Posts Tagged ‘Remain’

2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event Day 3: Final Three Tables Remain, Steven Greenberg Holds Lead

The 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event steamed onward on Wednesday, with the final three tables being determined and Steven Greenberg taking over the chip lead with a 3.753 million chip stack.

Day 3 of the tournament saw 159 players returning to the tables at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ, but there was an ominous tone to the proceedings. With 156 players getting paid in the tournament, that meant that three people that came back to the Borgata on Wednesday would be departing quickly and with nothing to show for their efforts. The cards hit the air just after noon on Wednesday to take on this challenge and nobody wanted to be one of those who would depart on the bubble of the cash.

The first two eliminations came within 10 minutes of the opening bell, bringing the tournament to the stone money bubble with 157 players remaining. On the fifth hand of hand-for-hand play, not one but two players were knocked out to split the 156th place money. First, Jonas Wexler went all in with a K-Q, but chip leader A. J. Kelsall looked him up with pocket fives, flopped a set and rivered an unnecessary boat to take him out. Simultaneously, Konstantinos Koufalis got the last of his chips in on an A K 5 4 flop and turn against Erick But. Koufalis’ K♣ Q had a few hopes against But’s A J (the other two Kings, any heart), but the river 7♦ ended those hopes. Although both were eliminated on the bubble, Wexler and Koufalis did get a small return on their time through earning $ 3064.50 each for their finish in a tie for 156th place.

Once the money bubble popped, there was the usual “short stack rush” from the players who were just hanging on in the tournament to make the money. Micah Raskin, Esther Taylor, John Roveto, Keven Stammen, Cornel Cimpan, Ray Quartomy, Ryan D’Angelo, and Richard Seymour all picked up some cash for their efforts and, after a few hours, new contenders would emerge for the championship. In one case, that contender was almost out of the tournament before hitting a huge rush to race to the end of the night.

With a flop and turn of 6 5♣ 3♣ J and facing a 55K bet from his opponent (into a 70K pot), Steven Greenberg pondered the situation extensively before moving the remainder of his stack (265K) into the center. Greenberg’s opponent, Richard Foster, himself took a moment before making the call and turning up his 9♣ 4♣ for the baby flush draw. Greenberg had the goods with his 6 5 (two pair), but he had to also feel some trepidation with the possibility of nine clubs ending his tournament. The river was a black card, but it was the K♠, giving Greenberg the double up to 600K and starting him on a hot streak.

Greenberg didn’t waste those newfound chips. He more than doubled that stack (to 1.285 million) by the time the dinner break rolled around, putting him in the Top Ten in the tournament. After the sustenance, Greenberg came back to the felt to take down former WPT champion Mike Linster in a classic race, Greenberg’s pocket Queens standing against Linster’s Big Slick, to crack the two million chip mark. Although he would double up a tough customer in Eric Afriat to fall off that perch, Greenberg didn’t take his foot off the gas. As the tournament day inched towards its conclusion, Greenberg had not only recovered those chips he gave to Afriat but also added to the stack, going over four million chips in eliminating Collin Whyte in 31st place late in the evening.

On the last hand of the night, Joseph Giulino pushed out his last 326K in chips, the classic “double up or don’t come back tomorrow” move, and he was looked up by Adam Hendrix. Giulino’s pocket fives were ahead of Hendrix’s A-Q through the flop, but a Queen on the turn flipped the fortunes. When the river wasn’t a five, Giulino was out of the tournament in 28th place, setting the stage for the final three tables today.

1. Steven Greenberg, 3.753 million
2. Chase Bianchi, 3.698 million
3. Stephen Song, 2.613 million
4. Raghuram Jonnalagedda, 2.503 million
5. Kane Kalas, 2.281 million
6. Daniel Aharoni, 1.994 million
7. Damjan Radanov, 1.974 million
8. David Paredes, 1.5 million
9. Spencer Champlin, 1.33 million
10. Ioannis Patsourakis, 1.309 million

Bubbling under the Top Ten are former World Champion Joseph McKeehen, (1.185 million), Afriat (1.123 million), Jonathan Little (1.1 million) and Kevin Saul (940,000). They are still in it, but Casey Yontz (495,000) and Amnon Filippi (484,000) have some work to do if they are to drive much further.

