Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'World Poker Tour'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Poker Forums
    • Poker Community
    • Poker Advice
    • Poker Legislation
    • Poker Sites
    • Live Poker
  • Other Forums
    • Off Topic
    • Bad Beats
    • Daily Fantasy Sports Community
    • Staking Marketplace
    • PTP Expats - Shooting Off


There are no results to display.


There are no results to display.

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start



Real name

Your gender

About Yourself

Your favorite poker sites

Favorite poker hand

Your profession

Favorite place to play

Your hobbies

Favorite Cash Game and Limit

Favorite Tournament Game and Limit

Twitter Follow Name:

Game Types



Favorite Site(s)

Table Size(s)


Hourly Rate

Found 246 results

  1. [caption width="640"] The Bellagio plays host to the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic[/caption] Through the recently announced partnership between the World Poker Tour and playMGMPoker, New Jersey players have the unique opportunity to satellite online into one of the most esteemed live tournaments in any given year - the World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. For the first time, New Jersey residents can qualify for the major Las Vegas tournament by winning a $12,000 package that includes an entry into the $10,400 Main Event, $1,600 in cash to help cover travel and accommodations, and the first-night-free stay at one of the flagship MGM properties, the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Whether you are a deep-pocketed shot taker or a value-seeking grinder there are a number of ways for playMGMpoker players to earn their shot at what will likely be the seven-figure first place prize at the WPT Five Diamond. It all starts for as little as $10. Looking to work your way to the top? playMGMPoker is running $10 Daily Qualifiers into the $55 Bellagio Qualifier. The first step starts every day at 5:40pm and 8:40pm ET where the $10 tournament guarantees at least two entries into the $55 step. Roughly one out of roughly every six entries into the $10 starter tournament will win entry into the $55 Bellagio Qualifier. The $55 Bellagio Qualifier is also running every day. At 7:20pm ET, players compete to win their way into main $535 Bellagio Super Satellite to WPT Bellagio Five Diamond. With at least one seat to the main satellite guaranteed, approximately one out of every 11 participants will gain entry and get their shot at the $12,000 package. In addition to the daily $55, there is a once-a-week Turbo Qualifier taking place on Sundays at 5:20pm. The turbo takes place right before the $535 Super Satellite is set to begin. Players can win or buy their way into the to the final step, the $535 Super Satellite to WPT Bellagio. There are four more opportunities left to vie for the grand prize at 6:20pm ET on the following Sundays: November 12 November 19 November 26 December 3 Roughy one out of every 24 will pick up a $12,000 package, escape the New Jersey winter and be on their way to sunny Las Vegas for the Main Event. Whether it's daily qualifiers or buying directly into the Super Satellite, playMGMPoker has a path for those looking to make their dreams of playing the WPT Five Diamond a reality.
  2. [caption width="640"] Art Papazyan claimed victory in his second WPT event of Season XVI by winning WPT Maryland. (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] Art Papazyan came out of relatively nowhere to win the WPT Legends of Poker event to start Season XVI and claim the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. Papazyan traveled to Maryland to play the WPT event at Live! Casino in an effort to chase points and is now a two-time WPT champion as a result. After a tough final table that saw Papazyan go up and down on his way to victory, he emerged victorious with his second WPT win in as many attempts. Timothy Chang was the first player eliminated with start of final table chip leader Tom Reynolds getting lucky to send him out. On Hand #15 of final table play, Chang was all in for 1,445,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"] against the [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4c"] flop was good for Chang as was the [poker card="7d"] turn but the [poker card="9s"] river gave Reynolds a full house to eliminate Chang. On Hand #71, Papazyan doubled up through Grigoriy Shvarts to pick up some much-needed chips. Shvarts raised to 210,000 and Papazyan defended his big blind. Papazyan check-called for 260,000 on the [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="8d"] flop and Shvarts bet 500,000 on the [poker card="2s"] turn. Papazyan shoved for 1,240,000 and Shvarts called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. Papazyan flopped two pair [poker card="jc"][poker card="8s"] and faded the river to double. Shvarts was left with under 10 big blinds and was eliminated in Hand #77 by Papazyan when his [poker card="as"][poker card="5s"] lost to Papazyan’s [poker card="kc"][poker card="6d"] as a six hit the river. Papazyan took the lead for good a few hands later when he eliminated former WSOP bracelet winner Randal Heeb in fourth place. Zachary Donovan opened to 180,000 under the gun and Papazyan made it 600,000 in the small blind. Heeb four-bet to 1,500,000 in the big blind and only Papazyan called to the [poker card="qh"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] flop. Papazyan checked and Heeb shoved for slightly over 3,000,000. Papazyan called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"] and led the [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] of Heeb. The last two cards bricked and Papazyan owned over half the chips in play heading into three-handed play. Donovan picked up some steam heading into heads up play by eliminating Reynolds. Donovan limped the button and Reynolds raised to 225,000. Donovan called and the flop came down [poker card="9d"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3c"]. Reynolds bet 400,000 and Donovan called to the [poker card="5h"] turn. Reynolds shoved for 2,090,000 and Donovan called with [poker card="9s"][poker card="7d"]. His pair led the [poker card="as"][poker card="td"] of Reynolds and the [poker card="6c"] sent out the 2017 bracelet winner in third place. Papazyan held the chip lead for all of heads up play and on the 56th hand, finished off Donovan to claim victory. With the blinds at 75,000/150,000, Donovan shoved for 2,925,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4s"] and Papazyan woke up with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="jc"] board was good for Papazyan and he claimed victory. Papazyan earns $15,000 additional for winning the event having already locked up a seat for the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. In only his second ever World Poker Tour event, the 25-year-old Papazyan earns a special place in poker history. Final Table Payouts Art Papazyan - $389,405 Zachary Donovan - $262,930 Tom Reynolds - $168,900 Randal Heeb - $120,165 Grigoriy Shvarts - $92,015 Timothy Chang - $76,620
  3. [caption width="640"] JC Tran might have been focusing on family the last few years, but he's still got the chops to play (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] There once was a time where JC Tran one of the most feared players at every World Poker Tour stop. And he was at every WPT stop. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Atlantic City to Mashantucket, if there was a WPT event going on, Tran was there, usually building stacks on his way to a deep run. Between 2004 and 2007, Tran made five official WPT final tables, winning once and finishing runner-up once. He also narrowly missed out on three other final tables, posting seventh place finishes three times. In 2007 he was named WPT Player of the Year and he sits sixth on the tour’s all-time money list. These days? Tran’s more interested in free kicks and ground balls than combo draws and bluff catchers. He didn’t pivot to daily fantasy sports during the boom like some poker players did and he’s not running some sports betting syndicate out of his home just outside of Sacramento, California. “My week is usually soccer practice, soccer games, baseball practice, baseball games, getting the kids to school,” said Tran, who has two kids, a six year old and a three year old. “Believe it or not, I’d rather be out watching my kids play soccer than sweating my friend at a final table. It’s awesome. I’m that dad out there that’s screaming for my kids, “go go go”. It’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.” When Tran got married in 2009, he knew that becoming a parent was the next logical step and that would mean playing far less poker and traveling much less. “Before we had kids, I’d go on the tour and see a lot of dads out from stop to stop to stop. I did it because I didn’t have any kids,” said Tran. “I’m okay with that, but I see a lot of father’s doing it and I’d scratch my head, ‘when do you spend time with your kids?’ and I told my wife that if we’re ever going to have kids, this is not going to happen. Poker will always be a thing for me, but I’m not going to do it on full time.” He now limits himself to events on the West Coast so that he can get back home quickly and spend more time being a father. He still plays a lot of the World Series of Poker schedule each year, but he’s managed to make that a family-friendly event. “Vegas we always rent a house, bring the family out and keep us together for a little bit out there. As far as travelling, I try to stay mostly on the West Coast. From LA or Vegas. Anything that has a connecting flight, no thank you,” said Tran. “ I love to see my kids grow up. It’s sad when you see a lot of these “poker dads”, that are out there and they blink and they’re kids are a year or two older.” This past five days he’s been in Los Angeles playing the WPT Legends of Poker event and it’s clear he hasn’t lost a step at all. Tran carried the overnight chip lead into Day 3 on Wednesday and credits his experience in playing live poker. While a number of the world’s best players have begun utilizing a game theory optimal approach to the game, Tran plans on sticking to what’s always worked for him. “I’m a live poker player, that’s what I’ve been doing for over ten years. So I stick to my live reads and my feelse,” said Tran. “It’s hard to play GTO when there’s an amateur opening for 6X or a guy that’s overbetting pot. How do you adjust to that? For live players with the live feels, you can make big laydowns or big calls that doesn’t happen with math involved.”
