Archive for the ‘Poker Tournaments’ Category

How Much Longer can the Rio Host the WSOP?

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

rio-casino-host-wsopThe Rio has hosted the World Series of Poker since 2005. This famed Vegas casino has seen some of the biggest moments in WSOP history, including Jamie Gold’s record $12 million Main Event victory.

Of course, the WSOP doesn’t have to be held at the Rio. Caesars Entertainment could move it to one of their other Vegas properties.

In fact, Caesars may consider doing so in the near future due to one big reason.

The Rio Isn’t What It Once Was

Binion’s Horseshoe casino was the previous home to the WSOP. It hosted the world’s largest poker tournament event from 1970 to 2004.

Many can look fondly back on Binion’s and its classic atmosphere. There couldn’t be have been a more-iconic place to host the event.

Unfortunately, Binion’s was no long suitable once poker and the WSOP boomed starting in 2003. Suddenly, tens of thousands of players descended upon Sin City for this poker event.

The WSOP was forced to relocate after two years spent in the cramped Binion’s, which is now shuttered. They found their new home in the much-larger Rio.

The Rio is still adequate in terms of size all these years later. However, its facilities aren’t quite on par with some of the newer Vegas casinos.

Players have been complaining about poor WiFi, a leaky roof, issues with bathrooms, and the drafty Amazon room for the past several years.

Of course, poker players are known for complaining the loudest among any gamblers. But they do have some good points about the Rio.

Where Else can the WSOP Be Held?

Caesars owns plenty of other casinos throughout Sin City. Of course, not all of them are big enough to accommodate the WSOP.

Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Paris, and Planet Hollywood are all fairly large casinos. Caesars is especially intriguing, because it features a conference center opening in 2020 that will span 550,000 square feet.

Of course, the Rio has certain elements that make it perfect for the WSOP. It has a spacious parking lot that ensures both players and railbirds can find a spot. Perhaps some renovations could do the trick and keep the Rio a viable spot for this annual event.

2019 WSOP to Feature 9 Online Bracelet Events

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

wsop-online-braceletsThe World Series of Poker ran its first-ever online bracelet event in 2015. Things have come a long way since then, because the WSOP is set to run nine internet tournaments this year.

This influx of 2019 WSOP online bracelet events might seem a little surprising. After all, the series has become famous for its live action.

However, the world’s largest poker tournament event is simply trying to better showcase their Nevada-based internet poker room.

They’re also trying to cater to players’ requests over the last few years. The online bracelet tournaments have been very popular so far.

2019 WSOP Online Tournament Schedule

Sunday is traditionally online poker’s biggest day in terms of traffic. The WSOP is keeping with this tradition by hosting one bracelet tourney on every Sunday from June 2 to July 14.

The only exceptions include two tournaments on June 19 and July 3, which are both Wednesdays. Every internet event will start at 3:30pm PT.

Other Details on 2019 WSOP Online Events

One selling point to the online tourneys is that they’ll be pretty affordable for the average player.

Only three out of the nine events will feature a buy-in worth over $1,000. Those seeking a cheaper alternative to the land-based Rio tournaments will appreciate these buy-ins.

History of WSOP Online Tournaments

The history of internet WSOP tournaments dates back to 2015 and ’16, when only two such events ran. These tourneys were special, because the final tables were actually featured live at the Rio.

However, some players only traveled across the Nevada border specifically for the online tourneys. Certain players who made the final tables were then forced to travel a few more hours just to finish their respective event at the Rio. The WSOP heard the complaints and have decided to make each of this year’s internet events strictly online.

Last year featured four online bracelet tournaments. In 2019, WSOP officials have decided to more than double this number to nine tourneys.

Scott Wellenbach Donates $671k in Poker Winnings to Charity

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

scott-wellenbach-pokerIt’s not uncommon for successful poker players to donate a portion of their winnings to charity. But Scott Wellenbach has taken things to a new level after donating his entire $671,240 payout from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).

