Posts Tagged ‘bubble’

2017 World Series of Poker: Championship Event Money Bubble Pops, Patrick Lavecchia Tops Field

 2017 World Series of Poker: Championship Event Money Bubble Pops, Patrick Lavecchia Tops Field

Late Thursday evening, the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event reached its second milestone. After becoming the third-largest WSOP Championship Event of all time (the first milestone), the first players to take a bit of the more than $ 67 million prize pool (and get a new mark on their Hendon Mob poker resumes) have been determined with the popping of the money bubble.

That didn’t look like it would happen when Day 3 started Thursday morning. 2600 players were still in contention when the cards hit the air, leaving some wondering if they would be able to make it to the money during Thursday’s play. Leading the pack when they went off the line was Artan Dedusha, but that Day 2 overall lead and a $ 1.50 would get him a cup of coffee and not much more until the money was reached.

More than half of the field that came back on Thursday left the Rio tournament poker arena with nothing more than shattered dreams. Of those that didn’t even come close to the money bubble, former World Champion Greg Raymer was one of the surprises. Coming back from the dinner break with a healthy stack of chips around 300K and looking to drive deep in the Championship Event once again, Raymer would get gutted in back to back hands that led to his demise. First, Raymer’s pocket tens were clipped by a rivered set of sixes to take about 40% of his stack, then saw his pocket Kings get topped by an opponent’s pocket pair of nines that found a third on the flop.

Raymer had plenty of company to join him on the rail to watch the bubble pop. 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem, two-time World Champion Johnny Chan, 1983 World Champion Tom McEvoy, Brandon Shack-Harris, Brian Rast, Mike Matusow, Adrian Mateos, Pierre Neuville, Kristin Bicknell, Juha Helppi, Doug Polk (who will have much more time for commentary on the WSOP broadcasts now), Loni Harwood and Rainer Kempe all would be sent off before the money was in sight. They also weren’t part of the decision that faced WSOP players and officials late in the night.

The original plan for the day was to play five levels (at two hours each) and quit around roughly midnight, but tournament officials decided that, with only 18 players left to the 1084 players who would earn a cash, that one more level on the night would be enough. The players adjusted to this change and, befitting of the decision, battled it out through the two hours of the extra level with several players benefitting from the extra time.

Dominik Nitsche made his statement in the extra level, knocking off Jesus Maceira Gonzales to move his stack up to 745K, while Tom Cannuli aided the field in eliminating another player when his pocket Queens stood over his opponent’s Big Slick on an eight-high board. As the end of the level approached, there were two more players to eliminate to get to the money and WSOP officials decided to go hand-for-hand.

Just before that hand-for-hand process began, there was a particularly interesting hand between, surprisingly, two pros. On a Q-3-2-7-9 board and facing a 63K bet from former “November Niner” Antoine Saout into a healthy pot, Scott Seiver heard the tournament director call for hand-for-hand play as he made his decision. More thought didn’t seem to help Seiver as he could never find the reason for a call as he chucked his cards to the muck. Saout showed some larceny in his soul as he showed Seiver a J-4 for complete air as the table moved on to hand-for-hand action.

The very first deal of hand-for-hand action brought Day 3 to a close. Two players, former WSOP Championship Event final tablist “Tex” Barch and Jason Funke, were able to double up through their hands and stay in the tournament, but two others didn’t. Davidi Kitai rivered an unnecessary full house to eliminate Quan Zhou short of the money and, simultaneously, Roger Campbell couldn’t get a fourth heart on the board for his A as Kenny Shilh’s Queen-high flush eliminated him from the tournament.

