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Everything posted by Supafuz

  1. For every fantastic poker movie of the past 25 years (Rounders, Mississippi Grind), there’s been another which missed the mark. But the poker world (for better and for worse) isn’t lacking in incredible storylines, interesting characters, and dramatic tension. From epic biopics and romantic melodramas to buddy comedies and political thrillers, the poker world should be a screenwriter’s goldmine. Imagine cast sheets packed with poker’s biggest names (Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Stu Ungar) and the A-list Hollywood stars who would portray them. Here are five of the best real-life poker plot lines that could be - and should be - made into movies. Lights, camera, ACTION! TEXAS DOLLY Director: Martin Scorcese Starring: Russell Crowe (Doyle Brunson) Christopher Plummer (older Doyle) Armie Hammer (younger Doyle) Tom Hanks (Johnny Moss) Owen Wilson (Amarillo Slim) David Koechner (Puggy Pearson) Timothee Chalamet (Stu Ungar) Matt Damon (Chip Reese) Danny McBride (Todd Brunson) Synopsis: In the early 1950s, a devastating leg injury crushes the NBA dreams of prodigious college athlete Doyle Brunson. He turns to illegal poker games to fuel his competitiveness and soon finds himself on the road with a motley crew of Texan card sharks. Over the next 60 years, Brunson writes the book on poker, wins 10 World Series bracelets, and navigates the online poker boom while becoming the greatest player of all time. At 87, Brunson decides to step away from the tables, but one final high stakes game brings the Godfather of poker out of retirement. This is a no brainer. A three-hour biopic of the legendary Doyle Brunson directed by the equally legendary Martin Scorcese? Yes, please. In fact, why hasn’t this film been made already? Texas Dolly would make such an awesome movie. Brunson has sixty-plus years worth of stories to cherry-pick from a lifetime of playing the highest stakes poker games in the world. Imagine the backroom poker scenes, gunpoint robberies, tender family moments, and busto-to-robusto drama that Scorcese could reimagine on the big screen. He’s made plenty of big, bold biopics before (Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, to name just a few) so Brunson’s story will be in the safest of hands. Instead of going down the digital de-aging route like Scorcese did in 2019’s The Irishman, cast different actors to play Brunson at the different stages of his life. Have Armie Hammer as the young NBA-ready Doyle for the first 45 minutes of the film, followed by Oscar winner Russell Crowe as Brunson for the next 90 minutes. Finally, Oscar winner Christopher Plummer bringing things home as Brunson today. Then just look at that merry band of Texan road gamblers in the supporting cast. A bald Tom Hanks with thick-rimmed glasses and a cardigan would make for an amazing Johnny Moss (Brunson’s mentor) and seeing the late Amarillo Slim reimagined by his fellow-Texan Owen Wilson would be superb. Anchorman’s David Koechner taking on Puggy Pearson, young superstar Timothee Chalamet bringing Stu 'the Kid' Ungar to life, and poker-movie royalty Matt Damon becoming one of the game’s all-time greats in Chip Reese (Brunson's best friend before Reese’s death at the young age of 56). Oh, and let’s not forget Danny McBride bringing some light comedy to proceedings as Brunson’s son Todd, also a successful high-stakes poker player in his own right. It’s actually ludicrous that the Godfather of Poker’s story hasn’t already been told on the silver screen, because the rounder lifestyle of poker’s pioneers is just so damn romantic. It feels like this film would resonate with a large audience, whether the majority are poker players or not. But then maybe the lack of biopic is Brunson’s doing. Perhaps he wants to keep his life story close to his chest, just as he has with cards throughout most of it. But with his blessing, then please, someone please write the script (*cough* Brian Koppelman and David Levien *cough*) and make this movie happen. BLACK FRIDAY Director: Adam McKay Starring: Jeff Daniels (Howard Lederer) David Krumholtz (Ray Bitar) Billy Bob Thornton (Chris Ferguson) Mandy Patinkin (Isai Scheinberg) Michael B. Jordan (Phil Ivey) Michael Fassbender (Gus Hansen) Sam Rockwell (George W. Bush) Synopsis: It’s 2011 and the poker boom comes to a crashing end when the United States Department of Justice issues an indictment against the three largest online poker websites in the country: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. Popular PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg is among those indicted, but things are about to get even worse for the poker community when it’s revealed that Full Tilt Poker--run by Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and shady businessman Ray Bitar--has been defrauding poker players out of more than $300 million and doesn’t have the funds to reimburse them. A brutally honest telling of online poker’s darkest day could make for the most important poker movie ever made. The pros of a Black Friday film? It’s a story that has everything. Rags-to-riches tales from online poker greats; government dealings and courtroom drama; the shock of the day itself; and both likable and downright unsavory characters for us to root for and against. The cons? It wouldn’t exactly paint online poker in the finest light. If there’s one filmmaker who could get across the importance of Black Friday and explain the difficult concepts involved in an entertaining, educational way, it’s Adam McKay. While he cut his teeth making some of the best comedies of the past two decades alongside Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys) it’s McKay’s 2015 film The Big Short--about the investors who made a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America in 2008--where he knocked it out of the park and booked the Black Friday writer/director gig. As for the cast, Jeff Daniels would make an excellent Howard Lederer. Daniels has carved a niche for himself lately playing powerful, unlikeable characters, and when it comes to Lederer...well, you can make of that what you will. Joining him at Full Tilt Poker would be the great Billy Bob Thornton as Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson--an ambiguous character whose involvement in the disgracefulness remains unclear--and David Krumholtz as Ray Bitar. The film would also feature top actors portraying some of poker’s biggest names for the first time on screen. Michael B. Jordan would provide the coolness Phil Ivey deserves, while Michael Fassbender as Gus Hansen would just be a joy to see. As for PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, give Mandy Patinkin from Homeland the role, while Sam Rockwell who played President George W. Bush in McKay’s 2018 film Vice, could revive the role here for a few government scenes. SUITED CONNECTORS Director: Greta Gerwig Starring: Anna Kendrick (Kristen Bicknell) Channing Tatum (Alex Foxen) Cameron Diaz (Jennifer Harman) Will Poulter (Kahle Burns) Synopsis: Inspired by her poker-playing hero Jennifer Harman, Kristen Bicknell works her way to the top of a male-dominated game and becomes one of the best poker players around. When she falls in love with another top player, Alex Foxen, it feels like a match made in heaven. But complications arise when the two fierce competitors both wind up at the same final table of a major poker tournament and then get three-handed with Kahle Burns. In just about every poker movie, female characters are simply used as props to either annoy or inspire the leading man. Screw that. It’s about time there was a poker film with a woman crushing the game instead of just organizing it (Molly’s Game), and while there still aren’t enough women playing poker, there are plenty of world-class players who are as feared at the tables as any dude. As the No.1 ranked GPI female player in the world for the past three years running, Kristen Bicknell is undisputedly one of them. Like many other poker couples, Bicknell and Alex Foxen’s relationship was once just a lovely inconsequence to the poker community. But in 2018 it was suggested that they had gone easy on each other during the final table of the $5,000 MSPT Venetian, particularly when they got three-handed against Kahle Burns. The question is: can two competitive players really put their loving feelings aside and play coldblooded versus one another when deep down they both want to see each other succeed? It’s just a tricky situation and one ripe for some melodrama. Unlike other “road to the final table” poker films (looking at you, Lucky You), the conflict in this romantic dramedy doesn’t come from characters hating each other but rather characters loving each other, to the point where their game integrity is called into question. It’s also about what happens after the game is over. Greta Gerwig would be an incredible choice to direct Suited Connectors, a story largely based on a successful woman striving for greatness, who falls in love with someone completely different and yet perfectly similar to her. Gerwig’s two films so far (2017’s Ladybird and 2019’s Little Women) are both female-led stories, and she writes and directs with honesty and style. Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick has been brilliant in films like Up in the Air and The Voices and could pull off Bicknell’s dauntless determination, while Channing Tatum (aside from the fact he’s big and athletic like Foxen) has proven himself a fine (and funny) actor in films like Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street, and The Hateful Eight. As for Jennifer Harman--the player who inspired the real-life Bicknell--coaxingh the great Cameron Diaz out of retirement for the role seems like a win. THE WEIGHTING GAME Director: Paul Feig Kevin Hart (Bill Perkins) Jaime Staples (himself) Matt Staples (himself) Mike Vacanti (Zac Efron) Synopsis: Two professional poker playing brothers find themselves in a high stakes game on the yacht of an eccentric billionaire, with who they make a large bet: Brothers Jaime (304lbs) and Matt (134lbs) have to weigh within 1lb of each other in exactly a year’s time. If they can do it, they’ll win big. With the help of a strict personal trainer, they’re going all in. But life on the road makes losing and gaining both weight and money harder than they thought. Let’s lighten the mood a little with a road-trip buddy movie. The Staples brothers (Jaime and Matt) had the entire poker community rooting for them in 2017/2018 when they bet Bill Perkins that they couldn’t weigh within one pound of each other in 12 months’ time, all the while streaming poker online and traveling to live events. They did it, of course, in a great story of perseverance and hard work paying off. For the sake of the film, however, instead of the brothers streaming online poker, have them playing poker on the road. And make the Perkins character wilder and more erratic than Perkins is in real life, just to spice things up. There's no better pick to play the brothers themselves, so they'll both have to get some acting lessons prior to filming. But for Perkins, let’s throw his real-life friend and poker enthusiast Kevin Hart in the mix. Hart is one of the biggest movie stars in the world and anyone who has observed his spontaneous antics at the poker tables knows he would make this thing hilarious, as would Zac Efron as a fictional draconian version of the Staples’ personal trainer Mike Vacanti. In the director’s chair would be Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat), one of the reigning kings of comedy movies. The whole thing could be like the section of Rounders where Mike and Worm go on the road to run up a stake, only instead of trying not to get caught base dealing, the brothers are trying not to eat the wrong things. THE BLIND STEAL Director: Aaron Sorkin Starring: Emma Stone (Veronica Brill) Ben Foster (Mike Postle) Jonah Hill (Justin Kuraitis) Pete Davidson (Joe Ingram) Synopsis: Poker player and commentator Veronica Brill grows suspicious that a successful player in her game, Mike Postle, has been cheating for months on a live-streamed Sacramento cash game with the help of cardroom manager Justin Kuraitis. They deny the allegations and will do anything to discredit Brill, so she turns to someone she hopes can help expose the suspected charlatans: popular YouTuber Joe Ingram. There have been some incredible films with ambiguous endings over the years. You don’t get to know whether the robbers’ gold-laden bus teeters over the cliff edge in The Italian Job; you don’t get to know who the Zodiac killer is in Zodiac; and by the end of The Blind Steal--this telling of the Mike Postle cheating scandal which took place at Stones Casino, Sacramento from July 2018 through September 2019--you won’t know with absolute certainty whether Mike Postle was cheating or not. The viewers will have enough information to make an informed decision though, and that’s all thanks to writer and director Aaron Sorkin. In his screenplays for The Social Network, Moneyball, and his 2017 directorial debut Molly’s Game, Sorkin has been able to enlighten audiences on some dense subject matter (from computer algorithms and data analysis to how a game poker works) in just a few pages of the script. And thanks to Molly’s Game, it's clear he understands poker and the severity of the Postle allegations against many players, not just Veronica Brill (who brought the allegations to light). So, with Sorkin at the helm, who would he cast? For Brill, possibly Emma Stone. In films such as Zombieland, The Favourite, and Battle of the Sexes, she’s shown herself to be tough and determined with no sign of intimidation. As for Joey Ingram, Pete Davidson could sling on a tank top and blazer and showcase Ingram’s dogged resolve. Ben Foster would be perfect for Postle. Anyone who saw Foster as Lance Armstrong knows he’s a master of playing manipulative, conniving schemers looking to get ahead at any means necessary, even at the expense of others. He could handle Postle too. Justin Kuraitis is harder to cast as, frankly, there isn't all that much to go on aside from some post-settlement tweets. But based on those tweets, the character in the film is going to be stubborn, goofy, and a bit corrupt. Jonah Hill is a great actor who has been nominated for an Oscar twice (The Wolf of Wall Street and Moneyball). He’s got that down. The ambiguous ending of The Blind Steal mentioned earlier? It will be a bit like the ending of The Social Network, Sorkin’s Facebook origin story. Just like Facebook is an ongoing thing, so too is the Postle lawsuits and investigation. But maybe a film like this will inspire more people to seek the truth of what went on during those live streams.
  2. Forget the schoolyard trash talk and cheat sheet squabbles for a hot minute, and let’s focus on the poker. Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu will be going head to head in a knock-down drag-out war commencing on November 1, with millions on the line and at least one ego cruising for a bruising. As a former Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em specialist, Polk enters the $200/$400 ring as the clear favorite. But this battle isn’t Daniel vs Goliath. It’s Goliath vs Goliath 2.0. The fan favorite of the past 20 years against the fan favorite for a new generation. They truly hate each other and are out for blood. And like us, we’re sure you’ve got questions. Polk made his preparation public, but what has Negreanu been doing to ready himself for battle? Like Negreanu sunbathing in skimpy swim shorts, Polk has left nothing to the imagination when it comes to his preparation for the challenge. For the past month or so he’s been battling a bunch of players--including Bill Perkins and Landon Tice--at stakes ranging from $5/$10 to $50/$100, while also issuing one-off high-stakes challenges to Matt Berkey, Christian Soto, and Luke Schwartz. On Joey Ingram’s Poker Life Podcast back in August, Polk said: 'I’ve honestly been working around the clock trying to improve my game." He admitted to getting "rekt", but who wouldn’t after so long out of the game? (OK, so Fedor Holz probably wouldn’t. That guy can’t help but win. The entire high-stakes community put on their best Teddy KGB impersonation when Holz emerged from "retirement": “Kid’s got al-eee-gay-torr blood. Can’t get rid of him.") Polk has since reported some winning sessions, and it seems like his heads-up game is getting to where he wants it to be before the battle with Negreanu begins. But aside from posting a few casual, often comical strategy polls to his 486,000 Twitter followers, Negreanu has kept the world in the dark as to what he is doing to get himself in fighting shape. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1309244477232406530 For a while there, the answer was probably nothing, and understandably so. As a GGPoker ambassador, Negreanu was in Mexico for a month to play the World Series of Poker Online events in a bid to win his sixth bracelet (he bet plenty of money on himself to do so too, but we’ll get to that in a minute). When he returned to his Las Vegas home, he probably needed some rest. I mean, who among us doesn’t like to relax and play round after round on our top-of-the-range golf simulators after a few busy weeks at the office? But the time to relax is over. As we edge closer to the November 1 kick off, Negreanu has started hinting at what he’s been up to behind the scenes. On October 6 he tweeted that he "most definitely needs to start practicing". The whole cheat sheet pre-flop chart debacle (which we won’t go into now, but you can read about here) will have no doubt inspired Kid Poker to revise ranges. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1313600198086549504 And nobody should be surprised if they find out Negreanu has hired coaches. That might seem inconceivable to your casual Joe Bloggs poker fan (“Why would Negreanu need coaching? HE CAN CALL OUT YOUR EXACT HAND!”) but Negreanu has always been humble about his own abilities and openly sought coaching when he felt he was falling behind in the Super High Rollers. It paid off big time, too. Keeping up with the Jason Koons, Stephen Chidwicks, and Michael Addamos of the world might not be a priority for Negreanu in 2020, but he enjoyed a long stretch where he was right in the thick of it, finishing second in the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl for $3 million (May 2018), and second again in the WSOP $100K High Roller for $1.7 million (July 2019). He even released a MasterClass based on everything he’d learned (with some sandwich-based tells thrown in for extra bite). One thing we know for sure? Negreanu is rolled for the road to rail heaven. He recently tweeted that he will be loading up his WSOP.com account with $1 million (25 buy-ins) “to start”. There’s obviously a whole lot more in Negreanu’s bankroll should he need it. A million bucks could seem a paltry amount when all is said and done. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1313961969171324929 Does Negreanu have anything to lose (aside from money)? Indulge us for 20 seconds while we tell you what you already know about Negreanu. He’s a legend and first-ballot hall of famer. He’s played and won at the highest stakes across multiple decades (shhh, we won’t mention his record on High Stakes Poker). He’s third on the all-time money list with $42 million in career earnings. He’s one of the best ambassadors the game has ever had. And he’s always, ALWAYS your friend’s favorite poker player. You shouldn’t put anything past him when it comes to playing poker. But in this contest, he’s a clear underdog. He’s admitted that. After all, he has agreed to play arguably one of the best heads-up No Limit Hold’em specialists of all time at heads-up No Limit Hold’em. For all his humor and on-camera charisma, it’s worth remembering just how good at poker Polk truly is, or at least was in his prime. He came up in the pre-solver era, when players had to forge ahead and build their own strategies based on hand histories and experience rather than memorizing what play a computer says is perfect and unexploitable. That’s exactly what Negreanu did in tournaments and cash games back in the day alongside his crew of Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Allan Cunningham. Whatever happens in the challenge, Negreanu’s reputation in poker will not be damaged. The man’s not perfect. He’s made mistakes. But his hall pass will forever be laminated. And if all he stands to lose is a few million bucks, can he really lose? Negreanu is used to wagering large amounts on himself. He locks in hefty WSOP bracelet bets at $100,000 or more a pop every single year against countless opponents and never seems to lose face (he might lose close to seven figures at times, but his face remains intact). Perhaps all of this puts even more pressure on Polk. He’s the favorite; the expert; the man who’s only here to "back up the truck", take Negreanu’s cash and drive off into the sunset. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316092457478615040 So, what if Polk loses? He’ll be just fine financially. Polk is a super-smart guy - you simply have to be to rise to the top of poker and have as much success as he’s had - and from cryptocurrency to YouTube to UpSwing Poker, he’s done very well for himself. You may wonder how he’ll be remembered in the poker world if he loses this heads-up challenge though. He’ll always be one of poker’s best content creators, but his legacy on the tables isn’t as cemented as Negreanu’s. Polk has won millions in tournaments and cash games, but it’s undeniable his poker identity is built on the foundation of his elite skills in heads-up play (an identity Polk probably couldn’t care less about). Look, both of these guys will be fine, whatever happens. It’s just that, if Negreanu loses, nothing changes. That’s what most people think will happen. There will be no surprises. But if Polk loses, it’s going to be a long, cold drive home in that big empty truck. What happens if we see a bloodbath on Opening Day? The poker world is very interested to see if either of these guys has a breaking point. After Day 1 of the Galfond Challenge, Phil Galfond was down €72,527 against 'VeniVidi1993', and they were playing €100/€200 PLO, a much more volatile game. So, let’s say, hypothetically, that Negreanu gets stuck $160,000 (four buy-ins) after the Day 1 sessions. We know his account is loaded with another $840,000, so he’ll be back to battle the next day. But how he sleeps that night will depend on how well he thinks he played. If variance punched him in the face he’ll be out like a light. He’s used to bad luck. But if he feels he was simply outmatched, it could be the beginning of a nightmare. Then what happens if he’s down a cool milly after, say, Day 4? That’s an enormous mountain to climb, both mentally and financially, even for a player of Negreanu’s calibre and bankroll. We saw Galfond complete a monumental comeback from a €900,000 deficit against 'VeniVidi1993', but that was only after some time off during which he considered quitting. After his break Galfond decided he wanted to continue, not only because he felt he could close the gap and even win (which he did, incredibly), but because it was him who initiated the challenge in the first place. In this case, Negreanu accepted the challenge. You can’t help but wonder what Negreanu’s threshold for pain is. It’s probably safe to say he’s one of the richest pure poker players around, and it wouldn’t be absurd to assume he’ll have 100 percent of himself. So, will he continue to play Polk if he’s, say, $1.4 million in the hole? $1.7 million? $2 million?!! That would be enough to make even the coolest individual feel the heat. And the scary thing? The challenge might still be far from over. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316096706711183360 On the flip side, what if Negreanu rips Polk a new one on opening day? Poker media will flock to their keyboards, bettors will rush to Mike McDonald’s PokerShares to examine the changes in odds, and Twitter trolls who haven’t emerged from their caves since PostleGate will run rampant. It would get more people paying attention, that’s for sure. Polk obviously has a lot of his own money, but may have sold action for this challenge. That safety net might help keep the wolf from his door if he finds himself buried early on. Still, it will be interesting to see if there’s a number at which he simply wouldn’t be able to continue. And if he does quit, whether we’ll ever see him play poker again. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316089776781488128
  3. [caption width="640"] The European Poker Tour has launched the careers of some of the biggest and brightest stars in the game today (PokerStars photos)[/caption] Many of the world's best poker players are packed into a hotel in Prague right now, and the excitement in the air is irrefutable. You might say this is always the case when a big live tournament is about to take place, but this buzz is unique: EPT13 Prague is the last ever European Poker Tour festival, and will crown the final EPT champion before the series is re-branded. From January, the events will now be known as PokerStars Championships, and they won’t be limited to European soil, starting with thePokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly PCA) on January 6, 2017. The EPT will always hold a special place in the hearts of many players, and winning one has catapulted dozens of careers. To mark the official end of the EPT, we’ve hand-picked ten of the biggest breakout stars of the EPT over the past 13 seasons. We start with five players who made a name for themselves in the early years of the Tour. Patrik AntoniusIt feels strange to kick off a list of breakout tournament stars with a man known primarily as a live and online cash game player, but there’s no denying that Patrik Antonius’ win back at the EPT2 Baden Classic in 2005 for €288,180 was the first introduction to the Fin for many. Antonius’ career post-EPT win is well documented; he’s played in the largest cash games around the world, including on sorely-missed TV shows High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, not to mention playing in many of the biggest online pots in history. Mike McDonaldThe Mike McDonald of EPT4 Dortmund is barely recognizable compared to the McDonald of today. When the man known as Timex won the event back in 2008 for €933,600, he was a rake-thin 18-year-old with a clear talent for the game, both live and online. Fast forward eight and a half years and McDonald is now considered one of tournament poker’s best, with more than $13 million in live earnings and an additional $3.1 million won online. As well as his many high roller results, Timex almost became a two-time EPT champ in January 2014 when he finished runner-up at the PCA, and he recently took down the first ever GPL Finals as part of the Montreal Nationals. Bertrand ‘ElkY' GrospellierAlready a celebrity in the gaming world (particularly in South Korea where he lived, worked, and played prior to his breakout poker success), ElkY burst onto the poker scene with his bright hair and big personality back in 2008. Having previously finished second at EPT3 Copenhagen, the Frenchman took down a massive $2 million when he won the 2008 PCA, and that led to a string of impressive results. In October 2008 he won a WPT for $1.41 million, followed by a $25K High Roller victory at the PCA a year after his win for $433,500. By this point ElkY was a dominant force in tournament poker, securing him a spot on Team PokerStars Pro which he holds to this day. He’d cement his legacy with two wins at EPT7 Madrid; one in the $25K High Roller for $779,221, and another in a $10K Turbo High Roller for $227,087. Liv BoereeIt would be impossible to create a list of EPT “stars” and not include Liv Boeree. She’s become one of the most popular and heavily marketed faces in all of poker, primarily due to her sponsorship deal with PokerStars. But Boeree can certainly play; she’d already racked up 23 live cashes before her breakout win at EPT6 San Remo in 2010 for $1.698 million. Since then Boeree has notched up a string of EPT main event cashes, as well as almost clinching a UKIPT title (2nd for $97,057) and finishing third in a $25K High Roller at EPT12 Barcelona for $449,383. She’s no slouch on the online felt either, with almost $600,000 in earnings. Jason MercierIt’s pretty impressive when you scroll down to the bottom a player’s Hendon Mob page and see that their first ever live cash was an EPT win. That’s the case for Jason Mercier, who took down EPT4 San Remo in 2008 for $1.37 million. Of course, Mercier was already known as an online grinder prior to that, and he’s since gone on to become one of the most esteemed and established players in all areas of poker. Five WSOP bracelets and a WSOP Player of the Year title; seven COOP titles (including three SCOOP wins in one year); win after win; final table after final table; deep run after deep run; to list all of Mercier’s accomplishments would take too long. Look for Part 2 of this piece on Thursday, which will focus on players who found fame and fortune from 2011-2016.
