The second season of the GGPoker Super MILLION$ got underway this week as Estonian chess grandmaster Ottomar Ladva outlasted another star-studded final table to pick up his first Super MILLION$ title and the $325,957 first-place prize.
Sean Winter helped bring the U.S. Poker Open 2021 series to a close after besting the field of 42 entries in Event #12 ($50,000 NLHE) and earned his second career USPO victory and the $756,000 first-place prize.
In his first two appearances at a GGPoker Super MILLION$, final table China’s ‘judd trump’ never quite found his footing, bowing out in ninth place in both events. The exact opposite of that took place in the $5 million guaranteed Super MILLION$ Anniversary edition when the three-time GGPoker Spring Festival champ entered the day second in chips and ended it with his first Super MILLION$ title and a GGPoker career-high score of $976,379.
One of the main reasons that summer in Sin City is such a special time for poker players is the abundance of tournament and cash game action that can be found all over the city. In a typical year, it’s the poker beacon that is the World Series of Poker that attracts grinders and recreational players from all over the planet to Las Vegas where they battle for bracelets and, oftentimes, find themselves playing in a multitude of side events in various tournament series.
It seems like every high roller series at the PokerGO studios has been very good to Ali Imsirovic. Once again, the 24-year old Imsirovic was back posing for a winner’s photo on Saturday after he bested the 99-entry field of the U.S. Poker Open Event #9 ($10,000 No Limit Hold’em) for a $217,800 payday.
Imsirovic, the 2018 Breakout Player of the Year, now has two USPO career victories under his belt to go along with his 2018 Poker Masters overall title. He’s cashed in four of the first nine USPO 2021 events with this being his third final table of the series and has now taken the lead on the USPO 2021 Overall Leaderboard.
Things have been going smoothly for young pro, but for Imsirovic to put himself in a position to win, he needed to survive a field that included the likes of Nick Petrangelo (12th, $19,800), 2018 USPO overall champion Stephen Chidwick (11th, $29,700), and two-time GPI Player of the Year Alex Foxen (10th, $39,600)
The final table fireworks started early when with blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 bb ante) a short-stacked Jake Schindler put in a raise to 435,000 holding , leaving himself just two big blinds behind. PokerGO founder Cary Katz picked up in the cutoff and made the call. The pair saw a flop of and Schindler tossed in his remaining chips. Katz made the call and Schindler was way ahead with his pair of kings. The turn came the , and with just two outs left in the deck, Katz called out “seven of clubs” and the dealer obliged, putting the out on the river sending Schindler out in seventh place for $49,500.
Roughly forty minutes later, Katz was back taking out another opponent. With the blinds up to 30,000/60,000 (60,000 bb ante), Katz opened to 215,000 with the . Thomas Winters was sitting on just 470,000 in the small blind and he moved all in with his . Katz quickly called and the pair watched as the board provided little for Katz’ dominating hand. Winters made his exit in sixth place and collected $59,400 for his deep run.
After the first break of the day, the blinds were up to 40,000/80,000 (80,000 bb ante) when Erik Seidel opened to 160,000 with the . It folded to Katz who quickly moved all-in for his final 17 big blinds with and the short-stacked Seidel decided to call. The flop came , keeping Katz pocket jacks in the lead. The turn was the , removing some possible outs for Seidel. The river was the , giving Katz another final table knockout and sending Seidel to the rail in fifth place for $74,300.
At four-handed, Imsirovic continued to accumulate chips while the rest of the field found themselves with similar chip stacks. With the blinds up to 50,000/100,000 (100,000 bb ante), PokerStars Sunday Million 15th Anniversary winner Vanessa Kade was down to her final 15 big blinds. She opened in the cutoff to 200,000 with and when the action folded back to Andrew Lichtenberger in the big blind, he three-bet all-in. Kade made the call putting her tournament life on the line and the flop came down , giving Kade top pair. The came off on the turn, but it was the that hit the river shipping the pot Lichtenberger and sending Kade to the cashier in fourth place to pick up her $94,000 payday for fourth place.
Lichtenberger took that momentum and assumed the chip lead while Katz’s early success faded to frustration. Even after receiving a much-needed double, he was sitting on just over 10 bigs with blinds at 75,000/125,000 (125,000 bb ante). Imsirovic opened to 250,000 with the on the button and Katz defended his big blind with the . The flop gave Imsirovic top pair and Katz a pair and a flush draw. Katz checked it to Imsirovic who continued for 150,000. Katz quickly check-shipped his remaining 1.1 million and Imsirovic immediately called, with the hands being a virtual flip. The turn was no help to either hand and the river ended Katz’s run in third place where he added $118,800 to his earnings.
After winning that hand, Imsirovic and Lichtenberger were separated by just over seven big blinds, with Lichtenberger holding the slight edge. The pair battled for nearly an hour, trading the chip lead back and forth. Eventually, Imsirovic captured the lead and extended it to roughly ten-to-one.
