Two poker behemoths announce partnership for social tournaments. Stephen Chidwick steamrolling at the US Poker Open. Check out these stories and more in the Wednesday Hit and Run.

Zynga Partners with WPT on Social Gaming Platform

On Wednesday, Zynga announced earnings for the last three months of 2017. The company also revealed a multi-year partnership with the World Poker Tour where Zynga will introduce World Poker Tour themed tournaments to Zynga Poker by the end of 2018.

WPT CEO Adam Pliska voiced optimism about the partnership between the two household names. “Zynga has built the largest social poker game, and we are confident their millions of players will enjoy their experience even more with the introduction of WPT-themed tournaments in Zynga Poker.”

Zynga Poker is home to the largest social/play money poker platform in the world with a 7 day average of nearly 400,000 players according to PokerScout. The World Poker Tour operates the subscription-based ClubWPT.com for poker players in 35 states. It is unknown whether the partnership will lead to future real money endeavors. In 2014, Zynga Poker launched real money online poker on Facebook in the United Kingdom but shut down nearly a year later.

Stephen Chidwick Wins Back to Back US Poker Open Events

It’s been a hell of a week for Stephen Chidwick. On Monday, he was victorious in the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em. Then on Tuesday, he took down the $25,000 Mixed Game Championship when he outlasted a field of 45. In winning the tournament, he beat a stacked final table that included Chris Vitch, Isaac Haxton and Phil Hellmuth (Daniel Negreanu finished in 7th).

With his victory, Chidwick took home another $382,500 and now has a solid lead in the US Poker Open Cup standings, which awards the best performing player during the series.

Although Chidwick is dominating the headlines over the last couple days there are two events running at the US Poker Open on Wednesday.

In Event #5, the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em entered a second day and is now down to the final four having attracted 67 to the tournament. Jake Schindler, Ryan Riess, Cary Katx and Ben Tollerene are battling for a $187,600 first place prize which will be decided tonight.

Meanwhile, US Poker Open Event #6 began on Wednesday with 26 having entered at the time of this writing. The event has attracted some big names including Event #1 winner Justin Bonomo, Benjamin Pollak, Dan Smith, Bryn Kenney, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Stephen Chidwick and Isaac Haxton.

Quick Hitters

– John Pappas will be stepping down as PPA Executive Director at the end of February, giving way to current PPA Vice President of Player Relations, Rich “TheEngineer” Muny.

– With Hard Rock and Ocean Resort joining the New Jersey online casino market questions are arising of whether the state may be reaching a point of over-saturation.

– Kenny Hallaert beat Dzmitry Urbanovich heads-up to win Aussie Millions Event #23 for $47,463, outlasting a field of 242 entries.

– The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced that it will begin accepting license applications for online gambling providers beginning April 2nd. No timetable has been given on when online games will finally launch in the state.

– The Grinderschool.com poker training video of the day is a continuation of Againstime’s “Against SNG Concept” series. In this episode (3/10), Againstime focuses on targeting player weaknesses.