Sam Grafton Wins Warm Up for $99K, Sami Kelopuro Makes Three Day 2’s

by Frank Op de Woerd It was another massive day of online poker on partypoker, with Big Game events and Day 1b of the third Championship Event. Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro will have a big night as he made Day 2 in three different huge buy-in events. Sam Grafton was amongst those to outright win an…

Joaquim Tirach
Aug 3, 2020

by Frank Op de Woerd

It was another massive day of online poker on partypoker, with Big Game events and Day 1b of the third Championship Event. Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro will have a big night as he made Day 2 in three different huge buy-in events. Sam Grafton was amongst those to outright win an event; his score was worth just 820 bucks less than $100,000.

When the action resumes at 7 pm (BST) tonight in the two-day events, you can follow along via the partypoker TWITCH channel. James Dempsey will cover the action as the returning players gun for some of the biggest prizes in online poker.

Main $1,050 WPT 8-Max Warm Up ($500K GTD)

A turbo flight into Day 2 of the Warm Up lasted a little under 2 hours and 40 minutes. Connor Drinan gathered the top stack of 46 survivors going to the final day of play. With 93 players starting Day 2 a little over an hour after the turbo flight ended, it was action from the get-go. Only five players would leave empty-handed as 88 would be in the money.

Unfortunately for Andreas Christoforou, Joep van den Bijgaart, John Gonzalez, Mohsin Charania, and Raul Martinez Gallego, they ended up coming short, going out before the cheques were being handed out.

Robin Ylitalo (78th, $2,097.60), David Peters (75th, 2,097.60), Manig Loeser (69th, $2,208), and Jeff Gross (61st, $2,138.40) were some of the early bust outs after the bubble had burst. Claas Segebrecht, (57th, $2,318.40), Scott Margereson ($2,428.80), PhilippGruissem ($2,539.20), Conor Beresford (40th, $2,704.80), Luke Reeves (38th, $2,704.80), Parker Talbot (30th, $3,091.20), and Ali Imsirovic (29th, $3,091.20) did a bit better but ultimately couldn’t make it to the final table.

Connor Drinan, the biggest stack coming out of the turbo flight, saw his run end in sixteenth place, good for $5,354.40.

The final table was a who’s who of online poker. Aliaksei Boika (7th, $12,144) was one of the first ones out. Lars Kamphues, the brother to our recent charity event winner before the weekend, had another deep run but finished fifth for $23,073.60.

Sam Grafton

Sam Grafton

The deciding heads-up was between two great forces in poker: Mike Watson and Sam Grafton. The latter ended up on top this time, banking the win and $99,180.60. Watson, meanwhile, had to do with second place and collected $70,780.20.

Mini $109 WPT 8-Max Warm Up ($200K GTD)

The turbo flight saw another 626 entries, with 168 players making it through to Day 2. With 414 players starting the final leg of the tournament and just 312 making the money, they were further out from the money compared to its bigger prize-point brother.

Oleg S ended up bubbling, going out in 313th place. The remaining 312 had $186 locked up from that moment on. While $186 is nothing to sneeze at, it was the top prize of $32,000 that everyone was eyeing.

Big names like Jans “graftekkel” Arends and Chance Kornuth made it to the final table but left the battle in sixth ($4,740) and fourth ($9,940), respectively.

Longtime online grinder Philippe “takechip” D’auteuil went the distance, claiming victory and the accompanying $32,451.50 first-place prize. D’auteuil beat Dean Gilbert heads up; the Brith had to settle for $22,988.50.

Micro $11 WPT 8-Max Warm Up ($50K GTD)

At the last moment, another 271 players joined Day 2 of the Micro version of the Warm Up. They had emerged from the 1,016-player strong field of the turbo heat. They joined the 442 players that had found a “ticket” for Day 2 on Day 1a and Day 1b to make for a total field of 713 beginning the race for the money.

