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Found 2 results

  1. After a ten-month hiatus, the live World Poker Tour Main Tour returned to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. After a long day of play and a three-handed deal, Ilyas Muradi took home $605,000, a ticket to the 2021 WPT Tournament of Champions, and his first career WPT title. For anyone questioning if live poker players were eager to get back in the action, the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open had the answer. Despite the state of the pandemic, playing behind plexiglass barriers, and the requirement to wear masks the tournament’s 1,753-entry field became the third-largest in the WPT’s eighteen-year history. It wasn’t just an outpouring of local players that made their way to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as players traveled from all parts of the globe to participate in the first WPT Main Tour live event since the conclusion of WPT Rolling Thunder in March 2020. There were plenty of notable names who made a deep run in the event but fell short of the final table. World Poker Tour champions Sam Panzica (189th, $6,150) and Kevin Eyster (167th, $6,300) made Day 3 as did Athanasios Polychronopoulous (125th, $7,025), Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla (103rd, $7,880), and well-known vlogger Johnnie Moreno (93rd, $8,230). Among those joining them in the money were Jerry Wong (90th, $8,230), Alex Keating (77th, $9,885), and worldwide current #2-ranked online pro from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic (31st, $23,110). The final three tables included some of the World Poker Tour’s biggest names including WPT winner Aaron Mermelstein (25th, $23,110), Scott Baumstein (24th, $27,660), WPT Deepstack Champion Justin Liberto (22nd, $27,660), and four-time WPT champion Darren Elias who finished in tenth place and earned $79,455 which brought his career WPT total to just under $3.9 million. Day four started with the final seven players grinding for two 90-minute levels before reaching the official final table of six. Andy Hwang, the final WPT Champion Club member left in the field, started the day third in chips, however, a few hours into play he found himself grinding a short stack of fewer than 20 big blinds. After a raise from Francis Margaglione in early position with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"], Hwang three-bet shipped his stack with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Folded back around to Margaglione, he made the call. The board ran out [poker card="3s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="6d"][poker card="qd"] ensuring that a new WPT champion would be crowned as Hwang exited in seventh place for $115,630. Roughly twenty minutes later, after an early position raise, Tsz Shing shipped his 22 big blind stack holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"] from the button. Ronnie Bardah made the call from the small blind with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and the early position raiser folded. The [poker card="th"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5d"] ran clean for the pocket queens and eliminated Brooklyn’s Shing in sixth place for a career-high recorded live cash of $168,990. At five-handed, Jesse Lonis put in a raise from late position with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"]. After it folded to Bardah in the big blind, Bardah put in a three-bet with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="kc"]. With the action back on Lonis and 30 big blinds behind, Lonis four-bet shipped with Bardah snap-called. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"] flop left Lonis looking for one of two outs to save him. The [poker card="3d"] hit the turn and the [poker card="jd"] completed the board and ended Lonis’ tournament in fifth place for $223,895. Margaglione started the day with the chip lead but his stack slowly dwindled during the day. Eventually, he made his move by raising from the button with [poker card="qc"][poker card="9s"] only to be shoved on by the big stack of Bardah in the big blind holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. With just over 10 big blinds behind, Margaglione opted to make the call. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"][poker card="7s"] giving Bardah top pair and leaving Margaglione looking for runner-runner help. The [poker card="2h"] was of no use to Margaglione who was drawing dead to the [poker card="jh"] river. Margaglione finished in fourth place for $293,510. During a break, the final three players negotiated a deal for the remaining prize pool. Ilyas Muradi locked up $580,000 as the chip leader and Bardah, sitting in second, agreed to $566,135. Robel Andemichael secured $545,500 and all three agreed to leave $25,000 and a ticket to the WPT Tournament of Champions on the table for the eventual winner. Even though a deal was in place, the pace of play stayed deliberate. After roughly two hours, Andemichael put in a raise on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] and Bardah pushed his final twelve big blinds in the middle with [poker card="as"][poker