocket Aces twice to keep his stack healthy. He also secured a seat to start Day Two on Friday, but not as a member of the Top Ten.

Leading the way for those that have VERY deep pockets is Daniel Dvoress, who more than tripled his starting stack to claim the lead dog honors in the Super High Roller:

1. Daniel Dvoress, 907,000
2. Daniel Negreanu, 864,000
3. Viacheslav Buldygin, 827,000
4. Ali Reza Fatehi, 770,000
5. Steve O’Dwyer, 676,000
6. Steffen Sontheimer, 661,000
7. David Peters, 591,000
8. Igor Kurganov, 516,000
9. Stefan Schillhabel, 505,000
10. Charlie Carrel, 443,000

The remainder of the 38 players in the tournament at this mark brings you the usual suspects that you’ve seen in Super High Roller tournaments. Dan Colman just missed making the Top Ten (432,000, eleventh place) and Hart, as previously stated, is in the mix (396,000, thirteenth). Bryn Kenney (429,000, twelfth), Fedor Holz (366,000, fourteenth) and Sam Greenwood (364,000, fifteenth) are all within shooting distance of the Top Ten, while Mustapha Kanit (104,000) and Stephen Chidwick (117,000) are a couple of players who have their work cut out for them.

The Super High Roller players aren’t sure yet what they are playing for as late entry and reentry for the tournament will be open until the cards fly on Friday at 12:30PM (Monte Carlo time, 6:30AM East Coast time). On Saturday, the €5000 Main Event will begin, facing a tough task in trying to improve on the Bahamas while not falling below what Panama did. Wrapping up the weekend will be the start of the €50,000 Single Day High Roller, which will draw the “big money” out once again. Finally, the €25,000 High Roller begins on Wednesday (May 3) and will conclude with the final table of the Main Event on May 6.

Poker News Daily

Daniel Weinman Wins WPT Season XV Tournament of Champions

 Daniel Weinman Wins WPT Season XV Tournament of Champions

Though the next World Poker Tour event is just around the corner, WPT Season XV officially ended Sunday night as Daniel Weinman won the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Because it is now invitational only, the WPT’s season-ending tournament is small – just 66 players entered – but as it is limited to former WPT title winners, the field was obviously stacked with heavy hitters. Even those that may not be the absolute cream of the crop still clearly have both experience and success staring down the pressure that comes with a deep run in a major tournament.

For his win, Weinman received $ 381,500. But that’s not all. He also won a heap of other prizes, including a $ 15,000 entry into next year’s WPT Tournament of Champions, a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe, a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, a pair of Monster Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones, a custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables, a one-week stay with Wyndham Extra Holidays, and a spot in Tiger’s Poker Night, which is a presented by the WPT. Not bad. I mean, the headphones are kind of ridiculous looking, the watch is gaudy is hell, I would have nowhere to put the poker table, and the Audi isn’t really a practical family car for a guy like me, but I wasn’t the one who won all of that stuff.

Speaking with legendary WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage after the victory, Weinman said, “It feels incredible. I think I played some awesome poker today and I came out on top so I can’t really ask for anything more. It was a long three days, I was very sick the first day, I was kind of lucky to get through. But then I feel like I was able to focus on the last two days.”

Weinman began final table play as the chip leader and held onto the lead for most of Sunday. Most people relish the idea of having the largest chip stack at the poker table, but Weinman had some interesting thoughts about that, saying, “….I’d almost rather be short, just kind of have my mind-game simplified. Being the chip leader you really have to be involved in tons of pots, and I really didn’t have chips the entire tournament until the later stages of yesterday when I kind of went on a rush.”

It is kind of like being a high seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. There is a lot of pressure on you in the opening round because you are expected to win. The lower seed, or in this case, the short stack, has nothing to lose and is therefore sometimes able to put pressure on the favorite.

As mentioned, the WPT turns around very fast from here. Season XVI begins later this week with WPT Beijing, an invitation-only tournament. After that, it’s WPT Amsterdam in the first week of May.

World Poker Tour Season XIV Tournament of Champions – Final Money Results

1.    Daniel Weinman – $ 381,500
2.    Michael Mizrachi – $ 218,000
3.    Daniel Santoro – $ 133,525
4.    David Ormsby – $ 95,375
5.    Erik Seidel – $ 73,575
6.    Dylan Wilkerson – $ 57,225
7.    Stefan Schillhabel – $ 49,050
8.    Jesse Sylvia – $ 43,600
9.    Jonathan Jaffe – $ 38,150

Poker News Daily

Daniel Weinman Leads Final Table for Monster WPT Tournament of Champions

 Daniel Weinman Leads Final Table for Monster WPT Tournament of Champions

After two days of battle through 66 of the greatest champions the World Poker Tour has seen, the final table has been set in the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. Making the most out of his championship won at the Borgata in January during the Season XV schedule, Daniel Weinman will sit atop the standings when action resumes on Sunday, but several dangerous WPT Champions’ Club members – including a Poker Hall of Famer and one who may join that illustrious group – are looking to take him down.

When the tournament resumed on Saturday, 30 players remained from the 66 who started the event the previous day (an improvement of two players versus the inaugural run of the tournament in 2016). The always-dangerous Michael Mizrachi, who is building a resume that could be Hall of Fame worthy, was atop the standings at the beginning of the day’s play with 287,600 in chips. The hometown hero was joined by another popular Florida pro, James Romero (276,000), in leading the pack. Arranged behind the twosome in the Top Five were Griffin Paul (214,300), Tyler Patterson (199,300) and Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel (179,200).

