Debate – payment pattern of poker tournaments

For many years now, Roger Hairabedian has been militating the idea of extending the payment structure to 30% of the players at the poker tournaments. He had the occasion to express himself again on this matter in the last issue of the Live Poker magazine. In the same issue, Philippe Ktorza condemns the low prizes offered to those who finish on the first payed positions.

In the last issue of Live Poker, Roger Hairabedian restated his credo about the payment structures of the poker tournaments: “Rewarding one player out of ten is not enough. On the internet, 30% of those registered are payed at the SitnGos […] We have to adopt the same policy in live tournaments. We should start with 20% at the ITM and, step by step, we will get to the 30%, with the final ten per cent simply reimbursed.”

Philippe Ktorza is another player who voices out his opinion in the last issue of the Live Poker magazine. He also condemns the nowadays payment structure but he has a different line of argumentation from that of Roger Hairabedian: “The structures don’t reward the performances to their real value. [Often] the gain doesn’t even cover the additional fees. Over an year, a player who finishes on 20nd position in most tournaments loses money, while one who finishes once on the podium wins. But who is the better one?”

The debate was carried over to the forum where a variety of opinions are expressed on the subject. Xewod suggests reducing the ITM to 10 or 12%: “ I don’t see why we should pay so many players unless they will be able to register for other events. At 30% it will break the tournament dynamics […]. The average will fall and this will surely render the poker game much less interesting early in the tournament.”

Xewod is nonetheless opposed to reducing the gains of the first positions because these prizes make the players dream and are the reasons for which they “register and compete”. This is the complete opposite of the opinions of Hairabedian (“It’s not so bad to cut from the gains of the first positions an amount that allows three times more players to survive”) or of Philippe Ktorza (“I suggest to reduce the prize for the top three winners and to always double the buy-in for the payed positions”).

Just like Roger, SquawK offers the example of the online poker rooms:”The online poker rooms try to extend to a maximum the number of players gaining in the tournaments. They do this because the players who want to double their investments will replay their gains, while the first prize usually retreat their gains from the site”. He admits nevertheless that “players who have an edge are disadvantaged on the long term”.

GameAddiction is another player who reflects on the edge subject: “I believe that the field should be extended in order to reward the proficiency. With the present structure, a good tournament player who finishes in 15 ITM along the year will win less than a player who wins a tournament […] Of course, the gap between the first places and the others should remain significant, but nowadays it is too huge in my opinion”.

Joe Tehan- the surprise of NAPT Los Angeles

Though Chris DeMaci and Jason Mercier were the public’s favourites for winning the North American Poker Tour, the big surprise of the evening was Joe Tehan. He gradually eliminated player after player, moving up to his victory.

The start of the final table had the following configuration:

1. Christopher DeMaci – 6,283,000
2. Jason Mercier -3,800,000
3. Ray Henson – 3,268,000
4. Jacob Toole – 1,975,000
5. Joe Tehan -1,907,000
6. Michael Binger – 1,670,000
7. Anh Van Nguyen – 1,058,000
8. Al Grimes – 982,00

An exceptional rush of cards completely changed the above configuration. Quite from the start of final table, Tehan (KK) succeeded a double-up against DeMaci (AK). Soon afterwards he became the chip leader and began winning all the coin-flips.

The final results of the NAPT Los Angeles are:

1. Joe Tehan – 725,000$
2. Christopher DeMaci – 440,000$
3. Al Grimes – 250,000$
4. Anh Van Nguyen, – 195,000$
5. Ray Henson – 145,000$
6. Michael Binger – 114,000$
7. Jason Mercier – 84,857$
8. Jake Toole – 60,000$

The North American Poker Tour (NAPT) is a PokerStars sponsored event along with other PokerStars tournaments from the same category:

Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT)
European Poker Tour (EPT)
Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT)
Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT)
Italian Poker Tour (IPT)

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA)

Regional Championships of Online Poker (RCOOP)

The world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars, has announced the forthcoming Regional Championship of Online Poker (RCOOP). This sounds fun and challenging: fun because you get to play with people from your own region, probably even speaking the same language, and challenging because at the end, there will be a final winner for each region. This poker championship is something more than just fighting over big money: it’s about national or regional pride and winning the title of the best player in your region.