With those two eliminations, the final 1084 were determined as a wild celebration ensued (Zhou and Campbell played one hand for a seat to next year’s WSOP Championship Event – Zhou would win that). As everyone celebrated the fact that they had $ 15,000 in their pockets, these players were looking to take much more than the minimum cash:

1. Patrick Lavecchia, 1.552 million
2. Pawel Brzeski, 1.546 million
3. Antoine Saout, 1.529 million
4. Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, 1.523 million
5. Derek Bowers, 1.376 million
6. Mickey Craft, 1.345 million
7. Edward Nassif, 1.345 million
8. Scott Blumstein, 1.34 million
9. Artan Dedusha, 1.288 million
10. Greg Dyer, 1.276 million

Bubbling under the Top Ten is one of last year’s “November Nine” combatants Kenny Hallaert (1.256 million, eleventh place), joined by such other notables as Kitai (1.116 million), Ben Lamb (1.016 million) and Andrey Pateychuk (1 million) over the million-chip mark. Sofia Lovgren (997K), Cannuli (990K), Nitsche (829K) and Jared Jaffee (811K) are all in good shape to make a long run.

Day 4 will begin at 11AM (Pacific Time) as the remaining players decide who gets what piece of the monstrous prize pool. While making it to this point is an achievement, all who are surviving – even Jeff Del Castilho, who sits with EXACTLY 2000 in chips to start the day – still have the dream of becoming poker’s next World Champion. That still is a long way away, however, as the 2017 World Series of Poker grinds onward.

Poker News Daily

2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3: Money Bubble Not Popped, Ryan Hughes Continues to Lead

 2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3: Money Bubble Not Popped, Ryan Hughes Continues to Lead

Day 3 and its seven levels are in the books for the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and, although they didn’t pop the money bubble on Wednesday, Ryan Hughes was able to lead the tournament for the second consecutive day.

277 players came back to chairs with chips in front of them on Wednesday with the goal of popping that said money bubble and starting to hand out some of the $ 7 million-plus prize pool to players. Not only was Hughes in good shape to start the day, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jennifer Tilly was right on his heels in second. Toss in such names as Anthony Spinella, David ‘The Dragon’ Pham and Justin Bonomo lurking down in the Top Ten and the day was set for some frenetic poker action.

Of interest to the railbirds in attendance (and a subject that comes up on occasion) is just how A) difficult the field is, and B) whether the tournament is geared towards the pros at the expense of the “amateur” players. The $ 10,000 buy in tournament was unlimited entries until the beginning of Level 9 on Tuesday and 791 entries were received, tying a WPT record. In an intriguing breakdown, 205 players individually counted for multiple “re-entry” into the Five Diamond. 152 of those players bought in twice, 43 players bought in three times and 10 players bought in four times OR MORE to reach the 791 entries. Hence, the 205 multi-buyers (accounting for at least 473 entries) along with the minimum 318 players who took one shot give the poker community evidence to debate the issue.

For some, it didn’t matter. Coming back to short stacks meant that they were either coming back to make their rush at the WPT Five Diamond title or they were heading back out the same doors they had just entered. Lily Kiletto was one of these unfortunate individuals as, with only about 9K from her original starting stack of 30K, she took a suited Ace against Barry Hutter’s pocket Jacks. Although she would flop her kicker, Kiletto couldn’t find trips or the flush and was out of the tournament early.

One of the people who benefitted from the multiple reentry process was former NFL defensive lineman Richard Seymour. In for at least three buy ins because he ran pocket Kings into pocket Aces twice over the first two days, Seymour saw his fortunes brighten a bit on Day 3. He doubled up through Daryll Fish and slowly chipped up throughout the day. Although he’ll at least have to finish in 42nd place or higher to get his buy ins back (that position pays $ 32,225), Seymour is in position to cash with his 230,000-chip stack to start Thursday.

The news wasn’t as good for a couple of ladies in the event. Cate Hall, who took the WPT by storm during Season XIV in making a couple of televised final tables (including this one), was ambling along nicely before getting involved in a three-way hand with Gerald Karlic and Hutter. After three betting Hutter’s raise, Hall watched him push all in for his stack and Karlic get out of the way. Hall, barely covering Hutter’s stack, took a lengthy tank of about 10 minutes (and involved a TD countdown after the clock was called) before calling. When the cards came up, everyone at the table was stunned.

