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  1. Poker players have always loved the summer in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t until more recent years that their love has extended beyond the walls of the World Series of Poker as more and more events pop up around Sin City. Also gaining in affection recently are mixed games and there are more mixed game tournaments taking place in Las Vegas during the summer than ever before. If you fancy mixed games, you no longer need to look at the WSOP schedule and staying cooped up inside the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino. There are dozens of these events around town. Here are some of the best, non-WSOP mixed game tournaments to play in Las Vegas this summer. Orleans H.O.R.S.E. Championship Where: The Orleans Hotel & Casino When: Sunday, June 2, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $400 Guarantee: $50,000 Starting Chips: 20,000 Click for Structure If you like low buy-in mixed games, the Orleans is a place you’ll want to frequent this summer. Every year, the Orleans does a solid job of putting together an accessible schedule of events for players of all games. On the 2019 Orleans Summer Poker Series schedule is a $400 H.O.R.S.E. Championship event with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool. Players start with 20,000 in chips and levels are 30 minutes long. Once the event hits the money, the level times increase to 45 minutes. Late entries and re-entries are available until the start of Level 9, and the event is slated as a one-day tournament. Of the $400 buy-in, $335 goes to the prize pool and $65 is withheld for “admin, staffing, and promo fees.” That’s a 16.25% rake. Orleans 8-Game Mix Championship Where: The Orleans Hotel & Casino When: Saturday, June 8, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $400 Guarantee: $50,000 Starting Chips: 20,000 Click for Structure If you're looking for a little more excitement than the limit games of H.O.R.S.E. provide but still want a smorgasbord of variants within one tournament, then the $400 8-Game Mix Championship on the 2019 Orleans Summer Poker Series schedule will be right up your alley. In similar fashion to the H.O.R.S.E. event on the weekend prior, the 8-Game Mix Championship starts players with 20,000 in chips and levels will be 30 minutes before the money and 45 minutes in the money. Six hands of each game will be played, with the standard H.O.R.S.E. rotation in the mix, plus 2-7 triple draw, no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha. Late entries and re-entries are available until the start of Level 9, and the event is listed as a one-day tournament. Of the $400 buy-in, $335 goes to the prize pool and $65 is withheld for "admin, staffing, and promo fees." That’s a 16.25% rake. Orleans Stud Mix Championship Where: The Orleans Hotel & Casino When: Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $400 Guarantee: $50,000 Starting Chips: 20,000 Click for Structure Stud players unite! The 2019 Orleans Summer Poker Series schedule includes a $400 buy-in Stud Mix Championship, featuring seven-card stud, seven-card stud 8-or-better, and razz. Players will start with 20,000 in chips, eight hands of each game will be played, and levels will be 30 minutes before the money and 45 minutes in the money. Late entries and re-entries are available until the start of Level 9, and the event is scheduled as a one-day tournament. Of the $400 buy-in, $335 goes to the prize pool and $65 is withheld for "admin, staffing, and promo fees." That’s a 16.25% rake. ARIA H.O.R.S.E. Where: ARIA Resort & Casino When: Sunday, June 16, at 1 p.m. Buy-In: $1,100 Guarantee: $50,000 Starting Chips: 25,000 Click for Structure ARIA Resort & Casino has stepped up its game this summer by slapping some juicy guarantees on events during the 2019 ARIA Poker Classic. One of those events receiving a welcomed guaranteed is the $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. tournament that starts on Sunday, June 16, and is scheduled as a two-day event. Last year, the 2018 ARIA Poker Classic featured a $70 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event with no guarantee. It attracted 115 entries for a $46,000 prize pool. Doubling the buy-in and adding a guarantee