  4. [caption width="640"] Ludovic ‘Ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen broke into the top 10 of the PocketFives rankings earlier this month (PokerStars photo)[/caption] There are quite a few fun-loving characters on the European poker scene, but few are as universally liked as Scotland’s Ludovic ‘Ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen. His live poker resume boasts UK & Ireland Poker Tour and Wynn Classic wins, European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker final tables, not to mention more than $1.3 million in earnings. But it’s online where Geilich-Jonsen really cuts his teeth, and he’s had quite a year on the virtual felt, most notably taking down the 2016 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha for a cool $462,000. He’s now cracked the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time (sitting at #9 at the time of writing). Setting goals “I’ve been keeping an eye on the rankings, to be honest,” he says. “The WCOOP win gave me a lot of points and shot me up to 76th or something. So I started looking and I decided to make a goal for myself. “I said ‘I’m going to try and get in the top three of the UK, and the top 20 of the world’. Now I’m in the top 10 in the world and top two in the UK. I’m close enough to becoming #1 in the UK, but I’ve got to put the volume in, which I’ve not been doing.” (Editor's Note: Geilich-Jonsen moved up to #1 in the United Kingdom this week) So if it’s not consistent grinding, to what does Geilich-Jonsen credit his success? His answer was characteristically modest. “I’ve been pretty lucky because I’ve only been playing every Sunday, with maybe the odd Tuesday or Thursday. I’ve ran super good, collected all these points, and shot up the rankings quicker than I should have, if I’m honest. “I‘ve not been grinding every night for sure,” he tells me. “If I’m out with the boys or whatever, then I’m out with the boys. And if I’m travelling, I’ll play a Sunday but that’s about it. “I was in Punta Cana for two weeks recently where I only played the two Sundays, and had no success. Then I came back home and played the next Sunday and I ran super hot. I chopped the $1k Sunday Grand, I won the Bounty $215, and I came third in the Hot $55. That just stacked me up lots of points and put me in the top ten. “That’s probably the best I’ve ever ran on a normal Sunday (i.e. no WCOOP or SCOOP) in like three years.” Eyeing the #1 spot Geilich-Jonsen has been a member of PocketFives since 2012, and is pretty familiar with both the rankings and the big online names. He shared some of his thoughts on the current world #1, who coincidentally finished second to him in his WCOOP win. “The leader right now is Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez, and I don’t think anyone is catching him until he decides to take a break. There’s a massive gap between first and second, and he’s been putting in a load of volume. “A lot of regs probably think he’s a bad reg, but I don’t think he is. He does some things unorthodoxly and other regs might not like the lines he takes. But that’s what makes you money sometimes. Like fu_15, he used to do the same thing. People used to think he was punty and spewy, but I think you’ve got to show up with a punt to get paid sometimes. “Then, when you go back to playing the same way that everyone else is playing, I think you get a lot more respect. Where previously you’ve been splashing about and not getting any respect, against certain opponents it might tilt them and annoy them. So the reg is at home saying “Look at this donk, who plays like this!”, showing their friends that they’re grinding with. But it’s affected them. So doing it might be a losing play, but long term it could be a winning play.” Live poker Despite so much success in both live and online poker this year, Gelich-Jonsen was notably absent from some of the bigger buy-in events at EPT13 Prague. I wanted to know his thoughts on his future at the live felt. “The recent success has dictated what I want to play,” he says. “I don’t really want to focus on live poker right now. It’s too frustrating when it turns out bad. “I don’t want to play the $10ks all the time. Some of these guys play their A-game at all times.” He mentions Fedor Holz, Charlie Carrel, David Peters, and Adrian Mateos as just some of the tougher opponents, plus his good friend Niall Farrell. “Firaldo’s always there, and he’s out having a good time with the boys a lot of the time! Yet when he plays, he gets deep runs. “These guys are on another level with their A-game consistency. I can’t sustain that level. If something has affected me the night before, like I’m hungover or whatever and I’m having to focus on a three/four/five day tournament, I’m not going to play my A-game.” For Geilich-Jonsen, it seems poker is all about playing well (when he wants to play), but more importantly just enjoying the ride. “This is the fourth year in a row I’ve been to Prague, and I don’t think I’ve ever made money. In fact, the best places to go are the places where you don’t really make money, because you’re just out every night. This year was the only year in Vegas I’ve made money; there are just too many distractions!”
  5. [caption width="640"] Over the last five years a number of poker superstars have been born on the European Poker Tour (photos PokerStars)[/caption] The European Poker Tour is coming to an end right now in Prague, as the last ever Main Event is underway. The tour has created many champions over the past 13 years, and here’s a look through just some of the more recent breakout stars. ICYMI read The Breakout Stars of the European Poker Tour: 2004-2010 Dominik PankaRemember how we said Mike McDonald almost became the first ever two-time EPT champ in January 2014? Well, the man who kept him from the top spot was Dominik Panka. The Polish player won a huge score of $1.42 million and became Poland’s all-time money winner…until a certain young wizard by the name of Dzimitry Urbanovich appeared (more on him later). When Panka took down the PCA Main Event in 2014 for $1.42 million, defeating McDonald heads-up, he became Poland’s all-time money winner. Panka followed up the PCA win later in the month with a €10K High Roller victory at EPT10 Deuville for €272,000, and in 2015 he placed third in the EPT11 Malta main event for €347,300. Panka was back to making final tables this year with a fifth-place finish in the IPT8 Malta Main event for €30,970, and taking ninth in the EPT13 Malta Main Event for €41,590. Adrian MateosTechnically, this Spanish whiz kid had already burst onto the scene long before his massive $1.21 million win in the EPT11 Grand Final Main Event in 2015. He’d already won an Estrellas Poker Tour title in 2013 ($137K), and a little-known tournament later that year called the WSOPE Main Event ($1.35 million). But there’s just no way we could have left Adrian Mateos off of this list. A glance through his live scores shows countless EPT side event cashes, including two wins at the same stop (EPT11 Deauville). Since his EPT win, Mateos has taken down his second WSOP bracelet ($409K) and become a high roller regular everywhere from the EPTs to the Las Vegas, where he’s won almost $400K in December 2016 alone. Niall FarrellThe man known as 'Firaldo87' was well-known on the poker circuit as a great online player and fun-loving guy before he took down EPT12 Malta for $588,592 in 2015 (he’d finished second in a $3K WSOP event, and made a few high roller final tables). But Farrell truly had his breakout moment with that huge score. It’s been a great catalyst for him too. He’s now a fixture in the biggest high roller tournaments on the EPT circuit, he finished eighth in the $111,111 high roller for One Drop at the 2016 WSOP, and just last month took down the WPT Punta Cana main event for $335,000. Dzmitry UrbanovichThe player who overtook Panka as Poland’s all-time money winner is Urbanovich, who seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere back in March and April 2015. At EPT11 Malta, the wunderkind won the €25K high roller for €572,300, followed by three more side event wins. The following month at the EPT11 Grand Final, he finished second in the €100K super high roller for €1.446 million. The man known online as ‘Colisea’ then went on to finish second in the €50K super high roller at EPT12 Barcelona for €841K, fourth in the EPT12 Prague super high roller for €285k, before finally capturing his first EPT main event title at EPT12 Dublin in February this year for €561K. An incredible run, considering in all this time he’s also notched up more than a million in online earnings, with two SCOOP and three WCOOP wins. Amazing. Sebastian MalecIf you missed the final hand of the EPT13 Barcelona main event, we suggest you go find it on YouTube. Sebastian Malec, a 21-year-old €27 PokerStars satellite winner, took down the title for €1,122,800, and a new star was born. It’s still a little early to see how Malec’s career will develop after the EPT is no more, but that’s exactly why we’ve included him on this list. Who knows what the future will hold? The PokerStars Championships kick off in the Bahamas in January, before heading to Panama and Macau in March. It’s time to find a whole new batch of breakout stars.
