Archive for July, 2011
On the fourth starting day of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, 2,802 players took their seats, lifting the total number of starters to 6,865. This is down from last year, but still makes this year’s Main Event the third largest ever. Total prize money is about $ 64.5 million, with the winner to receive about $ 8.77 million.
Among the starters today we followed five Titan Poker players. The two French pros Christophe Benzimra and Yann Brosolo and three online qualifiers, German Alexander Debus and Hungarians Miklos Zsuffa and Andras Balogh, were among the players beginning action on Day 1d.
Level 1 – 50/100
Christophe Benzimra from Team Titan played 4 hands in the first hour and lost all of them. He was down to 27 K . “I didn’t connect a flop until now”. He finished the first level with 28K and told us during the first break “I would like to receive some good cards to play just a few hands but it has not been the case until now”.
Yann Brosolo was more active at his table and lost a few hands at the beginning of the day.
Then a player raised to 250 in early position and two players made the call. Yann Brosolo paid from the small blind with 4♦ 4♥
Flop: J♦ 4♠ 3♠
Yann opened to 700 and the original raiser paid.
Turn: 8♦ and Yann bet 2,025 and was called.
On the river: 8♣ Yann bet 5,050 and his opponent called and mucked when he saw the set of the Frenchman who climbed to 35K.
Yann Brosolo 3-bet to 700 preflop with A8 and was called by the big blind player.
Flop: J♣ 7♦ 2♣
Big blind check-called the 800 from Brosolo.
Another check-call from the big blind but for 1,500 this time.
Last check from the big blind and Brosolo fired a last 3K bet. After two minutes of hesitation Brosolo’s opponent folded. Brosolo was up to 43K after 45 minutes of the first level.
Then the Parisian player climbed to 50K thanks to a flopped top straight with AK. His opponent had paid 2 bets before folding on the river.
But just before the break, Brosolo lost two signifcant pots. The first with pocket fives versus pocket eights to his adversary. The flop came: 8♠ 5♦ 4♣ and Brosolo limited the damages losing “only” 15K.
The second one, Yann Brosolo lost with Aces against Q9 while the flop fell Q-5-Q
Brosolo completed the level with 25K in chips.
One of the Titan Poker online qualifiers, Alexander Debus from Germany, who finished second at the tournament The One in Monaco in April 2011 for a pay check of €170 000, also started play on Day 1d and finished the first level with a healthy 42.5K.
“I didn’t play a lot of hands during these two hours but I flopped a set against my opponent’s pocket aces”.
Two other qualifiers from Hungary were also among the starters today, Miklos Zsuffa and Andras Balogh. They ended the 1st level with respectively 33 and 30K.
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200
Christophe Benzimra didn’t touch good cards and had just the goal of maintaining his stack at a reasonable level in order to find a good spot to double-up before the end of the day.
For example, he raised to 550 with A♦ 10♣ and a player who just arrived at the Frenchman’s table defended his big blind.
Flop: A♦ 6♠ 4♥
Both players checked.
The big blind opened to 700 and Christophe called.
And on the river, Q♥ the big blind checked and Christophe Benzimra bet 1,200. It was enough to bring his adversary to fold.
Later in the level, Benzimra 3-bet with a pocket nines and obtained a fold.
He finished his level with 29K.
Yann Brosolo grinded for an hour and a half in Level 2. “I am just grinding…no showdowns. I even won a pot 3-betting the button from big blind and making 3-barrels without looking at my cards. I only played my opponent and he folded on the river”.
“I also folded Queens pre-flop after a raise in early position and a re-raise from a really tight player”.
Then Yann Brosolo raised to 450 in late poisition with J♦ J♥ . The button 3-bet to 1,200 and the big blind 4-bet to 4K.
Yann decided to make it more expensive and firmly said “Raise 8.2K !”. Both opponents folded and the French player of Team Titan was up to 36.5K when the second break was announced.
