Archive for the ‘Poker Tournaments’ Category

Brazil’s Roberly Felicio Wins 2018 WSOP Colossus and $1 Million

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

roberly-felicio-wsop-colossus-1The 2018 WSOP Colossus was once again a massive event, drawing 13,070 players and featuring a $1 million top prize. Brazil’s Roberly Felicio was able to navigate through this huge field and on to the seven-figure top prize.

Felicio is just the fourth Brazilian to win a WSOP gold bracelet. He joins Alexander Gomes (2008), Andre Akkari (2011), and Thiago Nishijim (2015) in achieving this honor. But Felicio’s victory is the most high profile out of this group, because it came in the Colossus.

“I’m very happy, it was a tough final table with tough opponents,” said Felicio after the win. “Heads-up was very emotional. But I’m very excited to take home my first bracelet, I still can’t believe it.”

Overview of the 2018 WSOP Colossus

The $565 buy-in, no-limit hold’em Colossus offered 1,754 payouts. Some of the notable players who cashed in the tournament include Phil Ivey (533rd, $2,048), Eric Baldwin (165th, $3,754), Men Nguyen (108th, $3,754), Valentin Vornicu (77th, $6,366), Andrey Zaichenko (50th, $11,483), and Kurt Jewell in (26th, $22,003).

roberly-felicio-wsop-colossusSang Liu had the chip lead with 18.2 million when the final table commenced. Meanwhile, Felicio had one of the middle stacks with 4.7 million chips.

Seven Jones (9th), John Racener (8th), and Gunther Dumsky (7th) went out in quick fashion. Song Choe, who eliminated all three players, ran into trouble himself and was eliminated in 6th place.

Five-handed play lasted for three hours. But there was finally a break in the action, when Liu knocked out Timothy Miles (5th).

Another four hours went by before Scott Margereson went out in 4th place. Liu also eliminated Joe Wurtzel (3rd) to set the heads-up match with Felicio.

Heads-Up Play in the 2018 Coloussus

Despite making multiple eliminations on the final table, Liu was only even with Felicio when heads-up play began.The two battled for roughly 40 hands, before Felicio (A-J) and Liu (A-6) each went all-in. The board (5-4-2-10-Q) missed both players, ensuring Felicio of the victory.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said the Brazilian. “I studied a lot and had a great coach in Felipe Ramos.

“I remember sitting down with Andre Akkari for the first time, I was shaking. And now I have a bracelet, just like him, and I still haven’t comprehended it.”

2018 WSOP Colossus Final Table Results

1. Roberly Felício (Braz) $1,000,000
2. Sang Liu (USA) $500,000
3. Joel Wurtzel (USA) $300,000
4. Scott Margereson (ENG) $220,040
5. Timothy Miles (USA) $166,091
6. Song Choe (USA) $126,158
7. Gunther Dumsky (GER) $96,431
8. John Racener (USA) $74,178
9. Steven Jones (USA) $57,425

Patrik Antonius Having Strong Year in 2018

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

patrik-antonius-pokerPatrik Antonius hadn’t been very active in live poker tournaments in recent years. But he’s returned to the live scene with a vengeance in 2018.

The Finnish poker pro has won over $4.5 million in tournaments this year. And what’s impressive is that we’re not even halfway through 2018.

Many people recognize Antonius from his online exploits and TV poker appearances. The Finn has over $17 million in online poker cash winnings, which is a record. But he’s been focusing a lot of his attention on tourneys this year and it’s paying off.

Antonius Started Out Hot

Antonius began 2018 with a victory in the €25,500 PartyPoker Millions Super High Roller Rozvadov. He beat Joao Simao heads up to earn the $520,610 top payout.

He then traveled to the HK$400,000 Super High Roller APPT Macau event and took sixth place ($204,378). He also finished runner-up in the HK$2 million Super High Roller Bowl to earn $3.15 million.

Antonius wasn’t done yet, because he also took third in the €51,000 Party Poker Millions Super High Roller Barcelona and collected $491,117 in April. He followed this up by finishing sixth place in the €5,300 APT Monte Carlo Main Event ($168,280).

