Posts Tagged ‘wins’

Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

 Viktor Blom Has the Onions, Wins partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany Main Event

I once made a pretty big call in a tournament for a couple hundred dollars. I lost, but I ended up coming in third and won $ 3,500, which is this high roller’s most sizable tourney score. I know, I know, stop bragging already. I cannot imagine, though, making a call with almost an empty hand and €100,000. But that’s what Viktor “Isildur1” Blom did this weekend in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany €5,300 Main Event and that is why he is a pro and I am just here writing about it.

Of the more than 1,000 players who started the event, just 13 remained going into the final day and when the official eight-handed final table was set, Blom was second in chips with 144.8 million, nearly tied with Pavel Pesluv (143.1 million) who was coincidentally the man he would face at the end. Ondrej Drozd was way ahead with 258.6 million.

But you’re here to read about what happened to close out the tourney, so let’s skip to that. During heads-up, Plesuv went on a tear, building as much as a 9-to-1 chip lead on Blom, clearly looking like he was going to take home the title. But Blom roared back, eventually taking the lead.

On the final hand, Hand 242 of the final table, blinds were 6 million/12 million with 12 million chip ante. Holding K-6, Blom raised pre-flop to 35 million and Plesuv called with Q-7. Clearly, neither man had an incredible hand, but this was heads-up, so a face card is pretty solid.

The flop was Q-9-K, pairing both players’ top cards and giving both backdoor flush draws. Blom bet 45 million this time and Plesuv check-called. The A was dealt on the turn, now giving Plesuv a flush draw. He check-called a huge 105 million chip bet from Blom to bring on the river 5. At that point, with just third pair and a busted flush draw, Plesuv moved all-in for 299 million.

Blom tanked. He had just 344 million chips remaining, so if he were to call – with just second pair, mind you – he was crippled. And then, casually, he made the call, picking off Plesuv’s bluff and sending the announcers on the telecast into a frenzy. I couldn’t hear what Plesuv said to him, but he was smiling and frankly seemed impressed that Blom was able to read him correctly.

From the brief commentary that I heard in the video clip I watched, the analysts seemed to reason that Blom may have figured the only hand he was losing to was an Ace-high flush based on Plesuv’s play. Since Blom had the K and Plesuv check-called an Ace on the turn with a heart flush draw out there, Plesuv either had worse than a pair of Kings or was waiting on his Ace-high flush to come in. Blom took the chance that Plesuv didn’t have the flush and he was right.

Before heads-up, Blom and Plesuv made a deal to in which they would each win €750,000 and leave €100,000 plus the trophy for which to play. Of course, after the Mike Leah controversy, people may be skeptical as to whether or not making a deal tarnishes Blom’s victory, but it certainly looks like both men played all-out, like both were definitely trying to win (Blom probably wouldn’t have come back from 9-to-1 down if this wasn’t the case). Plus, €100,000 is nothing to sneeze at, so it was not likely that either would’ve just thrown away a chance to win the extra dough once the deal was made and the money was there for the taking.

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Mike Leah Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event

 Mike Leah Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event

Let’s just say that the Fallsview Casino Resort overlooking the Canadian side of Niagara Falls isn’t a venue that Mike Leah is going to stop visiting any time soon. On Monday night, Leah won his first World Poker Tour (WPT) title, taking the crown at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in what was the tournament’s largest field ever: 517 entries. His purse for the win was CAD $ 451,821 (about USD $ 358,520).

Leah isn’t going to be a repeat customer of Fallsview just because he won last night. Leah actually has quite the history at the casino, one which has treated him extremely well. Prior to his victory, Mike Leah won the CAD $ 1,100 preliminary event at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic three out of the last four years: 2014, 2016, and 2017 for a total of CAD $ 573,334.

“To do it here, where I’ve had so much success winning three tournaments already, is pretty cool,” the Ontario native told WPT.com afterward. “So close to home, in my home country, it’s a pretty special tournament to win. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet.”

