Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean’

PokerStars Returns to its Roots; 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Set

 PokerStars Returns to its Roots; 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Schedule Set

Perhaps recognizing the error in their previous actions, The Stars Group has announced that their January tournament in the Bahamas will be returning in 2018, including a return to the name it was previously known as.

The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to action at its traditional home at Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, the Bahamas, from January 6-14. Along with returning the original name of the event, PokerStars is also stepping out on a limb a bit in returning the buy in to its original amount. After spending several years as a $ 5000 buy in event, the 2018 PCA Main Event will be a $ 10,000 tournament, ensuring the tournament’s place in the pantheon of “must play” international poker tournaments.

The return to the PCA moniker was obviously on the minds of Stars Group officials. “We’re reviewing our live events and incorporating player feedback to ensure we’re delivering the highest quality experience and exceeding player expectations whenever possible,” Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications, stated during the announcement.

“This feedback included suggestions that we restore the PCA name and improve the quality of that event to reflect the great heritage and unique experience that made PCA one of the most-anticipated poker events of the year,” Hollreiser continued. “We’re restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival. We will also increase the promotions around PCA in order to bring even more people and make qualifying for packages as exciting as we can. We are committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event.”

There was plenty of outrage that came along with the 2017 tournament. Roughly along the same period as 2018’s play, the 2017 “PokerStars Championship Bahamas” featured over 90 events crammed into the timeframe. It seems that was too much, even for poker players who are always looking for action. Because of some of that criticism, PokerStars has streamlined the tournaments to a more sensible 30 events that will feature longer levels (40 minutes or more) and more play for the participants.

PokerStars is also looking out for the pocketbooks and wallets of PCA participants. Tournament fees have been reduced for the High Roller tournaments and any tournament with less than 19-minute levels will be reduced by 50%. These moves will allow the players to keep upwards of $ 300,000 in their bankrolls.

Finally, another complaint from the players regarding the 2017 tournament series was the treatment of those players. Many felt that they weren’t appreciated by PokerStars, especially after the decade-plus treatment by past ownership, with the parties and “SWAG” bags presented to the players. In response to this, PokerStars has set a large schedule of non-poker related activities and some “Q&A” sessions with Team PokerStars Pro members. Player parties are a key element of this change, including the aforementioned “SWAG” bags that will be valued at $ 200 each.

What isn’t being indicated by PokerStars nor The Stars Group is what will be the future of the “PokerStars Championship” or “PokerStars Festivals.” These events have been less than popular with players, including disappointing turnouts in Panama, Macau and Sochi. There isn’t any schedule beyond the final 2017 date in Prague, Czech Republic for the PokerStars Championship and there isn’t any indication whether the PCA will still be considered a part of the PokerStars Championship or whether the PokerStars Championship will continue to exist.

While a firm schedule hasn’t been set yet, satellites will begin running for the 2018 PCA in September. With the changes made, perhaps the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to its previous success.

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Niall Farrell Emerges as Champion of 2016 partypoker WPT Caribbean

 Niall Farrell Emerges as Champion of 2016 partypoker WPT Caribbean

In what was a relatively quick final table, Scotland’s Niall Farrell emerged as the champion of the 2016 partypoker World Poker Tour Caribbean stop in Punta Cana on Wednesday night, defeating Troy Quenneville in heads up play.

It wasn’t your typical “final day” of action on the WPT as 11 players remained at the start of action on Wednesday. Looking to earn his second WPT title, Keven Stammen was in the lead at the crack of the gun, his 1.764 million chips lording impressively over Quenneville (1.36 million) and Anthony Augustino. Farrell (1.3 million) was in control of the second table, but just barely over Colin Moffatt (1.249 million).

The first task at hand was getting to the official WPT six-handed final table, which the combatants attacked with glee. Farrell was lucky from the start of the day, getting away with only losing a couple hundred thousand chips when Moffatt’s J-9 cracked his pocket Aces on a 9-9-6-6-9 board. That slight setback didn’t affect Farrell, however, as he quickly rebounded to oust Jorge Arias from the tournament in 11th place. Once Moffatt dumped Vishal Maini in 10th place to crack the two million chip mark, the final nine redrew for seats and the race for the championship was on.