  6. [caption width="640"] Chris Brammer joined Chris Moorman as former #1-ranked PocketFivers to capture 2017 WSOP bracelets (WSOP photo)[/caption] Saturday nights in Las Vegas are usually pretty wild, and Saturday night at the 2017 World Series of Poker was no different. Three bracelets were awarded (including one with a rowdy British rail) while two popular tournaments kicked off their Day 1s. Chris Brammer wins first bracelet, second for UK The rowdy British rail that came out for Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman’s bracelet win not long ago returned last night to see another former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, win his first WSOP bracelet. Chris ‘NigDawg’ Brammer overcame a tough final table and 505 players in total to win the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels), for a massive $527,555 payday. There to celebrate with him were the likes of Moorman, Sam 'The Squid' Grafton, James Akenhead and Tom Middleton. "I've been on both sides," he said after the win. "I remember being in the Pavilion Room up on the stage for that Six Max final table, and my rail was spilling over onto the floor. I was here last week for Chris Moorman's, and it's just amazing to be a part of it. You can't feel sad at any point, because there's just so much support behind you." Brammer had come close to WSOP success in the past, finishing fifth in the 2012 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max event. "That one hurt for a long time. I made a final table at World Series of Europe that same year, but there hasn't been any since, and I've been coming here every year. It's been a while.” Well, he’s now got that monkey off his back, besting the likes of Yevgeniy ‘Jovial Gent’ Timoshenko and Oliver Weis to capture his first major live title. "It was a turbo tournament, so the blind levels went up fairly quickly. That creates a lot of action, and it's important to win those all-ins. And I think I won pretty much all of them. I was dealt a lot of good cards. There were situations where I could shove into them and put pressure on them.” In the very first hand of heads-up play, Jett Schencker opened [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"] only for Brammer to put him all in with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"]. A ten on the flop was all she wrote. Final table payouts: Chris Brammer - $527,555 Jett Schencker - $326,051 Yevgeniy Timoshenko - $223,574 Rui Ye - $156,022 Tobias Ziegler - $110,845 Oliver Weis - $80,196 Michael Brinkenhoff - $59,107 Alex Foxen - $44,395 Diego Sanchez - $33,993 Ben Maya goes all the way in $1,500 Shootout [caption width="640"] Ben Maya surprised everybody - including himself - to win the ,500 NLHE Shootout (WSOP photo)[/caption] You’ve probably never heard of this new bracelet winner, but don’t worry. Even his friends don’t know he final tabled this event. “I’m shocked. All the people I play with will be shocked,” Ben Mayasaid after his win in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout. “I have my own business. I’m a realtor. There is no one following me at home. No one knows.” For his victory over the 1,025-strong field, Maya wins $257,764 and his first gold bracelet. It wasn’t an easy road to victory for the Israeli realtor, as he had to beat the likes of Moorman and Vojtech Ruzicka along the way, before overcoming a final table which included Jonathan Little. "I had a feeling from the first day... I had a picture of me taking the bracelet, but I didn't believe in myself. I don't know why; I'm not such a good player, that I can tell you. After I won the second day, I knew it, that's it," Final table payouts: Ben Maya - $257,764 Thomas Boivin - $159,273 Tim West - $115,297 Phachara Wongwichit - $84,453 Alex Rocha - $62,602 Steve Foutty - $46,969 Joe Cook - $35,673 Paul Michaelis - $27,431 Jonathan Little - $21,360 Matas Dilpsas - $16,844 Matthew Schreiber claims first bracelet in $3K HORSE [caption width="640"] Matthew Schreiber beat Phillip Hui heads-up to win his first career WSOP bracelet. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Another first-time bracelet winner was crowned on Saturday. Matthew Schreiber took down the final table of Event #44, the $3,000 HORSE in just three hours of play. "I have been playing a lot of mixed cash games," said Schreiber. "But in this particular event, I'm very inexperienced in Stud and very inexperienced in hi-lo. So, it's coming as a shock to me as well.” For his victory, the former collegiate golf player won $256,226. He came into the final table as chip leader, and despite a rocky road managed to get to the finish line in first. "This is the pinnacle for any poker player," he said about his bracelet win. "I made some deep runs and could never really finish the job, but I felt really good about this one at the end.” Final table payouts: Matthew Schreiber - $256,226 Phil Hui - $158,361 David Steicke - $107,458 Tom Koral - $74,382 Ryan Himes - $52,542 Hanks Honig - $37,892 Ryan Hughes - $27,910 Brendan Taylor - $21,007 Valentin Vornicu - $16,165 Barry Greenstein headlines $1,500 PLO final 21 On Day 1 of Event #46: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, 830 players sat down to give it a shot. By the start of Day 2, there were just 151 remaining. And now, going into Sunday’s Day 3, they’re down to 21. Millard Hale leads the bunch, but it’s three-time bracelet winner Barry Greenstein who a lot of eyes will be on. He sits fifth in chips, while nearing the bottom of the pack is two-time bracelet winner Barny Boatman. They’ll all return today to play for the $223,339 first-place prize. Top 10 chip counts: Millard Hale - 640,000 Kevin Saul - 613,000 Miguel Use - 598,000 John O’Shea - 459,000 Barry Greenstein - 359,000 Fernando Macia - 335,000 Samuel Lee - 313,000 Robert Price - 289,000 Christopher O’Rourke - 279,000 Andrew Watson - 277,000 Monster Stack and $10K Seven-Card Stud kick off There was a huge turn-out for Day 1A of the $1,500 Monster Stack yesterday, with 2,676 hopefuls taking their seats. After play was over, 768 remained. Allan Rabinovich bagged the chip lead, with Loni Harwood, T.J. Cloutier, Jonathan Duhamel, Paul Volpe, and Ari Engel all making it through. The day wasn’t so good for the likes of Jessica Dawley, Eddy Sabat, Matt Salsberg, Joe Cada, JC Tran, Mike Sowers, Marsha Wolak, Annette Obrestad, Jamie Kerstetter, and Mohsin Charania, who all busted. However, they can have another shot at Sunday’s Day 1B if they like. Meanwhile, the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (Event #48) also got going yesterday with 125 runners. Just 48 will return Sunday, with three-time bracelet winner Benny Glaser holding the chip lead with 325,00. He’ll be joined by a stacked line-up including Todd Brunson (271,000), John Monnette(221,500), Phil Hellmuth (70,000), James Obst (137,500),Jennifer Harman (166,000), and Daniel Negreanu(97,500). There’s $320,193 up top in this one. Top 10 chip counts Benny Glaser - 325,500 Mack Lee - 292,500 Todd Brunson - 271,000 Randy Ohel - 248,500 Richard Chiovari - 246,500 Jameson Painter - 238,500 John Monnette - 221,500 Viacheslav Zhukov - 215,000 Abe Mosseri - 179,500 Chris Wallace - 176,000
  7. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Chris Moorman has finally crossed his name off of the 'Best Players Without a Bracelet' list after capturing the K Six Max on Friday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Wow, what a day. Friday at the 2017 World Series of Poker saw the all-time leading money winner in online tournaments win his very first bracelet, having endured multiple runner-up finishes over the years. Two more bracelet winners were also crowned, two new events got going, and three more tournaments chalked up another day. Oh, and Daniel Negreanu is close to his seventh bracelet yet again. Here’s a look at all of Friday’s action. Chris Moorman adds a WSOP bracelet to his epic resume If there’s one name synonymous with online poker tournaments, it’s Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman. The 31-year-old Brit has won more than anyone in the format - more than $14 million to be precise - as well as more than $5 million in live earnings and a WPT title. You can now add a WSOP bracelet to his accomplishments, after he took down the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed for $498,682. It almost wasn’t to be, though. When play reached the official final table, Moorman was all-in with ace-king against the pocket jacks of Steve Sung. A miracle ace on the river saved his tournament life. From there they saw the start-of-day chip leaderMax Silver bow out, followed by John Gorsuch, Sung, and Michael Gagliano in third. Moorman had slightly more than a 2:1 chip lead when he got heads up against Brazil’s Bernardo Dias, and that meant two rowdy rails as the Brazilians and Brits are known for their side-stage support. The Brit never lost the chip lead throughout the battle, but every time Dias got short he found a double. In the end though, he open jammed for around 20 big blinds with king-ten, and Moorman snap-called with ace-king, which held up. Moorman then celebrated in style with a ‘shoe bomb’ (a jaegerbomb shot drunk out of his own shoe) alongside his rail, which included his wife Katie, and some of the UK’s leading players such as Craig McCorkell, Toby Lewis, Niall Farrell, Chris Brammer, and Tom Middleton. “I feel like anytime you win live, it's just a lot more real,” Moorman said. “All your friends are there celebrating with you and particularly a lot of my online success was when I was living in the U.K. I would be playing all through the night and maybe win a tournament about five or six in the morning and I would just be there on my own.” Having the bracelet under his belt, Moorman’s optimistic for the rest of the series. “The series is still young, there are plenty of more events out there,” he added. “I’ve already had three cashes, including this one, and I feel great and confident. Hopefully, I can make a final table and if not, hopefully, some more Brits do and I can be on the rail and support them and I would be just as happy, to be honest." Final table payouts: Chris Moorman - $498,682 Bernardo Dias - $308,166 Michael Gagliano - $210,139 Steve Sung - $145,634 John Gorsuch - $102,605 Max Silver - $73,510 Venezuela’s first bracelet comes as Joseph Di Rosa Rojas wins The Marathon Joseph Di Rosa Rojas is the first player from Venezuela to win WSOP gold (WSOP photo)[/CAPTION] The unknown player from Venezuela came into the home straight of the $2,620 Marathon with the lead, and he never lost it, running that chip lead all the way to victory. Joseph Di Rosa Rojas not only captured his first gold bracelet and $690,469 - more than ten times his career earnings before tonight; he also took down the first ever bracelet for his home country of Venezuela. It was by no means an easy final table, what with the likes of Tim Reilly, Julien Stuer, Faraz Jaka and Maurice Hawkins all taking seats. But by the time Rojas found himself heads-up against Alexander Lynskey, he had built up an impressive 8:1 chip advantage. In the final hand, Rojas limped on the button only for Lynskey to shove with the [poker card="9c"][poker card="6c"]. Rojas snap-called with the [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"], leaving Lynskey in dire straits. That is, until the [poker card="qc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"] flop hit the felt, giving him two pair. Now it was Rojas who needed to improve, and he did so quickly on the [poker card="qh"] turn, giving him a bigger two pair. The [poker card="5h"] completed the board, and that meant victory for Rojas. When asked how he felt about capturing the first bracelet for Venezuela, Rojas laughed, "I don't know, maybe tomorrow I will know!" Final table payouts: Joseph Di Rosa Rojas- $690,469 Alexander Lynskey - $426,663 Jeffrey Tomlinson - $307,728 Tim Reilly - $224,316 Julian Stuer - $165,277 Faraz Jaka - $123,105 Andrew Jernigan - $92,705 Pratik Ghatge- $70,590 Maurice Hawkins - $54,356 Brian Brubaker takes down $1,500 Triple Draw Deuce for $109,967 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Brian Brubaker topped the 326-player field in the ,500 Triple Draw Deuce to Seven (WSOP photo)[/caption] While he’s not a household poker name like Moorman, Los Angeles-based mixed game pro Brian Brubaker showed his worth on Friday by winning the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw. First prize in this event was $109,967, and it would take two hours of heads-up play against start-of-final table chipleader Brendan Taylor before Brubaker could capture his first gold bracelet. The entire final table only took five hours, showing how much of a battle the final duel was. Rewinding back to the start of the final table, the first players to fall wereRick Fuller and Dean Kerl in sixth and fifth respectively, before professional German soccer player Max Kruse exited in fourth, taking his rowdy rail with him. Jason Riesenberg then busted in third, leaving Taylor - seeking his second gold bracelet - up against Brubaker. The lead swung back and forth several times, but ultimately Brubaker began to pull away, grinding down his opponent. In the final hand Brubaker patted a nine-low, and Taylor held a four-card eight-low before drawing one. He had outs, but it came an eight on the river to pair his hand, giving Brubaker the victory. "It was a lot of fun. Pretty intense, there were a lot of swings throughout the final table," Brubaker said. "Luckily, I pretty much just won the majority of the [heads-up] pots and went straight up. "I guess I'm pretty good at draw altogether, especially in a tournament," he added. "I make some adjustments in tournaments I think are successful. I don't know if they're necessarily what other people would say are good. But, I've been successful with it and now I have something to prove it.” Final table payouts Brian Brubaker - $109,967 Brendan Taylor - $67,952 Jason Riesenberg - $43,597 Max Kruse - $28,740 Dean Kerl - $19,482 Rick Fuller - $13,591 Eddy Sabat bags chip lead in $2,500 No Limit Hold’em Day 2 of Event #29 has seen the 1,086 starting field decrease to just 30 players, all of whom with return on Saturday. Eddy Sabat holds the most chips with 1.86 million, followed by Asi Moshe (921K) and Tom Thomas(861K). Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson is also still in contention (712K), as is Chi Zhang (674K), Giuseppe Pantaleo (568K), Curt Kohlberg(376K), John Dolan(305K), Jonathan Abdellatif(252K), 2015 November Niner Federico Butteroni (236K), and start-of-the-day chip leader Pablo Fernandez(132K). The prize pool of $2,443,500 has created a healthy first-place prize of $456,822. Play resumes on Saturday with all players guaranteed $10,868. Top 10 chip counts: Eddy Sabat - 1,866,000 Asi Moshe - 921,000 Tom Thomas - 861,000 Jamie Armstrong - 756,000 Scott Margereson - 712,000 NAME REDACTED - 676,000 Chi Zhang - 674,000 James Calvo - 572,000 Giuseppe Pantaleo - 568,000 Charalampos Lappas - 526,000 Daniel Negreanu leads $10K H.O.R.S.E finale As Day 2 neared its end, Daniel Negreanu managed to increase his chip lead and will come into Saturday’s Day 3 of the $10,000 HORSE Championship way out in front. Just 15 of the 150 players who started remain, including recent two-time bracelet winner David Bach, three-time bracelet winner Brian Rast, and five-time bracelet winner Jason Mercier, who also happens to be the defending champion. There’s $383,208 for the winner, but all that will be on Negreanu’s mind after several close calls will be the gold bracelet. If he can capture it, it’ll be his seventh. Play resumes at 2pm Saturday. Final 15 chip counts Daniel Negreanu - 1,213,000 Scott Bohlman - 756,000 Don Zewin - 704,000 Richard Chase - 647,000 David Bach - 572,000 Brian Rast - 553,000 Jason Mercier - 541,000 Yuebin Guo - 513,000 Jerry Wong - 457,000 Eric Rodawig - 334,000 Mack Lee - 319,000 Anthony Zinno - 283,000 Andrew Brown - 282,000 Phillip Wallace - 226,000 Mark Gregorich - 137,000 Senior’s Event and $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo kick off Two more tournaments got started on Friday: the $1,000 Senior’s No Limit Hold’em Championship, and the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix. A massive starting field of 5,389 entered the Senior’s, with 809 making the money. Well, we ended Day 1 with just 694, meaning the bubble burst on Day 1 and everyone is already guaranteed $1,587, but all have their eyes set on the $617,303 first-place prize. The mean leading the way when the chips were bagged was Kevin Dowling, who managed to spin his 5,000 starting stack up to 160,800. Also returning for Day 2 will be Georgios Karakousis (158,300), Martinus Kaspers (157,300), Jim Earnest (142,600), David James (135,000),Greg Raymer (101,400), defending champion Johnnie Craig (95,000), Dan Heimiller (22,500), Bill Klein (23,300), Cliff Josephy(19,900) and Joe Somerville (7,000). Chris Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, Billy Baxter, Mike Sexton, Men Nguyen, and Barry Greenstein all entered, but failed to bag chips. Top 10 chip counts Kevin Dowling - 160,800 Georgios Karakousis - 158,300 Martinus Kaspers - 157,300 David James - 142,600 Jim Earnest - 135,000 Bill Maness - 121,300 Jim Ernest - 114,000 Gina Bacon - 108,500 Greg Raymer - 101,400 Dan Schmiech - 101,400 Meanwhile over in the Omaha event, it was Daniel Zack who ended the day on top with 92,375. The 688 field was whittled down to 224, and there are plenty of well-knowns returning tomorrow. A few of those who made it through include Igor Sharaskin (85,500), Allen Kessler (73,450), Leif Force (70,050), Sam Farha (43,775), Lee Markholt (32,900), Nikolai Yakovenko (32,800), Yuval Bronshtein (28,125), Mike Matusow (23,175), Phil Hellmuth(21,650), Rob Mizrachi (18,850), Mike Sexton (18,450) and Benny Glaser(15,300). Top 10 chip counts Daniel Zack - 92,375 Igor Sharaskin - 85,500 Allen Kessler - 73,450 Leif Force - 70,050 David Brookshire - 58,300 Alan Sternberg - 44,000 Sam Farha - 43,775 Orlando Romero - 41,575 Regina Hampton - 37,300 Stephen Johnson - 36,100
  8. [caption width="640"] The WSOP Circuit is heading to Argentina for the first time ever and 888poker can help you get there.[/caption] 888pokeris taking the WSOP Circuit to Argentina for the first time in August, with more South American events to be announced over the next few weeks. As part of 888poker’s ongoing partnership and exclusive sponsorship with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, this exciting new event will take place at the Casino Iguazu in Puerto Iguazú, from August 2-8. Not only will there be the expected Main Event, but the popular Crazy Eights side Event will also be heading down old South America way. Large prizes and six WSOPC rings will be up for grabs. Itai Pazner, the Senior Vice President & Head of B2C at 888 Holdings, said the company is delighted to have renewed their WSOPC sponsorship, with the ongoing mission being to expand 888poker, and poker in general, to South America. “This renewed partnership is testament to our increasingly dominant position in the industry and our commitment to making live poker accessible and affordable to as many players possible, the world over,” he said. “We are very excited and proud to be bringing the most popular poker series in the world to the renowned Casino Iguazú, one of the most acclaimed casinos in South America. This is an amazing opportunity to be part of the world’s biggest and most prestigious live tournament, from as little as 1¢. I wish all our players the best of luck!” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart also shared his enthusiasm. “We are thrilled to reach South America with this exciting event in Argentina,” he said. “We are optimistic the event will be well supported and we can continue to host bigger and better events each year”. The location chosen in Argentina seemingly couldn’t be better. Casino Iguazu is situated right on the Argentinian borders with Paraguay and Brazil, and it’s not short of sightseeing attractions. Players will be trying for a WSOPC championship just minutes way from the Iguazu falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. With the local attractions and tropical climate, it’s certainly not the worst place to bust out of a tournament. Ferando Bianchi, the Marketing Director at Casino Iguazu, said: “Casino Iguazu has been one of the most well-known entertainment centers in South America for more than twenty years. “Widely acknowledged as one of the leaders of amusement and sophistication at an international level, the luxury facilities are already in motion to welcome players who will battle for this chapter of the most important Poker Series of the planet”. As you’d expect, 888poker will be running multi-step satellite tournaments into the South American WSOPC events. And don’t forget, you could still win your way to Las Vegas this summer to take part in the Main Event. There are seven Steps satellites, starting from $1c, and a 2017 WSOP Las Vegas Main Event package worth $12,500 up for grabs. If you don’t already have an 888poker account yet, sign up through this link and you’ll get a 100% bonus up to a maximum of $700. You'll also get a free $10 on top of the first $10 you deposit available to you right away and you can start playing your way to Argentina!
