Posts Tagged ‘2017’

2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 3 – Paul Michaelis Remains in the Lead, 49 Players Remaining

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event Day 3 – Paul Michaelis Remains in the Lead, 49 Players Remaining

Instead of letting the pack catch up to him on Day 3 of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event, Paul Michaelis instead extended his lead. When the 49 players come back for Day 4 on Saturday, Michaelis’ name will be atop the leaderboard with 1.27 million in chips.

140 players came back on Friday with dreams of the latest PokerStars Championship trophy still in their heads, but the start of the day would be cruel. With only 127 players earning a cash from the tournament, there would be 13 unfortunate souls that wouldn’t earn anything from their trip to the Czech Republic except a memory. With this thought in mind, the field headed off on a planned five, 90-minute level day of action.

PokerStars Team Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo had arguably one of the more interesting days on the felt and it started virtually from the first hand of the day. After Martin Staszko opened the action and de Melo three-bet him, Michael Koran decided to make his stand. After Staszko ducked out of the way, de Melo called Koran’s all in and it initially appeared that there would be little drama. Both players had Big Slick, but de Melo’s was A♣ K♣, which became important when the flop came J♣ 7♣ 5♣. Koran went from chopping to out of the tournament as de Melo improved to 525K.

It only took about 30 minutes to reach hand-for-hand play, but it would take three times that to actually pop the money bubble. With two shorties behind him, Thomas Mercier put in enough chips to cover both from the button and only Mihai Manole decided to look him up. Mercier had the goods, however, as his A-J off suit was in the lead against Manole’s A-4. The K-Q-K flop opened up some chop opportunities and the five on the turn added to them, but the ten on the river only improved Mercier to an unnecessary Broadway straight. Fortunately for Manole, he was eliminated while Andrzej Siemieniak was getting knocked off by Konstantin Farber, meaning that Siemieniak and Manole shared the min-cash of €8700 (hey, €4350 is better than zero).

After the money bubble popped, the cash out cage became one of the most popular spots at the Casino Atrium Prague. It seemed that de Melo was responsible for most of those players heading to cash out as, on two different occasions, de Melo came out on the right side of an all-in situation and knocked out three players between the two situations. Through those two double knockouts, de Melo has remained in contention in the tournament.

The first time around, de Melo was on an A-K and got Arnaud Enselme and Aleksandr Mordvinov to commit with pocket Queens and pocket nines, respectively. While she was covering Enselme, she was running behind in chips to Mordvinov, which made the Ace on the 6-4-A flop fortuitous for the PokerStars Team Pro. Looking to dodge a nine or a Queen, the turn five and the river deuce didn’t change anything as de Melo tripled up, Mordvinov was cut down to 372K and Enselme was out the door.

The second time de Melo double dipped, it took down two pros. After James Akenhead pushed all in and Martin Staszko responded with his own all in “over the top” of Akenhead, de Melo could have quietly walked away. Instead, she called both bets and tabled pocket Queens for battle against Akenhead’s Big Chick (A-Q) and Staszko’s A-10. Nothing hit until the ten on the river, way too little, too late as de Melo took the double knockout to move close to a million in chips.

While de Melo was charging up the leaderboard and finished the day in excellent shape with 723,000 in chips (good for 11th place), it was Michaelis who quietly expanded his lead. He would reach over 1.5 million in chips at one point and, although he had a couple of missteps late in the night, he still was only one of two players to have more than a million chips when the close of action for Friday came:

1. Paul Michaelis, 1.27 million
2. Michal Mrakes, 1.032 million
3. Jason Wheeler, 931,000
4. Navot Golan, 888,000
5. Anatolii Zyrin, 825,000
6. Serhil Popvych, 812,000
7. Gavin O’Rourke, 803,000
8. Assaf Ben Yosef, 793,000
9. Alex Foxen, 761,000
10. Daniel Barriocanal, 740,000

Action is set to resume at noon Saturday in Prague (6AM Eastern Time) and is set to have five more 90-minute levels of play. That could change if there is a mass rush for the door from the 49 players that are left. With €775,000 going to the eventual champion in the PokerStars Championship Prague, the remaining players won’t be in any hurry to depart the proceedings.

