Posts Tagged ‘event’

Mike Del Vecchio Leads 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event, Former Champions Lurking

 Mike Del Vecchio Leads 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event, Former Champions Lurking

After four grueling days (there were two Day Ones) of action, the final 38 players have been determined in the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Veteran poker pro Mike Del Vecchio is at the helm of the ship following today’s play, but former champions Ari Engel and Ami Barer are lurking back in the pack with the hopes of becoming the event’s first-ever two-time champion.

158 players returned to the Crown Casino’s tournament arena on Thursday (late Wednesday night in the States of America), each with the dream of capturing Aussie gold. Two Australian players, Najeem Ajez and Frank Pezzaniti, were in the lead at the start of the day with a host of top pros in hot pursuit. Sam Grafton, Jonathan Karamalikis, Fedor Holz, Martin Finger, Harry Demetriou, Jesse Sylvia, and former World Champion Martin Jacobsen were arranged around the tournament room as the call of “shuffle up and deal” rung out.

The start of the day was good for Jacobson as, without having to show down his hand, he was able to pick up a decent stack of chips after calling a river bet from Jack Brown and then watching Brown pitch his hand into the muck. The news wasn’t as good for Sylvia, however. Responding to Duy Ho’s three-bet of his open, Sylvia answered with an all-in move and, after Ho called, it was off to the races. Ho’s pocket tens held the edge against Sylvia’s A-K off suit, and the Queen-high board added a ten on the river to give Ho an unnecessary set. Sylvia headed to the rail, one of the many on Thursday who fell short of the money.

In a change from current protocols, officials at the Crown Casino decided to pay the final 88 players in the tournament. That is slightly more than 10% of the field, a departure from other tournaments which pay anywhere from 15% to 20% of those in the competition. Holding to the usual 10%, however, has allowed this year’s Aussie Millions Main Event to pay the top two slots a million-plus payday, however.

Another player who wouldn’t be around to take part in cutting up the prize pool was Holz. The German wunderkind tried to run an A-9 that flopped a nine against Con Krousoratis, but Krousoratis had the goods. His pocket Queens were still good even after Holz flopped the nine and, after the turn brought another lady to the show, Holz was drawing dead and heading to the exits, albeit temporarily; Holz has already committed to the $ 100,000 Challenge that begins on Sunday.

The tournament could be said to be sedate until a stunner of a hand before the dinner break. In a hand between he and Jan Pettersson, Del Vecchio made the call of a 63K bet on a 5♣ 3♣ 10 to see the turn. A 7♣ on the turn brought the fireworks as Pettersson put out a 140K bet and Del Vecchio moved all in over it. Pettersson made the call and showed only an A♠ K♠ for Ace high, while Del Vecchio had Pettersson drawing dead with his J♣ 8♣. After the meaningless river was dealt (a 10♣, only improving Del Vecchio), Del Vecchio rocketed to the top of the leaderboard with nearly a million in chips.

The pace of eliminations was such that there was no need for the tournament to go to hand-for-hand play. After Matthew Wakeman was unceremoniously dumped from the tournament by Toby Lewis in 89th place, the remaining players were all guaranteed a $ 15,000 (Australian) payday for their efforts. That knockout opened the floodgates as players picked up an official cash at the Aussie Millions and a new flag for their Hendon Mob resume.

Pettersson, Jacobson, and Finger would all leave on each side of the dinner break, but the consistent over the post-bubble action was Del Vecchio’s charge to the top of the leaderboard. He powered his way over the million-chip mark right after dinner and motored over a million and a half only a couple hours later. In one of the final hands of the evening, Del Vecchio eliminated one of Australia’s favorite poker sons, Tony Hachem (the brother of former World Champion Joe), to break the two million mark and set himself up well for the Day 4 battles on Friday.