  9. [caption width="640"] Canadian Pablo Mariz took down the ,500 Millionaire Maker Wednesday at the 2017 WSOP (WSOP photo)[/caption] It took 20 events at the 2017 World Series of Poker for Canada to bag its first bracelet of the year, but that win has come in one of the biggest ROI spin ups available on the schedule. While a Canadian took down the Millionaire Maker, Wednesday (14th) also saw a Limit Hold’em champ crowned, a big stretch in the Marathon, a stacked Razz final table formed, and more. Millionaire Maker Makes Mariz a millionaire After four days of play, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker has come to an end. The final table lasted 161 hands over seven and a half hours, but in the end there was just one man left: Pablo Mariz of Canada, who’s now $1,221,407 richer. Mariz, a 27-year-old online pro from Montreal, had to battle his way through the 7,761 field to get to a tough final table, which included Hollywood Poker Open champ Dejuante Alexander, and Ireland’s Marc MacDonnell. The latter of those two got a bit unlucky to eventually bust in fourth, after calling all in with pocket jacks from the big blind against Alexander Farahi’s small-blind shove with king-nine offsuit. A king on the flop and another on the turn left MacDonnell drawing to two jacks, neither of which appeared on the river. It got down to heads-up play between Mariz and Alexander, who held the chip lead, and in one of the first hands of the duel Alexander was close to winning it all. The chips were all in with pocket aces for Alexander and pocket threes for Mariz, but a miracle three on the flop gave Mariz a big double up. That left Alexander with 13 big blinds, who then hit a miracle of his own. He was all in with king-three against ace-ten, and a king on the river kept him alive. In fact, from there he battled to take the lead, but Mariz fought back. In the final hand, Alexander shoved with ace-three and Mariz called with queen-jack. A queen landed on the river to give Mariz the win. “I couldn't believe it," Mariz said after the win. "I had to double check that it was a queen, especially the queen of spades. That [same card] saved me yesterday in an all-in situation against jacks when I was a shorter stack. So [with] the queen of spades on the river, I just won the $1.2 million with the same queen. An unreal feeling.” Final table payouts Pablo Mariz - $1,221,407 Dejuante Alexander - $754,499 Alexander Farahi - $561,530 Marc MacDonnell - $420,805 Bryce Yockey - $317,544 Yuriy Boyko - $241,303 Jonathan Gray - $184,663 Thiago Grigoletti - $142,323 Hector Martin - $110,476 Faraz Jaka leads final 56 in The Marathon (Event #23) It’s been a long hard slog for those playing in the slow-structured Marathon event, but at the end of Day 3 just 56 remain. Several big names sit at the top of the chip counts, including overall leader Faraz Jaka(2.83 million), Maurice Hawkins (2.42 million), and two-time bracelet winner John Phan(2.37 million). The bubble finally burst at the beginning of the day, with 268 players returning but only 264 making the money. Pascal Hartmann was the unfortunate bubble boy, but while he couldn’t survive others thrived. Other notables who made it through to Day 4 include Ana Marquez (1,03 million), recent two-time bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva (799K), Eric Baldwin (617,000) and two-time bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell(401,000). Keep an eye on three-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos too, who despite being short-stacked with 218K is still in contention for his second win of the summer. Play resumes at 12pm Thursday, with $690,469 for the eventual winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Faraz Jaka - 2,838,000 Maurice Hawkins - 2,423,000 John Phan - 2,374,000 Xixiang Luo - 1,622,000 Joseph Di Rosa Rojas - 1,613,000 Joshua Smith - 1,604,000 Maxim Sorokin - 1,567,000 Darryl Ronconi - 1,206,000 Samuel Phillips - 1,200,000 Alex Massman - 1,195,000 Shane Buchwald wins Limit Hold’em bracelet in WSOP debut [caption width="640"] One bracelet event played, one bracelet won for Shane Buchwald (WSOP photo)[/caption] Just about every poker player dreams of playing in a WSOP event, and capturing a gold bracelet. Winning one in your very first attempt, however, is a little farfetched. Unless your name is Shane Buchwald, who took down his first bracelet yesterday in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em (Event #24) in his first ever WSOP tournament. But Buchwald, who banked $177,985 for his victory, is no stranger to the game; he’s an online pro originally from Utah who now lives in Brazil. "I was here and not planning on playing poker, but my friend is a limit hold'em regular and he wanted to play this," said Buchwald. "I got here and registered after a 25-hour flight. I was falling asleep during the last four levels of the first day. But I built up a stack and I ran really well." Buchwald overcame a field of 616, 15 of which returned for beginning of Day 3. Barry Greenstein was still alive, eventually busting in 11th, before Buchwald went on a final table killing spree, eliminating three of the final six players to take down the title. Final Table Results Shane Buchwald - $177,985
 Sandy Tayi - $109,968
 Ray Henson - $75,780 
 Shane Fumerton - $53,102 
 Nancy Nguyen - $37,850 
 Hod Berman - $27,449 
 Kevin Lizak - $20,261 
 Mark Bassaly - $15,225 
 Tung Tran - $11,652 $1,500 PLO down to final 11 Of the 1,058 players who entered Event #25, the $,1500 PLO, only 102 returned on Wednesday to play Day 2. When the chips were bagged, only 11 remain, and it’s Igor Sharaskin who’s out in front. WAY out in front. This is Sharaskin’s second PLO Day 3 in back-to-back events, and he has more than double the stack of his nearest competitor, Casey Carroll. Michael Mizrachi had a deep run, as did Jason Stockfish, James Chen, Christopher Frank, and current Ireland no.1 online player Toby ‘Jobytoyce’ Joyce. All remaining players are guaranteed $10,129, with $179,126 up top. Play resumes at 12pm Thursday. Final 11 Chip Counts Igor Sharaskin - 1,470,000 Casey Carroll - 667,000 Tyler Groth - 577,000 Allan Le - 504,000 Daniel Spencer - 399,000 Darren Taylor - 350,000 Jonathan Zarin - 333,000 Adam Brown - 292,000 Mark Zullo - 289,000 Jesse Chinni - 277,000 Bruno Politano - 135,000 James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst leads Razz final table What a summer it’s already been for Australia’s James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst. With two final tables and four cashes already under his belt, he now holds the chip lead going into the final table of the $10,000 Razz Championship. He’ll have quite a battle on his hands to win his first bracelet though. Multiple bracelet winners Brandon Shack-Harris and Nick Schulman, as well as all-round crushers David ‘ODB’ Baker and Anthony Zinno, will be trying to stand in Obst’s way. A total of 97 players took a shot in this event, meaning plenty of big names fell during Day 2’s action. Among those included Ted Forrest in 14th ($16,437), Steven Chidwick in 11th ($18,668), and Owais Ahmed in 10th ($21,946). The final table kicks off at 2pm, with $265,138 awaiting the eventual winner. Final Table Chip Counts James Obst - 818,000 Andrey Zhigalov - 782,000 David "ODB" Baker - 757,000 Eric Kurtzman - 737,000 Brandon Shack-Harris - 587,000 Anthony Zinno - 508,000 Jyri Merivirta - 281,000 Nick Schulman - 238,000 Jack Duong - 148,000 Day 1s of $3K 6-Max and $1,500 2-7 in the books While two tournaments were crowning champions, two more were just getting started. The popular $3K Six-Max No Limit tournament (Event #27)attracted 959 runners, and when the chip bags were brought out at the end of play only 202 were left. Craig Varnell bagged the chip lead, ever-so-slightly ahead of Jeff Coddington. Other notables still seeking six-max glory include Andrew Spears, Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson, Jeremy Ausmus, Vanessa Selbst, Igor Kurganov, recent bracelet winner David Pham, Gaelle Buamann, and Mike Watson. Only 144 will make the money, and at the top of the payouts sits $498,682 for first. Well-known players who contributed to the $2.58 million prize pool but busted during Day 1 include Doug Polk, Eddy Sabat, Fabrice Soulier, Justin Bonomo, Cate Hall, Martin Jacobson, Greg Merson, Olivier Busquet, Jonathan Duhamel, David Peters, and Griffin Benger. Top 10 Day 1 chip counts: Craig Varnell - 202,600 Jeff Coddington - 202,400 Andy Spears - 193,200 Joshua Gibson - 190,900 Jerry Payne - 185,700 Josh Bergman - 185,500 Julien Martini - 180,600 Ryan Jones - 174,200 Marcos Antunes - 170,300 Scott Margereson - 162,300 The other tournament kicking off was Event #28 - the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw. That got 326 entrants, with 61 Day 1 survivors. Mark Roland is the overnight chip leader, while the rest of the survivors include a plethora of multiple bracelet winners including Ian Johns, Rep Porter, Shaun Deeb, Max Pescatori, Rob Mizrachi, Michael Gathy, Jonathan Duhamel, Luis Velador, Chris Bjorin and Daniel Negreanu. The bubble bursts at 49 players, with $109,967 going to the winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Mark Roland - 116,600 Jordan Siegel - 101,400 Brian Brubaker - 86,600 Rick Fuller - 80,900 Jon Turner - 75,500 Yuval Bronshtein - 71,800 Helge Stjernvang - 70,600 Tim Finne - 65,000 Ian Johns - 64,400 Frank Athey - 64,400
  10. One of the most popular products that Doug Polk and Ryan Fee’s new endeavor, UpSwing Poker offers is ‘The Poker Lab’, and with Polk taking down the World Series of Poker $111,111 One Drop tournament earlier this summer for $3.7 million, it’s a training platform that many more people are going to be interested in. So let’s break down what you get when you sign up for UpSwing Poker’s Poker Lab. What’s in the Lab? The Poker Lab consists of 35 learning modules, with a promise of a new module being added every month from here on. These modules include topics like ‘An introduction to being a gangster’, which will teach you how to fight for pots; ‘Ranges quiz’ which will test and improve your knowledge on certain range aspects; and ‘How to play the river’, which is pretty self-explanatory. There are also 40 theory videos from Polk himself, in which ‘WCG|Rider’ explains his thought processes in certain spots and teaches viewers how to put them into practice. A new 30-minute ‘Play and explain’ video will also be added every week, so users can watch Polk and Fee in action. You’ll be able to study dozens of hand ranges, so you can learn how to split your ranges in certain situations both pre-flop and post-flop. And the ‘Foundations’ section is ideal for poker beginners, giving you an introduction to multiple poker concepts. For more experienced players, the ‘Game Elements’ section will no doubt be invaluable. Polk describes it as: “The often overlooked, but perhaps the single biggest separating factor between mediocre/losing players and those that crush the game. Game selection strategy, bankroll management, poker software learning, mental game, and mental biases – all taught by Doug Polk.” Perhaps one of the most valuable sections of the Poker Lab is ‘UpSwing Poker Engaged’; a social platform which users can use to not only engage with each other to discuss strategy, but also with Polk, Fee and many other players who are on hand to provide feedback. How much does it cost? The UpSwing Poker Lab is split into three price-ranges, which break down as follows: The Monthly Plan: This plan normally costs $99 for the first month, and then $49 every month after that. It gives users 100% access to all modules in the Lab. PocketFives members get the first month for just $79 - a $20 savings - and then $49 per month after that. The Yearly Plan: This plan normally runs at $499 a year, which is to be paid in one installment, and it too gives users 100% access to all modules in the Lab. PocketFives members pay only $449 - a $50 savings. The Semi-Annual Plan: This plan costs $299 per six months, so users can limit the amount they have to pay in one go. Compared with the Monthly Plan users will save $40 per year, and it gives users 100% access to all modules in the Lab. PocketFives members pay just $269 for this plan - a $30 savings. To purchase any of these discounted products, use coupon code 'pocket5s' at checkout.
  11. [caption width="640"] Doug Polk has three WSOP bracelets to his credit and is willing to teach you his secrets for heads-up No Limit Hold'em (WSOP photo)[/caption] Having won his third World Series of Poker bracelet and $3,686,865 by taking down the One Drop High Roller earlier this month, Doug Polk has further cemented himself as one of the best poker players in the world, and only increased the level of demand for his Upswing Poker coaching products. Last September, the prolific YouTuber took down a $5,200 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em High Roller event on partypoker whilst thousands watched on; but as we all know, Polk is better known for his years grinding heads-up No Limit Hold’em cash games. He’s returned to these roots by releasing an Advanced Heads-Up Mastery Course on UpSwingPoker.com, his training site set up in collaboration with fellow high stakes pro Ryan Fee. Let’s take a look at what the course involves. Content breakdown The course itself consists of 28 hours of material, plus an additional six hours of analysis derived from the ‘brains versus AI’ challenge which took place earlier this year. Of course, to make that amount of content a little less intimidating, the course is split into ten different sections: An overall introduction to the course Preflop introduction Preflop three-bet and four-bet pots Postflop introduction Small blind single raised pots Big blind single raised pots Big blind three-bet pots Small blind three-bet pots Four-bet pots Play and explain Each section has multiple sub-sections, and as a whole the course contains more than 80 individual videos. Use coupon code 'pocket5s' to get the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery Course for just $949 - a $50 savings. Join Doug Polk as he shows you his*secrets to winning at Heads-Up poker. Let the three-time WSOP bracelet winner take your poker skills to another level Buy it now!Nosebleed superstars The final section, Play and explain, is a series of 11 videos featuring Polk playing heads-up against Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky, so it will undoubtedly feature some in-depth, high level thinking from the nosebleeds. But Polk is keen to point out that only this end part of the course is structured this way. In his own words: “It is NOT a bunch of play and explains. In fact, there are only a couple play and explain videos (from a $100/$200 HUNL match I played against Sauce last year). Instead, it is more of a walk through of all of the different branches of the game tree, with an emphasis on breaking down your combinations across all actions that are important to your strategy.” Despite this, the course does also promise some hand history reviews from Polk’s battles against the likes of Isildur, Wilhasha, and Jungleman. Polk’s promises Like all training courses, customers need to know what they’re likely to take away from it after the fact. So what should a poker player expect to happen to their game having studied through the course? According to Polk, the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery Course will give you a “leg-up” on other players, and will make you “a MUCH, MUCH better poker player”. This will be achieved by imparting more balanced HUNL ranges, that should give the customer “the confidence to sit down at ANY heads-up or six-max table and take on anyone.”
  12. [caption width="640"] Troy ‘teckidtq’ Quenneville and his girlfriend Paulina[/caption] Back in November 2016, when Canadian Troy ‘teckidtq’ Quenneville turned up to play some live poker at the World Poker Tour partypoker Million festival in Punta Cana, the regs probably didn’t think anything of him. After all, he had just two live cashes to his name, combined to the tune of $559. But Troy was something of a Trojan horse. He ended up winning $220K for a runner-up finish in the $5K World Poker Tour main event, followed by victory in the $2,500 partypoker Million for $400,000. This Trojan horse won $620,000 in just a few days. “My recent success can be best credited to confidence,” Quenneville tells me. “I have continued to study and talk with the players whose games I respect the most and that allows me to stay ahead of the curve and outplay my opponents at the highest stakes available to online NLHE MTT players.” Quenneville cut his teeth on the online felt, where he’s racked up more than $3.5 million in tournament winnings. He’s also been on an online tear of late, with his two biggest career cashes coming in the months of February and March. First he won the Super Tuesday for $75K, then he took down the partypoker Super High Roller for $51K. His story, like so many others, began back with the Moneymaker boom. “It started with friends in a basement and progressed to where I was amongst a community of some of the very best MTT players living in a beautiful beach town in Costa Rica,” he says. “But while I was happy, variance was getting the best of me. I lost for two years and while deep down I knew I was playing winning poker, it’s so difficult to remain confident when so many people around you are most focused on results. “I decided it was time I completed my degree. I then had a Mechanical Engineering degree in my hand and no money in my pockets and all I could think of was my one true passion. I was being pressured by my parents to find a job and move out, but I knew I had to follow my passion, and while it still seems crazy given my results at the time, I truly believed in myself. There were some people whose opinions I respected the most in poker who believed in me, and one of them gave me a chance.” As we obviously know now, it was an excellent decision and that belief paid off. “From the very start, things went great. I was doing nothing but winning and we ended our deal on good terms when I wanted to play the highest stakes. I found a new backer who was able to give me that opportunity and we won a package to the Caribbean Poker Party in the final satellite offered. There were two tournaments there I was interested in playing.” And wouldn’t you know it? Quenneville finished in second place and first place in the back-to-back events. “Thankfully my heads up match in the WPT $5K only lasted one hand, because it allowed me to register the partypoker $2M guaranteed with just five minutes to spare. I went on to win that event for $400K and my first real live title by a long shot. It’s still sinking in. But the run good hasn’t slowed down as you can see with my recent online scores. “I do hope to play more live, but don’t expect to find me at the World Series Of Poker all summer paying 30% taxes and dealing with egos and ignorance that are pumped up tenfold in Las Vegas. So yeah, I prefer my desk.” With trips to Panama in the bag (“My two best friends finished sixth and 11th in the Main Event and I ended up profiting over $100K on the week” he says), Quenneville is now in Macau for the PokerStars Championship with his roommate Otter8759, and good friends munchenHB, APJennings, and David 'dpeters17' Peters. When he’s not on the road, though, he calls Costa Rica home. “My normal life consists of fine foods, golfing, relaxing and traveling, hopefully all with my girlfriend Paulina. We live in San Jose, Costa Rica in the tallest building in the country, which makes for beautiful mountainous views but makes the earthquakes a little extra scary. We love it there, and life has never been better. “I would like to thank my parents most of all, for giving me every opportunity growing up and teaching me great values. But I am grown up now, Mom, so let me breathe!”
  13. [caption width="640"] Germany's 'Pappadogg' has his sites set on being the #1-ranked player in the world.[/caption] They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but even when you’ve been playing poker for years you always need to be learning and improving, both on and off the tables. Just ask 'Pappadogg' - a player who has just broke into the worldwide top ten rankings for the first time, currently sitting in the #7 spot. “I have been on a pretty crazy run for about the last six months,” says 'Pappadogg', who asked for his real identity to be kept secret. And he’s not lying: on January 2 he took down the partypoker Title Fight for $41K. That was followed by a partypoker Uppercut victory for $10K, a partypoker PowerFest win for $55K, and on February 5 he took down the PokerStars Sunday Supersonic for $35K. “Before, I was always doing decently but never really had a big breakthrough. I started changing a lot of things in my life in the last year and have been taking a much more professional approach towards poker, improving a lot of things on and off the poker table. “I like getting my body and mind sharp before a poker session, especially Sundays where I take my time to prepare.” He fills his free time with different sports like fitness, kickboxing, running and football. “I have made it a habit of mine to create a better version of myself every day, so I also do a lot of reading and spiritual things like meditation for my mind. No doubt that I have been running very good, but I live by the philosophy that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.” So, what do we know about 'Pappadogg'? Well, he’s 24, originally from Bavaria, Germany, and now lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he is the #1 ranked player in the country. “I started off very early, when I was 14,” he said. “I have kind of the typical poker boom story. I saw the World Series of Poker on TV and started out playing home games with friends. Soon I realized that I was winning more often than the others and started playing play money and freerolls online.” After winning his first $25 in a freeroll, there was no looking back. 'Pappadogg' started playing cash games, and eventually began playing tournaments too, with decent success in both areas. “I built my bankroll greatly by achieving Supernova Elite in 2011 from playing mid-stakes cash, and then started playing tournaments more regularly. I never really had a big breakthrough score but was making decent money pretty steadily until last year. “I definitely didn’t reach my full potential. As mentioned, I started changing things last year around July/August. After a great European Poker Tour Barcelona trip, I followed it up with a great World Championship of Online Poker and since then have been on a steady winning streak.” That great WCOOP involved a win in Event #48 (a $215 NLHE Progressive KO tournament) for $52K. He’s now hoping he can ride that winning streak all the way to world #1 spot. “I am very competitive and thus naturally it is my goal to become number one in the world. Right now there is still a big gap to the top as there are a couple of players who are really tearing it up at the moment. But I will get my chance sooner or later." “I want to start playing some more live too, and winning a big major is definitely a big dream of mine.” 'Pappadogg' credits 'Team Sky' - a small group of German and Dutch cash players - for contributing to his recent success (“you will definitely hear more of us in the future,” he predicts). He also thanks his family, hometown friends, and poker mind coach Elliot Roe, who he started working with in August 2016. But aside from trying to get the #1 spot, what’s next for him? “I live in Prague but I am on the verge of moving to Vienna,” he says. “I spent two great years in Prague, but I’m really looking forward to a change of scenery with new opportunities.”
  14. [caption width="640"] John Duthie brings over a decade of experience to the partypoker Live project (PokerNews photo)[/caption] Having founded the European Poker Tour (EPT) back in 2004 and served as the tour’s Chief Executive Officer for eight years, John Duthie is now back in the live poker world with a new role as President of partypoker LIVE. partypoker said in a release that they are “delighted” to announce their new hire, who has agreed to a five-year deal with the company. In his new role, Duthie will oversee and guide partypoker LIVE, the site’s new global poker tour that was announced in January. “I have been impressed with the progress of partypoker and in particular the number of trusted, experienced and well respected individuals and organisations that have chosen to put their support behind the partypoker brand,” Duthie said. “I believe there is a gap in the market for an operator whose primary focus is poker and who will listen to, and work with, the poker community as this was something that was absolutely key to the growth and success of the EPT.” Under Duthie’s watch, the EPT became a giant in the live poker world, producing some of the largest and most prestigious poker tournaments on the planet. He resigned from his role as EPT CEO back in 2012, by which point the tour was in its eighth season. After Season 13 ended in Prague in December 2016, the EPT has now been re-branded as the PokerStars Championship. Duthie now hopes to surpass his previous success with the EPT, which he also credited for much of PokerStars’ success. “I still love the game just as much as the first time I saw my first flop and I believe this passion will help partypoker LIVE become the largest and most fun poker tour in the world,” he said. “I plan to enjoy myself immensely working with and meeting old friends.” Tom Waters, Managing Director of partypoker, commented: “We are thrilled that John has joined us at the beginning of this journey. Very few people in the world have made such a significant contribution to poker and his experience, relationships and understanding of players will be a huge asset to us. “Our guarantees are ambitious but our marketing strategy is to provide value to players instead of investing money outside of the poker community and we are confident that with John’s guidance we can optimise this strategy for the benefit of the live poker market. “partypoker LIVE will offer a minimum of $5M GTD for $5K buy-in, $1M GTD for $1K buy-in and $500K GTD for $200 buy-in, and we plan to visit as many continents and countries as possible. All events will feature at least one Online Day 1 for players who have limited time to spend away from home or simply wish to reduce their expenses. We love our holiday themed events such as the Caribbean Poker Party and are planning more of these.” Duthie is considered a legend of not only British poker but the game in general. He has more than $3.2 million in live earnings to his name, perhaps most notably winning the groundbreaking inaugural Poker Million back in 2000. His name is often mentioned in consideration for the Poker Hall of Fame. Take a look at the partypoker LIVE confirmed events for 2017 below. In addition to those previously announced, a new event has now been confirmed: the partypoker Million Germany. The €1,100 Main Event comes with a €1 million guarantee and will run June 1st – 5th at King’s Casino, Rozvadov. · Mar 23rd-27th partypoker Million Sochi [Sochi Casino & Resort] $1M GTE [$1,100 buy-in] · Apr 6th-10th partypoker Grand Prix Austria [CCC Montesino] €500K GTE [€225 buy-in] · Apr 18th-23rd partypoker MILLIONS [Dusk Till Dawn] £6M GTE [£5,300 buy-in] · Apr 25th–May 1st partypoker Grand Prix Canada [Playground] CA$500K GTE [CA$220 buy-in] · April 27th–May 1st partypoker Grand Prix Germany [Kings Casino] €500k GTE [€225 buy-in] · May 5th–10th partypoker Million North America [Playground] CAD$5M GTE [CAD$5,300 buy-in] · June 1st – 5th partypoker Million Germany [Kings Casino] €1M GTE [€1,100 buy-in] For more information including details of satellites and Online Day 1’s to these events click here.
