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Found 10 results

  1. If you haven't heard, Greg Merson (pictured), two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, was not at all happy with the World Poker Tour's decision to run a $500 buy-in, $1 million Guarantee at Aria in Las Vegas at the same time as this year's WSOP Main Event at the Rio. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- "Can't breathe on PartyPoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP Main Event. Of course you can play both, but very disrespectful IMO," he Tweeted to his 34,000 followers. The comparatively low buy-in WPT500 was an effort by organizers to take advantage of the many grinders hanging around town for the WSOP who could not afford the $10,000 Main Event. But Merson was having none of it and continued to voice his displeasure on Twitter: "Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slide since 2006 #showers." At that point, Matt Savage (pictured), Executive Tour Director of the WPT and organizer of the WPT500, tried to calm down the 2012 Main Event winner, replying, "Sorry for upsetting you, no one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn't expect a single player to skip the ME for this." He also added, "In addition, we moved our dates from the 1-6th out of 'respect' for the 'Little One Drop,' as a $1K buy-in is too close to $500." On the forums, most agreed with Savage that the $500 event was unlikely to draw any players away from the prestigious five-figure buy-in Main Event and welcomed more competition for the WSOP. "Some people prefer a tourney where they can win $200k in 2 days instead of an entry to a $10k, 2 week+ tournament," chimed in Andy Bloch. "WPT is a competitor. Who really cares if there is a $500 at the Aria? Nice for people who fly in and want to play every day," said Russell Thomas. Merson was unmoved and kept up his tirade, calling the Main Event "our Super Bowl" and telling WPT execs to "save your five-day reentry money grab for another date." The pro's comments might have been spurred by a new sponsorship alliance with the WSOP, as pointed out by F5 Poker. In the middle of this year's Series, Merson was photographed wearing a WSOP.compatch after leaving Phil Ivey's training site. One Twitter observer was not impressed with the bracelet winner's behavior: "Astounded @WSOPcom would still consider @GregMerson as potential ambassador after tirade against #WPT500 @ARIAPoker event! #GreatValueEvent." Merson's Main Event run came to an end on Day 2AB, with the pro Tweeting, "I have been eliminated from this tournament." That didn't stop him from keeping up the jabs, though: "Debating going to play Day 1P of the [WPT500] tournament," he said facetiously. At that point, the WPT500 was already turning out to be a rousing success, smashing its guarantee with 3,599 entrants and generating a prize pool of $1.8 million. In the end, Sean Yu bested the field, defeating Kareem Marshall for a $260,000 first place prize. On Twitter, poker industry professionals were quick to complement Savage on the tournament. "Pretty impressive vision and even better execution. Congrats," said Parx Poker Ambassador Matt Glantz (pictured). "Congrats to @ARIAPoker @WPT for a hugely successful #WPT500," agreed Bellagio Poker Room Manager Sean McCormack. Merson seems to be standing by his remarks, but he made clear that the criticism wasn't directed toward Savage himself. "@SavagePoker wanted to let you know those comments were in no way directed toward you. You are one of the best in the business and we are lucky to have you in the poker world," he said. "They were my views stemming from frustration of poker companies not working together to schedule stuff that doesn't hurt numbers for major events." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Nearly three weeks after he issued a Twitter tirade against the World Poker Tour and its $500 buy-in Las Vegas tournament, the WPT500, 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Greg Merson (pictured) has responded to critics who thought he took his criticism too far. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- On his Twitter feed from July 6, Merson ripped into the WPT for holding its inaugural WPT500 at Aria in Las Vegas while the World Series of Poker Main Event was being conducted nearby at the Rio. "Can't breathe on partypoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP Main Event," Merson wrote in his first Tweet. "Of course you can play both, but very disrespectful, in my opinion." Merson went on to Tweet, "The Main Event is our Super Bowl, save your 5 day re-entry money grab for another date." He concluded his scathing remarks by commenting, "Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slide since 2006." Players such as Christian charderHarder, Russell Thomas, and Brian Stinger885Hastings disagreed with Merson's original Twitter rant, while WPT Tournament Director Matt Savage (pictured below) addressed Merson directly. "We moved our dates from [July] 1-6 out of respect for the Little One for One Drop, as a $1K buy-in is too close to $500," Savage wrote on Twitter. "No one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn't expect a single player to skip ME for this." Over the past weekend, Merson addressed those who disagreed with him in a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, in part saying, "I think it is very unlikely I would have fallen into poker without the boom in 2003, which was caused predominantly by the Main Event," Merson continued. "The Main Event blew up poker to another level and keeping the numbers strong for the Main Event is important for the industry as it continues to struggle without Federal legalized online poker in the States." "For partypoker/WPT to poach the traffic for the biggest event of the year was a little grimy," Merson stated. "Let's see how they would feel about WSOP putting a $500 bracelet event the same days and in the same city as their WPT Championship. It mostly comes down to the fact that the 3 major tours fight for the same players and should be working together and not against each other." The statements from Merson come on the heels of signing with the Nevada-based regulated online poker site WSOP.com as its first sponsored pro.