should benefit this event a fair bit. Players start with 25,000 in chips and levels are 40 minutes long, with entry and re-entry available until the end of Level 9. The tournament will be played eight handed. On the $1,100 buy-in, $1,000 will go into the prize pool and $100 will be withheld for entry and staff fees, making for a 9.1% rake. There is a $150 satellite for this event on Saturday, June 15, at 7 p.m. Golden Nugget Mixed Omaha Championship Where: Golden Nugget When: Wednesday, June 26, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $570 Guarantee: $25,000 Starting Chips: 20,000 Click for Structure The Grand Poker Series at the Golden Nugget seems to pick up more and more steam each summer. This time around, there’s plenty on offer, including the $570 buy-in Mixed Omaha Championship event that features pot-limit Omaha 8-or-better, Omaha 8-or-better, and big-O. Players start with 20,000 in chips. Levels are 30 minutes in length, with a bump to 40 minutes at the final table. Entry and re-entry are available until the start of Level 9. With a buy-in of $570, $500 will go into the prize pool and $70 will be reserved for registration fee and staff. That’s a 12.28% rake. Binion’s H.O.R.S.E. Championship Where: Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel When: Friday, June 28, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $1,100 Guarantee: None Starting Chips: 60,000 At time of writing, details were scare on the 2019 Binion's Summer Series $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. Championship compared to other series, but here’s what we do know. We know the event is listed to start Friday, June 28, with the first of two starting flights. The second will take place on Saturday, June 29, and both start at 11 a.m. Players start with 60,000 in chips and levels will start at 40 minutes long before they are increased to 60 minutes in length. Last year’s H.O.R.S.E. Championship event at Binion’s had a $585 buy-in and attracted 169 entries. The prize pool generated was $84,500, with James Woods taking home first-place honors and $14,570 in prize money after a four-way chop up top. Once more information becomes available on this event, we will update this section. Golden Nugget H.O.R.S.E. Where: Golden Nugget When: Sunday, June 30, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $360 Guarantee: $20,000 Starting Chips: 15,000 Click for Structure The Grand Poker Series at the Golden Nugget hosts a $360 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event on Sunday, June 30, at 11 a.m. The event has a $20,000 prize pool guarantee. Players start with 15,000 in tournament chips, with registration and re-entry open until the start of Level 9. Levels will be 30 minutes long leading up to the final table, when they are then increased to 40 minutes in length. Of the $360 buy-in, $300 will go to the prize pool and $60 will be withheld for registration fee and staff. That’s a 16.67% rake. Golden Nugget O.E. Championship Where: Golden Nugget When: Wednesday, July 3, at 11 a.m. Buy-In: $570 Guarantee: $25,000 Starting Chips: 20,000 Click for Structure The Grand Poker Series at the Golden Nugget hosts its O.E. Championship on Wednesday, July 3, starting at 11 a.m. The $570 buy-in event features a $25,000 prize pool guarantee. Players start with 20,000 in tournament chips, with registration and re-entry open until the start of Level 9. Levels will be 30 minutes long leading up to the final table. At the final table, levels are 40 minutes in length. Of the $570 buy-in, $500 will go to the prize pool and $70 will be withheld for registration fee and staff. That’s a 12.28% rake. ARIA Triple Draw Mix Where: ARIA Resort & Casino When: Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Buy-In: $240 Guarantee: None Starting Chips: 15,000 Click for Structure We understand this event doesn’t have a guarantee on it, but what mixed game player doesn’t love a good mix of triple draw games? The ARIA Resort & Casino hosts a $240 buy-in Triple Draw Mix tournament on the night of Wednesday, July 3. Players start with 15,000 in chips, with registration and re-entry open through the end of Level 6. On the $240 buy-in, $195 will go into the prize pool and $45 will be withheld for entry and staff fees, making for a 18.75% rake.
