Weekly Poker Roundup: February 19, 2016
Winamax Introduces Hit & Run Tournaments
We are all used to qualifier tournaments on internet poker rooms as a way to win a seat into a more expensive tournament on the cheap. For every “x” number of dollars in the prize pool, one ticket is awarded. When the field is whittled down to the number of places that award those tickets, the tournament is over. It doesn’t matter how many chips players have left, as long as they have chips left. If ten tickets are awarded, “first place” is the same as “tenth place.”
Winamax is changing that with Hit & Run tournaments. These are also qualifiers for more expensive tournaments, just like regular satellites, but rather than needing to finish in a certain place in the tournament to win a seat, players must build their chip stacks to a certain height to claim a prize. Once a player hits the target chip amount (which is pre-determined and displayed in the lobby), he wins a ticket, is removed from the tournament, and his chips are spread evenly amongst the other players at the table.
Hit & Run tournaments start players with 9,000 chips. The stack objective ranges from 40,000 to 60,000 chips, depending on the buy-in.
Global Poker League Draft Order Set
The Global Poker League held its first draft lottery this week, selecting the order for next week’s inaugural GPL draft. The proceedings were broadcast live on Twitch, hosting by Laura Cornelius, GPL founder Alexandre Dreyfus, and commentators Eric Danis and Roland Boothby. Here is the draft order for the first round, along with the teams’ managers:
Rome Emperors – Manager Max Pescatori
Montreal Nationals – Manager Marc-Andre Ladouceur
New York Rounders – Manager Bryn Kenney
San Francisco Rush – Manager Faraz Jaka
Las Vegas Moneymakers – Manager Chris Moneymaker
Sao Paulo Metropolitans – Manager Andre Akkari
London Royals – Manager Liv Boeree
Moscow Wolverines – Manager Anatoly Filatov
Los Angeles Sunset – Manager Maria Ho
Berlin Bears – Manager Philipp Gruissem
Paris Aviators – Manager Fabrice Soulier
Hong Kong Stars – Manager Celina Lin
Some changes have been made to how the draft will proceed. Because so many players signed up to be draft eligible, the GPL decided to expand the draft from three to four rounds. And rather than randomizing the draft order each round as had been previously detailed on the GPL website, it will instead be a “snake” draft. That is, the team that picks last in a round will pick first in the next round. So, the Hong Kong Stars will have the first selection of the 2nd round, while the Rome Emperors will have the last pick.
Additionally, team managers will select two Wild Card players in the week after the draft, rather than one. They are allowed to choose themselves as a Wild Card. The GPL draft will take place on February 25th.
MPN to Revamp Sit-and-Go Offerings
In a recent blog post, Microgaming’s Head of Poker Alex Scott discussed changes that will be made to MPN’s Sit-and-Go offerings at the end of February. The main idea behind the changes is to simplify things, to make finding the right games less confusing for players.
The primary set of general changes is to make Sit-and-Go structures and terminology consistent with scheduled tournaments (also called multi-table tournaments). Thus a “super turbo” will have the same definition across the network: 18 seconds to act, 15 second time bank, 3 minute levels. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Sit-and-Go or scheduled tourney. I know this sounds strange, but there wasn’t this consistency before.
Scott also said that the network is attempting to phase out Double Up Sit-and-Go’s without officially deleting them from the lobby. Double Ups end when half the field remains; each surviving player wins double their buy-in. Scott hates Double Ups because they are boring – players tend to play very tight in order to just survive – and they lend themselves to collusion. Just two or three friends at a table can greatly affect the outcome by soft playing each other or chip dumping.
But since there are many players who like these tournaments, MPN doesn’t want to just get rid of them. Instead, the network is jacking up the rake, hoping that players will eventually stop participating.
Almost all other Sit-and-Go’s will see their tournament fees decrease, which should benefit most players. A few select games at certain stakes will experience no rake change.
EPT Returns to Dublin
For the first time in a decade, the European Poker Tour (EPT) has made its way back to Dublin, Ireland. One of the original seven stops on the EPT, Dublin was on the schedule for the Tour’s first four seasons. The highlight tournament of the stop (now generally just known as the Main Event) was called the Irish Winter Tournament, though it morphed through some name changes over the years. In 2007, it was changed to what it is now: EPT Dublin.
But after EPT Dublin in Season 4, the Irish city was dropped as a Tour stop. Other cities were added, removed, and added over the next decade before Dublin was finally put back on the European Poker Tour map after an eight-year hiatus.
The Royal Dublin Society is serving as host to EPT Dublin in this, the European Poker Tour’s twelfth season.
The EPT Dublin Main Event is currently down to its six-handed final table. Poland’s Dzmitry Urbanovich leads with 5.125 million chips, followed by Ireland’s Patrick Clarke with 4.3 million and the UK’s Kuljinder Sidhu with 3.26 million. The bottom half of the final table continues the declining million chip pattern with Germany’s Gilles Bernies holding down fourth place with 2.735 million chips, followed by Greece’s Iliodoros Kamatakis with 1.965 million and the UK’s Rhys Jones with 740,000.
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