April 27, 2015
Dan “DQ” Hendrickson just won over $100,000 in cash by winning the MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event – by far the biggest cash in his poker career. Hendrickson is a Dairy Queen owner, but he has been a big supporter of the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour since inception.
Everyone on the final table had their endurance tested, as Day 2 play lasted for over 17 hours.
A total of 78 players made it to Day 2 and the action wasn’t too fast paced. In order to win a big MTT you often need some luck and that was the case for Hendrickson. Early in Day 2, Hendrickson was all-in and needed the river to hit in order to double-up.
Hendrickson was all-in with an A/K off-suit, while Todd Breyfogle had pocket tens. Hendrickson ended up hitting an ace on the river to win the hand and that put him at close to 500,000 in chips. It was a huge hand and turning point for DQ.
Some of the notable names that were unable to make the money on Day 2 include Ryan Tyler who was the chip leader to start the day, Nick Pupillo, Ken Pates, Kou Vang, Matt Kirby and Lance Harris, several of whom are MSPT sponsored pros.
By the time the tournament was down to two tables we lost some other notable names, including Judd Greenagel, Aaron Johnson, David Gutfreund, Josh Reichard and Mike Schneider. Once the tourney was down to two tables, the action really slowed down.
The short stacks were doing everything possible to stay alive and continue to move up to a higher payout level, while the bigger stacks weren’t looking to splash their chips around. This caused many players to be short stacked by the final table.
Loki Abboud just missed out on the final table, as he was eliminated in 10th place. Once the final table started several short stacks started getting knocked out in succession, including Norberto Santamaria (9th) and Shane Nelson (8th).
Adam Dahlin had a huge chip lead at this point in the tourney, as he had roughly 40% of the chips in play.
Dahlin was sitting to the left of Hendrickson, which made it even tough for DQ to make a run and win the event. Hendrickson was forced to pick his spots very wisely, but he managed his aggression well and ended up picking off Dahlin and Ryan Hartmann.
By the time action went heads-up the blinds were huge and there wasn’t going to be much play left.
On the final hand of the tournament, Hendrickson raised to 600,000 with a Q/9 of diamonds, Hartmann pushed all-in for 3,600,000 and was called by Hendrickson who felt like gambling. Hartmann tabled pocket fives, but Hendrickson hit a queen to win.
MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event results
· 1st Place: Dan Hendrickson $106,182
· 2nd Place: Ryan Hartmann $61,301
· 3rd Place: Adam Dahlin $37,404
· 4th Place: Steve Webb $30,131
· 5th Place: Todd Breyfogle $23,689
· 6th Place: DJ Buckley $19,741
· 7th Place: Gary Loeffler $15,793
· 8th Place: Shane Nelson $12,052
· 9th Place: Norberto Santamaria $8312
April 19, 2015
The big news this weekend in poker has been the announcement of Poker Central – a new 24/7 poker television network.
CEO Clint Stinchcomb has offered us with some details on the new venture.
We still don’t have exact dates of when the channel will launch. “Fans can start enjoying 24/7 poker in Q4 2015,” said Stinchcomb.
Exact dates and distribution partners will be announced later in the year. Poker Central will be the first 24/7 poker channel in the world and I believe it could work out well, as long as the company can continually add new programming to the content library.
Poker Central will launch with over 2000 hours of programming – nearly half of which will be U.S. television premiers.
That’s great news, as I’m sure the company wouldn’t hook many viewers with constant reruns.
In related news – Poker Central has partnered with POKER PROductions to televise the $25 Million Super High Roller Bowl – a live poker tournament featuring a buy-in of $500,000 and an expected first place payout of nearly $8 million in cold hard cash.
POKER PROductions are well known for being the creators of Poker After Dark, High Stakes Poker and NBC’s National Heads-Up Championship. This partnership will help Poker Central through the launch phase by providing them with exclusive content.
The $25 Million Super High Roller is scheduled for July 2nd – July 4th 2015 and will be hosted at the Aria Resort & Casino.
Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Seiver and several other big names are expected to play in the tournament. With such a massive buy-in I’m sure the tournament will provide great TV entertainment, although the coverage won’t be live.
However, next year Poker Central is “looking closely at incorporating some live elements,” said Stinchcomb.
Poker Central’s mission is to provide non-stop poker coverage across the world. With that being said – the company is aiming to launch in as many international markets as possible. When the channel launches it won’t just be available in the USA.
The company also wants to be available on as many devices as possible, including mobile phones and tablets.
A lot of programming is consumed on mobile devices and it makes sense for a channel like Poker Central to target international viewers through smart phones and tablets. We’ll have more news on distribution partners in the months to come.
The new 24/7 channel won’t just broadcast poker tournaments and cash games either. There are plans to feature celebrity poker players, player strategy sessions and tips, plus player profiles (Pokerographies) and destination profiles for poker players.
In recent years the big TV networks have continued to offer poker broadcasting, but the programming is limited.
In other niches, we’ve seen 24/7 channels have plenty of success, including the Golf Network.
Televised poker has played a large role in the growth of poker internationally – yet no other company has attempted to provide a 24/7 poker channel. Poker Central has a long and tough path ahead of them, but they already have a great team in place.
Poker Central is continuing a strong recruitment effort to target talented executives.
As we hear more news about Poker Central we’ll be sure to provide everyone with an update.
March 16, 2015
The World Poker tour is rolling right along, but the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event featured what may have featured the toughest final table in recent memory. When it came to an end on Saturday morning, we finally had crowned a champion of the tough final six. When all was said and done, it was Taylor Paur who got the job done, but he had to do a good bit of work to build his original starting stack and take over to win the championship. Let’s break down how it all played out and see how Paur earned his first place victory as well as his $1,214,200 prize.
Paur began the final table as the second largest chip stack with 4.27 million, but had some work to do in order to catch up to Isaac Baron and his 6.175 million chip stack. After Baron and Paur, there were two Shooting Stars left in the event in Faraz Jaka with 2.92 million chips and Sorel Mizzi with 1.92 million chips. The other two players weren’t easy outs either, as it was Jacob Bazeley with 3.92 million and Ravee Mathi with 1.47 million chips. The players had some work to do before we crowned a champion and were geared up for a fun run before we crowned a champion in this event. The cards were in the air and the short stacks got right to work in this one.
Mathi may have had the short stack, but he was able to get some chips through being aggressive early on. Unfortunatley for him, that didn’t stand, as the aggression eventually was the end of his run. The board showed J-6-5-6-5 and Mathi chose to get it all-in at that point. Mizzi, playing from the cutoff chose to fold, but Paur made the call and showed 8-5 for a rivered full house. The pair that Paur made on the flop was enough, as he didn’t even need to hit the river. Mathi showed A-8 for a total bluff, meaning that he was sent home in sixth place.
It didn’t take long for our next elimination to come, as Jaka was unable to get anything going through much of the early stages. He managed to grab a pocket pair with fours and chose to shove his final million chips in. Jaka was far behind when being called by Bazeley, who showed pocket tens. Bazeley chose to isolate and go over the top all-in, which led to folds around the table. When the board ran out Jack-high with no four coming, Jaka was sent home in sixth place. This also meant that his bounty would go to Bazeley as well, who was poised to push his way up the leaderboard at this point.
With four players left in the action, each player was set to grind it out for the long haul. They played more than 60 hands before we saw another elimination. When that time came, the final Shooting Star, Mizzi saw a raise from Bazeley and Paur three-bet the action. After all of this, Mizzi chose to push his entire stack into the middle. Bazeley sat and debated for a while before finally folding, but Paur decided to make the call. Paur turned over pocket fives against the A-J off suit of Mizzi. The board didn’t hit for Mizzi and he was sent home in fourth place. This also meant that Paur would get Mizzi’s bounty and take the chip lead moving into the final three.
