This Week in Poker: December 19 – 25

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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly December 26, 2018
  • 12 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring to 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

2018 has been an amazing year for poker all round, from the domestic front to the international scene, from the live to the online felts. The action, the energy, the finishes, the banter and the wins have all been grand. India, in particular, has firmly established itself as an emerging poker power, with Team India performing exceptionally well on the global platform. While this year had several memorable highlights that we would love to recap, let us for now take a look back at the week that just passed us by.

The 37-event long PokerStars India Winter Series concluded on December 24 and awarded huge payouts to a plethora of winners, however, the biggest winner, not only in the Winter Series but across all premier online poker sites this past Sunday, was Abhineet ‘pokemon13s’ Jain. Jain was up against some of the best in the business in the Winter Series #33 Main Event ₹35 Lakhs GTD event including Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal (4th for ₹2.33 Lakhs), yet he managed to clinch the title, adding ₹6.23 Lakhs to his online winnings in the process. For this victory, Jain is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”.

Nonetheless, the last event on the Winter Series schedule was Event#37 EPT Sochi NLHE Main Event Qualifier which was taken down by the ever-consistent Aditya ‘serendipity789’ Sushant who defeated a field of 137 entries (91 unique and 46 re-entries) and bagged ₹40,000, along with a package worth ₹4 Lakhs to the EPT Sochi Main Event!

Rounding up the adrenaline-pumping live poker action this year were two major stops – the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague and the fifth edition of the Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB). The €5,300 Main Event at EPT Prague crowned a champion in Germany’s Paul Michaelis, who took home €840,000 in prize money, following a three-way deal with Artem Kobylynskyi (runner-up for €571,910) and Alexandr Merzhvinskii (3rd for €631,500). Danish pro Henrik Hecklen captured the title in the last event of the series, i.e. the €10,300 High Roller for a first-place prize money of €503,700. Meanwhile at the SHRB V, USA`s Isaac Haxton bested a super-elite field of 36 participants and defeated Alex Foxen heads-up to win a career-best $2,672,000.

As we bid goodbye to 2018, we will be welcoming 2019 with the much-awaited PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) which will be held in the Caribbean archipelago of The Bahamas from January 6-10, 2019. There has been much talk about this rake-free $25,000 buy-in tournament for a large part of the year and much of that has been about the PSPC Platinum Passes that have contributed a whopping $9,000,000 to the prize pool, with an extra $1,000,000 added to the first-place prize money. Valued at $30,000 each, the Platinum Passes boasted of an all-expenses paid package to the PSPC that includes a $25,000 entry to the PSPC event, six nights’ accommodation at Atlantis Resort, Nassau, in The Bahamas and $2,000 in travel expenses and room folio. Over 300 of these passes have already been handed out to players from different countries and nationalities . However, eight of these coveted Platinum Passes were claimed by Indians, namely Sumit Sapra, Nikhil Segel, Kavin Shah, Raman Gujral, Young Guns Sharad Rao and Vivek Singh, along with Saurabh Sindhwani and Aneesh Nair. These eight contenders will be captained by Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal who will also be a key player to watch out for at the series.

Besides the PSPC, the other series to look forward to are the 2019 Aussie Millions Poker Championship (January 15-February 4) and the 50th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2019, Las Vegas which recently announced its schedule and will run from May 28 to July 16.

In the updates coming from the domestic corridors, the Union Government reiterated its stand on the question of betting and gambling legalisation voiced by former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh in Rajya Sabha, underlining that the Law Commission has stated that in the present scenario, legalisation of gambling is not desirable. A cash game festival i.e. Christmas POKER Party was announced at Casino Mahjong from December 24 to 29 by poker events specialist Nihal Singh. Meanwhile, Viaan Industries inked a deal with Chandigarh-based B Square Global Inc. Pvt. Ltd for offline strategic distribution of its digital game offering, Game of Dot (GOD).

Internationally, two big developments set the tone for the new year in the gaming industry. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and dates for seven major events to be part of the 2019 WSOP. The other major poker brand, i.e. World Poker Tour (WPT) will be soon coming under new ownership, since Ourgame has agreed to sell WPT along with Allied Esports International Inc. for approximately $150 Million to Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. The newly merged entity will be known as Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. (AESE), though poker operations at WPT will not be affected.

We wrap up this week’s recap with reports on live tournament action from the 2018 European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague, 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) IP Biloxi and Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) V.

Online Railbird Report

The centre of attraction of the PokerStars Winter Series was none other than the Winter Series #33 Main Event ₹35 Lakhs GTD which drew in a field of 467 entries (293 unique and 174 re-entries) generating a prize pool of ₹35,95,900. Cruising to the top was Abhineet pokemon13s Jain who collected ₹6.23 Lakhs in prize money and for this he is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”.

