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Found 8 results

  1. The World Poker Tour stays on the West Coast after the L.A. Poker Classic and travels north for WPT Rolling Thunder. Season XVI marks the fifth trip for the WPT to the Lincoln, CA outpost for a $3,500 buy-in event. From March 2-6, there is fierce poker competition to be had as one of the final WPT titles of the season is on the line. Building on 2017 Success Mike Del Vecchio battled through a field of 421 to claim his first WPT title in Season XV. The players who Del Vecchio defeated at the final table include Connor Drinan and Olivier Busquet. Del Vecchio joined an elite group of WPT Rolling Thunder winners led by J.C. Tran and Harrison Gimbel. Tran took down 465 entrants to win his title in Season XII and Season XV’s field was the largest since that time. Riding the LAPC Momentum From the time it was added to the WPT calendar, Rolling Thunder follows Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic on the schedule. That is no more for at least this year with the hiatus of Bay 101 for at least Season XVI. The L.A. Poker Classic wraps up on March 1 and the WPT train rides immediately for Rolling Thunder the next day. Expect to see dozens who played LAPC to catch a flight and make their way to Thunder Valley for the last California WPT event of the season. The LAPC field size should carry an indication of how many and who will play at Thunder Valley. Player of the Year Battle Builds Art Papazyan is 700 points in front of Eric Afriat for current Season XVI Player of the Year honors but that lead is on the fringe of changing. Afriat won the WPT Winter Poker Open at Borgata in January in his second final table appearance of the season. With one more WPT final table appearance this season, Afriat can tie or surpass Papazyan’s 2,400 points. The Quebec business professional is uncertain of his upcoming WPT schedule but the opportunity to win the exclusive prize may bring him out to the West Coast. New Room to Show Off Thunder Valley recently opened their brand new poker room and the glamour element should add to what is already an event with high expectations. Locals are flocking in large numbers to play satellite qualifiers, leading to more buzz for an already prestigious event. The new room features an open playing space and nearby access to all the amenities Thunder Valley is known for. Unique Format Features Six Max Action The WPT Rolling Thunder adds the shorthanded element of poker deep in their event. Once the field reaches 36 players, the field condenses to six tables of six players each. It is at this stage where the tournament switches over to 90-minute levels until the final table. Bay 101 is famous for this structure pivot and Rolling Thunder recently added it to their WPT showcase. Expect to see some fun hands and memorable moments that compare to Charlie Carrel’s elimination in a hand where Pat Lyons moved all-in blind. Where to Watch The final table streams live on WPT.com on March 6 starting at 12:30 pm PT. The six-figures in prize money, the prestige of winning a WPT, and predicted tough final table leads to what will be an exciting conclusion to what has become one of the most enjoyable stops on the WPT circuit.
  2. Season XVI of the World Poker Tour is in the homestretch and on its way to sunny Hollywood, FL for a $3 million guaranteed event. Seminole Hard Rock is the home to the largest field in World Poker Tour history and the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is expected to draw at least 1,000 entrants. From April 13-18, all eyes in North America are on one of the annual marquee WPT events. The Season XV version of Showdown brought in 1,207 entrants in only a single starting flight for a $2 million guaranteed prize pool. Tony Sinishtaj drove into the winner’s circle with $661,283 of the $3.862 million prize pool after defeating a final table of Dan Colman, Robert Mizrachi, and Darryll Fish. Millions In The Middle The current WPT season has been busy from the moment it started in August and the pace is still in fifth-gear coming into the final East Coast event of the campaign. Seminole hosted the World Poker Tour in January for the Lucky Hearts Poker Open and drew a field of 911 runners for a $2 million guarantee. The prize pool for that event brushed against the barriers of the $3 million and a four-figure amount of players at Showdown creates one of the highest pots of Season XVI. In Season XII, Seminole placed a whopping $5 million up for grabs and attracted 1,795 entrants for what still stands as the largest WPT field of all-time. Eric Afriat walked away with first-place and $1.08 million against a final table that included WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja, future Champions Club Member James Mackey, and bracelet winner Chance Kornuth. Expect to see Afriat back at the Hard Rock in a few weeks for more reasons than just another title. Player of the Year Hits Octane Mode Art Papazyan’s Season XVI Player of the Year lead decreases with every stop. Papazyan opened up a giant gap between him and the field after winning his second title of the season at WPT Maryland in October. The 2,400 points Papazyan holds are from his two titles, which are his only cashes of the season. Papazyan’s selective schedule means he may not show up to Florida and attempt to increase his overall total. Afriat is one of a few players who can overtake Papazyan with at least a final table finish. January’s Borgata Winter Poker Open featured a win from Afriat for his second career WPT victory along with 1,200 Player of the Year points. Coupled with his fifth-place result at