  3. In recent days, thousands of eyes were trained squarely on the felts at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for the conclusion of the WPT500. Days 2 and 3 of this gigantic event were held on Sunday and Monday, respectively, and when all was said and done, Craig imgrinding Varnell (pictured) took home the trophy and $330,000. The WPT500 is an interesting tournament with a unique schedule. Not designed to specifically compete with the World Series of Poker, it still appears to have been created as a way for the WPT to capitalize on the thousands of poker players in Las Vegas for the WSOP. Held right before the Main Event, it gives players the opportunity to compete in a large-field tournament for a much lower buy-in, just $500. Tournament organizers guaranteed a $2 million prize pool. There were ten starting days for the WPT500. The first six, Days 1A through 1F, were held May 31 to June 8, while the last four took place July 2 to July 5. In between, Aria hosted a string of smaller buy-in tourneys. There was a bit of controversy surrounding the WPT500 last year, although it really emanated from just one person: 2012 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson(pictured). The weekend the 2014 WSOP Main Event began, Merson went on a Twitter rant about the WPT500 being disrespectful to the WSOP, calling it a "money grab." Merson felt that it was wrong that the WPT500 was being held right before the WSOP Main Event. However, most everybody understood that a $500 buy-in tournament was not going to compete with the $10,000 Main Event and that, although the two events overlapped slightly, players could easily do both if they made sure they understood the schedule. That might have been good press for the WPT, though, as the field skyrocketed from last year's 3,599 to this year's 5,113, making the 2015 WPT500 the largest event in WPT history. The prize pool was $2,556,500, clearing the guarantee by more than half-a-million dollars. The WPT also made sure it pushed this year's WPT500 a little bit earlier so that there was not as much overlap with the start of the WSOP Main Event. Certainly, anyone who made it to Day 2 would not have been able to play in Day 1A of the Main Event and those who reached Day 3 would not have been able to play in Day 1B of the Main Event, but that did not affect that many people in the grand scheme of things and that still left Day 1C for those who wanted it. Varnell was absolutely thrilled with the win, telling the WPT after the match, "This feels surreal. You have no idea how happy I am. I love poker; I love the game. I'm blessed to be here." The $330,000 first prize more than doubles his lifetime live tournament winnings, taking him up over $600,000 for his career (figures courtesy TheHendonMob). His previous best score came just last week when he finished third in the $1,000 WSOP online event for $73,079. Varnell is also a member of PocketFives, registered under the screen name imgrinding. In online tournaments tracked by us, he has won $332,586, with a top cash of $90,734 from winning a $216 No Limit Hold'em Deep Stack event on Full Tilt in January 2007. If our records are any indication, it appears that that Black Friday put the kibosh on his internet play, as his last online cash was in March 2011. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. The World Poker Tour and Aria Casino team together for a third annual WPT500 – an event that’s quickly found favor with players looking for a break from the grind of 2016 WSOP. The $565 buy-in event, complete with a $1 million guarantee, kicks off Monday with the first of nine starting flights. The innovative structure was tweaked a bit this year – the top 11% of each field makes the money and only the top 5% bag up chips and advance to Day 2. Players are allowed multiple entries but players can only move their best stack forward. Players from 8-11% cash for $950, 5%-8% earn $1,200 and the min-cash for all Day 2 survivors is $1,500. The first year featured a $1 million guarantee that it crushed by more than 50% with 3,599 entrants. Organizers bumped the guarantee up to $2 million in 2015 and crushed it again with a $2.55 million prize pool. Players start with a 15,000 stack with late registration open until Level 9 on the traditional Day 1s. There are two Last Chance Turbo events on July 4 where players have until Level 7 to enter. The format was changed in 2015 to allow for a final table on Day 3 – the first year had a Day 2 that didn’t finish until 8 AM. Craig Varnell took down the 2015 event as part of a five-way deal with Lucio Antunes, Alexander Lakhov, Nick Binger and Chad Roudebush. Varnell’s win kicked off a yearlong hot streak where he’s had seven cashes of $15,000 or more. He cashed in the 2015 WSOP Main Event, won an IPT Malta Six Max event for $85,259 and final tabled a $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 2016 for $58,569. The inaugural event's final table had Scott Clements and Christian Harder but it was two relatively unknown players, Sean