This Week in Poker: April 3 – 9

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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly April 10, 2019
  • 7 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring you the weekly round-up of the biggest online scores by Indian MTT players along with the top stories from both the live and online poker circuit.

Here are this week’s top stories

With summer just around the corner, the poker world seems to be cranking up the heat with some exciting action and developments.

For some time now Indians have been taking the international felts by storm. Adding to Team India’s latest global foray was the trio of Jagdeep Singh, Gaurav Gala and Manish Goenka who were a prominent presence at The Big Wrap PLO series. Hosted at the ever-popular King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, the three Indians posted a score each at the series with Jagdeep Singh picking up the biggest score of €10,677 (~₹8.37 Lakhs) for his 20th place finish in the Main Event. For this, Singh is our PokerGuru Star of the Week.” Spain’s Lautaro Valentino Guerra Cabrerizo ultimately won the Main Event title for €209,221.

Next stop for Team India was Tallinn, Finland where the inaugural Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) series played out at the Olympic Park Casino. Well known high roller Rahul Byrraju was seen participating in several events at the series. He fired multiple bullets in the €25,000 High Roller but failed to log a score, with Pauli Ayras taking down the title for €163,300. Byrraju made up for that by finishing fourth in the €10,200 Championship Event for €20,102 (~₹15.63 Lakhs) that was eventually taken down by the stop`s sponsor Patrik Antonius for €78,100. Joris Ruijs won the €1,500 Main Event title for €57,200.

Back in Asia, the Paradise City Casino in Incheon, South Korea is playing host to the third edition of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea since April 5. The 21-event series has already crowned several winners, most notably, China’s Xing Biao Zhu who took down the APPT Kickoff for ₩21,290,000. Two Indian challengers, Meherzad Munsaf and Yasheel Doddanavar are present at the stop, and both attempted to open their scorecards in the series at the Kickoff and the APPT National, and while Doddanavar ran the deepest in APPT National – he sailed into Day 2 among the top stacks – neither could return with a payout to speak of.

The Team is all primed to post a score as Doddanavar chip leads the final seven players in the ₩1M Short Deck Re-Entry, even while Munsaf is playing the Super High Roller!

Even India’s first female World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Nikita Luther was seen in action at the WSOP Circuit – UK, Nottingham. According to her tweets, she busted both the £500 Opening Event and Day 1A of the £1,100 Main Event.

While several Indians have kept the tricolor flying high on the international circuit, the domestic circuit, especially the online sphere, too has been doling out hefty payouts. Despite a slight decline in attendance, PokerBaazi’s most prominent weekly tournament, Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD, still drew in 528 entries (307 unique and 221 re-entries) smashing the guarantee to collect a prize pool of ₹26.40 Lakhs. Young Gun Sahil bluffme19 Chutani emerged as the ultimate champion and defeated the Grandfather of Indian Poker’Raman ‘ifryu’ Gujral (runner-up for ₹3.59 Lakhs) heads-up to bag ₹5.12 Lakhs in first-place prize money.

Meanwhile, PokerStars India’s weekly flagship tournament, Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD, yet again failed to cross the 500-entry mark instead registering 454 entries (268 unique and 186 re-entries) resulting in an overlay. Online regular Harsh ‘kakori kabab’ Dembla clinched the title and top prize of ₹3.16 Lakhs after a three-way chop with Shashank Goldfish097 Shekhar (runner-up for ₹2.51 Lakhs) and Vineet TheMentalistNo1 Kumar (3rd for ₹2.50 Lakhs).

PokerGuru Team Ambassadors had an eventful week with Vivek Singh adding ₹3.02 Lakhs to his bankroll. He first finished runner-up to his mentor and India’s first PokerStars Team pro Aditya Agarwal in the High Roller NLHE ₹12 Lakhs GTD for ₹2.33 Lakhs following a heads-up chop. Agarwal walked away with the title and ₹2.08 Lakhs in prize money. Singh then narrowly missed final tabling the PokerStars India’s Sunday Special and finished 14th for ₹38,698, while also placing 13th in PokerBaazi’s BSS SuperStack for ₹30,624.

Laksh ‘boomtlt23’ Pal Singh (3rd for ₹2.31 Lakhs) and Rony bisadip 176 Chowdary (15th for ₹30,624) also posted scores in the BSS Superstack, while Ratul MuscariAs Steves finished 21st for ₹18,678 in PokerStars India’s Sunday Special.

