In this week’s calling the clock we say goodbye to the World Series of Poker for another few months, take a look at PokerStars new #raiseit campaign, and 888Poker’s weekly storyboard video.
The 47th World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is done and dusted. 107,833 players partook, and that was a 4% increase on the record-breaking year they experience in 2016.
Who said poker was dead?
Mitchell Towner and Hung Le played the role of Leicester City to perfection with their earth-shattering victories in the Monster Stack and Crazy Eights events. Justin Bonomo, John Monnette, and Brandon Shack-Harris performed exceptionally well. And Chris Ferguson proved that you could be absent from the game for six years, return amidst a storm of spit and fury and still break into the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) Top 10.
Cute stories, but poker demands a winner.
Jason Mercier was that man.
The PokerStars Team Pro was christened the 2016 WSOP POY after Paul Volpe and Max Silver failed to earn sufficient points to catch him during their deep runs in the Main Event. Mercier made four final tables, won two bracelets, and nearly won a third. He earned a lot of money in side bets, and even managed to pop the question when his girlfriend Natasha Barbour finished third in a $5k event.
However, even Mercier’s successes will be overshadowed in early November when the WSOP crown their latest world champion, and we now know who the nine warriors will be.
The final days of the WSOP Main Event were something special as the cream rose to the top.
Check this out for a bunch of world class near misses:
56. Tom Middleton
55. Dietrich Fast
50. Anthony Gregg
45. Chris Klodnicki
43. Paul Hoefer
40. Jason Les
33. Max Silver
31. Daniel Colman
29. Paul Volpe
25. Antoine Saout
23. Valentin Vornicu
16. Jared Bleznick
14. Tom Marchese
13. James Obst
We still have a final table with some magical storylines.
Griffin Benger has spent the past few months watching the world’s greatest players duking it out in his role as the commentator for the Global Poker League (GPL). The former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive World #1, has the chance to become poker’s World #1 when he starts in seventh place.
Kenny Hallaert is one of the most popular players on the European circuit. He finished fifth in the inaugural Colossus last year and returned this year to make the November Nine fourth in chips.
Few, if anyone, has put more people into this event in a backing capacity than Cliff Josephy over the years. The legendary JohnnyBax will start the final table with the chip lead.
And what about Fernando Pons?
The Spaniard who had never been to Las Vegas before, and who won his seat playing in a €30 satellite on 888Poker. The Spanish Moneymaker, maybe?
Here are the full chip counts
1. Cliff Josephy – 74.6m
2. Qui Nguyen – 67.925m
3. Gordon Vayo – 49.375m
4. Kenny Hallaert – 43.425m
5. Michael Ruane – 31.6m
6. Vojtech Ruzicka – 27.3m
7. Griffin Benger – 26.175m
8. Jerry Wong – 10.175m
9. Fernando Pons – 6.15m
And while all eyes were on the race to make the November Nine, Michael Tureniec earned a gold bracelet by taking down the Little One for One Drop. The former European Poker Tour (EPT) Champion defeated Calvin Anderson in heads-up action to take the $525,520 first prize. The event collected $1,206,478 for the ONE DROP Foundation.
The Best of the Rest
Not much else happened in the world of poker this week, here are the snippets.
Jeff Gross told CalvinAyre that Poker Refugees, a site that helps relocate poker players, will be setting up a Twitch streaming house where Gross Jamie and Matt Staples, Kevin Martin, and possibly Parker Talbot will be pumping out live content on a daily basis. The set up will be somewhere in Canada, and they hope to be up and running in time for the World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP).
Global Poker Index (GPI) World #1, Fedor Holz, told CalvinAyre this week that he doesn’t see his future in poker. The 22-year old, who has won over $18m in the past four years in one of the fastest ascents to the top in living memory, wants to spend his time learning about life.
“Society clearly teaches us the wrong value system. Money is overvalued, and freedom has very little to do with money. We always think that money is connected to how we feel but it’s a very short-term feeling and what I have learned coaching, and giving back to people, I realised that this is the only thing that gives me joy. That’s why poker is not the thing I want to pursue. It only takes. It’s very selfish. There is no lasting place for it in my life to do this for a living.” Said Holz.
Brazilian footballing stars of past and present, Neymar and Ronaldo, have been doing their bit to raise the awareness of poker this week. The PokerStars Team Sportstars have had a bit of fun in a series of video style challenges that have gone viral under the hashtag #raiseit.
Over 20 million people have connected with the project.
Here is the pair kicking footballs into the boots of cars.
888Poker has also been busy this week. The world’s second largest poker room launched an innovative idea in beta mode where players receive a weekly video describing their performances on the virtual felt.
The video pulls information from 21 different statistics including your biggest score, best hand, and the names of your greatest foes. It’s a fabulous idea, and I think it will be a big hit when they roll it out universally.
Check it out for yourself.
Time, ladies and gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.