This Week in Poker: April 9 – April 16

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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly April 17, 2019
  • 8 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

Mirroring the rising heat of the summer month, the poker action on the live and online felts was sizzling hot in the past week. Let’s take a recap of the week that was.

Indian pros Yasheel Doddanavar and Meherzad Munsaf prominently featured at the third edition of Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea. On the heels of his third-place finish in the ₩1M Short Deck Re-Entry (₩7,578,000 – ₹4.58 Lakhs), Doddanavar picked up his second final table score of the series and finished seventh in the ₩4 Million High Roller for ₩24,295,000 (~₹14.84 Lakhs). For this, Doddanavar is our PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Malaysia pro – Michael Soyza is having a fantastic year. After winning the HK$500K NLHE – 6-Handed event at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series – Jeju, he went on to take down the ₩10M Super High Roller for ₩178.89 Million at this series, proving why he is one of the best in the business. Sparrow Cheung wrapped up the series in style and claimed the APPT Main Event title which registered a record-breaking 581 entries and pocketed ₩198 Million in the process.

Staying at par with the excitement of the live action, the online felts too offered attractive payouts. India’s most trusted poker site, PokerBaazi’s mainstay Sunday event, Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD, drew in 567 entries (309 unique and 258 re-entries) and found a winner in online pro Abhishek ‘abhi3333’ Garg who decimated the field to bag a colossal paycheque of ₹5.35 Lakhs. PokerStars India’s signature Sunday event, Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD, had an overlay for a seventh consecutive week and registered an all-time low attendance of 403 entries (240 unique and 163 re-entries). ‘Infic11’ was the last player standing by the time the event concluded in the wee hours of Monday morning and banked ₹3.86 Lakhs, after a four-way chop with Young Gun Abhinav ‘abhi58’ Iyer (runner-up for ₹2.21 Lakhs), pal-ash7 (3rd for ₹2.40 Lakhs) and Sogani22 (4th for ₹1.89 Lakhs).

Fast-growing poker site MadOverPoker (MOP) recently announced the promotional offer – ‘Viva Las Vegas’ comprising of a 15 tournament-long online poker festival, titled ‘Vegas Series’, which kicked off on April 15 and will run till April 18. The tournament series also features a leaderboard that will award it`s winner a ₹1.5 Lakhs package to Las Vegas. A total of four events were hosted on the opening day and crowned winners in Sawan ‘Kahkelunga’ Kumar (Event #1 – ₹50K GTD for ₹20,022), Mahipal Zti3978 Vala (Event #2 ₹1 Lakh GTD for ₹21,256), Rajesh Sankibuddha Shukla (Event #3 – ₹1.75 Lakh GTD for ₹41,125) and StarWarsAA (Event #4 – ₹30K GTD for ₹5,748).

Meanwhile, global poker giant PokerStars on April 14 celebrated the 13th anniversary of its biggest weekly tournament, the Sunday Million. The event offered a special guarantee of $10 Million on its international client and drew in the second-largest field of 61,342 entries which included 15,400 re-entries, in the brand’s online poker history. China’s ‘wangli0402’ emerged as the winner and collected $611,944 in first-place prize money after a five-way chop.

The domestic poker community has much to look forward too as the second edition of the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus is scheduled to run from May 2 to 5 at the Casino Deltin Royale in Goa. With Indian pros dominating the international poker scene, it is extremely possible that a few may even pop up at the 888Live Local London (April 18-21) and European Poker Series of Rozvadov (April 24-May 5) that are scheduled for later this month.

While online poker is legal in most states of the country, the north-western state of Gujarat is stuck in quite the legal conundrum. Even though both live and online poker are considered a game of chance in Gujarat, taking things a step further, the Gujarat police have now approached the state Home Department to modify current laws and ban all forms of online gaming in the state including online poker.

Though poker may have suffered a setback in Gujarat, the Indian fantasy gaming industry has been enjoying the onset of the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. Joining the list of brands that have received lucrative investments or struck profitable deals, is the online fantasy gaming portal, BalleBaazi which received funding to the tune of $1 Million (~₹7 Crores) from its parent company Baazi Games to help establish its standing in the highly competitive market.

Online Railbird Report

Faring slightly better than last week, PokerBaazi’s most popular weekly tournament, BSS Superstack ₹25 Lakhs GTD, registered 567 entries (309 unique and 258 re-entries) this past Sunday. Seasoned online poker player Abhishek abhi3333 Garg who has been in great form recently, took down the event for a gigantic payday of ₹5.35 Lakhs.

