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  1. 42-year-old Erkut Yilmaz started the final table of the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open with the chip lead and over the course of six hours of play fought off TK Miles to add his name to the WPT Champions Cup while picking up a $575,112 payday. Anthony Maio, the top-ranked online poker player in Pennsylvania, made the final table with just nine big blinds and got the chance to play just 11 hands. Down to just six big blinds, Maio moved all in from UTG with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] only to have Austin Wentling wake up in the big blind with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. Maio got no assistance from the [poker card="ts"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="th"] runout and was eliminated in sixth for $121,697. Liam He had the second shortest stack when the final table began on Friday night and managed to outlast just Maio. Action folded to Aleg Shnaider in the small blind and he raised to 400,000 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"] before He moved all in from the big blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"] and Shnaider called. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"][poker card="js"] flop put Shnaider way ahead and he stayed there through the [poker card="5d"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river to elimiante He in fifth place. From UTG, Miles raised to 500,000 before Wentling moved all in for 1,725,00 from the button. Yilmaz defended his big blind and Miles called. Yilmaz and Miles then checked through the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="as"] runout before Miles tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] to force Yilmaz to muck his hand. Wentling turned over [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] and was eliminated in fourth place for $211,562. Shnaider and Yilmaz battled 15 hands later in a blind vs. blind spot that spelled the end for Shnaider. Miles raised to 500,000 from the button, Shnaider moved all in for 6,000,000 from the small blind and Yilmaz called from the big blind. Miles folded and Shnaider got bad news when he showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"] and found himself up against Yilmaz's [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3c"] flop gave Shnaider some outs to a chop but the [poker card="6c"] turn and [poker card="5c"] river both fialed to help him out and he was eliminated in third place. Yilmaz began heads up play with almost 60% of the chips in play but he and Miles traded the chip lead back and forth over the next 55 hands before Yilmaz finally eliminated Miles. Miles completed his bet and Yilmaz checked to go to a flop of [poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3s"]. Yilmaz checked to Miles who bet 800,000 and Yilmaz check-raised all in forcing Miles to a decision for his tournament life. Miles called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="5s"] for top pair while Yilmaz tabled [poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] for bottom pair and an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="6h"] turn gave Yilmaz two pair and Miles was eliminated in second when the [poker card="4h"] river failed to improve his hand. Final Table Payouts Erkut Yilmaz - $575,112 TK Miles - $383,399 Oleg Shnaider - $283,341 Austin Wentling - $211,562 Liam He - $159,616 Anthony Maio - $121,697 Notable finishers Just days after winning the 2018 Poker Masters Purple Jacket, Ali Imsirovic finished ninth ($57,510) while PokerStars Ambassador Maria Konnikova finished 20th ($24,695). Other well known players to finish in the money include Alex Fitzgerald (39th - $14,769), Jared Griener (84th - $7,309), Joe McKeehen (89th - $7,309), Daniel Weinman (100th - $6,393), Ryan D'Angelo (101st - $6,393), Jared Jaffee (117th - $6,097), Anthony Zinno (130th - $6,097) and Darren Elias (131st - $6,097). Next WPT Stop The next World Poker Tour stop actually began on Friday in Hanover, MD. The WPT Maryland At LIVE! Casino runs September 21 - 25 and has a $3,500 buy-in.
  2. 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.