While Hutter had a pocket pair, it was of Jacks, not Kings or Aces as had been expected. Hall’s holdings were suspect to begin with, an off suit A-10 that was alive against Hutter but with only one over card (and not an expected big pair). When the board ran out seven high, Hutter scored a huge double to over 313K in chips and Hall was left with scraps; soon after this clash, Hutter put Hall out of her misery in eliminating her from the tournament.

The other lady who had difficulties was Tilly. Starting the day with a plentiful 279,100 in chips, Tilly would go on a rollercoaster ride through the day that had her commenting on Twitter, “How quickly can you go from ‘I’m going to win $ 1.9 million!’ to ‘Oooh, I hope I can min-cash?’” The answer to the question? How about not even the min-cash?

Tilly was the victim of a massive cooler that had more drama than most films she reads the scripts for. After a flurry of betting against Jesse Sylvia, Tilly was all in pre-flop with pocket Kings against Sylvia’s pocket Aces. A King in the window of a K-10-9 flop pushed Tilly into the lead and had Sylvia lamenting that unfortunate card. A trey kept Tilly in the lead but an Ace on the river changed everything. In one card, Tilly went from a double to keep her dream of a cash alive to out of the tournament short of the dinner break.

The constant throughout the day was Hughes, who never was seriously challenged. He’ll enter the Fontana Lounge at the Bellagio on Thursday as the chip leader (and the only player over a million chips) for the second day in a row:

Ryan Hughes, 1,212,500
Christian Harder, 829,500
James Romero, 771,000
Justin Bonomo, 767,500
Yan Lavrovsky, 720,500
Tony Utnage, 678,000
Chris Klodnicki, 586,500
Christian Christner, 565,000
Ron Paolucci, 529,000
Sergi Reixach, 528,000

Thursday’s Day 4 will feature another seven levels of play, with the first order of business getting to the money bubble. With only 75 players left (72 get paid), that should be done in rather quick order. It’s then on to determining the final three tables for Friday’s play ahead of Championship Saturday for the WPT Five Diamond.

Poker News Daily

2016 WPT Legends of Poker Day 2: Money Bubble Bursts, Kottler Over a Million

 2016 WPT Legends of Poker Day 2: Money Bubble Bursts, Kottler Over a Million

The survivors of the two Day 1 flights came together on Monday (along with some late additions) for Day 2 of the 2016 World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event. The field just made it into the money yesterday, so most of the 67 remaining players should have slept fairly peacefully, knowing that they will at least make a small profit, even if they bust out as soon as they sit down on Tuesday. Jeremy Kottler is the chip leader as the only person with over a million chips.

Kottler has earned over $ 1.3 million in live poker tournaments, according to, fueled by a long list of major tournament cashes. He has seven cashes on the World Poker Tour, including a sixth place finish in this same event two years ago. He made two other WPT final tables, as well: the 2013 WPT Borgata Poker Open (fourth place) and the 2012 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic (sixth place). Kottler has 17 cashes at the World Series of Poker, including three final tables.

Once the entries for those who signed up before the beginning of Day 2 were factored in, the total number of entries for the WPT Legends of Poker added up to 687. I am avoiding saying “the number of players” in this case, as players could re-enter each starting flight once as well as register before Day 2, so it is possible that a single player could pony up five separate entries (then again, in a future article, I’m sure I’ll refer to all entries as “players,” to display my inconsistency). The prize pool of the tournament is $ 2,465,643 with $ 615,346 going to the winner. A total of 72 players will make the money; the minimum cash is $ 7,275 on the $ 3,700 + $ 300 buy-in.*

Kottler’s rise to the chip lead was helped by a sizable hand shortly before the money bubble burst (the bubble boy was L.A. poker mainstay J.C. Tran). According to the report, Kottler raised to 12,000 chips pre-flop (blinds and antes were 2,500/5,000/500), the player in the hijack called, and Adam Geyer moved all-in for 82,500. Kottler and “the hijack” both called. Both players checked the J♠-J♣-7♣ flop to bring on a turn of the J. Kottler bet 65,000 at that point and the hijack called. On the river 2, Kottler bet another 110,000 after a couple minutes of deep thought, the hijack decided to call. Kottler turned over two black Aces, good for a full house, beating the hijacks Queens and lesser full house. Fortunately for Geyer, he had the other two Aces, so he staved off elimination by chopping the main pot with Kottler.