WPT Montreal, Afriat stands with 1,700 points. In second place on the leaderboard is Derek Wolters, who has recorded two final table finishes along with three cashes in total. Wolters recently took third at the L.A. Poker Classic. That bronze medal sits next to the one he earned at WPT Montreal. Overall, Wolters is playing with 1,850 points heading down the stretch. The final member of the chase committee behind Papazyan is 2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen. Through a fourth-place result at Borgata and third-place at WPT Rolling Thunder in March along with two other cashes, McKeehen keeps pace with 1,600 points. A few others lurking who need at least 1,200 points to hit Papazyan’s mark are D.J. Alexander, Phil Hellmuth, and Lucky Hearts victory Darryll Fish. Structure Details Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown features two starting flights and unlimited re-entry across both Day 1s. The total prize pool makes itself known after Level 9 on Day 1B. Levels on Day 1 and 2 are 60 minutes before ticking up to 90 minutes for Day 3 and Day 4. Final table levels are 60 minutes on Day 5 for the six remaining players. The final table airs on the PokerGO live stream on April 18 and plays down to the 16th champion of Season XVI.
  3. The World Poker Tour continues Season XVII of the WPT Main Tour on Friday, November 23, with the start of the WPT Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The venue is home to the largest WPT Main Tour event in history, and this season’s event comes with a $2 million guarantee on the prize pool. The WPT RRPO $3,500 Championship runs November 23-28 and features two starting flights and unlimited reentry is allowed through the first nine levels. Per standard WPT Main Tour structure, players begin with 40,000 in chips, a big blind ante will be used, and the Action Clock will be entered into play once the field is one table off the money. Players will play 60-minute levels on Day 1 and Day 2 before the levels are kicked up to 90 minutes on Day 3 and Day 4. The final table of the event will be live streamed on WPT.com on Wednesday, November 28. WPT Events at Seminole Known for Huge Fields and Big Payouts The addition of the Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open to the World Poker Tour schedule is new, but the WPT has plenty of history with the host property, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, especially when it comes to $3,500 buy-in events. In addition to being home to the largest WPT Main Tour field in history, $3,500 buy-in WPT events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino have an average field size of 1,278 entries over the last seven. In those seven events, nearly $29 million in total prize money has been awarded, for an average prize pool of more than $4.1 million. The winner of that largest WPT Main Tour event in history was Eric Afriat, who topped an enormous field of 1,795 entries in the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. The now two-time WPT champion Afriat won $1.081 million in that event. Other past champions of World Poker Tour events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino include Darryll Fish, Ryan Riess, Justin Young, Chino Rheem, and Taylor von Kriegenbergh. Von Kriegenbergh won the WPT event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with the largest first-place prize in history. He took down the Season IX WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1.122 million. Ruberto Leads Hublot WPT Player of the Year Race Heading In With a large field anticipated for the event, one of the storylines heading in is that of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race for Season XVII. Two-time WPT champion Tony Ruberto currently leads with 1,800 points. Ruberto won his second World Poker Tour title this season when he captured the WPT Maryland at Live! Casino crown. He also made the final table of WPT Choctaw, placing fourth. In second place behind Ruberto is Erkut Yilmaz with 1,250 points, and then it’s Patrick Serda, Simon Lam, and Brady Holiman rounding out the top five with 1,200 points each. As the WPT Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open $3,500 Championship has a $2 million guarantee on the prize pool, a minimum of 1,200 points will be awarded to the winner. Minimums of 1,000 points and 900 points will go to second and third places, respectively. The winner of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year for Season XVII will earn a $15,000 WPT Passport for buy-ins across the tour and a special Hublot watch. Appetizing Side Events During Championship During the dates of the Season XVII WPT Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open $3,500 Championship, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has three side events with buy-ins above $1,650. First is the $1,650 Deep Stack Purple Chip Bounty tournament that comes with a $100,000 guarantee. This event runs November 25-26. On November 26, the $5,000 Eight-Handed tournament kicks off. It is scheduled as a one-day tournament with a $250,000 guarantee. Also starting on November 26 is the $2,200 Deep Stack PLO tournament that is scheduled for two days and allows reentry. Thousands Already Showing Up This year’s Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open is already off to an impressive start. The opening event of the series, the $360 Deep Stack Reentry tournament that boasted a $1 million guarantee, attracted 4,558 entries and generated a guarantee-busting prize pool of $1.367 million. The event was won by Texas’ Trung Pham for $123,364 after a seven-way deal at the final table.
