Posts Tagged ‘Winning’

Art Papazyan Denies Trio of Pros History in Winning 2017 WPT Legends of Poker

 Art Papazyan Denies Trio of Pros History in Winning 2017 WPT Legends of Poker

Despite facing one of the most stacked final tables in recent memory – with two top flight professional poker players looking for their third titles and one legend of the game looking to etch his name on a piece of hardware he hasn’t touched yet – Art Papazyan beat back all comers from the second slot at the start of the penultimate day to win the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, CA, early Friday morning.

Papazyan had a decent chip stack to start the day (slightly over six million chips), but the seas of the final table were awash with sharks. Two-time WPT champion J. C. Tran was the chip leader coming to the table on Thursday while Phil Hellmuth, who has yet to garner the only accolade that has eluded him in poker (a WPT title), lurked in third place with almost three million in chips. A player that has been making a name for himself in 2017, D. J. Alexander (runner-up in the World Series of Poker “Millionaire Maker”) held down the fourth slot (2.73 million chips), while a quiet Adam Swan (1.655 million) and two-time WPT champion Marvin Rettenmaier (1.225 million) brought up the bottom of the leaderboard.

It would only take eight hands for the first elimination to occur at the final table. Swan, with a dwindling stack, was in a blind-versus-blind battle with the 14-time WSOP bracelet winner when he moved all in holding an A-J. Normally that is a fine holding in a heads-up situation, but Hellmuth woke up in the big blind with pocket Queens and immediately made the call. A Jack came on the flop but there was no further help for Swan as he departed the tournament in sixth place.

Rettenmaier short stack of chips bumped up a spot with Swan’s elimination, but that was as far as he would go. On Hand 20, Rettenmaier got the remainder of his stack in the center from the button, not feeling very confident when both Papazyan and Tran called in the blinds. An 8-6-3 flop didn’t seem very impressive but, after a check from Papazyan, Tran’s flop bet ushered him out to get the hand heads up with Rettenmaier. Tran’s flop bet was explained when he turned up pocket eights for the flopped top set as Rettenmaier packed his bags drawing thin with a Q-10. A Jack on the turn kept some drama alive for the gutter ball straight, but those disappeared with a four on the river as Rettenmaier headed for the rail in fifth place.

Tran held nearly half the chips in play after Rettenmaier’s departure while the remaining three players – Hellmuth (5.505 million chips), Papazyan (4.99 million) and Alexander (950K) – were looking like mere footnotes to Tran’s run to the championship. That would be the high mark for Tran, however, as he gradually began to bleed chips from his stack. Within 20 hands of Rettenmaier’s elimination, Tran had come back to the pack, unable to call bets out of his opponents with his meager holdings to maintain his stack. By Hand 40, Tran’s once-insurmountable lead had shrunk to less than 400K in chips over Papazyan.

Papazyan would be the one who knocked Tran off the top of the pedestal when he took a huge hand against Hellmuth. On a 4-2-2-2-6 board and with approximately four million chips in the pot, both Papazyan and Hellmuth had blustered about the content of their hands with heavy three bets (Papazyan’s pre-flop, Hellmuth’s on the flop). The river brought checks from both combatants, however, at which point Hellmuth turned up an A-J for the board’s trip deuces. Papazyan, however, had pocket nines (not the two black nines that Hellmuth won the 1989 WSOP Championship Event with, ironically) for the boat, good enough to take the bounty and the chip lead from Tran.

Tran would quickly come back to retake his lead as the foursome settled in for a drawn-out battle. They would play 130 hands before the next elimination, which came about when Alexander called off his stack of almost three million chips after Papazyan put the squeeze play on Hellmuth’s limp on the button. Holding an A-2, Alexander was behind Papazyan’s A-6 and, once a six hit the flop, he was looking for something runner or that would counterfeit Papazyan’s pair. The turn and river were uncooperative, however, as Alexander’s outstanding play in the tournament earned him the fourth-place slot.