Paur was sitting pretty at this point, holding more chips than both of his opponents had together. Most expected Paur to run through the final table at that point, but both Bazeley and Baron were able to double-up and get closer to Paur. It went over a whopping 70 hands before Paur was able to eliminate one of the two players and it was Bazeley who was headed to the rail. His A-10 was able to hold up against the K-7 of Bazeley on a nice A-2-2-9-A board, which set us up with a heads-up match between Paur and Baron.
Paur began the heads-up match with a strong 2-1 chip lead and he never let Baron get back into it. The heads-up match didn’t last long, as the two played only nine hands before we saw our champion crowned. The final hand featured Paur calling a three-bet, which led to a 9-7-2 flop with two hearts. Paur then check-called a million chip bet from Baron, leading to a three of diamonds on the turn. Baron then bet out 1.65 million and Paur called again, leading to a five of hearts on the river. Baron then chose to move all-in and Paur made an immediate call, turning over 10-9 of hearts for a rivered flush. Baron showed A-9 off suit and was sent home in second place with a payday of $704,200.
March 9, 2015
If you don’t know the name Anthony Zinno yet, it may be time to get accustomed to hearing it pretty often. Zinno made history with his most recent victory at the 2015 World Poker Tour’s L.A. Poker Classic. He made a push from the bottom of the standings to win this event, as he was actually sitting in second to last when the action started. To start out the day, it was Igor Yaroshevskyy who had the chip lead with 5.315 million chips and had close second place competition in Mike Leah, who had 2.715 million. After that, we had Peter Neff with 2.12 million, Peter Tran with 1.585 million and then came Zinno with 1.48 million and lastly Chris Klodnicki with 920k in chips.
Now, when the action started, the man who was one of the most active players throughout the tournament was the first player to had home. This was Tran, who had already doubled up through Yaroshevskyy. Soon after getting those chips, he handed them back to Kodnicki in an incredible hand. Tran made a min-raise, which led to Kodnicki three-betting to 400k. Tran then four-bet out to 1.6 million. Klodnicki called, while thinking it was an all-in, but when he was told it wasn’t he chose to go all-in from the dark. The flop came out A-A-K and Tran was far behind with 10-8 of spades against the A-K off suite of Klodnicki. Tran needed a royal flush, which he couldn’t get and three hands later was sent out by Leah.
This seemed to be the start of something beautiful for Leah, as he kept trending in the right direction. He was the first player to crack eight million in chips and now had the chip lead. While Leah had grabbed the reins at the top of the leaderboard, Zinno was slowly creeping back up. First he doubled up through Neff and then knocked him out a few hands later. When we got down to Level 29, there was no one even close to what Leah had. He was holding 8.38 million chips against the 2.95 of Yaroshevskyy, the 2.795 million of Zinno and the 2.005 million of Klodnicki.
Leah didn’t pull back after grabbing a huge lead, and he slowly built up over 10 million in chips. As the final table rolled on, Kodnicki was able to double up through Leah with Kings, then Zinno doubled up through Leah. This meant that our massive chip leader was now right there in the mid with everyone else. By the 100th hand, Zinno had shockingly grabbed teh chip lead. Just a few hands later, though, he handed it right back to Leah. The action was literally flying all over and chips were moving in a big way.
There were 85 hands of poker played before we saw one of the four players sent home. It came on Hand 142 when Leah raised from the button. This lead to Yaroshevskyy going all-in from the big blind. Leah called with K-8 and Yaroshevskyy showed K-Q and was in great shape to get a double up. An eight on the turn changed everything though, and when there was no Queen on the river, it meant that Yaroshevskyy was left stunned and heading home in fourth place after feeling confident about a shot at a heads up match.
At this point, our eventual champion was in third out of three, and needed some help to get back into the mix. The first help that he got came when he doubled up through Leah. It was a nice start, but then came yet ANOTHER double up against Leah, which gave him the chip lead. After that, Zinno knocked off Klodnicki in third place with his pocket sixes holding up against the K-J of Klodnicki. This meant that going into the heads up match, Zinno was sitting with a huge lead of 11.23 million chips against the 4.895 million of Leah.
