Posts Tagged ‘World’
For the first time in both organizations’ existences, the World Poker Tour and PokerStars are teaming up for a unique event. Called the “PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing,” it will combine two events, one from each organization, into a competition like the traditional WPT “California Swing” each spring in the States of America. For competing in the “MonteDam Swing,” eligible players (more on this in a minute) will have the opportunity to win tournament buy-ins for their efforts.
“Both PokerStars and the World Poker Tour are committed to growing the game of poker, and the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing was developed to benefit players competing at both PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo and WPT Amsterdam,” said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars Director of Live Events. “This exciting partnership allows players a natural transition from one world-class festival to another, and we encourage our players to head to WPT Amsterdam following their time in Monte Carlo.”
Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, echoed Stuchly’s thoughts in saying, “For many years, PokerStars and the World Poker Tour have collaborated behind the scenes to ensure the scheduling of our major events is done in the best interest of the players. We are proud to take the collaboration a step further with the creation of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing, and we welcome all players to kick off a spectacular three weeks of poker by attending PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo starting April 25.”
As Pliska stated, the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will kick off with the stop by the PokerStars Championship in Monte Carlo. There are two events there that players can choose from to be eligible for the MonteDam Swing, the â‚¬1100 PokerStars National Championship Monte Carlo (April 26-30) and the â‚¬5300 PokerStars Championship Main Event (April 29-May5). Two more legs of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will be held at the WPT Amsterdam, the â‚¬1500 WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam (May 5-8) and the â‚¬3300 WPT Amsterdam Main Event (May 9-13). To be eligible for the overall competition, a player must have one “in the money” finish at each location.
There is a very good list of prizes available for the players taking part in the event. After the points have been tabulated, the top five finishers will win these prizes:
1st:Â PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event package (valued at â‚¬7500)
2nd: WPT Main Event package (â‚¬6000)*
3rd: WPTDeepStacks package (â‚¬3000)*
4th: PokerStars National Championship Barcelona buy-in (â‚¬1100)
5th: WPTDeepStacks buy in (â‚¬1500)*
(* – WPT prizes can only be used in European events)
There will also be prizes for those who simply participate in the Swing. If a player even participates in one PokerStars Championship tournament and one WPT event during the Swing, they will receive a freeroll ticket for an online tournament at PokerStars with a $ 30,000 prize pool. If a player participates in both Main Events on the Swing schedule, they will receive a $ 300 voucher for buy-ins at the 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).
It sounds good overall, but there are a couple of issues that present themselves for the â€œMonteDam Swing.â€ Cramming the four events into a 17-day period – and then expecting players to cash in two of them, one at each location – is a bit draining even for the best of players. When it started, however, people gave little credence to the “WPT California Swing” (and its three tournaments in three weeks’ schedule); now it is a staple of the WPT when it hits the West Coast and, along with collaborating with PokerStars, the WPT is looking for lightning to strike twice, but this time in Europe.
If nothing else, it draws eyes – and potentially players – to tournaments that may have gotten lost in the mix as players prepare for the World Series of Poker at the end of May. Beginning in 10 days, the PokerStars WPT MonteDam Swing is a shot at publicizing the events while announcing a first-ever partnership between two of poker’s most powerful entities.
Looking to finish off the Season XV schedule with a bang, the World Poker Tour will be setting up shop in the sunny state of Florida for the next 10 days. Kicking off the trio of events to finish this year’s WPT roster of events will be tomorrow’s start of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
Now in its second year, the change for the WPT to playing its final events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, seems to have worked out well. When it was held last year, the WPT scheduled three events – a $ 3500 buy in tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown), a $ 10,000 tournament (the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale) and a $ 15,000 restricted access event (the inaugural WPT Tournament of Champions) – that were all conducted on the grounds in Hollywood. For the most part, the WPT was satisfied with the numbers for two of the events and are looking to pick up the numbers on the third.
The Showdown was quite popular with the players, with 1222 entries being received for the “re-entry” tournament (eventually won by Justin Young over Garrett Greer). Even the Finale went well, with 342 players ponying up the $ 10K to be a part of the action (and seeing David ‘Chino’ Rheem emerge as champion). Perhaps the only disappointing spot on the season closer was the inaugural Tournament of Champions, but that could have been more from the format than the lack of players who wanted to take part.