  2. The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl crowned its champion on Wednesday night, with Isaac Haxton topping the exclusive field of 36 entries to earn the $3.672 million prize. "I just feel f***ing great," Haxton said in the moments following the big win. "I'm just super happy, even a little relieved it's over. Obviously, a day like today is pretty stressful, in the best way." With the victory, Haxton moved to more than $23.65 million in live tournament earnings, which bumps him up ahead of Jake Schindler and into 13th place on poker's all-time money list. "I'm gonna have more than a couple drinks and probably eat at least 1,500 calories of something disgusting," Haxton said about his plans to celebrate, with a smile of course. "That should do it, and then hopefully sleep for about 12 hours. That would be a perfect victory party for me." Super High Roller Bowl V Results 1st: Isaac Haxton - $3,672,000 2nd: Alex Foxen - $2,160,000 3rd: Stephen Chidwick - $1,512,000 4th: Talal Shakerchi - $1,188,000 5th: Adrian Mateos - $972,000 6th: Igor Kurganov - $756,000 7th: Ali Imsirovic - $540,000 For the past three days, the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas played host to the high-stakes affair that attracted the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz, and Justin Bonomo, just to name a few. After Monday’s Day 1, 27 players remained. After Day 2, just seven were left, all in the money and guaranteed a $540,000 payday. Bubbling the money in eighth place was Mikita Badziakouski. Haxton started the final table as the chip leader and Ali Imsirovic was bringing up the rear with the shortest stack left. After starting the final table with 875,000 and blinds of 10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 big blind ante, Imsirovic worked his way to nearly 1.9 million before taking a dive in the other direction that ultimately resulted with his seventh-place elimination. Imsirovic lost a pot to Stephen Chidwick that knocked him all the way back down to 520,000 and then got the last of his stack in with pocket jacks against the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"] of Haxton. Haxton flopped a flush draw and hit it on the turn to knock out the 23-year-old in seventh. Next to go was Igor Kurganov, who was never able to get any real momentum going on the final day. On his final hand, Kurganov, on the button, moved all in for 350,000 over the top of a raise to 65,000 from Chidwick with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante. Talal Shakerchi reraised all in from the small blind and Chidwick folded. Shakerchi had pocket tens to Kurganov’s pocket sevens, and the board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="Ac"] to send Kurganov home in sixth place. Shakerchi continued to climb after he busted Kurganov and even worked his way into the chip lead, but then he started to slide the other way as Alex Foxen increased. Adrian Mateos was next out the door when he was eliminated in fifth place by Foxen, falling in the 25,000/50,000 level with a big blind ante of 50,000. Mateos raised and then four-bet all in with pocket nines against Foxen, who made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"]. Foxen flopped a king and held from there to send the young Spaniard to collect his $972,000 payout. With Foxen out in front by a large margin and Haxton in second place, the final four players moved into Level 21 with the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante. Shortly after the level went up, Shakerchi went out, and he was busted by Haxton. Haxton opened to 140,000 and Shakerchi reraised all in for 1.285 million. Haxton called with two nines and won the flip against Shakerchi's [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Td"]. Shakerchi collected $1.118 million for his finish. Not too long after, Haxton added another chunk of chips when he busted Chidwick in third place. The two got the money in a blind-versus-blind situation, with Chidwick on the ropes holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"] to Haxton’s pocket jacks. To make matters worse for Chidwick, Haxton flopped top set to leave him needing runner-runner. It didn't come and Chidwick was out in third for $1.512 million. Although Foxen held the lead going into heads-up play - his 5.84 million to Haxton's 4.965 million - Haxton made short work of the match. Haxton won the first heads-up pot to take a 2-1 chip lead and Foxen could never recover from there. On the final hand, Haxton limped the button holding the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jh"]. Foxen raised to 225,000 out of the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8d"] and Haxton jammed. Foxen called to put himself at risk for 1.33 million, but he wouldn’t be doubling up. The final board ran [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Js"] to give Haxton two pair and the victory. For Foxen, his second-place finish was worth a whopping $2.16 million and put quite the cap on an incredible year that saw him win more than $6.6 million on the live felt. "For tournament results, there's no competition," Haxton said of where he ranked this Super High Roller Bowl triumph. "This is my biggest score ever and the other ones that come somewhat close are second- and third-place finishes. This is easily the best tournament result I've ever had and it's an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt." Widely known as a high-stakes cash game player, Haxton certainly does his fair share of competing in the largest tournaments in the world. As for how he wins this much money, Haxton will take it any way he can get it. "If I can win $3.6 million, I'm not going to be picky about how I win it," Haxton said. "It can be in the lottery, on Wheel of Fortune, I don’t care. Give me the $3.6 million. I’m not going to complain about how I won it."