It looks as though it will be a long day on the Jersey Shore. The plans are to play from the final 27 players at noon down to the WPT final table of six. Once this is achieved, the survivors will come back on Friday with the championship hanging in the lurch, along with the $ 651,928 that the eventual champion will take home.

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2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 2: Paul Volpe Pulls to Lead, Five Shooting Stars Remain

 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 2: Paul Volpe Pulls to Lead, Five Shooting Stars Remain

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, CA, is in the books and it is shaping up to be an outstanding stretch run. Atop the final 44 players remaining is poker professional Paul Volpe, but there are plenty of challenges facing him. Not only are there five Shooting Stars left in the tournament, one of them is WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, who is looking to take over the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race should he make the final table.

264 players came back for Day 2 play, greeted with the news that they wanted:  the prize pool information. The massive 806 entries for the tournament – a record for the tournament – built a prize pool of $ 5,722,600 (part of this prize pool was the bonuses paid out to the Day 1 chip leaders and the player bounties), with WPT and Bay 101 officials deciding that 81 players would receive a minimum piece of $ 13,660. The eyes of all those left in the tournament were easily focused atop the pay scale, with a whopping $ 1,373,000 reserved for the eventual champion.

Now knowing how many players would be paid, the audacious task was set for Day 2. First, the field needed to work down to the money – meaning slightly more than two-thirds (70%) of the field would be disappointed on Wednesday – then take on getting down as close to 36 players to keep Thursday’s action (to the official WPT final table of six) as short as possible. While one of those endeavors would be completed, the other came up a bit short.

There were plenty of Shooting Stars left at the start of the day and, if they were on the short stack, it seems they quickly found the exit. Shooting Star bounty Chris Moorman was the first to go at the hands of Stuart Tuvey, netting Tuvey a $ 2500 bonus for knocking out the British pro along with his Shooting Star medallion and a commemorative t-shirt. Former NFL star Richard Seymour soon followed Moorman (Seymour’s pocket eights couldn’t catch Tuan Mai’s pocket Kings), along with Jason Koon, Anthony Zinno, Cliff Josephy, Marvin Rettenmaier, Bruce Buffer, Tom Schneider, Joe McKeehen, and Tyler Patterson. By the start of Level 14, there were still 23 Shooting Stars remaining, giving players plenty to strive for.

The news wasn’t all bad for the Shooting Stars. Former World Champion Scotty Nguyen doubled early to get up to 220K in chips, while Rainer Kempe (360K) and Noah Schwartz (305K) were at the top of those with the bounties on their heads. Also coming up the ladder at the start of the new level was Volpe who, while not a Shooting Star, had quietly worked his way into the mix with a 305K stack.

The parade of superstars with the Shooting Star medallion hanging around their necks – at least until they were knocked out of the tournament – continued throughout the afternoon. Andy Frankenberger, Mohsin Charania, ESPN poker announcer Lon McEachern, Igor Kurganov, Pat Lyons, and Tim West all hit the door after their chips disappeared from their grasp. Just as quickly as he went up the ladder, Shooting Star Nguyen would also head for the door in a particularly painful hand. After catching trip Aces on the turn against WPT Champions’ Club member Brian Altman with his Big Slick, Nguyen got his final chips to the center on the river only to see that Altman had flopped a set of fives and, with the turn Ace, made a boat.

With Shooting Star Mike Matusow heading to the door before the dinner break, 99 players were left and the money bubble was looming. What wasn’t going to be made, however, was the goal of reaching the final 36 players. Still, the players surged onward and, as the bubble came closer, Dominik Nitsche, Jesse Sylvia, Todd Brunson, and Ryan Riess would miss out on making the money in losing their bounty. What would come next would be an extended hand-for-hand period, with nobody wanting to depart the event.

