Posts Tagged ‘Millions’

Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

 Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

Toby Lewis won the Aussie Millions Main Event this weekend, triumphing over a field of 800 runners. The A$ 1,458,198 (USD $ 1,178,513) first prize was the biggest score of his career, eclipsing his ~$ 600,000 cash for winning EPT Vilamoura in 2010. He now has nearly $ 4.4 million in live tournament earnings.

Lewis went into the seven-handed final table (yes, seven-handed) as the chip leader and never looked back. Ok, technically he looked “up” at times, as he was neck-and-neck with Espen Solaas (5.835 million to 5.680 million chips) initially before Solaas overtook him for the lead early on. Before we get too bogged down with it all, here is what the chip stacks looked like to start the final table:

Toby Lewis – 5.835 million
Espen Solaas – 5.680 million
Ben Richardson – 4.870 million
Mike Del Vecchio – 3.065 million
Stefan Huber – 1.975 million
Chul-Hyon Park – 1.670 million
John Schumacher – 955,000

Schumacher was the first to go on Hand 25. Solaas shoved pre-flop with 7d-5d, likely a power move, but Schumacher looked him up with 5c-5s. Unfortunately for Schumacher, Solass hit a runner-runner diamond flush to take the hand and eliminate Schumacher in seventh place.

Solaas continued to add chips, but on Hand 37, Lewis took a huge pot from Stefan Huber to climb to 8.365 million and regain the chip lead by nearly 1.5 million over Solaas. Lewis ran into a rough patch over the next three orbits or so, seeing his stack dip below 6 million. In the meantime, Chul-Hyon Park came out of nowhere to take the lead after doubling through Solaas on Hand 54. The very next hand, Ben Richardson was knocked out in sixth place Solaas, K-K against A-Q.

Park held the lead for a while, but Lewis kept chipping up while Solaas was a bit stagnant. By Hand 80, Lewis had risen to 7 million chips and back into the chip lead. On Hand 95, he took a massive chunk of change from Park with A-K against J-J. Lewis paired his King and got Park to pay him off handsomely on the river. That put a canyon between Lewis and the field, while Park fell to the short stack.

It was Mike Del Vecchio who bowed out next, though, eliminated in fifth place by Lewis. By Hand 107, Lewis had 15.810 million chips, twice the chips of the other three players combined. At that point, his three opponents were just trying to make it to third place. Lewis was fully aware of this and made them pay, pounding away at them while they stayed out of his way.

“He knew he had to be very tight,” Lewis said of Park to Aussie Millions officials after the tournament. “[Huber and Solaas] both understood ICM very well. It’s an absolute disaster for either of them to get it in against me. It was one of those spots where eventually something had to give but nobody wanted it to give.”

Eventually it was Park who gave, getting unlucky when his Queens fell to Solaas’s Sevens when Solaas turned a set.

After Park’s elimination, the remaining three players began to discuss a deal. Lewis, though, he was way ahead, likely didn’t want to risk a string of bad luck and just wanted to lock up a serious payday right then and there. The other two players, Huber and Solaas, were probably more than happy to also lock up a prize and relax a little bit. They agreed that Lewis would get A$ 1,383,198, Solaas, who was in second place, would receive A$ 1,177,103, and Huber would get A$ 909,699. A$ 75,000 was left on the table for an incentive to keep playing.

It took about another 30 hands to decide it. Solaas went out in third place when his Nines fell to Lewis’ Kings. Lewis had little trouble finishing off Huber. On the final hand, Huber raised pre-flop with A-8 and Lewis called with Q-T. Lewis flopped trips and you can guess what happened from there.

2018 Aussie Millions Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Toby Lewis – A$ 1,458,198
2. Espen Solaas – A$ 909,699
3. Ben Richardson – A$ 1,177,103
4. Mike Del Vecchio – A$ 470,000
5. Stefan Huber – A$ 370,000
6. Chul-Hyon Park – A$ 300,000
7. John Schumacher – A$ 235,000

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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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Partypoker Going for All the Glory with a 2018 MILLIONS Online Guarantee of $20 Million

 Partypoker Going for All the Glory with a 2018 MILLIONS Online Guarantee of $20 Million

Earlier this month, partypoker hosted its first online version of its already-popular MILLIONS event. The $ 5 million guaranteed tournament was a hit, as over one thousand players registered, generating a $ 5.1 million prize pool. Jon Van Fleet won the event, banking just over a million dollars. Players will have to wait a year for the next MILLIONS online, but their patience will be rewarded, as partypoker is quadrupling the guaranteed prize pool.

Yes, I had to re-read it at first, too. I’m not normally impressed by tournament guarantees, as they come in all sizes and we have seen plenty of them at a million dollars or more for some of the more significant online poker series. But holy hell, next year’s MILLIONS online guarantee is going to be $ 20 million? I don’t really even know how that’s possible.

The $ 20 million guaranteed MILLIONS online will run December 1st though December 4th, 2018 at partypoker and will feature the same $ 5,300 buy-in that it did this month.

