Calling the Clock: Van Fleet wins a million; WPT offers two million

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

Another look underneath the lampshade of the world of poker with the spotlight beaming brightly on partypoker’s online MILLIONS event, and the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic. 

Calling The Clock: Van Fleet wins a million; WPT offers two millionThe battle to become number one in the poker tournament charts intensified this week after partypoker successfully migrated the MILLIONS brand to the virtual world.

Not everything went smoothly (Day 1A ran over by 45-minutes, costing party $25k in apology money), but it showed that Mike Sexton and co. are capable of matching PokerStars in three of the key areas of traction (live MTT, Online MTT, and Online High Stakes cash action), albeit in more isolated cases. The challenge comes longer term. Will people stick around minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-after-day?

1,047 entrants ensured they surpassed the $5m guarantee by $135,000, and Jonathan “sordykrd” Van Fleet was the last man seated, earning $1,027,000 to take his total online MTT earnings over the $9.5m mark.

In other online poker news, Breakout Gaming joined the growing ranks of cryptocurrency sites in the poker ecosystem (crypto sites aren’t running around the backyard like chickens chased by a fox, but something tells me it won’t be long before there are feathers everywhere).

Breakout Poker joins the GG Network. Players can use the BRK cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and USD. The BRK Coin trades on several online exchanges.

And the New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak has introduced a bill into the sausage machine that would remove the need to have online gambling servers physically located on New Jersey soil. If accepted the new bill would pave the way for international liquidity, but I wouldn’t waste your time checking your pocket watch for updates.

Asian Poker News: Bad Goods For India, Good News For China 

Let’s start with the good news.

Poker’s legitimacy as a respectable game of skill took an upturn in China this week after the Chengdou Panda’s won the inaugural Global Poker League (GPL) in the region.

The Panda’s beat The Hong Kong Treasure Ships in the final to bank the 1 million RMB ($150,000) first prize and immediately donated 5% to charity. Alex Dreyfus and the team now set their sights on GPL India.

And talking about poker in India, the game tripped up during their game of legal poker Hopscotch this week after the state of Gujarat turned their noses up at a civil petition delivered by several poker lovers arguing that poker is a game of skill.

GPL India, India’s Poker Sports League (PSL), and Match India Poker League (MIPL) continue regardless.

Live Tournament News: Unibet in Bucharest; WPT in Bellagio; WSOP in Sydney 

It’s been a busy week for live tournament poker in the lead to the Christmas cull.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic has been the biggest and most prestigious event. Taking place at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, the punters have been filing past the fountains to take a seat in one of the most salubrious poker joints in the world.

Side event winners include:

Rainer Kempe winning the $25k High Roller for $351,000, Kristen Bicknell winning a $5k for $288,144 and Scott Clements winning a $1k Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) for $21,184.

Dan Smith won the $100k for $1.4m, Jason Koon won a $25k for $289,950 and Sergio Aido took down a $10k for $128,800.

Jared Jaffee won a $1.5k for $84,348, Chris Moorman won a $1k Turbo for $37,132 and Steve Silverman won a $1.5k Shot Clock event for $70,307.

The Main Event courted some social media squabbles after Allen Kessler questioned the tour’s decision to continue allowing the rich and the best to fire unlimited bullets into the $10k Main Event. After 812 entrants made it the largest Five Diamond event in the tour’s history, guaranteeing two seven-figure scores including close to $2m for first, I doubt the rules will change, but I wrote about it all the same.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) was also busy this week. The team was cleaved in two to service World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) events in North Carolina and Sydney.

Charles Johnson Jr took down the Main Event in North Carolina beating 957 entrants to seize the $272,744 first prize to earn a seat in the Global Casino Championship. David Jackson joins him after winning the Casino Championship.

Shooting Down Under and Johan Lees won the record breaking Opening Event at WSOPC Sydney. The Star Casino attracted a record 1,357 entrants and Lees banked $105,416 for his troubles.

502 entrants created €502,000 in prize money in Unibet’s season-ending finale in Bucharest. The trophy remained on home soil for the second successive season after Marius Pertea triumphed for €90,925. During the action Unibet’s Twitch channel reached two million views, and did so while capturing this gem of a hand.

Bits and Bobs

We will finish a few stories that don’t fit into a particular headline.

A video has emerged showing what people to believe is Salomon Ponte getting his head kicked in by a man who looks quite hard. Toronto police released the footage hoping the public might recognise the attacker and dob him in. 2+2 posters believe Ponte is the man under the cosh. The fight broke over an unpaid debt. Ponte, if it was him, ended up in hospital.

Is this the Hashtag King?

And we end with the news that Poker Central is banging out a new TV show. Stories From The Felt is a six-part series featuring some of the untold stories of the game. The series is exclusive to PokerGO.

Time ladies and gentlemen.

Someone has just called the clock.


views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of