1. Mike Del Vecchio, 2.33 million
2. Aaron Lim, 1.358 million
3. Tu Lan, 1.22 million
4. Vincent Chua, 1.089 million
5. Ari Engel, 1.075 million
6. Kahle Burns, 973,000
7. Ben Richardson, 967,000
8. Najeem Ajez, 958,000
9. Espen Solaas, 862,000
10. Saijes Mundadan, 835,000

Engel, the 2016 champion of this event, is in good shape to make that run at a second Aussie Millions Main Event champion. Barer, who took down the title in 2014, is in 25th place with his 428,000 in chips and has a good deal of work to do to get into the mix for his second title.

The Aussie Millions Main Event Day 4 will begin at 12:30PM on Friday in Melbourne (8:30 Thursday night in the States of America) with the plans of working the final 38 players down to a more manageable two tables. The action is being streamed by Jason Somerfield over his Twitch account for the world to see, with the stream going all the way through the crowning of the next champion of the Aussie Millions.

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WPT Announces Schedule for Tournament of Champions, New Event

 WPT Announces Schedule for Tournament of Champions, New Event

Originally set as a singular event, the World Poker Tour recently announced that the third running of the WPT Tournament of Champions, this year being held for the first time at ARIA in Las Vegas, would be joined by a new tournament previously unscheduled as well as other preliminary tournaments.

What is now being called the “Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions Festival” will kick off on May 17 with its first event, a $ 10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo tournament. There will also be four one-day $ 25,000 “High Roller” tournaments and a solo $ 100,000 “Super High Roller” event. What will close out the festivities are the two official WPT events on the schedule, one the previously known Tournament of Champions and the other a new event.

The final official stop of the Season XVI schedule will now be the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, a $ 10,000 buy-in event that wasn’t previously part of the discussion. The tournament is named for the former World Champion whose prowess on the poker tables and the boardrooms of Las Vegas have become legendary. With one opportunity for re-entry into the event, it is possible that the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic – which replaces the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale of the past two years – could be one of the bigger tournaments of this year when it begins on May 20.

“ARIA takes great pride in being the host of the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions,” said Sean McCormack, director of poker operations for ARIA. “We have developed a tremendous festival of events, highlighted by the premiere of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, and are excited to welcome the biggest names in poker to Las Vegas in May.”

Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Poker Tour, added, “The World Poker Tour is thrilled to bring the illustrious WPT Tournament of Champions to the luxurious ARIA, as we close out a historic Season XVI. The WPT Tournament of Champions is our most prized event, and the winner will join Farid Yachou and Daniel Weinman as a WPT Tournament of Champions winner. We look forward to returning to Las Vegas, the birthplace of the WPT and the global home of poker, to crown this season’s champion of champions.”

Once the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic has concluded, the WPT Tournament of Champions will kick off its action. On May 24 (the day after the conclusion of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic), the ToC will open play for its third ever event. All the champions of the Season XVI schedule will be in the field (they have already had $ 15,000 deducted from their prize winnings) and, if any previous WPT champion wishes to join the tournament, they will put up $ 15K to get in the game. In the past two seasons, there have been other additions to the prize pool, including last year’s tournament which saw an Audi up as one of the spoils to the victor.

One problem that the ToC has had:  getting the players out to take part in the tournament. Once you limit the field to only previous WPT champions (now totaling 237 players; it will be 243 by the end of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, if no previous champion wins again), you then must look at who is going to show. Some former champions, including Doyle Brunson and Mel Judah, aren’t as active in the tournament world anymore. Someone like Howard Lederer isn’t exactly considered welcome in tournaments (outside the WSOP, it seems) and unfortunately others have passed away (David ‘Devil Fish’ Ulliott). A look at the first two staging’s of this tournament demonstrate this difficulty in getting players.

When it was originally held in 2016 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, 64 players came out as Farid Yachou captured the inaugural championship. Fast forward to 2017 and the number clicked up to 66 as David Weinman defeated Michael Mizrachi to capture the title. With the move to Las Vegas for the 2018 ToC, it is perhaps thought by WPT officials that more former champs will come out and take part in the tournament rather than go across the country to play the ToC in Florida.

It promises to be an outstanding week of poker in May as the WPT wraps up its Season XVI schedule by crowning its final champion, its Player of the Year and the next “champion of champions” with the Tournament of Champions!

