2018 Review – March: Blieden, Larson Win WPT Titles, Vloggers Shine

March brought a spotlight on poker vlogging, a pair of WPT champs and the fold of a lifetime.

The poker calendar was in full swing by the time March came around with plenty of headlines fueling the fire of the late winter months. In addition to all of the news and results of the month, the world of poker vlogging took center stage on PocketFives in March.


Early in 2018, poker vlogging had hit a fever pitch and the PocketFives in-depth series VLOG/TURN/RIVER put the spotlight on the ever-groaning poker content created by the poker player for the poker player.

We conducted in-depth interviews with some of the mediums most popular personalities including Andrew Neeme, Jaman Burton, Brad Owen and more.

Additionally, PocketFives drilled down on the art of vlogging. We tackled topics including how to get started vlogging, the tools of the trade and how to grow an online audience.

Take a look back at the entire VLOG/TURN/RIVER series:


Inside Vlogging:

World Poker Tour Crowns A Pair of First-Time Champions

The World Poker Tour wrapped two of their Season 16 events in the month of March as a pair of first-time champions were crowned.

In the first week of the month, Dennis Blieden, playing in his very first WPT event defeated Toby Lewis heads up to claim the title of 2018 Los Angeles Poker Classic Champion. Blieden, who had a total of roughly $22,000 in total recorded cashes before the tournament, walked with a cool $1,000,000 first place prize.

READ: First-Timer Dennis Blieden Wins WPT L.A. Poker Classic, $1M

The very next week Bay Area grinder David Larson bested the 440 runners at WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, CA. Larson, who stone-bubbled the satellite to win a seat, bought in and turned his $3,500 investment into a $295,128 payday and a ticket to the WPT Champions Club.

READ: WPT – David Larson Wins Rolling Thunder

While Larson walked away with the title, it was runner-up Ian Steinman that had everyone talking. In one of the most talked about hands of the year, Steinman made one of the biggest folds the poker world had seen in some time when he let go of a set of kings against World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen when McKeehen went runner-runner into the nut straight. Watch the amazing hand below.

Matt ‘OLD TIME GIN’ Stone Wins Sunday Million

Before he made his way into the worldwide top 10 in 2018, Canada’s Matt ‘GINS FINEST’ Stone picked up a massive score when he took down the PokerStars Sunday Million. Stone defeated a field of 5,971 to bring home the $161,237 prize just days after winning both the Sunday Warm Up the weekend before and the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday in late February.

After his March heater, Stone continued to grind straight through to the summer and beyond. He entered the worldwide top-10 for the first time and climbed to a career-high ranking of #3 in the world. He eclipsed the $5 million mark in 2018.

READ: SUNDAY MAJORS – Matt ‘Old Time Gin’ Stone Grabs Sunday Million Win

partypoker Hit With Server Issues Increases Sunday Guarantees

Many months before the partypoker 2018 MILLIONS Online set the record for the largest tournament in history, partypoker announced that they were ramping up their tournament offerings and guarantees on their Sunday schedule.

In the middle of their March 4 tournament schedule players experienced significant downtime and technical problems causing partypoker to postpone and even cancel some of their tournaments. The site addressed the issues head-on, dealing with player complaints on social media.

Finally, in a bid to make things right with their customer base partypoker added $2 million worth of guarantees to their schedule the following weekend continuing their campaign of going “All In.”

Read: partypoker Increases Sunday Guarantees In Wake Of Server Issues

Sweden’s ‘C Darwin2’ Wins Monthly PLB Title, Stays #1 In The World

There was no stopping Sweden’s ‘C Darwin2’ in early 2018 and at the end of March not only did he capture the monthly PLB title, but he had spent the entire calendar year as the #1-ranked player in the world.

On March 4, ‘C Darwin2’ finished as the runner-up in Event 70 of the PokerStars Turbo Series ($5,200 NLHE Eight Max High Roller) for a mammoth $161,411 score. However, this would not be his largest payday of the month just weeks later, on March 20,  he won PokerStars High Rollers #7 ($10,300 NLHE) for $267,406, his current career all-time high payday.