First on Finland’s All Time Tournament Winnings List

Although he’s spent much of his career in live and online cash games, Patrik Antonius has managed to claim the title of Finland’s all-time leader in live tournament winnings.

Juha Helppi began the year in the top spot with $7,194,815 in winnings. But Antonius has surged past Helppi with $11,337,117.

What’s interesting about all this is that we’re only in May, which means that Antonius has over six months to continue adding to his big total. That said, it’ll be fun to continue watching the Finn to see how he performs the rest of the way.

Phil Ivey Plans to Play in 2018 WSOP

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

phil-ivey-short-deckPhil Ivey hasn’t cashed in a World Series of Poker event since 2014. But after a string of successful tournament finishes in Asia, Ivey is excited about competing in the 2018 WSOP this summer. The 10-time WSOP champ recently spoke with PokerNews about his plans.

“I plan on playing this year,” he said. “I want to start playing some more tournaments. I kind of announced that at the beginning of the year. I plan on playing the World Series of Poker.”

The 41-year-old primarily plays mixed games at the WSOP. And this year should be no different, as he looks to add to his bracelet collection.

Ivey Enjoying Short Deck Hold’em

Many poker players in Asia have gotten into Short Deck Hold’em, which omits deuces, threes, fours, and fives from the deck. This leaves just 36 cards in the traditional 52-card deck.

“I started recently with short deck in the last year and a half,” said Ivey, “It’s become quickly one of my favorite games.”

It hasn’t taken him long to become a star in this poker variation. He competed at the 2018 Triton Poker Series, winning a HK$250k Short Deck event (US$604,992) and finishing third in a HK$1 million tourney (US$1.66 million).

“I think the tournament was great,” Ivey said of the tourney that he won. “The structure was great, it allowed for a lot of play at the end.”

He added, “It was pretty crazy in the beginning, but I think it allowed for a longer final table and a pretty long head up match.”

Ivey Second on All Time Bracelet List

The big story when Ivey plays in the 2018 WSOP will be his quest for an 11th gold bracelet. He’s currently in a three-way tie with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan, both of whom also have 10 bracelets.

Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leader with 14 gold bracelets. Ivey would need a record WSOP run to tie this mark in 2018.

Phil Ivey Wins Montenegro Short Deck Event and $605k

Monday, May 14th, 2018

phil-ivey-wins-short-deckPhil Ivey doesn’t play as much poker as he used to. That said, it was sweet to see the 10-time WSOP champion take down a high-roller tournament recently.

Ivey competed in a HK$250,000 (US$32,000) NL Hold’em Short Deck tournament at the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro. The 41-year-old topped a field of 61 players to win a first-place prize worth HK$4,749,200 (US$604,992).

Ivey, who’s played live tournaments sparingly since 2013, said that he looks forward to playing more in the future.

“It still feels good, I am looking forward to the events with bigger prize pools and hope to win some more,” said Ivey.

Thanks to Ivey’s latest win, he’s now up to $24,461,025  in live tournament winnings. This places him 7th on the all-time live tournament list.

What is the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series?

The Triton Super High Roller Series is a high stakes tournament created by PartyPoker LIVE. They’re currently holding an event at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Budva, Montenegro.

And one of the most-interesting tournaments here is the Short Deck Ante Only event, which removes 2 through 5 from the deck. This leaves just 36 total cards, with ace counting as a 5 as well.

Ivey had no trouble adjusting to this new event and played very well on the final table to grab his top payout. He beat fellow high stakes pro Dan Cates heads up to seal his tournament win. You can see the full results below.