Abhineet ‘pokemon13s’ Jain
Abhineet ‘pokemon13s’ Jain

Other notable scores of the week include –

Chirag Sandip ‘chilling’ Sodha won ₹3.82 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks’ ‘Sunday Stacks ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

‘Maahi13’ won ₹2.87 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BBS SuperStack ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Yashi ‘FadeOrHolz’ Mishra won ₹1.41 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Akash ‘akash_durr’ Gupta won ₹1.09 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS MegaStack ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Abhishek ‘abhi3333’ Garg won ₹1.06 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Vasu ‘Edawg’ Wadhwani won ₹99,912 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘Rehab’

‘sheldon11cooper’ won ₹51,365 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘alankar63’ won ₹49,158 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Winter Series #34 Deep Hyper ₹2.25 Lakhs GTD’

Alok ‘VotaryoftheLaw’ Ranjan won ₹39,756 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Winter Series #31 Final Warm Up ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘tanayp’ won ₹37,915 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Winter Series #32 Winter Storm – Rebuy ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

Man Singh ‘ANACONDA’ Yadav won ₹35,000 for 1st place in the PokerRaj ‘Nations Cup Qualifier ₹1 Lakh GTD’

Saroj ‘XERXES’ Mondal won ₹31,063 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘Dynamite’

‘rahul.roy1423’ won ₹29,345 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Winter Series #36 Last Chance Supersonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

Uday ‘U2day’ Mondal won ₹21,222 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘Grenade’

Saroj ‘XERXES’ Mondal won ₹16,960 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘NightCrawler’

‘yogybaba’ won ₹12,936 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Winter Series #35 Bubble Rush ₹75K GTD’

Union Govt Responds to Amar Singh’s Query on Gambling Legalization

Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad has responded to the query on gambling and betting legalisation, put forth by former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh on the floor of the Rajya Sabha. Prasad quoted Law Commission’s recommendations and stated that legalization of betting and gambling is not desirable in the present scenario.

Amar Singh
Amar Singh

Read the complete story here.

Cash Game Festival ‘Christmas POKER Party’ to Hit Casino Mahjong During the Holiday Season

Poker events specialist Nihal Singh announced a cash game festival, Christmas POKER Party, slated to be hosted at Casino Mahjong from December 24 to 29.

Nihal Singh
Nihal Singh

Read the complete story here.

Viaan Industries Ltd. Signs Strategic Distribution Deal For Game of Dot

Viaan Industries has signed an offline strategic distribution agreement with Chandigarh-based firm, B Square Global Inc. Pvt. Ltd for its digital game offering, Game of Dot (GOD).

Read the complete story here.

World Poker Tour to Merge With Esports Entertainment Company After Black Ridge Acquisition

Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), Black Ridge Acquisition Corp will be acquiring World Poker Tour (WPT) and Allied Esports International Inc. from Ourgame International Holdings for $150 Million. WPT will merge with Allied Esports and be re-branded as Allied Esports Entertainment Inc (AESE).

Black Ridge & WPT

Read the complete story here.

WSOP 2019 Dates Announced, 50th Annual Series to Run From May 28 – July 16

The biggest poker festival of the year, World Series of Poker (WSOP) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. While a full date-by-date schedule of the 2019 WSOP is yet to be revealed, dates for seven key events, including a rake-free $500 buy-in $5 Million guaranteed event i.e. the Big 50 NLHE, have been announced. The annual series will run from May 30-July 16 at the Rio Hotel & Resorts in Las Vegas.

Read the complete story here.

PokerStars Becomes UFC’s 1st ‘Official Poker Partner’

Online poker brand PokerStars has joined hands with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as their first-ever official poker partner.

UFC & PokerStars

Read the complete story here.

Nepal Bans Use of High Denomination Indian Currency Notes

Nepal government has banned Indian currency notes higher than ₹100 and asked its citizens to refrain from keeping or carrying Indian bank notes of higher denominations such as ₹2,000, ₹500 and ₹200. The ban is likely to have a major impact both on tourism and Casinos in the country.

Read the complete story here.

EPT Prague 2018

The exciting roster of events at the 2018 European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague came to a crescendo with the €5,300 Main Event playing out over two starting flights that built a field of 1,174 entries (includes 281 re-entries). Germany’s Paul Michaelis struck a three-way deal with the other two finalists to claim the trophy and €840,000 in prize money. He has also pocketed a Platinum Pass for the upcoming PokerStars Players NLHE Championship (PSPC), Bahamas. PokerStars Team pro Muskan Sethi was the lone Indian participant at the series.

Paul Michaels
Paul Michaels

Read the complete story here.

Action remained fast and furious in the last event of the series’ roster i.e. the €10,300 High Roller that attracted 259 runners generating a €2,512,300 prize pool. Danish pro Henrik Hecklen claimed the top prize at the event for a career-best €503,700.

Henrik Hecklen
Henrik Hecklen

Read the complete story here.

Isaac Haxton Beats Alex Foxen to Win the Super High Roller Bowl V

The three-day long fifth edition of the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) saw 36 entrants enter the field and beating them all was Isaac Haxton who defeated Alex Foxen heads-up to claim his career-best score of $2,672,000.

Isaac Haxton
Isaac Haxton

Read the complete story here.

Kevin Johnson Wins WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Main Event For $127,319

Outlasting a 382-strong field, 27-year old Kevin Johnson took down the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) IP Biloxi $1,700 Main Event for $127,319 and his maiden circuit ring.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

Read the complete story here.

And with this, we conclude this week’s round up 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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