  4. Season XVII of the World Poker Tour has reached another final table on Tuesday, this time down in South Florida for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. From a booming field of 1,360 entries, just six competitors remain, and they’re on break until playing out the final table on May 30 in Las Vegas. Leading the way is WPT Champions Club member James Carroll. The final six players have each locked up $148,380. When they return to action in a month and a half, they’ll be chasing the $715,175 first-place prize and seat into the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. Joining Carroll at the final table was Maria Ho, Ami Alibay, Eric Afriat, Chad Eveslage, and Jerry Wong. Carroll boasts a stack of 18.525 million, which is just about 2 million ahead of Ho’s second-place stack of 16.65 million. WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table Seat 1: Maria Ho - 16,650,000 Seat 2: Chad Eveslage - 3,350,000 Seat 3: Jerry Wong - 3,225,000 Seat 4: Eric Afriat - 4,425,000 Seat 5: Ami Alibay - 8,175,000 Seat 6: James Carroll - 18,525,000 Numbers Never Lie With 1,360 entries, the Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown generated a prize pool of $4.352 million and produced the fourth largest WPT Main Tour field size in history. The event with the largest turnout was the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown that attracted 1,795 entries. In second is the Season XIII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and then it’s this season’s WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open with 1,415 entries. Interestingly, the winner of the largest-ever WPT Main Tour event was Afriat and he’s now reached this final table. Reaching the Final Table The money line was set at 170 players, and entering Day 2 of the tournament there were 524 remaining. After a few hours of play, 171 players remained and the money bubble had come. Brandon Hall, who recently took fourth in the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, found himself all in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ks"] against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ah"] of Alibay, according to the WPT coverage. The board ran out clean for Alibay’s aces which meant Hall was out the door as the "bubble boy." From there, players began filling up the payout line. Busting before the end of Day 2 were Anthony Zinno (96th), Faraz Jaka (103rd), Victor Ramdin (112th), Tyler Patterson (118th), David Baker (122nd), Scotty Nguyen (125th), Dylan Wilkerson (132nd), Sam Panzica (133rd), and Dylan Linde (134th). When the day was all said and done, 90 players remained with Keith Ferrera leading the pack. Day 3 saw the returning field of 90 players whittled down to 18. Darren Elias and Frank Stepuchin when out early, Aaron Mermelstein, Erik Seidel, and Will Failla fell later, and then Ferrera’s run came to an end in 19th place. On Ferrera’s final hand, he, like Hall before him, ran ace-king into the pocket aces of an opponent. Ferrera’s opponent was Eveslage who went on to bag the chip lead entering Day 4. [caption id="attachment_623684" align="alignnone" width="800"] Former NFL star Richard Seymour had a deep run that resulted in a 15th-place finish (photo: WPT)[/caption] On Day 4, the goal was to play down to the official WPT final table of six. Former NFL star Richard Seymour was still in the field, but his time ran out with a 15th-place finish for $29,690. On his final hand, Seymour was all in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="6s"] against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Td"] for Alibay. The board ran out [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"] and Seymour was eliminated. With 11 players left, Carroll won a big pot off Afriat that gave him a stack that was right up there with Alibay’s for the chip lead. After raising and calling a three-bet in position, Carroll was faced with a bet of 400,000 on the [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3h"] flop. He called and the turn was the [poker card="2s"]. Afriat fired 750,000 this time, but Carroll stuck around with a call. The river completed the board with the [poker card="5h"] and Afriat checked. Carroll fired 1.45 million and Afriat eventually folded. Carroll showed the [poker card="Js"][poker card="Tc"] for jack high. From there, Carroll continued to build his stack as players busted out. On the final hand of Day 4, Jason Marshman went out in seventh place when Ho made trip jacks against him with the [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Jd"] versus the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="8h"]. WPT Champion Carroll in Dominating Position James Carroll is no stranger to the WPT winner’s circle and he’s now in a dominating position to score his second World Poker Tour title. Back in Season XII, Carroll won the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event for a huge score of $1.256 million. In that event, he topped a field of 718 entries. The final table included fellow WPT Champions Club members Dylan Wilkerson and Nam Lee, who finished in second and fifth places, respectively, and Season XII WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja. Carroll boasts career live tournament earnings of more than $3.2 million, of which he’s won $1.556 million on the World Poker Tour. He has six WPT cashes, including this one, and three other top 10 finishes outside of his Bay 101 victory and this event. This season, Carroll finished seventh in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $155,900. With a 18.525 million, Carroll has 34% of the chips in play entering the final table. [caption id="attachment_623681" align="alignnone" width="800"] Eric Afriat seeks a third WPT title (photo: WPT)[/caption] Afriat Seeks Third WPT Title Eric Afriat could be the story of the whole event. The two-time WPT Champions Club member won the largest-ever WPT Main Tour event in Season XII, which was this very event that attracted a massive 1,795 entries. Afriat entered that final table fourth in chips, and that’s the position he’ll come in this time around, too. He scored $1.081 million for that victory, but his WPT success didn’t end there. In fact, it was only just beginning really. Afriat has racked up 12 WPT Main Tour cashes, including this one, and in Season XVI he won his second World Poker Tour title when he topped another huge field at Borgata in Atlantic City. In the Season XVI WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, Afriat finished in first place above a field of 1,244 entries to win $651,928. Needless to say, Afriat knows a thing or two about winning large-field WPT events. In addition to that success, Afriat has three additional trips to WPT final tables in previous events. He came sixth in the Season IX WPT Bellagio Cup for $118,950, third in the Season XV WPT Playground for $82,716, and fifth in the Season XVI WPT Montreal for $75,043. A third WPT title would tie Afriat with the likes of Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Chino Rheem, and Anthony Zinno, who each have three titles and are one behind the leader, Darren Elias, who has four. [caption id="attachment_623683" align="alignnone" width="800"] Maria Ho has her eyes on his first major tournament title (photo: WPT)[/caption] Ho Seeking First Major Title For all of the success Maria Ho has enjoyed in the poker world, both on the felt as a player and off it as a broadcaster and personality, she’s yet to snag herself a major tournament title. Ho is second in chips entering this final table and it could very well be the one that allows her to grab that first major victory. Ho has had deep runs on the World Poker Tour before. She reached the Season XIV WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars final table and finished in sixth place for $179,930. She also finished 10th in the Season IX WPT Bellagio Cup that Afriat took sixth in, earning $40,783 for that finish. She also has two World Series of Poker final tables under her belt, including a runner-up finish to Allen Bari in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 WSOP. “It would mean so much,” Ho told WPT.com when asked what it would mean to win a WPT title. “I’ve been playing poker professionally for 14 years now, and unfortunately I’m still lacking that one major win. I know that it doesn’t define my career, but the World Poker Tour is very prestigious so it would mean a lot.” In October of 2018, she did win the WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Main Event for $69,166. Ho had more than $3.2 million in live tournament earnings ahead of this event. Don’t Sleep On Wong Jerry Wong may be the shortest stack at the final table to start, but he’s been on the biggest of stages before. In 2016, Wong reached the WSOP Main Event final table and finished eighth for $1.1 million. For Wong, he’s yet to win a WPT title and it’s his first World Poker Tour final table. His position on the leaderboard isn’t an advantageous one, but if Wong’s able to generate some momentum early then he could really put some pressure on his opponents given the experience he has. We’ve seen a short stack come back to win many times, so don’t be surprised if Wong maneuvers his way to a victory. The Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will resume action on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
  5. Back on April 16, the Season XVII World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown reached its final table of six. WPT Champions Club member James Carroll led the group, with Maria Ho firmly in second place. Eric Afriat, another WPT Champions Club member, also reached the final table. On May 30, the final six hit Las Vegas at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino to compete for the $715,175 top prize. What’s Up for Grabs? The winner of the Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown gets $715,175, a seat into the season-ending Baccarat WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang watch. As things stand, each of the final six have already locked up $148,380 for reaching the final table from the field of 1,360 entries. 1st Place: $715,175 2nd Place: $465,120 3rd Place: $344,960 4th Place: $257,815 5th Place: $194,610 6th Place: $148,380 READ: How the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table was set. How To Watch the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table If you’re in Las Vegas on May 30, you’re able to head over to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to view the conclusion of the event in person, but of course, not everyone is within reach of Sin City. For those looking to tune in as it’s happening, the final table can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. You can also follow along with written coverage on WPT.com. The event is also being filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events that you’ll be able to catch later on FOX Sports Regional Networks. [caption id="attachment_624382" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Maria Ho (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Maria Ho - 16,650,000 For all of the success that Maria Ho has enjoyed over the course of her poker career, she’s still yet to win her first major title. She has second-, fourth-, and sixth-place finishes in World Series of Poker events, and she’s twice finished in sixth place in a WPT Main Tour event. She did win the WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg title in October 2018. With the second-largest stack entering the final table, it’s all eyes on Ho. She’s not too far behind the chip leader, Carroll, and looks to be in fairly top form. Ho scored first place in the L.A. Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller for $276,690 in March, and she just placed fourth in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America High Roller for another chunk of change around $70,000. Sprinkle in another handful of cashes and Ho is having one of the best years she’s ever had on the live felt. Her previous best year was in 2011 when she won nearly $660,000 in prizes. She’s already up to more than $550,000 in 2019 with a chance to go much higher with some pay jumps in this event. A victory would not only give Ho her first-ever WPT title, but she’d have earned more than $1 million from live tournament poker in a calendar year for the first time in her career. [caption id="attachment_624383" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Chad Eveslage (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Chad Eveslage - 3,350,000 Chad Eveslage enters the final table second-to-last in chips, just ahead of Jerry Wong. Eveslage is already enjoying the best year of his live tournament career and this result is already the most money he’s ever cashed for in a single live tournament. Eveslage’s results track back to January 2011 when he cashed in the PCA Main Event for $23,500. This run marks his fourth WPT Main Tour cash and deepest run, besting his eighth-place result from the Season XII WPT Rolling Thunder event that was won by JC Tran. [caption id="attachment_624384" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jerry Wong (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: Jerry Wong - 3,225,000 Jerry Wong has been on the big stage before. In 2016, he made the final table of the WSOP Main Event and finished in eighth place for more than $1.1 million. In 2017, he won the opening event of the WPTDeepStacks Hollywood stop down at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In that $360 buy-in event, he topped a mammoth field of 4,756 entries to win $250,000. Wong hadn’t reached a WPT Main Tour final table before reaching this one, but he has had a handful of deep runs to the last few tables. He wasn’t able to break through in those events and he’ll again have his work cut out for him in this one as he’s the shortest stack left in the field. Still, Wong has more than 20 big blinds to work with and one double up can get the seasoned pro right back into the mix. [caption id="attachment_624385" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Eric Afriat (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Eric Afriat - 4,425,000 If you follow the World Poker Tour, then the name Eric Afriat is one you know. He’s a two-time WPT champion looking for his third trip to the winner’s circle, and he has plenty of experience winning these large-field WPT events. Afriat’s first WPT title came when he won the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1.081 million. In that event, he topped an enormous field of 1,795 entries. Afriat won his second WPT title in Season XVI at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,244 entries to win more than $650,000. A victory in this one would give Afriat a third WPT title and move him into the ranks of Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Chino Rheem, and Anthony Zinno, all of whom have three WPT titles and are one behind the leader, Darren Elias. [caption id="attachment_624386" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Ami Alibay (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: Ami Alibay - 8,175,000 Ami Alibay has been around the WPT scene quite a bit and he’s making his fifth WPT Main Tour cash to show for it. It’s his first time at a WPT Main Tour final table, though, and it’s also the largest live tournament score of his career. Alibay’s previous best WPT finish came in March when he took 11th in the Season XVII WPT at Venetian. That finish earned Alibay more than $33,000. All told, when you include the $148,380 he’s earned for no worse than sixth place, Alibay has more than $630,000 in live tournament earnings. Like Afriat, he’s a Canadian player, but he’ll have about twice as many chips to work with to start the final table as Afriat does. [caption id="attachment_624387" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] James Carroll (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: James Carroll - 18,525,000 James Carroll has already experienced winning a World Poker Tour event once. Back in Season XII, Carroll topped a field of 718 entries in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event to win $1.256 million. He came close to winning a second WPT title not too long ago, when in March he took seventh in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $155,900. One more place up and Carroll would have found himself at the HyperX Esports Arena playing for the title. He’ll get his shot this time around, though, and he’ll come into play with the biggest stack left. Carroll boasts a career of nearly $3.4 million in earnings when you include the almost $150,000 he’s already scored here. A couple jumps up the payout list will give Carroll his second-best year on the live tournament felt when it comes to earnings, but a second WPT title is really what he’s chasing. Carroll should have one of the biggest rails of supporters at the HyperX Esports Arena on May 30. He has plenty of friends in the community who will be around to sweat him with the WSOP kicking off, and he’s from Las Vegas. If we were to guess, Ho will have the biggest group of supporters and then Carroll will be a close second. Seeing as those two are one-two in chips, it should make for a very fun day of action.
