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Found 246 results

  1. [caption width="640"] Farid Yachou now has a Corvette and a few hundred thousand dollars after winning the WPT Tournament of Champions[/caption] Farid Yachou seems to know how to make his tournament appearances count. Last May the Dutch amateur outlasted 340 other players to win WPT Amsterdam and $225,073. Part of that prize pool was a seat to the $15,000 buy-in WPT Tournament of Champions. He didn’t want to fly to Florida to play and he almost didn’t get Visa paperwork handled in time. Yet Sunday night it all came together for him again as he beat Vlad Darie to win the WPT Tournament of Champions for $381,600 - just his second career score. "It’s something I cannot believe," Yachou said after the win, smiling. "I am seated with only champions. I said to myself, ‘I will be glad if I finish 30th.’ Then, day by day and hand by hand it came altogether, and everything came to me." Darren Elias started the final table fourth in chips, but thanks to the early work of Darie, he found himself as one of the shorter stacks early on. Elias jammed from the cutoff for 261,000 and Yachou reraised all in from the button to 694,000. Everybody else folded and Elias tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"] while Yachou was well ahead with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3h"] to eliminate Elias in sixth place and move Yachou into the lead. Just two hands later Noah Schwartz joined Elias on the rail. Michael Mizrachi raised to 40,000 from the cutoff and Schwartz moved the last of his 229,000 all in from the small blind. Mizrachi called and tabled [poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"] and Schwartz showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2s"] flop was relatively safe for Schwartz but the [poker card="3h"] turn gave Mizrachi flush outs. The river though was the [poker card="jc"] to give Mizrachi a pair of jacks and send Schwartz out in fifth. Darie opened from the button for 40,000 before Jonathan Jaffe took his time in making his decision. So much time in fact that he he had to use one of his remaining “time chips” to give himself and additional 30 seconds to act. Before his time expired he moved all in for 349,000 and Darie called instantly. Jaffe showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] while Darie tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. Jaffe was unable to connect on the [poker card="jd"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="td"][poker card="8s"] board and his run ended in fourth. When three-handed play began Mizrachi held over 50% of the chips in play with Yachou and Darie each working with 25% each. That turned out to be as close as ‘The Grinder’ would get to the win though. Yachou was the first to take some of Mizrachi’s stack and then Darie took enough to push Mizrachi to third in chips. Darie and Yachou took turns swapping the lead until Mizrachi made his final stand. After Mizrachi opened to 50,000 from the button, Darie folded before Yachou moved all in from the big blind. Mizrachi called with [poker card="kc"][poker card="9d"] and found himself needing help against Yachou’s [poker card="4c"][poker card="4d"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="4h"] flop gave Mizrachi top pair but bottom set to Yachou. Mizrachi was unable to improve on the [poker card="6s"] turn or [poker card="8d"] flop. Yachou began heads up play with a small lead over Darie. The pair played heads up for just over 30 minutes before Yachou emerged with the title. Darie raised to 50,000 and Yachou called. After the [poker card="8h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"] flop Yachou check-raised Darie’s bet of 50,000 to 250,000. Darie called that bet and the 200,000 Yachou bet after the [poker card="tc"] turn. The river was the [poker card="8d"] and Yachou shoved all in for 1,585,000. Darie called and showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="7d"] for two pair with his king playing kicker, but Yachou showed [poker card="as"][poker card="2d"] for a full house to eliminate Darie in second and win the second poker tournament of his career. Along with the $381,600 first place prize money including a $15,000 seat to the Season XV WPT Tournament of Champions, a 2016 Corvette provided by Monster Products, a Hublot watch, Aurae Solid Gold MasterCard, Monster 24K headphones, a custom poker table from BBO Poker Tables and a seat to Tiger’s Poker Night next week in Las Vegas. "The Corvette is something I have never seen a tournament give away, it’s amazing," Yachou said. "I took my Monster Headphones from WPT Amsterdam because I like to hear the sound it has. It’s not like the others." Payouts Farid Yachou - $381,600 Vlad Darie - $224,190 Michael Mizrachi - $140,450 Jonathan Jaffe - $95,400 Noah Schwartz - $74,200 Darren Elias - $58,300
  2. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour could be using the Protection Poker Action Clock regularly next season.(WPT photo)[/caption] Matt Savage thought Mike Sexton was crazy. Sexton, World Poker Tour commentator and Poker Hall of Famer, had been pushing Savage, Executive Tour Director of the WPT, to introduce a shot clock to WPT events to speed up the game and prevent players from tanking unnecessarily. On Friday, the WPT debuted the Protection Poker Action Clock for the first time in the $15,000 buy-in Monster WPT Tournament of Champions. The Action Clock allows players 30 seconds to act on their hand. If time expires, the hand is dead. Players are also given four time buttons that can be used to give themselves another 30 seconds. Each table has been outfitted with a tablet with the Action Clock app on it. Dealers push one of four buttons depending on what’s happening in the hand. Most players were pleased with the concept and Savage, once a skeptic, seems to have changed his mind. “Seeing this in motion, seeing how easy it is for the dealers to use, how much more of a different dynamic it creates for the game, I’m excited and I think this is something we can probably use at other events in the future,” said Savage. As the clock winds down during a hand, the app beeps when a player has ten seconds left to act and then a more distinct buzz when there are just three seconds remaining. “I love it. Absolutely love it. For me, it’s not much of a hindrance because I don’t take more than 30 seconds,” said Season XIII WPT Championship winner Asher Conniff. “I have 3 of my 4 time banks left through eight levels. Some of the other guys, they need the time, and I appreciate the edge on some of these guys, they’re great players.” Savage admits it is going to take some players some time to adjust to the concept, but as more and more players see the concept and play with it, they’ll learn to adapt. “I think that we saw early on in the day people were timing out when they didn’t want to be. But I think as people get more and more used to it, it becomes easier and becomes second nature, people just play faster,” said Savage. “Jordan Cristos and Marvin Rettenmaier and Yevgeniy Timoshenko, they’re all dealing with it, they’re all adjusting.” [caption width="640"] Each player is allotted four "time" chips at the start of each day. (WPT photo)[/caption] In 2014, the WPT polled players at the LA Poker Classic to gauge their feelings on the shot clock and 80% of those that responded were in favor of limiting players' time to act on each hand. Dan Smith thinks the clock brings some of the fun back to tournament poker just by getting rid of hands that take too long to play. “I think in terms of quality of play it’s not quite as high, but maybe it’s like 90% as high,” said Smith. "From an enjoyment standpoint, not having to sit there for six minutes while somebody makes a decision - that’s just brutal.” Smith also pointed out that it makes the game more exciting for those at the table with an added element of drama. “There’s something exciting about it, it goes to the river and it’s like 5, 4, 3, 2, - it’s exciting,” said Smith. Not all players were fans of the clock, though. A number of players continue to express concern over how it changes the game. "I’m not a big fan, to be honest. I actually didn’t think it was going to go as well as it does. But I think 30 seconds is just not enough time. There are so many situations that come up," said Marvin Rettenmaier. "I’ve definitely made some folds that I may have tended the other way if I had a minute or something." While the WPT TOC had a field of just 64 accomplished players, Rettenmaier worries about the way recreational players might react to the added pressure. "I think it’s way worse for them than it is for us because we should kind of have a feel for what we’re going to do,” said Rettenmaier. “I think it’s actually not amateur-friendly at all even though people are saying that’s why they want to do it, but it really isn’t." Given the relative success of the first use of the Action Clock, it’s likely to find its way to another couple of tour events next season. “We’ll definitely be using it for the (2017) Tournament of Champions,” said Savage. “I think that it’s going to take one of our casino partners to step up and say ‘Hey, we want to give this a try.’”
  3. [caption width="640"] Mike Shariati has gone from low-stakes grinder to WPT Player of the Year. (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] This time last year, Mike Shariati was just another poker player dreaming of a big break while grinding away in the low-stakes dailies at the Commerce or the Bike or Hawaiian Gardens in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, as the World Poker Tour season was winding down, 42-year-old Shariati locked up WPT Player of the Year honors after the last player with a shot at catching him, Cate Hall, busted the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in ninth place. Along with having his name run alongside previous winners like JC Tran, Betrand Grospellier and Daniel Negreanu, Shariati also gets a prize package that includes a one-of-a-kind Hublot watch, hotel accommodation and ground transportation for all WPT main tour stops and a trophy. Shariati’s amazing run from low-stakes grinder to POY started with a win in the $130 buy-in Mega Millions at the Bicycle Casino worth a whopping $275,000. "Last year, the Mega Millions at the Bike, it was over 4,500 players. It took a whole ten days and I made the final table,” said Shariati. “I was down 6-1 heads-up, I came back and won it and that gave me good confidence." It wasn't a WPT event, but it gave Shariati with a bankroll and the belief that he could play. From there, he won a WSOP Main Event satellite and headed to Las Vegas. He didn’t cash, but in true grinder fashion, he found himself in a Daily Deepstack at the Rio that he found a small score in. That would be the last of his small scores for a while. In August, Shariati played a satellite at the Bike for the WPT Legends of Poker and won his way into the $3,700 buy-in event. His run good continued as he outlasted 785 other players and beat Freddy Deeb heads-up to win the event and $675,942 first place prize money. Rather than jump onto a plane and start playing more big buy-in events around the country, Shariati went right back to playing the dailies. His next cash came in a $130 buy-in event and earned him $250. He cashed six more times over the next four months leading up to the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, but Shariati wasn’t ready to put up that $10,000 buy-in himself. “The same day (LAPC) started, they had this satellite, the last satellite. The (LAPC Main Event) started at 12 o’clock and the satellite started at 5 o’clock. So I played the last satellite,” said Shariati. “So at 12:30 that night I got qualified. I entered the LAPC on Day 2 with 30,000 - lower than average - and I got down to two chips - a 1,000 and a 5,000 - at the end of the second day and came back and finished second.” That runner-up finish earned him $656,540 and put him into the lead for WPT POY. There were still a few events left on the schedule and although his lead was anything but safe, Shariati held off all comers thanks to a 21st place finish in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown to wrap up the POY award on the second-to-last day of the WPT season. “A few people were on my heels for the Player of the Year, so I was fortunate enough to finish up as Player of the Year,” said Shariati, who didn’t call himself a professional poker player until recently. “I’m a biochemist. I also invented a medical device that I’m putting a lot of time into, to patent it. So probably 6-7 months into it. So hopefully that works out, that would be great,” said Shariati. “I’m getting my partner more involved so I can travel more (to play).” Shariati wants to take his shot as a poker pro now and still find time to run his business. He knows that finding a repeat of this season is a near impossibility, but he just wants to enjoy the ride. “I don’t think I can ever have the same year, but I’m grateful,” said Shariati.
