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Lance

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  1. The final Tuesday in the GGPoker Spring Festival was a big one with seven different players walking away with High buy-in level titles and the lion's share of more than $6 million in prize pools, but nobody shined brighter - and scored bigger - than Joakim Andersson. Sweden's Andersson showed no mercy as he topped the 1,089-entry field to win the GGPoker Spring Festival MILLION$ Main Event for $1,537,605.12. The $10,890,000 prize pool exceeded the $10 million guarantee and ensured that the eventual champion wasn't going to be the only newly-minted millionaire. Runner-up Julian Stuer banked $1,185,655.13 for falling one spot short of the title. Coming in third place, Darrell Goh walked away with $914,265.78. Sami Kelopuro won his fourth GGPoker Spring Festival title after outlasting 98 other entries in Event #84 ($25,500 Super High Roller) to win $572,003.82. Wei Zhao took the consolation prize of $40,969.69 as the runner-up while Isaac Haxton finished third for $339,952.82. Canadians Michael Watson and Mark Radoja chopped up nearly $700,000 after outlasting 180 other entries in Event #83 ($10,300 Super Tuesday). Watson wound up with $361,957.15 and the title while Radoja added $333,213.42 to his bankroll for finishing in second. David Peters was left out of the chop discussion, but did take home $223,398.23 for a bronze medal performance. Arsenii Malinov went bounty hunting in Event #82 ($2,100 Bounty) and came back with a GGSF title and $114,534.71. Runner-up 'BIG HAI' earned $50,622.54 while Simon Lofberg picked up $68,983.15 and finished in third position. Other players who wrapped up Tuesday with a GGSF High title included '77Storm77' (Event #79-H), 'Schabi10' (Event #81-H), and Bernard Haider (Event #85-H). GGSF Super MILLION$ ME-H ($10,300) Entries: 1,089 Prize pool: $10,890,000 J Andersson - $1,537,605.12 Julian Stuer - $1,185,655.13 Darrell Goh - $914,265.78 Event #79 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event [2-Day Event]) Entries: 451 Prize pool: $451,000 77Storm77 - $84,526.81 Andras Nemeth - $63,385.90 RukKuRuku - $47,532.73 Event #81 ($1,050 PLO-NL) Entries: 187 Prize pool: $187,000 Schabi10 - $44,265.78 J Jouhkimainen - $32,004.92 Vitaloca - $23,140.19 Event #82 ($2,100 Bounty) Entries: 343 Prize pool: $686,000 Arsenii Malinov - $114,534.71 BIG HAI - $50,622.54 Simon Lofberg - $68,983.15 Event #83 ($10,300 Super Tuesday) Entries: 182 Prize pool: $1,820,000 Michael Watson - $361,957.35 Mark Radoja - $333,213.42 David Peters - $223,398.23 Event #84 ($25,500 Super High Roller) Entries: 99 Prize pool: $2,475,000 Sami Kelopuru - $572,003.82 Wei Zhao - $440,969.69 Isaac Haxton - $339,952.82 Event #85 ($525 Bounty Turbo [6-Max]) Entries: 458 Prize pool: $229,000 Bernard Haider - $35,605.67 Omaholic - $20,356.95 BeardOilGuy - $11,727.18
  2. Belarusian poker superstar Mikita Badziakouski is no stranger to million dollar paydays. On Tuesday, Badziakouski added another one after taking down a GGPoker Spring Festival for a $1.1 million score against some of the top high roller regulars in the world. Over the course of two days, Badziakouski topped the 208-entry field in Event #75-H ($25,500 Sunday Five Million) to win $1,105,678.72. Just five days after picking up $339,484.21 for winning Event #58-H ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty), 'CrossfireX' added $829,142.29 to their bankroll for finishing one spot behind Badziakouski. Third place finisher 'Nator' ended up earning $621,768.89. The top bounty hunter in Event #77-H ($525 Bounty Hunters HR SE) was 'PUYA' and that earned them $51,978.68. Their last victim was 'minipro' and that player had to settle for $20,752.80 while Simon Lofberg actually picked up a slightly bigger score, banking $24,921.77 as the third place finisher. Finland's Samuli Sipila took down Event #78-H ($2,100 PLO-NL Bounty) by beating former #1-ranked Andras Nemeth. Sipila earned $62,192.88 along with the title while Nemeth walked away with $38,916.14 for his efforts. Third place finisher 'schmalimero93' earned $19,247.75. The last of the High level buy-in events to play down to a winner on Monday was Event #80-H ($525 6-Max). 'DameDolla' navigated through the 635-entry field to take the title and a $44,171.48 score. Runner-up 'Moist' earned just a little bit more, banking $45,301.17 while 'PUYA' earned their second podium finish of the night and won $45,301.17 Event #75-H ($25,500 Sunday Five Million [2-Day Event]) Entries: 208 Prize pool: $5,200,000 Mikita Badziakouski - $1,105,678.72 CrossfireX - $829,142.29 Nator - $621,768.89 Event #77-H ($525 Bounty Hunters HR SE) Entries: 875 Prize pool: $437,500 PUYA - $51,978.68 minipro - $20,752.80 Simon Lofberg - $24,921.77 Event #78-H ($2,100 PLO-NL Bounty) Entries: 134 Prize pool: $268,000 Samuli Sipila - $62,192.88 Andras Nemeth - $38,916.14 schmalimero93 - $19,247.75 Event #80-H ($525 6-Max) Entries: 635 Prize pool: $317,500 DameDolla - $44,171.48 Moist - $45,301.17 PUYA - $27,714.94
  3. The World Series of Poker’s ESPN era has come to an end and the world's longest running poker tournament has returned to its roots. On Monday, CBS Sports and PokerGO announced a brand new multi-year rights agreement that sees the WSOP leave ESPN, its television home for more than 20 years, and move to the the CBS family beginning in 2021. Beginning with this year's WSOP, CBS Sports Network becomes "the exclusive domestic television home of the WSOP" and will feature 15 hours of the 2021 WSOP Main Event as well as another 36 hours of 18 other bracelet events according to a press release issued by the network. "CBS Sports has long been a pioneer in covering a broad range of championship sports," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "We couldn’t be more excited to see increased television coverage of the WSOP in the coming years and benefit from growing media platforms." While the announcement marks the end of the WSOP's partnership with ESPN, which began in 1987 with the first of Johnny Chan's back-to-back titles, it also marks the return of the WSOP to their original broadcast home. In 1973, CBS broadcast an hour-long special as part of their CBS Sports Spectacular which featured highly edited recap-style show of the Main Event final table. In 2019, the WSOP, through PokerGO, partnered with CBS for 25 days of streaming of non-Main Event bracelet events on CBS All Access, the company's streaming product at the time. CBS Sports Network also aired 25 highlights of bracelet events on their network, while the Main Event stayed on ESPN. "Following our past success with PokerGO, we are excited to expand our relationship with the highest-profile and richest event in competitive tournament poker featuring the best players in the world,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports. "This deal fits perfectly in our strategy to combine best-in-class events with our CBS Sports brand." CBS All Access was re-branded as Paramount+ earlier this year. The release indicated plans for the WSOP to be part of the Paramount+ product offering. More details, including the potential return of longtime broadcast team Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
  4. For the fourth time during the GGPoker Spring Festival, Lev 'LevMeAlone' Gottlieb worked his way through a High level buy-in field to claim a title. On Sunday, Gottlieb took home more than $316,0000 to push his earnings from the four victories past the $1.4 million mark. Gottlieb defeated Chris Klodnicki heads-up to win $316,691.68 after beating the 317-entry field in Event #72 ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event). Klodnicki had to settle for runner-up status and a $138,955.55 payday while 'Land on it!' finished in third place for $119,873.69. Gottlieb's three previous wins came in Event #5-H ($586,075.23), Event #15-H ($320,728.78), and Event #35-H ($199,770.92) and Sunday's win marked his first victory in an event with a buy-in below $10,000. The second biggest winner on Sunday was Alex Papazian after he outlasted the 474-entry field in Event #71 ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) to take home $122,881.16. Coming in second place earned 'RobertCatesby' a $92,147.62 score while 'J-Dubya' walked away with $69,100.97 and third place honors. Each of the the three final players in Event #73 ($1,050 GGMasters High Rollers) came close to surpassing Papazian's payday, but the three-way chop left each of them just a tad short. 'JoaoSymon' earned the victory and $116,504.06 after the deal while 'raking-even' banked $121,269.52 and 'TheMadQueen' took home the biggest cash of three, earning $121,740.50 and third place status. Tom Delaine took down Event #69 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) for $87,869.78 after navigating his way through 482 other players. The last player in his way, 'Pearlblossom', earned $65,892.81 while Samuel Vousden added $49,412.64 to his bankroll with a third place result. The last event on Sunday's schedule, Event #76 ($2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]), drew 204 total entries to push the prize pool to $408,000. 'illywilly97' took home the winner's share of $85,360.16 for an outright win. Renan Bruschi fell just short of the title and earned $42,772.55 while 'Wei Zhao' wound up in third place for $33,632.91. Event #69 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event [2-Day Event]) Entries: 483 Prize pool: $483,000 Tom Delaine - $87,869.78 Pearlblossom - $65,892.81 Samuel Vousden - $49,412.64 Event #71 ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) Entries: 474 Prize pool: $675,450 Alex Papazian - $122,881.16 RobertCatesby - $92,147.62 J-Dubya - $69,100.97 Event #72 ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event) Entries: 317 Prize pool: $1,585,000 LevMeAlone - $316,691.68 Chris Klodnicki - $138,955.55 Land on it! - $119,873.69 Event #73 ($1,050 GGMasters High Rollers) Entries: 1,142 Prize pool: $1,142,000 JoaoSymon - $116,504.06* raking-even - $121,269.52* TheMadQueen - $121,740.50* Event #76 ($2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]) Entries: 204 Prize pool: $408,000 illywilly97 - $85,360.16 Renan Bruschi - $42,772.55 Wei Zhao - $33,632.91
  5. Finnish poker superstar Sami Kelopuro added yet another notch in his belt on Saturday night, beating out a star-studded field in a GGPoker Spring Festival event to win $189,000 and his third title of the series. The former #1-ranked Kelopuro beat out 70 other entries, including fellow former #1-ranked Joao Simao heads up, to win Event #68-H ($10,300 PLO-NL Bounty High Roller) for $189,185.21. Simao banked $78,802.01 for coming in second place while another Finn, Lauri Varonen, came in third place for $74,235.30. Wei Zhao topped the 120-runner field in Event #67-H ($5,250 PLO-NL HR) to bank $155,417.91. One spot behind Zhao, 'Suhepx' picked up a $112,369.96 payday. Isaac Haxton took the final spot on the podium and added $81,245.73 to his bankroll. There were two events scheduled to take advantage of the Asian time zones. 'MikeAllingelo' shipped Event #65-H ($250 Asia Major) to win $20,402.47 while Aram Oganyan earned $33,609.99 as the champion in Event #66-H ($525 Bounty Hunters Asia). The final event on the day also came with a six-figure payday for the champion. Germany's Robert Heirdorn earned $101,600.07 for winning Event #70-H ($2,100 Bounty). The event drew 265 entries to build a $30,000 prize pool. Christian Rudolph added yet another top-three finish - his fifth of the series - by coming in second place for $48,547.20. Rudolph has now won one event, finished second three times, and also has a third place result. Viktor Ustimov came in third here for $46,008.51. Event #65-H ($250 Asia Major) Entries: 580 Prize pool: $133,400 MikeAllingelo - $20,402.47 SexyBaldGuy - $15,511.17 GoldFishKing - $11,792.79 Event #66-H ($525 Bounty Hunters Asia) Entries: 467 Prize pool: $233,500 Aram Oganyan - $33,609.99 JESUSYAAZY - $17,266.03 iownurmind - $14,802.23 Event #67-H ($5,250 PLO-NL HR) Entries: 120 Prize pool: $600,000 Wei Zhao - $155,417.91 Suhepx - $112,369.96 Isaac Haxton - $81,245.73 Event #68-H ($10,300 PLO-NL Bounty High Roller) Entries: 71 Prize pool: $710,000 Sami Kelopuro - $189,185.21 Joao Simao - $78,802.01 Lauri Varonen - $74,235.30 Event #70-H ($2,100 Bounty) Entries: 265 Prize pool: $530,000 Robert Heidorn - $101,600.07 Christian Rudolph - $48,547.20 Viktor Ustimov - $46,008.51
