Posts Tagged ‘Jason Mercier’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

For those who need reminding, there were 7,874 entries for the WSOP’s Main Event, each putting up $10K to take a wild swing at that $8.8 million championship money and that golden bracelet. Most are just hoping to get a piece of that astounding prize pool of $74,015,600. What’s always been amazing to me is that you can win about half-a-million dollars coming in 12th – 15th. Or, a million dollars for being in ninth place. Where else can you do that?

But there’s another facet to the Main Event that’s also pretty amazing. You can be among the greatest poker players of all time and go home with nothing.

Daniel Negreanu After busting out of the Main Event on Day 1, Daniel Negreanu recorded his VLOG with good humor and no excuses. Well, except for the fact that he drew no pairs, no straights, no flushes, no flops, no nothing, which was not an excuse since I watched it happen. Nothing went “Kid Poker’s” way.  Following him around as he navigated the rail and the floor, it was refreshing to watch him smile and pose for selfies with every fan who approached him, keeping his spirits up for his fans. When his two jacks got beaten by a pair of 10s (with another 10 on the flop), he ‘faked” a bad tilt, got some laughs and walked away from the table looking somewhat confused. On his way out he said, among other things, that it was almost impossible to go broke on Day 1. I could see the frustration in his eyes, but he held it together beautifully. All that, plus he and his girlfriend of four years broke up a couple of weeks ago.

Scott Blumstein

Of course, Negreanu wasn’t the only big name to be eliminated on Day 1, just the one I cared about the most. Last year’s Champion, Scott Blumstein, also busted on the first day, as did 2007 champ, Jerry Yang and 2016 champ, Qui Nguyen.

The only good thing about it was that “Kid Poker” was free to add color commentary, along with Norm and Lon on Day 3. I like listening to him talk strategy (way over my head, of course), teach a little, predict what certain players will do (and usually get it right, or poke fun at himself when he’s completely wrong) but I can’t help wondering what’s going on inside his head. I KNOW he wanted to make a deep run.

John HespI just checked the latest chip counts online and at this moment Ignacio Sanchez is leading with 620,200 and there are 47 players with more than 400,000  chips. But it’s just a moment in time. Any of them could double up or go broke; the next time I check, the chip leaders could be Cliff Josephy and Phil Ivey – there is so much poker left to play. But not for some other big names who have already been eliminated, like Jason Mercier, John Hesp (last year’s sensation), and Maria Ho. It doesn’t matter Maria Ho what you did last year or last week at the Main Event. I know I’m excited to see what will enfold over the next couple of weeks. Are you enjoying the action, too?

 

 

You too could get one of these diamond encrusted bracelets. All you need is to make it to the WSOP, drop down 10 grand to enter the main event, then outlast thousands of other players, make it to the Final Table and it could be yours. Easy, right?

WSOP Main Event Championship Bracelet

send me your thoughts or comments!

Queen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Our readers want to know what’s going on with the Global Poker League.  As far as I know, the GPL is on a scheduled break for about a month, so this is a good time to bring everyone up to speed.

Alexandre DreyfusAs a blogger who’s been following and writing about the new League since before their highly professional inaugural draft in February, I’ve made no secret of how impressed I’ve been with Alexandre Dreyfus and the GPL. The innovative team concept, the use of web cams, the fan-focused experience as opposed to an experience focused on professional poker players   . . . all came together incredibly well in just 14 short weeks. The GPL had half a million unique viewers, with sustained average viewing times of 17 to 21 minutes per viewer throughout the summer.

Could they have done even better? Absolutely, if they’d wanted to spend millions of dollars on television and online advertising which they obviously did not. Probably a wise decision too, since they now have “proof of concept” without exposing the whole ball of wax to the world prior to doing some very necessary tweaking. Plus they got some free marketing every time someone said or wrote: “Congratulations to Jason Mercier of the New York Rounders”. You can’t buy better branding than that.