Tran (11.715 million) still was dominating Papazyan (6.36 million) and Hellmuth (4.775 million), but the wheels were about to come off his wagon. Hellmuth started a stunning charge where he would take eight of the next 15 hands to assume the lead, but Papazyan would fight back to knock Hellmuth back down. Tran could find nothing at this point, unable to call big bets from his opponents, as his chip stack slid through his fingers. As the 200th hand of the final table approached, Tran and Hellmuth would finally clash.

On Hand 198, Tran moved all in off the button and Hellmuth looked him up out of the small blind. Papazyan had no interest as his cards headed to the muck, while Tran showed an A-10 that was leading the K-Q of Hellmuth pre-flop. A K-J-5 gave something to both men, momentarily putting Hellmuth in the lead with a pair of Kings but giving Tran a gut shot straight draw to go along with his Ace over card. Looking for one of six outs (three Aces and three Queens), Tran instead saw an innocuous four turn and a river trey to be eliminated by “The Poker Brat” in third place.

Going to the heads-up battle, Papazyan held an 800K chip lead over Hellmuth and wasted little time in putting a hammerlock on the championship. Ten hands into the fight, Papazyan had moved out to a two million chip lead and a few hands later extended his lead. On Hand 211, Papazyan would flop a wheel straight and get three streets of action out of Hellmuth to take a 10 million chip pot and stretch his lead to more than 12 million chips.

On the very next hand, it was all over. Hellmuth min-raised off the button and called after Papazyan moved all in against him. Hellmuth dominated pre-flop, his Big Slick crushing Papazyan’s K-Q off suit, but the Q-10-8 flop had other things in mind. A five on the turn helped neither man and, with Hellmuth looking for an Ace, King, or Jack to earn the double up (10 outs), an innocent trey came on the river. With a double thrust of his arms into the air, Papazyan had defeated one of poker’s legendary names to capture the championship of the WPT Legends of Poker.

1. Art Papazyan, $ 668,692
2. Phil Hellmuth, $ 364,370
3. J. C. Tran, $ 217,040
4. D. J. Alexander, $ 161,490
5. Marvin Rettenmaier, $ 120,775
6. Adam Swan, $ 91,825

The post Art Papazyan Denies Trio of Pros History in Winning 2017 WPT Legends of Poker appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Sam Panzica Earns Second WPT Title in Winning 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star

 Sam Panzica Earns Second WPT Title in Winning 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star

Although it appeared at the beginning that start of day chip leader chip leader David ‘Chino’ Rheem would be the one making history, it was Sam Panzica who would etch his name in the World Poker Tour record books after winning the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star championship early Saturday morning.

Rheem came into the action on Friday with a massive chip lead over the field. His 10.65 million chips dominated the second-place stack of Rainer Kempe (3.705 million), who could have been more concerned with fending off Panzica (3.215 million) and Paul Volpe (3.005 million) than mounting an attack. Anthony Spinella (2.635 million) also bore watching as, with a singular double up, he would push his name into the second-place slot. Only Dennis Stevermer, the short stack on the table with less than a million chips (980,000), was the only player who those in the Bay 101 tournament arena thought would have no shot at the title.

Surprisingly (considering he only held 12 big blinds entering the action), Stevermer wasn’t the first departure from the final table. He got a key double through Kempe to crack the 1.5 million chip mark, then started using the “all in” move to further increase his stack. In a span of ten hands, Stevermer would move all in four times – and not be called – and win one pot outright with a pre-flop raise to get over the two million chip mark. This aggression allowed him to be able to witness the first elimination of the day – and it wasn’t him.

After Rheem popped the pot out of the cutoff on Hand 37, Kempe (the final Shooting Star left in the tournament) moved all in out of the small blind in an attempt to push the chip leader off his hand. Instead, given the opportunity to knock out a dangerous opponent, Rheem quickly made the call. It didn’t hurt that Rheem also had pocket Kings, a definitive favorite against Kempe’s A-9 off suit. Kempe would get no help from the eight-high board and not only left the tournament in sixth place but also had to hand his Shooting Star medallion and a signed t-shirt to Rheem, who was more interested perhaps in the $ 2500 that came along with the bounty knockout.