  6. Just three days ago, Ronny Kaiser topped a 123-entry field in Event #45-H ($2,100 PLO-NL Turbo) to win $63,721.40. Turns out, that was just an appetizer for what became a main course with a half million dollar payday. On Thursday night, Kaiser beat 87 other entries in Event #57-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) to grab the $508,447.84 first place prize. Mikita Badziakouski came in second place and earned a $391,973.06 consolation prize while Christian Rudolph found the podium yet again, this time banking $302,180.28 for finishing in third place. The second biggest first-place prize of the night belonged to 'CrossfireX' who bet out 158 other players to win Event #58-H ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty). Russia's Sergei Denisov was the runner-up for $157,919.64. While former #1-ranked Joao Simao took home $137,086.49 for finishing in third. The last of the six-figure scores went Sami Kelopuro for beating 112 other runners in Event #59-H ($5,250 PLO-NL). Kelopuro, another former #1, earned $135,998.08 after making a heads-up deal with Eelis Parssinen. One day after winning his first GGPoker Spring Festival event, Parssinen had to settle for runner-up status and $121,039.50 thanks to the deal. Third place finisher Joshua McCully earned $77,984.18. Artur Martirosian also picked up a GGPoker Spring Festival title on Thursday. The Russian high roller killer worked his way through a field of 444 entries in Event #54-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) to win $83,530.81. Coming in one spot short of the title earned 'UncleToni' $62,639.14. Erik Bux Hoeveden took the bronze medal and $46,972.70. The final High level buy-in title awarded on Thursday went to 'Go BITCOIN Go' who earned $34,655.81 for winning Event #60-H ($1,050 Bounty Hyper [6-Max]). Right behind them was David Yan who added $22,582.01 to his bankroll for his efforts. Pablo Silva, currently ranked #20 in the world finished in third place for $14,569.39. Event #54-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) Entries: 444 Prize pool: $444,000 Artur Martirosian - $83,530.81 UncleToni - $62,639.14 Erik Bux Hoeveden - $46,972.70 Event #57-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) Entries: 88 Prize pool: $2,200,000 Ronny Kaiser - $508,447.84 M Badziakouski - $391,973.06 Christian Rudolph - $302,180.28 Event #58-H ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty) Entries: 159 Prize pool: $1,590,000 CrossfireX - $339,484.21 Sergei Denisov - $157,919.64 Joao Simao - $137,086.49 Event #59-H ($5,250 PLO-NL) Entries: 113 Prize pool: $565,000 Sami Kelopuro - $135,998.08 Eelis Parssinen - $121,039.50 Joshua McCully - $77,984.18 Event #60-H ($1,050 Bounty Hyper [6-Max]) Entries: 212 Prize pool: $212,000 Go BITCOIN Go - $34,655.81 kDavid Yan - $22,582.01 Pablo Silva - $14,569.39
  7. Wednesday turned out to be a relatively quiet day on the GGPoker Spring Festival schedule with just three High level buy-in events playing down to a winner and not a single one of them cracked the six-digit earnings mark. The biggest winner on the day was Dan 'Apowers1968' Colpoys who beat the 294-entry field in Event #53-H ($2,100 Bounty) to win $92,222.98. The final bounty Colpoys collected on his way to victory belonged to Chris Puetz who pocketed $57,851.80 as the runner-up. Third place went to 'judd trump'. After winning a pair of GG Spring Festival events earlier this week, they had to settle for $38,345.99 for their Wednesday efforts. Eelis Parssinen won Event #52-H ($1,050 PLO-NL) by beating 171 other entries. The win came with a $41,825.78 bankroll boost for Parssinen. Meanwhile, runner-up 'FiestaPagana' had to console themselves with $30,240.79 while third place gave a $21,864.70 payday. Christian Rudolph has enjoyed plenty of success in the GGPoker Spring Festival to date. He won Event #27-H ($2,100 Bounty) and Event #27-M ($210 Bounty) and then finished second in Event #35-H ($10,300 PLO-NL High Roller). He was on his way to a third title before 'Whattherules' derailed those plans by taking down Event #55-H ($525 Bounty) leaving Rudolph to take second place yet again. 'Whattherules' earned $38,490.79 while Rudolph pocketed $22,517.50. Third place belonged to 'Marco_damme' with a $18,325.14 score. Event #52-H ($1,050 PLO-NL) Entries: 172 Prize pool: $172,000 Eelis Parssinen - $41,825.78 FiestaPagana - $30,240.79 idiot10 - $21,864.70 Event #53-H ($2,100 Bounty) Entries: 294 Prize pool: $588,000 Apowers1968 - $92,222.98 Chris Puetz - $57,851.80 judd trump - $38,345.99 Event #55-H ($525 Bounty) Entries: 525 Prize pool: $334,500 Whattherules - $38,490.79 Christian Rudolph - $22,517.50 Marco_damme - $18,325.14
  8. It’s mid-December 2020 and a tennis court just north of San Jose, Costa Rica is home to one of the most hotly-contested tennis matches of the year. This isn’t a battle between a couple of former top-ranked tennis pros and the stakes aren’t all that high, but the combatants are going all out for a win. On one side of the court is a 17-year-old spending her Christmas break from school hanging out in the Central American vacation hot spot. Her opponent on this day is her 74-year-old grandfather, a man fortunate enough to be able to spend a few months in Costa Rica hiding from the harsh Canadian winters. He’s not anywhere near the height of his athletic prowess, but that’s not an excuse he’d use to take it easy. Each time he returns the fuzzy yellow ball across the net he does so with a hint of a life lesson in it. Work hard. Treat people with respect. Fight for what you believe in. Anybody who knows this man understands that there is no way he will simply let his granddaughter win a match, a set, or even a single point without earning it. Isai Scheinberg just isn’t built that way. A Private Man Steps Into the Spotlight Spending an afternoon in the Costa Rican sun is the closest that Scheinberg has ever come to thrusting himself into the spotlight. Ten years after poker’s most infamous day, Black Friday, threatened to destroy the company he and his son Mark built, Scheinberg is ready to let the poker world hear from him for the first time. “I valued privacy, but I was not secretive. That’s not the same thing,” Scheinberg says. “I was working hard. I was very busy and I’m not the type of guy to go out and do PR.” Scheinberg launched PYR Software in 2000 to build online poker tournament software in hopes of licensing it to online casinos and sportsbooks that were at the genesis of what would soon become the online gaming industry. Every company he and Mark pitched the product to either didn’t understand or wanted to pay far less than what they thought it was worth. “None of them understood software much, so they couldn’t appreciate we had a terrific game. But then, we had absolutely no experience in online gaming,” Scheinberg admits. Scheinberg was 54 years old at the time and had left a job at IBM to venture out on his own. There wasn’t a chance he was going to let somebody tell him he couldn’t do something. Rather than settling for a partner they didn’t want to work with, the Scheinbergs decided to take the product to market on their own. In 2001, PokerStars.com was born with Isai heading up the software company in Toronto and Mark moving to Costa Rica to run the gaming side of the business. From Day 1, the market responded to PokerStars’ software being so far ahead of any of its competitors. Scheinberg, who loved poker long before the idea of PokerStars ever struck him, had focused a lot of the development on multi-table tournaments. The marketing and tournament schedule followed that lead. The first PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker in 2002 was a nine-tournament series anchored by a $1,050 buy-in event. That might seem small compared to today’s standards, but back then nobody else was even thinking about online poker tournaments the way Scheinberg was. Most poker enthusiasts have a pretty good understanding of what happened over the next few years; the accountant from Tennessee, the 2003 World Series of Poker, and ESPN broadcasts helped launch the company into an entirely different stratosphere that would eventually make PokerStars the world’s largest online poker site. October 2006 shifted the online poker landscape, first in the United States, and then around the world. The U.S. government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. PartyPoker and 888 abandoned the American market-leading some mainstream media outlets to claim that the law represented a complete prohibition of online gaming, including poker, in the United States. Scheinberg wasn’t convinced and PokerStars sought counsel from prominent U.S. lawyers and were told unequivocally that UIGEA did not prohibit games of skill such as poker. PokerStars, which only offered poker and not casino games like PartyPoker and 888 did, took these legal opinions and decided to continue to offer their product to American players. Other poker-only companies followed their lead. The company also initiated lobbying efforts for federal online poker legislation in the United States that would have provided clarity to players, companies, and investors. PokerStars worked with regulators around the world and earned licenses in multiple European jurisdictions and reaped the rewards as poker’s popularity soared around the world. First Trauma, Then Calm An early morning email on April 15, 2011, changed everything yet again. Scheinberg was being told by company lawyers that he was being indicted by the United States Department of Justice and that the company was named as a defendant in a civil suit. A non-native English speaker born in Lithuania, he had to ask what the word “indictment” meant. He quickly learned that the company he spent nearly 10 years building into a monster was in serious jeopardy. “That was very traumatic,” Scheinberg says. Sitting in the Toronto office of PYR Software, Scheinberg took a deep breath, and rather than panic about what his own future might hold, he told his lawyers that his immediate concern wasn’t the indictment. “I said, ‘Look, our priority number one is to pay the players’. We had the money and we wanted to pay. The lawyers told me, ‘You’re crazy. It will take a year or more. That doesn’t happen that way’. But it happened in less than a week,” Scheinberg says. Understanding that the players – his players – would be in a panic, the Scheinbergs wanted to make sure that they understood he was going to take care of them. “One of the first things we did was issue a press release reassuring players that their money is actually safe”, Scheinberg explains. In the ensuing conversations with the DOJ, PokerStars made it clear they wanted to get players paid as soon as possible. Recognizing that this served their interests as well, the DOJ agreed to allow PokerStars to process payments to American players and allowed the company to continue serving players outside of the country. Players weren’t the only ones who had reason to be scared about what Black Friday meant for them. Approximately 1,000 PokerStars employees were working in offices around the world and each had reasons to wonder if they may soon be out of a job. Just as they had reassured players, Isai and Mark did their best to put employees’ minds at ease. “The message to employees was that they are not losing their jobs,” Isai says. In the days and weeks that followed, PokerStars offered any employee whose job was focused on the United States an opportunity to re-train in another area or skill so that they could continue to work for the company if they chose. The trauma of seeing his name in the indictment wasn’t something Scheinberg was willing to let his employees see or feel. Black Friday exposed Full Tilt Poker’s financial malpractice and shined a searing light on the charlatans behind AbsolutePoker/UB. As mainstream media around the world covered the story, they spoke about all three companies as if they were the same. PokerStars soldiered on and Scheinberg is proud to point out that not a single regulator anywhere in the world pulled PokerStars’ license due to the U.S. charges. It soon became quite clear that Full Tilt wasn’t going to be able to pay its U.S. players the way PokerStars had. When Full Tilt’s European license was revoked, the company shut down completely. The millions of players who had money in their Full Tilt accounts were faced with a previously unimaginable scenario; their money was gone forever. That’s when Scheinberg lofted the idea of stepping in to bail out Full Tilt players. He was immediately met with resistance from his advisors who had been in settlement negotiations with the DOJ. “Why don’t you suggest that we buy Full Tilt from the government and pay the players?” Scheinberg asked. The response from the company lawyer: “That’s totally crazy…it’s never happened before.” Scheinberg was aware that the US government was in talks with third parties to sell Full Tilt’s assets. “These buyers didn’t want to fully cover the money to pay the players,” Scheinberg recalls. ”The government was under a lot of pressure from U.S. players and also international players because again, there were hundreds of millions of dollars on the line.” The government eventually accepted Scheinberg’s “crazy” proposal and PokerStars purchased the Full Tilt Poker assets from the U.S. government and made sure that American players with a balance on Full Tilt Poker on Black Friday were paid in full. PokerStars also reinstated Full Tilt’s international operations and paid those players who had lost nearly $200 million when the site closed. Meanwhile, Scheinberg continued to negotiate with U.S. prosecutors for the charges he was facing and was told he could continue to work for PokerStars while those negotiations were ongoing. “I was very upset when people called me a fugitive,” Scheinberg says. “I’ve never been an American citizen or resident and I wasn’t in the U.S. since 1999. I didn’t flee the jurisdiction and I was not hiding.” In 2015, he even held face-to-face meetings over two days in London with the U.S. prosecutors. The meeting resulted in an agreement to drop bank fraud charges from any future plea agreement, but not the gambling charge. [caption id="attachment_634521" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Isai Scheinberg has found a new game to devote this energy to. Chess. (Andrew Barton photo)[/caption] All of this is why what happened in June 2019 came as such a surprise. After traveling around the world, including multiple trips to Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, and the Isle of Man – all countries with extradition agreements with the United States – Scheinberg, who says he always informed local authorities that he was coming, had never worried about running into an issue when abroad. While vacationing in Switzerland with his wife, Scheinberg