This past Saturday the final two episodes of the Global Poker League (GPL) India Season 1 was broadcasted on Colors Infinity. Team Mumbai Jetsetters managed by cash game specialist Kavin Shah, and his teammates Vivek Singh, Raman Gujral, Saurabh Sindhwani and Aneesh Gopinathan, had each won the much sought-after PSPC Platinum pass last year. The winning members represented Team India at the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in The Bahamas, earlier this year, but the television broadcast of their glorious victory at the GPL was aired only this Saturday.

With the WSOP Circuit – UK, Nottingham (April 4-13) already underway, there is still a lot of live poker action to look forward to including the 888Live Local London (April 18-21), European Poker Series Of Rozvadov (April 24-May 5) and the much-awaited second edition of the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus which is scheduled to run from May 2 to 5 at the Casino Deltin Royale in Goa.

Coming back to domestic news – India’s only BSE-listed gaming company Delta Corp posted a healthy revenue growth despite being surrounded by rumors of Adda52’s impending sale. The company registered a net profit of ₹56.72 Crores in Q4 ending March 2019.

Moreover, Steadview Capital made a secondary transaction of approximately $60 Million (₹415 Crores) catapulting Indian fantasy gaming company Dream11 to become the country’s first gaming unicorn. Additionally, fantasy gaming portal HalaPlay also launched a new ad campaign called ‘Bro Code’ featuring Indian cricketers and brothers Hardik and Krunal Pandya.

 

Online Railbird Report

This past week saw PokerBaazi’s mainstay Sunday event, the BSS Superstack ₹25 Lakhs GTD, register a slightly lower attendance of 528 entries (307 unique and 221 re-entries), but nonetheless paid out a handsome first-place prize money of ₹5.12 Lakhs to Young Gun Sahil ‘bluffme19’ Chutani who bested veteran pro Raman ‘ifryu’ Gujral (runner-up for ₹3.59 Lakhs) heads-up to win the event.

Sahil Chutani
Sahil Chutani

Other notable scores of the week include –

Harsh ‘kakori kabab’ Dembla won ₹3.16 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD’

Goonjan ‘gmtesting’ Mall won ₹3.06 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks ‘Sunday Stacks ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Aditya Agarwal won ₹2.08 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Highroller ₹12 Lakhs GTD’

Rajat ‘sharabikebabi’ Sharma won ₹1.83 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Battle Royale 6-Max Progressive KO ₹8 Lakhs GTD’

Danish ‘pagla’ Shaikh won ₹1.35 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘ballbreaker’ won ₹1.34 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakh GTD’

‘Madfoodie99’ won ₹1.21 Lakhs for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD Deepstack NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

Aman ‘KarmaPoker’ Parakh won ₹50,250 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘wishcoolAK’ won ₹44,808 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘Sogani22’ won ₹33,065 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘nidhinpb’ won ₹32,250 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Big Splash ₹75K GTD NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

‘Flipper108’ won ₹32,115 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘greybear79’ won ₹30,993 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

Anuj ‘brockLesnar95’ Yadav won ₹24,269 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘taylor’ won ₹17,227 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘hengokamki’ won ₹13,800 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Deep Stack ₹30K GTD NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

Read the complete story here

 

Phil Galfond Discusses the Intricacies of Running ‘Run It Once Poker’

WSOP bracelet winner Phil Galfond, last week blogged about his new venture Run It Once Poker where he confesses that though times have been stressful post the site’s launch, he is still having fun and enjoying himself. Galfond also mentioned that the traffic that RIO poker platform is currently attracting is equivalent to that of PokerStars’ New Jersey site.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond

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Unibet Poker Shifts to Relax Gaming Platform in France

Unibet Poker has migrated from Playtech’s iPoker network in France to the Relax Gaming client becoming the first operator to join the France-facing poker client as Relax Gaming prepares to launch itself into France’s regulated i-gaming market.

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RedKings Closes Online Poker Room After 13-Year Run

After a 13-year reign, RedKings has decided to shut shop and announced that it is ceasing its poker and betting services on April 28. The site’s existing players will be transferred to the MPN site, Betsafe.