Day 3 of the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event picks up at noon Pacific time today. The plan is to play down to eighteen players.

2016 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Jeremy Kottler – 1,048,000
2.    Jamie Rosen – 780,000
3.    Gary Sewell – 774,000
4.    Ray Qartomy – 660,000
5.    Mike Del Vecchio – 620,000
6.    David Pham – 599,000
7.    Upeshka De Silva – 578,000
8.    Benjamin Zamani – 560,000
9.    Andrew Dean – 528,000
10.    William Givens – 524,000

*I should amend an earlier statement. Not everyone who cashes will necessarily profit from the tournament, as anyone who paid for more than one entry could win less money than they laid out.

Poker News Daily

2016 WSOP Championship Event Day 3: Money Bubble Pops, Kenny Hallaert Takes the Lead

 2016 WSOP Championship Event Day 3: Money Bubble Pops, Kenny Hallaert Takes the Lead

The 2016 World Series of Poker Championship Event saw the entirety of the field come together for the first time. The 2186 players who had been fortunate enough to battle through the alphabet soup mix of Day Ones and Twos were now faced with the challenge of surviving another large field and actually making it to the money. With only 1011 players taking home any cash from the Championship Event’s $ 63,327,800 prize pool, more than half of those sitting in the Rio on Thursday afternoon were going to depart disappointed.

As usual with the opening hours of a lengthy tournament, the smaller stacks in “double up or bust” mode populated the early action. Martin Staszko and Hasan Habib were a part of the early movers, with Habib forcing an opponent off a hand and commenting that he’d flopped a set. The story wasn’t as good for Matt Affleck, however, as he ran his pocket Jacks into Federico Butteroni’s Big Slick that ran the pair down on a K-Q-2-9-3 board.

The news also wasn’t good for some of the former World Champions in the field. Alive on Day 3, Phil Hellmuth was only on a stack of 57,000 to start the day, which put the “Poker Brat” in a rather foul mood throughout the day. Going from “declaring war” on his opponents to tossing his cell phone in the air after having to muck a hand, Hellmuth’s torturous journey was finally ended by WSOP Circuit ring-winner Sara Hall, whose pocket Jacks were better than Hellmuth’s A-J off suit on a King-high board.

Hellmuth wasn’t the only former World Champion to find his way to the doors of the Rio on Thursday. Defending champion Joe McKeehen had arguably the cruelest beat on his way to elimination when, holding pocket Aces, he got three-time World Poker Tour champion Anthony Zinno to commit his stack with only a K-Q off suit after an 8-3-5-K flop and turn. A Queen on the river saved Zinno and took a chunk of McKeehen’s stack; moments after that, McKeehen would take tens up against Dave Farah, whose pocket Aces finished off the 2015 champion.

These two gentlemen weren’t the only notable names who would leave without anything for their time at the tables. Adrian Mateos, Vanessa Selbst, Tony Dunst, Brandon Shack-Harris and Scott Seiver were eliminated prior to the money bubble popping. Another player who many assumed would be “in the money” on Day 3, Michael Mizrachi (who started the day ninth in chips), instead was long gone when it came to crunch time.

During the last level of play for the night, the money bubble would actually burst. Pushing all in for his last 6000 in chips, Adam Furgatch and his Q-9 was looked up by George Zisimopoulos’ A-7. After the board ran out sans a Queen or a nine, Zisimopoulos’ Ace played to send Furgatch out in 1012th place ($ 0, although he does receive a free seat to the 2017 WSOP Championship Event) and send the survivors of the day’s action to the money.

After that action, the second flood of the day – to the payout window – occurred for the players. Such names as Scott Clements, Alex Kravchenko, Shannon Shorr, Kitty Kuo and many others picked up a little money for themselves and a new entry on their Hendon Mob resume. By the end of play early on Friday morning, only 800 players remained with Kenny Hallaert (who masterfully avoided detection throughout the day) as the chip leader.