  6. James Carroll came into the final table of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with the chip lead and something to prove. Having already won one WPT title, Carroll still had the bitter memory of a seventh place finish at the LA Poker Classic in February to overcome. Over the course of eight hours of play, Carroll outlasted five other opponents to pick up his second WPT titles and $715,175. "This one is actually somewhat sweeter. The first one felt good, but I've been through some super tough times in the last five years, this feels good," Carroll said, after eliminating Eric Afriat on the last hand. Carroll and Afriat were the two players at the final table to already have a WPT title to their credit. Carroll won the Bay 101 Shooting Stars event in 2014 while Afriat took down the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in 2014 and the Borgata Winter Poker Open in 2018. The final table also included Mario Ho, Jerry Wong, and Chad Eveslage. Maria Ho raised to 500,000 from early position before Chad Eveslage moved all in for 3,400,000 from the cutoff and Ho called. Eveslage turned over [ad][jd] and found out he was racing against Ho's [tc][td]. The board ran out [8h][7h][5h][7s][2c] to give Ho the pot and eliminate Eveslage in sixth place. Just 15 hands later, Ami Alibay and Jerry Wong got into an all-in preflop confrontation that ended Alibay's run. From the button, Wong raised to 700,000, Eric Afriat called from the small blind before Alibay moved all in for 3,275,000 from the big blind. Wong called before Afriat folded. Alibay got great news when he turned over [9c][9d] and Wong showed [8c][8h]. The [ah][tc][7h] flop kept Alibay ahead, but the [kh] turn gave Wong extra outs with a flush draw and the [5h] river completed it to eliminate Alibay in fifth. Four-handed play continued for 51 hands before another player was sent to the rail after a preflop all-in battle. Afriat raised to 1,000,000 from UTG and Wong shoved all in from the big blind for 3,900,000. Afriat called and tabled [4c][4d] and Wong showed [ad][9h]. The board ran out [jc][hj][6h][3c][5d] and Afriat's pocket fours held up to bust Wong in fourth place. Down to just 16 big blinds, Ho moved all in from the button for 8,100,000 and Carroll called from the big blind. Ho was slightly ahead with [ac][5d] to Carroll's [ks][qc]. The flop came [as][qh][jd] to leave Ho in front, but the [kc] turn flipped the script and left Ho drawing to any ace, jack, or five for the win. The river was the [4s] leaving Ho as the third place finisher. Afriat started heads up play with a 2-1 advantage over Carroll but the two players traded the lead multiple times before Carroll took a formidable lead before finishing the job. Afriat raised from the button to 2,000,000 and Carroll three-bet jammed. Afriat moved all in and Carroll called and flipped over [ks][8h] while Afriat showed [6d][6h]. The [kc][kd][qc] flop gave Carroll a commanding lead. Neither the [3h] turn or [qs] river saved Afriat and he was eliminated in second place, giving Carroll the title. "He's very tricky. He's won two of these before and now he's got a second. I'd say he's doing a whole lot of things right," Carroll said of Afriat. "This is the first tournament I played with him. I probably played with him for three or four hours total before the final table. From what I've seen, he's very good." Final Table Payouts James Carroll - $715,175 Eric Afriat - $465,120 Maria Ho - $344,960 Jerry Wong - $257,815 Ami Alibay - $194,610 Chad Eveslage - $148,380
  7. The Season XVIII World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic crowned its winner on Saturday, with Alex Foxen topping the record-breaking field of 1,035 entries to win the $1.694 million first-place prize. "It feels, I don't know… surreal," Foxen said in the moments following the win. "It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that I played heads up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win. I don’t have words." Back in Season XVI, Foxen found himself heads up with Ryan Tosoc in this very event. Tosoc had finished runner-up the year before and was back in heads-up play with a chance to better his previous result. Back then, Foxen couldn’t overcome Tosoc in what was a very lighthearted heads-up battle with plenty of fun had between the two and he had to settle for a second-place payout of $1.134 million. "I do feel like I was so excited about having that opportunity," Foxen said of the difference between his two WPT Five Diamond heads-up appearances. "I think that score I locked up was already five or six times my biggest score to date at that point, so there was an element of me feeling like I lost a little bit of focus and maybe didn’t take it as seriously as I should have because, regardless of the outcome of heads-up play, it was such an amazing result that in the moment I didn’t see the severity of that situation. I definitely didn’t make that same mistake twice." Much like Tosoc had redeemed his second-place finish with a victory the following season, Foxen came back two seasons after his runner-up finish to get the job done and capture the WPT Five Diamond throne. The victory gave Foxen his first WPT title. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Final Table Results 1st: Alex Foxen - $1,694,995 2nd: Toby Joyce - $1,120,040 3rd: Seth Davies - $827,285 4th: Peter Neff - $617,480 5th: Danny Park - $465,780 6th: Jonathan Jaffe - $355,125 Foxen came into Saturday’s final table in second position on the leaderboard with six players remaining. In fewer than 30 hands, Foxen had improved to the chip lead. Shortly after gaining the top spot, he knocked out WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Jaffe in sixth place. Although others did some damage of their own, such as Toby Joyce knocking out start-of-day chip leader Danny Park in fifth place and Seth Davies busting Peter Neff in fourth place, Foxen never gave up the lead once he had it. Three-handed play between Foxen, Joyce, and Davies lasted for quite some time. Even though both Joyce and Davies scored double ups during the battle, things never appeared to get away from Foxen as he stayed strong behind the wall of chips he built. Eventually, Davies’ stack shrunk and he got the last of his money in against Foxen in a dominated position. Foxen had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qh"] to Davies’ [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"]. Davies, a WPT Champions Club member, did flop some outs to a chop but he was ultimately done in thanks to the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="As"][poker card="8d"] board. Entering heads-up play with Joyce, Foxen had the chip lead with 29.5 million to Joyce’s 11.9 million, and the match was never really close. Joyce narrowed the gap ever so slightly at the beginning of the duel, but Foxen’s dominance was too much and he quickly started to distance himself. On the final hand, Foxen had limped on the button with the blinds at 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 big blind ante. Joyce checked and the dealer fanned the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop. Joyce checked, Foxen bet 400,000, and then Joyce check-raised to 1.1 million. Foxen put in a raise of his own and made it 2 million to go. Joyce called to see the [poker card="Kc"] land on fourth street. Joyce checked and Foxen shoved all in, for what was effectively 4.5 million because he had Joyce covered. Joyce tanked and used four 30-second time extensions to think things through. Joyce eventually made the call with the [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9c"] for a pair of jacks, but Foxen had him out-kicked with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Js"]. The river was the [poker card="4c"] to seal the deal for Foxen. For his runner-up finish, Joyce scored $1.12 million in prize money. Fourth Consecutive Record Turnout for Five Diamond It was the fourth consecutive record-setting turnout for WPT Five Diamond, and this season’s 1,035 entries topped last season’s 1,001. The seasons prior to that were 812 entries for Season XVI and 791 entries for Season XV. In this event, the top 130 finished reached the money. Included in those to cash were Eric Afriat (9th - $168,005), Darren Elias (14th - $107,840), Chino Rheem (22nd - $60,435), Cary Katz (44th - $37,670), Kitty Kuo (67th - $26,220), Cliff Josephy (74th - $23,830), and Maria Ho (116th - $19,345). Also running deep was Timo Kamphues, who placed seventh in the Season XVIII WPT Five Diamond for $273,695. He has had quite the week of poker in Las Vegas, as just a few days prior to his run at Bellagio, Kamphues won the Wynn Poker Winter Classic $1,100 NL $500,000 Guarantee tournament for $202,787. Foxen Takes Player of the Year Lead With the victory, Foxen moved to first place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings. Both Foxen and Joyce have the same amount of points, 1,400, but Foxen holds the tiebreaker of most money won. Joyce earned his second cash of the season and is currently second in the race. 1st: Alex Foxen - 1,400 points 2nd: Toby Joyce - 1,400 points 3rd: Donald Maloney - 1,300 points 4th: Aaron Van Blarcum - 1,275 points 5th: Geoffrey Hum - 1,250 points 6th: Milen Stefanov - 1,200 points 7th: Kevin Albers - 1,200 points 8th: Simon Brandstrom - 1,200 points 9th: Peter Neff - 1,150 points 10th: Seth Davies - 1,100 points WPT Gardens Poker Championship Up Next Up next for the WPT Main Tour is the WPT Gardens Poker Championship at the Gardens Casino in Southern California. The $10,000 buy-in event kicks off January 9, 2020, and runs through January 13.
