Poker Tournaments in the News — Weekly Round-up for April 14, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated May 18, 2017

Big Expectations For Sunday’s Pokerstars Free Roll

Thousands of players expected to participate.

It is anticipated that the second Pokerstars Freeroll tournament scheduled for this Sunday (April 16) will again attract thousands of players.

Hosted this time around by Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier on, the competition prizes include a PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Main Event package; a PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo National package; and Euro 100 satellite tickets.

Players can also qualify for the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Main Event and National Championship via Euro 2.20 satellites currently running on PokerStars.

Last Sunday’s freeroll, hosted by Daniel Negreanu and with similar prizes, attracted 16,999 entries, with two players from Russia and Ukraine winning seats to the PokerStars Championship Presented by Monte-Carlo Casino

888Poker Wants To Make The Next World Series Of Poker Main Event Top Prize $10 Million

But only if the winner is a 888Poker satellite qualifier.

888Poker has developed a high profile magnet to get online poker fans into its satellite qualifiers for the next World Series of Poker…the company has put up the difference between the main event top prize and $10 million dollars as an add-on booster if it is won by a 888Poker satellite qualifier.

888 has dubbed the offer “Supersize ME”, saying that it guarantees that if one of its satellite players does win the WSOP main event, he or she will be rewarded with at least $10 million, positioning them alongside past champions who have won $10 million or more in the event such as Martin Jacobson and Jamie Gold.

All 888Poker satellite WSOP qualifiers in any case receive a $12,500 accommodation and travel package to attend the world’s biggest live tournament event in Las Vegas…last year there were 148 such qualifiers.

Talking about the Supersize ME offer this week, poker commentator and player Kara Scott said in a 888Poker statement:

“This makes an already exciting tournament even bigger and more incredible! Imagine getting to the final table of the WSOP Main Event with the possibility of winning a full 10 million dollars. The prize money for the champion is already huge but this takes it one step further and gives all the 888poker qualifiers an even bigger prize to shoot for.”

Fourth Pokerstars Championship Schedule Set

On the French Riviera

PokerStars Live has released the schedule for its fourth Championship to be held in Monaco at the Monte Carlo Casino between April 25 and May 5, 2017.

PokerStars expects the event to be “one of the most prestigious tournaments this year” and is anticipating thousands of participants in which Euro 30 million in prize money is expected to be paid out.

The event will feature 71 PokerStars sponsored tournaments with more than Euro 2.5 million in total guaranteed prize pools, including the Euro 1 million guaranteed Euro 1,100 PokerStars National Championship, formerly known as the France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event which attracted 1,261 entries last year.

Following the success of the Shot Clock tournament during PokerStars Championship Bahamas, Panama and Macau, a shot clock will be used in all NL Hold’em events with a buy-in of Euro 5,000 and higher, (except the Main Event), PokerStars revealed. A few lower buy-in events will also use the shot clock format as a fun variant.

PokerStars will also trial playing every ten-handed tournament as a nine-handed tournament during the event.

The Euro 5,300 PokerStars Championship Main Event field will feature over 170 qualifiers. In addition, over 90 players have qualified for this year’s Euro 1,100 PokerStars National Championship event so far.

Check out the full schedule here:

888poker To Sponsor Swedish Championship

Entries expected to double this year.

The Swedish Poker-SM Online Championship Series (PSMO) next month is to be sponsored by 888Poker, with the online poker provider running satellites for seats in the main event of the Championship.

A press release from 888 this week advises that the organisers expect entries for the main event to double this year to around 250 to 300 players.

The Championship runs for a week and comprises six tournaments, says Mauritz Altikardes, CEO of PSMO organisers Poker Event Svenska. He anticipates that the schedule will attract a number of Swedish and international big names in the game.

Former World Series Of Poker Champ Victorious Again

Ryan Reiss takes down the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Finale for $716,088.

Former WSOP champion Ryan Reiss, who won more than $8.3 million for his Main Event victory back in 2013 (see previous InfoPowa reports) has scored another major win, taking down the $10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Finale Thursday.

He succeeded despite a tough and highly competitive field that included aces like Cliff Josephy, Jason Koon, Stephen Chidwick, Rainer Kempe, Eugene Katchalov, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Dietrich Fast, Mike Leah, Noah Vaillancourt, Anthony Zinno, Darren Elias, and defending WPT Finale champ Chino Rheem.