For almost two hours, there were no eliminations in the tournament but plenty of double up. Sexton himself would triple up during this process, using pocket Queens against Eduards Kudrjavcevs’ pocket eights and another unnamed player to stay alive in the tournament. It wasn’t until Eddy Sabat, using pocket Kings, vanquished Oscar Zarate-Ramirez’s K♦ J♦ that the money bubble was popped and the remaining 81 players could celebrate their min-cash payday.

Once the bubble was done, the march to the cage began. Matt Stout (Shooting Star bounty) and Jeff Gross (SSB) both took home min-cashes, while Noah Schwartz (SSB), Chance Kornuth (SSB), David Tuchman (SSB), Sorel Mizzi (SSB), and defending champion Stefan Schillhabel all earned a bit more. As Level 21 began (and the clock passed 2:30AM), Bay 101 officials determined that the action would end at 3AM, regardless of how many players were remaining from the 46 players that were left.

Only two players were eliminated over the last 30 minutes of action, but the story for most was the rise of Volpe. With only 108K after the money bubble popped, Volpe increased his stack to 1.7 million and did it without great fanfare in the tournament arena. He would close the day out by adding a few more chips in holding a decent lead over Dan O’Brien.

1. Paul Volpe, 1.749 million
2. Dan O’Brien, 1.339 million
3. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 1.19 million
4. Charlie Carrel, 1.042 million
5. Garrett Greer, 1.034 million
6. Matt Affleck, 1.018 million
7. Sergio Aido, 879,000
8. Sam Panzica, 814,000
9. Tom West, 804,000
10. Brian Altman, 762,000

Greer holds court on the five Shooting Stars remaining, with David Williams (685,000), Kempe (513,000), Christian Harder (385,000) and Sexton (391,000) still hanging on to their medallions.

Because of the late night of play, the tournament will resume at 1PM (Pacific Time) with the requirement that the players reach the final six players before action will stop. With 44 players left in the tournament, that is going to be a difficult task, but it needs to be done to set the final table for Friday’s championship day at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.

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2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Day Two: 22 Players Remain with Canadian Ronald Laplante Leading

 2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Day Two: 22 Players Remain with Canadian Ronald Laplante Leading

Day Two of the World Poker Tour’s stop at the 2017 Fallsview Poker Classic is in the books. After popping the money bubble early in the day, the tournament was only able to work down to the final 22 players that will be headed by local player Ronald Laplante and facing a hectic Day Three for this afternoon.

148 hopefuls came back with the dreams of WPT glory in their minds and poker pro Ben Wilinofsky at the head of the field with his 275,900 in chips. As typical after surviving the Day One minefield, those that were on the short stacks tried to “double up or go home” and some were successful in that effort. Connor Drinan, not exactly hurting on a 100K-plus stack, doubled through Henry Tran after Drinan’s 5-4 found a miracle on an 8-4-4 flop against Tran’s A-3. The same couldn’t be said for Andre Defelice, who went against Thomas Lefort with both holding Big Slick; after four diamonds came on the board, Lefort’s K would play and send Defelice out the door.

One thing that hadn’t been concluded from Day One is what the players were knocking each other around for. The record 489 entry field had generated a $ 2,229,954 prize pool (Canadian, or $ 1,701,287 roughly U. S.), of which the top 63 players would earn a piece along with a new Hendon Mob flag. The eyes of all were at the top, though, where a nice payday of $ 449,484 ($ 335,436) awaits the eventual champion of the tournament.

Wilinofsky’s stay atop the standings wouldn’t last long into Day Two. Mark Toulouse would first leap over the Canadian pro, taking a chunk of chips off Darren Elias to crack the 300K mark. Then Andrew Chen would get into the game in what is a candidate for “hand of the year” even though we’re only a couple of months into 2017.

A four-way pot saw a once in a lifetime situation when Chen, holding pocket Queens, got his chips in against Frank Stepuchin, Ali Braaz and Omid Shahbazian, with Chen covering them all. The problem was (and information was spotty with the players’ recollections as to who held what) Chen was beating only one of those players pre-flop, who was holding J 10, while the others held pocket Kings and pocket Aces. On the flop, the two remaining Queens stunningly rolled onto the felt to give Chen quads and the lead. A blank turn sealed the deal, with Chen knocking out Stepuchin, Braaz and Shahbazian and shooting to 475K in the turn of a friendly card (or cards, in this case).