Abhishek Garg
Abhishek Garg

Other notable scores of the week include –

Raman ‘ifryu’ Gujral won ₹4.42 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

‘Infic11’ won ₹3.86 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD’

Shravan ‘lukBo$$13’ Chhabria won ₹3.06 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks ‘Sunday Stacks ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Siddhanth ‘Bullzeye’ Kapoor won ₹2.42 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘The Vegas ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

‘sogani22’ won ₹1.20 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Shravan ‘Kissmyace’ Chhabria won ₹1.57 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Wednesday Stars ₹8 Lakhs GTD’

Kapil ‘racemonk’ Arora won ₹40,797 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘fcukstars420’ won ₹40,470 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘lalanwa’ won ₹39,272 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘vishtiru’ won ₹27,638 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘pokergod576’ won ₹24,269 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘Clearsky’ won ₹17,500 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD’

 

MadOverPoker’s Las Vegas Series Kicks Off

MadOverPoker (MOP) came out with its latest promotional offer, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and is hosting the ‘Vegas Series’ which commenced on April 15. The 15-tournament online fest features buy-ins starting as low as ₹200 and going up as high as ₹1,600 and boasts of a total prize pool guarantee of ₹18.75 Lakhs with a Tournament Leaderboard offering another ₹3 Lakhs in prizes!

MOP-Cover

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PokerStars Announces 2019 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) From May 12-27

PokerStars recently announced 2019 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP). Boasting of $75 Million in GTD prize money, the series will run from May 12-27 and will feature 67 numbered events with each event hosting three tournaments at different buy-in levels.

SCOOP 2019

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PokerStars VR Now Offers In-App Purchases

The free-to-play virtual reality social game, PokerStars VR received its first major upgrade and now offers in-app chip purchases which begin at $1.99 for 10,000 chips and max out at 10 Million chips for $99.99. The update also includes several features including Sit & Go tournaments, leaderboards and “privacy bubble.”

PokerStars VR

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PokerStars Rebrands Spin & Go Tournaments With UFC

In another significant development at PokerStars, the global poker site announced that all its Spin and Go tournaments will carry UFC branding going forward. The default Spin & Go table layout will now resemble a UFC Octagon, with branding appearing prominently and the UFC logo will also appear in the lobby of the games.

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‘wangli0402’ Wins PokerStars’ Sunday Million on its 13th Anniversary

April 14 was the 13th anniversary of PokerStars most popular weekly tournament – Sunday Million – which had announced a special $10 Million GTD for this occasion and registered the second-largest field of 61,342 entries (including 15,400 re-entries) in the brand’s online poker history. China’s ‘wangli0402’ became the ultimate champion after striking a five-way deal that saw the five finalists flattening the pay jumps, with only the title and $50,000 in prize money left in play. ‘wangli0402’ took down the title and banked $611,944 for their win.

PokerStars Sunday Million

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partypoker Shuts Down 277 Bot Accounts

partypoker, the second largest online poker site in the world announced earlier this week that it has shut down 277 “bot” accounts and redistributed $734,852.15 in funds to the affected players. According to a press release, a specialist Poker Fraud Team has been put in place at partypoker to investigate suspicious activity.

partypoker

 

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Randy Lew Parts Ways with PokerStars Team Pro, Kalidou Sow Joins the Brand

Randy Lew is the latest pro to quit the PokerStars Pro Team after being a Team Online Pro of the brand for nine years. PokerStars is also filling up the vacancies created by the exits with French poker pro Kalidou Sow becoming the latest Team Pro for the brand.

Randy Lew
Randy Lew

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Gujarat Police Want Online Poker Banned in the State

Gujarat police continue to crack down on online gaming in the state, and after banning PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds aka PUBG in several districts in the state, the police recently approached the state Home Department, seeking a ban on all forms of online gaming including online poker.

Read the complete story here

 

Baazi Games Invests $1 Million in BalleBaazi

Online cricket fantasy gaming portal, BalleBaazi’s parent firm Baazi Games has allotted funding worth $1 Million (~₹7 Crores) to its subsidiary to expand its verticals and enhance user experience with new and innovative gaming concepts.

BalleBaazi

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Goa’s Casino Employees Applications Rejected by Election Poll Panel

Following Goa’s State Revenue and IT Minister Rohan Khaunte accusing casino operators of trying to influence Lok Sabha elections, the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Narayan Sawant on April 10 announced that a majority of the applications made by casino employees to include their names in the Porvorim constituency have been rejected.