With the blinds at 75,000/150,000 (150,000 bb ante), Lichtenberger moved all-in for his final 1,125,000 holding . Imsirovic in the big blind took a moment to consider and ended up making the call with the . The flop came , missing both but giving Imsirovic some backdoor draws to go with his pair outs. The turn gave Imsirovic that pair which held through the river. Lichtenberger finished as the runner-up, which was good for $158,400.
Ali Imsirovic took down his second career USPO title and with the win, and $217,800 first-place prize, surged into the lead in the USPO 2021 Overall Standings and is the current favorite to win the first-ever Golden Eagle trophy.
U.S. Poker Open Event #9 Final Table Payouts
- Ali Imsirovic – $217,800
- Andrew Lichtenberger – $158,400
- Cary Katz – $118,800
- Vanessa Kade – $94,050
- Erik Seidel – $74,250
- Thomas Winters – $59,400
- Jake Schindler – $49,500
Although he started the day with the chip lead, Jared Bleznick was forced to battle back from a short stack late during the final table of Event #8 ($10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha) of the U.S. Poker Open 2021 in which he took home the $189,000 first-place prize and locked down his first USPO title.
There’s no question that Brazil has produced some of the very best online poker players in recent years. Names like Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski, Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann, and Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon have been dominating the upper echelons of the Online Poker Rankings for the better part of a year. Now, there’s another name you can add to the rising ranks of the dominant Brazilians – Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold. Sitting at a career-high ranking of #15 in the world, Hobold is May’s Online Player of the Month.
Hobold (3,171 points) put in an impressive amount of volume in May, racking up more than 140 in-the-money finishes for earnings totaling more than $331,000. His spotlight score of the month came on May 12 when he bested the 271 entries of the $1,050 GGPoker WSOP Circuit Super Tuesday event for a $55,880 score, the fourth largest cash of his career.
His WSOPC victory was just one of the five five-figure scores for Hobold. He finished as the runner-up in the May 9 edition of the PokerStars $530 High Roller Bounty Builder for more than $36,600 and grabbed a bronze in the May 18 SCOOP Afterparty Event 58-H ($530 NLHE Half-Price Super Tuesday) for another $33,415. He closed out the month with another runner-up finish in the GGPoker WSOPC Series, grabbing a $17,035 score in the $400 Sunday Forty Stack.
By the end of the month, Hobold picked up another 49 four-figure scores and 17 podium finishes. He sits as the #4-ranked pro in Brazil and his earnings in May helped push him past $3 million in total career earnings.
Portugal’s Rui Bouquet finished the Player of the Month race in a close second place with 3,044 points.
Like Hobold, Bouquet spent a lot of time on the grind, racking up a total of 208 cashes and padding his bankroll just $700 shy of $300,000 for the month. A pair of five-figure scores make up the bulk of his earnings including his PokerStars SCOOP Afterparty title in Event #51-H where he booked a $69,247 score for the win. Two days later, he added another $13,958 result with his third-place finish in the WPT Online on partypoker Event #17 ($150K GTD 7-Max).
For the most part, Bouquet spent his month crushing mid-to-high stakes tournaments. This included the WSOP Circuit Series on GGPoker, in which he picked up an astounding 63 cashes, the SCOOP Afterparty, and the WPT Online Series. In total, he amassed more than 50 four-figure scores.
Bouquet is currently ranked #40 in the world, #4 in his home country of Portugal, and has more than $3.6 million in career earnings.
Poland’s top online pro ‘Olorion’ also had a very nice May, earning 3,002 points good for third place on the leaderboard.
‘Olorion’ started the month strong, grabbing a third-place finish on May 3 in the WSOP Circuit Series $300 Sunday Marathon High Roller for a $19,112 score. He was back strong just one week later with a final table finish in the $525 Sunday 250 on GGPoker for a $22,312 cash.
Things got even better for him on the backend of the month. On May 24, he finished in fifth place in the GGMasters $1,050 High Roller for $44,710 and capped of his week with a runner-up result in the GGPoker $840 Bounty Hunters Championship for $49,165. These two scores represent two of ‘Olorion’s top-10 all-time results.
By the end of the month, he earned 68 cashes for a total of $198,649, enough to push him past $4.5 million in career earnings.
May 2021 Player of the Month Results
|1||Dalton 'daltonhb' Hobold||3174|
|2||Rui 'RuiBouquet' Bouquet||3044|
|4||Fabiano 'Kovalski' Kovalski||3001|
|5||Leocir Jose 'LeoJose' Carneiro||2907|
|6||Josepth 'j_liberta17' Liberta||2883|
|9||Markku 'markovitsus' Koplimaa||2763|
|10||Justin 'justin ouimette' Ouimette||2719|
May was another massive month for PocketFivers looking to score in the value-packed tournaments on 888poker. In addition to their newly revamped tournament schedule, promotions like the Early Bird Rakeback and Sunday Sale continued to reap benefits for MTT grinders, of every level, looking to give their bankroll a springtime boost.
Less than a week after his victory, WPT500 Online winner David Afework has been disqualified by partypoker and his $160,210 first-place prize money redistributed to the rest of the field, according to a recent post by Afework on the Two Plus Two Forums.