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  1. [caption width="640"] PokerStars has made major changes to its live tournament offering[/caption] The European Poker Tour is going global and at the same time, ceasing to exist altogether. PokerStars announced sweeping changes to its live poker offering on Wednesday that sees the EPT-experience expanding beyond European borders with a new name: PokerStars Live. Live events under the PokerStars banner now fall into one of two categories; the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival. Championship events, which will look and feel much like the EPT events have for the past few years, will include up to 100 tournaments in cities like Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Macau and Panama. The Main Event at each stop will be a €/$5,000 buy-in. Festival events will be much smaller in size and will last up to a week and will culminate in a Main Event buy-in of between $1,000-$1,500. Only two stops are confirmed so far, one on each side of the Atlantic. London, England is one confirmed stop with the other set to make American players happy as PokerStars brings its live tournament experience back to American soil with a Festival event scheduled for Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey October 31 - November 6. “We are committed to growing the poker market in New Jersey and part of this strategy is to help make New Jersey the poker hub of America in November,” said Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ Director of Corporate Communications. “We invite players from across the globe to pitch up in the Garden State for the best live poker experience available in the world, live and online, with the first ever NJCOOP kicking off ahead of the Festival with plenty of tournaments on offer and big prizes.” The initial schedule for PokerStars Festival New Jersey includes an $1,100 buy-in Main Event, $2,200 High Roller and a special Run It Up event featuring Jason Somerville and a number of former Survivor contestants. Along with Somerville, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jason Mercier, Chris Moneymaker and Vanessa Selbst are also scheduled to be in Atlantic City. While the New Jersey Festival is the first event under the PokerStars Live banner, the official kick off comes in January with PokerStars Championship Bahamas, formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. That event runs January 6 - 14. “We are always thinking of how to bring the best experience to players, through the variety of tournaments we sponsor, the ease of finding information, how we communicate to players and media, and the overall experience on and off the felt," said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars’ Director of Live Events. "The PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events are an enhancement of the existing PokerStars sponsored live tours, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level." PokerStars will offer extensive online qualifying options for both Championship and Festival events including the popular Spin-N-Go qualifiers that can get players into Championship level events for as little as €10. The new tour also comes with a revamped Player of the Year system. Each Championship stop will have a standalone leaderboard that awards the winner a VIP package with accommodation and a Championship Main Event buy-in for the first Championship event the following year as well as entry into an invite-only $100,000 winner-take-all tournament. The final EPT-branded event takes place in December in Prague.
  2. [caption width="640"] Sacheen Ramchandani is ready to go on Day 1B of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] It’s a little over 9,000 miles – or 14,000 kilometers – from Mumbai, India to the Atlantis Resort and Casino where the PokerStars Championship Bahamas is happening this week, but it’s a trip that Sacheen Ramchandani was more than happy to make. Ramchandani is one of the 250 players to have qualified for the Championship Main Event on PokerStars.com and is the only one from India. It’s a trip that didn’t almost happen, though. “One day I was just sitting in the house, doing nothing and I see a $27 tournament for the Bahamas. I think, it sounds good - I’m not going to win it but why not give it a shot? I gave it a shot and okay, made round 2,” said Ramchandani. The next step in the qualification process wasn’t for a few weeks. Ramchandani had a business trip planned in the mean time and came back thinking about almost anything but poker. “I came back from Singapore, it was a Sunday and I said to my maid I want to start a healthy life now, make me a soup and salad, I want to sleep and hit the gym in the morning. I totally forgot about the tournament. I had no idea that I had to play a tournament,” said Ramchandani. Just as he was dozing off, he remembered something about the date, but couldn’t recall if he had to play early morning the next day or late at night. So he dragged himself out of bed and launched the PokerStars client. “So I switched on the light, and it said I had to play in 3.5 hours and there goes my healthy lifestyle. So I ordered food because now I’ll be hungry - 3.5 hours plus the tourney,” said Ramchandani. A little over four hours later, Ramchandani was the last player standing, staring