Stammen would not be as fortunate as some of his fellow competitors during the final day of play. His chip stack slowly dwindled through the early action and, after Augustino raised his big blind, Stammen thought he could force him off with an all-in move. Augustino didn’t go away, however, calling his bet and tabling pocket Jacks for action. Stammen, battling from behind with his pocket nines, never saw a glimmer of hope on the A-4-2-8-K board and departed the tournament in eighth place as Augustino moved into the lead.

Augustino extended that lead in taking out Duff Charette on the television table “bubble” and headed to the six-handed action with a whopping 3.435 million in chips, holding a decent lead over Quenneville (2.325 million) and more than twice what the third-place competitor Moffatt (1.505 million) held. The remainder of the players were left in survival mode at the start of the official final table, with Yiannis Liperis (860K), Farrell (805K) and Stephen Woodhead (750K) looking to get back in the game.

After the warmup of working down to the final table, the players were firing bets from the start of the official final table. Farrell would get a much-needed double through Moffatt, his Q-J finding a Jack against Moffatt’s pocket tens, and he got even healthier in knocking out Woodhead in sixth place, his A-J standing tall against Woodhead’s A-10 on an eight-high board. Just as quickly as he rocketed out of the basement, however, Farrell’s rollercoaster style would send him back down after his pocket fives failed to best Moffatt’s pocket Jacks.

As Farrell entertained the viewers on the live stream of the event, Augustino was more interested in keeping his lead. Augustino tried to take down Liperis, Augustino’s K♠ Q♠ versus Liperis’ pocket sevens, but a seven on the flop ended that quest. Liperis then would challenge for the lead before giving up a sizeable chunk of chips to Quenneville, who jumped into the first slot when his pocket Jacks held up against Liperis’ A-K off suit.

With five players remaining, Quenneville’s 4.2 million chips seemed to have him set to drive even deeper into the field. The question was who from the other four players would emerge as a worthy contender. Augustino drew first blood, knocking off Liperis in fifth place when his A-9 played over Liperis’ A-3 on a J-6-4-7-4 board, and Farrell stormed from behind in doubling through Quenneville and eliminating Moffatt in fourth, his pocket sixes catching a set on the turn after Moffatt had flopped two pair with his A-7 on an A-10-7-6-J board.

Down to three-handed action, Farrell kicked his game into overdrive. He doubled through Quenneville, his Big Chick hitting against Quenneville’s Big Slick on a Q-8-6-6-A board, to rocket to nearly seven million in chips and then eliminated Augustino in third place when his Q-9 rivered a straight to top Augustino’s A-6. With those two eliminations, Farrell stacked 8.13 million chips and had a massive advantage over Quenneville (1.55 million) going to the heads up “fight.”

The reason “fight” is in quotation marks is it took all of one hand to determine the champion. Farrell, playing big stack poker, pushed all in on the button and Quenneville found a hand he was ready to fight with in making the call. Quenneville’s K♠ J♠ was a solid opponent for Farrell’s A-5 off suit and it looked good for Quenneville when a King showed in the window of the flop. Unfortunately, an Ace was also there, keeping Farrell in the lead. When the turn and river failed to bring Quenneville another King or a Jack, the hand and the championship were firmly in Farrell’s grasp.

1. Niall Farrell, $ 335,000
2. Troy Quenneville, $ 220,000
3. Anthony Augustino, $ 140,000
4. Colin Moffatt, $ 105,392
5. Yiannis Liperis, $ 80,000
6. Stephen Woodhead, $ 66,000

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2016 WPT Caribbean Down to Ten Players

 2016 WPT Caribbean Down to Ten Players

The field of the 2016 World Poker Tour (WPT) Caribbean Main Event was pared from 75 to just 10 on Tuesday as the remaining players are on the brink of the televised final table heading into Day 4. Keven Stammen is the chip leader with 1.764 million chips.

From the looks of the chip counts, it should be a very competitive final day. Behind Stammen is Day 2 chip leader Troy Quenneville with 1.360 million chips, Niall Farrell with 1.300 million, Colin Moffatt with 1.249 million, and Anthony Augustino with 1.033 million. Duff Carette has 822,000 and the rest of the field has in the 500,000 chip range or fewer.

