As I watch the craned camera follow Jason Koon out of the Triton Poker Series HKD 2,000,000 (USD 255,000) buy-in Main Event in fifth place for HKD 8,470,000 (USD 1,079,120), I have to remind myself that there are poker tournaments in the world where you don’t have to invest the cost of a house to play.
Here are three of them.
Joseph Cheong Wins MSPT Closer at The Venetian
Most high stakes players struggle to focus when competing in lower buy-in games, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem plaguing Joseph Cheong recently.
The half a million bucks Cheong has earned this calendar year represents his second lowest score since 2011, but he has been having a fun time taking down smaller buy-in tournaments.
In April, he beat 109 entrants to take the $65,399 first prize, and his second World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring after winning the $2,200 buy-in High Roller at Planet Hollywood, Vegas. In the same month, he beat 93 entrants to win a $1,100 Turbo event at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock event for $29,503. Then won his third gold ring after beating 530 entrants to win $34,188 in a side event at Harrah’s Cherokee, North Carolina.
An 11th place finish in the 1,954 entrant field in the CAD 5300 buy-in MILLIONS North America for $66,386, was followed by a 23rd place finish in the 7,361 entrant Millionaire Maker for $40,898, and then this.
Cheong was one of 1,078 entrants to take part in the $440 No-Limit Hold’em Closer at the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) DeepStack Championship at the Venetian, Las Vegas, and he walked away with the $69,000 first prize after beating Sharon Levin heads-up.
Here are the final table results.
1. Joseph Cheong – $69,000
2. Sharon Levin – $44,100
3. George Glagola – $43,500
4. Rory Brown – $25,401
5. Bobby Poe – $19,401
6. Chris Karson – $15,001
7. Kristen Doyle – $11,801
8. Andras Stumpf – $9,001
9. Michael Sinclair – $7,200
Three other champions earned enough brass to buy a flat tyre including Chris Moorman (24th), Aaron Massey (47th), and Anthony Spinella (50th).
Jeff Fielder Wins HPT Ameristar Kansas City
Jeff Fielder has won his first title of 2018, after taking down the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Ameristar Main Event in Kansas City. Fielder defeated a field of 209 entrants in the $1,650 buy-in event to clock the $94,713 first prize.
The victory was even sweeter when you consider that Fielder overcame a final table that housed the likes of Nick Jivkov, Nick Pupillo, Vincent Moscati and James Mackey.
In December, Fielder won the $2,500 WPT DeepStacks Championships in Lincoln for $220,216, and in April came close to becoming the first player to win WPT DeepStack and WPT Main Event titles when finishing sixth in the WPT Showdown Championship in Hollywood for $144,775.
It was Fielder’s seventh career title, and he’s earned $1.6m in prize money.
Here are the final table results:
1. Jeff Fielder – $94,713
2. Jovan Sudar – $60,535
3. Nick Jivkov – $40,562
4. Eric Medved – $28,620
5. Nick Pupillo – $21,414
6. Vincent Moscato – $17,296
7. Saied Moradi-golbolandi – $14,413
8. Rohman Viar – $11,942
9. James Mackey – $10,336
Igor Merda Wins the 2018 Florida State Championships
Last but not least, Igor Merda has taken down the 2018 Florida State Championships. Merda topped a field of 564 entrants to win the $1,500 buy-in Championship after beating the outstanding Jonathan Jaffe in heads-up action. Jaffe entered the final battle with a near 2:1 chip deficit, and lost when his rivered two pairs failed to beat the turned wheel of Merda.
The win was only Merda’s second of his career, and his previous best score was $33,361 after winning a side event at the WPT DeepStacks event in Hollywood.
Here are the final table results:
1. Igor Merda – $145,517
2. Jonathan Jaffe – $102,005
3. Dimitri Perfilev – $65,587
4. Adam Adler – $46,476
5. Antonio Salorio – $35,679
6. Marc Duqette – $29,390
7. Michael Moreno – $24,365
8. David Shmuel – $19,370
9. Steve Karp – $14,550