at a screen congratulating him on winning a trip the Bahamas. “I won the tourney. I was all excited and dying to tell somebody. But who could I tell? I couldn’t tell anybody because nobody is awake at that hour,” said Ramchandani. “So I took a picture of the “Congratulations you’ve won” screen and sent it to the poker group of mine and my family group and went to sleep. And next morning was totally different life.” Congratulatory text messages from friends and family are one thing, but Ramchandani is just thrilled to be living out a dream. The 35 year old has only been playing for six years and now finds himself rubbing elbows with some of his poker idols. “For me it’s like a fairy tale. That’s how history is made, I guess,” said Ramchandani. “I’m excited. I am nervous but I’m less nervous than I was thinking it would be. I guess it’s because I’ve watched so many videos - even when I’m on the treadmill in the gym, I’m only watching PokerStars videos. I’m on YouTube all the time because I want to improve my game.” Even though he’s got a successful career going selling luxury watches to high-end clientele, Ramchandani is hoping to turn his $27 shot into something much, much bigger – and we’re not just talking about the potential million dollar first place prize money. “Most importantly I want to be the reason why PokerStars (Live) comes to India,” said Ramchandani. “I want to be the thing that says if this guy can do it, you have millions of guys better than him, why don’t you go for it. Even if I cash, then I can make the final table, I feel like I’ve won the trophy already.”
  3. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney won the PokerStars Championship Monaco Super High Roller event on Saturday (PokerStars photo/Tomas Stacha)[/caption] In the era of High Roller of Super High Roller tournaments, maybe no player has enjoyed more success than American Bryn Kenney. He’s had six High Roller or Super High Roller wins, two seven-figure scores and 29 six-figure scores. On Saturday in Monaco the 31-year-old added another win and the single biggest cash of his career when he took down the PokerStars Championship Monaco €100,000 Super High Roller event. The win earned Kenney €1,784,500 ($1,944,326 US) and pushed him to 15th on the all-time earning list with just over $17.1 million. After having already won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2016, Kenney now has another prestigious title on his resume - the first for him in Monaco. "I'd never had a good trip in Monaco. It's nice to finally win the biggest tournament here," said Kenney. Nine players started the final day with only eight spots paying. Isaac Haxton busted on the bubble leaving the final eight to play and it didn’t take long for action to pick up. Just fives minutes after Haxton left empty-handed, Sam Greenwood was shown the door. Viacheslav Buldygin raised to 160,000 from UTG and Greenwood called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"], Greenwood then check-raised all in after Buldygin bet 150,000. Buldygin called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Greenwood showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] for top pair. Neither the turn or river were any help though and the Canadian was out in eighth. It took just another five minutes for Buldygin to find another victim. Buldygin raised to 160,000 from late position and Martin Kabhrel raised all in for a little over 1,000,000 from the big blind and Buldygin called. Kabhrel tabled [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] while Buldygin showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"] flop kept Buldygin ahead and neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="8c"] river were any help for Kabhrel, eliminating him in seventh. Buldygin took a back seat to Kenney for the next few bustouts. Kenney raised to 175,000 from middle position before German Steffen Sontheimer moved all in right after him for just under 1,000,000. Kenney called instantly and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] while Sontheimer found himself in trouble with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2c"] runout did nothing to help Sontheimer and he was out in sixth for €380,700 - the largest score of his career. Kenney stayed hot and ten minutes later busted another high roller regular who was on a heater of his own. Ole Schemion, who won the €10,000 High Roller earlier this week, opened to 175,000 from the cutoff before Kenney moved all in from the big blind. Schemion called and showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] while Kenney had [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"] flop kept Schemion in front. The [poker card="8d"] turn gave Kenney a gutshot straight draw and the [poker card="7c"] river filled the straight, sending Schemion out in fifth. Kenney showed no signs of slowing down after picking up those two eliminations and found himself adding another player’s entire stack to his own just over 30 minutes later. With blinds now at 50,000/100,000 (10,000), Kenney raised to 200,000 from the cutoff before David Peters moved all in from the button for 2,200,000. Kenney called and showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] after Peters tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters and neither was the [poker