  4. [caption width="640"] Valentin Vornicu finally has a WPT cash to his credit (WPT photo)[/caption] When the bubble finally burst in the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event on Tuesday afternoon, Valentin Vornicu was one of the happier guys in the Bicycle Casino’s poker room. Guaranteed his first career WPT cash, Vornicu was hoping that his status as a Bike regular would help get him even deeper in the event. “Being a local here - it’s more or less my local casino - I know most of the players here. That’s an advantage too compared to somebody who travels and doesn’t know how the locals play,” said Vornicu. An advantage indeed. Vornicu has had a ton of success at the Bike over the last few years, taking down four WSOP Circuit events while cashing 16 times. He’s also won the Casino Champion award in 2016 and 2017. The WPT though is a different animal altogether. “I’d say half the guys are about the same, but in this one you see more “big name” players. You’ve got Phil Hellmuth and a bunch of high rollers that travel the bigger circuit that would not show up for a $1675, that will show up for this,” said Vornicu. “It doesn’t really change it for me that much, honestly. I’ve played these guys at the Series, at Seminole and all these other places.” While his WPT numbers are unimpressive, he did have a deep WSOP Main Event run in 2016, finishing 23rd for $269,430, and he’s coming off of a fourth-place finish in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event for $79,296. Even though he might have more experience than some of the other locals still in, he’s shied away from playing WPT events over the years. “I don’t really do the WPT because, or I haven’t done it until now. I just never felt like doing it. I don’t know why. First of all, the buy-ins are really high. I’m four buy-ins into this thing and I need to get into the last 24 to make anything,” said Vornicu. “The buy-in being so high, you can easily - well not easily - brick 20 of these in a row, due to variance. That's just a lot of money right there if you think about it. So, I guess that’s one of the reasons, I don’t think bankroll wise I was able to fire a million of these a year like some people do.” All of that could change if this run turns into something more than a min-cash. The 34-year-old, who lives in San Diego, could find himself in contention for WPT Player of the Year if he wins Legends. Being in the running for that award could shift his priorities over the next few months as he chases POY points. “I know there’s a points system and all that, so it really depends on how I do here. I know pretty much half of this field by name, it’s going to get tougher and tougher as it goes,” said Vornicu. As much as he needs or wants to finish 24th or better to show a profit in this event, he’s really only focused on finishing in top spot and getting his name etched on the WPT Champions Cup. “This summer, I stayed for two months in Vegas, I played everything, every day, and I only won one tournament - it was a HORSE tournament at Aria - and that was one of the best moments of my summer, said Vornicu. “Winning a tournament, for me, it’s what I live for. I’m not here to min-cash”
  5. [caption width="640"] Sean Perry turned 21 just a few hours before the WPT Five Diamond Classic started and now he just what win the whole thing (WPT photo)[/caption] Poker history is chock full of players who have called their shot. Lex Veldhuis did a few weeks ago, Mark Newhouse wishes he didn't do it when he finished ninth in the WSOP Main Event for a second consecutive year. In a lot of cases, it's a combination of confidence, ego and a little bit of fun. So when Sean Perry said last week that he was going to win the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic, it was mostly met with a good-hearted chuckle or two. Perry, son of longtime Las Vegas poker pro Ralph Perry, wasn't even eligible to play in this tournament last week. He didn't turn 21 years old until Monday, Day 1 of the event. "I played on Poker Night in America the other night and telling people on the show that I was winning this. Jennifer (Tilly) just tweeted about it," said Perry. Perry says he actually started predicted victory since the summer. "I've been telling people for six months that I'm due to ship this on my 21st birthday," said Perry. "You have no idea how long I've been waiting to finally be able to play in these casinos." Perry, who grew up and lives in Las Vegas, knew there was a chance he'd be able to play the event, and once the WPT Season XVI schedule came out, he was stoked. "Once I found out it was on my birthday, I told everyone this is my tournament," said Perry. This isn't some crazy story of a kid winning the first tournament he ever played in though. He's got $110,318 in lifetime tournament earnings, all from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida where the legal age to play is 19. He's also played high stakes cash for the last two years. "I am definitely pretty confident. I've had pretty good success so far since I left college. I'm playing pretty high cash, up to $50/$100. I've been there a lot," said Perry. The game is in his DNA. He started playing Chinese Poker against his father when he was about four years old. Since then he's been focused on his 21st birthday and properly starting his own pro poker career. "It was sick because I always said while I was growing up, 'I can't wait until I'm 21 and we're playing together'," said Perry. "I wish we got heads-up here, but we both ran pretty deep and we were sitting next to each yesterday." Ralph Perry finished 47th for $27,567 while Sean Perry continues to hang out near the top of the chip counts with just 11 players left.
  6. [caption width="639"] Joseph Galazzo is one of a handful of players who won their way into the WPT Five Diamond via satellites on playMGMpoker.[/caption] If you look at Joseph 'JOEYdaMUSH' Galazzo’s Hendon Mob profile, a couple of things stand out. The first, all of his cashes are in East Coast tournaments. Most are at Borgata. Some are at Parx. The second, is about a month ago he hit a $110,011 cash after posting a second-place official finish in the Borgata Fall Poker Open opening event. It was his biggest score ever. Thanks to a $535 satellite win, Galazzo has a chance to change both of these this week in Las Vegas at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic. The 37-year-old, ranked #52 in New Jersey, won his seat on playMGMpoker.com. He tried working his way up through the steps, but couldn’t make it happen, so he bought straight into the Super Satellite. “I jumped right in. I tried to ladder up a couple of times, because they had those $55 ones, and I couldn’t make any tickets out of those. I think it was the third one that I played because they had five or six. Third time was a charm,” said Galazzo. The win allowed Galazzo to head out to Las Vegas for the first time in his career. “I just never felt comfortable coming out here bankroll-wise, I was just waiting for the right spot,” said Galazzo. “I had my biggest score, about a month ago at Borgata, a six-figure score, so it felt right to expand my horizons beyond the East Coast.” The boost to the bankroll was nice, but Galazzo also admitted that getting that deep in a big event came with a confidence boost that he’s hoping pays off this week. He was one of 400+ players seated at the start of Day 1 and said all the nerves were gone after the first few hands. “I have a pretty good table. I have Mohsin Charania on my left, but I’m trying not to get mixed up with him too much. Everybody else I don’t recognize,” said Galazzo, who also has ClubWPT qualifier Bill Mynatt at his table, which has made things interesting. “He’s limping a lot of pots and it’s making for an interesting dynamic, because everybody’s trying to iso him and I actually paid him off, three streets, he flopped top two on me, I had ace-king and paid him and the camera was rolling. I don’t mind - he seems like a good guy,” said Galazzo. Almost immediately upon landing, Galazzo did something that is almost a rite of passage for Las Vegas virgins. He hit up the In-N-Out burger. “It was amazing. Half the people say it was overrated and the other half say it’s the best thing,” said Galazzo. “It was definitely the best non-gourmet burger I’ve ever had. Way better than Five Guys and everything else. It was amazing. I loved it.” That wasn’t the only touristy thing he’s done since getting into town on Monday night, but he doesn’t plan on doing too much - he wants to save some for a return trip. “I went and saw the fountains at the Bellagio. I didn’t really do anything too crazy yet, I’m only here for a week,” said Galazzo. “I’m definitely coming back in the summer, I’m going to play the World Series. So in the summer I’m going to do a lot of that other stuff, going hiking in the desert.” Even though it’s six months away, Galazzo believes now is the time to make his WSOP debut. “I just feel like I’m playing really well, and it’s just such good value tournaments, not just at RIo, but also at Venetian and Planet Hollywood and just try to cash in on playing well,” said Galazzo.