  4. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour has partnered with Dusk Till Dawn to create The Devilfish Cup[/caption] British poker legend Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott tragically passed away in April of last year after a short battle with terminal liver cancer. Now, the WPT Foundation and England’s Dusk Till Dawn poker club are teaming up to honor the memory of the poker pro with the inaugural Devilfish Cup, a £1 million guaranteed tournament that takes place during the partypoker World Poker Tour UK festival. The event kicks off on Monday, October 31 and features a buy-in of £5,000 with a £300 donation. The donated money, along with 3% of the prize pool, will be split between the Marie Curie organization, a nonprofit which provides support to terminally ill patients, and a trust fund for Ulliott’s daughter Lucy. “We are proud to announce the Devilfish Cup for the partypoker WPT UK festival at Dusk Till Dawn, and to honor and celebrate Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott alongside his family, friends, and fellow competitors,” said WPT President and CEO Adam Pliska. “As a testament to the community’s dedication and contributions, WPT Foundation has helped raise more than $6 million to date, and we look forward to supporting another non-profit program of excellence in Marie Curie.” Ulliott, whose poker career began more than 20 years ago, was instrumental in popularizing the game in the UK and Europe. In 1997, the poker pro earned his first and only World Series of Poker bracelet at the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold ‘em event. In 2007, he had his biggest career cash after taking third at the WPT Doyle Brunson Classic for $674,500. With more than $6.2 million in live tournament winnings to his name, the 61-year-old holds the distinction of being the second biggest winner in UK poker history, behind only Sam Trickett. Devilfish was well known for his lively personality which sometimes stirred controversy but always entertained. After his death, poker pros Phil Hellmuth, Tony G and others made a push to induct Ulliott into the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame. 2014 Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu stirred controversy at the time by writing that death shouldn’t have any bearing on a player’s inclusion in the prestigious club. In addition to the Devilfish Cup, Dusk Till Dawn will further honor the pro by renaming his favorite drink, a double vodka Red Bull, to “The Devilfish.” The venue will also throw a party in the poker pro’s name on Wednesday, November 2, where family, friends and fans can celebrate the life of Ulliott while a live band jams to some of his favorite tunes. “Rob Yong, owner of Dusk Till Dawn, announced after Dave’s funeral that we would wait a while before announcing plans to honor him,” said Simon Trumper, Dusk Till Dawn Club Director and friend of Ulliott. “During his last few days, Rob visited Dave and asked him how he wanted to be remembered. He asked us to hold a high buy-in event at the club, as Dave was always proud of his WPT Tunica win,” Trumper continued. “We thought it fitting to replace this year’s High Roller with the Devilfish Cup. World Poker Tour and WPT Foundation have been great and it is a pleasure to be working with them on this inaugural event.” partypoker will make the event accessible to all by running several satellites into the tournament and qualifiers as low as one cent. The winner of the Cup will not only receive the biggest share of the £1 million prize, but will be presented the trophy by Ulliott’s wife, Anpaktita.
  5. [caption width="640"] Seth Davies beat out 470 other players to win the WPT Canadian Spring Championship. (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] Just over 10 days ago, the World Poker Tour put a bow on Season 14. Thursday afternoon in Montreal, Quebec, the first champion of Season 15 was crowned with the conclusion of the WPT Canadian Spring Championship at the Playground Poker Club. It also likely going to become known as the Seth Davies show. Davies came into the six-handed final table with the second biggest stack behind only Ruben Perceval. That didn’t stop him from being active and he found himself playing the role of executioner early and often on his way to the first major win of his career and the $226,893 first place cash. Tony Dunst, making his fifth WPT final table appearance, wasn’t able to add to his chip stack on Thursday and was the first player eliminated. Thomas Taylor threw in a UTG raise to 100,000 and Davies called before Dunst moved all in. Taylor folded, but Davies called and tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"], while Dunst showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"] flop didn’t help Dunst, but the [poker card="3d"] turn gave the partypoker ambassador extra outs. The [poker card="ks"] river wasn’t one of them and he was left with the second sixth place finish of his WPT career. While that hand propelled Davies into the chip lead, the next elimination put Davies in a position to control the table the rest of the afternoon. All he had to do was call two all ins in front of him while holding the best hand. Action folded to Guillaume Nolet on the button and he moved all in for 695,000 (14 big blinds). Taylor came over the top from the small blind for 2,500,000. Davies called from the big blind and watched as Taylor showed [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"] and Nolet showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"] before flipping over [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"] and Davies eliminated Taylor in fourth and Nolet in fifth and suddenly found himself with 7,835,000 of the 12,465,000 chips in play with only three players remaining. It took only another eight hands to reach heads-up play. Davies opened from the button to 130,000 before Joel Miller made it 350,000 from the small blind. Perceval cold four bet all in for 3,300,000, forcing Davies to fold but soliciting an all in call from Miller. Perceval showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] and Perceval turned over [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="8d"] board brought no relief for Perceval and he was out in third place, while Miller had climbed to within striking distance of Davies’ lead. When heads-up play started, Davies held 6,780,000 and Perceval had 5,680,000. Perceval eventually took a 3-2 lead over Davies, but that was as close as Perceval would get to the title. After 90 minutes of one-on-one action, Davies re-took the lead and never gave it up again. Just 45 minutes after getting the big stack back, Davies finished Perceval off for good. Davies raised to 275,000 and Perceval called to see a flop of [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"]. Perceval checked, Davies bet 375,000 and Perceval threw in a check-raise to 1,075,000. Davies called. The turn was the [poker card="7h"] and Perceval lead out for 800,000 and Davies called again. The river was the [poker card="5d"] and Perceval moved all in for 2,880,000. Davies called and after Perceval showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"] tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="td"] to take the pot with a pair of tens. The $3,500 CAD ($2,720 US) buy-in event attracted 417 players. Final Table Payouts Seth Davies - $226,893 Ruben Perceval - $148,833 Joel Miller - $95,512 Thomas Taylor - $70,628 Guillaume Nolet - $53,025 Tony Dunst - $42,479
  6. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour is hitting the road for Season XV[/caption] With one event already in the books, the World Poker Tour announced the full Season XV schedule featuring 17 more open events and the return of the WPT Tournament of Champions. The new season, which started with the Canadian Spring Championship at the Playground Poker Club in early May, also has some new additions including the introduction of the partypoker WPT Passport, WPT Festival Championship, and a return to the Caribbean. "With 12,000 entries in Season XIV, the World Poker Tour and its outstanding casino partners generated more than $50 million in combined prize pools,” said Adam Pliska, President and CEO of the WPT. "Following the overwhelmingly positive response from members of the WPT Champions Club, we are delighted to announce the return of the WPT Tournament of Champions in Season XV and launch new initiatives like the partypoker WPT Passport as we continue to enhance the WPT experience for both professionals and casual players around the globe." The season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, which replaced the WPT Championship for the first time last season, returns in April. It again takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida from April 7 to 9. One new tournament this season is the partypoker WPT Caribbean, set for November 19 to 26 at the Hard Rock Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The Main Event, which runs from November 19 to 23, has a $5,000 buy-in. "Hard Rock is one of the most globally recognizable brands and is synonymous with delivering a first-class experience," said Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for WPT. "We are proud to partner with Hard Rock and partypoker to host partypoker WPT Caribbean and to add this tropical destination to the Season XV WPT Main Tour schedule." Also new in Season XV is the WPT Festival Championship. Players who win preliminary events in a festival leading up to each Main Event will be able to play in a tournament that awards one seat to that festival's Main Event. Along with the buy-in, each WPT Festival Champion gets a special trophy and VIP access during the WPT event. The WPT Passport also makes its debut this season. Online qualifiers for WPT events will now be able to choose which tournament to use their $5,000 package on, with four tournaments still remaining in Season XV that are eligible. $530 WPT Passport satellites run on partypoker that have at least one $5,000 package guaranteed. For live-streamed broadcasts during Season XV, an enhanced graphics package will be introduced, with broadcasts on PlutoTV, Twitch, and YouTube. And for the first time, poker fans in Asia will be able to view Chinese commentary streams, further broadening WPT's global reach. WPT Season XV Schedule: WPT Choctaw (TV) Choctaw Casino Resort Durant, Oklahoma Festival: Jul 14 - Aug 2, 2016 Main Event: Jul 29 - Aug 2, 2016 $3,500 + $200 buy-in WPT Legends of Poker (TV) The Bicycle Hotel & Casino Bell Gardens, California Festival: Jul 28 - Sept 1, 2016 Main Event: Aug 27 - Sep 1, 2016 $3,700 + $300 buy-in WPT Borgata Poker Open (TV) Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa Atlantic City, New Jersey Festival: Sep 6 - 23, 2016 Main Event: Sep 18 - 23, 2016 $3,300 + $200 buy-in WPT Maryland Live! Maryland Live! Hanover, Maryland Festival: Sept 24 - Oct 5, 2016 Main Event: Oct 1 - Oct 5, 2016 $3,300 + $200 buy-in WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble (TV) bestbet Poker, Simulcast & Racing Jacksonville, Florida Festival: Sept 30 - Oct 18 Main Event: Oct 14 - 18, 2016 $4,650 + $280 +$70 buy-in partypoker WPT UK Dusk Till Dawn Nottingham, United Kingdom Festival: Oct 24 - Nov 6 2016 Main Event: Oct 31 - Nov 6, 2016 £2,000 + £200 buy-in partypoker.net WPT Montreal (TV) Playground Poker Club Montreal, Canada Festival: Oct 30 - Nov 17, 2016 Main Event: Nov 11 - 17, 2016 CAD $3,500 + $350 buy-in partypoker WPT Caribbean Hard Rock Punta Cana Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Festival: Nov 19 - 26, 2016 Main Event: Nov 19 - 23, 2016 $4,650 + $350 buy-in partypoker WPT Prague King's Casino Prague, Czech Republic Festival: Dec 1-18, 2016 Main Event: Dec 3-7, 2016 €3,000 + €300 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic (TV) Bellagio Las Vegas, Nevada Festival: Nov 25 - Dec 11, 2016 Main Event: Dec 5 - 10, 2016 $10,000 + $400 buy-in WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa Atlantic City, New Jersey Festival: Jan 17 - Feb 3, 2017 Main Event: Jan 29 - Feb 3, 2017 $3,300 + $200 buy-in WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Fallsview Casino Resort Ontario, Canada Festival: Feb 17 - 24, 2017 Main Event: Feb 22 - 24, 2017 CAD $4,700 + $300 buy-in WPT L.A. Poker Classic (TV) Commerce Casino Commerce, California Festival: Jan 13 - Mar 2, 2017 Main Event: Feb 27 - Mar 2, 2017 $9,600 + $400 buy-in WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star (TV) Bay 101 Casino San Jose, California Festival: Mar 5 - 10, 2017 Main Event: Mar 6 - 10, 2017 $7,150 + $350 buy-in WPT Rolling Thunder Thunder Valley Casino Resort Lincoln, California Festival: Mar 8 - 15, 2017 Main Event: Mar 11 - 15, 2017 $3,200 + $300 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida Festival: Mar 16 - Apr 9, 2017 Main Event: Mar 31 - Apr 2, 2017 Final Table: Apr 5, 2017 $3,200 + $200 + $100 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida Festival: Mar 16 - Apr 9, 2017 Finale: Apr 2 - 4, 2017 Final Table: Apr 6, 2017 $9,500 + $300 +$200 buy-in WPT Tournament of Champions (TV) Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida Festival: Mar 16 - Apr 9, 2017 TOC: Apr 7 - 9, 2017 $15,000 buy-in