Leah had gotten tantalizingly close to a WPT once before, finishing second to Anthony Zinno at the 2015 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He doesn’t have any World Series of Poker bracelets, either, but he does have a number of WSOP Circuit wins.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Leah said to WPT.com. “Winning a WPT has been near the top of my goal list for a long time, especially getting so close almost exactly three years ago when I lost to Anthony Zinno heads up at LAPC, so I’ve been pretty hungry to get back here again since that.”

He’ll have a chance to improve on that runner-up finish soon, as the L.A. Poker Classic is the next stop on the World Poker Tour. Leah now has almost $ 7 million in live tournament earnings.

Unlike many major tournaments, the final day of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic did not begin at the final table, but rather with 20 players remaining. Leah was third going into Monday’s action with 1.235 million chips, 600,000+ behind the leader, Joe Ferrier.

For much of yesterday, Leah stayed in his general starting range. He dipped below 1 million chips for a little bit, then rose back up to around 1.6 million, but for the most part, he was in that 1-1.5 million chip range. The big move came with just seven players remaining when he moved all-in after some raising pre-flop and doubled through Tim Rutherford with A-K versus A-Q to jump to 3.105 million chips and into the lead. When he eliminated David Eldridge to clinch a spot at the official final table, he was in second place with 3.970 million chips.

He kept climbing from there, knocking out Joe Ferrier on the ninth hand of the final table to move to 6.930 million chips. At the start of Level 29 with four players remaining, he was at nearly 8 million. Leah couldn’t keep up the hot run for much longer, though, steadily dropping chips until, by Hand 75, he was back to second with 4.835 million. Ryan Yu had taken over the lead with 6.185 million. It really looked like Yu was going to steamroll from there, as he knocked out Carlos Chadha in third place to grow his stack to 9.630 million and then bounced Tim Rutherford in second to go into heads-up against Leah with a huge lead, 10.800 million to 4.715 million.

On literally the first hand of heads-up play, though, Leah made a bold move. Yu raised to 4 million pre-flop (the big blind was 120,000) and Leah, either holding a great hand or sensing a big bluff because of that strange bet, moved all-in. It was barely more than what Yu had put in, but Yu folded, giving Leah the chip lead.

On the next two hands, Yu continued to play rather strangely. Leah limped pre-flop and Yu raised to 5 million. Leah re-raised all-in and Yu folded, leaving him with just 1.760 million chips to Leah’s 13.755 million. Then, Yu raised pre-flop to 1.700 million and Leah shoved. Obviously, Yu needed to put his last chips in, an amount that was less than the small blind, but for some reason, he folded AGAIN, leaving himself with just 40,000 chips.

Yu survived a few more hands, but it was academic from there as Leah won his first WPT title. Unfortunately, this event was neither live streamed nor televised, so I don’t know if we will find out what Yu had in those key hands. It was bizarre.

Cover Photo Credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

 Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

Toby Lewis won the Aussie Millions Main Event this weekend, triumphing over a field of 800 runners. The A$ 1,458,198 (USD $ 1,178,513) first prize was the biggest score of his career, eclipsing his ~$ 600,000 cash for winning EPT Vilamoura in 2010. He now has nearly $ 4.4 million in live tournament earnings.

Lewis went into the seven-handed final table (yes, seven-handed) as the chip leader and never looked back. Ok, technically he looked “up” at times, as he was neck-and-neck with Espen Solaas (5.835 million to 5.680 million chips) initially before Solaas overtook him for the lead early on. Before we get too bogged down with it all, here is what the chip stacks looked like to start the final table:

Toby Lewis – 5.835 million
Espen Solaas – 5.680 million
Ben Richardson – 4.870 million
Mike Del Vecchio – 3.065 million
Stefan Huber – 1.975 million
Chul-Hyon Park – 1.670 million
John Schumacher – 955,000

Schumacher was the first to go on Hand 25. Solaas shoved pre-flop with 7d-5d, likely a power move, but Schumacher looked him up with 5c-5s. Unfortunately for Schumacher, Solass hit a runner-runner diamond flush to take the hand and eliminate Schumacher in seventh place.