  3. [caption width="640"] Rob Yong tried to negotiate a deal between Kirk and Tsoukernik after multi-million dollar debt incurred.[/caption] Rob Yong, founder of UK card room Dusk Till Dawn, went on the record to reveal some behind-the-scenes details of the immediate aftermath of the now legendary late night high-stakes heads-up match between “Aussie” Matt Kirk and King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik which has led to, now, the filing of multiple million-dollar lawsuits. In summary, on May 27, 2017 Matt Kirk and Leon Tsoukernik played multiple hours of high stakes heads-up poker in which, by match’s end, Tsoukernik had been loaned and lost back $3 million to Kirk. After receiving $1 million of the sum, Kirk filed a lawsuit to claim he was still owed the remaining $2 million. Although he received a partial dismissal of the case, Tsoukernik is still technically on the hook for the alleged debt having to defend himself against the claims of “unjust enrichment” and “fraudulent inducement.” With litigation escalating and after being named in new court documents, Yong took to his own blog to discuss everything he can recount about what went down between Kirk and Tsoukernik. According to Yong, the day after Kirk and Tsoukernik played, Yong was approached by Kirk and told about the match against Tsoukernik. Kirk expressed nervousness about not getting paid supposedly telling Yong that the game had gotten “out of hand” with Tsoukernik becoming very drunk and taking then losing back the $3 million loan. Yong goes on to state that Kirk claimed that even though he knew Tsoukernik was drunk, he didn’t quit Tsoukernik because he didn't want to ‘hit and run’ and continued to play out of pressure from Tsoukernik himself. Yong, having been in that situation with Tsoukernik himself, advised Kirk to give Tsoukernik “a small discount as a goodwill gesture” if he felt bad about the situation. The pair then settled on a proposed sum of $2 million in cash with $1 million of debt as a purse for a future heads-up match. Kirk asked Yong to mediate and Yong agreed. Yong then states that upon meeting with Tsoukernik, the King’s Casino owner made assurances he would pay “whatever I lost” and when the original deal was offered Tsoukernik said something to the effect of “fine, whatever Matty wants.” Kirk and Tsoukernik then “hugged and shook hands” on the deal. Less than a half hour later, Kirk called the deal off. Kirk was on the phone with someone, who apparently had the authority to call off the deal and did just that. Yong had to break the news to Tsoukernik, who was left exasperated. Left at that, after the Super High Roller Bowl, Yong returned home to the UK. Days later both Kirk and Tsoukernik called Yong, together, stating that they came to a mutual understanding and that Kirk was willing to accept $1 million as a final payment to the whole ordeal. Yong said, “Eh, one million? Are you serious?!” but insisted that Kirk replied that it was all good and that he simply wanted to move on. Another reversal occurred when Yong says Kirk called him via Skype later that same night, furious at Tsoukernik for lecturing him like ‘a kid’ about the perils of loaning drunk people money. Kirk reportedly said he only took the $1 million deal because he was so mad at how Tsoukernik spoke to him and that he, allegedly, vowed to use the $1,000,000 Tsoukernik paid him to “ruin Leon’s reputation around the poker world.” Yong recounted his role in the affair to clear the air about his involvement and, in the end, stated that he would be happy to tell his tale under oath in a Nevada court on behalf of either party. With that, the story takes it's latest turn. On November 8, Tsoukernik filed a counterclaim against Kirk for $10,000,000 in damages asserting that Kirk did indeed ruin his reputation, among other charges including that Kirk played Tsoukernik despite it being open and obvious that he was visibly intoxicated to the point where Tsoukernik needed assistance in counting his chips, he was misreading his hands and was induced to play large sums for a longer period of time and in a manner that he wouldn’t have done if sober. Additionally, Tsoukernik has filed to include the Aria Resort & Casino as a defendant in his counterclaim for, among other allegations, providing Tsoukernik with the alcohol to lead him to play in the manner he did, preventing the game from being an honest competition as well as claiming that there were individuals who attempted to help him leave Aria’s high stakes Ivey Room, but agents of the Aria stopped them from entering or removing him from the situation. In addition to filing the counterclaim Tsoukernik released a statement about his latest actions: “I have endured a significant amount of criticism from the poker community over the past several months. Today we filed a counterclaim against Matthew Kirk and a third-party complaint against the Aria. I have been advised to allow this matter to be resolved in court and I will. However, it is important to state my reasoning in