Yu and Kareem Marshall, who battled until sunrise before Yu took down the event. Amazingly, both players qualified from the Last Chance Turbo and spent 24 hours straight in the tournament where they won $260,000 and $180,000 respectively. Yu’s career took a big upswing after his win; a few months later he won the WSOP Circuit Rincon Main Event for $101,881 and the LA Poker Open at the Commerce for $124,590. He also finished runner-up in a LAPC Doublestack Turbo event for $52,020. The event offers a lower buy-in during a stretch of the WSOP schedule that includes two $5,000 events, two $10,000 events and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The Aria offers a special poker room rate during the event for $99 + $32 resort fee per night. WPT500 Schedule Day 1A – Monday, June 27 Day 1B – Tuesday, June 28 Day 1C – Wednesday, June 29 Day 1D – Thursday, June 30 Day 1E – Friday, July 1 Day 1F – Saturday, July 2 Day 1G – Sunday, July 3 Day 1H/1I – Monday, July 4 Day 2 – Tuesday, July 5 Day 3 – Wednesday, July 6
  5. [caption width="640"] Craig Varnell turned 5 into 0,000 at the 2015 WPT500 at Aria.[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker gets cards in the air on Wednesday, July 1. Over the next five days PocketFives presents the 2016 WSOP Preview highlighting everything you need as the poker world heads to their own version of Summer Camp. The 2016 World Series of Poker’s footprint covers the entire Rio convention space and after several days of grinding tournaments, the experience morphs into a "Groundhog Day" of sorts. The monotony of it all can affect even the most disciplined players and the best way to break out of the funk is to hit up a tournament outside the Rio. These are the must-play events, all with satellites in place, to round out a complete summer of poker. WPT500 at Aria Dates: June 27 – July 6 Buy-in: $565 The World Poker Tour and the Aria reinvented poker tournaments two years when they rolled out the $565 buy-in WPT500 at Aria Resort & Casino. With an astonishing number of starting days, payouts starting on Day 1 and a small percentage advance to a Day 2. In 2014, Sean Yu beat out 3,599 players to win $260,000 while Craig Varnell came out on top of 5,113 in 2015 to win $330,000. With unlimited re-entry for the first eight levels, players can buy into any and all of the eight starting flights multiple times. Action begins with Day 1A on June 27 and runs through July 4 with two Turbo Day 1s. Day 2 is July 5 and plays down to a final table which returns to play down to a champion the following day. RELATED: WSOP Preview: The Six WSOP Events You Just Have to Play Hollywood Poker Open Championship at M Resort Dates: June 23 - 26 Buy-in: $2,500 The $2,500 buy-in Hollywood Poker Open Championship event gets underway with two starting flights on June 23 and 24, with re-entry allowed. One of the best run events of the summer, the HPO provides a much-needed alternative to the Rio during the late stages of the summer and six-figure payouts to the winners the past two years. For those looking to get in on the cheap, satellites run on property for as low as $235. The Goliath Million at Planet Hollywood Dates: June 4- 7 Buy-in: $600 Planet Hollywood has grown into the Rio’s little brother over the past two years, running a similar schedule at a fraction of the buy-ins. While the the $1,650 Main Event has a $2 million guaranteed prize pool, the Goliath Million just might be better value. With a $600 buy-in and five starting flights over two days, the tournament comes with a cool $1 million guarantee. The Grand Series at the Golden Nugget Dates: June 29 – July 3 Buy-in: $570 A trip to Downtown Las Vegas for the Grand Series at Golden Nugget Main Event just might take you back to poker’s pre-boom era. The $570 buy-in event has three starting days and comes with a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool. The final table plays out on July 3, giving you enough time to parlay that score into a WSOP Main Event seat. Wynn Summer Classic Main Event Dates: July 16 - 17 Buy-in: $1,600 One the WSOP Main Event wraps up for those not running deep, many look for one last event to save the summer. The Wynn Summer Classic Main Event, with a $1,600 buy-in and $750,000 guarantee, provides a pretty solid opportunity for one last big score. Last year’s event had 427 entrants and a $621,285 prize pool, meaning there could be an overlay this year. Bellagio Cup XII at the Bellagio Dates: July 14 - 19 Buy-in: $10,000 A $10,000 buy-in is a steep climb compared to the rest of the events prior, but the Bellagio Cup has elevated itself to one of the most prestigious events of the summer. For many pros, the big event at the Bellagio provides some relief with a more relaxed atmosphere after a summer of grinding inside the Rio. The event kicks off Day 1 on July 14 and entrants play five 90-minute levels. The Bellagio is known for their liberal late registration policies and players can enter all the way until the start of Level 13 – the early goings of Day 3.