  15. [caption width="640"] The third annual American Poker Awards go February 23 in Beverly Hills, California[/caption] Wednesday morning saw the announcement of all nominations for the third annual Global Poker Index American Poker Awards, which take place Thursday February 23 at the Sofitel Beverley Hills in Los Angeles. It’s World Poker Tour host and all-round legend of the game Mike Sexton who headlines the nominations with three. Sexton is up for Tournament Performance of the Year and Moment of the Year for his win at the WPT Montreal. Away from the tables, Sexton has also been recognized in the Best Media Content category for his book Life’s a Gamble. Joining Sexton in the Tournament Performance of the Year category are Ari Engel for his Aussie Millions Main Event win, Kristen Bicknell for her bracelet victory in the WSOP No Limit Hold'em Bounty event, and Maurice Hawkins for his WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event success. Engel and Hawkins are also both nominated for Breakout Performance of the Year, along with Ankush Mandavia and Sam Soverel. PocketFives’ very own President and Editor In Chief Lance Bradley is up for two awards: Best Media Content for his article Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey, and for Media Person of the Year. “It’s such an honor to be nominated for two American Poker Awards. In both categories I’m thrilled to find myself amongst people that are not only colleagues, but friends as well,” said Bradley. “The fact that my piece about Bob and Charlie has resonated with so many, both inside and outside of the poker world, means the world to me. Being able to write stories like that is one of the many, many reasons I love covering poker.” Up against Bradley for Media Person of the Year are Sarah Herring, Joe Stapleton and David Tuchman. Meanwhile, joining Sexton and Bradley in Media Content of the Year recognition are Matthew Showell for Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong and Jason Somerville for his Aussie Millions Twitch stream. The Moment of the Year category is sure to be an interesting one. You have Griffin Benger’s infamous AA vs KK clash with William Kassouf in the WSOP Main Event; Jason Mercier’s WSOP heater that saw him win two bracelets, come second in another event (and almost bank an extra $1.8 million from Vanessa Selbst); David Peters finishing third at EPT Prague to snatch the GPI Player of the Year title from Fedor Holz; and the aforementioned Sexton WPT victory. Two new awards have been introduced this year: Twitch Streamer of the Year and Podcast of the Year. The nominees for Twitch Streamer are a line-up of the usual suspects: Jason ‘jcarverpoker’ Somerville, Jaime ‘PokerStaples’ Staples, Kevin ‘KevinMartin987’ Martin and Parker ‘TonkaaaP’ Talbot. Daniel Negreanu (Full Contact Poker) is up against Joe Ingram (Poker Life Podcast), Matthew Parvis and Sarah Herring (PokerNews Podcast) and Adam Schwartz, Terrence Chan and Ross Henry (TwoPlusTwo PokerCast) in the Podcast of the Year category. The only awards that have already been decided go to David Peters and Cate Hall for GPI Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year, respectively. For all nominations, see below. TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Kristen Bicknell, WSOP No Limit Hold’em Bounty Ari Engel, Aussie Millions Main Event Maurice Hawkins, WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event Mike Sexton, WPT Montreal MOMENT OF THE YEAR Griffin Benger’s AA vs William Kassouf’s KK showdown in the WSOP Main Event Jason Mercier goes on historic one-week heater at the World Series of Poker David Peters, needing 3rd at EPT Prague to take GPI PoY from Fedor Holz, does exactly that Mike Sexton mounts incredible comeback to win first WPT title in Montreal BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Ari Engel Maurice Hawkins Ankush Mandavia Sam Soverel EVENT OF THE YEAR Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, FL Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas WSOP Main Event, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Bellagio, Las Vegas MID-MAJOR CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Heartland Poker Tour Mid-States Poker Tour WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Tony Burns, Seminole Hard Rock Tournament Director Jack Effel, WSOP VP International Poker Operations & WSOP Director Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations Matt Savage, WPT Executive Tour Director & TDA Founder MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley Sarah Herring Joseph Stapleton David Tuchman PODCAST OF THE YEAR Full Contact Poker (Daniel Negreanu) Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram) PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Matthew Parvis) TwoPlusTwo Podcast (Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives) Life’s a Gamble (Mike Sexton) Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong (Matthew Showell, PokerListings) Twitch coverage of the Aussie Millions (Jason Somerville) TWITCH STREAMER OF THE YEAR Kevin Martin 'KevinMartin987' Jason Somerville 'jcarverpoker' Jaime Staples 'PokerStaples' Parker Talbot 'tonkaaaP' *Finalists for Twitch Streamer of the Year were selected by Twitch, however the members of the GPI American Poker Awards Jury will select the winner of this year’s Award.
  16. [caption width="640"] Tom Koral won his first WSOP bracelet on Friday, despite facing a 17:1 heads-up chip deficit (WSOP photo)[/caption] Yet another busy day is in the books at the2017 World Series of Poker. There's just the one new bracelet to tell you about from Friday, but it set up some exciting play for tomorrow. Saturday will see a final table take place in the$10,000 PLO 8-handed Championship, plus a lot more. Here’s a full run through Friday’s action. Tom Koral Takes own $1,500 Seven Card Stud for First Bracelet The only man to enter the winner’s circle Friday was Tom Koral, a 33-year old pro from Chicago. He’s been playing at the WSOP for more than a decade now, and has been at five final tables in that time. But he finally claimed his first bracelet last night, taking down the $1,500 Seven Card Stud for $96,907. "Honestly, I still think it's going to take a little bit to soak in," said Koral after the tournament. "I've been coming here since 2005, so 13 years I've been at the World Series and cashing events. I don't know. Finally, it happened.... I love poker, I love the game, so it's really a blessing to finally have a World Series bracelet. I know after a 13-year journey how hard it is to get one.” A total of 298 players began this tournament three days ago, but Koral seemed destined for a final table all the way through. He finished with a top 10 stack on Day 1, and was chip leader after Day 2. When he got to heads-up play against Tsong Lin, Lin held a 17:1 chip lead. However, Koral managed to double up in the very first hand, and from there battled back to even and eventually to the win. Koral added: ”You're going to have to get pretty lucky at some point, and you really have to just trust your reads all the way through, because the second you stop trusting your reads is when you're gonna get run over by an aggressive player." Final table payouts: Tom Koral - $96,907 Tsong Lin - $59,894 Yueqi Zhu - $41,349 Alexander Freund - $29,102 Todd Bui - $20,888 Cheryl Denzik - $15,297 Daniel Mogavero - $11,433 Chris Tryba - $8,726 Scott Clements Leads Final 8 in $10K Pot Limit Omaha Just eight players remain in the coveted $10,000 PLO Eight Handed Championship event, and it’s Scott ‘BigRiskky’ Clements who has the final table chip lead. The other notable name joining the two-time Omaha bracelet winner is Ireland’s 2011 November Niner Eoghan O’Dea, who sits third in the chip counts. This prestigious event attracted 428 players, with 39 remaining at the beginning of Friday’s play. Clements led the way then, and still does. Some of those we lost throughout the day include Christopher Frank (39th, for $19,500), Dermot Blain (36th for $19,500), Bobby Oboodi(35th for $19,500), Mike Gorodinsky (23rd for $26,167), Johnny Lodden(19th for $26,167), John Racener (17th for $26,167), Ben Lamb (15th for $31,337), and John Monnette (14th for $38,347). There’s $938,732 for the eventual champ - can Clements win bracelet #3? Final table chip counts: Scott Clements - 5,480,000 Tommy Le - 4,065,000 Eoghan O’Dea - 2,895,000 Hani Mio - 2,720,000 Jason DeWitt - 2,560,000 Chris Lee - 2,135,000 Miltiadis Kyriakides - 1,275,000 Murat Tulek - 425,000 Big Names Remain in $5K No Limit Hold’em The 623 starting field of Event #56, the$5,000 No Limit Hold’em, has been whittled down to just 32 after Friday’s Day 2. Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast, Juha Helppi and Mike Sowers all remain with top-10 chip counts, which you can find below. Also still in contention are Damian Salas(481,000), Ravi Raghavan (467,000), Mike Watson(445,000), Matt Stout (389,000), Barny Boatman (361,000), Pierre Neuville (320,000), Matt Affleck (304,000), Aditya Agarwal(201,000), Andy Spears (197,000), and Darren Rabinowitz (174,000). Play resumes on Saturday, with $618,285 going to the winner. Top 10 chip counts: Marton Czuczor - 1,352,000 Norberto Korn - 1,098,000 Donis Agnelli - 980,000 Ari Engel - 977,000 Simon Lam - 785,000 Mike Vanier - 709,000 Yaron Zeev Malki - 681,000 Dietrich Fast - 672,000 Juha Helppi - 658,000 Mike Sowers - 652,000 Luneau, Bleznick, Greenstein Seek Mixed-Game Bracelet Saturday will be an exciting day for mixed-game fans as the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix will play down to a winner. Just 14 of the 405 entrants still remain and again, there are some big names still looking for the win. Alex Luneau and Jared Bleznick, two online cash game legends, sit first and second in the counts and both are seeking their first bracelet. Meanwhile, in fifth sits WSOP Hall of Famer and three-time bracelet winner Barry Greenstein is hunting bracelet #4. Play resumes at 2pm Saturday with $215,902 up top. Final 14 chip counts: Alex Luneau - 783,000 Jared Bleznick - 679,000 Smith Sirisakorn - 548,000 Larry Tull - 418,000 Barry Greenstein - 417,000 Chad Eveslage - 414,000 Bonnie Rossi - 365,000 John Sorgen - 295,000 Jameson Painter - 257,000 Mikhail Semin - 249,000 Esther Taylor - 189,000 Naoya Kihara - 185,000 Samoeun Mon - 165,000 Abdel Hamid - 121,000 Kabrhel and Negreanu Have Great Day 1s Two new events got started on Friday: Event #58: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, and Event # 59: $2,500 Big Bet Mix. In the former, the Czech Republic’s Martin Kabrhel bagged up the chip lead, topping the 265 who made it through to Day 2. In total, 1,763 players entered, but some of those who couldn’t survive include James Woods, Kristen Bicknell, Allen Cunningham, Dominik Nitsche, Phil Hellmuth, and Paul Wasicka. However, it was a better day for the likes of Kenny Hallaert, Chance Kornuth, Asi Moshe, Phil Laak and Andre Akkari, all of whom with return on Saturday. The winner of this one will bank $395,918. Top 10 chip counts: Martin Kabrhel - 235,000 Artur Rudziankov - 173,400 Andreas Christoforou - 152,000 Denis Timofeev - 151,800 Felipe Leme - 145,200 Ricardo Hernandez - 136,900 Arash Ghaneian - 135,000 Mario Prats - 131,300 Kenny Hallaert - 130,600 Giovanniluigi Zarcone - 127,800 Meanwhile in the $2,500 Big Bet Mix, it was a great day for Daniel Negreanu. He finished second in the chip counts, behind only Iraj Parvizi. 179 players began this event on Friday, but when the chip bags were brought out just 55 remained. Among the survivors are Jerry Wong (98,275), David “ODB” Baker(130,200), Jason Mercier (43,250), Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson(94,250), Mike Matusow (40,875), Ryan Hughes(126,025), and Brandon Cantu(75,300). First place will win $112,232, and coming back Saturday they’re just seven off the money. Top 10 chip counts: Iraj Parvizi - 210,000 Daniel Negreanu - 165,025 David "ODB" Baker - 130,200 Brian Rast - 126,750 Ryan Hughes - 126,025 Andrew Kelsall - 108,525 Jerry Wong - 98,275 Michael Laake - 97,000 Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson - 94,250 Tuan Le - 89,000
  17. [caption width="640"] Joe McKeehen added a second bracelet to his list of poker accomplishments on Wednesday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Three more bracelet winners to tell you about from Wednesday at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Two of them have broken through and taken down their first WSOP gold, while the other broke through in the biggest way back in 2015 by winning the Main Event. That, and more, in today’s round-up. 2015 World Champ Adds Second WSOP Gold Remember Joe McKeehen from the TV two years ago? You should, because since he took down the Main Event for $7.68 million, McKeehen hasn’t stopped crushing. He finished runner-up in a $100K PCA High Roller for $1.2 million, final tabled a WPT (3rd for $249K), final tabled the $111K Little One for One Drop (6th for $829K), and has won a bunch in Aria $25Ks. The crushing continued last night as McKeehen took down the $10K Limit Hold’em Championship (Event #38) for $311,817. Unlike the Main Event where he had the chip lead and rode it to the title, McKeehen came into the final table as the shortstack. It was a tough final table too, with the likes of Sorel Mizzi, recent bracelet winner Ben Yu, JC Tran, and Terrence Chan in the mix. Eventually though, McKeehen got three-handed with Jared Talarico and Mizzi. He won a huge pot off the latter when he rivered a better full house after Mizzi had flopped a set, and that gave him a huge chip lead heads up against Talarico. "It's limit hold’em. You can get really short but if you win some hands you'll have all the chips," said McKeehen. "I had a great run.” Players who went deep in this event but busted before the final table include the defending champIan Johns (11th - $21,318), Shaun Deeb (12th - $21,318), Daniel Negreanu (13th -$17,894), and Phil Hellmuth (16th - $15,385). Final table payouts Joe McKeehen - $311,817 Jared Talarico - $192,717 Sorel Mizzi - $135,985 Ben Yu - $97,904 JC Tran - $71,949 Robert Campbell - $53,995 Ray Henson - $41,399 Terrence Chan - $32,443 Aaron Sacks - $26,000 Nadar Kakhmazov defeats Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen heads-up for $5K Six Max title [caption width="640"] It's been a busy - and profitable - month for Nadar Kazhmazov (WSOP photo)[/caption] It’s always great when we see a perennial PocketFives all star get a big score out on the live felt. But while former PocketFives #1 player Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen ended up runner up in the $5K Six-Max (Event #35), he also collected $358,677 for his efforts. The man he couldn’t get past was Nadar Kakhmazov, who wins his first gold bracelet and Russia’s second of the series. Oh, and let’s forget about the $580,338 first-place prize. Kakhmazov was up against a tough final table, featuring start-of-day chip leader Faraz Jaka, high roller regular Sam Soverel, 2016 November Niner and2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker winner Kenny Hallert, and Hunichen himself. When the two got heads up, Kakhmazov had a huge chip lead and would never be caught. This is Kakhmazov’s second big score of the summer, after he also won a Venetian event for $440,029. "I am very happy," Kakhmazov said after the win. "I have wanted to do this for three years but every time I lose two big pots deep in the tournament. I like it. I’m happy.” "I try all the time to play better and better. It’s great for Russian poker. I'm going to play the 10K 6-Max now, and then the 25K PLO, the Main Event. I’m feeling too good!” Final table payouts: Nadar Kakhmazov - $580,338 Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen - $358,677 Kenny Hallaert - $238,855 Sam Soverel - $162,257 Faraz Jaka - $112,585 Christian Rudolph - $79,611 Thomas Reynolds overcomes huge $1K field to win first bracelet [caption width="640"] Thomas Reynolds beat out 2,019 other players to win the first bracelet of his career (WSOP photo)[/caption] More than 2,000 players (2,020 to be exact) took their shot in the $1K No Limit Hold’em (Event #37), but after a grueling Day 3 and two long days before that, we now have a champ: Thomas Reynolds. Prior to this event, Reynolds’ biggest poker win was $2,255. You can multiply that by more than 100, as yesterday Reynolds won $292,880, his first bracelet, and his first tournament victory. He made his way through a final table line-up that included Romania’s Vlad Darie (6th - $52,932), Germany’s Michael Gathy(5th - $70,884), and his eventual heads-up opponent, James Hughes of the USA. Their duel went on for some time, which might explain the somewhat loose call Reynolds made in the final hand. On a [poker card="8c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3d"] board, Hughes jammed with the [poker card="9s"][poker card="9d"] and Reynolds called with the bigger stack and the [poker card="jd"][poker card="6d"] for straight and flush draws. The river came the [poker card="2d"] to give him the win. "I love playing poker. My wife's very understanding.” Reynolds said. "It feels kinda unreal to tell you the truth, but you know, it's something I wanted to try to do. It's an amazing feeling.” "I'm glad I didn't know there were that many pros. It probably would've put more pressure on me.” A few notables who cashed in this one include Anthony Spinella (23rd place - $9,209), defending champion Chase Bianchi (28th place - $7,492), Mark Seif (48th place - $5,131), Ryan Laplante (52nd place - $5,131), and Barry Greenstein (61st place - $4,319). Final table payouts: Thomas Reynolds - $292,880 James Hughes - $180,919 Reginald Hampton - $131,061 Eric Blair - $95,899 Michael Gathy - $70,884 Vlad Darie - $52,932 Chris Johnson - $39,937 Chad Eveslage - $30,448 Joep Raemaekers - $23,460 Multi-bracelet Winners Deep in $1,500 Seven Card Stud With just 16 remaining in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #40), there’s no shortage of decent story lines. Steve Jelinek has the overnight chip lead, but you’ve also got six-time bracelet winner Ted Forrest sitting third on the counts, plus four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatorisitting in seventh. Pescatori’s fellow Italian Walter Trecarichiis also still alive, as is Justin Bonomo, and ‘Theory of Poker’ author and two-time bracelet winner David Sklansky. He’ll be looking to take down the $173,228 winner’s prize for some additional Sklansky dollars. Play resumes on Thursday. Final 16 Chip Counts Steve Jelinek - 481,000 Hal Rotholz - 445,000 Ted Forrest - 416,000 Don Zewin - 408,000 Barbara Lewis - 407,000 William Kohler - 330,000 Max Pescatori - 324,000 Walter Treccarichi - 285,000 Eric Pratt - 269,000 Tim Finne - 234,000 Justin Bonomo - 210,000 Ernest Bohn - 169,000 Shannon Petluck - 159,000 Dimitrios Magdalinos - 136,000 David Sklansky - 117,000 Jack Rosenfeldt - 73,000 Day 1 of $1,500 PLO and $10K Six-Max in The Books Two tournaments kicked off yesterday: the $1,500 PLO (Event #41), and one of the more prestigious tournaments on the schedule, the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed Championship (Event #42). The 870-strong field in the PLO was whittled down to 138, and with the bubble bursting at 131 they’re just seven from the money. A min-cash is worth $2,249, while there’s $231,483 for the eventual winner. The man on top of the counts overnight is Chun Lawwith 179,100, joined by Kyle Knecht(148,400) and Philip Hayes(139,000). Other notables returning tomorrow include Toby Lewis (125,200), David Williams (71,700), TJ Cloutier (52,500), Joe Cada (29,900), Jeff Lisandro(25,000) and defending champion Jiaqi Xu(10,200). Not everyone could make it through of course. Phil Hellmuth, John Racener, Benny Glaser, Anthony Zinno, Michael Mizrachi, Barry Greenstein, Brandon Shack-Harris, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Serock and Jason Mercier all took a shot but busted before the day ended. Play resumes at 12pm Thursday. Top 10 chip counts: Chun Law - 179,100 Kyle Knecht - 148,400 Philip Hayes - 139,000 Judah Bolser - 137,800 Toby Lewis - 125,200 Shankar Pillai - 120,400 Willy Ding - 105,200 Jason Stockfish - 105,100 Christopher Delgrande - 101,000 Cesar Garcia - 100,300 Meanwhile, over in Event #42, the $10K Six-Max Championship, it’s Grayson ‘Gray31’ Ramagewho bagged the chip lead with 527,700. Just 129 of the 332 starters remain, and joining Ramage in the big stack club include Sam Stein (364,500) and two-time bracelet winner Cliff ‘Johnny Bax’ Josephy (330,300). There’s $775,923 up top for the winner of this event, with 50 players cashing. Some more big stacks for your list include Ryan Leng (298,400), Goran Mandic(258,800), Rainer Kempe(254,400), Matt Berkey (253,000), Kristen Bicknell(239,400), Andrew Lichtenberger (214,100), Olivier Busquet(201,400), and Charlie ‘Epiphany77’ Carrel (197,700). All the big names return at 2pm Thursday. Grayson Ramage - 527,700 Sam Stein - 364,500 William Stevenson - 355,100 Cliff Josephy - 330,300 Ryan Leng - 298,400 Goran Mandic - 258,500 Rainer Kempe - 254,400 Matt Berkey - 253,000 Mohsin Charania - 246,900 Matt O’Donnell - 245,600