Solaas continued to add chips, but on Hand 37, Lewis took a huge pot from Stefan Huber to climb to 8.365 million and regain the chip lead by nearly 1.5 million over Solaas. Lewis ran into a rough patch over the next three orbits or so, seeing his stack dip below 6 million. In the meantime, Chul-Hyon Park came out of nowhere to take the lead after doubling through Solaas on Hand 54. The very next hand, Ben Richardson was knocked out in sixth place Solaas, K-K against A-Q.

Park held the lead for a while, but Lewis kept chipping up while Solaas was a bit stagnant. By Hand 80, Lewis had risen to 7 million chips and back into the chip lead. On Hand 95, he took a massive chunk of change from Park with A-K against J-J. Lewis paired his King and got Park to pay him off handsomely on the river. That put a canyon between Lewis and the field, while Park fell to the short stack.

It was Mike Del Vecchio who bowed out next, though, eliminated in fifth place by Lewis. By Hand 107, Lewis had 15.810 million chips, twice the chips of the other three players combined. At that point, his three opponents were just trying to make it to third place. Lewis was fully aware of this and made them pay, pounding away at them while they stayed out of his way.

“He knew he had to be very tight,” Lewis said of Park to Aussie Millions officials after the tournament. “[Huber and Solaas] both understood ICM very well. It’s an absolute disaster for either of them to get it in against me. It was one of those spots where eventually something had to give but nobody wanted it to give.”

Eventually it was Park who gave, getting unlucky when his Queens fell to Solaas’s Sevens when Solaas turned a set.

After Park’s elimination, the remaining three players began to discuss a deal. Lewis, though, he was way ahead, likely didn’t want to risk a string of bad luck and just wanted to lock up a serious payday right then and there. The other two players, Huber and Solaas, were probably more than happy to also lock up a prize and relax a little bit. They agreed that Lewis would get A$ 1,383,198, Solaas, who was in second place, would receive A$ 1,177,103, and Huber would get A$ 909,699. A$ 75,000 was left on the table for an incentive to keep playing.

It took about another 30 hands to decide it. Solaas went out in third place when his Nines fell to Lewis’ Kings. Lewis had little trouble finishing off Huber. On the final hand, Huber raised pre-flop with A-8 and Lewis called with Q-T. Lewis flopped trips and you can guess what happened from there.

2018 Aussie Millions Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Toby Lewis – A$ 1,458,198
2. Espen Solaas – A$ 909,699
3. Ben Richardson – A$ 1,177,103
4. Mike Del Vecchio – A$ 470,000
5. Stefan Huber – A$ 370,000
6. Chul-Hyon Park – A$ 300,000
7. John Schumacher – A$ 235,000

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Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

 Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship

There were a lot of firsts this week on the World Poker Tour (WPT). You had the inaugural WPT European Championship, which, held in Berlin, was also the first WPT Main Tour event to be held in Germany. It was the first televised Main Tour event in Europe in five years (so much for “World” Poker Tour) and it was the first WPT win for Ole Schemion, who just happens to be a Berlin native.

Schemion was the chip leader going into the final table, but it was a close race for the top spot. He had 2.840 million chips, while Michael Mrakes had 2.640 million and Hanyong Kuo had 2.505 million. After those three, it was a steep drop to the next three: Amjad Nader had 1.095 million, Michael Behnert had 600,000, and Patric Brandt had 470,000.

It was as easy of a final table for Schemion as you will ever see on the World Poker Tour. From the get-go, he extended his lead, and while he didn’t win every hand he got involved in, he was never really at risk of even taking a big hit.

Though there were some short stacks to begin the final table, it took until after the first break for anyone to be eliminated. On Hand 37 (thank you, WPT.com), a crippled Nader shoved pre-flop with K-Q and both Schemion (A-T) and Mrakes (9-9) made the call. The flop of A-6-5 gave Schemion the lead, so he bet to force a fold from Mrakes. It’s too bad for Mrakes that he did that (though quite reasonable), an 8 on the turn and 7 on the river would have given him a straight. As it were, Schemion won the hand and eliminated Nader in sixth place.

