Posts Tagged ‘Maintains’

2018 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 1B: Uri Kadosh Maintains Overall Lead, Record Field for Event

 2018 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Day 1B: Uri Kadosh Maintains Overall Lead, Record Field for Event

The opening salvos have been fired in the 2018 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and the shots have been spectacular. The numbers for the two-Day Ones have set a record for the tournament and, while former WPT champion Eric Afriat took the Day 1B chip lead honors, it is Day 1A leader Udi Kadosh who will have the overall lead heading to Sunday’s Day 2 action.

After 646 entries were received for Day 1A, the masses gathered for Day 1B were ready to smash that figure. Coming out of the gate it was a bit slow as only 169 players were in their chairs when the cards hit the air, but there was quality to the early risers (the tournament started at 11AM). Former WPT champions Darren Elias, Brian Altman, Andy Frankenberger, Jonathan Little (also in on Day 1A) and Afriat were the brightest stars in the Hard Rock tournament arena, joined by Mike Dentale, Ari Engel, Matt Stout, Ankush Mandavia and Joe Elpayaa. With late registration going on until the end of Level 9, however, it would be quite some time before the final figures were in.

Frankenberger had some difficulties coming out of gate as some of the local talent brought the action to him. Cut down to a short stack, Frankenberger found himself in a three-way hand with a Q-J-4-6 two-club flop and turn up for the players to ponder. After a small blind bet and the second player’s call, Frankenberger decided that he didn’t want to mess around anymore, moving his remaining 10K in chips (players started with 30K; this was slightly more than an hour into the day’s play) to the center. His two combatants quickly got out of the way and Frankenberger scooped the approximately 17K pot.

After that first hour, the Seminole Indian tribe also breathed a sigh of relief. The 938-entry mark was passed in that first hour, meeting the $ 3 million guarantee that they had placed on the tournament. After the recent tournament which suffered from a great deal of controversy after the casino took some unusual steps to try to meet their guarantee, the Seminoles were obviously pleased that they wouldn’t be on the hook for any money and the only question now was how high it would go.

If there is one way to explain the difficulties (some would say unfairness) of the unlimited re-entry format, Chance Kornuth would be that example. Only a couple of hours into the Day 1B action, Kornuth ran his pocket treys into Robert Chusid’s Big Slick and got his chips to the center, only to see the board counterfeit him when it ran out 6-5-5-6-J to give Chusid the hand and knock Kornuth out. Undaunted, Kornuth reached back into his wallet for another $ 3500 and, by the beginning of Level 5, had worked his way into the Top Five. Would Kornuth have made the same play if it were a freezeout event?

As the dinner break came, the numbers were staggering. 549 entries were in the books, bringing the total number of entries to 1195 with four levels left in the day’s action. As players looked at the tournament clock, there were murmurings that the final figures could break last year’s record numbers, when 1207 entries were received, and that the prize pool could eclipse the $ 4 million mark.

After the end of Level 9, the players got their answers. With 663 entries on Day 1B, the total field for the 2018 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown totaled 1309 entries, the fifth largest event in WPT history (and breaking last year’s record for the event. The $ 4,188,800 prize pool will be carved up by the final 164 players, with the eventual champion walking off with the lion’s share of that pool ($ 696,740).

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the day’s play (other than the massive number of entries) was Afriat’s efforts. After the dinner break, Afriat needed to quadruple up to reach 14,500 chips (that’s not a misprint, folks), but he kept his foot on the gas from there. In the span of one level, Afriat went from “losing every hand for seven hours” (his words, as quoted by the WPT live updates team) to winning everything he touched, building a stack that towered over his tablemates and eventually giving him the Day 1B chip lead.