Lithuanian player Donatas Didika bubbled the event, going out in 537th place. That meant good news for Brazilian player Wesley Coelho Souza who sneaked into the money in 536th place, good for $29.

Reaching the final nine, meant a guaranteed return of $461, precisely what Aleksei Ivashchenkov collected. Turning $11 into a four-figure score, required a sixth-place finish at the minimum with Guilherme Viana Derzete receiving $1,054.

The trophy went to Fernando Henrique Oliveira from Brazil. He won $7,606.75, beating Ukrainian player Volodymyr Bartko (2nd, $5,324.45).

Main $5,200 WPT Big Game ($1M GTD)

They call it the Big Game for a reason; not just everyone can afford the $5,200 buy-in. A field of 195 entries turned up for the event, with play halted when just nine players remained.

Legendary Belgian player Pieter Aerts was the first one out. He bought back in but didn’t do much better, busting out on his second bullet in 151st. High profile players like Conor Beresford (40th), David Peters (39th), Connor Drinan (36th), and Alexandros Kolonias (34th) made a much deeper run, but the result was the same: no cash. João Ferreira Caetano bubbled the event.

Christoph Vogelsang was the first to go out once the money stage was reached, picking up $10,400. Sergi Reixaach (31st, $10,400), Timothy Adams (29th, $10,400), Alex Foxen (28th, $10,400), Dan Shak (26th, $10,400), Pascal Lefrancois (24th, $12,500), Dario Sammartino (23rd, $12,500), Simon Mattsson ($22nd, $12,500), and Matas Cimbolas (21st, $12,500) were just some of the big-name players going out before the final two tables were formed.

Jans “graftekkel” Arends (17th, $12,500), Bujtás “omaha4rollz” László (16th, $14,800) and Dzmitry Urbanovich (14th, $14,800) came closer to making it to Day 2 but ultimately came up short. Daniel Steven Smith went out in tenth place for $17,800, setting up the remaining nine with a spot-on Day 2.

The final nine return to action tonight a 7 pm (BST) to battle for the top prize of $200,650. They’re already guaranteed $20,800 for their ninth-place finish. When the action resumes, blinds start at 350,000 and 700,000 with an ante of 87,500 per person.

Parker Talbot

Famed player Pavel Plesuv starts as the shortest stack. The Romanian player brings 6,129,696 in chips, good for a little under nine big blinds. Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro finds himself in the middle of the pack with a bit over 26 million in chips. The top dog going in is nonother than Parker Talbot. The amicable Canadian brings well over 47 million in chips.

Mini $530 WPT Big Game ($300K GTD)

No fewer than 630 signed up for the mini edition of the Big Game, all handing over $530 for a seat. Partypoker’s Patrick Leonard finished in 90th place, close but no cigar as just 80 players made the money. Oskar Prehm from Austria was the stone bubble, exiting in 81st place.

Faraz Jaka (78th, $1,230.80), Conor Beresford (62nd, $1,353.88), and Dimitar Danchev (43rd, $1,476.96) were amongst those to exit relatively quick after the bubble had burst. Claas Segebrecht (31st, $1,876.97), Michel Dattani (29th, $1,876.97), and Timo Kamphues (24th, $2,492.37) made a deeper run, but they too didn’t make it through to Day 2.

After 28 levels of play, the tournament was halted. The remaining 22 players return for Day 2 tonight at 7 pm (BST), starting with blinds of 400,000 and 800,000 (100,000 ante).

Marton Czuczor (17 million), Jeff Gross (27 million), and Jochum Weenink (30 million) are amongst those to return to action tonight. Sami Kelopuro will have a big night tonight; he’s not only part of the final nine in the $5,200 version, he’s also bringing 33 million in chips to this $530 “mini” edition. João Ferreira Caetano, who bubbled the $5,200 version of the Big Game, will have a shot at redemption as he’s bringing over 36 million in chips to Day 2.