  7. [caption width="640"] Andjelko Andrejevic captured his first WPT title Saturday in Amsterdam[/caption] Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam, Anthony Zinno found himself within spitting distance of making World Poker Tour /B] history. Zinno entered the final table of WPT Amsterdam with the third biggest stack and a chance at becoming the first player to win four WPT titles. Serbia’s Andjelko Andrejevic had other ideas though. Andrejevic defeated Tomas Fara after a three-hour heads-up battle to win the event and the $228,000 that came with the title while Zinno had to settle for third. Just seven hands Zinno got even closer, sending one of the short stacks home. Zinno opened to 125,000 from the button and Hans Bosman moved all in from the big blind. Zinno called to find himself racing with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] against Bosman’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5s"] to eliminate Bosman and move Zinno closer to the chip lead. Just fifteen minutes later another player hit the rail. Andrejevic raised to 125,000 from the button before Senh Man Ung moved all in from the button and Andrejevic called. Ung was ahead with [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] against Andrejevic’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7s"] flop put Andrejevic ahead and neither the [poker card="qd"] turn or [poker card="qc"] river changed anything and Ung was out in fifth place. After nursing his short stack for over an hour, Emrah Cakmak finally had to make a stand - but it didn’t end well. Action folded around to Cakmak on the button and moved all in and Fara called from the big blind. Cakmak showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="6c"] but got bad news when Fara tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop brought no help for Cakmak and after the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="3s"] river, he was eliminated in fourth. That hand left two players between Zinno and history but that’s as close as the former WPT Player of the Year would get. While Andrejevic was adding to his stack, Zinno saw his moving in the opposite direction. After 90 minutes of three-handed play Zinno was left with just over 20 big blinds. Andrejevic opened to 225,000 from the button before Zinno moved all in for 1,785,000. Fara move all in over the top. Andrejevic folded and Zinno got the bad news as he tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="2h"] before Fara showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="4h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="th"] run out didn’t help Zinno and his run ended in third place. Heads-up play began with Andrejevic holding 5,150,000 of the 9,540,000 chips in play. Fara refused to go quietly though and the two players traded chips - and the chip lead - over the course of three hours before Andrejevic emerged victorious. Andrejevic moved all in from the small blind for 6,800,000 and Fara called, with his tournament life at stake. Andrejevic turned over [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"] while Fara showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"] flop put Andrejevic ahead and neither the [poker card="5s"] turn or [poker card="8s"] river put Fara back ahead, giving Andrejevic the first WPT title of his career to go along with his victory in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Super High Roller win from November. Final Table Payouts Andjelko Andrejevic - $228,000 Tomas Fara - $163,362 Anthony Zinno - $103,124 Emrah Cakmak - $76,722 Senh Man Ung - $57,591 Hans Bosman - $46,051
  8. [caption width="640"] Niall ‘firaldo’ Farrell now has a WPT title to go along with his EPT win (WPT photo)[/caption] Niall ‘firaldo’ Farrell is one step closer to being a part of poker’s Triple Crown after taking down the partypoker World Poker Tour Caribbean title for $330,000. 323 entrants took part in the $5,000 buy-in event and after starting the final table among the short stacks, Farrell wound up taking the lion’s share of the over $1,450,000 prize pool. Farrell won the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event in October 2015 for the first leg of the Triple Crown and this victory adds to his already sizable $2,936,820 in live tournament earnings. The final table marked Farrell’s first in a WPT main event and he certainly made the most of the opportunity. This TV final table was an international affair with six different countries represented. Additionally, all the final tablists were making their first WPT final table appearance. Stephen Woodhead started the final table as the short stack and it took 24 hands before he met his end. It was Farrell who did the deed knocking out Woodhead as the two battled for Woodhead’s last 15 big blinds in a preflop confrontation. Farrell opened for 105,000 from the hijack and Woodhead moved all in for 750,000 from the big blind. Farrell called having Woodhead dominated with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"] against the short stack’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8s"] runout was no assistance to Woodhead as he took home $66,000 for his finish. The next to go was Yiannis Liperis, who has also hamstrung with a short stack coming into the final table. With just over six blinds left, Liperis jammed for 375,000 on the button and got a call from Anthony Augustino out of the big blind. Like Woodhead, Liperis had an inferior ace as he showed [poker card="as"][poker card="3s"] against Augustino's [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop left Liperis needing running cards to double up, as well as a three. The [poker card="7h"] turn gave him a gutshot straight draw but the [poker card="4h"] would seal his fate as the fifth place finisher. Farrell picked up his second elimination of the final table as he took downColin Moffatt 17 hands after Liperis departed. With the blinds still at 30,000/60,000, Farrell raised to 105,000 on the button and Moffatt moved all in for 1,180,000 from the big blind. Farrell called and was in a flip with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6c"] against the [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"] of Moffatt. The [poker card="ad"][10s][poker card="7s"] flop surged Moffatt ahead as he flopped two pair. Farrell regained the lead on the turn, though, with the [poker card="6h"] giving him a set. Needing to fill up on the river, Moffatt did not as the [poker card="jc"] and he exited in fourth place. It would only take Farrell 10 more hands to earn the championship as he dispatched his next two opponents in short order. Farrell caught a double at an opportune time which fully charged his late run to the title. In one of the biggest pots of the tournament, Farrell chased down Troy Quenneville in the hand that effectively sealed the title for Farrell. With the blinds still at the same level, Quenneville opened to 135,000 from the button and was three-bet by Farrell to 375,000. Quenneville pumped it up to 890,000 and Farrell jammed for 3,380,000 total with Quenneville calling with [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. Farrell needed to come from far behind with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"] to stay alive. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] surged Farrell into the lead and he held on the [poker card="6d"] turn and [poker card="ah"] river. The pot put Farrell into the chip lead with 6,850,000 (114 big blinds) and left Quenneville with 840,000 (14 big blinds). Despite being the short stack, Quenneville doubled through Augustino a few hands later to put him as the low man on the totem pole as Augustino was eliminated in third place. In Hand 73 of the final table, Farrell moved all in from the small blind and Augustino called for his last 1,160,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"] from the big blind. Farrell was behind, but live, with [poker card="qh"][poker card="9s"] and promptly flopped a straight draw on the [poker card="ks"][10s][poker card="8h"] board. The [poker card="8s"] changed little but the [poker card="jc"] on the river filled Farrell’s straight to send Augustino out with the bronze medal earning $140,000. Heads up play didn’t last long as Farrell knocked out Quenneville in the first hand of their match. Farrell moved all in from the small blind to put Quenneville at risk for his last 1,540,000 and Quenneville called. Farrell had the slight lead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="5d"] but Quenneville had a lot to work with holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"][poker card="7s"] flop gave both players a pair but Quenneville still needed help to double. The [poker card="qd"] on the turn gave Quenneville a straight draw but the [poker card="6d"] on the river would eliminate him just short of first place. The $330,000 first place prize marks the fourth largest of Farrell’s career as he adds to his already sterling poker resume. Farrell also earns his place in the WPT Tournament of Champions for his victory. Final Table Payouts Niall Farrell - $330,000 Troy Quenneville - $220,000 Anthony Augustino - $140,000 Colin Moffatt - $105,392 Yiannis Liperis - $80,000 Stephen Woodhead - $66,000