pursuing this matter. Before any legal pleading was filed, I chose to resolve this matter amicably, with the help of several of the most respected members of the poker community. But, as a result of the behavior of Matthew Kirk and the third party defendant, I was taken advantage of and can no longer remain silent. As a casino operator, I feel it is my obligation to never allow a patron to be treated as I was and to alert the poker community of the risks they take in situations like mine. I believe that my response shines light on some of the unethical practices that target poker players. It would be easy to remain silent and make a business decision but too much has been said and too much damage has been done for me to keep quiet. I have great confidence in the United States judicial system. I will allow the legal process to speak for me from this point forward.”
  4. [caption width="640"] Leon Tsoukernik, owner of King's Casino, has filed a counterclaim against Matt Kirk for million.[/caption] The wranglings in the high-stakes heads-up legal drama between “Aussie” Matt Kirk and Leon Tsoukernik continued Tuesday as lawyers for Kirk filed a motion to dismiss Tsoukernik's $10 million counterclaim. In the counterclaim, Tsoukernik, the owner of the Czech Rebuplic's King's Casino, is alleging defamation, civil conspiracy, and fraud, among other charges of Kirk. Tsoukernik's action, filed on November 8, is in response to Kirk's original $2 million lawsuit alleging non-repayment of high-stake poker debt. Kirk's Tuesday filing addresses each of the charges, asking for complete dismissal of the counterclaim, arguing that Tsoukernik not only does not have a claim that can be awarded compensation but his argument of fraud doesn't hold up to the higher standard required. The motion breaks down each of Tsoukernik's claims and tackles the “cause of actions”, or the alleged facts that enable people to bring action against one another. In addition to requesting the complete dismissal of the counterclaim, Kirk has simultaneously requested a denial in the motion to include the Aria Resort & Casino as a third party to Tsoukernik's claim based on the same argument that Tsoukernik's entire lawsuit is without cause. Among the allegations against Kirk is what Kirk's lawyers call Tsoukernik's “I was drunk” defense. The King's Casino owner claims that he was overserved and then taken advantage of by Kirk, causing him to play and lose as he normally wouldn't, leading to defraudment. Kirk's motion points to video surveillance by the Aria which, according to the court papers, provides no concrete evidence of Tsoukernik's intoxication level. “Considering that Leon Tsoukernik has the Aria video evidence and has failed to identify a single timestamp in support of his 'I was drunk' defense, the court should conclude that the claim is baseless.” They continue to attack “I was drunk” as a basis for action by using Tsoukernik's position as a casino owner against him. “It will be interesting to ascertain discovery as to whether or not Leon Tsoukernik refunds money as his casino based upon the “I was too drunk” defense. Or better yet, if Leon Tsoukernik has paid damages to people above and beyond the gambling losses for allowing them to play at his casino while allegedly intoxicated.” While the video from the Aria security cannot detail Tsoukernik's level of sobriety, it did apparently show him both accepting the loans as chips passed back and forth across the table as well as the infamous text exchanges detailing how high rollers document the loaning of money. “Text message at 5:07am 'Gave u 1 million', to which Defendant (Tsoukernik) replied at 5:08am 'ok'” Another one of Tsoukernik's major contentions is the damage he feels he's taken to his reputation at the hands of Kirk. Kirk asserts that any potential reputation for Tsoukernik as a “welcher” (someone who refuses to pay his debts after a bet) or a “stiff” (someone who cheats someone of what they are owed) was not brought about by Kirk himself by simply filing the initial lawsuit. If readers of the unidentified “blogs and/or articles” about the nature of the initial lawsuit came to any conclusions on their own that is not something that Tsoukernik can sue for and, to date, Kirk has reportedly not gone public with any statement. “...let's not forget that the truth is a defense and Leon Tsoukernik does not dispute that he received $3,000,000 from Matt Kirk and 12 minutes later claimed that he owed him nothing.” Kirk's lawyers argue in their defense against defamation." Perhaps new information was also revealed as the motion recounts that the day before the game in question, on or about May 26, Kirk and Tsoukernik played in a different game, still at the Aria, where Tsoukernik had lost $1,500,000 to Kirk. Kirk received payment in full for that game. The combined losses would put Tsoukernik $4.5 million in the hole to Kirk. In totality, Kirk's lawyers laid out Kirk's defense against the counterclaim and request that the $10 million lawsuit be “dismissed in its entirety.”