Wellenbach, a devout Buddhist from Nova Scotia, scooped this payout after finishing third in the 2019 PCA Main Event. This is quite an act of kindness when considering that the $671k prize represents over 85% of his career winnings.

Why Did Wellenbach Donate All of His Poker Winnings?

Poker is sometimes looked down upon for its predatory nature. Skilled players hunt fish in hopes of making profits. Wellenbach discussed this subject with CBC News last year.

“A significant amount of your money is won from people who are too addicted, too drunk, too unstudied or too masochistic to play well – and we all have those features within us.

“In any case, I feel there’s a tension about winning money under those circumstances and I guess I rationalize my addiction by giving away the winnings, saying, ‘Well, at least I’m doing good things with it.'”

The amateur poker player added that he hopes the money will make a difference.

“I hope that somehow a wise decision happens and the money goes to good purposes and certain human beings or other sentient beings, animals or whatever, beings with feelings, [so] that their lives are eased in some way.”

Wellenbach Is a Big Practitioner of Buddhism

As mentioned before, Wellenbach is very in tune with the Buddhist religion. He translates the religion’s teachings from Tibetan and Sanskrit when he’s not playing poker.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the 67-year-old’s poker donations go towards Buddhist nuns in Tibet and Nepal. They also go to Doctors Without Borders.

Wellenbach spends an hour per day meditating. He ramps up his meditation habit during tournaments, so that he can maintain discipline during each event.

Biggest Poker Buy-in Ever will Be Featured at Triton Poker Series

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

2019-triton-poker-super-seriesThe poker world has seen some huge buy-ins over the years. But the 2019 Triton Poker Super Series promises to feature the largest buy-in yet (see teaser below).

The exact buy-in of the 2019 Triton Poker Super Series remains to be seen. However, it’ll likely be at least worth US$2 million.

The current record is a €1 million entry fee, which was featured at the 2016 Big One for One Drop tournament in Monte Carlo. Elton Tsang won this event along with an €11,111,111 ($12,248,912) payout.

The 2018 WSOP Big One for One Drop featured a $1 million buy-in. Justin Bonomo collected $10 million after taking down this event.

How High Could the Triton Poker Super Series Buy-in Go?

Again, $2 million seems to be a “reasonable” amount when predicting the Super Series’ buy-in. However, it’s possible that Triton could ask for anywhere from a $3 million to $5 million entry fee.

It’s hard to see this happening, given that it would thin the available field. But we can’t really rule out anything at this point, considering that Triton has only hinted at featuring the largest-ever buy-in.

We may not officially know until the series nears closer. It’s scheduled to run from March 2-9 in Jeju, South Korea.

Which Pros Will Play in the 2019 Triton Poker Super Series?

Jason Koon just signed a deal with Triton, so he’ll likely be one of the participants in the super high roller tournament. As for the rest, we’re left to guess among the usual high rollers.

Patrik Antonius, Dan Cates, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivy, Paul Phua, and Brian Rast are all possibilities. Each has competed in big high rollers in the past and will likely be looking to do the same in Jeju.

Assuming the Triton Super High Roller Series buy-in is at least $2 million, then most/every pro will secure backing. They have a couple of months to get their funds together before the event begins in early March.

David Chino Rheem Wins 2019 PCA Main Event

Friday, January 18th, 2019

david-chino-rheem-pokerDavid Chino Rheem has emerged victorious at the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. Rheem triumphed over a 623-player field to win the $1,567,100 top payout.

This represents another victory in Rheem’s illustrious — albeit controversial — poker career. The first-place prize pushes Rheem’s live tournament winnings to $10,513,973.

Recap of Rheem’s Victory

Chino played well from start to finish. He reached the final table with the chip lead at 7.55 million. Scott Wellenbach, a 67-year-old amateur player, was in second with just over 6 million chips.