  9. [caption width="640"] James Mackey won his first World Poker Tour title in Choctaw, Oklahoma (Photo courtesy Joe Giron/WPT)[/caption] Just over nine years ago James Mackey joined the rare group of 21-year-old players to win a WSOP bracelet. On Tuesday night in Choctaw, Oklahoma, he joined another exclusive group when he won the World Poker Tour Choctaw event, earning $666,758 in the process. Mackey began the final table third in chips but thanks to an early double-up, found himself in the driver’s seat for most of the night. Matthew Smith came into the final table with the shortest stack and barely made through the first hour of play before busting. Benjamin Zamani opened to 350,000, Jack Duong called from the cutoff before Smith moved all in for 1,725,000. Zamani folded but Duong called and tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] while Smith showed [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] flop offered Smith no relief and after the [poker card="3h"] turn and [poker card="8d"] river he was out in sixth place. Duong’s run didn’t last much longer after a big clash with Mackey. Action folded to Duong in the small blind and he raised to 400,000 and Mackey defended his big blind. After the [poker card="kc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] flop Duong bet 425,000 and Mackey raised to 900,000. Duong moved all in for 3,555,000 total and Mackey called all in. Duong tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"] for the nut flush draw and Mackey showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="jc"] for top pair. The [poker card="6s"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river both missed Duong and he was left with just 275,000 while Mackey doubled-up. Duong was eliminated on the next hand by Craig Varnell. Varnell claimed another victim just an hour later when he opened to 450,000 from the button and then called Bastian Fischer’s small blind shove for 3,500,000. Varnell showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] which put him ahead of Fischer, who showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="8c"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="tc"] to eliminate Fischer in fourth and send Varnell back into the chip lead. His spot at the top of the chip counts didn’t even last a full level though and Varnell found himself on the outside looking in when heads-up play began. Varnell’s fate was sealed in an all in preflop confrontation with Mackey. After a raised to 600,000 from Mackey, Varnell made it 1,825,000. Mackey announced he was all in and Varnell called all in for just under 9,000,000. Mackey showed [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] and Varnell was behind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="7s"] The [poker card="kc"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"] flop didn’t help Varnell and neither did the [poker card="jh"] turn or [poker card="2s"] river and the former WPT500 champ was out in third place. That hand propelled Mackey into a better than 3-1 chip lead over Zamani when heads-up play began. It took 37 hands of play over less than an hour for Mackey to emerge victorious. On the final hand of the night Zamani limped fore 300,000 before Mackey raised to 1,000,000. Zamani responded by putting his entire stack of 7,400,000 at risk and Mackey called. Zamani tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"] but found himself behind the [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"] of Mackey. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"] flop gave Zamani more outs for a win, but neither the [poker card="js"] turn or [poker card="6h"] river were of any help for Zamani and he was out in second place. The win pushed Mackey’s lifetime earnings to $3,575,959 and the $666,758 first place payout is the second largest of his career behind only the $730,740 he earned for winning his WSOP bracelet. The closest he had come to winning a WPT prior to this was a third place finish at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in April 2014. He’s also won $3,874,095 online and won a PocketFives Triple Crown in 2006. Final Table Payouts James Mackey - $666,758 Benjamin Zamani - $412,234 Craig Varnell - $306,346 Bastian Fischer - $230,300 Jack Duong - $175,122 Matthew Smith - $134,720
  10. [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
  11. [caption width="640"] James Romero earned almost million and etched his name on the WPT Champions Cup with his Season XV Five Diamond Win.(WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] The World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic is one of the tougher WPT fields each year. The Bellagio event draws some of the best poker players in the world to Las Vegas each December and the list of previous champions is a testament to that. Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Mohsin Charania, Dan Smith and Antonio Esfandiari are just a few of the players who have captured the title. The record-sized field that showed up in Las Vegas this past week for the Season XV Five Diamond Classic was star-studded, but in the end it was a relatively unknown player, playing his first WPT event, that managed to capture the title and the nearly $2,000,000 first place prize. James Romero topped a final table that included Justin Bonomo, Igor Yaroshevskyy and Jake Schindler to earn the first live win of his career. Romero came in to the final table with over 40% of the chips in play and never relinquished his lead, eliminating four of the five players that stood between himself and the title. Yaroshevskyy was one of just two players at this final table and came in*with the fourth largest stack, but that didn't stop him from being the first*player eliminated. With blinds at 50,000/100,000, Yaroshevskyy moved all in*from UTG for 1,420,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"] and Romero called from the big blind with*[poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="7h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2d"] flop left Romero ahead and when Yaroshevskyy failed* to connect with the [poker card="9c"] turn or [poker card="3d"] river he was out in sixth place. The*$268,545 sixth place cash is he third biggest of his career, falling behind his*second place in a 2015 World Series of Poker $5000 NLHE Turbo ($303,767) and a*fourth place finish at the 2015 WPT LA Poker Classic ($333,680). Two hands later Justin Bonomo joined Yaroshevskyy in the payouts line.*Schindler raised to 225,000 from the cutoff before Bonomo moved all in for*995,000. Schindler called and tabled [poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"] while Bonomo showed [poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"]. The*[poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"] flop left Bonomo needing runner-runner fives. The turn was [poker card="ad"] to*officially seal Bonomo's fate before the [poker card="ah"] hit the river. Three hands later Romero found himself another victim. Action folded to Alex*Condon on the button and he moved all in for 1,170,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] and Romero*called from the big blind with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] flop gave Condon*extra outs but neither the [poker card="as"] turn or [poker card="7d"] *were any help and he was*eliminated in fourth place. After three eliminations in the span of five hands, the pace slowed down but at no point Romero continued to build up his lead. After 2.5 hours of three-handed play, and with Romero holding almost 75% of the chips, he used his overwhelming lead to bust another player. Ryan Tosoc folded his button, Romero called from the small blind before Schindler moved all in for just over 4,000,000 from the big blind. Romero called and tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] while Romero showed [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"]. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2s"] to give Romero the pot and eliminate Schindler, the only other player with a WPT final table appearance, in third place. Heads up action between Romero and Tosoc began with Romero holding a 7-1 lead. Tosoc managed a nearly full double early, but it only took 16 hands for Romero to end the party. Down to just 2,000,000, Tosoc moved all in pre-flop and Romero called. Tosoc tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] but found himself up against Romero’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="6c"] run out made the elimination official and crowned Romero as champion, eliminating Tosoc in second place for $1,124,051. The $1,938,118 first place score doesn’t even push Romero’s lifetime live tournament earnings over $2,000,000. The 27 year old was previously focused on online poker and Las Vegas cash games. The event drew a field of 791 players, a record for this event. The previous largest Five Diamond field was in 2007 when 664 players entered the then-$15,000 buy-in event. The buy-in was lowered to $10,000 in 2010. The next WPT event is the Borgata Winter Poker Open in January. Final Table Payouts James Romero - $1,938,118 Ryan Tosoc - $1,124,051 Jake Schindler - $736,579 Alex Condon - $494,889 Justin Bonomo- $345,272 Igor Yaroshevskyy - $268,545
  12. [caption width="640"] Erik Seidel recently broke through the million lifetime earnings mark (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] It is pretty easy to talk about Erik Seidel solely using hyperbole. Justified hyperbole, of course, but phrases like “the GOAT”, “the greatest”, or “Seiborg” all are merited to explain his poker career. Seidel recently crossed $30 million in career tournament earnings, putting him second on the all-time money list and reminding us all that though he can be soft-spoken, his results speak loudly and 2016 has been no exception. Since he isn’t one to brag, we decided to take a closer, specific look at his success and do it for him in this edition of Number Crunch. 5 – Number of non-poker show credits for Seidel on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). One is as a poker consultant for the now-defunct ESPN show Tilt. Three others are cameos in poker-related movies. One is a brush with the President-elect on an episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Interestingly, Rounders, where Seidel’s heads-up battle with Johnny Chan in the 1988 WSOP Main Event, was not listed. Nor was Seidel’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stint as an extra on Curb Your Enthusiasm. 7 – Number of career World Poker Tour final tables for Seidel. He is sixth on the WPT all-time final tables list and fifth on the WPT all-time cash lists with 22. He also has one title, won at Foxwoods in 2008. 16 – Number of years since the New York card club the Mayfair closed its doors. Seidel is one of a number of backgammon and poker players who cut their teeth on the games at the Mayfair. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to clean up NYC led to the club’s closure in 2000. 53 – Percentage of Seidel’s cashes this year which were in High Roller events. Of the nineteen 2016 cashes, ten are in high rollers. In 2015, 41% of the cashes were High Roller tournaments. In his standout 2011, that rate was 44%. Part of the uptick can be explained by the proliferation of High Roller tournaments, most notably the regular events running at the Aria in Las Vegas. It also indicates Seidel tends to skip most events that do not include a High Roller component somewhere in the tournament series. 60 – Number of six-figure cashes in Erik Seidel’s career. From 1988 to present, he earns a payday of at least $100,000 approximately twice a year. In reality, currently Seidel is making up for some early six-figure dry spells. In 2016 alone he notched ten six-figure cashes with the end-of-year high rollers still coming up on the schedule. 99 – Number of WSOP cashes for Seidel in his 18-year career playing the series. This puts him second on the cashing list behind Phil Hellmuth, who has 118. Eight percent of those cashes are victories, as Seidel is the owner of eight bracelets. 100 – Percent of the time Seidel has been in attendance for his daughter’s events growing up according to his daughters, Jamesin and Elian. During interviews for the Poker Central Pokerography series, his daughters said their fatherl never missed any of their important games or events as kids. He is often cited as an incredibly dedicated father both by his own family and by his poker peers. 76,000 – Approximate number of followers on Twitter of @Erik_Seidel. Ever since Seidel got on Twitter, he established a reputation for being one of those great follows who does not Tweet a lot, but when he does have something to say, it is usually quality. 1,990,476 – Dollars separating Daniel Negreanu and Seidel on the all-time money list. Negreanu took the top spot with his runner-up finish in the 2014 Big One for One Drop at the WSOP. Seidel had claimed the top spot during his historic run in 2011, but had fallen back a bit as Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari passed him. Esfandiari is just a touch over $3 million in earnings behind Seidel on the all-time list. 6,530,153 – Dollars earned by Seidel during his most successful tournament year, 2011. During a week in 2001, Seidel won over $3 million. First he took third in the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, then he went on to win the $250,000 Challenge. February brought a $750,000 victory in the NBC Heads-Up Championship. In May, he won a $100,000 buy-in event at Bellagio for another million-dollar payday. The WSOP was a slow one for Seidel, but he finished out the year with back-to-back Epic Poker final tables for one of the most memorable individual runs in recent memory.
