April 26, 2011
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.
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
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
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
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
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.