Read the complete story here

 

Optibet Poker Partners With GGNetwork to Launch Services in Latvia

The publicly-listed Swedish online gambling company Enlabs is expanding its Optibet brand to include online poker under a Latvian license in partnership with the Asia-focused GGNetwork.

Optibet Poker GG Network

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Team Mumbai Jetsetters Win GPL India Season 1

The country’s first long-run poker league – Global Poker League (GPL) India’s grand finale aired last Saturday on Colors Infinity where Team Mumbai Jetsetters managed by high stakes cash game boss Kavin Shah along with his teammates – Vivek Singh, Raman Gujral, Saurabh Sindhwani and Aneesh Gopinathan won the coveted PSPC Platinum Pass after defeating Vikram Kumar’s Chennai Sharks.

GPL India MJ

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DPT Colossus Super High Roller Series Announced

The second edition of the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus Super High Roller (SHR) is slated to run from May 2 to 5 onboard Casino Deltin Royale – headlined by the ₹200K Main Event that features a prize pool guarantee of ₹1 Crore.

DPT Colossus

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Delta Corp Posts Healthy Revenue Growth in Q4

India’s lone BSE-listed gaming company and entertainment firm Delta Corp has posted healthy revenue growth in Q4 ending March 2019. The net profit of the company rose by 25.35% to ₹56.72 Crores as against the ₹45.25 Crores during the previous quarter and its net profit for the full year rose by 26.49% to ₹196.76 Crores in the year ending March 2019.

Read the complete story here

 

Dream11 Now in Unicorn Club With Steadview Capital’s Secondary Investment

The anticipated secondary transaction into fantasy gaming firm Dream11 by London-based company, Steadview Capital has come through. The secondary transaction is in the range of $60 Million (₹415 Crores) and propelled Dream11 to become India’s first gaming unicorn. Dream11

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HalaPlay Launches New Ad ‘Bro Code’ With Pandya Brothers

With cricket season on, fantasy gaming portal HalaPlay has launched a new ad campaign called ‘Bro Code’ featuring Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.HalaPlay Ad

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AIGF Seeks Inclusion of Legal & Regulated Gaming in BJP & Congress Manifestos

Last week, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) wrote to the manifesto committees of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress seeking inclusion of gaming issues in their manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

AIGF

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Goa’s Casino Industry Marred With Allegations

Goa Citizens’ Action Forum (GCAF) and Congress leader Diya Shetkar made allegations this past week ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. GCAF claimed that the state’s casino lobby has contributed ₹50 Crores to the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election campaign. Shetkar alleged the casinos are offering 20 percent discounts to guests and patrons who pay in cash and do not use credit cards or insist on bills, resulting in leakage of tax revenue.

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Former Cricket Coach Tushar Arothe Arrested For Illegal Betting

A Crime Branch police team recently arrested former coach of Indian Women’s Cricket team and Ranji Trophy player Tushar Arothe for illegal betting in IPL matches. Arothe was among a group of 19 people arrested from a local café located in Alkapuri area of Vadodara.

Tushar Arothe
Tushar Arothe

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Head Digital Works Ltd. Launches Cricket.com

Head Digital Works (HDW) Pvt. Ltd launched its new venture Cricket.com on April 4. The site is a sports content website focussing on cricket offering live updates of matches alongside giving match predictions, data analysis and syndicated content on cricket matches.

Head Digital Works

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partypoker LIVE Joins Hands With Triton Poker Super High Roller Series

partypoker’s land-based poker tour – partypoker LIVE decided to become a tour sponsor of the Triton Poker Series this past week. The collaboration will start with the upcoming Triton Poker Super High Roller Series (May 5 to 17) in Montenegro.

Triton Poker TWIP

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Inaugural Global Poker Awards Honors Poker Success Stories of 2018

The inaugural Global Poker Awards (GPA) was hosted at the PokerGO studio in Las Vegas on April 5. Kristen Bicknell took home the Global Poker Index Female Player of the Year award, while her partner Alex Foxen was declared the Global Poker Index Player of the Year in the male category.

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WPT Announces Inaugural Taiwan Stop From July 12-22 at CTP in Taipei City

The World Poker Tour (WPT) in association with Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP), announced its first-ever stop in Taiwan which is scheduled to run from July 12 to 22.