Chen would enjoy the lead for most of the afternoon as the money bubble came closer. When Rafik Yeghnazari saw his pocket Aces stand over two players – knocking out one in the process – the final 63 players were assured of their minimum payday of $ 8,176. That knockout also started the parade towards the cash cage as the players started dropping left and right.

Defending champion David Ormsby, Curt Kohlberg and the start of day chip leader Wilinofsky all saw their tournament stays ended before the dinner break. After that respite, only 47 players were left, but there was still a great deal of work left to do. With Championship Day on Friday, the remaining players had to get as close as possible to the WPT final table of six as possible, otherwise there would be a lengthy day on Friday for those remaining

They didn’t lack for effort. Blake Bohn, Aaron Massey, Chris Bell and Lefort would depart after the dinner break as the final three tables came into view. As the last level of the night played out, only five players – Shayne Matyjas, Nick Alafogiannis, Jason James, Peter Chien and Drinan finishing in 27th through 23rd places, respectively – would be eliminated as the jostling atop the leaderboard continued. Chen would be responsible for one of those knockouts (Alafogiannis), but he was unable to stop the onrushing train that was Laplante, who was almost knocked off the top of the mountain by David Eldridge’s elimination of Drinan to end the night.

1. Ron Laplante, 1.724 million
2. David Eldridge, 1.7 million
3. Buck Ramsay, 1.548 million
4. Novica Miskovic, 1.18 million
5. Kristen Bicknell, 1.018 million
6. David Ho, 982,000
7. Mark Zajdner, 803,000
8. Chrishan Sivasundaram, 733,000
9. Andrew Chen, 649,000
10. Darren Elias, 617,000

Elias is the only remaining member of the WPT Champions’ Club remaining in the tournament, but Bicknell bears watching also. The two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner is looking for the second leg of poker’s Triple Crown and it is easily conceivable to see her taking this title. Along with Laplante, also look out for Chen if he can get over his late-night slump from Thursday.

Action will resume at Fallsview Casino on the banks of Niagara Falls (the Canadian bank) this afternoon, with the champion crowned this evening. There will be no stream for this event and it will not be taped for broadcast on the Season XV schedule of the WPT (unfortunately like Ema Zajmovic’s historical victory at the WPT Montreal earlier this month). There will be a champion, however, who will be more than happy to take a few hundred thousand dollars’ home with them for the victory!

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2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4: 19 Remain with Plenty of Known Pros Chasing Ryan Tosoc

 2016 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4: 19 Remain with Plenty of Known Pros Chasing Ryan Tosoc

After another six levels of play on Thursday, the final 19 contenders have been determined for the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Atop the standings is an unknown commodity, Ryan Tosoc, who has a host of known pros and a former NFL defensive lineman in hot pursuit.

The Day 4 action started innocently enough with the drive to determining who would get paid from the event. 75 players came back to the tables Thursday afternoon, but three of those people would have rather stayed in bed. The reason? They would receive exactly $ 0 for having put in three days of work and not receive any return on the $ 10,000 (at the minimum, as it was an unlimited rebuy tournament) buy-in.

Instead of waiting to get down to the bubble, Bellagio officials chose to move into hand-for-hand play to start the day’s action. There was hope by the staff that, by taking this action, the bubble would pop sooner rather than players delaying the action through tanking and “Hollywooding” on the cusp of the payout. Instead of popping the bubble quickly, however, it seemed to extend the agony for the players rather than shorten it.

Part of the situation was that players kept getting double ups. Brandon Meyers found a double through Dzmitry Urbanovich only four hands in, keeping Meyers alive, and Kristina Holst did the same thing at the same time in a hand against Tyler Reiman. It took a three-way pot about 45 minutes into the day’s play before an elimination would occur.