card="kh"] turn or [poker card="9s"] river. That hand gave Kenney almost 80% of the chips in play with just two opponents, Buldygin and Daniel Dvoress, standing in the way of the title. Kenney finally got to take a back seat ten minutes later as the other two players clashed. Buldygin moved all in from the button and Dvoress called all in from the small blind before Kenney folded. Buldygin was racing with [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"] against Dvoress’ [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"] flop didn’t directly connect for Buldygin, but he did pick up a number of extra outs. The [poker card="Ks"] turn was one of them and Buldygin eliminated Dvoress in third as the [poker card="3c"] river completed the board. When heads up play began, Kenney had 13,000,000 chips while Buldygin had just 2,250,000. Despite the huge advantage, in both chips and relative experience closing a big tournament, it wasn’t exactly an easy ride for Kenney. Finally, with Viacheslav Buldygin down to just 10 big blinds, Kenney moved all in after Buldygin attempted to limp his button. The Russian called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] against the [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] of Kenney. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"] flop put Kenney in nearly complete control and the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river sealed Kenney’s win, eliminatiing Buldygin in second place. Payouts Bryn Kenney - €1,784,500 Viacheslav Buldygin - €1,290,800 Daniel Dvoress - €832,800 David Peters - €630,600 Ole Schemion - €487,715 Steffen Sontheimer - €380,700 Martin Kabrhel - €303,350 Sam Greenwood - €237,950
  4. [caption width="640"] The ballroom at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas will be packed with poker players soon (PokerStars photo)[/caption] In just over a week the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas will begin welcoming some of poker's best as well as a number of players hoping to strike it rich. Only this year they won't be chasing down the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure title - thanks to the rebranding of all PokerStars live events under the PokerStars Live banner, players are making their way to Atlantis to play in the first ever PokerStars Championship event. There are 92 events on the PokerStars Championship Bahamas schedule this year, but we've gone ahead and picked out five events that stand out as highlights of the schedule. Event #12: PokerStars National ChampionshipThe EPT wasn't the only tournament series that was rebranded. The Latin American Poker Tour also fell under the same umbrella and the PCA schedule included an LAPT event and that's now been replaced by a $2,200 buy-in National Championship. The event is typically one of the bigger fields on the schedule. Last year Georgios Sotiropoulos topped 850 other players to win just over $300,000. Keep in mind though, winning it means you have to late reg the Main Event at the start of Day 2. Players start with 25,000 chips and levels last 45 minutes.Event #23: PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main EventThe marquee event on the schedule each year is the Main Event. This one will hold special weight as the first ever PokerStars Championship Main Event. The $5,000 buy-in event has two starting flights, one on January 8 and another January 9. In 2016 the PCA Main Event also had a $5,000 buy-in and had 928 entries when Mike Watson beat Anthony Gregg heads-up to win $728,325. Players start with 30,000 chips and levels last 75 minutes.Event #38: Limit HOSEA good chunk of the Bahamas schedule is built around No Limit Hold'em events, so finding something to give players a break from that grind wasn't easy. The $330 buy-in Limit HOSE event on January 9 gives players an affordable option and a chance at winning a Red Spade trophy against a smaller field. It's also just a single day event. Last year Christoph Strehl topped the 42 player field to win $3,720. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 20 minutes.Event #67: PokerStars CupWhile the Main Event, High Roller and Super High Roller are geared towards well-bankrolled players, there is a good selection of events for the players who might be on a budget. The PokerStars Cup has four starting flights on January 12 and 13, a $440 buy-in, and allows for one entry per flight. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 20 minutes.Event #91: Hyper Turbo, Deep Stack, $500 Knockouts, Win the ButtonIf you're looking for a bigger buy-in event with a number of different variations in it, the $2,150 buy-in event on the final day of the Championship has almost all of it. It's a hyper turbo, levels last just 10 minutes, players are awarded $500 for every knockout they get, and just to keep it interesting, it's also a Win the Button event. Players start with 20,000 chips and levels last 10 minutes.BONUS - Events #14, 19, 25, 31: PokerStars Championship Turbo QualifierTraveling all the way to the Bahamas and not having a seat into the Main Event can be a bit of a downer for some players. So PokerStars has made it easy to get in at the last minute - and on the cheap - with four different $650 buy-in turbo qualifiers running January 7-8. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 15 minutes.