RCOOP is just another PokerStars event from the series made up of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).

However, the Regional Championships of Online Poker is a completely new event organised by PokerStars and consists of a series of tournaments, each series allocated to a different geographical region. In other words, Poker Stars has split the world in 13 regions within which players can compete against each other in the attempt to become the best player of their region. Each regional series is made up of 11 events, all with guaranteed prize pools!

The buy-ins are suited for all pockets and satellites can begin from just a few dollars. English will not be anymore the official language of the tournament. Players can chat between them in their own language. There will be more than $7,000,000 in guaranteed prize-pools worldwide, almost half of this money (more precisely $3,275,000) being attributed to the USA Championship.

The Regional Championships of Online Poker is not PokerStars’ singular event of this type. PokerStars is known for organizing many regional live poker tours, such as the European Poker Tour and the North American Poker Tour.

The 13 regional tournaments will start at the end of October 2010 and last up until February 2011.

1. Russian Open Championship Of Online Poker – October 31-November 7
2. Nordic Championship Of Online Poker – November 4-14
3. Baltics Championship Of Online Poker – November 4-14
4. USA Championship Of Online Poker- November 21-28
5. Canadian Championship Of Online Poker – November 21-28
6. Germanics Championship Of Online Poker – November 21-28
7. Asia Pacific Championship Of Online Poker – November 21-28
8. Mediterranean Championship Of Online Poker – November 18-28
9. UK & Ireland Championship Of Online Poker – December 5-12
10. Central and Eastern European Championship of Online Poker – December 6-16
11. Latin American Championship Of Online Poker – December 5-12
12. Iberian Championship Of Online Poker – February 13-20, 2011

13. Benelux Championship Of Online Poker – February TBD

David Vamplew wins EPT London 2010

The champion of EPT London 2010 is David Vamplew, a 23 year-old Scottish player who has just started to make a name for himself by defeating one of the most well-known and experienced poker players, John Juanda. He received £900,000 for first place.

Vamplew was surely not a favourite in the confrontation leading to the final table but he skilfully managed to raise a comfortable chip stack, surpassed only by Juanda and Kyle Bowker. It came as no surprise that the final table saw these three chip leaders play against each other. They started the three-hand table at fairly close chip stack levels: John Juanda leading with 10,5 millions, Bowker with 8,5 millions and Vamplew 6 millions.

After a clash with Juanda, Bowker left the final table. The third place brought him £300,000. For Juanda, this meant winning Bowker’s stack and almost doubling his own.

As a result, Vamplew had to enter in a heads-up against an opponent 4 times stronger than him in terms of chips but this didn’t discourage him. The heads-up lasted almost 4 hours and it was rather stark, with no amusing parts or dynamism. Juanda took his time to calculate each and every move and seemed fresh, only from time to time stretching his neck muscles. On the other hand, Vamplew looked at times physically drained and mentally exhausted and yet he managed to fight back and level the chip counts.

Vamplew gradually improved his situation. Juanda had to move in for his final 3.5 million; Vamplew called. Juanda showed K2 against Vamplew’s A3. Next, when Vamplew hit two pair on the flop, he became EPT London’s 2010 Champion. Juanda took home £545,000 for second place.

Juanda is one of the world’s top poker pros with four bracelets and more than $10.5 million gathered in his tournament history. In contrast, for Vamplew, the EPT London was the first major win and his second notable cash, the first one being at the World Series of Poker earlier this year.

“He got really unlucky,” said Vamplew about Juanda’s performance. “It will be really interesting to see what he had when it was broadcast, what he had when he was getting me off some of my hands.”

