Posts Tagged ‘Rincon’

The Road to Rincon: Travel Report

by , Apr 10, 2012 | 12:08 pm

The first thing you need to understand when planning a trip to Rincon is that it’s not San Diego. Our friend Billy made the mistake of bringing his family thinking he could play poker while his family enjoyed the city. Rincon is an hour outside the city up a nice windy mountain road and should in no way be categorized as “close to the beach”. Billy’s family left him the day after arrival, exchanging their mountain view for something oceanside.

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This Week’s Big Winners – April 12th

by , Apr 12, 2011 | 7:23 pm

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!


This Week’s Big Winners – April 5th

by , Apr 5, 2011 | 6:28 pm

Eslami Proves ‘If You Can Beat a Robot, You Can Beat a Man’ at Rincon
WSOPC Western Regional Championship, Rincon, California

Photo C/O WSOP

Before this week, Ali Eslami’s most notable accomplishment was defeating Polaris, the poker playing computer, in tandem with Phil Laak. The LA-based cash game player proved his versatility this week by beating 8 real live human opponents on the road to the WSOPC Rincon crown. The third of four $10,000 events on the WSOP Circuit, Rincon drew an anemic 98 players, surprising mostly due to the nine WSOP Circuit National Championship seats awaiting those who made the final table.

Among those who made the final table were Circuit superstar Dwyte Pilgrim, Steve Brecher, and fresh off his win last week at the Wynn $5K, Tim West. West fell just short of the impressive back-to-back feat, finishing as the runner-up to Eslami. For his win, Eslami took home just under $175,000, the ring, and a chance at a nice chunk of change in seven weeks at the National Championship.

Mclean Carr Takes WPT Vienna High Roller; Seidel Unavailable for Comment
Vienna, Austria

Photo C/O PartyPoker

Stop the presses! There was a High Roller poker tournament held on this planet this week that Erik Seidel not only didn’t win, he didn’t even play. This worked very much to the benefit of Mclean Carr, who took great advantage of the absence of the king of the monster buy-in to dominate the WPT Vienna High Roller, by all accounts. Carr took home €185,120 by overcoming the field of 50 and taking the chip lead from the beginning of the final table to the end.

No Place Like Home for Del Prado in Winning APT Philippines
Pasay City, Philippines

On the Asia-based poker tours, specifically the APT and APPT, the field sizes and buy-ins can sometimes make the achievement of winning a Main Event look a little less impressive than it should. But the APT Philippines stop this week had the buy-in ($2,500, American) and the field size (231) to allow it to contend as one of the largest prizes awarded of the week.

Six of the ten players who made the final table were Filipino locals, along with a Canadian, an Australian, a South Korean and a player from Hong Kong. A local champion could not be denied, though, as Enrique Del Prado defeated Elton Tsang heads-up to keep the title local, and won a hair under $180,000 for his accomplishment.

Romanello 2/3rds of Way to Triple Crown Inside of 1 Year with Win
WPT Bratislava, Slovakia

Photo C/O PartyPoker

In the age of the internet, people coming out of nowhere are becoming harder and harder to find. Gone are the days where a Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili could enter the NBA without great fanfare and shock the world. In the world of poker, the hype for international players is sometimes a bit slow in getting to American shores, but a smart bet for some serious WSOP success this year would be Roberto Romanello.

The former owner of a chip shop in South Wales, Romanello rubbed some of his opponents the wrong way with his final table antics, but there’s no denying his talents. Following a win at EPT Prague a few months ago, Romanello’s win at WPT Bratislava netted him another €140,685. He heads to the WSOP with a goal of being the first person in the history of poker to capture a Triple Crown (WPT, EPT, WSOP bracelet) in a single calendar year.

Foxwoods Provides Appropriate Environment for Chops
Mashantucket, Connecticut

Photo C/O WJMedia

With the amount of tournament series’ that are run at Foxwoods, I’m surprised that Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum, master scribe of Foxwoods Live, doesn’t own a second home on the reservation. No matter how many tournaments they run, though, Foxwoods consistently brings in some of the best field sizes on the East Coast every time.

The $2,500 Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event drew 284 players, creating a prize pool of over $630,000 and a first place prize of over $150,000. All of which made it easier to chop it up once play got down to three-handed, giving each of the remaining players a hefty ROI over their initial $2,500 investment. At a final table that featured tournament regular Todd Terry, the shortest stack of the three, Michael Lavoie, guaranteed himself almost second place money, settling for $79,987. Similarly chipped Ronnie Pease ($108,295) and Phil Reed ($114,050) each cashed in big time, with Reed’s slight advantage also giving him the official win, the trophy and a snappy leather jacket.

HPT Win Allows Father To Buy the Greatest Swing Set Ever Created
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel, Tama, Iowa

Photo C/O HPT

When Tom Hujda left his Illinois home for his trip to last week’s HPT stop in Iowa, his only goal was to leave with enough money to buy a swing set for his kids. Even this seemed like an ambitious goal, having never recorded so much as a cash on the Heartland Poker Tour. By the time the tournament was over, however, Hujda’s kids are probably getting a whole playground, as he won the whole thing for $77,897. He can afford to install this behemoth and still have $67,000+ to spare. Those are some lucky kids.

In Modern Day Kiev, Poker Plays You!
RPS Kiev, Ukraine

The Russian Poker Series is like the red-headed stepchild of the PokerStars tournament circuits, not even netting a mention on the PokerStars blog for the RPS’ most recent stop in Kiev. The $1,000 Grand Special built a prize pool of almost $300,000, however, with Yurij Predybajlo winning the tournament, $65,590, and the award for the least pronounceable name.

BLUFF Managing Editor Refuses to Share in the Run-Good, Strikes Again in Indiana
Hollywood Poker Open, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

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File pic: Jess Welman

It’s been a little while since we had an entry in the “Year of the Media”, but we got a repeat offender this week. Jess Welman traveled to the Hollywood Poker Open in Indiana for their Ladies’ event, and in familiar fashion made her way through the field to the final table. She’s had an impressive run over the last year, cashing in the WSOP Ladies’ event, freerolling her way into an event at the Detox Series last year and final tabling, chopping another Ladies’ Event eight ways, and now this most recent performance. Welman fell just short, earning $3,770 for her second place finish. She will be back in town as part of the live updates team for the televised WPT Main event in the coming week, so if you’re headed there, be sure to congratulate her on another impressive performance.