The final table was relatively uneventful for nearly 100 hands. But an elimination finally occurred when Brian Altman shoved with A-3 suited, only to be called by Rheem and his pocket queens. The board was no help to Altman, who exited in sixth place.

Rheem also provided the next elimination, when he called Vicent Bosca’s (A-J) shove with 5-3. The board gave Rheem a two pair, which was good enough to beat Bosca.

Paul Veksler was the next to go in fourth place. He went all-in with A-Q, but couldn’t get the help he needed to beat Chino’s pocket sixes.

Wellenbach, who donated his winnings to charity, busted out in third. His K-Q took the lead on the flop, only to see Rheem river a straight and win the hand.

Thanks to all of his eliminations, Chino carried a 5:1 chip lead over Strelitz in heads-up play. He only needed seven hands to end the matchup and win the tournament.

Rheem has sometimes butted heads with fellow pros over the years. But he’s continued grinding and furthering his poker career. This latest victory should pad his bankroll and help Rheem continue excelling in the poker world.

2019 PCA Main Event Final Table Results

1. David “Chino” Rheem, $1,567,100
2. Daniel Strelitz, $951,480
3. Scott Wellenbach, $671,240
4. Pavel Veksler, $503,440
5. Vicent Bosca, $396,880
6. Brian Altman, $297,020

Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl V and $3.67 Million

Friday, December 21st, 2018

Isaac Haxton has won the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl V and a $3,672,000 prize. Afterward, Haxton spoke about how great it is to take down a poker tournament — especially one with this big of a prize.

“There is no feeling like ending up with all the chips,” said Haxton.

“I don’t think that really changes anything about the poker player that I am and my legacy or anything like that. But, damn it feels good to win a tournament.”

Recap of the Super High Roller Bowl V

The Super High Roller Bowl V was held Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. 36 players made the trip to the Aria and paid the enormous $300,000 buy-in. This created a prize pool worth $10.8 million.

Some of the early bustouts included notables like Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, and Phil Hellmuth. The bubble boy was Mikita Badziakouski, going out in eighth place on Day 2.

The seven final table participants returned on Day 3 to compete for the $10,800,000 in prizes. Britain’s Stephen Chidwick held the chip lead, but Haxton still felt confident going into the final day.

“I came in with nearly a quarter of the chips in play, maybe 23 percent or so,” Haxton explained. “I had good position on the other chip leader, and it was a table where I felt confident.

“Obviously, I had 23 percent of the chips in play, so maybe if I’m the best player in the world I’d win 26 percent of the time. So I feel pretty lucky that things ended up the way they did.”

Haxton had a good start to Day 3, eliminating Ali Imsirovic in seventh place. Igor Kurganov and Adrian Mateos went out in sixth and fifth place, respectively.

This opened the way for Haxton (pocket 9’s) to knock out Talal Shakerchi (AT) in fourth. He was also able to eliminate Chidwick (AQ) in third place with his pocket jacks.

Super High Roller Bowl V Heads Up

Alex Foxen had 5.84 million chips compared to Haxton’s 4.97 million entering heads-up play. But a huge turning point is when Haxton won a big pot over Foxen (AJ) with his pocket 8’s.

From here, he jumped out to a 7:1 chip advantage and never looked back. The final hand saw Foxen go all-in with A-8. Haxton called with K-J and the race was on.

The flop came out A-Q-6, which put Foxen in the lead. However, a king and jack on the turn and river, respectively, gave Haxton a two pair and the win.

Super High Roller Bowl V Final Table Results

1. Isaac Haxton – $3,672,000
2. Alex Foxen – $2,160,000
3. Stephen Chidwick – $1,512,000
4. Talal Shakerchi – $1,188,000
5. Adrian Mateos – $972,000
6. Igor Kurganov – $756,000
7. Ali Imsirovic – $540,000

Justin Lapka Accused of Having Too Many Chips to Start WSOP Circuit Event

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

justin-lapka-pokerPoker player Shawn Daniels hurled serious accusations at fellow player Justin Lapka via Twitter. Daniels tweeted that Lapka started WSOP Circuit Event #5 — a $600 NL hold’em Double Stack event — with too many chips.

