The Pinnacle: Wins for Mermelstein and Imsirovic; Andras Nemeth Online MTT World #1; Perkins on the Physics of Urine

The click of the receiver.


There’s nothing left to do, except to dig into the scrambled egg world of high stakes poker. 

We begin with a look into the lives of the people who gnaw their way out of the womb and into the largest buy-in live multi-table tournaments (MTTs) in the world – first stop, the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) set up camp from Thu 4 April – Tue 16 April, and one of those tepees contained the largest buy-in event in the world last week:  $25,500 No-Limit Hold’em.

The $2m GTD event attracted 99-entrants, and the double WPT Main Event Champion Aaron Mermelstein defeated the Global Poker Index (GPI) #1, Alex Foxen, heads-up, to bank the $618,955 first prize. It was the first time Mermelstein had cashed in a $10k+ buy-in event outside of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. 

Aaron Mermelstein

ITM Results

  1. Aaron Mermelstein – $618,955
  2. Alex Foxen – $545,000
  3. Joe McKeehen – $305,665
  4. James Calderaro – $210,295
  5. Shannon Shorr – $136,935
  6. Niall Farrell – $100,255
  7. Alan Schein – $83,140
  8. George Adams – $70,915
  9. Ben Yu – $68,470
  10. Sean Winter – $66,025
  11. Andjelko Andrejevic – $63,580
  12. Sam Soverel – $61,135
  13. Ali Imsirovic – $58,690
  14. Rainer Kempe – $56,240

Ali Imsirovic sneaked into the money in that one, and three days later turned up at ARIA and beat 24-entrants in a $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. It was the Poker Masters’ fourth tournament victory of 2019. The third-place finish for Seth Davies was his third top-three finish in $10k Vegas events in April.

$10k ITM Results

  1. Ali Imsirovic – $102,480
  2. Jake Schindler – $75,120
  3. Seth Davies – $38,400
  4. Sean Perry – $24,000

There were zero $25k+ events in Europe this week, but a high roller reg did win a tournament during the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) UK at Dusk till Dawn (DTD) in Nottingham. Orpen Kisacikoglu won the £5,300 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller, beating Sam Trickett, heads-up, to claim the £90,000 first prize. The event attracted 31-entrants. It was only Kisacikoglu’s second live tournament win despite making 11 final tables in High Roller events in 2018.

In other live tournament news, the $25,500 WPT LAPC winner, Maria Ho, hopes to become the second female to win a WPT Main Event after making the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Ho sits second in chips, and the final takes place Thu May 30 at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. Dan Smith will not feature in either the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) in Monaco, or the Triton Poker Series in Montenegro instead keeping his powder dry for Vegas. And speaking of Triton, the brand has added the online betting company 12Bet as their Official Betting Partner. The new deal begins in Montenegro in May. 

The Third Rail: Andras Nemeth is the New World Number #1

There was a $25,500 buy-in partypoker POWERFEST Championship event the week. The game engaged the minds of 105-entrants, and the Russian PhileasFogg won the $643,125 first prize, a record for that pseudonym. 

And we have a new PocketFives World #1.

Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth replaces Roman ‘Romeopro’ Romanovskiy at the top of the world rankings for the first time in his career. The Hungarian high roller star hit the top spot after a fantastic first half of April that has seen him win the $10,300 buy-in, $1m GTD partypoker POWERFEST Championship for $311,150, the $1,050 buy-in, $100k GTD PokerStars High Roller Club Daily Warm-Up for $30,435.89, and the $1k Blade on the GGNetwork for $29,340.51. Nemeth has won $12.8m playing online MTTs.

High Stakes Insights: Koon Wants a Union; Hellmuth to be Roasted; Kitai Wins Awards

Triton Poker and partypoker hired Jason Koon, not just because he turns his high stakes opponents into suckling pigs, but because he is also a leader, and this week Koon has turned his attention to the possibility of creating a poker player’s union.

What are your thoughts?

Martin Jacobson appeared in the London Evening Standard this week. The article is a little cat on the leash, but it’s worth pointing out that Jacobson believes to compete with the best in the business you have to consider yourself an elite athlete. 

Check it out.

One man who knows a thing or two about elite athletes is Harabalos Voulgaris, and the occasional, high stakes poker punter, has been falling in love with the meditation app Headspace this week. 53 days and climbing.

Headspace isn’t the only meditation app on the market. We have one in the higher echelons of poker in Fedor Holz’s Primed Mind, and this week, the German star was in Coachella playing Connect 4 as mindfully as he could.


In other high stakes jinks, Sam Trickett has sold his home in Retford and moved lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Ibiza, Phil Hellmuth is going to be the victim of a WPT Roast, and a few folks in the poker community are none too pleased that it will be a private affair. One man who has been on the end of a few Hellmuth roasts is Davidi Kitai, and this week the Belgian HR picked up three awards at the Belgian Poker Awards.

Igor Kurganov and Philipp Gruissem’s Raising for Effective Giving (REG) released their 2018 Transparency report. In 2018, REG donors gave $5,160,173 to cost-effective charities, a 20% increase YoY. Chris Kruk is still banging on about the Global Poker Awards and suggests Eric Danis and the team should consider a ‘Bubble of the Year’ award instead of a ‘Live Tournament’ award. And finally, Tom Dwan tweeted something for the first time since July 2018. 

I know.

It’s like Stone Roses albums. 

High Stakes Tweet of the Week

We end with this week’s High Stakes Tweet of the Week, and it goes to Bill Perkins, who throughout his recent tour to Japan, continued to force humanity to think about the most pressing matters in life – like not getting splashbacks on your white chinos. 

And that’s this week’s Pinnacle.