was detained by Swiss authorities at the request of the DOJ. While he initially planned to oppose extradition, Scheinberg eventually decided to waive the proceedings and travel to the U.S. to resolve the case once and for all. On January 17, 2020, Scheinberg landed at Kennedy airport in New York City where authorities were waiting for him. He was processed at the airport and immediately brought to the court. Scheinberg pled not guilty to all charges and was released on a $1 million bond on the same day and promised not to leave New York City. More than two months later, Scheinberg arrived at a NY courthouse to plead guilty to a single count of operating an illegal gambling business. That plea, which made him the final of the 11 Black Friday defendants to plead guilty, came with a maximum five-year sentence. However, Scheinberg’s lawyers successfully argued that he should not be further punished since the company was operating in the United States on legal advice that said offering poker was not illegal, he had been in contact with the DOJ since 2011, was active with numerous charities around the world, and that the company had paid more $300 million of Full Tilt’s debts. In his ruling, the judge called Scheinberg’s conduct “a mistake” and sentenced him to time served and was immediately released. For more than nine years, Scheinberg felt the weight of the Black Friday charges hanging over his head. He knew they would be resolved one day – one way or the other. Now, he can’t help but see some practicality in the outcome. “For example, when the indictment was pending some banks were reluctant to open an account for me. Because in their mind when it’s not settled, who knows? But when it’s settled, it’s settled,” Scheinberg says. The Gamesman As his granddaughter will undoubtedly attest, Scheinberg has a competitive side that hasn’t slowed down at all. The one-time poker nerd who dreamed of winning a WSOP bracelet long before Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event, has turned his attention to a game that has recently captured the imagination of an entirely new generation of players the way poker did back in 2003. “Today, I play a lot of chess,” Scheinberg says. “That makes me happy.” While Scheinberg has put in time and energy to become a better player, he also comes by it naturally. His father, Matafia, represented his native Lithuania in the Chess Olympiad in the early 1930s. Scheinberg owns a copy of a book that details the games his father played in those events, including analysis from top grandmasters, and proudly shares it with anybody who shows an interest in the game. Just like poker, Scheinberg isn’t interested just in playing. Scheinberg, along with his son Mark, is one of the key investors in Chess.com and his years of experience running PokerStars makes him an invaluable asset as that company grows. When it came to deciding to put money there, Scheinberg didn’t necessarily look just at the technology or the software, he looked at who was running the company and if they shared his values and ideals for running a business. “The reason we invested and we joined them is because they are very good guys, and they bring the business principles of being transparent, and honest, and they treat customers well,” Scheinberg says. Crediting the much-heralded Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit for sparking an interest in chess in the general public, Scheinberg can’t help but draw parallels between that and what Moneymaker did when his WSOP Main Event win aired on ESPN. Much like he did in the early years of PokerStars, Scheinberg relies on his experiences as a player to influence his ideas for ways to help the company grow. Scheinberg chuckles at the idea of getting back into the world of poker but doesn’t shut down the possibility altogether. The family sold the company to Amaya in June 2014 for $4.9 billion in a transaction that was largely driven by the inability of the company, under their ownership, to gain a gaming license in New Jersey. The company originally had plans to purchase The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and offer PokerStars to New Jersey residents through that gaming license. Scheinberg says Black Friday was not what created the greatest challenge to PokerStars gaining a license in America. In early conversations with New Jersey regulators, company lawyers asked whether there would be a legal objection to giving PokerStars a license. “The regulators went to the DOJ and they asked, ‘Are you going to have a problem with PokerStars getting the license in New Jersey?’ And the DOJ said no, they would not have a problem. So the regulators came back and told our lawyers, ‘Fine. Of course, we cannot guarantee it, because we will check the company as we did all the other companies,’” Scheinberg says. “That was not a problem as we knew the company had no issues with its operations. However, our competitors raised hell and complained in every direction and they delayed the process. People from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement already had plane tickets to come to the Isle of Man to interview (PokerStars management). And they canceled at the last moment.” Scheinberg says that pressure from those competitors, directed towards both the DGE and Atlantic Club Casino ownership, led to that deal falling apart. Despite having private assurances that there would be no licensing issues for PokerStars, the company found itself facing the same hurdles after striking a deal with a second property, Resorts Casino. “So, this time we didn’t buy (the casino), but we made a deal to offer our poker product with them,” Scheinberg says. “The DGE came at the last moment and they said no. It was unexpected and the announcement from the (DGE) was very unclear. They said they had some conditions.” Scheinberg was told he either had to settle his case or there needed to be “major changes in the company”. It was then that the company’s fortunes shifted again. “And that was the moment when we said, ‘what the hell. we’ll get out of that.’ For the sake of the company, for U.S. players to be able to play on PokerStars, we need to change the ownership. So, it was a combination of feelings, but that was the trigger, that they didn’t let us get a license there,” Scheinberg says. The Scheinbergs had already shooed away Amaya and their ambitious CEO David Baazov once, telling them PokerStars had every intention of launching in New Jersey. With that no longer an option, the two companies entered into negotiations that ultimately led to the family selling the company. The $4.9 billion proceeds didn’t all go to the family, and neither did their share. Long-time PokerStars employees who didn’t have equity in the company say Isai and Mark were both quite generous with them after the sale. For them, it was about taking care of the people who had helped them build PokerStars. “We ran the company all the time that way. Of course, class and grace were the most important thing. We didn’t fire anyone after Black Friday and employees were a big part of the success,” Scheinberg says. “Employees were part of the business. A big part obviously in every company, but in our company, we felt that the employees were an extremely important part.” [caption id="attachment_634527" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Ten years after Black Friday, Isai Scheinberg still carries with him a twinge of regret when it comes to the events of that day. (Andrew Barton photo)[/caption] Seven years after the company was sold, Scheinberg looks back on his time in the poker industry and believes his legacy will be defined by the principles with which he ran the company through good times and bad. “We created a lot of things that helped poker grow and be more respected and more enjoyable and I’m pleased that is the legacy,” Scheinberg says. “And the fact that we paid players and players did not lose their money (on Black Friday) was also very important. I think that commitment to players and doing the right thing by them is the legacy.” Being the owner of another one of poker’s most enduring and endearing brands almost became another pillar in Scheinberg’s story. “Actually, at one time we were offered to buy the Rio Casino, but there was a reaction of ‘We don’t need this. Why would we buy?’ In hindsight, I think it was a mistake. I thought that if we bought Rio, we would own the World Series and make it better,” Scheinberg says. “We probably would do a lot of things to make it very friendly to players. We planned to increase the prize pool. We would make a guaranteed prize pool of $100 million in the Main Event and a lot of things around that. When I was talking to Steve Wynn, and we had a deal with him (in March 2011), we were discussing that and he was very excited and we probably would move WSOP to a better facility.” The relationship between PokerStars and the World Series of Poker since Harrah’s acquired it in 2004, could best be described as a competitive rivalry. Last November, Scheinberg was named one of ten finalists for the Poker Hall of Fame. It was the first time that the WSOP, who control the PHOF, listed Scheinberg as a finalist despite years of lobbying from poker heavyweights, including former Team PokerStars Pro and current Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu. “There were a number of people who were trying to put me (into the Hall of Fame). I never tried to lobby or anything. Harrah’s or Caesar’s were not big friends of ours. We were their competitors, so they were blocking that, but yes, (the nomination) was surprising, but look, the case has settled (and) that’s one thing that probably helped that,” Scheinberg says. He hasn’t been to the WSOP since 1997 and still has a love for poker that he believes could see him sitting at a table inside the Amazon Room at the Rio very soon. Now, with PokerStars and Black Friday clearly in his rear-view mirror, Scheinberg looks back at what he created, his impact on both the game and the industry, and says he has no regrets, with one important exception – the months leading up to Black Friday. “I do wonder if we should have been proactive with discussions with the DOJ, especially in early 2011 after the federal online poker bill didn’t materialize,” Scheinberg says “We could have entered into a direct dialogue with them. That might have prevented Black Friday.” That one lingering thought about what might have been doesn’t consume his thoughts though. Almost seven years after Scheinberg sold the company, PokerStars continues to be the world’s largest online poker operator and that, he says, will also be part of how his time in poker is remembered. Today, Scheinberg is happy to be able to spend time with all three generations of his family, even as one of the youngest is staring him down while serving for match point. “The best part of my life, I have a happy family life. I am happily married for 53 years, I am proud of my sons’ achievements, I have three grandkids, and I love what I do.”   Photos via Andrew Barton
  9. Niklas Astedt is having himself one helluva week. The former #1-ranked PocketFiver, who is a #1 seed in the PocketFives #1 Number One contest, has rattled off win after win over the past week, with success coming at both the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker and GGPoker Spring Festival tables. On Tuesday, the Swedish superstar took home nearly $1.1 million for winning GGPoker Spring Festival Event #41 ($25,500 Sunday Five Million [2-Day Event]). Astedt beat out 201 other entries to pick up the win, his fourth of the series. Shawn Daniels finished second for $821,689.32 and Jason Koon took third place for a $616,180.06 payday. Along with his four GGPoker Spring Festival wins and the $1.38 million that came with those victories, Astedt also took down PokerStars SCOOP Event #31-H ($1,050 NLHE [8-Max]) for $85,430.33. He was one of a handful of well known players who emerged victorious on Tuesday. Another former #1, Sami Kelopuro, earned $520,003.49 for beating 89 other entries in Event #49 ($25,500 Super High Roller). His last victim, Wiktor Malinowski had to settle for a $400,881.54 while the current #1-ranked online poker player in the world, Yuri Dzivielevski wound up in third place, earning $309,048.01. Benjamin Rolle had the third biggest first place score of the day after shipping Event #50 ($5,250 Half Price Super Tuesday) for $236,019.99. Rolle worked his way through the 222-player field on his way to the victory. Coming in one spot short of the title, 'TheBigKid' banked $176.989.99 while third place finisher Pablo Navarro earned $132,723.74. Normally, a player winning titles on back-to-back days would be the headliner, but with so many big names winning big scores, 'judd trump' taking down Event #44 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) one day after winning Event #43-H ($5,250 Bounty Hunters SHR) got pushed down the page. This win came with a $95,783.54 score for beating out 544 other entries. Runner-up 'LaxxedAF' won $71,827.30 while 'FiestaPagana' grabbed the final spot on the podium for $53,862.87. Alex Foxen beat Joseph Cheong heads up to win Event #51 ($1,050 Deepstack Bounty Turbo) for $41,677.40. Cheong walked away with $22,614.66 while third place finisher 'NeverDieBaby' came in third for $19,497.13. Latvian Aleks Ponakovs won $74,911.83 after winning Event #47 ($1,050 Forty Stack) while 'FreeZePeeDoe' beat out 276 other entries to win Event #48 ($525 PLO-NL Bounty) for $27,856.65. Event #41 ($25,500 Sunday Five Million [2-Day Event]) Entries: 202 Prize pool: $5,050,000 Niklas Astedt - $1,095,740.82 Shawn Daniels - $821,689.32 Jason Koon - $616,180.06 Event #44 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event [2-Day Event]) Entries: 545 Prize pool: $545,000 judd trump - $95,783.54 LaxxedAF - $71,827.30 FiestaPagana - $53,862.87 Event #47 ($1,050 Forty Stack) Entries: 388 Prize pool: $388,000 Aleks Ponakovs - $74,911.83 TheProjector - $56,175.70 PepeLegal - $42,125.82 Event #48 ($525 PLO-NL Bounty) Entries: 277 Prize pool: $138,500 FreeZePeeDoe - $27,856.65 xBGx - $14,514.55 MINMINMIN - $8,589.83 Event #49 ($25,500 Super High Roller) Entries: 90 Prize pool: $2,250,000 Sami Kelopuro - $520,003.49 W Malinowski - $400,881.54 Y Dzivielevski - $309,048.01 Event #50 ($5,250 Half Price Super Tuesday) Entries: 222 Prize pool: $1,110,000 Benjamin Rolle - $236,019.99 TheBigKid - $176.989.99 Pablo Navarro - $132,723.74 Event #51 ($1,050 Deepstack Bounty Turbo) Entries: 236 Prize pool: $236,000 Alex Foxen - $41,677.40 Joseph Cheong - $22,614.66 NeverDieBaby - $19,497.13
