Facts and figures. They make the world go around and, more often than not, tell a story without letting opinions or biases get in the way. Which numbers from the past week tell those stories and what quick opinions do we have?
$1,605,950 – You should never judge a book by it’s cover and you should never judge the size of a cash game by the minimum buy-in. “The Prestige” week cash games boasted $20,000 minimum buy-ins for each night of $50/$100 No Limit Hold’em action, but that number was thrown out the window. Thanks to Antonio Esfandiari, Bill Perkins, and some aggressive play, there was over $1.6 million on the table during “The Prestige” finale. Thanks to a huge session, nearly $450,000 was in front of Perkins and a majority of that was profit.
$511,604 – Over the next few months, the World Poker Tour will crown six more Champions Club members. Those players will play in the season-ending Tournament of Champions and the first of those six champions will be crowned this week at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. 911 players built up a massive $2.9 million prize pool and the eventual winner will walk away with just over $511,000. Midway through Day 3, a few big names are in contention, including 2016 Super High Roller Bowl champion Rainer Kempe, Ben Yu, and former WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger.
725 – While they play to a winner in Florida, the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia readies for another installment of the Aussie Millions Main Event. The Southern Hemisphere’s richest poker tournament has been a staple on the poker calendar for years and another massive seven-figure score should await the 2018 winner. That all depends on field size though and while Aussie Millions has never had a problem, they haven’t had a field under 625 entrants since 2007, it will be interesting to see if this year’s version can beat 2017’s 725-player mark.
749.95 – If you are the type of person that thinks January is too early to look at the GPI Player of the Year leader board, we apologize. Three weeks into a 52-week journey, Chris Kruk holds the top spot thanks to his $25,000 PCA High Roller victory. The career-best score, coupled with another PCA High Roller final table appearance, has given him a nearly 120 point lead over Aylar Lie, who sits second. PCA Main Event champion Maria Lampropulos sits 3rd, recent WPT victor Ole Schemion is currently in 4th, and Justin Bonomo rounds out the top-five.
10 – While Kruk didn’t participate in last year’s Poker Masters series, the current GPI leader did make his Poker After Dark debut in 2017. When Kruk will return to Poker After Dark remains to be seen, but no one would be surprised to see Kruk return to PokerGO during the U.S. Poker Open. The eight-event series, which begins in 10 days, will feature the world’s best High Rollers. After starting the year with a PCA victory, Kruk has pushed himself into that conversation and could cement that status with a solid USPO showing next month.