1. Eric Afriat, 222,500
2. Andrew Wilmot, 218,900
3. Ryan Olisar, 214,600
4. Mark Cole, 207,000
5. Joel Brink, 205,000
6. Joseph Skarzynski, 195,900
7. Andre Crooks, 191,100
8. Raul Lozano, 173,500
9. Juan Martinez, 164,000
10. Aaron Mermelstein, 162,500

Combined with the Day 1A participants, not only will Kadosh hold the overall lead in the tournament heading to Day 2, the top three from Day 1A will be at the helm:

1. Uri Kadosh, 245,500*
2. Robert Transue, 239,500*
3. Nguyet Dao, 237,300*
4. Eric Afriat, 222,500
5. Paul Snead, 220,000*
6. Andrew Wilmot, 218,900
7. Ryan Olisar, 214,600
8. Mark Cole, 207,000
9. Joel Brink, 205,000
10. Joseph Skarzynski, 195,900

(* – Day 1A players)

From the 1309-entry field, there will be a total of 480 players who will return for action on Sunday morning. It is possible that they will reach the money bubble on Sunday, but a better bet might be Monday for the popping of said bubble. With the massive field for this tournament, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the state of Florida and the World Poker Tour have shown that the much talked about “death” of the big-field poker tournaments have been, as in the words of Mark Twain, “greatly exaggerated.”

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2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 2 – Brandon Meyers Maintains Lead as Prize Pool Determined

 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 2 – Brandon Meyers Maintains Lead as Prize Pool Determined

Continuing to hold court over the throng of players still in the tournament, poker professional Brandon Meyers continued to hold the lead as Day 2 of the 2017 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic concluded. At the same time, those that are left in the event found out what they were playing for once late registration/reentry closed.

Out of the 600-plus entries that were received on Day 1, Meyers was the one who drove the tournament. He would finish the day with an impressive 152,750 in chips but, as the poker adage goes, you can’t win a tournament on the first day. You also can’t win it when there are still players to enter the event, which was the case here with late registration/reentry (the $ 10,000 tournament was an unlimited reentry tournament) lasting until Level Nine (the next to last level of the night on Day 2).

Undaunted, Meyers continued to work much like he had done on Day 1. He would flop trip Aces against Ray Quartomy to add to his stack early in the day’s action, then eliminate his fellow pro later in what was a cooler of a hand. The raises went back and forth for several beats until Quartomy was all in. When the hands came up, it was predictable; Quartomy’s pocket Kings were looking up at the only hand that could beat them, Meyers’ pocket Aces, and the board didn’t bring another Cowboy to save Quartomy. With the chips from Quartomy firmly ensconced in his stack, Meyers eclipsed the 200K mark (213,000, to be exact) for the tournament.

While Meyers threatened to run off and make the tournament a mockery, the entry numbers kept climbing. 792 entries were confirmed during Level 8, breaking the record for the event (791) set just last year. And as the clock clicked down to the start of Level 9 and the end of the late registration/reentry period, it became apparent just how big the 2017 WPT Five Diamond was going to be.

Once the final entries were counted, the prize pool and the final payouts were stunning. Of the $ 7,876,400 prize pool built by the 812 entries in the event, 81 players will eventually earn a cash from the WPT Five Diamond. The minimum payout of $ 19,691 leads up to a final table that will see each player earn a six-figure cash from the event. At the very top, the eventual runner-up in the tournament will receive $ 1,134,202 for his (or her) efforts, while the next champion of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic takes home a $ 1,958,065 payday and a seat at next spring’s WPT Tournament of Champions.

With their goals now set, the players began to mix it up a bit with varying degrees of success. Gus Hansen, who was wafting between a table in the Five Diamond tournament and a high stakes cash game running in Bobby’s Room, became a contender during the last level of the night in getting his stack up to 118,700. As the first ever champion of the WPT Five Diamond (and the first ever champion in WPT history), he will bear watching as the tournament enters Day 3 on Thursday.

There were other players that didn’t see success on Day 2 of the tournament, however. Players like Ronit Chamani, Mike Shariati, Toby Lewis, Jordan Cristos, current Player of the Year leader Bryn Kenney, Shankar Pillai, and Anthony Zinno (among a wealth of others) will not be receiving cards from a dealer in the WPT Five Diamond anymore. There’s still a large contingent of players left in the tournament – 320 players from the 812 entries – who have a dream of winning the championship yet.

