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29 May 2012

2012 WSOP Day 1: Saechao, Routos Dominate Casino Employees Event

2012 WSOP Day 1: Saechao, Routos Dominate Casino Employees Event; Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca Wins 2012 LAPT Punta del Este


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The weeks of anticipation are over. It’s time for everyone to calm their “inside tinglies.” The 43rd Annual World Series of Poker is underway! As is the tradition, the first and only event to kick off Sunday was the Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event. While it is a gold bracelet event, it is different from most WSOP tournaments in that it is not an open event in which anyone and everyone can participate. As its name implies, only those who work at a casino may enter. That does not stop it from being a large tournament, though, as 732 players paid the $500 for a shot at glory. Ending the first day atop the chip counts are Chip Saechao with 150,600 chips and James Routos hot on his tail with 146,900.

Both of our chip leaders, who coincidentally were seated at the same table, made their big moves to the top of the leader board late in the night during the 11th and final level of Day 1. Saechao went first, opening a hand for 4,200 chips (blinds and antes were 800/1,600/200) from the button. After both blinds called, the dealer laid down a flop of 2♠-8♥-9♥, prompting the small blind to bet 6,000. The big blind, who happened to be Routos, tossed away his hand and Saechao ratcheted it up to 16,000. The small blind called and the two players saw a turn of 3♠. The small blind checked this card, but Saechao did quite the opposite, moving all-in for more than 40,000 chips. Seeming to know his opponent was on a draw, Saechao told him, “Trust me, it’s not coming.” Despite the warning, his opponent made the call, revealing that he did indeed have a draw, holding A♥-4♥. It was a great read by Saechao, as he himself only had 6♣-8♠ for middle pair. The river was the 3♦, giving Saechao the hand and a significant pot. At that point, his stack was up around 110,000 chips.

Just a few hands later, it was Routos’ turn. The details from those on the scene are a bit sketchy, but Routos and one other player saw a flop of Q♣-3♥-7♠. Routos checked, the other player bet 7,000 and Routos called. The turn was the 7♥ and Routos checked once more, but this time he check-raised his opponent’s 12,000 chip bet up to 30,000. That was enough for the “other guy,” as he laid down his hand, giving the pot to Routos. At that, Routos took over the chip lead with a 150,000 chip stack, but as we know, Saechao regained it before the night was over.

With 732 players, the prize pool for Event #1 is $329,400 (7 percent of the buy-in is taken out for entry fees and 3 percent is taken for the tournament staff). Just 46 players remain, all of whom have already made the money, as the payouts extend down to 81st place. The eventual winner will receive $70,859. The remaining players will resume play in the Amazon Room at the Rio at 1:00pm local time. Tournament Director Jack Effel estimates that another 11 to 12 more levels will be needed to complete the tourney, so it will be a long night for the last few players. The plan is for Day 2 to be the final day, but if it’s not over by 3:00am, a third day will be added. The final table will be streamed “almost live” on a five minute delay at

2012 WSOP Event #1: Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em – End of Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Chip Saechao – 150,600
2. James Routos – 146,900
3. Matthew Wilmot – 122,800
4. Don Michael – 110,200
5. John Vohs – 102,300
6. Ray Pulford – 91,100
7. Carisa Schweisberger – 76,400
8. Joshua Murray – 72,400
9. Joseph McCarthy – 71,100
10. Ty Stewart – 69,900

Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca Wins 2012 LAPT Punta del Este

While the focus of the poker world is now set squarely on Las Vegas and the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP), there are still other live poker tournaments taking place all over the world. One of them, the Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) Punta del Este stop, wrapped up Sunday with Brazil’s Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca topping the 375 player field to take down his first ever live tournament title and $144,240.

If you skipped down to the list of final table payouts, you may notice that there is a significant gap between the money awarded to Pablo Joaquin Melogno in 4th place ($60,420) and Francisco Baruffi Neto in 3rd place ($116,240). This is the result of a deal made amongst the top three finishers when they all held approximately equal chip stacks. They didn’t start three-handed play like that, but after double-ups by both Fonseca and Baruffi probably made the three men realize that the tide can turn any which way that late in the game, regardless of any individual player’s skill.

