Weekly Poker Roundup: October 8, 2016
November Nine Betting Lines Published
With the 2016 World Series of Poker final table – otherwise known as the November Nine – quickly approaching, it is time to speculate on who will become poker’s newest world champion. Poker fans can also engage in another type of speculation by putting money on who they think will win. Sportsbooks have released their odds on the November Nine; as usual, they fall into chip count order.
Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy is the oldest and most experienced at the table, so combined with the fact that he is the chip leader with 74.6 million chips, it is apparent why he was made the favorite by Ladbrokes at 12/5 odds. With 67.925 million chips, Qui Nguyen is next at 4/1. Gordon Vayo and Kenny Hallaert are both in the 40 million chip range and are both 5/1 to win. The next three – Michael Ruane, Vojtech Ruzicka, and Griffin Benger – are all fairly close in chips, though Ruane comes in at 9/1 and the other two at 10/1. The two short stacks, Jerry Wong and Fernando Pons, are 33/1 and 50/1 to win, respectively.
Ladbrokes also has all sorts of prop bets such as what the winning hand will be, what the winning hole cards will be, and what color the final flop will be. So go have a sweat while you watch the final table!
- Cliff Josephy – 12/5
- Qui Nguyen – 4/1
- Kenny Hallaert – 5/1
- Gordon Vayo – 5/1
- Michael Ruane – 9/1
- Griffin Benger – 10/1
- Vojtech Ruzicka – 10/1
- Jerry Wong – 33/1
- Fernando Pons – 50/1
France Poker Players Ready to Join Rest of Europe
After years of keeping its online poker players separated from the rest of the world, it appears that the French government will finally let players spread their wings. According to a CardChat.com report, France is finalizing a liquidity-sharing agreement with other European countries which would allow players in France to play at the same tables as players in other nations.
At the beginning of this year, the French National Assembly adopted the Digital Republic Bill, laid out regulations and the rights of individuals when it comes to the internet. The bill, which was then passed by the Senate in May, included an amendment which would permit poker players to play on licensed sites, even if those sites were in other EU or EEA countries.
The amendment text explained that such a change was necessary because many poker players were playing on “illegal” sites in order to take advantage of greater traffic and more lucrative prize pools.
PokerStars Festival New Jersey Schedule Released
In August, PokerStars announced that it was ending the European Poker Tour (EPT) and creating two new live poker series: the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival. The schedule has now been officially released for the first-ever PokerStars Festival stop, PokerStars Festival New Jersey.
Held at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, PokerStars Festival New Jersey will run October 29th through November 6th and will consist of 40 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $5,000, though most will be on the lower end of that scale.
The Main Event will cost $1,100 ($1,000 plus $100 fee); it will go November 1st through November 5th and will have two starting flights.
It looks like PokerStars is aiming to have this be festival full of different competitions, not just poker. The StarsFun Skill Zone will include games such as basketball, mini-golf, and pinball for cash prizes, as well as free games like air hockey, table tennis, and foosball. The StarsFun Casino Festival adds other gambling contests in games such as blackjack, slots, and video poker.
Players will have plenty of opportunity to qualify for the PokerStars Festival New Jersey events online.
Zachary Smiley Wins WPT Maryland Live! Main Event
Zachary Smiley came away with an improbable tournament victory this week, making his way from the bottom of the final table to last player remaining, winning the World Poker Tour (WPT) Maryland Live! Main Event. Smiley had just 1.255 million chips to begin the six-handed final table, ahead of only Cate Hall, who had 1.235 million. In the meantime, Ryan Belz was the chip leader with 4.865 million and two-time WPT title holder Darren Elias had 4.515 million.
After Hall was eliminated in sixth place on Hand 73, Smiley made his move. Just eleven hands later, he knocked out Benjamin Zamani on what turned out to be a semi-bluff. Smiley had moved all-in from the button with A-T – not terrible, but likely not a hand he wanted called – only to be looked up by both Zamani in the small blind (pocket Eights) and Belz in the big blind (Queens). An Ace flopped, though, allowing Smiley to triple-up. He took over the chip lead by Hand 100 and eventually went into heads-up play against Belz with a 10.305 million to 6.345 chip lead.
It was slow going heads-up as Smiley gradually increased his lead. On the final hand, Smiley raised to 300,000 pre-flop, Belz re-raised to 800,000, and Smiley moved all-in. Belz made the call, risking his tournament with A-Q against Smiley’s pocket Fives. Belz had an open-ended straight draw after the turn, but was unable to hit any of his river outs, thus giving Smiley his first WPT title and $356,536.
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