The top stack to “qualify” for Day 2 belongs to Ivan Bacelic. The Croatian will start with a little over 60 million in chips, almost ten percent of the chips in play. Robin Ylitalo is his closest rival; the Swede will start with nearly 50 million in chips.

Micro $55 WPT Big Game ($100K GTD)

The $55 buy-in might have earned a “micro” label, but the prize pool of well over a $100,000 is still something everyone will battle hard for. A field of 2,172 entries came out for the cheapest Big Game on the docket, with 280 making the money.

Bryan Paris came close to cashing but bowed out in 283rd place. Nils Pudel from Germany was the unfortunate soul to go out last before the money hit.

With the completion of Level 28, the tournament was paused. Domenico Davide Lando was the last one out (66th, $222.25) before the remaining sixty-five players bagged.

Vojtěch Růžička is amongst those to start again tonight at 7 pm (BST), though the famous Czech player will start short with 7.6 million in chips. Like its bigger brother, the Micro Big Game resumes play with blinds of 400,000 and 800,000 and a 100,000 ante.

Anders Lund Olsen from Denmark is the man to beat; he starts Day 2 with 103 million in chips.

Event #03: $3,200 8-Max Championship ($3M GTD)

The third Championship Event of the World Poker Tour Online Championships brought another stellar field to the online tables. Almost 600 players entered the $3,200 buy-in event, bringing the total to 1,062 entries, surpassing the $3 million guarantee by $186,000.

Some of the biggest names in poker gave it their shot on Day 1b, with such famous players like Fedor Holz (1,356,989), Dmitry “yurasov1990” Yurasov (1,237,048), Samuel “€urop€an” Vousden (1,189,609), Dan Shak (1,105,920), and Dzmitry Urbanovich (1,060,724) all collecting seven-figure chip stacks.

Ninety-three players played their way through Day 1b successfully. Kevin Rabichow (83,974), David Yan (223,542), and Bujtás László (234,426) closed out the first eighteen levels of the event as well but did so with considerably fewer chips.

Ioannis Angelou-Konstas

Ioannis Angelou-Konstas

No one did better than WPTDeepStacks champion Ioannis Angelou-Konstas. Playing from the Netherlands, the Greek grinder amassed a massive 2,289,328 in chips – good for 163 big blinds when the action resumes tonight at 7 pm (BST). Day 1a chip leader Ali Imsirovic (1,959,334) sits in second place overall when play gets back underway.

Special attention will go out to Sami Kelopuro. The legendary online player already made Day 2 in the $5,200 and $530 Big Game events and will have at least three tables open as he’s finished Day 1b second in chips with 1,494,707 in chips. “LasrsLuzak” starts in seventh place overall when Level 1 (7,000/14,000) of Day 2

Twenty-one players will leave with no cash to show for as just 136 from the starting field of 157 players will get in the money. There’s a min-cash of $7,327.80 for the first fifteen players to cash. Making it to the Top 72 guarantees a five-figure score, with six figures for the top five. The winner will walk away with a monster score of $540,664.20, their name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, and a WPT Tournament of Champions ticket worth $15,000. The runner-up gets $388,118.52 while the player to take bronze earns $256,727.88.

Event #03: $320 Mini 8-Max Championship ($1M GTD)

For Day 1b of the $320 buy-in Mini edition, 1,892 entries were collected. A little over 300 players survived the first eighteen levels with Martin Olali the last to bust on Day 1b.

Brazilian player Diogo Ferreira Da Silva did best, turning a starting stack of 100,000 into 2,736,447. Pascal Hartmann (1,566,798), Lars Kamphues (1,377,108), and Simon Mattsson (1,269,323) are just some of the many familiar names to join him on Day 2.

When the action resumes at 7 pm (BST) tonight, 521 players will battle it out. The money is within reach, with 472 players getting paid. A min-cash is worth $650 in this event, but the big money is naturally on top. The winner awaits $152,857.50 while the runner-up takes home $107,290.50.