Players can start ramping up as early as February, as the MILLIONS online leaderboard will kick off on Monday, February 5th. The top ten players on the leaderboard every week will be awarded a $ 5,300 seat in the December event. Players who win more than one seat will receive the additional $ 5,300 prizes in tournament dollars. Mid and low leaderboards will also exist, with the top 20 players on each winning smaller denomination satellite tickets.

Of course, MILLIONS is primarily a live tournament series, so partypoker is making sure that live players aren’t left out of the fun. The first through tenth place finishers in every live MILLIONS Main Event will also receive a $ 5,300 seat into the Millions Online tournament.

This is impressively ambitious. The $ 5.1 million prize pool for the recent MILLIONS Online was the largest tournament prize pool in partypoker’s history and partypoker has been around for a long time, at least in online poker terms. The poker room will need to attract a field of 4,000 to meet the guarantee, but even if it hit that number on the nose, there would still be a hidden overlay because a good number of seats are being given away. Now, there is an entire year for players to compete in satellites to earn their seats, so I suspect achieving a no-overlay $ 20 million prize pool might be achievable (the guarantee alone will likely drive traffic to partypoker and encourage players to register who might not have otherwise done so), but it will still be an uphill climb.

John Duthie, President of partypoker LIVE, said in a partypoker blog post, “I love the concept of a MILLIONS leg on partypoker, it gives us the opportunity to bring together our MILLIONS players from all over the world at the end of the year to compete for an unprecedented prizepool. I was a little nervous about trying this concept out, but players supported us this time so we should return the favour and go for a record breaking online prizepool in 2018.”

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Sam Greenwood Enjoys Trip to the Caribbean, Wins partypoker MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party Main Event

 Sam Greenwood Enjoys Trip to the Caribbean, Wins partypoker MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party Main Event

Normally when people take a trip to the Caribbean, they are going for the change in weather. Canadian poker pro and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Sam Greenwood’s trip to the 2017 Caribbean Poker Party presented by partypoker might have started out as a pleasure trip, but Greenwood quickly made it a profitable business trip in cashing in two big tournaments and winning a third, the $ 5000 MILLIONS Main Event.

Last week, Greenwood was taking part in the first event of the tournament, the $ 10,000 High Rollers event with a $ 1 million guaranteed prize pool. Out of the 103-player field, Greenwood would make the final table with Jonathan Little, Kenny Hallaert, Pascal LeFrancois and Steffen Sontheimer, just to name a few of the competitors. Greenwood worked his way to the final three before departing in third place for a payday of $ 124,100.

That wasn’t enough for Greenwood. A couple of days later, Greenwood was back in the saddle for the $ 25,000 Super High Roller event on the MILLIONS schedule. The 43-entry field was perhaps a bit deficient in numbers, but it wasn’t deficient in the quality of players. This time around, Greenwood would outlast fellow final table finishers Sam Trickett, Adrian Mateos, Rafael Moraes and Sontheimer to reach heads up against Christopher ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen. After an extensive heads up battle, Greenwood would succumb to Hunichen’s aggression and finish in second for a $ 242,750 payday.

Greenwood must have figured that the “third time was the charm” because he dived into the $ 5000 MILLIONS Main Event and its $ 5 million guaranteed prize pool. 12 players came back on Saturday looking to take the $ 1 million prize for winning the tournament. Differing from his previous forays into the High Roller tournaments, Greenwood (193.9 million) was the massive chip leader as the penultimate day of the tournament began. Way back in the rearview mirror were such players as Jonas Gjelstad (117.7 million), Jason Koon (93.8 million), Felipe Ramos (77.8 million) and Preben Stokkan (99 million), who won the $ 10K High Roller that Greenwood was a part of.

Gjelstad rocketed out of the gate, knocking off two players to crack the 200 million mark (249.5 million, to be exact) as the remaining nine men came together for the final table. Gjelstad would prove to be as adept at giving up the chips as taking them as Stokkan took two pots from his fellow countryman to take over the lead himself. By the time the first break of the day came, there were still nine players left but they were getting ready to mix it up.

That ability to “mix it up” almost cost Greenwood the tournament. Although he would get back into the mix by flopping a straight against Damian Lomza, he would double up the dangerous Andrey Shatilov into the lead and drop to only 28 million chips. Playing a K-9 off suit off the button and seeing Shatilov defend his big blind with a Q-J, Greenwood fired on every street of a Q-5-2-8-7 board, with Shatilov calling every street to take the humongous pot.

That was the last misstep that Greenwood would make. He doubled through Jiri Horak and Stokkan to get back to 143 million chips, then cracked the 200 million mark again against Shatilov. Shatilov, however, was giving everyone action as he eliminated Udo Erlei in seventh and busted Horak in fourth to maintain his stack.

Greenwood would continue to chase Shatilov, bringing the action to two players after knocking off Gjelstad in third. After coming back from a dinner break, Shatilov’s 598 million stack dwarfed that of Greenwood (449 million), but the Canadian went right to work. On the first hand of heads up, Greenwood sniffed out a Shatilov bluff to take the hand and the lead from the Russian and he wouldn’t look back. Although it would take slightly more than an hour, Greenwood would eventually emerge as the champion when his pocket Kings held up over Shatilov’s 9♣ 8♣ after the flop came 8-6-4-3-5.