Moving all in from under the gun, Keith Lehr had to be a bit concerned when both Darren Rabinowitz (who moved all in from the hijack) and Dan Smith (who called out of the big blind) decided to look him up. Smith had a pocket pair of Queens to take against Rabinowitz and Lehr, who both held Big Slick, and the 10-6-3-6-5 board looked OK for Smith until you considered the suits. With four clubs on the board, it became a question of who had a club amongst their hole cards. That fortunate individual was Rabinowitz, whose A♣ played to take both the side pot with Smith and the overall pot, knocking off Lehr in the process.

Two hours into hand-for-hand play, only one player (Lehr) was eliminated and the players were beginning to get a bit restless. One of those restless souls was Mike Matusow, who raised up the small blind of Dan O’Brien to see a J-10-3 flop. O’Brien would check-call a bet from Matusow to see a Queen come on the turn and the fuse was lit. This time O’Brien would check-raise the turn bet out of Matusow, bringing an all-in three-bet from Matusow and an immediate call from O’Brien. Both had straights when the cards were on their backs, but O’Brien’s A-K gave him Broadway and Matusow’s 9-8 left him with the sucker end of the deal. Drawing dead, Matusow left the floor in 74th place ($ 0) as hand-for-hand continued.

After almost three hours of hand-for-hand tedium, it was chip leader Ryan Hughes who finally took care of the situation. 22 hands into the day (yes, 22 hands in nearly three hours), Jerry Wong pushed his chips to the center and Hughes nearly beat him into the pot with his call. Wong’s pocket Jacks looked good, but Hughes’ pocket Kings looked even better. After a ten-high board was laid out, Wong was out on the money bubble and Hughes extended his lead.

With everyone now guaranteed at lin 2east $ 22,251, things lightened up as the payouts began. Mark Radoja, Aaron Massey, Joe Hachem, David Pham, Haixia Zhang, Anatoly Filatov, Jesse Sylvia and Urbanovich were just some of the players who departed before the dinner break. After dinner, Hughes took some hits to his stack and, after doubling up James Romero, fell under the chip average for the first time in almost three days. Hughes would never recover from that hit to his stack, eventually departing in 21st place for his efforts.

The day was particularly nice for two participants. Richard Seymour, who holds three Super Bowl rings from his time with the New England Patriots (he would finish his career in 2012 with the Oakland Raiders), has segued into poker to soothe his competitive beast and he has some game to his walk. After starting the day with about 270,000 in chips, Seymour had broken the million chip mark after the dinner break. Although he would fall back to the pack by the end of the night, Seymour will be one of the players to watch on Friday as a potential final tablist.

The other player who made some noise was Tosoc. In a three way all-in situation just after midnight, Tosoc was up against both Jared Jaffee and Christian Christner and had the goods for battle. His pocket Aces stood up over Jaffee’s pocket Kings and Christner’s pocket treys, with the resulting 3.3 million pot pushing Tosoc into the lead. Jaffee suffered a significant hit to his stack but was still alive with 700K in chips, while Christner hit the rail in 22nd place. That pot alone made sure that Tosoc would be the chip leader going into Friday’s action:

Ryan Tosoc, 3.492 million
Justin Bonomo, 2.687 million
James Romero, 2.03 million
JC Tran, 1.806 million
Stephen Graner, 1.655 million
Jake Schindler, 1.289 million
Rob Wazwaz, 1.28 million
Bob Buckenmayer, 1.212 million
Alex Condon, 1.189 million
Igor Yaroshevsky, 1.065 million

While he has been around since 2012, Tosoc hasn’t exactly made an impact on the tournament poker world. Since his first cash in a World Series of Poker Circuit preliminary event four years ago, arguably Tosoc’s biggest achievement would be his final table finish in the $ 1 million guaranteed finale of the Deepstack Extravaganza 3.5 at the Venetian in September of this year. That $ 125,523 payday was the largest one of his career – unless he finishes this tournament in eighth place or better.

