Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for November 23, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Nov 23, 2018

German Poker Ace Cleans Up In Caribbean Super High Roller

Steffen Sontheimer Wins $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Championship for $3,685,000

Thursday saw the final table of six players – all that remained from an original field of 34 – gather for the last day of the Party Poker Caribbean $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Championship, with the chip lead held by German ace Steffen Sontheimer (28).

He was to dominate the action through to the finish to claim the main prize of $3,685,000 – his largest live tourney win yet, although he has three other seven-figure cashes on his resume.

The massive win brings Sontheimer’s career earnings to somewhere north of $12.5 million.

Facing six top international players at the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas in the knowledge that just four would cash in the $250,000 buy-in event at the end of a long day’s action, showed how calm and disciplined the German ace can be.

The elimination of US poker pro David Peters at third for $1,420,000 ushered in the heads up stage, where Sontheimer faced the experienced US pro and high stakes player Sean Winter.

Whilst the large chip stacks held by both players suggested that the heads up could turn out to be a lengthy affair, it was in fact rather brief, revolving around two significant hands within the half-hour that enabled the German ace to send Winter packing with the runner up prize of $2,430,000.

Belarus pro Mikita Badziakouski finished fourth and cashed $710,000.

Poker Officially A Sport In Ukraine

Lawmakers approve listing on nation’s Register of Recognised Sports

Poker in Ukraine could be about to surge following the low-key news that legislators have approved the addition of the game to the national Register of Recognised Sports.

InfoPowa readers will recall that terrible tragedy in 2009 when nine Ukrainians were killed in a gambling hall fire, triggering something of a legislative over-reaction that saw gambling banned, with poker reclassified as gambling the following year.

Several years later, in 2013 poker clubs organised themselves into an action group and took the bans to the Supreme Court, arguing that poker depends more on skill than chance. They were partly successful as the court lifted the ban on tournament poker but continued to rule against cash game activity.

Now that legislators have moved on the issue of recognising poker as a sport, legislation with licensing and taxation provisions will presumably have to be made, hopefully including the online environment..

Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Concludes

Portugal’s Filipe Oliveira wins $1.5 million

The $5,300 buy-in 2018 PartyPoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event concluded in the Bahamas over the weekend in a $1.5 million victory for the young Portuguese player Filipe Oliveira. It was his biggest career tournament win by almost an order of magnitude.

Oliviera was one of 11 players who entered the final day of the event, the survivors of an original field of 1,815. It did not take long to reach a final table of eight, led by Russian player Konstantin Maslak, who ultimately busted in fifth position for $600,000.

At the six-handed stage Oliviera did not appear to be in the running at all after losing a series of hands which left him with a sparse chip stack, however he kept his head and managed to salvage the situation so well over the next hour that he found himself in the heads up after Ireland’s Marc MacDonnell departed at third with $1 million after declining an earlier invitation to a three-way chop.

Heads up, Oliviera faced US ace Craig Mason with the chip stacks almost evenly matched; the two manoeuvred for some time seeking an advantage before Oliviera pulled off an audacious bluff on a major pot which put him firmly in the lead, enabling him to dispatch a tough opponent after about another hour of play;

Mason’s runner-up reward was worth $1.2 million.

German player Pascal Hartmann finished fourth for $800,000; trailed by Diogo Veiga of Portugal ($400,000) and Alex Turyansky ($300,000) in sixth and seventh places, with US player Joe Kuethe the low man on $218,500.

U.K. Poker Pro Wins Caribbean High Roller Event

Roberto Romanello banks $450,000 after winning the $10,300 buy-in High Roller competition at PartyPoker’s Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas

Sunday saw a delighted British professional poker player, Roberto Romanello from Wales, finally best a field of 196 quality players to claim the main prize of $450,000 in the $10,300 buy-in Caribbean Partypoker High Roller event in the Bahamas.

28 survivors returned to the felt on the final day of the competition, twenty-three of whom would cash, including respected names like Isaac Haxton, Jonathan Duhamel, Thomas Muehloecker, Steve O’Dwyer, and Joseph Cheong.

When the final table formed it included further quality players like Benjamin Pollack, Mustapha Kanit, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Dvoress and Spanish ace Adrian Mateos.

In fact Pollack was the first final tabler to head to the exit about two hours into final table play, followed quickly by partypoker pro Joao Simao, and Guillaume Diaz.

Canadian player Daniel Dvoress hit the rail at third, shortly after agreeing a three-way chop with Italy’s Mustapha Kanit and Romanello which gave him a $210,000 take-home and opened the door for the heads up between the pro from Wales and Kanit.

Thanks to the earlier chop agreement, the atmosphere during the hour-long heads up was friendly and relaxed, but remained competitive as the duo set about deciding the winner, with Romanello asserting dominance from the start thanks to holding the chip lead.

He successfully called several Kanit bluffs and scored double ups until he eliminated the Italian at second for $271,200 and raised the PartyPoker trophy above his head in the small hours of the morning.

Romanello’s $450,000 victory takes his career earnings north of $3.6 million.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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