In this week’s Calling the Clock we focus on three separate news stories featuring Art Papazyan, Jason Koon, and Anton Wigg, things liven up in South America and a whole lot more.
Art Papazyan is the overwhelming favourite to win the Hublot sponsored World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year (POY) race after winning his second WPT Main Event in the past five weeks.
Papazyan, an unheard of force in the live tournament world before his two victories, took down WPT Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event, defeating 561 entrants on his way to a $389,405 first prize. Papazyan also won the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event trawling through 763 entrants to secure the top prize of $668,692. Papazyan has twice as many WPT POY points as his nearest contender.
It was a week when the WPT showed what a global force it is. While Papazyan was doing the business in the States, Bian Yang defeated 175 entrants on her way to the $50,256 first prize at WPT Korea. And Adam Pliska announced plans to take the team to Argentina for the first time in 2018.
South American live poker is on the up. Not only is the WPT preparing to make it three visits with that stop in Argentina, but partypoker and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) are also making their presence felt.
The duo partnered to host a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Festival in Brazil this week. The Main Event attracted 939 entrants, and Andrew Zeus won the top prize of R$550,000 (Kristen Bicknell finished seventh). The pair will visit Uruguay in November.
The WSOPC also flexed its muscles Stateside this week. Joe Gottlieb and Anton Wigg won the Main Event and High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Gotlieb defeated 904 entrants to bank $257,638, and the Swede beat out 133 entrants to capture the first prize of $111,719.
And partypoker added a new ambassador to the payroll this week, as well as creating a Player’s Advisory Panel to bridge the gap between the change makers and those chipping away at the rock face. I write about the signing of Jason Koon, and why I believe there is more to the story, right here.
In other live tournament news: Gary McGinty defeated 544 entrants to win the €91,808 first prize at the PokerStars Festival Dublin, and Max Silver won the High Roller for €45,350, his last contribution to the poker industry before taking time off to hold the hand of his wife very tightly while she has a baby (the most critical role IMO).
Joe Serock won the European Open Special Edition in the Wynn Las Vegas. The Unibet Open tournament that’s not really a Unibet Open tournament, but it is really, attracted 673 players, including 200 qualifiers from Unibet. Joe Serock won the $113,059 first prize.
And Albert Daher continued his impressive year when he took down the $218,000 first prize in the MSOP Main Event at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel & Casino in Kyrenia.
Bits and Bobs
The International Federation of Poker (IFP) did the right thing by changing its name to The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) (after all, it wasn’t really the federation of poker). It also achieved GAISF Observer status, meaning Match Poker moved a step closer to appearing at the Olympics.
Supporters of the shared liquidation of the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian online poker markets got a kick in the shins this week after an Italian MP shared his plans to try and put the kibosh on the idea. Democratic Party Senator Franco Mirabelli will do his utmost to prevent the merger because he believes it opens the floodgates for money launderers.
Simon Jones was crowned the Greatest Poker Player in the Universe after topping the leaderboard in the MPN’s Universal Championship of Poker (UCOP). The 59 events, guaranteeing €750,000 in prize money topped €810,000 making it the most successful UCOP to date. Jones wins a trophy and €5k in prize money for his endeavours.
And if you are seeking an opinion this week, then check out my view on how online poker rooms can communicate better with their customers, how online poker rooms can better disrupt people during online festivals, and why you should be careful about how you keep up with the Moormans
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone just called the clock.