  7. [caption width="640"] Players will pack the Bellagio tournament area in pursuit of the WPT Five Diamond title[/caption] Dating back to 2002, The World Poker Tour's Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas is arguably the most prestigious event on the WPT calendar. This year, New Jersey online poker players can qualify for the event through PlayMGMPoker.com. This marks the first time NJ players can qualify for an out-of-state WPT event. The WPT Five Diamond is set to take from December 5-10 and take place at MGM property, the Bellagio Resort and Casino. Even though it's in Nevada, New Jersey players can win a $12,000 package that includes a $10,400 seat in the Main Event as well as $1,600 in cash, deposited directly into the playMGMpoker account, to help with travel expenses to Las Vegas. As an added bonus, all online qualifiers will have their first night's stay at the Bellagio included for free. Prior to this partnership, online satellites of this nature have been primarily used to qualify players into WPT events taking place at The Borgata. “The ability to qualify New Jersey online gaming players into desirable land-based Borgata poker events has been an extremely valuable resource in helping our poker network grow and succeed within the market.”said Ray Stefanelli, Executive Director of Online Gaming for playMGMpoker. With the aforementioned success, new opportunities have become available for players in New Jersey according to Stefanelli, “We are thrilled with the opportunity to extend this to a national offering, with playMGMpoker sponsoring our online satellite program into the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic; allowing for participants in New Jersey to compete amongst the best players at an MGM Resorts Destination in Las Vegas.” There are a number of ways for players to qualify and step into the $535 Super Satellite to WPT Five Diamonds to play for the $10,400 seat and it starts for as little as $10. Every day at 5:40pm and 8:40pm ET, players can jump into a $10 qualifier where approximately one out of every six players will win a $55 ticket to the Bellagio Qualifier for the Super Satellite. Each of these contests guarantees at least two $55 entries. Also running daily, at 7:20pm ET, the $55 Bellagio Qualifier runs. One out of every 11 entries wins their $535 ticket to the Super Satellite with one seat being guaranteed. The same tournament runs in a turbo format on Sundays at 5:20pm. The $535 Super Satellite to WPT Bellagio Five Diamond takes place on the following Sunday eveningsat 6:20pm ET: November 12, 19, 26 and the final chance on December 3. At least one $12,000 prize package is guaranteed in each tournament. In total, including the previously run Super Satellite, at least five New Jersey online grinders will find their way into one of the biggest live events of the year. Not only is the WPT Five Diamond one of the largest events, routinely awarding seven-figure first-place prize money throughout its rich history, but it's also the tournament where many top-ranked professionals made a name for themselves. The inaugural WPT Five Diamond, in 2002, saw 'The Great Dane', Gus Hansen, win his very first, of three, WPT title. Two years later Daniel Negreanu would go on to win the event for what would hold as a career-best victory for the better part of a decade. In 2006, World Series of Poker Champion Joe Hachem cemented his legacy as more than a one-hit wonder by taking down the Five Diamond for over $2.2 million. The list goes on: Eugene Katchalov, Chino Rheem, Daniel Alaei, Dan Smith, Mohsin Charania and Antonio Esfandiari all have their names etched in the WPT Trophy as victors of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond.
  8. [caption width="640"] Savage's signed suit raised thousands for those in need[/caption] From the smoldering ashes of a Matt Savage suit, something very good will rise. As the players who made Day Two of the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville took their seats in search of making the Final Table, renown tournament director Matt Savage was possibly simply searching for something to wear. Much to his dismay, but with his wholehearted consent, his cranberry suit, a debated about fashion faux pas that was beloved by Savage, was literally set aflame for a good cause. On September 19 a massive earthquake rocked Mexico, hundreds of citizens lost their lives and thousands were left without homes. Professional poker players Angel Guillen and JC Alvrado, as well as World Poker Tour personality Lynn Gilmartin, after seeing the devastation, knew they needed to do something to help. Together they started a fundraising effort to help bring much-needed supplies to the rescue and recovery efforts. However, in addition to the massive amount of need in a major metropolis like Mexico City, the trio thought that moving forward, perhaps one of the biggest challenges would be rebuilding in some of the smaller Mexican towns that were also in a state of ruin. Thus, Mexico Fuerte was born. Mexico Fuerte looks to raise funds to not only help rebuild shelters for all of those who lost everything in the Mexican towns of Morelos, Oaxaca and beyond but to do so in an environmentally friendly, sustainable way through the use of bio construction. To date, the endeavors of Mexico Fuerte have raised over $40,000 USD with their sights set on raising more so that they can bring back even more lost homes. That's where Matt Savage comes in. Always sharply dressed when at the helm of any tournament, one of Matt's more controversial choices in attire was his favorite glistening cranberry colored suit. However, not everyone was as enthusiastic about the wardrobe mainstay, including professional poker player Tom Hall. Hall, who wanted to see the suit burned on camera, offered $5,000 to Savage's choice of charity (as well as $95 to replace the suit) if he would agree to incinerate the threads. While the suit is now officially gone, the need for assistance in Mexico is not. To learn more about the mission of Mexico Fuerte visit their website at mexicofuerte.org.
  9. [caption width="640"] Jordan Cristos has a reputation for taking his time with every decision but he doesn't hate the shot clock conept any more (WPT photo)[/caption] That was WPT Champions Club member Jordan Cristos on the day that the World Poker Tour announced all of their events would feature the Action Clock after reaching the money. The clock gives players 30 seconds to act when it's their turn. The clock debuted at Choctaw in early August and it appears Cristos, easily the most vocal opponent of clock, has pulled a 180 and completely changed his tune after having played with it. “I actually liked it. Surprisingly, I liked it a lot. It was really nice to be at peace for the full 30 seconds, nobody complaining,” said Cristos, who has a reputation for taking his time on every decision. “Normally I take 5-10 seconds, most people who get mad at me, get mad in that time frame. So it was nice to just to have everyone calmly allow me to do my thing for however long it took.” Cristos eventually busted the Choctaw event in 20th place and now says he believes there is some value in having the clock in play - even if it may have cost him some equity. “I thought it was cool. There was definitely some drawbacks to it for me. I didn’t play as many hands to the best of my ability as I could have, but it kept me out of trouble in other spots. So maybe it was good,” said Cristo. “I think it’s a blessing in disguise, for me personally, and for poker.” The hand that eliminated Cristos from the Choctaw event saw him and his opponent use a combined six time extensions. Cristos had [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"] and Josh Kay had [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] and the board showed [poker card="js"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7h"]. Cristos used one 30-second extension before moving all in for 1,125,000. Kay then threw all five of his 30-second extensions forward to give himself as much time as possible with his decision. He eventually called and was rewarded with the [poker card="kd"] on the river. Had the clock not been in play, Cristos thinks Kay could have found a fold. “We have a lot of history so there’s still a chance that he does call. I feel like Josh has seen enough from me in the past to know. Most other people would fold. I’m so polarized there to either a hand that does have him and a ton of combo draws,” said Cristos. “I support his call, I don’t mind it at all. I just had the blade. I had one of the hands he doesn’t see coming. I think if he had 12 minutes he could fold there, but I still think he’s going to put it in there a decent amount.” With a reputation for being slow, and having been a vocal opponent of the concept of any kind of clock, Cristos knows he’s turned himself into the villain in the argument and he’s okay with that. “I can’t blame them because I completely understand their frustrations. I just think I’m part of the minority, I’m outnumbered. I can never win the fight,” said Cristos. ”I respect their opinion and understand it and I understand I’ve gotten on a lot of people’s nerves over the years. It is what it is. I’m happy that (the clock) is here, it’s cool; I think it’s great.”
  10. [caption width="640"] Ryan Tosoc beat Alex Foxen to win the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] One year ago Ryan Tosoc outlasted everybody but James Romero to win the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic. Sunday night at the Bellagio he did one better, beating Alex Foxen heads-up to win the WPT Five Diamond and $1.9 million. It took just over 90 minutes for the first elimination of the final table. Richard Kirsch raised to 150,000 from the cutoff, Mike Del Vecchio re-raised to 500,000 from the small blind. Kirsch moved all in for 1,180,000 and Del Vecchio called. Kirsch tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] but found himself behind Del Vecchio's [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"] to eliminate Kirsch in sixth place. Just 30 minutes later, another player was sent to the rail. Sean Perry, who came into the final day with the chip lead, raised to 120,000 from the button and Ajay Chabra called from the big blind. After the [poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"] flop, Chabra check-called Perry's 220,000 bet. The turn was the [poker card="8s"]. Chabra checked again and Perry bet 500,000. Chabra eventually check-raised to 1,450,000. Perry moved all in for 7,765,000 and Chabra called all in. Perry tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] while Chabra had [poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"]. The river was the [poker card="8h"] and Chabra was eliminated in fifth place. A few hands after giving up the chip lead to Alex Foxen, Perry's attempt at winning the tournament that began the day he turned 21 was cut short. Foxen opened to 180,000 from UTG, Del Vecchio made 520,000 from the button, Perry moved all in for 3,345,000 from the small blind and Tosoc called from the big blind. Foxen and Del Vecchio both folded and Perry tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"] while Tosoc showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"]. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3d"] to hit both players to keep Tosoc ahead. The turn was the [poker card="5c"] and the [poker card="5s"] river completed the board, and eliminated Perry in fourth. Del Vecchio, the only previous WPT champion to make the final table, was eliminated just 15 minutes later. Foxen raised to 200,000 from the button and Del Vecchio moved all in for 2,280,000 from the small blind. Tosoc called from the big blind and Foxen folded. Tosoc tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] while Del Vecchio was live with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4h"] flop changed nothing and neither did the [poker card="2s"] turn or [poker card="ts"] river to send Del Vecchio out in third place. Heads up play began with Tosoc holding about 60% of the chips in play. While the first four eliminations of the final table took 75 hands, it took Tosoc another 49 to pick up the final elimination and secure his victory. Tosoc raised to 500,000 from the button, Foxen moved all in for 2,900,000 and Tosoc called. Foxen was ahead with [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"] to Tosoc's [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"] but the [poker card="kd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="jc"] runout gave Tosoc a king-high straight to end the tournament and make the Tosoc the final WPT champion of 2017. Final Table Payouts Ryan Tosoc - $1,958,065 Alex Foxen - $1,134,202 Mike Del Vecchio - $752,196 Sean Perry - $504,090 Ajay Chabra - $350,500 Richard Kirsch - $271,736
