Hit and Run: Bizarre WCOOP Main Final Table, Israel’s First Casino, Regulation Still on Table for Pennsylvania

Alex Weldon : September 30th, 2015
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Short stack ‘Coenaldinho7′ comes back to win WCOOP ME, Mermelstein running hot in WPT, Israel to get a casino, regulated only poker in Pennsylvania still a possibility, and more

Coenaldinho7 wins WCOOP 2015 Main Event after four-way deal

The finish of the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event yesterday was one of the more bizarre $1 million plus final tables in recent memory. Coming in, the player at the top of the chip counts was also the table’s only really recognizable name: Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn, high stakes cash game player and Aussie Millions Main Event champion. He went out early, though, and the ultimate winner turned out to be the guy with both the shortest stack and the worst track record coming in, a Belgian going by “Coenaldinho7,” who had satellited into the event at the last minute via a $1,700 Hyper-Turbo.

Coenaldinho7’s table talk had to have been experienced – it’s hard to do it justice in recap – but consisted of an odd combination of begging for a deal, trolling his opponents and just generally acting weird. Eventually, he got his wish, when a four-way deal was ironed out. The tournament proceeded to end the only way it could have, with Coenaldinho7 catching a miracle river to win heads-up against AlwaysiNduCe, the player probably most annoyed by his antics. A more detailed account of the Coheldino7 saga are available in this forums post, while the PokerStars blog features fairly thorough coverage of the tournament as a whole.

Mermelstein second player to win two WPT titles this year, closes in on the record

Meanwhile, in the world of live poker, Aaron Mermelstein won the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event, his second WPT title of the year, joining Anthony Zinno for that honor. He didn’t do it back to back like Zinno did, however; his first was at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open back in January.

Also unlike Zinno, Mermelstein has no titles from previous years, so he has not yet joined the currently three-man club of players to have scored a WPT hat trick. Surprisingly, there is still no one with four titles, but with multiple players winning multiple events in a single year, one gets the sense that it can’t be long before someone sets that record.

Netanyahu wants Israeli casino

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apparently wants Israel to get its first casino, and has asked members of his cabinet to look into the possibility. The planned location would be in the city of Eliat, on the shore of the Red Sea.

Netanyahu’s stated reasons for wanting a casino are to bolster tourism and provide an alternative to illegal gambling, which is apparently a serious problem at the moment. However, the proposal is probably of greatest interest to the poker world because of the increasing prominence of Israeli players on the international tournament scene; following this summer’s WSOP, we took a look at the demographic breakdown of final tables over the course of the series, and found that Israel, along with Ireland, was one of the countries punching most above its weight in terms of final table results per capita. Assuming poker is offered at the casino, should the plan be approved, these players would finally have somewhere legal to play within their home country.

Quick Hitters

- David Licht, CEO of All American Poker Network continues to be optimistic about the possibility of regulated online poker in Pennsylvania, while the legal wheels keep turning in New York State.

- The Microgaming Poker Network has announced significant rake changes, to take effect next month. Generally speaking, the changes will reduce rake at lower stakes and raise it at higher stakes, with the intention of benefitting weaker, newer players, and keeping them in the game.

- November Niner Josh Beckley has opted to forego legal sponsors and throw his hat in with offshore site America’s Cardroom (ACR). He doesn’t see ACR as illegal, but the WSOP disagrees, and Beckley will not be allowed to wear a patch to promote his chosen sponsor come November.

- Nevada has passed legislation to allow new machines combining slot-like mechanics with skill components. Described as video game-like, the machines are hoped to appeal to the millennial generation, who largely shun traditional slots.

- Renowned poker player and author David Sklansky now has a personal Facebook page. He isn’t quite sure what he’s supposed to do with it, but says he’s looking at offering small private classes on various subjects, including poker.

Sue finally convinced me to start a Facebook page. I have no idea how this works. She told me that if I want to conduct…

Posted by David Sklansky on Tuesday, 29 September 2015

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