Papazyan does it again at WPT Maryland

November 01, 2017, Michael Young, Jo Kim, Dave Lukow  

Art Papazyan did it again, winning the $3,500 WPT main event at Maryland Live, his second WPT title in the span of five weeks.

Only 26 players have won more than one WPT title and only seven had won multiple titles in the same season. The others are Gus Hansen, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren, Tuan Le, Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno and Sam Panzica.

Papazyan topped a field of 560-plus entries to score $389,405. That first-place prize included a $15K seat into the season-ending Tournament of Champions, but becausehe earneda seat when he won the Legends of Poker at the Bike in L.A.,he’ll be awarded the cash equivalent.

Papazyan was followed by Zachary Donovan ($262,930), Tom Reynolds ($168,990), Randal Heeb ($120,165), Grigoriy Shvarts ($92,015) and Timothy Chang ($76,620).

MGM NATIONAL HARBOR: The room’s first series, the Potomac Poker Open, is Nov. 24-Dec. 4 and features more than $1M in guarantees. See the ad on Page 33 for more information.

DOVER DOWNS HOTEL & CASINO: Three tournaments, including one with a $45K guarantee, will be featured in the next Getaway Weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 24-26.

The schedule includes: Nov. 24, 11:15 a.m., $20K guarantee, $165 buy-in, 25-minute blinds; Nov. 25, 11:15 a.m., $45K guarantee, $300 buy-in, 30-minute blinds; Nov. 26, 11:15 a.m., $3K guarantee, $35 buy-in, 15-minute blinds.
There will be two satellites for the$45K guarantee and one for the Friday, $20K. One player out of every 10 entries will earn a seat into the events. The satellite schedule is Nov. 20 and 22,7:15 p.m., $40sats for the $45K event; Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving night), 7:15, $25 satellite for the $20K event.

DC CHARITY EVENT: On Nov. 12, the DC American Legion and All In Enterprises host a $160 Veterans Weekend Super Deepstack event in which 5 percent of the event’s prize pool goes to local veterans groups and posts.

MOHEGAN SUN: After a chop, Roland Israeleshvili got by John Caputo to prevail in the $1,100 Summer Showdown main event, good for $26K in Uncasville. Caputo got $25,244. Theodore Burt earned $22K for third and Andrew Kloc was fourth ($11,360). The tourney had 131 entries for a $127K prize pool.

Summer Showdown got started with a $200 tourney, which ended in a five-way chop. Kevin Gabryel, William Pappas, Bill Passy, David Kurtz and Welther Marmol pocketed $9,711 apiece. There were 554 participants.Bohdan Ferendovych won the lastevent ($300 NLHE) for$4,838, beating 174 entries.

FOXWOODS CASINO: Jeffrey Brown outlasted 141entrants to win the $300 Big Stack of the Labor Day Weekend Special at Mashantucket. The victory was worth $5K after a chop as Alex Morgovsky banked $4,494 for second.
David Lombardi opened the series with a win in the $250 Summer Heater. A Connecticut resident, Lombardi earned $24,100. William Frederick (second) pocketed $22,600, while Jonathan Gill (third) took home $13,300. With 801 entrants, the prize pool was $166,548.

After a chop, Nicholas Hunt won the $250 Super Stack Turbo for $4,758. Kirkor Tekneci got $4,757 for second. The tournament drew 221 entrants for a $46,090 prize pool.Up next is the Black Friday Weekend Special Nov. 24-26.


MOHEGAN SUN POCONO: Mohegan Sun Pocono hosts the Pa Classic from Nov. 26-Dec. 2, featuring 11 events.The series will kick off with a $340 Black Chip Bounty tournament followed by nightly $100 deepstack events.The $550 main event will be Dec. 2 as a one-day tournament and satellites will be available for the main with buy-ins as little as $18.

BORGATA: The Summer Open kicked off with 3,570 entrants in Event 1 ($600, $2M guarantee).Marshall White took the trophy and his best live cash, $330,841. East Coast pro Greg Himmelbrand made the final table again as one of the final four standing. Himmelbrand, who won the event for $243,630 in 2013, finished fourth for $119,540.

“Always a good feeling and an accomplishment to made a final table in a field of 3,500-plus players.” Himmelbrand said.
The $3,500 WPT main event drew 1,132 entries for $3.6M-plus prize pool.Guo Liang Chen, a Borgata regular, was at the final table as one of the underdogs after five days of play.In just is second career final table, Chen grinded his way through the bigger stacks to win the title and the biggest payday of his five-year career ($789,058). The Fall Open returns Nov. 7-22.

Borgata also made some changes for its regular cash players by increasing the $2-$5 buy-in max to $1K from $500.

SUGARHOUSE: The poker room ran a series of satellites in September for $10K packages into the $5M Carribean Poker Party in Punta Cana.Among the winners were SugarHouse ambassador Matt Glantz, Thai Ha and D.J. McKinnon. “We hope to continue in fostering the relationship Poker Night in America has built with Party Poker to bring similar events in the near future,” SugarHouse poker manager Vicki Sims said.

POKERSTARS RESORTS: PokerStars returned Oct. 6-8 to Atlantic City for its second live series at the Resorts Casino Hotel.Players could win a seat into the $100K guarantee with a $220 buy-in for as little as 50 cents through online satellites.

“I loved the crowd that came out, so many new faces and so much enthusiasm for the game,” PokerStars pro Jennifer Shahade said. “Even though the events were super accessible with buy-ins of $100-$200, the atmosphere made everyone feel special.”

New Jersey local John Monahan beat nearly 410 players for the trophy and $19,920, marking his biggest win. The series ended with Chris Moneymaker winning the $25K guarantee.

New York

TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: The SuperStacks Hold’em Series returns Nov. 23-Dec. 3.

RIVERS CASINO: Popular pro Shaun Deebbeat Michael Lynch to take the top spot and $36,559 in the $260 main event of the Capital Region Classic in Schenectady, N.Y. Lynch earned $20,600 and Keith Pierce (third) collected $19,600.The prize pool was $181,565, eclipsing the guarantee by more than $80K.


MGM SPRINGFIELD: The casino’s poker room will have 23 tables, an increase of seven from what originally was planned. The casino and entertainment complex should open next year.

Meet Thai ha

Thai Ha is a poker pro originally from Vietnam who lives in Philadelphia. He has numerous titles, including a deepstack title at the Borgata Open in July.

You were notorious for firing multiple bullets into rebuys. Is that so much the case anymore? Tell us about the risk and rewards. For low buy-ins and huge fields, it’s such a great value to build a big stack to put yourself in spots to run deep. I would still fire if it needs to be done. The risk is obvious.

You have to have a big enough bankroll and play big stacks well enough to support the multiple entries. Parx’s Big Stax or the Borgata Poker Open are great examples. As of now, my biggest win is $230K, which came from a $350 buy-in with a huge field. So yeah, I think I have an edge when I have a big stack in a low buy-in tournament and it definitely justifies the number of buy-ins I invest.

As you’ve built your bankroll through the years, has your game selection changed? The way I look at it is, for tournaments, yes. I always want to play the ones with the most value that I can afford and travel to easily. For cash games, I play $10-$10 and up now, whatever game is available. — Jo Kim