  3. The World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder stop in Lincoln, California wrapped up on Tuesday with former Sacramento resident Erkut Yilmaz pulling off the incredible feat of winning his second WPT Main Tour stop in the same season. Now a Philadelphia resident, Yilmaz took down the WPT Borgata Poker Open in September, taking home a career-high cash of $575,112 in the process. Now, after navigating through the field of 280 runners at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, and eventually defeating Jim Collopy in a grueling heads-up battle, he's become a two-time WPT champion and takes home $303,920 for the victory. Before he could celebrate his Sacramento homecoming, Yilmaz would have to face an incredibly stacked final table that included Season 13 WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno and WPT Champions Club member Dylan Linde. North Carolina business owner Jerry Robinson was at his first World Poker Tour final table when he looked down at [poker card="ah"][poker card="ad"] and put in a raise from the hijack. Ajay Chabra defended his big blind with the dominated [poker card="ac"][poker card="3c"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] and Chabra checked it over to Robinson who bet. Chabra put in a healthy check-raise and Robinson moved all in with his tournament on the line. With the nut flush draw, Chabra made the call. The turn was the [poker card="6s"] giving Chabra an open-ended straight draw to go along with his flush draw. The river fell the [poker card="7h"], bringing in the runner-runner straight for Chabra and sending Robinson to the rail having his aces cracked. Robinson picked up $50,720 for a new career-high cash. Anthony Zinno started the day as the short stack and was able to find a double up which helped him ladder the payouts. However, he wasn’t long for the final table after a clash with Collopy. Zinno raised from the cutoff with [poker card="kh"][poker card="kc"] and both Collopy and Chabra made the call from the button and big blind respectively. The flop fell [poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"] and when checked to him, Zinno put out a bet. Collopy made the call and Chabra folded. The turn was the [poker card="jd"] and Zinno open-shoved the rest of his stack. Collopy made the call and flipped over the [poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] for the flush and Zinno was drawing dead to the [poker card="2h"] river. Zinno fell in fifth place and the three-time WPT champ earned $68,860 in the process. Dylan Linde was the next to move when he shipped his roughly 15 big blind stack from the small blind holding the [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"]. He was quickly called by Collopy in the big blind holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="9h"][poker card="4c"] flop was good for Linde who improved to a pair, leaving Collopy with the three aces as outs as well as running straight or flush cards. The turn was the [poker card="8h"] bringing in some backdoor possibilities for Collopy. The [poker card="as"] spiked on the river for Collopy which sent Linde out the door in fourth place for $95,530. The remaining players battled three-handed for the better part of three hours until an all in preflop clash sent the next player to the rail. Chabra limped the button holding [poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"]. From the small blind, Collopy put in a raise with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] and Yilmaz folded the big blind. Chabra then three-bet jammed his remaining stack only to get snap called by Collopy. With the cards on their backs, the players saw a flop of [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="7c"], giving Collopy top pair and leaving Chabra looking for some serious help. The turn was the [poker card="3d"], leaving Chabra looking for a five to survive. The river was the [poker card="9s"], marking the end of the tournament for Chabra, who, settled for third place and a six-figure payday of $130,345. Collopy held a commanding lead for most of the first part of the heads up match and had multiple shots at closing it out, only to lose back-to-back crucial flips to Yilmaz. The duo trades blows for well over two hours, with both players having their opponent on the verge of elimination only for the other to spike the card they needed to stay alive. Finally, with the chip lead, Collopy raised from the button with [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] and Yilmaz shipped his [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"] on the button. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"][poker card="th"] flop put Yilmaz in the lead but left Collopy with outs. The turn was the [poker card="9d"] adding an open ender for Collopy, but the river was the [poker card="qd"] giving the hand to Yilmaz. After the chips were placed in Yilmaz' stack, he held 95% of the chips in play. On the very next hand, the pair put the chips in the middle again with Yilmaz spiking an ace on the river to complete the feat of winning two titles in a single season. Collopy was eliminated in second place, receiving $200,780 as a consolation. The score sends his lifetime recorded earnings north of $2 million. Yilmaz earned the $303,920 first-place prize, a new Hublot watch, and an extra $15,000 in lieu of a ticket to the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions, as he has already won a seat to that tournament earlier in the season. With the victory, Yilmaz takes the lead in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. WPT Rolling Thunder Final Table Payouts 1. Erkut Yilmaz - $303,920 2. Jim Collopy - $200,780 3. Ajay Chabra - $130,345 4. Dylan Linde - $95,350 5. Anthony Zinno - $68,860 6. Jerry Robinson - $50,720