  11. [caption width="640"] Richard Seymour is back at the WPT Five Diamond after finishing 18th last year (WPT photo)[/caption] Since retiring from the National Football League after the 2012 season, Richard Seymour has become a regular on the live poker tournament scene. As Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic gets underway in Las Vegas, Seymour is one of the players unbagging chips. "From playing a while now I'm a lot more selective in the events that I choose and this is just one of the best tournaments of the year," said Seymour, who finished 18th in this event last year. A deep run this year means Seymour, who lives in an Atlanta suburb, won't be able to attend Saturday's Georgia High School football state championship game. The Five Diamond runs through Sunday night. "Yeah, I will have a conflict, but I think I'll have to stay and watch it on TV," laughed Seymour. Seymour's playing career included three Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, seven Pro Bowl appearances and a spot on the Patriots' All-2000s team. Seymour played cards as a kid and then played Texas Hold'em with his Patriots teammates. Once his career ended, Seymour was looking for an outlet for his competitive side and found it through poker. Along with making the final two tables last year, Seymour has cashed four other times and has $103,799 in lifetime WPT earnings. He's picked up $36,159 in cashes in other events. The Five Diamond marks his return to the felt after a bit of a break. "I've only played once since the Main Event. Probably a little rusty, but I'm probably one of the only guys I know that comes to Vegas to relax. Most of these poker guys - they're grinding," said Seymour. During his time on the circuit, Seymour has a made a few friends, including Jason Koon. Their friendship is less about poker, and more about their backgrounds. "Me and Jason hit it off outside of poker," said Seymour. "We both busted a tournament at the same time and we went and grabbed a beer and we just had similar stories and were like-minded in a lot of ways. We're just good buddies." Seymour starts Day 2 with 35,000. Richard Seymour’s WPT Cashes EventYearPlaceEarnings Five Diamond World Poker Classic2016-201718$52,174 Rolling Thunder2015-201640$7,329 Bay 101 Shooting Star2015-201644$21,580 bestbet Bounty Scramble2015-201629$11,817 bestbet Bounty Scramble2014-201537$10,899
  12. [CAPTION=97%] Getting the opportunity to escape the New Jersey winter and play for life-changing money in Las Vegas sounds fantastic. Now, thanks to playMGMpoker.com, you can do just that. PlayMGMpoker, another skin on the same network as BorgataPoker.com and partypokerNJ.com, is running satellites to the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic with at least one $12,000 package guaranteed on Sunday. The $535 buy-in event, which awards one WPT package for every 24 players, runs at 6:20 pm Sunday night. “The ability to qualify New Jersey online gaming players into desirable land-based Borgata poker events has been an extremely valuable resource in helping our poker network grow and succeed within the market,” said Ray Stefanelli, Executive Director of Online Gaming for playMGMpoker. The Five Diamond Poker Classic runs December 5 - 10 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The $12,000 package includes the $10,400 buy-in to the WPT Five Diamond Classic at Bellagio plus $1,600 to cover airfare and hotel. As an added bonus, the package includes a complimentary first-night stay at the Bellagio. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to extend this to a national offering, with playMGMpoker sponsoring our online satellite program into the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic; allowing for participants in New Jersey to compete amongst the best players at an MGM Resorts Destination in Las Vegas.” Players can work their way through qualifiers starting at $10. This marks the first time that New Jersey players have been able to qualify for a WPT event outside of the Garden State. Previous qualifiers have sent numerous players to various events at the Borgata. If you don't already have a playMGMpoker.com account, sign up now and use promo code "P5" when making your first deposit of $50 or more and you'll get $25 free, a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000 PLUS two $10 tournament tickets that you can use to play the $10 Daily WPT qualifiers. SIGN UP NOW.
  13. [caption width="640"] Maxime Heroux wills his way to the win at WPT Montreal.[/caption] Montreal’s Maxime Heroux outlasted the 606-player field of the World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event at the Playground Poker Club to take home his first WPT title and the first place prize of C$ 403,507 ($317,554). Heroux entered the final table second in chips, sitting right behind eventual runner up Pat Quinn. David Peters, perhaps the biggest name at the final table hovered in third, with about 56bb, while Derek Wolters, Brendan Baksh and Eric Afriat, who was vying for his second WPT title, all felt the pressure, sitting below 20 bbs. Despite having a number of short stacks to start the table it took roughly two hours before the field was whittled from six to five. David Peters, the 2016 Global Poker Index Player of the Year, was on solid footing when the day started but after getting doubled through in multiple hands he found himself sitting on the bottom of the chip counts. First to act, Peters shipped his final seven blinds holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The action folded around to Quinn in the big blind who called, turning over [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6c"] found the door closing quickly on Peters’ potential double. The [poker card="4h"] turn card provided some life but the [poker card="tc"] river ended the perennial high roller’s run in Montreal. Peters exited in sixth taking home CAD $78,050 for his efforts. A little bit of the buzz was removed from the room forty-five minutes later when former WPT Champion Eric Afriat, looking for a spot, raised half his stack from the button only to be shipped on by Derek Wolters in the blinds. Afriat committed the rest of his chips and turned over [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"]. Wolters flipped over the suited [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"]. The board got worse and worse for Afriat as it ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="jd"][poker card="jh"]. The quads overkill shipped Wolters the pot and Afriat’s bid for his second title ended in fifth for CAD $95,370. A mere five hands later Derek Wolters was involved, yet again, in a knockout. Folded to Wolters in the small blind, he applied the pressure to the short-staked big blind, Brendan Baksh. Wolters shipping the [poker card="qd"][poker card="2d"], was called by Baksh’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="4s"]. At risk, Baksh simply needed to hold. The flop of [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"][poker card="7c"] was clean, but the [poker card="qs"] on the turn left California’s Baksh looking for one of three outs. The [poker card="9d"] fell on the river and so did Baksh. His fourth-place finish brought him CAD $124,310, the largest score of his career. As play continued, Maxime Heroux and Derek Wolters took turns claiming the chip lead with Pat Quinn trailing but surviving. Then came an impasse where a massive flip for the majority of the chips took place. Pat Quinn raised from the button and Heroux, holding the chip lead, put in a call in the small blind. Wolters, three-bet from the big blind which ushered Quinn out of the way. After a brief tank, Heroux shipped on Wolters, putting him to a decision for his tournament life. Wolters ended up making the call, tabling [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Heroux rolled over [poker card="7h"][poker card="7c"] for the monumental flip. The flop came down [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"][poker card="9d"] providing Wolters four extra outs to go along with his two overs. That would be the closest Wolters would get as the [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="2s"] river awarded Heroux a massive chiplead and after taking his shot Derek Wolters finished the day in third place for CAD $173,220. With nearly a 4-to-1 chiplead over Quinn it took Heroux 17 hands of heads-up play to seal the deal. On the final hand Quinn had yet to gain much traction on Heroux, limped the button and Heroux checked his option. The action flop of [poker card="6d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4c"] found Quinn sticking his chips in the middle and Heroux calling for the win. Quinn held [poker card="9d"][poker card="7s"] for the open end straight draw, backdoor flush with two over cards. Heroux had a made hand showing down [poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"], a pair of fours with a gutshot straight flush redraw. The [poker card="2s"] turn made two pair for Heroux and the [poker card="2c"] river brought in the full house as well as the WPT Championship. Final Table Payouts Maxime Heroux - CAD $403,570 Pat Quinn - CAD $271,030 Derek Wolters - CAD $173,220 Brendan Baksh - CAD $124,310 Eric Afriat - CAD $95,370 David Peters - CAD $78,050