Twenty hands later, Kuo moved all-in pre-flop for just 170,000 chips with K-9 suited. Schemion called with a dominating A-9. Nothing on the board helped Kuo and his kicker and he was out in fifth place.

Then, just three hands later, Behnert was gone. He shoved pre-flop with A-9 suited, called by Brandt and his K-3 suited. A 3 landed on the flop and nothing else showed up to improve Behnert’s hand, so the tournament was down to three players.

The knockouts kept coming, as on Hand 61, only two hands after Behnert’s ouster, it was time for Brandt to go. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what happened, as WPT.com’s account was incomplete, but the money got in on the flop with Brandt holding J-9 suited and Schemion holding at least a 4. As none of the board cards helped Brandt, I’ll guess that Schemion had A-4 or 4-4 and it held up.

At any rate, Schemion went into heads-up against Mrakes with a 6.685 million to 3.465 million chip lead. Mrakes was able to close the gap a bit after Schemion initially grew his lead, but it wasn’t enough. On the final hand, Schemion raised to 180,000 pre-flop with K-7 of clubs, Mrakes three-bet to 600,000 with 7-5 of spades, and Schemion called. The flop was K-Q-9 with two spades, giving Schemion top pair and Mrakes a flush draw. Mrakes shoved and after much thought, including the use of two time bank extensions chips, Schemion decided to call. The flush never appeared for Mrakes and Ole Schemion won the WPT European Championship.

2018 World Poker Tour European Championship – Final Table Results

1. Ole Schemion – €218,435 ($ 255,352)
2. Michal Mrakes – €143,845 ($ 178,892)
3. Patrice Brandt – €93,105 ($ 115,077)
4. Michael Behnert – €60,730 ($ 74,088)
5. Han Kuo Yong – €46,705 ($ 57,118)
6. Amjad Nader – €39,010 ($ 47,323)

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Darryll Fish Captures First Major Title, Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

 Darryll Fish Captures First Major Title, Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

Battling through one of the larger fields during the Season XVI schedule, poker professional Darryll Fish broke through with his first ever major tour victory in winning the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, last night.

The hometown favorite at the final table, Fish was one of six players who had come through the 911 entry field to vie for the crown. He didn’t lead as the final table began, however. That honor went to Russia’s Aleksandr Shevelev and his 6.96 million stack, with Ness Reilly tucked into the second slot with her 6.295 million chips. Fish, for his part, hovered in the third-place slot (5.92 million chips) while the rest of the field – Brett Bader (3.16 million), Alan Krockey (2.81 million) and former WPT champion Andy Frankenberger (2.17 million) – needed quite a bit of help if they were going to contend for the championship.

The players throughout the final table were playing as if said table was on fire. On Hand 19, Reilly opened the betting under the gun and Krockey didn’t believe her as he moved all in. Reilly wasted little time in making the call, tabling pocket Kings to go to the races against Krockey’s Big Chick (A-Q). Looking for another lady to join him on the board, Krockey instead saw the board run out nine high, ending his tournament in sixth place and moving Reilly into contention with 6.4 million chips.

Reilly didn’t slow down after that knockout either. Fish and Shevelev put her to the test in her big bling and, after calling a 175K bet, everyone checked to the river on an A-9-2-5-9 board. Reilly would check that board and, after Fish fired a good sized 450K bet, Shevelev dropped from the proceedings. Reilly, though, didn’t believe Fish’s story and made the call. It turned out to be the right one as Fish showed a K-J for complete air; Reilly, on the other hand, showed a 4-3 for the turned Wheel and scooped the 1.5 million chip pot.

Shevelev didn’t get concerned with Reilly storming up on him, he just took down a player to reestablish control at the final table. On Hand 32, Shevelev innocently raised the pot and saw Reilly three bet the action up to 500K. Demonstrating the usage of the WPT “Time Bank” chips (the WPT uses their 30-second “Action Clock” just before the field makes the money; players receive six “Time Bank” chips worth 60 seconds each for use each day until the end of the tournament), Bader tossed one in the pot and, as the clock was at 10, five-bet to 1.35 million.