Rheem’s dominance was only enhanced with the Kempe elimination as he now held more chips (13.485 million) than the other four men did combined (10.705 million). Volpe put a dent in it by doubling through Rheem on the next hand after Kempe’s departure, but this status quo would stay in place for some time. In fact, it would be almost 30 hands before a significant change would occur in the standings.

On Hand 65, Spinella put in a raise to 250K and Rheem defended his big blind to see a monochrome K 9 2 flop. Rheem checked his option and, after Spinella put in another 250K bet, Rheem fired all in over Spinella’s bet. Stunningly Spinella immediately called, showing a J 3 for a flopped flush, while Rheem held the A (along with an off suit eight) for the redraw to the nut flush. Unfortunately for Rheem, a black nine and a black Jack finished off the board, doubling up Spinella to 7.74 million chips (and second place) and knocking Rheem under an eight-figure stack for the first time at the final table.

Rheem would rectify that situation in eliminating Stevermer only seven hands later. The chips went all in pre-flop and Stevermer had the edge with his A-8 over Rheem’s K-9. The flop was a tantalizing one, coming 9-7-6 to give Rheem the tentative lead with his pair of nines but giving Stevermer an open ended straight draw. That draw wouldn’t come home, however, as Stevermer, who many thought was dead meat on arrival at the final table, lasted 72 hands before departing in fifth place.

Back over 11 million in chips, Rheem tried to put the foot back on the gas pedal and win what would be his record fourth WPT title, but Spinella would once again be a thorn in his side. On Hand 84, Rheem lost the chip lead for the first time when, after a J-5-2 flop, Rheem let Spinella have a 4.1 million pot to fall back to second place by only 25,000 chips. Spinella and Rheem would clash again on the next hand and the endgame would be the same, except this time Spinella rivered a deuce after turning an Ace for two pair against Rheem’s flopped pair of Kings to win the hand. With that win, Spinella was now the dominant chip leader, moving past 12 million in chips as Rheem slipped back to 6.675 million.

This only served to light a fire under Rheem, who would take down Volpe a few hands later. On Hand 90, Rheem pushed the action to 375K and Volpe, in the big blind, defended to see an 8 7♠ 4♠ flop. This seemingly innocuous flop instead seemed to light the fireworks as, after Rheem sent another 375K to the pot, Volpe check-raised his remaining three million chips. Rheem immediately called, showing pocket Kings, while Volpe was quite live with his Q♠ J♠ for the flush draw. The turn and river were black, but they were clubs, sending Volpe home in fourth place while pushing Rheem into a solid second behind Spinella.

At this point, Panzica was in no position to even posit winning the tournament. With slightly more than three million in chips, Panzica’s stack was three time smaller than Rheem’s and almost four times smaller than Spinella’s. The longest journeys take a singular step, as the saying goes, and Panzica’s journey was an audacious one.

The threesome played 18 hands before Panzica took over second place, but Rheem still was exercising his dominance. Another 30 hands would see Rheem reestablish his edge with 13.25 million chips, while Panzica and Spinella fought over the scraps. On Hand 151, however, Panzica and Rheem would enter a hand that would change the course of the tournament.

Panzica raised the button and Spinella made the call from the small blind, but Rheem was having none of it. He moved all in out of the big blind and Panzica was more than happy to dance, pushing his stack to the center. A cautious Spinella got out of the way and it proved to be the right move; Panzica’s pocket Aces dominated Rheem’s Q-J and, after the ten-high flop came down, the double for Panzica put him neck and neck with Rheem for the chip lead.

Panzica would take over at this point and never look back. The very next hand after doubling through Rheem, Panzica seized the chip lead after butting heads with Rheem again and stretched it out over the next five hands. In taking another big pot against Rheem – this one worth 8.3 million chips – Panzica would put Rheem on the short stack. The end was on the horizon, but the final chapter remained to be written.

On Hand 167, Spinella doubled through Rheem to drop the former chip leader to only two big blinds and would eliminate him on the very next hand. Spinella now was sitting with a nice 5.75 million stack, but it dwindled in the face of the monstrous 18.475 million chip mountain sitting in front of Panzica. Although he earned one double to pull closer, Spinella never saw the chip lead in heads up play.