  14. [caption width="640"] NJ poker players can win their way into the WPT Five Diamond in Las Vegas on Sunday.[/caption] Poker players in New Jersey can win their way to the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic on Sunday, thanks to playMGMpoker.com. The Super Satellite, which has a $535 buy-in runs at 6:20 pm Sunday night and awards one WPT package, valued at $12,000, for every 24 players in the tournament. There is at least one seat guaranteed. Players looking to get in on the cheap can play the $55 Turbo Qualifier at 5:20 pm where 1 in 11 players moves on to the $535 Super Satellite and, again, at least one seat is guaranteed. The Five Diamond Poker Classic runs December 5 - 10 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. This marks the first time that New Jersey players have been able to qualify for a WPT event outside of their home state since regulated online poker launched. “The ability to qualify New Jersey online gaming players into desirable land-based Borgata poker events has been an extremely valuable resource in helping our poker network grow and succeed within the market,” said Ray Stefanelli, Executive Director of Online Gaming for playMGMpoker. Players have previously been able to qualify for WPT events held at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel & Casino. Sending players to another MGM-owned property makes perfect sense to Stefanelli. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to extend this to a national offering, with playMGMpoker sponsoring our online satellite program into the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic; allowing for participants in New Jersey to compete amongst the best players at an MGM Resorts Destination in Las Vegas.” The WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic is one of the most prestigious and long-running events on tour. Previous winners include Joe Hachem, Antonio Esfandiari, Gus Hansen and Mohsin Charania. If you don't already have a playMGMpoker.com account, sign up now and use promo code "P5" when making your first deposit of $50 or more and you'll get $25 free, a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000 PLUS two $10 tournament tickets that you can use to play the $10 Daily WPT qualifiers. SIGN UP NOW.
  15. [caption width="640"] Mike Sexton looks to defend his WPT title in Montreal starting on November 10[/caption] It was roughly one year ago when poker legend and former World Poker Tour commentator Mike Sexton bested the field of 648 players at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal to win the partypoker.net WPT Montreal Main Event for over $317,000 US and his first WPT title. On Friday, November 10, the WPT is set to return to the scene of last year’s historic tournament for the sixth WPT Montreal at the beloved Playground Poker Club. The five-day $3,850 CAD Main Event features a $2,000,000 CAD (over $1.5 million US) guarantee and will be both filmed for television as well as live streamed around the world. The Montreal stop has been a staple of the WPT since its initial appearance on the schedule back in Season XI. The tournament was the first time a WPT Main Event was held on Canadian soil since 2008 and in a gripping conclusion, Canadian Jonathan Roy bested countryman Pascal Lefrancois to take home the inaugural WPT Montreal title and a career-high cash of $779,210 USD. Joining Roy, popular pros Jeff Gross and Gavin Smith made appearances at the 2012 final table. In fact, WPT Montreal has a healthy history of final tables full of poker’s brightest minds. The year after Roy’s victory saw, Lily Kiletto and Mukul Pahuja, who won the WPT Season XII Player of the Year that year, playing for the title. Pahuja final tabled the same event the very next year, joining Main Event mainstay Kevin McPhee and, the eventual winner of WPT Montreal in Season XIII, Jonathan Jaffee. Season XIV’s Final Table featured the first player not hailing from Canada or the U.S. when German phenom Rainer Kempe finished in third. Then, again, just last year, Sexton’s victory was over hometown favorite, Canadian Benny Chen, perhaps best known as the gold bracelet winner in the WSOP’s inaugural 2013 Millionaire Maker. WPT Montreal's frenzy of action begins with three Day 1’s, November 10-12, with re-entries being allowed on subsequent days. Players have the ability to fire secondary and tertiary bullets in additional Day 1s even if they survived their first with the largest surviving chip stack of any day moving forward to Day 2. There is plenty of opportunity for players to show up early and satellite into the Main Event as well. On November 9, Playground Poker Club is offering three different mega-satellites. This includes a massive 20-seat guaranteed tournament for $385 + $35 CAD at 8:00pm local time. As the Main Event begins, there are additional times to win your way in on both Day 1a and Day 1b. In total, 50 seats will be guaranteed to go to live qualifiers. There's little question of if WPT Montreal will be big – but how big will it be in Season XVI? Certainly, there will be plenty of notable names in the field vying for the massive guarantee. One player to keep an eye on that has confirmed his attendance is current WPT Player of the Year points leader Art Papazyan. Papazyan has a huge lead in the POY race after winning a pair of WPT events this season, but if he wants to keep those who would usurp his claim to the WPT POY crown he needs to keep on cashing. Joining Papazyan will be the reigning, defending WPT Montreal champion himself, Mike Sexton. The WPT Montreal Main Event kicks off on November 10 and plays to a final table of six players which will be live streamed on November 16.
  16. [caption width="640"] Art Papazyan won the 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Thursday night at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] The final table of the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Thursday night in Los Angeles was a star-studded affair highlighted by Phil Hellmuth chasing his first WPT title. In the end though it was local cash game pro Art Papazyan who emerged victorious, beating Hellmuth heads up to capture his first WPT title and $668,692. Joining Hellmuth at the final table were two two-time WPT champions J.C Tran and Marvin Rettenmaier. Hellmuth started the six-handed TV final table third in chips and it took just eight hands for him to get some momentum going. He raised to 200,000 from the cutoff, Adam Swan moved all in from the small blind for 1,280,000 and Hellmuth called instantly. Swan showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"] and Hellmuth tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="js"][poker card="3h"] flop kept Hellmuth in front and neither the [poker card="6d"] turn or [poker card="4h"] were any help for Swan and he was out in sixth. Just 30 minutes later, one of the two-time WPT champions at the final table was eliminated. Rettenmaier moved all in from the button for 895,000 and both Art Papazyan and JC Tran defended their blinds. The flop came [poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"], Papazyan checked, Tran bet 650,000 and Papazyan folded. Rettenmaier turned over [poker card="qh"][poker card="tc"] and Tran showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"] for top set. Rettenmaier could only collect his things after the [poker card="jd"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river failed to keep him alive. The first two eliminations came within the first hour, but the remaining four players wanted no part of continuing the fast bustout trend. It took nearly six hours before another player hit the rail. Hellmuth limped from the button, DJ Alexander called from the small blind before Papazyan shoved from the big blind. Hellmuth folded and Alexander called. Papazyan turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"] and Alexander showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6c"] flop made a chopped pot an unlikely scenario and left Alexander drawing to running diamonds, deuces or ten-eight. The [poker card="jh"] turn ended all drama and Alexander was eliminated in fourth place. The meaningless river was the [poker card="9c"]. One hour later the other two-time champion at the table saw his run end early. JC Tran came into the day with the chip lead but after surrendering it to Papazyan, found himself shaking hands on his way out the door a few hands later. Tran moved all in from the button for his last 3,000,000, Hellmuth called from the small blind and Papazyan folded the big. Tran showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"] and found himself ahead of Hellmuth’s [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="5s"] flop put Hellmuth ahead, but gave Tran a Broadway draw to go with his ace. The turn was the [poker card="4h"] to take away two of Tran’s outs. The [poker card="2d"] river was a complete blank and Tran was eliminated in third place. The two players were nearly dead-even in chips when heads up play began. Papazyan had just two more big blinds than Hellmuth but that didn’t make for a long battle between the two. It took just 13 hands for Papazyan, who makes his living playing high stakes cash games in the L.A. area, to finish Hellmuth off. On the final hand, facing a 3.5-1 chip deficit, Hellmuth opened to 600,000 and then called when Papazyan moved all in. Hellmuth found himself in great shape with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] against Papazyan’s [poker card="kc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"][poker card="8c"] flop changed everything though as Papazyan moved ahead with a pair of queens. The [poker card="5h"] turn gave Hellmuth a flush draw to go with his straight draw and ace. The river though was the [poker card="3s"] and Hellmuth simply stared at the board for a minute, realizing he was out in second place and denied his first WPT title. Papazyan’s win earned him $668,692 and his first WPT title. Final Table Payouts Art Papazyan - $668,692 Phil Hellmuth - $364,370 J.C. Tran - $217,040 D.J. Alexander - $161,490 Marvin Rettenmaier - $120,775 Adam Swan - $91,825
