PartyPoker lowered the guarantees on several of their tournaments in the PowerFest series much to the ire of the poker community. Erkut Yilmaz battled back to win the WPT Borgata Poker Open and over half a million dollars. And we’ve got more reviews on PokerStars’ latest venture into virtual reality. It’s all here and more in the weekend edition of the Hit and Run.


Party Lowers the Prize Pool

One story that has been gaining unfortunate traction this weekend is of PartyPoker’s decision to unexpectedly lower the guarantees in several of the events in the $60 million guaranteed PartyPoker Powerfest. A report earlier this week out of the TwoPlusTwo forums revealed that the online site lowered the guarantees without providing notice to players who had pre-registered.

PartTimePoker’s own David Huber has the write-up with all the details on the developing story.

In his article, he writes,”The PartyPoker Powerfest tournament series (available exclusively on the site’s dot-com platform) was originally listed with a $60 million total guarantee. It represents one of the largest weeks-long internet poker series that players around the globe can compete in for real money each year.”

Huber’s article also highlights the reactions from several of poker’s veteran reporters and industry experts.

Although not the end of the world, the whole episode is a bit unfortunate for a company that had been making great strides forward to compete with PokerStars.


Erkut Yilmaz Claims the Title at WPT Borgata Poker Open

After an intense heads-up battle that saw numerous lead changes

, Erkut Yilmaz was able to defeat TK Miles to win the WPT Borgata Poker Open, the WPT Champions Cup, and over $575,000 in cash.

Before the final table, some big names were still alive coming into the penultimate day including Borgata crusher Darren Elias, NY Times writer Maria Konnikova, and recent Poker Masters champ Ali Imsirovic.

Yilmaz entered the final table with the chip lead, but met stiff competition from players like Anthony Maio and Liam He. The score is the largest ever for both Yilmaz and Miles.

Here are the official final table payouts courtesy of PokerNews:

All in a week’s work


Congrats to all the big winners! The next big WPT stop takes place at Maryland Live! this week.

Quick Hitters:

-Earlier this week, we reported on PokerStars’ latest venture into Virtue Reality tech. And both our pals Robbie Strazynski at and Bart Shirley at took in depth looks at what the new product has to offer the poker community. Both are great reviews at what could be a revolutionary way to play the game.

-Also ICYMI: The folks over at BCP had a little fun with the recent Will Kassouf drama.

-Speaking of drama, a long-disputed conflict appears to be a thing of the past with WPT World Champ Yevgeniy Timoshenko and former pro Frank Gu. The two took a disputed lawsuit to arbitration, so hopefully that messy business is behind them.

-For decades now, computer scientists have been trying to program artificial intelligence programs with the ability to beat all sorts of games. And this long history with poker A.I. has been beautifully catalogued in this recent article from our friends at Entitled “From Loki to Libratus: A Look at 20+ Years of Poker AI Development,” the article takes you through all the years of the machines slowly getting smarter than the players. Well worth the read.

-We like to promote several of the poker videos on YouTube that we think are worth checking out. This weekend we highlight the latest from the Poker Guys. The two pros release a video and podcast every week highlighting a hand from the high stakes poker world and analyzing all the decisions made. Check out this week’s video where the two dive deep into this play from Sam Greenwood:


-And finally, an oldie but a goodie. Just a reminder that poker’s changed a lot, boys and girls:



Keith Woernle is a writer, comedian, and semi-pro poker player based out of New Jersey. He was a producer for season 10 of the World Poker Tour. Keith won a WSOP circuit ring in 2011. He likes poker a lot. Follow or contact him on Twitter @WoernlePoker