1. Brandon Meyers, 388,100
2. Daniel Strelitz, 310,900
3. Todd Hovenden, 230,300
4. Anthony Gregg, 225,600
5. Darren Elias, 214,700
6. Kenny Nguyen, 214,000
7. Rory Young, 213,000
8. Rainer Kempe, 200,000
9. Alex Foxen, 181,700
10. Matthew Moss, 180,000

Other players bubbling under the Top Ten include former WPT champions Taylor Paur (166,000), Mike Del Vecchio (155,100) and Kevin Eyster (136,700), and poker professionals Eddy Sabat (148,000), high stakes cash game player Lauren Roberts (148,000), Anthony Spinella (138,000), Blake Bohn (137,500) and former ‘Big One for One Drop’ champion Dan Colman (137,000).

We’re still a good distance away from anyone getting a bite out of the pie that is the prize pool. In fact, Thursday’s action (five levels of 90 minutes each) will probably only serve to bring the pack closer to the money. The bubble should pop on Friday, at which point the WPT’s “shot clock” will enter the game and the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will start handing out the cash from the bounty that had been built.

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2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Two: Nick Maimone Maintains Pole Position

 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Two: Nick Maimone Maintains Pole Position

The World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic has been a part of the WPT since the tour’s inception, but in recent years, it has become almost an outlier. It is one of the few WPT Main Events that still costs $ 10,000 to enter and is also one of the few that is a good, old freezeout, rather than a re-entry tournament. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event finished its Day 2 on Sunday and with 111 players remaining, it is Day 1 chip leader Nick Maimone who held onto the top spot for a second straight day, finishing the night with 567,400 chips, the only player above the half-million mark.

My colleague Earl Burton was dead on when he said yesterday that because of the late entry possibilities on Day 2, “There’s a good possibility that the 2017 field will eclipse that of last year (515 players), but it will be a stretch to see it go much further.”

In addition to the 498 players who started on Day 1, another 23 entered the tournament on Day 2, resulting in a field of 521 players, just beating out last year’s total and, as Earl put it, not going much further.

Literally one fewer player would have put the total prize pool below $ 5 million. As the tournament did get to 521 players, the prize pool ended up at $ 5,001,600. 66 players will make the money with the winner taking home $ 1,001,110.

Maimone readily admitted to WPT.com that the poker gods smiled on him at a couple key points.

I got very fortunate in a couple of hands,” Maimone said. “I got pocket queens against ace-jack on a jack-high board to bust a guy. In one of the biggest hands of the day, I had queens against ace-queen on a Q♠-8♠-2-2♣-2♠ board.

On the latter hand, Maimone knocked out Stefan Schillhabel. They four-bet up to 20,000 chips pre-flop and after the flop came down, Maimone bet 13,000 and was called by Schillhabel. Another bet and call on the turn and when the river produced the third Two, Maimone bet enough to put Schillhabel all-in. Schillhabel called instantly, but his Deuces over Queens full house was destroyed by Maimone’s Queens over Deuces.

“Nothing he can do, I was very blessed there,” Maimone said.

He also noted he got lucky late in the night when he raised pre-flop with just J-7 and was called by Jordan Cristos. Maimone flopped two pair and the two men got all their chips in. Cristos had pocket Aces and couldn’t catch any more cards.

“There wasn’t really much else I could do,” Maimone said. “He had aces and I held.”

Day 3 has just gotten underway at the Commerce Hotel & Casino as the remaining players set their sights on at least making the money.