  17. [caption width="640"] Scott Stewart on Day 1C of the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event[/caption] Just six weeks ago, Scott Stewart was at the center of the poker universe, playing Day 7 of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event. Now he’s one of 300+ players packed into a ballroom at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles on Day 1C of theWorld Poker Tour Legends of Poker. It’s a stark contrast that isn’t lost on the five-time WSOP Circuit ring winner. “This table hasn’t been the most fun, but it’s starting to lighten up,” said Stewart, who lives just 15 minutes away in Long Beach. “This is the first time I’ve ever played this WPT specifically, I seem to always have something going on, even last year I was excited to play it and I got so sick I couldn’t get out of bed.” Stewart eventually busted the WSOP Main Event in 13th place for a career-best $535,000 score. Looking back on the whole experience, Stewart just remembers the fun he had getting that deep. “I remember most the final three tables, that was when things were really starting to pick up. My dad and my sister flew out, some of my friends came and I just had a blast,” said Stewart. “Adrenaline took over, because I was fatigued, it was true, but it wasn’t affecting my cards or anything.” Even with life-changing money on the line, Stewart says the fun came from the other players not taking the moment too seriously. Or maybe it was the beer. Or some combination of those two things. “Nobody was too serious yet, even the last couple of levels of Day 5. We all ended up drinking beer, having fun,” said Stewart. “I always had a good time at my tables, it was never the serious tables, even going down from 27 to 18, everyone was playful.” Playing the final two tables of the Main Event is something every poker player dreams of having the opportunity to do. Falling just four spots short of the final table though is the inverse nightmare. With some time to review everything that happened, Stewart does have some things he wish he could do over. “There is one hand where I do regret bluffing off a bunch of my chips. I made a big call with A-4 and then I moved tables and the first hand I played, I bluffed off a bunch. I went back to 3 million instead of 12 million, so that was maybe the only regret,” said Stewart. Thanks to a combination of his fun approach to the game and his USA headband he wore on the ESPN broadcasts, Stewart became a bit of a fan favorite and he knows when the hour-long episodes begin airing on ESPN in the coming weeks, people are going to be reminded of exactly how much fun he was. “When the coverage comes out, I played some funky hands, a couple were kind of crazy, I don’t regret that, that’s kind of how I play - I try to acquire a lot (of chips),” said Stewart. “I don’t think I’ve had more fun in a tournament that you always a hundred big blinds plus. I got a little creative and then I got caught a couple of times.” After the WSOP Main Event wrapped up, Stewart found himself headed to Cherokee, North Carolina for the WSOP Circuit Global Casino Championship. “The top 50 (Circuit) players make it and was 49th, so I just got in there,” said Stewart, who failed to cash in that event. He did play to $365 buy-in ring events while he was there and picked up a couple of smaller cashes before taking down the $2,200 High Roller event for $63,399 and his fifth ring. The ring events weren’t the only thing that made Cherokee an appealing stop for him though. “I have a lot of friends that go out to that, that I’ve made over the years and it seems like, everyone that makes that tournament. A couple of people that I travel with, we all go out there and it all turns into one big fun part,” said Stewart, who found some extra-curricular activites to do when he wasn’t at the tabels. “We did tubing out there, the pool at Cherokee is really nice, we had some activities from somebody who lives up in Asheville, went to a couple of breweries, did a lot of fun stuff.”
  18. [caption width="640"] Daniel Negreanu is taking a new approach to tournaments after spending a few months working with coaches (WPT photo)[/caption] Daniel Negreanu's first tournament score was over 20 years ago. Since then he's become poker's all-time leading money earner with $35,269,814 in winnings and become one of the most widely recognized poker players in the world, if not the most. And yet the 42-year-old recently realized he needed to go back to school if he wanted to continue to consider himself elite. After posting just one cash - an eighth-place finish for $102,000 - in five PokerMasters events, Negreanu looked around the table and recognized that the high roller tournaments were being dominated by one group of players, and if he was going to continue to play in them, he needed to change some things about his approach. "I've been playing poker 20 years, so I know the difference between running bad and playing bad or being outclassed. I know I had been running bad in those things, there's no question, but there's no real value in focusing on that stuff because it's out of your control," said Negreanu. "What I can focus on, what about the little spots? I'm getting outplayed in those. And that was happening more than I'd like." The Poker Masters events allowed Negreanu to get a better-than-front-row view as to what the German players were doing and how they were dominating the high rollers. "It became pretty obvious to me that as a team, not in any collusive way, the Germans have worked together to become really, really good at this specific format and they're sharing information with each other," said Negreanu. "So I knew that in order for me to be able to compete that I needed to find some people that I could do that with today, that's more up to date on what's available in terms of learning tools." While trying to figure out what his approach should be or who he should start working with, Negreanu's agent, Brian Balsbaugh, mentioned that he knew of two players who were interested in taking on more coaching projects and might be right up his alley. Negreanu was skeptical at first, but agreed to meet with them and hear their pitch. "I really liked what they had to share. They showed me some data, and they showed me some flaws in other peoples systems and I said, 'Let's make this thing work'," said Negreanu. "I went into partnership with them to work hard for two to three months, three to four times a week at the house for five or six hours a day. It's been a combination of a lot of different things we're studying and I'd say we're probably 25-30% of the way down. There's a lot more to go." As Negreanu sat down with "Matt and MJ" for their first coaching session, Negreanu found himself intimidated by what they were coaching and wondered if he'd ever be able to pick it up and change his game. "Then a couple of hours in, I was like 'Wait - I get it!' I was starting to get it. For 20 years in poker, I've been thinking 100% exploitatively, just do things based on what your opponents perceive of you. So learning how to come from a more game theory baseline was totally alien to me. I didn't grow up with that. It was a little hard in the beginning, but it's really helped a lot of balance and aggression to my game," said Negreanu. German players such as Fedor Holz, Steffen Sontheimer and Stefan Schillhabel have turned the high roller poker world on its head over the past few years by emphasizing the game theory optimal approach to the game. While that's a big part of what Negreanu is learning now, it's not everything he's working on. "I love the way they teach things because they're essentially a hybrid. They're not teaching me how to play GTO, because GTO is not the best way to play, it's just not. Theoretically, exploitative play is better. The problem with exploitative play is you become exploitable," said Negreanu. "What I think about now is what would be the GTO line if I was playing a robot? Then I deviate by saying, well this guy's not a robot, he folds way too often, so I'm going to up my bluffing frequency an extra 20-30% or this guy never folds so I'm going to go down. So I'm deviating from what would be considered the correct play against a robot." After taking time off and focusing on re-tooling his game, Negreanu jumped back into action last week at the Bellagio for a $100,000 Super High Roller event, eventually finishing runner-up behind Dan Smith and earning $936,000 in the process. While he ultimately didn't win the event, Negreanu's quite happy with the outcome not only because it came with a huge cash score, but proved to him he's on the right path. "I like the results. The results are good. I essentially feel like I won that tournament. I got it in with 82% for all the chips and I did everything I could to win that tournament. I felt really, really good about a wide variety of things," said Negreanu.
  19. [caption width="640"] PokerStars returns Prague with a 43-event schedule over 12 days beginning on December 7[/caption] All the presents in the Twelve Days of Christmas are nice and all, but for poker players from around the world twelve days of non-stop poker action is what they really want for the holidays and the PokerStars Championship Series is more than happy to oblige. From December 7-18 the PokerStars Championship series returns to Prague, the largest city in the Czech Republic, for their final stop of the calendar year, PokerStars Championship Prague. The festival includes a little something for everyone in the 43-event schedule, including the €5,300 Main Event. The Hilton Prague Hotel will once again play host to the competition, as it has ever since PokerStars began bringing players to Prague back during the European Poker Tour Season 4 in 2007. One of the more popular winter destinations for players, both for the action and the city that surrounds it, many memorable moments have been made over the years in Prague for the PokerStars crew. In 2009, local grinder Jan Skampa won the main event for over $1 million and two years later the live poker world was introduced to German superstar Martin Finger when he won his EPT Main Event in Prague. Of course, just last year, Dutch player Jasper Meijer was crowned the final EPT champion and as he hoisted the trophy in Prague, the final stop of Season 13, it marked the final stop of the entire tour. It was the end of the EPT era. Now PokerStars is back in Prague for the first time since that emotional finale, ready to start new traditions and anoint new champions in the Golden City. To help with that, PokerStars is bringing out a number of their pros to both mingle with the players as well as test their mettle on the felt. Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who makes his home in Prague, have all confirmed to be on hand. While there is plenty to do in the city of Prague like check out the city’s Christmas markets, stroll across the Charles Bridge or visit the St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the tournament schedule PokerStars has put together is likely to keep dedicated grinders indoors and on the felt. The massive 43-event line-up hopes to have a number of events for players managing any type of bankroll. From the €330 multi-flight Prague Poker Cup for those looking for a big score on a modest buy-in to the €50,000 PokerStars Championship Super High Roller, which is likely to have big names vying for even bigger payouts and every buy-in level in between. Of course, all eyes will be on the €5,300 Main Event. Registering 1,192 runners in 2016, last years participants were the most the Prague stop had ever seen, making it a benchmark for comparison here at the start of the Championship years. The Main Event gets started on December 12 and has two starting days. Then, if one can't be in Prague, beginning on Day 2, would-be viewers can tune-in to all-star commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton as they host featured-table action from the event on PokerStars.tv. PokerStars also is continuing their PokerStars Championship Player of the Year leaderboard promotion awarding the winner of the Prague tournament leaderboard a chance to win a $17,000 VIP package to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a seat at a $100,000 free roll in the winner-take-all 2017 PokerStars Championship Player of the Year Sit & Go. If that sounds like an amazing opportunity, one had better be prepared to bring their “A” game as the list of players that have already qualified include some of the best in the game, including Koray Aledmir, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Daniel Dvoress, Nick Petrangelo, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen and high roller regular Bryn Kenney. Online satellites to the Main Event are currently running on PokerStars and, just in case the tournaments scene doesn’t agrehoursth you, PokerStars will be running 24-hour a day cash games with all the action beginning on December 7.
  20. [caption width="640"] Paul Petraglia topped the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble field to win his first WPT title. (WPT photo)[/caption] In the history of the World Poker Tour, no player has ever won the same event twice. Sam Panzica had a chance to be the first to do it on Wednesday, but ran into local player Paul Petraglia who played his way to victory, forcing Panzica to settle for runner-up in the event he won last year. Shankar Pillai came to the final table with just 14 big blinds and lasted just 24 hands. Pillai moved all in from middle position for his last 150,000, Darren Elias called from the cutoff and Petraglia defended from the small blind. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] and Elias and Petraglia both checked. They also checked through the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river. Pillai showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] for a flopped top pair, but Petraglia turned over [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"] for top set, Elias mucked [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] and Pillai was out in sixth. Just 13 hands later, Guarav Raina saw his run end thanks to a bad beat delivered by Panzica. Raina moved all in from the cutoff for 355,000 and Panzica called from the big blind. Raina was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] to Panzica's [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"], but the [poker card="td"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"] flop changed everything. Raina was unable to catch up on the [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river and was out in fifth place. Elias, who was aiming to be the first four-time winner in WPT history, picked off another John Esposito in a blind-vs-blind battle. Action folded to Esposito in the small blind and he moved all in for 1,155,000 and Elias called from the big blind. Eposito turned over [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] but got bad news when Elias showed [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"]. The board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="5c"] to give Elias the pot and send Esposito out in fourth. After that hand, Elias had 73% of the chips in play but over the course of the next 24 hands, anything that could go wrong for Elias, did. On his final hand, Panzica button-raised to 125,000 and Elias,down to 24 big blinds, moved all in for 1,435,000 and Panzica called. Elias turned over [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] and Panzica showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"][poker card="3h"] flop changed everything though and neither the [poker card="6s"] turn or [poker card="4d"] river were able to save Elias from a third place result. Heads up play began with Petraglia holding 57% of the chips in play. Panzica changed the narrative over the course of the next 2.5 hours, taking the chip lead from Petraglia once and even holding a 9-2 chip lead at one point. Petraglia wouldn't be denied though and battled back to regain the lead and eventually finished off Panzica. Petraglia raised to 350,000 and Panzica called. Panzica check-raised all after the [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"] flop and Petraglia called and tabled [poker card="9s"][poker card="7s"] for a flopped straight while Panzica showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="3h"] for a flush draw. The [poker card="8c"] turn kept Petraglia ahead and the [poker card="2c"] river kept him there to eliminate Panzica in second place and give Petraglia his first WPT title and $315,732. Final Table Payouts Paul Petraglia – $315,732 Sam Panzica – $210,783 Darren Elias – $135,548 John Esposito – $86,440 Gaurav Raina – $66,674 Shankar Pillai – $55,191
  21. [caption width="640"] Even a World Poker Tour Champion like Daniel Weinman is capable of forgetting what game it is (WPT photo)[/caption] I F*cked Up is a PocketFives series where the game's best tell stories of where they got it wrong. Mistakes happen every day in poker and let these players be the first to tell you it happens to everyone. Two-time World Poker Tour Champions Club member Daniel Weinman rarely made any mistakes during his run to WPT glory in 2017. Outside of his No Limit tournament success, Weinman is an avid mixed games player and participant in the Atlanta home game scene. In this, the premiere edition of I Fucked Up, Weinman tells us about a Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo hand that he could have played better...had he known what game it was. The Hand Weinman moved to Washington, D.C. earlier this year but found himself back in Atlanta in early October. The stakes for the mixed game were $50/$100 with a $400/$800 spread limit. The game was shifting from a Seven Card Stud game to Omaha and Weinman thought it was Pot Limit Omaha instead of the Hi-Lo variant. Had he known what game it was, Weinman is likely not involved in this hand and we are left without a story. A few limps opened the hand before the cutoff raised to $200. Weinman called on the button with 10-8-8-6, a hand with plenty of possibilities post flop in PLO, but a limited one in PLO8. The A-9-7 flop gave Weinman a wrap and the action blew up from there. According to Weinman, all players were about $10,000 deep when the action reached the cutoff and he bet $1,200. Weinman raised to $5,000 and the big blind moved all in for $10,000. The cutoff moved in as well, for about $15,000- $20,000. Weinman said he shared a lot of history with this player, and decided to call all-in for his stack. When he saw that both of his opponents had a set, Weinman said, “the look on my face wasn’t great.” The trio decided to run the board twice and after bricking the first turn and river, Weinman found a low on the second runout to get a quarter of the overall pot. While fortunate to get a rebate on the hand, Weinman admitted, “A big mistake like this can cost you tons.” Taking it in Stride After the hand, Weinman texted some friends of his to explain the situation. Among those players was high stakes professional and former PocketFives #1, Shaun Deeb. Weinman says Deeb knew the exact mistake Weinman made as he was explaining the story. According to Weinman, mistakes like the one he made are common in games where PLO and PLO8 are both in the mix. Other Mistakes In Mixed Games In his career of playing mixed games, Weinman says he has made similar mistakes in 2-7 draw games where he has made it to the final draw before realizing the game wasn’t what he the format he had thought. That has resulted in Weinman making it to the third draw with zero equity in a hand. There is also an incident where, as Weinman puts it, “Not at those stakes but I’ve made a decent mistake in 2-7 hand. Going into the last draw I had 77532 with four of the same suit, pitched the wrong 7 and ended up getting a four of the suit in my hand." Maybe PLO8 Isn’t His Game At the same home game where his error took place, Weinman holds the record for the largest ever straddle; a number that is written on a whiteboard for all to see. Weinman was into the game for somewhere between $10,000-$15,000, as he recalls. Upon being felted again, Weinman bought in for $20,000 more. That money went in as a button straddle and Weinman ended up losing that pot as well. The Lesson Weinman preaches that it is always important to keep your eye on the plaques in a mixed game to know what the new game is. There is also another item to point out. For as successful as Weinman has been in 2017, even he, a former SuperNova elite on PokerStars, is capable of making a basic mistake. An expensive one. If something similar happens while you’re playing, take solace in knowing it can happen to the best. Remember when Phil Ivey mucked the winning hand?