1. Sam Greenwood, $ 1,000,000
2. Andrey Shatilov, $ 650,000
3. Jonas Gjelstad, $ 450,000
4. Jiri Horak, $ 315,850
5. Felipe Ramos, $ 220,000
6. Preben Stokkan, $ 150,000
7. Udo Erlei, $ 100,000
8. Dan Dizenzo, $ 70,000

Just for the record, Greenwood in one week finished third, second and first in three consecutive tournaments, bringing in a neat $ 1,366,850 for his efforts. It would push the annals of poker history to find someone who had a similar run of tournaments during the same festival, let alone the same week.

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Party Poker MILLIONS Series Looks to Break Through in 2018

 Party Poker MILLIONS Series Looks to Break Through in 2018

While PokerStars has been very active in the live poker community, first with the dearly departed European Poker Tour (a moment of silence, please) and now the PokerStars Championships, partypoker has been relatively quiet. That will change in 2018 as partypoker is upping the ante on their live efforts with the second year of their Party Poker MILLIONS Series.

After testing the waters with smaller live events, partypoker has gone full bore with trying to kickstart their live poker ventures and the MILLIONS franchise. They hired the founder of the EPT, John Duthie, to be the president of Party Poker LIVE (the overseer of the MILLIONS events) earlier in 2017 and followed it up by drawing former World Poker Tour announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton away from the WPT for an executive position with the organization. Those two gentlemen seem to have put the final touches on what promises to be an exciting series come 2018.

Duthie, who has the background from the creation of the EPT in his memory, knows what needs to be done first. “Putting players first is key to ensuring that the partypoker LIVE brand thrives and is well-respected, and it’s been great to be part of this,” Duthie noted during the announcement of the 2018 schedule. “The response to the partypoker MILLIONS series has been incredible, and I think the increased prize pools next year are going to take the events to a whole new level. It’s going to be very exciting.”

Sexton echoed Duthie’s statements, saying, “As partypoker LIVE’s flagship series, partypoker MILLIONS has attracted a huge number of players in its first year and proved a resounding success. The MILLIONS series has brought a great deal of excitement to the live and online poker world and really engaged players with a very competitive environment, so I can’t wait to see the impact of even bigger prize pool guarantees in 2018.”

The newly revealed events will offer a minimum of $ 5 million in guaranteed prize money at multiple stops around the world. Some of those stops will have a massive $ 10 million guaranteed prize pool. At the $ 10 million stops, partypoker is guaranteeing that the top three finishers will walk off with at least a million and that a minimum of 250 players will earn at least $ 10,000 for their min-cash.

The continuation of the inaugural season will be later this month with the first of the $ 5 million guaranteed events, the Caribbean Poker Party at The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Beginning on November 20, the first two of four Day One flights will be held with the goal to meet that $ 5 million guarantee (1000 players). The final table of the event will be played on November 25 (Saturday), where most of the prize pool will be divvied up.

From the sunny climes of the Dominican Republic, the Party Poker MILLIONS will traverse the world, including the cyber world:

MILLIONS Online                                         December 2-6
MILLIONS Germany                                     February 10-18
(end of Season One)
MILLIONS Grand Final – Barcelona             April 7-15*
MILLIONS North America – Canada            April 21-29**
MILLIONS Russia – Sochi                            August 4-12
MILLIONS UK – Dusk ‘Til Dawn                September 20-October 9
MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party                November 10-18*

(* – $ 5 million guaranteed prize pool)

(** – $ 10 million Canadian guaranteed prize pool)

The resurgence of partypoker in the live arena comes at an intriguing point in the international poker community. There is already a plethora of live poker events in the world, especially with the PokerStars Championships, the World Poker Tour and even the World Series of Poker Circuit and its ventures into foreign lands. The brain trust behind the Party Poker MILLIONS have cast an eye at the tournament poker calendar in the scheduling of their events, however.

From a look at the schedule, the MILLIONS is avoiding the beginning of the calendar year and the glut of international tournaments that occur just after January begins. In particular, the newly revived PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (back from its one-year experiment as the PokerStars Championships Bahamas) and the Aussie Millions suck up much of the oxygen in the room during the month. By waiting until mid-February for their stop in Germany, the MILLIONS team is giving themselves the best opportunity at success when the calendar is less crowded.

They’ve also utilized their online home as a springboard to get players to the live events. Satellites are running continuously on partypoker for the MILLIONS tournaments and they have been well received by the international poker world. Duthie, obviously remembering how the EPT exploded from online poker satellites, is looking for lightning to strike twice with the MILLIONS series.

Still, the players will be the ones who vote with the most important marker – their money. Many eyes will be cast towards Punta Cana later this month to see if Duthie and Sexton have something going with the MILLIONS. Knowing their history in poker, don’t bet against them.

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