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2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

 2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Final Table Set

Alright, here’s the deal. I was not feeling well last night and ended up getting maybe an hour of sleep. By the time I gained a little energy, ran a couple errands that needed to be run, and greeted my kids at the school bus stop, the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open was already down to just eight players. I was going to write something about Monday’s action, but at that point it made no sense, so I just waited until now to say a little something about Tuesday. So there they are at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, down to six players and Aleksandr Shevelev in the chip lead with 6.960 million chips.

This is shaping up to be quite the competitive final table. Ness Reilly is close behind Shevelev with 6.295 million chips, while Darryll Fish isn’t far back with 5.920 million. The bottom three all have pretty solid stacks with which to work: Brett Bader (3.160 million), Alan Krockey (2.810 million), and Andy Frankenberger (2.170 million).

But it is Aleksandr Shevelev in the lead, the same position he was in heading into Day 4, though he is now 3 million chips richer (DISCLAIMER: tournament chips have no cash value). Two of Shevelev’s big moves came early in the day. In the first, Cong Pham and Shevelev got into a raising war pre-flop before Pham ended up all-in for 1.1 million chips. Shevelev had no trouble calling, holding K-K against Pham’s K-J. Pham was unable to get the minor miracle he needed and he was gone in 13th place. That took Shevelev’s chip stack up to about 5 million.

Just a few minutes later, he raised pre-flop to 85,000, Mario Prats Garcia called and Ness Reilly re-raised to 300,000. Shevelev made the call and Garcia folded to bring on a flop of T-7-5. Reilly bet 255,000 and Shevelev called. The turn was another Ten and this time Reilly check-called a 375,000 bet from Shevelev. Reilly again checked a King on the river and then Shevelev bet 550,000. After much thought and the expenditure of a time extension chip, Reilly folded to help Shevelev increase his chip count to just over 6 million.

It was a good thing he accumulated those chips because he ended up falling back under 5 million while Reilly surged ahead to take the lead. Shevelev was able to eliminated John Dolan in ninth place with Q-Q versus A-K, allowing him to get back over that 6 million chip mark. From there, he obviously added chips while Reilly gave a few back (she had gotten to over 8 million) and here we are.

The remaining six players are all guaranteed more than $ 100,000. They are all firmly aiming for the half million dollar first prize, though, as well as the honor of having their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.

The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event final table will begin at noon ET Wednesday.

2018 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1. Aleksandr Shevelev – 6,960,000
2. Ness Reilly – 6,295,000
3. Darryll Fish – 5,920,000
4. Brett Bader – 3,160,000
5. Alan Krockey – 2,810,000
6. Andy Frankenberger – 2,170,000

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2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Day 2: Ben Yu Leads Tight Leaderboard

 2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Day 2: Ben Yu Leads Tight Leaderboard

The World Poker Tour is in Florida this week as the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event is underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. Day 2 is already in the books (there were two Day 1 flights) with Ben Yu going into Monday’s action as the chip leader with 1.382 million chips.

A total of 911 entries were paid during the two starting flights, bringing the prize pool for the $ 3,300 + $ 200 event to $ 2.915 million. Payouts go down to 114th place and the eventual winner will cash for more than half a million dollars. There are just 53 players remaining after Day 2, so everyone still in the tournament has made the money.

Yu began yesterday with 103,700 chips, a solid stack for that point in the tournament, but he clearly did some work Sunday, multiplying his stack ten-fold.

It took a long time for Yu to make a move, as well after the dinner break, with an average stack over 400,000, he was still only in the 100,000 chips range. But climb he did, not just staying alive, but thriving as others fell by the wayside. He completed his rise to the top of the chip counts late in the night when he was up against Sean Winter and Winter’s last 250,000 chips. All-in pre-flop, Winter had 5-5 while Yu had A-J. Yu found a Jack on the flop and that was it for Winter, while Yu’s stack elevated to 1.380 million.