  22. [caption width="640"] William Kassouf is in Los Angeles for the first time, playing the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker event (WPT photo)[/caption] Eighteen months ago William Kassouf was still some random, relatively unknown British poker player who’d gotten a bit of poker fame after a hand with Vanessa Selbst. Now though, the 35 year old is a poker celebrity, playing on Poker After Dark and posing for selfies with international rock stars that wanted HIS photo. “This is how I seem to roll these days. Straight from London to Vegas, as you do, to play the Poker After Dark, $25,000 buy-in with the likes of Mike Matusow, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Williams and couple of other heroes. It was a good lineup, fun table,” said Kassouf. Kassouf was part of the lineup for PAD’s ‘Voices Carry’ week that featured other loud and brash poker players. Kassouf of course rose to this level of poker celebrity during the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. Kassouf’s “speech play” drew the ire of other players and earned him warnings and penalties on his way to a 17th place finish. “From two years ago to now, it’s been phenomenal. Since last year’s Main Event coverage, people talked about (my) 15 minutes of fame, ‘Oh it won’t last, we’re not going to hear about him in six months’ … a year later, ‘Oh we won’t hear about him another few months’. I’ve gone a year and a half since then and here I am right now mixing it up with all the superstars, the rock stars, the celebrities, the poker heroes,” said Kassouf. Now Kassouf is onto Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker. While it’s his first time in Los Angeles, it’s also his first time visiting somewhere in the United States other than Las Vegas. “Thought I’d make the short trip over to LA while I’m in this neck of the woods and come play the WPT Legends of Poker,” said Kassouf. “Believe it or not, I’ve been to the US seven times, Las Vegas seven times - never been anywhere outside of Nevada. So I thought I’ve got to give this tournament a spin, Legends of Poker, I’ve heard lots of good things.” Playing on Poker After Dark afforded him the opportunity to play with some of poker’s biggest stars, a trend that continued with the Legends of Poker. Kassouf rattles off names like Scotty Nguyen and Phil Hellmuth before talking about possibly the biggest name in the tournament. - even if the poker world doesn’t know much about him. “GACKT, Japan’s #1 rock star is here. He wanted to have a photo with me. He said he watched me in the WSOP. He didn’t know I’m actually half-Japanese, half-Lebanese, and he was taken aback by that and he was buzzing,” said Kassouf. “The fact that he watched me in the WSOP last year and wanted to have a photo with me, it’s great. I put a photo with him up on Twitter and so many people are re-tweeting it all over Japan. It’s gone crazy.” Even though he’s the one being asked for photos with fans and other players, Kassouf still has a little bit of recreational player / poker fan in him. Having become a household name for poker fans around the world meant a different experience for him when he returned to the RIo this past summer. “I couldn't’ step like two minutes in the Rio without someone shouting ‘Nine high like a boss!’ or ‘The coconuts, mate! Can we have a selfie?’ So it’s great, it does get tiring after a while, but I enjoy it,” admitted Kassouf.
  23. [caption width="640"] The latest episode of The Fives is now available on iTunes and Stitcher.[/caption] Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. With 2017 coming to a close, Lance Bradley and Matt Clark take on the role Kreskin and take a look at what is in store for the world of poker in 2018. They tackle legislative prospects in the United States, the WSOP and WPT Player of the Year races and pontificate about whether or not Phil Ivey shows up at a poker tournament anywhere in 2018. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THIS EPISODE ON STITCHER
  24. It’s a New Year and with it comes a new season for the popular 888poker LIVE series. The online site has announced all the locations (and most of the dates) that it will be bringing its very own live tournament experience in 2018. All of the action begins on February 8 when 888poker Live returns to London’s Aspers Casino. The Kick-off Event features a €440 buy-in Main Event with four starting flights and heaps of satellites to help you get into the tournament for less. The London events are some of the most popular on the schedule with many of the 888poker Ambassadors attending. "I look forward to going back to London. I definitely look forward to playing in some of the juicy live cash games there," said 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche. The line-up of Team 888, including the newly signed former World Champ Martin Jacobson, will likely be in attendance to many of the scheduled events not only to provide a warm welcome for players but to put would-be champions to the test. You don’t have to wait long after London before jumping right back in as you can follow the 888poker team to the Marriot Hotel in Bucharest, Romania on February 28. They are offering up a two-day €220 tournament that features a €50,000 guaranteed prize pool as well as a package to the future 888poker LIVE Local London event for the eventual winner. Then, just before the start of summer, 888poker LIVE visits the beautiful Barcelona for a festival at Casino Barcelona from May 23 through June 4. Last year, the tournament drew 609 runners and generated a prize pool of over €584,000. In September the crew makes its way once again to South America for 888poker LIVE in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The location and date have yet to be announced but you can be certain that poker fans in Brazil will be eagerly anticipating the stop with Haroldo Ferriera de Silva, the 2017 888poker LIVE Sao Paulo champion, looking to defend his title. As the year begins to wind down the tour hits their home base of the Aspers Casino for the final time on November 23 through December 2. Last year, this was the event that was the debut of the tour’s use of a shot clock. The integration was so well received, it will now be used in all of the tour’s Main Events as well as the High Rollers. Finally, players get to open a holiday gift early by booking their trip to Lisbon, Portugal for the final event of the calendar year on December 11-16 with the locations yet to be announced. In addition to the six 888poker LIVE events, the online site is a sponsor of both the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. The brand will have a presence at the WPT500 event taking place at London’s Aspers Casino on April 1 as well as their own signature event during World Series of Poker, Event #62: $888 Crazy Eights - the four-flight, unlimited re-entry, 8-max tournament that guarantees a first place prize of $888,888. Additionally, 888poker is a main sponsor of the WSOP Main Event once again. The fun begins in London on February 8, but players can qualify for both the London and the Bucharest Main Events right now, online in the Live Events tab on the 888poker client.
  25. [caption id="attachment_617455" align="alignnone" width="640"] The World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Championship Event starts on January 19.[/caption] After a two year absence, the World Poker Tour brings a Championship Event back to the Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Set to take place from January 19-24, the $3,500 Main Event buy-in comes with a $2,000,000 guarantee. Do You Feel Lucky? For those who are looking to find shade from the South Florida sun and take a seat at the tables, here is everything you need to know about the big event. The Lucky Hearts Main Event offers two starting days, the first of which begins on January 19 at noon local time. While there is no re-entry during each individual day, players who opt to play Day 1A and bust are eligible to give it a second shot on Day 1B. Additionally, if players have a stack at the end of Day 1A, but they are unhappy with their stack size, they would need to forfeit that in order to register Day 1B. Days one and two have 60-minute levels, after that the time increases to 90 minutes until a final table of six is reached. Once your there, the levels drop back to 60 minutes and should you be lucky enough to make it heads-up, 30-minute levels are enacted. The WPT Action Clock will be active one the tournament reaches one table outside the money. The Action Clock, which has been touted as a positive addition to the WPT’s major tournaments, gives players 30 seconds in which to make decisions, cutting back on excessive tanking and allowing players to get more hands in per hour. A Look Back At Lucky Hearts The $2,000,000 guarantee is very likely to be crushed when all is said and done but it’s no sure thing. Of all the previous years in which the WPT brought a Championship Event to the Lucky Hearts Poker open only 2015's Season XIII event eclipsed that large of a prize pool. That year, Brian Altman bested a field of 1,027 to take home $723,008 from a total prize pool of over $3.2 million. In Season X, the WPT Main Event was a part of the Lucky Hearts Showdown and the $3,500 buy-in only saw 295 runners. The next year in Season XI, attendance rose and the Lucky Hearts Main Event received a large PR boost with a star-studded final table. Darryl Fish and Matt Salsberg made the final table that saw Matt Giannetti defeat Lily Kiletto heads-up to win $323,804 and the title of WPT Champion. Attendance jumped again to 415 in 2014 when James Calderaro won out over Shannon Shorr and Keven Stammen for over $270,000. WPTDeepStacks Adds Some More Action Expectations are high for this year and much of that is due to the popularity and involvement of the WPTDeepStacks brand. During the multi-year hiatus of the WPT main tour at the Lucky Hearts, the WPTDeepStacks have run one of their Main Events during the festival. The past two years have seen a pair of notable names take down the Lucky Hearts WPTDeepStacks with Salomon Ponte’s win in 2016 and Jerry Wong’s victory in 2017. This year the WPTDeepStacks teams up with the main tour for and opens the Lucky Hearts Poker Open with their $1,000,000 guarantee on January 11. In addition to the WPTDeepStacks event, there are plenty of chances for players satellite into the $3,500 Main Event. Eighteen different Mega Satellites will take place starting as early as January 14. In total, the schedule guarantees over 85 seats to the Championship event with buy-ins ranging from $140-$390. Finally, if that wasn’t enough action to pull you into the land of poker and palm trees there are a number of scheduled post-lims including a $25,500 High Roller and a $50,000 High Roller both with a $1,000,000 guarantee. The Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival kicks off on January 11. The $3,500 World Poker Tour Championship event, a five-day affair with a live-streamed final table, starts on January 19.

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.