Tosoc, Seymour and the remainder of the 19-player field will play tonight until the official six-handed WPT final table is set. That will put everything in place for Saturday’s final table action, which will be taped for broadcast on the Season XV schedule of the WPT on Fox Sports Network in 2017.

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2016 EPT Malta Day 4: 14 Players Remain with Mats Karlsson Heading the Pack

 2016 EPT Malta Day 4: 14 Players Remain with Mats Karlsson Heading the Pack

Day 4 is history for the European Poker Tour stop in Malta and, after the day was shortened due to the frenetic pace of play, Mats Karlsson has taken the lead of the 14-player pack that will come back for action early Friday morning (U. S. time).

30 players still had chips at the start of Thursday, all with visions of the €355,700 first place prize dancing in their heads. The United Kingdom’s Tomas Macnamara was holding court with the chip lead at the start of the day, the only player over a million chips with his 1.028 million stack. There were plenty of challengers for the throne at the start of the day, however, in the forms of Dmitry Yurasov (844,000), Benjamin Pollak (665,000) and Ole Schemion (613,000), just to name a few.

From the crack of the pistol to start the day, the players were active, slinging chips around the Portomaso Casino in Malta. Clashing early in the day were Schemion and former PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion Dominik Panka, with Panka forcing Schemion to drop his hand after a bet on the turn and with the board reading K♠ 8♠ 6♠ 8. Those chips would prove useful to Panka as the day wore on.

Within the first level of play, five of the 30 participants were knocked out of the tournament, leaving EPT officials with a bit of a dilemma. Originally Day 4 was scheduled to go five levels of play or down to 21 players (whichever came first) but, with the action going quicker than expected, they made some changes on the fly. Instead of holding to the original plan, the players were informed it would be a shortened to four levels of action on Thursday, regardless of how many players were left.

One of those players still in action at the time of the announcement, Panka, almost wasn’t there to hear it. In a clash with Sergey Sergeev, Panka called off a Sergeev all in on a 9-3-3-J board and was stunned to see Sergeev playing an 8-3 for flopped trips. Panka’s pocket Aces were at a distinct disadvantage and, once a ten hit the river, was left with only 43K after the hand. While he could have just rolled over, Panka instead made a stunning comeback.

Panka first doubled through Konrad Abela, his 8-7 miraculously catching a straight on the river of a K-9-A-6-5 board against Abela’s pocket fives, to get back to 90K. He would push a couple more times to get up to 118,000 chips before doubling again, this time through Guillaume Diaz when he once again caught a straight with his A-8 (against Diaz’s A-J) on a 6-5-4-7-4 board. Panka would continue the ascent, chopping some chips from Schemion again, before getting his final double of the night through Frederik Jensen with pocket eights standing to Jensen’s 10♣ 9♣ on a 6-8-Q-2-Q board. Over a million at that time, Panka would end the day’s play with 1.411 million chips, good for third place on the leaderboard.

By the conclusion of the fourth level of the day, Karlsson had almost quadrupled his start of day stack and finished as the only player to eclipse the two million chip mark in the tournament:

1. Mats Karlsson, 2.033 million
2. Dmitry Yurasov, 1.709 million
3. Dominik Panka, 1.411 million
4. Aliaksei Boika, 1.195 million
5. Elie Saad, 1.089 million
6. Peter Ockender, 1.059 million
7. Bastian Dohler, 1.033 million
8. Tomas Macnamara, 943,000
9. Louis Cartarius, 879,000
10. Daniele Colautti, 697,000
11. Benjamin Pollak, 605,000
12. Xi Xiang Luo, 572,000
13. Marco Bartolini, 550,000
14. Ole Schemion, 214,000

Panka is the only player remaining who has previously won an EPT title and, with only this event and Prague in December left, there are only two more chances for the EPT to have its second two-time winner in its history (to join Victoria Coren-Mitchell) before the EPT disappears in 2017 and becomes the PokerStars Championships.

The 14 players will be back on the felt at noon in Malta (6AM Eastern time United States) and will play down to the eight-handed EPT final table, which will EPT Malta’s action on Saturday.

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