Posts Tagged ‘money’

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

Alex Dreyfus Continues to Have Issues, Borrows Money from Players

 Alex Dreyfus Continues to Have Issues, Borrows Money from Players

In what has seemingly become a normal occurrence for him and the organization he represents, the Global Poker League’s top honcho, Alexandre Dreyfus, continues to have financial issues surrounding the league. The latest issues involve a player that is playing with one of the GPL franchises and money that was supposed to have been an exchange but turned into a short term loan.

According to a thread on Two Plus Two, German poker superstar Fedor Holz was approached by Dreyfus during this year’s World Series of Poker regarding an undesignated financial situation he was facing. “He (had) spend (sic) $ 50,000 in the last few days for the studio (where “The Cube” was broadcasting the GPL Summer Series),” Holz wrote in his post, and had no other liquid funds available. Allegedly Dreyfus asked Holz for $ 10,000 and asked for Holz’s bank information so as to put through a wire transfer the following week.

Holz admits that, due to the whirlwind of activity he was facing in Las Vegas, he didn’t get around to balancing his accounts until early August and found that Dreyfus had not paid back the money as the deal had been set. Holz allegedly stated an e-mail from Dreyfus explained the delay and said that it would be late August or early September before he would be able to repay “with interest.” “I am in the middle of a strategic/financing deal which – if you allow me – to have a few weeks more…would be highly appreciated.” Dreyfus writes the situation off as “just Entrepreneur (sic) life.”

By this time, however, Holz had found out that Dreyfus also had an outstanding loan with another high stakes poker player. Hendrik Latz, who plays under the name ‘ValueH,’ recounted his own tale of how Dreyfus and he had organized a money swap which turned into a three-month loan for the head of the GPL. In Latz’s case, $ 20,000 changed hands and, instead of getting the Euros promised that same day, had to wait until August 31 (as Holz did) to receive the money (plus a little interest payment).

Dreyfus would remove the previous “allegedly” statements by commenting on the thread himself. “I’ve apologized to (both of them) for having failed in respecting the original repayment deadline as it was intended,” Dreyfus begins. “I’ve also apologized to them both for the lack of communication and the non-professionalism that was inherent in this on my part.”

Dreyfus explains that the summer for the GPL was “tough” and “a lot of things didn’t work out as planned.” Regarding the situation with the players, Dreyfus holds to a statement that “there was never any malicious intent” and that “I’m not immune from making errors like this.” He also states that “this matter is settled and I’m not intending to add any comment publicly on this as I believe it to be a private matter.”

That statement seems to be what is bothering a large segment of the poker populace. Many poker news sites (including this one) would like to ask Dreyfus about the impropriety of borrowing money from a player in your own league, not to mention how the GPL has reached such a point that it doesn’t have operating capital of its own. Upswing Poker’s David Huber notes that plenty of players, including Doug Polk, Ryan Fee and Jason Mo, are all asking questions of Dreyfus in the Two Plus Two thread, but Dreyfus isn’t talking.

This is just the latest dirty marks on the inaugural season of the GPL. The second half of the season was supposed to have begun back in August, but it will not resume play until September 20 with online matches. The GPL Playoffs and the GPL World Championship were supposed to have been played at high profile locations – TwitchCon 2016 in San Diego, CA, for the playoffs at the end of September, SSE Arena at Wembley Stadium in London, the United Kingdom, for the GPL World Championship in November – but those dates were unceremoniously canceled and the entirety of the playoffs and the World Championship will take place at “GPL Arena” and “The Cube” in Las Vegas.

Holz perhaps said it best when he commented on why he came forward with telling the story of his interaction with Dreyfus. “He represents poker to the outside (world), so he represents us as a community to the outside,” Holz stated in his Two Plus Two post. “I think the story above is very questionable as a serious entrepreneur and a showing of missing integrity. I really do hope that this was a single misstep.”

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

Oklahoma Tribe Pushes Back Launch of Real Money Online Poker

 Oklahoma Tribe Pushes Back Launch of Real Money Online Poker

The real money portion of, a legal online poker site launched by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, has been delayed. The anticipated launch date for what is supposed to be the first licensed international online poker room based in the U.S. was yesterday, but according to a press release, it has been pushed back as the Tribe “continue(s) to coordinate with foreign governments on the worldwide launch.”

In September 2015, the Iowa Tribe, along with its poker client developer, Universal Entertainment Group (UEG), was dead-set on launching a real money online poker site, but the state of Oklahoma’s Gambling Compliance Unit believed such a venture was illegal. The case went to an independent arbitrator, Charles Chapel, who, to the surprise of many, ruled in favor of the Iowas.

“The use of the Internet,” Chapel said, “is merely using technology to play covered games as a way to increase tribal revenues.  It does not extend or restrict the scope of the games and does not amend the compact in any way. The compact and all its terms shall remain in force.”

Both the state and the federal government abided by Chapel’s decision, so the Iowa Tribe and UEG went forward with their plans.

Earlier this year, launched play money gambling. This was not a brand new thing for UEG, as it had previously with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes on a gaming website called – get this – That fell apart, though, as the Tribes eventually called it quits. Now the site, for the most part, is back minus the “s” and with a new tribal partner.

In Monday’s press release, the Iowa Tribe said that it and UEG “are working to finalize the international country by country gaming licensees and international merchant processing banking. Banking partners will include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and more, plus our European banking partners.”

“We have completed each phase thoroughly and precisely. The final phase is the most important for a successful launch with the real money play, which is why we are rescheduling our launch date,” said the Iowa Tribe’s Chairman Bobby Walkup in the press release.

But a successful launch, whenever it may be, is likely to be a problem. UEG has estimated that the site’s online poker room could generate as much as $ 132 million in revenues by 2018, but it would be a miracle if that actually happened. Real money play will be open to players outside of Oklahoma in jurisdictions where such online gambling is currently legal. In the United States, there are only three states – Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada – where online gambling is explicitly legal and it is only intrastate online poker that is legal in those states. Only Nevada and Delaware have an interstate agreement and that is only with each other, not other states. Thus, nobody in the U.S. could play on

That leaves international players, of which there are many. Realistically, though, who from other countries would want to venture onto the site when there are already so many other established options out there, such as PokerStars, 888poker, the iPoker Network, and more? There is just no reason for anyone to try out the site.

In the meantime, is going to push back its real money launch date so it can make sure all of its ducks are in a row. But it probably won’t matter.

Poker News Daily