1. Kenny Hallaert, 1.709 million
2. Jared Bleznick, 1.607 million
3. Duy Ho, 1.48 million
4. Kilian Kramer, 1.4 million
5. Mark Zullo, 1.39 million
6. Myung “Mike” Shin, 1.385 million
7. Antonio Esfandiari, 1.381 million
8. Nolan King, 1.355 million
9. Jasthi Kumar, 1.351 million
10. Farhad Jamasi, 1.302 million
(tied) Marc-Andre Ladouceur, 1.302 million

The popular professionals bubbling under the Top Ten are numerous. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Shaun Deeb (11th place, 1.266 million), Eugene Katchalov (12th, 1.235 million), Ray Dehkharghani (17th, 1.184 million), Tom Marchese (22nd, 1.135 million), Jon Turner (23rd, 1.124 million) and Antoine Saout (24th, 1.111 million) are all in the Top 25 and have the potential to mount a significant threat to the top of the leaderboard. In fact, 40 of the final 800 players are above a million chips and well primed for Day 4 action.

That Day 4 play will begin at noon in the Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, setting up for a long weekend of action that will determine the next “November Nine” that will contend for the 2016 WSOP Championship Event bracelet.

Poker News Daily

2016 EPT Grand Final Main Event Day 3: Marcin Cmielewski Leads as Money Bubble Pops

 2016 EPT Grand Final Main Event Day 3: Marcin Cmielewski Leads as Money Bubble Pops

Poland’s Marcin Chmielewski is having a pretty solid week. Over the weekend, he finished 21st in the France Poker Series High Roller Event (not a huge cash by any means, but still something) and now he is leading the charge to the final table in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final. With just 74 players remaining after Day 3, Chmielweski is the chip leader, boasting a stack of 1.314 million chips. Two other players have over a million: Natan Chauskin (1.107 million) and Roman Korenev (1.091 million).

One of the more frustrating portions of a live poker tournament can be when the event gets close to the money. At that point, the tournament gets into “hand-for-hand” mode, meaning that all tables must finish their current hand before the next one can be dealt. This helps prevent short-stacked players from simply stalling until the money is reached. Of course, this also bogs down the entire tournaments, as many tables end up waiting several minutes while one table finishes up.

With around 200 players returning for Day 3 and the tournament paying to 159 spots, that hand-for-hand play was inevitable on Tuesday. It took several hours from the start of the day to when the money bubble burst, but, as usual, after it happened, players started getting eliminated left and right. The “bubble boy” yesterday wasn’t a boy at all, but rather a woman named Jinfeng Huo. Aaron Gustavson, who won the Season 6 EPT London Main Event, raised pre-flop and Huo called from the big blind. On the all-heart flop of K-7-2, Huo moved all-in for 100,000 and Gustavson called, showing 6-4 of hearts for a flush. Huo held K-2, giving her two pair and a few outs to make a full house. The 7 on the turn gave her a couple more outs, more chances at a boat, but the river was a brick, giving Gustavson the hand and sending Huo to the rail in 160th place, one spot from the money.

If it makes her feel any better, and it won’t, she is a hero to everybody else who remained in the tournament.

Day 4 of the EPT Grand Final Main Event is already underway, an unfortunate bit of timing for this writer, who is many time zones behind. But no matter. Five more 90-minute levels are in the works today as the final table draws nearer.

2016 European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event – Day 3 Chip Leaders

1.    Marcin Chmielewski – 1,314,000
2.    Natan Chauskin – 1,107,000
3.    Roman Korenev – 1,091,000
4.    Evangelos Terzoudis – 985,000
5.    Mohamed Aissani – 926,000
6.    Dario Sammartino – 902,000
7.    Thiago Nishijima – 840,000
8.    Erwann Pecheux – 818,000
9.    Adrien Allain – 810,000
10.    Fatima Moreira de Melo – 807,000

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