Srij Gordon Moody Sicad 18+

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

$10,000,000 Guarantee Championship
Dias: 1b
Event Info

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Event Info
Prize Pool
Jogadores em jogo
Média de fichas
Total de fichas

The War Against Wandering

Paul Volpe - "It's unbearable"
Paul Volpe - "It's unbearable"

On one of the first hands of the day on Friday in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event, Randy Ohel was standing up and talking with a tournament director. When he returned to the table, the dealer was mid-pitch, and when she was finished dealing the cards she went to muck Ohel’s hand.

“I was standing right there,” he said, pointing in the direction of the tournament director.

Begrudgingly, the tournament director ruled that the hand was dead because Ohel wasn’t at his seat when the first card came off of the deck.

This summer, the Tournament Director Association held their sixth summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they added nine new rules and gave clarifications to 25 others. Among the new rules was No. 29: At Your Seat.

A player must be at his seat when the first card is dealt on the initial deal or he will have a dead hand. A player not then at his seat is dealt in, he may not look at his cards, and the hand is immediately killed after the initial deal. His blinds and antes are posted and if dealt the bring-in card in a stud-type game he will post the bring-in*. A player must be at his seat to call time. “At your seat” means within reach of your chair. This rule is not intended to condone players being out of their seats while involved in a hand. [*Note: In stud, house rules may require additional card(s) be dealt to the killed hand in certain situations.]

The TDA handbook is used to govern several tournament stops across the globe and this rule change sparked some debate within the community.

PokerStars-sponsored events, most notably the European Poker Tour, are governed by their own rules and have enforced the “first card off the deck” rule for two years. Neil Johnson, the Live Poker Specialist for PokerStars and a new member of the Board of the TDA, offered his opinion regarding the rule on the PokerStars Blog.

Johnson argues for the rule because it protects the integrity of the game, keeps players in their seats during the bubble, clears out spaces within the tournament room, and prevents players from sprinting back to the table mid-pitch.

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu disagrees with the rule, and he promptly ranted about it after the TDA adjusted their handbook.

Fellow Team Pro Jason Mercier echoes Negreanu’s sentiments.

“Are you ready for me to rip on it?” asks Mercier. “It’s terrible.”

Mercier is one of the more sociable players in tournament poker, and can usually be found wandering around the room, talking with friends. For new tournament reporters, a great way to find Mercier is to simply listen. At some point, his loud, distinct, jolly laughter will fill the air, and will soon be followed by him scurrying back to his table to catch the next hand.

Another chronic Can’t Sit Down and Play Poker For More Than 10 Seconds guy is 2013 Global Poker Index Player of the Year leader Paul Volpe. When he’s not engaged in a conversation or a game of open-face Chinese poker with a neighbor, Volpe tends to make the rounds, talking to anybody and everybody. Even when he’s sitting at the table, Volpe frequently sits on one leg so he can quickly pop up and move away from the table after he tosses his cards into the muck.

When we asked him about the new rule, he frowned.

“It’s unbearable,” Volpe said without thought.



1. Not able to be endured or tolerated.

That’s a strong word choice, so we followed up to make sure Volpe wasn’t be overdramatic.

“Unbearable,” he echoed. “That’s the right word. I can’t sit still.”

Naturally, any search for an opinion regarding poker rules leads you to Allen Kessler. While Volpe and Mercier were upset with the negative affects the rule has on the sociality of the game, Kessler understands the importance of guarding the integrity.

“It’s alright,” Kessler said of rule 29. “If you’re standing, you could potentially see other people’s cards. As long as everybody knows the rule and every dealer is enforcing it the same, it’s fine.”

Terrence Chan had one of his hands killed on Day 1a, and tweeted that he was going to enforce it from there on out.

Terrence ChanGot my hand killed due to the new "first card off the deck" rule. So now I have to be the jerk that enforces it on everyone else.

It’s a dark day in poker for the habitual wanderers who struggle to get through the countless dead periods during a live tournament, but it is something that players will just have to get used to. With both the TDA and PokerStars enforcing the rule, there are very few tournaments outside of the World Series of Poker where players will be free to float until the last card comes off of the deck.

The wanderlust-stricken grinders will simply have to keep a closer eye on their dealer, and quick feet to take them home.

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Tags: Allen KesslerDaniel NegreanuJason MercierPaul VolpeRandy OhelTerrence Chan

Sinishtaj Leads Day 1b Survivors

Gjergj Sinishtaj - Day 1b Chip Leader
Gjergj Sinishtaj - Day 1b Chip Leader

On Friday, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open continued with Day 1b of the $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event. The second starting flight attracted 690 entries, and leading the approximately 220 survivors with 376,000 chips is Gjergj Sinishtaj.

Sinishtaj, 21, finished sixth in Event #61: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha at the 2013 World Series of Poker for $153,372. It was only his third career score in a live tournament, and when Sinishtaj was eliminated, Jared Bleznick spoke very highly of the young grinder.

"He's got a bright future," Bleznick said. "He's going to win the Main Event before he's 25. I'll bet it."

Raj Vohra finished Day 1b second in chips with 322,000. The Florida native surged during the final level of the evening, taking some chips off of Steve Barkshak in this hand, and will be looking to earn his first six-figure score since he made the final table of a $5,000 event at the 2008 WSOP.

Several notable players survived the day, including Justin Young, Allen Bari, Randy Ohel, Allen Kessler, Kyle Julius, Matt Sout, Jared Hamby, David Benyamine, Mike Matusow, and Dan Shak.

Matusow, who won his fourth bracelet at the 2013 WSOP, eliminated fellow ’13 bracelet winner Cliff “Johnny Bax” Josephy in the 400/800/100 level. Matusow four-bet shoved with two kings, Josephy, the three-bettor, called with two nines, and the kings held.

Kessler also climbed the leaderboard thanks to a few knockouts of his own. Faced with an all-in bet of 5,275 with the blinds at 300/600/100, The Chainsaw called in the big blind with {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. His opponent showed {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs}, and Kessler’s fours held up.

Later on in the day, Kessler, a member of Team Ivey, eliminated his boss Phil Ivey to push his stack above six figures.

Allen KesslerWow up to over 100k @SHRPOlive just knocked out @philivey my 1010 v his ak. #teamivey #shrpo

Like Ivey and Josephy, several players fell short of making Day 2 on Friday. Jason Mercier, Dan Kelly, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Buzgon, Terrence Chan, and Jason Koon are among the players who will need to return for the third and final starting flight on Saturday if they wish to receive a piece of the $10 million guarantee prize pool.

Chan lost a three-way all-in pot to the aforementioned Justin Young, who flopped a set of nines on a board of {10-Clubs}{9-Spades}{7-Clubs}. Chan had an over pair of kings, Mike Linster, the third player, had top pair, and Young held, improving to a full house on the river. Chan was later eliminated.

Bonomo and Koon will be firing bullets four and five respectively on Saturday.

Also exiting on Day 1b was 2013 WSOP bracelet winner and PokerNews Senior Editor Chad Holloway.

Chad Allan HollowayOut of the @SHRHollywood #SHRPO Main Event I'm afraid. Tough day getting beat by Sam Soverel over and over. Thankful for chance to play. GG

PokerNews will return on Saturday for Day 1c coverage of this massive Championship Event. Players will once again be able to update their status immediately using the PokerNews MyStack App, and you can expect more features and interviews as well.

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Tags: Gjergj Sinishtaj