That was all she wrote essentially, as Zinno didn’t let Leah get back into it. Through 12 hands, Zinno just kept building his stack up, and the final hand came and went after Leah min-raised to 400k and Zinno three-bet to 825k. Leah then moved all-in and Zinno snap called showing pocket Aces against the A-3 off of Leah. The flop came 10-5-2 to make Zinno sweat a bet, but Leah couldn’t improve his hand enough and was sent home in second place with a payday of $701,350. As for Zinno, he was the winner of $1,015,860 and was now in the record books.
He was now just the third man to win back-to-back WPT tournaments, with the other two being Marvin Rettenmaier and Darren Elias. This was Zinno’s third WPT championship, which put him in a tie with Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen for most WPT victories.
March 2, 2015
While much of the argument for poker players is that the real grind of tournament poker comes from playing live poker tournaments, some may argue the other way. While online poker is played much faster, and you can work your way through big tournaments faster than a live tournament, this doesn’t mean that it’s not harder to grind out results in these tournaments. Imagine sitting back and playing while looking at a computer non-stop for 8-10 hours straight. This is what can happen if you end up making a run in a tournament, and that may not even get you to a final table. Sure, you’ll get five minute breaks here and there, but at least live poker tournaments give you a dinner break, right? It’s not quite as easy as it all seems right out of the gate, but this is why you need to be aware of some tips that can help you grind out these online poker tournaments, and keep you occupied while playing at the tables. Let’s get to it.
Keeping yourself busy while playing in online poker tournaments may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but it’s really not. While there are many things to take away from watching the action at the online poker tables, you’re likely going to be playing pretty tight and picking spots. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to the tables when you aren’t playing, but it is to say that you should look into doing something at the same time that can keep you occupied on something to help you from trying to play hands that just shouldn’t be played.
What are the recommendations? Well, it all depends on what you’re interested in. Do you like reading books? Then jump into a book and read as you play (probably only with one table at a time). How about video games? If you’re a fan of video games, jump onto whatever game you like, but I wouldn’t recommend playing it online against an opponent. If you want to just do something that’s fun or enjoyable through the actual online poker site itself, if they offer something like blackjack or another casino game, jump into that.
A few other options that you can definitely consider when looking at this option, including the likes of daily fantasy sports or sports betting in general. You don’t even really have to set lineups or place sports bets, but instead just do some research if you are a fan of these, and find out if there’s anything that you like for the day. This can be a great way to stay focused on something aside from playing crazy hands, but will also allow you to get right back into the action if there’s a hand or spot that you are looking to play. Be smart about doing this, as it can definitely get distracting if you find yourself doing too much at one time.
Tired of just sitting back and grinding out a single poker tournament at a time? Well, fortunately most online poker sites are going to offer many different tournaments at the same time. This means that you can jump in on multiple tournaments and play a few at a time. Doing this will actually make it so that you are able to fold those non-so-beautiful hands, since you have multiple other things going on. While I wouldn’t recommend playing TOO many tournaments at once, playing in a few to keep yourself interested is definitely a good call. Be smart about this, and make sure that you can still play the hands that are dealt to you if you need to in those big spots.
A key part of this is to remember that the reason you are multi-tabling tournaments is to give yourself the chance to fold the bad hands, not to have as much action as possible at one time. If you try to play too much or raise with hands you should probably be folding, you’re going to find yourself in a big mess of tournaments that will make it hard to profit from.
Playing On the Go
Many online poker sites have made it easy for players to play from their tablets and phones, as well as their laptops. This means that you can play on the go and take your poker action anywhere that you have service (in most cases). Beware that it will use up your data as you play in most cases, if you’re playing through a browser. Now, if you are hooked up to wifi, this means that you can play from a coffee house or anywhere else that has wifi for free. The best option for tournament players is to be able to play on the go, as this means that you aren’t stuck to a chair and staring at your computer screen for a continuous amount of time. If you want to leave, feel free to grab your phone or tablet and play on the go.