  13. [caption width="640"] Zachary Smiley has one career live cash - a World Poker Tour win (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] At a final table that included current World Poker Tour Player of the Year frontrunner Benjamin Zamani, Season XIV breakout star Cate Hall and two-time WPT champion Darren Elias it was a relative unknown that was left standing on Wednesday night as WPT Maryland Live played down to a winner. Zachary Smiley, who dropped out of medical school last week, beat out that group of players to win WPT Maryland Live and $356,536 for his first career live cash. Cate Hall began the final table as the shortest stack and wasn’t able to improve her position before being eliminated in sixth place. Ryan Belz raised to 230,000 from UTG and Hall shipped her last 800,000 from the big blind and Belz called. Hall tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and was racing against Belz’s [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"][poker card="7s"][poker card="qd"][poker card="2s"] to eliminate Hall. She now has eight career WPT cashes including two fifth place finishes, a ninth place and a sixth. While it took 73 hands for the first elimination, it took just 11 more hands to get the second. Smiley moved all in from UTG, Zamani called from the small blind and Belz called from the big blind. When the hands were table Smiley was behind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"], Belz held [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and Zamani had [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"]. Fortunately for Smiley the flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="3c"] to put him ahead. The [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="9c"] river were no help for his opponents and Smiley tripled up while Zamani was eliminated in fifth place. Zamani now has three WPT final table appearances this season and has twice as many WPT Player of the Year points as his nearest competitor. Just 20 minutes later the only former WPT champion at the final table was eliminated. Left with just over six big blinds, Darren Elias moved all in from the UTG and Mario Silvestri called from the big blind. Elias got bad news after turning over [poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"] and discovering Silvestri had him dominated with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. It only got worse for Elias as the board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="qc"][poker card="5c"] to give Silvestri a flush and end Elias’ run in fourth place. Despite picking up the extra chips, Silvestri didn’t stick around much longer. Just eight hands later Silvestri raised to 240,000 from the button, only to have Smiley make it 525,000. Silvestri moved all in and Smiley called. This time it was Silvestri who was dominated; Smiley showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] while Silvestri had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"] run out couldn’t save Silvestri and he was out in third. When heads up play began Smiley had a better-than 3-2 chip lead over Belz. Over the next 42 hands of play Smiley only increased his lead before finally finishing Belz off. Smiley opened to 300,000, Belz raised to 800,000 and Smiley moved all in. Belz called and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] while Smiley showed [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6d"] flop was no help for Belz but the [poker card="jh"] turn gave him eight extra outs for a straight. The [poker card="4s"] river was not one of those outs and Smiley eliminated Belz to capture the title, the $356,536 first place prize, including a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions. Final Table Payouts Zachary Smiley - $356,536 Ryan Belz - $239,412 Mario Silvestri - $153,983 Darren Elias – $113,905 Benjamin Zamani – $85,429 Cate Hall - $68,554
  14. [CAPTION=100%]Pat Lyons wins the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event, earning over $615,000. (Photo credit Joe Giron/WPT)[/CAPTION] Hours after making the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker final table at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, Pat Lyonstweeted: A professional poker player from Hillsborough, California, Lyons' prediction came true, winning $615,346 and a seat into the 2017 WPT Tournament of Champions. The $4,000 Main Event drew a field of 687 entries for a prize pool of almost $2,500,000 paid out to the top 72 players. WPT Champions Club members finishing in the money were Andy Frankenberger, Olivier Busquet, Seth Davies, defending champion Mike Shariati, Chino Rheem, James Mackey and Taylor Paur. The final table was led by 77-year-old William Vo, hoping to pass Doyle Brunson as the oldest player to win a WPT title. Second in chips was Lyons, winner of the Arizona State Poker Championship for over $240,000 in August. A pair of 2015 WSOP bracelet winners – Upeshka De Silva and Benjamin Zamani – held down third and fourth place respectively. Todd Peterson and Rafael ‘Mahalael’ Oliveira rounded out the lineup, as they started with the following chips: Seat 1: William Vo – 5,260,000 Seat 2: Pat Lyons – 4,980,000 Seat 3: Benjamin Zamani – 3,215,000 Seat 4: Todd Peterson – 1,930,000 Seat 5: Upeshka De Silva – 4,475,000 Seat 6: Rafael Oliveira – 780,000 It was a short stay at the final table for Rafael Oliveira, eliminated on the seventh hand. Facing a limp from Benjamin Zamani and a raise from Upeshka De Silva, Oliveira looked down at [poker card="jh"][poker card="jd"] and moved his short stack all in. Zamani folded and De Silva called with [poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"][poker card="th"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"] as De Silva made runner-runner trips to end Oliveira’s tournament. Early action at the final table featured a couple of events one would find in a cash game. The players agreed to show one card every time they won a pot. When Pat Lyons wasn't active with his table talk, he wandered away from the table for several hands at a time, even as the chip leader. William Vo had the support of many spectators railing him at the Bike, but he couldn’t maintain his success from earlier in the tournament, finishing in fifth place. Vo lost a huge pot to Todd Peterson, attempting a huge bluff on the river with nine-high as Peterson eventually called, showing two pair. A few hands later, Vo attempted another bluff on the river, shoving with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] on a [poker card="jc"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qs"][poker card="2h"] board. Zamani called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] and his pair of jacks left Vo taking home a six-figure payday. Finishing in fourth place was Peterson, knocked out in dramatic fashion by Lyons. The hand started with a raise from De Silva, a three-bet from Lyons and a four-bet shove from Peterson. De Silva folded and Lyons called with [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"], promising the crowd free drinks if he won the hand, as Peterson revealed [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4s"] flop put Peterson in front with nothing changing on the [poker card="5c"] turn. The [poker card="th"] on the river gave Lyons the winning hand and a round of drinks for the spectators as three remained. Three-handed play featured plenty of action as Zamani doubled through Lyons, then De Silva doubled through Lyons to take the chip lead. Zamani then doubled through De Silva by flopping quads to tighten up the chip counts. Lyons would retake the chip lead on the 139th hand of the tournament and never relinquish it again. Upeshka De Silva was now the short stack and was in a good spot to double up, calling with [poker card="jh"][poker card="jd"] against Lyons' shove with [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"]. The board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2h"][poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"] as the river once again doomed a player as De Silva finished in third place. Benjamin Zamani already had a runner-up finish earlier in the season at Choctaw, hoping to finish one spot higher but facing an over two-to-one chip deficit against Pat Lyons. Heads-up play lasted less than 20 hands when Zamani shoved with [poker card="ah"][poker card="2c"] as Lyons called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"]. The dealer dealt the final five cards: [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ts"], giving Lyons the winning straight and the title. Lyons also receives the WPT Champions Trophy, a Hublot King Power watch and a pair of gold Monster 24k headphones. Zamani settles once again for second place this season to take over the WPT Player of the Year lead with 2,000 points, 750 ahead of James Mackey. The next stop for the WPT takes players to Atlantic City for the Borgata Poker Open. The $3,500 Main Event with a $3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool runs from September 18-23. On September 19th, the WPT Players Forum takes place at 8:30pm as players can provide feedback and suggestions. WPT Legends of Poker Final Table Results: 1st: Pat Lyons - $615,346 2nd: Benjamin Zamani - $341,412 3rd: Upeshka De Silva - $198,720 4th: Todd Peterson - $149,715 5th: William Vo - $113,105 6th: Rafael Oliveira - $85,760
  15. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour, with Mike Sexton, Lynn Gilmartin and Vince van Patten will be on FOX Sports networks through Season XIX.[/caption] Fans of the World Poker Tour are going to be happy to learn that FOX Sports and the tour have come to terms on a deal that will see FOX Sports continue to be the broadcast home of the WPT for the next five years. The extension means that FOX Sports will broadcast WPT events through Season XIX. "This unprecedented, five-year deal with FOX Sports elevates WPT into an elite and exclusive group of shows that have aired on television for nineteen seasons," said Adam Pliska, WPT President and CEO. The WPT debuted on the Travel Channel in 2003 and moved to Fox Sports fro Season VII in 2008. Since then it has become a staple of FOX programming, averaging more than 900,000 viewers per week. "WPT remains a highly rated, regularly scheduled program on FOX Sports Regional Networks, and it's a key part of our primetime lineup each Sunday," said Josh Oakley, Executive Director, Acquisitions and Programming, FOX Sports. "WPT is the perfect complement to our other sports programming, including MLB, NBA, NHL, and college football and basketball. We are excited to have this partnership through 2021." In 2015 the WPT broke their own record when Episode 22, the final table of WPT Fallsview won by Anthony Zinno, drew 1.6 million viewers to become the most-watched episode in tour history. As part of the new agreement, Fox Sports Regional Networks will air two WPT marathons each season with the first coming on Labor Day. "This announcement is great for fans of the WPT and provides extensive, guaranteed exposure for our mainstream sponsors, including Hublot, Monster Headphones, Royal Caribbean International, and FIAT," said Pliska. "We are proud of our new deal with FOX Sports, and we thank the network for its continued support and promotion of our content across its television and digital platforms." World Poker Tour mainstays Mike Sexton, Vince van Patten, Lynn Gilmartin and Tony Dunst will continue to be a part of the broadcast. Season XV began two weeks when James Mackey beat Benjamin Zamani to win WPT Choctaw. The World Poker Tour is broadcast each Sunday night on FOX Sports Regional Networks.
  16. [caption width="640"] World Poker Supervising Producer Mandy Glogow talks to Mike Sexton and Galen Hall during a WPT event.[/caption] The end of every World Poker Tour season is always a busy one for Mandy Glogow. As the Supervising Producer for the TV product, Glogow goes from filming the final TV event of the season to jumping in to a production studio to put the finishing touches on the episodes that will air on TV throughout the rest of the year. This year is a little bit more hectic though. Glogow is pregnant with her first child and due any day now. “I’m trying to do my best to wrap up as much as I can on Season 14,” said Glogow, who plans on taking some time off once the baby arrives but plans on rocking the producer’s headset as soon as August for the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. “My plan is to be back by Legends, which luckily, is a local event for me, being based in Los Angeles,” said Glogow. “It was funny, when I was talking to Adam Pliska to let him know that I was pregnant, we were laughing about how serendipitous it was that when the baby was due was in between seasons. It fell right in the right time, he's a production baby.” In early May, Glogow got some exciting news that only added another layer to the chaos. The Women in Poker Hall of Fame named her one of the seven finalists for the Class of 2016. She joins Jennifer Tilly, Victoria Cohen Mitchell, Esther Rossi, Shirley Rosario, Karina Jett and Debbie Burkhead as potential inductees. The nominees are voted on by a panel of media and players with the inductees honored at a ceremony on July 6. “I was completely surprised and floored and humbled that my name was thrown into the hat for Women in Poker Hall of Fame,” said Glogow. If you were to compare the live tournament results of the seven nominees, it’s clear that Glogow has the least impressive of the group, but Glogow’s nomination comes more for her contribution to the game and that’s something she takes extra pride in, no matter how the voting process turns out. “I see some of these more as a popularity thing and being somebody behind the scenes, you don't normally get too much recognition,” said Glogow. “I know Deb Giardina, who is currently at BestBet Jacksonville. She was in the last round, but she's a strong, female executive more so getting in. I'm just a TV producer that likes to tell stories and to be recognized for that is quite an honor.” [caption width="320" align="alignright"] Glogow has been with WPT since 2005.[/caption] Glogow’s humble nature shows as she undersells her accomplishments with WPT. She’s been with them for almost 12 years now. The USC film school grad found her way there because of a poker game. “I played in a home game with somebody who had worked here, Alex Outhred,” said Glogow. “He kept saying to me, "Oh you should come if we ever have anything open. You should come work here." I said, "Sure, keep my name in mind." It was when they were staffing up for the short-lived Professional Poker Tour TV show, and I got hired on to do the statistics and final table data basis for the PPT. That was back in 2005” From there Glogow worked her way up to being the one calling the shots on the production side of the business. A recreational player herself, Glogow was star struck during her early days with the company as some of her poker heroes were standing in front of her, answering questions she was asking. “I’ve always been very attracted to the game of poker, and I think initially it was getting to meet players that I admired their game so well. The first time I met Doyle Brunson, or Jennifer Harman, I was in awe,” said Glogow. Being able to tell the story of a tournament, while also winding in a narrative about the player at the final table, is one of the things Glogow likes most about her job. As the game of poker has grown and changed during her career, so has the group of players she’s often telling the story of. “I just think you have to be creative and go at it at different angles. Everybody has a story. I think that some of the players are cut from a similar mold these days, where they had the same upbringing in the game,” said Glogow. "Trying to dig deep to find what is that special thing about this player that differentiates them from the rest of the field. Sometimes it's easier to find than others." When the WIPHOF nominees were announced, the public was initially given the opportunity to vote. Glogow’s WPT co-workers went to work on social media, campaigning for her and it appeared to be working, but a technical glitch caused the WIPHOF to cancel the public voting. Glogow was just happy to have the support of people she considers part of her family - and knows that once the little one arrives, they’ll be even more excited for that chapter of her life. “I know I have their support, and I know that they're a phone call away. I live pretty close to the office, so I'm sure I'll drop by with the baby,” said Glogow. “It's good to know that I have the love and support of the whole WPT team.