Kevin Stammen is an extremely accomplished live poker tournament player, currently ranked 68th on the Global Poker Index. He has one WPT title to his name and it was a biggie: the 2014 WPT World Championship. This was also the largest cash of his career, worth $ 1.35 million. Stammen has two other WPT televised final tables to his credit, plus two near-misses. He has 36 World Series of Poker cashes, including one bracelet, in the 2009 $ 2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. All told, Stammen has nearly $ 5 million in live tournament winnings.

The gap between Stammen’s chip stack and that of Quenneville was largely the result of the 14th place elimination. Stammen had raised to 45,000 pre-flop and Roberto Vahlis (whose name my brain keeps wanting to equate to a shortened version of “Valar Morghulis”) moved all-in for 310,000 chips. Stammen called with pocket Tens and Vahlis revealed pocket Threes. Nothing overly dramatic happened the rest of the way and Vahlis had to exit the tourney.

One interesting note about this tournament is how it truly demonstrates the intersection of live and online poker. This tour stop, like several others, is sponsored by partypoker. Naturally, partypoker hosted online satellites so players could qualify for WPT Caribbean. Nearly half – 17 – of the 36 in-the-money finishers qualified via partypoker and 7 of the final 10 players won entry via a partypoker satellite. That doesn’t mean all of them are amateurs, as some people might assume – Stammen, for instance, was one such qualifier – but it is still a nifty stat to see.

Today, the field of ten will play all the way until there is a champion. Aside from a break after the seventh place elimination to get the live stream cameras setup, the tournament will play straight through to a winner.

2016 World Poker Tour Caribbean Main Event – Day 3 Chip Leaders

1.    Keven Stammen – 1,764,000
2.    Troy Quenneville – 1,360,000
3.    Niall Farrell – 1,300,000
4.    Colin Moffatt – 1,249,000
5.    Anthony Augustino – 1,033,000
6.    Duff Charette – 822,000
7.    Vishal Maini – 554,000
8.    Stephen Woodhead – 550,000
9.    Andrei Boghean – 455,000
10.    Yiannis Liperis – 323,000
11.    Jorge Arias – 244,000

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2016 WPT Caribbean Main Event Day 2: Troy Quenneville Surges to Lead Late

 2016 WPT Caribbean Main Event Day 2: Troy Quenneville Surges to Lead Late

Troy Quenneville leads the remaining 75 players at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Caribbean Main Event after Day 2; with 302,000 chips, he is the only player to finish Monday’s action above the 300,000 mark. Alexander Denisov is not far behind with 280,500 chips.

After Day 1A’s miniscule turnout, about another 210 entries were paid on Day 1B, bringing the field up to a small, but not insulting, level. All players were permitted one initial entry and one re-entry per day; registration and another re-entry were also allowed on Day 2 until after the dinner break. Thus, the tournament saw about another 50 entries yesterday, bringing the total field to 323 entries. Of those 323 entries, 224 were players’ initial buy-ins and 99 were re-entries.

The total prize pool for the WPT Caribbean Main Event is $ 1,456,892, with 36 players seeing a payday. The winner will receive $ 335,000, which includes a $ 15,000 entry into the season-ending Tournament of Champions. Min-cash is $ 10,000.

As often happens in big tournaments, the chip leader rose to the top position late in the day. According to the live report, Ankush Mandavia raised pre-flop, one player called, and Troy Quenneville re-raised. Both opponents called to bring on a flop of T-6-3. Action was checked to Quenneville, who threw out a 22,200 chip continuation bet. That wasn’t enough to force anyone out of the pot, so all three players saw a Queen dealt on the turn. After all three checked, the river was a 9. Mandavia bet 19,000 and again, nobody left the hand; both Quenneville and the other player called. Quenneville flipped over A-Q of spades for top pair, top kicker and that was apparently good enough, as both opponents mucked their cards.

That pot gave Quenneville the lead, growing his stack to nearly 400,000 chips. As you can tell by the end of day chip counts, he lost a chunk after that, but not so much that he fell out of the chip lead.