  10. Monday was a relatively quiet day on the GGPoker Spring Festival final tables but that didn't stop 'judd trump' from bounty hunting their way to a six-figure score while one player managed to play bridesmaid in two of the three High buy-in events. There were 159 entries in Event #43-H ($5,250 Bounty Hunters SHR) and 'judd trump' was more than happy to collect a bunch of them on their way to the win. For being the last player standing, the China-based player collected $151,617.21. 'kazanova2020', who won a bounty event earlier in the series, finished as the runner-up for $95,366.06. Coming in third place earned Anatoly Filatov a $72,371.36 prize. Ronny Kaiser beat out 122 other players in Event #45-H ($2,100 PLO-NL Turbo) to bank $63,721.40. After finishing third in Event #25-H ($5,250 PLO-NL Bounty) last week, 'yfii-bestcrypto' found themselves back on the podium with a second place finish for $46,071.68. 'PikkuPrinssi' finished third for $33,310.74. Russia's 'pten4egeg' mastered the short deck game to ship Event #46-H ($2,100 Short Deck Bounty HR) for $34,557.15. After finishing runner-up in Event #43-H, 'kazanova2020' found another silver medal in this event, taking home $24,854.87 to push their daily earnings over $120,000. Max Kruse finished in third place for $13,505.66. One day after chopping up a High event, Farid Jattin took a spin in the winner's circle of a Medium buy-in event. Jattin won Event #45-M ($250 PLO-NL Turbo) for $13,471.72. Other winners on Monday included Tim 'BeardOilGuy' Rutherford (Event #44-M), 'Grindelwald' (Event #46-M), 'Senor Perez' (Event #43-L), 'ELbruxo' (Event #44-L), Alfred Karlsson (Event #45-L), and 'DemonWitcher' (Event #46-L). Event #43-H ($5,250 Bounty Hunters SHR) Entries: 159 Prize pool: $795,000 judd trump - $151,617.21 kazanova2020 - $95,366.06 Anatoly Filatov - $72,371.36 Event #45-H ($2,100 PLO-NL Turbo) Entries: 123 Prize pool: $246,000 Ronny Kaiser - $63,721.40 yfii-bestcrypto - $46,071.68 PikkuPrinssi - $33,310.74 Event #46-H ($2,100 Short Deck Bounty HR) Entries: 74 Prize pool: $148,000 pten4egeg - $34,557.15 kazanova2020 - $24,854.87 Max Kruse - $13,505.66
  11. As the PocketFives #1 Number One contest continues to work its way through the opening round matchups, it was expected that Fedor Holz and Yuri Dzivielevski would be battling out. On Sunday, both took their turn in the spotlight after each took down a GGPoker Spring Festival event.Holz proved to be the biggest winner of the two on the day after shipping Event #37-H ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) for $124,456.71. Coming in one spot shy of the win made for a $93,329.06 score for 'raking-even' while 'Fantastik55' banked $69,986.93 for coming in third place. Dzivielevski beat out 203 other entries in Event #42-H ($2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]) to win $72,235.16. For the third time in the opening week of the Festival, 'VaPaCooler' made the podium but was unable to make his way to the top spot. This time they finished in second place for $45,241.30. Third place went to Dietrich Fast for $36,820.41. While those two were the highest profile winners on Sunday, David 'INSERTC0IN' Smolka took home the biggest payday. Smolka outlasted 356 other entries in Event #38-H ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event) for $293,548.55. Andriy Derzhypilskyi came in second place and was left to console himself with $158,800.25. Preben Stokkan just missed out on a six-figure score after coming in third for $89,887.68. 'DDimancescu' topped the 1,183-entry field in Event #39-H ($1,050 GGMasters High Rollers) to win the title and $161,066.17. Joshua McCully also earned a six-figure score, taking home $120,781.75 after finishing second while 'pawwowbam' came in third place for $90,573.51. Farid Jattin and Graf Tekkel chopped up Event #34-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event [2-Day Event]). Jattin pocketed $79,771.42 and the title while Tekkel skated away with $75,582.92 as the runner-up. Third place finisher 'PuppyGambler' wound up with $49,924.16. Event #34-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event [2-Day Event]) Entries: 488 Prize pool: $488,000 Farid Jattin - $79,771.42* Graf Tekkel - $75,582.92* PuppyGambler - $49,924.16 *Heads-up Deal Event #37-H ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) Entries: 466 Prize pool: $664,050 Fedor Holz - $124,456.71 raking-even - $93,329.06 Fantastik55 - $69,986.93 Event #38-H ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event) Entries: 357 Prize pool: $1,785,000 INSERTC0IN - $293,548.55 A Derzhypilskyi - $158,800.25 Preben Stokkan - $89,887.68 Event #39-H ($1,050 GGMasters High Rollers) Entries: 1,183 Prize pool: $1,183,000 DDimancescu - $161,066.17 Joshua McCully - $120,781.75 pawwowbam - $90,573.51 Event #42-H ($2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]) Entries: 204 Prize pool: $408,000 Y Dzivielevski - $72,235.16 VaPaCooler - $45,241.30 Dietrich Fast - $36,820.41
  12. This is starting to get ridiculous. For the third consecutive day, former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt navigated his way to a win in a GGPoker Spring Festival event. Those three wins have earned the Swedish superstar a combined $279,247.37. This time around Astedt outlasted 104 other entries in Event #25-H ($5,250 PLO-NL Bounty) to win $140,464.75. His win came at the expense of runner-up Dario Sammartino, who would have completed a two-win day of his own had he not run into the buzzsaw that is Astedt. Sammartino banked $48,929.06 for his performance and coming in third place gave 'yfii-bestcrypto' a $45,347.16 bankroll boost. Sammartino couldn't have been too disappointed, however. The Italian and 2019 World Series of Poker runner-up beat 87 other players on his way to victory in Event #23-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) for a $508,447.84 payday. After losing to a former #1 earlier, Sammartino beat out the current #1-ranked player, Yuri Dzivielevski, for the title. Dzivielevski earned $391,973.06. Russia's Anatoly Filatov took third for $302,180.28. 'MickeyMouse' turned Event #20-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) into their own personal magic kingdom on Thursday, beating 548 other entries before chopping with Igor D'Ursel. 'MickeyMouse' ended up with the title and $84,261.53 while D'Ursel actually out-earned them by grabbing $84,886.93. Rui Bouquet took home $54,357.02 as the third place finisher. Tom Delaine beat Viktor Ustimov heads-up to grab the win in Event #22-H ($525 Forty Stack) for $55,801.16 while Ustimov had to settle for $43,018.55. 'DontTiltGG' finished one position below Ustimov and won $33,164.46. Andrii Novak put on a bounty hunting showcase on Thursday, outlasting the 153 other players in Event #24-H ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty) to collect an impressive $352,068.09. Runner-up Sami Kelopuro earned nearly 1/3 of Novak's score, taking home $122,696.01 while Ami Barer came in third place but earned more than Kelopuro thanks to the bounties collected. Barer banked $138,023.78 which is more than $15,000 more than Kelopuro. 'LottoLarry' cashed in a winning ticket by topping the 295-entry field in Event #26-H ($1,050 Turbo) for $60,524.63. '888WTB02' came in second place for $45,386.97 while Class Segebrecht took third for #34,035.42. Event #20-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) Entries: 550 Prize pool: $550,000 MickeyMouse - $84,261.53 Igor d Ursel - $84,886.93 Rui Bouquet - $54,357.02 Event #22-H ($525 Forty Stack) Entries: 775 Prize pool: $387,500 Tom Delaine - $55,801.16 Viktor Ustimov - $43,018.55 DontTiltGG - $33,164.46 Event #23-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) Entries: 88 Prize pool: $2,200,000 Dario Sammartino - $508,447.84 Yuri Dzivielevski - $391,973.06 Anatoly Filatov - $302,180.28 Event #24-H ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty) Entries: 154 Prize pool: $1,540,000 Andrii Novak - $352,068.09 Sami Kelopuro - $122,696.01 Amichai Barer - $138,023.78 Event #25-H ($5,250 PLO-NL Bounty) Entries: 105 Prize pool: $525,000 Niklas Astedt - $140,464.75 Dario Sammartino - $48,929.06 yfii-bestcrypto - $45,347.16 Event #26-H ($1,050 Turbo) Entries: 295 Prize pool: $295,000 LottoLarry - $60,524.63 888WTB02 - $45,386.97 C Segebrecht - $34,035.42
  13. After an opening week featuring some of the world's best players battling it out, the GGPoker Spring Festival had a very quiet day on Friday with just three High buy-in events wrapping up and a fourth bagging and tagging and headed to a second day of play. Christian Rudolph beat out 139 other runners to win Event #27-H ($2,100 Bounty) for $58,033.04. Runner-up Francisco ‘VaPaCooler’ Benitez, who came in third place in $610,079.27 at the start of the Festival, walked away from this one with $24,512.91 and yet another close call. Third place went to 'TheWrigler' for $2.5,448.22. 'BIG HAI', a regular in the GGPoker high roller tournament streets, went bounty hunting in Event #29-H ($1,050 Bounty Turbo), and came back with $33,440.21 and a victory. The final bounty 'BIG HAI' collected belonged to 'JustbcOfU' who walked away with $12,801.82 for their efforts. Marco Streda took the final spot on the podium for $8,748.87. The last High event to play down to a champion on Friday was Event #30-H ($525 Hyper [6-Max]) which drew 173 runners. Markus Prinz beat all of them to add $24,317.38 to his bankroll while runner-up Wei Zhao banked $17,581.85. Former #1-ranked Andras Nemeth finished in third for $12,712.04. Nemeth also finished Day 1 of Event #28 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) with the chip lead. The event drew 243 runners for a $7,000 overlay. Just 14 of those players moved on to Day 2 with Viktor Ustimov, Mike Watson, Brock Wilson, and Shyngis Satubayev all part of the group chasing Nemeth for the $52,176.54 first place prize. Event #27-H ($2,100 Bounty) Entries: 140 Prize pool: $280,000 Christian Rudolph - $58,033.04 VaPaCooler - $24,512.91 TheWrigler - $25,448.22 Event #29-H ($1,050 Bounty Turbo) Entries: 134 Prize pool: $134,000 BIG HAI - $33,440.21 JustbcOfU - $12,801.82 Marco Streda - $8,748.87 Event #30-H ($525 Hyper [6-Max]) Entries: 173 Prize pool: $100,000 Markus Prinz - $24,317.38 Wei Zhao - $17,581.85 Andras Nemeth - $12,712.04
  14. Anybody who has closely followed the PocketFives Rankings over the past few years knows all about Niklas Astedt and just how dominant he can be. He's spent 97 total weeks as the #1-ranked player in the world and many consider him the favorite to win the #1 Number One contest. On Wednesday, Astedt took down a GGPoker Spring Festival event for the second time in two days. On Tuesday, he won Event #14-H ($1,050 PLO-NL Bounty) for a $39,974.81. One day later, he kept the bounty hunter them going by winning Event #19-H ($2,100 Bounty Six Max) for $98,807.91. His final victim, 'pawwowbam' earned $56,279.54 for finishing as the runner-up while George Kitsios collected $41,115.10 as the third place finisher. Marcelo Asensio managed to deny Konstantin Maslak from picking up his second win of the Series. Asensio topped the 140-entry field in Event #18-H ($1,050 PLO-NL) for a $35,099.81 score. Maslak, who won Event #3-High ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event) for $229,531.42, earlier in the week, took second here for $25,377.81. The last spot on the podium went to 'BreakMySoul' for $18,348.66. The last High level buy-in event of the day was Event #21-H ($525 bounty) and it was also the biggest of the group in terms of field size. 'EzzzGame' proved their screenname to be accurate by winning it all for $46,041.86. Coming in one spot short of the victory, 'Ameliorer' had to settle for a $30,332.90 score while Sebastian Toro came in third place for $19,018.22. Other players who earned GGSF titles on Wednesday included 'Goku SSJ' (Event #19-M), 'zaguinha' (Event #20-M), Djprunz14' (Event #21-M), 'KepsNuts' (Event #17-L), 'Doah1414' (Event #18-L), 'kramperEd' (Event #19-L), 'ale1' (Event #20-L), and 'Uksy89' (Event #21-L). Event #18-H ($1,050 PLO-NL) Entries: 140 Prize pool: $140,000 Marcelo Asensio - $35,099.81 K Maslak - $25,377.81 BreakMySoul - $18,348.66 Event #19-H ($2,100 Bounty [6-Max]) Entries: 298 Prize pool: $596,000 Niklas Astedt - $98,807.81 pawwowbam - $56,279.54 George Kitsios - $41,115.10 Event #21-H ($525 Bounty) Entries: 810 Prize pool: $405,000 EzzzGame - $46,041.86 Ameliorer - $30,332.90 Sebastian Toro - $19,018.22