Reiss’s reward from a prize pool of over $3.3 million in the freeze-out competition, which attracted 349 players, was the $716,0088 main prize and a $15,000 seat at the WPT Tournament of Champions later this year.

By the time the final table was reached Alan Sternberg held the chip lead at a table where the finalists could boast over $30 million in aggregated career earnings.

That ensured plenty of skilful and aggressive action and the table saw a large number of rapid-fire passages as the pros battled on. Reiss eliminated several players before ending up in the heads up against Sternberg, a former WPT Bay101 Shooting Star champ from 2011.

Sternberg had a small chip lead and very aggressively set about trying to extend it, but Reiss was having none of it and managed to draw level and then overtake his opponent, starting a series of ups and downs in which the lead changed several times before Reiss was able to cement his lead and take the game, sending Sternberg to the exit and a runner-up reward of $491,081.

Other final table cashes included:

Terry Schumacker – $315,726

Tim West – $204,466

Jason Koon – $157,599

Cliff Josephy – $130,370

German Poker Pro Claims Macau High Roller Win

$402,860 pay day for Oliver Weiss.

The fifth of the High Roller competitions at the Pokerstars Championship Macau hosted by the City of Dreams is in the record books, with a hard-earned win by German poker pro Oliver Weiss after a tough heads up against Belarus ace Mikita Badziakouski.

Weiss collected $402,860 for his win in the HK$ 206,000 buy-in Single Re-Entry Shot Clock II competition, which pulled in 38 players and nine re-entries and took just twelve hours to finalise.

Among those who bought into the game were formidable players like JC Alvarado, Dario Sammartino, Isaac Haxton, Bertrand Grospellier, Mustapha Kanit and Steve O’Dwyer.JC Alvarado, and John Juanda.

Weiss found the Belarussian a hard nut to crack in the fast-moving heads up but was fortunate to score a major pot on the third hand, followed by another big win on the very next hand, putting paid to Badziakouski’s plan and sending him home with a second placing prize worth $278,657.

It was Weiss’s biggest career win yet by a long way, eclipsing his previous highest cash of $154,940 in a March 2015 high roller contest.

Other final tables to cash were:

Canlin Chen $177,877

Timothy Adams $136,437

Zuo Wang $106,829

John Juanda $83,020

‘I’ve Got A Brand New Car’, Says Poker Ace Weinman

Audi makes the World Poker Tour Champion of Champions event special for winner.

Poker pro David Weinman will be trading in his Kia Sportage SUV this week after winning a special add-on prize of an Audi 2018 S5 in addition to his main prize victory in the WPT Champion of Champions event of $381,500.

The victory follows Weinman’s first WPT title earlier this year in which he won $892,433.

The prestigious event this year saw 66 WPT Champions Club members competing

There was little doubt that Weinman was going to finish high in a final table he dominated after starting as chip leader, despite the present of formidable players like Erik Seidel and Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi, but it was the latter who presented a real challenge in the heads up.

Weinman entered the heads up with a 5 to 1 lead, but Mizrachi doubled up and then won several pots to draw even, making the finale a serious contest between two aggressive players. In the end Weinman’s tenacity and some good cards led to victory, with Mizrachi leaving with a well-deserved runner-up prize of $218,000.

The rest of the final table cashes looked like this:

Daniel Santoro – $133,525

David Ormsby – $95,375

Erik Seidel – $73,575

Dylan Wilkerson – $57,225

Long Day For Finalists In The First Pokerstars Championship Macau Competition

Two hours to reach the final table…but almost 11 hours of heads up action to deliver a winner.

The inaugural PokerStars Championship Macau event created plenty of comment this week, taking just 2 hours to reach the heads up….but a further almost 11 hours to reach a winner despite a chop agreement.

The event pulled in a total of 546 players, generating a prize pool worth the equivalent of US$2.6 million.

On reaching the heads up stage, finalists Elliott Smith from Canada and Terry Tang took a 60 minute time-out to agree an equal chop which would see the evenly matched finalists leave HK$300,000 and the trophy on the table.

The duo then embarked upon what turned out to be one of the longest heads up confrontations anyone could remember as two equally skilled and tenacious players repeatedly seized the lead from one another (some observers claim at least ten lead changes took place).

The game could have gone to either one, but in the end it was Elliott who prevailed, sending Tang home with US$ 331,816 as a just reward for an outstanding effort.

The Canadian player boosted his $2 million in live tourney career earnings by $370,508 and gets the respect that goes with such a hard-fought and prestigious trophy.

