Posts Tagged ‘st. louis’

April 26, 2011

This Week’s Big Winners – April 26th

The Show Must Go On

The United States Government. Check back next week to see if anything changes.

In all seriousness, the last week and a half has been a dark one for the industry, and last week didn’t necessarily feel like the appropriate time to recognize the few people who were fortunate enough to make a few dollars in poker. We must, however, realize that no matter how bleak the situation is with online poker, the live game will continue to go on. The numbers will change, how yet we don’t know, but as long as there are people playing cards, there will be winners and losers. And some version of this column.

Mercier and Selbst Succesfully Defend Titles at Final NAPT Stop
Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut

It was big news for all of about 14 hours, but there’s no disputing the incredibly impressive accomplishments of Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier at NAPT Mohegan Sun.

C/O PokerStars Blog

Selbst won the inaugural NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event in 2010 in a dominant performance. She lead the tournament from wire-to-wire and earned $750,000, putting her on the path that would lead to her becoming a member of Team PokerStars Pro. The logo on her shirt was different, the final seven standing in her way were different, but the ending was the same. Instead of huge chip advantage, she entered heads-up play with Dan Shak in an unusual spot for her, a three-to-one deficit. Shak was no match for fate, as Selbst quickly closed the gap and captured the title for a second straight year, this time for $450,000

C/O PokerStars Blog

The next day was Jason Mercier’s opportunity to repeat history. His 2010 effort was a $25,000 event that drew 35 players, and paid him a juicy $475,000. This year’s high roller lowered the buy-in to $10,000 but drew more than twice as many players (78 to be exact), and again Mercier won his first table to put himself in contention. He reached heads-up play against fellow Team PokerStars Pro member Eugene Katchalov at a slight disadvantage, but quickly erased it. When the final river hit the felt, Mercier had completed the highly unlikely exacta with Selbst and accumulated $246,600 between bounties and his first place prize. For their sake, lets just hope they didn’t get paid out via their PokerStars accounts.

Erik Seidel is Proven to be Human, Finishes 2nd at WPT Hollywood
Hollywood Casino, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Erik Seidel’s accomplishments thus far in 2011 can be put up against any individual year by any player in the history of the game, and the year’s less than 1/3rd of the way done. To put things in perspective, 4 of the top 5 top money accumulators are the top four finishers in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, the only anomaly on the list being Seidel. So when the final table was set at WPT Hollywood, Seidel was a prohibitive favorite, and by the time he got down to heads-up play with a part time player from Cincinnati, most of the media already had their reports typed up with their finger hovering over their mouse, ready to click send.

Perhaps we should have taken the events that took place in Indiana in to account when trying to make sense of the pokerpocalypse. Just 97 players showed up for a WPT event, the most famous ginger in poker quite literally abandoned her roots, and in the end, the stranglehold that Erik Seidel has held on poker was loosened, if only slightly. Mike Scarborough played an impressive tournament, and succeeded in overcoming a tough final table on his way to a $273,664 payday.

Everyone I Mentioned At WSOPC St. Louis Won a Lot of Money
WSOP Circuit, Harrah’s St. Louis, Missouri

In my last tournament recap, I mentioned La Sengphet had made her second final table at WSOPC St. Louis, and right after I posted she won the tournament for over $17,000, giving her her second ring of the season. I added a bit at the end to recognize it, and Dan put up a post congratulating her. In it, I mentioned Kyle Cartwright as one of only two players to win two rings at the same stop this season, both of his coming in Tunica. He won a final table that was going on concurrently to La’s, which just happened to be the Main Event in St. Louis.

449 players showed up for the $1,600 tournament, generating a sizable prize pool that would award over $142,000 to the eventual champion. On this day, Cartwright was indeed that man, adding a third ring and an automatic seat in the $1 million championship to what is likely the most impressive resume on this year’s WSOP Circuit.

Local Man Makes Good at LAPT Peru for Over $200K
Atlantic City Casino, Lima, Peru

C/O PokerStars Blog

Amidst the chaos that enveloped the poker world on Friday, a couple of the best that the American poker media has to offer (Shamus and Pauly) soldiered on with their reporting duties. As usual, their updates were top notch and captured the compelling action well, and it was some exciting play to be sure. Local Peruvian player Kemal Ferri went on a rampage when play got down to four-handed, eliminating all three of his opponents on the way to his first LAPT title and $207,400.