Now it was Shevelev’s turn to use one of his “Time Bank” chips and, after the deliberation, his reply was to move all in. After Reilly decided that discretion was the better part of valor, Bader took another Time Bank worth of extra time before making the decision to call for his tournament life. When the cards came up, the hand played itself.

Bader’s pocket Queens were only down against two hands (pocket Aces and Kings) and racing against one other (Big Slick) and the race was at hand with Shevelev holding Slick. With his tournament life on the line, Bader was dismayed to see a King in the window on a K-4-4 flop to push Shevelev into the lead. Needing a Queen to remain at the table, Bader instead hit the rail in fifth place as a deuce and a nine finished off the board, sending Shevelev over the 12 million chip mark.  

With that big stack, it wasn’t like Shevelev needed any help, but the players couldn’t resist giving it to him. After doubling up Frankenberger, Reilly would ship a sizeable chunk of her chips to the Russian after he sneakily turned a nine-high straight while holding an 8-5 off suit in the big blind. The resulting 8.1 million pot pushed Shevelev’s stack even higher and many on the rail thought the tournament was over.

Reilly couldn’t overcome the hand against Shevelev. Roughly 10 hands after battling the chip leader, Reilly would lock horns with Fish in a race. Reilly had the best of it pre-flop with her pocket Jacks against Fish’s A 10, but an Ace on the flop changed the fortunes of each player. There was paint on the turn, but it wasn’t the Jack that Reilly was looking for (Queen). Down to the river, Reilly instead saw a second nine as the hand went to Fish and she went to the cash out cage in fourth place.

Shevelev now had a challenger in Fish, but Frankenberger wasn’t going to go away easily. Looking to become a two-time champion on the WPT, Frankenberger would battle it out against the two big stacks for 30 hands before finally succumbing to Fish. With Frankenberger holding pocket sevens and Fish showing A♣ J♣, the flop kept Frankenberger safe. The Jack on the turn, however, wasn’t what Frankenberger wanted to see. Once a trey came on the river, Frankenberger’s dream of a second WPT title was dashed as he exited in third place.

With the knockout of Frankenberger, Fish narrowed the gap with Shevelev, but it was still a 4.4 million advantage for the Russian heading to the endgame. Forty hands into heads up play, however, Fish had been able to bring the stacks to almost even (Shevelev’s 13.9 million to Fish’s 13.4 million). That’s where the tournament would remain, with each player jumping out to a substantive lead before being reeled back in, for much of the four-plus hour battle.

Once the blinds reached the astronomical level of 300K/600K with a 100K ante, however, the deep stacks were gone and the all-in moves began. Beginning with Hand 199, eight of the next 10 hands would see a player all-in, with Hand 209 being the penultimate hand for the players. With Fish holding the lead, Shevelev challenged him with an all in and Fish made the call.

Shevelev had roughly a 60/40 edge with his A-10 over Fish’s K-J and continued to hold that edge when the flop came Q-9-8. A King on the turn, however, gave the lead over to Fish and left Shevelev looking for an Ace or a Jack (straight) to take the hand back. There was a straight on the river with the 10, but that straight was an unnecessary one for Fish to the King as he captured the hand and the championship.

1. Darryll Fish, $ 511,604
2. Aleksandr Shevelev, $ 331,116
3. Andy Frankenberger, $ 244,342
4. Ness Reilly, $ 182,249
5. Brett Bader, $ 137,440
6. Alan Krockey, $ 104,784

With this title, Fish goes over $ 3.75 million in career tournament earnings, a career that had previously been bereft of a major tournament championship. Although Fish has won on the WSOP Circuit and at the Aussie Millions, this is the first title for Fish on a major tournament schedule. It also adds on to an amazing 150 cashes for a career (and add in another 325 online finishes) that is showing no signs of slowing down.

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