Miklos Szuffa continued to increase his stack slowly to reach 37K after 4 hours of play. “I just won small pots. No big hands for me”.
Andras Balogh is at 32K.
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300
After 2 hours in this third level, Christophe Benzimra had 30K.
Miklos Zsuffa climbed to 53K. With KQ♠ JQ♥ he raised pre-flop and one opponent made the call. Miklos found a flush draw on the turn and check-called a first bet. He found the AQ♠ on the river which brought him the nut flush and he succeeded in extracting a little bit more from his opponent.
Meanwhile, Andras Balogh flopped a set of kings and took a nice 20K pot to reach 44K.
A few minutes later, French player Maxime Masquelier raised to 1,050 in middle position. Andreas paid and the two men went to see the flop: Q♥ 7♦ J♦
Masquelier bet 2 050 and Andreas flat-called.
Turn: 10♠. Masquelier check-called the 4K bet from Andras and both players checked on the river. The french player instantly turned over AQ but Andras showed the winning hand J♥ J♠ and was sitting behind a 51K stack.
Just before the break, Dag Palovic from Slovakia bet 1.6K and Andras Balogh called at the button with pocket 4s.
Flop: 2♣ 4♥ 2♠
Dag Palovic bet 1.4K, Andras raised to 3.4K and the Slovakian pro made the call.
Check-call 5K from Palovic.
New check-call from Palovic for 4K. “I made a small bet on the river to be sure to be paid and he did. But he mucked his cards so I don’t know what he had on that hand”.
Andras Balogh was up to 70K.
Unfortunately, Yann Brosolo was eliminated of the tournament in the middle of the level. All his chips (around 40K) went in the middle preflop with KK against the AK of his opponent.
The board was really cruel for the French player: J-10-9-6-Q for a straight hit on the river.
“How can he (almost) play his tournament life with this hand preflop…That’s sick !” exclaimed Yann leaving the table, the poker room and the Rio.
Alexander Debbus took down 3 small pots without showdown to go to enjoy his 90-minutes dinner break with 45K.
Level 4 – 150/300 ante 25
After the dinner-break the things went more quietly for Titan Poker players until the last minutes of the level.
Debus finally found a good spot to put all his chips in the middle.
The German player went all-in for around 28K with JJ versus AK to his opponent after several raises and reraises.
The flop was not in favor of the Titan Poker qualifier: A-2-2
The turn didn’t help more when an 8 came but a miraculous J saved him and permitted him to double up and reach 60K.
Miklos Szuffa lost a big part of his stack on a single hand. He raised at the button to 800 with A♠ Q♠ and a very good player 3-bet him to 2,100. The Hungarian player made the call.
Flop: 9♠ 5♠ 4♥
The small blind made his contination-bet for 2,300 and Szuffa paid it.
On the turn, 3♠, the small blind check-called 4.5K.
And he did the same at the river, the A♣ for 6K.
Szuffa was sure to value-bet on the river with his hand against that player in particular. But our Titan Poker qualifier was wrong and lost his pot when he discovered the 2♣ 5♠
Miklos Szuffa was down to 35K after this hand.
Christophe Benzimra finished the level with 28K and was tired of folding and folding, over and over.
Andras Balogh completed the level with 61K.
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 ante 50
Alexander Debus limped at the cut-off and the big blind raised to 1,650. The German player paid. On a flop 3-6-8 with two clubs, the big blind opened to 3,550 and Debus gave up and was down to 54.5K.
Three hands later, the table was broken up and Alexander Debus joined the young Andrew Chen who has won more than $ 1.7 million in his career. Debus finished Day 1d with a nice stack of 57,700 chips.
During the last level, Christophe Benzimra became a mit more aggressive and increased his stack to 25K. Christophe found his first big pair of the day, a beautiful pair of aces and raised in middle position. Both players in the blinds called and the flop came 5-5-9.