  8. Eric Afriat has joined the prestigious list of players to have won three World Poker Tour titles. On Sunday, Afriat took first place in the Season XVIII WPT Fallsview Main Event. He topped the field of 594 entries to win C$508,021 ($379,120) and his third WPT title. At WPT Fallsview, Afriat found himself heads up with Marc-Olivier Carpentier-Perrault. Entering heads-up play, Afriat had the lead with 13.15 million in chips to Carpentier-Perrault’s 10.625 million, according to the WPT Live Updates team. Afriat added a small bit to his lead to start and then the final hand of the tournament came on the fifth hand of heads-up play. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] On the final hand, Afriat had the [poker card="7s"][poker card="7d"] against Carpentier-Perrault’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="5c"]. Carpentier-Perrault had raised to 500,000 with the blinds at 125,000-250,000 with a 250,000 big blind ante. Afriat made it 2 million to go and Carpentier-Perrault shoved for 9.52 million total. Afriat called and his pocket sevens held on the [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Th"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2c"] board. Final Table Results 1st: Eric Afriat - C$508,021 (approx. $379,120)* 2nd: Marc-Olivier Carpentier-Perrault - C$356,180 (approx. $265,805) 3rd: Adam Hui - C$229,013 (approx. $170,905) 4th: Trung Hien Nguyen - C$163,965 (approx. $122,361) 5th: Demo Kiriopoulos - C$125,850 (approx. $93,917) 6th: Zuhair Al-Pachachi - C$103,217 (approx. $77,027) Entering the official WPT final table of six players, Adam Hui was the leader and Afriat was the smallest stack remaining. Zuhair Al-Pachachi busted in sixth place, falling to Trung Hien Nguyen. That left five players remaining and Afriat’s stack was going the wrong way. With fewer than 10 big blinds, Afriat got all in with the [poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"] against the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ad"] of Carpentier-Perrault. The situation looked grim for Afriat, but he spiked a deuce to score the double up. Not too long after he cracked Carpentier-Perrault’s aces, Afriat was back at it, cracking another player’s pocket rockets. This time it was Nguyen who had the aces to Afriat’s kings. After the money went in preflop, Afriat hit a king on the turn and secured the double up. Falling in fifth place was Demo Kiriopoulos, the defending champion of WPT Fallsiew, and he was busted by Afriat. No, Afriat didn’t crack aces this time - he actually had the best hand going in and held up. Afriat’s [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Jc"] was up against Kiriopoulos’ [poker card="Ts"][poker card="9s"] and held up on the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="7h"] run out. Kiriopoulos won the Season XVII WPT Fallsview Main Event for C$517,424 (approx. $392,059) and scored C$125,850 (approx. $93,917) this time in what was nearly a back-to-back title run. Hui then took out Nguyen in fourth place before it was Afriat who started to pull away with three players left. After Carpentier-Perrault took out Hui in third place, the heads-up duel was set. Afriat made quick work of Carpentier-Perrault and secured his third WPT title. Carpentier-Perrault finished in second place and took home C$356,180 (approx. $265,805). With the victory, Afriat joins Darren Elias, Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Chino Rheem, and Anthony Zinno as players to have won three WPT titles. Elias has actually won four and is the leader in the WPT Champions Club clubhouse. Afriat’s first WPT title came in Season XII when he won the largest WPT Main Tour event of all time, in terms of field size. That season, Afriat won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, topping a field of 1,795 entries to win $1.081 million. In Season XVI, Afriat took first place in another large-field World Poker Tour event. This time it was the 1,244-entry WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and Afriat won it for $651,928.
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