Should Quenneville hold on to at least make the money, it would be, by far, the largest live tournament cash of his career. According to poker database, Quenneville has just two live cashes – accomplished this spring – for a total of less than $ 600.

The 28-year old Quenneville is originally from Ontario, Canada and now lives in Costa Rica. He attended Saginaw Valley State University where he competed on the men’s golf team.

Day 3 will begin at 3:00pm local time (2:00pm ET). That’s two hours earlier than yesterday, but Tournament Director Christian Scalzi was sure to go around to each table to let players know of the change in schedule. The plan is to play nine 60-minute levels on Tuesday; the money bubble should burst and the field should get close to the final table.

2016 World Poker Tour Caribbean – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Troy Quenneville – 302,000
2.    Alexander Denisov – 280,500
3.    Josef Snejberg – 255,500
4.    Vishal Maini – 246,500
5.    Robin Hegele – 240,000
6.    Jean-Luc Adam – 240,000
7.    Duff Charette – 237,000
8.    Keven Stammen – 234,000
9.    Ema Zajmovic – 230,500
10.    Roberto Vahlis – 225,000

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2016 WPT Caribbean Day 1B: People Actually Showed Up

 2016 WPT Caribbean Day 1B: People Actually Showed Up

Fortunately for tournament organizers, Day 1B of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Caribbean Main Event was much larger than Day 1A, though the total Day 1 field of 270 still left WPT Caribbean as one of the smaller stops of the Tour. Jean-Luc Adam emerged as the Day 1B chip leader, finishing with a stack of 123,200 chips, though that still puts him well behind the Day 1A leader, Roberto Vahlis, who has 145,700 heading into Day 2.

We noted the size of Day 1A yesterday, but let’s touch on it again. Only 60 players registered on Saturday. I think I could fit that many people in my garage. At the outset of the tournament, there were only 27 players – three tables-worth – seated. That sounds like a party where the hosts are standing around the punch bowl wondering what in the hell happened. Sunday was not a good showing. When you can see the entire list of remaining players without scrolling down, that’s a problem.

But at least a couple hundred played on Sunday and registration was still open through about 8:00pm on Day 2, so the total field will end up to be on the low-end of respectable.

A number of past World Poker Tour champs made it through Day 1B with stacks intact, including Marvin Rettenmaier, Alexander Lakhov, Aaron Mermelstein, former WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno, Dylan Wilkerson, Kevin Eyster, and Roberto Romanello. The newest WPT title holder, Mike Sexton, was unable to make it back-to-back championships, as he was eliminated on Sunday. He could still re-enter on Day 2, though, but for now, he is just a spectator.

The chip leader of Day 1B, Jean-Luc Adam, is looking for what could be the biggest cash of his career. According to his profile on, he has just $ 57,616 in lifetime live tournament earnings. Nearly half – $ 27,240 – came just this month, as he scored a victory in a ring event at the WSOP Circuit Caribbean stop as well as a fifth place finish in the WSOP Circuit Caribbean Main Event. So while he doesn’t have an extensive history of big cashes, he is on the upswing right now.

Day 2 starts at 5:00pm local times and, as mentioned, registration will stay open until around 8:00pm.

2016 World Poker Tour Caribbean – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Jean-Luc Adam – 123,200
2.    Gustavo Mastelotto – 118,200
3.    George McDonald – 107,950
4.    Seth Berger – 105,975
5.    Frank Romanello – 104,525
6.    Jorge Ellena – 98,000
7.    Noeung Troeung – 95,600
8.    Benjamin Lamprecht – 70,000
9.    Marvin Rettenmaier – 66,350
10.    Alexander Lakhov – 62,000

2016 World Poker Tour Caribbean – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    Roberto Vahlis – 145,700
2.    Jean-Luc Adam – 123,200
3.    Gustavo Mastelotto – 118,200
4.    George McDonald – 107,950
5.    Seth Berger – 105,975
6.    Frank Romanello – 104,525
7.    Jorge Ellena – 98,000
8.    Luiz Duarte – 97,000
9.    Noeung Troeung – 95,600
10.    Ryan Yu, 86,125

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