The French Titan player decided to really control the pot and he did well as the big blind was holding J-5 for a flopped set. He was back to 31.5 K.
Christophe Benzimra finally won 2 pots in the last hands and completed Day 1d with 36,375. “I am really happy to advance to Day 2 after this terrific day. I suffered a lot for every chip I won. A real nightmare today”. The nightmare is over for tonight and Christophe will be back playing Day 2b.
We will also see Miklos Szuffa in Day 2b but with a short stack of 13,950 chips. Other players who advance are Andras Balogh with 65K and Alexander Debus with 57.7K.
We’re very excited about the upcoming Season X on the World Poker Tour. (You should be too as the Royal Flush girls are coming back.) We’re televising several European events back in the U.S. this year, and I think that’s great.
We’re going back to Paris and are televising our WPT event in Vienna in the U.S. as well. The entire entourage including myself, Vince Van Patten, anchor Kimberly Lansing, Tony Dundst, the Royal Flush girls and the crew will be going overseas.
We’ll all be there throughout the championship events and I expect a good number of entries in these tournies as well as a number of top American players to come overseas and play.
The WPT had an impressive 35% increase in viewers in Season IX, and I look for things to be even better in Season X. The WPT is an expanding brand and growing globally with numerous non-televised WPT events scheduled in the U.S. as well as Europe.
Check out the schedule and follow the action all season long at worldpokertour.com I hope to see you at a WPT final table in Season X.
Unfortunately Sam Trickett and Andras Balogh were eliminated before the dinner break.
Sam Trickett from Team Titan was the first to leave after a bad beat. The English pro pushed all-in on the turn with K♥ 9♥ on a board K-Q-9-4 and was facing K♠ J♦
The river was cruel for Trickett when it delivered a queen. That one was really hard and Sam Trickett was eliminated from the Main Event of the 2011 WSOP.
A few minutes later, it was the turn of Andras Balogh who was shortstacked to bust out. He survived with his 40K for three hours. Then he had to push all-in with A9 offsuit in late position and was paid by a player in the blind with AK. The best hand pre-flop held on and the Hungarian was eliminated after a really satisfying tournament.
Alexander Debus spent the whole day at the featured table and we didn’t have a lot of information because we couldn’t access this table. The last time we saw him, he had around 500K thirty minutes before the end of the day for an average of 244K.
Christophe Benzimra had a chaotic day and made some swings. He finally finished the day with 102K and will be back tomorrow. He told us he had a very tough table and that it was impossible to play small pots. And he had to give up a lot of hands to avoid elimination. “I didn’t have enough good cards today to compete. I am here for Day 4 and it is the main thing. Let’s see what will happen tomorrow”.
Marvin Rettenmaier had a great day like his compatriot Debus. He came back to play with a stack of 72K and finished the day with 316,500 chips, which is above the average. He is confident in his poker game and hope he would have a good result in this tournament.
865 are left and 693 players will be paid. We wish the best for our 3 Titan Team players still in to reach this first step: to get paid.
Alexander Debus (TV table)
What a month it’s been! I’m sitting in the departure lounge at McCarran airport in Las Vegas after a crazy-full summer of World Series of Poker shenanigans.
Just an aside but seriously, how great is this airport? Once you get past the pervasive smell of Cinnabon, it’s just really well laid out, it has decent food options and free wifi. McCarran, you had me at free wifi.
So yes, I’m putting my baggage once again in the hands of an airline and hoping (pleeeeeaaaaaase) that this time my suitcases don’t go on some exotic trip without me.
If you read some of my earlier blogs you’ll know that my large bag with all of my work clothes in it went missing somehow between California and Nevada.
It finally turned up 10 days later, looking as smug as it’s possible for a suitcase to look. It had been all the way to Bangalore, India and then on to the United Arab Emirates before sauntering slowly back to Las Vegas. It seems slightly unfair that my luggage is more well-travelled than I am!