He explained how Justin Lapka registered late and had the liberty of beginning with an extra 5,000 chips. Players were supposed to start off with 40,000 chips. What’s worse is that it appears Lapka realized it and wasn’t going to do anything about the situation.

Daniels Gets Personal

Daniels jumped on Twitter to warn other players about Lapka and to “pay close attention” when playing around him.

shawn-daniels-poker“This kid got very upset when someone mentioned he started with too many chips. He knew and wasn’t going to say anything,” he tweeted.

“When I mentioned he’s scumming / cheating all his peers he said he will do what he has to it’s business. If you interact with this guy pay close attention.”

Lapka was made aware of his extra chips. However, he refused to return them under the banner that it wasn’t his fault the tournament staff messed up. This only incensed Daniels even more.

“He just asked me to stop being an asshole. He’s ‘sorry and writing an apology to his fans,'” Daniels noted.

“Gave me 40 horrible excuses why it was ok and I was wrong. Just writing apology for some shitty @TwitchPoker partnership he doesn’t deserve to have.”

Lapka Tweets an Apology

Lapka is a successful online poker player who also commands a solid Twitch following. Therefore, he felt it necessary to apologize to the poker world after refusing to give the chips back.

“I just wanna acknowledge that I made a decision tonight without a full understanding of how my decisions may affect other people or the poker community at-large,” he tweeted.

Lapka finished by noting that he should’ve given the chips back right away instead of continuing to defend his reasons for keeping the extra 5k.

Jack Sinclair Wins 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

British poker pro Jack Sinclair has triumphed over 534 players at the 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event. He collects a first-place payout worth €1,122,239 ($1,277,013) along with his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Afterward, the Brit credited a great run with helping him win this prestigious tournament.

“I never really lost a big pot as far as I can remember and just got all the hands when I needed them,” he said.

“Every time I felt like things were getting precarious, I instantly won a big pot. I’m very happy with how I played and even more happy with how I ran!”

Recap of 2018 WSOPE Main Event

The 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event drew 534 players, creating a prize pool worth €5,073,000. Notable players who cashed include Mustapha Kanit (78th, €15,074), Rainer Kempe (52nd, €18,210), Sergio Aido (47th, €20,262), Jack Salter (37th, €23,025), Niall Farrell (27th, €26,712), Igor Kurganov (22nd, €31,623), Andy Black (13th, €47,019), and Koray Aldemir (7th, €130,350).

The six-player final table began with Ihor Yerofieiev hitting the rail in sixth place, after his pocket 6’s were bested by Milos Skrbic’s A-Q combo. Skrbic didn’t have long to celebrate, as he busted out when his KJ hand fell short against Lazlo Bujtas’ AQ.

Ryan Riess would be the next elimination, when Krasimir Yankov’s pocket aces dominated his pocket 7’s. Yankov would bow out in third place when his pocket 5’s fell against Sinclair’s pocket 7’s.

Sinclair began heads-up play with a small lead. He continued building on this momentum and quickly reduced Butjas’ stack. The final hand saw the latter move all-in preflop with J7. Sinclair (Q9) called and paired his queen with the board to win.

WSOPE Main Event Final Table Results

1. Jack Sinclair – (UK) €1,122,239 ($1,279,352)
2. Laszlo Bujtas – (Hungary) €693,573 ($790,673)
3. Krasimir Yankov – (Bulgaria) €480,028 ($547,232)
4. Ryan Riess (US) – €337,778 ($385,067)
5. Milos Skrbic (Serbia) – €241,718 ($275,559)
6. Ihor Yerofieiev (Ukraine) – €175,965 ($200,600)

Negreanu and Hellmuth Skipping 2018 WSOP Europe

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

phil-hellmuth-wsopThe 2018 WSOP Europe is being held at King’s Casino Rozvadov, Czech Republic for the second straight year.

