The World Championship of Online Poker will wrap up over the next couple of days. The Gardens Casino in Los Angeles has found itself in hot water over a mismanaged tournament. MGM has announced plans for a brick and mortar casino in Connecticut. And more.
Kenney Takes the High Road and the Low
The WCOOP Main Event is now underway, and the final events of the series will be starting tomorrow. The splitting of the series into High and Low tiers has proven to be a big success for PokerStars, as almost all the events in both tiers have hit their guarantees. It’s the Low tier that has really exceeded expectations, however, with many events beating their guarantees by 50% or more, and some even doubling theirs.
The WCOOP-H Main Event guaranteed $10 million on a $5,200 buy-in. It has drawn a total of 2183 entries – thanks in large part to satellites – to produce an actual prize pool of just under $11 million and over $1.6 million for first. As of this writing, there is still over two hours of play before Day 1 ends, but one very prominent name is found near the top of the chip counts already: Global Poker Index Player of the Year frontrunner Bryn Kenney looks to be crushing online as much as off, holding a top-20 stack with around 750 players remaining.
The Low tier Main Event features a $215 buy-in and a comparatively modest $2 million guaranteed, but has drawn 15,626 entries to crack $3.1 million. First place there will be just over $350,000, and once again we see Bryn Kenney near the top of the chip counts. With 2400 players remaining, he’s currently in 45th with about three times the average stack.
– The Gardens Casino in Hollywood Gardens, Los Angeles, is in hot water after having compounded one bad business decision with another. Formerly host to a WPT 500 stop, The Gardens attempted to run a similar $565 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed event on its own this time. After the early flights drew far fewer than the expected entries, the casino attempted to avoid running a big overlay by adding flights, but this meant cancelling side events and rescheduling the later days of the Main Event. Naturally, this did not go over well with players.
– MGM has announced plans for a new casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut. There’s one wrinkle in the plan, which is that state law now allows only the state’s two federally-recognized tribes to build new gaming facilities. There’s no indication of yet as to how MGM expects to circumvent this.
– The Main Event of the latest WPT stop at the Borgata has gone to a complete unknown, Guo Liang Chen from New Jersey, whose previous best cash was just $13,858. The top prize of $789,058 represents a small improvement on that personal record.