The Tournament of Champions replaced the WPT World Championship during last year’s finale in Florida. Only players who had previously won a WPT Main Tour event (not a National or Regional title) were eligible to take part in the tournament. The players who had won on the tour over the previous year had part of their prize from winning their event pulled to guarantee them access to the tournament, but past champions had to put up $ 15,000 to play in the tournament. This resulted in a rather paltry 64 players that took part in the TOC, with 2015 WPT Amsterdam champion Farid Yachou becoming the first ever champion of the WPT TOC.
There is a reason that the word “paltry” is used along with the inaugural WPT TOC. The 64 players that attended the tournament in 2016 were from the 227 previous champions that have been crowned in the history of the WPT Main Tour. The 17 players (plus two more from the Seminole Hard Rock events preceding the TOC) who have won on the WPT this season are guaranteed entry and bring the total potential number of participants to 242 (Darren Elias was a prior WPT Champions’ Club member and Sam Panzica won two tournaments during the season), but who will show up from the Champions’ Club to take them on? The WPT is trying to bring in some more former champions for the tournament by spicing up the prize package.
The tournament sponsor, Monster Headphones, has not only added $ 100,000 to the prize pool but also has put up a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe for the eventual champion, a high-end sports car that starts at $ 41,000. This is in addition to other “spoils of war” such as a custom-made poker table from BBO Poker Tables, custom fit sunglasses from Maui Jim, and a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, among other items.
The tournament will once again feature a different structure than the usual WPT events. Starting with six-handed tables, a 30-second shot clock will also be employed, which basically means what it says – players have 30 seconds to make their decisions on each street. If a player needs more time, they are given five 30-second extensions that they can use as they see fit (one at a time or all five at once) up to the final table. At the final table, the players will be reset with four 30-second extensions each.
The Showdown and the Finale are also the last chances players have to earn points towards the WPT Player of the Year. With those two events remaining, it is a neck and neck battle between Benjamin Zamani (2500 points), who has led for virtually the entire season, and two-time WPT champion Panzica (2450 points). If those two should falter, lurking in the background is WPT Montreal champion, WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton (2100), who could be itching to be a spoiler in the competition between Zamani and Panzica. Elias (1650 points) and WPT L. A. Poker Classic champion Daniel Strelitz (1450) round out the Top Five, but they would need astronomically good runs in Florida to get into the race (like winning both the Showdown and the Finale).
The next 10 days will be a poker junkie’s dream and, after all the chips have been tossed and cards ruffed, the doors on Season XV of the World Poker Tour. The only question remaining is who will be the big winners? We’ll look to answer those questions starting tomorrow with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
Recognized by virtually everyone in the industry as a pioneer in the world of poker, poker industry legend Linda Johnson has received nearly every accolade that can be handed out. That shelf of trophies and tributes will increase by one next week when the World Poker Tour honors Johnson with their first-ever WPT Honors Award.
“We are proud to present Linda Johnson with the inaugural WPT Honors Award,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Poker Tour. “The award represents WPT’s highest honor and will serve as a lasting tradition that allows us to recognize the most important people in our industry and in the WPT’s history. Linda played a unique role in helping shape the World Poker Tour, and she embodies all that the WPT stands for. In addition to her time spent with the WPT, Linda’s extraordinary contributions have helped better poker globally and her efforts have left lasting impressions that will forever impact our game.”
In her usually understated manner, Johnson quietly expressed her sentiments over receiving the honor on her Facebook page. “I am extremely honored to receive this award,” Johnson simply stated before adding, “Have I said lately that I LOVE poker? Thank you, WPT!”
The inaugural award, which will be given to those who represent outstanding contributions to the WPT and the poker community at large, is a natural to end up in the hands of Johnson. Along with being the first tournament director of the WPT and an announcer at their events, Johnson was integral to the actual birth of the poker circuit. Many of the tournaments that are now staples on the WPT Main Tour schedule are there because of the tireless efforts of Johnson, who organized the meetings that brought together the WPT founder Steve Lipscomb and casino mogul Lyle Berman with the casinos who hosted the biggest events in the game.
But Johnson’s efforts in the game go beyond what has been seen on the WPT circuit. The holder of a World Series of Poker bracelet (1997, Seven Card Razz), Johnson published CardPlayer Magazine for eight years before selling the business to Barry Shulman in 2001. After selling what is recognized as THE major magazine publication in the poker industry, Johnson moved on to make her impact in another area, player conduct in poker rooms.