Yu currently ranks 327th on the Global Poker Index. He is no stranger to deep tournament runs, as he has nearly $ 2.3 million in live tournament earnings. His largest cash was for more than $ 600,000 when he finished third in the 2015 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. Yu also has two World Series of Poker bracelets in his trophy case. The first was won in 2015 (not a bad year for him), when he took the title in the $ 10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, good for almost $ 300,000. He won his second bracelet at last year’s WSOP in the $ 10,000 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship; that paycheck was for more than $ 230,000.

Yu doesn’t have much breathing room at the top. Joseph Couden is nearly tied with him, holding 1.339 million chips. Qasem Jamhour is close behind with 1.284 million. And after him, there are three more players all around a million: Andjelko Andrejevic (1.023 million), Mike Chiappetta (1.021 million), and Nick Schwarmann (1.017 million). Two more players have more than 900,000 chips. Should setup for a competitive Monday as players jockey for position as the final table nears.

2018 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Ben Yu – 1,382,000
2. Joseph Couden – 1,339,000
3. Qasem Jamhour – 1,284,000
4. Andjelko Andrejevic – 1,023,000
5. Mike Chiappetta – 1,021,000
6. Nick Schwarmann – 1,017,000
7. Ness Reilly – 973,000
8. John Richards – 910,000
9. Ardit Kurshumi – 843,000
10. Rainer Kempe – 793,000

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Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller Event

 Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller Event

When we were kids, my brother and I were huge Milwaukee Brewers fans (and still are). Baseball’s all-time stolen base leader, Rickey Henderson, was never a member of the Brewers, but my brother loved him nonetheless because they shared the same first name (though my sibling’s name doesn’t have the “e”). As such, I predict the child version of my bro would have just become a gigantic fan of last night’s winner of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100,000 Super High Roller Event, Cary Katz.

Unfortunately for us, we are not related to the man, so there are no generous birthday gifts in our future. For his real relatives, though, they could be in for quite the boon after Katz’s nearly $ 1.5 million win.

One thing that is nuts about Katz’s victory is that he did not even play on Day 1 of the tournament. As players were allowed to register before the beginning of Day 2, he did just that, sacrificing the ability to build up chips on the first day. Of course, he could have busted out on Day 1, so there is a trade-off there. With just 48 entrants, though, opting to skip the first day is a sizable risk.

As such, Katz was one of the short stacks going into the seven-handed final table with 855,000 chips, one of just two players below the million chip mark. For comparison, the three players at the top of the standings – Ivan Luca, Justin Bonomo, and Daniel Negreanu – had 2.760 million, 2.695 million, and 2.415 million, respectively.

For quite a while, Katz made little to no headway, languishing at the bottom of the chip counts. Even after he doubled twice and two players busted out by Hand 45 of the final table, Katz was still the short stack with 1.210 million chips. Luca and Bryn Kenney, meanwhile, were up over 4 million.

Shockingly, Luca and Kenney locked horns two hands later, with both ending up all-in. Kenney’s A-K bested Luca’s A-J and suddenly the chip lead from nearly the entire day was out in fifth place and Kenney had 8.260 million chips.

Katz was up and down for a while after that, mostly remaining the short stack, but he got aggressive leading up to Hand 121, frequently shoving and forcing folds. After Kenney lost a solid pot to Bonomo, there was virtually a three-way tie at about 4 million chips.

A few hands later, Katz forced Kenney out of a big hand and when Bonomo knocked out Kenney shortly thereafter, it was somehow Katz in the lead going into heads-up, 6.695 million to 5.305 million. And it didn’t take long for Katz to clinch it. He extended his lead four hands into heads-up when his quads beat Bonomo’s full house (it was impressive that Bonomo wasn’t eliminated right there).

Three hands later, Bonomo shoved for 3.3 million with A-K and Katz called with 8-8. Bonomo wasn’t able to pair either of his cards, capping Cary Katz’s amazing run to the Super High Roller title.

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 100K Super High Roller – Final Table Results

1. Cary Katz – $ 1,492,340
2. Justin Bonomo – $ 1,077,800
3. Bryn Kenney – $ 686,960
4. Daniel Negreanu – $ 521,140
5. Ivan Luca – $ 402,700
6. Ike Haxton – $ 307,940
7. Sam Greenwood – $ 248,720

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