  6. [caption width="640"] Andreas Olympios arrived at the final table with 15 big blinds and ran it up to win the title and 0,000.[/caption]The third incarnation of the WPT500 at the Aria Resort and Casino proved to be more popular than ever with 3,956 entrants and a $2 million prize pool – double the advertised guarantee. The WPT did kick in a nominal sum for the attractive number for a $565 buy-in, but after an action-packed final table with a slew of double ups Andreas Olympios won $260,000 and the title. Wesley Hickey built a monster stack in Day 2, returning to the final table with 105 big blinds while Jonathan Opas was second in chips with 53. A three-way chase pack of Drazen Ilich, Robby Seurynck, Sanjay Mayekar held 20 plus big blind stacks and Olmpios was 8th of nine in chips to start Day 3. Olympios was at risk of elimination after the first orbit. He was all in holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"] and Hickey called with pocket kings. Olympios spiked an ace on the flop and hit a queen on the river for good measure but still had less than ten big blinds. The other short stacks were eliminated in relatively short order and at five-handed play it was anyone’s game with only ten big blinds separating the field. Hickey and Olympios both scored key double ups with five left – Hickey doubled up holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] against Ilich’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="ks"] and made two pair. Olympios got all in on the river holding a queen-high straight and got paid off by Jonathan Opas’ jack-high straight. Olympios survived going all in half a dozen times throughout the day and when the final pairing began, Olympios held a near 3-1 chip lead over Hickey They only needed ten hands, pushing the final table to 143 total, when they went to a raised flop of [poker card="ks"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2s"]. Hickey shoved holding [poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"] for second pair and Olympios called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="js"]. The board finished [poker card="5s"][poker card="qc"], Hickey didn’t improve and Olympios joined Craig Varnell and Sean Yu as WPT500 champions. Olympios’ previous largest cash came at the 2016 WPT Amsterdam High Roller for $19,408 with 9th place finish. Hickey’s results reach back 15 months and his largest previous cash was a runner-up finish at the 2015 DeepStacks Edmonton Main Event for $44,109. The event’s nine entry flights played until 5% of the field remained and 201 players returned for Day 2. Ebony Kenney and Mike Beasley just missed the final table while Justin Young and WPT Commentator Mike Sexton made the final three tables. Zo Karim, Jesse Yaginuma, James Calderaro, Allen Cunningham, Ralph Massey and Joe Serock all recorded a cash on Day 2. Final Table Payouts Andreas Olympios - $260,000 Wesley Hicks - $185,000 Drazen Ilich - $135,000 Robby Seurynck - $100,000 Jonathan Opas - $75,000 Sanjay Mayekar - $58,000 Khoan Ho - $45,000 Guy Gorelick - $35,000 Guy Cicconi - $27,150
  7. [caption width="680"] WPT500 is coming to Gardens Casino from May 21-31. (WPT photo)[/caption] The success of the WPT500 has been immense since first being introduced at Aria Casino and Dusk Till Dawn, in Nottingham, UK in 2014. Now another venue is set to host the budget-minded event as WPT announced WPT500 Los Angeles was coming to the Gardens Casino. Starting on May 21, players will have the opportunity to enter in one of 14 starting flights. The $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool features a buy-in of $565 and will use the Action Clock by Protection Poker once the field narrows down to 54 players remaining. “We are excited to welcome the World Poker Tour to The Gardens Casino for WPT500 Los Angeles,” said Ron Sarabi, Casino General Manager, The Gardens. “With a $1 million guaranteed prize pool at an accessible price point of $565, WPT500 Los Angeles is the perfect main event for The Gardens Poker Festival and a must-attend tournament for all players.” From May 21-24, one starting flight takes place each day starting at 11:00 am PT. All Day 1 flights carry eight levels of late registration and re-entry. Starting on May 25 and ending on May 29, there will be two starting flights on each day. The first flight will start at 11:00 am PT and the 5:00 pm PT flight carries a more fast-paced structure. All of the 14 starting flights are to play down to the final eight percent of the field before all remaining players return on Tuesday, May 30, to play to the final table. May 31 marks the date of the final table and will have a live stream. The best stack forward format will be used and any player who bags chips is