Hit and Run: MacPhee Wins WSOPE Main, Harman and Juanda Make HOF, Online Poker Comes to Switzerland
The WSOPE has wrapped up, with Kevin MacPhee taking down the main. The WSOP Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees: Jennifer Harman and John Juanda. Switzerland reverses its online gambling ban and moves to regulate poker. All this and more in today’s Hit and Run.
MacPhee Bests Lopez in WSOPE Main
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is now in the history books, with the High Roller having wrapped up on Friday – Jonathan Duhamel triumphant – and the Main Event likewise reaching its conclusion over the weekend. Saturday’s final table saw six players take to the felt, with the American Kevin MacPhee holding more than half the chips in play.
Poker being the game that it is, no chip lead is really safe, but MacPhee was successful in converting his into a win, personally eliminating three of his five opponents along the way. It was no cakewalk, however; even though it only took MacPhee two hours to reach heads-up play with David Lopez, it took another three for that duel to be resolved. He needed a bit of luck to make it happen, as well; the final hand of the tournament saw MacPhee make an ill-timed semibluff with Ace-Four suited versus Lopez’s pocket Kings, only to find himself bailed out with a straight on the turn.
Lopez can’t complain too much about his luck, however, as he was one of the shorter stacks coming into the final day, making a second-place finish well above expectation. Once the dust settled, the final table payouts were as follows:
1st – Kevin MacPhee – €883,000
2nd – David Lopez – €475,000
3rd – JC Alvarado – €315,000
4th – Andrew Lichtenberger – €225,000
5th – Kilian Kramer – €175,000
6th – Felix Bleiker – €130,000
Meet the Newest Hall of Famers
The WSOP Hall of Fame has now grown to include 50 members, the latest two of which are Jennifer Harman and John Juanda. The announcement was posted to the WSOP website this morning, while the official induction ceremony is still a couple of weeks off, scheduled for Friday, November 6 at Binion’s Gambling Hall.
Harman and Juanda were both considered to be at least near the top of the 10-person short list, if not necessarily shoe-ins. Both of them have enjoyed indisputably illustrious careers, and were also Daniel Negreanu’s favored candidates, as he made clear in a guest article for Card Player. Negreanu holds no small amount of sway in the poker world, so it’s unsurprising that his picks would ultimately be the same as those of the voting panel, which consisted of existing hall-of-famers, plus select members of the poker media.
Unfortunately, this means that the Hall of Fame still has yet to see its first non-North American inductee, despite the presence of several promising candidates on the ballot. The vast majority of inductees have been U.S. citizens, with Negreanu himself being the sole exception as a Canadian.
DraftKings and WSOP Splitsville
The latest casualty of the ongoing daily fantasy sports (DFS) scandal has been the relationship between DraftKings and the World Series of Poker. DraftKings was a prominent sponsor of the WSOP this year, but the two have now officially parted ways as a result of the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s (NGCB) decision to force DFS sites out of the state until such time as they acquire regulated licenses to operate.
DraftKings is at the heart of the so-called DKLeak scandal, both as the employer of the man whose mistake started it all, and as the largest DFS site. DraftKings will continue to have business relationships with other poker brands, including the World Poker Tour (WPT), but the arrangement with WSOP no longer makes as much sense, given that the latter’s focus lies primarily in Las Vegas, where DraftKings can, for the time being, no longer legally offer its product.
– Mike “Timex” McDonald won the EPT Malta High Roller, catapulting him ahead of Jamie Gold in the global all-time money list, a fact which he couldn’t help but gloat about, given the history between the two.
– Up until just recently, online gambling has been illegal in Switzerland. That ban has just been scrapped in its entirety, good news for that country’s aspiring poker players. Licensing and regulation has been slated to come into effect as of January 1, 2019, but in the meantime, citizens are free to gamble online as they like.
– PokerStars continues to make millionaires, as their slogan promises. Yet another million-dollar Spin-and-Go has dropped, the third of the week and ninth all time. The site is currently celebrating the one-year anniversary of the format’s introduction and, for a limited time, is offering three different stake levels with million-dollar possibilities: $0.50, $5 and $100.
– JC Alvarado spoke to Chad Holloway at PokerNews about his upcoming six-figure mixed martial arts fight with Olivier Busquet. The fight is slated for the second quarter of 2016, and Busquet will enjoy a 20-plus pound weight advantage to compensate for his lesser degree of experience.