A cracking week of poker news to catch up on including live tournament victories for Adrian Mateos, Charlie Carrel and Jason Wheeler; World Series of Poker news galore, and much more.
The biggest news story of the week is the decision to change the structure for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) November Nine. Don’t break out the champagne just yet. They haven’t disbanded the idea. Instead, the final table will be broken down into three different stages, and not two as previously exercised.
The final nine will start playing on Nov 8. Play will then end when four-handed, before resuming on Nov 9. Play will then end when heads-up, before resuming on Nov 10. My initial thoughts are not positive. It disrupts flow. It’s akin to playing the two halves of a Champions League final on two separate days.
The news was released on the annual WSOP Media Conference. There were other highlights.
The format for the first online poker bracelet will also change. Players must be in Nevada to play in the event, but then can qualify for the event from out of state (as long as that state has an agreement in place with WSOP.com, such as New Jersey). The tournament will end when they reach the final six players, and that action will play out live at The Rio.
WSOP officials also advised the media that anyone entering the Rio will gain access to free Wi-Fi (now you can break out the champagne). The changes have been made so players can play on WSOP.com whilst also playing in live events. Let’s hope that the Internet connection is strong enough to handle the traffic.
In other WSOP news the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) schedule has been announced. Spielbank Berlin (Casino) will host the event that will operate Oct 8 – 24. There will be a record 10-bracelet events up for grabs, a wide range of side events, and cash games from 11am through to 5am each day.
The main highlights include a €550 No-Limit Hold’em Oktoberfest event (the smallest NLHE buy-in event in WSOPE history), a €550 Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) event (the smallest buy-in PLO event in WSOP history), a €25,600 High Roller, and the €10,450 Main Event.
The last time the WSOPE was in town was in 2013. Paris was the hosts and an 18-year old Spaniard came from nowhere to defeat Fabrice Soulier to win the WSOPE Main Event, and one million euro first prize. That wonderkid was Adrian Mateos, and last week he earned his second seven figure score by winning the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo. He is the first Spaniard to win an EPT Main Event. He is still only 20-years old.
Mateos wasn’t the only kid winning megabucks in Monte Carlo. The winner of the €25,500 High Roller was also a baby. 21-year old Charlie Carrel is notorious for depositing $15 online and turning it into $500,000. It seems the young man has gotten bored with the online scene, and has wandered into the live arena looking for a bigger challenge.
In Nov, Carrel won the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Grand Final in London for $170,950, he finished fifth in the €10,300 EPT Malta High Roller for $201,211, and he picked up $1,241,682 for his victory in the €25,500 EPT Grand Final High Roller. Is it any wonder that our children don’t finish school these days?
The World Poker Tour (WPT) also featured this week. A few months ago they broke the news of a four-year deal that would see them hosting events in the Holland Casino, Amsterdam. This week they turned up for their first-ever Main Event.
Before they got to the big one there was the side issue of who would win the €6,000 High Roller. Jason Wheeler managed to find the right balance of smoke, rest and play to defeat Jack Salter, in heads-up play, to take the €125,000 first prize. The Main Event attracted 341 players and Wheeler is still in contention after two days of action. He is currently 6/65 with three more days to play.
The Man v Machine debate has been finalized. The quartet of Doug Polk, Jason Les, Dong Kim, and Bjorn Li, has defeated the artificial intelligence known as Claudico. The fearsome foursome ended the 14-day challenge with a profit of $723,713, although Les was actually defeated by Claudico after their 20,000 hand spat.
The scientists believe the margin of success was too narrow to call it a human victory, and instead declared it a ’statistical tie.’ The team from Carnegie Mellon University believe the data they have gathered through the exercise will be sufficient enough to ensure an AI victory in the next 12-months.
Talking about machines.
Brazilian and Barcelona star, Neymar, has joined PokerStars as an ambassador. He joins fellow sports stars Ronaldo, Rafa Nadal, and Fatima Moreira de Melo at the Red Spade, and you can expect to see him playing a minor role at the Season 12 EPT opener in Barcelona.
Time, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.