The final results of EPT London Main Event were:
1. David Vamplew – £900,000
2. John Juanda – £545,000
3. Kyle Bowker – £300,000
4. Artur Wasek – £240,000
5. Kayvan Payman – £190,000
6. Fernando Bito – £145,000
7. Tom Marchese – £100,000
8. Per Ummer – £66,800)

Borgata Poker Open

Though World Series of Poker Europe is receiving much of the public’s attention nowadays, the Borgata Poker Open has managed to attract unexpectedly large masses of players. The Borgata Poker Open is the 7th event in Season Nine of the WPT and probably the biggest one in the history of WPT. Upcoming events of this tour include the Festa al Lago at Bellagio casino in Las Vegas and the Foxwoods World Poker Finals in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Most of the world’s top players are participating at WSOPE right now and therefore were unable to take part in the Borgata Poker Open. Nevertheless, the WPT event was a huge success due to last year’s decision to reduce the buy-in which helped attract professional players that are not willing yet to play in $10,000 buy-in events. The reduced cost of entry attracted an enormous field of more than 1000 players in Atlantic City to play in the $3,500 buy-in event. The large field of players required multiple starting days and created a monumental prize pool of $3.4 million.

After day 1a and 1b, only 641 out of 1042 players lasted to enter Day 2. At the end of Day 2 only 175 of them were still at the tables. Among the victims of Day 2 are Gavin Smith eliminated close to the end of the day, Tiffany Michelle and Kathy Liebert.

The minimum prize for a Borgota Poker Open finalist is $6,671 while the winner will get the reasonable sum of $733,802.

Chipcount at the end of day 2 :

John D’Agostino: $681.200
Giuseppe Pantaleo: $668.100
Francis Lamothe: $640.000
Lars Bonding: $521.900
Marc Goldman: $506.600
Jens Eisner: $477.900
Stan Sinclair: $449.300
Jeff Papola: $447.000
Kyle Loman: $406.100
Dwyte Pilgrim: $400.000
Olivier Busquet: $355.000

Daniel Negreanu -‘kid poker’ and ‘kid golfer’

Daniel Negreanu has put to good use his golf and poker skills at PokerStars EPT Vilamoura as he managed to win this exciting and innovative competition. This poker tournament combined golf fairways and poker tables into a splendid mix against the backdrop of the exotic sea-side resort of Vilamoura in Portugal.

On Day 1 the competition was held on the golf course. Depending on their performance at golf, each competitor had their score converted into equivalent chips for Day’s 2 poker confrontation.

After years of improving his golf techniques, Negreanu’s efforts are finally paying off. At the end of Day 1 his chips stack rose by $2,500.

The ‘Kid poker’ proved that he is just as talented in poker as in golf, if anyone would still doubt his poker skills after he has been a WSOP bracelet winner 4 times. On Day 2 he lasted until the final table where he went heads up against Pieter De Korver whom he eliminated, Negreanu holding Q-J against his opponent’s J-2.

The prize money from EPT Vilamoura is not something Negreanu would boast on but he has surely enjoyed this tournament. His passion for golf and poker surely brought him more satisfaction than the modest €8,000 that he received for his victory.

Joe Cada is the 2009 WSOP champion

The WSOP 2009 Final Table saw a 21 years old American becoming the tournament’s youngest winner. After a fierce final in Las Vegas, ended on 10 November, Joe Cada pocketed $ 8.5 million.

The youngest world champion since the tournament was created 40 years ago, won the deciding hand with a pair of nine, face to Darvin Moon, 25 years old, who had a jack to oppose it.

“I want to thank all my fans and my friends”, said Cada, overwhelmed, in a room of the Rio hotel-casino. The young man who abandoned his studies to become professional poker player, won thanks to a spectacular return in the game through bluffs.

