In this week’s Calling the Clock we bring you news of the largest World Series of Poker Main Event since 2006, an ethics debate centred on Kristen Bicknell and Alex Foxen, and much more.
7,784 people entered the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event this year. It’s the second largest field since Jamie Gold won in 2006, 12-years ago, and up 9% YoY.
Players from 88 countries and every single American state contributed $10,000 to the cause, most donating, including 4,571 entrants on Day 1C, the highest single day Main Event field in history.
Those believing they are cavorting in some act of necrophilia each time they sit down to play poker are misinformed.
Poker is alive and well folks.
181 people will receive a $5,000 profit.
Here are the more significant numbers.
Final Table Payouts
As I write this, 2,460 players began Day 2ab, and 1,235 will proceed to Day 3. A man by the name of Shawn Daniels has the chip lead (532,500). Kelly Minkin (380,800), Chris Kruk (370,500) and Govert Metaal (355,400) also bagged up impressive heaps of chips.
Day 2C gets underway later today.
And The Other Bracelet Winners Were
Three well-known pros in poker won bracelets this week.
Phil Galfond took time out from the live cash game action to secure his third bracelet, beating 236 entrants to win the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship for $567,788 in a game he only encounters during Mixed Game action. Jean-Robert Bellande also skipped some cash game action to take a punt in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max and ended up bettering 621 players to win the $616,302 first prize in his maiden bracelet win. And Chance Kornuth took down the $3,200 Online High Roller beating 480 entrants to earn $341,598 and his second bracelet.
Kornuth wasn’t the only champion of an online bracelet event this week. Ryan Tosoc took down the $1,000 Online No-Limit Hold’em Championship, beating 1,635 entrants to take home a $238,778 prize.
When it comes to names that clean up at the online poker tables, you don’t get much bigger than Calvin Anderson. The ten-time Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) holder showed he is a dab hand in the live realm taking down the $10,000 Razz Championship, bettering 119 opponents to bank the $309,220 first prize.
Scott Seiver beat 113 entrants to take down the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. The man who sits 10 in the All-Time Money List added $292,222 to a haul that peeks over the $23m wall. Jessica Dawley defeated 696 players on her way to a first bracelet in the $1,000 Ladies Event. The former 888Poker Ambassador collected $130,230 for her win.
And it wasn’t just the superstars of poker that received their five minutes of fame this week.
Jeremy Perrin overcame 8,920 entrants to win the $365 GIANT No-Limit Hold’em for $250,966. Tim Andrew won the $365 GIANT Pot-Limit Omaha, beating 3,250 entrants to secure a $116,015 first prize. And Mike Takayama became the first player from the Philippines to win a bracelet when he beat 2,065 entrants in a single day of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty for $198,568.
Finally, Joey Couden overcame a final table that housed Daniel Negreanu, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow and Bruno Fitoussi to capture the first prize of $244,370 in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. And Nikita Luther and Giuseppe Pantaleo teamed up to beat 1,032 teams in the $1,000 Tag Team. The pair earned a bracelet each and $175,805 in prize money.
PokerStars has been active in the marketing department this week, primarily focusing on January’s $25,000 Poker Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC).
David Carrion and the team continue to give creative control of the issuance of $30,000 Platinum Passes to PokerStars Ambassadors. Jason Somerville will hand one out to a potential Twitch Poker star. Jaime Staples is looking for someone to create a life-changing event. And Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree are looking for the next brain box.
They gave Chris Moneymaker nine of the things, and he’s decided to give them away during a tour of the United States of America. The Moneymaker PSPC Tour carries a $86 buy-in (the same amount Moneymaker paid to play in THE satellite that changed poker). There will be eight live events, and an online game played out at PokerStarsNJ.
PokerStars also teamed up with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida, who will hand out two Platinum Passes in promotions that focus on the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO).
I spoke to David Carrion about the PSPC in an interview titled: The PSPC is a Manifestation of Our Passion For Poker.
And Carrion wasn’t the only PokerStars’ ear I got to bend this week. I also managed to pin Daniel Negreanu down to ask him a few questions on his Masterclass in Don’t do Anything Stupid.
partypoker popped up twice in the news this week.
The first press release focused on their sponsorship of the Irish Poker Masters. The €1,150 buy-in event carries a €1m Guarantee, and according to the person who typed and sent, that’s the first time a guarantee of that magnitude will take place in the Emerald Isle.
The second piece of news circulated the third iteration of the low stakes online series Monster. There will be 171 games spread over a three-tiered 56 event system with buy-ins ranging from $1.50 to $33, and partypoker will guarantee more than $2m in prize money.
The Best of the Rest
One of partypoker’s ambassadors was the centre of unwanted attention this week.
Kristen Bicknell and her beau Alex Foxen caused a twister of upset and unease after the pair battled through to three-handed action in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event as part of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Festival in the Venetian. The one man preventing the lovebirds from a shared winner’s photo was the Australian hotshot Kahle Burns.
As soon as Phong Nguyen exited in fourth place, Bicknell offered Burns a chop. Burns declined. The game continued, with Burns nursing the short-stack when his two opponents became embroiled in a pot where Bicknell held pocket aces, and Foxen flopped a top set of jacks on a reasonably dry board. The pair played the hand rather tepidly much to the chagrin of Michael Watson.
Sir Watts chimed in on a personal blog post that he believed the pair had subconsciously colluded against Burns because of their relationship. Doug Polk seemed to agree in a VLOG episode on the subject, and Justin Bonomo also shared his view on the debate, including the ethics of increasing share equity at a final table.
I captured all their views right here.
The shortlist for the 2018 Poker Hall of Fame is out. I write why I think Mike Matusow and Huck Seed will get in this year.
And Poker Central acquired the assets of the Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA). The first changes include changing the name to the Poker Alliance and replacing the need for grassroots donations with corporate money raising.
Time ladies & gentleman, please.
Someone has just called the clock.