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2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague Day 2 – Paul Michaelis Holds Lead, Money Bubble Up Next

The final “big” tournament on the 2017 calendar, the PokerStars Championship Prague, has completed its second day at the Casino Atrium Prague. While the leaderboard may be a bit bereft of top pros, there is a fairly heated battle for first place as Paul Michaelis’ 630,500 chip stack hold the edge over Omid Mojaverian (597,500) and Erik Walfridsson (536,500).

409 players returned on Thursday to work the field down more from the 848 runners who originally started the event. Local favorite Michal Mrakes held the edge with 202,700 chips to start the day. He was followed up by Day 1B chip leader Tsugunari Toma (181,600) and Xixiang Luo (174,900), but down the leaderboard were some more notable players. Defending World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion Marti Roca De Torres (170,900), former “November Niner” and Czech poker legend Martin Staszko (133,100) and several PokerStars Team Pros headed by Marcin Horecki (110,400).

With the schedule set for six levels of 75-minutes each, there was plenty of chances for play amongst the horde of players remaining. There was also the chance at getting to the money bubble as, after the final entries were accepted and tallied up, 127 players would walk off with a cash from their trip to the Czech Republic. €8700 would be earned for a min-cash by those at the bottom of the table, with the top seven finishers all guaranteed a six-figure payday. All wanted the top prize, however, which came in at €775,000 when the final numbers were calculated.

As usual at the start of a new day, there were a flurry of early knockouts from players on the short stack looking to double up quick. Stefan Schillhabel, Stephen Chidwick, Gaelle Baumann, Tom Middleton, Christoph Vogelsang, Manig Loeser and Sylvain Loosli were all out of the event within the first two levels. But a couple of players bore watching as they made their moves during the day.

Noted psychologist/writer Dr. Maria Konnikova, who has been pursuing poker over the past year as part of a book she is researching, was all in and got a double up through Guillaume Pau Davy when her A-10 caught against his pocket Jacks on a 7-6-3-A-Q board. She then turned around and nearly doubled again against Hari Bercovici when, on an all-hearts board, she was able to induce Bercovici to come along with her to the river where her J played. By the end of the night’s action, the good Dr. Konnikova had held onto enough chips to move onto Day 3 as a very short stack.

Michaelis slowly was making a decent chip stack until one of the final hands of the night catapulted him into the lead. After raising pre-flop, Michaelis saw Romain Lewis three-bet him to 20K. After a couple of moments, Michaelis made the call and the twosome saw a 9-6-5 rainbow flop that both checked. After a four came on the turn, Michaelis popped another bet into the center, this time for 33K, and Lewis made the call. The river paired with another four, which seemed innocent but set off the fireworks.

Michaelis moved all in, forcing Lewis to a decision for his tournament life. With 115,000 chips in front of him (still a strong stack to head to Day 3 with), Lewis thought for a good amount of time before the clock was called on him. As the clock clicked down, Lewis eventually made the call and was unfortunately on the wrong side of the decision. Michaelis’ pocket fives have flopped a set and rivered a boat as Lewis could only muster a 7 6 for two pair.

That hand thrust Michaelis into the lead with 635,000 in chips and, by the end of the night, it was good enough to hold the overall lead:

1. Paul Michaelis, 630,500
2. Omid Mojaverian, 597,500
3. Erik Walfridsson, 536,500
4. Boris Kolev, 510,500
5. Daniel Barriocanal, 504,000
6. Dimitrios Kalaroutis, 417,000
7. Paraschos Stavridis, 414,000
8. Fatima Moreira de Melo, 406,000
9. Kalidou Sow, 405,000
10. Robert Heidorn, 394,500

140 players will return on Friday afternoon to the Casino Atrium Prague, where the first order of business will be to pop the money bubble. 13 players will walk into the Prague afternoon tomorrow with absolutely nothing to show for their efforts, which should make for a very tense early couple of hours in the tournament. Once those 127 lucky souls are determined, the €4.1 million-plus prize pool will begin to get carved up as the latest winners on the PokerStars Championship circuit are determined.

