We’re nearly midway through March, and as we lead up to the 2008 World Series of Poker, we have a great deal of exciting tournaments underway, and coming up. There’s yet another EPT event looming, a WSOP Circuit Main Event in three days, and a unique WPT event just starting today, and more coming up!
The EPT has been wildly popular this year, with massive million dollar payouts being handed out all over Europe, in locations like Barcelona, Dublin, and Copenhagen, to name a few. The EPT Polish Open begins win Warsaw tomorrow, and is expected to attract about 300 entrants, smaller than the usual turnouts for the EPT events this season. The EPT, sponsored by Poker Stars, has seen their biggest payouts in their fourth season, and show no signs of slowing down heading into their second to last tournament of the season, on their stop in Poland. After this event will be San Remo in Italy, and then finally the massive Season 4 Main Event in Monte Carlo, which begins on April 12th. The buy-in for Warsaw will come out to toughly $10.8k U.S., and will culminate with the eight player final table on Saturday, March 15th.
Another Championship Event is set to begin in a few days, and that’s the Atlantic City WSOP Circuit Championship Event. Atlantic City has been one of the most popular circuit stops thus far, with over 400 players showing up for a $1k preliminary event, as well as 1,056 entrants showing up for the first event, a $300+40 event. This event spurred quite a bit of interest despite being the kind of event most people would never care to hear about. During the two-day event, a player by the name of Lesley S. Thornburg had been warned many times for his actions. The facts that are known for sure is that he was quite rude, loud, and sloppy with his chips, He would bait players, and be quite classless. Many unconfirmed stories about Thornburg have sprouted up online over the past few days, in which people have recounted him being quite inebriated, which perhaps may have led to his boisterous behavior. In any event, all of this behavior left the tournament officials with no choice, and in a decision that has never really been seen before, Lesley, the tournament chip leader, was disqualified with five players remaining. His chips were removed from play, and he was awarded 5th place money, $19,026. On the brighter side of the things, the Circuit Championship Event begins on Thursday. A $5000+$150 event, it will be sure to attract quite a bit more than the last few Circuit Events have, as Atlantic City is a hotbed for poker players. The final table begins on Sunday.
One of the most interesting and unique events to come around began today, the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event in San Jose, California. On the surface, this is your standard, but huge $10k WPT event. However, there are 50 Shooting Stars in the tournament. They’re well known, household names, players that are quite popular. Each player has a $5k bounty on their head, so that more than sweetens the pot for those who enter this tournament. On top of that, the chip leader in Day 1A and in Day 1B get a $10k bonus awarded to them! As you can imagine, this makes it insanely tough for those who are tagged as a Shooting Star to survive. Players will often make much looser plays to attempt to knock these players out and collect the $5k bounty on their head. Only five shooting stars remained today, after Day 1A. J.C. Tran, Men Nguyen, Kathy Liebert, Layne Flack, and John Cernuto lasted through today’s insanity, and will be back Wednesday for Day 2. Notable names toward the top of the heap are Brandon Cantu, who ended the day as the chip leader and collected the $10k bonus, J.C. Tran, Layne Flack, Andrew “good2cu” Robl, David Tran, and Justin Bonomo.
On top of all these exciting tournaments, the World Poker Challenge in Reno, Nevada is underway. A tournament series with a rather long 36 total events, it will culminate with the $7700 WPT Championship event, which begins on March 25th.
That’s all for this week, keep checking back for more reports on these tournaments in the coming days.