The Pinnacle: WPT/WSOP Clash; Galfond Down €900k; Rast God Switch

Welcome to another episode of the Pinnacle; a round-up of high stakes poker news that’s nothing like the Roundup used by Monsanto, a company that’s believed to have set aside $10 billion for potential lawsuits from people who think they contracted cancer from the herbicide.

From one alleged killer to a proven killer.

The virus with sediment rising from the Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province has so far afflicted more than 42,000 people, killing over 1,000 in China alone, and it’s for that reason that Triton Poker postponed the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Jeju

There’s still no word on whether Triton’s Jeju event will go ahead, but we do know that there is zero chance of playing any high stakes poker in Macau throughout the next fortnight.

The Chief of Executive of Macau, Ho Iat Seng, ordered the special administrative region of China to close down all 41 land-based casinos for at least a fortnight after an employee from Galaxy Macau Casino fell ill with the virus.

From East to West

The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced the dates and the venue for the Season 18 Tournament of Champions (TOC). Season 18 Main Event winners and WPT Champions Club members willing to pay the $15,000 buy-in will creak the floorboards of The HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel May 31 – June 2, and the decision is an unpopular one throughout the high stakes community. 

After scrutinising the dates, players realised the event clashed with the $25,000 buy-in No-Limit Heads-Up contest at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Dan Smith was one of the first players to question the logic of the WPT to clash with the WSOP on this one. Daniel Negreanu went one step further, suggesting, for him, WSOP’s competitors should not schedule an event during the WSOP, period. WPT commentator Tony Dunst took the alternative view, questioning why the WSOP would plan their $25k event “with the best value and (only?) added-money high stakes MTT of the year.”

Two more snippets of live tournament news for you, and we start with some love for the Super High Roller Bowl Australia winner, Timothy Adams. 

And Daniel Negreanu is preparing to compete in his first live event of 2020. The figurehead of GGPoker is going to make a splash at the US Poker Open and is considering selling action without markup and recording his entire experience on the vlog.

Online Poker

The eyes of the poker community are congealed on the high stakes online action rather than the goings-on in the live arena, and Phil Galfond, in particular.

The Run It Once Poker (RIO Poker) founder has played 15 sessions in Match #1 of ‘The Phil Galfond Challenge,’ and it’s been a disastrous start for the three-time WSOP bracelet winner.

With the poker world scrutinising Galfond’s every movement, the poker Titan has fallen into a hole, €900,240.17 deep in his €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) heads-up match against VeniVidi1993. Galfond has only won two of the fifteen meetings, and if these results continue, he could lose close to €2.5m.

PokerStars has announced plans to host a High Roller Series in March, but it’s walnuts compared to December’s Brazil nuts. The series runs between 23-30 March, containing 19-events with buy-ins ranging between $215 and $10,300 (30% lighter than Dec). The guarantees have also dropped from $11m to $6m. 

Here is the schedule in full.


In a rare cross-pollination exercise, partypoker’s Jaime Staples welcomed GGPoker’s Daniel Negreanu onto his podcast for a chinwag about all things poker. 

Listen to the interview here

CardPlayer Lifestyle’s Robbie Strazynski flew to Madrid to interview Dominik Nitsche during 888Live. 

And Fedor Holz turned up on the award-winning Chip Race.

Outside of Poker

Brian Rast wrote a blog post called ‘Reflections,’ airing his views on God.

Here is the opening line.

“Recently, in large part, thanks to conversations with my wife, I have changed from defining myself as agnostic to believing in God.”

And the link to the article.


Doyle Brunson posed an interesting question.

“Is it “more” wrong to bet 100k than a $10 bet with a friend?”

What are your thoughts?

Tweet of the Week

We wrap up with two tweets of the week.

Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree remind us of the perils of heading into the cold without drying your hair.

And Sasha Salinger delivered a hilarious response to Fedor Holz’s declaration that he never made a profit in his first four years playing poker.

And that’s a wrap for this week’s Pinnacle.