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Ryan Tosoc Wins 2017 WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic

 Ryan Tosoc Wins 2017 WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic

Let’s just say that Ryan Tosoc will be staying at the Bellagio whenever he is in Las Vegas. This weekend, Tosoc won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event and nearly $ 2 million, just a year after finishing this same tournament as the runner-up and earning over $ 1.1 million. Methinks he can splurge for the Bellagio’s Presidential Suite* during his next stay.

Last year’s event was the largest-ever for the Five Diamond, as it garnered 791 entries. This one was bigger, with the re-entry format helping the field climb to 812 $ 10,000 entries. If you did the math above (with my rounded-off numbers), Tosoc has now won more than $ 3 million at the Five Diamond, accounting for the vast majority of his live tournament earnings. He has a nice list of cashes, but only one other is even in the low six-figure range (and it is at this point that I give my usual disclaimer that I would KILL for a low six-figure poker score).

“It feels unreal,” Tosoc told WPT.com afterward. “I kind of feel like I’m in a dream right now.”

Poker can be an emotional game, especially since you can make perfect decisions and still come out on the losing end, but Tosoc tried not to get too high or too low during the Main Event.

“During the tournament, I like to just keep even-keeled,” he said. “The only time like I felt like I was going to win was when I was all in with Queen-Ten. I just felt that jack coming.”

It is not every day that players feel ultra-confident when all-in with just Queen-Ten, but I guess that’s the mojo you get when you are on your way to winning one of the World Poker Tour’s most prestigious events.

That Queen-Ten was on the final hand of the tournament and frankly, Tosoc had every right to feel that victory was coming, as he had an enormous chip lead at that point over Alex Foxen, 21.450 million chips to just 2.925 million.

Tosoc raised pre-flop with the aforementioned hole cards, as one would expect, and then Foxen shoved all-in with a dominated A-T. With little to lose by calling (and not REALLY all-in), Tosoc looked him up.

The flop was 9-3-K, a good one for Foxen, though Tosoc did gain a gutshot straight draw. As he already told WPT.com, he felt the Jack coming and it certainly did so on the turn. Foxen, though, now had a chance at a better straight. Another Jack was dealt on the river, shutting the door on Foxen’s chances and given Ryan Tosoc a one-spot better finish than last year and his first WPT title.

2017 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Ryan Tosoc – $ 1,958,065
2. Alex Foxen – $ 1,134,202
3. Mike Del Vecchio – $ 752,196
4. Sean Perry – $ 504,090
5. Away Chabra – $ 350,500
6. Richard Kirsch – $ 271,736

*I do not know if the Bellagio has something called the Presidential Suite.

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2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4 – Sean Perry Leads Final Table with Ryan Tosoc, Mike Del Vecchio in Pursuit

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4 – Sean Perry Leads Final Table with Ryan Tosoc, Mike Del Vecchio in Pursuit

The penultimate day of the 2017 World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic is set for play on Sunday afternoon at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. After almost a week of play Sean Perry, the son of poker professional Ralph Perry, sits in the first slot on the leaderboard, but Ryan Tosoc (making his second consecutive WPT Five Diamond final table) and Mike Del Vecchio (who has been around the top of the leaderboard all tournament) in pursuit.

The final 18 players came back to the felt on Saturday to work to the final six. At the start of action on Saturday, Ajay Chabra was looking down at those in pursuit. It was quite a list of players in pursuit of him, with high stakes cash game player Lauren Roberts, ‘Big One for One Drop’ champion Dan Colman, Perry, Tosoc and Del Vecchio all arranged on the board behind Chabra. With plans to play until the final six were determined and the players decently stacked for battle, the players, floormen and rail all settled in for battle.

With the WPT “Action Clock” running on the tables (each player would have 30 seconds to make their decision unless they use one of their “time bank” chips to add another 30 seconds), the players wasted little time getting the chips moving. Chabra opened an early hand from under the gun, only to see Jerry Humphrey hammer all in over his bet. Chabra made the call and was behind, his Big Slick looking up at Humphrey’s pocket Aces, but the Q-9-J flop provided a bit of excitement. The Queen on the river and the nine on the turn, however, were less than exciting for Chabra as he sent a sizeable stack of chips to Humphrey.