  5. [caption width="680"] Sebastian Sorensson entered PSC Barcelona on a 0 satellite and turned that into over ,000,000.[/caption] The PokerStars Championship season continued at the familiar stomping grounds of Barcelona, home to many former European Poker Tour titles. The always massive and talented field played down to a final table over the course of nearly a week of play and was headlined by PokerStars Team Pro Andre Akkari along with PSC Monte Carlo Main Event champion Raffaele Sorrentino. As is the case many times in poker though, any player can win and that is what occurred as PokerStars online qualifier Sebastian Sorensson topped the field of 1,682 to win the title. It would be 21 hands before the first player hit the rail and that dubious honor went to Usman Siddique. Akkari opened to 550,000 with [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"] and Siddique shoved for 5,125,000 in the cutoff with [poker card="6h"][poker card="6d"]. Brian Kaufman reshoved for slightly more holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] and Akkari dumped his hand. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] board paired Kaufman’s king and Siddique was eliminated. Almost 80 hands later, it was Akkari’s turn to depart. Lachezar Petkov shoved the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and Akkari called for his last 15 blinds with [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"]. The [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5s"] flop put counterfeit outs in play and the [poker card="qs"] turn added to Petkov’s possibilities. The [poker card="5c"] river made Petkov’s ace-high the best hand and Akkari left the final table stage in fifth place. Shortly after Akkari busted, Kaufman followed him out the door. Kaufman moved all-in for 4,700,000 with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] and Sorensson called for most of his stack with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"]. Sorensson survived the [poker card="js"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="ts"] runout and locked up the elimination. The final three players started negotiations following Kaufman’s elimination and did a save for the remaining €100,000 in prize money. In Hand 118, Sorensson raised to 3,900,000 with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] in the small blind with the blinds at 400,000/800,000, and Sorrentino moved all in with two over cards [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"]. Sorensson called and held through the [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="jh"] board to secure the hand and bring a large advantage into heads up play. With the blinds at 800,000/1,600,000, Petkov shoved with [poker card="kc"][poker card="9h"] and Sorensson called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"] flop locked up the hand for Sorensson and he claimed the title along with €987,043 for first place. Final Table Payouts Sebastian Sorensson - €987,043* Lachezar Plamenov Petkov - €917,347* Raffaele Sorrentino - €850,110* Brian Kaufman Esposito - €402,000 Andre Akkari - €317,960 Usman Siddique - €252,000 *Denotes three-way deal
  6. [caption width="640"] Raffaele Sorrentino won the PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo Main Event on Friday (Neil Stoddart/PokerStars)[/caption] When the PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo Main Event final table kicked off on Friday afternoon, all eyes were on Andreas Klatt as he attempted to win his second event of the week. Italy’s Raffaele Sorrentino had other ideas though and eliminated the final four players, including Klatt, to grab the first major title of his career. Things got hectic quickly, as a short-stacked Diego Zeiter found a hand he wanted to go to battle with just over an hour after the final table began. After Klatt folded from UTG, Zeiter moved all in for 1,120,000 and action folded to Michael Kolkowicz on the button. He called and after both blinds folded, showed [poker card="as"][poker card="qd"] which was bad news for Zeiter who tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"][3]d flop seemingly ended early, but the [poker card="3h"] turn gave Zeiter two chop outs. The [poker card="6c"] river however wasn’t one of them and Zeiter was out in sixth. The remaining five players continued without elimination for nearly four hours before Sorrentino got busy and laid waste to everybody else in his way. Action folded to Sorrentino on the button and he raised to 330,000. Kolkowicz, who began the day as chip leader, moved all in for 1,970,000 from the small blind. Sorrentino called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"], while Kolkowicz sheepishly turned over [poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"]. The flop cam [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"] giving Sorrentino trip fives and leaving Kolkowicz hoping for running sixes or a three to complete gutshot. The [poker card="7d"] turn wa no help and neither was the [poker card="7s"] river to eliminate Kolkowicz in fifth. Just 30 minutes later, Sorrentino again raised to 330,000 from the button before Maxim Panyak raised all in for 1,900,000 from the small blind and Sorrentino called. Panyak was ahead with [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"] against Sorrentino’s [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"] flop changed that and put Sorrentino ahead. Neither the [poker card="5h"] turn or [poker card="7c"] river were enough to save Panyak from a fourth place finish. It didn’t take long for Sorrentino to find another victim. Sorrentino raised to 370,000 from the small blind and Andrey Bondar defended his big blind. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] and Sorrentino bet 425,000 and then called after Bondar raised to 1,200,000. The turn was the [poker card="6s"], Sorrentino checked, Bondar moved all in for 3,410,000 and Sorrentino called instantly. Bondar showed [poker card="jc"][poker card="8c"] for top pair but Sorrentino showed [poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"] for two pair. The river was the [poker card="9c"] to eliminate Bondar in third and send Sorrentino to heads up with a nearly 3-1 lead over Klatt. Klatt and Sorentino then decided to talk deal and after just a few minutes came to an agreement that saw Sorrentino take home €451,714 while Klatt earned €402,786, leaving €15,000 and the title to play for. Original payouts were supposed to pay €500,800 for first and €368,700 for the runner-up. After making the deal the final two players played 30 hands over a little over two hours before Sorrentino finished off his amazing run - but it took a cooler. Klatt raised to 450,000, only to have Sorrentino three-bet to 2,205,000. Klatt four-bet all in for 5,590,000 total and Sorrentino called. Klatt turned over [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] but got bad news when Sorrentino showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. The board ran out [poker card="qd"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="kd"][poker card="2d"] to eliminate Klatt in second place and give Sorrentino his first major title. Klatt, who won the PokerStars National Championship Monte-Carlo earlier in the week, now heads to Amsterdam to attempt to cash in either the WPTDeepstacks event or World Poker Tour event to win the MonteDam Swing promotion put on by both tours. FINAL TABLE PAYOUTS Raffaele Sorrentino - €451,714 Andreas Klatt - €402,786 Andrey Bondar - €271,500 Maxim Panyak - €199,900 Michael Kolkowicz - €147,120 Diego Zeiter - €108,300
  7. [caption width="640"] Kenneth Smaron took down the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event Monday (PokerStars photo)[/caption] The second PokerStars Championship Main Eventwrapped up Monday night in Panama with Kenneth Smaron navigating his way through a tough final table on his way to winning $293,860. When the final six players bagged up their chips on Sunday night, Russia’s Denis Timofeev had the chip lead and Anthony Diotte, one of two Canadians still in contention, was the shortest. Starting the final day with just 16 big blinds, Diotte was in search of a hand to push with and he found one on just the third hand. Robin Luca Wozniczek raised to 70,000 before Diotte move all in for 450,000 from the big blind. Wozniczek called and turned over [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] while Diotte had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Wozniczek bottom set and all but sealed Diotte’s fate. The [poker card="ac"] turn was no help and the [poker card="8c"] river was a formality as Diotte was sent packing in sixth. Despite the momentum that came with picking up that elimination, Wozniczek was the next to go, a little over 90 minutes later. Jonathan Abdellatif raised to 100,000 from UTG and Wozniczek and Timofeev called from the small and big blinds respectively. The flop was [poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"] and both Wozniczek and Timofeev checked, allowing Abdellatif to bet 160,000. Wozniczek raised to 380,000 and Timofeev folded. Abdellatif moved all in for 1,760,000 and Wozniczek called all in. Abdellatif turned up [poker card="9h"][poker card="7h"] for a flush draw and double-gutter while Wozniczek turned over [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"] for top pair and a better flush draw. The [poker card="jc"] turn changed nothing but the [poker card="4s"] river gave Abdellatif a straight to eliminate Wozniczek. However, almost two hours later Abdellatif suffered the same fate. Smaron opened to 125,00 from the button and