Posts Tagged ‘2012 WSOP’

Antonio Esfandiari wins $18.35m – Does Winnings List have any Meaning?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

The biggest poker news of the week is no doubt Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari winning the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament. He navigated through a 48-player field and on towards victory as much of the poker world watched with intent interest. And a huge reason for all the interest was the $18,346,673 first place prize on the line!

Once Esfandiari finished Sam Trickett off in heads-up play, he was the recipient of this insane fortune….or at least he and his backers were. Seeing as how The Magician sold a lot of his shares in order to meet the hefty buy-in and cut down on variance, he likely received less than 50% of the $18.35 million. However, the full amount goes down in the record books and vaults him towards the top of the all-time live poker tournament winnings list with $23,245,828.

This is certainly nice for the headlines and could definitively bring some more recreational players into the game. However, it completely obliterates any sort of relevancy that the all-time tournament winnings list used to have.

These days, the tourney winnings list doesn’t mean much to a lot of players because they can’t compete with top-level pros who have lots of backing. Furthermore, events like the Big One for One Drop are more like glorified sit and go’s than anything since only a small number of players are competing, yet ridiculous amounts of money are up for grabs.

So how should we view the poker tournament winnings list in today’s era? Well it’s a fun little thing to look at from time to time, but you certainly can’t measure one’s overall tourney success from this. That said, there are still some very fine players towards the top of the winnings list – it’s just that the average grinder will never have an opportunity to compete with them.

Big One for One Drop Results

1. Antonio Esfandiari — $18,346,673
2. Sam Trickett — $10,112,001
3. David Einhorn — $4,352,000
4. Phil Hellmuth — $2,645,333
5. Guy Laliberté — $1,834,666
6. Brian Rast — $1,621,333
7. Bobby Baldwin — $1,408,000
8. Richard Yong — $1,237,333
9. Mike Sexton — $1,109,333

Ben Lamb, Tom Dwan 2012 WSOP Absences Explained

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Every year, the WSOP is a virtual who’s who of poker since the game’s top pros descend on Las Vegas to compete for gold bracelets, glory, and of course major cash. The 2012 WSOP has certainly been no different – save for the fact that a couple of very notable stars have pretty much been MIA.

One of the world’s top cash game players in Tom Dwan and the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year in Ben Lamb have both been noticeably absent in the headlines this year, which had some people scratching their heads about the matter. However, these absences were recently explained after both players showed up to the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament.

Why Dwan was missing

Tom Dwan has never been one who hangs his hat on poker tournament accomplishments or WSOP gold bracelets. That said, it’s no surprise that he was in Macau for most of the 2012 WSOP playing in the massive cash games there. While people are tight-lipped about what happens in Macau high stakes poker games, rumor has it that the blinds reached $3,500/$7,000 at one point. Apparently, the only thing that brought Dwan back was the $1 million buy-in tourney that he registered for. And it’s been a decent decision so far since he’s ranked 10th in chips (out of 37 remaining players) after Day 1.

Why Ben Lamb was missing

Of all the players missing at the 2012 WSOP, Ben Lamb is no doubt the most puzzling. Actually though he hasn’t really been missing, but rather just dividing his time between cash games and WSOP tournaments. As for the latter, Lamb has yet to run good and cash in any tourneys yet. However – just like Dwan – he too is fairing pretty well after ending Day 1 of the Big One for One Drop with 5.77 million chips (currently 8th).

Allyn Shulman wins WSOP Event #29 – Breaks Women’s Losing Streak

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Many people who’ve been following the 2012 WSOP are well aware that it’s been a while since a woman has won an open entry event. In fact, we haven’t seen a female open WSOP champion since Vanessa Selbst did it in 2008. However, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman finally ended the drought by winning the Event #29 Seniors Championship along with $603,713.

Before Shulman’s victory, it had been a lengthy 249 consecutive open WSOP tournaments without a female champion. Fortunately, we can now lay this talk to rest since the CardPlayer writer and lawyer won one for the ladies.

Following her victory, Shulman talked about the importance of women grabbing bracelet wins by saying, “I do think it’s important and I don’t think women have been given their due. I’m happy for myself, but I’m happy for all women that I won this, showing that any woman can win a poker tournament. I’d like to see more of them out there playing, feeling comfortable with going at it with the boys and winning.”

Aside from the fact that she became the first woman since ’08 to win an open WSOP tournament, Shulman also helped create some more history. Seeing as how her husband, Barry, and son, Jeff, also made final tables this year, they became the first family to put three members on a WSOP final table in the same year.

With Allyn’s bracelet, the Shulman family could make a claim for having poker’s best bloodline. Barry won the 2009 WSOPE Main Event, which netted him a $1,321,534 windfall. The same year, Jeff finished fifth in the 2009 WSOP Main Event and cashed for $1,953,452. As if these huge cashes aren’t enough to make the family wealthy, the Shulman’s have also made a very nice profit off of their CardPlayer Magazine business.