  15. The GGPoker Spring Festival is only into Day 3, but there's already a Series Most Valuable Player frontrunner. Lev Gottlieb, who won a World Series of Poker bracelet last summer on GGPoker, took down a pair of $10,000 buy-in events on Tuesday, including the $10,300 Super MILLION$, for more than $900,000 in earnings. Over the past 18 months, the Super MILLION$ on GGPoker has become a marquee online poker event with some of poker's best players duking it out each week for their share of $2 million in prize money. On Tuesday, Gottlieb topped the super-sized 312-entry field in Event #5-H ($10,300 Super MILLION$) to win $586,075.23. Runner-up Pedro Garagnani was left to console himself with $451,925.51 while third place went to 'LUCKuHARD' for $348,482.24. At the same time, Gottlieb was working his way through 140 other players in Event #15-H ($10,300 Super Tuesday), including runner-up Joao Vieira and third place finisher Timothy Adams, to add another $320,728.78 to his haul for the day. Vieira, who made a couple of podium appearances on Tuesday, won $240,512.62, while Adams earned $180,359.04 for his performance. The third and final five-figure buy-in event on the day, Event #15-H ($25,500 Super High Roller), drew 85 runners for a $2,125,000 prize pool. Ottomar Ladva, an Estonian chess grandmaster, beat all of them to win $446,446.20. This is Ladva's second high-profile poker win this year. In February, he defeated Justin Bonomo heads up to take down the partypoker MILLIONS Online $25,000 Super High Roller. This time around, Marius Gierse was cast as the runner-up, earning $435,789.71 in the process and Juan Dominguez finished in third for $301,474.56. All of that managed to overshadow another win for one of the best online poker players in the world. Niklas Astedt beat Shyngis Satubayev heads up to win Event #14-H ($1,050 PLO-NL Bounty) to win $39,974.81. Satubayev, who won a GGPoker Spring Festival event on Monday, earned $20,121.60 for falling one spot short of a second title. Vieira picked up an additional $16,832.17 for his third-place result. Other players who found themselves standing tall at the end of a GGSF High event on Tuesday were 'sisu' (Event #11-H), 'kazanova2020' (Event #13-H), and Pulkit Goyal (Event #17-H). Event #5: $10,300 Super MILLION$ Entries: 312 Prize pool: $3,120,000 Lev 'LevMeAlone' Gottlieb - $586,075.23 Pedro Garagnani - $451,925.51 LUCKuHARD - $348,482.24 Event #11: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event Entries: 630 Prize pool: $630,000 sisu - $106,817.22 jochee - $80,101.33 HORN3T - $60,067.52 Event #13: $525 Bounty Entries: 990 Prize pool: $495,000 kazanova2020 - $49,273.71 A Pateychuk - $24,763.22 Aram Oganyan - $16,993.66 Event #14: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty Entries: 250 Prize pool: $250,000 Niklas Astedt - $39,974.81 S Satubayev - $20,121.60 Joao Vieira - $16,832.17 Event #15: $10,300 Super Tuesday Entries: 141 Prize pool: $1,410,000 Lev 'LevMeAlone' Gottlieb- $320,728.78 Joao Vieira - $240,512.62 Timothy Adams - $180,359.04 Event #16: $25,500 Super High Roller Entries: 85 Prize pool: $2,125,000 Ottomar Ladva - $446,446.20 Marius Gierse - $435,789.71 Juan Dominguez - $301,474.56 Event #17: $525 Turbo [6-Max] Entries: 471 Prize pool: $235,500 Pulkit Goyal - $45,880.79 Vulvasore - $33,172.59 marlin5555 - $23,984.43
  16. The headliner for the opening of the GGPoker Spring Festival on Saturday was deadmau5 but once action got underway the poker players took over and one Canadian stole the show and walked away with a seven-figure score. Canadian Guillaume Nolet outlasted 197 other entries to win Event #6-High ($25,500 Sunday Five Million) for $1,084,891.90. Andras Nemeth finished in second place for $813,553.79 while Francisco 'VaPaCooler' Benitez came in third place for a $610,079.27 payday. The event fell just two players short of meeting the $5,000,000 guarantee making it the only High level buy-in event to have an overlay. The honor of winning the first event on the schedule went to Jon AV Santos. Beating out a 744-runner field in event #1-High ($1,050 Bounty Kickoff) earned the Brazilian $99,285.56. Pablo Navarro fell one spot short of the title and had to settle for adding $47,825.75 to his bankroll. Darren 'avocadotoast' Rabinowitz earned enough to afford a down payment on a house after banking $36,804.20 for his third place finish. 'Elkymara' defeated Ivan Zufic heads-up in Event #2-High ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) to bank $136,102.56. Zufic also managed to squeak into a six-figure cash by earning $102,062.24. The final spot on the podium went to 'S Margereson' who walked away with $76,535.88 for coming in third place. Reigning World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian Salas almost continued his amazing 2021 but ultimately came up short of adding another title. 'K Maslak' worked their way through 323 other runners in Event #3-High ($5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event) to find himself heads-up with the Argentinian. 'K Maslak' defeated Salas to win $229,531.42 while Salas took home $150,385.03. 'Urmo Velvelt' wound up in third place for $83,393.94. The final table of Event #4-High ($1,050 GGMasters High Rollers) was a star-studded affair. 'Yataro' worked their way through 1,126 other entries and earned the title and $155,843.48 in the process. Canadian Timothy Adams finished in second for $116,865.52 while Elio Fox came in third place and earned $87,636.69. Every Spring, the PocketFives Rankings see a number of major shifts thanks to the sheer number of big buy-in, large field events. This year will be no different and it didn't take long to see the first contender make a move. Current #2-ranked Rui 'RuiNF' Ferreira defeated Ami Barer heads up to win event #7-High ($2,100 PLO-NL Bounty) for a $108,522.63. Barer added $56,036.36 to his bankroll and Nemeth, a former #1 himself, came in third for $30,941.91. Russian Aleksei Barkov made quick work of Event #8-High ($2,100 Sunday Heater - Bounty Turbo) for a $67,918.59 score. The event drew 162 runners with Darren Elias finishing in second place for $37,417.46 and Velvelt picked up his second bronze medal of the day along with $24,413.97. Renan Bruschi banked $178,494.20 for taking down Event #9-High ($5,250 Bounty Hunter SHR). His last victim, 'JESUSYAAZY', earned $92,938.27 as the runner-up while Ankush Mandavia walked away with $67,613.44 for coming in third place. One of the smallest events to wrap up on Monday was Event #10-High ($1,050 PLO-NL). The 164 entries built up a $164,000 prize pool. Kazakhstan's Shyngis Satubayev and Kamel Mokhammed chopped up nearly $70,000 with Satubayev grabbing the title and $35,540.73. Mokhammed didn't get the title but did bag $33,173.94. Third place finisher 'F Gonzalez' earned $20,847.74 in what would just be a precursor for something bigger. 'F Gonzalez' quickly got over the disappointment of being eliminated to win Event #12-High ($2,100 Bounty) for $122,358.25. Runner-up Juan Dominguez scored $54,367.51 and 'KennyKaarten' earned $42,274.23 for finishing in third place. Event #1 (High) - $1,050 Bounty Kickoff Entries: 744 Prize pool: $744,000 Jon AV Santos - $99,285.56 Pablo Navarro - $47,825.75 Darren 'avocadotoast' Rabinowitz - $36,804.20 Event #2 (High) - $1,500 Sunday Marathon Entries: 525 Prize pool: $748,125 Elkymara - $136,102.56 Ivan Zufic - $102,062.24 S Margereson - $76,535.88 Event #3 (High) - $5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event Entries: 325 Prize pool: $1,625,000 K Maslak - $229,531.42 Damian Salas - $150,385.03 Urmo Velvelt - $83,393.94 Event #4 (High) - $1,050 GGMasters High Rollers Entries: 1,127 Prize pool: $1,127,000 Yataro - $155,843.48 Timothy Adams - $116,865.52 Elio Fox - $87,636.69 Event #6 (High) - $25,500 Sunday Five Million Entries: 198 Prize pool: $5,000,000 Guillaume Nolet - $1,084,891.90 Andras Nemeth - $813,553.79 VaPaCooler - $610,079.27 Event #7 (High) - $2,100 PLO-NL Bounty Entries: 244 Prize pool: $488,000 Rui Ferreira - $108,522.63 Amichai Barer - $56,036.36 Andras Nemeth - $30,941.91 Event #8 (High) - $2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo] Entries: 162 Prize pool: $324,000 Aleksei Barkov - $67,918.59 Darren Elias - $37,417.46 Urmo Velvelt - $24,413.97 Event #9 (High) - $5,250 Bounty Hunters SHR Entries: 175 Prize pool: $875,000 Renan Bruschi - $178,494.20 JESUSYAAZY - $92,938.27 Ankush Mandavia - $67,613.44 Event #10 (High) - $1,050 PLO-NL Entries: 164 Prize pool: $164,000 S Satubayev - $35,540.73 Kamel Mokhammad - $33,173.94 F Gonzalez - $20,847.74 Event #12 (High) - $2,100 Bounty Entries: 384 Prize pool: $768,000 F Gonzalez - $122,358.25 Juan Dominguez - $54,367.51 KennyKaarten - $42,274.23
  17. Only one player has held the #1 spot for more weeks than Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy, but while 'lena900' has had 10 turns as the #1-ranked player for 97 weeks, Josephy had one run that lasted an astonishing 74 weeks. That level of success has made Josephy a longstanding favorite of the PocketFives community and his PocketFives Legacy Award, which he won at the 2016 American Poker Awards, earned him the #7 seed in the Clubs bracket and an automatic bye into the second round. If Josephy wants to continue to add to his growing list of accolades, he'll need to survive a Clubs bracket that includes the likes of #1 seed Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski, Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez, Fedor Holz, and his former protege Kevin 'BeL0WaB0Ve' Saul. Enter the #1 Number One Contest Now! p0cket00 (#1) vs StrungOut1 (#16) Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski earned the #1 seed in this bracket thanks to being one of just six players to have worked their way into the #1 ranking on six different occasions. Those six reigns, turned into 28 weeks at #1 for Sikorski which, in addition to his seven Triple Crowns (good for 10th all-time), makes him one of the most accomplished players in PocketFives history. Michael 'StrungOut1' Wasserman held the #1 spot for one week in September 2015. He won two Triple Crowns before having his results no longer tracked by PocketFives. SixthSenSe19 (#2) vs Doc Sands (#15) Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez was ranked #1 on PocketFives on three separate occasions for a combined 21 weeks between October 2016 and March 2017. The Uruguayan has accumulated more than $10 million in lifetime online earnings thanks to PokerStars WCOOP and SCOOP titles as well as partypoker Powerfest wins. His path to Round 2 isn't an easy one though. David 'Doc Sands' Sands might have held the #1 ranking only one time, but his six-week reign and $3 million in online earnings, combined with his status as a popular member of PocketFives, make him a threat to advance. gboro780 (#3) vs SvZff (#14) It somehow feels like Steve 'gboro780' Gross might be a tad underrated as the #3 seed. Gross reached #1 on four separate occasions and has the fourth-longest combined time at #1 at 55 weeks. A majority of Gross' $6.2 million in lifetime earnings came before Black Friday as did his two Triple Crowns. Steven van Zadelhoff is the player standing in Gross' way of a first-round win. The Dutchman earned the #1 ranking in December 2017, just two months after he won the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event for $1.6 million. He held the top spot for a single week and has $11.4 million in earnings plus a Triple Crown to his credit. r4ndomr4gs (#4) vs aguskb (#13) Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren is part of the army of Swedish superstars who have held the #1 spot. Berggren first took the top spot in May 2014 and held onto it for one week before losing it to fellow Swede Lukas 'lukethafluke' Berglund. He grabbed it back two weeks later for a final two weeks on top. He's also one of just 13 players with at least $14 Million in earnings. Aaron 'aguskb' Gustavson could be in line for an upset here. Gustavson spent one more week on top than Berggren over his two reigns. djk123 (#5) vs Greenstone25 (#12) With three times on top of the PocketFives Rankings and a pair of WSOP bracelets, Dan 'djk123' Kelly is one of the most decorated players in the field. He no longer plays professionally, but during his time at the top of the Rankings, Kelly was one of the most respected MTT grinders on the planet. His first-round opponent, Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar is another member of the Swedish contingent in the field. Korsar was #1 for three weeks in December 2019 and was only displaced by fellow Swede 'lena900'. 1_conor_b_1 (#6) vs BeL0WaB0Ve (#11) This matchup is going to be one to keep an eye on and could come down to a battle of American and British voters. Kevin 'BeL0WaB0Ve' Saul is a legendary figure to most long-time PocketFivers and his seven-week run at #1 in 2006-2007 helped solidify that position. His longtime popularity makes him a threat to upset the #6 seed, Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford who brings a 29 straight week reign at #1 as his leading credential. He also has $15 Million in earnings and a trophy case full of some of online poker's most prestigious hardware. Tmay420 (#8) vs CrownUpGuy (#9) Some voters may consider live poker success and that makes Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz a threat to upset Tim 'Tmay420' West. Holz became #1 on three occasions, each time holding onto it for a single week. He won the 2014 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event and then went onto win more than $32 Million in live tournaments. West was #1 for seven weeks straight beginning in late 2006. He's won more than $4 Million online and nearly the same event in live events. Make your picks in the PocketFives #1 Number One Contest - entries due by Midnight ET on April 2. Then make sure to follow @PocketFives on Twitter to get your votes in!"