Coming from Detroit (Michigan, North), Joe Cada is the son of an unemployed auto worker and of a casino employee. At first, the latter tried to dissuade his son from abandon his studies and make a living on online poker. But her son’s passion for the game soon convinced her to let Joe follow his own way: “When he started to cope so well, I told him to live his dream. He can always return to school if he wants to, but how many people do what they love?”

Besides the impressive prize, Joe Cada can boast with a gold bracelet that is traditionally a distinction offered to WSOP winners. For his second place, Darvin Moon cash in $ 5 million.

The World Series of Poker attractions

The World Series of Poker greet each year the biggest players in the world. This year, the series looks again explosive. From May 27th to July 15th, Las Vegas will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this prestigious tournament series that continue to crown legends of poker.

These world championships of poker are held annually in the gambling capital of the world, cover all variations of poker and offer honourable titles, including “the world champion of the year” one. In 2008, it was the very young Dane Peter Eastgate who won the Main Event – the main attraction of the Series.

The huge Main Event opens on July 3rd, with no fewer than four “Day 1″. 13 days of intensive competition between the best Texas Hold’em players will shape the final table that will take place in early November. Approximately 10.000 players will be expected to attend the event (including some having been qualified through online casino). With a €10.000 buy-in, a tremendous amount could “collapse” on the winner.

But besides this Main Event, the world of poker has eyes fixed on the first major tournament to be held. For the 40th anniversary of the WSOP, a €40.000 buy-in tournament is set to open May 28th. This can be considered a precaution method of the organizer: Harrah’s Entertainement, aware that the level of the Main Event is very uncertain, inaugurates an event reserved for professionals. In fact, only champions can afford the very expensive ticket and the 300 seats available will boost the prize pool at € 10 million. In recent years, many players still unknown came in the spotlight, like the title holder, Peter Eastgate. At 22, the young Dane excelled especially online before winning in Vegas.

The pros will have another challenge to take: win the maximum of gains by finishing in paid places of the 50 tournaments offered. Scotty Nguyen, crowned “the Prince of the poker” after his performance in 1998, has promised to stop if he doesn’t pick up at least $ 4 million. For purists, the Event which will crown the true poker master, is the HORSE event. It combines 5 variations of poker and has the capability to test the highest skills.

Titan Poker organizes monthly freerolls for newcomers

You are a poker player, but you are not yet enrolled in an online poker room? Well, it is time for you to become member of Titan Poker, a top parlor in the online casino and poker field, which is now offering a very attractive bonus program. The prestigious poker room has set aside 20.000$ exclusively for new members – the prize pool of a free poker tournament freeroll, earmarked monthly for new players’ awards.

The generous endowment of this tournament, combined with a deposit bonus, allow you to boost your bankroll from the beginning and to make a convenient start on Titan Poker. Download the Titan Poker software, create your own account, make your first deposit and you may collect your bonus. Three days after your initial deposit, you will receive tokens, which are valid for 3 months. So enjoy, because it would be a pity not to benefit of this unique opportunity! In fact, these tokens will be yours tickets for a moneymaking journey. Therefore, use these incentives for exercising and prepare you for the next challenge: the New Depositors Freeroll Satellites.

To reach the grand monthly final, all you have to do, as new member of the poker community, is to participate in the weekly freeroll tournaments organised under the name New Depositors Freeroll Satellites. These tournaments run every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 20h. They allow you to compete against players from around the world.

Each of the New Depositor Freeroll Satellites offers 50 places for the finals to be held monthly – at the end of each month, at 20h. This corresponds to approximately 1.000 seats available for the final event and, consequently, to more chances for you to reach the finals.

So, enjoy this wonderful welcome offer, because it is not going to repeat and you are new member only once! And, even if you don’t win the contest, there is no need to worry. Titan Poker is a generous poker room and you will have many others opportunities to take advantage of! Titan Poker offers indeed freerolls pretty regularly throughout the year and that will give you more chances to win nice amounts of money.