The WPT Five Diamonds was won by last year’s runner-up. Koray Aldemir leads the chip counts in Prague. Pros opine on the concept of a button ante. Main Event champ Scott Blumstein talks to Card Player. These stories and more in the weekend roundup edition of the Hit and Run.
And Next Year He’ll Take Zeroeth
Ryan Tosoc may not be a name familiar to many poker fans, but he has just accomplished something truly remarkable, making back-to-back final tables at the WPT Five Diamonds, and winning the second. Though he’s been grinding tournaments since at least 2012, it’s only since 2015 that he’s begun to move up make appearances in major events. After min-cashing the WSOP Main Event that year, he managed a slightly deeper run in 2016, though still ultimately busting out in 357th. His first real breakthrough came that September, when he finished 4th in the Deepstack Extravaganza at the Venetian, for $125k. That gave him some momentum, and he proceeded to come in second place in the opening event at that year’s WPT Five Diamonds, only to repeat the feat in the Main Event, for a $1.1 million payday.
2017 was a comparatively quieter year for him up until now, with just four smaller cashes. He’s closed it out with a bang, however, not only making it back to the Five Diamonds Main Event final table, but improving on his result in the only way possible, by taking the whole thing down. Aside from the trophy, he’s won just under $2 million, more than doubling his lifetime winnings in the process.
Biggest Bag in Prague
On the other side of the pond, action has just gotten underway for the PokerStars Championship Prague. The opening event on that schedule is the €50,000 Super High Roller, which got underway yesterday. After the end of the first day’s action, it’s the young German Koray Aldemir leading the pack, with more than triple a starting stack. The Super High Roller begins very deep stacked, so there have been few eliminations, and indeed, players are allowed to register right up until the Day 2 action begins; six heavy hitters have elected to do so, including Adrian Mateos who has just recently managed to make himself #1 in the world according to the GPI, and could steal Player of the Year honors from Bryn Kenney with a cash here.
– Frank Op de Woerd took advantage of the Super High Roller to poll some big name pros on the concept of a button or big blind ante. The idea is to save time in live events by having one player pay everyone’s antes, either the big blind or the button. Neither version is entirely without its problems, which is why there’s still debate on which to use, or whether the traditional ante format is still preferable.
– PokerGo has a new documentary-style series starting, called “Stories from the Felt.”
– Scott Blumstein did an interview with Card Player, in which he says he doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of other Main Event champions and jump into high stakes games he would never be playing otherwise.
– In what may be bad news for European poker players, the EU has declared that it will no longer intervene when it comes to member nations’ legislation related to online gambling. There have been many cases to date in which member nations were found to be implementing protectionist licensing policies under guise of protecting players; no longer will the EU step in and force such laws to be changed, which will likely mean more restrictive licensing polices, less competition, and greater barriers to international shared liquidity.