  18. While each of the four "regional" brackets in the #1 Number One contest is comprised of online poker's all-time greats, the Diamonds bracket could easily be dubbed the "group of death". Not only does it feature some of the most successful players to have ever reached #1 on PocketFives, but it also features some of the most popular players in online poker history. Nicolas 'PokerKaiser' Fierro holds the #1 seed in the Diamonds bracket, but his path to victory isn't an easy one. The 16 players have a combined $111 million in lifetime online earnings, the most of any of the four brackets, and six of the 16 players have cracked the $10 Million earnings mark. Fierro will need to navigate through the likes of Griffin 'Flush_Entity' Benger, Calvin 'cal4268'Anderson, and Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen - each of whom could run into one another as the contest advances through the subsequent round. The bracket also features three of the best players that Brazil has ever produced: Yuri Martins Dzivielevski, the current #1 player, Joao 'joaomathias' Mathias Baumgarten, and Caio Pessagno. Shaun Deeb, thanks to his PocketFives Legacy Award at the 2020 Global Poker Awards, earned a first-round bye. Enter the #1 Number One Contest Now! PokerKaiser (#1) vs P0KERPR033 (#16) Nicolas 'PokerKaiser' Fierro has been ranked #1 six different times, one of just six players to have done that, and his 24 combined weeks in the top spot is the tenth best. He has earned $12.6 Million online and with 21 Triple Crowns, is the only player within striking distance of the all-time leader in that category, Chris Moorman (30). His first-round opponent, Jim 'P0KERPR033' Campbell could be a bit of a sleeper pick. He was #1 for just one week in July 2007, but with $5.7 Million in lifetime earnings, most of it earned before Black Friday, he has the OG status that could earn him an upset victory. Flush_Entity (#2) vs mindgamer (#15) Griffin 'Flush_Entity' Benger could be one of the most popular players to ever hold down the top spot on PocketFives. He did it five different times and has spent 32 weeks at #1 and has earned six Triple Crowns. He last held the #1 spot in May 2014. Since then he's gone on to have great success on the live felt, including his seventh-place finish at the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Stefan 'mindgamer' Jedlicka comes in as a #15 seed, but only because he stopped tracking his results on PocketFives. Jedlicka was #1 for two weeks in December 2013. Since then he's won the PokerStars Sunday Million, WCOOP, and SCOOP titles. Yuri Martins (#3) vs 1bigacehole (#14) Yuri Martins Dzivielevski enters the #1 Number One as a #3 seed and with a ton of momentum after taking hold of the #1 spot for a third time on March 23. Dzivielevski has more than $11 Million in lifetime earnings and has enjoyed some time in the poker spotlight the past few years thanks to his bracelet wins in 2019 and 2020 and his deep run in the 2019 WSOP Main Event. Meanwhile, TJ '1bigacehole' Ulmer is another player to have held the #1 spot for a single week. Ulmer grabbed the brass ring in August 2012. He's since cracked the $10 Million in lifetime earnings mark and continues to pile up cashes even though he's no longer tracking on PocketFives. cal42688 (#4) vs telks (#13) Any fan of March Madness will tell you that #4 seeds make it to the Final Four all time. In fact, it's happened 13 times with one of those turning into a National Championship. If you had to pick a #4 seed to follow that path, it's probably Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson. His eight different turns at #1 have him third all-time and he's spent a combine 40 weeks on top. He's dominated poker's biggest stages with 10 PokerStars SCOOP titles and another pair of WCOOP titles. His first-round opponent, Michael 'telks' Telker, was #1 for just two weeks in December 2011 but has more than $11 Million in earnings and a Triple Crown to his credit. Big Huni (#5) vs joaomathias (#12) Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen took hold of the #1 ranking in January 2015 and held on to it for five weeks in his only reign. He's earned seven Triple Crowns in his career and has nearly $13 Million in lifetime earnings. He's also successfully transitioned to playing live High Rollers against some of the other best players in the world while continuing to grind online. Joao Mathias Baumgarten isn't a cupcake opponent though. Two different times he was ranked #1 and he's won five Triple Crowns and has amassed more than $10 Million in lifetime earnings. Romeopro (#6) vs Annette_15 (#11) Seven Triple Crowns, three Monthly Leaderboard wins, $12.5 Million in earnings, and five weeks at #1 make Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky a legitimate threat to advance against any of his potential opponents. To do that though he's going to have to get through the only female player in the field, Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad. As far as online poker legends go, Obrestad is firmly entrenched as one of the most admired. Her ascent to #1 in January 2007, followed by her 13 weeks on top, her 180-person SNG win where she didn't look at her hole cards, were all amplified by her 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event win. pessagno (#8) vs veeea (#9) For many years over the last decade, the PocketFives Rankings have been a battlefield for Russian and Brazilian grinders and this first-round match-up puts two of those players head-to-head. Brazilian Caio Pessagno took over the #1 spot for the first time in July 2013 and held onto it for three weeks. He grabbed it back from Calvin Anderson two weeks later and spent eight weeks at #1. Artem 'veeea' Vezhenkov is the most highly decorated Russian in PocketFives history. Vezhenkov has more than $10 Million in earnings, four Triple Crowns, and is the only Russian to be ranked #1. Make your picks in the PocketFives #1 Number One Contest - entries due by Midnight ET on April 2. Then make sure to follow @PocketFives on Twitter to get your votes in!"
  19. For more than six hours on Wednesday night, poker fans around the world were tuned in watching Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth go head-to-head in High Stakes Duel II. During the first three hours, Negreanu racked up pot after pot while Hellmuth seemed more focused on eating. Hellmuth put the take-out away however and over the final two hours of play came back from 19-1 chip deficit to take out Negreanu to capture his fourth High Stakes Duel match. "That was super intense. I played against Jungleman [Dan Cates], and I was down to 4,000 of 200,000 in chips, and here Daniel had 95,000 to my 5,000. I came back to win against Jungleman, and I came back and won this," Hellmuth said. "I didn’t see Daniel do anything particularly wrong, but most people other than Daniel will allow you to get back into the match because they’re not really finishing the way they should finish." Negreanu's control began as soon as cards were in the air on Wednesday night and he held the lead over Hellmuth for almost four full hours. Three hours into play, with Negreanu holding nearly a 4-1 lead over Hellmuth, the pair played a pot that brought The Poker Brat front and center. With blinds of 250/500, Hellmuth limped with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"] and then re-raised to 3,700 after Negreanu made it 1,500 with [poker card="6d"][poker card="4d"]. Negreanu called and the flop came [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3s"]. Negreanu checked, Hellmuth bet 4,000 and Negreanu decided to call. The turn was the [poker card="8h"] and both players checked. The [poker card="5s"] completed the board and Negreanu bet 5,000 with Hellmuth having just 12,000 behind. Hellmuth called and Negreanu tabled the winner to leave Hellmuth with just 14 big blinds. "You might win this fuckin' match, but I tell you what, I fuckin' hate the way you played," Hellmuth said after standing up and pacing around the set. "You played so fuckin' bad, it's crazy. What the fuck you putting 3,700 in with 4-6?" In the wake of that rant, Hellmuth folded [poker card="kc"][poker card="9c"] on a [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"][poker card="js"][poker card="jd"] board after Negreanu bet 1,500 into a 3,000 chip pot to leave himself with 5,000. The lowest point of the match for the 15-time bracelet winner came just a few hands later when he dipped to 4,000. A little more than a half hour later, Hellmuth found himself all in for the first time on the night and it ended up being a key hand on his way to the win. Negreanu min-raised to 1,200 with [poker card="tc"][poker card="5c"] and Hellmuth called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"]. The flop came [poker card="4c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] to give both players flush and straight draws. Hellmuth checked and then moved all in for 10,200 after Negreanu bet 600. Negreanu called and then discovered he was in rough shape. The turn was the [poker card="5d"] to give Hellmuth a six-high straight. The [poker card="kh"] river changed nothing and Hellmuth doubled back to 22,800. "Just turns out I had him in bad shape because he had a huge hand. He had an open-ender, two overcards, but it just so happened that I had a better flush draw. I did still think he may outdraw me, but that red five on the turn was amazing,” Hellmuth said. Just 30 minutes later, Hellmuth nearly evened the stacks out and found himself down just 4,000 chips. He took his first lead after raising to 17,500 with [poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"] on a [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"][poker card="th"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3h"] board. Negreanu had bet 6,000 on the river with [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"] and folded to send the 42,500 pot to Hellmuth. Down to just seven big blinds, Negreanu moved all in with [poker card="7h"][poker card="6h"] after Hellmuth limped with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"]. Hellmuth called and saw the [poker card="jc"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"] flop give Negreanu an open-ended straight flush draw. The [poker card="kc"] turn changed nothing and the [poker card="8s"] river failed to save Negreanu and Hellmuth won his fourth consecutive High Stakes Duel match. The match-up between Hellmuth and Negreanu was the second in PokerGo's High Stakes Duel series and comes on the heels of Negreanu's online cash game battle against Doug Polk. In the first installment of High Stakes Duel, Hellmuth won three straight matches against Antonio Esfandiari. The weeks leading up to the match featured each of the combatants firing barbs at each other on social media. The match was originally scheduled for March 16 but had to be delayed due to "non-player COVID concerns". With Hellmuth's win, the option for a rematch falls to Negreanu. In the wake of the final hand, Negreanu told Hellmuth, "There will be a re-match, you can guarantee that."