  18. [caption width="640"] David Bach grabbed his second bracelet of the 2017 WSOP by taking down the ,000 HORSE Championship (WSOP photo)[/caption] We have the first multiple bracelet winner of the 2017 World Series of Poker, ladies and gentlemen. But before we give away his name, there was plenty of action elsewhere at the Rio too. Two players will be returning Sunday to duel in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em, the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Loand Senior’s event recorded another day, and the $10K 2-7 Triple Draw Championship finished up its opening day. Here’s a recap of everything that went down on Saturday. Guess who’s Bach in the winner’s circle… The cowboy hat, shades and beard of David Bach should be a familiar sight by now. After all, Bach won his second bracelet only a week or so ago in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event. Well, he’s now captured his second bracelet of the summer and third overall in the $10K HORSE Championship, having outlasted a tough final table that included the likes of five-time bracelet winner and defending champion Jason Mercier (5th - $83,415), six-time bracelet winner and start-of-day chip leader Daniel Negreanu (6th - $61,667), and serial final-tablistAnthony Zinno (9th - $28,808). Bach won $383,208, having defeated Eric Rodawig after a healthy heads-up bout. The final hand came in Omaha Hi-Lo, in which Bach opened and Rodawig called to see a [poker card="qc"][poker card="kh"][poker card="ac"] flop. Bach continued and Rodawig shoved, which was called. Bach had the [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"] for top pair, which was ahead of Rodawig’s [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3s"] for nines and a flush draw. The board bricked out for him, leaving him a runner-up finish and $236,841. Bach is no doubt a HORSE specialist, as his first bracelet and biggest career score came when he took down the $50,000 HORSE World Championship (now known as the Poker Player’s Championship) in 2009 for $1,276,802. "I'm running well and I fell like I'm playing well,” Bach said after the victory. "I pride myself on being able to play with anybody.” Final table payouts David Bach - $383,208 Eric Rodawig - $236,841 Don Zewin - $163,557 Andrew Brown - $115,485 Jason Mercier - $83,415 Daniel Negreanu - $61,667 Yuebin Guo - $46,687 Jerry Wong - $36,218 Anthony Zinno - $28,808 Calvo and Raina to battle heads-up tomorrow In the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em (Event #29), play got all the way down to just two players, before coming to an end for the night. Those left are James Calvo (9.6 million) and Gaurav Raina(4 million) who will return to duel it out at 1 PM PT Sunday. Bracelet winners Eddy Sabat and Asi Moshe bowed out in fourth and third respectively. There were 30 players who kicked off the day, and some of the more notable bust-outs during play include Jonathan Abdellatif(27th), Curt Kohlberg (26th), Federico Butteroni(24th), John Dolan (22nd) and Day 1 chip leader Pablo Fernandez (19th) for $13,186 each. Calvo and Raina will be playing for $456,822 and the bracelet, while the runner up will get $282,276. Howard Smith bags Omaha Hi-Lo lead Over in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix, Day 2 saw the 688 starting field whittled down even further to just 29 survivors. The man with the most overnight is Howard Smith, who bagged up 466,500. He’s got stiff competition though, perhaps most notably from all-round Omaha 2017 WSOP crusher Igor Sharaskin (445K). Sharaskin has already has a fifth and a third in Omaha events this summer for a combined $140K. Other players who will be returning tomorrow include Vladimir Shchemelev(256,000), Mark Herm(200,000), Nikolai Yakovenko (120,000), Allyn Shulman (109,500), Allen Kessler (74,500), and recent bracelet winner John Racener (27,000). Play resumes at 2 PM PT Sunday, where there’ll get as close a winner as possible before coming back Monday to close it out. The winner of this event will get $194,323. Top 10 chip counts Howard Smith - 466,500 Erle Mankin - 465,000 Yueqi Zhu - 448,500 Igor Sharaskin - 445,000 Rock Howard - 383,500 Danny Woolard - 350,500 Vladimir Shchemelev - 256,000 Mark Herm - 200,000 Tai Nguyen - 170,000 Matthew Sanner - 169,000 Valentin Vornicu ends another Day 1 on top Having ended Day 1B of the Giant as chipleader late on Friday night, Valentin Vornicu had another great day at the felt on Saturday. When all was said and done after Day 1 of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em (Event #33), he managed to bag up 198K, the most of any of the 274 survivors. Other notables who made it through include Jason Les(146,600),Nacho Barbero (116,200), Joseph Cheong (83,200), Christopher Frank (82,400), four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori(74,500), five-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham (52,400), Pratyush Buddiga(49,400), and Niall Farrell (48,600). Rewind to the start of play and this tournament had 1,698 entrants, creating a $2.3 million prize pool, of which $384,833 will go to the winner. A total of 255 players will make the money, meaning they’ll be approaching the bubble early on Sunday. Top 10 chip counts Valentin Vornicu - 198,000 Paul Awodey - 169,300 Jonathan Abdellatif - 168,400 Blake Bohn - 156,700 Patrick Uzan - 155,500 Jason Les - 146,600 Heidi May - 142,500 Arkadiy Tsinis - 142,000 Johann Tiemann - 140,900 Artem Zverkhovskyy - 133,000 Dan Heimiller on track for second Senior’s bracelet Only 66 of the 5,389 Seniors who ponied up the $1,000 entry fee in Event #31 remain, and the man who bagged the most chips is very familiar with this particular tournament. Dan Heimiller took this one down in 2014 for his first gold bracelet, and he leads the pack here too, bagging up just over a million chips. His nearest competitor is Eluterio Rodriguez with 983,000, while the third-place chip count goes toPaul Spitzberg with 859,000. Other notable stacks belong to David Michaud(836,000), Gina Bacon(788,000), Anthony Licastro (645,000), and Bill Klein (480,000). The huge turnout means there’s a massive $617,303 for the eventual champ. We know for sure that it won’t be defending champion Johnnie Craig, Cliff Josephy, Grey Raymer, Per Hildebrand, or Barny Boatman, as they all busted during Saturday’s action. Play resumes at 11am Sunday, with all players guaranteed $4,030. Top 10 chip counts Dan Heimiller - 1,021,000 Eluterio Rodriguez - 983,000 Paul Spitzberg - 859,000 David Michaud - 836,000 Dieter Dechant - 814,000 Gina Bacon - 788,000 Kelley Brown - 741,000 Federico Castaing - 730,000 Calvin Roberts - 685,000 Randall Davis - 642,000 Adam Owen leads in $10K Deuce No doubt a familiar name to many PocketFivers, Adam ‘adamyid’ Owen has secured the overnight chip lead after Day 1 of the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship (Event #34). The British mixed-game crusher bagged up 336,000, and after four top ten finishes in the past will be looking to go all the way and secure his first gold bracelet. If he manages to do so, he’ll also collect $232,738. There’s a long way to go yet though, as 26 players of the 80 who started still remain. As you’d expect in a $10K mixed event, the line-up returning on Sunday is pretty darn solid. You’ve got Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk (264,500) who recently finished third in the Spring Championship of Online Poker $25K for almost $400K, as well as Mike Watson (261,500), recent bracelet winner James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst (227K), David Benyamine (223,500), Anthony Zinno (204K), Shaun Deeb (117,000), Mike Matusow (90,500), Todd Brunson (31,000) and JC Tran(17,500). They’ll all be back at 2pm Sunday. Top 10 chip counts Adam Owen - 336,000 Robert Campbell - 291,000 Chris Kruk - 264,500 Mike Watson - 261,500 Mike Ross - 248,000 James Obst - 227,000 David Benyamine - 223,500 Anthony Zinno - 204,000 Georgii Belianin - 184,000 Konstantin Puchkov - 180,500
  19. [caption width="640"] Tyler Smith topped the biggest Pot Limit Omaha field ever to win his first WSOP bracelet (WSOP photo)[/caption] The second weekend of the 2017 World Series of Poker has come to an end, so while you sip your Monday morning coffee and prepare yourself for another week, why not catch up on all of Sunday’s action from the Rio? Tyler Smith wins first bracelet in largest ever live Pot Limit Omaha event Last year’s $565 PLO tournament attracted a staggering 2,479 entries. Pot Limit Omaha might be the ‘great game’ to some, but to many it’s still unexplored water. How refreshing, then, to see that this year’s $565 PLO (Event #18) shattered last year’s turnout, bringing 3,186 runners into the Rio, and creating the largest ever live PLO tournament. Late Sunday night, when all was said and done, just one man remained with the chips, the cash, and his first gold bracelet: Tyler Smith, now $244,344 richer. Smith battled his way through an international final table line-up, featuring Americans, Canadians, Russians, Czechs, and Belgians. And when Smith got heads-up with fellow American Jason Stockfish, it took him just one hand to get the job done. With a roughly 13:1 chip advantage, Smith opened to 600,000 before calling Stockfish’s all-in with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"]. Stockfish held the [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5h"], but after a [poker card="jh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="js"][poker card="2s"] runout, Smith’s ace-queen held up to take it down. ”It feels amazing," said Smith. "You know, when you enter these things and there are so many people, it's a minefield, but they seem unwinnable to an extent. So, kind of every level that you go and you make it a little bit further. It's like a surreal experience.” Primarily a cash game player, Smith added that his experience with the roller coaster ride of PLO helped him remain in the right frame of mind. "I guess I've just played so much PLO that I'm used to it,” he said. "I don't really play no-limit [hold'em] at all anymore. I'm pretty much exclusively a PLO guy. I guess you just expect it. You just understand that that is part of the landscape and that is the nature of the game. Whatever happens, just kind of happens." Final table payouts: Tyler Smith - $244,344 Jason Stockfish - $138,655 Igor Sharaskin - $102,045 Scott Davies - $75,699 Marek Ohnisko - $56,607 Jessie Bryant - $42,673 John Dallaire - $32,432 Ryan Wince - $24,852 Yves Kupfermunz - $19,201 Ten remain for $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed Finale (Event #21) Monday sees ten players return to the Rio to battle it out for the $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed bracelet. Among them are a couple of well-known Frenchman, and a guy whose closest WSOP run was ended by another well-known Frenchman. Gregory Jamison is the chipleader coming into the finale, having eliminated two players in a monster pot at the business end of Day 2 Sunday. Back in 2008 he finished runner-up to David Benyamine in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, so he’ll be hoping to go one better than that today. However, he’ll have to fight his way through two more formidable Frenchman, what with Fabrice Soulier and Alex ‘alexonmoon’ Luneau still in contention, sitting fifth and seventh in chips respectively. Soulier is aiming for his second WSOP bracelet, while anyone who saw Luneau in the excellent documentary ‘Nosebleed’ knows that winning one means a lot to him. He’s still seeking his first victory. The same can’t be said for Christopher Vitch, who’s also still alive in this one. Vitch took down his first bracelet at the 2016 WSOP in the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) (Event #40). Final Day chip counts: Gregory Jamison - 714,500 Ron Ware - 511,000 Sachin Bhargava - 470,000 Ryan Himes - 410,000 Fabrice Soulier - 346,000 Christopher Sensoli - 345,000 Alexandre Luneau - 310,500 Georgii Belianin - 168,000 Christopher Vitch - 148,000 Michael Ross - 118,500 Millionaire Maker Day 1B concludes One of the more exciting lower-buy-in events on the WSOP schedule is the $1,500 Millionaire Maker. While Day 1A took place on Saturday, Sunday saw 4,323 hopefuls take their seats on Day 1B, making a total field of 7,761. After a full day’s play, just 678 remained. The man who bagged the most yesterday was Brian Altman (227,800), followed by Billy Graybeal(209,200), Scott Skirba (207,500), Adam White (182,000), David Peters(173,200), Dustin Fox (168,600), and Kenny Hallaert (148,500). Just a few of the notable names who will return for Day 2 today include recent bracelet winners David Pham(68,500) and John Racener (32,100), plus Antonio Esfandiari (73,900), Joe Elpayaa (91,800), Dan O’Brien (65,300), Ravi Raghavan (108,000), Tristan Wade(19,400), Darryll Fish(63,600), Jeff Gross (9,000), Dutch Boyd(68,500), Johanssy Joseph (62,000), Matt Waxman (46,600), and Jake Bazeley (108,600). The 1,187 remaining players will be back to work at 11am Monday, with only 1,165 making the money. That means it’ll be bubble time almost from the get go. a min-cash is worth $2,249, but nobody wants just that; not when there’s $1,221,407 and a gold WSOP bracelet for the winner. A who’s who come out for the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship Sometimes referred to as the ‘Nick Schulman Invitational’, due to the fact that Schulman has won this event twice, the$10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship (Event #22) brought out all of the big guns, each allowed one re-entry. Ten one-hour levels saw 67 unique entries and 25 re-entries whittled down to 30 survivors, with Jon ‘Pearljammer’ Turner (367,300) and Mike Leah (361,500) leading the bunch. Other big stacks at the end of play include John Monnette (265,400), Robert Mizrachi(255,000), Shaun Deeb (230,700),Phil Galfond(223,100), Mike Watson (218,600) and Mike Gorodinsky (109,000). Schulman himself is also doing nicely, bagging up 186,000, good for ninth right now. Recent bracelet winner Jesse Martin also had a nice day (105,900), while all-round beast Paul Volpe also survived (97,700). It was not a good tournament for others though. Both Jason Mercier and Phil Hellmuth fired two bullets and won’t be returning, while Chris Klodnicki, Eric Wasserson Stephen Chidwick, Felipe Ramos, Richard Ashby, Jennifer Harman, Ben Tollerene, and Benny Glaser all tried their luck to no avail. Just fourteen players will make the money, and there’s $256,610 up top. The final 30 will play down to a final table today. Top 10 chip counts: Jon Turner - 367,300 Mike Leah - 361,500 John Monnette - 265,400 Robert Mizrachi - 255,000 Shaun Deeb - 230,700 Xavier Kyablue - 228,800 Phil Galfond - 223,100 Mike Watson - 218,600 Nick Schulman - 186,000 Darren Elias - 179,400
  20. ‘The luck of the Irish’ is a saying that comes with a certain amount of ridicule. Created in the late 19th century, when many of the most successful gold miners in America were Irish, it suggests that it was pure luck, rather than brains and skill, that led the Irish to success. For that reason, we would never use that saying when talking about online poker. Instead, through their brains and skill, many Irish poker players have been mining their fortunes online for years. Here are the top 10 Irish players in the world right now. 10. Conor ‘ccoonnoorr’ O’Driscoll In at number ten is Conor O’Driscoll, better known as ‘ccoonnoorr’ on PokerStars, ‘Hammmers' on Full Tilt and ‘godfryjones’ on 888.com. With more than $1.1 million in tournament earnings, O’Driscoll is clearly a force. What makes that amount more impressive, though, is that his biggest cash to date is just $17K, coming from a win in the Hotter $44 on PokerStars in January 2015. 9. Sean ‘monkeybudgie’ Prendiville Next up is Sean Prendiville, aka ‘monkeybudgie’. His biggest cash came back during the 2013 Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP), when he finished third in a $1,050 event for $145K. Prior to that, Prendiville had taken down the Sunday Brawl for $106K in 2010. All of his scores (which also include a Sunday Million final table and a SCOOP runner up finish) add up to the tune of $1.4 million. But Prendiville is also a great live player, with $630K in winnings. 8. danielt999 Yet another player with more than million in career winnings, danielt999 sits with just over $1.3 million right now. The player from Dublin banked $48K in November 2015 when he finished fifth in the Sunday Million. His next most notable cashes come from third place finishes in both the Sunday 500 and the Bigger $162, and a February 2017 win in the Mini Sunday Million for $25K. 7. SuitedAcesBaby SuitedAcesBaby is better known as ‘torino2000’ on PokerStars, where he’s amassed more than $1.8 million of his $2.7 million total winnings. SuitedAcesBaby has also won an incredible amount despite no six-figure scores. His biggest results come from a runner up finish in the 2016 888.com Super XL or $42K, and a win in the WHALE for $34K. Recently, he took down the Big $109 for just over $10K. 6. FoxyLisa FoxyLisa currently ranks second in Dublin with $1.8 million in online cashes. Of late, FoxyLisa finished second in the $55 Sunday Stack for $12K, and took down the Bounty Builder $109 for almost $9K (plus bounties). However, those results pale in comparison to the $148K he won on Full Tilt in a $1M GTD event back in 2010. FoxyLady has been in the game for over a decade, having notched a $131K score (also on Full Tilt) back in 2006. But he’s clearly still at the top of the game, winning $106K in last year’s SCOOP in a $700 6-Max event. 5. Noogaii Noogaii had a breakout year in 2016, when he took down a $320 World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) event for $144K, his biggest cash to date. That year he also won the Sunday Warm-Up for $53K, the Sunday Kickoff for $32K, the $109 Bubble Rush for $14K, and final tabled the Sunday Million for $48K. He’s carried that good streak into 2017, winning the Sunday Cooldown in February for $22K. However, Noogaii was winning big even when he was on the micro-stake grind. His biggest results also boast a MicroMillions $2 Rebuy event for $13K. 4. Tomas ‘luckymo32’ Geleziunas With $4.34 million in winnings, Tomas ‘luckymo32’ Geleziunas is clearly a beast. He’s also Lithuanian though, but as he’s based in Meath he’s on this list. He locked up a $201K score back during the 2013 WCOOP. The result that’s put him this high in the rankings is surely his recent SCOOP win. Geleziunas took down the SCOOP-11-M ($55+R PLO [6-Max], $100K Gtd) for just shy of $31K. 3. Dan ‘NukeTheFish’ Wilson One of Ireland’s most recognisable players currently on the live and online scene is Dan ‘NukeTheFish’ Wilson. Not only does he have $2.72 million from online results, but he has $650K in live winnings too, including victory in the 2016 Irish Open for $168K. Wilson’s three biggest online cashes came in 2015, when he finished second ($58K) and first ($37K) in the Sunday 500, and finished third in an FTOPS event for $30K. 2. Toby ‘Jobytoyce’ Joyce This player from Galway is not only second in Ireland, but is enjoying an all-time high worldwide position of 50. Toby ‘Jobytoyce’ Joyce has $1.9 million in winnings, bolstered by a recent win in the SCOOP-11-H ($530+R PLO [6-Max], $200K Gtd) for $87K - his biggest score to date. Next up on his highest cashes is a runner up in the 2013 MiniFTOPS Main Event for $79K, and a 2016 Sunday Warm-Up win for $53K. Joyce also has a FCOOP title to his name, plus $115K from the live felt. 1. James ‘Jaymo’ Noonan Ireland’s top online player right now is James ‘Jaymo’ Noonan, known as ‘deyrzuited’ on PokerStars. Despite no massive scores in recent months, it’s been Noonan’s consistency in his grind that puts him in the no.1 spot. He’s amassed $2.2 million throughout his career, with his biggest result coming in December 2016 when he placed fourth in the Million Dollar Sunday for $63K. Noonan has won an impressive total of 193 tournaments, so it’s no surprise to see him top this list.