GPL's The CubeIt was clear from the start that there had to be a GPL TV studio in Vegas, the mecca for poker players. And, to accommodate all the GPL team members also playing in the 2016 WSOP, they needed the convenience of a TV studio in close proximity to the Rio. I admire Dreyfus and his team for taking the calculated risk to break out their signature platform, The Cube, during the Summer Series, instead of waiting for the reveal originally set for September. In fact, Dreyfus wrote on Facebook that “it was a last minute decision to bring The Cube . . . to Vegas to form the centerpiece of our 2nd TV studio.”

I felt validated reading that, since at the time I had written in my blog: “No surprise, either, that he decided to break out the much-hyped, but not quite ready-for-prime-time Cube ahead of schedule.” It was no surprise because it was obvious to anyone paying attention that The Cube set-up, even in its pared down version, provided the perfect contrast to the play at the WSOP:  up close and personal, fast-paced, poker standing up, innovative and fun!

The players seemed to agree, saying they enjoyed the pace, the slightly intimidating electronic music and SFX — the loud beat, beat, beating of their hearts — the intensity of the heat and lights in the isolating sound-proof glass enclosure. Personally, I think they got a kick out of the jock-like activity of standing and sweating after the passivity of sitting at the poker tables in the air-conditioned Rio for hours on end.

In the meantime, we fans got the rare opportunity to enjoy the “other side” of some of the biggest names in poker – Fedor Holz, Jason Mercier, Sorel Mizzi, Jonathan Jaffe, Anatoly Filatov, Bryn Kenney, Fabrice Soulier, Randy “Nanonoko” Lew, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Byron Kaverman, Tom Marchese, Faraz Jaka  and the list goes on — as they “let it all out” against their opponent in The Cube.

Many of these matches were not only good heads-up poker but also incredibly engaging entertainment. And for a newbie like me, the expert commentary provided by Joe Stapleton and Eric Danis broadened my poker education without delving too heavily into higher level strategies like range and variance. Their poker knowledge, humor and great chemistry, along with interviews by the smart and sexy Laura “Corndog” Cornelius, made for a highly enjoyable few hours in my day.

By the way, based on comments made by Dreyfus in several interviews, I imagine that what we saw was The Cube in its most basic iteration . . . many of the bells and whistles are still to come.( I’ll cover much more on the improvements I hope to see in The Cube in an upcoming blog!)

So now what?

I’ve been trying to figure that out and according to the schedule that appears on the GPL website, inter-conference play begins again on August 16th.  Unfortunately, a note on the homepage of the site also says “Thank you for joining us in the Las Vegas Summer Series – Back in September.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Dreyfus and team if they want to hold on to the fans they have acquired and continue to grow the way they need to. I’ve been saying for months that the website needs to be overhauled (design and programming) and then maintained consistently. Stories and features need to be updated regularly, a less cumbersome schedule and video archive has to be developed, the site has to load faster and it MUST be optimized for mobile. There’s enough content to fill ten websites, so that’s not the problem. It simply needs to be handled by developers who can deliver a high class, high-functioning professional site.

Eurasia ConferenceConceptually, the GPL‘s vision of poker as a team sport is what sets it apart. It began with players being drafted onto a team representing a major city, and it was that team concept that was supposed to build the fan base.

America ConferenceUnless the mission has changed, I don’t believe the GPL did enough to reinforce the team concept. If this was being marketed as a Team Sport, the logos of the teams should have always been prominent. Instead, the way in which the graphics were designed for the online matches made the team logos difficult to see. Viewers could easily see the players and the hole cards, but sadly, the team names were covered up.