  20. Chris Moorman is easily one of the most - if not the most - decorated players in PocketFives history. He's been the #1-ranked player 13 different times and has held that spot for a combined 23 weeks. He was the first player to break $10 million and $15 million in lifetime earnings. Those accolades, along with his Global Poker Awards PocketFives Legacy Award, afforded the Englishman a first-round bye in the #1 Number One bracket, but the rest of the Hearts bracket presents a formidable challenge if Moorman has any designs on advancing and adding the #1 Number One Championship Belt to his collection. The rest of the bracket includes the likes of 'C Darwin2', Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard, Bert 'girafganger7' Stephens, and the late Chad 'M8kingmoves' Batista. Enter the #1 Number One Contest Now! C Darwin2 (#2) vs Jovial Gent (#15) Between February 2016 and May 2019, Sweden's 'C Darwin2' enjoyed eight different reigns at the #1 spot for a total of 66 weeks (third all-time). That, coupled with $16,779,066 in lifetime earnings, propelled 'C Darwin2' to the #2 seed in the Hearts bracket and made for a formidable first round opponent for Yevgeniy 'Jovial Gent' Timoshenko, who comes in at #15. Timoshenko held the #1 spot for a single week in May 2007 and has $4,826,132 in lifetime online earnings. Gettin Daize (#3) vs vinkyy (#14) Chris 'Getting Daize' Oliver took the #1 spot for the first time in August 2010 and then again in December of the same year. In both instances Oliver's grasp on the top spot lasted just one week. Still, the American, who now calls Costa Rica home, has $15,200,033 in lifetime online earnings, which is good enough for fifth best. Oliver's first round opponent, 'vinkyy' was #1 in the world for a single week back in October 2013 and has four PocketFives Triple Crowns to his credit. eisenhower1 (#4) vs brsavage (#13) Chris 'brsavage' Savage was the very first player to hold down the #1 spot on PocketFives. From January 17, 2005 thru April 18, 2005, Savage was considered the top online MTT player in the world. His status as 'PocketFives OG' could lead him to an upset over one of the best players Sweden has ever produced. Christian 'eisenhower1' Jeppsson took his turn at #1 for one week from September 30, 2015 thru October 7, 2015. He's also captured six Triple Crowns. Legenden (#5) vs norfair18 (#12) From March thru May 2013, 'Legenden' was in the online poker streets battling with some of the best in the world and put up results that allowed him to rise to the #1 ranking three different times. The competition was so fierce that two of his reigns lasted just one week and the third was two weeks. His first round opponent, 'norfair18' had a single week as the top-ranked online poker player in the world, taking the spot from Nicolas 'PokerKaiser' Fierro in April 2015. pleno1 (#6) vs lukethafluke (#11) Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard has been #1 on PocketFives on four separate occasions, most recently in November 2019. That reign, which lasted one week, came more than five years after he first topped the rankings. Leonard has $12.5 million in earnings and has won one Triple Crown and two monthly leaderboards. His first round opponent, Lukas 'lukethafluke' Berglund earned the #11 seed thanks to four turns at #1 between January and June in 2014 which helped push his lifetime earnings past $5 million. girafganger7 (#7) vs taypaur (#10) With more than $14 million in lifetime earnings and three reigns at #1, Bert 'girafganger7' Stephens still finds himself as an underdog to advance beyond the first round. Even then, he still has to make it past Taylor 'taypaur' Paur. On two separate occasions, Paur was #1 in the world with reigns lasting two weeks and seven weeks respectively. He also has more than $5 million in lifetime earnings. M8kingmoves (#8) vs ch0ppy (#9) Chad 'M8kingmoves' Batista had just one reign at #1, but he made the absolute most of it. Batista took over the #1 spot on August 22, 2007 and didn't let go of it for an astonishing 45 weeks, the second-longest reign of all-time trailing only Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy's 74-week reign. Batista still has to get through Matt 'ch0ppy' Kay who had two week-long turns atop the Rankings in in July 2012 and February 2013. The Canadian also has five Triple Crown awards and $7.2 million in lifetime online earnings. Make your picks in the PocketFives #1 Number One Contest - entries due by Midnight ET on April 2. Then make sure to follow @PocketFives on Twitter to get your votes in!"
  21. It has only been a week since Season 8 of High Stakes Poker wrapped up and poker fans can only wait for an announcement about Season 9 to quench their thirst for more six-figure pots and a healthy dose of some of the biggest ballers in the game. A look at some of the statistics from Season 8 makes a few things abundantly clear. First, Tom Dwan was undoubtedly the Season 8 Most Valuable Player and second, Rick Salomon didn't think the stakes on High Stakes Poker were big enough. In the 14 episodes that made up Season 8, there were 193 total hands and the pots totaled $24,875,700. Tom Dwan Came To Play Anybody who tuned into HSP this past season got a heavy dose of Dwan as the former online poker prodigy won 31 pots outright and then chopped two more. All told, Dwan raked in pots totaling $6,139,900. The second most frequent winner was Salomon with 19 pots won for $3,511,100. Phil Ivey Shows Up - Barely Fans hoping to see Phil Ivey make a triumphant return to High Stakes Poker probably wound up feeling a little bit disappointed. There were only eight pots that Ivey entered that made it to air and he won only three of those with the largest being a $117,600 pot on Episode 9. Phil Hellmuth Gives Fans One Super Memorable Moment Nobody in poker loves being on TV more than Phil Hellmuth and there was no way the Poker Brat was going to miss the chance to be a feature on one of poker's most iconic shows. Hellmuth found himself in 15 pots and managed to win six of them. The biggest being a a $144,100 pot in Episode 13 where he turned a flush against James Bord and Jake Daniels. The second biggest pot that Hellmuth won was easily the most talked about hand of the season. After flopping the nut straight against the second nut straight of Polk, Hellmuth shoved his $97,200 stack into the middle to push the pot to $203,000. Polk famously laid down his hand, earning the "best laydown ever" title from commentator Gabe Kaplan. You Like Big Pots and You Can Not Lie One of the things that makes High Stakes Poker must-see TV is the huge pots that highlight each season. This season there were six pots worth at least a half-million dollars. Kenney won two outright and chopped another one with Nick Petrangelo. There wasn't a single pot that hit seven figures, but Dwan destroyed Jean-Robert Bellande and Lynne Ji by scooping a $985,000 pot in Episode 5 after the players agreed to run it three times. READ: Tom Dwan, Bryn Kenney Star in Biggest Pots of High Stakes Poker S8 Smallest Pots of the season There was, of course, the other end of the spectrum. There were 14 hands shown where the pot size was under $10,000 and five of those actually fell under $5,000. The honor of smallest pot won this season went to Kenney. Kenney won a battle of the blinds with Rick Salomon to score a $3,400 pot - $1,800 of which was his own money. Rick Salomon Raises the Stakes A Lot For mere mortals, the stakes on High Stakes Poker are almost impossible to imagine. There were 49 hands of $200/$400 (with a $400 big blind ante) and 144 hands of $400/$800 ($800 BBA). That just wasn't big enough for Salomon though. He put a straddle on 21 times and then had the guts to double stradded an additional six times. He wasn't done there though. Late in Episode 1, Salomon decided to skip the $3,200 double straddle after Bryn Kenney put out a $1,600 straddle and went straight to a $5,000 straddle. In all, there were 72 straddles plus another 11 double straddles (including Salomon's $5,000 gambit). Dwan had the second most straddles at 13. Of the 20 players who made up the Season 8 cast, 15 straddled at least once.
  22. Online poker players in Michigan now have another online poker site to play on. BetMGM Poker, which uses the partypoker software, launched Monday afternoon to join PokerStars MI as the only sites currently serving the Great Lake State. "The demand for online poker in Michigan was made clear by players across the state. BetMGM Poker is proud to offer them a seat at our tables and we’re confident that BetMGM Michigan customers will enjoy an engaging, reliable, and fun poker experience," Ray Stefanelli, Director of Poker, BetMGM said. Players in Michigan are currently playing in a ring-fenced environment against other players in Michigan. Any plan to have BetMGM join the interstate compact with New Jersey have not been announced but the recent ruling that determined that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting clears a potential hurdle to expand the compact to include other states and operators. Players signing up for BetMGM Poker get $10 free to use at the cash game and fastforward tables plus $15 in tournament dollars that can be used for MTTs and sit-n-gos and are eligible for a 100% bonus on their first deposit up to a maximum of $600. There is also a $50,000 freeroll tournament on Sunday, April 4 which pays out prizes to the top 1,000 finishers ranging from $10 in tournament dollars up to the first place prize of $500 in tournament dollars plus entry to the $109 buy-in BetMGM Grand Online Series Main Event. In late January, PokerStars MI became the first poker site to take advantage of the online gaming regulations signed into law in December 2019. The addition of BetMGM Poker means Michigan now has twice as many online poker operators as Pennsylvania, where only PokerStars PA is live. BetMGM Poker's launch gives the gaming company a full slate of iGaming products that includes sports betting and casino. "The launch of BetMGM Poker in Michigan fully rounds out our premier gaming portfolio in the state,” said Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM CEO. "BetMGM’s sports betting and casino offerings have been met with incredible early success in Michigan and we’re thrilled to provide players with another exciting gaming option."