Fighting against dealer and player abuse, Johnson was the founder of the Tournament Directors Association alongside other industry legends Jan Fisher, Matt Savage, and David Lamb in 2001. Since then, that organization has gone on to become the overseer of tournament rules that are used in hundreds of casinos around the world. As the Poker TDA was beginning to take off in the mid-2000s (along with her work in the WPT), Johnson would add another feather to her cap in becoming the chair of the Poker Players Alliance and, most recently, continuing her work with that organization as a member of its Board of Directors.
The WPT Honors trophy will go along nicely with the other awards on Johnson’s mantelpiece. A member of the inaugural class of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2008, Johnson joined her fellow WiPHoF classmate Barbara Enright in the Poker Hall of Fame in 2011, becoming at that time only the second woman ever inducted into that prestigious Hall. The duo is also both members of the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame.
Hopefully the WPT Honors will have a better history than another endeavor that was meant to honor the greats in poker.
In 2004 (soon after its birth), the WPT created the WPT Walk of Fame at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. Utilizing the same idea as Grauman’s Chinese Theater – in which honorees would be immortalized through their handprints, foot prints and possibly other recognizable features – inductees into the Walk of Fame sunk their extremities into cement for posterity. The inaugural class that year included the legendary Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen (who was a terror in the inaugural season of the WPT), and actor James Garner (who portrayed cardsharp Bret Maverick in the television series Maverick). Unfortunately, the WPT Walk of Fame seems to have never caught on. There hasn’t been another person inducted into the WPT Walk of Fame since that inaugural class more than a decade ago.
Johnson will be given the inaugural WPT Honors award on February 27 at a dinner attended by her family and close friends. Congratulations to Linda Johnson for just the latest in the litany of honors that she so aptly deserves!
Just in time for everyone to make their plans, officials of Caesars Entertainment have announced the official schedule for the 48th Annual World Series of Poker.
Once again to be held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, this year’s schedule will run from May 30 to July 17 and offer whatever is the fondest dream of a poker player. Cash games will run 24/7 inside the Rio’s massive Convention Center (where the Amazon, Brasilia and Pavilion rooms are located) and the steady stream of tournaments will keep the most dedicated tournament junkie happy. Those factors were in the thoughts of Caesars and WSOP officials when putting together the 2017 roster of events.
“The focus of the schedule remains squarely on two core principles: the biggest prize pools possible and diversity in offerings to provide something for everyone,” said Jack Effel, the WSOP’s Tournament Director who is working his 13th WSOP and marking his 20th year in poker, during the announcement of the festival schedule. “The 48th running of the globe’s biggest poker series promises to deliver on these core principles and ensure another action-packed summer at the Rio.”
There are several new events on the 2017 schedule but, in some ways, they aren’t necessarily new. For example, there will be a $ 10,000 “Tag Team” tournament on the schedule. This tournament features teams of 2-4 players who can, at any point in the tournament, swap out for a teammate in the event. There was a $ 1000 event last year (won by Doug Polk and Ryan Fee) – and the event, known as a “mixed doubles” tournament, was held from 1979 to 1982 and featured such champions as Doyle Brunson and Starla Brodie (the inaugural winners) and David Sklansky and Dani Kelly (the 1982 champions) – but the $ 10,000 entry fee will ramp up the drama for poker fans.
Looking to get as many players to the felt as possible, a $ 350 No Limit Hold’em event called “The Giant.” This tournament will have five unlimited rebuy flights – June 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7 – and the survivors of each flight will receive a minimum cash payday. Then those five flights will combine into one Day 2 field on July 8 and play it off for the bracelet.
Add in a $ 333 WSOP.com tournament with a $ 333,333 guaranteed prize pool (an official event), a “mixed big bet” tournament (featuring such disciplines as Pot Limit Omaha, Five Card Draw and Pot Limit Triple Draw), a $ 111,111 “High Roller for One Drop” and the usual suspects – The Colossus III, the Millionaire Maker and other special WSOP only events – and poker players will not want for action this summer in Las Vegas.
What is the attraction for literally thousands, however, is the $ 10,000 WSOP Championship Event. This year, the tournament is scheduled to begin on July 8 (Saturday) with the first of three-Day Ones. For those able to tiptoe through the minefield that will be whatever Day Two they play (either July 11 or July 12), they will be a part of the combined field that will come back on July 13 for Day Three action. Something that is intriguing about the 2017 schedule is that there is no mention of the “November Nine” (that is, there are no dates set out for the players to return in the information provided by Caesars and WSOP officials); IF that is still a part of the plan, that will be determined on July 17 and, if not, then we will have poker’s next World Championship on that date.
