Live MTT round up: Zamani WinStar; Pauker Unibet star; Herstein HPT win
Three tales from the live tournament scene including coverage of the WinStar River Poker Series, Unibet Belgium Poker Championship, and the Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar Chicago East
Benjamin Zamani suffers from an interesting case of synesthesia. When he enters the world’s biggest poker tournaments, the sounds of riffling chips stimulates the uncanny knack of attracting all the money.
The 2017 $2,500 buy-in WinStar River Poker Series Main Event is a classic example. The Floridian came out on top of a 926 player strong event that created a $2,173,000 prize pool.
Zamani, who was down to fewer than ten big blinds at one point during the final table thick and thin, cut a deal with China’s Chengce Jiang, during heads-up, a decision that ultimately led to Zamani picking up a $347,134 pay check.
It’s been a wonderful two years for Zamani. He is the reigning WPT Player of the Year and emerged from the World Series of Poker (WSOP) with a fourth place finish in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event and a second career bracelet with victory in a $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo event.
Zamani has now earned over $4.6m in live tournament earnings.
Final Table Results
1. Ben Zamani – $347,134*
2. Chengce Jiang – $297,760*
3. Johanssy Joseph – $188,904
4. Dwight Sellars – $142,011
5. Lang Nguyen – $107,968
6. Chris Hooper – $83,073
7. Maxx Coleman – $64,650
8. Gnana Duddukuru – $50,893
9. Lawrence Porath – $40,537
10. Mike Dentale – $32,669
*Indicates a heads-up deal
Other players who went deeper than an operatic mezzo were the WSOP bracelet winner, Anthony Spinella (12th), the 2012 WinStar champion Aaron Massey (17th), and two times WPT Champion Marvin Rettenmaier (27th).
Another German Win, This Time in Belgium
Another German poker player has picked up a live tournament title after Heinrich Pauker took down the €550 buy-in Unibet Belgium Poker Championship in Blankenberge over the weekend.
Pauker defeated a field of 457 entrants to capture the first prize of €33,960, the second largest score of his career, coming after his €88,000 score for winning the €1,100 WPT National Main Event in Brussels back in 2015.
Final Table Results
1. Heinrich Pauker – €33,960
2. Vincent Verdickt – €31,500
3. Joselito Nalinees – €23,000
4. Kristoff Coenen – €13,940
5. Leon Tavenier – €10,740
6. Frank de Busscher – €8,270
7. Salvatore Ciccarelli – €6,625
8. Brahim Benazzouz – €5,300
What’s next for Unibet followers?
The Unibet Open heads to Bucharest 30 Nov – 3 Dec, the Unibet UK Poker Tour heads to Brighton 27 – 29 Oct and the Unibet DeepStack Open heads to Vienna 21 – 24 Sep.
Gary Herstein Wins Heartland Poker Tour Chicago
Gary Herstein reached the summit of 517 entrants to take down the $1,650 buy-in Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar East Chicago for a career best $170,404 first prize.
It was only the second time Herstein has won a live tournament since he began racking up scores in 2008. His previous victory came in the 2011 Wynn Classic Summer Festival. But he has since made numerous final table appearance in the middle raft of live tournaments such as World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC), America’s Poker Tour, and HPT events. A few weeks, ago Herstein finished runner-up to Bryan Skreens in a $1,100 America’s Poker Tour Chicagoland for $30,000 (Skreens finished fourth in Herstein’s recent HPT success).
Final Table Results
1. Gary Herstein – $170,404
2. Darrell Haywood – $104,168
3. James Calvo – $69,050
4. Bryan Skreens – $48,009
5. Edward Veith – $35,933
6. Boulos Estafanous – $27,783
7. Scott Sisler – $22,597
8. Ryan Olisar – $18,522
9. Bryan Kerr – $14,818
Other poker playwrights who wrote a script to run deep in this one included the former WSOPC and Bellagio Cup winner Kevin Saul (15th) and the HPT superstar Craig Casino (18th).
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Source: Live MTT round up: Zamani WinStar; Pauker Unibet star; Herstein HPT win