The World Series of Poker coverage that I was working on with ESPN went fantastically well. We all worked really hard – I mean REALLY hard – and the response has been just fantastic. I hope/think that the excitement of the livestream came through from the commentators who did such a great job and the crew really put together a fantastic broadcast.
It was a real thrill to be on the flagship ESPN channel for 2 hours on our final day and the rush of that is not something I’ll soon forget.
I was absolutely blown away by how supportive and generous everybody was. From our own crew and production team to the poker media who were watching it AND working madly alongside us, all the way to those of you who watched it from home and wrote in to say you were enjoying it.
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a job I enjoyed so much but had to stretch myself so much to do. Doing a live broadcast for 10+ hours a day to so many viewers really brought a lot of pressure! I feel really lucky to work in such a supportive industry. So thank you!
850 players returned to the Amazon Room at the Rio Casino at noon to play Day 4 of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event. Team Titan players, Marvin Rettenmaier, Christophe Benzimra and Alexander Debus were among the finalists seeking to finish in the money.
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/ 4,000 ante 500
The button player opened to 10K and Marvin Rettenmaier in big blind with 6♦ 5♣
The 2 players checked the flop: 8♦ 9♣ 10♣ and on the turn, the 6♥ Marvin bet 10.5K and got called.
On the river, the 5♠ Marvin Rettenamaier made a 26.5K bet and got paid.
His opponent mucked his cards and Marvin Rettenmaier had 377K after 30 minutes of play on Day 4.
Then Marvin came to the press corner telling us “I played a crazy hand, it was so ridiculous !”.
A player raised in middle position to 9.5K and Marvin 3-bet hime to 24.5K in small blind. His adversary called and had 140K behind.
Flop: A♥ 7♥ 3♦
Marvin checked and his opponent fired a 30K bet. Marvin instantly moved all-in and his opponent called in one second. “I thought I was obviously behind with my A-10 but the guy showed pocket Kings”.
Two blanks came at the turn and river and Marvin Rettenmaier took the gift with pleasure finished the first level with a nice 530K stack.
Alexander Debus who started the day with 442,000 chips had a bad start as he fell down to 290K.
He lost a big one when he called the raise of a player in early position with Q♥ 10♥. The flop came 2-3-10 and the raiser check-called the half pot bet of Debus.
On the turn, 7, the preflop raiser bet 20.5K and the German Titan Poker qualifier made the call.
Debus checked and Debus bet 31K convinced he was holding the best hand. But his opponent instantly paid and showed Q♦ Q♠ and took it down.
The German player succeeded to come back to 390K just before the first break. With A♥ Q♥ Debus opened to 8.5K and the cut-off player 3-bet to 25K.
Debus made the call and the dealer delivered the flop: 6♠ 9♥ J♥
Alexander Debus check-raised to 68K after a bet of 26K.
Alexander Debus moved all-in for about 170K and obtained the fold from his opponent.
Christophe Benzimra arrived at noon for Day 4 with 102,000 and was up to 112,000 after 2 hours.
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 ante 1,000 – Average 295 K for 697 left.
It was the bubble time and Christophe was card dead for 2 days. He quietly waited to get paid. He was just patient folding his hands, one after the other. He was down to 62K at that time.
After about one hour, the bubble exploded and our three Titan Poker players entered in the money.
Christophe Benzimra had 35K.
Marvin Rettenmaier enjoyed the bubble time to take some pots and had 620K.
Alexander Debus: 350K
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/ 6,000 ante 1,000
Christophe Benzimra is eliminated in 625th place for a payout of $ 19,359. Christophe pushed all-in for 38K with pocket nines. One of his opponent insta-called with Aces and the best hand held. Christophe Benzimra spent two difficult days seeing just low cards but nevertheless succeeded to cash out in the most prestigious live tournament. Congratulations!
Alexander Debus grinded and climbed to 450K at the middle of the level when 576 players were left with an average of 357K.