Phil Ivey knocking on Door of WSOP Bracelet #9

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

It’s been a glorious return to the World Series of Poker for Phil Ivey since he’s made two final table thus far – and we’re not even halfway through the 2012 WSOP. After skipping the 2011 WSOP due to Full Tilt Poker negligently mishandling player deposits, Ivey has played remarkably. This being said, here’s a quick look at what he’s done so far:

Event #15 Final Table

The 2012 WSOP Event #15 tournament was certainly difficult since it was loaded with lots of top-level pros. This is immediately apparent when you consider that the final table consisted of Bryn Kenney, Adam Friedman, John Monnette, and Todd Brunson. Unfortunately for Ivey, his chip disadvantage coupled with the strong competition saw him bow out in 7th place ($34,595). Friedman would go on to win the tournament along with $269,037, but it was a strong showing by Ivey indeed.

2012 WSOP Event #18

While Event #15 was tough, the Event #18 field may have been even stronger since only the best anted up the $10,000 buy-in to compete in this PLO tournament. But as many good players as there were, only one mattered to the media among the 179 grinders since Phil Ivey had grabbed a big chip lead.

He couldn’t have asked for a better situation either when he still carried a chip lead into heads-up play against Andy Frankenberger. With WSOP bracelet #9 firmly within reach, Ivey traded hands with Frankenberger until his advantage slowly disappeared. Eventually, it was Frankenberger with the chip lead, and he was able to finish Ivey off to grab his second career bracelet.

As for Phil, he hasn’t won a gold bracelet since 2009. Now for most players this isn’t a bad thing at all; however, Ivey is widely considered the top all-around poker player in the world. So it’s no doubt that he’ll be vigorously seeking bracelet #9 at some point in the 2012 WSOP.

Phil Hellmuth was scared before 12th WSOP Bracelet

Monday, June 11th, 2012

When correlating the game of poker and confidence, Phil Hellmuth is one of the first names that comes to mind. After all, the Poker Brat has spent his career berating other players for their mistakes and giving them lessons on how to play better. So it’s quite surprising when he admitted to being fearful as he crept closer towards a record-extending 12th WSOP gold bracelet.

Although Hellmuth did accomplish his goal of winning the 2012 WSOP Event #18 Seven Card Razz tournament, he expressed his fears by saying, “Fear set in a couple of times. When he (Don Zewin) made a nice run, I was like, ‘oh my god, not again,’ and I said, ‘no, eliminate all negative thoughts and just focus on playing great.” He added, “I was just thinking one thing, ‘play perfect poker,’ and pushing all the negative thoughts out of my head. I just wanted to win.”

It’s understandable that Hellmuth had plenty of negative thoughts since he finished second place in three different 2011 WSOP tournaments. However, this time was different since he was able to defeat Zewin heads-up and pull off the victory.

The Poker Brat explained this by saying, “Zewin’s a great player – he’s been a professional cash game player since the 80’s. When it was me and Chan heads-up at the final table, he finished third in ‘89 in the Main Event. I’ve been playing with him for decades – he’s just tough as nails, and he’s not going to give anything away.”

As cocky as Hellmuth can be, it’s also nice to see him prove all of the critics wrong who’d said the game passed him by years ago. It’s still clear that the Wisconsin native has plenty of poker skills, and he’s going to remain a force in the game for years to come.

Stories to watch in 2012 WSOP

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Right now is the best time of the year to be a poker fan since the 2012 WSOP has officially begun. And as always, it promises to be yet another amazing event filled with big winners and memorable stories. But a few stories will no doubt stand out above the rest, and here are some tales that we think will be the most prominent.

Phil Hellmuth hunting for his 12th Bracelet

Once again, Hellmuth going after his elusive and record-extending twelfth WSOP gold bracelet will no doubt be a hot topic of discussion. Just the fact that the Poker Brat finished 61st in Event #2 was already a big story, so imagine how much he’ll dominate the poker headlines by making a deeper run.

$1 Million Buy-in Tournament

We’ve already heard a ton of talk about the Big One for One Drop since its $1 million buy-in is a record. Another record will also fall when the winner is crowned because the top prize is expected to be worth between $15-$18 million (depending on the number of entrants). Jamie Gold currently holds the record for the largest poker tournament payout ($12 million), but don’t expect this mark to be standing in early July.

Viktor Blom playing in First WSOP

We’ve seen a lot of Viktor “Isildur1” Blom over the last few years since he’s such a successful online cash game player. However, this is the first look that we’ll have of the 21-year-old in the WSOP. Blom has had some tourney success already (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller title), and it will be interesting to see if he can expand on this.

Phil Ivey is Back

Ivey was sorely missed at the 2011 WSOP – as he supposedly sat out to protest Full Tilt Poker’s poor management before and after Black Friday. But he won’t be skipping the world’s largest poker event this year since he’s already competed in a couple of tournaments. You can bet that people will be watching with great interest to see how the world’s best all-around poker player performs this year.