On the final hand, Spinella pushed out a raise only to see Panzica power over the top of him all in. Spinella called and tabled an A-8, normally good in a heads up setting, but Panzica had a couple of pips on him in tabling A-10. The Jack high flop (J-5-3-4-5) didn’t change anything, sending Panzica to his second WPT championship in winning the Shooting Star.

1. Sam Panzica, $ 1,373,000
2. Anthony Spinella, $ 786,610
3. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, $ 521,660
4. Paul Volpe, $ 349,610
5. Dennis Stevermer, $ 243,090
6. Rainer Kempe, $ 188,460

There’s no rest for these men as, for Rheem, Kempe and Volpe at the minimum, the final leg of the WPT California Swing starts today. The WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento begins on Saturday and it is the final chance for players to earn points toward that title (Mike Sexton currently leads those standings). Panzica will also probably head to Thunder Valley also, but not until he’s finished celebrating his second WPT title.

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Winning Poker Network Moves to Weighted Contributed Rake Calculation

 Winning Poker Network Moves to Weighted Contributed Rake Calculation

Just as people like to make changes to their lives and get a “fresh start” when the calendar page turns from December to January, so, often, do online poker rooms. The Winning Poker Network (WPN) announced Monday that starting today, January 3rd, 2017, its member rooms will adjust how raked hands are counted in order to calculate loyalty points. Gone is the “dealt hand” system and in is the “weighted contributed” method.

In the previous, dealt hand method of calculating rake and loyalty points, rake in a cash game pot was attributed to every player who was simply dealt cards. For instance, if five players were dealt hole cards – regardless of how many players were actually seated (some could have been sitting out) – and the pot grew large enough to generate one dollar in rake, twenty cents in rake would be attributed to each player. This amount would then be used to determine how many loyalty points players earned, which is useful for things like VIP status levels and releasing bonuses.

During the poker boom of about a decade ago, most online poker rooms and networks used the dealt hand method. It was fantastic for tight players like me or for players (also like me), who shuttled around to different poker rooms to take advantage of deposit bonuses. As the years have gone on, though, most rooms have switched to the weighted contributed method, as WPN is finally doing now.

In the weighted contributed method, poker players must actually put money in the pot to be given credit for any rake generated. This “contribution,” as it were, can be voluntary as in a bet or raise, or can be involuntary, as in the small blind or big blind. Those who fold pre-flop and are not in a blind will not have any rake attributed to them as they were in the dealt hand method. Additionally, the rake attributed to each player is based on how much money they put into the pot compared to the other players, hence the “weighted” part of the phrase.

Using the same example from above, say there were five players dealt cards in a hand that generated one dollar in rake. Two early position players called pre-flop, the button folded, the small blind called, and big blind checked. Thus, four players contributed to the pot. If everyone checked down all the way to showdown, they all contributed the same amount and would therefore each be attributed with 25 cents rake.

The calculations change depending on how much money players contribute. If two of the players fold on the flop and two others keep betting through the river, those two that stay in the hand longer will have contributed more and will be given credit for more rake.

Clearly, this method is terrible for tight players who like to fold, fold, fold their way through a session, but is great for more aggressive players. It is also good for the poker rooms, as it encourages action, driving up pots, and increasing rake.

The switch to the weighted contributed method is inconsequential when it comes to tournaments, as it is the tournament fee that matters there; there is no rake per pot in a tourney.

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David Ormsby Denies Chip Leader Robert Forbes in Winning WPT Fallsview Championship

 David Ormsby Denies Chip Leader Robert Forbes in Winning WPT Fallsview Championship

Although he came to the final table as the second shortest stack, David Ormsby would stick around long enough to become a thorn in the start of day chip leader Robert Forbes’ side, eventually defeating Forbes to take the championship of the World Poker Tour’s stop at the Fallsview Poker Classic in Canada on Thursday evening.