The news wasn’t as good for another participant looking to make a move. Roman Korenev pushed out a bet and Foxen moved all in immediately following his bet. Korenev made the call once the action returned to him and it was the classic race, Korenev’s Big Chick (A-Q) against Foxen’s pocket fives. A 9-9-5 flop left Korenev basically drawing dead and, after a trey on the turn, it became officially drawing dead. After the meaningless river card was dealt, the chips were counted and Foxen was found to be the one with his tournament life on the line. It was a slim margin, however, as Korenev was left with only 2000 in chips after the count; he would depart on the very next hand.

After Satish Surapaneni was dispatched in 17th place, the players were redrawn to two tables. Chabra, who had been quiet to this point, suddenly came to life with a bet and a Tosoc call. Humphrey, looking to get in the game, pushed all in for around 500K in chips and sat back. In the big blind, Michael Ruane simply made the call but Chabra wasn’t content with that. He would move all in himself and force Tosoc and Ruane to a decision for their tournament lives. Tosoc got out of the way, but Ruane stuck around and made the call.

When the hands were turned up, it basically had played itself:

Humphrey:  pocket tens
Ruane:  pocket Kings
Chabra:  pocket Aces

A monochrome 4♣ A♣ 8♣ flop hit, giving Chabra a set but giving Ruane a draw as his King was of the club variety. A J on the turn left Humphrey drawing dead, leaving the remaining drama to Chabra and Ruane. Ruane had a momentary flash of happiness when he saw the river J♣ that gave him a flush, but it quickly disappeared when he realized it also gave Chabra a full house. In that one monster hand, Humphrey was out in sixteenth place, Ruane in fifteenth and Chabra sat on a 6.65 million chip stack.

The double knockout seemed to open the floodgates for the players to start hitting the rail. Colman was knocked out in fourteenth place by Foxen, while Perry would take down Day 3 chip leader Blake Bohn in thirteenth. By the time that Mel Wiener was eliminated by Tosoc on the unofficial final table bubble (tenth place), Tosoc and Perry were atop the leaderboard and driving to the final table.

There was the little factor of determining which three players wouldn’t be a part of the official six-handed WPT final table. First out was Ray Pulford, who felt confident pre-flop in taking his pocket Queens against Perry’s baby Ace (A♣ 3♣). His Queens were vanquished on the A-J-10 flop and he wouldn’t find a King (for a Broadway straight) or a Queen on the turn or river to depart in ninth place. Roberts fought valiantly in her effort to best her seventh-place finish in this tournament last year, but she was crippled by Del Vecchio’s quad deuces before leaving in eighth place courtesy of Chabra. With only one more knockout to ending the evening’s action, Del Vecchio delivered in taking down Daniel Zack, A-K versus A-Q, to send Zack out in seventh place and set the final six combatants.

1. Sean Perry, 7.65 million (Seat 2)
2. Ryan Tosoc, 5.105 million (Seat 3)
3. Mike Del Vecchio, 4.97 million (Seat 1)
4. Ajay Chabra, 3.065 million (Seat 4)
5. Richard Kirsch, 2.62 million (Seat 5)
6. Alex Foxen, 955,000 (Seat 6)

Perry has the potential to be one of the youngest champions ever on the WPT. Turning 21 the very day the WPT Five Diamond began, he has a chance at a historic achievement that will be difficult to duplicate. With Tosoc and Del Vecchio in shooting distance and on his right (Del Vecchio) and left (Tosoc), he’s going to have to tread lightly (or get hit with the deck). It would be a mistake to count out Chabra or Kirsch, although they need a double to really get back in the action. About the only player who is a “long shot” is Foxen, who needs a lot of help to get his chip stack back to health.

The final table of the 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will kick off at 4:30PM (Pacific time) this afternoon and can be viewed over the streaming network PokerGO. At stake for the players is the $ 1.958 million that will go to the eventual champion and the seat to the 2018 WPT Tournament of Champions next spring.