Then a player opened to 14K in early position. Debus flat-called from the cut-off with A♣ Q♣ The small blind called as well and Martin Hruby moved all-in for 167K. Debus made the call and the small blind gave up.
Martin Hruby showed 8♥ 9♠
The board brought the nut flush to Debus who eliminated the Czech pro: 2♦2♣3♣9♠5♥
With this one, Debus was up to a healthy 672K and finished the level with 620K.
Unfortunately Marvin Rettenmaier lost almost all his chips in one hand. A player raised under the gun to 13 K and Marvin called in middle position as did another one just after him. Then the cut off 3-bet to 50K. Marvin Rettenmaier held A♥K♦. The cut-off player made the call and the two players were in heads-up.
Marvin Rettenmaier moved all-in on the flop :4♣3♣9♣ and his opponent decided to call with 10♣10♦
The turn and the river were 7♥ and Q♦ and Marvin Rettenmaier was down to a small 95K stack when the average was 420K.
Our German pro from Team Titan doubled up a few hands later. He was all-in preflop with Queens and was called by Jacks and won the pot to breathe a little bit with 200K.
During the last level of the day, we lost 42 players to finish the day with 378 players left for an average of 544K.
Marvin Rettenamaier finished the day with 181K while Debus ended with 455K.
Both Germans will be back at noon tomorrow for Day 5.
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Many of you have asked me about what I think about the WSOP Main Event and November Nine and that we have been living separate lives. Firstly, I have to say that the team at PokerNews did a fantastic job and that they are a credit to the industry.
I was also impressed with the fact that the live action was shown on ESPN and think and hope it has done a lot of good for the game. With everything going on at the moment it is great to take the game into the mainstream.
I thought Antonio Esfandiari was good in the box, my team mate Kara Scott was outstanding as ever and Phil Hellmuth even managed to make a big noise and not talk about himself quite so much in commentary which is progress. All very positive and definitely a step in the right direction.
As for the November Nine I was looking at the betting and see that Martin Zasko – friend of my faithful German Shepherd is currently regarded as favourite. Did we think before that Zasko was a sure bet to get a bracelet?
Donnacha O’Dea’s son looks to be a good player (just wait in the coming years son you’ll be travelling around bum hunting in cash games – no son of mine!) while will anybody really be able to silence the Ben Lamb. Great player but he doesn’t say a lot – lamb to the Zasko slaughter? Can he keep his magical form going for one more night. We will see.
As for Phil Collins I was actually watching TV the other night and happened to turn on ‘A Night With Phil Collins.’ He was singing soul music rather than Genesis. Can he win against all odds? Will the cards be in the air tonight? What was his winning card – two hearts living in just one mind, beating together to the end of time?
Poor lad, must have been getting this his whole life – sometimes I bet he just wishes people who live in a land of confusion like me had the invisible touch and would just go away. Does he know Chris Ferguson? Jesus he knows me and he knows I’m right, been talking to Jesus (I wish, where’s the Professor?) all my life.
Sorry for the crap jokes. Did I miss again? I think I missed again. How many Phil Collins or Genesis song titles do you spot in this blog – answers at the foot of the blog please. $ 20 to the one I think is the winner – it is harder than you think.
Rubbing my hands together
ALL multi-table tournaments (MTT’s) are now rake free at PartyPoker! Click to play now! – Tony G
Some of you may think that the nearest I get to the Venice is a Venetian deep stack in Vegas but I write this from my gondola. As many of you know I am spending a lot of time learning to ballroom dance for reasons Phil Hellmuth certainly wouldn’t be interested in!
I am playing poker and was smashing it in the Sunday Bike Ride yesterday before coming to Venice so I feel my life has a good balance at the moment. I know you’ll say that I can’t dance but dancing is good for the health, poker is good for my mind.