While many players are pleased with the location, some American pros have chosen not to make the long trip this year.

This includes Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, who’ve yet to show at King’s Casino. But why are successful pros like Hellmuth and Negreanu skipping the WSOPE?

WSOP Europe Isn’t Economically Feasible for Everyone

The WSOP Las Vegas draws thousands of poker players ever year. It makes sense for tournament pros to attend, considering that they have access to 70+ events over one and a half months.

The WSOP Europe, on the other hand, doesn’t offer as much value trip-wise. North American players must travel thousands of miles for an event that only features 10 bracelet tournaments.

One reason why players might consider the WSOPE is because of the Player of the Year (POY) race. However, even Shaun Deeb, who’s firmly in the lead this year, was hesitant to visit Rozvadov just to seal his POY title.

“To be honest, it’s probably unprofitable for me to go there, when you consider the buy-ins and the travel expenses,” said Deeb.

“If it was strictly about money, I would never bother going there, but I really want to win POY, and this is the best shot I’ve had at doing it.”

What’s Up with Hellmuth and Negreanu Being Absent?

Phil Hellmuth is always looking to add to his record 15 WSOP bracelets. And Negreanu wouldn’t mind adding to his total of six bracelets either. Nevertheless, neither player is in attendance for the 10 bracelet events happening at King’s Casino.

Hellmuth tweeted that the trip is the main thing keeping him away:

“I believe that this is the first @WSOP WSOPE or WSOPA that I’ve missed since 1989. Love @PokerRoomKings, but long long flight from California!! It seems to take me 5 groggy days to adapt to Europe…If they have WSOPE in 2019, I will be there… #HardToMissWSOPE”

Negreanu has chosen to skip due to the poor year that’s he’s having, which saw him cash just five times at the WSOP Las Vegas. The $185,103 that he earned for these cashes pales in comparison to the $2 million in buy-ins he spent.

Mykhailo Gutyi Wins 2018 WSOPE €1.1k Turbo Bounty Hunter

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Mykhailo Gutyi has triumphed over a field of 387 players to win the €1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo Bounty Hunter tournament at the 2018 WSOP Europe.

Mykhailo, a Ukrainian poker player, collected a payout worth €61,299 ($70,627) after beating Germany’s Florian Sarnow heads-up.

He becomes just the fifth Ukrainian poker player to win a WSOP gold bracelet.

Recap of 2018 WSOPE €1,100 NLHE Turbo Bounty Hunter

The €1,100 Turbo Bounty Hunter (NLHE) offered a €200,000 guaranteed prize pool, with the top 59 players all earning a piece of the money.

The last remaining nine players made the final table, including notable pros like Angelos Pettas, Philipp Zukernik, Darko Stojanovic, Vangelis Kaimakamis.

In the end, though, it was the amateurs Gutyi and Sarnow facing off for the victory. Gutyi had a 3.5-to-1 chip lead to start.

Sarnow quickly doubled up and narrowed the gap. However, he would lose everything on the next hand.

Gutyi (Qd-2d) made a flush on a board of 10d-9d-3d. Both players checked, before a 10c landed on the turn.

This sparked multiple raises, which eventually saw Sarnow (10h-8s) shove his stack into the middle. A harmless 4d landed on the river, thus giving Gutyi the hand and the tourney win.

2018 WSOPE €1.1k Turbo Bounty Hunter Final Table Results

1st. Mykhailo Gutyi (Ukraine) – €61,299
2nd. Florian Sarnow (Germany) – €37,678
3rd. Vangelis Kaimakamis (Greece) – €25,468
4th. Angelos Pettas (Greece) – €17,565
5th. Darko Stojanovic (France) – €12,367
6th. Kale Halstead (Australia) – €8,891
7th. Philipp Zukernik (Czech) – €6,531
8th. Andrey Ivlev (Russia) – €4,904
9th. Luca Marchetti (Italy) – €3,765