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2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3 – Blake Bohn Takes Over Lead Short of the Money Bubble

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3 – Blake Bohn Takes Over Lead Short of the Money Bubble

Day 3 of the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas is in the books and, for the first time in the tournament, Brandon Meyers isn’t atop the leaderboard. While he does lurk down the ladder a bit, Blake Bohn has taken over the lead with the money bubble looming for Day 4’s action.

With 316 players remaining from the 812 entries that came in, it was a given that the money wasn’t going to be reached on Thursday. That didn’t mean there wasn’t some work to do as players looked to garner chips to get in the best position to drive deep in the event. Meyers was best situated for making that deep drive, starting Day 3 with a stack of 388,100 chips, while Daniel Strelitz (310,900) joined him as the only players above the 300K mark.

Day 3 was the longest day of the tournament so far, with seven 90-minute levels on tap for the assembled players, and they didn’t tiptoe into the waters on Thursday. A short-stacked Mike Wattel was taken down by 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner (but zero-time WPT champion) Phil Hellmuth moments into the start of the day, while a short-stacked former Super Bowl champion in Richard Seymour went in the other direction. Seymour would use pocket tens to outrun Joshua Ladines’ A Q on a nine-high board to get back in the race.

Wattel wasn’t the only notable pro who departed the Bellagio soon after the day’s play began. Jeremy Ausmus, Matt Berkey, Kathy Liebert, former WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja and WPT champion Pat Lyons all found a spot on the rail to watch the proceedings as Mike Del Vecchio took center stage. He was able to four-bet both Shawn Buchanan and Cate Hall out of a hand to pull close to 100K, then blew by that mark by getting just Hall to lay down her hand. Del Vecchio’s continued aggression would keep his stack fluctuating but moving upwards throughout the Day 3 action.

Del Vecchio’s high water mark came in eliminating one of the biggest names in the game in the evening hours. After a raising battle between him and Daniel Negreanu, Del Vecchio was able to get Negreanu to commit his final chips pre-flop with pocket Queens. The problem for Negreanu is that Del Vecchio had pocket Kings for the cooler; once no other Ladies showed on the board, Negreanu was out of the Five Diamond, one of his favorite tournaments of the year, while Del Vecchio stacked up 345K in chips.

After being hit with the deck for the first two days of the tournament (by his own admission), Meyers had a day where he simply attempted to survive. It wasn’t until the early evening hours that Meyers was able to eke over his starting day stack to 395K, but it seemed to get his engines going. Meyers would push Andy Frankenberger to the brink before Frankenberger folded a hand and Meyers scooped up the chips to move to 483K.

As the dinner break arrived, 113 players were still alive in the tournament with two 90-minute levels left to play. Strelitz had moved to the lead at this point with 828K in chips, but he would go no higher on Day 3 and instead gave back a few chips. Bohn was the man who made the moves late in the evening in a hand against one of the top “High Roller” players in the game.

After an opening bet from Bohn, Kempe would move in for his remaining stack. Everyone else would get out of the way, but Bohn was steadfast and made the call. It turned out to be the correct decision; Bohn’s Big Slick was better than Kempe’s Big Chick (A-Q) and, after a King was in the window on the flop, the German was left drawing extremely thin. A blank on the turn meant that Kempe was now drawing dead just short of the money bubble.

Bohn would add onto his 815K stack as the players crept closer to the money. Just short of the time when the WPT “Action Clock” (the 30-second “shot clock” used by the WPT one table from the money bubble) would be activated, the last 90 players reached the end of Level 17 and bagged and tagged their booty. Bohn was the man who bagged the most, 871,000, to seize the lead heading to Day 4.

1. Blake Bohn, 871,000
2. Daniel Strelitz, 791,000
3. Sean Perry, 758,000
4. Matthew Moss, 748,500
5. Artem Markov, 674,500
6. Brandon Meyers, 638,000
7. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 592,500
8. Chance Kornuth, 586,000
9. Matt Giannetti, 549,000
10. Satish Surapaneni, 541,000

Day 4 action at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicks off at noon today with some important business to take care of. Nine players must be eliminated to get to the 81 players who’ll earn a min-cash of slightly more than $ 19K from the tournament. The WPT “Action Clock” will be employed from now until a champion is crowned, with that champion walking off with a $ 1,958,065 Christmas present.

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