  23. The return of High Stakes Poker after a nine-and-a-half year hiatus was met with high expectations. The first seven seasons of the show created some of the most memorable moments in televised poker history and showcased cash game action in a way that had never been done before. Season 8 delivered on the nostalgia by bringing in some of the stars of the first seven seasons, including Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, and Phil Hellmuth, and mixed them in with some new blood, such as Michael Schwimmer, Rick Salomon, and Brandon Steven, who were all unafraid to mix things up. The result was 14 episodes that felt like a continuation rather than a reboot of the original show. Here are the five biggest pots from Season 8. #5 - Bryn Kenney Kicks Tom Dwan Out of his Full House (Episode #5) From UTG, Bryn Kenney raised to $2,500 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"]. Steven called from the cutoff with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"] before Dwan raised to $12,000 from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. Both Kenney and Steven called to build a pot to $38,000. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Dwan top two pair with Kenney picking up top and bottom pair. After action checked to him, Dwan bet $22,000 and just Kenney called. The [poker card="3c"] turn gave Kenney a full house and he check-called Dwan's bet of $55,000. Kenney checked again when the [poker card="th"] completed the board. Dwan reached into his stack and bet $55,000 only to have Kenney click back with a raise to $285,000. The raise made Dwan visibly uncomfortable and after considering his action for 30 seconds, Dwan folded to let Kenney win the $572,000 pot and take a $198,000 profit. #4 - Michael Schwimmer Also Falls Victim to Bryn Kenney (Episode #8) John Andress bumped things up by straddling for $1,600. Dwan called with [poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"] and and Jean-Robert Bellande called from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="5h"] before Schwimmer raised to $4,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kc"][poker card="5c"]. Kenney defended the big blind with [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"], Andress called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"] and both Dwan and Bellande decided to see the flop. Schimmer led out for $15,000 after the [poker card="ks"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2s"] flop gave him top pair. Kenney took the opportunity to raise to $52,000 with middle set getting Andress, Dwan and Bellande to all fold. Schwimmer called and then checked the [poker card="ah"] turn. Kenney bet $71,000 and Schwimmer called. The [poker card="5d"] river gave Schwimmer two pair and after taking some to consider his action he checked to Kenney who bet $165,000. Schwimmer called all in and was shown the bad news. Schwimmer left his seat following that hand. #3 - Sean Perry Brings Jean-Robert Bellande Along for the Ride (Episode #8) Dwan opened to $2,500 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] only to have Sean Perry raise to $8,000 from Dwan's direct left with [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"]. From the small blind, Bellande re-raised to $30,000 with [poker card="td"][poker card="8d"]. That forced a fold from Dwan, but Perry made it $70,000 to go and Bellande decided to call. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5d"] flop gave Bellande top pair but he checked to Perry who bet $40,000 and Bellande called. The [poker card="9c"] turn gave Bellande outs to a straight and he check-called Perry's $70,000 bet. The [poker card="7d"] river changed nothing for either player and Bellande checked a third time. Perry moved all in for $136,000. Bellande took a long sip from his Las Vegas chalice while contemplating his decision. He asked for a count and then decided to call only to have Perry turn over the winning hand to take down the $637,700 pot. #2 - Rick Salomon Double Straddles His Way to an $868,200 Pot (Episode #2) Straddles were a pretty common occurrence when Salomon was in the game. Just moments after his tablemates bet on how long the table could keep a no straddle agreement in place, Kenney straddled for $1,600 and Salomon double-straddled for $3,200. Action folded to Steven and he called in middle position with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"]. Everybody else got out of the way until Kenney called with [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"] and then Salmon raised to $22,000 with [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"]. Steven decided to bow out, but Kenney opted to call and see the flop. The dealer spread out [poker card="7c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"] giving Kenney middle set with Salomon picking up an open-ended straight draw. Kenney checked, Salomon bet $30,000 and Kenney called. The [poker card="8c"] turn gave Salomon a straight and an opportunity to improve to a straight flush or flush. Kenney checked again, Salomon bet $55,000 and Kenney called. The [poker card="as"] river changed nothing for either player and once again, Kenney checked to Salomon. With $219,200 in the pot already, Salomon moved all in and Kenney called off his remaining $324,000 which was immediately sent to Salomon after he tabled the winning hand. #1 - Three Times was Definitely a Charm for Dwan (Episode #5) While no pot broke the million dollar mark, the biggest hand of the season got awfully close. Bellande straddled to $1,600 before Salomon raised to $4,000 with [poker card="5c"][poker card="3c"]. Steven, Dwan and Lynne Ji all called to put action back on Bellande. The former Survivor castaway looked down at [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] and raised to $11,000. Salomon and Steven followed up with calls before Dwan raised to $54,000. Ji then moved all in for $163,000 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"] and Bellande move all in over the top of Ji for $399,000. Salomon folded and Steven threw his [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"] into the muck. Dwan took a moment before calling. The three players first decided to run it twice before Dwan suggested running three boards and Ji and Bellande both agreed. Board #1: [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ts"] Board #2: [poker card="qd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="ah"] Board #3: [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"] Despite flopping an open-ended straight draw and turning a flush draw on Board #1, Ji was unable to improve, allowing Dwan to win. Dwan then flopped a set on Board #2 and Bellande couldn't find a ten to make Broadway giving Dwan the first two runouts. He then flopped a full house on Board #3 leaving Bellande hoping for an ace or a king on the turn or river. When neither came, Dwan won the third board to scoop all three run outs win the $985,000 pot. With their chips being moved to Dwan, both Li and Bellande left the game at this point.
  24. The long-awaited return season of High Stakes Poker wrapped up on Wednesday with a cast full of some of the most active players of the season. Tom Dwan, Rick Salomon, Jake Daniels, and Brandon Steven were splashing away as the clock wound down on Season 9. The opening hand began with Daniels raising to $2,100 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="tc"]. Dwan called with [poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] before Salomon bumped the action up with a raise to $14,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. Daniels folded but Dwan called. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"][poker card="4h"] and Dwan checked to Salomon and then called a bet of $20,000. The [poker card="7s"] turn produced similar action with Dwan check-calling a $25,000 bet from Salomon. The river was the [poker card="7d"] and Dwan checked once again. Salomon threw out a bet of $65,000 and after a brief contemplation, Dwan folded to let Salomon scoop the six-figure pot and add $63,100 to his stack. As Salomon was raking in the chips, Dwan offered him a $500 chip to let him see his cards. Salomon accepted and Dwan learned he made the correct fold. Dwan made all of that and then some back on the next hand before James Bord got the best of John Andress in six-figure pot. Dwan straddled to $1,600, Salomon called, Andress raise to $3,200 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"] before Bord moved all in for $113,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="jd"]. Dwan and Salomon folded and Andress called. With $230,800 in the middle, the players decided to run two full boards. The first board came [poker card="js"][poker card="td"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2c"] to give Bord a full house. The second board was just as good with Bord making another set of jacks on the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2s"] flop. The [poker card="tc"] turn gave Andress straight outs but the [poker card="kc"] river was no help and Bord added $117,000 to his stack. Andress' rough night continued two hands later. Steven straddled to $1,600, Dwan raised to $5,000 with [poker card="6h"][poker card="2h"], Salomon called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="5d"], Andress called with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"], and Steven came along for the ride. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8h"] flop resulted in a check from Steven, a $5,000 bet from Dwan, a fold from Salomon, and calls from both Andress and Steven. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] and Steven checked again. Dwan fired out $25,000, Andress called and Steven folded. The [poker card="4h"] completed the board and Dwan's backdoor flush draw. Dwan bet enough to put Andress all in. After only a minute of contemplation, Andress called and was shown the bad news. Dwan netted $101,000 on the hand. After adding another $200,000 to stay in the game, Andress found himself on the wrong side of another six-figure pot. Daniels opened to $2,500 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"], Dwan called with [poker card="qd"][poker card="5d"], before Andress raised to $10,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"]. Daniels re-raised to $40,000, forcing Dwan to muck his hand, and Andress called. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4c"] flop gave Andress little to hold onto. Daniels bet $17,500 and Andress called. After the [poker card="9d"] turn Daniels bet $51,000 and Andress had little choice but to fold. Six hands later, Andress dropped $80,000 without even seeing a flop. Andress straddled to $1,600 and was dealt [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"], Bryn Kenney double-straddled to $3,200 and was dealt [poker card="2c"][poker card="2s"]. Steven raised to $11,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"], Salomon re-raised to $35,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"]. With action back on him, Andress made it $80,000 to go. Steven needed just 40 seconds to five-bet to $214,000 forcing to Salomon and leaving Andress frustrated. "I'm running into a fucking buzzsaw," Andress said, as he threw his jacks into the muck. The final hand of the night and the season started with Kenney straddling to $1,600. Steven called with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"], Daniels called with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"] and Dwan raised to $9,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"]. Salomon called with [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] and Kenney, Steven, and Daniels all called to push the pot to $46,600 before the flop. The [poker card="7d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2c"] flop put Salomon in front with top set. Salomon, Kenney, Steven, Daniels all checked to Dwan who bet $15,000. Everybody but Steven called to see the [poker card="4s"] turn pair the board and all four players checked. The [poker card="jc"] completed the board and Salomon led out for $45,000. Kenney folded, but Daniels called and after Dwan folded, Salomon told Daniels, "I got it," and turned over the winning hand to take down the $196,600 pot. PokerGo has not announced plans for a ninth season of High Stakes Poker, but during the opening segment of the season 8 finale, announcer AJ Benza hinted at the possibility. All episodes of the show are available on demand via PokerGo.
  25. This week's episode of High Stakes Poker on PokerGO started off with the players still talking about Doug Polk folding the second nut straight to Phil Hellmuth shove with the nut straight last week, but quickly turned into an episode of the Tom Dwan Show - and he wasn't even in the game when the episode began. It didn't take long to get a six-figure pot. On the second hand of play, James Bord raised to $1,100 with [poker card="7c"][poker card="6h"], Jake Daniels called with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jh"], and Hellmuth defended his big blind with [poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"]. The flop came [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7d"] and Hellmuth checked to Bord, who bet $2,000. Daniels called only to have Hellmuth raise to $5,000. Bord folded but Daniels called to see the [poker card="qs"] turn. Hellmuth check-called Daniels' bet of $7,100 to bump the pot to $30,100. The [poker card="2h"] river completed the board and Hellmuth led out for $14,000. Daniels raised to $57,000 and Hellmuth went into the tank. "I keep thinking, 'I'm going to fold this and he's going to show me the bluff and I am going to quit," Hellmuth said while contemplating his decision. After 2:35 of waiting, Daniels asked for a clock and Hellmuth was given two minutes to make his decision. Hellmuth ultimately called to take down the $144,000 pot and added $73,500 to his stack. On the next hand, Polk left and was replaced by Rick Salomon with Dwan taking his spot in the four seat. Before seeing a single hand, Dwan asked the double the stakes from $200/$400 to $400/$800 and nobody resisted, setting up a night of six-figure pots. Dwan started his reign of dominance by taking down a $57,800 pot, winning another $1,400 after running the turn and river twice against Bord in a $171,000 pot, but all of that was just whetting his appetite for winning a huge pot without a showdown. Brandon Steven opened to $2,400 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="4s"], Dwan called with [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"], and Bryn Kenney called from the big blind with [poker card="th"][poker card="7s"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"] and Kenney checked to Steven who continued for $5,000. Holding a flush draw and middle pair, Dwan raised to $18,000. Kenney folded and Steven called. The [poker card="9c"] turn gave Dwan two pair and after Steven checked, Dwan fired out $33,000 into the $44,400 pot. Steven responded with a raise to $87,000. Dwan took a little more than two minutes before moving all in for $227,000. A visibly frustrated Steven folded his hand instantly and said, "you guys are impossible to bluff. It's amazing." It wouldn't be a Season 8 episode of High Stakes Poker without a bit of a Hellmuth rant. Hellmuth called from UTG with [poker card="as"][poker card="js"]. Bord raised to $2,600 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"], Salomon called from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="4c"], Kenney came long from the big blind with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] and Hellmuth called. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="7s"] flop got all four players to check. The turn was the [poker card="jd"] and Hellmuth bet $7,000 and only Bord called. The river was the [poker card="3s"] and Hellmuth continued to be aggressive, betting $9,000. Bord raised to $33,000 forcing Hellmuth into a decision. "I just can't fold this, I guess," Hellmuth said after 90 seconds and the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner threw in a call. After being shown the nuts, Hellmuth stood up and treated his tablemates and viewers at home to a monologue on Bord. "I love playing against you, I want you every fucking day," Hellmuth said. "You deserve to lose after all of those weird beats you put on me." With Hellmuth done holding the spotlight, Dwan resumed his domination as the episode drew to a close. After Dwan straddled to $1,600 and Salomon double-straddled to $3,200, Steven raised to $10,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"], Daniels called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"], Dwan called with [poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"], and Salomon made it a four-way pot with [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="7h"][[poker card="2h"] and everybody checked to Steven who fired $17,000 into the $41,200 pot. Daniels and Dwan called while Salomon got out of the way. All three remaining players checked through the [poker card="9c"] turn that gave Dwan two pair. The [poker card="js"] river completed the board and Daniels checked, Dwan bet $43,000 which forced Steven to fold. Daniels called and was shown the bad news as Dwan's two pair allowed him to rake in the $178,200 pot. Dwan then took down a $106,600 pot before the final hand of the night, which turned out to be the biggest of the week. Salomon straddled, Bord raised to $3,200 with [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"], Daniels three-bet to $10,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"], and Dwan also called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"]. Action was back to Salomon and he called with [poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] as Bord folded. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2c"] flop got Daniels to bet $12,500 and both Dwan and Salomon called. Daniels then fired $33,000 after the [poker card="js"] turn and once again, Dwan and Salomon called. The river was the [poker card="8c"] which finally got Daniels to slow down. He checked, allowing Dwan to bet $75,000 with his queen-high flush. Salomon called with his baby flush and realizing he was behind, Daniels folded. Dwan tabled the winning hand and scooped the $320,500 pot, winning an additional $189,000 as play wrapped up for the week. The next episode of High Stakes Poker is the final one of Season 8 and airs on PokerGo on Wednesday, March 17 at 8 PM ET.
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