The Weekly Round-up – 26 July 2021:
The Tip Top Fox brings you the top poker and gambling industry stories of the week; GG Poker Unveils 2021 WSOP Online Schedule; Polk Discusses Potential Heads-Up Matches vs. Kenney and Perkins; High Stakes Duel III; Hellmuth vs. Nick Wright
GG Poker Unveils WSOP Online Schedule
GG Poker has released the schedule for the highly anticipated 2021 World Series of Poker Online, with 33 bracelets up for grabs between 1st August and 12th September.
“World Series of Poker is proud to partner once again with GGPoker to allow players throughout the globe compete for WSOP glory,’ said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. ‘It’ll be the closest thing to the live WSOP tournament experience outside of Vegas!”
Buy-ins range from $50 to the sizeable $25,000 Super High Roller Championship – a huge buy-in amount for an online tournament – and the Series is offering entrants some mouth-watering guarantees. In total, 13 of the 33 scheduled events boast guarantees adding up to $50 million.
“After making history last year, WSOP Online opens up to the international poker community again this August and September,” said Daniel Negreanu, GGPoker Global Ambassador, and six-time WSOP bracelet winner.
“I’m ready to join tens of thousands of poker players from all over the world at the tables, all of us aiming to take down one of those 33 gold bracelets!”
While the Series officially starts on 1 August, the action really kicks off with the $50 The Return. Boasting a $1 million guarantee, this tournament has nine starting flights taking place over seven days, with the initial starting flight – Day 1A – getting underway on 26 July, with the other eight flights playing out between 27 July to 1 August.
Obviously, the main attraction is the $5,000 Main Event Online Championship which begins on 29 August, with the event concluding on 5 September.
Boasting a massive $20 million guarantee, while this is $5 million less than the 2020 online Main Event, the 2021 Main Event is expected to be one of the largest online tournaments in history.
The 2020 Online Main Event still holds the Guinness World Record for largest online poker tournament after 5,802 entrants competed for a $27.5 million prize pool, with Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev winning the $3,904,686 top prize.
The $400 Colossus boasts a $3 million guarantee and gets underway on 23 August and runs until 29 August and is expected to draw a sizeable field.
Millionaire Maker, Heads-Up and High Rollers
Other highlights include the popular $1,500 Millionaire Maker – with its $5 million guarantee – which gets underway on 8 August. It was seasoned Canadian professional Daniel Dvoress who topped the 6,299-strong field last year, banking $1,489,289 for his win.
The $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship also promises to be a big draw for those willing to stump up the five-figure buy-in. That kicks off on 21 August, has a 128-player cap, and is expected to draw some of the games’ top online professionals.
Then there is the two-day $5 million guaranteed $25,000 Super High Roller Championship on August 29. Boasting the largest buy-in of the Series, it might not attract the largest field, but it is sure to be a star-studded one.
You can view the full schedule on the GG Poker website.
Polk Discusses Potential Heads-Up Matches vs. Kenney and Perkins
With live poker starting to make a solid comeback after the relaxing of pandemic restrictions and the World Series of Poker just around the corner, you would think most professional players would have their hands full.
However, several of the games’ top pros and amateurs seem to have a hankering for high-profile heads-up matches. Bryn Kenney and Doug Polk both issued recent challenges to Phil Hellmuth, as reported back in May, and April.
While Hellmuth chose not to take either up on their offer of a match, Kenney and Polk became embroiled in a bit of Twitter back-and-forth with Kenney making a thinly veiled put down of Polk’s Upswing Poker training site back in late June, with Polk responding with a tongue-in-cheek reply.
The two traded barbs but were unable to agree on terms for a heads-up match; Polk wanted to play Kenney over a set amount of hands in a cash game format, but Kenney seemed more keen on backing someone to take on Polk heads-up as opposed to playing himself.
Kenney then back tracked a few days later, apologising for his behaviour, Polk accepted the apology and that seemed to be the end of it.
Then just over two weeks later, the two got into it again, with Kenney offering to play Polk in a $1 million heads-up tournament challenge, similar to PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel format, with 20% of the proceeds going to charity. Polk however, was a little cynical about Kenney’s charitable intentions and quickly shot the idea down.
The two seem unable to find a format that both wishes to compete in. Polk comes from a heads-up cash background, while Kenney holds the #1 spot on the All-Time Money List with over $56.4 million in tournament winnings – it may be that neither wants to play the other in a format that would give their opponent an advantage.
At the moment, the potential match appears to be off the table, but that could change in the future if the two can agree terms that both find acceptable. It would certainly be a match that any serious poker fan would be interested in watching.
Perkins vs. Polk
However, fresh from his win in the recent Landon Tice match, high-stakes amateur Bill Perkins seems keen to get in on the action, discussing possible terms with Polk on a potential heads-up battle between the pair.
Perkins managed to negotiate a very favourable 9bb/100 rate in his heads-up match against Tice, effectively giving the hedge fund manager a $720,000 head start over the 20,000 hands the two were supposed to play.
Polk however, does not seem keen on giving Perkins that much of an edge, offering 3bb/100 and not biting when Perkins offered 6bb/100.
Should the two agree favourable terms, the match could go ahead directly after the World Series, but understandably Polk does not want this to clash with his upcoming wedding and honeymoon.
Whether the match goes ahead remains to be seen, but the heads-up challenge format seems to be growing increasingly popular, as PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel Series has proven.
High Stakes Duel III; Hellmuth vs. Nick Wright
The latest installment of Phil Hellmuth‘s High Stakes Duel Series is set to kick off on Thursday, 29 July, with the ‘Poker Brat’ taking on keen amateur and Fox Sports 1’s First Things First host Nick Wright in the upcoming match.
Hellmuth will be looking to extend his six-game winning streak, having already defeated Antonio Esfandiari 3-0 and following that up with a 3-0 sweep of Daniel Negreanu back at the end of June for combined winnings of $700,000.