It definitely looked bleak for Ormsby at the start. With only 1.55 million in chips, he led only Thomas Archer (880,000 in chips) on the leaderboard when play began on Thursday afternoon. Ormsby was looking up at some difficult players that included Derek Verrian (1.565 million), Soren Turkewitsch (1.83 million), Mike Bui (2.86 million) and the previously mentioned Forbes, who was dominating the final table with his 4.015 million chip count.

Knowing he needed to make a move quick, Archer would push his chip stack to the center on the third hand of play with only an A-5, looking to steal the blinds and antes. As if he needed it, Forbes would wake up with a pocket pair of Queens on the button and, after he called Archer’s bet, saw the board give Archer a five but nothing else. By knocking out Archer in sixth place, Forbes solidified his lead by jumping over the six million chip mark and seemed to be on cruise control to the championship.

Forbes continued to punish his tablemates as his mountain of chips only got bigger. He dumped Turkewitsch from the tournament when his A-7 ruled over Turkewitsch’s A-4 (flopping a seven for good measure) to crack the nine million chip mark. Although he would suffer a couple of missteps to come back to the pack a bit, Forbes continued to be a wrecking ball in taking down Bui in fourth place when his pocket Aces stood over Bui’s K-10 off suit, giving Forbes twice as many chips as Verrian and Ormsby had between each other.

While Forbes had what seemed to be an insurmountable lead, Verrian and Ormsby didn’t roll over for him. Ormsby got a double up through Forbes, his A-K making it over Forbes’ A-9, but he would sacrifice some of those chips to Verrian as Verrian drew closer to Forbes. In fact, it was a battle between Verrian and Forbes that would bring the final table to heads up play.

On Hand 131, Verrian pushed out a bet off the button and Forbes three-bet out of the small blind. After Ormsby mucked, Verrian called to see a 6-5-3 flop that drew a 550K bet from Forbes. Verrian immediately moved all in for his remaining two million in chips and, after pondering his position, Forbes made the call. Verrian had hit top pair with his 8-6, but Forbes was in good shape with his A-4 (open-ended draw to the straight, Ace over card). A deuce came on the turn to give Forbes his straight and now Verrian could only be saved by a four to split the pot. Instead, a ten came on the river to send Verrian out in third place.

As they entered heads up play, Forbes was dominating the game:

Forbes – 9.265 million
Ormsby – 3.435 million

Forbes didn’t waste any time in trying to go for the kill, quickly taking his stack north of 10 million chips in four hands of play. Two more hands – both of which went to Ormsby and saw Forbes firing indiscriminately in trying to force Ormsby off his hands – saw Ormsby close the gap to 2:1, where it would stay for about 15 hands. On Hand 155, however, Ormsby was able to eke into the lead and he would never look back.

On the final hand of the tournament, Ormsby limped in and Forbes pushed all in for almost three million in chips. Ormsby made the call and, after seeing Forbes’ pocket threes, was racing with his K-J. The race was a quick one, the flop coming down A-K-4 to give Ormsby a better pair and, after a seven on the turn and a six on the river failed to help Forbes, Ormsby had completed his unlikely comeback to become the champion of the WPT Fallsview.

1. David Ormsby – $ 383,407
2. Robert Forbes – $ 268,773
3. Derek Verrian – $ 172,823
4. Mike Bui – $ 127,805
5. Soren Turkewitsch – $ 95,949
6. Thomas Archer – $ 76,874

(All money amounts in Canadian dollars)

Poker News Daily

2015 WSOP Europe Event #1 – Makarios Avramidis Tops Tough Table in Winning €2000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em

 2015 WSOP Europe Event #1 – Makarios Avramidis Tops Tough Table in Winning €2000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em

Defeating a difficult final table, Makarios Avramidis emerged as the victor of the first event at the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe, the €2000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament, on Saturday night.

Six men (hence the name of the tournament) returned on Saturday to determine the champion of this event with Paul Michaelis, who won a bracelet in Las Vegas earlier this year ($ 1500 Pot Limit Hold’em), heading the pack by a wide margin. Holding more than a third of the chips on the table, Michaelis (670K) would face challenges from Ricardo Alvarado (435K) and Stephen Chidwick (354K), while Frederic Schwarzer (242), Avramidis (179K) and a short-stacked Marvin Rettenmaier (90K) rounded out the contenders.