  5. PocketFiver Ben 'BenFaz' Farrell scored first place in the Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas event on Thursday at ARIA Resort & Casino, topping a field of 1,932 entries to win $155,000. Hailing from England, Farrell earned his career-best live tournament score with the victory. He topped India's Nikita Luther in heads-up play. "There were a lot of people to get through," Farrell told WPT reporters after the win. "It feels really good." WPT500 Las Vegas Final Table Results 1st: Ben Farrell - $155,000 2nd: Nikita Luther - $109,300 3rd: Sung Joo Hyun - $75,000 4th: Min Ji - $55,000 5th: Trey Morris - $40,000 6th: Eduards Kudrjavcevs - $30,000 7th: Jakub Wojtas - $22,000 8th: Ritesh Shah - $17,000 9th: Jim Pennella - $14,000 Farrell joined the multi-flight field on the final starting day, the turbo flight. Although he slipped to as low as 12 big blinds, he said, he turned things around, finished the flight as chip leader, and charged on to the final table. At the final table, Farrell busted Ritesh Shah in eighth place, Eduards Kudrjavcevs in sixth place, and Trey Morris in fifth place en route to his heads-up battle with Luther. Entering the heads-up match, Luther had the chip lead following her elimination of Sung Too Hyun in third place. Her lead wasn’t a big one, though, as Luther as up 21.1 million to 17.525 million to start. Luther struck first, extending her chip lead to a gap of more than 9 million, and then she stretched it to more than 10 million shortly thereafter. Farrell closed the gap when both players flopped a pair of eights but Farrell’s kicker was better, and then the most important hand of the tournament played out. On that important hand, Luther held ace-king to Farrell's ace-queen. All the money went in preflop and Farrell saw the bad news as he was dominated. The nine-high flop missed both players, but a queen on the turn vaulted Farrell into the lead. He held from there and doubled up to take a commanding chip lead of 33.25 million to 5.375 million. About 10 minutes later, it was all over when Farrell’s ace-five finished off Luther and her king-queen. Luther, who had made a deep run in the 2017 WPT500 Las Vegas worth a fifth-place finish and $65,000, cashed this year for $109,300. "It feels really good," Farrell told WPT reporters. "I've been working on my game mainly by talking with friends. I’m mainly an online player, so I haven’t had many results live. But I’ve had a lot of close runs, so I always knew that I’d eventually win a tournament. I just had to put in the volume and keep studying." Others to run deep in the event include Zynga Poker VIP player Hugh Grant (11th - $11,500), former WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja (12th - $11,500), Quentin Jones (35th - $3,500), T.K. Miles (49th - $2,700), and Mo Nuwwarah (66th - $2,100). Grant's run came one year after he took eighth in the WPT500 Las Vegas for $26,310. Jones and Nuwwarah also put together back-to-back cashes in WPT500 Las Vegas. Jones, a WPTDeepStacks champion, finished 13th last year for $13,220. Nuwwarah took 22nd for $7,320 one year ago.
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