  4. The World Poker Tour crowned four champions this week, with three coming from the WPT's delayed final tables that took place in Las Vegas and another one coming in Northern California. The conclusion of these four events cause a lot of shakeup in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings, and it's now two-time WPT champion Erkut Yilmaz as the frontrunner with only a handful of events to go. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Top 10 1. Erkut Yilmaz - 2,300 points 2. Dylan Linde - 2,000 points 3. Ping Liu - 1,900 points 4. Tony Ruberto - 1,850 points 5. Jake Schwartz - 1,725 points 6. Tony Tran - 1,500 points 7. David Baker - 1,400 points 8. Vinicius Lima - 1,400 points 9. Steve Sung - 1,400 points 10. Ray Qartomy - 1,350 points Yilmaz moved to 2,300 points and into the Hublot WPT Player of the Year lead after he won his second title of the season. Yilmaz won WPT Rolling Thunder in Lincoln, California, for $303,920 and 1,000 points. He defeated a field of 280 entries to win. Earlier in the season, Yilmaz topped a field of 1,075 entries in the WPT Borgata Poker Open to win $575,112 and 1,200 points. Now currently in second place is another player who just had a chance to win his second title of Season XVII, Dylan Linde. Linde won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December for $1.631 million and 1,400 points. At the WPT Rolling Thunder event that Yilmaz won, Linde finished fourth for $95,350 and 600 points. Entering the recent log jam in the WPT schedule, Ping Liu was in front with 1,900 points. Liu hasn't won a WPT event in Season XVII, though, and was on top thanks to his six cashes and two final tables. After the happenings over the past few days, Liu is now third in the race. Rounding out the top five are currently Tony Ruberto and Jake Schwartz. Ruberto had a great start to the season, with a fourth-place finish at WPT Choctaw and a victory at WPT Maryland, but he's only managed one cash since then. Schwartz has come on nicely in the second half of Season XVII, posting second- and fourth-place finishes at WPT bestbet and WPT Fallsview recently, and then he took 14th at WPT Rolling Thunder. In addition to Yilmaz, David Baker, Vinicius Lima, and Frank Stepuchin won WPT titles this week. Baker won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $1.015 million, Lima won the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $728,430, and Stepuchin won the WPT Gardens Poker Championship for $548,825. Baker is now seventh with 1,400 points, Lima is eighth with 1,400 points, and Stepuchin is 12th with 1,300 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. There is a tiebreaker for players who have the same amount of points. In those cases, the player with the most money won in the current season takes the better position. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  5. The final table of the World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder stop was not hurting for storylines before play began on Tuesday afternoon. Defending champion Erkut Yilmaz had a shot at going back-to-back. Jake Schwartz had another shot at his first WPT title at his sixth final table. Robert Heidorn, who bubbled the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table, was hoping for a small piece of redemption. Tony Tran was hoping to win his second WPT title in just over 18 months. One of those came true, but it came with a twist that M. Night Shyamalan would have been proud of. [ptable zone=“888poker”][ptable zone=“Party Poker NJ”][ptable zone=“Global Poker Article Ad”] When Tran won his first WPT title at the bestbet Bounty Scramble in October 2018, he finished it off by beating Schwartz heads-up. Tuesday night he got heads-up with Schwartz again and once again he beat him. It was the first time in WPT history that the final two players in an event had already battled heads-up in another tournament. Tran started the final table with the shortest stack, but Shankar Pillai was right there with him. Neither player was able to gain much traction until the two players clashed in an all-in preflop pot. Tran opened from the hijack to 65,000 and Yilmaz called from the cutoff. Down to just 19 big blinds, Pillai moved all-in for 565,000 before Tran moved all-in for 655,000 forcing Yilmaz to fold. Pillai turned over [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] which put him well behind Tran's [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"] to send Pillai out in sixth place and nearly double Tran's stack. Tran continued to build and doubled through Yilmaz. Another 19 hands after that, Tran sent the defending champion to the rail. Action folded to Tran in the small blind and he moved all in with [poker card="8d"][poker card="7d"] before Yilmaz called off his last nine big blinds with [poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="kd"] to give Tran a pair of sevens to eliminate Yilmaz in fifth. Four-handed play continued for 51 hands without an elimination before Tran found yet another victim. Kevin Rabichow moved all-in from the button for 1,175,000 and Tran called from the big blind. Rabichow showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="4c"] before Tran turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"] flop cut Rabichow's chances down even further. The [poker card="9c"] turn gave him an extra out but the [poker card="jd"] river finished him off for good in fourth. Just a few moments later, Tran once again ended another player's run. Heirdon moved all-in for 1,625,000 and Tran called from the big blind. Heirdon showed [poker card="2d"][poker card="2h"] but was behind Tran's [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"]. Heirdon found no help through the [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4d"] runout and was eliminated in third. Thanks to his work eliminating the other four opponentns, Tran began heads-up play with a nearly 4-1 chip lead over Schwartz. It took 30 hands for Tran to finish Schwartz off to win his second WPT title. On the final hand, Tran raised to 250,000 before Schwartz moved all-in for 1,350,000 and Tran called. Schwartz showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="th"] but found himself dominated by Tran's [poker card="qc"][poker card="ts"]. Tran made gin on the [poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8c"] flop and Schwartz was unable to catch any of the three remaining queens to stay alive and was eliminated, giving Tran another WPT title and $279,270 including a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions in late May. WPT Rolling Thunder Final Table Payouts Tony Tran - $279,270 Jake Schwartz - $177,680 Robert Heidorn - $122,105 Kevin Rabichow - $85,800 Erkut Yilmaz - $61,685 Shankar Pillai - $45,390
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