Abdellatif called from the big blind. The flop was [poker card="ad"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"], Abdellatif check-raised to 650,000 after Smaron bet 100,000. Smaron called and showed down [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"] for top pair while Abdellatif had a flush draw with [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="8c"] turn and [poker card="8h"] river failed to complete that draw and he was out in fourth. It took over four hours and 101 hands to go from three-handed to heads-up. Smaron raised to 160,000 from the button before Timofeev re-raised to 475,000 from the small blind. Smaron eventually four-bet to 1,100,000, Timofeev moved all in for 2,910,000 and Smaron called. Timofeev showed [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] and Smaron was racing with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4s"] flop kept Timofeev ahead. The [poker card="2c"] turn did too but gave Smaron wheel outs. The [poker card="3c"] river gave Smaron a runner-runner straight and eliminated Timofeev in third. Smaron started heads up play with the chip lead and needed only nine hands to finish off Harpreet Gill. On the final hand Gill limped his button, Smaron raised to 350,000 and Gill moved all in for 2,615,000. After some delibieration, Smaron called and tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] and Gill showed [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"][poker card="9h"] flop kept Smaron firmly ahead. The [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="5s"] rier changed nothing, eliminating Gill, who started the day with the second smallest stack, in second place and giving Smaron the Championship. The next PokerStars Championship event is scheduled for March 30 - April 9, 2017 at the City of Dreams in Macau. Final Table Payouts Kenneth Smaron - $293,860 Harpreet Gill - $217,860 Denis Timofeev - $161,340 Jonathan Abdellatif - $119,480 Robin Luca Wozniczek - $88,480 Anthony Diotte - $65,520 James Salmon - $48,520 Byron Kaverman - $35,920
  8. [caption width="640"] Igor Kurganov was a superstar at work at the PSC Barcelona High Roller final table Monday (PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] At a star-studded final table in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona High Roller on Monday, nobody shone brighter than Igor Kurganov. The Team PokerStars Pro eliminated six of the final eight players in his way to pick up seven-figure score and his first live high roller win since last October. Daniel Negreanu started the final table with a middle of the pack stack but couldn’t win the races he needed to stay alive. Negreanu lost an all-in preflop battle with Dietrich Fast when his [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"] couldn’t beat Fast’s [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] and was left with just 45,000. He was eliminated on the next hand by Kurganov. Down to just eight players, Kurganov went back to work. Kurganov raised to 175,000, Koray Aldemir called but Stanley Choi moved all in from the big blind for 1,305,000. Kurganov called and Aldemir folded. Choi showed [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] while Kurganov tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="5c"] to give Kurganov a pair of aces and eliminate Choi in eighth. Just five minutes later action folded to Bryn Kenney in the small blind and he moved all in for 860,000. Christopher Kruk called from the small blind and showed [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] while Kenney was behind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4c"] flop kept Kruk ahead and neither the [poker card="8s"] turn, or [poker card="5c"] river offered Kenney any help and he was eliminated in seventh place. Kruk’s run lasted only one hour longer. Kruk moved all in from the button for 1,600,000 and Kurganov called from the big blind. Kruk showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"] but found himself trailing Kurganov’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="5h"]. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="ac"] to eliminate Kruk in sixth place. The next elimination came just a few hands later. Ivan Luca moved all in for 1,300,000 and Aldemir called. Luca got bad news after he tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="9c"] and found himself dominated by Aldemir’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"]. The flop was [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2h"], leaving Aldemir ahead, as did the [poker card="6c"] turn and [poker card="ad"] river to send Luca out in fifth. It took almost 90 minutes before the next elimination happened, and once again it was Kurganov conducting things. Kurganov raised to 260,000 before Fast moved all in from the