  17. [caption width="640"] Oleg Vasylchenko outlasted a field of 167 to win the WPT partypoker Prague event (WPT photo)[/caption] The poker world may have its eye currently set on Las Vegas and the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic, but over in the Czech Republic, the partypoker WPT Prague event drew a field of 167 to the Hotel Grandior. It took four days of play for the final table to be reached and 122 hands for Oleg Vasylchenko to put the seal on his first career WPT title. Vasylchenko started the final table as the chip leader and kept his edge throughout to take down the title and the €132,200 first place prize. The final table was an accomplished one that included WSOP circuit ring winner and EPT Champion, Martin Khabrel. It took 21 hands to find the first elimination and it was Preben Stokkan who earned that distinction. Stokkan started the final table as the second shortest stack and met his end with Romain Lewis finishing him off. Tonio Roder raised to 55,000 and Stokkan came over the top all in, as did Lewis. Stokkan was on the short end of the hand with [poker card="th"][poker card="9h"] as Roder showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] with Lewis [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] having them both dominated. The [poker card="5c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] board was good for Lewis to ship the pot. Stokkan took home €23,520 for his finish. Next out was Khabrel, who was felted by Lewis. Khabrel shoved for 265,000 and was called by Lewis in the big blind with pocket queens. Khabrel held a single overcard [poker card="kd"][poker card="8d"] but the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="th"][poker card="qh"] runout provided barely a sweat and he hit the rail. Four-handed play ensued for 20 hands and it was Lewis who was the next man out. Roder raised to 80,000 and big blind 30,000, and Lewis defended his big blind with about 300,000 behind. Lewis checked the [poker card="qc"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3d"] flop over to Roder and found himself check-raising all in. Roder called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="7s"] and would need to hold against the [poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"] of Lewis. The [poker card="ts"] turn failed to increase Lewis’s outs and the [poker card="ac"] on the river gave Roder the pot and the knockout. Three-handed play was a lengthy affair that lasted for over 50 hands. Roder was neck-and-neck with Anton Petrovbut saw his stock drop with Vasylchenko picking up most of the slack. It would be Vasylchenko who eliminated Roder, marking his first victim of the final table. With the blinds at 25,000/50,000, Vasylchenko limped in from the small blind and called a raise from Roder. The two saw a flop of [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] and Vasylchenko check-called an all in from Roder. Roder held [poker card="ad"][poker card="8c"] but would have to dodge Vasylchenko’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"] web of outs. The turn was the [poker card="kd"] leaving Roder needing the fourth diamond on the river to hit a higher flush. Only the [poker card="5h"] could be mustered and Roder left the final table €52,500 to show for his days of play. Vasylchenko started heads up play against Petrov with about 60 percent of the chips in play and wasted little time finishing his last opponent off. Petrov raised to 115,000 and Vasylchenko called from the big blind to see a [poker card="ts"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4c"] flop. The [poker card="jc"] hit the turn and Vasylchenko bet 315,000. Petrov raised all-in and Vasylchenko called with [poker card="td"][poker card="7d"] for a flopped two pair. Petrov and his [poker card="jd"][poker card="3d"] would need help going to the river but the [poker card="9s"] would wrap up the win for Vasylchenko. Vasylchenko’s career earnings now eclipsed the $200,000 and more importantly, he has clinched a spot in the WPT Tournament of Champions. Final Table Payouts Oleg Vasylchenko - €132,200 Anton Petrov - €82,000 Tonio Roder - €52,500 Romain Lewis - €39,120 Martin Kabrhel - €29,410 Preben Stokkan €23,520
  18. [caption width="640"] Mike Sexton added some hardware to his World Poker Tour legacy on Thursday night in Montreal (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] For nearly 15 years Mike Sexton has been the voice of World Poker Tour broadcasts. Thursday night in Montreal the Poker Hall of Famer was unable to be in the broadcast booth as he was busy adding his name to the WPT Champions Cup after overcoming Benny Chen heads-up to win the partypoker.net WPT Montreal event and $317,896. Sexton outlasted a field of 648 players at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal to win the first WPT title of his career. He now has over $6 million in lifetime earnings, a World Series of Poker bracelet and a Tournament of Champions title. The final table included Chen, the first winner of the WSOP Millionaire Maker and highly respected pro Jake Schwartz, who had two previous WPT final table appearances to his credit before this event. Schwartz came in to the final table with the second shortest but wasn’t able to outlast anybody. Action folded to Schwartz in the small blind and he jammed 695,000 in the middle with [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"] only to have Nadir Lalji, the only player who started with a shorter stack, called from the big blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"][poker card="2d"][poker card="qd"] to give Lalji the hand and eliminate Schwartz in sixth. Sexton started the final table with the lead, but right behind him was Ema Zajmovic. Those two tangled in a big pot early on that saw Zajmovic’s run end. From the cutoff, Sexton raised to 250,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"] before Zajmovic moved all in for 2,065,000 with [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"]. Sexton called and the [poker card="5s"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2d"] flop, [poker card="5d"] turn or [poker card="9s"] river were no help for Zajmovic and she was out in fifth place. Through 15 seasons of the WPT events, no woman has ever won an open event title. Chen claimed his first victim at the final table a little over an hour later in a blind vs blind battle. Action folded to Chen in the small blind and he called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] before Ilan Boujenah moved all in for 1,325,000 with [poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"] and Chen called instantly. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="th"][poker card="9d"] flop left Boujenah drawing to runner-runner, but the [poker card="js"] turn was no help for him and the [poker card="9h"] river gave Chen a full house. Boujenah was eliminated in fourth. Over the next 45 minutes Chen and Sexton took turns with the chip lead. Caught in the middle was Lalji who fell victim to another pocket pair from Sexton. Chen folded his button, Sexton raised to 375,000 from the small blind with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"] and then called when Lalji moved all in for 2,200,000 total with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3c"] flop put Sexton well ahead. Lalji got no love on the [poker card="4s"] turn or [poker card="5h"] river to end his run at the title in third. Heads up play between Chen and Sexton began with Chen holding 10,575,000 chips to Sexton’s 8,875,000. The pair played heads-up for nearly four hours with Chen holding the lead for almost all of that. Sexton took the chip lead for the first time after 155 hands between the two players and then ended things two hands later. Chen open-shoved all in for 8,150,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jd"] and Sexton called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="qd"] door card put Sexton ahead and the remaining board of [poker card="9c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="ac"][poker card="2d"] sealed the deal and gave Sexton his first WPT title. Sexton has twice been unable to be in the broadcast booth at the start of a WPT final table because he was playing. The first occurred in 2011 (Season 9) when he made the Bay 101 Shooting Star final table, eventually finishing sixth. The second came in 2013 (Season 11) when he finished third at the WPT Venice Grand Prix. On Thursday night Sexton’s normal commentary seat was filled by Raw Deal host Tony Dunst. Final Table Payouts Mike Sexton - $317,896 Benny Chen - $213,515 Nadir Lalji - $136,806 Ilan Boujenah - $99,067 Ema Zajmovic - $76,127 Jake Schwartz - $61,000
  19. [caption width="640"] Sofia Lovgren wants to be the first woman to win a World Poker Tour open event (WPT photo)[/caption] Every week or two it seems someone is bringing up something on Twitter or other social media regarding gender and the poker world. A massive debate ensues, people take sides, and the rest of us just grab the popcorn. With that in mind, you would think the reality TV concept Girl Got Game, which put nine poker-playing girls under one roof, would result in intense competition and catfights, but instead the ladies bonded and continue to support one another long after filming wrapped. Swedish poker pro and 888 ambassador Sofia Lovgren was approached by the producers of the show and agreed to take part in what turned out to be a very diverse collection of players from all over the world. Lovgren summed up each of her cast members with a single word: Katrina Lim - Positive Danielle Andersen - Boss Joanna Kwak- Frisky Oanh Bui - Cool Kitty Kuo - Funny Sabina Hiathullah - Energetic Samantha Abernathy - Adventurous Xuan Liu – Friendly In addition to living together, the ladies were also presented with tasks and challenges. Lovgren was game for just about anything, but not all of her castmates had the stomach for it. "I was surprised that so many of the girls chickened out when we had a challenge to eat crickets and scorpions," Lovgren says with a laugh. "Personally, I thought they were delicious." Initial filming wrapped before the 2016 World Series of Poker began, but the ladies continued to hang out and talk throughout the summer in Las Vegas. Lovgren certainly appreciated the camaraderie, which is not always easy for females to find in the poker world. "It's a fact that there aren't many female poker players playing the big poker tours, and the first years I traveled with my ex-boyfriend. The last year I've been traveling around with these female poker players and some other good friends. Of course we enjoy spending time together and also support each other in a great way which, for sure, is positive from a mental point of view." The experience was so positive that Lovgren recently hosted the ladies in Sweden. “We had all been playing lots of poker this summer and also spent time together in different constellations. I felt that it would be fun to invite all these girls to my lovely home country for a poker-free, crazy vacation week together,” she explains. The trip, which was done independent of the show, was quite a success. "I loved to show some typical Swedish traditions, like ‘kräftskiva’ (cray fish party), sailing to a small fishing village in the archipelago, and, of course, how to make the famous Swedish meatballs! We did many other things like going to a big to a music festival, roller coaster rides in the Liseberg amusement park, and some rather heavy partying!" The ladies of Girl Got Game are a much-needed wholly positive story of female poker pros supporting one another. They are all very competitive, but the competition is a healthy one, where everyone can succeed without it coming at the expense of someone else. Like many other women in the game, Lovgren would still like to see the female presence in poker grow not just with TV shows and publicity, but on the felt as well. "I’d like to see more female poker winning big tournaments and become superstars of poker. That would create more inspiration for other girls than anything else, I think," says Lovgren. As for how she can participate, she has a very specific goal in mind. "I’m planning to be the first female World Poker Tour, main tour event winner, which would certainly help," she half-jokes. 888poker signed a two-year deal to sponsor The Swedish Poker ChampionshipsUp first for Lovgren though is figuring out where to live so she is close to good cash games and tournaments. Her options are rather diverse. "Right now I'm considering Gothenburg [Sweden] or somewhere in Asia. I'm single now, so obviously anything can happen. I understand that I have a unique opportunity right now to be flexible and enjoy life without any big obligations, so I really try to make the most of life like traveling around the world in the next year." One of the reasons Lovgren has this opportunity is her relationship with 888. Having studied business management in school, Lovgren isn’t just about promoting the brand, she also plays an active role in developing the business. She is currently developing some business ideas for the growing Asian market. Lovgren has had a busy year, what with the show, the sponsorship, and finding a new home. You would think with that much on her plate, poker would take a place on the back burner, but Lovgren actually had a breakout year at the WSOP, cashing four times, including deep runs in both the Colossus and the Millionaire Maker, where she finished 12th. After getting her start in cash games, Lovgren’s transition to tournament player is going well and, with lots of grinding on the schedule for the fall and winter, she is in a great position to continue her success. Even if she does not win that WPT title this year, her growing presence in the poker world is something the women of poker can certainly get behind, well, except maybe the eating crickets part.