And when play progressed to the Summer Series in The Cube, the players should have been wearing their team t-shirts sporting their team logo. Had the GPL been on time with their team merchandise (a costly misstep) fans of the teams could have worn their t-shirts all over Vegas, including at the heavily attended WSOP, where tons of attendees might have been tempted to purchase an LA Sunset or Las Vegas Moneymakers team shirt — free advertising! Dreyfus commented, “We also didn’t connect with the WSOP fan-base as deeply as we had the potential to do.” He’s right; they blew it. In addition, team branding as well as GPL branding were mysteriously absent from The Cube, at least from the online audience’s vantage point.

Because of the GPL, I grew to know and like some of the players personally; I feel a kind of crazy proprietary interest in many of them whenever I see them playing poker anywhere.  But in the end, if I don’t know what GPL team Fedor, Nano or Mercier play for, there’s something wrong with the marketing plan. Bottom line:  it’s the team that grows the fan base and excites those who root for them with a passion, motivating them to buy team banners, t-shirts, caps. . . and ultimately bring in sponsors.

Dreyfus has promised to “amp up the adrenaline inherent in many of our matches and focus more on the players than the game.” Maybe so, but if he still wants the team aspect to be the GPL’s hallmark, then some good old Yankees/Red Sox, Celtics/Lakers team dynamics have to be built up as well.

I have tremendous faith in the brilliance of Alex Dreyfus and his team to make the necessary adjustments to the GPL in ways I’ve suggested . . . and in ways I’ve never even thought of.  I look forward to the immediate improvements I hope will be made as they finish out this year with the league playoffs and the Season 1 Championship at Wembley Stadium in London. And I can’t wait to watch what happens next year and in the years to come. I got hooked on poker because of the GPL, so I’m rooting for it to evolve into everything Dreyfus envisioned — poker “sportified” to appeal to millions of old and new-generation poker fans.

And I’ll be blogging about it all as soon as the next half of their season begins in August . . . or September.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

So here we are folks, approaching the end of the 47th Annual World Series of Poker summer events with, of course, the Main Event’s Final Table concluding, as always, in November, with this year’s champion to be determined then. Here’s what has happened since our last report:


Yue DuEvent #59: $5000 No-Limit Hold’em
– A 48-year-old amateur from China, Yue Du, walked away with his first gold bracelet and a very nice check for $800,586. Du eliminated Natasha Barbour, who finished in third-place. Barbour collected a whopping $348, 374 dollars, and although she missed out on a gold bracelet, she did collect a ring when her boyfriend, Jason Mercier, proposed marriage in front of the rail.

 

David Prociak

Event #60: $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better was championed by an amateur who just started playing seriously less than a year ago. David Prociak from Kissimmee, FL., pocketed $156,546 along with his first gold bracelet. Not bad after cashing for the third time in a WSOP Event this summer.

 

Ryan Fee, and Doug Polk Tag Team

Event #61: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em The first-ever tag-team WSOP tournament belonged to Doug Polk, 27, from Las Vegas and Ryan Fee, 28, from Philadelphia. After defeating a field of 863, the teammates collected $153,358 to share and bracelets for both champions.

Jens KyllonenJens Kyllonen, the PLO pro from Finland sat down at his first Final Table and won Event #62: $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed) and ran off with $1,127,035 and his very first gold bracelet.

 

Tony DunstEvent #63: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em ended in the pockets of poker pro and well known commentator for the World Poker Tour TV series, Tony Dunst. Tony collected his first gold bracelet and walked away with a big fat check for $339,254.

 

Kyle BowkerEvent #64: $3000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better  Kyle Bowker, a 33-year-old poker pro from Walton, NY, defeated a field of 473 hungry players, including himself, and took home his first gold bracelet along with $294,960 for his 35th cash at the WSOP since 2006.

 

Courtney KennedyCourtney Kennedy, a 37-year-old poker dealer from Detroit, MI, won Event #65: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship along with her first WSOP gold bracelet and a sweet $149,108. Kennedy stated “It’s just a pleasure and an honor, I finally got a little piece of the pie now and I’m excited.”


