Von Kriegenbergh and Elder grab $1M titles
The first $10,000 World Poker Tour event in Florida concluded early Tuesday morning with Taylor Von Kriegenbergh taking down the title and a $1.1 million top prize. According to the World Poker Tour, Von Kriegenbergh entered the final table at the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown with the chip lead and after nearly 12 hours of action and 220 hands of play, he eliminated Curt Kohlberg to win the title.
"My success is, clearly, 100 percent attributed to luck," he said to the WPT after his victory. "That's how I got here this far. I'm just very lucky. I have good karma and I don't know, the cards just fell my way."
WorldPokerTourTaylor Von Kriegenbergh earned his first WPT title at the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown.
Entering the six-handed final table with more than double the second-place stack allowed Von Kriegenbergh to take control of the action. Just six hands in, he had already padded his stack with an additional million in chips. That lead began to shrink just 20 hands into play after he lost a critical set-over-set confrontation with Abbey Daniels, and with the final table full of aggressive, talented players, losing 20 percent of his stack was very significant. The bleeding of chips didn't stop there.
Tournament regular Tommy Vedes doubled through Von Kriegenbergh to put the one-time overwhelming chip lead in a virtual tie with Daniels'. That tie didn't last very long; a few hands later, Kohlberg's J-J defeated Daniels' Q-Q (with a jack on the turn) to keep Von Kriegenbergh in front. On the 77th hand of play, Vedes was eliminated by Kohlberg to propel the WPT final table veteran into the chip lead.
The situation at the final table was then explained via Twitter by Allen Bari, who stated, "5 handed with 2 nits a clown and a question mark ." Bari would be the next player eliminated, losing a flip to Justin Zaki. Earning $211,997, this was Bari's second-biggest live cash in his career.
Four-handed, Von Kriegenbergh turned up the pressure and vaulted back into the chip lead. Kohlberg followed suit and the two put pressure on the shorter stacks of Zaki and Daniels and would eliminate Daniels in another coin flip (6-6 for Kohlberg, A-8 for Daniels). Building his lead to hold more than half the chips in play, it looked like Kohlberg was going to take down the title, but Zaki battled back and with the blinds so high, won a few larger pots and became the man to beat.
The trio battled for hours with numerous steals and three-bets sending the chips around the table. Von Kriegenbergh then cracked Zaki's pocket aces with K-10 and made a big call with K-10 a second time (this time with the best hand) to double through Kohlberg. Von Kriegenbergh got lucky again with 6-7 versus Zaki's A-J to knock him out in third, and just eight hands into heads-up play, he took care of Kohlberg with Q-8 against A-10.
"I really love that tonight I was given a chance to change multiple lives, not just my own," said Von Kriegenbergh. "A friend that [made $10 an hour], now I can give him $100,000 [he partially staked him in the event]. It feels great. Making other people happy makes me happy. It's wonderful."
This is the fourth cash for Von Kriegenbergh in the span of a few months. He finished fourth at the Big Event in Los Angeles, then cashed twice at NAPT Mohegan, finishing 18th in the main event and fifth in the Bounty Shootout.
Here are the final table results from the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown:
1. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh ($1,122,340)
2. Curt Kohlberg ($586,109)
3. Justin Zaki ($415,680)
4. Abbey Daniels ($286,819)
5. Allen Bari ($211,997)
6. Tommy Vedes ($166,272)
The World Poker Tour's next stop is at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where the televised $25,000 World Poker Tour Championship will attracted one of the best fields of the year. Additionally, the WPT will be offering a $100,000 Super High Roller event. That tournament will not be televised, and yes, Erik Seidel will be playing.
Elder wins EPT San Remo
One of the largest tournaments on the tournament calendar concluded Tuesday with Rupert Elder winning 930,000 euros and his first European Poker Tour title in the 987-player main event at EPT San Remo. The British Elder has had tournament success dating back to 2006, but had never earned a live cash of more than $14,232, which came weeks ago at EPT Berlin (80th place). According to PokerNews, Elder plays online cash games for a living and can definitely be a future participant in the biggest games around the world with his newly padded live bankroll.
European Poker TourRupert Elder defeated the field of 987 players at EPT San Remo.
Elder defeated Max Heinzelmann for the win and the 20-year-old German pro has now finished second in back-to-back EPT events. The agony of coming so close to a major title twice in a row must be overwhelming, but with those two finishes, Heinzelmann has earned $1.3 million in just a few weeks. That type of money can definitely ease the pain.
Perhaps the most well-known player at the final table, Max Lykov, went out in fourth, losing K-K to the 10-10 of Xuan Liu. Liu, a 25-year-old Canadian, was the first female to make a final table this season in the EPT. She was in close contention for the chip lead during most of the final table, and entering three-handed play, she held a slight lead over Elder. Her downfall began with an ill-timed four-bet during three-handed play; she folded to Elder's five-bet. That pot gave Elder a substantial chip lead once again.
Heinzelmann did most of the damage to Liu's stack by outplaying her with a flopped set. Elder then eliminated Liu holding A-7 to Liu's A-J and entered heads-up play with a 2-1 chip lead. That lead was not safe and the German was in first just slightly more than a half hour into heads-up play. Looking like he was going to lock up the big win, one incredible hand would cement his runner-up finish for the second consecutive time.
According to PokerNews, Heinzelmann raised preflop and Elder called. The flop came 7h-6c-9h, Heinzelmann bet, Elder made a small raise and Heinzelmann three-bet, which would force Elder to commit more than a quarter of his stack if he were to call which he did. The turn was the As, Heinzelmann bet out about a third of what Elder had left and Elder moved all-in. Heinzelmann called and showed a straight with 10-8. Elder had flopped a set with 6-6 and would need help on the river to survive. The Ac hit the river, giving Elder one of his 10 outs, and he was back in the driver's seat with the chip lead. The two would battle for a half hour more until Elder knocked out Heinzelmann to earn the victory.
The EPT now turns to its season finale in Madrid, Spain. The tournament series, which will be held at the Gran Casino Madrid, will feature a 25,000 euro buy-in high roller event, the 10,600 euro main event and the "Champion of Champions" event. The Champion of Champions event will be a 100,000 euro freeroll and is open to all former EPT champions. Jason Mercier, Bertrand Grospellier, Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, Sandra Naujoks, Roland de Wolfe, Pieter de Korver, Nicolas Chouity, Rob Hollink, Jeff Williams and Glen Chorny have all confirmed that they will participate.
The timing of that event will conflict with those hoping to play in the WPT Championship and due to the limited field and prize money available, it will be interesting to see how many of the 70 eligible champions decide to play.
Small blinds: Federated Sports + Gaming released the names of the 218 players who have earned tour cards for their first season. According to Forbes, the U.S. Attorney General made some interesting comments regarding the recent indictments. Bari and Daniels wore Club WPT patches during the final table. Jose "Girah" Macedo won the Lock Poker BLUFF Pro Challenge, which means he'll be on the cover of Bluff's July issue. Joe Cada finished 13th at EPT San Remo for his first cash since January 2010. SCOOP begins on PokerStars on May 8 and it will be interesting to see the turnout this year given no U.S. players can participate. Poker room activity in the Bay Area is increasing. Bodog has signed Tatjana Pasalic to Team Bodog. You can now cast your vote for the WSOP rematches that will be broadcast on ESPN this summer.