Rettenmaier was game fighting off the short stack, getting a key double up through Chidwick just prior to the price of poker going up (Level 20, 4K/8K blinds, 1K ante), but just as he started to make a charge he got coolered. After upping the action out of the cutoff, Rettenmaier saw Michaelis three-bet him out of the big blind. Rettenmaier put his newfound chips from Chidwick at risk by moving all in and couldn’t have been happy that Michaelis quickly made the call. It was Rettenmaier’s pocket nines against Michaelis’ pocket Aces and, after an Ace on the flop, Rettenmaier was basically drawing dead. A Jack on the turn officially had Rettenmaier drawing dead as he left the table in sixth place.

That would be the highlight for Michaelis as his 800K chip stack would never grow bigger. Just before jumping to Level 21, Michaelis doubled up Chidwick, giving a strong player a new lease on life. Chidwick would use those chips to go against Alvarado in what would be an intriguing hand, coming down with what looked to be an innocent board of 6♠ 5♣ 2 Q♠ 10♠. Chidwick would move all in on the river representing the flush, but Alvarado didn’t believe him in making the call with his Q 2. Chidwick didn’t have the flush but he did have the goods, turning up a Q 5 for a better two pair to take the lead and knock out Alvarado in fifth place.

Chidwick, now holding about half the chips in play with his 1.03 million stack, got more aggressive on the felt as the afternoon wore on. He picked chips out of the stack of virtually every other player on the felt on his way to building up a 1.4 million stack but, after another level up, he too would falter. Doubling up Michaelis once and Schwarzer twice, Chidwick saw his stack reduced to 753K in rapid fashion. Instead of taking some time to regroup, Chidwick would continue to charge with disastrous results.

Chidwick dropped to 450K in chips in doubling up Michaelis again and sent a smaller stack of chips to him on the very next hand. The twosome would square off again on a third consecutive hand, with Michaelis opening on the button and Chidwick moving all in from the big blind. Michaelis made the call and showed Big Slick to go up against Chidwick’s Big Chick (A-Q); after the resulting A-7-6-4-4 board, Michaelis’ hand had stood up and Chidwick’s rapid descent sent him out of the tournament in fourth place.

Michaelis’ return to the top of the ladder didn’t appear to bode well for his opponents. Both Schwarzer (430K) and Avramidis (400K) didn’t appear to be well-stacked to take on Michaelis (1.17 million), but all it would take was one double up to change the game. That occurred when Michaelis and Avramidis got their chips in pre-flop, with Michaelis showing pocket tens and Avramidis opening up pocket Jacks. The Q-J-9 flop brought something for both men, but the Ace on the turn and the four on the river didn’t bring Michaelis back to pass Avramidis for the victory. After the hand, Avramidis took over the lead as Michaelis dropped to the short-stack.

After doubling up Avramidis, the news didn’t get any better for Michaelis. He would open the betting up and Schwarzer immediately came back at him with a three-bet. Michaelis popped his stack in the center and, just as vociferously, Schwarzer did the same. It was a repeat of the hand with Avramidis as Michaelis held the pocket tens again and Schwarzer this time held the Jacks. For a second time the Jacks held up on the Q-3-3-3-K board and Michaelis was gone in third place.

Despite going to heads up play at a 2:1 disadvantage, Avramidis wasted little time in seizing control of the match. Within 10 minutes he had worked his way into the lead over Schwarzer and, after another hour of work, Avramidis would complete the win. On the last hand, Avramidis opened up the betting and, after Schwarzer pushed all in, called with his leading A-6. Schwarzer had two live cards with his K-6, but it was worthless after an Ace came on the flop. Once the board failed to connect with Schwarzer on the turn, he was drawing dead as Avramidis, a Greek who resides in Germany, took home the championship.

1. Makarios Avramidis, €105,00
2. Frederic Schwarzer, €64,930
3. Paul Michaelis, €45,860
4. Stephen Chidwick, €32,600
5. Ricardo Alvarado, €23,310
6. Marvin Rettenmaier, €16,740

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