Event #66: $1000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em
after Day 1 is led by Clayton “Starduck” Maguire. The event has a total of 1,247 participating players and it is still being played with only six players remaining.


Fedor HolzEvent #67: $111,111 High Roller for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em
was conquered by one of our favorite Global Poker League players, 22-year-old Fedor Holz from Germany, and after collecting a huge $4,981,775 along with his first WSOP gold bracelet, he was heard saying “I just feel overwhelmed.  I didn’t think it would be like this.”

 

Event #68: $10,000 MAIN EVENT No-Limit Hold’em Championship with 1733 entries so far, has started and at the end of Day 1A, Gary Sewell led the way. Then on Day 1B, Andrey Zaichenko led with a 292, 700 stack of chips in front of him.

 

Jason Mercier proposes to Natasha BarbourSo far this year’s WSOP has not disappointed us. In fact, it has provided all of us poker enthusiasts with a few surprises, not the least of which was Jason Mercier dropping to one knee and proposing to Natasha Barbour for the entire world to see.

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Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisBy Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Ok, here we go with our latest report on the happenings at the 47th Annual World Series of Poker. We left off at Event #20:  the $10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship which was won by Ray Dehkharghani.

 

Calvin LeeCalvin Lee won Event #21: $3000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em and collected a whopping $531,577 in prize money. Out of a field of 1,029 entrants, it was nice to see him walk away with his first bracelet and all that money.

 

Danny Le

 

Event #22: $1500 Limit Hold’em belonged to Danny Le winning his first WSOP gold bracelet and a sweet prize of $188,815 by taking it out of the hands of a field of 665 players.

 

 

Cesar GarciaEvent #23: $2000 No-Limit Hold’em was taken down by Cesar Garcia who walked away with a huge paycheck for $447,739 after defeating a field of 1,419 hungry souls.

 

 

Jason MercierJason Mercier, of the Global Poker League’s NY Rounders, won  Event #24: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship and collected $422,874 for all his hard work. He also walked away with his fifth career gold bracelet after pushing through a field of 170 of players.

 

 

 

Michael GaglianoEvent #25: $2500 No-Limit Hold’em was captured by Michael Gagliano, who collected a fat check of $448,463 plus his first bracelet.

 

 

 

Benny GlaserEvent #26 – $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better was conquered by Benny Glaser out of a field of 934 for his second bracelet plus a nice lump sum of $244,103.

 

 

 

Johnnie CraigEvent #27: $1000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Johnnie Craig at 54 made WSOP history by winning the largest-ever seniors poker tournament with 4499 entrants. Craig, from Baytown, TX, collected $538,204 and picked up his first gold bracelet.

 

 

Ian JohnsIan Johns took down Event #28: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet and collected $290,635 from a field of 110 very serious players.

 

Alexander Ziskin

Event #29: $1500 No-Limit Hold’em was picked up by Alexander Ziskin. He walked away with his first gold bracelet plus a hefty $401,494, running through a field of 1,796 entrants.

 

 

Viatcheslav Ortynskiy

Viatcheslav Ortynskiy from Russia grabbed up Event #30: $3000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha  and took home his first WSOP bracelet along with a nice payday of $344,327.

 

 

James MooreEvent #31: $1000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em  was taken by James Moore, a physician and radiologist from New Hope, Pennsylvania, who won his first gold WSOP bracelet plus $230,626 big ones, after taking down 1,476 entrants.

 

Benny Glaser

Event #32: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship was mastered by Benny Glaser, who took home his second bracelet for the summer plus an extra little check for $407,194. The first bracelet came when he ran away with Event #26 and collected  $244,103 . That gave him a total of three gold WSOP bracelets and, in case you missed it, a total of $651,297 for the summer thus far.

That makes it 32 completed, hard-knocking events out of a total of 69 this year. That, folks, is almost half way until we reach the Main Event. Do you have any thoughts as to who will make the Final Table this year? If so send us your comments.

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