  20. [caption width="640"] Sam Panzica won WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble for his third live win of 2016 (WPT photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Sam Panzica might not be allowed to play World Series of Poker events anymore, but he can now call himself a World Poker Tour champion. Panzica beat Richard Malone Jr. heads-up and survived a final table that included former WPT winners Noah Schwartz and Tyler Patterson to win the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble and $354,335. Panzica was banned from all Caesars properties in 2013 after being removed from the rail by security during the 2013 November Nine. He has appealed the lifetime ban and been denied making it impossible for him to play WSOP or WSOP Circuit events at any Caesars property. Things got chaotic on the very first hand of the final table. Malone raised to 150,000 from the button and Paul Balzano re-raised from the small blind to 380,000 and Malone called. After the [poker card="js"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"] flop, Malone called Balzano’s 300,000 bet. The turn was the [poker card="tc"] and Balzano moved all in for 1,180,000 and Malone deliberated before calling. Balzano showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] while Malone turned over [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"] for an open-ended straight draw. The river was the [poker card="9h"] to give Malone his straight and send Balzano packing. That hand moved Malone, who started the day second in chips behind Panzica, into the chip lead. Just nine hands later he picked up another big stack after eliminating the most accomplished player at the table. Action folded to Schwartz on the button and he moved all in for 870,000. Panzica folded his small blind but Malone called and tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"] which had Schwartz’s [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"] dominated. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5c"] to eliminate the two-time WPT champion Schwartz in fifth place and extend Malone’s chip lead. It took a little bit longer for the next elimination, but it still came at the hands of Malone. After Malone raised to 155,000 from the button, Patterson, the defending champion and last remaining bounty in the tournament, moved all in for 860,000 from the small blind. Ankush Mandavia then came over the top for his last 2,025,000. Malone took some time to consider his action before calling. Patterson showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="kd"], Mandavia showed [poker card="th"][poker card="th"] and Malone needed help with [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2h"] flop left Patterson ahead, but the [poker card="ac"] turn put Malone ahead with a pair of his aces. The [poker card="5s"] river changed nothing and Malone eliminated two players on one hand to get heads up with Panzica. With just two players remaining, Malone had a nearly 2-1 chip lead but over the course of 145 hands Panzica’s experience shined through and allowed him to take a commanding chip lead and eventually eliminate Malone. On the final hand of the night Panzica moved all in from the big blind and Malone called all in for 2,575,000 and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="3d"]. Panzica was behind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="9c"] and got no help from the [poker card="8s"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5s"] flop. The [poker card="9s"] turn changed that though and when the [poker card="kc"] river didn’t put Malone back out in front, Panzica had eliminated Malone to win his first WPT title and $354,335. This win is just part of what some might describe as a breakout year for Panzica. In February he won the European Poker Tour Dublin High Roller for $418,704. He then won the Florida State Poker Championship at Pompano Beach in July for $117,282. The three victories are the only three live victories for the 24 year old poker pro. Final Table Payouts Sam Panzica - $354,335 Richard Malone Jr. - $237,616 Ankush Mandavia - $152,766 Tyler Patterson - $100,643 Noah Schwartz - $77,499 Paul Balzano - $64,183
  21. [caption width="640"] Jesse Sylvia finally got the monkey off his back Friday night, winning his first ever live title (WPT Photo)[/caption] When the final table of the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open began Friday afternoon, former World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia was the shortest stack at the table and seemed to have little hope of winning the title. But over the course of nearly seven hours of play Friday night in Atlantic City, Sylvia went from short stack to chip leader to champion as he captured the Borgata Poker Open for the first live win of his career and second biggest score. Sylvia tripled up on the seventh hand of the final table when his [poker card="4c"][poker card="4s"] held against Farid Jattin’s [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] and Simon Lam’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"] in an all in preflop confrontation. That took Sylvia from the short stack to second in chips and set up another confrontation with Jattin. Chris Limo raised to 275,000 from middle position before Jattin re-raised from the small blind to 880,000. Sylvia then made it 2,375,000, forcing Limo to fold and sending Jattin into the tank before announcing all in. Sylvia called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"] while Jattin showed [poker card="4c"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"][poker card="2d"] flop gave Sylvia top pair and a gutshot draw to Jattin. The [poker card="qs"] turn and [poker card="js"] river were no help for Jattin and Sylvia vaulted into the chip lead with Jattin dropping to just 11 big blinds. Jattin, who started the final day with a stack three times the size of his closest competitor, was out in sixth place just 15 minutes later when he ran his [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] into the [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"] of Zach Gruneberg. While Sylvia wasn’t directly responsible for eliminating Jattin, he did take care of the next one. Sylvia raised to 280,000 from the cutoff only to have Limo three-bet to 655,000 from the small blind. Sylvia called and the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4s"]. Limo fired 680,000 and Sylvia tank-called to see the [poker card="3h"] turn. Limo announced he was all in for 2,075,000 and Sylvia called. Limo showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="5d"] for a gutshot straight draw and Sylvia was way ahead with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"] for a flopped set. The [poker card="9d"] river changed nothing and Sylvia increased his chip lead. Just three hands later Lam, who started with the second shortest stack behind only Sylvia, saw his run end. Lam moved all in from UTG for 870,000 and Gruneberg called from the big blind. Lam had [poker card="jc"][poker card="6c"] and was dominated by Gruneberg’s [poker card="kc"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="ts"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="ks"] giving Gruneberg an unnecessary rivered pair to send Lam home in fourth place. It only took another 30 minutes for the next elimination and Gruneberg was involved again. Gruneberg moved all in from the small blind and Taha Maruf called from the big blind for 2,695,000 with his tournament life on the line. Gruneberg showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="8h"] while Maruf happily turned over [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="3d"] flop put Gruneberg ahead and the [poker card="th"] turn and [poker card="kc"] river kept him there, eliminating Maruf in third place. Sylvia and Gruneberg began heads-up play nearly dead even in chips with Sylvia holding just one more big blind than his opponent. Over the course of the first two hours of heads-up action, Sylvia increased his lead to 3-2 over Gruneberg. Sylvia briefly relinquished the chip lead only to get it back for the final time just 30 minutes later. Sylvia eventually built up his lead to 5-1 over Gruneberg. On the final hand of the tournament, Sylvia moved all in and Gruneberg called off the last of his 5,800,000 chips. Sylvia had [poker card="jh"][poker card="4h"] and Grunberg tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] flop gave Sylvia top pair and a flush draw to Gruneberg. The [poker card="qs"] turn and [poker card="kd"] river were good enough to give Sylvia the title and the $821,811 first place prize money. Final Table Payouts Jesse Sylvia - $821,811 Zach Gruneberg - $490,617 Taha Maruf - $300,031 Simon Lam - $250,970 Chris Limo - $207,569 Farid Jattin - $167,942
  22. [caption width="640"] The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is hosting the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party this November.[/caption] Set at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in sun-soaked Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, partypoker’s Caribbean Poker Party is sure to be one of the most anticipated poker events of the year. Now, the online poker site is giving players even more reason to make the trip after doubling the guarantee of one of the events, the partypoker Million, to an impressive $2,000,000. The addition of the extra cash coupled with the $1 million earmarked for the WPT Caribbean tournament means that, aside from working on their suntans, players will be vying $3 million across two great tournaments. The festivities kick off on November 19 with the $5,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event and wrap up on the November 25 with the final day of the $2,750 buy-in Million. Players dreaming of white sandy beaches but lacking a travel budget will have the chance to win one of several $8,000 packages, up for grabs on partypoker starting September 5. Lucky winners will enjoy airfare for two, all-inclusive accommodations, the $2,750 Million buy-in, plus loads of bells and whistles sure to make the trip a memorable one. Sign up now for partypoker and get a 100% bonus on your first deposit and start playing your way to a seat in the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party. Several big names in the poker world have already confirmed their attendance, including poker pro Sam Trickett, and partypoker ambassadors Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst. "After launching the first partypoker Million in 2002, it will be fantastic to see how the event has grown and with qualification starting at $0.01 and ten $8,000 packages per week up for grabs on partypoker from September it offers more value than ever," said Sexton. "I look forward to a week of unforgettable action in paradise on and off the felt." Trickett, who boasts an astronomical $20 million in live tournament cashes, looks to add even more titles to his resume while relaxing with friends. "The Caribbean Poker Party is going to be a fantastic event, I’m looking forward to going with a big group of friends and it’s brilliant to hear that the Million guarantee has been doubled to $2 million," said Trickett. Also coming to the party is boxing superstar Carl Froch, who can’t wait to put his live poker training to the test. "I’m looking forward to a week of poker in paradise and my first live tournament action outside of my home town,” he said. "Playing the partypoker Million and WPT Caribbean is the ultimate test and I’ve been putting in the hours, preparing myself for the differences between online tournaments to ensure I will be at the very top of my game." Both events allow players to re-enter one time. Of course, partypoker will take full advantage of the idyllic Punta Cana backdrop and has packed the schedule with an array of outdoor sporting events and cocktail parties. Players can play water polo, golf or volleyball on off days or enjoy the beach on their own.