  21. [caption width="640"] Brian Yoon won his third WSOP bracelet on Wednesday, and now has a seven figure score too (WSOP photo)[/caption] A new millionaire was made on Wednesday at the 2017 World Series of Poker. In total, two bracelets were handed out, a tournament played down to five players, another played down to seven, and three more clocked exciting days at the felt. Here’s a rundown of the action. More than a million for Yoon If there’s one thing you can say about Brian Yoon, it’s that the 27-year-old pro knows how to navigate large tournament fields. First he took down the $1,111 Little One for One Drop back in 2013 for $663K, besting 4,567 players. He returned to the WSOP in 2014 and won his second bracelet in a $5K event, beating 550 runners. Now Yoon has won his third career bracelet, having finished on top of the $1,500 Monster Stack’s 6,716-strong field for a massive $1,094,349 payday. “Getting this one in 2017 feels really good,” Yoon said. “It's my biggest score ever. I think that the way I approach this type of tournament is really good, and I'm really well-suited for it. I think I do a lot of things, a lot little adjustments, that other people don't do.” Whatever those adjustments are, they saw him beat out a tough final table which included Maurice Hawkins(6th - $213,591) and Will Failla (9th - $97,223). Heads up against BelarusianIhar Soika, Yoon had a 3:1 chip lead when Soika jammed with the [poker card="as"][poker card="8s"] and was called by the [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"]. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="7d"], before the [poker card="td"] hit the river to give Yoon the win. Final table payouts Brian Yoon - $1,094,349 Ihar Soika - $675,995 Stanley Lee - $501,353 Ryan Mcknight - $374,515 Yuliyan Kolev - $281,800 Maurice Hawkins - $213,591 Thomas Ryan - $163,087 Richard Ma - $125,451 Will Failla - $97,223 Five remain in $1,500 No Limit Bounty A tournament that has proved very popular with pros and recreational players alike is the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Bounty. Players who eliminate someone receive a $500 bounty chip, meaning if you bust out three players, then you’re free-rolling. A total of 1,927 players took a seat a few days ago, but now just five remain.Bryan Emory leads the finale, followed by James Gilbert, Chris Bolek, Zhaoxing Wang, and Tobias Peters. Some of the big names who returned on Wednesday but couldn’t survive include Tom ‘Jabracada’ Hall, Govert Metaal, and Harrison ‘gibler123’ Gimble. Play resumes on Thursday with $266,646 for the winner. Final Five Chip Counts Bryan Emory - 6,130,000 James Gilbert - 3,300,000 Chris Bolek - 1,700,000 Zhaoxing Wang - 1,675,000 Tobias Peters - 1,650,000 Bryce Yockey takes down $10K PLO Eight for $511K [caption width="640"] Bryce Yockey conquered a tough final table to win the K PLO 8 or Better Championship on Wednesday. (WSOP photo)[/caption] The other gold handed out on Wednesday went to Bryce Yockey, who came out on top in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for a $511,147 payday and his first career bracelet. "I just fucking came through,” Yockey said after his victory. "It feels really good. It's different than winning a $1,500 tournament. There's a lot of tough pros to get through. It felt good to get here." There were several big names who had made it through the 207 runners to join Yockey at the final table. Two-time bracelet winner Josh Arieh would eventually exit in third for $216,077, following Chris Ferguson’s fourth-place finish for $150,929. As Yockey himself says, this event was pretty darn popular too. "Every pro I talked to is like, 'Wow this was an amazing success,'" he said. "I think everyone who played it had a good time. I know two guys who flew in just to play this tournament.” Final table payouts Bryce Yockey - $511,147 Jeremy Joseph - $315,911 Josh Arieh - $216,077 Chris Ferguson - $150,929 Quentin Krueger - $107,709 Chris Roth - $78,569 Ray Henson - $58,612 Kate Hoang - $44,738 Mercier, Charania, Kempe still in $1,500 NLHE contention The smaller buy-in No Limit Hold’em events attract huge crowds, and this $1,500 event was no different. 1,580 runners took their shot, but after Wednesday’s Day 2 just 23 remain. There are some big names among them. Samuel Phillipsleads right now (1.28 million), but he’ll have stiff competition from the likes of WPT Five Diamond champ Mohsin Charania (1.04 million), five-time bracelet winner Jason Mercier (457K), and 2016 Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe (240K).Andy Frankenberger (525K) is also still seeking his third bracelet. There’s $364,438 up top in this one, with play resuming Thursday. Top 10 Chip Counts Samuel Phillips - 1,289,000 James Florence - 1,284,000 Brandon Ageloff - 1,200,000 Griffin Malatino - 1,114,000 Mohsin Charania - 1,045,000 Alexander Elias - 847,000 Andy Frankenberger - 525,000 Jack Allen - 459,000 Jason Mercier - 457,000 Yanki Koppel - 436,000 Max Silver leads $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em Finale Just seven players remain in the $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Max, and it’s the UK’s Max Silver who sits atop the chip counts. He’s chasing his first WSOP bracelet. Of the 256 players who started in this event, just 73 returned for Wednesday’s Day 2. Some of those who fell during the day’s play include Stuart Rutter, Jason Mercier, Andre Akkari, Jack Duong, Joseph Risi, Ray Henson, John Racener, and James Obst. There’s $172,645 for the eventual champ. Play resumes at 2pm Thursday. Final table chip counts: Max Silver - 1,021,000 Ayman Qutami - 792,000 Guowei Zhang - 510,000 Georgios Kapalas - 475,000 Mickey Craft - 445,000 Lena Wang - 395,000 David Olson - 97,000 Two Events Kick Off Wednesday saw two new tournaments start their Day 1s: Event #54: $10,000 Eight Handed Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. In the PLO Championship, 428 started and 186 made it through to Day 2. Sorin Drajneanu finished the day as chip leader, but the big news was that defending champion Brandon Shack-Harris finished fourth in the chip counts. He’s joined at the top by Johnny Lodden, Patrick Mahoney, and Dan Shak. This event is officially a record-breaker, beating last year’s turnout and creating a $938,732 first-place prize. Play resumes Thursday. Top 10 chip counts Sorin Drajneanu - 469,700 Andjelko Andrejevic - 369,400 Arvi Vainionkulma - 320,200 Brandon Shack-Harris - 301,200 Johnny Lodden - 270,000 Eddie Ochana - 269,000 Patrick Mahoney - 264,300 Dan Shak - 255,100 Randel Brown - 250,400 Corey Hochman - 247,500 Meanwhile, in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud, just 68 of the 298 starters survived. Bryan Slick bagged the chip lead with 92,400, followed by Jonathan Ulrich (77,300), John Bunch (69,000), and Joseph Cappello (66,000), and Marcel Luske(64,300). Andre Akkari and Adam ‘adamyid’ Owen are also still in the mix with 54,000 and 45,300 respectively. First place prize is $96,907, and Day 2 starts on Thursday. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Slick - 92,400 Jonathan Ulrich - 77,300 Joseph Cappello - 66,000 Marcel Luske - 64,300 Michael Harris - 61,700 Christopher Vitch - 61,700 Wesley Hickey - 58,400 Tom Koral - 58,200 Georgii Belianin - 55,000 Al Barbieri - 54,500
  22. [caption width="640"] On Saturday, John Racener won his first bracelet and dedicated the victory to his late mom (WSOP photo)[/caption] Saturday saw two gold bracelets won at the 2017 World Series of Poker. It also saw two events with massive fields record another day in the books. Without further ado, here’s a run through all of Saturday's action. John Racener wins first bracelet in $10K Dealer’s Choice Championship “I've been wanting this forever. I’ve got so many seconds and thirds. I have over $10 million in earnings, but no gold. I've just been wanting to win so bad. I didn't even look at the prize pool. I didn't even know what first place was. I just wanted to win the bracelet. It's all I really cared about. I don’t show much emotion, but when I finally got it, then it was time to celebrate.” Those are the passionate words of an emotional John Racener, the 2010 WSOP Main Event runner up, and your latest 2017 WSOP bracelet winner. Racener’s first taste of WSOP victory came in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship, a coveted event which attracted 102 of poker’s best. When it got down to a final table, there were still several big names remaining including two-time bracelet winner Viacheslav Zhukov, four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow, and 2013 One Drop High Roller runner-up Chris Klodnicki. Schuyler Thornton was the first to leave the final table, followed by the Mouth in fifth. Matusow met his demise in an A-5 Triple Draw hand with Klodnicki on the button. By the third draw Matusow was all-in against Zhukov, who then showed the wheel. Matusow mucked and was eliminated. Dennis Eichhorn then busted to Racener in fourth. Eichhorn had chosen to play Pot-Limit 2-7 Lowball, and a pre-draw raising war saw him get all his chips in. In the first draw, Eichhorn took two and Racener took one, before Racener stood pat after the second. Eichhorn tanked and eventually drew one card, which he’d do again on the third draw after Racener stood pat again. Racener showed an eight-six, and Eichhorn was unknowingly drawing dead on the third draw. Klodnicki busted in a pretty standard No Limit Hold’em hand, selected by Racener. He shoved his short stack with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"] and was called by Racener holding the dominating [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"], which held up. Sticking with what Racener considers his “best game”, he’d then win it in a No Limit Hold’em hand - the very first pot of heads-up play. Racener shoved with ace-jack and was Zhukov called with pocket sevens, and a jack on the flop (plus another on the river) was all she wrote. “You have to plan for success,” Racener said after his win. “I always said to myself that I wanted to win my first bracelet for my Mom. She's always been my biggest fan, and she still is from up above.” Racener’s mom passed away four years ago, having been diagnosed with cancer during her son’s 2010 Main Event run. However, Racener says she kept her illness a secret from him, so that he could be in the “best spot” to do well in the Main Event. "That's how much she cared about me. She didn't want me to be all upset or lose focus. “No matter what time of the day it was back home, with the three-hour time span, she would always stay up and sweat me online all night. Even if she had to get up for work at 8 am She would stay up and sweat me until she had to go to work. I just really wanted to win the first one for her.” Final Table Payouts John Racener - $273,962 Viacheslav Zhukov - $169,323 Chris Klodnicki - $117,786 Dennis Eichhorn - $83,263 Mike Matusow - $59,827 Schuyler Thornton - $43,707 Eric Crain - $32,474 James Obst - $32,474 Ben Yu - $24,546 Shawn Buchanan - $24,546 Anthony Marquez takes the gold in Event #16: $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'Em [caption width="640"] Anthony Marquez won the first bracelet of his career Saturday in the ,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'em (WSOP photo)[/caption] The second first-time champion to be crowed yesterday was Anthony Marquez, who came out on top in Event #16, the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'Em tournament. This one got 1,748 runners, so naturally there was going to be some stiff competition in the latter stages. That was certainly the case, as Marquez found himself on a final table which included Matt Berkey and Daniel Weinman. However, Berkey would bust out in fifth, following the elimination of Ilkin Amirov in sixth. The short-stacked Berkey moved all-in with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"], which was tank-called by Marquez holding the [poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="js"][poker card="8h"] flop was an interesting one, giving Berkey a flush and gutshot draw, while Marquez hit top pair. However, the board ran out [poker card="ah"] then [poker card="jd"], securing Marquez the knockout. We then had a double elimination, after Steven Buckner, Weinman and Marquez had a three-way all-in encounter. It was pocket jacks for Buckner, pocket kings for Weinman, and ace-king for Marquez; and after a brutal [poker card="9d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="4h"] runout, Marquez had made the wheel to eliminate both players. Heads-up play would end thanks to a bit of a cooler. On a ten-high flop, Demosthenes Kiriopoulos got all his money in with jack-ten, but found himself dominated by Marquez holding king-ten. He couldn’t find any help, and Marquez - a $100/$200 and $200/$400 Limit Hold’em cash grinder - took it down. "I'm overwhelmed," said Marquez, afterwards. "I'm kind of speechless. I've been knocking on the door. [I've made] a lot of Day 2's and now I'm over the hump. It feels so good. It's a dream come true." Final Table Payouts Anthony Marquez - $393,273 Demosthenes Kiriopoulos - $242,978 Daniel Weinman - $170,477 Steven Buckner - $121,114 Matt Berkey - $87,141 Ilkin Amirov - $63,506 Final table set in $565 PLO There were plenty of well-known casualties during Day 2 of Event #18, the $565 PLO. That’s because this event, which attracted a field of 3,186, broke the record for the largest ever live PLO tournament. The likes of Chris Ferguson, Dermot Blain, Erick Lindgren, Will Failla, Jason Mercier, Ankush Mandavia, Mark Radoja, JC Tran, Adam Owen, and Joey Ingram all made the money, but none could reach the bag-and-tag stage. Only nine players return for Sunday’s Day 3. They’re all playing for a $224,344 first-place prize; here’s how they stack up: Final Table Chip Counts Jessie Bryant - 3,245,000 Igor Sharaskin - 2,010,000 Scott Davies - 1,765,000 Yves Kupfermunz - 1,745,000 Jason Stockfish - 1,650,000 Ryan Wince - 1,610,000 Marek Ohnisko - 1,340,000 Tyler Smith - 1,335,000 John Dallaire - 1,210,000 Millionaire Maker and $1,500 8-Game Mix get going Day 1A of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker kicked off with a bang on Saturday, with 3,439 players taking their seats - more than last year’s 3,088 1A turnout. Just 535 of those runners will return for Day 2, and the man out in front right now is Boris Kolev with 290,700, followed by Barry Hutter (259,900), Scott Skirba (207,500), Michael Falson (191,700), Darwin Giles (185,000), Kevin Saul(146,200), and Jonas Wexler (150,000). Joe Cada (66,700) and ElkY (60,200) also made it through, but some of the notable names who didn’t include Carlos Mortenson, Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, Greg Raymer, Andy Frankenberger, Eddy Sabat, Olivier Busquet, Jeff Madsen, Chris Ferguson, Ari Engel, and Sam Abernathy. However, all of them can have another shot at the $1M first-place prize as they can enter Day 1B today (Sunday). Day 1A top counts: Boris Kolev - 290,700 Barry Hutter - 259,900 Scott Skriba - 207,500 Michael Falcon Ravn - 191,700 Darwin Giles - 185,000 Frank Stepuchin - 180,700 Andre Garcia - 169,300 Rick Jones - 154,300 Jonas Wexler - 153,200 Kevin Saul - 146,200 Meanwhile, it was also Day 1 of Event #21 - the $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed, which brought in 472 players. When the bags were brought out, just 106 had survived. Christiopher Vitch leads the bunch, but has stiff competition from the likes of Alex Luneau, Daniel Negreanu, Sam Grafton, David ‘ODB’ Baker, Shaun Deeb and Fabrice Soulier, all of whom sit in the top 10 counts. There will be $145,577 for the winner, and here are those closest right now: Christopher Vitch - 98,700 Alex Luneau - 72,400 Daniel Negreanu - 57,300 Ron Elkins - 55,900 Sam Grafton - 49,800 David "ODB" Baker - 49,600 Carol Fuchs - 48,000 Shaun Deeb - 44,800 Christopher Kirk - 44,600 Fabrice Soulier - 44,000