2017 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Nick Maimone – 567,400
2.    Matt Berkey – 493,100
3.    Mohsin Charania – 435,400
4.    Daniel Strelitz – 410,000
5.    Bryce Yockey – 354,800
6.    William Vo – 350,000
7.    Antonio Esfandiari – 349,300
8.    Daniel Lawrence – 317,200
9.    Igor Yaroshevskyy – 314,400
10.    Mike Sexton – 270,400

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Ari Engel Maintains Player of the Year Lead, Anthony Gregg & Dietrich Fast Rising

 Ari Engel Maintains Player of the Year Lead, Anthony Gregg & Dietrich Fast Rising

As the two major tournament circuits in the world prepare for their season finales ahead of the start of the World Series of Poker at the end of May, Aussie Millions champion Ari Engel is continuing to hold the lead over the field in the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race. While he has held that lead since the beginning of the year, Engel is now facing some new challengers coming up the leaderboard to take him on.

Engel hasn’t been one to sit back on his laurels since winning the Aussie Millions back in January when he had 2614 points to lead the pack. Engel has been out on the tournament circuit, winning a WSOP Circuit ring at Harrah’s Atlantic City and making a total of five final tables since the championship “Down Under.” Add in another three cashes to his total (making for a total of 12 for the year to this point) and Engel has racked up a total of 3070 points but, more importantly, over $ 1.2 million in earnings for 2016.

Anthony Gregg has moved up well over the past few months on the table, looking to improve on his runner-up finish at the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Following his first cash of 2016, Gregg has been able to tack on six cashes (with four of them final table finishes) but hasn’t been able to find the Winner’s Circle as of yet. If he keeps playing like this, it’s only a matter of time before he adds onto his 2546 points and puts Engel’s lead in jeopardy.

Just as fast as Gregg has risen up the Top Ten, another player jumped in from outside to take over the third place slot. Germany’s Dietrich Fast wasn’t anywhere near the upper echelons of the leaderboard the last time we looked, but a couple of outstanding finishes will correct that situation. Fast’s victory at the World Poker Tour’s L. A. Poker Classic in early March was nice, but Fast wasn’t satisfied as he went on to final table the WPT Vienna later in the month. With a grand total of seven cashes, three final tables and that WPT win, Fast quickly entered the charts on the CardPlayer POY with 2498 points.

A point of controversy may be in the man who holds the fourth place slot on the leaderboard. Bryn Kenney, the manager of the Global Poker League’s New York Rounders, was able to win one of the biggest events so far of 2016, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s $ 100,000 Super High Roller event for a $ 1.6 million-plus payday, and he was also able to make the final table of the PCA’s $ 50,000 High Roller tournament. Where Kenney has been making his points, however, has been at the $ 25,000 Aria High Roller Series that has been playing for some time now.

So far in 2016, Kenney has been able to rack up two wins and two other final tables in those tournaments, earning a total of 1190 points (the tournaments normally play at least twice a month). Without those finishes, Kenney isn’t even in the Top Ten with his 2474 points; by the criteria, however, they are supposed to count, so Kenney is just playing within the rules as they are written.

Steve O’Dwyer, who doesn’t frequent the tournament circuit in the United States, is holding his own right now as he’s playing anywhere else in the world. In second place just a couple of months ago, O’Dwyer has dropped down the leaderboard a bit to fifth place with his 2454 points. This is something that works against O’Dwyer in the different POY leaderboards is his refusal to play in events in the U. S. There just aren’t enough “big” tournaments outside of the U. S. that can generate the prize pools (and, as a result, the POY points) that O’Dwyer needs to exclusively play the international circuit.

The remainder of the Top Ten features some familiar names and what can rightfully be called a “playing” World Champion. David Peters, Ivan Luca, Aussie Millions runner-up Tony Dunst, defending WSOP Championship Event winner Joe McKeehen and Connor Drinan sit in places sixth through tenth, respectively. This could be a very fluid situation, however, as these five men are separated by less than 300 points and, looking down to 20th place (Igor Kurganov), by slightly more than 500 points.

The fluidity of that situation could come as soon as this month. April is a big month for the WPT, with three huge tournaments in Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions are offering a boatload of cash and a lot of POY points for their participants. Add in the fact that the European Poker Tour is keeping pace with the WPT with a Grand Final festival for the ages in Monte Carlo (along with other minor tournament circuits) and it promises to be an interesting month on the tournament trail.

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