I am afraid to say they didn’t let me play in High Stakes Italy at the end – it’s a shame because it would have been easy money. I understand it is happening this afternoon and will be streamed with hole cards and a 30 minute delay – disappointing but my Italian language skills haven’t come on as much as I wanted them too. I think they were scared of me – they realized they were in too deep.
I am still rubbing my hands together with glee after celebrating the launch of Italian online cash games and am really thinking of staying here in Italy for a while. I enjoy the way of life and the potential rewards of being a big online cash game player on PartyPoker.it.
As i write this I am looking out from the gondola (no jacket required, lovely day) and I see a big fish (no I am not looking in a mirror) – in fact I see a huge pool of them! Another day in paradise indeed.
So how many Phil Collins or Genesis song titles do you spot in this blog post? $ 20 to the winner.
Out of a starting field of 6,865 players, only nine remain. These final players, dubbed the November Nine, will take their seats at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table in November. Each of the players is guaranteed a minimum prize of $ 782,115 but all have set their eyes on first place, which will award $ 8,711,956 and the coveted WSOP bracelet.
Listed here are the nine finalists who will compete for the title of 2011 World Champion of Poker when action at the WSOP Final Table resumes in November.
Final players listed in order of chip count:
1) Martin Staszko (40,175,000 chips)
- Age: 35
- Hometown: Trinec, Czech Republic
2) Eoghan O’Dea (33,925,000)
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
3) Matt Giannetti (24,750,000)
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Las Vegas
4) Phil Collins (23,775,000)
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Las Vegas
5) Ben Lamb (20,875,000)
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Las Vegas
6) Badih Bounahra (19,700,000)
- Age: 49
- Hometown: Belize City, Belize
7) Pius Heinz (16,425,000)
- Age: 22
- Hometown: Cologne, Germany
8) Anton Makiievskyi (13,925,000)
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Dnipropetrous’k, Ukraine
9) Sam Holden (12,375,000)
- Age: 22
- Hometown: Canterbury, United Kingdom
German Titan Poker online qualifier Alexander Debus finished the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event in 137th position after 6 days of play. His prize was $ 54,851.
In his last hand of the tournament, Alexander moved all-in with 8♣8♠ and was faced against the K♦K♣ of John Hewitt.
The flop came: Q-8-2 giving Debus a huge advantage with his set.
Unfortunately, the river delivered the only king remaining in the deck, as one of the players of the table had folded a king pre-flop.
After his great performance in the prestigious No-Limit Holdem Championship event, in which 6,865 players participated, Alexander Debus takes home his $ 54,851 and the honor of having represented Titan Poker at the WSOP.
Congratulations to him for his deep run in this event.
Slovenia, glorious Slovenia! What a beautiful view and how amazing it is to be finally reunited with my long lost son.
We even sat at the same table together at WPT Slovenia, he has big heart. Luke (Sorry John) I am your father – come and feel my force!
Anyway, this isn’t the only reason to feel joyous as today ladies and gentleman is Christmas Day. Yes, online cash games have started on PartyPoker.it – it is time to celebrate for the food we are about to be given.
Merry Christmas to the Italian fishies – it is almost unbelievable that we haven’t had access to them – it is a day to indulge, eat too much and then flop out on the sofa.
My message to you is simple. Today is now forever going to be Christmas Day in the Tony G household.
I am going to move to Italy – I want to become the Lithuanian ambassador to Rome. I want seafood and pizza and pasta. This is a significant day in the history of online poker – it is a day when a whole load of bad cash players come to the online tables. I love it.
As for further celebrations – I aim to win WPT Slovenia, take my son to school on the way and then head down the road to the Poker Grand Prix in Nova Gorica. It is a small buy in but I am feeling good and want in to the high stakes game that is going on and supposed to be exclusive to Italians. As I said before, I demand an entry.
By the way, I wrote before about how I am in dancing training. I am not kidding you about this and am going to be a ballroom whizz. I even have my instructor here with me in Slovenia.
In the meantime, keep up with my progress at WPT Slovenia here.