To start the day, the defending champion of the event was bounced. Inaugural ToC victor Farid Yachou, who came into Day 2 on an extremely short stack, made an opening raise only to see Dylan Wilkerson try to bully him out of the pot with a three-bet. Yachou wasn’t going anywhere, however, making the call and revealing a pocket pair of fours for the race against Wilkerson’s Big Slick. The Q-J-9 flop wasn’t a good one for Yachou and, when a ten came on the turn, it was all over for the former champion. After a King on the river cruelly gave Yachou the second best straight on the board (Wilkerson’s Ace made him Broadway), the former champion headed to the rail to see who would be the next to hold the crown.

With only the final nine players receiving a payday from the tournament, the players actively tried to chip up to be in position for one of those slots. Mizrachi looked to continue his dominance in the event by knocking out two-time WPT champion (in Season XV alone) Sam Panzica, while Wilkerson continued his march up the leaderboard in cutting some chips from Romero when Wilkerson’s pocket Kings stood tall over Romero’s pocket Queens in a cooler. Once Marvin Rettenmaier was bumped off by Zachary Smiley in 25th place, the final three tables were set for the tournament.

The action didn’t let up at this point but increased as players looked to take on Mizrachi and Wilkerson. Stefan Schillhabel emerged as a potential contender, eliminating Scott Seiver from the festivities while climbing to 240,000 in chips, as did Paul, who quietly kept his name in the mix even while sitting to Mizrachi’s right. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that a big hand occurred that would influence the final table.

After Seidel raised out of the cutoff, Romero three bet the action out of the big blind back to the eight-time WSOP bracelet winner. Seidel four-bet Romero (that should have warned James there) and, after Romero used a Time Bank chip (the tournament was played with a 30-second “shot clock” and players had five Time Bank chips that gave them an additional minute each to ponder complex hands), Romero decided to put his tournament life on the line. With just a few more chips than Romero, Seidel made the call and the table saw what the “big dogs” were betting.

Seidel’s hand was potentially predictable – A♣ K♣ – but Romero’s was a bit surprising. Instead of a middle pair or even a big Ace, Romero only mustered an A-9 off suit for the battle. Once the A-K-Q flop rolled, Romero was looking to draw to a Broadway straight just to be able to split the pot barring runner-runner nines. Once a deuce hit the turn, Romero was drawing dead (and hit the rail on the next hand) as Seidel thrust his name into contention for the ToC championship.

The players that walked out of the Hard Rock with nothing to show for their two days at the ToC read like a Who’s Who of poker. Former World Champion Ryan Riess (who won his way into the ToC by taking down the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale on Thursday), Anthony Zinno, James Mackey (running Big Slick into Daniel Santoro’s pocket Aces) and Paul were some of the victims caught in the minefield of elimination. It was also the time Weinman began his move to the top.

On two consecutive hands, Weinman would use the ladies to his advantage. All in against Wilkerson’s pocket nines, Weinman’s pocket Queens would hold strong to double up, then he would pull the trick a second time in clashing with Mizrachi’s pocket nines when, holding Big Chick (A-Q) he hit another lady in the window to top him. Those two hands catapulted him to 315,000 in chips and he would utilize those to surge into the lead.

It would be another hand with Mizrachi that put Weinman in the lead for the night. On a K-8-6-J-6 board, Mizrachi put out a bet that send Weinman into the tank. Using two Time Bank chips, eventually Weinman found the call in him and, after a tap of the table from Mizrachi that he had been bluffing, Weinman officially showed a K-Q for Kings up to take a pot that pushed him to 585,000.

Once Jonathan Little was eliminated by David Ormsby, the final 10 men looked to determine who would be the last unfortunate to not receive any of the prize pool. It would be Mizrachi who would bring the tournament into the money when he rivered a nut flush against Lee Markholdt’s pocket eights to eliminate Markholdt in tenth place ($ 0) and move to the nine handed unofficial final table as the chip leader with 705K in chips.

After the redraw was complete, the battle for the official WPT six-handed final table began. Mizrachi stayed active, doubling up Wilkerson, before knocking off Jonathan Jaffe in ninth place. Weinman, however, was up to the task as he moved into the lead after cutting a stack of chips from Santoro to crack the 800K mark. Seidel would eliminate Jesse Sylvia in eighth place over the course of two hands and, after another dozen hands of play, Wilkerson would end the action for the day by taking down Schillhabel in seventh place to set the final table for the WPT Tournament of Champions.

1. Daniel Weinman, 872,000
2. Michael Mizrachi, 699,000
3. Dylan Wilkerson, 641,000
4. Erik Seidel, 540,000
5. David Ormsby, 299,000
6. Daniel Santoro, 250,000

There is still plenty of time for one of these six men to catch fire and move on the leaderboard. Even the short stacks of Ormsby and Santoro (30 and 25 big blinds, each) have some working room to look for the right hand to double on, making this afternoon’s action one that shouldn’t be missed. The final table will be live streamed at WPT.com beginning at 4:30PM (a 30-minute delay) and will also be taped for the broadcast of the WPT on Fox Sports 1. All six men are guaranteed a $ 57,225 return on their $ 15,000 investment, with the eventual champion walking off with $ 381,500 and a boatload of other prizes (including a 2018 Audi S5) for their work.

Poker News Daily



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