small blind for 1,500,000. Kurganov called instantly and showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="jh"] which put him well ahead of Fast’s [poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"]. The board ran out with no relief for Fast and he was eliminated in fourth. An hour after that, Kurganov did it again. Bartlomiej Machon folded his button, Kurganov raised to 360,000 from the small blind before Aldemir moved all in for 4,500,000 from the big blind. Kurganov snap-called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"] while Aldemir was behind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4d"] flop kept Kurganov. So did the [poker card="9c"] turn. The [poker card="as"] turn was simply icing on the cake for Kurganov, while Aldemir was out in third. Heads-up play began with talk of a deal between Kurganov and Machon. It didn’t take long for the two to come to an agreement. After that, it took just 30 minutes for Kurganov to pick up his sixth and final elimination of the final table. The final hand of the night saw Machon move all in with [poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"] only to have Kurganov find [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] for an easy call. Machon was unable to improve and was eliminated in second, giving Kurganov the title and over €1,000,000. Final Table Payouts Igor Kurganov - €1,078,106* Bartlomiej Machon - €864,694* Koray Aldemir - €528,500 Dietrich Fast - €406,790 Ivan Luca - €322,100 Christopher Kruk - €251,900 Bryn Kenney - €198,200 Stanley Choi - €154,900 Daniel Negreanu - €117,700
  9. [caption width="640"] Steve O'Dwyer beat Sam Greenwood heads-up to win the PokerStars Championship Panama K High Roller (PokerStars photo)[/caption] Steve O’Dwyer has proven himself to be one of the best poker players in the world over the last 10 years, but he’s shown a real propensity to shine brightest in High Roller events. That was on display again Monday in Panama as O’Dwyer outlasted a talented group of players to win the PokerStars Championship Panama $10K High Roller and $240,451. Just five players remained at the start of the day and the short stack when action re-started was Brazil’s Felipe Ramos. It didn’t take him long to find a spot to get his chips but he ended running into the ultimate cooler. Ramos moved all in from the cutoff and Francois Billard called from the big blind. Ramos turned over [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] but got the bad news when Billard showed him [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"]. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="9h"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Ramos in fifth. It took almost 4.5 hours before the next player was sent packing. Former #1-ranked player Chris Hunichen raised to 125,000 from the button before Billard move all in from the big blind. Hunichen called and was ahead with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"] against Billard’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="9h"][poker card="2c"] flop kept Hunichen in control as did the [poker card="js"] turn, but the [poker card="qs"] river gave Billard a bigger pair and eliminated Hunichen. Just 20 minutes later, Billard followed Hunichen to the cashier. O’Dwyer raised from the button to 115,000 before Billard re-raised to 285,000 from the big blind. O’Dwyer moved all in and Billard called off his remaining stack. O’Dwyer showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] and Billard was racing once again with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"] to eliminate Billard. Heads-up play began with O’Dwyer holding a 4-1 chip lead over Sam Greenwood. After just a few hands of action Greenwood had nearly evened the counts when the two players began talking about a chop. The pair eventually agreed to a deal that gave O’Dwyer $213,862 and Greenwood $223,149, leaving $8,589 to play for. Post-deal play lasted just over 20 minutes before O’Dwyer elminated Greenwood. O’Dwyer raised to 130,000 and Greenwood called. After the [poker card="7d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2h"] flop, Greenwood checked, O’Dwyer bet 140,000 and Greenwood made it 400,000 to go. O’Dwyer eventually announced he was all in and Greenwood called. O’Dwyer showed [poker card="5s"][poker card="4s"] and Greenwood was ahead with [poker card="qc"][poker card="3s"]. The turn was the [poker card="4h"] putting O’Dwyer ahead and when the [poker card="th"] fell on the river, Greenwood was out and O’Dwyer picked up another high roller win. Final Table Payouts Steve O’Dwyer - $240,451* Sam Greenwood - $223,149* Francois Billard - $123,780 Chris Hunichen - $100,300 Felipe Ramos - $80,560 Anthony Zinno - $62,690 Damian Salas - $49,620 Sam Chartier - $37,880 *reflects deal made heads up.