Da Silva is the chip leader going in, doing a tiny bit better than Day 1a chip leader Pedro Medeira who’ll start second in chips with 2,504,356. Jean Yip from Belgium starts the shortest; he’ll have just two big blinds when the action resumes with blinds of 7,000 and 14,000 (1,800 ante).

Event #03: $33 Micro 8-Max Championship ($300K GTD)

Day 1b of the Mini edition attracted a field of 4,396 entries. Just 668 players survived the day, and they will join the 480 that made it through Day 1a.

Canadian player Maung Aung Kyaw Zaw busted players left and right to get to a monster stack of 3,694,885 chips. He’s still one-upped by Day 1a chip leader Boris Angelov, though, as the Bulgarian sits on top of the leaderboard with an unprecedented stack of 5,103,999.

The 1,148 survivors resume play at 7 pm (BST) tonight, all gunning for the $44,807.25 first-place prize. Like the other two tiers of this event, the event is close to reaching the money stage, with 1,112 players getting a minimum of $75. Here, too, blinds will be 7,000 and 14,000 with an ante of 1,800.

Main $2,100 8-Max Turbo Knockout ($200K GTD)

Chris Hunichen was the big winner in the $2,100 turbo knockout, finishing on top of the 99-entry field. His win was worth $19,187.87 from the regular prize pool, about the same as runner-up Pascal Hartmann ($19,167.60) collected. But, as these things go in progressive knockout events, the real value was in the bounties. While Hartmann collected “just” $3,250 in bounties (for $22,417.60 total), Hunichen earned a massive $37,875 from the bounty prize pool for a total score of $57,062.87.

Chris Hunichen

Chris Hunichen

Benjamin “Bencb789” Rolle was the highest-ranked player not to earn any bounty. The German high roller collected just $2,015.96 for his 13th place-finish.

Rodrigo Seiji Sirichuk bubbled the event in seventeenth place, but he at least recouped $500 in bounties. The first player to truly lose his entire $2,100 buy-in with nothing to show for it, was Canadian player Julien Perouse.

Mini $215 8-Max Turbo Knockout ($100K GTD)

The $100,000 guaranteed prize pool attracted a field of 532 in the Mini version of the turbo knockout. It took a little under two hours and forty minutes to play down to a winner.

When the dust had settled, Bruce Jones had emerged victorious. His win netted him $7,726.80 plus $8,916.45 in bounties ($16,643.25). Guntis Aleskins finished runner-up for $7,715.77 plus $2,903.11 ($10,618.88).

Micro $22 8-Max Turbo Knockout ($30K GTD)

Ten dollars are going to the prize pool, and another $10 on your head. The concept is so simple; the action so furious. Almost 1,600 entries turned out for the Micro edition, with 200 making the money. From a massive field to just one man standing took all but five and a half hours.

Assad Kamran from Argentina bested them all, turning $22 into $2,095.11 plus $1,828.77 ($3,923.88). Dmitrii Shost from Russia was second-best, earning $2,090.97 plus $1,050.52 ($3,141.49).

Player of the Championship Leaderboard

Partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell still leads the Player of the Championship leaderboard, well ahead of WPT champion Scott Margereson.

Player of the Championship

Rising Star Leaderboard

In the Rising Star leaderboard, Radjendernath Chigharoe is still ahead of his competition. In the leaderboard for players of events with a buy-in of under $300, Aleksejs Ponakovs is his closest rival.

Rising Star

Daily Schedule

Some massive tournaments are on tap tonight, with Day 2 of all this weekend’s big events. You can follow the action on tonight when the action resumes at 7 pm (BST). Besides events continuing with Day 2, the 8-Max Second Chance is an event to set your alarm for as well with a lofty $300,000 guarantee for the $1,575 buy-in. The $162 $100,000 guaranteed Mini and $16.50 $30,000 guaranteed Micro versions of the event are a great way to spend your Monday evening.