2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro HK$250k Short Deck Final Table

1. Phil Ivey (USA) HK$4,749,200 ($604,977)
2. Dan Cates (USA) HK$3,199,000 ($407,505)
3. Gabe Patgorski (USA) HK$1,937,000 ($246,745)
4. Jason Koon (USA) HK$1,334,000 ($169,932)
5. Furkat Rakhimov (RUS) HK$918,000 ($116,939)
6. Ivan Leow (MLY) HK$689,000 ($87,768)
7. Alan Sass (USA) HK$560,000 ($71,336)
8. Wai Kin Yong (MLY) HK$488,000 ($62,164)
9. Mikhail Smirnov (RUS) HK$473,000 ($60,253)

Gus Hansen Skips Barcelona High Rollers to Play Chinese Poker in Hotel Room

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

gus-hansen-pokerGus Hansen doesn’t play as much poker these days. But he’s still one of the game’s most-fascinating characters. And he recently treated his Instagram followers to some good content during the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona.

Many assumed that Hansen would be playing in the Barcelona high rollers like other skilled pros. But he instead skipped nearly every tournament to play high-stakes Chinese poker in his room.

The Great Dane faced off against Niki “KaiBuxxe” Jedlicka in a hotel-based cash game.

“New day in Barcelona, new table, new player,” Hansen said, as he filmed Jedlicka playing Chinese poker.

Hansen also offered a view of the dining table in the hotel room. He ordered a lot of room service, so that he and the other players could munch on food during their lengthy poker game.

New day, new players – still playing chinese in Barcelona!

A post shared by Gus Hansen (@therealgushansen) on

In Room Dining – for sick degenerate gamblers!

A post shared by Gus Hansen (@therealgushansen) on

Hansen Plays in LIVE MILLIONS Barcelona Main Event

The Great Dane did make it down to the casino for one poker tournament during his stay. Hansen competed in the €10,300 Main Event.

He didn’t fare as well as he’d hoped, busting out of the tournament early. But he had more fun, including getting a video of Dan “Jungleman” Cates and a picture with fellow Scandinavian poker pro Patrik Antonius.

Jungleman is here – very exciting news!

A post shared by Gus Hansen (@therealgushansen) on

Beating up on the scandinavians – Patrik and Gus are out of the main event :-(

A post shared by Gus Hansen (@therealgushansen) on

Still a Bright Spot in Poker

Gus Hansen’s online poker losses are well publicized. But he obviously still has plenty of money left based on the travels seen on his Instagram.

More importantly, the Danish poker pro remains one of the best poker players to follow on Instagram. That said, I can only hope that he continues grinding in poker tournaments into the foreseeable future.

King’s Casino Rozvadov Will host WSOP Europe Annually

Friday, April 6th, 2018

wsope-rozvadovKing’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic hosted the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe. And the event turned out to be such a success that the WSOP wants to make this site a permanent location for the WSOP Europe.

King’s Casino held 10 bracelet tournaments from Oct. 11 to Nov. 2 last year. This event was highlighted by tourneys such as the €1,100 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em, €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller, €111,111 High Roller for One Drop, and €10,300 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event

Leon Tsoukernik, owner of King’s Casino Rozvadov, commented on the event. And he referenced Allen Kessler, a long-time poker pro who’s openly critical whenever he doesn’t like a poker series.

“By all measures, our inaugural WSOP Europe was a great success – even Allen Kessler was pleased,” said Tsoukernik.

“Now that King’s Casino is firmly established as Europe’s most popular poker venue, we have doubled down and have made a bigger commitment to bring WSOP Europe to Rozvadov annually.”

WSOP Europe Has Finally Found a Home in Rozvadov

leon-tsoukernik-pokerThe WSOP has had no trouble with their annual event held in Las Vegas. But they’ve had much more difficulty with their European series, which began in 2007 in London. The event has since changed cities multiple times, making stops in Cannes, Berlin, Paris, and now Rozvadov.

Rural Czech Republic seems like the unlikeliest permanent location, when compared to major cities that previously hosted the event. But perhaps the key ingredient is Tsoukernik, who’s an avid poker player himself. He has $2,783,323 in career tournament winnings and frequently plays high stakes cash games too.

WSOP Officials Very Pleased with Czech Republic

Ty Stewart, executive director of the WSOP, is excited that the tournament organization’s long search for a quality non-US destination has finally come to an end.