Other final table cashes included

Daniel Laidlaw – $221,896

Avraham Oziel – $164,749

Aymon Hata – $122,275

Pete Chen – $90,741

Yan Li – $67,058

Xuan Tan – $49,682

Staying with the PokerStars Macau events, New Zealand’s tough women poker pro Sosia Jiang (38) claimed the honours and a $503,100 pay day by taking down the $13,260 buy-in High Roller tournament, besting a field of 180 to secure the biggest cash of her career thus far.

With 138 players and 42 re-entries the prize pool exceeded the guarantee at $2.24 million.

Jiang started the day way down in the chip stacks, but survived on a major double up that enabled her to regain momentum, dominate the final table action and ultimately enter the heads up against Indian ace Raghav Bansal with a massive 8 to 1 chip lead.

Despite a valiant effort and some timely double ups, Bansal was not able to close the gap sufficiently to pose a real threat, and he had to be content with the second placing prize of $339,300. Other final table cashes were:

Troy Quenneville – Canada – $234,000

Nick Petrangelo – USA – $190,450

Ben Lai – Hong Kong – $152,100

Dan Smith – USA – $116,350

Sergey Lebedev – Russia – $84,760

Xixiang Luo – China – $61,100

Hawkins Wins Record Breaking 10th WSOP Gold Ring

Tops all time circuit ring leaderboard.

West Palm Beach poker pro, Maurice Hawkins, won the 2017 Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event for $97,561 but more notably took home his record-breaking 10th career WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Six of Hawkins’ rings have been won in the past two seasons on the circuit and he now tops the all-time gold rings leaderboard, overtaking Alex Masek.

Hawkins also became the first player in the history of the Circuit to win four Circuit Main Events and matched Blair Hinkle as the only player to ever win the same Circuit stop two years in a row.

The $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 271 players generating a $406,500 prize pool in which the top 30 players were paid.

Final table results:

1  Maurice Hawkins – $97,561

2  William Perpich – $60,292

3  Charles Moore – $43,748

4  Ross Clare – $32,276

5  Sam De Silva – $24,207

6  Jack Do – $18,447

7  Stanley Webb – $14,276

8  Matt Hamilton – $11,219

9  David Delaney – $8,951

Ten Is The Magic Number For Poker Ace Hawkins

Maurice breaches decimal barrier at World Series of Poker Circuit tournament.

US poker pro Maurice Hawkins has broken the record for most World Series of Poker Circuit wins with his tenth victory, achieved at the $1,675 buy-in NLHE 2017 Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event, where he claimed the winner’s spoils of $97,561, a WSOPC ring, and the record, boosting his career tournament earnings to more than $1.1 million.

His reward also includes a seat at the 2017 Global Casino Championship.

The victory broke a ninth win tie between Hawkins and Alex Masek, and according to World Series of Poker organisers is not the only record Hawkins can now claim; he is additionally the first player to win four Circuit Main Events, besting prior record holders Blair Hinkle and Chris Ferguson who each have won three.

Asked in a WSOP interview whether he considered himself the all-time most successful WSOPC player, Hawkins merely commented: “Women and men lie, numbers don’t.”

In his record -breaking tournament this week Hawkins started the third and final day as final table chip leader, dominating the action.

By the time play reached the heads up stage Hawkins held a 2 to 1 lead over his last opponent, William Perpich. Despite a fight-back attempt Perpich was unable to mount a serious threat and was soon dispatched with a second placing consolation prize of $60,292.

The other final table players cashed:

Charles Moore $43,748

Ross Clare $32,276

Sam De Silva $24,207

Jack Do $18,447

Stanley Webb $14,276

Matt Hamilton $11,219

David Delaney $8,951

Engel Wins MSPT Potawatomi

Adds first MSPT to title achievements.

Seasoned poker pro Ari Engel won his first MSPT title taking down the MSPT Potawatomi Season 8 $1,100 Main Event in Wisconsin.

Outplaying an entry field of 495, the eight time WSOP Circuit ring winner added the title and a first prize of $114,876 to his wallet after besting Carlos Monteiro in heads up play.

Final Table Results:

1. Ari Engel    $114,876

2. Carlos Monteiro     $69,405

3. Keith Heine $45,232

4. George Dietz $31,352

5. Jim Juvancic $23,933

6. Alex Ziskin $18,428

7. Brad Jansen $15,317

8. Dan Crawford $12,684

9. Patrick McCullough $10,722

10. Rich Alsup $8,137

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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