  23. [caption width="640"] It took Abe Mosseri just four hands on Wednesday to win his second career bracelet, beating Daniel Negreanu heads-up in the ,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (WSOP photo)[/caption] Wednesday proved to be a busier day than expected at the 2017 World Series of Poker. That’s in part due to the extra day needed for Event #9, the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Daniel Negreanu and Abe Mosseri paused their heads-up match at 2:30 am Tuesday evening to come back and finish it off Wednesday afternoon, and return they did. But while they were playing heads-up, The Colossus III crowned a champion, as did the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em (Event #10) and the $1,500 Dealers Choice(Event #11). Abe Mosseri defeats Daniel Negreanu to win his second bracelet After the long day/night prior, the heads-up battle for the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship was short and sweet for winner Abe Mosseri, who defeated Kid Poker in just four hands. Mosseri came into the duel with a 2:1 chip lead, and after three hands Negreanu’s stack had been reduced further. In the penultimate hand, Negreanu limped and Mosseri checked to see a [poker card="ts"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4s"] flop. A bet from Mosseri took it down, and brought Negreanu down to 750,000 (vs 6.95 million). Finally, on a [poker card="9c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"] flop, Negreanu bet, Mosseri raised, and Negreanu called all in. It was the [poker card="js"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"] for Negreanu (for one pair and a gutshot) against Mosseri’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] (one pair and an up-and-down draw). The [poker card="kh"] and [poker card="kc"] completed the board, meaning Mosseri’s kings and eights were best. That means Negreanu narrowly misses out on his seventh WSOP bracelet for the second time so far in this short series, having already final tabled the $10K Tag Team tournament. For his efforts he banks $240,290, while Mosseri collects $388,795 and his second gold bracelet. Abe Mosseri - $388,795 Daniel Negreanu - $240,290 Yarron Bendor - $166,895 Fabrice Soulier - $118,340 Ilya Dyment - $85,702 Ray Dehkharghani - $63,419 Anthony Zinno - $47,975 Mike Matusow - $37,120 John Monnette - $29,391 Bach’s back! Wins $1,500 Dealers Choice for $119,399 [caption width="640"] David Bach won the second bracelet of his career on Wednesday, taking down the ,500 Dealers Choice event (WSOP photo)[/caption] David Bach is best known for three things: his signature black cowboy hat; for winning the 2009 $50,000 HORSE Championship for $1,276,802; and his prowess in nearly every form of poker. He demonstrated exactly why those three things are synonymous with his name last night by winning the $1,500 Dealers Choice, a format that couldn’t be more perfect for the mixed-game specialist. In doing so, he joined the two-time bracelet winner’s club. Bach defeated an all-American final table to take this one down, but three days ago the event started with a field of 364 players, creating a prize pool of $491,400. David Bach - $119,399 Kevin Iacofano - $73,779 Christopher Sensoli - $47,629 Scott Milkey - $31,550 Anthony Arvidson - $21,460 Wook Kim - $14,998 Thomas Pomponio outlasts 18,000 to win THE COLOSSUS III and $1M [caption width="640"] New Jersey's Thomas Pomponio topped the biggest field of the summer, taking down the Colossus III (WSOP photo)[/caption] After what feels like forever (nine days, to be precise) the enormous $565 Colossus event found itself a winner. That man is Thomas Pomponio from New Jersey, and he’s now a millionaire. Rewinding to the start of play Wednesday, nine players returned to play out the final table, having battled their way through the 18,054-strong field. It was another all-American bunch, and it was a tough line-up to boot, featuring players including Matt Affleck, Luke Vrabel and Ralph Massey. Those three would ultimately be the first three to bust, followed by Erkut Yilmaz, Kent Coppock, Mark Babekov, and John Hanna. When Pomponio got heads-up against Taylor Black, the latter held the chip lead 55M to 35M. But a huge double with ace-king against ace-ten saw Pomponio take control. The two traded blows, but eventually Pomponio found a way to close it out. Black shoved with jack-eight and was called by ace-six, and Pomponio’s hand held up to gift him his first WSOP bracelet and $1million. Thomas Pomponio - $1,000,000 Taylor Black - $545,480 John Hanna - $406,474 Mark Babekov - $305,294 Kent Coppock - $230,564 Erkut Yilmaz - $175,208 Ralph Massey - $133,975 Matt Affleck - $103,090 Luke Vrabel - $79,827 Team Aditya Sushant - Nipun Java Become First Ever Indian Bracelet Winners [caption width="640"] The team of Aditya Sushant and Nipun Java topped the ,000 Tag Team event on Wednesday (WSOP photo)[/caption] We’ve been told by several Indian poker players that the game back home is booming in a way reminiscent of the Moneymaker era in the USA back in 2003/2004. If that’s the case, then India has two new poker heroes to look up to in Aditya Sushant and Nipun Java. The pair became the first ever Indian players to win bracelets when they took down the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'Em for $150,637. And they did it in style, with a miracle final hand giving them the win. Sushant had called the all-in of Pablo Mariz with the [poker card="as"][poker card="8h"] and was up against the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. The flop fell [poker card="qs"][poker card="qc"][poker card="3c"] giving Mariz and Guay trip queens, so Sushant and Java would need to get pretty lucky. That they did, as the [poker card="ac"] hit the turn followed by the [poker card="ad"] on the river to give them a better full house. This tournament had a total of 843 entries, which created a prize pool of $758,700. Aditya Sushant - Nipun Java: $150,637 Pablo Mariz - David Guay: $93,074 Kiryl Radzivonau - Mikhail Semin: $65,190 Charalampos Lappas - Georgios Zisimopoulos: $46,318 Mukul Pahuja - Jonas Wexler: $33,391 DJ MacKinnon - Esther Taylor: $24,430 Ryan Laplante - Sam Cohen: $18,143 Austin Buchanan - Lanie Foster: $13,680 Joseph Choueiri - Rafael Lopez - James Gibson: $10,475 Melissa Gillett leads final 27 in $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Event #12) The $1,500 No Limit events are always hugely popular, and Event #12 was no exception. On Tuesday, 1,739 players sat down to take their shot, but after Wednesday only 27 players remain. Melissa Gillett from Australia leads them all, followed by Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal, who has a shot of becoming India’s next bracelet winner. Roman Korenev, Phil Collins and David Pham are also still alive and in the mix. Here’s a look at the top 10 counts overnight: Melissa Gillett - 3,443,000 Aditya Agarwal - 1,286,000 Billy Rodgers - 1,277,000 Roman Korenev - 745,000 Nathan Pfluger - 653,000 Yu Li - 472,000 Matthew Mlsna - 464,000 Marquis Mccain - 460,000 Huihan Wu - 454,000 James Cerrotta - 418,000 Lee, Waxman, Kassela and Bleznick reach final table in $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Another exciting final table for fans of the mixed-games is due to take place today (Thursday). The $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw (Event #13) played down to a final table today, and it’s a pretty stacked line-up. Bernard Lee leads the remaining six, followed by Matthew Waxman, two-time bracelet winner Frank Kassela, Tim McGuigan, Stuart Rutter, and online legend Jared Bleznick. Benny Glaser narrowly missed out on another final table, busting out in seventh. Meanwhile, Kassela was POY in 2010, and is hunting his third WSOP bracelet. Here’s how the chips look: Bernard Lee - 571,000 Matt Waxman - 395,500 Frank Kassela - 365,500 Tim McGuigan - 299,500 Stuart Rutter - 268,000 Jared Bleznick - 97,500 Adam Dickson leads $1,500 HORSE; Ashby, Monnette, Shack-Harris, and Negreanu still alive A total of 736 players entered Event #14, the $1,500 HORSE, but after Day 1 only 168 remain. Adam Dickson has a huge chip lead (more than double his nearest competitor), and there are plenty of big names still bracelet hunting. Richard Ashby, John Monnette, Brandon Shack-Harris, Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Gorodinsky, Jason Mercier, Ronnie Bardah, Max Pescatori, David "Bakes" Baker, Kenna James, and Walter Treccarichi are just a few of the notables alive and kicking. Here’s how the top ten counts look: Adam Dickson - 180,300 Richard Ashby - 93,300 Chawki Fawaz - 92,500 Helen Ellis - 92,400 Pete Linton - 89,800 Karim Bevans - 81,500 Daniel Weinman - 81,300 Hasan Kural - 73,600 Todd Dakake - 71,600 Jeffrey Weiner- 71,300 Two Rounds Completed in $10K Heads-Up Championship Considered one of the more prestigious events on the Series schedule, the $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship (Event #15) had 129 entrants, playing down to just 32 after two rounds of play. There’s many a big name still in contention, including former Main Event champs Joe McKeehen, Ryan Riess and Joe Cada, Dan Smith, Charlie Carrel, Adrian Mateos, Olivier Busquet, Ryan Fee, Eric Wasserson, Dario Sammartino, Jason Mercier, Chance Kornuth and Erik Seidel, to name but a few. They’ll all return today to play down to a final, which will take place on Friday. This event created a $1,203,200 prize pool, and the winner will receive $336,656. The final 16 will make the money.
  24. We recently delved into the PocketFives rankings to give you a breakdown of Ireland’s top online tournament playersright now. We’re sticking in the Emerald Isle for this piece too. While all-time money lists in live poker are often skewed by small field, high roller cashes, online all-time lists are a little different. Career earnings are usually built by grinding, rather than large one-off cashes. For Ireland’s all-time money winner, though, it’s a bit both. Let’s take a look at the Ireland’s top five money winners. 5. Dan ‘NukeTheFish’ Wilson Career earnings: $2,726,660 The first of two players to make both this list as well as the current top 10 list, Dan ‘NukeTheFish’ Wilson has been notching up online cashes for almost a decade. From his first cash of $9 in a $2 Titan Poker Freezeout back in 2008, Wilson has since won $2.72 million. His three biggest online cashes all came in 2015, when he finished second ($58K) and first ($37K) in the Sunday 500, and finished third in an FTOPS event for $30K. Wilson also has victories in the Big $109 and Big $215 on his resume, as well as several partypoker High Roller wins. 4. Cathal ‘shinerrr’ Shine Career earnings: $3,134,335 As we all know, online poker rankings change all the time. So much so that in just a few days since the Top 10 list was written, Cathal ‘shinerrr’ Shine has now entered that list at No. 9. With career earnings of $3.13 million, that comes as no surprise. The 30-year-old from Kerry earned his biggest career score during the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker when he finished fifth in a Super Tuesday Special Edition for just shy of $77K. Other big cashes include a runner-up finish in the 2016 partypoker Powerfest Main Event for $74K. 3. Mick ‘BIGMICKG’ Graydon Career earnings: $3,200,788 This 31-year-old from Ashbourne in Meath has also been in the game for a decade, in which time he’s won 189 MTTs, finished second in 166, and third in 169. Those impressive numbers have seen him earn $3.2 million throughout his career. Mick ‘BIGMICKG’ Graydon has a CV boasting a $100K score in 2013 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event, a Sunday 500 win for $52K, and a third-place finish at the 2014 WCOOP for $48K. 2. Tomas ‘luckymo32’ Geleziunas Career earnings: $4,344,240 Currently ranked fourth in Ireland, Lithuania’s Tomas ‘luckymo32’ Geleziunas (also living in Ashbourne in Meath) has amassed more than $4.3 million throughout his nine-year career. He finished second in a 2013 WCOOP event, which brought him his biggest score to date: $200K. He followed that up in the same year with a $63K cash in a WCOOP Challenge PLO event, while this year Geleziunas won his first SCOOP title in SCOOP-11-M ($55+R PLO [6-Max], $100K Gtd) for $30K. 1. Jude ‘j.thaddeus’ Ainsworth Career earnings: $6,823,583 Coming in at no.1 on Ireland’s all-time online money list is none other than Jude ‘j.thaddeus’ Ainsworth. He’s won an incredible $6.82 million in his 11-year career, the highlight of which came during the 2009 SCOOP when he took down the $10,300 Main Event for a massive $963K. Thaddeus’ resume is jam-packed with Super Tuesday wins, Sunday Million final tables, FTOPS titles, and even a win in the elusive Sunday Supersonic. Needless to say, Ainsworth is a beast. It’ll be hard for anyone to catch him in the near future.
  25. [caption width="640"] Dmitry Yurasov won the ,000 Six Max NLHE event Friday at the 2017 WSOP (WSOP photo)[/caption] Friday 23rd June = yet another busy at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Another Giant starting flight brought thousands into the Rio, but the big news was the two new bracelet winners crowned last night. There’s a lot to go over, so let’s get down to it. Yurasov claims a bracelet in $10K 6-Handed There are certain tournaments that poker players put at the top of the prestige list at the WSOP. The Main Event is obviously one, but then there’s the $50K Poker Player’s Championship, the One Drop, the $10K 2-7 and the like. The $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship is certainly on that list too. Last night saw Dmitry Yurasov as the last man standing, taking down his first gold bracelet, and winning a career-best score of $775,293. This win takes the Russian over $2 million in live earnings, and he had to work for every dime on Friday. Even after start-of-day chip leaderCharlie Carrel was eliminated (15th - $30,922), followed by Eric Wasserson (11th - $39,284),Connor Drinan (9th - $51,494),Dario Sammartino (8th - $69,578), and Grayson Ramage (7th - $69,578), there was still a tough final table to get through. Two-time bracelet winnerKristen Bicknellfell in sixth ($96,823), immediately followed by Albert Daher($138,644) who lost a cooler pot to Yurasov, flush against full house. Artem Metalidi then busted not long after ($204,128) and it was proving to be a very quick final table. It took just 12 hands of three-handed play before Jacob Powers was eliminated ($479,561), leaving Yurasov heads up with Tommy Chen. That went quickly too, eventually ending when Chen shoved on a queen-high flop holding a queen, but trailed Yurasov’s pocket aces. After his victory, Yurasov said "winning this bracelet is a special achievement”, and that it felt like an "easy game” because he was running so well. He busted four of his five opponents! Final table payouts Dmitry Yurasov - $775,923 Tommy Chen - $479,561 Jacob Powers - $308,783 Artem Metalidi - $204,128 Albert Daher - $138,644 Kristen Bicknell - $96,823 Loren Klein wins second bracelet in $1,500 PLO [caption width="640"] Long time poker veteran Loren Klein beat Chun Law heads-up to win his second career bracelet. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Joining Yurasov in Friday’s winner’s circle is Loren Klein, who took down the $1,500 PLO for $231,483. It’s Klein’s second bracelet, having won a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em / PLO mix event last year. “I’ve been playing for 10 years,” Klein said after his win. “I grew up in Michigan and have been slowly moving west. I live in Reno now. Just to be close to the Mountains and Nevada.” Coming into the final day, there were two six-time bracelet winners still in contention. Poker Hall of FamerTJ Cloutier eventually exited in 10th, while Jeff Lisandro busted in 16th. In the latter stages of the final table, Klein dominated. He eliminatedDanny Wong in third when his bottom two pair held up against Wong’s top pair and flush draw; and he made quick work heads up, busting Chun Law holding the nuts. “I had to run good in the last few all-ins for sure but before that I picked up a lot of chips when I could,” Klein said. “TJ’s [Cloutier] results are super intimidating. It was tough to be at a table with one of the greats but I tried to keep it together.” Final table payouts: Loren Klein - $231,483 Chun Law - $143,017 Danny Wong - $100,360 Jeff Williams - $71,423 Jordan Spurlin - $51,559 Oskar Silow - $37,762 Timothy Batow - $28,066 Sergej Barbarez - $21,172 Benjamin Juhasz - $16,215 Final two tables in $1,500 Shootout Just 12 players of the 1,025 who started now remain in Event #43, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. To get to this point, that meant lots of big names couldn’t win their tables, and some of those who tried and failed today include Vojtech Ruzicka, Martin Staszko, Tom Middleton, Kevin MacPhee and recent bracelet winner Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman. Jonathan Little is arguably the biggest name in the remaining field. The final two tables will kick off at 12pm Saturday, when they’ll be playing for the $257,764 first place prize. Final two tables: Phachara Wongwichit - 637,000 Thomas Boivin - 621,000 Joe Cook - 627,000 Tim West - 641,000 Alex Rocha - 622,000 Matas Dilpsas - 617,000 Robert Kuhn - 636,000 Paul Michaelis - 621,000 Ben Maya - 622,000 Ross Ward - 619,000 Steve Foutty - 627,000 Jonathan Little - 628,000 $3K HORSE down to 18 Another day of mixed games is in the books, taking the 156 who remained in the $3,000 HORSEdown to 18. Tom Koralbagged up the chip lead with 770K, but it’s four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow that headlines. Matusow sits near the bottom of the counts with 212K, while two-time bracelet winner Ryan Hughes ended with 288K. Some of the notable names we lost during Friday’s action include Stephen Chidwick, Phil Hellmuth, Jason Mercier, Scotty Nguyen and Shaun Deeb. There’s $256,226 up top in this one, with action resuming at 2pm. Top 10 chip counts: Tom Koral - 770,000 Phil Hui - 516,000 Marcus Mizzi - 485,000 Gabe Paul - 484,000 David Steicke - 441,000 Matthew Schreiber - 388,000 Richard Bai - 371,000 Dmitry Chop - 346,000 Brendan Taylor - 312,000 Ryan Hughes - 288,000 $5K Turbo and $1,500 PLO 8 kick off Two new tournaments got going on Friday: Event #45 - the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em (30 minute levels), and Event #46 - the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. The former attracted 505 runners, of which 49 survived the Day 1. Diego Sanchez holds the overnight chip lead, with Max Silver,Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford, Chris ‘NigDawg’ Brammer, Frank Kassela, Aditya Agarwal, Yevgeniy ‘Jovial Gent’ Timoshenko, and Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman still in the mix. They’re all in the money, looking towards the $527,555 first place prize. Felipe Ramos, Doc Sands, Tony Dunst, Davidi Kitai, Dan O’Brien, and Jonathan Duhamel all busted with a cash. Sadly for Faraz Jaka, Justin Bonomo, Mike Leah, Maurice Hawkins, Ryan Laplante, Martin Jacobson, Joe McKeehen, JC Tran, Matt Waxman, Jordan Young, Joe Cada, and Ryan Riess, they failed to get past the bubble. Top 10 chip counts: Diego Sanchez - 660,000 Dennis Blieden - 561,000 Jake Bazeley - 509,000 Max Silver - 504,000 Conor Beresford - 504,000 David Ormsby - 477,000 Christopher Brammer - 464,000 Frank Kassela - 444,000 Aditya Agarwal - 416,000 Yevgeniy Timoshenko - 385,000 Meanwhile the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better brought out 830 players. Day 1 whittled the field down to 151, with Marcos Fernandez bagging a huge chip lead with 251K. To put that in perspective,Miguel Use is second with 160K. Joining those guys tomorrow will be David “ODB” Baker(18,200), Calvin Anderson(79,000), Barny Boatman(54,000), David Bach (18,400), Ben Yu(46,300), Barry Greenstein (24,100),John Monnette (47,400), Jeff Gross (6,000), Ray Henson(61,000) and Fabrice Soulier(45,000). Only 125 make the money, so the bubble will be approaching early on Day 2. There’s $223,339 for the eventual champ, and play resumes at 2pm. Top 10 chip counts: Marcos Fernandez - 251,000 Miguel Use - 160,500 John O’shea - 127,000 James Chen - 84,000 James Alexander - 83,700 Calvin Anderson - 79,000 Yueqi Zhu - 65,000 Boris Kotleba - 55,000 Barny Boatman - 54,000 Marco Johnson - 50,000

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