The Weekly Round-up – 3 May 2021:

Partypoker ambassador and two-time SCOOP champion Patrick Leonard, image courtesy of partypoker

The Tip Top Fox brings you the top poker and gambling industry stories of the week; Patrick Leonard Wins Karma Points But Loses SCOOP PoY Title; World Poker Tour Attracts Largest-Ever Field; Prognostic Poker Player Correctly Calls Run Out

Patrick Leonard Wins Karma Points But Loses SCOOP PoY Title

Initially, it appeared that prolific online tournament grinder and Partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard had won two PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) leaderboard titles – SCOOP Player of the Year and the High Series – earning $45,000 in the process.

However, after noticing a discrepancy in the way points had been awarded, Leonard raised his concerns with PokerStars. Leonard was correct and had indeed been awarded extra points. While winning karma points for his honesty and sportsmanship, it cost Leonard both titles. Russian player “ZapahZamazki” was awarded the number one spot on both leaderboards after PokerStars recalculated the scoring.

Leonard had a great April, taking down two SCOOP titles for combined winnings of $168,726. Playing under the screen name “pads1161” the British player won back-to-back SCOOP events. On 17 April Leonard won the SCOOP-57-H: $1,050 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack], $250K Gtd, beating a 324-strong field to take the $60,953 top prize.

Leonard followed this up the next day with victory in the SCOOP-64-H: $5,200 NLHE [Progressive KO, Sunday HR SE], $850K Gtd, seeing off challenges from the 255-strong field to win a further $107,773.

These two results, combined with a further 14 SCOOP cashes, saw Leonard top the SCOOP leaderboard and the High Series leaderboard. With the winner of these taking an additional $25,000 and $20,000 respectively, it all came down to the last tournament of the series.

Leonard and two other players – Finnish pro Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna and “ZapahZamazki” – were in contention for both leaderboard top spots. Nevanlinna narrowly missed out in the SCOOP-101-L: $11 6+ Hold’em [8-Max] $25K Gtd, needing to finish in 4th but coming in 10th place.

The Consummate Sportsman

It looked like Leonard had done it, taking both the SCOOP PoY title and the High Series title. However, proving to be the consummate sportsman, Leonard noticed PokerStars incorrectly awarded him points for a bubble finish in the SCOOP-101-H – $1,050 6+ Hold’em.

After raising his concerns with PokerStars, Leonard was informed that he had incorrectly been awarded 100 points for bubble finishes in three tournaments – SCOOP-12-H $1,050 NL 5-Card Draw, SCOOP-78-H $1,050 FL Badugi, and SCOOP-101-H $1,050 6+ Hold’em. That put Leonard in 3rd place in the PoY leaderboard and 2nd place in the High Series leaderboard. 

PokerStars Reward Fair Play

Proving that honesty is the best policy, PokerStars responded by awarding Leonard the $45K he missed out on. PokerStars replied, recognising the fact “players who participate in these contests take them seriously and make certain sacrifices in their attempt to win.”

While appreciative of PokerStars response, Leonard doubled down on his karma points, pledging the money he received to charity. In addition to further proving his sportsmanship credentials, Leonard cemented his reputation as one of the games’ good guys.


World Poker Tour Attracts Largest-Ever Field

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Final Tablists. Image courtesy of WPT

Those requiring further proof of live pokers’ recovery need look no further than the recent installment of the World Poker Tour.

The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, running April 15-28 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami, Florida, attracted an impressive 2,482 entries making it the largest WPT field in history.

In addition to beating the previous record of 1,795 – set during Season XII of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown back in 2014 – it also broke the venue record. The previous best was a sizable 2,384 entrants, set back during the 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) $10M GTD.

The $2M guarantee was reached and breached on the initial opening flight. By the time registration had closed the prize pool was sitting at a sizable $7.9M. A total of 311 players made the coveted cash spots, with a minimum payout worth $6,195. The eventual winner will take home $1,261,095.

The six-handed final table will play out on 18 May, at the televised WPT final table at PokerGO Studio at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. All remaining finalists are guaranteed a payday of at least $261,700, with the winner getting their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.

WPT Seminole Hard Poker Showdown Final Table Payouts

  • 1st: $1,261,095
  • 2nd: $899,295
  • 3rd: $593,140
  • 4th: $438,500
  • 5th: $326,750
  • 6th: $261,700

The player best positioned to win that honour is Sonny Franco (far right in turquoise in the top image). Franco will return with an 80 big blind stack of 31,900,000 – close to 30% of the total chips in play.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table Chip Counts

  • Seat 1: Brekstyn Schutten – 31,350,000 (78BB)
  • Seat 2: Ken Aldridge – 10,600,000 (27BB)
  • Seat 3: Steven Snyder – 15,975,000 (40BB)
  • Seat 4:  Viet Vo – 4,150,000 (10BB)
  • Seat 5: Albert Calderon – 5,350,000 (13BB)
  • Seat 6: Sonny Franco – 31,900,000 (80BB)

Poker On The Rise

The WPT is not the only tournament series to post record numbers as Covid restrictions are eased; the recent EPT Sochi also drew a record field back at the end of March.

While live poker in the rest of the world has yet to make a full recovery, signs are looking promising. The World Series of Poker announced their 2021 schedule back in early April.

In addition to the traditional live series, the WSOP also announced dates for their popular online series for US players, running July 1-August 1 on the All-American Poker Network.

A week and a half after announcing the US schedule, the WSOP released details regarding the international online leg of this summer’s festivities. GGPoker is set to reprise its role as host for the international WSOP Online, running August 1–September 12.

Running a week longer than its US counterpart, the international WSOP Online will award the same number of gold bracelets, with 33 on offer.

This is significantly fewer than the previous GGPoker WSOP Online, which had 54 bracelet events. The 2020 WSOP Online Main Event boasted a $27.5m prize pool, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest online poker tournament prize pool of all time.


Prognostic Poker Player Correctly Calls Run Out In Televised Tournament

Proving clairvoyance still has its place at the poker tables, US player Troy Clogston displayed his prognostic skills in a televised tournament. The feat was streamed on PokerGO during the final table of the $400 No-Limit Hold’em – The Ultimate Monster Event at The Lone Star Poker Spring Series in Houston, Texas.

While poker players calling for cards is a regular phenomenon, what makes this case noteworthy is the fact that Clogston correctly predicted the entire run out – to the shock of his fellow final tablists.

Clogston, on his way to a third-place finish in the event, eliminated tablemate Don Iyengar in 7th when the duo got all the chips in pre-flop with J♠J and AJ♣ respectively.

While the hand was a fairly standard one poker-wise, it was Clogston’s clairvoyant skills that made it stand out. Clogston called the “Ten, Nine, Eight” flop – in that order. While he did not specify suits, the odds of that are 2196-1.

The rest of the table was a little taken aback. This quickly turned into outright disbelief when Clogston declared that the turn card would be the 4♠. Lo and behold, the 44-1 shot appeared. When asked what the next card would be, Clogston declared the 2 would hit the river.

“If the 2 comes I’m leaving…” stated one of the watching finalists. The odds of Clogston guessing this correctly were 43-1. It duly came in, to gasps of shock from those watching.

The odds of correctly predicting all of that come in at an astronomical 4.35 million to 1 so Mr. Clogston should probably pick himself up a lottery ticket in the near future.

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