“This 2017 schedule reflects our continuing goal to broaden poker’s appeal and encourage first timers and recreational players to come experience the WSOP for themselves,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “With the new $ 365 buy-in “The Giant” anchoring Friday nights, alongside a tent pole event awarding millions every weekend, we believe we have the offering to be well worth the trip. Plus, for the serious and high-stakes player, we remain committed to having the most diverse schedule of events of any tournament in the world. Whatever your game or bankroll, let the bracelet chase begin.”
For more information about the 2017 World Series of Poker schedule or to plan your stay at the Rio (should you make that call), visit the official WSOP homepage for more information.
After coming into the final table action, James Romero didn’t let much slow him down as he rode his chip lead to his first major championship, the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Romero had a dominant lead to start the action on Saturday afternoon. With 9.855 million in chips, his closest competitor, Ryan Tosoc (4.46 million), was behind by more than a 2:1 deficit. Nearly three times behind Romero was Justin Bonomo (3.385 million) while Igor Yaroshevskyy (2.565 million), Alex Condon (2.26 million) and Jake Schindler (1.205 million) all had a tough road to hoe if they were going to climb into contention. Thus, everyone in the WPT arena at the Bellagio thought that it was Romero’s tournament to lose, usually the kiss of death to most players.
Perhaps because of the stakes they were playing for (sixth place earned $ 258,545; the champion took down $ 1,938,118) or perhaps because of their deep stacks (even the short-stacked Schindler had 24 big blinds to work with), the early action was a bit tepid. On Hand 17, Tosoc would take down a 2.7 million chip hand against Bonomo, his Big Slick flopping two pair, to firm up his hold on second place at the table, but other than that the six men were content to shuffle chips around the felt. On Hand 25, Romero and Bonomo clashed and, after a flop bet on a K-6-3 rainbow, Bonomo mucked his cards to send Romero over the 12 million mark in chips.
It wasn’t until Hand 59 that the first player was eliminated. After Yaroshevskyy moved all in for almost 1.5 million chips, everyone looked to the table captain, Romero, to look him up. Romero did, but it also helped that he had the goods to go to battle; his pocket Queens were in very good shape against Yaroshevskyy’s A-10 off suit and, when the board ran out nine-high, Romero was the “executioner” of the first elimination in the sixth place Yaroshevskyy.
Only two hands later, another soldier fell. Schindler pushed out an opening bet from the cutoff and Bonomo not only wanted to see the flop with him but wanted to play for all his chips out of the small blind. Schindler decided to play along and was in dominant shape with his pocket sevens over Bonomo’s pocket fives. A seven on the flop all but sealed the hand and, after the turn card didn’t have a five on it, Bonomo was drawing dead and out of the tournament in fifth place.
The floodgates continued to spew out players as, only two more hands after Bonomo’s departure, another player would hit the exits. Condon never seemed to get anything going throughout the day and, when he tried to make a move, it would prove to not be the opportune moment. Moving all in from the button, Condon saw the chip leader Romero make the call and turn up pocket fives. Condon was on a move with his Q♣ 9♣, but he was alive and actually improved on the K-J-8 flop. An Ace continued to tease Condon – but Romero was still in the lead – and, after the board completed with an innocuous seven, Condon’s straight dream was dead. He shipped his chips to Romero and exited to the darkness surrounding the WPT final table in fourth place.
Now down to three players, Romero still had a sizeable lead with his 11.435 million in chips, but both Tosoc (7.14 million) and even Schindler (5.155 million) could take a massive chomp out of his chip stack if he made the slightest mistake. Romero didn’t make that mistake, however, instead lengthening his lead over the next 20 hands to the point that his chip stack was larger than the chip stacks of Tosoc and Schindler added together. It would take another 37 hands before Romero vanquished Schindler in third place but, when his K-J nailed a King on the flop against Schindler’s pocket sixes to knock him out in third, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Romero (20.95 million chips) was going to win the heads up against Tosoc (2.775 million) to win the title.
Tosoc didn’t go quietly, fighting back over 16 hands, but it was too much in the end. After Tosoc moved all in from the button, Romero immediately made the call and slapped pocket Kings on the table. Tosoc could only shake his head as he tabled his pocket fives and, once the A-J-9-4-6 board rolled off, the championship was Romero’s.
1. James Romero, $ 1,938,118
2. Ryan Tosoc, $ 1,124,051
3. Jake Schindler, $ 738,579
4. Alex Condon, $ 494,889
5. Justin Bonomo, $ 345,272
6. Igor Yaroshevskyy, $ 268,545