There is an exciting battle currently ongoing between PokerStars and partypoker to court the attention of the people who play the highest stakes in the business. A hive mentality that could benefit the ecosystem as a whole doesn’t function between these two. It’s bee eat bee.
In previous years, partypoker’s POWERFEST has aligned with PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). Rob Yong admitted this had been a mistake, and they rectified it by going it alone.
Only those employed to worry about such things will know if the move was a success. We know one thing. The first POWERFEST of 2019 is over, and bloodshot eyes have the opportunity to return to pristine rose petal white.
A few members of the high rolling fraternity earned some big bucks (whether or not that means they emerged from the series in profit is another thing entirely).
One of the earliest winners in the series was Sam “DeanMalenko” Greenwood who defeated 141-entrants to win the $5,200, $500k GTD 8-Max event for $162,079. Greenwood has earned more than $6.7m playing online multi-table tournaments (MTTs), $1.89m of which has come from partypoker’s tables.
Winning substantial six-figure scores online is not uncommon for Greenwood. The Canadian has clocked-up 12 of them throughout the past decade, with a 2013 SCOOP victory in a $2,100 buy-in event for $377,280 ranking as his best.
As a member of partypoker Team Pro, high roller, Dzmitry “Dzmitry_Urbanovich” Urbanovich, has a contractual obligation to playing in anything (or perhaps he loves it). The Pole won a $5.50, $5k GTD PKO Fast 8-Max event beating 1,452-entrants to claim the POWERFEST title and a few grand in pocket change.
Urbanovich has earned close to $2m playing online MTTs with more than 75% of that bounty coming from PokerStars’ tables. Urbanovich’s most significant online MTT score came last year when he won a $10,300 8-Game High Roller during WCOOP for $225,000.
Few people are playing as well, live and online, as Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth, and the Hungarian added another notch on his headboard with victory in the $10,300 buy-in, $1m GTD Championship Event. Nemeth beat 127-entrants to collect the $311,150 first prize. Michael “ilove2fish” Telker came second, Conor “ADRIEN_BRODY” Beresford third, and Joao “joaosimaobh” Simao fourth.
Nemeth has earned $12.8m playing online MTTs, and only four people have ever made more. He is currently ranked #1 in the world, overtaking Roman “Romeopro” Romanovsky in the past first days, the first time the Hungarian has reached the pinnacle of the online MTT world.
This win is Nemeth’s eighth six-figure online MTT score, and his most significant remains the $576,087 he won for taking down the $25,000 Super High Roller during SCOOP last year.
There was one $25,500 buy-in event on the POWERFEST schedule, and Russia’s PhileasFogg took time out from travelling around the world in 80-days to win it. The $2.5m GTD Championship Event pulled in 105-entrants, creating a $2,625,000 prize pool, and the Russian picked up $643,125 for the win. Viktor ‘Isildur1” Blom finished fourth and Kristen Krissyb24” Bicknell busted in ninth.
PhileasFogg has earned $9.6m playing online MTTs, with $4.2m coming from the PokerStars tables where he or she performs under the monicker ‘hello_totti.’ The POWERFEST victory is the most significant to date smashing the $160,888 he or she won after taking down the Sunday Million in August.