It was a busy week in the world of high-stakes professional poker. Here is a look back at some of the top headlines from the tables this past week.
Pennsylvania Poker Rooms Slightly Decline
Reports came in from the state of Pennsylvania that they brought in around $4.75 million in the month of October, which is a slight decline in year-over-year figures. That's down from $4.78 million in October 2015. However, that was still an increase from September 2016 in which Pennsylvania reported $4.5 million. As with the game of poker itself, Pennsylvania has been up and down this year, as they had four months of over $5 million in reported rake from January to May, but they haven't been able to break $5 million since. There was a low point of $4.418 million in June.
Pennsylvania has 12 casinos and 10 of them that have poker tables. Overall, there are 225 poker tables in the state. In 2017, there is a bill scheduled that could legalize online gambling, which would likely put a dent in the pockets of these brick-and-mortar casinos.
Sexton Takes WPT Montreal
On the professional circuit, American Mike Sexton captured the World Poker Tour event in Montreal. There was a buy-in of $3,850 and 648 players entered for a total prize pool of $2,199,960. 81 players were paid out in total
Canadians showed fairly well in front of the home audience as three of them finished at the final table: Benny Chen, who finished second with $286,110; Nadir Lalji in third with $183,320; and Ema Zajmovic in fifth with $102,010. Israel's Ilan Boujenah was in fourth with $132,750, and American Jake Schwartz was the first to go out, finishing sixth with $81,740.
Sexton, who is well known in the poker world as a World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a popular commentator, won $425,980 for taking this tournament. He never let up as he started the final table as the chip-count leader. Zajmovic was the furthest to fall, going in second and finishing fifth. There are three more events to go, with the WPT Caribbean wrapping up this week in Punta Cana.
The event was held at the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake, Quebec, which is a reserve on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, across from Montreal.
Global Poker League Playoffs
Season 1 of the Global Poker League is heading into their version of the playoffs. They have been looking to put a twist on their game and this should spice things up. They're inviting fans to enter a bracket contest in a vein similar to the NCAA's March Madness. Those who want to participate will head over to the GPL website to create a team and then share it on social media with the hashtag #GPLFinals. A select few will win prizes from the Global Poker League and others will earn a shoutout on the live stream of the final. The action starts on Tuesday, November 29 at 3:00pm ET.