Posts Tagged ‘tournament’
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 â‚¬100,000 Super High Roller tournament started on Thursday while a â‚¬10,000 tournament with a surprisingly low number of players wrapped up.
That â‚¬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 (â‚¬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 Oâ€™Dwyer, and Koray Aldemir, Ole Schemion was able to defeat Murad Akhundov to win the championship. While Schemion picked up a nice â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬50,000 Single Day High Roller, which will draw the “big money” out once again. Finally, the â‚¬25,000 High Roller begins on Wednesday (May 3) and will conclude with the final table of the Main Event on May 6.
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
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.
When it comes to tournament directors in the poker world, Matt Savage has earned a reputation for being a tournament director par excellence. He has traversed the world as the arbiter of some of the biggest events in the game of poker and currently is immersed in preparations for the upcoming trilogy of tournaments for the World Poker Tour in Florida and the upcoming Tournament Directors Association Summit, which will be held at the end of June. But it is the creation of another tournament schedule for his home casino, the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, that has riled some in the poker community.
The California State Poker Championships are scheduled to take place at the Commerce between April 28 and May 14 and, as the tournament director, Savage is responsible for putting the slate of tournaments together for the event. It is the second event on the schedule on April 29, a simple $ 350 buy in tournament (with $ 50 of that for fees and miscellaneous), called “The Social Experiment,” that has piqued the interest of many players. And why not? With a 30,000-chip starting stack –equivalent to what players start major WPT or WSOP events with – and a $ 100,000 guaranteed prize pool, “The Social Experiment” promises a chance at a big reward for a minimal investment.
There are many players, however, that aren’t taking to this “experiment” lightly…and just why is it called “The Social Experiment?” Savage, who was the creative mind who came up with reentry events (he’s also had some good ideas during his run as tournament director extraordinaire!), has inserted a few rules into the game that many aren’t fond of.
Per the structure sheet for the tournament, “The Social Experiment” is quote “an attempt to create social interaction amongst players. Cell phones, sunglasses, headphones and hoods will only be allowed outside of the tournament area or on breaks (Savage has taken into consideration those with medical necessity or those with special needs and they will not be held to the rule).” On his personal Facebook page, Savage notes that the Commerce “will provide complimentary earplugs…while supplies last.”
To enforce this policy, Savage has enacted a series of penalties for infractions. Starting with a three-hand banishment, the punishments go up to one rotation around the table for repeat offenders. Such punishment at the wrong time in the tournament could be devastating to the chip stack of a participant.
The conversation regarding “The Social Experiment” is slightly leaning towards those who think it is a good idea, but those in opposition are vehement in that stance. One commentator on Savage’s Facebook page suggested that “The Social Experiment’s” banishment of sunglasses, headphones, cellphones, and other electronic devices could be compared to when cigarette smoking was banned in poker rooms in the late 1990s. Many said that poker rooms would die off without smoking allowed at the table; the exact opposite happened, but that could be partially because of the explosion of online poker at the same time. Those who don’t agree with the Savage “experiment” say that they need the devices to pass the time and that they don’t want to be socializing with their opposition.
It is only about 15 years ago that “The Social Experiment” was how poker tournaments were de rigueur in a casino. The players didn’t have all the electronic accoutrements that are available for players nowadays – the occasional newspaper or book was seen at the tables – and there was a great deal of camaraderie for those on the felt. Since the inception of internet poker, however, there’s been a change to players who are constantly looking for stimulation, for action, for something to fill “down time” between hands rather than acknowledging humans around them.
Whether there will be any of the “internet age” players on the tables for what should be a big event or not remains to be seen. It should be well attended by those who don’t have any problems with human interaction, however! Kudos to Savage and the Commerce staff for challenging the players with a twist on the everyday poker tournament and making it something that will be memorable for all involved.
Last year, PokerStars dismantled the European Poker Tour and created two new live tournament tours, the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival. They are your traditional tours, the PokerStars Championship looking very much like what the EPT was, with the PokerStars Festival coming in at a lower buy-in, akin to the World Series of Poker Circuit. On Friday, PokerStars announced yet another new live tournament series, called the PokerStars MEGASTACK (yes, and ugh, it is all CAPS), geared towards recreational players who cannot afford to compete in high buy-in tournaments.
The first PokerStars MEGASTACK will be at London’s Hippodrome Casino April 7th through April 9th. The buy-in is just £170, which is still a solid chunk of change for most people, but for poker players interested in competing in a good tournament, that is as light of a payment as one can hope for. All players start with 50,000, so there should be plenty of opportunity to play some poker (obviously, that all depends on the blind structure, but one would assume since it is live PokerStars event and not a daily nooner at a random casino off the Vegas Strip that things will be alright). Each tournament has three opening flights with one re-entry permitted per flight.
And since these are tournaments for recreational players trying to build a bankroll the PokerStars MEGASTACK events only run Friday through Sunday. As a PokerStars blog post put it:
We know it’s not always easy to find the time to play live tournaments, with one eye on your straight draw and the other on the clock as you try to work out if you can make it to work on 45 minutes sleep. That’s why MEGASTACK events are designed to fit your schedule rather than that of your boss, taking place from Friday to Sunday, leaving you all the time you need to enjoy the game.
There are also online satellites available for those who want to try to get in for even less money than £170.
If you are looking at that price point and thinking to yourself that there are no MEGASTACKS tournaments scheduled for the United States because the price is in British pounds, then you would be correct. Currently, there are only events scheduled for the Hippodrome, but according to Pokerstars, they will spread to other locations in the United Kingdom and Europe. No mention of the U.S. yet.
Here are the dates on tap so far for the Hippodrome:
• April 7th – 9th
• May 5th – 7th
• June 30th – July 2nd
• September 22nd – 24th
• October 20th – 22nd
And that’s really it. Frankly, I’m surprised that I was able to write even this much about the MEGASTACKS tournament series, as it isn’t all that big of a deal. But while I downplay it a little, it really could be a very nice addition to the live tournament schedule. Instead of having to watch as all those deep-pocketed poker players get to play in four and five-figure live tournaments, casual players can get in on the fun in what one would expect to be well-run tourneys with good blind structures.