Baruffi was the one to broach the topic of a deal after he doubled through Angel Guillen, suggesting they split the remaining prize pool three ways. This would have given each just shy of $129,000, close to the $133,688 that would have gone to the second place finisher without a deal. In the end, they agreed to each get $116,240 and play for the remaining $38,000.

Shortly after the deal was settled upon, Guillen crippled Baruffi, leaving him with barely more than a big blind. The next hand was Baruffi’s last, as his A♥-5♠ fell to Fonseca’s 9♠-9♣.

Going into heads-up play, Fonseca had a moderate chip lead, 4.1 million to Guillen’s 3.5 million. The two men then decided to adjust the previous deal, allotting $28,000 of the $38,000 left on the table to first place and the remaining $10,000 to second place.

Fonseca never gave up his lead for the entire hour and a half duration of the one-on-one match. Because of the cautiousness of both players, though, he also never stretched the lead to the point where a victory looked completely inevitable. But just like that, it ended.

Fonseca made a min-raise pre-flop to 200,000 and shockingly, Guillen moved all-in for 2.8 million. Fonseca called immediately with A♣-K♥, obviously happy to see Guillen’s A♠-9♣. The flop of T♥-7♠-J♠ gave a tiny bit of extra hope to Guillen, as he now had a gutshot straight draw, but neither the turn nor river helped at all and Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca was the LAPT Punta del Este champion.

This win almost double’s Fonseca’s total career earnings in live tournaments. He had gone into the final table with six lifetime cashes for a total of $171,896.

2012 LAPT Punta del Este – Final Table Results

1. Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca – $144,240
2. Angel Guillen – $126,240
3. Francisco Baruffi Neto – $116,240
4. Pablo Joaquin Melogno – $60,420
5. Ivan Luca – $46,000
6. Osvaldo Silvio Resquin – $35,970
7. Vladimir Dobrovolskiy – $26,770
8. Guido Ruffini – $20,080
9. Carlos Leoncio Mironiuk – $15,390

WSOP Unveils 2012 Bracelets - 20th May 2012

With the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) just a week away, it is only appropriate that the new bracelet has been officially unveiled. After all, it’s the one thing by which poker players measure their success (we suppose one could count that whole business of cash winnings, too). This year’s designer is Jason Arasheben, perhaps better known as “Jason of Beverly Hills.”

Considering Jason of Beverly Hills’ reputation for creating gaudy, over-the-top pieces that can be seen from the moon, the bracelet is relatively tame. Make no mistake, though – it will still grab attention more than last year’s simple, gold piece of jewelry created by OnTilt Designs. The bracelet is gold, of course, with a very smooth look. The four playing card suits are represented in each corner of the bracelet’s face, with the heart and diamond comprised of white diamonds and the spade and club appearing to be made up of black diamonds. A raised World Series of Poker logo adorns the center of the bracelet face, enhanced by color to make it stand out.

But that is just the bracelet for the 66 preliminary events. Jason of Beverly Hills will also be creating the 2012 WSOP Main Event bracelet, which he promises will be a sight to behold.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to create this masterpiece for the World Series of Poker and it will go down as the most expensive piece of championship jewelry across all major sports,” said Jason of Beverly Hills about the WSOP Main Event gold bracelet. “We will tour this bracelet in our Las Vegas and Beverly Hills boutique so the world can bear witness to this historic work of art.”

The four card suits will be in their normal colors, with the heart and diamond formed by rubies and the spade and club created with black diamonds. All told, the Main Event bracelet will contain over 160 grams of 14 karat gold and over 35 carats of flawless diamonds.

“Blinger is Better,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release. “Jason grasped the heritage of WSOP bracelets, but was only interested if he could take it up several notches. This is a trophy that truly embodies the promise of today’s WSOP – seemingly unthinkable dreams are dealt each year. I challenge anyone to keep a poker face when they see this bracelet in person.”

Jason of Beverly Hills started his business as a student at UCLA, selling silver trinkets to fellow students, and eventually grew it into the go-to source for amazing diamond creations for the world’s biggest celebrities. He has created pieces for the likes of LeBron James, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and even Middle Eastern royalty. The pendant he made for Lil Jon was named the largest in the world by Guinness World Records. (Poker News Daily)

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