2017 Philadelphia Poker Classic Recap

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Philadelphia Poker Classic Main Event Champion – Michael Hager

Expectations were sky-high coming into the first annual Philadelphia Poker Classic at SugarHouse Casino and safe to say, all of them were exceeded. The series opened with a record-breaking performance in the SugarRush Challenge and that momentum continued all the way through to the main event, which set a record for largest prize pool awarded at SugarHouse.

Just outside of the poker room, the stage was literally set for a weekend filled with high stakes cash game action. Some of the best players in the world, including Olivier Busquet, Phil Hellmuth, and Doug Polk, took part in the $25/$50 games that ran on Friday and Saturday with the real main event set to follow on Sunday.

The ‘Grudge Match’ between Mike Dentale and Cate Hall has been the most talked about subject in poker in 2017 and the months of hype leading up to the match did not disappoint. In a great effort of collaboration between Poker Night in America and SugarHouse, the heavily anticipated event did not disappoint as fans hovered over the rail for hours while thousands tuned in on Twitch to watch the match. Hall was victorious over Dentale but the real winner overall is the game of poker, which drew in more fans as a result of this match.

Wrapping it all up was the first-ever ‘Locals Live’ Cash Game that featured players from the Philadelphia area, who were selected to play in one of four two-hour $2/$5 sessions on the PNIA stage. All who participated had a great experience while much more came to SugarHouse in hopes of playing in the game and will hopefully be back for future events and live-streamed cash games.

Hundreds of new faces walked through the SugarHouse doors as a result of this weekend’s festivities and the sky is the limit for what the future holds for this up-and-coming force. There are a few more events running in the PPC but the SugarHouse blog will return in a few weeks with the next SugarRush Challenge.

Thank you to all who made this weekend possible and we look forward to what the upcoming months have in store. This is Matt Clark signing off, we’ll be back soon.

First Lineup Of Locals Live In Play

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The first table of “Live Locals” are ready to get play started on the PNIA stage.

The first drawing of lucky winners for the Locals Live Cash Game drew a huge crowd and the opening round of players are ready to play the live-streamed $2/$5 game. Starting at 5:30, the game will be available to live stream on Twitch with Kane Kalas in the booth to provide commentary. The next drawing will take place at 6:00 and a new lineup will be in starting at approximately 7:30. A look at the first lineup is below.

  1. Ray Ross
  2. John Renzi
  3. Russell Rosh
  4. Michael Brown
  5. Adam Goldstein
  6. Brian Schreiner
  7. David Auspitz

Locals Live Cash Game Takes Centerstage

The great week of poker inside the SugarHouse Poker Room and Casino has one final ace up its sleeve with today’s Locals Live $2/$5 Cash Game. Players have been entering for a spot in the game all week and the seven-handed lineups will be drawn for shortly. All lineups will have two hours of play before the next one enters.

The game is to be live-streamed on Twitch starting at 5:30 pm with Philadelphia local Kane Kalas in the booth to provide commentary. Once the four sets of lineups are drawn, they will be posted on the SugarHouse blog.

The PNIA Cash Game dominated the headlines earlier in the week and it’s now time for some of the best that Philadelphia has to offer to put their skills on display in front of a live-streamed audience.

PPC Main Event (Day 2): First Place – Michael Hager ($46,000)

Level 34 (200,000/400,000/50,000)
Total Entrants: 511

Players Remaining: 1
Average Stack: 18,280,000

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Philadelphia Poker Classic Main Event Champion – Michael Hager

What an incredible day of poker we have just witnessed at SugarHouse. A 20 hour day is in the books and a tremendously well-deserving champion in Michael Hager has been crowned. Hager started Day 2 as the chip leader and went through hell and high water to go wire-to-wire and claim his first career main event victory.

Hager was all-in and at risk with kings versus aces on the money bubble but managed to survive the encounter. From there, it was relatively smooth sailing for Hager to reach the final table and once he did, he was in full control. Hager has had his fair share of close calls in the past but finally was able to avoid the pitfalls that had gotten in his way before.

Once a deal was made between Hager, Abe Faroni, and Joe Palma, Hager chipped up and eliminated Faroni to get down to heads up play against Palma. Even before that could happen, Hager had to survive being crippled down to three big blinds. He was obviously able to do so and came in more than prepared for the spot he found himself in heads up. Hager persevered through a chip disadvantage to claim the victory and title of Main Event Champion.

The primarily cash game player does not play all that many tournaments and in fact, one of his first live scores was in the PNIA Main Event at SugarHouse last year. Safe to say, this place holds some sentimental value for Hager and we will hope to see him back again soon.

PPC Main Event (Day 2): 2nd Place – Joe Palma ($35,000)

Level 34 (200,000/400,000/50,000)
Total Entrants: 511

Players Remaining: 1
Average Stack: 18,280,000

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It isn’t easy to kill a worm, but it was finally Joe Palma’s turn to bite the dust and he finishes a great run in second place.

The marathon final table of the PPC Main Event came down to a titanic heads up battle between Michael Hager and Joe Palma. The latter started their battle with the chip lead but after losing a few crucial all-ins, was on the short end. Eventually worn down by the weight of the blinds, Palma caved in an unavoidable spot.

Hager shoved from the button and Palma called for his last 4,000,000 with Q10♠. Hager held the advantage with K5 and the 76♠2J7♣ board confirmed his victory.

Palma will take home $35,000 for his spectacular run through this PPC field and this far from the last we will see of the local legend. A winner’s recap will be posted shortly.

PPC Main Event (Day 2): Palma Stays Alive Once Again

Level 33 (150,000/300,000/50,000)
Total Entrants: 511

Players Remaining: 2
Average Stack: 9,140,000

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Joe Palma found a double and the heads up match between him and Michael Hager is officially being played with sun out in full force on this Philadelphia morning,

No matter how bad either Michael Hager or Joe Palma want their heads up match to be over, the deck will not cooperate and it’s now Palma’s turn to stay alive.

Palma moved all-in for 6,050,000 from the button and Hager called in the big blind. Hager was ahead with A♣4♠ and Palma was plenty live with QJ. The A109♠ flop paired Hager and gave Palma outs to a straight.

The 8 turn hit Palma’s straight and Hager let out a well-earned expletive. The two players are now near even in chips as heads up play wears on.

PPC Main Event (Day 2): Hager Doubles Into The Chip Lead

Level 33 (150,000/300,000/50,000)
Total Entrants: 511

Players Remaining: 2
Average Stack: 9,140,000

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Michael Hager is now leading heads up in his match against Joe Palma.

Joe Palma started heads up play against Michael Hager with a sizable chip lead but the roles have been flip-flopped and it is now Palma on the short end of things.

The first double for Hager was a bad beat of the worst kind as Hager’s KQ ran down the K♠Q of Palma. Hager was all-in for 3,300,000 and received the generous run out of Q♣3329 to leave Palma spinning in his tracks.

A few hands later, on a board of A94♣7♠4, Hager bet 2,000,000 into a pot of 1,500,000. Palma responded with a shove all-in for Hager’s last 4,000,000 and he called with 99♠ for a full house. Palma was in disbelief as he flashed the 4♠ and shipped the double.

Palma is currently playing 7,200,000 and Hager is leading with 11,000,000. With only 60 blinds left in play, we can expect to see many more all-ins in the immediate future.