allowed to enter another starting flight. Should a player bag in multiple flights, the lesser of his or her chip totals will be forfeited at the start of Day 2. “The World Poker Tour couldn’t be happier to partner with The Gardens Casino to bring the WPT500 to California for the very first time,” said Angelica Hael, WPT VP of Global Tour Management. “The WPT500 is a tremendous addition to the state’s robust and vibrant poker landscape, and Memorial Day Weekend in Los Angeles is the perfect time and place to host this historic event. With fantastic onsite amenities, a world-class poker room, and genuine hospitality from The Gardens team, the World Poker Tour is very excited about hosting the first-ever WPT500 in California.” The WPT500 is running as part of the Gardens Poker Festival, which is running from May 15-31, at Gardens Casino. There will be satellites for the WPT500, starting at the low price point of $65, with 40 seats guaranteed.
  8. [caption width="640"] Jon Borenstein has had many close final table calls and finally earned his breakthrough victory in the WPT500. (WPT photo)[/caption] The fine line between poker immortality and being just another player with a few close calls is rail thin and Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein can firmly attest to that. In the last few years, Borenstein has put together a strong track record in tournaments with four-figure fields that reached a peak last summer when he finished eighth in the Colossus. The majority of Borenstein’s final table runs have ended in heartbreak as when the equity is at its highest, the deck has found a way to work against him. It looked like the same record was about to play for Borenstein last week at the final table of the WPT500 at Aria. In the first hand of play, Borenstein three-bet shoved over another all-in player with pocket jacks but ran into the aces of Aleksandr Gofman. Down to just five big blinds, Borenstein doubled up the next hand and only two hours later, was the champion in a field of 3,451. Borenstein earned $180,000 for his win and also officially removed the final table monkey from his back. “It didn’t even hit me until a few hours afterward. It feels confirming, it’s why we play the game. It’s what I’ve studied and trained to do for my whole career,” said Borenstein. The win was highly in question after Borenstein lost a large percentage of his stack in the first hand. He says the time that followed was the “longest 10 minutes of his life” and for a moment, it looked like the final table demons would never be exorcised. “It felt like an eternity in my mind, the next 10 minutes. I was saying to myself ‘how does this happen every time?’ I was laughing at that point, it was so unbelievable. It was hard to just not lose my mind and become really tilted. But I got a double up right away, and never looked back.” The WPT500 win is the first major victory for Borenstein and the six-figure score he earned for first place is the largest of his career. The deep tournament runs that Borenstein has made in the past only to fall short at the finish line have stuck with him over time. With all of the spots that have failed him before, Borenstein had some self-doubt but is officially beyond that point with his win. “It’s so easy to get in your own head in poker, especially when you’re going through a downswing or when you keep getting unlucky. You feel like it’s never going to turn around [and] you look at other people and you’re like ‘that just wasn’t meant for me, some people it was meant for’ and that’s not the case. It’s important to stay the course and keep hitting reg. It finally worked out and it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past.” One year ago, Borenstein’s Colossus final table finish was the best result he had ever achieved but the rest of his WSOP was all downhill from there as he only notched four four-figure payout receipts following then. That perspective gives Borenstein all the more joy in winning the WPT500 as his summer prior to the win was a constant uphill battle. “Last summer, I final tabled the Colossus early and then I had lost the rest of the summer. This time, I lost the entire beginning of the summer and won at the end. You put your body out here every day and it’s a combination of rewarding from everything that led up to it and putting in a full summer’s grind and not giving up, it t feels great.” The WSOP Main Event is already two Day 1 sessions in and Borenstein will be part of tomorrow’s Day 1C field. Borenstein says he is “on top of the world” coming into poker’s biggest event and with a field that will reach close to 7,000 entrants, he is a candidate to be a player who could potentially ride the wave of variance momentum to make a deep run.
