By Matthew Marietta, Rakeback.com Executive Editor
The Las Vegas World Series of Poker is now well under way with high turnouts and even higher payouts, but the PokerStars GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GDAM) was something else. The richest tournaments in the world have brought top internet players front and center.
The GDAM was a HK$1m buy in event, that’s US$130k, with rebuys! The event was held in Macau which is becoming the world’s richest gambling location. The top six finishers all took home over US$1m, with winner Niklas “ragen70” Heinecker pocketing over US$4.4m.
Internet tournament specialist Sorrel “Imper1um” Mizzi picked up US$2m and online cash game specialist Isaac Haxton won just over US$1m.
Internet players have been making their mark at the WSOP too. Last night, two of the highest stakes cash game players, legends of the internet felt, came head to head in WSOP Event 16, $10k Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em--Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky
They have had some tense battles online, but almost always at Pot Limit Omaha, a game that plays higher than the equivalent stakes at Hold’em: more money goes into more pots and variance is unnerving.
Unsurprisingly, their match turned into a marathon session as each tried to find an edge. Sulsky finally found what he needed with K-7 dominating Galfond’s Q-T on a board that saw neither player make so much as a pair. Of course, all the chips went in pre-flop. Sulsky went through to finish 4th for $110k.
The Old School is still a force to be reckoned with on the live tables, and over the weekend, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow won his second major tournament of the year as he lifted the bracelet in Event 13: $5k Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better and added $266k to his bankroll.
After three dry years, Mike has found the zone again, and won the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship for $750k.
There is no other competition like the WSOP. The prize money is bigger than any other sporting event, but there are no barriers. If you have money and are over 21 you can play with poker’s superstars.
Just as businessman Zheng Tang did in the GDAM. Sandwiched between Mizzi and Haxton in the finishing order, the Macau based real estate broker took home $1.6m for fourth place.
Tennis fans can’t pitch up and take on Rafa Nadal, nor can golf fans book a Sunday round with Tiger Woods. Only in poker can you sit with the game’s heroes-and beat them.
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