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All About That (Playoff) Race: LDN, MTL & HKG Crush GPL Week 8
There's still a long way until the playoffs in Season 1 of the Global Poker League, but as the first online stage wrapped this week it's hard not to think positions are starting to firm up.
The gap between the top and the bottom has grown, playoff teams are separating from the bottom of the table like a space shuttle dropping its used-up boosters and the true contenders are beginning to emerge.
Week 8 saw a big shakeup in the Eurasia Conference as the London Royals and Hong Kong Stars soared and the previously dominant Paris Aviators and Moscow Wolverines took a hit.
Over in the Americas the Montreal Nationals remained the class of the field, the Sao Paulo Mets held strong and the LA Sunset continued to ride point-vacuuming horses Fedor Holz and Olivier Busquet.
Tuesday Six-Max: Can Anybody Beat Liv Boeree?
Another 6-max appearance, another win for Liv Boeree.
We've remarked before about how solid Liv's understanding of 6-max SNG ranges is and she proved it again this week with another 7-point win for the London Royals.
With her partner Igor Kurganov also getting heads-up for 5 points in Match 1 the Royals surged to the top of the conference.
Mike Leah showed his skill again with a win and 8 points for Paris, too, despite the flu. Anatoly Filatov had a rough go of it earning just 2 points for Moscow to let London pass them in the standings.
Eight points for Raiden Kan got the week off to a great start for the Hong Kong Stars
In the Americas 10 points each for Fedor Holz and Martin Jacobson were so good again for the super-strong Sunset and Nationals. Just 2 points for Jonathan Little hurt the playoff cause for the Las Vegas Moneymakers.
Eurasia 6-Max Match 1
1st Paris Aviators Mike Leah 7
2nd London Royals Igor Kurganov 5
3rd Hong Kong Stars Raiden Kan 3
4th Rome Emperors Dario Sammartino 2
5th Berlin Bears Bill Perkins 1
6th Moscow Wolverines Anatoly Filatov 0
Eurasia 6-Max Match 2
1st London Royals Liv Boeree 7
2nd Hong Kong Stars Raiden Kan 5
3rd Berlin Bears Bill Perkins 3
4th Moscow Wolverines Anatoly Filatov 2
5th Paris Aviators Mike Leah 1
6th Rome Emperors Dario Sammartino 0
Americas 6-Max Match 1
1st LA Sunset Fedor Holz 7
2nd Sao Paulo Mets João Bauer 5
3rd Montreal Nationals Martin Jacobson 3
4th Las Vegas Moneymakers Jonathan Little 2
5th New York Rounders Jason Wheeler 1
6th San Francisco Rush Jonathan Jaffe 0
Americas 6-Max Match 2
1st Montreal Nationals Martin Jacobson 7
2nd San Francisco Rush Faraz Jaka 5
3rd LA Sunset Fedor Holz 3
4th New York Rounders Jason Wheeler 2
5th Sao Paulo Mets Joao Bauer 1
6th Las Vegas Moneymakers Jonathan Little 0
Wednesday - Eurasia Heads-Up: Nano, Trickett & Mizzi Strong
The long-awaited rematch of Twitch stars Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Randy "nanonoko" Lew took centerstage on Wednesday with a big crowd watching and high hopes for a trash-talking dog fight.
It didn't quite work out that way. Lew seized the momentum early and never let up, taking the steam out of ElkY quickly and running to a 3-0 sweep.
Adding that 9 points to Raiden Kan's 8 gave the underdog Stars a huge week and pushed them up to third overall and just a point behind the Wolverines.
Cash-game king Sam Trickett returned to action for London and stymied Moscow's Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy, who was coming off a huge SCOOP, with great play and a very amenable deck.
The effervescent Sorel Mizzi also returned after his great debut last week - this time from his own "bear's den" in Vegas - and kept his momentum with a 2-1 win over Rome's Timothy Adams.
- Hong Kong Stars Randy Lew defeats Paris Aviators Bertrand Grospellier 3-0
- London Royals Sam Trickett defeats Moscow Wolverines Vladimir Troyanovskiy 2-1
- Berlin Bears Sorel Mizzi defeats Rome Emperors Timothy Adams 2-1
Thursday - Americas Heads-Up - Lavallee Undresses Zinno
You know who's really, really, really good at poker? Montreal National Jason Lavallee.
Aka "the comedian" to GPL commentators Griffin Benger and Sam Grafton, Lavallee proved he's heads-and-shoulders above the average pro with his understanding (and applying) of poker theory.
A PLO cash player Lavallee was a straight-up boss in NLHE HU too versus Las Vegas' Anthony Zinno, outmatching him at almost every turn for a 3-0 sweep. Lavallee has also now won 7 straight heads-up games.
The 9 points (plus Jacobson's 10) made the Nationals first over the 100-point mark and gave them a stranglehold on the Americas conference.
Joao Bauer of the Sao Paulo also demonstrated some clever play in the early match and kept Faraz Jaka's San Francisco Rush's near the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win.
The clash of heads-up bosses to end the day was a masterclass as expected with LA Sunset Olivier Busquet and New York Rounder Tom Marchese re-booting their rivalry from Week 4.
This time around Busquet was on the ropes early, losing the first match and all-in for his life in Match 2 before a river 3 turned the tide.
Again demonstrating his impeccable understanding of heads-up poker Busquet came all the way back to win 2-1.
- Montreal Nationals Jason Lavallee defeats Las Vegas Moneymakers Anthony Zinno 3-0
- Sao Paulo Metropolitans Joao Bauer defeats San Francisco Rush Faraz Jaka 2-1
- LA Sunset Olivier Busquet defeats New York Rounders Tom Marchese 2-1
The action now switches to the live heads-up, cross-conference Summer Series in Vegas starting June 6.
Global Poker League Standings - Week 8
1. Montreal Nationals - 106 points
2. LA Sunset - 95 points
3. NY Rounders - 87 points
4. Sao Paulo Mets - 82 points
5. San Francisco Rush - 69 points
6. Las Vegas Moneymakers - 65 points
1. London Royals - 97 points
2. Moscow Wolverines - 92 points
3. Hong Kong Stars - 91 points
4. Paris Aviators - 86 points
5. Berlin Bears - 74 points
6. Rome Emperors - 63 points