  10. [caption width="640"] Kalidou Sow won his first major title Monday in Prague, taking down the PokerStars Championship Prague event (Neil Stoddart/PokerStars photo)[/caption] This time last year, people were talking about the end of the European Poker Tour. Following last week's announcement that the EPT was back, there was hardly any fan fare in what will undoubtedly be the final PokerStars Champsionship event, PSC Prague. The final table of the €5,300 Main Event included some trash talk, a deal and eventually, a new champion. Kalidou Sow defeated Jason Wheeler heads up to win €685,000 ($807,899). It took only one hour to go from six players to five. Down to just nine big blinds, Colin Robinson moved all in for 940,000 and Kalidou Sow called. Robinson turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="7c"] while Sow was ahead with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"]. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="as"] to give Sow a turned set and eliminate Robinson in sixth. Five hands later Wheeler picked up his first elimination of the final table. Action folded to Wheeler in the small blind and he moved all in. Harry Lodge called from the big blind only to find out he was dominated. Wheeler had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"] and Lodge was behind with [poker card="as"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="9s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="7h"] flop gave Lodge a flush draw but neither the [poker card="8c"] turn or [poker card="qh"] river were any help and Lodge was out in fifth. One hour later, Wheeler picked up another victim. Wheeler raised to 230,000 from UTG, Sow call from the button and Gabriele Lepore defended his big blind. After the [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop, Lepore and Sow checked to Wheeler who bet 330,000. Sow folded before Lepore moved all in for 1,960,000. Wheeler called and tabled [poker card="5d"][poker card="5s"] while Lepore showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="7d"]. The turn was the [poker card="4c"] and the river was the [poker card="tc"] to miss all of Lepore's draws and eliminate him in fourth place. Three-handed play carried on for two hours with Wheeler holding more than half of the chips in play when he found himself clashing with Sow. Wheeler raised to 335,000 from the small blind and Sow defended his big. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"]. Wheeler bet 350,000 and Sow called. The turn was the [poker card="kd"] and Wheeler bet 700,000. Sow responded with a raise to 1,555,000 and Wheeler moved all in. Sow called and tabled [poker card="qs"][poker card="jd"] for the nut straight while Wheeler showed [poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"] for the bottom end of the straight. The river was the [poker card="9s"] and Sow doubled up to nearly 14.5 million - roughly 60% of the chips in play. There was yet another hour-long gap between eliminations and once again it was Wheeler doing the heavy lifting. Sou raised to 240,000 from the button, Michal Mrakes moved all in for 1,815,000 from the small blind and Wheeler called from the big blind. Sow folded. Mrakes flipped over [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] while Wheeler showed [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"] flop moved Mrakes ahead. THe [poker card="3h"] turn gave Wheeler a flush draw but it was the [poker card="6d"] on the river that gave Wheeler the pot and sent Mrakes to the rail. Heads-up play began with Sow holding 55% of the chips in play and after a short break the two agreed to a deal largely dictated by Wheeler. Each player guaranteed themselves €570,000 as the cruz of the chop agreement, with €105,000 left to play for. It took only 19 hands for Sow to eliminate Wheeler and pick up the additional €105,000. Wheeler raised from the button to 425,000 and Kalidou re-raised to 1,375,000. Wheeler responded by moving all in for 6,035,000 total and after taking a minute to think about it, Sow called. Wheeler showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and Sow tabled [poker card="td"][poker card="th"]. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="kh"] to give Sow the pot and the first major win of his career. Final Table Payouts Kalidou Sow - €675,000 Jason Wheeler - €570,000 Michal Mrakes - €332,000 Gabriele Lepore - €249,000 Harry Lodge - €196,000 Colin Robinson - €147,000

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