  23. [caption width="639"] Mike Sexton's final season with the World Poker Tour gave him a grand sendoff as he won his first career WPT title.[/caption] After 15 seasons in the booth and countless memorable moments, Mike Sexton’s run as the voice of the World Poker Tour is at an end. The WPT announced Sexton’s retirement today as he transitions into the next stage of his poker career. Sexton’s final season as co-commentator of the World Poker Tour was one to behold. The Poker Hall of Famer notched his first career WPT Main Event win in November at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal and was in the thick of the WPT Player of the Year race where he eventually finished third. As a result of his win, Sexton is eligible to play in the event he played a major role in creating, the WPT Tournament of Champions, each year. Replacing Sexton in the booth is the former host of WPT’s Raw Deal, Tony Dunst, who has previously subbed in for Sexton in a limited capacity. Dunst will officially start as Vince Van Patten’s new partner when the first taping of Season XVI takes place this later this summer from Choctaw. Although Sexton is longer with the World Poker Tour, there is plenty to celebrate as Sexton’s role as a broadcaster and ambassador helped launch the WPT to where it is today. “Today is a bittersweet day in WPT history. As we announce the end of Mike Sexton’s incredible tenure as WPT co-commentator, the World Poker Tour celebrates the internal promotion of Tony Dunst to one of poker’s most visible positions. Mike, along with Vince Van Patten, is more than just a part of one of the longest-running commentating pairs in sports broadcast history.Mike will forever be a cherished member of the WPT family, and his impact will forever shape the core of this company and the entire industry, ” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. Dunst’s role grows with his movement into the booth after first joining the WPT in Season IX. Dunst won an open casting call to host WPT Raw Deal and appeared in over 140 segments in the time since. A former online professional, Dunst is also a member of the WPT Champions Club thanks to his Season XII win in St. Maarten. WPT is yet to announce a new Raw Deal host and Dunst is being welcomed to the broadcast team with open arms. “Tony has become a friend over the years, and I have increasingly come to admire his talent and dedication. Tony’s knowledge of the game was highly evident during WPT Raw Deal segments and occasions when he joined Mike or me in the booth, and it is without question that his commentary will elevate World Poker Tour broadcasts. It is my pleasure to welcome Tony into the booth full time, and I look forward to another great partnership starting with Season XVI,” said Van Patten. Sexton is far from finished being an ambassador for the poker world, as his new position with partypoker entails. His formal title with the company is yet to be announced, but it is known that Sexton will be taking on an executive role. The voice of a poker generation, Sexton’s contributions to the game are unmatched. Sexton has been with the World Poker Tour from when they first launched in 2002 and leaves on a high note. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002. When the World Poker Tour launched, it was a dream come true, and to be there from the beginning and see how the WPT changed the poker world forever by essentially turning poker into a televised sport has been amazing.It's been quite a ride over these 15 seasons, and one that I've been extremely blessed to take,” said Sexton “I’d like to thank Steve Lipscomb for his vision to create the World Poker Tour, Adam Pliska for bringing the WPT to incredible heights, and the entire WPT family for all they do and have given me. I'd like to mention everyone, but there’s simply too many to name. They know who they are, and without them, the WPT wouldn’t have become what it is today.”
  24. [caption width="640"] Poker players are flocking to the Playground Poker Club just outside of Montreal for the upcoming partypokerLIVE MILLION North America.[/caption] After opening its doors in December of 2010, the Playground Poker Club has quickly become one of North America’s premier poker venues. Located in Kahnawake, Quebec, just on the other side of the St. Lawrence river from downtown Montreal, the Playground Poker Club hosts several high-profile tournament series and has partnerships with some of the biggest brands in poker. The club became a household name in the poker world in 2012 when they partnered with the World Poker Tour. Since Jonathan Roy took down the inaugural WPT Montreal for $754,210, the Canadian card room became a fixture on the WPT and is always one of the most popular stops on the schedule. It can be argued that two of the most historic moments in WPT history took place during two of the three stops at the Playground this past WPT season. Last November, one of the faces of the WPT and Poker Hall of Famer, Mike Sexton, etched his name on the Champions Cup. He topped a field of 648 and defeated Benny Chen heads-up to win $317,817. The third stop of the season at the Playground Poker Club saw the WPT crown its first female champion in an open event. Ema Zajmovic won $183,789 to become the second woman to have her name inscribed on the cup. She joined Van Nguyen, who won an invitational event, as the only two females to earn the title of WPT champion. With the success of the first WPT stop in 2012, Playground added a second stop to the schedule in 2013 with the creation of the partypoker WPT Canadian Spring Championship. Since 2013, they have been one of the few venues with multiple stops on the tour in the same season. This year, however, instead of running the Canadian Spring Championship, they are hosting the partypokerLIVE MiILLION North America stop in its place. Even with the subtraction of the Canadian Spring Championship, Playground added an event in February, which will likely become a permanent stop on the tour’s schedule to continue its trend of multiple stops a year. The Playground Poker Club became relevant in the poker world largely after Black Friday, but since it is based in Canada, it was still able to run events with several of the biggest names in the online world. In 2013, they held the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival and the partypoker.net Premier League. In 2014, they hosted the PokerStars Canada Cup, which gave them an event with, at the time, the three biggest online poker rooms on the planet. The 2014 Canada Cup was one of the most memorable ends to a tournament in poker history. Robert Notkin, a qualifier on PokerStars for $30, won a four-way all in with pocket kings to knock out three players and win $354,379. One of the features of the club that sets itself apart from other tournament venues is that the only gambling that takes place at Playground is poker. There are no slot machines, no table games and no sportsbook for players to place other bets. It's all poker, all the time. The club is widely regarded as the best place to play poker in all of Canada. It spreads games of all sizes, ranging for $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em all the way up to some of the biggest games the country has to offer. If players are looking for some time away from the tables, they are a 20-minute car ride away from taking in the sides and sounds of downtown Montreal. Between its location, selection of cash games and premier tournament schedules, it’s not a surprise that Playground Poker Club has emerged as one of the most desired places to play poker.
  25. [caption width="640"] Daniel Weinman grabbed his second WPT title of 2017 at the Season XV Tournament of Champions (WPT Photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Two months ago Daniel Weinman added his name to the World Poker Tour Champions Cup with a win at the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City. Sunday night in Hollywood, Florida the 29-year-old capped off Season XV of the WPT by winning the Tournament of Champions. "I feel incredible, this was such a tough tournament and to come out on top it's super special," said Weinman, who had to pass up a trip to The Masters final round after making the final table. ""It's crazy, usually you play these tournaments with a thousand people and there may be 850 people that really don't have a chance at winning the tournament that you go deep. They're just not comfortable with all the spots they're going to encounter. Having 66 people that have already won this and have had some success in the poker world, coming out on top is incredible." After running kings into aces, Dylan Wilkerson wasn’t left with much of a stack to work with. Daniel Santoro raised to 40,000 from UTG and Wilkerson moved all in from the cut off for 179,000. Santoro called and showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"] while Wilkerson had [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6h"] flop put Santoro ahead and neither the [poker card="3d"] turn or [poker card="6d"] river were any help to Wilkerson and he was out in sixth. Just six hands later Santoro picked up another elimination. With blinds of 8,000/16,000, Seidel all in for 138,000 from UTG and Santoro called, this time showing [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] and again found himself up against an ace as Erik Seidel showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] flop put Santoro ahead with second pair and left Seidel hoping for one of the three remaining kings or running fives. The [poker card="2h"] turn was no help and neither was the [poker card="7h"] turn and the Hall of Famer Seidel was eliminated in fifth. The Daniel Santoro show kept on going. David Ormsby moved all in from the button for his last 286,000 and Santoro re-raised from the small blind, forcing big blind Michael Mizrachi to fold. Ormbsy tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] but this time Santoro was ahead with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="8c"][poker card="td"] to eliminate Ormbsy in fourth place and leave Santoro as the chip leader with three players remaining. Unfortunately for Santoro, just over two and a half hours later, the show came to an abrupt halt. Mizrachi folded his button, Weinman moved all in from the small blind and Santoro called all in from the big blind. Weinman showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"] while Santoro had [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2s"] flop put Santoro ahead and he dodged the [poker card="7c"] turn, but the [poker card="ac"] gave Weinman a better pair and eliminated Santoro. When heads-up play began, Weinman had Mizrachi outchipped 4.5-1 and it took him just 18 hands to end things. Mizrachi moved all in for 890,000 and Weinman called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"] while Mizrachi showed [poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="3c"] flop kept Mizrachi ahead, but the [poker card="8s"] turn gave Weinman third pair. The [poker card="7c"] river card was no good for Mizrachi and he was eliminated in second place, improving his TOC finish from last year by one spot and leaving Weinman as the Season XV TOC winner. Along with the $381,500 first place prize money, Weiman also won a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe, a pair of rose gold wireless Monster Headphones, a custom poker table, a seat in Tiger’s Poker Night and a one-week stay with Wyndham Extra holidays. Final Table Payouts Daniel Weinman - $381,500 Michael Mizrachi - $218,000 Daniel Santoro - $133,525 David Ormsby - $95,375 Erik Seidel - $73,575 Dylan Wilkerson - $57,225

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