Danny McDonagh With CEO of CTP Dai Xingxiong
Danny McDonagh With CEO of CTP Dai Xingxiong

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Wynn Summer Classic to Run From May 30- July 16

The Wynn Summer Classic series begins on May 30 this year in Wynn Las Vegas. Headlining the series is the $1,600 NLHE Championship that boasts of $2 Million in guaranteed prize money.

The Wynn Summer Classic

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Sri Lankan Govt. Clarifies $50 Casino Entry Applicable Only on Locals

In March, Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had announced a $50 entry fee in casinos and last Friday, during the budget debate in the country’s parliament, Samaraweera clarified that the fee was applicable only on local players and not on foreigners.

Sri Lanka flag

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Myanmar Ready to Legalise Casinos Under New Gambling Law

The southeast Asian country of Myanmar decided to legalize the casino industry under the ambit of its new 2018 Gambling Law that is yet to be approved by the Parliament. The bill has already received the recommendation of President U Win Myint and is expected to be enacted in May.

President U Win Myint
Myanmar President U Win Myint

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2019 The Big Wrap PLO

The inaugural The Big Wrap PLO series, powered by partypoker LIVE, kicked off on March 31 at the biggest casino in Europe, the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

The series commenced with the €550 The Big Wrap Warmup PLO event, and Team India’s Gaurav Gala, Manish Goenka and Jagdeep Singh were among the 112 runners who advanced to Day 2. Singh was the first of the trio to be eliminated, and he busted out before the money line was breached. However, Gala and Goenka both finished in the money, each securing a payday of €1,326 (~₹1.03 Lakhs) from their 42nd and 44th place finishes respectively.

Italy’s Alessio Pillon took down the opening event after a three-way deal and banked a career-best score of €43,495.

Alessio Pillon

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The Big Wrap PLO Main Event was the final event of the series and gathered a total field of 516 entries (412 unique and 104 re-entries). Gala, Goenka, and Singh were once again seen in contention, but while all three made the cut for Day 2, Gala and Goenka were eliminated before the money bubble burst.

Jagdeep Singh came in with the tenth-biggest stack at the start of Day 2, and even though he failed to advance to Day 3, he opened his scorecard at the series with a 20th place finish for €10,677 (~₹8.37 Lakhs). He was the highest scorer among the Indian challengers at the stop, and for this, he is also our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Jagdeep Singh

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The Main Event ultimately crowned a champion in Spain’s Lautaro Valentino Guerra Cabrerizo who simultaneously clinched his career-first title and his best live score of €209,221 at the event.

Lautaro Valentino Guerra Cabrerizo

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2019 PAPC

The first-ever Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) series began on April 1 at the Olympic Park Casino in Tallinn, Finland. The €25,000 High Roller became the most expensive tournament held in Estonia to date, eclipsing the previous all-time high buy-in of €10,300 that was set by the EPT Tallinn High Roller in 2010. The event attracted a total of 17 entries which included India’s Rahul Byrraju. He failed to cash in the event, and the title eventually went to Finnish player Pauli Ayras. Ayras won his maiden live title at the event, along with a paycheque of €163,300.

Pauli Ayras
Pauli Ayras

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Another popular event at the series was the €10,200 Championship Event which pulled in 20 entries (10 unique and 10 re-entries). Byrraju was seen in action at this event as well and this time made up for his previous missed opportunity by finishing fourth for €20,102 (~₹15.63 Lakhs). However, it was the Finnish poker legend and the stop’s brand ambassador – Patrik Antonius – who captured the title after firing three-bullets. He netted €78,100 in prize money for his win.

Patrik Antonius
Patrik Antonius

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The most popular event at the series was the €1,500 Main Event that featured a single starting day but allowed for unlimited re-entries till the early levels of Day 2. A total of 160 entries came in and raking in the lion’s share of the €217,280 prize pool was Joris Ruijs who locked in €57,200 for the win. Byrraju entered Day 1 of the Main Event but failed to make the cut.

Rahul Byrraju
Rahul Byrraju

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2019 APPT Korea

PokerStars’ marquee tournament offering, Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) returned to Incheon in South Korea for the third time with APPT Korea on April 5. With 21 tournaments on the roster, the series has brought exciting live action to Paradise City Casino. Already, several tournaments are in the books, with China’s Xing Biao Zhu taking down the APPT Kickoff. Zhu outlasted 419 other entries to walk away with ₩21,290,000 in prize money.