  9. The World Series of Poker draws the primary attention for the duration of the Las Vegas summer. Tournament series across the strip grow each year and present legitimate competition to the offerings inside the Rio. Whether it's a single-day tournament, multi-million dollar guarantee, or three-figure buy-in mixed game events, there's plenty of poker to be played without ever collecting a WSOP receipt. Venetian DeepStack Championship Series Goes All-in The second-biggest series of the summer grows to gargantuan size this summer. The Venetian is throwing down $31 million in guarantees across 150 events between May 14 and July 29. Gone are the days of cramming into The Venetian poker room. The new era of the 103-table Sands Expo Convention Center arrives. Play starts on May 26 in an arena that rivals the size of the Amazon Room in the Rio. The Venetian and the Mid-States Poker Tour partner this summer for five events that include live streamed final tables. All five events carry a minimum $1 million guarantee and range in buy-in from $600 up to $5,000. Leading off the powerful lineup is the $1,100 $3.5 million event with the first of four Day 1s on Sunday, June 3. The $2.5 million guaranteed tournament of the same buy-in size last summer brought in 3,273 runners and promises to put 4,000 within striking distance next month. Other MSPT events on the schedule are the $600 $1 million guaranteed, $1,600 $3 million guaranteed, $3,500 $3.5 million guaranteed, and $5,000 $1 million guaranteed. A total of 16 events carry the big blind ante with single-day events and the two $5ks included. The series wraps with two $1,100 $1 million guaranteed tournaments that start after the WSOP Main Event gets going. Wynn stays Winning The most aesthetically pleasing playing area in Las Vegas puts $7 million up for grabs in the Wynn Summer Classic from June 1-July 16. All events aside from three at the Wynn are single-day events and every single No Limit Hold'em tournament offers the big blind ante format. Price points at the Wynn are $400, $550, and $1,100 with the guarantees for the respective buy-in levels are $50,000, $100,000, and $200,000. The rake is lower at the Wynn and the guarantees for multi-day events are sky-high. Last summer's $1,100 $1 million guaranteed brought in a field of 2,320. The Wynn placed two of those events on the calendar for 2018. The $1,100s own three starting flights each and start on June 14 and June 26. The Wynn Summer Classic Championship is a $1,600 $1.5 million guaranteed giant that should draw huge with a WSOP Main Event post-lim date of July 9. A $1 million guarantee for the 2017 Wynn title put a prize pool of close to $3 million up for grabs. ARIA offers low buy-in No Limit and Mixed Games The ARIA Poker Classic has a little bit of everything for both professionals and recs looking to get some value for one day of poker between May 26 and July 8. The majority of events on the ARIA schedule price out between $240 and $500. No Limit Hold'em is the main game but mixed game players can find a tournament or two of their liking during the summer. $470 non-Hold'em events include Eight-Game Mix, Omaha Hi-Lo, 2-7 Single Draw, and H.O.R.S.E. The "main event" of the ARIA Poker Classic is the $500 $1 million guaranteed WPT500. Nine starting flights are available with the first falling on June 25. Jon Borenstein won 2017's WPT 500 by defeating 3,542 entrants to take home the $230,000 first-place prize. Odds and ends Other properties who carry summer series include Planet Hollywood, Golden Nugget, and Binions. All have No Limit and Mixed Games available for low buy-ins with compatible structures for single-day and multi-day events.