“We have long searched for a great venue and host for WSOP Europe and we believe we’ve finally found it,” said Stewart. “King’s Casino has been a terrific host and with their expansion complete, we’re pleased to commit to holding WSOP Europe annually each October in Rozvadov.”

The WSOP Europe had gone to a bi-annual event. But they’re now making it an annual occasion, with the 2018 WSOP Europe set to take place in Rozvadov.

PokerStars Increases Rake For Low Stakes Tournaments

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

pokerstars-higher-rake-low-stakes-tournamentsPokerStars has slowly been making moves to increase their profit margin. And the latest involves increasing rake on all micro stakes tournaments, or those with buy-ins worth less than $20. PokerStars claims that the move was made an effort to keep up with a constantly changing global internet poker market.

The Stars Group, PokerStars’ parent company, officially raised low-stakes tournament rake on Monday, March 26.

Severin Rasset, who’s Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at Stars Group, said that the company’s decision was influenced by “customer behavior, commercial and promotional considerations, and the overall long-term sustainable health of the ecosystem.”

Time Tourney Rake Lowered

Low stakes players certainly aren’t happy with the higher rake. But PokerStars did make one move in players’ favor by reducing rake for Time Tournaments.

These events run at a faster pace, meaning players are more likely to spend extra rake anyways. Therefore, the discount helps keep Time Tourneys more attractive to the average player.

Rasset alluded to the fact that PokerStars is considering other moves in the future to keep the world’s largest poker site profitable:

“Pricing is a key commercial consideration for every business and we will increasingly use a dynamic pricing model that gives the greatest flexibility to respond to market dynamics. Therefore, we will be reviewing and adjusting our pricing, bonusing and promotions, and our Stars Rewards program on an ongoing basis.”

Online Poker Community Reacts

doug-polk-cryptocurrencyDoug Polk, who’s been a major critic of PokerStars over the years, was quick to bash Stars over the recent rake increase. He also referenced PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu, who once claimed that higher rake can benefit players.

“Many companies struggle to put together a cohesive message, but @Pokerstars has succeeded on that front in spades,” Polk tweeted.

“Micro stakes recreational players are being protected with yet another rake increase, which will further increase everyone’s profitability.”

PokerFuse’s Nick Jones also made a good point in that PokerStars now charges higher rake than its competitors. It’ll be interesting to see if some of Stars’ current customers begin examining their online poker options.

Justin Bonomo Wins Super High Roller Bowl and $4.8M

Monday, March 26th, 2018

justin-bonomo-super-high-roller-china-victoryLong-time poker pro Justin Bonomo has won the Super High Roller Bowl China and US$4.8 million. The 32-year-old topped a 75-player field, including Patrik Antonius in a heads-up battle.

The Super High Roller Bowl China took place at Macau’s Babylon Casino. Players needed to pay a hefty HK$2.1 million (US$267,645) to enter. The 75 entrants created a prize pool worth HK$145.5 million (US$18,550,297), with 11 players cashing.

Bonomo had a successful run through this field and took the lead heading onto the final table. Antonius was in second place entering the final table. Little drama was involved, because these two poker legends retained their positions until the heads-up portion.

Heads-Up Play Between Antonius and Bonomo

Antonius and Bonomo had a gap of 1.7 million chips between them. Neither player discussed a deal, meaning they competed for the entire US$4.8 million payout.

Bonomo did a good job of keeping the distance. The final hand saw Bonomo raise preflop with 7d-5d. Antonius, holding Kh-10h, re-raised with the stronger hand.

The flop was Jd-10d-8d, giving Bonomo a flush. But he slowplayed it by checking. This drew a check from Antonius as well, who was holding middle pair and a straight draw.

Bonomo bet on a turn of 9h, drawing a call from Antonius. He kept the aggression up by betting on the Qs river.

Antonius, having rivered a straight, re-raised all-in. The Finn unfortunately found out that he was beaten by a flush.

Bonomo and Antonius Move Up the All-Time Money List

This victory gives Bonomo $25,247,485 in winnings, placing him sixth in all-time live tournament winnings.