card="2s"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Bardah the lead, which held through the [poker card="ts"] turn. But the [poker card="9s"] river gave the hand to Andemichael which eliminated Bardah in third place for his agreed-upon career-high score of $566,135. Heads up play started with both Andemichael and Muradi practically even in chips. Another two hours passed without either player holding a significant lead. Finally, Andemichael moved all-in for his final 15 big blinds with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] and was called by Muradi holding [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qs"] giving Muradi’s pocket fours the pot and his first WPT title. Andemichael finished as the runner-up, taking home the$545,500 he locked up in the deal. Ilyas Muradi added the $25,000 to his $580,000 portion of the deal for a total cash score of $605,000 plus a $15K ticket to the Tournament of Champions, and a date to have his name engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. Final Table Payouts 1. Ilyas Muradi - $605,000* + WPT Tournament of Champions seat 2. Robel Andemichael - $545,000* 3. Ronnie Bardah - $566,135* 4. Francis Margaglione - $293,510 5. Jesse Lonis - $223,895 6. Tsz Shing - $168,990
  2. With the successful season-opening WPT Gardens Poker Festival in their rearview mirror, the World Poker Tour rolls into Oklahoma for WPT Choctaw. Taking place from August 3-7 at the Choctaw Casino & Resort, it’s the fourth year in a row that the WPT has traveled to the Sooner State as a part of their main tour. The Main Event The 5-day Main Event is a $3500 + $200 buy-in, the same as it has been in years past. This year, it comes with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, which happens to be the lowest guarantee on the Main Tour. But take note, unless something goes drastically wrong, that guarantee is merely a marketing tool. In the three previous years, WPT Choctaw has never had a prize pool less than $3 million. Every player to make ever make a WPT Choctaw six-handed final table have earned themselves a six-figure payday. Even though attendance for this event has been drifting slightly lower year-over-year, with 2017’s field dropping below 1,000 runners for the first time since they started holding it, they are still very likely to see a multi-million dollar prize pool. To get a piece of that prize pool players can choose from two starting flights. The first flight kicks off at 12:00 pm CT on Friday, August 3 and the second the next day at the same time. This tournament is unlimited re-entry and players can play both flights and fire away as many times as they need to. The catch is, this is not a best stack forward tournament so participants that bag at the end go Day 1A but would rather take a shot the next day would need to forfeit their stack. As players have come to expect from the WPT, the structure is deep. Players start with 40,000 in chips (400bb) and 60-minute levels. New To Choctaw While the buy-in and structure may be familiar to those who have played in the past there are a couple new wrinkles to enhance the Oklahoman experience. The wildly popular big blind ante format is in play. The big blind pays the antes for the entire table, helping speed up the rate of play and taking a little bit of the burden off the dealer. Additionally, once the tournament is one table out of the money a 30-second shot clock will be adopted. Players have 30 seconds to act on their hand, with four "time extension" chips that can be used for those tough spots. Once a player is out of time extension chips and the clock runs out, if the player has not declared an action they will be forced to check their hand, or, if facing a bet, fold. A Look Back Choctaw has been an early-season stop on the WPT since Season 14. In its first year, 1,175 runners helped create a prize pool of nearly $4 million. Jason Brin won it all and walked with $682,975 for a career-high cash. Brin’s final table featured some of poker’s top talent including Andy Hwang, WPT Garden's runner-up Jake Schindler, WSOP 2018 Final Tablist Alex Lynskey and 4-time WPT Champion Darren Elias. In Season 15, poker pro James Mackey took the Choctaw title for his first WPT victory. The $666,758 was second largest payday of his esteemed career helping him to $4.1 million in lifetime earnings. Then, just last year, it was the recreational player from Austin, Texas Jay Lee who won $593,173 for just his third career recorded cash. Are You Qualified? For those looking to take a shot at getting into the Main Event for the minimum, Choctaw offers plenty of opportunities to satellite into the Championship Event. Beginning on July 28, there are $100 Super Satellites into any of the $300 tournaments. Then on starting on Tuesday, July 31 the casino offers as many as 15 opportunities for players to win a seat into the $3500 + $200 Main Event. Most are of the Mega Sattliest are of the $300 variety, with a few $500 Megas to ensure that as many qualifiers as possible can grab a seat in the field. WPT Choctaw Main Event gets underway on August 3 with daily live updates provided by the World Poker Tour.
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