Rohan Khaunte
Rohan Khaunte

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Wynn Resorts Looking to Ban Former CEO Steve Wynn From All Its Properties

In a 49-page legal brief filed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Resorts has outlined the company’s plan to ban its former CEO Steve Wynn from all its properties around the world. Wynn, who is facing a federal case over alleged sexual misconduct will not be allowed in any of Wynn Resorts’ properties.

Steven Wynn
Steven Wynn

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2019 APPT Korea

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) was hosted at the Paradise City Casino and Hotel in Incheon and ran a full schedule of 21 tournaments from April 5-14. The series drew in a total of 3,247 entries that competing for a mind-boggling ₩3,654,222,800 (~₹22.32 Crores) in prize money. It turned out to be the biggest live poker festival organized by PokerStars in Korea!

After the ₩350K APPT Kickoff crowned a winner in China’s Xing Biao Zhu, the series’ in its second week saw the ₩700,000 APPT National crown a champion n in Yan Li.

Team India had modest participation at the poker festival, with two runners, Meherzad Munsaf and Yasheel Doddanavar. After an empty first week that saw both the challengers fall out of the APPT Kickoff and the APPT National, Doddanavar managed to convert his deep run in the ₩1M Short Deck Re-Entry into a third-place finish (₩7,578,000 – ₹4.58 Lakhs).

Read the complete story here

Doddanavar picked up his second score of the series in the ₩4 Million High Roller where he finished seventh place for ₩24,295,000 (~₹14.84 Lakhs), making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”. Keiji Takahashi eventually claimed the title for ₩143,890,000.

Yasheel Doddanavar
Yasheel Doddanavar

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Malaysia’s breakout star – Michael Soyza – continued his outstanding form and clinched the title in the ₩10M Super High Roller for ₩178.89 Million.

Michael Soyza
Michael Soyza

With 581 entries, the Main Event created a new record for the biggest APPT Turnout on Korean soil and crowned a champion in Hong Kong’s Sparrow Cheung (₩198M).

Sparrow Cheung
Sparrow Cheung

 

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

 

2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

Nick Ahmadi Captures Maiden SHRPO Title in Series Opener $570 NLHE Deepstack

The series-opener $570 buy-in NLHE Deepstack (RE) of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown series drew in 2,958 entries from six starting flights and was taken down by Nick Ahmadi. Ahmadi struck a down-the-middle chop deal with heads-up opponent Robert Pollmeier that saw them pocketing $209,977 each, but it was the former who walked away with the trophy.

Nick Ahmadi
Nick Ahmadi

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Elio Fox Clinches Title in $50K Super High Roller

Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Elio Fox defeated a field of 20 runners, which included a heads-up battle against eight-time WSOP bracelet champion Erik Seidel, to win the event for $440,000 in prize money.

Elio Fox
Elio Fox

 

Rich Alati Wins $1,100 NLH Re-Entry After a Heads-Up Chop

The $1,1,00 NLH Re-entry pulled in 689 entries, generating a prize pool of $668,330. Topping the field to claim the ultimate prize was Rich Alati. He agreed to a heads-up chop with Sam Panzica and took home $107,740 along with the title, while Panzica locked in $100,836 for his runner-up finish.

Rich Alati
Rich Alati

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Sandro Pitzanti Wins 888poker WPT DeepStacks Malta Main Event

Sandro Pitzanti emerged as the champion in the 888poker WPT DeepStacks Malta Main Event which was held at Casino Malta inside the Intercontinental Hotel. The event pulled in 275 players, and Pitzanti overcame the field to claim the trophy and the top prize of €52,000.

Sandro Pitzanti
Sandro Pitzanti

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Dan Wagner Ships HPT The Meadows $1,100 Main Event

New York native Dan Wagner clinched his first-ever HPT title in the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) The Meadows $1,100 Main Event banking $76,165 in the process.

Dan Wagner
Dan Wagner

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Tuiofu Hunkin Takes Down WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley For $121,000

The World Poker Tour (WPT) DeepStacks Thunder Valley Main Event played out at the Thunder Valley Casino, California last week with a starting field of 678 entries. Outlasting them all was American player Tuiofu Hunkin who took home a swell payday of $121,000.

Tuiofu Hunkin
Tuiofu Hunkin

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John Boriolo Claims Career-First Live Title in RIU Reno VIII Mini Main Event

Besting a 285-strong entry field, John Boriolo captured his first-ever live title in Run It Up Reno VIII $440 Mini Main Event, along with a career-best score of $26,073.

John Boriolo
John Boriolo

Read the complete story here

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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