Michael Kanaan Makes Dozens of Media Friends After Quick Win in Sydney
ANZPT Sydney, Australia

C/O PokerStars Blog

The unofficial rule amongst the poker media is not to openly root for any one player at a final table. That rule is usurped by the fact that all media subconsciously roots for the big stacks to win during the big confrontations in order to facilitate an early exit from the casino. It is by this that we can judge Michael Kanaan the most popular player of every member of the media present for his win at ANZPT Sydney. The prohibitive chip leader entering play, Kanaan triumphed over his final eight opponents in less than four-and-a-half hours of play, sending people home at just after 5 pm after collecting his $195,714 first place prize, of course.

Luckily For the Pokerati Game, 2-Time WSOPC Omaha Ring Winner Plays Tournaments… For Now
WSOP Circuit, Caesers Las Vegas, Nevada

C/O WSOP

So much for sharing the wealth. Yet another player added his second WSOP Circuit ring of the season this past week as action moved to Caesers in Las Vegas. Army veteran Jessie Bryant’s job while he was enlisted was similar to the soldiers who were featured in “The Hurt Locker”, but these days his focus has been directed more towards the game of Omaha. Bryant won an Omaha-8/b event a few months ago in Tunica, and to show off the versatility in his skills he decided to change it up a bit in Las Vegas, adding a PLO championship to his poker resume. He is the early leader in the player of the series race in Las Vegas thanks to his score of just under $10,000.

Online Poker? Chip Jett Doesn’t Need No Stinkin’ Online Poker
Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza, Las Vegas, Nevada

Also well underway in Las Vegas over the past couple of weeks has been the latest incarnation of the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza. Well-known pros have been scattered amongst the lists of those who have cashed in the events held so far, but have began to pop up more and more since the madness of Friday. The most well-known of those players is Chip Jett, who for a long time has been one of the red-named players on Full Tilt. Not content to sit and stare at a blank computer screen, Jett decided to enter Event 20, a $340 No Limit Hold’em event, and promptly won the whole thing for just under $14,000.

Posted by at 7:40 pm

April 12, 2011

This Week’s Big Winners – April 12th

With so many high profile events on the verge of wrapping up (see WPT Hollywood, NAPT Mohegan Sun ME & Bounty Shootout, WSPOC St. Louis), you might think there isn’t much action to recap for this week. Nonsense! A major stop on the EPT, one of the biggest prizes in HPT history, and a lot of catching up to do with some impressive performances in WSOPC prelims.

Canuck’s First Live Tournament Cash is a Measly €825,000
EPT Berlin, Germany

Photo C/O PokerStars

Thanks in large part to an early collision between the two chip leaders early in final table action, Ben Wilnofsky had one of the easiest roads to victory that you’ll ever see (or not) in his victory in Berlin. One of the largest stops on the European tour, the EPT Berlin drew an astounding 773 players for their €5,000 Main Event to generate a prize pool just shy of €4 million. Wilnofsky and Maximilian Heinzelmann were well ahead of the pack when the final eight began play, but a flopped set generated a pot that was larger than any of the other six remaining players and propelled Wilnofsky the rest of the way.

The other notable accomplishment at this final table has to be the performance of Martin Jacobsen. The young Swede (and member of Team PokerStars Pro) made this his third final table of the EPT season, following a pair of second place finishes. He could not end his streak of falling just short, but held on for quite some time on a short stack before ultimately falling in fourth place.

In the end, the news was all about young Ben Wilnofsky. The 22-year-old Canadian has had some online success, but leading into this €5,000 event had not so much as recorded a single lifetime live cash. That also means that his average cash stands somewhere around €825,000, the champion’s share of this massive prize pool. Not bad for a few days work.

Spencer Uniss Nets Even Less For First Cash, a Paltry $221K
HPT @ Golden Gates Casino, Black Hawk, Colorado

Photo C/O HPT

Clearly there was some sort of first-timer strategy guide released this week online that I simply could not find. In addition to the first-time cash/winning combination in Berlin, another player cashed in his “one time” in a big way.

The HPT event at Golden Gates Casino in Colorado saw the biggest field in it’s history with 491 players showing up to generate a prize pool of almost $740,000. The first place prize was set to exceed $220,000.