Antonius, meanwhile, moves his winnings up to $10,677,720 with a second-place score worth US$3,152,434. The 37-year-old distanced himself from Juha Helppi for first place on Finland’s all-time winnings list.

Super High Roller Bowl China Final Table Results:

1. Justin Bonomo – US$4,821,516
2. Patrik Antonius – $3,152,434
3. Rainer Kempe – $2,039,806
4. Dominik Nitsche – $1,668,932
5. Bryn Kenney – $1,483,495
6. Stephen Chidwick – $1,298,058
7. David Peters – $1,112,621

WPT DeepStacks Holding Rare Poker Tournaments in Texas

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

wpt-deepstacks-houstonTexas has really strict gambling laws, which is why it’s not a popular poker tournament destination. But WPT DeepStacks is braving the waters anyways by holding a $100k tournament in the Lone Star State.

WPT DeepStacks has added a Houston event to their Season 5 schedule. Held from September 21-25, this $1,000 buy-in tournament will run at the FreeRolls Poker Club.

WPT DeepStacks Must Adhere to Charity Gambling Laws

Texas politicians haven’t suddenly reversed their draconian gambling laws. Instead, WPT DeepStacks is merely bending their tournament model by agreeing not to make any profit off the event.

The FreeRolls Poker Club can only earn money off $100 membership fees that players pay, and advertising revenue. The remaining $1,000 buy-in goes directly into the prize pool.

This differs from other WPT stops, where the tournament organization and poker clubs have more freedom in earning profit. Nevertheless, WPT DeepStacks director Chris Torina is still excited about the upcoming event.

“Our partner in Houston, FreeRolls Poker Club, has assured us that they comply, and will continue to comply, with all local and state laws, and have given us a firm grasp on how the venue itself conducts business,” said Torina.

“We also looked at this event as a marketing initiative to help expand the game of poker not only in Houston, but in Texas as a whole.”

Current Texas Gambling Laws

The Lone Star State restricts its residents to horse racing, greyhound racing, a small number of Native-American casinos, and the Texas Lottery.

Charitable gambling on bingo, raffles, and poker tournaments is also allowed. However, these events must also meet strict requirements.

This is why Texas is such an unpopular place for major poker tournament organizations. But with major cities like Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, they would no doubt become popular if they ever expanded their gambling options.

Chris Moorman Offers Tips on Becoming a World Class Poker Pro

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

chris-moorman-pokerChris Moorman, the all-time leader in online poker tournament winnings with $14.65 million, was recently featured in a piece with British news outlet Essex Live.

He discussed his poker journey from the early days until now and also offered tidbits on becoming a poker champion. It turns out that Moorman started out just as badly as the rest of us at poker.

“I did not know anything about it to begin with,” he says of himself and his university friends. “We were all pretty bad.”

Moorman quickly improved, though, by using the resources available to him.

“I met a couple of players who coached me and gave me tips,” he explains. “I also read and researched a lot on the game so I could get better.”

Moorman’s Tips for Improving Your Poker Game

You can’t learn everything that Chris Moorman knows about poker in a single article. However, he did offer some good wisdom when speaking with Essex Live.

Here are some of his tips:

  • “You have to be able to deal with losing.”
  • “Most of the time you are going to lose – you have to be prepared and not let it affect you mentally.”
  • “At the same time, just because you have won one tournament, don’t put your eggs in on basket.”
  • “Talk to players who are better than you and never give up your day job after winning a couple of tournaments.”

Don’t Quit Your Day Job – At Least Not Yet

Moorman himself had to work a day job stocking shelves before he quit and took on poker full-time.

“I had a dead-end job at the local Asda in first year but I realized I could make at least the same amount playing online,” he says. […] “But I was starting to win some money playing online and so I was able to cover my tracks [with his mom] by saying I had a job stacking shelves in a supermarket near the university campus.”

Moorman eventually made it to the top of poker through a mixture of grinding on internet tables and making ends meet at Asda. That said, you can use him as an inspiration when trying to meet your poker goals.