Xing Biao Zhu

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The attention now moves to the ₩700,000 APPT National and the ₩1M Short Deck Re-Entry that will both crown a champion today.

Team India has been making its presence felt at the series and seems very close to a score. Meherzad Munsaf and Yasheel Doddanavar entered the APPT Kickoff and the APPT National but were unable to return with a cash. Doddanavar ran the deepest in the APPT National and was the top stack heading into Day 2, but a rough day on the felts saw Doddanavar fall out short of the money.

Yasheel Doddanavar
Yasheel Doddanavar

Not ones to be daunted, both the Indian challenges are very much in the thick of the action! Munsaf is playing the Super High Roller even as Doddanavar chip leads the seven finalists in the ₩1M Short Deck Re-Entry.

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2019 APPT Korea Winners

Event NamePlayer NamePrize Money
₩200K NLHE Igor Kim ₩4,384,000
₩350K APPT Kickoff NLHE Xing Biao Zhu ₩21,290,000
₩350K NLH Freezeout Yan Li ₩8,032,000
₩1M PLOOsamu Hori ₩8,443,000
₩250K NLH Xinglong Huang ₩5,421,000
₩800K NLH Freezeout Lei Yu ₩18,817,000

 

Taiwan’s Chi Hang Wins J88Poker Tour Main Event

Chinese Texas Hold ‘em Poker Association (CPT) in Taipei hosted the J88Poker Tour. The headline Main Event registered 452 entries generating a prize pool of NT$9,562,900 (~₹2,14 Crores). At the end of the play, Taiwan’s Chi Hang defeated his heads-up opponent Jin Ho Hong to take home NT$2,152,000 (~₹48,11,705) in prize money, a customized golden bracelet, and his buy-in for the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

Chi Hang
Chi Hang wins J88Poker Tour Main Event

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Tuan Mai Wins Bicycle Casino Mega Millions XX

The Bicycle Casino in California played host to the Mega Millions XX which saw mind-numbing participation of 7,500 entries via 22 flights to create a ginormous $1,457,635 prize pool. Tuan Mai was crowned the champion, and he took home $199,000 in prize money post a heads-up deal.

Tuan Mai
Tuan Mai wins Mega Millions XX

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Asher Conniff Wins WSOPC Bally’s Main Event

The $1,700 buy-in Main Event of the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) hosted at the Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas crowned a champion this past week. The event attracted 607 entries, and Asher Conniff defeated Josh Suyat heads-up to win the title and top prize worth $193,147.

Asher Conniff
Asher Conniff

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Alex Rocha Ships Borgata Spring Poker Open Deepstack Kickoff NLHE $1M GTD

Outlasting a massive field of 2,199 entries, Alex Rocha emerged as the winner in the Borgata Deepstack Kickoff $1 Million GTD NLHE and claimed his biggest career score of $180,591 for the win.

Alex Rocha
Alex Rocha wins BSPO $600 Deepstack

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Dan Bekavac Wins 2nd MSPT Title at Milwaukee Poker Open

Amazon wholesale distributor from Chicago, Illinois – Dan Bekavac claimed his second Mid-States Poker Tour title at the recently concluded MSPT Milwaukee Poker Open. Bekavac overcame a field of 625 entries to pocket $126,998 in cash prize.

Dan Bekavac

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Nick Burris Takes Down WSOPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event

The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Horseshoe Council Bluffs $1,700 Main Event recorded 272 entries across two starting flights. Missouri-based player Nick Burris defeated the field to collect his second WSOPC gold circuit along with $99,267 in prize money.

Nick Burris
Nick Burris wins WSOPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event

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Hank Mlekoday Wins Minnesota State Poker Championship

This past week, Hank Mlekoday took down the Minnesota State Poker Championship’s headline $1,100 buy-in Main Event title for his second-best live career cash worth $47,144 after outlasting 180 entries.

Hank Mlekoday
Hank Mlekoday

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Stephen Hart Wins RGPS Bossier City Main Event

The $575 buy-in $100K GTD Main Event of the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) Bossier City ‘Showbound’ season registered a massive field of 464 entries. Besting them all was Stephen Hart who walked away with the title and $36,157 following a four-way ICM deal.

Stephen Hart

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And with this, we conclude this week’s roundup of the latest news updates and developments from the world of poker. We will return again next week with our weekly report, stay tuned.

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