Spencer Uniss made the newby mistake of promising big things if he was fortunate enough to win, telling his friends he would charter a flight to Las Vegas if he was lucky enough to win. In on an investment of just $370 after a satellite win, he felt as if he had nothing to lose, but now he has to pay up after banking the win in his first ever tournament cash for $221,594. After a bit of research, the cheapest hourly rate for a private plane is about $1,000 an hour, without factoring fuel surcharges, taxes, and other fees. At least it’s from Colorado and not the east coast.

Two Rings are Twice as Nice For Three Lucky Players
St. Louis, Missouri & Rincon, California

In the business of bigger events in the last several weeks, a few impressive feats in preliminary events have slipped through the cracks, which I’ll rectify momentarily. Two players won their second WSOPC ring of the year this week in St. Louis, and one lucky player became only the second player ever to record two wins at one stop a few weeks ago in Rincon.

Photo C/O WSOP

Kurt Jewell has the distinction of winning in the largest field in WSOPC history last October, when he won the Main Event in Hammond for a cool $242,909. He added a second piece of hardware this past week by winning an Omaha 8/b event in St. Louis, the same event that Team Pokerati member La Sengphet made in her pursuit of an at-large spot to the WSOP National Championship. In addition to the second ring, Jewell banked another $13,206 and has already locked up a seat in the $1 million freeroll by virtue of his previous win.

The appropriately named Huy (pronounced “We”) Nguyen hasn’t done so badly for himself this year on the circuit. Nguyen won another of the monsterous $1,600 Main Events, his being Choctaw where he made $232,706 for his efforts. His win in St. Louis came in a Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event with over 200 players. A $25,241 payday for the accountant from Norman, Oklahoma is another impressive score, but he too has his eyes on the National Championship, where he too has already locked up his seat.

Photo C/O WSOP

Finally we take a look back at the WSOPC stop in Rincon, where a man with quite an interesting name won a pair of events. Mstr Lynch won a grand total of over $45,000 for his two wins in Rincon, which propelled him to the most overall points of the Rincon series and a National Championship of his own. He’s just the second player (after Kyle Cartwright did so in Tunica) to win two events at the same series of the WSOPC.

EDIT: Right after the publishing of this article, La followed up with her third cash of the series in St. Louis in the best way possible: by winning her own 2nd ring of the year, according to Dan. At the very least it almost assures her of an at-large spot, if not player of the series in St. Louis. Congrats La!

Posted by at 7:23 pm

July 22, 2008

Dennis Phillips Getting STL Publicity

November Nine Chip Leader Overwhelmed by Attention

My hometown favorite is getting lots of publicity in St. Louis. Though he is originally from a small Illinois town across the river from the Lou, Dennis Phillips reps the STL with pride. With Midwest USA newspapers and magazines suddenly interested in poker, Dennis has gotten a lot of media attention, and while he seems to be getting more comfortable with the journalists and TV cameras, humble remains the word of the day.

One of the articles is from the Telegraph and gives a good insight into the WSOP final table chip leader, and the following video from the local NBC sports program shows that Dennis is a good representative for the game of poker. Note that in the video, he discusses the Bad Beat on Cancer patch that he wears on his shirt. Evidently, he is the only one of the nine finalists in the main event who signed up early on to donate 1% of his winnings to the Phil-Gordon-promoted charity. Who says he wouldn’t make for a great 2008 champion?

Click below to see the video interview (sorry, we can’t stop the autoplay).

More…

Posted by at 11:28 am

July 14, 2008

Go Chip Leader St. Louis Player Dennis Phillips!

It might not be obvious by the name California Jen, but I’m actually a native St. Louisan – born and raised. Having lived there most of my life, I still have family in the Gateway to the West and visit several times a year. (Hi, Mom!)

Who am I going to root for at the final table when no pros are left and I couldn’t tell one player from the next? The guy wearing the STL hat! How could a die-hard Cardinals fan not root for the guy with the red STL logo?

As Johnny mentioned, St. Louis is ready to saunter rally behind their hometown hero, at least they will when they find out about this little thing called the World Series of Poker and the $9 million at stake. Even though the final table has not been set, as 11 player still remain, Dennis is the massive chipleader with over 24 million chips (second place has under 15 million). The 53-year old trucking company worker is making a solid run at going to the November final table as the top dog, and I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

GO STL!

Posted by at 10:27 pm