  10. The inaugural World Poker Tour Online series could not have started any better for Leo Fernandez. The Argentinian took down Event #1 (Opener $5,200 NLHE) on Monday for a mid-six-figure score. Fernandez outlasted 496 other entries in Event #1 to win $409,638.98. Zachary Clark finished as the runner-up for $291,636.73 while Joey Weissman had to settle for a third-place finish and $199,929.80. Evgeny Galakhov took down the Event #1 (Mini Opener $530 NLHE) for $115,293.30. The first Progressive Knockout events on the calendar featured a $215 and a $2,100 buy-in event. Paul Höfer beat former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt heads-up to win the $2,100 buy-in event for $74,004.05 and an additional $81,970.71 in bounties. Astedt earned $73,903.80 from the prize pool while picking up another $14,705.08 in bounties. Ilya Anatski came in third place for $50,698.65 and $18,785.16 in bounties. Brazil's Vitor Dzivielevski won the $215 buy-in event (Event #2 - $215 Mini Knockout) to earn $32,332.82 and an additional $25,354.11 in bounties. Day 1A of WPT500 event kicked off on Sunday with 727 entrants playing down to a field of 108. The biggest stacks belonged to Joao Matos (587,716), Anton Wigg (385,258), and Danton Gomes (366,841). Monday saw 439 entrants play down to 55 players with Ferenc Deak (444,257), Artan Dedusha (409,127), and Franco Spitale (372,231) moving onto Day 2 with the biggest stacks. Day 1 flights continue through May 11 when all players will return to play down to a final table. WPT Online Event #1 - Mini Opener - $530 NLHE 1,362 Entries $681,000 Prize Pool Evgeny Galakhov - $115,293.30 Pavel Veksler - $81,992.40 Firoz Mangroe - $53,322.30 Ilya Anatski - $35,616.30 Adam Hari - $25,333.20 Fernando Ferreira - $17,842.30 Gonzalo Palaez - $12,394.20 Simon Ronno Pedersen - $8,240.10 WPT Online Event #1 - Opener - $5,200 NLHE 497 Entries $2,173,150 Prize Pool Leonardo Fernandez - $409,638.98 Zachary Clark - $291,636.73 Joey Weissman - $199,929.80 Istvan Birizdo - $139,081.60 Stewart Kirby - $98,661.01 Umut Kara - $71,713.95 Sylvain Loosli - $51,069.02 Michel Dattani - $36,943.44 WPT Online Event #2 - Mini Knockout - $215 NLHE PKO 2,548 Entries $509,600 Prize Pool Vitor Dzivielevski - $32,332.82 + $25,354.11 in bounties Jakub Michalak - $32,280.18 + $5,434.24 in bounties Jakob Miegel - $20,784.67 + $4,092.59 in bounties Maksym Klopotok - $13,815.01 + $789.06 in bounties Christopher Oliver - $9,605.53 + $3,286.32 in bounties Georgios Kapalas - $6,554.36 + $1,118.75 in bounties Patrick Lauber - $4,520.24 + $3,330.46 in bounties Ricard Silva - $2,881.66 + $1,770.31 in bounties WPT Online Event #2M - Knockout - $215 NLHE PKO 501 Entries $1,002,000 Prize Pool Paul Höfer - $74,004.05 + $81,970.71 in bounties Niklas Astedt - $73,903.80 + $14,705.08 in bounties Ilya Anatski - $50,698.65 + $18,785.16 in bounties Andrii Novak - $35,368.63 + $5,187.50 in bounties Jack Sinclair - $25,018.68 + $18,984.37 in bounties Niko Koop - $18,18.38 + $14,382.81 in bounties João Oliveira - $12,950.19 + $17,406.25 in bounties Parker Talbot - $9,368.22 + $26,406.25 in bounties WPT Online WPT500 Day 1A 727 Entries $363,500 Prize Pool Top 10 Chip Counts Joao Matos - 587,716 Anton Wigg - 385,258 Danton GOmes - 366,841 Anton Yakuba - 310,488 Jose Luis Davila Perez - 304,008 Andrea Panarese - 297,502 Ily Anataski - 294,071 Seth Maretz - 272,677 Ian Modder - 27,446 Daniel Wilson - 260,536 WPT Online WPT500 Day 1B 439 Entries $219,500 Prize Pool Top 10 Chip Counts Ferenc Deak - 444,257 Artan Dedusha - 409,127 Franco Spitale - 372,231 Aleksejs Ponakovs - 362,777 Breixo González Peña - 330,214 Alexander Staffan Anders Ivarsson - 298,598 Luis Faria - 292,249 Anatoly Filatov - 275,408 Sergei Denisov - 253,528 Jonathan Clark - 248,363
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